ninja kicking

Earlier in February I urged everyone I knew to create some smiles for others for Valentine’s Day. This is something we have done as a family for years even before getting involved with Girl Scouts. We get friends and family involved in making cards or being a part of our service projects and this year we put the word out to my online network as well as to a couple local schools.

We have a small Troop right now of six girls and these kids were able to deliver over 300 handmade cards to the Veterans Hospital. That was empowering for them. When we sorted through the cards and made our final count they were in awe of the response.

It made them feel like they can do anything if they work at it and that is a feeling I hope that sticks with them.

Additionally, we had dozens of online friends who reached out to their local community to take action and make a difference in someone’s life. This was an opportunity to talk about how we can make a difference in other people’s lives who aren’t in our own community. The power of influence can spread very far if you try hard enough.

The Valentine’s cards and candies they got from their classmates was exciting for the day but it’s the cards for a cause that made the loving memories.

For those of you who took the time to pass the word along and those of you who participated we thank you all. If you missed this idea… we look forward to next year!

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If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you may have caught a glimpse of all my #ninjakicking insanity.

I’m on a mission to get my ass back in shape again after I broke my foot. My weight capped out at 186 which is much more than I weighed when my daughter was born and I was just over this when my son was born.

The only time I’ve been this heavy is when I was incubating a person.

When I was growing up I was a scrawny thing and was teased a lot for having the body of a boy. I didn’t get boobs or hips until.. well, long after becoming a Mom. I temporarily had big milky amazing breastfeeding tatas with my first but, because motherhood is a total wench, they deflated and I was back to have mosquito bites on my chest.

I was so self conscious about my body and looks that I dressed like a super tomboy and weirdo to distract attention. I figured if I purposely dressed in an unattractive way then it wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t looking cute.

Beneath my confident exterior I was dealing with the same thing most young chicks do: self esteem issues and hating my body.

You really wouldn’t know it by the way I carried myself.

My image issues became apathy issues which was probably not healthy either.

Then life changes and we have to schedule time to be active. I became a Mom to a child with special health needs which left little time for me. Then I was a single work from home Mom… and somewhere I forgot to take care of me. I just haven’t made the time to be active like I should have. I haven’t been taking care of myself. I focus on the kids first and everything else is secondary. This is also how I am programmed… I find it hard to focus on me. It feels selfish even if I always advocate for taking time for yourself to learn to be happy.

Before I broke my foot I had already put on weight that I wasn’t happy with. At that point I needed to lose about 15lbs which was manageable. Then two months of barely moving and trying to walk only to take care of my kids created a perfect storm of weight gain. I’m 25+lbs heavier than I’d like to be.

I don’t believe in extreme diets. I know I just need a lifestyle change. I’ve been on a modified diet (no wheat, eggs or milk) to support my daughter’s food allergy restrictions but I would have a lot of “cheat” days. When I went off of all of this completely I started to feel healthy again. When I indulge my body reacts. I feel bloated, gross and my eczema flares up. It’s just not worth it.

I’ve started riding my bike as often as I can. I used Just Dance and Your Fitness Evolved and other physical gaming to stay active. I’ve cut out the soda, fast food and junk. I’m just making all around better choices and it’s paying off. I’ve lost 9lbs in just a few weeks. I physically feel healthier, I sleep better and I have a lot more energy.

This shit isn’t easy. I’m not young like I used to be. I have to work hard at maintaining myself. I have to make better choices with what I eat. It is so easy to eat junk and be lazy. It’s easy to choose to be inactive. I’m choosing to ninja kick my ass in place.

I realized that most people lose weight or go on extreme diets because they want to be skinny. They usually want to obtain an image of beauty of something else that often isn’t healthy or realistic. When we fail at this it’s devastating.

That can feel shitty.

I’ve been there and it sucks.

I don’t want to be skinny I just want to fucking love my body no matter what imperfections there are. I just want to reach a point where I am active, eating right, taking care of myself and feeling good. I want to keep these curves that I longed for in my teen years but tone up some of the parts that jiggle.

What I figure is that if I am feeling healthy I will love myself regardless… even if I don’t lose this huge butt that I don’t even know where it came from. Everyone has flaws but everyone is also freaking awesome, beautiful, gorgeous and rockin in their own ways. We need to embrace our individuality and stop beating ourselves up over not looking like someone else.

