Posted in Calming the Voices

Prozac is my Stacy London

Today is day 38 of me taking Prozac. I have tried over the counter antidepressants, Xanax, and Buspirone before I was finally prescribed Prozac for my anxiety and depression. And just like that it was like Stacy London from What Not To Wear came in and showed me how to live my best life.

For those who don’t know, What Not to Wear was a reality show in the early 2000s where Stacy London and cohost Clinton Kelly would help out a person who was nominated by their friends/family to have an overhaul of their wardrobe. I always thought that was kind of mean for friends and family to do that but the nominated person was always thrilled by the end of the episode so what do I know?

The first thing they would do is to clean out their closet, getting rid of outdated clothes and/or styles that don’t flatter them. With Prozac, it has cleared the cobwebs from my brain. If something is bothering me but doesn’t have a major effect on my life (i.e., the little things), away they go. If a negative thought doesn’t serve a purpose (and what negativity does?), it is shown the door.

Next stop is to give their subject a budget and guidelines on buying a new wardrobe. These clothes ultimately should make this person feel good about themselves and help them accomplish a life goal. Prozac has become the cheerleader voice in my head. If I think that I suck at writing (which happens on a daily basis), Prozac replaces that with, “No you don’t. You just need to work hard, stay focused, and not be so hard on yourself.” If I think to myself, “I will just write tomorrow”, Prozac tells me, “You need to do it today because you can.” If I beat myself up over my parenting, Prozac tells me I am doing the best I can.

At the end of the episode Stacy and Clinton give the person a makeover and show her how to to make the most of her new wardrobe. Prozac has set me on a path where I believe I can be happy even when there are challenges. On the horizon there is the possibility of major life changes: a new job and moving to a new town. I know it will be hard and stressful. But now I have a voice in my head telling me I can handle it. And I can’t ask for more than that.

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Posted in Word Therapy

The Cool Girl

Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Star Wars comic books. This was the year you became a nerdy badass. You found joy in books, movies, and television shows like Stranger Things. I am always afraid of pushing what I love on you but watching you grab onto these things and discovering a passion you didn’t have before has thrilled me down to my toes. You read Percy Jackson in fourth grade and you love it so much we have been informed that you want to learn Greek. You talk a mile a minute whether it is about why Professor McGonagall’s first name is Minerva (Roman counterpart to the Greek goddess Athena), why you need a Yankees hat for your Annabeth costume for Halloween, or who Luke is married to in the Star Wars comics. You don’t let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t like these things because you are a girl. Your closest friends are boys. You like to skateboard, ride your bike, and talk about Anne of Green Gables. You’ve already decided at 10 that drama is not for you and you walk away from it as opposed to engaging.

Scarlet Birthday 2

You are becoming more beautiful every day but could care less as it is even a fight to get you to comb your hair or wear a shirt that isn’t dirty, especially if you love said shirt. You have priorities and that is listening to music (Maroon 5 and Fallout Boy are new favorites), going to the library and leaving with no less than 5 books at a time, Minecraft, and Musicly. You fight with your brother 98.2% of the time but have endless patience with the little ones in our neighborhood. Macaroni and cheese still has your heart and Red Robin is your favorite restaurant. You started collecting Pop Funkos this year and have them arranged in alphabetical order on your dresser if there was ever a doubt that you are my daughter.

Scarlet birthday 1

There is no doubt that you are growing up. You want your independence and do not like being told what to do. I understand that need. You are capable of doing so many things on your own. But as your mom I want to protect you and hopefully make sure you don’t grow up too fast. This is a new chapter in our relationship and I hope that we will remain a team of not just mom and daughter but friends that love and understand each other even when we don’t agree.

Scarlet birthday 3

Scarlet, you are whip smart, enthusiastic, hot tempered, messy, determined, and sweet when you want to be. And when you are older I will whisk you off to a girls’ weekend at Comic-Con instead of a spa. It will be perfect, just like you.

Scarlet birthday 4

Happy 10th birthday my girl. Love you more than Eggos.

Posted in Fighting for the Good

Friday Favorite: Netflix’s Chasing Coral

Climate change is happening, no matter what Cheeto Satan says. And the ocean is currently bearing the brunt of the effects. Did you know that 50% of coral reefs have disappeared in the last 30 years? The new Netflix documentary Chasing Coral covers this and many other facts about why we should start caring about the planet and stop denying that climate change exists. The ocean terrifies me. The depth, the unknown, and its power all make me shake. But my fear for the planet is higher.

