(Video) Speaking Of Interview: Gervase Kolmos, Mindset Coach for Moms

Check out the latest Speaking Of interview, where I talk to Gervase Kolmos. Gervase is a certified mindset coach for moms. For 7 years she’s been helping moms navigate the waters of “motherhood AND,” not “motherhood OR” through her companies Shiny Happy Human and The Champagne Society.

(Video) Speaking Of – Interview Preview and Silly Facebook Names

Check out this week’s interview preview and hear my observations about silly Facebook names. Sometimes those names crack me up! I talk about one I saw years ago: Fresh Teeth. What happens if that person gets broccoli in their teeth at lunch? Awkward!

Enjoy the video:

The Law of Attraction Blows My Mind!

I seriously love and believe in the law of attraction. If you’re not familiar with it, basically it means that whatever you focus on, you will bring about. If you focus on positive things, positive things will happen, and if you focus on negative things, negative things will happen – your attention/focus/beliefs manifest tangibly into your life in one way or another. You can use it for goals, health, career, physical things, etc.

My favorite books about the Law of Attraction are by Rhonda Byrne: The Secret and The Power.

When I focus on things, I can see those things manifest – good or bad. An example of the negative and the positive are in the story of my pregnancy and my daughter’s NICU stay.

I fully believe the law of attraction is why my daughter was born right before 28 weeks. I had 28 weeks so firmly in my head as my goal, that I “willed” that into existence. I didn’t realize I did it, but let me tell you that I focused so hard on getting to 28 weeks that not much else entered my mind at that point.

After a miscarriage at 10 weeks earlier the same year, I remember thinking, ok, I have to get to 12 weeks, that’s when it’s “safe.” Then I remember talking to my doctor about the next milestone – ie when the baby could live outside of me and survive. She said 24 weeks. I said, okay, I have to get to 24 weeks. She said “No! At 24 weeks the odds of survival are 50/50.” I said okay, when does survivability go up. She said “28 weeks, but Stephanie, you need to get to 40 weeks! You don’t want your baby to be that early!”

But, in my head, I didn’t process anything after I heard her say 28 weeks. 28 weeks was my goal. I needed to get to the point in the pregnancy that I was past the point of miscarriage (in theory, that is – obviously you’re never past that point, which is terrifying) – that if something came up, she could be delivered and live. I needed to know that my baby could live.

I fully believe that because all I did was focus on making it to 28 weeks, that’s why she was born at 27/6 weeks. She ended up needing to be delivered because I had severe preeclampsia/borderline HELLP.

I also believe that the law of attraction is why she survived in the NICU. She developed a severe lung condition (P.I.E.) that only 25% of preemies get (and imagine that only 10% of babies are born premature – and that 10% includes all babies under 37 weeks. The number born at her gestation is much lower). She wasn’t doing well. The one doctor told me she didn’t know if she (my daughter) would be going home. She didn’t know if she’d live. She was very sick. The day the doctor said that was the last time I heard any of those words.

At home that night, I developed a mantra that I started to say to my daughter every single time I walked away from her bedside for the rest of her stay – no matter if I was leaving for the evening or just going to the bathroom. I said “Kennedy is strong. Kennedy will be happy, healthy, and home soon.” I also walked into rounds the next day and said, “Okay, new rules. We no longer say the words sick, bad day, struggling, etc. We now say things like ‘she had a busy day. There was a lot going on.'” I wanted to know where things really stood, but also wanted them framed in a more positive or neutral way.

For example, for a 28 weeker to leave the hospital without a blood transfusion is pretty rare. So to me, if she needed a blood transfusion on a particular day wasn’t “bad,” it was actually normal – as in to be expected. And I’ll tell you what, my daughter noticed and reacted positively to our new positive energy. No one was allowed to call her “sick,” or anything else negative, and she thrived.

My point is that I believe that what you focus on is what you manifest, both the positive and negative things. As with anything, I can’t explain why terrible things happen sometimes – there are truly things that I believe can’t be explained by science, religion, or a combination of the two. But overall, I really believe that you can control your destiny.

