Friday, October 13, 2017

This time last year...

This time last year we found out we were expecting our second child, such a blessing. Of course not soon after I started feeling miserable with morning sickness and everything else that comes along with pregnancy... but I expected all this, I had done it once before. What made my second pregnancy so much harder? 

Well, you always hear about postpartum depression, but what about those who suffer with it during pregnancy? I did really well emotionally during my first pregnancy, and assumed I would be fine again, but this wasn't the case. 

At first it was just the everyday overall not feeling well physically, then I figured it was the added stress of the holidays, potty training my 2 year old, church callings, and then an abnormally long rough winter... but I soon found myself in a deep depression. 

It was so much harder experiencing this depression than any of the other times in my life, because this time I was suppose to be happy right? I was carrying a tiny miracle, something not everyone gets the opportunity to do. Our baby was growing, developing, and thriving, something not all babies do... I had a sweet little toddler, and a selfless husband that loved me unconditionally. So why was I having such a hard time? I felt like I had no reason to feel the way I was feeling, and it was hard. 

I withdrew from everyone and everything... I had such a hard time being "Mom" to Zella, and felt guilty for it. I worried and fretted over how I could possibly be a mother of two children when I felt like I was failing at the one I had, would I even love this new little one? Another thing I struggled with was seeing everyone's seemingly perfect happy lives on social media... so I withdrew from that too... I frankly just didn't care about anything anymore. 

When I realized what bad of shape I was in, I was in crisis... After a lot of convincing from my sweet patient Jon, I decided to help myself... 

What did I do?

-First I contacted my OBGYN, and started some medication. 
-Then I started to see a licensed therapist. 
-I let people help me, and tried not to feel guilty or bad about it. 
-I found an exercise routine that I could comfortably do while pregnant... Water aerobics, it seriously saved me. 
-I made a "Self Care" list, and was diligent about keeping my own tank full.
-I opened up and talked about my feelings with others close to me.
-And took a little trip to visit a sweet friend and enjoy some vitamin D.

I was surprised by how many people were understanding and loving towards my situation. In my mind I didn't think anyone would be sympathetic, I felt like I had no "real" reasons to feel the way I was feeling. I had no "excuse" so why would anyone cut me any slack? 

I've always known I am overly hard on myself, it is something I am continually working on. Trying to be patient and loving with myself... I am sure many can relate. As I sit and think back on that hard time for me, I wonder if this particular trial was another way my Heavenly Father was trying to help me learn to love me for who I am, imperfections and all. 

Of course this last General Conference, I felt like all the talks were directed at me... I knew these Apostles of Christ were telling me just what He wanted me to hear... 

When Sister Jones talked about our "Value Beyond Measure" here
and when Elder Holland said, "We should avoid that latter excessive expectation of ourselves and of others" here... and lastly when Elder Stevenson talked about harmful comparisons when he said this, "Comparing our own seemingly average existence with others’ well-edited, perfectly crafted lives as represented on social media may leave us with feelings of discouragement, envy, and even failure" here... 

So if you are like me, struggling, and feeling like no one else is... let me help you see, like I have, everyone has "something." Be kind to yourself... and I'll try and take my own advice too. 

I am happy to say I am doing much better, our new addition, of course has brought more joy into our lives, if that were possible. We love our girls and cherish them, even on the hard days. Transitioning to two kids hasn't been easy, I still struggle, but don't we all... I am just glad to be in a better place, doing and enjoying the things I love again... like blogging;)

I wanted to share all of this because I really appreciate people being "real" and vulnerable... and it is happening more and more all the time. It helps me truly connect to people when I can relate to the hard things we all are experiencing. 

Also those that went through this with me, thank you. I wouldn't have made it here without you... 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yaya Dane Turtis

It's time for another of those... 

"What I don't ever want to forget about you" posts...

Oh Zella, you me crack up... 

You are now almost two and a half years old.. You are full of life, and I am amazed how much you learn everyday!

You are very friendly and talk to anyone who will listen. You introduce yourself to everyone, "Hi I Yaya (Zella) then you introduce me saying, "Dis Yaya's Mommy" Most people can't figure out your name when you say it because you say a "Y" sound for the "Z" and "L's" in your name. You also tell everyone, "Nice to meet you." -Even if you have met them before... 

You are very polite and use your, "Tank you" "Pleeze" "You're Weltum" and "Cues me" all the time. You will also tell me, "Sorry Yaya's fault" even if it wasn't your fault at all. 

You're favorite shows to watch right now are: Justin Time, Dragon Tales, Bubble Guppies, and Daniel Tiger. But you also enjoy Curious George and Chuggington. 

You have gotten to be a stinker about eating, because you refuse to sit in a booster seat, and it is impossible to keep you up to the table. You are just too busy to eat... 

You still LOVE Kitties!!! and you want to be a Kitty Cat for Halloween, but you also love: Puppies, Horsey's, and Fish. Bamma recently gave you a small barbie sized cat that you take with us everywhere. You show everyone and tell them, "My Bamma dave it to me." This kitty also helps us get you to do things you won't do for us, if the kitty wants you to do it, you will!

