Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Social Media Chat

I think most of us can all agree on the fact that social media has taken a huge BOOM in our society as of the past 7 years or so. Just think about these questions for a second... how many times do you pick up your phone to check Instagram? Then switch it over to Snapchat? Now time to check Twitter? Then see what's the happs on Facebook?

I am certainly guilty of picking up my phone quite frequently to see what's the latest and the greatest with everyone and everything. Commercial on TV... check it. Break from working and grading papers... check it. LO is playing on his own or fell asleep... check it (and record it while I can!). It happens so frequently and quickly that when I stop to actually think about it, it scares me!

I think there are some amazing advantages of social media in today's world. Some of which are:

// Hearing about BREAKING NEWS other than waiting until late at night to watch the news. Reading about the news on Twitter has helped keep me in the loop with the things I find most important, instead of hearing about things that I would rather not engage in.

// Reading about BUSINESS ARTICLES that help in today's work environment. Today's workforce is changing, one reason being the immediate access we have to the internet (great article on technology and generational differences). Word travels fast, which can make competition a bit more interesting. But it can also help benchmark on current trends and what's possible.

// The ability to read or hear about PERSONAL STORIES from others who might be going through similar situations as you are. This point is HUGE for me and social media. I love following business people, moms, wives, go-getters... people that align with my personal values. It's extremely helpful to read about what worked for them, how they reacted, or referring someone in any situation.

On the flip side, social media and technology alone can also be...

- Draining of presence and time
- Unrealistic [come on... how many times can you think about yourself taking bright lighting pictures or plunged yourself in beautiful looking blooms?!]
- Depressing to compare yourself to others

All that said and exposed, it's time I take a serious minimalistic point of view on this social media ordeal. I pledge to utilize different technology for all the right reasons and purge all those bad reasons!

What's your stance on social media today?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Springing Outside

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring, and I am excited for spending more and more time outdoors with my LO! I'm sure you can tell by now, but playing sports and staying active is a huge part of our lives, from both my hubs family and mine. Not to say I'm a sucker for reminiscing about the good ol' days of playing outdoors with all of my cousins... from kickball... to pretend carnivals... to ice skating (aka rollerblading). We LOVED being outside and using our imaginations to be whatever we wanted to be. And I will fully support that with Mata and his sister-to-be!

Yes, it would be great if he picked up a sport here and there (football never disappoints my cheering game!), BUT I also don't wanna be a parent who pressures him to be this or that... not as young as he is anyway. So you can imagine how excited I am that Mata loves any type of ball, ever since he was able to hold his first Husker football. He loves watching me chase after the ball that rolls down the street when he throws it out to nobody. I may get tired after the 5th ball rolling down the street, but it's well worth hearing him laugh and giggle.

I swear there's such a huge difference in my LO's attitude and sleep from when we spend time outdoors rather than staying inside the whole day. Moving to Nebraska requires some tolerance of winter days meaning you just can't seem to leave the house when it's freezing and snowing. BUT it also makes us that much more grateful for gorgeous days where we can actually enjoy the weather outside!

In any case, if you're wondering what we've been up to lately... a whole lot of sunshine and catching some fresh vitamin D outdoors!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3 Translations of Football to Business

I just LOVE when sports and business are intertwined (especially football!). When I worked for USC, we spent time on professional development as a team once a quarter. We would utilize these days as a condensed version of a retreat, where the day would be structured around spending time away from the computer and connecting with one another. There was always some type of theme we would base our day on, and when it came to the day where I had a part in planning, you KNOW I was about to do my all to insert sports in the day! We ended up heading to the football practice field, and spent the afternoon with my fave coach (the Hubs) talking about how football translated into our business world... same discipline... same teamwork... same leadership.

I came across an article on Football Scoop written about how Pete Carroll breaks down his practices for the Seattle Seahawks. I couldn't help by get a sparkle in my eye when I heard ALL TYPES of my lingo in the video interview. I've actually read about Pete Carroll's leadership philosophy in a few different books, and I've got to say... he's got this leadership thing working on his side. Just look at the successes he has carried throughout his coaching career!

I thought I would share the three main areas of importance Pete Carroll mentioned in his interview, which I thought were key in his leadership approach:

Pete (yes, on a first name basis now) talks about how his coaches meet 30 minutes before practice every day to get on the same page. They are expected to exert the energy they want to see in their players. Just as managers and leaders in an organization should demonstrate... leading by example in a transparent manner helps employees gain a clear perspective of what is expected of them. A key quote from Pete... "It starts with ME." ** Leadership stars all the way around! **

The Seahawks spend 2 hours practicing, and no more. They key is shaving down time during and in between drills by saving the chats with teammates for before or after practice. They also run to their next drill alongside the coaches to bank even more time. Although it's important to network and socialize at work to work on personal relationships, the more employees are mindful of how much time is spent socializing vs. getting work done, the less they have to jam pack in a day's work.

I love this point Pete makes about his players! He says competition is about striving for what you want, and not beating the other person down. Many employees get caught up in showing up another person so they can prove they're more qualified for a promotion or bonus. The only person we should be competing against in life is ourselves, striving to get better than what we were yesterday. "The guy across from you is the guy that makes you."- Pete Carroll

One other key thing Pete mentioned was effort. If players don't execute the way expected, coaches will first and foremost critique their effort. The effort players demonstrate is much more important to provide feedback on than the mistake they made in the run, play, or whatever went wrong.

These types of tips will not only help the leader (coach) out, but it also benefits the employees (players) as well as the organization (NFL or NCAA) in entirety. I'm excited to finish/start reading a few books that also translates sports into business... The Inner Game of Tennis and Legacy.

What speaks to you when you think of leadership?

Monday, March 13, 2017

3 Things That Can Help With Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and the time change has made it real deal for me! What I thought would be a nice wake up call for my LO at 7am instead of 6am didn't happen for us... instead he decided to keep to his schedule and wake up same time, which actually would have been 5am. Needless to say, time has changed but our routine hasn't (and that's fine with me!).

There's something about the sun being out longer that makes the days feel longer, which means more time to get errrr done! Spring cleaning is something on my mind as of late, and I've already started to make a list of things I aspire to get done this month. I've successfully been able to check off a few things on my list, thanks to some key items that are helping me check off my to do's:

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda
This is ONE amazing combo right here, folks! And if you add some freshly squeezed lemon in there, it can help tolerate that strong vinegar scent. I used this amazingly simple solution to wipe down my dusty cupboards throughout the house, and clean the bathroom floors!

2. Magic Erasers
I've been sleeping on these bad boys. It's the most simplest thing in the universe to use... soak with water, squeeze out the excess and wipe anything and everything down! I wiped down my windowsills and baseboards and it did the job I've been forever procrastinating to do.

3.Vacuum Storage Bags
Since my LO was born, I knew I wanted to keep all of his clothes just in case God blessed our family to expand with other boys. I've always kept his clothes, accessories and shoes in freezer bags, neatly marked with a sharpie and stored in nice big bins. Now that Mata is growing like a weed, so are his clothes, and I can probably get one pair of pants per freezer bag. I found these bad boys on Amazon (of course!) and I'm excited to store a ton of his clothing items in one bag alone... vacuum sealed and all!

The sooner I complete my list, the sooner I can enjoy some nice Spring weather (once this cold spell is GONE)... and the more we can enjoy Spring Break with the Hubs which will be a nice break from Spring Football!

What are some of your spring cleaning faves?

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Positive Week

Reflecting back to just this past week alone, it has been amazingly productive and positive for me! Last week I chatted here about finding my legacy in life and leaving something behind that will live on through others. I really wanted to put some action behind my thoughts, and that's just what I started to do.

First off, I had great hands of help with the LO so I can actually take time to focus and work. I had a sitter come over twice this week which enabled me to actually work while the sun was up opposed to waiting late at night for the hubs to get off work! She is a doll, and Mata loves her!

If that wasn't enough, we had a surprise visitor pop up on our doorstep (literally!) late one night. First reaction to the doorbell ringing at 1:30am was for the Hubs to grab a weapon before answering anyone! But after a follow-up knock and a peep out the window, he decided to open the door cautiously, and to our complete and utter surprise was one of our fave Aunts who flew all the way from Cali to spend some QT with baby (and us). BLESSED!

In the beginning of the week, I made a to-do list for work, for blogging, and for my legacy research! What I can say about my research is that I have a better understanding of myself and my strengths results. I really thought long hard about how my strengths play into my daily life and how they help create my call to action. I'm an advisor and a provider... basically meaning that I love to create intimate unique relationships with others, while bringing the best judgment I can into someone's life. All that said, I know that I'm meant to coach others... to listen... to bring forth the best solution possible, knowing that each person is individually different. I've had this epiphany before, but I'm seeing opportunities differently through a new set of lenses. THAT is exactly what I needed to move forward with this mission of mine!

All to say that my week was extremely productive and motivating for me. I am ecstatic to continue this path of discovery and reflection!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Playing Indoors

Mata is in a really fun stage right now! Language is blooming as he's learning to repeat actual words that we say (filter times ten!), he's understanding more dialect, and he's using his imagination quite a bit! Anything with buttons on it has to be a phone that he puts up to his ear as he says, "HOOOOH" which translates to Hello. Now that I can see him responding to words differently and in a more advanced way, we also try to explain things that may or may not be acceptable. I'm not sure if he quite gets it, but he certainly does talk back in his jibberish!

It's fun for me to snap away and capture his adventures on camera, but it's also nice to document things down in writing to reflect back on in his baby book! Here are a few of his favorite things (**in my Julie Andrews voice**):

- Goldfish
- Chicken
- Quinoa
- Blueberries
- Oranges
- Strawberries

- Any shape, size, weight of a ball, although he's been favoring his football lately!
- Reading books
- Puzzles (more-so banging them together like they're cymbals)
- Coloring
- Cars

- Bubble Guppies
- Peppa Pig
- Color Crew
- Curious George

I try and advocate more play than watch, and he's a pretty good sport about exploring. He LOVES being outside so much, but the weather hasn't been consistently cooperating lately. In fact, it's supposed to snow again on Saturday (folks... we just had high 70-degree weather last week!). With that said, we'll have to make the indoors playing our thang for just a bit longer until those spring flowers start to bloom! I wanted to update his tent a bit and make it more comfy for him to lounge in as we read books, play his piano, or just sit and chat! So we did just that and stocked up on some staple pieces at Home Goods.

I'm excited to spruce up the play area a bit with a few new things to promote fun interactive play, especially when baby #2 makes her debut this summer!
What are your tips for making inside more inviting for the LOs?

Friday, March 3, 2017

What's Your Legacy?

I've been pondering about something as of late... which is what type of legacy I will leave behind on this earth when I am gone. I get so caught up in the daily routine I establish for myself (cleaning, caring and entertaining my LO, teaching, cooking, etc. etc. etc.), that I tend to lose focus of the bigger picture. The bigger picture being about what type of service I can provide for others. That's what life's all about, right? Serving others to gain a better understanding of yourself and your purpose in life. Well, that's my interpretation at least!

I think a starting point to answering this question for myself is to reflect, as I've been trying to make habit of lately. Here are some of my fave posts that can help address my thoughts...

// Strength. And not necessarily the kind you will find in the weight room!
I love reading my thoughts at any given point in my life (hence why I love the act of blogging!). It centers me around what my values are and also validates what I'm capable of. Completing a few assessments to learn even more about myself shed some light to those possibilities I've been pondering lately.

// Spring Ball. March brings Spring all the way around!
I remember going through Spring Ball when we were at Oregon State. Working in the football office meant that this was a nice reunion for the coaches and players on and off the field! Husker Spring Ball starts this weekend, which means the whistles will be blowing and the drills will begin yet again since we ended the season with the Bowl Game, and I AM EXCITED!

// Athleticism. I value this more than ever.
Asking questions to athletes is so intriguing to me because it's a time to get up close and personal beyond what we see on the field. Understanding Kyndra behind the softball and bat gives me such a deeper appreciation for what she does and who she is! There's a story to be told behind all of these jerseys, and I think they all deserve a moment to tell their stories!

Highlighting some of my favorite reflections is already helping me develop a mind map of the legacy I would like to leave behind... I think it's time for me to create a vision board and create some goals. That's just what I'll be up to this weekend (oh and going to watch the first Husker practice, of course!).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sleep Work

It's been quite a week and a half in our household! All three of us have been working long and hard at sleep training, getting our LO to transition out of 1. co-sleeping, 2. weaning off of nursing to sleep (I know... it was a horrible habit all the way around!), and 3. sleeping IN his room IN the crib!

When I was preggo with Mata, I was adamant on him sleeping in his own space because I knew how much I wanted him, the hubs and I to sleep well without disturbing one another. We started him off in his bassinet and a nap here and there in his crib. BUT it eventually morphed into him sleeping in bed with hubs and I when we travelled. It was just easier on everyone!

Fast forward to 17 months later of restless nights and early mornings, extremely early morning wake-up calls, soar back and bones and watching the monitor like a hawk so baby wouldn't roll off of the mountains of pillows we surrounded him with to contain him on our bed. The time had come to get this baby in his own space to sleep, not just at bedtime but for his naps too.

We began our journey with the lovely Lauren at Sleep and the City who I discovered through another blogger who sought out help from her as well! Lauren was a breath of fresh air to work with. She definitely knows a thing or two about babies and sleep, and totally helps customize an approach based on baby. Yes, I read books on the Sleep Lady Shuffle, the CIO method, and others in between. What was missing for me was all the tips for babies who didn't follow the instructions as directed. There were way too many things that happened outside of the text, I didn't know where to go or what to read for those what if's. When we started working with Lauren, she helped the hubs and I understand our LO in ways we hadn't, particularly because he isn't able to verbalize his thoughts and feelings as we did. So we didn't know if his breathless cries meant that we were hurting him and causing emotional damage... and so on!

Here we are... almost two weeks into the process after implementing multiple transition phases and a sleep plan consisting of: a consistent structured schedule of eating and sleeping, tweaking his sleeping environment, having the answers to our what happens if moments, and a TON of patience. We have made SO much progression in this half-way mark to the 3-4 week period of seeing a consistent change in sleep habits!
1.  Mata is solely sleeping in his CRIB
2.  He learned how to self-soothe himself to sleep (from a whine, to chatter, or just silence)
3.  Mata is sleeping a whopping 11-12 hours at night with one to NO wakings at night
4.  We are nursing LESS and definitely not to sleep
5.  Hubs and I have a decent chunk of time in the evening to enjoy each other as husband and wife
The picture above was taken the first morning he woke up from sleeping in his crib... and it's proof that he made it out alive and HAPPY!

I totally recommend reaching out to Lauren with SATC to see how she may be of help!

Have you been through similar issues with your LO? What worked for you?

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