Battle Stomach Bugs with Grape Juice

I know… You think I am crazy. I get it. My husband gave me that “Oh not another natural remedy eye roll” when I asked him to run to the store for it, but seriously guys… Hear me out!

Last Friday, I was called to get my baby girl because she had caught a bug going around school. So I picked her up, she puked all over me, her car seat and everything else around us. She threw up several times that day. After my husband picked up our son from school, I asked him to run out to the store so we could all three get started on this.

That night and the next two days we drank 4-6 oz of 100% Concord Grape Juice (no sugar added) three times per day.FullSizeRender

After doing several loads of laundry; cleaning floors, car seats and carpet, kissing my sweet sick baby, and disinfecting any place she had been, we both remained stomach bug free.  A few visitors were around us for 2 hours and did not remain bug-free.

It has also been suggested to continue one glass per day for up to two weeks after exposure due to the fact that stomach bugs can take that much time to “shed” from the body.

Here is the science behind it: The grape juice changes the pH in your intestinal tract so that the virus is not able to multiply. The stomach bug doesn’t actually attack your stomach, it attacks your small and large intestines. The idea is to flush and kill the virus or dramatically lesson the symptoms by changing the pH of the intestines to be more alkaline– which stops the virus from taking over. There is loads  of information showing that purple grape juice is anti-bacterial. It kills food-borne illnesses, such as; salmonella, e. coli, listeria, shigella, and H. Pylori. The juice has various anti-viral chemicals, Vitamin C and anti-oxidants 

There are some exceptions to this trick: You must start when you are exposed to the bug, not when symptoms begin. You DO NOT want to throw up grape juice.

*Like most remedies, it absolutely does not work for every person who tries it. It can make your suffering worse if taken after symptoms start. However, it is worth trying.

*I will disclose that the 2.5 yo did not, but he also refused the juice the first night and wanted milk the next morning. When he go the bug it did not last as long, which is also a product of this remedy

 

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Depression, Anxiety and Pregnancy

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I know this blog is supposed to be about the life of a coach’s wife.

I know I haven’t written anything in a while.

I know, I know, BUT I have something equally as important to write about.

Earlier this year, my husband and I found out that we are expecting our second child. Exciting right? Well, it wasn’t at first.  Not for me anyway.  I started a new job with a new company a few months before we discovered the news.  We knew we wanted another baby, but both agreed “not now” and I began taking birth control. A few months in, I kept finding myself exhausted and nauseated. I knew something wasn’t right and I had a pretty good feeling I knew what it was.  After taking the test and saying a few choice words and many tears, we started the new adventure of a second pregnancy.

After having such a difficult time conceiving our first child, I never thought I would be devastated to discover a second pregnancy– Especially when that pregnancy happened without trying and the difficulties that can come along with it. I hated people who got pregnant on birth control, and now I was one of them.  Please don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be having a second child. The timing isn’t what I wanted, but this child is. I have my reasons; I am enjoying our first child and the stage he is in, I don’t qualify for FMLA at my new company so I will have a short maternity leave, and I am a little scared to be having children so close together.

I thought my sadness and anxiety would eventually go away, mainly because I have accepted all of the fears I originally had, but after much time (I am closing in on 23 weeks) I am still struggling. It has been incredibly difficult. I struggled with depression at the end of my first pregnancy, but it was caused by the death of a close family member along with 3 other deaths that occurred during that time; the last one being the hardest. I had postpartum depression for a few months also. This time, though, it’s different. It started from nearly the beginning and it is wreaking havoc in my life.

What I find interesting is that up to 33% of pregnant women can struggle with depression, 14-23% can struggle with major depression during pregnancy.

I want to talk a little bit about how it has affected me:

My depression is typical of any other mild case, I can’t concentrate, I have feelings of sadness and guilt, most of all I have anxiety.  I’m not surprised that I had these feelings at first; especially since we found out I was pregnant after the holidays, which are always hard on my relationship with my husband.  I am even less surprised that they stuck around because the private school my husband work for is currently on the brink of closing the doors, leaving him without a job with a pregnant wife and child. I have faith that the school will be fine, but I am human so I worry. It went from a stressful time to an uncertain time, and it has been hard.  Despite my knowing that everything will be fine, I feel the way I do.  It stinks!

My biggest problem is that I can’t get out of my own head. I am typically not a quiet person, but I could go all day without saying much right now. It’s because I am thinking. It’s because I have feelings of impending doom. It’s the panic attack that is getting ready to make me hyperventilate.  My hands will feel numb, and I will likely get frustrated and have to take a walk to calm myself. It feels better not to talk, especially if I know you won’t understand. I wish I didn’t feel this way.  I pray nightly about it.

Throughout this difficult time, my family has been so helpful. My husband listens intently during my mood swings. My son smiles sweetly all the time and I can’t help but smile back. We have managed to make sure he is unaffected by my anxiety. In fact, it is nearly non-existent when they are around. The rest of my family is supportive, kind, loving and sympathetic. They don’t take it personally when I am not myself. Did I mention I pray a lot about this? I mean a lot. I pray for me to feel better, I pray for my husband who is in an uncomfortable position, I pray for my support system, I pray for those who take it personally and I also pray for those who feel hurt by my anxiety.

I have done a few small things that seem to really help. I stay off social media as much as possible. I try to put my phone away once I am home from work. I focus my attention on my husband, my son and me. I take good care of myself by eating healthy and exercising when I can (my husband might laugh at that one). We go to the park a lot; the sunshine makes me feel wonderful.  I cut down on my chores, which makes my house look like a mess, but my husband does take care of many.  I purge my material goods, a lot. I know that sounds silly and like a chore, but every time I get rid of something I feel relieved. It’s the little things, right?

I am not looking for pity. I am not a person who likes to draw attention from others. Many coach’s wives and friends read my blog and it would be exhausting to relay this message over and over again.  Please know how difficult it is to discuss and blog this struggle.

My goal is to bring attention to an issue that pregnant women can struggle with. Pregnancy depression is not only postpartum; it can also be antepartum.  It’s a real issue. You are not alone, you are not crazy. Talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you find light therapy, or whatever you may need. Hang in there!

If you know someone who is struggling with this or think they are, do the best you can to be supportive and help them find the assistance the need.

It’s really going to be okay!

I Should Have Stood Up For Her

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

(There are purposefully no names in this post)

I am going to share a major hurt with you. I strongly dislike showing my weakness, but this one is necessary because I learned so much from it. Here goes:

Years ago, my fiance (at the time) and I took a job at a junior college. It was his second college coaching job, his first was as a student coach. We made wonderful friends there, almost immediately. You see, in coaching, no matter where you go you will have friends in the coaching staff. You won’t always like them, but you will have a support group none the less. At this particular place, we were actual friends.

There was one coach’s wife in particular who I loved! She was fun and witty. She even had a special part in our wedding day. We walked together and talked together. We made brownies and dinners for the players together. She was my friend, a great one. I mean REALLY great!

I am sure anyone reading this would be surprised to know that we have not spoken in almost 5 years. Well, here is the story…

There were four coaches wives at this school, including myself and my friend. One of them lived in a town about 45 minutes away and we rarely saw her. The other lived across the street from me. One day I will blog about difficult coach’s wives and how to handle them, and she will likely be an example.  She was married to the coach who made all of the staff decisions, we can just leave it at that.

She and I went quite a few places together. There were times she was fun and I enjoyed being in her company. Other times, though, she would tell me things she surely should not have. Many times what she would tell me I would later find out was untrue. One time in particular, upon hearing that my husband was being considered for a D-1AA position in Arkansas, she told me “If it doesn’t work out, you need to stick around because {someone} is getting fired soon.” That someone was supposedly my friend’s husband. I listened silently and in shock. I had no idea what to say. All I could think on that car-ride home was; what the heck am I going to do about this? Why did she tell me this.? Is she testing me? Is God testing me? I, naturally, did absolutely nothing.

Until a few weeks later, when I confessed the secret to my dear friend. I had kept it inside for so long, but finally felt like she needed to know.

A day or two earlier, I had told my husband and our roommate, they both shrugged it off and said there is no way he is getting fired. They were right, I am sure, he was too good of a coach to be fired.

I will never forget how upset she was and how hurt she was.

In my mind, she had to be upset with the other coach’s wife, not me. I had done nothing. I was simply a fly on the wall. I knew he would not be fired.

I have become much wiser over the past few years. I now know that there are so many things I could have done differently. Up until a few weeks ago, if you had asked I would have said the best thing for me to have done is NOT tell her.

Yesterday, I was listening to the Christian music station, and it dawned on me. The DJ was talking about standing up for people when they are unable to, or when they are not around to stick up for themselves–more specifically Leviticus 19:16 “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.” My duty as her friend and sister in Christ was to stand up for her and her husband. I am bound to do all I can to protect the life of my neighbor, against wicked things. My greatest mistake was not doing anything.   I should have told her that she can’t tell me things about my friends or say untrue things about them to me. It is not right. It is hurtful and can change a strong relationship. It is okay to have courage to stick up for others, even when you are in a position that can effect  your spouse’s job.

I can’t wish to go back and change that interaction. In fact, I don’t want to. It was an experience that I have learned so much from. The only thing I can do is continue asking for forgiveness.

 

Don’t Talk to Me About My Husband, Please

football_closeup-1024x682I work at a retail store that supports the school that my husband coaches for. We get an influx of donations every day. It is not uncommon for me to know the donors. Many of their children attend the school. Many of them know me. Some know me well, some know me too well.

To say my husband is passionate on the football sidelines is probably, somehow, an understatement. He is loud. He turns his hat backwards when talking to an umpire about a call, good or bad. He says many things that are meant for motivation. He knows how each child is motivated athletically, and treats them accordingly. He cares for the boys that play for him.

In the past (at the Collegiate level), it was common for him to be the only male role model for the boys that played for him. Some of them never had a person at their games. We were their people, my husband and I. I have accepted roses on Senior Day because there was no one else. If a player had a problem, they spoke to the coach about it- whether the issue was with the coach or completely unrelated.

Now, we are at the High School level. Things have certainly changed. Not in a bad way, it is simply different. Most of the players come from very supportive families. They have several male role models. Some of them tell my husband significantly more than they would say to their parents. When a few of them have a problem, they generally speak with their parents. Then their parents speak with the coach- whether the issue is with the coach or completely unrelated. Each player has a different relationship with my husband.

None of the above is a problem. It is all great communication. Either way, he has lot on his shoulders. He has worries and concerns for so many kids.

Sometimes people visit me at the store. Maybe their intention is to come talk to me. Maybe they just decided to on a whim. Neither is an issue, except when they decide to talk to me about something related to my coach husband. Maybe he was disciplined his players in a way they didn’t like. Maybe he said something on the sideline that they didn’t like. Maybe he isn’t playing their son as much as they would like. I get it, my husband is a coach.

If they are coming to me to get advice on how to present an issue with him, I will assist them. I don’t want or need details. If they want to discuss an actual issue, I won’t speak to them about it. I just won’t. In any other profession, it would be unacceptable.

It has also come to my attention that because I now have a son, we can throw him into the conversation to make me understand more easily the point that is being made. Again, please don’t speak to me about it. We are and will be different parents for two reasons. 1.) It is life. All parents are different. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that we will parent exactly the same. 2.) I am married to a coach. It is likely, that I will take the coach’s side, within reason, when it comes to sports. Children have a tendency to come home with half-truths about things that are said, how hard they work at practice and how hard their teammate that just took their starting spot at works practice.

I love all of my husband’s current and former players. There is a deeply special place in my heart for them that they are incapable of understanding. The same goes for current and former players’ parents. I mean this with ultimate respect and kindness – Please, Don’t Talk to Me About My Husband! It puts me in a very uncomfortable position, and I don’t like it.

[Photo Credit: Sanders on Sports]

I Didn’t Want a Boy

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First of all, after years of not conceiving and an uncertain diagnosis of PCOS, I was elated to be pregnant!  I truly thought it would never happen.

I assumed it would be a girl. Girls are dominant in my family, and Chris’ family is pretty even. He is a man and a coach so naturally his primal desire is to have a boy.

In the beginning, I did not care what gender our baby would be. In fact, I didn’t want to know until it was born.

Then, I was reminded of a conversation I had a few years ago with another coach’s wife. She was having a boy. She was worried about the expectations of a coach’s son. She was panicked about him being pushed too far to excel in sports. “Will my husband have time to help raise a boy?” She asked. “Boys need their fathers and he is gone a lot.”  I talked to her about how great a role model he will be because of the career he has chosen. I told her that he would be there more than she thought.

The moment I remembered this conversation, I felt an impending doom. I suddenly began to care what gender our child would be. I didn’t share that with anyone, except for that coach’s wife, and another dear friend. I began hoping for a girl. I thought I would be more competent to take care of a girl. People would ask what I thought I was having and I would reply, “Probably a boy,” in hopes that it would be a girl. I felt the first kick, and knew it was a boy. You can call it mother’s intuition.

A few weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, we went for an ultrasound. We asked the technician not to reveal the sex, she tried her best. When we saw the doctor afterwards, he said, “It’s hard for me to know and not tell you.” Again, primal instinct. He was excited because he knew my coach husband was having a boy.  At least, that’s what I presumed. We went on a date, arrived at home, and decided to have a private reveal party- just the two of us.  We watched the ultrasound; head, hand, foot, and penis. My husband teared up (primal, sort of). I shrugged and said, “I told you so.”

You see, I remembered everything about that conversation, except what I said to her. Everything I said was right. I called her to tell her we were having a boy, and express to her how terrified I was. She reminded me of what I said, and started telling me how awesome it is to have a son. She told me; he is funny, he is messy, he never stops, and he LOVES his momma. Everything she said was right. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Well, that and this verse, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:6-7

Now, it seems trivial to me to have been so worried about having a boy. I was anxious about something so far into the future. I was scared that Chris wouldn’t have his heart in mind (this might be the craziest thing I was fearful of). I am embarrassed to have been so worried. I am fascinated by him. I have the honor of raising a gentleman. I get to prepare him to love the Lord. Nothing compares to his hugs, kisses, and cuddles.

He is great.

He is flirty.

He is funny.

He is a mess.

He never stops.

He LOVES his momma.

His momma LOVES him.

I would be happy to have all boys.

I am horrified of braids and bows.

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Team Leadership – According to a Coach’s Wife

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“Once a player joins our team, our priority is to teach him.”

– Tony Dungy

 

I think there are 6 types of leaders your team needs in order to be successful.

This is who they are:

1. Achievement Leaders

This is your “student-athlete coach.” Your team may have more than one, in fact it should. These are the athletes that take charge, vocally, during practice and competition.  They keep your team focused and on task.

Not only will they need to lead vocally, but also by strong example. They need to show intensity, dedication, and discipline. This will be the athlete that steps up and sets the tone for performance levels.

2. Backup Leaders

These are the athletes that are 2nd or 3rd string. Although they’re often looked-over, they are important. Think about how many players don’t get a lot of playing time. You probably have more back-up players than star players.

Your substitute leader will help other subs understand their part in making your team successful. Their role is to keep disgruntled subs from becoming discouraged, which can deplete team morale.

3. Huddle Leaders

Have you ever seen a team come back from a huddle or locker-room play completely different than they did before?

Well, sometimes that is the coach changing a game scheme, most of the time it’s the motivation of a huddle leader.

