Homeschool · Life · Parenting

It has been a hot minute since…

I’ve been around this here blog of mine. When I was last here, I announced my pregnancy with my daughter. My sweet baby girl turned 9 months old this month, so I’ve been missing in action for some time. I’m back, however, with a new idea for this blog.

Aren’t they precious?

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I’m going to try to focus this blog on my homeschooling pursuits. G is 3.5 now and I plan to start some basic homeschooling with him in August. He has already picked up quite a few things from our random days at home. I’m always doing something educational with him because it’s who I am, but he’s really picked up so much from life itself, plus lots of reading, PBS Kids, age appropriate apps on his Epic tablet and LOTS OF PLAY! He’s quite an imaginative kid!

Starting in August, I plan to use 2 different simple curriculum with him.

  • Build Your Library: Kindergarten “Around the World” curriculum – $25
    • For the price, this curriculum is great. I’ve purchased most of the main books and will get the rest from the library. This covers literacy, science, social studies, art and music. I just need to add in a little math play, some life skills, make sure there’s always hands-on/movement happening, and we’re set. I like that you only do a few topics every day, since we know young kids don’t have long attention spans. Overall, I don’t plan to spend more than an hour total on intentional schoolwork, and it will be broken up in bits and pieces.
  • Sadlier’s Getting Ready to Read with Mother Goose PreK/K: I found the student workbook at a used bookstore, and got the teacher’s manual on eBay for cheap. This may be an older curriculum, but the activities are so simple and easy to put together, and short in duration.

I’m not the type of person that can improv and fly by the seat of her pants. My mind doesn’t move quickly and I need time to think about how to do something. So, the more prepared I am, the better. I know that not everything will get done, and I will not be a slave to the plan. He’s only 3.5, so honestly, as long as we read and play, we’re good! I have a ton of activities on hand to pick and choose from so we don’t have scree-time driven days. I want to get better about that. I want to get him outside more too, because he loves it, but he’s also a serious homebody like myself.

We joined a local homeschool co-op and I’m really excited about signing him up for a class. It will get him around other kids and used to taking instruction from someone else. He’s already getting a taste of that in his swim lessons. He seems a little confused at times, but with social cues, he picks up on how to stand in a line, follow the leader, etc. He also does well with the instructor, even though I find her a little cold. He’s gotten much more used to the water and seems more confident. Anywho, we have a creepy crawly workshop in August with the co-op, and then classes start Aug 30. Registration is not yet open, but I hope he gets into a fun class. I’m going to volunteer in a leadership position, though I’m only an apprentice at this point. They need social media help, and you know I’ve got that covered! My mom’s also going to volunteer in the nursery, where she can be with baby Lowry and I can be in class with G for his first time. I may teach a class at some point, but I want to be with him this first time.

On another note, we are in the process of scheduling an evaluation with an Occupational Therapist for G. We suspect some sensory and/or ADHD issues. I know he’s only 3.5 but both parental instincts have been buzzing for about 6 months. ADHD runs on both sides of our family, so that wouldn’t be a stretch. The sensory thing is new to me though, but the more research and observation I do, the more I think something’s there. I definitely thing he’s a propreoceptive seeker. From what I understand, the propreoceptive system is the ability to sense where our body is relation to our surroundings. Apparently without this system, we wouldn’t know where are body parts are without looking. Anywho, they have seekers and avoiders. I think G is a seeker because he runs everywhere, has poor body awareness, kicks, bites or hits on occasion, chews incessantly, loves to gently tackle kids in bounce houses/gyms and has poor personal boundaries. Also, he loves doing things that provide input to the propreoceptive system, like pushing and pulling things (his toy shopping cart, any kid toy, riding his tricycle, wrestling, sweeping and mopping, jumping, climbing, rolling our giant exercise ball over him, using his hands for all the things, he loves play-doh, putty, slime, squeezing anything, loves to stir and knead…the list goes on. ADHD symptoms are present, but he is 3.5. I get it. It’s not my first time around kids (though he is my first), and having a social work background with children, something doesn’t feel right.

I just want him to feel as normal as possible, and also want help for me. I struggle some days with my patience and understanding. I try. I recognize it. Sometimes I can be calm and collected, but not getting great sleep, having a baby to care for and house to run, I get frustrated. I’m not doing great at caring for the house, but I’m trying to change that. Ugh. If I didn’t have my mom around to help, I’d be in a worse position, for sure!

 

Life · Parenting

It’s been a few months…

I can’t seem to stay on top of blogging. Mostly, I don’t feel inspired to write about my life, which is pretty damn normal and not very exciting. I’m a mother living with her family, working, and enjoying life when a free moment arises. I think when free time appears, I’d rather use it doing my 2 beloved hobbies, which are paper crafting and reading. Oh well…

Today, I have something worthy of writing, which is also cathartic for me. It’s a sucky thing to write about, but for every woman who does share her story, it helps all the ones who are suffering in silence. Now you may have guessed what I’m going to write about.

Yes, I had another miscarriage.

This time was not as simple as the first. Oh no. Mother Nature decided to scare the shit out of me, Todd, and my mom with her power of WTFkry. It was about as unpleasant and terrifying as any medical trauma could be, and I’m going tell you about it. It’s gross and scary and really gross.

You have been warned.

I was 9 weeks pregnant. I was feeling hopeful that we kept getting closer and closer to the end of the first trimester. At the beginning of last week, I started spotting dark brown blood. I know that spotting can be very normal during early pregnancy, but after having gone through the first miscarriage months earlier, I was trying to stay calm and collected. The midwife said to relax and keep watch for bright red blood and cramps. Saturday morning rolls along, and so does bright red blood. I threw my hands in the air. There’s nothing that can be done, so I let me body do its job. I still hadn’t experienced a single cramp, which I thought was odd.

Sunday afternoon, my mom and I went shopping so I could get out of the house. I suddenly had a sharp cramp and felt a gush of fluid. I told my mom we had to leave promptly, so we left our shopping cart in the aisle and walked to the car. My mom had the forethought to have me sit on her rain coat, which saved my car. The short drive home, I could feel liquid oozing out. It was terrifying, but not as terrifying as when I got out of the car at home. I stepped out the car and it was like a waterfall released down my legs. It seriously felt like your water breaking during labor. I started screaming for Todd, rushing up the front steps. He comes hauling ass down the stairs with the baby in tow. I’m screaming that there is blood everywhere.

I rush into the bathroom and remove my soaked garments, and I’m horrified at what is happening. Liquid and other stuff is coming out. I thought it was fetal tissue but I think it was mainly blood clots. They were the size of baseballs. I am passed the point of no return. Todd already had a call into the midwife. When she called back, she said at 9 weeks, I would likely bleed a lot upfront until the tissue passed. I thought I had passed tissue, and so was expecting it to slow down. It did not.

My intuition kicked in about 10 minutes later, and Todd placed another call into the midwife. By the time she called back, we were leaving for the hospital. I sat on a heavy towel and Todd navigated downtown traffic. We got to the ER and they checked my vitals, which were pretty normal. They moved me to the triage waiting room, and I started to decline. I got very nauseous and passed out. They got me into a room and noticed my blood pressure had dropped. No shit! I’m surprised I had any blood left. (I know, I know. It seemed more than it was, but I was hemorrhaging. That is scary shite, peeps.)

They immediately hooked me up to 2 bags of IV fluids, which helped stabilize me. The ER doc came in and did an ultrasound, and she couldn’t really see anything. At that point, they needed to do a trans vaginal ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have an ectopic pregnancy, which can be pretty dangerous for the woman. I didn’t have a lick of pain, however, so I didn’t think it was that.

This was the long waiting period. I was still bleeding and they had to clean me up every so often. It was the most horrible thing to lay in that bed and feel blood continuously come out, along with clots. They finally wheeled me down to the ultrasound, and the nurse asked me to use the bathroom first since my bladder was full. Todd assisted me and everything was ok. I had the ultrasound, all the while feeling life slipping from my body. No kidding, that’s exactly what it feels like. After the ultrasound, she sent me back into the bathroom to clean up. Todd assisted, and I passed out on the toilet.

Things started to move quicker at this point. They got 2 more bags of IV fluids going, and retested my hemoglobin levels. They were an 8, which is reaching an ugly level. They made the call to give me 2 units of blood. I had a freaking blood transfusion, ya’ll. That is how bad it was. The OB doc came in to tell me the ultrasound didn’t show anything major, but they felt a D&C was the only way to stop the bleeding. There was likely fetal tissue still in the uterus, and the body wouldn’t stop bleeding until it was cleared out. I did not want to go under anesthesia but I wanted the bleeding to stop more.

By the time I got in the operating room, I had been bleeding for about 7 hours. 7 friggn hours! The operation went smoothly. It’s a pretty simple procedure where they open up the cervix and scrape the walls of the uterus. I didn’t experience any pain afterwards, thankfully. The OR nurse was awesome. I remember the conversation we had before I went under. We were talking about my line of work and she told me to read the book Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol. I asked Todd to order it when I woke up from the surgery, and I have it to read now. 🙂

After the surgery, I had to get a RhoGAM shot, just like I did with Gage. The blood bank does not play when releasing blood products! It took them forever to get the shot (it’s made from blood products) and it also took  forever to get the 2 units of blood before surgery.  They initially only had one unit of blood to give me, and Todd was not ok with this. He told the nurse that the OB doc said I was to get 2 units of blood before surgery, and she stated she could only get one from the blood bank. Todd got heated and said the OB doc needed to know that her directive was not being fulfilled. I had to tell him to chill out. I know it was his emotions running high and his doctor instincts kicking in. They finally got the second bag and all was good.

Phew. I feel like I just ran a marathon.

I stayed home from work through today and will return tomorrow. I’m feeling better physically, but I know the emotional part will take time. Todd and I went to my midwife yesterday and talked to their OB/GYN on staff. She examined my pelvic area and I had some slight pain on the right side, so she decided to go look and make sure I wasn’t showing signs of infection. Thankfully not. I have to go back in 2 weeks for a follow-up appointment. Todd and I also talked to her about some testing to find out why this has happened twice now. There is some blood work we can do and a special ultrasound. The fact that I’ve had a child bodes well. It’s also awesome that Todd and I have gotten pregnant naturally twice now.

So, I’m looking towards the future as much as possible, but taking it a day at a time. I have moments of sadness, usually when I’m alone, but they pass quickly. I hate that any woman has to experience this type of loss and it pains me to know I have loved ones who have experienced a pregnancy loss. It sucks and it’s unfair but we need to talk about it more. We are not alone in this pain.

I’m very thankful for my mom, who was available to care for Gage. I don’t know what we would have done. I’m also thankful Todd was not working so he could be with me at the hospital. I know my mom would’ve had a very difficult time in that situation, and I know staying behind was also difficult for her. Todd checked in with her often. They are both my rocks of support, in different ways, but all very much needed. I love you!

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Whole30

#Whole30: Days 5-7 – Weekend Warrior!

photo credit: Trees via photopin (license)

photo credit: Trees via photopin (license)

The weekend was a cinch! I am so unbelievably proud of myself for completing the first week of #Whole30 with no glitches. I did notice on Sunday that I was “grazing” and I realized that it was because I was bored. I knew I was bored, I voiced it to the family, and I realized that is why I was eating. So I watched a movie while playing with the baby and did some crafts. I kept busy and I felt less hungry, or maybe I just didn’t notice?

Isn’t the interesting? I think being bored is part of emotional overeating. I’ve often met smokers who tell me they will go smoke when they’re bored. I honestly think it’s the same mental process. While I’m eating healthy food, eating a lot of anything is not good, so I’m glad I’ve made this realization.

20150501_114833_resized_1I went to a conference on Friday at a university. We were given free range of the dining hall (which is incredible) for our lunch break. I cannot express how proud I am for not detouring off the plan. There was plenty of opportunity, trust me. Luckily, this school is very vegetarian and vegan friendly, and every food item had a list ingredients above it.  There was a lot I could not have, but I stuck to the salad bar, grilled veggies, hamburger patty, roast beef and sausage. The sausage may have been non-compliant, but I am not going to feel ashamed for that. I passed up the cookies, cakes and ice cream bar with really no issues. I also packed compliant snacks so I wouldn’t have a food meltdown.

20150502_120621_resizedHubs and I went to our ginormous international farmer’s market on Saturday. It’s a pretty awesome place with killer prices on produce. There are just rows and rows and rows of stuff. It’s a great place to stock up on our fruits and veggies for the week, since we are trying to so hard to not spend a ton of money. Unfortunately, protein items tend to kill the budget, and we buy those at Kroger because they are not a better deal at the farmer’s market. What can you do? :/ We got an awesome bunch of produce, plus nuts, no added ingredient dried fruit, arrowroot powder and carob pieces.

20150502_121644_resized I went out to eat with my mom and son on Saturday, picking a spot I knew had lots of fresh food, especially salads. Hubs warned me that it would still be difficult to be complaint, and he was so right! There was always one ingredient that I couldn’t have in a dish. Always. I ended up getting an Asian-inspired salad minus peanuts and crispy noodles, and used olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also got a nice piece of grilled salmon on top! It worked out, but I can see why we need to stay away from restaurants for the time being.

20150503_102955_resizedI made a recipe for apple pie bites, found here. Needless to say, they are delicious! I honestly never appreciated dates until going on this journey. DATES ARE THE BOMB, yo. The are the sugar of the natural world. That isn’t the way I’m supposed to be thinking about my food, but after one week of nothing sweet, these are amazing to my taste buds. But, as with any food that we are likely to overeat, I need to be aware of this and nip it in the bud. I was inspired by this recipe, so I took banana chips, dates, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and cinnamon, and create banana bites. They are just as tasty!

I am off to a great start and a change in mindset. I am convinced that success for a healthier lifestyle all boils down to PREPARATION.

What do you think?

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Life · Whole30

#Whole30: Day 4 – I feel BLAH…

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Today is not going to be spectacular for me, I can you that much. I slept terribly due to cramping and woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. It is only 7:30 and I already feel like I’ve been working for 5 hours. I may need an adult mental health break today at lunch, otherwise known as a NAP. In other news, I did not make coffee this morning because I was in a daze and wanted to leave for work before I sat back down and fell asleep. That’s not such a major deal because I can make coffee at work. In the past, I did this a lot, but now, I can’t have the creamer and sugar that’s with the coffee. And guess what? I forgot my coconut cream! *smacks forehead*

photo credit: coffee via photopin (license) photo credit: coffee via photopin (license)

7:30 AM – One sausage and 2 egg muffins. I’m satiated but I have a headache and I can barely keep my eyes open. Therefore, I will meet with students! Yes, they are just as tired as me so I will torture them with my thoughts and that will be entertaining. 😛

9:30 AM – Ugh. Headache. Go. Away. Please. it could be my cycle, it could be not having coffee. I will keep drinking water to see if it helps…

10:15 AM – Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling Clementine…x2!

photo credit: Clémentines via photopin (license)
photo credit: Clémentines via photopin (license)

12 PM – I had the salad that T made last night. He made a dressing using his homemade mayo as a base, and it was delish. I also had some of the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. Yay for Farmer’s Markets!

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2 PM – Since I did not pack a lot of food for lunch, and have had very little protein today, I’m hungry. I had an Apple Pie Larabar, and my goodness, it was delicious. I don’t feel bad for eating it, since it’s technically compliant, but they want you to save them for emergencies. Whatevs. I don’t plan on consuming them daily, but honestly, I wouldn’t mind that being my afternoon snack. It was so tasty!

4 PM – I had a hard-boiled egg when I got home. I was craving protein!

6 PM –  Slow cooked chicken with balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and onions, roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and walnuts and roasted zucchini.

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Oh, let me tell you about my first night of the Atlanta Citizens Police Academy. We met the chief and a lot of the people involved in the organization, as well as many of the zone commanders. We then talked about how citizens are the eyes and ears for the police and if we see something, we need to say something. Even if we think the thing is minute, we could have the one small detail that can lead to solving a crime. We also talked with an explosives detection officer, and got to see his K9 demonstrate his skills. That was fun! He actually had a Weimaraner, which really surprised me. I had no idea they were used in the police force. The dog was serious when sniffing for explosives, but the minute he got his “treat” (which is a toy and praise, never food), he became a big puppy! I think we are touring the 911 facility next week.

I think Punky felt slighted today…

Ribbet collage

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Life · Whole30

#Whole30: Day 3

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I woke up this morning feeling a little tired, but nothing abnormal. I’m waiting for the ugly side effects to hit, but so far, I have been feeling fairly normal. One thing I have noticed however, is that my cramping is far less noticeable this cycle. I’ve read women talking about how menstrual cramps became close to nonexistent after changing their food habits. I know I’ve only been at this for a few days, but I am not having them nearly as bad as usual. It could be placebo effect or really happening, but who the hell cares. Less cramps = less cramps, yea!

7:30 AM – I ate 2 yummy egg muffins (one with sausage, broccoli and potato, the other with spinach, tomato and sausage) and a piece of sausage. My homemade sausage is delish. I don’t see any reason to go back to the grocery store stuff at this point!

10:45 AM – The snack is bananas – B-A-N-A-N-A-S…

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12 PM – I feel a headache creeping in. Luckily, it’s lunch time! I had leftover sweet potato, ground turkey and kale, plus an orange for the sweet craving I had.

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Tonight I am attending my first session of the Atlanta Citizens Police Academy, which is going to provide insight into the internal workings of the police department. We will have a department overview, learn about crime scenes, Internal Affairs, identity theft, use of force, criminal procedures, tour 911 facility, have a K9 Demonstration and a Zone Ride-A-Long (cool AND scary!) I want to learn as much as I can so I can help my neighborhood become a safer area. Living in the city of Atlanta can be awesome AND scary at times.

But, I am nervous about what might be lurking at this session. You know what police are known to love and consume, RIGHT?!?! It’s all good. I can refrain, just need to make sure I have some snacks with me! I plan to eat pork, a hard-boiled egg and an avocado for dinner prior to the event.

Chef Gage was apparently more concerned with feeding the dog than the family. 😛

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Update: They had Jason’s Deli meals for the participants at the Citizens Police Academy. Old Smash would have eaten a meal even if I had dinner prior. But new Smash watched everyone eat their sandwiches, chips and cookies while she ate my apples and almond butter. Honestly, it wasn’t a big deal! I beat my first “challenge” like a boss!

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