Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stationery card

Our Moments Christmas Card
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

12 Before 2012


I love this idea.  Here's my list:

1. Spend more QUALITY time with my girls (5m an hour plus quality days)
2. Have one family day a month.
3. Have one date night a month.

1. Redo photo frames (haven't done this since Em was born over 2 years ago!)
2. Find a permanent place in this house for Fia's "room" and put it together!
3. Arrange the play room so it's a good space for the girls and for guests.

1. Get GJB to 1000 fans.
2. Enroll in MA class for January. (Does this count as business or self?)
3. Sell 12 more tutus!  (Just over a tutu a week!)

1. De-stress by doing at least one make-ahead dinner a week (crock pot or casserole).
2. Take my mommy-only time to do mommy-only things instead of running errands!
3. Try to focus on 1-2 things at a time instead of partly doing hundreds of things at once.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Cloud Confession

A friend of mine on Facebook just linked this blog post about dealing with postpartum depression: Postpartum Rage.  After reading it, I decided I have a story to share too... except it feels more like a confession.  We'll get to that later.

When I first found out that my friend had been dealing with postpartum depression, my reaction was, "Oh, that's too bad."  Sophia was three months old and amazing; she was happy or sleeping.  Emma, at 21 months, was a bit more challenging, but we were having fun.  Friends and acquaintances had marveled at how together my life was and how well I was managing the transition to being a mother of two.

And then I started taking birth control pills.  Almost immediately my outlook on life changed.  Five days after starting the progesterone-only pills, I was a wreck.  I couldn't handle my children, I couldn't speak up for myself, and I was angry and sad and - depressed.  Just like that.  In five days I went from "Life is perfect!" to "I may as well kill myself."  Honestly.

At one point I locked myself in the bathroom with the lights out, ran a bath, and put my head underwater, chanting "no, no, no."  I couldn't handle life at all.  Every little thing set me off.  Luckily, Matt & I made the connection with the birth control and I went off it (after discussing with my midwife, who said that, yes, the pills could have started this).  Within a week I was feeling better.  I no longer wanted to kill myself.  Within two weeks life was wonderful again.  I was fine.

Except I wasn't.  Everything came back full force soon.  Full force and more.  I dipped into a depression again.  It was scary and a lot like the depression I'd experienced as a teenager.  That was a dark cloud that sometimes turned black.  That was cutting myself and trying to figure out how to kill myself and hiding in my room and pretending life was ok while at school and with friends and family.  This time, I had some of those same feelings.  I hid at home with my girls for a week or two, using naptime as an excuse to stay home.  As I walked past my kitchen knives, I remembered that cutting was a great way to make the inward pain have an outward expression.  I even picked up a knife and held it to my wrist for a bit.  I thought regularly about the razor blades in the basement.  I looked for a way out of the dark cloud - could I kill myself? (No, the girls wouldn't have a mom...) Could I kill them?  (Never - although it's scary that it even crossed my mind.) Could I run away and leave Matt? (How would that fix things - I'd have to bring the girls with me, and they were the problem...)  Could I leave the girls? (No - Fia's nursing and needs me.)

So I started talking with Matt about it, seeing my therapist twice a month, contemplating taking meds...

But the thing is, I wasn't being honest with everyone.  Yes, there was the black cloud of depression, but I could (mostly) hold that at bay.  The scary part, the part I still don't want to tell anyone, is the red cloud of rage.  Postpartum rage.  Red stabbing rage, uncontrollable, sneaking into my life.  I could no longer contain my impulses.  I yelled at Emma.  Correction, I stood towering over her, pointing my finger down at her while she cried in her bed, yelling for her to "SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!" I channeled my father in his worst alcohol-and-depression-fueled rage.  I worked hard not to hit, because I didn't want to be someone who hits (spanks) her children.  So I held tight.  Squeezed so hard Emma would cry.  Wondered later if the bruises on her body were from being a little girl or from me.  Maybe they were from me.  And then I would cry and apologize and try to be better.  Once I bit her.  Ohmygod, I bit her.  I cannot believe it.  And I pulled her hair another time.  So juvenile, but my primal impulses reigned.

