No Rest For the Weary

Like clockwork, he’s thrown up at 3AM the last 2 nights. Hoping for a solid night of sleep for us all tonight.

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What I’ve Been Up To: January

Well hey there!

The last month has flown past while I’ve been busy writing, designing, coding, and, oh yeah – loving on my babies and my husband.

Here is some of what I’ve been up to:

Fighting the flu. The reports aren’t exaggerating — this strain is stubborn.

Finally answering (nearly) every imaginable question about going (and staying) shampoo free: Shampoo Free FAQ. If you have any additional questions, please ask! Not kidding -  I’m happy to help anyone considering this.

Trying out other uses for baking soda (since I knew it had to be for more than just baking, hair care and cleaning counter tops).

Watching Alabama’s victory over Notre Dame (Roll Tide!!)

Helping Abbie finalize her application to ASFA.

Inviting y’all to come visit us in Birmingham. Seriously. It’s on Jetsetter.com’s list of the 6 places to visit in 2013.

Continuing to update on the latest Resources and News for parents and educators of gifted and twice exceptional children.

Creating some logos, web designs and graphics that I’m super proud of. I can’t wait for them to go live.

Taking the kids to Tuscaloosa for the first time, so they could watch the BCS Championship parade.

And, starting today, this:

 What Ive Been Up To: January What Ive Been Up To: January
The Plan What Ive Been Up To: January.

I happened to catch a post from Missy, at Almost Naptime, where she mentioned the book and that she was going to start on it. She mentioned that it is an anti-inflammatory diet, and that even foods that are healthy can cause inflammatory reactions.  That caught my attention, so I sought out more information. I had a lot of questions and have watched her go through the first week and half (I’ve messaged her a lot… bless her heart…)

(Even though I do not have a Kindle, I downloaded the Kindle app and purchased the Kindle version What Ive Been Up To: January, and HELLO! I love the Kindle app on my iPhone/iMac/Macbook Air! Highlighting, bookmarking… heaven…)

By the time  you read this, I will have already weighed myself and drunk/drank/drinken (heh) 16 ounces of water with lemon juice (after weighing myself, thank you…), had a cup of dandelion tea for liver support, and eaten some flax seed granola with blueberries.

Why?

Because despite the fact that for the last 3 years I’ve been eating healthier than ever, I have struggled with chronic pain/autoimmune issues and, though I run 4 days a week, a slight weight gain. I want to find out if I’m reactive to any of the healthy foods I am eating, and I don’t want ‘slight’ to turn into ‘major’.

Speaking of my chronic pain, several people have asked and I still plan on having my IUD removed. Because I’m a new patient, I had to wait for an appointment, so I will keep updating here as I figure things out. It will hopefully be removed next month.

What are y’all up to? Do tell.

(The book link above is an affiliate link. If you purchase it using the link, I’ll toast you with some dandelion tea… thanks. ;) )

Celebrating Every Day

CW125 Celebrating Every Day Celebrating Every DayThank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

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Most people would probably look at how we celebrate traditionally major events and holidays and think that we are ruining them for our children. We try not to overdo it, preferring to keep things low-key and simple, without minimizing it.

Instead, we try to celebrate the every day, every day. We celebrate the fact that we are together. That we had a good week. That some one was complimented for good manners. Or that Randy returned from being on the road.

Some may say this waters things down and trivializes what’s important.

On quite the contrary. I believe that it is teaching our children to see the joy and beauty in every moment, and not just the things that we are told are worthy of celebration. Or to only celebrate on particular occasions or events.

It’s not about elevating the children’s sense of self-importance. It’s about gratitude and attitude. Christmas is not just one day, in December. We can celebrate Jesus’ birth in May or July, over several days. At the beach! A birthday is not something we celebrate only once a year – we are happy every day that our family members were born!

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Along with that, we like to enjoy our food and be creative with it. We have become very particular about how and what we eat. But one thing we are determined to do is keep it fun, pleasurable and enjoyable. Each meal is a mini-celebration – something that should be colorful and tasty.

We take a lot of photos of our food creations, and one thing that is obvious as you look through them is that we love sprinkles and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. (It’s perfect frozen or thawed!)

Duckie-shaped sprinkles on green beans.
Sprinkles and COOL WHIP topping a bowl of chocolate peanut butter steel-cut oatmeal.

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Microwave Martini glass cake, with sprinkles and COOL WHIP.

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Strawberries dipped in COOL WHIP and sprinkled with… well, SPRINKLES, next to a taco.

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There is never a shortage of things to celebrate when you stop and think about it. You don’t have to look far. And nothing lights up a face like celebrating those moments that so many others might have missed or overlooked.

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Celebrating is not reserved for special occasions. It’s part of our daily lives.

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

No Words

Sunday afternoon, in the middle of working. Out of nowhere, a pounding on the door. Not an “Open-the-door-I-need-help!!” sort of pounding.

No. This is a pissed off pounding.

The door is opened and there she stands. Her voice seems calm.

But her eyes deceive her, and she is angry. She wants answers, but the answers don’t matter. Her words might have been the right words, but she feels wronged and is vomiting her attitude. She smirks without hearing, saying we are dishonest and ridiculous.

Over what?

A yard. Our yard.

It’s been torn up and no one is allowed to play in it for another month. Not our kids. Not hers.

But she’s not buying it.

She stomps back (through our yard), and her words are left hanging in the air.

Stinging, stagnant and ugly.

 

(linked up at Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write)

Poverty in America. It’s bigger than you realize.

Yesterday, I was reading an article in the Huffington Post on extreme poverty in the US.

The statistics are staggering.

Last fall, the Census Bureau revealed a troubling statistic: A full 6.7 percent of Americans, or roughly 20.5 million people, were earning less than half the official poverty rate — a category generally known as “extreme poverty.” For a family of four, including two dependent children, that would amount to an annual income of about $11,000 or less.

Nearly half of all Americans who are considered poor at all fall into this category.

20.5 (TWENTY. POINT FIVE. MILLION.)

That is mind-boggling to me.

I’m not going to go over the entire article; you can read it, and I hope you will.

But the article brought several things to an overflowing boiling point in my mind. Things that I’ve had swirling around in my head and have tried to capture and put to words over the last several months. Yet I’ve continually felt both incapable and inadequate of attempting.

I still feel both incapable and inadequate of attempting, but I’ve come to realize that that is part of the problem.

Why bother?
My voice won’t matter.
How can one person make a difference.
I don’t know enough to back up my thoughts in a heated discussion.

And that attitude does nothing to offset the alternative drumbeat of those screaming for the poor to “just stay in school” and “get a job”.

I’ve been poor. As a college-educated adult, with children.

But I’ve never gone hungry for days.

Millions of children and adults do daily.

When you are hungry, not much else matters.

One of my student teaching practicums in college was at a school that butted up to a trailer park in rural WV.

I came in doe-eyed, with big ideas of what I wanted to teach the children and what I wanted them to learn.

One day, early on, as I was sharing my ideas and lesson plans with the classroom teacher, she looked me straight in the eye and said: “You have a lot of great lessons there. But you need to know this: these kids don’t care one bit about the environment or recycling.

They are worried their mama won’t be home when they get out of school. That dad’s kicked her out. Or whether they’ll have any more food in their stomachs between now and tomorrow.”

Stunned, I gathered my emotions and resolved to rethink my plans.

Fast foward 18 years, 4 kids, and a million life experiences later.

I get what that teacher told me. I’ve lived some of it.

I hear her words ringing in my mind.

Yet those children are still forgotten and overlooked.

They are in your child’s class.
You sit next to them at traffic lights.
Their mother’s wait on you at the grocery store.

They are in a cycle they can’t easily escape. Yet we sit on the sidelines judging and condemning them as lazy, ignorant or less-than.

That does nothing.

In fact, it’s that very attitude that has made me, a once upon a time, (very) conservative Christian, reconsider so much of what I think in terms of policies and politics, moving me further and further away from the “here’s a $50 bill” party I’ve long belonged.

It no longer seems adequate or appropriate to look away and wait for others to take care of it, while chipping away at their help and assistance.

I’m looking to be part of the solution. To show love to someone who desperately needs it.

20.5 million people in America are waiting for that.

And the change starts with me.

“He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker” (Proverbs 17:5)