In lighter applications of the law of attraction, sometimes you bring things into your life by simply “loving” them and believing you’ll have them. Last week I was looking at playsets for my daughter. She is absolutely in love with them and comments every time she sees one.

Around Christmas, we asked two of three sets of grandparents around Christmas if they’d help pitch in for one as an Easter present (but the yard wasn’t ready at that point, so it was on hold).

We didn’t ask the one set of grandparents, I’m not even sure why. But anyway, last week I was researching them, working to find the best one for our needs and yard, and reviewed a few options with my husband. I also asked him if he’d ask his dad and I said I’d ask my mom if they still wanted to pitch in.

The next day he got home from work and said, “You’re never going to believe this. My mom (who is divorced from his dad) called me and said she woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about swing sets for Kennedy. She said she wants to buy her one.” I couldn’t believe it. As I mentioned, we didn’t ask her at any point, so that randomly just happened. She woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it. How crazy is that???? That is the law of attraction at work!

This is the one we ordered! Hooray!

I also happened to dream some numbers the other night, but didn’t play them, and 3/4 of the numbers hit straight the next day. Ugh! I have no idea how to harness that, but it’s pretty awesome when that happens!

Whether you fully believe in the law of attraction or not, it never hurts to be positive, and focus on the things that you want. It may just work out, and it certainly won’t hurt!

(Video) Speaking Of Interview – Laquanda Steed: Native Charlestonian, Working Mom, Blooming Writer

Hi all, happy Friday! Check out the latest Speaking Of Interview!

I talk with Laquanda Steed about everything from being a native Charlestonian (!!!), to the finding work-life balance as a working mom, to her blooming writing career, and advice to those pursuing their passions.


I love this interview so much that I had a hard time shortening it to even 26 minutes! If you enjoy it too, please like, subscribe, and share. 🙂

Was I a Good Mom Today?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

That’s what I ask myself every evening. Thankfully most of the time my answer to myself is yes. I can always say “yes, I’m meeting my daughter’s needs”. I’m speaking more of the “quality” time. Mom guilt is a daily struggle.

My daughter is very attached to me and wants to play 24/7, but life is often in the way. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom, or a work from home mom, or a hybrid of those, you probably experience the same thing. There are always so many things to do, and it never seems like there’s enough time to play.

I’m not sure what the perfect balance looks like to me, but I know that it’s not what I feel like I’m doing most days. There’s always something to do, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much that can be eliminated. Walking the dog, doing cardio (only 30 minutes at home, so it’s not like that’s taking much time away from playing with my daughter), making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, showering, grocery shopping, paying bills, the list goes on. I guess the key would be to do better streamlining the things that can be more efficient – perhaps meal planning, etc.).

Or, maybe there is enough time and I have an unrealistic ideal of how much I should be playing with my daughter? Maybe I’m just not “present” enough when I’m with her. Ugh. The struggle is constant. I feel guilt when I’m doing something other than being with her, and I feel guilty when I am with her but am not playing because I have to do something like make dinner.

The daily struggle is what leads to the nightly question of whether I was a good mom that day.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

I was recently laid off, so I should have more time to spend, but am using about 4-5 hours a day to work on things like this – writing this blog, shooting the Speaking Of videos that I recently started, doing my weekly videos with Dawn, editing all of those videos, looking for regular jobs, etc. Those are all valid, but I feel guilty because I’m doing something other than playing with her. It’s still less than the time in a standard workday, but the guilt is just the same.

I suppose the key is to make the most of the time that I do have, and *try* not to get mad at myself for doing the best I can. It’s totally valid to exercise, and to walk the dog, and to make dinner (or at least pick it up…), and to work. It’s tough to let go of guilt, but I’m working on it.

Speaking Of – Chat with Stephanie & Dawn – Sticker Escapades and More!

