All Posts By Heather Wells

Pick Your Battles – Save Your Sanity!

This weeks podcast is about picking your battles!

The Single Mom Blog - Podcast, Pick Your Battles

What do you mean ‘pick your battles’? As parents we have so many different things that we have to worry about and deal with on a daily basis. Making sure that these little humans grow up safe and secure and turn into hopefully productive members of society!

But let’s be honest – they can REALLY test our patience and our sanity! Who among us hasn’t ended up in a battle royale with their kid over something completely ridiculous? I know I have! We all struggle with it, and we all know that in the end it leaves us feeling emotionally and physically drained.

So over the years I have learned to pick my battles when it comes to my kids, rather than spend time and energy on arguing. Now don’t get me wrong – I still stand my ground on the important things but I am not willing to get into a 30 minute argument over whether my daughter should wear matching socks or not.

If my son decides he wants to make a peanut butter sandwich rather than eat spaghetti for dinner – fine by me. I am not going to argue and make myself insane over little things. Life is too short and I have only so much energy and patience to get me through my day.

Having a child with special needs definitely can complicate this but it is something that I also implement with my son. Picking my battles with him is very necessary because my son LOVES to battle.

If he can get me to step in that arena with him, he is in his element.

And I end up feeling like I just went 10 rounds with a boxing pro – even though I “won” the battle.

Today’s podcast discusses why it is so important to your own well being and mental health to learn to pick your battles. Is it REALLY worth the argument? Or is it better for you if you can just learn to let it go?

Don’t Be So Quick to Judge Others


There was a recent story about an actor who used to work on The Cosby Show who is now bagging groceries at a Trader Joes. Fox News posted this “story” with a picture of the man carrying grocery bags with a dirty shirt on. The backlash that they received from this story was epic.

Because the story was positioned in a way that made it seem they were slamming the man in a sort of “look how far they have fallen” piece.

The Single Mom Blog: Don't Be So Quick To Judge, Fox News posted a story trying to embarrass former Cosby Show actor for working at Trader Joes. Don't make judgments about others.

People from all walks of life came out in defense of this man. Railing against Fox for degrading a man for simply working a job. How dare they make it seem like this man was any less because he is not acting anymore and instead working a regular job like the rest of us.

At the time of this post, there has been no retraction or apology from Fox but it made me think about the subject of today’s podcast.

How often do we look at someone and make a snap judgement about them? How often is it done to us? For all we know this actor DECIDED to leave acting behind and is happy as a clam bagging groceries, and to try and belittle him for it is simply wrong.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com
 

I know that I have been treated poorly by those who make snap judgments about me as a single mom. I’ve had people assume I was on welfare even when I wasn’t. I have had people assume that because I am a single mother I must be a whore. Hell, my ex (my daughter’s dad) even told me once that I was trying to trap him.

In his mind apparently, because I was a single mother, I was looking for a man to come and take care of me and my kids. That I specifically targeted him because he owned a home and a business and therefore was a good ‘target’.

Never mind the fact that I had been single for 7 years prior to meeting him, had my own place, paid my own bills and never once mentioned anything about marriage or moving in. Really nothing I actually did would imply that I was looking to ‘trap’ him. But he made his snap judgement.

 

Today’s podcast is about these types of judgments. Do others do this to you? Do you do it to others? We shouldn’t but we do. Let’s try to be better so we don’t end up like Fox News, trying to embarrass some guy who is just trying to live his life.

Brain Injury – My Son’s Story & New Changes

The Single Mom Podcast - Episode #55 - My son's traumatic brain injury and the new issues from his injuryIn this weeks Single Mom Podcast (after returning from a year off of podcasting) I decided that since I had blogged about my son’s seizure during our vacation that I should give a little more background on how my son’s brain injury occurred.

My son and his twin brother are shaken baby survivors. When Gage was 5 months old his father shook him so severely that he was hospitalized.  His injuries were so severe that the doctors weren’t sure he would survive them, and IF he did they believed he would spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state.

Gage spent a month and a half in Children’s Hospital fighting for his life. During that time I was dealing with the criminal case against their father as well as a social services case. (There is a blog post and podcast in the works about that part.) Listen to the episode to hear more…

UPDATE: Our Summer Vacation and Seizures

So how was your summer?

Pretty common question right? How was your summer?

Did you do anything fun? Take any trips?

Typically we ask these questions and are asked the same in return. Normally I answer with the basic answer “We went to the pool, hung out at the zoo … you know summer stuff”. This year, not so much.

This year we did go on a trip. Not something we do too often because it can be very expensive to fly 4 of us anywhere and cover hotels and entertainment. This year, however, as a present to my boys for graduating high school (YAY!) my parents offered to pay for us to fly back east and go to Myrtle Beach.

So we planned a 2 1/2 week trip – fly out to my folks place in Virginia, drive down to Myrtle Beach for 5 days and then spend the rest of the time with family and seeing the sights in Virginia. It was a great trip that started off without a hitch. Which is saying something for us. Typically getting me and three kids out the door for a trip like this is pretty exhausting.

This time we got packed, out the door and on the plane with little to no problem. It HAS been over 5 years since we last took a trip back east though, so the kids being older and more able to help probably had something to do with it.

Trip to Virginia 2018, Summer Vacation to the Beach

We landed at Washington Dulles Airport with no issues after a little bit of a bumpy ride. My parents were there to meet us and the kids were so happy to see them. So was I. Going 5 years without seeing your Mom is hard.

We left for Myrtle Beach the next day and I have to say, for a 9 hour drive my kids did pretty awesome there as well. The hotel we stayed at was wonderful, we were right on the beach so all we had to do was go downstairs and walk out to it. I love being at the beach so much, I hope one day to move to a house right off the beach and just fall asleep listening to the waves. That is my biggest dream.

The days we spent at Myrtle Beach were great. We spent hours at the beach, the kids playing in the waves and then we would head out to eat at local restaurants. If you are ever at Myrtle Beach I highly recommend River City Cafe! Their burgers were so good, their sweet potato fries – THE BEST! The time share we were at had a full kitchen, washer/dryer and all the amenities so it was like a second home to be honest.

For 4 days we enjoyed all kinds of fun – walking down the main drag, going to The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove (which is a HUGE curio store where they sell any and all the knickknacks you can possibly imagine – we’re talking multi-level shopping experience here – so fun). We rode on the huge SkyWheel, ate food that wasn’t good for us and played arcade games. It was so much fun.

Then on our last day, my parents drove up to North Carolina to look at some retirement properties they were interested in so the kids and I decided to head out for some lunch and final time at the shops and arcades. We were out for a few hours and then started our walk back.

When we were just a few blocks away from our hotel my son Gage told me he felt weird. That when he closed his eyes he felt dizzy. Thinking that he was just hot and probably tired I told him to just keep going that we were almost there. Then he started wobbling while he was walking. I thought he was just being over dramatic. We finally made into the blessed air conditioning of the hotel lobby and I thought he would start feeling better.

Then he started shivering. Like the way that you shiver when you get the chills. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn’t know. That he wasn’t trying to do it and he couldn’t stop it. We got into the elevator and started the slow ride up to the 18th floor. Gage’s shivers got bigger. Then it happened.

My son had a seizure.

The minute the doors of the elevator opened, I tried to get Gage out of the elevator but he couldn’t hear me. He was shaking uncontrollably and then a look of complete terror crossed his face and in the next second his entire body locked up. His eyes rolled back, his mouth locked in and open position and his arms hyper extended out in front of him.

My daughter screamed for help and I told my son Connor to hit the alarm button and get us back down to the lobby.  At the same time this was happening I slid Gage down the wall of the elevator to sit on the floor. I held his head in my hands and just kept talking to him. My daughter Brooklyn was crying and understandably freaked out.

After was seemed like the longest elevator ride ever the doors opened to the lobby. Immediately we screamed for help telling the employees that my son was having a seizure. They called 911 right away. We used the carpet that was under my son to drag him out of the elevator and into the elevator waiting area where it was cooler then rolled him on his side.

By this time Gage’s seizure had passed and he was no longer tensed up. He was breathing but unresponsive for several minutes. When he finally started to come around his speech was slurred, he was confused and couldn’t understand why he was lying on the floor. The EMT’s arrived shortly after and Gage and I rode to the local hospital. They would only let one person ride with him so I had to leave my daughter with her brother until my parents got back. She was so upset but they were only an hour away so I knew she would be alright.

The hospital admitted Gage and we were in for a long night in the PICU while they monitored him and ran tests. He was given an EEG and seizure medication. He did not have any further seizures during the night so he was released the next morning with orders from the doctor to see his neurologist when we got home.

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!
EEG for Gage's seizure during our summer vacation to Myrtle Beach
Gage's EEG, he was not happy

We drove back to Virginia to my parents house and spent the rest of our vacation out there without any further seizures. We made the necessary appointments for further EEGs and MRIs as well as with his neurologist. We were given a ton of information on seizures as well as prescriptions for additional seizure medication. Due to my son’s brain injury it is hard to know exactly what may have caused the seizure but they believe it is just a progression of the injury now that he is older. For now, he is seizure free and doing ok. But this was one of the scariest things we have had happen since his injury when he was an infant.

I will be talking more about Gage’s story and his condition on my next podcast so be on the look out for that.

Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

Erin Brockovich, The Single Mom Blog - Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

 

It’s been a popular storyline for television and film to follow – portraying single mothers as victim, waiting for men to rescue them from precarious scenarios.

However, times are changing, and more movies are now presenting single mothers as heroines of their own story. This article takes a look at five inspirational single moms on film.

Erin Brockovich – Erin Brockovich

According to movie site Fandango, “Erin Brockovich” features the titular character, a down-on-her-luck mother, managing not only to discover a massive cover-up involving a major power company contaminating the town’s water with poisonous substances, she also spearheaded the lawsuit against the company. Her efforts led to the plaintiffs winning the case.

Prior to “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts was known for starring in rom-coms such as “Pretty Woman,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Notting Hill,” and “Runaway Bride.” However, her role in the true-to-life story put her on the map as a serious actress, with the role garnering her several awards.

(Side note: I was watching this exact movie when my water broke when I was pregnant with my twin boys. So this movie literally started me down the road of single motherhood.)

Jenna – Waitress

At first, Jenna, played by Keri Russell, seemed like a train wreck waiting to happen. She was unhappy with her relationship with her abusive husband, and her job as a waitress. She became pregnant, and although it wasn’t exactly a timely pregnancy, she decides to keep the baby despite someone suggesting that she gets an abortion. Matters become even worse when she falls in love with her new doctor, who she initiated an affair with despite the fact that both of them are married.

The birth of her baby gives her the strength to leave both her husband and her lover, knowing that she is better off without the two relationships in her life. The epilogue revealed that she soon became the owner of the diner that she worked at and went onto raise her child all by herself. But more importantly, she was happier than ever before.

May Miller – The Single Moms Club

“The Single Moms Club” may feature five strong women, but Working Mother pointed out that May Miller stands out among the leading characters. Played by Nia Long, May is a newspaper reporter who is raising her 12-year-old son alone. The boy is desperately searching for his biological father, and this is a key element to the story and how May deals with the subject.

Sarah Connor – Terminator 2

An action film might seem out of place in a list of strong single mothers, but Sarah Connor is a character that continues to break boundaries. She didn’t let her incarceration into a mental institution stop her. In the first “Terminator” film, Connor found herself locked up, but instead of letting this ruin her, she used it as an avenue to workout and get physically fit for the impending robot apocalypse.

Despite two actors portraying Sarah Connor in both film and television after “Terminator 2,” it was Linda Hamilton’s performance that the film series fans remember the most. Her role as a tough mother in the film helped put “Terminator 2” on the map as the best film in the franchise, and it continues to produce spin-offs. The Terminator 2 slot game which was unveiled by gaming site Slingo is just one of the popular digital games released in the film’s honor more than two decades since it first came out.

Dede Tate – “Little Man Tate”

As a single mother, Dede Tate, played by Jodie Foster, struggled to provide for her son Fred. The film focuses on Fred as an intellectual genius and how Dede needs to step up to the plate to give her son the best chance at realizing his potential. She eventually takes a chance and enrolls Fred in a private school for gifted children. The film shows Dede’s attempts to connect with her son and nurture his talents.

Mayim Bialik Wrote a Book And It’s AWESOME!

If you are not sure who Mayim Bialik is, you may not have been a young girl growing up in the 90’s watching Blossom dancing on your TV screen listening to her on screen brother Joey say “Whoa!”

You are more than likely familiar with her role as Sheldon’s love interest Amy on the Big Bang Theory. What you MAY not know however is that she is a scientist in real life. Like a really real scientist with a B.S. in neuroscience.

She also created a site called GrokNation which caters to women and includes wide-ranging topics such as religion, popular culture, parenting, and Hollywood. Man this lady has a lot going on – including launching a brand new book!

Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular looks to be an amazing book and one I will likely be purchasing for my daughter. It tackles a lot of issues for little girls from a scientific perspective breaking down many of the things that as a little girl I wondered about.

Hell, some of them I still wonder about.

The book has 6 chapters:

  1. How Our Bodies Work
  2. How We Grow
  3. How We Learn
  4. How We Love
  5. How We Cope
  6. How We Matter

And that last chapter is one that I am so very excited to read to my daughter.

Fair Warning:

Now, fair warning this book DOES talk about things like genitalia and sex and other various topics that you may or may not feel your child is ready for. Depending on when  you are ready to have “the talk” or if you have already have had it, I felt it still important to make you aware of that little detail.

It is all covered in a very scientific way and tastefully but as a mom I figured you may want that heads up so you don’t end up shocking yourself and your kid when you first open the pages. lol.

The one thing that really made me excited to see this book is that it is a book that not only covers many things that some little girls never really feel they can talk about. From what I have seen of it so far Mayim wrote it in such a way that it promotes confidence in who they are. That being a girl means being strong and that we are important, not just because we are pretty but for everything that we contribute.

I think so many little girls grow up in this world of pre-defined beauty that they don’t feel secure in who they are. My daughter recently accidentally shaved off part of her own eyebrow because some YouTube video told her what she needed to do to make her eyebrows on ‘fleek’.

I won’t even get into how much I hate that word.

My daughter is also concerned about her weight a lot lately. She is 10! When I was 10 I don’t remember even CARING what my weight was. But now it seems that the societal pressures are creeping in at an early age. And it terrifies me.

Mayim Bialik wrote a book called Girling Up and it's awesome!

So anytime I can bring something into my daughter’s world that encourages using her brain, developing those high self esteem muscles and truly finding her own power I am all for it!

I am so excited to get my copy of this book for my daughter. You can use the link to grab your own copy of Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular as well.

(Disclaimer: this link is an affiliate link and will not change the price you pay for the item, but it does give me a little something for the click.)

My Weight Loss Struggle – Are There Ways to Lose Weight Quickly?

I posted a while ago that I was going to start on a new challenge: Lose 40 pounds.

Yep – 40!

That’s a lot of weight to lose for me, especially since the last few years I have been packing it on instead of losing weight. I mentioned how I had gained the weight and why it was so hard for me to lose. The biggest reason being that I REALLY like food. That and I had lived a fairly sedentary lifestyle for quite a few years now.

Being parked behind a computer desk for the better part of my day did not do me any favors and then add to that my love of food and you will end up with a pretty significant weight increase.

One of my saving graces is that I am tall so the weight increase, while pretty intense doesn’t look like a TON of weight gain. However, it is taking a toll on my body for sure. I get tired more easily, don’t have the energy I once did, my knees bother me more than they should and of course my clothes are not comfortable anymore (some flat out don’t fit).

Now over the years I have tried many different ways to lose the weight: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Weight Loss clinics and more – none of them really working. These programs, while great, didn’t work for me for one simple reason – ME! I give up. I quit. I get bored or frustrated and don’t want to do it any more!

I'm A Quitter - why I fail at weight loss

I don’t like feeling like I have to starve myself, or feel like I don’t get to eat what I want when I want. I HATE being told what I can and can’t do – and that’s what these diets (ANY diet really) make me feel like. Like I am being told that I can’t eat what I want if I want to be able to lose weight. And so more often than not I will behave myself for weeks and then in a fit of defiance I will gorge on things that I “can’t” have – thus I failed and thus I quit. I figure ‘Well hell I already screwed myself so why not just give up.’

Told you I was a quitter.

Now after I came to terms with this fact and how it was effecting my weight loss I thought to myself there just HAS to be a way for me to do this. And there is – I am making small but measurable changes in my lifestyle. Many of which I found in this article on Health.com in their article ‘16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

In today’s podcast I will review the first 8 of 16 and how I am implementing these in my life. Click the player below to listen.

Another great resource that I have found recently is this article on the site Health Ambition that offers more ideas and tips for losing weight.

Are you currently on a weight loss mission too? Do you have some great tips that have helped YOU lose weight? We would love to hear from you in the comments below AND on our Facebook page!

How To Break Up Boredom This Spring Break

How to break up boredom this spring break - The Single Mom Blog

How to Break Up Boredom This Spring Break

Spring break is upon us yet again mommies. For some families this means taking a trip somewhere or planning out various activities. But for many of us who aren’t able to get away we have to find ways to keep our kiddos occupied. Which is sometimes easier said than done.

For many years in our home it was a constant challenge to find ways to keep them from being bored. Now I am not one of those parents who feels they need to keep their kids occupied for their own development. No I am the parent who knows that when my kids get bored bad things start to happen. Fights break out, things get broken, walls get colored on. At one point when left to their own devices wet toilet paper covered my upstairs bathroom. I’ll let you figure out how the toilet paper got wet – (hint: it didn’t involve the sink).

So to save our sanity and hopefully our breakable items in the house I have searched Pinterest for some really fun ideas. Hopefully this will help keep the kids entertained and having fun over spring break. If nothing else it may end up giving you some epic Pinterest fails that you can then share with us!

Here we go:


1. Make a Mini Greenhouse

Many plants have to be started indoors before they can be transplanted out into the garden. Starting an indoor mini greenhouse can be a fun project for your kids. Watching our seeds sprout and grow was definitely a source of fun for my kids when they were little. I kind of get a kick out of it too. This pin from gardenlovin.com has multiple different ideas for mini greenhouses. Some more complex than others but all great for growing new sprouts!
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Start a Mini Greenhouse / The Single Mom Blog



How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Make Your Very Own Bouncy Balls / The Single Mom Blog


2. Make Your Own Bouncy Balls

Science experiements are always a good time! You have fun AND you learn. So why not make something that is a lot of fun to use even after the science is over. A great idea that we found at www.the36thavenue.com is a fun way to pass the time. Just make sure to bounce those balls outside if you want to save your breakables.


3. Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts – the ‘ol stand by. Sitting the kids down with scraps of colored paper, glue and glitter is one of the most popular activities out there. Personally I love spring time crafts because it is now nice enough that you can send them outside to do them! Which means I am not finding glitter all over the house – for the most part. Perfectionpending.net created a great post with a collection of 15 different crafts for kids to do. Personally the lightning bug eggs are my favorite.
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Arts and Crafts / The Single Mom Blog

How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Thumbprint Art Flower Pots / The Single Mom Blog


4. Make Thumbprint Art Flower Pots

I guess these could TECHNICALLY fall into the arts and crafts category but they are just so cute I thought they deserved their own section. These pots from momalwaysfindsout.com are so sweet and something that will give you a lasting memory of your little ones, from when they were little. Also, if you decided to go ahead and create those mini greenhouses you now have somewhere to plant your newly sprouted plants! Win win!


5. Laundry Basket Skee Ball

Indoor games can be so much fun for the kids. This is a great one that hopefully won’t cause too much destruction. It is also very inexpensive to set up and play. This great idea came from frugalfun4boys.com and only requires laundry baskets, a cardboard box, paper, markers and some ball pit balls. Indoor fun ideas are great to have on hand just in case your spring break gets rained out.
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Laundry Basket Skee Ball / The Single Mom Blog


This is The Most Important Decision You Can Make [Podcast]

Who you allow into your life, mind & heart are among the most important decisions you will ever make.

It took me some time to fully understand this and how important it was in my life. I am one of those people who will always try to see the good in people. I usually end up ignoring the bad when I do though.

Quite often I would ignore or disregard bad qualities or behavior because I thought that the person was a ‘good person underneath it all‘. With my boys’ father I chose to look past all of the blatant signs that he was not good for me, or my boys. I tried to make something work with my daughter’s father that would never work. The whole time telling myself that I could fix things that simply weren’t fixable.

The realization of how important this decision was for my life finally hit home when I had to completely sever my relationship with my best friend. We had been friends for almost 10 years when I had to walk away. For some time I had suspicions that she had started using drugs. But I found myself making excuses and talking myself out of those suspicions.

My friend couldn’t possibly be using, she wouldn’t lie straight to my face when I asked her. She wouldn’t use drugs while me and my children were in the house. I just couldn’t make myself believe it no matter what my gut said. Finally, I couldn’t ignore the signs and people telling me that she was using. I had to tell my best friend, a woman I considered a sister, that she could no longer be in my life.

It took me a while after that to finally realize that it took me far too long to cut my friend out of my life. I allowed her around my children when I shouldn’t have because I wanted to believe my friend. That I stayed for too long in a ‘relationship’ with my daughter’s father because I wanted believe that he would change. I ignored all the signs and it effected my life.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘You are who you hang with‘?

Who you allow into your life, mind and heart are among the most important decisions you will ever make.

When you allow toxic people into your life they will poison it. It may not happen right away, and you may not even realize it. Until it’s too late. They can effect your outlook on life, the way you behave, activate bad habits. When I was with my daughter’s father I drank a whole lot more than I normally do. I felt that in order to be with him I had to drink like him. I was the worst version of myself when I was with him.

Since that relationship and losing my best friend I have made sure to only allow positive people into my life. People who will bring out the best in me. Push me to be a better person and help me enforce a positive and healthy lifestyle. It took me many years to fully understand how important this was for a healthy life for myself and my family. Since making that decision life has been much more of a blessing than a burden.

I have had less drama to deal with. There is no longer a constant feeling of BLAH looming overhead. Making sure that only certain people are allowed into our family and into my life has been critical for our happiness and peace. It is the most important thing.

 

Trumpcare Bill Pulled Before Vote

Trumpcare bill pulled before the vote. Trump and Paul Ryan couldn't get their horrific bill passed even with a Republican congress

Trumpcare just failed before it even got to the floor!

 

After years and years of complaining about Obamacare (ACA) and how horrible it was the Republicans appear to have simply thrown a bill together in the hopes that it will stick. The “American Health Care Act” (Trumpcare) appears to be the biggest pile of garbage I have ever seen. You would think that in all this time the GOP would have had at least SOME idea of what they were going to do when/if they got the chance to finally repeal Obamacare. Apparently not.

As a single mother of two special needs boys the recent discussion of the AHCA has had me really worried. Not just because it stripped many of the things in Obamacare that help myself and my family but because it was going to be detrimental to so many of the working poor families out there.

The proposed new bill would have provided tax credits instead of subsidies for lower income families to help offset the cost of insurance. Many feel that they are the same thing but in reality they are not for lower income families. Tax credits are given at the time you file your taxes giving you more on a tax return (if you get one) and subsidies help offset the cost at the time you sign up for insurance. I know as a single parent I can’t afford to pay higher rates for insurance up front and then wait until tax time to receive the money back.

The plan would also look to de-fund Planned Parenthood where many women go for healthcare services.

There are many other reasons to not like the AHCA but the biggest is simply that it appears to help the affluent and healthy and pretty much screws over the poor or struggling families. Because of this and many of the items in this bill there was absolutely no support from the Democrats in the House. The bill also lost Republican support due to the problems it would cause for Medicaid expansion, coverage for the elderly as well as lower income families.

There were other Conservatives who refused to vote for the bill because it didn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare! Which astounds me, I mean how big of an asshole does Trumpcare have to be to make Conservatives happy? It already clearly favors the wealthy and hurts the poor so what more needs to happen for this bill to be good enough for them?

In the late hours it appeared that Trump and his team were trying to make concessions and changes that would possibly get him the votes he desperately needed to get the bill passed. It still wasn’t enough. When it became clear that they would not have enough votes to pass, instead of going to the floor and losing the vote Trump just ordered the bill pulled.

I’m not going to lie, I squealed in delight when I heard that this horrific bill was not going to pass. I have friends employed in healthcare and I know that they have all been dreading Trumpcare. I have a friend who works with Kaiser Permanente and she said “I would rather quit my job of 10 years than spend the next 4 years trying to fix the mess that this new healthcare bill will cause.” NO ONE was happy with the AHCA.

But then again, what did they expect? I mean even my 9 year old child knows that when you wait until the last minute to do your work it’s gonna suck. You can’t try and throw something together last minute and have it be a quality solution. Donald Trump was recently quoted saying “Who knew healthcare was so complicated”… um.. EVERYONE!!! Everyone except you apparently. You thought you would just be able to jump in and yank Obamacare without any muss or fuss. Now you know it doesn’t work like that. It’s not like your company Donny, there are lives at stake and so many complexities that you can’t do that.

You are a novice at all of this though Donny, so it can hardly be expected that you would know that. I’m not quite sure what your Republican counterpart’s excuse it though. They should have known better.

No matter what though, today my family and I still have insurance and that is what matters to me.

The White House Budget Director Does Not Speak For Me

By Posted on 0 Comments 697 views

The White House budget director Mick Mulvaney went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program this Thursday to discuss the recently proposed “America First” budget which shows an increase in defense spending and some pretty dramatic cuts in other areas. The most notable being the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, who are tasked with helping protect our environment and making sure there is a livable planet for our children and great grandchildren. There are many other areas that are seeing cuts such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – which funds PBS.

During his interview Mulvaney stated “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no, we can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

And they aren’t just going after Sesame Street and clean air either, the following departments will see cuts as well:

The America First budget is full of bullshit cuts that will hurt lower class families, the environment and more

 

The amount of departmental cuts Trump’s budget is proposing is horrifying and will hurt lower income families in so many different ways. Many of the programs that will lose funding are ones that help feed the elderly (Meals on Wheels) and provide school lunches and after school programs for lower income families. Programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will lose funding all while military spending will see an increase of $54 billion. Several billion dollars of that increase are slotted to pay for ‘the wall’.

You know, the one that Mexico was going to pay for but aren’t REALLY going to pay for because WE are going to be forced to pay for it. Yeah, that stupid wall.

Now I can’t speak for that “coal miner in West Virginia” but as a single mom in Denver (not Detroit) I can state with great enthusiasm that I would rather pay for almost ANYTHING instead of that stupid ass wall.

I would happily pay for Sesame Street and PBS to continue instead of paying for that wall.

I would rather pay to help low income children and the elderly be able to EAT than pay for that ludicrous wall.

I would rather pay to ensure that my children and grand children and great grand children have an inhabitable planet with air that they can breathe and water they can drink than pay for that ineffectual dumb ass wall.

I would rather pay for the people of Flint, Michigan to finally have drinkable water than pay for that ridiculous short sighted moronic wall.

I would rather pay to help teachers (who don’t earn enough money in the first place) and schools provide after school programs for children than pay for that ‘anyone who has a fucking brain knows it’s a stupid idea’ wall.

Hell, I would prefer my tax dollars go to anything that would HELP the citizens of this country, the refugees fleeing terror in their home lands, the undocumented immigrants who want nothing more than a better life for themselves and their families, the low income and the elderly, the disabled and the forgotten homeless than to spend one penny toward that idiotic wall.

The US spends more on defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, India, France and Japan COMBINED! Why do we need to spend more there when there are children going hungry in our country? When families are losing their homes. When our Veterans are more likely to end up homeless than they are to be helped. When single parents can’t afford child care for their children so they end up stuck on government assistance programs all the while being called ‘welfare queens’ and ‘drains on society’.

No Mr. Mulvaney you don’t speak for me because if you did, you would stamp a big ‘F**K YOU’ on this budget proposal – because it sucks!

 

Talking Transgender with My Kids – What Do You Say?

The most recent controversial decision by the Trump administration (because there have been quite a few to choose from) is taking aim as transgender youth in our schools.

In May of 2016 the Obama administration stated that Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use the restroom and locker rooms that coincide with the gender they identify with. However, recently the current administration has decided that they didn’t really like that idea.

Stating that they believe that it should be something each state and local school district should develop policy on. Basically passing the buck to the states, which means that many transgender students in conservative states are screwed.

Now putting aside all of the politics that come along with what should be a basic human right issue it does bring up the topic of how are we addressing this with our children? I mean it does effect them doesn’t it?

So I thought I would share how this issue has effected our family because:

  • we actually know a trans child,
  • she goes to my daughter’s school.
  • she rides in our carpool
  • and we simply adore her!

For the purpose of this post we will call her Jennifer.

This year before school started Jennifer’s mother let us know that her son had decided that he was more comfortable as a girl and wanted to be called Jennifer from now on. He wanted to wear dresses and be a girl. Her parents discussed it, consulted their family doctor and decided that was how it would be. Jennifer’s mother let me know this decision at back to school night.

I can only imagine as a mom how scary that moment may have been for her. Letting me know this major decision and hoping that I was the type of person who would be accepting of it. Hoping that I wouldn’t cause a scene or call her a horrible parent or tell her that her child was just WRONG. Praying that she wouldn’t have to tell her daughter that they needed to find a new carpool.

I could almost see her shoulders relax a bit when I looked at her and simply said ‘ok’.

When we got home my daughter had a couple of questions for me about Jennifer. Which was understandable. They all boiled down into one thing though “Why does Jennifer want to be a girl and not a boy?”

Great question. I told her that I personally couldn’t fully understand it because I had never felt like I was the wrong gender. BUT I told her that the best way I could explain it is that deep down Jennifer felt more like a girl than a boy. For whatever reason, that is how she was more comfortable.

I said to my daughter, imagine if you were told every day that you HAD to dress as a boy and act like a boy and be referred to as a boy. She said “But I am a girl not a boy”. I said THAT is how Jennifer feels. She feels truly that she is a girl and not a boy and she is happier and more comfortable as a girl.

My daughter is accepting of Jennifer and hasn’t really had any issues. She did at one point say that she felt a little uncomfortable when Jennifer was in the bathroom. I told her that I understood and we discussed that at length. Why it made her uncomfortable. What, if anything, had happened to make her feel that way.

I understood why she was a bit uncomfortable, because of course Jennifer is still anatomically a boy. I asked her though if she thought that Jennifer should go into the boys bathroom dressed as a girl? Would that make the boys uncomfortable? Would Jennifer be uncomfortable?

My daughter and I talked back and forth about this and I did my best to cover all her concerns. What it boiled down to though was me saying “You are going in there to pee and get out right? You are in a stall and can’t see her and she can’t see you while you pee right? So really you both just want to go in, do your business and get out right? And if you didn’t know that Jennifer was originally a boy you wouldn’t even know right?”

She said “Yeah, so I guess it’s not really a big deal.”

We talked more and even though I know she will possibly have more questions or concerns she came away from our talk feeling better.

It is understandably a bit confusing to those who aren’t transgender. Just like those who haven’t ever experienced discrimination don’t completely understand how it feels. I feel that kids are more accepting though. They don’t have bias or pre-conceived notions when they are young. They learn them as they get older.

Jennifer has been fully accepted at her school by those who knew her as a boy. I’m sure there have been questions and many conversations but all in all she is doing well. I think that is the key though – having conversations.

Talk to your kids, find out their questions and concerns and try your best to address them. Talk to them about tolerance, self-awareness, understanding and of course coming to you with any concerns. Our kids need to feel they can talk with us about things that worry, concern or confuse them. And they should be met with understanding from us as parents.

 

 

I joined a gym … I might possibly die

the single mom blog joins a gym. I may be dying.

I think I might be dying!

So if you have been reading the blog or following my podcasts you know that a few weeks ago I did a pod cast about setting goals. I feel that New Year’s resolutions are too easy to break and often times when we make them we are already planning in our heads when we are going to fail.

So setting intentions and goals is key to helping you achieve those things that you really want to accomplish. It isn’t always easy though. In fact almost everything that we really want takes hard work to achieve.

So to help me with my goals I decided to join a gym.

Now if you recall one of my goals for the past year or so has been to lose the weight that I gained when I quit smoking several years back. Quitting smoking was one of the BEST things I could have done for myself for many different reasons:

  1. I feel better and am not always out of breath
  2. I am less likely to get cancer
  3. I am less likely to die from heart disease
  4. I am not forking out hundreds of dollars a month for a nasty habit
  5. aaaanddd… I am no longer getting daily guilt trips from my kids about it!

However, I could have done without the extra 50 or so pounds I gained when I quit.

So as you know I started working toward losing that weight and I have been doing pretty well on my own. I started meal planning and prepping my meals ahead of time (be on the look out for a post about that soon) and also started walking on my treadmill on a regular basis.

I tried doing some work out videos as well but sort of fell out of the habit and some of them were really too intense for my poor knees. (Yes I am getting old and my knees are shot).

So far I have lost 20 pounds, which HELL YEAH!!! I am super proud of myself for but then I fell back into my old habits around Thanksgiving. I think we all mentally give ourselves permission to fall off the wagon around that time of year don’t we? Or maybe that’s just me.

Well anyway, after the holiday I knew that I had gained a little of the weight back so I was THRILLED when I found out they were opening a new Vasa Fitness right by my house! A gym I can walk to! Well that eliminates my excuse of not having time to drive there.

It opened a little over a week ago and it is a really lovely gym. All brand new shiny equipment, work out room for classes, racket ball courts (which would be awesome if I knew how to play), a lap pool with sauna and steam room. They have it all!

I decided right when I saw it that I was going to be there every day if I could! Work out for as many hours as possible to get myself back into shape! I was all in baby!

This is where I went horribly horribly wrong…

I probably should have eased myself back into it. Taken a little time to get my body back into the groove of things. But no, not me – I was gonna lose weight dammit!

So I did a kick boxing cardio class that I managed to huff and puff my bouncy butt through. I did sit ups until I thought I might throw up. Then I did more with a weight on my chest. I strapped myself into any and all machines that I knew how to used and did as many sets as I possibly could.

I curled. I crunched. I squatted (sort of). I pulled and pushed. I swam laps in the wonderful pool they have there and sat in their sauna and steam room thinking that would help a bit with my recovery.

Then I did it all again the next day and the next…

Why in the hell did I want to torture myself like this again?

I am not quite sure when I forgot that I am almost 40 but at some point in my goal setting madness I must have. Also forgot that at the age of almost 40 my body does not recover as quickly as it used to. In fact my body may not recover at all. My back hurts, my knees hurt, my legs hurt, my arms hurt – hell my hair even hurts!

What the hell was I thinking of jumping back into working out like I had never left? Like I hadn’t been on a 6 year sabbatical from anything workout related. Hadn’t even set foot in a gym in over half a decade. But no, little over zealous me decided ‘I got this!’ and just dove right in.

I have since spent the last couple of days making sounds that could only be described as what my son calls a cat in labor while going up and down the stairs. I have to hold onto the railing like I am 80 instead of 40.

If that wasn’t the worst of it, going to the bathroom the other day was a fun experience in pain as well. Having to hold onto the sink and the side of the tub just to sit down! Then realizing that in order to get back up I had to push using the arms that were so sore I couldn’t even raise them over my head!

Now I realize that this may sound a bit extreme, but it’s not. I have been a mess the past couple of days. Self inflicted pain that was brought on with the best of intentions. The intention of fitting back into my pre-fat pants that I have been holding on to for years.

The intention of feeling better and having more energy again. The intention of improving my health.

All great intentions – now I just have to remind myself of them and get my butt back into the gym … when I can walk properly again. This time I will take it a bit slower.

Don’t Make Resolutions – Get Your Intentions and Goals

Happy 2017!!

I hope that the first few weeks of the new year have been good for you. I know that this has been a scary couple of weeks for me. As many of you reading know I am not a huge Trump fan. To be honest he scares the hell out of me and I find him kind of childish.

However, like it or not, he is the new President of the United States. That being said I decided that this would make for a good topic for this podcast. Not Trump per say BUT my ability to manage how I feel about Trump.

What does any of this have to do with New Year’s Resolutions you may ask? Well, here’s how.

I have always had an issue with making New Year’s Resolutions mainly because of the mindset around them. The fact that we are supposed to tell ourselves that the very first day of a New Year holds some secret power over us to make us do things that we did do ALL YEAR LONG last year! Like some sort of ass backwards Cinderella – the stroke of midnight is going to somehow make us magically become better at doing shit!?

The Single Mom Blog, setting goals and intentions for the upcoming year

Um-no. That isn’t how it works. We can tell ourselves that all we want but if we are truly being honest, the second we make that resolution we already have a part of our brain ticking down the time until we break them. The simple idea of a New Year’s Resolution brings that idea of when we are going to break it into our minds.

