21 Things I Absolutely Love

Happy Monday! To follow up on my post from Friday, 21 Things I Absolutely Can’t Stand, I want to go the happy route and spend some time gushing about things I love. Just an FYI, any products I happen to mention are not paying me in any way (I wish!).

  1. My man. I have to start with this one. He’s just such a blessing in my life. With him I have learned what mature love is like and can be my 100% authentic self.293252_10151163667367223_1183993985_n
  2. My family. I have such wonderful parents and sisters. Sure, we had our fights and rough times, but we have always supported one another. My parents are two of the most amazing examples of lasting love and exceptional parenting. I look up to them more and more as time goes on.
  3. Reading. As a child I had such a passion for reading that my parents had to hide my books from me so I would eat dinner and do my homework. Luckily they also fostered my habit by providing me with frequent trips to the library. Nowadays, I am really into mysteries, thrillers, some historical fiction, and fantasy. Game of Thrones is about as fantasy as it gets for me, though.
  4. Game of Thrones. I have read all of the books and am dying for season 4 to begin next week. It’s about to get serious.
  5. Red Wine. Pretty much every kind of red wine, ever. I prefer a dry, bold red, but will take just about anything.
  6. Pole Fitness. Yup, I’ve been promoting this pretty hardcore lately. I can’t get enough!
  7. Wen. Especially the sweet almond mint scent. Makes my hair feel amazing! So soft and shiny! Try some Wen for yourself.

  8. Scented candles. I’m not a brand snob; if it smells great, I’m in!
  9. Throw pillows. I have entirely too many. It’s so much cheaper to have neutral furniture and jazz it up with new pillows when I feel like a change.
  10. Harry Potter. I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. After reading the first four books in one week, I pre-ordered each following book and begged my dad not to hide them from me. The movies were done quite well, too.
  11. My iPhone. This is my first smart phone and I’m probably a little too attached to it.
  12. Fou’ Foune. From Brasserie Cantillon, a true whale. This apricot lambic is extremely difficult to come upon and I have been lucky enough to experience a few bottles in the past three years. One was a gift from Ryan’s friend for my graduation from graduate school. What a gift!

    Ryan enjoying a Fou' Foune.

    Ryan enjoying a Fou’ Foune.

  13. Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Just don’t eat too many at once or the sugar burns your tongue. Clearly I discovered this through experience.
  14. Binge watching TV shows. Finding a new series and watching all 156 episodes in a few weeks is something everyone should do at least once.
  15. Chocolate. I’m a woman. That’s my excuse.
  16. My Mini Cooper S. Go turbo or go home.
  17. Heated Seats. Really the best invention ever and a necessity in upstate NY. I don’t know how I lived without them. Now if only I could afford a car with a heated steering wheel…
  18. Shoes. I know, typical female. I wish I could wear heels to work, but that would be dangerous when chasing around my little peanuts. I also have an obsession with shoes I can’t afford, such as Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin.
  19. Massages. Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing rub down?
  20. Cooking and baking. This is a huge stress reliever for me. If I have had a rough day, I want to prepare a meal while sipping on a glass of wine and listening to music. I don’t want to be talked to while I do this.
  21. Myself. I have had to learn to love myself, but I think it is hugely important for all women to do. I am flawed and weak at times. I am stubborn and sometimes a little selfish. I am reactive and can be unorganized. Despite all of these things, I also have some pretty great qualities that I have been more willing to focus on in my twenties. My mom always said, “You cannot love another until you truly love yourself.” The truth of this has become more blatantly obvious the more I have grown and has contributed immensely to where I am in life today.

 

Have a great week, everyone! Focus on the positive 🙂

– C

 

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21 Things I Absolutely Can’t Stand

I recently read a post titled 21 Things I Irrationally Hate.  I loved the idea of it and, since I have been trying very hard to keep “hate” out of my vocabulary, decided to write about things I can’t stand (not all irrationally). I would like to follow up with 21 things I love, so stay tuned!

