Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Motivating Your Spouse

So I posed this question on Facebook today (after explaining that my husband and I were fine... I got some good responses). The RED is female responses and the BLUE is male. It quite an interesting case study :)

How do you motivate your spouse?

1) Do it your self. I find by the time I use my energy nagging and getting really mad I could of done it myself and moved on lol
2) M. and I usually have to fight about it before we can motivate each other. But that's just how we work.
3) I'm not married so I'm just throwing it out there, but maybe ask your spouse how he would prefer you to ask about certain topics? E.g. "Instead of nagging you to clean up your laundry, how would you prefer I talk to you about this?"

4)  5 years later, and I'm still trying to figure that one out... Sometimes I ask nicely - stressing that I would really appreciate it - and that works, but it doesn't always. There is also the do it yourself strategy that makes him feel guilty, but that may lead to a fight if "he was going to do it" eventually... Beth is right, often a fight is the only thing that initiates immediate change, but it can come at the risk of making him get down on himself which can have negative long-term impacts depending on the seriousness of the issue. Really, there's no good answer to this one. 
5) I'd said either do it yourself, or use a reward system. Like "honey, I'd really like to do (insert activity here) for/with you, but I'm swamped doing these things. Could you help me, please?"
6) Depends what it is... For example I put laundry baskets where his clothes would normally be dropped... But he wants me to sit with him after the kiddo goes to bed- so he does dishes I cook and keep up the house.
if you find the answer to this, let me know. 5.5 years later, I don't have it. But for the record, I often now just don't ask. We still argue plenty, but there are some things he's always always going to 'forget' to do and I try to let a lot more of them go than I used to. Usually, once the fight is over, I really don't care all that much about whatever started it. So I try super hard (and often fail) to remember that before I start the 'motivating' to begin with. On the other hand, for something that has to get done, I've found not asking when he's right in the middle of doing something he likes helps. But everyone is right. No really good solution to this.
8) Hide the Xbox!
9) I find if I ask too many times I get mad... So I will sometimes do it before I get to that point or i offer to hire a handy man to do it for him. ( that usually either motivates him or he will agree
10) Haha okay. To be entirely honest I've found that action precedes motivation, which means that motivation must come from within. If someone really wants to do something or make something happen, they will do it. If they don't, they wont.
11) It depends on what it is and the level of importance, typically I ask nicely and if that doesn't work I start trying to do it myself, usually that does the trick. Or I pull out my social work tricks and explain my reasoning etc. nothing works 100% of the time unfortunately!
12) The same way you get anyone to do anything: Do the thing they like most, then ask for what you want. For a husband, find out the SECOND thing he likes most and do that. I say second b/c first is too obvious and doesn't always work.

Try reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Ignore the unfortunate title of the first book. It sounds so insulting to recommend the title it but its a good read.

13) posting this question on facebook where he can read it is a great start!
14) We talked about what chores were important to each of us and which ones we hated and separated them that way. I usually just tell T. why something is important to me and he will do it, and vice versa. And there's always prayer
15) I usually ask and if it doesn't get done I do it. I just move forward through my day. Unfortunately, I have ALWAYS bathed the children since birth, but C. baths them from time to time if I'm not available. we also split chores...kitchen, mine and kiddos' laundry, and kiddos' rooms.
16) I try not to nag but it's hard since I've asked a million times then complimented him about random stuff. So then I have to be very mean then it gets done lol. Read the five languages of love.
17) Sex works every time
18)  I agree, Communication is key. He might know that you want something but he might not know how much important it is to you. As an atheist, it think prayer is just as effective as visualization.
19) For us (it mostly works): I cook you clean. Seems fair.
20) What [#3] said (asking "how do you want me to remind you of ___?") works pretty well for us. That way we can ask things of each other without feeling naggy. A few things that haven't worked but have hilarious results: emulating the habit that you wish to change in the hopes of showing how annoying it is, going over your to do list out loud within earshot of the other person, allowing important things to remain undone while you take care of whatever you need the other person to do. This last one actually produced disastrous results because the thing I needed to be doing getting a fussy baby asleep for a nap, and instead, I carried him around with me while I did some household chores. I felt horrible, but the sound of a screaming baby is very motivating.
21) (from my husband's brother) Tell him to get off his ass and get it done. Seems to work for me. Ask Natalie she gets me motivated about stuff all the time.
Oh, If its not about my brother, I can't help you. Good luck.
22) Be open and up front about the issue
23) Bribery. Works every time.
24) I really enjoyed Mark Gungors "Laugh your way to a better marriage" series ( he has a website- materials can be accessed for free at the chaplains office for military ) he says you just have to be okay with asking a bunch of times. Nag is more a contemptuous attitude than asking. Ask and keep on asking Chica- Jesus said so lol

