Mom’s Watergate Salad

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Hey guys! It’s been quite around here this year, I won’t bore you with the notes of what all my mind has been occupied with these past months, I’m just going to jump right back in here with a quick and easy dessert recipe that is sure to please your friends and family this holiday season, not to mention your pocketbook, since all the ingredients are pretty cheap this is great for those who are looking for ways to save a little money on the food budget this season. This is super easy and quick to throw together. My mom made this growing up whenever we had a big potluck function and it was always on the table at family holiday meals. I remember my grandpa always made sure everyone knew, “there’s that green stuff in there, better gichya some.” (Gichya: southern for “get you”, Get you: southern for “you should get” or just “get” ) As you can tell by my pic above, I doubled the recipe and I always opt to leave out the marshmallows.

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It’s sooooooo yummy and EVERYONE loves it, adults and kids alike! Enjoy!

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“She put on a lot of weight”

This is so wonderfully written. She has hit the nail on the head my friends. I can relate to this so well, can you? If so, drop by her blog and give this mama a like :0)

Kathy Sebright

I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a couple of years on the fourth of July. It was hot and humid here. My sweaty hair was stuck to my face. My brave little boy was in my big yellow double running stroller, the strap tied a bit too tightly around my arm digging in. My oldest son was running behind me with my husband. I was surrounded by an amazing group of people out there representing the church we attend, showing love for our community by passing out a few thousand popsicles in the parade. My face was flushed red from the heat and the exertion of running to keep up while pushing a nearly 100 pound load and simultaneously handing out popsicles with one hand while the other steered the stroller. I handed this person a popsicle, smiled, and offered a short, but enthusiastic, “Hey there!” As I…

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Dark Side of the Full Moon -A film review.

Photo by Linda Marler Photography

Photo by Linda Marler Photography

If you have spent any time at all browsing some of my posts here, you know that I have a passion for postpartum wellness. That the picture that society has painted of new or new-ish motherhood drives me crazy. I can’t stand it, how mothers are made to feel less adequate if they don’t immediately jump right back into the swing of things. How it’s taboo to talk about mental stress after having a baby, and how most new moms just chalk it up to one simple phrase when asked how they are doing, “Oh I’m just a little tired.” Did you know that studies show that moms who have increased fatigue are at higher risk of developing postpartum depression. It’s true. Studies have shown that moms that have a good support system and are on an iron regimen are less likely to suffer PPD, not exempt but less likely.

Did you know that PPD is the MOST common complication of pregnancy? It can START as late as a year AFTER your baby was born but some women start having symptoms BEFORE their labor and delivery. Even though it is so common, with upwards of 9-15% of new moms experiencing it and as high as 41% of those who have already went through it having a recurrence, it is rarely screened for. 5% of women are screened during the postpartum period and only 4% during their pregnancy. It doesn’t take a genius to see that there is a gap in those numbers. And it’s not because there is a lack of screening tools out there, all I did is a quick Google search for PPD screening and up pops the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale or EPDS. It is a legitimate and tested screening tool, and it has 10 questions with scoring and instructions on the bottom, you can print it out at your home, nothing fancy. It’s not hard to access. The thing is that it’s not required for doctors to use it. 100% of mom’s, who go to a traditional health care provider,  have all these screenings and tests done for diseases that they are less likely to actually get, and only 5% are screened for depression. But when you look at the scale, based on the actual percentage of diagnosed cases, it’s backwards, with PPD being the highest and everything else falling well under that.

So, last week. Last week was a doozy for me. My ‘baby’ is 19 months old and I am still experiencing waves of PPD here and there and last week was pretty bad. I wasn’t coping well at all, and I needed help, but I really REALLY hate to ask for help. It was Thursday and I felt I was at the end of my rope. I picked up my little to put down for his nap, and thought to myself, “I am no good at being a mom. I’m just bad at it. I need to just stop, admit defeat. I can’t do this anymore. I need to just put the kids in daycare and get a job.” (and no, I am not hating on working moms, I  have been there and I have mad respect for you.)  I knew that I needed help, but I was in such a negative place that I would rather suffer than ask for it. Because that’s part of the game right? If you don’t ask for help then no one will ever know that you needed/need it, so they will all go on thinking your just another super mom right? That’s the whole charade of motherhood.

