creeping in again

I have been very candid in the past about my ex-husbands affair, the failure of our marriage and lots of things that stemmed from that.  I have written extensively about postpartum mental illness (much of which stemmed from what was happening with him), had long talks with friends who have also suffered and reached out to new mamas to make sure they were ok.

You can read a lot about my postpartum anxiety experience at the link below and while the Climb out of Darkness organization no longer exists, I think it is important to recognize that pre and post partum anxiety and other mental illnesses do occur.  Link to the post:   http://www.vannclan5.com/2016/05/cotd2016/

A few weeks ago, I felt that anxiety creeping in again.  Let me first say this – my husband Jacob is absolutely wonderful.  NOTHING about the anxiety I feel stems from him, the way I am treated or anything.  This pregnancy I have been supported, lifted up and taken care of in ways that I never imagined were possible.

I have an hour commute each way most days.  In the mornings I drop off Natalee at the elementary school and then Katie at the high school.  If we leave the house at 7, I can have both girls dropped off by 730-740 and be on the road to work.  Some mornings if it’s raining I take Jonathan too, as his school is right next to Natalee’s.  Drop off is easy.  In the evenings, I leave work at 5pm, and get home between 550-615pm.  In the evenings, I am a white knuckle driver.  My hands often hurt after the ride home because I live in this constant fear of being in a car accident.  When I lay my head down at night to go to sleep, it’s one of the first things that pops in my head – I am going to be hit by someone who doesn’t stop at a red light, or something.  It takes me probably 30-45 minutes to fall asleep.  Here comes that anxiety creeping in again.  When I wake up in the morning, it hits me again about car accidents, but not for me – for Jake.  I worry until he texts me to tell me he made it to work (our morning routine).  I worry about it being dark, and a deer running in front of him on his way in since he is mostly on back roads.

I have anxiety about fixing everything at the house in time, since we are still displaced from our bedroom due to the hurricane flooding our bedroom.  We have a repair plan in place for the chimney (cause of the leak that caused the flooding), and the company we are using is doing their best to get it done quickly because of the situation.  I hate the out of control feeling that stems from not knowing when that will be done.  We can’t start on baby girls room (painting), or even put her furniture up until that is complete.  As it stands now, we couldn’t even fit a bassinet in her room along with our mattress (currently on the floor).   Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and mentally calculate how many weeks we have left, along with how much money it will take to finish everything to get things livable.  Here comes that anxiety creeping in again.

Lastly, the last thing I should possibly worry about (but I do) is who is going to take care of everything at work while I am gone.  My plan is to take 8 weeks of maternity leave, and thanks to the caring nature of our faculty – I am able to do this (they have donated leave to me).  I just worry about all the little things I do that no one else knows how to do.  Faculty and students have actually commented on “what are we going to do without you”, and sadly I think the staff is in for a rude awakening when I am gone and not easily accessible as I once was.   Here comes that anxiety creeping in again.

Devotional Journals Review

Hi friends!

I was blessed again to receive 3 devotional journals to review by Ellie Claire!   And they are absolutely beautiful!    I received the following journals (clicking each title will take you to an amazon page):

Peace Begins with Me

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

The Earth is the Lord’s and Everything In It

First, let me say they are all extremely well made, and the colors on each are beautiful.   They would make a wonderful stocking stuffer or other holiday gift this year.  Each is a 365 day journal.

The Peace Begins With Me journal has a soft sea foam green cover, with an elastic band to keep it closed.  In addition to the closure, there is a ribbon marker to keep track of what page you are on. I did not test the paper in any of the journals, but all descriptions I have read about these say they are non-bleed paper, so you could use your favorite pens in it without worrying if it bleeds through.  Each day has a short devotional, and under that space for writing out thoughts or prayers, or other memories.

 

The Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus journal has a colorful floral cover, without an elastic band closure.  It does however have a ribbon marker inside to bookmark certain pages.  Like the others, it has a short devotional for each day, along with a verse from scripture.  Underneath is a lined section for writing out daily thoughts or other notes.  Each page is full color as well, with flowers adorning the corners.

