Pinterest salt dough ornaments

I hate crafting. I HATE CRAFTING. Know why? Because I like things to look nice and be perfect and not all crappy and ugly. I’m aware that some people can craft and get things to not look like a drunk third grader did it but I’m not one of these people.

So, I did have a little trepidation about doing salt dough ornaments but they are about as simple as it gets and I wanted to save the kids handprints somehow. I even texted my sister that I was hesitant to try it but she basically told me to just make the dang ornaments. So I did. Kind of.

I should’ve trusted my gut and just taken a picture of their hands next to a coke can or something if I wanted to remember what size their fingers were.

It would’ve been more accurate too since Jack couldn’t resist squishing his fingers around in the dough and Case wouldn’t unball his fist so we did his foot instead.

This stupid simple activity sent me into anxiety overload and all of a sudden I found myself standing over a table covered in flour, with a screaming baby in a Bumbo at my feet, wearing yoga pants that looked as tired as I was and arguing with a two-year old about why he can’t eat the dang salt dough.

I had a moment. Everything froze and it was like I was looking at a picture of the scene and all of a sudden I was like “What am I doing and who am I and is this my life?” And then it got kind of funny, probably because I’m delirious, and I started laughing at the strangeness of it all.

And then Jack pounded an ornament I had painstakingly formed into somewhat of a circle and yelled (he only yells) “Best day eber!” And I was like “Well. They are cute.”

And now the ornaments are stuck to a baking sheet, waiting for me to work up the courage to go pry them off because I forgot to spray the pan. And I swear, if one breaks I WILL LOSE IT.

Remind me I don’t craft, k?

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Here we go again!

Guess who has post-partum depression and anxiety again! Oh, yes! It’s me! (Wouldn’t that be weird if it was someone else and I was blogging about it?)

I truly thought I was in the clear because we were almost three months in before it reared its very ugly head and last time I was symptomatic right away. But, the good news is that I had almost three months of not feeling like crap and then when I did start feeling like crap, I recognized what was going on right away. So, I made an appointment and went and got the drugs. Apparently my brain does not handle these hormonal shifts in the best way. So, hopefully the same medicine that worked so well for me last time will work again this time and I’ll be able to stop taking it by summer.

But, before the Wellbutrin helps me feel well again, I’d like to use this messed up stuff in my head to get some insight into what maybe is always going on in there, just at a lower level. I feel like maybe I can try to recognize triggers/thoughts/emotions to work on things that I’m normally not even aware of.

One thing I have learned is that I am STRONGLY task-oriented. I “knew” I was from all those personality tests and things you do in college but the only evidence I had was how annoyed I was when I had to do a group project and everyone would start CHATTING during work time or how much it killed me for someone to hug me while I was in the middle of doing something. ACK! (but, seriously, has anyone ever hugged you while you’re doing the dishes or something? It’s like, what do I do with my hands? Should I just stand still until they are done? ) (not that I’m not grateful for someone to hug me. I mean, it’s a miracle that anyone ever would want to.) But I never thought about that in the aspect of having an infant around. I mean, you aren’t gonna get crap done. At least not like you used to. And it is really hard for me when I’m deep in a job that needs doing and someone wakes up early from a nap. I know that sounds so dumb, but it’s one of the things that can set me on a path for Cranky Town. Now, what can I do with this information? I don’t know but it can’t hurt to recognize it for what it is.

Selfishness. Selfishness. Selfishness. When I get overwhelmed and dragged down into a pity party, it’s always because I’m not getting my way and I’m focusing on myself. I noticed a long time ago that the most depressed people I know are also the most self-absorbed. I don’t know which one comes first. Maybe depression makes me turn my focus on myself and how my “needs” aren’t being “met,” but I suspect it’s the other way around. I get wrapped up in what I want and when I don’t get it, I am hurt or offended or resentful or whatever. I rationalize it by telling myself that the things I want are not extreme, but it doesn’t matter how reasonable they are, they are still about ME. Okay. Check. Let’s work on that.

I’ve also noticed that this heightened sense of anxiety has really revealed what I’m most freaked out by.

