Archive for the Parenting Category


Welcome To The New Year!

Posted by Jen in Health Nuts, Parenting |
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Yep – I’m back…for today, at least.

It has been a BUSY couple of months – the holidays always take up so much time, but things are slowing down a bit.  Or rather, I am learning to slow down a bit.  I have been doing so much reading about mindfulness and meditation and living in the moment…it sounds hokey, I guess, but it has made such a difference in my life.  I never realized how much time I actually spent thinking about the future or reviewing the past…and how much that actually affected my daily mood.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

I have learned so much that I actually don’t know where to start, but one of my biggest changes is to no longer be bothered when someone “innocently inconveniences” me.  This includes the slow driver in front of me, the new checkout girl who is taking too long, the guy who connects me to the wrong number when I call for technical support, etc.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I threw a hissy fit when that happened, but it would definitely cause some irritation and I was tired of feeling irritated.  Acceptance and peacefulness sure feels a lot better and definitely feels a lot more natural to me.  I used to be such a tolerant person,  but found that I have become impatient and ill-at-ease over the past few years.  It was definitely time for a different outlook.  :)

So, everything else is going fairly well in my life. Here’s the quick summary:

1 – I have my temporary job starting in 2 weeks.  The money from that should pay for at least one of my college courses.  I’ll only have 2 more classes to go after that.

2 – I started physical therapy last week for my neck and back.  They haven’t been feeling right since the mono last year.  I had some x-rays done and they showed a compression fracture in the middle of my back. I actually have no idea where that came from actually…the middle back only started hurting about a month ago.  I fell on my stairs about 4 years ago, so maybe it finally started hurting now?  I don’t know.  I also have muscle spasms in my neck and some osteoarthritis in my lower back and neck.  Ack!  I feel old.

3 – Meghan was taken to a natural homeopath last week.  She was still struggling with severe, but intermittent stomach pains.  It was determined that she is dealing with systemic yeast (Candida) overgrowth.  Normally the body can keep the yeast levels under control, but Meg was on birth control last year for a few months for her ovarian cyst and then she was put on 3 rounds of antibiotics for her sinus infection this fall.  That pretty much killed all the good bacteria in her system.  She also eats a lot of simple carbs and sugars, which is what the yeast feeds on.

So, how is it being treated?

Well, she’s been put on a yeast-free/sugar-free diet for the next 6 weeks.  Sugar-free also includes artificial sweeteners.  The only sweetener she can have is Stevia or xylitol.  I haven’t tried the xylitol, but Stevia can be a little bitter.  She’s having a rough time getting used to it.  Unfortunately for her I am quite a lousy cook and haven’t had a lot of luck making her meals for her.  My veggie soup came out way too salty.  My french toast tasted like cardboard and my spaghetti squash meal was gooey and gross.  :-(

At the rate we’re going, she’s going to starve before these 6 weeks are finally over.  LOL

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV, Happy Holidays, Parenting, Spiritual Life |
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I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here already!  I’m so very very VERY excited.  This is my favorite time of the year.  Thanksgiving is just the beginning…then we have the entire Christmas season to look forward to.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas trees, Christmas Carols, twinkly lights, mall Santas, Salvation Army bell ringers, eggnog, very special Christmas episodes on our favorite TV shows, Advent calendars, presents, family visits, snow (hopefully!), decorations…wheeee!  There is no other time of the year like this one.

Last year we didn’t get our Christmas decorations up until the middle of December.  That bummed me out so much that I made us keep them up until the end of January to make up for the late start.  :)   This year, though, we started early. November 21st was our decorating day and the house looks beeeeaaaauuutiful!  (I’m hyper-excited, can’t you tell?)

As for the rest of life – it’s all going so well.  The college savings fund is growing at a slow, but steady pace.  My new interest in tapping into my creative side has been a lot of fun.  I’m currently playing around with scrapbooking and some creative writing.  I don’t have much drawing talent, but scrapbooking is kind of like doing a web layout on paper.  I don’t really have to draw anything – thank goodness!  Digital scrapbooking is fun, too.  I am using a program by Serif, called Digital Scrapbook Artist.  It’s a really fun and addicting with a ton of free designs to use.  The creative writing…well, I’ve actually read a lot of books on writing and journaling recently, but I haven’t actually spent too much time doing the actual writing.  This is typical of me though.  I spend weeks and months preparing for a task before I actually do it.  :D   I’m getting there…

Meghan is feeling so much better these days.  The doctor finally determined that she was probably suffering from a flare-up of her previous sinus infection.  That is why she was getting daily headaches and low-grade fevers.  Her previous antibiotic didn’t quite clear it up and it was getting progressively worse during the past 2 months.  Her energy is back now and she doesn’t seem to feel quite as miserable as she did a few weeks ago.  Hopefully, this is the beginning of a positive upswing.

