Archives for category: parenthood

I have decided to get a little more personal with this post. I want to talk about my experience with birth control pills. I feel I have to write about this because of the experience I went through on them. It has been nagging at me a little bit. I want to talk about it in order to let other people know that this does happen.

I have always been against using contraceptive pills. I have pretty much felt that way my entire life. The side effects really scared me! I have always struggled with irregular periods. I think it was part of the reason we had trouble conceiving. Once my period began again about 10 months after giving birth, suddenly I was like clockwork. For over a year! It was wonderful. This Dec/Jan/Feb it got funky again. I actually skipped all of January! I decided to seek the help of my OB, since I had gotten used to the new way. She had pushed birth control on me in the past. Any time I had an issue with anything, that was her one and only answer. Sigh. This time, at my witts end, I decided to give it a try. She swore there were no side effects and it was going to magically fix me. She was dead wrong.

I gave it a shot for 4 months. I wasted 4 months of my life. I feel like I literally lost 4 months of my life.

Here is a list of side effects I experienced:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Moodiness
  4. Overly emotional
  5. My contacts were irritated constantly. I had to change 2 week contacts nearly daily
  6. Extremely BAD acne. The worst I have ever had in my entire life. I am not exagerating either. It was all over my face, in places I never had a pimple normally.
  7. Listlessness
  8. I was very withdrawn
  9. No sex drive
  10. IRREGULAR PERIODS! I would get my period on the white pills, when I was supposed to get them on the blue/green ones
  11. Bleeding for weeks at a time. It was normal for me to bleed on and off for the last two weeks of the pack.
  12. Loss of self confidence.
  13. Bloating/constipation. I have IBS. I  manage it through a very restricted diet that I never ever stray from. Regardless of this, my symptoms were often exacberated while on the pill.
  14. Zero patience

That list is long. It was awful. I was awful. I felt awful. My poor husband and son. I hate that I am going to write this next part, but it is the truth. I spent all of Mother’s Day crying and feeling sorry for myself. Why? I am not really sure. I wished my husband planned more for me. We didn’t do much. I just was miserable. In general my patience with my 2 year old did not exist. I was short tempered and cranky, every day practically.

I finally got sick of it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I called my Dr. to speak about it. I never got to talk to her. The nurse was the middlewoman. The dr’s only solution: switch me to a different pill. My husband and I researched that pill before I decided to go ahead with it. Some of the possible symptoms were even worse. A lot of people online complained about an even lower sex drive, which my husband was not thrilled with. Not to mention, potential thoughts of SUICIDE! I decided, ultimately, that I wasn’t going to take this anymore. Irregular periods or not. I didn’t want to waste my life being a miserable troll. That is what I certainly felt like while on these pills.

A couple days after I finished up that last pack, I felt like a  new woman. My face has really cleared up. I am still waiting for a couple scars to fade, but minimal new breakouts have occurred. I think today was the worst, and technically, my period is 3 days away from being here. If it is on time according to when it arrived last month. So, that isn’t bad.

I have decided I need a new OB. I also decided to try more Eastern methods of realigning my system. I attended a gong bath last week. I will be going to those once a month. I saw an acupuncturist for the first time yesterday. I will be seeing her weekly. She also started me on some Chinese herbs that support the female system. I use my essential oils as well.

I was never on birth control for the birth control part. It was strictly to regulate my cycle, which it also failed to do. It made early February through late May just awful. I mean, I was even listless while teaching. My master teacher had many talks with me about it. I needed to bring my confidence and personality. I hate writing this part too,  but a few clients said my classes were boring. They thought I knew my stuff, but I was a bore. There is that listlessness. This week, I have felt so much better. I have had SIX energetic classes! With 3 more to go. I feel like a new person, or well my old self. A couple clients who have been taught by me a few times even commented on how much more energy I brought compared to last week. I cannot even imagine what would have happened over time if I had decided to try the new pill. Eventually, I could have lost a teaching position over all of this. My moods were that out of my control.

Life at home is even great. I don’t feel miserable constantly. I love our life. I  have more patience with Jack. Which is needed with a 2 1/2 year old!  My husband and I are back in the swing of things. We will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow. He is an understanding guy for having put up with me. I am very open and honest with him about my feelings, so he knows what I was going through was not in my control. I think we are all a little happier over the past 2 weeks and 1 day. I feel like the wife, mommy, teacher, daughter, and friend I know I am.

I  hate that the only answer was pills, pills, pills, and more pills. The side effects of them are so scary. I am partly mad at myself for giving in and trying this out. I should have stuck to my initial feelings and said thanks but no thanks. I should have researched alternative methods of realigning my system earlier. Maybe I would be 5 months in to acupuncture then. Coulda woulda shoulda. I know from now on I will stick to my gut feeling. I know everyone is different. I am sure some women respond perfectly to the birth control. More power to them. I am not one of those people. I pretty much ticked off every side effect except stroke or heart attack! That is very scary to me. I don’t smoke or live an unhealthy lifestyle and I am younger than 35. But who knows what the future would have held if had continued. I hope that my side effects would have stopped where they left off.

We are all different and we have to do what is best for our personal system. Western medicine can be a wonderful thing. I have had to have surgery before and I am thankful for the Western doctor who did that. Who saved my life. But when it comes to this medical concern, I have found this time around I need to look East and go from there.

Have you had a similar experience with hormonal contraceptives? Have you had a better experience? What did you do if you had a negative one like I had? 

Yesterday I posted about the completion of my Reformer student teaching hours. I did complete them all, plus the 1st session after that finish line! It feels great. With that being said, next week I start teaching regularly. I have 7 classes a week on the schedule for the summer session! I am diving in head first. I have mentioned how my 2 1/2 year old is in an early preschool program. He goes two days a week. I will teach on both of those days. I will also be teaching two classes on Tuesday nights. As well as two classes on Saturday mornings. He is used to me being home with him practically 24/7. I am glad we started school a month or so before this was to take place. But I still will be gone more than usual. I will also have to spend more time preparing for classes and researching things at home. There is also the chance that I will be teaching private clients, which can eat up more hours.

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Monday was our last day of swim lessons. The summer schedule at the Y changes. We cannot do the 2 days a week they offer for his age. One of the days falls on one of my work days/his school day. This means that now Mondays and Thursdays are entirely ours. We have no mommy/me classes. I do not teach during the day or night. I have been pretty busy lately trying to finish up these last handful of hours. I have been gone more than normal. Yesterday I taught during the day and then had to have a sitter watch Jack in the evening because I taught at night and my husband was away at a conference. He saw me for a few hours only. Meaning I also only saw him for a few hours. I found myself really looking forward to today. Today is our day to do what we want. The weather is crappy, so I doubt we will play outside, but it is ours. This is the first time I have thought about days this way. Every day was our day. There was no distinction between our days and away days. I stayed home with him for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. My away time was significantly less than my time with him. It is interesting to be heading into this transition of a working parent. I am not working full time, yet, but it is a huge change from our normal comfort zone. We are creating a new comfort zone.

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Part of me is feeling guilty. When Jack begs me to not go to work. He has started that already and the summer session hasn’t begun! I am truthful when I say the last couple weeks I have really  been gone a lot more often. So, he is aware of the changes in our lifestyle. I don’t really need to work. I could continue to stay home with him and we are comfortable. However, I want to work. I am ready to start my life up again. One day he will go off to school 5 days a week all day long. He will make friends he wants to play with. He will join sports. He will have practice. He won’t be home as much as he is now. Where will I be when that happens? Now, I will be teaching Pilates. Before? I would have been shell shocked I think. So the other part of me is not as guilty feeling. I have been endlessly devoted to his every whim and need for two and a half years! It is time to foster his independence. It is time to let him socialize with other kids his age, without me around. When I am around, all he wants is me. I see the photos of him playing with his little friends during the day and I just beam. He is very clingy if I am around. Seeing him blossom and learning to interact with other children makes me so happy! He needs his space at times, as much as I do!

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So next week some big changes are coming to our home. They will be good I think. Life will be a little different. That is not a bad thing. We are evolving as a family. We are moving forward. We are taking on new challenges. Conquering new goals and accomplishments. I am excited. I am also looking forward to Mondays and Thursdays. Time to just be with my little man. Maybe we will have grand adventures some days. And other days maybe we will just be lazy and cuddle and bum around all day. Those are our days to do what we want together!

