Friday, July 2, 2010

The Successful Woman??

A friend I know was commenting the other day on how much she wanted to be like a mutual friend who went to school, worked, and raised her children all at the same time. She thought that was so cool to be able to "do it all." Another woman I know is currently working a high stress job, starting her own additional business, teaching college classes, and raising her kids. When she talked to me about it, she said she was doing it all to have a nice retirement in the end.

Now I will probably offend some by saying this, but this is what a blog is for, right? To give my opinions? So here goes. As much as we like to think these two examples are the women we want to be, why are we trying to be like this? Aren't we overworking ourselves, compromising our health, our happiness, and our families?

More importantly, in my opinion, who says that this is the definition of "doing it all?" For me, this meant working and taking care of my daughter. I was not taking care of myself, my marriage, my home, and my beloved pets. Even my car suffered with the lack of oil changes and tire rotations because I just didn't have the time. This is not doing it all. This is doing the bare minimum to keep my head above water so that I can bring home a supplemental income. This is what I went to college for and got my Master's degree for. This is what was expected of me.

I think what got to me most in the two examples I gave was that these two women who were doing it all were lacking one major success: their contentment. I know them personally. The first woman has a roommate for a husband and two grown kids who are unable to support themselves financially. The second woman is unhappy and lonely, but adds on other projects to fill a void that she doesn't know is there. On the flip side, I know many many women who should be in the workforce and they are better moms because of it. I have a friend who would probably be at home depressed eating bon-bons if she wasn't working, and that is not good for her child!

Now a-days for me personally, I feel that "doing it all" means to improve my wellness in all forms, spiritually, physically, and mentally. It means to give my husband the time he deserves with the woman he chose to spend the rest of his life with. It means to make sure my daughter gets all my love that I can possibly give, even at the end of the day when we are both tired. And the same goes to my pets as well. I adopted them for a reason, and that wasn't to just sit around a house bored and lonely all day. This is what doing it all means to me.

Every woman is different, isn't that what we teach? So why are we all trying to be the same? So I say, enjoy your life as you are right now, not when retirement comes. Enjoy your children while you can and spend time with them, because that alone can mean success or failure in their adult lives. Whether you are working outside or inside the home, it doesn't matter. Success and "doing it all" depend only on your perspective!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Whole Foods Rocks!

It's July 1st, and I have my windows open! Yay! That's about the biggest thing that has happened to me today. It's been gorgeous outside, and we have enjoyed it by staying home and relaxing. I pulled some weeds, did some laundry, and that's 'bout it so far!

For those who are reading for the first time, I am gluten free now. I'm trying to find recipes that are edible and healthy at the same time that contain different flours in them. I decided to trek it up to Whole Foods (about 40 minutes away, so it's not that bad) to see what they had.

Whole Foods officially rocks my world. Not only did they have every flour I had on my list to try, they had so much more. Most of the brand-name items were cheaper there than at my local grocery store. For example, Whole Foods had Envirokids cereals for 2.89 a box, whereas my grocer sells this same item for 3.99 a box. Food for Life brown rice bread was 3.49 at Whole Foods, and my grocer has it for 4.79. This list continues for many of the items I buy. Plus, they sell so many local items, including local honey. I have been on the search for local honey for a while now to help with my allergies, and I can't seem to find it anywhere, not even the farmer's market. So I was pretty pumped when I found this.

I know, I am just now discovering something that everyone already knows about. Kind of like someone watching Toy Story 1 for the first time. What, you mean you've never seen it?! :-) I think I am still getting used to living in a suburb of a big city. Back in my small town life, we didn't have Whole Foods, or any other specialty store for that matter. We were lucky to get an extra blinking-only-red stop light. So, yes, I may be a bit sheltered.

I can't wait to go to Whole Foods again! I'm going to be stocking up on many things. And they have online coupons too. Yay!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Breaks My Heart?

Don't you ever feel like you need to do something? I'm not talking about the times when the baby is taking a nap, and you are relaxing, thinking, "I should really wash the dishes and scrub the toilet." No, I'm talking about doing something. Something big. Radical. Don't you wish sometimes that you could make a difference in this word that affects tons of people for good?

I do. I want to serve. No. I need to serve. Every fiber in my being is aching to do something, to be a part of something big. I find it so difficult to accomplish this on my own. I have Short Stack's schedule, my dear hubby's agenda, and just "stuff" that needs to get done. If I focus on the hassle of the day, I will never be able to achieve any more than that hassle.

I want to do something that the rest of the world thinks is crazy. I guess I kind of did that with quitting my good paying job to stay at home with Short Stack. But I don't think that's so crazy.

I have so many ideas and thoughts that pop into my head that I can do to serve others. I am like a horse that has yet to be broken. Wild horses have all this power and talent, yet all they can do is run and kick and buck and destroy the corral. When the horse is broken, the horse can channel that power into something useful and with purpose. I have all this power and talent, but I'm running and kicking everywhere because I have not been broken.

