In which I am behind (and loving it)

For a lot of reasons, I stopped making lists when I moved overseas.  I had been an obsessive compulsive list maker.  I’d add things to the list after I’d done them so that I could have the gratification of crossing them off and feeling like I had, in fact, accomplished something.

But suddenly, making lists became stressful for me.  I probably became a little more disorganized in the process.  But it felt freeing.

Perhaps it’s because, as a parent, I know that list-making is futile.  If I add “wash dishes” to a list, it’s a waste.  There will be more dirty dishes in the sink as soon as I get the satisfaction of crossing it off.  I might add “buy stamps at the post office” and won’t have to put that back on.  But it will quickly become replaced by another activity that is of equal importance.  Do I make a list of activities?  Chores?  Things I need or can’t forget?  Maybe I need separate lists for each. And then I need some sort of a list organization system so that I can keep them all straight.

I know.  It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

But when I was depressed, this was how I viewed the world.

Healthy, happy Kelly doesn’t make lists.  I can’t.  I don’t spend as much time thinking about the things I need to do, and when I do, I recognize that it stresses me out, makes me upset, and actually causes me to accomplish substantially less than I would if I just got on with it.

So my list-making has gone by the wayside.  Maybe I’m not as organized because of it.  But maybe, just maybe, I’m better for it.



One thing after another

This week has been chaotic. Not only did all three girls end up really ill, but biscuit (our 5 month old puppy) spent a night at the emergency vet and we had a disastrous day with the big girls.

But we have survived and another week is upon us. It’s the last full week of summer vacation. With quite a few ups and downs, I have mixed feelings about the return to school. On one hand, it’s the return to schedules, routines, homework, and after school activities. On the other, thank goodness for just that!

So, I’m determined to slow down and enjoy this week with the girls. The week before I have a first grader and a kindergartener, the week before my babies are back to being big girls, and it’s the week before everything changes (again).

Here’s to one thing after another…and then another!


Quarter of a Year

A quarter of a year has passed since my last post. Quarter of a year. It seems impossible. I can’t possibly fill you all in in everything that has happened in those three months. I’m reminded of country lyrics that seem to sum it up: “Sounds like life to me!”

So where are we now, for this next quarter of a year? I’m working on a knitting project that won’t reach fruition until next year, but I promise you’ll love it. I’m writing more than ever, with the help of a sitter to get some uninterrupted time. I’m enjoying summer with the girls, though we’re working through a rough stage with Erica.

I’m doing it all back on my medication. I have no regrets, except perhaps that I waited so long to see help again.

Hello again, blog. Expect to see me around a lot more often.


In which I have a freak out

I feel like you must be tired of posts about this, since there have been many over the years.   I regularly have to balance my desire for an immaculate home with my desire to have a fun house and my desire to make time for myself instead of spending every free minute cleaning.  I have to balance it all, and sometimes I fail at that.

What happens a lot of times is that I can handle the chaos and the messes and the never-ending to-do list for a while, and then suddenly, I can’t.  Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, even though those things have needed to be done for X amount of time.  And I have a freak out.  There’s usually yelling at Marcus and the kids, stomping around the house, and mumbling under my breath about how I do everything, how no one helps or appreciates me, and there is often a fight that ends up ensuing between Marcus and I about something unrelated but brought on by this change in my mood.

This is not something that I am proud of.  In fact, I’m pretty ashamed of it.  I worry that the girls will grow up and remember these freak outs, instead of all the fun stuff we do, all the books we read and games we played, and all the times I was a calm, patient parent.  When I’m in my rational mind (hah!) I recognize that that isn’t the case.  But when I’m in the throws of this anxiety-induced freak out, it’s all I can see.  And I hate myself during and after these episodes.

I think the reason I decided to blog about this is because writing about it and telling people about it helps me own it, so that I can work on changing this behavior that I so despise.

My plan is simple–try to keep up with things around the house a little better, try to worry less about what other people think about the way my house looks, and try to recognize that I am a good wife and mother and the way my house looks has nothing to do with that.

Wish me luck!


Depressed? Nah.

I’ve had some questions about how I’ve been feeling since Jessica arrived, and I thought it warranted a blog post.  The long story short is that I’ve suffered from bouts of major depression and anxiety since I was in high school, was diagnosed in college, and had a major episode during our stint overseas.  However, when we moved home from England last April and I found out I was pregnant, I quit my medication cold turkey (which, for the record, I don’t recommend…ever).

So here we are now, almost a year later.

I won’t lie and say it was always pretty.  Once I made it through the withdrawal, I suffered from a condition known as “first trimester.”  It wasn’t pretty.  But I don’t know if it was uglier for me than it was for any other women with two active children and a husband still overseas for seven more weeks.

Then, I suffered from a terrible bout of “it’s getting dark earlier.”  It did have me craving a Celexa, but I survived thanks to my fabulous husband and family.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I ran into “the end of pregnancy blues” that are often accompanied by a lack of sleep and severe exhaustion because you’re the size of a house.  But I actually think I managed to handle them pretty well.

Of course, after Jessica was born I was visited by “the baby blues.”  Been there, done that, wrote the book.

So that brings us to where we are today.  And I won’t lie and say that being a mother to three children (five and under) is easy.  There are days I starting counting down to bedtime (usually on my fingers, because my kids have sucked all the intelligence right out of me) shortly after we get up in the morning.  But overall, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

I’m loving every second of Jessica, and I know that’s helping.  The thought that she *might* be our last (my husband is feeling pretty “done” after three girls…I’m not convinced) gives me plenty of cause to cherish every second.  And I’m not sure if it’s because this is my third and Marcus and I have this parenting thing down, or if it’s because Jessica is such a good baby…but I feel pretty on top of things.

For the first time in a long time (ever?) I feel like I’ve got things under control.  I’m a good mom.  Not perfect, but good.  Some days I’m great.

So depressed?   Nah.

It hibernates.  Will it rear its ugly head again?  Perhaps.  Probably.  Maybe. One day.

And I’ll be ready.


In Which I Consider Quitting

I don’t like to think of myself as a quitter.  I can stick it through on most things.  And part of my non-quitting is because I don’t like the thought of other people looking at me and thinking that I’m a quitter.  So instead of realizing my limits and drawing the line, I sometimes push past the point where maybe I should call it quits.

Jessica is only two weeks old, and our breastfeeding relationship continues to be rocky.  After not nursing Samantha at all (by choice) and then going to the opposite end of the spectrum and nursing Erica with ease for almost a year, I find myself in a difficult position right now.   Do I continue breastfeeding, through pain, cracked and sore nipples, and resentment and hope for the great yearlong nursing relationship I had with Erica?  Or do I stop now, have a couple of days of pain and engorgement, and then hope for the great yearlong bottle feeding relationship I had with Samantha?  I just don’t know the answer.

I hate the thought that I might be a quitter.  Having nursed a child for a year now, I do really realize the benefits and the ease that can come with breastfeeding.  Is that in my future with Jess?  If I stop now, will it be premature?  How long do I give it?

I have seen lactation consultants at the hospital and at home, and I try my hardest to do everything “they” say…so I know I’m trying my best and doing everything I can.  And obviously, I raised a beautiful, healthy daughter who never drank an ounce of breast milk.

So it must be the quitting thing.  I don’t want to be a quitter.  I don’t want to quit on Jessica.

I wish I knew what to do.


The Sun in Shining

My low is starting to fade, and the sun is shining both inside and outside of our house a bit more.  Maybe I’ll blame pregnancy hormones, and try to remain positive.  If I worry about the downs, it will only make them worse.

And while the sun is shining, there’s been knitting.  Oh boy, has there been knitting.  Not so much cleaning (hah!) but knitting.  In fact, I’ve completed 16 projects for the October Malabrigo Junkies Stockpile.  I’ll almost be glad for Sunday to roll around, because I’ve felt compelled to keep working on one skein projects!  Entrechat has hit the back burner, and instead, I’ve knitted up these (and this is just a sampling)…

Whew!  Then, when the stockpile is over I’ve promised myself to work on Dad’s Christmas vest (you know…from last Christmas), my Brilliance Pullover (hibernating since the move) and to finish the Entrechat shrug test knit.

At least I haven’t lost the will to knit!