Monday, January 12, 2009


This was originally posted January 12, 2009. Anyone who knew me knew I sold Usborne Books, and loved doing so. The trips were amazing, the people are amazing, and I am incredibly grateful for the experience and the ways it has enriched my life, and my family's life.

January 12, 2009

If I were the Usborne Wonder Woman, I would have my January calendar all booked. I would have my book club orders in. I would even know where to find my new title flyers.  I definitely would have all the inventory that someone borrowed in December put back in the closet where it goes.  Ha Ha Ha. 
Here is what I have done for Usborne in January. 
1. Spa Day retreat with my team -- but that was prepared for before the baby came. 
2.  Talked on the phone with Jill Cox planning our class for regionals... but really she’s an awesome friend and helped me talk through the PPD more than anything and is finishing everything needed for the class.  So I can barely count this.
 And written a newsletter article at HO’s request.
The Home Office must have caught me on a good day because I haven’t been working Usborne at all.  Not a single outgoing phone call.  Crazily, I said yes, I’d write the article. Now, Ry and I have talked about earning this trip before, and we decided that yes, I could work toward it but not focus on it.  Instead, I would focus on the input like I always tell my team to do and if the trip works out - great! 
So, I wrote the article.  It was before I realized and way before Ryan realized how full blown the PPD had become. 
When you read it -- you’ll really think I’m crazy. (And you’d be right!!) 
Normally, February is a great month to schedule a lot in because I don’t have kids sports games going on, no gymnastics competitions, no voice recitals, and everyone has their tax returns so sales are great! It’s a month I can put a lot of Usborne time in without it really killing my family. 
Not this year.  It has become apparent that I will not be doing that.  I won’t be doing anything until I can spend a whole day out with my kids without getting completely wound up. 
So for now -- the trip is on indefinite hold.  The only miracle way that trip will happen is if my school/library orders that I worked on last September come through. Then maybe, just maybe... I might still see you on the beach.
Bottomline -- don’t think I’m “tripping” when you read the article... there is no way I’ll put the trip before my health or family. 
(As always, I love to hear your comments.  Drop me an email at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Good Day With PPD

Originally Posted January 10, 2009

If you've ever had a kid then you know people always ask about the baby.  "How is the new baby?"  they'll say.  "How are you liking that new baby?"  and "Aren't you just loving that new baby?" 
My response "Oh, he's so cute!"  And he is. The truth is, the baby is fine.  I like the baby. I love the baby. 
Some very thoughtful people who know I've struggled with postpartum depression in the past even ask about me.  "How are you doing?"  they'll say.  "How are you holding up?"  And I say "I'm doing okay!  Ryan's been awesome and we're lucky he's been able to be home with the kids to help so much."
And, that's the truth.  Ryan is awesome, he has been SO very extremely helpful. And I am okay.  After all, I'm not drowning the kids like you sadly hear about sometimes in the news.  I'm not even stabbing myself like 'this woman' did.  And, the very fact that I am talking to them in person or on the phone means that I really am doing okay - that day.  There are, after all, times when I can psyche myself up to function and talk myself into doing something fairly normal like having a conversation with someone.  But for those who really dig deeper, and I mean dig because I'm not the one to usually spill my guts unless you do dig... here is the bigger truth.
The bigger truth is that indeed, I have PPD again.  I thought I was doing pretty well.  I think I was really.  And then I had trouble nursing the baby because I got some flesh eating bacteria and nursing was out of the question, so I started pumping when absolutely necessary and bottle feeding formula the rest of the time.  The result?  My hormones shifted WAY to fast and furious I guess... because I got slammed and knocked on my rear and PPD this time took on a whole new form of torture. 
I have good days.  These are the days where I spend most of my time in my bedroom but I'm not crying the whole day, just part of it.  The children will run in and out of my room and talk to me and I can handle it for the most part or at least for short periods of time before I redirect them to "go get a drink" or "go check on your brother" or "go... whatever."  I do enjoy them around me, just for very short periods of time and not all at once and not if they are talking much above a loud whisper.  
I know that it is crazy to have this many children and yet not be able to tolerate them around me and I have to remind myself that again it is the rollercoaster of hormonal and chemical imbalance raging within me that causes me to be so sensitive to overstimulation because that's not how I feel.  I feel completely wound up and like a horrible mother because I am and because it takes so much work for me to have them around me for more than 30 seconds before I want to freak out on them.  Everything is magnified. Smells, feelings, and sounds especially.  But I am grateful too.  Grateful that I have learned methods of coping with this from past experiences so that even though I am feeling like a crazed psychotic woman -- at least I am not acting like a scary mother from hell. Odd yes, and they do notice that I'm different... but still I'm grateful that I have learned that I can close my eyes and breathe instead of scream and yell.  I can ask them to leave when I first feel the keyed up feelings instead of waiting til I'm past my blowing point. I'm grateful that I have children who still run back in a few minutes later because they love me. 
Today is a good day, and I'm glad for it.  Now if I could only get my good days to be my bad days I'd feel much better.  
(As always, I love to hear your comments.  Drop me an email at

A Single Rose...

Originally posted January 10, 2009
Bouncing a screaming baby as you walk up and down the hall isn’t anything new.  Anyone who has ever had kids knows what I’m talking about.  Well, that’s what I did tonight. At 8:30 I said prayers with the children and put them to bed. At 8:31 Jonnie started screaming because ... a bubble?  I’m not sure but I think that’s why. (If you are one of those really great moms who has it figured out why the baby is screaming this time... feel free to leave me your great wisdom.)
Walk down the hall bouncing my screaming baby.
Walk back down the hall and put Braelin back in bed.
Walk down the hall bouncing.
Walk back and put Braelin in bed again.
Bounce the baby.
Put Braelin in bed.
Bounce the baby.
Put Braelin in bed.
You get the picture.  This continued from 8:30 til 10:00 when the baby finally fell asleep.  Then I picked Braelin up and started walking him up and down the hall.  I know, I should be firm and make him stay in bed, but what can I say?  He just had his world rocked with a new baby too, so I’m a pushover. 
Well, that worked great til 10:10 when the baby woke back up screaming. Braelin went back to bed, I bounced Jonnie again and we started the process all over.
Bounce, put Braelin in bed.
Bounce, put Braelin in bed.
Bounce, put Braelin in bed. 
At 10:30 I finally gave up on keeping Braelin in bed. Jonnie went back to sleep at 11:05.  At 11:10 I could hear Ryan walk in the door from a late night at work. And, at 11:11, the baby woke back up. I put my head in my hands and let him cry for a minute before I picked him back up and started bouncing again... but as I reached the end of the hallway, Ryan was there holding a single red rose.   
And that’s how I’m able to still keep doing what I do...   Thanks Ryan.
(To my readers: As always, I love to hear your comments!  Drop me an email at

Friday, January 9, 2009

Why The Blog?

Originally posted in January, 2009
This was the original description of my blog... way back when.  

I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while now because if I had a quarter for every time I’ve been asked the question “How do you do it?”  I would have enough saved up to buy my own private jet. Apparently it is a major feat to raise seven children, run my business, and still make it out the door with matching shoes on. People either think I’m superwoman (I’m not) or they think I must be a neglectful mother whose life is eaten up by her business (it’s not, at least not most days).  So, I decided to blog a little about my life and let people really see me.  And that’s the other reason for the blog... because when I was little, If I was having a hard time something, my mom would tell me “Write it down!” Ever since, writing has been a good release.  Sometimes writing it down helps me to see things what they are, so if I really AM being neglectful that day, I’ll recognize it.  So to all of you reading this -- thanks!  And I hope it is helpful in some way, because more than anything that’s what I want it to be.  -- Rachel
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