Post Partum Depression + Anxiety. Yup, I have it.

Post partum depression and anxiety. Yup, I have it.

It comes in waves…it was here, and then it’s not. I was fine. And now I’m not.

I denied it when it was brought to my attention that I may have it. Of course, I don’t have it… look at me! I’m not doing anything “crazy”, I’m getting out of bed. I feel “fine”.

To me, in my world, i have the perfect little life, so why do I feel this way? I practice mediation, I am spiritual, i am aware of my energy, thoughts and feelings.

Why is this happening to me??

Well it all started when the last time change happened in November. It got darker earlier. Mike is still working and I’m a FTM, in a new house with lots of windows and doors, all myself.

All of a sudden, every dateline, forensic files, and Law & Order episode would flash through my mind and made me so paranoid that something would happen to me and my new baby and I would be helpless.

My mind would race in protection mode. I was HYPER-VIGILANT.

“Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect activity. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion”

That and I was a bunch of other things cus now I’m a mom. I was getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night for months.

It’s affected my eating, my digestion, my water intake. Everything.

And again, it comes in waves.

It pisses me off more than anything because this is HORMONES. This is not me!!! I can not control this!!!

It manifests itself in so many ways… OCD… picking things up around the house just putting them in a specific spot or in order but not putting it away, paralyzing thoughts and fears and unable to make decisions, rage “where the fuck are my keys!!!”, am I doing this mom thing ok?, loss of appetite, intense irritability at times, panic attacks, crying for no reason.

It’s the inability to think or make a grocery list or be able to have complete thoughts and not forget things and have it interfere with your life.

I know this sounds crazy, or that I am crazy, but I know I am not. I know this “normal” and this will pass. I know that other moms go through the same thing, but I really, truly, honestly, thought it wouldn’t happen to me because I am so in tune with myself that I would recognize it and stop it.

It’s important for husbands, partners, friends, family, coworkers, and even yourself as mothers going through this, that it is the hormones it is not you. Please give the mother in your life grace, compassion, understanding, support, love, and reassurance.

But here I am 9 months later and another wave is attacking me when everything was just going so good. It sucks.

I will get thru this but I feel the need to share, because I know I am not alone, And I don’t want any of my mom friends to feel alone if you are secretly going through this. I have been feeling like I don’t want to expose but I can’t hide it and feel guilty any more so maybe sharing will help me and you 💜

Happy “Easter Fool’s” Day!

This year, Easter falls on April Fools’ Day! This is actually a very rare event. The last time Easter fell on April 1st was in 1956. That has given us plenty of time to come up with fun ways to celebrate both holidays! Many families start their Easter morning celebration with a basket full of sweet treats and chocolate bunnies! This year, keep that special basket hidden for after the prank (we don’t want any tears or disappointed faces)! Instead, create a basket full of “treats” that will confuse the kids like socks, toothpaste, and shampoo. At the bottom of the Easter basket you can include a note that says “APRIL FOOLS!” to set the tone of the day they will be having!
You can also adapt traditional Easter fun to include a little April Fools’ twist! For example, everyone knows that Easter egg hunts are a favorite activity on this special holiday. With a little creativity, you can turn this exciting game into laughs and memories for everyone! Try hiding eggs with nontraditional treats inside like baby carrots, peas, and lima beans! Imagine their faces when they finally find that egg only to discover vegetables inside! Tell them the Easter Bunny is trying to be more healthy this year!
april fools easter pranks
Or maybe you can make “yummy treats” that look delicious but pack a surprise! How about a delicious broccoli pop! I found this idea on The Decorated Cookie, and it is fantastic! You spear a broccoli floret with a lollipop stick. Then cover with a pretty colorful parchment or tissue and tie with a bright ribbon. Place all of the “lollipops” in a cup for display and when your child asks for a lollipop, you can tell them with a wink, “only if you promise to eat the whole thing!”
broccoli lollipop easter april fools prank

 

You can also find a fun way to surprise your little Easter bunnies by having an Easter bunny piñata, but instead of the traditional candy and trinkets, fill it with paper clips, plain erasers, and other boring office supplies (just leave out the thumbtacks!).  Imagine the laughs when all of the hard work of breaking the pinata results in a hurried frenzy to grab up the goodies, only to realize they are office supplies and not candy! Keep those video cameras ready to capture the confused expression on their faces!

