Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I don't have any kids to watch on Monday so I decide to begin with the upstairs. I cleaned from 9am to 5pm and still didn't even get a chance to vacuum. So I was thrilled when I woke up on Tuesday to find out that the little one was sick and wouldn't be coming. I got a second day off to clean even more! :)
I decided that the unfinished master bathroom we've been using as a closet/storage room needed to be emptied so we can begin to get it ready to be finished. That took 6 hours to go through, but it's done!!! :) I have a clean bathroom/closet/storage room that is now much less of a storage room and more of a mom's hiding spot/closet. I even took the sink and vanity out of their boxes and set them up in the places they are supposed to be so I have a place to get ready in the morning(although there is no running water or electricity in there yet)
So, yes I've been quite busy, and that was just with the upstairs, I still have the kids bedroom to go trough too. The little one is here today so no crazy cleaning today means naptime is blog time. I am relaxing my bones instead of doing more cleaning. My RA doesn't like when I am so active so my joints are really sore today.
What do you do to combat winter blues?
Sunday, January 27, 2013
We had worked together since December 5th, 2005. We quickly became friends, but nothing more than happy hour kind of friends. I was still with Love's father and cheating is not an option in my book. When I was pregnant with Love, and suddenly single, he saw my struggles, listened to all the bitching I did, bought me breakfast a few times, but still remained strictly work friends. When I returned to work after Love was born, my daily stories and thousands of pictures created a family like feel of belonging among all my co-workers. Most of them were moms so it was like I was welcomed into the club, but with this guy, he fell in love with Love the second he laid eyes on her, the same way I had bonded with her in the hospital. He fell in love with the way I stepped up and became a mom despite all the negativity surrounding me. He also fell in love with my butt, thanks to yoga pants that I tried to pass off as work pants when I couldn't fit into my pre-preggo clothes anymore. So somehow we started hanging out more often, and our work friends status became good friends. By the time that Love was 6 months old we were hanging out daily, so friends became lovers, and we kept it secret for 9 months or so. HR discovered us, I was moved to a new department, he was written up, we had our first huge fight, and I found out I was pregnant, all with-in the two weeks before valentines day 2008. The fighting got worse, I thought history was repeating itself. I thought, maybe I should just go through with an abortion this time because I can't handle another crazy single pregnancy and another custody battle. I hid the pregnancy from my family until I knew for sure I wanted to keep it. I prayed, I'm not religious at all, but I prayed. I prayed for strength, I prayed for guidance, I prayed for everything to be alright. I cried, a lot. How could I even think about abortion so easily now. 2 years prior it was absolutely out of the question. I took a few steps back, took a lot of deep breaths, and kept moving forward. We talked, we worked things out, and it was decided that I would move in with him once my lease was up at my apartment and we were going to have the baby and work to work it out. Then I started bleeding, a lot. I almost lost the baby and was ordered to 2 weeks of bed rest one week before I was supposed to move in. So I decided I would definitely not tell anyone (family wise) before we were out of the first trimester, which was two weeks away. Unfortunately, my family found out and were was furious all over again. My mom said I was a disappointment, that she raised me better than this. So I cried again, and pushed myself further away from my family.
The pregnancy drew on and on, I had contractions going strong from 15 weeks, along with constant bleeding. Sex was banned and money was tight so Hun and I grew distant. I grew increasingly depressed, but refused to go back on meds of any kind, convinced that the meds I took during the pregnancy with Love was what caused her complications.
The contractions stayed strong and at 30 weeks I was put on permanent bed rest. After one of my appointments in which the doctor finally decided to measure these "contractions" it was decided that I had enough pain for one pregnancy. The placenta had partially ruptured and so I was scheduled for a c-section the next day. In September 2008, only 4 weeks early, Babe was born, with plenty of complications but amazingly very healthy. Sadly, I didn't feel that overwhelming love I had with Love, I didn't feel connected to him at all. We had problems latching, he cried all the time, I felt overwhelmingly depressed. I had even yelled at a nurse who knocked on my door because I was sick of people and the visitors were nonstop. I wanted to go back to two years prior when I was overwhelmingly happy when I was only responsible for one child. I hated myself because I heard myself say, I didn't want this new baby. I hated that I didn't feel love for him. I was a horrible mom. I couldn't do it. I needed help. Badly. Postpartum depression is the worst depression in my book and I didn't know what to do.
