January is over already?

This month has gone by so fast its hard to believe it’s already over. I hope everyone has had a great month. This has been a great month, we found our new home and will be moving in just a few weeks. I am thankful for everything we have. This winter has been brutal I am thankful to have a roof over my head, food on our table and my kids are happy and healthy.
Those who are homeless and struggling have been on my mind lately. This coming month my focus will be to do something that will help them out a little. I can’t fix the homeless problem we have in our city. Although I can do something that will help them realize they aren’t alone and there are people who care. Stayed tuned! ❤
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture.

 

National Chocolate Cake Day

This is probably actually no this is my favorite national day. Chocolate cake day! Chocolate day was born in 1765 before that chocolate was mainly used as a beverage until 1830s. Chocolate cake was actually originally meant to be turned into a beverage. The earliest chocolate cake recipe was published in 1847.

So today I celebrate my favorite day but having a slice of chocolate cake! I am not a baker otherwise I would have baked me a cake! Betty Crocker did release their dry cake mix in 1947 and who doesn’t love Betty Crocker?

Organization is a must

I have people ask me how I manage to keep my home so organized especially with kids. If I didn’t have things organized my life would be complete chaos and it most definitely affects my anxiety. The most important thing I do to help be more organized is I make a list! If I don’t have lists made my day is completely hectic. I also make sure my cleaning is completed every morning otherwise it wont get done. Everything in my home has its own home. It helps me from looking all over for one item. I know will be in the same place as long as it gets put back where its suppose to go! I used to be bad about putting things back and throwing things away. Now I am always throwing stuff away. If we don’t need it, then its going to donation or into the trash!
I have a calendar to write everything down. That way I have less of a chance to forget a doctor appointment or that my oldest doesn’t have school. I would try to schedule all my doctor appointments on one day. I realized that was too stressful and the less I have to do daily the better it is for me mentally.

When we have early mornings I get things ready the night before. I don’t want to be running around crazy in the morning. I will forget something important or running late. I absolutely hate running late!

When it comes to organizing important paperwork or bills. I keep all current bills on the fridge until they have been paid. Once something is paid I have folders made to place the bill. In the folder i keep the payment information and confirmation numbers. At the end of the year I will throw away any unnecessary paperwork. I file away the important paperwork such as tax information or insurance paperwork.

Staying organized not only helps me be more productive but also makes me less stressed. This also helps in the long run. I am able to spend more time with my family instead of having mountains of stuff to go through every night.

I am always looking on Pinterest for new ideas to help with my organization. If you have any organization ideas or tips I’d love to hear them! ❤

 

disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture!

Positive mind positive vibes positive life

We all have to deal with negative people from time to time. Maybe its at work, or a family member or a friend. Being around the negativity all the time can affect your mood and turn you into a more negative person. Of course we all have our days where we can be negative. I used to have a constant negative attitude about everything. I have worked hard this past year to become a more positive person. Don’t get me wrong I still have my times where I can be negative but I am always going to be a work in progress.
How do we become a more positive person? Its not like light switch we can turn off and on but it is a process.
1. When something negative happens find something positive to focus on.
2. Surround yourself with positive people
3. Use positive self talk
4. Exercise and eat healthy

Sometimes when we are working on ourselves to be positive but we are still surrounding ourselves with negative people. How do we stay positive when dealing with negative people?
1. Don’t take their negativity personal. We may not know what that person is going through.
2. Smile and give someone something to smile about.
3. Focus on the good things in your life to help avoid negativity.
4. Remind yourself you don’t have to stay around someone who is negative when it affects your mental health.

How to tell if someone is just having a bad day or someone has the negative mentality.
1. They are always complaining
2. They have a negative view of the world.
3. Always expecting the worse from life
4. Always the victim
5. Easily insulted
6. Rarely positive
7. They always have to be right
8. Has a bad reputation due to the negativity
9. Rarely loving
10. Dwells on the bad news
11. Always focuses on the negative, even when there is good news.
12. Achieves little in life.

When you are working on becoming a more positive person. Sometimes its necessary to cut out the negative people. Now if this negative person is a family member or a spouse its much harder to cut out the negativity. You can refuse to listen to the negative talk. Focus your attention onto something positive. Set boundaries if needed and don’t be afraid to spend time alone.

Can we help someone become a more positive person? We can try but it is up to themselves to work on being positive. We can smile more often, give compliments or even talk to them about their negative thoughts. See what may be bothering them. Try to rub your positive attitude off onto them.
Some ways to avoid negativity and be a happier more positive person would include:
1. Avoiding negative self talk
2. Focus on something your grateful for daily
3. Write down your goals
4. Focus on the present instead of the past
5. Do things that make you happy
6. Let go of grudges

When in a relationship it’s so important to keep negativity out of your relationship. This would include staying out of toxic relationships. It’s so important to be able to communicate with your partner. Be able to have a mature conversation without yelling or name calling. Don’t nit pick about someone’s flaw or the way someone does something. Don’t compare your relationships everyone is different. Comparing can bring the negativity into the new relationship.

Regardless of where you are negativity is all around us. How we handle the negativity is what matters! ❤

 

references: http://www.verywellmind.com
disclaimer:I don’t own the right to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

 

My weight loss struggles and successes

I’ve been struggling with my weight and self confidence for a long time. Its been hard for me to lose weight and keep the weight off. A lot of my weight problems are because of my medications. Also having two babies hasn’t helped my weight. I also haven’t taken very good care of myself. I am a emotional eater and I love sweets. I tend to catch myself eating when I am bored, depressed, sad or angry. I almost always end up with sweets. In February 2018 I was weighing more than I ever have before so I called my doctor to discuss my concerns. We decided that even with eating healthy and exercise I would have a very hard time with losing weight. I started taking adipex which is a weight loss medication that curves your appetite. I took it for 2 months and lost 25-30 pounds. I was feeling so much better about myself, I was taken off the medicine and I kept the weight off for and recently let my diet slip so I gained 10 pounds back. I cut soda and chocolate back out of my diet and began adipex again in December 2018.
I want to get back into the gym but have always had bad anxiety about working out. I always worry about being judged by someone there. I need to focus on myself and not worry about what someone may think of me when I am trying to better myself.
Since I started adipex in March 2018 I’ve been on it a total of 3 months now and am down a total of 26 pounds. I would love to lose 40 pounds but I also know that means sticking to eating healthy, staying away from caffeine and sweets. Most importantly I need to get into the gym. My goal is to join a gym and get a personal trainer who can help me do the correct exercises so I don’t injure myself.
Motivation has been the hardest part for me when it comes to my weight loss. I’ve tried some My weight loss struggles and successes
I’ve been struggling with my weight and self confidence for a long time. Its been hard for me to lose weight and keep the weight off. A lot of my weight problems are because of my medications. Also having two babies hasn’t helped my weight. I also haven’t taken very good care of myself. I am a emotional eater and I love sweets. I tend to catch myself eating when I am bored, depressed, sad or angry. I almost always end up with sweets. In February 2018 I was weighing more than I ever have before so I called my doctor to discuss my concerns. We decided that even with eating healthy and exercise I would have a very hard time with losing weight. I started taking adipex which is a weight loss medication that curves your appetite. I took it for 2 months and lost 25-30 pounds. I was feeling so much better about myself. I got off the medicine and I kept the weight off for and recently let my diet slip so I gained 10 pounds back. I cut soda and chocolate back out of my diet and began adipex again in December 2018.
I want to get back into the gym but have always had bad anxiety about working out. I always worry about being judged by someone there. I need to focus on myself and not worry about what someone may think of me when I am trying to better myself.
Since I started adipex in March 2018 I’ve been on it a total of 3 months now and am down a total of 26 pounds. I would love to lose 40 pounds. I also know that means sticking to eating healthy, staying away from caffeine and sweets. Most importantly I need to get into the gym. My goal is to join a gym and get a personal trainer who can help me do the correct exercises so I don’t injure myself.
Motivation has been the hardest part for me when it comes to my weight loss. I’ve tried some different things to help with my motivation. I’ve created a vision board. I saw a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. I have also had Dalton take pictures of me for every 10 pounds that I have lost. I printed them out and placed them around my vision board so I could see my progress. On my vision board I set goals with rewards so once I lost 10 or 20 pounds I would reward myself with something fun! Just some ideas if you are needing some motivation in your life!
different things to help with my motivation. I’ve created a vision board. I saw a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. I have also had Dalton take pictures of me for every 10 pounds that I have lost. I printed them out and placed them around my vision board so I could see my progress. On my vision board I set goals with rewards so once I lost 10 or 20 pounds I would reward myself with something fun! Just some ideas if you are needing some motivation in your life!

Autism doesn’t make you different

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder. This disorder affects someone’s communication and social behavior. Autism has many challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is usually developed around 18 months to 2 years old. It is possible to have a diagnosis later in life. While autism has no cure but with correct treatment it can help the symptoms.
Some signs of autism include social communication and behavioral problems.
1. Making inconsistent eye contact
2. Facial expressions and movements don’t match what is being said
3. Has trouble listening to others
4. Difficulty with back and forth conversation
5. Trouble understanding someone else’s point of view.

There are also signs of repetitive behaviors such as:
1. Repeats certain words or phrases
2. Repeats certain behaviors
3. May have long intense conversations on a certain topic.
4. Doesn’t like having routine changed
5. Sensitivity to lights, noise or certain clothing

Someone with autism may not experience all these symptoms. They may have irritability problems or problems sleeping. Even though autism is a neurological and developmental disorder. Those with autism often have many strengths such as:
1. Being a strong visual learner
2. Excels in math, science, music and art
3. Detailed learner

Someone with autism may also have other medical problems such as:
1. Insomnia
2. Seizures
3. Gastrointestinal disorders

While autism runs about 1 in 59 children and is more common in boys than girls. What causes autism? Scientists have not been able to figure out what exactly causes someone to develop autism. They believe it may be environmentally developed. You could be at a greater risk if a sibling has ASD, if your parents are older when they have a child, or your born with very low birth weight.

Evaluating and diagnosing autism can be a very lengthy process and includes many specialists. The process includes:
1. Parent interview: learning about your child behavioral and developmental concerns. Will also discuss family medical history.
2. Medical exam: there will be a full screening to help diagnose developmental issues. There will be a medical exam with a primary physician, lab and genetic testing. Will also need a neurological exam.
3. Hearing exam: a sign of autism is language delays which can also be due to auditory problems. Testing for hearing impairments is very important.
4. Observation: a developmental specialist will observe a child in different settings.
5. Lead screening: lead poisoning can cause autistic like symptoms.

Depending on the outcome of those tests there may be more tests needed:
1. Speech and language evaluations
2. Cognitive testing
3. Sensory-motor evaluation
4. Adaptive functioning assessment

This is a process for someone who may have ASD and there are many specialists to help with this long process.
1. Child psychologist
2. Child psychiatrist
3. Speech pathologist
4. Developmental pediatrician
5. Pediatric neurologist
6. Audiologist
7. Physical therapist
8. Special education teacher

Its important for someone with autism to receive the right treatment for themselves. Everyone is different so treatment will vary by person. Treatment may include medications and therapies such as psychological, behavioral and educational therapy.

Brayden was screened for autism when we first began his treatment for his behavioral issues. He doesn’t have autism but has a lot of similar symptoms.

It is very important and necessary to remember autism is a diagnosis that doesn’t make a person any less of a person. Its like anxiety but I am not anxiety. Someone may be different that doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated different or treated different. We all have our obstacles some just have more challenges in life than others.

 

references: http://www.nimh.nih.gov http://www.helpguide.org
disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

My bucket list for 2019

This year I decided I was going to make a bucket list of things I want to do or try for the first time. Once I complete one I will share my experience! Does anyone else have a bucket list? Do you do it by the year or like 30 before 30? Feel free to share your bucket list with me! Would love to hear what you are doing! 
• Find a house to rent- preferably in the country
• Start a garden- I’ve never had a garden so any advice would be great!
• Get involved with a cause
• Get into the best shape of my life- goal is to lose 40 pounds and start running
• Volunteer
• Try yoga
• Take a vacation- no kids
• Take a vacation- with kids
• Give blood
• Get a tattoo or 3 😉
• Dye my hair a color I wouldn’t normal color it
• Blog consistently
• Spend more time outside enjoying nature

Polycystic ovarian syndrome…sucks!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women who are around the reproductive age. PCOS may cause women to have longer or irregular menstrual cycles. We may also experience excessive facial and body hair. Severe acne due to high levels of the male hormone androgen. Ovaries develop collections of fluid which causes the ovaries to not release eggs. PCOS develops around puberty and the first menstrual cycle, it can also develop later in life. I was diagnosed with PCOS likely caused by my weight gain from having babies. The majority of my symptoms are the cysts and some acne, which tends to get worse during my menstrual cycle.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS will vary by women but some common ones include:
1. Irregular menstrual cycles. They may be longer than 7 days, or may not come monthly.
2. Excess androgen which may cause facial or body hair. Severe acne or male patterned baldness.
3. Polycystic ovaries which causes cysts on the ovaries, which can cause your ovaries to not function correctly.
4. Approximately half of women with PCOS have weight issues. Which can be a problem when it comes to this disorder.
5. Mood changes. You may see yourself having more mood swings, anxiety and depression.

