Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lack Of Energy + A Time Change

Whenever the time changes, my internal clock goes crazy. It takes a week or so for my body and mind to adjust, not only to the actual time change, but the amount of daylight change too.

I love that we gain that extra hour to sleep. I have toddlers.

That hour is heavenly, especially on Monday morning.

Photo courtesy of: mazumafykc.com

But coming home at 4:15 and it getting dark by 5:30...totally kills the evening for my family. My kids loooooove to be outside. They have bedrooms full of toys that rarely get played with because they would much rather play outside. They cannot stand that it gets dark so early because we are forced indoors earlier than we prefer.

They are adjusting, but they are not happy about it one bit.

They have watched more T.V. in the last two evenings than they have all summer.

But I decided to take advantage of being indoors to get my house organized before Christmas.

My goal has been to clean and re-organize at least one major room of the house each night this week. Last night I took on Scarlett's room. It looks great after 2 hours of serious cleaning and furniture arranging. But it literally took every ounce of my energy.

I went to the emergency room on Saturday afternoon after experiencing extreme fatigue and chest pain. Thankfully there were no issues with my heart, but I have an infection somewhere that is causing a low heart rate and blood pressure, as well as dramatic drops in my blood glucose. When this happens I feel faint and terrible. I am going to see the doctor to have a full work-up so that we can get to the bottom of this.

Whatever the cause, I have never felt so tired in my life. I have spells where I shake uncontrollably, get clammy sweats, lightheaded, instant headache, severe hunger pains and nausea. I eat every couple of hours to try and prevent it, and protein shakes have become my meal of choice. It is terrible. And all I can tell the doctor is that there is something wrong, I just know it. I just don't know what is wrong exactly.

My heart goes out to those that suffer from illnesses that bring on these symptoms regularly. I hope these are just side-effects of an infection, and it is not something that will recur.

This is a terrible way to live, especially since there is less sunlight now, and the sun always make me feel better.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Soda Makes You Fat- Or So This One Guy Told Me

I have been battling to get myself together and get these last pesky 50 pounds off. I have lacked motivation for a while. Between busy 40-50 hour work weeks, school, kids, dinner, house chores, family time, etc...I could make countless excuses...I have neglected myself yet again. I stopped working out, but I have done my best to keep my eating in check. Essentially I have been maintaining for the last 8-12 months.

All of that changed dramatically on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

This is my restart date. And there is a very rude man I want to thank for that.

I have always been overly critical of myself. There aren't many women that don't judge themselves on a daily basis. I have always battled with my lack of positive self image, even though I've never had a reason to be so hard on myself. My parents taught us to love ourselves no matter what, and Dustin has never done anything to make me feel less than beautiful.

My body has done some amazing things in the last 4 years, and it has also betrayed me in the last 4 years. I have had two pregnancies that both resulted in weight gain; as well as the stress of life, and a terrible relationship with food, that has all lead to where I am now.

I read the other day in the Farmer's Almanac that September 29th and 30th were good days to start a new health regimen...I decided to test that theory. The Almanac dates were spot on for training the kids for the bathroom, bottle breaking...all kinds of great tips! So I figured it was worth a shot for getting healthier!


Back to my recent kick in the gut.

On Wednesday I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up a cheap set of headphones (I forgot mine) when I was on my way to the gym. While I was there I decided to grab a bottle of water (forgot that too!). In the Dollar Tree their drinks are all in one isle, and the water is smack in the middle of the soda and juice. I was standing there, minding my own business, trying to decide if I wanted a one liter bottle or sixteen ounce bottle of water. I decided on the one liter, since I was going to pay a dollar either way.

As I was reaching for a BOTTLE OF WATER, a young man that was pretty fit assumed I was going for the soda. He then proceeded to step towards me and tell me the following....

"You know that soda is the reason you're fat right..?"




After I put the water in my basket and the reality of what he said sank in, I flipped out. I proceeded to tell him that while I may be fat, at least I didn't have an A$$ for a face or a dark hole for a heart, and a few other choice things. Not my best moment but I have always reacted impulsively and with no filter. It is a flaw I acknowledge. The cashier came down the isle to make sure everything was okay, because I guess I was yelling at him pretty loudly. After she came around the corner he made a quick and cowardly get away.

