Mom Philosophy?!

As a mother of five I am often asked many questions about mothering.  I take a look around and wait for someone else to answer the questions because, really?!  Am I really the one being asked for motherly advice?!  Don’t these people understand that I’m just basically winging this whole mom thing?!  Yet apparently I must be doing something right because the questions keep coming.  I never really thought about what my Mom Philosophy is until I was asked to by Skirt Sports (they rock by the way).  Naturally, I polled some of my closest friends who have seen me in the ups and downs of motherhood over the past 9+ years.  I was told that I say things like: “Kids are washable” and “Just let them be kids.”  I was told that I am resilient, and that there’s laughter in my house even during the toughest of times.  As I pondered these things and thought back on how I’ve grown as a mother and how I would like to continue to grow, I settled on one word: adventure.  According to the dictionary, the definition of adventure is: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.  That’s it, that’s my Mom Philosophy – ADVENTURE!  I hope that I am instilling a spirit of adventure in my children.  I hope that with all they do in life that they don’t ever fear adventure but embrace it.  As Amelia Earhart famously said: “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

Nuby Review 1 – EZ Squee-Z Feeder

A while back Baby Cinco and I were chosen to be testers for some Nuby products.  We received these products in trade for an honest blog review on them.  First one up for review is the Nuby BPA Free EZ Squee-Z Feeder.  Let me start off by saying that I have been a huge fan of various Nuby products for almost 10 years; so I was super excited when I received a response back that we had been chosen to test out and review some products.  The Nuby EZ Squee-Z Feeder is a good product for babies who are eating level 1 foods.  It works well with jarred baby food or even well pureed homemade baby food.  We like to use it for apple sauce.  I’m all about honesty so I will say that it was a slight pain in the butt to load the food into the feeder.  It doesn’t hold a ton of food but that’s what makes it great for babies just started on solids.  The feeder has tiny holes in it so the food squeezes out when baby chomps down. 

Hhhmmmm…how does this thing work…

ah ok…I got this mama.

As you can see in the pictures above (taken when we first used the product a couple of months ago, so Audie was about 7ish month old) the design of the Nuby EZ Squee-Z feeder is easy for baby to grasp and hold himself.

Not pictured it the top that goes over the feeder.  Since baby has to chomp down to get the food out it makes for a mess free snack to carry in the diaper bag with you.

When the food starts to get low you do have to give it a good shake down to get the most out of it.

Now let’s talk about cleaning real quick…

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but considering how people found mold in other baby feeding products (not naming any names) I can easily see that happening with the EZ Squee-Z.  Please be sure to take it completely apart and thoroughly clean and dry it to prevent molding!  Note: putting it back together is a little bit tricky so pay attention to how you take it apart so you’re not spending too much time like I was to get it back together.

The Nuby BPA Free EZ Squee-Z Feeder comes in three colors: Blue, Pink & Green.  It can be found at your local Babies R Us store so go check it out!

Be sure to check back soon for another review on another Nuby product.  Also, give Nuby a follow on Instagram for the latest on their products.

What’s Up Wednesday – March 15, 2017

I’ve been doing a little weekly VLOG series on my YouTube Channel.  Just trying to get out there a bit more and share some of my thoughts and feelings on certain things and items I like and answering questions people may have recently asked me etc…

Today was very difficult to post.  In about a 6 minute video you get a glimpse into the chaos of my life.  Into what it’s like to have a child with Autism.  A child on the non-verbal end of the spectrum, where we may never be able to have full conversations with him.  I know there are success stories out there but I can’t compare those experiences to ours.  Every child is so different.  Autism is a puzzle and you’re not always sure if all the pieces are even there.  Or you start solving the puzzle and something comes along and decides to toss it off and jumble the pieces back up or turn it from 100 piece puzzle to 1,000 piece puzzle.

I have lived some parent’s worst nightmares.  I have lived through my child escaping out of the house via a window and being on the porch roof.  I have lived through my child running away from home.  I have lived through my child running away from school.  I have lived through my child having meltdowns in public, and I have learned to ignore the nasty looks at these times.  One of my worst nightmares is that since my son can’t really speak, that something will happen to him, where someone will harm him and he won’t be able to tell me about it.  This has happened, more than once, and it happened again today in a way that has left me fairly speechless and my mind is completely boggled.  I work so hard day in and day out to keep his world as safe as I possibly can.  I work so hard to make sure he receives all the therapies and services that he needs.  We research providers, and have left providers that we didn’t think were a good fit for our family.  Y’all, IT SUCKS!  That is all – it just simply SUCKS!

