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Status Update…

Status Update…

Since reviving My Life As A Baseball Wife (MLBW) several months back, I have experienced slight growing pains. At the time, I was managing another blog and I was struggling to find a balance between the two; I had to determine what each blog would be about.  On my other blog, Dama Camelia, I was focusing mostly on writing about my love for reading and writing, but I was also throwing in a little bit of health and wellness advice.  It didn’t feel right, however. All posts unrelated to the art of writing or reading felt out of place.  I have since decided to re-post those on MLBW, since this is the home of my lifestyle writing. 

On MLBW, I will continue to document my life as a whole.  This includes my life as a mom and a wife. I will touch on an array of topics that interest me, and eventually, I hope to include some travel blogging.  Consider this the one stop shop for everything related to the Adams family.  What does that mean for Dama Camelia? Well, she is going to be dedicated to my writing. Over there I will continue to share my thoughts on the writerly life, as well as book reviews and annotations.  I haven’t shared work from school lately, so I will likely do that too.  That website, however, is more business focused.  Aside from this blog, I work as a freelance communications specialist;  I help other businesses write press releases, articles, and blogs, while also manage social media accounts.  Dama Camelia, is suited particularly for that and for those who have a love for writing and book, as well as those who are looking for help with their businesses.

If you have any questions or comments you can me via email at hello@DamaCamelia.com or Camille@MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com.  To follow me over at www.DamaCamelia.com, visit the site and sign up for updates.

Thank you for following!

-C

Happy Hanukkah and Start of Advent! Plus a Great Gift Idea

Happy Hanukkah and Start of Advent! Plus a Great Gift Idea

Good morning! It has been a while since I have been able to jump on here and share my musings with you.  I have been swamped with client and volunteer work, plus school and family, but nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Happy Hanukkah and start to Advent – even if I am a little late.

Hanukkah is a time symbolic of hope and Advent prepares us for the birth of our savior by reminding us of the importance of patience – all things we need to be more mindful of.

In addition to all of this, I wanted to share my thoughts on the holiday-time as they related to consumerism. Stores are getting increasingly crowded and people are scrambling everywhere to buy gifts for their friends and families while they still can.  It is chaotic out on the roads, and frankly, it is not something I am comfortable with.  I do not like big crowds and I rather shop for gifts from the comfort of my home.  Aside from that, I am one of those people who like getting my friends and family practical gifts.  If you are going to fill someone’s house with more “stuff” why not make it something useful.

Today I want to take a moment to share a really cool gift idea with everyone.  Rocketbook sent me one of the new Everlast notebooks to give an honest review about, and I am now hooked.  In a world obsessed with technology and reducing consumption, this notebook fits the bill. Below is an intro video about the notebook I received, and I do hope you consider gifting it to all your friends and family.  This is an amazing product and it is super affordable! For more information and to subscribe to their email list for coupons and special offers, Get Rocketbook Here.

My Halloween Baby is Turning FIVE

My Halloween Baby is Turning FIVE

My Halloween Baby is Five

My Halloween Baby is Five

It is unfathomable that my first baby is turning FIVE in only two days! Jethro’s due date was October 31st, but I swore throughout my entire pregnancy that the odds of him being born on Halloween would be null.  Not only was Jethro born on time, he made his grand entrance into the world just after 8 PM EST.  As people all around the nation were going door to door dressed up in their costumes and trick-o-treating, copious amounts of candy thrown into interminable bins, I was busy pushing out a 7 lb, 8 oz baby boy.

With Jethro’s birthday only two days away, I have partnered up with Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Carolina Romanyuk to share some sleep tips, not just for Halloween, but also as we approach Daylight Savings. I don’t know about you, but I still have sleep issues with my three-year old, Brooks; he simply refuses to sleep without me.  I am one of those moms who must stay in bed with their kids until they fall asleep, night after night.  Not only is this not healthy anymore for them as they get older, it is affecting my own personal time and any hope for quiet moments with the hubby.  I envy my friends who can tuck their kids into bed, give them a kiss goodnight, and close the door. I could list the million things I would be able to do before falling asleep if I had it that good. On the other spectrum, I am the mom who sneaks out of her kids’ bedroom – when I don’t fall asleep with them – only to be dragged back into their bed a few hours later when they wake up a realize I am missing. It is a vicious cycle, and I know it has to end.

Hopefully your sleep schedule and routine is better than mine.  I would love to hear any advice you may have!

Below are a few tips to help you with your kid(s) sleep this fall.

