|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 11, 2022 at 8:50 AM||comments (33)|
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
Losing a child, whether your embryo didn't implant at the IVF clinic or they're 70 years old, is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone and is the worst pain anyone could ever imagine. It goes against the natural order of things. No one should ever have to bury their child.
Even in 2022, it's still a taboo subject to talk about sometimes. Most people don't know anyone who has said they had a miscarriage, even though 25% of women have had one. It can be hard to know how to grieve or honor your baby's memory. Here are some ideas that should help you mourn. You can choose whichever one you want, no matter how simple it is.
Light a candle. You can buy a candle and light it with a lighter and send your thoughts to your baby. You can also light one at your local church if you are religious. On National Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, mothers from all over the world light a candle at 8 pm. You can be one of them too.
Have a memorial. Funeral homes often offer memorial services for a low cost or free of charge for babies lost during pregnancy. You can also host a private one at a park or just with you and your partner. Share in memories of the pregnancy that make you smile, the moment you found out you concieved, and anything else that was a happy time for you.
Raise money in their honor. You can run a fundraiser or donate to charity in your baby's name. An appropriate charity would also be for survivors of loss, grief counselling, or other children's charities. It's a way to keep your baby's memory alive.
Get a tattoo. You can always get a memorial tattoo for your baby. You can get a miscarriage ribbon, foot prints, their name, their date of birth, a quote, or anything you want. Some mothers want the same tattoo for all of their children, living and passed on, so they get a tattoo of birds sitting on a branch and a baby bird flying away. The baby bird would represent the baby that was miscarried.
Make a memory bear. Whatever clothes you bought for your baby you can have sewn into a memory bear. You can also custom order a bear online and have your baby's name embroidered in it. It's something physical you can hold, kiss and hug. This often helps grieving couples.
Make a time capsule. Put a lock of hair, an ourfit, a rattle, a pair of baby shoes, or anything else you want and place it in a time capsule. You can bury it in your backyard, display it on a shelf or simply keep it nearby.
Get a plaque. You can order a custom memorial plaque for your garden. You can also order a tombstone or urn if your baby was stillborn or died young. This way you can bury your baby or keep their remains close if they were cremated.
Name your baby. It can help to have something to call your baby by. If you don't know the sex, you can always choose a gender-neutral name such as Riley, Dakota, Jordan, Leslie, Angel, Ashley or Rene.
Lay them to rest. There is an organization called Memorial for the Unborn you can look up. They offer certificates of life, name plates, and more. You can have a place to lay flowers and remember your baby. There are about 18 locations throughout the states. Keep in mind that these places are pro-life, however. If you're outside of the states, you can always start one of your own if that's possible.
Start a charity. If you want to volunteer your time, you can always start your own non-profit organization. A friend of mine crocheted baby headbands and with every sale, she would donate one to a children's cancer ward in a hospital. Another example is Angel Whispers, who creates angel baby birth certificate keepsakes for grieving parents. You can also just donate the baby items you had gathered for your baby to the needy so less fortunate parents could use the items.
Name something after them. Whether it's your boat, a street, a building or your first living child, you can always name something or someone after them. You'll have a touching story to tell if people ask where the name came from.
Talk about them. It's the best way to keep their memory alive. When parents are asked if they would get rid of the pain they feel from the loss, most of the time they say no. Why? It's all they have left of their child. Most mothers love talking about their babies, it brings them a sense of peace. So talk about your baby.
Plant a tree. A tree planted in their honor is a great idea, it's something you can watch grow like your child would have grown. It can give you something to nurture and take care of like you would have with your baby.
Got any more ideas? Comment below.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 30, 2021 at 8:10 AM||comments (100)|
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
There are bullies out there that want to make women feel bad for their weight. BBWs, which stands for Big Beautiful Women, are beautiful and whole just the way they are. Sometimes they need to be reminded just how magical their curves are. To help lift yourself up and remind you of how gorgeous you are, here are a list of songs that are fat-positive and body-positive.
- Just A Lil Thick by Trinidad James
- BBW by J-Roc
- Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
- Fat Hungry Chick by Tyga
- Look But Don't Touch by Empire Cast
- Thick by Trisha Paytas
- All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
- Fat Girls by Briki Fa President
- In Love With A Fat Girl by Prissy P
- Big Girl Workout by Prissy P
- Big Girl Movement by Prissy P
- Thunder Thighs by Missy Eaves
- Thicky Thighday by Lardi B
- Bodak Jello by Lardi B
- BBW by Fresh x Okey x Feezy Houdini
- Go Big Girl by Jadablaze
- Fluffy Girl Anthem by Lady Essence
- Big Girl by MIKA
- They Like That I'm Fat by Lardi B
- Lardi Pop by Lardi B
- Cinderella by Trisha Paytas
- Playground by Trisha Paytas
- I'm Fluffy by Lardi B
- Fat Chicks by Trisha Paytas
Got any other songs you'd like to suggest? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 2, 2021 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
Treat them. Treat them to a dinner at a nice restaurant and foot the bill. It's almost expected nowadays that the man pays all the time. Unless it's something that he feels he must do every time, pay for your meal out together. It's a nice change of pace and he won't have to worry about anything other than enjoying himself.
Gifts. You can give them a surprise gift just because! You can spoil your partner just like they spoil you, even for no reason at all other than you love them, or if you're impatient like me and can't wait until a holiday or special occasion. Be sure to pay attention to your partner; has he been eyeing something at the mall or online that he wants but doesn't buy? Get it for him!
Surprise party. These are great for special occasions. Gather family and friends together and organize a surprise party with decorations, gifts and cake. Be sure that your partner enjoys surprises and they are sure to have a blast. Make sure no one tells him and he will be pleasantly surprised!
Make a romantic dinner. Light some candles and bust out the nice china and fancy napkins and make a nice dinner. Serve it on your dining room table and eat it together. You can make his favorite dish, or even a three-course meal if you're up for it.
