An inside look at Hurricane Michael.

No one ever said that life would be quite like this. Living out of bags for a life like this. Homes in ruins, never realized how bad a hurricane could screw us. Everything demolished, laid flat like plains. Deserted homes and memories lay on the ground like trash. You see it on tv, you point the finger in blame. How could you not leave, endanger your family because you just dont wanna leave? How about the shortage of gas, the ones with no means, the ones that have too many in a family to pack up and flee. It’s a real struggle, sit there and see, the devastation on a parents face because their babies might not eat. No hot food, no cold water to drink, no roof over your head and all you can do is sit and stress. Bathed in it, no relief in sight, no end to the pain in the near future. Not knowing if itll be months or a year before everything is in the clear. Not knowing if your city will be trashed or rebuilt. Not knowing if you have to stay or move. Not knowing when you’ll be able to work and resume a normal life. You have to adapt to the new, forget about the old. It’s harder when the months are growing cold. It’s almost Christmas, not a single tree even grows. All blown over, cracked like small twigs, Michael sure had a way of making this feel like the end. It’s sad really, depression kicks in. Everywhere is hiring because so many people have had to leave the communities, businesses suffering, households in shambles. It’s a real thing, it’s a direct hit, people cars are marked with yellow marker to display their hit, insurance adjusters and scam artists alike, come together just to fight on who can get richer on other peoples losses. It’s disgusting really when you think about the tosses. Family photos and memories are gone, homes and toys. The last bit of memories for those who went through it alone. Senior citizens are struggling, lost everything, pictures of their partners lay on the ground wet and destroyed. Urns full of ashes, someone important to someone else is now gone. Some people will truly never know what it’s like to be stripped of every possession they own, while others sit with the last bit of the possessions that they owned. Looking through rubble to find any memory of their home, looking for family pictures, knick knacks that weren’t destroyed. Things that ment the world to them, now laying in someone else yard. Gone. That was Michael, this is Michael. The storm has passed but we still have cleanup, we still have rebuild, we still have hope.

Helpful Weight Loss Tips THAT I USE

A vital part of achieving weight loss is knowing and understanding serving sizes. Get in the habit of reading the nutritional label before deciding to drink or eat something. Even though carbs and calories could appear okay at first, however there is a such thing as HIDDEN CARBS.

Beans can be a regular dieters’ friend, however with the Ketogenic and Low Carb diets, you want to stay far away from beans. They offer a lean protein, that can help you stay going for lengthy intervals. They are also very inexpensive and will satisfy you rapidly. Beans work extremely well in so many different methods and works extremely well in many foods.

When having to lose weight, try to eat slower and chew your meal far more thoroughly. This will give your body time to transition the human brain into responding towards satisfaction, instead of overly full.

Losing weight can seem to be almost impossible for many, but it’s essential to remember that slimming down is simply composed of two elements: realizing how you can shed weight and becoming focused on an ambition. Here are several techniques to shed weight that are equally useful and effective.

These guidelines will assist you to kickstart weight reduction. See the ones that match your life-style, and not quit researching ways to remain lean. Once you see the details that works for you, you’ll realize that slimming down doesn’t really need to be that hard whatsoever.

You must understand that there is absolutely no sort of magic diet pill that makes it vanish overnight. You must find ways to motivate yourself to continue, even when the times get hard and possibly discouraging. Think about your “WHY”, use that as your’ motivation and your’ reason to continue.  not doing anything. You need to get up from the chair and take initiative, this is something ONLY YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF.

What will make it easier? Ask yourself these questions and answer them, no matter how silly you may feel doing-so. How come you eat? When do you eat? Do you know your bodies signs of satisfaction when it comes to eating? Why do you over-eat? Why do you want to lose weight? What is your ultimate goal? How will you measure your milestones? Before you could properly find a new eating routine you have to look into the way you got over weight in the first place, and address it head on.

Other ways to make it easier to transition into a lifestyle change and not just a temporary overwhelming diet:

  1. Choose vegetables you actually enjoy.
  2. Choose cuts of meat that are lean and high protein with minimal processing. (Unless Keto or Low-carb, then you want fatty cuts of meat)
  3. Choose 3 fresh fruits to indulge in 3 times a week as a treat, to help curb any unwanted sweet cravings.
  4. Take measurements of yourself. These are vital and very important to your success. Here’s why: Every diet has periods of stalls where it appears no more weight is being lost. Typically, this is where people get discouraged and give up on their diets. DO NOT GIVE UP. Something even more amazing that pounds coming off is more than likely happening inside your body. Your skin is tightening around the areas of fat that has been lost, and you are losing inches. Inches are harder to see, but easy to feel. You’ll notice your inches in the way your clothing fits. Now if you take the initiative to measure yourself the first day of your diet, and measure yourself every 30 days, you will be less likely to experience discouragement from stalling on the scale because you are visibly aware of what is happening in your body.
  5. Take progress pictures. This will allow you to see firsthand, study first hand and evaluate your problem areas on your own without hearing it from anyone else. You can see how far you have come as well as how far you have to go! It’s a win-win situation.

