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Swine Flu — Epidemic or Paranoia?

Mask Swine Flu…it is the number one leading news story everywhere you turn. It has preoccupied the nightly news shows and the Internet headlines.  Even before the WHO (World Health Organization) raised the alert today to a Phase Five – the second-highest rating there is (meaning it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent), we had gotten 2 emails from our School District Superintendent, one directly from my son’s principal, and another from my daughter’s preschool director.  Thus far, 100 schools across the USA have closed because of it.  The State of Texas (where the first death in the US from Swine Flu has been recorded) just suspended ALL its high school sports because of it.  So, I’m curious…how wrapped up in this are YOU??

To be honest, the economic woes we are facing as a country concerns me much more than this outbreak or flu epidemic.  Am I crazy?  Is this Zen Mama Wannabe out to lunch?  …

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Physician, Heal Thyself

I was knocked on my back (literally) last week by that nasty flu bug going around.  4 days of a fever I just couldn’t break.  Trying to pull it together long enough to get myself up and in the car to take the kids to and from school.  Nothing like getting that sick – especially when you NEVER get sick – when your husband is on a 2-week business trip.  And why was I THIS sick?  Because I had failed to take my own advice! I knew it and I blew it.  Oh Physician, heal thyself!

I have been doing affirmations, talking to the Universe, praying to God, listening to my Wayne Dyer audio books (and don’t forget the smoke signals and drum beating, my husband adds).  I have been very clear on my intention.  I have been trying to stay positive.  (Mistake number 1.  No “try” allowed.  As my little girl keeps telling me: Do or do not.

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And the Hits Just Keep On Coming

One Hundred and Four.  No – that is not the new Disney Dalmatian movie; it is the number I saw on the ear thermometer after taking my daughter’s temperature yesterday.  This would be AFTER I took her to doctor’s office that morning to have her chin looked at.  AFTER hanging out at the Dentist for nearly an hour waiting around during my mom’s appointment.  AFTER gymnastics class – where she did say she was chilly, but everyone was shivering in the big, cold space, so I didn’t think anything of it.  AFTER we finally got home and she started whining that her legs hurt.  AFTER she fell asleep on my bed (and this little one never voluntarily lies down and takes a nap anymore).  AFTER this Zen Mama Wannabe finally put it together that something was wrong, felt her head and immediately took her temperature.  104 and rising.  Like Tom Cruise’s character says in the movie A Few Good Men

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As if We Didn’t Have Enough Drama in Our Lives…

My daughter took a bad fall tonight – running up the stairs.  She tripped on her new Princess nightgown (the one she got for Christmas and never wants to take off – even during the day!) and fell down with her chin going BOOM on the hardwood floor landing.  (And she was running upstairs to get MY cough drops so I could manage to finish the story I was reading them!  Ooh, the guilt!)  So…loud thud, even louder screaming and blood all over.  Got the visual?

Luckily, she banged her chin on the underside, so her face looks okay, but there is a gash.  All I could think of was my childhood next door neighbor hitting her chin on the side of the community swimming pool and needing stitches, or my own ear mishap at a friend's pool party in high school (thanks to the boy that threw the oar at me) that resulted in 7 stitches (and we …

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The Hidden Surprise in Your Hot Cocoa

Brrr – Baby, it’s cold outside!  There was frost on the ground and fog in the air this morning.  Currently the temperature outside is a chilly 41 degrees and dropping.  A nice warm drink sounds heavenly right now.  Maybe something festive like a Peppermint Mocha Twist or an Eggnog Latte?  But wait a second – this little afternoon pick-me-up is anything but little (calorie wise).  Add a tiny treat to go along with your drink and you are now looking at waistband sabotage of the deadliest kind.

Normally if I go into a Starbucks (or other coffee establishments) I order a non-fat latte.  An 8-oz one is 100 calories; the kind I usually get – a "grande"  – is only a little more (130).  That is where you (or perhaps I should just speak for myself) need to stop.  Call it a day – go home and away from other temptations. 

But last week I fell for …

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The Journey of 10,000 Steps

I am once again being outdone by my mother. 

She is on a mission – 10,000 steps a day.  She has got her little pedometer that she now clips on her waistband each day as she records her steps.  She is doing it as part of a fundraising program at her retirement home.  But whether or not she records her results really doesn’t matter; she would walk that amount each and every day anyway – it is part of her daily routine. 

10,000 steps a day is what all the health and fitness experts recommend NOT for weight loss, but just for general well being.  That being the case, you would think if you were a relatively active person (no coach potatoes here) it would be fairly easy to hit 10,000 steps per day.  Yeah right.  Give it a try; see what YOU come up with.

A year ago (or maybe it was 2 or 3) this Zen Mama Wannabe …

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Beware! A Halloween Candy Scare

With Halloween just days away, candy is on many people's minds.  As in, "How can I get as much candy as possible?" to "Do we have enough bags of candy to hand out?" – because as we all know, you never want to be the house that runs out of candy early in the evening (hex on you!).  At the same time, you don't want to have a huge bowl or container of it left over at the end of the night either (because, being the dutiful adults that we are, we can't bare the thought of it going to waste – and that is where it ultimately ends up: on our WAISTS!).  It is quite a balancing act, and what happens to many of us is in a last minute moment of panic, we run out and buy just a bit more – just to be safe.  And this year, being SAFE is on a lot of people's minds!…

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Flu Shots Anyone?

The front-page headline of our newspaper this morning immediately startled me: “Jump in staph-linked flu deaths in children is seen.”  For the first time, the recommendation is now for parents to have kids 18 years old and younger get a flu shot.   What do you think?  Do we all need to hurry over to our doctor’s office?  Are public health officials being overly cautious – or are they trying to push unnecessary flu vaccinations on our children?  What are you going to do with your kids?

Here is what public health officials are saying:

Flu deaths among children continue to rise each year.  There has been no drop in fatal flu-staph cases in children and those could still be on the rise too.

While it is true few children overall die from the flu virus (around 100 per year), it puts about 20,000 U.S. kids in the hospital each year. 

More than half the children who died …

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Follow-up to “How to Save a Life”

What a great response to How to Save a Life!  I am so proud of so many of you who actually clicked your mouse and took action.  What a way to make a difference in the world!  Thank you.

Some of you emailed me directly saying you were having trouble on the NASCAR Foundation’s website completing the transaction for the free cheek swab kit to be sent out to you.  All I can think hope is that the response to their generous offer was so great that their site got overwhelmed at times. 

If you were not able to get through, please do not give up.  You were on a mission – you decided you were going to help those in need who are facing really tough odds.  It is still just as easy – still just a few clicks away.  Go to www.marrow.org.  You can still sign up online – or you can search for donor drives …

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How to Save a Life

The posters were plastered all around town.  Between drops-offs at school and quick (ha!) visits to the post office and the grocery store, you could not pretend to ignore the request.  Her beautiful 6-year old eyes radiated off the signs – even off the front page of the local newspaper.  The story was a simple one: this sweet little girl has leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow donor.  By coming to this neighborhood bone marrow drive and doing a quick cheek-swab, you would become part of the national marrow donor directory.  You might just be able to save this little girl’s life – or someone else who is similarly in need.   If someone asked YOU, would you do it?  Would you choose to save a life?

In talking to other parents in the days leading up to this local event, here are some “concerns” we came up with.  Do any of them match your own? 

  • I’d like

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