Yup I was that chick at the gym today, the one I was always scared to become. I ventured to the weight machines area, a place I've been before and thought it's not that hard to figure out. Apparently for me, it is hard to figure out how to ACTUALLY use the machines! I decided that today was the day my flubby mommy triceps needed some help. Instead of trying boring things I already have tried in the past, I chose the "machines" to work their magic. As you can imagine, I was mortified as I sat there working away thinking "man! This just doesn't feel right but whatever, I can feel my triceps burning" when a pretty good looking trainer comes to inform me I am most definitely doing this wrong. How do you even act cool, chill, or not completely embarrassed when this happens?! Why couldn't it have been just another gym goer, and not a trainer that I'll have to see all the time that's probably like "Welp, there's another NEW YEARS RESOLUTION NEWBY not knowing what to do". I proceeded to take his advice and learn how to correctly do it, but not without my face turning bright red. That was from working out so hard the right way, right?! I then ran like hell up to my treadmill and elliptical spot that I FOR SURE knew how to use. As a few minutes go by, this trainer decides to find his way upstairs and again I am embarrassed as he walks by me. This time though I had it under control and wasn't going to let him think otherwise. I had to say to him, "looks like I at least know how to run on a treadmill!" :) he laughed and told me he could help again if I needed support on any other machines in the future. Ummm yeah, right. But thanks.
Why is this gym thing so hard to get back Into? And why in the hell is it that the one place we go to work on our bodies and literally feel the most vulnerable, has to be in front of a plethora of mirrors!? Because I know it's not helping me when I take a peak at other people around me, lookin all hot and shit, and I'm over here sweating like I just ran a marathon only to look down and realize it's only been 10min!
It's a mind game for sure this gym adventure. While I should just go in and do my thing and feel good, it's a continuous struggle to keep my mind focused on the reasons I have chose to work out. Hell, half the time I'm judging how long to run in order to just burn the glass of wine I'll go home after and drink. Or wishing my water bottle was a wine bottle because at least that would taste yummy in the process of this god awful exercising gig. But I'm doing it because I know the results will show. Because in the end, all the hype about staying healthy and fit IS legit and my mind and body deserve it. But I'll tell you what, if Ellen wasn't on providing me laughs while I was there or the amazing workout playlists on Spotify, I'd bring a bottle of wine with me and just sit in that hot tub thinking of how I really should go work out. :)
Peace, love, laughter, and Wine!
I started back to work Monday from a nice 2 week break from... teenagers and adult world. I really enjoyed my time with my son and my husband, and right as I start to think I could get used to doing this and enjoying staying home, it's time to head back to work. But I do have to admit, I was eager to get back to seeing colleagues again and these teenagers that most of the time I enjoy. These kids teach me more about myself and what is important in my life then they sometimes even know.
As I get things set up for the semester and thinking about what I want to do to help develop these young kids minds, I happened to come upon some notes/plans I had made with a colleague Joe of mine who had passed away in October. We were developing a time to talk with students where they could discuss and advocate for themselves their actual NEEDS in school. As I read over the notes, I began crying. Alone in my office I sat there and embraced it. Hoping that at that moment someone wouldn't be knocking on my door. It's crazy how grief can just hit you at odd times when certain things are thought of. I miss him, and the conversations we had at the beginning of semesters about how we could ALWAYS improve the ways we helped students. He made me positive again when I just wasn't, he encouraged me to think outside every box for kids, and I don't have that right now because I don't have his encouraging words to keep telling me to keep going. So much of what my job is now, is just fighting for what the REAL LIFE NEEDS are for kids. Something that Joe did every day passionately and always with a smile. Don't get me wrong, the high achieving students need to continue to be challenged, have new inspirations to help them think creatively... but that just isn't the majority of students in schools. Maybe I'm wrong. But we DO HAVE low level learners who will still go out and make a living and be successful. The real "life skills" of how to survive in a world full of people, are just as important. Social skills, life skills, problem solving, and God forbid survival skills, are some of the most essential things needed for our future generations.
My heart hurts too many days now. When some don't want to bend, don't want to listen, and just don't want to acknowledge the "real" struggles and issues that human kind will always have. Neglect, abuse (physical and emotional), stress, learning disabilities, substance abuse, mental health disorders, etc. all are not going away while our world tries to grow, develop, compete, and achieve, for more of the excellence title.
We can't pretend it's ok. In my field of work, I continue to see these issue increasing. I'm in no way saying that kids can't handle things on their own anymore. I'm simply saying the issues at hand are growing because we are failing to acknowledge that the demand on us all as PEOPLE, as INDIVIDUALS, is overwhelming to keep up with.
I am working to cleanse my heart and mind tonight. Remembering that I can only do what I can with the resources I have, and thats the best I can do. I can't control what I have no control over.
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine :-)
Social Work is one of those careers in which you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. As a school social worker, I act as a liaison between the school and students’ families, essentially bridging children’s personal lives and education to make sure their needs are being met. You can imagine how many students I wish I could just scoop up and take home! I always come home telling my husband about the stories of some of these kids and their families and how blessed I have been with the opportunity to help them. Because of the line of work I do, I often keep my personal spiritual beliefs to myself and never really discuss being Christian with students or colleagues. One, because I work in public schools where all religions should be respected and taught and two, because I want those I work with to know I will always respect them, and work with them regardless of an affiliation with a religion. But there are some things in life that just present themselves where I can't help but think it was the higher powers that be, that helped facilitate them.....
I spent the last couple weeks before my winter break gathering presents from donors, wishes from families, needs they would like for the holidays and truly playing a little elf. But all while doing this, I was trying to find housing for a student (who we will call Ryan) who was soon to be homeless. The apartment his mother and him shared, would no longer be available for them to stay in after that week. His mother wanted nothing but the best for him but was slowly realizing she could not keep a roof over their heads even working two jobs. As a mother myself now, I can not imagine being in her situation and the worry and stress over trying to make sure her baby was well cared for and had a place to come home to. I was emailing, and asking around of anyone who was willing to open their doors to this young man while his mother went to live with a friend in another state to get her feet back under her. You see, he was just a semester away from graduating from high school and his mother did not want to have to move him during this last crucial semester in his high school career.
I received an email from a fellow colleague wanting to know how he could help a family this holiday season. My initial thought was, really sir!? At this point project adopt a family was about finished. Only a few days left of school....but I never want to turn away someone who wants to give. How could I take advantage of the fact someone wanted to help? Well, I did have one situation I wanted to ask him about :) As this colleague came to see me about the options, I started laying them out and then said "or you could always take in Ryan?" He paused and then started asking me more questions about him. The situation, the background information, everything you could think of that you would start asking if you were going to take in someone to your house. While we were sitting in my office discussing this, I had a knock at the door. I told the person at the door to come in and deliver what they had for me. What this person gave me next was unreal, given the timing of everything that was going on. He was delivering a thank you note Ryan had wrote to me, as this was something the teacher asked his students to do for one person in the building before break. Of all the people Ryan knew (and he didn't even know me all that well), Ryan chose me. He knew I was fighting for him, advocating for him, and ultimately helping his family during this struggle. I looked at my colleague and I said "you won't believe this, this is a thank you note from Ryan for everything I have done for him". Right then and there, we both knew what needed to happen. My colleague picked up the phone and called his wife. Ryan ultimately now has a place to stay for the remainder of the year and has been given such great people to care for him during this time. Now tell me that ain't something someone from up stairs wasn't helping orchestrate.... :)
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine
Have you ever sat at a stoplight and stared out your driver side window daydreaming?? Or, because like any new mom, when you have a day out and away from your child you're thinking of all the things that you have to get done in this short window?? Oh but then have you pressed the gas pedal because you see that green left turn arrow come on but realize you weren't actually in the turn lane!? Oh no? Well I did, and I rammed the lady in front of me today. Happy flipping 2015 to this chick right here!
If I had been in more accidents in my life (only like one since I was 17) I would have known how talk to myself out of this one better. But instead I let this woman I hit own me and call the cops. Yup, the cops came for a flipping fender bender. I couldn't have just given her my info, pulled over and discussed this together like most people, I let her hand it to me and in the end get a 4 point careless driving ticket because I was honest with the cop about my mistake. Where the F was my karma in all this? I was Honest, up front, accepted the fact I was an idiot, and STILL get a ticket! Booooo! I did give a quick middle finger to her as I pulled off.... But then felt bad about it, even if she hadn't seen it.
Thankfully I was on my way to meet good friends for the day who made me realize I'm human and my husband helped me realize "SHIT HAPPENS!"
Peace, love, laughter and WINE TONIGHT!
Well folks yesterday was the day that I decided I would try and venture into the world of homemade baby food. While others were reflecting on the year that had past and trying to decide their New Years Eve plans, I was gearing up for an extreme purée off with myself and some fruits! I've had many friends tell me that this was cost-effective and very easy to do so I thought why not, I'll try it. As I googled and searched other blogs for how exactly it is that you do this, I came across so many different ways, opinions, and do's and dont's, that I started having second thoughts if I was really meant to do this and was now almost more confused. But you know what, this parenting thing has been all about trying new things so I tried it!
Apples, bananas, pears and strawberries...not going to be a bad thing to give a baby right? It's fruit for crying out loud! Then as I complete my cutting and have them in my blender ready to go, I happened to remember back to reading something that said to boil apples before puréeing them and that you weren't supposed to give babies strawberries because there were seeds in them....to be safe I boiled the apples and steamed the strawberries and Cayden is big enough to eat chunks, so surely he could swallow some small strawberry seeds.
Halfway through the boiling process I realized hey, this was kind of fun! That is until I was peeling the last of the apples in a wrong direction and about cut the top of my thumb off. Almost complete I thought, just need to run the apples through cold water. As I went to grab the pot I screamed! I had grabbed that damn pot on the side without an oven mitt! Man, the excitement of all this baby food cooking just made me skip a step in which you are to reach for a handle on a hot pot!!
My conclusion to this new thing, that seems to be topic of conversation for many of my mom friends, is this.... If you have the time, and want to try it, do it! If you don't, or don't want to even venture that way, then store bought baby food is just fine and dandy! There seems to be so much competition, judgement, and self-guilt when it comes to all the ways to give your child nutritious options. I am guilty of falling into the category of self-guilt a lot when it comes to this parenting gig. I always question both sides to the options i'm considering (which isn't always a bad thing right?) and look into what really will work FOR ME. Cayden won't be giving up his Earths Best Turkey Apple Cranberry meal anytime soon, but he may gain a little more exciting tastes from moms home made apples, strawberries, and pears for the next month!
What are some of your favorite and EASIEST homemade foods for your child? Comment below, I'm interested in which combos I will try next!!
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine