Quick and Heathy Eats

Good evening, readers!

I’ve had a few people ask about not being able to see my posts regularly on Facebook. “Liking” and commenting on the post is the best way to spread the post on news feeds. This also helps Facebook learn that you enjoy these posts and show them on your news feed when I post them. That’s the best answer I can come up with though.

I’ve also decided to only blog once a week. For now, it will be Monday nights. I’m usually able to work on my posts over the weekend and throughout the week, so publishing on Monday works best for me.

Tonight’s post is all about the nutritional aspect of fitness. For me, the right nutrition is the biggest component to being fit. As the saying goes, “You cannot out work a bad diet.” It’s true!! Unless you have an incredibly fast metabolism, eating healthy is a must. I’m not one to recommend a specific “fad diet” either. I hear a number of people talk about being on a keto, paleo, gluten free, vegan, etc diet. The number of people that truly needs to be on a keto diet is rare, the same for gluten free. For most people, your body needs fats, gluten, carbs, etc to process. The key is MODERATION. Honestly, I’m just waiting for the day to hear people say they’re on the PKU diet, where you consume very low amounts of protein. My son HAS to follow this diet. He has the very rare metabolic genetic disorder, PKU, that requires expensive medical foods and formula to help him grow appropriately with the low protein diet. What I’m trying to say is; don’t over think the diet aspect. You don’t need to be on some fad diet. While you may lose weight initially, as soon as you stop the fad diet, the weight will come back.

Nutritional eating is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. It’s a lifestyle choice, just as adding exercise to your everyday life. As a single mom to two special needs kids, my time is always crunched. I understand the temptation to order food or go through a drive thru when you’re tired and you just don’t feel like cooking. I TOTALLY GET IT! However, you aren’t fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy. I went two months without working out; yet I maintained a 70/30 healthy foods to unhealthy food diet ratio. I still lost weight. While some of that was muscle mass, (lean muscle weighs more than fat) my clothes became baggier as well. So, what are some things that I do to maintain nutritional eating throughout the week & ditch the unhealthy eating habits? MEAL PREP!

The first two pictures, that chicken was baked in the same batch. I pick one specific day to meal prep. Mine are Sunday and Wednesday. I get bored eating the same sides throughout the week, so I made a new side to go with my protein on Wednesday. When I baked my chicken, I marinaded it in Ken’s Garlic & Basil salad dressing. I baked three sweet potatoes, along with a pan of zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and grape tomatoes. On Wednesday, I had more zucchini and yellow squash to use. I added some asparagus to it. Voila! A new side to the chicken. I made this low carb cauliflower risotto to it as well. I ate on this meal three more days. All I had to do was pop my meal in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Fast and healthy! The last picture was a combo of some leftover baked chicken that I chopped up, leftover quinoa “stir fry” from a previous meal prep, and some remnants of a kale salad blend. Lunch is served healthy and quickly!

Turkey in a spinach wrap with veggie sticks & Greek yogurt ranch dip.

Buffalo chicken in a spinach wrap. Side:cucumber/tomato/feta salad in Green Goddess salad dressing.

Amazing enchiladas found in the freezer aisle. BOGO at Publix!!

Small kale/feta salad to pair with the Real Good enchiladas.

All of the above are quick lunch options. I tend to open a bag of kale salad mix, toss in tomatoes, carrots, etc into a large bowl. I have a prepped salad for the week. I’ll add the dressing and cheese later.

Kale salad with salmon

This freezer meal had a coupon. It was great paired with a small kale salad.

A taco salad made with lean ground beef. The chips are lentil chips!

All of these are great dinner/supper options. My “go to” meal is a kale salad with salmon. It takes all of 15 mins to broil a fillet while throwing together your kale salad. My taco salad is leftover ground beef that I microwaved, seasoned with FlavorGod’s Taco seasoning and threw on top of some chopped butter leaf lettuce. I topped it with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, sprinkle of cheddar jack cheese, and lentil chips for crunch.

Meal prepping for your week helps alleviate that quick meal temptation. Also, make sure you are drinking water! Sometimes, we aren’t hungry at all…just thirsty. Extra water means extra bathroom trip, which means exercise opportunity.

As you can see, I eat carbs in moderation. I eat fats in moderation. I just make sure the carbs and fats are from unprocessed, healthy foods. My body needs those nutrients to build muscle properly while I work out. When I get tired of drinking plain water, I’ll grab a flavored sparking water. Or add a scoop of my BCAAs into my water to help my muscles recover. Protein shakes are great snack replacers. I snack on unsalted, roasted nut mixes and fruit too.

My biggest hurtle is breakfast. I’m always in a hurry to get out the door. Sometimes I just grab a protein bar with my coffee, a protein shake with fruit and yogurt, or a freezer meal. With the breakfast quesadillas, I save one for the next day & pair the single with fruit.

The point is, starving your body of needed nutrients isn’t the answer to being healthy. If you are someone who works out, that can create a plateau of muscle building or fat loss.

Taking an honest look at what you fuel your body with and how much can open the doors for your fitness goals. Desserts and sweet treats can catch up to you too. As far as desserts, I try to limit unhealthy ones to once a week or two. I will pop a few fruit pieces in my mouth for that sweetness, pinch off a few bites of a Lenny & Larry’s protein cookie, or take a few bites of a dessert flavored protein bar. I strive to keep sweets as an occasional thing, as they usually have no nutritional value.

And sometimes, I just feel like the above. It’s okay to have a little dessert or unhealthy treat. Just make sure its in moderation too. Viewing food as a way to fuel your body for its needs is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully I just provided you with some ways to achieve those goals.

My next fitness post will be how to fit in workouts into a busy schedule. Because sometimes you don’t have a full hour to dedicate every day to workout. Good night, friends!



I can become frustrated at writing my blog sometimes. It’s because I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head, that I struggle with organizing them enough to type them out clearly. Also, finding the time to actually sit down while my brain is still functioning is difficult as a single mom. At the end of the day, when I’ve “mom-ed” so hard, my brain just doesn’t want to focus. However, I am going to strive to start posting regularly going forward.

The first thing I must address is my post called See Those Red Flags, which has since been deleted. I would like to offer an explanation for that. One, I’ve been informed that I’m not allowed to speak any “disparaging remarks” or “speak badly of the other parent” due to a clause within the divorce document. Which such a clause is normal regarding talking in front of or to the children directly; but this clause takes it further to include anyone. Essentially, a gag order. So, take that action as you may. I guess you are supposed to believe that two perfect individuals in a happy marriage just suddenly said, “Hey, let’s give divorce a whirl and destroy our nuclear family for fun!”

Two, the post didn’t quite convey what I wanted it too. I was trying to accept fault in my part of the marriage’s demise. Because I realize the divorce just happened out of the blue and shocked people invested in us; there obviously was a lot more going on. All I was trying to do was acknowledge my part in that. I’m fully aware that I am imperfect. I fall short in so many areas as a mother and wife. I’ve shown my truthfulness in how I feel like I fail at meeting my kids’ expectations of me as a mother on here. I was simply explaining where I did that as a wife. I stayed silent and overlooked hurtful (to me) behavior for years in order to keep some peace. I didn’t think blogging every single argument would be beneficial to our relationship. I wanted to be respectful of my partner’s privacy wishes. I had hoped if I faked happiness; I would eventually create happiness. You know, seek the positivity in a situation; not the negativity. Then a big part of the silence is because I didn’t even realize the toxicity of the environment, up until now with counseling from a psychologist that specializes in relationships. With the exception of the amount of arguing, I felt our marriage was relatively normal. Not that I had any other relationships to compare ours’ too. It’s not like I was social with other married couples. I, now, see it wasn’t at all. So, that’s what I was trying to explain. Those red flags, that I didn’t even see within my own relationship, I wanted to point out in hopes to prevent someone else wasting so much of their life in a hopeless relationship. That by ignoring the issues; it was never going to make it happier or better. However, some people didn’t read the post that way; yet read it as more of a “bashing” post. Which is not what I want at all and apologize for creating an atmosphere for that type of thinking. So much so, I deleted it. At the same time, I should be able to speak about my own marriage experience. What I experienced for nine years of my life and what I should have done differently. Because that’s how you grow as a person. You learn from your and others’ mistakes. I can confidently say none of my choices and actions during that time of my life would cause me enough shame or embarrassment where I wouldn’t legally allow someone to not talk about them. However, I must remain silent in fear of someone taking an example or explanation of an action as reflecting negatively on that someone and seek further legal action against me.

I often have people say “It seemed like y’all were so happy. It’s such a shock!” Well, yes, it was a shock to me as well. I didn’t realize the amount of breakdown. After all, I was under the impression a vow renewal was taking place this year for the tenth anniversary. Maybe that will give insight to why this divorce shattered me. I thought I was on a pathway of healing and coming together.

Which is why I’m in therapy. I do not want to enter another relationship with toxic baggage or that even resembles the one I was previously in. I’ve learned so much about myself already through therapy, reading Lysa TerKeurst’s It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, and going back to church. My therapist gave me homework after a discussion that I feared my expectations were too high for a partner. My first assignment was to list out my expectations in a partner. So, I grabbed my hot pink pen and my legal pad.

The list went like this:

  1. Has a relationship with God/Understands what a Godly or Biblical marriage means = partnership/equal to one another; not controlling the spouse
  2. Wants to invest in our relationship by doing devotions/church related groups and retreats
  3. Financially responsible/Understands the importance of low debt and budgets/Willingness to share all financial information
  4. Self responsibility: Is he willing to help with cooking/cleaning/watching kids/lawn & house maintenance if asked, without supervision, and not needing constant appreciation for doing these normal adult responsibilities?
  5. Communicate openly with one another about fears, day-to-day activities, thoughts, expectations, etc
  6. Affectionate towards me and kids: cuddling to read bedtime book, praying together as family, family meal, kissing/hugging me while I cook, clean, etc
  7. Understands the order of my “5 Love Languages”: Acts of Service/Quality Time/Receiving Gifts/Physical Touch/Words of Affirmation
    Wants to be active/social with other couples from church/work/etc
    Supportive of my hobbies: horses/fitness/blogging/time with my friends
    Able to forgive my many faults: I yell when angry/I’m easily worked up over things I can’t control/I cry over sappy shows & baby commercials/has preferences on how certain things are done/accepts my anxiety & depression/accepts I’m not a person until I’ve had coffee/accepts that I have insecurities

My therapist looks over my list, chuckles, and says, “totally normal expectations to have for a spouse and interestingly healthy boundaries established; coming from your previous relationship with unhealthy boundaries occurring”. So, whoa…is that validation that my expectations for a spouse is not unreasonable?! SHOCKED! I’ve been struggling with this concept from the moment I was told that my expectations were just too high. When I say struggling, I mean, totally distraught with crying, nervousness, hopelessness that I will never be in a lasting relationship because of this. Grappling with the idea that I might just have to accept being alone forever; because I never want to be in an unhappy relationship again.

My second assignment was to list out my strengths. To which I replied, “Oh, um, I’m organized, attentive, detail oriented…” No, no, no… you sound like you’re at a job interview, but strengths that make you a person. <blank stares at therapist> But those do make me a person. I really am strong in those areas. She says, “Ok, for instance, from meeting with you I see four strengths already: Beautiful, Intelligent, Young/Youthful, and Tough/Resilient. Maybe we should start with you asking a few close friends, and specifically a male friend or two if you’re comfortable asking, to give you three strengths they find in you. I think you’ll be surprised by what they say. It’s obvious you don’t recognize your strengths.”

Okuurrrt. However, not seeing the big picture to this assignment yet. I feel like I’m staring at the blank space of the “about me” section on a dating app. Hmmm, about me…if you’re a man-child looking for a wife-mom; you need not swipe right. Thank u, next! **No, I’m not on any dating apps. But I don’t live under a rock either.** I do have one guy friend that I’m comfortable asking…I guess. He immediately replied with, “Oh! You’re compassionate, independent, trustworthy, dependable, and over protective…like with your kids.” And we both laughed; because, yeah, I’m a smidgen over protective when it comes to the kids and he insists its a strength because it’s what makes me such a great mom. Ok, I’ll take it. Another friend said I was strong, a good mother, and a Christian. Another said I was outgoing, organized, and eloquent with words. My next session, I’m supposed to take these strengths, add three more of my own, and envision/build my new future with them.

So, as part of my healing process, I’m attending church again. I had allowed the divorce to shatter my faith. I had spent so many years praying to God to please change my heart, lead me to be a better wife, guide me to the right devotion that would draw us closer to Him and each other, change my marriage, tell me what I was doing wrong, why was I so unhappy, and why did He allow this divorce to happen. I thought God hated divorce!! I obsessed over these thoughts. They consumed my every thought at night instead of sleeping. I slept for maybe 2 hours every night for weeks. I felt lead to visit a particular church, which is totally different from what I’m accustomed. It’s popular and contemporary. I had been attending another church that I previously went to in college and with a someone; and the memories there were too much for me to handle. I couldn’t even focus on the message without crying at some memory that flooded back at me. So, I quit going for several weeks, maybe a month. During this time off, I randomly was invited to this particular church I felt drawn to by SEVEN different people. I thought to myself, “I need to check this church out!” I went to a service in January, when I was at my lowest point. I had just experienced my first post-divorce Christmas, decisions were being made to destroy my feelings even more, and my anxiety/depression was spiraling out of control. This first service I attended spoke to my heart and soul. It was about choosing joy in the mist of disappointment and how you can choose to do that.