The hospital screens you for PPD by having you fill out a questionnaire of how you are feeling. I filled it out honestly, and the nurse that reviewed it said "are you sure this is how you are feeling? Because if so I will have to fill out some paperwork." I ripped the paper out of her hands filled out all happy answers with smiley faces and gave it back to her saying "there now you don't have to do your job!" She tried to apologize, but I was pissed, and miserable. I told her to get out and leave me alone. I left the hospital, tried to force a bond between Babe and I, but it was hard. I took pictures of him tried to smile, tried to find a happy place, but lack of sleep and the demand of him wanting to feed every hour on the hour, put me in angry mode.
Around this time Love began acting out, we started to notice her quirks more and her need for routine was stressful. She had to have everything happen the same way every day, every night. Bedtime, she needed the same song, the same animal, the same blanket, the same sippy cup, the same drink, the same book and all in a particular order or she would not sleep. One night after skipping the bedtime book, I was trying to get her to sleep for 6 straight hours, and having just gotten Babe back to sleep after a stress filled feed, she was starting to screaming in my face and I lost it. At this point the distance between Hun and I was huge. I was pretty much a single parent once 8pm hit. I finally had enough, I screamed at the top of my lungs, matching Love's screaming, Hun came downstairs and said "what the hell is going on?!?!" I said "I'm done! I can't do it, I'm a horrible mom! You deal with it for once! I'm done!" And I walked out the door. I drove down the street, I parked in a parking lot and cried. How did I get so low? I just screamed at my Love, a newly two year old child who just needed a book and a hug. What kind of monster had I become?!?!
About 2 hours later, I came back. Hun had gotten Love to sleep, after assuring her that mommy wasn't angry at her but we were all scared at what happened. He didn't understand what I had been going through, but I finally talked to him and we agreed I needed professional help. I called around and found a great counselor and things started to look up. I knew it was getting better when one day, a few weeks into counseling, I looked at Babe, he smiled and made a silly face and I just laughed happily realizing how much I do love him. I picked him up, hugged him, apologized to him for being a horrible mom, thanked him for not giving up on me, and refused to let him go. I swear that even at 3 months old, he hugged me back with equalled love and it has never faltered since. I'm beginning to think those long weeks of contractions were just him giving me a hug from the inside.
I wish I could say that here is where my depression story ends, that it's all happily ever after from this point on, but there is still a few more chapters to go. Depression is never ending. I have found that although stopping meds and therapy are ok for some people, for me it will be an ongoing battle. I will continue to write my story, but wanted to leave this chapter on this note. If you, or anyone you may know, is battling depression, get help. It is not a problem you can force to go away, but with help, you can find joy in life again.
Photo courtesy of http://www.selfhelpzone.com/depression/postpartum-depression-symptoms
I was an amazing first time mom. Some new moms struggle to decode cries, figure out the right position for breast feeding, trouble with latching, colic, lack of sleep, and everything else that comes with a new baby. Somehow, I had a high level of patience, and even loved waking up every hour to get the chance to tend to her every whim. However, there was still darkness in all this glorious heavenly light.
During the pregnancy, Love's father had tried numerous times to get me to give her up for adoption. He said he wasn't ready to be a father, he couldn't afford it, and he didn't want to give a child a split household. So two months before she was born, after another phone call from him, I told him, "don't worry about it. You aren't her father, so just leave us alone." He didn't call again, but once Love was born, my mom called him to let him know she was here and healthy. (Although she had a few complications and had to stay in the NICU overnight.) He came up with his family and connected to her the same exact way, he had fallen helplessly in love with the little 4lb 10oz bundle of Love. I was still angry and hurt, but knew she needed a father. I told him he was welcome to come and visit whenever he wanted. He was ready to be a part of her life.
For the first few weeks he would come and visit, but wasn't happy that it was all on my time. I was fortunate enough to have a great friend and her boyfriend who let me rent a room in their house, so visiting was limited to while they were at work so as to not interrupt their family life. Pretty much at anytime Monday thru Friday he could drop by between 8am to 3pm, when my friend's step-son would get home from school. This arrangement worked for about 2 months, and then I started working.
Since he had off on Mondays and Tuesdays, while I worked normal office hours, I figured it just made it easier to have her stay with him during my work hours on those days. I would wait until 8:00 each night to pick her up, so he got a full 12 hours with her those days. By the time Love was 3 months old, he started pressing for overnight visits, but I wasn't ready to let go of my baby, she needed me so much because of our amazing connection. I was the only one who was capable of taking care of her during the night, at least in my eyes. So a big custody battle started.
Around the same time, my friend and I got into a big fight and I made the decision that I was ready to get my own place. Love and I moved into a one bedroom apartment and suddenly I was facing motherhood without a 24/7 support system under the same roof. I managed, but struggled even more.
I don't think there will ever be an easy custody battle, because when you love someone so much, it's really hard to let them go, even if it's only for a few days. The battle had worn me out. Everything I ever said or did was thrown in my face, including the cutting, my depression, and alcohol abuse. Suddenly, I wasn't such the super mom I believed I could be. I fell back into a depression, started smoking again, and drinking one or two drinks every night. I beat myself up, that inner voice telling me I wasn't good enough. As well as emails from him telling me that he thought Love would be better off with him, full-time, permanently.
This, of course, wasn't going to happen without me fighting back, and being mostly Irish, I know how to fight back. I got a lawyer and stayed tough. I put his parenting skills through the ringer too. It took almost 9 months of mediations and court hearings for a judge to finally decide the custody situation. He was granted one overnight a week for 12 weeks, then he was allowed 2 overnights a week thereafter. My spirit was broken, my heart was shattered, and my soul was gone 2 days a week, but I knew the judge was right, I knew that Love needed that quality time with her father too. She was almost one, it was time to let go, cut the cord, and let him have her too.
I got through it, thanks to a new relationship. But that's a story for part 3, so stay tuned! I promise it gets even better!
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Have you ever felt that you just weren't ever going to be good enough? I have, my whole life. Being different was the hardest thing and the worst thing in my mind. I couldn't accept not fitting in, so I stressed myself out trying to fit into social classes that weren't really true to myself. I tried to fit in everywhere, school, friends, family, work, and society in general, but I never found where I really belong. I'm awkward and clumsy and not beautiful but not ugly, I don't wear the latest fashions, I don't own a zillion pairs of shoes, I don't know a thing about sports or politics, I just don't know what I want or like in life.
My teen years were a mess with depression, suicide attempts, cutting, rebellious behavior, alcohol abuse, running away, and lost friendships. My family worried about me, but were lost as to how to handle me. They knew they loved me, but I was a wild spirit and they just couldn't pin me down.
My twenties were split, half wild rebellion, half in full pursuit of figuring out what I wanted to do when I finally grew up. After a scary night where I ended up drugged and raped, and then losing my best friend a few months later to a car accident, it became clear that things needed to change. I moved back home, where the rule "as long as you are under my roof..." kicked in.
I fell in love in July 2005, found a great new job in a mortgage office on December 5th, 2005. Life was falling into place, then I found out we were pregnant. Atter the initial shock, the father decided he had to propose, it was the right thing to do. Well, my family wasn't happy about the situation but we rushed into planning a wedding and not 3 weeks after I found out I was pregnant and got engaged, we broke up, tried 3 weeks of counseling and finally called it quits. I had just entered the 2nd trimester, and was completely alone. My parents told me I could not stay with them once the baby was born, I needed to learn how to stand on my own two feet, and they were right. Now, the entire pregnancy I was told to give the baby up for adoption, that I couldn't give this baby a good life and she deserved so much more. I had faith in myself, for the first time I felt that I WAS good enough for someone. "Love" was born November 2006. I was 25 and my life forever changed.
Stay tuned for more!