Without further ado:

  1. The word lisp. As an SLP, I think this word is just plain mean. What asshole decided this?
  2. Mouth sounds, especially chewing and sucking. During meditation at the end of a yoga class the woman next to me popped a cough drop. Instead of focusing on my inner peace, I contemplated punching her in the face for ten minutes.
  3. Computer illiteracy. It is completely unacceptable in this day and age to not know how to attach a document to an email. Especially after you’ve been shown five times.
  4. Clowns. They’re just really creepy.
  5. Needles. I hate shots and blood draws, but I have a tattoo and plan to get more. I realize this doesn’t make much sense.
  6. Bad drivers. I think everyone can relate to this one with me. I also think everyone has been a bad driver at one point or another.
  7. The cost of tampons. I swear they cost more every month.
  8. Endometriosis. Refer to my post If Endometriosis were a person…  for reasoning.
  9. Dry feet and hands. I can’t sleep if my feet or hands feel dry. There’s this icky feeling of them being up against my nice soft sheets that forces me out of bed to put on lotion no matter what time of night.
  10. Mosquito bites. Another itchy feeling. I’ve actually gone to the pharmacy at 2am to buy anti-itch cream after waking up several times scratching.
  11. Lipstick. It’s one of those fashion things I really wish I could get into. I see it look great on so many people, but I just look like a 10 year old playing dress up with mommy’s make up. Maybe I just need to find the right color?
  12. People who spell/say my name wrong.  I get it, Carolyn and Caroline are very close. However, if I sign an email with my name and you respond with the wrong spelling, I question your intelligence. And when you call me Caroline after I have corrected you 30 times, I think you’re a jerk.
  13. “Sweet Caroline.” I can’t tell you how many drunk boys sang this to me in college. Ugh!
  14. Confusion of you’re/your, there/their/they’re, and to/too. I’m not really the grammar police because I certainly make mistakes, but these ones really drive me nuts.
  15. Unprofessional dress at work. Leggings are not pants. Period.
  16. Being tall. This one is pretty irrational. People often say they wish they were my height (just shy of 5’8″), but I wouldn’t mind going down a few inches. I love heels, but never wear them because I feel like I tower over people.
  17. Fad diets. I’m much happier in my “I’ll eat whatever I want in moderation” state of mind. Seeing all of my Facebook friends rave about their latest Paleo or low-carb diet kills me.
  18. Daily Selfies. Sure I do a selfie here and there when I’m having a good hair day, but  I really don’t need a day-by-day account of your various flattering angles.
  19. Hipsters. What does that even mean anymore?
  20. People hating on my pole dancing class. Broaden your horizons, folks. It’s great exercise!
  21. Losing my pens at work. Good thing I keep extras in my folder at all times!

What are some things that drive you crazy? I would love to see your list.

Next up, 21 thing I LOVE!

– C

Pole Fitness vs. Exotic Pole Dancing. A Biased Opinion.

In light of last week’s open house at Lorraine Michaels Dance Centre, I felt the need to express my opinion on the two pole dancing classes offered at the studio. Keep in mind that I am highly biased because I take Heather’s class and it is the perfect fit for me. I stress for me because everyone is looking for something different in a class.

I have never taken the Thursday night classes offered by another instructor and was looking forward to the open house so I could see how hers differed. They were scheduled to perform and I was very curious! I sat down at the front of the dimly lit room with no expectations.

Dressed in black clothing, the women took their respective places by the four  poles and two chairs set up. I was surprised to notice the instructor standing by a chair in the performance area occupied by a man (not many men are typically seen around pole class). As the rock music played, I was transfixed and somewhat appalled. It took a serious effort to keep my mouth from gaping open in surprise. The instructor was giving a legitimate lap dance to this man in the chair (who I am assuming was her husband?) and the whole room had transformed into a strip club, luckily no removal of clothing was happening. A painful 8 minutes of discomfort was about all I could handle when watching this performance. I could feel the awkwardness in the air coming off of the other viewers who had just come from watching a beautiful waltz performance in the other studio. That sealed it, the other class was definitely not for me.

I would like to thank my instructor, Heather, for making the women in her class feel empowered, sexy, and strong without teaching us to grope ourselves or slide our hands provocatively up and down the pole. I feel like I am taking an aerial art class, not How to Be a Stripper 101. Had I gone to this other class the first time, I would have left before it was over and never returned. Instead, I found a great new hobby that works out all of my muscles and makes me feel more confident.

