Mommy Hears and Understands

Mommy Hears and Understands

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Each May, BHSM, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of the American Speech – Language – Hearing Association in providing life-altering treatments. The theme for this year is “Communication, The Key to Connection.”   I am sure like most people, this month probably has little significance to you.  And up until my eldest daughter was born, it had little significance to me either.  However, in October of 2004, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, with all her fingers and all her toes.  She was perfect in my eyes.  She was more than even my wildest dreams could have conjured up.  She was all sugar and spice rolled into one.  As she grew older, like any parents we anxiously anticipated her first words.  Every mother longs for the day when they hear the words Momma cross their little ones lips.   But, those sweet words would be delayed.  Obviously concerned with the delay, we spoke to her pediatrician and she agreed that our daughter needed to be evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist.  The tests that were needed were difficult at best for a small child, who was terrified of strangers.  It was a trying time.

After some time, she was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder.  Honestly, they might as well have told me that she had Astronaut’s Disease, because I had no idea what it meant, and or what it entailed.  I consider myself to be pretty bright, but even after they explained it to me, I was still grasping at straws.  If I were to give you a layman’s description of what it is, it would go a little something like this, how she hears and processes sound is different than you and I.  Even with the diagnosis,  I had no idea what lay ahead of us.  At the age of 2, she was assigned her very first Speech Language Pathologist. We could not have known what a significant role her SLP would play in her developmental progress.  She was able to relate to her as her therapist and on an interpersonal level.  Pulling her out of her shell, and getting her to be open up and  try new things was key. She started to attend Speech Therapy twice a week for an hour, and slowly her vocabulary began to grow.  We finally were able to hear and understand her.  But, it was no easy feat.    Learning to pronounce and enunciate her words was difficult for her.  After a while we could understand her, and those that were around her frequently could understand her but it was still hard for a stranger to pick up on what she was saying.

As the years went by, she continued to make progress.  When it was time for her to begin Kindergarten, we let the school know immediately about her speech delay, and provided them with her diagnosis and all the necessary documentation.  Soon into her first year it was evident that she was struggling.  As you know, Speech, Communication and Comprehension are huge components of the educational process.  It literally was hindering every part of her experience and it was heartbreaking.  With the help of an exceptional team, by the first grade she had a functioning IEP (Individualized Education Program).  For the second time, a new SLP was introduced into our lives.  And again, what she brought to the table made ALL the difference in the progress that my daughter would make. The SLP would sit with the teachers to see what they were teaching and how she could help.  She would incorporate the lessons being taught into their daily sessions.  To say she went above and beyond, is a drastic understatement.  She was able to pick up on her moods, her strengths and her weaknesses and she nurtured her in a way that I can not explain.    God knew exactly what we needed to make it through the journey.  And, when it was time for her to retire I was devastated.  I was truly sad to see her go and I was not sure how the change would affect the progress that we had already made.  But, she made the transition seemless and we went from one blessing to another.

The greatest blessing in this test for us, as a family and for our daughter has been receiving Speech Therapy.   We have been extremely blessed to have been paired with SLPs who have become more than what there jobs required, but true friends.  I always say that the way to any parent’s heart is through their children.  It is not often that you run across educators who have a genuine love and concern for your child.    Now, I am coming at this from the Speech side of things, simply because that is where our diagnosis took us.  But, Auditory and Speech issues affect children all across the board.  As is the case with most disabilities, early detection is very important.  There are many programs available to you, if you feel that you child could be struggling in this area.  If you think your child may be struggling with Speech and or Hearing Issues, check out this website, which is full of useful information and resources.

If our journey, that we are still on, has taught me anything it is this, it truly takes a village.  And, we could not be more thankful for ours.  Every Journey will be different, as no individual is the same.  Want to know more about Auditory Processing Disorders?  Here is the first book I read about it at the start of our journey.

“INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO A GROUP EFFORT – THAT IS WHAT MAKES A TEAM WORK, A COMPANY WORK, A SOCIETY WORK, A CIVILIZATION WORK.” – VINCE LOMBARDI

Our Visit to the King Center: A Photo Blog

Visit to the King Center : Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Earlier this month, we loaded the kids up in the car and went to visit the King Center.  My older daughter had been to the King Center before, but unfortunately she was too little to have really understood exactly what the Civil Rights movement or Dr. King’s dream was about.  And so, with  blatant racism, and bigotry being displayed everywhere these days, we thought that it was important for us to remind our children of their significant heritage.

