Health & Happiness

Back By Popular Demand

Oh heeeyyy!  I realize it’s been a little longer than a minute since you last heard from me.  

I’ve been on a nine-month, unplanned hiatus during which I pretty much gave up my entire life in service of others (I’m disgustingly selfless), got my oldest son graduated and moved off to college, moved our family to a new home in a new town, planned a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation in celebration of The Graduate, and find myself now pale with dark under-eye circles, greasy meth hair, dressed like I lost a bet, and almost completely unraveled.  

Small Steps to Big Change: My Interview with Carla Birnberg

Back in November I attended the Texas Conference for Women and I had the greatest pleasure of meeting and interviewing Carla Birnberg, author of Mizfit and What You Can When You Can, the latter creating its very own movement on social media through the hashtag #wycwyc. 

I was excited about the opportunity to talk with Carla because What You Can When You Can was perfectly written as if it were just for me.  It might as well have been handwritten on spiral notebook paper, folded into a paper football, and signed, “Lylas.”

This Year Has To Be Different

Y’all.  I’m just so freaking behind.  I feel like in 2016 - while it was a great year for me personally, and I met a few really important goals - there were some hard things, too, and I fell behind on a lot of stuff, and basically just let my house and myself go.  

My house right now looks like one of those you’d see in the TV show, "Hoarders," with newspapers and boxes piled to the ceiling and when the UPS guy comes to my door with my daily Amazon delivery, I answer it wearing my duster and slippers, my hair in pink foam curlers, with a cigarette hanging out the side of my mouth and I don't even smoke.  

I’m tired of it.  This year has to be different.  

Dirty Laundry, Doing Less, and Idiots' Guides

Not to air out my medical dirty laundry, but I have a mental condition that you may have heard of:  I have ADHD.  I haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor, but trust me: it’s obvious.

I fill my days with all the hundreds of things I want and need to do, trying to cram it all in, rushing around to keep the house together, letting dogs in and out and in and out and in and out, writing words for this very blog, with the hope of making other moms realize we’re all dealing with the same B.S., and that, yes, they are “doing it right,” whatever that means, and that it’s totally okay that their kids think their name is “Ja-Co-Li-Coo-Dammit!” because - by the end of the day, our brains are just piles of slop.  

Thank goodness for tomorrow. 

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

A week or so ago, a young man that goes to my son’s high school was arrested for graffitiing a terroristic threat on the school’s bathroom wall.  I texted a picture of the kid’s mug shot to my son and asked if he knew him, and he said that, yes, he did - that they even worked together, and that he’d given him a ride home from work a time or two, and that he’d told me about him several times.

I’ll tell you what irritates me more than the itch of a growing-out bikini area, it's finding out my son’s been talking to me, and I haven’t been listening.

I immediately searched all the local news media posts about the arrest, not just to fulfill my need for juicy gossip (but that, too), but also because - now that I was paying attention - I realized how close to home it hits:  the guy's being my son’s age, going to the same school, working at the same place, and **gulp** riding in my son’s car.  

I'm Struggling Here, But I Guess It Could Be Worse

I promised my youngest last night that we’d go for a jog this morning, and I immediately regretted making that promise when I woke up because I had a screaming headache.  Since I get them almost daily, I figure I might as well plug on through.  I’d never get out of bed if I waited till I was headache-free*.  Besides, I'm trying to be a role model of health and responsibility to my kid.

We’ve been thinking of cancelling our gym membership because we’ve been paying for a family membership for years, and we suddenly realized:  that gym doesn’t freaking work.  

We’re still not healthy, and we’ve paid that place thousands of dollars. 

A String of Disappointments, and I'm Still Here

Several months ago I posted about an upcoming event called "Listen To Your Mother," a live event where authors read their work on stage in front of a live studio audience.  I asked my subscribers to vote on which of my most popular articles I should use in my audition.  

I was a little nervous auditioning, but I was pretty sure I’d get in.  

I'm not bad looking, and I don't mean to brag...

I’m not bad looking.  Let's get that out of the way at the very start. 

Not to sound all braggy, but I’ve got a mouthful of straight teeth (and I never had braces!), tiny ankles, and naturally thick, healthy nails.  I only recently started seeing a few gray hairs, and I have cute little Fred Flintstone feet.

But I’m embarrassed to say that I stepped on the scale this morning and I’m exactly 100 pounds heavier than the day I graduated high school.  

I'm going to let that sink in for a sec.

Back to School: How the 504 May Be Keeping Your Kid From Adulting

Back to School: How the 504 May Be Keeping Your Kid From Adulting

Let me start by first saying that the title of this post is not meant to be judgy toward people who have a 504 Plan in place for their child. In fact, we have one in place for our son.

Besides - who am I to judge??  Holy Lord, have you read my parenting posts??)

