April 30, 2012

What Really Happens at One Year Old

People told me, oh she will start walking and talking and it'll be so much fun! She'll be into everything and learning so much every day! Enjoy this time before the terrible twos hit! Yada yada yada.

But you know what really happened at one year old, friends? People started bugging me to get pregnant again. Seriously. Friends, acquaintances, my clients, people I barely know. Oh yes, and let's not forget my OB when I had my IUD removed (not for procreative purposes). Every last one of them weighing in on the subjects of my fertility, rate of procreation and family.

Now you don't want to wait too long. It just gets harder as you get older.

Well you could go ahead and start trying now, just because you got pregnant the first time last time doesn't mean it will happen again. It could take months.

You should go ahead and have another now. Having babies close together is so much better because they entertain each other.

Don't make that baby grow up an only child. (My husband is an only child and doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.)

That baby needs a little brother. (Hmmm. You need to talk to my husbands swimmers about that one. Kinda out of my control.)

Chris needs a little boy to carry on the family name. Don't you want to give him a boy? (What is this 1500s? Did I marry Henry the Eighth? Oh and again, see above.)

One girl and one boy is such a good family mix.

I know people only say these things because they can clearly see how wonderful Evie is, and that Chris and I make beautiful sweet humans (eh... maybe I'm biased), but I don't understand what makes them think they have a say.

Thankfully our parents have never pressured us about giving them a second (or first for that matter) grandchild and seem totally happy to love on the one they've got. Keep that up guys. :)

{What silly things have you heard about having a second, or even first, baby?}

April 27, 2012

My Song for Evie/ I Won't Give Up

When I originally wrote here about being diagnosed with and surviving post-partum depression and anxiety I chose not to share my story. Since that day I have shared bits and pieces of what my life was like during that time. It's hard for me to write about it; it's hard for me to share because that time of my life was the darkest it's ever been. It was awful and even being recovered and off meds it's hard to relate that experience to others because I can still barely relate to what happened in those months myself. However as I approach the one year anniversary of my diagnosis, it is time I share these stories because they are not anything to be ashamed of; they are a part of who we are and who we are is beautiful.

This is a result of over fifteen posts that I started, stopped, edited to pieces and eventually abandoned. I've managed to make what I think is a fairly accurate account of those months and broken it down. It's a difficult story to tell not just because PPD/A is a stealer of happiness but because it's many faceted, convoluted and confusing. Most of these posts will relate to music. Music has always been where I have found solace and a way to express joy that seems inexpressible. Please stick with me

Part One: {HERE}
Part Two: {HERE}
Part Three: {HERE}
Part Four: {HERE}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For as long as I can remember I have had songs for people. Not just songs that remind me of people but specific songs for specific people. I have a zillion songs that bring my daughter to mind, but when I first heard Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" I knew this would be "Our Song". I think Evie likes it too; she tends to gaze quietly at me when I sing it to her.

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?


I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up



And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find


'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up


I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake



And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am.



I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up.


I won't give up on us
God knows I'm tough enough
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it


I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up.


{Sarah & Evie, mother & daughter, One Year PPD/A Survivors}

I couldn't have done this without you Evie Bug. I hope you know how much I love you.
Love,
Momma

April 26, 2012

Aftermath/ Somebody That I Used to Know

When I originally wrote here about being diagnosed with and surviving post-partum depression and anxiety I chose not to share my story. Since that day I have shared bits and pieces of what my life was like during that time. It's hard for me to write about it; it's hard for me to share because that time of my life was the darkest it's ever been. It was awful and even being recovered and off meds it's hard to relate that experience to others because I can still barely relate to what happened in those months myself. However as I approach the one year anniversary of my diagnosis, it is time I share these stories because they are not anything to be ashamed of; they are a part of who we are and who we are is beautiful.

This is a result of over fifteen posts that I started, stopped, edited to pieces and eventually abandoned. I've managed to make what I think is a fairly accurate account of those months and broken it down. It's a difficult story to tell not just because PPD/A is a stealer of happiness but because it's many faceted, convoluted and confusing. Most of these posts will relate to music. Music has always been where I have found solace and a way to express joy that seems inexpressible Please stick with me

Part One: {HERE}
Part Two: {HERE}
Part Three: {HERE}
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I eventually recovered and weaned (carefully, oh so carefully) off the meds I had to deal with the emotional aftermath and questions.

