Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pottying, now with more pretty

Much to my chagrin, W is not yet truly interested in potty training. He asks to go every once in a while, but it's mostly so he gets a chance to throw toilet paper in, flush, and play in the water for extended periods of time wash his hands. Very rarely does "going potty" actually result in him, well, going potty.

The other night was the exception, though. Not only did he climb up on the pot and pee all by himself (I was looking for the step stool at the time), but he also managed to not pee on himself or the floor! Progress!

That's not the real story here, though. When he was done, he pulled off his standard three yards of toilet paper, flushed, and slammed the toilet lid like normal. Then it got weird. He walked over to my make-up drawer, pulled out face powder, and INSISTED that he be allowed to put some on before he would wash his hands or leave the bathroom. Because it amused me I know which battles to pick with my older son, I handed him a make-up brush and let him powder his nose (or, more accurately, his forehead and his bangs).

I created a monster, though. It's now become a thing. He has to use my make-up after going to the bathroom and before washing his hands. I don't get it. At all.

I tell B stories like this and he just shakes his head, ruing his son's masculinity. I personally find his "girly" tendencies (carrying a purse around, loving pink, getting dolled up after toileting, etc.) completely normal and really cute. They also give me great blog fodder, build up my arsenal of embarrassing stories for use in his teenage years, and make for great photo ops. I'm actually half tempted to hand W my blush or bronzer during one of his post-pee pretty sessions just for the picture that will result. Does that make me an evil mother?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last chance

Just a reminder that the Summer Block Party AboutOne giveaway ends tomorrow at 11:59 PM Eastern. Check it out and get your last-minute entries in!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

*Headdesk*

Does it seem to anyone else that my life is just one series of unfortunate events and circumstances after another? Yeah, it does to me, too. I swear to you that I keep trying to come up with fun, happy, or otherwise less-Eeyore-esque posts...and then I sit down to write and the whiny, blah crap is what comes out of my fingers.

To spare you all, I'm just going to quickly list the shit from today:  W's OT left a voice mail saying she's "resigned" and that she'll be in the office tomorrow and Wednesday, and that's it; I'm super close to getting in trouble at work because of the time off I've needed lately (I believe I told B on the phone today that I'm a "ball hair - width, not length - away" from getting in trouble) (this is also for the boys' illnesses and appointments and my procedure last week, BTW, not random vacation time); a made a couple of mistakes during our trial today because it was so effing bored that my attention waned; I think my boss is just generally pissed at me right now; the trial went late so I had to miss a friend's benefit thing tonight; W missed half of his playgroup because I was stuck at work late and the adults were being assy tonight; we got some unfortunate financial news today; R is sick - STILL - with pink eye and a fever, which prevents him from going to daycare; B's boss isn't happy he stayed home with the sick baby today, so he has to work Saturday to catch up; I have to cancel my counseling appointment on Saturday because we don't have anyone to watch the boys and I refuse to take them with me to counseling (though maybe it would give her a better idea of why I'm crazy...); I have to cancel every single appointment that the boys and I have scheduled in August because they're all during working hours and I don't have any time off (I think there are six total...and most of them are with specialists who will take a month or better to schedule another appointment); my lack of time off means that I'm not going to be able to take W to one last appointment with his OT on Wednesday; I had to schedule a meeting that I'm dreading to the point of becoming physically ill; and I've spent all day either on the verge of tears or actually crying over absolutely nothing.

If you made it through that wall of text, here are my good things from today:  I scheduled an exciting meeting for tomorrow; it's almost Friday; Project Runway starts back up tonight!; I didn't have to change any of R's antibiotic diapers today; I got to put R to bed tonight instead of W, which makes for a much easier bedtime; and we conned my mother-in-law into watching the boys tomorrow so when R wakes up with a fever for the fifth day in a row, B and I don't have to have a WWE-style smackdown in the living room to determine who has to stay home with them.

See, I'm not all gloom-and-doom around here all the time! Blogging is cutting into Project Runway time, though, so I'm cutting the rainbows and puppies off for tonight.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The pukey and the powerless

I was so looking forward to this weekend. The only thing we had planned was a birthday party on Saturday and some slip-n-sliding at the neighbors' sometime. The weekend had other plans, though.

