Friday, July 31, 2009

My Weight Loss Journey: Day 1

Last night, my husband finally bought me the Wii Fit. ( I only had to pout like a kid in the toy aisle to get it.) I was excited and could barely refrain from ripping open the box in the car on the way home.

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight. Of course, having 3 kids back to back doesn't do any justice to my weight. "You look great the way you are" says my husband. "Liar" I say. Aren't husbands supposed to say those things if they want to remain breathing?

I have health issues. I developed dangerously high blood pressure during my last pregnancy. Hypertension runs in my family. As does heart problems. I have back, knee and foot problems as well. I know that I have to make some serious life changes if I want to remain around to see my own kids grow up and have kids and families of their own.

My doctor told me during my pregnancy, "You are just a little overweight". I look back now and think he probably just said that to prevent having a hormonal pregnant woman running amuck in his office.

I stepped up on the Wii Fit board last night, cringing at the thought of having my BMI and Weight broadcast for everyone to see. "I am just a little overweight" I tell myself....

Right before my eyes, my Mii blew up like a puffer fish and my BMI index stopped at...Obese!!!

My weight: 207.7 pds.

A little overweight my butt.

Not wanting to believe the Wii Fit, I mean after all it is a video game, I grabbed my trusty bathroom scale....

My worst fears confirmed...the weight on the scale is the same on the screen...I am more then a little overweight.

I made a pact right then and there (after picking my self esteem up off the floor)

I was going to loose the weight. And this time I mean it.

Of course, accountability is an issue for I decided what better place to keep track of my journey then right here for my readers and all the internet to see.

*I feel kinda naked now*

My goal: to weigh 160 pds
My time limit:tentatively set at 2 months (just in time for the holidays)
Amount of weight to be lost: 44 pounds

This morning, I stepped up on the Wii Fit ready to face the day (wearing the same clothes as yesterday...*yes I washed them*)

Weight:205.5 pounds

Yay me!!!

My will power is weak though...the ice cream in the fridge is calling my name, but instead, i will have a salad and toast the begining of a journey to a better and healthier me!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free Samples of Votre Vu Skin Care Items

If you haven't had a chance to check out Votre Vu, now is your chance.

I am offering free samples of some of Votre Vu's products. Just email me with your skin type and address and I will send you your samples and catalog.

Also, for a limited time, I am giving away full sized samples of Snapdragon Beauty Beverage.

Check out Votre Vu today and see what you are missing.

Writer's Workshop~A day in my life....~

Many thanks to Mama Kat for this weeks prompts

It's 3am, the baby is crying again, the dog is barking and my new neighboors are just getting home. I roll over, hoping that my husband is starting to stir, begging him silently to please get up with Noah. As he continues to sleep peacfully, I stomp out of the room, plotting his demise.

Is this my life? How did I get here? I wonder as I feed Noah, rock him back to sleep and settle back into bed.

My eyes drift close, I snuggle down into my soft pillow, "ahhh...sleep at..." The beeping of the alarm clock startles it 530 already? It took me 2 hours to get Noah fed, changed and back to sleep. And now it is time for my blissfully unaware husband to go to work. He gets to escape from Romper Room for the day, and behave like an adult. He gets to have adult converstations, while I, no doubtly, will listen to my children recite Spongebob or TMNT word for word. He will get to enjoy a day of no diapers, while I, judging from the smell coming from the little person nearby, will again find myself up to my ears in dirty, stinky, diapers.

"bye, see you at lunch" he says as he walks out the door. I don't say anything. More then likely because I am again changing Noah or feeding him. After he leaves I turn on Good Morning America, and hope for a few moments peace....

The peace is shattered by the sound of WWIII coming from the floor below me. The boys are up. Judging from the shrieking, their sister is too. I hurry downstairs,because my daughter has a tendancy to strip naked if not attended to in a timely manner...

"Crap"..literally Crap. She removed her diaper and of course now there is poop everywhere, not the way I wanted to start my day and it is not even 730am.

