Real Housewives of West Virginia (RHoWV)

“life’s a bitch, but you don’t have to be!”

Dear Andy Cohen, 

 I have carefully been considering what my tagline would be if you ever wanted to do a REAL Real Housewives show. (Like really real!)

Like really real when a 60 foot gyser erupts in your front yard, your refrigerator and hot water tank die in the same week.

Like really real when you put your creditors name in the phone so you can say “hey Bob! Sorry, it is really tight this month…you are gonna have to keep calling.” Sorry man.

Like really real when you have to decide between taking a day off because you can’t get out of bed or forgoing a day’s pay. 

Like really real when you realize you left your coffee cup on the roof of your car and it made it all the way down the road, only to fall through your sun roof (cough rust roof cough cough) and douse you in sticky Carmel / hazelnut sweat to coat your day and your spirits.

Life is seriously the biggest bitch I have ever met, so be kind. Help a sister out. Let’s do a Dave Chapelle version of the Real Housewives and get really real!  

“life’s a bitch, but you don’t have to be!”

Ooooooh so you wanna try cloth diapers mommy? Or The Pending Poo-pocalyps

My daughter is finally big enough to fit into the cloth diapers we have for her. I have to say I really have the perfect baby for cloth diapers as she is not a prolific pooper. In fact, it is more of an every other day or once a day situation with her. However, this week, the week we choose to try cloth diapering, something seems to have changed.

The universe, my daughter’s adorable little butt, and 3 insane bowl movements later…I am a little less excited than I was 24 hours ago.

The look on her face, as I quickly snapped a picture of her, after the first ill fated diapering attempt…the look on her face says it all….

….She knew before I did.

Tapenade Tuesday

One of the many benefits of winter storm Jonas was the fact that my husband was home for an extended stay.  With him there, I got to cook, clean, shower, relax, and watch tv.  He always makes sure I relax, which both drives me crazy and fills my heart with his love and care.

Tapenade is one of mine and my husband’s favorite snacks and right now I am always looking for a high protein snack to help keep up with nursing.  Tapenade is a dip that is made of olives, nuts, herbs, garlic, capers, and a sweet element like a roasted red pepper, date, etc.  All the ingredients are minced or pureed to create this delicious, high protein snack.   I strapped Arden into the baby carrier and away we went.

Ingredients 

  • 1 jar 6 oz Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 jar 6 oz Green olives
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 15-25 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of capers
  • 1/2 cup of roasted red peppers
  • Flour Tortillas or Pita Bread

Directions

  • Drain Olives, Capers and Roasted Red peppers
  • Rinse and dry the mint leaves
  • mince the garlic, mint leaves, and walnuts
  • Use a small food processor to chop, puree, or mince the olives and capers (to taste)
  • Chop up the sweet element
  • Stir all ingredients together
  • Toast up some tortillas or pitas, slice in 8ths and serve! 

   
 
And wearing a cute baby helps too.

 

 

Good parent/bad parent: the modern parenting facade

I am no angel but lately I have been asking myself a lot about the American parent dichotomy. This “perfect on the outside, shit on the inside” facade that we are all barely holding together.Where are my truthers? 

Where are my unknown friends who have sat sobbing on the kitchen floor at midnight, with dinner burnt, your boobs hanging out, and your baby screaming? 

Where are the women who forgot for 6 or more weeks what it was like to live with sex, sleep, and any rationale control of your hormones?

Where are the woman who love their children fiercely, but occasionally have thought “could I give you back for an hour?”

Where are these truthers hiding? I can’t hear you among the pleas of my peers for acceptance, approval.

14 weeks of parenting has afforded me very little time behind this maniacal wheel, but what I do know is that “you know nothing.” 

Jon Snow be damned, I am giving it my best shot.

As I sit here, snowed in by Jonas, mounds of laundry piling up, struggling to breast feed and hoping the snow lasts till June so I never have to leave, I am reminded of the times I do get right. Half of them are by chance while the other half is hard work. Regardless, the triumph of these moments is all the greater because of the shitty odds of the battle going in, and the masterful f***-ups that somehow got you here.

Truth: I feel like I do more work than my husband.

Truth: he feels like he does more work than me.

Truth: we both are often working to what feels like our limits and sleep is not what it used to be. 

Truth: today I own my my duality. I am a good parent. I am a bad parent. 

P.s. Nap-time, you are a cock tease. I am beginning to loathe you as much as those perfect princesses with their Einstein infants, Martha Stewart magic, and white girl angst. 

Lactation support and ideas 

After giving birth to my daughter, I experienced a hemorrhage that, unfortunately, has left my milk supply a little on the low side.

Supplements I have tried:

  • fenugreek
  • blessed thistle

Food and Drinks I have tried:

  • lactation cookies
    • Recipe 1  (easy to make, can be a little salty)
    • Recipe 2 (a little flat but tasty)
    • Assessment: both worked well and I would recommend either.  When my sister made the first recipe her’s were much better than my original batch, but baking is not my specialty, it is hers.
  • lactation teas
    • Yogi – 2/5 stars.  I didn’t notice a huge difference with this tea.  I ordered it originally because of it’s price.
    • Mother’s Milk – 4/5 stars.  A little pricey but it definitely helps support the nursing supply.
    • Welda – 4/5 stars.  This one only gets a 4 out of 5 stars because it is so expensive.  It is by far the best nursing tea I tried and I noticed immediately results. As far as results go, it receives a 5 out of 5 stars.

Ideas not yet tried:

  • Placenta Encapsulation – I originally didn’t do this because we were unsure if I had passed Lyme through the placenta to Arden.  As it turns out, I didn’t!!!  I have recently begun considering that as a option to help support my nursing supply.
    • has anyone had any experience with this for their own nursing supply?
  • Other ideas? I am open to suggestions!!!

 

A whole new view

The first time I saw this shirt, it was on my husband.  We were in a Wendy’s parking lot in Morgantown, WV because he had gotten lost. I was so nervous. It was our first date.

I stumbled out of bed this morning, planning on packing up the baby and heading out for doctor appointments and a chance to see my sisters.  I have never been good at seeing what is right in front of me. I can see the whole picture, everything that needs done, but ask me to see what is right in front of my face and I miss it more often than not. 

In my morning haze, I had thrown on clothes as I stumbled towards the kitchen to let the dog outside. Sam had Arden and was reading to her. I never saw what I put on. 

Today, with a snow storm barrelling towards us, I managed to see what was in front of me and we stayed home. After a brief “relapse” into my frantic big-picture-gotta-get-stuff-done mentality, I sat down rock Arden to sleep, I looked down at her beautiful smiling face and saw the shirt. 

For one moment I was 23 and worried about what I had on, whether I should hug him, shake his hand, or just say “hey.”  I saw the shirt in my living room as he awkwardly spit cherry pits into a bowl.  I saw the shirt as he came back for a second kiss after having already left. He “couldn’t wait a week for another.”  I saw the shirt with our daughter’s hands softly resting on it and I realized that for all my big picture scheming, I never saw this. 

Almost 8 years later, I am surprised at how well the shirt has held up. But today I am most surprised that I saw what was in front of me.   The first time I saw this shirt I almost missed the moment for all the worries and anxieties of a first date. 

Today, I am trying a new view.

Well, at least she pooped.

I would like to practice gratitude more frequently.  I would ALSO like to start off each day with a million dollars but that rarely happens either. 
The last three days have been  particularly challenging, but with all the roughness that has occurred, from broken down cars to a sick baby, there have been some really special moments. 

For the first time, today I got to do yoga with Arden, and it was wonderful. As I sit here holding my sleeping daughter, I am thankful. Despite all the things I could be worried about, my constipated baby pooped and my sister is coming to visit. Life is good.

I let my doctor shame me (then my daughter almost rolled off the bed)

Frantic dashes to make up for lost time, OMG did she just roll over? What am I thinking? Why am I so angry? 
Before I go any further, I should say, I was warned. I was warned, but I thought I was stronger than postpartum depression. (Which is horribly named) This depression has less to do with the baby or hormones and has everything to do with the fact that this precious bundle of joy is here, exhausting us to the point of no return and magnifying the glaring inadequacies of our lives we have done so well to paste together until now. 

Enter stage right…a huge pile of mail, my husband’s impending trek back to work, and the end of maternity leave staring me baldly in the face. Everything seems like too much. 

The whole world should be stopping to mourn the fact that I won’t be with my daughter! I am devastated and can’t figure out why no one else sees this as the greatest issues on earth. Screw global warming.

While this is deeply personal, I feel it is too important not to share, and I do so with some embarrassment.

I lost my mind yesterday because I can’t do it all. At one point, feeling laundry was more important than just holding my little girl, I laid her on the bed and began to put clothes away. In the blink of an eye, she went back to belly and I almost missed all of this because I was so angry and consumed with what I “had” to do. 

A month ago I went to my doctor, overwhelmed, scared, discouraged. I had decided to talk to her about meds for depression. I have worked in mental health, I believe medical professionals and that meds can help. I also believe they are over prescribed, so I was tentative in my discussion with her. 

She went ahead and wrote a script but as she did stated that she “didn’t suppose this would dope my baby up too much.”

1 month later, I haven’t filled the script. I have tried meditation. I have tried convincing myself I can do what has to be done and let the other things go.  

I don’t want to dope my baby up. 

But I also don’t want to miss my daughter’s firsts because I am too afraid of what someone might think.