1) That my kids will come to some terrible physical harm

2) That I am not a good mom/wife/person

3) That people don’t (or do but they shouldn’t) like me because there is something wrong with me where I don’t think the same way as everyone else and therefore say things all the time that make people mad and I have no clue why

4) That I’m fat and ugly and I’m going to go bald and Spencer won’t leave me (because he is a man of character and not selfish like me) but he will not find me attractive. (This is because my postpartum body is awful and my hair has started to shed which only people who have had babies will understand- it’s really like it’s all falling out and I get a receding hairline for awhile and then I get new baby hairs sticking out everywhere)

5) That other women naturally know how to nurture and guide children gently and I don’t. I think I could help myself feel better about this one if I read some parenting books but please tell me when I might do that.

That’s all I can think of right now. I realize I have grossly over shared too much personal information but Hi. I’m Heather. Nice to meet you.

 

All about that Case, ’bout that Case

Well, baby boy is three months old today!

He is wearing mostly 3-6 month old clothes and is still eating every couple of hours. His sleeping is for sure nothing to write home about. Spencer and I are still sleeping in separate shifts in separate rooms. I’m getting real close to being OVER that arrangement so we may be looking at some sleep training before too long.

He is pretty happy as long as someone is holding him/talking to him. He’s not so big on self-entertainment. He has a great sense of humor (yes, I can tell) and the two brothers love each other very much.

Last night we invited some people from church over for supper and Spencer was holding Case while he ate. I looked over and realized the kid was falling asleep just sitting there! That has never happened! No swinging, no patting, no shushing, no rocking. It was pretty cute.

Everyone comments on his pretty, bright blue eyes. He’s still bald and at Thanksgiving the family all noticed that he definitely looks like a Condict.

He’s a sweet little guy and I can’t wait to get to know him more. Happy 1/4 year to you, Case Don! Mama loves you!

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Holidays are here again falalalala

Today’s post is brought to you by Case sleeping through the night for the first time! He looks so much cuter today.

I was just breastfeeding him and realized I was also eating (with a fork!) and checking facebook all at the same time. I’m now feeling very accomplished and like a parenting magazine may want to feature me soon.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I had a grand old time getting to see almost everyone on both sides of my family and eating all the assorted “salads” that really are nothing like a salad. We topped it off Saturday night by taking the boys to the local Christmas parade where we didn’t even need jackets. Not even a windbreaker! Not even a hoodie!

Speaking of weather, yesterday it was 65 degrees. Today it’s 35 degrees.

I put up our tree on Friday because it was the only thing I could think of to do to avoid the laundry. I got out the decorations and found the “baby’s first Christmas” ornament I bought for Jack in 2012 with still no picture in it. Probably because I didn’t take a picture. I guess I’ll get one for Case and do the same thing just so it’s fair. Not because I’m disorganized/lazy or anything.

Jack was so cute and funny about the tree. He kept saying “wow, it’s beautiful!” Christmas is so much more fun with kids around. That kid is a nut. He keeps asking to drive my car (do I have to listen to this for fourteen more years until he is old enough?!) and telling me all about his seven cows
that he needs to put in the trailer.

Ok, that’s all I have to tell for now. Love y’all. Peace out.

Driving twenty miles to the gym

What a day, what a day. I’m pretty sure I woke up tired and possibly cranky. And then I hung out with a two year old for two hours and I was tempted to start drinking at 8am. And it wasn’t even a game day.

I love Jack so much but I totally get what all the “terrible twos” hype is about. Attitude, emotion, irrational opinions and ENERGY THAT DOESNT STOP. At least that’s how it is around here. There is continual very loud talking/singing as the soundtrack to all the jumping/climbing/head butting and attempted tackling. So, sometimes when I just feel the need to (that’s funny for a mom to say because who really cares what your “needs” are) drink a cup of coffee in the semi-dark with only the sound of maybe the refrigerator running, it seems like my ears might explode.

I have to pretend to go fishing approximately 87 times per day and if I catch the wrong color of fish (remember, it’s an imaginary fish), I am berated. There is so much sword fighting and I ALWAYS have to be Captain Hook. At least I’m not Mr. Smee- that’s Spencer’s job. Sometimes he likes to put things in the bathtub and then panic because they got water on them.

