I have spent a whole lot of time lately thinking of my ability and inability to accept failure in my life. I was recently completing a weight challenge with my people at Weightix. Now this was my 2nd challenge with this group. I did not meet my goals the first time, but I learned. I was about 15lbs from goal and that was cool with me. This 2nd challenge I was like 3 - 4lbs away with a week away and this was soooo frustrating me. I went out and bought hydroxycut I was ready and willing to do anything. Mr. WaitWhat looked and me and said he was proud of all that I had been doing and what I have accomplished, what are you doing? This is not what you signed up for. This is NOT worth going crazy over. He was right. On so many levels. If I was going to be successful I was going to stick with plan. Yes I did some hail mary methods, but sustainable methods. I increased my workout, I drank my water (a LOT of water), I did an egg fast which was amazing and stuck with keto with carbX as its called in weightix. And I made goal. I may have gained back a pound, because admittedly I was tired and did not work out last week. But it is a lifestyle NOT a diet.
Now to my point. I say to students often, because state road tests are looming, that I would not want to fail automatically for dropping my hands off the steering wheel. I want to HIT a house. Yup I said hit a house. Because if I am going down I want to go down with style. I don't want to fail a test or anything by 1 point I want to fail by 100, or 15lbs not 3! I think it is all about what you learn. Accepting that it is OK! I am OK!
Months and months ago my therapist asked me if I have ever not excelled at something or done well. And I looked at her puzzled. Like what? That's an option? To just be ok? Oh no! But it is people it is! Am I always the BEST mom. No. Am I always the best teacher? Nope. The best friend or even colleague? Nope not there either. And you know what, that's ok. I live and learn and learn. I grow. I am not perfection in a box, but I work hard and I try hard and isn't that more important.
I think we need to change the language of failure. Its derogatory. Its negative and truthfully something I think you have to work very hard to do, so why not turn it around. I do not fail people or students they have worked to do that. Why not put that same effort into being Ok? What is wrong with ok? I am ok with being ok. I am NOT ok with thinking or being a failure. What are the benefits of knowing that I may not have succeeded at something? What did I learn? How did I grow? What can I do better next time.
The likelihood at this point is we will not have more kids (though I do ponder). And you know what I think I have some pretty great kids. I cannot fix my pregnancy and make it better. I cannot change their premature birth by having another child. But I can accept that I made some pretty great kiddos and learn that their story is their own and this mama did not do anything wrong. I did not fail them, I made them strong. Now to tell my brain that is difficult, but hey I am working on it.
Enjoy friends! Failure IS an option, make it a positive!
So let's just say that I grew up as a big theatre nerd! I went to theatre camp. I sang musicals like it was my business to do so. Heck in the name of the theatre I put my cousin (playing my son) into my bosom as I sang "Sensitivity" for "Once Upon a Mattress" (princess and the pea). I LOVE the theatre! As a parent I dream of the days that I can take my children to theatrical performances and actually enjoy them myself. In fact around chicago I have had a few great opportunities to take my 2 year olds to the theatre and watch as the world unravels for them through song and dance. But these were specifically geared towards tiny theatregoers. They know of the shit show that can be a toddler, let alone twin toddlers. They are prepared. The performances are an hour give or take, and they hold the attention of the littles.
Anyway this weekend I took "My Shot" to take my friend, we shall call her WinniWaitWhat, and Mr. WaitWhat to "The Room where it Happened". I planned. I prepped. I got us Suite Service so we could have a bar and bathroom at our disposal. Got dinner planned for us to have a lovely evening and I left the kiddos with the Parents WaitWhat.
We got to our seats, first row mezzanine to have a little extra leg room and looked around, marveling at all the people who brought their kids out to the theatre. I said to myself oh I cannot wait for these days, but for now this was going to be an adult evening. The lights dimmed, the orchestra was booming, and 30 seconds into the first song it happened, the girl behind us started singing! I thought it was cute for about 10 seconds, but then my head cock started happening. Her caretaker told her not to sing as she snapped back, "I can't help it" in a whine that was permeating. And then that is how it was for the first act. I thought of my lines to say to her then thought, hmmm maybe she is really young and mom had high hopes she was ready. But man I was ready to turn around and say, "I know you love the music, as do I, but you need to stop singing out loud so we can enjoy the performance." The performance that cost none of us around her less than $100 per ticket with taxes and fees. As intermission came WinniWaitWhat and myself realized that this was not a young girl. Probably 10 or 12 who should know better. But it gets worse! 2nd half comes and not only is she singing she started KICKING the back of my seat and my friends seat! OMG I was going to lose it, which is why this post came about!
