An Introvert with a Semi-Colon Tattoo.

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My husband and my semi-colon tattoos. He’s my rock and my reason.

I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t talk to ask for help.  All I could feel was the sensation that my air supply had been cut off.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I thought this was the end.

I was only 13.

I couldn’t eat in the lunchroom, I hid in the bathroom until the bell rang.  How on earth could I walk up to a table and ask if I could sit with any of these kids?  Why would they want to sit with me?

20 years later.

When I go to the store, I’m the one on a mission just trying not to make eye contact.  It’s not that I don’t want to be courteous, it’s just that I don’t feel good enough compared to anybody else.  Crowds make me incredibly nervous as well.

When I take my children to school or sports functions.  I don’t make small talk with the coaches or other parents.  I don’t know how to start the conversation.  I feel silly or embarrassed if I even try to fit in.  I’ll just sit back and observe until I get to know you better.  Once I do, we’ll be chatting at the field all the time.

If we are friends, you won’t get phone calls very often from me.  It’s not that I don’t love you.  It’s just that I hate the phone and would rather be at the dentist for two hours.  I’ll text you 24/7 though.  I write much better than I speak.

If I say no to plans, please don’t take it personally.  People drain me.  Absolutely drain me.  The only ones that I can be around all day every day are my kids and husband.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends or that I don’t want to hang out, because I do.  I don’t like that I am like this.  But, I am.  And if you have been my friend for years, you know this about me.  And I appreciate the fact that you stand by me more than you’ll ever know.  Please don’t stop trying to make plans with me.

I want to be social.  I want tons and tons of friends.  I just have a hard time starting the conversations.  It’s rare for me to find friends that get me.  But, when they do, we are friends for life.  I’ll be there for them for always.

My children and husband are my absolute world.  I may be anxious, I may be an introvert, but you will see a whole other side of me if you mess with any of them.  They make me dealing with all of this so easy.  I owe them the universe.

In large crowds, I will be looking for the nearest animal to pet.  I want to socialize and be like the rest of you, but on the inside I’m trying not to go into panic mode.  Any crowd I go into, I feel like I don’t belong.  I never feel good enough.  The only time I find enough confidence to deal with the world is when it’s for my children or for work.

At work I try to hide being an introvert.  I try to hide my anxiety.  You have to be a faux extrovert to work in customer service.   I’ve learned to be pretty good at it too.  Most people are surprised when they hear that I am an introvert.  I take pride in that fact. I work very, very hard at my job.  When people complain or gossip about something I did, I probably take it more to heart than anyone else in the building.  I do that because of how much I care about what I do.  I’m really, really hard on myself.

You may call me weird, shy, anti-social, rude, selfish, odd, mad, depressed, a loner, people hater, hermit, nerd (ok that one may be true), but I promise you, I’m not really any of those things.  I’m a regular person who is just has a little more anxiety than the person next door.  I’m a little bit awkward because small talk is not my thing.  I’d rather be at home reading on a rainy Saturday with my family than at the mall or out at a bar.  But, I promise you that if you ever need somebody, it doesn’t matter the time of night, I’ll be there.  I’ll listen intently and will remember everything you say, judgment free.

So, if I am ever out and about and you feel the same way too, don’t be afraid to ask me about my semi-colon tattoo.

xoxo,

Stacy

Momma, Get Fit! Don’t Quit!

I’m determined.

My thighs, jiggly arms, butt, calves, belly and gobble, gobble chin will be toned by summer time. 

I don’t believe in resolutions because I feel they always fall through.  Instead, I am doing this on my own time.  That time just happened to be the second week of January.  Prime resolution time.

But, honestly, here is what/who got me off my butt: 

Dr. Phil.

I know. 

I never turn on talk shows, I work until 5.  For some reason, the kiddos were not home yet, so I decided to flip it on.  When I turned it on I saw a few sisters who could not shed weight.  Dr. Phil suggested they try a new diet called the, “P.I.N.K. Method.”  I am not one for fad diets, but this caught my eye.

Maybe it was the color pink?  I am a sucker for pink, but regardless, I am starting it and sticking with it. 

It’s the kind of diet that seems to be perfect for me.  I can do all of the workouts at home.  I have no time to go to the gym working 40 hours a week and with 3 kids.  No way that can work for me.  I go out walking, but not as often as I would like.  The meals seem simple, filling and yummy.  And, there are no pills or hormones to take.

In just one week I have already drastically changed my eating habits.  Tuna, eggs, cucumbers, carrots, etc.  I feel amazing.  It’s only been a week.  I didn’t even get the diet kit until today!  I just want this and I want this now.

I stopped taking care of myself after my children were born.  As long as they ate healthy, I didn’t care what I put into my body.  I was eating fast food, cupcakes, all kinds of sweets.  These things are fine, but in moderation.  I want to be healthy for my children.  I want to chase them around and have them need to try keeping up with me.  I want to be there for them for as long as I can.

