Monday, April 25, 2016

Social Media Detox


First I want to say thank you to every person that reached out to me after my last post. I promise I will be ok! I went to the doctor and we agreed I was suffering from mild depression. I started back on an antidepressant and have made sure to practice some extra self-care. 

As I told y'all before, I gave up all social media for Lent. I thought it would be incredibly difficult but after the first week I really didn't think much about it. By the end I was a little sad to no longer have an excuse to stay off social media.

Slowly social media is creeping back in and beginning to take over my time and attention again. I know I know, I could just be done with social media but in some ways it is the easiest way to stay connected. For example, I completely missed that a friend's mom died during the time I was off social media. It really does help keep people connected and in the loop.

With that being said, I realized I needed to change the way I was using social media. I thought I would share how I am keeping my social media usage in check.

1. Delete/unfollow/unfriend people and companies.
I want to keep up-to-date with my friends. But I don't care to keep up-to-date with that girl from 9th grade who made me feel like crap and somehow seeing her seemingly perfect life still makes me feel like crap. I want long-distance family members to see pictures of my daughter. I don't want want to see the thousands of memes posted from that random girl from sorority recruitment in college. Unfriend, unfollow, and delete. I worry about offending people, but I literally don't see/interact/share mutual friends with those people.

Also if you have that crazy second cousin, twice-removed who posts Trump propaganda that makes you want to stab your eyeballs out but you kind of have to stay friends with or face family drama, just simply unfollow them and they can still see your stuff, but none of their crazy shows up on your newsfeed. Win-win for everyone!

2. Delete social media forms you're just not into. 
I tried to get into snapchat. It seemed to be the cool/new/youth oriented social media app. But y'all, it was one more thing to update and check. I deleted it. I love you dear friends but I seriously can keep up with your lives through instagram and facebook.

3. No social media while Landry is awake. 
I had slowly gotten into the habit of checking my phone too much while Landry was awake. I would justify it by telling myself "She isn't even watching you, she won't notice!", but she notices. Toddlers notice everything. I don't want her to think that a virtual world is more important than the real one. So no more social media while she is awake.

4. Disable notifications.
You want to know half the time why I checked my social media? Because there was a little 1 on the icon on my phone, or a notification, or something that I just wanted to go away and then somehow I am looking at the whole last year of someone's instagram pictures. Social media sucks you in! Which is why I decided to disable all notifications. Now there is nothing drawing me in and I really am less likely to check it!

5. Move all social media apps from the front page of your phone. 
I use to have facebook, instagram, and twitter on my first page of my phone. It had become habit to click. But now they are in a folder together on the very last page. I have to put more thought into getting to them to check them. Usually I can stop myself before I mindlessly scroll through.

6. Share less.
This is probably the hardest step, but one I really needed to take. I had become accustomed to sharing every outing, every cute thing Landry did, and a nonstop wave of Landry pictures. But I really enjoyed those 6 weeks over lent were I just shared things with the people close to me. It was nice to  have stories to share in person with people because they didn't already read/see pictures of it online.

Do I have less pictures of Landry now? Absolutely. But do I feel like the ones I have a cherish a little more? Yes. And it is nice to have pictures that are just for us and not taken because the lightening was perfect and they were instagram worthy.


Do you have any tips of limiting your social media usage? 



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

When You're Not Ok


Post instagram/facebook picture talking about how great life is. 
Repeat to yourself constantly how truly amazing your life is. 
Spend plenty of time outdoors to soak up all the vitamin D.
Start losing weight and eating healthier. 
Repeat. 

And yet somehow you still wake up every day on the verge of tears. You worry constantly that your husband hates you, that your toddler hates you, you even worry that the damn dogs hate you. You go around feeling on edge, the littlest things irritate the hell out of you. You're constantly exhausted no matter how much sleep you get. 

You google, oh man do you google. Thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, can post-partum depression start when your child is 20 months old? You try to fix yourself. You try to fix everyone else. "If only my husband would try harder then I wouldn't be so critical", "If only my toddler would get on a sleep schedule I wouldn't be so impatient with her", "If only the dogs would not be under my feet then I wouldn't yell at them!"

Then you convince yourself you just need a vacation. A little break in the routine, change in scenery. You know that would fix everything. 