Halloween Sleep Health Tips:

  1. After a long evening of fun and candy eating kids are wired. Their cortisol levels are up sky high requiring outside factors to help their body start the wind down process for sleep. Instead of crashing in front of the TV, one thing they can do is wind down by listening to sleep stories. A favorite, Moshi Twilight for kids, is highly beneficial. www.Moshi-Twilight.com
  2. If a child is amped up after watching a scary part of a movie, tell them to just imagine that when the scene is done, the Director says “CUT” and the goblins, witches, or whomever all stroll to the snack bar and start chatting and eating chips. It lets them know that it is all make believe and is all done for fun. You can even use YouTube to show the child what the backstage of the movie set looks like with those actors and characters.
  3. Halloween is all in the head and plays with emotions. The adrenaline rush of the fear is what people gravitate to. For kids, especially sensitive ones, what can work well is to have them recreate a scary image into a funny one. For example, they can visualize a scary monster now dressed in maybe a hot pink tutu, a glittery bow and bright pink nails who now dances lightly all around.
  4. Plan for an early bedtime the next day.
  5. Wind down the body with a story in the background. Using your sense of hearing of soothing sounds connects your body and mind to start to wind down.
  6. Talk about the experience when bedtime is approaching
  7. Dim the lights in the room

Daylight Savings Sleep Health Tips:

This time of year of course everything shifts later. Bedtime moves one hour later than normal. It is generally far easier to fall asleep one hour after your normal bedtime, than one hour prior (for Spring).

For babies around 8 months plus, they can’t adjust with such a long awake time. Shifting their schedule every few days by 15 minutes is an effective gradual route. Focusing heavy on their routine should be soothing, using tools like darkness and winding their mind and body down with sleep stories, such as the app Moshi Twilight. www.Moshi-Twilight.com

Side note: when using sleep stories electronically, place the device under the covers or flat down and away from eye sight so the screen isn’t visible. The blue light that emits from the screen is what suppresses our sleep hormone.

Here’s how you can adjust bedtime a few days before the time change:

15 minute incremental adjustments. Bedtime becomes 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 8:00 PM, which by the post-DST clock is the “new” 7:00 PM. The same happens in the morning – 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, 7:00 AM (try to leave them in bed until your target wake-time). In four days, your child has adjusted to the new daylight savings.

For older children this is fun because they get to go to bed an hour later. So if your baby previously slept from 7:00 PM – 6:00 AM, they’re now going to bed at 7:00 PM (clock time, 8:00 PM body time) and sleeping till 5:00 AM (clock time, 6:00 AM body time) for a net loss of 1 hour. It can take a few days to adjust to this shift but most do fairly readily within a week.

My Halloween Baby is Five

How to Satisfy Your Love of Reading Without Spending a Dollar

How to Satisfy Your Love of Reading Without Spending a Dollar

Last week I was introduced to Libby.  Libby is a cool chick and our relationship comes with a lot of benefits, but I have to admit, it is very one-sided. Let me explain. Last Friday, I went to the Largo Public Library – which is beautiful by the way and warrants its own post – and my life was forever changed.  I know that sounds dramatic, but hear me out.  As someone who reads a lot for school and for pleasure, I buy a lot of books. My husband is a big reader and so are my two little boys. We all love reading and we probably love buying books as much as reading them – I come from the school of thought that reading should be tangible and that there is nothing like holding a book in your hands and flipping through its pages. There is an inexplicable joy that comes from holding a book, yet I also recognize the value in e-books and audiobooks.

I have had the discussion with several friends of mine about the trends away from physical books as ebooks and audiobooks, in particular, become the busybody’s preferred choice for digesting tombs.  I have always been a visual and kinesthetic learner, but as I get older and find myself multi-tasking more and more, audiobooks have a special place in my arsenal of reading materials. That is where Libby comes in.

As I drove my car into the parking lot of the Largo Public Library and fixed my eyes on the brightly colored BookMobile parked just outside, I was instantly excited to unearth what lay beyond its doors. I had asked my friend Joy to come and experience the BookMobile with me and she was just as captivated as I was the moment we pulled up. The scenery was beautiful, but there was something about the big bright bus that made us want to know more.

When we walked into the BookMobile, there were screens, large and small throughout.  The traveling exhibit was on tour around the country to introduce Libby to citizens near and far. See, Libby isn’t an actual person, she is a virtual one, and she just so happens to be one of my new besties. At first, the idea of an app where I would have to borrow books seemed elusive and complicated, but the more I played with it the more excited I became.  What enthralled me the most was the exponential amount of money I would be able to save by using the resources offered by my own public library.  Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a month on books, some that I may want to read and reread and some that I will never want to give a second glance, the idea of borrowing books via an app became even more appealing.

Want to meet Libby? Check her out here at Meet.LibbyApp.com. You can also learn more about Libby on OverDrive.com, her creator’s website.  OverDrive, birthed Libby with an exorbitant amount of love and you can tell.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and learn more.

Since Friday, I have already downloaded several books for myself and my sons.  They have a really cool feature where some of their children’s books are narrated, which is super duper awesome when you are on the road and want your kids to read in the car but said kids are only three and four and therefore unable to read without some help. I was also able to download a book in about two seconds after fellow blogger, Katie Warner suggested one related to the Sunday Liturgy of the week.  The book was Roxy the Ritzy Camel by Anthony DeStefano – I totally recommend the book in case you’re wondering.

I even got my husband in on the fun! He has been trying to read the book Give and Take by Adam Grant for over three months after a colleague gave it to him, but with all his other commitments, including family, he hasn’t had time to sit down and read it.  He set out to look for the audiobook on Libby and he found it! He had to place a hold on it but after only 24-hours it was ready and automatically added to our “shelf.”  The convenience of having it on audio afforded us the opportunity to listen to about thirty minutes in the car today just while running errands with the kids and we didn’t have to spend a dollar! It was a win-win.

I am telling you, this is life changing for us. I have a lot of friends who love to read on their Kindle and Libby will even send the books to your preferred device.  What more could you want from a girl?! I told you the relationship is very one-sided.

Below are a bunch of pictures Joy and I took while visiting the BookMobile.  I want to know if you have tried Libby or if you have visited the BookMobile.  Please share your thoughts and experiences with me! Happy reading and listening.

  

This was cross-posted on Dama Camelia.

The One Thing That Still Pains Us to Speak About…

The One Thing That Still Pains Us to Speak About…

In light of the news that David Wright will be retiring from baseball, I wanted to address something that is very painful for David and me to talk about, and yet the defining line in the sand: his retirement.  I have opened up about David’s reason for retiring here and there throughout this blog – or at least I think I have – I honestly can’t remember. My mind may as well be putty with the zillion things I am working on at any given moment of the day.  Many of you know that I am getting my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and on that side of things, I am spending a lot of time writing, or more accurately, avoiding writing the hard stuff. As a nonfiction student, my thesis, which may or may not ever see the light of day, is all about David and my life. Baseball is obviously a huge part of our lives and therefore I am writing about everything we have experienced in the past six-plus years – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

By far, the most unbearable part of David’s career was his struggle with injuries. The physical ailments affected his mental state, and we all know the impact psychology has on life, in general.  Aside from a minor surgery deemed required while playing at The University of Virginia, David’s body had always been whole. When he started playing professionally at 21, there was no concern for his health. Things changed, however, in May of 2010: he broke his ankle.  When he slid into second base, ill-intentioned to break up a double-play that cold evening in Portland, Maine, the trajectory of his life would be forever changed.  Although we could have lived without the suffering and whirlwind that followed, it was this moment that sealed our fate.

A few years after the initial injury, David and I found our way to the Lord. That is a whole other story but suffice it to say, had it not be for his injury, we aren’t sure what role God would play in our lives today. From that point on, struggling through his brokenness of body, David admitted praying to the Lord and asking quite specifically:

“Lord, I want to play this game as long as my body will allow.  Once I am no longer physically able, please help me to acknowledge it is time for me to retire.” 

The rest of his playing career was an uphill battle as David suffered through many more injuries, but the solace within all of the chaos was the time we were able to spend together.  We experienced four seasons united as husband and wife, one of which he spent primarily in the big leagues. Despite everything, it is comforting to know that all we endured prepared David for the day he would retire, when he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was his time.  His heart, his mind, and his body were all in agreement.  Since his retirement, I have asked him if he misses playing and if he wishes he could step in the batter’s box one more time and experience the adrenaline that comes from hitting a baseball. His answer is always a variation of,

“Sometimes, but then I go back to the fact that my body feels broken. There would be no way I could physically go out and play the way I am feeling.”

Fair enough, I concur, it was time for him to move on. But moving on as a player didn’t mean he would give up his passion, on the contrary, he would assume a new role that would afford him the opportunity to mentor young players and develop his knowledge of the game. I like to believe this is what he was destined for.  The time David spent playing was preparing him for this career. A career that he was still able to transition into at a reasonable point in his life: twenty-nine. Not too young, not too old, justtttt right. (Like our boys like to say.)

So the injuries and the struggles, they hurt like heck to talk about, they bring about terrible memories, and yet without those struggles, without those pivotal experiences, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Since he was a little boy he dreamed of playing into his forties, but we learned the hard way the rarity that is. Sometimes, okay often, I lose sight of what an accomplishment it is for him to have been drafted to play professionally, let alone play in the big leagues. These are all things we must celebrate, but instead, we kick ourselves when we are down.  We focus on the things we didn’t accomplish, the mistakes we made, instead of celebrating our successes, no matter how small.

Life is about perspective.  A quick adjustment in how you look at things has the ability to change not only your life but the world.

Lastly, David is by no means in the minority of players who struggle with pain on a daily basis. There are many many more guys that go out and play every day and push through their own pain.  Most don’t complain because it is of no use to them.  In fact, complaining can actually hurt their careers, so they bite their tongues and fight through the discomfort; this is just part of the game, par for the course.

www.zimbio.com/pictures/6ruR57pUZ7B/New+York+Mets+v+New+York+Yankees/rBIsZtPtSPy” rel=”noopener”> Third Base Umpire Bill Welke calls a ball hit by John Buck #44 of the New York Mets fair resulting in an RBI single as David Adams #39 of the New York Yankees reaches down for the ball and David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks on in the eighth inning during their game on May 30, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (May 29, 2013 – Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America)[/caption]http

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/sports/baseball/anonymous-mets-succeed-where-celebrated-predecessors-couldnt.html

The magical lives of kids.

The magical lives of kids.

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I was driving in the car with my mother the other day and she said:

“I just now feel like I could be in my thirties.”

My sister and I have always joked that my mom thinks she is a teenager.  She is young at heart, despite her body telling her otherwise.  At thirty-one, I am starting to identify with what she has been telling us all these years. Time may dictate that we get older, but that doesn’t mean we have to feel older. If it wasn’t for the responsibility that has followed me down the brick road to marriage, homeownership, and motherhood, I would still feel like I was in my early twenties. The fact that I can even write this as if I am not ACTUALLY still twenty is flabbergasting.

I have always believed age to be nothing more than a number, but now I am living it as truth. Our mindset is what dictates the illusive timeline of our lives. We hold the power more than we realize. As I witness the development of my children, I find myself reflecting on my life and the moments that I wish I would’ve been more present.  As a society, we are always on the go, but last night I was sitting on the couch with Brooks while he watched Batman, and time seemingly stopped.

Night had fallen around us, and the wind picked up as a large storm swept through the area. The trees were dancing while the thunder and lightning put on a show. All the while, I was sitting cuddled up with my little Brooksie, David and Jethro in the dining room doing yet another puzzle.  It was way past bedtime, need not mention bathtime, but it didn’t matter.  We were enjoying the moment. Simply being with one another. Bath time and bedtime, inevitable yet inconsequential.

We get wrapped up in our daily chores and the grind that is life, all too often.  But these moments, the ones where you can just be still, look in your babies eyes and think, I created you, in absolute astonishment – just like I did last night – are priceless. One day – God-willing- I am going to open my eyes, slowly get out of bed, and wonder where my babies went. They will be in their own homes, maybe even married with babies of their own. That is par for the course. Growing older is not something to dread, it is a privilege afforded to us by a life well lived. We need to thank our lucky stars EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for simply waking up a day older and hopefully, wiser.

At some point in our lives, we let the flame inside our hearts extinguish, getting wrapped up in the mundane and focused on anything and everything that can be burdensome. Children, on the other hand, live lives full of magic. Remember your imaginary brother? I do. I used to reprimand him all the time. HAHA  My kids spend hours playing with their imagination. Half the time Brooks is Batman, and Jethro is Superman. To them, I am Wonder Woman and David is Flash. You can’t help but love the innocence enkindled at their core and their desire to be inventive. As far as they are concerned, the sky is the limit and there is nothing holding them back from being everything they hunger to be and more. As years pass, sometimes that magic sticks with us and other times it dissipates, regardless, we all have it inside. If we can keep this in mind as a token of our youth, maybe we can stay kids forever.

Jethro learning archery

Jethro learning archery

Here comes batman(s)!

Here comes Batman(s)!

He is SWAT!

He is SWAT!

Watch out, cowboys! The Sheriff is in town.

Watch out, cowboys! The Sheriff is in town.