Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Taking The Last Step

It is no secret that I am not perfect. My husband is not perfect. My girls are not perfect. We all have triggers that elicit a negative response from us. Adults can figure out those triggers and hopefully avoid them or learn how to react. Unfortunately children do not have the same capabilities. We, as their parents, need to help them identify their triggers.

What I had no experience in and quickly learned about was food sensitivity. I was so far from healthy, crunchy, earthy, clean eating, etc as you can get. I am not exaggerating when I tell you one of my favorite memories is introducing Ding- Dongs to E1. I love smoothing out the foil, eating the chocolate cake goodness, and licking out the filling with my tongue. Damn, I love ding-dongs.  Our pantry was stocked with Doritos, Cheetos, this chip, that chip, this candy, that was fun! I always believed if I limited what the girls could eat, they would gorge themselves as soon as they were out of my sight and then we would have a bigger issue.

Unfortunately, we learned that Red Dye #40 and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFC) had a terrible affect on E1's personality and E2's sleep. We also realized that processed foods in general were not the greatest choice for the girls. All the chemicals and sugar would send E1 into a tail spin if she was upset. Her reaction to normal annoying things were blown way out of proportion. The spikes in her blood sugar would causes such highs and lows and watching her response to things was like watching a bomb explode. E2 would get so hyped up she could not fall asleep. She was like the energizer bunny on crack...just kept going and going and going.

Lucky for me I talk to my friends, family, and pediatrician pretty candidly. While I don't follow advice immediately I will research and then come to my own conclusion. After listening to advice and doing my own research, the hubs and I decided to do a food overhaul. This realization SUCKED. Do you know how hard it is to clean out your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer and change the diet of two girls?


We started with the dyes, then the HFC, then the processed foods. In true transparency this overhaul took almost an entire school year. We would slip up, get lazy, say fuck it, and then a kid would meltdown and we would kick ourselves for giving in. I so wanted to be the house with the fun pantry, but a hyped up little sister and a ticking time bomb big sister was not worth all the ding dongs in the world.

We also bought E2 fish oil supplements for children. We learned from the many people in her village that fish oil, Omega 3, helps with brain development and it could greatly impact E2's speech and motor planning.

Fast forward to March-ish, clean eating for the majority plus fish oil. The girls' behaviors were so much better. We could literally count on one hand the extreme meltdowns. But, we were still having difficulties with E2's sleeping and E1's worries, time management, and frustrations. School mornings around here were quite annoying. E1 felt rushed and frustrated and often gave out eye rolls, grumbles, snarky comments, and that was when we were not staring at her resting bitch face. Homework time was not much better.
I had had enough.

I not so secretly would bug my sorority sister who I think is a guru in all things natural for advice. I would visit Facebook pages, internet sites, anything I could get my hands on about natural ways to help your children. I literally spent almost an entire year removing chemicals from their diet, I was not about to start putting them back in. All roads led to essential oils.
Each and every time.
And each time I laughed, rolled my eyes, and walked away. I am the biggest cynic, well second biggest to my husband. Essential oils were not going to help. What a joke. I am not sure what changed my thinking, but it was probably the realization that I was being a hypocritical asshole. If removing dyes and HFC had that big of an impact on my kids then why wouldn't a natural substance help them?

So, I took the plunge. I bought essential oils, diffusers, and went to experimenting.

This cynical asshole typing this blog is telling you with as much shock as anyone can muster up, they are working for my family. Certain oils are helping to relax E2 and she is able to fall asleep. E1 is experiencing a calmness to her that I have never seen. I diffuse oils in their room at night and diffuse during the morning routine and homework time. If seeing that change was not enough to get me believing, I tried some oils on a pain in my husband's foot he got from exercising. The next morning I asked him if his foot was feeling better and he looked at me and said, "I am embarrassed to say it does feel better." OH MY. We have become THOSE PEOPLE. We are oil people. Still, I didn't believe. All of this was luck. Coincidence. And then I used the oils on myself. DAMN IT. THEY WORK.

I am not surprised we ended up here, but at the same time I am. If you know me and even if you only know me through my blog, you KNOW I am not a bull shit type person. You make your own life. You make your own choices. No excuses.

Oils do not prevent you from making dumb choices but they can help you feel better in many ways. I am still going to doctors, I am still using western medicine - apparently this is a "fear" when you start telling people you use oils. Relax people, I am still me. I am just becoming a better me.

