Category Archives: Serious for a moment

Let’s Talk

For the last month or so I’ve wondered if I had postpartum depression.  It’s been confirmed that I do and it almost feels like a relief.  And then it feels like guilt.  I never thought that I would be a statistic 7 months after the birth of my second kid, but I was wrong.  And I wish that I could say it was these thoughts or that event or this conversation that triggered it, but the thing I’ve learned about PPD is that it’s not.  I can’t tell you what makes me sad.  Its not one single thing that I can go address.  But it’s also not everything.  What’s causing it are my hormones multiplying like rabbits and then going on strike all in the same day.  So as soon as I can figure out how to control my own hormones I’ll get right on turning my mood around on my own.  Since it doesn’t look like I’ll be breaking any scientific codes in the near future, I’ve started asking for help.  I thought I was doing better, but then my husband pointed out to me that I didn’t seem myself and that was the immediate red flag for me that I’m not doing better and those around me notice.

I’m not suicidal.  My life isn’t a spectator sport.  My kids still make me laugh, and I’m not crying every day.  I would go as far as to say that I’m not crying any more than I would be normally.  I don’t need a list of things that I “should try” or “should do” from people.  I know exactly what I need to do: I need to get off of the couch, into real clothes, style my hair, and leave the house.  But here’s the thing about PPD: some days that feels like running a marathon.

I tell you this for this reason: some days I’m a runner.  I’m happy to pop off of the couch and have a reason to blow dust off of my jeans.  But some days I need the cheering section at the finish line to pat me on the butt and tell me that I did a good job.  I need people not to ask me why I’m not myself, but to not ignore it.

Postpartum depression feels like a failure.  But not one that you saw coming, could control, or won’t get past.  It happens to at least 10% of Moms after delivery and not a single one wanted it.  So don’t be a jerk.  Don’t be a Tom Cruise and criticize PPD as not being real.  Be the Brooke Shields who tells him to F- off because it can happen to anyone.  Be her.

Happy Brithday To My Little Man!

Today is extra special because you turn ONE,
We’ll eat cake and ice cream and have lots of fun

20131117-202720.jpg

It seems like just yesterday that you were brand new,

20131117-202822.jpg

And now there are so many things you can do!

20131117-202927.jpg

We’ll light your first candle and make a big fuss,
To be sure that you know you are precious to us!

20131117-203116.jpg

Today’s extra special because you turn ONE!

20131117-203317.jpg

And the best part of all: your life’s just begun!

20131117-203414.jpg

Happy birthday, Lucas!! Mommy, Daddy, and so many of your family and friends love you so much. I don’t know what we ever did without you.

100% Success Rate

If you don’t know the story, our wedding is one for the books.

From our friend getting ordained online to Angel calling me fat in my wedding dress: the day was awesome.

At a Mexican restaurant we were talking about our gripes finding a minister to marry us and a few margaritas later a good friend of ours says that it’s on her bucket list to get ordained and marry someone.  We tell her “great!” And the next morning have an email from her saying that the state of Arizona considers it legal if we’re really interested.  I’m aware that my family had their reservations about it, but at the end of the day I would rather someone I know standing up there with us and saying our vows with us.  And you know what?  It was perfect.  It’s also on her Google calendar once a year to email us a reminder that she has a “100% success rate” with marriages and not to screw up her stats.

Best officiant ever.

Best officiant ever.  This is also the friend who we visit constantly in Chicago with their 18 month old (and baby number 2 on the way!!)

And this leads me into the point of this post: I’ve spent exactly 3 years of y life legally attached at the hip to this guy:

How cute is he?!

How cute is he?!

There are so many fun memories that I have from our wedding day.  From my adorable groom-to-be breaking his jaw 2 weeks before our wedding, to my maid of honor knocking on my hotel room door the morning of the wedding with a bottle of champagne and a bottle of Pepto Bismol and saying “One way or another, I’m getting you down that aisle!”

wed-2066

MOH mission: Make sure that everyone signs the papers to make this marriage legal

wed-2145

And perhaps hold my dress while I pee:

wed-1763

But my favorite memories of all are these:

While preparing for my wedding I was looking for my “something borrowed” and my “something old.”  I went to my Grandpa’s house:

Rest in Peace.  I'm so happy that you got to share in my memories of this day.

Rest in Peace. I’m so happy that you got to share in my memories of this day.