Yesterday I did something I really try to avoid at all costs these days. I got into a bit of  a Facebook debate. Sigh, I hate getting sucked into that world. It is really a waste of time. I just couldn’t resist though. I felt this person was out of line. The status said that nobody cares about your child’s photos and in fact probably resents you for posting them. That was the gist of it. It was a bit longer of a post but I will just summarize  I disagree wholeheartedly. I had to say something. I personally LOVE when other people post photos of their families, babies, kids, events, etc. I really do. I love seeing what people are up to. I also love sharing what we are up to. I usually post daily. If someone resents me for that, well I believe that is on them, not me.

There is nothing wrong with loving your family and wanting to share your life with the people you know. Some of our family live far away. My sister in law, due with baby number two in late June, lives in South Carolina. We stay in touch easily on Facebook  My in laws, husband’s parents, live about 3 hours away. We don’t see them as often as we see my family. So they stay in touch with Jack’s daily activities via Facebook. I even have a cousin that lives in NY that is a mommy of two. Her and I stay in touch on Facebook. We were never close in person much because we are more distant cousins, but we do have this mommy bond now and we both enjoy seeing what our toddlers are doing. We share our stories, experiences, and questions.  THAT is what Facebook is for! It is one of the most wholesome ways to use that social network. I have seen a lot worse posted.

It just really grinds my gears that someone complains about cute kids. Children are the best thing in the world. They are innocent and they have the whole world in front of them. I LOVE kids. I always have. I just don’t see how you can resent someone for being a good parent who loves to be with and share their child’s life. If you do, well, like I said earlier, that is on you and NOT me. I only left two comments. I stopped myself after that. I said what I had to say. Chances are, I won’t change anyone’s mind who feels that way. Which I noticed, were all people that do not have children of their own. So, I would say to that, they don’t understand what it is like to be a parent. My son is the best thing I have done with my life. Everything I do is for him. I rarely complain about tough days with him on Facebook. I tend to only post positive things. I would say that happy posts and a goofy photo about my child is better than bitching about how much I hate being a mother. I see that a lot on there too. I don’t tell other people what they can and cannot post. I can’t stand it when people police Facebook. There is a lot on there that I see that I think “Really??? You’re posting that?” or “come on, life isn’t THAT bad” I don’t tell them they shouldn’t post those things. I just roll my eyes and scroll on down. Isn’t that what most people do? But I suppose, if I don’t want people telling me what to post I cannot tell them to not post a post telling me what not to post! HA! Talk about a tongue twister.

Anyway, I won’t be stopping posting about my pride and joy. I worked hard to make him, it took a while. Then I worked hard to grow him and birth him. And since the day he left my body I have busted my ass to take care of and love him. Every.single.day. Not a day goes by where my world hasn’t mostly if not entirely revolved around him. Even when he is in school, I am thinking about him and things I want to do with him or for him. Also, I just posted two new photos of Jack at school yesterday. :-) Hopefully it doesn’t ruin someone’s Saturday. HA!

And this post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of Jacky.

Swimming with mommy

Swimming with mommy

It finally happened! Last week we closed on our home and moved in the following day. We have been here since Friday. It is lovely. I am so happy it is ridiculous. This has been a lengthy process and both my husband and I feel this tremendous weight that has been lifted. It is truly our dream home. So much so that I find myself not actually wanting to walk out of the door. I could just stay in it all day every day.

Jack has adjusted phenomenally. The first night he woke up once and then fell back asleep without us having to go in there. Since then, nights have been fine. He already calls it home when we pull in the driveway. He has made himself rather comfortable with everything around the house. We have it easy with him. Transitions for him have always been a piece of cake. He just seems to do really well going from one step to the other.

I have my very own Pilates room. I have big plans for it over time. Adding a Reformer, a large mirror, and maybe a barre. But for now it is my own little place of solitude and I am content with that.

Workout organization

Workout organization

Pilates Room

Pilates Room

I still have unpacking to do, but we have knocked out a major portion of it. This room below is so peaceful and truly one of my favorite in the house. My mom helped me finish unpacking it this weekend. I also took a trip to Crate and Barrel for extra accent pieces. Even Jack (and our cat as you can see) loves being in this room.

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I have tons of photos of the home already. I won’t bog this post down with them though. That is what my personal facebook has been for. I am just so excited and in love I can barely contain myself from posting things constantly. I didn’t write about the whole experience but it was quite an ordeal. When your attorney tells you this is the most complicated home sale he has ever done, you know that things are crazy! Our attorney isn’t 27 or anything either. He could be our parent. So, being closed, done, and homeowners of our total dream home feels amazing. It makes us both so happy. It has reduced so much stress in our daily lives. I don’t even think I realized HOW much this had been stressing us both out. Now we can enjoy our home, our little family, and our lives together for many many MANY years here.

 

I have a ton to write about. I have a ton of updates in my life. Our internet has been screwy. One reason I cannot wait to move. There is not much you can do about that when you are renting. When you own, well my husband can hunt and hunt until he finds the problem. He thinks the issue is at the source of the connection. I have my iPad and iPhone, but I don’t like trying to write out a post on those. I do not type quite as quickly as I do on a good old fashioned keyboard.

So what has been going on?

My obsession with the Wunda Chair grows each day. This morning, I cannot recall the last time I took a day off of working out. I think that means I should skip today. We shall see.

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Jack started preschool last week! TWO days a week. It was a crazy feeling. I was so excited for him to learn. I was a bit excited to have some time to get things done. I was sad that he is growing. I felt so guilty. My guilt increased when he cried both mornings and begged me not to leave him. BUT both days, after I left, he calmed down and had a great time. Both days when I picked him up he said “GREAT DAY!” On the first day, I bawled when I got into the parking lot and on the phone with my husband. I felt so awful seeing him so upset. I have been feeling VERY guilty for sending him in the first place. I feel like a crap mom.

I have been a stay at home mom for going on 2 1/2 years. I dedicate myself entirely to this boy. Now that I am ready to embark on my career (I even have SIX classes on the summer schedule), I needed to find some time during the day to work. As parents, we decided together Jack was ready for socialization with his peers, so we picked an early preschool program instead of an in home nanny. Yet, I still feel like I am doing him a disservice because for a couple hours a week I let him go learn and play with others. I know it makes no sense, but it is how I feel. It does help to hear about his day through him when I pick him up. He even made me a Mother’s Day gift at school! It was the best gift ever! This school gives us daily updates, emails, photos, and progress reports. Even what times his diaper was changed, how he ate, how his mood was. It keeps me involved without actually being there. Jack is super attached to me. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I still had to change every single diaper because he flips out if I am around and my husband tries to do it. He is a momma’s boy. So this has been a transition for the both of us. I think it will prove to be great, I already see sparkles of that after 2 days. It is just a matter of me getting my irrational guilt in check.

Check out some photos from his first 2 days!

Jacky's very 1st day!

Jacky’s very 1st day!

 

Cooking some food on his 1st day

Cooking some food on his 1st day

 

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After his 1st day was over. Too cool for school ;-)

 

Making some art on his 2nd day

Making some art on his 2nd day

 

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My Mother’s Day gift!

We close on our new home on Thursday. Yes, as in 3 days from this post! That has been a big contributor to the insanity in our lives. We are swamped. Plus our landlord has listed our current place for rent, so we have had showings. While packing I also have to keep the house pristine and in showing conditions! Last week we stopped by the house for some quotes on some repairs on the pool.

We took some time to take a couple photos of the new place. We are so excited for this adventure to come to a close (pun intended) this week.

In our backyard

In our backyard

 

Making himself at home by our pool

Making himself at home by our pool

The only reason I have time to write all of this today is because I am taking a day off of working out. I do have to take Jack to swim lessons this morning. Tonight I am teaching 2 Reformer classes. I have to prep a bit for those, even though I am pretty sure I know what I am doing anyway. I should clean up the living room too because it is a disaster after a Mother’s Day lego session yesterday. This was my 3rd Mother’s Day. It feels crazy to say that! I can’t believe I have 3 under my belt already!

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

This might be the last post for a while. We plan to move everything Friday if we can. Which means we will probably have our first somewhat settled night in the house on Saturday. AH! Craziness. June is going to be nuts for us. We always have a lot to do. Our wedding anniversary, my husband always has a conference in the beginning of June so he is gone for a few days, plus there are always tons of family parties and/or weddings. My summer session begins June 9th. I will try to update though, especially about the new pad.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope Mother’s Day was great!

 

I took a huge ginormous step this week. On Wednesday I went on a tour of a preschool for my 2 year old son. We have an appointment with another school today. Jack and I are pretty inseparable. We have been since he was conceived. He was literally attached to me the entire first year of his life via nursing. I was unsuccessful at pumping. So I was his only source of milk. I still have to do everything for him. He even insists I feed him his meals. He can feed himself, but he begs “mommy do please.” I have to change his diapers, dress him, bathe him, wash his hands, prepare his meals. He doesn’t like anyone else, even my husband, doing these things. At times, it can be exhausting. Especially since I am a stay at home mom. I have only been teaching early on Saturday mornings. Jack is usually still asleep for most of the time I am gone. photo

I am ready to branch out and work on my career a bit more. It took me two months to actually go in for the first tour. I contacted them in February. It is tough for me to let go. I know that eventually I have to. Or one day he will legally have to be in school for 8 hours a day and I will be sitting around twirling my thumbs wondering “what now?” I don’t want to be doing that. I am filled with guilt though. I feel so guilty for sending him to school. That is entirely irrational, I know. I am not dumping him somewhere just to get me time. I am sending him to a school with a curriculum and educators. For 5 or less hours 2 times a week. That is 10 hours out of 168 hours in a week. It is really not that much at all.

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The tour went really well. Jack was shy whenever we were in the office. The moment we stepped in the classroom he hopped out of my arms. He went off and started playing with toys and other children! He doesn’t even do that at our gymnastics class! We have been going there since summer. He will run off to play with things, but not with the other kids. He barely interacts with the other kids at gymnastics. He does NOT like the teachers touching him at gymnastics. He screams “mommy do” and flips out. He constantly wants me by him. On Wednesday, he didn’t even look for me for several minutes. He was on the other side of the room playing with a little girl. He didn’t want to leave when it was time for us to be on our way. It helped me to feel excited that he will have this opportunity. I still feel awfully guilty, but his excitement proved to me that he does need time with his peers in a classroom setting. We will see how today goes at this other school. They are both located near my work and our soon to be new home. I was referred to the first location through someone I know. The 2nd place is a place my husband found after doing some research.

Gymnastics and swim are so fun. They are much different from the classroom setting though. They are the extracurricular activities. We still have to make our decision on where to send him. We will have to register, get medical paperwork completed, and pick a start date. Nothing is set in stone though. It is looking like he will go to one of the locations. I am not the only one struggling with this ginormous step, my husband is too! We are both picky and a little bit of control freaks with Jack. No wonder the child is pampered and has become “accustomed to a certain lifestyle” ;-)

How did you handle the first school enrollment? Did you feel guilty? Excited? Nervous? Any other emotions? How did the transition go? I am not there yet, so I am curious. I know all kids are different. 

We are a technology family. My husband started his own company when he was 19. Email marketing is his world. Software, computers, technology of any sort is a huge part of his and our lives. So it is no surprise when I say our son has been using an iPad since before he was 1 & 1/2. He is a pro on the iPad and iPhone. He can swipe, scroll, click, and play games better than some adults out there. Some people feel that children shouldn’t be around technology too much. We don’t take that position. Seeing as how our very livelihood is because of technology and the internet, we support him learning about and through it at a young age. Jack is 2, a bit over 25 months to be exact. He speaks in sentences, says please and thank you, can count to 3 and is working on learning to count to 4, he knows many of his colors, he can do puzzles on the iPad, he is great with memory and matching games, and over all he is just bright. At the store the other day in the checkout line he pointed out that the box of his new angry bird toy was blue. He said “the box is blue.” The cashier was blown away and complimented me on how well he speaks. We get that a lot. I am not trying to brag here. I am trying to set up the argument that technology is not a bad thing for young children. We don’t feel that way. For us, the proof is in the pudding. I do spend time going over the apps and games with him to help teach him about each one. I also let him play on his own. We reinforce the themes he learns. We do spend time teaching him as well. The iPad and apps just help us along the way. They are tools. They are also a good way to have some time to get something done around the house or just take a little break yourself. Because in all honesty, sometimes you just need that. It is an all around winner in our book.

I want to share a couple of our favorite apps. When it comes to Jack it has to go without saying, Angry Birds are at the top of his list. He is obsessed with Angry Birds everything. However, those are not the toddler specific apps I am thinking about. They are fun though! We play them together.

mzl.udxltyix.320x480-75 Monkey Preschool Lunchbox 

This app has been on our iPad for about a year. It is overall fantastic. It covers colors, numbers, differences, matching, memory, letters, and fine motor skills. There is a reason why it is says it is the #1 preschool app. Jack loves this app. He gets so excited when he completes each task. He always tells me “did it self!” I started saying “Yay, I am proud of you” Now he will add “Prou of you” After he exclaims he did it himself. The reward stickers are very cute. After a couple rounds of successful games they are taken to a sticker board and get to pick a reward sticker. There are all sorts of different characters, animals, shapes, and items. The puzzle can take some time to learn, but it is great because it really fine tunes those fine motor skills. Sometimes even adults have a hard time getting the puzzle exactly lined up. So when a 2 year old does it, wow! That is skill! The monkey is very cute. He cheers them on each time the are successful at a task. The colors are bright and fun. It is a winner all around. I do not have even one bad thing to say about it. It is our favorite. Jack calls it The Monkey Game.

thmb3_l_trucks Trucks 

Trucks by Duck Duck Moose is another favorite. Jack loves cars and trucks. This app offers 5 different car/truck related activities. Toddlers can get cars dirty and then wash and dry them. They can pick sharp objects to pop a tire, then send the car to the shop to repair the car. There is a dump truck game. They can even sort out trash between compost, recyclables, or trash. There are extra little treats on each screen. You can touch the monkey near the mud pit and he will throw a mudball at the screen! You can touch the shark in the image to the left and he will rock out on the guitar. The instructions are clear and concise. The colors are bright and vibrant. One thing I think is nice is in the garbage truck game the correct can opens up when you hover over it. That is a nice feature because these toddlers are just learning the differences. It would be hard to decide cold turkey which piece belongs in which can. The fact that the only the correct can opens is  setting the toddler up for success in learning the differences correctly. There are multiple Duck Duck Moose apps that we love. I suggest checking all of them out.

p029_1_07  Baby Bubble School for Toddlers

This is a great flashcard type game. If you child loves real bubbles, this provides a nice incentive for learning. They get to pop all the interactive bubbles they want! Jack loves bubbles. We use them a lot. He thinks they are the bees knees. So when we are taking a real bubble break, he has the option to play with more bubbles on  his iPad. This app has 10 categories of items. Everything from toys to upper and lowercase letters! It is an app that can stick around for a while. Jack prefers the toys, fruits, vegetables, and animals right now. As he grows letters and numbers will be available too! There are 3 game modes, learn, play, and explore. It has continuous options. It is great that toddlers can grow with this app.

I am going to stick to these 3 for now. I can always do another post down the road. We have a ton of apps on the iPad. These seem to be the three favorites of Jack. Other than ALL the Angry Birds apps as well. Even Star Wars. He has never even seen the REAL Star Wars! Ha!

We are happy with the supplemental education our iPad provides our toddler. It is so exciting to watch him learn and grasp concepts. I love seeing his excitement when he knows he got it right. We really feel technology should be embraced. Our whole world revolves around technology. If you shelter your children from it too much or entirely, you are almost setting them up for struggles down the road when they are behind their peers on their exposure to it. I am not advocating letting them do whatever they want all the time on devices, but we don’t count minutes or hours he plays with these things. We don’t have strict rules about no more iPad time. If he is naughty that might be a privilege he loses for a little bit, but that is about not acting naughty not about an egg timer on his learning. It is about balance. We do play outside. We do run around. Jack loves soccer and can already dribble a soccer ball. April has been very cold where we live. Yesterday we played soccer in our living room! He wanted to go outside so bad but it was just way too cold. We made the best of it. He goes to gymnastics and swim classes. He would be in soccer but the place I found with 2 year old soccer had low enrollment. We will sign him up for soccer and hockey when he is 3. I teach Pilates, clearly physical movement and getting outside is also important to me. I just don’t count down how much he does of that or plays on his iPad. We don’t keep track of things like that in our home. We just do what is available to us at the moment.

