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discipline, exercise, parenting, how to change bad behavior with exercise

I found the cure to all bad habits and I can tell you the secret of how to change bad behavior with exercise! Nope, it has nothing to do with exerting yourself and distracting yourself. It has nothing to do with feeling better about yourself or being a better person. It’s much simpler than that and I promise you, it works. I am living proof. You can change bad behavior with exercise and achieve parenting level master status. It is discipline in the best way possible.

We all have bad habits. It’s the truth. I try to be a good example for my daughters. We want our children to grow up to be upstanding citizens of the world. We want them to go out into the world and be so fierce and fearless that they impress everyone they meet. We don’t want them to be jerks. One of my life goals is for people to meet my children throughout their life and be like, “Damn, that is one bada** woman!” At the same time, I want them to be like, “What a lady she is.” That’s my mom getting in my head.

I want my daughters to be the perfect lovechild of Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou and Lady Gaga. I want them to be fierce, caring and relentless in their pursuit of good and happiness. That’s what I’m going for but I want them to use their words. I want their words to be the vehicle that can gain them entry into any conversation in the world. I want their brains to be their sexiest body part.

I want them to be giving, loving and embrace life and love and people. I want them to live out loud with no walls or prejudices. I want them to fully appreciate the world they live in without fear or self-doubt. I think I am succeeding, or at least on trajectory with this path, with the exception of one small kink…using their words.

This is where it happens, this is what prompted me to figure out how to change bad behavior with exercise.

Yes, embarrassing as it is, I (the writer) have failed my children in the example of using their words.  You see, I know a lot of words. I know all of the words. I am in love with the words. But sometimes, I am a lazy word user and I resort to profanity. GASP! I know shocking. Well, not really. Not if you’re a long time follower of me. I’ve been trying a lot harder to stop with the lazy words because I don’t want my girls to use all the lazy words. So, I made a decision and it is kind of shocking how well it has worked.

This is how to change bad behavior with exercise.

It’s actually very simple. I implemented a rule a few weeks ago that if you (collective you, as in my family) curse, that is an automatic 50 crunches and if you bicker and yell, that is an automatic 200 pushups and so began the hardest few days of my life. Just kidding, I’ve lived through a lot of hard stuff. I was not going to be broken by crunches and yet, 400 crunches in one day…it was pretty rough but it worked almost immediately. Who knew you could change bad behavior with exercise?

The thing that I’ve learned is that no amount of grounding, taking away of friends, tech or play dates will work to curb my children’s bad behavior. They respond much more astutely to positive reinforcement. I’m not surprised because I am the same way.  I’d prefer to get a reward at the end of hard work than to not get punished. I learned when I was pretty young that I preferred to do what I wanted and suffer the consequences, that’s just how I work and unfortunately, I think I passed that strong will along to my daughters.

However, apparently, none of us love doing crunches. In fact, we despise them. Now, these were not your average run of the mill sit ups. These were those blasted ballet/ floor barre/ physical therapy ones meant to target your lower abdomen. No one works their lower abdomen. It’s not natural and it HURTS!

3 days is how long it took to cure me of my cursing habit. 2 days is all that it took for the girls to never want to use any sort of lazy word ever again. You see apparently, our lazy words are not worth getting off our lazy butts and doing 400 crunches. And the bickering, well, my girls hate push ups even more than crunches. Bickering has been at an all-time low. I can feel my sanity returning. It’s all fun and games until someone has to do exercise.

You see, I’m a die hard, forgiveness over permission gal but I had to be the example and so crunch away I did. I’m still doing 150 every day, just in case I stub my toe or something and need that sweet release plus, I could definitely live without a FUPA. It’s so simple to change bad behavior with exercise. Why did I never think of this before?

I’ve also realized that crunches can probably cure just about any bad habit we have. Think about it. You want to gamble, each bet is 100 crunches. You want to drink, each cocktail is 100 crunches. Want to eat that whole sleeve of Oreos? That will be 50 crunches per cookie, thank you. I’m pretty sure most of us would think twice before doing that again because I don’t know about you but a swear word is not worth 400 crunches and there are no cookies worth 50 crunches. Then again, at the very least, I’d be a heathen with great abs!

Would you have ever thought it was possible to change bad behavior with exercise?

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gynecological misadventure, gynecological visit, mammogram, pregnancy, miscarriage, fibroids, mammogram, menopause, millenials

A gynecological misadventure is never fun, especially when they involve surprises and words like fibroids, pregnancy, menopause, miscarriage and mammogram all in the same visit. Last week, I had my “yearly” exam and mammogram because women’s reproductive health is my jam. And, I discovered the meaning of life or at least solved one of life’s great mysteries, why women start getting mammograms at 40 and not 25.

As the mammogram tech, the same lady who did my first mammogram last year, gingerly fondled my breast as she positioned and repositioned my very pliable breasts I realized, had I not given birth, breastfed and subsequently fallen victim to gravity, there is no way that she could maneuver my breasts into this machine. Mammograms are not a young woman’s game. Then I laughed because I remembered that I used to be known for my breasts and my legs. How’s that for irony? Broken and Broken. Check and Check.

Pert breasts could never do what these ever so gracefully aged, slightly used breasts can do. No way my 25 year old tits cold be placed into a machine as an entity in and of itself, separate from my body, as if I could remove them.., place them in the machine, walk out of the room and come back after pressing the imaging button. No way!!

Mature breasts have lived more and while they may be slowly creeping into my armpits because my hatred of bras has increased almost as much as my newfound love of full-coverage panties, they still have some life in these old girls… even if they are 3 inches lower than they used to be. You know the story, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

I thought my advanced maternal aged” pregnancy at 31 made me feel old, well… you can imagine what being referred to 3 times (by 3 different medical professionals) as menopausal at “my age” made me feel like?

It was like suddenly my lady bits dried out, shriveled up, got arthritis and no longer functioned. I felt old, like my uterus suddenly needed a walking cane. Like the fruit that were my loins had suddenly rotted on the vine. Hey ladies… Don’t you worry about my bits, they’re working just fine, every 28 days just like clockwork and my ovulation could give any 27-year-old a run for her money. The shark week force is still strong with this one. 

The gynecological inner workings of my lady bits were insulted and then my ego was grievously injured. Shot through the uterus. Menopausal? Jesus! Had my moisturizer stopped working? This was more embarrassing than the fu man chu incident of 2005!

I knew this exam was different because for the first time in my lifetime, the doctor didn’t have to grab for the world’s deepest speculum, you know the one that feels like my uterus is in my throat? Nope she was able to use the “regular” speculum, just like she uses on everyone else. Whomp whomp. In a weird way I took pride in that crazy deep cervix of mine, it made me feel special like a gynecological unicorn but alas, now I am “average”.

I balked. “Wait? Is something wrong down there?” My doctor, whose sense of humor is just as randy as my own, replied, ” No, sometimes this just happens to women when they get “old”. Their uterus begins to fall.”

Not “older” that bitch said “old” and then she giggled, signaling to me that she was in fact giving me a hard time. I mean, I’m not Michelle Duggar, my uterus should be firmly in place and this lady wants to play Chicken Little with jokes about my uterus falling! Did I mention she’s only 3 years younger than me? Hey now!

Luckily, she quickly followed that by, “It’s hormonal. At different times of the month it can feel differently.” That didn’t give me any relief. And then while doing the physical exam, she gave me the head tilt and ” Hmmm?” Not a combo I like to see at my doctor’s visit.

Wait! What’s going on? Is my fucking uterus actually falling? Nope, she followed with this, ” Well, your uterus feels about the size of a 10-12 week pregnant uterus.”

Dumbfounded.

Silence.

Silence.

Gynecological misadventure number 1; possible pregnancy.

If you thought an accidental pregnancy at almost 40 was scary, you can’t even imagine what one today would do to me.Whispering as all the color and blood rushed from my face, “What? I’m not pregnant! Am I?” I hoped she had the defibrillator near by. Obviously being “menopausal and of the reproductive age of retirement ” I was going to have a heart attack any second now. Then, my brain, “Booyah bitches! Who you calling menopausal now?” Strangely, momentarily, I felt reproductively vindicated.

Wait? Was I one of those morons who didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor? 147 IQ, you failed me. Oh God, senility is setting in, maybe I am menopausal?

Then she tilted her head the other way and said, “Hmmm” again as she manhandled my uterus.., “Nope! Have you been having regular periods? When was your last one?”

Gynecological misadventure number 2; a possible miscarriage!

“26 days ago. I’m starting again on Thursday.” In my brain, ” oh dear Jesus, I’ve had a miscarriage again.” Holding back tears, saying a rosary in my head.

More uterine fondling, this time it felt personal. She tilted her head back in the other direction, “Hmmmmm, nope!”

Silence

Silence

Waiting

Jeopardy music playing in my head.

“Probably just fibroids!”

Just fibroids?” Que loca? There’s no such thing as just tumors in your uterus.

“Just tell the front desk to schedule you for a ultrasound and we’ll take a look next time.”

Gynecological misadventure number 3; cancer?

I tilted my head, “Hmmmm, Nope!”  I suddenly staged a sit in of one. I refused to leave the building without knowing whether I was dying or not. Damn you webmd. Just like the 108-degree bronchitis fever incident in 2009. I’ll sit here forever. I’ve got nothing but time, lady. She knows that I’m was just crazy enough to do it.

Needless to say, I was seen immediately for my transvaginal ultrasound. Suddenly, I found myself pantless in stirrups having trouble breathing. Then I remembered the last time I was in this room, on this table, I was told, ” I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The day that all I could do was cry.

Gynecological misadventure number 4; fibroids?

As a middle-aged tech, at least 10 years my senior explained to me that fibroids are common in women who are “menopausal” I nearly lost my shit. If only I could breathe. Then she showed them to me, my fibroids. All 3 of them. I had gotten my first one with Bella, a second with Gabs and I’m assuming a third with the pregnancy I lost. I wanted a tattoo to commemorate the baby I lost but instead, I got fibroids as a parting gift.

So, I go upstairs and wait to see my doctor again. She confirms that I’ve got the fibroids (guess its better than hemorrhoids?) but it’s nothing to worry about. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I quietly asked her the question that we’re all dying to know the answer to, “Am I menopausal?”

Gynecological misadventure number 5; menopause?