After I explained to the young cashier what happened, she got a manger and they apologized profusely. I made it clear I was not upset with them, but the rude jerk who felt it was his job to criticize someone he did not know a thing about.

Photo Courtesy of AlaskaCommons.com

I know what size I am, a 16...average for a woman my age now days. I know what got me this way. And it most definitely was not soda. I don't drink it hardly, and haven't had one in weeks. But thanks for the helpful advice anyways! Not to mention... thanks for judging me!

Women have enough pressure from society to look a certain way and wear a certain size. It is enough to make the most self confident women feel bad about themselves. The last thing women need is the critical judgement of complete strangers, especially if those strangers are MEN. Did he think his comment would incite tears? Anger? Motivate me? If he wanted to do that he could have just offered some weight loss advice. I would have been more than willing to talk with him. He looked to be in good health. But honestly...what kind of person says something like that?

Either way, once I calmed down and left the store, I went to the gym and kicked butt! So in a way,  I could thank him for the anger that incited one hell of a workout, but he most definitely did not motivate me. If anything he caused me to go into the bathroom and look at myself. Try to figure out what it was that he saw that was so awful, he felt the need to make comments to me about my appearance. I will never understand his motives, don't really care to.

People need to know that is never okay to judge people based on their size. While I may not have a medical condition that causes weight gain...someone else may, or any other problems that result in weight gain. You never know what battle people are fighting. Words like that are words that could send many people to their breaking point and cause them to harm themselves. Constructive criticism is great...if it is constructive...but his behavior was destructive. If his goal was to make me feel worse about myself...he succeeded for about 24 hours.

All of this being said, I have decided that I will not let it bring me down anymore. Instead I will use his meanness to motivate others and tell everyone that we are all beautiful no matter what any one else says or thinks.

It really is what you think of yourself that matters most, even if that is hard to remember sometimes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Men In My Life: Evan

I recently wrote a post about how I have changed since having a son, but what I didn't talk about was the amazing person my little guy is growing up to be.

Evan will be 2 years old in a couple of weeks.

I don't even know where the time has gone. All I know is that it flew by...way too quickly.

And I also know that is one of the most over used cliches by every parent in the world, that times fly. But it honestly does.

I feel like we were just trying to get pregnant with Evan; that we had just decided that Scarlett needed a sibling, and we wanted to try, our last try, for a boy. Thankfully that is who we got, because boy or girl...this was it.

I hope that as my son grows, he will grow to be a good man like his father and grandfather before him. You can read about those amazing men here and here! They have been exemplary in teaching Evan what a good man is and how one conducts himself. Even if he is only two, I hope that some of the things they are showing him are sinking in.

Evan is a third of my heart, his sister and daddy being the balance. He is a vibrant and wild little boy with lots of things to climb on and tear apart. He likes to turn off the burner when I am trying to cook dinner. He likes to peek out at me from behind the kitchen counter while trying to sneak some cheese from the refrigerator. He especially loves when we have tickle time after bath and pajamas. I have never known a more cooperative and happy child. He is totally content with just hanging out and snuggling. I really hit the jackpot on sweet little boys. Guess he isn't made of gross snips and snails and puppy dog tails like the rest, at least not when Mommy is around.

I want Evan to achieve all of his dreams, and I will do whatever I have to in order to help him do that. He and Scarlett deserve nothing but the best, and I won't let them settle for less. My hope is that he will be the man that his Daddy is raising him to be, and one day he will make some woman (or man) as happy as Dustin has made me. I want nothing less than everything for my little man, and it scares me to think he may not have all he seeks in life. Joys of being a mom I guess!

Having a son (and daughter) completely turned my world upside down. I went from worrying about myself to constantly worrying about them. Evan is definitely going to give me a run for my money when it comes to patience, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

What fun is life if you don't have a little adventure every now and then? And that's what parenthood is...and adventure. And with a boy it is a gross, snotty, bug ridden, dirt filled, slimy, ewe-gooey adventure!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Men In My Life: Dustin

Like I mentioned the other day, I am spoiled.

Completely and utterly so.

I can be smelled for miles around.

There are a select few men in my life that can be held accountable for it all.

The other day I wrote to tell you about one of the greatest men in my life: my dad. He was the perfect example to my sisters and I, in how we should expect a man to treat us. He has always loved and respected my mother, and taught us to expect nothing less from other men in our lives. He made a point to make sure that we were raised to be independent and head strong women, that could also accept the kindness of men.