At 4:00 on Friday afternoon, our power went out due to a nasty storm that blew through. No biggie, right? Well, it wouldn't have been if my dumbass darling husband hadn't invited the powerless and propane-less neighbors over for an impromptu cookout. On top of feeling like poo, I had to get dressed, be hospitable, and entertain people. Awesome. To his credit, B realized almost immediately that inviting the neighbors over was a poor choice and he spent the bulk of the evening apologizing to me behind their backs.

Once the neighbors left (at nine o'-freaking-clock!) I got W to bed, took my various drugs, and passed out, as there was nothing else to do except sit in the dark. Sleeping was rather pointless because there were loud, obnoxious trucks driving up and down the street all.night.long. I happened to be woken up by one of them right around 2:30. At the same time, I got a text from Michelle telling me that the power was back on. It was not. Apparently her street (the next one over from ours) and the other side of my street were restored, but we were not. Awesome.

Fast forward to about 9:00 Saturday morning. W starts throwing up. I have never seen anything as pitiful as a two-year-old giving me puppy dog eyes while saying "I cick" (I sick), "tummy cick" (tummy sick), and "I cuke" (I puke). The boy was hot, sick, and miserable. The electric company was telling me that the estimated restoration time was 6:00 PM on Saturday. Rather than making my sick kid suffer in the 90 degree heat and 3,000% humidity, I packed up the boys and headed to my mom's. I found out when we got to Grandma's that both she and my sister had been puking as well.

Quick aside. B and I have decided that R is a plague rat. Every major illness that has gone through our family (immediate and extended) in the past 15 months seems to start with him. He caused the Christmas 2010 stomach-virus-of-death (which started with him and spread not only to all of the extended family we came in contact with over Christmas, but also to pretty much everyone at daycare), the lose-10-pounds-in-a-day diarrhea virus a few months ago, and now the 24-hour-puke-twice-then-feel-better virus (R started the barfing Thursday morning and has passed it all around. I haven't gotten this one yet...let's hope I don't...).

Anyway, W threw up in the car on the way to my mom's, so I spent the first hour there trying to clean the barf out of my car and the car seat. Car seats have soooooo many crevices. It was gross. He was feeling much better by this morning, though, so there was no more car barf to clean up. For my part, I was glad to have some assistance with keeping the boys from climbing on and headbutting my uterine region. Since W was sick and we were out of town, we had to skip the birthday party Saturday afternoon, which upset me a bit because I didn't get to see my good friend who was in town for it.

You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned the power yet. It's because the electricity didn't come back on until 9:00 PM on Saturday. So we stayed overnight at Mom's. I thought today would be better, but it's been rough. R woke up with pink-eye. I came home to a sick husband. I also came home to a house that smelled like puke. I spent a good portion of my evening re-cleaning all the carpet and upholstery I cleaned Saturday morning. I have also been abusing Febreeze this evening. I'm so excited that we're getting my mother-in-law's carpet cleaner on Tuesday so I can deep clean everything. It needs it. Badly.

In sum, my nice, quiet weekend turned into a pukey, powerless weekend. I'm playing cleaning catch-up tonight, when all I really want to do is drug up and go to bed. Here's hoping I don't catch the nastiness everyone else had. And I hope your weekend was more peaceful than mine.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Summer Block Party giveaway is still going on. Jen has fielded a few questions about why the giveaway is only open to US residents, and she discovered that it's a shipping issue. I'm going to follow her lead and suggest that any international readers who know someone with a US shipping address go ahead and enter. AboutOne can be used by people residing outside of the US, so why not try to win a year's subscription? I'm also willing to ship the necklace I've donated outside of the US.

I also wanted to remind everyone that, even though you can only get entries for your comment about AboutOne and signing up for the free trial on one blog, you can do the bonus entries on each of the six participating blogs. So don't be afraid to leave comments here just because you've entered elsewhere!

What have you got to lose? Enter now!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ooooh, my innards

I had a minor medical procedure done this morning. Having nothing to do all day except be in charge of the couch and remote (as my prep nurse told me this morning) has given me plenty of time to contemplate the state of my innards. Verdict? They're sore. This is an effect I wasn't really expecting.

I can't say that I really hurt...I'm just achy. It feels like someone with very large feet gave me a Chuck-Norris-style kick to the babymaker. And the Tylenol 3 (in all of its codeine-filled glory) isn't doing much for me, likely because I just took my first dose an hour ago. Meh.

The codeine is apparently making me rambly and nearly incoherent, though, so I've got that going for me, I guess. I'm dreading the boys returning home because I know they're going to want to climb on me. That is going to be unpleasant.

Other than whining about my ouchy innards, I've spent the day napping off and on while watching a Gangland marathon (yes, the little white girl from Ohio kinda loves watching documentaries about gang bangers). I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Friday.

How has your weekend started out?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Social (media) ineptitude

Despite being a member of the under-30 set (for a bit longer at least), I just don't get social media. I used to have a MySpace account, but then that got lame and I never used it, so deleted it. Facebook I'm cool with. That doesn't mean I use it often, but I have an account, I know how it works, and I enjoy using it (which only started once I figured out how to get rid of all the effing Farmville and Mafia Wars crap).

My interest in and use of social media sites pretty much ends there.

Being the internet sheep that I am, however, I keep joining these sites people suggest to me. I have a Pinterest account and a Google+ account that are pretty much sitting idle (although I actually pinned my first picture the other day! Woohoo?). I refuse to join Twitter. I don't really get the appeal, and I'm not interesting enough for people to care about what I do every minute of the day. I haven't bothered to make a Facebook page for the blog (I apologize to the three of you upset by that). I don't even know what the hell Klout is (I just heard about it for the first time two days ago, and still can't quite figure out why I should care). StumbleUpon is another one I have no idea what to do with or how to work. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of other social sites I haven't mentioned because I don't even know exist.

A big part of my lack of social media-izing is a general lack of time in my life. When do people find the time to twitter (tweet? twit? See, I don't even know the lingo) all the stuff they do/find in a day? Or the time to look at the millions and millions of pretty things that they pin? Or share so much on Facebook? Honestly, keeping up with the ol' blog and reading the blogs in my reader is about all I can manage most days. I'm also a bit afraid of the time-suck potential these sites hold. I'm a master procrastinator, and having so many other procrastination options at my fingertips would be disastrous for me.

I don't know. I feel like I'm supposed to be all into social media stuff and liking it and caring about it. But I just don't. I can't be the only one, right?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Le sigh

It's been a rough week in my world. Lots of bad days, lots of realizations, lots of frustrations, lots of feeling utterly impotent. It's one of those weeks that makes me long to curl up on a friend's couch, split a bottle of wine, and spill my guts while crying my eyes out.

The further I get from my medically-forced vacation, the fewer good days I seem to have. I think it stems from feeling helpless to change a lot of my circumstances and feeling stuck - there's so much stuff I want to do, but I just can't do any of it right now.

Sorry for yet another pointless, whiny post. It's just kinda how I've been feeling lately - pointless, whiny, and empty. I owe you guys a baby update, and I'll get to it as soon as I get around to uploading some new pics.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rockin' the block

It's summertime in the blogosphere and most of us are running around enjoying the extra daylight and (hopefully) a vacation or two. This can be a pretty quiet time on the interwebs so we decided to let you guys know that we are blogging this summer by throwing a summer block party. Since parties are always more fun with gifts, we decided to have a giveaway with lots of prizes and lots of chances to enter. Six bloggers teamed up with each other and AboutOne (you can read my review about their service here) to bring you:


So pull up a lounge chair and join our block party!

THE PRIZES:

5 winners:  One-year subscription to AboutOne.

1 winner:  $25 Gift Card to Amazon.com compliments of AboutOne.

1 winner:  Awesome custom blog bling button from Plaid House Designs.

1 winner:  One dozen delicious cookies from Frank's Big Ones Bakery.

1 winner:  Adorable custom-embroidered birthday shirt from Little Star Shop.

1 winner:  Beautiful custom necklace from ME!

The giveaway runs from now until July 31. It is open to US residents only and you must provide a valid e-mail address in your comment. Each winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. If you win the cookies you must mail them to me (just kidding…kinda…).

HOW TO ENTER:

MANDATORY ENTRY
• Check out AboutOne's site and leave a comment telling me what feature looks the most interesting to you.

1 BONUS ENTRY
• Subscribe to my feed (over there on the right) and leave a comment letting me know you did.

1 BONUS ENTRY
• Leave a comment with the link to your absolute favorite blog.

2 BONUS ENTRIES
• Sign up for AboutOne's totally free trial and leave two comments (so both of your entries get counted) letting me know you did.

Now let's get this party started!!

There are TEN more ways to enter! Go to one of the other Summer Block Party Neighbor Blogs and find out how!

         

    

Disclosure: AboutOne compensated me with a free one-year membership for doing my review last week, but I received nothing else for my participation in the Summer Block Party. All opinions are completely my own.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Entertaining myself

I don't do boredom well. I'm the kind of girl who needs to do something - anything - that at least minimally engages my brain bit nearly all the time. For example, I can't just sit and watch TV; I need to read a book/talk on the phone/do back flips while I'm watching TV. I really can't concentrate if I'm just trying to watch a show.

Due to my boss' medically-induced absence, the volume of my work assignments has been a bit...lacking, to say the least. This makes for a long, long eight-hour day. But this is the second time I've gone through a serious downtime at this job, so I was prepared for this one before it started. Rather than sitting at my desk staring into space or picking my nose or what have you, I came up with a list of (mostly) work-friendly diversions. Some of them even work in real life, so I thought I'd share.

  • Books - Books are almost always my first line of boredom defense. It's a bit difficult to look like you're doing legitimate work when you have a paperback sitting open on your desk, though, which is where...

  • Kindle - ...The Kindle app comes in. I downloaded the Kindle app to my work computer so it looks like I'm doing real work on my computer while I read whatever crappy Christian romance novel I unwittingly downloaded because it was free and the book description didn't really clue me in on what it was really about.

  • Tanga - I just recently discovered Tanga, and I'm loving the puzzles they have. I'm a major crossword fan, but these puzzles have expanded my puzzling range. They're slightly more challenging than your average crossword, that's for sure. I have noticed that I'm getting better at solving them, though, so maybe they just take practice (reading the comments helps, too).

  • iGoogle - If you haven't set up an iGoogle page, you should. I have my Gmail account, my Google reader, CNN and New York Times headlines, the weather, and several assorted games all on one page that shows up as "Google." I'm probably not outsmarting the IT people with that one, but it makes me feel like I am.

  • Online shopping - This is one that can anger the IT gods, so you should use it sparingly. But sometimes I read a blog post about a deal that sounds too good to pass up, so I check it out. And then get sucked in to some major window shopping by whatever website I'm on. I try to do this right before lunch or the end of the day when I think it's natural for employees to be screwing around.

  • AboutOne - I told you the other day that I'm having a love affair with AboutOne, but that it's a bit time-consuming. When I have some time that needs to be consumed, I'll spend a few minutes adding some contacts or updating a family member's information.

  • Facebook - Oh, Facebook. The mother of all time-sucks. This is another one that has some potential to get you in trouble. Luckily (I guess), I can (kinda sorta) legitimately use Facebook in the course of doing some parts of my job. That's my excuse justification for being on there, and I'm sticking to it. 

  • Wandering the halls - This technique is a classic that dates back to my high school days. When all else fails, get up and wander around until you find someone you can bother chat with for a bit. If you take a couple flights of stairs, it totally counts as exercise, too.

So there you have it. My non-expert, non-exhaustive list of stuff to do when you're bored and need to look like you're being productive. Did I miss anything?

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Vampirical

    For this story to make any sense, I have to give a bit of background. My standard line at work for explaining my week-long absence that occurred a few weeks ago is that I was hospitalized because of a bad reaction to some medicine - which isn't entirely untrue. (And, to the person(s) who works at my organization and reads my blog from work, it would be super awesome if that stayed my standard line, ifyouknowwhatImean).

    There is one security guard at work who is super friendly and has been concerned about my health since I came back to work. On the way to my office this morning, this guard stopped me and made a comment about me finally getting some color back. I was confused. She continued talking, and I realized she was referring to me looking better since I'd gotten over my "reaction." It took everything in me not to laugh because I'm always the shade of pale that she thought was my sick look. The only coloring I've gotten recently is the mild sunburn I managed to pick up during all of our outdoor activities over the holiday weekend.

    Apparently, my naturally pasty coloring looks unhealthy and I need to work on keeping a year-round sunburn. Vampires are trendy right now, though, aren't they? Maybe I can just call myself a vampire. Then at least people will think I'm cool instead of sickly, won't they?

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    AboutOne review

    In the first of several upcoming changes around here, I'm doing something new today:  an actual, sponsored review.

    **************************************************************************

    I have discovered that my family has vast amounts of stuff - appointment reminders, addresses, W's artwork, the title to B's newly-paid-off truck, insurance policies, and on and on and on - that I need to keep track of. Though I don't need most of this stuff on a daily basis, when I do need it, finding it on my office floor in my sophisticated filing system gets to be a pain. Enter AboutOne.


    From the company:
    Founded in December 2008, AboutOne is a secure online family management system that makes it easier for families to manage daily life by providing a centralized location in which to quickly and easily store and manage beloved family memories and vital household information. Family members can access this information anytime—at home or away, from any web-enabled device.
    I started using the AboutOne site a couple of  months ago, and I've been in love with it since I started. The site has made it super simple for me to organize and track all of our family stuff.

    The dashboard is straightforward and easy to navigate.Each input screen clearly shows you what information you should know about each area of your personal/home/property life.


    There are areas to input your address book, information and maintenance records for your house, property records for insurance purposes, and each family member's personal information.

    The family information system is great. Each family member gets their own info page complete with picture, birth date, easy access to memories and paperwork, and fun facts like birthstone, astrological sign, and birth flower.


    One of the nice features of AboutOne is that everything you enter for each family member can instantly be integrated into various reports.

    I personally like the babysitter report; everything you need to give to a sitter, whether it's the teenager who's watching the kids for a night or for a full-time caregiver. It pulls the kid's height, weight, blood type, emergency contact information, and any medical conditions or allergies and combines them into a single-page printout. It lets you put in any other notes that are important for a caregiver to know, too.


    Even better are the bulletin board and newsletter features. The bulletin board gives you a visual representation of recent memories you've entered, and the newsletter turns your memories into a written record. I am the world's worst scrapbooker, so any program that does it for me in the course of my other dealings is amazing. I'm thinking this might actually motivate me to do a Christmas letter this year, too, since I'll have to put next to no effort into it.


    The site does so much more and has a lot of other fun tools and reports, too, but if I went through everything individually, we'd be here all day. Instead, I'll give you a video with a more concise overview of the site.



    I've found two downsides to the program. First, it takes a loooooong time to put everything in. Not because it's difficult to do, but because there is so, so much family/home/property information that I need to keep track of. Obviously, I control the amount of information I put into the system and when/how much time I devote to it, so that's an easy fix. The other is the lack of a fully-functioning calendar. You can input and get reminders for medical appointments, but nothing else. Personally, I have several different calendars already and I'm not interested in adding another to my menagerie, so I don't really use this feature. The site tells me that a full calendar is in the works, though, which I think would be a great improvement.

    Other than that, AboutOne gets a big thumbs up from this girl.

    Ready to check it out for yourself? You can sign up for a 17-day free trial here (you only use up your days when you log on to the site - sign up now and try it out when it's convenient for you). When your trial expires, you can use code NOTTHATPREG714 for 25% off your membership (expires August 31, 2011). And if you really need another reason to check the site out, just look at its logo. Is that squirrel not the cutest thing ever?

    Don't forget to connect with AboutOne on Facebook and Twitter, too.

    Disclosure:  AboutOne compensated me with a free one-year membership for doing this review, but the opinions are all my own.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Journeying through PPD, Part VI: I'm finally shutting up!

