My secret weapon for the long days

As I type this, Vivian has been up for hours from her nap that she barely took, dirty dishes from breakfast and lunch are piled up in the sink, clean laundry is pouring out of the dryer and another load has been dumped on my bed in anticipation of being folded at some point, and I still have about 15 emails to send before I start my next task of the day: dinner. Which reminds me, I forgot to take the pizza dough out of the freezer to defrost. Need to get on that.

My latest post is up on the Word of Mom Blog of WhatToExpect.com. I’d love it if you hop on over there to read about Our Secret Weapon for Getting Through a Long Day with Little Ones.

{It’s really my secret weapon. Ben just lovingly goes along with it. Because he’s awesome like that.}

Happy Weekend, everyone!

PS. Our Kickstarter for the show just surpassed 50% funded. We still need help reaching our goal of $6,500 before November 15th and would greatly appreciate your help! Click HERE to check out the video and pledge a donation. Thanks so much!

What I Want You To Know About Postpartum Psychosis

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Five years ago today my little man was born.

As for any first-time mom, the excitement and energy of the rush to the hospital to meet him is a bit of a blur, especially given the five years that have flooded my memory since then. Sure, we had the same fears and concerns as any new parents: is he sleeping and eating enough? Are we using the right baby products? When will his umbilical cord heal? Are we doing enough tummy time? But for us, the beginning of our story is quite different than that of most new families starting out.

Because right after he turned four weeks old, I had to be hospitalized for postpartum psychosis.

I knew I was experiencing hypomania from the time that he was placed in my arms around four a.m. the morning after he was born. He tried nursing for the first time and the physical exhaustion and emotional release of having just given birth started to set in. We sent him to the nursery so that I could try to catch up on sleep, but with the nurses checking my vitals every hour due to the C-section, sleep was nearly impossible.

Some people may wonder why I hid my symptoms from the people who could help me. The doctors and nurses who saw me [Read more…]

Comfort: Five Minute Friday {6}

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COMFORT

Back then, newly sick and with the fear of a mental illness diagnosis looming over my head, there were few things that brought me comfort.

 

One that was the most strong was her love

and her continued fight

to get me back to well.

 

There were so many tears back then. But we were able to smile when we were together for pictures, even if it sometimes felt forced. Behind the smiles there was silent suffering.

 

No matter what, she never stopped trying to comfort me. To ease my pain. To take the hurt away from her baby, her firstborn.

 

She will always bring me comfort in times of sadness. She’s my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

I love you with all my heart.

xoxoxo

Five Minute Friday

Balance and lack there of

Wow. What a week it’s been. Lately I find myself wondering: why it is so hard to balance the various curveballs and uppercuts life throws at us? Why can’t I just magically make everything WORK?

Speaking of work. That is something I did very little of this week. But I’ll get to that.

Little man came down with a fever on Monday morning which landed us in Urgent Care that evening at 9:30pm when he could barely catch his breath. He slept okay after a nebulizer treatment and some Children’s Motrin, but by the next afternoon he sounded like Darth Vader so we ran over to the pediatrician to find out he had croup, which I had suspected by that point. The doc put him on an oral steroid to keep his airway from swelling shut.

It worked really well. By Wednesday morning he was much better, but Baby girl had contracted his lovely virus. Luckily (I thought at the time) her airway sounded fine and I thought she’d escape with just a cold.

Yeah. Not so much.

She had a fever off and on all day yesterday and her breathing started sounding worse and worse. Last night I had my husband stop at Target on his way home from work to buy a new humidifier and she slept fine with it running to steam up her small room. But I knew right when I picked her up this morning that she needed that same med that the doc gave her brother. I didn’t even bother to take a shower. Instead I threw on clothes, brushed my teeth and asked my husband to stay home with our son while I rushed her over to the pediatrician (so thankful to live within 3 minutes driving distance from the office and for their established patient walk-in sick hours from 7:30-8:30am).

There was a line 8 patients long by the time I arrived at the office at 7:30. A kind mother in front of us who heard my daughter’s Darth Vader breathing let us go ahead of her and her son.

We didn’t have to wait long at all, which was such a blessing. And all the excess activity in the waiting room actually distracted baby girl, so that was helpful.

The P.A. took a quick look at her and put her on the same med just in a liquid form. They even gave her the first dose (along with a dose of Children’s Motrin) in the office to get her feeling better ASAP.

We headed home to give her breakfast. Hubby left for work. Little Man was still in jammies. At least he was eating, that was a start.

I gave her a breathing treatment after she ate while the kids watched an episode of Super Why. Then it was upstairs for mommy to have a quick shower before we rushed out the door again.

We had to drop off her prescription at the pharmacy and luckily there was a Starbucks in the strip mall because my head was about to start throbbing from my lack of my usual 2 cups. Then we hit the barber so that Little Man could get a haircut before his big first day of preschool.

After that we had plenty of time to make it to my eye doctor appointment across town. The kids were amazingly well-behaved while we waited the extra 15 minutes before the doctor was ready to see me to check if the trial lenses she had set me up with were working (they weren’t). She said she’d order me a new pair to try and sent us on our way.

Back home we ate lunch and got Little Man ready for school. Baby Girl was jealous of his new backpack, so I found his old butterfly backpack which satisfied her for a little while when I told her she could pick out some toys to stuff in it. We got his snack together to take to school and took some pictures (okay, a lot of pictures) at the front door before hitting the road for what felt like the tenth time today. At this point, Baby Girl is starting to tear up at the mere sight of the car.

Drop off at his new preschool went so well! The only thing that is tough about it is the timing – he starts school at 12:45, which is usually the time his sister is napping. So I’m hoping over the next couple of weeks she’ll get used to napping later. For now, she fell asleep on the way to school, woke up when we had to get out and walk him to his classroom, and was up on the drive home. I prayed she would go back to sleep in her crib once we got home. Little Man was so excited and jumped right into meeting his teachers and new friends. It was really cute.

Now if I could have just let her sleep until I had to pick him up, it wouldn’t have been that bad. But, of course that’s not what happened today. She was asleep in her crib from 1pm while I worked, until I realized I had my psychiatrist appointment at 2pm (thankfully, she’s in the same building at the pedi) so I let her sleep until the very last minute I could and we made it to the appointment on time.

All the running around today was not very conducive to Baby Girl resting to kick this damn croup.

We were back home from 2:45pm (when I gave her a dose of Children’s Tylenol because she was so uncomfortable) until we had to leave to pick up her brother at 3:30. Thank heavens for carline pickup!! Seriously, it’s so convenient. Five cars line up at a time, the teachers walk those 5 kids (radioed from the Directors whose parents were there to get them) to their parent’s cars. Baby Girl got to snooze on. Little Man had such a fun day, but got annoyed with me that I kept asking him to tell me more. He gets such an attitude sometimes when he skips his nap, but we could only get PM preschool, so he’ll have to just make up for those M/W/F naps on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I treated the kids to McDonald’s strawberry milkshakes for the rough day we had.

The worst part about this crazy, hectic, so-over-my-kids-being-sick-and-cranky day? I completely forgot to call my mom and wish her a happy birthday.

I suck.

My phone rang at 6:58pm and when it was my Dad on the caller ID I didn’t even think of it then. Not until I answered and heard my mom’s voice instead.

“Hi honey! How was your day? Little Man feeling better?” she asked, cheerily.

“Okay. Yeah, he’s better, but I was at the pedia-OH MY GOSH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I AM SOOOO SORRY, MOM!!!”

My heart sank. I wanted to cry, but instead spewed off all the things we did today only to feel even worse that I was making excuses for why I almost forgot.

Oh, and her card is also running a day late. Daughter-of-the-year over here.

I’m so sorry Mom. Please know that I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all.

I know that things will never be perfectly aligned, that there will always be kids that get sick, work hours to put in, a house to clean, etc, etc. I just hope that I don’t ever potentially  forget another birthday in the future. (I like to think that I would have realized my mistake tonight after the kids were in bed, so let’s just give me the benefit of the doubt to make me feel a smidge better, okay?)

I love you to pieces and can’t wait for our beach trip in November where you’ll have a luxurious, relaxing facial at the spa to enjoy as your birthday gift from me. Thank you for being my mom. You mean the world to me.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

xoxo