Are you a label reader?

Years ago, I would have never thought to read a label at the grocery store. It just never occurred to me to do so, and I continued to purchase and live in a complete state of oblivion. Fast forward to present day, where I am a label reader and product researcher. I read all labels – from foods to toilet paper. If there’s a product that is being raved about or something my friends are selling, I will do extensive research on it. I’m not a flash in the pan, strike while the iron is hot consumer. I will continue to do as much research as possible, read testimonials and see if anyone I know personally has experience with whatever the product might be.

Part of my reasoning for going this extra mile is for my son. I want him to be a healthy little dude; he was born a bit over a month early. He was on breathing apparatus for awhile and was in the NICU for a week (and maybe plus one day – it’s a fog to me now). While some mothers may say that I’m obsessive or insane, I say that I’m just taking proper precautions. Unfortunately, other mothers feel that they have a say in what I choose to do for my child’s well being. Remember: what works for you may not work for somebody else. You don’t know their situation. After downloading the Think Dirty app, I felt like I had failed in my label reading and extensive research. The product I have been using on my son since infancy is full of chemicals and for lack of better word…dirty. And it’s a product that I thought was supposed to be good for you – maybe it’s the price point that made me believe that. I fully intend on doing an overhaul on the products that I use for him – his health and well being is my priority.

Another part of my reasoning is because of my own health. I have a thyroid disease. There are certain additives in food that make my thyroid go nuts and not in a good way. There are foods that I need to avoid completely and foods that I need to limit. I don’t eat a lot anymore, seldom am I eating sugary things or snacking late at night on junk food. I’m not starving myself, I’m just becoming better with what I eat, what my portions are, and reading those labels! This goes back to when it came time to start thinking about what he should bring to school for lunch. Do you know how much crap is in a Lunchable?! Seems like it’s an easy option, right? Easy, yet full of sodium. Sodium, sugar, carbohydrates – all things that I need to be careful of because of my thyroid. So if I’m not eating it, my child certainly isn’t. Unless his father is in charge. Or a grandparent. But lucky me! My child LOVES fruits and vegetables. FRESH fruits and veggies! He makes grocery shopping easy, I know just what to get for him. And for myself, I read labels and ask my doctor questions. I’ve lost ten pounds. Not working out. Not starving myself. Eating the right portions, the right foods, not snacking late at night, hardly anything sugary, and oh hey, water. Usually with peppermint essential oil because it helps with bloat, or lemon essential oil because it detoxifies and curbs those cravings.

When it comes to my husband, he’s a skeptic on all of these things. We read a book that was written by a MS patient who said that going gluten free helped him big time with his battle. I told my husband that I would go gluten free in solidarity with him and he said no. He refuses to do it, even if it may benefit his health. My husband has lost a ton of weight – between a new job that keeps him active, not eating take out for lunch every day, and him trusting me with incorporating new and healthier alternatives into our meals…he looks terrific. But his weight loss doesn’t mean his MS has gone away. If only it were so simple, I keep telling myself. But I also try to read up on things that can help him, too. He might not be a label person, but when I can ‘show him the light’ so to speak, I will. Part of my journey with essential oils is because of him, and how I’ve read how beneficial it can be to MS patients. It’s not a cure, let me get that out of the way. It’s only going to support his wellness and keep his aches and pains to a bare minimum.

The foods we eat, the shampoo we use, the products we clean our home with – I have gotten a little manic about it because that’s me being Mama Bear. I also want to feel good as well as look good. I have a new regimen at nighttime – from washing my face to rubbing coconut oil on the bottom of my feet, it takes me about 15 minutes to do all of this before I get into bed. It’s a process, it’s a little bit of a long road and sometimes not very cheap but I know in the end I’m doing what’s best. Remember: what’s good for me might not be good for you, so do your research!



No matter how many notifications my pharmacy sent me to go pick up my meds, I let it fall to the back burner. And now I am paying the price, so to speak. I went to therapy on Thursday and told my therapist that I was having a really good week. I discussed how bad I felt that sometimes, my husband’s quirks annoy me. I told him that I often wondered if I made a mistake on choosing sociology over something else in college, and if I chose something else if I’d be in a better position to work from home and spend more time with my kiddo. I left feeling pretty good, getting it all off of my chest. And something changed on Friday where I shifted into this shell of myself. My anxiety triggered big time as we celebrated a co-worker’s pregnancy. I knew that this was going to be a difficult weekend for me.