PSA TheatreNerds, because you dream of the day that your kids can appreciate live theatre not geared towards littles, make sure that they are mature and responsible enough to handle this experience! It is simply not fair to other patrons to have to deal with other peoples whining children. Admittedly during a buttery and lovely performance by Mr. George Washington, I turned into my son almost jumping out of my seat to clap before he was done, but I contained myself and like everyone else waited until the end.
That's my rant people! What's a good age to take your children to the theatre? How do you know they are ready? How do you handle inappropriate behavior? Thank you for reading! Theatre on Friends!
I know it seems I am constantly apologizing for not writing more frequently. That I am giving excuses for not sharing. This is not my intent. I am realizing through much therapy and self reflection that as I strive for a better work life balance, I continue to overcommit to things. I have passions and beliefs and I want to help. Does this make me a target for being a sucker or being too nice. I admit it, I have a NICE problem which leads me to a YES problem.
So in that I have to readjust some goals. We are still on the 40lbs for 40, and though I may hit 40 articles for 40 I am not stressing. I have to say that they may not be blog articles per se. I have reviews and other things I am working on that I want to stay current on. So I am going to count these as well. I hope this is ok with all of you?
Recently though I have had to say to clubs and meetings and such that I am very happy to help, but I cannot be on the board. I cannot always attend a meeting, because my kids go down at a certain time and this mama wants to bathe her children and put them to bed. She wants to see them for the 4 hours she has with them daily. If a meeting is at 7, unless I have another meeting beforehand, I am not going home quick feeding my kids and sneaking out of the house for them to realize I left them. I want experiences for my children. I want experiences with my children. So I am not going to that meeting, sorry. I may only spend an hour on the couch watching horribly chosen TV with Mr. WaitWhat but it is the time I have with him and I do not want to sacrifice that.
That's my story. What are your tactics? How do you balance? How do you make time quality?
Ok people let’s be real it’s award season and sometimes you have to think about what really makes these people stand out. In this case I’m thinking about me, duh??!! Anyway not a secret I’m a twin mom. A twin mom with a single income household. Long before this I was a couponer, pretty good at it too no time for extreme. And while there I was working my way out of debt from being house poor and a whole bunch of other crap. I mention these things because there are many times in my life that I have had to, I don’t know, gulp, double gulp, take care of myself. I have had to find companies and people that believe in their products and make it worth it for me to buy it. Yes there are many times when I may be considered frugal. But if it’s something special with people who back up there products and go out of their way to help than I’ll pay for it. These people and companies deserve recognition!
Now I am in no way being compensated for my statements. Some of these companies have no clue who I am or that they have been so great to me. These are solely my experiences and the world should know about my “glam squad” behind my “glam squad”. I will also feature them on the products pages if you are interested in learning more, sound fair? Some are local to Chicago and many are at least country wide do not fret I’ll specify of course!
First lets chat about companies that stand by their products regardless of time you have had them and poor usage, or storage. My first major encounter with this was probably 10 years ago. It was 7 years since I bought my first pair of Uggs and they ripped up the front. OMG these like stupid expensive, super comfy, and not so pretty boots are broken. I said WTH and contacted the company. To my surprise, with no receipt, as they were like 7 years old, they gave me full credit towards buying a new pair, whaat?? Since then I have said ok I will buy from this large company that still operates as a small company. The next company is what sparked my idea of writing this article, Big Toys Green Country. Ok seriously I was really sparked by this company. Mr. WaitWhat HAD to have this remote controlled 2 seater ride on car for the fellas. He did the research, I called to ask questions which they were amazing at answering and calming my mind, and we bought this truck for way more money than I would usually pay for a TOY. After we received the truck there were a few pieces that were damaged that they promptly sent us new ones. BUT that is not even why I write. We live in an older house where storage is at a premium. We have a TRUE 2 car garage that we cram my giant SUV and the MiniVan into and also have started storing this truck upright against a wall. Well I bumped it and totally fell on me, a little damage nothing crazy. Then the kids were playing with it and OMG it FELL on one of my sons. They were not harmed but several pieces were definitely damaged. Mr. WaitWhat said we cannot pay more money for this truck he will glue it together. Well this lady decided to call customer support to ask about replacement parts. You know what happened? They told me since we have never had a warranty claim or anything they were going to send me the parts free of charge to fix the truck. I took pictures and there was 1 more piece that needed fixing. They do not stock that piece, but called the manufacturer who then sent us that part along with the 2 others again free of charge. Never hurts to ask but I was totally not expecting that! He of course said if we liked his product and service please review where I was like I am totally writing a blog post about it!
