Tuesday, June 30, 2009

post partum depression

consider it PURE JOY recently kept it very real on her blog and chose me as one of the ten she wanted to keep the honesty torch rolling. Hmm... I can't think of much that you haven't already heard. Except the raw stuff- maybe it's time for that.

After the birth of my second daughter, I suffered from a life altering case of postpartum depression. At least, that's how it felt to me. And I'm sure that's how it felt to my oldest, who was just two years and ten months old at the time. It took four months before I went to counseling and another two in counseling- twice weekly- before I felt okay again. I personally didn't choose medication because this was 1997 and my counselor told me that I'd have to stop nursing to take anything. Finding out I was pregnant in 2001, with my third child was both thrilling and scary. However, knowing that there was an increased chance I would experience postpartum depression again, I created a PPD management plan(symptom sheets for John, and close friends and family, along with an action plan if symptoms did arise) along with my birthing plan- just in case. I felt so relieved and safe. Fast forward to about oh, my seventh month of pregnancy and you would find me sleeping entire days away. Barely moving. Eating wayyyy too much. (I gained 85 lbs!) Back to the counselor and back home with a diagnosis of pregnancy related depression. This time, after Shaye was born, I only nursed for 12 weeks- so I could try and get my hormones back in check and get some additional support via medication. Still, it was a long, 9 month or so, road to recovery. Pregnancy four? You guessed it PRD and PPD. No meds- I added lots of walking, talking, and ASKING FOR HELP to the agenda. It was during my fourth pregnancy that I wrote a story for our state's own parenting mag- and women came up to me everywhere, and for years (literally) afterward, recognizing me from the story's picture and telling me that my article got them to recognize what was going on for them and/or ask for help. These women also gave me valuable insight into what isn't helpful when someone you know is trying to cope with PRD or PPD(and you would be surprised at how many women experience these same conversations with people they love!):

  1. Saying things like "You wanted kids". We did. We still do. We don't want to give them back. We just need help coping. Pregnancy Related Depression and Postpartum Depression are medical conditions. Would you tell a woman who smoked who was suffering from lung cancer- "You wanted to smoke." Probably (I hope!) not.
  2. Asking if we want help. Just give it. Most women suffering from PRD and PPD are already weighed down with guilt and feelings of inferiority or not doing it right/normal/better and will often not ask for or admit we need- or want- help. Just come over, without judgements, and take the baby- tell us to take a relaxing shower. Clean our house. Make us call the doctor. Get us moving and talking- and keep at it until we are really okay. I had a great friend who called me several times a day, often showing up and putting the baby in a stroller and taking us for a walk. (Thanks Micky!)
  3. Saying things like "Well, I had (enter number of kids here) and never had a problem". Lucky you. You were one of the 87% percent of women who don't suffer from PPD. Either that, or time has colored your memories a little too rosy. No matter, it's not helpful. In fact, it hurts. And it is one of the most common things we hear. Really. Especially by older family and friends- like parents and in-laws- I know, it's hard to believe because it sounds so cruel in print. See # 1 people!

And then,

if you love us,

tell us what you can do to help.

Friday, June 26, 2009

before and after:
master bedroom and 1/2 bath



STILL TO DO: Someday we'll change out the flooring and light fixture, and I will get around to decorating, but for now? I'd just like to relax and enjoy it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

before and after:
teen girls' room



Not quite the neon paint splashes in their inspiration photo, but they love it! It took a while to come up with pairing this blue with the zebra and hot pink. I started with the idea of turquoise but they thought it would look too "tween-ish", which after doing their little sisters' room- I would have to agree. I saw this color blue on a metallic throw pillow and - bam!- inspiration. And the zebra print was a little easier to find/work with than paint splatters. FUTURE PLANS INCLUDE: Window treatments, something over their beds, something over the newly painted black bureau that used to be mine. Well, technically, it used to be my grandparents- and someday the complete set will be restored to it's former maple glory (because they sure don't make 'em like they used to!) but for now, the one piece is working for us here and the rest of the set is being stored.

I think I nailed the "more punk than pretty" request.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

before and after:
kitchen and dining room

BEFORE (the MLS listing photos):

I included all four of their photos because they give you a better sense of the layout then mine do. I had no patience for trying to fit the whole space in my pics- just the good parts: the paint and my new dining set!


  1. Convince my husband to let me tear off the awful trim on top of the cabinets. Or, wait until he forgets I brought it up and then just do it while he's at work. I'm convinced he'd never even notice...
  2. Get stainless steel appliances- which I only want so I can
  3. PAINT those cabinets! I'm thinking a deep charcoal on the bottom ones and something lighter on top... maybe opening the top ones up by removing or installing glass fronts in the doors.
  4. Changing out that ceiling fan! The one directly over our table!?!!

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    before & after: the littles' {girls} room



    * EVERYTHING in this room (wall color, bedding, accessories) was picked out and arranged how you see it by Shaye, 7 and Mackenna, 4. I think they did a great job!

    Window treatment, lighting- there is no light in the room, but one in the closet?!?? Weird. And, of course, more fun accessories... for now, the girls are LOVING the new bookcase bunk beds. And they can't wait to hang stuff on their cork boards- which, incidentally, I never would have hung where they are now, but I think they look cute. They've got an eye.

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Our new patio? BLAH!

    Here's a rear view of our patio from the MLS listing:

    If I had to guess, I'd say it's maybe... 13 x 13?

    This is what I've got to work with so far:

    2 plants we received as housewarming gifts


    the sunflowers and zinnias

    that the littles' planted before we moved...

    Do sunflowers need to be tied to a support?

    It sure seems like they should be.

    Oh, and this...

    our current door mat. :)

    Lucky for me


    is hosting
    - a linky party.
    So if you've got a great post filled with tips
    and/or inspirational photos-
    head on over and link up!!

    Thanks, Edie!

    A, B, See... G

    middle school {graduate}

    and also proud recipient of three,
    count 'em- three!

    I am so proud of all of her accomplishments and for all of the effort and hard work she has put into learning through the years! And my heart couldn't have been happier to see "reading" listed as her favorite hobby in her yearbook. That is a milestone in and of itself! Way to go Brielle!

    before and after: mantown


    (Steelers?!?? We joked it was a deal breaker at the showing.)


    So far, so good.

    Fill the space(it's pretty bare bones),
    get rid of the pillows that came w/ the sofa & chair,
    hang shelves with wine glass racks behind the bar,
    throw a party. :)

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    happy belated birthday brielle

    Whew! Try saying that three times fast.

    We had a cake on June 12th-

    the day she turned 12.

    Which also happened to be our final day of moving.


    her sister's Authors Tea at school.

    Um, yeah, that was a crazy day.

    Her party is coming up though,

    so I'm not that late posting. :)

    I can not believe that

    my little "cuddle bug" is 12!


    As in, graduated middle school this past week.

    She's old enough to baby sit;

    To be embarrassed by the fact

    she is still, and will always be...

    my cuddle bug.

    Or at least by the fact I posted that

    out loud.

    I love you Brielle!

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    A, B, See... D


    {dress} rehearsal


    Friday, June 19, 2009

    before and after: living room

    Please note: befores are the MLS listing pictures;
    We've just cleaned, painted and moved in our own belongings.


    See what I meant when I said the color looks different in different lighting- see how green the entry wall looks.... STILL TO DO: window treatment and throw pillow covers to brighten up this room. A pharmacy floor lamp would be great too.

    This BH&G TV HIGH BOY TV STAND- from WalMart- was a big waste of $200.00 and 5 hours of time. Too much assembly required, and the doors are still hanging low, and the whole top came right off when we tried to move it from the garage to here. It was supposed to be a cheap solution- something just to hold the TV until I found what I really wanted- don't ask me what, I guess I'll just know it when I see it, but still- it wasn't worth the trouble... John says it's the first thing we'll burn when we get around to making our fire pit. The bright side: I did get a free 1 year subscription to BH&G magazine with the purchase. :)

    I need something for this wall too. Also have no idea what. A high, wide table maybe? Large piece of art? Got any ideas?

    Very much a blank canvas now. I'm excited to see this room come together... it certainly has potential!

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    before & after: upstairs bath

    Finally. A minute to upload and sort out some of the photos I've been taking of our new house. Since time is, well, precious- I'm using the MLS listing pictures as my befores. So the furniture/belongings are the previous owners in those. We have, at this point, just painted, cleaned, and moved our furniture in... the decorating still needs to be done. Here's the room we changed the most- I knew from the moment we viewed this house what I wanted to do...



    See how green the Briny Deep looks? It was actually bluer on the chip we had, and I liked it better more blue than green, but I still love the overall effect. STILL TO DO: I am looking for a quirky wood and hook type towel holder to replace the standard silver bar one we took down. And eventually, I am going to change out the sink faucet(done!) and shower head. And I'd love to get a new counter top someday...
    Love before and afters? Check my other ones out and then head to Metamorphosis Monday and...

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    and last but, well, yeah i guess least:
    the last three rooms
    (still just befores...)

    The downstairs bath. Completely untouched. Well, except the fact that they removed all of this stuff and we hung a pretty similar, just a more lightweight fabric, shower curtain and different towels. No stand up rack for the towels. Yet.

    What will be our computer/guest room and
    what is our laundry/mudroom...


    Yup. Pretty basic.

    But I have big plans for that laundry/mudroom-

    BIG plans!!


    We still have to get a bed for our guests. Check!

    Stay tuned for the fun part- decorating all of these rooms!