Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The 11th Commandment

I have a lot of flaws, we all do. One flaw I have been working on for years is trying to not be so judgmental. To me, this is so important, I call it the 11th Commandment.

How many of us have looked at someone and thought, "Why in the world did they do that" to find there was a perfectly good reason for their decision? I'm sure more times than we would like to admit.

In today's world of technology, it is so easy to say things to people that we probably would not ordinarily say to them...that is through the keyboard. Cyber bullying is a horrible thing. Many have fallen victim to this selfish thing, including my daughter. Thankfully, she didn't pay any attention to it. But, there are some out there that have a difficult time with self esteem, and, therefore, any type of bullying can be very challenging, sometimes even deadly. Many have even committed suicide over bullying. 

Being judgmental can be a type of bullying. We should not pass judgement until we walk in the shoes of those we are looking at, and of course we will never walk in other people's shoes.

Now, we do need to use good judgement. That is different. For example, a friend has had a few too many drinks. We should not get into the car that he is about to drive off in. In fact, we need to make sure they do not get behind the wheel. This will keep everyone safe...this is using good judgement.

Sometimes we may judge people for the way they dress, what they look like, or maybe what they may say or do. There may be a reason for this. I remember one time I was at an event where everyone was dressed nicely. It was a place where men were to be dressed in suites and ties, and women in nice dresses. A women, who needed to be at this meeting came in wearing jeans, tshirt and athletic shoes. Everyone turned and looked at her in a very judgmental way. She knew better than to come dressed like that! Later, I found out her trip to this meeting did not go as planned. You see, her flight was suppose to come in the day before, but due to a situation beyond her control, she had arrived shortly before this meeting. Then, to top that off, her luggage was lost. Yes, she could have just skipped out on this event because she did not have the "right" clothing, but she knew she needed to be there, and elected to go regardless of her situation. 

I can remember several years ago when my kids were very young...we were grocery shopping. One of our children started to whine about something.  We were standing in line to check out, and so we did not leave; I just ignored it. Soon, an elderly woman got in line behind me. She gave me that evil eye and then made a snide remark of how I should discipline my child. Her comments toward me were meant to hurt me, to make me feel like a failure. It has been more than 20 years ago, and I still remember that. 

Anyway....I see children behaving like this all the time. It's just what they do. Children want something, and a parent tells them no, and so they sometimes have those tantrums in hopes that the parent will change their mind. As the caregiver, we should never give in to these type of behaviors. When I see this though, I try to comfort the parent. I smile and usually say something to them like, "I totally get it, I had four of my own," and then we usually have a little laugh.

So, next time you start to judge, think twice. Do you know the whole story? How would you react if you were in the same situation? We all need to think before we speak. It's like what my parents use to say to me..."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Let's remember the 11th commandment...Thou shalt not be judgmental.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

9 tips for 9 months

Not long ago, I posted a blog about my pregnancy complications. Because I have four healthy, close together in age children, everyone assumes I had zero issues with getting them here. If you take the time to read that blog, you will find that was not the case. I shared my experience in hope that it could help someone who is going through what I went through.

I am inspired by a campaign that the American Recall Center is running on social media for the months of July and August 2015, called 9 Tips for 9 Months.  I think this is a great idea, for those of us who have been through the process of having children to share our thoughts for a healthier baby and you! 

As I think about this, I am reminded that it has been almost 21 years since I had my last child. Things have changed a great deal since October 1994. I am also reminded of my daughter who just had our first grandchild seven months ago. She is very old school, and so maybe a lot of you who read this are too. Even if you are not, many of the same tips I am about to share are still good in today's world.


Yes, that is right. If you want to wait, then that is fine, but if you want to shout it from the roof tops as soon as your pregnancy test shows positive, then go right ahead. We had a heck of a time trying to STAY pregnant. I had several early miscarriages, and I was really glad that I did not have to face it alone. Sure, I had the support of my husband, but sometimes, a girl needs girl support; someone that has been through it, or even someone who will just listen to you and cry with you. 

Also, what about those times when you feel pucky...? Yes I do mean morning sickness, etc. Coming into work looking like death...people can figure things out. I remember when my daughter, who lived four hours away at the time, sounded horrible when I spoke with her on the phone. She hadn't even taken a pregnancy test yet, and I finally told her to do that! I knew she was preggers! So, don't be silly, share the joyous occasion when YOU want to.


Now I don't want to scare anyone. True, you are eating for two, but that does not mean two Nutty Butty bars. Eating a healthy diet is not just important for your new passenger, but for you too. You will be more hungry, that is ok. You will need to eat more than usual, but eat the right foods. Your doctor can help. Fruits, veggies, lean protein, etc, is what you need to concentrate on, and yes the occasional treat is fine. This will keep you and your baby healthy, and be much easier for you to loose that weight after your child has come into this world.

Prenatal vitamins are a must. I would like to share an experience I had with them though. I am not a milk drinker, never have, it makes me sick. Ice cream, yogurt, cheese (which are high in fat), I love, just not a glass of milk...blah!!!! So, doctor gave me extra calcium. Within about six weeks, I started having contractions. Everyone told me, they were braxton hicks (which I thought was a bit early). Because of my history, I was really worried. I am so glad I did not listen to people, but called the doctor. It is not that common, but in my case I did not need that much calcium. It was actually putting me into real labor. I wound up in bed for a few days, but eventually the baby and I were fine. 

This story leads me to 


The doctor is employed by you. Make sure he is aware of your concerns. That is what you are paying him for. Sometimes, you will need to talk to the nurse. Do not hesitate to call and ask questions. 

You also have the responsibility to listen to your doctor. Make sure you have a good relationship with your doctor and nurse.  

One other thing, is make sure you know what you are taking and the side affects of certain drugs (over the counter and prescription). For example, Zofran, a drug used to help with symptoms of morning sickness, has been known to have adverse affects such as birth defects. You can read more about this here. This actually is a good lead in to the next thing....


I am not much of a reader, but when I was first pregnant with our oldest, I read everything I could get my hands on. At the time, there was no internet (yes, I am dating myself), and so I went to the library looked stuff up, bring home a lot of books. Today it is much easier because we have so much information right at our fingertips, literally! If you have a questions about ANYTHING, Google search it. Oh! and research about after the baby arrives...colic, nursing, sleep issues, etc.


Once we figured out why we were not able to have children and fix that, our second child came really quick! Are two oldest are 17 months and 3 days apart....YIKES.... At first it was a bit of a shock. But you know, everything was fine. The bond between these two children were so close. So what if you have children close together. Yes, there will be times when you feel overwhelmed, but take a deep breath, and remember, this will be a short moment in time, and soon, they will be headed out the door toward their own lives.


Keep a journal. Write your thoughts. Not too long ago, I saw a book that I wished I had had when I was pregnant. I saw it just after my daughter had her baby. It was a mommy journal, where you can put all your thoughts into it. You can get yourself a notebook and write your thoughts and feelings, keep track of your doctor appointments, information about what the doctor told you, ultra sound pictures, etc. Sometimes being pregnant seems like a forever thing, and sometimes you feel horrible. Between morning sickness, aches and pains, not getting enough sleep, etc, you feel you want it to be over. But truly, it is just a very short time, and you know,  I miss those little (and big) wiggles in my belly. Keeping a journal will help you remember.


Today, there are so many options when it come to childbirth. Back in the day, you picked a doctor, went to your appointments, and when the time came, headed to the hospital and then you had the option as to what type of pain killer, if any you wanted, and then the baby was born. Today, you can go that route, or you can have a midwife, Douala, or doctor, and you can have your baby in the hospital, birthing center, or even at home. There is even an option to have a water birth, which my daughter really wanted. Sometimes, though, your plans will change. You may choose to give birth at a birthing center with a midwife, but due to certain situations, you might wind up having your child at a hospital. That is ok. My daughter had her heart set on a water birth, but her little Jewel came too quickly for that. 

When looking for you medical assistant, make sure they are qualified. Call your insurance company and make sure they are covered under your plan. Again...ask questions!!!! You need to comfortable and safe with your decision....and make it YOUR decision, what YOU want to do....


True, there are days, when you will feel you want to be in bed all day. The truth of the matter is, once you get up and going, things will be better. So, unless your doctor tells you to stay in bed, get up, enjoy the day. Be happy. Clean yourself up, put on a little makeup, get dressed, and be beautiful, because you are. It is true that when you are carrying that special little one, that there is a certain glow about you. 

About clothing. Our first child was born in July, and we lived in the hot, humid south. I was working at the time and the air conditioning in our car was not working...blah! It was soooo hot!!! I found that loose clothing was the best! Cotton was wonderful, as it breathed, and I hated anything that was tight around my belly. Today, I see so many wearing tight clothing, and not sure that is the most comfortable thing. I learned that dresses were the most comfortable. Not only are they loose and more freeing, but they look nice. So give it a try.

One thing my daughter loved? A body pillow. When she mentioned that to me, I was reminded that I used several pillows when I slept. It cut down on the leg cramps, and since I am a belly sleeper, it aided me in sleeping better. Even if you are not a belly sleeper, you might want to try using a body pillow for a better nights sleep. 


This is kind of a funny one, since this whole blog is advice. You can listen to all the advice, but in the end, do what you think is best. People are going to share their birth story. Remember, each pregnancy, and birth are different, even your own. Just because this or that worked for one doesn't mean it will for the next. The thing that matters is YOU and your baby. Mom's have that sixth sense, listen to it. 

I remember when my husband and I first got married, we sat down with each of our parents and told them, that we would listen to advice that came from them, but don't take it personal if we do not follow that advice. The same goes for you and your baby, and when some of those stories get too graphic or scary for you, tell them to stop. Be nice about it, but let people know that you it makes you uncomfortable.

I remember, especially with my first, I was scared!  That is normal, after all it is your first, and you have no idea what to expect. But know this, you and your baby will be fine. At then end of it all you get that wonderful little gift to love, and who will love you back not matter what. 

Enjoy your new little one!

Monday, August 3, 2015

This is What Was For Dinner! YUM!

It's been awhile since I did a food post, so I decided to share what we had for dinner tonight....

It was really yummy! Here is the recipe....

Cook 16 oz Penne Rigate pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

Brown a pound of spicy sausage.
While the sausage was cooking, I added a chopped onion and a 2 big banana peppers from our garden (chopped). When meat is brown, throw in a garlic clove.

Add a 14 oz can diced tomatoes; 1, 8 oz can tomato sauce and heat through.

Then here is the sinful part....
Add a cup of heavy cream. I added a wee bit more, because I had more than a cup, but not enough to do anything else with.

Stir the creamy sauce for a couple of minutes or so, until you get the thickness you want. Then add the drained pasta, mix and heat through. I topped with fresh basil from our garden...about 6 big leaves or so. 

You can also top with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with a side of salad, and