Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Presence: Wrapped in Love



I am often consumed by pressure.  Pressure from myself to be perfect.  I make lists and plans in my head of how I want things to play out or be done. Out of fear, maybe? Fear of being rocked by emotions I'm unprepared to handle....maybe?  I've always been this way since I can remember.  I've always held people to a higher expectation, especially if I like you, or God for bid, love you.  Do what you say you're going to do and follow through.  I can be tough on the ones I love due to my expectations. My intentions are so good, but the realistic mess of it all caused me to experience growth through  all of the let downs. Since the most recent naive time in my life, I've grown up, and learned the ways of the world, the beauty and the darkness.  I've kept some of my old habits, broke a few and let some go completely.

Then, as I've always planned everything, I planned my pregnancies, what type of mother I wanted to be, you know, my fairy tale.  But once that little baby was here, it took every vulnerability and insecurity inside of me, threw it right back in my face and said, "I will forever be a reflection of you, so get your shit together and don't fuck this up."  Maybe not in so many words, or words at all, but that first stare said everything I needed to hear.

The good parts of it all, which we all love to share, were; my life changed, my world became very small and my focus was honed in on something so important that nothing else mattered.  But before I had the magical moments of wanting to better my life for this little boy, I was, for lack of any 2 better words, scared shitless.  The overwhelming feeling of being responsible for a single being's life is when I actually realized that my shit wasn't together.  I was a wreck.  I hadn't gotten my Bachelor's degree the way I had planned to do before I had a baby, so what if something happened to my husband? Then what? What if I needed a break?  What about me?  I realized that my life had been stripped of anything to do with my needs and all to do with someone else's.  I mean it got pretty selfish in the emotions department, but I'm human right?  I enjoyed my pregnancies, I relished in them and thought motherhood would be the same.  It just wasn't, it was hard.

I was harder on myself than any one person could have been on me.  I convinced myself that every decision I made for my child would either create a loving, honorable man, or most definitely a sociopath who couldn't relate to anyone in the outside world. I guess the good news was that I was taking this seriously, but as I've always been told and teased, maybe a little too serious.  My Dad used to tell me I was being too sensitive when I'd become offended or saddened by a joke that he meant nothing by.  Sometimes I agree with that statement and tell myself that same thing when I'm feeling offended or sad, but there are appropriate times for sensitivity, and it makes me who I am.  I tend to take things to heart, very serious and personal.  I've gotten better as I've gotten older.  Don't  they say everything gets better with age?  But I'll always be this deep, sensitive and sometimes, serious person.  So, my analyzation of myself as a mother would be no different.

I had found myself in so many situations where I was with my children physically, yet thinking of all of the other things I needed to be doing.  *GUILT*  I'd been physically with my children and felt like I just needed to be anywhere but there in order to get my sanity back. *DOUBLE GUILT*  Then when I'd be without my children trying to get my sanity back, all I wanted was them, with me and in my arms so I could apologize for the fact that I shipped them off for 2 days, not for quality time with Grandma and Grandpa but for ME.  *GUILT GUILT GUILT*  I convinced myself that I was messing up as a mother because they probably felt unloved and abandoned.  Little was I realizing all of the memories, bonds and laughs that were being created and had. There was love for them in this world to be experienced and had, other than my arms.

***Now here is where the light shines through.  After I go through my self-analytical emotions, I become exhausted by my own judgement.  I begin to fight back and tell myself, "give yourself a damn break!  You are with your children 99% of their lives when you're not working an 8 hour day.  You feed them, bathe them, play with them, laugh with them, support them, cheer them on, tell them you love them, smother them with kisses and you're THERE!"

I know I don't have to tell my 2 sons that I love them 100 times a day, but this Mommy does.  If I only said it once, it would be enough, because my actions every moment I'm with them is showing them my love.  Being there is my love.  Together as a unit, as a family is love.  I have so much joy and love from and for my children, I glow.  I literally glow when I'm not with them, because they are inside my heart, filling it with love and light.  I can't help but to glow.  I am exhausted, I am run down, but I now know that this chaotic bliss doesn't last long enough and I will miss it.  I was missing it when I was judging myself.  I wasn't allowing myself to live in the moment, because I was criticizing my actions in that moment.  I was holding myself to an unattainable expectation, and punishing myself with guilt.  I know I'm not the only mother in the world who has done this, but to write it down makes it real for me.  I was able to receive my bachelor's degree in my own time and probably didn't give myself enough credit, but that accomplishment brought me joy and I did it for myself, without guilt.

