“The Talk”

I never really got “the talk.” I mean, not that I remember at least. I do recall hearing “Don’t let anyone touch you here or there.” But a sit down conversation about the birds and the bees? Not really. In hindsight, I may have been so traumatized that I just blocked it out completely. Either way, though, now it’s my turn to give it.

My son, my baby, my first born.

I could never have imagined Michael growing up and getting older. But we’re here now and he is the most gorgeous boy in all the land. He really is. Ugh! I am an obsessed mom, I know. But as cute as he is and as little I want it to happen, he is growing up. My baby is turning into a man and as his parent, it’s my duty to let him know what life has in store for him. Especially when it comes to sex.

By 14, I’m sure he’s heard a few things. Between movies, TV, and the internet there probably isn’t much he doesn’t already know. Or so you’d think. But the talk I want to have goes beyond S-E-X.

I want to talk to my son about consent, respect, and honesty.

I want to teach him that sex isn’t a bad word but a sacred one. I don’t want to scare my kids.

Lets be honest. In the right situation, time, and with the right person, sex can be amazing. I want him to know that all those things should factor into the decisions he makes, though. I want to explain that there are diseases, and that they all don’t have cures. How having sex with a girl can not only change his whole life but the life of someone else. A lot of people think that as a guy, its easy for him. No! That is the reason we have problems in society with regards to sex. Too often we force women to learn all these aspects and put the pressure is on them to keep safe, to say no, to find ways to not be seen or stand out, not to be “misinterpreted.”

But I have a son and a daughter. I want them to both go out into the world and know all the same things about sex and everything else life has to offer. I can not control everything they will do outside of this house. But as a mother of a growing man, I think it is my duty to teach him especially that no one is your property. You don’t have the right to grab a boob or ass cheek; even if it is hanging out.

I want him to know what that makes girls feel and how it can tear a woman down.

Because one day it could my daughter with a boob or a cheek hanging out. How would he feel feel if someone touched or spoke to his sister in a way he didn’t agree? He should (and does!) empathize with all people, and he doesn’t need to picture the person as his sister, but he’s 14. It’s easier for him to see the impact when you apply a big kind of concept (like consent) to someone he cares about.

I know it sounds harsh.

Making him consider the repercussions of actions can be a harsh look, I know. But I believe that being honest and open with him will make him a better man and father. That is all I could ever ask for.

 

 

 

Self-care for the next generation

A few weeks ago my friend’s daughter ran up to me in tears crying because she had fallen and her sister didn’t help her get up. I hugged her and told that it was OK and that people aren’t always going to help you get up. You have to pick yourself up sometimes. I wiped her tears and she ran back down to the playroom and it was all better. If only it were always that simple.

Here we are now and my own 5 yr old comes home upset because she tripped at camp and 3 of her friends ran right past her and didn’t help her up. I gave her the same speech I gave my friends daughter but my sassy queen wasn’t having it. She looked at me and said, “Well from now on, then when I see someone down I’m not helping them get up!”

I stopped and couldn’t even believe what I was hearing.

I got down to her level so she knew it was important (Pro-mom move) and I said “No we don’t do that. You will continue to help people who need help. Don’t ever give up helping others because you didn’t get helped.” She may have understood or  she may not have but she agreed and she skipped away.

I am still left bothered by both situations. Both girls thought someone needed to pick them up. But why? I didn’t raise my kid to think that she was entitled to people at her beckon call. Let me tell you, if you met my friend you would know she definitely didn’t raise her daughter that way either. Still, my question goes unanswered.

Why assume that someone has to help us up when we fall?

Now don’t get me wrong, if I see someone down I am the first one to offer a helping hand. I think anyone who sees someone down should help them back up, always. No matter the reason. But, if I fall I don’t ever expect for anyone to pick me up. Nor should you.

Life is full of so many messed up things and people. There will always be times when you will fall down; literally and figuratively. And when you are down, it’s OK to be down. Take your time getting up when you can. As long as you remember, that you don’t need anyone to get you up. It’s nice, of course, but you shouldn’t always depend on others to help you up – no matter the reason for the fall.

It’s almost as if people are keeping score of who did something nice and who didn’t.

Now don’t get me wrong, if somebody wrongs you, you have every right to stay away from that person. But we shouldn’t bring that into our other relationships, and human interactions. Being kind shouldn’t reflect on how many people have been kind to us. I don’t want my daughter, at 15 years old seeing some on the ground and walking right past them because she thinks, “Well that one time at summer camp my friends ran right past me.”

So many people give up on kindness to total strangers because of one (or several) bad experiences, fear of rejection or just plain laziness. And it’s not to say that everyone is deserving your kindness but we shouldn’t be so quick to give up on all of mankind. Your kindness is a reflection on you; not of how many times you’ve been neglected.

I want to raise my kids to be strong and independent and not need picked up by anyone.

I think most parents want that of their children. But I also want them to be kind and thoughtful. You can be a strong individual and still help other people. Maybe in their kindness, they can help others grown their own kindness.

A Week Using Deva Curl

OK, I want to start off by saying this is not a paid sponsorship I will always be trying new things because that is what I do. I want to start doing new things for my self and getting this mane under control was one of them.

So after seeing tons of ads on Instagram for Deva Curl I posted asking my friends what was the big deal. I got amazing feedback from a few girls and they were all amazing. So I decided what the heck let me go check it out. After looking through the Deva Curl website I came upon the curl quiz. So the curl quiz is a few basic questions about what kinda of curl do you have? what kind of curl do you want? hair type and scalp type? pretty basic. At the end of the quiz, it shows you a list of your recommended products.

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I’m not going to lie at first the prices turned me off. So I started to look for alternatives but they were all priced the same and some had alcohol as one of the main ingredients. I don’t know a lot about anything but my hair is already dry I can’t put alcohol in it. So I dragged my 14 yr old son to a land no teenage boy wants to go with his momma ULTA. I was pretty surprised by the size of the display but I was excited to get this hair under control. I didn’t spend as much money as I thought because they have gift sets that are roughly the same size as the regular bottles so I ended up saving about $20.

The next day I took pictures of my dry damaged hair with no product in it and I wanted to cry. I really never noticed how bad my hair was because I never gave it a second to breathe I was just slathering on product on top of product until I had these hard curls. The pictures below will make you ill and I apologize to all my curly headed girls I know I was wrong I will never let my hair get this bad again.

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eeekkkk.

Well, I washed my hair on day one and I have to say I was surprised that the shampoo had no lather. I know it says no later on the bottle but I thought a little something but nope nada. The reason for no lather because it doesn’t have any Sulfate, Paraben or Silicone. The smell was light not strong like most shampoo’s and the same goes for the conditioner. I purchased 2 styling products because they were apart of the recommendation. On the first day, I tried the styling cream and it was the only thing on my hair. I was so nervous all day at work I kept touching my hair and the humidity was insane so by the end of the day my curls were intact but my volume was at 100. On day 2 I tried the Ultra Defining gel and I have to say so far it is my favorite.

By day 3, 4 and 5 I had it down pact I kept to the same routine alternating between styling creme and defining gel. By day 6 I decided to get a little crazy I used a little of both my styling products. I was headed to a theme park with my kids so I wanted to make sure through all the rides my hair was intact. Let us just say it held up by 10 pm my hair still looked great. So today is day 7!  I washed my hair and just let it air dry naturally and did not use any product and this is the picture below.

 

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Insane ?? You can see such a difference just a few days did to my hair. I honestly can not believe it even the way my hair feels. I am actually getting some real curl back.

What’s changed for me besides my amazing hair? I have not used a comb or a brush in 7 days. During washing and conditioning, I’ve stuck to using just finger combing my hair and its been enough. Also, my hair isn’t falling out as much when I finger comb it I think I was literally ripping my own hair out with the brush I know so bad. The acne on my forehead and the sides of my cheek are also clearing up. I don’t have those gross and greasy products running down my face when I sweat,  or rubbing off on my pillow and getting on my face at night. Which is something I never even thought was even a possibility?

Still more to do though. I think a lot of us have heard of the Deva Cut, it’s like this precise cut for curly headed girls curl by curl. Well, I really think I want to try it and see how the cut helps with my curl journey.  I wish when I did my curl quiz it would have offered me some of the deep and leave in conditioners they have. I will be trying those as well, I kept to my suggested list which I regretted after I saw all the amazing reviews on all their other products.

