Forced Break…

So I know every parent out there would love just a tiny break. Some peace  and quiet. Some R and R.  But on your own terms.  Unfortunately for the Brett house, this mama was forced to take a break in the hospital.

I’ve been battling what I was thinking started out as a sinus infection for a month and a half.  The sinus infection went to my chest, my asthma started flaring up, I had three rounds of antibiotics, steroid shot, breathing treatments and absolutely nothing was working.  

I ended up at the ER and admitted for 2 days to try and get everything under control. Thankfully, I’m home and relaxing now. But it’s absolutely killing me to just “sit” and “relax” while there’s so much to do.  I can’t go back to work until I’m feeling 100% better and my body is just wore slap out. Turns out I had developed pneumonia along with acute and chronic respiratory hypoxia. In other words, my lungs were so not functioning like they needed to be for an otherwise healthy 34 year old woman. But it’s what happens when an otherwise healthy woman is completely stretched to her breaking point and is running on empty. 

It’s the peak of the holiday season. Our last home game is this Friday. We have a neighborhood fall festival, trunk or treat at church, lots of stuff to take care of at work and I’m confined to my sofa. Which makes me cranky and not happy at all. I guess the silver lining is my parents are visiting and have been here to help with our two and four legged minions. Mom has been cleaning, cooking, doing laundry. Dad has been making trips to the grocery store. My sister has helped out with Maverick and my sweet husband has just been by my side the whole time. 

Being forced to take this “break” has made me realize a few things. One being that I cannot take care of my family, my home, my work if I am not taking care of myself.  I need to eat better, manage my asthma better, develop a new exercise routine, or whatever so I can be there for my family. I can’t refill everyone else’s cup if mine is always empty. I am not super woman. I’m just a regular person who tried to handle everything, who ignored how tired her body was, and it all ended up biting me in the ass. No bueno. 

The second thing I realized is I don’t know how to just sit down and relinquish control. Honestly, I’m a control freak! I hate for everything to be going on and me be in the background not being able to control anything lol!

I guess the moral of this post is that we parents, need to remember how important it is for us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families and our other obligations. We deserve some time to ourselves. Even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes a day, we NEED to make ourselves as much as a priority as others.

To help drill this into my own brain I decided to illustrate a picture in my journal 😂.

Hope all you had a fantastic Halloween. 

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Falling into the Perfect Season.

Fall has finally reached the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve literally had what felt like an endless summer.  Picking pumpkins and going on hayrides is just not the same in 90 degree weather let me tell you.  Our church put on a trunk or treat after service and the poor kids were sweating and and coming out of their costumes.  I was getting super cranky of not being able to wear my scarves and my boots.  But as with all good things, Fall decided to show up and now I can finally light up a fire in our fire pit, sip hot chocolate, and snuggle next to my babies or Nick under a cozy blanket.  

When I was younger and had time to worship the sun, I lived for summer. I lived in my bikini from the time the sun was up until I went to sleep.  I’m a summer baby so I blamed my love of the water and heat on that. However now that I’m older and I work more and I have two kids, I desperately wish that we just lived some place that each season is clearly defined. Like say the north east or Nebraska (Midwest) around that area.  And while I love Mississippi (it’s home) I itch for mountains and trees where it looks like the horizon is on fire, crisp mornings followed by crisp nights around the fire place.  I want to have a white Christmas.  I’m sure that if I lived somewhere that had snow for month after month, I’d tire of it quickly.  But I lived in New York for a couple years as a child and I cannot recall it being terrible. As a matte of fact, it took me a while to adjust to the fact that I would no longer have a white Christmas down here.  I’ve accepted it. But at 34, I still very much wish it to happen.  Just like every year when my calendar says it’s the first day of fall, I somehow get my hopes that I’ll see bright reds, oranges, yellows, covering the sky line, and having piles of leaves to jump in.  I keep hoping that Halloween night will be ended with a camp fire and some smores not melted off makeup and sweaty preteen smelling costumes. I keep waiting for Mississippi to “fall” into the Perfect Season.  Do y’all have a favorite season? Or a favorite tradition that is a MUST once fall hits your town? I’d love to know what it is!

Our hayride after church!

Pumpkin Patches and corn mazes! We visit a corn maze every year! It’s my favorite family tradition!

For Better or Worse.

