Friday, February 24, 2012

On top of the world

Some days I feel like I can do anything and everything, be the perfect wife and mother, keep the house spotless (for a few minutes at least), and just feel on top of the world.

Today is one of those days.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A couple days off gives you a whole new perspective

Ahhhh, this weekend really energized me.  I think it was because we didn't have to be anywhere for anything.  So Steve spent Saturday doing yard work (our yard looked horrible, it so needed it) while I watched and played with the kids inside, and Sunday was spent at the Houston zoo for fun family times.  It was great!

Now to try to finish my journey of.. well, whatever you would call getting help for depression/anger issues.

We had just moved into our new house, and I was somewhat happy again.  I thought I'd do what I did when we moved into our first house back in Little Elm.  Basically get everything unpacked and in it's place within a weeks time.  That so didn't happen with 2 kids to take care of.  Instead I thought about all of the things I wanted unpacked, and never really had the energy to do them once they kids were taken care of.  Instead I wanted to lose myself in books or the internet.  So I would read or get on Facebook or something equally mind numbing, and forget that I was surrounded by unpacked boxes and a dirty house.  Eventually, on weekends, Steve and I would hire a babysitter to watch the kids so we could get stuff unpacked and put away.  It took about 5 weekends of this to get the downstairs, bathrooms, and the kids' bedrooms mostly done.

Halfway through that process, I got it into my head that we needed to have a housewarming party.  Queue me freaking out about the house not being done in time.  The morning of the party we had most everything put away or in our room/closet, and the house looking nice.  We actually had a great party and it made me feel a little better about everything, but I still wasn't really there.  I started to lose who I was by this point.  I was angry all the time, yelling at the animals or the kids (never Steve, amazingly), and I wanted to either read or be on the internet all the time (so much so that I would ignore the kids for hours at a time until I couldn't stand the crying anymore).  I wasn't coping well, and my sister noticed it one day when she and the kids came over.  There were still boxes all over the place (I had brought them out to their respective rooms after the party), and the house hadn't been cleaned in at least 2 weeks.  I just didn't care anymore, and she saw it.  And the thing was, I knew she saw it, and I still didn't care.  That was so not normal for me (being so anal and OCD).

Then one day I was helping Lizzy go potty (we were halfway in the whole potty-training business), and Michael came over and tried to climb up on to the toilet.  Lizzy started freaking out about being touched while on the potty, and I got so mad that I wanted to fling Michael across the room.  It was like a wake-up call.  It wasn't normal to feel this way.  Luckily I was only thinking it, and didn't actually act on the thought.  That night I asked Steve if I had always been this angry because I just couldn't remember every being NOT angry.  He said no, and that it was like I didn't even have a button to push between not angry and raged.  It was just there from one moment to the next.  It made me feel horrible, and I decided that the next day I would call a doctor to see what I needed to do to fix myself.

Next day came and I called my OB/GYN office.  I didn't know who else to call, and I figured that maybe it was like a postpartum thing that was going on with me.  I explained what was going on to the nurse and she said that she would talk to the doctor to see if I needed to come in for an appointment.  I got a call not too long later telling me that my OB/GYN felt that she couldn't help me.  That I needed to see a therapist for what I was describing.  It was like getting hit in the chest.  I went right from maybe needing some help to needing to talk to a therapist.  I just didn't think I would need to go to that extreme.  Anyway, my OB office called around to some therapists and found one I could see ASAP.  I had to ask Steve to take off work the next morning so that I could go to the appointment.

At the appointment I ended up telling him everything I told the OB nurse and then some.  He asked some questions that I didn't even think would be relevant.  He ended up diagnosing me with extreme mood swings, wanted me to take at least one night a week or every two weeks for myself (he felt that I was never getting a break, which I wasn't (I was always putting everyone elses' needs before taking care of myself)), and get on some mood stabilizers for medication.  He also wanted me to talk to a psychotherapist about my problems, and to come back in a month for a check up to see if the medication was working.  So that day I started my medication, and tried to get into see one of the 3 psychotherapists he told me to call.  Problem was that it was a week before Christmas and no one had any openings until after the new year.  So I just waited and took my medication.  It took a little bit, but with some work I started to feel more like the old me.  By the time I talked to the other therapist, I felt like I didn't really need to.  She agreed, but told me some other things I could do to help with my anger. She felt I was depressed, and I was turning it into anger and rage.  I was to exercise, write out my thoughts, and keep on the medication.  She also felt that I didn't need to see her again unless I felt that I absolutely had to.