I’m not sure how many times I said “it sucks” in my VLOG today but it seemed like it was all that I could say.  I just need you all to know that.  Just please allow us to say “it sucks” and acknowledge that yep, some days it really does suck.  Do not apologize to me about it because you have nothing to truly be sorry for.  It’s not your fault that he has Autism, it’s no ones fault, it’s just the card we’ve been dealt for whatever reason.  Saying “I’m sorry.” to me about it puts me in an awkward spot honestly.  If you’ve said it to me before don’t worry too much about it, I don’t have any instance in mind but from here out just take a moment of pause and instead of saying you’re sorry for what happened just acknowledge with me that “it sucks.”

It’s March 15th – “beware the Ides of March.”  *sigh* yep… what I mean is that as a parent, and especially if you’re a parent of a special needs child, we must always beware.  Don’t let the fears control your life but use that “spidey-sense”, that tingling you get, that sensation that something just isn’t right, that this just isn’t working…acknowledge it and trust your instincts.  Just because something may have worked before doesn’t mean it’ll always work.  Once that “mommy instinct” goes off, trust it.  It may suck to adjust through but usually that instinct is there for a reason.  Mama Bears everywhere, good luck.  Be brave when you “beware the Ides of March” in your life.

More than a cute outfit…

Disclaimer: this post started out as a little update in the Skirt Sports Ambassador group but quickly grew into something more.

The 2017 Skirt Sports Ambassador season began just a few short weeks ago. It’s expanded so much this year and it’s so exciting. Heck we even broke the internet and the company is switching to a new host to help speed up things for all the new skirt converts. 

This week I was asked a few times how I became an ambassador.  Most people mean well when they ask such a thing but I did have one person who was a bit shocked that a company would pick someone like me to be an ambassador. I mean let’s be honest here, I am not the fastest runner, I am not the most flexible person, I am not good at lifting I’m not even that great of an athlete honestly.  Even though I used to coach [swimming and lacrosse], I don’t coach sports anymore. I don’t have any sort of personal training certification heck I don’t even have a real job by societal standards.  So really, why would a company choose someone like me to be an ambassador for them?  I’m not completely sure honestly but here I am for my second year as an ambassador, and at the captain level for this year, so there must be something about me that they see that others may not.  I’m not writing this to brag or anything, I just want to share my story with you. 

A while back Skirt Sports did a photo shoot with some of the ladies in my Moms Run This Town [MRTT] group from Savannah, Georgia.  That’s when I first became intrigued by the company and signed up for their emails.  I didn’t buy anything right away because at the time I was pregnant with our 4th child [Mikey] and about to move from Georgia to Texas. I didn’t think these clothes were for someone like me. Yet then as the stories about these ladies that I ran with started rolling out…real stories, real women (now I get what they say “real women move” as part of their motto), I became more and more interested.  Even though Skirt Sports was founded by Nicole DeBoom and even though she’s an amazing well know triathlete, she’s real.  She’s more than her athletic accomplishments. She recognizes this in others as well. She recognizes that real women move and she has built an amazing community and company around that motto.  I am proud to now be a part of that community. 

After asking many questions to my friends who had tried Skirt Sports I finally bit the bullet and bought my first skirt, the poparrazi gym girl ultra.  When it first arrived in the mail I was still a bit hesitant but then I thought hey, I played field hockey all the way through college and knew what it felt like to run in a kilt with shorties underneath and I missed that feeling.  Let me give you a bit of backstory here that I don’t really like sharing because I don’t like this side of me being shown but I know how important it is to show it every once in a while…I was severely depressed when I bought my first skirt. I was so depressed that I couldn’t even see how depressed I was. I was at one of my lowest lows in life and barely recognized myself.  Heck, I had chopped off all of my hair in hopes that it would help bring some spunk back. Yet it didn’t.  I was in darkness very badly.  When I look back at pictures of myself from that time, even with all the compliments of how cute my hair looked, I never felt like myself. I felt like an imposter. I was faking it. 
If you knew me back in college you may know that my sophomore year I battled depression very badly. I was almost kicked out of school for not showing up to class and for failing one course and getting a D in another and plummeting my GPA, it was a 1.9 that first semester.  I wasn’t a 4.0 student but I was at least a Dean’s list student. I know that was almost 15 years ago now but I still think about it regularly because my coaches recognized that I needed help.  With the help of my coaches and teammates I climbed out of that hole and look fondly back on my time at Regis. So there I was about 12 years later and back down in a hole and longing for my team again.