She giggled, no hmmm or head tilt this time, “No, you have no symptoms and you are still regularly menstruating and ovulating. Some women do start the process at 35, though. But no, you’re not menopausal.”

I felt like she should have handed me a damn t-shirt saying as much. I felt reproductively spry. Then, I gave her a hug bye and said, “Can you pass the word along to the rest of your staff and… I’ll take that referral for a vasectomy for my husband now. You know since obviously, I’m still fab, fit and fertile!” My uterus is a millennial even if my breasts are looking middle-age ish these days. Damn you breastfeeding.

And we both laughed.

Have you ever suffered a gynecological misadventure or (any doctor for that matter) and how did you handle it?

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sex, Mexican food, Mexican food and sex don't mix, sex after children, marriage

Mexican food does not mix well with sex and it’s not for the reason that you might think. It has nothing to do with beans, though, I am sure that has it’s own set of consequences. Mexican Subway anyone. ( Just Google it. You know you want to.) This is something my mom should have warned me about when she gave me “the talk”. Well, maybe she did. Our sex talk went a little  like this, ” It’s going to hurt A LOT!” Then my dad chimed in, “Don’t do it!” Maybe they were telling me their truth…

Mexican food and sex don’t mix!

Since having children, finding the time to have sex (whether Mexican food recipes are involved or not) has become a challenge. Making love has gone from being recreational to a full on covert ops sport. The days of spontaneous sex are long gone, unless you count the rogue moments of bathroom sex or Saturday morning, wake up early, quietly lock the door and do it quick and dirty. Oh yeah, that happens. Quick and dirty is the specialty in this house with an 8 and 10-year-old. Those broads know how to jimmy the door open.

But sometimes when you try to do it quick and dirty, well, to be quite frank, people get burned. I know this because I was recently on the receiving end of a bad combination of Mexican food and lovemaking. That’s right, a little healthy fooling around with my Big Guy ended with me in the shower pouring milk straight onto my vagina. See, I told you that it had nothing do with beans!

So, you’re thinking to yourself, what kind of kinky shit are Debi and the mister getting themselves into over there? Well, let’s just say that you should always wash your hands at least three times after handling spicy foods, especially peppers. I know because, well, I’m Mexican and have put jalapeno, habanero and all sorts of peppers, accidentally, into my eyeballs throughout my lifetime. It’s a damn miracle that I’m not blind. Apparently, my eyeballs are kinky and like it hot and rough. This is obviously a lesson lost on my 100% caucasian husband, otherwise, he might have known…and heeded my father’s warning of, “Don’t do it!”

The other night after a mouth-watering meal of homemade Mexican food, the Big Guy and I were feeling the heat and getting a little frisky between the sheets. It was all well and good until Mr. Vagina Whisperer over here decided to get a little up close and personal with my nether regions. Look, I am all about a good “massage” but, men, you MUST wash your hands if you’ve been handling hot spices or peppers, especially if you just deseeded 5 veiny jalapeños for your super secret, ultra spicy homemade salsa. Well, this goes for all men; in general, all men must wash hands before lovemaking. Think of it as one of those signs posted in Fast Food restaurant bathrooms, if it helps.

All I know is that one minute, I was enjoying the “massage” and the next, I was feeling the burn and immediately following that I was in the shower screaming for the Big Guy to bring me all the milk in the house. This girl was on fire, and not in the good Alicia Keys way. I was a very, unhappy burning crotch down under kind of girl on fire. Bad things were happening to my lady bits and I could do nothing but watch in horror as the flames engulfed me.

You know how when you eat a really spicy pepper your lips start tingling, then they start swelling and then you’re crying because the burn is like a thousand bee stings. Yes, I had that….right there in my vagina and vagina adjacent region.

Just to recap….

Mexican Food and Sex Don’t Mix!

Write it down. I’ll wait.

The moral of the story is this, there are a few things that I’ve learned over the years that certainly don’t mix with sex; spicy Mexican food fingers being at the top of that list (no you poured $8 a gallon organic milk on your vagina in the middle of the night to stop feeling the burn), toddlers within 5 miles of an unlocked bedroom (no you were naked wrestling with your husband when you to caught by a 2-year-old and played dead) and certain sleep aids for insomniacs. Here is my rule of thumb, Ambien is great for forgotten, wild sex weekends but Xanax before bed can leave your partner with the longest hand job in the history of the universe. Think puff, puff, give but instead…rub, rub, snore. I hear it’s embarrassing and you never live it down because truly the only thing funnier is a Norwegian Knob gobbler. Now, go Google that and have a nice day.

And remember, no sex after handling spicy foods until all parts that have come in contact with the heat have been properly cleansed and eradicated of any spicy residue. You’ll thank me later.

What’s your best sex advice?

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stress incontinence, mommy issues, life after giving birth, peepee, sneezing, Poise, Impressa

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Poise Impressa but all opinions about stress incontinence are my own.

Do you ever find yourself leaking (just a little bit) when you laugh too hard, dance too hard, sneeze or cough (that’s the worst) or workout? It’s so embarrassing. I am a grown woman and since becoming a mom and giving birth, I suffer from the affliction of stress urinary incontinence. In simple terms, I sometimes pee myself just a little but when I exert myself physically.

It doesn’t always happen and it’s not like I’m walking around peeing myself all day long but I leak sometimes. What can I do short of surgery? I Kegel, so don’t tell me to kegel. That’s about as useful as someone telling a schizophrenic person to stop talking to himself or herself. Come on, some things need actual remedies not just simply just to be wished away because if that worked, we’d all weigh 115 pounds and look 25 forever.

I’m not ready to just accept this fate and I am definitely not ready to wear diapers. I’m only 42 not 87. It’s not fair. When I look at my daughters’ faces I see my miracles and then I remember, oh yeah, that noggin makes me pee myself a little when I sneeze. There has to be a solution, right?

Then I learned that Poise Impressa can help with stress incontinence.

Immediately I thought, “Sign me up!” 10-years of leaking when sneezing is a long time and I am pretty much ready for anything that can make that stop happening. I know we all begin our lives in diapers and we all end up pretty much in them again but not now, not at 42. The answer is Poise Impressa.

What is Poise Impressa, you ask? It is an internal product that women insert like a tampon. Also, each person has unique anatomy and your jean size does not determine your Impressa size. To find the size right for you, the brand encourages you to start with size 1 and if you experience leaks, move on to Size 2 and then Size 3 if needed.

It’s that simple. Just insert and go on about your day, worry free. Free to laugh as hard as you want. Free to sneeze and cough, to your hearts desire without fear. Free to Zumba until your legs give out. The point is Poise Impressa takes the stress of urinary leakage out of your day and makes you free to do whatever you want without ever having to worry about leaking or smelling like urine, ever again…no matter how big your babies’ heads were.

I know I’m not alone in this issue. Most moms who’ve given birth vaginally live with Stress Urinary Incontinence and all the worries that come with it, every single day. Poise Impressa removes those worries and leaves you free to enjoy your life, your family and yourself.

Would you try Poise Impressa if meant you never had to worry about your stress incontinence ever again?

 

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tampons, free bleeding, kiran Gandhi, feminism, periods without tampons, patriarchy

Cause she’s free, free bleeding!

Sorry, I just can’t get that damn Tom Petty song out of my head ever since I read that article about the woman running the London marathon while on her period with absolutely no feminine hygiene help. Tampons…we don’t need no stinking tampons (or maxi pads for that matter). We are woman, watch us bleed.

A few months ago, Kiran Gandhi (a Harvard MBA) chose to run the London marathon, “unencumbered by the ‘absurd’ presence of a chaffing ‘wad of cotton’ wedged between her legs.” And so began the third-wave feminist movement of “free-bleeding.”

First, it was the bush making a comeback, then ladies refusing to shave their legs on principal and now, dying pit hair and free bleeding. Look, I am a woman and I am loud and proud about women’s rights. Hell, I’m even a bit of a fanatic. I like causes and, if we’re being honest, women and minorities are two of my favorites because I am both.

I don’t think women should be banished to red tents and dirty sheds because they are on their periods. But damn, you couldn’t pay me money to run around London bleeding out because that is exactly what I would be doing. It would look like someone tried to kill me by stabbing me to death in my vagina. All of London would look like a traveling crime scene and quite frankly, I don’t want to be known as free bleeding Debi. Plus, it feels a bit unhygienic. I mean, my sheets are white!

I mean, no one’s going to invite me to their house anymore. Party invites and standing up in weddings, all gone forever. No one wants to take the chance I’m going to show up and damage their goods or cause a spectacle. I mean, I’m just finally living down all those sweater ass covered periods of my youth. I wore a sweater one week of every month from the ages of 12-18…just in case of an accident. Then I discovered tampons, left the flying winged diapers behind and moved on with my life.

What’s all this period-shaming shit about? I’m not embarrassed by my period. The patriarchy didn’t curse me with shark week, it’s biology. It’s for the babies! Who doesn’t love babies?

Honestly, tampons are a pain in the vagina. I get it! Have you ever got your lip caught between those two cardboard parts of the applicator? That shit hurts like a mother effer. Or have you ever completely forgotten that you had one in and put another one in and shoved the previous one into your brain? It hurts. Or the worse is when you do it quickly; go on about your business only to realize 15 minutes into a board meeting that you are sitting on the inner cardboard tube of the applicator. It’s like sitting on a broom handle….in your vagina while having a conversation. And please don’t even get me started on the diapers that are an excuse for maxi pads once you give birth. My God, I need a f*cking diaper between the pee and the hemorrhaging. Why didn’t people warn me?

 So, free bleeding?

Look, I get it. It is 2015 and we want all the equal rights and I think women should be able to do everything men do, if they want to go topless, serve in the army on the front lines, open all the goddamn doors they want to…GO.FOR.IT! But me, I can do all that but I like it when my husband opens doors for me and pulls out my chair. I like chivalry and manners. I love respect for women. I don’t want to run around free bleeding and covered in body hair like a savage to prove a point. I’ll burn the shit out of my bras though, I hate those things.

As far as I’m concerned, I’ll share. Boys, you want the free bleeding? The monthly hemorrhage accompanied by tender breasts, cramps and PMS? You can have it. I will buy all of your drinks.