About a week later I went back to the first therapist for my check-up.  He was extremely happy about everything I was telling him, and said that someones it takes a lot of tries to get everything right for the patient to get better, but that sometimes they hit it right the first time.  Seems he hit it right the first time with me.

I'm due back to see him in 3 months to make sure the medication is still working, but otherwise I feel more like myself all the time.  I still have my bad days (hey, I have an almost 3 year old and an almost 1 year old.  Of course I get frustrated/angry every now and then), but I have more good days.  I also see how much better the kids are now that I'm not angry all the time.  I was influencing how they reacted.  And since I was angry, they were angry, but now that I'm not most of the time, we get along a whole lot better.

Anyway, that was my journey through the whole depression aspect of my life.  Things can only get better from that experience.  And I will enjoy experiencing the joys and frustrations of everyday life in our household.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll keep coming back.

Lizzy is definitely living up to her terrible twos, and Mike has started screaming his joy for everyone to hear.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mental health is good for you

Where was I?  Oh yes, living at my parent's house.  But I got a little ahead of myself.  Let's back track to when I had Michael.  It was overwhelming.  Becoming a family of four is intense.  First you have to worry about how the first kid will take everything.  Lizzy did quite well actually.  She seemed to be taking to being a big sister.  A loving big sister no less.  I, on the other hand, was struggling mentally and emotionally.  Oh I had lots of help.  My mom came to stay with us until we moved in with them, and Steve had off work for those first two weeks.  I thought it would be like with Lizzy, but a little easier since I already knew how to take care of a newborn.  I didn't really think of Lizzy needing a lot of attention too.  Steve and I would take turns with each kid on what they needed, but it seemed Lizzy only wanted me, and Mike needed me close for food so I was a little in demand and was losing my patience with it all.  I figured it was normal, and if I yelled a little it was to let off steam and was okay.  I wasn't yelling all the time.  Yet.

Switch back to living with Mom and Dad.  I had help, yes, but not as much help as I thought I needed.  I was basically a single parent that felt guilty for asking for help from my parents.  It was usually me taking care of Mike (he was eating like crazy and I was the only food source), and Lizzy wanting all of my attention.  I just couldn't do that, who could?  So I would ask Mom or Dad to help out.  At first they were happy to, but once we had been living there for a couple of weeks, they would hem and haw about helping out more and more.  It was like I was imposing on them, or at least that's what it felt like to me.  I get it, they did this already, they're older and get tired easily, and so I would stop asking and just let one of the kids cry or whine.  It inevitably lead to Dad or Mom asking me why I wasn't taking care of whoever was crying.  I started to yell more at the kids, and feel very put out and annoyed with everyone.  I mean, why was it all falling on my shoulders?  Why was I having to do all of the work?  Steve was still in Dallas working, and would come in on the weekends.  But I would still have to get up and stay up at night to feed Mike while Steve got to go back to bed.  It got to where I was envious of him and felt resentful, but I never took it out on him.  Instead I just yelled at the kids more often, and it didn't help that Lizzy went 2 weeks with diarrhea from stress and the fact that Steve wasn't around.

Then came time that Steve moved in with us as well.  I thought, finally I get to have somewhat of a break.  It didn't work out that way though.  I still had to be the one to get up at night (even though Steve got up too, to change the diaper while I got ready to nurse), and I didn't get a break during the day because one of us had to watch one kid while the other watched the other kid.  By then, Mom and Dad checked out on helping unless it was specifically asked of them.  Again, I got it, they figured Steve was now here, so why should they help?  In my head, I knew if we weren't living with them I would feel no need for them to help out, but living with them had me thinking that they should.  Like I said, my mental health was taking a nose dive.  I felt anger, resentment, and frustration all the time.  I wasn't happy, though I put on a really good front.  So good, that I even convinced myself that I was happy.  I was still yelling at the kids whenever they would cry or whine.  It grated on my nerves so much, and I wanted it all to stop.  To just have one hour of no tantrums, no crying, no having to take care of anyone.  I didn't get it though.