Most people don’t go into a marriage expecting the worse part to show its ugly head early on. I think most of us really feel that the worse will show up after ten years or so. I mean, you’re getting married for Pete’s sake. You are completely in love, it’s all exciting, it’s all coming together. You are beginning a journey based off of hopes and dreams.  First things first, Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this past April.  Three years. Only three. And yet our second year of marriage we were met with a hump on the road to marital bliss.

Nick isn’t one to share things. Like very little to none at all with the general public. Our family and marital issues are ours and ours alone. And rightfully so. But I’m writing this post because this isn’t so much about our marriage but because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) that decided to put its bitch ass into the smack dab center of our family and marriage. And I’m sharing our experience because after joining a Facebook support group and talking with others affected by numerous concussions, it’s obvious that society still doesn’t understand and that the family members and friends of the TBI loved one still feel anger and emotions towards the problem and sometimes the victim. This is his 5th TBI.

Life has changed as we once knew it. The person I married has changed.  I have changed. Our family has changed.  I wanted to share the REALITY of our life and the REALITY OF TBI.

People don’t get it. When you break something or have scars, something that’s VISIBLY wrong with you, it’s easier for other human beings to understand. It’s easier for them to be sympathetic. When it’s your brain however, the damage is hidden. You look the same on the outside so you MUST BE BETTER!! wrong. So very wrong. People continue to put unneeded stress & continue to demand the same things if not more than they use too and the person who has suffered the TBI is just not capable of always resuming their regular responsibilities. It’s overwhelming, emotional, and does more harm than folks realize.

Depression Risk is Higher.  Repeated concussions raise the risks of a person becoming clinically depressed. So much so that they also have an increased rate of suicide. They will need your love and support. They will need the assistance of a professional and some meds to help them get through life. 

YOUR LOVED ONE IS STILL IN THERE.  They still love you. And they desperately want to be able to do the same things they were use too. But they can’t. Speech may be affected. Other motor skills can be affected.  Be patient. Be kind. I can get frustrated. And angry. And it’s sometimes hard for me to not want to lash out at my husband.  Maverick was just 2 months when it happened. Nick couldn’t get out of bed for WEEKS. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, working, and what felt like taking care of 3 kids and 3 dogs all by myself. I was so angry and sad. I ended up having to be put on Zoloft to help me cope.  My advise, join a support group. Talk to someone. But try not to lash out at your family member, loved one, spouse. It does absolutely no good.

NEW NORMAL.  Say goodbye to doing things together that might cause over stimulation.  Concerts, places with too many people or noises. Night clubs. Anything with strobe lights. If the person has been exposed to several TBIs, say goodbye to doing any activities that has an increased risk of getting another. 

Ongoing MEDICAL NEEDS. He/she might need ongoing counseling to battle depression or help with managing stress, temper, memory improvement and problem solving.  Treatment for migraines and vertigo.

•They are Brain Damaged not Brain Dead.  Okay, sometimes you’re going to want to just do all the shit yourself because it’s easier than watching your significant other struggle or get it done painstakingly slow. But don’t. DO NOT start taking over everything as if they are some helpless child.  They need to relearn. It’s hard to watch them struggle but it’s part of the process. It’s also damaging their pride and self worth. Help if it gets to be too much or if asked. Don’t treat them like incapable children.

I could go on but it would take up entirely way to much time.  I hope that this has opened your eyes a little bit to the struggles people have when it comes to TBI. Or at the very least let you know that if you’re going through this, you are not alone. 

Have an amazing and blessed day! Love, The Brett Family

Happy Birthday Baby Maverick!!

On February 6, our family celebrated the first of I pray many birthdays to come for our sweet boy.  My girlfriends kept telling me that there is just something about a sweet baby boy.  That the bond between a boy and his mama is just different. And oh, how right they were.  I’ve had 365 days to get use to being a “boy mom”, 365 days to change diapers, 365 days to kiss little boy toes, 365 days to say “mama loves you.”

I’ve had time to learn new things about having a baby boy. Like how when they shit, it cakes up on their little huevos and I’m scared to death I am of hurting him when they needed to be cleaned 😱!  Or how as soon as the cold air hits them, they’ll just pee EVERYWHERE!  

But truthfully, with exception of a couple months of sleepless nights, life with this little boy has been awesome! He’s brought this family so much joy.  Hails and him have bonded and she has been the biggest help with him too.  And I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful Nick has been in his role as daddy and husband.  Has everyday been rainbow and sunshine? No. Not by a long shot. But this boy makes my heart swoon and has me telling God thank you everyday for his many blessings! 

Working Mom Woes.

So as fall makes its beautiful descent to the southern states, I find myself wishing more and more that I could stay at home with my kids.  Granted Hails is in school but Maverick is only 8 months. I want to sit outside and drink my coffee while Maverick drinks is bottle.

I want to go grocery shopping after dropping hails off at school when there’s nobody at Wal-mart and I don’t have to drive around in circles for a parking spot.

I want to take a nap with my son. 

I want to be able to attend every parent involved event at my daughter’s school without having to work it around my lunch schedule at the office. 

I want to be able to stay home and comfort my kids when they’re sick without worrying about calling in.

 I want to be home to make dinner at a decent time. This cooking shit after I’ve been at work since 8 am and finally get home at 6:00 is for the birds. I’ve made some changes that have helped. Like on most Sunday’s I’ll cook a lot so I won’t have to for most of the week. But I’d rather be spending it outside chasing the dogs or taking pictures of my minions (children) playing with leaves or whatever.  

And then there’s Hails homework. She’s in 4th grade and has the most obsurd amount of homework I’ve ever seen. Not to mention that it’s centered around Common Core (the devil’s education). Meaning, a worksheet that should only take us 30 minutes takes an hour or more because my kid doesn’t under the shit and I’m sitting here googling the answers or trying to find how to work it out.  This nightly event almost always ends in frustration or in tears. If I were a stay at home mom, I could pick my child up as soon as school was over and have homework finished way before 8:30 every bloody night. 

And I want to not pay a fucking ridiculous amount of money for someone else to raise my children.  I went back to work once he hit 2 months but I had a private sitter that I (and Maverick) ADORED!!  She was so sweet kinda like a grandmother figure.  And then out of the blue (bless her heart) she became ill and is uncertain when or if she’d be able to keep him anymore.  This lead up to finding a daycare center to put my child in.  Something I DID NOT want to do until he was of preschool age.  But as with all things in life, that’s just the way it goes.  I use to say that I couldn’t be a stay at home mo however, now it’s all I think about. 

I know I’m not the first mommy out there that feels this way and I know for sure I won’t be the last one. 

New Mom Beauty Routine.

So there’s a new baby in our home. Ha ha ha. New baby. Is a 7 month old still considered a new baby? Whether he is or not, I’m still struggling to get my shit together in the mornings. 

I’ve set my alarm to 5:30. Maverick has typically been sleeping until 6 am so I figured “half an hour should be enough.” Enough for makeup, packing Hails lunch, eating my breakfast, making his bottle, letting the dogs out, letting the dogs in, enough time to fix my hair. A cup of coffee. Stretch. 

I’m laughing as I just finished this paragraph because all of the above in 30 minutes is just ridiculous. I actually almost never really FIX my hair. 

So really my makeup routine consists of very basic elements. Concealer, powder/bronzer, mascara, eyeshadow, & I make it to brush in my eyebrows SOMETIMES.

My go to beauty products won’t break the bank & aren’t tested on animals. Which as a mom with a family on a budget & animal lover those are my MUST requirements.

  
Wet n Wild max volume mascara is AMAZING! Before I invested time into researching who tested on animals and didn’t, I was buying maybelline. They have no desire to stop stabbing cute bunnies in the eyes with mascara wands so fuck em. And I found this type. It coats, it thickens, it makes my eyelashes look fantastic for about $6.50. 

The bronzer is by Physicians Formula and I’m so in love. It’s light on my skin and gives me a subtle glow. Which is great because then I don’t look like a cast member off the Walking Dead. 

And since I’m putting on makeup, it better last me the better part of the day. I cannot say enough good things about Pink Papayas color collection. I use E.l.f concealer under my eyes and on my eyelid. It acts like a primer and when I apply my Pink Papaya eye shadow trust me when I tell you a little goes a long way. 

I miss the mornings that I could just shrug my shoulders at the lack of effort I dished out. Those were the days I could sleep for 12 hours and I woke up looking natural and blissfully pretty. Now with the stress of projects at home and at work, football season in full swing, homework until almost 9 every night, and a baby, sleeping for 8 hours is a luxury. Father Time doesn’t help either. My skin doesn’t look anything like it did in my early twenties! Damn it!!

Here’s to all you new mommies trying to look pretty while dragging ass. 👍🏻