25) Positive reinforcement...and using a lot of "I" statements maybe?

26) Also, "I feel" statements - "I feel like you're not listening" instead of saying "you're not listening." definitely decreases the sense of attack.

27) get to the point and don't let it linger, yes word like "we and us" helps but in the end you got to tell it like it is and keep your priorities straight. Then if there's no response....you ramp it up to in your face stuff...

28) Google "I statements" and write one that works for you. Here is an example" when u don't take out the trash when I ask u too, I feel ignored. What I would like Is for you to make a regular schedule and set a reminder on your phone so I don't have to behave like your mom!!

Any of you have other ideas???

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gluten Free: One year later

Well it's officially been a year since I started a Gluten-Free lifestyle. After almost dying of Crohn's disease last year (I lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks), I found an awesome doctor who suggested from my symptoms and medical history that I might have gluten intolerance. While, I thought that was crazy, I was desperate, so I gave it a try. 2 weeks later, I woke up without pain for the first time in 15 years. I was able to discontinue the 4 medications I And it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

This year I learned the following about Gluten Free living:

1) It's not just for hippies.
2) Wait staff usually don't look at you funny when you ask for a gluten-free menu or what they have that is gluten-free
3) Making gluten-free pastries from scratch with weird flours (coconut flour does NOT work like wheat flour) is NOT the way to go. These are much easier to work with:


             Cup 4 Cup                                                             Betty Crocker Brownies and Cake Mixes

4) Bring something you can eat to potlucks in case no one else does.
5) Splurging on something not gluten-free is NOT worth being sick for a week
6) Making your own GF treats is actually kind of fun :)
7) There's lots of stuff you CAN eat... replacing wheat stuff with rice (but check the spices for MSG), potatoes, and corn products is pretty easy.
8) Hotdogs are gluten-free.... soy sauce is not (but the GF version tastes mostly the same).
9) I miss doughnuts and ranch dressing the most!
10) Mexican food and Japanese food have tons of GF options... even though they may not know it at the restaurant themselves :)
11) The biggest thing I learned is how supportive my friends could be! (Thanks again, Sarah for the birthday fiasco of 2012!)

Doberman Bulletin Board tutorial

So I decided as a government employee who is about to be a homeowner again and isn't getting paid; no buying new house stuff... But that doesn't mean I can't do some fun decorating and updating with stuff I already own.

I've decided my home office will be gray and turquoise/beachy blue (the blue has always been part of my "office theme" since my first job b/c it makes me happy and less stressed). After playing on pinterest, I decided I wanted to make This:

But make it more my style... So I made this:

  • bulletin board
  • 3 paint colors (I used cheap acrylic)
  • A large silhouette photo of your pet (regular paper is fine, but thicker would be better)
  • pushpins
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • sponge brush or largish paint brush
  • small-medium paint brush

I started with an old bulletin board lying around the house (they sell them at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Target, Michael's, etc). I took a photo of our handsome Doberman and enlarged it to full page:

Then I cut out his silhouette and pinned it to the board and traced around it:

Then I painted inside the pencil marks with the medium/small paint brush (it doesn't have to be perfect at this point):

Once that dried, I put the photo silhouette back over the blue part:

And painted the gray over the entire board with the sponge brush (I should have done the white first, just FYI-- the lighter color on the bottom is better, but I kinda wanted the grey to show through a little so it was antique-y :):

*Be sure you paint away from the stencil and not under the paper so the paint doesn't get under it.



Let it dry, then apply the chevron "Frog Tape" (you can get it at Lowe's or Home Depot), and paint the second color (it took me 2 tries to get it even... I recommend using a ruler instead of guessing the spacing lol):
Let it dry, and pull off the tape, remove the stencil. And TA-DA:

So my office will look super cute and the décor will be ready when we move in :). Total cost less than $20 if I bought everything new (which of course I didn't).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guest Blog- Transitioning from Military to Civilian Jobs

Well I had a cool surprise this week. Someone asked to be a guest blogger on my site! Which was really cool given my reader list is like 5 people. But hey, you gotta start somewhere. It reminded me maybe I should be blogging more... I always feel so narcissistic about it. Does anyone really care what I have to say? But this is a cool article that deal with one of my favorite population groups (veterans) and an issue that is very close to home since I am married to one those unemployed veterans!

Anyway, without further suspense, here is an article regarding programs and services that are being offered to military personnel, particularly veterans, and their families, to assist with finding various employment opportunities.


Looking for a Civilian Job? How to Effectively Transition from the Military

Adjusting to civilian life after a career in the military can be difficult, especially when it comes to finding a job. There are many obstacles you need to overcome, but fortunately your experience and skills work in your favor. As a veteran, you'll find ample opportunity even in a recovering economy. Employers are always looking for dependable people, and your military service proves that you're reliable and dedicated. Unfortunately, many myths circulate regarding the transition from military to civilian life, and I'm here to dispel some of the most common ones. Rest assured that you can find the civilian job of your dreams if you're willing to put forth the effort.

Myth #1: I've been in the service for so long that I won't be able to find a civilian job.

Truth: No matter how long you serve, you will still be attractive to employers. In fact, longer military careers actually showcase your commitment and perseverance more than anything, and these skills translate well into any job. With a long military career, you've gained many transferable skills that employers value. Keep in mind that you're not alone when it comes to finding work. Recruit Military, a recruiting company that works specifically with veterans and their spouses, will help connect you to companies looking for new talent as well as educational opportunities. They can also help craft your resume and connect you with job fairs nationwide.

Myth #2: Employers don't care about potential candidates.

Truth: Prior to the Industrial Revolution, employers could easily replace laborers because there weren't any regulations or advantages to hiring people with skills. Thankfully skilled labor is much more preferable to unskilled, and these days it's even more crucial to hire good people. Because of this, employers value good candidates and specifically work to hire them. They offer daycare services, yearly bonuses and other perks for attracting new talent. Using convenient application platforms like JIBE, a mobile recruiting company, employers are making it even easier to apply for positions by working around your busy schedule.

Myth #3: I won't be able to find work because of my service-related disability.

Truth: Not only is it illegal to discriminate based on disability, but most employers genuinely want to hire veterans for a variety of reasons. They might get incentives for specifically hiring veterans or they may just value your skills and service. If you're worried that your disability may affect your ability to perform certain jobs, then never fear: There are organizations that can help you find satisfying employment no matter your disability. The U.S. Department of Veterans offers many programs designed specifically for veterans with disabilities, including job training, counseling and rehabilitative services. [PS- This is where Liz works]

Myth #4: Because I don't have a job, my only job is to look for one.

Truth: Nothing raises red flags more than large gaps in employment on a resume. While you should treat job-hunting like your job for the time being, you should also be exploring ways to make your resume stand out and to give back to the community. Volunteer work actually helps your overall impression, and it allows you to spend some time not thinking about the stress of finding a job. It's a win-win situation: You contribute to your local community while taking a break from intensive job hunting. Employers may reward you for the effort. Many companies value employees who show that they care about their community.

Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at http://smileasithappens.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Human Trafficking-- What is Texas Doing Right Now?

So I haven't blogged in months, but I saw this and decided it needed to be discussed. My poli-sci and social work degrees require that I talk about this :). In the Texas legislature right now is House Bill 91 and its corresponding partner Senate Bill 92. First, I am going to break down what each bill says and tell you why those of us who are against child prostitution, against human trafficking, and for survivor rehabilitation should care about these bills.


This bill starts off by discussing designation of a juvenile court and a pre-adjudication diversion program (meaning the child wouldn't have to even go to court) for certain juveniles who are being charged with engaging in prostitution. This proposal states that there must be one court per county that is designated to handle these cases. These following ammendments to the current way juveniles charged with prostitution are being handled only apply to juveniles who seem to have been trafficked (For the purposes of Texas law, Human Trafficking is forced labor or services).

Law enforcement officers may NOT issue warnings to a child, but MUST take them into custody if the officer has probable cause that the child is engaging in prostitution because of being trafficked. This is great, because it may help rescue a child who otherwise had no safe way out of the situation.

The next section of the proposed bill provides non-mandatory (but suggested) guidelines for how juvenile records are kept/disposed of and whether or not the child may complete a “first offender” program to have his/her record expunged prior to becoming an adult. It provides the option of a Trafficked Persons Court Program to allow for deferred adjudication and/or dismissal of the criminal charges related to prostitution. The juvenile board (discussed and mandated above) basically has free-rein to design this and/or other programs for child survivors of trafficking under these amendments to the bill.

Okay, so why do we care? Basically, this allows there to be alternatives to locking kids up into juvie for something they didn’t have a choice to be involved in when it began. Also it allows for education to assist these kids in learning how to not be victimized again. Now, here is my question… where will these children be living while they are attending these classes? What will they do when they are not in the program? Will the program be designed as a school-type program (all day classes), a therapeutic environment, or a class once a week? From the simple reading of the bill, it looks like that is up to the juvenile court that is designated with this task in each county.

And this brings me back to SSTEP, which would be an ideal way to do this program. I am hoping to meet with some of the Texas legislators in the next few weeks to discuss HB91/SB92 and how SSTEP can be a part of this program.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


So over the last 2 months, I have lost 21 lbs. While I was looking to lose some weight, this was not the way I wanted to do it. I have been on steriod medications, anti-spasmatics, anti-nausea, and pain meds. I still can't wear normal pants, but the pain is a little better today. The colonoscopy showed I do still have Crohn's disease (no joke), but it's not severe enough to be causing the symptoms I am having. So the next test will be a camera swallow. I've had it down before, it's kinda weird. It's the size of a really big multi-vitamin and has a light that blinks on every few minutes to take a photo inside. It's kind of a cool little thing. You wear a belt with a transmitter and they download the pics after it passes through.

I'm working with another doctor thanks to one of my besties Natalie:

(This was so long ago, but I LOVE IT)
She's a fellow Crohn's sufferer and had great success with the approach from Dr. Lawrence. So for the next 2 weeks, I am flooding the body with good bacteria, enzymes, and gluten-free diet (I was supposed to do dairy and gluten-free, but I can't do it... I need my dairy). I've made it 2 days so far... lol... Not noticing a difference yet, but hopefully soon....Anyway, that's the update on my health.

In other news, my birthday is on Tuesday. Last year of my 20's... Maybe it's cuz I've been so sick, but I'm not excited about it like I usually am. I mean, I'm not depressed either... just don't really care... Maybe it's the promise of gluten-free cake that makes it sound less than fun...lol

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Crohn's Update

Back on the prednisone, a longer dose than before. So I'll probably puff up this time. I think I need to invest in maternity clothes until this all subsides. As if the nausea, vomiting, and other stuff wasn't enough, time to get fat... No one have a wedding or other special event requiring life-long treasured photos in the next few weeks/months, ok?!