United States of Motherhood

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What's Your 12th Photo? I Need a Smile!


I just saw a game on a post that dared me to post my 12th picture in my phone's camera roll.





So here it is and yep, it pretty much sucks.

Yep. See you later overheating, hinge breaking, case cracked on bottomon both corners of case, guts spilling laptop.

No HP I will NOT BE SENDING YOU MY UNBACKED UP HARD DRIVE you want me to although you also want me to sign something saying you aren't responsible if you lose it.

Not so tempting.

So guys? With my laptop whisked away by FedEx right before three conferences in three week? With the promise it may be fixable? Maybe under warranty thanks to Costco Concierge service? Maybe I'll see it in 9 business days plus 3business shipping days?

So best case, sometime next month?

Nightmare!

I did steal my son's old, barely limping, can't handle my fabulously ADHD 40 tabs open minimum social media self.

So cheer me up please? Post your 12th pic and tag me? There has got to be something better than mine! Ha!

Monday, March 30, 2015

It's a #EATCLEANNOHOWABOUTEATICECREAM Kind of Monday #Coffee

And hashtag writing to reveal my shame seemed so appropriate....

 #Seattle #NOTpaleo #yum #coffee #coffeeporn#coffeelover #coffeeaddict #caffeine #java #espresso #pnw #coffeetime#coffeebreak #coffeeporn #coffeecup #cupofjoe #coffeelovers #coffeemug#coffeeholic #coffeegram #ICECREAM #IScreamforIceCream #EATCLEANNOHOWABOUTEATICECREAM

Friday, March 27, 2015

On Swimming Daughters, Tampons & Pads, oh MY: Staying Active Always & Separating the Men from the Boys #FitToPlay #ad


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FitToPlay #CollectiveBias





Today we are talking about women's issues.  Women's physical issues.  You know that time of the month.  Aunt Flo.  The rag. Our monthly visitor.  The one that leaves a crime scene in our pants? The Red Menace.  Yep, that's the one...coming like a perry fairy in the night leaving us with women's flu!

Still clueless?  

Those that have the red badge of courage know exactly what I mean.  The CRIMSON tide! Some might even call it shark week.

Sooooo...Anyone of the male persuasion still here?  

 Heh! Yep, I hear a certain group of teenage swimmers and friends of my teen daughter and son have been reading along on this blog.

So fair warning guys?  


It's going to get bloody in here, so stay at your own risk.  You may learn FAR more than you ever thought about Mother Nature's monthly gift.

So euphemisms aside, let's call it what it is: Our period!  Menstruation to be more exact where we bleed from our vaginas every 21-28 days.

Well, that's if you are lucky.



Not so lucky teen me!

In our family, it's a CURSE. A debilitating, life-threatening one at times. One that eventually ended in surgery for me as well as many family members.

Let me take a step back: I grew up in a family with five daughters.  FIVE.  Add the occasional foster sister and my mom, and you could have up to half-dozen synced periods in one house.  Oh the joys for my dad and one brother.

Oh the tampons we went through...Good times! 

Growing up though? I thought nine day periods and changing super tampons and overnight pads every half-hour were normal. I dealt with it as most girls do however it turned into a nightmare when I was in the Army.

Totally an introvert in the Army


In the field?  Guys take a knee and take care of business.  No need to shower. They can go literally weeks and weeks.



Not so easy for women, especially when you are out four days and there is no latrine in sight.




It was tough, but there was no time to slow down.  I hid it well under camouflage.




No biggie--camouflage hides more that just dirt....

Just suck it up and drive on!!  

 Then I had a daughter.  A lovely, lovely daughter!!





The curse came and it came hard!




As in we reluctantly put  a child of twelve on birth-control-to-manage-it hard.


Did I mention she is a swimmer?


Yep, EVERY day, seven days a week 2-3 hour practices at a time--sometimes twice in one day she is in a pool. My friends? Periods are tough on all of those swimmers, but she inherited my curse.  So having the best product out there for active, athletic girls is what we do. We want her fit to play, or ahem swim, every day. There is no time to slow down for competitive swimmers.

Sure, it's embarrassing to get out at practice to take care of business.  My heart has gone out to girls at meets, taking their mark on blocks with the worry their monthly condition might be exposed.

As a swim mom, I have seriously stood behind girls to shield them, "Just in case, Mrs. Raines." I am pretty cool like that. Heh!





I have subbed for moms on swim meets when girls start their period for the first time and taught them late into the night how to use tampons.  I have had swimmers I have never met at swim meets come to me in  a panic in tears hoping I had a tampon.





Honestly PERIODS suck for everyone, but for swimmers in tight suits, it is often a horror.


A horror they try to hide at all costs. I've heard of girls that actually take a week off a month from practice, limiting their athletic potential.




That's what is cool about these New Playtex® Sport® new combo packs of tampons/pads or tampons/liners you can scoop up at Walmart. They have you covered on the way to practice and during dryland with their new Ultra-Thin Pads with Wings and Body Shape Panty Liners, as well as varying tampon absorbencies when you are in the pool.




Seriously, she can give leakage a one, two punch! New Playtex® Sport® Combo Packs come with Tampons and either Pads or Liners, offering two kinds of Sport Level Protection™ to keep her comfortable and dry no matter what the activity. Pack your combo in your gym bag and be ready for running, crossfit, swimming, or whatever her coach has her doing that day at practice.

Speaking of coaches, honestly, ever coach my daughter has ever had has been male, but amazingly understanding and open about female physical issues. We are lucky.  That is not true for most men, I know.

However, we are hoping to achieve that for my sons.  Want to hear one of proudest mommy moments?  Let me share it from a couple years back:




Ummm I've raised an impressive young man. At 17, his little sister convinced him to buy her feminine hygiene products while I convinced him to buy chocolate chips for those cookies I mentioned below after his lifeguard's shift today.
Yes chocolate and tampons!!
He said he barely escaped being seen by some teen girls he knew from high school at the self-check stand. ‪#‎bigbrotheroftheyearaward‬


Yes, we are an open book in this family and I could not have shouted louder how proud I was that my teen son went tampon shopping for his sister.  She texted him a picture of what she wanted and he got exactly the right brand, size, and absorbency.

Yes, my son's future girlfriends, wife, and daughters will all be so thankful.  That's what a real man does--supports the women in his life. And those women?  They should not have to slow down, limit their athletic potential, or really be embarrassed.



In the meantime, pretty sure we will be texting him this to bring home next time:


Teens & Tampons oh my!!  What a great brother!

So here is the deal.  We as women all deserve to remain carefree and comfortable in our active lifestyles. My job has always been to teach my daughter that we can and should stay active despite our period.

Never let your period get in the way of your active lifestyle!

Another pro tip?  Heh! This mom may no longer have a period ((thank the gods)), but she still has ahem a little problem when doing those Crossfit workout.  Oh lordy can double under and box jumps do a number to my bladder.



 So I will be borrowing those Ultra-Thin Pads with Wings and Body Shape Panty Liners from my daughter. They're  designed with an anti-leak absorbent core that pulls fluid quickly into the pad and locks it inside. The ultra-thin pads with wings keep your pad in place and the ultra-soft, cottony cover provides comfort while you work your hardest in whichever activity you choose. Playtex pads have a sport level protection™ design to comfortably fit your active life:

  • FlexFit™ - Designed to twist and turn with your body, providing sport level protection.
  • Odor Shield™ - Technology designed to neutralize odors before they start.
  • Qwik-Dry™ - Pulls fluid quickly into the pad and wicks moisture away, keeping you dry and fresh.
  • Super Absorbent Core - Locks fluid away


So my question to you, what will you teach your daughters, nieces, and the young women in your life?  And how will you train the young men in your life to treat women's periods? 




Leave me a comment below?



NEW! Playtex® Sport® now available in Pads, Liners and Combo Packs at Walmart's Every Day LOW Prices! Now Sport Level Protection™ pads, liners and combo packs with Flexfit™ design to twist and turn with your body. Don't let your period get in the way. PlayOn!



Thursday, March 19, 2015

It's Spring Tomorrow: Five Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Smartphone @att #ATTSeattle



It's the first day of spring tomorrow.  Yep, we will all start buzzing around to clean our homes.  What about our phones?
Today’s connected devices serve as virtual closets, storing our emails, photos, documents and apps.

By keeping your technology tidy, you can help improve battery life and performance.

AT&T has some tips to help them ensure everything they own is cleared of clutter, including the one item that’s almost always with them: their smartphone. Check out the following spring-cleaning tips for a spic and span smartphone:




1.)    Delete unused apps: Even though you may not be actively using an application, it can still run along with other apps. This can silently drain the battery. Close or quit those unused apps, and if you no longer use the apps, delete them. Unused apps can clutter your screen and distract you from discovering what you need. Keep your screen clean and create folders to group similar apps. 

2.)    Polish your passwords: These days, our smartphones not only pose as communication devices, they also play the roles of banker, shopper and business partner. Nothing can prepare your for another successful season like password protecting your phone and resetting your profile passwords. Wipe away your chances of being hacked and clear your device of poor passwords. Mix it up and choose a combo of words, numbers and symbols. 

3.)    Be battery efficient: Just like you remember to turn the lights off when you leave a room, it’s good to remember to turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS on your smartphone when these functions are not in use. This can improve the phone’s battery life, too. 

4.)    Sync your smartphone: Not only will syncing your smartphone save you massive amounts of space, but it will also save you loads of grief if something happens to your cell. Organize your device and store what you don’t need daily in a safe place. Consider using a cloud-based storage service, such as AT&T Locker. It offers customers an easy and automated way to store, sync and share photos, videos and documents in one convenient place. This cloud-based app is free to download, and the first 5GB of storage is also free. 

5.)    Clean your screen:  We take our cellphones with us everywhere — from the gym to the dinner table — and along with them any bacteria they may have picked up. Use a wrung-out disinfectant wipe or spray a paper towel with disinfectant to sanitize your smartphone.



Jump start your clean routine this year and spruce up your smartphone before spring has sprung!




On Home Owners Associations: Yes or NO? #HOA



Cracking up. Anyone who has ever dealt with a HOA will get this.
Our HoA is on a roll with letters and $50-100 fines sent with ((gasp)) "photographic evidence" of visible garbage cans (a sliver of a can seen behind a bush) that have been there for a decade without comment, visible moss (yes this is freaking Seattle-we haz moss), and basketball hoops on the street in a family neighborhood where the average household has 3.9 kiddos.
Luckily we have been spared, but last summer I also was sent photographic evidence of "weeds," in my front yard with no actual weeds in the picture. We ignored them as they sent it three times. Finally I figured they must be confusing legit plants with weeds?
What I find creepy though is the thought of someone driving around with a camera, creeping on my home, and taking pictures.
Yes, we bought into a nice neighborhood and it's nice not to have cars parked on lawns, RV's and boats not parked on streets for weeks, and no pink houses, but come on!

Thoughts on HOAs? Love 'em or leave 'em?

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