Friday, June 29, 2012

Updates of all Sorts: Mama, Baby, & House


Thank you all so much for the kind words in your comments, emails, texts, and Facebook messages, after my post on Tuesday.  I really, really appreciate it.  Sometimes it feels like I'm in this all alone and I feel like I have to struggle through in silence because if I admitted how tough things were then it'd make me a bad mom, or a mom that has reached her limit. So to hear your words, especially those that have said, 'hey, this is happening with me too' makes me feel normal again.  And that right there has a huge impact on my anxienty levels.  So thank you, guys.  Thank you so much.

I had my 6-week (it was closer to 8) postpartum appointment yesterday and I told the nurse, who relayed it to the doctor, all that has been going on.  When he came in he asked if I'm having trouble sleeping?  No.  Am I having trouble getting out and doing the things I enjoy?  No.  (In fact, I'm not even having trouble taking all three boys out to do things, I prefer to get them out of here, even though the loading and unloading from the car is a huge undertakeing.)

I don't think your depressed.  He said.  I think you are a mom.

He told me, like many of you have said, you have to take some time for yourself; and he said, it needs to be out of the house.

I thought about it and hmmmm, yeah, I was fine on Monday and Tuesday with the kids when I had Monday morning off.  And last Saturday I took a couple of hours in the morning to go get coffee and go to the Farmer's Market and do some shopping and guess what?  Saturday was fine.  So yeah, he's probably on to something.

So Collin and I have decided to try something new, something called Tuesday Nights Off, where every Tuesday one of us gets to take the night off and do something by ourselves.  We'll see how it goes.  I know we both need it.


Nolan has been on his reflux meds for almost two weeks now.  Oh my gosh, such a difference!!  Not that he doesn't cry at all, he still does get fussy after some feedings, but when he does it's usually gas and once we can help him pass it, he usually calms down. 

He's starting to have longer awake periods that are actually pleasent and starting to get into a sleep routine.  Of course right as he's starting to establish this we're heading on vacation for a week, which means it will probably all be thrown out of whack.


I know I promised a "what we changed this time" post with the next house update but I'm running short on time today - we're trying to get out of the house this afternoon for a week up at the cabin (yay!!), so I'm going to save that for when I have a little more time.  Also, I don't have a ton of updates this time around.  Some weeks there is so much getting done and other weeks the work is more tediuous and the results take a little longer, we're in one of those periods.

What the guys (and Busha) have been working on lately is a lot of staining and varnishing.  So....updates this week:

The washer and dryer were delivered and installed:

The refridgerator was delivered and installed:

Hardware (not all yet) has been put on the cabinets:

And as a result of all the staining and varnishing, doors have been put on:

Doorways have been trimmed out:

and window jam extensions have been put in:

The other big update is that the basement was painted.  The workout room was painted a shade of light gray (it's kind of hard to tell in this pic):

And the rest was painted tan (the same color as my office and the pantry):

You can see the color a little bit better here, in the spare bedroom:

The rest of these pics are not updates, just views that I don't think I posted before.  Here we are standing in the hallway looking at the patio doors (kitchen is to the right of the patio doors):

Now, standing at the patio doors looking back to the entry way/dining room:

The front door (excuse the random door jam that I didn't take the time to move):

And the coat closet (for guests) next to the front door:

And with that the baby is crying, the big boys are hungry, and I need to finish getting packed.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two Years


Photo taken by CaSondra Shim Photograph


Happy 2nd Birthday, Hutton Andrew!

Two years ago today, Hutton, Hutty, Hutt Butt, Frank the Tank (OMG, he is SO Frank the Tank), joined our family.  I remember the moment Collin told me "it's a boy" like it was yesteday. Happy Birthday, Little (now turning so big) Boy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back to the Basics - Regaining Control

It was no more than 30 seconds after I saw those two pink lines that I started calculating, dreaming, visualizing.  Nine months would put me at the beginning of June, earlier than Hutt's maternity leave, but still summer, still nice weather.  Even if the baby came early, we should be able to spend our days outside, going for walks to look for cows, playing in the yard, and maybe, if it got really hot, pulling out the sprinklers. On rainy, chilly days we'd go to the library or to the children's museum.

Oh, I was so looking forward to this time off to spend with my kiddos.  I knew there would be an adjustment period, just like there was when Keaton joined us and again when Hutton joined us.  I had no expectations for those first few weeks, but after that?  Then we'd have fun.

Then we had the fire and suddenly my dreams for our time together were flipped upside down.  We wouldn't be in our home.  Our yard would be pretty torn up.  There wouldn't be daily walks to see cows and we'd only be able to get those sprinklers out once the water was re-hooked up. The yard at the duplex is small and close to a road, which the boys aren't used to. We can't even go to the library because I lost my card and my license, neither of which I've had time to replace. 

I tried hard to be okay with the fact that this time together wouldn't be exactly as I dreamed, and in spite of it all, I was determined to make the most of it.

And we did, at the beginning.  The first two weeks didn't really count.  Nolan and I were in and out of the hospital that first week and my mom was here the second. But the third and fourth weeks were good.  We had our moments and days, but overall, they were good.