Of course, you will want to reward your bunnies with treats after the tricks are over! After all the fun is done, be sure to share your regular Easter traditions as a family, and talk as a family of how rare it is for these holidays to fall on the same day- and come up with ideas to celebrate when this rare event rolls around again, on April 1, 2029!

Happy “Easter Fool’s” Day!

-Jessica Frigo

Out and About {Little Manatee River Trail}

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Because spring is in the air, which means super hot weather is right around the corner. Now is the time to spend in the woods in Florida. There are many great hiking trails around the around. No, there are no mountains, but we do have pretty rivers, winding trails and tree-lined oases to get your nature on.

I am an on again off again avid hiker. I love to go. I love the solitude of the woods, the wondering of whats around the next bend, or the chance meeting with some Florida wildlife. When my son was little we spend hours in the woods with him on my back, but as he grew older it became harder. That in-between stage when he just couldn’t hike 5 miles, but I had his sister to carry. The desire to go just didn’t outweigh the reality of hauling two kids in the car and dealing with the “are we there yet” or “how much longer questions” whining.

Now he can go 5+ miles, keep up with me and not scream about it too much and she can go some and still fit on my back in my Tula. It’s time for me to break out the walking sticks and hit the trails again. We hit a few trails close to the house to get our feet wet and then struck out for a drive, headed south. Little Manatee is a favorite of mine because it’s a loop trail with great access to the river and lots of shade. The river is shallow enough to play in, plus there are creeks and great climbing trees. Make sure to bring bug spray and water plus a little snack for the littles if they are travelling with you. Keep your eyes peeled for gators and turtles resting on the bank, plus lots of canoers and kayakers from the outpost on the river. Early morning or late evening hikes would probably elicit some other wildlife viewing if you didn’t have screaming kids giving their best firetruck siren impression. Needless to say, wildlife sightings are rare for me.

Overall the about 5 miles didn’t take long and the well-groomed trail allowed us to hike back barefoot. This was a pretty big plus since someone was in jeans and shoes when he jumped in the creek. I really should put him in a bathing suit no matter what the weather. We did see a few other hikers, but the foot traffic was fairly quiet. We also say 2 groups floating down the river.

Want to see more of our adventure?

Are you looking to hit the woods with your kiddos (or if you are lucky alone)? Here are some great resources to find places to go:

Now get out into nature and post your pictures of just how much fun you had in the great outdoors! Find any great spots to hike? Make sure you share them!

Remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world. -Kelly

{DIY} Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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Have you ever wondered what all this craze over elderberry syrup is all about?

Why is everyone OBSESSED with elderberry syrup?

Never heard of it before? Me either! Well, that was until I joined a few “crunchy” mom groups, and I kept seeing it over and over and thought I had to research the interwebz and try some for myself.

MY  household was struck with the flu and It was perfect timing for me to finally get my hands on some, as I went to my all-natural approach to beating the sickness, and without going to the doctor.

So, What are the benefits of elderberry?

there are some AMAZING benefits of elderberry:

  • major cold and flu relief. Elderberries help shorten the severity and duration of symptoms. Black elderberry contains a unique compound called antivirin that can help protect healthy cells and inactivate infectious viruses.
  • protection from free radicals
  • strengthens immune system
  • Helps clear up sinus infections
  • Natural diuretic AND laxative
  • lowers blood sugar
  • reduces cholesterol
  • high in antioxidants and rich in Vitamins A, D, & C
  • eases allergies
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • anti-carcinogenic properties

Other uses for Elderberry:

elderberries can be consumed in a variety of different ways, not just a “syrup” for medicinal uses. Here are a few other ways you can consume elderberries:

  • teas
  • juice
  • jams + jellys
  • wine
  • lozenges
  • syrups

I imagine its like Mary Poppin’s spoonful of sugar, because this is what it looks and {probably} tastes like. Except, our modern day version doesn’t have sugar; I showcase my local farmers market honey instead, and use all fresh ingredients, including certified organic European elderberries.

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I package the syrup in pint-size (16oz) mason jars and water bath them then cool and give away, and make for friends, family, and of course my own, and I want to share with you, too, this amazing-ly easy recipe for Elderberry syrup. I added my own twists to it. ie a pinch of nutmeg, my local honey and fresh squeezed lemon.

I really enjoyed making this, my house smelled good, and just knowing that I am creating something GOOD, made me feel GOOD. I had to order my elderberries online, as I am not sure where I can get them locally yet, and with this flu season running rampant, I just decided to get them online.

Here is a step by step tutorial for making  your very own Elderberry syrup. #MomOn

For the supplies you need:

  • a mesh strainer
  • cheese cloth, or you can use coffee filters if you’re in a pinch and need some kind of strainer.
  • metal spoon to stir (wooden spoon will stain as I learned through my own experience)
  • medium sauce pan with a lid
  • various sized mason jars. the most popular for this type of recipe is anywhere from 6 or 8oz portions up to a quart (32oz). I did 4oz jars and 16oz (pint size) as that is what I had on hand. you can buy at Walmart, ace, amazon, etc.
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  • measuring tools
  • sautee pan for water bath

Besides ordering the elderberries, everything else you can get at your local grocery store.

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Elderberries, cinnamon powder, cinnamon stick, cloves, fresh ginger, local honey, + lemon. Not pictured is the filtered water.

you’re going to put the water in the saucepan on HI and add ALL your ingredients except for the HONEY, a very important step to remember! Bring everything to a boil…

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add all ingredients to your saucepan: filtered water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, cinnamon (stick & powder), cloves, fresh grated ginger, and elderberries. Everything EXCEPT for the honey.

Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes or until reduced by about half. Before I strain it I crush the berries with a flat utensil in the saucepan, then pour my batch into a larger mason jar to then dispense into the individual 16oz jars.

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After you mash it, then strain it, you’ll want to let it cool a little bit so you can add the honey without scorching it.

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I am showcasing my local raw unfiltered honey from Boyette Family Farms. I could literally see the beehive I got the honey from, so cool! I love supporting our local farmers for fresh ingredients.

After you stir in the honey, I portion them out into the according jars and then put the lids on and water bath them for about 15-25 minutes. Then put them in the fridge. And that’s it- you have made your very own Elderberry syrup.

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The whole process in my opinion was very easy, and I love that I crafted something healthy for my family.

If you’d like to checkout Boyette Family Farms, check out their facebook page❤ Its my favorite place to go to for FRESH fruits + veggies.

I truly enjoyed making my own elderberry syrup, and I know you will too. You can follow more of my journey with me here

Xoxo

Lisa Marie

INGREDIENTS:

This recipe makes a Quart.

  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2/3 cup of dried elderberries
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder or 1 stick
  • 1 tsp of cloves
  • half fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup of local honey

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add all ingredients EXCEPT for the honey. You don’t want to “cook” the honey, so we are adding it in at the end
  2. once it is boiling, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes
  3. take of the heat, and let cool a little bit then mash the berries in the saucepan with any utensil that will work
  4. pour whole mixture through a mesh strainer into a big container  then mash the berries in the strainer as well to get any “juice” left out from the berries
  5. add the honey and stir until combined
  6. from here you are done! OR if you are going to be canning multiple batches for gifts etc, you will want to portion out into various sized jars, leave 1/4 inch head space, put the lids on and put into a large pot where the water is just below the lids for about 20-25 minutes, then into the fridge for cooling!