The TRUTH About Motherhood http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com and everything else! Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Sleeping Apart ~ The One Marriage, Two Bedroom Conundrum http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/sleeping-apart/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/sleeping-apart/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:45:01 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22154 Do you and your spouse sleep in the same bed every night or do you enjoy sleeping apart? We don’t. In fact, most nights we don’t. Is getting sleep that important? Hell yeah, says the insomniac who works late nights and has two young children. Sleep is the best thing ever, except for Ambien sex. […]

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Do you and your spouse sleep in the same bed every night or do you enjoy sleeping apart? We don’t. In fact, most nights we don’t. Is getting sleep that important? Hell yeah, says the insomniac who works late nights and has two young children. Sleep is the best thing ever, except for Ambien sex. Ambien sex trumps everything. Especially Ambien sex with your husband. But I digress…

The Big Guy gets up for work every day at 4:30 a.m. I am a night owl, a constant insomniac if we are being truthful, so bedtime for me is normally between midnight and 2 a.m. Add to that the fact that I snore during allergy season and our littlest one always seems to end up in our bed and we’ve just conceded to the fact that Monday thru Thursday night, the Big Guy sleeps in the guest room.

At first, I kind of loved it. I’m sure he did too. I had the king-sized bed all to myself. I could stay up as late as I wanted, watching television and working. It was awesome. Then, when it was all said and done, I could sprawl out (until my little one found her way to my room) all across the bed. It was awesome. Well, for a little while anyways.

Have we become complacent? Some times, I feel like we are some old married couple like Ethel and Fred Mertz. You know the cantankerous old couple from the building that slept in separate beds and could barely stand one another? But hey, Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds too and they were madly in love. So what does sleeping in separate beds really mean? We love one another but we’re so comfortable sleeping in our own beds and actually SLEEPING that we just do. Problem is… I miss my husband. I do. I miss turning over in the middle of the night, reaching out and just knowing he is there.

marriage, separate beds, sleeping apart, MAD Life, CafeMom

 

Do you think sleeping apart is indicative of depleting intimacy?

Sure, we’re still intimate (maybe not as often as we might be if we actually slept in the same bed but maybe more so) and our marriage is still rock solid BUT are we on borrowed time? I mean is it all going to go south one day? Are we growing apart and don’t even realize it? Is sleeping in separate beds leaving just enough room between us for someone else to insert themselves? These are all valid concerns, right? Is a good night’s sleep really worth risking your marriage?

Am I fooling myself by thinking that our marriage is strong enough to survive long distance intimacy? We survived 2 years of commuter marriage and that is probably where this all started but am I insane to think that a couple can sleep in separate beds but still be connected intimately?

I think just because you sleep in separate beds doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost that “loving feeling” at all.  The Big Guy works from home 2 days a week and those are our “afternoon delight days” and we do sleep in our bed together on weekends, so I’d say our sex life is pretty healthy. In fact, him being in the other room adds a little sauce to the mix. It keeps me on my toes to receive random snapchat pics and sexts from across the hall. Believe me, I will gladly turn off any television show for a romp with the Big Guy any day of the week.

The only thing that suffers is that some times, I  just want to be able to reach over and cuddle ( I sound like such a girl right now) not often because I am not really a cuddler during night time hours. I prefer to cuddle on the couch while watching a movie. I enjoy the spontaneity and flirtation that not knowing if we will be sleeping in the same bed has afforded us. It’s taken the restrictions off of sex. Sex is no longer confined to our bedroom and intimacy is not just sex. It’s talking, texting, emailing. It’s a brush of his hand on mine. It’s like dating after 15 years of marriage. So, maybe this sleeping apart is good for a marriage….or maybe we’re considering buying a queen sized bed to replace our king sized one?

I’m not sure what we will do but I do know that when I want him in my bed, all I need to do is tell him and vice versa.

For topics like this and many more on parenting, relationships and just about anything else under the sun facing today’s parents, check out Mad Life at CafeMom.

What do you think of sleeping apart from your partner?

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How to Easily Make the Perfect Halloween Dia De Los Muertos Costume #BookofLife #DayofTheDead #MakeUpTutorial http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/how-to-make-dia-de-los-muertos-costume/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/how-to-make-dia-de-los-muertos-costume/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:12:20 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22134 Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos are only a few days away. Last weekend was our city’s annual Fright Night and Zombie walk. My daughters have been wanting to participate for the past 3 years but we’ve felt they were too young to be immersed in the middle of all of those “zombies” so we’ve […]

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Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos are only a few days away.

Last weekend was our city’s annual Fright Night and Zombie walk. My daughters have been wanting to participate for the past 3 years but we’ve felt they were too young to be immersed in the middle of all of those “zombies” so we’ve been watching from the sidelines. This year, we decided would be the year that we all walked “amongst the dead”. They were zombies and I was la Calavera Catrina, recognized as a sugar skull.

Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

My husband and girls dressed as authentic walking dead zombies. My husband was a typical zombie ironically wearing a blood smeared “Be Kind to the Earth” t-shirt with a vintage plaid flannel. I guess he was going for hipster zombie look.

My 9-year-old was a prom queen zombie. Luckily her ballet rehearsal was done in just enough time to get home, change into her “prom” dress and dead face. My littlest one was the cutest dead school girl ever.

My little brother and I chose to go in a different direction. I love the Walking Dead but I just can’t make myself drag my legs and growl at people so my brother dressed as a sugar skull and I dressed as the Grand Dame of Dia De Los Muertos, la Calavera Catrina. The best part? Everything I needed was in my closet.

Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

Here is how to apply the Dia de Los Muertos make-up and pull together a costume that will make heads turn.

I think it turned out awesome!

 

    1. Begin with an even layer of the Ben Nye Clown White make-up all over the entire face, except the eye sockets, with a sponge, and set with powder. You can buy setting powder at the Halloween shop but, honestly, baby powder works just as well. It is important to set the color with the powder, because the black lines and color on top may get smudged unless you place a barrier in between. Seriously, your face will look like it is melting off if you don’t and who wants to go through all that time painstakingly applying make-up only to have it slide right off your face?
    2. Next, I sculpted the perimeter of my eye socket with a black liquid eyeliner, it’s much easier to use than regular black face make-up and it lets you be more precise with your lines. Then intensify the area by blending a matte black shadow in the same hue over the top of the entire eyelid and filling in the drawn socket.
    3. For the detailing, pick up a black liquid liner with a precise tip, and draw an upside-down heart on the nose, the two rows of scalloping, connected by a circular motion, that surrounds the eyes and the two small circles on either side of my cheek bones. Mark out seven lines in a V-shape on your forehead. I made a jewel in the middle of mine, you can too or not, whatever you choose. Connect the lines with curved shapes to create a spider web.
    4. Use the same liquid liner to draw the two lines on your cheeks and draw a rose on your chin.
    5. Use a color wheel of your choice to fill in the scalloping around your eyes, your jewel and any other designs on your face that need color. I set the color with more translucent powder, not too much, just enough to keep the color from running.
    6. Moving on to the lips, I wanted red lips so I used my Red Chanel lipstick to draw in my lips. Then with the black liquid eyeliner, I drew in the intersecting lines across my lips. I let all lines dry well and then went over with liquid eyeliner again.
    7. With the liquid liner, add a few dotted details over the face, and a flower on your chin. Touch up individual areas with the color palette of your choice as needed, and after a few coats of mascara, I used fake-eyelashes to give my eyes a little extra umph.
    8. For the hair, I simply washed my hair and dried it curly. Teased it. Pulled it to a curly, side pony tail and then added two oversized red roses behind my ears, which I held in with bobby pins. You could also opt for a headband with flowers on it.

      To finish the look, I shopped my closet. Sometimes being a Latina with a dad who retires to Mexico 8 months a year has its advantages. I wore a long black skirt, a white peasant blouse with red, yellow and green roses from Mexico as my blouse, an ornate, traditional Kelly green velvet apron with gold scalloping and bright gold shawl. It came together perfectly but, honestly, the make-up makes the costume.

      What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

      Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

      Do you celebrate Dia de Los Muertos?

      The post How to Easily Make the Perfect Halloween Dia De Los Muertos Costume #BookofLife #DayofTheDead #MakeUpTutorial appeared first on The TRUTH About Motherhood.

      ]]> http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/how-to-make-dia-de-los-muertos-costume/feed/ 0 Yes, Renée Zellweger Looks Different, so What? http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/renee-zellweger/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/renee-zellweger/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:31:05 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22130 Like the rest of the world, I noticed that when Renée Zellweger appeared on the red carpet for the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday night, she looked different. I couldn’t quite place my finger on what it was, I just knew that she looked different. Then I saw all the terrible comments on Twitter. Social […]

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      Like the rest of the world, I noticed that when Renée Zellweger appeared on the red carpet for the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday night, she looked different. I couldn’t quite place my finger on what it was, I just knew that she looked different. Then I saw all the terrible comments on Twitter. Social media was exploding in insults about the change in Ms. Zellwegger’s appearance. I hate that about the Internet, everyone feels entitled to be as insulting as they want to be because they are cloaked in the security of anonymity. They’d never say that shit to her face.

       

      I don’t know what looks different, I just know she looks different. But, call me crazy, I think she still looks pretty. She’s not 25 anymore, neither am I. We all look different. Time and gravity changes us. Everyone’s face ages.

       

      Look, I can’t imagine what it must be like living in Hollywood and being a celebrity having every single thing you do critiqued and criticized; every wrinkle and grey hair amplified for the world to see. So either you age naturally and the whole world gawks and rebuffs you for not trying harder or you get cosmetic surgery, plumping this, lifting that, dewrinkling that and the entire world criticizes you for not aging gracefully.  As a woman, especially one in the public eye, you can’t win for losing. I say be happy and fuck the rest.

       

      If being happy means aging naturally, go for it. If being happy means raging against nature, then Botox and lift all your heart desires. It would be awesome if we could all just look 25 forever or if we could find the perfect aesthetician or surgeon who could just make us stay looking 25 forever, minus the plastic, distorted, fake face but it seems it’s a hard combination to find. I’ve never had any injections or fillers not because I am opposed to it but because I just haven’t found the time or occasion to do it. If I ever feel like I need to help gravity out, believe me, I will but for now, I am all-natural; for better or worse.

