Monday, February 28, 2011

Depression Sucks

But I will say this...what I'm feeling is difficult, but it's nothing like the pit of despair I was in during late 2003 when I was pregnant with Christian. That was the Granddaddy of depression. I don't ever want to be there again. Ever. Therefore, as hard as this is, I have some perspective. I know how bad it an be, and this certainly isn't it.

In contrary, this depression is manageable and workable. I still work out almost every day. I still laugh and find humor. I'm still motivated to do what needs to be done. But the dark cloud is still there and it still sucks (not the weather-related dark clouds that I welcome with open arms!). On the flipside, this is also more complicated than that really abhorrent stuff I previously experienced. What I experienced in 03' was very chemical/clinical. I feel this present crap is more situational and complicated. There are a lot of feelings floating around and the complicated nature of it is just crashing into a big pile of depressive goo. I know that doesn't make sense. But this is an open/public blog, and I don't want to get too specific.

In some ways I feel betrayed. I feel scared. I feel like I've failed in some way. I feel like I used to be able to conquer anything and have an optimistic view of what I could do. But now, in some ways I feel defeated and I see just how realistic and limited my abilities really are. And when I try to do the right things for my family, and even with the support of Chris, we still just crash and burn. It's so frustrating and well, depressing.

If any of this is post-partum related depression, that's about as far as it goes with the baby having anything to do with it. I love my baby and want to do everything I can for him. It is a pure joy having him in our lives. I guess having him though brings more complicated feelings with the realities of life, such as having to go back to work, and balancing him with the other two kids. And even though they love him, there is still an adjustment to be made for them and anyone who has been in similar situations can tell you - it's stressful.

I also have perspective with the blessings we have. Our children are healthy. Alexander is even on breathing treatments for "probable" RSV, but if this makes sense, he has a "healthy" version of it. He's hearty and doing well. After over a week, Chris finally got over his flu and is returning to work. And as awful as Chris's flu was, I don't think we would have taken Alexander to the doctor as quick as we did if it wasn't for Chris's flu. Therefore, there are some blessings in disquise. Alexander's probable RSV was caught early due to Chris's illness.

And I made it through my first 4 days back at work. How many to go? My friend Lara suggested making a paper chain. I might just do that! For now, I'm looking forward to Spring Break in 3 weeks.

The Crew - 2/20/11
Mikelle 10, Christian almost 7, Alexander 8 1/2 weeks

Alexander 8 weeks
How can anyone resist this face?

2 Months Old!!!

9 1/2 Weeks

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

THIS is why I HATE Gravity!

There is a double meaning to the title of this entry. The first one is hilarious. Yesterday, Chris and I took Alexander for his 2 month doctor's appointment, so a friend took her kids and Mikelle and Christian to the park. Chris and I were having a quick lunch and a text came in from this friend: Christian biffed it on the monkey bars and ate sand...after he got up, he said "this is why I hate gravity!" LOL - what kid says that? So funny. Other than being initially upset and some superficial scrapes on his face, Christian is okay. Sure, Christian had a more comical and "right of passage" confrontation with gravity that all children seem go through (and some into adulthood!).

However, I find the timing of Christian's expression of discord rather ironic.

My gravity that I hate is that I have to go back to work tomorrow. I am clearly not ready and am quite sad. I don't want to leave Alexander. I don't want to have to spend my 30 min lunch hour in a bathroom pumping breast milk. I don't want my baby to forget about me and who I am. I don't want to worry to about lesson plans and having no supplies and no way to obtain them unless it's out of my own pocket. I don't want to worry about discipline issues with students and not feeling supported as a teacher. I don't want the majority of my check going to daycare. I don't want to take that on. I'm not ready to go back yet. However, here we are. Gravity. I hate gravity.