And that vacation comes and goes and you are back home and you realize not only did you not really enjoy vacation but you feel a million times worse than before you left. You still lack patience, you're still critical, and all you want to do is lay in bed because you are unendingly tired. And you finally admit to yourself that you are not ok. 

Y'all, that's where I am right now. I am not ok. I've tried on my own to make myself better but I just feel worse. I know I am depressed and I have to do something about it. I have resisted accepting that I am going through a depressive spell again. Mainly because this time I really have no reason to be depressed, but here I am... depressed. 

In a moment of strength and courage I called my primary care physician and made an appointment for tomorrow. Most likely I will leave with a Prozac prescription in hand and you know what, that's ok! I have a chemical imbalance in my brain and I need something to help me. 

I share this not so that anyone worries (Papa I'm talking to you!) or feels sorry for me. But instead I share it because I hope that one person can relate, one person can feel ok to admit they are not ok and get the help they need. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Goals


Hey April! How you doing?? I know I know, I'm a little late on the goals for the month, but better late than never, right??

First a run down of my March goals and how they went...

1. Go for a walk/jog 3 times a week✖ When I made this goal I said it was totally doable, hahaha. I didn't do it! Like not at all. But we've been outside a ton more, I've chased Landry around like crazy, we've gone bike riding a few times, and for a couple of walks, and Daniel and I even played tennis for 15 minutes before Landry decided tennis was lame. So I did get more active but not in a walk/jog 3 times a week kind of way.

2. Read 3 books
✖ I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and at the risk of blowing the internet's mind- I hated it. I did not enjoy it and really just felt Marie Kondo like had a problem she should see a therapist about. I felt so unmotivated to read after the disappointed of her book. I've gotten a third of the way through Simplicity Parenting and I'm really enjoying it. I just need to turn off Netflix and read. 

3. Invite someone over for dinner.
At the beginning of the month we had some friends over for pizza. Yeah the pizza was bought and we are outside, but it was still having people over for dinner. Plus Landry got to play with her best friend which is an extra win! 

4. Finalize my Spring Capsule Wardrobe
 I am done shopping for Spring. The clothes are pulled out of storage/bought and hung up (or laying all over my office floor).  I now I need to take pictures and share! 

I really thought about not doing any goals for April because our month is super hectic between Daniel going to Mexico for work and our DC vacation (this Thursday!!). 

Then I realized this busy month really calls for some goals in order to keep me focused and not let April slip away. 

1. Deep clean the house. That spring fever y'all! I just want to purge and clean!

2. Organize some activities for Landry. Honestly when we're home we have a lot of free play. Landry can pull out whatever toys she wants and sometimes she plays by herself, sometimes I play with her. I am really wanting to have a little more structure to our afternoons. 

3. Reconnect with Daniel. Parenthood is really going at reducing your marriage down to talking about your child and things that need to be done. Daniel and I have neglected the fun side of our marriage so I am hoping our Landry-free vacation to DC will help us reconnect and give us a jumpstart on learning to have fun together again. 

Not as many goals this month, but I think it is for the best with our busier month.

What are your goals for April?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

20 Month Update


I missed the last two month's updates. Oops. But I'm back with Landry's 20 month update and trying not to lose it because 20 months is SOOO close to 2 and I can't have a 2 year old.

Landry,

Sweet baby girl. You are growing up so fast! I tell people all the time I know one day I am going to look back and miss having a child this age. Don't get me wrong, we have our difficult moments (that have been increasing), but the good times are SO good. You are my little partner-in-crime and pal. It's me and you baby! We have such fun little adventures. You've been extra clingy this month but one day just having your mama hold you won't fix everything so I will try to enjoy it while I can! 


Development
She is so capable! I feel like people always underestimate children this age and what they can really do so I try to remember Landry can do more than I realize.

She will throw her trash away and wipe up her spills.
She helps put the clothes in the dryer and part her dirty clothes in the hamper.
She knows just by the sound when the school bus is going by our house.
She can identify several shapes.
She can identify several colors. Purple is her favorite and she thinks anything purple is automatically hers.
Knows tons of animals and the sounds they make. One of her favorite car games is for me to name an animal and her do the noise. And then she will name animals and I have to make the noise.
Really is getting into songs. "Old MacDonald" is her favorite along with "Wheels on the Bus".