You also still love books. You have most of your favorite books memorized and can help Mom read them. Two of your very favorites are your Zoo book and Princess book.

When you get frustrated you say, "Ahh, Tom on." You will also say, "So Close" when you are close to doing something. 

You love to dress up, and this usually includes a tutu. Whenever you hear music you will tell us, "It's time to dance." and pull us up to hop around with you. 

You continue to love music and you are a very good little singer. You like to hum, and sing everything you do. You will be painting, and while you paint you will be singing about what you are doing... You are very good at making up songs as you go. 

Your favorite songs are "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Rock a Bye"

Right now everything is Yaya's... Yaya's house, Yaya's Bamma, Yaya's Kitty Cat, Yaya's car... and so forth. Also when we ask you what your babies name is your response is "Yaya's Baby" or What is your Kitties name? "Yaya's Kitty" 

You also talk about yourself in the 3rd person all the time... and you are learning to say your full name... "Yaya Dane Turtis" 

Your favorite number is 7 for some reason... You count, 1-2-7... no matter how hard we work on the number 3! You also love the letter B, and go around saying B7 a lot. We joke that it sounds like you are playing battleship:)

You are still learning to share... and you have picked up spitting, so we started putting "hot stuff" on your tongue... this was not fun for you, and you have learned to stop spitting pretty quick.

You did so well transitioning without a binky. Sometimes you struggle with naps, but have gone right to bed since the first night without it. 

You might not be able to tell by this picture, but you do not like to cooperative for pictures at all...  

Gosh we love you Zella. Thanks for being YOU!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Curtis Family Takes Coeur d'Alene!

A Curtis Coeur d'Alene

I am always so grateful for the time and effort Dianne and David put into making our family vacations so enjoyable. With all the Curtis Family spread out as far as Japan, our summer vacation is sometimes the only time we get to spend time all together. So in early August we headed up to Coeur d'Alene and had the best time! Zella was in heaven with all of her Cousins. She really misses them now they have all gone home.

Here are some pictures of our fun trip, Enjoy!

View of the Lake from our Condo

First Night Sunset

Paddle Boarding with Dad

Kayaking with Mom

All of us hiking along the Lake

Relaxing at Lunch

Fun at Silverwood Amusement Park

Ice Cream Cones, Sandy Beaches, & Sailing

Curtis Kids Olympics

Gold & Silver Mine Tour

Celebrating David & Dianne's 40th Anniversary

All the Cousins

The Original Curtis Kids

I love these people! We had the best time:) 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mommy & Me Selfies

“Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.” 

—Sunny Gupta

      I have been thinking a lot lately about life as a Mother. It's hard to imagine life without Zella now. She became a permanent part of our life the moment we found out about her. Not to say Motherhood hasn't had its challenges. It has been hard at times, but the good times have always out weighed those hard times. I feel so blessed to be able to be her Mother, even though at times I feel like a complete failure at it. There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't make me smile or laugh... As I have been reminiscing, I found all the "selfies" we have taken together. Thought I would share them here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The 3 State Trip

Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York

We had the privilege of flying back east and staying with my Grandpa in Meadville, PA while visiting some special LDS church sites. The main purpose in going was to see my little sister Taryn perform in the Hill Cumorah Pageant

First we flew into Cleveland, OH- the closest airport to my Grandpa's house in PA. Zella loved the airplane ride, and traveled like a champ! We spent sometime visiting the area, picking blueberries eating good food, playing on Lake Erie, and eating lots of Perry Ice Cream! 

We drove over to Kirtland, OH to see the Kirtland Temple, and surrounding church sites. The Temple had such a special spirit, and learning more about the early saints in Ohio strengthened my testimony.

Then we packed up and prepared for a 4hr drive from my Grandpa's to Palmyra, NY. This is where the Pageant is performed right on Cumorah Hill. We camped at the fairgrounds, and Zella did really well sleeping in a tent with Mom and Dad. The first night we went to the Pageant, it was so neat. Zella loved it, and shouted, "Jesus Jesus" when He came down from the Heavens. It was a magical performance. I am so grateful my sister got the special opportunity to be apart of it!

The next day Jon and I celebrated our 5th year anniversary. We got up first thing and went to the Palmyra Temple together. It was a very small but special temple. It marked our 22nd Temple together. Inside it had a special clear window where you could look out and see the Sacred Grove, it gave me chills. 

Afterwords we visited Church History Sites in the area. Such as the Grandin Building where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were published, and Joseph Smith's Log Home and Sacred Grove. The Sacred Grove was my favorite place by far. The feeling there is indescribable. Even Zella hushed her voice, it was just like being in the Temple, hallowed ground for sure! 

On our way back to Grandpa's we stopped in Buffalo, NY to try the original buffalo wings. They were tasty! Zella thought her bowl made a good hat... Then we decided to go up to Niagara Falls while we were so close. Zella slept the whole time we were there...

After we had a day to relax before a full day of traveling home. Zella had such a good time with the family. We had 3 sets of Bamma's and Bampa's with us and she adored them all. She also had a blast with her Aunties and Uncle. They were so good to her. We all loved the trip, but we sure missed home and Mini. And to say Mini missed us is an understatement! Thanks to everyone who took care of her while we were gone:)