broken

I first noticed my brain being broken when I was a senior in high school. The official diagnosis was anxiety with mild depression. Not sure how the “mild” is measured. I didn’t see the therapist long enough to find out. She fell asleep during one of my sessions. Needless to say, I didn’t go back.

The anxiety part is most noticeable for me. I’ve had a few panic attacks. And I had a hard time managing it during my last pregnancy. But it comes and goes in waves. Like the bouts of depression, I can just ride them out. I don’t feel like myself, but I get through the days.

I tell you all of this because last week was the worst week I’ve ever had with my broken brain. And the only way I can process it right now is to write about it. Trying to live my word of the year: fear less.

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let’s break up this serious stuff with a picture of a cute kid.

Jeremy had to leave town very unexpectedly Monday night deal with a family emergency. Like, bought a one way ticket. So We didn’t know when he was coming back.

I’ve been a mom of 2 for almost 7 months now. I still struggle some days with being overwhelmed. Being alone with them all day is so easy some days and the hardest thing in the world others. I am still terrified to take them to the store by myself. The thought panics me. So being solely responsible for them for an unknown amount of days was not an easy thing to come to terms with. Again, the panic.

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my coping mechanism. eating all my feelings.

As the week went on, I got worse. I felt like I was drowning. I felt so hopeless. So much worse than ever before. I felt like a burden to those offering help. I felt my emotions out of control. I felt a way I never had before. I was scared.

I didn’t want to tell anyone. I didn’t want to let my husband know how bad it got because I didn’t want to make him feel guilty for leaving. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t okay. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t in control of my own brain. I didn’t want anyone to know I was a bad mom. A weak person. Depression hurts. Depression lies.

My girls sparked some of the feelings. But they were also the ones that made the week without my husband bearable. They are my joy. My little, frequent happy moments. Everything lovely. I am so glad that they won’t remember some of my moments this last week. I hope Avery doesn’t remember when I was short with her on Thursday. And the tears I couldn’t hold back during bedtime stories on Wednesday.

I am grateful for her unrelenting hugs. And the unsolicited outbursts of, “I love you Mommy!” For the silliness. For the smiles.

When I found out Jeremy’s ticket home was booked, I was able to focus on that. There were still frustrations and hard days. But I knew it would be better soon.

Now that he’s been home for a couple of days I’ve relaxed a little. The feelings are lingering. The self hate and self-doubt are stubbornly sticking around. But I know they will leave too.

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my coffee mug, offering words of encouragement.

I guess in, writing this, I want to feel less alone. I want to know everything will be better. I want to let my daughters that my brain was broken before they were around. That even though it might seem like they cause the problems, they are actually the cure. And if they someday feel they way I do, I am here for them.

I really need something to change this year. I can’t have anything like this happen again. Ever. Maybe I need to go back to a therapist. Maybe I need meds. Or meditation. Or something else. Or everything. I just need to find it.

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my one little word [2015]

Nearly the middle of January, but I’m finally writing my resolution of sorts post.

Last year I chose “breathe” as my Word of the Year. And I feel like I had about a 50% success rate with that. I did well until Callie was born. Haha.

But I really love the idea of a new year, a new chance to stick with something. Clean slate. I am giving a new word a try this year.

Fearless. Fear less. One word or two. I want to live by this.

I recently realized that fear seems to dominate my life. My decisions. My potential.

This year I want to try new things. New experiences. New foods. New music. New everything.

By doing the indoor triathlon last week, I stood by my word. I never would have done that before. My fear of failure and embarrassment would have won out. And you know what? Completing that was awesome. Doing something that I never would have done before, felt great to do it.

2015 fearless 2I am excited for this new year and all the ways I can love by my One Little Word.

Did you chose a word this year? I’d love to hear it!

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christmas and the new year

Hello! I hope you all had a magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s!

Our Christmas was pretty low-key. Avery and I had a lovely bout of norovirus right before the holiday. So we were happy to have a relaxed few days.

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How I spent the days leading up to Christmas. Gatorade and an unsympathetic cat.

Christmas Eve we attended the family service at our church. It was awesome. Filled with families. Loud kids. Kids wandering. They had a puppets helping to explain Jesus’ birth. Perfect for a family with little kids who can’t sit still.

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I’m hopeful that one day we can take a non-blurry family picture. Maybe in 8 or 9 years??

We came home to relax. And I wanted to take a million pictures of the girls in their cute dresses. They weren’t as into that idea as I was.

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The only one (out of about 40) where Callie was looking at the camera instead of Avery.

Christmas Eve was also Callie’s half birthday! I have no idea how that happened so fast. I hope to catch up on her monthly updates SOON!

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The days of sitting nicely for pictures are officially over.

After I took a billion pictures, we all changed into our jammies and headed out to look at some Christmas lights. We found a few good houses. Some that even had the lights synched to music. Avery would have loved it, but she fell asleep in the car. Maybe next year.

We got the kiddos to bed at a mostly reasonable time. Santa showed up right on schedule.

wpid-20141223_225057_1_wm.jpgChristmas Day we went to my parents’ house for brunch. The girls got way too many toys that they love. It was great spending time with the family.

New Year’s Eve Jeremy and I went to our favorite hibachi place for dinner. Then came home. I was in bed at 11:30pm. Wild and crazy.

This past Sunday I did something pretty cool. I participated in my first indoor triathlon. It was timed instead of doing a set distance. You did a 10 minute swim, 30 minutes on a bike, and 20 minutes on a treadmill. It went by so much faster than I was expecting.

My initial goal was just to complete it and still be standing at the end. But at the beginning of each stage I set a goal. And I am happy to say I met all 3 of them!

wpid-img_20150104_122243_wm.jpgDoing this tri is something I never would have done in the past. But it is part of my “resolution” this year to try things that I have been afraid to in the past. It relates to my Word of the Year. Which I will be sharing with you all later this week!

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wonderfully weekend :: the santa saga

Let me just start by telling you all, I know I’m a crazy person. Chemically imbalanced. So let’s just keep that in mind while you read this. Okay?

Ever since Avery’s first Christmas (soooo long ago, I know) we have seen the same Santa. He is “our Santa.” I’m even friends with him on Facebook. I have photographic evidence of why we love seeing him so much.

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Christmas 2012

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Christmas 2013 A good picture even if the kid is crying!

I’m really not sure why she was crying because she totally took a selfie with him before this.

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#SantaSelfie

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I just love the side eye she’s giving.

So the event we would go to see Santa was on a day where we were already double booked. We were already skipping Avery’s swim class to run a 5k. That I really didn’t want to skip since we didn’t do the one on Thanksgiving. Plus, I signed up for an indoor triathlon (don’t ask) and this was day 1 of training. So, yeah. We really couldn’t make it to see Santa.

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My race bib. Foreshadowing events to come? :)

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My cute race buddy staying warm.

Then I saw something on Facebook about our Santa being at a kids store on Sunday morning. Sweet. We decided that morning to get the kiddos ready and head out. Then I looked at the event to get the address. It said you needed to register a time slot and it was closed by the time I looked. I might have been so frustrated that I cried. (I warned you of my crazy person status)

Jeremy started investigating. And he called the store. And got us a time with Santa. Because Jeremy is the best husband and loves me even when I’m being an insane person. One of these days I’m going to give him the medal he deserves for putting up with me.

We made it! Santa said he thought we would have been to see him the day before, but was happy to see us now. And my girls loved seeing him. And all was right in my world.

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Worth it.

Avery’s face lit up when we walked in the door. She was a little shy, but excited to see Santa.

wpid-20141207_124255_wm.jpgAvery asked Santa for some books.

wpid-20141207_124752_wm.jpgAvery told Santa that Callie would like some baby toys for Christmas.

So there you have it. I freaked out for no reason. Jeremy fixed it. And everything worked out great in the end. Like usual.

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avery’s new role

bigsisterAlong with the crazy excitement, there are some universal worries when you find out you are pregnant with your second baby. Will I love the new baby as much as my first one? (Yes) How am I going to handle both kids at the same time? (Still figuring that out myself) And the question I worried about the most, how will Avery react to a new sibling?

I think I really started worrying when I found out we were having another girl. Sisters. I come from a family of girls. I know girls. Girls are hard. I remember a lot of fighting and taking sides and moodiness. Sisters are a delicate thing. I was excited that my 2 girls would have each other. I just want them to have the picture perfect sister relationship. How do I force this? Kidding…kinda.

Callie has been with us five months now (and I still need to get a couple of updates posted. Whoops!). We’re still getting personalities and schedules figured out. But one thing is pretty obvious: Avery loves Callie something fierce. And Callie adores Avery.

wpid-img_20140805_161454_wm.jpgYou hear stories all the time about the older sibling regressing, or throwing more tantrums, and showing signs of jealousy all the time, lashing out. I’ll be honest. I was kinds expecting the worst. Avery had perfected her art of throwing tantrums. And a new baby would be the perfect excuse to lose her mind more often.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Avery came to the hospital to see Callie for the first time. I just knew I missed Avery so much and wanted to see her and cover her with kisses.

As soon as she got to the hospital room, she knew who Callie was. We had been telling her Callie was in my tummy while I was pregnant and calling her by name. But I was so surprised that when she saw a baby in the room, she knew it was Callie. We didn’t even have to introduce her. She just went right to her saying, “Hi Callie!” It was very sweet. Then after about 5 minutes, Callie lost her appeal. Avery went on her business and that was fine with me.

That’s how it was when we brought Callie home. Avery would fawn over her for a few minutes at a time. Then she would get bored and go off and play. It was perfect for the getting adjusted at home period.

wpid-img_20140812_111742_wm.jpgMy days are now filled with random declarations of love. “Mommy! I love Callie! I love ‘er” “CALLIE! So cute!” It is seriously the sweetest thing in the world. And I may have teared up once or twice when she says these things.

Now, she hasn’t been a perfect angel 24 hours a day. If Callie is crying for a long time, Avery will cover her ears sometimes and yell for Callie to “Calm down” or “Quiet!” Sometimes Avery gets distracted and nearly walks over Callie laying on the floor. Callie has been accidentally kneed in the head more times than I’d wish to count.

But overall, I couldn’t be happier with Avery’s transition to big sister.

And let’s talk about Callie. And how much she adores Avery.

wpid-img_20140807_204813_wm.jpgI swear, sometimes you can see heart bubbles floating around their heads.

Avery is the only one who can make Callie laugh everyday. I can’t remember the last time I was able to make Callie laugh. Callie’s favorite is when Avery takes both hands and they dance together while Avery sings.

The mornings are the best. They are both in crabby moods until they see each other. Callie gets hugs and kisses and all the attention from her big sister. Makes a great start to the day.

wpid-img_20141203_090932_1_wm.jpgA few weeks ago while I was fixing a toy for Avery, she was playing with Callie. She got close to Callie’s ear and I heard her whisper, “Callie I love you. You so beautiful.” My heart exploded. Seriously.

wpid-holwegers2014_20_wm.jpgI pray every night that these two continue to have this wonderful relationship and love for each other. Because it so amazing to watch.

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Posted in Avery Rose, baby things, feelings, sisters, toddler stuff | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

wonderfully weekend :: thanksgiving 2014

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. I’m still sad that it’s over. We were busy!

As soon as Jeremy got home Wednesday afternoon, we all jumped in the car. Jeremy and I were doing the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving and we had to pick up our packets. Avery was excited. She kept saying, “Yay! I’m in St Paul!!!” Like she has any idea what that is.

wpid-img_20141126_184209_wm.jpgAfter we got home, we looked at the forecast for the next morning. Below zero temps and wind. So we decided not to do the race. But at least we got our t-shirts!!

Thursday morning we headed to the Y. Since we skipped the race, I still wanted to get my 3.1 miles in. And the Y was open until noon, thankfully. So I felt a little less guilty about skipping out.

Thanksgiving felt a little weird this year. Jeremy’s dad was already in Arizona and my mom was out-of-town for work. So it was just the 4 of us. It was nice to have such a laid back holiday, but it just didn’t really feel like Thanksgiving, you know?

We made turkey, potatoes, gravy, corn, and green bean casserole. All delicious.

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Big girl scooping her own corn. Which was to only food she would eat.

After dinner we went to a family friend’s house for some pie and games. It’s so nice to have good friends that are more like family. It made me feel like less of a Thanksgiving orphan.

Friday morning/afternoon Jeremy and I took turns going out to do some Black Friday shopping. Setting good shopping deals gives me a rush. I only bought one thing that wasn’t 50% off or more. And that was a pair of light up Frozen shoes. So I think the excitement of Avery opening those will make up for the lack of sale. I bought myself a few new clothing items I’m really excited about. And may have already worn.  I couldn’t wait.

After all the shopping we headed to Hampton Hills to our favorite tree farm.

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Bundled up and ready to find our tree!

It was cold and we only lasted about 15 minutes, but we found a good tree!

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Three cold girls.

We got the tree home and Avery could not wait to decorate it! She was so excited! And she did a great job being careful and putting the ornaments on the tree. She was also our designated hook putter on-er. Little hands are much better at little jobs.

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I think I told her to check for squirrels.

Saturday was a little more relaxed. Avery was the only one in her swim class that morning. Two teachers plus Jeremy. She had all the attention she could ever want.

That night Jeremy and I went out on a date. We planned on going to the new Holidazzle Village in downtown Minneapolis. But the line to get in looked about an hour-long. So we wandered downtown for a bit and had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. I hadn’t been there in years. It was delicious. Then we did a little more Christmas shopping for the girls.

Sunday morning Avery finally got to decorate her own tree that she gets to have in her room. The joy on that girl’s face was something else. She has been bitten by the Christmas bug. So far, she loves everything about it. Who can blame her? It can be so magical.

wpid-img_20141130_103400_wm.jpgWe went over to my parents’ house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. More good food. Lots of loud kids. But we discovered a little trick to get Avery to eat. We called the turkey “chicken” and she ate it no problem. Kids…

This turned into a really long post! But since we don’t know when the next post will come, it’s okay.

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Posted in family, holiday, weekend | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

fast fall recap

I had every intention of blogging about our many adventures this fall. Too bad I had very little time or focus to do so. Here is a quick list (and some pics) of what we’ve been up to! I do hope to do a more in-depth post of a few of these. Ha.

  • I let Avery try Nutella. Because I’m dumb. But she’s cute when she asks for “more ‘tella please.”
  • I made apple crisp.
  • I had my evil gallbladder removed. (see you in hell, gallbladder)
  • We went on a Pumpkin Train. First train ride for me and the girls. It was so fun!
  • Callie had a book club playdate with her BFF Chloe.
  • We got outside as much as possible to enjoy the fall colors.
  • Callie turned 4 months old.
  • Avery played in the leaves.

fall collage 1

  • Avery threw tantrums.
  • Jeremy and I went to a State Fair wedding.
  • I bought the Taylor Swift CD.
  • We painted pumpkins.
  • Avery gave Callie her first taste of food. A sucker.
  • We took family pictures.
  • Callie learned how to steal Avery’s toys.
  • I effed up Callie’s Halloween costume. We survived and went to the Minnesota Zoo for Trick or Treating. It was so much fun!
  • We had our first fire in the fireplace of the season.
  • I celebrated my 3rd annual 29th birthday.
  • We did a 5k.
  • We voted.
  • While I was fixing a toy for Avery, she was playing with Callie. She got close to Callie’s ear and I heard her whisper, “Callie I love you. You so beautiful.” My heart exploded.
  • We gave Callie her first official food: sweet potato.
  • Jeremy and I went on a bowling date.

fall collage 2

  • We read a lot of books.
  • It snowed on November 10. Melted for a day. Came back. And is still here. Gross. And sad.
  • I had a really hard week of parenting. Think worst week ever. We survived.
  • I drank a lot of coffee. And some beers.
  • We cleaned all the junk out of the crib, so Callie can take her [disgustingly short] naps there.
  • Callie has decided to start sleeping like crap. Boo.
  • My girls were adorable more times to count.

Phew!

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babywearing

babywearing avery

wearing baby Avery all over town

It’s International Babywearing Week! So I will use this as an excuse to share with you all about how much I love wearing my babies.

After Avery was born we bought a Moby Wrap and an ErgoBaby carrier. The Moby Wrap defiantly has a learning curve. I never really got comfortable wearing the wrap with her. So I was glad that we had the Ergo too. As you can see from the pictures, we took her everywhere in that. The corn maze, apple orchard, to cheer Jeremy on in a 5k race. Not pictured: we took her to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the Holidazzle parade (RIP). My favorite thing about the Ergo is Jeremy was willing to wear it too! It was nice to be able to trade-off wearing her.

babywearing callieSince Callie was a summer baby I wanted something to wear her in that wouldn’t make me sweat to death. Enter the Solly Baby Wrap. It’s very similar to the Moby Wrap but it is literally about a third of the thickness. And is so soft. So I really made it a priority to learn how to wrap it properly. I am so glad I did. I love wearing this wrap. And the Ergo still gets used all the time around here.

