Weather Mommy

Fake Eyelashes and Baby Food

If They Did It…So Can You!

I’ve got time down to a science.  I know that it takes me exactly 23 minutes to get out the door in the morning, and that it takes about 11 minutes to get my 3 little kids to their gymnastics class…door to door.  I know how long it takes to grab a lunch at work, and exactly how long it takes to curl my hair and put on my make up.

My alarm goes off at an ungodly time of the morning.  1:45 AM.  It’s in those deep, dark hours of the morning, when I’m tip toeing around in blackness, that I wonder if I’m crazy.  I do love my job, but I don’t get much sleep, and I constantly hear “I don’t know how you do it”.  Honestly, with my hours and 3 little kids, sometimes I don’t even know how I do it.  But I do know that I’m not the only person who wishes they had more sleep or more time to relax.

I’m writing this post because I want to share what inspires me in those deep dark hours of the morning.  I am inspired by history.  Human history is our shared lineage of perseverance.  It’s the real life story of people who were born, endured hardship, and still managed to change the world.

The average life expectancy in this country is 79 years.  That’s about 41 million 522 thousand 400 minutes.  In the early Middle Ages, the life expectancy was closer to 45.  That’s only 23 million 652 thousand minutes, and their lives were much harder than ours.  There was no modern medicine, no real rights for women, and constant fears of hunger and war.  There were no cars, no phones, no grocery stores or department stores.  Cities were cesspools of filth, a common cold could kill you, and education was hard to come by, even if you were wealthy and privileged.

Let me tell you about a few of our collective ancestors, and what they managed to overcome.  Their stories are brutal and painful at times, but we still remember their names today.  There is a reason for that.

Speech Boudicca Pic

Boudicca

Let’s reach back  to the year 60 AD.  There was a warrior queen named Boudicca.  She was married to a powerful King, and had several daughters.  Life was as good as it could get.

Boudicca and her family lived in England.  Long before William the Conqueror and Queen Elizabeth, the Romans were in charge of the land.  They built amazing infrastructure, and even a massive defensive wall that stretched from the North Sea to the Irish Sea.  It was called Hadrian’s Wall, and parts of that wall are still in tact today.

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While Boudicca’s husband was alive, there was relative peace between their people, and the Romans.  When her husband died, everything changed.  The Roman governor annexed their kingdom, had her daughters attacked, and flogged Boudicca.  The rights of their people were rescinded, and Boudicca became the queen of nothing.

Still, there is a reason that Boudicca is remembered as one of the most fierce warrior queens ever.  She waited, biding her time until the Roman governor went on a trip.  When he did – she pounced.  She organized her people, and several other marginalized tribes, and they attacked.  She managed to destroy modern day Colchester, driving out the Romans.  After they sacked Colchester, they marched toward a little town the Romans called Londinium.  Modern day London.  They seized that too, causing Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from the island of Great Britain.

Take a look at the huge Holy Roman Empire, and recognize the feat that Boudicca achieved.  One woman almost banished the powerful Romans from her land.

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Unfortunately, the Romans did come back to win in the end.  They had superior numbers, and an entire Empire to feed them.  But Boudicca almost took them down.

She may not have been successful in the end, but that 30 year old woman will be remembered until the end of time.  Not because she was successful, but because she almost did it, and waged a heck of a battle to get there.

None of us are successful in everything we do, but sometimes it’s the battle that will be remembered.  Next time you are struggling with something, think about Boudicca.  A woman who lived and died before the year 100.  Her husband died, her lands were taken, her daughters attacked, she was flogged, and still she summoned the strength to united a people, and take on the Holy Roman Empire.

Surely we can power through when times are tough.

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William the Conqueror

In 1028, a little boy named William was born in France.  His father was the Duke of Normandy — his mother was the Duke’s mistress.  In those days, that was not the easiest situation.  In fact, it made it very difficult for William to succeed his father as Duke.  They called him William the Bastard.  When the old duke died, the path was not clear for William.  He had to fight other nobles for his title, and eventually became the undisputed Duke of Normandy at the age of 19.  The whole process was final by the time he was 32 in 1060.

In the year 1066, William decided that France wasn’t enough.  He wanted England too.  He built a fleet, crossed the Channel, and attacked.  His forces landed in September, and by Christmas Day 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England.

