Truth time. The last two New Year’s Resolutions/promises I’ve made to myself is better self-care. I am not insinuating that I’m a particularly unhealthy person, but I truly believe we can always strive to be better when it comes to self-care. Especially, moms!

Admittedly, my dental health has taken a backseat … for years. I’m cringing even typing these words. I won’t bore you with the excuses: kids, insurance, timing, moves, yadda yadda. But the truth is, my dental health hasn’t been a top priority for me. My kids dental health has for sure, but not mine.

Last summer, the kids and I went in for a regular check-up and x-rays at Dental Reflections Dublin. We were greeted with the friendliest staff and Dr. Rudi As-Sanie is simply the sweetest. The remarkable thing about this practice… I didn’t have to feel embarrassed or guilty for not visiting a dentist in quite a few years. They didn’t judge me for letting my flossing lapse, they were genuinely interested and ready to help me take control of my dental health again.

After some x-rays showed I needed a crown (yow!) and a deep cleaning, I said my good-byes and left. Honestly, I thought I would leave the crown waiting for a bit while we focused on other expenses for the kids. I know, I know.

But Dr. As-Sanie emailed me personally asking me to come back and have the procedures done. She said it was important to take care of my health, especially as a mom. She gets it… she has little ones of her own! That’s where I decided right then and there to go back.

During the last few months, I have had an incredible deep cleaning experience and left with my very first Sonic Care tooth brush. I AM OB-SESSED!!!! Yes, yes, yes! I already can tell a difference in my teeth. I’ve also had the crown procedure completed without pain, which is huge.

Needless to say, I am extremely happy with my new dental office and look forward to many years with Dr. As-Sanie for myself, and my entire family.

IF YOU ARE LOCAL TO THE COLUMBUS AREA, AND IN NEED OF A NEW DENTIST… MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH DENTAL REFLECTIONS DUBLIN TODAY. TELL THEM HOW YOU HEARD ABOUT THEM AND RECEIVE 20% OFF YOUR FIRST DENTAL CLEANING UP TO $1000!

True story. I needed a crown, but Dr. As-Sanie did an amazing job!

Dr. As-Sanie explaining my procedure with real time technology. So cool!

Dr. As-Sanie and her husband.

*This post is sponsored by Dental Reflections Dublin. All opinions are MY OWN.*

I recently posted a picture of my kids making a mess with Play-Doh and captioned it: “Don’t mind the mess, my kids are busy making memories of me yelling at them to clean up their mess.” Obviously, this was in good fun– but it had me thinking. What will my children remember me by during this time of their lives?

Do you worry your kids will remember you by something negative? Be it nagging them to clean their rooms, pick up their dirty socks, or brush their teeth… are these the things that will stick in their brains forever when they think back to age 4, 5, 6 and so forth?

I know the obvious answer to this is, no. But I decided to write out 8 things I hope my children remember me by.

  1. Her life didn’t stop for us, she took us along to enjoy OUR life together: When I was pregnant with Luke, I remember a neighbor of mine in Birmingham who had two very small children. I was still working in the news business and working the evening shift, so I was around every morning until about 1 PM. I remember every single morning that mom waking up and loading up her children to have an adventure. They would go to the library, park, mall. I remember being so inspired by her ability to take her kids with her on daily adventures. I vowed then to do the same. I know many people don’t understand why I take my kids with me to the grocery store, shopping mall or on business errands… but my life doesn’t revolve just around them. It’s important to me that they understand I will do lots of fun things with them, but at the same time, I have a life too. I have things I need to do, and I don’t want to hire a babysitter for those simple things. I want them with me, I want them to learn from our daily outings. My mom worked from home and I would go to the bank, DMV and utility company with her… just like my kids do with me. We can make any errand an adventure!
  2. She had her favorites: Calm down! Let me explain first. I take the time to individually connect with my children so they know they are my favorite. You see, Luke is my favorite big boy and the very best big brother there ever was. Eden is my very favorite girl and the very best sister to her brothers. Adam is my very favorite baby and the very best baby brother. I tell them this. I spend the time to point out amazing qualities each one of them possesses. They like the individual attention, but I also make it a point to let the other children know what makes their sibling so special.
  3. She squeezed us and kissed us multiple times a day: First thing in the morning, each one of my children gets a giant hug and kiss. Throughout the day, I make it a point to set down my phone and give them physical attention. Children need that. They need to feel your love, not just hear the words.
  4. She let us help with everything: I will be the first to tell you, it takes patience. It is so much easier to cook dinner on my own without little ones scampering under my feet, but my daughter loves to cook. She has an apron she pulls out every single afternoon when she knows it’s time to start our meal prep. She looks forward to cracking eggs, grinding meat, and stirring pasta over the stove. YES! She is supervised. Trust me, it would be so much easier to shoo her away, but I want her to develop a love for cooking and I want her to know I will always say ‘yes’ to spending that time with her. Same goes for my older son. He loves helping his dad in the yard, so he is out there once a week pulling weeds and cleaning grass clippings.
  5. She loved to laugh and play: The laughing part is easy. I’m biased, as every mother is, but I think my kids are hilarious tiny humans. The playing part is a bit trickier. My kids are finally getting to an age where they enjoy fun board games and coloring. My sons love sports and my daughter enjoys it when I help her dress her baby dolls. I secretly don’t “love” playing with them every day… but they will never know that.
  6. She was in love with our daddy: Listen, some days I don’t have the energy just like the next person… but it’s so important that our children see my husband and I in a loving, healthy relationship. We speak to one another with love and respect, we spend time with each other away from the children, we have adult conversations while they are around and teach them to not interrupt. It’s important to us they know our relationship matters and takes priority.
  7. She helped others and used her talents to make a difference: Yes, I am a stay at home mom but that doesn’t define me. It also doesn’t mean my life is over for the next 18-20 + years. I write this blog for you. I share my thoughts and experiences to connect with you and hopefully to help others. Even though I live in Suburbia, I want my children to know I utilized my voice and God-given talents every single day of my life. My absolute favorite quote of all time is by Erma Bombeck. (Who also is a personal hero of mine!) “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say: ‘I used everything You gave me.'”  AMEN!
  8. She prayed with us and for us: I pray every single day for my children to grow into amazing humans. I also pray with them. I pray that they live their lives with a loving heart. To be kind and find joy in their day-to-day lives. It is so easy to get wrapped up in things that do not matter. I hope they always stay focused on the important things in life and always love and support one another. And always know how much their mommy loves them.
Shanisty Ireland

Memories in the making…

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I want them to remember most of all their mommy loves them very much. 

If we’re being completely honest here, I haven’t really worked out or focused on my health in over a year. That is, unless you count chasing children as cardio. Sure, I eat pretty healthy. We indulge in Chick Fil A on occasion just like the next yoga pants, messy bun wearing mom in suburbia, but we aren’t frequent fliers. I implement fruit and veggies in my weekly meal planning, and I try really hard to drink water over wine…but my health has not been a priority.

I just don’t have time for it.

Finding the time has been the hardest hurdle for me, and I’m sure so many moms can relate! Between juggling work, schedules, school, activities, meals, events, and writing I hardly have time to shower let alone workout.

Last week, that all changed.

My sister-in-law has been living with us this summer while she’s still in nursing school, and we made it a goal to start running together. But like life, summer got really busy and it went to the wayside. Until last week when I put on my tennis shoes and walked out the door.

I ran two miles my first time out, which ended up kind of being a mistake considering I hadn’t run in probably 8 months. I was sore, but in a good way. I felt better about myself just getting a decent sweat in.

Five days later, I’ve run every consecutive day since. I’m not sore anymore and I can tell my lungs are strengthening. I want to eat healthier foods and drink more water and less wine………..

Here are some simple ways I try to stay healthy in the rat race of life serving as a chaos coordinator…. AKA, mom of 3.

  • Drink 24 oz. of water BEFORE my first cup of coffee. This is a hard one, but it’s crucial. Did you know your body is incredibly dehydrated when you wake up from a night’s sleep? Drinking water will fire up your metabolism, help your body flush out toxins, give your brain fuel, and it may even make you eat less.
  • Kids Yoga. Stick with me here. There is a show on Amazon Prime called Cosmic Kids Yoga. If you have small children, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only does it calm your children from the craziness of the day (we typically turn it on around 2) but I enjoy it. I’m not a yogi, I wish I was….. next fitness goal…. but until then, Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great outlet to get my blood flowing and muscles stretched.
  • Fitness watch. I have the Apple Watch, only because my husband can’t wear it in his current job. I know they are pricy and I’m not endorsing you to spend a lot of money…but if you have the means, it’s life changing. Really, it is. I am ultra aware of my steps and “closing my rings” — it’s kind of become a healthy obsession. My fitness goals are pretty standard, honestly, I don’t think I ever changed the factory settings on them…but the sheer gratification of “closing a ring” is one of the things I look forward to the most. I also feel extremely disappointed when I don’t get anywhere near my goal, like when I have to sit in a meeting all day. Oy.
  • Real foods. Look, I have three kids under the age of 6 so I know how easy it is to give them goldfish and french fries on the road. I try really, really hard to pack their lunches every single day. We are a family on-the-go: from the park to the zoo to the fair to the pool to the local shopping center, we have something lined up on our agenda daily. It’s easier, healthier AND cheaper to pack lunches. I have the ability to select the real foods, such as carrots, cucumbers, grapes. And skip on the chicken nuggets and fries. I purchased bento boxes from Target and they have been a life saver. I have linked the ones we have here!
  • Put on your shoes and GO! Listen, I know this is going to sound ridiculous but lacing up your tennis shoes is half the battle. Whether it’s heading to the gym, hip hop class, going for a run or a brisk walk… lace up your tennis shoes and walk out the front door! 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour later you’re guaranteed to feel so much better.

Things I’ve noticed since starting my workout routine:

  • More energy
  • Happier
  • Eating healthier
  • Drinking more water
  • Drinking less wine… kidding… but not really
  • Sleeping more soundly
  • Skin is brighter (probably from more water)

Hurdles!

  • Holding myself accountable. How do you keep yourself motivated? What drives you to workout? Comment below, I’d love to hear your tips!!!

I’m embarrassed to admit, but it’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve made my way into a dental office. With so many moves, it’s something I know I needed to do, but it kept falling down the priority list. And then I’d forget. And then I’d blink and it’s been a couple of years, YOW!

Last week, that all changed as the kids and I made our way to Dental Reflections Dublin for exams and cleanings. The office is conveniently set in an office park in Dublin. It’s pretty close to the zoo, which is a win for us!

When you walk in, the waiting room is very clean and has a feeling of freshness with the pale blues and white theme. There are a ton of Legos for the kids to play with…honestly, any place with Legos is a fan favorite at our house!

Inside the office, there is an adult area and a place for the kids to be examined. Luke and Eden and I were separated since we all had appointments at the same time. I was a little nervous, as this was their first time but they did excellent!! The amazing hygienist took several photos for me, and I could hear Luke (no surprise there) asking lots of questions. The staff was so patient with my kids. Not to mention, the kids had no cavities and a clean bill of health! YAY!

Dr. Rudi As-Sanie was so kind and understanding as I sheepishly admitted how long it has been since I’ve seen a dentist. I really appreciated how non-judgmental the entire staff was. Let’s be honest, how many of us REALLY floss everyday, anyway?!

After x-rays, a full exam and deep cleaning I met with Dr. Rudi who chatted about Luke and Eden’s appointment and then mine. She was so helpful and pulled up pictures of my mouth to explain some potential issues I may face down the road.

The entire experience was amazing. The office space was clean and modern, while the staff was friendly and accommodating. I cannot rave enough about this practice, and I am happy to say we finally have a local dentist who we all love and trust!

*This post was sponsored by Dental Reflections Dublin. All opinion are my own.*

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Legos for the W I N!

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Such a beautiful and clean dentist office.

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They had such a fun morning at the dental office!

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X-rays can be scary, but the team was there to ease the kids’ fears.

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Luke was a rockstar!

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Eden was so brave for her first dental exam.

No Cavities!

No Cavities for me!!

 

Wake up.
Creep downstairs.
Hold my breath, don’t wake the bears.

Coffee brews.
First sips are best.
Finding my computer is the next morning quest.

Tiptoe to my office.
Fire up my laptop.
Quickly responding to emails before I have to stop.

Shhh. Quiet.
Is that what I think?
The first little bear rubs his eyes between blinks.

Emails on hold.
Coffee turns cold.
I remind myself I will miss this when they grow old.

Milk is served.
First little bear is content.
Back to my office where my mornings are spent.

Emails fire back.
I’m typing quickly in between sighs.
Second little bear lets out a weak little cry.

Milk number two.
It’s a quick decoy.
Little bear really just wants a toy.

Breakfast requests.
I tell the bears, “take a number”.
Just then the third bear wakes from her slumber.

Eggs and fruit.
No, cereal and bagels were their plan.
Didn’t you know mom is a chef on demand.

Breakfast is over.
The bears want to play.
This is how we start each and every day.

Mama, I feel you.
You are not alone.
And honestly, the chaos is what makes a happy home.

Just know you’re amazing.
Wonderful and beautiful too.
After all, they love the and only you.

xx

An Ode to Mornings

Some how…some way… it always gets done. An ode to mornings as a busy mama.