Then I had enough.  I couldn't handle living with my parents anymore.  Steve was getting a little annoyed as well.  So we made sure we could have two houses at once (at least for a couple months until we sold the first one (which had been on the market for 3 months by this time with only 2 showings and no offers)), and set out looking for a home.  It only took us 2.5 weeks to find it.  We put an offer on it immediately, and went through the long process of buying it.  We closed on the new house on August 26, 2011, but didn't move in right away.  We needed to paint, clean, and get it ready to move into.  Finally on September 9, 2011 we stayed at our new house for the first time.  Everything was clean, was pretty, and we had all of our furniture and things from storage.  I thought I would feel happier now.  We were finally in our own place, we were done moving.  But it was just one more thing that made me spiral deeper into wherever the hell I was.

And now Mike is up from his nap, so I will continue this another time.

Lizzy is 2 years 8 months and Mike is 9 months old and I am realizing that I had a lot of triggers that I ignored

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We are alive and kicking

Wow, it's been...more than a year.  A lot has happened since Lizzy turned one.  We got pregnant with number two, found out it was a boy, had said boy and named him Michael, moved down to Houston to be closer to family (and get a new job for Steve), bought a new house, and rented out our old house.  Life was throwing us curve balls for a while, but we made the best of it and are happily settled down into everyday life again.

I wanted to get into writing more blog posts because 1) everyone and their mom seems to be getting their own blogs, and I like to follow blindly like a sheep (not really, but it sounded good), and 2) I went to see a psychotherapist and she said to start writing stuff down to help with my issues (more on this later).  We shall see how much I keep up with this since having two kids under the age of three is a little hectic, but I'm going to try my best.

First some pictures:

Lizzy - June 2010
Lizzy - July 2010

Found out we're pregnant - August 2010

Lizzy - August 2010

Lizzy, PawPaw, and Grandma - September 2010

Lizzy and Mommy - October 2010

Lizzy - November 2010

Lizzy and Daddy - December 2010

Lizzy and Daddy - January 2011

Lizzy - February 2011

Lizzy - March 2011

Lizzy and Daddy - April 2011

Michael, Daddy, and Mommy - April 2011

Lizzy - May 2011

Lizzy and Mike - June 2011

Lizzy and Mike - July 2011

Lizzy, Mike, Daddy, and Rascal - August 2011

Lizzy, Mike, and Katie - September 2011

Lizzy and Mike - October 2011

Lizzy and Mike - November 2011

Lizzy and Mike - December 2011

Lizzy and Mike - January 2012

Now to talk about the whole psychotherapist thing.  I'll start at the beginning of when I noticed a change in my behavior....

About the time that I got pregnant with Michael, I started to get a little annoyed with how Lizzy would act or I would feel really bothered by having to play with her 24/7.  She was in a MDO (Mother's Day Out) program, but that was only 2 days a week from 9am-2pm.  For a while it was fine, but once the pregnancy hormones came into the picture, things got a little overwhelming.  I dealt with it all by going to a lot of play dates, sleeping when Lizzy was in MDO instead of cleaning the house, and telling myself it was just the hormones and would go away once Michael got here.

On April 1, 2011, Steve informed me that his Dallas office for V I Technologies was closing, and we had three options.  We could stay in Little Elm and try to find a job (which not a lot of people were hiring), move to Austin where the main office for V I Tech was, or move to Houston and find a job so we can be close to family.  We decided staying in Little Elm was out since no one was really hiring (believe me, we looked), and we've wanted to be close to family for so long anyway so moving was in our best interest.  Steve put out feelers in Houston, but didn't tell anyone at the Austin office that he was.  Our plan was for me and the kids (because I was 39 weeks pregnant by then) to move in with my parents while Steve lived wherever he had a job.  Once our house in Little Elm sold, we'd look for a house wherever the job was and go ahead with moving again.  Two things I didn't really prepare for: the selling market is really that bad, and I would have to take care of a newborn and a toddler while under the strain of living with my parents again.

Needless to say, it didn't go quite as we planned.  Oh Steve found a great job in Houston, but for the first month he had to stay in Dallas to finish out the office being open.  Our house didn't sell at all so we eventually had to rent it out.  We lived with my parents for 3 months when we figured it would only be for about 1-2.  I had a whole month of getting up every 3-4 hours to feed Michael during the night, and then staying up all day with no nap (since Lizzy decided she didn't need to nap anymore).  It was a little bit of hell, and my mental health showed it.

I'll continue this post at another time.  It's getting a little long, and Michael is getting really fussy.  The joys of parenthood as we know it.

