Been where?

Been there:

I am the mother of four crazy boys who keep me rockin’ and rollin’ all hours of the day and night. Never hesitate to call… I’m up.

Been there:

Food is my drug of choice. And back then it was mostly sugar. I loved to bake and eat, think about baking and eating and talk about baking and eating. Oh, wait — that hasn’t changed.

In late February 2012, our family switched to a plant-based whole foods diet. As a result of this (and the increased energy and activity level that comes with) I’ve lost just about 90 pounds (early October 2012).

This isn’t a “diet” for us but rather a way of life we have come to embrace and enjoy and plan to stick to at least into the distant future. I am still losing a couple of pounds a month but if I’m going to lose anymore weight I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I’m still eating a ton of food. I’m getting there… I hope.

Been There:

Poverty. Can you believe I just said that word? And in public, too. My husband has now been in school for most of my boys’ lives. We are trying to create a better future for them and a happier future for us but it isn’t easy. We have lived on less than a shoe string and “gone without” much of the time.

Still, our kids’ needs have always been met and what’s more? Countless blessings have poured down on me and my family from the storm clouds of poverty. I need to do some kind of flow chart for this but for now, use your imagination to see how living beyond the cheap has shaped me as a mother and as a person:

  • Cloth diapers» Babywearing (note the author)» Attachment Parenting» Cosleeping» Childbirth education and advocacy» Birthing at home
  • Working from home» Newspaper and online writer» Magazine and business writer» Social media marketing» Web editor for Raising Arizona Kids» Informed, fulfilled full-time mommy (Hoping to jump back in soon!)
  • Cheap, unhealthy food (coupon food)» Fat» Sickness» Sick of it» Health nut» Real Food advocacy» Health» Energy» Increased activity» Better Mom!!!
  • Homemade food» Homemade cleaning products» Homemade, all natural skin care and body products» Self-sufficiency
  • Hoarding (Too poor to buy another one later!)» Frustration and disorganization» Minimalism– I’m just getting started here but I’m blown away by what I’ve been able to let go of and the business of life is already running so much smoother in our home

Been there:

And there:

I’m Mommy to this beautiful, perfect boy who was born with a cleft lip and palate. We are still traveling this road of interventions which rolls on until adulthood for him. Right now it’s all about therapies: speach, psych, occupational (which we’re still waiting on). But he’s learning and growing and he lights up our lives. Learn more about his journey here.

Been there:

I am Mommy to another special boy who is affected with ADD and Sensory Integration Disorder. These diagnoses are not excuses for kids who need to run and play more, who are getting in trouble and whose schoolwork is suffering (like I used to think they were). They are not something teachers and school administrators invented to keep kids doped up and in line. They are very real conditions and affect every area of a child’s life as well as his family’s. We suffered through years of traumatic events and situations that tore at the very threads of our family before I could admit this. I have become a champion of getting help early and especially of occupational therapy which made such a difference in my son’s life the short while it was available to us.

Been there:

Homeschooling. More to come!

Been there:

Breastfeeding counselor training through Breastfeeding USA. More to come!

Been there:

My first two babies were 13 months apart. In this picture I am expecting their little brother, boy #3 and am about five years away from boy #4. That first year with two was a nightmare! (No, for reals.) But it was so worth it. They won’t admit it but my oldest two boys are the best of friends and make a great team in tending their younger brothers.

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