I decided that I would start training in the gym girl ultra and use it for one of the legs in my upcoming capital to coast race. I was surprised at how well the skirt worked. No chaffing was a huuuuge bonus.  I bought a second gym girl ultra for C2C.  The skirts worked amazing during my legs of the race and I couldn’t talk enough about them. It was around that time that other friends started encouraging me to apply to be an ambasaador. So I did. 

I had no clue what to write on the ambassador application and asked Troy his thoughts. His response was classic, “I like how your butt looks in the skirts.” No joke y’all, I included that in my application.  Around the same time I found out that I was pregnant with baby Cinco [Audie] and in that same week we also found out that Troy would be leaving just a couple weeks later for a 6 month deployment to Africa. I plunged deeper into depression. 

When I went to do the OB paperwork for my pregnancy with baby Cinco the nurse recognized that I scored fairly high on the depression screening and that I needed help.  I finally said yes and agreed to start therapy.  Shortly after, I was accepted as a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and am honestly still a bit in shock.  2016 was an extremely difficult year for me. As I’ve said before, I cannot take medication because my body doesn’t process it properly and it does me more harm. So I have tried almost all other alternative therapies out there. Heck I even did some hypnotherapy sessions, which were some of my favorite sessions honestly. One of the things we discussed in therapy was to focus on the simple things. To just get dressed.  That’s it, get dressed.  We discussed my fitness and how important it was to keep active. OK so now all I had to do was get dressed in my active wear. So I did. I know, I know, it’s ridiculously simple, but when you’re battling your demons even what seems to be the simplest of things can be a huge accomplishment. So here’s where Skirt Sports comes in again; get dressed in my active wear and then go work out at some point.  I know it may sound trivial but it helped me out so much. I love how my skirts look. I enjoy taking the time to focus on something simple. I enjoy choosing a cute outfit. I enjoy putting on that outfit and love how it makes me feel. Heck I liked it so much that as you know, I chose to wear one of my favorite skirts and sports bras as one of my outfits for my maternity photos! 

 Not just the the clothes but the encouraging community behind Skirt Sports, all the other real women, they may not know it, but they helped me out of that hole.  I’m not saying that life is all fine and bright and dandy now because honestly, it’s not. I still struggle. I still have days where it takes every fiber of my being to just do the little things but it’s so much better than it was before. 

When the outfit shown above arrived at my door today, I felt the need to share a bit more of my story with you because even though this is a ridiculously cute outfit, it’s more than that.  I am very thankful that Skirt Sports saw something in me, and chose me to be a part of the ambassador team.  I’m more than my athletic accomplishments, I’m more than a mother of 5, I’m more than the wife of an active duty solider who is yet again on another assignment away from his family, I’m more than my depression…I don’t know exactly how else to describe it than to say it all adds up to be me. Beautifully flawed, real, me. 

Review & Reflection on Love Warrior

In 2016 I set out with a goal to read at least 1 book a month and I finished with waaaay more than that.  2017 my goal is to read at least 2 books a month and to host a monthly book club.  I have completed 11 books so far this year.  Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton is the latest book I have completed.  I have been so moved by this book that after writing a quick review in my goodreads account I feel the need to expand on the review and put it into a blog post.  By the way if you don’t have a goodreads account yet I highly recommend getting one.  It’s an excellent place to keep track of the books you’ve read and books you would like to read.  Click here to follow me on goodreads.

lovewarriorcover

Last year a friend of mine had posted about how she was reading Love Warrior.  I tend to enjoy most of the books this friend has recommended so I looked into it.  There was a long wait list for Love Warrior and so I checked out Melton’s first book Carry On, Warrior.  While I enjoyed her first book it did not move me in the ways that this book has.  I do recommend reading Carry On, Warrior but I feel like it’s not necessary to read the books in chronological order.  Both memoirs stand alone well.

Here’s what goodreads has to say about Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton:

The highly anticipated new memoir by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton tells the story of her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out—three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list—her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon was familiar with rock bottom. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life. Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how internalizing our culture’s standards of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for men and women to ever really know one another—and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.

Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

Let me expand on that by saying that I recommend this book to all women.  I truly feel like all women can find something to relate to among the pages of this memoir.  With out giving too much away I just want to say that this book truly takes you on a journey and it caused me to reflect on my life and relationships.

iamawarrior

Reflection…

Warrior flow is one of my favorite yoga sequences.  In it I feel powerful and ready to take on the world.  It challenges me but strengthens me in the challenge.  That’s life as well – strength in the challenge.  Overcoming, learning, etc…today is Thursday and I used to practice Thankful Thursday on a regular basis as a form of resiliency training.  Dare I say today that I am thankful for my experience with depression?!  I am.  I am thankful for struggle.  I am thankful for the challenges and the newfound strength they have given me.  With that let me make it clear to you that I believe struggle is relative to the individual.  It bothers me when people take my struggle and then throw back at me “it could be worse” or “oh but I [insert one downer statement here]” when someone does that to me or I hear about it being done to someone else I feel like that persons feelings are being discounted and that’s not right.  Everyone is allowed to feel the way they feel and to discount someone’s feelings and struggle just because you think you have it worse or better or whatever the case may be robs that person of an experience, of a journey that she may need to go and grow through.

I spent all of 2016 in regular counseling.  I was in an extremely dark place for a long time.  I cannot take medications because of how my body processes medications; it does more damage than good for me.  That is my experience.  I am sharing with you not to be a one upper or a one downer but to hopefully help show you that there is a warrior in us all.  That in the darkness there is light.  That sometimes things just suck and the challenges are so tough we need professional help out of them and that’s OK!  Don’t envy me don’t be like me, be the you-est you possible, you’re the only one who can do that.

This blog is called Rambling Mom for a reason, I tend to ramble on.  I tend to write in stream of consciousness and I often wish that I could just place a recorder of sorts in my head to properly get all my thoughts out.  Alas that hasn’t been invented yet.  My brain processes my experiences by writing about them with a pen and paper and then processes them again in a different way by typing and then processes them again a different way by talking about them.  That’s something I learned in therapy last year; that our brains process in various ways.

Back to my reflection of the book Love Warrior…

I’m often told that people look to my marriage with Troy as a #relationshipgoal.  I always think ugh, why?!  Trust me, you don’t want my marriage.  I’m not saying that my marriage is awful or anything but I am saying that my marriage isn’t exactly what you think it is.  My marriage struggles.  My marriage is a ton of time spent apart because of the paths we have chosen in life.  My marriage is missed birthdays and holidays and other special occasions.  My marriage is like the oceans tide where we struggle with the currents and the ups and downs.  There is peace in it though.  I truly know there is no one else in the world that I would rather be with.  It’s our relationship and no one else.  That’s what I encourage you to be in your relationship and in your life…you…you, you, you, your experience.  Your challenges make you the warrior that you are.

The quote below is a gentle reminder for myself and to you as well…

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…and remember YOU ARE A WARRIOR!

What’s Up Wednesday – Bra Review

Hey Hey Hey Rambling Mom Fans…WELCOME TO WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY!!!

Last Wednesday I did a quick little vlog (video) with some of the latest from me.  I did this because I am always getting messages or comments asking – hey, what is it that you’re drinking?  What are you wearing?  How do you like this or that?  Wait, what?!  People actually want my opinion?!  So I’ve decided to embrace that I’m apparently what they call a “social media influencer” – maybe my Regis College Bachelors in Communications is actually paying off – haha.  Anyways, so now most Wednesday’s I’ll be doing a quick little vlog post onto my YouTube Channel so click subscribe so you can check them out every week.  At the very least you’ll get a little giggle from me to cheer up your hump day.  To help me with my 2017 goal of writing more I will go into detail a bit more about something I featured in my What’s Up Wednesday’s vlog by writing about it here on my blog (well that’s a mouth full).  So here’s what’s up this week…

SKIRT SPORTS BRA SALE!!!  WOOT WOOT!!

Ladies, it is super duper important that you take care of your boobs and support them properly during your workouts.  I don’t care if you run or bike or walk or yoga or crossfit or…whatever it is that you do that moves you, and whatever your size may be, big or small protect them all!

Right now my personal favorite sports bra is the Kelly by Skirt Sports.  Let me tell you, I love this bra, not just because I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador, but because someone FINALLY created a product that meets my needs!  For about 10 years now I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding and my boobs have been everywhere from an A-D and many miles in between.  Even though I played sports all the way through College and I considered myself an athlete, I never gave much thought to my sports bras in the past.  Honestly, I just went with what was the cheapest because I had tiny boobs back then so really, what did it matter?!  Let me tell you, if you’re like how I was then well, I wish I knew then what I know now…

From Runner’s World –

What happens to our breasts while we are running?

During walking, a woman’s breasts move the same amount in and out, up and down and from side to side: about 33% in each dimension.

Up the pace to a jog or a run, and the movement is split: 51% up and down, 22% side to side and 27% in and out. The overall pattern is a figure of eight (on it’s side).

Breasts move as much during a slow jog as they do during a sprint, meaning no matter what your pace, you should always wear a sports bra!

Which translates to possible ligament injury in your breasts which can lead to sagging.  No one wants saggy boobs and contrary to popular belief breastfeeding isn’t what causes saggy boobs, improper support does.  So, what does this mean for a fit breastfeeding mama?!  It’s so tough to find a good comfortable “easy access” sports bra!  Well ladies, let me tell you, the Skirt Sports Kelly Bra has GOT YOU COVERED!  This bra, hands down, is THE BEST for breastfeeding mamas!  I’ve included some pics below (don’t worry, it’s not on me, I’m not going to flash you or anything but my dress form will haha.  Honestly, I think it’s an excellent bra for ALL women because it’s so versatile.  Check it out…

The Kelly Bra from Skirt Sports in Razz

Check it out, Velcro straps for “easy access” if you’re a breastfeeding mama or it’s just a great way to adjust the straps for any woman.

Now here’s a couple pictures of the back because you have a couple options for how the straps of the bra can be. It also shows another area of how to adjust the straps of the bra depending on your needs.

Option 2 is to have the straps criss-cross which is perfect for under racer-back tanks.

Another reason why I love this bra is because it has slight padding.  The padding is juuuust right so you don’t have to worry about unsightly headlights, y’all know what I’m talking about haha.

There you have it, my current favorite bra, the Kelly by Skirt Sports and lucky you it’s 50% off right now so go on over to www.skirtsports.com and check out all the cute bras they have to offer.  Also, you can use code: 1SSCAPT20 to get 20% OFF the rest of your order – how sweet is that?!  Enjoy!

Easy Airfryer Beneigts

Last weekend we took a rock n roll trip to New Orleans, Louisiana [NOLA]!!! I had a fabulous time but that’s a story you can see on my Instagram.  While in NOLA I of course had to try some of the official donuts of Louisiana aka BENEIGTS!  I almost bought a box of beneigts mix but at the time I didn’t have an Airfryer and I also thought that I would be able to come up with my own recipe anyways. So after doing some research on Pinterest I came up with the following recipe:

[Dry] ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon or 1/4 tsp of each

[Wet] ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup [vanilla] Greek yogurt [or blended yogurt or sour cream]
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

[Other] ingredients:

  • Sprinkles of flour to kneed dough with
  • Powdered sugar to top beneigts

Directions:

  • Preheat air fryer to 350 °F
  • In a large bowl stir together all dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl whisk egg and then whisk in remaining wet ingredients
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients, dough will be sticky
  • Lightly flour a surface to place the dough on [countertop]
  • Slightly kneed the dough until it forms together and then roll it out in a rectangular shape until dough is about 1/2 inch thick/takes up the space of a legal size sheet of paper 

  • Cut the dough into sections, about 12-15 pieces
  • Depending on the size of your air fryer you can fit 2-4 ish pieces in the basket just make sure the pieces aren’t touching

  • Airfry for about 5 minutes
  • Use tongs to remove beneigts from fryer basket being careful to not burn yourself
  • Place beneigts on a plate
  • Continue frying batches of the pieces until all the dough is used 
  • Top generously with powdered sugar
  • Serve warm and enjoy with a cup of cafe au lait