Live Beyond Your Limits

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“I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there”

                                                                                                                                                  Nick Vujicic

As I lay in bed at night, I frequently think about my clients from work. So many of them are extremely talented, yet were never given the love, motivation, or the structure that they needed to preserver. Working with them reminds me daily to be that person for me son. I want my son to know that there are no limits in life. I don’t want him to feel that there is anything that he cannot achieve or conquer. I believe that the reason many of us don’t reach our full potential is because we have already limited ourselves to small areas of potential. Let’s be done with “glass ceilings!” We are frequently the architects of our own barriers that we feel so overwhelmed, and buried by. We are our very own wardens, who commit ourselves daily to mediocrity. I want to break out of that myself, and I don’t want my child to ever live in it.

I want Kristopher, to know that the world is his playground. I don’t want him to fear flying high on the swings, swinging across the monkey bars, or braving the big steep slide in the play area. It sounds crazy, but this is where it all starts. How we handle change and challenges as children can dictate how we function as adults. As toddlers who develop into children, and so on, we (parents) are their inner voice. We teach them to either conquer fear, or to fear it. We have the power to open their minds or create mindless robots that function as our “mini me.”

So, how do I plan to remove the limitations out of his mind? It’s simple; I plan to allow him to be him, and to break free from my own chains.

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible”

                                           Arthur C. Clarke

Allowing him freedom to grow:
I want him to test boundaries. Testing boundaries will create a will in him to challenge things, rather just accepting what another has told him. That doesn’t mean that he will be ruthless or without rules, but that he will be given the opportunity and space to grow into him, without an adult consistently pulling him back. He is welcome to have his own thoughts, and to disagree.  We have to allow them to both grow, and explore. As parents it’s also our job to introduce our children to the world. We don’t have to fly them around it to do that, we just need to allow them to explore the everyday things that exist around us without hovering, or feeling the need to consistently control the environment. Take your children places, and step back. Before telling them what something is, allow them to discover it on their own terms. I promise you that it’s an eye-opening experience. Your toddler will use words that you never knew they understood, or that even existed in their vocabulary. Give them space to test out their own limits.

Personal Growth:
I try to provide Kristopher, with an environment where he sees me striving and learning; one where he can witness me break-free as well. He trusts me as his mother; to love, encourage, and guide him, but I want him to also see me as a developing strength as well. I can’t preach to him “no limits,” if I’m not breaking free from my own constraints. It’s like telling your children to go to college, because learning is important, but not being willing to complete your own degree. Our children learn from what we do, not what we preach.

The purpose of this post is to encourage other mothers to tell their limits to take a hike. If we want to raise winners, we first have to be the example of how to win. We have to defeat our own fears, and untie ourselves from whatever is holding us back. If you want to return to school, go. Enroll yourself as soon as you can. If you have a hobby that’s truly your passion, master it, and indulge yourself in it deeply. Whatever your goals are, work towards them, and make them a reality. Building you is a great way to build them. Let’s show our children that the only true barriers are the ones we create. Let’s allow them to see that the “glass ceiling,” we hide under or that blocks our progression can be shattered. Even more importantly, let’s allow them to be little engineers, and pioneer a path of their own with little doubt and lots of faith in themselves. Let’s teach them to be monumental.

When kids are met with the highest expectations and given the extra support they need, they can be as motivated as kids anywhere.”                                                                                                                      Wendy Kopp

Kristopher’s Mom, Kristina

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Motivational Monday -Seasonal Depression

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Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
                                              Isaiah 41:10

As the days get shorter, and the nights grow longer, our entire body begins to struggle to adjust to the change of seasons. Those sunny days, start to transform into chilled winds that cause leaves to gently glide down to the ground. At first glance, it seems as if the earth is getting sick. The wind starts to whistle and the ground is literally beginning to freeze beneath our feet as the trees tremble bare. This change seems harmless, but for many it can be devastating. This is the time of year that seasonal and holiday depression begins to creep into the lives and homes of many. People often underestimate seasonal and holiday depression. We right it off as mood swings or just grumpiness, but it’s very real and difficult for those living with it.

