HIT-n-it!

Well friends, it is about that time to let y’all know how things are going, since my last post, when I shared with all of you my fitness goals. What the hell was I thinking?!

Unbeknownst to my overworked sports bra, I am no where near my weight loss goal of 12.5 lbs.  Try like 2.5.

But, I am not sad or disappointed.

Okay, maybe slightly.

Only, because the scale does not reflect the changes in my mind and body. Inches are lost and my arms and the rest of my body shakes significant less than it used.

All you arm flappers out there know what I am talking about.

In fact, I have had several comments about my newly, “toned arms” and legs.
Thank you, very much!

In all seriousness, I have been HIT-n the gym hard. Loving my cross fit “HIT” classes, and loving the people and the team feeling even more.

Not to mention the hour I get to spend during the daylight hours with JUST me. Well, and 13 other sweaty women and a few token men. Who wouldn’t trade that for temper tantrums and dirty diapers!?

Even for workouts like the dreaded “Murph” workout. You crossfitters out there know what I am talking about. The crazy insane workout that takes 5 whole days for your body to recover from!

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I honestly have never felt more proud.

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the occasional Tuesday and Saturday I feel proud. The best part is I am having fun doing it.

The hubby even sees the positive changes in me. He even bought me one of these (Fitbit Charge HR), to show me how proud he is and is happy to see me enjoy something so much.

my new Fitbit Charge HR

It is currently displaying my steps for the day.

Oh! Great news for anyone who tries to call me but fails to connect with me because I never pick up (or hear) the phone. My Fitbit vibrates and displays your name when you call me.  That’s right – as long as I am wearing this rather masculine looking watch (the flex has all the cute bands), I will most likely answer your call.

Amazing, right?!

Well, unless I am completing my WOD or perfecting my snatch (which is not easy to do).

Anyway, I am happily HIT-n-it and enjoying my bodies progress, one wall ball and AMRAP at a time.

Next step, a clean eating (Whole 30) challenge. Maybe the pounds will magically disappear then. Bring it on, July!

For now, I will go with the old adage that muscle weighs more than fat :)

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

I got this!?

Yesterday, something extraordinary happened. I signed up to the gym, actually went, and my son liked the daycare! Granted, he did hit a child (what else is new), but for the first time since having children, I did an entire class (H.I.T -high intensity/interval training class, nonetheless) and never once ran out to peer through the child care room window to ‘check in.’

Instead, I busted my chubby butt, squatting, throwing weighted balls in the air, dips (with my feet on the floor), rowed on a rowing machine, did sit-ups against the wall, and other grueling but exuberating intervals with a group of 12 random women (some I happened to know).

I have never been more sore, and have never been more motivated.

Really.

I can barely walk.

Fortunately for all of you, it has not impeded my ability to speak. Or type.

I am not really sure how it all happened and when, but somehow over the course of a year and half, I have managed to pack on 10+ pounds and 25 since I have been married (almost 8 years ago).

Now of course this does not include me tipping the scales during my 40 and 50 lb. pregnancy weight gains (dang those cupcakes) but even since having my second child, and loosing said weight, I am back up.

Unfortunetly for me, I carry my weight well. I am tall {relatively}, so it (the fat) takes a while to travel through my entire body. It is not until it reaches my head that I realize what the heck just happened.

Hindsight – I guess the fact that I just can’t seem to find jeans high-waisted enough to hide {tuck-in} the growing ‘front ass’ I have developed should have been a red flag.

Ya, think!?

It really wasn’t until I was with my besties this last weekend in Murphy’s, CA sipping wine obsessively trying to take selfies at an angle that made my face and head look slimmer that it really hit me. Much to my dismay, the magicial shot never happened. Well unless you count this blooper, Lauren managed to capture…

bestieslo

Lauren is inspiring. Despite all the wine consumed, she managed to give me the nudge I needed to make some personal changes. She has always found ways to make me feel better about myself since the day I met her 29 years ago.

All my friends do, in different ways. It is funny interesting how that is.

words of wisdom posted to Facebook by Lauren

words of wisdom posted to Facebook by Lauren

So….

I am going to do something about my expanding waistline, and better my mental health (physical too, of course).

Today, I teamed up with a few like-minded “enough is enough” friends to make our own weight loss support group. We are hoping that the three of us, can hold each other accountable and lend our valuable support along the way without having to pay someone for our successes.

Win/Win.

No offense, Weight Watchers. I actually really like you, but I just don’t want to pay for you is all.

We started off by introducing ourselves as the addicts that we are.  My text read,
“Hi, I’m Ashley. I am the quintessential stressed out eater who loves all things crunchy, processed    and or fried. I currently weigh my all time high. My goal is to loose 12.5 lbs by June 27th (I am in a wedding on this day – Congrats Jake and Lily!) and to ultimately loose 20.”

By saying this all out loud to friends (actual weight was included in the text but omitted here for the purposes of sheer embarrassment), it made it real.

Beginning today, every week we are going to log-in to a shared google doc, and document our weight, exercise for the week (my goal is 3-4 times) water consumption, etc.

As one of us said, “We are at our highest and ready to be done with it!”

I believe in accountability as a key to success.

This post (and our weekly check-ins) will do just that. Fingers-crossed.

I promise I will keep you posted as time progresses.

Wish me luck!

Swimsuit and “hot boat” season is just around the bend!

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

Life as I know {knew} it.

For me, life has changed dramatically. Not just because of the time change either, though I swear I am still feeling its wrath.

brace yourselves.

Since I have wrote last {ahem}, my son, who has had FPIES, has ate and passed with no issues, yogurt, pizza, mac n cheese, rice, beans, corn, wheat, ice cream, baked egg,  even donuts. I have husband to thank for the last one.

I am not quite ready to say he has outgrown FPIES like the statics said (67% by age 3) he would. There are still lots of things I have not trialed with him. I simply live day to day. If he asks to try something, which is amazing in and of itself, I let him. If his belly doesn’t hurt him, or have any other reactions, I move on, and continue to let his palate explore.

photo 1 (1)

eating a bun for the first time

eating a bun for the first time

It is so fun to see his face light up when he asks to try something and I say, yes! I always said I would cry the first time he could eat cake {which I am doing now as I type} and fortunately for him, his sisters birthday party is this weekend, and I am going to give him a great big heaping slice. My tears are not only happiness but the relinquish of pain I have felt for him, me and our family as we bared this trialing part of our lives for the past 3 years.

life is good.

photo 1

We got ourselves some amazing new neighbors, and with that, he even got his first real friend. Best. I got new friends too! A total bonus, they love the spirits (especially the sparkly and fermented kind) as much as I do.

Now I know what I have been missing for all these years!

Would you believe, I actually let my children stay up till its dark!? Shocking, right!?

My mom is so proud!

I am proud.

Life has come along way. So it seems.

Tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), I have a 6-year old! I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has made some amazing strides and “has become, as I quote my mom after her visit this week,  a really sweet and caring little girl.” She is thriving in school, and her creativity is infectious.

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I am proud.

Life as I know it, is changing.

For the better.

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

PS. I even have a working shower and toilet in my master bath! Glorious.

What ’tis season has taught me…

1. Shopping early can really bite you in the butt. I forgot where I put half my stuff I was “hiding” and ended up over buying for some, and under buying for others. Let’s just say, for the first time ever, I shopped Christmas Eve.

2. Children 8 and under really do not notice if Santa wrapped their gifts in different paper than their parents did, despite having made a frantic last minute trip to the dollar store to buy 6 rolls of paper that I only used half of one.
I even went as far as printing these adorable tags from The Idea Room blog

image from The Idea Room

image from theidearoom.net

I must say, everyone got a kick out of my hubby’s tag with “naughty” checked on his label attached to a bottle of booze.

“That Santa, sure knows what everyone likes,” says my daughter upon discovering the gift to “Brandon.”

3. The dreaded words “some assembly required” are really dreadful. Especially, when it is in such small print you don’t notice, but your almost three-year-old insists on opening it up and playing with it immediately. Frantically, I do my best ‘assembly’ before having to bring out the big guns. Brandon.

4. You can never have too much champagne. I mean available bottles.  I definitely have had too many glasses in one occasion a time or two. In fact, this holiday season I may have needed to be carried through the house threshold and not by my husband in a romantic gesture. Let’s just say their was some praying the next day to the “Kohler God.”

5. Whole Foods really puts on a delicious spread. Due to some last minute unforeseen circumstances, we ended up ordering our Christmas Eve meal from Whole Foods. I didn’t know what to expect, but for the price and the convenience of it, I might consider it to be a new family tradition. For once, I got to sit with my family and have a whole conversion prior to the meal being served. Who knew life could be so simple.

6. My favorite part of presents, is watching peoples faces when they open them up. Most of the time because I love seeing the joy  that it brings to them. This year, watching my son rip open half a gift upon being utterly repulsed by what lay beneath the paper, and throwing it, was pretty classic too. I am sure, I missed some amazing parent teaching moment about manners, blah, blah, blah, but it was too entertaining to think about that in the moment. Next year, I will give him the “smile and say thank you no matter what you think” speech.

7. You can’t judge a present by its ‘wrap job.’ I say this because I recently discovered using a brown lunch bag folded over with two punch holes and an adorable ribbon through it, is a pretty fantastically clever way to wrap odd size/shaped gifts. I can say, they were not the first to be grabbed by their recipeints, but what was inside them all but made up for it :)

I got a dose of my own medicine, when hubby brought out my gift wrapped in a bargain ad from that days newspaper. It was heavy as heck, so I figured he wrapped up some old bricks we have laying around as a joke. Boy, was I surprised to find my very own tool box, filled with all the ‘necessary’ tools inside the bargain meat section. To clarify, by necessary, I mean picture hanging supplies, screw drivers, etc.

PicMonkey Collage

I guess all my annoyed voice phone calls asking him where the screw driver is, the nails, hammer etc., finally made this contractor realize his wife needs some to call her own.

It’s about time!

But really, it was probably my favorite gift this year. This says a lot considering I got a new refrigerator and a Dyson vacuum.

8. Family really does come first. Friends being a very close second, of course. I miss my friends this holiday season, but I have really enjoyed the added family time, especially the nightly driving around looking at Christmas lights, seeing Elf the musical in San Francisco, attending 3 family Christmas parties, and lots of singing Christmas music. My daughter loves holiday music so much, I think we might be in detox mode right now.

9. I really shouldn’t have eat that second plate of food {every time}. Wow, my pants are tight. I have been on a binge. Truly. I will not be cliché and say I am starting a new years resolution, but I will say I am going to give the “clean eating” phenomenon a try come 2015. I will keep you posted on that {inset eye roll here}. Unfortunately my favorite food on the planet is potato chips and all things processed really. Damn you sister for inheriting the “I like to eat healthy foods” gene and the metabolism of a small child!

10. Checking the mail everyday is as exciting as Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see the Christmas cards! If you do not currently send me your families card, you should. It is a ray of sun shine in my day, and even more so for my hubby. Truth be told, I open them up in pure excitement and put them back in the mailbox, because Hubby looks forward to it even more than me. I wouldn’t dare rob him of that.

P.S.  I do keep a list. You will receive one from my family as long as I do yours.

P.P.S.  I am only slightly joking.

Here’s to the season! Happy New year, everyone!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

 

Things I’ve learned {lately}

I’ve pretty much waved the white flag in defeat when it comes to finding the time to blog. I have, however, found the time to redecorate my kitchen nook {again}, repaint and restyle my hall bathroom {again}, get my Christmas cards out {relatively on time} and I even went with an unconventional selfie shot,0

finished getting albeit one Christmas gift, and host “Christmas” a bit early with my family this last weekend. I even managed to get my hair done beforehand. Shocker. So this weekend when my family asked me if I have blogged lately, wondering if they somehow missed it in their newsfeed, {ahem}, I realized it is time to step up my game, and get into a routine.

Lord knows I LOVE routine.

My friend, Nicole blogs every Friday with 5 things that inspired her, or noteworthy throughout her week. She has inspired me to do weekly “isms” of things I’ve have learned {lately} about myself, décor, parenting, etc. Seems manageable enough. Heck, I might even go as far as saying, every Monday.

Crazy talk, I know.

I have a few months of things I’ve learned {lately} so here it goes,

1. Head lice is like child leprosy. It could honestly have a post in and of itself, but I think you will all need manicures from the starching you will do on your head with its mere mention. Really. In fact, you have probably already scratched your head, and are one itch away from getting in your car and driving to buy lice treatment shampoo at your local pharmacy. Seriously. Luckily, only one member of my family got it, and it was in the early stages (in case you are googling it now.) DON’T worry friends and family who I just saw and are about too, this was months ago. Although, I am still in remission. I am waiting for the day, I am not paranoid about it. I can spot a ‘head scratch’ from miles away, and no matter what, I am going to think you have lice. Sorry. I totally understand if you want to cancel our playdate we have scheduled.

2. My children {and myself} can survive staying up past their 7:00 pm bedtime. I am happy to report we have let the kiddos stay up until 9 pm 3 times in the past month. Wowza. Living on the edge.

3. I am a cross between the “Constantly Volunteering Mom” and ” The Perfectionist Mom.”  I have a hard time not ‘offering my knowledge’ when I can, and saying no to the desperate email cries for volunteer help. Its a sickness. I have not officially joined the PTA {yet} but in 3 years, I will probably be the President. I am only slightly joking.
I do wear makeup everyday {despite living in Davis}, my nails are mostly painted,  and my kids most certainly have the monogrammed Pottery Barn backpack with matching lunchbox. My daughter is even getting a bigger and cuter one from Santa this year. Shh, don’t tell her. My car on the otherhand, is anything but sparkling clean.  I am just thankful that I am not the “Pajama Mom.” Though, I definitely see one everyday at drop-off.

4. Hiring a “handyman” despite having a licensed contractor for a husband is totally worth every penny. Hubby completely agrees. Things have actually been getting done around here. I might even get to do that master bathroom reveal blog soon. 5 years in the making.

5. Electronics in church is a God sent. Last night my daughter had her singing debut with the children’s choir at our local church. It was adorable and painful to watch, as my daughter nervously moved uncontrollably until find her inner diva and striking a pose on stage with the other k-6 children. My son had an even harder time sitting still during the late night production, until hubby turned Frozen on his phone. Thank you, YouTube. Jesus understands.

6. Oh, and as my friend Molly said to me last night, “I am that mom.” She was referring to the fact that I kept annoying waving at my daughter on stage, and If I actually knew the words to the songs she was singing I probably would have been in the front row enthusiastically lipping them to my daughter. I discovered, I am a bit of a stage mom. Just a bit. Good thing my daughter has expressed interest in pageants or ballet.

7. Kids actually like having a babysitter. It has been 5 1/2 years since I became a mom, and it wasn’t until VERY recently that we had anyone other than family to watch our kiddos. Shocking, right!? I guess we really are neurotic parents. Yes, mom, you were right. Now that we have crossed over to the child-free side, there is no turning back. In fact, I think I will text the sitter now to set something up.

Hallelujah.

Till next time, friends.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

{Global} darkness turns to light

I can so vividly recall that February day in 2012 that changed our lives forever. Two weeks after our son was born, I knew something wasn’t right. He cried, and cried in agonizing pain as I coddled him as tightly as I could, wondering why this was happening? Did he have colic…whatever that even means? Was it the one glass of champagne I had drank the night before at my besties wedding? Whatever it was, in my heart of hearts, I knew something was wrong.

He did have jaundice that seemed to last longer than usual, and he wasn’t gaining back his birth weight as fast as I, or the doctors, had hoped, but other than that, he seemed like a ‘normal’ healthy boy.

Mothers intuition is no joke. I have always felt in tune to my body and prided myself in my ability to read people. Fortunately my husband, and my doctor agreed.

After several visits to the pediatrician to figure out why my son would have these crying spells that would wake him from sleep only minutes after falling asleep, why he projectile vomited, and why his poops were the colors of a mossy swamp forest, and the most sweet and rancid smelling things my olfactory system had encountered.

His pediatrician believed me that he had a calm and kind nature and that something more serious must be causing what he called, his “excruciating pain.”  He checked his poop for blood, which I could not see, and sure enough there was blood. Lots.

He told me it was most likely something I was eating and passing through in my breast milk. He told me to give up dairy and the remaining top 5 allergens. Not what I wanted to hear, but of course I did it.  Anything for my little guy.

Sadly, despite having him now being on acid blocking medication and my new elimination diet, he continued to be in pain, have blood in his stools, and not thrive.

My tenacity and his pediatricians willingness to listen to all my concerns and tears, brought us to the conclusion that something in my diet was effecting him negatively.

I then went on the top 10 elimination diet, was stricter than ever with what I ate, and he continued to still have episodes. In fact the only time he did not appear to be in pain, is when I would give him a special hydrolyzed formula to heal his gut, per the doctors request, after having a severe episode.

At 4 months, we went to the allergist who very quickly diagnosed him with FPIES. Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal tract.  What it means, is no allergy test can tell you what to avoid, but you can and will (most likely) outgrow it at a young age.

The allergist told me at the time, he had only diagnosed a handful of people with this in his entire career.

My heart immediately hurt.

My eyes, flooding with tears.

My mind swirling with thoughts. Why me? Why my son?

The questions poured. I can’t breastfeed anymore? He will have this for how long? How do we manage this once he starts solids?

The allergist admitted that he hardly knew anything about FPIES. He said he would most likely outgrow it by 18 months, and as long as he avoided the “trigger food” he would be fine. Okay. Seemed easy enough. NOT.

I remember leaving there thinking it wasn’t so bad. It sounded awful, but the little information he gave me, made it seem easily manageable and not life threatening. At least we had an answer. The worst is over. Right?

I guess in a way that is true. Half the battle is not knowing.

Sadly, so many still know nothing about FPIES. Not just friends alike, but doctors, dieticians, Gastroenterologists, etc.

Recently we had to take my son to the ER, for a nurse-maid elbow, and not one nurse or doctor there, had ever heard of FPIES. Many strides are being made to ensure awareness is raised, and now October 14th has been declared “Global FPIES Day!”

fpies

But knowing is only half the battle.

Many days are still unknown.

We have not had the opportunity to trial every food. It seems easy enough. Just give him a new food… but its not. It is easier to stick with our 17 safe foods (25 including ingredients). Partly because he himself is adverse to trying new foods and textures, and partly because it is a inconvenience, not to mention horrifying when he has a reaction.

No one likes to see their children in pain, and imagine knowing you were the cause of it. I felt that everyday. Until he was strictly formula feed and again once solids were introduced. We trialed close to 40 things before we found 2 safe foods for him.

The gut wrenching feeling that you are making the wrong choices. Not just with food, but also as a parent.

I still cry when I think about the day he can eat cake and have “e cream” that he is always talking about. He never gets sad or begs for other peoples food, instead he looks a it fondly and says “sissy” or “mommy” or “daddy” to whomever he sees eats the particular food most often. It is adorable and sad all at the same time. Maybe a year from now he will be able to eat those things.

For now,  when you see my kid eating a {homemade} popsicle for breakfast, or potato chips for lunch and pancakes for dinner, just know it did not come without trial. I wish I didn’t have to rely on his nutrition to come from an expensive can of formula, or potatoes, but it is what it is.

Life is what you make of it. I think he thinks his life is great. Most of the time, I think his life his great.

The darkness I once felt, and some days still do, are being lightened by recent food passes, recent awareness efforts, and the support I get from his teachers, family and friends. He will out grow this. I will too.

I hope.

ahb

ahb2

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

….doing my part to spread awareness, today and always.

Love you, progress!

Happy Friday, everyone! I know it is a happy day for me. Today, I heard my son utter those sweet words “love you” for the first time just moments ago. Yes, he is 2 years and 8 months ( but whose is counting), and most of you moms and dads out there were blessed with that utterance much sooner, and some of you, like my sister and her husband, will never hear it at all, ever. I know {now} I am fortunate. Fortunate enough that I get to celebrate every word he speaks. It {talking} is something I took for granted having a daughter who spoke clear and precise sentences by a year and half and had nearly 50 words by her first birthday. Despite hearing how lucky I was from countless mommies, I had no idea how right they were.

I have mentioned several times the struggles I have had with Harlan and his FPIES diagnosis, and I believe I have mentioned the behavioral problems I had with him early on due to lack of communication, but today I celebrate progress.

Progress in adding 2 new foods in the last month (apple, and carrot) alone and several through out the last year.  Now, drum roll please… his food/ingredient count is at 28!!!

hb safe foods

Yay! It is amazing, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many FPIES kids, outgrow their ‘triggers’ by 3 and almost all, by 5. At the very least, we are half way there. A celebration of itself.

His progress of speaking {mini} sentences offers me equal excitement. I literally had a mom, whose has known Harlan since 18 months, say to me with the greatest enthusiasm, “he speaks sentences!”

Mind you, he often leaves out the articles, a word that had completely left my lexicon, btw. I literally had to ask his speech therapist what those {articles} were.

Slightly embarrassing.

Luckily my wit and charm make up for my lack of English comprehension skills.

Seriously.

He has come along way. His sweet little voice makes every word sound adorable. If you ever get the chance to hear him say “watermelon” you will never be able to look at one again without replaying his utterance of the word in your head. Trust me.

For the past several months, he has used the phrase “miss you” instead of “I love you” in context. I think it started because I told him one day that I missed him in the exact tone I say the phrase “I love you.” Since then, it stuck. Until today when I ws putting him down for his nap, he looked up at me in his crib as I was about to walk toward the door and said, “love you.” I almost cried.

Actually, I just did.

Of course, being that I am supposed to encourage complete sentences as my speech homework, I asked him to say, “I love you” and he did.

I thanked him for his use of words, and say a big “I LOVE YOU” back.

Today, I celebrate progress, and love.

hb2

hb3

 

Oh, and I am happy to report, his sister FINALLY loves him. For real. Not because we tell her she has to.

hbelle
Happy day!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

A four-letter word kind-of-day {week}.

Last night, I frantically looked up at my calendar, while vacuuming the kitchen floor, and realized that the meeting I was supposed to attend, started at 7:00 pm, not 7:30 like I thought. Given it was 6:55 pm, I said a half-assed good-bye to the hubby, quickly kissed my kiddos goodnight, and drove like a bat out of hell to the meeting location. I was six minutes late (totally unacceptable in my book), looking disheveled, definitely not magazine material, only to see boy scouts in the meeting room. Given I was there for a girl scout meeting it wasn’t too far off, but a little suspect. A nice mom, approached me…

me: Is this the girl scout magazine/nut meeting?
nice mom: No, this is a cub scout meeting.
me: Is today the 18th?
nice mom: No, today is the 17th.
me: Oh, great.
nice mom: Well, at least you are a day early and not a day late.
me: you’re right  (what I really wanted to say: f*ck!). Have a nice night.

As I drove away, perplexed, I decided to go be productive and do some grocery shopping. I went to Safeway (which I never do), because I needed a few items I can only find there. I opted to do the self-check simply because the one checker lane was crowded with college boys buying beer and frozen entrees.

BIG mistake. Huge (for those of you not born in the 80’s, that was only one of the best lines from Pretty Women)! I had 10 items to purchase and I needed assistance 7 times. Never again will I do a self-check. Never. I will pay the “extra money” and shop at Nugget and trader Joe’s where they are friendly faces to ring up my items and bag them for me.

Immediately after getting in the car, I called a friend to tell her about my evening, and the fact that I have officially “lost my mind.”. I said more f-bombs in that 5 minute conversation, than I have since having children.

This week has been crazy or “cray cray” as the urban hipsters are saying (it just makes me feel old when I say it).

When did that happen, btw?
Me, getting old?

I blame kindergarten.

Since my daughter has started Kindergarten, I have less time to myself, more dementia (a clear sign of old age), and I am loosing my cool factor by the minute. Well, self-proclaimed coolness anyway.

My daughter’s school is from 8:15-11:35. We leave the house at 8 to walk there. Well, I walk, Harlan rides in the stroller and Elle rides her scooter I then have to leave my house at 11:15 to go pick her up. Last year, her school was from 9-noon so this is a big change in morning routine. For that hour and a half, I a running around with a chicken with my head cut off to get anything I need to get done, done.
My outfits are becoming more and more “Davis,” and my general style is lack-luster. Not to mention, for the second day in a row, I have put my sons shirt on backwards.

Who does that?
Me.

My daughter does wear two different shoes everyday, but that is her fashion choice, not my ding batty-ness.

Let’s see, I also told my mother-in-law the wrong place to pick-up my daughter yesterday, and I have thought everyday was a day later than it was.

Clearly, I need to SLOW DOWN, get more organized, and find some Zen in all the chaos.

I don’t know how all you moms with 3+ kids who have soccer practice, ballet, swim lessons, karate, baseball, rainbow loom class, art, basketball etc., and have kids at 3 different schools, manage!? I want what you are having! Not the children, but what ever you are taking to survive!

Tell me the truth… it’s booze isn’t it?

I keep saying I need to drink more.

My sister would say, “I need to be more in the present.” One of these days, I will get around to reading the book she quotes so I actually know what the heck she is talking about.

For now, I will try to refrain from saying the forbidden four-letter words like SH!T, F*CK! Well maybe just this last time. I will try and say four-letter words like SLOW DOWN instead.

A few weeks ago I bought this, yoga “Shiva” head (I think that is her name, forgive me if I am wrong) to inspire me to slow down, and find my Zen, and to sign-up for the yoga I have been talking about. So far, it is just a really awesome addition to my fabulous office.

zen

baby steps.

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

I am Beautiful

beautiful

In the past few months, on two separate occasions (at yoga and last night), I was asked to say those 3 words about myself. I had no idea the tearful emotions it would trigger. To me, “I am beautiful” is not only about the face I was given, or the body I wear, but the person I am.

When receiving a Facebook challenge to choose 5 pictures of me when I “feel beautiful” I had no problem. I even searched through my albums with a smile on my face thinking of the moments and proud of the beauty I embrace.
5 pics

So why is a simple request to say out loud, “I am beautiful” so emotionally challenging?

Until last night, I had no idea. Now, the ugly truth has reared its ‘angry’ head.

Literally.

When my ‘non-sex surrogate husband’ (my hubby’s best friend and my dear friend) and I were in in the midst of our deep thought overanalyzing “therapy session tipsy talk” sitting on the kitchen counter at 1:30 in the morning, he asked me to say “I, Ashley, am beautiful” aloud.

Instead of uttering the statement, I started to tear.
Uncomfortably turned my face, and said…

Me: “No. I don’t want to say that!”
Nssh: Why not? You are beautiful inside and out. You know that right?
Me: I don’t believe I am.
Nssh: Why?
Me: I am too angry to be beautiful (insert ugly face cry here)

Wow. It was one of the most profound moments I have ever had in my life.

I have become a very angered mother over the years, and in my eyes, a not-so beautiful person.

I know I have mentioned I have always struggled with anger issues since childhood, but I didn’t realize how much it effected the way it made me feel about myself as a whole. Until this aha moment.

My daughter has not made parenting easy, and her anger bursts and rude behaviors have wittled away at my self-esteem.  I take my job as a stay-at-home mom very seriously. When my children act out or misbehave, I find it nearly impossible to not see it as a ‘job fail.’ After all, if I were at a ‘real job’ and had been working on a development project for years and it crashed and burned in its real world application, that would be a ‘job fail.’ All you feel-gooders and optismistics out there are probably saying, “No. Its just part of the learning process. You just dust yourself off, and try again!”

Bull-$h!t. It still sucks. You still feel like a failure even for a moment, a week, or year. If you do not, I want what your having for my next tipsy talk therapy session.

For real.

In all seriousness, it is a hard thing to admit, let alone talk about or write about for anyone on the information superhighway to read. But that is what I do. I say the things that people think, but NO ONE wants to say.

I am sad at the person I have become because of motherhood.
I am angry that I have a temper and use it almost everyday at my child’s expense.
I am angry that I let it effect my self-worth.
I am angry that I allow them to have that power.
I am angry that my daughter is angry.
I am angry that I feel like a failure.
I am sad that I am even saying this.
I am angry that I am angry.
I am angry that I equate beauty to be perfection.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am more than what I believe I am.
I am beautiful.

We all are, right?
We just have to believe it to be true.

I am not there yet, but I am empowered to be. I want to be. For that, I am grateful.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

Things I’ve learned (lately)

1. Did you know that buckwheat is not wheat? It is not even a “grain” at all. It is a highly nutritious seed. Who knew!? I sure didn’t until I looked at my list of “best foods to trial next” for my son, who has Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and began researching it.
Side note: Many of you might be new to my blog. If you wish to catch up from the beginning of my blogging career (ahem) you can read more about him, and our FPIES journey here.

A few months ago, his pediatric dietician told me to trial Japanese Soba noodles made with 100% buckwheat, as another option to get some great protein in his diet. I thought she was crazy. Buckwheat? Let’s just poison him now! Until I did some research. A long trip to the Co-op reading every Asian noodle label 5 times, and $9 later, I had a bag of noodles for him to trial. I thought he would be so excited to try something so different. Not so much. He really is just so happy with his 13 safe foods. It is kind of sad in a way, but makes for being at a party, or playdate much easier. He is not tempted by gold-fish and cake (anymore). Nonetheless, he was not tempted to trial the brown slippery noodle either. Plan B. I figured the best way to get him interested in a new food, is to get the same texture/shape of foods he is used to eating. So, I did some more research and found there is a buckwheat cracker.

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Of course, I had to order them. I swear, I never ordered food on Amazon or Soap.com (in this case) prior to having a child with food allergies, and now that is where I have to get almost all of his “pre-made” food, with the exception of his Trader Joe staples. Thank God for Tj’s!

