Category Archives: Mum Moments

My Plexus Journey: Week Three

I cannot believe I have been on Plexus for nearly a month. I don’t feel like there is much new to report this week, but I am increasingly thankful for the products I am taking. Yesterday I had my monthly checkup at the Birth Center. My lab work was perfect and baby brother has a strong heart beat. He’s low and active just like his sisters were. At my last appointment the midwife was worried about my weight gain, since my pre-pregnancy weight was not quite in the desired range. I think that’s how it was kindly put. Oye. That’s always fun to hear. Well praise the Lord they were quite pleased. Five pounds in twenty-three weeks. I was thrilled to bits and truly feel good. Thanks Plexus!

Some gals seem to thrive when pregnant. They love everything about it. They feel attractive and they literally do glow. I love pregnancy for the end result, but I’ve never been one who loves being pregnant. There’s so much crazy that goes with it. Odd hormonal changes. Random swelling. Nausea. Upchucking. The belly is just out there. Random comments from strangers. Lots of blood work, and the end hurts like a beast. I’m not even going to touch on the postpartum thing. Its glories might be enough for me to wish I could be pregnant an extra month if it meant that nonsense would go away. 

God is so gracious though. He is a master of design and distraction. For many women pregnancy is difficult. For many women getting to pregnancy is hard. If someone gave you a personalized list of all that was going to happen to you during pregnancy and labor, you probably wouldn’t say “I’m lovin’ it” like you’re at McDonalds. The reality is more like Nike: “just do it.” What does God do though? When you hold your child for the first time, whether it is your first or your fourth, everything rough that had happened during labor or pregnancy melts away. You forget. You are distracted by this little miracle.

Though I am currently thinking about the end of this pregnancy, knowing baby has to have an exit route, I can be joyous in incredible anticipation. At the end of the day I will get to hold my son. Everything will have been worth it and his daddy and I will bask in awe of him.

As per usual, this post has taken a turn I wasn’t expecting. I was simply meaning to update y’all on my Plexus journey, but something else happened. I’ll try to circle the wagon and pull this together. A lot has me thankful. Whenever days are rough I make thankfulness lists and am quickly reminded of how good I have it. These lists quickly lead me to worshipping the goodness of our God. This week I truly am thankful for this growing peanut inside me. I guess he’s actually a grapefruit according to the Bump. I am thankful that I feel energized this pregnancy. I am thankful that has come in the form of a company I never thought would be part of my life. There are so many people who struggle with things day in and day out. We are often tricked into thinking they are just part of life. For me fatigue and my weight were like that. They were battles I felt too overwhelmed to fight. If this sounds like you please reach out. They don’t have to be and you definitely don’t have to battle them alone.

You know where to find me. Here on the blog, my Facebook page, or my Plexus Page.   

It’s Friday y’all! Add that to your thankfulness list!

It’s Not You … It’s a Bit You … 

There’s a movie called Ghost Town. The title makes your mind wander to a genre of which it is not a part, but it’s a quirky romantic comedy of sorts. Ricky Gervais plays a dentist who dislikes people and avoids interaction at any cost. The first view is rather painful. Its sort of like watching a Mr. Bean episode for the first time. It’s much more enjoyable the second go round and will likely become a treasure for you. Don’t worry your blood pressure will eventually drop back into the normal range.

It’s not a movie on which to base your theology, but it is a sweet lesson in forgiveness and making people matter. I won’t summarize the whole movie or give anything away but there’s a scene in it where Ricky’s character (Dr. Pincus) is in his apartment lobby and keeps sneezing (if you watch it you’ll know why). He’s had a rattling day with people and his doorman keeps saying “bless you.” By the third or fourth sneeze he’s tired of being told “bless you” and says this gem of a line:

“Stop it … If I sneeze again, I’ll assume … Thank you. Just … I’m not very well. It’s not you. It’s a bit you.”

“It’s not you. It’s a bit you.” This line has been making me giggle all week. During finals I told my husband that I thought our girls were tired of me. I always feel this way at the end of each semester. They miss their daddy, and we’re all about to crawl out of our skin. He replied: 

“Are you sure you’re not tired of them?”

It sounded so wretched out loud but I did need some space. Nothing grand just some alone time, OUTSIDE our apartment walls, to write and regroup and drink coffee. My friend Noel and I have often talked about how us moms are seldom content in this arena. We want alone time but often find ourselves missing our children when we get it. When Matt watched the girls this past week, so I could leave, I spent the first ten minutes at Starbucks looking at pictures of them. It had been a wretched day. I had wanted to lock myself in the bathroom … and maybe did for a few minutes. Once the dust settled however, I missed them. I wondered how their bath time went. I wondered if they were good for their daddy and cooperated when he brushed their teeth. I missed snuggles and that lovely post bath lavender smell. I pictured my husband tucking them into bed and wished I could have been a fly on the wall.  

I think this is one of the many blessings the Lord gives. There are days and seasons that are so rough, but when little feet have stopped running about the house for the night, my outlook always changes. The love I have for them refills and overflows even more than before. I am so thankful for this. I am thankful for my children. I am thankful for my job, even though is often unglamorous and thankless. When I peek in on our girls at the end of the night my momma heart is full. I know what I do matters to the Lord and to my family, but its easy to lose perspective. I am thankful for a husband who knows I need out of the house, and who steps up to make that happen. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Happy Wednesdaying Y’all!

If you need a movie that is different from other typical romantic comedies, and has a warm heart, give Ghost Town a whirl. There are several scenes that are just priceless. Movie Note: This is not a film for children. There are two unnecessary F-words, as well as a couple inapropriate thematice conversations. See Plugged In’s review of it here for a broader understanding of what I mean.

Week Two: It’s the Small Victories 

Yesterday was crazy. If my husband weren’t passed out in exhaustion, he would nod his head vehemently in agreement. I woke up late, and the girls did their rising and shining painfully early. As a result they weren’t really shining. Their bulbs were in fact out. For this momma early mornings are a key block of time for alone productivity, and that was now shot. Sometimes it’s hard to recover. 

All that being said, this day was headed for disaster. Not only were the girls’ bulbs out, but they were now hangry. I was all discombobulated and had forgotten about a dental appointment. This left Matt readjusting since he needed to be home to watch the girls. To make matters worse I went in for my appointment an hour early because I had gotten the time wrong. I came home, broke the news, and after about a half hour went back to the dentist. 

Thankfully my appointment was uneventful and thankfully Matt survived at home. By the time I returned the girls were shining. They love their daddy and relish having him to themselves.

Later in the afternoon, when I sat down to write and recoup from the crazy, I realized I had been on Plexus for exactly two weeks. (No idea what I’m talking about? Check out last weeks post HERE). I was also perplexed because for the first time in a week I could have eaten everything in the house. It perplexed me because I had not been tempted until today to have my usual stress snack fest. I was so excited on that score but what on earth was wrong with today? Then it hit me. My unopened slim packet was sitting there on the counter looking up at me. I had forgotten my pink drink!

So what is this pink drink? Most people think its just some weight loss tool and that makes them skeptical. That is indeed often a result, but there’s just so much more to it. I’ll be fleshing this out more as I write. For me weight loss isn’t exactly part of the natural trajectory because I’m pregnant. I do have to be careful though. I got that lovely talk from the midwife about keeping the weight gain on the lower end of the scale this pregnancy. Oye.

It has taken me a long time to circle the wagon, but thanks for bearing with me. Today was a small victory. Being a stay at home mom is a job I wouldn’t trade for anything, but lets face it – its rough sometimes. Sometimes a day of meltdowns can easily turn that serving of sanity Raisinets into the whole box. Sometimes getting out of bed feels like you’re Sam and Frodo on the Mount Doom homestretch. 

Yesterday was indeed crazy and a lot went wrong, but its only been two weeks and I already notice a difference in my body thanks to Plexus. It’s much easier to exercise and care when you don’t feel like sludge. Days are easier when you don’t feel like you’ll die if a nap doesn’t happen. It’s easier when I am much less tempted to eat off the stress. With the pink drink I feel like I have some serious help in my corner. Can you relate? Do you need some help? Talk to me. 

We’re all in this together. Happy Thursday Y’all! Friday is coming!

 

Frustration, Research and Change

I have spent the past few months researching, learning, and trying to discover how to keep my family as healthy as possible on a shoe string budget. It has been exhausting and often discouraging. I have been reading more about gut health than I ever thought possible. I battle fatigue and my weight. I have a grave relationship with sugar, and am tired of finding artificial dyes and other such nonsense in food and supplements.

Aside from my children, one of the aspects I love most about being a mom is the community. We are often all in the same boat. I am not the only mom budgeting. I am not the only mom trying to keep her family as healthy as possible. I’m not the only mom researching health issues. I’m not the only mom wondering if being constantly exhausted has to be a new normal. I am not the only mom struggling with her weight. I am not the only mom with a crazy sweet tooth. I am not alone.

Through research and my momma community I encountered Plexus. When ladies I trusted began to talk about the positive effect this company has had on their health and the health of their families, I half listened, half balked, but I couldn’t shake the curiosity. I got so curious and liked their products so much that I am now a Plexus ambassador myself. No I won’t be spotted in London at the American Embassy. I’m not that kind of ambassador. I will, however, be trying to get my body under control, from a health and wellness perspective, as well as my family and anyone else I am able to help.

