Squarespace Blog / "mentoring mondays"

Mentoring Monday: One day at a time... Week 8

Hey all! Another day in the life... sometimes I'm sick in the morning... sometimes in the evening.... sometimes if I'm REALLY crazy lucky - not really at all! But... mostly just sick, haha. Hoping it will pass soon... The boys are off at nana & papa's as of yesterday, so its giving me some time to balance relaxing & working - which is already helping a ton... Its hard though, I miss them like CRAZY! I caught myself watching a bunch of their baby videos... made me sad, but even more excited about the new baby on the way... ugh, babies are so fun!! And cute, and messy, and they don't talk back like toddlers do, lol
 Either way... I love and miss them OODLES! But I know they're having a great time... Yesterday they went to the library, and hung out at grandma cookies house... and played with their Auntie Ashley & Uncle Austin... So, even though Im a little whiney about it, I'm so glad they have the opportunity to be there... I hate that we're so far from our family, so it's times like this that we have to take advantage of. Hopefully, at the end of the 3 weeks I can go spend a few days back home so I can see the fam too... and maybe even let this rub on this quickly growing belly. As of right now I have lost 3 pounds since I found out I was pregnant, and I just keep getting bigger!! Zaq says Im gunna be huge this time, i think he's right :)

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Mentoring Monday: Another Chapter - Belly Week 7

Aymee & Adam used to write this post - but they have gotten crazy busy between Maddie, School & Work... and perfect timing, why? Because now I am pregnant again... so I guess its my turn to take over :)

This week has been brutal. The first few weeks were great... I felt great, I was a little tired but that was all... this week - totally different. I wake up trying to keep my mouth shut for fear of what will come out of it... I rush to the kitchen to try to plug my nose and swallow anything that I can manage to choke down... the stand there and just... breathe..... and hope for the best. I have been OH so sick. Nothing sounds goood... and even when I do eat, its a challenge to keep it down... I was never like this with the boys so its a totally new pregnancy chapter for me. MANY of you have given me some great tips to try... and the top choices so far are #1: Preggie Pops...  I rushed and ordered these right away... Can't wait to try them! Hopefully they will bring be some releif... #2: Tip - Ginger... apparently ANYTHING with Ginger seems to be a hit... Ginger Tea, Ginger Ale and I hear Dried Ginger is like Candy! WOo Hoo! #3 of course is crackers... I guess its a good idea to keep some by the bed... some be the couch... some by in the kitchen, in my purse and in my car... for whatever reason - they seem to help when I can't eat anything else... and last but not least, my only hope is to NOT get hungry... morning is bad because I havn't eaten in over 12 hours. Once I get some food, i feel a little better, then I eat a bagel an hour or 2 later... then some lunch... then a cheese stick... and some Wheat Thins... and then dinner... thats my secret. Over ALL the other things - that is the most important one I have found... if I can keep myself from being hungry I feel 100 X's better... not perfect, but at least functional. If any of you have any other tips,  I would love to hear it... anything to help is worth a try!

So that is my week 7 in a nutshell... sickies, tired & pretty crabby but staying positive... why? Cuz there is an amazing baby Z #3 growing inside of me... and I couldn't be happier about it :)

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Mentoring Monday: As the Kids say... "Epic Fail"

Welcome back, Aymee - to yet another Mentoring Monday post... we love having you :)
As the Kids say: “Epic Fail.”Dear Maddie,
Let's just start with--it's okay to make a mistake. It's okay to really mess up. And it's okay to fail miserably. The important thing is that you get back up, shake it off, and try again a little wiser. No one likes to lose, and it takes courage to admit they did. It's okay to regret something you've done. As much as feeling regret sucks, it motivates us to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again. It's an important process in growing up and, well…surviving. And isn't that what growing up is: surviving?
I failed miserably last week, quite literally. For the first time in my 26 years, I failed a class. For a life-long hard working student whose never had a GPA below 3.6, this was like getting sucker punched in my nerdy, squishy, post-partum stomach. It would have been expected if I hadn't tried; then I would have deserved it. But all semester-long, I constantly struggled with the class. I worked and worked in hopes of at least passing. But that wasn't in the cards. Instead, I became part of the lower fifty percent of students who take this class: those that fail (that's right, this class has a fifty percent fail-rate).
The weight of disappointment, frustration, sadness, and the desire to lose myself in an alcoholic stupor, all bare down on my back like a boulder. I am now fearful of the coming semester. Not to mention: I have no motivation to work like have in the past, which is a problem because now more than ever do I need to pull up my bootstraps and get to work.
Sure, feeling the shame and guilt from failure suck. Knowing you let someone down because you didn't succeed sucks. The fact that your best wasn't good enough f&*%ing sucks. But that's not the worst of it; do you know what the hardest part of failing is? Not becoming a whiny, sore loser.
Everyone is entitled one pity party--maybe a few more depending on the circumstances. But eventually, you have to dry your tears, stand up and try again. Try again, no matter how much you just want to stay buried under the covers and hide from the sun. You have to do this terribly difficult task because if you don't, nothing will ever get better.
So I will press on next semester, and the one after that, and so on--because I have to set an example for you; because I refuse to just lie down and quit; because it's the only way I'll get to where I'm going.
Love, Mom.

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Mentoring Monday: A Wonderful Life

Another Mentoring Monday post by Aymee! 

A Wonderful Life      As we come off the heels of Christmas approach New Years, it is time to reflect. Adam and I have had a pretty trying go at it leading up to Christmas. On my end: it all started with failing my class. Then had a Clark Griswold jelly-of-the-month-club moment at work. Then I forgot my phone in my car overnight, which wouldn't have been such a big deal if my husband wouldn't have been locked out of the apartment building all night in the Minnesota winter, and had to sleep in his car--a situation in which people have died. More drama at work; then, the day before Christmas Eve we developed a substantial leak in our apartment from the roof. A steady stream of apple-juice colored water was making its way down my window and wall, and soaking the carpet--the carpet where our Christmas tree and presents were.
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Figure 1: Making the best of it: love is all you need.      In the Thurston household, we have a Christmas Eve tradition of watching It's a Wonderful Life over cocktails. This year, it couldn't have been more therapeutic. Before he left for work one night, Adam turned to me. His eyes looked beaten, his voice broken. “Could it get any worse?” Yes darling, yes it could. We have a healthy, smart, beautiful daughter. We're not making bank…hell, I wouldn't even say we're “comfortable,” but we're making it financially. Work is rough, but at least we have jobs. We may have had to live like ducks for a day, but we have a place to rest our heads at night. Sadly, and hardest to swallow during the holidays: we are away from our family. But we have “family” in our friends--and no man is a failure who has friends.
Wishing everyone the best this holiday season,Love, The Thurstons
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Mentoring Monday: Children are Water, We are the Glass

As usual, Monday welcomes another post by new mama to Maddie, Aymee. Leave her some love!
Our Children are Water, and we are the Glass      H₂O: the single most important tangible substance for life on Earth. It is what allows all organisms to flourish. This naturally renewable source is a cure-all for when we are sick, tired, and run-down. Water is the most pliable element, taking the shape of whatever container it resides in. Take the simple image of a cool glass of water. What comes to mind? Rejuvenation, refreshment, mmm…a good feeling.
      If our children are water, then we are the glass that holds them. Some glasses are simple cylinders; some are artfully colorful or eye-catchingly shaped. But they all serve the same purpose: to provide a receptacle for water to do its job and reach its full potential. When one thinks of a glass of water, one focuses on the water. The glass is often taken for granted. But if the glass is structurally unstable (i.e. a crack in the side), precious liquid will helplessly leak out making a mess. Parenting is a lot like being a glass. We have a responsibility to stay structurally sound so our children can reach their full potential and fuel a better future.
      Originally, I did not plan to have children until I was finished with college. College-then-kids is the stereotypically expected plan in our culture because college-with-kids is damn hard. But late last year, a burning stillness rose within me to have a baby. Adam had been prodding for children for years. Six months into dating we went to see Jersey Girl in the theater. As the credits began to roll, he looked lovingly at me and said, “Let's have a baby.” --!!!-- “Get away from me!” I humorously thought. Working on my Associates degree, we weren't even married yet (not that you have to be married to have kids). I made him wait five and half years, and I'm lucky he's so patient. When I enrolled in school last fall, I still had every intention of finishing my Bachelors before getting pregnant. But in November, something changed within me. The time came, and I had a peace in my heart and my gut so strong: I knew I had to listen. My mom, who lovingly pressed me to finish college, softly questioned my judgment. “What about school?” she asked. In her head, it probably sounded more like, “ARE YOU CRAZY?! Do you have any idea what you're in for?” But I'm an extremely lucky individual. My mom is amazing, supportive, and keen enough to have always known her strong-willed daughter has to follow her heart, even if she sees otherwise.
      Following my heart paid off. As Adam puts it, “We hit the jackpot.” Our little girl is more wonderful in every way than I ever imagined. I like to think the stars aligned last November, my soul sensed it, and thank goodness I listened. Still, in the back of my mind I wonder if having my plate so full will have a negative impact on my parenting abilities? The conclusion I always come back to is this: the answer is up to me. The answer will lie in how I prioritize my obligations. It is a given that my child and husband come first. Then my job and school come next. And my sanity? Well…
      It would be easy to decline into a slippery slope of sacrificing my sanity for the sake of my responsibilities. But will that eventually make me a cracked glass? Certainly. In the circular method of doing what's best for my child, I have to take care of myself. The battle is figuring out how to deliver on all three planes without becoming overwhelmed and losing hope--but it's not impossible. At my college, forty percent of the student body are working parents. And like them, I am (somehow) still passing my classes and my child is thriving. Or take a lot of the working Moms on Etsy & Artfire: Brooke, Steph, and even our beloved Amber; multiple kids and successful stores they run by themselves. If they can do it and stay sane, so can I. With a positive mindset, it is amazing what we are capable of.
      I find taking pride in my struggle for Maddie yields further motivation. Taking comfort in doing the right thing for my family, regardless of how hard it may be, gives me the energy to press on. To get up before dawn, to stay calm when she's not, to attend class instead of go home and have a beer: all for my family. Yes, water fuels the future. But who knew it fueled the glass holding it?

Amber edit: Thanks Mee-Mee, this could have been more perfect today... today my friend, has been a total whirlwind.. cooking, cleaning, working, parenting, wifing, and i still have about 6 hours to go... its 7:30 (head/desk) doing it with my sanity? I dunno... some days (like today) I swear my heads gunna explode... other days? Piece of cake.. I just keep focusing on the next day... get as much done today because "the next day" will be easier... it seems to help me get buy and stay focused on the tasks at hand... if not, i get completely overwhelmed... i love you!
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