The causes of PCOS are unknown. With treatment and weight loss it can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Some factors that play a role in developing PCOS are:
• Excess insulin might cause a increase of the male hormone. Which can cause difficulty with ovulation.
• Women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation. This may cause heart and blood vessel problems.
• Certain genes may be linked to the development of PCOS

An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac that forms on your ovaries. These cysts develop due to eggs not releasing. You don’t have to have PCOS to develop ovarian cysts. Functional cysts are very common and usually develop during your menstrual cycle. There are two different types of functional cysts.
1. Follicular cysts- these will go away on their own within 1-3 months. These form when an egg doesn’t get released.
2. Corpus luteum cysts- will go away on their own but can cause some pain and bleeding. These cyst form when the cyst ruptures and the egg releases. It then reseals and fluid builds up again.

There is currently no cure for PCOS. But there are treatments to help with the symptoms. The best treatment is nutrition and exercise. Its difficult to lose weight but its important to try and lose even 5% of your excess weight. PCOS is linked to having blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and high cholesterol problems. PCOS is the leading issue when it comes to fertility.

While it may be difficult and take some time to get pregnant it is not impossible. You may need fertility medications. There are some risks during your pregnancy due to the PCOS. You have a higher risk of miscarriage than someone without PCOS. You also have a risk of blood glucose problems that your doctor may want you to check daily before eating. Your provider may also suggest you see a nutrition therapist. This to help you get the correct nutrients for you and your baby.

While I do have PCOS I have been working on my weight because the more overweight you are the worse the symptoms can be. I do consider myself lucky because my symptoms are very mild compared to some that have severe cases. I do experience sometimes some very bad pain with my cysts but I manage. To anyone who deals with PCOS I understand your pain and I am here for you. ❤

References: http://www.mayoclinic.org
http://www.pcosaa.org
disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Being a stay at home mom is hard

Being a stay at home mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have worked many jobs over the years but nothing compares to being a mom especially a stay at home mom. There are those out there who think because we stay home we don’t do anything all day but sit around watching TV. Sure we all have our days where we don’t do much. On a normal day I am up between 6-7am to make breakfast. Unload the dishwasher from the night before, start laundry, and take a quick shower. Then if I have my oldest boy he goes to school. During the morning I run errands and finish laundry before lunch. After lunch Dalton goes to work and Elijah takes a nap that is when I usually find time to write. Then its time to make dinner, give baths, homework and then bed. I try to stay up to watch TV and wait for Dalton to get home but it doesn’t always work.
What is my role as a mother? As a mother its my job to love my children with all my heart. I will always be there to understand and help my boys regardless of the situation.
I have been a stay at home mom now since May 2017 and I will admit there are some days I might go crazy. Sometimes I go days without having conversations with others. Regardless I am thankful that I have the opportunity to stay home with my boys and watch them grow up.

Survival tips-
1. Structure!! Have a plan, write it down and stick to it!
2. Get out of the house. Take the kids to the park or library.
3. Find free events around town.
4. Meet other stay at home moms. Give your number out, set up play dates.
5. Exercise
6. Do something for yourself once a week
7. Make the time you spend with your kids count

The hardest part of staying home for me is not having time to myself. I also never really leave the house except for errands and grocery shopping. Some days I feel like I am going to go insane but somethings I could do to help would be:
1. Sticking to my schedule
2. Get out of the house more
3. Get active, join a gym
4. Find something to do that doesn’t involve being a mom

Everyone needs to de-stress from their work from time to time. The only difference is my job is a 24/7/365 job. I am so thankful for my mother-in-law who asks to take Elijah. She usually has him about once a week. This means I get to have some alone time, which usually involves me watching TV and going to bed early.