 

The Earth is the Lord’s and Everything In It journal has a full color cover, with a pair of peacocks on it.  This one does have an elastic band closure, and a ribbon for page marking on the inside.  The lined pages have a verse of scripture, a short devotional and usually a short one line prayer verse.   Like the others, I did not test the paper in any of the journals, but all descriptions I have read about these say they are non-bleed paper.  This journal also has full color pages on the inside too!

 

 

disclosure – I received these books for free from the publisher in exchange for my review.  All thoughts are my own.

 

December is busy.

It’s only the 7th day of December and I already feel like it is flying by.  At work, it’s the last week of classes and then exams start on Sunday.  I feel like things are about to get real crazy, real quick.

We have a department holiday party coming up, and I am taking meatballs.   I found a recipe for Cranberry BBQ Meatballs from The Chunky Chef, and I am sitting here drooling looking at the recipe.  I wanted something that was easily cleanup (hello crockpot liners!), and was an easy to eat party food.    Three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes of prep time – yep, I’m sold!   Also wanted something simple in case I buy all the ingredients, and we end up with weird winter weather that prevents us from going to the party.   Yes, SC is expecting weird winter weather this weekend.  Granted, I’ll believe it when I see it, since it was 70 on Sunday and Monday of this week.

We also have an annual family reunion at my uncle’s church for all my moms siblings (7 of them total), and their kids/grand kids.   It is always fun, because we typically only see this side of the family once a year.  We weren’t able to make it last year, so we are going up on a Friday to stay with my mom, attending the party on Saturday and then going back to moms for the night.  She wants to make cookies with the kids (and us) on Saturday afternoon/evening.   Later in the month we’ll head back to moms for actual Christmas stuff and my birthday!   This is something we have gotten to do every year since the kids and I moved to SC.  They live so close (5ish hours), that I want to try to get there as much as possible.   I cannot wait for birthday dinner this year, because this girl wants her seafood!   I’m bummed because one of our favorite places to eat was torn down due to extensive hurricane damage, so we’ll have to find somewhere else to go.

After that week, its my last week of work, and my kids last week of school for 2018.   I have the dreaded glucose test later this month too.  I am looking forward to having one glorious week off work, with no alarms (for me), and no rushing to get kids to school on time!

What does your December look like?

they read my mind

I saw this cartoon on facebook, and knew I had to share it!   This is literally ME in cartoon form.  After Natalee became really sick around 18 months old and ended up hospitalized, I became super aware of people breathing on her and around her (germs, cigarette smoke smell, etc).  If you think I was bad when she was 18 months old – then you will probably hate me as the mom of a newborn.   I think I have more of a voice now than I did back then, and I’m less afraid of offending people than I used to be.  It is my job as a mom to protect baby girls little lungs and her health.

pregnancy dreams = wth

Seriously people….you can tell me all day long about weird dreams, but nothing compares to weird pregnancy dreams.   Pregnancy dreams are insanely vivid, they often revolve around bizarre situations or topics, and sometimes they are just downright scary.

Case in point.  Wednesday night we went to bed like normal.  We put Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil in the diffuser, I took my allergy pill like I do every night, we snuggled (like we do every night) before we both drifted off to sleep.   Jake’s alarm goes off at 4:45, and some mornings he is up right away, some mornings he hits snooze several times.  This morning was one of those mornings where he got up right away, and I was able to go back to sleep pretty easily after he kissed me bye.

Then the dream started.  It started off okay – we were at a beautiful hotel in the mountains for a romantic getaway after we had the baby.  Somehow, my ex-husbands new wife set it up for Jake’s ex-wife to show up at the hotel and cause a huge scene.  In the dream, Jake and I were in bed when there was a knock at the door; he got up and opened the door only to find his ex-wife screaming and carrying on in the hallway.  So, he let her in our room in order to get her to calm down.  He tried to give her money to leave, and instead she got naked (!!), and climbed into our bed which I was currently occupying.  I quickly jumped up and went out on the balcony.   Jake and a hotel bellhop try to forcibly remove her from the room while waiting for the cops to show up.  She was screaming about how she was going to steal our daughter, and win Jake back by showing him what a good mother she could be.   I am sitting on the balcony in a bathro be absolutely sobbing because this has ruined our whole romantic weekend.  Jake is still in the room with the bellhop, while he tries to talk her down from whatever drug induced crazy she is on.   When the police show up, she quickly sobers up and tells them that she and Jake were sleeping peacefully when I showed up.  She started acting like a loving wife, and was hanging on him.  She tells the police that I am “hiding” on the balcony and that again, I had broken into their room.  The police arrest me and take me to jail for breaking and entering.    I woke up from this dream with tears on my face, a wet pillow and I was shaking.   It was bizarre and awful.

What.The.Hell.

Feel free to tell me about your weird dreams in the comments, especially if they were when you were pregnant!

Throw Back Thursday

Little did I know that about 30 minutes after this photo was taken, that Jake would ask me to marry him.   Cannot believe it’s been 2 years since this day, and almost 3 years since I met the love of my life, and the best bonus dad to my kids.   We love you babe!   (photo cred to my daddy!)

baby bumpdate!

Baby girl had her heart scan on November 12th. Being a CHD patient, I am used to these kind of scans, but it is still always a little bit scary. Thank you to Kristina from Abrahmstrong for sending me the exact questions to ask the ultrasound tech. You would think this being baby #4, I would know the questions to ask, but sadly I did not.

Currently her heart looks perfect, all 4 chambers, all valves operating as they should, no holes between chambers and the vessels (aorta & pulmonary artery) are where they should be. We will get a similar scan around 35 weeks as a double check. She was kicking away at the doppler (which is normal for her), and had her hands in her mouth most of the time (which of course she was uncooperative in the scan tech getting a picture of).

I had another appointment on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and everything seems to be progressing normally.  Her heartbeat is nice and strong, and I am measuring as I should be for a 4th time mom.  The only thing that really came out of that appointment was finding out my doctor actually goes on maternity leave herself around December 19th, and should be back before my due date.  In the meantime, she has picked a doctor within the practice she wants me to see.   I will have the dreaded glucose test on December 18th.   Totally NOT excited about this.  My doctor said “get excited, we have fruit punch and lemon-lime flavor” in a very sarcastic tone.  I laughed when she said the fruit punch was nasty and she recommended the lemon-lime.  My last doctor (with Natalee) had orange, which is the best out of the 3 flavors if I had to pick one.  I’m a little worried about failing the test and being diagnosed with gestational diabetes – but god’s got this!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!   We have been blessed this year in ways that we never thought possible.  I hope you all have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving weekend.

In closing – #GoGamecocks & #GoBlue!

Another Black Friday Sale item!

And another sale item! This set is $30 less than it would be if you bought it separately AND it’s one of the only ways to get the holy grail of sleep oils – Rutavala! This set is amazing!   If you purchase this from me, you will also get a free carrying case for all of them!   

Black Friday Essential Oil Sale!!

 

Young Living has picked more than 50 of their favorite essential oils and the 4 most popular diffusers and they are ALL on sale for 20% off!
If you want in to any of these, send me an email or a text (vannfamily4@gmail.com).

Anyone who places a $100 or more order will get some extra goodies from me!!!

When: November 23 at 8 a.m., MT, through November 24 at 11:59 p.m.,

🌟 20% off 🌟
Aria Diffuser
Rainstone Diffuser 
Desert Mist Diffuser
Lantern Diffuser

🌟 15ml 🌟
Abundance 
Bergamot 
Cedarwood
Citronella 
Clary Sage 
Clove 
Copaiba 
Cypress
Digize 
Endoflex
Eucalyptus Globulus
Eucalyptus Radiata 
Geranium
ImmuPower 
Joy 
Lavender
Lemon 
Melrose 
Orange 
Oregano 
PanAway 
Patchouli 
Peppermint 
Raven 
Rosemary 
Stress Away
Tea Tree
Thieves

🌟 5ml 🌟
Blue Tansy 
Christmas Spirit 
Citrus Fresh Vitality 
Frankincense Vitality 
Gentle Baby 
Ginger
Lavender Vitality 
Lemon Vitality
Lime Vitality 
Orange Vitality 
PanAway 
Peace & Calming 
Peppermint Vitality 
Rose 
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood
Sacred Sandalwood
SleepyIze 
Spearmint 
Thieves Vitality 
TummyGize
Valor
Vetiver 
White Angelica