Uncategorized

I’ve been on a cleaning spree

I’m a horrible pack rat- one of my biggest fears is something pushing me over the edge and becoming a hoarder. I already have the “what if I need this one time in the future?” anxiety around getting rid of things.

I had the house to myself completely on the 4th, I also was off work. I spent 12 hours going through my craft room/home office, book closet, kitchen and living room. I took 5 trash bags and several smaller bags to the dumpster, emptied several boxes I was able to organize things and have my kids’ toy area and craft room almost totally organized- they can get to their toys and I can get to all my stuff.

I also cleaned out a bag from the bathroom and can see the kitchen counters.

It’s not finished, and still very much a work in progress but one day I am determined to have everything organized to the point of looking like a showroom.

Health · Parenting

Today is our anniversary.

It’s been 8 years today since our ride’s car broke down and we spent an hour 30 walking in the summer heat to meet my parents in the courthouse.

We were an hour late to our own elopement… luckily my parents knew (our parents, his brother and friend were the only ones who knew)

They insisted on being there and were able to stall the judge.

This week has been horrible, though. Instead of going away for a weekend fishing/hiking trip like we planned, he’s having to help plan a funeral. Hopefully, things will get better for his family. Our kids are a bit too young to fully comprehend losing a grandparent- but they will notice her not being there. I did tell them but it happened so fast, it shook all of us.

Health · Parenting

Is Drinking Really Worth It?

I read so much about parents and drinking, all the posts and memes about wine and all the jokes about how bad mommy needs a drink. 

It had me thinking about it a while back, and while I really didn’t mean to write this, I’m writing it now. People who knew me pre-kids and pre-marriage and know me now have seen a huge change. Before I met my (pretty much, anti alcohol) husband, I was an alcoholic. My day consisted of- gym, walk to work, walk to bar before going home. That was my daily life. I was functional- but not. I was able to hold a job but there were times I would spend nearly my whole bank account and barely remember the last night. One St Patrick’s Day, I spent 12 hours at the bar. They knew me by name and it was a time I felt like I fit in.

Then, my husband and I met and I cut down massively- he was 19 and I was 22 when we met so I couldn’t go to the bar anymore (I could, but I wanted to go out with him). I never was a fan of drinking solo, so I quit. I got pregnant right after we got married and attended my very first party without drinking- I still had fun, even though he and I were the only ones not drinking. As I got a little older and more established as a new mommy, alcohol was losing it’s appeal completely. Since having kids, I have only drank a handful of times and after my last time, I won’t again.

I started looking for nonreligious places to go to meet other adults with kids but no alcohol and it’s tough. It feels like drinking is the most symbolic part of being an adult. I know I’m not the only one who feels that alcohol isn’t as sweet and innocent a joke as people seem to think.

While looking up the “mommy needs a drink” joke, I found this from the site Salon talking about growing up living that “joke.”

Coming from the experience of “I really need a drink” (in order to properly function), I don’t consider that joke to be funny. I do have days I don’t get the chance to sit until bedtime, I have bad days- but nothing so bad it would put me back in the bottle.

In my failed attempts to locate family friendly events where I could possibly meet other local parents, I attended a family friendly charity event about a year ago. They had two kid booths but in the food booths the smell of alcohol was so strong I could barely smell the food. We had a hard time hearing each other or our kids over the sound of the adults getting louder and more obnoxious that we left after the girls ate. By the time we left, we were walking past groups of grown women who were loud, obnoxious and flirting with men who were on the same level of intoxication. This was in a rich part of town with men and women who put on a classier show in other places. I was honestly surprised to see so many people acting like teenagers.

Last year we went on vacation with my mom and dad. My husband and I went to the hotel restaurant to grab desert. There was a family and the dad was obnoxiously drunk already, with two young kids in his party.

When I was a child, I was taken home after people started drinking. I would notice the adults getting louder and crazier but we always left. Both my parents were totally against alcohol so I’m sure the way I was raised may have something to do with it, but should parents get drunk around their kids? Sure, drinking a few sips or drinking a bottle with a meal isn’t too bad, but should parents really let their young kids see them actually get intoxicated?

