threefunnyvoices

Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

The Darkest Shades of “Baby Blues” November 10, 2013

Today, I was cruising through the Scary Mommy site and came across a post about a mom who was telling her postpartum story. As I read it, I realized that she and I had a lot in common and I realized that if she and I had so much in common, maybe one of you out there may have faced or are facing the same thing. So, this is my brave:

 

First, I need to give a brief back story. I promise to keep it very brief. When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my baby and I lost his father. It was an accident based on stupidity and (as I eventually learned) was ruled incorrectly by the police. I spent the next couple of months trying to deal with his “suicide” until I learned that it was an accidental fall. It was traumatic, no matter how you looked at it.

 

Somewhere, in the days following the accident, someone made me go to the doctor to make sure everything was ok with the baby. I remember laying on the table, waiting to hear a heartbeat and it took them FOREVER to find one, but they did and things were ok. They got me some medication to fight the nausea so that I would be able to at least try to eat something and immediately got me into therapy. When I say immediately, I mean I had my first session before we even had the funeral. My therapist was wonderful and I kept her for two months after I had my son.

 

During all of this, I lived with a family member and while I was exhausted, I seemed to be doing ok. My therapist had no need to worry about any kind of postpartum other than the usual hormonal shifts that occur after having a baby. Life seemed ok and I found a little apartment for my baby and I and moved in quickly.

 

We lived out in the boonies. No one was going to know that the house was out there, and if they did, there was no way they were coming to the house undetected. We had a huge long, winding lane to our house and it seemed that someone was always awake. I was safe as I could be, and so was my baby. However, as the days went by, I started to get weird.

 

I would stay up through a large portion of the night. I would check on my son every 15-20 minutes, even though he was usually asleep beside me or even on me. I started to worry about silly little things that never seemed to bother me before. I would bawl at diaper commercials (yes…seriously…I remember the commercial well and if I were to see it today, I may burst into tears just because) and seemed to be preparing for the worst. I didn’t get any kind of real quality sleep until my sons daytime naps because I felt better during the day.

 

I remember, one day, my sister and I were leaving the house and we drove by a cop. I was certain that someone had called them on me and they were headed to my house to try to find a reason to take my child from me…even though I knew that there was nothing wrong. It wasn’t just a little paranoia. I had trouble breathing, broke into a sweat and wanted to turn around and go home and lock the doors and pull the blinds. My sister was able to calm me down a bit and told me I was freaking out because I needed to sleep. “Maybe she’s right” I thought.

 

Things like this happened several more times before my next doctors appointment. I hated feeling that way and I ended up staying home as much as possible. When I went for my next appointment, I filled out their little postpartum depression survey and passed with flying colors. I tried to tell the PA about what was happening and was told that it was totally normal and that things would get back to normal shortly.

 

The days went by and it was more of the same. We left the house only when we absolutely had to and I always preferred to have someone with me. This, however, was totally unrealistic and I found myself alone with my son a majority of the time. When he was awake, everything seemed to be absolutely fine. He was a perfect distraction and so long as we were home, life was good…for a while.

 

I started getting really nervous when I had to leave him alone while I went to the bathroom. I was sure something was going to happen to him. This progressed into complete meltdowns while I was showering, which I would only do when he was asleep for the night. Before I would get into the shower, I had to close all the curtains, lock all the windows and doors and sometimes I would pull his crib as close as I could to the bathroom door. (Our bathroom was right off of our shared bedroom) While I was showering, after going through the lockdown process, I was SURE I heard people in my apartment. I would rush and get out in under three minutes. I would first check the baby and then go through the house and make sure that no one had gotten in somehow.

 

I called my doctor and they had me come into the office. I explained to her what had happened and was once again told that it was “normal” and that I was likely “dealing with the trauma” of losing my husband (he wasn’t) and “learning my new mommy instincts”. They wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and sent me on my way. Somewhere in my gut I knew this wasn’t normal, but I wanted there to be a resolution so badly that I went along with it.

 

Then the night came that I saw myself. I had gone through the lock down routine. The nervousness and paranoia had gotten to the point where I would get cold…like, into the depths of my soul…and I would shiver. I moved my son to the bathroom door and I started the shower. In that time, I had a vision of my son’s paternal grandmother coming and watching us, learning our routine, and waiting until the time was right where she would pounce and take my child while I was in the shower. I was not going to allow that to happen, so I grabbed a butcher knife and got into the shower. I saw myself, standing there, holding a knife with one hand and trying to wash up with the other, all the while forming different plans to make sure that she didn’t get out of our house.

