Case’s half birthday

Well, our big little baby is six months old! Only half a year until he can drink regular milk and eat what we eat. In the words of Jack, “Won’t that be gate?!”

He is sitting up like a champ and trying to get this crawling thing figured out. He gets so close sometimes that I find myself cheering him on, which just distracts him and makes him stop and grin at me. And then start crying so I will pick him up. It’s hard being Case. But I can’t make any predictions on the crawling. I would not be surprised if he started crawling today or if it was two more months. You know how these things are. He tries to get the cart before the horse sometimes by trying to climb and pull up.

He is not super interested in eating solid food but we get a few bites down every day anyway. He really likes music. Sometimes I think he’s a genius. Like, he knows what I’m saying and has thoughts about it.

His dream come true would be for someone to hold him and make eye contact with him all day. I don’t think he’s super picky about who it is, either. He’s really friendly and outgoing.

He likes to go places and see people and different scenery. He gets bored easily. Give him a new toy. Eyes light up. Cool! New toy! Yay! Does it do anything or is this it? Ok, got anything else? Perhaps a remote, phone, or full cup? Can you hold me in a standing position and talk to me some more?

He’s really ticklish. He’s hard to hold. He’s laughing or crying. I think he’s a Condict. But tall and skinny.

He loves Jack SO MUCH and Jack loves him too for now. He is a sweet and helpful big brother.

I’m one lucky mama and I love these toots! I can’t wait to do all kinds of fun stuff with them.

The beautifulness

Well, I’m just feeling like the world is a beautiful place and the golden glow of sunshine is upon my face. And apparently I’m so over the top cheerful that I’m rhyming.

Last night my wonderful, perfect little (big) cherub baby slept from 8pm until 5:30am. Yeah. Thank you, Jesus. He is about a week away from his 5 month anniversary of exiting my body and he is confirming what a few of us already thought as evidenced by these past statements:

“I wish my babies could be born five months old.”- my sister when Jack was about three months old.

“The first six months were the slowest of my life and the second six months the quickest.”-me on Jack’s first birthday when a relative asked if it had flown by.

“Yeah, this is when it gets not so horrible.”- A friend when I was at her house about four months ago and complimenting her on her sweet five month old.

So, as you can see, for those of us who don’t consider the newborn stage to be our favorite, five months is a great age. Our Case is just growing up on us. He’s rolling and scooting and either laughing or crying. Where Jack was mostly very level and serious, Case is either cheerful or angry. Wonder who he takes after? He is pretty sure that he should be a big boy who can walk and talk by now so sometimes he gets a little frustrated when his efforts at mobility are proven futile.

Even more exciting about Case’s full night of sleep is that Jack also slept well. This was shocking because we had to take him to the ER last night after a few wheezing spells that scared us to death. Jack generally has a little cough here and there because of allergies so I didn’t think much of it, especially after all the back and forth weather. But it gradually got worse and by the time he took a nap, he started coughing so bad it made him wheeze. He’s never done that before! Luckily friends were here so they occupied Case while Spencer hooked up a breathing machine (that we bought when he had bronchitis last year but never even used) and I stood in the bathroom with a steaming hot shower running. After that he seemed to feel good but just had a froggy throat. Then at bedtime the coughing/wheezing fits started again. So my mom came over to be with Case (yay for living in Purcell!) and we took him to the hospital where he had a great adventure. He was cracking the nurse up with his cheering “best day eber!” He really enjoys new activities. He was diagnosed with the croup or a virus (not the flu), given an oral steroid and sent home. So, by this point he had not only missed his nap for only the second time in his life but also was about three hours passed his bedtime. He told us he needed to go night night and climbed into bed and fell asleep. AND THEN HE SLEPT UNTIL 7am. What?! Amazing.

Sleeping is even more thrilling when you expect not to sleep. It’s the best ever. I might actually get this house straightened up today. Maybe.

This stinks

Well. You may have noticed I’ve been a bit preoccupied with sleep lately. I get kind of obsessive. Last night it felt so glorious to lay down at 8:30 and know that I would have a few hours of sleep before Spencer and I switched shifts. I was also feeling hopeful because Case had slept better the night before so I thought maybe he was finally working himself back into a reasonable routine.

Then, over my white noise machine, I heard Spencer open the bedroom door. The clock said 11:23. My mind said “#%^*!$?”@&?!!!.” And Spencer knelt down in front of me and said “Do you smell something weird?” And I did. I sprang up in a way that I have only been able to spring since I became a mother. HIGH ALERT.

“It smells like something burning. Plastic or electrical or something.” Spencer agreed and said he’d been searching the house for twenty minutes and had about decided he was having smell hallucinations. So we looked high and low at every electrical outlet and appliance, checked outside and in the garage (where it didn’t smell) and concluded that he was going to have to check the attic. Then we decided we better get the kids out before he opened the attic and let a rush of oxygen in, which might cause a fire to erupt. As you can see, we are both very safe people.

Side note: (Once when we were kids and my parents weren’t home, the ice box started making a weird noise so I evacuated us to the yard in case it blew up. This felt similar.)

So, we gathered up some essentials (cash, toothbrushes, diapers and milk) and roused our sleeping babes (and let me tell you, Case had been snoozing like a champ since about 7:30!) . I had been trying to reach my mom and stepdad on the phone to no avail so when we got to their house, Spencer rang the doorbell while I fed Case in the car. Both boys were both pretty revved up by this point. It was probably the most exciting night of Jack’s life so far. No one heard the doorbell and I wasn’t even sure if their doorbell worked. So, I realized the only way to get them to let us in was if I knocked on their bedroom window. I thought this was pretty risky so I had no choice but to call my sister to ask if they kept a gun which they might use to shoot a person who was beating on their bedroom window at midnight. She was smart enough to tell me to just punch in their garage door code and go in that way. Oh. Duh.

So I did that and walked in their house turning on lights and hollering “Mom, it’s me!” all the way to their bedroom. As you can imagine, they were a little drowsy and confused but as soon as I explained the situation they both replied that I smelled like a skunk. And once I was in their non-stinky house and could smell my own coat, I had to agree that it did smell more like a skunk and less like that time when a plastic spatula fell on the heating element in the dishwasher and melted. Craaaaaaaap.

I went back to the car and reported to my husband who I had been trying to convince to call the fire department only moments before. He nodded that he had just smelled Case’s blanket and had the same thought. So he left us to party at Mom’s and went back to further investigate.

Not too long later he returned with the terrible news that our house was not in fact burning down but was only the object of a skunk’s wrath. How embarrassing. These two country kids who have both been the victims of our houses being sprayed before never even had the thought that it could’ve been a skunk! Even though we see skunks like every night.

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What a deal

I would like to apologize to anyone who saw me at church this morning and was brought down by my pitiful attitude. I literally cannot help myself. The only one who can help me is God and I have asked him to so if I’m a Debbie Downer, well, take it up with Him because I don’t know what to tell you.

I have been struggling lately. Spencer and I are both wearing thin on the sleeping arrangement we have and are getting worn down from the feeling of just pushing through and surviving life instead of living it.

Let me take this moment to make this disclaimer: I am incredibly grateful for the supportive husband I have and for the two healthy boys God had blessed us with. I know so many people have it so much harder in so many ways and for some, raising babies is nothing but pure joy. But it is hard for me. It stretches me. But I haven’t broken apart yet so I guess that’s the victory here. I’m here. I get as tired as anybody listening to everyone complain about their first world problems. I get tired of myself because my head has things straight, my emotions just don’t. And I can’t make myself get in a good mood.

Yesterday morning I cried when only Case and I were up because I read some dumb blog, just one of the millions, that proclaimed motherhood is enough and that we shouldn’t feel like we aren’t “accomplishing” anything. No, duh. Raising a kid is accomplishing a lot. But you don’t get a raise or a plaque and really you can’t impress anyone with it because billions of others have done it too. So, I have a pride issue. I like to have a task to do and then do it really well and then have that recognized. And feel special. A regular job is much more suited for filling up that selfish need I have. I already know motherhood is enough, it’s just hard to gauge your progress or your successes and failures.

Don’t worry, I also cried one day because Faith Hill’s “I can’t do this anymore” came on the radio and I so identified with this line “Now you’re Mister Successful” because I get jealous sometimes of this career Spencer is building and then the line “and I’m Queen of the Treadmill just trying to stay the size you think that I should stay” and I fell apart because not only am I not Misses Successful, I’m also not Queen of the Treadmill. I can’t even figure out how to exercise! Shouldn’t a housewife at least exercise?! Oh, Lord, I’m just fat and frumpy and I don’t DO anything!

