I’m trying something new. I’m writing through my anxiety as it’s happening and I’m planning to publish it, this stream-of-consciousness-while-anxious blather. Maybe it will help someone, maybe it will help me! I’ve never tried writing while anxious before, which is kind of shocking.

It’s raining some wintry mix at the moment. The drive to work, including the walk to the car, was treacherous because everything was covered in a sheet of ice. I’ve had caffeine, which is something I know better than to do but often can’t resist, so I made myself more prone to anxiety. And for no good reason, given that I can’t taste the difference between decaf and regular coffee!

A text alert from the credit monitoring service I signed up for when I received two different notices from two different companies that I was at risk for identity theft alerted me to a change in my credit report this morning. The alert, combined with the worry on the drive to work, has my heart thumping.

And there is a stack of articles on my desk, all of which will require hours of entering corrections and making PDFs to email to authors. I can’t go home until this is done. After this, there are still four items on today’s to do list. It’s overwhelming how much there is to do lately!

I’m going to put on some music. Sometimes talk radio is better when I feel like this, but it’s harder to convince myself to put that on. Why is it that when I’m already anxious, it’s hard for me to do the things I know will make me feel better?

I’m remembering items from my list of things that make my anxiety retreat–music, distraction (hmm, maybe I should focus on all the work instead of writing about the anxiety itself?), lavender (I keep a lavender essential oil spray in my cubicle), Rescue Remedy (a tin of the pastilles sits on top of my desk), breathing (I learned a new breathing technique this week, so I should practice that)…. The list is pretty long. I’m going to get started, one thing at a time.

But first, my friend just emailed me about Martha Stewart’s skin care regimen. I think reading about that will get me out of my own head a minute! She’s 72 years old and her face looks amazing.

Huh, she uses oil. I do that, too. Someone should tell her that coconut oil is way better than Johnson’s baby oil.

I need to spend more time working out. And get a facialist. And eat more veggies. Use some masks–I bet I could get some great ones from Lush. Those are the one type of Lush product I actually haven’t tried yet!

My skin felt really great after I washed it last night and then used a sample of Angels on Bare Skin (a Lush product). Then I followed up with coconut oil with one drop of tea tree oil mixed into it. I stunk (tea tree oil doesn’t smell good, in my opinion), but my skin felt great.

Hey, whaddya know, I distracted myself out of feeling anxious in about 5 minutes. I sense it slipping away. Good music, daydreaming about skin care products… who knew that would do the trick!

I’m such a spaz. But hopefully a spaz with glowing skin in the future. Not that my skin is bad now.

I’m getting back to work. This is getting kind of ridiculous, but it did the trick. Hmm, dare I hit publish?

 

This morning, I spent the entire hour between waking up and leaving the house on myself (other than packing lunches) because Jax slept in (amazing!). Just as the clock turned to 7:45–the time I have to leave the house in order to make it to work on time–I realized today is the Thanksgiving feast at pre-K. This meant that I needed to send Jax to school dressed like either a Pilgrim or an Indian, per his teacher’s instructions. Rifling through his dresser, I couldn’t find anything that fit the description (in my head), so I had the bright idea to craft him a Pilgrim’s hat out of construction paper & whatever other supplies I could gather in under 5 minutes.

I struggled for a second between which of my two hats I needed to put on more: on-time professional Editor with a workload that needs all my attention versus crafty mom who doesn’t want her kid to be the only kid at school not dressed like a Pilgrim…

Mom wins. Always.

Here’s what I created when I should have been commuting:

pilgrim hatNot terrible, right? Except for the pieces of tape showing…

But when he woke up, I couldn’t get him to put it on! Can you guess why? Guess what he told me!

His teacher already made each child a Pilgrim hat or Indian headdress! Apparently, SHE had even measured their heads!

So…what do I do with my super cute Pilgrim hat? I’m thinking I make one for each of us and show up to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house wearing them.  :)

Do you think I made the right choice in going into work late so I could craft this hat, despite the outcome?

I did manage to sneak in a photo of Jax trying it on…

pilgrim hat modelAnd by the way, I managed to get to work only 9 minutes late! Not bad!

 

I’ve been a BoyMom for over 4 years now and I’m still not sick of playing cars on the floor, Lego (disclaimer: I haven’t  stepped on yet barefoot yet, so talk to me after that happens), and all-things-Superhero.

Amy from BoyMom Designs sent me a shirt that reminds me of all the hours spent helping Jax determine which car is the fastest, rolling cars through each room of our house to see which floor surface is best for races, and choosing which car Jax might someday own from among the 50 or 60 cars he has collected so far (the purple one, of course).

boymomshirt

This was the best pic I could get today. We parents know how challenging it can sometimes be to get everyone to remain calm enough to snap a non-blurry pic!

My new BoyMom t-shirt features 5 rows of fast toy cars, from red to orange to yellow. The logo across the top made me smile and think of Jax. I threw a cardi over it, paired it with some skinny jeans & Uggs, and I’m referring to it as my “mom uniform” on this chilly & chill Saturday afternoon. There’s a turkey roasting in the oven and a Disney movie on the tv. No, it isn’t Cars, but good idea!

Amy & I are offering one of these cute cars t-shirts to one of you and a 20% discount code for the entire site to all of you. You can enter up to 3 times to win the cars t-shirt shown above:

  1. Follow @boymomdesigns on Twitter. Come back to this post & comment to let us know you’ve followed. Leave your twitter name.
  2. Like BOTH James & Jax and BoyMom on Facebook. Comment below to let us know you’ve done this.
  3. Tell us about any one of your favorite parenting moments in a comment below.

One winner will be selected at random on Monday, December 2. In the meantime, please head over to BoyMom to check out all Amy has to offer–her store isn’t just for moms of boys! While you’re there, read her story; she is an inspiration!

Yes, my boys can be dangerous, destructive, messy, exasperating, and smelly — but the good news is that they are only that way some of the time. The rest of the time they are superheroes in the making; respectful and honest do-gooders, defenders of the universe, and best of all always loving. The kind of boys that will grow up to be good men. Of all the jobs in the world, being a boymom might be the most challenging and the most fulfilling. ~ Amy

Don’t forget to use your 20% discount code: U9X5JC.

UPDATE: Angela, you’re the winner of the BoyMom Cars t-shirt! I’ll be in touch with you soon!

I might be the last to know about The Switch Witch–you tell me. Have you heard of her? Have you introduced her in your home?

In case I’m not the last to know, the way I understand this concept to work is this: Parents who are tired of all that Halloween candy sitting around the house (you know we are the ones eating most of it!) introduce the concept of The Switch Witch to their littles, telling them that they can trade in their candy for a toy to be delivered by her while they sleep.

How we worked it in my house is that I had Jax write a letter to The Switch Witch (I used a pencil to dot the words he dictated to me, and then he traced each letter with whatever color marker he wished to use–this was a fantastic exercise for him to practice letter writing, by the way). We left the letter next to his bowl of Halloween candy when he went to bed the other night. First, though, I let him choose a handful of his favorite candies to retain because I felt bad having him turn it all in.

This is the stash Jax asked to keep.

This is the stash Jax asked to keep.

"Take my candy, leave a toy..."

“Take my candy, leave a toy…”

The next morning, the candy was gone and a toy was waiting for Jax when he woke. The Switch Witch had come in the night, much like The Tooth Fairy.

The Switch Witch delivered!

The Switch Witch delivered!

He was so happy. I was so happy. My co-workers who stop by my cubicle for a candy fix are happy.

I think we will continue this tradition for a few years. If we didn’t, what ultimately would have happened is that I would have continued to eat a little candy here and there each day until I needed a bigger size, Jax would have had a bunch of sugar highs, and then in December I’d have ended up throwing out a ton of leftover candy to make room for Christmas candy. Ugh.

What do you think? Will you be using The Switch Witch? Or are your kids more into candy than toys?

A truth about me: I am introspective to the max, and maybe it’s considered narcissistic by some but I love learning more about who I am at my core. I believe a thousand percent in self-improvement and that in order to be and do better, I must challenge myself to think deeply about what makes me tick. I’ll take any personality quiz and read any horoscope, but I’ve found something even more detailed and true: The Secret Language Name.

The Secret Language Name is “a distillation of personality traits found during a 40-year empirical study of more than 20,000 people, organized by birthday.” It’s easy to use; visit URL HERE and scroll to your birthday (date, month, year) to generate your report. A Secret Language Name reveals a person’s natural identity. For example, Abe Lincoln was an “Intentional Unifier” and Mother Theresa was an “Innocent Supportive Partner.”

Wanna know what I am?

I’m a “Compassionate Mortal Mirror.”

SLN2

My Secret Language Name (& now you know my age!)

Meaning, I “hold up a mirror to the human condition…. Themes of reflection and revelation run through the lives of August 14 people.” Yup, it’s true; refer to the first paragraph of this post!

More that I believe to be true:

August 14 people who are not commentators but embodiers of the human condition very much wear their heart on their sleeve. They cannot really hide their faults or their problems. But though their struggles are painfully evident, they are perhaps representative of what many others are experiencing.

This reminds me so much of my experience as an advocate of mental health, particularly maternal mental health, after my experience with postpartum depression and anxiety.

The SNL also provides helpful advice for daily life:

Apply your understanding of the human condition to your own life; turn a mirror to yourself.

Evaluate your personal processes and monitor them regularly.

Do not lose your spontaneity but moderate it.

You can change yourself if you want to.

The SNL then breaks down the character traits of individuals born the same week as me, the Week of Leadership. The descriptor I related to most was that “action comes naturally to these dynamic individuals. They are also good planners, well capable of organizing an effective plan of attack and seeing it through.” This is one of the traits I’m most proud of about myself: I am ambitious, always figuring out the next move, and I always follow through after creating a solid plan–which is also a flaw of mine, if I’m being honest, because sometimes I follow through when my heart’s just not in it.

I looked at Jackson’s Secret Language, too. The Secret Language Name for this date, and for those born during it, is… “Electric Royal Command.” Pretty cool phrase, right? According to the data, Jax is a born leader (words a momma loves hearing), who will focus on the big show.

SLNscreenshot

Description of Jackson’s Secret Language Name

If you’re into personality tests, horoscopes, and life advice (like I am), I encourage you to find your Secret Language Name by visiting http://clvr.li/SLNME. You can even check your friends’ names and read about who they are deep inside. You’ll learn something new, trust me.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.