Breakfast in bed. Wake up earlier than your partner and start cooking some breakfast and be as quiet as possible. Then, serve your partner some delicious breakfast in bed! If your partner wakes up in the middle of it, simply set the table and eat it together. Not much of a cook? Run out and get his favorite breakfast from a fast food place or at the grocery store.
Seduce them. Put on some sexy lingerie and turn on the slow music. Dim the lights and sprinkle some rose petals on the bed, and draw a hot bubble bath. Bust out the massage oil and rub away all that tension in your partner's body. Make love together and cuddle in each other's arms.
Getaway. Book your partner a much-anticipated vacation, no matter what your budget is. It can be at a hotel room in town, a rustic little bed and breakfast, or that second honeymoon trip to a tropical location you always wanted to take together. Enlist the help of friends and family to keep you posted on any plans he makes so you know to avoid those specific dates to book your trip. You can always rent a cottage or log cabin somewhere remote and be just the two of you together for a weekend.
Tickets. Is there a sports game, an opera, a movie, a play that your partner really wants to see? Get some tickets and surprise your partner with them. They will be so happy and find it so thoughtful that you thought to surprise them like this. Be sure your partner hasn't already bought the tickets though! Just in case you end up with two pairs of tickets, make it a double-date and invite your best friends!
Got any more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on September 7, 2021 at 8:50 AM||comments (4)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
More and more articles and shows are talking about self-care. But what exactly makes it so important? And just what is self-care?
Self-care is the act of caring for yourself. You can practice self-care in many different ways, which I've listed in a previous blog post. There are many different benefits to self-care, including lowered stress levels, better mood, and higher relaxation.
Mental health. You need to be able to feel that your batteries are charged in order to function. Mental health is so often overlooked, as people usually treat what they can see. However, your brain is what controls the rest of your body. If your mind is unwell, the rest of your body can't be well either. Self-care promotes better moods, relaxation, and higher confidence and self-esteem. It also eliminates stress, which stablizes blood pressure and heart rates. When you feel mentally well, you can do anything. When you are emotionally exhausted or depleted, your body can't follow what you want to do. Take care of your mind, your psyche, and your brain. You've only got one.
Physical health. Caring for yourself is also nurturing your body. Feeding yourself the neccessary nutrients to survive is the bare minimum. Your body also needs to be healthy, to move, and to be functioning properly. It's important to cut out bad habits such as smoking, alcohol abuse or drug abuse to keep your body as healthy as possible. You want to get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need to function, even if that means taking a multi-vitamin. If you have any health problems or ailments, it's important to treat those as well. When all that is done, it's always a good idea to keep your physical health at it's peak by letting yourself feel good. Get a massage, soak in a hot tub, smell your favorite scents. You can give yourself a rush of endorphins as you exercise, and produce seratonin doing things that you enjoy doing. Indulge in your hobbies and keep yourself entertained and happy. Don't injure yourself, and stretch before exercise. Look out for yourself. Your body is your temple, it's only right you treat it right.
Spiritual health. Whether you believe in a soul or a spirit or not, we all have spiritual health that we need to address. Once all our basic needs are met, we become aware of other needs we didn't even know existed. One of them is spiritual health. We are all spiritual beings on one level or another, even if your spirituality is aetheism or the absense of one. It's important to listen to yoruself and to respect yourself and your beliefs. Don't let others pressure you into conversion or doing things you don't agree with. You have control over yourself and what you do, and you do have a choice. For some people, spirituality is as simple as going outside every day. Others prefer to visit their religious institutions and pray together. Spiritual practices often come with a community of like-minded people, which also fulfill our basic human need for connection and social interaction. Togetherness and support are important and both are often interconnected. Light some candles, burn some incense, garden; whatever makes you feel at peace.
Got more to add? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 13, 2021 at 9:20 AM||comments (20)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
We've all faced negativity at least once in our lives. We've also all bad at least one bad day. The two are often related. One way to have less bad days and reduce or even eliminate negativity is to be more positive. To maintain this, you need to learn to stay positive. Here are some tips to help you do just that. You don't have to do all of them, but doing at least one will put you on the path to a better, happier life.
Meditate. Even if it's just as simple as finding your center, allow yourself time to relax and meditate. You can listen to a guided imagery meditation. You can also close your eyes, think of your happy place, and put on some soothing nature sounds or soft music. What is a happy place? Think of a place where you are the happiest; a place that relaxes you instantly. Picture it clearly in your mind, and close your eyes and take deep breaths. That place, wherever you are, is your happy place. Stress should roll off of you like waves and you should feel relaxed.
Affirmations. Positive daily affirmations are very important. Choose your favorites after looking some up. Focus on ones that are uplifting, such as those that encourage self-love, self-acceptance, and that motivate you. Here are some of my favorites: You are loved. You are worthy. You are enough. You are capable. You are strong. You are beautiful just the way you are. You are intelligent. You are kind. You matter.
Gratitude. Make a mental list or write one down, of things that you are grateful for. Most common things are: your health, your family, your friends, your home, your job, your car, your pets, and more. It can even be simple things like food on the table, clothes on your back, and a warm place to sleep. No matter your situation, there is always something to be grateful for.
Be optimistic. Change your pessimistic language into an optimistic one. Don't say the glass is half empty, say it's half full. See the silver lining in each situation, and the upside to everything. It can be simple enough to remind yourself that you are alive, and you are safe. Did your favorite vase break? You now have an excuse to go on a shopping trip and buy a new one. Did you lose a friend? The loss taught you a valuable lesson. Did you burn the food you were cooking? Now you can order that pizza you've been dreaming about.
Live positive. Surround yourself with a positive environment. Cut out toxic friends and family members and if you can't, minimize contact with them to only when you absolutely have to. Decorate your place in bright or pastel colors, hang positive messages in frames on the wall. Make your bed super comfortable so you look forward to retreating to it every night. Clean that mold off your bathtub so you don't have to worry about it anymore. Making things more positive comes in all forms.
