Depression And The Holidays

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible? One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle

How I Gave My Daughter Separation Anxiety With A Pixar Movie

I try to be a good mom. Every day I try. I try to be the best mom I can be to my beautiful children. Some days are better than others. However I never thought I could or would give my daughter separation anxiety. And most definitely I never thought it would be caused by a Pixar movie! Of all things, a Pixar movie! A movie made for children!

My beautiful girl. We have always had a close relationship, going back on 2 and half years now! But seriously, we have always had a close relationship. I joke that it is because I was on bedrest for pretty much her entire pregnancy so it was just me and her alone in a room and she never got used to anyone else’s voice. Breastfeeding for a year and half may have contributed to our close relationship as well.

The other day I thought it would be a good idea to watch Finding Nemo with my daughter, you know getting her ready for Finding Dory. My daughter right away realized something happened to the mommy in the start of the film. And kept asking for her. When Nemo went missing, she got so sad. She kept saying over and over “Nemo gone”.

And now thanks to watching what I thought would be a cute movie, my daughter freaks out when I leave the room. At night my husband can no longer put her to bed, she has to know where I am at all times. At night when she wakes up she calls for both of us just to make sure we are both there still.

My sons grew up watching Finding Nemo and it never once bothered them. I never imagined it would cause this reaction in my daughter. Can you say hello Mommy Guilt?!

Despite the happy ending in Finding Nemo, she still asks at the end of the movie if they will find the mommy. Hello Mommy Guilt! “Nemo mama gone. Gone! Nemo mama gone!”

I seriously question now why I didn’t see this coming, why I didn’t think of this before hand?! My poor daughter! This was not the reaction I thought was going to happen. I figured she would just love the little fish, just like her brothers did!

Mommy Guilt comes in many shapes and sizes, never did I expect to give my own daughter a bad case of separation anxiety! As if we don’t spend a lot of time together, I am a stay at home mom, and we co-sleep, yet I still managed to freak her out.

So now the question… Do I hide Finding Dory and Finding Nemo forever and never let her watch either one, or maybe I should let her watching Finding Dory and she will be happy as Dory finds both of her parents at the end! Maybe I can help undo the damage of Finding Nemo?!

~ Michelle

A Weekend Of Gilmore Girls And Christmas Lights

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

I’m in a weekend hangover / Gilmore Girls hangover this morning. Oh Gilmore Girls, how you mess with my emotions! I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I felt about it, so much of it bugged me, but over all I loved it. I have always wanted to live in Stars Hollow. Seriously, I have always thought it was the best little town ever. Oh! Kirk and his pet pig! Loved it!

Back to reality.

This weekend besides obsessing over Gilmore Girls, we took a wonderful last minute crazy drive down to Niagara Falls on Saturday night. We looked at the Christmas lights, it was our first time going there with our daughter. We used to do it every single year but we missed out on the last 3 years. I cried when my toddler declared “Mama! I love this! I love the lights!” Her excitement, oh man, it was just what my heart needed. Everyone in the car totally fed off of her enjoyment! It was magical. However the drive straight back home was a bit much. Sunday I was so tired. Clearly I am getting too old for these kind of adventures.

Speaking of Sunday. Our Sunday was filled with Christmas movies and finishing up the Christmas decorations outside! It was wonderful. Perfect family day. Till my husband showed just how much faith he has in me. I dragged him out to the store real quick, I wanted some plants to put on the windowsill in the kitchen. I picked out two of the cutest little plants (yes plants can be cute) and my husband declared “How about you just get one, and see how that goes.” As if I will make the plant burst into flames or instantly die as soon as I bring it in the house. Day 1 with plant, and it is still alive and not burnt. Just so you know.

Today I am ready to take on the week. I worked out this morning. I cleaned up, I organized. I dreamed big. And now my toddler is completely trashing my house, or as she says she’s “showing off her toys”. Now to clean up again, and then again, and maybe some more after that.

I started out the day wanting to write out some goals. Then I sat down to to do it, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I really have to be in the right mood for it, or there is no point. Today I am running on pure determination and sugar and caffeine. Lots of caffeine.

So now to take on the rest of the week, and to keep my plant alive!

