Friday, September 6, 2013

I want to drool too...

When Darren gets home at night from work he showers and then lays down in bed.  It takes him a whole 3 minutes to pass out asleep.  What the frick is he doing right?!  Why are men able to just sit down and detach within minutes?!  Most nights it takes my brain 45+ minutes to circulate my thoughts and fall asleep.

Here is a typical nightly thought cycle for me once my head hits the pillow:

Did you remember to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer?  You didn't?  Oh S*HT...everything is going to smell.  Did you remember to feed the cats?  They will be pushing those damn bell balls all over the house all night if you didn't feed them.  Who's idea was to take out the carpet, the wood floors are sooo flippin loud!  Maybe you should get up and check.  While your up why don't you put away Lilly's toys she left out.  Wait, you should try to sleep. Nah, get up.  CRAP we're still out of Greek yogurt, Lilly asked for yogurt for breakfast.  Don't forget to go to Trader Joe's tomorrow.  I should really re-paint this room, I bought the paint and it's just sitting in the dining room, CRAP I have to pee now, if I would have fallen asleep 10 minutes ago I wouldn't have the urge to pee, why did I drink all that water?  Darn it self be quiet and go to sleep.

Closes eyes and tries to clear mind...

Jingle jingle...damn it the cats, I have to get up.  Maybe I'll do the dishes in the sink before bed so I don't have to do it in the morning.  Dang now I'm thirsty.  You know, you should really paint this room.

Get it?

Mind you, this thought process isn't limited to bed time.  I literally wake up at two and three am and do the same thing.  I wonder what type of things Darren's brain thinks about before bed.  Why doesn't he think about the laundry or washing his car or the cable bill?  Why does he get to sleep?!  I hate it and I'm jealous.  Very Jealous.  Sometimes I stare at him and envision myself jumping on the bed to wake him up but I cant because he's so cute!

(Disclaimer: photo above is not Darren)

Try meditation, you say.  Look, meditation doesn't work for me smarty.  I've tried it.  I just end up thinking about the same crap and then some hair crawls up my back and I have an itch.  Then I start envision creepy night bugs crawling on me and I'm itchy all over.  Then back to "I need to clean out my car tomorrow" or "I wonder if there really are aliens." 

How about calming techniques? Nope. When I finally imagine my body feeling heavy and relaxed that's usually about the time Lilly kicks me in the boob with her left foot during one of her night time acrobatic routines. Lets face it, I'm cursed.

All of us women are cursed and if you're a mom, your double cursed. Sorry ladies...

Monday, September 2, 2013

This is kind of might want to get a divers certification before going in.

Wow it's been a while since I posted last. And I promised you I would post often. Man I suck. Typical Gemini, so many interests, so little time.

WARNING: This post has been a long time coming. It's about self realization and coming to terms with being a mom. It also reflects some of my so called "radical" views on holistic child rearing so if your rolling your eyes my guest and take a hike. 
No harm, No foul. :)
My girl is two. 2, two, matter how you say it, it just floats over my head just as fast as the years did seem to have flown. I look at my sweet little girl and I really do wonder where the time has gone. Upon my reflection I see two years of laughter and enjoyment, I see two years of memories and appreciation for a life I never knew could be. But most of all I see two years of complete transformation and growth for myself as an individual and a mother.
"Before children." Its a sentence in itself, a chapter, a movement, a complete and utter difference from life, "After Children." To compare the two would be absurd, yet as mothers, we do it all the time in order to self pity ourselves about the lives we "used" to have.
"Life After Children" should be printed on the back of condom boxes with some or all of the following statements and run on sentences; Its such a shock to the system, a shift in routine, a change in freedom, a wake up call, an alteration, a detour and often a departure from an old place to a new.
There are different ways one could read into those descriptions. These days with lack of sleep, 2 year old tantrums and a shortage of stay at home mommy money and personal space I tend to paint them in a negative light when I speak to my friends but the reality is...I am thankful. I am thankful for my Lilly. I am thankful for the departure from my old life into my beautiful new one.
I am indebted to her, my love, for opening my eyes, for inspiring me to be better, to live better, to live healthier and to be the best person I can be and to teach others how to be as well. I am now an eternal teacher and I have no plans to shut my mouth.
These mornings where I wake up with bloodshot red eyes and sore nipples (from nursing of course) have taught me perspective. You see, some moms don't have the chance to experience the beauty of nursing a baby or (gasp!) a toddler, nor do they know the closeness that comes with it, the connection. Its a feeling that doesn't always have words for explanation. 
I am lucky.
The days (which are many) where I complain that I have not one hot ass minute to myself have taught me gratitude. This gratitude is for the few short months that I had to enjoy her as a bouncing baby or next few very short years that I have to savor her as a willful toddler, to experience her amazing developing personality, to be in awe at her abilities and to be the teacher that guides her into a happy, healthy life.
The times when she hits me or tells me "No Mommy" are the times where I still struggle. I struggle to control my anger, my frustration and my short Gemini temper. I must take a step back and see that these times, these tough times; are the teachings of patience, not to mention a bit of a brush up on my communication skills. As long as I don't start shouting "NO!" to adult friends, I'll be alright.
Most recently I've discovered, to my own surprise, that I am not the perfect mother (what the what?) I make mistakes daily. I've smacked my darling on the bum during misbehavior and then have cried with guilt. I have yelled at her and then apologized. I have told her not to "be bratty" only to realize I was the one being the brat. Self reflection is never easy.
"After Children" is here, its real. I'm living it, I'm learning it and I'm embracing it with everything I have. I'm not perfect, I'm not a "know it all" and I am not always right. I am an eternal student and an eternal teacher.
One thing has become very apparent over the last few weeks: I chose this path with uncertainty yes, but I am freaking owning it!
I'm not just a mom, I'm Lilly's mom. That title is reserved for me and I'm damn proud.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Easy Peasy DIY Aromatic Heating Pad Tutorial

Note* I wrote this post before Christmas, but never published it. What the heck! I was thinking that it might be a good tutorial for Valentines Day so I have decided to go ahead and post it now. Hey, sometimes me being a procrastinator works in your favor!

Lets face it, I'm not the best at this whole planning ahead for gifts thing some people have goin on. Especially when it comes to Christmas shopping. I'm usually the smuck who is digging around Target for the last package of Size Large Hanes skivies for the Hubbub. Not this year! I decided to plan ahead. Instead of buying a bunch of crap nobody needs I somehow became ambitious and decided to sew stuff.

I searched Pinterest for heating pad tutorials but they were all for 6 sectioned types which required a lot of repetitive pinning and sewing which means a lot of pricked fingers for me. Plus, I have a busy one year old who can't focus on one toy for more than 30 seconds so I needed something quick and easy. I decided to make my own version and now I am going to share it with you!

What you'll need for sewing the flannel fabric pouches:

1/2 yard of flannel fabric (pretty prints always make a nicer gift)
a ruler (any kind, I just happened to have an engineering ruler from my past career. These rulers are and easy to hold while marking and cutting.)
good fabric scissors or rotary wheel and self healing cutting board with stamped on grid
a sewing machine
a sewing needle
6-7 sewing straight pins
a chalk wheel, fabric pencil or a washable fabric marker

What you'll need for the aromatic filling:

Dried Lentils (I purchased them in bulk from Smart & Final)
Dried Lavendar (from your own garden, or you can steal from a neighbor, I did that too)
Lavendar Essential Oil ( I wouldn't suggest that you steal this)
Eucalyptus  Essential Oil (this either, you can't sew in jail)
a large plastic or glass bowl for the lentil mixture
1/3 measuring cup for scooping and whaddayaknow measuring 

Making the smelly filling

Take a large bowl, add your Lentils (I poured in a whole bag at a time). Add 5-10 drops of essential oil, about 1-2 cups of dried Lavender. Mix with a wooden spoon and set aside until your done sewing all your fabric bags.

Sewing Instructions 

1. Fold your half yard of fabric pretty side in, cut in half. You now have enough fabric for two pouches. Don't cut the folded edge, you can use that as one of your pouch sides (less sewing).

2. Cut your fabric edges so that the pouch will be to the desired size. I trimmed my rectangles down with the rotary tool so that the fabric was about 20 inches long by 10 inches wide that way I could make three (3) sections that were 6 inches long with a little fabric left over for folding and hand-sewing at the edge.

3. Mark a line with the chalk tool about 1/2 inch away from each raw edge so that you have a straight line to follow and use the sewing machine. Sew around all raw edges of your fabric and be sure to stop and lift your pressure foot at corners, turn the fabric and keep going. Continue sewing all the way around leaving one short edge open for filling the pouch. If you have a folded edge as one of your sides Yippie for you, then you only have to sew two long sides!

4. Using sissors, cut the corners at a diagonal, above your stitching line (this makes for better turned out corners) then flip the fabric right side out, poking out the corners; you now have an open pouch.

5. Flatten out your pouch on the self healing cutting board grid and using your ruler as a guide, mark lines along your fabric every 6 inches. You should have three lines: one at 6, 12 and then 18 inches. There should be 2-3 inches of fabric left after the 18 inch chalk marker line.

6. After you've marked your lines you are ready to start filling the first section.

A. Scoop in 4 scoops of the lentil filling into the first section of the bag. Tap the bag on the table a few times to move all the lentils down toward the seam.

B. Using your pins, pin a line as close to the lentils as you can creating a flat space where your chalk line is. This will make sewing on your chalk line a heck of a lot easier and will keep your lentils far away from the sewn line so that they are not squirming about while you move the fabric through your machine.

Repeat steps A & B until you have filled three sections and have sewn down your last chalk line. 

7. Now the fun part; hand sewing. It really only takes about two minutes to close this puppy up so grab your needle & thread. Fold in the remaining 2-3 inches of fabric in on itself so that you have a nice folded and finished edge. Sew those two pieces together with a quick loop stitch. Knot the end, cut all excess strings from all sewing lines and edges and you are done!

I made the 6 sectioned one first but because it was so much work and becasue at some point I needed to feed my family, I decided to change the pattern to a larger, 3 sectioned heating pad instead which was much quicker. I really like the larger panels and it folds up much nicer. 

For gifting purposes, I added an excerpt from The Red Tent about welcoming an appreciating menstruation. The women in my life seemed to enjoy it. Or, they simply thought I was nuts, that's ok too, I am.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole30 Day 1

Well, it’s officially 15 hours into my first day on Whole30 and surprisingly I feel pretty good. I worked out with a friend this morning also, wow I’m really doing great! 

Only 29 days to go without grains!  OMG what did I commit to?

I didn’t weigh myself this morning, I forgot. But I do know how my clothes fit, I know how I feel about my body and how I feel when I eat certain foods. I am attempting to reset my digestive system, to be healthier and maybe lose some weight in the process. I am going to weigh in tomorrow at work and use that as a guide. After the first weigh in, the program forbids you from weighing yourself until the end of the month. I don't own a scale so that should be easy.

Here is a quick timeline for my day with meals included:

6:30am – woke up (it’s my day off mind you) read my email, washed my face so I didn't have drool on my face and got dressed for stroller/walking/pushing/huffing and puffing cardio.

7:30am – Cynthia arrived and off we went

9:00am – stopped at Olive market to enjoy a Metromint water and a chat with my friend

9:15am – Back home, unloaded the baby from her torture stroller device (at least that what she thinks it is). Chatted with my neighbor (my sister) and then told her to beat it! so I could make breakfast before I became a ravage animal who proceeds to stuff every single cracker in my mouth that I could find in my pantry.

9:20am – Made  4 scrambled eggs (only two egg whites) and sliced avocado. I added fresh tomato brushetta on top of eggs because I'm fancy like that. Lilly and I shared this meal along with a side of frozen whole blueberries so I probably ended up eating a little over two eggs. Eggs are freaking delicious!

10:30am – laid down with Lilly to get her napping

12pm – 1 hour later, after giggling, jumping on the bed and repeating the word “Chee-Chee” fifty times she is finally asleep – hopped in the shower, got dressed then walked into the kitchen and felt a shaky feeling. My hands and arms trembled a bit. Could be from the exercise, it’s been a while since I’ve pushed myself and I remember that weakened muscle feeling.

12:30 – Juiced some fresh carrots and greens, sat down and drank it while munching on a handful of pecans and cranberries and a few slices of pan fried sweet potatoes from last night’s dinner. Oops, my first goof; dried cranberries!  It’s ok I guess, since they are on the “limit it” list but dang it this is hard.

1:30pm- yea, I’m still hungry. Made a salad with fresh cooked chicken chunks, arugula, chopped, cooked sweet potatoes and pomegranate seeds. Topped it with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper. The potato and pomegranate gave it a nice sweet taste while the arugula gave it a spicy bite! Aye Aye Aye!

12:50pm- off to do some house chores, laundry and to fill my gas tank for the remainder of the week…yeaay

5:45pm- Dinner time finally! Are you kidding me!? I have been waiting for this moment for over five hours! I made a steak that I had marinated this morning in my handy dandy cast iron skillet which smoked and smelled up the entire house with the left over burnt carnage. Also, I steamed a crap load of broccoli and dumped some Trader Joe's marinara on top. Sometimes (well, let’s face it, at all times) vegetables taste better soaked in sauce or cheese!

10pm – Lilly is asleep and as I am typing I am feeling a little hungry. "Drink water Morgan" (says my grain loving conscience).

Well that’s it, I made it! It really wasn’t entirely horrible. I am so used to snacking all day so eliminating that part of my routine was kind of difficult. Many times I opened the pantry and stared into the abyss of yummy, starchy snacks but in the end I was strong enough to close those evil doors and stay motivated.

Good night to you folks and good night to you, lovely loaf of Gluten Free bread that is nestled so sweetly on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator…I miss you already.