There have been studies about parental drinking around kids, even moderate drinking- and seeing parents drunk or tipsy can upset children. There has also been findings that people who watched their parents drinking growing up tend to be more likely to drink as teens and associate with younger drinkers.***

Being taken away didn’t keep me from trying it at 18 or going to a bar regularly at 22, but I also quit drinking quickly. I was a daily drinker from 21 until shortly after my 22nd birthday, when I started to put it down. This past June, on vacation, I got a Margarita but it took me 30 minutes to regulate my breathing and I felt my throat closing, so I am done now. Before that, it had been over a year and before that, another year. I still can go out with friends and have fun. My husband and I have gone to a few local shows and it is more enjoyable without getting dizzy and agitated. Same with going to parties, but I’m still at a stage where I’m more interested in kid’s parties and kid friendly events I can take the whole family.

My kids have never seen me drunk nor intoxicated and I know they never will, I’m saying now I have an alcohol allergy, if pressed, I’ll also admit to being in recovery- it may have been a short time, but at that time my life revolved around alcohol and I never want the girls to go through it.

Even though you can’t prevent your kids from experimenting or giving in to peer pressure, you can educate them on the dangers of alcohol. You can tell them it’s addictive and the problems it causes. It impairs your ability to think right- it causes accidents. In fact, in the US alone, 10,497 people were killed in 2016 due to intoxicated drivers- 28% of accidents that year (according to the CDC). It also harms your liver, kidneys and can lead to liver failure if you drink too much.

Getting drunk itself is a result of alcohol being a poison and the puking and passing out is actually a warning sign of drinking too much- potential alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can easily lead to death.

Just because people say red wine and moderate drinking (1 glass for a woman, 2 for a man) have health benefits, lifestyle may play a bigger role than the alcohol. There haven’t been enough long term studies to fully prove red wine is as healthy as they say it is. Just like beer, liquor and other forms of alcohol, wine is also a depressant. It slows your body down and can lead to so much more pain than enjoyment. Is it really worth the risk?

 

 

 

 

Health · Uncategorized

4 Fast Ways To Incorporate Mindfulness and Slow Down In Your Hectic Life

At some point in our early to mid 20s, our lives become stressful. With jobs, school, children, family, businesses and the bills don’t pay themselves. Among all the chaos, it’s easy to get so wrapped up you forget to breathe. Self care is extremely important and living in the moment helps keep us in check. Over the years, I have learned a few ways to keep myself grounded. I’m not perfect at it, but it does help me settle down. I have been less stressed and less anxious since I started studying and trying to practice mindful meditation and here are four simple and fast tips for when you don’t have the time to go to Yoga or meditate.

pexels-photo-593172

1. Practice mindfulness in the car on your commute- don’t zone out to the radio, don’t let all your stress pile up in your brain and just watch the road- take in every sense. I read that most of us tend to kind of zone out on our commute- we enter a kind of daze and our minds wonder. Start practicing not letting your mind wonder- look at the car in front of you, really listen to the lyrics of the song on the radio or turn the radio off and listen to the sound of your car, the traffic and nature- whatever the sounds around you are.

Don’t let yourself think and just focus on feeling as calm and relaxed as you safely can.

I found that since trying this one, when I achieve it, I’m more patient and get less annoyed when I get cut off. I also no longer feel any anxiety when I have near hits (I’ve almost had 3 people wreck into me and I almost merged into someone)

None of those times made me react- I was able to quickly get away from the cars without reacting and without wrecking- and no anxiety.

pexels-photo-57627

2. Meditate yourself to sleep-

This is a major one for me. I try to focus on the sounds of my daughter or husband breathing, my breathing, the cat moving around downstairs and the sounds outside. Close your eyes, clear your mind and don’t allow any stressful thoughts to cross your mind. Anytime you fail (and there will be slip ups), don’t stress and just push it out of your mind. In the end, start counting and count as far as you can before you fall asleep. I almost always count myself to sleep every night and I never go further than 30 to 40.

shower-shower-head-water-drop-of-water-161502

3. Meditate in the shower

When you’re getting ready for work, try to take a shower mindfully- really feel the water splashing down your body. Feel the heat from the water as it steams (if you like your showers as hot as I do). Take time to smell the soap and shampoo you use. Notice the feel of the washcloth or loofah. Use all 5 senses and bring yourself to the moment. When you’re in the moment, you don’t have time to think about the stresses and to do list for today.

pexels-photo-390403

4. Practice mindful eating

This is one that can help you lose weight as well as helping destress.

Too often, we scarf down our food- we don’t savor it and we don’t enjoy it- and we eat more than we’re meaning to eat. Instead of fixing a huge breakfast and quickly eating it, take a bite. Take one bite and let it sit in your mouth for a bit. Notice the way it tastes, the texture, the thickness- make sure to smell it and use all your senses to really experience your meal. Do this with all meals and snacks- in time, it will come second nature and it’s not as time consuming as typing it out makes it sound. When you eat mindfully, you become aware of what you’re putting in your body- you get to know your hunger cues and you learn to slow down, eat less so you won’t feel as full and uncomfortable.

 

Once you start trying these, you’ll find that it will help you get in the moment. Instead of being stressed constantly and feeling sick and fatigued, it will help you feel more in the now and after a few weeks of deliberately getting in the moment, it will come second nature. You will no longer lay in bed wide awake stressed, you’ll start focusing on the feelings and counting down to sleep. Once you have made this your new habit, you’ll have less stressful commutes to work and you will be able to react easier. It is literally all in the mind.

 

*disclaimer: None of this should be taken as psychological/medical advice- these are things I found help me after reading several books and magazines and putting the practice into my own life.*

Health · Uncategorized

I’m so sick of feeling sick

Almost every day I feel run down.

No matter how much sleep I get, I can’t seem to feel rested. I feel drained all the time, my brain is so foggy I have officially quit joking about being an air head.

My mood swings from depressed to anxious- every time I start to think I have some mental illness, my labs come back.

The depression is deeper than I ever felt- as an outcast teenager, when I lost my grandma, lost my dog or lost my child- I had situational depression all those times- never this deep. This depression is unrelenting and feels like I’ll never be able to get up. It makes me feel like no one cares, that I have no one- my kids would be better off and so would my husband and my parents- it makes me feel like I just need to isolate myself. Every time I start to ask my doctor for help- I get my lab results.

I feel nauseated, my stomach bloats out, I have to run back and forth to the bathroom- or I get the opposite.

My palms start burning to the point I can feel the heat radiate, or the opposite and even at 90 degrees, I’m shivering.No amount of blankets can help me warm up and no stripping of layers helps me cool. Heat is worse- it makes me overheat to the point I’ll start to feel like i have heat exhaustion. I have got heat sick just from hot flashes.

 

I don’t know what’s worse- the crying spells from the depression, the panic attacks from the anxiety that come on with 0 warning, the fatigue that NOTHING helps, the digestive symptoms, mood swings or the fact that people look at me like I’m faking it all. The fact that it’s an invisible illness that makes me feel all this.

It’s never going to go away but you can’t see it. You don’t see my mood swings- until the symptoms get severe- I’ve been learning to hide them.

You don’t see the cold or hot flashes- unless I start sweating

You don’t see the depression, anxiety or the nausea but it’s there. It’s real and I’m ready to give it up. I don’t want Hashimotos anymore. I don’t want to keep having to feel this way in between dosage adjustments. They started me at 25, I’m now up to 88 and my appointment is next week- I’m in full swing and can tell my levels are off. I was going to go to the ER, but there is no use- ERs can’t handle chronic- they treat temporary problems. I really wish I could figure out how to deal while I’m in between doses because this isn’t living.

Health · Parenting · Uncategorized

When my seven year old came home from the NICU

She was 8 months old, development of a newborn and was still tiny. She was on oxygen, feeding tube and heart monitor.

I tried taking her out of the crib a few times but we had to switch at first from the major oxygen machine (plugged in to the wall) and switch to a small portable tank- that only lasted a few hours. There were a few times the cannula came out and she turned blue so fast it had us terrified. There was also a time we had an emergency situation and had to take her to the hospital- and all the tanks that were newly delivered to us read empty, except one that had one hour left. Luckily, they were able to switch her to a tank when she went into the room in the ER and kept her on it when they admitted her to the PICU (she got a cold and her lungs were too weak to handle it.)

For months, we were so afraid of her blue spells or something happening to her oxygen, we kept her in the crib for most of the day. I finally figured out where to put her big tank in the upstairs hallway that would allow the tube to stretch downstairs and to her bed- as soon as we figured that out, she was only in the crib when she was sleeping.

To this day, she has some strange attachment issues and I feel like her long stay in the NICU followed by our paranoia has something to do with it. I still feel somewhat guilty.

I’ve been thinking back to her babyhood. Aside from the oxygen, she and her sister looked almost identical- to the point my older daughter has gotten their baby pictures mixed up a few times. I still wonder if I had gotten her out of her crib more, would she still be so far behind? She’s playing catch up a lot more now since she has a very talkative sister. Her sister talking is improving her speech (she said the sentence “mommy has to go to work tomorrow” earlier today and she usually says shorter sentences- every sentence she says that has more than 2 or 3 words feels like progress since the condition she has typically comes with only being able to say 1 or 2 words period). She has the genetic disorder on top of being preemie, so I doubt that us keeping her in the crib for the first few weeks(if we weren’t cuddling her in the bedroom) had any affect on her.

I also remember the string of home health care nurses that came and went the first few months and the help my mom gave us because we were 20 and 22 and having a special needs child was overwhelming.

I remember her first cold- the night that landed her in the PICU and the first time she ended up with impacted bowels (she’s now on Miralax and has been hospitalized another time and had to be flushed 2 other times in the ER)

I remember struggling in the NICU to pump, the nicknames they gave me (they called me Bessie because at one point I had the deep freezer, 2 normal sized freezers, their fridge space and my fridge space filled totally to overflowing with pumped milk). I remember the frusteration near the end at pumping- getting a grand total of 2ozs over 30 minutes- then spilling it. I remember the day I finished pumping and dried up, the nurse went out and bought me an energy drink to “celebrate” having my body back.

I remember the nights going to bed alone after chatting with my husband online because I was staying in a Ronald McDonald House out of state while he was home working.

I remember meeting parents who would come in for a few weeks, then leave when their babies got released and it felt like our time would never come.

I remember the day- December 1, 2011- the day we strapped our daughter in her car seat and drove the 3 hours to finally take her home for the first time.

I remember cuddling with her when we finally got her oxygen cannula taken and could see her beautiful face

Now, she’s healthy but still has to see quite a few specialists. She’s reading on her own- even will grab cereal boxes and read those. She loves shopping, shopkins, pink and pretty much all things girly- just like her little sister. When I buy stuff for them- I get the pink for her sister and purple or blue for her. She has different favorite colors on a regular basis and she loves Pete the Cat books, she won a giant Maisey Mouse from a library program/contest last year and the giant mouse is sitting in her bedroom at grandma and grandpa’s house.

 

Her birth and early life has given me a totally different perspective on raising kids and motherhood in general. She and I both almost died, so even when I’m mad or annoyed- when she is screaming or throwing a fit or in my face not letting me breathe on my own, I still am beyond thankful I have her in my life- that her condition has no actual affect on her lifespan and she’ll likely live the same amount of time a healthy person would.

When she was 15 months, off all the tubes and getting more and mroe stable, we decided to finish our family (only wanted two). I got pregnant fast but sadly, she had a different condition and it took her life at 3 hours. We gave up and decided she would be an only child. She started school and I stayed home for another year- then we decided that if I found a job, we were done and there would be no more kids. If I got pregnant, I’d continue staying home for a few more years. They happened almost at exactly the same time. I finally got my first job after staying home for four years and I got pregnant- found out about 2 weeks into the new job. This one was a happy, healthy baby- and our last. After she was born, I had my tubes tied.

I’ve been through it all- loss, complications and healthy and I am so grateful to have both my living girls in my life.

 

Uncategorized

Halloween is just around the corner

It’s time to grab your decorations and scents for fall.

There are other pillows that will be listed in the coming weeks.

Dont forget to check out pillows fit for teens going to college next month for their dorms as well

If you don’t see your favorite fall or winter scents, message me and I’ll get it

https://www.etsy.com/shop/bethcessoriesdesign and

https://www.etsy.com/shop/newagedreamchick

Uncategorized

Halloween is just around the corner

It’s time to grab your decorations and scents for fall.

There are other pillows that will be listed in the coming weeks.

Dont forget to check out pillows fit for teens going to college next month for their dorms as well

If you don’t see your favorite fall or winter scents, message me and I’ll get it

https://www.etsy.com/shop/bethcessoriesdesign and

https://www.etsy.com/shop/newagedreamchick