Sunday, January 14, 2018

Big News from CoCo

I have been drinking water!  Only one soda pop yesterday and on Friday. Two each on Wednesday and Thursday. None so far today. These healthier habits are quickly taking hold. I didn't want to jinx it and say anything but I am really proud of myself. 


My snacks have been cucumbers and clementines (and some ice cream.) I even passed up the Double Stuf Oreo cookies. It is so odd but I don't even want them. I did buy some Halo Top ice cream after so many friends raved about it as a treat. 

I am using a couple different programs to help kick start these new habits. The Plexus Pink drink has helped my energy levels and curb cravings. I start and end my day with water. Weight Watchers Freestyle tracks what I eat. I actually type the foods into the app before I eat them to check the number of points. I can still splurge but it reminds me to not indulge too much. Tomorrow I start doing healthy smoothies. I ordered some Vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology to give me extra nutrients every day. Their portion control containers give me a visual of normal food servings. 

It has taken a long time but I am seriously ready to put my self first. I got a new bike for Christmas, and bought myself good athletic shoes for workouts and exercises. I even went to the gym. I want to play with the boys, ride our bikes, and go for a hike.  I hope I can continue these healthy habits. However, these are not resolutions. These are conscious decisions to take care of my health and well being. 

My 41st birthday is coming up and I am determined to make this a great year. I am claiming my word of the year as #CONFIDENCE again. 

What are you doing to take care of yourself?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Nope. Anxiety

Anxiety won last night.


Plans were set for a Saturday night weeks in advance. I procrastinated to find a sitter hoping to use it as an excuse to cancel. With a small boost of courage and confidence, I found someone to watch the boys. I had two days. Two days to finish my to-do list. Two days to wash dishes, take out the trash, straighten up the boys' room, and clear the middle room. 




I know, I know. I hadn't been able to do all this work in the last two weeks over the school break. Hell, not even the last two months it had been on the To-Do List. There was no way I was going to accomplish it in two days. I had set myself up for failure. 

Was it a sub-conscious attempt to bow out of an event? Maybe. I am never sure. (Which only leads to more anxiety trying to figure it out!)

The biggest issue was the embarrassment of a babysitter seeing my house. I was afraid I would be judged. That someone would laugh about the horrible mom that let her children live in such a house. (To be honest, it is bad, but not close to an episode about hoarding. I don't want any readers to worry.)

I can't believe I am being this honest. I like to be an open book with my mental health issues, but this is a lot.

Be kind.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What Will They Be When They Grow Up? *Giveaway*

This is a paid post for AZ 529 Holiday Blog and Coloring Contest.

Giving the Gift of College to Children and Grandchildren

Christmas has come and gone, all the presents have been unwrapped, returned, or exchanged. As the kids get older, it is harder for extended family to find the perfect present. So avoid the stress of finding that one special gift and instead support their dreams. 


One option is to support children’s wishes for what they want to be when they grow up. You can do this through a tax deductible contribution to an AZ 529 account, (www.az529.gov) Arizona’s Family College Savings Program through the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. Contributions from parents, relatives and family friends provide gifts with long-term meaning for their littlest loved ones.



If giving children a card that says, “I helped you save for college,” seems less than magical, AZ 529 has suggestions that will delight youngsters while strengthening their futures.

1. Career Costumes: Give a chef’s hat, astronaut costume, or other career dress-up option with a note saying you believe they can be whatever they wish, and you’ve given $100, $500, or more to help them achieve their dreams.

2. Career Exploration: Give an interesting book about a future career with a bookmark note sharing your 529 contribution.

3. Teaching Toys: Find a toy that can be fun while they learn. Coding is a favorite for my boys. They can take a love of video games and turn it onto a career.

4. Split it 50/50: Instead of buying a large gift, take half the funds and contribute to their 529, while using the other half to buy a less expensive gift.

5. Experience The Future: Take children to a museum or activity that helps them better understand a future career, then login online together to see the funds deposited into their 529 account.

What Will They Be When They Grow Up?

Download this coloring sheet and have your child color me a picture.  One lucky drawing will win a $50 gift card.




Visit www.az529.gov or their Facebook page for more tips to save for college and help children realize their dreams this holiday season.






Friday, December 22, 2017

Post Divorce Holidays - GUEST POST

This is a guest post from Alexis Hall 
and SingleParent.info

Making the best of the holidays for your kids post-divorce

Divorce is difficult for your kids, and if it’s recent, getting through the holidays can be especially difficult for everyone involved. But, there are plenty of ways to make the season less painful and help all of you get through it peacefully.


Image courtesy of Pixabay


Attitude is everything

Encouragement and security.  Your first holiday season after a divorce will be a hard one for your entire family.  Even with encouragement and support from both you and your ex, your children will need reassurance and love.  According to FamilyEducation, you should let your kids know you understand they are feeling sad, worried, and perhaps angry.  Tell them those feelings are okay; things are different, and change is difficult.  Encourage them to remember good times from the past and reassure them there will be more good times to come.  

Be congenial.  Keep relations with your ex positive. Your children will be looking at your interactions together as a predictor of future holidays. Setting a good tone will give them hope.  Make sure both your behavior and your words regarding your ex are positive; if not, your children will pick up on it.

Celebrations

Traditions.  You don’t need to leave old traditions behind, as they may provide some comfort to your children. Experts suggest that if your schedule doesn’t allow a tradition to fall when it normally would, adjust. For instance, if you normally exchange candy on a particular evening and your kids are spending that night elsewhere, bump the event up to the night before they leave.  Also talk with the kids about starting a new tradition.  Let them pick something that excites them, whether you make gingerbread houses, go sledding, or binge watch classic holiday movies together.  Maybe your ex can begin some different traditions as well.  

Gifts.  Discuss the children’s gifts with your ex.  You don’t want the kids to be disappointed, but you don’t want them to be overindulged, either.  If you normally picked out a gift for your ex with your children, keep that tradition going.  Consider connecting during holiday gift exchanges, if you can.  Some people opt for employing technology by using Skype or FaceTime.  Another option suggested by Huffington Post is actually spending the event together with your ex.  
You could even move it to a new location like another family member’s home.  

Keep connections

Extended family.  Include the entire extended family in the holidays, from your ex’s side as well as yours.  Even if you don’t see these people in person, exchanging cards and emails, connecting through social media, or talking on the phone can be helpful.  Knowing they are still connected will allow your children to feel more secure.  Also as pointed out by Psychology Today, family members may not know how to act.  This year you set the tone for them, just like you do with the kids.  Keep things warm and positive.  It tells them how they will be treated at future events, and how you would like to be treated.

Know your limits.  If you find it difficult maintaining positivity around your ex for an extended period of time, experts advise against forcing time together.  Creating tension can spoil the holidays for everyone.  Also sometimes children develop a false hope that the family will be reunited.  Find a realistic and positive balance.

Get through the holidays together.  Your family is being redefined, and the holidays will be difficult. Keep a good attitude, celebrate both the old and new, and stay connected with the whole family. This holiday season will be a new beginning for you all.  You can get through the tough parts together.