Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 years ago today...

10 years ago today, Matt & I got married. Wow. I always thought 10 years sounded like a long time. Honestly? It flew by!

I don't know where the time went. 10 years ago tonight we were dancing on the dance floor and doing our best to personally talk to everyone who came to our wedding. Two days after that we began our honeymoon in Aruba. A week later we were spending our first night in our new home.

And now 10 years later we have finished a degree, travelled all over the world, moved, changed jobs, built a home... and a life. We started a family and have 3 beautiful daughters.

You know how when you read a really good book and you are tempted to turn to the last few pages to see how it ends? That's how I feel sometimes. These first 10 years have been so great, I can't wait to see how the rest turn out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do you see what I see?

This weekend we went to church on Saturday night. We got there right on time but since it was so crowded we stayed in the "crying room". And let me just put it out there: I don't like that term. "Crying room." It's like an invitation for all kids to cry. My kids don't need permission.

And what's with all the adults who are without children in the crying room? I have a real problem with them taking up precious space. It's not like the crying room is that big to begin with. I generally think they go in there instead of the church because they are late and are embarassed to be late. But seriously? They're there! And that's what's important. I never feel bad if I get to church late. The way I see it, I made the conscious choice to go when I could have easily stayed home since I knew I was going to be late. I don't think that's a popular view, though.

Ok, so the crying room was pretty crowded but thankfully there were enough seats for all of us. Goodness knows, Caroline wants her own seat - even if she doesn't sit in it.

There was a man in front of us with his son and younger daughter. They were reading books together. Then the son got up and picked up a different book from the floor. The daughter immediately grabbed it from him. He was not happy. He wanted the book back. I don't blame him. He picked it up and she didn't even ask him for it. She ripped it out of his hand. The dad turned to him and told him to let her have it because she is little. Because she's little? Seriously? She was only about 2 years younger than him. Now to the dad's defense, he didn't see the whole thing. He just stuck up for the little sister. He didn't see the sister stick her tongue out at the brother when she got her way.

I do understand that as parents we all do the best we can. There is no way we can see everything. And I don't think I'd want to! But is there always one kid who's the scapegoat?

Here's my concern: Will this little sister grow up to be an entitled because she is learning she will always get her way? Will the brother grow up thinking he is not worthy of as much because he has to relinquish everything to his younger sister? Regardless of gender, what does that say about self worth and the importance of teaching sharing & using manners?

Side note: While all this was happening, Matt was in the hallway with Rebecca (who was ready for her late evening nap). Kate (who didn't nap this day) and Caroline were moving around like crazy and started "fighting" over who would stand where. Kate was staring down Caroline - which she knows drives her sister crazy. I grabbed Kate and moved her to a chair on the other side of me. But I wonder if what I saw was what other people saw...

Friday, October 22, 2010

I need a do-over

I need a do-over. In a bad way. The day started out great. I nursed Rebecca at 5:17. It's our standing date. ;) I was able to go back to bed for a bit before Caroline woke up.

Kate usually wakes up first. I am thankfully when it's Caroline. She likes to snuggle next to me in bed and play games on my phone. Kate is such a morning person she wants to go downstairs right away.

Anyway, I got to snuggle with Caroline which is rare. Kate woke up and came in and we started heading downstairs. I swear the minute their size 7 & 8 feet hit the last step they started fighting. I was able to get them some breakfast (frozen waffles today - mom of the year, here) and lay on the couch. I was exhausted!

Not a minute later Kate starts complaining that she wants cookies for breakfast (hello?) and Caroline wanted candy (we don't even have any!). More fighting. 2 minutes later, the baby was awake. We were not off to a good start. I hadn't even thought about making the coffee yet.

I call my mom who was coming over so I could take Caroline to swim lessons. I beg her to come over early. When she says that she'll be there as soon as she gets dressed, I know I am out of luck. Hey, someone should be enjoying a quiet morning. I just wish it was me.

As the day escalades - broken toys, spilled milk, fighting, hitting, wrestling, crayon on the kitchen table, dog peed on the rug, a fall down a few steps (to name a few) - it doesn't get any better. And I realize I am yelling. Yelling at my sweet children who don't mean to spill a bag of pasta all over the not-cleaned-this-week kitchen floor.

The volume of my voice got louder and louder. I tried to put myself in time out. I really did. But somehow, today they decided to be Mama's girls and follow me everywhere. Where's Daddy when you really need him? Oh, he's at work so that I can stay home with these angels. (I am thankful for that!)

As I think about work, I remember how when I used to teach in South Philadelphia I had 38 third graders in my class. 38 is a huge number for a class. How is it that teaching them was easier than handling my 2 toddlers? I am not even throwing the reflux spitting baby in to the mix!

We did bath and bed with no yelling from me. Once I realized I was yelling so much I didn't even want to listen to myself. And as I tucked my sweet girls in bed they both asked for extra kisses and hugs. How can I be upset with that?

Tomorrow I will get a do-over. And hopefully it will go better.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Small accomplishments

Every Tuesday I go to a Mom's Group at the church where Kate and Caroline go to preschool. I LOVE this group. It's a Christian based program and I always feel very centered when I go. One of the perks of this program is that they offer child care. For free. Heck, their whole program is free. Fantastic!

Anyway, I have always left Kate and Caroline there with no worries. There's one girl in particular that the girls adore and I know she takes good care of them.

This year, Caroline is the only one who was going because Kate is in class on Tuesdays. I was keeping Rebecca upstairs with me, while Caroline played in the church nursery. I convinced myself that Rebecca needed to nap/ nurse/ snuggle. Really? It was anything to keep her with me.

You see, one of my biggest post partum struggles is not allowing others to take care of my babies. Caroline is able to do things for herself and communicate to others her needs. Rebecca? Not so much.

Well, today I put Rebecca in the crib in the nursery. It just worked out that she was ready for a nap around 9:30 when Mom's Group begins. I honestly knew there was no reason to keep her with me when the nursery has cribs available. I brought her sound machine and placed it on the floor under the crib. I rocked her while I sang our traditional "ABCD" and "Twinkle, Twinkle." I laid her in the crib and she started to close her eyes. (I swear she is competing for best baby in the world!) I checked on her a few times but knew she was asleep and wouldn't be waking up anytime soon.

When I went upstairs I was thankful for the friendships I've made. The women were very supportive when I told them I had left Rebecca in the nursery. They did their best to engage me and be supportive and remind me that if Rebecca was no longer sleeping that she was being well taken care of.

At 11:30 when I went to pick up my 2 little girls, I felt a sense of triumph. Rebecca had slept longer than I expected. She was happy to see me and was changed. And I didn't call once to check on her.

Now here's hoping I can repeat that next week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

5 Pieces of Advice for my Husband

Recently, Matt has been doing everything he can to read up on post partum depression, post partum anxiety, and post partum OCD. I am so proud that he has taken the initiave to research how to better help me and our family.

Immediately, I suggested he read Katherine Stone's blog Postpartum Progress. Her blog was instrumental in helping me before I was even diagnosed with any post partum issues after Kate was born. Specifically, I remembered seeing a post Katherine's husband had written with advice for husbands of post partum patients.

It was a great post and I think it helped Matt a bit. At the very least, it got him asking me questions that he would have never asked me before. It opened up some new communication and dialogue between us.

Anyway, I was thinking of the 5 things that I would want him to know and decided I would write them down.

1. Please continue to help around the house. I can easily feel overwhelmed and just emptying the dishwasher or folding clothes takes a load off of my back.

2. Pay attention to our girls first when you walk in the door after work. Some days I lose patience with them more than I should. I don't mean to. Regardless, I want them to know we both unconditionally love them. I want them to see your face light up when you see them upon walking in the door. They deserve that.

3. Encourage me to get help. And if I can't reach out and get help for myself, please reach out and get help for me. It's in the best interest of the health of our family. I love our family more than anything but I can't always see the forest through the trees.

4. Please help to educate those around us about post partum issues. Some of the people we are surrounded with seem to think my post partum issues are about them. They aren't. However, I don't have the time to educate them when I am trying to get myself well. And I don't need their additional guilt on my conscience. I can make myself feel guilty enough. Mommy guilt is a powerful thing. Even more so when you are trying to do it perfectly (since perfect doesn't exist).

5. Continue to love me unconditionally - like you always have. It's one of the sure fire things to get me smiling every day. Besides those 3 beautiful girls you have given me. The 4 of you truly light up my world.

I have to thank Matt for knowing that just because I suffer from post partum, it does not mean I suffer from being a mother. I love our girls and love being their mama.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


That's what Matt had the girls cheering all weekend. They would randomly walk around the house chanting it - along with a fist pump.

That's what you get when the male of the house wants to watch the Ryder Cup all weekend.

As you can see, there was no complaint from the girls... as long as there were good snacks involved!
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