Thursday, May 17, 2018

Feelin' Gutsy

Long time no blog!!!

Holy moly, it's been a minute.  Sometimes I miss the days of my blog of no big content, and just rambling.  Rather now, it seems a blog only happens for significant things.  Hence this post.

I've had something pretty heavy on my heart for awhile now, and that little gold barbie has inspired me to share it.  Behind that gold barbie is an amazing tribe of moms.  Today was the last day of MOPs for the (school) year.  MOPs entered my life when I moved to Alamogordo.  When we moved I wasn't in a good (mental) place, and knew I would need to find my "people".  And MOPs didn't disappoint.  The ladies of that MOPs group are still a huge part of my life.  Granted, I no longer see them, or rarely talk to them, but I pray for them and think of them just about daily (you ladies of Alamogordo MOPs know who YOU are). 
When we moved back to Colorado, I joined Red Rocks Arvada MOPs.  And these ladies are just wonderful.  Being part of a mom tribe, it's so comforting, because they just get IT.  There is no explanation, no judgement; just a heartfelt smile and hug.  This Mom gig is hard.  And for some crazy reason we try to do it by ourselves, until life gives in and God invented MOPs!  Praise the Lord!!! 

This year's MOPs theme was Free Indeed.  It was about being free of the burdens you hold, letting go and being yourself.  Being Gutsy, and just letting it ALL OUT. 
That's what this post is all about.  Not sunshine and rainbows, but the horrible storm clouds we all go through.  I've had this post in my head for so long, who knows how the words will come out, but it's time for me to let it go.  I've hesitated writing this post, because I don't really have a conclusion.  Because this journey is far (like super far) from over, so who knows how it will end. 
I think my main goal is just to start the conversation.  End the sigma. 

Back in January at a MOPs meeting, we talked about being Gutsy.  Going first.  To share whatever we wanted to share.  And I did just that.  I shared that in April of last year I tried to kill myself.  That my depression had gotten the worse of me, that I truly believed this world would be better off without me.  That Chris would re-marry, find a new mom for my kids.  And that the world would go on and everything would be fine; if not better.  I spent 4 nights in the hospital; one night in the ICU, and 3 nights in mental health.  Prior to this happening, when Bennett was a newborn (Bennett was 11 months old when this happened) I had tried seeking help.  Being in a small down, the resources were slim, and the 2 (or 3, I can't remember now) therapist that I saw, didn't really want to talk to me, they just wanted to put me on some drugs.  And I didn't want to be drugged.  I just wanted someone to talk to about my issues and feelings.  ...and now looking back, I probably did need drugs.  Once Chris started traveling (when Bennett was 4 months old) and we had no idea where our lives were going to go.  My anxiety went through the roof.  I wanted to know where we were going to go, and when.  Through all of this, my biggest lesson about myself, is that I CRAVE stability.  I literally NEED stability to survive.  As the months went on without any direction, I took the driver seat.  I never wanted to leave Colorado, so back to Colorado we would go.  I put the wheels in motion, and whenever I would try to plan something Chris would put the brakes on it.  There were many many arguments about our move.  But I was literally going crazy.  Hence my hospitalization.  I was at my lowest of low.  I can remember all the details of that day.  It was a Friday, and we had had such an amazing morning.  I for whatever reason even took a shower and put on makeup.  It was suppose to be a good day. 
The days in mental health at the hospital were horrible.  I couldn't see my kids, and we only were allowed visitors twice a day.  It was scary and boring.  I wanted out as soon as possible. 
Once I got out I of course saw a therapist who couldn't even talk to me for an hour about why I was there.  We literally sat in complete silence a few different times throughout the session.  It was a joke.  Chris and I did see another therapist a few times, but no big revelation happened.  And who knows if that's what I'm expecting, but I guess I know there are some issues with us, and things from my far far past (pre-Chris and pre-marriage) that I feel I need help with.  That no therapist seems to care enough to spend time on.  It's beyond frustrating. 
Then we moved back.  And I started seeing a therapist here.  I saw her a handful of times before Chris lost his job (and insurance) at the end of September. 
We started recently seeing someone again, but again it's like there is this dead air.  No therapist seems to want to invest in the fact that I literally tried to kill myself, and get into the depths of the horrible things that go on in a persons brain to actually make an attempt.  Hopefully that makes sense. 