Be mindful. Listen to your body and what cues it's giving you. Recognize the warning signs you experience before you lash out in anger. Remember what your body feels like before you get too stressed out. Keep an eye out for any cold sweat, clenched fists, or anything else that are pre-cursors to a panic attack. Learn to know yourself and when you've had enough, and walk away from what's upsetting you or take a break. No one wants to snap. You also want to find ways to calm yourself in a good way, such as self-soothing. Put on your favorite lotion. Sing your favorite song. Dance like nobody's watching. Read a chapter from your book. Pick up that unfinished knitting project. Watch a romantic comedy and have a good laugh. Whatever works for you, do it.
Eat, sleep and move. It's very important to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, uninterrupted and restful. You will be able to function better once you have some sleep. You also want to stay as healthy as possible and eat healthy. Healthy foods boost your energy and mental activity and focus. You will be able to perform better in everything you do. You should also exercise at least 20 minutes 5 times a week. Get your blood flowing and oxygenate your organs and body. Even if you have pent-up anger and frustration you need to let out, go for a run, work out, or go at it on a punching bag. Exercise can be a good release, and the natural high of endorphins makes you feel amazing afterwards.
Self-care. It's crucial that you take care of yourself. You can't help anyone else or do anything unless you have been replenished, and your batteries have been recharged. Take care of your soul and your spirit as well. No matter your spirituality or religion, you should do what makes you feel good and makes you feel peace. Pray, go to church, read the bible, or paint angels. Whatever it is that helps you feel fulfilled, do it. Be sure to do simple things as well like hygeine, getting dressed, and doing things that make you feel better. This can be as easy as brushing your hair, putting some makeup on, or dressing nice. You're worth it.
Got any more tips on how to stay positive? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 22, 2021 at 9:10 AM||comments (2)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
It's not always possible to learn life lessons on time for your thirties. I thought I would share what I have learned in my three decades of life. These lessons have never failed me so far, and I swear by them.
Life is not a race. Don't rush those milestones. Everyone comes to them in their own time. Worldwide, the average life expectancy for women is about 70 years, so you have plenty of time. In fact, people who marry in their late 20s or later are more likely to stay married. More and more people are having children in their 30s and 40s, and people even older are going back to school. It's never too late, as long as you're alive.
Beauty standards are not realistic. Models in magazines are photoshopped, made up, and have lots of cosmetic procedures done. Be body-positive and love yourself just the way you are. Do not let anyone or anything pressure you into doing anything to your body that you don't want to do. If you do decide to make changes, make sure it's for yourself and not for others, not even your significant other. Relationships come and go but your body is forever, and you're the one that has to look at it every day. Love yourself and your body, flaws and all. There is no need to be ashamed of your weight, scars, stretch marks or cellulite.
Don't be a bigot. Hate is not something you should harbor in your heart. Don't be homophobic, racist, islamophobic, transphobic, sexist, etc.Your legacy should not be to be known as someone who is prejudice against people. There is nothing like a legacy of love to leave behind.
Make yourself a priority. You need to figure out what you want, and make sure you get it. Don't settle for second-best, and if someone doesn't treat you right then it's time to move on. Stand up for yourself when you are bullied, and walk away when you feel uncomfortable.
Take chances. Chase your dreams, so you have no regrets. You need to at least try to reach your goals, no matter how outrageous they may seem. AS the saying goes, shoot for the moon because if you miss, you will at least land among the stars.
Be kind. All people have their own battles they are dealing with. You should try to judge others as little as possible. A small act or gesture of kindness like a smile, can literally save lives. It can also brighten someone's day. When you yourself are healthy and capable, help others when you can and give back to your community, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of.
Trust your gut. When something doesn't feel right, walk away. It's a survival instinct and it is never wrong. You need to be able to feel at ease in life and never put yourself in a situation where you're uncomfortable.
Be yourself. Other people's opinions of you don't matter. Don't waste your time trying to be someone else or acting like someone else. Just be you. You don't need to be ashamed of you who are, and who you became as a person. People will like you, and people won't. Stick with people like yourself and distance yourself from people who you butt heads with. You and the people you choose will be happier in the end.
Family is everything. Whether it's your genetic family or a family of friends you've chosen for yourself, or your spouse and/or children, family is everything. Friends come and go and fall off when you get busy, but family sticks around and will always be your family. If you don't have a supportive or loving family, make sure one comes from you. This applies either to your spouse and children, or closest friends you adopt as your family. There is nothing better than having an emotional safety net to fall back on and know that people will love you no matter what.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 27, 2021 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 12, 2021 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
Save hundreds of dollars a year by getting your own equipment to use at home! Plenty of classified ads websites sell used equipment in excellent condition for cheap. You can even buy some at second-hand stores where it has been tested and is sure to work.
Treadmill. A treadmill is a great addition to a home gym. Whether you have rainy days or a snowstorm, you can still get your morning run in. Even beginners can benefit from a brisk walk on the treadmill. You can up the incline at will as well!
Stationary bike. I love these because they are so great to use because you're sitting down. You can have a television in your home gym and use it while you binge-watch your favorite series or watch a movie marathon. You can also follow stationary workout videos.
Stair stepper. This pairs great with a standing desk if you have one. A stair stepper or a stair climber really strengthens your legs and works your glutes as well. You're sure to burn fat in those areas as well if that's what you're looking to do.
Eliptical. An elitpical machine is great addition to any home gym. It's an amazing workout for your legs and works great for balance as well. You can work your core as you stablize while you work out.
Pull-up Bar. This is excellent for strength training in the arms. You can attatch it to a door frame and do pull-ups. My husband uses it all the time and it really helps him keep up his arm strength and he loves it.
Yoga Mat. Not only can you do yoga on the mat, but you can also do any types of exercises. You can do lunges, squats, push-ups, sit-ups and more. You can follow instructional workout videos and tone all areas of your body.
Exercise Ball. This engages your core as you do exercises on it and always comes with an instructional video. You can have amazing results and you can strength-train your core, arms, legs and back.
Weights. Pick up some weights you know you wouldn't hurt yourself lifting. You can use it to strengthen your arms and build some muscle. You can also look up some videos for your level of experience and build up your routine.
Have you tried out this equipment? How did it work out for you? What else do you have in your home gym? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on February 18, 2021 at 8:45 AM||comments (28)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Plenty of people have alleged that the divorce rate is much higher than in past decades. I decided to look at the science behind this and see if it's true. From articles that I read, it turns out that the divorce rate had the sharpest incline around the 1970s. So however true this may be, it's important to ask ourselves; why?
Why are more and more marriages failing? The divorce rate currently sits at 50% to 51%, which is extremely high. If we want marriages to succeed, it's good to know exactly why people are getting divorced. Here are the top 13 reasons why people are getting divorced.
The most common reason for divorce is money. There are many different reasons why money may become an issue in a marriage. If only one person works in the couple, the working person may resent the other spouse for not working and contributing financially to their household. In a twist, the unemployed spouse may resent their working spouse for not providing the unemployed spouse with some money for them to get themselves things they need for themselves such as clothing, shoes, and hygeine products. There may also be issues with trust when it comes to money. A spouse may spend money in a joint bank account meant for something else, or shop with the other spouse's credit card without permission. Even when both spouses cannot budget, they will blame each other for their reckless spending and inability to pay bills.
Lack of intimacy
This is definitely a romance-killer. Whether one spouse is being ableist because the other spouse has a medical condition that prevents sex, or one person has a higher libido than the other, this can be an issue. People with high sex drives need plenty of intimacy. However, some people are romantic but identify as asexual. Some spouses just have a lower libido or they don't enjoy sex as much. This can be due to past trauma, their spouse not being a talented lover, or a medical issue. It's important to talk to your spouse about any issues you may have with intimacy. Some have nothing to do with sex, and spouses just want to be cuddled, talked with, kissed, hugged, and generally appreciated. Don't forget to show your spouse you love and appreciate them!
Lack of commitment
Some people get married because society was pressured into it, but they weren't ready to commit. Some spouses even live in seperate houses, even seperate towns or countries. Perhaps one of the spouses believed they would move in together once they were married. When that doesn't happen and the other person doesn't want that to change, they will seek a divorce. It can also be because a spouse doesn't put effort into the marriage anymore. They can come home from work, spend time alone without their spouse, go to bed, then repeat. Like lack of intimacy, this is something that can be fixed with communication and perhaps couples therapy.
Conflict and arguing
Some say if you don't argue, then you don't care. This can be true to a point. If couples find out they have conflicting views and morals, it can very quickly destroy a marriage. Part of the reason people get married in the first place is that they have a lot in common, and agree on how they would raise children if they choose to have any. However, if someone changes core values and beliefs, it causes a rupture in the marriage. Even just constant bickering and nagging can wear the spouses down.
This is one for the history books, as it was one of the first reasons for divorce that was allowed. When your spouse has another relationship or sexual encounter with someone else behind your back, it's a true betrayal. They do it while sneaking around, so you wonder how long it's been going on. You lose all trust in your partner. The infidelity can cause life-altering concequences such as STIs or even a child outside of the marriage. Some people even have double lives and two families. Marriages rarely recover from this, especially when the cheating spouse refuses to change, or they leave their spouse for their lover.
Not too long ago, women weren't able to work and men were the spouses who had full control of finances. Women couldn't escape abusive marriages because they had no access to money to travel and get away. The law was never on their side either, as beating your wife was seen as socially acceptable. With the rise of domestic violence awareness and laws being passed to penalize it, women are finally able to leave abusive marriages. Men can also get away from abusive wives and go to shelters. Now that women can work, they can have their own money and be able to flee a marriage that is toxic.
Lack of compatibility
Arranged marriages often end up in divorce (where society permits it) because the people are just not compatible. People change as they grow and mature. The two people who married 20 years ago are not the same people as now, and they may just not fit together anymore. Sometimes, people just fall out of love with their spouses. If you don't love each other anymore, there is no reason to stay together. Love, trust and communication is what builds a solid marriage, and if you don't have that then there is no reason to stay married.
We all look amazing when we get married as young men and women. As we age, wrinkles and saggy skin happens, and some weight gets gained, some of us lose their hair. There are some people that divorce their spouse because the spouse's appearance has changed to the petitioner's dislike. Maybe you didn't think your husband would be fat and bald as he grew older. However shallow this reason may be, loss of attraction is a real thing. There are also people who will transform themselves and think they deserve better than the person they are with. If someone goes through a makeover or loses a lot of weight, they may not want to be with the person who accepted them for who they were before.
When a spouse develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, this is often a deal-breaker. Substance abuse not only consumes the addict, but it also drains family funds, ruins relationships, creates debt, and sometimes even puts the couple in physical danger. There are other addictions like sex addiction that goes hand-in-hand with infidelity, or food addiction that fits in with money problems and physical appearance.
Getting married at an early age
Getting married too early has an extremely high rate of divorce. Whether teens married because a pregnancy was involved or they wanted to escape their parents or get emanstipated, it's often not the right person for you. People who get married in their teens or soon after rarely stay married. As you grow, you want different things for yourself and your life. Maybe you believed you would be a famous musician at age 16, but now at age 30 you know that isn't going to happen and how rare that would be to happen. Maybe your spouse grew up to be a completely different person than the one you got to know before you got married.
Getting married for the wrong reasons
If you didn't marry for love, then you didn't marry for the right reasons. Some people get married to allow their spouse to get medical insurance, citizenship, or even just as a business deal. If you don't marry for love, then your marriage will probably not last. A marriage of convenience is not something that is meant to happen, but it still does to this day.
Lack of communication
When you don't talk about any issues or hurdles you may have, there is no way you will know what the problem is or how to fix it. It's always extremely important to talk to each other and not assume the other person will know, no matter how many hints you drop. No one can read minds, so you need to say it with words. Communication is one of the reasons that so many marriages have lasted as long as they have.