Richard Vevers was an English ad man who tired of the industry and realized he could be doing more than selling 2 or 3 ply toilet paper. He has been a diver since he was 16. He started to notice when he was diving that one of the sea creatures he loved, the weedy seadragon, were disappearing. This made him want to find out why they were dying and what else was being affected. He found that global warming is destroying the coral reefs. He assembled a team of divers and photographers including Zackery Rago to document this occurrence. They were able to put time lapse cameras into the water in more than 30 countries around the world. These locations included the Florida Keys, Airport Reef in American Samoa, and Hawaii.

Here are some factors to consider regarding coral reefs: 29% of the Great Barrier Reef disappeared in 2016 due to climate change. The ocean absorbs the warmth, which affects all living things that make it their home. Coral reefs absorb the temperature increase and become sick. They try to get rid of the sickness by pushing it out, which results in bleaching. The bleaching essentially leaves only the skeleton of the coral reefs. If the ocean didn’t absorb the warming, the average temperature on Earth would be 122 degrees. These coral reefs also supply food to one billion people and protect our beaches from extreme weather like hurricanes.

Towards the end of Chasing Coral the group of scientists and photographers present their findings and the effects of climate change on the ocean. The results were so extreme that it brought me to tears during the time lapse. The destruction of the reefs are so devastating that it is hard not to react. Not just because it will affect the human race, but because these reefs are a living, breathing thing that need to be saved. The passion and commitment these group of people have shown should not go unnoticed. It has moved me to continue to educate myself regarding this issue and do what I can to help.

Posted in California Livin'

Best Laid Plans

10 years ago this summer, I was 8 months pregnant with my oldest and riding shotgun in my 2001 Dodge Durango. I was holding my stomach with one hand and the other onto the oh shit bar above the passenger window. Hubby and I were were up in the mountains trying to find a watering hole with our nephews. But even in an SUV, driving the unpaved roads was treacherous. I held my breath a few times, fearful that we were going to tip sideways. After a while hubby gave up and we ended up at Lake Gregory. Fast forward to this July and we tried to find Aztec Falls again with our seven and nine year old. This time we were in our Kia Soul and it went as well as you would expect. We did a lot of driving in reverse and received some dirty looks from dune buggy drivers. We gave up a little sooner this round, for the safety of the four of us and our little car. Then we took the kids back to the same lake we went to a decade ago.

Lake Gregory is located in Crestline, California. It is surrounded by pine trees, has inflatable water slides, and sandy beaches. After we pulled into the parking lot and I dry heaved from car sickness, we paid $40 for the four of us to get in for the last two hours of the day. But there was water and the kids made a strong case (i.e., whined) until we walked in.

The kids eventually agreed to go into the water after 10 minutes of screaming, “The fish are touching me!” Scarlet swam back and forth to the buoy, making me breathe a sigh of relief that the swim lessons she had in June were worth it. Wesley wore a life jacket and swam a little bit but was more interested in digging holes and trying to look cool.

 

 

Their dad played catch with them with a random Lego they found in the water and of course that is what entertained them the most.

 

 

We did have lunch at a McDonald’s with the prettiest view, which balanced out the crowds and heat.

 

 

The kids are back in school this week but the memories of summer will stick around for a while.

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: Goodies from Comic-Con

While others were out enjoying their Saturday on 7/22, I was sitting in my solar powered air conditioned house refreshing my phone throughout the morning. Why, you ask? Because down in San Diego, CA on this past Saturday was the holy grail day of panels in Hall H. The Warner Bros. Panel was scheduled for 1130 am. And even though I didn’t get to enjoy the crowds of 150,000+, the overnight lines to get into Hall H, and celebrities hidden behind masks, the family and I did get to enjoy trailers that were released throughout the day.

First up is Ready Player One. This Spielberg directed flick that comes out next March is based on the book by Ernest Cline. It was one of my favorite books of 2016. As an 80s movies nerd, it fulfilled all my dreams in one story. It is the tale of Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager living in the future. Society is so bleak that he prefers to be in the OASIS, a virtual reality world. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he sets up the players to chase clues that will lead them to win the game and his fortune. The game is stuffed with movies, television shows, and video game references (Joust, anyone?). I have been waiting for this movie to come out since I finished the book and the trailer had me whooping and hollering throughout.

We did take a break from waiting for more trailers and dragged the kids to see War for the Planet of the Apes (which was awesome, btw). As soon as we stepped out of the theater Scarlet’s first question was, “Is there a Stranger Things trailer? Is there?!” And OH MY WORD, there was. The trailer is set to the tune of Thriller by Michael Jackson, Vincent Price narrating while Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarrazo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapp), Hopper (David Harbour), and the others are dealing with the aftermath of Season One and hoping for a reappearance of Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown). There is new student Max (Sadie Sink), problems between Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Steve (Joe Keery), and more scary monsters that are slightly bigger than the Demogorgon. Is it October 27th yet?!

Thor: Ragnarok comes in November, four months after Marvel’s release of Spiderman’s Homecoming. It is directed by Taika Waititi and it is the third installment. This time around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is captured and forced to fight for his life, where he comes face to face with his Avenger mate the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Together they try to battle Hela (Cate Blanchett), who is hell bent on destroying Thor’s world. I always enjoy the Thor movies but please don’t ask me to explain what each one is about other than Thor saves the day. But with this new one, the visuals (they look like a seventies rock band cartoon and Cate Blanchett looks like a total bad ass), music (70s rock), and humor (“I know him! He’s a friend from work!”) have my expectations higher than usual. Add Jeff Goldblum in blue makeup and Tessa Thompson (Westworld), and Thor Ragnarok will stand out from the rest.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

The OC

My first year of college found me moving to the OC in Southern California. As soon as I saw the Nutwood exit to CSUF, I felt at home. The OC has many wonderful things about it: the beach, Disneyland, awesome food, and numerous others. But for me, I finally felt that I belonged somewhere after 18 years. I met my husband there and we lived in the OC until our daughter was a month old. And even though we don’t live there anymore, we try to go back as often as possible. This month we checked a couple of items off our Summer Bucket List by going to the fair and a professional baseball game.

We arrived at the OC fair in Costa Mesa, where it is right up the street from the beach and the weather was a breezy 80 degrees. After paying for our fair admission at ½ off because we got there early (Bargain alert!), we were greeted by these Steam Punk clowns that looked like they were on hiatus from Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story:

We spent the expected but overpriced money so the kids could ride some rides (Bargain alert: rides were ½ off for the first two hours. Score!) and play some games:

We sampled as much fair food as we could. That included tacos, deep fried Oreos and pecan pie, cherry pop rocks doughnuts (you will never try a better doughnut), and $11 beers for my hubby and I.

We walked through the exhibits, which takes me back to my childhood when my sister and I would follow my mom around them. There were amazing cakes and my girl found a Harry Potter quilt that she had to take a picture with:

After we left the fair we headed back up the freeway to Angel stadium in Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were playing against the Tampa Bay Rays and it was Disney night. This was the kids first MLB game and I was so excited for them to experience the game and all it has to offer. There was a Disney’s California Adventure Guardians of the Galaxy area where they could hula hoop and dance to music, play games for prizes, and take pictures:

Guardians of the Galaxy

When we actually stayed at our seats, the kids shocked me by enjoying the game. And Wesley stole my heart when he kissed me and said, “Let’s get on the kiss cam Mom!”:

Kiss Cam

We were rewarded at the end of the game with amazing fireworks where I watched the kids’ expressions more than the actual show. And when we arrived back at our car after the game, we were treated with more fireworks from Disneyland.

The fair and an Angel game made for a fun day for the family and I. The OC will always feel like home so continuing to show the kids where mom and dad met and lived before they came will always be of importance to me.

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: GLOW (Netflix and Run)

Glow is my latest Netflix and Run binge that I am sad to be done with. It is a re-imagination of the 80s show that I also loved. My favorite characters back then were Dementia and the Farmer’s Daughter. This new show stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron as star and director trying to get the matches on television. It took me back to my childhood bedroom with the teal and peach comforter adorned bed, my side ponytail and florescent pink Garfield sweatshirt with matching leggings, while I listened to “Two of Hearts” by Stacey Q on my boombox. And even though there is plenty of wrestling (no monkey tosses, sadly), it is a story about friendships that are worth fighting for.

Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) are close friends. Ruth is a struggling actress and Debbie is a new mom and former soap star. Ruth is sleeping with Debbie’s husband. When Ruth goes to an audition for a women’s wrestling show, Debbie crashes it with the knowledge of the affair. They end up being cast as each other foes, Debbie as the All American to Ruth’s Russian. They join the rest of the women who all portray a stereotype that befits their appearance.

In the ring each woman plays their part but out of the ring they are shown as not good or bad, but real. They all make mistakes, some with the best of intentions and some not. You want to hate Ruth not just because of what she did to her friend but because she can be annoying. But Alison Brie’s performance makes you love her anyways and you want her to win Debbie’s friendship back.

Just like Stranger Things‘ opening credits recall films like E.T., Glow brings back graphics that we saw on 80s shows like Solid Gold. Songs like “The Warrior” by Patty Smyth, “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, and “Invincible” by Pat Benatar just enhance the emotional content of each scene. And if you remember Duran Duran’s Rio album cover, you have a good idea of what hair and makeup looks like.

Bad ass women, hair, makeup, and songs that bring the 80s, and an excellent Marc Maron, Glow is another hit for Netflix that you should check out. Season 2 should be a given.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!