Was It Gout, Pseudogout…My High Heels?

Manic: Waking up on my hub’s birthday last December 9th with an unexplained, incredibly painful and swollen ankle that I could bear no weight on!  I was perplexed and in extreme pain.  I had not injured it and had gone to bed as usual the night before. It was so strange!

Managed:  After weeks of doctor’s appointments, two emergency room visits, medical tests, meds and more, I don’t have a solid answer, but I have a tale to tell with some lessons learned to pass on to my readers when it comes to foot, ankle and really overall health.

Back to December 9th now.

My ankle upon waking. A painful mystery!  It swelled much more as the morning wore on as can be seen in the below photo…

The pain.  Wow!  I told my husband and the ER doc that the extreme discomfort was an 8 on the pain scale and reminded me of laboring with my son…who was 9lbs!  The physician told me that typically he would call my swollen ankle/extreme pain gout, but that I was missing the classic burning redness that accompanies a gout affected joint.  For most, gout happens in the big toe, but some can experience this ailment in an ankle or elbow.  Gout was pretty much eliminated, but the X-ray showed a lot of swelling with no fractures of any sort, so I was put on steroids to reduce the swelling.  I was also given pain meds.  I tend to be somewhat homeopathic, so I try to avoid pills, but not this time.  The pain was bad, so painkillers were my friend as I got through this.

Three days later after the initial December 9th attack (as I call it), I was back on my feet and back to my busy life.  I was running around quite a bit, but I was only wearing tennis shoes.  I still had a slight limp as I ran around town.  Unfortunately, I returned to my busy bee self too soon.

Later that evening, and with hubs now out of town on a business trip, I laid in bed literally watching my ankle swell, yet again.  This time it was moderately bruised by morning and the extreme pain had returned.  One careful bath filled with anti-swelling Epsom salt and one pain pill later, I again could bear no weight on my foot.  I was so frustrated that I was having a second attack.  Thankfully, my son had just finished his college finals and was able to come over and drive me to the emergency room.

Once again, a different doctor didn’t think my ankle presented enough of the symptoms to be called gout.  He was equally perplexed.  After receiving normal bloodwork, to my relief, I was sent home to wait on the MRI results.

Back to couch rest, but at least I had furry friends to keep me company!

The MRI showed a lot of swelling (this I knew) and listed a potential arthritis gout like condition but no definitive diagnosis.  The next step was to have fluid drained from my ankle by my podiatrist.  Kudos to Dr. Jon Beecroft with Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle, who took excellent care of me through this ordeal staying in touch with me every step of the way as we worked to figure out my mystery diagnosis.  I have blogged about his excellent care before when I battled and overcame my plantar fasciitis. 

Dr.  Beecroft was very gentle as he administered a numbing shot to my ankle, withdrew fluid for testing and inserted a steroid shot.  I experienced very little discomfort and was also in good shape due to my caring mother-in-law, who came to town and held my hand during this procedure.  She is also a nurse and taught nursing at NMSU, so I was in good hands both with her and with my trusted podiatrist.  My regular doctor at Caring For Families was also excellent, too.  I am a lucky girl for sure to have terrific physicians and family!

Dr. Beecroft did a nice job gently doing the extraction and the steroid shot with my ankle.  Unfortunately, only a little fluid could be extracted, so it was not enough to get a confirmed gout diagnosis.  However, other conditions like Valley fever were ruled out.

So, the mystery continued.  I stayed on crutches for a few weeks and rested a lot. Keeping my foot elevated was key.

By my follow up appointment with my podiatrist, I was back on my feet and taking things slow.  I wore an ankle brace for support and only wore tennis shoes.  As Dr. Beecroft went over all my normal test results, we were both pleased but still puzzled.

He mentioned pseudogout.  Because I never experienced some of the more classic gout symptoms, this other type of gout, psuedogout was something to consider in my case.  A big cause of pseudogout can be dehydration.  When excess calcium is deposited into the joints, it can create the very painful irritation, like what I experienced.  Perhaps we had an answer now!

Well not completely.  Since we can’t confirm this (unless we do surgery, which my docs and I deem unnecessary, thank goodness), the game plan became keeping a med on hand called indomethacin, which is used to treat conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis.  During my second flare-up, this drug proved to be effective.  I only had to take it for a few days.  In the event of a future swelling attack, I can take it as this drug works quickly to reduce the swelling, which can cause a lot of pain.  Six weeks after the initial attack, I returned to my gym and to normal life…minus one item…

High heels.

The heels on this rack are now outnumbered by tennis shoes, my new best foot friend.

I realized that without a definitive diagnosis, I needed to acknowledge that I was dealing with some sort of inflammation and what, if anything, could I do about this.  I didn’t have to think long and hard to discover the answers.

Less wine.  Better nutrition.  More consistent gym workouts.  Less sugar.  More whole foods.  And no more high heels!  Getting a good night’s rest is also helpful.

Leading up to my attacks, I was drinking a lot of wine, about 2 to 2 1/2 glasses five days a week.  The cumulative effect of that can add up.  Too much wine and coffee (my two favorite go to beverages as I avoid all other sugary drinks).  Not enough water and too much coffee and booze can lead to dehydration, something my doctor says can greatly contribute to a condition like pseudogout.

Better nutrition. I was dining out a lot.  During the weeks leading up to my affected ankle, my daughter did not yet have her driver’s license.  She was cast into a lead role in a paid theatre production, so this wonderful accomplishment became our main priority.  With almost nightly rehearsals, I waited for her at nearby restaurants, meeting with pals to eat high fat restaurant food, drink wine and parade around in my cute high heels.  Soon my daughter was a newly licensed driver, so ordering that second glass of wine, almost nightly, was too easy to do since I now had a designated driver!

I also had let my workouts wane due to our busy schedule.  Exercising with strength training is very important to keep up with as we age.

And a big culprit, I now think was my beloved high heels!

At a holiday event with my girl and the high heels I was wearing have zero ankle support.

I was wearing them a lot at my restaurant meet-ups.  Several years earlier, I had injured my ankle and my podiatrist tells me that I could have an old sprain that never healed 100%.  Running around in heels so much of the time could have relit the old sprain and resulted in the swelling that resulted in the bruising. But again, this diagnosis can’t be proved.

So, it may have been gout or pseudogout.  Or a prior injury/sprain that was kept from completely ever healing by continued high heel wear and tear on my foot.  And just in case it was gout, I now eat very little red meat, no shellfish, no beer and less wine, as I mentioned.  These foods can contribute to a gout attack.

After switching my footwear to mostly flats and tennis shoes, my longtime massage therapist couldn’t get over how much looser my hips are and how much less pain I experience in my glutes during our sessions.  He asked me what I was doing differently.  When I thought for a minute and told him that I no longer wear high heels, he exclaimed that was it.  He then told me that heels do us ladies absolutely no favors and cause long term damage and pain as we progress in age.

My mother has warned me about my beloved heels for years.  Yes, Mom knows best.  So I have only worn heels twice since December 9th, both at work.  I now regularly wear stylish flats, Chucks Converse and tennis shoes most of the time.  I did recently treat myself to a pair of Tory Burch flip flops and I now believe the hype about why they are worth the price. I do feel like my feet get more support with the Tory shoes due to the wide embracing top of the shoe.  Although I don’t think flip flops are good for our feet and ankles.  

I have wanted to blog about this for a while, but I put it off since we never could get a definitive diagnosis. I finally decided to share my story to encourage all of you ladies out there to wear your heels with caution, wear them less and find styles that are supportive and not as damaging.

And most importantly, do what you can to reduce your chances of experiencing inflammation, which is the root of so many disorders. We can’t always avoid these difficult health situations due to heredity, a crazy busy lifestyle that can’t be avoided at the moment and other external factors.  But we can do these things…

*eat well

*exercise

*get good sleep at night

*stay hydrated

*do things that give you joy

*have and practice your faith, whatever that faith is for you

*spend more time with your peeps and less time on electronic devices

…and yes, wear those high heels less, ladies!  They take their toll as we age.

By New Year’s Eve, I was finally 100% back on my feet, but I wore a brace (and yep, Chucks tennis shoes with my dress!).  I wore the comfy and supportive soft brace that my podiatrist gave me for a few more weeks until my ankle was finally back to normal.  I have been cautiously optimistic that I don’t have another attack.  I continue to practice my healthier habits and high heels on only special occasions.  I choose heels that have support as well.

And with that, I am going to step into my tennis shoes and jump into my day…carefully jump…with my potentially gout, pseudogout or high heel abused ankle.  We will never know the real answer, but I move ahead doing all that I can to keep potential inflammation at bay.

 

 

Freebie Friday Giveaway Drawing!

Woo hoo!  It is Friday again!  So that means it is time to do our weekly Freebie Friday giveaway drawing.  I love the prize this time because this gift bag is filled with some of my favorite go to products and they all work for travel, too!  Since summer vacation season is right around the corner, take a look at this prize pack and enter the drawing for your chance to win!  The smart products travel friendly prize pack today is…

First for the flight there, what fun to board with your own cocktail kit!  The Carry On Cocktail Kit enables you to make yourself a Hot Toddy from your plane seat.  Simply order the spirits from your flight attendant and you have the rest of the ingredients ready to mix yourself a yummy drink.  Your seatmates will be envious!  So fun!  Not an inflight drinker? Save this for a fun gift to give.  Once you arrive, you can protect yourself when you are out and about in an unfamilar location with the Safesound Personal Alarm system.  Both my daughter and I carry one of these in our purse.  Wardrobe malfunction while on the road?  The Hollywood Fashion Tape is small and compact so it fits perfectly in your purse and this smart invention will hold clothing in place like when you need hide a bra strap, close a wrap style garment, shut a blouse/button gap and more. And before you go to bed in your hotel or at your family’s house, don’t forget to remove your makeup.  DermaVine Facial Cleansing Wipes with aloe is naturally scented with spearmint leaf and lemon peel oil. I love how this makes my skin feel and look.  And if you have a travel mishap, keep the handy travel sized Boiron Calendula Ointment on hand to easily and quickly treat cuts, scrapes, minor burns and chapped skin. My mom and I swear by this stuff!  We love that it is natural and is made from Marigold flowers that is a natural ingredient that soothes and heals skin.  So with this fun travel kit, you will enjoy a homemade inflight cocktail, feel more secure as you are out and about, be ready for fashion mishaps and any on the road injuries, chapped skin, etc.  And you will go to bed with healthy fresh skin after removing your makeup with the travel friendly DermaVine Facial wipes.  I love this kit because it is unique, has it all and are my favorite products!

 

To enter, simply…

1.  Email your name, email address and where you want prize pack mailed to if you are the winner.  Email to [email protected]

 2.  Do this by this Sunday, April 10th at 10pm Phoenix time.

 Winner is drawn through random.org and will be posted on this blog on Monday.

Good luck and happy travels!

On The Go Smart Snacks Seen In My 3TV Segment

Manic:  My metabolism since turning 50!  Sometimes I am quite hungry and other times not at all, but no matter what, it is way harder to drop a few pounds than it was when I was younger.  And I love snacks.  KIND Bar minis are my new favorite find, so that is a go to snack for sure.  But many other readily accessible unhealthy snacks tempt me when I am on the run.  I am on the go a lot, so grabbing a quick snack is many times necessary, but also tempting with so many unhealthy foods out there.  So what is a manic managed mom to do about snack attacks?

Managed:  I have taste tested some easy to grab snack solutions that work well when you are running around town.  Take a look at my yummy picks…

The Smartest Snack Solution

The smartest snack solution is to stick with good ol’ veggies and fruits.  I buy the precut veggie tray at my grocery store, but I try to get the tray without the tempting Ranch dressing.  Also try different fruit combos like blueberries and pomegranate seeds together.  I like to mix this colorful and nutritious combo in with my plain Wallaby organic yogurt for a nutritious yogurt that I sweeten myself.  Try it! Or freeze grapes and you will love how they tastes just like a popsicle.

Of course, there are times when we want snacky snacks instead of fruit and veggies exclusively, so here are some of the lower calorie snack ideas that work for me.  I have listed them in categories that include salty crunch, sweet tooth and coffee drinks/ice cream alternatives. Take a look…

Salty Crunch Busters

Want something salty and crunchy?  Say no to potato chips and instead try these ideas…

*Skinny Pop Popcorn – only 100 calories in the snack bag, non-GMO, gluten free and no artificial ingredients.  Yes please!

*Organic Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn – at 100 calories a bag, this snack fills me up and I appreciate that only three ingredients fill my snack bag which include organic non-GMO popcorn, coconut oil and Himalayan salt.  Protein and fiber are also good byproducts you get with this snack.

*Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds snack pack – Only 100 calories per pack and these are easy to throw in my purse.  Only one ingredient is listed…almonds.  Perfect choice! 

*Skinny Quinoa Sticks – I just found these at Walgreens and I am hooked!  As the website says, these tasty snacks contain real ingredients like quinoa and omega-3 rich chia seeds that make this whole grain snack a smart choice. These crunchy sticks are a delicious and family-friendly snack with a big taste, minus the bad stuff.  These have zero trans fat, cholesterol, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and this company boasts that the skinny sticks contain 30% less fat than the leading potato chip.  Sold plus they taste really good!

*Terra Real Vegetable Chips – These are my new obsession that keep me away from potato chips.  Non-GMO in original Sea Salt flavor, these guys contain a seasonal mix of root veggies that include sweet potatoes, yuca, parsnip, sea salt and beet juice.  At 150 calories a snack bag, my urge for crunchy chips is satisfied with this better choice.  BUT I must admit that after doing some research, these chips don’t add up to a healthy snack, but I eat these instead of potato chips now because I still believe that root veggies are better than white potatoes.

*Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers – Gluten free, 100% whole grain with no artificial colors and flavors, these are my go to crackers now.  Perfect with a nice slice of cheese on top.

Sweet Tooth Treats

Oh, that tempting sweet tooth!  Instead of candy bars, cookies and ice cream, try these savory snacks…

In place of a candy bar, try these…

*KIND Dark Chocolate Almond Mint Bar – I especially like this flavor because of the yummy chocolate mint combination.  And there are several KIND varieties that only have 5 grams of sugar with ingredients that can be pronounced.  So, you know what you are eating.  This bar is 200 calories, so it is filling, and it also contains 5 grams of protein.

*Power Crunch is the protein bar that my trainer recommends.  He likes these because each bar only has 5 grams of sugar and no sugar alchols.  I love this bar because it is delicious and tastes like a wafer cookie without the chalky aftertaste that many other protein bars leave plus the Power Crunch bar won’t result in a sugar crash.  My daughter loves the chocolate mint flavor and my favorite is the peanut butter crème variety.

Instead of cookies, try this…

*Emmy’s Organic Coconut Cookies Dark Cacao – Starbucks sells these now in their snack section.  USDA organic, vegan and gluten free, these mini cookies are made with fair-trade cocoa powder and cold pressed coconut oil.  One cookie has 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar.  Not bad for a cookie and the coconut flavor and texture is chewy and satisfying, so one cookie takes care of my sweet snack craving.  I especially appreciate the whole ingredients in these cookies that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup.

 

Iced Coffee Craving/Ice Cream

Instead of a sugar filled iced coffee or blended shake at the drive-thru coffee shop, try this…

*Enlightened Cold Brew Coffee Chip – Buy a box of these yummy ice cream bars and only take in 90 calories a serving instead of the typical coffee shop blended coffee drink which can run as high as 340 calories and a whopping 47 grams of sugar for a drink like the 16 oz Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino. That used to be one of my old faves before I gave that up!  I am especially happy to find the Enlightened ice cream bar that only has 5 grams of sugar.  Enlightened has other ice cream flavors as well like mint chip.

Interesting Curb Craving Product:  Meal Enders

*Try Meal Enders.  I heard about this interesting snack candy idea on social media.  So I ordered a bag of yummy chocolate mint flavored Meal Enders and I do think they sort of work.  I say sort of because they aren’t cheap, unfortuntely.  So you have shell out the dough for this snack solution and I can’t prove that they really curb your appetite and keep you from snacking and consuming dessert or if it is a mental thing.  But they do taste good, they do satisfy my urge to keep on eating and the tingly taste that is the aftertaste feels like an after dinner mint.  Somehow all of this signals the brain that eating is done.  Again, I am not a spokesperson for Meal Enders and I don’t know for sure if they truly work, but for me, they do the trick on a lot of days.  Not every day, but a lot of days if I pop a Meal Ender after my meal, that satisfies me instead of ordering a dessert.  That is a good thing.  I just don’t like the price.  One solo pack that contains 25 pieces costs $16.95 or get a 3-pack for $34.95 or a 9-pack bundle for $89.95.  Flavors include Citrus, Cinnamon, Mocha and Chocolate Mint.  I have only tried the Chocolate Mint and my daugther and I both like that flavor a lot.  I have ordered the Mocha, so I hope I like it.

What are your smart snack solutions?  Leave your yummy ideas in the comments section.  Happy snacking and happy summer shopping for fashions, too.  That is also a good remedy when you feel a snack attack coming on…try on last summer’s clothes or go shopping!  In any event, eat as healthy as you can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And The Terrific Travel Sized Beauty Products Winner Is….

Happy Monday!  Announcing today’s winner is a great way to start the week!  Thank you to ALL of you who entered the drawing to win these terrific travel sized beauty toiletries…

Our winner is sure to travel prepared for beautiful beauty on the road with this pretty kit!  As previously mentioned, we are now doing weekly drawings for giveaways in lieu of Freebie Fridays since some of the Freebie Friday prizes were going unclaimed.  This is working well as we are getting the entries!  So stay tuned for our next drawing, which we will announce this Friday!  But now back to today’s winner!  The winner was drawn through random.org, so let’s get to it and see who today’s winner is…..

 

Chylon Brigham from Phoenix, AZ!!!!

Congrats to Chylon!  Thank you, Chylon and everyone for following managedmoms.com!  Wishing you all a great week!

Terrific Travel Toiletries Giveaway Drawing!

Yay!  Summer will be here soon, so hopefully that means travel plans for many of you!  We love elegant travel sized beauty products and this week’s giveaway drawing is no exception, as these items will put style in your travel beauty bag!  As I mentioned a few weeks back, we are switching to drawings for our giveaways instead of the Freebie Friday automatic drawings since some prizes were going unclaimed.  So, if you are interested in having a chance to win this very nice travel collection of beauty products, enter now!  Simply…

  1.  Email your name, email address & mailing address of where you want your prize sent if you are our winner.  Email to [email protected]
  2.  Do it by this Sunday night, April 1st (no foolin’), 10pm Phoenix time.  The winner will be drawn through random.org and posted on this blog on Monday, April 2nd.

Be sure to enter and good luck!  And happy travels soon!

 

A Letter To Moms & To My Younger Mama Self

Dear Moms of babies, toddlers, school-aged kiddos and teens, I have a little letter for you that celebrates you, includes a bit of reflection and maybe even feeds your Mama soul a little bit.  I hope so.

I write this to you because I just read a social media post by a super successful and well known business woman who is balancing it all with her beloved 1-year-old, whom she has fallen madly head-over-heels in love with…oh I remember that falling in love baby time!  In her statement, she basks in the love of her baby, but also wonders out loud if she could figure out how to dedicate a little more time to her career, that is also taking off at this point.  Of course, that is life’s timing.

As I started to type my response to her, I decided that I wanted to say this to all of you hard-working mothers, maybe struggling with how to balance it all and what to do with the guilt you may feel trying to do so.  I can now see those days of mine (that you are currently experiencing) in my rear view mirror.

That in itself, is strange to me.  That I am here now and that I got to this part of my almost post-kid life so fast.

It sure didn’t feel like time was moving so quickly then when I was trying to find a balance (and me time) in the haze of it all.  There were days back then that I craved to be where I am now.  I felt guilty about thinking that at times back then.  Don’t do that to yourself.

Instead do this, read my letter to you below.  I wish I had known my older self then, who now looks back with a full heart smiling…and sometimes longing for those busy hectic days with children hanging all over me to return.  If only for just a day.

That was then. I have to sometimes beg for hugs now. Bittersweet.

It is nice to have more me time now.  And sometimes it is also a bit painful as I adjust to my new normal, being almost a compete empty-nester (not quite, thankfully, but almost).

It is also nice to have my current perspective that I earned through 20 years of raising my two kids.  I am hoping that my current day thoughts in this letter to you can help those of you wondering how to do it all.  Spoiler alert – we can’t do it all and have it all every day, but maybe there are a few little tips in this letter that can help.  This is also a letter to my younger mama self…

Dear Moms (and younger me)-

You are doing a great job!  Please take a moment to pat yourself on the back!  Woot woot to you! 

Balancing it all is super hard. I know because my kids are 16 and 20 now and you truly won’t believe how fast it goes. And they won’t need you physically near as much as they prepare to leave home during the later high school years. Once they start to drive at 16, you see them a lot less.

During my years of raising kids, I went from having a big fulltime career as a marketing manager at Southwest Airlines to another big, but less demanding partime TV producer job.  Then I had several years off not working while having a toddler and an infant…oh I don’t like to call it NOT working…I worked, as you moms know!  Truly, the hardest I ever physically, emotionally and mentally worked was when I was a fulltime mom/homemaker.  I then went back to work when they were school-aged to a very fullfilling part-time TV producing/on air contributor position.  Then the teen years arrived, so I became a freelance work-from-home mother because my offspring needed to be driven ALL the time to ALL of their activities that were located EVERYWHERE.

Now my boy is away at college and my girl is 16 and driving herself, so I have more time to dedicate back to my career.  But it is always a balancing act. 

My mom once told me…

“That the one thing you can’t get back is time.”  I let that mantra guide me, as well as one a pal told me…

“When your priorities are in order, everything falls into place.”

SO true.

Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job.  I found that on some days I could have it all…but on many other days, I had to choose how to prioritize with help from hubs, fam and friends. You figure it out as you go along and then all of a sudden they are grown up. It is a crazy magic trick.

My best advice as you work so hard to find a balance, catch your breath and make daily decisions that affect multiple people, not just yourself anymore.  It is this…

Let your heart & your motherly instinct guide you.  Take good care of yourself.  Remember to give yourself me time, hubs (partner) time and gal pal time, too. 

AND most importantly, squeeze those little ones tight because it is so dang true when they say don’t blink! 

Back in my hectic mom days with little me time.  Energetic toddler & startled bath baby…LOL!   And now…

Me time meaning me with both of them together…that is now a hot commodity! Cherished time…then and now!

 

Fun Bling Giveaway Winner!

The winner will choose which color she wants in this pretty bling bracelet!

This was a good one with a good response and lots of email entries! I guess you all like bling!  So fun.  The winner (winner drawn through random.org ) of these pretty prizes is….

IS….

Susan Vlcek from Avondale, AZ!!!

Congrats Susan!

Be on the lookout for another drawing giveaway opportunity with different prizes that we will post this Friday.  Until then, make it a great week!

Fun Bling Giveaway Drawing!

Today we are doing a fun bling giveaway drawing!  Some of my recent Freebie Friday prizes have gone unclaimed, so we are doing weekly drawings for a while instead.  See a prize you want?  Enter the drawing!  Today’s prizes are fun and functional and we are giving away TWO bling bling items!  Keep for yourself or give as gifts! I am loving this Group Therapy bling apron for the perfect hostess accessory or the perfect gift idea for your bling and wine loving gal pal.  The winner also gets a beautiful bling bracelet in the color of choice! 

Love these items.  Sparkly fun!

To enter, simply do this…

  1.  Email your name, email address & mailing address to where you want prize sent if your name is drawn.
  2.  Do this by 10pm Arizona time this Monday, March 19th.

Winner is drawn through random.org.  Winner will be announced on this blog on Tuesday morning.  Good luck!

Less Blogging, More Living

Less blogging, more living.  Been blogging a lot less lately.  Some of it is due to that perfect phrase…how does it go…

“life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”

That is right on.

In the last year, I took several unexpected trips to care for family in need.  Those trips helped others, I am told and I am so glad about that, but the experience was also enriching for me, I discovered.  My head and heart both experienced a joy that comes from helping others that is unexpected and cool to feel.

Been blogging a lot less latey because my now 20-year-old son grew up way too fast and some of his years at home were spent with his Mama’s head stuck in my blog.  Yeah, I regret that now.  I always made time to be at his hockey games, school awards ceremonies, predance picture taking for the parents, etc.  But the quiet home life, with the ordinary moments that are taken for granted.  Well, some of that time was spent with my hands typing more and hugging less.  I missed some bedtime story reading as I chose to sit downstairs working on my blog instead of upstairs reading with my kids.  I didn’t do that every night, but I now regret the nights that I chose my blog over a book with my kid.

A few years back when I took those daily easily accessible hugs for granted!

This got here so fast. Unbelievable, truly.

With my second born home for only two more short years, I know better this time.

Been blogging a lot less with my hands hugging my girl more instead of my computer.  Ironically and truly typical of a teenager, there are days when she prefers to have me sitting at my computer and less standing there bugging her.

The only thing wrong with this picture is the phone in my hand. Let your phone go when you schedule your unscheduled time.

Growing up too fast, yet again.  An ordinary green juice moment and now she drives herself to buy a green juice, without me most of the time.

She doesn’t know this yet, as I didn’t know it when I was 16 so many years ago…but she will miss those annoying Mama hugs soon enough.

Teenager me back in the day not knowing just how much I would miss my Mommy when I had to start adulting.  I also didn’t know that my baby brother would be taken from us at only 22.  Cherished ordinary moments. 

Not long after leaving my own mother at 18 did I quickly discover just how much I missed my mother’s attentive touch and love that I worked hard to independently separate from during my teen years. It is a normal thing those teens do and they are supposed to do it.  So bittersweet.

But now I know to grab those hugs even if the annoyed teenager grunts and bears it.  And sometimes she even hugs pretty tight right back.  Whichever is the case, I’m not missing out this time on potential loving hugs because I chose my blog to work on instead of being present at home during those ordinary moments.

Been blogging a lot less because science says it is unhealthy to sit for long periods of time and blogging can quickly trick the mind into thinking one has only been sitting for an hour when the clock shows two hours have passed by.  Been blogging less and walking my neighborhood trails more. I am so lucky to have pretty desert trails to walk along in my hood.

Been blogging a lot less because the potential online financial returns for time spent on a blog have not been returned, which has been disappointing, but also freeing.  For those incredible bloggers who make the money producing a blog, my hat is off to you because I have learned that to make a profit, overtime hours must be put into that blog.  It is true what they say about time right now and why it is called the present. A lot of hours and travel and managing ad clients and more.

I am VERY lucky that my advertisers are super cool companies that are super nice to work with…thank you espeically to Boiron and to Toe Juice!

Been blogging less and living more because once one kid is raised and out the door, you can’t believe just how stinging that realization can be.

20 years ago, after I had my first baby, I laid in the hospital bed gazing down at my son completely head over heels in love.  I laid there carefully considering my very fulfilling fulltime career versus my new mommy role.  I discussed this with my mother, who had flown in from Maryland for the birth and after care (thank you Mom).  She listened thoughtfully and then she told me, “the one thing you can’t get back is time” and boy was she right.  I did go on to work in several awesome careers, some fulltime, some partime and some freelance.  And with each career decision I made, I considered her words and worked to find a good balance.  That never got easy, but I lived with another phrase my good friend, Lisa told me…

“when your priorites are in order, things fall into place.”

That became my mantra.  Thank you Lisa.  Family and friends.  What gifts.  Don’t miss out on those ordinary moments with these people, too.

Been blogging less because I have been living more.  Living incredibly joyful moments and experiencing some incredibly painful heartbreaks, too.  And those ordinary moments in between…I have been living those a lot more now.  Turning 50 helped with that realization, too.

Been blogging less because I made the choice to stop missing those ordinary moments at home.  Got off the keyboard and got the popcorn on to watch movies with my hubs and daughter.  Left the keyboard to run to the door when my son and his cutie pie girlfriend visit from college.  Departed from my desk and departed on airplanes to help family instead.

Been blogging less to cook whole healthy homemade meals more.

That time my son asked if his college buds could come for Thanksgiving dinner. The best!

I love my blog and will continue to write articles that I hope are helpful for my readers, insightful for parents and fun to read.  I really love to hear from my readers when an article has touched them or has been helpful, so a big thank you to the many of you who have left comments, emailed me or commented on my social media pages about my content.  I especially love blogging my 3TV segments, too.  So fun for me to share!

At my blog launch party in 2011! My good pal, Jill helped me to make the event great!

My little blog is my labor of love and gives me joy as long as I remember the important balance of blogging about life versus living it.

Product giveways will continue with less Freebie Fridays, mainly because some weeks the prizes go unclaimed, so doing a drawing instead lets those interested in the goods being offered enter.  So my blogging continues and I CAN NOT thank those who follow my blog enough for your support!  Managedmoms is still chugging along with a solid base.  But missing those ordinary moments (that are magical when looking back) to grow my blog…not going to worry about that so much.

More articles, recipes and giveaways coming soon and in the meantime, I will continue to chose my time on the keyboard with less blogging and more living.

Those ordinary moments at home are too important to miss.  Trust me on that 🙂

How is this five years ago?! Don’t miss YOUR ordinary moments. They are yours to cherish.

Freebie Friday Winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is our Freebie Friday winner today?

What did our winner win?  Keep on reading!!  And remember if you are a subscriber, then you are automatically entered in our weekly drawing for great prizes that include beauty items, cookware,  jewelry and more!  Lots of cool stuff!  Now, let’s announce this week’s lucky winner….

This week’s Freebie Friday winner is:

Paul Walton from Phoenix, AZ!!!   

(winner selected through random.org)

Paul won….

Several his & hers terrific travel toiletries that I showed in my recent KTVK Your Life Arizona morning show segment!  Paul gets one of my favorite new finds, VitaCoco Coconut Oil and it is travel sized, too.

Amazing product that can be used for both gals and guys on cuticles, lips and more. For beards on men, too!

He also wins several perfectly sized travel products for men!  

And several other great items like dry shampoo and more.  He can share these items with his honey since there are also beauty products for the gals in the prize pack.  So they can pack their bags and be on their way, just in time for the upcoming spring break, too!

Congratulations Paul and thank you so much for being a managedmoms.com subscriber!  We appreciate it!

And we will have more great prizes next week, so stay tuned for that and become a subscriber to be automatically entered into the weekly drawing that we do through random.org! 

HOW TO ENTER NEXT WEEK’S FREEBIE FRIDAY…

Do you want a chance to be in the Freebie Friday drawing for next week?  If you are a subscriber, you are automatically entered!

If you are not a subscriber, subscribe now at www.managedmoms.com.  Simply subscribe to the website by filling out the area in the right hand column that says “subscribe to managedmoms.com.”  Being a subscriber means that you simply get a notification email each time we run a recipe, article, beauty tip, coupon and more.  We don’t share your email address with anyone and you are automatically entered into the weekly Freebie Friday drawing for your chance to win a cool prize every Friday.  It is that easy!