But like Christian's gravity, gravity is there. It's a given. Without it, we'd be floating all over the place without purpose - literally and figuratively. That may be fun initially, but it would get old really quick and there would only be chaos and disorganization. (Plus, you lose bone mass without gravity. But that's a scientific tangent - sorry for the digression)

My gravity is a given. It's life. It's grown-up stuff. Without adversity and challenges, we wouldn't know joy and truly appreciate our blessings. And my gravity has blessings of its own. I have a wonderful rapport with my students (well, most of them. haha). My gravity is more the state of education and a lot of the BS that teachers have to deal with and it gets wearing. You add that to missing your infant, and it's truly the kind of gravity to hate. There are more aspects of my gravity that are job related, but I won't get into them here. Many of them have to do with self-doubt and worry. Those gravitational forces are even worse sometimes. No, most of the time. It's like sitting on a planet with gravitational forces double that of Earth. Take the given gravity of Earth and double it. That's how I feel.

John Mayer's song "Gravity" has been on my playlist forever (maybe 2 years?) but it's never been as appropriate as it is now. I've moved it to #1 on my playlist for now. The lyrics are:

Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down
Oh I'll never know what makes this man
With all the love that his heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away

Oh Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down
Oh twice as much ain't twice as good

And can't sustain like a one half could

It's wanting more
That's gonna send me to my knees [repeat]

Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me
And gravity has taken better men than me (now how can that be?)
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is

Just keep me where the light is

C'mon keep me where the light is
C'mon keep me where the light is

Oh... where the light is! [repeat]

I also find it funny that I can identify with some feelings from one of Eminem's most popular songs. First, I usually don't listen to that genre and especially with the language that comes with it. But maybe because "lose yourself" by Eminem came out while I was still in college, my exposure to it helped me gain a little bit of an appreciation for it. Plus, the rift is catchy. There is no denying that.

Anyway, no words are truer now that this part of "lose yourself":

He's choking how,
everybody's joking now
The clock's run out,
time's up over, bloah!
Snap back to reality,
oh there goes gravit

(Lose Yourself is the last song on the playlist currently.)

Anyway, so whether we're talking about biffing it on the playground or having to be a grown-up and face things that leave us sick to our stomach, without gravity, we're not going to be grounded. We need it, and sometimes yes, we can defy it. The important thing is to work with it, and find a way to make the best of it. I'll just keep telling myself that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obvious Blog Takeover...(and some January odds and ends)

I've really been struggling lately - depression wise. Sure, some of it can be attributed to typical post-partum stuff, but a lot of it has to do with having to return to work. I am clearly not ready, but I have to go back. I have so many anxieties about it, but I don't want to go into all of them here. If I did, it would work me up again and spoil the mood of this whole hodgepodge entry.

Yeah, it's clear that 'Unseasonably Warm' has become 'The Alexander Blog' as of late. And it may seem unfair to Mikelle and Christian, but believe me, Alexander is the star of the house too and his siblings certainly have no problem with that. They still want to hold him all the time, they love all over him, and when I have pictures of him on screen, they want to look at them over and over again.

Still, Christian and Mikelle are still the stars of our lives too. I promise! I tried to take a picture of them last night when I found them cuddled together on Christian's bed. But Mikelle woke up and yelled at me, and the camera was dead. Seriously, it would have been a great picture!

A few weeks ago, Christian and the rest of the first grade were in a production called 'The Frog and the Toad'. The production represents an entire year, so the first grade classes were divided into seasons. Christian's class were "Winter", so he was in the snow hat and his Penguin CHILL shirt. He was also part of an Autumn Leaves song. During the Autumn Leaves song, every time he walked passed the microphone, he leaned into it so we could hear him.

And here are some pictures we took of him after the production:

Mikelle took a lot of these pictures of Christian at the play.

And remember Daddy? Yes, Chris? Here he is, a few weeks ago with Alexander (I know, that brings this back to "Alexander's Blog" again). But we can't leave Chris out! And he's currently sick with the flu (first diagnosed as pneumonia, but after going back to doctor, he did test positive for the flu) and I doubt readers or this writer wants to go on and on about that.

He is the best baby daddy. He just loves little babies and loves having a new baby in the house. Seeing him with Alexander, it almost makes me want to have more babies. Almost. I also love how he shares in all the baby responsibility. Sure, since I'm home more, I do the most, but when he's home, it's 50/50. I love that. No woman in this day in age should put up with any laziness from the husbands and father of her children when it comes to home duties. It's a partnership.

And on that note, I hope this next picture doesn't reflect Alexander's true feelings when he's grown and sees how much of his cuteness that was plastered all over this blog for everyone to see:

That picture just makes me laugh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Timeless Treasures

(6 Week Pictures...continued)

As promised, here are the other pictures taken by Gina Murray 2 weeks ago when Alexander was 6 weeks old. It kills me how fast he's already growing. Mikelle tried to dress him in some adorable jammies he wore a lot when he was a newborn. She was sad that they were too tight and wouldn't fit anymore. She kept asking why babies had to grow up. I share the pain. Thank goodness, however, we live in a time where photos and videos can be enjoyed in abundance.

Even 30 years ago, it wasn't as easy. I feel for all those in the years before photography that could only hope for their memory to help them hold on to their children's years - either that, or you had to be lucky enough to draw and/or paint well or rich enough to commission an artist to capture your memory.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alexander's Blessing

Sunday, February 13th, we blessed Alexander (age 7 1/2 weeks) here at the house. We blessed Christian in a home setting and I loved it, so I wanted to carry that on with Alexander. I was more nervous and worked up because it was my own house this time and it was small and I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and I was worried about all of that. Anyway, we ended up having the actual blessing in the backyard (more room out there). Thankfully, we had the weeds cleaned up, lawn cut, etc. It was pretty scary out there before that!

(left: Alexander in his blessing outfit. Age 6 weeks)

Anyway, so I'm not happy with my weight and despite working on it and exercising like crazy, it's going in the opposite direction. I wonder if it'll be more cooperative when I stop nursing, but that's left to be seen. ANYWAY, being that there was blessing at the house AND it was the day before Valentines Day, there were a lot of treats and snacks. And there was a LOT left over. Well, having that junk in my house is bad news with my current weight concerns. So I loaded the kids up with treats in their lunches on Monday (Feb 14th). Their metabolism is more forgiving than mine!

Well, picking up Christian from school on Monday (2/14), he chastized me for having more than one treat/dessert in his lunch. I said, "It's Valentines Day, and how often do I do that?" He said I usually don't, so I said, "so it's okay. It was a special occasion." Well, today, I got the most hilarious e-mail from his teacher:

He must have said at least 5 times during lunch, yesterday (that he had too many treats). "Do you know I have 3 treats in my lunch." "Three treats." "How can I eat three treats?" "I think I'll just eat this one." Finally I asked him why so many treats, and he told me about the party. He said, "Alex got blessed yesterday, and there were so many people in our house, that I had to go outside."
When I said, "Oh he was christened?"
He said, "Yes, we did it ourselves at home, cause we couldn't take all that food to the church."
Today he had to show me the piece of the "big" cookie he had in his lunch. In his words, "This cookie was huge."

I laughed so hard - especially at the reason Christian gave for blessing the baby at home. It was all about the food. LOL!

Christian and Alexander (7 weeks)

Blessing Day February 13, 2011
(7 1/2 weeks)

The Elders in Priesthood Circle for Alexander's blessing (We had our friend Mark hold the baby to make him uncomfortable - haha - inside joke). The only peron there that we're remotely related to is Brad (to the left of Chris) who is married to my cousin Shauri. The last couple years, we've come to find that many of our friends are our "family".

Here we are. It took a lot of courage for me to post this. I hate how fat I look. Big difference from this and the picture on Mikelle's blessing day! Of course I was 10 years younger too.

My family that was able to attend. I was so happy to see them! These are three of my cousins and their husbands. I'm not sure what Mikelle is doing. I don't think Lauren is sure what Mikelle is doing either.

The whole crew. I love the support and having everyone gathered like this - even if I was a stress case.

More beautiful pictures of Alexander in his blessing outfit
Age 6 weeks
Many thanks to Gina Murray Artistic Impressions for these photos.

And my favorite one is the first one on this blog entry:

More in the next entry from that same photo session!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super "Bowel" Sunday.

Aka, Diaper Days...

Sure, with a new baby (another baby post, Jill? Seriously? Um, yeah!), every day is Diaper Day. But today was especially eventful.

This morning's Facebook post:
The kids changed one of Alexander's diapers by themselves. They brought him back to me with no clothes - just the diaper, and wet hair because they said he pee'd in his face and hair.
My follow-up comments:
Oh, and the diaper was on backwards. Luckily, the baby wasn't crying and just went with the "flow".
And the conversation that followed from FB friends and myself contained more anecdotes of similar experiences, other boy "fountains" and the effects on siblings. Christian was so sweet to go get the baby bathtub so we can give Alexander a quick bath after the "shower".

THEN...onto church. So I'm sitting in Relief Society (for those of you that aren't familiar, it's the last hour block of just the women's group...) and there are some sweet messages and tears shed by others with spiritual experiences relating to the lesson.

Then, Alexander wakes up and he's a little fussy. I notice he needs a diaper change and it's Number Two along with being wet, so it should have been rather uneventful that I stepped out to change him.

After changing him, I come back in, and then he starts making really loud grunting noises and you can hear...literally hear him filling the diaper with more fun and then his "ahhh..." sound of relief from getting it out. Seriously kid? I just changed you. Other women are laughing (not loud, but quietly to themselves). The woman next to me says, "oh, he's just starting to embarrass you. This is nothing." Of course being Christian's mom, I know that all too well.

I look at Alexander's back and I can see "it" (you know, "it" happens) literally about to creep out of the diaper up his back. So once again, less than five minutes after the previous change, I step out to change him again (dude kid, diapers aren't cheap! lol).

So I change him again. It's all good. I have a conversation with a sweet lady I know in the bathroom (the same lady whose house the dog ran into when he got out earlier this week, but that's another story), and then I go back - again - into the Relief Society room.

Well, you can guess what happened AGAIN. Yes, the same thing. By now, I'm laughing to myself trying not to be loud, but some of it creeped out (you know, like what was in Alexander's diaper). After all, practically the whole room was aware of the situation because the baby doesn't make his deposits quietly.

I didn't take him out this third time. There were only a few minutes left. During the closing prayer, his face gets all red again and he starts to grunt again. I thought, "please no, not the 'filling diaper' noise during the prayer!" Thankfully, if he did add to his deposit, I didn't hear it. But after the prayer, I subsequently looked at the diaper from his back, and the same "deposit" was threatening to creep out of his diaper again.

I was complimented in the hall for the comical occurrence.

And that's Super Bowel Sunday. I guess the Packers won. No connection to the word "Packers" with what Alexander did in Relief Society. I'm not a football person, and thankfully neither is Chris.

Tonight we watched America's Funniest Home Videos, played "Pictureka" and then I watched Dateline while Mikelle complained about its serious subject (<--linkie) and despite the happy ending and miraculous outcome, she was upset about it being on. But oh, earlier, we did make Play-Dough for her school project on the state of Florida. As we're making the Play-Dough (which had to be warmed over the stove - not my favorite activity) Christian says, "It smells like FEET." I start to laugh. Christian matter of factually says, "Don't laugh at me. That's what it smells like." I then had "Friends" flashbacks of Ross saying Rachel's dessert tasted like feet.

So...the smell of feet and things that fill baby diapers. Happy Super Bowel Sunday. Stay Classy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Newborn Jersey Project - South Africa

Alexander at one month old in the sweater made by his lovely Step-Grandma Georgia that she sent from South Africa. She said she was touched by a recent basket of little jerseys (sweaters) she saw at a wool/yarn shop. They are part of a Newborn Jersey Project. She said in some areas in South Africa, mothers take their newborns home from the hospital wrapped in newspaper. There are women (she called them "little old ladies like herself". Her words, not mine!) who knit the sweaters and donate them to the hospitals. Georgia made one especially for Alexander.

She said maybe as he wears this, we will all understand how blessed we are and reminded of those who have so little. These pictures were taken about 2 weeks ago.

It was really cold today (second day in a row that it didn't leave the 40s) and Alexander definitely wore it today.

I passed this letter onto a lady from church who has connections to some Humanitarian projects. Maybe we can help make little sweaters and donate them to the Newborn Baby Jersey Project! I also showed her the sweater and gave her pictures of Alexander wearing it to add a visual to the cause. Let's hope something materializes! My stake is in the middle of two other humanitarian projects now, but maybe this one can be next?!