And the girls? The oils have completed our health transformation and were their missing link to being their best selves too.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Missing Earring

Shabbat dinner. A weekly celebration of G-d's creation of the world, a week's worth of trials and errors, and a time to reflect and start anew.

Tonight the four of us gathered around our dining table, said the prayers over the candles, wine, and matzah (it is also Passover), and then began to eat our meal.

E2 is extremely tired from a full "Cousin Day" of fun and is begging to go to sleep. She brings me her pajamas and changes for bed. I take out her ponytail, her earrings, etc.

E1, the hubs, and I continue to eat dinner and chat away about our days.

A few moments later I notice E2's earrings. I actually notice an earring. As in one. Shit. Where is the other earring? They are pink hearts and her favorite! Crap. Where is the other earring?

Eat, eat,, chat, chat.....Fuck. Did I just eat the earring?

E1 goes to the restroom and I tell the hubs, "I think I ate E2's earring." He literally is like what the fuck. Now, I am feeling it in my throat. It won't budge. I ask him if I need to go to the emergency room. I ask him if it will perforate my intestines. I ask him if I need to throw up, get an x-ray, OH MY G-D, my throat really hurts!!!

E1 is now back from the bathroom and is dying to know what we are talking about and why is daddy laughing, and what am I Googling......I'll tell you what I Googled "Eating an earring." FUCK. I am reading about eating an earring and now I am laughing because OF COURSE it is all about KIDS eating things.
WHY would a FORTY year old eat an EARRING?!? How does this even happen? ONLY ME.

I tell the hubs I can feel it moving in my chest. I tell him it hurts. I tell him this cannot be good and even though Google says it will be in my shit in three days, I still think I should see a doctor. For G-d's sake I ATE AN EARRING. I am making sounds with my throat trying to cough it up, I am rubbing my neck, my chest, making more sounds....It is like I am my own symphony telling the story of an earring caught in an esophagus.

All of a sudden the hubs says, "Are you serious?!?" I look at him and he is holding the missing earring. It was apparently hiding at the other end of the table.


I cannot stop laughing.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

40 Friends

Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating my 40th birthday with friends. In 2005, my husband and I moved from our childhood area to the suburbs. Thirty minutes away seemed like an across country move. We lost some "city" friends, but gained an entire community. Last night proved to me once again that moving was one of the best decisions we ever made.

At (almost) 40, friends are hard to come by and I know that I am beyond blessed to have so many girlfriends standing by my side. Women get a bad rap for being gossipy and bitchy and overall, mean. I can tell you one thing, my friends are amazing and I truly believe in each and every one of them. Words will never be able to describe the joy that overcame me last night to have them all gathered in one place.

Before we ate, I gave a short toast to my friends....they deserved a night out, they put up with me!
(Thanks for celebrating with me, friends! Love ya!)

I just want to take a minute and thank you all for coming. I'm still in disbelief that in 5 days I'll be 40. 

I'm not even sad about turning 40. I'm honored and grateful. As you all know, there was a time I thought I'd never see this day - so to not only reach this milestone birthday, but to do it with all of you by my side is pretty amazing. 

My mom told me a long time ago to consider myself lucky if I could count my friends on one hand - by the looks of this room, I'm more than lucky. I'm truly blessed. 

There are literally friends in this room that have known me for more than 38 years and others I met within the last year and had an immediate bond. 

Whether you're my every day phone friend, my texting friend, my loud friend, my moral compass friend, my funny friend, my "rock" friend, my let me complain to you about my husband friend, my fellow f bomb dropper friend, my childhood friend, my bad influence friend, my give me all your advice friend, my get drunk friend, my good friend, my best friend, my mom friend, my walking friend, my sushi and wine friend,  know how much I care for you and how much I appreciate your friendship because at the end of the day - you're my FRIEND. 

Everyone in this room has a purpose in my life and I promise not only do I see what each of you has brought me, I feel honored that our paths have crossed and continue to be intertwined.  

All of you are important to me and if for some reason I've never thanked you- I'm doing it now. 

Thank you for putting up with me. I'm an emotional, annoying, loud, obnoxious, loyal, funny person and as you all know with every cuss word that comes flying out of my mouth, my heart of gold is following right behind. I thank you for taking the time to get to know me, to let me grow and change, and most importantly, I thank each of you for being you. 

You are all amazing and at 39 and 360 days, I'm proud to call each of you my friend. 

And because no speech would be complete without it, FUCK!  I'm 40!!