My Struggle with Post Partum Depression

You may recall about 2 years ago, I announced that I was going to be having a baby.  Well, I had a beautiful baby boy about 18 months ago and my life has never been the same.  Truth be told, he is my third child.  I knew how much I was going to love him, I knew how much work he was going to be and I knew that we had a new family dynamic that was about to take place.  What I didn’t know though, is how sad I was going to be.  Like not-get-out-of-bed-for-2-days-straight sad and crying all the time sad.

We Kinda Guessed

At around month 3 my husband and I had a long conversation about it and came to the assumption that I had Postpartum Depression.  At this point, I did nothing about it, other than try to relax.  I let my hubby and kids take over most of the household duties that I typically handle, but even with less stress I honestly wasn’t getting any better.  I had a fear of talking to the doctor about it because I was scared.  I had never really dealt with mental illness as it pertains to me before and I just didn’t want to acknowledge that I did, in fact, have depression.

I had other symptoms besides sadness too:

  • forgetfulness
  • lack of drive
  • lack of focus
  • no desire to work or be productive at all

The Doc Confirmed It

Well, at about 5 months in, I still cried all the time.  I got out of bed more often, but rarely felt motivated to shower or do any activities and my husband and I decided that it was time to see the doctor.  Once I went to my regular family doctor she confirmed that I did, in fact, have Postpartum Depression.  She gave me some pamphlets and prescribed me some medication then sent me on my way.  Truth be told the medication wasn’t my favorite, but it did help with one thing.  I cried much less often.  I wasn’t happy per se, but I had fewer tears so I was thankful for that.  I really was tired of my poor children and husband seeing me cry all the time.

I am thankful for the medication that I had during those few months because I genuinely feel like they helped me to some degree.  They didn’t cure me, but they helped me get through for a bit.

What Next?

I stayed on the medicine for a couple of months and then for various reasons, I decided to stop taking it.  Before you ask, yes, I did it under my doctor’s watch.  Antidepressants are scary, I followed all of their rules to the T.  Once I stopped taking the medicine I found myself laughing a couple of times.  Like real laughing, that I hadn’t done in a year or more.  It was wonderful.  I was also ready to get out more.  My husband took me on a couple of hikes (my favorite thing) and even surprised me with several beach trips now that he knew I wouldn’t nix the idea.  It was glorious.  All of that said, I did still have depressive episodes that brought me down more often than I would have liked, but I have powered through and I am getting better each and every day.

The tools that I have found that have helped me the most are:

  • Exercise
  • Sunshine
  • Vitamins
  • Family time
  • Healthy Diet (even when I wanted to eat chocolate cake morning, noon and night)
  • Lots of water

Speak Out

Even with all of the talk about mental health and the public’s desire to see it brought to light more often, there seems to be a major stigma surrounding Postpartum Depression.  Once I came to terms with what was wrong with me, I started speaking about it a lot.  In fact, I made it social media public (this photo and partial quote is from my Instagram account) and you know what?  I felt immediately better.  There is no shame in having Postpartum Depression.  Just like there is no shame in having regular depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or any of the other many mental health disorders.  Feeling free enough to talk about it and to get help will make all of the difference in the world when it comes to your treatment.

I think that there are great medical tools available to us for improvement in mental health (of course, more improvements can be made), but first and foremost, this stigma that is out there about mental health disorders needs to go away.  I was afraid to mention my postpartum because I had seen so many scary things in the news that I figured people would think that I wanted to hurt my baby or myself.  It wasn’t like that at all, I was just very very sad.  But because of these fears, I was hesitant to talk about my situation with anyone.  Had this stigma not been out there, I am sure I would have gotten help sooner.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Are you tired of all things pumpkin yet?  I’m not!  It is still October after all.  The thing is though, I also really like chocolate so I can never decide which dessert to go with.  So, why not both?  I decided to whip together these Pumpkin Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins and boy was it easy!

It takes just 3 ingredients!

 

I used just a box of chocolate cake mix, canned pumpkin and chocolate chips.  Yep, not kidding.  That is it!

Mix the three ingredients together, the mixture will be creamy, but thick.  Spoon into muffin or cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  The mixture, again will be very thick, so if you are looking for a pretty muffin, you will need to smooth out the tops of the muffins before baking.  Me personally, I don’t care what my cupcakes look like, I just want them yummy!

Here’s what you need:

  • A box of chocolate cake mix
  • One can of pumpkin
  • Chocolate Chips (I used half a bag, but feel free to use the whole thing…go hog wild!)

As you can see, I enjoyed my muffin right away and it was delicious!  Full of ooey, gooey, chocolatey goodness!

Ozeri INSTAVAC Nesting Food Storage Container Set Review

Are you looking for a way to keep your extra food lasting as long as possible?  As a family who has wasted far too much money in food that has gone to waste, I am always looking for ways to make my food last as long as possible before I toss it.

I got this Ozeri InstaVac Food Storage Set a while back and my initial reaction was that the set I got is a little bulky for my taste.  I cannot find a good space to store it in my kitchen, but to be fair I have a very small kitchen (soon to change as we are getting a new house!!), I actually have loved what it has done for my food.  I made a salad last week and ended up with lots extra, so I put it into one of these Ozeri bowls and oh my goodness, 2 days later it was still crisp.

The size of this set notwithstanding, I actually have loved what it has done for my food.  I made a salad last week and ended up with lots extra, so I put it into one of these Ozeri bowls and oh my goodness, 2 days later it was still crisp.  This has worked out so much better than those cheap sets I have been buying at the dollar store and Walmart.

 

Disclaimer: Okay, here’s the deal:  I was provided with this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions, thoughts and reviews located herein are mine and mine alone and were not influenced at all by the company or its affiliates.

Mystery Tackle Box! The Perfect Gift for a Fisherman!

Oh my goodness you guys!! I saw this info this morning and I am about to freak out.  See, my brother in law is a huge fan of fishing and I am always at a loss as to what to get him when it comes to birthday and Christmas gifts, but I love this Mystery Tackle Box Idea and I think I might have found his next gift!

Mystery Tackle Box is the #1 fishing tackle subscription service offering anglers and fishing enthusiasts a fun and affordable way to discover new fishing lures, learn new techniques and catch more fish! If you, or someone you love, enjoys fishing, get them a Mystery Tackle Box Subscription today. You’ll enjoy a monthly box full of new and innovative fishing lures and products, content on how to use everything, plus stickers and special offers. Visit MTBFISH.COM to learn more!
My Readers Get $10.00 Off Your First Mystery Tackle Box – New Subscribers can enjoy $10.00 off their first box of Mystery Tackle Box fishing tackle subscription by using the promo code USFAM10. Get a box full of new fishing products delivered straight to your door. Subscriptions start at $15 per month. Coupon valid through December 31st, 2017.

Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale Review

A while back I received an Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale.  See, I’m not sure if you remember or not, but I had a baby recently (okay, a year and a half ago) and I really need to make some changes to get my weight back on track.  After a miserable fight with Post Partum Depression, my weight has unfortunately not changed one bit since the baby was born.

Anyway…I thought that one way that I can work toward weight loss is by making sure that I am eating the right amount of foods and weighing the foods are a great way to do that!  I try to weigh out the meats and dairy products I eat to ensure that I am eating the right portions.  Plus, while I don’t feel the need to weigh them out for my dieting purposes, the kids and I also have fun weighing out our fruits and vegetables.

This Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale is super easy to use, you basically just have to hit the power button.  If you want your foods measured in a different unit, you just need to touch the unit button to get to the desired choice.  I have had no issues whatsoever.  The easy touch buttons are flush with the scale, which makes it really easy to keep clean!  Simply stated, I really like this scale and plan to use it for years to come and I highly recommend it for those wanting to start weighing their foods.

 

Disclaimer: Okay, here’s the deal:  I was provided with this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions, thoughts and reviews located herein are mine and mine alone and were not influenced at all by the company or its affiliates.

 

The Harlem Globetrotters are Coming to Town!! Save 25% On Tickets!

Do you have basketball fans in your family? Well, they are going to love this!! The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town!

SAVE 25% for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM. Go here to place your order.

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Lister, Ace Jackson and Hoops Green – the Harlem Globetrotters’ show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Their 2018 World Tour will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.

 

Easy 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

I  am so ready to start baking again!  Now that Fall has arrived and it is acceptable to turn on my oven again, I am ready to start baking!  Plus, the holidays are coming soon, so I like doing test runs on my recipes.

I have made a couple of tweaks to once of my favorite easy Fall baking recipes!

DELICIOUS 2 INGREDIENT PUMPKIN MUFFINS!

Here’s what you need:

  • A box of white cake mix
  • One can of pumpkin

Mix the two ingredients together, mixture will be creamy, but thick.  Spoon into muffin or cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Because of the thickness of the mixture, you may have to smooth out the tops of the muffins before baking, but this is based on preference.

The muffins came out super moist and tasting very similar to pumpkin pie!  Yummy!

BONES & BLOOD (A Freaky Halloween Treat)

bones-and-blood

Are you looking for a great treat for your Halloween party?  How about serving up some bones and blood?  Sounds gross right?  Oh, but it is not!  It’s so yummy!

Check out this step by step on how to create this Freaky Halloween Treat:

What you need:

How I did it:

I stuck a mini marshmallow at each end of the pretzel sticks and rolled them in marshmallow creme (to make them more sticky) and then dipped them into the melted white chocolate to create the “bones”.  Place all of your bones on wax paper covered cookie sheet and place in the freezer for the chocolate to harden.

Serve with “blood” for dipping (strawberry jam in this case).

 

Cabela’s: $20 Off $200 or more with Offer!

cabelas Alright all of you Cabela’s shoppers, hurry and take advantage of this hot new deal!  Go here to enter your email and you will get an offer for $20 off of $200 or more!

I rarely see Cabela’s deals like this so snap it up now while you can!

Be sure to check out the Cabela’s Bargain Cave for some awesome deals!!

Nitro Circus: A Wildly Fun Family Night

(We had a great view of the show, but our seats were being a baseball net and pictures were not easy to get)

So I told you all a while back about Nitro Circus coming to our neck of the woods, well we went and boy oh boy did we love it!  We went to the show in Bend, Oregon which was held in the Vince Genna Stadium (home of the Bend Elks).

I have to be honest with you, I fully intended to go to this show for my children’s benefit only.  I figured they would have a great time watching the motorcycle tricks and that would be that.  Boy was I wrong!  I had just as much of a good time as the kids did and I would go back again in an instant!

First of all, we were lucky enough to land at a show that Travis Pastrana was at!! According to others who have seen the show and Travis himself, he doesn’t make it to many of them, so this was awesome.  Maybe it’s because I remember watching Travis ride on TV when he was just a teenager and being so impressed by that, but him being there just made the night that much more exciting.

There were so many tricks done by motocross racers, BMX bikers, and skateboarders that it was non-stop action. I was even mentioning to a friend last night that I even loved the crowd there.  It was a mixture of fun-loving adults and excited little kids.   In fact, the only thing I didn’t love about the night was that the Vince Genna Stadium has very little parking and we had to walk probably a half-mile to get there, but even that wasn’t so bad.

In this stock photo, it shows what was, in my opinion, the best part of the show.  All 20 of the athletes were in the air and upside down at the same time.  I have seen it on television before, but it was heart racing excitement to see in person.

I will end my review with this.  I WILL definitely be buying tickets the next time Nitro Circus comes to town.

 

We received these tickets in exchange for our honest review.