Friday, January 30, 2015

Hulk Hogan Gloves and Other Takes

1.  If you didn't see this on Facebook, we finally have a definitive diagnosis on Heidi.  She has a bone infection and the treatment is long-term (several months) of antibiotics, but the prognosis is good for complete recovery without any long-term problems. I'm so relieved that we have an answer and that it's not something more serious.

2. Heidi's Infectious Disease doctor is the best doctor I have ever dealt with. Ever!  We've moved a lot, so the kids have changed pediatricians a lot and she is by  She takes a ton of time to answer ALL MY QUESTIONS.  The visits aren't rushed at all and we never have to wait a long time.  But the best thing is that she is super supportive of all the alternative supplements and things I am doing and made a point of telling me to continue with them...especially the probiotics.   Seriously,...a gem among doctors!   If you live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and need a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, I can recommend someone (but I hope you never do...need a doctor that is)!

3 My friend and fellow blogger,Erica,will be hosting a link-up on Monday.  Blogs You May Not Be Reading But Should Be. 

I'm planning to participate, and if you are a blogger. I hope you do as well (and mention my blog...ha..just kidding).  I love finding new blogs to it should be fun.

4.  Elsa hasn't really taken a nap all week.  It appears that at less than 2.5 she is dropping her naps.  Which is totally fine with me, because she only napped for like 45 minutes anyway.  When she doesn't take a nap at all, she falls asleep  1.5-2 hours early and still wakes up at the same time.  So no napping equals a net sleep gain.  Sounds like a win to me!  She's always slept well at night, but terrible during the day...doesn't want to miss anything I guess.

5.  So on Kendra's suggestion we got these Smashing Gloves for John for Christmas. 

They are not something I would have EVER picked out on my own.
NEVER!  But, they are a HUGE HIT. I love much fun to use and a great way to work out frustration  Oh..the kids like them too.

6.It's my most wonderful time of the year.  Tax refund time!  Except if we go the self-employment route (which we are leaning more and more towards) this might be our last fun tax refund year.  Self-employment taxes can be high.  Boo.   So, I'll try to enjoy this year!

7.  I did something to my computer and erased all my saved passwords and now I don't know them.  So, I'm spending a large amount of time resetting them.  Which is even more of a pain than it sounds like.  

That's it...these takes are getting boring. So go visit Kelly for more
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 Natural Ways to Help Depression/Anxiety

Do you ever get depressed? Or feel anxious?  I do, and I've definitely been more depressed and anxious than usual lately.   

Thanks to Google, I'm able to self-diagnose myself with situational depression.  Don't you just love Google?

Situational depression seems to differ from clinical depression in that it is milder, situation-based and not due to a chemical imbalance. Which means that pharmaceuticals may not help.

Not to say that taking pharmaceutical drugs is bad.  If they help you..that's great.  But, if you want to try natural methods first, or for some other reasons pharmaceuticals aren't an option or don't work.. well, here are some things that help me!  I hope they help you too.

1. Exercise

This pretty much goes without saying, those endorphins are something else. 

2. Fresh Air

You get bonus benefits if you exercise outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine is SO helpful.  Even fresh air and clouds is helpful. I know this is SO HARD to do in the winter.  So, so hard. It really is worth the effort.  And definitely take advantage of those milder winter days.

3. Avoid Gluten

I know, I know...everyone says that gluten is the devil, blah, blah, blah.  However, gluten really DOES contribute to depression, even if you don't have celiac. Just try going off it for a few weeks and see if there is a difference.  I know for myself, I can eat some gluten and be fine, but if I start eating gluten on a daily basis, I start to get more depressed and anxious.   So for the most part, I stay away from it.  Not 100%, but I try to limit my gluten indulgences to once a week or less..and that seems to be enough to make a difference.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Lots of studies show the benefits of fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids. I believe that a minimum of 1000 mg/day is recommended to fight depression.  Of course, you always want to find a super high quality fish oil.  I really love PlusEPA*.  The high EPA seems to be especially helpful for depression and anxiety. It definitely helps me.  It is a bit pricey, but in my opinion, totally worth it. 

5. Keep a Routine and Get Out Regularly

This is by far, the most important thing you can do.  Fake it till you make it.  Or something like that.  Seriously...getting out and keeping a routine and seeing friends (or even just acquaintances) is SO helpful in fighting situational depression.  I know I feel a lot worse when things like bad weather and holidays conspire to keep me home more.  I really can't emphasize enough the importance of keeping a routine and getting OUT of the house and spending time with people you enjoy spending time with.  Even spending time with people you only tolerate can be helpful. Just seeing some new faces and having some new conversation is a wonderful thing.  Do it.

On a similar note...don't forget to take the time to do things that you love.  Whether that is blogging or writing or reading or knitting or sewing or studying Mandarin Chinese...taking time for your hobbies is so important. You may not feel like writing or blogging or knitting...but once you do it, you'll feel better.  I promise. But don't hold me to that...just try it for yourself.

What about you?  Do you have any natural tips to help with depression of anxiety.  Do share! Please.  

*affiliate link.  If you buy ANYTHING through this link, I make a few pennies. I love pennies. 

I'm going to go ahead and link up with Jenna at Call Her Happy for Five Favorites.  Since we can call Jenna...happy...she may not need these tips...but perhaps some of her readers might. post signature

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why I'm Not A Fan of That Similac Ad About The "Mommy Wars" and WIWS

You've probably seen that Similac commercial making the rounds. You know..the sappy one about the mommy wars where everyone comes together to rescue the baby rolling down the hill. Everyone seems to love it.  Everyone but me that is.  I'm not a fan. 

Here's why. (And bonus..if you read through to the end, you'll get to see what I wore Sunday. Or just scroll to the end..I'll never know). 

It assumes there actually are mommy wars.   Really, there aren't. Or at least, not anywhere but in the dredges of the Internet.  In real face to face interactions, there is no war.  Yes, I know the ad was an exaggeration, but it's meant to imply that these parenting topics (breast vs. bottle, natural childbirth vs. not, and working moms vs. stay at home moms) are actually more divisive than they are.  They really aren't all that divisive. At least not in my experience.   And, I've been a mom for almost 13 years in 7 different states.  I've been part of La Leche League and Mom's Club. Homeschooling groups and our informal friendly neighborhood law school wives hang out outside in the afternoon club (man I miss those times and the 70 degree winters!).  Assorted playgroups and church groups with Catholics, Protestants, Atheists, and Unitarian Universalists. I've been friends with moms that breastfeed, formula feed, sleep train, baby-wear, co-sleep, vaccinate, don't vaccinate, home-birth, induced epidural, working moms, part-time working mom, stay at home moms, alternative medicine moms, Motrin-giving-moms, spanking moms, gentle discipline moms.

Really..these issues don't divide real people in real life. Implying that they do just feeds into the so-called war which in my mind, was basically just made up.    

It assumes judgement where most likely there is none.
If you bottle-feed your the breastfeeding moms aren't judging you.  They really aren't. If you breastfeed your 2-year old in people aren't judging you. Natural child-birthers do NOT judge moms who have epidurals or c-sections.   

It implies that moms can't have convictions and that conviction is the same thing as judgement.
This is what really bothers me.  Making up "mommy-wars" is basically saying that moms can't have convictions about their parenting and if they do, they are judging.  If two moms parent differently, then they must be at war. That's ridiculous. I've written before about the moral relativism of parenting.  I can get along just great with people who parent all sorts of different ways than me.  It's not war..but that doesn't mean that I can't have my convictions and they can't have theirs...and we can't all just get along anyway.

It closes down parenting discussions and mother to mother support. 
The number one way moms learn about being a mom is from other moms  We get support from each other.  But, now because there are so-called "mommy wars", people can only share advice or stories with a million disclaimers about how "this is just what I do and everyone does things differently and blah, blah, blah" and everyone is so scared of being seen as judgemental that they can't actually share advice or experience and no one gets support.

It feeds into stereotypes.
That moms who follow certain practices behave a certain way. It's meant to end the wars, but ultimately it just fuels them. In my opinion, if people really want to end the "mommy wars", they should stop seeing war and division where there is none. 

It's Sappy. I don't like sappy commercials.  Just my own personal preference.  Not a fan of the sap.  


Different note...I'm excited to link-up for What I Wore Sunday.  My favorite link-up.             

Yes, I braved the snow.  And everything I'm wearing is thrifted...the jacket is from ThredUp.  The rest is from an actual brick and mortar thrift store.  I really like this outfit..maybe because I'm wearing one of only two patterned shirts I own. And, I love those pants..I really need to wear them more often.                           
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Friday, January 23, 2015

7QTF..Biopsy, Rabbits and Stuff

1.  Heidi is having a biopsy done on her back today. As I previously mentioned, the doctor thinks it's an infection but she isn't sure if it's fungal or bacterial so wants to perform the biopsy so they can give the right treatment.  I'm pretty freaked out about it.  It's outpatient, but she is going to be totally sedated and I've never had a child totally sedated before. Plus, there is always that fear that it is something more cancer, although the doctors don't think that's it, only a biopsy can rule it out. 

2. We're still thinking of going the solo law practice we're researching houses and loans and home offices and all sorts of things.  It's fun.  Not really..but at least it's different.  And sometimes different can be fun.

3. I sorta majorly freaked out about the whole thing the other day.  Normally I can be somewhat calm about the situation, but occasionally I have this total crash where I just cry and scream and rant and rave. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that.  It's pretty much the roller coaster between hope and despair...which is a tough ride to be on.  And accepting that there probably will never be an easy resolution to our job situation and no matter what it's going to be hard and many more years of difficulty. 

4. Moving onto a lighter note.

Elsa's favorite phrase is "I did."
Me: Elsa, do you have to go potty?
Elsa: I did.
Me: Elsa, did you color on the wall?
Elsa: I did.

At least she's honest.

5. So, I'm sure you've all heard the brouhaha about the Pope saying something about Catholics shouldn't be like rabbits.  I'm not sure why this is so controversial. Obviously Catholics should not be like rabbits. I mean rabbits eat their own poop and occasionally eat their own offspring.  So no...don't be like rabbits.  Please.

(Actually,..technically they don't eat "poop" but some other sort of bacteria rich product called cecotrope.  It's still comes from their rear end and it's still gross.)

6. Not to pick on rabbits or anything. I really like rabbits.  I've had several pet bunnies over the years.  My first one had white fur with black ears and red eyes.  I think I got her when I was 10 and ever since l,I'd had a series of rabbits over the years. Although we've been rabbit-less for the last 4 years. Rabbits can be messy, but I'm still a sucker for a cute little bunny. 

7. On a more serious note..I really liked Sarah's take on the whole thing

Go see Kelly for more quick takes.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Finally Get Why So Many Moms Need Quiet-time and Naptime.

Over Christmas, Ben and I were listening to a free CD from Matthew Kelly put out by our diocese. In the CD, Matthew Kelly talks about how 2 PM-5 PM is strict naptime in his house. STRICT.

Ben and I just looked at each other laughing.  
We have never been strict on naptime.  Never. 

All my kids stopped napping by the time they were three. Three.  And since our kids are spaced further apart..I've never really had 2 nappers at once. 

I never felt a need for an extended quiet time or strict naptime.  In fact, I couldn't wait for my kids to give up naps, so we could be free to go out anywhere and anytime without worrying about nap schedules.

In fact, I even wrote about how I hate naps. 

That was then...this is now.

What changed is that we now live in a super tiny house.  I mean super tiny.  Six people...two bedrooms, less than 1000 square feet.

Yes, it is as awful as it sounds.  And, yes, we will be moving as soon as we are able (which will hopefully be VERY SOON!).

I've discovered that I DO in fact need quiet during the day.  
When we lived in a bigger house..that wasn't a problem.  The kids could go play in the playroom or in their bedrooms or outside. I could hide in the bedroom. I could snatch little moments of quiet, even without a designated quiet time...I had quiet. 

I could actually be in a room ALL BY MYSELF. 

I couldn't plan those times..but they came. 

And I savored them. That's all I really needed. 

Now...there is no quiet. The walls are closing in and I can't get away. The house is too small and the rooms are too close together and it's too cold outside.  There are no moments of quiet to snatch.  From 7 AM to 9 PM, it's non-stop noise and talking and commotion. 

There is no hiding in one bedroom, because the other bedroom is right next door..and I can hear every word, every squabble, every yell. It's wearing on me. 

I need quiet..every single day.  And now that I know what I need, I can't get it. You can't exactly put a 10-year old into quiet time.  Or a six-year old for that matter. 

And the kids need it too.  They need to be able to spread out.  They need to be able to get away from each other.  They need to be able to have a place to play monopoly or chess where two-year old hands can't mess up their game.  They've taken to playing monopoly or chess in our one bathroom.  Which is even more problematic than it sounds.  

There aren't enough rooms to spread out into.

So to every mom for whom I secretly never understood the need for quiet time or strict naptime.  I'm sorry.  I get it now. I need it too.  

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

What I Wore Sunday - Figuring Out My Style

What I Wore Sunday is back and under new management! That is definitely my favorite link-up.  I love seeing everyone else's outfits and finding inspiration.

Here's what I wore. 

Jacket:  ThredUp (use my link and you get a free $10 if this is your first time shopping..and so do I)

Shirt: Don't even's so old, but I think it's thrifted.

Skirt: Also thrifted

Leggings: My daughter's drawer.  No seriously..Target.  But, I really did borrow them from my oldest daughter.

Boots: Payless. 

I know, I know...brown boots with black leggings.  Probably not the best look.  But they are the only tall boots I own.

Anyway...let's talk about style. Looking at that outfit, it could probably use one more piece.  Either a necklace or a scarf.  But, I always feel awkward wearing a scarf or a necklace. I definitely tend to be more on the boring side when it comes to clothes. I love black. 

I've been working on finding my own style lately. I hate patterns, so I have almost no clothes that are patterned. I like denim and boots and red...especially red with denim.  I guess that makes me sorta country.  Except I hate plaid. I mean, I hate plaid now.  I was actually wearing a plaid shirt for my high school senior picture. Ugh! It was the mid-90's...cut me some slack here. I'd show you the picture, but it's just something that should not be immortalized on the Internet.  

What about you? Do you have a style?  What types of clothing do you like?

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Friday, January 16, 2015

7QTF...Business, Toddler Babble and Bone Infections

1. I never thought I'd say this, but Ben is considering opening up a solo law practice. Yep..we're thinking about starting a business. Well..actually he'd start the business, I would just be the not-so-young unpaid assistant.  We're still in the research and planning and discerning stage but all this research and planning and discerning is taking up quite a bit of energy. But it's probably what we're leaning towards...unless the right job pops up in the meantime. 

So yep..we're actually thinking about hanging out a shingle.

2. Because he'd be working out of home (saves on overhead) we'd have to move. So, I've also been spending a ton of time looking at houses on Zillow. Haven't done any looking at houses in person yet..we're still deciding where. We'd be moving outside the city, to a more rural area. Not sure which one yet, but small-town lawyer sounds way more do-able than big-city lawyer.  

3. There's a lot of learning to do...neither of us know anything about business really. The thought of self-employment is pretty exciting...and scary..and exciting..and scary. But really, we couldn't be any worse off financially than we are now. With working from home, start-ups costs can definitely be kept on the lower end of things.  And it turns out that legal malpractice insurance isn't as expensive as we were imagining it would be.  It's kinda funny, but we both used to be SO RESISTANT to the idea. SO RESISTANT. And, then the New Year rolled around, and we were both sorta like..hmmm..this will be hard, but maybe we can do it. Maybe we should do it.

4. In unrelated news, we FINALLY may be figuring out what's wrong with Heidi.  She got a referral to an infectious disease doctor and the most likely diagnosis seems to be bone infection. So, she's having another MRI and if that shows no change, that is how they will treat her. Which means a few months of heavy-duty antibiotics.  Ugh. But that's better than a lot of other diagnoses.

5. In the meantime, I've been giving her lots of supplements and herbs and things...which I think has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that they've decreased the inflammation, lessening her pain.  But a curse in that they've maybe delayed proper diagnosis, because she'd seem to get better so the doctor would go back to thinking the cause was trauma/injury and take the wait and see approach.

6. Isn't it great when something finally works!  Last week I posted that my camera I ordered a new battery and it works again!  I'm SO relieved.  All it needed was a new battery and not a whole new camera.  So, now I can post What I Wore Sunday again.  I bet you're all super excited about that!

7. Elsa's been talking up a storm lately. So, I guess I don't have to worry about her speech.  She seems to be doing just fine.  The last 2 months or so, she's really had a language explosion.  I mean you can almost have a conversation with her.  If "conversation" could be the word for what happens with a 2-year old. 

Linking up with Kelly.  

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