When I started writing this blog, I was very open about being on medication for depression. I was on a high dose but it was easy to understand given what we had gone through. Those memories, while still too vivid, are now a part of our past. Lauren, at two and a half, does not stop. She doesn't stop talking and she doesn't stop moving. Even when she's sitting on the couch watching her latest favourite show, Paw Patrol (which I hate by the way, but that's another issue for another post), her feet and legs are often up in the air cycling her little body back and forth as she tries to put her feet on our faces (why does she insist on doing that?! She has been obsessed with trying to put her feet on our faces since she could control her feet enough to get them there!). When we go to a store, I need to make sure that it won't be busy because it seems physically impossible for her to use her walking feet. "I running!" is a statement that I hear regularly. If we have to stop somewhere, she dances. Those feet just don't stop.

Elyse remains the easiest baby on the face of the planet. When she is tired, she starts to flap her arms. If I get her to bed at that point, we are well on our way to having a full day without any crying. Elyse smiles easily, laughs at faces, loves to blow bubbles and raspberries and her favourite past time is being naked. She delights in an audience, is happiest being held where she can sit and look at everything and does belly laughs looking at herself in the mirror. Since she was two and a half months old, she has slept through the night. While she doesn't nap much during the day, she spends her awake time happy and content.

This time, we have no massive issues, but I still ended up at my doctor's office and being handed Zoloft again. It was not what I wanted, however it was what I needed. I had stopped sleeping for more than a few hours at once, struggled immensely to fall asleep, was mentally obsessed with different ideas for hours at a time and felt a little bit angry. I had caught myself in a few conversations about what I was feeling saying, "I just can't shake it." And that's when I knew that I needed to get to the doctor. This time, I'm not dealing with depression but anxiety and OCD had officially taken over.

And I was a jerk because I didn't want anyone to know that I was on medication.

I was embarrassed. I felt like it was a failure on my part. I had been given the easiest baby and I still couldn't do it without meds.

And then I wanted to punch myself in the face.

This blog is about being realistic. I read enough mommy blogs that make life look perfect all of the time. It's not. Life is wonderful and challenging and tough. It is all of those things at once and that is what I like to write about.

So now I am medicated and I'm still a good mom. I don't feel like I'm doing a bad job. I'm busy. I work my butt off for those girls and Matt. Right now, my life is being a full time stay at home mom and that is hard for me. I love having an outlet outside of my house. I love working, being creative and having a place where I can feel like I excel. I also love my time at home with my little ladies. They are fantastic and delightful, but without my medication, it can be hard for me to see that all the time. With just a little bit of medication, I'm a better mom for them. It allows me to sleep, focus on the things I need to focus on and let go of the others and get back to enjoying my girls.

If I could get better without medication, I would. And I tried but it didn't work. My priority is my girls and I know that it is best for them for me to be as healthy as possible with the medication. One day I will be off of it again, but for now it is back in my daily routine.



When Lauren went into the hospital, I felt such relief that we had just had her dedicated in church a few weeks before. It was silly, because it wasn't like God wouldn't have abandoned her if we hadn't done that, but it gave me such comfort.

Before Elyse was born, I knew that we would be dedicating her quickly - not because I thought that anything would happen to her but because I knew that from the moment that she was just a hope in our hearts, that God would be in control of her life. It was such a special moment for me that I bought her dedication dress before she was even born (pretty much all of her other clothes are Lauren's hand-me-downs). 

Lauren was her two and a half year old self and decided to make the dedication a bit interesting with her constant energy and readiness to wiggle. It's a good thing that I'm trying to embrace reality, not perfection (hence the dishes all over the counter the other day when we had people over).

The dedication was a reminder of our lives not being our own. Every day that we have is a gift from God and I want to reflect that in the way that I mother my children. I want them to know God, but also to see his work in my life. Right now, being a stay at home mom for the year, that means that I want them to see him in my interactions with them. Elyse was dedicated to the Lord and I dedicate myself to mothering with patience, kindness, gentleness and love.



I ask this so many times a day and the answer is usually, "Uhhhh, no." This is the response regardless of whether or not she has to pee.

Two weeks ago we started potty training bootcamp. Lauren has showed a willingness to use the toilet since shortly after she turned two but she didn't have the speech available to be able to communicate with me her desire to use it or not. Because of the speech concerns and Elyse's imminent arrival, we decided to wait on potty training until a few months after Elyse was born. When Elyse came along, we definitely did see more resistance to using the potty, so I'm glad that we didn't try to push for training any earlier than we did.

So, on that dreaded Thursday, even though I could think of a million excuses to put off potty training yet again, I pulled out Cinderella underwear and let Lauren traipse around the house in her "Cinderellas" and her shirt. Within hours, this was what my shirt looked like:

A few days later, Lauren was doing pretty well. We made it through grocery shopping with no accidents, to Target once, on car rides and out for breakfast. She was still having an accident a day but most of the time she was using the toilet.

When she went to daycare for the first time after a few days at home, Ms K commented that she never tells her when she needs to use the toilet or looks like she needs to go. I had noticed that when we first started the training and I was wondering if Lauren would start to communicate once she understood the whole potty thing but it just wasn't happening.

While I love Lauren's medication for what it does for her heart, it is complicating one important part of potty training. Lauren has no sense of having to go to the toilet. She never says she has to go or holds herself because the medication has caused her to drink and pee more than she should and, over a long period, that takes away the feeling of having to pee (because you're pretty much always doing it). Soon she will be taken off of this medication but until then I will just have to be extra aware of taking her to the toilet based on time and the amount of liquid she has taken in. It is hard to have her want to go to the toilet because she never feels like she should be going there, but that's what candy is for. Lauren's love for Hershey's Cookies and Cream chocolate is going to be her potty training weakness. For now, I will keep her out of diapers as much as possible, but this, like many other things with her, is something that we may have to take more slowly than had planned to do. All in all, a small sacrifice to make.



I knew it was going to happen, but I didn't expect it to be this early on. Lauren has kicked my butt. I thought this would come when she was 13 or 14, but we are there already. I can't really put my finger on exactly how she did it but she just seems to know where all of my buttons are lately.

I have a feeling it is the inability to potty train her with pooping. That must be it. She's about 93% trained with peeing, but pooping seems to still be something she would rather do in her pants and then have fall out of her pants when I'm trying to remove them and she accidentally rolls through it, smearing it all over the carpet. When this horrible phase is over, I'm going to violently throw the carpet in the garbage. Knowing my aim, I'll miss.



Elyse has been growing and gaining weight like a champ. I like to joke that instead of making breast milk, I make breast ice cream. Since I have decided to go cold turkey on the ice cream (much to my chagrin), one could have been worried that Elyse's weight gain might have dropped. Not so, my friends.

It was strange the other day when I realized that Elyse at three months weighs more than Lauren did at seven months. How crazy is that?! When Lauren came out of the hospital, she weighed less than 11 pounds at 6 months old. Now, she is still lean but she is above average for height. There are worse things to be than blond, blue-eyed, tall and thin. (We are in so much trouble!)

Elyse continues to be the world's easiest baby. She very rarely cried and when she does, it is usually because she needs to go to bed and even then it is only really fussing as opposed to crying. A real cry usually means pain (like when she had her first set of immunizations and I saw her cry with tears for the first time).

Elyse has started to suck her thumb as well. It has made it so much easier for her to go to sleep. She simply pops her thumb into her mouth and within minutes she is out like a light. Fingers crossed that this encourages her to sleep more than three 20 minute catnaps throughout the day. I could really use some long nap time to recharge and have some baby free time (not that it is hard when she's awake so I'm not really complaining).

Lauren's favourite toy when she was a baby was her playmat (does that count as a single toy?) and Elyse has now discovered the excitement of that mat. Lauren still enjoys popping down for some time on the playmat with Elyse but now Elyse has started to be a bit of a tiny, strong-fisted hair puller. This playmat gives me some time when I need to get stuff done and Baby Squish refuses to sleep. I should make the house boring. Obviously there is too much to see and she doesn't want to miss a moment of it.

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