Because I forgot to pick up my medicine, and I still forgot to ask my husband to pick it up for me on Saturday on his way home from work. And here I am.

I’m on day three without my full Zoloft dosage. I woke up this morning around 9, my child was still asleep. Church starts at 10:45, and my husband is doing audio this week so he had to be there. I asked him to please go without me, I just can’t bring myself to get out of the house today and be around people. Kiddo decided that he wanted to stay home with me. I get nervous at times like this because I have lost my patience with him when my anxiety is this bad. But we’re doing okay this morning. I’m allowing him to have more tablet time than usual. And now he’s decided he just wants to play with his new toys and I’m more than okay just listening to his imagination soar while he creates scenarios with Lightning McQueen and Mater.

I know at some point today I’ll start feeling better. It may not be easy, but I know that I’ll get there.

I’m just tapped out.

On Inauguration Day, I had my usual therapist appointment. I didn’t know what I’d discuss, but throughout the morning I had gotten into a battle of words with someone who told me to ‘get over it’ that Trump is elected into office. It rubs me the wrong way for several reasons, one being the fact that for eight years, the same people telling me to ‘get over it’ are the same folks that couldn’t get over it with Obama. I defended myself. I never told anyone for eight years to get over it, so why am I being told? Because my opinion differs? Why are people telling me how to feel and think? I was frustrated by the time I got to my therapist’s office. The second I sat down, he asked me how I’m doing and then came the tears.

And they didn’t stop.

For 45 minutes.

They didn’t stop.

Without getting into exactly what I had said to him, I will let you know that the topic was political. After I left his office, I walked back to work. I sat and lamented for the rest of the day. Maybe it was the day after or two days later, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I just couldn’t keep posting rant after rant on Facebook about the current political climate. It was exhausting. It wasn’t doing my anxiety any good, and it certainly wasn’t helping my depression any. I was being nasty to everyone for the most part, lashing out and definitely not being a good version of myself. My poor mother was recovering from surgery and I snapped at her…she didn’t do anything wrong!

So I began to post things on Facebook to tilt the scales a little. Tell me something positive about today, here’s some baby giraffes, share a link to your Jamberry/Perfectly Posh/Young Living business so hopefully you can have more success, look at how cute my kid is, ooh look at pandas going down a park slide! I started to unfollow people from my feed that couldn’t talk about anything else but what’s going on in our country – and I’m not talking about people posting personal opinions. I’m talking about people who would just mindlessly share a link without fact checking, or sharing a link just to see how many people can fight with one another. Then there were the hypocrites that complained about political posts, then continued to make them and post links and memes. Rather than tell them how to post and what to post, I decided to just unfollow. While there are still posts on my timeline, they aren’t ones that flare up my anxiety.

But Twitter. Twitter, you saucy minx.

I kept political talk on Twitter. I got into it with a lot of people, have been told I hate white people because I defend Black Lives Matter, called a terrorist because I don’t believe that all Muslims are part of ISIS. I know a lot of people that voted Trump. I know a lot of people that are registered Republicans. I can’t judge them because that’s being hypocritical. And I will admit here and now that over the course of two weeks, I’ve made some pretty hypocritical statements myself and I’m not proud of it. But I acknowledge where I had gone wrong and after thinking it through this morning – I have to tap out of political chat on Twitter. It’s easier to miss tweets because I’m working all day or chasing a toddler around the house. If something gets my anxiety flared up, I simply unfollow or mute.

I just cannot keep doing this to myself. It’s exhausting, it’s making me a complete shell of myself. I don’t want to be hypocritical. I don’t want to be one of those angry liberals who shouts at everyone who doesn’t think and feel the same way as I do. I didn’t even behave this way during Obama’s terms, and I shouldn’t start doing that now. So this is how I prevent being that person.

The great thing about social media is that you really CAN control what you see and what you don’t see. You can also disagree with someone else on the internet and simply move on with your life.

Kudos to those who are still going and tweeting and posting all about the political climate. I don’t damn anyone for continuing to talk, speak out and be heard. But my mental health and current state of mind is not conducive to living a healthy life for myself, my husband and my son. I have to take care of myself.