These are the guys who set a firm foundation for team morale and expectations.  They lead the team with their words and actions. They will be positive and reflective.

4. Organizational Leaders

This type of leader will be involved in organizations and groups outside of the team. They keep your team involved in what is happening around the school.

This leader will represent your team at meetings and events.

5. Communal Leaders

These are the social leaders. They will focus on your overall team bond and relationships.

Your team will have smaller group connections. It may be divided by offense/defense, position, or grade-level. Either way, they will make a point to connect those groups socially.

They will also plan events with other athletic teams in order to get to know each other better.

6. Inspirational Leaders

The inspirational leaders will be purposeful.  They will influence other players to recognize their faith on the field/court. Their goal is to empower and encourage people to make a difference.

 

It is necessary for coaches to seek out leaders for these roles. Some athletes will shy away because they worry about what others think. Make an effort to develop these leaders, challenge them, and encourage them daily.

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you” – Peter F. Drucker

 

Don’t Let the Coach Sing to Your Baby and The Story of the Sad Boy

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I try to post a #trht (That Really Happened Tuesday) on Facebook every week. Now that I have this little blog, I am going to post them here.

Our Son is 2 weeks from turning 1. Shortly after he was born, I started getting cabin fever and NEEDED to get out of the house. So my husband Chris, baby and I went for a drive. I wanted to drive and he obliged. After driving around town for about 5 minutes, our sweet little colic baby began to cry, and Chris tried to comfort him in the backseat, but no matter what he did the baby kept crying. Knowing that our son liked to hear singing, I told Chris, “Sing to him.”  To which Chris replied, “I don’t know what to sing, I don’t know any songs.”  “Make one up,” I said.

A few moments later he started rapping,

“Go, go, go, go, go, go
Go shorty, it’s your birthday
We gonna party like it’s your birthday
We gonna sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday”

It wasn’t exactly “Twinkle, Twinkle Litttle Star,” but he stopped crying courtesy of 50 Cent.

 

Yesterday, we chose to go on a family walk. As we were walking, we watched a grandpa and grandson playing catch in the street. The scene led us to talking about our little boy playing catch and how fun it will be to teach him.

All of the sudden I see the ball pass the boy and he turned with his head down. “Awww, Look Chris, he is sad,” I said. Chris looked at me with his classic touching eyebrows. “No Mindy, he isn’t sad, he is peeing.”

 

Bloom Where You’re Planted

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I have been a coach’s spouse for 7 seasons. Yes, we go by seasons not years in our home. We have moved eight times, which is difficult for me because I am an apprehensive person, unless I REALLY know you. In that case, I am an over-sharer of thoughts (as my sister says), singer of random words, and maker of funny faces.

When I first became a coach’s wife, I had no idea what my life would be like.

I didn’t know that sports would be so significant to my life, which is totally fine-I love sports.

I didn’t know that, while my husband coached college football, I would be a “mom away from home.”

I had no idea there would be boys at my house every day.

There was no indication that I would weep for boys who had come from rough homes, especially since I am not a crier.

I didn’t think I would call someone other than my child “son.”

I would not have believed you if you told me I would drive for HOURS to see former players play in bowl games.

I didn’t know that he would be gone most of the time with players, parents, and other coaches.

I didn’t realize I would appreciate my former coaches for putting in long hours, and loving me despite my hard-head.

You couldn’t have told me that I would have bonds with women across the US that are also coach’s wives.

I had no idea it would cause me to love him more for his role in past, present, and future players lives.

I didn’t know that our relationship as husband and wife, and his career as a coach, would bring us both closer to Christ.

There were times, early in our marriage; I would have changed his career. I would have begged him to move back home, but I have learned that God WILL give you more than you can handle. He will help you to grow into your role as a coach’s wife. He will help you Bloom Where You’re Planted. He might pick you up and plant you somewhere else. He might plant you a lot of places. Just remember – Hang in there, Pray, and Love your coach. He is making a difference, and you are too!

 

What are some things that have you have learned living as a wife of a coach?