Apparently I’m a Grinder…a BAD one!

I have been grinding my teeth for a while…apparently. See I have no clue that I do this while I sleep. I don’t get regular headaches because of it, I don’t catch myself doing it — but I can see my teeth slowly being ground away! It’s scaring me now, so I’ve decided once again that I better wear my mouth guard. One because it cost about $400, two because I can now actually see the groove in my teeth getting worse, and three because yesterday my teeth were so sensitive (even though I brush with Sensodyne toothpaste) that I could barely eat!

I don’t know why I grind all I know is I’m getting worse, not better…and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a way to repair your teeth after the damage is done, so my mouth guard is becoming my best friend at night, I’m sure to my husband’s dismay (it’s not the most attractive thing and I can barely talk with it in). I hate it. It’s uncomfortable and occasionally I find it in the morning, not in my mouth but somewhere in my bed. But I really don’t want to damage my teeth anymore than I have already have so I’m stuck with it.

Any other “Grinders” out there? Tips/tricks/help???


Parenting and Puke (This might be a tad gross)

So yesterday I spent a good portion of my morning cleaning up my kid’s puke. It wasn’t the start I had anticipated for my morning…but what are you going to do. Cleaning up the puke is just one of the disgusting things you have to do once you become a parent. I already have a lot of experience in this area (even though I only have one son, he was an incredibly pukey baby; he spit up every 10 minutes, literally for the first 6 months of his life). I remember have to change his outfit at least three times a day, and then I’d usually have to change at least twice as well because he would inevitably get me during the course of the day. UGH there were a few NASTY ones, I won’t re-live the gory details with you. (Be thankful). I remember being VERY thankful for the thousands (slight exaggeration) of receiving blankets I had gotten at my baby shower…before he was born I couldn’t possibly imagine why I would need SO many receiving blankets but boy was I glad I had them once he showed up on the scene!

Thankfully my puke-cleaning days became fewer and farther between as he grew a bit older but of course every once in a while he gets sick now and it’s back to the stinky nasty job of cleaning it up….and let me tell you, baby puke is one thing; kid puke is another! But what I can do?! I can’t just refuse to clean it up! So that is how my morning went yesterday. I cleaned up a lot of puke. Thankfully today he seems to be feeling better, and I’m even more thankful there has been no more puking (are you sick of that word yet?) It’s almost as gross-sounding as the actual stuff itself, which is why I use it. Vomit, throw-up, etc. just don’t convey the grossness factor quite as well I find.

Parenting changes your definition of gross. Before you’re a parent you never think of dealing with such gross situations. But once that little bundle of joy arrives, so do the explosive dirty diapers, the spit-up, the drool, the pee, the food smeared everywhere, the list goes on).

I don’t know if it’s just because they’re so darn cute, or your love for this person goes beyond what you can even explain…but somewhere along the way I became OK with all of the grossness. It’s part of the package. Even to the point of wanting to do it all over again when we have another bundle of joy. (Please note this is not a pregnancy announcement of any kind, before certain people get too excited – I’m just saying at some point we would like another, despite the puke).

I hope your day was/is good depending on what side of the world your on, and that it was/is significantly less puke-filled than mine was yesterday.

And aren’t you glad I didn’t include a picture with a post like this?! You’re welcome.

Battle to lose the pounds

I am currently sitting here in my office, eating a rice cake. It tastes like Styrofoam, but it’s only 30 calories and it’s getting me through my apparent need to be shoving something in my mouth at this moment.

Weight loss is HARD. I have never been one of those naturally thin people who can eat whatever she wants and not have to worry. I have to worry. I have to watch EVERYTHING that I put into my mouth, because if I’m not paying attention I will put on weight. I’ve tried to lose weight several times in my adult life. I’ve tried different diets, I’ve tried cutting out food groups, like carbs. And I’ve had some success, but inevitably the weight creeps back on as soon as I stop paying close attention. It’s the one thing I’m always dealing with in my life. It’s annoying and I honestly wish I didn’t have to work so hard to be at a healthy weight, but I’m trying something new…I’m trying to accept who I am, embrace it and find what works for me.

Ultimately I want to be happy. Regardless of the number staring back up at me from the scale, I want to be happy. I want to enjoy my life, I don’t want my life to be all about restrictions and what I CAN’T do or CAN’T eat. I want it to be about what I CAN do, what I CAN control, and what I CAN eat. This is the journey I’m on.

Honestly it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I have good days and bad, good months and bad…you get the idea. But I’m trying hard to make small changes slowly, that will eventually add up to a changed lifestyle. Over the last almost one year, I’ve been conscious of this and working towards it. I’ve had many slip ups for sure, and have currently plateaued in my weight loss which is frustrating, but I’m trying to see how far I’ve come and be thankful for where I am. To date I have lost 35lbs. Not a crazy-high number, but a number I’m proud of nonetheless. It’s better than nothing, than not trying at all. I’m about half way to the weight loss goal I had set for myself almost a year ago. I really thought I would have achieved it by now, or at least been a lot closer. But I’ve realized that you can’t rush weight loss, especially if you want it to stay off. Although I haven’t lost any more weight recently I have managed to keep what I did lose off. I am trying to get back on track. I have been slacking when it comes to workouts and even my eating habits. I have started my food diary again, recording EVERYTHING I eat and drink which I find really helps me and keeps me more accountable. And I am slowly trying to get back to exercising every day. I’m a work in progress! But every day I try is a win.

I think weight loss is so much more of a mental thing than a physical thing. My battle is definitely mental, all in my head. My attitude and perspective are deciding factors when it comes to whether I binge and eat ten cookies or I choose to have a piece of fruit. So I’m making baby steps. Trying to take things day by day, small changes that over time I know will help me lose weight, but also change my perspective and ultimately my lifestyle as a whole.

Any of you who are on a similar journey or have even been — I’m sure you can relate. Please share your successes AND your failures – it helps to hear other people’s stories.

Just another one of those areas where I’m trying to become the BEST I can be.

Mommy Musings

My poor little guy had a rough day yesterday for a two-year old, for anyone really. The day started out well. He has a little cold but it hasn’t seemed to damper his spirits, he’s still been happy – and no fever so I’m happy.

We were headed out to church for a meeting, Ezra was outside seeing us off and all of a sudden he starts screaming at the top of his lungs! I recognized the cry immediately – he was hurt. So I ran over to him, he was grabbing at the back of his neck…low and behold there was a bee still attached to him, stinging him. So I swated the bee away, picked him up, put some ice on the sting and just held him for a while. Poor little guy. Not fun at all, especially if you’re two and you don’t even know what has happened! He doesn’t know it was a bee, all he knows is it hurts! He finally calmed down, and it didn’t swell bad, so at least we know he’s not allergic. Ezra has had a lot of ‘firsts’ here in Tanzania. He took his first steps here, said his first words, got chicken pox here (the week we arrived!), and now his first bee sting. Gotta take the bad with the good I guess. He survived. It was enough to stop my heart for a beat though! I hate that moment, when he starts screaming and I know he’s hurt but I don’t know what’s happened! That’s a scary moment for a mommy. He woke up last night with a nightmare, I’m not sure if he was re-living his bee sting or what, but it took us about an hour to calm him down and get him back to bed. 😦

I know I can’t protect him from everything, nor do I really think that’s good for him — in my head. In my heart I just want to hold him and never let go and protect him from every kind of hurt for the rest of his life! Being a parent is one of the most amazing and challenging things I’ve ever experienced. In the end I just pray God helps me, because I only want the best for my son, but I know that I’m flawed and things will never be perfect. He will get hurt. But as he grows I just hope I’m able to equip him well enough that he’s able to bounce back from those hurts stronger and braver.

This morning I dropped him off at Daycare for the morning…he was having a rough morning and I had to leave him crying. 😦 Hard moments for mommies. Even though I know he will calm down and end up having fun, because he always does, it’s still so hard to leave when he’s upset. I have to force myself. Because in the end he will be better for it. He will know that he can surivive without Mommy (even though I don’t want to ever admit that) and he will know that I always come back for him. He’s growing up! Not a baby anymore – such a scary and exciting thought all at the same time for me.

Ahh well. I’m enjoying the toddler phase while I can, since I know it won’t be long, if fact I think I will blink, and he will be a kid, all grown and heading off to school!

Lazy, Rainy, Gilmore Girls Days…


YES! I am a Gilmore Girls groupie, I admit it! And if you’re a guy, or you hate the show, you’ll just have to bear with me for this post.

I have the whole series on DVD, all seven seasons. And for the last few years I go through the whole series at least once a year (usually twice). I never get tired of it for some reason. Even though I know what will happen next, the quick pace and catchy one-liners make me smile.

Lately it’s been raining in Dar. And by this I mean: we returned to Dar on March 3rd and up until now – May 14th – I believe I can say with 99% accuracy that it has rained, at least part of EVERY day (with the exception of about 5 days) since that time. Over two months of RAIN. LOTS OF RAIN. Streets flooding, ditches overflowing, potholes deepening…but still MORE rain.

Now I can’t say for sure, but I am fairly certain that this rain is making me feel lethargic and lazy. You know how it is on those rainy days…you feel like staying in bed, or curling up with a good book and a cup of tea and never stepping foot outside your house. The problem becomes when you start to feel like this every day! I feel tired. I feel slow. I don’t feel like exercising. I feel like eating chocolate. I feel like staying indoors and watching Gilmore Girls, escaping into their little world. Of course I can’t do this every day. There’s stuff to do! I have deadlines, things coming up, things on the go. School, work, home. It’s a lot! So I find myself in need of some massive motivation to get me out of this slump; even Pintrest isn’t doing it for me lately! I read all the motivational quotes you can think of! I still feel lazy. I go to bed every night thinking and saying to myself, “tomorrow will be better, you will wake up with lots of energy, you will exercise and eat right and be productive!” The problem is when the morning comes, no matter how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten, I still have to drag my sorry, tired, lazy butt out of bed, just the same. (Of course I’ve never been a morning person) but even later in the day, I never really seem to get that burst of energy I crave!

I am however happy to report that there seems to be a light (maybe the sun?!) at the end of this rainy tunnel…in the past week I think we had three sunny days where it didn’t rain at all! I even went swimming one morning and got my tan on! This makes me feel better. I pray this means the rainy season is coming to an end. As much as I like the SLIGHTLY cooler temperatures (like 29 or 30 degrees Celsius instead of +35), I miss the SUN! Rain is good. It’s refreshing. Things are VERY green. But after two and a half straight months of it, its con list is growing.

So back to Gilmore Girls, my other world for the past few weeks. Since I’ve been watching so much of this show lately, I find myself wondering why I like it so much? I mean it’s girly, it’s got enough drama to keep it interesting, but not so much that it’s completely unbelievable, I get to imagine what it would be like to eat like crap and manage to look like them, it’s light and quirky and funny and quick — but I realized that much of it I can’t relate to. I am not a single mom (shout out to single parents – I don’t know how you do it, you are amazing!), I don’t have very wealthy parents who I can never get along with, I don’t live in a small town, and the list goes on. However I realized many of the things I can’t relate to are mostly things I’m thankful I can’t relate to. Watching this show makes me grateful for the amazing relationships I have in my life. The fact that I get along SO well with my parents is high on this list. I know many people don’t have that (and not just Lorelei on the show, but many real-life people). I have a loving husband, supportive families on both sides, amazing friends all over the world. I am so blessed. Above all I have a relationship with God. I have Him to turn to when I feel like there is no one else. I am never alone and He will never leave me. The confidence and hope that goes along with that is something I can’t even describe, but I am so thankful for.

So the circle goes like this:

I am tired of the rain. It makes me feel lazy. I procrastinate. I have watched way too many episodes of Gilmore Girls (if that’s possible). It has been a nice escape. The show has made me think. I am grateful for the many amazing relationships I am blessed with in my life. I am thankful for God’s unconditional love for me. Therefore – I guess I really am thankful for the rain – which has brought all of this about (even though it has also brought about flooding, crazy huge potholes and insane traffic). I hope you followed that train of thought.

So I am thankful for the rain, but still hopeful for the sunshine’s return. And at least I got one task accomplished today! 😉

What do you like to do on rainy days?
What gives you more energy?
What are you thankful for?

Until next time…
Enjoy your day, rainy or otherwise!

PS. I will have you know today is rainy. Again.

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