Family * Travel * Food

Aging and Changing, Being 41

I recently turned 41 (gulp). It seems so strange actually writing that number as my age. I really don't feel that old. I don't even know how 41 is supposed to feel. I know one thing though; I'm surely not 20 or 30 anymore. Many things have changed and I have had to take steps to adapt. I went to the doctor earlier this year for a full physical. It had been a few years since I last had one. I admit, I was very nervous. So nervous in fact that my blood pressure registered a lot higher than normal. I have a terrible family history of heath ailments. What if I find out I am diabetic? What if I have high cholesterol? What if I do end up with high blood pressure? I was really afraid. I knew I had to suck it up and get checked out thoroughly.

It only took a couple days to get the first set of lab results back. I felt like I couldn't breathe when I saw the doctor's office phone number show up on my phone. My heart raced and I had to take a deep breath. My doctor informed me that I had a vitamin D deficiency. I am not surprised by that because it is very common for brown-skinned people to have that issue. For whatever reason, our skin does not absorb vitamin D from the sun like a fair-skinned person would. I was prescribed a once a week, 2 month supplement to boost my levels. I noticed that after 4 weeks of taking the supplement I felt different. I had higher than normal energy levels, my nails were stronger and my hair seemed to be growing overnight. Besides the vitamin D deficiency, the doctor informed me my hormone levels that control my thyroid were abnormal. She asked me if I had been experiencing any of the symptoms like rapid heartbeat, weight fluctuations, sweating, and several other things. I told her no and insisted that the test wasn't accurate. I think she sensed my denial and was kind enough to entertain me. She ordered that I retake labs in 30 days. I took time to research hypothyroidism in depth. I had a light bulb go off in my head. Thyroid issues are hereditary. Almost every woman on my mother's side of the family has been diagnosed and is being treated by medication. I also realized that what I thought was extreme anxiety I have been experiencing for about a year or so was actually heart palpitations. I called up my doctor and she was very polite in not saying, "I told you so". She assured me that being put on medication wasn't the end of the world and it would help my situation.

I have been on Synthroid for almost 90 days now and had my labs done a few weeks back to see of the meds are helping. It turns out that my hormone levels are normal and the medication is indeed doing its job. As much as I did not want to be put on any type of medication for the rest of my life, it is what it is. I have my health under control and will be certain to keep up with regular doctor visits to ensure it stays that way. I have advised a few friends who complained of fatigue, anxiety and weight fluctuations to go get lab work done. I have one friend who told me she found out that she too was vitamin D deficient. None of us are getting any younger so it is important to get into the doctor's office at least once a year.

Do you have regular check-ups/physicals with you doctor?


The 5-hour ENERGY® Yummification Contest winners are in!

The 5-hour ENERGY® Yummification Contest winners are in and you can view the winning videos here. I'm excited about the third place winner because he is out of Lugoff, SC which is about 25 minutes away from where I live. Way to go to all of the winners!

First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA

This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert:  it’s a lot).

§  1 glass Limeade
§  1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY®

Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA

The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade.  This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more.

§  1 glass Lemonade
§  1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY®

Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC

The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing.  And practicing.

“Arnold Power”
§  1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
§  1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY®

The 5-hour ENERGY® samples, gift card, and information have been provided by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®.

Kindergarten class photo and updates

It has been a while since I have posted about my family. I have been utilizing my time wisely. It has been amazing having a good portion of the day to myself and I make every minute count. A lot of people assume I have all of this "extra time" with everyone at school and work. The truth is, I have been working harder and time seems to slip away each day. By the time I think I am making a dent in my to-do list, school pick-up time creeps up and my day goes into the next phase of busyness. I always wish I could have about 2 more hours each afternoon. 

William has been loving school. He leaps out of bed each morning without me having to wake him up and he is always very enthusiastic about it being a school day. It has gotten to a point that he arrives to the car in the afternoon in tears. He cries because he is not ready for the school day to end. Here I was thinking that it would be a long and hectic day for him. I was so wrong! 
They took school pictures a few weeks ago and although I am not a fan of them, his came out so cute! I can't believe he smiled nicely. I have the hardest time these days getting him to cooperate for photos. I volunteered on picture day and it was fun getting back into the swing of being involved in elementary school. William's class is the absolute sweetest. The class consists of 6 boys and 14 girls. It is so cute seeing William with his friends and it was a long time coming. His teacher says that he has a lot of friends and everyone enjoys being around him. We are so glad that he has no issues adjusting socially. He loves being around the other kids and has really gotten into the whole school routine. Around school he is known as having the best smile. It's wonderful having such a happy and content kid. His sisters were the same way.

