Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


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I Believe In Beauty

I believe in beauty.

I believe in shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, deep conditioner, mousse, hair spray, flat-iron, hair dryer, finishing spray, curling iron, hot rollers, hair clip, bobby pins, and rubber bands.

I believe in facial cleaner, toner, daytime skin cream, night-time skin cream, eye cream, blemish medicine, retinol serum, sunscreen, facials, facial scrub, skin mask, and eye makeup remover.

I believe in eyebrow power, eye lash curler, eye shadow, tweezers, eye liner, mascara, eye brow brush, foundation, concealer, blush, lip stick, lip gloss, lip balm, lip liner, false eyelashes, and bronzing powder.

I believe in body scrub, body lotion, self tanner, razors, body oil, body soap, loofah, sunscreen, perfume, nail polish, nail polish remover, manicure, pedicure, and cellulite cream.

I believe in healthy diet, drinking water, drinking green tea, daily exercise, healthy weight, weight training, pliates, yoga, running, walking, and meditation.

I believe in push up bra, sports bra, Spanx, granny panties, bikini underwear, tights, pantyhose, socks, sport socks, lace bra, and lace slip.

I believe in boots, high heels, flats, tennis shoes, scarf, jeans dress, t-shirt, clogs, blouse, belt, pant, jewelry, hat, coat, jacket, blazer, evening dress, sweater, yoga pants, running pants, shirts, vest, and skirts.

I believe all these things make me feel beautiful.

I believe using these things doesn’t make me fake.

I believe each woman has her own style.

I believe each woman creates a style to make them feel beautiful.

I believe real beauty comes from within.

I believe I am beautiful with out all these things.

I believe in beauty.

 

 

 


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Photo Friday – Terror on the Streets

Today my greatest fear has happened.  Old Boy passed his driver’s test.  Needless to say, he is absolutely thrilled.  I, on the other, hand am convinced I will never sleep again.

My husband took him to the test this morning and agreed he would let him drive the car to school if he passed…alone.  My car and Old Boy are miles away now. Hopefully he will arrive home from school this afternoon.  Hopefully. Gulp.

And so the next chapter of parenthood begins…the teen driver.  Boy, I sure do miss the infant years.


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Eye of the Beholder

Earlier this week I read a blog by fellow blogger friend, about Dove’s new ad campaign, Real Beauty Sketches.  Another friend posted a blog about the same topic on her Facebook page.  Interestingly each blog post had a different perspective about the new ad.  The Dove ad features back into a professional forensic artist doing two drawings of a person.  One portrait was drawn as a woman described herself and the second portrait was drawn as a stranger described the same woman.  Hope that makes sense.  The commercial was done as an experiment to point out that most women describe themselves as less attractive than the rest of the world sees them.

The response to the ad has been mainly positive.  Most women have been moved at the realization women judge ourselves too hard on our looks.   Others criticize the ad for not including more women of various ages and ethnicities.  However, when I saw the ad I had a different perspective.

I consider myself attractive, fit, funny, smart, cute, entertaining, loving, compassionate, interesting, passionate, but beautiful is not on my list.  To me beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Each person has a personal view of what they think is beautiful.  My view of what makes a person beautiful is different than what you may think beauty is.

The other day a friend of mine showed me a photo of herself taken for her passport photos.  Everyone knows passport photos are taken for the simple reason to make you look terrible, but my friend must have forgotten that.  She said to me after she showed my the photo, “Do I really look that ugly in real life?”  After she spoke I was at a loss for what to say.  My friend to me is a beautiful woman.  She wears little makeup and yet her skin is flawless.  Her hair is thick and wavy.  She always dresses in ways to flatter her curvy figure, but most of all she is an amazingly kind, loving person.  She is someone whose kindness shines through her eyes each time she smiles.

The most beautiful woman I have ever know would not fit the standards of what most people think beauty is.  She passed away many years ago.  Her name was Lucy.  She was a good friend of my mother.  What made Lucy the most beautiful woman in my eyes was not her physical beauty. Her beauty was the fact in the twenty plus years I knew her she never once gossiped or talked badly about another person.  Not once.  She always found the good in everything and every person.  I remember expressing my disappointment about a family situation after my mother passed away and I tried to get her to join me in my rant.  She wouldn’t do it.  She always showed compassion and would see the positive.

When I think of beauty I think of her.  So kind.  So forgiving  Her loving spirit is what made her beautiful.  When I mentioned to you earlier that I didn’t view myself as beautiful I wasn’t referring to it in a physical sense.

I was referring to the beauty Lucy had.   The internal kind that radiates from within and makes those who are in their presence feel beautiful themselves.

Beauty to me can’t be drawn on a piece of paper it must be felt with the heart.


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Perspective

Spring break is almost over and surprisingly I’m glad.  It hasn’t been a fun one.  Two out of three boys have been sick which meant most our time has been spent hanging around the house.  We had originally planned to travel to the Grand Canyon, but plans fell through.  We did have a one day adventure to LA, but the fun time was dampened due to the unbelievable amount of traffic we endured.

During the two weeks of spring break I have felt pretty down.  I think it is a normal reaction when things don’t go as planned and you’re caring for ill children for so long.  Not only did I dwell on my current situation, but began to focus on all the issues in my life I didn’t like.  Things that normally don’t affect me much suddenly became a big deal.

I would have continued on the path of sadness if not for a situation I experienced.  Something happened to change my perspective.

Yesterday I went to the hospital to visit a former neighbor of mine.  I was recently informed of her illness and wanted to see her.  I knew some of the details of her health, but was shocked and saddened when I first arrived to the hospital room.  My neighbor is gravely ill and on a respirator.  She is a former neighbor so I have not seen her for a while.  She looked older than I remembered.  She has been on a respirator for over a week.  Her prognosis is uncertain.  Her battle for recovery will be a long and difficult.

When I arrived to the ICU unit the nurse led me to my neighbor’s room.  I was surprised I was allowed in ICU not being a family member, but my neighbor’s sister informed the ICU staff if was okay for me to visit.  Having not seen my neighbor for a quite I while I immediately was struck by the seriousness of her situation.  Tears filled my eyes as I asked the nurse a few questions.  I was grateful for the friendly manner the nurse spoke, because she restored a sense of calm I usually have in these type of situations.

After answering a few questions the nurse left me alone with my neighbor.  I pulled up a chair and sat next to her holding her hand.  Her hand felt soft and warm.  I looked up at her closed eyes listening to the machine help her breathe.  I’m a very talkative person so I began talking to her right away.  I reminded her who I was and told her how her sister had informed me of her health.  I updated her on the happenings of my family and our new home.  We moved away from my neighbor a year ago which is why I haven’t seen as much of her lately.

After a while I stopped talking.  I keep looking at her eyes willing them to open.  I wanted her to wake up and begin her path of recovery.  My neighbor is the mother of two beautiful preteen girls.  Both of the girls have been adopted from China years ago.  I remember when each girl arrived home from China and how happy my neighbor was at their arrival.  As the girls grew older they became part of my family.  During the summer they both would come over my house almost every day.  They loved my little son and enjoyed helping me to take care of him when he was a baby.  I grew very close to them both.

Sitting next to my neighbor, I realized the things that had caused me to feel sad over spring break were minor compared to what she was going through.  I stopped putting energy into my own personal issues and focused my thoughts and prayers on her, her husband, her family and her daughters.

Visiting my neighbor was a difficult, but I’m glad I went.  I wanted to thank her for being such a kind neighbor for all the years we lived next to each other and to say thanks for letting her girls be part of my family’s life.

During my visit I gained perspective into what really matters in life…health, family and friendship.  I also realized what we hold dear can be gone quickly, so now is the time to appreciate our life while we are able to do so.


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Wednesday Words of Wisdom – Kettlebell Workout

I have wanted to write this blog for a while, but wasn’t sure how to write it without sounding like an infomercial.  Today’s blog is about a new form of exercise I am doing.  The exercise is Kettleballs.  I started using Kettlebells about six weeks ago and have been really happy with the results.

I am someone who exercises .  I have done everything from Yoga, running, aerobic dancing and weight lifting.  However, I have noticed since I passed the 45-year-old mark the soft stuff in my middle section seems to be getting bigger.  I eat well, exercise at least 4 days a week and still my muffin top remains.  I did a little research about incorporating Kettleballs into my workout when a friend of mine claimed it had done wonders for her overall fitness.

Picture of a kettlebell or "girya" (...

Picture of a kettlebell or “girya” (russ.)in the sand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you don’t know much about Kettlebells, here is a little information gathered from Wikipedia.

The kettlebell or girya is a cast-iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.  By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.   The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once,and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.

Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettlebell exercises often involve large numbers of repetitions. Kettlebell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to High-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.

Staying fit after the age of 40 proves to be challenging.  I read somewhere once we lose a pound of muscle each year we age past 40.  This explains why my arms don’t seem as toned as they used to, even though I do weight training two or three times a week.  Building muscle and strength is what Kettleballs are all about.  They use full body movements for arms, legs and abs for each exercise.  I am happy to report I have lost 1 full inch in my waist.  Not an easy thing to do when you are approaching 50 pretty soon.  I have always been at a healthy weight, but my stomach area has continued to get squishy despite my efforts.

Before I recommend anyone to try Kettlebell exercise I strongly suggest a visit to the doctor to see what exercise program would work best for you.  Also, if you have back, wrists, shoulder or knee problems I do not recommend Kettleballs.  The movements could place stress on these areas causing further injury.  You will need to be in pretty good shape to begin the program.  However, if you have done weight training for a while and have a fairly strong core this program could really benefit you.  The best place to begin a Kettlebell workout is with a licensed instructor in a class setting.  That way you can learn proper form and technique.

I workout at home with a DVD from Sarah Lurie called, Ironcore Kettlebell: Sarah Lurie“.  I chose this DVD based on the reviews and because Sarah Lurie is a fully certified Kettleball instructor.  The DVD set has four workouts.  Each one focuses on a different type of exercise.  Volume 1 and 2 are for beginners.  Volume one provides an introduction to Kettlebell basics and I highly recommend watching at least twice before beginning.  Volume 3 and 4 are tougher and designed for people strong and skilled with Kettleballs.  The exercises are clearly explained and captions are provided, so you know what exercises are coming next.  Each exercise is done in sets with rests in between.  At times the exercises can seem a bit boring, but they work.

Here is more information about Kettlebells taken from the magazine featuring the DVD’s instructor, Sarah Lurie, and written by Lisa Jones.

Kettleball Workout:  7 Ways to Make the Trend Work for You

Be aware that flat shoes are essential for a Kettlebell workout.  Running shoes are made for running and elevate your heals and will cause pain to your knees if you wear them using Kettleballs.  I learned this the painful way.  Also, start with a light weight Kettlebell first.  Using 8 to 10 pound Kettleball is good for a beginner.  I am up to 20 pounds, but still have difficulty with some of the moves.  My goal is to use a 25 pound Kettle ball soon.  I recommend arm bands protect your wrists from getting banged by the Kettlebell.  Be sure to do the exercises at your own pace.  Some of the arm exercises move quickly and in order to avoid an injury I go slower than the DVD pace.  The stronger you become the quicker your pace will be.  Only one Kettleball is used for each exercise.  You don’t need to buy more than one of each weight you want to work out with.

I hope this will be something to jump-start you into better shape.  Start slow and work out at your own pace.  I think you will be happy with the results.  Who knows maybe a bikini will be added to my summer time wardrobe.  Well, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself.


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Sliding Into Home

A conversation between a mother, two teenagers and a little boy.

Mother is driving in car home from school.

Little Boy starts to sing.

“When you’re sliding into home and the base is full of foam.  Diarrhea.  Diarrhea.  When you’re riding a Chevy and you’re feeling something heavy.  Diarrhea.  Diarrhea.  When you’re…” – Little Boy

Mother interrupts Little Boy.

“Stop.  Stop singing.  Where did you learn THAT song?” – Mother

“Him.” – Little Boy (points to Old Boy)

Mother looks at Old Boy.

“Why on Earth did you teach him THAT song?” – Mother

“Come on, Mom.  It’s hilarious.  When you’re sitting in a bath and feel something splash.  Diarrhea.  Diarrhea.  When…” – Old Boy

Mother interrupts Old Boy.

“Stop.  I don’t want to hear that song.  It’s not funny it’s disgusting.” – Mother

“That’s what makes it funny.” – Old Boy

“When you’re sliding into first and your pants about to burst.  Diarrhea.  Diarrhea.” – Little Boy

Old Boy and Tall Boy start laughing.

“Stop!  I don’t want to hear one word more from that song.  It makes me feel nauseous.” – Mother

“Momma, does your tummy hurt?” – Little Boy

“Yes.  That song makes me feel a bit queasy.” – Mother

“Un oh.  Be careful.  You might get diarrhea.  Diarrhea.” – Little Boy

Old Boy and Tall start laughing again.

“Enough!  Next person who mentions anything about bodily fluids is walking home.” – Mother

“If you have diarrhea you can slide on home.” – Little Boy (starts laughing)

“I am outnumbered.” – Mother


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A Little Bit of Good News

Yesterday after I dropped the boys off at school I stop by JC Penney to do a little shopping.  I needed to buy some new sports bras.  While looking the lingerie section I was asked if I needed some help.

“May I help you?” – Older saleslady

“Um, well…I am looking for some new sports bras.” – Me

“What size do you wear.” – Older saleslady

“36 A.” – Me

“You don’t look like a 36 A.” – Older saleslady

“I don’t?” – Me

Before I could argue with the lady about how I have always been a 36 A she grabbed her measuring tape and wrapped in around my body.  First she measured me just below my breasts and then around the top of them.

“See.  Just what I thought.  You are a 34 B.  Maybe even a C if you go with a underwire.” – Older saleslady

“What?  Oh no.  That can’t be right.  I have always been a 36 A.” – Me

“Well, not anymore.” – Older saleslady

The saleslady grabbed a few styles of sports bras in 34 B and C cups.  She told me to go to the dressing room and try them on.  I walked to the dressing room feeling very pessimistic about the bra fitting results.  First I tried on the 34 B.  Too small.  My mouth fell open wide as I could not believe my eyes.  Next I tried on a 34 C underwire and it was a perfect fit.

As I looked n the mirror I could not get over what I saw.  A bra that fit with no gaps and lifting my saggy breast high.  It was amazing.  A huge smile came over my face.  I did a few poses showing off my new ‘busty’ figure.  After trying on a few more bras I put my old bra on and got dressed.  I walked out from the dressing room and was greeted by the saleslady.

“Well?” – Older saleslady

“They fit.  The 34 C fits.” – Me (huge silly grin)

“See I told you.”- Older saleslady

I went down a band size and up a cup size.  I felt like dancing in the isles.  For my men readers here is how I can relate to you how happy I felt.  Imagine you are getting ready to have sex with your wife and she goes to get a condom.  As she places the condom on your maleness she says to you, “It doesn’t fit.  It’s too small and it’s not long enough.”  Imagine how fabulous you would feel when she tells you, “You need a bigger size condom.”  Well, that is how I felt hearing I’m a bigger cup size.  Pretty stinking happy.

After looking around for a bit longer I picked out two sports bras and headed over the sexy lingerie section.   The selection of sexy bras for my new size was three times larger than I have ever seen before bra shopping.  My smile got even bigger.

A bigger bra size may not mean much to you, but to me it’s a little bit of good news.

Bras on sale in a village market in the South ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)