Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week, Part 1

children in the hospitalLast Tuesday, I got the call that every parent dreads getting from their kid's school - the sick call.  But this call was different than the others.  He couldn't breathe.

I called J's pediatrician immediately, and got him an appointment.  Thank God his daycare is connected to the hospital.  I went, and picked him up and walked straight to his doctor.  The nurse looked at his stomach and saw the strain that was involved in every labored breath and sent him straight to the ER.

I took him downstairs where the ER is located and spoke with reception.  The waiting room was overrun.  I looked around at the coughing, hacking people sitting every other seat, to avoid one another, and thought, My kid can't breathe!  I can't wait for these people to get through first.  Luckily, the woman sitting at reception agreed and he was pushed to the third person to be seen.  My H arrived right as they called J into the ER.

The ER was so busy, we had to walk sideways and scoot through people.  The nurse placed us in a "room" divided by curtains with a TV playing claymation Christmas movies.  'Tis the effin' season.  The nurse showed me how to give J a breathing treatment.  I had to hold him down, like he was in a psych ward, and hold the dinosaur breathing mask over his face.  It looked like I was trying to murder him.  And, in my head I kept thinking, is he going to be scared of me after this?  We did this, one, two, three, four times.  The breathing treatments weren't working.  X-rays were taken.  Blood was taken for tests.  Then we heard the sentence that made my stomach drop, "We need to call an ambulance and have him go to Lurie's Children's Hospital."  It was real.  This was really happening.  This was really happening.  It was the most helpless I have ever felt.  Why can't I fix you? I screamed in my head.  But my face remained blank as I nodded.

While waiting for the ambulance, the nurse needed to put in an IV because he was getting dehydrated.  I thought I felt helpless before, but I didn't know what helpless was.  I had to hold him down as he screamed with a rubber band around his arm.  I placed my forehead against his and started singing Riptide, so he was only looking and paying attention to me.  The nurse jabbed his vein.  I felt evil.  This is a song I sing him to sleep with and now I used it to distract him so some terrible nurse could make my son bleed all over the bed (which he did).  She missed once.  She missed twice.  She missed a third time.

Finally, the ambulance for Lurie's Children's Hospital arrived.  They checked him out and decided he needed to go to the PICU.  The H and I carried him to the ambulance and watched them strap him down and place the breathing mask over his face.  This is when I broke down.  As the wet snow started to fall, Christmas lights from our house could be seen across the street (yes, we live that close), and Kyle whispers, "Did you ever think we would see this?"  I broke down.

To Be Continued.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top Tutorials for Holiday Hairstyles and Make-up

With holiday parties creeping up on us faster than we realize, it's time to start thinking about our holiday party looks.  I skipped across the internet this fine afternoon and searched for my favorite holiday hair and make-up tutorials.  Enjoy!

The first is Bethany Mota's No Heat Holidays Curls + 3 Updos (I'm trying the third style!)


This is a fun, funky hairstyle that works on short and long hair by Kayley Melissa.


Here is a holiday make-up tutorial from Ingrid Nilsen.  She uses products great for oily/shiny skin (my main pain-point!).  Also, I like her tricks on covering up under eye circles (Am I right, mamas?)



Please Note:  Because I have videos embedded in this post, my subscribers will have to click on the original post, depending on their email provider.  Thanks!


What I listened to while writing:

Go by the Civil Wars

Two Hands p by OAR

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Monday, December 8, 2014

The Power of Words

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="284"]Writing to reach you Photo credit: Wim Mulder / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA[/caption]

My keyboard is my piano.  When I'm writing, no matter how eloquent the topic or "voice" is, I feel like I am composing something bigger than myself.  When I get to tell you a story about dancing and screaming the lyrics to Centuries because my baby is driving me absolutely insane, I know that some of you have gone through exactly the same thing and that you might feel a little better knowing that I went insane too.  You aren't alone.

Being a mom can feel isolating sometimes.  A lot of my friends don't have kids, so we have suddenly gone into different stages of our lives.  I can't blame them for not calling when they go to the bar anymore.  That's a learned behavior for them because I can't.  They have gotten enough, "I'm sorry, I can't" responses to know what my answer is 90% of the time.  I can't be spontaneous anymore.  I need a ridiculous amount of notice in order to get my life in order enough to leave my routine for a night.  So, naturally, sometimes I feel a little isolated.  When I feel like a shut in, writing is my therapy.  Writing to you helps me feel not so alone anymore.  I'm not alone.

