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Archive for July, 2009

Maybe I should have written that in the inverse … what’s going on and then the zoo.

We’ve been busy.

Way busy.

Too busy for my preference honestly.

But that’s what happens when your family whom you actually LIKE is visiting and you want to share with them what your life is like.

So you CRAM tons of stuff into a short amount of time.

Which in the best of health is rough.

Add to that my second bout of strep in a month ON TOP OF my wonderful, oh so lovely,  postpartum depression and well, let’s just say I’m getting ready to shut down.

I remember during my first bout with ppd me commenting to my therapist that I thought I had overdone it over the Thanksgiving weekend.  I expected sympathy from her – perhaps even her to tell me that I should relax a bit more and take it easy, wouldn’t want to over do it, ya know?  What did she say?  Good for you!

My sis has been pushing (in a good way) for us to do things.  And maybe it isn’t so much  her as it is mine and BJD’s  desire to show my sister and her children all the very cool things to do here in Germany.

Even though we live in a very small town, and I complain that it is cow manure country (which BTW, it is), there are lots of things to do that are different from NE Ohio.  Mind you, I love NE Ohio (and think it’s a wonderful place to live and raise a family – with lots and lots and lots of cultural and sports and well, cool things – like the FREE STAMP).

I’ve digressed.

Back on point.

BJD took today (Monday) off.  The weather was spectacular today – far better than this weekend.  So here’s a rundown of what we’ve done in the past week:

  • pulled the mega-weeds in our garden, purchased plants for newly found naked area and planted most of the plants.  Some of them are still in pots awaiting planting.
  • planted a little window planter.  I love the idea of colorful flowers in my front window.  Problem is we have a ledge.  With all the rain we’ve gotten, not ONE drop has touched the planter.  And I (sadly) am forgetful in watering.  I vow to do better.  I’ve remembered once.  I will remember again.
  • in planting, found a bees hive burrowed in the ground way in the back of our yard.  BJD called his mom’s friend who is a beekeeper (and who makes lovely honey) who suggested pouring boiling water down into the hive.  BJD did that tonight.  We’ll see how well that has pissed off, worked.
  • rented a car (Audi A3 wagon – kicks ASS on the autobahn – drove it today and maxed out at 180km (approx 110 mph) – had kiddies in the car.
  • went into Münster, downtown.  Had a lovely lunch at a restaurant called Ca Va.  We’d eaten there many years  ago with a dear friend and all the other places were packed.  I wanted to sit someplace inside, not just outside, because it was off and on rain, windy and cold.  If Little Girl woke up, she’d need to eat and rain and cold just didn’t sound appealing.
  • went to a really cool park in Lavesum, Granat, where you can feed the animals, most of which are roaming free and literally come right up to you (I’m talking about no cages, free roaming animals – mostly deer, some with antlers, some goats, llamas.)  It’s a cool experience but freaks me out that the animals are RIGHT there.
  • went to the Münster Allwetter Zoo.
  • and bought a new bed for Little Girl.  We originally purchased a wooden cradle, thinking that by the time she outgrew it, she’d be in our bed.  We had a family bed with Bubba Joe and we assumed she’d want to be in our bed too.  She’s only begun to prove us wrong in our expectations.

Whew.

No wonder I’m pooped.

I promise pictures at some point.

But for now, I’m just trying to not freak out with all that’s been going on (on top of all the personal family crap that is a daily part of life).

Little Girl is cutting her first 2 teeth.  She *just* turned 5 months old today.  She’s handling it okay, but is a bit fussy.  She’s up to 2 full meals daily and nursing like a champ still.

My BP has been wonky this past week (going back up to high numbers).  I’m trying hard not to freak out and am hopeful it was just the antibiotics and my body fighting off strep again.  My numbers were “okay” yesterday but up a bit tonight (but I didn’t wait my usual 5 minutes before taking it for a true apples to apples comparison).

Well, I’m off to getting the kiddos in bed.  Or at least trying to.

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We’re enjoying seeing the sights with my nieces and nephew (and sister too!).  This week, we visited the Museum für Naturkunde in Münster.  It was priced okay (we purchased a family pass plus one adult for about 15€) and Bubba Joe loved seeing all the dinosaurs!

Here’s some pics to enjoy!

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Bubba Joe and his cousins had their nails done this week.

I was painting the girls’ nails – something we always do together, and Bubba Joe wanted his painted too … what do you think?

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Today was classic German weather – rain and cold.  Followed by bursts of blue and sunshine, only to be reminded again that we are indeed in Germany … more rain and grey.

In spite of the weather, we ventured out to Burg Vischering (pronounced berg fisher ring) in Lüdinghausen.

We’ve been there before … in fact, we go there with every visitor (excepting mom – we just didn’t have time with her).  It was gorgeous and the children all had fun.

Here’s some pictures … enjoy!

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There is an ad

I think it’s a magazine ad.  It’s a few years old and it’s from the States.

Maybe it’s a TV ad.

I don’t remember.

But it’s about depression.

It shows a woman, I think she’s in a kitchen.  And it says that depression hurts.  It hurts more than just the one who is in a depression.

I keep thinking of that advertisement.

It’s fitting.

The first time around, after Bubba Joe, after my dad died, after my life as I knew it changed (mom remarried, family fell apart, I quit my dream job because I just couldn’t balance work and being a mom), it was all about me.  Now, if you know me IRL you might joke that it’s always about me.

And to some extent, you’d be right.

But honestly, I did not see the effects my depression had on my marriage, on my child, on friends.  I could barely function in a daily capacity.  Thinking about others was nowhere near anything I could even, well, think of.

This time though, it’s different.

I am so sad for the affect my depression has on BJD, on Bubba Joe, on Little Girl.  On my friends – whom I think of often but never call.