I still struggle with guilt and have to put it all into perspective at times.  But all I want you to get from this is, if you can be present and give love to your child, you're doing a great job.  Our children are going to remember us being there and feeling our love.  When we live in the moment, those are the memories that last...what could possibly be better?




Monday, November 11, 2013

A Love Letter to my Husband


 


Dear Husband,


I knew you were good, but not this good.
I knew you were strong, but not this strong.
I knew you would take care of me and our babies,
but never had I imagined I'd be this happy.

You're whole life is this family.
Every decision you make is only to enhance our lives.
You make it look so easy, and I realize,
it's because this is where you want to be.

I'm neurotic, hormonal and a stress case no less.
You're calm, rational and tell me I'm beautiful when I'm a mess.
You cook, you clean, you do the laundry.
You have kids on your hip and tell me to go take some time for "me."

You support me, believe in me and make me feel like there's nothing I can't do.
 I love you for loving me, seeing me for who I am and choosing me to be with you.

You work SO hard and NEVER complain.
Your children look to you and see Superman.
I look to you and see a Saint. 

Baby, you're my BEST friend, my rock, my soul mate.
I'm honored to be your wife and be apart of this life you help to create.

I only hope I can make you as proud as you make me,
because honey you are one in a million
and I'm going to spend my life making you this happy.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Allergen Ridden Woods: My Journey, Part 1



As a child growing up on the Central Coast of California, I never knew what an allergy was. I suffered horrible headaches here and there, but was never affected by anything in nature so to speak.  I moved to Northern California at 21 with my now husband and was blindsided by my horrible reaction to the plants, trees, weeds, grass, you name it.

About 6 years after living in the Northern Valley, I began getting chronic sinus infections. Every time I got a cold, it inevitably turned into an infection. One year, my primary doctor told me I had come in about 7 times with a sinus infection. I knew I needed help and something else was going on. I was having dental sensitivity so badly that I constantly thought I had a cavity and when my dentist took my xray, he told me my sinuses were completely clogged.  When I should have been enjoying the most beautiful times of the year in Northern California, I was cringing at the trees blooming and the leaves falling.

Once I saw an ear nose and throat doctor, I was sure this was going to be the answer and my saving grace. I had horrible sinus pain and headaches almost on a daily basis.  My ENT told me that I had a deviated septum.  This meant that my sinuses were not draining and therefore, causing chronic infections. Ok, this made sense! Unfortunately, in order to fix that problem, I had to have surgery.  So after going through 9 long months of pregnancy with my second son and having the worst sinus pain ever without much medication at my disposal, I gave birth and I received the surgery. My pain went from terrible to unbearable.  The surgery did not cure my problem.

I was devastated to find that my headaches actually got worse.  I went back to the ENT to be checked out, because I was sure something was wrong since I felt worse.  My doctor told me that unfortunately it looks like my issue now was allergies and I needed to see an allergist.  I felt so completely defeated. All I wanted to do was FEEL BETTER.  It's the most frustrating thing to be in so much pain and everyone who has tried to help you can't help you at all. The surgery did what it was supposed to do, completely cleared my sinuses in order to drain properly.  Now, the problem was, my sinuses were so clear that the allergens had even easier access into my sinuses, in turn increasing my pain.

My appt. with the allergist couldn't come fast enough.  We did all of the tests on my back and found that I was HIGHLY allergic to dust mites and found other allergies that needed to be looked into further by conducting tests where they actually stick me with a needle that has the allergen in it.  The results from that became the talk of the office that afternoon.  The nurses huddled into my little room in the office because they had never seen someone have such a reaction to every tree, weed, grass, etc. The doctor sat me down and told me, "you need to move." I laughed, and said "what are you talking about?"  He went on to tell me that I will not have a quality life here in Northern California anytime soon.  We needed to begin my shot treatment, 2 shots a week for the next 1-3 years and if that doesn't help me, I need to move to the ocean.  I was shocked. I knew the pollen and everything else from living in the valley was to blame for so many people's suffering, but never did I think I would be told that there is a possibility that there is no help for me.  Again, I was devastated.  To be in such pain, still, and have a specialist tell me that there may be nothing he can do, but we can try.  So in April of 2013, I began 2 shots a week.  

I am 5 months into my shot treatment with no change.  I was told it will take at least 6 months to feel a difference, maybe even a year.  I am suffering on a daily basis with something that is completely out of my control, or is it?

I had a very serious talk with my husband and we agreed that my health must come first.  We were going to give the shot treatment a chance to work and be open to other options if it doesn't.  Then, one day I was having a conversation with my co-worker and she was telling me how her husband had allergies so bad that they almost moved out of Napa, which is where she lives.  We talked about my similar struggles and she told me that her husband was about 90% better and living pain free by going to see Dr. Cleo Riffey.  A chiropractor and alternative medicine specialist.  There was an allergy program she told me her husband completed. It's a 2-3 week treatment and a complete holistic approach to curing your allergies.  I was kind of skeptical, but so desperate that I'd try anything at this point. 

After some research and reading some success stories, I made my appt. to see Dr. Riffey. It's been the craziest learning experience and I'm only 2 treatments in.  There are a series of tests they do on you once you come in.  There is a muscle test that actually immediately shows the things that your body reacts negatively towards, just by holding it in your hand.  The energy from the "agent" immediately interacts with your body and if you have a negative reaction to it, your muscle test becomes weak, where without anything in your hand, it's strong.  It sounds crazy to some, I'm sure and completely makes sense to others, I'm sure.  I've been on a spiritual path for a while now and completely believe that we can heal ourselves from within with the right state of mind, positive energy and the right help from someone like Dr. Riffey who has been studying this stuff for 30 years.  The tests she did on me and the results from those tests said so much about my body that she could never know and I never disclosed. At my first visit, she explained that she was taking everything I'm reacting to and reprogramming my body and energy NOT to have a negative reaction. Some other tests were conducted at my second treatment today in which Dr. Riffey made a vial tailor made for all of my weaknesses and reactions to anything and everything I could possibly come in contact with.  It's a complicated process to explain, and I know I'm not giving the complete explanations of the process just yet, but I am supposed to take 10 drops twice a day of this serum for 3 weeks.  Then, we will see how I respond.  The day after my first treatment I had one of the worst headaches, then for 2 days straight after that, I did not have one headache, not even an inkling. That is HUGE for me.  Some may say it's all in my head, but I feel like I have gone to such great lengths in the science world for treatments and answers, that I can now feel confident that I am doing the right thing by seeking a holistic approach.  If I'm even 10% improved by going this route, it's worth it. 

All I want to do is feel good and stop the suffering and help someone else in the process if I can. We have to be our biggest advocate for anything concerning our well-being.  Who else is going to love you more than you? I am constantly telling myself not to give up every day.  I know allergies don't seem like a serious medical issue, but if you're one of the few that struggles every single day, it's an issue that consumes our lives and takes away our quality of life just like any other equivalent condition. I will definitely keep updating my progress, or lack there of if that's the case.  I will be completely honest about how I'm feeling, but at this moment, I feel complete optimism.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Theresa Caputo Experience



I'm not much of a religious person.  I'm more spiritual than anything.  I went to church here and there as a child and most recently a few years back. I began reading the bible at that time and I'm glad I did.  I learned a lot about myself and answered a lot of my own questions, "what was I trying to accomplish?" I was at a place in my life where I needed some guidance, an outlet and going to church and praying brought out who I always knew I was.  I believe in a higher power, for me, that power is spirit. A large part of the world's higher power is God and they learn through the bible, church, community and their personal relationship with God.  I call my higher power, spirituality.  I'm very confident in that.  It doesn't mean that I think believing in anything else is wrong, that's just who I am to the core.  I've always known that I feel this way, but needed to try another avenue to confirm my beliefs. In doing that, I became more sure of what I believe in. 