To look for a photo of my grandma and I to put in a frame as a memorial at our wedding.  He pointed me in the direction of the photo albums and set me loose.  About an hour of tears and searching later, I found what I was looking for and went downstairs.  I can’t say what made me go back up later in the evening, but I did for some reason and went to the other side of the room that my grandpa hadn’t pointed to and pulled out an unmarked box (first thing I went to in that bookshelf).  Inside of it was an album with a letter from my grandma about a “hankie” that has been carried by woman  in the family on their wedding day and how it was her wish that the tradition continue as the family grew.  After the letter was the “hankie” followed by pages and pages of wedding photos of women who have carried it.  And of the women in the book, no one remembered (Lori, you were one of them!).  I was shocked.  And speechless.  After I was able to compose myself, I showed it to my mom and then took it downstairs to my grandpa.  I had it opened to the letter and I said to him “Is this something that I can do?”  He read the letter and with tears in his eyes and a big smile on is face he told me: “Yes.  But on one condition: you add your photo to the book.  Your grandmother would have remembered to give it to you.”  Well, Papa, she still did.  Because for some reason I was drawn to that book in that box on that shelf in that corner of that room long after I found what I had been looking for.  I was pretty torn up that my grandma was missing my wedding and 2 days before “I do” I was walking out of work and a white butterfly stopped me in my tracks and landed on my shoulder. (I know I sound crazy for all that comes next)  The butterfly then flew circles around me and disappeared.  I’m not even kidding.  Not like it flew away, it vanished.  I immediately smiled and knew it was my grandma.  I just knew.

On my wedding day I carried her hankie with pride:

wed-1776

And my Maid of Honor’s duties were fulfilled.  I made it down the aisle:

wed-1958

wed-1990And here’s where the best memory comes in.  After my dad handed me off and Angel and I were walking up to the aisle, he leans over and whispers in my ear with a big smile on his face: “Um… That dress makes you look really fat.”

Before you go and hunt down my husband with torches, allow me a moment for a back story.  At our rehearsal I was getting emotional and I told Angel: “If I’m crying or look like I’m about to cry when I get down the aisle you’re not allowed to say anything nice to me because that’s going to make it worse.” He said “oookkkay?” with a laugh and I told him “Say something like ‘That dress makes you look fat'” so I stop crying.  And between the rehearsal and going down the aisle we didn’t see each other or talk.  So when we’re all lined up and one by one I see my closest friends leave me I’m holding myself together.  My dad asks if I need a Kleenex and I say “no, why?” and look at him and he’s crying with a tissue in his hand.  I loose it.  And then our wedding planner says “It always hits you when you’re right here.  Okay, go!” and pushes us along.  We’re walking down the aisle and I’m crying and laughing and my nose is running and I’m a hot mess version of myself when I reach this waiting for me

wed-1891And in the perfect moment when no one else can hear us, Angel leans over and says to me with a giant smile on his face: “Um… That dress makes you look really fat.”

wed-2002

And that was it.  We both laughed and giggled through our whole ceremony.  A few people asked why we were laughing and we told them, but most people probably thought that we were just giggling 12 year-olds at the alter; and we kind of were.

But our amazing officiant did her job flawlessly (my husband, on the other hand, screwed up his vows but I don’t think anyone else noticed besides Laura… including me) and we were married!

wed-2023

Let the party begin!

wed-2446And “begin” it has!  In 3 years we have bought a house, moved, miscarried, had a baby, moved across the country, and it’s been a “party” for the majority of our 1,096 days that we have woken up next to each other.  I can’t imagine anyone else telling me that my wedding dress made me look fat and me not wanting to punch them for it.

wed-2616Happy Anniversary!!

Never Grow Up

Let me start by saying that I’m pretty emotional tonight.  Lucas sits by himself in the bathtub, plays with toys, and then quietly sits on my lap with his bottle while I read him his bedtime story.

Hold up.

When did my sweet newborn, who kept me up all hours, turn into this little boy holding his bottle and quietly looking at the pictures in the Finding Nemo story that I’m reading?  And then he just quietly put himself to sleep in his crib without even so much as a peep?  And odds are that he’s not going to make a peep now until about 7am.  Am I really the one who taught him this?  I don’t even know how I did that.  If I charged everyone a dollar who told me that he was “such a good baby” then we would already have college set.  But how did he learn that?  And what happened to my newborn in the hospital who didn’t know how to nurse so we had to bottle feed?

IMG_0317

What I wouldn’t give to Tivo the moments so that I can relive taking him home from the hospital, laugh at how slow Angel drove, and how neither of us said a word because we were so scared for the unknown

IMG_0319

His first diaper blow out resulting in his first bath at home

IMG_0328

His first intentional smile at me while I was strolling through Kohls looking for pants without an elastic waist

IMG_0554

And all of the cuddles that got us from one milestone to the next

IMG_0786Where did all of that go?

To you everything’s funny, you’ve got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

-Taylor Swift

I still remember that first night how I couldn’t get myself in and out of bed so I kept asking Angel to go check that he was still breathing in his Pack n Play right next to me.  He woke us up every 4 hours and we were so tired but just handed him back and forth to cuddle with on the couch all day long.  Now we have baby gates to keep him from crawling all over the house while I’m in the bathroom yelling “Mommy just wants to pee alone!”

I’m drowning in laundry, dirty bottles, and baby toys.  If the dishwasher isn’t running, the back of my mind won’t stop telling me to get up and load it.  And when the dryer is on, I cringe and the thought of having to put those sheets back because I feel like I JUST PUT THEM ON THE BED YESTERDAY.  If I had a bruise for every time his car seat has hit me in the shin getting him in and out of my car- oh wait, I do.  He screams when he sees me leave the room, he pulls my hair while he crawls all over me if I lay on the floor, and he tries to roll off of the table every time that I change his diaper- which feels like every hour on the hour for the rest of my life.

But then night time comes and he splashes and squeals in the bath, quietly drinks his bottle while laying in my lap, and he looks at me with those big eyes like he doesn’t know how to feel anything except safe and happy.

image

I cherish the moments: The good, the bad, and the ugly.  But I feel like they are going so quickly and I can’t find the pause button on my remote.

Maternity Tuesday

Before I start a productive post this week I would like to take a minute to list all of the things that I’m not going to miss about being pregnant:

  1. Tums.  Good riddance
  2. Not wearing my wedding ring
  3. Tiny feet in my ribs at odd hours of the night
  4. Using the bathroom 5 times a night
  5. Sensitive gag reflex
  6. Restricted diet

In case that list doesn’t make the point clear, I’m starting to get frustrated with being uncomfortable, throwing up, peeing, and being kicked by someone who I can’t ask to stop (not that I imagine he’s going to listen, anyway).

Think I’m kidding about popping Tums like Skittles?

The travel one for my purse, the normal one for the nightstand, and the Costco big sister one to feed the other two bottles and sit as a reminder on my bathroom counter that acid reflux SUCKS

Screw you, acid reflux.

On to a more exciting and less angry topic: What all of this is for!  Our baby is 17 inches, and tips the scales at over 4 pounds.  “His skeleton is hardening” ….. You don’t say.  Except for his skull, which will expand and grow to fit his enormously brilliant brain as he gets older.  It’s a good thing his head will grow to accommodate his brain because someone’s going to have to show me how to use the electronic devices of the future!

I think his moves are visible from space.

And I’m starting to FREAK OUT that there is an actual baby inside of me instead of just a hypothetical concept of a baby.  Obviously I knew I was pregnant and how this all works, but I’ve been so focused on keeping him in that it hit me this week like a tiny Tasmanian Devil that this is really happening and he is going to have to eventually come out.  And (I’m just going to come out and say it), when I realized that I’m never going to sleep in again, it will never just be Angel and I again, and NOTHING will be the same, I started to question if this is really what I want.  Obviously it is, this is just what new mom panic looks like for me.  All of that time that I spent decorating my house?  My child is about to redecorate with puke, toys, and mismatched food stains.  I’m never going to know what a clean and decorated house feels like again.  And then I feel ENORMOUSLY guilty for even questioning if I want this little man because OBVIOUSLY I do.  I just clearly don’t handle this much change as well as I did when this little guy was just a hypothetical baby in my belly the last 8 months and the changes were hypothetical as well.

My baby at 33 weeks:

You have no idea what I have planned, mom.

So here I am: Mom of the Year.

This realization came yesterday when I was at the doctor and he pulled out a calendar, pointed to a specific date, and asked how I felt about being induced then.  Granted this all depends on my body showing signs of getting ready for labor by November 18th, but Holy Crap! this is really happening.  And then he gave me a speech about nursing, what to expect with a newborn, and signs that I now need to be looking for as indicators that I need to go directly to the hospital.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.  So this is really happening, huh?  I must have looked panicked because he told me that “universally, babies born after 32 weeks do just fine” and then looked at my chart and informed me that I was 33 so I’m just keeping him out of the hospital now.  All righty- so this is all going to happen?  huh

Before this panic yesterday, I was planning on talking about how we got the rest of the nursery furniture and I nested the room to beautiful perfection, but now it all seems totally futile when I ask you all if you KNEW THIS LITTLE GUY WAS ACTUALLY EXPECTED TO COME HOME WITH ME AT THE END OF THIS?!  Right, because he’s my son who’s first few words will probably include calling me mom.  Which clearly can’t be right because “Mom” is my mom, not me.  And when he says mom, I’m immediately going to be on the look out for her: Really? where?

yadda, yadda, the room’s ready, yadda

So panic.  Got it covered.

This makes me appreciate Angel not showing emotion as openly as I do.  Can you imagine 2 of me in my house instead of just me and someone laughing at me, calling me crazy, and finally annoyingly telling me: “it’s fine, babe.”  I can’t imagine how I would feel if I started freaking out about the obvious and Angel jumped on board with an “Ohmygod! What do we do?!”  One of us needs to be calm, and I think I’ve demonstrated in the last 847 words that that is not me.  Clearly.