       

      I can’t speak for Renee Zellweger but I can speak for myself, we live in a world where we are held to impossible beauty standards and some of us nearly die trying to fit someone else’s expectations of who they think we should be. When will we realize that WE make the rules. If we refuse to bend, contort and starve to fit these impossible standards maybe then we could all be just a little bit happier just living and being ourselves.

       

      Please stop making fun of Renee Zellweger. Are you perfect? Would you dare make these jokes about her face to her face? If the answer is no to either of these questions, please keep your opinions to yourself and be a part of the solution, not the problem.
      Isn’t the world already a hard enough place to live in with everything in media being photoshopped and nipped and tucked? Can’t we just give one another a break?

      -

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      The One Thing that All Mom’s Have in Common http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/parenting-fail-mommy-guilt/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/parenting-fail-mommy-guilt/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:01:07 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22107 No matter how hard we try as parents, sometimes we still have a parenting fail followed by the inevitable mommy guilt. I stay-at-home with my girls. I have always stayed at home. There was a brief 6 month period while I was pregnant with Gabs that I worked outside of the home but other than that I […]

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      No matter how hard we try as parents, sometimes we still have a parenting fail followed by the inevitable mommy guilt.

      I stay-at-home with my girls. I have always stayed at home. There was a brief 6 month period while I was pregnant with Gabs that I worked outside of the home but other than that I have chosen to stay-at-home. I have worked from home the entire time but I have always been within an arm’s reach of my daughters when they were small.

      mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      I am the one who arranges everything just so. I make sure that birthday parties are exactly what they dreamed they would be. I am the one who plans vacations. I am the one make sure Christmas morning is everything they could ever imagine. I am the same person who pulls teeth, kisses booboos, wakes in the middle of the night for every fever and puke filled moment of it. I am the one who reassures them that there are no chickens or lemurs hiding under their bed.
      mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      I am the one who makes their favorite meal. Knows their minds before they speak and knows when to hug instead of lecture. I notice the innuendos. I see the trembling lips. I know when they are fibbing or scared or nervous. I know every crease and crevice of their face and every curve of their existence. I like being that mom.

      I put broken hearts back together when daddy had to leave back to Iowa. I explained the unexplainable to toddlers and when they didn’t understand, I took the brunt of their frustration and held them as their tiny broken hearts tried to make sense of it all. I cried in silence after they went to bed that maybe I had made the wrong choice.

      confimation

      I’ve kissed the tops of their heads and rubbed their backs as they’ve fallen asleep more times than I can count. I wake in the middle of the night to make sure they are breathing and covered. I listen when they think I am not. I make their favorite meal when they least expect it and most need it. I cuddle randomly and with wild abandon. I tell them I love them like every day is my last chance.

      birthslider

      I was there for their first word, first tooth, first step, first breath and first heartbeat. I always want to be there for everything. I want them to know that I am forever their soft place to land. It’s never just them against the world because I am always there beside them, when they need me.

      ballerina, ballet, little girls,mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      I’ve never missed a ballet or tap observation, rehearsal or Nutcracker performance. I volunteer backstage. I’ve never missed a school party, field trip or mass they’ve participated in. I am their room mom. I drive on every field trip. Never missed a soccer match, swim practice or field day. I have scheduled my life to be there for those moments. For me, there is nothing more important.

      I want to show them the world and teach them to live in it, proactively. I want them to go after their dreams and know that they can do anything. I also want them to know that no matter how old they get or how far they go, I am here. I am proud of them and they are loved beyond comprehension no matter where life takes them or who they become.

      mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      I’ve never missed anything…until today. Tonight, I sent my girls off to tap class with the Big Guy like I do every Tuesday evening. I take them to ballet on Wednesdays and we alternate rehearsals. Tonight, my little one asked me if I could go instead. I said no because 1) I have a terrible migraine but 2) I have to work the book fair tomorrow morning and I needed to get some work done tonight. Then 20 minutes later, I received a text that tonight was observation night. I’ve never missed an observation night; not in 7 years. I am the crazy mom with the camera, the phone and the video recorder but not tonight.

       

      Tonight, I dropped the ball. Maybe it was the migraine. Maybe it was the girls being sick the last 2 weeks. Maybe it was the hurried rush of the weekend. All I know is that in that moment that I looked down and saw that text, my heart broke because I missed my first “FIRST” ever because tonight was Gabs’ first tap observation. So, I’m sitting here sobbing, feeling like the world’s biggest failure.

      Bellarina,mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      I guess every mother has this moment of reckoning. The moment that we realize that no matter how hard we try, how much we sacrifice or how much we want to we cannot protect our children from the world or be there for every moment. Eventually, they will have to do stuff on their own and we have to trust that we taught them and loved them enough to know they can and that just because we might not be there in person, our hearts are with them always but damn it still sure hurts missing those moments.

       

      mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

      What was the parenting fail that you instantly wished you could do over?

       

       

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      If Amanda Bynes is Mentally Ill She’s in Danger of being Locked Away and so Are You http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/mentally-ill-amanda-bynes/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/mentally-ill-amanda-bynes/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:41:23 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22083 Last week, I read in the Daily Mail that Amanda Bynes‘ doctors are seeking to have her held in a psychiatric facility for up to one year and force her to take medication. ONE.YEAR! 365 Days of her life. Her doctors were planning to ask a judge to allow them to hold her for up […]

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      Last week, I read in the Daily Mail that Amanda Bynes‘ doctors are seeking to have her held in a psychiatric facility for up to one year and force her to take medication. ONE.YEAR! 365 Days of her life. Her doctors were planning to ask a judge to allow them to hold her for up to a year, during which they’d be allowed to keep her confined and, if necessary, restrained and force her to take medication

      “A judge will only grant this type of hold if the person is deemed “gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism.”

      So, hopefully the judge will find another way to help Ms. Bynes without needing to confine her to an institution for an entire year. Maybe they could make a stipulation of freedom be that she is medication compliant. A simple blood test could be used to check for compliance.

      I feel like the media is reporting this matter of factly, as if having a mental illness diagnosis warrants immediately being locked up. Would we ever consider locking up a diabetic against their will, withholding sugar and forcefully administering insulin? I think not.

      Media rubberneckers find this to be an entertaining topic of conversation. “Oh that “crazy” Amanda Bynes with her “crazy” antics, setting things on fire, tweeting out salacious photos, doing the most off the wall behavior for attention.” The thing is, this is serious and this is scary.

      Amanda bynes, mentally ill, mandatory psych hold

      When I see this photo, the only thing I think is maybe she looks a little thin…not crazy.

      If you’ve ever had a mental illness diagnosis, as many people do these days, you know that our biggest fear, aside from outing ourselves as “mentally ill” because then everyone just attributes everything you do to being “crazy” and having it undermine and tinge every single thing you do for the rest of your life, we.fear.being.locked.away against our will. This is why mentally ill people keep their mouths shut, don’t take meds, don’t share with friends and family and don’t get better because if the price of help is being locked up against your will, it simply is not worth it to us.

      Why the world thinks it has the right to banish her to an institution or condemn her to a life of being “crazy”, I don’t know? She is young. She has made some mistakes. She has exhibited some bad behavior but that doesn’t mean that she should be written off as a lunatic.

      I was diagnosed at 27,with BiPolar 1. If you knew me then, you might have thought that I was “CRAZY” if you had spent any extended amount of time with me. In small doses, I could pass for funny and enthusiastic but if you spent a substantial amount of time with me, like my husband did, you would have quickly realized that there was no off button.

      I was reckless, careless, I drove fast, I shopped a LOT, I was hyper sexual, I drank almost constantly, I did very outrageous things simply because I was bored, I was the life of the party and then I was the meanest bitch you’d ever have met. Luckily, I was not a celebrity nor were Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or Pinterest in existence or maybe I would have been the token crazy online.

      I got help. I didn’t need institutionalized. I never became psychotic. I was able to control my mania with medication, reducing triggers like alcohol, caffeine and sugars, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy. I made every effort to know and embrace my illness. I did this privately, with the help of my husband. My family knew but I didn’t live near any of them. It wasn’t something I told strangers. I was allowed the dignity of keeping my mental illness private and this allowed me to not let it define me.

      Years later, I came out about my mental illness on my blog because I was ready to share my story in hopes that maybe it could help someone else know that you can get through it.

      Maybe Amanda Bynes needs to be institutionalized for help but a year is a sentence. She’s done nothing wrong. She is being punished for a crime that she didn’t commit. Mental illness is not a crime, it’s an illness.

      I understand  72 hours or 2 weeks to get meds stabilized  and make sure someone is not a danger to themselves or others but  isn’t a year a bit extreme? If this happens, this could happen to anyone with a diagnosis, including you or I. Consider that.

      Do you think doctors should be able to ask for a mandatory 1 year psychiatric hold to a mentally ill Amanda Bynes or anyone?

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      What is Dia de Los Muertos ? http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/dia-de-los-muertos-cheesecake-recipe/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/dia-de-los-muertos-cheesecake-recipe/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:03:50 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22089 Next weekend is for celebrating at our house; Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. My girls are so excited that next week is Halloween. It’s their favorite holiday. It’s the magical time of year when the air is crisp, the leaves are changing colors and the world has suddenly become a more beautiful place of […]

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      Next weekend is for celebrating at our house; Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos.

      My girls are so excited that next week is Halloween. It’s their favorite holiday. It’s the magical time of year when the air is crisp, the leaves are changing colors and the world has suddenly become a more beautiful place of crimson, caramels and golden yellows and we all get to be anyone or thing we want to be for one day, the only limitation is our imagination. I think I’d like to be a unicorn!

      As a Latina, it also means it’s time to start preparing for Dia de Los Muertos. Thanks to the new movie Book of Life, I’ve decided that this is the perfect year to teach my girls about Dia de Los Muertos. It’s part of our Mexican heritage. They’ve seen the sugar skulls but I’ve never explained the celebration because death is such a touchy subject for children. This is the year I tell them all about it so that they can celebrate too.

      Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that lasts for 2 days, November 1-November 2, November 1st is Dia de los Inocentes, honoring children who have died. In preparation of the holiday, the graves are cleaned and those of the children are decorated with white orchids and baby’s breath. November 2nd is Dia de los Muertos, honoring adults, their graves are decorated with bright orange marigolds. On Dia de los Muertos we honor our dead with festivals and celebrations; it’s a marriage of indigenous Aztec ritual and Catholicism.

      We believe that our dead loved ones would be insulted by mourning or sadness, so on Dia de los Muertos we celebrate the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties and activities that they dead enjoyed in their life.

      I like that Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with loved ones. It’s a very healthy way to look at death and takes away some of the fear of the unknown.

      The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos are the calacas and Calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks and even as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.

      In addition to celebrations, the dead are honored on Dia de los Muertos with ofrendas—small, personal altars honoring one person. Ofrendas often have flowers, candles, food, drinks, photos, and personal mementos of the person being remembered. For example, if I were to make an alter for my Uncle Ramon it would include lots of sweets and Rompope ( Mexican eggnog) because I remember when we were little he had a sweet tooth and always had candy on him and if he came during the holidays, he always brought Rompope.

      Here is a recipe for Dia de los Muertos Cheesecake

      international delight, eggnog, cheesecake recipe, sponsored post, dia de los muertos

      Crust

       

        • 16 graham crackers, finely ground (2 cups)

       

        • 3 tablespoons sugar

       

        • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar

       

        • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

       

        • 1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

      international delight, eggnog, cheesecake recipe, sponsored post, dia de los muertos

       

      Filling

       

        • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

       

        • 2 large eggs

       

        • 3/4 cup International Delight eggnog

       

        • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

       

        • 2 tablespoons brandy

       

        • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

       

        • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

       

        • 1/4 teaspoon salt

       

        • Cinnamon for dusting

       

       

      DIRECTIONS

       

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Stir together graham crackers, sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg and melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of pan using a fork. Bake until crust is just brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
        2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the remaining sugar, eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt; beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust. Set pan on a cookie sheet. Bake just until set, 45 minutes. Let cool for about 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.
        3. Slice into 8 slices.
        4. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
        5. Lightly dust top with cinnamon just before serving.
        6. Enjoy with those you love.

       

      dia de los muertos, international delight, eggnog, cheesecake recipe, sponsored post

       

       

      This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

      For more awesome recipes and ways to use your International Delight creamers, check out their Facebook and Pinterest page.

      This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine. Later this week, I will be posting a tutorial on how to do the day of the dead make-up my brother and I are wearing in the photo above.

      What’s your favorite Halloween/ Dia de Los Muertos tradition?

       

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      The Unrecoverable Loss of Parenting http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/how-to-survive-child-loss/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/how-to-survive-child-loss/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:21:02 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22064 Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I know that October is national everything month but I would like you all to pause for just a moment today and remember all the mothers who lost their everything and children who never got to be held. We can’t forget. My story is not unique or […]

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      Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I know that October is national everything month but I would like you all to pause for just a moment today and remember all the mothers who lost their everything and children who never got to be held. We can’t forget.

      My story is not unique or special but my loss was life changing for me. In that one moment, my life was altered for eternity. My heart was irreparably damaged and in it’s place, a gaping wound remains that can never be filled. It’s a kind of primal pain that is indescribable.

      I don’t think that losing a pregnancy or infant is like anything else, we will ever experience in our lifetime and I can say for certain that it is nothing I would ever wish on even my worst enemy. It’s like dying but still being alive. It’s having to carry on, when you want to crawl into yourself and cease to exist. It’s a vulnerability that, to this day, still brings me to my knees on occasion. The only thing worse that I can imagine is losing a living child who’ve you’ve spent years loving and knowing.

      The worst part about losing a pregnancy or infant is what a single solitary loss it is. Others know that you lost your pregnancy or your infant but in a few weeks or months, they can forget it if they choose and carry on. And they usually do and you are left feeling like a crazy person who misses terribly this tiny person we never met. You begin to question your sanity, especially when others look at you like “when is she ever going to get over this.” Worse, they actually are afforded the luxury of forgetting that it ever happened to you. Oh yes, they do and no I never will “get over it”.

      Every May 1st (The day we lost our pregnancy) and November 24th (our child’s due date), I observe as days of remembrance. I feel the loss every single day but on those two days of the year, I allow myself to feel all of my feelings. Sometimes, I sob the entire day, sometimes I am numb and others, I am still and thankful that even for that short time, my baby was with me and for the two beautiful children that I do get to hold because there are those of us who never got to hold any of their children.

      I am past the point of feeling raw or envious when friends tell me that they are pregnant. I am happy for them. In fact, I love seeing them get to experience that love and complete sense of purpose. I no longer ask “why me?” because there is no point. My little one has finally stopped asking for a sibling, and that has helped immensely. My guilt is beginning to alleviate some. My feeling of failure is slowly fading like an old photo.

      I do however know how fragile and fleeting life is and that has made me a different kind of mother to my children. If I am being completely honest, I still don’t think that I could survive a loss of one of my girls. (That’s not a tempt fate, so please forget that I even thought that) but the pain nearly killed me and for a little while, it completely destroyed my sanity. It’s hard to be rational when you are a frightened, exposed nerve in the world. I am aware that I am a little more protective of my girls than maybe I should be but you have to understand, they are my everything.

      I’ve been searching for something to immortalize my baby that I lost, to give me closure in a way. I feel like I need something to mark his existence, proof that he ever existed at all. That he was here. That the Big Guy and I loved him more than anything else in the world, just like we do our two girls. I know that nothing can fill that hole in my heart but I want people to know that I am the mother to 3 children. I was pregnant 3 times. It happened. I’m not crazy. I didn’t imagine it. I am not over it.

      I’ve finally decided on a tattoo that I think is perfect. It’s a poem, one that I’ve quoted to my girls since they were babies. I am going to have it tattooed on my left-hand side rib cage, near my heart because that is where my children always are with me, in my heart, forever…even if you don’t see them or forget they exist. For me, they are always right there with me.

      If you’ve ever experienced a loss take today to feel your feelings. There is no right or wrong way to feel. There is no expiration date on loving a child. It doesn’t matter who else remembers or cares, you do.

      We all have our wounds. They might not show on the outside but they are there. Be kind to one another and cherish every single moment with the people you love, especially the little people, because time is fleeting.

      The post The Unrecoverable Loss of Parenting appeared first on The TRUTH About Motherhood.

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      What Every Tech Savvy Adventurer Will Want this Holiday Season http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/gopro-hero4/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/gopro-hero4/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:49:00 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22069 Can you believe it’s already almost Halloween? This weekend, we’re doing the city’s zombie walk at the girl’s request (because we are the coolest parents ever) and then it’s hay rides and pumpkin carving at the neighborhood fall festival. Before too long, I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Christmas??? I’m still dreaming of beaches […]

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      Can you believe it’s already almost Halloween? This weekend, we’re doing the city’s zombie walk at the girl’s request (because we are the coolest parents ever) and then it’s hay rides and pumpkin carving at the neighborhood fall festival. Before too long, I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Christmas??? I’m still dreaming of beaches and water parks! Where did summer go?

      Every year, I know that I am going to get lost in all of our “obligations” that I purposely focus even harder on making sure the girls remember baking cookies with grandma, making fudge with daddy, singing carols and just a general feeling of warmth rather than the chaos. I try to make each holiday season fondly memorable even if that just means the four of us preparing brunch and watching Christmas vacation together. What I inevitably forget to do every year is give my family a list of what I’d like for Christmas.

      Sure, I can say that all I really want is my family to be healthy, happy and together and that is true but of course, there are things that I would like but who ever has time to make a list. It feels so unimportant amongst everything else but really, it would be nice to actually get something that I’ve wanted. The thing with moms is that we are so busy taking care of others that we often forget to take care of ourselves and while we’ll bend over backwards to make our family happy, we just never seem to take the time to do the same for ourselves.

      GoPro Hero4Black, GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list

      Not this year. This year, I am not only making a list. I am making a pin board of all the stuff I’d be thrilled to have and a lot of it is tech toys like the GoPro HERO4 Black, an iPhone 6 Plus, a conference ticket or two and a few other tasty treats to kick my blog up a notch.

      GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Black

       

      GoPro has unveiled its new line of action cameras at Best Buy stores, just in time for the holidays. Best Buy will also have the latest accessories and mounts to help you capture immersive footage of the moments that matter most like skiing in Aspen,  ringing in the  New Year some place warm or maybe spring break at Disney World.

      GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Black

      GoPro cameras make the perfect holiday gift for everyone, my girls would love it to take action video while flipping on the trampoline. I’d love it to take stunning action photos for my blog. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.

      GoPro has 3 new cameras out this holiday season:

      • GoPro HERO4 Black is the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

      GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Silver

      • GoPro HERO4 Silver is the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

      GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4

      • GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

      It has 12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates. This is action photography at its best. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

      Well, I’d better get back to sorting my Blogger’s Wish list Pinterest pin board

      Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

       

       

      I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card , which I am putting towards buying myself the GoPro HERO4 Black.

      The post What Every Tech Savvy Adventurer Will Want this Holiday Season appeared first on The TRUTH About Motherhood.

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      Bigot Mom Fights Against Equal Treatment for Transgender Students http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/bigot-mom-fights-equality-transgender-students/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/bigot-mom-fights-equality-transgender-students/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:48:34 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=22049 Dear Bigot Mom why are you so opposed to the idea of transgender students being treated equal?  I’ve never understood how adults can be mean or uncaring to children but apparently and ironically, bigotry does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity hater, even of small children. Administrators in Lincoln, Nebraska have begun talking to staff about transgender issues so […]

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      Dear Bigot Mom why are you so opposed to the idea of transgender students being treated equal I’ve never understood how adults can be mean or uncaring to children but apparently and ironically, bigotry does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity hater, even of small children.

      Administrators in Lincoln, Nebraska have begun talking to staff about transgender issues so they can better help transgender students; all students. Some parents are worried the district is promoting an “agenda”; a political one.

      “The agenda we’re promoting is to help all kids succeed,” said Brenda Leggiardo, LPS coordinator of social workers and counselors. “We have kids who come to us with a whole variety of circumstances, and we need to equitably serve all kids.”

      But some people don’t see it that way, Rachel Terry, a parent in the Lincoln Public Schools District, has taken it upon herself to send emails to the other parents saying LPS is promoting a “gender inclusiveness” agenda and asking them to join her at the Oct. 14 school board meeting. HMMMMM? So, am I to assume that she is anti- gender inclusiveness? Is she really asking parents to join her at a school board meeting today to protest EQUALITY?? Bigotry much??? Life is hard enough for anyone who isn’t a healthy, heterosexual Caucasian male. Why make it harder?

      “By sidelining academic teacher training and replacing it with social re-engineering, the LPS administration has placed a higher priority on social reformation than on education,” Terry says in a copy of an “introductory speech” prepared for school board members.

      As a school board member myself, not in the LPS district, just let me start by saying we welcome any and all concerns to be brought up at board meetings (no matter how ridiculous they may be) so she is perfectly within her rights to present this at the meeting. However, the only agenda that I see is her fear of gender-inclusiveness. What is she afraid of? It’s not contagious?

      Surely, she must realize that if a child is bullied or feels like an outcast for being different, their education will suffer. Just because gender is not an issue for her children, it is for some children. Where is her compassion for these children who need a little understanding? I wonder if she has a low threshold of tolerance for those pesky special needs children too?

      Her email to other parents included three handouts she said had been provided to LPS staff, including one titled “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” that, among other things, advised avoiding “gendered” expressions such as “boys and girls.”

      The handout suggests opting for more specific terms such as “calling all readers” or “hey, campers.”

      Okay, I am not the parent of a transgendered, gay, bisexual or lesbian child (well, not that I know of, my girls are only 7 and 9 so who knows who they might become and no matter who they choose to love I will love them and want them to be treated equal to every other human being) so I’m not sure how parents of these children feel about using gender non-specific terms? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I suppose we could all just be called humans or by our own names and that would work.

      I do however have a problem with having the terms boys and girls stricken from my vocabulary because to me it feels like taking shit too far. Just like not being able to say Merry Christmas or God bless you when someone sneezes. I feel like I don’t get offended if someone says Happy Kwanza or Happy Hanukkah. I take it as a term of celebration and good will and I am thankful. I get the underlying “meaning” of it. It’s not something I take so literally that it keeps me up at night pondering my existence or my relationship with my own faith. If someone blesses me, I am not offended. I am thankful because, let’s be honest, someone wishing you well is always better than telling you to go somewhere and die or just not giving a damn at all.

      I can’t pretend to know how children who are transgendered feel about being called boy or girl. My personal thought would be that, on the inside, they feel like either a boy or a girl because that’s always been the choices we’ve had. I don’t think the problem is with the terms, I think it’s with the labeling. Why not use “boys and girls” when talking to a group and let the child decide which one applies to them without making a fuss about it.

      Student Services Director Russ Uhing said the goal of the administrative session was to help school leaders better understand the issues facing students so they can be welcoming to all students and make them feel comfortable. The handouts, provided by a staff member on a district equity team, were meant only for teachers, not for students or parents. Which leads me to believe that there is a bigot mole on the inside because how else did Mrs. Terry get herands on the handouts to use them against LPS?

      These were not meant as rules staff had to follow, but guidelines for how teachers could make students feel more comfortable. It also stresses the impact words can have on others which is particularly important for gay, lesbian and transgender students who are at a higher risk of being bullied, having mental health issues and committing suicide.

      I think that LPS is doing a great job trying to change the focus of the conversation. They are trying to be the change they want to see in the world. I commend them. I don’t agree with the stop usage of the terms” boys” and “girls” but I think their hearts are in the right place. As for Rachel Terry, why not try being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Ponder this, like I teach my children, on the inside we are all the same; humans. Why should a label, a color,  whatever our outside looks like define us? Shouldn’t we be commending these children for having the bravery to tell the world who they are? They are living out loud and happy with who they are. Isn’t that enough?

      In her email and draft speech, Terry said using taxpayer dollars to promote “the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values” is a serious breach of trust. Wow! I never understand how a true Christian can speak of religious values out one side of their face and spew hatred and bigotry out of the other side. What happened to tolerance and love? Does Westboro Baptist have a school? Maybe Rachel Terry would feel more comfortable enrolling her children there.

      What do you think of Rachel Terry’s opinion that transgender students don’t need equality and that gender-inclusiveness is a waste of taxpayer money?

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      Mom Claims that she is TOO POOR to Be HEALTHY and I Call Bullshit http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/too-poor-to-be-healthy/ http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/too-poor-to-be-healthy/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:22:53 +0000 http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/?p=21614 Yesterday, I stumbled across the above photo with the caption “ I’m too poor to be healthy! “ “If I was well off, I’d be able to buy fresh food and afford a gym membership!”   It was something I saw and immediately found hard to digest. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that fresh […]

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      Yesterday, I stumbled across the above photo with the caption

      “ I’m too poor to be healthy! “

      “If I was well off, I’d be able to buy fresh food and afford a gym membership!”