For many of you that don't know, Theresa Caputo is a psychic medium who has her own show on TLC based out of her home town of Long Island called, 'Long Island Medium'.  Cameras follow her around as she lives her normal life, reads for people by appointments and also how she reads people in public places when she comes in contact with a spirit who needs to talk with a loved one who has passed away.  To the skeptics, it might sound crazy, but if you watch one show, you'd see the genuine impact it has on Theresa and the people she comes in contact with. 

I was on Facebook one morning and saw an advertisement to see Theresa Caputo live. I didn't think to do anything about it until a couple clicks later, there it was again. I decided to look into it and saw she was going to be in my hometown.  I got this surge of excitement and frantically sent out a message to all of my friends asking if they would be interested in going with me once I saw how fast the seats were going.  My neighbor V, who has also become my close friend was the first one to speak up and want to go.  She has had a lot of experience with death and being around death so this interested her very much.  I asked my Step-Mom if she'd like to go and she jumped at the chance.  I bought the tickets that day and almost forgot how soon it was coming up when it finally did.

The day of the show I felt so much anticipation.  I went to work with an extra pep in my step.  I work in an old remodeled farm house. The business I work for bought it 4 years ago and let me just say there have always been some weird sounds coming from that old place. I hear what sound like foot steps upstairs and the doors swing open and shut pretty frequently. This particular day, the door was creaking open and shut all day long. I probably heard it about 50 times.  On any other day, maybe twice I'd hear it. I'm pretty good at playing dumb with it, because I have so much work to get done, if I sat and obsessed about that door, I'd have to quit.  I felt like my senses were super high that day just in anticipation  for Theresa, but 'I hadn't see nothin' yet'. 

My Step-Mom and I met for dinner, we'll call her M.  M and I met at PF Changs and we were going to meet my friend V and her mom at the venue.  At dinner, M and I talked about anything and everything as we normally do.  We had a funny conversation about my Dad and how he had some wild idea a long time ago to start a pooper scooper business.  We laughed so hard!  

When Theresa came to the stage she did a little introduction about how she's known she was different from the age of 4 and had to teach herself how to live with this crazy gift. She then taught herself how to use it and understand it so that it could help other people.  She needed a release since she was experiencing it 24 hours a day and by reading people, she is able to be herself and help people in the meantime.   

I came to see her not expecting anything.  I didn't expect anyone on my side to come through, but I did know I'd be changed forever and that's why she calls it the experience, and that it was.  

She sought out a woman who lost her daughter.  Theresa gave her some great details about this little girl, what she was like, how she was feeling before she passed away and how she wants her mom to carry on.  We all sobbed as this woman was reeling with emotion as Theresa told her things about her little girl that no one else would know.  She passed away very quickly and unexpectedly of pneumonia.  To lose a child is beyond my comprehension, but there were so many parents of little ones lost that were there that night.  It broke my heart, especially since I have 2 little boys of my own. 

I could go on and on about everyone she read, but I'll tell you the moments that really stuck out at me.  In her introduction, Theresa said that there are so many spirits trying to come forward in a room of 3,000 people that it makes it very difficult to shut out the other spirits. The spirits do something called piggy backing.  One spirit might come through and then another will come through with that spirit for another person. Her point was that we might hear her read someone and she may be saying things that directly apply to our lives because one of our loved ones is coming through. It's hard to explain but I completely understood once it happened. 

She was on her way back to the stage when she walked past a 12 year old boy. She immediately asked him if the necklace around his neck was his brothers. She told him that his older brother appreciates so much all of the ways that he honors him. In everything he does, he does it for his older brother. His older brother's only advice for him was to make sure that he's doing what makes him happy and not try to do what he feels his older brother would do or want him to do. She said he doesn't need to fill his shoes, he can be anything he wants.  He can be a pooper scooper if he wants, just be the best pooper scooper he can be.  