2 and a half weeks of work left.  That’s all.  And then I get a few weeks off to panic some more.  And then there’s going to be, like, a baby, or something.  That I’m going to have to take care of. Well I’ll be damned.  This is really happening.

OR, I could be the first woman who ever keeps her child in utero forever.  Option 2 sounds safer.  How do I arrange that?

Ode To My Husband

Last night, somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd time that I woke up to use the bathroom (and it was only 12:30- Oh my God I’m not going to miss this), insomnia set in so I naturally started thinking about things that have no place in my brain in the middle of the night.  For instance, “I need to remember to tell my coverage at work to request security access to so-and-so system tomorrow.”  I’m talking about very productive thoughts, here.

And then they started down the anxiety ridden path of what’s coming in the next few months in regards to Little Man.  I’ve never been concerned with what comes after pregnancy but I guess now it’s hitting me that I am RUNNING OUT OF TIME.  What if I need more burp clothes but I’m too tired to leave the house to get some?  What if I don’t have time to wash his clothes?  Those thoughts were my biggest worries until last night when I started to realize that I’m genuinely scared.  What if something happens to Mini Me or me during labor?  What if he gets stung by a scorpion?  What do I do if he gets a fever in the middle of the night and I don’t realize it?  These thoughts are so much more terrifying than trying to fit in another load of laundry into an exhausting day.

But then it hit me.  Literally.  Angel rolled over and his arm hit me.  I’m not in this alone and if I don’t notice a fever in the middle of the night, Angel will.  If I run out of diapers, one of us can run to the store while the other fabricates a disposable diaper out of paper towels and then we can laugh about our failure while we wipe poop off of the nursery room walls.  I have no idea how to explain to a boy how to use the bathroom but you know who does?  His dad.  I don’t know how to play G.I. Joes, but neither does Mini Me so he’s not going to know that I’m doing it wrong until Dad does it right.  This little boy is so lucky to have him as a dad and he doesn’t even know it yet.

So then I started thinking about just how lucky I am to have such a great husband!  The first two years of marriage has already had some tough obstacles that we weren’t expecting but when things got tough, Angel knew just how to let me be the right amount of sad before he distracted me.  While it drives me crazy that I’m always the one to clean the bathroom, the pool doesn’t appear to be growing anything and I know we don’t have a pool boy (because I’ve asked for one).  And are 3 junk drawers a sign that we’ve finally made it or that we’re hoarders?  The point is that I am so happy with my frustrating husband, dog who doesn’t always follow the rules, and kicking baby who makes me pee 4 times a night, that it feels like there’s no way that this can be my life.  Do I really drive a mom-mobile with a car seat in it to take my dog to the groomer?  I would never be able to own my own house with an adorable nursery for my son if it wasn’t for the love of the guy laying next to me.

And then Angel started snoring and I thought “Wow, that’s annoying.  But I’m still pretty lucky.”

New Teeth!

My teeth have always been a larger self conscious sore spot then I have ever let on.  And that statement should really put things into perspective for people like my parents and husband who can probably count on one hand (COMBINED between the three of them) how many times they have ever seen me without my retainer because I make it clear that I’m self conscious about it.  And for those of you who don’t know, I lost my two front teeth when I was 15 and have been wearing a retainer with fake teeth in it since (do the math- almost 13 years of retainer).

Last year Angel and I started saving up and making plans for the multiple oral surgeries that were involved in getting rid of my retainer.  2 surgeries, 3 dental procedures, and countless x-rays and consultations later, I have two pins in my jaw bone with holes on the end that crowns screw into.

This morning I went into the dentist and traded my ill-fitting retainer in for a pair of lovely, temporary crowns screwed into my jaw bone.  Retainer be gone!!!  They look amazing.  Ah-maz-ing.  Seriously.

I go back after baby Rivas is born to trade these plastic, beautiful, crowns in for a pair of even more beautiful porcelain ones and 4 veneers on the surrounding teeth and then I am DONE with the teeth conversation FOREVER and I will be sporting the most beautiful teeth ever.

It’s only been about an hour of New Teeth Christina, and I can’t stop smiling and looking in mirrors and shiny surfaces.  All of my teeth now are the same size, and when I smile it doesn’t look like I have 2 teeth that clearly don’t fit in.  I can eat without food getting caught in my retainer, and I can stop worrying that something horrible is going to happen to this retainer when the final pin breaks and it doesn’t stay in my mouth anymore.

May I never need another oral surgery again. And may the phrase “Let’s take a look at your teeth” never end in “Take this pain medication every 4 hours and ice until the swelling goes down” again.  I will scream at any dentist from here on out who does anything other than clean my teeth and you will have to drug me and drag me into an oral surgeon.  You’ve now all been warned.

Don’t take your teeth for granted.