Hierarchy of Needs

I’d like to write more about this subject, but since it’s been a day of doctor visits and alternately icing and heating my back and neck muscles so I could move around (after my almost gluten-free Thanksgiving food), I will write less.

This morning, after waking up even more stiff than yesterday, my husband and I were discussing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and we determined that we need to go back to the beginning.

The basic idea is that physiological needs come first (food, air, sleep, etc.) and then all the other needs come after those basic needs are met.


While I would love to stay up in the upper portions of this pyramid, this Celiac thing has really thrown me for a loop, and I have got to throw all of that out the window (or at least put it on the back burner) while I get a handle on what the new version of meeting my physiological needs looks like.

I spent two hours talking with my new nutritionist/Registered Dietician today about how to use food to heal my body, and I’m looking forward to implementing the changes we discussed. … Actually, that’s not true. I’m looking forward to feeling fantastic because of the changes I will be implementing. The actual implementation seems like it’s going to be hard. Or at least challenging.

Anywho…here’s to anti-inflammatory foods, probiotics and one giant food prep day every week! 🙂

— The Conscious Mom

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An Almost Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

I guess I spoke too soon last night when I said that I didn’t get sick after eating the wonderful gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner my family took so much care to make. I woke up this morning with a headache again, I look about 3 months pregnant, and my muscles have slowly stiffened up throughout the day to the point where I’ve lost about 70% of the range of motion in my neck. In fact, I can barely manage to write this post and I need to lie down, so this will be short.

Yes, it appears that somehow, somewhere, a tiny speck of gluten must have jumped into my food, the evil little monster! I feel the same way as this other celiac blogger who created this cartoon of how she feels about gluten:


It seems RIDICULOUS to have to be so careful when preparing my food, but there are apparently many, many ways that gluten can sneak into your food without you knowing it. I hope I can figure it all out soon, but until then, I guess I’m going to have to just bring my own food everywhere I go and make sure that I’m the one who prepared every speck of it. Not exactly sure how I’m going to do that, but that’s the only thing I can think of to do right now. It’s more than a little frustrating.

I don’t have anything uplifting or insightful to offer you tonight. Just be UBER-grateful when you eat your turkey dinner on Thursday that you can gorge yourself without too much thought as to what exactly is in those mashed potatoes.

Unless you can’t, for whatever reason, in which case I offer you this e-hug and an empathetic shoulder to whine on. 😉

— The Conscious Mom

P.S. (Spell-check just offered “TUBER-grateful” as a suggestion. Haha!)

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Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

I am stuffed. In a good way. My family (and especially my mom) is so awesome and went the extra mile to make almost all of the Thanksgiving food we had today gluten-free and dairy-free so I could enjoy stuffing my face with everyone.

gluten free turkey

It was delicious! AND I didn’t feel sick afterwards. Here is a list of the yumminess we all got to enjoy today:

  • Good old-fashioned roasted turkey (without the spice packet or gravy packet),
  • delicious homemade turkey gravy thickened with brown rice flour,
  • cilantro orange cranberry sauce,
  • raw veggie tray,
  • gluten-free banana bread and banana muffins,
  • gluten-free bacon cornbread stuffing,
  • mashed potatoes made with coconut milk,
  • candied yams and baked sweet potatoes with walnut topping,
  • amazing roasted broccoli,
  • and giant coconut flakes (to snack on while we prepped food).

Thanks awesome family for making yummy yummy things for all of us to eat!

— The Conscious Mom

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Another Saturday Night

I’m getting kind of tired of being “conscious” every single day.  Mindfulness and inspiration become trite when you write about them every day.  I want the things I write to be worthy of your time, but I just don’t think I have something of that magnitude to say to you that often.

I’m sure you have better things to do with your Saturday night than read something that leaves you feeling resentful of the five minutes you spent reading that you will never get back.

If you’re like me, you have a life to live outside the blogosphere. You have crayons to pick up for the 170th time this week. You have Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations to make. You have sibling rivalry to attend to. You have seven different stores to shop at for your newly required gluten-free diet.