The thing is, no one knows about this.  About me in particular, but about postpartum rage in general.  Moms will NEVER admit that they are hurting their children.  We love our children, and we want them in our lives.  Admitting this - what I've just said up there - is so scary because what if someone reads this, reports me, and takes the girls away from me??? There are moments in the day when it would be better if someone else were taking care of them, but they are fleeting.  They don't even add up to an hour.  And I'm with them 24 hours a day.

These days, my life is getting better.  I'm working out five days a week - at least - and the endorphins are just as good (if not better) than any prescription.  I'm still seeing my therapist.  I'm honest with her, with Matt, and with my family and friends.  But I've come to realize that PPD and PPD rage need to be discussed more openly.  We need to get rid of the stigma, so that women will know that postpartum depression is possible, that it can present months after having the baby, and that there are others dealing with the same thing.  Probably more of us than you know.  And it's probably worse than they let on.

Next time, I'm seriously looking into ingesting my placenta.  (Serious ick factor, I know... but it's supposed to help with PPD.)  I don't know that I could actually swallow it - whether in a smoothie, cooked, or a pill.  But if it could prevent me from feeling this way.... maybe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CSA - Week 2

Hmm. Still no pictures.  Some day, I promise!

This week's box included:
1 bunch kale
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch rainbow chard
1 bag salad mix
1 bunch bibb lettuce
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch salad turnips
1 bunch dill (which I switched out for more kale - who'd have thought I'd be doing that???)
1 bunch garlic whistles
1 pint (?) peas

We also picked up the following from the Bank Street Farmer's Market, where we pick up our box:
1 basket carrots
1 basket tomatoes
1 basket peas
1 bunch cilantro
3 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 loaf bread

And at Harding's we found fresh Otto's Chicken (you can buy it at the farmer's market frozen).

We still had the following left in the fridge:
Salad mix
Pac choi

We looked for local bbq sauce, but didn't find any.

So anyway, I can't remember this week as well, but here's a rough outline:

Saturday - Father's Day w/ the Davis family
Grilled Otto's Chicken thighs w/ yummy glaze
Salad w/ radishes, turnips, peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, & cheese (and maybe some parsnips?)
Homemade Chocolate Cake w/ homemade vanilla rum custard and strawberries
(Yummy corn & bean salad provided by Ashley).

Sunday was our anniversary, plus father's day.  We had eggs for breakfast (w/ kale, garlic whistles, cheddar & ham) and then went out to dinner for our anniversary.  We tried to go to Food Dance, but they close early on Sundays.  :(

Monday we had salads w/ peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cheese, etc.  (more eggs for breakfast)
Tuesday we had spicy chard & potstickers (CSA recipe) & more eggs for breakfast
Wednesday (tonight) the plan is steak on the grill w/ creamed kale & radish salad (more eggs for breakfast - today I did them w/ feta instead of cheddar)
Thursday we have friends in town, so we'll be going out.
Friday we have lots of options - shells & cheese w/ greens; steak & veggie stir fry; pasta w/ peas, asparagus, lettuce & ham; chard quesodillas w/ homemade salsa & chips.

I'm planning on cutting up and freezing some stir fry bags this week, and maybe making more pesto w/ the garlic whistles, because that was delicious last week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CSA - Week 1

I'm so geeked about our CSA that I wanted to do a food diary.  And what better place to do a food diary than on my blog that I never use, right?  ;)

So our CSA (community supported agriculture) is through Green Gardens in Battle Creek.  I chose them because they posted on the EatLocalSWMI yahoo group.  That simple.  Luckily, they're a great farm (certified naturally grown, which is just like organic w/o the organic label) and a great couple of people.  They're wonderful, young (my age!) and obviously in love and loving what they do.  Happy food from happy people to make people happy.

