168 hours

iphone-106351_1280

168 hours.

It has been 168 hours since my phone died. I have no access to contacts, messages or pictures.

My phone decided to enter the vortex of restarting itself last Thursday and hasn’t really stopped. We’ve tried to recover the pictures. A friend of mine has tried to reboot it. We even put it in the fridge, as he thinks it is overheating, but no luck. It’s broken.

My pictures are gone. I think they are pictures from the last few months, but I can’t be too sure. I know it’s been a while since I last downloaded anything.

I’m mad at myself for that.

I will admit it was sort of nice not always having it with me. It was sort of freeing.

But I hated not being reachable.

I have lists and ideas on my phone. I’m always making myself notes and reminders. I hate not having those.

D asked me the other day if we had plans or appointments this week, and I couldn’t answer him. I don’t know. It was all on my phone! I told him if it wasn’t on the calendar in the kitchen, than it wasn’t happening.

I wanted to call my sister-in-law the other day, and I don’t actually know her phone number. She’s a favourite person on my phone, but I couldn’t reach her if I tried without it.

I missed some important emails and had to change the method of RSVPs for the Little Bird’s birthday party. It’s hard to live without this technology now. I feel that we’ve become accustomed to having it with us.

Even though I grew up without it, (and thank G*d for that), now it really does help me stay organized and on top of my schedules and the schedules of my kids.

So since the phone is officially dead, I am getting a new one. And now I have the fun task of reentering all the details of my life back into it.

I’m happy to have these 168 hours behind me, but I will take the lesson to download the hundreds of pictures this mama-razzi takes!

Wonderfully Made

This week seems to have a theme that I didn’t anticipate.

Love yourself.

Love others.

Reminding yourself that you are worth it, pretty, deserving and amazing is of the utmost importance. It’s something we have to do every day.

As women, we have to stop judging each other. We have to stop the inner dialogue of hate and poisonous words that break us.

Piece-by-piece.

I think this week’s theme is not a coincidence. It’s a message to myself; although it started out as a message to my girls.

I’m a mom who struggles with loving herself sometimes. A wife who really does believe that my husband loves me the way I am – the size I am. But I always have this little voice saying my life would be better if I lost a few pounds.

My heart knows that isn’t true.

It’s my head that doesn’t believe it sometimes.

I recently made the decision to go see a nutritionist again. I say again, because I saw her over four years ago, lost 30 pounds and then got pregnant with the Little Mouse.

I’m on the cusp of 41. I’m overweight. I need help to get healthy.

I’m not looking to get skinny. I’m looking to get healthy and whatever that means for my body.

I have two young girls who have started to notice different types of bodies. Two girls who I can tell are starting to think makeup makes you pretty and long hair is a definition of beauty. Two girls who are watching me all the time.

It’s time to make a change.

So here we go! One step at a time and one healthy choice at a time, I’m doing this. I’m showing them that making good choices will have a lasting impact.

I didn’t know that I would share this on my blog. I was afraid to.

What if I fail?

But as usual, as I write, sometimes my thoughts take me in a direction I didn’t expect to go. And so here we are. I’m not hitting backspace. I’m moving forward.

I’m finding a way to love myself the way D loves me. I’m finding a way to be healthy, set a positive example to my girls. I’m finding a way to look into my soul and appreciate my accomplishments, my contributions and my inner beauty.

One of my friends shared this video on Facebook and as I watched it, my eyes welled up with tears. Wonderfully Made is a poem from artist Khari Toure. I will admit I’ve never heard of him before, so I did a little digging. He is a spoken word artist and poet who is known for pieces about love and beauty. Specifically, the beauty of plus-sized women. It is something like I’ve never heard before. And I had to share it with you.

Whatever size you are; whatever reflection you see in the mirror; whatever the number on the scale I beg you to love yourself. Remind yourself to stop judging.

Everyone is made differently.

But we are all made from love.

Wonderfully Made.

Ideals of beauty

BwbD-i_CUAA5OFx

After yesterday’s post, my friend N sent this quote to me. 

How true would this be?

I would bet we would have fewer girls, and boys, with body issues. When Ashley Graham made the issue of Sports Illustrated, people probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. Our movies, magazines and music videos would look different.

More true to life.

Less unattainable.

There would be less pressure to look a certain way. Some companies might actually go out of business.

Perhaps people would be kinder to one another. Less judgmental.

Maybe bullying wouldn’t even be. If only the soul is seen, then looking a certain way doesn’t make a difference.

Everyone would be beautiful.

If only…

Unpretty: Music Monday

As the mother of two young girls, I am always finding ways of teaching them to love themselves for who they are and love others for who they are. Teach them to focus on kindness and manners and not focus on what they look like. And while, they are still only four and almost seven, I’m not delusional enough to think that they don’t already have ideas on what “pretty” is.

We create it ourselves, and I don’t even think we realize it until it’s too late.

“Wow! You look so nice today.”

“Your hair looks pretty like that.”

“I love your skirt.”

My husband and I make a big deal when they are dressed up, or wear something they don’t normally wear, and it’s not meant to send a message that they only look good in these instances; it’s just a couple of parents making their kids feel good. We also try not to only praise them on their looks, but on their efforts, kindness, behaviour and good choices.

But it’s the emphasis on looks that has me worried. And makes me wonder how many other times they are exposed to images that have an impact on their thoughts around beauty. I’ve written about how we’ve seemed to make the transition from Treehouse to The Family Channel in our house, and I would be crazy to think that the female characters on these shows haven’t made an impression on my kids.

They know which girls are the “popular” ones – the lead characters – and which ones are meant for comic relief.

