Friday, February 28, 2014

Draw the Line

This song says so much about me, my friends, and why we feel the things we do and the way we do them are important. It's great work from an unsung master of Punk Rock, and I figured it was high time it had a video.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#Mamavation Monday: Wheat is now my enemy

So the saga of wheat in New Orleans ends with me being super sick and swearing wheat off for life, like forever.

After my last Mamavation post, I went to the doctor and got some bad health news.  My blood sugar was 120 after a 12-hours fast.  That is so not good, like a few more points and I would have been pre- diabetic.  My blood pressure was up.  My weight was up 5 lbs!  In general my usually healthy wheat-free self was trying to cleanse itself and as a result I was going through the wringer.

One comment I did not expect to hear was that I was gluten intolerant.  Now before you jump, I went wheat-free for my daughter. I was nursing and when I ate wheat she broke out.  I never when wheat-free for myself or even for DH who also has a wheat allergy.  Why was this shocking?  Well I think in the back of my mind I was thought of being wheat free as an optional piece of my life.  I could go back to eating like a "normal" person at some point.  This experience has taught me that is not the case.  I need to not only be wheat free but gluten free; I wasn't expecting that.  How did we go from a household with two wheat allergy sufferers to where everyone has some wheat issue?

I am finally feeling better.  I had some tests run today and I'm waiting for results.  I suspect my blood sugar is back to normal.  My blood pressure is back to normal.  I've lost all 5lbs.  My thirst is back to normal and my energy level is returning.  Lesson learned, stay away from wheat!

Friday, February 21, 2014


This is actually an assignment that I had to turn in last semester.  I sparked a lot of discussion for our group and really made me think about where I draw my own lines.  Just wanted to share.

My personal non-negotiables are flexible.  I think being inflexible leads to a person’s inability to forgive themselves for falling short.  We all fall short and as such we need to be able to forgive ourselves for times we don’t stand up, we stay silent, and in general violate our personal non-negotiables.  I honestly believe that a person’s inability to forgive themselves leads to refusing to allow others into our lives because we fear being seen as a fraud to ourselves and then in turn to them. 

  1. I will treat others in a matter that makes them feel seen, heard and valuable.  When I fall short I will examine why I failed and how I can do better next time.
  2.  I will treat myself as I feel that I should treat others.  I cannot treat others better than I treat myself.  If I don’t begin with being my best to myself then others will see my efforts as disingenuous and/or as a means to take advantage of me.
  3.    I will be grateful for the life I have even when it seems to be going in a direction I do not like.  Being grateful will require me to stop and exam my attitude towards in the world in general and this will allow me to refocus myself on bring positive change into the world.
  4.    I will listen without judgment realizing that I can only see through my own life experiences and that I cannot judge what others due since time, circumstance and life experience are different for everyone.
  5.   I will practice forgiveness of myself and others.  Anger and grudges only serve to hurt me and if I keep hurt within me then I cannot keep the first four non-negotiables. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

#Mamavation Monday: Detox from Wheat

I totally missed my post last week due to being in New Orleans for the SERA conference.  It was a requirement for my doctorate.  While there I eat several things not on my gluten free diet and I'm paying for it!

I started with a mini meat pie on the way and only got worse from there including two trips to Cafe Du Monde for beignets.  I was stupid and I didn't think it would hurt me too much since I went wheat free for Ravebaby and not personal health reasons.  I was so wrong.

After four years wheat free, I started paying for the bites almost instantly.  So much gas and a headache.  Since arriving at home I feel like I've been fighting the flu.  Body aches and fatigue and a thirst I can't seem to drink enough water to quench.  I was already scheduled for my annual checkup for tomorrow and I think DH would have demanded a doctor visit anyway since I'm totally not myself at this point.

I don't remember struggling like this for years ago.  I think it is because before I had a baseline of normal that might included all of this achynessand fatigue but I don't remember.  My new normal was painfree and usually with plenty of energy so maybe that is why this seems so bad.  I don't like it.  No way I'm going back to wheat.  Anyone else ever try to go back to wheat only to discover it hurts?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Song Response: The Way It Was by The Killers

I'm starting a new blogging thing were I write up my response to a song that made me stop and think.