There’s a lot of walking on eggshells (by me) because you never know what might set him off. It’s a pretty volatile situation.

So this morning I decided we should go to the gym RIGHT NOW because I felt like I might be vibrating because of how I was about to explode. So we did and Case screamed half the way there and Jack chattered the whole way there but we made it and a nice (yet refreshingly stern) grandmotherly lady played with my babes while I exercised and listened to a nice calm adult podcast about being a grace-filled mom.

Then 45 minutes had gone by and I had to go breastfeed Case and we all went home after that in a much better mood.

Moral of the story: two year old boys are literally insane little tornado creatures and that’s just how it is. And babies don’t sleep that great at night and that’s just how it is. And the prep/drive time to get to and from the gym with these two little gems will take three times as long as I’m able to exercise and that’s just how it is. I should definitely always go anyway.

Motherhood is teaching me flexibility, especially in regards to my schedule. I’m learning to calm the control and accept inefficiency.

Motherhood is sanctifying.

I’m an old creepy, inappropriate lady

Today my sweet husband had me pump some milk for the little guy and let me get out by myself for a bit. So, after lunch with my oldest and dearest pal, I was leisurely driving down a back road near our house, listening to Prime Country and generally enjoying my freedom and my flannel shirt and Uggs.

A pickup pulled out of a pasture and onto the road before briefly turning down the driveway (you know how the pasture gate is right by the driveway) and a girl of probably about twelve was kneeling on the toolbox looking like she was having a grand old time just riding for fun. When I went past she put her hands in the air and did a kind of double fist pump as if to say “Hey, fellow human! This crisp fall air feels great blowing in my gorgeous hair and I’m so young and carefree! Whoohoo!” And it made me happy so I honked a quick double honk to say “Yeah, girl! Have fun!”

And then she turned around and stared at me all the way down the driveway to either figure out if she knew me or to let me know she thought I was super creepy and inappropriate. Such is my life.

Listen, young lady- I’m both!

About having two

When Jack was about four months old, we were driving in the car and I was sobbing. I wanted Jack to have a sibling but I just couldn’t comprehend how I could possibly go through the baby stage again, much less with another child to take care of at the same time. And I felt like a failure and like I was missing something that other people just got. And Spencer said “I know. I don’t know what we should do.”

And I know that maybe most other new parents don’t have the same experience that I (we) did, at least as far as the extreme feelings of drowning, but it seems like most of us, caught in the midst of sleep deprivation with spit-up on our shirts and “how to prevent SIDS” pulled up on Google, probably wonder “how do you do this when you already have another kid to worry about?”

Then your baby turns one and he can eat whatever you eat and he can play by himself and sleep through the night and you take a big dang breath because now it’s easy. You could have twelve kids if they just came out like this! And so clearly, now would be the time that you realize you can have another one. At least that’s how it was for us.

And here’s some good, good news, my friends. Number two has been a hundred thousand times easier. (Having two is definitely not easier than having one, obviously, but the second baby is easier.)

There are a bunch of reasons it’s been easier for me personally, I think, but mainly it’s because now we know what we are doing. Now we know what to expect. Everything isn’t just like a tidal wave of hard, surprising change. So, I hope that’s reassuring for my one-baby friends who are scared to try for a second child. Your lifestyle is already adjusted to parent-mode when the second baby arrives.

Another major reason why I haven’t died yet is because I’m getting sleep. Not normal human sleep but much better than with Jack. And if I learned anything from Jack, it’s that my brain gets really sick when I don’t sleep. So, Spencer hatched this great idea where I sleep from 10-2 in the guest room while he has Case duty and then he comes and gets me and I take it from there. This ensures that I get four consecutive hours. We did this the first week and I was terrified that he would take it away when he went back to work but he is hanging in there with me. Not only is the sleep helping, but I feel so loved and supported, like I have a teammate in this. He is really being a rockstar. And it’s a good thing because I don’t know what poor Jack would do if I was zombie mom.

