Doing Math in the Car

Giles and I are driving home from an appointment, and Jarvie is at home with Abbey our current babysitter

Giles: Mom what is 5 + 5?

Mom: Well, what is 5 + 5?

Giles: 10

Mom: Of course!

Giles: What is 10 + 10?

Mom: I think you know that one. What is 10 + 10 Giles?

Giles: 20

Mom: Very Good!

Giles: Mom what is 100 + 100?

Mom: What do you think 100 + 100 is?

Giles: 200.

Mom: Very nice!

Giles: Mom what is 1000 + 100?

Mom: 1100

Giles: No it isn’t Mom! It’s 100,000.

Mom: No, it really is 1100. You have to be careful what your doing
addition, multiplication or subtraction.

Giles: Mom what is subtraction?

Mom: Subtraction is takeaways!

(Mom holds up five fingers, then holds two down)

Mom: Giles what is 5 takeaway 2?

Giles: 2! Well, I was just improvising, or at least I think I was

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, OH

Boys are 5 1/2

Gilie in the morning

It’s 7:00 AM and Gilie’s downstairs getting ready for school, while Jarvie hasn’t even gotten out of bed!

Mom: Where is your brother?

Giles: He’s still in bed! Mom, you know, Jarvie is obsessed with his bed!

Mom: Really?

Giles: Yah Mom, he really is obsessed with his bed!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, OH

Boys are 5 1/2

Move it, Move it, Move it!

So I had back surgery, last Spring in May 2015, just 4 months ago and I have been asked to have total knee replacement in March of 2016. I tell you what, that’s a lot to crunch on and absorb. I am a tad worried about how my two little 5 year olds will manage. It’s just so much for them to get through in such a short period of time.

In the next several months, in between the two surgeries, I will be exercising to strengthen my core muscles and my quadriceps. In common parlance, I need to strengthen my back and thighs to help the benefits of the back surgery to come to fruition and I need to strengthen the same muscle groups in order to prepare for the total knee replacement.

This morning, I met the physical therapist, Michelle Hribrar, otherwise known as Mickey, at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Sports Medicine department. Mickey was friendly, compassionate, and very knowledgeable. She didn’t miss a beat. I’ve been through physical therapy a several times already. Mickey is a keeper!

I did the typical, and filled out a few assessments, told her some of my story and then she got to work assessing strength and range of motion, and presenting a few exercises for me to start with immediately. The thing that is so amazing about physical therapists is they are just so good at isolating muscle groups and know just what to tell you to do to strengthen what is not working properly.

Moreover, she gave me hope. Mickey reminded me that I am only 4 months out of my back surgery and the body takes at least a year to heal from a surgery such as this. I still cannot walk the way I want to walk, or the distance that I want to cover, but Mickey thinks it will come with time.

So my plan is to continue walking around the block 5 days a week. Do my physical therapy exercises daily and start back at the JCC swimming or more likely moving through the water with the purpose of gently moving my muscles and toning up my core, my gluts, and my quads! I hope to get to the JCC 2 – 3 times each week, likely directly after physical therapy, which should be two times a week.

So that’s my plan. What is up with you? Do you need help too? Can you possibly arrange to see a physical therapist or chiropractor or personal trainer? Or do you want to go it alone? The point is to get moving. When you are behind the proverbial eight ball, you have to start somewhere to pull yourself together.

Why not create a plan that you can stick to today to move a bit more? Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Can you park farther away at the office? Can you walk to the corner? You know what your limitations are. You are the expert on you! Can you just reach a little further than you have been? What is one thing you can do, starting today, that would be a symbol of the fact that you have chosen to stop this freight train toward decreasing mobility and diminished quality of life?

Do you have a Fitbit? Do you know what a Fitbit is? A Fitbit is a piece of wearable technology, which can clip to your clothing or be worn like a watch. A Fitbit is an activity tracker that will give you a variety of personal data, like how many steps you’ve taken today, stairs you’ve climbed, and calories you have burned. It can also measure the quantity and quality of sleep you’ve had. A Fitbit can link to the Fitbit website and be used to record food intake, heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels.

Are you willing to invest in one? A Fitbit just might be the gadget you need to help you to become more in tune with your body and more on track regarding your fitness goals!

Gadgets not your thing? That’s okay, you can get where you are going, without all this information. It’s totally been done before! Fitbits are just one of the new items out helping people to attain their wellness goals. You can totally go it alone, and do a low tech program!