Oh my gosh. Is this what I have done with my Saturday? That’s kind of a bummer. I hope you’re doing something fun with your Saturday.

Not everything about today has been a bummer though. The kids and I were listening to some music in the car today, and it was a total riot! My 4-year-old boy’s Elvis impersonation sounded a lot more like Tom Waits, which was funny enough, but then I switched the CD to Waits, and after listening to (and singing along with) his gravelly growl in Heart Attack and Vine for several minutes, my 7-year-old daughter said she knew why his last name is Waits… because he sounds like he’s lifting really heavy weights when he sings!


That made me laugh pretty hard.

Anywho… I have nothing insightful to say about any of this. I hope it wasn’t a huge waste of your time, or that at the very least that you are a fast reader and you are only upset about two minutes of your life wasted. 🙂

Enjoy your Saturday night!

— The Conscious Mom

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When the Ceiling Fell In My Eye

This story is for you, dear lovely reader who loved the tampon story so much it made you snort. 😉 Here’s another story for you.


Once upon a time, when I was in college, I had just returned from a long day preparing for my last few days of finals. It was the day before my final Children’s Literature paper was due, and I walked into the bathroom to freshen up when literally out of nowhere, one of those sharp, pokey things that stick out in a 1980s textured ceiling inexplicably became detached from its 20-year-home on the bathroom ceiling and landed directly in my right eye.

I wasn’t looking up even. Just walking straight. It was like time and space had aligned themselves so perfectly that somehow the ceiling fragment dropped exactly as I walked right into it, and my eyeball caught it mid-fall.

And it wasn’t just “in my eye” like I could just let my tears wash it out. It was embedded in my eyeball. (Is anyone having the hee-bee jee-bees yet?)

I stared into the mirror and blinked in every imaginable way to try to get the thing to dislodge. I tried to wash it out. I tried to cry it out. Nothing worked.

I thought, “Ugh! I don’t have time for this. I have to write my Children’s Lit paper tonight!”  I was just going to suffer through it, but I called my dad (who is a nurse) to see if there was anything I could do so I could just get to writing my paper.  He told me to go to the ER.

“I don’t have time to go to the ER, Dad! I have a final due tomorrow.”

“You don’t have time to go blind either!” he admonished.  I was SO annoyed with him — and with the tiny piece of 1980s ceiling trapped in my eye — but he was right, so I went to the ER.

The doctor there was very good, and it didn’t even hurt at all when he basically took a Q-tip and took the stupid thing right out of my eye like it was an eyelash. They sent me home with Lortabs for when the numbing medicine would wear off, and told me to keep my eye closed for several hours.

Several hours? I had already been at the ER for several hours, and I still had my Children’s Lit final to write. How was I supposed to keep my eye closed for several more hours?

Well, I’ll tell you. An eye patch. And since I didn’t have time to figure out where the nearest pirate supply store was, I downed my Lortab, took my gel eye mask out of the fridge, and placed it crookedly over my head so it covered only my wounded eye. The cool gel pack felt great on my eye, but I looked a little bit drunk and ridiculous.


Pretend this is crooked on a messy curly-haired head.

And then I went to the computer and wrote my term paper until all hours of the night, half high on Lortabs.

By 3 a.m. or so, I was a bit delirious and entirely exhausted, so (in my delirium) I thought it seemed like an excellent idea to crawl underneath the computer chair and lie down “just for a few minutes.”

I woke up in the morning, still underneath the chair, warm gel mask still around my now very messy hair, still appearing very drunk. And my final wasn’t all the way finished.

I did actually have my wits about me by this point though, so I raced back to school (sans eye-patch, but still wearing the clothes from the day before) and did the best I could to pull everything together in less than an hour.

And college-me lived happily ever after because I got an A. 🙂

The End.


Okay, so it’s not nearly as great of a story as the tampon one. But I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Sweet dreams.