All in all, it may be pricer then what I have paid in the past for shampoo and conditioner. But I did the math for myself and it is really not much of a difference. An extra maybe $10.00 a month added to a routine the significantly change how my hair looks in mere days. I still have a long way to get my curl completely back so keep following my Curl Journey to see what I try next.

 

Me and Gastric Sleeve…

I’ve struggled with my body since I was about 14 but as I got older and times changed I got to the point where it didn’t matter anymore to me. I was me and I loved me. Yea, of course, I wanted to be able to go up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, but excuse are easier then change some times. I joined a few gyms, tried a few diets but nothing worked and I always just told myself I would try something else at a later time. Then I’d pack on 10 more pounds.  I called it my pity weight.

It wasn’t until I was at my heaviest at 272 lb , that I knew something was wrong.

I had started to experience fatigue, restlessness, and my arms would go numb no matter how I laid in bed. I was always tired but could never sleep more then a few hours. Finally I decided to visit my doctor. At the doctors office the few concerns I had, turned into bigger ones. My weight and diet had caused me to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When I pointed out how hard I’ve tried to lose weight I realized I was making another excuse, to my doctor who is telling me what was wrong and why. She mentioned a weight loss clinic, and explained how surgery wasn’t the only thing they did. So the next day I called the weight loss clinic just to see what it was all about.

This weight loss center I went to provided weight management including nutritional counseling, medical evaluation, psychiatric evaluation and weight-loss surgery. My first step was to attend one of the information seminars. There they discussed the process, handed out tons of literature, and set us up for our journey. My first visit at the weight loss clinic wasn’t what I expected. It was a lot of learning at first and tired to absorb as much knowledge as possible.  I attended every classs and group they afford,  there weight management class that was very informative and one of my favorites. Each class was different, one class would talk all about how to make healthier choices, another about Food Journaling, and then different bariatric surgeries. I also went to some Support group meetings, which I found to be very helpful. Those meetings were a mix of pre and post opp patients and you could discuss concerns and fears with actual people have been down this road. During this time I meet with doctors and had decided maybe surgery was the best path for me. I began food journaling with the nutritionist and in doing so I learned a lot about my eating habits and things that trigger my overeating, like stress and boredom. I learned to make healthier choices and as i progressed through the program I did lose a few pounds.

Meeting with the psychologist was the most pivotal point in the journey.

We sat and spoke about what this weight loss meant to me. I was confused by her question because I never thought about what it really meant. I was fat, I had medical issues?  But I blurted out all of my fears dying young and leaving my children behind, not being able to keep up with my 4-year-old anymore, telling my 13 yr old son no I couldn’t go for a run because I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it more than half a block. I was embarrassed about how big I had let myself get. How can I tell people after this I punked out and opted for weight loss surgery and didn’t try harder. It was refreshing to let it all out my worries and insecurities all out on the table. That was probably the first time I knew I was actually doing the right thing.

A week prior to the surgery I was instructed to begin my pre-op diet. The Pre-op diet consisted of only liquids. The reason for the pre-op diet is because the stomach is located just to your left of your liver. To access your stomach for most bariatric procedures, your surgeon will use a liver retractor. This is a device that lifts the liver up and out of the way so your surgeon can safely operate on the stomach without the liver getting in the way. When you consume a lot of solid foods the liver becomes stiff on a liquid diet you liver can easily be moved. The first day wasn’t as bad as my second day, I was still working and seeing other people eat and snack around me was hard. My whole department ate lunch is secrecy to be supportive, but others who had no clue randomly walking by with a donut while I wiped the drool from my mouth. Then when I was home I had to be a mom, I still was cooking dinner for my family.

But I stuck it out until the end.

I kept different clear liquids around me at all time things with empty calories to ensure I could distract myself. My favorite where raspberry ice pops so good by the end of the week even the kids were eating them with me.

August 22nd 2017 I had my surgery. Prior to the surgery I decided it was best for me to get the Gastric sleeve surgery. The day I went into surgery I was 258 lbs. Once out of surgery everything was pretty easy for me. I didn’t have some of the most common medial complications ie. heart burn, nausea. It wasn’t until I got home that the discomfort kicked in. It felt like my stomach was sore and inflamed. Consuming liquids was strange at first I would get a cramp if I drank anything to quickly. The first 2-3 weeks after I was on liquids. I was walking around a bit but I  tried to relax to give my body time to recover. I wasn’t as drawn to food as I was prior to surgery because I didn’t feel hungry. But I missed chewing food, what a weird thing to miss doing I know. But its true the feeling of chewing was one of the things I missed most. By the third week I was up walking around no support bathing normally and finally was allowed to have some soft foods.

Still no real chewing.

I did not have any solid foods till my ninth week out from surgery. It was amazing I could actually chew something. By my 12th week I was back to all foods and still am. I can now consume about a cup of food during each meal. I no longer have drinks with my meals. So either I drink something prior and wait 15 min or I eat and then wait 30-45 min after to drink. It sounds silly but my stomach is so small I have to do one or the other not both at the same time. I have changed a lot of my eating habits, but I cant give up salty foods. I no longer have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. My health is at a good place but I’m still considered overweight. Now am 173 lb, and I have hit my plateau I need to start working harder towards new goals. Running a marathon, doing  push ups and just living life. From here on out its all me and wont be losing anymore weight unless I make an effort to start working out or tracking my calories more. So lets see where I go from here.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery ??

The Google machine definition of gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical weight loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of your stomach along with a greater curvature. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery states that in 2016, 216,000 people in America had some type of Bariatric surgery and 58.1% of those surgeries were Sleeve Surgery that’s 125,496 people.

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Que Viva Amazon!

Today I realized I have a serious problem. I was sad for a number of reason all of which of are my fault so, I went to Amazon. I was emotionally distraught and the first thing I could think of to make me feel better was Amazon.

My search started with just basket to organize my linen closet. A little click here and another over there and bam! 7 items in my cart and $305.61. Luckily I caught myself before check out but it became pretty obvious at that point:

I may have an unhealthy obsession with Amazon.

Now I say ‘unhealthy’ but I don’t quite mean it in a bad way. Hey, I love Amazon! I get packages at least twice a week, sometimes more. I had my birthday and Mother’s Day wish list on there and I will definitely use it for Christmas and the kid’s birthdays. They even have Subscribe and Save where you don’t even have to remember to order toilet paper; they do it for you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: OMG! She is so lazy! Well, guess what? You’re right. I am lazy. I’ll own that.

But to be honest, the conveniences of Amazon give me more sane moments with my family; not dragging them out shopping. No matter how well-behaved your kid is, those shopping trips are never as fast as you need them to be and your kid always whines and begs for something. Even though you used your Mommy Voice in the car and told them not to ask because we don’t have the money for those extra.

When I scroll through Amazon it’s like a quick one-stop shop for the things we need. But even the things I don’t need I get on Amazon. I mean if it has 2 day free shipping I’m going to get it. My Amazon saved for later section has ONLY 71 items. These are the items I drunk buy. What’s that, you ask? Well sometimes on Thursdays mama has a glass of wine or 3. She strolls over to the Amazon app and boom picks up something for herself that she had been hesitant to purchase. Thanks to Amazon I have an adult paint by number set, a bright blue clutch bag and a variety of J Lo sized hoop earring. And let me tell you.

It’s a real treat when 2 days after a hangover you get a package in the mail that you weren’t expecting.

Hiding the packages are the real problem. So, my 83 year old grandma has, all on her own I might add, started hiding them under her bed for me. She pulls me into her room to show me and covers her mouth as if we were doing a drug deal. It’s the best thing ever!

Look, I know Amazon isn’t for everyone and you maybe won’t find everything.

hahaha Who am I kidding Amazon is amazing and I will continue my love affair with them. Or, at least I will as long as that delivery guy remembers to leave everything at the side door and my grandmother smuggles it all past my family.

*This was not a paid post it was a mom expressing her love for Amazon. Also, if you didn’t know by using the link smile.amazon.com you can help raise money from a list of a million charitable organization.*