As a parent, I always err on the side of caution when it comes to telling my kids the gruesome and graphic details of life/history.  My philosophy on that is that they have their whole lives to be adults and to deal with such things.  And, I simply don’t want them living in fear.  But, as we were walking through the King Museum and I was trying my best to answer all their questions and explain the things we saw.  I was reminded that the Civil Rights movement was not just for adults.  There were several children on the front lines standing up for what they believed was right.  And, it brought me back to the famous quote by George Santayana, “that those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Surprisingly enough, I do not have too much to say about our trip other than to say that it was a humbling and solemn experience.  It filled me with both great pride and waves of grief.  Pride because of the long journey that our ancestors took on behalf of the very inalienable rights we are supposed to have today.  And, grief for those who lost their loved ones in the struggle and continue to do so in the name of upward mobility and dreams yet to be actualized.

Visit to the King Center - A Day On ... Not A Day Off

A Visit to the King Center : Call To Lead

A Visit to the King Center: Signs from Marches

A Visit to the King Center: Freedom March

I'm Black and Beautiful.

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures that my husband took and, if you are ever in the Atlanta area definitely put this on your list of places to see.  It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.  How do you deal with telling your children about things that are unpleasant?  Do you sugar coat it, or give it to them straight?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, in the comments below.

Setting the Stage for an Event to Remember

Setting the Stage Hero Image 1

When did you first know that event planning was your passion and what made you want to do this as a business?

When my first daughter was born her birthdays were not normal or typical, they were a show. Everyone looked forward to the next year and it became a holiday of its own. It was a few years after her first birthdays that I finally said to myself that I really enjoy creating events for people and the joy it brought gave me delight.

When was your company started?

Although I had been doing events since childhood and really got into it when my daughter was born in 2002, C&R Promotions officially started in 2007. My then boyfriend, now husband, and I both felt like all the details that I put into my events were evidence that I needed to plan for others.

What has been your favorite event to plan to date and why? 

Choosing a favorite event is hard, but I think it was obvious. I have done so many events for close family and small events for friends and I even did my own wedding, but the event that I chose as my favorite was for my brother-in-law in May 2016. It was an all white affair with a rustic, country feel. There were accents of gold and burlap. I chose this as my favorite because one, I had complete control basically and my visions are sometimes hard to explain. Secondly, is was the most put together event thus far. I finished way before the event start time and did not feel rushed or like something was missing. Moreover, people outside of close friends and family finally could see first hand what C & R Promotions was capable of.

Setting the Stage for an Event to Remember: Guest Blog Roberta Isom

All White Party Event Styled by C& R Promotions

Give your philosophy on party planning.

My philosophy of planning is not like others, I don’t believe. In 2004, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It took a toll on how I processed information and remembered information. I began to make list of things to remember on a daily basis, I was in school and had to have things in order or the information would be lost, and everyday tasks were documented in order to stay organized. So, when I decided to start event planning, the order of things needed to stay the same. I believe that with well planned buying schedules and organization, anyone can afford the event of their dreams on a minimum budget. I have yet to feel that I cannot handle any budget and make a customer’s dream come true. Everyone has the choice to choose to party!

What are some tips you can give on how to do more with less?

To do more with less takes preparation. If you take time to find deals and set up a realistic plan for you event you can always save money and have everything that you want.

How do you balance your home and work life?

Never really figured out how to successfully balance home and work since I work from home, but having the ability to start and stop work throughout the day makes life a lot easier for me.

Causes you support, hobbies, favorite pass times?

I am a proud supporter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and have done numerous events to contribute to finding a cure. My most recent cause is autism. I have a small cousin that was diagnosed at three and have seen his progress and hope that one day we both can say we have overcome a disease. I do not have many hobbies. In my spare time I am usually finding ways to promote my business or how to make something great for an event.