I am thrilled that I am the classroom mom. I love helping out with anything I can. I really look forward to all of the fun activities, field trips and connecting with other parents this school year. It feels like the time is already going by so quickly.

How is the school year going so far for your children?

A brand new look for Momfiles

I am so excited that after so many years, Momfiles finally got a fresh, new look! I really wanted something very simple with a tiny pop of color. I am so happy with it. A big thanks to Kreated by Kelsey for hooking me up with the new look. She's awesome!

So what do you all think of it? I still have some things to clean up so ignore the obvious broken bits.


Smooth Fitness 5.65 Treadmill update and folding feature demo #SmoothBlogger

Hi guys! It has been almost a month since we have had our fabulous Smooth Fitness 5.65 treadmill and we have been enjoying the many great benefits from it.  It just so happens that my husband is currently taking a health and wellness college class, so he has been able to offer tips to help maximize our workouts. One thing we did was buy a digital scale. Our eyes got rather big when we saw the numbers that came up. My husband has set a goal of losing roughly 40 pounds. He ideally needs to be under 200 pounds. So far he has cut out most of the sugar in his diet and has started eating very small meals throughout the day. After the first 2 weeks, he is down 6 pounds. I am so proud of how well he is doing and even when tempting foods are around, he either says no or he takes just one bite.

The treadmill itself is one fine piece of equipment. We have it set up downstairs near the girls' bedrooms and unless they walk out of their room, they don't hear if anyone is using it. That was a concern since my husband tends to do his workout early in the morning when everyone is still in bed. It runs very quietly and we love that we can hook up our music device or tablet to the MP3 jack so we can listen to music or watch videos. The girls have been incorporating a 2 mile run 3 times a week since they are so consumed with school-related things. I know that it will come in very handy when Briahnna starts back volleyball conditioning. I am sure she will make much better time on her laps.

I wanted to show you this quick video below that demonstrates how easy it is to fold the treadmill in the event we wanted to move it or store it. Quite honestly, I don't think we will ever need to store it, but we have thought about relocating it in the future. Check it out:

Note: It is not necessary to hold the bottom of the treadmill as it comes down, but I still do because I get scared it might slam down too hard. It doesn't do it but I am just the typical cautious mom. In the next couple weeks I will demonstrate the features located on the dashboard so you can get a better idea of how it works and how user-friendly it is.

Stay connected with Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.
Shelly, Mom Files

Wordless Wednesday | Lemon tree update

My dwarf Meyer lemon tree is still alive and look at the ginormous lemon on it! I brought it on before the first frost and it has been sitting in my office, by the window. It has lost all of its leaves except for three and I will be picking my fresh lemon this week. Just had to share!
Shelly, Mom Files

I have lemons! (okay just a lemon)

I am so thrilled that my dwarf Meyer lemon tree has a lemon on it! I was really sad that after all the blooms that it started with, all of them fell off except one. Thankfully there are some new blooms that started growing this week so I will keep my fingers crossed that we will get a couple more lemons before it's all said and done.
With all the rain we have been getting in the past few weeks, our flower garden has been doing very well. Just about everything has bloomed! The fuchsia lily (calla lily?) took 3 years to finally bloom. The orange lilies really did well this year for the first time since we planted them a couple years ago. We also have some Zinnias that are steady blooming bright pink and orange flowers. Our Lantanas always do well and if I can get my hands on the "fruit cocktail" colored one on clearance, I will buy one. 

We got some more flowers from my hubby's uncle that we need to get into the ground for next year. Almost all of our flowers in the garden came from second hand plants. You can't beat that! Maybe we should call it our bootleg garden :) At least we are helping out the honeybee population, right?

What is growing in your garden?

FYI Email issues

I don't know what the problem is but I am not able to receive email at my or addresses. This makes me wonder what things I am missing if nothing can go there! I am using my if anyone needs to shoot me an email. I am going to try to get the problem fixed.
Shelly, Mom Files

Random family updates

Is it just me or has time been flying by? I swear it was just January and I look at the calendar and we are about halfway through April. Last week was Spring break and it was wonderful. The girls had an actual break from the usual 4-7 hours of school work they have on a daily basis (weekends included). They had to nerve to complain that they were bored! I told them they had better enjoy that down time since from here until June 3rd there will be no school work break. We sort of lingered around all week and did a little shopping, eating out and getting together with friends. I enjoyed the quality time with the girls that we don't get much of during the busy school week. William was treated like a King while the girls were home. I hate to admit that William is a bit spoiled. The even carried him around like a baby! He loved every minute of it.

Now I am back to my usual getting up at the crack and driving kids everywhere. I would not have it any other way. Chardie has been getting some driving practice in although she will not be getting a car until she graduates high school. There's no need for it if I am available to drive them anywhere they need to go. I don't mind waiting either. I will let her drive herself to school once she gets her license. I'll just have to scoot myself back in the driver's seat and go home.

I have been working with William on his "school" work and he is doing an amazing job! He knows the entire alphabet phonetically and recognizes a lot of words. He has been saying a lot of bigger words as well as speaking in complete sentences. It's amazing how much he adds to his vocabulary daily. We are very proud. We have also been working on potty training. He is getting good at going pee pee and staying dry all day and overnight. Poo poo is a whole other beast. He still hided when he has to go. I don't really know what to do about that one. I guess I have put it in my head that he will get it eventually and thankfully since he is not in daycare/preschool it won't be as big a deal to be fully trained. I'm not stressing.

Dwayne and I have been talking about getting a treadmill. I am willing to buy one that is used but we have not been able to find what we want within our spending limit. I can't believe people think they can sell their USED treadmill for $800! If I was spending money like that I would buy it brand new. We are hoping the right deal will come along.

We have been getting some home improvements done. We are doing a little at a time since we don't use credit cards. Cash goes FAST! I feel like our bank account is a recycling center. All in all everything is going well for the Ismail family. How is everything going with you?

Shelly, Mom Files

Our big boy

Our little guy is really growing up. He will be 3 in March and has come a long way since he turned two. Gone are the days of the terrible two's ~thank goodness! He is now a very independent and intelligent little guy. He is saying "please" and "thank you" without being prompted. He helps to prepare things for meal time and bath time as well as clean up after himself (most times). We are very pleased with his extensive vocabulary and his usage of Spanish words. The boy loves Dora and Diego. He also shows compassion for others and loves to initiate hugs. It's really sweet and makes me happy that he has a kind heart. Will is also learning responsibility with taking care of our dog Milo. He feeds him, gives him treats, plays with him and also loves to let him outside throughout the day. He is pretty well behaved and listens a lot better these days. We are really proud of him.

Surprised to see what is in his hand?

Will has this new evening ritual where he gets bathed and dressed for bed and tells me "I go bed". He then pulls down the covers on MY bed and lays back. Then he asks me to "Put the light" (turn off the light). Once I turn it off he tells me "Thanks". He thinks he's a man. I always have to tell him "Excuse me boy, I already have a husband". From there he watches a little Nick Jr and he is out for the next 11-12 hours. Daddy carries him to his own bed and puts him down for the night. I think often how happy I am that I no longer sweat the small stuff because before long all of our kids will grow up. We are fully enjoying every minute of every day :)
Shelly, Mom Files

William updates

William is one busy little fella. He is maturing more and more and has made some big strides in his speech... He can now speak in short sentences! We are noticing that he is working harder to pronounce his letter sounds more fluently and is adding to his vocabulary daily. We can sit in the car and I can ask him to repeat a series of words and he will try his best to do it. He is taking directions very well and I get him to participate in a lot of things around the house to help himself more. It's been so busy with the girls involved in volleyball and he has to get dragged around from school to school. So far he is doing pretty well and seems to enjoy watching the games way more than last year. He used to cry every time I would clap and cheer. Now he chimes in and gets into a frenzy of excitement. It sure makes for a more enjoyable experience. It is really funny how as a parent you wonder when certain milestones will be met and if certain things will ever happen for your child. I am glad I am a patient woman and know that everything happens in its own time. I am grateful for a healthy, smart and happy little boy. Oh and by the way, I am officially a mom to a 14 & 16 year old. Brie turned 14 on the 7th and Chardie turned 16 today. It still astonishes me some days that I am a mom to three. I am one lucky gal :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Brie update, no headaches!

I just briefly wanted to let you all know that the medication that was prescribed to Brie mention in the last post seems to be working! We had to make some alterations to the dosage times because the poor girl was a zombie all day long and was having a lot of trouble getting up in the morning. Periactin has that Benedryl effect so we started having her take it only at night at a reasonable time so that she would go to sleep early enough to get the rest she needed to be refreshed the next day. The doc advised we introduce one pill in the morning until she can tolerate it and not feel sleepy. I am just so thrilled that the girl has been free from headaches for quite a few days now. We plan to let her try out one pill in the morning over the weekend and see how she does. Hooray for NO headaches!
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