Moods of Motherhood

weehoo sat

Saturday they forced me into a Weehoo Ride. I came out in the garage to find them waiting…

napping house

Followed by the Napping House where EVERYONE was sleeping! (for TWO HOURS!!) A Mother’s Day weekend miracle.

I had a fantastic Mother’s Day this year. It’s probably the first one I’ve spent with my own mother and both sisters since I became a mother seven years ago. It was pretty significant. There was the mother’s day tea in John’s preschool class, complete with adorable gifts, a song and muffins. Brendon made me cards and wished me Mother’s Day bright and early with a hug and a kiss. I went on a five mile bike ride Sunday morning and came home to a bountiful brunch all made by my hubby (he’s a keeper!) complete with a box of cupcakes from Sublime! My brother in law and his girls came over for brunch and brought me flowers. He’s such a considerate man with a loving spirit. My in-laws did well raising their boys.

brunch

What’s that bread in the background you ask? Weellll, I’ve finally done it. Years of trial and error and we finally have artisan bread with the nice crunchy crust and airy holes. Thank you sis for helping in the process!!

the hubs

The man behind the brunch (he loves when I candidly snap his photo).

But there in the midst of it all, I was in such a dark place. It took hold earlier in the week and gripped me like something I had never experienced before. As much as I tried to shake it, this terrible mood, sadness and anger, crept back in every chance it could. I found myself lashing out at loved ones, being short with my clients and wishing I could hide under a rock and never be found. It was a desperate, dark and lonely place. I can’t say I have ever personally suffered from depression, but I have now seen a bit of what it must be like. A hole so deep and there is no way out.

Every season of life has its challenges for sure. Is this the fate of women in their early 40s, as they near the dreaded menopause era? Was it the bitter blessing in the selling of our North Carolina house? Our continued adjustment and unsettled feelings after leaving the military? An uncertain future of what lies ahead…I still don’t know what brought it on. If only I knew.

After brunch, hubby took the boys to his parent’s for a Mother’s Day visit. At which point, I melted into a puddle of tears for a solid 20 minutes. It turned out to be just what I needed as a catalyst for change. I wrote the majority of this blog, dove into work for 30 minutes and then followed that by a 30 minute run. I felt the gloomy clouds in my mind rolling away. My husband is an amazing man. He never asked me to be “happy” to “enjoy my day”. He just took it as it was and gave me space and free time.

We rounded out the day with a visit to my Dad and stepmom, complete with Brendon finally getting to hold some baby chicks and left with a bushel (or two) of eggs. Followed by an early dinner with the extended Walker clan and last but not least a photo of my mom and her girls. I think the last of these group shots was almost 15 years ago at our wedding.

Cardenas Sisters

A hen and her chicks

*A special thanks to my bestie Christie for her “fake it, till you make it” advice and for surviving me acting like a turd from time to time.*

My love affair with Vinegar

I’ve touted the wonders of vinegar so many times and yet, I keep finding more ways to use it that pleasantly surprise me.

My oldest and most sage advice with vinegar is in the laundry. There was a point when I got the motherhood crazies. You know, the part of becoming a mom when you do crazy things, like throw away your perfectly fine artificial Christmas tree because you read an article it may contain lead. Only to purchase another artificial Christmas tree five years later because you’ve had another baby and you realize you never caught the first infant sucking on the tree limbs anyway. Ya, that’s crazy.

Around this time I was also spending oodles of needless cash on special baby detergent, yet the clothes weren’t all that soft and I realized, the baby was doing just fine sleeping in my bed linens that weren’t washed in special soap. Buuuut, I wasn’t ready to start back on the Downy train just yet. Somehow in the recesses of my sleepless mind, I remembered vinegar could be used to soften clothes. And here we are 7+ years later, still on the vinegar laundry. Not only does it work as a softener!  If you have really stinky workout clothes, presoak or add vinegar to the wash. Yep, stink is gone. Vinegar can also be used to set bright colors or black if used in the first washing of the garment or fabric. And don’t worry you won’t smell like vinegar – the smell dissipates with drying.

ironing

My ironing station. I had to put it somewhere where I could enjoy ironing. As much as possible anyway. Yes, my dry iron did not survive the trip to the island and back again. I’m back to the standard iron, but no way I’m putting water in this thing…I’m so over brown spritzes of water randomly surfacing.

Also on the laundry front – IRONING! Man. do I hate to iron. For years I’ve worn lightly wrinkled clothes to avoid the iron. Or haven’t we all ironed with the dryer? About six months back I subscribed to Collette’s snippets emails. Yes, they all have to do with garments and lots about sewing, but some are so handy that they cross into mainstream life. There was a snippet a few months ago that talked about getting deep creases out of fabric by adding a little vinegar to the water in your spray bottle. Guess what? It works for ironing anything!!! Something to shorten ironing time, woohoo!!!

Do you lose a lot of hair on a regular basis? I do. I’m surprised I don’t have bald spots. We are regularly getting clogged or slow running drains. Eventually I get really annoyed and buy a jug of drain cleaner, which yes I realize is not great, but the only alternative I’ve heard of is pouring a bit of bleach down there. Hmmm. I haven’t kept bleach in my house since the crazies hit (see above second paragraph), so that was out. Then my mother happened to mention making a volcano of baking soda and vinegar in the sink drain. Oh yes!! It worked. And so much better and more convenient than the drain cleaner or bleach.

De-Yuck a Mouthguard – I have a terrible teeth grinding habit. It started in architecture school and it’s decided to stick around for the long haul. After a few root canals and some serious TMJ, I now have a mouthguard. Oh so sexy I know. This thing gets disgusting; even with regular brushing. I tried using Efferdent denture tabs (*side note, these do NOT work for clearing a clogged drain; that’s an urban legend), but they made my throat hurt. Dare I let this mouthguard go too long and hubby will ask me if I’ve been eating a “dog poop sandwich”. Sometimes he shocks me too! After the success of the sink, I decided to soak said stinky mouthguard in vinegar water. Wal-la! Nice and fresh and it doesn’t hurt my throat. I need my throat fully functioning for yelling at my boys. Ask them if I’m kidding.

cut-cake

Red Velvet (or Rainbow) cake anyone? How do you get the cake so vibrant? Vinegar!!! That’s right, just a teaspoon added to the batter will greatly intensify the color. People might even think you know what you’re doing on the baking front.

And last but not least, as an all-purpose cleaner. I wrote about this last year when we were living with the most disgusting tile ever invented. The minute it got dirty it felt like you were walking on grease. The only thing that kept it at bay was the vinegar/baking soda/lemon juice grout cleaner I found on pinterest. (link here).

What will I use it for next??