Plexus is a boutique line of 19 high-quality, all natural supplements. No artificial ingredients. No artificial dyes. No nonsense. They are used to get at the root of some basic problems such as poor gut health and out of control blood sugar. These are huge contributing factors in fatigue, weight management, and sugar cravings.

Right now my favorite grouping of products is called the triplex combo. It includes Slim aka: The Pink Drink, Bio Cleanse, and ProBio5. The Pink Drink helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and was originally developed for diabetic patients. When your blood sugar is in line its much easier to fight sugar and food cravings. Sustained daily energy and weight management become much easier too because your body isn’t dealing with drastic energy crashes. Hurrah! BioCleanse and ProBio5 work in happy tandem to get your gut healthy. Did you know 70-80% of your immune system lives in your gut?! ProBio5 provides five strains of probiotic “good” bacteria. These strains work to boost nutrition absorption and leave you with a gut full of the bacteria you want, not of what you don’t. BioCleanse works along side to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract. Keeping it regular people!

“Be Trustworthy. Be Honest. Be reliable. Be responsible.”

These are the core company beliefs of Plexus … beliefs I can get behind. There are things as mommas we cannot control. We cannot control the exhaustion that comes from children who have a rough night sleeping. We still have to carry on. We cannot control days where dealing with disobedience and meltdowns drains us of all emotional energy. I know I’m not alone in wanting to crawl in a hole some days. I know I’m not alone in wanting to take hold of what is in my control. If  your troubles look like mine lets do something about it. Join me. Here’s me Plexus page. I am just starting on my journey but am encouraged. Please feel free to comment here on the blog or my Facebook page, here. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you my journey. I will also be writing more about the products Plexus carries and why they have been so helpful.

I know its Monday but we’ve got this! Love you my fellow mommas!

As Good As It Gets 

This isn’t a long or well calculated post but more of a: we made it through Saturday *sigh* sort of post. 

This is my kitchen in real time. My dishwasher may revolt or need a good nights rest, but I am so thankful for it. It was a three cycle sort of day. I haven’t been caught up on dishes since our daughter got sick last month. Alas today I only have two skillets, one plate, a fork, and my large water container left to wash. 

I could hand wash them right now but I think I’ll go finish Princess Bride instead. Good night dear readers. Happy rest of your Saturday from this tired momma! 

When you Feel like the Venus of Willendorf Here’s Three Steps

“I feel like the Venus of Willendorf”
“The what?”
“The Venus of Willendorf”
“What on earth is that?”
“Google it”

I thought about including the image but that would take away from the hype and fun of you discovering the Venus, for the first time, in all her google glory. If you already know what this art history nut is talking about we can cringe or share a sorroful chuckle together. The conversation above happened between my husband and me well over a year ago when our second daughter Sophia was a month old. I weighed less with my second pregnancy, but had shockingly less muscle mass. I really struggled to get back in shape, and to be honest, I still am. 

There are lots of post-pregnancy things people don’t warn you about that realists like me wish they would. No one warns you that you’ll feel like you have elephant skin where your tummy used to be.  The baby does’t arrive and make all well with what’s been happening to your stomach for nine months. The baby comes and joyfully distracts you. After your elephant skin has been around for a few weeks post delivery, and especially if you’re nursing, which could be a post all in itself, it’s easy to feel like the Venus of Willendorf. 

Ladies despite how its coming off, this post is meant to encourage, so bear with me. As Jim Gaffigan says:

“… truly, women are amazing. Think about it this way: a woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to the male’s contribution to life, it’s kind of embarrassing, really.” 

― Jim Gaffigan, Dad Is Fat

Ladies when we have a baby whether its via cesarian, in a hospital, at home, with drugs or without, its amazing. Life is amazing and how our bodies were designed is amazing. There will be times when the majority of us will have Venus of Willendorf moments. The tummy is weird and the chest is in rare form but look at the reward. Children are a gift from the Lord and I’m sure you wouldn’t trade them (most days) for perfectly chiseled abs. 

As a person who has struggled for years with image and weight I understand. In moments where its tempting to stay in the sweats and the spit up t-shirt, fight for these three steps. Fight to get out of the rut. My mum does this well and I’m slowly catching on. Wink wink. 

