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?

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!

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?

 

 

No such thing as a happy pill, nothing happy about pills!!

This new life of supplements, is a true test of what I am willing to do to feel better.

I HATE (yep, a rare moment that I am allowed to use this word) pills, medication, supplements, etc. I avoid taking stuff like this at all costs. I don’t care how much you tell me I won’t taste anything, I do. Man, I remember those gigantic horse pills (multi-vitamins) I had to take during pregnancy. I swear it is part of the reason I will not be having any more kids!

I had to take 6 supplements this morning….6! I had to swallow them down with a drink that tastes like black licorice and kind of looks like watery diarrhea (hell yeah, to the visual). I gag every single morning. Worse part about it, is this is JUST the morning supplements. I am taking 13 a day right now. Yuck.

I have always been awful at taking my “medicine.”

When I was away at college, my family sold our home that we had lived in for 12 years. In the process of cleaning stuff out, my dad moved my waterbed (which mind you had been put in its place when I was about  8…. that bed stayed in one spot for 10 years).

So when my dad removed the bed, he discovered my deep dark secret. Years and years of having a headache, or a cold, or the flu….whatever. They would bring me a glass of water with my medication. I would put it in my mouth, drink the water and when they left the room, I would pull the pill out of my mouth and slip it down the crack behind my bed. Dad said there were hundreds of pills down there.

Is this something others deal with, or just me and my neurotic self? How do I trick my mind in to just dealing with it? Believe me, I am aware the more I think about it, the worse it is. When I think about it, I gag just to gag and a whole cycle of gagging begins and people….I truly don’t want to gag!

Help!!!

 

Shopping…..

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I am not a big shopper. I really have never been. It’s not exciting to me. Honestly I find it kind of boring. Other times it is just frustrating.

This weekend I shopped more than I think I ever have.

One of my friends invited me out to a Black Friday experience. I was expecting craziness, but besides the lines being way longer than normal…everyone was very polite. Of course, I am learning that going shopping at 8am on Friday doesn’t count as “Black Friday shopping.” That stuff is really Thursday night…directly after your turkey.

Either way I got a ton of stuff. Clothes mainly, for my family….also a meat grinder for our KitchenAid.

Saturday my husband talked me in to going to Nordstrom Rack, to buy a new pair of jeans. I recently went down a size and needed a new pair. Apparently Nordstrom Rack has a ton of really nice jeans for much less than you would normally pay.

This place was straight out of my nightmares. It was too freaking busy, the dressing rooms were nuts, I sat in a changing room for 15 min waiting for the seamstress to come and prepare my new jeans for hemming, and the line……the line!!!!!!

Today is Cyber Monday. This is the type of shopping I enjoy. Sit back, with coffee in hand and try to get a great deal on one of the presents, I already need to buy. Sure the websites are crashing all around me….but I’m in my jammies, fire going in the fireplace, kids at school. Ahhhhhhh

In light of my personal favorite shopping day…here is a list of Cyber Monday deals (with promo codes if needed). May your computer battery be fully charged and the site stay up! Good Luck!

Kohls: 20% off (CYBER20KC) and free shipping on orders over $25

Target: 15% off, also additional $10 off if you spend $50 in the Christmas decor dept (WONDER)

Old Navy: 50% off

7 in 1 Instant Pot on Amazon: 45% off

Young Living Essential Oils: Free shipping on the top 100 oils

Express: 50% off

Macy’s: Free shipping on orders over $25 and 20% off (CYBER)

World Market: Free shipping on orders over $50 and 15% off of orders over $50

Any of your favorites I missed?

 

Picture Perfect

Yesterday I was a bundle of nerves.

I have been in need of some headshots, for awhile now. Like probably about 3 months. I asked a friend when she was back in town, if she would take some pictures of me and she said yes. Well it’s Thanksgiving week, she is back in town and she agreed to take those pictures yesterday.

THIS is why I was so nervous. Isn’t that ridiculous? Honestly though, after I applied some oil to my wrists to tried and calm my tush down, I sat back for a second to think why.

The only time I have ever had pictures done of just myself, was my senior portraits. That’s it! I didn’t even have pictures just taken of me, on my wedding day. Well, maybe I did, I don’t remember….but there are none in my wedding album, so I am thinking I didn’t.

I’m not scared of pictures. I like my smile. I am even starting to appreciate the lines that are appearing everywhere when I do it. But, when I’m having pictures done, it’s with my family. Generally the children are front and center.

This is an issue! Why do this? Why not have fun and feel pretty? Appreciate who you are. Treat yourself!

But instead I kept feeling vain. Then I would feel silly for feeling vain.

My friend was amazing of course. She pushed me and guided me and from what she showed me, those pictures are going to be great! As of today, I am actually excited to see them.

Am I alone in this? Is this common? I mean, I really kind of hope not. I truly do. I pray that everyone (men, women, etc) feel comfortable enough with themselves that a solo picture with a professional, would be no big deal. I hope this is just another area of ME that I need to work on. Now I need to figure out how to fix this.

This is me after the pictures, with my amazing and talented friend Melissa Koehler. Thanks for helping me through it!

This is me after the pictures, with my amazing and talented friend Melissa Koehler. Thanks for helping me through it girl!