My Migraine… through a different lens.

Finding reasons to smile… even on my hardest days.

Have you ever been in the middle of a bad dream and wished you could wake up… but couldn’t? That was how I felt during my last migraine episode. My migraine came on one late afternoon, without any warning, while I was making cornbread to go with dinner. I felt normal throughout that day, but tired. Tired is a normal feeling for a mom of two active toddlers. While I was looking down at my bowl of batter, I suddenly could no longer see what I was mixing, I knew at that moment I needed to grab my abort meds and call for help. I am so fortunate my husband works from home. He was still in his office a few rooms away from the kitchen, but he could tell from the tone of my voice what was happening and came running. The migraine incited aura I was experiencing in my vision was coming on more rapidly and stronger than normal. It was consuming my entire vision very quickly with colorful, cascading, zig zag lines almost as if it were creating a light show. I took my two abort meds and my husband helped me get to our bedroom. About 5 minutes later I started to lose my ability to walk. My legs were buckling out from under me and I could not support my own weight. One of my two daughters is almost five and the other just turned two. They were witnessing the entire event. They know mommy gets migraines and have seen me have them before but have never experienced an episode to this extreme. I do not think any of us were prepared for that day.

Hemiplegic Migraines tend to mimic strokes and seizures. They are a class of migraines with complicated aura. Once they begin for me, the aura phase travels through my body and affects different parts of my brain. It starts with the aura phase, where it affects my vision and I see the light show. Then it travels to my extremities and I cannot walk or use my arms. The next part is the scariest and the worst, I feel. It travels to the part of my brain that affects my speech. I am not able to talk for several minutes. During this time, I am sometimes still paralyzed, too. This makes it even worse for the people around me to watch, including my children.

Sophia, my oldest daughter, ran into my bedroom to take care of me and wanted to be with her mommy. She and I have a very special bond. She kept saying that she loved me, but when I didn’t respond became very upset. She continued to ask her daddy if mommy was dying. I was witnessing the entire event laying there as if I was in a terrible nightmare that I could not wake up from. My family was watching me have this horrific migraine and I could do nothing. I could not speak or move. The tears were streaming down my face, but I could not tell her I was okay. I could not say I love you. She ran and called my mom, “Nana,” to come over, and it made everything better. My husband explained to Nana what was happening. Nana and my husband have seen my migraine episodes before and, even though they worry every time they happen to me, they knew I would be okay. About 10 minutes later, I was able to speak again and hold Sophia and Priscilla. Within 60 minutes, from start to finish, the migraine episode ended.

I was left with a horrible headache, but the rest of my symptoms subsided. I was exhausted and weak but able to function. I put my glasses on and got out of bed. I have no choice as a mom but to get up and keep moving. Normalcy is very important for my girls.  We went on with our night. We had dinner as a family and had fun with Nana. Before bedtime, Sophia reenacted the entire episode showing what I looked like. It was heartbreaking to see it from her perspective. She kept saying, “I thought you died.” It is funny that she understands so much at such a young age. She knows mommy cannot bare to see flashing lights at a carnival. She makes sure I am drinking water and is always asking if I am okay. I think even though my girls are exposed to my condition they are kinder and more compassionate because of it.

I think it is so important to be more aware of Migraines and what they really are. I think migraine disease is still widely misunderstood. I am now a stay at home mom, but I remember when I was in the corporate world how hard it was to call out with a migraine. The response of having a “headache” when I could barely speak to make the call was heart breaking. Healthcare costs associated with migraines is up to $36 billion dollars annually and people miss up to 157 million workdays a year as a result of migraines!!! I cannot tell you how many days of work I missed, special occasions, or holidays. There was an Easter where I had to stay home and send the girls to church with my husband because of my migraine. My aura even prevented me from seeing them when they were hunting for their eggs.

Migraines are unpredictable and come in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone has the same kind and mine are very rare. There are so many things you can do to help prevent migraines, but there is no cure. I work daily at my anti-inflammatory diet, I take preventative medications, and I wear my Avulux migraine glasses. My migraine glasses I found have helped so much. Light sensitivity is a huge issue affecting over 80% of migraine sufferers, and it is especially severe in people experiencing migraines with aura. I have gone through so many pairs of normal sunglasses, wasting hundreds of dollars in the search for light sensitivity and migraine relief, before finding these migraine glasses. Avulux has given me that relief I have been searching for, whether I am indoors or outdoors. Since Avulux uses a unique patented lens that absorbs only the harmful light that has been shown to cause and strengthen migraine, the sun no longer bothers me when I am driving as long as I am wearing my glasses. My other big triggers have always been the grocery store or other large department stores. The fluorescent lighting in these stores is a huge trigger for me, but since wearing these migraine glasses I have not had an issue. These glasses are awesome because you do not need a prescription to purchase them and the price is comparable to some sunglasses and even cheaper than some migraine medications on the market today. So, like I said, I wish I knew about them while I was going through all my migraine related purchases, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.

After wearing my migraine glasses consistently in the last 6 weeks, I have noticed a decrease in my daily migraines. My friends have started to ask about my new glasses often. The glasses have sparked a lot of conversations which have led to conversations about my migraine condition, which is important. I think I have always been shy to talk about what truly happens to me during an episode, but it’s good to have these conversations. Not only can my friends now help me through an episode, but they can educate and spread migraine awareness to others.

To purchase your own Migraine Glasses use link above and coupon code NORMALMOM15 for $15 off

Natural Bug Spray!!!!