Ok now more on my glam squad and people. I have mentioned many times my hair stylist Stella at Meraki Hair Loft. This is a mom of now 3 children who has saved my butt and my hair on more occasions than I can count. She used to work for a salon right behind my house where I would come through the back door and bring a pot of good coffee, I do not even drink coffee. Now as a business owner she has met me on January 2 at 7am so we could take family pictures. And again before other events. Find a stylist and stick with them. Grow with them and learn.
Another company again I have talked about is Benefit. Where I definitely cheat on which boutique I may go to, I try to head over to the Damen one. When I was a new mama I had a few minutes to myself. Walked in to a very busy Benefit. The guy at the front said we may have something in a half hour but not a guarantee. I said Ok I am going to go pump, jumped in my car, did my thing and came back in. They were still booked. A woman there, Ms. Rachel, said I'm a mom, I know you are busy, I can take you. She squeezed me in and I am forever in her debt. Along with my girl Ms. Melissa they rock my world. Realize when I was getting admitted to the hospital I said to the nurses, "Do not worry I am not staying I have an eyebrow appointment on Thursday and things to do." Again another benefit got me in a few weeks later to save my butt. Yeah there are Benefit Brow bars in Ulta but if you have a "real" boutique close to you I highly recommend. Those ladies and gentlemen are trained differently and are just lovely!
Recently I discovered Rodan and Fields. Ok big company, MLM, and a lash enhancer that I cannot even describe as anything but fabulous! My lashes and brows have grown and now look like falsies and even microbladed. My fellow preemie twin mama Zehra is just getting started so if you want give her some love!
Of course I have to mention my girl Patti at Enfuse Med Spa. I actually went to her at another medical spa 100 years ago and then she left to manage Enfuse. This med spa closed without notice and I was stuck mid laser sessions. She took me in and between her and their receptionist Kevin they take very good care of me. Kevin even watched my twinnies while I went in for my treatment!
Lets go even deeper, a woman that has kept me "Perky" before, during and after pregnancy. Oh a whim I went to a bra party with my old and terrible bra, knowing while in debt these things went by the waist side. She is a professional bra fitter, and got me into a great bra. She has become a friend. A confidante and mentor. Ms. Carrie from Essential Bodywear. Carrie even found my friend in Arizona a bra fitter so she took could preserve the "perk". Since going to these bras no migraine related to bra pain because they hold from the sides not the straps. There is a break in period where I wanted to rip them off, but then, the BEST things ever! Check out the "lollapalooza" pants to prevent the chafe as well!
As of recently I have found Weightix (if you want an invitation email me with your email and I will send one out) for my Keto Journey and Beachbody (with my girl Heather who's daughter is my goddaughter) for my physical and mental self. These 2 programs are helping me on my 40 for 40 mission and they too deserve some serious shoutouts.
Finally, I cannot write an article of honorable mentions without my Favs over at Twiniversity, who you know I write for often. They have been there for me through EVERYTHING! They are part of my journey and without Nat and Julie and all the other squad girls I do not have a clue where I would be today!
There it is, maybe you are still reading. What are your favorite companies or places? Who are your people behind your fabulous self?
As a teenager I had a few friends who attended Northwestern University's Summer Center for Talent Development. In that program they were able to explore accessibility for all people. They would go into bathrooms and see if the doors to the stalls were able to be opened if only part of the hand functioned. They got down to see how they would be able to manage life in a wheelchair. And they tried to feel and see the life through the eyes of people with a variety of disabilities to see how our hometown faired. Obviously I recently thought about this as a parent of a child that is not potty trained. Now absolutely not the same as a person living with a disability, but many of the same places that we need to go to assist our children are the handicapped accessible spaces.
Here is where we go from there. Since my friends went through these programs (I am hoping to get my friend a silent shout out I hope she knows I learned from her specifically), I have been more conscious of my choices while in a bathroom. I NEVER go right towards the handicapped stall. If the bathroom is packed I will use it but not my first choice. We went to a restaurant the other day, Miller's Ale House, a place where I have gone up to the management to tell them for a bar and a restaurant they are the most kid friendly space ever. They highly maintain their baby changing stations and even stock disposable liners so we do not have to put our kids naked tushies on the table. I followed in a group of other patrons and a woman went right for the handicapped accessible stall. As she turned around to see me with my kid she apologized and went to another stall, but muttered yeah it is where I go first. When twin #2 needed to go I was waiting for the stall and let me say talking loudly to that kiddo so that person in the stall would realize that we were waiting. To have an employee come out of the stall. I was perturbed to say the least. Hence I am writing an entry on it.
We need to be conscious of all people. We need to be able to see the differences in people and where they may NEED to be instead of a bigger place for you to take care of your business. If it is not a packed bathroom, do not bee line for the ONLY accessible stall in the place. We have already seen many instagram posts of fathers with kids on their knees as to not let their kid have to lie down of the bathroom floor, do not make moms have to do the same. That's another article in its entirety but thank you California for enacting new legislation for men's bathrooms to have changing areas as well.
Maybe a rant. Maybe we will be conscious. Accessibility for all people. Thank you that is my public service annoucement for the day lol!
Well Friends and Followers, here I am 1 year into my initial 2 year blogging experiment. I know there have been many times that I am silent. Blogging elsewhere. Not keeping up with my own site. And just being busy in this life I am trying to lead. But in tallying up what I actually did last year from the end of January until now I wrote 40 blog articles this page, several reviews of products, books, etc, about the same amount of articles for my peeps over at twiniversity. I have attended conferences, researched products, reflected on my life and tried to better myself mind, body and soul. All in all, as much as I thought I had failed you all I think I did a damn good job? I mean probably 100 separate posts either here or other sites? To me that is better than I could have imagined.
But here it is friends...I am a little less than 6 months to 40. Yup 40, with twin toddlers, a couple of jobs, and this is little blog, my passion project. I have made a commitment to many, shall we say, resolutions for this upcoming milestone.
1. Lose 40 for 40: I started Keto in October and to date I have lost about 18 pounds so halfway there. I have found some amazing groups like Weightix Warriors, Ketofy.me, many Keto Instagram starts, well stars in my mind (Girl.vs.Carbs, KetoConnect, GnomGnom, etc). I was able to reestablish my roots in the low carb high protein life in a much healthier way than the older programs out there.
I also just recently started back with my fellow Preemie Parent, ShaunT on his new program Transform:20. Its 20 friggin minutes and I am more than 1/2 way through and I am rocking it, kind of.
2. Here is a commitment that I would like to propose to you my followers... I think I can handle writing 40 articles for 40? What do you think? What would you like to hear about from the mind of Ms. Wait What? I am down. I guess here is 1, and it would be great to do 40 on my actual birthday July 19.
3. Get my kiddos up and running in life as they hit new milestones of becoming 2 and actually to doctors now actually being 2 instead of 2 months adjusted backwards. We are navigating preschool (already signed up for next fall), early intervention (which I will be delving into more in the coming weeks), and just trying to ensure they are enriched to the best of my ability.
4. Taking care of me. Learning new things (I am trying to figure out some photography so for real if you have tips we invested in a nice Nikon and the fellas are some kicking brand reps that mom gets into sometimes), working on navigating this crazy thing called life, making choices and accepting benefits and consequences.
I think that's a pretty good list. Most I am well on my way into doing. Here is 1/40, back more soon! Let me know your thoughts! Happy Days friends! Ms. Wait What will be quiet no more. I owe you much follow up to fall articles and I will deliver!
As I enter into one of the darkest seasons of my year, and also one of my favorites because I LOVE FALL! I have been forced to think about my community, my people, and my supports of who I am. These are people that through my life have been there for me no questions asked. They accept me and my family for who we are deep down and for our history. I never thought I would write a post about religion, or any sort of politics but I have seen so many posts that I needed to address me and my Jewish people. In fact one of my oldest friends who has just recently re-entered my world inspired me to speak this truth of mine. It is no secret that I do not watch the news. In fact I only watch the news when I have had a bad day, because someone's day was worse than mine. And I did not have to watch the news this weekend to know that there was hate towards my people. Towards people that are hidden even to this day. During a moment that is an entrance into Judaism and so important to my people, the bris.
Let's back story a little bit. I have questioned every part of religion since I can remember. I have even identified myself as Agnostic for a time. I believe in something but I cannot define what that is. It is my Mr. Rabbi who has always allowed me to ask questions. To explore who I am. Who WE are. And Always has welcomed and supported me in my darkest hours. It was almost 18 years ago that my brother was killed. This was a pivotal religious moment for me. I did not live near my own familiar community. My Mr. Rabbi called his friend in Houston, who turned around and hand wrote a letter (email was still pretty new in 2000) inviting me to do my Yahrzeit, memorials, at his synagogue. I attended. I remember standing up as that was how they acknowledged their mourners and feeling something I never realized that I had...a community. A community that accepted me because of where I come from and where my history lies. They NEVER asked me for money. They never expected anything of me except to allow me to honor my brother. It was at this moment that I decided if I had children they too would have this outlet. If I was with someone who was deeply rooted in another religion I would explore this. I decided a choice was to be made for my future children to allow them this opportunity of community. I saw many family members and friends who did not have an initial choice made for them by their parents run away from the idea of G-D. I mean who could bring such evil and hatred into the world. But at its core, I had religion. I had people, I had me.
Fast Forward almost 16 years later. I was pregnant. I am with a man who is not deeply rooted in his church, but has beliefs and faith. We decided, or maybe I decided, that these children would be Jews. Another good friend of mine said at some point it is was a choice of the parent who is willing to do the work. Religion is work. Finding a community is work. And I was committed to making this choice and path for my children. Sure we celebrate other holidays with their fathers side of the family, but they are Jewish. As am I.
I write this post after the disgust of the hatred that occurred over the weekend in Pittsburgh. I mourn for humanity. I mourn for the Jewish community. I am embracing my people though in such a little way as a blog post. We must stand together as people. Love our Jewish people and ALL people for who they are and the questions that they ask. I do not even know what to say. I dedicate this to my community. A community that will be part of my life forever. I miss you my brother, but I thank you for reminding me of my part of being a Jew.
So NICU Awareness and Preemie Awareness has left me with a sense that I really need to be looking out better for milestones of my little fellas. Yes they are developing VERY well. No I am not worried. BUT if there are free offerings to have a non - biased review of them then why not go for it? I have spoken with many of my friends and colleagues and a few mom shamers who have to tell me how it is, and it all comes down to what is the harm? At the end of the day it is free and worst case I will receive a report detailing some of the ways that I can help my little guys be successful with services or without.
Here is the thing. I have had parents of students call me as a high school driver ed or health teach telling me that their kids are preemies and they have struggled all of their lives and all that. If you know me I am not someone to give my people a pass. To allow them to have excuses. I know life is hard. I know that they were little and they were born too early, but as I have always said they have survived and thrived. I will NOT be a mom that calls their teachers telling them that they were preemies. They will also not have developmental delay on an IEP(Individualized Educational Plan), that goes away when they are 3 and there is something else going on after that, thank you very much graduate school!
So here is some extra background. We go to NICU follow up which has occupational Therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, neonatologists, and eyes and hearing checks. I receive a big report that I read through and depending on who does the paperwork has different numbers and scores that I would like to see on both boys. I ask our pediatrician if this is like an Early Intervention (EI) Evaluation and she assures me it is, but, just but. We hear over and over again that these specialists do not often see "Typically" developing preemies. They get all excited to have "normal" evaluations with my boys and my ped tells me that we coasted through NICU. I am aware of this. But what is wrong with a non - biased set of people to come and evaluate?
The answer is NOTHING! This is not like when we grew up and our parents were afraid to have us tested, labeled, diagnosed, etc. Things have changed and the stigma of an IEP does not exist in the same way that it used to. Of course kids still stigmatized because kids are mean, but it is not the same as when we struggled through school.
I have spoken with a lot of friends whose kids get services and may I add FREE preschool and they told me there is no harm no foul. Some of my friends that may not have qualified are still making the choice to hold their kiddos back another year so they can get their skill base up and be on par mentally and socially with their peers. My mothers biggest regret in life about my brother was NOT holding him back with his birthday being on Halloween. Back then if you were born before December 1 and sometimes after you could go through into kindergarten.
So what is best? Get them tested? Hold them back? Put them in preschool yesterday? Accept them for who they are and try to get them to appreciate and love learning and school and not be afraid of it or bored? Yeah I think that's the way to go! Support your kids no matter where they are. That's what you are there for.
Early Intervention Info CDC
Being a NICU mom is something that no one wishes for or should ever have to experience, but to us this is part of our story, our journey and I am beyond thankful for the people that were part of our lives. Yesterday I was able to attend a social for NICU graduates. We saw some of our favorite nurses and doctors, and got to be with other amazing NICU survivors. Tiny and Mighty precious nuggets that have fought hard since second one to live and be here.
Anyway, yesterday was a new awakening. As we looked around we saw just how lucky we were for the journey that we have had. Our 32 weekers could have had a much different story. A story that involves a lot more than what we have had to give. We did our nicu time and if we chose we could have left it in our rearview mirror and moved on. As i tend to do I wanted to learn from the experience and never forget where we came from. Is that right or wrong, I do not know, but I do know for the boys they should know. They need to be around the love that is our NICU family. Of course you have to know that I totally volunteered to be part of the parent crew that also has the same feelings as myself.
I do know of many that wanted nothing to do with the people who were there with them. They then want no one to remind them of the days after their children were born. In fact some will never acknowledge the presence of the NICU staff and other parents that were right there with them. And that is ok. That is just not the choice that we made. We wear our NICU flag with pride to show that we lived, learned, and survived and thrived. That all of the people became part of our family forever. That this is not what defines us, but what makes us stronger.
There is my ramble. What do you think? Should be live and learn and let it go? Should I keep enforcing to my kids that this is their story and they should embrace it. That our favorite nurses are and always will be part of our family? Have a wonderful day. Celebrate what was NICU Nurses Day and NICU Awareness Month.
Ok mamas and papas when do you think about self care and being a little bit Vain about yourself? Yeah yeah you probably think this song is about you, because you're so vain! But lets be real...very few of us take the time for ourselves every once in a while. Case in point I just went to my hairdresser Stella at Meraki Loft and cut off 8 inches of hair to be donated to Children with Hair loss because of how long I neglected cutting my hair! I think the last time I got a cut and style was the morning of our 1 year old pictures on January 2! Yup 8 inches and still have hair! It was amazing!
Going back to school right after a vacation where I barely look in the mirror calls for some ME time. And though I am not relaxed enough while trying to enjoy my treatments because I am trying to multitask and remember what else I have to do, I have to give credit where credit is due. The ladies (and sometimes gentleman) at Benefit Cosmetics on Damen (Chicago) rock my world they get me in, make me beautiful and allow me to feel pampered! There was a time as my maternity leave was ending and I was again going back to school where I could not make an appointment and they were packed. The guy at the front said maybe try in 20 minutes and I said ok I'll go pump in the car and I will be back in. They still did not have a spot, but another mama benefit beauty maven heard me and took me in because she got it. They get it! Also note that as they wheeled me into labor and delivery I told them that I was NOT staying because I had a brow appointment.
The thing is ladies there are things that have to get taken care of. I laser my hair with the amazing Ms. Patti at Enfuse Med Spa, and I have been with her through 2 locations and probably 10 years. These are people that I feel know and love me and value my time and energy. So take the time. Pamper yourself. I know this is like a public service message, but really it has to be said!
I may not be necessarily loyal to my nail salon (sorry) but I am pretty loyal to the ladies that have taken care of me. They are like family. They are my tribe. Hands up ladies and take care of yourself before you lose yourself!
Jenifer Roth is a full time super woman...in her mind! Well she is good at being ok at the all the roles she takes on. Enjoy the ride!