The Little Mouse has made a comment a couple times regarding Raini Rodriguez’s character on Austin & Ally to the fact that she “has a big tummy.” I try not to read too much into this, as the Little Mouse is four and thinks she is stating a fact about this character, but I still jump all over it and try to teach her that it doesn’t matter what the character looks like because she is always helpful to her friends, is funny, kind and smart.

The Little Bird agrees and loves the character, but I wonder if she too thinks Rodriguez’s isn’t as important as the main female character, whose name graces the title of the show.

I always have my ear to the ground when this show is on, or any show on The Family Channel for that matter. All the main female characters of these shows look alike, act in the same manner and are, well, pretty. I limit the amount of time they watch these shows, and actually prefer that they watch a cartoon on Disney Jr. or even Teletoon. The sexualization of the female character is emphasized far less in Teen Titans and Gravity Falls than Jessie, KC Undercover or even Liv & Maddie.

I’m not going to stop letting them watch it, but I will discuss it with them, especially when I see behaviour that I don’t like. My kids have a pretty high moral compass and are usually pointing out to us something they think isn’t quite right,

They are being mean, mommy.

You should help your friends, right daddy?

You have to be kind to your family.

I guess this is par for the course with girls, and I’m ready.

{gulp}

I think!

Pray for me, just in case.

I will also arm myself with positive influences, images, words and music.

One of those songs I think I’m going to start playing a little more is TLC’s Unpretty. The message of looking inside of who you are, finding out who you are and loving yourself is just what I need on repeat.

I also need to continue to emphasis the importance of inner beauty, kindness, empathy, truth, and sincerity. I will try to throw more positive images than negative. I will empower them to make the right choices, stick up for their friends and each other and know the difference between reality and fantasy. And I will pray that it all sticks so they can look into the mirror, into their own eyes, and believe that they will always be beautiful.

How about you? Do you have a positive, self-assuring anthem you like? I’d love to know what it is. The more I can have in my back pocket, the better.

Happy Monday everyone! Enjoy your day.

Soap Opera Sisters

IMG_20140823_182436

Do you ever have a moment when you look at your kids and realize that they are bigger? Really look at them and see that they are turning into little people, that they shed the baby away and there’s no turning back?

Yeah, so that happened to me the other day.

Don’t get me wrong, I have realized for some time now that my babies are no longer, well babies. They have been able to clearly articulate their opinions, thoughts and views on everything from the food I cook to the movies we are going to watch for a long time now. I proudly hear them give me examples about rules of the road, how somebody looks and what matters in life all the time.

They are regular philosophers.

But let me tell you when you look at them and it sort of slaps you on the face that they are growing up, it just about brings tears to my eyes. I notice it more when I hear them play together.

My girls love to play together now. (I say now, because up until Christmas, the Little Mouse was “still a baby” and couldn’t seem to understand sharing and role playing). And then she seemed to get it and they play together all the time.

And 83% of the time, it goes off without a hitch.

They play friends at school, they play house and they play soap opera – that’s what I call it, when they are making up a situation that they have to save each other from. Just another day in Port Charles or Genoa City.

Just the other day I could hear them playing with their dolls, and they talk to each other in this adult-like tone and solve problems together, make decisions together and save each other from near disasters. Then they’ll stuff all the dolls they can into Barbie’s Corvette and Barbie’s Fiat, respectively, and drive it around like Marty McFly flew into 1955.

Every once in a while the Little Mouse would lose it because she couldn’t change the outfit of a Monster High doll, but I listened to the Little Bird help her little sister. Or I heard the Little Bird start to complain that the shoes were not going on, and the Little Mouse offered to bring them to me for help.

And it continues from soap opera plays to live concert performances, complete with two Elsa costumes, two Elsa crowns and two pairs of Elsa gloves. The Little Bird offered to get their necklaces and the Little Mouse will share her rings. They take turns putting on a show and singing at the top of their lungs. When that’s perfected, mommy gets to watch it.

I love that they will take turns singing and pass the microphone back and forth. Fits of giggles and hugs and even some The Next Step worthy dance moves are incorporated.

It’s amazing.

Moments later they are taking off the costumes to run back and hang mini Lalaloopsy dolls from my kitchen cabinets and carefully fill sticker books together.

I know my girls are growing up, and I hope they grow this bond they seem to be developing. I hope it turns into a true friendship and the 83% continues to build to 100%, minus potential arguments about clothes, shoes and the car. They are two individuals and need to find their place in the world. And I’m realizing this is happening a lot faster than I thought it would, but I find comfort in knowing they will find it together.

Yes my Little Bird and my Little Mouse are growing up. It is a thought that is equally the most frightening and most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

They are the Young and the Restless and D and I have to just accept that these are the Days of our Lives.

And at 4 and almost 7 years old, something tells me I’m only just beginning.

Halfway Love: Music Monday

I had to share this new music that I’ve been loving lately. It’s got a good beat and perfect to play in my headphones at work. The artist is ELHAE and the track is called Halfway Love.

ELHAE (pronounced LA), is an acronym for “Every Life Has an Ending” is an artist from Atlanta, whose real name is Jamaal Jones. I will admit, I keep only listening to the same few songs from his newly released album Aura, but there is something about his voice that hooks me.

From what I’ve read up about him, and there seems to be many comparisons to Drake or The Weekend, from his voice, to the fact that he sings, raps and comes up with his own beats for his music. I just think he’s got something different. I will be the first to admit I’m not on the Drake or The Weekend train, but I can see what people are saying. Aside from the similarities in his tone to these two other artists, it’s really the beats and feeling of the music that hooks me.

The music is pretty chill and as I make my way through the whole album, I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite tracks.

Happy Monday!

Do you like to discover new music? If so, feel free to share it with me.