Getting A Little Personal..
Being diagnosed in 2004, with MS has changed my life. For most of the beginning years I was in denial, I was depressed, and I just could not deal. However, I took the diagnosis and began to help others manage and found an inner strength that only God knows where it came from. Everything was different and I had to either accept it or stop living. I chose to live. I chose to take my illness and become someone that people could look up to. My family and friends were supportive and their passion to help me made me want to help myself. Having MS is the reason I plan the events in the manner that I do.  MS helped me become a planner, a manager, an entrepreneur. I wish there was a cure, but under the circumstances, I would not be who I am without MS.

Where Can You Be Found Across the Internet? (clickable links)

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Roberta Isom and Family

Roberta Isom, Owner/Proprietor of C& R Promotions

Roberta, the sixth child of eight, was raised in a single parent home with her three brothers and and four sisters. Throughout her childhood and beyond she managed to stay a star student and earn an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree in various fields. Although being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004, she has managed to stay active and has a progressing business as an event planner. She is a mother of two girls, 2 and 14, and a wife and looks forward to reaching new heights in the future.

bts

 

 

 

When I asked Roberta to do this Guest Interview, I truly wasn’t sure what her answer would be.  But, I was very pleased when she said yes.  I knew that not only would I be asking her about her passion for Event Planning, but I would be asking her to share some truly personal parts of her life with my readers.  But, she rolled with it and held nothing back.  If you reside in Birmingham, Metro Atlanta and or Eufaula, Alabama her services are available to you.  Be sure to follow her on her Social Media Channels listed above to keep up with her ever growing Event Planning company. Roberta has a birthday coming up.  Help her celebrate by donating to her cause here.

7 Things Every Parent Should Know

7 Things Every Parent Should Know - www.stage-presents.com

  1.  Every child is different.  I think sometimes we base our parenting styles and decisions on how things worked the first time around, or how our parent’s raised us. I have three children and they couldn’t be more different.  Growing up, I remember thinking that my sister had it so much easier, because I had already gone through all of the hard things.  And, that my mom favored her over me, which.. well I am still not sure that isn’t entirely true, lol.  But… now that I have children of my own I know that what worked for one of them wouldn’t necessarily work for the other.
  2. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.  Even though it is what we all aspire to be, we would save ourselves so much time right out of the gate, by acknowledging from the very beginning that we are human, and therefore flawed. There will be times when you have to say you are sorry.  You will not always be right.  You are charged with shaping these little lives that have been entrusted to you, but try as you might you can’t mold them into your own image.  (Trust me I’ve tried, lol)
  3. Quality and Quantity.  I know you probably thought I was going to say  Quality over Quantity.  But Nope.  Here’s is my reasoning you are probably never going to be able to please everyone see #1.  And, even though you will most likely try to find things that everyone is interested in and or try to give them as much one on one time, as possible.  That simply may not be the way that they remember it.  So do you best to spend as much time as you can, whenever you can.  And hope that it is enough.
  4. Routine. Routine is the key to any well oiled machine.  Bed times, chores, expectations, etc.  As I mentioned before, I thought my parents were too strict.  But, the thing about it is that looking back I see now that knowing what was expected of me and how I was to conduct myself played a large part in shaping me.  I can see now that a lot of the heartache that my friends went through I was lucky enough not to have experienced, because I simply didn’t live that life.
  5. Enjoy it.  I will be the first one to tell you that parenthood is NO WALK IN THE PARK.   You love your babies and you can’t imagine life without them.  But, sometimes you do.  You imagine what it would be like to pull your hands through you hair, throw on some bright red lipstick and skinny jeans and just jump in the car heading off to God knows where and for God knows what reason.  But, you know those days are over.  So once you are back from your pity party.  Make sure to enjoy these days.  One day you will miss it.  Since my oldest is 20 and my youngest is 6, I have a unique vantage point.  I can see the other side while still in the trenches.
  6. Document your days.  This is a controversial one for some people, because if you are snapping pictures then maybe you aren’t present.  I guess I have mixed feelings about this, because I see things from behind a lens that I am not sure I would notice otherwise.  Or maybe it’s that the things that I see make me want to pull out my camera to preserve the memory.  Like taking my daughters to the beach last year, and watching their faces so go from fear, to fun, to frolicking.  It was amazing to sit there and watch them grow before my eyes.  To me, it’s equally amazing to look back on those pictures and remember that day with joy in my heart.  I think I have always taken a lot of pictures, but when my son was little there were no iPhone’s and such, so there are way less pics of him than of the girls, and it is one of my biggest regrets.
  7. We Time and Me Time are a necessity.  Before they came, it was just the two of you.  And, before you became the two of you, it was just you.  Every relationship needs cultivation, even the ones we have with ourselves.  And, I believe this with all my heart.  If you are depleted at some time in some way, it is going to come out.  I am lucky enough to have my parents close by and when I need a break they are more than happy to afford us that luxury.  But, even if you don’t have a support system close by, little things mean a lot.  Can you both get off work for a couple of hours while the kids are at school, for lunch or for a movie or both?  Can you schedule a babysitter, and make a night of it?  Or maybe you just need the peace and quiet, or solitude of a massage, or mani-pedi appointment.  Figure out what feeds your spirit and your soul and do that, make time for that.

