Saturday, December 28, 2013

Depression around the holidays

It took me a while to decide whether or not I really wanted to post about this.

Not everyone knows, but I have been struggling with my depression and anxiety a lot lately. Certain events in life are proving to be more than I can handle, and I find myself holed up in my room more often than not. I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor for today to talk about increasing my meds, but unfortunately, I was unable to make it.

I have been feeling more and more like I'm in over my head. I know I am, and I'm okay with that. I am doing what needs to be done for my family, and will continue to do what needs to be done. I just need to figure out a balance and a few other minor details need to be worked out. Once it's all said and done, life will be that much more calm. But in the meantime, there are bumps, traps, and blockages in the way that I am having to maneuver around.

One of the main ones is the fact that a certain person decided to call CPS on me. This is the same person who had the nerve to call me a car seat Nazi, amongst a few other things, then block me. Long story short, I'm sure she's feeling bad about her life, and saw me in a vulnerable position. Friends who know her said that this is not uncommon for her. I'm not her first target, and I likely won't be her last. It's alright because the worker who was assigned to our case is nice, and is very helpful in making sure that I have the help I need and the resources available. Some that I wasn't even aware of. Blessing in disguise, I guess?

A lot has happened lately that made my depression spiral worse and worse. I have feelings of being left out intentionally when it comes to family things. I don't hear from some family members as often as I thought I would. Mainly my brother. I miss him, but I refuse to always be the one to initiate contact. I may not be working outside of the home, but I am extremely busy at home with 6 kids now, and it would be so nice to just see a "Hey sis, want to get together" text every now and then. I haven't seen him in a while, and we don't even live that far from each other.

Gaining a ton of weight after giving birth to my youngest has caused a lot of damage to my self esteem as well. Usually, you give birth and you lose weight. Especially if you breastfeed. It didn't happen that way for me. I lost some initially, but found myself more hungry the more I nursed. The more hungry I was, the more I ate, naturally. The more I ate, the more I gained. Which also lead me to discover that I was a "bored eater". I was bored, so I ate. Especially since I used to smoke, food became what occupied my hands and mouth. Fast forward a few years later and I can't fit into my favorite jeans. The same jeans I wore when I was pregnant with Gianna. I still have them in hopes that one day, I'll fit back into them. I'm also discovering that pants that were too big on me at one point are no longer too big. In fact, they're starting to get snug. I hate the idea of New Years Resolutions, because why put off later what you can do now, but let's be honest ... I'm enjoying the junk food I'm allowing myself for the rest of the year. I'd like to be back to my prebaby body by summer. Or at least a few pounds closer.

Seriously, I love Christmastime, but at the same time, I am starting to really resent the holidays. It just makes me realize what I am missing out on. I miss my mother. I miss the family get-togethers from when I was a kid. Where everyone was included. I miss still living at home and seeing my brother daily, even if he drove me nuts. I miss just fitting in. Being a part of something. Yes, I have my own family now. I fit in here at home. But its just not the same. I just can't wait for all the holidays to die down. I want to start working on me. I *NEED* to start working on me. Starting with my happiness.

For now, I will settle on being in the rut I'm in. Soon, it will change. It just needs some time to work itself out, and the meds to kick in. There has to be a light at the end of this tunnel, and I will start working on finding it soon. Let's just hope it doesn't take too long to find it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and had the best time with your families and friends!!

We celebrated Christmas Eve at my grandfather's house, a tradition since I was a little girl. I love spending time over there, visiting with family whom I don't see very often. It was great finally meeting my cousins little boy, seeing other cousins that I haven't in a while. Although, what sucked was missing a few cousins that live in other states and couldn't make it.

It was great seeing Gianna have fun with her grandfather, running around and hiding underneath the dining room table.

 Watching my cousins, Mia and (her aunt) Sydney have an intense conversation about the naughty and nice list (Syd agreed to put Mia on the nice list after all).

 Gianna and AJ playing with their new toys.

There are some things that happened Christmas Eve that I missed out on that made me a little sad. Like, the Christmas Eve toast. I didn't know it had happened until after. Bummed me out a bit, especially since I wasn't informed about it last year either, until after as well. Maybe next year will be different ...

Christmas Day was fun, despite it being extra crowded. I'm not used to having so many people in my house, so it was a bit nerve wracking. There was paper all over, toys, books, stuffed animals, etc. Not to mention, I have yet to put away all the clean laundry, so there were laundry baskets floating around as well. I tried to take a pic of each child with their Christmas Gifts, but there were just too many of them ;)

As always, I get a pic of the kids in front of the Christmas Tree. I tried this year, but it took a few shots. Gianna has started to make some silly faces, and she seizes the chance to make one whenever she can. Here are 6 of the shots I took of them:

After all of the silly shots, I ended up with one that I really liked:
And yes, if you look in AJs mouth, you can see a nice size gap. Not only is his top tooth gone, but he lost another bottom tooth on Christmas Eve. Don't worry, the Tooth Fairy made it just fine!

