Disney World. The bad

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Every good side has a bad side. I was happily surprised that I saw little bad while I visited Disney World.  The bad thing that I did see was ungrateful people.

My experience with meditation didn’t go well but something I find easy and beneficial to do every day is to show gratitude.  It comes easily being I have a disease that keeps me in a cold dark room and even the littlest bit of relief allows me to be grateful.

I also was a special education teacher for children with severe needs.   I can tell you that when you’ve worked with a child that is severely Autistic or is multiply handicapped you see the world in a different way.

So here’s the bad about Disney World….ungrateful adults.  I have always been able to work with difficult children because of the reminder that they don’t know any better.  I don’t give adults that benefit of the doubt.

As I was standing waiting for my family after a bathroom break (I told you we were hydrating!) I saw a most ungrateful man. He literally stopped in front of me and screamed at his daughter (or could have been his granddaughter, I couldn’t tell) about her band aid falling off her hand.

First of all, band aids fall off a moving hand.  Secondly, shame on him for yelling and embarrassing his daughter about such an insignificant thing.  As she hung her head I could feel the anger rise in me.

I texted my best friend and told her I considered tripping the man (hopefully scrapping his hand) and handing his daughter an extra band aid to put in her pocket.  I don’t go anywhere without band aids.  Kids fall and when they fall they need a band aid.  Even when there isn’t blood, sometimes a band aid just makes them feel better.

You know what doesn’t make them feel better, getting yelled at in a group of people.  How ungrateful!  He was worried about this tiny detail of his day and I am sitting there thinking of the Make a Wish family that had just walked by me.  I bet that family wasn’t worried about a band aid.  I bet their worries were real and powerful and that they would give anything to have their biggest problem be a band aid.  That family was smiling and laughing and  not worrying about such a small thing because they know BIG problems.  I wish that family could talk to that man and tell him about real anger.  Not anger at their child but anger at what they were suffering from.

Another time I saw the bad side of Disney was when we were on a ride. At one point the ride stopped and they made a statement about the ride stopping and that it would start again in a moment.  I heard a woman behind me groan and start loudly complaining about how she couldn’t believe it was ruining her ride.

It’s a funny thing about perspective.  My first thought wasn’t to complain it was to hope.  I sat there hoping that the boy I saw in a wheel chair with a feeding tube was being carefully wheeled onto the ride.  While this woman was complaining I was hoping that this sweet child would be able to experience the beauty and wonder of the ride that I was getting to enjoy.   While this woman was complaining with her working legs and loud mouth I would be interested to hear what that dad I saw pushing him would think.  I’m glad he couldn’t hear her and hope they got to enjoy!

Are these people bad people, of course not. I only heard and saw a small moment of their day.  No one is perfect and I ‘m sure they were dealing with their own issues.  Everyone has problems and everyone expresses them differently.  But from my perspective the bad thing about Disney is the ungrateful people.

I can’t go anywhere without negative people surrounding me and some days it bothers me more than others.  On a day that I felt OK and was literally looking to the sky being grateful for everything this world had provided me.  Then, I heard such nonsense of “band aid gate” and “let’s pause for a moment and complain.”

Let’s all show gratitude!

Part 3 of Disney World is coming.  You know it had to come…..the MIGRAINE!  This one has a great lesson.

Lessons your children learn or miss on vacation

img_9212I just came home from vacation with 4 children under 9.  When we left for vacation I was reminded that school districts look poorly on unexcused absences.  My answer was, “My children learn endless lessons on vacation and I’m not apologizing for showing them the world.”

While on the cruise I noticed lessons learned and missed everywhere.  Being a stay at home mom and teacher makes me see the world through different eyes.  I see my children and nieces as students in the real world.  I don’t have them in a classroom but I take opportunities to teach them as often as possible.