King William’s reign changed the nature of England.  He brought the French culture and language to the country.  He initiated a castle building program, changed the church, and sponsored the first census.  Because of William, French culture ruled England for centuries.

William fought for what he wanted.  He fought through society’s stigma to claim his father’s dukedom.  He fought through Anglo-Saxon forces to claim a country that he thought he had been promised.

None of us will likely conquer a nation, but we can go after what we want.  We can achieve goals that seem out of reach.  Why not?!?   If William seized what he thought he was due, why can’t you?  The job you want, that weight you want to lose??  None of it is out of your reach if you believe in yourself – even when others don’t.

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Robert The Bruce

The 1300s were a time of turmoil for a man named Robert Bruce.  Born to a Scottish noble family, Robert had a pretty good life.  Unfortunately, his people were under the thumb of the oppressive regime of the English King – Edward the 1st, the so called Hammer of the Scots.

After a while, Robert could take no more.  He quietly consolidated Scottish power around him, and seized the crown of Scotland.  31 year old Bruce may have been crowned King, but it was a slap in the face to Edward.  Bruce took the crown, but still held no power over his land.  He and Edward began battle after battle…most of which, the superior English forces won.

A few months after claiming the crown, Bruce was defeated by the English in battle, his wife was being held by his enemy, and his brother had been executed.  King Robert was forced to flee his own country.

He ran, with just a handful of supporters, across the sea to Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland.  He holed up, in a cave, desperate and alone and wondering what the heck he should do next.

Speech Rathlin

The legend goes that the Bruce was lying in the cave, weighing his options, when he saw a tiny little spider spinning a web between the cave walls.  He watched the spider try to get her web to stick on the slippery cave.  The spider tried to reach the wall six times, and six times she failed.  Well, by now, Robert had forgotten his problems, attention fully fixed on this one tiny little spider.  On the 7th try, the spider was victorious, inspiring a struggling King to go back to his country, and fight to see another day.

Bruce went on to claim victory over the English.  He is one of Scotland’s greatest historical figures.

Robert the Bruce lived 55 years.  In that time, he changed the course of a nation.  If the legend is to be believed, his choice to continue the fight was made in about 5 minutes by watching a tiny common spider – life expectancy 76 days.  Let this little story be a lesson for us all.  Sometimes, when everything is going wrong, we just need to take a few minutes to simply sit and watch the world go by.

Robert the Bruce got only 55 years on this earth

William the Conqueror 59

Boudicca just 31

Most of us will average 79 years.  Take a lesson from history.  Learn to unapologetically go after what you want.  William did.  Learn to power through adversity even in your darkest moments.  Boudicca certainly did.  And in those deep dark moments, when it seems that your dreams are not attainable, take a lesson from Robert the Bruce.  Sit back, take a moment, and breathe.

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Pedi Poopers!

Just kidding!  The kids were SO good at the nail place.  (I may or may not have first bribed them with Starbucks).  Lana got her fingernails painted.  Little Willow Bird chose a pedi, and Leo just chilled in the pedi chair.  He totally loved the chair massage.  Ha!

I knew my girls would be good, but Leo was a rockstar too!  He was relatively quiet (I am talking about Leo, so quiet is a relative term), and so well behaved!  Little dude wanted NOTHING to do with nails, but he was surprisingly content to chill with us!  What!?!  Had I known that I could pull this off, I wouldn’t have suffered through months of yoga with a chipped pedicure.  Megan for the WIN!!


  

  

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Bath Time Bonanza

Ahhh……..the obligatory bath.  It’s a story that every parent knows well.  Kid gets dirty playing outside, follows it up with mac n’ cheese in the hair and germs from school everywhere else.  At the end of most days, a bath is the only answer.  I don’t know about you, but all three of my children are 500% happier while in, and after their baths.  They could be crabby and whiny before, but rarely emerge from the water upset.

It’s a trick I’ve used a MILLION times with a unhappy kid.  “Wanna take a bath”?  Rarely is the answer no, and the water seems to literally suck the grouchiness right out of them.  Be honest — it works for you too right?  After a long day at work, and the stress of balancing the 9 million things that we all do, sometimes a nice hot soak is all you need.

Guess what?  It’s a scientifically proven fact that taking a bath improves your state of mind.  Not only that, but if you have an athletically active kid, a bath can also help relax their little muscles.

People have used baths a medicine for thousands of years.  For the Romans, the Turks and the Japanese, bathing was a ritualistic, and often religious experience.  Why?  It’s probably as simple as the sense of calm and well being that we all feel after taking a soak.  It ‘bath cultures’, hot spring water is often used for elements and minerals that bring further health benefits.  That may be hard to do at home, but a warm Epsom salt bath is a great way to help detox the body.

Now that we are approaching the winter months, there’s less outdoor playtime.  When the kids get that cooped up crabiness — don’t forget the humble, happy bath!

Happy Kids

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Halloween 2015

Anybody remember last year’s Halloween debacle??  Cold, snow, rain, wind — it was a disaster.  We made it to about one house, and then literally RAN back home.

This year was a success!!  Willow was a pretty little Princess Sofia.  Leo was Thor, and Lana kept to her ‘places’ theme (Mount Vesuvius last year), and dressed up as the Tour Eiffel.  

  
Guess what you guys??  We did it this year!!  Even though the weather was rainy for the first 15 minutes, we still made it for a whole hours!!  Veni Vidi Vici!

   
 

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YouTube Spotlight

I love YouTube. My kids love YouTube. As my friend’s husband often says, I am “YouTube certified” in many things. I’ve learned how to do some wicked braids and hairdo’s for Lana and Willow. I’ve found amazing recipes. I’ve watched some awesome CrossFitters and gymnasts and learned how to do some new yoga poses. You name it, you can find it! I even used YouTube to figure out how to adjust the straps on my kids’ new Fjallraven school backpacks.

Here’s a tip for the Moms and Dads out there. If you haven’t downloaded Kid’s YouTube yet — do it now! It filters out all the worrisome channels that kids can accidently navigate towards, and you can set a timer. Really a great app. My kids love it, and even my 3 year old twins can easily find what they want. The icon looks like this — CUTE!

kids youtube

Here are 5 of our all time favorite YouTube channels!

emmymadeinjapan
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This is one account that we ALL love. It seems so simple. Emmy tries food that subscribers send her from all around the world. She is super cute, and her videos are fun and easy to follow for the kids. I love to see food from all around the world, and the kids like to see the candies.

emmymadeinjapan

Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube
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If you know me at all, then you know that I LOVE Jamie Oliver and his recipes! You’ll also find some really fun YouTube chefs that Jamie and his team love. It’s a great smattering of different types of people and recipes, and I adore it.

FoodTube

Cute Girls Hairstyles

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If you’ve got girls, or if you like to do cool stuff with your own hair or if you are a Dad looking for a how to (Lance I’m talking to you!) — then this is your new best friend! Cute Girls Hairstyles is a fun account with great tips on how to make awesome hair! Enjoy, and tag me with your kids’ hair creations please!

Cute Girls Hairstyles

Whitney Bjerken

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This is a cute gymnastics account that Lana loves. Whitney is a great little gymnast who posts not only great gymnastics videos, but also fun family and life videos. Her account is nice because it shows beautiful gymnastics in a nice balance with life outside the gym.

Whitney Bjerken

Zoella

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Zoella is not exactly a small time YouTuber. She’s the real deal with over 8 million subscribers. If you’ve never checked out her videos — you should! She’s got a super cute personality, and shares tips on makeup and hair, etc. Plus Zoella has a cute little English accent. Def a fun way to kill about 15 minutes.

Zoella

BTW – Weather Mommy has a YouTube account too! Admittedly, I should upload more videos! If you guys follow me on YouTube, let me know what kind of videos you might like to see, and I’ll try to make it happen! Until then – give us a follow

Megan Glaros – Weather Mommy!

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Science Girls

 
Lana and I attended the coolest birthday party this weekend — a science party!!  Lana was invited to attend by one of her best gymnastics friends, and she loved it!  

They performed their own experiments with polymers, turned pennies gold, and worked with oscillating water.  

   
  

       

The kids absolutely loved playing science, and I loved that they loved it!  Science for girls is obviously a cause close to my heart, and starting them young is the way to go!

Props to The Laboratory Chicago for doing such a wonderful job, and to my friend Nancy for planning such a cool 8th birthday for her son Cain!

Watch this adorable video of Dr. Ed helping Lana turn her penny into gold!!

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History As A Superfood

History is our greatest teacher. Our own personal history teaches us about ourselves — what to do and what not to do, whom we should trust, and what makes us happy or sad. Our shared human history speaks to the motivation of men and women through time — what drives us all to achieve or fail, why we are willing to go to war, and what makes us happy.

Through time, health has been, and always will be, one of the major motivating factors. Our collective ancestors were always searching for new cures, herbs, medecines, or diets to help them live longer, healthier lives. Sound familiar??

Thank God we now have modern meds and surgeries and treatments to cure us of some of our ills, but don’t forget about the successes of the past. It’s an ignorant person that does not learn from history! Use the knowledge of our ancestors to give yourself the best chance to live a healthy life! Here are just 3 very old foods that can help keep you healthy today!!

matcha
Matcha is the finely ground powder of green tea leaves. It contains a very high antioxidant content — more than any other tea or coffee. It has high amounts of chlorophyll and theanine. Matcha gives you energy without the crash, and helps with mental focus. It has been used in Asia since the 600s, really ramping up in popularity in Japan by the 1100s. Zen Buddhist monks used it to help focus during meditation. Samurai warriors used it for long blasts of energy before battle.

maca
Maca is a root that is often ground into a fine powder. It is said to help increase energy, balance hormones, and help increase libido. Maca has been used since 3800BC by the Peruvians. It has been used by South Americans for thousands of years!

water
Water should go with out saying. H2O is one of the necessities of life! Our bodies are more than 60% water. Our blood is more than 90% water. We should all drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day! We all know it, but how many of us actually do it?? I don’t, but I’m making a concerted effort to try! I could go into detail about all the things that water does for our bodies, but I don’t have enough time. Drink it!!

There are many other historically healthy foods that have been used for thousands of years! Look into your family history! Where do your roots originate? What foods did your ancestors eat to stay healthy?? We can learn from all cultures, but perhaps your own bloodline is a good place to start!!

Here’s a peek at a few super healthy foods that I should try, based on my ancestors!

Greece — Garlic, yogurt, honey, greens
Norway — Salmon, berries, oats, maple syrup
Austria — Sauerkraut, beer with brewer’s yeast

What super healthy did your ancestors eat? Comment below and share!!

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More Than You Think…

I am a time expert. I live, or die (this is not as permanent in television lingo) by the clock. Thirty seconds here, 2 minutes there. Seconds are critical when you’ve got a definite time frame, commercials, and all kinds of stories to meld together. Weather people are notorious for taking too much time – me included! Sorry producers — I like to talk!!

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Every workday, I ask our floor director things like – “when do I have time to go to the bathroom”, “do I have enough time to wash this apple”, or “how many minutes until my next hit”. I get answers like “You’ve got 4 minutes. Plenty of time!” It may not seem like it, but 4 minutes is an eternity. Even 30 seconds will buy you enough time to eat something, or change a few graphics, or run to the mirror to check your hair.

It stinks to be so beholden to the clock. Certainly doesn’t allow for any freedom during our 2.5 hour show every morning. But it has done one thing — it has made my time management skills second to none, and I NEED you to know that you have time for the little things.

You have time to take one more sip of coffee
You have time to give your baby one more kiss before you leave the house
You have time to let your child tie her own shoe
You have time to get gas
You have time to grab a nutritious breakfast
You have time to stop and say hi to your friends
You have time to go to the bathroom
You have time to walk to the better restaurant down the street
You have time to brush your hair
You have time to let your kids go down the slide ‘just one more time’
You have time to put moisturizer on your face before bed
You have time to give your husband a kiss and let him know he’s great
You have time to smile at someone
You have time to chat to a co-worker in the hallway
You have time to take care of yourself

In this day and age, we ALL live, and die by the clock, but don’t let it take over your world. We’ve only got one life. I doubt anyone on their deathbed has regretted taking the time to kiss their children, or take care of their health, or take that extra sip of coffee. We deny ourselves these little happinesses every hour of every day to “beat the clock’, but these seemingly small things are everything!! These small happinesses are LIFE. They are living in the moment. Sometimes when you feel constrained by all of life’s responsibilities, simply taking the time to do something VERY litle, can seem very BIG and very liberating.