You want to take a lower calorie consumption than you’re burning and munching in between meals goes against this. Of course, if you’re not taking in much less calorie consumption than you shed, you won’t lose any excess weight. Individuals who are centered on reaching weight reduction goals should take time to plan meals and choices in advance whenever possible. This facilitates simpler monitoring of calories, so it helps avoid impulse eating or unexpected splurges.

Avocados are a fantastic diet food when enjoyed in moderation. A lot of people assume they may be awful basically because they consist of fat. But avocados include monounsaturated excess fat, that is a great fat. The richness of avocado can make it a meal which will leave you happy as opposed to eager.

It may well seem countertop-instinctive but consuming a larger breakfast time will help you lose fat. Start the day off right by having an egg white omelet with cheese. If you eat a lot more calories before midday, you reduce cravings for later in the day. The larger your morning meal you eat, the much less you are going to over-at later in the day.

Utilize a smaller sized plate to your food. This enables you to psychologically think that you are eating an entire plate and never on lessened portions. This will help you to shed pounds. As opposed to clearing yourself of all food which you really like, use ingredients which are much healthier. There are several diet regime goods on the market. Take advantage of every one of these things.

I do hope that this has helped a little. I myself do the ketogenic diet, but every diet can work just as easily if you are willing to try. The keto diet has by far been the easiest and more rewarding diet that I have ever had experience with. I am available to answer questions via the “contact me” link if you are interested. Now I will not write your meal plans or grocery list for you, but I will answer simple questions.

 

Lessons of Infertility

During the time that I had struggled with PCOS and getting pregnant I felt so low. I felt like I was taking away Milton’s chance of ever being a father. Weeks before I had actually found out I was pregnant, I wrote him a letter explaining to him how I believed it was time for us to go our separate ways so he could pursue his life and potentially fatherhood. I loved him so much, that I just needed him to be happy, that I wouldn’t be the person to take away his right to be a father, I felt like that’s exactly what I was doing by staying. I never ended up giving Milton this letter.

I felt broken, torn apart and less than a woman. I mean, I couldn’t do the one thing that women were literally created to do, have a child. It killed me, inside I was black as coal. I wanted to give up, shrink down to nothing.

But now that I am a mother of 2 wonderful children, I look back and realize how much I learned about not only myself but my husband as well. I learned that you shouldn’t give up hope, that regardless of your inability to achieve something, miracles can happen. I had never seen such a dark and emotional place until my battle with infertility. But without that battle, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I also learned self-worth. I had to see myself at my lowest in order to grow mentally and emotionally. Now I’m using that self-worth to grow physically and achieve weightloss.

I look at my children and I’m honestly overjoyed with my struggle. I believe it makes them mean so much more to me. I went through years of emotional self hate because of my inability to conceive them. I had literally given up, I prepared myself for never having children. I didn’t worry about what my life meant to anyone else because to me, at the end of the day it wouldn’t matter. Now that I know these things to be different I am so thankful for my struggle.

I learned that my husband is patient and kind. That he sympathized for me, that he felt what I felt as well. I learned so much about him during our struggle, and he doesn’t even know it. I can read his emotions like a book. I could feel his disparity in his touch. Now, I see everything he has ever wanted in his eyes, I can see the love in him shine like a ray from the sun. This man was meant to be a father, it just took time to make it happen the way it was suppose to.

At the end of the day, no matter how hard or easy it was, I’m thankful for everything I have been through. It built me because it broke me. I had to find myself during this time. I’m still looking for pieces of me, but if I know one thing without a doubt, it will all play out how it’s supposed to in the end.

The Bitch-Switch

It’s easy to get crazy when you’re a woman. It’s easy to fly off the handle, be insecure and hormonal. It’s the easiest thing in the world to change your tone to a manner of demanding respect. We typically are fast to flip the bitch-switch. Many of these reactions are caused by actions that surround us daily. We deal with our loved ones, strangers and professionals who all think they need to voice their opinion. That we, as women need to hear and listen to their opinions. Whatever the reasoning is behind flipping the switch, we typically don’t think about the reaction before we act. How is it that we are being perceived and lets breakdown why we may be being perceived in a negative mannerism.

Let’s think about our daily routine. Some of us are mothers, who 9 times out of 10 get ignored by our growing little humans, our husbands or significant others when we speak. Mothers typically must repeat ourselves 75 times before anyone even acknowledges the fact that we are speaking. Then getting people to listen to everything we have to say is a complete rarity and only happens about once a year. We are used to getting cut-off mid-sentence, interrupted, flat out ignored or screamed at. It’s part of life as a mother.

Then there are some of us who are professionals, who must demand respect in the working world. Many times, overlooked for promotions, or overworked on presentations and office work even if your actual career doesn’t fall into those categories. You deal with the ever-so-lovely nod of approval, short answers, no eye-contact and complete dismissal from other office staff or professionals.

Many women fall between the cracks of the two examples that I have mentioned above. But, whatever your situation, there is always an underline of disrespect that you deal with on a daily basis. Now typically when running into these situations, we fly over to the ever-so-loved “bitch-switch” as a response to the actions happening around us or directed at us. I am very guilty of flipping the switch a few too many times and a little too quickly. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I am sort of known for in my social circle. I do not stand, nor tolerate blatant disrespect directed at myself, nor to my loved ones. And neither should you.

Now with that being sad, have you ever felt guilty about flipping the switch? Maybe you jumped to conclusions too fast before the complete situation had unfolded? Maybe the switch wasn’t needing to be flipped at all, but you thought with too much emotion? See, we women are creatures of emotion. We are literally designed to work with emotion, not against it. Our bodies are given chemical reactions that change on a daily basis simply because of our anatomy. A wonderful chemical in our bodies called Estrogen, sometimes a wonderful thing but a lot of times, it’s a fickle beast. Our bodies can be thrown into a chemical imbalance as easily and as quickly as I can drop a hat to the ground. We are creatures who are meant to feel and depict emotion, not only for ourselves but for those we care for.

A study from Yale dating back into the 1990s, determined several things between the male and female brain patterns. One of the things Yale concluded was the fact that most men utilize more of the left side of their brain, while women tend to have a “flip flop” of brain sided thoughts. Left-sided brain utilization typically indicates “logic-based” thinking, while right-sided brain utilization will indicate more of an “emotional-based” thinking structure. The study also concluded that women do not handle stress as well as men, just another reaction from our structural DNA.

Now that we know we are structured differently than our opposing sex, can we justify “hitting the switch” yet? No. Because, while we are literally programmed to be emotional creatures, we are still creatures of choice. We do have the capability of utilizing logical thinking. Some of us just have the hard time of deciphering when the time is to be logical versus being emotional. Some of us try to cover our tracks with attempting to justify our emotions with a logical reasoning as the silver lining. But, lets think about that. When you’re in a situation that tends to lead you to the wall to flip that switch, how quickly are you processing the logically side of the situation? Is your brain running a million miles an hour? Are you angry with the situation? If you are angry, then I am willing to bet that you are not thinking with 100% logical thoughts.

When we allow ourselves to become angry, or upset, our brains work differently than a man’s. That’s why when we have an argument with our husbands, boyfriends or fiancés, we see things completely different than they see them.  This is what leads us to arguing in the first place, two different sets of emotions and opinions colliding into one mixed pot of every emotion that both parties have.

Let’s take an example from one of the biggest reasons women and men fight, from a woman’s perspective.

Example: Your man looks at another woman in public, while passing her on the street. You believe that he is looking at her ass, but he insists on the fact that he was looking at the BMW M3 GTR that she just so happened to be next to.

Breakdown: So, let’s be honest here, if you aren’t into cars, you aren’t going to take interest in knowing anything about an M3 GTW. To you, its just another car, but maybe to him it’s a point of interest. So, how to decipher and logically decode this situation so you don’t have to flip the switch? He dropped a specific piece of information that leads to the truth of what he was doing. Contrary to popular belief, not every man knows every car type ever made. He told you the car make and model. Just with that piece of information, you should be able to logically dispel the itch of the switch. But, if you need more evidence, let’s go a step further. Obviously, you noticed the girl walking by, otherwise this would not be an issue in the first place. You noticed him looking at something, so your mind autotuned to curiosity, you looked at what you thought he was looking at, which in this case you thought he was looking at the woman. Ask him something about her appearance. Most men have a preference on hair color or like ass or thighs. Ask him a description question, what color her hair was or what color pants she had on if he likes legs or ass. If his automatic response reverts to the car, he’s telling you the truth. Body language is not a thing that many men have the ability of hiding under instantaneous circumstances.

So, with the conclusion of this example, maybe we should have tried to logically think this through before jumping to conclusions and the possibility of flipping the switch. If you know your man, or the other party involved in your social indiscretion, use your gift of attention to detail to attempt to decipher and decode the situation before allowing it to escalate into something that could be more stressful.

So now that we have this portion out of the way, in the next post I will discuss how to slowly tune yourself to stop wanting to flip the bitch switch at such an alarming rate of speed.

Not The Job For A Wimp

530 am. I’m woken by the sound of a screaming toddler ready to start his day. Crap, I didn’t get to bed until midnight, oh well here we go. Simple tasks like diaper changes seem near impossible when its 2 vs 1, Toddler and Baby tag team mom. Sippy cups and bottles to be filled, diapers and clothes to be changed. Crap, I have to pee. Crap, I have to pee. I tell myself, “hold it”. Crap, I really must pee. Out loud I tell myself, “just hold it, one more minute”. Wondering to myself the entire time if my bladder can withstand one more second of holding it in. I finally get to pee, but not without a tag along who wants to turn on every light and shut every door before we make it to the toilet. I’m here now, finally get to relieve myself but not without tiny human hands grabbing for everything they shouldn’t have and not without saying “no” 75 times and being screamed at in rebuttal.

It’s fine, all ends well, but then comes breakfast time. I wonder if Chase will color while I prepare coffee and breakfast. “Chase do you want to color?”, I ask him, he responds “Yeeeah”, like I should have known. I get him in his chair, buckled in and safe, thinking “cool, this will be a breeze”. I give him his coloring supplies and he goes to town. I hear “Mom, Monk Monk”, okay let me grab the darn monkey. I give him to Chase, he protests and points to the chair across the table. I understand, he wants Monk Monk to sit. I set up Monk Monk and Chase throws a crayon directly at his hand. “Ok”, I say and mosey back to the kitchen.

I’m excited for some Bulletproof Coffee and Green Scallion Eggs with Bacon. Coffee is on, I can smell it brewing, it smells like unicorns and life. I get the eggs prepared and I start to hear protest for Roman. “Crap, let’s make this faster”, I say to myself. Faster isn’t fast enough for 3-month-old prince of Campbellsville. I get the eggs down for Chase with some fruit and a slice of Turkey Bacon. The coffee is done and everything I need to make the most legit coffee I’ve ever had is on the counter waiting.

Roman is awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed with hungry howling in full blown effect. I get Roman situated and now he’s eating. Behind me in the dining room I hear the lovely rattle of a plate doing spins on the floor and a soft spoken “uh oh”. I breathe deeply, hold it, exhale until I feel like my lungs look like prunes. I sit there with my eyes closed for just a few seconds trying to bring positivity and motivation to myself. Ok, I’m good now…I think. Roman is done, we’ve burped and been changed, I set him down for a minute while I tend to clean Chase, the table and the floor. Thankfully the dog has cleaned 99% of the floor mess.

Chase is ready to conquer the world and I’m still wondering if I’ll get my cup of coffee in before nap time. Its 9 am at this point and it’s not looking very favorable for the coffee consumption any time soon. I’m hungry, I didn’t get to eat, “mmmm string cheese will do”, I say to myself. I go to the fridge but once again Tag Along McGee has followed me. I turn around, open the fridge and bend down to grab a string cheese out of the bin. Behind me I hear the subtle sound of grabby hands. I turn around as quickly as possible, but it wasn’t quick enough to catch Chase throwing a box of pancake mix to the ground. The box explodes. I just stand there sort of in shock at the way it almost mushroom clouded the kitchen. The white fog lifts and Chase looks like a ghost, my black leggings are now white, my kitchen is now white. It’s everywhere. I just can’t help but hate the pancake company for not making a resealable container…. thanks. I don’t even know where to begin with this explosion of carbohydrates to my kitchen. I assume I start with the child but when I go to reach for him, of course he takes off in the direction of the living room. I catch him as he gets flustered with the baby gate. I get him showered and changed, a sippy cup for nap time.

Cool, let’s clean this mess up in the kitchen. No sooner do I make it to the kitchen does Roman’s internal feeding time ring like clockwork. Mr. Perfect Timing clicking in not a second late. The mess must wait and so does the coffee.

It’s 10:30 am and I’m starting to get motivated for my day. I’m wide awake now and so is Roman. Let’s do some tummy time! While Roman does tummy time, I peer through chapter 3 in my text book on Introduction to Human Anatomy. Well this should be interesting. 2 paragraphs in and little man is still content, get another 3 chapters read and Roman is done. He’s hungry again, damn he eats a lot. He eats and burps and does his normal thing, he falls asleep looking as cute as can be. I get him laid down and I observe him for a minute, taking in all the cuteness.

I remember that there is a mess in the kitchen. I tend to it and get it over with then move on to the dishes from the previous night. I get the whole kitchen cleaned and looking brand new. Now I’m not sure of I have clean jeans, so I throw my clothes in the washer and continue picking up the tornado of toys sprawled around my house. Man, Chase really lives up to his name, that kid is always on the go.

I bend over to pick up Elmo and put him in with the other toys and I hear the coffee pot turning off. 3 beeps. 3 beeps reminding me that I failed. I forgot again…3rd day in a row. I waste so much coffee and I hate drinking old coffee. Oh well. It’s a little passed noon and I get the laundry switched over and well, I have to pee again. I contemplate just using the upstairs bathroom or risking all the pickles in the jar on whether I’ll wake up Chase or not if I go to the downstairs bathroom. I risk it. I enter that bedroom like Jackie Chan sneaking up on an unsuspecting bank robber ninja. I slowly creep through the bedroom and make into the bathroom. I gently shut the door behind me, get my business done and exit the bathroom like 007. I make it out and Chase is still asleep, a huge victory that I celebrate with bacon and a few paragraphs of Chapter 3.

Its 1 PM and Chase needs to wake up, so I open the bedroom door and he’s already standing in the crib saying “Mom”. I get him out and change his diaper, get him a drink and a snack. I turn on the vacuum and here comes tag along, he wants to help. Now, I love that my son takes interest in cleaning, but at the same time I just want the vacuuming done so Roman doesn’t wake up and the dog doesn’t go into full blown attack mode on the wheels. But, he isn’t having it, he must help so I let him. A simple 5-minute task just doubled in time but whatever. Eventually he loses interest and runs away so I quickly finish up.

“Eat mom eat”, Chase says. Okay let’s get you some lunch, we go to the kitchen and he wants Chicken, Broccoli and some chips. Cool, he doesn’t protest. He sits and eats, and I get to join him, peacefully. After lunch we grab some craft supplies and get busy with finger painting, knowing it will be a mess but a fun one at that. I get the table set up and we start painting, having fun and giggling and in general just making a mess. We’re done so we both get cleaned up and the table cleaned and our pictures up to dry.

We mosey into the living room to watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse because Chase is yelling “Hot Dog” and breaking down in dance moves. We hang out with Roman and all lay down on the floor doing some much needed tummy and tickle time. The giggles from my children literally make everything better.

It’s well past 4 and going on 5 so I put Roman in his chair and Chase in his playpen while I prepare dinner. I make skirt steak, Brussel sprouts and a salad for Chase and I. Roman has fallen asleep so we eat at the dinner table. Chase isn’t interested much in eating anything but the broccoli and tomatoes. We get cleaned up again and time for our bedtime routine. Changed and milk in the sippy wit fb a bedtime story and then off to “nih nih” as Chase says. I tuck him and Monk Monk in and give them both kisses, hoping he will fall asleep easily with no protest.

Roman and I hang out and then do our typical 3-hour bedtime routine of cluster feeding, spitting up, diaper changes, singing, reading and tickles until he falls asleep and I get him laid down.

Its 10 PM and I finally get to work on some writing and studying. I write a little bit and study even more. Its past midnight again, I need to sleep. I get myself ready for bed and of course I have a hard time getting to sleep but I finally do.

Its 6 am. Chase is up.

The moral of this story is that stay at home moms don’t have it easy. There is nothing easy about being mentally tested every day, day in and day out. I used to think it was a cop out for just being lazy, then I was faced with the reality of what goes into being a stay at home parent. Its draining, not so much physically, although there are many days where you’re constantly on the go, but mentally exhausting. I’m an extrovert through and through, I NEED human interaction to feel complete. And yes, my children are human, but they don’t exactly have conversations at this point. I love my children and I wouldn’t have it any other way than to stay at home with them. However, I hear people bashing the SAH parent all the time, claiming laziness.

It’s not easy, it’s a job we take for granted and it’s highly underappreciated. SAH parents bust their humps day in and day out, hour after hour with little to no break. You don’t get to click in and click out, go home and relax in a nice clean home. You are the person providing the nice clean home and without you, there is no nice clean comfortable home. Appreciate yourself and what you do, if you don’t appreciate it yourself neither will anyone else. Buy yourself some flowers and know that you deserve them.