Joy comes:

  1. Knowing God has a plan for my life
  2. Certain that God will work it out
  3. When I choose joy for my life
  • It’s time to choose joy…
    1. Choose to look beyond what happened
      Choose to find new opportunities
      Choose to focus on what really matters

    Choosing joy today and every day.

    That message just spoke volumes to me. I was choosing to wallow in self pity. I was allowing a situation that I had zero control of define my life. I was allowing someone who clearly told me I didn’t matter anymore to control me. I knew right then God was asking me to trust Him, put my faith back in Him, allow Him to guide me down my life path. The next Sunday, I went back to church and the message hit me again.

    God’s Time:

    1. It’s time to take control of my schedule (start my day with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship music)
    2. It’s time to regulate what I allow to enter my mind & body.
    3. It’s time to organize my finances around give, save, & live.
    4. It’s time to live my life intentionally.
  • The Key To It All:
    1. I must know my purpose
      I must have a plan
      I must have accountability
  • Faith is taking a step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.Dr. MLK Jr.
  • I felt this was God reaffirming me to rely on Him. Throughout the next week, songs came on my Christian music station that centered around being strong in the mist of chaos/relying on God, running into people that I hadn’t seen in years, saying that God will guide me/God will provide for me/to trust in God, and participating in an online Bible study of It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. Which the study has helped me so much! I will be making a totally separate post detailing what I’ve gotten out of that and the new message series from church.

    And since I’ve recommitted my life to God, trusting God, and placing my faith in God…I’ve been given immeasurable strength in recent situations where I felt forced to participate in/hurt in/unheard in…in situations where I would have felt like my soul was being crushed. Doors of opportunity being opened for me, such as new job postings that I’m qualified for, being called for interviews, and a peace within me that I will be ok.

    Granted, I still have those moments/days of emotionally struggling. Uh, last Thursday was Valentine’s Day after all; and I should have been celebrating my 13th anniversary of being with someone. Thirteen years ago, at nineteen, I didn’t have any expectation of what Valentine’s Day was supposed mean. I wasn’t one of those girls that daydreamed about getting roses, candy, love cards, jewelry, expensive dinners, or anything like that. So, when someone came into my life and opened that expectation up for me while we dated and for so many years; it was hard swallowing the cold, hard reality of that time in my life has closed and I’m replaced. Yet, instead of sitting at home, going through all of my pictures spanning 12 Valentine’s and crying about it; I made dinner plans with a friend. Now, my budget doesn’t allow me the luxury of hiring a babysitter, going out to a nice restaurant, or anything like that. For me, keeping busy keeps my mind from wandering into sorrowful thinking. So I was appreciative when my friend suggested to hang out on Valentine’s with a low key, homemade dinner and a movie (with my savvy BOGO buys, coupon usage, and sale spying eyes…I’m able to plan my weekly meal preps to be affordable and enough leftovers for days. Since I had an unplanned dinner provided for me earlier in the week; I needed some help eating a few perishable items anyway. Win win for us!) To add some humor to the situation, he finds my shopping skills entertaining and slightly mesmerizing. Especially when I can tell him the whole meal cost $6 a piece, including dessert. I had leftovers for three more days too! It was incredibly sweet of him to think of me and distract me from the hurt that day brings to me now.

    Or when the radio plays your wedding song what seems incessantly the entire month of February. So you totally give up trying to listen to the radio because you’re tired of bursting into uncontrollable sobs. Because I wonder what in the world happened to our love? When did it end? I remember every detail about planning our wedding and experiencing the wedding…down to the emotions I was feeling. I had never been so sure about a person and situation in my life. I knew with every fiber of my being he was the one for me for life. So, it still hurts to hear Then by Brad Paisley. Even when we went to the Brad Paisley concert in Savannah and this super young couple got engaged during the song. I flashed back to our engagement. I also flashed back to the many people that told me I was getting married too young. Hindsight is 20/20 because now I wished I had listened. That’s my thought process every time I hear that song now.

    I know over time it will get easier. Hopefully, finding employment soon will not only allow me to have more leeway with my finances (‘Cause let me tell ya, living off of child support ain’t easy.); but provide me a sense of stability in my life.

    Later in the week, I have an awesome fitness post coming for y’all. I’m going to have some of my go-to healthy meals for when I’m on the go. I’ll throw in some meal prepping tips too! ❤️❤️

    Toot, toot…the fitness train

    Yes, please! This meme couldn’t be more accurate regarding my fitness. I normally use January to reset for the year. I tend to focus on my diet and eliminate all the unhealthy carbs I ingested during the holidays. I regroup my workout schedule and plan out some basic “go to” workouts for those days I can’t make it to the gym. Unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to accomplish those tasks this time around. For one, I no longer have a gym or the funds for a gym. I do have a small workout area in my garage that I use; however, a gym is more equipped. Also, when the weather cooperates, I push my son in the B.O.B for a run. I haven’t been doing either consistently though.

    I’ve decided 2019 is going to be the year to focus on my personal growth. This goes beyond just physical health, but mental as well. For the first time in my life, I get to make my own decisions. (Seriously! I’ve learned that the person controlling the money, controls you. My parents paid for everything while I was in college. Then I jumped right into a marriage, where the finances were controlled by my husband.) Well, no more, because:

    I’ve decided to heal from the emotional wounds of a failed marriage. (I think anyone can see I poured everything I had into that marriage. And at the end of the day, he is the one that walked away from it; while I begged for more time to fight for it.) I’ll save that for another post, though.

    I’ve decided to become the mother I want my kids to have. (And strangely, I’m finding this one easier to do. When I was married, I found I was always carrying the torch and doing everything. I’m somehow able to feed the kids, bathe both, and get them ready for bed on my own and still find time to read to them before bed. I find that I spend better quality time with them! It also melts my heart when I hear my son tell me “Best Momma Ever!” And kisses me. Or my daughter tells me to buy the Publix flowers for myself “because you take care of us and deserve it.”) …on the other hand, I have a hard time spending that because I know $10 makes all the difference for my budget….

    I’ve decided that I am going back to work. Finally, begin a career. (This is more of a necessity; because living off of the child support is a struggle. I have zero wiggle room in the budget.) That’s one positive from this divorce. I don’t have someone telling me I have to be a stay-at-home mom anymore. When your wife has made it clear she isn’t happy staying home with the kids. You say, “Alright. Well, let’s find you a job and a daycare.” You don’t discourage her by guilt tripping or downplaying the financial contribution her job could make.

    I’ve decided to use this gut wrenching experience to draw closer to God. This touches on a separate post I’ll have later. So, I don’t want to elaborate on it too much. Just know, I have faith God has a plan for me.

    Finally, I’ve decided to make this my healthiest year yet. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to become this chiseled Instagram model by any means. However, I am going to make it a point to workout three times a week. I’m also going to focus on my diet and kick some bad eating habits to the curb. (Such as throwing some of the kids’ food in my mouth while making their lunch.)

    This is a fitness post, so let’s explore that last point. How will I accomplish this goal? First, let’s remember where you started so many years go on this fitness journey.

    Yeah, right there. My daughter is 2 months old, it is July 2013, & I’m weighing in around 220 pounds. IT SUCKED!! I had health issues and felt miserable all the time. I knew I needed to change for my daughter.

    Where am I now?

    Yes, I have come SO far! This was taken Friday. I haven’t regularly worked out in two months and haven’t ran since December 4th. (Yikes!) I weighed in at 135 pounds. An 85 pound difference from above! Yet, still not quite where I want to be.

    Most people struggle with the same issues I do, keeping a regular workout schedule. Things come up, you get worn out, and next thing you know its been a couple of months since a workout. When this happens, having a healthy diet helps out. Although I am “softer” than I was before the holidays, I didn’t totally jump off the bandwagon either. I maintained my weight. Yet, what you eat, how much you eat, and working out three times a week; will give you progress.

    Next week I will talk about my diet and show you my favorite “go to” meals. Then I’ll go into some workouts with you. It’s a new year, set your goals, and let’s get to achieving them! The best way to do that is to keep yourself accountable.

    It’s been seven months since my last post. I was taking a one month hiatus to focus on moving back to Auburn and settling in. I don’t know how to fully explain the reason of taking seven months off; other than, a lot has changed. As always, I’ve expressed my “open book” policy while blogging. I’ve shared my difficult and raw moments of motherhood and fitness. However, I’ve been extremely closed off about elaborating the details of being a wife. Mainly due to my husband’s wishes of keeping that area of our lives private, as it involves him. He is a “private guy” and “people just don’t need to know that”. As I come from the opinion of, if you aren’t open with your struggles or victories; you don’t grow. You will never learn how to overcome your struggles if you don’t seek solutions. If people were not open about how they overcame their struggles, it would prevent others from being able to do the same. That’s how you grow as an individual and couple. You have to seek advice from others that have experienced the same struggle and overcame it.

    So here is the change… He divorced me.

    I’m not sure I can fully express the multitude of emotions I’ve felt these past seven months, and even now. Shock, failure, shame, embarrassment, grief, anger, disappointment, worry, sorrow, fear…the list could go on.

    I basically hid from my blog because I was ashamed to admit the dysfunction within my marriage, and then, my failed marriage. I had hoped if I didn’t say anything publicly, that we would come back together and sweep everything under the rug.

    Mistake number one within the marriage: help sweep the dysfunction under the proverbial rug and still hope to find happiness.

    This is why I’m blogging about it now. One, to foster change in someone else struggling as a wife or husband. Two, as a way for me to heal from this experience. Three, to not repeat the same mistakes and help someone not to make the same mistakes.

    The blog will not be totally about this. I’m still finding my way as a single mom. I will eventually have to “get back out there” to find the kind of love that I deserve. Which I’m sure will be hilarious since dating as changed so much since I was nineteen. My adventure of finding a job after being a homemaker for six years. I’m still passionate about fitness and how to apply that to my new normal. I’ll still post recipes that I’ve turned into healthier versions. And I will no longer hide in shame for who I am. I’m going to stumble, fall flat onto my face, laugh at my mistakes, learn from my mistakes, and grow in all aspects in my life. I want you to be there with me through it all! Encourage me, laugh with me (maybe at me), and call me out on my faults. I know I’m not perfect.

    A Cleanse & Hiatus

    Y’all, there is a stomach bug going around something fierce. Let me tell you, it hit hard last week. That’s why I didn’t blog. If you had seen me the Sunday morning after Cinco de Mayo, you would have thought, “Good golly! What kind of celebrating was she doing?” The stomach bug hit me Saturday evening and I was up being thoroughly “cleansed” all night into Sunday morning. There was a two hour span where I thought I might’ve needed to go to the hospital for medicine to calm my nausea and gut. I couldn’t keep any thing down or in.

    I lost 8 pounds overnight and a couple more during the week from appetite loss. Then the kids got it on Tuesday. Luckily, it was no where near as bad as my version. SassyPants spent a few hours throwing up every hour or so. Happy Pants threw up a few times and had a few blow out diapers. He mainly went off of all foods and his medical formula. It wasn’t a surprise when he blood level results came back higher than normal. We are still struggling with him re-gaining his appetite back.

    So, I really needed some R&R for Mother’s Day this Sunday. I didn’t get it; but I did go to the beach with Hubby and the kids. I struggle celebrating Mother’s Day, honestly. I’m no where near the mother I want to be, or thought I would be. I don’t feel like I should be celebrated. I’m not worthy of it. Up until my son was born, I didn’t feel that way. However, dealing with his special needs leaves me exhausted and short tempered. I once had more patience with my daughter and her needs. Now I find myself becoming angry, snapping, and sometimes yelling at her; not choosing my words as well. It seems like she chooses the absolute worse time to misbehave. Which results in me saying something such as: “Can’t you go away?! You’re being a distraction! Go to your room!” Before hand, I would figure out the root cause of the misbehavior, help her understand why she should act differently, lovingly give her a consequence, and move on from the situation. I struggle with taking the time to do that now. I feel stretched in so many directions as it is. I feel saddened that I dread 7am wake up time. The morning chaos of feeding them, dressing them, and rounding them up to leave for school on time. On a good week, I get a two hour break to workout twice a week. (Usually its only once a week and I might get a day or two to run while push HappyPants.) I miss getting actual alone time. I have to wake up at 5am just to have an hour of alone time. By 6am I’m gathering SassyPants’s school materials, prepping lunch, eating my breakfast, and doing anything to get us out of the door on time. I dread noon, because I have to pick SassyPants up from school and deal with the chaos of lunch and nap. Two tired and hungry kids dealing with a tired and hungry mom. Kids refusing food, refusing naps…its all too much for me. On bad days, where I haven’t been able to workout and have that break is experiencing nails on a chalkboard to me. I’m so short tempered and cannot gracefully deal with SassyPants refusing to eat or whining about lunch or nap. We have the same routine, you know what’s next…don’t complain about it! The relief I feel once I have them down is shameful to me. Then the dread once nap time is over and the countdown until Hubby gets home so I can have a little help with them. I used to not feel this way. I used to miss SassyPants during school and nap time. I took pleasure in making her lunch into funny faces or shapes. When she refused something I made, I would calmly tell her to try it or she could eat it for supper. There wasn’t a big fuss. Now I just take it up with “Fine, you can starve. Go get ready for nap.” I wonder where did my joy go? How can I find it? Why do I have so much angst inside me? It makes me feel guilty and shameful. So when there is a holiday to celebrate me being an amazing mom; and I feel anything but that. It’s hard to want to celebrate that. To celebrate all I really want is time away from them, to not hear them, to actually be able to do something fun and carefree. I stay up late to actually be able to publish a blog post, watch a tv show, or read a book for me. And I regret it the next morning because I’m so tired. Plus, its starting the entire cycle all over again. Mother’s Day isn’t a day for me any more. I hear the many reasons why SassyPants loves me, directly from her. I spend the day with the family and accept their gifts. All the while feeling undeserving of such gifts and love. I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that feels this way. And I don’t have some feel good solution to help. I just have the voice to say, you are not alone. I hope one day we can feel peace with our motherhood and happily celebrate Mother’s Day again.

    To close this post, I have to let you know I will be taking a month long hiatus from blogging. The internet is being turned off, we’re packing our bags, and moving to our new house. Of course, I need time to unpack and have the internet connected again. I can’t wait to get back!

    Much love, readers!

    April Showers Brought May Allergies

    Welcome to May! No JT May memes on this post. Sorry to disappoint. This month is extremely important to me: PKU Awareness Month! My son, Mr. HappyPants, was born with Phenylketonuria or PKU for short.

    So this month I will be posting a little something about PKU on every blog post to help educate my new followers.

    Last week I explained that at HappyPants last genetic clinic appointment, his geneticist discovered HappyPants had a heart murmur. We were shocked since our Pediatrician never spoke of this to us during regular well visits. After a pediatrician visit last week to confirm this murmur, we had a pediatric cardiologist specialist appointment this morning at 8:30.

    {If you’re a mom of more than one kid, I’m sure you understand when I say making that appointment was stressful. It was on a sizable hospital campus with minimally labeled buildings. Although I arrived onto the campus with 30 minutes to spare, I still arrived late to the appointment because I couldn’t find the dang building. SassyPants had to miss school because I didn’t have anyone to take her. Unfortunately Hubby was wrapped up in work meetings and couldn’t help either. By noon I was emotionally wiped out and totally finished “people-ing” for the day. I put the kids down for nap and was too tired to eat, although I was starving. I ate a handful of popcorn and three ham and cheese rolls for lunch. I had a terrible headache and decided to lay down. Thank goodness I sat an alarm because I took a two hour nap.}

    So, HappyPants cooperated through a blood pressure vitals check, EKG, ultrasound, and echocardiogram. The nurses and technicians were shocked at how mild mannered he was for all of the tests. The cardiologist explained that HappyPants has Peripheral Pulmonary Stenosis. Basically, where the pulmonary artery branches in two, HappyPants’s narrows. The cardiologist determined the narrowing is not severe; but on the low side of moderate. He said normally this would never be an issue for HappyPants. However, because it seems the murmur was suddenly detected and not detected earlier (like most cases); the cardiologist was worried that the narrowed branches may not be growing at the same rate as with HappyPants’s heart. This is where complications arise for HappyPants. The cardiologist wants to re-evaluate the narrowing and growth rate in six months. If it appears that the narrowed branches are not growing at the same rate as the heart, the heart will be working more to keep up with HappyPants’s activity. Potentially HappyPants will need to undergo some type of procedure to widen the narrowed areas to relieve the heart. The severity of the procedure would be dependent on the amount narrowing, the locations of the narrowing, and the heart itself. The cardiologist is optimistic that the reason the murmur was not detected sooner is because HappyPants always has some congestion and raspy breathing; masking the murmur sound. {What can I say? We basically have year round allergies living here. Pollen is everywhere all the time.} I am hoping this is the case and HappyPants isn’t affected by this at all.

    As a parent to an already special needs little boy, hearing this news to wait six months for more information on the issue wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. Of course I wanted to hear, “Hey, this is super minor and will clear up on its own as the heart develops more. No worries!” I am thankful the cardiologist was honest with me and didn’t brush off any future complications. I find doctors do that quite often and you find yourself years later wondering what in the world happened when a complication never discussed with you happens.

    I’m also hoping both kids’ allergies will clear up soon. They have this terrible hacking cough that chokes them up. I need to be more consistent on running with the 10k coming up in 19 days. But I feel bad running them all over the place making their allergies worse. Maybe next week I can get to the gym more than once, unlike the last several weeks. It’s so frustrating to want to workout; but not be able too because of…LIFE.

    Bye Bye Bye

    The month of April is quickly ending…then…

    I’m sorry! I had to do that! May, for me, means moving month. It’s going to be busy. I haven’t blogged in a month. First of all, I didn’t even realize it had been that long. I thought it was just a couple of weeks. Secondly, April has been a busy month as well.

    It began with a trip to Atlanta to meet with my son’s Geneticist and Dietician. Since it was Easter, we decided to make it special and take the kids to the Georgia Aquarium. I knew SassyPants would love it. She loves the movies Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. HappyPants surprised me by having so much fun too.

    During HappyPant’s appointment, the Geneticist pointed out that he had a heart murmur. This was news to us! The Geneticist suggested going to our Pediatrician to have it confirmed and refer HappyPants to a Pediatric Cardiologist for an echocardiogram. Yesterday, SassyPants woke up with a nasty cough from her on going allergies. (The pollen count is insane in Savannah right now.) Because this is an on going issue, I decided to bring her to the Pediatrician to document it and have her tonsils checked out. (Which I will elaborate on more in a bit.) While there, the Pediatrician asked about HappyPant’s Geneticist appointment. I told him about the heart murmur, which was news to our Pediatrician. He listened to HappyPant’s heart and confirmed a murmur. The office set up an appointment with a Pediatric Cardiologist for the earliest appointment, which is next week. In the mean time, I had to have chest x-rays made before the appointment. That’s what I spent my morning doing. I wasn’t given any information regarding the x-rays; but was asked several questions about frequent congestion and breathing patterns.

    {I’m not even going to try to hide the fact that this has me scared, stressed, worried, and an emotional basket case.}

    Now to elaborate on SassyPant’s tonsils. Two weeks ago, she had a dentist appointment. Her hygienist asked if SassyPant’s tonsils are always enlarged, because she’s noticed them every time she sees her. The hygienist then asked more questions regarding SassyPant’s behavior, breathing, sickness/allergy frequencies, sleeping patterns, and bathroom habits. Needless to say, the answers pointed the hygienist to suggest to us to have a discussion with her pediatrician to check out the tonsils and adenoids and to refer us to an ENT. Well, that happened yesterday. Our Pediatrician agreed that SassyPants needed to be referred to an ENT; however, that wouldn’t be possible in our moving time frame of a month. So he suggested that when we moved, to immediately find a pediatrician, request her files from his office, and the new pediatrician will see his recommendation for her to see an ENT. So much to look forward too!

    Since SassyPant’s allergies are bothering her so much, I made her sit out karate today. I was trying to keep things as normal as possible until our move for her. Transitions can be so hard on her. But today I realized I just couldn’t do that and remain sane. For my own mental health, I had to cut her karate classes out for next month. We had been missing several from April with our travels. I knew May wouldn’t be any different. She cried about it this evening. She mainly wanted to be able to tell her friends and coach goodbye. She has so much love to give!

    Speaking of travels, the week after Easter, we moved a bunch of our un-used stuff into our new house. (Read as: Holiday decorations and accent furniture.) During that same weekend, Hubby’s Grandmother left this Earthly home to join her Husband in their Heavenly home. We extended our stay in Alabama for the arrangements. While we were there, we found out a part had went out on our hot water tank. We didn’t have hot water for the stay. And as I was driving to Alabama, a rock hit my windshield and cracked it. That trip just did not get better. I guess you can say April has been one trying time after another.

    Even in all the chaos, Hubby and I still managed to have some fun. A few months ago I saw an ad for a 90s themed bar crawl in the downtown area. I thought, “Oh that would be fun! I haven’t been to a single bar establishment the nearly four years I’ve lived here.” (Yeah, I’m a big ball of fun once the sun goes down…if you count snuggling in my bed reading or asleep by 10 fun.) So we decided to do it. Let’s revisit the 90s and be old enough to drink alcohol while doing it!

    I surprised myself on all of the songs I can still sing from the 90s. I also know quite a few of the dance moves from the boy bands and pop princesses. It was nostalgic. I also enjoyed being carefree for a few hours. I don’t know how, but I managed to stay away until 2am. I learned a few things the next morning though. 1) I need adequate sleep. 2) Parenting the next day after a night of partying like it was 1999 is difficult. 3) Hubby is no longer the party animal he once was and had a much worse time recovering that next day. 4) I really enjoyed dressing like the 90s again.

    90s grunge, of course. You should hear my running playlist. It’s a lot of Pearl Jam, Bush, Weezer, Nirvana, and etc. It was a fun night. Plus, SassyPants finally got her wish. Our neighbor, who SP thinks is her best friend, had a sleep over with her. Dream come true for that little girl. It’s all I’ve heard from her this week. Small experiences like that mean the world to SP.

    I have so much to look forward to in May. First, May is PKU awareness month. Get ready to be educated. Second, I have less than a month to train for my 10k I signed up for…the weekend before our final move. (I’m slightly regretting that decision. Much like the bar crawl, I envisioned myself running marathons and races while living here and didn’t do it.) Third, SassyPants’s 5th birthday is 11 days away. Cue frantic party planner mom. Lastly, I’m not going to have very much furniture in this house for a party. Haha!

    I think I’ve summarized this month of April for you pretty well. My 10 pm bedtime just rolled around…time to check my eyelids for light leaks.