We are all fucking rad. We are just healthier when we take care of ourselves.

What about you? Are you active and what motivates you to carve that time out with a busy lifestyle? Want to join me on a mission to motivate?! I need all the encouragement I can get and in return I’ll get you motivated. Let’s make healthier lifestyle choices. It’s good for us and our loved ones.

Let’s keep ninja kicking!

 

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“Live, laugh and ninja kick” is my motto on life. It’s helped me learn how to truly be happy and ninja kick life’s obstacles. Sure, life isn’t perfect and sometimes we deal with less that stellar situations…

But, it’s how we choose to get through the day that really defines how to truly be happy.

It seems silly, to me, to write this because I don’t perceive myself as being influential, inspiring or uh insertanythingpositivehere. I’m just me but I share my life and experiences in attempt to help others by making them laugh or providing some insight. I’ve been asked many times and over countless years how to truly be happy and my only response has been to just choose to be. It’s a choice. It is often a freaking hard choice!

So, I decided to put together this list of tips on how to truly be happy and keep on ninja kicking.

Tip #1 – Don’t Speak Whinese!

That isn’t a clever yet obvious way to plug my blog name… it is true. It is the core of what I believe in. Life just plain sucks at times. Things don’t always go as planned. No matter how often you try to expect the unexpected more twists, turns and obstacles find a way of screwing things up. It’s downright devastating at times. Some moments we find ourselves at the lowest point we ever thought possible and it seems improbable to climb our way out of it… but, you will. It’s a moment in time. Do not get consumed by it and the best way to allow it to take over completely is to invest too much time whining.

You don’t gain anything from speaking whinese. Sure, it feels great to vent. It feels amazing to get it off your chest. Sometimes you just want to talk shit, be angry and release that bitter demon! Give yourself a small amount of time to get it out and then stop whining. Move forward because you need to. If you keep whining about the same thing you are just going to keep reliving it, resurfacing negative emotions and probably annoying the people around you.

Wine tastes much better than whine.

Tip #2 – Choose To Be Happy!

Yes, it’s that simple. It’s a choice. When you stop whining about your situation and can see through the negative fog it’s easier to realize that things aren’t always that bad. Take a serious look at the daily issues or complaints you have about life and ask yourself “Does this really make my life unhappy or is it just unfortunate?”. Most of the time you will see that it’s not misery it’s just annoying. Don’t let those annoyances and smaller issues in life get you down.

If you redirected that energy into thinking about all the awesome things you have going on it will make those tiny issues vanish. Wouldn’t you rather be talking about the good in your life rather than bitching all the time? I find negativity to be draining and completely pointless.

When something really gets you down or makes you mad… find something good to think about. When my daughter is in the hospital or we have long days of labs due to her chronic illness I try to keep things positive. It’s not easy but it is a choice. We take silly pictures. We write stories. We plan amazing trips for when she is healthy. What we don’t do is focus on why we are there or the things she is missing out on. We can laugh at even the most painful times.

Tip #3 – Ninja Kick Those Obstacles!

You have a huge obstacle in the way on your road to happiness… are you going to let it stop you or are you going to kick it out of the way? It’s a choice to overcome it and there are detours, reroutes and sometimes plain brute force to get around it.

Find a solution. Be resourceful. Seek support. Do not settle. Prioritize your life to make it happen and just do it. Don’t put it off. Don’t get discouraged.

You will not be able to fight a battle unless you start kicking some ass… and you will probably have to start with your own ass. It’s not easy to kick your own butt!

You can do it and no one can say otherwise. There are countless stories of women, men and children overcoming the odds who didn’t allow obstacles to get in their way and stop them on their journey. For every excuse you may have there are endless examples contradicting what you may have convinced yourself.

The solution is there. Find it. Oh… and speaking of excuses…

Tip #4 – Stop Making Excuses!

Every mistake I’ve made (oh and there is a hefty load of those) I’ve tried to accept it, take ownership of my choices in it and do my best not to repeat it. I don’t make excuses. I try to avoid blaming others because I’ve always had a choice in the matter… except if it has to do with my brother because I will still blame him for all I can. He’s a brat.

Seriously though… I hear from so many people all the things they want to do, or that they wished they didn’t do or hope to change. With these shoulda, coulda, woulda’s I hear a lot of excuses.

“I want to do that but…”

“I wish that never happened but…”

“I want to change this but…”

No buts! No more. Stop it, right freaking now. You want something? Do it. Refer to all of the above.

You didn’t like how something turned out? It won’t do you any good, progress the situation or change anything if you keep making excuses. Figure out what is really stopping you, drop the excuses and just do it!

And to quote Yoda (yes, I’m waving my geek flag… what?!) “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Tip #5 – Accentuate the Positive and Eliminate the Negative!

Did anyone else besides me sing that while reading it? When I was a young girl my grandma in Japan, who was the most classy woman ever, listened to jazz and swing. One of the songs she played often was about accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative. Not only is this song beautiful but it’s also a very Japanese way of thinking.

I never heard her complain or voice any negatives her whole life. She so positive even if things were rough. She told me that it’s a choice to fill your life with good things or bad and good people or negative people. She also said if you were stuck with something negative then it’s your choice on how you deal with it or how often.

Yes, this seems similar to choose to be happy but it’s more about purging the negatives. I wrote about negative friendships last year when I found myself and many friends dealing with toxic situations. Every situation is obviously unique but you can flush and febreeze that yucky junk out of your life most of the time.

Sometimes it’s just not worth it to deal with someone’s negativity. You have choices. You can find a resolution, you can cut ties or you can redirect the situation.

You may also feel like you got the crap end of the stick and can’t do anything about it. Well, you can… it just may take some work. Again, see above.

Tip #6- Do Something Every Freaking Day That Makes You Feel Awesome

What do you enjoy? What makes you feel great? What empowers you? What inspires you? What causes you to jump for joy, pat yourself on the back or scream “Who’s the queen of the sandbox?! Who’s Tonka Truck is this!?”

Do it. Get it done. Feel awesome. Rinse and repeat.

Some days are harder than others. Sometimes we feel like we have no time, no energy and just don’t give a crap. Choose to do something that makes you feel awesome. It will be different for everyone and it may change for you often.

Don’t whine about the day, realize you need to choose to be happy, ninja kick any obstacles out of your way, do NOT make excuses and eliminate any negative preventing you from doing that one thing.

And do it. You deserve it. You need it. Your family and friends want you to feel awesome. You are damn worth it.

I seriously have hard days where I feel like I just can’t handle it all. I have had many days where I just want to break and don’t want to do anything anymore. I’ve had some very hard and low points that made it seem like life would never recover.

And in those times and on those days sometimes all I could do was crank up the music and rock out to something that just made me feel good. Sometimes it was to soak in the tub with a book even for fifteen minutes. Other days it was to buy someone lunch who needed it. A few times it was to go out of my way to help someone… just cause. Or I bought that freaking doughnut I shouldn’t have had.

But, I found something even if it was a moment. A single moment can turn into more. Then you find yourself filling your days with many of those moments and realize you found how to truly be happy and how to keep on ninja kicking.

My life is far from perfect. There are a lot of things about my life that no one would want to deal with. I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I’m not where I want to be in life… but I am happy… even when things kind of suck. It’s my life and I worked hard to get here and am okay with the screw ups along the way. I’m going to appreciate what I can and be happy even if it is one awesome moment at a time.

Keep on ninja kicking and let me know how it goes.

Live, laugh and ninja kick.

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Post image for Mother Figures and Seemingly Simple Advice that Changes Everything About You

Thank you to Tout for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to share mom’s best advice! Visit the SELF + The Honest Co. + Tout contest on.self.com/MomKnows to share the best advice you received from your mom and enter to win $500 worth of The Honest Company product and a Maya Brenner Designs necklace valued at $200, in addition to having their Tout featured on SELF.com. Additionally, for every response a donation will be made to Baby2Baby.

 

My Grandma and I (Making loved ones lose sleep from the beginning!)