“TODAY’S LITTLE MOMENTS,  BECOME TOMORROW’S PRECIOUS MEMORIES.”

Advocating for your Child’s Future

Advocating for Your Child's Future - Does your Child require an IEP? Do you need to know what lies ahead of you? Be an advocate for your child's future with these tips from a fellow IEP Mom.

Being a parent is the hardest job that I have ever been entrusted with for all the obvious reasons.  There is no manual, no two children are the same, my normal way of creating templates that I can repeat mindlessly doesn’t work here.  All the ways that I can work smarter rather than harder in other roles, can not be applied to this job.  I learned very early on that parenting was just not a job that I could prepare for. I bought everything on the suggested nursery list, and tried to anticipate any need I felt that they would have before they arrived.  But… still there were just things that could not be anticipated .

It is often said that a parent is a child’s first teacher and also their first example of God’s love.  Both scary sentiments, if you ask me, but equally true.  And, as such it is our responsibility to advocate for them and their needs.  I don’t often talk about my daughter and her speech and educational challenges, and I think most people keep these things within the family.  But, recently the thought occurred to me that there are parents who do not advocate for their children because they are afraid, embarrassed, uncertain and unaware of the resources that are available to them.  And I don’t know, maybe I would have felt this way too if I was not surrounded by knowledgeable friends and family who were able to point me in the right direction.

Even though my daughter is just 11 years old, I feel like we have already been on quite a journey together.  At an early age she was diagnosed with a Significant Speech Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder.  She has been in Speech Therapy since she was 3 years old and has had an IEP since the 1st grade.  I know first hand how hard it is to accept that your child has a delay or special needs that make her different.   But, once you come to peace with this, the world is literally your oyster.  Now, I won’t lie to you and tell you that the sea will part and the mountains will crumble.  You are in for an uphill battle, but one that is possible and even if progress is slow, one that can be rewarding.

  1.  Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  What I mean by that is,  be an expert on your child.  Don’t allow anyone else to tell you what will work for him or her.  When my daughter started school, she was VERY VERY VERY shy.  Now, I am sure that you are thinking that most Kindergartners are.  And, that is true.  But, in her case, it took her a while to warm up to strangers.   And, I knew that.  So I let everyone who would be working with her know that.  She would also get frustrated when she was trying to express herself and others could not understand, and any kind of aggression towards her, made her shut down.  So I made all of that known.  In fact, call me a  “Helicopter Mom” if you like.  But, I would literally write a letter to the teachers at the beginning of the year to make sure that they went into the new school year knowing just who she was and the best way to reach her.
  2. Be diligent in your pursuit of services.  It is the public school systems responsibility to see to it that your child is educated.  You might think ok, well I can leave that there.  Wrong.  You can not.  There are seven different recognized learning styles.  Knowing which ones work  best for your child can improve both the speed and the quality of your child’s education.  That being said, If the arrangements that are set in place for your child are not working it is your responsibility to seek out a situation that better suits their needs.  The key to this is being involved enough to see the red flags.  For example. even though IEP’s are pretty common now a days, you may  have to request that your child be evaluated to determine if he or she needs one.  The meetings can be long and tedious, but it gives you an opportunity to both get your concerns across and work with those who come in contact with your child to make sure that he or she has the accommodations that she needs.  Extra time for testing, a Small Group Setting, or  Additional Study Skills just to name a few
  3. Build a team.  I was beyond lucky when it came to my team.  And, I don’t just mean the people who interact with your child at school.  But, a support team, I had my Mom, my sister, and my husband who I felt were all equally vested in my daughter’s success.  And then as fate would have it, the very first Speech Therapist that the school paired her with was hand picked by God.  She was able to pull my daughter outside of herself and give her some of the confidence that she was lacking by helping her with her speech and by her sweet and encouraging nature.  In addition to that , she was the gentle hand that guided the team at school that worked with her.
  4. Be both forgiving and flexible.  For me this was a new experience, so I say be forgiving because you are learning as you go.  But, even if this is not your first time at the rodeo, no experience is going to be the same.  And, sometimes the goals and milestones you put in place originally, will need to be revamped and changed, or even thrown out all together.
  5. Accept limitations.  As I said before things may not move as quickly as you would like, and that could be as far as how quickly your child is learning and making strides.  Or, it could mean how long it takes to get additional testing done or to receive additional  resources
  6. Don’t Give Up!!  This is the most important point that I will make in this whole post, because it is a frustrating process.  It is hard to see your child try and fail, and be discouraged.  It is hard for you not to become emotionally drained on their behalf.  Or to stop yourself from feeling like what you are doing is not yielding results.  But, you have to stay strong because you are the only one who can fight this fight for them.

” WHAT LIES BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES BEFORE US ARE TINY MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIES WITHIN US.”   rALPH WALDO EMERSON

Things I learned in my 30’s

From Crayons to Perfume - Lessons Learned in my 30's

I can hardly believe that I’m 40 today.  I have battled with this more than a little bit.  I know that it beats all the alternatives ( i.e, not being alive).  But, still I am not sure I’m ready to accept it.   Each year has been a learning experience, teaching and un-teaching lessons.  And, with each day I become more and more comfortable in my own skin and I grow more confident in who I am and the things that I want and need. But, there have been some important things that I learned during my 30’s.

  • Being Called an Adult Doesn’t Make You One.  People will not always live up to your expectations, and you will not always live up to theirs.
  • Haste Makes Waste.  Take your time.  Think things through and be strategic whenever possible.
  • Love Yourself First… Warts and All.  Simply put, you can not expect others to love you if you do not love yourself and accept your own shortcomings.
  • You Probably Don’t Know More Than Your Parents.  Age affords you both experience and perspective.  I can admit today that I still don’t know as much as my mother does.  And her advice, unsolicited or not is usually sound.
  • Trust Your Gut.  I honestly believe for all intents and purposes you know a Lemon when you see one.
  • Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals.  I’ve done a lot of this.  It is something that I am still working on, but I feel like I have gotten better over time.
  • Struggle Builds Character.  NO ONE wants to struggle.  NO ONE wants to live in uncertainty.  But, who you come out being on the other side of that struggle.   Well, it can be amazing.
  • It’s Not Over Until It’s Over.  Whether you are 40 like I am today, or 70, if you have life and health and strength.  It Ain’t Over!!

Just for fun, I thought I would share some of my favorite/relevant/age approriate quotes with you.

Quotes on Life

Photo Source: MediaWebApps

Quotes on Women

And, if you got this far, as a special thanks for celebrating my birthday with me, I am offering a 15% off coupon for my birthday. Coupon Code: thebig40  Today Only.  So run by our Etsy Shop and save!!

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 - www.stage-presents.com

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote - stage-presents.com

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

5 Simple Ways not let your quest for perfection become a “time suck”?

ANYTHING CAN BE A TIME SUCK.

5 Simple Ways Not to Let Your Quest for Perfection Become a Time Suck.

Your To Do List has gone from Line Items to Journal Entries.  There is so much to do and just not enough time, or at least that is how it seems.  Is your quest for perfection becoming a time suck and preventing you from being productive?  Check out these 5 Simple Steps to get it all under control.

Planing and Preparation:  It’s no secret that I love a list, and even more than that I love a good Planner.  But, as with anything else spending an hour planning to do something that never gets done, serves no real purpose. Simply nail down what has to be done and move on.

Time Blocking:  Now that you know what you have to do.  How much time can you realistically afford to spend on each of your tasks?   Separate your tasks into categories and then decide what the level of importance is.  Then block your time accordingly and stay committed to it.  Don’t let one task bleed over into the time you have allotted for something else.  (I personally, struggle with this one a lot.  Especially if I feel like I am on a role.  But, I know that their are only so many hours before the girls are home from school, and then all bets are off. For more information on Time Blocking or to Download a Free Printable that can help you with this.  Check out Hey Donna.com’s blog post Time Blocking 101.

Sample Time Blocking Sheet from Hey Donna.com

Photo Source: HeyDonna.com

Rest:  Even the most stimulating task starts to feel mundane after a while. It’s very easy to get caught up and let time pass you by.  This is especially true for those of us working from home. Get up. Rest Your Eyes.  Grab Lunch – Socialize A Bit. Even if it’s a particularly nice day outside and you would rather stay out and play or shop.  You will be surprised that you will return with a renewed spirit.

Return to your tasks:  This is possibly the most crucial step.  You have to finish what you started. Even if you can’t get it all done in one sitting, make finite and future plans to complete them.

Celebrate Your Success:  Your work day is over.  This is the time to enjoy simple pleasures that could otherwise get you off track. For me that would be my personal Facebook Page, Words with Friends or Sims Free Play, anything that will draw my focus and my time away from what is important.  Now, if you are Mommy, then it’s probably time to start your other full time job.  So, feel free to start off with a glass of wine, since more than likely dinner is your responsibility.  It’s ok. You’ve earned it.

What do you do to keep the wheels from falling off the bus??

Things being a parent has taught me

Things being a parent has taught me - Life Lessons When you find out that you are going to be a parent, I am not sure you ever give any real thought to what things you will learn from your children.  The entire time that they are growing inside you, you think about the things that you will teach them and show them. But, the moment that you look into the eyes of your child, everything changes. You realize that you will never love anyone anyone more than you love that little person, at that time. There are sleepless nights and incessant crying and you are not sure that you can put one foot in front of the other because you are exhausted. But, your love instead of diminishing keeps growing.  You once again get to experience life through the eyes of a child and your perspective on life inevitably changes.

  1.  The way you feel about parenting and parents change.  You are going to be a new Mom and even though you technically know that you know nothing, I venture to say you had lots of opinions, on the lady with the screaming toddler in Aisle 3, or the friends who were late because of one kiddy crisis or another, or even just about the fact that whatever it was, you would certainly not raise your kids that way.  And, since every child is different this may not only apply to new moms it works for second and third time moms as well.  My first child was a breeze (at least when he was little).  He always minded his Mommy was very polite and pretty much towed the line (lol).  But when baby number two came home he was not exactly excited about his position being usurped – Enter the drama.  My middle child, had a temper tantrum in Macy’s when I was almost 8 months pregnant with the baby and I had to hoist her over my belly to get her back in the car because she wanted new Dora The Explorer Sneakers. (don’t try that at home).  Oh and my baby, had a melt down in Kroger over the Witch Display during Halloween, so I spent the entire checkout process with her head buried in my chest howling incessantly.  So yeah… it’s fairs to say the way I looked at parenting and parents changed.  If anything it made me feel empathy instead of aggravation for other Moms.  Hell, the struggle is real.
  2. They taught me the true meaning of perseverance.  How?  Well, have you ever said no to a toddler?  They will ask you the same question over and over and over again in an attempt to wear you down.  Or have you ever watched a child try to wedge their body into a space that you know is way too small for them to get into?  So you ignore them and hope they will tire themselves out only to look up and find them wedged between section 1 and section 2 of your sectional.  On those days when I am ready to give up I almost have to ask WWMRRD?  What Would My Rug Rats Do?
  3. They taught me the true meaning of forgiveness.  Or should I say they are teaching me, this is an area I still struggle with in everyday life.  They have pushed you to your edge, you are tired frustrated and just flat out DONE.  And, then they make that little face and squeak out how much they love you and that they are sorry.  And, try as you might you can not prevent the corners of your mouth from turning up.  Or being human you lose your temper and you feel like crap on a stick.  You are guilt riddled and before you can go back and say just how sorry you are they wrap their little arms around you and you know all is well with the world.
  4. They taught me how to be less rigid and not to take myself so seriously.  I am a planner girl, I want to be able to anticipate everything.  I want to always have a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, know exactly what time they ate last.  I need to know.  Well, the day of my oldest child’s baby blessing, he had the ear infection to rival all ear infections.  The baby who rarely every cried was going ape…. sh!@,  and I had no idea what was wrong with him.  He was super whiny, clingy and I had family from out of town there to celebrate his big day.  I am still not sure how we made it through the day.  The next day I took him into the Pediatricians office and she told me the poor baby had an ear infection.  He was my first baby and I was clueless.  My middle child had what we call colic.   I say we will call it that, because no one technically still knows what the heck was wrong with her.  She cried all the time.  She was a sickly baby and the only one who was able to comfort her until she was about 4 months old was her Grandpa.  He somehow had the magic touch.  Then my last sweet girl,  was my true lesson in flexibility.  She was allergic to everything under the sun.  Her formula cost us as much as her Nanny.  The Nanny she needed because on top of all that she had acid re-flux and had to be held up for 45 minutes after every meal.  I would literally come home and change out of my work clothes and anticipate the hot milk down my back.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that learning each one of these lessons was not painful or at times, hard pills to swallow, but being their Mom continues to shape me.  And, for that I am extremely grateful.

What lessons have your little ones taught you?

Beating The Winter Blues

Beating The Winter Blues

When the New Year starts, I am always filled with so much hope and motivation.  But, as the days go by in January, I sometimes find myself falling into Alice’s Rabbit Hole. For me, I think the reason behind this lies in the fact that I hate to be stuck inside.  It’s called Cabin fever.  I know I have definitely turned into a bit of a home body since becoming a full time stay at home mom.  But, there are still days when I want to get up and venture out into the world, whether it be to grocery shop or hit up the closest Target or Walmart.  Some days I just need to get out and spread my wings.  But, the colder it gets the more those plans tend to exist only in my head or penciled in my planner.  The older I get and the longer I live in Georgia, I fear the cold, which now feels like it chills me to be the bone.  I have never had a strong immune system, an unfortunate trait, I think I passed down to my babies.  I dread being sick!!  So rather than allow myself to turn into a Winter Weather Hermit, I came up with some tips to beat these Winter Blues.

Plan Plan Plan…

It’s easy to simply crawl into bed and pull the cover up around my ears.  And, as divine as that sounds I am pretty sure that I would get NOTHING done, except maybe catching up on the movies on my DVR.  So I plan out my day from Household Duties –  Business Duties ( this Blog/Etsy/Social Media Stuff).  For example, I know that I can get more cleaning and more writing done when the kids are at school.

Stock Pile…

Hoard… If you are going to go into semi- hibernation get the things you need or want to surround you.  For me that is Coffee (the good stuff, and lots of it), Delicious Creamers, Warm Hearty Soups, Comfortable Socks, good reading material and even better music.  Believe it or not these things can serve as inspiration on days when you really need some.

make yourself a priority…

It’s easy to put off getting your hair dyed, or your eyebrows arched when you aren’t going to a job everyday.  But, you just can’t allow yourself to become a recluse.  Set appointments for yourself that you DON”T waffle out of.  It can be as simple as getting a much needed and well deserved pedicure.  Lunch with a friend to catch up on life OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.  A doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off.  Something you know you have to do but don’t necessarily want to do.  Make yourself accountable to you.

find your productivity window…

This can be a time period where you feel the most productive.  It can be a certain spot that gets great light where you can write.  It could be right after you work out.  Just like with anything else, the key here is to know yourself.  You know what colors look best on you or what styles you prefer to wear.  You should also know when you are at your best and capable of your best work.  In a regular 9-5 environment this is not as easy to achieve.  But, when you are at home you have a little bit more flexibility. Work Smarter – Not Harder.

“Wisdom comes with winter.” — oscar wilde

I sure am glad that I live in Georgia now.  I can’t imagine what I would do with more weeks of winter than what we currently have.  What are your tricks to staying both productive and content during the Winter Months?

Read More About My Winter Struggles HERE.