In case you aren’t sure what having a 504 even means, I’ll explain:  Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  It’s part of the civil rights law, and its purpose is to prohibit discrimination based on a mental or physical disability. 

Basically, it serves to sort-of level the playing field, to give a student with a disability the same opportunities for success as those without a disability. 

The Good News Is, My Foot Still Fits In My Mouth

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, or if you've read my book, you know that the battle between me and my mouth is very real.  

From cliche's, which I slaughter to pieces like some sort of harebrained butcher, to awkward small-talk exchanges that are so heavily wrapped in social anxiety, I invariably say something that earns me a furrowed brow and a silent look of confusion.

And sometimes I just get my words all jumbled up.  

We went to Florida last week for a family vacation, and on the way there, I pondered whether I'd fit in my swimsuits or not (I did, but only the super-stretchy ones.)  

I didn't wonder whether my foot fit in my mouth.  But, alas, it does.

Murder-Suicide? Or Just Avoiding The Phone?

Running around this morning, unloading the dishwasher from last night, tossing dirty socks into the laundry basket, then picking up throw pillows from the floor, which is where they spend 97% of their time, because my children are trying to kill me, so they intentionally take them off the couch and toss them to the floor on the daily, I thought to myself, "I wonder how Mom and Dad are doing?"

It's been a while since I've heard from them.  

Not that I ever hear from them.  We only talk if I initiate the call.  And when I say "call," I'm referring only to my dad.  My mom doesn't talk on the phone.  If I want to have a conversation with her, it's almost always through texts, which is pretty funny when you know the back story.

It's A Good Day To Be Alive

My inner dialog this morning as I stretched myself awake:  "Hooray!  It's a school holiday, so no early rush to get lunches made!"

Followed immediately by:  "Booo, it's a school holiday, so the kids will be home with me all day." (don't judge me)

Then, "Hooray!  It's Friday, so we can sleep in the next two days!"

Followed by, "Booo, I have a dentist's appointment this morning."

I'd been awake for 25 seconds and I'd already been taken on an emotional roller coaster ride.  

I trudged downstairs to make my beloved coffee, then went back up to get ready for my day.  I reached for my contact solution, tipped the bottle over, and poured my perfectly-brewed cup of coffee over my unsuspecting contact lens.

5 Songs I Will Love & Sing Forever

A few months ago, I got a new car and I feel a little silly saying it, but my favorite thing is the trial account of XM Satellite.  The best channels are 80's on 8 and 90's on 9, and I toggle between the two stations losing myself in the memories the songs from those decades brings back.

I'm sharing a handful of songs here that I'll love and sing forever.  These aren't in any particular order, because I love them all for very different reasons.  Enjoy!

9 Pet Peeves That Don't Include Beef Jerky

I challenged myself (because that's what I need, is another challenge in my life) to write a blog post every single day for a month.  Then I took it down a notch (because I'm all about lowering my own standards), deciding instead to write a post every single day - Monday through Friday - for a month. 

The last 24 hours have been spent brainstorming topic ideas that range from parenting, to how-to's and hacks, to books and product reviews.  Nothing's off limits, I'll write about anything (this is a not-so-subtle request for ideas - what do you want to hear me blather on about?)

Instant Confidence Booster: Think Of All The Idiots Out There

As you probably know, I'm in the process of publishing a book, You Should Write A Book!, which is thiiisss close to being ready for the editor.  It's taking longer than it probably should because I keep coming up with more to add to it.

I have stories to tell, y'all.  I can't wait for you to get your hands on this tell-all.

The back-end stuff to writing a book is what takes so darn long.  Getting the stories written and organized is a pretty big job, sure.  But the editing junk, the design junk, the publishing junk, and the legal junk... that's what takes forever, and I'll be honest: it's sometimes a complicated process.  

Kanye's Freak Flag

I've never been a Kanye West fan.  His music doesn't appeal to me whatsoever, and he always goes off on some tangent, usually at the cost of someone else, which is a big turn-off for me.

Usually his antics make me sort-of shake my head in astonishment, then I go on about my business, continuing not being a fan of his.

I don't spend any more time on it than that, mainly because I don't like to spend my time on negative energy, but it's also because I have my hands plenty full dealing with my own crazy, thankyouverymuch.

But I have a few issues with his latest rants.

Let This Be A Warning To All You Young Golden Goddesses

My dad is technically English (he moved to the States when he was about 5, so he doesn't have any of that fun accent, anymore.  He still uses some of the colloquialisms, though, like the word "bloody," as in, "I couldn't get a bloody cab to save my life!"  Or "knackered," as in, "I had way too much to drink last night. I'm completely knackered today." But none of these things sound quite right without the support of an English accent.)

With that English heritage of my dad's - thus, of my own - we probably have some Scottish down the lines somewhere.  I've submitted my DNA to Ancestry.com, and I'm just waiting for the results so I can find out if I was switched at the hospital, and really belong to someone wealthy and with no history of mental health issues.