Waiting in Lines

Traveling requires a lot of waiting.  I’m writing this from the airport with a canceled flight and 8 hours of airport sitting.  When we travel, we wait in line for security, baggage, departure, arrival, check in, check out, and events that we attend.  Everyone waits in line but how they wait is crucial. 

As a teacher of three year olds, a line is a completely foreign concept.  We work on it all year long but it’s up to adults to show them how.  Are you waiting in line complaining that it’s not moving?  Are you pushing people?  Are you cutting and stepping in and out of line?  Patience my dear…..patience.

Eating

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On a cruise, food is endless.  With this, are endless options.  We don’t encourage our children to order mac n cheese every night (although my son would love it and cause me less issues).  I will fully admit my son is an insanely tough eater.  He cries through most meals and only eats about three things by choice.  I have a picky eater who ruins most meals for me.  This does not mean he gets what he wants.  On vacation we aren’t shoving veggies down our kid’s throats and we eat lots of desserts. 

We mainly focus on trying new foods.  What better time to try new things than an all-inclusive meal package?  They tried escargot (gross!), lobster, crab legs, fruit soups and more.  If they don’t like it, ok.  If they do, it gets added it to their vast pallet.  We take “No thank you bites” which mean they try it and say no thank if they don’t want more.  Try new foods.

Along with this comes table manners.  Even my three year old orders for himself and has for years.  Look at the waitress, order politely and wait patiently.  We look at how a table is set, why there are so many forks and put napkins in our laps.  At home my children set the table and having a beautifully set table is something they recognize.

Different cultures, languages and social studies

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Our children have classmates who are bi lingual but only hear them speak English in school.  When we travel, we see adults and children speak in their first languages and it’s a great learning experience.

 My son played with a little girl in the pool and neither one of them knew they were speaking different languages.  I sat and laughed watching them play in the water while joy and giggles spoke for them.

We saw different bathing suits, hair coverings, dress styles, jewelry choices and more.  Talking about differences in cultures is different than seeing it.  Both on the boat and on the islands we saw every color of skin, eye and hair color. 

They saw homes that look a lot different than ours.  Telling a child to appreciate their home and showing them a shack where children their age live is a lesson that lasts.  More is not always more and location dictates dwellings.  We don’t have brightly colored houses like the Bahamas and they don’t have snow barriers like Cleveland.  Location, location, location.

It was diversity at it’s best.  We rode in elevators with a swirl of languages around us.  We tried to identify where they may have been from and where in the world it was.  It was fun to problem solve and see social studies come to life.

Maps.  Maps can help teach scale (additional math lessons below).  It can teach location, direction, elevation, landmarks and more.  Wherever we travel we get a map.

Math

Math surrounds us everywhere.  Money is always an easy lesson.  Change, dollars, prices etc. are all opportunities for lessons.

We found lessons in walking the stairs when the elevators were too crowded.  How many floors till we get to where we need to go?  Addition, subtraction, counting stairs and more.  Active math can be better than paper pencil math.

At dinner we had my niece making patterns with the utensils.  Fork, spoon, fork, spoon, fork…  Now try spoon, spoon, fork, spoon, spoon, fork, spoon….

We had a ton of events to go to.  What time is it?  What numbers are on the clock?  How much more time till we need to go?  What time do we need to get up and what numbers will be on the clock?

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Technology

HERE COMES THE JUDGEMENT…..

Get the ipad out of your kids hands!!!!!  I was sickened by how much other children were missing life lessons.  If the schools are referring to those kids and missing school, I agree.  How you vacation with your children should dictate if you can miss school or not.  If your child is handed an ipad for a week, keep them in school!!!!!!  You aren’t doing them any favors by “showing them the world” when they are missing the world around them.

I sat at dinner for an entire week next to a family who gave their son an ipad at dinner and I did not see them speak to him ONCE!  It actually distracted me from my own family by staring at this poor child holding a screen 1 foot from his face for an hour straight each night.  Literally……NOT ONE WORD WAS SPOKEN TO HIM!  A generation without being spoken to or speaking was screaming in my face.

Do people say to themselves, “Let’s have a baby and not talk to him.”  I know this is super judgey but it’s the truth.  It’s easier to give technology than to speak to your babies, I get it (but I don’t do it).   We talk to our children and they speak to us.  Language development is hugely lacking due to technology.  Children should not have difficulty in conversation, in fact, they should be difficult to stop from their inquisitive natures.

We ask open ended questions that provoke thought…What was your favorite part of the day?  What was your least favorite part and how did it make you feel?  Who made you laugh today?  How did you feel when (a situation) happened?

Our children colored, did actual homework, read menus, played with characters and were aware of their surroundings.  Are my children perfect?  No child is.  Most nights we had multiple trips to the bathroom and walks around the halls while waiting for food. 

Like I said, my son is a picky eater and my husband and I battled him every night to cut his attitude and sit with us whether he was eating or not.  We left most dinners exhausted and frustrated but we didn’t take the easy way out.  He’ll thank us some day and onlookers thanked us as they left for the polite lovely children that we are raising.  I’m not kidding, we get complimented most places we go for their manners.

Technology is easy being a parent HARD.  If you got into being a parent thinking it would be easy, check the definition again….it’s HARD and requires real work.  Technology is not work.

As we waited in those lesson teaching lines, I mentioned above, I saw dozens of children with ipads again.  These aren’t educational games that my kids play at home on rainy days, they are manic, ADD producing, mind frying, delusion creating games (cue the negative feedback).  There is a time and a place for shows, movies and games and it is NOT ALL THE TIME!

Like I said, this is  judgey and I’m not perfect.  I typically try to be politically correct in my posts because I tend to lean towards: Everyone is different.  But in this case, if you want to battle me in saying that ipads are good to be in children’s hands at all moments I’ll take that challenge.

A generation that can’t self-entertain, don’t speak and are missing life lessons around them is frightening.   Children playing games sitting in diapers instead of playing in the pool is wrong!  Not talking to your son at dinner is not OK.  Waiting in a line and frantically searching through a purse to quickly soothe a toddler who needs to be swiping his finger while rewiring his small brain and is losing potential with each passing minute is tragic.  Kids who are only comfortable “talking” through their fingers saying things that they wouldn’t have the nerve to say out loud is their “reality”.

I can go on and on and on and on about this.  As a teacher, as a mother, as a human being watching my babies surrounded by robots is nothing short of terrifying!

 Conclusion

Circling back to the comment of schools not liking personal vacations, I ask you this…..Are your children learning and living lessons or missing them as a world passes them by?  Enjoy life and be present.  Being a parent is hard and a lot of my vacation consisted of cranky kids and not being easy.  We read books at bedtime, we talked, we grew together and we all had moments of tears and difficulty.

Life is hard and vacation should not consist of ipads and missing life.  Life is real, it’s fun, it’s different, it’s people, it’s tantrums, it’s conversations, it’s exhausting, it’s living school.  They can look and speak to adults, entertain themselves, use their imaginations and be kids the ways kids should be (the old fashioned way).

I’m not perfect, my kids aren’t perfect and I know no one is.  But together we enjoyed vacation and learned lessons that school or an ipad could not teach us………LIFE.

RANT and JUDGEMENT OVER…..

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Disney World tragedy and lessons I learned

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This morning I awoke to read that a toddler had been dragged into the water by an alligator from a  Disney World hotel.  I am so sickened by this.  I am so sickened by so much in the news, in fact, that reading has been a daily painful experience.  This world is a scary, sick and unpredictable place.  Hold your loved ones close!  I pray for so many today for so many reasons.

When I went to Disney World last year, I had a profound experience having the good, the bad and a migraine.  Please read my 3 piece series on Disney World and all that I learned and came away with.

Disney World

Disney world: the good

Disney world: the bad

Disney World: my migraine

 

 

Cravings with Migraine and triggers. Chocolate, salty foods, sugar and more

bad habit and craving

bad habit and craving

Sugar!

Sugar!

I have a lot of good habits that I follow every day  to address my migraines.  If I ignore the things I do to prevent them, I would probably be bedridden permanently.  So the list goes on and changes constantly but I’m diligent and try really hard.  With all the good things I do there is one bad habit that I CAN NOT break.  It is my addiction to sugar.  I’ve read how bad it is, I know how fat it makes me but I just don’t care.  Anyone who knows me, knows this about me.  My father in law has bought me shirts that say, “I’m embarrassed at what I did for a Klondike bar” and “I run because I really, really, like dessert.”   He’s also gotten me “Mama needs a cocktail.”  All of the above are migraine triggers but we all need to pick and choose our battles, right?   It’s the truth.  Although I can’t run much anymore due to my migraines, I work out, partly, because I know my day will end with massive amounts of sugar.  I know for a fact that M&Ms  give me migraines.  It does not stop me.  I have a problem.  I actually have had more than one passionate conversation about how much I love M&Ms, the different types, and how a diet coke with them is like euphoria for me.  I literally look forward to each holiday so I can have the seasonal types.  I actually heard on the radio that M&Ms are the second most addictive food.  I don’t remember what the first one was because they had me at M&Ms.   M&Ms are only the beginning of my problem though.  Chewy candy and I go way back.  I remember for my 15th birthday my friend gave me a balloon with like 3 pounds of chewy candy weighing it down.  I had an ex boyfriend challenge me to a Sour Patch eating contest.  We never had the competition, but let’s get real….I would have won.  I eat fairly healthy and if I cut out sugar I would lose weight and eliminate a trigger for myself but I just can’t.  I justify it by saying this…..I would love to sit down and have a drink at the end of a stressful day but it just makes me feel miserable at this point.  I don’t smoke, I don’t eat fast food, I don’t gamble and I don’t shop for myself.  How do I relax at the end of a day…I eat candy.   I’m triggered by soooooo many things and eliminating my one vice just isn’t a priority to me.  So what happens when I don’t have dessert and the next day I wake up with a migraine because of the weather change?  Forget that.  Give me my candy.  If that’s the worst thing I’ve done today, I’d say I’m doing pretty good.  All of this is not mentioning the cravings migraines give me.  My husband and I were sure I would be a craving lunatic when I was pregnant but I wasn’t.  I crave sugar pre migraine way more than any craving I’ve ever had.  So my cravings and my bad habit are all in the same.  Sugar!  I have tried to stop but it just gives me a headache.  Like I said, one day I’ll get there, but it’s not a battle I’m fighting right now.  What’s your bad habit or craving?  I can’t be the only one!

I’d like to say I’m going to quit. Any advice?  How do I stop something that is a pre and post migraine craving and comfort habit?  

How do I give up sugar and not feel the emotional roller coaster of cravings & emotional withdraw?

Wait, it’s November?

This is our family thankful tree. Each day was add someone we are thankful for.

I was really sick before, during and after Halloween (of course.) Then I spent the week getting myself back into the vertical world.  I woke up today and realized it’s November!  Last week we had beautiful weather and played outside and it didn’t feel like Fall until today.  Frost on the ground, pain all over, mental emotions a mess….yep, sounds like Fall turning to Winter.  So here we are and I haven’t written a post about being thankful.  I have seen people post what they are thankful for everyday, but that’s realistic this year.  So instead I’m going to ask for your help.  Tell me what you are thankful for and I will accumulate a list.  I will repost this list throughout the year to remind myself and you that even in the lowest times, being thankful may help.  So here is my post from last year.  I mentioned many people in my life that I am grateful for but please add to the list whatever makes you thankful.    I will also be adding to the list and trying to focus on things I am thankful for DESPITE migraines.  So many things are taken away because of my migraines and I want to somehow be thankful for things even though I suffer.  If you do not wish to have your “thankfuls” on the list, please let me know.  Otherwise, I’ll accumulate them and post once Thanksgiving is over.  Please share with your friends to participate.  So many people deal with their own demons and adding to the list may help them focus on something positive today.  Post on My Migraine Life facebook page, twitter or instagram.  I look forward to hearing what you are thankful for!

     Last year’s post

All in Cleveland, All in Migraine, All in Hope

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While watching the Cavs last night I had no choice but to compare Cleveland sports to my migraines.  I did this not because watching them gives me a headache and nauseous, although it has, but because it gives me hope.  When the TV flashed, “last time Cavs won a championship…NEVER” my heart pounded and head filled with thoughts of possibilities.  With the theme of Migraine Awareness Month being hope, I had no choice but to make a comparison.  Watching losing teams year after year can be defeating just like losing year after year of having Chronic Migraines.  I continue to change my line up and think positively but more often than not a season slips through my fingers.  This year we had hope.  I find it ironic that I started my blog a year ago and my fight changed.  When LeBron came back, things changed.  LeBron embarrassed me, angered me, and frustrated me in the past.  All of these feelings I have felt with my disease.  It’s like, just when we had something going, it left and practically laughed in my face.  I’ve been there, done that more times than I’d like to remember with my pain.  But then he came back and I was optimistic, excited, and encouraged.  Once again, all the things I have felt with blogging, new medications, surgery, and more.  So the finals came and we got injured.  They said we couldn’t do it.  Then another hit and we were down another man.  Our team battled.  Just like any good athlete and true sufferer knows, you fight.  With these changes came strength from the bench that was unexpected.  I have amazed myself at the times I thought I was completely down and found another source of strength to get me through.  In the game last night, I had hope.  Hope that the “never” would turn into the “now.”  The thought of winning a championship that had never been won gave me hope that maybe my battle wouldn’t always be a loss.  History would be or could be changed.  Things would be exciting and new and different.  The hope of something different for Cleveland gave me hope for something different in myself.  I know it sounds crazy, but seeing something many thought impossible become possible is inspiring.  Until the last second of the game, those boys fought.  They were down but they were not out and never gave up.  Even though we lost, they taught us a good lesson.  There is hope, the impossible is possible or at least something that can be within grasp and to never give up.  They may not have won, but not every victory is a championship.  Hope is looking forward.  #AllinClev #AllinMigraine #AllinHope

Nature brings hope. How exercise, walking, hiking and moving help Migraine

my hope in nature

my hope in nature

A place that gives me hope in nature is the woods.  We have an amazing park system around where we live and I love to take an afternoon hike.   It’s a place I love and am filled with hope.  If you ever come to Cleveland, visit the Metro Parks, you won’t be disappointed.  The last time I was in a migraine cycle I was down for about 3 days.  When I’m down, it’s a tough decision to lay around and suffer or push myself to get out and raise my endorphins.  I was at a level 6 or 7 which was better but still pretty bad. I decided to go to the parks with my family.  The temperature was pleasant and the best thing was the woods provided shade and a cool breeze that I breathed as deeply as possible.  My children, husband and dog always give me hope, but seeing them in nature calms me.  The picture above is one that I took simply while we were walking.  My husband to my left, my dog to my right and my beautiful babies in front of me.  It gave me such hope that things would be ok.  I was so grateful to be out of my bedroom and seeing the beauty in nature.  I was in so much pain that day, but my kids had no idea.  It reminds me that although I live in chronic pain, I hope to look back on my life and see the beauty.  This picture and the memories of that simple Saturday afternoon will not be remembered as pain, it will be remembered as hope.  I often look back at pictures and can tell you the pain level I was in that day.  But the events I remember as so much more.  Sometimes I have no choice but to miss life but when I can live it, I appreciate it all!

“The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.”