Saturday, July 11, 2009

good times

I'm going to scatter throughout this post some pictures that I took during our Fourth of July celebration last week. Because these photos are presented in no particular order, I'll just interject here that we started the day off with a Pancake Breakfast at our local firehouse.

Then we went to a parade on Coronado Island. Then we went to the beach where a nearly-horizontal Charlie pushed a stroller loaded with three children across 1,000 feet of sand while people stopped to stare. And me, being the supportive wife that I am, laughed and took pictures while holding the baby and a beach umbrella (no, I wasn't entirely empty handed).

Then we went out for lunch. Then we came home and baked Henry's birthday cake and prepared for a party with friends. Then we went to a party with friends at a local park where there was a lot of eating and drinking and merriment and parachuters that held American flags while they fell from the sky.

There were lots of fireworks. And there were lots of children who stayed up four hours past their bedtime chasing beach balls through pitch black fields with a plastic bat. We had an awesome day. And no surprise, the kids slept in until 9:00 AM on Sunday. Which before children, really was no big deal. But post-children, is the equivalent of sleeping in until 2:00 PM.

Now, for the four men that read my blog, please look away.

There's nothing more here for you to read.

Ladies, as I've mentioned, I haven't yet weaned Henry.

I'll write more about that later, but for the purpose of this post, I think it's just important to note that I am a nursing mother. And up until a few months ago, I had been reaping one of the "monthly benefits" that many breastfeeding mothers enjoy.

But once I stopped reaping that particular benefit, I gradually noticed a change in my demeanor.

For approximately 24 days out of the month, I was happy and had an optimism about life. But for three or four days, leading up to the commencement of the event, I would dissolve in to something that was unrecognizable.

I would become weepy, irrational, overly reflective, and distressed to the point of panic.

It made no sense to me.

This had never happened before.

What was going on?

Although this might come as a shock, I had never once considered that my behavior was in any way related to hormonal fluctuations. I have always thought that women who attributed their crabbiness, food cravings and dermatological variances to "the time of the month" were full of bologna.

My general opinion was that PMS had morphed in to the biggest "Why-I-Can-Act-Like-A-Psycho-And-Get-Away-With-It" scape goat, ever.

But recently, because I couldn't understand what was happening with my own self, I started jotting some notes in my calendar. And today, sweet beejezhus, I see a definitive trend.


This post.

And this post.

And this post.

And this post?

And this one!

There's a pattern. I am one of those women. And until I can get this resolved, either through acupuncture, meditation, weaning, diet, or perhaps a three-day medically induced coma ... I plan to take a break from blogging about my life for a few days each month. Maybe I'll just post pictures and tips on how to BOOHOO, why am I crying?! remove sand from toes at the beach (baby powder). Because really, there's no need to warn all of you that OH GOD the sky is falling.

I'm hopeful that someone out there is thanking me for this post.

So, you're very welcome.

Now please send over some hot fudge.


  1. Despite breastfeeding my twin daughters for 5 months and then my son for 16 months I was never lucky enough to have a break. I have always been as regular as clockwork. I have noticed that my children know when to avoid being demanding. I must be given out signals. :)
    Hang in there, you will find a way to stay yourself. In my case I have noticed that eating nuts (instead of breaking them) and stopping chocolate before hand helps a lot. I still have 3 weeks a month to gorge on the stuff.

  2. This started happening to my sister about six months ago. She was truly out of control. She went in and had all her bloodwork done and she is officially perimenopausal. The doctor wanted her to go on anti-dep because she told her it could take SEVERAL YEARS to work out the hormone imbalance. My sister wouldn't do it and found some natural thing she is taking and she feels much better.

    This all cracks me up, because she's younger than me. I'm so totally not there yet.

    Bagging up the girls' bedroom of toys while screaming, "See what happens when you don't listen to me? What happens? HUH?" right before I started my period seems totally normal to me. Totally.

    Anyway, I'll ask her what she's taking. For you.

  3. Okay...I think you need a post all about the process of loading of the BOB stroller. I find it hilarious of how much you can put on one double stroller. We have the double BOB (best $400 i have ever spent) but wonder how you load it up without it tipping over.

    GOod luck with the PMS. Perhaps Trader Joes has the answer in some sort of chocolate/ peanut butter treat...

  4. Jen,

    Unfortunately I can't relate to the weaning deal since I've never nursed anyone or anything (except maybe a stiff drink)in my life.......however, I can tell you this.....a hormone is a hormone is a hormone. They are hateful little suckers that will try to control your life. Trust me with this. Even in the thros of peri-menopause, I can easily go through a box of Kleenex a week and I'm standing out on a ledge AT LEAST two or three times a month. I tell people my red eyes are my allergies. Thank god for chocolate.


  5. DITTO! I've had 3 kids and was annovulatory before that - but about 3 months ago I was CRAZY about 3 days before "the event" and it took 2 cycles to pinpoint it.


  6. LOL!!! I actually get comforted when I realize that my moodiness has a physical reason. And as a mother of a daughter who recently started her periods, my kid is never so horribly moody as the day before she starts. The night before she had her first-ever period, I honestly thought the world was ending for her (no one liked her, everyone was mean to her, she was just soooo sad, couldn't stop crying, etc etc etc).

  7. The natural supplement called SAM-e is what I use. It seems to be balancing me out pretty well. My main problem with the "event" has been migraines that were NOT. TO. BE. BELIEVED. I suffered terribly with them and I have been on this supplement since May 15th. So far so good. The supplement addresses many other ailments as well. The trick to taking it though is that to be most effective you have to take it first thing in the morning and then you can't eat anything for a 1/2 hour. (Set the kitchen timer)

    Good luck as you search for whatever works for you!

    NT in NJ

  8. I too thought that women who complained about that were full of it too. About a year ago, I started to notice that I got more weepy and irrational right before. My boyfriend has even noticed it. Good luck getting regulated.

  9. I've been advised to take magnesium and to stop eating chocolate - COMPLETELY stop eating chocolate. I know. How cruel. But it's helped me.

  10. HW: WHAT?!?!

    I think it might be less painful to cut off my thumb than give up chocolate.

    Give up CHOCOLATE?!

    That's blasphemy!!

  11. You need Evening Primrose Oil. It's completely natural and it is Fabulous. My husband is called Edward and in my house it is known as Edward Protection Oil. You are supposed to take it every day but I often forget and only take it when the red mist descends and it still works. I can feel the anger and panic ebb away. Try it!!!

  12. Fish Oil.. 8000mg of fish oil during the week before your period. I SWEAR IT's a lot. but I just take 4 in am and 4 in pm...and then I go down to 6000 the rest of the month for depression.

  13. I personally cannot have periods, they're painful. I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the time that I was trying to get pregnant with my first. Natural progesterone cream helped, and also helped in getting pregnant I full heartedly believe. I nursed the first child until I was 3 months preggers with #2. So basically I was without my monthly visitor for almost 2 years. 2 months after having my 2nd daughter, I got an IUD. The best 3 letters ever in my life to replace PMS...I now spot one day, at most 2 times a year. Plus I nursed my 2nd child with it.
    I notice that I do have a monthly "collapse" but not as bad as it used to be, and nothing that can't be cured with a glass of vino or a shoe shopping trip ;-)

  14. I totally think it is worse at 42 then it was as a teenager. Some months I feel more out of control but not all. I do notice the crazy and I think my family does too:( Hang in there.

  15. I would try the Sam-E.

  16. Yep with some chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream. Just got over my "indulgence".

    (add some chips and a diet coke to that.....) ;-) Marg.

    PS Love the pictures! And the Coronado looks beautiful!

  17. Sam-E did NOTHING for me. Nothing! I hope it helps you though.
    I am also very irritable before my period. It sucks. For me and all around me. Ugh...

  18. I'm 10 months pregger today (for the last day EVER! C-section tomorrow!), BUT...I think my monthly event gets worse as I get older. Seriously. My birth mother tells me that she started peri-menopause at 32 and hit menopause at 42. And if we as women typically follow in our mother's biological footsteps, then that explains A LOT about my last 6 years. AND it gives me hope that I only have a few years left of this mess!

  19. You'll get a lot if "try this" any way so I'll just put my 2 cents in.

    I take calcium, magnesium, and the biggest secret is the B vitamins. Try a B vitamin complex. It really does work. I indulge my chocolate cravings and caffeine, but balance them with lots of water.

    I know right where you're coming from. I actually thought I would need some Prozac to help.

  20. Brigham's Hot Fudge???? I wonder how well that will go through the mail...Let me think about that one!

    Peg O

  21. It looks like you had a fun Fourth! And Henry's "flag cake" is great! However, I offer this warning... my brother-in-law is also a July 4th birthday. To this day, he resents deeply the fact that his mother never made him a "real" birthday cake like she did for his brother and sister. Because his birthday was on the 4th of July, he always got a flag cake. Of course, he has multiple issues with his mother (and she's a piece of work, believe me), but this is just one of those things that sticks with him now. Just an FYI - take it for what you will. Henry's too young to care about it right now - cake is cake, right? - but he may care a LOT someday.

  22. Deanna: Fear not ... Henry will be exposed to plenty of other cakes on his birthday. Why, just today, we made cupcakes to celebrate that his birthday was one week ago - and the trio's birthday is in three months.

    But I can imagine a specific "theme" cake would get old after a while, for any one who is born on a major holiday. For right now, I'm not too worried. Henry just liked the sight of candles and everyone singing for him...

  23. Hormones can be vicious things. I'll warn you, when my daughter weaned, I had a week or two of devastating hormones. Plus the conflicting emotions and hormonal flux as we were cutting back. She was 22 months old and I was 4 or 5 months pregnant and my supply was almost gone and that made her an unhappy nursling.

    I had the pregnancy hormones to contribute to craziness, but still, other moms have told me they've been extra weepy and felt more hormonal after weaning.

    Before getting pregnant, I mentioned to my midwife that I was having worse and worse PMS/PMDD symptoms each month. We found out my progesterone levels were really low. One Prometrium pill (orally) a night helped my moods a lot. My midwives have found a lot of women respond well to a progesterone supplement.

  24. It is time for me to catch up on blogs....

    Oh! Yeah! That PMS thing is nothing to shake a stick at. It can be scary stuff. ((When)) you get it under control....share ~ For that is the million dollar question! ~