~ Michelle

 

 

Stop Saying “Boys Will Be Boys”

I hate that saying. “Boys will be boys”. What does it even mean?! I have two beautiful boys, they are 13 months apart in age, and lets face it, they can be a handful sometimes. Especially when they were toddlers. When they have acted out people have said to me “Boys will be boys”, as if to explain their behaviour, to make it ok, to excuse it. I don’t know. I haven’t had anyone say it to me in years, maybe because I have kicked up such a stink about it. Just because I have boys, just because these sweet humans happened to be born with a penis is not an excuse for bad behaviour, for throwing things, for being rude, or for what ever other activity would warrant a “boys will be boys” comment from someone.

Yes I have boys, boy who are growing into men, gentlemen! Boys who will grow to be adults one day and God willing will be polite, kind, generous, gentle, compassionate men. Men who will be responsible for their actions.

Two things happened last week that has brought this “boys will be boys” nonsense back to my attention.

1. I was out with my three kids. We were walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. My boys were playing, no big deal, one of my sons decided to race up the stairs. Just so happens that a lady was coming down. I stopped my son, told him to wait, and get behind me to leave enough space for the lady to pass. My son said sorry for almost running into her. What was her response “Don’t worry, boys will be boys. Thats just how boys are”.   Um, excuse me? What?! No! My child’s gender is not an excuse to act like a fool, be rude, run up the stairs and almost knock a person over. Boys, men, will never have an excuse to behave in that way. So please don’t tell my son is it ok to be rude and push past people on the stairs simply because he is a boy.

2. We had teacher / parent interviews last week. I asked my oldest sons teacher how he was in class, if he was organized. My son used to be very organized. I admit it has been slipping lately. We have had a lot going on and figured that maybe that had something to do with it. His teachers response “Boys will be boys”. When I asked him to explain he said “Boys just do this at this age. They don’t care. They become disorganized, its not something boys care about.” My son’s sarcastic response “See Mom, it is because I’m a boy, I’m allowed to be disorganized” Um?! No! I’m pretty sure my sons brain can handle writing in his agenda every day and it won’t hurt him. Boy or not, he can and will be organized and take care of his things!

I have been blessed with 3 beautiful boys. 3 beautiful boys that will one day grow into men. I am trying my damnedest to teach them that they are accountable for their actions, all their actions, big and small. I am teaching them to be polite, to be caring, to be kind. To be aware of their surroundings, and the people around them.

Just because 3 of my children were born with a penis does not give them green light to disrespect people, to not take pride in their work, and to not be organized.

So please stop saying “Boys will be boys”, by saying this you remove my child’s responsibility for his actions, you excuse his bad behaviour! My son’s are very much responsible for their actions, and they need to learn this now, so they know damn well when they are adults that they are responsible and that nothing will be written off as “boys will be boys”.

Boy or girl, my child is responsible for his/her actions. Don’t excuse and take away responsibility, just because someone has a penis!

~ Michelle

Getting Back On Track

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

The past couple months have been a whirlwind. I can’t even begin to describe it. Now the holiday season is quickly approaching and I’m not sure where I stand or what was is up. I’m trying to make the best of it, I’m trying to hold my head up high, but it is exhausting. Down to the bone exhausting.

While trying to focus on the big picture and deal with everything going on, I need to start focusing on the little things. Taking it one day at time, one step at a time. All that jazz that is supposed to help calm a person. Not sure it really works, especially in times like this. But we will see. Its worth a shot, right?!

So this week I will be setting goals. For me. Not so much for the family. For me, that way I can be there for my family. I’m not so good about taking care of myself. But now its the time to really put in the effort.

1. Wrap the Christmas gifts I have already gotten. Its never too early to start crossing things off the To-Do List.
2. Workout. MUST. WORKOUT. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have fallen so far off the tracks that I honestly can not even see them anymore.
3. Read, draw, or journal. Something. Creative outlet is a must, and I have let it slide as well.
4. Organize the family calendars. Again I have fallen behind on this.

( I should just say do all the things I have been putting off… but thats completely overwhelming… )

5. Meal plan. Eat healthy. Again this goes right back to my moods. Way too much emotional eating lately.
6. Finish decorating. Yes I started early, because of everything going on, I wanted it over with, but there are still a few last things that need to be done.
7. Try to go to bed before 11pm. Oh sleep, how I miss you.
8. Get my holiday card mailing list together and get started on that.

I’m sure there are a million other things I should do and I’m totally forgetting right now. Maybe a second cup of coffee will help me remember.

Now to get over the mommy guilt and focus on me. Stupid mommy guilt.

~ Michelle

When Your Toddler Stops Napping.

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My toddler stopped napping. My sweet, sweet toddler hasn’t had a nap in a month! A month! I didn’t expect this to happen so soon! No naps?! This is all new territory for me! My boys didn’t stop napping till they were 3 and half! My daughter is only 2 and half! I should have gotten another year of naps! A whole year gone! Just like that. No warning. Just gone. All gone.

My days are completely different now. I have no time to work alone now. Trying to balance work with a toddler that doesn’t nap is proving to be difficult right now. I feel like I should probably be better at this by now, she is my 3rd child after all. But I feel like I’m barely able to keep my head above water when it comes to this balancing act.

You would think that without napping that she would sleep better at night, right? NO! She doesn’t! My daughter hates sleep! Keep in mind this is the same toddler that when in the car for 26 hours driving to Florida only slept from 12-2am and then from 5-7am and didn’t sleep again till that night when we got to our location at 10pm and was happy the whole time!

My daughter got the no sleep DNA or she’s not human,  or something I’m not exactly sure! My daughter hates sleep. And I love sleep. I miss nap time. She doesn’t. Not even a little bit. I miss it for so many reason, mostly for the random times that I got to sleep too. Sleep is beautiful. Sleep is wonderful. Why does she hate it?

Why can’t my daughter nap again? I am clearly in denial here about this. It was the only time of day that I had time to myself to think, shower alone, read, work, just be alone, without it being like 11pm at night. And now… that is gone. All gone.

I may be in total denial about it, but here is the thing, my daughter doesn’t nap anymore, and we get even more time together and it is beautiful.

My day are completely different now. My work, my plans, are all on the back burner right now. It makes me sad, but I am also so completely over the moon thrilled and happy that I get this extra time with my daughter. She is growing up so fast, before I know it she will be in school. This extra time with her is such a gift. She has really thrived in the last few weeks without taking her naps. Our relationship has changed. She has really blossomed into this new sweet little person.

I am sure at some point I will find balance with her being awake all day and my work. But right now I am just enjoying all the extra play time we have together.

The days go by too fast. Tomorrow isn’t promised. I am so thankful for this time with my daughter, even if some days I could really use a nap and wish she would too!

~ Michelle

Post Vacation Reality

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

We are back from our trip, everything is finally put away, re-organized and tans have already started to fad. Wait a minute. Did we even go on a trip?! Months and months of planing, and just like that it is over in a flash.

The trip itself was some what surreal. It was our first big family trip as a family of 5. Something not too long ago I didn’t think would be possible. Not to mention when did finally make it to Florida, after 26.5 hours in the car (my toddler only had two 2-hour naps that whole drive!), we stayed at my Grandparents house. This was the first time stepping foot in their house since both of them passed. It was so sad. I couldn’t help picturing them there, sitting in their chairs, watching their great-grandchildren play. At the same time it was also nice to feel so close to them again. It had been 4 years since I last visited that house. But this was the first time there since both had passed and since my daughter was born. My daughter that neither one ever got to meet.

I’m still trying to sort through my emotions from the trip, and all the fun we had. So much happened. It was wonderful to spend a week alone, just the 5 of us, going on adventures every day and spending lots of time in the pool! Time spent in the pool is always a good time. Ocean time, boat rides, trolly rides, and dolphins. So much fun, so little time. However if we don’t spend that much time in the car again any time soon, I will be very happy! 26.5 hours straight down, and 3 days, no wait 4 days back in the car? Either way it was a lot of time in the car! A lot. Thankfully my toddler was happy in the car, until the very end when she threw up every where in the car. Never a dull moment in parenthood.

Now the kids are back to school, it is just my toddler and me at home. No road trips on the horizon, but adventures are around every corner and I can’t wait for our next one, whatever it may be.

~ Michelle