There is something about looking back at the people who help you pull through these struggles that makes you realize how loved you are and how much compassion and hope this world still has left in it. From my mother gently reminding me to take a Xanax when I would start rocking, to my father telling me that it would be ok, that I'd be fixed up in no time, that he knew another guy whose daughter when through this, to my mother-in-law embracing me and telling me her best friend's daughter said to tell me three months of Prozac worked wonders, to my father-in-law who isn't a man of many words but would hug me and kiss my hair, to my amazing husband who would hold me in the middle of the night, listen to my fears, stroke my hair while I cried and pick up when I would abruptly drop I am always amazed by how deep family runs. I would not be the mother I am without their love, patience, understanding and willingness to put in a few sleepless nights so I could get a little myself. I could not be prouder, or more grateful, to be part of this family.

As the months have gone by I've come to learn that there are certain things that you have to deal with when you are open about your struggle with a mental illness. Questions, comments and assumptions. These are some of the most common.

Did you want to hurt your baby?
No. I struggled more with the bonding and disconnectedness. I have a deep deep sense of responsibility and the fear of disappointing or letting down others would have kept me from ever physically harming Evie. From the second she was born, I would've taken a bullet for her, but it took awhile before love and not responsibility was the reason. However thoughts of leaving her with other family members were very common during that time.

Will you have another child knowing that your chances of PPD/A are higher having had it before?
I don't know. I don't know if I am brave enough to face that possibility again. Right now I don't know if I even want another baby, ever. It will factor into our decision whether or not to pursue a biological sibling for Evie.

General statements that all mothers with PPD/A are "bad" "crazy" or want to do some atrocious thing to their child.
I used to stay quiet when people would make statements like these. I would bite my tongue and die a little on the inside, because just about 100% of them had no clue that I had PPD/A. Then I realized by staying quiet that I was only contributing to the stigma and mystery surrounding PPD/A. I began to speak up. "I had PPD you know. It's not bad or wrong. It's clinical depression and it can't be helped." It made me nervous at first, but now I don't care. Maybe it'll remind someone to be compassionate when discussing it with a new mother who is hiding her PPD/A, because when you are that deep in the thick of it, a careless comment is enough to push you over the edge.

So are you back to your old self now?
No. No I am not. I will never be the same as the person I was before. In that time period I also learned to be a mother. That changes you in untold ways. I am neither the pre PPD/A Sarah or the broken girl who struggled for months. I know those women only now in the past. I am stronger and more resilient than them both. I love my child more than either one of those women did. Being a PPD/A survivor does not define who I am, but it did change who I am forever.

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad it was over...
Now you're just somebody that I used to know.

*Lyrics Courtesy of Goyte*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fifth and Final Entry Tomorrow.

April 25, 2012

Fighter/ I Came to Win

When I orginally wrote here about being diagnosed with and surviving post-partum depression and anxiety I chose not to share my story. Since that day I have shared bits and pieces of what my life was like during that time. It's hard for me to write about it; it's hard for me to share because that time of my life was the darkest it's ever been. It was awful and even being recovered and off meds it's hard to relate that experience to others because I can still barely relate to what happened in those months myself. However as I approach the one year aniversary of my diagnosis, it is time I share these stories because they are not anything to be ashamed of; they are a part of who we are and who we are is beautiful.

This is a result of over fifteen posts that I started, stopped, edited to pieces and eventually abandoned. I've managed to make what I think is a fairly accurate account of those months and broken it down. It's a difficult story to tell not just because PPD/A is a stealer of happiness but because it's many faceted, convoluted and confusing. Most of these posts will relate to music. Music has always been where I have found solace and a way to express joy that seems inexpressable Please stick with me.

Part One: {HERE}
Part Two: {HERE}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Even as feelings of happiness and normalcy started to break through, I was still stuggling. There were hard days and even more difficult nights. In additions to crippling depression and anxiety I was dealing with the after effects of the worst days. The guilt. The guilt was overwhelming and astonishing. What kind of monster yells at a new born? What kind of mother tells her helpless baby to shut up?

What kind of mother contemplates giving her child away or leaving?

The brief moments of happy I felt were generally quickly dispered by feelings of guilt, self doubt and disappointment.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this confusion, sadness and happiness I, very abruptly, went off my meds. If you are familiar with SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor) at all, you know that is never a good idea. They were making me physically miserable though. They made me sleepy and it felt like I had a huge swollen very painful lump in my throat that I couldn't swallow down.

