I Showed up at the Dog Groomer Instead of For My Hair Appointment…

Photo from Pinterest 

Since I started working for the family business and am spending more time getting ready to teach a social media class at the UW, I’ve had little to no extra time to write here. I miss it. Working part-time has been an interesting balancing act that has had both good and bad outcomes.

The first month I went back to work, I was pretty much a wreck. I forgot a birthday, didn’t pay the monthly piano lesson bill, and showed up at the dog groomers instead of for my hair appointment—and even now, I’m sure I’m neglecting to remember what else I forgot. If you know, don’t remind me, please. It’s over. :) More

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Stay-at-Home Moms…When The Kids Are In School Full Time–How Do You Feel? How Does Life Change?

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Here I am sitting in café writing. I never do this-ever! I’m feeling really crunched for time lately. I’m here at the café writing because we live thirty minutes from our daughters’ school/dance classes and it seems silly to drive all the way home and then turn around and drive another half hour back when I’m already commuting a minimum of two hours a day. I’m trying to be more disciplined, organized, and efficient with my time. You’d think I’d have lots of extra time since I’m a stay-at-home mom and my kids are in 1st and 4th grade, but I don’t.

Life is busy and being a stay-at-home mom is busier than it may seem. There are so many things to do every day (I’m not sitting around doing nothing). Sometimes the work that I do seems invisible because it’s repetitive. Like making sure all the laundry is clean, cooking home-made meals every night, making egg-free lunches every day, washing dishes, cleaning the house, driving the kids to and from school and after school activities, helping with homework, volunteering at their school, quality family time, etc. The list goes on forever.

I’ve thought a lot lately about how working moms do it. I feel inadequate when I think about it. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should do more…Then I think about everything I do and I circle back to—I am doing a lot. I’m productive; I’m not lazy. How do working moms do it all!?!

Something has to give, right? More

Life-Threatening Anaphylactic Food Allergies at School…Unnecessary Drama

Olivia and Me

I’m just going to admit it right now—I’m annoyed. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been hearing some rumblings that I’m not thrilled about. As I’m trying to calm myself by writing this, I am also hoping to receive feedback from YOU! I would really LOVE to know what you think. More

What Do You Think About This Diet Book For Children…

We cannot ignore the fact that some children are obese and that may lead to self-esteem, body image, confidence, and serious long-term physical health issues. I understand that this is a complex issue that needs to be addressed. But this type of book, with that type of title, isn’t the way to go about making a positive change. This book is irresponsible and sends an unhealthy message. More

Marriage on The Rocks ~ Guest Post by Spiritual Momma, Sarah

Sarah is the Crazed Lady behind Spiritual Momma. She is a life coach, blogger, mother, recovering 12 step-er, and junkie for living happy, joyous, and free!

Those who know me personally know I have a solid marriage built on genuine love, care and effort. My husband is a rare breed of man, one who exhibits fanatic kindness, empathy, concern, and compassion for others. He and I are in fact polar opposites in many ways but somehow, we meet in the middle creating a wonderful balance and harmony. I think when all is said and done we both understand and seek to better ourselves first so that we can help one another and our family.

As with any relationship, shit happens. Assumptions are made and tainted perspectives completely skew the filter in which we create our reality from. Last night I experienced this with my husband. He’d been traveling for a short time, returned to an immediate task, kids jumping for joy to see him and me filled with my own personal excitement to share. I could sense the underlying tension or stress he came home with–immediately sparking a bottomless insecurity within me.

One sentence sent me into outer space: he said, “I have a few things to talk to you about when I’m ready”. More

Crazy Busy With End-of-School Activities? Have a Child With a Severe Food Allergy? Stay Alert or This Could Happen to You…

Olivia at the last field trip of the year…

We are crazy busy right now. There are three more days of school left and our calender is bursting with school functions, field trips, parties, doctors and dentist appointments, sporting events, sleepovers, and more. It’s organized chaos in our house right now—I’ve been on go-nonstop-mode for almost two weeks. I can barely keep track of everything I’m supposed to pack, bake, and attend. One of the most important aspects of my mothering jobs is to keep our kids safe. I am usually very good at this job, but I dropped the ball for a few seconds and it was an unfortunate, uncomfortable, scary reminder of the seriousness of food allergies. More

Over-Scheduling

Sometimes it’s difficult to resist the temptation of over-scheduling ourselves and our kids. At the beginning of each school year, I fill Bella & Olivia in on their options and they chose what they want to do. I don’t let the girls participate in more than two extracurricular activities at a time. Sometimes I think they can participate in “just one more” activity because it’s hard to turn down all of the exciting opportunities that are available for kids these days, but I know that if we add just one more organized activity we all pay the price. Free time is essential.

There are times during the school year that I feel too busy, hurried, and pressured to go-go-go. I have good intentions, but sometimes I over commit to too many activities myself. I absolutely love summer because there is a simplistic relaxed vibe and much more time for unstructured creative play.

Over the extended Memorial Day weekend, the kids ran wild outside for four days straight and did not participate in one structured event. They did not complain of being bored once and they played so hard they practically fell asleep before even falling into bed. They had a great time. It was awesome.

Yay. Summer is almost here…

I don’t want to be over committed. Studies have shown that unstructured, creative play is crucial for optimal child development. If you are feeling the pressure of over-scheduling yourself or your kids, just remember that free time is just as valuable, if not more, than structured time. Don’t cave into pressure. The kids won’t “fall behind” if they don’t sign up for every possible activity available to them. They will just end up feeling pressured, stressed, hurried, tired, anxious, and disconnected if they are over-scheduled. So go outside, play, be creative, and have fun! That is good for everyone!

Striving For Perfection—Wasting Time on Unrealistic Expectations & Comparisons

I have always been a Type A, high-energy person who has lots of goals and “to do” lists. My goals don’t include flying to the moon, being a rock star, becoming a neuroscientist, or anything amazing like that, but they are mine and they are important to me. I’m at my best and happiest when I’m meeting challenges head on and juggling lots of things at once. Sometimes, I feel like a hummingbird flying here and there trying to get it all done. I love that feeling. I’ve always enjoyed striving to reach new goals–until suddenly I wasn’t having fun anymore.

I’m not sure why or when it happened, but something shifted within me. I was trying to make everything “perfect” instead of enjoying the process of learning, creating, and reaching goals. Somehow, I got it stuck in my head that I needed to up the ante. I did this to myself—no one else did. I wanted everything to be “just so”. We all know there is no way to have the “perfect” body, hair, complexion, clothes, relationships, marriage, kids, career, or life. Perfection does not exist, but still… More

Shoving Kids Out of Their Comfort Zones by Margaret Dilloway

Santa brought bikes for the girls last Christmas.  In October, we had to sell all our stuff to move from Hawaii back to San Diego, so this was a Very Big Deal around here. 

Our 5-year-old, Kaiya, had never owned one before, and had admired the pink one adorned with Princesses every time we went to Costco. It’s a pretty bike, with a zippered pouch on the front, streamers, and a bell.

She got on for about two seconds, helmet and all, and hopped off.

“I don’t want to ride it,” she said. More

PMS, Post Pregnancy Hormone Hell, Weight Gain & Disease ~ My Struggle To Be Healthy Again.

Our girls and I before my health completely spiraled out of control…

In high school, some teammates and I were chosen to go to a college Track & Field Camp to learn about different types of training methods. I was excited to be there! Just as I was signing in for this great weeklong program, I could feel severe cramps coming on quickly. I never knew when I would get my period because I had an irregular cycle that would sometimes skip a month or two. Within 15 minutes of arriving on campus, I was literally on the floor in a ball in so much pain that I was incapacitated. Advil didn’t touch the pain and my week was ruined. I had been to doctors before and after that incident, and there was nothing they could do for me except to put me on birth control pills, which didn’t make enough of a difference. This is how my cycle would be every month or so for years. Sometimes I’d get lucky, and the pain and other PMS symptoms were not as severe. Many years later, I became pregnant with my second daughter, Olivia, and everything changed.

After having Olivia, I never went back to “normal”. I had lost my pregnancy weight and should have felt great, but I didn’t feel quite right. Over the next year, my monthly cycle became more intense, my hormones were slowly spiraling out of control, and I began having weekly stomachaches.

The symptoms slowly crept up on me, and I thought I’d naturally get over the new issues in time.

After Olivia’s first birthday, things got worse. My periods started lasting longer and occurred more frequently. I started gaining weight, which was really abnormal for me because I had always been naturally thin and never had struggled with weight before. I was retaining water, felt bloated, and I was having severe stomachaches more frequently.

So began the parade of doctors..

At this time, my stomachaches were causing me the most grief. They were occurring daily now and affecting my quality of life. I saw my primary doctor. She ordered several blood tests, checked my thyroid, and a few other potential problem areas. All of my test results looked good. She referred me to a gastroenterologist.

The gastroentereologist asked if I had an eating disorder. I told him that I did not. He said, “Let me see your teeth.” Hmm—he looked at me like he didn’t believe me, and I opened my mouth. I passed the test; my teeth were fine. I suddenly did not like him at all. An endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed nothing. My intestines looked perfectly normal.  

He said I must have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I knew he was wrong, but tried the medicine and dietary changes anyway. It didn’t help. In fact, the dietary changes made me even more irritated. I mean who wants to give up coffee, cookies, bread, wine, sugar, and chocolate at a time like this!?! Not me!

I felt like the doctors were not taking me seriously and perhaps thought I was making it all up.

A few months later, things really went downhill. The pain was non-stop, my periods were lasting for two weeks, and my hormones were raging. My face was breaking out, I was having mood swings, severe headaches, other strange things started happening, and then—I started having night sweats. I mean the kind of night sweats when you have to change your clothes and sheets two to three times a night. I was still gaining weight. Then the night sweats started happening during the day too. I started having the shakes. I was miserable.

More doctor visits… More

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