If you suffer or know anyone close to you suffering, seek help. Don’t take this situation lightly. Contact you primary care doctor immediately and share your feelings with them. There are also, groups and counselors who can provide both support and information. Depression hurts, and can devour everyone in its path if left untreated. Don’t allow yourself to be overcome with the darkness that it brings. Where we can’t control the seasons, we can improve our reactions and behaviours to it. Remember that fall is not the end; in fact I think it’s the beginning. It’s the moment of starting something new, from scratch. It reminds us that sometimes we must shed our past, mistakes, grief, failures, heartbreaks, and pain; to start new again. It gives us the opportunity to heal and regrow in the spring. Smile for you and someone else today Monumentals!

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

                                    Laurell K. Hamilton

Kristopher’s Mom, Kristina

My Favorite “Me Time” Indulgences

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These days I don’t get a lot of time to myself but when I do it’s kind of a big deal LOL. As women and moms it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself!

Here are some of my favorite indulgences that I like to do when I get a little time to myself.
Coffee-A nice warm cup of coffee makes me happy.

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Naps– I really miss naps LOL! It’s the little things in life that count.

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Eating without sharing-I love food…I’m a bit of a foodie so for me it’s stressful to have to sneak to eat my favorite food and snacks! I don’t always want to share with Kodie and Keith so when I get to eat without sharing it makes me happy!
A glass of wine-This comes in handy when I have a really long and stressful day at work. It helps me to unwind.
Reading-It relaxes me and allows me to use my imagination.

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Relaxing baths in the Jacuzzi-Candles, bubbles, and a Jacuzzi what’s not to love!

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Date night or time alone with the hubby-As a couple it’s important to take time to reconnect.

Happy Hour with friends-It’s nice to have some adult time with adult conversations. It’s even better with good food and drinks! Everyone needs a break sometimes!

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Massages-So relaxing! No explanation necessary!!! (Groupon has awesome deals on these).

 

Motivational Monday – Be an Example

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Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.                                                                                                              1 Timothy 4:12

One of the most difficult things to be is an example for others. People take on the role as if it’s so simple, but it’s not. When you step into a leadership position or declare to be a good example of something, people start watching you. Their expectations began to grow. They will begin to assess your every move. Do not allow their expectations to discourage or anger you, because it’s a part of the job. As wives, mothers, friends, aunts, mentors, employees, and any other title that we take on, we have responsibilities. We have a job to behave well in all environments. So whether you’re at Church, the market, work, happy hour, or home, always carry yourself as a woman of dignity that deserves the highest respect. When we carry ourselves in such a manner, people have no choice but to admire and honor the woman we are.

As we each proceed throughout this week, please remember that others are always watching. Allow them to watch you do marvelous things. Let others see the greatness in you. This week, show the world what a wonderful example you are!

“I just feel that the only power I have is setting a good example”

                                                            Geri Halliwell

 

Kristopher’s Mom – Kristina

Adventures With Kristopher – Please Touch Museum

This past weekend Kristopher and I, along with some great friends, took a little day trip to Philly to visit the “Please Touch Children’s Museum.” From Maryland it was about an hour and a half drive, and totally worth it!! I love finding new and fun places to discover with Kristopher, and this one was a real winner!!! If you have read some of my previous blogs, you know that I have criteria for our activities. No matter where we go the activity has to provide an opportunity for him to explore, learn, and play. The “Please Touch Museum,” has all three in abundance.

Activities:
The Museum has two large floors. On the top floor there is a Garage/Transportation section where you can allow your hands-on busy-body to work on car engines, drive a real size bus, pump gas, and operate an excavator. It’s a little mechanics dream land! Opposite of that side, allows your water explorer to throw on a smock, and get elbow deep in water. They will learn how dams work, and boats float. They can explore a little further and pick up some books to read in a cozy cottage. The bottom floor gives your little one a chance to channel their inner Alice and to fall down the “Rabbit hole.” In Alice’s Wonderland, your little one can dress up, and have tea. However, watch your time, because if not you’ll be late. Late for your train that awaits you in the next area. There are Model trains, a train to climb in, and a great deal of information for your little learner to learn. After, catching your train, your young builder can go and move some bricks, but be safe, because they could end up at the Philadelphia hospital that’s fully equipped with an MRI machine, hospital beds, and an ambulance.

