Thursday, August 18, 2016

Guilt Trippin'

So I'm the type of parent that believes that our children are not meant to be just seen, but most especially heard.

I'm convinced that the issues we struggle with as adults are deep seeded from the moment of our infancy.

Having been a painfully shy, quiet and extremely insecure child who as an adult still struggles daily to shake off those issues (let the record show, I'm also a product of my mom is the absolute BEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE *love you mommy*)- I'm doing what I can to encourage the opposite in my own children.

I want them to understand they have options. I want them to know they have a voice. I encourage freedom of expression. I do my best to validate their opinions, feelings, needs and wants because even if they don't dictate how our household runs or our expectations of them- they matter. Meeting their mental and emotional needs are just as important as their physical needs as the mental is what creates our physical. I stress the importance of having high standards yet recognizing the value of the little things and the understanding that, more is not always better. I do my best to nurture the need in each child to plug into something creative. Art is our souls expression and neglecting that aspect of ourselves is to deprive us from connecting to the divine and the experience of achieving flow- in which all our best work is done. (Can't remember the last I reached that level of concentration myself... but... anyway... moving on...)

I teach them to respect their peers, their elders and all those in positions of authority. However, I also encourage my children to not be afraid to question anyone or anything that doesn't seem quite right to them. I want them to trust themselves and know that they are capable of making decisions for themselves that align with their beliefs, regardless of what other people say is thee right way of doing things.

Challenge and question everyone.

Everyone and everything, that is- except for me.

*Reyna, by the way, is my daughters FIRST name, hence, the name printed on the ribbon.*


Lemme just say, I'm not a big fan of guilt trips. Call me stubborn if you like, but I prefer to know my children are acting from their own free will and because... well... mom is always RIGHT.

And then there are moments like the example above where I just gotta bust it out of my back pocket. 

And while I wouldn't consider this morning to be my best parenting moment- I'm also a firm believer that a healthy dose of dysfunction is necessary to make our kids funny. 

Note, her face edited into that pea. *Knee slap* Genius.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Doing all of the THINGS.

So, 2015 was the year "I wanna just DO things". Even if it fails, or I suck at it, or it's silly, or I don't know WHERE to start, or it's not how I always planned to do the THING, whatever that THING is, but the THING just doesn't seem close to ever working out... I wanna just DO all of these things! This year has been the year of digging deep and getting to the root of things. Of reopening old wounds & hurts to really FEEL them in order to finally release them. Of letting go of what was and embracing what is. Of accepting my personal truths & seeking answers to questions I never dared to ask. This lead to a spiritual & personal growth far beyond what I expected to find in the detour I decided to take in this journey. With an open mind & heart came a deeper understanding of the nature of God and the countless ways He "speaks" to us, even if we're not always listening. Now looking forward to life with a renewed sense of self and security as I go on to do more THINGS... Anything. Knowing that during the times I felt God had forgotten me- that's when He worked in me the most. Looking back now I see it clearer than ever- He NEVER left my side.

My list of CAN and DID do's so far:

After 4 years of planning, postponing, stressing when, where & how and almost accepting this wedding may NEVER happen- This once self proclaimed OCD, control freak, germaphobe, glamazon, perfectionist, people pleaser, STRICTLY INDOOR girl FINALLY married her BFF... outside... in the woods... where there's bugs, heat & dirt... by a waterfall... no control over anything MUCH LESS the weather...  with a very small guest list... and a whole LOT of chaos... in an actual wedding dress ordered ONLINE... the park open to the public and unknown to us hosting a costume themed charity scavenger hunt on the same day as our WEDDING... and it was PERFECT.

The most recent of these things... When I was 8 years old I was told I had not one dad, but two. Pssh! Who's ever heard of anyone having TWO dads?? Mami's crazy! Much to my surprise, my dad confirmed that this outrageous story was, in fact, true & that my other dad also loved me very much. After 25 years of not having a whole lot of information about the person who makes up the other half of my DNA & seeing him just once but having been too shy to look at his face & many, MANY attempts at searching for him- I found my biological dad. I found him & a BIG, beautiful bunch of family that I was surprised and relieved to find had been looking for me too. This includes 2 living and happy grandparents, 5 aunts, 2 uncles I think (one no longer with us, but if I tell you HOW I found my family, you may beg to differ), 3 brothers, 2 sisters, 7 nieces and nephews and I'm not sure that an accurate cousin head count is even possible. 
Finding this side of my family is a Blessing to an already Blessed life. I've been quietly processing and allowing it to sink in- that the ones I thought I'd never find and tried to make peace with the idea that I may NEVER who they are- I found. I'll be meeting them in Puerto Rico in a few days <3


I opened my Etsy shop. I'd been saying I wanted to do this for several years before I actually just DID it. Self doubt & fear is a dream killer. This was one of many things I put off on doing out of fear that I'd fail at it. I'd think up a million things I' needed to know first and a thousand and one reasons why I'd suck at it. I'm not disciplined enough. I won't have time. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to make. I don't get the whole shipping thing. My ADHD won't let me. What if I don't sell anything. And just how most of my other brilliant ideas have come up (the same brilliant enthusiasm that encouraged me to catch a plane to CT for a day and a half  apparently for the sole purpose of getting knocked up) I figured... SO WHAT?! So what if I fail, or I suck or I don't know how to do something? Just DO IT and the rest of the boring details I could leave up the hubs who actually enjoys doing all the tedious tasks I find to be torturous. Which also lead to ASKING FOR HELP when my genius falls short and allowing him to help me DOESN'T  make me a failure. Not TRYING does. Now, it's a work in progress as I find my creative niche... but the point is- I did the thing

I camped out. Like, ACTUALLY slept outside. I mean, we WERE in a tent, in sleeping bags & in my brother in laws backyard... BUT there was NO air mattress between us and the hard ground so it was a pretty big deal. Skunks are considered "dangerous wildlife", right?

I just stopped giving so much of a damn. I consider myself to be pretty modest by choice. Some days a lot more than others. Not because someone TOLD me I have to be... not because I believe the heavens will strike me dead for showing off cleavage. I just am. Depends on the day and the mood. But really, I'm the queen of  finding ways to camouflage and cover up. Especially when it comes to swimwear. I had been hiding the scar next to my belly button since I was little kid and I threw a fit when my mother had the audacity to buy me a two piece bathing suit to wear to summer day camp in front of the other kids. For the last several years I've been flexing my not-giving-a-damn-muscles as I've become extremely aware of  a whole lot of other people who SHOULD give a LITTLE bit of a damn but don't. They're on to something, these don't-give-a-damners. There was a day I wouldn't dare take a full body pic, standing up, in my bathing suit and post it online. But my daughter was looking super cute & since moms are the first example a girls got to look to for a lesson in self esteem and confidence (and you can only take so many selfies before they all start to look the same)- this day, not two shits were given. 

Found the perfect non-boxed permanent hair color, paired it with a 10 developer which creates a DEMI color but permanent enough to result in 100% gray coverage and developed the perfect reverse balayage ombre technique in order to keep my two toned color AND get rid of new grays without ruining the lighter bottom portion for less than $11 every couple months. I did this. And yes, it's a BIG deal. 

DOING things just cause it's fun. Even if I look a little ridiculous. Even if it's in the expense of my son's bike tires. Even if I'm tired or it hurts. That's what the Epsom is for.

And the year ain't over yet!

Monday, November 24, 2014

"DIY" Giant Bow Headwrap

SO, if you're the mom of a little girl and spend nearly as much time scavenging Instagram for kiddy #OOTD's (Outfit Of The Day... took me a while to get that) more than you scroll through adult OOTD's (cause I can't seem to get over how much cuter a baby in a bow tie and suspenders is to an adult in the exact same outfit)- chances are you've come across the whole giant bow/headband-but-it-looks-more-like-a-head-wrap trend.

Now, I've looked and looked for these "headbands" and found plenty of them but I was looking for what looked more like a "head wrap" but SURELY no one can ACTUALLY get a baby or a toddler to sit still long enough to allow them to have their heads wrapped. I'm thinking there's gotta be an elastic somewhere that makes this little head dress an easy "slip on, slip off" sorta deal.

I was wrong.

These are literally just long pieces of fabric that you ACTUALLY wrap around your kids head and tie into a bow.

In other words... A scarf.

SO... I searched through YouTube and found a few tutorials but THIS one was my favorite since it got straight into the action with a lot less of the talking but she did enough talking to answer the questions I WOULD have had had she not spoke at all.

I picked up a scarf... called the little one over (lollipop hidden in my bra for bribery purposes... not that I resort to bribery often... or... too often... or... not anymore often than YOU do, maybe.) and I went to work.