Speaking of positive…I have also been reading some pretty interesting books, which have been giving me a much more productive and positive view on life.  It kind of started with one of Judith Orloff’s books about positive energy. That led me to some books on living “in the now” (Zen-type books) and then I switched over to Steve Covey’s books (The 7 Secrets of Highly Effective People) and ended up reading a little bit of Bruce Lipton and finally moved on to Wayne Dyer.  His books focus on positive affirmations, higher energy living, service to others, etc.  I’m kind of taking a bit of everything and filling in the gaps with some of the beliefs – including the Christian beliefs from my childhood – and the habits which have worked for me in the past.  The final result is…well, I’m not sure yet.  I’m definitely a lot less worried these days and I feel a lot more centered and enthusiastic about all the little twists and turns my life is taking.  I no longer see my problems as “problems”…they are “projects.”   I forgot where I read that, but for some reason that really stuck with me.  Labeling them like that can put a positive spin on those situations which normally cause us stress.

So – all in all, it’s been a good couple of weeks here.  I cannot wait to enjoy the rest of this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy your holiday! :-D

Flu and Cold Season Has Arrived

Posted by Jen in Health Nuts, Parenting |
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Well, I tried my best.  I bought a triple package of Purell and a bunch of those sanitizing sprays.  I washed my hands every day.  I sprayed my hands with a sanitizer after leaving a store.  I made sure Meghan did the same.  But, here we are sniffling and exhausted and headachy and obviously fighting some type of cold.  I live in a house with 3 other people who I know aren’t as diligent as I am about illness prevention and I am sure that has a lot to do with the fact that we are sick.
The question of the day, of course:  “Is it the H1N1 virus (a.k.a swine flu)?”  I don’t think so.  We don’t have it yet, at least.  None of us seem to have a fever, except for Meghan, who is only registering a slight one, at that.  Our throats are only intermittently scratchy and the biggest complaint is really our stuffy noses.  I’m just bummed because I really thought I was going to be one of the few who didn’t get sick at all this season.
So, she was sent home today from the nurse’s office with a slight fever and I’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.  September isn’t even over yet and I think she has been absent 6 days so far.   The first two days were for my grandmother’s funeral, but the rest were from illness.  This is going to be another interesting year.

Making Time for Online

Posted by Jen in Blogging, Parenting |
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Well, I’m getting there.  I’ve been playing around with this blog and trying to find as many little applications and widgets that will make my online life go a little easier.  As much as I love working on the computer, I really don’t want to spend my entire day on here.  Aside from this, I still have some college classes to finish and I am doing a little bit of job hunting on the side.  Additionally, I’m dealing with my daughter’s health, which has been a little funky lately.  I’m not quite sure what is gong on with her, but her doctor said it’s possible that her mono has reactivated.
That would seriously stink.

The poor girl just started back to school and might find herself homebound again with another illness.
She’s been out the past two days with severe weakness and muscle aches.  There’s no fever, but her throat is a little scratchy.  Swine flu was casually mentioned, but the doctor said she’ll wait until Monday to see if the symptoms improve before she actually runs some blood work.
The school system is so cranky when it comes to missed school days and I’m already stressing from the fact that she has missed 4 days in the past 2 weeks.  What can you do, though, right?  Her health is so much more important than the school getting upset over a few absences.
I do hate it when she is sick, though.  I truly think that is one a mother’s greatest burdens.  Seeing our children hurt, sick, upset…etc…it’s such a nightmare sometimes.

My daughter, the Minuto

Posted by Jen in Parenting |
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Well, tonight was the final night of Meg’s middle school drama performance in the Adventures of a Comic Book Artist. She played the role of a Minuto – one of the evil minions to the villain, Doctor Shock Clock. This was a much bigger role than she had in the play last year and she is asking to take some acting classes Read the rest of this entry »

Sports injury

Posted by Jen in Parenting |
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This is Meghan’s third year in baseball and I was really really looking forward to the season starting. I love going to practices and watching her games – it’s a lot of fun. This year, however, she has moved up to the next level which is proving to be much more difficult than the earlier years she has played.
The rules are a little different this year, the quality of players is much higher than last year and Meg really wants to work as hard as she can to be as good at the boys on her team.
Unfortunately, yesterday, she was practicing sliding with her team and ended up injuring her back. I could be wrong but I think that the reason was that they were sliding on grass…not on the usual dirt field. Her foot stopped suddenly in the grass, but the rest of her body twisted and she pulled a muscle in her back.
She screamed out so loudly and at first we didn’t even know what had happened. Well, I put ice on it all last night, but the minute she put her backpack on this morning, her back hurt again.
I may be a wimp, but I am really worried about her playing this year. She is afraid to try sliding again and unfortunately, sliding is mandatory if you are running from third base to home.
I’d hate for her to miss this season, but I really don’t want her to injure herself even more.
She’s tough, though…and I think if she heals from this she should be able to play fine the rest of the season. Hopefully her team won’t play well enough and she will never have to slide into home base. lol
How parents with more than one child stay sane, I will never know. I worry and fret over the safety and happiness of one daughter, I don’t know how I could do that with more than one child.