Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

…using memes to communicate my thoughts today.

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17.Image result for Happy birthday Tracie Memes

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Motivational Monday for Mombies

The question, “How are you doing?” can feel like a loaded question that others ask me.  It can also feel like a routine question instead of a sincere question.  Oftentimes, I feel uncomfortable getting asked this question by others because I don’t know how to interpret it.  Most of the time, I am compelled to answer, “Oh, I’m good or I’m fine”.  The reason I am so quick to answer in this mannar is because I am confused if this is just another person’s way to greet me, or if they really do want to know how I am doing.

In most cases, I can tell if it was used as a greeting or if someone was really wanting to know more information.  Sadly though, I can’t recall the last time someone genuinely asked me or took the time to find out how I was  actually doing and took the time to challenge me to go beyond the closed ended response I give.  After responding, I am also typically prone to close the book on that question in regards to how I am doing and I return the same question to the person I am talking with.  I admit that I almost expect a similar response from them in return most of the time. The conversation ends as quickly as it started and you are left feeling empty, almost like you never even talked to someone at all.

This conversation starter question or greeting can be a dead end question. It often leads to a dead end exchange between two people.  This is sad, but I’m sure many of you can also relate to what I am talking about.  I am asked how I am doing almost on a daily basis.  Yet, I honestly can say that I can’t remember the last time someone geuninely asked me how I was doing and when I responded that I was good or fine, they then took the added steps to find out what that means or ask follow up questions to ensure I am ok.  I am also responsible for not going that extra mile at times too.  It can feel out of place and awkward.  I wonder though, when we as friends, family and neighbors just got so busy to reach out and go that extra mile in conversation though?

In conversation, follow up questions are so important & in today’s world I find it so important in conversation with others to find out how someone is really doing.  If you want to greet someone, say Hello or Good-morning don’t confuse them by asking how they are doing without actually wanting to know more.   Ask questions with intent in really letting someone know you care how they are doing.  I often think about the many times I have told others that I was good or that I was fine when I really wasnt and in those moments, I was hoping they would reach out further to me.  It saddens me to know how many people I have came across in my lifetime where I haven’t reached out to them in their time of need as well simply because I didn’t reach out and extend myself further.  You just never know how really taking the time to find out how someone is doing could change their entire day or their life.

If someone responds in a way that makes your conversation dead quickly and you really do want to know how they are doing, here are some other pointers to help them open up to truly make sure they are fine:

-Put away all distractions and give them your undivided attentions (yes, put that damn cell phone away and actually make eye contact with this person).

-Actually listen and pay attention to their body language.

-Ask encouraging questions that let them know you are interested in their lives.

-Make it clear that you have time to talk to them and that you are here if they need to talk and that you care about them.

-Continue asking questions that prompt them to open up and let them know you care.

-Follow up with them in a day or two to let them know you are thinking about them and just checking in.

Today, I challenge you to ask someone how they are doing, but ask them with intent.  Stop and look them in the eye.  Do it with sincerity. Do it with care.  Do it with love.  Do it in support.  Do it with meaning.  This time of year especially is hard on people.  Reach out & go that extra mile.  Be present.  Be there.  Be a friend.  Don’t stop there, follow up with them and continue to let them know you care and are there for them.  Sometimes words are not enough either, random acts of kindness also go a long ways!

So, today I am asking you Mombies out there how are you doing?  I will not take I’m fine or I’m good for an answer.  Truly, how are you doing? I care and I know all to well the stresses and struggles go hand in hand with the love and joys you feel towards your children and partners in life but if we are honest with each other we know that we are not always fine and good.  Life can feel like you are up and down and all around.   I’d love to hear your honest responses in my comments, I’m here to listen and actively respond to anything you’d like to get off your chest.


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Wondering On Wednesdays…

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This is basically how our week is going in my household.  First my 5 year old was hit with the flu on Sun-Mon and our 1 year old was hit with it Tues and is still out of sorts from it today.  I know so many others who have been hit with this virus and it is seriously no joke.  It hits hard & it hits fast and likes to play dominos by knocking out each and every single family member.  I’m wondering who’s gonna be next?  My husband or myself?  Knock on wood we have not yet gotten it but I fear the worst given what I’ve been hearing from others.

For those unlucky followers that have also been hit with this flu, I am sorry!  If you already have suffered with it, or if you currently are, my deepest sympathy goes out to you.  Our washing machine has been going strong since Sunday afternoon.  I feel like I’m getting high off lysol fumes and I have that permanent puke smell imbedded in my nose.

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I’m burnt out and keep praying to see the end of this madness.

Not only that, but it’s so hard seeing your kiddos sick.  I’ve been doting them with endless TLC but when you are doing everything in your power to make them well and they still are sick, it’s just no fun.  I know it will run its course no mater how much motherly love I give them, but I am getting impatient.  As you can see in the picture above, my little one was just a lifeless noodle yesterday.  It was heartbreaking.

Hopefully my kiddos kick this soon and we (my hubby and I) somehow dodge the bullet.  Wish us luck!  Wish me luck especially because it’s one thing if I get this bug, but we all know it’s another thing when our husbands get sick.   Dear God spare at least my husband from this!!!!!!!!!!

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Motivational Monday for Mombies

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Guess what arrived at our house Sunday afternoon?  Yep.  You guessed it…the flu bug.  Was it the ice cream pail, in the picture, that gave the answer away?!  Growing up, our go to puke bucket was always an ice cream pail, so I figured I should carry on the tradition.

This nasty virus quickly invaded my oldest daughter’s little body without her (or my) permission.  Not only that, but it invaded her little boyd fast and furious.  She was to the point where she couldn’t even keep water down.  As you can imagine this was not enjoyable for her,  poor little lady!  However, it also wasn’t fun for my husband and I.

As a parents, we always hate to see our little’s sick and we do everything in our power to dote them with love and affection and give into any little thing they need or want in that moment.  However, this can take it’s toll on you and as the caregiver it can easily become exhausting.  When this happens you may start to get burnt out.  This proved true in our household yesterday as silly little arguments quickly ensued between my  husband and I as the day went on.  How can this be avoided?  It really can’t.  It happens and it is all part of the “fun”.  However, there are little things we can do for ourselves, while our caregiving abilities are being exhausted to the max.  Here are a few tips:

  1.  Stay connected with life outside the walls of your home.  After dumping puke bucket after puke bucket yesterday, it was time for a break.  My mom actually called me and I could have easily hit the hang up button, but gladly took her call.  I only chatted with her for about 15 minutes, but it was a nice and much needed break.  My husband also did this and went outside and picked up the dog doo in the yard and chatted with our neighbor of a bit.  These connections may be brief, but they are so needed.
  2. Stay hydrated and make sure you are eating.  After watching my daughter empty her stomach all afternoon it doesn’t leave much room for an appetite, however, it is so important to stay hydrated and eat.  These things keep you healthy as well and keep your energy level up.  If you are not keeping up with your diet you will notice your energy levels dipping.  In fact, yesterday I started to get a headache and realized I was so concerned about my daughters fluid intake I was forgetting about my own.
  3. Lean into your help.  My husband and I failed miserably at this yesterday.  It is so important that if you have help, to work together and support one another.  If you see they are struggling sometimes a simple hug is enough to make things seem better or even a quick shoulder rub.  Sometimes even just communicating to one another, “we’ll get through this together” so you know you are not alone in it helps too or even simply asking them if they need a break and you can take care of things while they are doing so.  A little bit of teamwork, communication, and help from your help and in my case, my partner (hubby) goes a long way!
  4. Take a 20-30 minute brisk walk outside.  If you’ve been stuck inside all day caring for a loved one, there is just something so rejuvinating about fresh air and exercise.  This is one self care tip you don’t want to skip!  You will feel the positive affects almost immediately.  If you have a dog, be sure to take them on the walk too…they will be so grateful to get out too.
  5. Snuggle or nap too.  Sometimes it is hard to rest when they rest especially if you have other kids to take care of and no help, but if you are able to, give yourself permission to snuggle with your sick kiddo or nap when they nap.  Even if it’s a quick power nap or sitting down to watch a movie with your little that’s ok.  The chores and all the other to-do’s can wait.  You will likely need rest or a nap when you can get it to give yourself the energy to power through this sickness.  Also, rest will help your body ward off catching this virus too!

I hope the flu bug stays at bay for all of you and I am crossing my fingers that myself and the rest of my family do not experience this flu bug either.  Good luck!


Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

  1.  First and foremost, Happy birthday to my big sis!  I love you mucho & I hope your day is as special as you are!  E was wondering who this little girl in the picture, holding K was.  I seriously can’t believe how much K looks like me in this picture!  scan0016.jpg
  2. If my Tuesday goes anything like my Monday did, I am going to just quit while I’m ahead…it’s already got that feel to it that’s for sure…blah.
  3. I love Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I love Christmas.  Maybe If I keep feeding my brain that positive phrase it will one day feel true?
  4. In case you are wondering, I did not get a deer hunting this year.  My husband & dad were lucky and each got a deer.
  5. I am trying to eliminate 1-2 nursing sessions in our day.  I’ve never weaned before so if anyone has any tips, I’d greatly appreciate it.  I was told that I have to want to wean and I must say that this will be extremely hard for me.  I almost feel like it will be harder on me then her, but I know it’s time.
  6. We are also in the process of trying to get our 1 year old to sleep in her crib all night.  However, she is still getting up at least 3 times a night (yet another reason, it’s time to wean).
  7. Image result for tuesday memesI saw this and it made me giggle and ties in with my #2.
  8. My sister and her two kiddos have had the flu bug.  We were around them most of last week so I’m knocking on wood that we don’t get it.  It seems like it is going around though.  YUCK!
  9. I have to go to Target this morning to make a return and do some other misc. shopping.  Since we’ve been buying Costco diapers instead of Target Diapers for our youngest, I really haven’t been shopping much at Target lately *gasp*!  The one that is closest to us is attached to our local mall and it is such a turn off from going there…especially this time of year.  There is an independent Target on the East side, but then I have to drive almost 15 minutes out of my way.  I will do this if I have other shopping today, but when I just have to do a single Target trip it seems annoying to have to do.
  10. I heart peppermint mocha.  There is a place called SAP that makes the best Peppermint Mocha’s.  Of course they are seasonal so it is a must to go get one or two this time of year.  So far I have not.  However, I just put the bug in my sister’s ear that we need to do this soon!  Folgers actually makes an instant peppermint mocha so I grabbed 2 containers of it and have been happily drinking that in the morning…but it’s just not the same as SAP!
  11. We got our family pictures/K’s 1 year old pictures back…here is a sneak peek!Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, flower and baby
  12. If all goes well, I am going to make a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner and home made bread.  I love soup this time of year.  What is on your dinner plan for tonight?
  13. I’m really loving the online grocery shopping and pick up option…seriously, it’s amazing!
  14. My neice just turned 8.  I seriously feel old.
  15. What is on your holiday baking list or no bake list this year?  We do the traditional sugar cookie and frosting and decorate as a family, star cookies, puppy chow and always try one or two new cookies.  However, this year I may down scale.  I just am not in the mood, nor do I need the extra sweets around my house.  However, we have to do some baking because it’s a tradition I enjoy having with my daughter and hopefully soon to be other daughter!  I also like sharing the goodies with my neighbors, friends and family.
  16. It was almost 60 degrees here yesterday.  It was beautiful…but it felt like spring.  Seriously, we have the most bipolar weather in WI.
  17. K is rolling around her Mimi, aka special blanket, and whining.  This is normally her nursing time and I’m trying so hard to let her whimper and whine a little bit and not give in right away.  I’ve already eliminated the very early morning nursing session she has when she wakes up.
  18. I sure love my cat but I sure hate having a cat box in my house.
  19. I need to get my allergy shot next Monday.  I was supposed to get it two weeks ago and still have not.  Other things just keep popping up that take priority.
  20. Well, we are in a full blown tantrum under my feet…time to nurse.  Yep, it’s hard not to cave.  Wish me luck in this…it’s gonna be difficult in more then one way.

*Note*  This is Wednesday, you are not mistaken.  I forgot to post the finished draft yesterday which was Tuesday.  Sorry for the confusion!

Motivational Monday for Mombies

It is Monday again, poof…!  I spent the last week away (sorry for my lack of blogging all week) and continued our Thanksgiving tradition of heading to Western Wisconsin to spend quality time with my parents, spent the week back at home-home, celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with them & also carried on our gun-deer hunting with my dad (In case you are wondering, my dad & my hubby were lucky and each got themselves a deer, but I did not).

Human I am because it’s been hard to snap back into the swing of things since being back.  As bittersweet as it is to be back home, I am ready to get my girls back into their daily routines and rock this last week of November.  However, we will be quickly switching gears to the next holday, like ASAP!  Dun…Dun…Dun, to Christmas!  Seems hard to believe almost.

When arriving home, I noticed we were one of the few neighbors in our sub division with Fall decor lingering on our front porch and instead, lack of Christmas spirit and holiday dazzle.  Once I had a free moment upon getting home, I quickly pulled the ginormous scarecrow inside, along with a pumpkin and a cute Fall sign.  I felt like I had been living in a time warp at my parents to be honest and was almost shocked as we entered our neighborhood that was now Christmas to the max.  All of a sudden, it just hit me, I realized my “vacation” was ended and I was flooded with the reality of my enourmous amout of “to-do’s” that awaited me as soon as I walked in our door.  UGHHH!

If you are like me, it can be hard getting back into the swing of things after an extended time away from your home and on top of that having to switch gears to a new holiday can add to the stress and the tasks add up so quickly.  Here are my top 10 tips to motivate you to keep on top of your to-do’s and getting back into your routines.  Your never-ending list can be tackled, I promise.

  1.  Prioratize your to-do list with the things you need to do from most important to least important and then organize those tasks that you can accomplish from start to finish, and do those first.  Doing the tasks you can finish to their entirety first helps you to feel like you are getting somewhere fast or putting a dent in your list.  I so badly wanted to jump on the Christmas decorating task to get up to speed with my neighbors; however, I knew that this would take a great span of my time to accomplish and wasn’t something I could finish all in one day.  I know myself well enough to know that this would overwhelm me more and drive me crazy.  Instead, I started with unpacking all of our stuff, putting things away, and doing our laundry.  Next up was meal planning for the week ahead & grocery shopping.  My to-do’s did not stop there and are spilling over into today.  However, by doing the tasks that I could accomplish from start to finish make me feel somewhat less overwhelmed.  I have always been the type that loves to be able to cross things off my list so I feel more accomplished and can get more done if I do them in an order that makes sense and makes me feel like I can complete something. I gather a lot of you will feel that same way too.
  2. Giving yourself permission to have a stopping point.  This is very important tip.  Sometimes I get in a groove when it comes to tasks and I just want to get things done for the sake of getting them done, yet I am not doing myself any favors because I am exhausted or tired or not in the mood to really be doing them.  When I feel like this, I am not very effective and am just going through the motions.  Decide in advance how much time you are going to take attempting to accomplish one task.  Either set an alarm or just be aware of your starting and stopping times.  Once your time is up stop what you are doing no matter where you are at and take a break.  This may seem counter productive to some, but it really does help.  If when starting a task that you know you want to finish, but know there just isn’t enough time simply do not start it at all.  It can become captivating so this may be something you want to start after less interesting tasks.  This is one example of why I did not start Christmas decorating.  If I would have started I knew that there would be no food for my family to eat this week or clean underware for anyone to wear!
  3. Do not rush from one task to the next.  Rushing from task, to task, to task can make you feel like a jumbled mess, especially when you are coming back from a week away and trying to also play catch up.  As you go about your day, give yourself enough time between tasks so you have a clear mind to start a new one.  You don’t want to feel hurried or like you don’t have enough time.  Always review your daily agenda, even if you need to review it hour by hour.  I always find it helpful to put things both in my paper planner and physically write it down (this is said to help you remember) and also put it on my google calendar so I have alarm reminders going off too.  This helps you stay grounded and makes transistions easier also for the next day.
  4. Make sure your environment is optimal for accomplishing your task.  If my environment is messy, noisy, or other to-do’s are within eyesight I become highly distracted.  Then I spiral into doing this that and the other thing and before you know it the day is over and I’ve looked around and wonder what it is I even accomplished.  This often will leave me feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and makes the next day not easy either.  If you need to do a task in quiet, plan for that hour or two when your kiddos take a nap or when your husband can do something with the kids so you can be less distracted.  If your environment is distracting you will not accomplish anything and may as well not even begin.  Start when you know your environment will allow you for productivity.
  5. Learn to delegate tasks.  This has always been hard for me because it is never easy for me to ask for help, but when I’m busting my butt around the house and I catch my husband taking a nap or just sitting on his IPAD it is frustrating because he could be lending a helping hand.  Men don’t often see all that needs to be done, so we often have to remind them or point things out.  I did this the other day when I was folding the mounds of laundry I had to wash and my husband was relaxing on the couch.  As I was folding and my daughter was beside me unfolding, I decided to ask him to start putting things away as I was folding.  This saved me a lot of time and also hassle with having to go back and refold things my daughter would have otherwise unfolded.  I also did this with my grocery shopping.  I decided to do the order online and pick up on my watch approach and had one of the employees do the actual shopping for me.  I can’t tell you how much I love this service that is new in our area!
  6. Put your phone on silent and walk away.  It never fails when I start a task, the interruption of my phone buzzing or sounding will happen.  As hard as it is to detach yourself from you mobile device you need to do it.  It is so easy to get caught up on your phone and your precious time to get things accomplished just slips away because you are spending more time on your phone then the task at hand.
  7. Recommitt to your routine.  It is so hard coming home after a vacation, partly because you are so out of your normal daily routine.  The first thing you need to do when you get home, no matter how hard it is, is get back into your routine.  This tip is a must for our family.  Without our daily routines our lives would be a mess.  It would have been so easy to just come home and plunk our butts on the couch because we were all exhausted and just happy to be in the comfort of our own home, however, instead we committed right away to our schedules.  This is especially important to do when you have kids!  I often find that with extended time away, routines can easily change too.  It is important to be flexible to change and keep this in mind when trying to accomplish tasks as well.
  8. Plan for smooth transitions from one task to the next.  Knowing that I will be digging out all the Christmas decorations and dragging a tree in the house I decided deep cleaning my house was a task that needs to be done, but not right away.  If I did this task right away, I’d end up doing it again after dragging out the Christmas stuff.  Think about all your tasks and how you can make transitions smoother so that you are not back tracking and having to re-do tasks you already accomplished.
  9. Don’t take on too much at once.  Have realistic expectations about the goals you have about acomplishing your tasks and learn to be content with what you finish on the now.  Let go of what you didn’t finish and re-evualuate and organize a new plan for the next day.
  10. Have everyone in your family respect your time and be on the same page.  It feels like when I get back form time away from home, the second I am in the door everyone is requiring Mom’s undivided attention.  It’s important to give your  husband and kiddos your time and help them accumulate back into the norm BUT make it known that you need time to get YOUR tasks done as well and to gather and organize your thoughts.  If Mom isn’t happy, no one is happy and if Mom isn’t organized either will anyone else be.  Upon arriving, my oldest daughter wanted to play a game and I made it down I had X, Y, & Z to do first and after I felt like I was in a place to take a break I would take the time to play a game with her.

Hoping all you Mombie’s out there have an easy Monday and find these tips helpful.  If not, sometimes all you can do is throw your hair up and tell yourself, what doesn’t get done today will get done tomorrow, take a deep breath and fill that coffee cup up AGAIN.  Good luck!