Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fuzzy Images

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we've had some pretty crazy weather in Colorado over the past few days. This is a picture out of our front window on Thursday morning--blizzard conditions. We could hardly see our mailbox, let alone our neighbors' house across the street.

That night as I laid in bed, this image from our front window stuck with me.

Blinding conditions

Limited vision


Seemingly endless

Over the past seven months I have struggled with a sickness no one seems to want to talk about. Everyone knows it exists and that 10 to 20 percent of new mothers experience it. (80-90% of new mothers experience some amount of it for shorter periods of time).

Everyone knows about it, but they don't seem to know how to talk about it. I still don't.

The thing about Post Pardum Depression is that no one would have to know that someone is suffering from it. There aren't necessarily any outward symptoms or signs. For me, at least, I haven't suffered from sudden outbursts of crying or extreme mood swings. I have no trouble taking care of Anders--especially because God gave me a baby with such a great personality. I don't think that I've isolated myself from families or friends. And I haven't quit doing the things I enjoy.

My problems occur inside my brain. And it's so frustrating.

Picking out a card for a friend. Choosing a movie at the rental store. Which box of crackers to purchase. How to begin working on a complicated project. Knowing what paper to choose for my scrapbook page.

All of these routine activities can be absolutely paralyzing for me. Debilitating. The situations seem to create "blinding conditions" for me, with "limited vision", much like the blizzard we experienced last week. Joel describes it as my "glazed over" look because my eyes literally glaze over and I am unable to make a decision. It's a strange feeling for me--one that is difficult to describe. I know when I'm in the moment--because I'm usually so decisive--but it's like the U2 song--I'm stuck in a moment that I can't get out of.

Making lots of decisions right in a row can be even more complicated for me. And exhausting. Complete "white-out conditions". Enough to close down the roads. Or in my case, my brain.

The other situation that causes anxiety for me includes large groups of people--people I may or may not know--small talk, periods of time longer than about an hour, almost any hour of the day--but even worse after about 6pm. I think sometimes it makes me come across as disinterested or rude. Or cold. Like the bitter temperatures that accompanied the snowstorm. I'm not disinterested in people. And I really hope I'm not rude. I literally just can't spit the words out to start up, let alone maintain, a conversation.

The worst part of PPD is that it is seemingly endless. It has been 7 months since Anders was born. I would think that life would have moved forward for me by now. And it has, in many, many ways. I love Anders. He is such a great kid. I love my job. I have great friends. Joel takes great care of me. And we have so many other blessings in our lives.

But parts of my life are just like the picture. Blurry. Fuzzy. Seemingly endless.

As I laid in bed last week, I believe God gave me this image to hold on to as a promise. Even though parts of my life appear to be stormy, He's still in control. Even though the storm seems to go on and on, it will end. Storms always do. Even if the roads are closed now, they will re-open.

And my blurry picture will one day end up clear. It is Springtime, after all.

All Bundled Up

We've had some c-r-a-z-y weather in Colorado over the last week! Last week- end it was super warm and we enjoyed shorts-type weather. Then, later in the week came the word that snow was on the way for our state. Joel & I started crossing our fingers and toes that we might get a day off from work. This happens so rarely that it was a real stretch to hope for one.

So on Wednesday afternoon, Joel and I decided to take a short walk around the park in case we were snowed in. So, we bundled up Anders and headed out!

On Thursday morning we woke up at 5am to see if enough snow had fallen to get us a day off (it has to be really bad in order for them to cancel school). After a few minutes of looking online and hoping & praying we learned we did indeed have a snow day! We jumped around and hooted and hollered. Joel was so excited he couldn't even go back to sleep! By the end of the storm, we had 12+ inches of snow.

In the end, we got a very early start to our spring break--we got Friday off, too. What a blessing. Joel had been working so much the last few months that he really needed the break. So, now we are enjoying an extra-long spring break and the weather has turned back around. We went out for a nice hour long walk today and it was beautiful.

I love living in Colorado. And I love having a week to spend with my 2 boys.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Total Cuteness

I know that every mother probably thinks that their baby is the cutest baby ever, and I am no exception.

Anders really is the cutest baby ever.

No, really.

It's just that I don't have the best pictures to prove it. It's like he knows that I've busted out the camera to take his picture and he turns down the cuteness factor by about half.

But here are a couple of pictures from the last few weeks. The top picture is Anders with his new bear, Gregory the Great--made and named by a student specifically for Anders.

The picture below is one of his cute laugh--he loves to laugh, especially for his dad. And, the last picture is dad & son, enjoying some time together.

Books are for...

putting on your head? Anders certainly doesn't mind...He was too busy playing with his toys in his exersaucer.

Then he finally figured it out...this book is for looking at!

Making Time

I have abandoned my blog. It has been a while since I've written, old friend. It has been more than 2 weeks and not very often even before that.

My priorities have been out of whack.

I've been overbooked in my schedule and it has forced me to push out some things that I really enjoy writing on my blog, being relaxed in the evenings, and having downtime with Joel.

It also hasn't helped that my camera hasn't been working properly. The memory card went out on it.

But, things are looking up. I'm re-prioritizing and of course, with the help of Spring Break starting on Friday at 3:00pm, I am hoping to be back "in shape" quickly. I also got a new memory card today.

Just in time to go visit family in Virgina on April 4.

And then it will be a mad dash with work until the end of school in May.

Ahh. Just when you think you have it all together.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

March Update

It has been way too long since my last post. Just seems like we've been way too busy, but at the same time, it doesn't seem like we've been doing much at all. Crazy times.

Soon after our "weekend to forget" my parents came into town--and boy were we glad! We needed some reinforcements, encouragement and some help! It was a great week!

The week that Oma & Opa (Grandma & Grandpa auf Deutsch) were here, it seems like Anders just all of a sudden "grew up". We also enjoy spending lots of time with Gramma J. She comes over for dinner and hangs out with Anders and she has also been an awesome babysitter for us!

Here are some of his recent accomplishments:

*Easily rolls over every which way
*Two teeth coming in on the bottom
*Starting to sit up on his own
*LOVES eating food--pears, applesauce, sweet potatoes, mangoes, plums, and more to come!
*Really enjoys his horse, Hissan (Horse in Arabic)--he can really jump, jump, jump!
*Oma taught him how to sit in the swing at the park. I'm not sure if he likes the swing or watching the big kids play better. Either way, Haiku loves it because it means a trip to the park for fetch for her!
*In the past month or so, he has really started to enjoy bath time. He has always liked it, but now he's able to play and splash and laugh and have fun. I end up more wet than he does, it seems.
*Started interacting with his exersaucer more. He will spin around in it and just play away!
*I'm not sure if I can say he "loves" story time, but he sure seems to enjoy it. We do it as often as we can and he loves having "guest readers"!
*His coordination has gotten better and he is able to interact with toys more. There's a picture below of him with a very cute cowboy set my mom got him.
*And most of all, he just loves being with people. He loves his grandparents and his dad especially.