Check out the latest video from me and Dawn! We chat about everything from our kids’ sticker escapades, to bathing suit shopping, figuring out what’s appropriate clothing for our age, and wanting to shop after being stuck inside during the quarantine!

We hope you enjoy!

Our First Video!

pic from Pixabay

Hi! Dawn and I recorded our first video on Sunday and are happy to share it. As mentioned previously, this is our first video and we’re not experts, so hang with us. 🙂

We figured what better topic for our first chat than… Coronavirus/COVID-19. We are not medical experts and aren’t talking about the virus itself, but rather living in a world where all of this is new! Somehow we end up talking about cooking at home too, haha!

We hope you enjoy!

PS – I’m Stephanie, on the left, and Dawn is on the right.

Sharing My Older Posts from Charleston Moms

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Today I was reading a post on the Charleston Mom’s site and the post linked to one of my old posts about working mom guilt, so I figured I’d share it here.

Then I thought, I might as well post a link to all of my posts on the Charleston Moms site! I wrote for them for a few years and wrote about everything from preeclampsia to preemies to not Googling for medical advice to general life! Check it out if you’d like.

The post I linked to for general life above has one of my favorite pictures (my very own Pinterest fail):

my Pinterest fail. For what it’s worth, I’ve since perfected these. 🙂

Charleston Moms has a lot of really great stories everyday, so follow them on Facebook or visit their site.

Working Forward

Image by Igor Link from Pixabay 

I always wanted to work for reasons that most people want to work, and that reason is MONEY! I started working when I was fifteen years old as a bus person at Norwin Diner where I learned to quickly clear and clean tables and bus dishes back to the singing dishwasher.

The work environment was great since most of the employees were either my age or these cranky but funny, older waitresses, who had a smoker’s cough and deep voice. I fondly look back and remember one of these older waitresses selling ‘made-to-order’ erotic Christmas cookies for co-workers – more specifically, naked snowmen with more than your standard snowman parts. What a gem this lady was! I honestly think that she made more money doing this than being a waitress.

After a little over a year, I abruptly quit ‘the diner’ when someone got sick all over a table, and it was my job to clean it up. My boss said to me, you gonna clean that up? And I replied, nope, I am going home. I realized in that moment that I would never make it as nurse and chalked it up to some good life experience.

After my busing days were over, I worked in various other fast food chains before finishing my college studies and then returning to college as an adult to pursue my accounting degree. As I gained my experience in accounting at various companies, it helped me to ‘check-the-box’ in what I really wanted from my career path. Sure, I probably made some poor decisions in leaving some companies too soon, but I always felt that if I evolved from the work, or the learning ended, that I needed to move forward. I love learning and working hard.

However, it all changed when I became a mom, because I wanted to stay home!!! All the other mothers in my neighborhood stayed home, so I felt all eyes on me when I would pack my baby up in the car to drive him to daycare. I also got the mom-guilt at work, because I worked with all men; they would say, why aren’t you at home with your baby? It was a rough scene somedays. I did this for four years until I could finally step down from a full-time job and start looking for a part time accounting position.

I made it my mission to consider everything that I wanted out of my next job leap. I like to compare and think of my frequent career changes as that old tv show, Quantum Leap, always jumping into my next adventure. Pay, hours, flexibility, distance, and limited customer service – a lot of accounting jobs are a glorified secretary role, especially when you are the only girl in the office. I was not going to lower my standards.

Fast forward to my current job as a remote, part-time accountant, all my expectations are met and my employer and client value my input. Now the other side of this equation is that I no longer have daycare support and there have been cases where some ‘people’ think that I have all this extra time – so not true!

My job demands an intense schedule, so work is constant. I also find myself missing the comradery of other employees, so I often advise my son’s soccer ball, Wilson, for final decisions, haha. But at the end of the day, working remotely has drastically changed my life for the better. I get to continue my profession, and my mombligations (I just made that word up, mom + obligations). In addition, I know longer have to get rush myself to get to work, and I am available at a moment’s notice if my kids need me. My point is that you don’t have to settle for a job, there are satisfying careers, but it will require work.

