Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Came First? Marriage or Kids?

Yes that is what I asked. Same concept as "the chicken or the egg". Traditionally yes, the marriage comes before the kids. So let's use that scenario, shall we?
When you stand up there in front of witnesses and take the vows of commitment to the person standing across from you there were no kids in the picture. You didn't say "to you and to the children we will someday have".
Let's also say for sake of argument that you don't even know if you can have kids, I am going to assume however that you are both in agreement on whether you want kids or not.
Now, why is it that once the kids come they are constantly being put first? Not in a "basic nurturing" way but in such a way that keeps you completely busy and stressed to the point that you don't have time for your spouse? BTW this includes people that have to have a schedule "date night".  If you have to reserve "Wednesday Night" for your spouse than you aren't giving him/her enough of your attention.
If you don't maintain that original commitment than how is this affecting your kids? They can't survive without a stable marriage as the source of stability in their lives. So by puttig your spouse first you are actually ultimately thinking of the kids' well being. Interesting.
Here is a good article with some good perspective on the topic:
Keep this in mind, the kids don't miss what they don't know. If you choose to attend "mommy groups", "soccer practice", "dance practice", "play dates", "shopping trips", vacations for the whole family", "weekend trips to the zoo", "weekend trips to theme parks", then it's your choice. Not the child's. Sure they will get upset if you suddenly stop doing it but if they never become used to it, then it's not an issues.
I remember getting to go to "Astro World" in Houston as a kid several times. I also remember an occasional trip to the zoo. But it wasn't habit and we never felt deprived if we didn't go. So many kids today are senselessly spoiled with the idea that they "need this". Says who? Who says they need all of that?
So before you tie yourself up with these unnecessary things, think about what else you should be doing. Planning a long three day weekend for you and your spouse? Special dinner somewhere new on a Friday night? Don't be afraid to ask the grandparents or aunts and uncles to babysit. Guess what? You and your spouse will be happier for it and in the end so will the kids.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Enemy More Common Than You Think

Since being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) in 2013 (and developed in 2012) I have been a journey to fix most if not all of the problems it causes.
I always wondered what caused it, I had very normal physical health up until I started birth control in 2011. After a year of battling the emotional issues caused by the birth control, I decided to get off of it. However, 4 months after being off of the BC I was still having a ton of issues! Issues that I had never experienced before. I went to the doctor in the spring of 2013 and received my diagnosis. I naturally assumed the birth control caused the PCOS, however recently this year I discovered that my great-aunt on my mother's side had it as well. Giving truth to the fact that PCOS is mostly hereditary.
I already had a relatively healthy lifestyle. Not big into processed foods, junk, sodas, sugary things in general. I ate lots of vegetables and was relatively active. But I knew I needed to do more. I tried all kinds of diets with no success to speak of. Finally November of 2013 after being at a point of complete disgust with myself I switched to gluten free. I won't say that it is what has caused the big part of my weight loss but it definitely detoxed my body preparing it for weight loss. I stuck to the gluten free all through the holidays, missing out on most of my favorite treats. It paid off. As soon as January arrived I went hardcore gluten free with balanced portions and calorie control.  The weight began to drop. I lost 10 lbs and then it stalled. I decided it was time to become even more drastic, I started working out hardcore at my gym. I added a weight regime to my cardio. I also switched to keto/low carb.
By June of 2014 I had lost 30 lbs. I went from 203 to 173. Not only was there weight loss, there was overall health improvement. The brown spots, acne, hair loss, excess testosterone, mood swings, depression, all eliminated.
I have maintained my weight since then and I haven't suffered from depression in 2 years. Eating a combination of low carb/paleo/gluten free has saved my life. I am happier for it. I still occasionally enjoy some things that aren't on the recommended diet .... such as pizza ( a personal weakness for me) but mostly I remain strong and faithful to my health regime.
Having moved around a lot in the last 2 years, my exercise routine has changed quite a bit. However, I still manage to get in no less than 30 minutes a day of exercise and definitely shoot for 1 1/2 hours five days a week. I had a gym membership when in lived in Kerrville, Texas and when I moved back to East Texas my husband and I started a joint membership so we could encourage each other. We have since moved again, however this time it is further out in the country making a gym membership not quite worth the extra drive, plus harder for us to exercise together. So 2 months ago we started jogging every evening and every other day we add a weight routine to that. I have also in the last two weeks added an ab workout (which is working wonders btw). We have also increased our jogging to 1 1/2 miles a day. That is really an accomplishment for someone who loathes jogging with passion.
If I could give any advice to my fellow PCOS sufferers, it would be this: Even if it is only 30 minutes a day of exercise, it will help you. If it doesn't help with weight loss it will help with self esteem, energy levels, hormone levels, it will reduce stress and minimize if not eliminate depression. Don't give up on yourself. I didn't give up on myself!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands but Are We Taking It Too Far?

I am sitting on this beautiful (still warm) Fall day still drinking coffee and I have been researching ways to use essential oils for weight loss that don't include ingesting them. I know the obvious one is rubbing them on yourself. However I get annoyed with is the feeling of oil on your skin, trying to get it dry so that it doesn't get on your clothes. Remembering to use it. Having it with you at all times. It just tends to be a hassle.
I LOVE it for hygienic and house cleaning purposes which in its own way is for your physical health.  I feel like these are the methods that I get the most use out of essential oils. I make my own body wash, shaving cream, aftershave for my husband, kitchen cleaner, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent and fabric softener. I haven't purchased chemically made products for cleaning in a little over a year.
I am enjoying the diffusing method at the moment.....literally. I am currently sitting here while my diffuser omits the refreshing scent of grapefruit. But what is it really doing, aside from smelling nice? My intention is to help jumpstart my body's weight loss. Is it really going to do that though?
I am not saying that the oils don't do this. However, I am completely convinced that at a certain point it becomes more about what you believe it can do.
Chiropractors, for example provide a very successful service, physical adjustments. I believe they are helpful, I believe they can fix certain issues that are causing other pains and discomforts and therefore "curing" your issues. I draw the line there. I am not going to walk into a "wellness center" and pay a guy that has a college degree to hold his hands above (without touching) certain parts of my body and knowing that that area is not the problem area. Sorry. Not buying it. There are some people however that truly believe in this stuff and do start "getting well". Again, I cannot stress enough that a lot of these issues can be self inflicted through paranoia and too much mental stress. Therefore the idea that you are getting help and that your taking strides towards getting well actually tricks your mind into feeling well again. Not because it has literally done anything but because it allowed your mind to believe that you are trying to help your body therefore your mind allows it. Essential oils are no different.
Yes, they are healthy, yes they are good for you (to a point), yes they are a much better option for cleaning and personal hygiene. There are unspeakably bad things in the everyday products that we use, therefore I believe it is in our best interest to replace these things with essential oils.
I know for a fact that Lavender relaxes and soothes you and can lull you to sleep. I know that Tea Tree has wonderful healing properties. I am highly allergic to poison ivy and I got it one time this year, and everyday for a week I placed Tea Tree on my spots and within that week it was drying up and going away. I believe thieves is a wonderful disinfecting cleaning agent. But let's not get too kooky with all of this.
I have friends that have done 100% natural everything throughout a pregnancy and all the way through the birth and their children still have allergies to things and they still get sick. These same friends live on organic food, healthy diets and ...... essential oils. Yet, they still get the flu, stomach bugs, colds, viruses. You name it. So, the answer is NO. The essential oils are not going to make you invincible. You may not get it as bad as others did, you may get well sooner but you can still get it. Don't let yourself rely on something so much that you are left unprepared when you actually do get sick.
I read an awesome blog post the other day ( I wish I had written it down) that was about a family (again, all organic, holistic and essential oil crazy) and they used a licensed aromatherapist for guidance in using the oils (something that I was highly impressed by, you don't want to be cocky and stupid with the use of the oils) and the family had come down a very bad cold and it wasn't going away, in fact it was getting worse. She was diffusing, ingesting, rubbing it on, doing every single thing she knew to do. So she final asked for advice from the aromatherapist who recommended that they ceased all use of the essential oils for a day or two and give there body a break. They did this and within those days were immediately improving. My point is that you CAN go overboard with the use of them. You don't need to place a diffuser in every room. You don't need to rub oils on your children's feet every night to help them sleep. You don't need to ingest lemon oil in your water to help you lose weight.
For the same reasons that you can needlessly take a vitamin, or take too many vitamins, or drink too much herbal tea, you can also use TOO MANY OILS. Yes, I said it. Anything in the wrong amount or in excess can be bad for you.
Ok I am officially out of thoughts on the topic. Just be careful with what you're using and how you're using it. Happy Oiling!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Upside to a Downside

How do you enjoy the "most wonderful time of the year" FALL when you have something called PCOS. Especially when your worst side affect is ...... WEIGHT GAIN.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving Dinner, Hot Chocolate, Sweet Breads, Warm Cozy Soups, Chili, Chili Cheese Dogs, AGHHHHH I am already getting hungry and it's still 90 degrees outside!
I have compiled quite a list of low carb/paleo Fall treats that will hopefully is one.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan too!), made with natural sweeteners. My favorite version so far!:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sorry, You're Not In the Club...... Members Only

I'm sorry, what club? The one where you don't shower for days, and wear stained clothes that are too big or small for you, you eat when remember to eat, you actually get excited about making a diaper run because it gets you out of the house, you fluids from multiple areas of your body and the most excitement you have is anticipating the next nap time? No thank you.
A little recent perception has shown me that not ALL life changing events put you in a different more elite club.
For example, when you graduate high school. You all graduated and you are all starting your independent life. When you get start dating, it doesn't mean you don't hang out with your single friends. When you get married, you still don't stop hanging out with your single friends and you don't stop hanging out with your friends in general. But..........................
Have a baby and suddenly you are kicked out of the previous club you didn't even realize you were in and admitted into a totally new one. The one where frumpy, bored, miserable women convince you that it's the greatest experience ever. The one where women overreact to absolutely everything in the most ridiculous situations ever. The one where any woman that hasn't had a baby isn't as much as a hard worker or as sacrificial as the woman staying home with the baby.
Well here's a newsflash. Giving birth is not new news. Having babies has been going on for YEARS. Get over yourself. If you are "frumpy" (and I don't use that word lightly, more on that later) then it is self inflicted. Most moms now use that at their new secret identity. Except it's not really all that secret.
Frumpy: Dowdy, Drab, Dull, Unfashionable. Ok so the fashionable part is irrelevant. But the dowdy, drab and dull. Really? Pair with the "Ragamuffin" and your set for endless low self esteem and dread to each waking morning.
Just because you had a baby doesn't mean you don't have to care about yourself. Perhaps if you went that extra mile for yourself you wouldn't feel or act the way you do? I am not asking you. I am asking you to ask yourself.
I watch woman go through this transformation almost every time and every time I question whether I will do this or not. The answer is..........
NO! Absolutely not. I maintain that if you feel good in your body and feel good about yourself then you will feel good about being a mother and won't feel the need to guilt other unexpecting woman to be well......expecting.
I hate the prying questions at the get togethers,

Person 1: "So how many kids do you have" (overly sweet and syrupy voice)
Me: None (casual)
Person 1: "Oh, well when will yall be starting a family?" (still sweet, but traces of overbearing curiosity and interest)
Me: Oh, whenever we take an interest in it. (still casual)
Person 1: "Oh, well how old are you?" (eyes have started to squint and blatant interrogation style questioning has begun)
Me: 27 (casual and unphased.....oh wait not unphased a slight bit of pride has creeped into my voice, because yes, I have managed to be married for 4 years and not had kids yet)
Person 1: "Wow, well you better get started soon." (Mixed tones of jealousy, anger, astonishment, and overall shock leading to "I must say something bitterly encouraging")
Me: Nah, I'm not worried about it. *and I walk away*

This is a typical example of what people in the club say to people not in the club.
Why? Why is this necessary? Why do you have to judge others, why do you have to criticize others for choosing differently and for following a different path?

I am not the woman that is going to be annoyed that your brought a baby to Twin Peaks with you. But I am going to be the woman that is annoyed that you are criticizing the modesty of the waitresses while you are breast feeding a baby at the table.
Just because you had a baby and you are performing the miracle of feeding doesn't make it any more or less modest thanthe woman wearing the "skanky waitress outfit".  Having a baby doesn't make you special and it doesn't make you part of an elite club.
I am the woman that gets annoyed when a couple brings an infant to a movie theater. In fact I think it shouldn't be allowed. You wanted to have a baby. Well groovy. Good for you. But, I didn't ask or pay to be in club. I paid to see a movie and would prefer to hear it as well.  Pay someone to babysit your child so that you can enjoy a movie with your husband. It's as if couples do this on purpose, it is there way of saying "welcome to our world". Well, I prefer to have to pay my dues until I owe my dues.
Happy almost Friday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Children, to have them young or to have them when you are well aged....that is the question

Has anyone else noticed the huge percentage of girls under the age of 20 having kids (and not just on accident) but purposefully wanting kids at that age? Well I have noticed.
If that's one's choice then I guess it is what it is. However, can these girls even explain why they want kids at such a young age (other than "babies are cute", " I love the smell of babies", "I just want to be a mother"... etc). I am not dissing on these perfectly lovely reasons that were plucked straight from puffy white clouds floating above of us, but shouldn't they be thinking about what all comes with this responsibility? These aren't stuffed animals or pets for that matter. They are little mini humans that will grow up affected by what choices the parents makes. They may not take into account and notice things at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years. But by the time they're 3? They will be remembering everything. Copying everything. Watching and learning by what you do. Scary right? You will be their greatest example in everything.
I know some girls that just want to get married, have a home and have kids. That's all they want to do. Nothing wrong with that. But, let's just say you just finished school, you're 18 and you are in love, you get married......whala! One month later you're expecting. You may very well be ready for that because that's what you've wanted your whole life. But what happens if you reach 30 years old and realize that you have five kids and you are still doing exactly what you were doing when you turned 18. If that wasn't enough odds are you still have another almost 10 years until your finished raising the oldest of your five. So you will probably be well into your 50s by the time you have finished raising your last child. And what have you done? I know you can enjoy a lot while taking "family vacations" and "retirement" but keep in mind when you vacation and have experiences with kids, you have less funds, less freedom, less physical energy and less overall ability to do things other than what is fitting for children. When you are retired you have plenty of funds, plenty of freedom, less physical energy (possibly health) and just overall physical ability to do things that you could have done in your 20s, even 30s.
What about the girls that aren't even done with school, aren't in a serious relationship (let alone married) and they get pregnant? The interesting part is that they are actually excited about this. They aren't embarrassed and they aren't concerned. Wait for it.....they are overjoyed! They are excited! They are can't wait for their little bundle of joy. Gee, great. Another child that childless people have to help raise (tax money). Especially considering this particular group will probably and most likely be on some form of welfare, WIC, etc.
The other group are girls that have finished school and are just plain screw-ups. They haven't set out to do anything they originally wanted to accomplish. They have a dead beat boyfriend and they barely make it by as it is. Yet, they are happily bringing a baby into this dysfunctional conjunction of a life that they live. Oh and by the way this group will also be accepting some form of welfare assistance, I have no doubt.
I see more and more of these three examples everyday. I am 27 and I don't have kids...yet. I definitely want a child. My husband and I talk about more often now than we used too. We have been married for 4 1/2 years and we have been enjoying that experience. I truly think that people that wait at least 1 year before starting a family with kids have an extremely smooth adventure ahead of them. When you jump right into having kids you aren't giving yourself enough time to get used to living together. Kids don't need to be subjected to this kind of imbalance.
I want to be able to tell my kids about my experiences (which may not necessarily be something as exotic as swimming with whales, or kayaking in Alaska) but parasailing, visiting Caribbean islands, etc. are experiences they wonderful things to enjoy. I want to be able to pull out my photo albums and show them cool stuff and have suggestions for things that they should try.
You are going to want your kids to have wonderful experiences. You are going to want them to live life to the fullest. Encourage this!
But hey, sometimes they really are people that just want to go through life pregnant and are addicted to the smell of a newborn baby. Kudos to you. That takes a truly special woman. For those of you who do decide to wait, DON'T (I cannot stress this enough) feel guilty. Life is short, live it!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pro Vaccine, Anti Vaccine, What's the Difference, It's Just Two Groups In a Pissing Contest

I am so SICK of the pissing contest between Pro Vaccinators and Anti Vaccinators. All either of these groups care about is judging the other and a child actually does get sick from either group, there is an immediate "ha ha I told you so" or "You had it coming, you never should have ignored vaccines" or "You had it coming you never should have gotten them vaccinated".
Really? Shouldn't we all want the same thing? Shouldn't we all want the health and well being of our children?
There are a few things that I can't help but used as examples (of course some if not many will say that these are easily explained).
One: If vaccines are unimportant and actually make you sick rather than keep you from getting sick, than why has the number of cases of measles, polio, influenza, whooping cough, etc. gotten smaller rather than bigger?  I can't honestly remember the last time we had a major epidemic. I know people think that the vaccines cause autoimmune diseases and SIDS. Yes, maybe a vaccination does cause this but again what about the fact that thousands used to die of these diseases everyday (parents lived in fear for their children's lives) and now there are only a handful cases in a year?
Two: If natural is better, than why wasn't it working generation after generation after generation. You would think that sanitation and healthy eating would be enough. But do we really know if it is?
Three: It seems as though some (anti vaccinators) just want to be right. They want to find the answer themselves. They want to be independent to a point that they need no assistance whatsoever.
Something that is curious to me is that most people that are anti-vaccines are also completely against hospital birth or hospital aided birth. They will support birthing centers or homebirth. Now, I am not criticizing the bravery and strength of women who choose to have a baby by home birth/birthing center, however if that's the case then why are they so intent on criticizing those that choose hospital birth? Because of arrogance.
Arrogance is what I truly believe will be the downfall involving the winning side of vaccines/no vaccines. Because let's face it, eventually one will outweigh the other.
Why do I think arrogance is a key factor?
Example, so if lack of healthy diet and sanitation are what originally caused epidemics then what caused births gone bad, babies to died at birth, women to die giving birth, babies to died after being born, why did women fill out a will prior to give birth due to not knowing that outcome. Midwives have been around to help almost as long as women giving birth have. Yet things still went wrong.
How is natural better, when natural is all there ever used to be. Yet, things still went wrong. Birth was dangerous, birth was scary. Granted it is an exaggeration but in "period movies" the most common explanation of man's tragedy is his wife dying in childbirth. Why? Because it is realistic. It was and is common. You mostly hear of successful home births and birthing center experiences. Yet there are just as many sad outcomes.
PLEASE STOP being so judgmental of others. Make your decisions confidently and with faith in God and STOP judging other people's methods.

Couple of links in favor of vaccinations, just some food for thought. The "double standard" link is not  jab, but it is certainly a comeback to the popular double standard post aimed at pro vaccinators.