Lack of equality and loss of identity
If your spouse starts treating you like you are lesser-than and doesn't want to change, it's time to go. Remember, you are no one's servant. Loss of identity happens when children move out of the home and the parents no longer see themselves as parents, or at least not full-time ones. Even when both people retire, their marriages are no longer a couple of hours per night while they work. They may realize that they can't stand the way the other person chews, or puts their feet up on the table at lunch time. They may get sick of each other and want to divorce, or they may begin to argue while they become stir-crazy. It's important to get out of the house and engage in hobbies and things that you enjoy, whether together or not.
Can you think of any other reasons the divorce rate has increased? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM||comments (10)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Whether your child recently got diagnosed, your healthcare provider gave you a hypothesis or you've been at it for years, it's impossible to know everything. For neurotypical parents, it's important to educate yourself on as much as you can in order to best meet the needs of your child or children. Here are some tips to help you do that.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not a licenced professional in specialized education, neurological studies or anything like that. These are just tips based on my experience. Please consult your child's doctor before making any decisions.
Stimming. Stimming is the repitition of physical movements, vocal sounds and words, moving objects, and eating certain foods. Not every neurodiverse child does this, but it is very common. It can be anything at all. You will begin to recognize a certain action is how your child stims by noticing the repitition of it. This is how neurodiverse people self-stimulate. It's perfectly normal.
Sensory overload. For people who have sensory processing disorders, they can become overwhelmed very quickly depending on what sense they are most sensitive with. This could be all senses, a few, or one. They can have a hard time focusing with so many different types of sounds around them, even what neurotypicals would consider small sounds such as a ticking clock or dripping faucet. Some people also are sensitive to touch, or with certain textures. They don't like to be held, touched or to wear clothes. Neurodivergents can also get too hot or too cold and it will be very uncomfortable, especially in an office or a classroom where they aren't permitted to leave their seat often. They can also be sensitive to bright lights, and even get migraines as a result of it.
Often what can help is, when they are overwhelmed, to offer a dark and quiet place for them to take a sensory break. If they aren't sensitive to touch and they ask for it, you can give them a tight hug which will help their bodies regulate. If they are sensitive to touch, a weighted blanket can help.
Introverted. Neurodiverse children and even adults will often be introverts. They prefer to be alone and to their own thing. This is often because when they are alone, they can control their environment and know not to do things that will overwhelm them. They can always adjust the thermostat to how they like, put on a tv show on mute with captions, install black-out curtains, and not be afraid of being over-stimulated. Some of them have trouble understanding social cues, expressions and phrases, so limiting human contact saves them from that frustration.
Healthcare professionals and teachers will strongly insist on developing your child's social abilities and knowledge. You will need to be your child's voice in these situations. Yes, it is very important tnat everyone learns how to properly communicate, but be sure that the teachers, doctors, and everyone else gives your child space when they are overwhelmed. These interactions should also never be forced. You want your child to want to socialize, not see it as a negative thing.
ABA. ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.This is a form of ''therapy'' that has been found to be abusive to neurodiverse children. You can look it up, but there have been many instances where ABA ''therapists'' have allegedly forcibly made a child smile, physically holding their cheeks up, Even when that child is sad or angry and they don't feel like smiling. They will offer toys to the child if they do what is asked of them, and take it away when it's not. Therapists are trained to physically move your child into positions they want your child to do, or things they want your child to do. They also ignore the child's needs and wants. If your child is getting tired, upset or over-stimulated, the therapist will never address this. They will most likely ignore it and continue the exercise. You can google ''aba abuse'' to read more about the multiple issues surrounding ABA. If you are thinking of signing up your child for this, please don't.
Autism Speaks. Often portraying themselves as the place to donate for autism research, Autism Speaks treats people with autism as if they have a missing piece, like they are not whole as people. They see an autism diagnosis as a sad one, and search for a cure. This is incredibly damaging to people who live with autism or any kind of neurodiversity. Autism should be celebrated, not pitied, and people should be accepted how they are. Embrace your child's differences and teach them not to dislike the things that make them unique. It's incredibly important to place kids on the path of self-love. They cannot think something is wrong with them, because that is simply not true. If you choose to go with an organization or make a donation, please don't go with Autism Speaks. Listen to neurodiverse people and they will tell you. You can also easily look it up and see which places are inclusive and positive.
Flapping. This has often been discussed being one of the main symptoms of autism. In fact, not every autistic person flaps their arms or hands. In fact, lots of neurodiverse children never will flap their hands or arms. For those who do however, it's often because the child is excited or happy. Some parents call this happy-flapping. It's equivilent of a child jumping up and down for joy. In fact, some children may do both at the same time. It's an incredibly adorable display of joy that melts any parent's hearts.
High-Functioning. This is a term thrown around a lot by parents of children with autism, as well as the words low-functioning and severe. For some reason, in parenting circles it has been seen as some type of competition as to which child is most different. Parents seem to feel the need to extract pity from people because their child has autism. It needs to stop. High-functioning autism doesn't exist, it's just autism. These are terms made up by parents and other people to make their child's autism seem ''less severe'' and puts a lot of pressure and expectations on the child to be ''more normal''. It also invalidates the child's needs and makes them feel like they should be put on the back-burner for therapy such as speech therapy or physical therapy should they need it. Parents with children who talk or are potty-trained will be bashed by other parents who say ''you have no idea how hard it is'' in order for the bashing parent to seem like a super-hero for raising the child they wanted and chose to have. It needs to stop and to change direction completely. Parents need to uplift and support each other whether their kids have autism or not. Enough with the labels, which only enhances the ableism.
Every Spectrum Is Different. There are no two people who have all of the exact same symptoms and who's neurodiversity presents exactly alike. In fact, the criteria used to diagnose people with autism is meant for autistic boys, not girls. Girls meet an entirely different criteria. With that in mind, some girls do get diagnosed despite this. Don't compare your child to others; just because they don't have the same symptoms doesn't mean that the doctors are wrong. If you have two children with autism it's important you meet their different needs. Both kids will be very different and need different things.
Have any other tips? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 20, 2020 at 7:30 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on September 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
I can't believe you're gone. I was sure we would have at least a few more years together. I wasn't told that you were in pain, or that your health was declining. I wish I had been informed sooner, before it became too late. I was told before you went, you had no more pain. I am glad that you were able to pass away with your dignity intact, and that you are no longer suffering. You never wanted to be in a nursing home, so I am relieved you never had to go in one. You were able to stay home with your wife and close to your loved ones.
I am very thankful that you came to my wedding. My brother and myself, and my girls were able to see you one last time before you passed away. My brother hadn't seen you in three years before then so it was especially important. You got to meet his girlfriend of now seven years. I am glad that I went to visit you April of last year. We got to spend a week in your home where my girls brought you great joy. My oldest particularly enjoyed your company, and would cuddle and hug you a lot. We all sat together during mealtimes and ate well.
Not many men live to meet their great-grandchildren, and I am so happy you met yours. I never had the pleasure of meeting any of my great-grandfathers, and here both my kids met both of theirs through me. It truly is a blessing. You were there for the most important milestones of my life; my children's blessings, and of course my wedding. You got to meet my kids when they were babies, and got to watch them grow up to school age. That certainly is something.
I remember you fondly. My brother and I would play in your basement when we were just kids. As we grew up, we got to spend more time with you. I would cook with Grandma and my brother would accompany you in your wood-working. I'd knit with my grandma and you'd play outside with my brother. We were always well fed, loved and pampered when we went to your home. We got to spend time with my aunt Trina and all her dogs. You even came to visit us during different holidays. It was very special having grandparents who not only spoke english, but who were so active in our lives. There wasn't a birthday or Christmas that went by without us getting a card from you and Grandma, even as adults.
When I visited you in PEI, you told me your life story. I wanted to share that with the family now, and I can tell you that I won't ever forget it. You were a strong and brave man, and you loved your family the best you knew how. We will always remember you and keep you close in our hearts. We love you, Grandpa. We attended your funeral and there was no dry eye, not even my kids. They understand now that you're gone and you aren't coming back. They also know that you are watching over them now. Rest well, Grandpa. Rest in peace.
You were born the day after Christmas in 1939 to Alexandre Hallis and Marie Marguerite Baker, in Montreal. You were their first child, and you would later have six brothers and sisters. The youngest of your siblings was born when you were 9 years old. Your family lived in Longueuil, and you were particularly close to your Aunt Rosie. When you were about 15 years old, you were given to an all-boys orphanage. Your mother was deemed mentally unfit to care for her children, and your dad was working. Your siblings were also put in orphanages. You spent your teenage years in that orphanage, and you were able to visit your family for Christmas. They always gifted you clothes, since toys were not allowed to be brought back with you to the orphanage. You got to spend holidays with them. The orphanage wasn't easy, as the boys would cause fights and there were bullies there as well. At 16 years old, you finally got out of the orphanage. Orphanages were being abolished and a foster care system was set up, and you had nowhere to go. You told me that your younger brother Georges was taken from your parents and placed with a foster home at that time. You said he was the only one never to have been put in an orphanage, and you suspect he was abused. You signed up after new year's in January, in the military by telling them you were 18 years old. You chose the Air Force, and started out as a Private. Finally you could start your career, and you had a place to go. In your 20s, you were stationed in Prince Edward Island, where you met my grandmother. You were married in August when you were 23 years old and settled on the island with your wife. The next year, you had my dad. My grandma got pregnant twice more but unfortunately miscarried. She was told by the doctors that she would never have any more children. You moved to Bagotville since you were assigned to the base there, and Grandma was pregnant again. Thankfully, 6 years after my dad was born you had a healthy baby girl, my aunt Trina. You stayed there for a few years and that's how my dad and aunt learned french. You knew french already since you were born and grew up in a french province, but it was new to my dad and his sister. Grandma of course refused to learn the language so it must have been lonely for her. As live went on, you were stationed in Nova Scotia, and even Germany as my dad recalls. My dad told me that at one point you were in boarding houses for military families, and there were rats that came in the house out of the toilet. I was told that you killed the rat, flushed it down the toilet, so that ''those other rats know not to come up this toilet''. That actually worked. You found your calling in the air force as a firefighter and put out fires in military airplanes. You had accululated so much vacation time that you ''went on vacation'' when you were 52 years old. By the time you were 55, you had retired at the highest rank, Chief Warrant Officer. You settled in PEI with your wife and daughter. You wisened into old age and watched your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids grow up. You did wood-working as a hobby and didn't do it for a profit. You could figure out measurements just by looking at a photo of something. You were really talented. Your father's family came from the Ukraine and Poland, and your mother's family was french. You were buried in Pleasant Valley, PEI.
Rest In Peace
|Posted by Live Love Mom on August 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (25)|
by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Edible greens can come from surprising places. Some are so hardy that they grow through cracks in the sidewalk! A lot of people simply remove weeds and throw them away. You can simply harvest them, wash them, and eat them. In fact, here are the most common weeds in almost every backyard that are not only edible, but bring a lot of nutritional value to your daily meals.
Clover has many different uses. You can pick it directly from the ground and wash it, and stick it in a salad. You can also leave it out in the sun to dry, and use it to make tea with the flowers. They are also edible raw and can be sauteed in different meals for a splash of color.
Plantain has both medicinal and edible purposes and is very popular for the forager. They can be added topically to soothe burns, rashes, stings and wounds. The leaves, whether old or young, can be sauteed, steamed, boiled or eaten raw after being washed. The seeds can be ground into a flour or cooked like a grain. These can also be used as fiber supplements or laxatives.
Dandelion is probably the most common weed listed here, and it can be very invasive with how fast it grows, spreads, and comes back even after removal. The roots go in very deep into the soil that they are nearly impossible to remove for good. The plant can regenerate and grow from a broken off root. The young leaves are considered less bitter, but the older ones are also very much edible. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and every part is edible. You can add the leaves in a salad, steamed or sauteed, even added to soups. The flowers can be eaten raw, breaded, fried, or used to make wine or syrup, or even salves. Roots are often dried to make tea, or roasted, or added to root vegetable recipes. Dandelions are way too useful to simply be pulled out and thrown away. In the past, people used to remove grass to plant dandelions.
