Wednesday, November 25, 2009
when you are having a really hard time.
when you are about to face something big and overwhelming.
i feel like because i can't say "i'll pray for you", i have nothing of worth to say to them. i dont wish i could say that because in honesty, i think its just default to most of those who say it. there are few who mean it i'm sure, but mostly people just dont know what to say and can easily cover the awkwardness with an "i'll be praying for you". when you can't say that you're left with the raw, awkward silence of not knowing what to say.
i never want anyone i love, or even a stranger in the midst of tragedy, to think i'm apathetic because i dont offer my prayers. but i dont pray, i dont believe in it and it doesn't mean anything to me. anytime i refer to it, its just default from the all the years of being taught that it was true.
so in these situations all i'm left with is "i'm so sorry." and i feel its never enough.
prayer is the weirdest thing to me. its always been weird to me but now i just can't even comprehend it. i feel so uncomfortable when i rarely pray with arabella, or when i'm at someones house and they all bow their heads and pray. i respect it, i just dont know what to do with myself. it feels so silly to sit there and pretend. i dont believe there is someone there listening, i think its just us. just us wanting to do something we think is right, to connect to something we're hoping is real, to feel like we somehow have control... because we always need to have control.
this is scattered. its just something i've thought about many times since i let go of prayer. and something i think about a lot because a lot of my friends are christians who talk about how "powerful" prayer is. but i dont think its powerful apart from maybe the energy and motivation we create when we are focused. but that has nothing to do with god.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
i never had thoughts about seriously hurting my children. wanting to suffocate them, throw them, strangle them. if i had though, it wouldn't have been uncommon for someone suffering with this kind of depression. for me postpartum depression just lead me to despise all that reminded me that i had lost part of myself. it made me want to run away from everything that took any part of my individual freedom.
as most of you know i raised my mother, then i moved out at 16 and became my own grown up, at 20 i was married and at 21 i had my first child. so there was already the setup in place for me to feel like i had never had my own freedom, to feel like i never got to just be young. because i didn't. responsibility was always there trying to make me older. it doesn't really seem too crazy that the resentment of this is what i would revert to feeling everyday once the overwhelming reality of two children set in. not to mention my family has a RAGING history of bipolar, chronically depressed, manic depressive, and suicidal women in it. i am the first woman on my mothers side to never have taken anti depressants in a few generations.
going into the pregnancy with nola, where i wasn't excited and wasn't welcoming in any way of the idea of another baby, i thought that ppd was a possibility but i guess i didn't truly understand what it meant. i didn't understand that it could have the potential to literally destroy my entire life, and seth's.
it came on so slowly, bit by bit, that i didn't even notice that thats what was happening. i knew my hormones were out of whack because i was nursing but i didn't see that it was much more.
i didn't enjoy being home with my children, ever. i didn't want to be around seth, ever. i didn't want to hang out with any of them and i didn't want to even talk to seth hardly. i never wanted to be home and sometimes i didn't want to be anywhere because i knew that where ever i was i would ALWAYS be connected to these people. to me these people were all that represented my life being stolen from me. for me i just looked at my marriage and my children as mistakes i had made and now had to live with. somehow.
inside my heart ached. i dreamed constantly about getting away. throughout the day at home i wasn't even there. my body was here, walking around, making food, changing diapers, cleaning, but i know without a shadow of a doubt arabella knew i wasn't really with her. i didn't play with her or cuddle her. i yelled at her SO much. i felt like all i did was yell and i felt like i was just like my mother. it got to the point that when i told her i loved her she would just say "NO!" i gave up so much with nola that i was so proud of doing with arabella. from the elaborate fresh baby food i made for arabella to just the fact that i actually held arabella as a baby. nola didn't get these things. she also didn't get breast milk for very long or cloth diapers. she didn't get a happy mother or two parents who wanted to be with each other.
the only thing that brought me joy was going out and drinking and a friendship i made with another guy. there was no affair, there was only a friendship, but obviously that's not the healthiest way to find happiness when you want to run away from your life.
i could have taken anti depressants but at the time i really didn't understand what i was going through, i didn't think i needed help. i couldn't see me from the outside. i ate healthy always, i exercised, i took vitamins but that didn't change my chemical inbalance.
i've always believed postpartum depression is a real thing and that some women definitely experience it so strongly that there HAS to be some outside source to help them. be it drugs or counseling or whatever. but going through it just made me realize how horrible it truly is. i can't even describe some of the things i thought or the ways i felt because now i dont even remember them. they were so NOT me and so crazy that i dont understand them now. at the same time if a friend came to me and thought the same things i wouldn't think she was crazy for one second. i would get it.
looking back i feel a little angry that no one helped me. no one said that they even thought that was what i was going through. maybe they were afraid to? i'd be afraid of me. but if you know someone that you think is going through this please dont remain silent. the lives of children could depend on it, the life of a mother could. the other thing that makes me angry is the people who would say things like "you just need to take iron." or "yea i never had that because i just ate really well etc etc"... and etc.... this is NOT the way to talk to a depressed person. it only promotes the feeling that they are disfuntional and other people dont feel the crazy things they do. nothing worsens depression like isolation. and some people can change their depression with the way they eat or the vitamins they take, but this is mild depression. trust me.
over the past few months my hormones leveled out and i can feel the change in me every day. the person i was in january, february, march.... and so on... she is a stranger to me. it took time even after i knew my hormones were back to normal to change the way i thought, the way i acted and the way i treated the ones i love. i had built habits.
lately i truly love being a mother and being at home. i'm still the kind of lady whose life will never be filled only with being a mother, who wont find her identity in it and wont teach her children that that is what a woman does. but there is a definite change. the same with marriage. it will never be something my life completely revolves around, something i find my identity in or something i teach my children they are supposed to do. but there is a definite change.
i want to be home with arabella and i dont go crazy (bawling and calling seth telling him i have to lock them in their room and he needs to come home before anything happens) when i've been with them all day... or even all week. i kiss arabella all day long, i hug her and snuggle with her and dance with her and play with her. same with nola. now i hardly have the chance to tell arabella how much i love her before she tells me. she says she loves me, that i'm the best, that i'm her favorite and that she misses me only about 30 times a day each. and it feels so great.
i want to be married. i want to hang out at home EVERY night and i want seth right there with me. i want to hug him and look at him and talk to him.
i can see my life from the outside now and its perfect. i have a handsome, intelligent, graceful, understanding, hard working husband who loves me. i have two adorable, brilliant, funny, beautiful, healthy children who adore me. i have good friends, a good home, good health insurance ;) seriously though...i do.
i dont regret getting married or having either of my babies. and i dont regret doing it so fast and so young. now that i'm through all the craziness i'm so so SO thankful that i am young and i am through it.
my only regret now is losing the last year to this stupid depression. losing nolas first year and treating arabella like i wanted her away from me. it breaks my heart. i hope with all that is within me that arabella wont remember that time, that she will soak up what we have now and what we will continue to have over the years, because i know it will only get better.
i know i had to go through this. i had to really understand what my family is worth and i had to finally come to terms with the life i have chosen and decide what i wanted. i know now.
i have everything i want.
Monday, November 23, 2009
three sisters stew:
- 1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 large butternut or carnival squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
- 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans
- 2 cups corn kernels (from 2 large or 3 medium ears)
- 1 cup homemade or canned vegetable stock, or water
- 1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Cut the pumpkin or squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers. Cover with aluminum foil and place the halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife but still firm (if using squash, prepare the same way). When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, and cut into large dice. Set aside until needed.
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Add the pumpkin and all the remaining ingredients except the last 2 and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If time allows, let the stew stand for 1 to 2 hours before serving, then heat through as needed. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. The stew should be thick and very moist but not soupy; add additional stock or water if needed. Serve in shallow bowls.
garlic romano mashed potatoes:
4 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
10 ounces butter, room temperature
1/4 pound Romano cheese, grated
3 tablespoons and 2-1/2 teaspoons chopped roasted garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 45 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer.
- (and i'll make some bisto gravy)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 cup (or more) vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the chestnuts and parsley. Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl. Add the bread and Parmesan and toss to coat. Add enough vegetable stock to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
|2||cups white whole wheat flour|
|2/3||cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening|
|4||to 6 tablespoons cold water|
|1/3||to 1/2 cup sugar|
|1/4||cup white whole wheat flour|
|1/2||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1/2||teaspoon ground nutmeg|
|8||cups thinly sliced peeled green apples (8 medium)|
|2||tablespoons butter or margarine|
|Print these coupons...|
|1.||In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).|
|2.||Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.|
|3.||Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.|
|4.||In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.|
|5.||Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.|
|6.||Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.|
my aunt is coming down and hopefully my grandma and grandpa will feel well enough for us to pick them up and bring them over.
i can't wait!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
life got pretty crazy for a while, but the past month and a half has been very peaceful and sweet.
i'm finally back to myself. no post partum depression, no quarter-life crisis.
for the first time since arabella was born i feel completely happy to be a mother. i love staying at home with them and i enjoy every moment i have with them. its an amazing feeling and one i've wanted to feel since i got pregnant.
seth and i are doing so well, i'm so thankful for him and so, SO, glad we are through everything this year has had to offer us. yuck.
seth has been working on some music videos and i will be launching them on my blog very soon. i want to write about the songs because they are basically our story mapped out in an album, some not on purpose. this album means more to me than anything seth has written and i love every song that sings of us, the good and the bad.
so stay tuned, cause i'm back in action and there will be some super sweet lakes videos in the near future!