This is me and my little when he was three months old. This was also the same week that my hair started falling out and my depression sat in.

This is me and my little when he was three months old. This was also the same week that my hair started falling out and my depression sat in.

 

After laying little man down I sat down in front of the computer, and saw that I had a message on my blog page. I opened it up and there was a message from someone that I didn’t even know, Maureen, who wanted to share a project of hers. It was a film that she had made with her friend, Jennifer, and it was about maternal mental health complications. “All right,” I thought, “I am going to watch this.” To say that my heart was lifted would be an understatement. It spoke volumes to me and left me with  a new found strength to get through the rest of my day and to ask for help. So many of the news clips highlighted in the film were stories that had long ago found a place in my heart and dampened my eyes.  Maureen and Jennifer traveled the country interviewing moms that had coped with maternal mental health issues, as well as doctors and other postpartum professionals, in order to help shed a light on the broken maternal support system. Making the points that, it’s not fare and there is not excuse. If you don’t know what to do with a mom going through these things, figure it out. “First do no harm” right? So is doing nothing actually harming, I think it is in this case, and it’s not just hurting one patient sitting in an exam room, it’s hurting motherhood. Because if doctors don’t talk about it, it must not be a big deal right? Because if it’s a big deal surely the doctor will bring it up, I won’t have to ask. Wrong.

A father interviewed in the film said this, “Even when you buy a phone, they ask you, ‘Is your phone working well?’ No one has called. Even in a super market, they ask you, ‘Did you find everything okay?’….No one has called since that time to ask, how she’s doing, how I’m doing… But, they are sending the bills.”

How true is that. There are men at my grocery store that help me pick out meat, employees that bag my items and will push my cart to my car and load my groceries. Yet, when a mother has a baby, people say “mommy and baby are doing great!” and that is that. Too often, too many mothers fall through the cracks. I am so thankful that I had the amazing help I did when both of my children were newborns, but for me the PPD didn’t set in until a few months later, when everyone had already assumed that I had gotten my sea legs.  I am grateful to God for sending me bits of information from time to time on ways  to better take care of myself, and find strength. He knew that I needed to see this film, right then.

A mother interviewed said, “It’s a real thing. And it doesn’t make me a bad mom and it doesn’t mean that I never should have had children. It’s common, it happens to so many women. Why are we not out there with it and just saying, ‘It happened to me, It can happen to you.’ “

This film left me sobbing tears of hope. Hope, not only for myself, but for all mothers. Because the more people there are shining a light, and asking questions, the more likely the chance that one day, sooner or later, we will hear the right answers. Sooner or later, the light will be bright enough for everyone to see. Because it’s not just mother’s who need educated on the postpartum period, it’s everyone. It takes a village to raise a child, not just one over stretched and exhausted mom. So let’s all do our part to spread the word, so we all know what to look for. So often we ask new moms for status updates on the milestones their little one has reached; rolling over, grasping toys, pushing up, crawling… When we should be asking for updates on her, because a healthy mom is more likely to interact with her child, and children who get sufficient interaction are less likely to be delayed in reaching milestones.  A healthy mommy, is going to insure a healthy baby.

Mom’s are not bad, they are not broken. They are products of a broken system. Please check on the mothers in your life, more often than not, they are waiting for help, rather than seeking it. If you or someone you know is suffering, call the

Postpartum Support International Warm Line @ 800-944-4PPD (4773)

Or visit Postpartum Progress for local resources and support http://www.PostpartumProgress.org/community

I have to say that I am so incredibly honored to have been given the opportunity to screen this film. and it is with that same honor that I share it with you. Click the following link and use coupon code DARKSIDE1 to view it at a special discount rate. This code is only good until January 30, so don’t wait.

I present to you,

Dark Side of the Full Moon 

And to all those out there who feel they are stuck in the dark, please reach out. You can message me by clicking the “Contact Me :0)” icon at the top of the page. I will listen with open and non-judgmental ears.

And finally, to quote another mother from the film,

 “I know you’re feeling like you’re vanishing into nothing, but you’re not. And I know everything in the world feels wrong, but eventually it will be right again.” 

