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.

Why Having The Second Kid Sucks

When Angel and I were dating, we talked about how many kids we wanted “some day.”  We both said 2, I said “2 but if they are the same sex I would want to discuss having a 3rd.” And it was easy enough.  We both agreed: 2, we’ll talk about 3 possibly.

Well, “some day” came, and a second boy joined us.  The barrage of questions about more kids were so much easier to manage after I had Lucas because it was easy: “some day.”  When I’m standing in line at the grocery store now and someone asks if we’re going to have more kids I find myself saying “ummmm?”  I take the stance that when Joshua is about the age that Lucas currently is, it’s going to be the conversation that we always said we would have before this adventure started.  I think that Angel is humoring my heart on the matter, but deep (deep) down, I know this is it.  I’m the Mom of 2 boys and part of me may always be mourning the loss of the daughter that I never had.  The last 6 months I’ve really started coming to terms with the way our “some day” conversation is going to go in a couple of years, and in the process I’ve decided that having the second (last) kid really sucks from a Mom perspective, and here is why:

Joshua started crawling this week, and the next morning woke up with a new tooth.  Cool? No.  Sure, it’s great to see him grow up and hit these milestones that he’s supposed to (I don’t ever want it to sound like I don’t appreciate having healthy children), but what the hell is going on here?  Where is the newborn that I cuddled with in the hospital?  Where is the baby that I could set down while I took a shower or took care of his brother? What happened to the midnight feeding between him and I in the quiet house? What the hell just happened?  Then it hit me (hard): he’s gone.  That baby that I had, twice, I will never have again.  I can pack up those baby clothes for our “some day” conversation, but let’s call a duck a duck, cry the tears that I know are coming, and then accept the fact that I will never again have a baby.  Every first for him is a last for me and this really sucks.  I thought I knew what bittersweet was and then I had Lucas.  I thought that then I knew what bittersweet was and then I had our last, and now I’m just watching from the sidelines as our 2 boys hold hands, giggle, and move across the room sharing toys.  I’m not the Mom to the baby, I’m the Mom to the boys.

And this is why having that second baby sucks.  Welcome to my “some day” which I now call “yesterday.”IMG_0777[1] IMG_0637[1] IMG_0383[1]

Heeeellllloooo!!

Well, Hello!

I officially rename the blog “But I swear I’m Still Here”

I’ll do my best to pick up where the last blog left off, and tell my story short hand with a lot of pictures.  One day, I woke up and my morning was like any other:

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And then I got this fortune with my cookie and Chinese take-out:

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…And the next day, this showed up at my front door:

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And created a disappearing act in my family room (17 hours later, but let’s not get technical….):

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In the process, we were quickly limited to living out of the pile that I had set aside for our cars (Yep. Plural.):

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And my moving buddy and I set up post next to the heater vent at the front window to watch the progress (i.e. watching the day laborers chain smoke in their car.  But again, let’s not get technical):IMG_0078One of the world’s longest day’s later, and we were living out of suitcases in a hotel room.  I had sent Angel to the hotel with Lucas, and then fed and changed Joshua into pajamas and put him to sleep in his car seat in the only empty room of the house at 9pm (I kept him with me in case he needed to eat again since my adorable husband lacks the hardware to accommodate that need).  Come 2:20am (I wish I was kidding), Joshua and I left the house to go to the hotel to bed.  We missed the family North American record by only 10 minutes, however the record holders don’t have a truck breakdown at midnight.  Technically, technically, that truck didn’t leave my house until 19 hours later, and didn’t leave town until nearly 48 hours later, after what I was told included 4 more breakdowns: one of which was on the shoulder of I-94.  But I digress.  We’re in a hotel at this point, still in Michigan:

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I took a picture of the only member of the family who wasn’t bothered by all that was going on at this point.  Also: it started snowing.  And not just snowing but snowing.  At least in my mind, I started to wonder if we were even going to be able to leave town the next morning because the roads were getting so bad.  At this point, the truck wouldn’t start in front of what was our driveway so the stress level was rising.

