Monthly Archives: March 2008

Toddlers are sneaky little things

It’s barely quarter after ten and here’s the low down on what the girls have been up to in the past oh, two hours:

  1. crawled UNDER their gate into the kitchen to get bagels
  2. ATE the bagels
  3. put back to bed while I went to tell Daddy about their behaviour
  4. SNUCK BACK OUT while I was gone and got some water
  5. ordered back to bed with instructions to stay put
  6. pulled alli’s mattress off while I was in the kitchen (which has a clear view of their room)
  7. Alli got ahold of my make up when she went potty and drew all over her face
  8. Alli also lied to me about going potty then asked to go again, I told her we would go together – she got upset and wouldn’t go – so I told her we would go when she decided she was ready. Mistake – she peed right in front of me on the couch.     
  9. Oh, and did I mention Charlotte climbed out of the pack and play while I checked on Alli in the bathroom?     

 Am I suprised at any of this? Sadly, no.

Am I upset? Absolutely.

Have I decided what to do about it? Absolutely not. (anyone with any suggestions is MORE than welcome to post! PLEASE!)

And believe me, I have already been praying quite a bit this morning. I have a feeling I’ll be praying for most of the day.

Toddlers.  

Sneaky little things, aren’t they.

On Speaking with Katherine Stone & D. Jeffrey Newport

Today I was a panelist along with Katherine Stone at a Community Lunch and Learn sponsored by Mental Health America and Skyland Trails of Atlanta.

Dr. Jeffrey Newport was the keynote speaker while Katherine and I both shared with attendees our story and how we had been moved to share with others about our experience. Katherine was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting her. (Look for an upcoming interview soon!) Dr. Jeffrey Newport was also terrific and is a great speaker – wonderful sense of humour and very down to earth. His presentation was terrific and once I have a chance to read over and edit my scribbled notes into something coherent, I will certainly be sharing some of them with you!

We had several attendees thank us for sharing our stories afterwards, including a woman recently diagnosed with PPD. That alone made the journey worth it. To be able to reach out not only to women who are currently suffering but to also provide a personal insight to those in the field who are directly dealing with this disorder is an amazing and powerful opportunity. I sincerely look forward to not only continuing with my current work but to being able to have additional opportunities like the one today. God has truly blessed me and I am very thankful!

(Oh, and I also enjoyed having the day off from kiddie-care too! I was gone from about 9a-4p today. Oh the heaven! LOL)

You might live in the South if….

while driving down the road you end up behind a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a license plate that says: MAYBELL.

(and then you end up at the same wal-mart as this jeep, parked next to them, and notice the guy getting out is wearing the most awful plaid golfing shorts you’ve ever seen and is clearly bowlegged)

Yes. You just might live in the south if…..

Sharing the Journey with Sue McRoberts

I have had the good fortune recently to get to know Sue McRoberts, author of The Lifter of My Head: How God Sustained me during Postpartum Depression, and 1/3 of the blogging team at Totally New Moms. The following are 10 questions I emailed to her and the responses I received. Enjoy!

(As a side note, interviews with Arlene and Rebecca from Totally New Moms will be arriving shortly as well!)

Sue McRoberts

1) When did you become a Christian and what has helped to solidify or sustain your faith over the years?
 I became at Christian at the age of 8 but I didn’t really understand it until I was 14.  In college I started really living out my faith.  What has solidified my faith is God’s faithfulness.  He’s always done what he says in scripture he will do.  Seeing God’s consistency and compassion has sustained me.

2)      What made you decide to write your book, The Lifter of my Head: How God Sustained Me through Postpartum Depression?
I went to a local Christian bookstore, looking for a book on postpartum depression from a Christian’s perspective.  There was no such book on the shelf.  After doing some research no one at the store could  find such a book on the Internet either.  The clerk suggested to me that I should go home and pray about  whether or not perhaps God wanted me to write that book.  At first I thought that was the craziest thing I’d ever heard.  God gave me no peace until I started writing!  
 
 
3)      What kind of process did you go through to write your book? What part was the most difficult to write?
Writing from beginning to end what happened to me during my PPD experience was excruciating.  I wrote 95% of my book while I was sick.  I wrote the book as these things were actually happening.  Only editing was done while I was well.  I cut about 35,ooo words from my final manuscript. I had a lot I wanted to share!  The process itself was simple.  I had  a brainstorming notebook I constantly wrote in.  I wrote constantly when ideas would come.  Sometimes at 3 a.m I would do my best writing and thinking.  For me the toughest part was describing the darkest parts of my illness.  I wrote the whole thing in faith that God wanted me to do it.  But I never believed for one second that anyone would relate to my experiences with psychosis.  I was wrong!  Other than that, reading the book in it’s entirety for the audio CD’s was a nightmare.  It’s one thing to write it and edit it over 6-8 months.  To read it in 5 hours was tough emotionally.  Hearing those words come out of my own mouth about broke me. 
 

