Mamasylum - Because we all feel like being institutionalized at some point.

Keeping it Real

November 13, 2013

(M)AMA

     You may think the acronym AMA stands for the more common phrase American Medical Association; or Ask Me Anything; or for my French-Canadian friends, A Mon Avis (In My Opinion); or for my German friends Achszahlmeldeanlage (device for controlling the axis of a train); or for my Texas friends, the airport code for the Amarillo International Airport. There are hundreds of other AMA acronyms that have nothing to do with my blog today.  

This is what Advanced Maternal Age could look like without proper accountability!

This is what Advanced Maternal Age could look like without proper accountability!

 The one acronym that was brought to my conscious 10 years ago, and means the most, was Advanced Maternal Age. For those of you Mamas who bore your children near or after the age of 35, you know this acronym well. It’s a term that tells us what we already know. We waited to have kids – whether voluntarily or biologically. Now, I know there are probably studies done by scientists and doctors with impressive degrees as to why our pregnancies may become riskier as we mature, but what they don’t tell you is how this will affect you 10 years down the road.

     As I was applying my makeup this morning, my daughter observed a little something on my chin. “I think you need to pluck that one, Mom. It’s getting kinda long.” That’s right, you young moms won’t have to worry about your well-intentioned daughters keeping track of your hormonally-induced facial hair. Mostly, I wear the AMA label proudly, as I feel I am a more confident Mama that I would have been in my 20s. Which is why this morning, I laughed, thanked her, then plucked. 

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Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum. You can also email her at shannon@mamasylum.com.

Keeping it Real

November 6, 2013

Pity Party – One Night Only

     As most of my fab followers know, I recently published my first children’s book, Tooth on the Loose.”After getting past the erroneous mental block that self-publishing wasn’t legit, I was giddy to the point of annoying when I held the physical book in my hand for the first time. Those self-published authors before me have likened it to childbirth. I totally get it now. 

Labor of love without any stretch marks :)

Labor of love without any stretch marks 🙂

 There’s the worry during the gestational period if you’re doing everything you can to make it “perfect.” Then there’s the scary part of pushing – which could be the baby out, or pushing the Submit button when you think you’re absolutely, positively done and you’re ready to print the book.

     I must add one other comparison that I didn’t see coming – postpartum depression, or to a much lesser degree, a pity party. You’ve given birth (published), your baby is out there for all to see and judge. When the newness wears off, they kick you out of the hospital, and the visitors are gone, self-pity can sneak into your mind.

     About a month after I received my book, I went to an expo to peddle my wares, and sign my book because that’s what real authors do, right? Well, let’s say if it wasn’t for my fantastic friends and a sweet grandma, I wouldn’t have sold any. Apparently, expo means people want free stuff.

     After the expo, I felt sorry for myself for a day, then realized I’ve matured. Rather than agreeing with the voices in my head that tried to tell me it was a stupid idea to write a book and expect people to buy it, I chalked it up as a learning experience. Whoa, I sound like a real grown-up! I did walk away with some valuable lessons for the next event, which I’ll share in another blog. In the meantime, remember this sage advice:

If necessary, there is medication for both types of birth.

Keeping it Real

September 11, 2013

A Nice Romantic Getaway?

     So my folks visited a couple of months ago and my Mama mentioned that if the hubby and I ever needed to get away for a few days, just let them know and they’d be happy to stay with our kidlet. I was thrilled with the prospect – imagining a relaxing few days, perhaps staying at a cute B & B and touring the wine country, or renting a cabin in the woods and taking romantics walks. When the hubby found out, his idea was, well, different.

As seen on TV ... every four years

As seen on TV … every four years

     He joined a curling team a year ago and they were heading to a tournament about a five-hour drive from home. “It would be so fun if you could come!!” he said. “I won’t be playing that much,” he said. “When I’m not playing, we can go on a couple wine tours,” he said.

     Yes, we got away. Yes, it was more fun than I expected. Yes, we tasted wine – the bottle we brought and the one at the single vineyard we had time to visit. Yes, it was cold in the ice rink, but was more refreshing than being outside in 100 degree weather.

     Yes, I learned a lesson. More important than my “ideal” getaway, I got to cheer on my man in an appropriate setting. Imagine me showing up at his office, sitting by his desk, and ringing a cowbell? Apparently, it’s much more acceptable if he’s curling. Hypothetically speaking. You didn’t think I’d actually go to his work and ring a cowbell, did you? That would be ridiculous, right?

     So, Mamas, when was the last time you cheered on your man –  appropriately, or not?

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Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum

Keeping it Real

August 13, 2013

Don’t Try This At Home

     Whether you’re a Mama or not, I highly recommend visiting a children’s museum – though it looks better if you take a kid with you, so you don’t hear “creeper alert” all day. Anyway, visiting a kid’s museum gives you the chance to learn what you should have learned years ago, refresh what you learned, or feel really smart when you do know something. Don’t blurt it out during the docent’s speech, though. Even if you’re smarter than a fifth grader, it’s not the place to brag – you should be smarter.

What's going on in there?

What’s going on in there?

     Recently, I visited one of those hands-on museums and I relearned a lot. The most interesting exhibit was how the brain works. Without getting into all the technicalities of neurons and dendrites (mainly because I can’t remember it enough to explain it correctly), the one takeaway is that we need to trick our brains often. Apparently, our brains get lazy if we don’t exercise them. Sounds like advice I keep hearing a lot … .

     We’re supposed to get our brains out of their ruts by switching up our regular routines or trying something new – drive a different way home, take a dance class, eat with your non-dominant hand, etc. Since there are a few ways to get home, I’m good about changing the way I get there. I did, however, decide to try something with my non-dominant hand. I’m a righty, so I put on my makeup with my left hand. Everything was fine until it came to my mascara.

     This is where I suggest you heed my warning about not trying this at home. As someone who isn’t so graceful in the best of circumstances, let’s just say it took a while before I could open my eye without it watering.

     So, Mamas, what have you tried lately to exercise your brain?

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Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum.