Remember Yourself

Happy Saturday!  I hope everyone is having a great day.  We’re spending our day staying warm inside watching movies.  I’ll have to get motivated to go out for a few errands later, but for now, we’re enjoying family time.

Just a reminder to everyone, for as much as we should be helping out others in their times of need and/or distress, don’t forget to also do things for you.  Having too much stress in your own life isn’t healthy and your health is important too.

I myself have made two life decisions this week and somehow after making those decisions things feel less stressful and overall I have a feeling of peace.  The first decision I made was to start TaeKwonDo again.  I had to stop in April because the kids’ baseball took up nearly every day.  I was going to start this week but forgot we had several commitments already.  Rather than stress about fitting it all in, I called the instructor and told him I’d be starting the beginning of December.  The second decision is something that I’m not going to do for several months, so at this time I’m not going to share.  However, just making the decision seems to have taken a great burden off my shoulders and has left me feeling at peace.

Have a great rest of the weekend and remember to Relax just like Purrdy!

relax

Packing a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

The boys and I spent some time shopping last weekend and this past Sunday we packed up our shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  This is our first year participating in this event and the boys thought it was fun.  I did something different for this blog entry, I did a Vlog.  This is the first time I have tried this, so I hope you enjoy.

Just click play below.

The boys mentioned Bigbrotherlittlebro in the video, which is their youtube page. 🙂

If you are interested in looking into the organization you can check it out at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/

Life Goes On (And Seems To Fly By)

Where to start?  It’s been a busy couple of weeks, full of changes.

We have added a new member to our family.

Purrdy GirlHer name is Purrdy Girl!  She’s 6 months old and we adopted her from a nearby humane society.  Cutie, our other cat, has taken fairly easily toPurrdy and fishtank her.  He is still a bit nervous, but he is not aggressive to her at all which is great.  Purrdy, for short, is very curious and keeps us on our toes.  She spends a lot of time trying to figure out if she can catch the wrass in our 60-gallon saltwater tank and watching our parakeet flap around in his cage.

 

Last weekend we celebrated Vincent’s 11th birthday.  How do I have an 11-year-old already?  I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.  He designed his cake this year.  We spent the early part of that week baking his cake.  Friday night and Saturday before his party we decorated his cake.
Vincent's cake

As part of his Some of Vincents Friendsbirthday, he wanted to bring a group to  Feed My Starving Children.  I’m so proud that he’s already thinking about ways to help those less fortunate than us.  We had 15 friends and family join us for packing at our nearby permanent FMSC facility.  Everyone had a lot of fun!  Everyone who participated in the session helped to pack 152 boxes of food, which is 32,832 meals and will feed 89 kids for a year!

When we finished packing, we headed back to our house where we had pizza and cake and a pretty good silly-string fight (even the adults took part). silly-string
Vincent’s new thing is a youtube site he’s had for a couple of months.  He had fun recording various events from the day and put it into a vlog for his site.  If you are interested, you can check it out by clicking here.

I’ve got some changes happening in my professional life too.  Monday, my boss announced she’s leaving.  With what I’m doing at work, I have been working very closely with her.  I’m so sad she’s leaving, but happy for her and the opportunity she found.  She will do great things where ever she goes!  What that means for me is that I have the next 3 weeks to download all her knowledge and make a plan for where our project should be going forward.  This will also be an opportunity for me to challenge myself and it will help me grow.

With everything that’s been going on, as well as Ian having swimming 2 days a week, fitting in carving pumpkins, a school Halloween dance etc it’s been very busy.  I’m happy to have had enough food in the house to make some pretty decent dinners this week because I didn’t get to the store at all.  However, I’ve been suffering on the breakfast smoothie and lunch prep.  So I am thankful that even though we will be busy toting the boys to a school Halloween dance, a church dance and a friends birthday party this weekend still seems to have at least a little free time.  I would like to get my salads prepped and breakfast smoothies ready for the week.

One thing I’m learning is things will never slow down.  We can only do as much as we can do and that’s ok.  It’s taken some time for me to get to a point where I’m ok knowing that I’m not going to get everything done.  I just need to decide what’s important to get done and what’s not.  It’s ok for somethings to wait, it doesn’t all have to be done right now.  It’s hard to let go and not have control over everything, but it is soooo necessary if you don’t want to drive yourself nuts.  I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and it’s with years of trying and failing and trying again that I’m just starting to get to a point where I can do this without major anxiety over the things I’m letting fall by the wayside.

I’m sure all of us moms are looking for new ways to get through busy weeks easier.  Please share below some of the ways you get through your busy week in the comment section below.  Like and share if you know busy moms who can relate. 🙂

 

 

Some life experiences suck to watch your kids go through

Part of being a parent is helping your kids learn, grow and deal with life experiences.  Sometimes the experiences they have to go through suck to watch.  Yesterday, we had to put down our cat it sucked to have to do and it sucked to have to watch the boys go through.

Chip is not the first pet we have had to put down, but he’s the first pet we’ve had to put down that the boys have had a real connection with.

20151102_125516

The last pet we put down was my 15 year old female cat, just over a year ago.  The boys were sad, but she was kind of a one person type cat and that person was me.  Probably because I adopted her before I was married and before I had kids.  She tolerated the boys, but didn’t really connect with them.  So when she she got cancer and had to be put down, they missed her being around, but putting her down didn’t affect them much emotionally.

Chip and the boys had a special connection.  We adopted Chip just last year.  He was our chubby, cuddly, attention mongering, jewelry stealing, food sneaking, crinkling-fish-fetching cat.  He just loved to be around people and the kids loved to cuddle with him.

Chip and me

Chip was only 2 when we adopted him from the shelter, so we thought we had many years with him.  Which is why last week when he got sick we were suddenly hit with having to think about how much we could afford to do to help him.  We made the decision as a family to do everything we could since he was so young.  We thought if we could fix his issue, we’d have many years with him

The past two weeks have been an emotional and very exhausting.  Earlier this week, we thought we had a plan to help him continue on his recoery, but Thursday night he got a urethral blockage for the third time in a week.  With the help of my friend who is a Vet Tech and the doctors she works with, we were able to make a late night plan and get him to a good vet that had emergency after hour care.  The plan we came up with Thursday was to have the urgent care, empty his bladder so his kidney’s wouldn’t be strained all night.  The next morning we’d transfer his records and run any additional tests, then later Friday afternoon he’d have the surgery we though would help to keep him from blocking any more.

Friday morning, when the boys woke up for school, I told them where Chip was and let them know he’d be getting his surgery later it the day, before this they didn’t know if we’d be doing the surgery.  Because up until it became the only option my husband and I weren’t sure if we would be or could get the surgery.  They were so happy to hear that we’d be getting the surgery because they had expressed their desire not to put him down.

Chip and Cutie

Unfortunately, while running his kidney values and some blood work the doctors found out there was much more going on with Chip then we thought.  The worst part was he had kidney disease and it wasn’t looking good.  He was not going to have a good quality of life, even if we were able to happen to be able to solve his current medical puzzle.

So, after school my husband and I picked up the kids and had to inform them we couldn’t so the surgery and in fact he had to be put down.  I had asked the vet to wait until we could bring the boys to say good bye.  The were happy to have the chance to say good-bye, but sad Chip would not be able to recover from his issues.

When we arrived at the Vet we we’re given a room and Chip was brought in to see us.  We all took turns cuddling and petting Chip.  It was very hard to watch the boys.  They each snuggled up to him and said their goodbyes.  They were trying to be so strong, but eventually the tears came.  In the end the boys decided not to be in the room for the final procedure.

Now we deal with the grief of losing a pet/friend.  I don’t think it will really sink in until Monday when they arrive home from their long weekend.  That will be the time they start to notice his absence.  I can only hope to be there for them to talk to and help them grieve in the way they need to.

5 reasons busy moms should increase their water intake

Over half of our body is made up of water and over 75% of our brain is water.  Because of this, water is critical to our body’s function.  Water is literally needed at a cellular level to keep us in tip-top shape.

In my opinion, these are the top 5 reasons busy moms should drink up!

5.  Better skin

Water helps flush toxins from our system.  Some of these toxins can cause inflammation of the skin and clogged pores and lead to acne.  Drinking water will help to keep your pores clear and reduce acne, it will also keep your skin moisturized and hydrated which will keep away some of the smaller wrinkles.

4.  Helps digestion and keeps you regular

Water helps your body break down your food and transports the nutrients where they need to go.  Proper hydration keeps your intestinal tract working properly if you don’t have enough water in your system, your colon will pull it from your stool and you will become constipated.  We all know there’s no time for constipation with everything us busy moms need to do.

3.  Weight loss/management

Water is more filling than soft drinks.  If you drink water instead of soda you’ll not only cut back on your calorie consumption for the day, but you may not get hungry as often. In addition, consuming foods with higher water content can keep you fuller longer.  Your fruits and vegetables are high in water content.  If you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will actually hold onto water and you don’t want that water weight.

2. Keeps you energized and focused

Being tired is a sign of dehydration.  Keep up on your water supply and you might just be able to drop a coffee or two.  Also, since your brain is over 75% water it needs proper hydration to work correctly.  If you’re feeling a bit foggy and having trouble focusing try a nice glass of water.

1.  Boosts your immunity

Water is needed to produce Lymph fluid (think lymph nodes).  This lymph fluid carries all the important stuff, such as water, nutrients, white blood cells and other immune system cells through our bodies, blood.  Even down to our cells.  Without water, we can’t make enough lymph fluid and we may be more susceptible to getting sick.  We all know, there’s no time for mom to be sick.

 

Now that you’ve seen which reasons I think are most important for busy moms to drink lots of water, how much water should you drink?

This has been somewhat debated.  We’ve all heard the suggested 8 glasses a day.  I’ve read several other suggestions, including half your body weight in oz.  But the best determination of this is to look at the color of your urine.  If your urine is dark yellow, you need to up your water intake.  If your urine is clear or pale yellow, you are doing great.

Remember you need to increase your intake of water if you are exercising.  Drink some before, during and after your exercise.

How can you get more water?  You don’t have to drink all your water.  As mentioned in number 3 fruits and vegetables are a great source of water.  Also, you can spice up your regular water by adding fruits to it.  Great way to change boring ole water into something you like to drink.  When you’re done drinking the water you can eat the fruit, you’ll get benefits from the water and the fruit!

You don’t have to do anything fancy.  I take a 16 oz mason jar, and put about 1/2 cup fruit and leave it refrigerated for about an hour before drinking.  Try a google search for “fruit infused water”.  You’ll be surprised how many there are out there!

 

 

Mantra Monday: It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to….or not.

“There are no problems, only situations.”

This weekend I had to use my mantra quite a bit.

On Saturday, the boys had back to back baseball games.  We were at the field from Noon till around 4 pm.  There were two ‘situations’:

1) it was supposed to be in the 90’s with a heat index of 100 What is one to do about lunch for both boys?

2) The first game was at lunch time and I have to make sure my boys eat somewhat healthy.  If they have too much junk food or simple carbs, they process it too fast and get hungry, cranky and poor attitudes when the game doesn’t go their way.

A cooler was the answer to both issues.  We packed a cooler for all of us.  We packed a ton of water and some Gatorade for the boys to keep hydrated.  We also put lots of good food in the cooler for the boys.  We packed, strawberries, watermelon, trail mix, bananas, etc.  We made a (somewhat) healthy lunch by buying a hotdog from the concession stand and filling in the rest with what we brought.  One of the boys ate before his game and the other ate when he finished his game.

My other ‘situation’ was party preparation and clean up.  We’ve been so busy with baseball that I hadn’t had time to shop for food or clean the house.  Normally shopping and cleaning would have taken me through the night since I got such a late start and I would have been panicking about how everything had to get done and be just so.

We got home from the game around 4:30 And my mom and I hit up Costco, then proceeded to Aldi, Wal-Mart, and another local grocery store. We didn’t get home until after 7pm.  After dinner and getting the boys to bed it was after 9.   We prepped some of the food and then I decided we’d have to clean as much as we can in the morning.

The next morning we got most of the cleaning done.  Floors didn’t get washed, they got picked up and vacuumed/swept and bathrooms got cleaned.  The party went great and clean up wasn’t too bad.  It’s the first party in a long time I’ve hosted for the kids that I didn’t end up until midnight getting ready.  I felt so much more relaxed and less anxious.

I’m really liking  telling myself things aren’t problems or big deals and just finding the best alternative that works the best for the time I have.  It’s really helping cut down on my anxiety.  How has thinking this way about problems helped you?  Do you have a mantra you follow?  Share with us in the comments below.

 

 

 

Fitness challenge: Day 4

Hey Everyone!  If you remember on Saturday I started a 30-day fitness challenge.  If you haven’t been participating from the start, it’s still not too late to join in.  I am challenging everyone to do some form of exercise for 30 days straight.  We are all busy, but getting moving is a start to getting healthy, so all you have to do is move in some way for 30 days.  You can hit it hard or take it easy, just do something for 30 days to get in a good habit of exercising.

My friend, Jenny, suggested I take a look at an app called Sworkit when I started this challenge.  If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest you look it up on your app finder and download it.  It’s free and exactly what busy people need!  You can choose how long you want to exercise starting with as little as 5 minutes and go up to 60 minutes.  Then you can choose what kind of exercise you would like to do.  It shows you how to do the exercises and none of the exercises require any equipment!  This is perfect for when you don’t have much time and/or you don’t know many exercises.

Here’s how my week has been so far.

Saturday (Day 1)- I slept in and then I had to get ready for a wedding.  Knowing I didn’t have much time before I had to leave and that I definitely wouldn’t be exercising in the evening, I just did a quick two reps of push-ups, crunches and triceps dips.  Two may not sound like a lot, but I’m horrible at push-ups and triceps dips, so I still felt the work the next day.

Sunday (Day 2)- Sunday was spent cleaning the house up and doing swimming lessons.  I took it easy in the evening, since the weekend was so busy and I had to return to work on Monday.  So I ended up doing 10 minute full body strength training using the sworkit app, just before I went to bed.

Monday (Day 3)- I missed both classes offered at the fitness center at work and I was a bit sore from Monday and Tuesday, so I decided to focus on cardio.  Problem was, we had a baseball game in the evening so I had to get dinner on.  I cannot run right after eating.  Since we have to be at the baseball games 30 minutes early for warm-ups, I took that time to take a brisk walk along the walking paths at the baseball field.

Tuesday (Day 4)-  Yoga day at the fitness center!  I love Yoga, but have missed out on several months of it due to a project at work.  However, I have been trying to get there again since May.  I don’t make it every week, but today I will.  I always feel so relaxed after Yoga.

I’m very excited to share these 30 days with you.  Let me know below how you are doing!

 

 

 

Mantra Monday: There are no problems only situations

Just over a week ago I told you I was adopting the Jamaican saying, “There are no problems, only situations” as my new mantra.  This is the first installment of Mantra Monday.  On Monday’s, I’ll be sharing how I’ve put that mantra into action and asking you to think about how you can or have used that mantra yourself in the past week.

I have two ways I used this mantra this week. On Memorial Day evening our family was returning home from our activities and Ian asked me to open his bottle of Root beer.  I opened it, there was a pause and suddenly it started bubbling over.  Root beer splattered down my shirt, on the center console, glove box, floor and passenger door before I could close the top again!

On a normal day, I would have freaked out about how sticky it is and difficult to clean.  This time, I took a breath and chose to laugh about it.  It wasn’t a problem only a situation.  I asked the boys for one of the towels they had in the back and wiped it up.  Situation resolved! And we were all able to laugh about how silly I looked the rest of the way home!

My second situation was just this weekend.  I had a wedding to go to with my mom and I ended up wearing my blue dress.  I usually wear silver shoes with it, but I had to toss because they broke the last I wore them.  I grabbed a pair of clear shoes with silver accents that I thought fit.  As time went on, my shoes were really uncomfortable.  I don’t know why, but I decided to look at the size.  They were a size 7!  I’m in a 7 1/2!  Typically, I would have probably decided to still wear them, but complain about how uncomfortable they were.

However, this time, I was able to take a step back and see that the issue could be easily resolved.   There were a couple of hours between the ceremony and the reception, so we used some of the extra time to run to the store and look for some shoes that fit.  I found an awesome pair of silver shoes that looked great with my dress and will look awesome with some of my other outfits as well.  Situation resolved!

I would love to hear how thinking of something as a situation instead of a problem changed how you handled it.

Let me know in the comments below!

 

30 days of fitness, starts today!

I have been on a mission the last year and a half to better my mind and body.  I started working with a health coach in January of 2015.  My sessions officially ended just about a year ago.  I learned many things including about food choices that were better for me and we also worked on me at a personal level too. I like to think I was able to carry what I learned with me for the past year or so.

Then this past January I knew I needed to work a bit more on myself physically.  I don’t do well exercising alone, I like group settings.  I used to do Taekwondo with my boys, but we ended up having to drop it about two and a half years ago and I really missed it.  So I looked at Taekwondo dojangs in the area and found a great one about 5 minutes from my house.

Between the food and the exercise, I was edging closer and closer to my first weight goal.  Unfortunately, at the end of April, I had to ask my instructor to put our account on hold until the fall.  Baseball has consumed all our free time.

Since then, I have fallen far off the wagon.  My meal planning went out the window a few weeks ago and I haven’t exercised since I left Taekwondo.  So, Thursday I made the decision to buckle down and get some exercise in.  Coincidentally I ended up talking to a friend about how things have fallen by the wayside and how I need to get back into eating better and exercising again.

I also buckled down and ran on Friday, but it was hard.  I have only been out of exercise for just over a month, but I could tell a difference from the last time I ran when I was eating better and exercising a couple times a week.  This time, I couldn’t even run 2 miles.  I have noticed when I eat better it fuels my body better and my running is easier.  So that pretty much solidified my resolve to get back on track with my morning smoothies, and healthy lunches and dinners.

I am starting a simple 30-day fitness challenge and I want you to join me!  I know we’re all busy, so this challenge is going to be easy.  You don’t have to do anything huge.  Just get in some sort of exercise each day, for 30 days.  It can be 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes whatever works for you.  The point is to get yourself moving for 30 days.  You can do something different each day if you choose or the same thing every day.  I will, likely, be doing something different each day as I know I get bored easily.

I am also going to work on getting my meal plans together each week.  This is something I was doing for most of the last year and I’ve found it is essential for me to keep eating in control, and my meals (somewhat) healthy, especially with baseball every night this summer.  Try your hand at creating meal plans during this 30-day fitness challenge.

During this challenge, I’m not going to focus on weight.  Because as I’ve learned, my body can be going through physical changes, but weight might not be going down.  I plan to measure myself instead.

I’ll post a couple times a week during this challenge and we can celebrate our successes and trouble shoot our issues.  Let’s work together to get healthy.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so if we can do this for 30 day’s we’re on track to a healthier lifestyle!  I am looking forward to sharing these next 30 days with you!

 

My New Mantra!

Hi Everyone!  Sorry for my absence the last couple weeks.  I recently took a trip and have spent this past week shuttling kids between baseball games and practices.  I finally have time to put into words what I have been thinking about all week.

Last week I went to Jamaica with my husband and our friends.  We went to a beautiful all-inclusive resort where I didn’t have to run errands, plan dinner or clean up after anyone.  All I did for the week was relax and have fun. It was such a blast!   Jamaica is absolutely beautiful.  I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I was surprised that it was so green and mountainous.  We spent a couple days down by the pool and did some offsite activities as well.  The first offsite activity was a catamaran trip that included snorkeling and a stop at ‘Margaretville’ where we got to go down a waterslide from the patio into the ocean.  How cool is that!

We spent the next day at the ‘Good Hope Plantation’.  We went ATVing, ziplining, tubing down the lazy river, through the challenge course and then spent time with the crazy parakeets in the aviary and ended the day with a bit of rum tasting.  It was so much fun and all of the guides were great!

Everywhere we went we met people from the island and they were so nice.  They seemed genuinely happy to be talking to you and spending the time doing what they do.  The bartenders were laughing and having fun with the patrons.  The boat crew was partying with the guests, the ATV and Zipline guides were having a grand ole time.

Every guide who drove us around pointed out the 4 basic phrases we needed to know:

  1. The definition of/when to use Yeah Man (Yeah Mon as we all hear it)
  2. How to say OK or I’m Alright (Irie)
  3. How to say no. (E-E.  Sorry I have no idea how to phonetically spell)
  4. There are no problems, only situations (Hence the phrase No Problem Man)

The last one is what I am making my new mantra.  There are no problems only situations:  To me, this means something might be happening right now, but it will work out.  We don’t know how yet, but we can let it play its course or we can choose to find the best way out of the situation at the time.

If you know me, you know I’m wound a bit tight.  I suffer from anxiety, so sometimes small situations seem big to me.  I stress out over the big stuff, but also over the small stuff.  I’m noticing sometimes my kids are starting to be bothered by some of the small issues too and I want them to be able to handle things better than I do.  I need to be a good role model on how to take things in stride.

I also don’t want to be stressed out all the time.  I want to be more like the people in Jamaica and take things in stride.  I also want to be relaxed like I was when I was there.  So I’m going to adopt the mantra, “There are no problems only situations”.  The hard part is that it’s not something I can just turn on.  I wish I could just flip a switch and be like, “oh well, it’s not a problem only a situation, relax and it will work out.”  If only!  The busyness of life creeps in and I forget to be mindful and because I’m not mindful, I forget about the mantra.  So in an effort to remind myself that there are no problems only situations, I’m going to start posting on Mondays.  I’ll call it Mantra Monday.  I’ll be posting on how I mindfully lived and acted on that Mantra over the prior week.  Right now is the perfect time to start this as right now we are crazy busy with the boy’s baseball.  We spend a minimum of 4 days a week with baseball, some days both boys have games.  I’ve got to keep the house up, make meals and make it to games each week and I’m going to use this mantra to change my mindset from stressing out and panicking, when things interrupt the plan I’ve set for the week so I can just enjoy these times I have with my boys because they are growing so fast.

So in an effort to remind myself that there are no problems only situations, I’m going to start posting on Mondays and call it ‘Mantra Monday’.  I’ll be posting on how I mindfully lived and acted on that Mantra over the prior week.  Right now is the perfect time to start this as right now we are crazy busy with the boy’s baseball.  We spend a minimum of 4 days a week with baseball, some days both boys have games.  I’ve got to keep the house up, make meals and make it to games each week and I’m going to use this mantra to change my mindset from stressing out and panicking, when things interrupt the plan I’ve set for the week so I can just enjoy these times I have with my boys because they are growing so fast.

So, I invite you to check out some of the pictures from my vacation below and join me on Mantra Mondays.  Do you have a mantra?  Share it below.

Jamaica trip