I need to start somewhere and that somewhere is here and now.

So, will I get to my goal weight?  Maybe.  If I don’t it’s ok.  My habits have already changed.  No more toxic waste will be put into my body.  I can do this.  I will do this.  Even if it takes over a year.  I’ll get there.

I won’t quit.

xoxo,

Stacy

PAGING ALL HAPPY PEOPLE! Are Any Of You Left?

I’m happy.  I whistle.  I smile.  I laugh.  I sing (terribly, but that’s not my point.)  I like being happy.  I like being around happy people.  I like being excited for a holiday or even just a weekend.  I like finding things to be happy about.  But, why am I finding myself surrounded by such unhappy people?

Can anybody help me out?

Yes, the economy is bad.  True, raises at work have not been handed out in years.  Gas prices are crazy.  Holidays are a lot of work.  Families can get a little crazy this time of year.  Money doesn’t grow on trees.  I could go on and on and on.   But, honestly, is it really THAT bad? 

It probably isn’t.   

It’s so easy to be miserable.  I could fill pages and pages of things to be miserable about, but guess what, I don’t.  I try really hard to find the good in each day.  I try really hard to look forward to fun things coming up. 

It is easy being miserable, you want to know what isn’t easy?  Trying to stay happy surrounded by CONSTANT negativity. 

And that negativity is everywhere.  It’s everywhere!  Moaning and groaning about little things.  Imagine how you would do in a third world country?  Imagine what those people live with everyday?  I bet they aren’t posting about all the aches and pains on Facebook or Twitter.  I bet they deal and I bet they find reasons to appreciate what we are given on this Earth.  I’m not a Saint.  Things upset me, I vent.  There is a normal amount of misery every human encounters.  It’s normal.  What isn’t normal is consistent misery and anger.  Feeling entitled or deprived constantly.  That shouldn’t be the norm in the world today.  The norm should be all the happy people of the world. 

Misery should not be the new little black dress.

I have said things like this in other posts, but I do appreciate life.  I appreciate the fall colors.  I appreciate how beautiful Christmas lights look in the streets.  I appreciate high gas prices, because you know what?  Last year at this time, I didn’t have the van I have now.  I didn’t have gas prices to complain about.  I am much happier with my vehicle than without it.  I am THANKFUL for all I have. 

I am thankful for life.  Without it, we wouldn’t even be able to complain.  Imagine that all my fellow Scrooge and Grinch friends?  No complaining?  If that were the case, you may actually have to smile and be happy!  SCARY!

Please, try to be happier each day.  Positivity is contagious.  Unfortunately, so is negativity.  It is really hard to push through the day only hearing the bad.  Just a little effort will go a long way!   😉

xoxo,

Stacy

I’m Not Overweight, I’m Undertall.

Senior picture. Ahh, remember when...

Dieting.  Gag, blah, ugh, grr, argh.  That basically describes how I feel about it.  It is the most  difficult thing I do to myself.   Some people are blessed with the ability to not even have to worry about it.  I on the other hand am not.  I embrace my curves, but when I start finding curves in all the wrong places, it’s time straighten them back out.

I used to be so tiny.  That was before my first kiddo.   I did the whole “I can eat everything, I’m pregnant!”  Yeah, I lied to myself.  I doubled my size.  I worked out and somebody (no names) bought me NutriSystem for my birthday.  I did ok on it, but never got down to my size 4-5 again. 

After I had my son, I was stressed out due to a long divorce.  I was really sick with him also.  The hospital gave me penicillin (I’m allergic) and I lost way too much blood for my own good.  I dropped a ton of weight.  So, technically I lost all my babyweight, but it really wasn’t the healthy way.  I didn’t like the way I looked at all.  I was pale, too thin, just not right.  I had to get myself at a healthy weight again, but we (mostly I) decided I wanted another baby. 

My third baby came along and so did the birth of my love handles.  I looked fine while pregnant, but after giving birth I gained my baby weight (I know, that doesn’t make sense, but it totally happened.)  Now, I struggle. 

If I would have been born another 3 or 4 inches taller, I would be the perfect weight.  I’d be a hot momma.  But, I am vertically challenged.  Like my Dad told me, “I’m not overweight, I’m undertall!”  Totally true.

Vanity isn’t the most important thing to me.  Of course I want to look nice, but I also don’t want to be stickly.  I want to be healthy for my children, my Fiance and myself.  We forget about all of that greasy food clogging our veins.  It starts building up early in life.  I can’t stand the dirty dishes in my sink having food stuck to them.  The last thing I want is for something disgusting to clog my arteries.  So, I am determined to get in shape.  It may take me a few  months.  It’ll likely take me a year, but I will do this. 

I can do this. 

I do just have to ask myself why I am choosing to do this before Thanksgiving.  Terrible timing.  But, better now than when I am in the dressing room, under fluorescent lighting, trying on bathing suits next summer.  There’s some more motivation to get it done now. 😉

xoxo,

Stacy

Peanut Is Allergic To Peanuts.. Now What?