Lizzy is 2 years 8 months, and Michael is 9 months old

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy late birthday?

Okay, so a lot has happened. Lizzy turned 11, then 12, and is now 13 months old. She's currently teething her molars (fun stuff!), and she's been walking since 2 days before her birthday. Heh, if you think I'm bad at keeping up with this blog, just think of how I am with her First Year Calendar :P

Lizzy decided, 2 days before she turned 1, so start walking without any help. And because she had been cruising along anything and everything for so long (about 3-4 months) she took right off and didn't even fall! It took her awhile to get the hang of standing up from a sitting position to start walking, but if she was already standing, look out! Since she's now about 13.5 months she's RUNNING everywhere and won't stay still for a minute. It's like she has a whole world to explore and she can't miss a minute of it. Gone are the days of being able to go out to eat for us. Now we must either let her walk around, following her while one of us eats, or we just forgo the whole "going out to eat" business. Maybe in a couple years we'll be able to go to a restaurant with her again, but until then it's either eating at our house or someone else's :)

Molars suck. As soon as she turned a year old, she start teething for her molars. At least that's what I'm telling myself to make myself feel better about all of the fussiness and temper tantrums that are happening. Where did my sweet little angel go? I digress... So Lizzy now has one molar on the bottom right and bottom left one is on it's way. It's gotten to the point that her teeth are causing her to get sick. She currently has a wet cough (yummy isn't it?) and her diapers are, well, I just won't go there. Needless to say that my first comment in this paragraph is the honest to God's truth. MOLARS SUCK!

I can't believe my little girl is a year! Can you? Probably...but I can't! I remember fondly of the times when she would just sleep in my arms weighing only 10 lbs, or when she would just sit on the floor and not move b/c she didn't know how to. I think I'm tearing up a bit...

I signed Lizzy up for a Mommy's Day Out program at a church that's about half a mile from the house. She starts the day after Labor Day and will go on Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 2pm. I will have 10 hours by myself every week!!! Unless there's a school holiday, as the church goes by the LEISD school calendar. But still, my house will be clean again! I will be sane again! I will get SLEEP again! Can you tell I'm excited? I love Lizzy, I really really do, but Momma needs some time to herself.

In about 2 weeks, Lizzy and I are heading to Houston for a 2 week vacation to see family and friends. That means Steve gets the house (and animals) all to himself for 2 weeks straight. Will be go back to his bachelor ways (meaning eating beans on tortillas for dinner and other fine cuisine)? We shall see. Meanwhile, Lizzy and I will be meeting up with Aunt Rosanna, Ko-Ko, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Jennifer, Aunt Kara, Uncle Greg, Uncle David, Aunt Emily, Uncle Vlad, (Aunt) Karen, (Uncle) Jason, (Aunt) Mary, and many other family and friends that I'm just not in the mood to name. All I know is Lizzy will start off with dinner with Steve's family, then have fun with other family and friends, go to a wedding, head to Gavleston at some point, and end our vacation in Austin. (Aunt) Karen will get to babysit for an hour or two while Steve (he's meeting up with us in Austin) and I go to a birthday dinner for (Uncle) Jeff. Then it'll be girl time for Karen, Lizzy and I while Daddy goes out partying with Jeff and friends. It'll be a good great vacation.

And now for some pictures...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Again with the updating

Man, I am bad at updating. Okay, so the last 2 months...

Lizzy turned 9 then 10 months. She's always so happy, I love her to pieces.

Lizzy also got her first really bad sickness. She got a stomach virus that caused her to vomit then have diarrhea, and because she didn't want anything in her tummy from her nausea she got dehydrated. Since she got dehydrated we got to spend a lovely Saturday morning and afternoon at the ER. It took them 5 sticks before they got an IV in, and Lizzy screamed the whole time. At least after all of that she started drinking fluids again. She finally got over all of her sickness, but it took a week plus a couple of days. Now she's back to her happy-go-lucky self that loves to eat and play.

Tomorrow we have a playdate with a group of people at the Wiggly Play Center in Frisco. They have a toddler area, so Lizzy can have fun in there (with me) while I have some adult conversation (if she lets me).

Other than her getting sick for a week, everything has been pretty normal. Lizzy loves her fruits and veggies, she crawls, she cruises along anything that is as tall as or taller than herself, she loves laughing at the animals, she's shy around new people, and she's making her way confidently around the house now.

And now for some pictures...