New Words
All of them, haha. She repeats most things if you ask her to and is picking up words left and right. When she hit 19 months her language completely exploded. It's mind-boggling all the things she is picking up on and the two and three word sentences that she is starting to put together. I definitely think having a friend her age has helped in encouraging her to use her words.

Her favorite three word sentence is "I got you!" It really seems to be her way of saying "I love you". She will run up and put her arm around your legs and say it. It is the sweetest.

Also funny story, she has a pair of fox socks that she wanted to wear one day. She kept calling them dogs so I told her that they were actually fox. Let's just say that her version of fox sounds a lot like another f word that shouldn't be repeated. Those socks are now referred to as dog socks.

Landry has also quit Daniel and I "Da-da" and "Ma-Ma". We are now Daddy and Mommy. Which is endearing but also slightly annoying when she says "Mommeeeeee" in a high-pitch voice while whining.

Landry playing "Night-Night" with Rin
Sleep
Ugh! We're going through another rough spell with sleeping. Every time I feel like we get a good schedule and routine going Landry decides to switch everything up on me. We're back to our 5:30am wake ups which just makes me a terrible person. I have the worst attitude about it and get upset every day. I know, I know... I need to change my attitude because whatever I'm doing to try to change Landry is NOT working.

There is nights now where she gets less than 9 hours of sleep. There are nights were she takes over an hour to fall asleep. I've tried an earlier bedtime, a later bedtime. Nothing seems to work!

And naps have been crazy too. There was one day I spent over 2 hours trying to get her to go down for a nap. Some days she will nap for over 2 hours and other days only 30 minutes. I'm exhausted, she's exhausted, and it just isn't fun!

Oh she's also learned way to delay bedtime. Like telling me she needs to poop or potty after I've gotten her ready for bed or when I am laying her down for a nap. I take her to the bathroom to let her try and then she just wants to play. I don't want to ignore her when she tells me she wants to use the potty but I also don't want it to be a delay tactic.

Fingers crossed the last couple of days we have started getting back to our regular routine. Hopefully all of this was just part of an 18 month sleep regression and we are finally moving past it.


Eating
We have entered picky eating toddler world. I mean she still is less picky than a lot of kids, but she use to eat anything and now will just not eat sometimes.

Landry wants "sauce" with every meal now. I kept it healthier with using greek yogurt and marinara sauce some of the time, but sometimes she will just eat the sauce and not the food.

Girl could live off of clementines and blueberries if I would let her. She begs for both of them.

I discovered this last month she dislikes chocolate. A friend made chocolate muffins and Landry took a bite and threw it to the ground. We then went to a birthday party with chocolate cupcakes and she took a bite and wouldn't eat anymore. So obviously she is not my daughter, haha.

Potty Training
We haven't potty trained (we gave it a shot a couple of months ago and she wasn't ready). Landry is definitely showing interest now. She likes to sit on her potty and has peed in it a couple of times. She will also tell us before she poops sometimes which shows she is learning to listen to her body. She also asks to wash her hands after sitting on her potty which is adorable. Sometimes she asks for "panies" instead of a diaper.

We are being super laidback about it, but I know eventually I need to hunker down and stay home for a week and really focus on teaching her to use the potty. I just don't want to be confined to the house for that long.



Favorite Toys
I mentioned before one of our neighbors gave us a sandbox/toddler picnic table and swingset. Landry is loving both!
A purple rubber duck.
Her peg dolls.
Her baby doll/stuffed animals and bottles.
Coloring.
"Pockets" (aka purses/bags).
Spray bottles and a rag.
Shoes.

I promise we have real toys for this child but she is just in that imitation stage so whatever we have she wants to use and pretend with which is fine by me!


Mood/Personality
Landry is an assertive little girl but also pretty easy going. Big tantrums are usually reserved for just me at home. It seems her social butterfly ways are not going anywhere. Whenever we are places and there is new children come around she immediately flocks to them. But sometimes she will go and sit by herself when there are large groups and just read a book or play by herself.

I am always impressed by her ability to self-regulate when she is getting overwhelmed or just needs some space.


Parenting
Parenting has been a little rough the last few weeks (primarily since the time change). I've been sleep-deprived and that has resulted in me being short with Landry (who is also sleep-deprived). I yelled for the first time out of frustration a few weeks ago and felt absolutely terrible about it.

I have really lacked patience with Landry and I've honestly have complained way too much about her behavior and I know she can sense when I tense which doesn't help. I am actively trying to work on positive reinforcement with her and trying to keep a positive attitude.

Fears
Landry is a pretty fearless little girl. She is the kid that will head dive off the top of a slide if I didn't stop her. And I have caught her more than once try to stick a headphone jack into the wall sockets (they are baby proofed unless I forgot to put the cover back after vacuuming). She loves being throw in the air, flipped around, and climbing.

But y'all, I have finally found her weakness... Ants! She hates them! She will see them outside and run to me saying "Ants, ants, ants". As far as I know she's never been bitten by one or anything and I haven't conveyed fear towards them so I'm not sure.



Things I Want to Remember
How Landry asks to go to church.
Landry playing catch with the dogs.
Landry asking to "side" and "sing" (slide and swing).
Landry asking for her best friend "Ar-fer" all the time.
Watching Landry love on little babies.
Landry asking for diapers on all of her toys.
Landry's first Easter Egg Hunt.
Landry going down the water slide at Great Wolf Lodge a million times.

Things I am Looking Forward To
Our longest time away from Landry. We are going to DC in April for 5 days for an early 5 year anniversary trip. I am slightly worried about leaving her that long (especially since she is super clingy to me right now), but overall I am counting down the days. This mama needs a little break!
We just booked our trip to Atlanta for May. We are taking Landry to her first Braves game (first and last in Turner Field) and we can't wait!
Landry learning to express herself more to help limit tantrums.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Right Fit, Not Right Now


I recently had a fantastic job opportunity. The pastor of the church we've been attending contacted me about applying for the Director of Children and Youth Ministry job at our church. I hadn't thought really about applying because I assumed you needed a religion degree for the position. I happily applied and interviewed a few weeks ago.

On paper it seemed like the perfect job for me. Part-time, work from home, and the times I needed to be in the office Landry could go with me. I love children and Jesus and I'm a pretty organized person so why not? The pay was decent too! It really seemed to be a good fit. In the interview our pastor asked me "Ok, you need to tell me if you are not interested because we are getting on the plane and taking off...". I told him I was interested because I really thought I was. We set up a time to have a brainstorming session with some people from the church (kind of like a second interview).

I was suppose to have that second interview last Wednesday. But the time leading up to the second interview I kept questioning my decision. I would toss and turn in bed at night worrying about a job I hadn't even officially gotten yet.

I cried because if I said no everyone would hate me. I cried because if I did the job and didn't live up to people's expectations everyone would hate me. I cried because some of the moms at the church intimidate the heck out of me. I cried because I am not even officially an Episcopalian (I can't even spell it without autocorrect) yet, how the heck am I going to help Episcopalians with their faith formation? I cried because I couldn't discern if all of this worry and anxiety was founded or simply self-doubt.

Finally two days before my second interview our pastor emailed me some forms to fill out and bring to the next interview. One was the letter of agreement that outlined my responsibilities, pay, leave, etc. As I read over the letter I realized that this just wasn't what I was suppose to do right now.

My worries and fears mentioned before were definitely rooted in self-doubt, but they masked my real reason for not wanting to pursue this opportunity. I have been out of church for around 6 years. Longer than that if you count my sporadic (at best) attendance in college. My freshmen year of college I got burnt pretty badly by the church and really carried a grudge. Since attending the Episcopal church we are at now, I finally feel those wounds healing. I finally find myself letting go of legalism, guilt, and the hurt. I am not in a place spirituality to deal with the pressures of working for the church.  I can't handle the criticism, bureaucracy, and church politics that come with it. I cannot handle HAVING to be at church every Sunday. Just writing those words out are enough to make me want to not step foot back in the church because it induces a lot of anxiety for me.

This season of my spiritual life is one where I have to be focused inwards. I am still trying to find my way and relearn what the church looks like in my life. This was not a decision I made easily. But I have had such peace since making my decision. Sometimes you have to say no in order to take care of yourself and realize just because something is a right fit it doesn't mean it is the right fit right now.