— The Conscious Mom

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Embrace the Present

Does it count for NaBloPoMo if I reblog my own post from way back when? I read it this morning and darn if it wasn’t some pretty good advice! 🙂 I’ve been feeling the same lack of connection with my kids the last several days, and maybe I need to do the same thing I did in this old post: let go of all of my expectations for what I “should” be doing, and just embrace the present moment and connect with my kids, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If it’s anything like the last time I had this epiphany, those tiny minutes will make a big difference.

— The Conscious Mom

The Conscious Mom's Journey

I’ve had a busy, let’s say… emotionally diverse day, which ended with the kids chasing each other around half naked — screaming at each other over an hour past bedtime — and one pair of poopy underwear (not mine, in case you were wondering). I was SO done with the day, and I just wanted the kids to go to bed as fast as possible.

But as I was trying to get them to bed and wishing that they would just shut up already so I could go downstairs and work on my blog about being an awesome mom, I made a conscious decision to let go of what I wished was happening and instead embrace the present moment.

The reality of the present moment right then was that I had let the kids stay up later than usual because I took them out for gelato, and they were simply…

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I’m tired and my brain is foggy. I called the skillet a skittle earlier today.

As promised, here’s the answer to yesterday’s question:

My “why” for doing the NaBloPoMo challenge was because I know that I’m supposed to be writing this blog for some reason, and I thought that participating in NaBloPoMo would be an easy way to step up my game on the blog.

The reason I am posting again today even though it is 11:00 p.m. and I’m so tired that the room is spinning is that I am tired of saying I’m going to do something and then backing out when it seems like it doesn’t matter anymore.

I think it does matter, even if the only reason is so that I can prove to no one but myself that I can follow through on something I set out to accomplish.

— The Conscious Mom

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Why? Why? WHY?

I’ve been really tempted the last few days to just give up on trying to post something every day for the NaBloPoMo 30-day challenge. What I’ve been thinking about today is how important it is to know why we do something.

Being a Conscious Mom (or a Conscious Person, for that matter) means that you think about the reasons why you are doing something before you do them or continue to do them. When we know why we are doing something (the real, deep down reason why, not just the reason we tell ourselves and/or everyone else), it makes it much easier to muscle through the tough times when you feel like giving up. Or maybe it makes it much easier to stop doing something if we realize that our reason for doing it is less than ideal.

So why did I decide to participate in NaBloPoMo? I don’t know, really. It was totally on a whim. I didn’t even know about it until the first day of the challenge, so I just jumped right in. And now I’m at that point in the game where I usually just throw in the towel. (Remember #9 on my list of 10 Things I Don’t Want You to Know About Me?) And I’m sure the reason I want to jump ship is because I never had a solid WHY to my decision to post something Every. Single. Day.


I’m going to sleep on it and figure out what my purpose really is in wanting to participate in NaBloPoMo. And I promise to get back to you tomorrow.

So what’s your why? Anybody else out there in NaBloPoMo-land having the same struggle?

— The Conscious Mom

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Journey of The Pizza Delivery Guy

Have you seen this guy? Kyle Thompson is a former pizza delivery guy turned photographer, and his work is amazing. This one is my favorite I’ve seen so far.

Kyle Thompson photo

The thing I love about his story is that he wanted to be a photographer, but he had some social anxiety, so he thought he couldn’t do it at first. But he just started taking self-portraits instead, and after he posted some of his work to Reddit and got over 4 MILLION views, he decided to quit his pizza delivery job and be a photographer full time.

I love what Kyle’s story and this photo in particular says about what we can do when we just live our passions. (And if climbing the corporate ladder is your true passion, then go for it! But if you want to be a photographer or a baker or a pizza delivery guy instead, then go for THAT.)

I love this quote by Joseph Campbell who said, “Follow your bliss. Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.” He also said, “Live from your own center.” I love it. These quotes and Kyle’s photography inspire me to dig down and find out what my own center is and what my passions are in life so I can try to live true to them. I know one of them is motherhood and one of them is writing. Hence the blog. 🙂 But I’m sure there are others hiding in there somewhere.

So what are your passions? Where is your center? And are you living true to them?

— The Conscious Mom

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