The Taynors

The Taynors

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How chiropractic care made big changes in my life...

I frequently think about writing this post, then I never do because I don't want to come off cheesy or preachy.  But I then realized its my blog, my journal, and its important to me so I should tell my story. 

When Ryan was 8 weeks old I decided to take him to a chiropractor for his colic, reflux, and sleeping issues.  I was hoping to get some relief and for Ryan to start feeling better, but I got way more out of it than I would ever have imagined.  Of course the immediate change was that it helped Ryan.  The very first night he slept for 6 hours (unheard of at that time), his reflux got better, and he slowly became a happier child.  In the meantime, Mike and I also started care and we learned so much about our bodies and our health that I never knew before.  Little did I know, this was the very beginning of some major life changes.

In order to not ramble, I'm going to break it down into categories of how going to the chiropractor and meeting Dr. Rob has changed my life!

We all get adjusted regularly-  This is the obvious change.  For the past year and a half Mike, Ryan, and I have all been adjusted regularly (at least 2x per month).  We have had adjustments to help our aches and pain, common colds, coughs, allergies, running injuries, TMJ, headaches, ear infections, stomach issues, car accidents, falls down the stairs, and thats just the start.  I have been going to a chiropractor on and off since I was a teenager, but Dr. Rob was the first chiropractor that actually taught me what an adjustment is and how it benefits the entire body.  I have a whole new understanding of what going to the chiropractor is all about and how it is a great thing for everyone (infants through senior citizens). 

The health of my family-  Beyond just getting adjusted, I have learned more about true health and wellness than I can even explain.  I have a whole new understanding and education on the foods we eat, the chemicals and toxins in our lives, what stress does to the body, our immune systems, etc. etc.  It started because Dr. Rob offers health talks every Tuesday night.  They are about a half an hour long and they are on all different topics (rotates between eating well, thinking well, moving well, and generally being well).  Every week is a new topic and a new discussion.  When I was a patient, Mike and I would try to go to a talk about once a month and we always go a lot of information out of it.  Then of course when I started working for the office and for Dr. Rob, the education became pretty much non-stop.  I'll say it again, I have learned SOOOO much.  Sometimes I joke that I wish I could "unknow" some of the things I have learned because it is easier to just go back to my naive ways haha. 

But seriously, now I shop differently (more organic, natural, less pre-packaged, no high-fructose corn syrup, fresh local produce, read all ingredients), I cook differently (no cooking sprays, baked-not fried, veggies with all meals, less dairy, smoothies as snacks), I exercise differently (running and boot camp at my brothers gym), I think differently (positive thoughts, spirituality, avoid or address stress), and I am generally happier and healthier than I have ever been!

A new job and career opportunities-  This is probably one of my biggest changes.  I quit my secure job and started on a whole new career path with Dr. Rob (and Christy and Anna in the office).  Sometimes things happen for a reason...actually I am learning that most times things happen for a reason.  When I went through my melt down about not wanting to go back to teaching, I talked to Dr. Rob.  At that time I was only a patient but I had developed a pretty good relationship with the office.  I just casually mentioned to him that I was looking for a change, and if he ever heard of a new part time job opportunity, to keep me in mind.  Long story short, I have now been working with Coombs Chiropractic for a year and a half... and I love it! 

The best part of this new jobs is that is has been developing over time.  I started as a 10-15 hour a week marketing person for the office.  Over the year I took on more responsibilities and started working more hours (some times in the office and some times at home).  But recently we have some really great, really big projects that we are working on that has started to turn my role into more of a career spot than just an hourly job.  Dr. Rob and I have had a few great conversations recently about my roll in the office and with his new projects/businesses.  We are both on the same page that I want to continue to work for him and continue to take on more challenges and that I am in it for the long run.  There is discussions on turning into a more salary or bonus based income and for me to take on bigger responsibilities...all while still making my own schedule and working more part time than full time. 

I am really excited and motivated about what we have going on and about my new career. I think it is pretty perfect... I have a job I love going to every day, I can still work part time and be home with my baby, and I am helping with the financial status of the family.  Life is good!

Connections to a lot of great people- Obviously I love Dr. Rob and I love Christy and Anna in the office, and I love that I have learned so much, but it goes even further than that.  Through my job at the office, I have also been connected with a lot of really AWESOME people/professionals.  I feel like I have a whole new network of great people to go to for any of my health related needs (and some non health related things too).  I wish I knew half of these people during my pregnancy with Ryan, and I am excited that I have all of these connections for future pregnancies.  I now personally know several great lactation consultants, women who teach Bradley birthing classes and hypnobirthing classes, an amazing holistic nutritionist and allergy specialist, yoga teachers, acupuncturists, mommy groups, breastfeeding groups, and I could go on and on.  I feel lucky to have these great people in my life because I feel like I have a great support system and I always have someone to go to with my questions and concerns. 