It took LITERALLY 2 minutes! No need for the lollipop. No wrestling match. No headlock. Judging by the way she'd walk a few steps and POSE, the kid knew she looked adorable. I'm still reeling off the fact that I was able to get the look for FREE by bringing new life to stretched and somewhat mis-shapened scarves we've had hanging around the house that I couldn't quite get rid of.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick 'N' Easy Kale Chips

I'm not gonna lie ya'll, I've been feeling pretty crummy. Lots and lots of pain... Lots and lots of tiredness... resulting in days where I accomplish lots and lots of a whole lot of nothing. I dealt with a tough bout of depression while my oldest two were away for the summer so I did a whole lot of self medicating. My drug of choice: Food.

Now that the kiddos are home, I'm naturally a little more conscious of what I put in my mouth. I tend to buy less easily accessible junk food when they're around cause I don't want them filling up on junk. Not only that but they eat all the good stuff before I could even get a lick at it anyway and that just leads to feelings of rage and resentment at the nerve of them having left me with less than a teaspoon of Nutella after scraping the side of the jar. So ya know what? If I can't have it... they ain't getting it either and in the long run it works out best for ALL of us. (Don't judge me.)

Anyhow. I know part of the reason for my feeling less than %100 (and having locked myself out of the house twice in less than a week) is because of what I'm putting into my body. And since forbidding myself of the occasional junk food snack has never worked in the past...

 ... I keep my eyes and taste buds open to discovering equally delicious yet nutritious snacks to replace the stuff I crave on my crummy-I-don't-give-a-danm-about-nothing-but-this-bag-of-chips-so-don't-touch/look/talk-to-me days which just leads to even MORE feelings of cruminess. 

Like I mentioned in past posts (like this one HERE)... I have a major weakness for salty snacks. Especially when I'm feeling down. One of the alternatives I've read about to reaching for a bag of chips is to eat kale chips sprinkled with sea salt. Except... I think this stuff is disgusting. Why do I buy it? While juicing didn't work out for me, tossing it into my fruit smoothies has. And then I consider that I thought all veggies were disgusting at one point, that is until I found a way of preparing them that suited my taste buds until I acquired a taste for them and even craved them without all the extra flavoring. Kale might just be one of em. I read a little about some of the benefits of eating kale chips HERE and figured it was worth a try. 

Here was the end result:

Now, I'm not gonna sit here and tell ya'll it was JUST like feasting on a big ol' bowl of Cheetos but better. It still tasted like... well... kale. Just a lot more tolerable version of it. And for those who love this stuff already in it's raw form... these might be heaven in a bowl. I sprinkled mine with a little extra sea salt (YEAH it WAS just a little extra salt, cut me some slack ya'll I'm tryin' here) and Parmesan cheese and I left them out on the table for everyone to try. Each time I walked past them I couldn't help picking at them. My love for new veggies usually begins with an appreciation for certain aspects of the veggie, such as the scent, color or texture before I begin the appreciate it in it's entirety. In this case I like the texture of the curly, brown, leafy part of the kale in it's baked form. Not only did it hold most of the flavor of the olive oil, sea salt and Parmesan cheese... the CRUNCH is unlike anything you could find in a prepackaged bag. Now, I probably would have finished off the bowl had it not been for the pesky little fruit fly I caught landing in my friggin snack. After that, I just couldn't bring myself to continue eating them. -__-

Moving on...

Even though these days it's been extremely difficult to stick to a meal plan or a permanent change in diet... it's not to say I won't find the motivation to stick to it someday without missing all that is sugary and salty. When that day comes, I could see these kale chips becoming a regular go-to snack. This first time around, my concern was burning these babies. Now that I had a crack at em, next time I'll be baking them long enough for all my leaves to turn into that nice crispy-looking brown. 

So here's a quick and easy how-to on making kale chips:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. I usually buy kale in 16 oz bags. Where the fruit flies won't touch it. I used half a bag of kale. (So... approximately 8 oz or just 2 handfuls of the stuff...) and drizzle with 1 to 1.5 tablespoon/s of olive oil. Toss. 

3. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt to taste. ('Bout a tsp should do.)

3. Pour onto a cookie sheet. 

4. Spread out evenly.

5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the super curly edges are a toasty brown color. 


Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese or whatever else your little kale baking heart desires and ENJOY!