When I brought Dustin home to meet my father for the first time almost nine years ago, I was more nervous than he was, I think. My dad is a good judge of character, and he usually pegged our boyfriends for whom they were, whether it was good or bad. The couple of guys I brought home prior to Dustin were not well received by dad, and while his opinion didn't make my decision for me, I also took it very much into consideration.

They hit it off, thankfully! Turns out that my dad knew his family through the farming business, even though they had never met. One of the first pieces of wisdom my dad imparted upon Dustin went something like this...
                "The women in my family are very spoiled. She is your problem now. Good luck."

And then there was something to the effect of castrating a cow being similar to castrating a man...Gee, thanks Dad!

But he was right, and he knew he was to blame. But figured it was now Dustin's turn to assume the responsibility. Dustin stepped up to the plate, and now...nine years later I am still a very spoiled and happy woman.

Dustin has many of the characteristics my dad has. He is a hard worker, willing to do whatever it takes to take care of our family, all while supporting me in everything I do. He is intelligent. Kind. Caring. Passionate. Loving. But most of all devoted to the kids and myself. He has gone without so they have what they need. He loves me even when I act crazy (ladies will understand me here). He holds me close every night and tells me so. I could not have found a better man. I know everyone likes to think that they hit the partner lottery, but I definitely did!

There are never enough words to tell Dustin how much he means to the kids and myself. I try to show him everyday just how much he is appreciated. Life has thrown us more than our fair share of curve balls, but we seems to dodge them most of the time...and we still come out of it stronger.

Good man doesn't even begin to describe Dustin either, but it really is the best description.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Men In My Life: Dad

I am spoiled.


Completely and entirely loved and doted on by the men in my life.

I am lucky.

I know this without a doubt.

Every girl loves their father in ways that no one can ever understand but you and your father. He is the first love of your life. He gave you life. He is there to protect you. Provide for you. Support you. Punish you. Congratulate you. Push you. But most of all...LOVE YOU. My father has and does all of these things, even now that I am an adult.

He showed me what I should expect from a man in the way that he treated my mother. He taught me how to be one of the guys (he has 3 daughters, no sons), while being his girly girl. He made sure that I was tough and could take care of myself, all while being able to let others in to help me take care of myself. He loved me even when I was doing everything in my power to drive him insane. He was always there when it mattered most. But most of all...I have always known his love for me.

He's never said the words out loud, that is how he was raised...to show as little affection as possible. And while he never was the touchy feely kind, I could always count on his strong calloused hands to catch me when I fell. It might have been a ride on the tractor versus a hug and soft words...but I knew...without an ounce of doubt that he was there for me. If a boy broke my heart, I could count on Daddy needing me to ride along with him in the truck with the windows down listening to AC/DC, as a means to mend what he couldn't fix. Even if I wasn't really needed as a tag along.

Good man doesn't begin to describe my father.

A good man loves his wife and family...but my father is devoted to my mother and his family, even more so now that he has grand-kids. After 31 years of marriage, there is no lesser a gleam in his eye when he looks at her, then there was on any day I can remember back to. He does what he can to make sure she has all she needs, and what she wants when he can. He has gone without, on countless occasions, to make sure our family was provided for. He worked day and night, hard back-breaking labor, to give us the necessary comforts in life. And now his body is turning on him for it. And it kills us to see him hurt.

As I sit and watch he and my mother grow older, I have started to realize just how amazing of parents they were. As children we take for granted all they do, because it is their job, and children are selfish. But as an adult, and as a mother, I know what he sacrificed for us. He sacrificed his body to years of hard work, to give us a home. He sacrificed his alone time, to spend time with us. He sacrificed things he wanted, for things we needed. He sacrificed his heart, to give us all his love. 

That is a good man.

I could sit here all day and tell you of all the amazing things he did, but to me the most important thing he did was show me the love that I deserve from a man, not only for myself, but my children as well. I found that love. I found the good man that he lead by example to teach me to find.

I could sit here all day and tell him how much I love him, and appreciate all of the things he has done for our family, but I will never find the right words or enough words to say what he deserves to hear.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nurses: I Stand United With You

So on Monday, September 14th my sister gave birth to her first child, a little boy. I was blessed to be a part of his delivery into this world, and I am so proud of the hard work she put into getting him here.

John William. A good strong name, for a beautiful little man.

That is the newest man in our lives. He is chunky, and gorgeous, and pink, and smells like baby heaven. I could snuggle and love on him all day.

My baby, Evan, is officially a toddler. He is my last baby. We decided on sterilization after he was born, because it was the right choice for our family. I don't regret it, but I have recently had to come to terms with the fact that I won't have another "baby". Ever again. So, with that being said, I am going to hoard all the baby loving I can while John is tiny, because we all know they really do grow up too quickly.

Now the reason I am here isn't just to gush about John, even though I could all day, but instead to praise all of the amazing people that helped to get him here!

My sister had a tough pregnancy, she battled terrible illness as well as gestational diabetes. She went to countless doctors appointments, saw countless medical professionals. And for all the countless times she went to see them, she was always treated well and respected.

The people that took such great care of her and John, have recently been horribly disrespected by the women on The View, a daytime talk show. I do not care to go into specifics but you can see for yourself here, what was said. It disgusts me that nurses were spoken of in such poor light.

These people stand on their feet day in and day out taking care of the sick and dying.

They are being screamed at; puked on, pissed on, shit on, bled on, and any other bodily function I didn't list, they have probably wore at one point or another. They go for hours without eating. They go for hours without sitting down. They listen to hours of people complaining and crying. They work long hard shifts day in and day out. They hold your hand when you are sick. They comfort you when in need. 

Nurses are the backbone of the medical field.

They are the fundamental building blocks to caring for those in need. And they do so selflessly. All that they ask for in return is respect, and the women on The View ripped that away from them, and they should be ashamed. Even if they do issue some public "apology" it will not mean anything. All it will be is a means to end the backlash they are now facing for opening their mouths without considering that they are on a national TV show.

Now to the amazing people that helped bring John into this world, THANK YOU!

And to all of the other amazing nurses who have been waiting 6 hours just to have a bite to eat, THANK YOU!

The ladies that were there for my sister's delivery were amazing. They were all incredibly patient and kind, even when things were at their craziest! They answered all of our questions, made her as comfortable as possible, took great care of her, and even cried with us when John arrived! There are never enough ways to thank them for all they did. And it makes me sad that it has taken this kind of issue to bring attention to how amazing nurses are! They should be thanked regularly for all the hard work they do, and never criticized for being proud of their profession, no one should.

So once again, THANK YOU, not only to nurses but all medical professionals!

And as for the women on The View, you have started a movement, and I hope they cancel your show!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scarlett Baby Gone

My sweet little Scarlett Rose turned four a couple of weeks ago.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose started Pre-K on Monday.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose started showering all by herself.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose now puts herself to bed at night.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose...please so down...you are growing up way too fast! Mommy can't pick up the pieces of my heart quick enough to keep up anymore.

Becoming a parent is amazing. But being a parent sucks... a lot. It is like we go from holding these beautiful little bundles of baby goodness that rely on you for every. single. tiny. thing...to BOOM!...little persons all their own that don't require your services anymore. Tossed to the trash like a used tissue. But I love that feeling.

Confusing, right?

I know. You should...or could...be in my shoes.

I love seeing her blossom into this amazing person. I love that she is hard headed and independent. Those things will take her so far in this life. I love that she doesn't back down from challenge, and is fearless in all she does. But what I love most of all is when she asks for my help.

The night she told me she wanted to take a shower by herself, with the door closed, AND she would wash her own hair...I sat on the couch listening...and crying. I was hit with the sudden realization that I was no longer needed. She really is a big girl now.


This morning we were getting ready for work and school, and she was dragging butt. Just not in the mood to dress herself. So she ask me if I would do it. How could I refuse and invitation to do something for her, when she always tells me she will do it "herwelff "?

I couldn't. I didn't.

I basked in the glory of my baby needing mommy!

I pulled her out of her jammies. Put her in her school clothes. Put her toothpaste on her toothbrush. Pulled her hair back. Slid her sneakers on. And walked her to the neighbor for carpool. I was almost lightheaded from the "baby needs mommy" high!

So as hard as it is to watch her grow up...and eventually away...I will take every opportunity presented to be the hero Mommy!

To do one more thing for her.

To hold her close and let her be tiny and dependent on me one last time.

But it breaks my heart every time I do.