Anywho, for all you Gluten-free-ers out there…now you know that buckwheat is misnomer, and there are cracker options out there. They also make a quinoa and hazelnut version. They are pretty tasty (for gluten-free, taste-free crackers) and are a good replacement for flatbread crisps for dipping, or whatever.

2.  The key to a clean house is to behave like a maid.  I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I think you would be surprised how an easy and simple routine, can really keep things clean. Every morning when ‘the boy’ comes to my bed side and tells me to “ake up! ake up!’ I reluctantly side roll out of bed. He goes into the living room to watch TV (gasp if you must), and I reenact Jennifer Lopez’s role in “Maid in Manhattan.”  Well, the cleaning parts anyway. I skip over the part where I pretend to be rich and marry a politician. Although that would have its perks. Kidding.  What I mean, is I go in everyone’s room, when appropriate, and make the bed, clean-up, open the blinds, and freshen the place up. I do this before my mandatory cup of morning coffee. I know. Crazy, right? I bet many of you probably don’t even drink home-brewed coffee. I guess for you Starbucks, Pete’s peeps, this is nothing new, well at least the functioning without coffee part.

Anywho, I call this genius cleaning act ‘turn-up.’ And yes, I do ‘turn-down’ too. Down to every toy, book, piece of trash, etc. They all get put in their rightful place prior to lights out. The kids help of course, but while they take their bath, I get it  ‘magazine worthy.’ After I am done with that, I do a whole house pick-up. I sweep, vacuum, wash every dish, etc., before I sit down to watch some Real House Wives program. Admit it. You love them. If you don’t, you probably do not have cable or you are a boy.

Another thing I learned is that laundry baskets are kind of evil. If you put the clean clothes in them, they never make their way out  to be folded. If you put the folded laundry inside them, then they never make it into their respective drawers. Now, I use them ONLY for safe passage from the garage (my filthy laundry room) to the couch. That way, my OCD brain will never allow the clothes to sit there long enough for the family to plumage their weekly outfits from the pile. Instead I fold it when the children are sleeping or when the boy is napping. However, whenever you find the time to fold the never-ending mounds of laundry that covers half of your couch (don’t worry, no one is judging) just be sure to put the folded laundry in front of their intended recipients door while they are sleeping. That way, when doing your morning turn-up, you are reminded and bothered by the clothes in the hallway like the left over food trays at the hotel, so you put them away first.

Trust me, you will thank me later.

3. It is okay to wear a swimsuit even if you are not at your ‘goal weight.‘ I seriously cringe at that phrase. Hubby knows this, and uses it whenever he can to get a rise out of me. It works. I mean, who is at their goal weight after children (A.C.) anyway? Well you could be one of those freakishly lucky biotches I have been talking about. Yes sister, I am talking about you again.
I mentioned yesterday, I did the dreaded swimsuit shopping. Even worse, I had to take the kids. My daughter wondered why I tried on ‘so many black swimsuits’ and she told me I looked beautiful in every one, but she especially loved the pink one. I ended up with the vintage inspired navy blue one. The point is, your kids don’t care what you look like. They just want to splash, swim, and have fun with you. Not a 20 pound thinner you. Just you. In all your glory. This Huffington Post article circulating Facebook today, reminded me of that.

I guess I will embrace that my legs and boobs are no longer my best assets in a swimsuit (or otherwise) and just have fun in the sun. Afterall, I do have vodka lemonades to help suppress those feelings of loss. At least I know have beautiful hair. I have my children to thank for that.
4. Friendships do change and that’s okay. It is no secret that I value friendship. I consider myself to be a great friend, a decent listener (working on this), and a glue that brings people together. Lately I am lucky to see my friends once a month, and even more lucky if I actually talk to them on the phone other than receive a text. Its okay. I am not mad about it. I don’t feel as disconnected as one would think. I guess it is just the times. A bestie of mine, Kristine, of 25 years shared a link on Facebook to this article, What Being a BFF in Your Thirties Means. I commented with, “I especially like, “We’ve traded cocktails on the beach for mimosas at baby showers.” Check. Love you too bestie! Even if we don’t chat everyday :)” Fortunately for us, we do find time the way we can now that we are in our thirties and have kids. The reality is, life changes. Friendships change. You know what? It’s okay!

Make the best of what you’ve got.

Muah to all my besties, old and new out there!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom