Tails from a mother of five in photos, videos, humor and short stories...welcome to our zoo!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - A Day at Two Parks

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.























The school district had parent teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday so the kids had those days off of school.  We had a lot of fun enjoying the time off and beautiful weather.  On Thursday I took the four younger ones to two different parks near us.  I felt the need to get them out of the house to ease my anxiety. Sometimes I come up with great ideas. What did you do over the weekend?



Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
Wordless Wednesday




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Monday, October 27, 2014

Slowing Down October

Today is October 27 and I can not believe that the month is nearly over.  I noticed that I have been updating this blog less and less so I will try my best to write more often. It seems like my days fly by faster and faster.  Don't you wish that you could just make your day go in slow motion?  I certainly do.

When I was talking to Chris the other day I told him that I never get my to-do list done. Does that ever happen to you?  I couldn't tell if he even cared when I said that because he was silent.

This month has been filled with nearly every emotion possible for us. We had days of celebration, like when we found out that Goose is getting B's in her math classes.  But then there was the terrifying day when Kitty wanted to kill herself.  I wish I could slow down the happier days and just fast forward past the bad ones.  But like most families we get through them all and are still plugging away at the daily tasks in our life. 

Right now I am sitting here on the big brown chair in our living room just soaking in the silence while I imagine that the rest of this month being a little slower. Little Bear is taking his nap a little earlier than usual and the other four are at school.  I can hear the distant hum of a car travelling down Westport Ridge. Looking out my window i see the yellowing fall leaves of the maple tree gracefully fall to the ground in the breeze. Wouldn't it be nice to just be a leaf?  For just one day I want to know what it feels like to be carried by a fall wind. If I were a leaf I could escape all my stress and anxiety.  I wouldn't have to worry about what I am fixing for dinner or whether or not Monkey and Bear are going to sleep in their own beds tonight. I wouldn't have to think about when I am going to get those dishes done or how long it is going to take the little ones to mess up my clean living room.



For now I will soak up this quiet time while it lasts. I will close my eyes and imagine October just a little slower.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Our Week in Photos

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

Monkey and Bear are getting along a little better.


We gave Kitty some "magic hair tonic."







Kitty is learning how to play the guitar.

Goose spends way too much time in her messy bedroom.

Kitty had a rough day when she found out she did not make it onto student council.

Monkey was super excited about going to Grandma's house.

I took a photo of Parrot's latest puzzle that he put together, but someone got  a hold of my phone and deleted a bunch of my photos.  

Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
Wordless Wednesday




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Monday, October 20, 2014

My New Project

I am starting a new project and I need to reach out to bloggers for your help.  Before I get into the details of my project first I need to give you a little background about myself and my history with blogging.


Some of you may not be familiar with my main blog, Healthy Moms Magazine.  I have been blogging there since 2007.  It started off as a way for me to share health and wellness information that I have learned from my inspiration (my husband Chris) and what I researched myself.  Chris inspired me to get into the health and wellness niche because he was born with a heart condition which led to him being morbidly obese.  When he was in college he changed his lifestyle completely and lost over 100lbs.  Obesity and diabetes run in his family and I want to make sure my children stay healthy. In 2007 I had three children and that is why I started that blog.

 I believe that the only way we can combat obesity in the United States is to educate families so they can make healthy decisions.  I do not think the government needs to be involved because we are smart enough to make our own decisions. I try my best to provide tips and answers on Healthy Moms Magazine so that people can make the right decisions.

The Healthy Moms Magazine has grown over the years and I have over 30K subscribers and social media followers. I also have 16 bloggers from the health and wellness niche that contribute there.  It is my main source of income and I consider it my main blog.  This blog is just a diary, or way to document what my life was like (is like) when (while) my kids were (are still) little.

Now to the details of my new project.  Blogging has changed over the years, especially the way bloggers make money with their blogs.  A lot of "mommy bloggers" earn money through ad networks that get them lined up with brands.  They then write sponsored posts which they get paid for. Most of you probably do this on a regular basis.  But Google made some dramatic changes to the way they index websites.  If you are a blogger and you disclose in any way that you got paid to write something, then Google will penalize you and that post will get pushed way back in their index.  But, there is a catch, a few years back the FTC declared that bloggers must disclose if they got paid or compensated to write something.

Healthy Moms Magazine is an educational website which people turn to for answers to their health, wellness and parenting questions.  It is crucial that my site gets high rankings in Google. That is where 80% of my traffic comes from. Therefore, I can't write very many sponsored posts. Because of this I have seen my income decline dramatically and I need to do something about it.

I already have over 2,000 posts on Healthy Moms Magazine.  In 2011 I went to an editor's summit in Albuquerque. There I met some fantastic bloggers and published authors.  One of the authors told me that I should write a book.  I have thought long and hard about this ever since.  She also said that with my blog, my book is already started.  She was right.

 I am going to take posts from my blog, organize them, expand on them and put it together as an Amazon Kindle book.  I am determined to sell enough in order to pay for Kitty's guitar lessons and the hosting and maintenance of all of my websites (thehealthymoms.net, talbertzoo.com, healthymoms-social.com and healthymomsmedia.com). I also do not want to have to go back to work when Bear starts school.  I prefer working for myself.

I am looking for bloggers to help me with this project.  I need at least 5 bloggers to edit the book, and as many as possible to write up a review on their blog and on Amazon of it once it is for sale.  In return, the bloggers who edit the book will have their names and the link to their blog in a special thank you page in the book.  The bloggers who review it will get a free copy and can use their Amazon affiliate links in their review on their blog.  I have no idea how long it will take me to complete this.  I haven't even started the project yet.

If you are interested in helping my out you can e mail me at talbertcascia@yahoo.com. Please include your name, the link to your blog, and if you want to be an editor or reviewer. I am going to compile all the interested bloggers into a spreadsheet and you will be notified of the progress of the project and more details on the editing process.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dreaming

I have been doing a lot of dreaming lately.  It is not just the dreaming that you do when you are asleep at night, I also dream when it is quiet in the house and I only have this little guy for company.


Being a mother of five children, four with special needs, is very challenging for me. So I dream about what my life would be like if they were different, or if they were a little older.  What if always crosses my mind. What would my life be like if if I was a little less anxious? How would I handle my household if my kids were more normal? I am a dreamer and a worrier.  That is probably why I don't sleep very well at night.

Just last week I had an appointment at the Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry, Illinois for a mental health intake for Goose, Kitty and Monkey.  I had never been to McHenry and the thought of driving on unknown roads makes me anxious. I was also concerned about the appointment itself. When my anxiety becomes difficult for me to handle I pray. My faith is the only thing that keeps me going.

The highway on the way to McHenry from where I live in Crystal Lake is under construction. As soon as traffic slowed down due to the construction I started to become anxious again. But then I looked to the left side of the road and saw a majestic bird.  I believe that God sent that bird as a sign to let me know that everything would be alright.  

Everything did turn out alright except that later I found out that I did not have to pull my younger kids out of school to take them along for the appointment.  All I did was fill out paper work. The kids do not have a mental health assessment until next month.  I only have to bring Goose to that appointment.  Every time Kitty pulls her hair out or Monkey physically hurts another kid or puts himself in danger I lose more sleep. I don't know how much longer I can wait for them to get the help that they need.  In the meantime I will continue to pray and dream.

What do you dream about?


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - What we Have Been up to This Week

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

This post is going to be a Word-full post because when I took a closer look I noticed that I haven't updated this blog in a week. A lot happens in a week here at the Talbert Zoo.



The weather here in Chicago has been cold and rainy for the past couple of days.  If I remember correctly from my 29 years living in Wisconsin this is very typical for October in the Midwest. Last night there was a tornado warning issued about 60 miles southeast of here. I thought that was pretty unusual.

Yesterday was Columbus Day and all the kids were home from school.  Icky weather plus no school equals cranky and bored kids. I got to listen to them complain for most of the day. All they wanted to do yesterday was watch TV or play with electronics.  Because I limit their screen time it didn't take long for the first kid to begin complaining.






Kitty decided to run for student council at school. She had to make campaign items to pass out to her classmates and on Friday she needs to give a speech.  I am so proud of her. My only hope is that if she doesn't win she can keep her cool and not throw a fit. We'll see.  

Kitty has also started learning how to play the guitar.  I had to purchase a guitar for her because the one we have is a full size adult guitar.  She looks so cool with her little guitar.  On Saturdays we go to this little music school downtown and I get to sit in on her private lesson with the adult guitar.  We are having so much fun and this is a great way to bond with my little girl.  I'll have to post a photo of her with her guitar. 

About a year ago I was able to afford to purchase a new laptop.  It is an HP TouchSmart. The keys are embedded closer to the base of the keyboard than older laptops.  Since Little Bear had become an expert at removing the keys off of my old laptop I was thrilled when I saw the keys on my new one. Unfortunately, the other day he figured out how to rip out the keys from this one. I was able to snap them back in but now the left side shift key doesn't work right and the slash hash key directly below the backspace will not stay in place.  I am very angry about this. I might have to see about ordering replacement keys.  

I am growing to love it here in Crystal Lake.  My favorite place is our church. The parishioners at St. Elizabeth Anne Seton are very friendly and welcoming.  It is also a busy and active parish with tons of groups and ministries for the parishioners to get involved in.  They have a Little Flowers group for young girls.  It is an alternative to Girl Scouts named for St. Therese "The Little Flower." Of course I got Kitty involved in Little Flowers. They meet every other Thursday. At the meetings they learn about the saints, pray together, do a craft, sing and have a short adoration in the chapel.  Their meetings are so beautiful and you can feel God's presence among the little girls there. I cried during the first meeting. Little Flowers has been a blessing for myself and Kitty.  I am making new friends with the moms of the girls in that group.  Making new friends as an adult has been extremely difficult for me, especially after having kids. 

I have so much more to share with my readers about our week, but Little Bear is begging me to make him a snack.  The updates on the rest of the kids is going to have to wait for another post.

Oh, before I forget, do you like my new design? It isn't complete yet.  All I have left is to create a new button and icon and fix some minor details. As always thanks for visiting!



Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
Wordless Wednesday




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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Boys

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

Yeah! They are actually getting along! Little Bear and Monkey usually fight and do not like to share their toys with each other. But, on this particular day they were drawing and coloring together. I snapped a few photos. Most of them were blurry.  This was the best one so I edited it a little so it doesn't appear as blurry.








Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
Wordless Wednesday




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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Home of the Crazies

Yes I love my kids and all their flaws. They are not perfect and neither am I.  Why do I call it the "home of the crazies?" Chris and I always joke around that we only have one normal kid, Little Bear. We tried and tried for a normal kid and by the time we got to number 5, finally we hit the jackpot! He is a sweet little boy without any social, emotional or mental problems.  Taking care of him is easy. But I also have to deal with  of all the issues that arise from our four "not so normal" children.  Here are the stats below.


Goose

Goose is the farthest thing from your typical teenage girl.  She has never had a boyfriend (thank God!), does not know how to keep her room clean, is terrified of needles of any kind, and her main goal in life is to have fun.  She also has Asperger's, (high functioning autism), anxiety, is socially awkward, depression, and sometimes has uncontrollable anger outbursts.  She is on fluoxetine and another drug to control her emotions and anxiety.  

Kitty 

When you first meet Kitty you probably would have no idea that she has issues.  She is super funny, outgoing and friendly.  She loves to entertain and always knows how to make me laugh.  She also knows how to make me cry, yell and lose sleep.  Kitty suffers from anxiety related trichotillomania.  When she gets upset or anxious she will hide in a bathroom either at home or at school and pull her hair out of her head or pull her eyebrows and eyelashes out.  Back in Spokane it was only her eyebrows and eyelashes but now it has spread to the top of her scalp.  She has a very severe case because she started when she was four and hasn't stopped yet.  Most kids with trich start pulling between the ages of 8-12.  My daughter started when she was much younger and is having a harder time stopping.  

Parrot

He is my somewhat eccentric, autistic genius with obsessive compulsive tendencies. I think that sentence says it all.  Believe it or not Parrot is my best behaved kid.  He loves to please others and can take care of himself. He also has the cleanest bedroom in my house.

Monkey

What can I say about Monkey? He is a very difficult child.  I am having him evaluated for ADHD in a couple of weeks.  Monkey does not know how to keep his hands to himself and often tackles, hits, kicks or punches other kids at home and school. He's been sent to the office at Kindergarten already and I am just waiting for them to send him home for his behavior issues.  He also acts on impulse which can sometimes put him in danger.  For example, he doesn't understand that it is not safe to run around in a busy parking lot away from mom and dad.  He often gets lost in the grocery store because he will get distracted and stop paying attention to where mom and dad are going.  He does not get along very well with his siblings and parenting this child is very difficult.

So what do you think? Is my home crazy enough for you?? On October 8 I will be taking Goose, Kitty, and Monkey in for evaluations at the Pioneer Center for Human Services in Woodstock, Illinois.  Finally they will get the help that they need and maybe I will become more sane too.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Talbert Kids

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.








Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
Wordless Wednesday




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