all the monkeys

everyday after we pick up el from school and enjoy a smoothie, we head to my sun filled bedroom to be silly and jump and play ... to be monkeys. rufus is usually still tucked away and snoozing in the wrap from our walk to school, so i sit back and watch my oldest two go nuts on my bed ...

 growing up, my mother never allowed us to jump on her bed and that's okay ... we certainly had plenty of fun doing other things ... but for me .. for them ... i want this to be a fond memory from childhood ... jumping on the bed while mama sat back, watching, smiling, encouraging ... 

i'm not sure how to explain the happiness that exists here, during this time. im not sure if it's the bright light coming from earth, or leftover energy from school and naps ... but i will tell you this ... there is pure joy floating around in my bedroom everyday around three thirty pm... 

it is our joy. it is my happiness ... 

soon i will be talking about why eleanor is no longer being taught at home by me ... why we decided to send her to public school. xo. 


our first day of autumn

we bought some pumpkins from trader joes and prepared sugar cookie dough ... the boys took a nap ... i drank a beer and hung a wreath i made from dried goldenrod ... we picked eleanor up from school and found a giant leaf on the walk back ... we baked our leaf cookies and frosted them yellow and pink ... i had an emotional day because i ate too many and really shouldn't have drank a beer at noon ... but i have a really good feeling about this new season ... i want to be more thankful and learn to go easy on myself ... we are now planning our halloween costumes and wolfgang's second birthday ... so many wonderful things ahead. xo.


after school smoothies with eleanor

i think my posts have been a bit heavy lately, so i wanted to take a breather and lighten things up a bit.
 ... everyday after school, we have smoothies. we have been drinking this same smoothie for well over a year now. eleanor and wolfgang look forward to it so much and everyday they treat it like it is their first time having one ... bouncing around with excitement (i love that about kids)... wolfgang waits eagerly and doesn't take his eyes off that blender until i hand him his glass... as for eleanor, she is old enough now to make them basically all by herself and she takes this job very, very seriously... 

about a week ago i downloaded a strawberry shortcake smoothie game for her, so now when she makes them, she gives us the step by step out loud... everyday around three o'clock it's like a live cooking show in our kitchen. it's quite fun.

so, here is eleanor's smoothie recipe:

this recipe makes enough for three glasses (about eight ounces each) ... 

you will need:

  • one cup frozen blueberries or strawberries or half cup of each (we alternate)
  • one banana
  • one serving of yogurt (we are using trader joes vanilla and cream here, but any will do)
  • one tablespoon flax seed 
  • one handful of kale or spinach (we keep ours for smoothies in the freezer because it keeps longer)
  • a five second pour of orange juice 
now blend and enjoy!


a sunflower sunday

yesterday was a really, really good day. i woke up with an energetic spirit and asked my husband if we could load up and go out for breakfast ... the air was crisp and cool outside and i just really wanted to soak it all up. on the way to bob evans, we stopped by a sunflower field and took some photos. i love that about humans ... anytime you see a field full of flowers, you pull over and admire. it's like an unspoken rule. you just gotta. i love seeing all of the other people walking around and taking selfies with their loved ones ... it's free love. free joy. it's a goodness that only the human race can appreciate. 

after we roamed the field, we walked over to the farmer's stand and let the kids pick out a pumpkin. wolfgang insisted on calling his pumpkin "corn." it was pretty darn cute. 

we headed to bob evans and stuffed our bellies with french toast, chocolate milk, eggs, hash browns, crispy bacon, biscuits and gravy ... you know, all of the most delicious breakfast foods. 

we got back home a little after noon and took the longest family nap we've ever taken ... it was well over three hours. oh goodness, did we need it! ...

...i don't really have a whole lot more to say about the day ... i just wanted to document it here. it will be something for me to look back on and smile about ... and i think it's important we have those things. 

p.s. i wanted to thank you all for the words of encouragement i received from my last post. you have absolutely no idea how much every comment meant to me. every word i read felt like a hug. also, thank you for just taking the time to read about my struggle. i woke up the following morning after posting it and a weight had been lifted.sincerely, thank you. 


postpartum depression

admitting to someone that you are sad is a really hard thing to do. it can even feel impossible, like there is a force inside of you daring you to speak of it. if i say, "i need help." in an instant you become powerless. weak. more human than you'd like to be.

i knew the day was coming. i anticipated the day for nine whole months. meeting my baby. my third child. my son. i wanted that day to come more than anything in the world ... but i also knew, having two babies prior, that there is a price to pay for a love that big. nothing is free, including this. with eleanor and wolfgang, i was textbook depressed for the first couple weeks after delivery. all of my symptoms were verbatim what i read in my what to expect while expecting book. i found that to be comforting because it was all there. i knew it would pass. it was frightening, but it would slowly fade away. ... this time was the same the first few days. i had every symptom. i knew it was coming and i could handle it. i told myself, "give it time, you will be okay." ...but this time, i was not okay. i was drowning in darkness.

my mom came every evening the first week and helped out. she made dinner and got eleanor and wolfgang bathed and in bed. it was amazing.  and every night when she left, i would slowly ease up the stairs with rufus in my arms, feeling more terrified than ive ever felt ... my husband works most evenings, so it was just me, the kids, this house and my thoughts. my horrifying thoughts.

night after night, i worsened. and honestly the days weren't much better. i cried from sun up to sun down. mostly in secret, but sometimes i couldn't hide it from the kids. i felt like the loneliest person who'd ever lived. i thought, "i can't do it." over and over again. when my husband left for work every morning, in my mind i was begging him not to go. "i can't be alone. please don't leave me alone." i would watch wolfgang play on the floor and wonder why anyone would trust me with these little people. i can love them, but that's all i can do. im not capable of this. im falling apart.

i began to dread the question, "how are you doing?"... one day specifically the mailman rang the door bell and when i answered, he handed me a package and cheerfully said, "how we doin' today?" ... in my head i responded, "please help me." it was as if an asteriod was about to hit earth and i was the only person who knew it was coming ... but if i said it out loud, somehow it would make it real. make it official. i would officially need help. i would officially be broken and need fixed.

the hallucinations began towards the end of my second week. my husband was working particularly late one night and i was exhausted. you know, cluster feeding and sleeping twenty minutes here, twenty minutes there. rufus had just fed and fallen asleep, so i turned on reruns of the office and began to drift off. i awoke to the sounds of what sounded like little girls singing. i looked out my window thinking the neighbors were outside. all i saw was darkness. when i heard it again, i realized it was coming from the wall behind my bed ... my heart began to race and i immediately texted my husband, "when are you coming home?" ... i somehow managed to drift off again and when i awoke the second time, my eyes immediately fixed on a baby hanging upside down across the room by my bathroom door ... (i know this is upsetting to read. believe me, it is upsetting to write this.) it was insane. i felt insane. ... i grabbed my phone and google searched postpartum psychosis because i remembered that being a thing from the days i worked at the state behavioral hospital. i do not believe in ghosts, i knew it was all in my head. i read that it does happen, although rare. i also read that it is almost always temporary. that brought me comfort, but i was still the most scared id ever been. i wanted to call 911, but i just believed it would stop. it just had to stop. ... my husband stayed home the next night because i asked him to, but i never told him why. it isn't an easy thing to talk about or admit. no one wants to appear crazy. or even potentially laughed at for even saying such bizarre things. he wouldn't have meant any harm, but i knew it was a possibility ...

i wanted so badly to fall into his arms and sob it all away. he knew i was struggling inside, but i didn't express how serious it was. i couldn't. i couldn't go to him. it was as if i didn't have a choice. somewhere inside, a part of me made it so i had to suffer alone... he would be standing next to me or laying next to me in bed and i would tell myself, "go to him," but i couldn't. i froze ...

my little wolfgang was my savior. he didn't know it, of course, but he saved me. i knew i couldnt reveal too much sadness to eleanor because it would worry and scare her. but wolfgang, i could sit next to him on the couch, read him a book and sob through the whole thing. kiss his little head in between pages and whisper, "we will be okay. mommy will be okay. mommy loves her babies so much." ... maybe that wasn't fair to him either, but he was the only person i felt i could trust. he wouldn't pass judgement and he wouldn't find me weak or crazy. even now, i regret sharing this here because i fear you will find me crazy.

now, at four weeks postpartum, i am recovering. i experience joy throughout the day and look forward to being awake and living life. of course, some days are emotional and hard, but that's just the normalcy of motherhood. i no longer feel trapped at the bottom of a well with no hope of getting out. i feel so relieved. a part of me still feels afraid that it will come back and when it does it will stay. that is my worst fear right now ... but i am trying hard to set the fear aside and enjoy everyday. to count my blessings that the darkness came, but it didn't stay ... i even let my husband watch all three babes so i could spend a few hours at the hair salon. it was everything.

if any of you are experiencing postpartum depression and feel unable to talk to your loved ones about it, please email me. even if you ask me not to respond and just need to get your feelings and words out there for someone to read and understand ... im here. please do not hesitate to reach out and more importantly, do not go through it alone. xo.


an apple orchard and some feelings

lately i have been far too exhausted to properly express my feelings here ... well in general, i guess. i am feeling, though ... believe that. what i have really been wanting to talk about is postpartum depression ... it was pretty intense this time around. rufus turned three weeks old on monday and that is when i was finally able to come up for air. im not sure im ready to dive in too deep on the topic yet because the wound is still fresh ... but soon i will. soon. 

life as a mother to three has been pretty wonderful for the most part. it's tough though. and im real tired. you know that point of exhaustion when your mind feels blank? that's me these days. i have so many feelings and thoughts, but there is a wall up in my head ... or so it seems. i struggle putting words together in a poetic way. i am in pure survivor mode. wake up, feed everyone, change everyone, clean the house, do the laundry, feed everyone, get everyone ready for bed, collapse ... im literally living in a haze. a sweet, delicious, stressful, hectic haze. i will miss it someday though. my mom tells me that all the time. 

with autumn quickly approaching and baby rufus officially a part of us, the idea of getting out and adventuring appeals to me more and more everyday. i love thinking about all the fun to be had this season as a family of five ... more apple picking, pumpkins around our house, mums on the porch, hayrides, halloween, wolfgang's birthday, jumping in piles of golden leaves in our front yard ... so many good things. 

today, we met a friend at an apple orchard and had the sweetest time. eleanor couldn't go because she was in school (more about that later, too), so it was just wolfgang, rufus and i. we will certainly be going again and bringing daddy and el along. 

so, here are some photos of the day. it was really good. you can see photos from last year here

... as i just proofread this, i realized that it all sounds a bit jumbled and my words or thoughts arent flowing, but like i said ... im real tired. :) xo