  1. Freshen the makeup. Lift the lashes, conceal those under-eye, i’ve had no sleep, circles, blush the cheeks and pop on some lip gloss. Eyeliner and eyeshadow take me too long but if you can manage knock your socks off.  
  2. Rock a quick, messy bun, pony, or side braid. Everytime I see dry shampoo in the hair products aisle I chuckle. I’m a mom. The look people try to achieve with the dry shampoo I can achieve easily because sometimes getting a shower is harder than finding a three-legged ballerina, as John Candy would say. 
  3. Wear something that makes you feel pretty. We are not so expectedly expecting baby number three, and I still feel like I’m working off baby number two. Discouragement in the wardrobe department can be a daily reality. I recently traded several quarts of homemade ice cream for a kimono from the lovely lady behind The Firebrand Apparel. Colleen works magic with her fabric choices and does it all surrounded by two busy, sweet little boys. I know she’s had the same effect on other gals, but my kimono from her is the one thing that makes me feel pretty. I can wear it with almost anything, it flows beautifully, and it’s fuss-free.  Check out her site and get one ordered. You’ll be glad you did.   

There are days when you feel like you’re chained to the couch nursing a baby, or that your yoga pants are your only friend,  or you can’t remember when you last showered … you can make your own list but, I call these my Venus of Willendorf days. Take a moment. Take a breath. Freshen the makeup, rock a quick updo, and find that go-to look in your wardrobe that makes you feel pretty. You can face the day with new energy. Although your surroundings will likely go unchanged, you are blessed and your outlook just might be a bit brighter. 

Happy Venus of Willendorf Day Slaying!

    “I Hate Waiting”

    This post could also appropriately be titled The Never Ending Virus. This morning was the first time in five weeks that I was able to be a part of the worship and teaching service at our church. I cried through most of the songs and even though Sophia was not well enough to be in nursery we were at church and my lap view looked something like this … Precious. 

      

    I wish she could have been toodling around with her precious brood of friends in the nursery, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been so thankful to be at church. The body of Christ truly is or should be balm for the soul. As many of you know our Sophia has had a wicked virus for the past month which lead to over two pounds of weight loss, three weeks of throwing up and many trips to the doctors office. My children have never had pink eye, ear infections, strep, etc., but they sure know how to claim the viral illnesses. I often wish there was something they could take to make the misery go away but with viruses all you can do is wait. 

    “I hate waiting”

    … as a brilliant Spaniard once said. If you don’t know of which movie I speak I’ll get over it eventually. I think The Princess Bride has a brilliant quote for almost every life situation. If you haven’t seen it please do yourself a favor and do so. And don’t rent it – just buy it. It’s a classic. The book is pretty fabulous too if you need a novel adventure. 

    Sorry for the aside but waiting can often be discouraging. Sophia’s virus was so wearing. One of the most difficult things in parenting is watching your children be sick, knowing there’s very little you can do to help. This morning as she slept through church, with still a touch of fever, I was wondering what God was up to. Nothing surprises Him. He allowed her to be sick. Why? Someday I’ll know but for now I am trusting that He is at work trying to draw me near or further urging me to trust Him. Right now I am simply praising Him for this small respit and a chance to be outside our apartment, amongst people I love and treasure. I am thankful our eldest daughter is playing with her friends, whom she has missed so dearly. She has had her moments/afternoons/nights of trouble but her compassion towards her sister and her patience with having to be cooped up, due to Sophia’s illness, has been extraordinary. 

    As I write this I cannot help but think of a similar season of sickness we endured with our oldest, Izzy. She was not even a year when she got a virus that attacked her digestive system. There are certain verses I couldn’t get out of my head if I tried. II Corinthians 12:8 is one of those. 

    “… My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

    At least in the English translation I have, Paul uses the present tense here. If my hubby weren’t in the midst of finals I would ask him for help with the Greek but God’s grace “Is sufficient.” It’s not past tense. It doesn’t have an end date. It is ever present, ever available, and ever sufficient! My days look very different than the apostle Paul’s but we have Christ in common. Everyone who puts their hope and trust in the Lord has this promise. When we are weak He is strong. Have you trusted Him? I am always weak. On days when my heart reeks of things that are not pleasing . . . on days where I am not patient, loving, and kind to my husband and my daughters . . . I need the Lord and am thankful for His grace and forgiveness.  There have been many days of exhaustion, grumpiness and easy irritability recently, but praise God for forgiveness and the grace to endure.  

    What I did not know when I started writing this post is that Sophia’s string of illness would last six weeks. She ended up getting type B flu as well due to her immune system being so compromised. I know there are parents who endure months, seasons, years with sick children, and this gave me a small glimpse into what their lives are like. I cannot imagine the emotional and physical strain. Sophia’s illness made me think more purposefully about my surroundings and I would encourage y’all to do so as well. How can we serve and love our neighbors well? There is never a shortage of people who need help, encouragement, a meal, a loaf of fresh bread, a hand around the house, a break from their normal … the list is endless. Look around you this week and find a way to serve someone. I guarantee it will not be hard. 

       

    Here are two of my more recent favorite pictures. Glad to see a healthy Sophia and some joy in the eyes of my girls!

      
    Love y’all!