The band, Switchfoot, has a song called "Yet." In it, they say, "if it doesn't break your heart it's not enough. It's when you're breaking down with your insides coming out, that's when you find out what your heart is made of."

What breaks my heart? I have so many things, I feel like I have too much compassion sometimes. But if I can find that one thing that stands out above the rest, maybe, just maybe I can channel my talents into something useful and with purpose that can truly change a part of this world.

Maybe I will think more about this as I am doing the dishes and scrubbing the toilet. :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Joys of Swimming

Well, I decided to go for it this year and buy a swim diaper that was pretty pricey online because of the brand. I liked the swimsuit my little Short Stack had last year, so I went with the same kind. I bought an Iplay one piece swimsuit that has a built in reusable diaper. Unfortunately, even though my tastes have not changed, Short Stack's has changed. Ugh.

My daughter is TERRIFIED of water. It is a life or death situation with her. Last year, she had fun. I wouldn't say she was confident, but she enjoyed herself. This year we are having to re-teach her, which I expected. I did not expect the shear terror that filled her eyes when she saw other people happily jumping in the water or when she saw mommy dunk her head under and swim the breast stroke. My bad, didn't realize that was going to cause a meltdown.

Thankfully, we are improving by leaps and bounds. This past weekend, we took her to our church's weekly high school gathering at a pool, and she watched everyone else having a blast, and she decided it was time to put away her fear and go for it. I was so proud of her! She let mommy take her away from the steps and side of the pool. She even put her face in the water a couple of times. Not only that, but she wanted to jump off the side of the pool like the big kids! That was a MAJOR accomplishment. She is still leery and doesn't want to get her head wet, but the shear terror is not there anymore, and she asks to go to the pool now.

As a result of her early terror, her swimsuit is no longer an option. Every time she saw the yellow one piece death trap, she cried. Now she only wants to swim with her diaper. All of my diapers are PUL, so I don't want to use them too much because of the damage the chlorine can do to the fabric.

So, instead of buying a new swim diaper or buying disposable swim diapers, I've decided I'm going to use an old diaper cover that I hate. I have a few hook and loop diaper covers that aren't in good enough shape to resell that I don't think I will use again. After all, swim diapers don't hold in the pee, only the poo. And a diaper cover will do the same thing, right? That is my rationale.

Of course, as soon as Short Stack realizes the water is not an evil baby devouring dragon, the weather gets cool. I love the irony!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Can Rag Curls Help Kick Her Habit?

Happy Monday to you all! My day has been so blessed so far. I am having so much fun staying at home, it's scary! I thought I would share today my little project I have with my daughter and her annoying and painful habit of hair twirling. :-)

So, Short Stack, as we like to call her, doesn't suck her thumb, she doesn't use a pacifier, and she isn't really attached to any one toy. What she is attached to is her hair! Morning, noon, and night, she will twirl her hair around her thumb. She does this much more when she is tired, but she also does it when she's bored, riding in a car, shy, and especially right before she goes to bed and when she wakes up in the morning. She will be awake for a half hour and not tell me, but she will be wrapping that hair around her thumb the entire time.

Now, you can imagine what this does to her hair. I wish I had a picture of the knots that she puts into it. It drives me crazy! Some mornings I will come into her room to find hair all over her crib. I know I'm not supposed to diagnosis myself or family members, but I have to admit, I did get a fear that she was developing trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling that results in hair loss). She doesn't pull out her hair on purpose, though. What happens is she gets her thumb stuck in her hair and rips out her thumb.

I have been trying to find a solution. When she's awake, it isn't too bad, because she responds to my gentle redirection. But when I'm not around, that thumb starts working overtime! I seriously considered dreds for a split second. But, being as I have never done this before, and I love her flowing locks of mousy brown, I thought twice. I tried to braid it before bedtime, but the hair around her forehead came out before she even laid down, and that part of the head is the biggest victim of the perpetrating thumb.

So, I thought I would try rag curls. She can sleep in the rags without it bugging her too much. And with the hair tied up in the rags, it should protect the hair. Yesterday I cut an old T-shirt into strips of about 1 1/2 inches by 5 inches. Then I rolled up small portions of her hair into each strip and tied them in a knot. She looked like she belonged in Little House on the Prairie! It was cute. She was curious about them, but didn't react as much as I thought. During our bedtime story, she tried twirling, but ended up twirling the rag instead. She did pull on a rag in front a few times, and I wonder if it was because it was too close to her face.

This morning when I came into her room, she was able to get that one rag closest to her face pulled out. But I could tell she had just did it because of the amount of the curl in her hair, and it was not in a knot. It worked for the first night! And her hair is CUTE. I tried to get a pic of it right out of the rags on my phone, so these pics might not be the best. This was before I even combed the curls out with my fingers. Hopefully it will work for a while until that thumb is put into his place!! Ha ha!