Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Affirmation Project

Affirmation is a declaration that something is true (Wikipedia)
  • the practice of positive thinking in New Age terminology
  • a form of prayer that focuses on a positive outcome 
I'm feeling stuck in a rut.  A rut in which I have a calendar on my lap and am just waiting for the day I can flip the page and become one month closer to my ideal situation.

It comes to no surprise to anyone, including my employer, that I'm an artist.  I thrive on being creative.  If I can't be creative, I feel drained, unmotivated, and useless.

Working through these feelings, I've been trying to try different things.  I've learned mediation.  I've been listening to spiritual books on CD, I've had spiritual readings, I've explored auras and energy, I read a book on past lives, I've done massage and Reiki.  Last night, I took a Laugh Class.

In every instance, whether book, meditation, laugh class, they all believe in affirmations to get what you want.

The instructor in the Laugh Class mentioned a statistic that (I hope) has changed me.  80% of what we say about ourselves is negative.  80% is way too much.  How can we be positive and happy if we are beating ourselves up?  Other people beat me up enough, I don't need to add my own negative thoughts to my day.

I've done the Month of Gratitude.  I've done Thing a Day.  Both projects were enlightening and fulfilling.  
Now, I'm doing the Affirmation Project.  I hope that this project does the same.

Every day in May, I'm going to write one thing about me that is positive and one affirmation of something with a positive outcome.  You may join me in commenting with your own affirmation in the comments, or do the Affirmation Project on your own blog.

Let's stop beating ourselves up and start acknowledging all the amazing qualities we possess. 

If you'd like to add my button to your blog, copy this link:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

When To Push...

...and when to cave.

Sam decided to try baseball this year.  Soccer wasn't for him.  Tennis was blah.  Fencing was boring.  Swimming, we won't go there.  Cub Scouts, eh.

Tom was a baseball kid.  Tom's dad was the coach.  Both my brother's played little league.  And that is what I want for my son.  I want him to enjoy the game.  Any game.  Just not "Guess Who? for ages 4 and up". 

I want him to learn teamwork.  Patience.  Find the will to work hard.  Desire.

He's had 4 practices, plenty of time with Tom in the yard.  He got a new mitt and he seemed to have found his niche.

Tonight, still in my pj's (I changed from pastel prints to black just in case) I dropped Sam off at practice.  It was cold and wet.  He complained.  I could see it in his demeanor as I spied from the parking lot. 

Then coach wanted to talk to me.  Outside of the car.  With un-brushed teeth.

"I just had surgery, can I have my husband call you?"

Coach briefly told me that Sam's attitude and words showed him that he doesn't want to be there.  He doesn't want to play. 

I'm crushed.  Surely the coach has no idea what we are dealing with, yet it shook me up.  Just when we thought we found an activity for him that doesn't revolve around 4 year olds or television, we are faced with a coach that says, "He doesn't want to be here, what do you want me to do?" all while throwing his hands in the air.

The words I fought to keep in my mouth were, "Hey, he has ADHD, can you give him a break?"

I asked Sam why Coach thought he didn't want to play.  He said, "It was cold out."

Cold?  Is that the only reason?  Buck up kid, we'll get your woollies for next week.

This child is quite the adventure in parenting.

I'm pushing this time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Future Has to Be Bright

I've had challenges of late.

Medical challenges.  So far, every single day off I've had this year has been spent either at the hospital with one of my boys, or myself or spent at a doctor's office.  It has started to get to me.

I can feel the frustration and helplessness creeping up in me and I try to push it down. Maybe that's why I've been eating so much lately.

Yesterday, blood draw for me and sick visit for the little guy, another ear infection.  And later this week, a hospital visit for me and my gallbladder.  Boy, I'll miss that little green thing.  It's strange to get something taken out that isn't causing daily pain, or any other pain aside from my ER visit  in February.

I have decided that my future will be bright. 

After this weekend, it's all sunshine and adorable little boys.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bald Eagles in the Rain

If you haven't been glued to this webcam, you should be.  It's been a lesson in survival and nature and creation for my boys, topped with a bit of science, love and sharing.

It's raining this morning in Iowa, the webcam has a blurred look, yet the heads of the parents come in clear as they have positioned themselves to avoid the droplets.

You can link to the eagles right here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tofu, Spinach, and Red Cabbage

Dinners are always a chore.  And a chore I don't care for.

I get bored easily with the preparation.  What to make.  And if my lack of enthusiasm wasn't enough, we most often hear, "Ewww, I don't like this."

Trying to keep everyone happy is an exercise in futility.  Today, however, may be my breakthrough.

After a rough day for Big Boy, he and I walked to our market.  He got to choose what we had for dinner.  We looked at the prepared foods.  We looked at the fish.  We looked at shrimp.  We looked at meat.  We looked at sushi.  We looked at sausage.

And then, he wanted salad.  Lettuce and tomatoes.  That's it.  No dressing.

So, we strolled back through the produce.  I grabbed some tofu for Tom and I because I thought I'd try this recipe from Shauna.  Then we saw dried cranberries.  Nope, not for his salad.  We chose fresh blueberries instead.  Then he saw red cabbage.  He wanted that.  Into the basket it went.  He wanted a Habanero pepper.  Hmm, not to squelch your creative pallet, but I'm sure you won't eat that.  He picked an orange bell pepper.  And a green one.  I grabbed some field greens, some spinach and a head of iceberg.  On our way back around, we were going to select a few apples.  Red, yellow and green.  Soy nuts (yum on the salad!), special Fuze drinks, some broccoli, a couple strips of bacon (what salad is complete without some real bacon crumble?) and we all sat down.

And this is what happened...

We ate.  They both ate.  Lots of apples. They each had salad.  Little Man loved the soy nuts, Big Boy, not so much.  Big Boy loved the steamed cabbage, Little Man, not so much.  Big Boy loved the spinach, eating it raw with no salad dressing.  Little Man laughed and copied his brother.  They thought it was funny that they were eating leaves.  They love their broccoli.  Carrots, peas, and tomatoes in the salad.  Some blueberries, apples, peppers and bacon. It was a great meal.  We were all happy and although Big Boy tried to pull the "EWWW, I don't like this," but my quick reply of "You picked it out", had him thinking a second and trying new foods.

I love that they will try.

And the tofu?  Little Man ate it with no problem.

Big Boy said he tried it, "I licked the tofu and I didn't like it."

Licked tofu doesn't sound like anything I'd like, either.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Remember the Shift?

Little Man and I made Gluten Free Chocolate Chip - Chia Seed - Banana Bread on Wednesday night.  It was pretty good, but came out a tad dense.  I think that was from the Almond meal I used.  Only used a 1/4 cup, but that stuff is heavy!  I'll keep tweaking it to get it where I'm happy, then I promise myself, I'll follow the recipe.

Anyone else change recipes a bit for spite?  I really can't think of any reason why I can't follow a recipe.  I just like to make it my own.  I'm a rebel like that.  Walking on the wild side.

So, the shift.

I told you I felt a shift coming on.  I wasn't really sure if it was the fighting in Africa (did you know the Ivory Coast is also fighting?  Their incumbent won't step down for the newly elected president) or something else.

It may be Africa, but it is also something else.  If you recall at the end of February my mom drove me to the hospital with chest pains.  My heart turned out just fine.  My doctor wanted me to get a scan of my gallbladder.  I really thought he was wacky.

Laying on the table at the imaging place, the tech confirmed my doctor's suspicion.  Gall Stones.  Lots of them.

Big ones and Little ones.  Old ones and New ones.  Red Fish Blue Fish.

I have now read that gall bladder attacks can mimic a heart attack.  The technician believes that I knocked a stone loose when I was shoveling.  And that is the concern, that a stone will get stuck in a duct (trying to keep it clean, here!).

My mom had her gall bladder removed, so it wasn't a shock that I had issues.  I was actually fine with it.

Until this morning.

I was just getting out of a meditation to try and soothe my neck pain/stress when I got the call.  The nurse at my doctor's office wants me to call the surgeon to schedule "easy little surgery".

I completely lost it.  I now know that it was the piling up of Little Man in the hospital, me in the hospital, Big Boy in the hospital, Little Man with pneumonia, me with the gall bladder: all mixed with a continuing stress of work and money and job and Tom's schoolwork.  It was all just too much.

And like every time I "lose" it, I come back feeling stronger.  Well, maybe that's pushing it, I still feel like crap, but Tom helped put things in perspective.  He has a way with that.

The other thing that is helping...or shall I say saving?  Tomorrow is a day away with the girls.

Great timing!