       

      It was something I saw and immediately found hard to digest. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that fresh food is expensive; obscenely so. We do live in a world where it is hard and expensive to be healthy because we live in a world where everything is supersized and instant gratification is expected at all times. People are busy and there is no time. No money. See, how I did that? There ARE a million excuses as to why our lives are not as we would like them to be. This caused quite a stir on my Facebook timeline.

       

      As someone who had active eating disorders for 8 years and who is now overweight I can tell you a few things

       

      1) Even if you have all the money in the world and all the fresh food and gym memberships, if you don’t use them they don’t work. Believe me, middle class suburbanites all over the world can attest to this. Am I right?

       

      2) Even if you are the “ideal” weight that does not secure that your life will be “ideal”. That’s a myth. I know. I had the ideal weight and body size and I still “needed” to lose “just 5 more pounds”. If you don’t fix your perception of yourself, you can’t be happy because no matter what you look like, you will still be unhappy on the inside. Being skinny is not a magic happy solution.

       

      3) You have to be accountable for and to yourself in order to change yourself. Blaming others for your situation is giving up. I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is always a way. You only have to be willing to look for it and work at it.

       

      4) The real reason most people are overweight, myself included, is simple; lack of movement, an abundance of unhealthy choices and not knowing correct portion sizes (who could blame them. We live in a world of indulgence and excess.)

       

      ** Also, I am completely aware that there are people with health and medical issues that make losing weight even harder than normal or even impossible but most of us are fat, if we are honest with ourselves, because of life choices we make. I made the choice to starve myself for 8 years. My metabolism is shot dead but it’s not impossible. I just need to work harder at it than most but most days, I still choose to eat the pizza or drink the Latte because I want it. I sit on my ass all day at a desk working. This is why I am overweight. I can’t blame anyone or anything. No one shoved the food in my mouth. No one forced me to not prioritize working out. Only I can do that and it doesn’t cost anything to walk.

       

      So, I did my research and I found the real story behind the salacious title ( we all know how online publications like to do that) unfortunately, she really is full of shit, as I originally thought. Here is the story from the Daily Mail UK..

       

      An obese mother-of-two who lives on benefits says she needs more of taxpayers’ money to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle.

       

      Christina Briggs, 26, from Wigan, says she hates being 25 stone (350 pounds for you Americans) but she can’t do anything about it because she can only afford junk food. Meanwhile, exercise is out of the question because she doesn’t have the funds to join a gym.

       

      The single mother told Closer Magazine: ‘It’s not easy being overweight and on benefits. If I was well off, I’d be able to buy fresh food and afford a gym membership. 

       

      ‘I tried swimming but it cost £22 a month and it meant I had to cut back on my favourite pizza and Chinese takeaways.’

      Unemployed Christina gets £20,000 in benefits a year and lives in a council house with her two children by different fathers, Helena, 10, and Robert, two.

      She left school as a teenager after falling pregnant with her daughter following a one night stand.

       

      Christina Biggs, poor, unhealthy

      The family feast everyday on takeaways, chocolate and crisps as Christina says they can’t afford low fat foods. As a result, the mother is currently a dress size 26.

      She has been warned by her GP that her health is in danger because of her size – medical complications relating to obesity include heart disease and diabetes. Christina is desperate not to leave her two children without a mother and doesn’t want her size to take her to an early grave.

      But she insists ‘it’s not my fault – healthy food is too expensive’.

      She feels her only hope is for the government to give her more money so she can afford to buy fruit and vegetables and join a gym.

      She also believes she should be paid to lose weight as that would give her the motivation to fight the flab.

      She told the magazine:

      I need more benefits to eat healthily and exercise. It would be good if the government offered a cash incentive for me to lose weight. I’d like to get £1 for every pound I lose, or healthy food vouchers. 

       

      ‘If the price of healthy food was lowered that would help, too. I need help, but I need it from the government.’

       

      She added that she can’t get a job to gain more money because she’s needed at home to care for her children, especially as her daughter has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and issues with her kidneys.

       

      She explained:

      ‘There’s no way I could get a job. I don’t feel bad about the taxpayer funding my life and my child’s medical problems, because I don’t treat myself or buy anything excessive. I just get enough money to live on – the taxpayers should help fund my diet.’  

      There you have it, all in her own words.  It’s Thursday and this entire situation needs a throat punch. She KNOWS that she needs to exercise and eat more healthy. She knows that much. BUT she is making excuses and blaming others. Does she need more nutrition education? Yes! Does the cost of healthy food need to be more affordable? Hell yes to all of that! But are all of her life problems because the government is not funding her weight loss program? HELL NO!

      You can’t tell me with cabinets filled with junk and refusing to give up on her favorite Chinese take-out that her current weight situation is not entirely of her own doing. Choices my friends. Buy in season veggies and fruits. Shop sales. Walk. Move. Buy frozen or canned fruits and veggies, they beat a bag of chips any day.
      Here are some links to help you eat healthy on a budget:

      Real Food on a Food Stamp Budget

      Eating Healthy on a Budget

      Good and Cheap Eat well on $4 a day

      Get Healthy on A budget

      Ways to Stay Healthy on a Budget

      Free Online Workouts

      What do you think?

      Is she too poor to be healthy?

       

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