A (Literal) Crappy Day

It was quite literally a crappy day earlier this week. My dog, who is 5 months old, had some kind of a stomach (or poop…) bug. What a delight to walk into the room and see her crate full of poop, complete with paw-prints in it. Ugh!!

We took a short trip to the vet, where a poo test and x-rays showed nothing serious – she apparently just had some random stomach upset. The sign outside at her vet always has funny sayings and on that day said something like “sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield. That sign seemed particularly appropriate for the day. I was definitely the windshield that day!

At home, I was so proud because I successfully “pilled” her with her medicine, it was truly miraculous… until she hurled it all back up. In her crate. That I just cleaned all the poop out of. :O At least we decided to hold off on her heart worm and flea/tick medicine for a day until her stomach was better – silver linings, right?

A pic of the culprit, after she was feeling better and back to her rowdy-self!

That whole debacle really made for a very Monday-ish Monday. I was really pretty excited about the day until that happened, which was around 9am! My friend and I went to the gym, we were feeling productive, and I had fun things planned for after work.

It’s amazing how much your life revolves around bathroom habits when you have a kid and a dog. Seriously, I never could’ve imagined it. You know how there are always articles telling you how “they never told you about ___” before becoming a parent? Well, my fill in the blank is definitely “how your life revolves around poop.” I even did a YouTube video about something along those lines.

But really, once you’re the parent of a puppy, and especially of a baby, poop is life.

With a dog, you’re in the yard every few hours, waiting, then cheering and praising when the pup poops, you have to get home in time to ensure they can poop, etc.

With a baby, you’re concerned with all the things – did she go, when did she go, how much, what color, what consistency, the list goes on. Thankfully, poop doesn’t gross me out like it does my husband. I don’t enjoy it, but it doesn’t freak me out.

My friend, a nurse, is on a whole different level of comfort, apparently. The running joke is how she could eat while wiping a butt. However, it’s worth noting that while she was watching a baby once (before she had her son), she was changing a diaper with these giant gloves on like she was dealing with birds of prey, so I’m not sure if she is as cool with poop as she says, haha! It was basically one of the best things I’ve ever seen and I so wish I had a picture!

Anyway, hope your Monday was less “crappy” than mine. 🙂

Cabin Fever Kids

Wintry, rainy, January, now February days can make for some serious cabin fever.  I am thankful that I have found some great activities to keep my busy boys occupied this winter aside from climbing the walls and jumping on their beds, smh, so I thought that I would share! 

The first activity that I take them to is a kid’s yoga class, called, “Kidding Around with Yoga with Miss Jennie”. I found out about this class through a flier that I picked up from a downtown Irwin store, Feathers, and I have attended two classes since with both of my boys, ages 4 and 6. 

I love that my kids are doing Yoga, because it doesn’t feel like a committed activity, like baseball, soccer, etc., and they both can participate at the same time.  Plus, all the kids are learning great techniques in relaxing, mediation, and exercise along with coping skills when they are having, a bad day to just relax and take a deep breath. I highly recommend it! 

My next activity that I practically auto-enroll them in are swimming classes at the Wilmerding Community Center, because both kids can take their class on the same night.  This place recently changed from YMCA to Wilmerding Community Center, so it is an older facility but still has a great pool!  Classes are reasonably priced and taught by excellent instructors who take their time with the kids when they need additional help or are scared of jumping in the pool.  They also have a family changing room for parents, like me, who don’t always have their spouse around to help change kids out of wet clothes. 

And finally, my last share on a winter activity is taking the kids out to the bowling alley.  My kids love this place, because they get to throw bowling balls, get to knockdown bowling pins, and play in the arcade. One other honorable mention of my kids’ love for this place are the vending machines that my kids hit me up for pop, bubble-gum, and useless toys.  The bowling alley is just a great way to get in some good quality time together while playing a very low-maintenance sport. 

Hopefully some of these ideas help to inspire you to get out of your hibernation mode.