What are you willing to do to move yourself back in the direction of health? Go ahead give it a try. I swear you don’t even need a professional to get started. Just take one small step. Commit to it and then make it a habit! Then in a few weeks you can consider another one!

Why not take some time to flesh it out with paper and pencil, or should I say finger and tablet? Take a few minutes to create a roadmap for yourself. Write down five or six things that you would implement right now, if you knew, with absolute certainty, that they would become a reality.

Put a star next to the two items you feel are most pressing. Circle the one you are willing to commit to in the next week. Start today, if you think you can swing it. Get out your calendar and pencil in, when you will begin work on the second goal. Time is of the essence! Don’t let the day, the week, or the month get away from you! And don’t forget to move it!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Who Would Run the Things, in the Wake of a Medical Crisis?

Lots of things are cooking! I have been experiencing breathlessness and chest pain, so I went to the doctor to get some advice, as to how to proceed. The experience at the doctor’s office was a bit crazy, because on the one hand, I was dressed to attend a party at my sons’ school, after the appointment with the doctor, yet I was packed and ready to go to the hospital, if that’s what my doctor recommended! A girl always has to be prepared!

The EKG, done at the doctor’s office, showed no changes, over the last time I had one, which is a good thing. It may just have been esophageal spasm, which mimics the symptoms of heart attack.

Heck, I stopped some medicine inadvertently, when I was on vacation and started some new supplements, last Friday, around the time I started feeling not quite myself. I believe that resuming that medicine may improve things dramatically. And who knows if any of the supplements are the true culprit.

The new diet, that I am on, calls for plenty of apple cider vinegar, which seems highly acidic, yet people say it cures gastrointestinal reflux disease, which I do suffer from. So I, for one, would like to know what my gastroenterologist thinks about someone with GERD using apple cider vinegar on their salad. Could this be the cause of the chest pain?

The doctor recommended that I have a non-stress stress test, since I can’t do the typical running one. I will relax about all of this, if the non-stress stress test comes back clean!

I made it to the new family party at University School and had a few laughs! I got to skip the hospital entirely! So pleased to have narrowly escaped that one. So happy to be home looking after my boys instead!

You know, these issues are just that much harder to deal with when you are a single mom by choice, without any back-up! I mean heck, had it gone the other way, and the doctor thought I needed to be in the hospital, who would have looked after the boys? My octogenarian parents? The babysitter, who planned today would be her last day, since she is returning to college shortly? One of my brothers? My sister? An old nanny? Who? Who at the drop of a hat, would be available, and knows the house, the animals, the boys and our routine, such that they could ramp up and take over, without much instruction, and run my household? These are the questions that cause real stress.

What back-up plan do you have, when you are down for the count? How would you cover your obligations, if you suddenly had to be hospitalized? Who would man the fort? Have you thought about these issues, or do you prefer to bury your head in the sand, and try to pretend that day will never come? Take a minute right now and review who would carry on, if you were brought to your knees. Be specific. It is important to know who you would call.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
One Woman’s Experience Recovering From Medical Challenges
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in Unicersity Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Samuel Yen’s Pioneering Research in Reproductive Endocrinology

I was at my elementary school reunion this weekend, visiting with friends I hadn’t seen for 43 and even 45 years. People came to Cleveland, Ohio from Illinois, New York, Southern California and even from Tokyo!

I got to visit with friends, who moved away to Fort Myers, Florida and La Jolla, California, when we were only 10. It was a fabulous weekend of bridging new connections, with old friends.

The most extraordinary thing happened, when I asked my friend Carol what branch of medicine her father had practiced. She told me he was an OB/GYN, and conducted all the pioneering research for IVF and Surrogacy. It knocked my socks off. I used to spend the night at her house and was in the mix with her Dad, the great Dr Yen.

This man with his 450 some studies and 40 book chapters on reproductive endocrinology changed the course of my life! Without him and his ground breaking work, I wouldn’t have my boys. Oh I want to thank him a thousand times, but he’s no longer with us. He died several years back in 2006.

I am in awe of him and the fact that I knew him as a little girl. But then again, the truth is he changed so many of our lives. This great science and technology brought me the most important of relationships in my life. He helped me to complete my life.

I’ve always wondered who figured this all out and how did they do it. All along it was him! Little did I know that when I was losing my childhood girlfriend to La Jolla, California, her father was going to a job to work in this exact area! Truly astounding!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach at Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Summer Vacation 2015

Our family vacation nearly got lost in the sauce this year. Jarvie, Giles and I were invited a year ago to visit my brother in Thetford, Vermont and my sister in Boston. Little did anyone know that I would have back surgery in the spring and that Jim, my sister-law’s father, would die a few weeks before our trip, making the timing of our trip less than ideal. Our compromise was that we would forge ahead and go on the trip, but stay at a resort, instead of staying with my brother and his family, allowing them more space and time to plan for the memorial service for Jim.

Nonetheless, the Lafave’s headed east and north for vacation this summer. First, we flew to Boston and then headed by car to South Hamilton, to visit my sister Annie and her family. Annie lives in horse country and true to form, there is horse farm across and next to her beautiful home. These pastures are home to the Harvard Polo Team and truly idyllic. Her dogs Piper and Lexi are free to roam and often saunter off with friends, as they pass by. Life doesn’t get much better!

While with Annie, we went on the Duck Tour in Boston, which is a bus, which tours the city and then becomes a boat, which tours the harbor. The boys, who are 5 1/2, loved the Duck Tour, but were dissappointed that the bus didn’t turn into a real duck!

After our visit with Annie and her clan, we journeyed by Lincoln Town & Country mini vanup to Lake Morey Resort in Vermont, near Thetford, where my brother Artie and his family have a summer home. Lake Morey provided just enough child activities to enrich the day. My boys took golf lessons, had story hour, engaged in crafts, played games, swam in the lake, went paddle boarding, canoeing, speed boating, played pool, and viewed family movies in the theatre, after dinner, and before bed.

The third leg of our trip was with my friend, Kate Stevens, from my Oberlin days of yore. Kate lives in Beverly, MA right on the water, not far from my sister Annie. Never did get a chance to glimpse John Theriault, whom Kate married shortly after college, as he was away on business in Singapore. Kate took us all over the place. We learned to “numb up” at the several beaches Kate paraded us around. The water was a bit cold, but once you get in, you can get used to it!

Have you been on a family vacation or any vacation, lately, at all? I think of vacations as much like punctuation. They demarcate periods of time before, after and during the vacation. It seems like if you simply stay home, and just do your regular routine, the days seem to blend together somehow. They lack the focus you feel when you remember a trip or a vacation!

Vacations are opportunities for creating a little history and making a few wonderful memories. Even if you can’t go away far, or for long, take a weekend trip, not far from home. We have done several trips like this including friends we adore! Sometimes getting away for just the weekend, somewhere just an hour away,is enough to make you feel, as if you’ve been away for longer and travelled a much greater distance. It is possible to be close to home, but feel light years away!

If you are a bit more strapped, try a staycation and save the money on airfares, gas and lodging and devote that money to living it up a bit in your home town. Create an actual schedule and stick to it. Go to the zoo, the museum, take in a movie, go swimming at a fancy location. And don’t forget about dinner. Dine out at a few favorite restaurants and fix a few fabulous meals.

One of my cousins had a tradition of having Family Fun Days, in which their family did everything together and no outsiders were included. Everyone in the family protected those days and really looked forward them. Why not create a few FF days of your own! If you are single you will have to create another special name for these days and decide who gets to join you on these days I’d delight! No matter what your circumstances, I encourage you to find ways to celebrate life with the people you care about!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Looking Longingly at Food On The Other Side Of The Fence

What do you do when you are looking longingly at all the forbidden foods on your diet? Do you cheat, have a bite, call it a lapse and move on or does a lapse turn into a total relapse, in which you find it nearly impossible to get back on your regimen?

Well, I can tell you what I do. I may look. I think there is power in being able to walk at a reasonable pace down the candy aisle at the pharmacy. I might even smell. Nothing like the smell of fresh baked goods, or KFC. After I have had a near fix, I review my whys. Why am I eating this way? What am I hoping to accomplish? How will I feel, if I stop midstream and endanger my goal? Have will I feel, if I overcome despite my desire to eat the forbidden fruit?

So I go back and get firmly in mind all of the reasons I chose to pursue this path to begin with and then ever stronger than before, I re-double my efforts and let more time pass on the road to recovery.

How do you handle temptation? What are your secret tips or tricks? What is your best method for walking right past a tempting situation? If you don’t know, can you think of a tempting scenario and write out a plan regarding how you could successfully avoid losing sight of your goal?

Do you know why you are doing what you are doing? Are you trying to look good at your upcoming wedding? Do you want to be able to get down on the floor with your grandkids? Do you want to be able to play a round of golf with friends from work? Do you want to go for a simple walk in the metro parks? Do you want to go to Disney and be able to keep up with your family? Do you want to fit into the seat in the airplane without the humiliating extra strap for those who are too well endowed? Do you want to enjoy better health and live a more meaningful life with less limitations?

Take a moment to pen out your most cryptic whys. Really get down to what is at the root of all this for you! Why are you really going through all this bother? What would it be like if you didn’t make it to your goal? Does it really matter to you? Is it a matter of life and death? Is it a matter of a life more well spent? Is it all owing to the type of relationship you want to be able to have with someone? Keep those ideas in mind and that just might be enough to sufficiently motivate you toward your goal!

As always, best of luck in all your endeavors!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

What Did You Just Eat?

Take a minute and think about what you last put in your mouth. Was it something healthy or was it junk food, processed food, or chemicalized food that is found in every grocery store in America? Are you proud of your general style of eating? Does your approach to eating need to be tweaked? If so, you are so not alone!

Even small or subtle changes continued over the long haul can produce results, such as smaller waists, and lower numbers on the scale, when maintained overtime. For example, just saying no to all carbonated beverages, all sugary drinks, all fruit juices, as well as, artificially sweetened beverages, including caffeinated beverages, can make a big difference in your general well being. Remember losing just a small percentage of your weight can change your risk for diabetes. It just might be worth it to consider a few areas that you might be willing to make a change.

Do you spend that little bit extra to purchase and eat mostly organic foods, or do you buy foods that are massed produced, by big agriculture, using heavy pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

While we are on this subject, choosing organic grass fed beef, free range chicken and wild caught fish are all better choices nutritionally for you and your family. Why not take the leap?

Regarding fruits and vegetables, eating locally and in season, wherever you live, is probably healthier than eating bananas from Ecuador in January! Get to know your local farmer and ask him or her questions about what their pesticide and growing practices are.

Are you still consuming corn and soy or have you tried to, not only not purchase these items, but also avoid any foods containing corn and soy? I know, it is a chore! Corn is in everything!

Have you begun to grapple with issues associated from drinking cow’s milk and eating cheese and yogurt made from cow’s milk? Do you realize that it takes a several cups of milk to create a small piece of cheese? According to T Colin Campbell, consuming dairy is highly linked to higher risk for developing cancer.

There are other choices. You can eat nut milk, such as almond milk, or coconut milk. For those of you who may be allergic to nuts, there is also oat milk, hemp milk, or rice milk. These choices will help you avoid the hormones that cow’s are given to perpetually produce milk, not to mention the hormones in their bodies, which are passed on in their milk, designed to help their baby calf, become a grown cow in one years time. I am quite sure you do not want to “grow” that fast!

Chances are you are like so many Americans, who are on the Standard American Diet (SAD). We like fast and easy. We are American right? Well fast and easy comes at a cost! Did you know there is a new movement out there referred to as “slow cooking”? Well there is.

When you take the time to purchase your own organic food locally and make food in your own kitchen, you have more control over what goes into the food, you consume. When you go through a drive thru or pick up something quick, at the grocery store, to heat up and wolf down, you give up those rights and then some.

Be vigilant about reading the labels on the foods you buy! When you don’t know what something is, chances are it’s no good for you.

Are you eating typical fare found in our restaurants and grocery stores and consequently suffering from any one of a whole host of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypoglycemia, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, Alzheimer’s disease, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Wake up and do something about your plight. You don’t have to live like this.

You can improve your current health by making new choices and feeding your body in a healthier way. First, you will have to do some research and choose what regimen is best for you. Second, you will need to clean out your pantry and prepare to embark on your new program. Third, hire a wellness coach to support you through your journey. Fourth, write down why you are doing this. Knowing your why will help you, when the going gets tough! Fifth, make a change, and then make it a habit. Sixth, chart your progress. This can be very inspiring!

Best of luck, if you take the bait, and decide to improve your wellness one forkful/spoonful at a time!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, Ohio

Leap Into Action!