Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Need a Timeout

I pride myself on the fact that I can handle just about anything.

The intricacies of Christmas? No problem.

Mothering Marie through the social politics of preschool while simultaneously mothering Thomas to use words instead of force to communicate his needs? I got it.

Wifing Harrington through the growing pains associated with his new promotion? Check.

The six weeks of festivities otherwise known as Birthday Season with Harrington traveling out of town for work? That’s a bit tricky, but I. Can. Do It.

Until I can’t anymore.

See, I get this total adrenaline high from doing it all. But then a few days later, I feel totally drained and icky. Perhaps it’s withdrawal from the adrenaline.

The more I do, the more I feel compelled to do, which leads me to believe that I really am an adrenaline junkie. Not the jumping out of planes or zip lining kind. But that rush of looking at all that needs to get done and figuring out a way to make it happen kind.

As much as I love it, it doesn’t feel healthy. And to be honest, this season is kicking my ass!

Here are the warning signs:
- Teeth clenching
- Shallow breathing
- Annoyed that someone asked me for food. Again.
- Outraged that The Babes won’t let me enjoy twenty minutes of Matt Lauer on The Today Show as they scream for Disney, Jr.
- Looking at the dust and taking it personal it decided to take up residence on my furniture that I JUST dusted. Last week.

I know what you must be saying: ask for help. No one person can do it all alone.
And I know, I KNOW. You are right. And I do ask for help. For the big stuff.

When I fell apart following Marie’s discharge from her neurosurgeon, I asked for help. A bit later than I should have, but I still did. I also got help for my PMDD. Again, not in a timely fashion, but I did.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to ask someone to take the kids for a few hours to refill my tank so I can, you know, take care of EVERYTHING. It’s hard work being a full time caregiver, housekeeper, event planner, and chef (I use this term loosely because sometimes it’s hot dogs and sometimes it’s whole wheat pasta with steamed broccoli and grape tomatoes with chicken and garlic sautéed in extra virgin olive oil).

I totally hate sounding like a martyr because that looks good on no one. But, sometimes after wearing all those hats in one day, I am too damn tired to do something for me. I am really trying hard to be more definitive in giving myself some time off. An hour here, twenty minutes there. . . trying not feel guilty because the TV’s on and I chose to write a blog post as opposed to orchestrating a craft that incorporates fine motor skills and letter sound recognition and color recognition and experimenting with different textures and whatever else The Babes need.

I think you get my point.

So much pressure being a parent, no? (And now I sound like Yoda. *sigh*)

But seriously, after this birthday season is over, I am sooo going to do something nice for myself, like a massage or pedicure. Or maybe some extended quiet time in a padded room. Whatever. Just something that does not involve organizing or fulfilling someone else’s needs.

So how do you handle it “all?” Are you good at delegating? Do you procrastinate? Do you just not care? If that’s the case, please, teach me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just Filling In Today!

I am filling in today for Annie at Real Mommy Chronicles.  I love her blog and so honored that she had me guest post for her today.  Maybe you remember her when she wrote a guest post for me?

Seriously, Annie is awesome.

So come follow me on over for my guest post.

I'll be back here next week talking about how if one more person asks me for another cup of juice, I might break down in a fit of real tears.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

And the Winner of the CSN Giveaway is . . . .

Ashley!!  Congratulations! 

Thank you, everyone, for participating!

Have a great week!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Follow Up to The Cleanse Incident of 2011

I try to be healthy. I want my kids to know how to eat healthy and understand the importance of being active. Which is hard (unless you live in the magical land of Southern California, more specifically, the Dana Point/Laguna Beach area where organic produce and Kobe beef are absolutely EVERYWHERE). As opposed to Michigan, where there are a zillion McDonalds in a one mile radius along with freezing cold/hot and humid weather. The deck is definitely stacked against us here in Michigan.

But I try.

I make sure whole wheat is the first ingredient on our bread and English muffins.

I buy organic peanut butter.

I avoid high fructose corn syrup.

I buy whole wheat pasta.

I wanted to take this healthy living to the next the level. This led me to The Cleanse Incident of 2011. In short, this “gentle” food-based cleanse limited my protein and restricted ALL common food allergens out of my diet. Two days in, my blood sugar dropped so incredibly low, I was sweating and cold and shaking. I. Was. A. Mess. So I had a big-ass peanut butter sandwich. With a side of failure.

Around this time, I won a contest on Real Mommy Chronicles for three free sessions with Monica at Your Intuitive Health.

I totally procrastinated contacting her, which is totally unlike me. It took me awhile to connect the dots, but I think it had to do with The Cleanse Incident of 2011. I failed that, so what could I possibly learn? Worse yet, wonder if she was judge-y once I revealed to her that I buy goldfish in bulk and eat pizza every Friday?

I. Was. Wrong.

Monica is so kind and gentle (and not fake gentle like that cleanse was supposed to be). Her whole approach is to make changes that fit for you. And when I told her about The Cleanse Incident of 2011, she was totally sympathetic as she explained she would never suggest doing a cleanse in the dead of winter since that is when our bodies need food.

And that’s when I knew I was in good company.

The first session, she gave me three objectives to work on: buy a new water bottle with a straw, eat a bigger breakfast /a smaller dinner, and try to eat whole foods after workouts instead of My Beloved Cliff Bars.

As it turns out, My Beloved Cliff Bars are not as healthy as I once thought. This was seriously devastating news, especially since I had Thomas hooked on the kids’ version for breakfast. (Which if you are running out of healthy options for your kids, she is hosting a telecass this Monday night with healthy recipes included).