After that I spiraled down again. Things with me became worse, and the situation became unbearable. When my husband found out what I had done he was livid with me. After that he was hypervigilant; watching me like a hawk to make sure I took that little pill every night before bed. A reluctant patient, surely, but I took my medicine like a good girl.

Then one day it dawned on me. I could stay down here in this mucky terrible dark place and miss out on my daughter growing up or I could stand up and fight for our future together. It wasn't my choice to have this happen to me, but it was my choice to be tough enough to be beat it or to lie down and give in.

Luckily, my parents didn't raise a quitter; I was raised to be a fighter. My family and I were meant to shine brighter than this, and it didn't work without me in it. So, I gathered every future happy moment I could imagine and bundled them together and put them in my corner. When I needed strength to not cry, to beat back an anxiety attack, to make it through one more day I pulled out that bundle and sifted through all those moments I wanted to enjoy. I turned them over in my mind like gold coins. I clutched them to me for support and spread them over me like armor.

I became a warrior for my mental health. I wouldn't go down without a fight because my family's future was too important.

I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive
I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise, to fly.


And for the first time I looked at my child, my beautiful daughter and fell in love.

*Lyrics courtsey of Nicki Minaj & Rhianna*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part Four Tomorrow.

April 24, 2012

Diaper Bag Essentials

Today's Toddle Along Tuesday prompt is "Show Us Your Diaper Bag". I absolutely adore my diaper bag!

We have a Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack in the Daydreaming in Dresden pattern. It's so cute, and has tons of pockets for organizing. I especially love the back pack straps which make it great for outdoor adventures. My favorite feature is the attached changing pad. It is super soft and padded so Evie can be comfy on all sorts of changing surfaces; it is folded up in the front of the bag and when you unzip the sides it folds out and right there are your compartments for diapers, wipes and diaper cream. I always keep about 5 disposables on hand just in case. Another great feature is that you can buy the optional "stroller straps". These are tiny little straps that Velcro around the handle of the stroller or grocery cart and the whole bag hangs out of your way so that it doesn't take up space in the bottom of your stroller or shopping cart, AND everything is easily accessible!




In my bag you can always find the following:

  • toddler snacks (goldfish, dried fruit, yogurt drops, puffs or cheerios)
  • extra change of clothes & cardigan in case she gets cold
  • cloth diapers
  • wipes (for hands, faces and anything else that needs wiping)
  • pacis (oh lord lots of extra pacis)
  • empty sippy cup
  • bottle of water
  • toys (teething keys, something that plays music and a snuggle toy)
  • extra socks
  • a light blanket
  • bibs
  • a few disposable diapers
  • desitin
  • sunscreen & sunglasses
  • large zip lock bags and plastic grocery sacks for dirty CDs and clothes
That is about it. I try and plan for ALL contingencies!

Reset/ The Dog Days

When I orginally wrote here about being diagnosed with and surviving post-partum depression and anxiety I chose not to share my story. Since that day I have shared bits and pieces of what my life was like during that time. It's hard for me to write about it; it's hard for me to share because that time of my life was the darkest it's ever been. It was awful and even being recovered and off meds it's hard to relate that experience to others because I can still barely relate to what happened in those months myself. However as I approach the one year aniversary of my diagnosis, it is time I share these stories because they are not anything to be ashamed of; they are a part of who we are and who we are is beautiful.

This is a result of over fifteen posts that I started, stopped, edited to pieces and eventually abandoned. I've managed to make what I think is a fairly accurate account of those months and broken it down. It's a difficult story to tell not just because PPD/A is a stealer of happiness but because it's many faceted, convoluted and confusing. Most of these posts will relate to music. Music has always been where I have found solace and a way to express joy that seems inexpressable Please stick with me.

Part One: {HERE}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For awhile I limped along. There were better days and some that were indescribably bad. There were bouts of extreme depression and even worse ones of anxiety. Nights when I lay in bed with every muscle so tense I felt like the slightest touch would literally shatter me into a million tiny shards.

And still I didn't sing. I didn't sing in the car, not to my daughter, not to myself or in praise. It was as if I was an emotional mute. My song was silenced and I felt like I might never get it back. I barely turned on the radio in my car and when I did I NEVER stopped on the Christian station. Still so angry with God, still so hurt over all that had been taken from me.

Until one day when I heard a song that reminded me of how happy used to feel. It was upbeat and it had tamborines or some other instrument that made happy noises. I kind of bobbed along and slightly smiled to myself. After so much time not using it my smile felt rusty and unused, but it was still there. A few days later it came on again. I liked it enough to use the shazaam app on my phone and found out it was a song by a band called Florence and the Machine. Its name was "Dog Days are Over", and it became my anthem of happiness. I downloaded it and burned a CD that I played over and over again. When I sang that song I felt happier, like I wasn't so much in a haze so I kept it on a lot.

A friend and sorority sister who fought and beat PPD once told me to find a way to "reset" my emotions. Driving with the windows down and blasting this song as loudly as I could was my way to reset my emotions. It was like being in a desert and finally getting a cool glass of water, like being on the outside looking in, wishing for what everyone else already has and finally getting a little taste.

Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.
The dog days are over. The dog days are done.

A place I could always count on being happy when so many of my places were so unhappy. Even if it was only brief moments of time those moments sustained me and sometimes carried me through when nothing else could.

*Lyrics courtesy of Florence and the Machine*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part Three Tomorrow.

April 23, 2012

Mute

When I orginally wrote here about being diagnosed with and surviving post-partum depression and anxiety I chose not to share my story. Since that day I have shared bits and pieces of what my life was like during that time. It's hard for me to write about it; it's hard for me to share because that time of my life was the darkest it's ever been. It was awful and even being recovered and off meds it's hard to relate that experience to others because I can still barely relate to what happened in those months myself. However as I approach the one year aniversary of my diagnosis, it is time I share these stories because they are not anything to be ashamed of; they are a part of who we are and who we are is beautiful.

This is a result of over fifteen posts that I started, stopped, edited to pieces and eventually abandoned. I've managed to make what I think is a fairly accurate account of those months and broken it down. It's a difficult story to tell not just because PPD/A is a stealer of happiness but because it's many faceted, convoluted and confusing. Most of these posts will relate to music. Music has always been where I have found solace and a way to express joy that seems inexpressable. Please stick with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am a singer. I am not neccesarily a good singer, but I can carry a tune. Other than playing the scales on the piano to warm up my voice I don't know how to play an instrument. I find joy in music and since I know no other way to make it, I sing. I sing loudly in the car. I sing silly songs to Evie and even my dogs and cats. I sing songs of praise and worship because growing up my mother taught me that singing is like praying twice. Everyday on the way to work while I was pregnant I listened to the Christian music station and sang, thanking God for the life in my belly, praying for her safety and eventually that she would please just come out already.

When Evie was born I stopped singing. I was in the midst of what should have been, what everyone told me would be, the most joyful time of my life. I felt no joy, no happiness, only the heavy weight of responsibility, sadness, anger, anxiety and exhaustion.

Exhaustion. That's what the nurses thought it was at first. The crying binges that lasted hours, the outbursts of anger at my husband and daughter for merely breathing in my direction, followed by remorse, guilt and promises to myself that I would never behave so abhorrently ever again. The anxiety attacks that left me trembling on the shower floor after vomiting up whatever meager food and beverage I had managed to choke down that day. It was caused by exhaustion they said.

When four nights of solid sleep didn't help finally my husband looked at me at 2 am and said, "If you don't call Dr. Martin tomorrow, I will." My friend Libba gently said, "If it was just baby blues, I think you'd be in the downhill slope by now. Call Dr. Martin, robot through it. You don't want to miss this part."

It was almost a relief to admit that there was a problem. That this wasn't normal behavior and I desperately needed help that sleep alone could not provide. The phone call to the nurse that day was the hardest I've ever made. You cannot imagine how gut wrenchingly awful it is to be asked if you've had thoughts of hurting your new born helpless child. Even though I could gratefully answer "No" to that question I think she could hear the desperation in my voice. Her name was Jennifer and she squeezed me in with Dr. Martin that afternoon.

That appointment was difficult. I am sure I looked completely strung out. I guess I was. No sleep and running on more coffee than even I care to think about. At the end Dr. Martin squeezed my hands, looked me in my eyes and said she'd been there; that it would get better. I left with a prescription for Lexapro and Xanax.

The drugs helped considerably, especially the Xanax. I remember when I hit twenty-four hours with no tears; it felt wonderful to not have eyes swollen and gritty with salt.

Still though, I didn't sing. I wouldn't sing one single note. I still had no joy to give. I was angry. No, I was beyond angry; I was livid and with it came a mute kind of grief. How dare God let this happen to me. How dare He? Everything was taken from me. Everything. No vaginal delivery and a c-section instead, NICU, no breastfeeding, and now this? He didn't deserve my praise.

My faith was broken, but not shattered. It was buried in hurt, anger, feelings of betrayal and grief but not irretrievably so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part Two Tomorrow.



April 20, 2012

An Ode to Cloth Diapering

In honor of Real Diaper Week and The Great Diaper Change I wanted to share our experiences with cloth diapering most of the time and hopefully full time soon!



What is it about cloth diapering that is so much fun? I don't know. I can't figure it out because when you list it out it sounds like a lot of work.  Really gross, super smelly, work.

Here's the thing though. It's not. It's easy peasy and honestly it takes about one hour of hands on time per week, and that time is broken up into about four different times. On the smell front, don't breathe through your nose! Seriously it sounds simplistic, but it's the best way to avoid the smell. Yesterday we finished our stash off for the most off. We will now have twenty-four BumGenius 4.0s which we purchased from The Green Nursery online. I will have to have an Albert pattern and a Lovelace pattern when they are back in stock, and on the recommendation of a friend I might order and try a BumGenius AIO and a Swaddlebees. Supposedly the AIOs have a bit bigger of a thigh opening and we all know Evie has some chunky little ham hocks! But on the whole, our stash is pretty complete.

So, I'm going to share how we make cloth diapering work in our household. I work forty hours outside the home per week and my husband works close to fifty hours outside the home. We have four dogs, two cats and a thirteen month old. We own our home so we have a lot of upkeep there. So yeah, our "free time" is limited. I knew when I started CDing I would have to find time and really work a system. So this is what I do.

Most days as soon as Evie wakes up I get her dressed in a sposie and she spends her weekdays in them while at daycare. I am hoping this will change soon. As soon as we arrive home from daycare, after rinsing her booty and letting it air out I change Evie into a cloth diaper. She also sleeps in a cloth diaper every night and is in cloth full-time on the weekends.

MY ROUTINE

I wash my diapers on Fridays and Sundays (as late in the day as possible) occasionally I will throw in a Tuesday wash if the bucket is smelly or we've had a lot of poopies. I find this timing creates the best swish to get the diapers clean and together with my "wash plan" I have not had stink issues at all.

WASH PLAN

Retrieve CD bucket from back porch
Open washer door
Get LYSOL wipes at the ready
Open door to the second bathroom and turn the water on warm
With bare hands one by one remove inserts from pockets and throw it all in the washer
Shut washer door with my hip
Go to bathroom (water is already running) and scrubs hands, dry hands
Back at the washer fill detergent and rinse cycle slots with white vinegar (no detergent)
Turn on to a short wash on COLD with an extra rinse.
Use Lysol wipes to wipe down inside and out of bucket
After short wash I turn onto a heavy duty wash on HOT with an extra rinse.
I use 1.5 scoops Fresh Granola Cloth Diaper Detergent and a tiny drizzle of TIDE (Fresh Granola is on hiatus for a bit, so I just bought some Rockin Green and with that I won't use the tide) and fill the rinse container with vinegar again.

Then I put in the dryer on medium heat and the next afternoon or Morning if it is Saturday I stuff the diapers and put them in the bin in her nursery.

It takes me about 15 minutes to get them into the washer and about 15 minutes to stuff them once they are dry. Other than shaking poop into the toilet or using the sprayer on poops that need it, that is all of my hands on time. That is only 60-90 minutes extra per week, and it's all spread out so it doesn't even feel like that much. I have a really sensitive nose, and our solution to the ammonia smell is to put the bucket outside (which we will have to change this summer since the heat makes it worse) and wash it really really well every few weeks and then hose it out.

***EDITED: After my friend Melissa suggested I just throw the diapers in with the inserts still inside the pockets I started doing that. Turns out, most of them come out on their own and it's a lot less smelly to take out the ones that don't just before the second long/hot wash.***

We originally started cloth diapering as a way to save money and unexpectedly grew to love it. I know it sounds weird to "love" poop sacks but we do and here are some reasons why.

Cloth Diapers are so soft. If it were me I wouldn't want that crinkly paper against my bum all day.

The BumGenius pocket diapers do a great job of wicking moisture from Evie's skin.

I love that we are literally removing tons of trash from our landfills by doing this. We have a HE washer/dryer so our carbon foot print is even further reduced.

Sposies are also filled with chemicals that help them absorb as much urine as they do. I would much rather double stuff (regular insert + new born insert) a diaper for Evie to wear overnight than have her sitting in a chemical mess that gives her rash.

Cloth diapers are stinkin' cute. I don't care who you are or how you diaper, that is a fact. CD cuter  than Sposies any day.

From one former doubter turned believer, I would encourage anyone who is thinking about trying cloth diapers to go ahead and take the plunge. You can always re-sell your used diapers and get most of your money back, or you can rent them to give it a try. These are not the cloth diapers of our mothers and grandmothers! Heck they are even sold at Target these days.

(PS I highly recommend The Green Nursery for CDs. Their prices are good and their rewards program is the best. You get points for buying and for writing reviews. I had enough for $10 off my last order, and earned $8 off my next, that's a whole diaper!)

April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Eggsellent

Evie's current favorite food is eggs! She will take them any way she can get them! Scrambled, leaky/juicy (family code for fried eggs), egg salad sandwich or omlette. This girl is all. over. it.


{Gimmie more eggs!}

{Eggs make me smile!}

{Stop taking my picture. I'm trying to eat my eggs!}

April 17, 2012

TAT: A Day in Our Life

So back in October I posted what a normal weekday in our life looks like. Since today's TAT theme is what a typical day looks like I thought I would share a weekend day since I work full-time and the weekends are way more fun since we get to hang out with Evie.

Saturday around 8 am I hear Evie begin to stir in her crib. I get up, throw on my robe and let the dogs outside. (Hubby likes to stay up late on weekends so I generally let him sleep in while I get up and handle EVERYTHING. Yes I win the #1 wife award because I can count on three fingers the number of times he's let me sleep in and that was because 1) it was mother's day 2) I was sick 3) it was my birthday present. Yeah. Grrr.) Anyway, while the dogs are outside I fill their bowls with breakfast, get some milk in Evie's sippy and stumble to the counter to make my coffee. At this point I begin singing the praise of the wonderful machine that is my Keurig.



I then go get Evie out of her crib.



After a diaper change and some quick kisses and snuggles, I put her in her chair so she can drink her milk and snack on a cheerio appetizer while I sip my coffee and prepare her breakfast. She loves scrambled eggs so she usually gets that in some form or fashion.



Then she bounces in her bouncer, we read books, watch a little Go, Diego, Go!, play with the puppies and just generally hang out until about 9:45 when we go wake up her Daddy. After we all snuggle in bed for a few minutes Evie naps from 10-12pm. This is when I shower, get dressed, start laundry or do whatever I need to do.



At 12 pm I wake Evie up from nap and it is time for lunch. This might consist of leftovers, turkey roll ups, a Pb&J or I might make something. It just depends on our time situation.



After lunch we play some more, work on walking skills, attempt to color on her art easel and run any errands we might need to do. 

Around 3:00 we have a snack that is usually goldfish with fruit, yogurt, a cheese stick with fruit or a smoothie. She also finishes off her milk from lunch during snack.

Evie usually takes a nap in the later afternoon from 3:30-4:30. 

After Evie wakes up we get ready for that evening. Sometimes we just walk to the park, come back and chat with our neighbors before dinner or we get ready to go out with family or friends.

After, dinner, hanging out or whatever Saturday night holds (this past weekend it was dinner with my parents and then Wally World) it's time for bath around 7:30.



After bath Chris reads to Evie while I feed her her milk, then if she's not conked out we play on the floor of her nursery for about 10-15 minutes. Then it's lights out time for Evie Bug! We cover her up, turn on her music and she goes straight to sleep.

Then for the next few hours Chris and I hang out watching TV, talking, watching a movie whatever.

Around 10:30-11:00 I head to bed while Chris stays up playing Wii, reading or watching scary movies that I won't watch because they give me nightmares.

I usually find this on my pillows.



Then I crawl into bed (usually with a cup of hot tea -- thank you again Keurig) and read some of The Hunger Games triology (I know, I know it's time to move on) before zonking out and getting up and doing it all over again on Sunday!



Write your Day in the Life post and come link up with Mama G!

Our Pregnancy Announcement

On our What's a Vol? tab I've shared the story of how we thought we were going to share the exciting news that we were pregnant with Evie, how we actually got to share the news but I've never posted a picture of the actual announcement because the box with the remaining bottles is on the top shelf of our pantry and I'm too lazy to get one down to take a picture. Yeah.

So anyway, last night I came across a picture of the label on my iPhone (from when it was actually hubby's iPhone) and I thought I would share it here!



On a completely unrelated note, WTH am I going to do on Thursday when Picnik is not available. I think I've been in a state of denial. I don't like change. Any suggestions on what other programs to use? I'm not thrilled with PicMonkey. Aviary made me want to jump off a bridge. I've slowly (VEEEERY slowly) been learning how to use Photoshop Elements, but mostly it makes me want to throw my computer in the street and run over it a few times with my car. So yeah, I've got that going for me... Anyway thoughts/suggestions/picnikisclosing support groups are much appreciated.

April 16, 2012

Park Fun

Our neighborhood has the sweetest little park. It has walking rails, a "fishing" lake (ie: we see people fishing all the time but never see anyone catch anything) and a little playground. It's great for little families. It's got picnic tables and charcoal grills. We are hoping to plan a family outing soon to spend the afternoon, grill out and have a picnic!

It's about a 4.5 - 5 mile walk round trip depending on which route we take and it has become our tradition to walk to the park and back on Sunday afternoons. The first few times we kept Evie in her stroller and she was happy to point out ALL the trees and dogs to us. The past few times we let her out to play. We've taken her down the slide a few times (which she LOVES) and let her toddle around to check stuff out. In true Evie fashion she is most content to munch on goldfish, sip her milk and watch the other bigger kids at play. I'm sure soon enough she'll be barelling around up and down the slides!


{Mommy, would you like a goldfish?}


{Pretty girl at the park in her VOLunteer Orange!}



April 14, 2012

Sponsor Love: The Chrancy Family

Hi Y'all! I'm going to be doing highlight posts of my sponsors for this month, and I may continue doing it for next month too once I see how it goes.

I realize some of you don't neccesarily like to read sponsor highlight posts, and that's fine, however I would ask that you give these ladies a chance and check out their blogs. These are truly truly some of my favorite ladies in the blogging world. They are all super nice super amazing moms (but not in that make you feel bad about yourself way). They are a diverse fun group!

THE CHRANCY FAMILY






Y'all stop on by Nancy's blog and say HELLO! Some of Nancy's favorite posts from last month!

I Got Suckered Into Reading...
'Cuz we are both on teem Peeta!

Where Did Moose and Zee Go on Nick Jr
'Cuz w miss them too. Sad.

Behind the Name Chrancy
'Cuz I always wanted to know...



April 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012
 
This year for the first time I am joining in with 5 Minutes for Mom's Ultimate Blog Party! This is a great way to make new friends and find new fun blogs to read! I am super excited!
 
About Us:
 
 
 
Hello. My name is Sarah I am the voice behind this blog. I am wife to Christopher and first time mom to our girl, Evie. 
 
I enjoy hanging out with my little family, cooking, reading, drinking wine, writing and dabbling in photography.
 
I originally started this blog as a way for friends and family to keep up with our first pregnancy. It has grown into more as I chronicle our daily struggles and triumphs as new parents navigating the path of parenting a little girl. 
 
For more information you can visit our About Me page.
 
Welcome to our world.
 
FOLLOW ALONG ON
 
If you follow along please make sure to let me know so I can check you out too!
 
 
 
 

April 12, 2012

Thursday Brain Dump

Because it's Thursday and my kid has double ear infections (again) with some gnarly diaper rash and my brain is tired and i can't seem to put anything into one interesting, well written blog post and pretty soon I am going to lose my mind, this is what you get. Enjoy a trip to the murky bottoms of my brain.

1) The phrases "boys will be boys" and "he's all boy" do not excuse your heathen spawn's terrible behavior. If you had a girl and she acted that way, what would your excuse be?

2) Put your grocery carts back in the corrals people. How lazy can you be that you won't walk the extra thirty steps there and back?

3) I judge people who buy nothing but total crap at the grocery. I checked out behind a woman a few weeks ago and whose cart contained nothing but packages of frozen burritos, frozen chicken pot pies, boxed mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, frozen treats, cheese product, bottles of nesquick, juicy juice, sodas (diet and full of sugar) cookies, crackers and chips. I am NOT kidding you. There was not a bit of fresh produce in that women's cart. No lean proteins. No low fat dairy. No whole wheat anything. Oh wait, there were some frozen french fries. Do those count as vegetables? ::rollseyes:: I really try not to judge. I do. But I CANNOT help myself at the grocery store. I want to pull these women aside and ask, "do you think this is cooking for your family? Because it's not. Please let me show you a better way!!!"



4) I love the smell of the South in the spring time. I could get high on honeysuckle.

5) We saw The Hunger Games movie last Friday and I did not like it. It was ok, but I wanted to LOVE it. Let down. And I'm not a book to movie snob. I loved all the HP movies except the fifth one and the end of the sixth.

6) I hate political bashing and I will be so glad when this election is over. The other day someone posted something on Facebook about being "embarrassed to be friends with so many Republicans on Facebook." I wanted to post a comment that I was embarrassed to be friends with such an asshat on Facebook. Who writes that kind of crap? The sad thing is that we've got a while until it is over.



7) I've gotten pretty serious about this diet of mine and when I get really hungry I just pretend I'm in The Hunger Games.

8) I didn't take Evie to see the Easter Bunny. I didn't have time and even if I did I don't think I would have. The one at daycare freaked her the eff out. Not interested in freaking her out and stressing me out.

9) The next person who acts confused or concerned when I tell them Evie isn't walking yet is gonna get popped in the face. A random lady in the store told me the other day that she'd walk soon enough and then she would slim down. WTH lady? What makes you think it is ok to say something like that?

10) My poor kid is never going to talk because when she points to things and says "Da" (Look! What is that?) I give her overly complex answers. She points to a tree. Instead of me saying "Yes! Evie! Green tree!" I say, "Yes Evie, that's a tree. Do you see that tree? There is a molecule in its leaves called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes the leaves green and helps the tree make its food in a process called photosynthesis. Can you say photosynthesis?" And oh holy hell, I just typed that and realized I have turned into my father.


If you stuck with me this long, I sincerely thank you. I promise I will come up with something better for you soon.

Oh, and PS, my kid is officially walking now (I wrote this on Wednesday and she started really walking Wednesday night). So that lady can go blow in a hole. If I can figure out how to get a video to youtube, I will post it here.

April 11, 2012

April Sponsor Love: High Heels and Hot Deals

Hello blogger friends!  We're Kait and Michele, but before we begin we'd like to give Sarah a super special THANK YOU for having us on her blog!


We're the creative master-savers behind the blog High Heels and Hot Deals.  
Actually, we're just two moms who are sharing with you our tips to save and information on the products your crave.  Basically, we want to show you that you can save $$ on the things you buy everyday by using us as your guide - and it doesn't have to take you 124,309 hours a week nor do you have to be an extremist about it!

Plus, we want to share with you our views on super amazeball products that we think you may like (because we do!)

But who are we you ask?  Well...read on friends!

I'm Kait - also known as mama, babe and Mrs. B.  You know, your average full-time mommy, wife, teacher and shopaholic.  I've been addicted to a good deal since my first hot purchase at Abercrombie and Fitch when I was 13.  Nowadays I'm always hunting for sales on studly baby clothes, free toothpaste, paper towels and occasionally the cute frock for myself.  In my spare time I'm mildy obsessed with running, reality T.V. and Kate Middleton.





Hi there, I'm Michele- I am a fairly new stay-at-home mommy trying to keep sane. I have a 14-month old and two teenage stepsons who LOVE to eat and spend money! I could spend hours browsing the racks at TJ Maxx and Home Goods.  I never buy anything that isn't on sale and I get super bummed when I don't walk out of a grocery store with at least a 50% savings on my receipt. In addition to being a mommy, I spend my days as a photographer and tend to get a little crafty with my sewing machine and glue gun. :)



So check us out, follow us and be our friend!  We'd love to share with you our saving goodness! :)
Facebook        Twitter

And, don't forget our blog!
http://www.highheelsandhotdeals.com/