My day continues on pretty much the same course. Nap time offers no reprieve from the demands of my employers. My oldest is telling me again, how unfair I am, and how he hates me. You know what, I really dont care. Life isnt fair I tell him as he stomps back down stairs.

About this time, my husband comes home for lunch and the demons that were my children somehow transform into respectable little people. Casting sly looks in my direction that seem to say "neener neener neener..." the baby, who was just crying loudly a moment ago, is now sitting contentedly in his chair. "Traitors"...I mutter.

Bedtime cannot come soon enough, and at 6pm I banish the 3 oldest to the nether regions of the house with strict orders to not come upstairs!

Ahh the baby is sleeping, time for me to I still in my Pj's? I dont even remember if I brushed my hair that morning.

I turn on the hot water, anticipating a nice hot relaxing shower....


My oldest needs a drink

"Mommy I yucky" my other son needs a diaper change

And not to be outdone my baby screams loudly from his chair

Time to eat.

As I sink wearily into bed and again glance at my husband sleeping peacfully, I pray that today was just an "off day" but know too well that I will have to do it all again tomorrow.

As the baby starts to stir, the dog starts to bark and the neighboors leave for the night...

I sigh.

Is this my life?

Yes it is....

and I wouldn't have it any other way

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Month ago...

I can't believe that it has been a month already!! You can read about baby Noah's dramatic arrival into the world here

Over the past 4 weeks I learned a few things about myself....and about babies.

1.)Having a newborn means all sense of style and fashion go out the window. Do you know how many times I left the house only to discover that I reeked of formula and still had the same pants on from the day before?

2.)Watching the sun rise can be a beautiful thing...if only I hadn't seen it every day for the last 3 weeks

3.)Taking all 4 kids to the grocery store is easy. It is tactfully telling complete strangers to back off that is the hard part

4.)I have become jealous of my husband. He gets to go to work and act like an adult everyday. I sing the Spongbob song and play monsters all day

5.)If I make myself something to eat, it better not be a hot meal. As soon as I pick up the fork, baby will need a change and a bottle, the other kids will need something and as soon as my back is turned one of them will eat my meal.

6.)It doesn't matter how crappy a day I am having or how down I am. Holding Noah, having him snuggle his little head up to my neck and just sitting with him puts it all in perspective

7.)I am stronger then I think. And I can still be a good mom even with one hour of sleep

I still cannot believe that a month has gone by since Noah arrived. I was sitting down folding laundry this afternoon when I looked at the clock 12:45pm...the exact time of Noah's arrival. As I looked down at him he grinned up at me (ok maybe it was gas...but I am not admiting that). I thought back to what was going on one month ago at that time. I thought back to all the complications of my pregnancy. I thought back to holding my son for the first time in recovery.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day drama of running a household with 4 children. But since having Noah I have learned that dirty dishes and clothes can wait. It is the little things that stick with you the most.

10 years from now the kids are not going to remember if the house was clean or laundry done, but they will remember the time we spent together as a family.

One month ago, our family became complete.

Happy one month birthday lil dude!!!

Wordless Wednsday 7/29/2009~The Many Faces Of Noah~

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Talkative Tuesday 7-28-09

It is so hard to believe that Noah is a month old tomorrow. It went by so fast. He is doing so extremely well. I am forever in debt to my OB and the wonderful staff of nurses at the hospital for Noah being here. I am also blessed with the most wonderful peditrician who assures me that Noah is going to be ok. I am grateful.

My son Aidan turned 3 on the 17th, my daughter will be 2 on Sunday. Where did the time go? Again, it went by so fast. I marvel at the little people they have become. Aidan and Morgan are both fiercely independant. They are extremely loyal not only to eachother but also to Damien and to Noah.

My oldest is starting 2nd grade in a few weeks. I am proud of him. He had some setbacks during the last year, but he is doing so much better.

And me? Well, I am doing ok. Somedays are harder then others, but all in all, I am doing ok. I am slowly adapting to my new routine. And am imensely proud that I took all 4 kids grocery shopping last week with no incident (until we went to leave and my van overheated and it took 45 minutes just to get ahold of my husband who was WORKING right inside the store where I broke down) Turns out my radiator was empty.

I am thankful for the good samaritan who stopped and offered to tow my van if needed...for FREE...he also waited with my while Steve got the stuff to put in the radiator. I should have caught his name.

The hamster died a week ago. I am in the process of trying to convince my husband that a rat is a good pet. He says no, but I think that if I just go and buy one he has no say. I want a rat, I want a black rat specifically. There have been reports that rats make good pets. *Wonder if Steve will see it my way...naw*

All in all, I couldn't ask for more out of life. I am blessed to have what I have. Each day is getting better.

Life is good.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crayons In The Dryer...

Every once in a while, someone will ask me "how did you come up with the name for your blog?" I usually meet this with a look of laughter and ask "Have you ever had crayons in your dryer?"

Being the mom of some very curious toddlers, I have learned to not take anything for granted. And that includes checking the pockets of the jeans that my 2 year wore that day.

My 2 toddlers know that they are not to take crayons down stairs. My oldest knows he is to stop them if they do. ( That failed...because 1/2 the crayon markings on his walls are his name). But nonetheless, I have some sneaky children.

One afternoon not to long ago, my 2 year old (who is 3 now) decided to take some crayons down stairs. "MOOOOMMMM he's coloring on the wall...again" my oldest sounds the alarm. So down the stairs I stomp, wonder aloud "where the hell did he find crayons, I put them all up" . I confiscate said crayons, issue a stern reminder to him that crayons are for P.A.P.E.R not walls that mommy has to now repaint.

The next morning while folding laundry, I notice that several items of clothing have crayon markings on them. I sigh, having dried them it wont come out.

Then...panic. Crayons? In the Laundry? OH CRUD!!! I head down stairs and inspect my dryer...

Sure enough it is covered in crayon wax. I could have cried.

Then my toddler, bless his crayon filled heart says "See crayons on wall...crayon in dryer. I good boy."


Yes he is a good boy, he didn't color on the do you argue with that?

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Why Am I Crying: A Journey Through Postpartum Depression (pt2)

It is hard to believe that in 2 days Noah will be a month old. Although he is still smaller then the average newborn. He is doing well and is healthy, and that is all I could ask for given our situation.

As for me, I have my "days". Some are better then others, but overall I still occasionally feel like I am functioning in a very thick fog. I still blame it on lack of sleep, but in my heart of hearts I know that is not the case.

I still blame myself for the outcome of Noah's birth being the way it was. Was there something more I could have done to prevent the IUGR? Did I not pay close enough attention to the way my body was acting? I blamed myself for it all, despite the doctor assuring me that there was nothing I could have done.

These fears prevent me from truly enjoying my time with Noah. I wake many times a night to check on Noah convinced that if I sleep, something bad will happen to him. There have been many nights that I just sit there and watch his chest rising.

I have neglected myself in all of this. I spend all day fussing over Noah, and taking care of the other 3, that there are times that it is 8pm and I realize that I haven't eaten yet that day and am still wearing the ratty t-shirt and sweats I wore the night before.

I have yet to go on medication for PPD, as I am not all that convinced that I need it. Yes, I am in denial.

I am certain there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I just cannot see it yet

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Am I Crying: A Journey Through Postpartum Depression (pt 1)

"As soon as the doctor issues your discharge papers, you can go home" the nurse says to me. My husband smiles, my other 3 children are excited to be out of the confines of the maternity ward, my newborn son sleeps peacfully in his "going home outfit" all snug and secure in his carseat. 2 days after an emergency c-section and 37 weeks after the begining of a very complicated and scary pregnancy, it is time to take my 4th child out into the world...well ok, home.

I smile weakly at the nurse. I can do this. I am a seasoned pro, I mean this is not the first time I have brought a completely helpless baby home. The alarm for the fetal monitor sounds and the nurse says she will return shorty. One other reason I should be grateful to go home, the labor and delivery unit is full. The constant alarms of fetal monitors and b/p machines have kept me up most the night (while I understand the concept of when an alarm goes off in one room, it can be heard in all rooms...after giving birth I would have liked to have a little quiet)

I am dressed. I should be happy to be free of the IV's, catheter, and unbecoming hospital gown. Happy to be out of the bed that caused my lower back and butt to hurt to holy hell. Happy to be taking my baby home, when I know how close we were to having a different outcome.

I look at Noah, sleeping. I am lucky I tell myself. I had pre-ecclampsia, Noah had a growth restriction and was unreactive the day he was born. He came into this world weighing 5pds 15oz a very tiny little boy.

If this is a happy occasion, then why do I feel on the edge of tears? Why do I feel like I am having a panic attack? At that moment, I blamed it on being tired. 37 weeks of sleepless nights followed by a traumatic birthing experience wore me out. That HAD to be the reason.

After leaving the hospital, we had to make a stop to pick up my pain meds. This also happened to be my husbands place of work. Usually I enjoyed trekking out with my just released newborn to his work and showing the baby off to adoring co-workers, watching as my husband beamed with the new dad glow. But this time I just wanted to go home. I didn't want a bunch of people drooling over my newborn. I didnt want to answer the countless questions about his weight or how I was feeling. So I forced a smile and toughed it out.

Since that day, I have been pretty much forcing a smile and toughing it out. When anyone asks, I tell them I am fine. No one knows that I cry. Alot. My smile isnt real.

I live in fear of being "made". I have told myself that I cannot break, I cannot let anyone see me cry, because that is a sign of weakness, and I dont want to come across as weak.

My mind races a mile a minute, and I have many moments where I feel like I cant sit still. At night, I check on Noah a million times, convinced that something bad will happen if I close my eyes.

I am still forcing it. I refuse to admit to even myself that I am in need of help. I don't want to have to depend on anyone...or anything.

But the fact of the matter is, Post Partum Depression is very real. And many women, just like myself, suffer in silence for fear of seeming weak or for being thought of as a bad parent.

Please join me this week as I take you on a journey through my PPD and how I am getting better, with a little help from my friends.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mama Doesn't Need Sleep....

I have decided that instead of Waterboarding as a form of "torturing" the terrorists in Gitmo, the U.S Army should subject them to intense sleep deprivation. I mean, we as mothers, experience it in the most extreme way, and can attest that there is no other form of torture more effective at making someone break.

Noah was born 3 weeks ago, and with his arrival, my sleep habits went on, what I hope is not permanent, vacation. I never slept great to begin with, but atleast I slept for more then 10-15 minute increments and was able to function as a member of society. Not so anymore...

Noah is colicky. Noah will only fall asleep if I am holding him. If daddy holds him, he will cry, fuss and squrim until a bewildered and confused daddy hands him off to mommy, wondering what he is doing differently. Only I posses the ability to make him stop crying at the drop of a hat by simply talking to him.

Normally, I would gloat and revel in all my mommy glee. But not in this case. For 3 weeks, I have watched (while secretly plotting his murder ;) ) my husband sleep blissfully. One morning he got to sleep until...8am....a feat that I have not done in many a year. Now, he does get up with Noah (occasionally and usually after I stomp LOUDLY out of the bedroom to get a bottle) but his method is to say shhh, stick a pacifier in his mouth and go back to sleep. This will only satisfy Noah for seconds, just long enough for me to sink back into my pillows, close my eyes and....

I never get past closing my eyes. So it is me that gets back up and takes care of Noah. Most days I am up and dressed (and usually have a cup or 2 of coffee down) by 5am...530am at the latest. Many of those days, I have been up since 3am.

My other children take full advantage of mommy's stupor. Many a time they got a cookie for breakfast because mommy was to danged tired to fight. They play downstairs and yell and scream knowing full well that mommy is feeding or holding or rocking noah and is not going to come down the stairs.

Yea, sleep deprivation would be a much more highly effective way of getting the inmates to break. You try being all high and mighty and stubborn and well whatever else they are when you have no sleep for days....

Uh-huh...cant do it can ya? Didn't think so.

So for now, I will appreciate the wonderful gift I have been given in my newborn son, make an effort to limit the daily consumption of chocolate chip cookies at breakfast time and try not to hurt my husband to bad as he snores away, blissfully unaware that one more snore could put him that much closer to his demise....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I have something to say...

Anyone who knows me knows that I ALWAYS have something to say. I am opinionated and honest. I am also great at listening and giving advice.

With that in mind I decided that it was time to expand my talents beyond my blog here. That is why I am excited to announce that I am developing a family based talk show on BlogTalk

Crayons In My Dryer will go live on BlogTalk Radio in 1 week if all continues the way it is right now.

Please be sure to check back for updates as they occur as well as my latest blog series on Post Partum Depression: Demystifiying the Myth

Melissa A.

The Early Arrival Of Baby Noah

Well about a month and a half ago we had to decide what expenses were important so my internet went bye bye...but now I am back with a lot of news

During that time, the bottom dropped out at home, so to speak. As many of you know, I was pregnantwith my fourth and final child. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, my health began to deteriorate. I was slowly developing pre-ecclapmsia, a potentially life threatnening illness. I had the best doctors around and the monitored me very closely. At 32 weeks, I was put on STRICT bedrest at home. At 33 weeks I began to have contractions. At that point it was a very real possiblity that the baby would be born premature. At 35 weeks, I was sent to the hospital after a non stress test showed that the baby was not responsive. It was there that we began to realize just how serious everything was.

It was reveled during the ultrasound at the hospital that the baby was suffering from IUGR or Interuterine Growth Restriction...meaning he was not growning as fast as he should. At that point the doctor decided that we would wait a week, re-evaluate and then see what our course of action would be.

At 36 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. I had developed pre-ecclapmsia and while the baby looked ok, I was not doing well.

At 37 weeks exactly it was decided that the baby had to come out...a.s.a.p

Monday June 29th 2009 started like any other day for me. I had an early morning drs appointment for another non stress test and then had plans to spend the day with the family. At this point, my scheduled c-section was 2 weeks out and I thought that I would be able to make it to that point.

My doctors appoint was eventful...I had posted a weight gain of over 4 pounds in 2 days, my blood pressure was dangerously high and I was begining to have swelling in my fingers. As I was led down the hall to do my non stress test, I had a bad feeling that things were about to go into overdrive.

As I was sitting in the room, hooked up to the machines that monitor heart rate and movement, I felt sick. Something was not right. The baby's heart rate was alot lower then normal and no movements were being detected. After 30 minutes the nurse told me I could go home and the doc would call me.

I was still in the parking lot when my cell phone rang...I remember looking at the was 11:00 am on the nose..." The baby needs to come out now...You have 30 minutes to get home, get your family, and get to the hospital for a noon surgery..."

I raced home, made the phone calls along the way and prayed like I had never prayed before. All I wanted was for my baby to be healthy and ok.

I got to the hospital, got prepped for surgery and was wheeled away to the OR. Surgery started at 12:20pm. I tried not to think to much about what was going on, instead I focused on not puking on the OR floor.

Then I felt the all to familar tugging and pulling...then silence. Everyone in the room just stopped. Then in a matter of seconds, I heard it...the most wonderfully sweet sounding sound ever...a baby crying...loudly!!!

Noah Lee Austin was born at 12:45pm weighing in at a mere 5pds 150z and 19 inches long. He had stopped growing and I was told that if we had waited, he wouldnt be here today.

Noah got a clean bill of health from the peditrician and now, despite being colicky and a bit high needs, he is doing great. And to tell the truth, I dont mind sitting up with him all night...because I know how close we came to having a different outcome....

And now it is with great pride I introduce you to my lil heartbreaker..Noah Lee!!!

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