Alass, we left town the next morning a few hours late, after a Starbucks run (which I totally earned).  We left Starbucks and the gas station in our respective cars with our respective children.  Angel calls me to make sure that we are ready to go (we’re in the car following him) and I’ll never forget that we are getting on I-94 west and say to each other “let’s do it!” and there starts our 4 day journey across country.  In my car, I had the smallest Rivas and a copilot:

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Who at this point was probably thinking “Seriously?  Again?”  Molly is a trooper.  She’s been through so much with me these last 8 years.

A quick stop for lunch (In Spiderman pajamas that he didn’t want to change out of and we didn’t see the need to fight):

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And we crossed the Mississippi!  We were back on the right side of the country:

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HOWEVER, I spent 2 loooooong days staring at this:

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What is that?  Nothing.  That’s what that is.  It’s nothing.  Nothing at all.  It’s flat, farmlands, and nothing.

So I figured “What the hell?  There’s a second person in this car and I’m pretty sure that he’s taking more than his share of the naps”

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I kid.  This was at a truck stop when he was hungry and there was no where to feed him but the driver’s seat of my car or the bathroom of a truck stop.  Yeah, it was a hard one for me to pick, too.

10 hours, one night in Omaha, and another 10 hours later, we were in Colorado!  We stayed put for nearly a week to let my parents spoil the boys with Christmas.  Because yes, this all happened during the holidays.  We skiied, and my mom was awesome and took both of the boys every single day for us.  This was the first babysitter that Joshua has had.  Ever.  He’s 5 months old at this point.  This is also why we decided to move back west, because it’s nearly impossible to raise kids when you don’t have a single family member in the same time zone, a joining time zone, or a one day drive.

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So on Christmas Eve, Santa brought the boys matching pajamas that he probably purchased in early October when he started planning.  Why didn’t I get a picture?  Oh, that’s because the stress of all that I’m telling you right now hit me.  Like a MAC truck.  On Christmas Eve.  So the boys put on their new pajamas and Nana read them their new book, while I laid at the end of the bed wondering how many pages were left:

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Because as soon as she was done, I put the boys to bed and went to the ER:

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It’s Christmas with the family. Someone has to get sick.  Apparently.

But once again, Nana for the save:
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A picture of the boys in their matching pajamas that Santa spent months on… While Mama laid out on the couch like a dead woman.

But then Christmas afternoon, word came down via smartphone that a storm was brewing (of epic proportions) in New Mexico.  So we packed up quickly, left the mountains, and headed back down to my parent’s house to pack up and leave the next morning.

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We made it all the way to Albuquerque, in what is the worst drive through New Mexico that I have ever done (and I’ve done that drive so many times).  We were trying to make it just west of the city, but when Joshua woke up to eat just as the sun was setting, we pulled over at a truck stop and I started sliding all over the place! I panicked.  As I was feeding Joshua the sun went down and now it was icy, dark, and snowing.  I told Angel we were done for the day.  Hopefully we made it far enough that the morning wouldn’t be terrible with the storm rolling in, but i was done.  Done.

Oh, look!  Another hotel:

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At least they still like each other.  Because at this point, with the weather conditions, the rest of us had very short tempers with each other.

The next morning started soooo soooo badly on the roads, but cleared up pretty quickly and soon I saw this:

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ARIZONA!

FINALLY!

Oh, look!  No snow!

We made it to the city, and when I saw the “Chandler City Limits” sign I burst into tears.  We’re home.  3 years and it’s over.  We’re home again.  We’re finally home.

Lucas didn’t skip a beat:

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We painted his bedroom the next day and the following morning the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the tides turned.  Our moving truck arrived:

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Hello, my friend.

Oh wait.  Not so fast.  I’m just trying to brush my teeth here:

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The next week or so has looked like this, and that’s pretty much where we are at now.  Lucas now says “It’s in a box somewhere” when he asks for something, and he’s not far from the truth.  I’ve just started hanging things on the wall, which is the first sign that the tide is turning and we are finding the end of this process.

The boys, however, didn’t skip a beat:
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So that’s life as we know it.  We’ve made it to Arizona and at this point we are still using moving boxes as trash cans, end tables, shelves, and (as far as Lucas is concerned) chairs.  I feel like I was making good progress at first and now it’s dwindled.  I’ve not only hit the wall: I’ve slammed into it.  So I sit here typing this for hours and pretending like I don’t remember about the moving boxes stacked inside the bathtub of my master bedroom.

Cheers to 2016!

Radio Silence

I promise that I haven’t forgotten about my blog and I’ll do my best to catch you all up when the dust settles a bit. But in case you were wondering what has been preventing me from writing (besides 2 small kids):

  
We are moving across the country! Because why not? The cold and snow and Midwest just aren’t the fit for our family, so we’re headed back to Phoenix… With 2 small children…. During Christmas. 

See? That should explain why I’ve been so quiet and busy the last 2 months. But I’m here to let you all know that I haven’t died from an anxiety attack (yet). I’m saving that for the 4 day drive across country while explaining to my 3 year old everything that wasn’t left behind. 

  

5 Years Ago…

When I’m losing my control and the city spins around,

You’re the only one who knows and you slow it down. 

                   I’ll Look After You by The Fray

  
I’m not even going to try to summarize 5 years of marriage so this guy, so instead I’m just going to leave it as: I don’t regret a thing. 

Happy 5 year anniversary to us! I plan to spend the next 5 reminding Angel of the deal we made on our honeymoon to return to Bora Bora at 10 years.

  

There Is A Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

It was a change so suble that I wouldn’t have even noticed it if my husband hadn’t mentioned it to me earlier in the evening.

“He’s getting older,” he said, “you probably shouldn’t kiss him on the lips any more”

Is he really that old? I thought.

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And then at bed time, my nearly 3 year old told me: “Kiss me on the cheek”

Did anyone else hear that?  That was the sound of a Mom’s heart breaking.  It was so quiet and so subtle that you only hear it if you’re listening for it, and you only listen when you know that it exists.  It was the first time that my son has vocalized that he is too old for something that Mom has been doing.  So are these now only okay when you’re sick, or have we grown out of those, too?  So where is the line now drawn?  Is it only bedtime?  Is it forever (an ever, amen)? Or was this just a one night thing? Oh please let it be a one night thing.

In the spirit of my kids growing up, Joshua started sleeping 10 hours a night this week.  Didn’t I just give birth to him?!image2

 

Except that was apparently 2 MONTHS ago!  Why didn’t time fly like this when I was knocked up?!  2 nights ago, he started sleeping for 10 hours and this is the face of someone who just slept 10 hours:

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And THIS is someone who really, really, really appreciated that:

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However, since then, he’s a lot less smiles and a lot more of this:

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It would appear that my kid is going through his very first legitimate growth spurt that is a pain in my ass.  He’s sleeping through the night like my favorite child, but now he’s eating all of the time during the day, really fussy when I set him down, and some days he almost isn’t my favorite child.  But he can’t ask “why?” yet, so most days he still is.  Except that my house is a mess, I have a “To Do” list 6 miles long, and I would love to be able to set him down 3 days into this.

And because I’m not even going to pretend to try to catch you up on the last 2 months of my life with 2 kids that I’ve been MIA on my blog, I’ll instead just tell you that this last week we joined Angel on his audit in Chicago.  We took the boys to the Shedd Aquarium with our friends who live there, went to the Nature Center, and generally had a great week while Daddy worked.

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Aaaaand there’s 2 months in one blog post, that doesn’t even begin what I’ve been up to for 2 months.  To summarize, my life is run by an army of tiny men, who I’ve created.

Moment To Brag

Since not everyone is on facebook, allow me a moment to brag about the men in my life who I’ve either picked or made, and who I get to share my life with.  We just got our amazing photos back from when Joshua was just a week old.  Enjoy!

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