I cried today because this morning before church, I watched Dr Charles Stanley and his sermon was on overcoming anxiety. And I didn’t even want to go to church but I had to take a book to someone who needed it for her Sunday school lesson. Then the Sunday school lesson in my class was how to cope with feeling overwhelmed and depression. And so I was on the verge of tears and left before church just in case the sermon was on not being a whine bag or ungrateful or something.

In class we were talking about praising Him in the valley and how we can feel abandoned and how that is when our faith can do the most growing. And I know that’s right. But my flesh pushes against it. I just want to sleep and feel good. And I want to know what I’m supposed to learn because I will gladly learn it as quickly as possible so all this can go away.

(There are numerous unrelated stressful things I’m dealing with right now- you know, when it rains it pours- but I have no doubt things would seem much less daunting if I was rested.)

Anyway, I was thinking about a time in my life when it seemed like all my prayers were being answered left and right. It was glorious. And I was wondering why that happened then but in some of my more recent hard times I have felt so alone. And I mean, who am I to be able to figure that out for sure? But what I think is that I was so immature in my faith then, that it couldn’t stand much testing. So God was giving me all this encouragement to grow my confidence in Him. And then when I had so many instances that I could never deny His faithfulness, it was time to grow.

And now when it seems my help is gone, I know that it isn’t. When I was giving birth to Case, I was in so much pain and so scared that I literally cried out for Jesus to help me. But no relief came for hours. And later when we were talking about that, Spencer said “but He didn’t.” And I replied “but He didn’t.” I mean, maybe He did, but we couldn’t discern it. So all I could say is that I don’t know why. I know He heard me and I know He works all things together for my good so apparently it was right for me to keep feeling scared and in pain for awhile.

And I guess that’s how it is now. So maybe while I continue to just only put one foot in front of the other, I will learn to be content and wait to see what He is doing. It is always a new thing. So while I feel like crap all the time right now, I already know that someday I won’t anymore.

Thank you, Lord.

(Additional disclaimer: I really, really, really don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I know I need an attitude adjustment. I just like to write and share because that helps me get it straightened out for myself. I had no idea what this post would say until it was already written. So while you can save your sympathy for someone who is worse off than me, I would still love to have your prayers. Please.)

2014 recap as best as I can

Okay, let’s make this quick because I have two sleeping kids!

On January 9th, we found out I was pregnant again! It was a pretty normal morning with Jack running around and Spencer in bed answering emails before getting dressed for work. I thought, “I’ll just take a test for the heck of it.” And there it was! Thank you, Lord!

It was also in January when we went to stay at the Abney Ranch and take care of things while mom and Larry were gone. That was Spencer’s test to see what he thought about moving to Purcell. That was another positive test for January. P.S. I was not feeling so hot while feeding horses in my first trimester. I never actually threw up but I was a lot more nauseous the second time around than I was with Jack.

The next couple months were spent with me laying around as much as possible when I had a toddler, and enjoying time with my MOPs group. Also selling our house. That was really not fun and very stressful because I so wanted to move to Purcell before baby Case got here.

In April I turned officially old and Spencer planned a fun birthday party for me at Red Pin bowling alley in Bricktown. Jack was a handful. Most of my main people were there and I was happy to see everyone.

In May we got to move home to my grandparents’ house they bought in the late ’60′s and where I lived with my mom for a few years. It is so nice to be among people who really know me and who I really know back.

Then in June my sister moved back too! So we spent the summer sitting in the shade while the kids played in the water hose, at the AWESOME water park in Pauls Valley, and trying to get this house cleaned up and painted when we could. It was actually a pretty cool summer and I thanked the Lord for that as I waddled around after Jack and remembered how hot it was the summer he was born.

In September little big baby Case came. His birth was as horrifying a birth as I can imagine for one that ended with a healthy mom and baby. Gah, I’m sweating just thinking about it. The decision to have zero more kids is made and solidified and written in stone and sealed.

The next few months have been a blur because of sleep deprivation but I must give credit to my favorite person, my Spencer, for helping with the sleeping. We have slept in shifts and it was extremely helpful for getting through the newborn stage. Case has been no good at sleeping and I blame it mainly on the fact that he is huge and always hungry. I’ve gotten out and about and done a lot more with Case as a newborn than I did with Jack and I think that would help me not get such bad baby blues. Which it did I guess for the first three months but here we are again now. Oh, well.

The holidays were super crazy and tiring and now it is 2015 and I have no plans other than to manage and survive all the phases and constantly changing routines that come with having an infant.

Happy New Year, friends!

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.