There are still days when I get worn down but for the most part, I can make it through the day and accomplish the basics. So I really recommend this method of sleeping in shifts if you can talk your spouse into it.

And of course, being back in my hometown has helped because I don’t feel so isolated and I can usually find something to do when I just have to get us out of the house.

My anxiety has been next to nothing. I haven’t had to take anti-depressants (yet but I feel confident). And I really didn’t even experience baby blues except for one evening when I couldn’t stop crying. But that was clearly hormonal and was gone by the next day.

So all in all, this has been a much more relaxed experience than I could’ve imagined. I was really expecting it to be a really bad five or so months but the first time was much harder. There are some challenges with having a two year old and a newborn but we are navigating pretty well, I’d say.

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Don’t worry, Kate. You can do it!

Happy one month, Case!

Case Don is a month old today! And we are all still alive! I feel like that is a victory.

I’m holding him now, at 5:45 am, and thought I might as well take this chance, before Tornado Jack wakes up, to make a little post commemorating the day.

He’s kind of a hot mess. He’s a pretty cute guy but poor thing has bad acne, cradle cap on his forehead and clogged tear ducts that make his eyes gunky half the time. It’s the awkward phase of newbornhood, I guess.

I think his eyes will be a light blue. He looks a lot like Jack but he doesn’t really remind me of him because his facial expressions are very different. Jack was always pretty serious looking but Case has a big happy grin (and I swear he chuckles in his sleep since like day one) and a pretty intense sad face. He is feeling the feelings. I think he looks like my grandpa Ray.

I feel like he eats every five seconds but I guess it takes a lot of fuel to keep his big self going. At this moment he is wearing a 3 month outfit. Not 0-3 month.

He doesn’t like being awake and not being held. Play time on a blanket? Yeah, no thanks. Maybe his love language is touch.

He has rolled from tummy to back a couple times and is every bit as squirmy and wiggly as Jack was. And I’m barely even drinking caffeine this time!

We are pretty proud of our tall boy and feel like he has completed our family like the little cherry on top of the sundae.

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In which I explain perineal massage

Okay. Here is my post about perineal massage. I’m super embarrassed to post it because it’s about VAGINA STRETCHING but I feel the world needs to know. Hopefully everyone who reads this already knows how babies get out and that there’s no stork involved.

It’s a medical post. It’s a medical post. It’s a medical post. The preggers need to know this. Okay. I can do it. Here we go.

The whole reason I’ve decided to dedicate a post to this topic is that the labor and delivery nurses who helped with Case’s birth were AMAZED that I did not need stitches (as was the doctor). When I credited it to perineal massage, they wanted to know how to do it. So. Obviously if the professionals aren’t in on this wonder, somebody needs to get the word out. I’ve had several mom friends ask me about it so I know y’all wanna know.

It’s extremely simple and extremely awkward. The OB I had with Jack told us about it and encourages all his patients to do it.

(I know many of you do not mind your stitches and feel like the end results are better. That’s fine, I’m not tryna pressure anybody.)

Supposedly there is a way to do this by yourself but it seems hard and confusing to me. So, I can’t advise about that.

Here’s how to do it:

Get some olive oil. Get your husband. Dim the lights. Haha just kidding, he’s gonna need to be able to see. Now all he does is rub the oil around down there and then insert his index and middle fingers up to the second knuckle and apply downward pressure. Just in and down. Then y’all lay there and watch tv for 15 minutes and you’re done.

It was very embarrassing at first but we got used to it quickly. You want to start about six weeks before your due date and do it every night. No big deal if you miss a night here and there. The amount of pressure he applies is up to you and can increase over time. I would aim for uncomfortable and stretched but not painful.

And there ya have it. That is how I delivered two babies (one being huge) without ever having crotch stitches.

Now you know way too much about me. You’re welcome.
Sent from my iPhone

Letters to Case

Dear Case,

I’m sorry all your stuff has most likely had Jack’s butt crack on it. Including your head. It’s just that he’s always naked and I’ve kind of given up on the concept of “hygiene.”

I know it’s not fair but as the second child, I guess you will probably have accepted that fact of life by the time you can read this.

I promise I love you just as much.

P.s. Even your pacifiers probably