Who would have thought when I randomly walked into a random chiropractors office in 2011 that my life would change so much because of that one decision.  Crazy things happen, and I really feel blessed that I followed my instinct and made that appointment almost 2 years ago! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Home Buying Stress

Some days we are actively shopping to buy a new house, other days we are perfectly content with no plans of moving at any time... but this roller coaster of home buying goals and thoughts is starting to get stressful.  We are currently in a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath house that is fine for our family.  But we are outgrowing it quickly.  Every inch of every room is already in use/full and I feel like we are not going to be comfortable for much longer. 

The problem is the finances (isn't money always the problem??).  For us to buy the type of home we are looking for, our mortgage would obviously increase and we would pretty much drain our savings for a down payment.  But on the other side, the home prices are still low and the interest rates are good, so we can get a lot of house for a lower price.  We talk about it all the time and are going back and forth about whats the best decisions for our house.  Unfortunately we have student loans, car payments, and other various loans that we also want to pay off.  Our financial plan is to move into a larger home that we can stay in for a very long time, pay off all of our debts, invest for retirement, and start college savings for Ryan... the current dilemma is decided what order to do these things in.  Should we pay off all the debts and then go to a new home?  Should we get settled in our "forever" home and then make a new budget and plan to pay off the debts and invest?  If we get extra money because of a bonus or tax returns, whats the best thing to do with the money?  Soooo many decisions!

Since I am a list maker, breaking it down into pro/cons list might help us getting a better idea...

Things I love about my home-
1.  Its currently in pretty good condition, no major projects need to be done
2.  We have a pool!!
3.  Its cozy and comfortable, all of our family memories are here
4.  Very close to my parents
5.  Very close to the beach
6.  Centrally located in Toms River

Reasons I want out-
1.  Another bedroom
2.  A master bathroom
3.  An area for a play room (basement, family room, anything other than having all the toys in the only living space we have)
4.  We need a bigger yard, somewhere for Ryan to play
5.  Get off of our busy street
6.  A bigger kitchen
7.  More closets
8.  And for Mike- a garage

Reasons to buy something now-
1.  Low interest rates
2.  Lower home rates (I don't think this is going to last much longer, we are already seeing a change in the market)
3.  Get our self locked into a bigger home for a reasonable monthly mortgage price (for example have a $1,600 mortgage for the next 30 years vs a $1,900 mortgage for the same home if we wait a year or two)

Reasons to wait-
1.  Get more money when we sell our current home
2.  Possible be in a position to keep our home and rent it out, adding to possible monthly income
3.  Hopefully have a little bit more saved and monthly income so the higher down payment and mortgage won't be as hard
4.  Try to pay off other debts leaving more money in our monthly budget

Decisions, decisions!  My gut tells me that we should seriously start looking and to move sooner rather than later.  I feel that once we are settled into a new home, it will be easier to budget and create a plan to pay off the other debts.  We would no longer be debating every month about whether the extra should be going to house saving or paying off bills.  Plus, eventually when we have the other loans payed off, it will be nice to have a lower mortgage long term. 

I know that would mean things would be very tight in the short term.  We would have to be very careful about our spending and all financial decisions we make, but I really feel like it would be the smarter decision for the long term.  Ahhhh!  I could also be totally wrong and maybe I should just be happy with what we have and not worry so much about the future. 

I'll keep you posted !!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lots of Random Updates

I seriously could write a blog post every day, but it always gets put to the bottom of my to do list.  I have about 15 more minutes before Ryan wakes up from his nap, so here are some of the updates in the Taynor house!

-  We are soooo ready for summer.  I am over this colder weather and can not wait to feel the hot sun.  I am already counting down the days until we can go to the beach on Fridays, OBX, play in the back yard, swim in the pool... ahhh I want summer.