I flew over a huge hurdle yesterday! I had been asked to sub for another Pilates instructor. Three Reformer classes needed to be covered. 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 in the morning. A Saturday morning. Saturdays are busy at my studio. I said yes. I decided to just go ahead and do it. I knew my master teacher would be in the building. I just wouldn’t have another instructor sitting by free to help or answer my questions. I have always had that crutch to lean on. Also, I have never taught three classes in a row. I considered all of this after I had been asked. My parents happened to be over. I discussed it with them and my husband. The consensus was that I needed to do this. I was capable of doing this. I am meant to do this. “Rip the band aid off” is my husband’s favorite phrase. He told me to do just that.

I am SO glad I did. It went really well. There were no major issues or hiccups. I got a lot of positive feedback. From my master teacher/boss and from the clients. I love the Mermaid. I love it on the Mat, Reformer, and Chair. There is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t do some version of the Mermaid. I included it in my classes yesterday. I had a few clients rave about it. Saying they had never done it before. They LOVED it. I explained my passion for the position. They replied that they think it needs to be in every class they take. Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my signature move at this studio. “If you take a class with Nicole, you will more than likely do the Mermaid in some way!”

frontsplits

Me!

I feel so empowered. I know that practicing Pilates can empower you. I have been empowered by it. I am empowered by it. Teaching Pilates can also empower you. Being able to help people. Seeing them find the work. Listening to them tell you how great that move felt on their body. Lately, every time I leave the studio after teaching a class I am riding on this high. I feel so great, happy, energetic. I am not even working out. I am just working. I am doing what I was born to do. I left after my last class and drove home. I thought along the way, this is clearly what I was born to do. This is my career. I have never been so sure of that in my life. Besides being a mom. I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. Other than that I  have never quite made up my mind. Nothing made me feel this way. Nothing until I started teaching Pilates. I am about halfway through my Reformer teaching hours for certification. Chair will likely be conquered in the fall when my boss adds more chairs and then adds some chair classes. I love Chair. I own one and I practice on it pretty much daily. I know a lot of people loathe it but I feel that is because it is intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It can be so tailored to a client that gradual increase in strength can be achieved  I also have a potential offer from my boss to teach at Lulu on Saturday mornings. If it does happen it is supposed to start in early May. It is not 100% yet but I am excited that she even thought of me to do that. I will bring the same passion I just wrote about along with me to the store. I will turn people on to the love of Pilates. I will hopefully be able to convince new people to walk into the studio that is my home.

It feels good to find your place in the world. I have found mine. I am Nicole. I am a mom, a wife, and a Pilates instructor.

What/who are you?

I did a really great thing for myself yesterday. I got back into the swing of things with Pilates. Not practicing Pilates on my own. I haven’t missed a beat with that. No, I am talking about student teaching to get all of my hours for my certification. I had been on a break of sorts. I was just dealing with so much in my personal life that something had to give. With the home buying nonsense, my grandpa passing away, having a toddler, my IBS flaring up from all the stress, and injuring my neck, I was constantly spent.

The last thing I wanted to do was stand up in front of a room of people, not feeling confident at all, and try to safely guide them through physically demanding moves. No. I was not up for that. I spent all day giving my best to my son. I couldn’t put him on the back burner. No matter how depressed I was over my grandpa, I couldn’t mope around all day not caring for my child. So, by the time my husband got home at night I was just exhausted. There was nothing left to give.

I started to feel better last week, slowly but surely. Then, the weather started to warm up. We went to the park about 3 times in a week’s time! Ah, glorious sunshine and fresh air will do anyone some good. I went back in yesterday to student teach a private session with my amazing teacher. It felt ah-maze-ing to get in there and do this. I felt so great afterward. I am ready to get back into this. I am ready to finish what I started. I am ready for life to continue on.

I needed my mourning period. I am by no means over it. I never will be. Grandpa randomly crosses my mind regularly. I will be doing the most simple thing and suddenly some memory will flood back. I also got very attached to being around Jack. I have barely let him out of my sight since this time last month, actually. Other than one sleepover at my mom’s home. I think she needed that as much as I needed to take a break from student teaching. Clinging to this life that I created just felt right and safe. Looking at his cute little toddler feet, watching the way he plays with his toys, listening to his HUGE vocabulary, and just taking in his face, were the places I wanted and needed to be. The thought of being away from him several nights a week was just not something I wanted to actually go through with. Even if some days I felt like he was driving me crazy. I just didn’t want to miss a thing.

Death is a funny thing. Dealing with it and trying to put your own life back together can be tricky. I have been to a good share of wakes and funerals. This was by no means my first. But they were always more distant relatives. Not what I consider an immediate relative. It was different this time. It has been hard. Bottom line. How long should one mourn? There is no definitive answer to that. I cringe at the thought that if I ever have another child my grandpa will not have met that baby or even know about his/her existence. I hate that. A baby is not a big priority on my list, but I have thought about that scenario. Does that mean if I actually decide to have a 2nd that I shouldn’t? No. Because life does go on. The living have to keep living. Keep loving the loved ones we have with us while remembering the ones we have lost. I just squeeze my little man a little tighter and rub his hair a little more and kiss his toes just one more time.

It was time to get back to my life that I worked really hard to achieve. I put so much time and effort into training to teach and to be derailed much longer would just be a waste. My grandpa would not have wanted me to waste my talents. That much I know.

Creating your own safe and non toxic products can be a lot of fun. It also can come with a lot of trial and error. Despite common belief, if it is on the internet, it isn’t always true! Ha! Meaning, just because someone has posted a cleaner recipe, doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you. I have been messing around trying to find products I like. I have had a couple flops the past two weeks. In  both beauty and household care. BUT I have found a few that I love. It just takes trial and error. Trying it out and seeing how it works for you.

I finally made a kitchen cleaner I am happy with. I had to adjust the recipe a little because I was missing two of the suggested essential oils. I replaced them with other oils I have seen in cleaning recipes. This smells so good. It has easily taken off the dirty stuff on my counters and stove. Now, I must mention, I clean a lot. So things are not really overly stuck on. I clean so much that when our living room floor was messy yesterday because I skipped the living room two days ago, Jack, my TWO year old, said “Mommy ground messy. Vacuum? Clean?” And we cleaned and vacuumed.

Here is the recipe I used:

8 drops Orange Essential oil

8 drops Lemon Essential oil

4 drops Grapefruit Essential oil

4 drops Clove essential oil

4 drops Rosemary Essential oil

4 drops Eucalyptus Essential oil

Pour 2 cups of water into a spray bottle, add the essential oils. Shake to mix. Shake before each use to blend the oils again, as they will settle. Spray on surfaces to disinfect and clean. I actually ended up doubling it after I saw how my spray bottle was only half filled. I figured I may as well fill the whole bottle so I don’t have to make another batch so quickly.  The listed recipe is not doubled, I doubled it from there.

I have an essential oils webinar to listen to. I am looking forward to that. I would be doing it as I write this but I am having technical difficulties with my laptop. I have to have my hubby look into it tonight. I also have a shipment from DoTerra coming. It is a blend for digestion. I have IBS and I looked into this product. I literally found 0 bad reviews of it. I tried several different search terms regarding it. I even looked past page 1 of Google results ;-) I figure it is worth a shot. I don’t write about my issues on here much, or at all really. But it is something I struggle with daily and anything is worth a shot. My dr basically told me she had no help for me. This was nearly a year ago. I will write about that product after I have been using it a while.

One more small update on my Essential Oil experience. Last night at 6pm Jack had his usual meltdown. We call 6pm the “witching hour” Nearly every day he gets cranky around then and just wants me to hold him. It is usually when I am in the middle of cooking dinner. It generally starts 5-10 minutes after my husband gets home. We are not sure why. He gets so upset he cannot even communicate what he actually wants from me, other than to be carried. He had poop and needed a change in the middle of this. I got him to lay down for that (small victory!) I decided to rub some of my headache relief on him to relax him. Almond oil and Lavender Essential oil! Within a minute, maybe 2 at most, he calmed down and was suddenly chipper. He let me finish preparing dinner. He was pretty happy for the rest of the evening. I have also used it on several of my headaches and it works! My husband calls it voodoo, but he can call it what he wants, it worked for Jack and me!

I followed this recipe:

1 oz.Sweet Almond Oil

12 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

1 amber bottle

Combine Almond Oil and Lavender Essential Oil. Roll between hands to mix. Apply to temples and back of neck for headache relief. For Jack I rubbed some on his belly/chest, back, and back of his neck.

Have you had any good experiences with Essential Oils in your life? Do you create your own products with them?

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