 

The woman lived several hours away and did not have a vehicle. There was no way this was possible….but that was not what took control of my mind and emotions. A complete paranoia took over my life. I would jokingly call it “postpartum psychosis” because I never knew there was such a thing. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until a few years later that I had heard the term and when I did, I FREAKED OUT! I was furious that I had gone through this, that I had said something to my doctor and that it was never even considered…and was labeled as “normal”.

 

I don’t know when it stopped happening for me. I just know that it did. I had a few friends and family members that I could call at any time of the day or night and just ramble. I think that’s what did it for me; knowing that I had someone out there that would hear me. I don’t remember how much of that time I shared or in what detail. I just know that I would talk and I didn’t feel like I was alone or that I was cracking under the pressure of my new life.

 

I no longer take armed showers. I no longer fear my son’s paternal family. I do still worry about something happening to my son, but not in any extreme sense. I worry about him like any mom would worry about her child. We sleep with our windows and doors locked but that just makes sense. I still have my incredible network of friends that I could call at any time and they would be there for me, just like they were in those darker hours.

 

That is my truth…that is my brave.

PPD and all related illnesses are SO real. They are not something that you should just have to accept and wait out. If you are experiencing any form of postpartum, reach out and make your voice heard. Do not stop until you get the help you feel you need. It is out there for you, don’t let anyone stop you from getting it. You are worth it and so is your family. You will make it through, but you need someone by your side. You need someone you can trust, someone who can help calm you down and help you regain your focus. They are out there.

 

Here are some websites that I found that I wish I had known about when I was going through my experience. They are full of useful information and have links to other great places.

 

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/ppd.html

http://www.postpartum.net/

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/

http://www.melaniesbattle.org/about.html

https://www.facebook.com/beyondpostpartum

 

Remember to hang in there, to ask for help and that sometimes we can just go moment to moment, hour to hour…eventually it will get better. Call on your network of people and let them help you.

 

Peace and Blessings to all of you

~C

 

 

 

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Adventures in the land of SuperBugs (AKA: Nifty Home Remedies) October 25, 2013

Hi!

I know it has been FOREVER since any of us have posted but life, as usual, gets in the way.  Lately, life has revolved around school and dealing with a child who has been incredibly ill. For those of you who do not know, let me catch you up to speed.  (There is a fair amount of rambling to start this post. If you would like to jump ahead and head straight for the Homemade Pedia electroLyte drink recipe or the homemade cough syrup recipe go right ahead…scroll away)

Last Saturday, the boy and I suited up the grandparents and great grandmother and headed off to the state fair. We had a GREAT time while we were there and my three year old was better behaved than most adults that we saw. He rode his first ride, saw his first tractor pull and even tried his first cotton candy. Life was good.

Around 4pm we decided it was time to end our adventure and we started the 2.5 hour drive back home. The decision was made that we would stop at Olive Garden for dinner about half way back. By the time we got there, the little one had been asleep for almost an hour. We woke him, waited for our seat and were pleased to see that we were put all the way in the back of the restaurant. It gave the boy a bench to sprawl out on and rest until dinner got there. We placed our orders and he was still as lifeless as they come. Our salad and breadsticks came and he was STILL lifeless. He normally jumps at the prospect of a breadstick. By the time I had finished my salad, I got a feeling that something was seriously not normal with the little fella, so I picked him up and snuggled him and started the head to toe checklist.

“Does your head hurt?”

“Do your ears hurt?”

“Does your belly hurt?”

I got a “no” in response to all of these questions. Then he started mumbling and next thing I knew, he did it….

He tossed his cookies right there in the middle of Olive Garden. And not just a minor “oops”.  It was a horrifying site and it took a stroke of genius on my mother’s part to contain the catastrophe. When he finally slowed down, we made a break for it. The whole time, we chalked it up to “Oh…he had too much junk at the fair”. Then we realized that he had had a slice of pizza and a little bit of cotton candy…for the entire 6 hours we were there. Then I felt his head and my poor baby was burning up! We made nice with the restaurant staff, left a hefty tip and busted outta there after cleaning him up for the trip home.

I finally got him in the door and settled in for the night…and that was supposed to be it.

Fast forward 1 week and this is the situation:

After 6 days without any real food in his system, sleeping for 90 minutes at a time (with multiple hours in between), night terrors, a fever that could not be broken, countless “Get the boy outside, he’s gonna be sick” moments, two trips to the pediatricians, some fluids and a blood test, we have established that he has a super bug. This is the sickest he has ever been…and he has had chicken pox 3 times.  He has lost 2 pounds in a week and is hurtin’ in the iron department.

Thankfully, we have an awesome pediatrician who helped us find a heavy duty anti-nausea medication which has allowed him to finally eat a little something and has restored my hope that one day, my child will once again be the child that I know and love and not a little male version of Linda Blair and a bowl of split pea soup.

I spent a lot of time, in the early morning hours, searching for something….ANYTHING…I could try that would help my poor baby feel better. I found some things that helped him maintain. Knowing now what we are facing, that was the best anything was going to do so long as he was unable to keep food in his system.

First, let’s go for the:

Homemade PEDIA electroLYTE drink…
REMEMBER: DO NOT GIVE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 1 HONEY

This is SUPER easy to make and so much cheaper than the stuff you buy at the store.

You will need:

1/2 cup of boiling water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar (or honey…or raw sugar….or agave)

3 tablespoons dry jello powder (any flavor your little one likes)

3 1/2 cups of cold water

In a bowl, combine the boiling water and dry ingredients.  Stir until everything is completely dissolved. Add cold water and serve at room temperature, by the spoonful every 5-10 minutes for an upset belly. If it is to lower a fever, you can serve over a little ice.  Pour in a container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Maybe you are a bit like me and think that a sick child needs variety and therefore you make three different flavors of this stuff and at the end of the week you still have it coming out of your eyeballs! Have no fear…it shall not go to waste! Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it so that you always have it on hand should the little buggers need it again. I found that these work really well.

Now comes the really fun stuff.

HomeMade Cough Syrups

We lucked into some local, raw honey this week at a steal so I went a little crazy and made a variety of cough syrups.

You will need to get some glass jars with lids…I like the Walmart version of a Mason Jar the best (a pint size will be fine)

LEMON GINGER SYRUP:

1 Lemon

1 piece of raw ginger 2-3″ long

Thinly slice one whole lemon and put 1/4 of the slices in the bottom.

Peel your ginger and gently crush it.  Cut it in quarters and place 1 piece in on top of the lemons.

Add approx 1/3 of a cup of honey.

Repeat the process until all ingredients are used OR you run out of room in your jar.

Let jar sit in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, over night is best.

During the first day or two your honey will be thick, but as time goes on it will thin out. You can take by the tablespoon full, directly out of the jar or add it to a cup of tea.  GOOD STUFF and the lemon will provide you with Vitamin C, the ginger will help with any nausea that you may have.

SPICY:

Fill your honey jar approximately 3/4 full and add 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper (dried) to it. The cayenne will provide you with capsaicin, which is a natural pain reliever. Add this to a cup of homemade cocoa (Not instant cocoa…the honey would make it WAY too sweet) and have yourself a little Mexican Hot Chocolate to help soothe those aches and pains! OLE!

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Swap out your lemons for oranges or grapefruit.

Add a sprig of rosemary to your lemon or orange honey for improved circulation, additional iron, Vitamin B6, and calcium. It will also help with muscle pain. You can use fresh or dried.

Mint Leaves (fresh) will help with digestion and will help soothe the effects of IBS and clear skin issues such as eczema and acne.

The longer you let them sit, the stronger they will be. The honey will help preserve the fruit to prevent it from spoiling. You will be able to hold on to these for several weeks in the refrigerator. However, if you are like me, you will find various reasons to use them…reasons like “OH! That one tastes good, let’s have a scoop!”

So there you have it…a couple of the nifty things I learned through the last week. I also learned how to make my own Vapo-Rub and I will post the instructions soon. For now, however, I must get some sleep because 90 minutes have come and gone and the little monster shows no signs of waking up any time soon! YAY!!

 

Laundry Detergent ($1.00 for 3 months supply) July 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 6:44 pm

threefunnyvoices

Like I have said before, I am always looking for a way to save a buck. I used to HATE going to the store to buy laundry soap. The stuff is out of control in the price department and half the time it doesn’t get out the crud my child grinds into his clothing.  It USED to drive me nuts… until I discovered the easiest, cheapest alternative EVER!!

All you need is:

Fels-Naptha Soap (one bar)

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A Large Sauce Pan

A Cheese Grater or Food Processor

Your Old Laundry Detergent Jug (If you don’t have it, any old gallon jug will work. Just make sure you can seal it well and have a way to measure out the detergent)

A Wooden Spoon (a sturdy one!)

A large mixing bowl

A Hand blender (if you don’t have one, your trusty wooden spoon and a nice set of arm muscles will work…

View original post 494 more words

 

Ice Cream Dough July 24, 2013

As previously mentioned in other posts, it is hotter than hot here. Maybe it is because we are freshly relocated and this is our first summer below the Mason Dixon…but I personally think it’s just HOT.  It’s so bad that the other day I asked my little one to come outside with me and he ran excitedly to the door, stopped short of crossing the threshold and then he said “Mama…it’s too hot! I’m going to color!”. This is coming from the child who lives to be outside.  Unfortunately part of the conditions for living in the complex we live in is no swimming pools or hoses. This is not cool…literally or figuratively.

Now I am faced with finding things to keep him occupied inside…and have a limited budget for new products at the moment. Can you say “challenging”?  I set to scouring Pinterest for new ideas and I found this one .

How could it possibly be as cool as it seems? Well, trust me when I say that it is! We are just cleaning up from 90 minutes of hardcore playtime.

Since I have this need to eyeball most measurements when it comes to things like this, I know I didn’t make it exactly right but we came darn close. And the best part is that it cost me less than a $1.

We dumped approximately 1 ½ cups of cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Then I took all the conditioner samples I have laying around the house. I figured out which ones would smell similar and took to squeezing 9 little packages into the cornstarch. I started to mix it and instead of coming together as a dough, it was mealy. I added  water about a teaspoon at a time until it started to come together as a dough. Once it got to the consistency I liked, I divided it into three equal(ish) balls and placed them in their own little containers.  Then I added about half a pack each of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Flavor Packets. They worked GREAT! Added a nice color and even made the dough smell like something other than conditioner.

We gathered all of the little plastic ice cream cones we have for the boys kitchen set, various dishes and “Toppings”. After the spread was all set up we went to town. It was a great way to pass the time without any kind of screen in front of us and he thought I was actually letting him play in ice cream. Crazy kid….

~C

 

PS….sorry that the photos are all of smooshed ice cream. It really does ball up nice and look like ice cream but someone in these photos couldn’t let them stay looking pretty. He needed to smash them all. Boys…

 

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Ice cream dough 1

 

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Why is the male species so wimpy when they are sick? June 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 10:44 pm
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It’s no secret that we have been sick in this house as of late. In the last month there has been a shingles outbreak, an encounter with poison ivy, an ear infection and now my son is on his third bout of chicken pox. Yes, that’s right….his THIRD bout. I am less than excited about this for many reasons. I do not appreciate that my child has to go through all of this yet again, but I have to say that he is a trooper. He doesn’t scratch a lot and while he has his whiny moments, overall, he is in good spirits and super duper lovey. (It makes me sad that he has to be sick to give me my snuggle fill, but I will take it where I can get it)

This got me to thinking….when is it that men become such huge babies when they are sick? I mean, seriously? We all have that one (probably more) man in our lives who is so incredibly pathetic about having to deal with an illness. The first one I can recall in my life was my father. HUGE BABY! He would lay on the couch and groan and pout. I learned early on that it was ridiculous.

Later, I got married and that man took it to a whole new level. He used to ask me to sit and rub his head until he fell asleep. He would cry…yes…cry…because his nose was stuffed up. We went to the ER one night because of a UTI, which while painful is manageable, especially when we went to the ER at midnight and his Dr.’s office opened at 8am.

We also had a cat who (because “it would suck if someone chopped off MY manhood”…wise words of the ex-husband) got very territorial one night. I had friends that came over and they brought their new baby. I was holding the baby and I could see the fire in the cat’s eyes. I asked my husband to pick him up and chill him out. So, instead of moving slowly, he swooped in to pick him up and the cat went INSANE and bit and scratched the ever living crap out of hubster’s arm. I clearly remember seeing the cat hanging from his wrist, using only it’s teeth. After the insanity had stopped and I had a chance to tend to my husband’s arm, I got him cleaned up and cleaned the wounds. We wrapped it and kept a close eye on it. (Please do not think I am making light of the situation. It was scary and had the husband cried, I would have totally understood…but he took it like a man and I was impressed)

Life was good until one day he was listening to the radio and Sweaty Teddy started belting out his biggest hit…”Cat Scratch Fever”. After that, it was on. For YEARS the ex swore that he had Cat Scratch Fever because of the run in with the cat and if he thought about it too long he would start with fake symptoms.

Then, one day, he got chicken pox (Apparently caring for those with the pox is my calling in life) and OH MY GOD!!! Just shoot me! He whined and cried and whimpered about every little thing. At the time, we had no TV in our bedroom and he found this to be unacceptable so one night during his epic pox battle, he sniffled and pouted about not being able to see tv in bed. It was insanely late at night…like 2 or 3am…and I asked him what he wanted me to do about (HUGE! MISTAKE!!). His response was “Well, will you move the bed into the family room?”

MOVE THE BED!!! MOVE! THE! BED!!!!

I don’t know what is more ridiculous…the fact that he had the balls to ask me to do it or the fact that I DID IT!

Fast forward 10 years, 1 divorce and a rekindling of a romance with my high school sweetheart.

He had a chronic illness that made him feel like he had the flue 24/7. He took it in stride and I was impressed. I thought that maybe, just maybe I had found a man…a real man…the kind that doesn’t cry because of a paper cut. Then, allergy season hit. Lord have mercy! You would think he was John Travolta in the Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

I get it. Allergies suck….chicken pox are evil…UTI’s are hellish and Cat Scratch Fever?? Well, there are just no words. But ya know what…women (for the most part) don’t become ridiculous piles of gelatinous self pity. So, I ask you…when do men go from being Super Duper Party Troopers when they are sick to being previously mentioned blobs of whine?

I think I know the answer. I think that every man starts out as a tough guy. I think that they all learn, throughout childhood, that they can handle most any illness that comes their way. Life is good and while they still want a mom hug and some of her sickness expertise, they do not cling like day old boogers on the wall.

Years pass and suddenly they meet “that” girl. The one that is bound to be their first long term relationship. The one who accepts their oddities and even embraces them. The one that makes their world a much better place…THE ONE THAT CODDLES THEM WHEN THEY ARE SICK! Most of us women have been there. We are nurturers. The majority of us show our love by caring for others in some fashion and when we are teenagers, we seize the day and throw all of our tendencies at our man when he is sick.

THIS, ladies, is when it happens. They realize that their illness evokes pity from their lady and once they realize how good they have it with that first one, they expect the rest of us to do it…every. single. time!

So, can we change the evolution of womankind? Probably not…so here is my hope. I hope that one day, after I am no longer cool enough, that my son finds that perfect woman. I hope that she is everything he ever wanted…and I hope that when he is sick, she tells him to suck it up and make his own damn soup! This is the girl that I will approve of him marrying!

 

 

Siblings March 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 9:08 am
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Today they fought over snow. Snow! Freaking Snow! It just snowed three inches by the way. 22 months apart, CK1 and CK2 have mastered their sibling rivalry. 14months and just over 3 you wouldn’t think could start this early. She can’t talk, but boy can she scream bloody murder. Such a diva at 14 months she gives her brother a run for his money.

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I know what that’s all about. I have four siblings to compete with. Sandwiched between the middle and the baby I think I was loud to not get lost in the shuffle. When you have brothers and sisters it’s all about ganging up on the weaker ones and pushing buttons you know that irk them. My lovely siblings made up a song about me talking to much, they made up a song to sing if I would start crying, and they even found a way to pick on me about my birthday. (I was a Christmas Eve baby and the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas came out when I was seven). But when it was time to turn on another sibling you better believe I was up right there with them making fun of the unlucky one.

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Siblings. You love them. You hate them. They say all the wrong things. They say all the right things. We now range from 35 to 25 and when we get together we are a force to be reckoned with. Arguing. Name calling. Screaming.  And that’s just when we try to get together for a “friendly” game of Monopoly.

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I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Because if all else fails your siblings are there for you, even from an early age. I’ve seen the three year old fight tooth and nail anyone who he thinks is messing with his little sister. And she herself is happiest when she is around her big bro.

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Siblings. Try as hard as you want, you are literally stuck with them for life.

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It started out so simple… March 25, 2013

And it became a HUGE mess!

While my boy and I were out at Kids Fest this weekend, we stumbled upon an activity center that had gallon bags full of shaving cream and food coloring. The kid LOVED it and it was simple enough that I knew I could replicate it at home, which is exactly what we did this morning.

It started out simple enough. Gather a few gallon zip seal bags, a can of shaving cream and some food coloring.

I let the kiddos spray the shaving cream into the bags and choose the colors they wanted to use. (Shockingly, they both wanted to use the same colors. Now, had I suggested this, it would have been the beginnings of WWIII, but since they did it on their own, it was the best idea they had all morning!)

After sealing the bags, they set to squishing…

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…and pounding…

and adding more colors.

Then they realized that we could OPEN the bags and play with the stuff inside which meant I better act fast. I stripped them down to their skivvies and plopped them in the tub. Lord above did they have fun. From this point on, it all got a little fuzzy. There was slipping and sliding, giggles, splatters of shaving cream flying and LOVELY artwork being created right before my very eyes. When all was said and done, we ended with this scene…..

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If you ask the kids, it is the best thing they have done EVER and they would like to do it when we get together again tomorrow. MOM on the other hand thinks that this much excitement should be experienced once every few months!

 

~C

 

 
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