Be honest – when your best friend comes up and tells you “My resolution is to lose 20 pounds. I joined a gym and am going to work out every day.” You know if the back of your mind you are thinking ‘Yeah right Becky, I give it 3 weeks before you are back to hitting the jelly donuts’

It sounds awful but we all know at one point or another we have thought it, especially about ourselves. Especially when we attach New Year’s Resolution to our goals.

Resolutions are easy to break – goals are more attainable.

Conquer Your Year Planner - 2017 Goals

So instead of resolutions – set goals for yourself. Goals are quantifiable, they are tangible. They will not make you feel like if you happen to fail you suck and now you have to wait until next year to try again. Goals are things you can break down into small little milestones or victories. Things you can track.

There are tons of planners and books that you can use to help track and meet your goals. You can download our free weekly planner here. I personally am using the Conquer Your Year planner to help me reach my business goals this year.

While you are setting those goals – also set your intentions for the year. Intentions are different than goals. They are the intangible mindsets and inner voices that we set for ourselves that help us REACH our goals. They assist in creating the version of ourselves that we would like to see.

This brings us back around to Trump (see I told you it would all come together)

Because I have such strong feelings against Trump I have had to set my intention for the year to one of hope. Hope and the intent to give a chance to someone who, based on everything said and done up to this point, is the antithesis of what I believe and pursue in my life. Because he is such a distorted version of what I would like to have in the White House I have to work REALLY hard with that intention.

My other intention is to start living my life more true to my beliefs and what is truly in my heart. For so long I have adjusted because I felt that if I were to really be authentic with how I feel I would be mocked or laughed at. I felt I needed to mute myself in order to not cause waves.

I feel it in every part of my life most of the time. When I paint, I feel like – no one is going to like this so why show it to anyone. It isn’t as good as it should be. I feel like what and who I truly am is not quite right, so I must conform to something else.

I'm not unhappy - I'm just not quite ME...

Now I don’t mean this to say that I am unhappy, but I just don’t feel like I have been true to myself. There is something in me that always holds back because I don’t want to rock the boat, or cause problems, or be seen as bitchy, or flaky or whatever… and that isn’t how I want to feel.

My intentions will help me with my goals. They will support those changes that I want to make in my life. They will help bring about the change that I seek.

So what goals are you going to set for yourself? What are YOUR intentions for the New Year?

*this blog contains affiliate links for products. I will only ever post affiliate links for products I have used myself or for people and products I just love.

Are Hatchimals Really Worth the Cost?

Are Hatchimals even worth it?!

It seems like every few years or so there is a toy that comes out around Christmas time that sends parents into a consumer frenzy. A toy that their child simply HAS to have. Like I will totally DIE if you don’t get that for me Mom!

When I was a child it was Cabbage Patch Dolls. Those were the must have toys for that year back in 19- cough cough! 

I realize I just totally dated myself because I remember when Cabbage Patch Dolls were new and special. That is the very first toy craze I remember though.

I was lucky though, because around the time that the Cabbage Patch dolls were in high demand my father worked as the manager of a toy store! So you can guess which little girl got the hook up on Cabbage Patch Dolls.

When people were running around like crazy trying to find a doll, ANY doll my wonderful father had already shipped me THREE! Well, actually it was two dolls and one Koosa. Now if you aren’t familiar with Koosas they were the ‘pets’ of the Cabbage Patch dolls. There was a dog, a cat and a lion – those are the only ones I remember. They were basically Cabbage Patch dolls with animal heads and tails.

Now let’s forget the fact that they were basically trying to tell little children that if they had this doll they would be lucky. I wanted one just so my other dolls could have a pet. During the Cabbage Patch rush these guys were just as hard to find as the others. So I was REALLY lucky to have gotten one for Christmas that year.

Moving forward the next real toy craze I remember was that damn Tickle Me Elmo doll. Remember that one? People were going CRAZY about that toy back in 1996. People were stampeding each other, parents were getting into fights in the stores… it was ridiculous! I remember as a teenager thinking they were all insane!

By the way there is a whole NEW Tickle Me Elmo still out there today if you’re interested. He’s still pretty cute – this one falls over with his butt sticking up when he gets tickled. So there’s that as an added feature – lol.

The Single Mom Blog - hatchimal are they really worth it?

This year is apparently the year of the Hatchimal! And if you are not yet familiar with Hatchimals (which I can only see happening if you do not have children under the age of 13) they are toy pets that come inside an egg. Yes an egg.

While inside the egg the Hatchimal will make noise, tap the inside of the egg and even sleep. The child is supposed to ‘play’ with the Hatchimal – which I am still not entirely certain how you play with something inside of an egg, but I digress. Once the Hatchimal has reached a certain level of played-with-ness it will be ready to hatch. At which time it then pecks its way out of the egg.

Now setting aside the fact that I find that both odd and cool at the same time I am struggling with understanding the madness over this toy. I get that it IS kinda cool that the thing hatches out of its egg and all. But then what?

Well apparently after the bird or whatever you get hatches you then have to help it grow up. Give it attention, play games with it and such. It also apparently grows up from baby, to toddler, to kid stages. Each stage allows you to teach it new things, play new games with it and such. Which again – is pretty cool.

It does however bring to mind the Tamagotchi craze from several years back – ok it was a couple decades back. Shut up. Tamagotchi were electronic pets that you wore on a key chain and ‘took care‘ of. You were supposed to play with it, feed it and such – just like the Hatchimals. If I am going to be quite honest I am pretty sure I killed mine – a couple of times.

They tried to make a come back in 2015 but weren’t wildly successful.

Which makes me wonder - are Hatchimals worth it?

As a parent I can not understand why I would want to buy one of these things for my child. Maybe I have become stodgy in my old age but I find them quite annoying. I KNOW that like all of our other pets at some point I would likely be the one tasked with taking care of the thing.

And what happens if you don’t care for it? Does it die like my Tamagotchi did? Will my child be traumatized for life because we killed her Hatchimal? Or will it simple continue to beep or tweet or whatever noise it makes until I am forced to remove its batteries and hide it in the closet. It’s happened before.

Now setting aside whether or not I feel this toy is even something I would WANT in my home – why in the name of all that is good would I want to pay hundreds of dollars for it?

Seriously, that’s what they are charging online right now. Because they are sold out everywhere! So smart people, those who saw this coming – they went out and stocked up on this toy. And they are making a KILLING off the parents this year. Wish I had thought of it!

Sell a half dozen Hatchimals at a 50 – 70 percent profit – Christmas would have been GOOD this year for the kids.

The single mom blog - hatchimals - are they worth it

Thankfully, my daughter actually said she didn’t want one of these things for Christmas so I don’t have to worry about trying to find one. But even if she did want one – she wouldn’t be getting it. At least not until they went back in stock at the regular price and MAYBE then I would be willing to get one.

I am not one of those parents. I can’t be. I am not going to stand in line for hours or stampede over other parents trying to get that LAST Hatchimal. Nor am I going to pay hundreds of dollars for one. It’s ok for my child to be disappointed. She will live. The world won’t end.

I honestly simply can not understand how parents justify behaving in that fashion for a toy. I get wanting to make your child happy on Christmas, I really do – but I don’t understand going to THOSE lengths to do so. And then the question becomes – what are you teaching your child? That no price is too high? That they will get what ever they want even if it means mommy turns into a raving lunatic at the store, pushing other people to the ground to get it?

No. That will not be me. Not ever.

No one ever died from disappointment. My children won’t either.

So now the question is – are you one of those parents who WILL spend obscene amounts of money on a toy for your child? Or stand in line and stampede over others to get it? And if so – WHY?

Do you just not want to upset them? Did you have a childhood where you went without and now you do everything to keep your child from experiencing it?

Comment below and let me know because I personally truly don’t understand why a parent (or any one for that matter) would step on another person simply to gain access to a toy.

*this post may contain affiliate links to products. 

Holiday Traditions Our Family Celebrate

Holiday Traditions in Our Home

Wow it’s almost Christmas! CHRISTMAS!!! How the hell did that happen? We have been so busy with so many things lately that it seems to have just jumped right up on us.  But here we are starting our holiday traditions in our house this week.

Our family has some pretty fun holiday traditions and I thought this year I would share some of them with you! Most of them are pretty standard, some are super fun and others are maybe a little weird…

The Christmas Pickle

Yes you read that right – The Christmas Pickle. This is a fairly new tradition in our household but one that became very popular, very quickly. So the way this tradition goes is someone (usually me) hides the pickle somewhere in the tree. Then the children will search through the tree on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day depending on your preference until someone finds it.

Now there are many different traditions when it comes to the reward for finding the pickle. For some it simply means that you will have good fortune for the following year. For others you get a reward of some kind – an extra present possibly. However, knowing that in my family the awarding of an extra present would result in arguments and a general loss of Christmas cheer – we instead opted for the pickle granting the finder first dibs on their presents. Meaning they get to open the first present.

*affiliate link

PNP Video from Santa!

Another tradition for us, every year the kids receive a video from Santa that they absolutely love!! The boys have gotten to old in the last couple of years to get one but my daughter still gets hers.

The PNP site allows parents to customize the messages that the kiddos can get sent to them. You can decide if your child gets a video from Santa in his work shop, or on his sleigh or maybe in the library. You can upload pics to Santa for him to put in your child’s book.

It is so fun watching my daughter see Santa talk to her and show her all around the North Pole! Click here for an example of the free video I made really quickly for my daughter. This is a fun free way for your child to get something special from Santa. There is a paid version that allows you to make more than one video and choose different options as well as let your child if they made the naughty or nice list. The paid version is only about $9 so it isn’t too pricey but the free version is fun as well.

The Single Mom Blog - Holiday Traditions White Christmas

Decorating the Tree & White Christmas

Decorating the tree is a pretty standard tradition for most people. For us, we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and decorate it while watching White Christmas. White Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday movie. Bing Crosby and Danny Kay singing and dancing with Rosemary Clooney it just doesn’t get any better for me.

Some people are fans of It’s a Wonderful Life or Frosty the Snowman – some just listen to holiday music while they decorate. We also love to watch the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

What holiday movie is your favorite?

Christmas Cookies

And last but not least our holiday season would not be complete without making and decorating Christmas cookies! Of course, this is my daughter’s favorite of all our traditions.

Every year she helps me cut out and bake the cookies and then the real fun begins! We make our own icing with powdered sugar and food coloring and then we top them with every sprinkle and decoration possible! LOL.

It’s usually a pretty big mess that I end up spending well over an hour cleaning up, but it is totally worth it. It’s a memory, something that I remember doing as a child and I hope she will remember all her life.

So what are YOUR family’s holiday traditions? Are they similar to ours or do you have something different that you do? Let us know in the comments…

Make Positivity Louder

With Thanksgiving and the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in our midst things have been chaotic. I have not had time to post anything really lately. Hell, I recorded this weeks podcast over 2 weeks ago.

So with all of the madness still pretty fresh I am going to make this post pretty short. If you haven’t done so already take a peep at the fabulous Gary Vaynerchuck’s video on making positivity louder.

This is something that I have been struggling with lately. Positivity has been pretty damn hard to come by these last few weeks, especially after that damn election. We are all still reeling from it and let’s face it, this one brought out some of the worst in all of us. And it brought out the worst in our nation.

I now that I found myself being absolutely the worst version of myself on quite a few occasions. Only to find that later I felt just – BLAH inside. No matter whether I felt I was right or justified in what I said or how I felt – the way I behaved was another story entirely.

I had become overwhelmed by all of the dark and all of the negative. It was all consuming. And I had to stop and wonder why that was, why did it feel like there was more bad than good? Then I watched that video and it became really damn clear. The dark has become louder. The dark and negative has become more easily spread.

With social media it is now easier to get false information to spread like wild fire. It is easier for people to be ugly to another person because they can hide behind a keyboard and a monitor. There are no REAL repercussions for what they say online or what lies they spread or darkness they contribute to.

The darkness and negativity is growing stronger and stronger – like The Nothing in the Never Ending Story. We are getting sucked into it like that horse Artex did into the swamp – because we are allowing it to consume us.

So instead of letting the dark take over I decided that I needed to try harder to focus on the positive. Now don’t get me wrong – still not ok with this whole Trump as President thing. BUT – I have decided that I am not going to allow it to suck me down to that level.

I am going to work every day to make positivity louder and to encourage that in my children as well. It isn’t always easy, the dark side is strong (little Star Wars geek out there for ya) BUT I know that with practice and continued vigilance I can do my part to keep the dark at bay. At least for myself and my family.

Here’s a nice little article I found that talks about doing something nice every day – simple things that can help change your disposition and maybe brighten someone else’s day as well!

Go make positivity louder!

Trump Won the Election – WTF Happened?

Trump Won The 2016 Presidential Election – WTF Happened?! (Podcast below)

There is no doubt that this election has been the most divisive and ugly election that I and most every one else have ever experienced. There wasn’t just mud slinging and scandal – those happen in every election sadly. No in this election it was much worse. Because in this election we had Donald Trump.

Not only was this man completely unqualified to run for President, he ran the most horrifying campaign that I have ever witnessed. From calling Mexicans rapists, to insulting women and people with disabilities he ran the gambit of offenses. All the way up to having a tape surface of him bragging about assaulting women.

And somehow, this man won.

I spent the better part of the day after the election in utter disbelief of what had occurred. How? How did hate and divisiveness win the highest office in our country? How did a pompous reality tv star get elected to be our next president?

And how – how am I going to explain this to my children? My babies who I have tried to raise to be good people. I have brought my kids up to know that bullying is wrong, racism is wrong, bigotry in all forms is wrong, touching people without their permission and sexual assault is wrong. Yet here is a man who did all of those things, is a GLARING example of all of those things – and he was just elected president.

Donald Trump 2016 elections. The single mom blog post about perspective and why it is so important now more than ever.

Now I know that many people simply didn’t want Hillary Clinton to be President. I get that. I understand. She has had her fair share of scandal and problems. I don’t discount them. However, she was categorically more qualified to lead our country than him.

I also know that many people voted for him because he wasn’t a politician and they felt that the establishment was responsible for all their ills in life. So they decided to burn it to the ground.

And I also know that many voted for him because they themselves are racists and bigots and horrible individuals and they felt that he was their champion. And that disturbs me on a very deep level.

The White House - 2016 Election Donald Trump wins election - podcast

But, like it or not, he was in fact elected. So now what? Now what do we do? As a nation we are more divided than ever, a lot of that due frankly to the campaign that Mr. Trump ran. So how do we who did not support him come to terms with this? How do we move on?

Well I for one told my children that no matter what, the most important thing was for them to still be good people. To love others. To include others. To support understanding and not hate. And to stick up for those who they may see being persecuted. To be the good guys and not the bad. To be positive and hopeful. And to hope as hard as they can that Trump doesn’t screw it up.

You Won’t Believe What This Notebook Can Do!

By Posted on 0 Comments 598 views

Recently I was scrolling down my Facebook feed and came across something that caught my eye. It was one of those sponsored posts that I will admit I click on about 50% of the time.

This as mentioned how the product in question raised over a million dollars on Indigogo … and as a business owner that is something that will almost always catch my eye.

So I decided to watch the ad post entitled “People are going CRAZY about this MAGIC notebook…”

Pretty catchy right?

So I dive in and take a look and sure as shit I decide pretty quickly that I want one. It is called the Rocketbook Wave.  I couldn’t find the size that I wanted on their site so I decided to check Amazon and see if they had it.  Sure enough they did! (I mean really though is there anything they don’t carry at this point?)

I placed my order, got my 2 day free shipping thanks to my Prime membership – which yes I shamelessly plug because I love it so much! (The money I save in shipping just at Christmas time alone pretty much pays for my membership fees twice over.)

And then I sit back and impatiently wait for my package….

Now I’m sure by now you are asking “What the hell is so special about this notebook?”

What makes this notebook so amazing is that you can fill up the notebook with notes, automatically upload your notes to the cloud storage of  your choice – to the FOLDER or FILE of your choice and then when it’s full and you have no more room for your notes … you can make them all disappear!

No seriously! You can! Like magic. Except it isn’t magic, it’s some sciency thing that I don’t understand at all but it is REALLY cool.

Now I will admit that when I first ordered it, I was really skeptical – I mean magically erasing notebook… I’m not so sure I totally buy it. But I figured – what the hell, I’m going to try it anyway.

The notebook arrived a couple days later and I was ready to try this bad boy out. Now it is worth mentioning that with the Rocketbook notebook you do have to use specific types of pens. The Pilot FriXion ball pens are the ones that will work with this notebook. Which is fine with me as I already loved these pens. I use them all the time because they are completely erasable and I NEED to have that feature in a pen considering how often I change my mind.

They are good quality pens AND they come in different colors so that is always a plus for me too. If a pen doesn’t have a purple option I won’t use it.

Anyway, the very first thing I did was download the app for the notebook to my phone and then set up the shortcuts of where I wanted my notes to go. Here’s a link on how that all works and how to set it up. 

I uploaded the note to my google drive folder that I had set up for the app. Here is what that image looked like…

(It does need to be said that I did upload this as an image in my excitement to get started, you DO have the option of uploading them as pdf documents as well)

Rocketbook wave review - test upload
Click to Enlarge

Yes, I know it’s not exactly Shakespeare but it did what I wanted it to do. So I was pretty happy…

The next test was going to be would the note magically disappear? Time to test it.

Now, in order for this notebook to do it magical ju ju to make the ink disappear you have to microwave it. Yep, you heard that right – microwave it. (This is the part that I wasn’t quite sure about.)

But my daughter and I tried it using the directions we found here and you can check out the video below to see the results:

I will say that if you look very closely at the page you can still see the ghost of the notes that were there before. However, those will be a distant memory once you fill the page up with all new doodles and notes.

All in all I really dig this notebook!!

Below are the links/products that I ordered.

*This post contains affiliate links. I sometimes will post links for various products that I have used and like and I will receive a small commission for anyone who purchases from those links. But I will never promote a product or service that I don’t believe in.

What Do The Elections and Parenting Have In Common? – Perspective

Perspective is a crazy thing…

In case you missed it we are currently in an election year… and there is NO POSSIBLE WAY you have missed it. As with any election year you can’t seem to turn on the television or go online without being reminded of it.

There is no escaping and we will all be prisioners of this god awful shit show of a mess until November 9th. At least hopefully it will end there but with Donald Trump saying things like this it’s anybody’s guess. Let’s just say that no matter who you support we are all looking forward to this fiasco to be over.

Currently we are living in a country that is so divided and let’s be honest this election isn’t doing anything to bring us together as a nation. It seems to only be making it worse.

I will admit that for quite a while now I have spent the better part of this election trying – and failing – to understand how people could support someone like Donald Trump. At first it was simply because of his lack of political experience – I mean did we really want a reality tv star to run our country?

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during her first presidential debate against Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (not shown) at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTSPKF6

Apparently there are quite a few people who were ok with that. Then I couldn’t understand why people continued to support him when he starting saying the most outlandish and offensive things I had ever heard from a politician. It made no sense to me.

I would scream at my TV on a regular basis – during the debates, during interviews and even at the commercials that he would run. I decided to sit down and really try to understand it or at least try to find a little glimmer of reason behind it all. Then it hit me – perspective. It is all about perspective.

Donald Trump 2016 elections. The single mom blog post about perspective and why it is so important now more than ever.

Going through life with blinders on and only seeing things from your side of the fence is never a good thing. It leaves you blind to other options, other ideas, understanding and compassion.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I still have a very hard time understanding Trump supporters and why they would follow a person of his ilk but I at least felt I needed to try. But let me tell you – it’s damn hard.

Currently in this election season – having been one of the worst that I personally have ever seen I am faced with new problems and new issues to look at. New things that I unfortunately now have to discuss with my children.

When they come to me and ask:

“Why are those people yelling mean things about Mexicans?”

“Mommy, my friend at school is crying and scared that if Donald Trump wins the election that she and her family will be sent away because they are Muslim”

“Mommy, why does he hate Muslims?”

“Why are all these people so mean to each other?”

And then, having to explain and discuss the vile things that were spoken on a bus by a grown man who should have known better. Having to have a discussion with my teenage boys about assault and why what he said was so offensive to me as a woman. And to ensure that they knew (which they already did but due to these circumstances I felt I REALLY needed to drive the point home) that is it NEVER ok to touch a woman without her permission.

It is NEVER ok to touch a woman without her permission!

Trying to explain why someone running for the highest office in the world is acting less mature than my 9 year old is not an easy thing to do. Much less trying to explain why he is that odd orange color.

And as much as this election has enraged me at times I do have to take a step back and realize that some people who follow and support Trump maybe just don’t get it. Maybe they don’t understand why some of the things that he says are so terrible to most of the rest of us in the country. Perspective.

Their experiences in life are different than mine. They have lived things that I have not. Been taught things that I have not. And vice versa. I have experienced life differently. We all have. My perception of a situation is different than that of my red neck uncle back home in Virginia. To him I am a bleeding heart liberal. To me he is a backwoods neanderthal red neck.

We were raised differently. We learned things differently. Our experiences have dictated the way we view the world, other people and of course politics. And while I don’t agree with him, I can at least understand that.

I have to deal with this when working with my ex to co-parent our daughter. I regularly have to remind myself that HIS experiences growing up were vastly different than mine. His home was not always a happy one. There were many things that happened in his life that I know scarred him. And I know that they effect how he parents – there is no way they can’t.

New perspectives are important for growth

I have to remember that while my father was my hero and to this day is the man I go to when I am hurt, upset or in need of consult or consoling – his father was not a nice man. When I think of the type of father I would wish for my daughter it would be one like mine was. My ex doesn’t have that comparison to make.

He only wants to ensure that she DOESN’T have a father like he did.

And I can understand that. So I have to remember that when I try to hold him to a standard that he may never meet. Because he never experienced it. And that isn’t fair to him.

Perspective … it’s all about perspective. And while we may not ever fully understand another person’s perspective on things it is important to remember that they HAVE a different perspective. And in doing so it makes it a little easier to at least be civil, get along, find common ground and compromise. You don’t have to completely agree, but you do have to respect another’s ability to have a different opinion and perspective helps with that.

 

Oh and Go Hillary #ImWithHer (because I sure as hell can’t get behind a man like Donald Trump)