    This is the sixth - and final - post in my series about PPD. The first five parts can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

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    Saturday morning, I spilled my guts to my counselor. After she picked her jaw up off her desk, she told me she thought this was a reaction to the Cymbalta. She said the fact that I was looking for a clean knife gave it away. Immediately after reassuring me that I was only medicine-crazy, not crazy-crazy, she told me I needed to be hospitalized. That was my greatest fear. I did NOT want to end up in the psych ward. I was hard enough on myself for having psychiatric problems that needed medicine; needing some time in the hospital was unthinkable. But I went. If I hadn’t, I’m pretty sure I would have given into my compulsions; I needed that time to get the Cymbalta out of my system and stay safe until it was gone.

    I spent four days at the hospital being closely watched, meeting with a psychiatrist, and getting on a new medication regimen. Being in the psych ward was not fun, and there is obviously more to my time there, but I'm not ready to get into it.

    The difference in my mental state is night and day. I feel so much better now that it’s hard to believe that I was very seriously contemplating suicide just a couple of weeks ago. My mom said that I have joy in my voice again, which she hasn't seen in a long time. I’m nowhere near done fighting this battle – I still have good days and bad – but I feel like I’m finally on the right path.

    So there’s my whole story, finally laid bare for all to see. You’ll notice that a theme running through all of this was that I never let anyone know just how badly I felt. They all knew I had some depression, but no one knew I had DEPRESSION. I put on a good front. So good, in fact, that a day or so before I went into the hospital, I was able to convince several concerned friends that I was fine, and the morning I was sent to the psych ward, my counselor commented on how good I looked and how well I seemed to be doing (this was obviously before I spilled my story). This is why I really stress the importance of talking to someone, ANYONE, about how you’re feeling. There’s no reason you should have to navigate PPD alone. There IS a shore on the other side of this stormy sea and you can reach it. Drowning is not the only way out. You owe it to yourself, your children, your family, and your friends to grab on to any lifeline you can. It might take you awhile to realize it, but remember: you are strong, you are beautiful, and you can do this.

    Thanks for joining me on my journey.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Journeying through PPD, Part V: My story, the climax

    This is the fifth post in my series about PPD. The first four parts can be found here, here, here, and here.

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    Thus began Crazypalooza ’11. It was the day I wrote this post (and the day after this one). It was also the day I went home and almost killed myself. I sent B to pick up the boys from daycare. As soon as he left, I went to the kitchen in search of a knife. None of our good knives were clean. All I could find was a crappy old paring knife. This may be the one and only time I’m glad that B never does the dishes; his slovenly ways may have saved my life. Even though I knew the paring knife would be worthless, I tried to cut myself with it that afternoon. And every day after that, numerous times a day. I never managed to do more than make a thin bruise on my wrist.

    I spent the rest of that week fighting a horribly strong compulsion to cut myself. One day, I stood in the razor aisle at the grocery store mentally fighting with myself about buying a pack of razorblades. Some part of my brain was still capable of rational thought, luckily, because I realized that if I bought the blades, I would go back to work and used them on myself while sitting at my desk. It was a major struggle, but I put the pack back on its hanger. The urge to cut myself is something I never experienced before this and hope to never experience again. It was scary.

    Thursday of that week, I went to a mini baby shower for my friend Michelle. I put on my happy face and acted like everything was fine. I don’t think my friends knew what was going on in my head. On the drive home, I let some of my crazy slip, and Michelle made me promise to tell my counselor at my regularly-scheduled appointment on Saturday morning. I did, even though I knew what would happen. I think I subconsciously knew I would end up there one way or another and figured it was better to go voluntarily.

    Coming up - Part VI: I'm finally shutting up!

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Blanket - 256, Emily - 0

    A while back, I told you that I was going to make W a weighted blanket. I started out great and was even composing a lovely, illustrated tutorial to share. But then life happened and I stopped working on it. Until a new reader commented on my post and reminded me that I still needed to finish the damn thing. So I set out to do that tonight.

    It did not go well. The blanket had started defeating me when I initially worked on it because I'm apparently not capable of sewing long, straight lines on large pieces of fabric. My "six-inch-wide" channels were more like "kinda-six-but-some-more-like-five-or-eight-inch-wide" channels. I torn one line out three times before I got it close enough to "straight" for me to leave it alone. I learned that investing in a seam ripper would probably not be a bad idea, even though I still haven't purchased one.

