It Can Come for Anyone

The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain are a wake-up call. Depression can strike anyone at any age and any time. Unfortunately, society continues to cast a stigma against depression sufferers, so people are secretly fighting this enormous battle. Taking medicine, talking to a therapist, watching what you eat are only part of the recovery process.

Providing a judgement free support system is essential. Giving our friends and family the space to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings can make a huge difference. We must remember to check in on our friends and family. Don’t wait for someone to ask for help because it probably won’t happen. Pick up the phone and call or send a “How are you doing” or “Let’s get together” text.

Here are a few hotlines to call incase you or someone you know is need of help:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663


Taken for Granted….

Another school year ended yesterday and of course my kids were extremely excited. By the end of the night they were already on my nerves. The stress and worry of how to keep the kids busy and outside was starting to set in. Then my husband received a call from a friend….

Our friend was on his way out of town to morn the loss of 3 family members (a niece pregnant with twins). A pulmonary embolism had taken the lives of all 3 as they were on their way to the hospital. My heart began to ache, and I realized how lucky I am to have my husband and children.

Sometimes we need a reminder that what we have is precious. My children will get on my nerves and each other’s, but I’m not going to stress or worry about it. I’m going to be grateful for the precious moments I have with my family.

A Simple Sentence Made Him Feel Unworthy….

Our weekend of lacrosse was ending after 2 days of watching our oldest take part in a lacrosse tournament. The first day they played 3 games which determined their bracket seeding for the second day of the tournament. On the second day they played 2 games and were finally playing in the championship game. Until the championship game the team which has 18 players was rotating the kids in and out. Was everyone getting equal playing time? No, but we understood. Our son is a first-year player, however he only played for 39 seconds out of a 40-minute game.

I knew when the game was over that my son would be disappointed by his lack of participation in the championship game. What I didn’t realize was that he had asked when he was going into the championship game and was told “Don’t ask when you’re going in, it’s the championship game.” His next question to me was “Why am I not worthy to play in the championship game, mom. I was good enough to help my team get to the championship.” My heart broke and my blood boiled. I didn’t want to embarrass my son, so we waited until his next practice a few days later to discuss his disappointment with his coaches.

At the start of practice, I had my son ask his coaches the same question he asked me “Why am I not worthy?” The coaches apologized immediately and said the statement was for the players waiting to play. Apparently, several boys besides my son kept asking when they were going to get to play. The coaches admitted they did not properly communicate with the kids or the parents that the “just for fun” aspect of the game didn’t apply to the championship game. My son felt better and more determined knowing the statement wasn’t directed to just him.

Parenting just like coaching is hard. What we say and do can either motivate our children or deflate them. I am proud of my son for asking for clarification from his coaches instead of giving up. I’m proud of myself for giving the coaches an opportunity to share their side of the story. Too many times we jump to conclusion after only hearing one side. I constantly remind myself to get all the facts before making assumptions or accusations.

Staying Fit Without Sacrificing Family Time

I recently was introduced to a wonderful program Fit4Mom geared to help women who are pregnant or have already had children get active again. They offer several programs including a stroller strides, stroller barre, fit4baby (prenatal fitness), and body back. The classes are geared to help mom strengthen her core, cardio, become one with our body, mind and spirit while entertaining and engaging our children. Of course, to participate in the classes, there is a monthly membership fee.

Fit4Mom also offers a village for free. The village includes weekly activities for mom and kids plus a monthly MNO. It’s a great opportunity to make new friendships for yourself and children. Also, a great way to help other moms in the community who need assistance.

To find the nearest location in your community, please click here! Now you can exercise without feeling mom guilt. Let me know which program is your favorite.

Sharing Mother’s Day….

This year I am very excited to share and celebrate Mother’s Day with my twin boys. For the first time their birthday is also on Mother’s Day. What makes this day special is they are my miracle million-dollar babies. Almost 9 years ago, I had a complete sack rupture with Twin A at 24 weeks. We had been house hunting all day and I stood up after folding a basket of laundry and fluid started gushing.

I ran upstairs because I thought at first, I was peeing everywhere, but the fluid just continued. I alerted my husband who rushed me to the hospital. On the way I called my doctor who was working the ER that night. I was immediately admitted and put on high power antibiotics. After running tests, the doctors determined that I was not in labor but would need to stay in the hospital until I delivered.

Fast forward 3 weeks later and the twins were born via emergency C-Section at a little over 27 weeks. Each one weighed 1 lb 15 oz and was 12” long. They both remained in the hospital for close to 3 months before coming home. One of our twins had a PIC line contaminated by a nurse which caused a blood infection. The infection crossed over into his brain and caused a blockage to the pathways that remove the excess brain fluid. He has hydrocephalus and will always have a right ventricular shunt. The shunt is in his head and the tubing runs behind his ear, down his neck and empties into his abdomen.

The twins both had Early Intervention which is an amazing program. One twin only needs Occupational Therapy for his hand grip. The other twin still receives Speech, OT, PT and has a modified curriculum in school. He continues to have balance and coordination issues from the hydrocephalus.

As my sons continue to grow into young men, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Listening to Our Youth….

The other day, my eleven-year-old said something that stopped me in my tracks. “Why would they be so mean. There supposed to be teammates and have each other’s backs.” I was saddened that mothers continue to berate, gang up on and tear others down. My 5th grader understands the importance of having teammates backs so why can’t some moms understand motherhood isn’t a competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for competition in the right setting such as a board game, bicycle race, sporting event and even who can finish their food the fastest. I guess people don’t realize that motherhood can be very isolating. Some mom’s do not feel comfortable going out in public with their child(ren). Motherhood is overwhelming enough without people judging your appearance and kid’s behavior.

To all the moms out there, keep your head held high. I started attending small activities at the local library and church. Even if you only stay for 5 min, count it as a win.  I’m the mom who will engage with your children, so you can take a breath. No judgement here because I’ve been there.

Until next time…Remember Pepsi and chocolate are a great stress reliever for this mom of 4 boys!

Surviving 3rd Grade….

Wow, it is June yet? What a year it has been for my son. He has been a real trooper trying to keep up with the educational demands of 3rd grade and learning the consequences of hanging with the wrong crowd. I know you wouldn’t think trouble makers would start so early, but they are.

Over the past few months, my sons been dared to turn out the lights in the girl’s bathroom and recently to kiss another boy on the cheek. As parents it is extremely frustrating when children suddenly forget everything they’ve been taught trying to be cool. Now my son is known as the child who will complete any dare.

My husband and I keep trying to reinforce the concept “it’s never cool to do the wrong thing” and “it’s okay to tell people no.” All the incidents keep occurring at lunch time, which makes me want to go and sit in the lunchroom. However, I realize ultimately my son needs to stand up for himself and make good choices.

The hard part is teaching our children the difference between people who are true friends and those who wish to use them. It is such a hard concept for children to understand. Why do our children have to face adult concepts at such an early age? Why can’t they stay innocent longer?

What Did I do Wrong NOW?????

I want to share with you what happened to me this week. At some point in your life, you will run across someone who is never happy with your decisions or actions, whatever they are. People will either express their dissatisfaction to you directly or tell everyone else and eventually you will hear about it from a friend or neighbor. Normally, it doesn’t bother me until someone intentionally tries to tear down my reputation.

Call me old school because I still believe your word and reputation are how people perceive you. If someone has a problem with me, I try to handle it like an adult and find out what I did or didn’t do. Many times, it’s just a miscommunication and a conversation can make it right.

My biggest pet peeve is being blamed for something that I never did. Why do people feel the need to stir the pot? Newsflash – Pot stirring is not welcome or tolerated in my world. Women need to support and uplift each other. I will never understand or support the need for women to tear each other down.


My Body Said “Enough”

Last weekend my family and I went out-of-town for a fishing trip. It was Mentor Youth Fishing in Pennsylvania. All week I had pushed myself trying to get everything ready for the trip, cleaning the house, and getting laundry done, etc. Normally I drink several glasses of water each day and eat spinach several times a week. When I don’t then I get migraines.

All week I kept telling myself tomorrow I’ll drink more water, but it never happened. I didn’t manage to eat any spinach either. My body finally screamed “Enough” in the form of a migraine at 4am on Saturday morning. Along with the migraine came the nausea which I absolutely hate. All I could do was drink water, take OTC migraine medicine and go back to bed. I said a little prayer hoping I would be okay. Not going fishing would disappoint my children and only add to my misery.

Luckily my prayer, water, OTC medicine and sleep worked. At 6:30am, I was able to drag myself out of bed to get ready for fishing. We had a blast and the kids caught and released so many fish I had to stop counting.

My body sent me a warning signal to slow down and take care of myself. Too many times we forget our health is just as important as the health of our family. I have started reminding myself the dishes and laundry will wait. Being around to make memories with my children is far more important.


Glitch Magnet….

Somedays I feel cursed, destined to find the glitches or cracks in the system. I feel worse when the glitches involve my children. Our adventure with the orthodontist continued last week, when my son had his expander removed. Here is the back story, 6 months ago my son had an expander cemented into his mouth because of a high-narrow pallet. The expander installation required two separate attempts within a 72-hour period. The orthodontist performed the second installation himself.

All was well until it came time to remove the expander. I was curious how they loosen the cement used to hold the expander. It was not what I expected at all. A little tool that looks like a pair of wire snips is used to pull at the corners of the expander. This supposedly cracks and breaks the cement. SUPPOSED too is the understatement of the year. 2 teeth came out because of my 8-year-old’s expander being ripped from his mouth.

All the orthodontist said was “At least they were baby teeth”. WHAT???? These baby teeth were not supposed to come out for another 3 years. Now my son gets to wear a retainer to keep his teeth from shifting until his adult teeth come in. The orthodontist did call me the next day to make sure my son was okay. He made it worse by telling me he’s never had a patient lose teeth during an expander removal.

My son is taking the adventure in stride and excited to get $2 from the tooth fairy. Meanwhile I’m stressing hoping he doesn’t get an infection or dry socket. Oh, the joys of parenting are never-ending.