I also know mental health is not on the priority list for caregivers, or trying to seek help.  But this system is broken.  Even though my attempt was more than a year ago, I still need help.  And finding GOOD help just about seems impossible.  I by no means don't feel "cured".  Granted, I no longer have suicidal thoughts, but I know I still have deep issues to work out.  And I want to work out those issues.  I need resolution.  Is it weird to feel that I want that resolution with the help of a therapist.  With someone I feel, actually cares?!  There is this black hole around mental health, and I have no idea how to fix it, but it needs fixed. 
That's it.
My big dark secret. 

I feel like I have come along way since last April, and putting my focus onto other things.  Obviously loving on my kids something fierce everyday is a great focus.  And I get to put my creative outlet into LuLaRoe, which has been a huge blessing. 
I feel so lucky and loved by my tribe.  Those who are part of it, know who you are, and I THANK YOU from the deepest part of me. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

the week before Thanksgiving

telling Chris at the end of our photos Photo courtesy Ashley Marie

To my Dear Angel Baby Glory,
I love you and I think about you everyday.
Love, Your Mom

In the mist of moving and starting my LuLaRoe business something heavy has been on my heart since November.
At the beginning of November I found out I was pregnant.  It was a huge surprise, but man I immediately fell in love with this baby and being a family of 5.  I also knew right away something was wrong.  The line on my pregnancy tests were super faint, and rather than getting darker over time the line got more faint.  I made an appointment with the OB and for about 3 weeks everything was normal.  I told Chris as a surprise during our fall family photos out at White Sands, and everything seemed to be good.  I remember telling my friend Andrea and her first thought was: I wonder where this baby will be born?   I too, had the same question.  As at that time we had no idea we would end up back in Colorado.  On Monday November 14, 2016 Helena had a Thanksgiving playdate at our friend Laura's house, and I remember feeling so exhausted and tired.  We had plans for later that day to drive Chris to El Paso to fly to work (I can't remember why we were taking him).  That afternoon when we got home we loaded the car and headed to El Paso.  I remember not having any appetite so I grabbed some raspberries to eat on the drive.  Not even 5 minutes into the drive Helena got sick.  Chris pulled over and I got out to see the damage.  There was throw-up everywhere.  It was horrible.  I knew immediately we wouldn't be able to drive 90 minutes to El Paso with Helena covered in vomit.  So we turned around.  Chris immediately got Helena out and in the bath.  While I bathed Helena, Chris tried his best to clean the carseat.  I can't remember if Helena continued getting sick, but I know at one point in time Chris got sick.  He rescheduled his flight for later that day.  Then later I got sick.  I called my mom not knowing how I would handle a sick household by myself.  Thankfully my mom was able to come to the rescue (again!) and come down.  That night after the kids were sleeping I told her I was pregnant.  The next couple of days went on like normal.  Tuesday was MOPs, and at the beginning they always ask if anyone has a pregnancy announcement.  I knew it was too early for the announcement, but I desperately wanted to share my new joy.  On Wednesday my mom left.  I had plans to meet my friend DeeDee that evening for dinner at Chili's for a MOPs fundraiser.  While at dinner I could feel it.  Once we got home my suspicions were confirmed.  I was bleeding.  I was bleeding a lot.  I didn't know what to do and immediately filled two tampons.  After doing some research on miscarriages I learned it's not a good idea to use tampons (duh!, but that's all I had).  By this time it was late (I can't remember if the kids were sleeping, yet or not), so I used what I could: one of Bennett's diapers.  I felt so alone.  The whole thing was just disheartening.  I also had the worse back labor.  It obviously wasn't full on labor, but I was in so much pain.  And being all by myself, I was just scared and sad.  I called my OB the next morning, and made an appointment Friday morning to get my levels checked before heading to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving week.  Friday November 18, morning I passed the baby, we had a moment, I cried and sent my baby to heaven.  I got my levels checked again while I was in Albuquerque, and by Monday (the Monday before Thanksgiving) I got confirmation that my levels were decreasing.  And by the week after Thanksgiving it was confirmed by the doctor that I had indeed miscarried.  The whole process was so drawn out and exhausting.  I confided in a few friends, but overall it was a very lonely time.  I was almost 7 weeks along.
In March I went to this women's group at a local church, while we were singing this verse really stuck out to me.  I can't remember it but it had the word "glory" in it, and that really pulled on my heart.  I immediately named our baby Glory.  I know that Glory is up in heaven looking down on my sweet little family.  I say nightly prayers with Helena and also mention our Angel Baby Glory.  And she repeats me, and always prays for Glory too.  My due date was yesterday.  I think about the course my life as taken.  And I wonder where we would be had my baby stuck.  Because I don't think had I stayed pregnant that Denver would have been a possibility.  If anything, not in the time that it all came together, because I don't think moving at 39 weeks would have been a good idea.  So who knows.  I do know I miss my baby.  And I know that I'll always wonder what a family of 5 would have looked like.  It's so weird thinking I should have a newborn right now.  That Bennett should be a big brother.  But I know what the Lord is doing, and I know He has lead me to where I'm suppose to be.  If anything, I feel blessed having this baby look down on me, and to be their protecting Helena and Bennett.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Coming Home

I've been collecting these boxes since August!

Who knows what it is about Colorado.  When I first moved to Denver it was July 1, 2002.  I was 22 and for the most part moved on a whim.  I would tell people and still tell people that "it's close to home but away from home".  And when you are 22 the last place you want to be is where you grew up.  So I jetted off to Denver, 450 miles away from my parents house.  There was one small moment in time when I thought about leaving Denver the 13 years I lived there.  I knew I didn't want to go back to Albuquerque, but didn't know where to go, so I stayed in Denver.  Leaving Denver 19 months ago was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  But knew it had to be done.  And never did I think that after we left would we be back.
Well we are coming back!  I'm super excited and nervous.  This move has been a long time coming. I've been thinking about moving almost daily since Chris came home and told me that he no longer had his job at the hospital here, which was back in August.  Because I'm such a planner I immediately thought of the next big holiday: Christmas.  And I would ask myself, I wonder where we are going to be for Christmas?  Then when Christmas came and went I focused on the next big deadline: our lease expiration.  Our lease expired at the end of April.  I would wonder what will come first?: Moving or our lease expiring?  With no real job prospect for Chris I soon realized that our lease would be expiring before any big move.  And since the lease was the only thing keeping us here I immediately thought: Lets just move back to Denver.  Which is what we are doing.  It's been a LOT of back and forth for Chris and I, but we finally have things set in stone.  We are buying a house in Thornton that is a very similar layout to our previous house and close on June 30th!
It's all very overwhelming because never did I think we end up where we left.
When we visited Colorado last month driving over the state line and into Colorado I got so emotional.  I felt home.  I felt this is where I'm suppose to be.  We looked at houses while we were there but didn't make an offer.  I left Colorado devastated.  Planning yet another version of my life.  Once Chris and I got on the same page we decided to put an offer an a house that we saw while we were there.  Which in all honesty tells me something was meant to be with this house, because after being on the market for almost 3 weeks it was still available (in the Denver market houses are usually only on the market for about a week).  And that is the house we are buying!
It's crazy that we left Colorado as a family of 3 and are now moving back as a family of 4.  What I'm most looking forward to in all of this is not moving again.  I'm not one to move around, and this unstability has not been good for me.  My mental and emotional self are not good right now, and have been in the worse shape they have ever been in.  I'm looking forward to just feeling settled and getting a routine.  It'll be a welcome change because I haven't really felt settled since August.
For the time being Chris will still be traveling back and forth to Sacramento for work, but we definitely have a goal to get him home and living with us full time!  But at least this way he only has to drive 30 minutes to the airport (compared to 90 minutes to drive to El Paso) and will have a non-stop flight.
I myself will also have to go back to work, and I have some things up and coming in that department too!  For now I'm working on all the logistics of this move.  First is finding a good moving company because I don't want to experience what we experienced last time!  So if you have any recommendations: please share!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Denver Trip

City Park

Alice, Marty, Helena, Mary, and Bennett

Marty, Chris, and Bennett

Add caption

The week after Easter we went to Denver.  The trip was multi-purposeful, and we had a great time.  I loved being back in Denver and experiencing it with my kids!  We got family pictures taken, Bennett's smash cake pictures, Bennett baptized, my in-laws came into town for the occasion, Chris and I had a date night out to one of our favorite Denver restaurants, we had play dates with Grayson and Dahlia, and we even shopped for a house!

