December

December is finally almost over.  It is time to celebrate because December has sucked giant donkey balls.

Seriously it’s been terrible.

 

It started out with sick kids…. the eldest had pink eye.  This is not really that bad in the grand scheme of things but it requires eye drops.  If you have never had to give a kid eye drops you cannot understand how terrible that is.  It’s really a 3 person job.  On person has to sit on the kid and hold his/her arms down, the second person has to hold the head still and pry their little eyes open, the third kid has to act fast and deposit a single drop into the child’s eye in the half millisecond person two is able to get the eyelids apart.

Here is the problem with that…. I don’t have three adults who can help me do this 2x a day for 10 days.  I have one other adult and a toddler.  This translates to one person having to give my kid eye drops.  Usually me.  How does that shit work?  I have to straddle my child with her head between my knees and her arms trapped under my calves attempting to pry open her eye with one hand and give her a drop with the other.  The entire time you are worried that your neighbor without kids is going to hear and call the cops on you.

I estimate about a 60% success rating with this method.  Which is probably why she got pink eye again.

 

The next super fun thing was me getting into a car accident the morning that I was supposed to go get some testing in order to get my promotion.  I rear ended someone… He then rear ended the car in front of him… She then rear ended the car in front of her.  (That makes 4 cars total).  The accident wasn’t all that bad, and everyone commented on how lucky we were that no one was hurt.  Two days later I noticed one of my shoulders was about 2″ lower than the other one and I was doing this weird lean-y thing to compensate.  Two weeks later I got notified by my insurance company that two of the other parties involved had retained lawyers and were complaining of severe back and neck pain.  Fuck my life.

Still it wasn’t terrible.  I saw a chiro a couple times, got evened out, and reminded myself why we carry so much insurance.

 

Then I got the ‘feels just like the flu but isn’t actually the flu’ virus.  I don’t know how it isn’t the flu… I was running a 103 fever for 4 days, everything hurt, I could barely move or think or sleep or do much of anything.  It was pretty terrible.  The doctor gave me a flu test, which thankfully came back negative.  Something like that.  Having a flu like virus means you still hate life and wish for death, but none of the good drugs work to make you feel like a human.

I did get the flu shot this year just in case you were wondering.  First time in years… a lot of years.

 

Then the toddler got sick.  For Christmas… yeah!  It wasn’t anything terrible, just a cold and an ear infection.  A super awesome ear infection that left her screaming and crying and angry at the world because everything hurts and her balance is totally thrown off.  It only took 24 hours on antibiotics for her to get back to normal but when you kid gets sick on Christmas the only available option for you to get those handy dandy antibiotics is to go to the ER or other Urgent Care Center.  This is also the only available option for every other sick and injured person… so yeah… the wait time at the places we called were ridiculous.  We opted to wait until the day after we knew she had an ear infection in order to get her into our Pediatrician’s After Hours clinic.  Ear drops, Ibuprofen, a pacifier we have been working so hard to get her to stop using, and lots of love got us through those few days.

 

The good news is that today is the last day of December.  This hellish month is over.  I’m at 90% with my illness and only have a lingering cough that I’m only slightly afraid might be pneumonia but I’m also pretty sure I’m fine.

January… you HAVE got to be better for me.  You have to.  I’ll give you one million internet dollars.

 

photo credit: “Calender” by i_Yudai licensed under CC BY 4.0

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Mini Habits

With the New Year’s fast approaching many people are thinking about their new Resolutions… many people are hoping to make some major changes in their lives.

Here is a little non-scientific poll for you to take:

 

Why?  Why do we make these New Year’s resolutions?  Well…. we want to make ourselves better, we strive for improving ourselves.  We want to be the best people we can be….  We want to look good, be healthy, have money, help others, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  It is also tradition and tradition matters.

If you selected anything but “Ain’t nobody got time for that”  in the poll above I want you to answer a new poll:

 

If this works the way I think it will (because it is the way my life works) those of us who make resolutions tend not to keep resolutions.  At least not consistently.

 

So… confession time again… I have been known to pick up the occasional self-help book.  I’m kinda fucked up, I want to be better.  Judge me.  Actually I do enjoy these books because I do get something out of them.  There are a LOT of self help books that are a bunch of BS, but the vast majority contain some little bit of information, some little tip, that I can use in my life.  One of the books I recently picked up was “Mini Habits”  by Stephen Guise.

The concept of this book is pretty simple…. We make big goals, we fail, we start to doubt our abilities, we stop trying, we feel bad about ourselves.  If we swap out those big goals for little tiny goals that are next to impossible to fail we can get out of this neverending spiral down.  We can start making real improvements.

This resonates with me.