On the Eve Of…

Tomorrow is my 37th birthday. I can’t say that I’m excited or happy about it, but I also can’t say that I’m not. In the past, I’ve had a very bad relationship with my birthday. No matter how many times I’ve tried to make my birthday a positive thing – something always happened to make it pretty miserable. Last year, I enjoyed my birthday. The year before that, I enjoyed my birthday. The trend? Being a mom. I’ve had something to look forward to every single year now – my child’s adorable face and unconditional love.

I stopped being that person that has plans for their birthday – where you invite everyone to a bar and pretend like you actually can stand that person for more than just an hour at a time. I just don’t care all too much to celebrate my birthday like that anymore. I would much rather be with my family. I would much rather have something very low key where I can be relaxed and not always have to be ‘on.’ I don’t want to deal with drama that comes with planning things because one friend doesn’t like the other, etc. I don’t want to hurt two friends of mine by inviting one and not the other and I don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable so I just don’t do it anymore. That’s not the main reason, but it’s definitely a bit of a contributing factor. See how I’m putting others over myself on my own birthday? Yeah, I’m probably an idiot for doing so.

But I digress, big gatherings are just not my thing anymore. I suffer from anxiety to the point where I am exhausted if I have to be amongst people for a long period of time. I had three days of sales meetings a couple of weeks ago, and I was totally drained at the end because I had to always be ‘on.’ It’s tiring being in my head all day. Sometimes, I want to just go on vacation and leave my body here so that it’s just a body in a chair. If we’re really keeping it a buck, I’m like that a lot of the time because of the mess my own head is.

So with my birthday coming in less than twelve hours, I sit here thinking about the birthdays I had when I was a young child, teenager, younger adult, and now…wife and mother. Everything changes but in the best way possible. I don’t have ridiculous birthday demands, I don’t want to do anything but just exist and not have to entertain. I don’t fear the age thing. Turning 37 doesn’t scare me. I’m happy to be in my ‘late 30s’ now. I still get carded for wine, I still look fairly young. My health is getting better, I’m down four pounds in two weeks. It’s never been something I have gotten upset over, not even when my husband attempts to say that I’m old while forgetting that he’s already 40. Note: to me, 40 is not old.

I’ve come a long way. I’ve made so many changes to my life, strides to become a better human being. I’ve changed my way of thinking, and how I don’t let things upset me anymore because it’s not worth it. I am lucky. I am very happy. I have a great husband and son, the best family in the world, and the best friends. I want for nothing. Maybe hugs because I am like Olaf from Frozen and I love hugs…but nothing materialistic. And coffee. Always coffee. I don’t need to blow out candles and make a wish for anything, because I already have everything that I could have ever asked for in life. Even Hamilton tickets.


That kind of day.

It’s been a busy week for me. I didn’t see my son for three days. I missed him terribly. I read to him last night, tucked him in, kissed him goodnight. Got him ready this morning, brought him to school. He’s staying with my parents tonight since they’re taking him to Breakfast with Santa early in the morning. That isn’t the cause of what I’m feeling today. Truth is, I have no idea what the cause of it is because there isn’t one.

I don’t feel good today. Physically, sure. I’m fine. I don’t feel sick. I don’t feel like I’m coming down with a cold. I just don’t feel good emotionally. I’ve spent the majority of my day in a dark, dark place. At least I have therapy later on today, which usually helps pull me out from under.

It’s not holiday blues, I love the holiday season.

Maybe it’s a combination of things. I miss my husband, he works six days a week and we barely get time together without falling asleep on one another. I miss my best friends – two of which don’t live in the same state as I do, the other does but she’s got a busy life. I worry about my mother. I worry about my father. I miss my youngest brother, he’s coming home for Christmas and I may not let him leave. These are my normal feelings though, I go through these motions daily. So maybe that’s not it.

Maybe there doesn’t need to be a reason where I just feel this way.

World Prematurity Day & Hypothyroidism

I had gone to my OB for my checkup to make sure the baby was okay and on schedule. I was told the baby was going to be right on time, another five weeks left. Jimmy and I were out celebrating our anniversary, had dinner and went home and watched a movie. Around 2am, I woke up and didn’t feel well. I went to the bathroom, then went back to bed. Not even a minute later, I was going back to the bathroom and before I made it, my water broke. I screamed. I was terrified and called the doctor immediately. Jimmy somehow managed to pack my hospital bag, call my parents, and get me into the car and to Holy Name. 12 hours later, a 5lb. 14oz. baby boy came into our lives. Everything after that was emotionally exhausting. They didn’t think he would make it, but he did. And a week later, we brought him home.

And now, he’s two and a half, has a better vocabulary than most his age. He’s bright, funny, kind and most importantly – in good health. He’s got his Daddy’s height genetics, that’s for sure. You would never know that he was born early, that he spent time hooked up to machines to help him breathe, being fed through an IV for awhile. I am amazed when I look at my son, and I never miss a moment to tell him how much that I love him. And I am so proud to be his mother.

My thyroid disease played a part in my early delivery. It has taken me for a loop since I was diagnosed during pregnancy, it’s not something that just goes away on its own. My medication has been tweaked, I’ve had to make adjustmetns on what I eat. It’s been very difficult to lose weight, even with exercise and it’s been so frustrating. No diet programs like Advocare or Plexus will work – it’s not a ‘I’m overweight and fat’ problem that I can drink away with shakes and pink water. It’s about me trying to stay healthy and keep my thyroid function where it needs to be.

Just recently, I had a biopsy done because there were nodules on the left side. Everything is okay, but I still have problems and sometimes I’m sluggish, sometimes I’m in bed at 8 because I’m just so tired. In two weeks, I see a new endocrinologist – apparently he’s one of the top thyroid disease doctors in the city. I know that I can’t be cured, but I hope that this new doctor helps me in ways that my old one just didn’t. I want to be healthy for myself, my son and my husband. It’s important, especially after everything our little family has been through.


My dear country.

I sat here at my desk today and truly debated writing. And here I am.

This morning was very difficult. I didn’t turn on the television. All I needed to see was a text from my best friend that said, “It was real.” That’s when I knew that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. When I went to bed last night, Hillary still had her shot at winning. I had my electoral college map colored in, I was doing calculations and hoping that Pennsylvania came through. When Hillary only needed 55 points to meet 270 – I decided I had to get some sleep. I turned off my television, prayed that the country I love would not be on fire when I woke up, then got into bed. I miraculously fell asleep, my anxiety ridden brain gave it a rest.

I opened the door to my bedroom and didn’t see a dystopian world outside of my window. It was grey and bleak, pretty much representing my mood the second I read Alena’s text. I continued to move along as I normally do in the morning, shower up, get dressed, say good morning to my son. He’s not a morning child, he resists getting up and he gives us a hard time every single morning. Except today. He was in a jovial mood, laughing and joking with us. Oblivious as to what just happened in this election. I was envious in that moment, but I remember that I too, was once his age and didn’t know how this country received Ronald Reagan. I was too young to remember his terms, the first election that I started to understand everything was in 1992. I was in 7th grade. Our history class all voted for Clinton after lessons and research had been done. I couldn’t wait to vote for real and have it count.

To those of you who felt like your vote didn’t count, or that you failed your country and your family — you didn’t. It’s been a very tough election for me, because I’ve seen people get straight up nasty on both sides of the fence. I don’t judge anyone in my friends or family for the way that they voted. That’s their business and their right as an American citizen to do so. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for others (on both sides of this). I’ve been awake for roughly six hours now and it’s totally sunk in that we can’t take our votes back, we can’t change who was nominated in the first place.

But we can change how we react.

I’m not afraid to say that I absolutely am not a fan of Trump’s, but he has now been elected to run this country. I’ve accepted this, and will continue to use my voice, vote in EVERY single election (even those small ones everyone deems unimportant), and continue to have hope. And this is what I had said to him in response to his victory tweet – “History has its eyes on you, sir. I sure hope you do right by this country for the next four years.” I am a parent, a wife, an American citizen. I understand the magnitude of this election and the vote. I cannot sit here and spit out hate, fear, and overall ignorance. I’ll sit here and let everyone argue with one another, continue to break friendships over politics (and even family for that matter). I just can’t participate in it. I have friends who are scared, hurt, angry. Their struggles are not mine, but I still empathize because my kind heart doesn’t allow for anything else.

Be kind to one another, and treat others how you would like to be treated.

I’m tired and exhausted. And still clinging to a shred of hope.