If you didn't know I love The Killers and my Spotify is chalk full of them.  When I first heard The Way It Was, I thought it was a sweet ode to a love lost due to growing up and growing apart.  How many times have I wished that DH and I could just go back to the way things were when life and love was easy, i. e. before marriage and growing up got in the way.  In the time since I first heard the song several of my friends marriages have split or hit on a rough patch.  Marriage is hard and we all struggle at some point or another but anyways I stopped and really thought about what was being said and I got angry and here is why.

1. This is someone being a totally immature asshole!  Just go back to the way it was.  You only want to stay with me if I promise to go back to the way it was.  Dude you go back and then you end up right here again!  You are not trying to solve the problem just hide it.  In the words of Thomas Wolfe, "You can't go home again!"

2. The love you remember wasn't real.  We all look back and see just the good sides of thing especially when we are hurting.  If only this had not happened or if only we could just forget and go back to the beginning.  The song speaks about "did you forget all about those golden nights?" and really don't we all remember the golden nights of courting and falling in love but if you want to survive and have a lasting relationship you have to move past just falling in love.  Staying in love is work.  It is not easy!  Stop whining and start working!

3. Is it really over or are you just tried of working at it?  I think this is the one aspect that bothers me most of all.  Brandon Flowers sings, "Back then this thing was running on momentum, love and trust, That paradise is buried in the dust."  So you don't love me anymore?  You don't trust me anymore?  You think we are standing still?  I love that it is all my fault!  I'm growing up and moving forward and you want to reverse all of that work so you can feel good about the fact you refuse to grow up!  Maybe we have an issue with trust but if you don't want to work on it then there is nothing to go back to 'cause it all leads back here.

Don't get me wrong people.  I love this song but it is because Brandon Flowers' voice is amazing.  I was listening to the song on the way in to work today and I started crying because it makes it all seem so easy.  Just go back.  Just rewind and we'll be okay.  That is simply just not the way it works.  If you go back without working on it then you end up right were you are again. 

Not too long ago I told DH, after listening to this song, I love him and when I see him I see the 16-year-old boy I fell in love with but I don't want to be married to that kid.  I love the man I'm married too.  The one that has allowed me to grow and turn into this better person. It is easy to think that if we could just go back then the work would go away but why travel the same road twice?  Don't wish away the person you have now for the one in your memory.  I assure you that person never existed in that way.  Work or don't work but don't think going back is the easy solution. 

The Way It Way - cira 1998

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bitter pill of never enough

One of my defining characteristics is that I'm a very driven person.  If I put my mind to it I will do it.  This is a good and bad thing.  I am lucky to be able to focus not on things but usually on improving myself.  I know some people are driven to get stuff but stuff is not a big factor for me.  I usually put my energy into education, career, marriage, friends, or my child.  I don't let things or people stand in the way of something I want.

So why the drive?  Why do I have to work so hard?  The answer is pretty easy.  I think most people who are driven come from a place of fear.  Fear of not having enough money, enough food, enough love.  Not a need for more just a fear of not enough.  At least that is my drive.  I don't want more money.  I am happy being poor but I am afraid of not being able to choose this as my life.  I hate the idea of living by default.  Maybe the root fear is actually control.  I hate to be out of control too.  I know control is a total figment of my imagination.  I know I control nothing.  I think I am sitting safely at my desk but the roof could cave in and kill so so much for control, right.

The idea of enough has been really present in my mind since reading Daring Greatly from Brene Brown.  I can so easily see in my life were I feel like I am not enough and that is from childhood.  I have never felt enough for anything.  I'm not Mexican enough, or American enough.  I'm not skinny enough for the normal girl clothes section or fat enough for the big girls section.  I'm smart but not I'm always just behind in getting a concept down or being able to express my thoughts fully.  I just told Dh the other day, I'm pretty but not pretty enough to make anyone want to risk actually hitting on me.  At the same time I'm not ugly enough for anyone to really notice me either.  I feel like I live in the gray space of invisibility.

I think most of that is a comfort thing.  I don't want to really be noticed because then I would have a responsibility. I want to be able to operate at my own place and in my own space.  I want to set a goal and achieve it; earn a masters, run a 10k, get some research published.  I think I lost my point but anyways, I am driven.  Driven by fear mostly but it works for me so onward I march.  Maybe someday I'll feel like I'm enough at something, hell maybe the best at something till then I gotta work.

going on a trip w/o Ravebaby and DH

So I'm going to a research conference on Sunday and I'm going to be gone for 4 days and 3 nights.  I'm going without Ravebaby and DH.  This will be the first time I'm going to be gone from Rave for more than 24 hrs.  Honestly I haven't been away from DH for this long since 2007!  I'm freaking out.

Thank God for Facebook and crunchy mamas as friends.  It's good to be able to reach out and not feel like a freak for never having really left my child.  I know many moms leave their kids overnight from the get go and if it works for them then more power to them.  I'm not that mom.  I did not have child to just keep living like I don't have one and I've been fortunate enough that I've been able to make life choices that allow me to max my time time with Rave and still allow me to not lose myself.  So I'm not hating on anyone.  I don't feel guilty about the way I live my life and you shouldn't either.

Anyways, I'm freaking out.  I'll report back how it goes.  I'm sure it will be fine.  Rave is in the best hands possible.  Anyone else other there wait til your child was older to be gone for the first time?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Soul-warming Wednesday - The Shiz

In cased you missed it the Hidden Village Music Festival is coming in March and as result I'm going to be posting about the different acts coming to Standpipe Coffeehouse in Lufkin!

Today I'm focusing on the incredible work of The Shiz.  They are awesome!  This won't be The Shiz's first time in Lufkin.  I'm lucky that I've been able to watch them twice so far and I can't wait for their return in March.  How these ladies are not as big as the Indigo Girls I honestly don't know.  I call this post soul-warming because that is the only way for me to describe their music.  It warms my soul.  Their song Happy Enough is like a little window into my soul.  The Shiz is about the music and lyrics.  They are about looking in the soul and giving it a way to express itself.  If you are looking for heavy production or fluff then you will need to look elsewhere.  The Shiz is the shiz for real!  See them March 8th live @ Standpipe Coffeehouse!

This is the link to follow The Shiz on spotify.  Go listen to them.  Happy Enough is just, well I have no words but they do so go listen!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mamavation Monday: Cleaning up

So I think I need to just call this Mamavation One-day late post since I am never on my computer on Mondays to write but anyways, here it is one day late.

The topic this week is non-toxic cleaners.  I honestly never thought too much about what I used to clean until I had Ravebaby.  DH has very sensitive skin but I want things to look and smell clean so I would just buy stuff anyway.  Now that I'm making the move to making my own cleaners, I've noticed that DH's skin and allergies are better so I guess I owe DH a huge apology.  I just never made the connection between cleaners and our health.  Yep I'm that girl.

So with a husband, daughter, and myself all having sensitive skin, I have slowly been making my way to buying less cleaning stuff and turning to the internet for recipes to make my own stuff.  The only issue I've had with finding recipes is the call for orange.  DH is pretty allergic to oranges and I'm afraid to use any citric in the things I make since I don't want it to be exposure that puts on permanent Epi-pen alert.

The stuff I use the most to clean is borax powder.  I use it for my bathroom.  My mom who has cleaned houses and used just about everything on the market has also switched to borax powder.  She says nothing else cleans as well, lasts as long, and most importantly she doesn't break out after using it.  We also use borax in the kitchen to clean the stove and counter-tops.  It is also one of the main ingredients in my homemade laundry soap.  Here is the link for the soap.

So that is what we do, borax powder.  How about you?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2014 Hidden Village Music Festival the countdown . . .

The Hidden Village Music Festival is set to return to Standpipe Coffeehouse on March 8th!  I've got the Spotify music list going on the sidebar of Wheatless Mama or down in this post.  The line up is fantastic this year, just like it is every year!

Be there people!