-  Ryan's speech is getting much better.  He is finally getting 2-3 word sentences, he knows his full name is Ryan Joseph Taynor, he can tell me what he wants, he repeats everything we say, and he is starting to tell us stories and sing songs.  I am definitely feeling better about his verbal level, but I did finally make the call to early intervention because of his drooling.  I am not exaggerating when I say that he drools all day, everyday.  We can go through 3 shirts every day and we need to change bibs every hour or so.  Its getting ridiculous.  Now that he is two and he has all of his teeth, there really is no reason for this to be such an issue.  The pediatrician agreed with me, and agreed that it is time to call Early Intervention and talk to a speech therapist about a possible jaw weakness or swallowing issue.  I have also noticed he is having issues recently with choking and gagging on food, but the strange part is that he is gagging on foods that he has been eating for a long time now.  Anyway, I made the call last week and we are set up for his evaluation next Wednesday. 

-We are about to enter our busiest wedding season yet.  Mike and I have 7 weddings between now and November.  I am excited because it gives us an excuse to get out of the house and have some time as adults and a couple, but I am a little bit stressed about the financial part.  Weddings are expensive... I need a few more dresses, wedding gifts, hotel rooms for the far ones... so having a wedding every month is definitely putting a little bit of stress on our monthly budget.  Laura's wedding is in September and I am a bridesmaid, so that also means we are planning a bridal shower and a bachelorette party for the summer.  Plus Mike is a groomsmen for Tim's wedding in October.  Bottom line is that we have a very busy 6 months ahead of us!

-As most people already know, I have baby fever pretty bad these days.  I am not pregnant yet, but I can't stop thinking about it.  I could go on and on about this for a while, but I'll keep my crazy baby thoughts to myself for now :)

-Mike finally joined me in the 30 club this weekend!   I wanted to do something special for him, to help make his birthday memorable.  Since most of our friends have young kids, a guys night out was the best plan (guys went out drinking and the girls stayed home with the kids).  I rented them a limo and sent them out to Philly for the night.  I think they had a great time and Mike was happy so I think it was a success.

- I am starting to work with a nutrition/wellness coach next month.  Her name is Tracey and I met her through working with Dr. Rob.  We have met a few times at a variety of work events, but I finally got together with her to discuss how her program works.  Make a long story short, she is a nutrition specialist that works with families to create a natural, healthy diet, limiting all the crap and chemicals we eat on a regular basis.  She also works with food allergies and sensitivities and with supplements as a way to improve conditions like eczema, asthma, behavior issues, and build immune systems.  It caught my attention at first because I am actively working to improve Ryan's allergies and skin conditions and work preventitively to avoid future illnesses (kids with allergies are more likely to have asthma, ADHD, and other development issues).  But I am also interested in working with her so that I can change some of my own habits, hopefully have a healthy pregnancy in the future, and give any future children a healthier start! 

After working for Dr. Rob this past year and a half, I have met tons of awesome people and I have learned soooo much.  I am now much more aware of the chemicals, preservatives, food dyes, and toxins that are in our foods and homes.  Old habits die hard, so I am looking forward to having a "coach" help me through the process of making changes for my family. 

Ryan is awake so I guess I have to end there.  I'll be back soon :)

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Ryan is 2!  Woo Hoo!  And so far I LOVE 2!

We had a birthday party for him on Saturday, March 2 at my parents house.  We debated for a long time as to where to have the party... at my brothers gym, at a friends house, at a place like Gymboree... but in the end we decided on doing it at my parents house again and invited less people than his first birthday.  I also decided I wanted to stick with a Mickey Mouse themed party because we just got back from Disney and Ryan is still pretty into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I promised myself that I wouldn't go over board with the decorations this year, but once I got started it was so hard not to do it.  Its fun to get caught up in a theme!  Here are some of the pictures of the decorations. 


Food ideas-  I stole most of the ideas from other blogger and pintrest.  Food is always a challenge for me because I need to avoid the foods that Ryan is allergic to (we didn't want a do over of last year) and include foods that he could eat with all of his guests so that he doesn't always have to be different.  So I came up with a pretty healthy, child friendly menu that was also pretty allergy friendly for Ryan.  To continue with the theme, I also tried to give the food cute names. Then for desert, my mom and I made him a gluten free egg free Mickey cake and my sister in law Michelle made an awesome cake for the other guests, Mickey cake pops and rice kreespie treats.  Unfortunately, Ryan hated his personal cake (I have since researched better cake recipes and found a great GF and Egg Free chocolate cake that he really likes).

The guest list included my parents, Brian, my in-laws, Michelle, Jerome, Aunt Barbara, the Morris', Ebherhardts, Barkers, Arzonicos, Rykers, and Kimmy.  

Overall, it was a great party!  No emergency room trips this year, just a fun time with our favorite people.  It was fun to watch Ryan's reaction to things throughout the entire party.  He totally understood that it was his party and all of the friends, presents, cake, etc were for him.