Callie has also gone to the apple orchard (twice!) in the Ergo. And the Children’s Museum. We even take her around Target in a carrier. We are hoping to find some time to get to the corn maze still this year.

wpid-20140913_121402_1_wm.jpgIn list form, here are the reasons I love babywearing:

  • It leaves my hands free. I can push a shopping cart, or hold Avery’s hand, or help carry the groceries. I can’t stress how important having both hands available is when you have 2 littles.
  • Babies in carriers are at the perfect height to kiss. Kisses on demand. The best.
  • Sometimes it is easier to wear the baby than push a stroller around. Like on rough terrain (at the apple orchard) or in crowded areas (like the Holidazzle parade) or just not enough space for strollers (the Children’s Museum).
  • When it is colder outside, you can use your baby for warmth. You are wearing your own personal heating pad.
  • My babies stay much calmer when they are in a carrier vs. being in a stroller or car seat.
  • It’s just nice to snuggle.

wpid-img_20140921_184427_wm.jpgDo you have a wrap or carrier you love to use?
Where is the best place you have worn your baby?

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wonderfully weekend :: farmer’s market & apple orchard (take two)

We had another busy weekend around here. It was cloudy, cold, and windy all weekend. But we have a limited amount of free weekends before winter comes and we stay indoors for days at a time. So we bundled up and headed out!

I woke up Saturday  and wanted to visit the farmer’s market. There is one within walking distance from my house. But it was about 40 degrees out, so we drove.

wpid-img_20141004_121251_wm.jpgAvery had a great time looking at all the produce and naming everything. We bought some carrots and the lady gave Avery an extra one to munch on while we were shopping. Avery loved that. She also kept demanding that we buy peppers. Loudly. Too bad, Jeremy and I don’t like peppers. Avery left without any. Maybe someday…

That night Jeremy went to a bachelor party. So I had a friend come over. We ordered Chinese food and had a nice little girls night.

We got off to a late start on Sunday. It happens when everyone in the house is up well past 11 pm the night before. We went back and forth on what to do for the day. We decided to try visiting a different apple orchard than the one a couple of weeks ago. I’m still disappointed at the experience. Going to the orchard is one of my favorite fall activities, so I needed a redo so I could go into the winter satisfied.

wpid-img_20141006_110552_wm.jpg We went to Minnesota Harvest in Jordan. We hadn’t been there since they remodeled and changed a bunch of things around. So it was kinda like going somewhere new.

Jeremy went to buy our Pick Your Own bag and Avery and I went wandering around the main barn building.

wpid-2014-10-05-08.05.00-1_wm.jpg.jpegAvery liked looking at the assorted gourds. Telling me which ones were bumpy and orange and yellow. Then when I wasn’t looking she grabbed a small pumpkin and tried to bite into it like an apple! She’s so weird sometimes.

wpid-2014-10-06-10.59.34-1_wm.jpg.jpegI distracted her by going over to the bakery area. We shared a Caramel Apple Pastry Square. Oh my yum! It was so good!

Next we headed out to get in line for the tractor ride into the orchard. It was taking a while since it was so busy.

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This is what “forced family fun” looks like. :)

They had some kiddie tractor rides going on while we waited. Avery basically ran to it saying, “My turn!” and tried to climb on. She might have been a little excited.

wpid-img_20141005_162220_wm.jpgShe loved it! I had to pull her off so we could get a spot on the big tractor.

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We ended up with an entire bag full of apples. I have big plans. At least one batch of apple butter, apple crisp, and maybe if I’m daring enough, apple pie!

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Girl loves her apples!

Did you make it to an apple orchard this year? Any recipes I must try with my 11+ pounds of apples??

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callie :: three

wpid-img_20140926_120555_wm.jpgNo doctors appointment at three months (thank goodness!) so we don’t have any “stats” this month. I’ll be curious to know how much you have grown by your 4 month checkup. I feel like you have doubled in size over the past week!

:: this month you ::

Took your first vacation to Wisconsin Dells.

Rolled over. From your back to your tummy. And then got angry. So I would roll you back. And you would roll over again. Repeat. All day.

Looked pretty cute.

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Watched your first fireworks show. You didn’t even cry.

Read books with your sister.

wpid-img_20140921_094902_wm.jpgWent to the Children’s Museum. You just hung out in the Ergo with me.

Went to the apple orchard. It was a bust that I’m still a little upset about. I hope we can try again another weekend. But we did get a nice family picture.

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Seriously, so cute. Sometimes I can’t handle it!

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Miss Callie. We adore you. None more than your sister. Everyday is filled with so much happiness and so much growing. Some days aren’t so great. You went through a really fussy week this month. We are past that now, so I’m hoping for some smooth sailing. Or at least some more sleep? Please?

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averycallie three month

:: previous months ::

one  // two

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Posted in callie rae, monthly updates | Tagged , | 2 Comments