Ditch Day

With summer right around the corner, it reminds me of all I get to look forward to as a work from home mom.

Yes, yes….there are the negatives like fighting, the “I’m bored” and electronics usage.

But the positives are way sweeter.

We GET to be together, we GET to go on adventures and I DON’T have to ask for time off to do it.

So here I am, busting out as much work as I can, before the kids are out for the summer…yet all I’m thinking of is fun adventures ahead and fun adventures we have had this year.

Reminds me of a ditch day we took this year. Are you a ditch day parent? Ever just pull your kid out, for a surprise fun day?

Growing up my dad would occasionally do that. I remember it would be once every couple months. It was always a Wednesday (his day off) and we would often go to the San Diego Zoo. He would pack us lunches and we would eat in one of the aviaries after exploring most of the Zoo. Those were some of my favorite childhood memories, so you better believe I do that for my kids too.

Seriously, it’s only maybe three times in a whole year…but it’s fun nonetheless!

The last ditch day we had, was sometime in the Spring. I took the boys to the desert to see the Desert Blooms. It was about a 2 hour drive. We listened to a podcast on the mini roadtrip, enjoyed a nice lunch together and took lots and lots of pictures of the beauty around us.

Here are some of the favorites from that day!

 

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was pretty little yellow flowers, as far as the eyes could see!

There were a ton of Ocotillos on our drive out!

Enjoying the garden in Borrego Springs.

So, if you are a ditch day parent too….. what kind of fun adventures did you do this year?

My new 4 -6 week lifestyle…like it or not

I have been dealing with some gastro-intestinal issues since November. I have made some diet and supplement changes which have helped, but nothing is just fully getting rid of the problems. I am basically using a drop of Digize Essential Oil on my stomach daily, due to tummy upset, bloat or discomfort. So because of this, two of my doctors suggested a diet re-haul to try and get me back on track and maybe discover what food(s) might be causing the issues. So here I am, on day three of the Low FODMAP Diet. Haven’t heard of this? Yeah me either, until recently.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Yes, super confusing. Basically that is a list of foods that have carbohydrates in them, that often times are hard to digest. So by doing a low FODMAP diet, I am eliminating those items for 4-6 weeks. After that I get to slowly bring back item by item into my diet to see what may be causing a negative reaction to my gut.

To be honest, my doctors suggested this diet about 3 weeks ago. I put it off as long as I could. Enjoying every morsel of food I would shortly not be allowed. But dude, punishment ensued. My gut does NOT like something. I have pretty much had a tummy ache for a week straight.

So here I am, day three. I am still very much so easing my way in to this diet.

Day one was sad. Here is a picture of my lunch. It was like I was refusing to even try.

Corn tortilla quesadilla with sharp cheddar cheese, turkey and spinach. Next to a scoop of steamed sweet potatoes. Yes, pretty sad. 

But yesterday I got tired of complaining and decided to make myself a real meal. Now doesn’t this look much better?

Grilled chicken which had been marinated in mustard, fresh basil and cilantro. With a side of kale salad and mashed potatoes.

I’m still waking up over here and am not a big early morning eater. But the plan is homemade banana and egg pancakes with a side of sausage. See! I can do this. It’s not that bad.

For those interested here in a simple guide of the foods I am allowed and not allowed to eat. Again, its more detailed than this. I have a cool app I’m using that allows me to enter foods in to see if its Low FODMAP, which is super helpful. But having this list (that I found on Pinterest) when I go to the grocery store is nice too.

Thank you Hillarys Home for this useful guide

Anyone else done this elimination diet? Any tricks or recipes you want to pass my way? I will be grateful!!

Magical Powers

I have had sinus issues for most of my adult life. I remember around the age of 20, migraines entering my world, and  I could never pinpoint why I would get them. Sometimes they would come multiple times a month, sometimes every three months, but I really couldn’t find a pattern.

Then one day it hit me. 

The sinus headaches were more prevalent as the weather changed. If the barometric pressure dropped pretty significantly, my head would start to feel like it was going to explode.

Great example….it’s been pretty warm here in San Diego, except yesterday morning, there was a prediction of rain. I kept expecting my head to start hurting, but nothing. 

It also never rained. 

Then last night before I headed to bed, my head started killing me. I decided to try and sleep it off (without doing anything about it) and had a pretty miserable night. At some point I did fall asleep and my husband woke me up saying that it was raining outside. I don’t know why it always shocks me when this happens, but it does!

My kids call it, “Mommy’s Magical Powers.” They are fascinated by my prediction of weather patterns changing, and how about 95% of the time my head and its awful aches, is spot on!

So, what are your super powers? Anyone have achy knees before it rains? Or a painful back? Who else has kids who find it “magical?”

The Mixed Emotions of Mothers Day

Mothers Day is almost here.

This day always brings out different emotions for me. It’s a love/hate.

I love it because my family is good about spoiling me and jumping on my requests. The list is always the same:

  1. Allow mommy to sleep in
  2. Simple homemade breakfast from my family
  3. My husband and children clean the house up
  4. One fun family activity out
  5. Back home for more relaxing

Doesn’t that sound heavenly? I pretty much always get this on Mothers Day and my birthday, but some years (ahem this year) morning sports has jammed me up. No sleeping in for this momma…..boooooo!

The other side of the coin for me on this day, is not having my mom to celebrate with. It’s hard enjoying a day reserved for you and all the hard work you put in year round, when you miss the person who use to do that kind of stuff for you!

On strong years (you know, the years where those nasty emotions don’t overwhelm me), I like to take a flower to the beach and throw it in the ocean for my mom. A little gift for her. I have not been able to do this yearly, but close.

So, to all you mommas out there celebrating your day, but also missing your mom. I have a tip.

It’s ok to cry, you don’t have to hide it. Share a great memory of your mom with your children through the tears. Then laugh and enjoy all you have and all you will continue having.

You got this!

My mom, me and my dad. One of the rare occasions I received a Citizenship Award at school. I was a talker, lol.

Raise Your Hand If You’re Getting Old

Before you laugh at me, hear me out. I am 37 years old and though I know that technically that isnt “old” I have been really feeling it this year.

Things are changing man. I mean really changing.

Yes yes, we all hear about metabolism slowing (real thing…get prepared young peeps), wrinkles appearing, cycles changing (ladiesssss), losing hair in some places and gaining them in others…..BUT skin and scalp? What the heck? I not only have to deal with less energy, but I also have to learn how to deal with all new skin problems?

I have never had great skin, like ever. I am convinced I will break out every single month until the day I die. When I stress my nails get brittle, my hair thins, or I get a brand new pimple. It’s me. My hairdresser gets to witness this every once in awhile (thanks for bearing with me Audrey).

My skin has always been more on the oily side, but all of a sudden in the last couple months it has been getting incredibly dry. It started around my eyes, then my hands, peeling on my face next and now my scalp. And I mean really dry, like it’s itchy.

Help!! I have been experimenting some but because this is a whole new world to me (my cupboards are full of products guaranteed to dry you out) I am kind of just guessing as I make or buy stuff.

So far I have discovered that Aquaphor is the only thing that has helped my eye area (it’s not 100%, but wayyyyy better than it was, so maybe with continual use this will fully get resolved) and for my scalp I have started making a mask. The relief I feel as soon as I put this baby on is unreal. I kind of just put stuff together that friends have told me worked for them, and it has really helped.

But what about for your face? What can I use that will really moisturize my skin, but doesn’t make me break out (I prefer clean ingredients if I can get it)? Is this special concoction for night-time treatment only? What do you use for the daytime? Help an aging sister out!!

My recommendations so far:

Eyes: The only Aquaphor I have used for this is the Original Recipe

DIY Scalp Mask: 1/4 cup of warmed organic olive oil or coconut oil, 10 drops each of Young Livings Tea Tree oil, Lavender oil and Rosemary oil (I do happen to sell Young Living Oils, but the reason for its recommendation is because it really freaking works). Mix all ingredients together, and apply to hair and scalp (I brush it in with a comb as well), then wrap a plastic bag around your hair to lock that oily goodness in and wear it around for at least 30 minutes, then wash out.

Look at this dedication! I took a picture in my current state (with no make up on) just to show you I really am doing it! Scalp Treatment for the win!

Jolly Ranchers and other choking hazards….

I was 12 years old and sitting in the front seat of my moms car. We were sitting at a red light on the corner of Skyline Drive and Palm Ave, in Spring Valley. I was eating a Jolly Rancher. Not just any Jolly Rancher, mind you….but one of those large ones. You know the ones I’m talking about right? They were long and flat….seriously reminded me of a tongue. It was cherry flavored.

I accidentally swallowed it, the whole thing! I started choking. It wasn’t coming out!! My mom freaked. She threw the car in park, ran around to the passengers side and was trying to pull me out of the car. She forgot about my seat belt though. So I’m sitting there, choking…while being pulled on over and over again, but held back by my belt. She just kept doing this, like completely oblivious to the seat belt (my mom did some amazing mom stuff….grace under pressure was not one).

She finally gave up on getting me out of the car and instead started smacking the crap out of my back. This was doing the trick….plus maybe all of the accidental Heimlich moves from the belt. I was able to reach in and pull the candy out.

I remember my mom getting back in the car and though we had a green light, we just sat there….I’m sure all the drivers behind us had a big show, but understood. I remember at some point we laughed, but that was it….never really mentioned again. I think this incident set me up for parenthood.

I have a big fear of choking. Not me choking, but my kids! Just last year I finally stopped cutting my kids grapes in half. This was only done because my father berated me (as only a loving, but very sarcastic dad can do) on social media. So I stopped cutting the grapes…. I mean my kids were 10 and 6, I guess it was good timing. Or maybe I just stopped buying grapes to put in their lunches. Hmmmm.