Friday, January 25, 2013
Our TV knows three channels during the day, 120 - Disney Junior, 131- Nick Jr, and 128 - Sprout. I enjoy these shows maybe even more than the kids. During naptime, I find myself watching LazyTown, Princess Sophia, or Bubble Guppies, and I keep watching with no intent to watch grown up shows. I would rather watch Dora solve a riddle from the Grumpy old Troll over watching Shaniqua find out that her uncle Trey is not the father of her baby any day!
Today, Babe has decided that it's a movie day, so we are watching The Princess and the Frog currently. Well, he is watching it because the little one is napping and I'm writing.
What shows, grown up or not, do you like to watch? What are your most watched channels?
Nighttime TV is a joke in this house because I am either busy doing mom things or Hun has control of the TV. If he has the remote, we are watching something about food and cooking, some redneck reality show or home remodeling/house flipping shows. I admit, I love these, but when he watches TV, he watches a channel until a commercial comes on, then watches the next channel, until the next commercial, then he moves to the next show. It is the most annoying thing ever! I never get to find out how much the guy with the Civil War Riffle pawned it for, or who made out best on Storage Wars. So many questions are left unanswered and I'm left frustrated.
So I escape to my games on my iPhone mostly, unless I have the urge to clean or knit. My guilty pleasure shows, Bones, Glee, Ben and Kate, and Once Upon a time, are all watched via Hulu + on my Nook Tablet with headphones on. Normally, after the kids go to bed, while Hun is downstairs flipping channels, I'll be catching up on the week while fighting off sleep.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Fast forward to Saturday. I had a head cold for the better part of Friday and so I knocked myself out with NyQuil and decided to sleep through the cold. Unfortunately, Hun had a funeral to go to, so I still had to be a mom for babe on Saturday morning. So I got a shower, got dressed and still felt like crap. I put my head down for a minute and it felt so good. I decided to let him play with my phone so I could take a quick 5 minute nap, but he thought it would be a fun time to run in circles around me, jumping over my fetal positioned body here and there, while playing with the "Talking Tom 2" app on my phone. Suddenly, pain is shooting up my arm, black circles are spinning in front of my eyes and I hear Tom the cat repeating my scream. Thanks to Tom, my scream turned to laughter and I shook off the pain. Later that night, the pain intensified and again I shook it off. My hand and wrist have been very stiff and not very useful since the first fall in November and it's difficult to perform daily tasks like laundry and washing dishes, even eating. I've learned how to use my left hand for mostly everything except blow drying my hair. So Monday, I'm trying to straighten my hair. A curling brush in one hand and the blowdryer in the other, but my damn wrist wouldn't bend the right way to use the blow dryer. Finally, I caved in and went to an urgent care place around the corner and got it x-rayed. They find not only one fracture, but 3, as well as one that never healed correctly from who knows how long ago. Hmm, so that is why it hurt? I'd be interested in figuring out how many other bones have been broken without my knowledge, because up to this point, my crowning glory had been that I had never broken a bone and I'm the worlds biggest klutz!
Friday, January 18, 2013
1) What's your name? - Beth but I go by Bethanne. Why? First name is just Beth, but I have always wanted a prettier name, so I combined my first and middle names into one and have been known as Bethanne for 16 years now. Longer story is that my mom combined her first and middle name because her first name is a very common name, so to distinguish herself from her friends she combined her first and middle names-. I hope one day my daughter does the same thing, and so I chose her first and middle name with that in mind.
2) How do you spend your days? I spoke briefly of this in my opening blog, but my daily schedule is pretty easy, wake up, get "Love" ready for school and wait for other children to arrive. "Hun" takes Love to school. I feed the other kids and turn on Sprout, as I clean up breakfast. Either they go down for naps or we play-depends on the kid. After a good nap(for them-I normally take this time to pick up my phone and waste time or take up the knitting project I have been working on) it's story time followed by lunch, clean up time and more play. I then sit down with the toddlers and teach, sing, dance, or do a craft. Followed by snack and second nap time. By the time they wake up it's free play time until they go home, while I clean everything up.
3) Have you always lived in NJ?
No, I lived in Northeast Philly until I was 9, then moved to NJ at the start of 3rd grade. Since I turned 19, I have bounced between 4 different towns and hopefully have settled at this point, but let's leave that story open for now.
4) What are some of your hobbies?
I love to read, knit, do anything crafty (although, I'm no where near Pinterest worthy) and sign language, actually any language fascinates me. I don't know any fluently, but I can probably tell you at least one word in about 15 languages.
5) What's the best meal you've ever had? This is hard to pick just one, but I have to say I love the sun-dried tomato and goat cheese combo of the Chicken Bryan from Carrabba's.
I love anything that uses that combo, thanks to my ex-almost-mother-in-law. Back in 2005, She made an angel hair pasta with this combo for a night when I was meeting her.' I was scared outta my mind to try goat cheese, but I politely ate it anyway, and became obsessed. :)
6) If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Oh the places I could go! Greece, Italy, France, Australia, Hawaii, some romantic deserted island paradise....
I'd settle for anywhere with a bed and no kids right now! ;)
7) What's the best gift you've ever given?
I think my dad got the best gift, I was looking through emails and up popped an ad for the swimmer's MP3 player. My dad and I share a passion for exercise and music, he swims daily and always had me burn CDs for his workouts when I was younger and living with them. This was the PERFECT gift for him! So I had to get it for him since Father's
Day was right around the corner. I was so excited about what his reaction would be, and he loved it!
8) And what's the best gift you've ever received?
Something so simple yet meant the world to me. I celebrated my first Mother's Day when I was pregnant with Love in 2006. No one else had acknowledged that, although she wasn't born, I was still a mother that day. So, a year later, I was a single mom to a 6 month old "love" and forgot all about what didn't happen the year prior, because I got a card from my brother that simply stated he was proud of me and the great job I was doing as a mother. It meant a lot since so many people doubted my ability to be a "good" mother the previous year.
9) What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don't have already)?
I wish I could cook! I am constantly putting myself down for not being the mom that makes all the meals for her family, but Hun is a great cook so he makes up for it.
10) What is/was your favorite subject in school?
I don't really remember! I guess I'd say Physics, because I remember thinking that shit was cool. I loved choir, and my 1st period study hall where I'd sleep on the couch in our choir room or converse with some friends over coffee and bagels. :) Good memories. :)
11) What's the biggest problem facing the world right now?
Bullying. Not just by kids, by adults too! As well as by religions, by governments, and by the teachers we entrust our children to.
12) If you alone could solve it, how would you do it?
I would love to believe that, logically, one person could solve a problem of this magnitude, but it's not gonna happen. Realistically, what I intend to do is post up a YouTube video of my story. Having been bullied myself, being suicidal as a teen, and surviving to this point in my life, realizing how thankful I am that my attempts weren't successful. I feel if my story may save even just one teenager from committing suicide, then I've done something about it.
13) What's your dream job? I'm doing it!! I love children, especially little children! They test you, but bring so much joy to your life! I love every minute of it!
14) If you had to choose only one: cat or dog? Cat! Simply that! I like dogs, but the answer is Cat!
15) What's your favorite movie of all time?
Across the universe. Beatles music, turned into a Musical!!! Need I say more?!?!
16) Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Well, besides for the sentimental answer of my kids, I'd have to say my phone. It connects me to the outside world and entertains me during the silence of the day.
17) In everyday life, what is your number one pet peeve?
People who think they can rule someone else's life because they are close acquaintances or friends or family members. If someone is doing something that you don't agree with, feel free to speak your mind about it, but don't expect them to change just because you say so. AND furthermore, if they say thanks, but no thanks, do not try it again every chance you get or get other people to convince them they are wrong. (Unless they are hurting themselves or others- this is the only time this behavior will be tolerated in my life!)
18) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully finishing or finished my teaching degree, and either working for a living or continuing my current business just a step or two up in the world. I'd like to actually be married to "Hun" and have at least one more child with him.
19) What was something you did as a little kid that got you in a lot of trouble?
Oh boy, I was so bad. Crazy to put it bluntly. I was maybe 7 or 8 when my family added a deck to our row home in Philly. We decided to enjoy eating out on this deck one night and I was given the responsibility to set the table. I was either curious or angry but for some reason I decided to take a steak knife and slice open the screen door. Oops! To top it off I created a fantastic story about how I tripped and fell into the sliding door and the knife got stuck in the screen and slid down with me. Or something like that. I was in so much trouble but I don't remember much about the punishment.
20) What is your first memory of being really excited?
I, uh, don't,- know. I guess it was a birthday of mine, but I'm not sure how old I was, maybe 8 or 9. I got a Strawberry Shortcake bike, and I remember coming down stairs to that bike leaning up against the dining room wall, and being so revved up about it. I think that was it, although I can remember things that were exciting before that ( like a trip to Disney at age 6) but I don't remember my reactions or emotions to those events.
So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Although there are so many wonderful stories to tell, I got to save something for tomorrow! :)
Have a good weekend!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
When The Sandy Hook Massacre happened, I, like all my fellow Americans, was shaken to my core. I held my children a little tighter that night, and cried on Christmas morning for the families that had presents but no children to open them. I literally found myself shaking from crying so hard, randomly, in the middle if my hectic day, some three weeks after the shootings. Then something else crossed my mind, er, well, my newsfeed rather.
Stories of conspiracies started filling my newsfeed. Proof was right in front of my eyes that the whole thing was done by paid actors, paid by our government, just to get Americans on the right side of gun control. My jaw dropped, I got a bit angry, I almost posted up a ranting status about it, before realizing I can't believe everything that I read on the Internet. So, I took a few deep breaths and shook it off.
Now, although I was able to shake it off at that moment, I am still being tormented by the possibility of it all. What else has happened that could have also been a conspiracy? I used to laugh at people who lived in bomb shelters and hid among archives of supposed truths. People who spun off government conspiracies and truly believed them to be nothing but the absolute verified truth. Now, I understand them, to a slightly still sane degree.
I question if maybe, just maybe, Sandy Hook was really fake, and if it was, what else could be fake? What else has our government schemed up to stir the emotions of a gullible American public? We have lived in a world where a famous model tells us that she can't go anywhere without her favorite designer bag, which cost $13,000, and therefore a bunch of young suggestible women run out and break their bank accounts to buy the same bag. We are a very suggestible nation. Too suggestible. So it leaves the possibility of the government using our highly suggestible minds to get more people on their side of a certain issue. So possible, that I really want to believe it to be true.
Maybe I want it to be true because I don't want to think of all those children missing out on Christmas. It gives me hope that no one was really lost at the hand of an insane man. However, as much as I want to believe in this conspiracy theory, I can not. Yes, it's possible, but doubtful.
Nightmares happen everyday in this day and age, nightmares that we can't control. Nightmares like Sandy Hook and 9-11, that, although it would be a relief to find out were all just staged by our government, were really truly unfortunate events that took many unnecessary lives. Lives of mothers and fathers, aunt and uncles, grandparents, and yes, even innocent children. Children who will never get the chance to know who they could become. It is for them, that I pray, may their souls be at rest, may they be comforted by the number of people who now know their names, know they existed, and know that they were amazing little kids, who will always be innocent and loved.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Let's start with a little bit about me and my typical day. I am a stay at home mom of 2, my oldest -"love" is 6, and her brother - "babe" is 4. I left my job in Mortgage Insurance at the end of 2010, sick of working in the city and missing so much of seeing my kids grow up. So, I left with a plan, I wanted to start my own child care center from my own home. I did some research, I advertised, I got a few friends willing to leave their kids in my care, and I got all the certifications needed. So far it's gone very well, at least for the most part. Some days I miss the smell of the subway in the city, mostly during diaper changes. I mostly miss the friendships I had in the office, well, all adult interactions really. However, I love that I can wake up throw on jeans and a T-shirt, make some coffee, then cuddle up with Babe on the couch til all the other kids get in, and that is something I wouldn't change for anything!
I currently only watch one little boy. A very adorable 18 month old! So my days are fairly easy, but hopefully not much longer.
I am not going to set goals of writing everyday or even once a week. I want to write when I get the whim to. When I feel the need to talk something out with a bunch of strangers, and when I want to share a funny story about my day or my family. So please feel free to enjoy my rants and let me know what you think. Hopefully, you'll find me slightly entertaining enough to stick around.