Summer time means unpredictable rain storms. The rain can be a welcome cool down in the weather, but it can also bring out some pesky bugs. Our family is all about being outside and keeping busy during the warm summer months. You can usually find us in the backyard or on the softball field. I find myself constantly worried about the bugs and keeping my children safe. We have a lot of ticks and mosquitoes in our neck of the woods. I do not like to put harsh chemicals on myself or my family, so I like to look for natural and homemade alternatives. I love to use essential oils for many different things. Our favorite scent is Lavender. Did you know that Lavender is an antiseptic and actually repels mosquitoes? It is a win for me because I just love the way it smells! I also love to use peppermint oil on my temples and neck when I have a migraine. It is also a great oil for rashes, sunburns, and as an insect repellent. I think using essential oils instead of a commercial bug repellent with deet is a better choice for yourself and the environment. I love to read the BLOG on PersonalCreations website. They always have awesome crafts for my girls, recipes for the family, and this month these great natural bug repellent recipes. Check out the link to their website and make these Natural Bug Repellents for your family. My favorites are the Lavender Breeze and Fresh Mint!

Quick homemade play dough

Thinking outside of the box is a must as a mom. This is day 4 of rain so I needed to come up with something fun to do. We made a fort, builded with blocks, painted, and we were still bored waiting for lunch time. I needed to think of something fun to pass the time… and I needed to think fast. I decided to we would make homemade play dough. The girls love to cook and and they love to create things, so this was the perfect activity. We set all of the ingredients out on the table and the girls took turns adding them in the bowl. We decided to make our dough light purple, but you can leave it plain too. This is a simple and quick activity you can do with ingredients found in your pantry. We used cookie cutters and played for a while. This was a lot of fun!

Play dough

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup hot water

1 tablespoon oil

Food color of choice

Mix ingredients together and be sure to knead dough. * If dough feels wet simply add more flour 🙂

A smoothie detox for your hair?! Sign me up!

My hair has not been getting much love since having my girls. In fact it has been falling out and lifeless for over 4 years. When I came across Briogeo I was so excited to give their products a try! I love the smell of banana and coconut so I knew this one was for me! Who would want to put healthy antioxidants and vitamins in their hair… I know I do!!!!! I am obsessed with how amazing my hair not only looks but feels! The best part is there are no harsh sulfates, silicones, or parables. This product is also cruelty free. ❤️

FreshBellies for the win!

Our snack of choice!!!!!! My girls love this stuff…. and I have to say I do too! Fresh Bellies is an awesome company that introduces new things and tastes to tiny palates by combining them with old favorites! For example this yummy snack is apples and cardamom! How amazing is that!!?! My girls just love this and the mango and basil one is also a huge hit and one of my personal favorite snacks too! Check out FreshBellies ! 🙌🏻

Healthy & Fast Weeknight Dinner 🥘

We are a busy family and always on the go. I always try to have a home cooked meal even on the nights that we are running from one activity to the next. Tonight we have Taekwondo and daddy has a baseball game. That means mommy needed to have a healthy dinner ready for when we get home. Today was grocery pick up day. You know what that means if you follow me… I have a rotisserie chicken! Yup!!! I always order a rotisserie chicken on my grocery order. It is my go to dinner for that night. I always whip up something yummy. Whether I decide to make enchiladas, a casserole, chicken salad, or soup like tonight, there is always something quick you can make with a rotisserie chicken. That is my big “Mommy Hack” tip for grocery shopping. My other one is if your store offers it, do your shopping online and pick it up the next day! I order my groceries at night… with my drink in hand 😉 and pick it up the next morning. Simple and stress free! Shoprite

Now back to my dinner tonight! I was able to throw everything into my pot in about 5 minutes and walk away. This is literally my top recipe for weeknights. Today I added my favorite Bone Broths from LonoLife. This adds so many health benefits and extra protein. If you do not have that on hand any chicken stock or broth will do! But I will say… once you try bone broth you will be hooked! 🙌🏻

Here is my quick and easy recipe :

Rotisserie Chicken

32 ounces of broth

( I used LonoLife Chicken Broth)

1 can rotel diced tomatoes

1 can white beans

1 bag frozen peppers and onion mix

1 package fajita seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat olive oil in pot add frozen vegetables. Add picked chicken. Sauté for a few minutes. Add diced tomatoes and beans. Add seasoning and broth. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy with cheese, sour cream, chips!

The longer it sits the better it tastes 🙌🏻😊

I’m Back!

Wow…. The end of the school year really takes a lot out of you. I still can not believe my baby girl graduated from Preschool last week. Where has the time gone? I feel like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant for the first time and now we have a kindergarten count down. The last few weeks have been amazing and busier than I could have imagined. We had parties, play dates, school events, and of course some sick days. Spending those moments with Sophia is something I will always cherish! She was so excited to graduate and cannot wait for kindergarten.

I personally am having anxiety over the entire situation. I want to keep her a baby forever. That is for an entirely different blog post… but for today we will talk about all of the fun things I have to come here on Normal Mommy this summer!

I recently was accepted to the Liketoknowit family!!!! I am beyond excited to be able to share all of my fun fashion tips and shopping experiences with all of you. You will now be able to shop right from my pictures and links! We are also going to be going on many fun and exciting road trips this summer! Be sure to check out our family vacations and of course all of my tips and tricks for traveling with toddlers! I am also on a new diet due to some health issues. I have eliminated dairy, gluten, and sugar from my diet. I will be sharing my recipes and lifestyle with all of you! Above and beyond I will be sharing my day to day summer fun with my two crazy and amazing girls! We cannot wait to share our summer vacation with you and of course all of the awesome products we will be reviewing! Stay tuned for all of the awesome things we have in store this summer!