I’m all about live and let live but can I please live with my tampons and without the mortification of the entire world knowing when I’m menstruating. Can we just allow me that one private dignity? As for Kiran Gandhi, I say go girl. If this is how you want to celebrate your womanhood, you do it loud and proud.

How do you feel about the free bleeding phenomenon?

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parental survival tips, back-to-school, first day of school, nerves, moody judy

The first day back-to-school is today and yesterday my girls lost their minds. I never noticed this phenomenon before. Nerves are to be expected at back-to-school but full-on crazy was never part of the deal! Maybe it’s a tween thing or maybe I’m just noticing it but yesterday was the worst. Forget about my worries of avoiding the kindergarten hallway of death with mother’s strewn on the floor collapsed in puddles of snot and tears. Today, back-to-school can kiss my grits! Now, I know why all the parents in the 3rd-5th-grade hall just carry in paper goods like pack mules and never look back. No photos, no kisses or have a good day, just lots of knowing nods and exhaustion.

The tween has gone completely bipolar on me (and you know I don’t use this term lightly, takes one to know one and wow! She’s making my head spin) one second she’s smiling and hugging on me, cuddling in for dear life and the next, she is rolling her eyes so hard that I think she might have sprained something and crying, sobbing over boots that she begged for….that I bought. I thought that was a good thing. NO! I was dead freaking wrong because in tween brain that means I bought her stupid boots that she can’t even wear over her pants, with her skirts or until NOVEMBER! I’m such a horrible mom.

But she asked for them. Tough shit lady, you should have known better. Then she begins sobbing uncontrollably in the middle of the Target. As I’m ready to check out and on the cell phone with my sister, like one of those assholes who doesn’t give a shit about other people’s hearing space, talking her off a ledge about the details of her upcoming wedding, the 10-year-old is throwing a full-on tantrum because I’m not buying all of the volleyball shorts and athletic t-shirts.

Why am I being so evil? Because I don’t think its pertinent to buy these things when 1) she hasn’t made the team yet 2) we are still trying to figure out how she is going to fit 5 ballet classes, 2 robotics team meetings, violin, cheerleading practice and games and MAYBE volleyball into the schedule. Did I mention that 5th grade is a clusterf*ck? Be afraid, be very afraid. It’s the year of everything and ballet has decided that this is the year that my kid needs to decide to dedicate her life to it. She’s 10!!!!!! But more about that later.

The 8-year-old has been sneaking into my bed every night for the past 5 days under the guise of a “stomach ache” that mysteriously disappears the moment her head hits my pillow. It’s all  nerves induced by back-to-school. I give her this because I get it but it’s school, not war! And in the past week, I have gotten next to zero accomplished because of making all the moments of summer count and all that jazz. It’s like every year the week before back-to-school, my girls try to climb back into the womb and at 4’8″ and 5’1″, they just don’t fit anymore but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

Between my children going completely insane, recovering from travel and impending travel, planning a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, being the maid of honor, while squeezing in a press trip, deadlines and oh yeah, did I mention trying to coordinate the most insane extracurricular schedule ever…I am feeling less crying about missing my babies today and more hell, yeah, finally some quiet time to work…in my house…alone…without the white noise of constant girl bickering.

Don’t get me wrong, I left drop off this year, just like every year before, missing my little girls. But this year, we all need some quiet alone time. The years are rushing by at warp speed and we just need some time to decompress from all the excitement and growing up. It’s stressful but at the same time, it’s exciting for all of us.

back-to-school, first day of school, nerves, moody judy, parental survival tips

Is it wrong that I want to throw a one woman dance party followed by complete silence to celebrate back-to-school?

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your truth is a lie, moms and daughters, comparing yourself to your mother

It started with 3 gray hairs. I got my first one when I was 30 and I joked to the Big Guy that he was to blame. With each child, another gray hair appeared. And then one day, it was like the three gray hairs got together and decided that it was their sworn duty to populate the right side of my head. At first, for many years, I plucked my three gray hairs. I took joy in knowing that many women younger than I had many more gray hairs. Not that I took joy in their misfortune but I had to enjoy the small victories, afterall, the baby weight wasn’t going anywhere.

But now, if I try to pluck all the gray hairs, I will have a definitely noticeable bald spot because when half your head is bald…people tend to notice. F*CK! I gave in and I dyed it. No biggie. I dyed it in my 20’s all the time, you know, to make it maroon or red or highlight the hell out of it. Back when I had money for such luxuries. Those were the days, back when I got massages, manicures, pedicures and was always tanned. For many years, I gave up the nails because long nails and babies don’t mix ( same reason I gave up the dangly earrings) it was just too dangerous to chance.

I went back to manicures and pedicures but I just don’t have the time in my schedule to go get my nails filled every two weeks and I refuse to not, so I spent 3 hours removing them myself Friday night. OUCH! I love pedicures but now, I’m obsessed with flesh eating disease and I just can’t enjoy myself. It’s like eating a Big Mac, too damn risky. Then tanning, well, of course, I’ll be the freckled Mexican to get melanoma and that just scares me too much. Spray tan it is. Wait, but then someone might have to see my in a bikini because I’m not crazy for the Oompa Loompa look of the spray tan booths. So, pasty and pale it is with a side of freckles please, govner.

But back to my gray hairs.

I suppose when I get the time this summer, I will go spend the $200 to have my hair cut and dyed. I can wait. And then it happened. As I was plucking my womanstache ( because even though I’m seemingly going bald from plucking my grays on my head, the hair on my upper lip is going stronger and darker than ever) I noticed my eye brows needed sorting out after the explosive cyst debacle. That’s when I saw it…a gray hair in my eyebrow. Wait! Not one but two!!! Sonofabitch, what am I Santa? Guess where it was? The right side of my face. The left side was the swollen explosive side last week.

To add insult to injury, just as my vision is now clear as a bell, I noticed the unthinkable…a white eyelash! What the? Is that even a thing? Thank God I’m hardwood down below because if I ever see a gray pubic hair, I may just die of old age on the spot!

My question to you is does the salon offer services for dying rogue gray hairs in your lash and brow area because I need that service. It took me 20 minutes to single out that one damn silver lash.

You know when I was a kid, I used to say that I was half White and Half Mexican ( because I am a half breed…insert Cher song here) and I would draw an imaginary line down the center of my body. My parents are 65 and my dad only has a couple gray hairs and barely a crows foot. My mom’s family gray in their 20’s. I think I’ve finally figured out which side is which…the right side is definitely my Caucasian side and the explosive left side, is definitely my Latina side.

Don’t even get me started on my achy bones, dark spots and skin tags. Getting old sucks. Thank goodness for wisdom and alcohol. I’m looking forward to the inevitable dementia that will set in and cause me to forget all of this.

What caused your first gray hairs?

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May, face, exploded, sebaceous cyst

You’ve all probably been wondering where the hell I went this May. Maybe? Maybe you didn’t even notice I was gone. It is May, after all. Like many of you, I went down the rabbit hole that is May beginning with May 1st, marking the worst day of my life, and filled with non-stop obligations.

Yes, some were absolutely amazing like seeing my girls perform in their end of the year ballet showcase and violin concerts. I got the littlest one through first communion. I celebrated 6 years of The TRUTH! The Big Guy and I celebrated 16 years of friendship and marriage. Speaking of the Big Guy, he turned the big 4.0! Did I mention that the littlest turned 8? Also, we participated in the neighborhood’s annual garage sale and to bookend the craziness, last week Monday, I woke up with my left side of my face so swollen that my eye looked like it was drooping and melting down my face. My first thought, “Oh shit! All of this stress, I have Bells Palsy!”

I promptly freaked out, cried and headed immediately to the RediMed…all on the same morning that my littlest had a field trip to a nature reserve. Stress much! Thankfully, the Big Guy was on hand to step in and chaperone as I headed to the doctor to deal with what I was sure the beginnings of a stroke. Then my vanity kicked in, all I could think of was all of the traveling and conference attending that I was going to have to do with my droopy face. I hadn’t even the mental fortitude to think about my entire future.

I sat there in the waiting room with my face increasingly swelling, looking more and more like Rocky after a fight by the second. Trying my best to maintain my composure. Shaking, just a little bit but not enough to knock my purse out of my lap or anything.

I was the first patient they saw that morning After, getting a 145/90 blood pressure reading, in my mind confirming my suspicions that I must be stroking out, my doctor did an exam and said that it was an infection that was causing the swelling. I told her of my bells palsy fears and she asked me to move my face that was how she was “sure” that it wasn’t a stroke.

Nothing a 10-day supply of hearty, vomit and diarrhea inducing antibiotics wouldn’t fix up in no less than 10 days. Oh and the giant tumor looking bump that was sitting on my eyebrow that had developed over night, no worries, “It “should” go away with the infection. But if it grows or you develop any other symptoms or feel “weird” go directly to the hospital!”

Uhm, okay?

“The antibiotics should pull the infection to a head and it should burst on it’s own. If not, come back in a few days after the meds have kicked in and we will lance it!”

Uhm, okay? Did she know that this WASN’T a pimple? I’m getting more deformed by the moment and she wants to pop my zits.

She called the next night. My face was swelling even more and the thing above my eye was causing me to have blurry vision. I was beginning to look like the elephant man. “I am not a freak.” I was still not convinced that I wasn’t going to die or be permanently maimed.

The next morning, I put on my Wonder Woman panties and prayed the rosary (hey, you have to exhaust all of your resources) I went back in. Well, first I called my regular doctor who was out. Then I called the RediMed. The nurse was supposed to call me back but I had the girls’ end of the year ballet performance to attend that night and the line at RediMed usually runs 2 hours deep. So, impatience got the best of me and I headed out. By the time I got to the check-in window, the nurse was just sitting down to call me. Yep, I’m sure they thought I was a hypochondriac but one look at my face should have cured anyone of any suspicions.

I was feeling better but I was looking much worse. I was terrified at what might be happening. I was feeling awful from the 3X a day dose of Keflex, and every time I looked in the mirror I had a panic attack. I got a new doctor this time, the dad of the little boy in my daughter’s tap class. Embarrassing. My world is getting entirely too small.

He was very friendly and my blood pressure reading of 180/95 let him know that I was in full on freak out mode. He referred to the notes on my diagnosis from 2 days prior, examined my face and actually listened when I told him that the “tumor” on my eyebrow was not puss filled but was in fact a very small, almost invisible, chicken pock scar from when I was 11.It had always been there in my eyebrow but it NEVER did this before.

Upon further inspection, he confirmed it. We had to lance this thing. Apparently, the infection had caused something in the inner working of my face to become blocked and that caused the swelling. And on top of that, just beneath the surface of my chicken pock scar there was a teeny sebaceous cyst lying dormant UNTIL the infection which caused the cyst to grow rapidly. But that was not confirmed until after he lanced the CYST and realized that it was not filled with infection but instead some sort of cottage cheese substance. Oh yeah, I know, TMI! How do you think I felt? It was coming out of my face.There I was with my face looking like I had just gone 10 rounds with Stallone after finding Adrian in bed with Apollo Creed and this doctor/friend by association was on top of me on what had to be the most uncomfortable table on the planet, using his full weight to squeeze cottage cheese out of my already, extremely tender monstrosity of an inflamed cyst. He kept asking if I needed to take a break and was very surprised by my lack of screaming and crying at this barbaric tactic. I told him, “I’ve given birth twice. I’m good. Just finish.”

He said, “Well, now you’ve given birth three times. Let’s name it!” I was not amused. He apologized as he wiped the teaspoon worth of cottage cheese (his estimation not mine, as I was blind), blood and water from my head. He bandaged me up, sent me home and said, “See you tonight (at the recital).”

It was traumatic and I had to wear a giant Band-Aid to the ballet, which I’m sure has the ballet mom rumor mill speculating that the Big Guy beats me in between tap and ballet classes. Anyways, today my vision is completely restored and the tumor atop my eye is no longer and has returned to its previous tiny scar. It’s a little larger than before but the doc said it could be a couple weeks before it completely goes down. If not, there is always surgical removal.

So, today I’m telling you all about it because I’ve been on a weeks worth of Xanax, antibiotics, the bump is a blip and I can see again so I am not freaking out about stroking out. Now, I can laugh about it. But of course it all finished just in time for shark week to start. Damn you May, you started with devastation, filled with love, chaos, endings and a perceived near death experiences only to go out in a blaze of hormone migraines, cramps and moodiness. Thank God there is only 2 days left.

Hope your May was better than mine! I just thought y’all might want to know why I disappeared.

How was your May?

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blogger, blogging, midlife crisis

I’m Debi and I’m an old school blogger. I started blogging 6 years ago ( well, it will be on May 7th). I’ve seen blogging change a lot.

I’ve noticed a definite trend in blogging lately.I’m seeing blogger “midlife” (of the blog) crisis happening almost daily. Everything that is old is new again. Or at least this is what I’ve seen happening; quit blogging, start a new blog and then make a come back….when you never really left. I’m kind of missing the days of self contrived press releases about being lost in the dessert and rescued by your childhood boy scout leader.

I guess “quitting blogging” is a euphemism for “2 week hiatus” and “new blog” is what’s “on trend” these days. I’m not making light of the desire to quit blogging or feeling like you have stayed past your expiration date, the struggle is real, y’all. And of course it’s easier to start a shiny new blog than to try to restore the old one. That’s expensive and a lot of work.

Hell, I understand wanting a do over. Man, I started my blog way back before I knew bupkis about SEO. When I started blogging, I had one objective and that was to write. I wanted to share my stories with other moms so they knew they weren’t alone in this craziness that is motherhood (because, it is CRAZYTown all the way.)

blogger, blogging, midlife crisis

Then I made friends and built a community because I loved what I was doing. I was making connections by being me. Sure my photos were not professional caliber and I didn’t know shit about what sizes to use and this was way before Instagram, Vine or Pinterest existed.

It was me blogging alone at night after the babies went to sleep and in between constant wakings. Co-sleeping was simultaneously awesome and killing me( especially the random head-butts it the middle of the night). I didn’t sleep a lot in those days but I craved the human interaction that blogging brought into my solitude life of new motherhood. You guys kept me company for two entire years while my husband lived out of state for work. You ladies (and gentlemen) saved my sanity and probably my life. YOU made it all tolerable and I survived.

Back then, I used Twitter like a phone and those 140 characters were my battle cry to whoever would listen. It was my mom 911. I made so many amazing connections; personal and business. There were no concerns of tweeting out links. Hell, I never even considered it. That was absolutely shitting where you ate. I would never text my IRL friends my links 3x plus a day and I would certainly never talk over their tweets or hijack their hashtags for my own benefit. In my defense, I’m not an asshole nor did I know what the heck a hashtag was.

Facebook was for sharing my posts, if I remembered but mostly it was for connecting to my readers. It wasn’t me virtually shouting ,”Look at me! Read what I wrote! Validate me!” It was, “Hey, so-and-so did the baby sleep through the night? How is the potty training going? Hey, you, if you need me, I’m here!” It was fun. It meant something. It was something I looked forward to. It was definitely not bugging strangers to play Farm games, JAMBERRY and poking people. HOW RUDE! I took social media and applied all the rules of real life to it and it was a beautiful thing. It worked.

People commented. We had conversations. I commented. I cared. You cared. We were invested.I craved to know their stories; their real stories. They felt safe enough to say something more than, “True.” I devoured the struggles and the triumphs. When I commented, I felt that it meant something to the person on the receiving end other than just traffic. It felt like community and friendship.

Then money came into it. Money is good and getting paid to do what you love is probably the best job that you can get. For a long time, I was naïve. I still didn’t notice traffic like I should. Hell, I didn’t even know how to check my traffic until Jessica told me to put Statcounter on my site. I had Google Analytics but I had no idea how to use it.

Then more money came and more jobs! Oh the writing jobs. I couldn’t turn any down. I just couldn’t believe someone would pay me to do this. I got to stay home with my girls, write about it and get paid. What??????

More jobs came. Then traffic goals became a thing. My free time was no longer free and soon, I felt like in order to be a good blogger I was becoming a shitty mom and that brought guilt. I decided I couldn’t live with myself in that state. My priority is to be the best mom I can be to my girls and wife to my husband but I want to be fulfilled personally too and it shouldn’t all have to be exclusive. I want to be happy.

By this point, I depend on my money. More money, more problems and all that shite. I found myself having less and less time for conversations and engagement. I started scheduling social and realizing that all of those amazing women that had gotten me through the lean years began to fall through the cracks. I still craved the conversations, the connections; the friendship. I missed every single one of you.

Then I became one of those assholes who checked her numbers constantly. I tweeted links a lot. I shared links on Facebook, Instagram and Google+. I pinned my posts and shared to Tumbler and even Linkedin on occasion. To be fair, I’ve always shared other people’s stuff too but I just didn’t get to read and comment like I wanted to. I shared it so that I could come back to it. My intentions were good.

I was writing everywhere and I began to feel like the Truthful Mommy train was over saturating the market. I’m sure you all got sick of me and I know that you knew that you could find me anywhere so why bother coming to read me on my actual website. It was too much.

I lost touch with many of you because I had so many deadlines and not enough hours in the day. It wasn’t fun anymore, it was a job. I was working really hard to build something but I’m not quite sure what it was that I was trying to build. I lost myself in the middle of my journey.

I’m not quitting my blog to reinvent myself. I’m addicted. I’ve been doing some face-lifting. Last fall, I changed the website. It’s not The TRUTH about Motherhood anymore…it is now simply just The TRUTH (because it’s not been just about motherhood for a very long time) I’ve learned that I need to organize so that I can actually spend quality time really engaging again. I’ve realized there is no shame in admitting that my blog needs some work done under the hood. I also know that some things are worth the price, this is one of them.

I’m going to pass on the Blogger Midlife crisis. I like my husband a lot, I need to give my girls more of my time this summer and I want to keep focusing on my health journey. I want to get back to writing because I love it. I want to have conversations with you. I want to surround myself with my tribe and I want us to grow together. I want my posts to be to the point where sometimes you’ll read 1355 word post and not mind because it meant something. I want us all to get lost in our stories. Who’s with me?

Disclosure: SEO was not considered once while writing this post. This post will never go viral because people don’t share like they used to. I don’t care because I enjoyed “talking” to you this morning. Let’s do it again soon.

 

 

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water park, waterpark, great wolf lodge, wisconsin dells, travel, bloopers, gopro

Last weekend, I went to a Great Wolf Lodge Water park with my family and I took my GoPro HERO4 Black. I got it for my birthday last year and I know everyone was wondering what the heck a “mom” was going to do with that camera. I mean no one wants to see first person diaper changes, toddler tantrums or tween eye rolls, right? It’s not like I’m jumping off of cliffs or going to be skydiving anytime soon but still, I think being a mom is pretty exciting stuff so I started bringing it with me on trips.

Mostly, I’ve been using it for recording purposes, just like I would any other camera but when I made our reservations for the water park, I packed the GoPro and my new XSORIES: U-Float 100% waterproof and buoyant handheld camera mount because I thought I might catch some fun shots of the girls or capture a thrilling ride down a waterslide.

water park, waterpark, great wolf lodge, wisconsin dells, travel, bloopers, gopro

Oh, I caught something all right. I caught my entire family losing their minds on the Tornado waterslide. Unfortunately, my husband was the one recording so mostly you see my oldest daughter and I completely losing our minds. I like to think of it as my own personal Mom’s Gone Wild video, wild as in primitive, primal and out of control of her reactions.

This video is not normally something that I would share because well, I am definitely not showing my “best” side plus I’m in a bathing suit. But you know, life is short and I’m always honest with you about what my life really looks like so I’m sharing the video of what most people really look like when they ride terrifying waterslides. Nobody can keep their composure and be cute all the time and I have to say this crazy little video made my entire family laugh.

We will never forget our weekend at Great Wolf Lodge thanks to this water park video.

I know a lot of people share what they want you to know on social media; painting the picture of the perfect life. I don’t do that. My life is complicated, sometimes hard and crazy beautiful because even when life’s harder than hard, I have the 3 other people on this inner tube to laugh, cry and love with. I am blessed to be able to have these moments.

So, here I share it with you and I encourage you to share it with anyone you know who needs a good laugh because people being terrified as they are being thrilled is funny to watch. Just don’t judge me on my bathing suit body. I’m a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

What’s the best water park or adventure vacation you’ve ever taken your family on?

Disclosure: I was provided the Xsories U Float camera mount for review purposes but all opinions and water park mayhem are my own.

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