Everything is just so much effort.

And tiring.

We’ve switched BP meds.  If these don’t work, we will be forced to switch to formula.  I know … I recently posted about not liking BFing that much, but when it comes down to it, I just want to know that there are options.  I’m like that.  I need to have choices.  Choices make me feel good.  And being told that if this med doesn’t work, I’ll have to stop – I won’t have a choice in the matter – well, that’s pressure.

And don’t ya’ll think I need to put more pressure on me?  (said oh so sarcastically – see, guess I am feeling somewhat okay!)

I don’t get it.  I get so damned frustrated by this whole depression thing.  I have so many days in a row that are great.  I mean, kick ass, I’m feeling great, going for walks, feeling capable (and showering and brushing my teeth – which for those of you who don’t know how bad it can get, the first time it was a huge undertaking for me to keep up with even simple hygiene).  I start feeling strong.

Then wham! I just feel … hmm, there’s so many words.  Let me just list them: overwhelmed, heavy, exhausted, tired, like I want to crawl in a hole, not good enough and yet not really not good enough, not like me, sad, empty, scared, strange, faithful, and loved.  Strange emotions, eh?

And then I look at BJD and I see how all this weighs on him.

And then I look at Bubba Joe.  He’s 3.  This is affecting him.  I can see it.  And it scares me.  But more than the fear, it really inspires me to keep moving forward, to heal, to get better.

Because while I can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I know that it is there.  I know that I do not walk alone this time.

But it’s still hard.  It is, as I told BJD today, in the midst of tears, ridiculously hard.

I watched something the other day on the web where a woman was talking about admitting she had PPD and she was right.  Once I admitted it, I wanted to heal.  Right then and there.  I wanted that little magic pill to make it all better.  To make it all right.  To make me right.  She goes on to say that it’s unrealistic.  It will take time – sometimes even years.  But it will happen.

I believe that.

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My sis arrives Saturday morning.  Me being sick last week really put the pressure on to get our house organized, cleaned and ready for our guests.   Thankfully, all is done.

BJD and I are getting ready to head out and go grocery shopping.

I cleaned, I mean I seriously cleaned our 2nd floor.  Our bedroom was gross!  It had been 3 weeks since it had seen the swiffer and it thanked me afterwards.

I saw our homeopath last week, before I got sick regarding my PPD.  He gave me these small kügelchien (tiny balls) to take but I didn’t take them until I really felt better was human again.

I don’t know if it’s the homeopathic crap or if it’s because my doc halved my BP meds (I requested a switch because 1) they’re not working, my numbers are still high, and 2) a side effect is depression.  Now before you go thinking my doctor is stupid, this is the medicine I was put on during my first pregnancy that my body responded well to (I hung in for 6 weeks).  And I was only on it a very short time this last time with Little Girl.  Being me (i.e. still of the mindset that meds are $$$) I requested that we try what I already had – I mean I had a box full of these.  But at 5€ for new meds, I don’t think that was smart …)

So I halved my BP meds last week, took the balls this week and wouldn’t you know it?  This old gal is starting to feel more like myself than I have in a long time.  I have energy.  I have drive.  I am still short-tempered, but that really is just me.  It’s the temper that I know – the temper that after nearly 35 years, I have some real ideas of when it’s coming and how to control it.  (Now whether or not I choose to is another story!)

I’m very excited to see my sis.  And my nieces.  And my nephew.  It will be a nice 4 weeks with them.  We have the space.  Our DHH (half of a house) has 3 bedrooms, 1 office (that is basically a big room  with a futon and lots of stuff piled up in the corner), and 2 full baths.  A nice sized, fully fenced in back yard with a train that runs behind that finishes it off.  And of course, we are tucked very nicely away from the street.

Speaking of which, a story … the other day my inlaws came by to visit.  Normally we lock the door to keep Bubba Joe in (our door closes but you have to lock it with a key to lock it).  I forgot.  At some point, the doorbell rang.  My FIL went to answer the door, I went to put the dogs in the crate (they bark and tend to get obnoxious – small dogs …).  FIL opens the door and there stands Bubba Joe.  T-shirt, boxers, rainboots.  Outside.

Lesson learned.  Always lock the door.

(I am so thankful beyond belief that he tends to be on the cautious side.  And he rang the bell.  Dude.  Seriously.)

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Struggling

One of the things that kept me afloat with Bubba Joe was breastfeeding.

It was very important to me.

And it was the only thing that I alone could do.

He had a milk allergy.  I stopped all dairy.  I became obsessed with label reading.  I made all his food.  (He hated it btw – preferred jarred stuff.)

This time around, BFing is so wicked easy.  Seriously.  There were a few hiccups in the hospital.  (Like no one told me that the afterbirth  contractions increase with each pregnancy – dude, it felt like someone was stabbing me with hot pokers.  And it was worse when nursing.  Ouch!)  And I was tired after being sick, failed induction and a 2nd c/section.  Little Girl got her fair share of formula in the hospital – because I knew once we got home we’d be on our own terms.

But now … she’s really a pro.  Never had a latch issue.  Knows when to eat more to increase flow (like this past week when I came down with not just a stomach virus, no not just one thing, but strep throat on top of that.  I lost 5 pounds in 2 days.  And milk flow dropped.  Little girl is eating more frequently to build that supply back up.)

I keep going back and forth about switching to formula.

Please please please give me words of encouragement.  And only positive statements please (no formula bashing – because if I do switch, I fear there will be enough guilt.  And seriously, I have nothing against FF, or at least I don’t think I do.)

BTW – the household help has been great.

Taking the meds in the AM instead of the PM is helping.

And other than being knocked on my butt from being sick, I generally feel as though I just might come out of this A-OK.

But I just need some words of encouragement … so if you have any to spare …

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