   I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

World Vision Jewelry Set Giveaway

{Disclaimer: I received a bracelet and earring set for review purposes only. A Fulfilled Mommy did not receive any monetary compensation for this review. My opinions and experiences are my own and may differ from your own. This blog is not responsible for prize shipment.}

Bracelet modeled by my beautiful 4 year old daughter.

World Vision is a humanitarian non-profit organization that fights against poverty. World Vision helps struggling children and families in the United States and around the world for several decades. With a small donation of $25, one can select one of 36 handcrafted gifts from the World Vision Gift Catalog. This gift option is wonderful because it not only knocks a Christmas gift off of the list, but also helps some one in need. Please consider looking at the World Vision Gift Catalog for your gift giving needs. There are many wonderful options.

I received the Colors of Africa Bracelet and Earring Set. This is a gorgeous Zakale bracelet and earrings set. These crafts are handmade from recycled materials by Kenyan artisans. The colors are absolutely beautiful. I am really looking forward to wearing this jewelry set to holiday parties.

Check out the following video to see how their Gift Guide works:

Between now and December 31st, there are many worthy causes to give to, spreading joy to others and adding to your own year-end tax deductions. But with so many worthy causes to choose from, how can you know where to give? World Vision offers five tips to help with choosing a charity:
1. Find a charity with a track record; review the organization’s IRS tax status, check how it spends money and makes important decisions. Good places to find this information are Charity Navigator and GuideStart. 2. Be thoughtful about an organization’s overhead and administrative costs; cost efficiency is an important factor when choosing a charity, but effectiveness is the key. 3. Ask questions before you give – visit a charity’s website, send an email, or call if you have concerns. 4. See what others are saying about the charity of your choice via social media and trusted online forums. 5. Watch for scams; be on your guard for emails that ask for credit card or other personal information. Check the Better Business Bureau Charity Reviews website ( before giving.
World Vision is generously giving away another jewelry set to one lucky winner on my blog. You can enter this giveaway by using the Rafflecopter entry form below. (A big thanks to A Fulfilled Mommy for allowing me to take part of the giveaway! And a huge GOOD LUCK to my readers, current and new! I know whoever wins will enjoy this jewelry set!) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Best Dinner Ever

Never underestimate the pleasure a simple thing as a nice meal out can do for a family. This is long, so I apologize in advance. But please read it.

A friend of mine nominated my family for a local "adopt a family" thing through a local radio station. Our family was adopted by someone (we won't find out who), and a restaurant wanted to have our large family out to eat, completely paid for. When we arrived, the hostess and all the servers came right to us and did everything in their power to make sure we knew that they wanted us to enjoy ourselves and not worry about a thing while we were there. I was terrified the kids would act up. It was a tad bit loud, but what do you expect with 8 kids? They behaved MUCH better than we anticipated. Manners, no screaming, HAFTY*, etc. 

Olive Garden made sure we had a whole section to ourselves so the kids could run around without bothering other people if they felt the need to move around. They made sure we didn't wait long for our food. The kids meals were bigger than they usually were so that we could bring extras home with us. Appetizers, main dishes, and even dessert. It was the best present we have ever received, honestly. 

Not only that, but at the end, the two servers we had brought out gifts for the kids. They saw that our wish list for the radio station just had clothes and warm blankets on them, and they wanted to do a little more for us. The baby got 2 teething toys and a Thomas pillow pet. The other younger kids each got a stuffed animal/pillow and blanket combo, and some extras. My oldest daughter received a Bohemian Bracelet making kit and other things, the 9 year old we have custody of got a Hello Kitty diary and some nail polish. They also gave my husband and I a $25 gift card to Walmart, and my cousin also got a $25 gift card to Walmart. 

We had a great time, and I almost cried. I wanted to so bad, but I also didn't want to at the same time. It was just great. I wasn't expecting to have such a great time at a restaurant. I didn't have to worry about dishes. No cooking. Nothing. They also let us take the poinsettia home. 

My point, if you can afford to take a family who is down on their luck, or struggling with bills, out to eat, please do. Even if it's to IHOP or Denny's. It really eases a LOT of worries when you don't have to worry about a meal or cleaning. I was finally able to kick back and enjoy my family for the first time in a long time. Especially since adding more to it. I truly am blessed, and can't wait to be in the position to be able to do this for another family.

                                  Because I do not have permission from our servers to post their pic on my blog, I did blur their faces. 

*HAFTY stands for Hands And Feet To Yourself.