A standing “rule” in my home is ….no choking allowed. This of course is usually said after someone nearly chokes or swallows wrong. I will look right at them and say, ” Uh Uh, no choking allowed!”

When I leave my oldest kiddo home alone, on super slim occasions…and only for brief moments, he knows he is not allowed to eat. That’s pretty much my only set rule. The other day I left him home, while I was taking my youngest to practice and my husband was still driving home from work. He had asked if he could please finish off the slice of pizza his brother had left sitting there, while we were gone. I was reluctant but knew he was starving (this was directly after school). I gave him advice on what to do…if he choked, he rolled his eyes, and I left.

I texted him 10 minutes later…..

 

Okay, Okay. I know.

I can own it.

I’m THAT crazy mom. But at least I can say it with a smile. 🙂

Clutter

Anyone else have a “clean it up now” pile, they start for their children?

My kids know if they come home and there is a pile of stuff on the couch for them, that they better get serious real quick on picking stuff up.

Momma is about to blow.

This isn’t a daily set up, I walk around and pick up after my kids all the time. But if I start noticing my day is turning in to only picking up after my family….I start to crack and then flat out refuse.

Because I am me… I can’t just leave it laying around. It will seriously hurt my soul. So my solution is ridiculous. I pick up every single item I find that is out of place and then put it in a completely new spot.

I mean, you are putting in that much effort, why not just put it where it goes?

I think in my delusional mind (admitting a problem is the first step) I have convinced myself that they will get better at it. They will eventually get sick of looking at a “to do” pile. I am raising little future husbands here. I am doing it for their wives.

You’re welcome future daughter in law. You better love me a ton and buy me chocolates often!

The Clogged Toilet Philosophy

The other night our toilet kept backing up. It wasn’t overflowing, but it definitely wasn’t clearing. Upon hearing this, my husband went in to the bathroom and got to work on it.

My youngest was completely curious on what a clogged toilet looked like and how to fix it, so he followed my husband in to the bathroom. He watched as his dad plunged away, with no luck. My littlest then announced, ” Uh oh, that’s it. We need to call a plumber.”

My husband grumbled something as he walked out of the house and to the store. I guess our plunger wasn’t doing its job anymore and it was time to get a new one.

Hubby returns homes and gets back to work on the toilet with the new plunger. My youngest again follows my husband in to the bathroom and after about 30 seconds of watching his daddy work away…..and it was still clogged, he shouts louder, “Uh oh, still not fixed. We definitely need a plumber!” My husband snapped back a bit and said, “No I will fix it.” Then shooed him out of the room.

After about 10 minutes of fussing, I hear a successful flush. The first thing my husband does is call my littlest back in to the bathroom. He then says this, ” When you have a problem of any sort in life, the first thing you need to do is try and fix it. You can’t just run out looking for someone to fix it for you. You need to really try on your own, before seeking out help.”

My littlest kiddo was super impressed that daddy fixed the toilet, but more so I think he may have learned a valuable lesson. “Sometimes you have to deal with the “poop” right in front of you and not rely on someone else to clean up the mess.”

 

Happy St. Patty’s Day

I love St. Patrick’s Day!

My family is Irish, yes….but truly, how can you not love a holiday that circulates around food, drinks and feeling good?!?!

We wear our green with pride around here. Then later in the day we feast on our family tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Soda Bread.

This year I was in the kitchen way longer than anticipated. My husband volunteered my bread for the company party. Since I am stubborn and will only make this bread in our iron skillet…..it took me three hours for three loaves. Maybe next time I will think to just borrow someone else skillet? Probably not.

But I must say, they sure did turn out delicious!

What St Patrick’s Day traditions does your family have?

 

 

The double bag packer

Today is a big day in our home. Our 5th grader is officially going on his first ever field trip, without mommy or daddy as a Chaperone.

I have been blessed to be a work at home/stay at home mom, I know this. It has allowed me to participate in my kids lives and education more than most. It’s also a big reason why I do work from home. I needed to be there, like I have been.

As I packed his lunch in the required brown bag though….I became the mom that I had always silently cursed as a Chaperone. I am the mom who packed two bags. One for drinks and one for his lunch. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you are in charge of carrying a group of kids lunches and you have several kids bringing multiple bags, this gets heavy real quick.

But its going to be hot today….

also he gets dehydrated fast….

we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day,what’s 24 little ounces for the trip……

I’m a worrier and over-thinker <——————— ding ding ding ding!

I rationalize it as this. Because I have chaperoned at each of my kids every field trip (or the hubby has), I know MY packed water has become my child’s, repeatedly.

So it’s here, right here. I’m sorry other mommas and dads. I’m sorry for the years and years of hating you as my back ached! It took me awhile, but I NOW understand! Please accept my heartfelt apology!