Archive | June 30, 2008

STRESSED! as a Work At Home Mother By Kelli Shand

by Kelli Shand

Our Milk

Since becoming…. a new business owner, a mother to 2 young boys and 
pregnant again, finding a way to de-stress has become top priority. 
The old ways of de-stressing no longer apply. Pregnancy no longer 
allows me to have a nice glass of wine, or a cold margarita at the end 
of a hectic day, no long hot baths, or relaxing in the steam room. 
Yes, going for a massage is good- but I can’t afford weekly sessions. 
So, I have been on a search for the perfect fix, and what do you know, 
I’ve found it!

I was a bit apprehensive at first. I was by far the youngest and even 
with my big belly, the thinnest. When I entered the pool, all 15 
ladies stopped and stared. I new I had entered into a close knit 
group, and did not feel entirely welcome. The first few classes, no 
one talked to me, they carried on with their mermaids and flutter 
kicks with no regard to my presence. But by the second week, when they 
knew I was committed, I finally gained acceptance and my de-stressing 
had begun. I had found the perfect fix. Water Aerobics! There is 
something about exercise combined with water that lifts the spirit 
while toning the body. It was relaxation and vigor all at the same time.

Four days a week, I take an hour break from work and head to class. 
Afterward, I feel invigorated and ready to take on anything that comes 
my way. I highly recommend water aerobics to all of you busy mothers. 
I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with it, even when I am able to enjoy that 
glass of wine.

Motherhood Fur-ever

As all of my blogs mention, I have been the proud mother of the coolest person in the world for approximately seven months now.  I’ve also mentioned my fur kids in passing.  Now, however, it is time for the spotlight to turn.

I have three fur kids-aka dogs in layman terms-and I am their mother.  I’ve been a fur mom for approximately five years now, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.  These babies have been my life and focus for years before my ever-so-fabulous daughter came along, and I am always amazed at the reactions I receive when I display my emotion for my dogs.

The interesting flip of the coin is that nearly everyone seems to understand how important my non-furry daughter is.  The general public expects the gushing, the immense kissing and hugging, and the overall pride I take in my two-legged daughter.  When I mention the other three, however, shock seems to settle in.  I have apparently failed my position as a mother to a human by not instantly relegating my dogs to “pet” status, soon to be downgraded to “animal” status.  Umm . . . what?

My dogs were my children long before my daughter, and although this in no way takes away from the love and joy I feel for my baby girl, this does not mean my dogs have been or will be subjugated.   I have yet to find many people who truly understand my feelings on this subject although I frequently achieve reluctant acceptance in my audience.  Until, of course, my schedule comes up in conversation.  Example:

 Audience: How nice that you can work while your daughter is napping.

Me: Well, yes, but it’s rare that all of my kids are napping at the same time.

Audience: What do you mean?!?!?

Me: The dogs need attention too.

Audience: Don’t be ridiculous.  Throw them a bone; they’ll be fine.

Me: Can I do that for my daughter too?

And so the story goes.  I admit that my dogs no longer receive the same level of love and attention as before my baby was born, but fur kids are kids, and this is their forever home.  By choice and by default, that makes me their mom, fur-ever and ever.

*I understand that not everyone feels as I do.  However, just as every parent must make their own choices in education, religion, and displinee for their child, so must every parent make their own choices regarding their furry friends.  This is my choice.

My Summer Hibernation – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

I know, I know, I’m talking about the heat again, but it is killing me this year!

Temperatures regularly reach ridiculous levels like today – 114 degrees. And that’s just what it said on my hometown paper’s website. We all know the actuality is always more severe in real life, although I wouldn’t know today, I didn’t leave the AC!

It’s a strange paradox, my life – I grew up in Alaska, craving the warmth, heck, just craving the sunlight. But now, in Arizona, I shun it, hide from it, burrow deep inside my home with the blinds closed to keep any excess heat out, like a vampire. When people in other parts of the country are out enjoying barbecues and cute little outdoor treks with their family, I truly do hibernate in the summer.

So here I am, at the height of the heat doing nothing but gaining weight because ice cream is the only thing that sounds appetizing. I am not that old, and am in decent shape, but every time I step foot outside, my body starts throbbing and my toes swell up like little sausages tucked in for nice nap beneath my sandals. I swear I gained three pounds of water weight this week just trying to stay hydrated!


But enough complaining! I had to go out last night for a couple hours and shoot an air guitar competition and I actually came up with a couple things I kind of like about our summers here while I was getting ready.

1. Forget makeup. What’s the point – your face is shiny 10 seconds out the door, as is everyone else’s, so I just quit everything except mascara and lip gloss. It saves so much time getting ready!

2. Same goes for the hair. Who needs more heat blowing in their face when you’re hair is dry 5 minutes after you walk out of the house -and then wet again from sweat in another 5. It’s futile to fight it. Air dry and ponytails – loves it!!

3. Summer clothes. Trying to wear anything with sleeves will immediately show pits, and shorts that are the slightest bit restraining and you end up with swass (sweaty a**). I live in dresses, tanks and skirts, and have recently discovered that a lot of my really long skirts, make really great dresses – just hike them up over the girls – too easy!

4. The food – light and cold. While ideally I should be losing weight from all the salads, the ice cream keeps catching up with me. But dairy’s still nutritious, right?

5. Hanging out with my kids. No school, no obligations, and no expectations because everyone else is hiding out too, or has escaped to cooler climates. We are really having fun painting, playing Barbies, reading and eating ice cream – oh wait, the ice cream again.

Now if only I can effectively explain to my daughter why her brother doesn’t have to wear a shirt, but she does.