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That’s me doing my “I’m tired” version of a flag. Do you have any experiences with pole dancing? I would love to hear them!

– C

Adventures in Speech Language Pathology Part I: Poop

After working in day care centers and preschools to support my way through six years of school, I thought my days dealing with poop were finally finished. I started my first job as a Speech Language Pathologist and figured I have a master’s degree, so I won’t be changing any diapers until I pop out my own babies, right? Wrong.

Less than a month into my first job I had a terrifying encounter with the bowel movements of a four year old. I should probably preface this story with the fact that I work with children on the autism spectrum, many of whom have challenging behaviors. I digress… My session with this particular student  began by her attempting to claw my eyes out and she managed to scratch my nose. After cleaning up the blood and her hands, she immediately stood up and yelled, “POOPY!!” Oh boy! This was my very first poopy diaper situation at the new job and no one decided to warn the new girl that my student throws poop. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

We made our way to the bathroom and got everything set up. The second the diaper was removed, her hands were in the poop and moving faster than anything I have ever seen. She was like a machine gun shooting poop instead of bullets. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that there was feces everywhere in that room. Miraculously, I didn’t have a speck on me!

Need I say more?

After reigning in that situation, I felt pretty confident with my ability to handle distressing situations involving excrement. That is until last week…

Typical Wednesday afternoon, I go to pick up one of my little guys from his classroom for speech. For the purposes of this entry we will call him Daniel. Some days, Daniel is very excited for speech and others he throws himself on the floor and tantrums until I carry him to our designated “speech corner.” This was one of those difficult days and I swooped in to carry him over; he calmed down the minute he was in my arms. After settling Daniel into his chair, I sat down next to him to begin therapy. A moment later, I dropped something onto the floor. And that’s when I saw it.

Oh. My. God. Whatisonmyclothes. No. No. NO. Pleasetellmethatisnotpoop. No. No. It’s absolutely, positively, 100% shit.

As I stood staring down at myself in horror, Daniel sat angelically staring at me like his poop wasn’t all over my pants and shirt. When asked if he pooped, he pleasantly responded, “No,” while he had smears up to his shoulder blades.

I am not a mom, so I am not accustomed to dealing with this nor do I really want to deal with this until it is my time for children. It took over 20 minutes to clean him off (there goes my beautiful speech session) and I immediately left to go change. Did I have extra clothes with me? Of course not. Thank goodness I live close to work and was able to rush home to throw my clothes into the wash on the sanitize cycle.

When I began my career, I knew speech language pathology encompassed targeting a large array of needs, but I never expected to have feces thrown at me or have it smudged into my khakis. I am now a pro diaper changer and can dodge the messiest of missiles. Although I am on the road to being ready for anything by the time motherhood comes my way, maybe I can stick to providing therapy rather than clean-ups in future sessions? Here’s to hoping!

– C

If Endometriosis were a Person…

If Endometriosis were a person, she would be the meanest bitch you’ve ever met. I’m not talking big sister telling you you’re worthless kind of mean; I’m talking sadistic, gets-pleasure-from-ripping-out-your-insides mean.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would become your “frenemy” during adolescence and never leave you alone.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would laugh as you cried, curled up in agony during your period each month.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would have a magic wand that allowed her to inflict crippling pain and/or bloating on women at any time of their cycle.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would have telepathic capabilities that allow her to ruin your life. She would read your mind to thwart your visions of a happy future.

If you have an upcoming event that you’re looking forward to, she would use her magic wand to send you cramps and diarrhea. If you have a day at the beach planned, she would make you look instantly 15 pounds heavier with the flick of her wrist. If you wanted a baby she would seal up your ovaries with scar tissue and cause you unfathomable heartache.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would keep you up all night before a big presentation and punch you in the uterus right before you pitched your idea.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would slip you pills that give you migraines.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would teach you to curse being a female and dread menstruation.

If Endometriosis were a person, she would be the meanest bitch you’ve ever met.

Endometriosis can attack any organ in the body, but primarily affects reproductive tissue.

Endometriosis can attack any organ in the body, but primarily affects reproductive tissue.

March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. Too many people have never heard of this terrible disease that causes immense pain both physically and emotionally in as many as 1 in 10 women. For more information check out the link below.

http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/endometriosis.html

– C