I didn’t think the water bottle would make a difference, but it totally did. I was finally drinking enough water, and a lot of my headaches and bloating went away. Score!

Throughout our sessions, Monica helped me with travel snacks when I went to California, get in the habit of using a mantra whenever I feel anxious, and gave me recipes for things I have no idea what to do with, like quinoa.

Here’s why I think Monica’s suggestions worked for me: they were small (I mean buying a new water bottle, how easy is that)?!, yet effective (bloating gone=better fitting pants=happy)!

So far, I have bought significantly less lunch meat, drinking more water, and have successfully helped Thomas quit his Cliff Bar habit.

Small steps, I know, but stuff that I can keep on doing. In these small details, I feel that they snowball into other changes (like buying quinoa in bulk and trying to become a member of an organic farm co-op). (Crazy, I know, but I still have pizza and Coke every Friday.  Because pizza?  I could never quit.  Ever). 

And these changes? Make me feel way better than failing at some leave-me-in-a-sweaty-heap-on-the-floor "gentle" food-based cleanse.

So tell me, have you ever tried a cleanse? Have you ever tried incorporating new foods in your everyday life? How did it work for you?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Winning! Or Not So Much?

I am new to Skinny Scoop, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, be sure to do so. It’s a lot of info sharing and getting feedback. The main method is through surveys, which I love! There are questions to answer or you can make your own. Here’s the question I created:

I have one word to describe my feeling on this whole Charlie Sheen fiasco: sad.

It’s sad to watch him implode.

It’s sad that people are buying tickets to his breakdown.

It’s sad that people around him are taking advantage of someone who is not well in order to make a few bucks.

I think from far away, maybe it’s not what it seems. Maybe it seems like Charlie is all winning all the time. He’s having fun with his goddesses. According to him, his boss fired him for no reason. And he’s the best so clearly there is nothing wrong with him.

It’s someone else’s fault.

But if you’ve ever seen someone suffer from addiction and/or mental illness, it’s scary. It’s horrifying to watch someone you love spiral out of control. It’s living with the fear of when that other shoe inevitably drops. And mixed in there, is a giant dose of helplessness.

Dealing with someone who is unstable is an exercise in empathy and self-preservation. Trying to find balance within that dichotomy is incredibly difficult. You want to help, but can’t put yourself in harm’s way yet you feel guilty for wanting to save yourself.

It’s a vicious cycle.

And this is unfortunate because I believe that if people were more honest in talking about mental health and addiction, then maybe the stigma attached to these conditions would be lifted. People could talk about it and figure out treatment options without feeling shamed or embarrassed.

I mean, I get it – when people act outrageous and aggressive, it’s easy to write it off as being a jerk.

But people don’t get all uppity when a diabetic can’t process their sugar.

No one ever tell the diabetic to *try* harder to process that sugar. No one ever takes a diabetic to Hershey Park and tells him to eat as much chocolate as possible and then becomes mad when he gets cranky from low blood sugar and then passes out, possibly into a life-threatening coma.

So I think it’s just sad how people line up and take a cheap shot at those who are mentally ill.

What are your thoughts on this whole Charlie Sheen debacle? What’s your attitude toward mental illness and how it’s perceived?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Light: The Perils of Seeing It . . . and A Fun CSN Giveaway!

Having kids changes everything. Obviously. One day I’m eating sugary peanut butter with reckless abandon and the next thing I know I am buying healthy organic peanut butter. Oh, and let’s not forget “healthy” chicken nuggets with omega-3 breading and Goldfish Crackers (in bulk) (eating better is a process, people!) (I’m working on it).

I think having The Babes has inspired me to want to live all around better. But better is not always easier. Sometimes better means making choices that are not at all popular, yet I feel that these choices are the best for The Babes. Gaining a new perspective on life by the virtue of having kids can be lonely. Because sometimes that means breaking away from what is familiar. Sometimes the things that I am most accustomed to (because that was the truth when growing up) are not the same things that I want to be true for my family. This is hard because muddled in all that is not good are rays of pure light and sunshine. And making boundaries to protect from what is unhealthy yet include that light is hard, to say the least.

But necessary, you know?

The process makes me kind of sad and confused. Yet hopeful.

And here comes the fun giveaway part. Remember when I had some winter blahs, and I was given a $35 credit from CSN for a review? And I got a new toaster oven and all was right with the world (or at least my kitchen)? Oh, that sweet, sweet retail therapy coupled with a free upgrade in shipping made my day. Now, CSN offered a $40 credit for a giveaway that can be used at any of CSN stores.! How awesome is that?!

Change is hard. Seeing the light can sometimes be lonely. Sometimes it can be inspiring. And sometimes seeing the light can just be fun – thanks, CSN!

Here are the rules:

Please leave a comment on this post about your favorite product of CSN.

Here’s what you must do for extra entries. Please leave a comment on this post for each thing you did. Each comment is an extra entry:

- Become a fan of CSN on Facebook (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Become a fan of Mommy on the Spot on Facebook (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Become a fan of Mommy on the Spot on Twitter (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Become a fan of CSN on Twitter (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Become a fan of this blog by either subscribing to my RSS feed or Google Friend Connect.

- Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network site and leave a link in the comments.

Here’s what you must do to gain an extra 5 entries:
- Write your own blog post about this contest and be sure to add links to this post and CSN Light Store. Post the link of your post on Mommy on the Spot fan page.

You must live in the continental U.S. The contest will start Wednesday, April 6th and end on Wednesday, April 13th midnight EST. The winner will be picked at random. I will announce the winner on Monday, April 18th.

Good luck, everyone! And have a great week!