I try to make resolutions, I try to get healthy, I try to save more money, I try to do a lot of things and I fail.  I stop trying… Why try if I know deep down it isn’t going to happen.

In the book the example provided over, and over, and over (really… it get brought up a lot) is the Author’s first mini-habit.  He sets the goal of doing one push up every day.  He can choose to do more, but he can never choose to do less.  Well, how frigging easy is it to do one push up every day?  (Or to put on your workout clothes, or to drink one cup of water, or to save $1 a week)  The point is that these are stupid small goals that are almost impossible not to do.  Every day you do this tiny little thing, and every day your confidence builds and builds.  Eventually these mini-habits become full blown habits.

Let’s take my Green Smoothie challenge that I just wrapped up… I ended up failing it because life got in the way and that extra 5-10 minutes really was just too much for me to commit to every day.  Well, making the commitment to purchase spinach or kale or some other green leafy thing once a week is not a big stretch for me.  I am going to the grocery store anyway, if I have all my supplies I am going to end up doing something with them,  I like green smoothies more than I like spinach and kale on their own… there is a pretty simple progression from purchasing greens to having green smoothies.  All of the steps in between are small, totally do-able most days, and if life ends up getting in the way again I have still met my goal by just purchasing some green shit.  Success!

One of the biggest problems I see… Feeling life a failure when you aren’t an overachiever.  I know with my green smoothies I really want to actually drink those things… buying supplies isn’t going to feel like success.  That is a problem, that is part of the reason my resolutions and goals fail.  I’m focused on the endpoint and not all the little steps in between.  Even if I do a stellar job at every little step from the first to the second to last I feel like a failure because that last step didn’t go the way I wanted it to go.  How much sense does that make?

 

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “The Monument” by THTStudio licensed under CC BY 4.0

Cyber Monday

Today is Cyber Monday.  Today is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  I realize that the pricing for items on this day aren’t really that much better than any normal sale… but I don’t care.  I fell for the hype.  I own it.

Amazon is one of my favorite places… and today I’m going to help you Christmas shop.  Because it is fun.  I’ll be updating throughout the day because I do have other things to do but we will start with a few favorites.

  1. Kindle Paperwhite – Yes it is a dedicated e-reader.  No you really can’t do anything other than read on it.  Still… if you really like reading some of the small touches they gave this little device make it worth it.  The textured screen, the backlight, the Whispernet that connects everywhere I have ever attempted to connect…. all things that I love.  Some of you are thinking about how you like the feel of a real book, the smell of the paper;  I understand and appreciate that.  I don’t like the space that books take up.  I don’t like having to carry a giant book (or books) with me on vacation.  These things are super convenient.  Plus most of the time you can get free and lower cost books.  So there is that.
    1. If you are getting the Kindle invest in a cover… it makes it slightly more bookish in feel and has a neat little auto on/off feature when you open or close the case.  It also helps protect your kindle when you drop it.  (I drop things a lot).
    2. Like to read in the bath?  Yeah me too.  The problem is that electronics don’t love water (I drop things a lot).  Invest in some of these handy dandy freezer bags and you don’t have to worry about it.  The kindle and cover fit without adding a ton of extra bulk.
  2. This is a tricky gift depending on who you are purchasing for, but Cards Against Humanity is a hilariously fun game.  The point is to be a terrible person… really… it works better that way.  This game is NOT PC, and you probably shouldn’t play with your parents (no one needs that mental image).  If you already have the game there are tons of expansion packs (here, here, here, and here… also maybe more but links are hard.)  If you want to go all in you can also pick up everything in one handy dandy pack.
    1. Apples to Apples is similar to CAH, but more family friendly and generally appropriate for all.  There are a few different versions that I don’t totally understand.  We went with CAH because our kids aren’t old enough to understand board games yet and my husband and I accept we are terrible.
  3. Have family that lives far away?  Want to share pictures?  How about a digital photo frame that remotely updates with pictures and doesn’t take IT support to set up?  Yes please.  Check out this one or this other one.
  4. If by chance you or your loved ones live in places that are cold… a lovely Pashmina or Knit Scarf is a great accessory you can never have too many of.  These can be a great budget gift or you can go with a Cashmere if you want something more lux.
  5. For the Mom (or Dad) to be I highly recommend the Boba Wrap.   Babywearing has been A-maze-ing for my kids and I… and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it.  The Boba Wrap is great up until around 15 lbs, and you can follow that up with a woven wrap, Mai Tai, or Soft Structured Carrier.  I haven’t really opened up on my love affair with babywearing on here… but it is real and it is somewhat obsessive.

 

Then again… here is a link to the Cyber Monday deals that are constantly changing.  You never know what you will find that you just have to have…

 

 

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “Paying attention to detail” by Nic McPhee licensed under CC BY 4.0