Mother Figures and Coming Full Circle

I was pretty much raised by a single Dad so Mother’s Day has always been about my both of my grandmas. Even as I became a Mom I think about the other women who molded me to become the woman I am today instead of celebrating myself. I am in many ways very different than the women who influenced me but there are so many strong aspects of my personality that come from them… and I am thankful for that.

When I was a kid my brother and I used to spend a lot of time in Japan visiting family over the summers. I wish I had the perspective that I have now to appreciate it fully. I thought I knew everything back then but I realize now… that I actually DO know everything… or very close to it. Okay, not really but I am on a mission to know everything.

Anyway… I could be an absolute stubborn, defiant, angry, make everyone pull their hair out child.

Shocking, right??

I remember being very young and in Japan without my Dad with our relatives. We spent a long time there… almost the whole summer. It started to feel less like vacation and more like our everyday life… so I started to appreciate it less. I was angry at my brother for something that I can’t even recall now so that shows how insignificant it was. I was seething. I still remember that anger and I held it for days. It wasn’t the kind of anger that got me attention because I remember just being on my own, not talking to anyone and being generally pissed off.

My grandma sat next to me and in her very poised, confident and graceful way simply explained, “Being angry is a choice. So is being happy. You can choose to be angry every single day and become anger. Or you can choose to be happy and become happiness.”

I immediately made excuses to justify my anger. Everything was obviously not my fault. It was his, them, her, that thing or other stuff and whatever else sounded logical.

Even at that age I knew they were just excuses. I was choosing to spend days angry and yeah, I was a very angry kid. I had a lot more reasons to be angry than most and I hated that. I was sick of being angry. Until that moment no one ever told me it was in my control.

It’s always been in my control.

I get asked often how I do what I do, on my own and with the perspective that I have. I’m praised for my love of life. I’m complimented on taking on what I can without complaints. I’ve been asked so many times… Why aren’t you angry? How can you really be that happy?

And I know these things are asked because some may be questioning if I am truly happy or putting on a front. Some also find it inspiring and want to know how when it may appear to be impossible.

I think back to that moment seeing my beautiful grandma who never had a bad day and the seemingly simple advice she gave me. Someone who went through more sacrifice and hard decisions than most women ever have to face. I think about her and how she just had this way about being absolutely positive, cheery and making you feel like life was glorious… because she chose that perspective.

I am angry and I have a lot to be angry about. I have a kid that gets sick a lot. I’ve dealt with more crappy people and life altering situations than most. I’ve lost everything I’ve worked for multiple times. I’ve been surrounded by non-supportive and negative people my whole life. I’m constantly judged, assumed of and looked down upon.

But, I choose not to become anger. I choose for it to not define me.

I choose to ninja kick life’s obstacles and make the most of it and find happiness.

I could be miserable, bitter and really freaking angry at the world and make all the excuses I can to justify becoming a smoldering anger ball.

That kind of life seems to be an absolute waste when there are so many glorious moments to be had.

So, I’m choosing happiness. It is my choice to be happy despite how many opportunities I may have to become anger.

And I will always have my grandma, Alishia, to thank for that.

 

Thank you again to Tout for sponsoring my post. Visit on.self.com/MomKnows to share the best advice you received from your mom. Fans and readers can reply directly via webcams at www.Tout.com, through Tout’s mobile application, on www.Facebook.com/TheHonestCompany and www.Self.com/health/mothers-day in addition to other promotional sites. Viewers can watch the entire stream of replies on the Tout widget on http://www.self.com and share their favorites to their Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages, as well as by email and SMS.

 

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Post image for Moving Furniture, Overcoming Vulnerability aka I Hurt My Ninja Kicker

Baaada big boom! Also, if you appreciate how awesome my pants are and why then you get bonus points.

I do everything on my own. I have little help (though I do have awesome friends that will help if I ever actually need/ask… but I don’t… but that is another topic) but I’m okay with that. I like that I am obnoxiously independent. It empowers me. I embrace it!

Even if it ends up costing me.

I have this problem with moving furniture on my own. In the last several years I have hurt myself from doing this… but I can’t stop it.

I get bored. I move things around.

Usually I just hurt my back because I think I’m like mother fucking She-Ra and can move heavy things without help. I always prove that I -can- move things and sometimes prove that my body is older than I’d like to admit. Sometimes. So, it’s totally worth it.