We drove up the Wednesday after Easter, I found a really nice townhome on and got everything unloaded, which took forever.  Thankfully the house had a lot of baby proofing items since Bennett started walking the beginning of April.  I had made a menu and grocery list prior to the trip so I went to the store to stalk up on everything.  I also stop by my friend Andrea's house and met her daughter Dahlia for the first time and picked up some toys and books that she graciously let us borrow while we were in town.  We got Tokyo Joe's for dinner and got the kids town for the night.
Thursday morning we went down to City Park for pictures.  There was a breeze that made it a little cool, but we got some great pictures!  We got lunch at Cafe Rio, then got the kids down for a nap while Chris and I did some house shopping.  That evening I planned a special date night for Chris and I to Guard and Grace, probably our most favorite restaurant downtown.  It was amazing.  Friday we met Andrea, Grayson, and Dahlia at Monkey Bizness to play around.  All the kids had a blast!  Grayson and Helena played so well together.  It was so nice to just hangout.  Friday afternoon Chris's Mom, Dad, and sister came into town.  I made dinner at the house and we all just hung out.  Sunday morning we went to church and Bennett got baptized.  It was amazing to be back with my church family.  Seeing Pastor Ken and the whole church was just a feeling of being home.  Seeing Bennett be baptized was such a blessing.  Pastor Ken made mention what we talked about while he was guiding us before he married us.  He remembered me mentioned that if Chris and I had kids I would bring them back here for him to baptize.  I was so impressed that he remembered something that I had mentioned almost 5 years ago!  After church everyone came back to the house where I had an amazing cinnamon french toast cooking in the crockpot.  The house was a very happy chaos with Grayson and Helena running around, and Dahlia and Bennett trying to keep up!  My cousin Cheryl came down from Fort Collins, and our amazing babysitter Chendra was also in attendance for Bennett's big day!  That afternoon Chris and I did some more house shopping.  Early Monday morning I drove Chris to the airport for him to fly back to Northern California.  Monday morning we had another playdate with Grayson and Dahlia at a local park.  Both kids loved the park!  Then we drove back to Albuquerque.
The trip was full!  I wish I had taken more pictures!  It was so great for my in-laws to make the drive to meet us there and I'm so thankful for my mom who did so much!  ...she watched the kids and so much more!

1 year of Bennett

My sweet sweet boy turned 1 on April 25th!  It has been such a crazy year, and through it all I'm so grateful to have this boy.  I'm happy to report that we have both survived!
Weight: 21lbs 10 oz (41%)
Height: 30.5 in (93%)
Head: as the doctor stated nobody is going to accuse him of a small head. :)

When I think about the past year I can't help but feel so blessed.  I've had a small village help me raise my two beautiful kids and I'm forever grateful.  I often ask how in the world I go so lucky to be gifted theses two amazing kids.  Helena set the bar high for ease, and I often prayed that my second child would also be "easy", and He definitely delivered.  Bennett is just easy, unless he is super tired he's just a breeze.  He tolerates his big sister and as of right now is a great listener and eater!
He did a great job on our trip to Denver (I still need to write about that!) and loves being outside.  He still refuses to hold his bottle, which I guess I'm ok with because in another few weeks I'll be taking the bottle away from him.  Lately he loves to give kisses and hugs which just melts my heart.  He falls and bumps his head and destroy of all things!  He has ruined so many books!  He plays well by himself but loves attention.
I love him so much!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bennett at 11 months

My baby boy turned 11 months on Saturday, and I just can't believe it.
He's 20.5 pounds and a big time cruiser.  He crawls and immediately climbs right up to whatever he crawled to and just walks along the furniture.  He has no desire to stand by himself so who knows when his confidence will come along so he can take that first step.
We transitioned him into a convertible carseat a few weeks ago, and he loves to burst out of it when you come to get him.
Lately he loves making raspberries, and grinding his teeth!...ugh how to I get him to stop that?!
His latest phrase is "dad-oh", so cute.
He's definitely all boy as he recently when to Helena's toilet and ate some of the toilet paper that was IN the toilet.  He also found out how to climb up Helena's owl recliner and jump up and down.  So now the chair is in her room so he doesn't climb up it and fall of the back!
His hair has these cute little curls by his ears, and he has an amazing swirl in the back of his head.
He loves to dance and whenever he hears music he starts to move up and down.
He's a great eater, and is eating more and more table food.
He laughs so easily and freely, so it's so much fun to tickle him, or just interacting with him and he'll laugh.
He plays so well independently and loves knocking all of the books off of the bookshelf and "read".
He goes super fast on his walker and maneuvers it really well and gets it to go where he wants it to.
He refuses to hold his bottle.  In that aspect he's super lazy, he'll shake it and play with it.  But he will not put it into his mouth and drink from it.
Lately he'll put his head on the floor while he is crawling and it's so cute.
More and more he plays with Helena and they both love it!
He had his first trip to the ER after a picture feel on his head while I was trying to get a cute St. Patrick's Day picture.  There was so much blood, but thankfully he was completely fine and didn't need stitches.
He's in 12 month clothing and size 3 diapers, and still sleeps great at night...except last night.  Last night I was up with him at 4am, but prior to that I truly can't remember when the last time I was up with him in the middle of the night was.
He's so happy.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bennett at 10 months

My sweet sweet boy turned 10 months old yesterday.  And he is slowly exiting the baby phase, which makes me so sad.
He had his 9 month well on Wednesday so I have some stats!
Weight 19 pounds 10 ounces (41%)
Height 30 inches (93%)
Head 49 cm (99%, still off the charts)

His weight is slowing down, and it's because he's now mobile and all over the house and trying to keep up with his big sister.  He is super tall.  And thankfully his head size is now curving on the chart rather than going vertical.  His appointment was super easy (no shots!) and the doctor is pleased with his development.  He's super lazy and has no desire to hold his bottle (unless he's playing with it), so that's really the one thing to work on.
His vocabulary is amazing and is very repetitive.  He is cruising all along the furniture, and loves to play in this corner of the living room between the couch and entertainment center where there is a window.  It reminds me of Helena loving to play by the fireplace in our old house.  He loves to play with things that aren't toys.  He has a 5th tooth coming in, it's on the bottom.
He loves any attention from Helena, even if it is her pushing him down or hitting him.  He just loves her and wants her attention.  He loves to pull hair, which neither Helena or I appreciate.
My favorite part of the day is his nap time.  I leave Helena alone in the living room and take Bennett into his room, rock him, feed him his bottle, and put him down.  It's really the only time of day when it is just the two of us.  Like normal Momma struggle when I first sit down and start rocking him I want to him finish his bottle quickly so I can put him down and continue on with my day.  But by the time he is done and I'm holding him on my shoulder rubbing his back, and I rock him just a little bit longer, and wish I could just stay in that moment forever because I know that before too long he will no longer need me to rock him to sleep.
He loves to throw the magnets off of the refrigerator, and musical toys, and taking things from him sister.
He's eating more and more table food.
He's officially in 12 month clothing.  Still in size 3 diapers.  Unless I need to scrub the kids, they now take baths together, but Bennett is still in a laundry basket.
Overall he sleeps really good.  Usually going to bed around 8, and up around 7ish?  But he's great at just entertaining himself in his crib, talking and laughing.
A few weeks ago he went through this phase of refusing to nap which was horrible, but thankfully that was short lived, and he's now taking one long afternoon nap.
He currently has a bad cold, horrible coughing, and constant runny nose.  Actually the whole family is sick, hopefully we'll all get better soon.
At the marriage conference Chris and I went to a few weekend ago, he did awesome in childcare!  I was really nervous, because it was for about a day and a half (Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon).
I feel so blessed to have another overall happy and healthy baby.  Now that he is sick he's giving me extra cuddles which I love.
When he is super tired or upset he literally yanks his head backwards and throws a full on fit.
He thankfully get distracted easily, which is nice in the moments when I have to put him down, and he starts crying.  But then he'll go find something to play with and calm himself down.
He knows his name, and will respond when you call it out.  He has started to wave and it's so cute.
I'm so happy to be his Mom!