    I thought dumping the pellets in and sewing it up would be simple. Now, three hours and two broken needles later, I take that back. Just a hint, in case you're dumb enough to try making one of these, too - grow a third arm before you start. It gets awfully hard to keep the blanket lined up close to straight, move it through the machine, and prevent each pound-and-a-half-heavier row from pulling the whole thing (machine included) off the table all at the same time.

    By the time I sewed through my millionth plastic pellet and broken my second (and final) needle, I was done. I really, really wanted to finish it just so I didn't have to deal with it any more, but that would have required me to put on a bra and go to Wal-Mart at 11:30 at night. So I rolled it up, vacuumed up the pellets that were all over the living room floor, and came here to bitch instead.

    I'm just about half done with the filling and sewing. And it is ugly. I keep telling myself it doesn't matter because the stupid thing will hold the pellets in (oh, how I pray it will hold the pellets in!) and W will love it because it has Buzz (Lightyear, from the Toy Story series, for those who don't get to watch one of those movies on an almost-daily basis). I'll come back when I'm done to let you know which one of us comes out on top. Hint:  it's probably going to be the blanket.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Journeying through PPD, Part IV: My story, the downward spiral

    This is the fourth post in my series about PPD. The first three parts can be found here, here, and here.

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    Unfortunately for my mental health, B managed to slip one past the goalie (pro tip: condoms are apparently bad birth control), and I ended up pregnant for a second time when W was nine months old. The PPD that had never completely gone away reared its ugly head swiftly and viciously during my second pregnancy. I was a mess pretty much right from the start. I was terrified of having a second kid because the first one has started life so traumatically; I expected number two to be and act the same as number one, which was not a comforting though.

    The low point of my pregnancy came the day I found out I was having another boy. I was so upset that I started crying when the tech said she saw a penis and didn’t stop until long after I got home. At my check-up after the ultrasound, I mentioned to my OB that I hadn’t been doing well, but I didn’t go into how badly. She referred me to a counselor but didn’t go any further. I'm guessing she didn't probe any more because she attributed my mood at my appointment to my disappointment in finding out I was baking another male.

    When I got home that afternoon, I sat down at my computer and googled ways of inducing a late-term miscarriage. I also looked up the law in my state to make sure I couldn’t get into legal trouble if I did something to the baby. I stewed about and plotted ways to not have kids any more. These ranged from running away to putting W up for adoption to late-term abortion. I obviously never acted on my thoughts, but they were my constant companion. After that, I spent weeks feeling supremely guilty because I wanted nothing more than to be rid of my pregnancy when I had friends who would have given their left arms to be in my position. I had a friend who miscarried around this time, and I cried myself to sleep that night wishing it had been me. I had another friend who had tried for months and months to get pregnant, only to keep running into brick walls. I spent many, many hours wishing I could exchange uteruses with her. I hated myself for thinking this way and hated my baby for existing. To this day, I carry a TON of guilt about my hyper-fertile/non-kid-wanting self when some of my closest friends struggle just to ovulate, and want babies so, so badly.

    My second son, R, was born and was the complete opposite of W. He was a wonderful baby. But that didn’t do anything to stop the depression from worsening. I got another dosage increase, which managed to get me to plateau for quite awhile. But then it quit working. In an effort to get me feeling better, my family doctor added Wellbutrin. This got me from feeling depressed to feeling absolutely nothing. In hindsight, this would have been the perfect time to start seeing a psychiatrist for medication management. Instead, I stuck with my family doctor, who eventually switched me from Zoloft to Cymbalta.

    I knew within five days that Cymbalta was not a good choice for me. I was more depressed than I ever had been before, but I kept taking the medicine for the full two-week trial period. Looking back now, I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to call the doctor and tell him I needed to quit the Cymbalta before our next appointment. I think it has to do with the fact that I didn't care about anyone or anything at that point. The day I went back for my check-up, my doctor said something about my "refractory mood disorder" and “treatment resistant depression,” which caused me to snap.

    Coming up - Part V: My story, the climax