Each week we pick up our box at the Bank Street Farmer's Market.  Trent sends us an email beforehand that outlines what we should expect and gives us a link to their website, where they have posted recipes.  An online cookbook with my food - wonderful!

This week our box contained:
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch curly kale
1 bunch pac (bok) choi
1 bunch salad turnips
1 bunch radishes
1 bag salad greens
1 bunch garlic whistles (scape)
1 small bag snap peas
1 bunch cilantro

Doesn't that sound great?  Some day, maybe, I'll take pictures so you can drool over it all.  I wanted to this week, but we started cooking as soon as we got home.  Here's what we had:

Day 1 (Saturday):
Breakfast - Farmer's Market eggs scrambled w/ CSA kale & garlic whistles (sauteed in butter)
Lunch - Large salads w/ CSA greens, salad turnips, radishes, snap peas, Farmer's Market carrots, and meat (I think we had left-over steak)
Dinner - Stuffed peppers w/ Farmer's Market ground beef and garlic whistles

I grabbed my dehydrator which had been living in my in-laws' basement and dehydrated the cilantro since I had no plans for Mexican food this week.  It smells and looks gorgeous, though.

Day 2 (Sunday):
Breakfast - Farmer's Market egg omelette w/ CSA kale & garlic whistles (sauteed in butter) & local bread
Lunch - Large salads w/ CSA greens, salad turnips, radishes, snap peas, Farmer's Market carrots, and meat (either steak or pork tenderloin) & local bread
Dinner - Left-overs (I had a stuffed pepper)
Dessert - Plainwell ice cream & Thin Mints... yum!

Day 3 (Monday):

Breakfast - Farmer's Market egg omelette w/ CSA kale & garlic whistles (sauteed in butter) & local bread
Lunch - Large salads w/ CSA greens, salad turnips, radishes, snap peas, Farmer's Market carrots, and meat (either steak or pork tenderloin) & local bread
Dinner - My mom's lasagna w/ kale & garlic whistles, plus collard greens instead of noodles

I also ended up making veggie stock w/ left-over veggie pieces.  I just keep a gallon freezer bag in the freezer and add any odds & ends from cooking (onion pieces; carrot, turnip, radish tops; ends of asparagus, celery - anything I'd normally throw away).  Then I dump it all in a stock pot w/ 12 cups of water and some herbs and let it simmer for 2 hours.  Then I strain it w/ a cheese cloth (yes, I have cheese cloth in the house) and freeze it in 1-c containers. 

Day 4 (Tuesday):
Breakfast - Well, nothing local here.  Matt made apple & banana pancakes... but only because we only had 3 eggs and 1 garlic whistle left.  :(
Lunch - Large salads w/ CSA greens, salad turnips, radishes, snap peas, Farmer's Market carrots, and meat (pork tenderloin) & local bread
Dinner - Stir Fry w/ Farmers Market chicken (Otto's), carrots, and parsnips, & CSA kale, pac choi, peas, garlic whistle, and other veggies.
Dessert - Strawberry shortcake w/ Farmers Market strawberries

Today I also bought a TON more garlic whistles and strawberries at the Farmers Market.  The herb lady told me how to freeze dry the garlic whistles at home: cut them up, put them in a paper bag, put bag in freezer.  Shake every time I get into freezer.  Store in airtight container.  Reconstitute as needed.  So I did that today, plus we froze more strawberries AND I tried my hand at strawberry fruit leather using the dehydrator.  It's yummy, but we only have one fruit leather tray, and it takes so many strawberries... I'm not sure I'll be doing that again until the girls start asking for Fruit Roll-Ups in their lunches.  ;)

Tomorrow I'll stop by the Richland Farmers Market to buy more chicken, beef, and maybe pork.  Definitely need eggs and bread.  Hopefully our Meijer bill will drop, right? ;)  I need to sort through and organize our deep freezer, because it's been completely overrun by new stuff and there's no way to tell what's in there.  That's my job between the LLL meeting in the morning and Sophia's doctor appointment in the afternoon... right... ;)