Did you catch that? When I heard that, I completely lost my breath and my jaw dropped.  I knew it was my Grandma coming through just to acknowledge that she's with me.  I feel like I haven't felt my Grandmother's presence in a long time.  I've been vocal about it on a couple occasions, including that night to my Step-Mom at dinner.  I felt completely validated. 

She did some amazing readings and I was sad to have it end. 2 hours goes by so fast. A couple things that she told us that I knew I definitely wanted to share were some of the ways our loved ones on the other side show us that they are with us. She said odd things that happen on a regular basis for no reason like flickering lights, doors that open or close by themselves (ahem), things being out of place, etc. are our loved ones showing us that they are still with us. When we take pictures and there are orbs in the photo, that is most definitely our loved ones she said. The one that hit home for me because it happens to me every day is when you look at the clock at the same time every day.  I know I experience it and a popular time that this seems to happen to most of us is the lucky 11:11.  Our loved ones that have passed are always with us.  They pass through us, they live inside us and they are with us during the most important times in our lives.  They never leave us.

I walked away with a lot of mixed emotions.  I was super sensitive as I came away from it, not just emotionally but my spiritual sense ran really high.  I couldn't sleep at all that night.  I was feeling and seeing things all night.  My emotions have been running high only because it was really hard to see and hear the experiences of the parents that lost children.  It's a really hard reality to accept and it was really hard to hear.  My heart aches for those parents.  I can't help but to put myself in their shoes for just a second, the pain is so unbearable that I have to take my mind away from it immediately.  They can't do that.

She spoke about destiny.  She said we all have a destiny, how we get to that destiny is our own doing, but we have a block of time where our destiny is up.  She spoke of how our souls act without our heads knowing.  Have you ever done something not really knowing why you're doing it, but you do it anyway? Another way you could look at it is acting on a gut instinct.  That's your soul/spirit making the moves and keeping you in line with your destiny.  When we say things were meant to be, they truly are, even when it feels and is a disaster in our lives. Destiny isn't just what we see as good, it acts as what we consider bad too.  It's a scary thought to think we all have a destiny, but it completely emphasizes the importance of today and right now! 

Life is SO short.  Planning for the future and having goals is always a great thing, but what does it matter if we aren't living for today? If it all ends tomorrow, those plans never mattered, what matters is what we've done and what we're doing right now.  

This experience has given me an opportunity to reconnect with myself and I hope to keep that going by staying on a path of spiritual journey.  It's given me a fresh view of what's important.  To keep enjoying my family, my kids, to keep good people in my life and enjoy today! 

There is so much to tell about the 2 hours I was at her show, and even more after.  I could write a whole chapter in a book if I had the time.  So if any of you have questions about my experience I am completely open to sharing anything about it and my personal experience that I took from it.  I hope this gave you some insight, perspective and comfort if you need it. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Khloe Kardashian Effect



I'm sure most of you opened this blog thinking or hoping I was going to be bashing Khloe Kardashian, but you're wrong. I'll actually be doing the opposite. As I drove home tonight I heard yet another Khloe weight joke on the radio. The disgust that rolls across my whole body is only the the very tip of how SICK and TIRED I am of hearing weight jokes about women at all and about Khloe Kardashian, as if she even remotely has a "weight problem."

The Kardashians have been a target for all sorts of scruitany and that will never change. People love to hate on others, especially celebrities for all kinds of reasons, most of all envy and jealousy.  I am no saint. I have had my fair share of "haterade" toward all kinds of people and situations, especially at a younger, more insecure age. But the lengths at which the media will go in order to insult a beautiful, intellegent, and yes wealthy woman is simply sick.  It doesn't just make Khloe a target but also attaches her name to a weight stigma, which she will carry around with her forever. It insults women of all shapes and sizes and again shows why we, as women will continue to have such insecurities.  If our society is calling Khloe Kardashian fat, then I don't want to know what they would have called me after I gave birth to both my children.

The most natural thing in life for a woman's body to do is to carry a child if she's able to, for her body to make changes in size as the months go on and then give birth. It is impossible for a woman to go through life staying the same shape, especially if she plans to have children.  What are we telling our young girls and youth if we are calling a seemingly perfect looking celebrity, fat?  It's ridiculous and sick. My sister recently saw Khloe at a Clipper game in person and commented on how tiny she is in real life.  I don't have daughters, but I'll be damn sure that my sons know what a realistic woman's body is and that every size is beautiful.  We've already begun talking about terms like "fat" and "big" when it comes to people's bodies, becuase our 5 year old is already bringing home language that is completey inappropriate and judgemental when speaking about another's weight. Unfortunately it it is the reality of what our children are learning from our society.

Khloe is only one person who must sadly deal with harsh judgement about her weight, and in the public eye at that. She is trying to be a positive role model and deal with her insecurities in a healthy way all at the same time, when maybe she's feeling just as insecure as everyone else or moreso because her every move is being watched.  Yes I know she's rich, beautiful and all that, but that in no way means it's ok to be so mean and judgemental.  Our society gets off on tearing people down rather than lifting people up, especially women.  We would rather focus on the negative because we're all so miserable and unhappy that we can't be happy for someone else.  Let's get our heads out of our asses and if you really hate Khloe that much then get off your couch and quit watching her show and off your computer where you call her fat!  The craziest thing is that Khloe is the favorite Kardashian.  I can't even count how many people I hear say she's the most down to earth and non-materialistic one.  She's got the happy marriage and seems to be as grounded as possible when it comes to the unnatural life she lives.  From fertility issues to weight scruitany, all of these real things that she deals with, we should be praising her and thanking her for sharing all of that with us, not calling her fat.

   

Monday, April 15, 2013

In a Perfect World



In a perfect world there is no hate
We all have a friend, a friend to relate.
We never feel alone 
Or scared to be home
No war, just love and great debates.

We wear our differences like a badge of honor
We see beauty in all shapes, sizes and colors.
There is love and peace
No starvation, just feasts
And one's kindness only gets kinder.

Today we experienced hate
A soul that felt he had no friend, no friend to relate.
He felt alone
Like he had no home
He made war, stole love and some lives couldn't be saved.

In our weakness we might not wear that badge of honor
Because we may only see his differences in culture or color
We might judge him and blame him 
For acting out of hatred
Because his anger only gets angrier. 

Sadly, we must be devastated and shocked
Our worlds must get rocked
To shake us out of a fog.
We are learning by sadness
Helpless tragicness
And we only want it to stop.

Out of the dark will come light
Out of weakness will come the fight
We must learn to value our lives.
Live like there's only today
Let nothing stand in our way
And fight as hard as we can to survive.

In our imperfect world, 
In this moment of sorrow
Nothing is promised
Not yesterday,
Today,
Or tomorrow.



Friday, October 12, 2012

#mommyproblems




After a 20 minute battle with my four month old this afternoon, he finally fell asleep.  As I was sitting in his nursery rocking him into a deep sleep, you know, the one where I knew I'd at least get the dishes done, I started to hear my four year old pee into the toilet.  As I was rocking back and forth, I caught a glimpse of him standing over the toilet through the crack in the door.  I was only getting half a second view at a time, then I realized he was standing over the toilet holding none other than my iPhone!  Just to be sure my eyes weren't fooling me, I needed a better look.  So I confirmed by trying to slow the rocking chair to more of a long stride in order to keep my infant asleep in my arms, yet get a peek at my son hovering the toilet with my phone in his hands....and....confirmed!  I realized he was playing a game and one wrong move and my phone was a goner.  Great I was now faced with quite the dilemma; yell down to the bathroom for my son to step away from the toilet with my phone in hand which will definitely wake up my four month old, and possibly startle my four year old so that he drops the phone in the toilet anyway. Option 2: pray that he doesn't drop it and ensure my baby stays asleep....sounds like a much more expensive decision if the cards do NOT fall in my favor, but I'm dying for a break at this point so I'm going to rationalize that it's worth it.  Needless to say I chose option 2 which turned out to be a good choice this time, but I had to have a talk with my son to make sure he understands not to do that again and I'm pretty sure it didn't sink in at all and it will continue to happen again and again whether I realize it or not.

Awesome!
#mommyproblems