4)      Prior to Motherhood, what was the main focus of your life?

I was a teacher and a coach.  My students were my life.  I miss teaching and coaching so much that it’s difficult to express that emptiness in my life.  I’ve filled that with a great husband, three kids, and much ministry but boy do I miss it.
 

5)      What is the hardest part of Motherhood? The easiest?

 The hardest part of motherhood for me is having strong willed kids only to discover that maybe I’m strong willed too.  That can be volatile so I’ve learned to be a little more passive and easy going.   What else is hard for me is that  I can’t make them choose the right things in life.  I can only guide them and that is scary.  I’ve learned to guide them and pray for them but let God take the reigns. It freaks me out to much to try to control these little people.   They aren’t puppets.  I was shocked when I discovered that!

The easiest part for me is playing with my kids.  I love pitching baseball to them, kicking a soccer ball, riding bikes.  My five year old can’t stand when I want to work on reading or math with him.  He sees me as his soccer pal.  So playing is a very important thing in our house. 

6)      How has becoming a Mother changed you? Has it strengthened your faith in God?

 I have three strong willed kids, all of which have worn me out at times.  I’ve learned to focus on what really matters and know what those things are that I will battle on and which ones aren’t so important.  Strong willed kids will get in your face no matter what though.  They love a fight and a challenge.  So I have had to rely on God for strength, creativity in parenting, rest, and most of all some grace for my kids.  It has strengthened my faith in God tremendously.  When my first child got her first spanking at 18 months she looked at me and said, “Is that all you’ve got?”  I knew I was in trouble!  But God has stayed with me!

7)      In your opinion, what aspect of Motherhood should be most celebrated?

 The fact that we  are molding and shaping godly men and women one diaper at a time, one feeding at a time, one school grade at a time, one conversation at a time.  Every day we are impacting our children’s lives.  Mothering matters!   It’s only what you do for Christ that counts.  Leading your kids to Christ, teaching them to walk with and depend on him…these things count.

8)      When you get time to yourself, how do you pamper yourself?
 
I eat breakfast out with my friends, go to dinner and a movie with my husband, or go for a nice  long run.
 
9)      How did the idea for your joint blog, Totally New Moms with Arlene Pellicane and Rebecca Ingram Powell come to fruition?

 I knew when Rebecca agreed to write an endorsement for my book that we would one day work together.  I prayed about it for ages.  I don’t even know if Rebecca knows that.  We both have a heart for girls and women.  That drew me to  her.  Arlene was Rebecca’s special find!  I’m pretty sure the idea started with me and Rebecca talking about it.  Then Rebecca  found Arlene and it took off from there.  I think the three of us have such different styles and personalities, we complement each other well.

10)   If there was one piece of advice you could give to an expectant mother (new or experienced), what would it be and why would this be important for her to hear?

Look for resources around you, they are everywhere.  Printed material, experienced mothers in different seasons of life, your Bible, your doctor, your neighbors.  Listen and learn.  Be open to other’s opinions and take help when it’s offered.  And above all, don’t be so hard on yourself.  We aren’t perfect and that really shows up in our mothering.  But don’t beat yourself up for a decade because you did or said something wrong to your child.  (I’ve done that…)  Kids are resilient.  We aren’t most of the time.  Ask God’s forgiveness and move on.  There’s bigger things to come!   And just think, some day you’ll be entering middle age and you’ll not know where the time went.  Cherish the good, the bad, and the ugly of mothering because it all matters!

When it comes to toddlers, Silence is NOT Golden!

Unless it’s at night when they’re supposed to be asleep, that is. Sudden silence eminating from the corner in which your toddler has been auspiciously romping around in is every toddler parent’s worst nightmare. For it is when we hear this silence that the hairs on the back of our neck rise up, the eyes we have developed in the back of our heads peer around in a hopeless attempt to evaluate the damage we will undoubtedly be facing in mere seconds. All of this happens in a fraction of a second as the world swirls to a slow stop around us and our mouths open to call out to our supposed angelic toddler who knows the difference between right and wrong but chooses to temporarily suspend this knowledge – sort of a pre-historic agnostic if you will. As your toddler rises up, your breath becomes trapped deep in your lungs, awaiting to see if it will be exhaled gently or hurled against the wall like a racquetball.

Most of the time at my house, it’s not exhaled gently. Today Charlotte had gotten ahold of the aqua-doodle pens (they were full), opened them, emptied them, and proceeded to chew on the caps. Not a huge problem except that the caps are a little small and she likes to put things COMPLETELY into her mouth. And of course, this happened while I was nursing Cameron so there I was, pinned to the couch by a 15lb three month old making vain attempts at getting Charlotte, who just turned two on Friday, to give me her new “toys.” It took me ten minutes, five of which was spent with Alli and Charlotte screaming and crying because I tried to get Alli to get them for me which is sometimes more successful – they have that toddler-sister bond and sometimes Charlotte will just hand things to Alli. Not this – oh NO! Not her new chew toys!

Like I said. Silence isn’t always golden but man, when it is – it REALLY is.

Breastmilk is amazing stuff

Just bagged up the breastmilk I pumped this morning (nearly 9oz! thanks to engorgement!) and as I was holding the bag in my hands it hit me just how amazing breastmilk is and even more amazing is the miracle that not only can a female body sustain life during pregnancy, it is designed to sustain once baby is born. What a true miracle!

Click here for amazing facts about breastmilk.

Good Mornin’

I am sitting here hooked up to my pump – gotta leave sustenance for the little one while I’m gone on Friday. Can’t have him starving and screaming. That wouldn’t make anyone happy, now would it?

In an effort to get back into the blogging mood, I’m going to start posting whenever I can grab a second. So forgive me if this is overload at first but I’ve been out of practice for a bit – you know, with the birth of the baby and all.

I have to say that this time around things have been so much different. Being able to laugh and smile and play with Cameron without having to force myself to is refreshing. And I LOVE to pick him up and hold him right on my chest so that his heart is right over mine. I feel as if we are communicating and our hearts are one – it blows me away every time how powerful holding him that way can be for me. I NEVER felt that with either one of the girls. And yes, it does make me sad to think I didn’t really bond with the girls the way I am bonding with him BUT the girls are both happy and get plenty of love now and don’t seem to be scarred at all by that experience. Recently I’ve really been mourning the loss of bonding with Charlotte when she was an infant but lately she’s been very cuddly and huggy so it’s making up for it slowly.

Gotta run. I think I may try to crawl back into bed for a short bit. Pray that I made it!

A Little Nervous

I have my first “big” speaking engagement on Friday and I can feel myself starting to get nervous. I know I’ll be fine. I’m really looking forward to meeting Katherine Stone and Dr. Jeffrey Newport. I am more in awe that I have been asked to speak along with them than anything else and it speaks volumes to me as to how far I have come since giving birth to my first daughter and struggling through those first dark days of Postpartum OCD all alone. I have found immense comfort in the knowledge that I will never be alone again and that has made all the difference this time around. (Ok, that, and the meds. I can’t forget about the meds.)

I’d like to take this opportunity to again thank everyone who believed in me and has supported me through this endeavor – especially my husband who lived through it all with me and is still here (although snoring at the moment) and as strong as ever. Amazement really doesn’t do this justice – the journey I’ve been on has been such a treacherous and yet fantastically awe-inspiring one at the same time. I can’t wait to share it on Friday and hopefully educate and light the way for other women to emerge from their PPD coccoon with as much strength and energy and support as I have.

Once Upon A Time…

there were two little girls, Allison & Charlotte. They lived in a cottage in the woods with their parents and two precious puppies.

One day, Alli & Charlotte were walking through the woods when they found a magical egg. Charlotte shrugged her shoulders and said “eh?” then touched the egg. POOF! Alli & Charlotte were magically transported to the land of Politeness where everyone said Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am, Please, and Thank You.

In the middle of Politeness was a giant purple gum drop. No one dared touch it because they didn’t  know what would happen if they did. Charlotte again shrugged her shoulders and said “eh?” and suddenly they were back at home, snug in their beds, dreaming about the purple gum drop.

(I made up this story and told it to the girls right before nap time. Totally spur of the moment. Not bad, huh? To top it off, Alli told the story to Daddy tonight at dinner. AWWWWWW)

Karen Kleiman blogs about lil’ ole me!

This morning while nursing Cameron at the appointed hour of 630a (he’s my little alarm clock!) I checked my email via my PDA and got a lovely surprise in my email from Google Alerts, letting me know that Karen Kleiman had posted about me at her blog. I am honoured to be mentioned by the woman who, through her book, What am I thinking: Having a Baby after Postpartum Depression, was the reason I started this blog to begin with.

Thank you Karen for the honor and for all your hard work in the PPD world!