I wanted to send him out in protective gear to avoid peanuts!

About one year ago, I made my than 2 1/2-year-old a peanut butter sandwich.  I was working on making something quick for my 1-year old.  Some how, my 1-year old took a bite of the sandwich.  At that moment, one of the scariest things I have ever encountered happened. 

Within minutes, his face began to swell.  He was suddenly lethargic and mellow.  He was having a reaction to the peanut butter.  I was home alone with them.  My Fiance was working 2nd shift at that time and we only had one car between the both of us.  Mildly panicking, I called my parents.  Thank goodness they were 2 minutes down the road. 

Mom and Dad showed up.  I was trying to get the kids ready.  My Mom called the ER to let them know we were on the way.  My Dad was holding my 1-year old who was just laying there with hives all over his face.  Rather than calling 911, we drove him ourselves.   I couldn’t wait for them to get there.  Now it makes sense and I should have called.  I just wasn’t thinking at that time though.

We got to the ER and we were rushed in.  They gave my son an IV and an EPI pen shot.  Within minutes his face started clearing up.  He wasn’t happy with the needles.  He was thrashing around, but I was so happy to see him reacting that way.  This could have been bad.  I couldn’t help but cry while seeing him.  The Doctor and nurses were looking at me in a funny way, but I couldn’t help it.  I felt so guilty.  I had no idea he had a peanut allergy, but I still felt this was my fault.  After a few hours, we left and he was ok.

His pediatrician suggested we do a blood test to make sure it was definitely the peanuts.  He was also on amoxicillin for an ear infection at that time.  They wanted to make sure it was definitely the nuts.  The ER Doctor suggested the same, even telling me to spread a little bit on his back to see if he reacts.  Really?  As a Mom, I know what just happened.  There is no way in hell I am going to put some on him!  So, I opted for the blood test. 

After a few weeks, the results were in.  The nurse asked if I had a pen on me.  Not only is he allergic to peanuts, but he is allergic to dogs, cats, walnuts, coconut, almonds, basically all nuts and soy.  Wait.  What?  Soy?  Yup, soy also.  To the allergist we go.

I had been through an allergy exam with my daughter.  This was the least pleasant thing to put a child through.  She was 4 at the time and it was traumatic for her.  My baby is a little over 1.   But, we had to do it.  We wanted to do it.  Better safe than sorry.  The test was interesting to say the least.  It’s certainly not fun.  They wiped down his back and marked it up with numbers.  (When my daughter had hers they used her arm.  If your child should ever need one done, ask that it be done on their back.  They can’t reach it and it’s so much better.) They then have a tray of all different types of liquids which are the allergens.  They use a little prick type thing, not really a needle, but to me it looked like a mini-golf tee with a very pointy tip.  They scratch each marked number and wait for a reaction.

About 20 minutes after the test.

  The peanut was an instant reaction.  It looked like a very swollen mosquito bite.  The Soy and Tree Nuts were also bad.  The nurse actually had to use an alcohol wipe to wipe those samples off of his skin rather than waiting the full 10-15 minutes.  I knew what to expect with the peanuts, a mother’s gut instinct usually knows best, but I feared the worst when it came to Glucose, Wheat, Shellfish and Eggs.  Thankfully, those were all negative.

We were told that when he is about 4-years old, they will re-test him.  There is a chance he will outgrow these allergies.  That would be amazing.  But, for now, what do we do?  Our life grocery shopping has changed dramatically.  EVERYTHING HAS SOY OR PEANUTS OR WAS MADE IN A FACTORY WITH PEANUTS!  It’s very over-whelming and also incredibly scary.   Thankfully, there are some amazing websites out there.  I discovered a few today.

One of the staples of my childhood was a good old Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.  I mean, who hasn’t had one of these and who doesn’t love the thought of one.  I don’t want my baby growing up never having one.  Well, today, I stumbled across a website called http://www.peanutfreeplanet.com.  It’s amazing.  They have peanut butter substitutes that are made with sunflower seeds.  Peanut, Tree-Nut and Soy free!  So much to choose from.  I plan on updating this as I find new recipes and websites.  So far, this one has the best options. 

If your child does have a peanut, soy or tree-nut allergy, please make sure you check what type of oil restaurants use.  Chinese restaurants are big on peanut oil.  McDonald’s is peanut free, but their ice cream sundaes are not.  Here is a website that has all kinds of information, http://www.bestallergysites.com/. There is even a magazine about living with allergies.

Some schools are now going peanut free also.  Please be understanding if your child does not have these allergies.  I didn’t understand until we had this scare. http://www.foodallergy.org has some great information as well. 

Hopefully, you never have to deal with these kinds of allergies.  If you do and if have any information that you would like to share with me, please do in the comments.  

xoxo,

Stacy