Why Delicate Dani??

I really struggled to come up with a name for my blog.  Nothing seemed to fit me well.  I couldn’t name it about a certain topic because I plan to cover so many different things, and I didn’t want to limit what I could write about.  So then I looked to adjectives that might describe me.  I really wanted something that started with a “D.”  If you’ve never looked up adjectives that start with the letter D, I encourage you to do that right now……

Welcome back 😉

So if you did go look up the adjective like I suggested, you would have found that most of them are negative qualities.  I stumbled on delicate, and it just felt right.  I guess delicate could be looked at in both a positive and negative light.  I am choosing to look at it as positive.  Most things that are delicate have beauty in them, but they can be broken.  I have been broken, but I have also been put back together again.

I am delicate because I am sensitive.  I think our culture has a negative attitude towards sensitivity.  I realized this was a characteristic of mine when I read excerpts from the book The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron.  It explained so many of my characteristics and it emphasized that there is nothing wrong with being sensitive.  I should go back and read the entire book, since I only read bits and pieces when I was supposed to be doing homework back in nursing school. This website has a lot of information for sensitive individuals: http://hsperson.com/

There is a Huffington Post article that describes habits of highly sensitive people.  Most of the habits describe me so well!  Here is a link to the article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html

Some of the habits that stand out are the following:

  • #3 They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?”                 I used to get this from people all of the time!  I don’t hear it as often any more, most likely because I don’t let people know when something bothers me.
  • #5 It takes longer for them to make decisions.                                                                                                                     Yep, this drives my husband CRAZY sometimes!  Just today in the grocery store, I had the hardest time picking out dog treats we should take with us camping.  He finally said, “Just make up your mind already!”  I am also terrible at picking where to go to eat.  I am super picky, so I will give my husband a few options I am okay with, and he will make the final decision.
  • #10 They’re more prone to anxiety or depression                                                                                                               I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that I have had my struggles with both anxiety and depression.  I won’t go in to a lot of detail about it right now, but I do intend to cover this topic at some point in depth because I there is such a negative stigma surrounding depression.  I think it is important for people to see different faces of depression, but this post is not the time for that.
  • #11  That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person.                              In the past, I have caught myself yelling, “just stop it!” if someone is making an annoying or repetitive sound.  I can bounce my knee all day long, but don’t you dare tap on something repeatedly or click your toes or make that awful cracking sound with your neck/back! 😛
  • #13 They cry more easily                                                                                                                                                        I cry when I am happy, and I cry when I am sad.  And please don’t get me really mad because then I am sure to cry!  There have been times I have been arguing with a customer service person on the phone, and I have to hand it over to my husband to finish the conversation because I start crying.  I feel so lame when that happens!
  • #14 They have above-average manners                                                                                                                              I am sure a lot of this had to do with my upbringing and my parents teaching me the importance of being polite.  I was recently in a grocery store and walked by some little girls that were just wandering through the aisle.  I swear I said excuse me, but when the mother yelled at the girls to get out of the way, I heard the one girl say “she should have said excuse me.”  Then the mother said “you’re right, she should have.”  I was horrified.  I told the mother, I did say excuse me.  She angrily snapped that she didn’t hear me say anything (while she was on the phone and 30 feet away).  I then apologized to the girls for not saying excuse me loud enough.  “DON’T TALK TO MY CHILDREN” was the response I got.  She said a couple of other hateful things that I can’t remember now, but I went over and over that situation in my head for days, which also leads to the next habit…
  • #15  The effects of criticism are especially amplified in highly sensitive people.                                                          I try to do everything perfectly to avoid criticism, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.  I criticize myself all of the time, but if someone else does the criticizing, I analyze it over and over and just can’t let it go.  With that in mind, please be gentle with me in comments! 😉

So, that sums up why I chose to name my blog “Delicate Dani.”  Because of #5 above, it took me forever to decide on the name!  My sensitivity can cause me some grief, but I think being sensitive is one of the reasons I am able to be a good nurse!

Are you a sensitive person or do you have someone close to you that is? What struggles have you faced because of it?

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Baby Signing

A lot of parents-to-be say they are interested in teaching their new little one “baby sign.”  I’ve heard many parents of toddlers say “Oh, we were going to teach our baby to sign, but we forgot about it.”  I am so lucky that I am not one of those parents.  I am not in any way saying those parents are wrong or bad, but my life would be so much more frustrating if I hadn’t followed through with baby signing and encourage the other caregivers in my daughter’s life to do the same.

My almost 2-year-old has a minor speech delay.  We saw a speech therapist for an evaluation a few months ago, and she was a little behind, but she wasn’t delayed enough to qualify for speech therapy.  Like any toddler, Savannah throws her fair share of temper tantrums.  Many tantrums come from frustration.  I can tell you, if she did not know how to sign, the number of daily tantrums thrown would probably be tripled.  Savannah “says” quite a few words, but many of the words are hard to distinguish.  Approximately 75% of the words she currently says I would not understand without a sign accompanying it.

Going from the top of my head, here are the signs Savannah knows:

  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Grandma
  • Grandpa
  • Aunt
  • Baby
  • Sign
  • Horse
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Bird/Duck
  • Bear
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Please
  • Thank You
  • Sorry
  • Yes
  • All Done
  • Bubbles
  • Bike
  • Car
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Cry
  • Hat
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Cracker
  • Cereal
  • Tree
  • Leaf
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Play
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Water
  • Dirty
  • Pretty
  • Sleep

There may be more, but that is all I can think of right now.  Most of those signs she knows really well.  There are a few that she needs a reminder before she’ll sign, like grass, car, tree, shoes and socks.

So, you want to know how we taught her to sign, right?  It really wasn’t too hard.  Baby signing is based on American Sign Language.  I had a very limited knowledge of ASL from college; really, the only thing I could remember was my alphabet.  Our success came from starting when she was young.  She was about 6 months old when I really started using certain signs consistently.  I started out with just a few that we could use everyday, like milk, mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa.  She didn’t sign them back for several months, but she got to the point that I would sign something while saying the word out loud, and she would get excited.  Once she understood those few signs, I borrowed some DVDs from the library.  The DVDs I have had the most success with have been the “Baby Signing Time” series.

This program shows the sign, says the word, and usually shows a picture of whatever the word is.  They then go on to show babies and toddlers using the signs.  Watching these DVDs with Savannah has been the key to learning sign myself.  There is lots of music in these DVDs, and she LOVES watching them.  She frequently asks to watch them.  There have been times she will pick up a sign that I do not know, and all I have to do is go back and watch the DVD with her to figure it out.  We haven’t moved on to the “Signing Time” DVDs yet, but I’m sure we will soon.

There are a few things that Savannah loves that “Baby Signing Time” doesn’t cover.  For example, she loves yogurt, cheese and grapes.  To learn those signs myself, I visited http://www.babysignlanguage.com/.  I would then teach her the sign.  This website has an extensive dictionary.  When you find the word you are looking for, click on the word, and it will take you to a page where there is a short video showing how to sign the word, a description of how to sign the word, a picture showing the sign, the usage for the sign and links to related signs.  It uses multiple learning styles, which is really nice since we all learn in different ways!  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on the website, but there is a shop where you can purchase different things like books, charts, flashcards, DVDs and kits.

Baby sign has saved us so much frustration.  The key to teaching your baby is repetition.  Also, it is really important that you teach other people who spend a lot of time with your child basic signs, or they will experience the same frustration you are trying to avoid!

If you have any questions about how we taught Savannah sign, please feel free to ask!

*All of the opinions about the above materials are my own.  I have no relationship with the companies, and I am not receiving any commission.  I am recommending them because I love them!

My PlanetFitness

I just joined my local Planet Fitness two weeks ago.  This isn’t my first gym membership, but it has been YEARS since I have been to the gym.

I started off just doing my own thing, mostly doing the 30 minute circuit.  At planet fitness, this is a designated area with a sort of traffic light, with a red light and a green light.  There are 20 stations.  The odd number stations are for doing different steps, and the even stations are weight machines.  When the green light is on, you either do different types of “step up” activities, or you do 12 reps on the weights.  The light turns red, and you move to the next station (but don’t forget to clean the machine between).  You complete the whole circuit in 30 minutes.  It was a great full body workout.

Fast forward a week to when I met with the trainer.  (If you haven’t heard, Planet Fitness offers free unlimited personal training; although, truth be told I didn’t find it very “personal”)  I wrote down my goals:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Maintain muscle while losing weight
  3. Build core strength to help reduce lower back pain
  4. WIN WEIGHT LOSS COMPETITION!

Since the weight loss competition I am currently involved in ends May 13, we are working short term to try to meet all of my goals with a focus on #4.  So, the key to meeting this is to not BUILD any muscle.  I don’t want to lose any, but if I put on too much muscle, it may lower my chances of losing the highest % of weight.  I’ll focus on building after I win 😉

The program the trainer designed for me is based on spending 4 days at the gym.  Day 1, I do PF360, which is using the core training room and doing a circuit.  There are 6 exercises I do for 30 seconds, with a rest period of 15 seconds in between.  I do 4 rounds of the circuit.  This workout makes me SWEAT!  I downloaded an app on my phone called HIIT interval training so that I don’t have to keep an eye on a watch.  It blows a whistle and vibrates when I need to start and stop each rep.  I was able to set the length of each interval, the rest time, and the number of repetitions.  It has worked out really great so far!  After PF360, I am supposed to move on to abs.  I haven’t done that yet because I need to sign up for the “abs” session with the trainer for him to show me the exercises that involves. ::eye roll::  When that is finished, I do 30 minutes of cardio, aiming to keep my heart rate between 116 and 160.

Day 2 is 45 minutes to 1 hour of cardio, again trying to keep my heart rate between 116 and 160.  Day 3 is a repeat of Day 1, and Day 4 for is a repeat of Day 2.  I love that all of the cardio machines have sensors that you can monitor your heart rate.  I don’t like holding on to the sensors constantly, so I just check every 5 minutes or so to make sure I am within my goal heart rate range.  I would really love to get the Fitbit ChargeHR, which monitors heart rate among other things, but right now that just isn’t in the budget.

So, that is my current regimen when I go to the gym.  This week the scale seems to barely be budging, but I am hoping to see the numbers pick up soon.  It isn’t all about the competition though; when I get done working out I feel great!

If you have ever considered going to the gym, I encourage you to try it out!  It takes a lot of motivation for me to get there, but once I start working out, it is all worth it!

Welcome

I have been wanting to start a blog forever, but I never knew what I would write about.  I finally took the plunge, although I am still unsure what I will publish!  I will talk a lot about my family, a little about being a nurse, and I will probably throw in some crafts here and there.  I have always been able to write decently; however, I have always struggled with picking topics to write about.  If you happen to stumble across this blog and have a topic request or question, feel free to let me know!

We will leave this first post short and sweet!