I was rearranging the playroom when an organizer broke apart unexpectedly on my freaking foot.

You know those three drawer plastic thingies? Well, loading them up with paper, books and chargers/random electronic parts isn’t a good idea… especially when you move the thing and it falls apart and hulk smashes your freaking foot. It is still in pieces where it fell. The only thing I cleaned up is the blood. Ugh.

Also… Kicking the thing with said smashed, bleeding foot while calling it a stupid whoreface anushair isn’t a good idea. My son has a more colorful vocabulary and it did make the pain worse.

I felt at the moment I needed to teach the organizer bitch a lesson. I’m very logical at times.

I admit it, I cried. Actually, at first I couldn’t feel anything! My whole body rushed with adrenaline and I felt nothing. I knew right away it was going to be bad when I went from entire body numbness to uncontrollable crying. I. Don’t. Cry. I couldn’t stand up, move my leg and could not control it. The gaping cut in it was so bad it took me awhile to get it to stop bleeding. I was trying to stay calm because it was just me and my son there and unfortunately, he started to freak out. That makes me feel horrible.

He was really sweet. He brought me every first aid kit, frozen bag of veggies and ice packs as well as every stuffed animal he could find so I had “friends to make me feel better” while I failed at my attempt to keep it together.

Besides when my home and car got broken into I don’t think I’ve felt that amount of vulnerability. I don’t like being vulnerable at all but this was a completely different level that scared me out. Admitting that makes me feel even more vulnerable. It is an endless cycle and one that I loathe. I have to recognize this though.

I was on the ground for about an hour before I actually called someone. During that time I had to really think about my options. I do not go to the doctor unless it is something serious and at the time it was seeming kind of serious. That opens a whole laundry list of other hurdles. I can’t drive with my foot like this. Who will watch the kids? How will I get there? How much will this cost? What happens after if it really is messed up? What about camping? How am I going to feed my kids? How much more am I going to screw this up because I lack the ability to just freaking chill?

And the big question that weighs on my mind…

What if this was worse and something horrible happened to me… what will happen to my kids?

That was a jolting moment of reality for me. That always weighs on my mind and isn’t a new thought. My kids rely on me 100% and by me being an obnoxious independent ass about things doesn’t do them any good. It all just sunk in heavier this time.

This can potentially screw up our summer plans but it could be worse. So many more worse things happen and have happened to the people in my world. In many ways I’m very lucky.

We have Japanese Festival dancing coming up. I can’t miss that. I wanted to take them camping this month. My daughter’s 500 Club celebration for Girl Scouts is next weekend. I’m now at a loss as to what to do for my son’s 5th birthday party. I have Big Sur and Bishop Fishing coming up before I know it! And BlogHer… ugh… the list goes on.

All of this because I was doing something I know I should ask help for.

But, I am too programmed to think that it would be a burden to bother anyone… even though I’d drop everything to help those I care about and never feel burdened by them.

I like to make everything into some kind of lesson that I can walk away a better person from it. Right now I can’t actually walk so I’ll hop away knowing that I have great people in my life that I can rely on when I need it. I can ask for help. I can choose not to ninja kick everything on my own because there are people out there that would do for me as I do for them. I only keep good damn people in my life. I need to learn to let them help so I don’t screw things up for my kids.

… and next time I decide to rearrange an entire room I will ask for help…

or just remove the drawers in things before moving heavy objects.

See… that IS progress.

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Post image for Diet Changes for Food Allergies, Autoimmune Diseases and Why My Kid is Tough


This week we went to UCLA Medical to try to get some answers for my daughter’s recent autoimmune flare ups. We have some new directions… but no solid answers.

That’s the thing with chronic illnesses and autoimmune issues. Sometimes there are no answers.

We know what is going on with her body but we don’t know why.

And that is the part that sucks.

Without knowing why we can’t know how to fix it.

So, we shoot in the dark.

What we do know is that there is something causing extreme constipation and then extreme diarrhea. Her chronic urticaria (hives) are flaring up again. Her muscles, joints and bones ache. She is getting dizzy a lot, fatigued, doubled over in pain and sleeps a lot more than usual.

Not exactly what a nine year old girl is supposed to be experiencing. [click to continue…]

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