I’ve only shared a few great things that “Please Touch,” has to offer, so there’s a ton more for you to go and investigate. If somehow, you still aren’t convinced, here is some other information.

Who is it for:
The Museum advertises for all ages, however, I would say that it’s most appealing to younger children. I saw some 10 year old girls there who were kind of just standing around glued to their phones. However, for your toddlers, and 4 to 8 year olds, this place absolutely rocks!!!! Kristopher is two and had an astounding time!

Price:
Overall, the Museum is reasonably priced.  I lucked up and found a great Groupon, but for all children and adults over a year of age it’s $17 per person. Please, don’t forget to bring an extra $3 for the large old-school Merry-go-round. You are also allowed to bring your own lunch in the building as well.

Time:
To be able to explore everything, read the information, and play along the way, I would suggest planning to stay about 3 to 4 hours. I promise you that it won’t feel as if you were there that long, because time flies when you’re having fun!

The place is truly awesome and has so much to offer. I plan to visit again and again, to let Kristopher have more adventures at the “Please Touch Museum.” If you have the opportunity, be sure to stop in Philly, enjoy the day the museum and to of course have a cheesesteak! It’s a Monumental place Moms, make the trip and go!

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Kristopher’s Mom

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

Motivational Monday – Gossip

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A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

                                           Proverbs 11:13

Everywhere we typically go, we run into gossip. At work, coworkers will give you the full update on the lives of everyone there. Our friends will call us up squealing with excitement from the news they just heard and can’t wait to share. Even at Church, there is someone whispering about how “Sister Jones,” is on her 3rd husband. What’s the purpose of gossip? It does nothing positive for the person that it’s about, and it doesn’t usually change your life in a positive way either. At most, it’s entertaining. However, should we really be entertained by the misfortune of another? Juicy gossip is amusing, until it’s about you or someone that you care about. Gossip is a dangerous thing, because it hurts. Gossip destroys trust and respect. As Monumental women, it’s our job to promote positive interactions. So the next time gossip pops up in your day, decline to participate. Not participating can help with stopping the spread of something that could ruin another.

Before, you think to carry the news about someone’s recent misfortune or the racy affair happening in the office, remember that negativity does nothing for you or anyone else. This week, when you notice yourself about to participate in gossip, remove yourself from the environment. We must try to be better, more positive, and a leader rather than a follower. Don’t allow your words to hurt others or to damage yourself any longer!

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

                                                                                                                                  Henry Thomas Buckle

Special Delivery

Having a baby is by far one of the most exciting, exhilarating, terrifying, and joyous occasions that a woman will experience! Nothing compares to the moment when your baby is born, but there are also many unknowns for women who have never experienced labor. You hear all of these stories but you don’t really know what to expect.

➢ The pain was unimaginable for me…even with the epidural that crap hurt!!!! (every woman’s pain threshold is different).

➢ It takes a long, long, long time! I was in labor for about 13 ½ hours. It could have been much worse but it still seemed like the baby was never going to come. On the other hand my sister’s delivery experience with my first nephew was horrendous!!! She was about 4 or 5 days overdue. It was soooo hot due to it being the beginning of August and she was downright miserable! We went to the hospital on a Tuesday morning for her to be induced and she didn’t have him until around 10pm Wednesday night. My sister ended up needing a C-section after being in labor for two days because she could not dilate past 5 centimeters. When my mother had my sister, she was in labor for 24 hours and the doctors had to use forceps because my sister’s head was so big LOL. However; my mother said that she was only in labor with me for 45 minutes and when she went to the hospital it was too late for an epidural because it was time to push.

➢ You can’t eat…at all!!! I found this to be one of the most disturbing parts about labor. I discovered this when my sister was in labor with her kids; it was torture! I ate a piece of pie on the way to the hospital while in labor. Immediately after I delivered Kodie, my sister fed me a subway sandwich while Kodie laid on my chest and the doctors were still working on me LOL.

➢ Sometimes there are no false alarms…I woke up in labor with Kodie around 5am. The contractions were MUCH, MUCH different from the Braxton hicks contractions that I had been having all day the day before. Those things hurt so badly! I went to the doctor’s the day before (Tuesday) evening for my doctor’s appointment and the doctor told me that I was 2 centimeters dilated which I had been since the previous week, but he also told me that my cervix was completely thinned out and that the Braxton hicks contractions were actual contractions just more sporadic. The doctor told me to call when the contractions were about 10 minutes apart. The next morning I woke in excruciating pain! I don’t think I even timed the contractions because I was in so much pain! When I called the doctor they told me to come to the hospital to be checked out. At first, the nurse told me that since it was my first baby it was probably false labor and I would likely going back home. She told me to take a warm bath and that normally would stop the contractions. I guess another reason why the nurse thought that it was a false alarm was because my due date was either February 23rd or March 1st I still don’t know which date was accurate to this day, LOL! The date was February 5th and Kodie was considered to be a late-preterm baby (they even gave me a book on how to care for a late pre-term). Once they hooked me up to the monitors, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was 3 centimeters dilated. The nurse started rubbing my shoulder and she said you’re in early labor and you’re going to have a baby today! I was so scared and nervous. My husband Keith immediately started pacing the floor and making phone calls. He was more nervous than me!

➢ Having a baby is like having an outer body experience! I literally felt like I was watching a movie. Everything seemed so surreal! Once Kodie was born, I was in utter disbelief that I actually gave birth to a person. Kodie came out crying really loud hence his nick name Mr. Lungs! The doctor laid him on my chest and I started talking to him and he stopped crying.

Working Mom Blues

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Every morning as I get dressed for work, I think…..”In my next life, I’m going to be a stay at home mom.” It’s kind of a funny thought for me, because I never thought that I would ever want to be one. It’s not that I think being a stay at home mom is easy, I just admire the extra time they get to send with their children. I watched my mom be a stay at home mom until I was in the sixth grade, and it was never a job that I wanted. It’s just that, as a working mom, obtaining balance between work and home can be tough and stressful.

I want to be a stay at home mom for just one reason; I want more time with my son. When I think of my childhood, I’m blessed to have a lot of great memories. I remember my mom attending the majority of my elementary school trips with me. I remember the show-and-tell when she brought my dog in for me share with my classmates. Whenever I got sick, I remember her right at my bedside nursing me back to health. When I got home, she was the first smiling face that I saw, and I appreciated that growing up. I have a lot of fond memories from my childhood, because of my mother being at home. I was able to watch her take care of our entire family, daily. Our house was never messy, and things were always well put together. I would love to be that mom, but the working mom life doesn’t easily permit that.

My son is still small, l so I haven’t had to miss any trips yet, but I dread the days where my schedule won’t allow me to just jump on the bus with him and go. I want to be the mom that volunteers in the class alot and assists with PTA. I want to be the mother that packs everyone’s lunch and takes care of everyone when they’re sick. However, that’s hard to do when balancing the demands of a job. On the mornings that Kristopher wakes up sick, I feel horrible as well. There are times that I am able to stay home, and other times I am not. Thankfully, I have people who are able to step in and help out, but regardless if he’s with my mom, husband, or sister, it’s not me! As his mom, I want to be there with him. I trust that he’s in good hands, but I wish that they were my own.

I know being a stay at home is not easy. Most stay at home moms work extra hard making sure everyone’s needs are met and often neglect their own. As a working mom, I enjoy making my own money and I like the adult time that I get at work. It’s the extra hurdles as a working mom that make things problematic. I find it hard to build up my leave like I did before becoming a mother. I frequently go into work sick, to save my leave for when my son falls ill. I also hate the looks and side comments from coworkers when I sometimes have to leave early to pick him up. Every moment at home feels accounted for as a working mom. We still have all of the same responsibilities as a stay at home, with less time to do them

I’m sure that we would all like to trade places or do something a little different, but until we strike it rich, we just have to continue to do what works best for our individual families! To all my Monumental Working Moms out there, stay strong and continue to be the awesome working moms that you are!

Kristopher’s Mom