Wood sorrel can be used as a thirst quencher and is said to be very refreshing to eat, so it's also popular for foragers during the hot summer months. The flowers, leaves and immature seed pods are edible but are said to taste sour like lemons. They can be a wonderful addition to salads, soups, seasoning and sauces. They look like clovers, but can be differenciated by the heart-shaped appearance of the leaves. They also have yellow floweds, when clover has purple or white flowers.
Curly Dock also known as yellow dock, is recommended to be eaten in moderation. The leaves can be eaten raw when they are young, and the older leaves need to be cooked and can be added to salads or soups. Stems can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked, while the mature seeds can also be eaten raw or boiled, and can also be roasted to make a drink similar to coffee. Change the water several times when you cook them because they are high in oxalic acid.
Purslane is most often found in damp areas where there is ample shade, so it is often never far from a body of water, a valley, or anywhere that regularly gets hosed or collects a lot of rainwater. You'd never think to look twice at this weed, but it's actually in the succulent family that can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to recipes for a natural pepepr flavor. Both the leaves and stemps are extremely rich in omega-3 and antioxidants. Add them to a stir-fry, salad, or to stews or soups.
Lamb's Quarters are in the spinach family and are also known as goosefoot. The seeds are similar in appearance to quinoa and can be eaten as a side or main dish. Goosefoot can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed or used as a replacement for spinach.
Chickweed can be made into a tea and used as a slight diuretic. With both edible and medicinal properties, this weed is always a joy to have in your backyard. The leaves, stemps and flowers can be consumed cooked or raw. It tastes like spinach and can also be used topically for small cuts, rashes and burns.
Wild Amarath also known as pigweed, are popular with vegan foragers as the seeds are a great source of protein. They can be gathered and cooked whole grain or as a ground meal. Older leaves can be cooked similar to spinach, and younger leaves can be used in any recipe that requires leafy green vegetables such as salads or garnishes.
Mallow also known as malva or cheeseweed is mainly found in the United States in lawns or gardens. The leaves and seeds are edible either raw or cooked, especially when they are young. More mature leaves are best cooked, steamed, boiled or sauteed. Like the name might suggest, it doesn't taste like cheese and is not a cheese replacement.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 12, 2020 at 9:15 AM||comments (1)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
Wondering how you can celebrate your birthday during a lockdown complete with social distancing? Are these times with the coronavirus making you wonder how you can still have a nice birthday? Are you wanting to celebrate your birthday without putting your health or anyone else's health at risk? You've come to the right place! Here we explore different ways you can still have a great time while also keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you are someone planning a birthday for your loved one during the pandemic, here are some good ideas for you as well.
Have a video call conference. Call all your friends and family into one place, or one at a time. They are sure to sing you happy birthday, wish you happy birthday and want to celebrate. Reminisce over the old times and walk down memory lane. Talk about your favorite moments together.
Get some balloons. If you want, have some balloons you can blow up or get some already filled up. It will give your place some ambiance and help you get into the headspace that this is a celebration. Turn on your favorite music if you like.
Bake a cake. Get some ingredients together or even just a cake mix, and bake a birthday cake of your choice. Don't feel like baking? Get one at the grocery store that's already pre-made. Get your favorite flavor, and make it festive with sprinkles and candles. Blow them out and make a wish!
Spend time with your housemates. Whether you live with family or friends, now is the time to take advantage of their presence. Cuddle with your significant other, play with your kids, enjoy time with your friends. Play board games, watch tv, go for a walk.
Go to a drive-through. Get some takeout or go to a drive-through so you can get some hot food. Eat your favorites! Some places even offer free dessert if it's your birthday. Just show them your ID! Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you go out just to be safe.
Go to a drive-in movie. You can go to a drive-in movie if they are open where you live. Stay cozy in your vehicle and watch a good movie outside. You can also put camping chairs outside and bring some popcorn and soda and some blankets.
Have a picnic. Go in your front or backyard or even in the living room. Place a blanket on the ground and have a nice picnic. You can have some grapes, cheese and crackers with some deli meats or have some sandwiches, salad, whatever you like.
Look at the stars. Lay on a blanket or in a sleeping bag and watch the stars. In August, there are even shooting stars and if you live up north you can admire the northern lights. You can look up constellations first, then try to find them in the sky. There are even some apps that help you identify and locate them.
Got any more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2020 at 8:05 AM||comments (17)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
I can't imagine what mothers of children of color are feeling right now. Can you imagine being afraid every day for your child to die? Can you fathom a world where unarmed people of color are shot and killed in their own homes? Can you imagine that the very people you call to help you, those who are supposed to serve and protect you from harm, end up killing you, a family member, a friend? Can you imagine hundreds of years of racism, and even during these times where people are realizing they were wrong in different aspects of prejudice, people of color are still facing racism so bad it's deadly? Can you imagine seeing the police as judge, jury and executioner as they gun down innocent black chilldren, men and women? Can you imagine these people being put on paid leave and temporary suspension, if any? This is the world we live in.
The only way I can possibly relate is to try to imagine what mothers of color are going through. But the fact of the matter is, I will never understand. No white person ever will, because we are born with a privilege. It's not right, and it's not fair. However, we need to use this privilege to stand up for and protect for our black brothers and sisters. We need to speak up because their voices aren't being listened to. We need to make sure their voices are heard. We need to do absolutely everything we can to protect them.
Here is what you can do to help. Please add to this list in the comments if I have forgotten anything.
Join the protests. Peacefully join protests. Carry signs, join chants, walk. Stand in protest. Show you support the black community. Show that you are not okay with the deaths of innocent black children and adults. Show you are against police brutality.
Assist them. Form a human chain around them with others. Protect people of color. Especially during the protests, stand between them and the police. Do not let any harm come to them. The police will not use accessive force against you, especially if you are unarmed.
Record it. If you see a person of color being mistreated, pull out your phone and start recording. Yell at the police officer or whoever is attacking them, to stop. Call attention to this mistreatment. Don't let them get away with it. File a complaint. Even if the cops tell you to stop recording and are being forceful, keep recording. You can pretend to stop recording and put your camera down, but have it still pointing to the abuse if you can. If not, at least keep it going so sound is still recorded.
Protests have been the peaceful way for centuries to show opposition against unfair policies. One of the most famous ones are the Boston Tea Party, and also Martin Luther King Jr's marches, and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man.
To every person of color out there, I am with you. I support you. None of you deserve to die. What happened was wrong. I stand with you.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM||comments (4)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
It can be hard being apart from your family during this pandemic. Here are some ways you can spend time together despite the coronavirus.
Video calls. Whether you use facebook, skype or even snapchat, you can video call with your family. People are starting to use Zoom so they can video chat with many people at the same time. Have an online family reunion and spend some time together.
Play games. There are apps linked to facebook that you can play together. You can also play games via video chat, such as bingo or battleship. You can play almost any game through video chat if you try hard enough, or are creative.
Activities. Do activities together online. You can go on video chat and watch the same youtube workout video and do the workouts together. You can try Zumba as well and laugh as you try to dance like the instructor. You can also learn a dance from TikTok together.
Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call your family! Especially with the older generation, they love having a phone call from their loved ones. If you're not sure what to talk about, you can always mention the weather and ask how they are doing and what they've been up to lately. A popular topic is how everyone is passing the time being cooped up.
Send them something. You can send a letter, a card, flowers or even a delivery meal to brighten up their day. If it's their birthday soon, mail them a small gift if you can afford it. It will let your family know you are thinking of them even during these hard times.
Got more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 19, 2020 at 8:10 AM||comments (0)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
It's harder now than ever to socialize with people during the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of people, especially extroverts, are finding these times trying and very difficult. Without further ado, here is how you can keep connected with your friends during COVID-19.
Social media. Scroll facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest, and whatever social media accounts you have. You can keep up with your friends and how they're doing by reading their posts. You can also like their posts and comment on them to let them know you're thinking of them. For those who are anti-social or introverts, this can be the best way to reach out to your loved ones without being emotionally overwhelmed.
Online games. There are plenty of games out there where you can socialize with your friends, loved ones and even strangers. There are plenty of games on social media you can play with someone else. You can also get involved with more complexity such as MMORPGs. They are computer role playing games and are very popular. You can also bust out your PS4, or your Xbox or whichever gaming platform you own and start a friendly game.
Video calls. Zoom, Skype, Facebook or more can be used to video call with your loved ones. You can do it either through your phone or on a computer. For computers, make sure you have a mic and a webcam so you can effectively communicate. Be sure you also have a good internet connection or the video will cut out a lot.
Emails. For the more old-fashioned people and for those who have elderly friends or who aren't used to the whold fuss about social media, emailing can be a familiar platform for communication. Send emails back and fourth and it can be as quick as instant messaging.
Instant Messaging. Also known as IM, this is found virtually on every social media platform. You can IM on yahoo, google talk, facebook, pinterest, tumblr, instagram, twitter and more. Just make sure the both of you are online and start chatting!
Phone calls. Scroll your phone and find the phone numbers of people you would like to talk to. Call them and if they don't pick up, leave a nice message. It's especially important during these times to check in on our elderly friends and family. Call your grandparents, your neighbors, your great-aunts and uncles. You can even offer to get them some groceries at the same time as your own to save them the trouble. Not sure what to talk about? Talk about current events, the weather, whatever you can think of!
Letters. For those special friends who live across the ocean, or even someone who enjoys recieving mail, write a hand-written letter. If you don't like your handwriting or it isn't legible, type up a letter and print it. Be sure you know the person's address so you can mail it to the right place.
Have any other ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 18, 2020 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
With the coronavirus happening, it's impossible to get to the gym. Here is how you can get a full-body workout from the comfort of your own home. Remember to stretch first!
Jumping jacks. These work out the full body and you don't need any equipment. All you need is the weight of your body. When you start feeling the burn, that's when you know it's working. You move your arms and legs which gives them a workout, you engage your core as you jump to keep your balance, and it engaged your glutes when you slap your legs back together. Your chest also gets flexed as you move your arms apart and together.
Stair runs. Run up and down the stairs and it doubles as cardi an strength. It's equivilent to a stair stepper and a treadmill at the same time. Keeping your balance engages your core, and your legs and glutes get a good workout. Move your arms up and down like you do when you run, and you will work out your shoulders, biceps and forearms as well.
Push-ups. These are great for upper-body strength. If you're a beginner, you can always do wall push-ups or ''girl'' push-ups. If you are more advanced, you can always push yourself up and clap your hands before landing, or also do one-hand push-ups. Depending on where you place your hands on the ground, you can work more your shoulders or your chest as well as your arms.
Crunches. These work your abdomen. They are easier on the back than sit-ups. This is what people do to get a great-looking core. If you want to get abs, you have to do crunches. These mostly work your upper abdominal muscles and make it easier for you to keep your balance and get up from a sitting or laying down position.
Lunges. These are great for your legs and strengthen your glutes. You can do jumping lunges, alternating lunges, or side lunges. They work your calves and thighs and are very useful to keep you limber, strong and fast. It's great that you only need your body weight, however you can add some weights and work your arms at the same time as well.
Squats. These are great for both legs and glutes. They tone your backside and your legs at the same time! Since the hips are the heaviest part of the body, you are giving your legs a great workout by doing squats. You also tighten up the glute muscles, and make it easier to lift yourself up from a sitting position.
Scissors. These will shred your abs. You are sure to feel the burn with scissors. These work your entire core and are a surefire way to get abs. For those who don't know what scissors are, it's when you lay down and point your left knee and your right elbow together, then right knee and left elbow, and back and forth. Bonus points for never putting your feet or legs down, as this will maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
Leg lifts. These are great for your core as well as your legs. Some find it easier to put fists under their backsides to help stablize them. These work your lower abs so you are sure to get a six pack or even an eight-pack instead of just the four-pack that crunches can offer. If you never let your legs hit the ground, you add more resistance and you get the best effects from your workout.
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