*Barefoot and Breathing deep was not compensated or influenced in any way for this review. It was written because of a shared passion for postpartum health.

I’m alive!

Hello there, all! It’s been a while. The holiday season took a toll on me and I needed a couple weeks of quite, so I’ve been lying low. I’ve got some exciting things in store for the new year and wanted to pop up and let you know what’s going on with me :0)

First off, we had an amazing Christmas. It was, in my opinion, one of the best in years. We got to spend lots of time with family, some that we don’t get to see often, and some that I was meeting for the first time.

A few weeks before Christmas God put something on my heart and told me to research it. It wasn’t that big of a surprise really. I have enjoyed crocheting since I was a teenager, and remember as a young child I longed to know how to take yarn and make something out of it with just a hook or needles. The past several years I have been doing more and more and have gotten pretty good at making hats. Every time I have made one I have felt God whisper to my heart that I should make hats for sick kids, but I never did anything with the information that He was trying to tell me. Until this past holiday season, when I finally pulled out my phone and did a quick Google search to see if there were rules or guidelines and how to go about getting my hats to young children who need them. Guess what? I discovered that there is a wonderful organization called Crochet For Cancer that has chapters set up all across the United States. All I do is whip up some hat’s (making sure to always keep them clean) and then send them to the chapter leader in my area, and she distributes them. Awesome. We have been a bit sickly the past month so I’ve been waiting for all that to pass before jumping into it, since I know little sick immune systems are weak and hats should come from an infection free environment. I hope to be able to start soon! If you like to knit or crochet, I implore you to take a look at the website and find a chapter near you, and contribute what and when you can.

Also a few weeks before Christmas, I became acquainted with a little something called The 21 Day Fix. I researched it out and decided to dive in and order! I couldn’t wait to get started on it and had set my day 1 for 1-1-15. Then on 12-30-14, while scrolling through my news-feed I ran across a blog post about ‘mummy tummy’ and how to heal it. I knew that sometimes during pregnancy the muscles separated and left the mother with a line down her tummy, or so I thought. But I had never actually read about the condition, and thought that I didn’t have it because, again, I thought you get a line down your belly, and I never felt anything pulling during pregnancy. Surely I didn’t have that problem, just a typical post pregnancy belly right? Wrong.

It’s called Diastasis Recti, and it’s a legitimate thing. It occurs when the connective tissue between your transverse abdominal muscle is stretched apart. When this happens, no amount of crunches, yoga or Pilates will help. You have to do special exercises to get the muscles to come together without stretching the tissue between. I am far from an expert on the condition but found two wonderful websites that have all the info and help you will need. They are The Tummy Team and Tupler Technique: Diastasis Rehab. After reading all the info and watching a few videos, I felt like I could relate to a lot of the symptoms so I decided to check my belly. I watched the quick video explaining how to check yourself and sure enough I have a 3-4-3 gap between my abdominals, which means that I can fit 3 fingers between the muscles above my belly button, 4 at my belly button and 3 under my belly button. I started crying. It was a bit overwhelming, but explained so much of the pain I’ve been in since I had my little, over 18 months ago. All the info I’ve read since hasn’t said anything about getting a dark line down your tummy, so I’m not sure where I came up with that, but my point is, check yourself! If I hadn’t found that info when I did, I believe that God showed it to me, I would have went ahead with the 21 Day Fix, which has a pretty rigorous exercise program, and I no doubt would have hurt myself and or made my diastasis worse. The good news is there is lots of help on the internet, you can get work out dvds, belly splints and youtube videos all about safe work outs for diastasis recti. There is even an online gym specifically for mommies, full of belly safe workouts called Fit 2 B, check it, membership is only $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

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So now my real healing journey begins. I am drinking lots of water ( half my weight in ounces) and seeking the right kind of healing information. I am so very thankful to be on the right track and grateful to the Lord for giving me the info that I needed to get myself out of the place I’ve been stuck. My goal is to bring my abdominals back together enough that I can safely do the 21 day fix, because it looks awesome.

In other news, I got a perm! I am so super excited because all my 29 years of life I have had string straight hair that would not hold a curl, but not anymore! I washed it for the first time today, a part of me thought that as soon as I got it wet it would go back straight, but it didn’t! I’m really super stoked about it :0)

This year I noticed a few of my fellow bloggers talking about their ‘one word’ for 2015, I like the idea of giving myself one simple word to repeat to myself to help me achieve my goals for the year. So after a lot of thought I decided that I wanted 2 words, and they are;

YOGOWYPI (yo-go-whippy) which stands for “You Only Get Out What You Put In.” and

HEAL, because I have been in pain with my lower back and pelvic joints for 18+ months now, and I’m tired of it. It’s time I give my body the healing strength that it needs to feel better. Setting around isn’t helping, I need to work to gain the strength. And I will.

So lets raise a last glass and toast the new year, and new beginning.

~Shannon.

 

 

Teary Eyes

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This past week God called a very dear friend of mine home. She was an amazing, one of a kind person. The kind of person, as one friend described, that you could be having an in depth spiritual conversation with one minute and then be wiping tears of laughter with the next. She was a spiritual mother figure to so many, myself included. More times than I can count, when I was questioning a work that God was putting on my heart, she would come to me and tell me that she knew and that she would pray for me to have the strength. I came to rely on her for that, and my heart truly broke when I heard of her passing.

A little over a month before she passed, the Lord brought her to my living room and we were able to talk and I was able to tell her how much she meant to me, I am grateful for that, the chance to thank her for her works toward me.

She was the kind of person that when I needed prayer I knew that I could ask her and that she would pray swiftly and wholeheartedly, because she truly loved and cared about God’s people. There were two things she did with every ounce of her being, and they were; laugh and labor for the Lord.

I wrote this poem several years ago, but have had it on my mind since she has gone. I want to share it with you and dedicate it to my dear friend, Brenda.

 

Teary Eyes

Many times i think about Heaven,
And how beautiful it will be.
It’s a place i’m forced to imagine,
For it’s a place i cannot see.

For my mind cannot conceive,
The beauty we’ll behold.
It’s a place not made with hands,
A detailed description cannot be told.

Many mansions will be there,
Waiting for us all.
Not even the angels there, however,
Know the time that he will call.

Oh, Lord i want to see it,
To meet your face in peace.
Help me, dear Lord, so that my holy gown,
Will be without wrinkle, spot or crease.

That you someday, oh God,
Could wipe my teary eyes.
That i could see Heaven clearly, dear Lord,
And cease my burdened cries.

Amen.

 

Swap.com An Online Kids Consignment Store

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I recently shared with you, in this post, how much I love getting fluffy mail. I love shopping Zulily, but I recently found a website that is on a whole other level.

Consignment shopping is something that I really didn’t get into until I was married and had kids. Sometimes all you need is a really good Goodwill run. I love going into thrift shops because it’s like a treasure hunt, you never know what you’ll find.

Swap.com

is an online kids consignment store that sells anything from kid clothes to nursery decor, games and even maternity clothes!

All you need to do is sign up, WHICH IS FREE. And you can start swapping right away!

You can send items in or you can just purchase. Alternatively you can buy or sell things using your existing items that you have sent in as currency, hence the name Swap.com.

After you sign up, Swap.com will send you a prepaid shipping label, or you can request a prepaid shipping bag.

You pack your stuff.

You mail it.

Once Swap.com receives your items, they will photograph them for you and you will be prompted to set a price.

You shop and earn money! The average customer box sent into Swap.com earn $150 in sales proceeds!

I’m not just telling you about this because I think it’s cool. I’m telling you because I just got my first box of items and am BLOWN AWAY by this company!

The shipping was fast.

The items were clean and didn’t have even a hint of that consignment store smell.

I was able to save $. Which is always good.

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Everything came neatly folded and individually wrapped.

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3 shirts, 1 skirt, 3 books and a snow suit. The orange bag on the right is the prepaid shipping bag that they sent, even though I didn’t ask for it. All I have to do now is pack it and drop it at a UPS ship sight.

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Everything was clean and in great condition. And the smell, they smelled clean, which is super important to me.

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They sent a letter explaining everything!

So are YOU ready to start swapping?

*The links in this article are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you make purchases through them. Thank you for supporting Barefoot and Breathing Deep!