Friday, April 19, 2013

This House

We did it.  We closed on our house and after this weekend, we will no longer live here.  

At the closing, I was ready to be angry at the couple who bought our house because their agent was such a jack ass.  But when we got there, I saw a couple who looked too young to buy house and were probably clueless to the antics their agent was pulling on us.  

Truth be told, we were probably their age when we bought this house.

Our first house.

At the ripe age of 25.

Ten years ago.

I glanced at the couple as I signed my name a hundred times, and I was overcome with nostalgia.

We were babies when we bought this house.

We brought our babies home from the hospital in this house.  They learned to crawl, walk, and talk in this house.

We became grownups in this house.

I learned who I was in this house.

We don’t want to stay here - we have outgrown this house and want to move to a community with a downtown area with lots of parks.  I’ve been plotting and scheming a way into our new city for years.  And now it’s finally going to happen.

But I’m a little sad to be leaving this house where we became a family.

As I pack up up every single thing, I have had a lot of time to think about things.  (Like every damn day).

I wonder if Marie and Thomas’s rooms will still have their own sweet, distinctive scents: Marie’s  is a mix of lavender bath soap mixed with her own powdery scent.  Thomas’s has this clean, fresh yet sleepy scent.  If I could bottle it up and pack it with us, I would.  Because my heart may break a bit if the scents get lost in the move.

I wonder if we will be happy in our new house.  Yes, I’ve always wanted to live in this city, but sometimes things don’t live up to the image I have in my head.    I am hoping that the lessons I’ve learned in this house have prepared me to accept that nothing is perfect and to find the joy and happiness in any situation.

I wonder if the new couple will become a family here like us and the family before us.

My heart kind of breaks that we will be moving this house, the house where we have had celebrated birthdays and holidays and babyhood milestones.  I am sad to leave the neighbors who have taught me how wonderful it is to live by close friends who you not only trust, but enjoy.  This is an experience that was lost on me in my childhood since we didn’t have a lot of neighbors.  I will be sad not to see them every morning at the bus stop, but eternally grateful for their lesson in friendship.

I know that wherever we are together as a family is home; memories are not constrained by the walls of a home because they can always be found in the heart.  But right now my feelings are a mashup of everything bitter and sweet.

Have you ever moved from a place that you are emotionally connected to?  How did you deal with it?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eastside Skin Care and Laser Center

Last week, I attended Eastside Skin Care and Laser Center Open House to celebrate their new location in Rochester, Michigan.   Although I was there to check out medical spa, they are a division of the Eastside Gynecology and Obstetrics and Eastside Midwives.  I also love that one of their doctors, Dr. Suzy Hall, can be found on Twitter and is founder of of the the Eastside Gynecology Twitter handle, @GynoGroupie.

So at the Rochester location,  you can get a physical and a facial in one place - how awesome is that?!  

Now I’ve seen fair share of doctor offices and medical spas.  They almost always feel, well, cold and impersonal.  This office was quite the opposite.  The waiting room and treatment rooms are beautiful with warm, wood floors, calm beige walls, and serene artwork.

While I was at the Open House, I had the pleasure of talking to Karen.   I could tell by her knowledge and enthusiasm that she is passionate about skin care.  She provides a long list of services which include everything from chemical peels to microdermabrasion to laser hair removal. 

Her excitement was contagious because I haven’t been inspired to inquire about a medical facial since I was pregnant with Marie, almost seven years ago.  I always felt the pain and torture of extractions just didn’t seem to balance out the results of glowing skin.

I asked her how painful, and I appreciated her honesty when she said that extractions can be uncomfortable.  However, she went into detail about how she lessens the discomfort by using a galvanic current to loosen up the clogged pores along with lots of steam and exfoliation.  I think I could handle that.

Because this center is located in a doctor’s office, I like that she can use injections to take care of cystic acne (which can usually be found residing on my chin).

Eastside Skin Care and Laser Center also offers a host of other services such as photo rejuvenation, , Juvederm and Botox, and Ultherapy.  They also carry products from Glytone and Avene.  (My favorite was Cicalfate which heals and moisturizes the skin all at once).

During the open house, Eastside Skin Care and Laser were offering specials on services.  If you were unable to make it out to the event, they are offering the special prices until April 30th if you mention April Open House!

What is your favorite spa service?  Is there a service that you have always wanted to try?

I am totally thinking it might be time to try a facial again!

**This post was part of a paid blog project from All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Postpartum Depression in Retrospect

I mentioned that I am totally digging the freedom that comes with no diapers which then does not necessitate a need for a diaper bag. And because I don’t carry a diaper bag, I don’t need to lug around baby food, pacifiers, extra clothes, or bottles.  I don’t have to worry about pumping, formula, or nap schedules.

I love that I am able to put the kids in their non-infant car seats and just go.

I realize that all of that stuff is just temporary, but the real reason I think I am afraid to have another baby is having Postpartum Depression again.  That is something I don’t bounce back so fast from and the scars are pretty deep.

I think what made it worse, is that it was undiagnosed both times.  Seriously, how can that happen?

The first time I think I carried on alright on the outside.  I showered every day, I religiously worked out, and interacted with my baby girl.  But on the inside, I was a mess.  Looking back in retrospect, it’s pretty ridiculous that I didn’t see it.

I thought it was totally normal to look endlessly at a closet full of baby clothes and feeling overwhelmed with the task of picking  out an outfit . . .  when we weren’t even leaving the house. 

Wasn’t it normal to wonder why my baby needed me when clearly someone else could do a much better job than me?

I thought that being a mom was synonymous with feeling weighed down with guilt of leaving the house by myself coupled with the crippling fear that something bad would happen to me while I was gone.

The anxiety was the worse.  I felt anxious about everything ranging from what she ate to immunizations to the guilt that I was the cause of her physical delays.  I remember wishing her first year away because we would have a diagnosis closer to her first birthday.  

I knew something was wrong when I totally identified with the people in the Cymbalta commercial -  their vacant stares and fake smiles while the narrator gently said, “Depression hurts.”   If I could see that, how come no one else did?  Or why didn’t I speak up?  Shame, maybe?  

It’s hard to come clean when everyone is telling you how damn happy you should be to have a baby.

When Thomas was born, I totally thought I could identify Postpartum Depression a mile a away.

But I didn’t.

Again, with the anxiety that gave me the urge to drink all the time, which given my family history, scared me to death.  My anxiety manifested itself in crazy ways, like I would never allow raw chicken into my home because I was terrified to accidentally spread salmonella to my little babies.  I lived in fear of H1N1 flu and took Marie out of story time.  I also cried a lot when I felt that I was falling short of being there equally for each child, especially when Thomas would cry for hours and hours and never stop.

I felt unsupported by people because instead of seeing my out-of-control anxiety as a sign of PPD, I was viewed as overreactive and difficult and paranoid.  What added to this confusion was that I was misdiagnosed with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) by my doctor which I write about here.

Enjoying babyhood is supposed to be this magical time, and for me, it has been tainted by PPD and the guilt associated with not feeling that magic.  I know there is medication available for this, but I just don’t know how I feel about going down this path again, especially with two active kids.  

Maybe I’m being selfish by leaning towards having no more babies because of how it makes me feel.  I’m never saying no, not ever.  (Like ever).  But I do think it is important to look at having another baby honestly instead of through some gauzy, rosy altered view.

Did you suffer from Postpartum Depression?  Was it diagnosed?  How did you get through it?  Did PPD effect your choices in having more children?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On Your 4th Birthday

Dear Thomas,

You are now officially four years old.

Four?!  When did this happen?!  (Over nights and nights as your sister would say).

I can say that, without a doubt, my most favorite thing about you turning four has been watching your personality emerge as you had more words to express yourself.  

Your personality comes through these little nuggets of truth , and I’m often taken aback because A) They are soaked in truth that only an unfiltered child can speak and B) I didn’t even think you were listening.  But you are listening.  All the time.

Like when you talk about your actions in terms of making choices.  Or when you watched the Oz Great and Powerful and you knew when the witch was not telling the truth.

I also love when you observe when someone is practicing kindness.  You are listening and soaking it all in.

Another favorite part of watching you grow is watching how you love.  I watch how you get a nighttime drink for Sissy, even when she doesn’t ask.  I watch how you give me Altoids when you get yourself Altoids.  I watch how you make sure Baby Jammies is covered and never cold.

And I think how I am the luckies mom on earth to have a sweet-hearted little boy.

My birthday wish for you is that you never loose that tender, thoughtful side to you.  Such a giving, selfless quality is a gift and part of what makes you a beautiful little person. 

I love you forever.