There are definitely some pros and some cons to staying home.
1. You are never alone. I cant even go to the bathroom without someone interrupting me.
2. It can be very stressful worrying about raising your children and maintaining a household. It definitely causes some anxiety for me from time to time.
3. We don’t have that second income anymore that we used to have.
4. We don’t have to pay for childcare anymore, which is so expensive!
5. I have to force myself to relax, I feel like I am going non-stop from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay my head on my pillow.
6. Your child’s school performance can increase.

For 2019 I want to work on my patience with my kids and work on taking the time for myself. I love being home with my boys but I need to take that time for myself too. This year I am going to focus more time with my boys then worrying about the little messes. My house doesn’t have to look like it came out of a magazine even though I may want to it because lets face it. I have two dirty boys and we live in our home. ❤

My journey with migraines and occipital neuralgia

I have been dealing with migraines since 2010. A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain that usually is on one side of the head. Migraines can cause disabling pain that can last anywhere from hours to days. My migraines are always on the right side of my head. They usually last anywhere from a half to three days. I usually experience symptoms such as, sensitivity to lights and sounds, nausea, and tingling in my head.
There are four stages of a migraine. You may not experience all four stages.
1. Pro-drome: this happens one or two days before a migraine. Symptoms include:
a. Constipation
b. Mood changes
c. Frequent yawning
d. Food cravings
e. Neck stiffness
f. Increased thirst

2. Aura: Aura are symptoms of the nervous system. They are visual disturbances such as flashing lights. Most people have migraines without auras. I have migraines where I have auras and sometimes I don’t. auras can last from 20 to 60 minutes. Some different auras include:
a. Visual changes
b. Vision loss
c. Pins and needles feelings
d. Difficulty speaking
e. Hearing noises or music
f. Limb weakness

3. The attack: without treating your migraine it can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days. It all varies by person as do the symptoms and how often they can occur.

4. Post-drome: this is post migraine. You may feel drained even for 24 hours after the pain of the migraine goes away. You can still experience symptoms of:
a. Confusion
b. Moodiness
c. Dizziness
d. Weakness
e. Sensitivity to light and sound

I have been on many different migraine medications over the years with not much relief. I was still having more than 15 headaches or migraine days a month. My neurologist had talked to me many times about trying Botox. I recently had my first set of injections. She said it usually takes until after the second set to notice a major change and she was right. I am still having regular migraines. I am hopeful that this treatment will work and I can get off at least one or two of my current medications.

I was also diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. This is a common cause for headaches. Most don’t know what occipital neuralgia is, I sure didn’t. it is the two pairs of occipital neuralgia that lay near the second and third vertebrae of the neck. It causes pain at the base of the skull, and behind the eyes which spreads to the front and side of the head.
There are many symptoms and some mimic migraine symptoms so it can difficult to diagnose. It may even be diagnosed as migraines or cluster headaches. I was diagnosed with both before discovering it was occipital neuralgia. Some of the symptoms include:
• Aching pain at the base of neck
• Pain behind your eyes
• Pain usually only on one side
• Tender scalp
• Neck movements can increase the pain

Like mentioned earlier, my migraines the pain is on my right side. Begins at the base of my neck, side of my head and behind my right eye. My eye will also become blurry at times. I mentioned this condition to my neurologist and she agreed to do some testing to see if that was the issue.

So what causes occipital neuralgia? That depends on whether it is a primary or secondary headache. Secondary headaches have a underlining disease that may include:
• Tumor
• Infection
• Hemorrhage
• Trauma
• Systematic disease

There are so many causes for the neck tension caused by occipital neuralgia such as:
• Osteoarthritis in cervical spine
• Degenerative cervical spine changes
• Cervical disc disease
• Diabetes
• Infection
• Gout
• Blood vessel inflammation

There are different treatment plans because everyone is different and requires different treatments. Some of those treatments include:
• Physical therapy
• Massage
• Medications
• Nerve block
• Heat and rest

Surgery may even be necessary if the pain is not controlled with any other treatment. The surgery options include microvascular decompression or occipital nerve stimulation. If you consider surgery you should weigh all your options. Decide what is going to be best for you and your health.

This has been a long journey for me to get the relief that I need and want. I am beyond ready to no longer have the constant neck pain and headaches and migraines all the time. I am hoping we are able to find the right treatment program to provide the relief I need.

Reference: http://www.mayoclinic.org
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.