I love you just the way you are…

There was time when I couldn’t relate to the woman who appeared on TV in desperate need of a makeover.  The recurring theme was that she was just too busy with the demands of family life to maintain her looks.  When I was single and free, it was impossible for me to grasp how these women could just “let themselves go.”

But alas, I understand.  I have finally arrived at that place where .I would be selected as an obvious candidate for a makeover today.

In my youth, my hair was done on a weekly basis, or sooner in preparation for a night on the town.  (The only thing I prep now are meals.)  And in between these regular visits, I would style it at home, if needed.  I could spend hours with a curling iron to get my hair just right for a date and with ample time to spare.  Now, I simply pull it back into a bun.  How cliché.

Although I was not much of a fashionista, I did maintain a polished and professional appearance at work.  I loved to shop during my lunch hour for anything I could find that would flatter my body type.  I was very good at camouflaging or emphasizing what needed to be, in order to look and feel as confident as possible.  So, whatever the occasion, I always had a selection of appropriate outfits ready and waiting in my wardrobe.  And of course, a woman could never have enough shoes or accessories to go with it.  So, there was always room for another bracelet, belt or bag.

I was also able to indulge in mani/pedi sessions, whether or not I was actually due for another.  (The only pampering I recall since then has been changing diapers.)  Other scheduled appointments in the old days revolved around spa treatments, hot stone massages, waxing and taking impromptu classes just for fun– like dance or yoga.  Chores and constantly chasing my kid around is how I move now.

Then there were the toiletries.  Oh, how I loved to make pit stops at places like Aveda to take home their latest sustainable product or Sabon for another batch of my favorite salt scrub.  Quick showers have since replaced leisurely hot baths in which I surrounded myself with scented candles as Billy Joel played in the background.  I miss threading my eyebrows, too.  Plucking them is just not the same.

Even though I was all set with an array of lotions or perfumes, I would routinely stop by the fragrance or cosmetic counters, mostly on a whim.  While I was there I listened to the sales pitch even though I didn’t need to hear it to make a purchase either way.

High from my goodies, I would stop at Godiva for the real thing and enjoyed my chocolate covered cherries on the subway ride.

Now, I do realize that for some women, none of this has become a thing of the past.  We all have our own unique set of circumstances in life and for me (after motherhood) it most certainly did.

It’s not the end of the world but I wanted to reminisce a little bit.

What I have learned recently is that self-care applies to things other than the focus on our physical appearance, too.  For instance, personal fulfillment through our interests and hobbies but of course, there’s nothing wrong with being able to look good while you’re doing them.

Nevertheless, devoting my free time to what feeds my soul matters more to me now than what I’d like to see reflected in the mirror.

Furthermore, the reality is that the average woman cannot have it all or do it all.  She has to choose between painting her fingernails or a blank canvas whenever she has a free window because there’s only so many hours in a day.

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Daily Prompt: Identical

via Daily Prompt: Identical

Today’s daily prompt brings to mind an episode on 20/20 that aired recently. It was an astonishing tale of identical twins intentionally divided by a respected adoption agency in New York City and placed in separate homes.

None of the families were told and therefore, Secret Siblings were raised into adulthood without ever knowing that the other existed. That is until a former employee felt compelled to divulge the truth from her deathbed.

It’s the basis for the 2017 documentary by filmmaker Lori Shinseki entitled “The Twinning Reaction” and it exposes how twins and their unsuspecting parents were all the subjects of a study they were never given the choice to participate in.

At the time, their knowledge and consent was not required for these so-called professionals to go about conducting their true research. These twins continued to live apart as strangers analyzed them to track their progress over the years.

The adoptive families were all led to believe that the questions and note-taking were for general childhood development studies. But, they had no idea that the child they were raising was being compared to its identical twin somewhere out there.

Sets of twins were even deliberately placed with families of opposing socioeconomic backgrounds as a variable to factor and thus, not every twin reunion story turned into a happy ending. For example, learning of a sibling might also reveal a harsh truth as one sister told the other, “You had the better life.”

In others cases there was no longer a surviving twin around to even meet and many had suffered from mental health issues. It was also revealed by the loved one of a separated triplet (who ultimately committed suicide) that he simply could not get over the time he had lost with his brothers when they were young.

Also at a loss are the twins interested in reviewing the experimental data that was collected on them as children while another bizarre fact emerges.

The bulk of their records are sealed until 2066 and thus, any access to the files that were written about their own lives has not been granted. With the culprits for this unethical research long deceased, these families are unable to obtain the many answers they seek and at the very least, an apology for all of the damage their actions have caused them.

Finally, what some of these twins are left with is to speculate at length if any of their pain has come from simply being robbed of that special bond twins are known to share.

Ladies of The View

Around the time I’m preparing lunch for the kids, The View comes on ABC (perfect name for a network when the alphabet is being practiced daily on my end.)  Speaking of, I was only too happy to discover that Schoolhouse Rock! (a beloved children’s program for many of us while growing up) is part of the ABC App Throwback collection!

But, I digress.  I simply appreciate daytime talk shows because even though I’m making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I can still feel like I’m seated at the Grown-Ups table when they go live.  So, until I return to the business of early learning, I’m just…

Taking some time out to enjoy The View

Because Whoopi often says, what I’m thinking too

When Sara’s old teacher was there by surprise

Their reunion made tears pool in my eyes

Y yo también pense, que lo que?

When Sunny pronounced it “covfefe”

I understand Joy, when she’s feeling enraged

And congrats to Jedediah for getting engaged

While Paula stays cool throughout all the tension

Thanks for the banter, just wanted to mention!

 

Pineapple Day!

Turns out that June is just loaded with a variety of themes: Flag Day, Father’s Day, first day of Summer and in sweet succession, wait for it… a day for the Pineapple.

Yes and yum!

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Admittedly, I didn’t know all that much about pineapples except that they’re readily available in tropical places and how wonderful they taste (by the way here’s a smoothie recipe and another with Piña Coladas for us (aka Bacardi.)

But, back to the kids.  So, with a little bit of research I was able to piece together a slide show to include some simple facts, images and even a recipe for us to enjoy (thanks social media!)  By the way, these early learning presentations are so much fun to create and share with fellow parents and caregivers!

Maybe while you’re reading this you’re stuck in a waiting area with a child who’s starting to become impatient.  If so, you should be able to distract the little fellow or princess by bringing up the fact that there’s such a thing as Pineapple Day.  Then, view our slide show found here (that also contains printable coloring page for later, if they’re interested.)

If you didn’t have anything prepared for tomorrow, enjoy this lesson theme too!

Blue-footed birds

I love nature programs and the awesome activity of wild life that’s captured on camera.

18156210_774152976086203_4368990075005697863_oWhile surfing through Netflix titles, I stumbled upon a BBC documentary about Galápagos.  Episode one is entitled Born of Fire.  Funny, I was in the mood for comedy so this was truly an unexpected turn.

I love nature programs and the awesome activity of wild life that’s captured on camera. I remember watching PBS on television while growing up and the inevitable fate of prey due to their status on the food chain.  However, this was not the familiar scene with the king of the jungle chasing wildebeest as they do.  Instead, it’s a hawk flying back to its nest with an iguana to feed its young, or an injured bird falling victim to (of all things) a crab on land and everything amidst volcanic life. Though I must say, it’s hard to tell the difference between reptile and rock out here, too.

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Free Printable above found on Education.com

With a life that’s become centered on early learning fun, it was clear there was more than enough here for a science and nature theme. Subsequently, I came across a home school curriculum on the Guest Hollow website that led to coloring pages and more. Some silly sidebar, I suppose Teenage Mutant Ninja Tortoises would not have been as catchy?

The Mother Nature Website lists 14 unique species found on the Galápagos Islands linking to the mating dance of Blue-footed Boobies. You’ll find many more images of these beautiful birds on National Geographic and Pinterest, but what’s the story behind their name?

Photo found on Tumbler that made me smile.

You’re very welcome.

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and food happens here.