Then something changed.  I hate calling it postpartum depression because then I feel like it somehow places the blame on this pregnancy and this baby (even though in my head I know that is completely insane) and while my hormones have most certainly been affected by the pregnancy/birth I believe there is more at play here.  I'm so overwhelmed by life.  The house is getting close, but there is still so much to do. I'll be back to work before we are able to move back in and I dread the packing and unpacking. I still have thank yous coming out my ears and the inventorying.  I haven't touched it for months, I just haven't had time.  Thankfully Collin has been working on it but we still have so much to go.  Rooms upon rooms to go.  We're six months in, and only have six months left to finalize all of this and I'm so scared we're not going to get it all done.  Thinking about it practically gives me panic attacks.

But panic attacks would be preferable to what has been going on lately.  My poor kids.  I'm so stressed out and I've been taking it out on them.  I have no patience with them, I yell, scream, I've been spanking all too frequently.  When they fight I rip them apart and raise my voice.  When I ask them to do/not do something and they don't listen I've been grabbing them, sometimes much too hard.  On more than one occasion I've been scared I'm going to hurt them.

Last week my patience hit an all time low and the screaming, grabbing, etc. hit an all time high.  After one run-in with Keaton (it seems to happen more with him than Hutt because we are so much alike) I went down stairs, laid on the bed and thought, I am a horrible mother, my kids would be better off without me.  And in that moment, I contemplated suicide.

Yesterday Busha came to watch the boys while I took our car in to get fixed.  A minute before she arrived the two oldest started fighting and I lost my temper and was yelling and pulling them apart and when she walked in I couldn't decide if I wanted to bolt, get the hell out of here and never come back, or apologize profusely, feeling so bad leaving her here with these three.

I did leave, and I did return, and I did worry the entire time I was gone.  But when I walked back in the door two hours later the boys were at the table playing with stickers and the baby was sleeping and there was an amazing sense of calm in our house.  Something I have not felt for weeks.  Busha is kind of like the Super Nanny and when she walked in that door yesterday morning she brought with her order and peace.  Even though she was planning on leaving to run errands when I got home, I spilled to her that things weren't going well, that I have been yelling and spanking, that while I've always had a temper, this, THIS even scares me and that I planned to ask the doctor when I go in this week to medicate me because I just can't do this anymore.

We talked, I explained the behavior problems we've been having, (hitting, talking back, yelling, not listening to directions - pretty much they are modeling what they are seeing, oh surprise, surprise!) and we devised a plan.  Back to the basics of parenting.  Giving the kids a warning, counting to three, timeouts when they don't listen.  For now I'll sit with them in time out because it's not working for them to stay by themselves and when they get up then I get madder and things escalate and get worse.  When they have calmed down and are ready to apologize for what they did wrong, they can get up. We also need to get them back on a routine during the day with a strict bedtime schedule (another thing that has been lax lately and then causing Collin and I to both be upset with them) at night.

Busha stayed for a couple more hours and we put some of this in motion and oh my gosh, the past day and a half have been a 180 degree difference.  I love my kids!  I mean, I always knew I loved them, but you know, I LOVE them again.  They are still little shits and they have still been doing naughty things and I'll admit I lost my temper once last night and again this afternoon (but only raised my voice, no spanking, which is at least an improvement) but within just 24 hours I've seen a huge difference, in them and, maybe more importantly, in me.

While things felt so out of control yesterday morning, this afternoon I feel like we are back on track, at least with this one little slice of life. I know it will take time to reestablish all of the discipline that has been lost, but we're taking it back to the basics, and gosh darn it, we're going to enjoy these last two and a half weeks before our time together is over.

Friday, June 22, 2012

And the winner is.....

Tomorrow Nolan will be 7 weeks old.  Wait.  Is that right?  I've totally lost track of time here....yes, seven weeks!  So, I thought it was about time (Gawd, Bender, it was time 7 weeks ago!!) to post our winner on the Guess the Baby Stats Game

Now, even though I'm just posting the results, I actually tallied up the scores the night of his birth with this little spreadsheet, because I'm a total nerd like that.

Although I'm not nerd enough to figure out how to post a picture of an excel spreadsheet in this blog post. Whatev.

And as you can see, with a total of 4 points and one of only two to guess Nolan's birth date...

The winner is....Anne!!!

Woo!!  Nice guessing Anne!  Would you mind sending me your address (, I have your Starbucks card sitting right here, ready to put in the mail and put to good use!

And speaking of Nolan, we started him on reflux meds this week.  After talking to friends and reading other parents' accounts on twitter I realized it wasn't normal for him to be screaming every time he was awake (the whole time he was awake). And it wasn't normal for me to dread feeding him. Basically, he'd wake up hungry, I'd feed him, we'd have about 10 good minutes and then he'd start crying/screaming until he fell back to sleep.  Screaming, arching back, covering me in spit up, the whole nine yards.  Since starting him on meds he's still had some fussy times, but it has been nothing compared to the last few weeks.  And his worst time, which was always a two our block of time at night (either 8 to 10 or 10 to 12) has been pleasant the past three days.  So I'm hoping we're on to something here and things will continue to get better.