That's what writing is to me.  When people ask me why I write a blog on top of all the other responsibilities I have, this is my answer.  I love to feel connected to people through words.  I love to hear back from my readers and know that they feel better because of something I wrote.  We aren't alone.

So, for those wondering why I write this blog when I work full time and have a family to take care of and some semblance of a social life to maintain, I refer you to this: The power of words goes beyond stringing a subject, verb, and object together into a complete sentence.  A single sentence can rock you to your core.  A single sentence can change your mind.  A single sentence can make you believe.  A single sentence can change your mood.   And having the power to touch people in that way is addicting.

What I listened to while writing:

Bad Romance by Lissie

Happy by Gardiner Sisters

No One's Gonna Love You by Band of Horses

Wonderwall by Ryan Adams

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Season in Chicago

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="347"]Nights Before Christmas Photo credit: player_pleasure / Foter / CC BY[/caption]

Let me begin by saying, yes, I am bias.  Now, to the first sentence of this blog.

Chicago is the best place to live during the holidays!  The holiday decor and lights are painted all over the streets and skyline.  It is a beautiful city, no matter the season, but the holidays just feel that much more special here.  Take advantage of the amazing season, and go to the fun events around Chicago.  Every month, I write a monthly bucket list of things I want to do.  December, my bucket list gets so long, I usually only get to touch on a few of them.  Here is my December bucket list!

1.  Watch a holiday movie once a week with J

2.  Get a real Christmas tree from a tree farm - the chop your own kind.

3.  Go to the Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier and take J to see Santa there

4.  Shop State Street - I love the animated lights and music! (and the guy in front of Old Navy who yells about pot smokers going to hell....)

5.  Zoo Lights at Brookfield Zoo

6.  Take J to the Children's Museum during my time off at the end of the month

7.  Make Christmas crafts with family and friends

8.  Plan a Chicago-rific New Years Eve

9.  Make Christmas cookies with J

10.  Take J on the holiday el ride

11.  Go to the German market downtown

What I listened to while writing:

The War Within by Churchill

Riptide by Emblem3

Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Finding Time for a Workout

[caption id="attachment_129" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA[/caption]

Sorry for the absence!  It has been incredibly busy with the holidays, work, baby, family, events, etc, but I'm making time for you, my lovely readers now.  Let me first just say how thankful I am for you.  I started this blog as a way to 1) Let mamas know that they aren't alone. 2) Practice my writing.  I write for work daily, but writing in my work "voice" is much different than my own "voice," but as I wrote and continued this blog, I have begun to see a community forming around me and I am happy to be able to be a part of it.

I digress.

Finding time to workout when you have children is hard, especially when you're a working mom.  You feel guilty enough for being gone so much.  However, if you give up on yourself, you aren't being the best that you can be for yourself, your child, your husband, your friends, your family, and the list goes on.  I workout during my lunch at work, but not everyone is able to do that.  Maybe you don't have a close gym.  Maybe you don't have a long lunch.  Either way - maybe a lunch break workout doesn't work for you.  Second option, gym with a daycare after work.  My gym has a daycare included, but I work so much that I try to spend my nights with J.  Third option, gym after baby goes to bed.  This works well for those with a later work time.  I'm in the office by 6:30am, so, no.  I am firmly in bed by 9pm.  If you try and mess with my bedtime, I'll cut you.  Fourth option, workout at home!

Working out at home is not always easy.  Motivation is hard to come by.  However, I found an app that is AMAZING and makes your at-home workouts easier!  VimoFit on Android phones syncs with Android Wear.  You can set up the app, so it personalizes a workout for you based on your fitness level and the type of workout you want to do.  The workouts that the app sets up for you are all things you can do at home (the only equipment needed is dumb bells).  The app actually has a video of how to do the exercise with audio.  It syncs with your Android Wear and counts your reps, alarms when it is time to go to the next exercise, and vibrates when it is time to switch sides.  I have transitioned my GF diet to Primal, and with the Primal diet, HIIT workouts are recommended.  I did an HIIT workout yesterday with the app and it kicked my butt.  A definite recommend!

What do you do to stay in shape with kids at home?

What I listened to while writing:

Bloom by The Paper Kites

Pumpin Blood by NONONO

Billie Jean by The Civil Wars

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