Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happiness With a Side of PPD

It has been 6 months since I was diagnosed with PPD. I thought I would be off of meds by now and way into my new groove with 3 kiddos. I much prefer the natural approach to the mind, spirit, and body- but I also know when I need to seek help so I can be the best for my family.

I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 12. I've been on and off meds majority of my life. I only stayed on them for a short while in the past because I believed my depression was completely situational. I would find my peace and move on. I know depression is a chemical imbalance, but I figured the things I had faced caused the imbalance. But for the first time in my life, I am truly happy. I am completely satisfied. I could not be more thankful for my life and family. And yet here I am, on the highest amount of Lexapro that I can take while nursing and taking anxiety meds as needed- and it is super frustrating!

The other night I was walking our pup and I turned around and admired our little house.

I was looking into the nightlight lit rooms, with pinkish and blue tints seeping through the windows. I remember thinking about how blessed I was to have 3 healthy sleeping children inside. I thought about my husband and the five years we have been through. The ups and downs in the beginning that have led us to this peace. I can't explain how amazing it is to have a partner that is your missing piece. That things just connect so easily without being forced. We can be us with no judgement. He holds me together when I feel like I'm slipping like it is nothing at all. I'm one lucky girl to have his understanding.

I looked at our house in awe and with gratitude that this is my life, then saw a shooting star fall from the distance behind the house. It was one of those magical, surreal moments. After it fell, I realized I had nothing to wish for- it was all inside waiting for me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to School Lunch Inspiration

I can't believe the Summer is over and it is back to school time! My kids are very independent and like packing their own lunches. Which is great with the 9 year old since she can choose healthy foods, but my 3.75 year old is a bit more challenging. He wants to be grown up like his sister so I have to give him the opportunity to when I can.

I love Justin's nut butter pouches and snacks. My son loves to dip things- so their nut butters and pretzels are his favorite. He especially loves the Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

Before I could even take a photo, he had eaten all 6 packs, so I had to make another order! He is my sneak and snacks don't last long around him. I did see that Justin's now has a banana and nut butter dip that we will have to look for. These are great snacks for on the go- packed with protein and yummy flavors.

Every year since I've been a YoGetter we have partnered with amazing companies for back to school ideas. This year we were sent Justin's peanut butter pouches, pretzel dips, a Packit lunchbox as well as Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers.
I don't know why someone hadn't thought of a freezable lunchbox until now! This is an amazing idea and I don't know how we got this far without one. We used to freeze our YoKids Squeezers so they were cold by lunchtime, but now there is no need! Unless you are wanting a frozen treat. The lunchbox goes right into the freezer and keeps your items cool for at least 10 hours. So not only is this great for school, but for picnics, hikes, or long road trips. And it is only $19.99! We may need to get a few more of these!

Here is some other lunchbox inspiration using Justin's Peanut Butter and Stonyfield Yogurt:

What are some of your favorite go to school lunches? 

*I am part of the Stonyfield YoGetters group of bloggers and receive compensation and products as part of the program. My opinion is not influenced in any way

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blessings We Didn't Know We Needed

Life has a funny way of stepping in and giving you what you didn't know you needed. We took a family beach vacation at the beginning of the Summer and my husband could barely get out of bed the whole trip. He was having extreme hip pain from a previous car wreck and after not being able to enjoy the trip with the kids, he decided to push his hip replacement up a few months. 

A couple of weeks after this decision I was home with 3 kids, a new puppy, and taking care of my husband who could barely move. So that left little time for taking care of me, my needs or blog! It was a great experience for everyone to have my husband home for a little over 6 weeks. And yes- we were pretty crazy adding a puppy to our mix- but we figured why not get it out of the way now and let the puppy and baby grow up together so we have peace in a few years... 

The kids spent many days making forts, art projects, pretend schools, dress up and whatever else they could do to amuse themselves. My husband was able to truly bond with the baby and he got a taste of what it is like at home daily while I try to work and tend to everyone. 

I was able to have support. And even though he was just sitting there most of the time, it was nice to have my partner with me. Especially when dealing with postpartum depression. It was nice to spend the Summer taking it easy rather than fitting in work with playdates and crazy schedules that it would have been if he was working. It made me see how lucky my kids are to have one another and have him for a father. 

Today is the first day I am home alone with our very mobile 7 month old who is days away from walking, our very energetic 3.75 year old and 12 week old puppy. In this madness, I'm reflecting on our Summer and the blessings we didn't know we needed. I'm accepting more what life has given us and embracing the toys thrown all over the floor, the noise of my trying son, chaos of a wild puppy, the innocence and wonder of an exploring infant who is growing too fast, my sweet daughter who is such a big help- yet so mind boggling, and the 50 million allergies that have plagued all of us- including the poor puppy. (I'm not sure I'm embracing the allergy part just yet- but I'm trying)

In all of this madness- we are truly blessed. Thanks for sticking around for the journey. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Postpartum Me

I have a passion for learning and writing. Those were the two things that started me on this blogging journey 7 years ago. Eventually I landed a freelance job because of the blog and it has been hard finding a balance between writing for me, writing for work, and family time.

My husband and I lost a baby last year when I just had gotten into the second trimester and had finally felt relief. If you haven't followed my journey, this was my 8th loss. So I was pretty devastated. We got pregnant right after the loss and now I have a beautiful 5 month old baby girl to complete our family. But I never gave myself time to grieve. I was paranoid my whole pregnancy. After baby girl got here, I was a mess. It doesn't help having a three year old in the mix!

I have an amazing OB who took one look at me and suggested I go on meds and that was the best thing I could have done for my family. I am slowly feeling like myself again and am ready to jump back in to writing for me. But I'm still searching for my balance between work, family and friends, and me. It's funny how moms put themselves at the bottom of the totem pole and do what is best for everyone else.

I'm not sure what direction Mkokopelli is going to take this year. I will still offer reviews, hopefully will have a few investigative writing essays/ natural parent articles, and I am going to begin to share more of my crazy world with an Aspie girl, a smart & wild 3 yr old and an infant. Hope you stick around for the journey!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Stonyfield Products

I was so excited to try the new Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt! We try and buy as many grassfed animal products as possible for the simple fact cows were meant to eat grass and not grain. When eating meat or drinking milk, I can taste a difference in grassfed vs grain fed. Scientist say human breastmilk changes tastes with the foods you eat, so why would this be any different for animals?

Farmer Tim Joseph, founder of Maple Hill Creamery- one of the grassfed dairy sources for Stonyfield said that, "Livestock evolved to eat grass, and when you shift to grass and grain, or just grain, you change the balance of healthy elements in the milk; it alters the Omega-3s and what makes the products healthy.” Grassfed dairy has higher Omega-3's.

Stonyfield Grassfed comes in 4 flavors including Strawberry, Vanilla, Blueberry, and Plain.

Stonyfield Greek now comes in Whole Milk with a container that allows you to control the amount of sugar going into your yogurt. Stonyfield Greek already has a low sugar content compared to other brands. But now you can get the same great taste with the level that suits your needs. 

One side of the container is plain, whole milk yogurt. The other is the flavor- Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Honey which is made with real fruit. You can tip the flavor into the yogurt or spoon it in to to get the desired sweetness you prefer. I absolutely LOVE the sweet/tarness of the cherry! By far my favorite Greek flavor

You can also get just the Plain or Vanilla Bean Whole Milk Greek.

What are your favorite Stonyfield flavors?

*I am part of the Stonyfield YoGetters group of bloggers and receive compensation and products as part of the program. My opinion is not influenced in any way