Of course, it's not perfect, he woke me up at 4:30 this morning with gas, but he's so dang cute I can't even be upset. 
It's 5:30 am, othewise known as my first nap of the day.
Happy Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

House Update - A Walking Tour

I usually take pictures with my phone when I'm out at the house, but last Wednesday I decided to bring the camera out and take some shots of the whole house, as it is right now.  Well, as it was last Wednesday.  While the outside looks the same, things are changing on the inside on a daily basis. 

I thought I'd take you on a little waking tour of the whole house and then try to posts updates weekly.  Or something.  We all know how great I've been at updating this poor blog lately.  But anyway, welcome, welcome, lets take a walk around the house.

Outside: Front (East side)

Walking clockwise to the left, the South side:

South-West Corner:

Back (West side):

North-West Corner:

West side:

Now lets go inside.  Instead of taking you in the front door we're going to go in through the garage, only because then we'll walk through the house from one end to the other, it seems easier this way.

When you walk in the garage door there is a hallway with two doors on each side. 

The first door on the right is the laundry room (there is a door in the laundry room that leads outside so 1) dirty boys can come right in here and strip down before entering the house and 2) we'll be putting a clothes line up right outside this door.)

The first door on the left is the coat room.  Or, coat bedroom, as Keaton calls it.  There will be cubbies in here for everyone to store their stuff as well as a bench built into the wall.

The second door on the right is the half bathroom:

And the second door on the left leads to the basement (we'll come back to the basement):

As you walk down the hall you'll pass the dining room and into the kitchen.  Around the corner is the pantry, which is hard to photograph because it is L shaped:

The living area is all an open concept, so starting in the kitchen:

And panning left to the living room:

And turning a full 360 degrees to the dining room (to the left of the red wall is the hallway we came in at):

Here is a close-up of the tray ceiling Collin designed in the dining room.  Since the living space is all open we wanted to differentiate the dining area with a drop ceiling and Collin added the tray ceiling at the last minute.  I love it.

Oh!  See the fireplace in the background??  Did I tell you how I changed the stone at the last minute?  Like, after our other stone had already been ordered. I went in to look at paint samples next to the stone Collin had picked out and when I got in there I told he salesman, I don't like this.  He was so nice and said he could cancel the order and Collin didn't flip out when I told him I hated the stone, and so just days before it should have been in, I changed the order.  Then I started to freak out because what if we didn't like it?  What if it didn't match the siding?  It would be all on me!! 

Thankfully, I like it.

To the right of the fireplace is a secret little room, a wood room.  One of my biggest complaints about the old house was that the wood for the fireplace had to be drug through the kitchen and living room to get to the fireplace.  It always made a huge mess and I absolutely hated it.  So I am so excited about having a built-in wood room.

I guess I didn't take a picture of the front door, but it you walk in the front door you walk into the living room.  Directly to the left of the front door is my office:

To the right of my office is the hallway leading to the bedrooms.  The door you are looking into is Hutt's room, right before that is another hallway leading to the right.

The first door on the right is the boys bathroom:

I have to show you this because it's another thing I'm so excited about.  We have three rooms in the house (this bathroom, the first half bath, and the coat room) that do not have any windows, and therefore no natural light.  In these three rooms we added sun tubes and during the day it looks like you have a light on.  Nope.  That's the sun.

The first door on the left is Keaton's room:

And at the end is Hutton's room:

The second hallway leads down to our bedroom:

The first door on the left is Nolan's room:

And the door on the right is a linen closet:

At the end of the hall is our bedroom (looking to the left):

And looking to the right:

The door on the right is our closet, it is also hard to photograph but you can see in the second picture there is a built-in wall to separate Collin's from mine.  Not a true his and her, but as close as we could get.

The door on the left is our bathroom:

I can't express how excited I am to soak in this!

Walking in the doorway and looking left is the shower and room with the toilet, or poop closet, as it has been affectionately named.

The tile work in the shower is Collin's design.  I love watching him do projects like this.

Aaaaand, the poop closet.  This is not something I would have thought about, having a toilet in a separate room, but every guy that comes in here loves this idea.

And that's the first floor!

Now, walking down the stairs to the basement we come to a little foyer. 

The door straight ahead is the guest bedroom:

The rest of the foyer:

The door to the right is the work-out room:

And the door straight ahead leads to a hall:

In the hall there is a furnace room to the left:

A guest bathroom straight ahead:

And storage to the right:

Walking through the foyer is the family room:

This door is another storage room that we have plans for, but I'm not sure when we'll actually be able to complete:

Lastly, at the very end of the family room is another room which we plan to use as a craft room:

There is also a door here leading outside.  The thought is that someday we'll put a wood burning stove down here in the family room and this door will be used to access wood.

And that's it!!  I am getting so antsy to get in here.  So, so antsy. 
Hoping to keep the blog updated as things progress.