Thursday, June 25, 2009

For better or for worse, in sickness and in health

Last week my beautiful little sister Natalie got married. After much preparation, she had a lovely ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple and a gorgeous reception at Tuscany restaurant. I was blown away by how pretty everything turned out to be. But more importantly, it was so great to see Natalie and Brant sealed together for all eternity. The way Brant was looking at my sister in the temple was priceless, and I'm happy she found a good guy who loves her and makes her happy. The lucky pair are now on a Caribbean cruise (oh my word, what I would give to go on a cruise right now!) and I hope they are having the time of their lives.Aren't they cute??

Sadly, the happiest day of her life was actually one of the most difficult in the Paulich home that I can remember. Well, really, the whole week was difficult. On Monday night after we put Claire to bed she started throwing up- over and over again. Every time we'd get everything all cleaned up and get her to sleep again thinking "that has to be the last of it" we'd hear her cry and lo and behold, it was everywhere once again. It was so sudden and she wasn't acting sick at all. The next day though she was much better. I actually kind of felt like it was a motherhood rite of passage or something. I survived my first night of barfing children! I am a true mother now! I know I have plenty of nights like that in my future too.

So I woke up Tuesday with a sore throat, thinking that maybe my body was just a little run down from the lack of sleep the night before. By Wednesday night, at my sister's dinner the night before the wedding, I really started to feel awful. I went to bed that night and had a very sleepless night (partially due to a massive mosquito bite on my ankle that itched like you wouldn't believe) because of a fever and not being able to breathe. Brady woke up at about 3:00 AM saying he didn't feel very well and went downstairs to use the bathroom. He proceeded to throw up violently and uncontrollably for the next several hours. I believe he threw up a total of about 24 times!

Claire woke up, out of sorts and running a low fever, and proceeded to scream for almost an hour straight. My little family was so sick, and my sister was on the verge of getting married, I didn't know what to do! Do I be a bad wife and leave Brady to deal with things on his own? Or do I be a bad sister and miss the wedding? Brady really wanted to go to the ceremony, but the idea of him barfing in the temple was not a pleasant one, so he stayed home with Claire as I raced downtown so I wouldn't miss the wedding. I remember feeling so worried about my little family and so sick myself and just so desperate.

The rest of the day went much better. Brady was able to stop vomiting, and we all held it together for the reception. Claire actually had the time of her life dancing to the music, it was the cutest thing! She was getting a little tired and grumpy, but when the music got going she wildly starting waving her arms and legs and had the biggest smile on her face. Priceless.

Sadly Claire had a high fever the next day and some wretched nights to follow, but I am happy to report we are all finally recovering. I have my smiley little girl again, and my voice is almost back to normal. My sister Ali and my mom both got horribly sick too, but they are well again. My mom actually saw something on the news about Utah being the worst state in the nation right now for infectious illnesses, and I believe it! Holy cow, what a week we had!

I realize that lately I have blogged pretty regularly about us all getting sick. I think we've just had a streak of bad luck, but I'm crossing my fingers that this is the last of it for a while, and the rest of the summer will be full of happy, HEALTHY, adventures!

Happy Father's Day

So, as always, this is late, but I still wanted to give a shout out to all the awesome dads in my life.

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a pretty great dad. It's not easy being the father of all girls, and he's done it so well. He's sensitive and caring and always puts his family first. I know he has quietly sacrificed a lot to make sure we are happy and well taken care of. He is our #1 fan and not only has he endured endless dance concerts, but he has videotaped and taken pictures of each and every one. He's a good example of what a husband should be and has always treated my mom with love and respect. I feel so blessed to have a great father.

And of course, I can't forget my dear husband, who is the best father I could ask for for my little girl. He loves her to pieces and dotes on her in every way. He changes stinky diapers, gets up in the night to feed and comfort her, and always manages to get a smile or giggle out of her. Claire sure loves her daddy, and so do I!

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The building is making me bonkers

When we moved into our little townhouse 3 years ago there was a big, lovely field right behind it. It was quiet and peaceful and we'd often see deer wandering through it. I loved it. I knew though that it probably wouldn't last long. A big open plot of land in Lehi? Yeah right!

Just as I expected, last year trucks and tractors started driving around on my peaceful, lovely field. Someone bought the land and decided to turn it into a housing subdivision. Now all I hear all day long is the sounds of engines running, beeping, digging, horns honking, stuff banging into dump trucks, and something being dropped that causes my entire house to shake. ALL. DAY. LONG. Right behind my house! It starts at about 6:30 in the morning too. I stress out because Claire's bedroom is at the back of the house and everyone that has ever had a baby knows that naptime is an iron-clad, MUST HAVE, throughout the day. Without sleep, Claire gets c-r-a-n-k-y. Which makes mom i-n-s-a-n-e. By some miracle Claire manages to sleep through the chaos so far, even though it constantly sounds like an alarm clock is going off when the trucks back up. Sometimes I am tempted to go out on my back porch and demand that the men give it a rest for a couple of hours because some people's kids are trying to sleep, darn it! But I'm sure they'd just wonder who the crazy lady is and keep on going with their project.

While I'm on the subject...they're building these ridiculous McMansions that all look the same on these teeny-tiny plots of land. Seriously, there are about 6 feet between the houses with almost non-existent backyards. I don't know why but it irks me that people pay so much money for a postage stamp sized plot of land and build a big house on it. Where's the fun in that? I want room for my kids to play and the dog to run and room to grow a garden and put a swingset and actually have some privacy, you know? Brady and I have decided that one fine day we are just giong to buy an old house on a big piece of land and fix things up a bit. That sounds like a little slice of heaven to me! Someday...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What the...?

Um, does anyone know what happened to summer? Because I think it's gone missing. I'm not too happy about it, and neither is my dog and baby because wet outside= no walks. If you happen to stumble across it, please let dear summer know that it is sorely missed and needs to stick around. Otherwise I'm going somewhere else to try to find it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Return to happiness

This week has been a very stressful one work-wise. There have been a lot of changes to the team I manage, some favorable and some not. I've had to meet with each person individually and try to make them happy while telling them some bad news at the same time. Some people I have had to cut from the team altogether, which was so hard. I hate watching the life in their eyes fade as they feel the sting of disappointment. I am not cut out for this whole "it's business, it's not personal" kind of life.

But, I have been thinking a lot lately about my current state of mind, and how grateful I am for it. I'm stressed out and overworked, uncertain about what the future will bring, but deep down I'm still happy. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because for a long time, I wasn't happy, and it was awful.

For some reason I have hesitated to say anything about the postpartum depression I have struggled with over the last 8 or 9 months. Often times blogs are what my cousin likes to call a "best-life contest", and heaven forbid my life not be the best! I don't want to seem like a downer, or a whiner. But ultimately, I think I was in denial for most of the time and didn't want to admit to myself that something was wrong.

I can't say when exactly it started, but probably when Claire was 2 or 3 months old. I was afraid of postpartum depression, I had heard so much about it. I always assumed though that it would be this big major thing with all sorts of noticable red flags about how depressed I was. Instead though, it just crept up on me and then lingered for a long time. I assumed that being depressed meant being sad ALL the time, and sometimes I did feel happy. But there were many times when I should've been happy, and I wasn't for some reason I couldn't figure out.

I never once considered hurting my baby or even hurting myself, but I often wondered how I could go on the way I was. I often felt alone, and hopeless, and sad, and half-crazy. For a long time I blamed it on some marital road bumps that had come up that I couldn't seem to get over- most likely because I was depressed. I was fatigued and unmotivated, which I blamed on the lack of sleep and lots of work, but really, I think most of it was because of depression. It gnawed away at me until I was irritable all the time and anxious and anti-social in a lot of respects. I just wasn't me.

Poor Brady didn't know what to make of any of it. I'm sure he just assumed I was stressed out and not a very nice person anymore. I think though he also thought I didn't love him anymore, and that's certainly not the case. I feel bad that he felt that way.

A few months ago I went to the Draper Temple open house with my family. Brady was actually able to take the day off work and we all went out to eat afterward. It as a beautiful day, and I should've been overjoyed, but for a reason I couldn't explain I just felt down and grumpy. It was then that I knew I had a problem. I told Brady that I thought there was something wrong with me, and just saying the words out loud was like a huge burden liften from my shoulders. I wasn't better yet, but it was a start.

Just recently I've discovered I have a little motivation again. I'm not as listless or anti-social as I once was. I actually enjoy certain activities again. I've actually felt like joking around and getting out and doing things. It's happened little by little, but I think-for the most part anyway-I'm back, and it feels so good.

I'm really debating actually posting this, because it's not really like me to divulge details like this to a bunch of people, especially about my weaknesses. In fact, I've never even told my family how I've felt because I don't want to come across as being whiny and giving them something else to worry about. Besides, I've felt that there's really nothing anyone else can do, it's my personal battle that I will have to fight. I don't like having people pity me, or think differently of me. Don't feel like you have to leave comments to validate me or anything like that :) This time though, I guess I just feel so grateful to actually be happy again that I feel like telling the world. And I guess I want other people to know that they don't have to suffer alone if they are going through something similar. I really should've talked to my loved ones more, or maybe even a professional because it really did help to get it off my chest. I hope that if anyone needs me they know they can call on me and I will be there however I can, because I've been there myself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reason to celebrate

After 10 long months, I am thrilled to report that Claire is FINALLY sleeping through the night consistently! It's been a rough road, but we came out the other side in one piece. We tried every bit of advice ever given to us over the last several months but with limited success. Claire just wasn't a great sleeper, end of story. But suddenly a couple of weeks ago she would wake up when she normally did and wouldn't want to eat, which is what we were aiming for. Then a week or so ago, she just slept all night long altogether! She is teething again so she wakes up every now and then because she's in pain, but she goes back to sleep eventually. I cannot tell you how life changing this is! I had pretty much gotten used to get up in the night. Doing it once a night wasn't so bad, especially because Brady and I alternated nights. The phases she went through where she was up 6+ times a night were pure torture. I dreaded going to bed. But now, bedtime is blissful- as it should be :)

And just because she's so stinkin cute (seriously, she is at the cutest age ever), here is a picture from our excursion to the mountains this last weekend: