Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

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So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

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Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

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Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Life Lessons from a Former Stay at Home Mom

Listen having a child is a Christmas miracle. It is not to be taken for granted. Every time I hear of a Mom who lost their life-giving birth it hurts my heart. Women and their bodies go through the most to bring forth children that you hope will be productive citizens.

As a former stay at home mom I got lost many days. Between food on my clothes and wipes in my hand I had no idea what days were what at times. I learned so much about myself that I thought I had mastered until I was home with tiny humans who needed me for everything and I STILL apply the lessons to this day.  Even if you don’t have kids these are all lessons we can gleam from:

1. Time outs are not just for kids

Yes it’s okay to take a mental time out. I found I got mine when the kids went down for a nap. Now that I am back to working full-time I find that I have to push to get a time out but they are super necessary. You need to sometimes unplug and catch your breath. Life throws curb balls and in order to be ready I need a clear mind. Take a break and catch your sanity.

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2. Keep yourself fabulous

This is hard in this age at times as body issues and time can sometimes not be on our side but the years I spent complaining about what I looked like I could have done better by getting my entire life together. Listen in my stay at home days I couldn’t afford nail and salon appointments so I had to get creative. There are alternatives but keeping yourself “up” isn’t about a spouse or the world. It’s about you. It’s also for the little people who are watching you and taking in what you say and more of what you do. Hard times don’t have to show up in our appearance. My mother and I lived in a shelter and everyday she spoke over us to not look like where we lived. Has anyone not known we didn’t even look displaced. That takes strength even with your strength is depleted. Thank you Mom for that lifetime jewel.

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3. Exercise your NO muscles

Do you know how many times you have to tell a child no? Too many to keep track. Why do you get as an adult and feel like you on a yes choir?! No is powerful and one of the first words we learn as a child but is sometimes the hardest to exercise.  Your no is valuable but you have to use it. NO you can’t get up and do for another able-bodied adult. NO you can’t be used today. NO you can’t be a punching bag physically or mentally. NO! Use it! It will save you time, stress, and heartache.

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4. Have a plan and work a back up plan

All moms know what I mean when you have a toddler with a soiled outfit but no extra outfit. In life you will need the same plan. Things fall but you don’t have to fall with it. Failure isn’t failure until you give up or in whichever you allow first. Get up and work!

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life is life.  Its designed to change at a moment’s notice.  Do not waste your energy or time on things that you can’t change.  Unless you are a breastfeeding mom, don’t cry over spilled milk.  If you take the hurt and pain to channel that into positivity your day will be that much better.

There are times when life will be super rough. Like 3.36 in your account, Ramen noodle eating, marriage on the brink, need a vibrator, and deadlines at work type of tough.  It will seem to be closing in at any given moment. However it’s not what’s happening to you that is the issue it’s what you allow in your response that matters. Get up, get dressed, care about life, work your plan, back it up and if your back is against the world well stand and make something happen.

The Scare Of My Life, Brought Me Life

So I’m finally home after having one of the best times of my life yesterday. I’m catching up and reading my Essence magazine (the August edition with Idris Elba) and reading the stories of women who suffered strokes and all I can say is but God.

It’s making me super grateful. I remember having the migraine of my life while pregnant with my youngest child. I also remember the flood of emotions after being told I had a blood clot in my brain. I’m super grateful for that migraine because it’s the one thing that alerted doctors that something wasn’t right. I’m grateful that I was spared from having a stroke. Had I not had that migraine I can’t imagine what my family and I would have had to endure. I am super happy that although the road from the blood clot wasn’t an easy one how much worst it could be.  The doctors are amazed at how I didn’t stroke out and let me say I am grateful.

It’s the one thing that I think of when I don’t want to work out and eat the right things. My health is my wealth. I can’t do for myself or my family if I’m not at my best. To be at my best I have to invest in my overall health from the inside out.

I indulge but for the most part I am super cautious of what I eat or drink. I do not want to do anything that may cause large issues later. Ladies and gentlemen, please take your health seriously. I never really paid any attention to it until that day and even after that I slipped until I was weighed almost 3 years later weighing 190 pounds. I got on that scale at work of all places and secretly cried in the bathroom. I thought what type of sorcery was I on to eat myself to this point? I blamed breastfeeding. Yes when you first start out and are pumping I lost all of my baby weight in the first two weeks. Even my husband was shocked. Slowly but surely I needed more calorie intake but I took that to be more of the unhealthy choices and soon after I stopped nursing I had this 190 pounds of foolishness to carry. 

That is why after that reality check I couldn’t see the weight like that anymore. Not being able to wear the clothes I wanted was a push too. No one feels good wearing clothes you have to wear. However I took the responsibility that it was on me to fix.  Even if I didn’t have a goal of what my weight was to be, I couldn’t wear any more plus size clothes. I’m not knocking a plus size woman but my issue was from pure laziness and it wasn’t my size. It was the size that I accepted by not putting effort in my life.  There was other areas in my life where I didn’t put effort either. So in December before the New Year hit I set out to change what I looked like and how I felt. Even with the recovery of my hysterectomy I have maintained my weight without working out. I will step back into my work outs this week and I’m super excited. 

My overall effort in my inside is showing on my outside. I feel a new glow up in my life. It’s not just the clothes I can finally wear but it’s the fact that every single day I wake up and do the things that make me happy and whole.  Please don’t let a medial scare take you out of here or bring you to death’s door.  You can make the change today! 

Surgery update 

So today is Tuesday June 20, 2017 and it’s 4 days post hysterectomy surgery. How I am doing is mixed with a lot of emotions.

For one, I have gotten an infection from the surgery. Ugh. Like my mom would say anything that can happen would happen to me. It’s true. I had high fevers the day after the surgery. Now my surgery was done laparoscopic so I have several smaller cuts going across the upper part of my belly instead of one large cut on my belly. This is to be less invasive and because I have had 3 c-sections, gall bladder and an appendix removed. With all of these surgeries the goal was to go in without having to open me all the way up.

So first day post same day surgery I was a total mess. I went in super positive and laughing with every person who had contact with me.  By the time it was over, I felt like the step sister and I wasn’t as cheerful. I even forgot where I was and why I was there but I’m going to blame that on the power of anesthesia. Once my husband and I reunited I had to sit a lot longer to allow the effects of the anesthesia to get out of my system. Finally it’s time to go. I’m mad at this point because the pain has set in and I realize that I will have to walk.

I slept the whole ride home and into bed I went. Thankful for my husband who did everything to keep me comfortable. Day 2 was hard. I had to get out and after a full night of sleep off and on I was in pain and sore. But I managed.  Between my kids who were kept feet away from me and Snapchat I got through it.  I kept having high fevers since day 2 and by day 3 was put on antibiotics. 

Now to day 4 things are going a little smoother except for the fevers and on my left side is super red and sore which is letting me know the infection isn’t clearing up. I am allergic to penicillin so my choices are limited. I will be seeing the doctors in the morning and I want to avoid hospitalization but at this point if iv meds will work sign me up. 

Here are the things that have happened that some I was prepared and some I wasn’t:

1. Pain. I feel like it’s almost like my c-section minus the left side that is red that hurts the worst. I have switched from narcotics to extra strength Tylenol. Personally I like to wean myself down.  I hate the way they make me feel. As of today I did break down and take the stronger med just because the pain was intense. 

2. Bathroom-healing also means you have to move. Not moving will cause stiffness and more pain. As much as I want to install one of those wheelchairs to get me around the house I know I have to move. So although my bathroom is near my room I now have a hate/love relationship. Oh and not to be too TMI, going to the bathroom is like c-sections where it’s painful because of using your abdominal muscles. 

3. Hot flashes-they are not a myth. I had a full hysterectomy so with that my body was slammed into menopause. I have woken up in hot sweats almost nightly. Thankfully I have had my mini misting fan. It has been my saving grace. I have about 5 flashes a day during the day.  It’s an awful feeling. 

4.Mood Swings-I haven’t noticed any. I’ve been in too much pain to tap into my emotions to be honest. I’m hoping that stays the same. My doctor wants to put me on hormone replacement and I’m looking into holistic methods too.  Either way it would be nice to stay leveled out. 

5. Eating has been moderate. I’m still aware of my Weight Watchers plan. I did have Taco Bell but could barely get through all of it and I didn’t. I enjoyed it and left it at that. For me being so fresh into the plan has made my bad eating habits almost non existent. So I’m grateful for that.

6. Sleep, that’s all I do. I haven’t really gotten into my survival kit too much. The second I say that I am I just end up falling asleep. I got my new Essence magazine and all I have seen of it was the front cover. I’ll get there. I still have some time to heal.  
Overall the pain and fevers is the one thing I was aware could happen but now that I’m in it, I can’t wait for that to be in my past. Once I manage that I can get to the things that make me happy during this new change. I had a bad nightmare the first night home of a lot of guilty feelings I was feeling about no longer being able to have kids. Then I thought even in the dream about how my tubes were already tied and I woke up. I don’t know why that became an issue but talking to other women this is a part of the process!! 

Continue to say prayers and eventually I’ll get better. It hasn’t been a full week so I’m making great progress so far.

Weekly Recap: June 2, 2017

Happy national donut day!! I had one and I mean only one donut and couldn’t really eat much of anything else.  I forced myself to have a healthy lunch because that donut was definitely a lot of empty carbs.  Well I hope you all had a good week.  We are coming off a 4 day weekend some of us anyway from Memorial Day.  I hope you had a great holiday weekend.  We celebrated my daughter’s birthday and had a really good weekend.  No complaints.  So as far as this short week it has definitely been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  So let’s get into it.

Personal Highs/Personal Lows

This week I am going to put these two categories together.  There is a lot going on and I told you lovelies I would update you.  One we had a great time celebrating my now 8-year-old.  Time is flying when you’re having fun right?  We are also gearing up for my son’s preschool graduation. I know some people make a big deal that these types of graduations are pointless but it just gives the little people something to look forward to. I personally feel like celebrations are what makes life great.  Those who know me know I will make his day special.  That’s what I do.  I feel like life is about making memories that they can look back on.  It’s better than buying a bunch of material things.

Also this week I have been vigilant with my doctors to get me an answer.  I have been suffering with migraines for quite some time.  I am also anemic.  However with the new diet my doctor made sure I had all of the supplements that one would need and I increased all of the iron enriched foods so you would think I was good right?  Wrong.  I am not.  My doctors and I have decided that it was time to get a hysterectomy.  I know for some they get it done when they have fibroids.  I do not have them.  I am losing too much blood.  My blood volumes and levels are one step to more transfusions.  For some they would say, why not start a pill that would decrease your period. However the thing is that I have already done that.  I have been on pills off and on.  I got my tubes tied when I had my 3rd and last child.  I know some would say why put this out there?  One its MY BODY and my page.  Secondly being a woman going through women issues is not a place of shame and I refuse to hide like I did something wrong.  That is pure craziness.  Why would I keep it hush-hush when there are millions of women like me going through the same thing.

I am no wonder. I won’t be the first or the last.  Ladies my decision was about what was best for me.  I have to do what I need to do for ME.  Was my husband there? Absolutely.  I know my decision will have an affect temporarily on my home but I had to do what was best for me.  No need to lose this weight, do all of this work and still be underlying unhealthy.  That is sheer madness.  I know what I need to do and I know what can happen if I don’t.  I love me and I need to be here as well as I have little people who need to have a healthy mom.  So with that in mind in the next week that is what I will be doing.  Have I researched all of the options?  Absolutely. This has been an ongoing back and forth thing.  I am prepared for the steps after.  I do NOT claim to know it all. However I am fully aware that the steps towards self-love will help me through the down side of this procedure.  So with MY family’s support we will be fine.  I have learned to tune out some of the naysayers.  They will say don’t let them take nothing out. Meanwhile I can’t count on them to watch my kids when I am somewhere bleeding out.  I can’t slide them a bill when I am off of work and missing time off.  I can’t count on them to pick up a phone call to say how is it going.  You see that was a free nugget right?  I refuse to give folks who show you they are more concerned with their bottom line than mine make my health decisions.  Got to keep pushing towards what will work for me and the ones that have to live through all of this.

So with that in mind you may see an increase in blogs.  I will have more down time. Whenever I have downtime, I write and I read so be on the look out. I plan to blog the hell out of this situation.  Not to get sympathy. I am one strong cookie.  But to raise awareness.  My heart goes out to the women who are medically forced to make this decision and desire to have children and can’t.  I have 3 kids and already put in place the parimeters not to have more already.  There is no child birth loss for me.  So for the ladies with this loss, it is a loss.  I researched this and I find comfort in reading other blogs of women who have gone through this.  And with life we are all connected.  Keep me in prayer and stay logged on twitter (toitiemblog) and facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/) as I will update.

News

  1. Kathy Griffin out here with a replica of Donald Trump being beheaded and it has set off this major storm on insensitivity.  I think for me and this is where MY opinion comes off.  It was a bit much.  However if the same ones were upset when the nooses was being shown with imagery of Obama was shown and not because he is Black alone but on the principle of right and wrong than okay.  If not than you just being extra.  What people don’t get is that your argument is more valid when it’s based on principle.  Meaning you would extend the same sympathy to another like you want it done for your favorite than you have merit.
  2. Ireland will have its first openly gay prime minister after Leo Varadkar was elected into the office.
  3. Withdraw of Paris climate agreement.
  4. Continuation of the Russian influence of the election.  Continue to stand by for breaking news of this ongoing legal battle.

So I pray you all enjoy your weekend.  There are some good movies. I saw Wonder Woman and as I thought without giving things away, I walked away feeling great about being a woman.  I may see it again if you’re looking for a quick should you go or not-there you go.  I am taking the kids to see Captain Underpants tonight.  Summer movies are really heating up.  I plan on some me time and I have to work.  So find an activity that you enjoy and make yourself feel like the beautiful gem that you are.

 

Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Happy Friday to you all! Who is ready for the weekend?  I surely am.  Let me just make a world-wide declaration to my beautiful daughter, Naila-happy 8th birthday.  My daughter and I am rightfully biased is one of the sweetest, amazing little girls to date. She loves everyone and is such a jewel to be around.  We plan to celebrate her all weekend long.  I pray continued love, strength and peace to her life always.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  So this means that there are going to be a few activities that will be taking place in a city near you.  If you live in or around Philadelphia there are a lot of FREE events taking place.  We ALL can afford free right?  The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.  Don’t go back to work on Tuesday with the boring didn’t do anything unless that is what you wanted to actually do-NOTHING.  Rest, relax, organize, plan for the rest of the Summer time.  Memorial Day is the unofficial start to Summer so get out and get busy.

Personal Highs

This has been a really interesting week for me. I am still coming down on my weight.  I am about to shift from just losing weight to maintaining for the month of June.  I am looking to get to my goal so I can purchase this Boho style swimsuit.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit in 5 years.  Also I was in a lot of control when it came to dealing with the things that life through just this week.  I almost had a little mental break down but some encouragement came and helped me along the way.  I had such an amazing time with my husband this past weekend and some much-needed me time as well.

News

  1. Prayers to those in Manchester.  A bomber decided to bomb the Ariana Grande concert that was being attended by mostly teenager and young children.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured from the deadly blast. I can’t understand why there is so much evil in this world but there is.
  2. Trump’s administration is supposedly under the microscope.  Even with getting into all of the politics of it all I do believe that Trump believes that he has the power to do as he pleases.  I do not believe he under the concepts of checks or balances.  So we shall keep watching to see what comes of all of this.
  3. Greg Gianfonte is out here body slamming reporters-allegedly.  It’s sad when offices used to be respected therefore they carried themselves to a higher standard.  Pretty soon they going to be pulling even more stunts but what do I know.
  4. Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide.  His wife is saying medication he was on is what led to his death and he would have not killed himself otherwise. I pray peace during this difficult time.

Personal Lows

  1. I spoke last week about awaiting for test results well I got them back. It doesn’t look good.  I have to be seen this week for some blood related issues and so when I have a treatment plan in place than I will blog openly about what is going on.  I have no problems sharing anything in my life and especially about health due to the fact there is always going to be someonelse who will go through it too.  I will inform you all of any changes especially any changes that distributes the blog.  If you aren’t already following me on Facebook please do as many of the changes will be announced there, https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/

Blogs

  1. Ask Toi-about family or friends who come over uninvited and especially as parents who have small kids and have a sitter.  It’s always good to call first.  You don’t know what is going on with people and it shows a respect for other people’s time. If you come over unannounced than don’t expect to have access to someone’s home no matter how close you are if who you are visiting has a sitter.  If that sitter isn’t aware of you stopping by its going to be a closed-door that greets you.
  2. Ask Toi-taking a sex break while married.  You have a right and a choice to engage or disengage but I would suggest that you work out the issue that is causing you to want to take a sex break than to go to you mate and not have a clear definition of what that means.  Do NOT expect your mate to be okay with it but you have the right to your body and to be vocal in what your intentions are.
  3. Annoying co-workers anyone?  Yes we ALL have them. Simple things to keep in mind as you go through the work day.
  4. Mirage screens-we put too much stock in what others are doing, what they are portraying, what they show us, etc.  Worry more on your own life and less on celebrities or couples or individuals you admire.

As we end this week and dive into the long weekend a few reminders:

  1. Sunscreen should be worn all year round not just in the Summer months.  However since pools and beaches will be swarmed this weekend and beyond, don’t forget it. I use a SPF in my makeup as well.
  2. Keep your kids close.  Do NOT get comfortable and get caught up in celebrating that you forget about them.  There are sick people everywhere and the last thing you need is a child to be unaccounted for.
  3. Drink but be safe.  I like a beverage or two but if you think DUI check points aren’t real you are sadly mistaken.  Be careful.  If you are tipsy call a Uber, etc.
  4. Violence unfortunately especially in some cities that are already plagued with violence more will break out.  Watch the company you keep and be vigilant in having peaceful get togethers.  If you are having a fault with someone and can’t be mature than don’t even attempt to resolve it at that time.  I pray that all innocent bystanders will be protected as well.  You can be at the right place at the wrong time, do nothing and still end up hurt or dead.  Prayers to all my ToiTime readers and followers.

Continue reading “Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017”

The Mirage is really A smoke Screen

People, good people, good morning.  Listen let’s have a serious talk about what appears to be and what is.  We ALL have put out into the atmosphere our very best self.  We post the best pics out of the 100 we took.  We use filters because let’s face it they are pretty. However there is one thing that we all need to be reminded.  Everything that glitters isn’t gold.  This isn’t the first time we have heard it but let’s talk about it some more.

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We get caught up in the ideas about of what people put out. Some people post about solid marriages and have the most flakiest ones.  Being real is about being loud and yelling instead of just being honest and transparent.  Just because you yell you keeping it real doesn’t mean you are.  That’s a free nugget of wisdom for someone.  People struggle. Relationships and marriages struggle.  People don’t air out their dirty laundry or rather they shouldn’t.  We base our lives off of others and do less work on our own.  If you see a woman get flowers, you go home and complain you aren’t getting them.  However you haven’t expressed you wanted them before.  You don’t go and get them yourself because you enjoy them.  You are waiting, hoping that the man you are with will finally take this initiative and do and missing out on the love you really do and can give yourself.  You realize that if that love won’t measure up and you practice self-love, nature will separate you from what you don’t need to be with.  Again another freebie for you.

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Please learn to take some stock in YOUR life.  I give great advice but I try to eat and nibble on it before I give it.  I hold myself accountable.  For instance let me give you some realness.  I was having the worst anxiety attack.  I didn’t want to go to an event because I knew some of the people there I don’t vibe with.  I had to be reminded that its more than talk, I will NEVER vibe well with them.  I can’t live with brakes on.  SO I got dressed and made it happen.  I wanted to be in my defeated world and just go to bed.  I ended up having an amazing time.  The point is simple, it’s about getting past the hiccups with action and not just lip service.

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We have to get past our favorites smoke screens.  I love LL Cool J and Morris Chestnut and both are married.  Like my marriage there are days even with all of their fineness that their wives are ready to trip them because of something they did or didn’t do.  No different from my own marriage. I have friends who I look up to but when they close their doors they have things they are working out in their lives.  So you have to understand that and learn to live life on your own terms.  A lot of people selling this message of love your spouse, or job or life to the fullest don’t always mean they receive it or live it everyday.  Be careful who you put your highest stock on.  Everyone on your pedalstool will disappoint you if you don’t keep things into perspective.  No different from when the report of  America’s sweetheart Jesse Williams called it quits with his wife.  Everyone like lawd if they can’t make it what we gon do?  You gon get over it and make your marriage work.  You need to use the information to make yours solid.  Love harder, listen more, don’t take things for granted, etc  That’s what you do instead of attributing everything good and going into doom and gloom when it doesn’t add up.

Live your OWN best life!!