Take it from me. :30 is a long time! It may not seem like much, but taking a few seconds for the little things can be everything.

be here now

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Healthy Rituals

I don’t get enough sleep. I run myself ragged day in, day out. I am a working mom, so being tired and feeling stressed goes with the territory. I’ve got some extra challenges though — namely a schedule that means I’m up at 1:45am. Add a busy 5 year old gymnast and 2 year old twins into the mix, and I’m hanging on by a superfine thread.

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Lately, I’ve found that my breakfast is really suffering. I didn’t have time to make a healthy meal before I hit the door. Sometimes, I didn’t even have time to grab a ziplock and throw in some fruit. I started grabbing a bag of cheddar bunny crackers, or some other carb-filled, no protein item. Basically, my breakfast was similar to my 2 year old twins snacktime menu. It’s fine for a little afternoon nibble for my kids, but I was starting to rely on these food to start my day. Not ok for a grown woman who doesn’t get enough sleep as it is. Food is fuel, and I was starting my day on fumes. My digestion was starting to suffer, and my energy was flagging. I was crabbier than normal, and just didn’t feel great.

Change was in order for this Weather Mommy. I like to watch YouTube videos about superfood benefits, but up until recently that’s as far as I got. After feeling like crap, and barely making it through the morning, I decided enough was enough!

nutribullet

I got myself a Nutribullet, some fruit, and a spirulina/chlorella powder. It’s SO easy, that even I can find the time. Now I make my smoothie while the kids are watching their after dinner show, pop it in the fridge overnight, then add some liquid and zuuzh it up in the morning. So fast, so easy, and I feel significantly better in just 1 week.

Wondering what I put in my smoothie?? (You can use any fruit you want, but here’s what I did last night)

1) Two handfuls of spinach for my greens. You can’t taste it at all! Don’t believe me?? Ask Lana, Leo or Willow if they drank spinach this weekend. (They would say no, but they did! Ha ha ha)
2) 4 strawberries
3) 3 small chunks of pineapple
4) 1/2 banana (this adds a nice creaminess)
5) Handful of blueberries

This morning I took my smoothie out of the fridge, added a teaspoon or so of my spirulina/chlorella powder and enough almond/coconut milk so that only 1″ of fruit remained uncovered. Then you blend it up, pour it in another cup, and GO! It only takes 1 minute to make my smoothie in the morning. If you can’t find one minute in the morning — you’ve got bigger problems.

Here’s a bit more about the superfood powders that I’ve tried in my smoothies so far —

Spirulina — It’s a microalgae that has been used for centuries. Spirulina is said to help with weightloss, anxiety, increasing energy and improving memory.
spirulina

Maca — Another powder that’s been used for years. Maca is ground from a root grown in Peru. It is known to help balance hormones, increase energy, help clear skin, and increase your libido. Hey now!
maca

Give morning smoothies a chance guys! If I have time, so do you! Give it a try, and comment below with your favorite recipes, or superfoods! Spread the love, and share the link!

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Kids Are Tougher Than You Think

Most of the time, as a Mom, I feel like I have the full measure of my children. Like a bomb-sniffing dog, I can smell when trouble is brewing. I know when Lana is about to lash out at the twins. I know when Leo is about to do something that he shouldn’t, and I know when Willow is on the verge of a breakdown. I can’t always stop it. I can’t always fix it. But I do know when it’s coming. Needless to say, it’s rare when I’m completely surprised by my children.

Flash back to Friday. Leo slips, cuts his chin open…needs stitches. Off I go with my 2 year old son to the ER. My little hero surprised the HECK out of me. Not only did he barely cry when he fell, but he didn’t even cry when we was getting shots of lidocaine IN the wound, or while the doctor was stitching him up! Amazingly, he lay perfectly still, listened to the instructions of the doctor, and even thanked him! What!?!?!?! All he did was whimper during the injections to numb the area.

  

 He was brave, and so good, that the nurses gave him 2 years worth of stickers, and I got a new appreciation for the fortitude of a two year old. Don’t underestimate your children. When the chips are down, they can handle the pressure. Children innately know when it’s okay to fall apart, and when they need to ‘man up’. Trust them. Allow them to freak out when it’s not important so they have the energy to hold it together when it’s important.

  

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