Bathroom Battles

Since we've been married, Derek and I have blissfully shared a one-sink bathroom. No kidding, our first apartment had two bathrooms, but we just easily shared the one attached to the master bedroom. Our starter house had one bathroom until the last 2 months we lived there. (You can check out that complete home reno here).

I can't remember a single fight. We coordinated bathroom breaks, morning routines, and the additional of a child without the slightest hiccup.

Then we moved to a house with a posh bathroom. No kidding ya'll, it's part of a master suite. Nice soaker tub, steam shower, separate toilet, and TWO SINKS. Derek's sink is even manly because it's taller (I don't get it either). I have a makeup vanity with stool! Can you believe it?

And what happened? We started having fights. What about? Toothpaste. Turns out that since we are spaced out so far from each other, there is no nice neutral place to store and share the same tube of toothpaste. We tried stashing the paste in the vanity drawer, but inevitably, someone would forget to return it and leave the tube next to their sink. So started the snarky comments... bitter banter... grouchy outbursts...

We now own two tubes of toothpaste for one bathroom. I call that luxury. Or marriage. You choose.

Talk about relevant

There's a new article in TIME, published February 12, about pregnancy depression: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1962031,00.html

Some things to worry about - Will my kid exhibit violent behavior? - but also confirmation that medically acting on the depression was the right decision.

I still have a sense of humor

Thank you all who commented on my last post. I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement.

I guess the private side of me is like: Phew, that's out there. Let's talk about how cute Van is! Seriously, he told me to "break it down" this morning. I, of course, promptly got my DJ Lance Rock on.

I'd like to thank my husband who, other than God, is my source of strength. You see, I rarely even talk about those pains to him. He was glad to see me put in in writing. I know we will get through it.

That said, I have to mention that I haven't lost my sense of humor. For example, we have a running joke in the house that Zoloft will fix anything.

Food too salty? Zoloft.
Car won't start? Zoloft.

Weather too snowy? Zoloft.


It's cryptic, I know, but it makes me laugh. That's what I love about my family - despite everything, we find a way to laugh.

Break it down.

Pregnancy Depression

Believe it or not, I'm a private person. I tweet, facebook, and blog, but each post is carefully evaluated to make sure I don't "reveal too much." It comes down to this: I just don't like talking about my problems. If I put it out there, people will ask questions. Then I might show emotion, and that could get too intense.

I'm a sensitive person. Once I open the floodgate, it is hard to stop. That's why for most of my adult life I've struggled with anxiety issues. It peaked in college, and reared it's ugly head several times in my work and married life. But through it all, I was able to acknowledge the feelings and work through it.

Then I had a miscarriage.

Derek and I were trying for baby #2 and after 8 months I was pregnant. With Van, our reaction was pure shock. This time, it was pure joy. I was so excited.

After 8 weeks, in the middle of a business meeting, I started bleeding. So bad, I had to go to the emergency room. I knew. Despite all the medical advances, if you have a miscarriage, or what they call a "threatened miscarriage," there is nothing to do but wait. And get lots of blood tests.

The body is really an amazing thing. Most natural miscarriages are your body's way of telling you something was wrong. Mentally, you can understand. Emotionally and physically, it is a really horrible process. There is nothing worse than knowing you are losing a life – and then you get to sit in a OB/GYN waiting room full of pregnant people while you wait to get follow-up tests. And more tests.

Low hormones.

It's hard to cope with loss. Maybe I don't have much experience with it. My grandfather passed away last year. The experiences closed me up – I didn't want to try again until I had at least six months to grieve. I begged my husband to take me on a vacation, we went to St. Louis. My heart was heavy, but our family had a lot to look forward to.

Shock, I'm pregnant. Eight weeks after the miscarriage. Too soon. More tests. Low hormones. Drugs. They make me so sick. There is no joy.

Here's where the story gets even more difficult for me, because it involves a decision that could be controversial to some readers. But, several months into the pregnancy it becomes very clear that I'm in a deep depression. I can't take care of my family. I cry. I wake up in the middle of the night to cry. I cry during the day. I cry when my family is home. I just want to sleep, then work, that's all.

Sure, Brooke Shields publishes a book about postpartum depression, but what about pregnancy depression? Is it even possible? Shouldn't you be joyful? Guilt.

Actually, pregnancy depression is very common when someone has just experienced a miscarriage. Exacerbated by artificial pregnancy hormones. Intensified with a family and personal history of mental illness. It isn't pretty.

For the first time, I have to pursue true medical intervention. My OB puts me on Zoloft. I don't like it, especially when pregnant, but things look very dark without it.

It helps. Slowly, I regain some control of my life and feelings. I can cook dinner, watch after Van. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm better, not cured. Yesterday was my first due date. My dear friend had a baby. What an occasion to celebrate life!

Just a little sadness.

I do have a lot to look forward to. I'm excited about baby #2 (I guess, #3). I just need a cleansing of this experience. Perhaps this post will help... public acknowledgment of a difficult time... "talking" about my feelings... we'll see...

This post was inspired by the courage of my blog-friend who talks very openly about her postpartum depression. I can relate.

Jumping Jelly Bean

Jelly Bean - that's the nickname I gave my delightfully plump infant when he could cuddle up and snuggle in my arms. And I still call him that, shortened to just "Jelly." I rarely think about it, but the other day I was calling after Van going "Jelly!" and my nephew Chayton looked and me and said "Jelly?" Perhaps it is time to consider retiring the nickname... but I love it so.

Little did I know that when I nicknamed him Jelly Bean that his favorite activity would be jumping. If jumping is involved, Van is part of it. Jumping into water, off beds, in his bed, on the couch, off the couch, off platforms, off curbs, over cracks in the road, over rocks, around rocks, off things and over people and animals – jumping is his life calling.

And what else have I discovered? People that love jumping love the Olympics. Check out this post on Van's love of diving, gymnastics and swimming from the Summer Games. And last night, we turned on the Winter Olympics. The sport? Men's moguls. Van was in love after just 10 seconds of watching. Watch this clip above if you are unfamiliar with the sport, as it involves crazy jumping ON SKIS! Van immediately began recreating the jumps off the coach.

I wonder if a move to Aspen is in our future? I could use a vacation.

Tiny, tiny baby clothes

Yesterday I decided I was going to undertake the task of washing all the newborn and 0-3 month baby clothes. I thought all I needed was a new bottle of Dreft, but I should have also bought Kleenex, because it was a trip down memory lane.

You forget how little they were, especially when you live in the now, which consists of chasing after a bouncing almost three year old. Nursing, rocking, swaddling... each piece of clothing had a memory attached to it – ones I didn't realize I had almost forgotten.

As I lovingly folded each piece of clothing, I though about how I will experience new memories with Baby #2. What will he look like? What will be his personality?

Derek's take, "I forgot how much of a pain in the butt folding baby laundry is."

Nice.

Mom Guilt



This morning we woke up to yet another snow storm. We flipped on the news and they were already reporting accidents and low visibility. The next question: What do we do with Van?

I usually have little to no guilt sending Van to daycare. I provide for my family and he gets a great place to socialize and learn. It's a win, win. But, when it comes to his safety - I get all worked up.

What if they got in an accident? How long could his little body tolerate the cold? What if he got stuck at daycare? What if they lost power? What if, what if, what if...

So I made the executive decision that he'd stay with me for the day. I mean, that's one of the benefits of telecommuting, right?

There I was, balancing my mommy role with my all-together businesswoman persona – let's just say the two parts of my self don't jive well. It didn't take long for me to become a ball of stress. Van wants to play Spiderman, work needs me to review this task list; Van is watching too much TV, I need to call into a team meeting; Van needs to be put down for a nap, work needs a screencast. Argh!

But, when I was putting Van down for his nap - he reached up and brushed the hairs out of his frazzled momma's face and kissed me on the forehead. The moment made me think about the now - which half gets the best part of me?

I wouldn't say that today was my most productive day on the record book, even with working this evening, I still didn't put in a full eight hours. But that's okay - it's about balance, right?

Cravings

If you've watched Ratatouille 100+ times like the Adcox family, you'd know that the main character, Remy, has a highly astute sense of taste and smell. The affliction results in a lifelong devotion to quality foods.

I can relate.

I'm the person who people request that I taste their food to identify that interesting flavor – lemon zest, turmeric, champagne vinegar...

My keen sense of taste and smell has resulted in some mammoth pregnancy cravings. Here's just a slice of them for the record.

Van

  • Chocolate Hostess cupcakes* see Van's first birthday cake
  • Dumpling soup from He Rui
  • Guacamole
  • Taco Bueno salsa and cruchy tacos
  • Strawberry Fanta* - I knew all the places it was on tap around the neighborhood.
Baby #2
  • Twizzlers*
  • Peanut Butter
  • Meat - steaks, chicken, and more
  • Yakimono hibachi
  • Cheese fries*
  • Milk
  • And now, Blue Bell Southern Blackberry Cobbler ice cream. Its praise is the real reason that I even drafted this blog post. Have you ever had it? It is amazing – creamy and fruity with delightful chunks of pie crust.
*liked, but not particularly loved, before pregnancy

Parenting Advice #FAIL

"Gossip makes your praise five times more effective." -Harvey Karp, M.D., The Happiest Toddler on the Block

As one who aims not to disappoint my readers, I picked up my first toddler parenting book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, this weekend. Why? Because the only parenting book I've read so far was the Happiest Baby on the Block.

My editor at Oklahoma Today, Louisa, recommended Happiest Baby, and what she says, goes. I read it immediately. Then I practiced swaddling on my cat, Buddy. The funny thing is that he let me. I may need to practice again before #2 comes.

Happiest Toddler recommends a technique called "gossip." Basically, you tell other people what good things your kid has done, in a place where he can hear you as well, as a way to reinforce good behavior. The book recommends that you use the child's toys.

So this is me yesterday morning:

B: Mr. Dinosaur, Van went pee pee on the potty this morning. He's getting so good at it.
V: Mom, the dinosaur doesn't talk.
Me realizing that my attempt at gossip was about to fail, tried to recover.
B: Maggie, did you hear that Van went pee pee on the potty this morning?
V: Mom, Maggie is a DOG.

*sigh* I'm trying folks! I don't know where Van picked up being a smart Alec? (For those who don't know me personally, that was sarcasm, or generally being a smart Alec.)

Sympathy Pains

Yesterday, I just had to take a break from the Play-Doh, Nerf guns, puzzles, and indoor soccer playing. After all, we had been entertaining a two year old INSIDE for four days. Mommy needed to rest.

Later, Van stopped playing and said "I don't feel well." He then proceeded to get a pillow and blanket and lay on the couch exactly where I had been. Then, he said he had to rest because "his tummy hurt." In short, he was experiencing pregnancy sympathy pains.

He even continued the charade with Derek when he read him his nighttime story. So cute!

Now, I wonder if Derek will try the same thing?


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