But first I was an...


Many years before I was The Mama Bird, I was Aunt Sa.  My first niece was born in 1998 - the year before I graduated from college.  She attended my graduation in the sweetest little white dress, with the most darling little curls, barely walking, in her little white shoes.  In two days I will watch her cheer at a Big 10 football game.

Time has flown.

Since then, there have been A BUCKET OF additional nieces and nephews added all of whom I see on a regular basis.  I could tell you little stories that have touched my heart about every single one of them.  But today I want to tell you just one that happened this weekend at my house.

My youngest is 5.  He loves his cousin Bivy.  He wants to be by her side whenever they are together.  At dinner Sunday night I walked into the dining room to see him smiling, sitting next to her.  Then he got up and said, "Bivy, I have to show you something!"  He left the dining room, went to the refrigerator for milk, got a cup out of the cabinet,and then walked back to the entrance of the dining room.  He placed the cup on the floor and looked up at her and said, "Bivy, are you watching?"  Then he poured his own glass of milk.  She said, "Wow, Critter, I can't even do that."

It was totally darling.

But then it got even cuter.  I sat at the table a moment and listened to them talk about the honor of pouring yourself a cup of milk, without spilling it.  Another of my nieces said, "You know what I do, I put the cup near the sink so then if it tips over it is real easy to clean up the mess."  The Happy Critter and Bivy were impressed by her intelligent suggestion.

After everyone left and I was cleaning up the house, that little moment struck me again.  How incredibly sweet it is to be proud of the things we accomplish.  How incredibly ignorant I am for not acknowledging better the small tasks he is checking off his own list every day.  Sometimes the youngest gets the short end of the stick - fewer accolades with everyone else already able to do everything on their own.  This year he has learned to buckle his own seat belt and pour his own glass of milk, and he is so proud of himself he showed off to Bivy.

They really are the sweetest things.  These kids.  Their moments.  Cherish them, mama birds.    


My 2 Cents: Tide's Child Safety Campaign

Last night after I put the kids to bed I snuggled up with the remote.  I came across a 15 second commercial.

(pause for your viewing of 15 second commercial)

I found this commercial disturbing; guys, the container is not the problem.  The product is toxic. Rather than addressing the issue and funding the research necessary to create a safe product, P&G sells toxic products to millions of Americans.

With a little research today I learned Tide embarked on a video challenge in an attempt to address the many household dangers to keep kids safe.  In one video an unattended baby is sitting in a room; the challenge is to spot the eleven risks the child can get to in five seconds.  There are coins left out, a balloon, a fire roaring in the back ground, electrical sockets, an iron, the cord from blinds, unsecured tv, mom's purse, sharp edges of a table, a leaning mirror, and laundry packs.  Tide is likened to items found in a home that could kill a child.

The container is Tide's solution?  

Nope. Create a safe haven for your family by simply shopping smarter and safer.  Buy laundry soap, of course, and store it out of the reach of your kids.  But feel safe and secure knowing your soap is not toxic.  Guess what else?  Your clothes will still be clean!

Look at alternatives for your family and know that you have safer choices.  I'm always happy to share my solution.  Reach out and let's talk!


Little Helpers

As I sliced tomato for BLTs last night, I heard a frantic banging on the front door.  I poked my head around the corner to see the Happy Critter's little eyes peeking through the glass.  He kept banging on the door and started to yell, "MOOOOOMMMMM!"  I opened the door and he said, "Mister's crying!"  I looked outside to see him in the street, bike tipped, holding his knee.

I turned around and The Goose was on my heels.  I said, "Tell Daddy to pull the bacon, please."  I darted to the man down, removed his helmut, and swooped him up grabbing his bike with my free hand.  Then I heard a little voice behind me, "I got the bike, Mom."  The Goose.

I took the boy to the bathroom and cleaned him up.  We talked over how he fell, if this skinned knee was more painful or less painful than his previous injury a few days prior.  I trimmed my nails and he gathered himself.  Then we heard a little voice, "Mom, how's Mister feeling?  The Happy Critter.

It struck me with these little, ordinary events how kind and caring my kids actually are.  When one of them is hurt, or sick, the others actually show thoughtful and loving actions.  They help.

In motherhood there are little details that disappear.  How it happens is simple, there are so many incredibly special moments and stressful moments that my brain can't possibly remember them all. There just is not enough space - motherhood moments should get more brain real estate, but they get muddled up with field trip money reminders and work...so I write it down and pray the internet never fails me.  


From the Archives...

While cleaning up my files I came across this post from several years back.  If you have had or now have little ones - I'm sure you can relate.  Enjoy!

There are moments in motherhood.  Moments when joy overwhelms or fear paralyzes.  There are also regular moments in between those high peaks and low valley that I hope to remember.  I hope to remember the way my three year old hugs me as tight as he can with his huge muscles, or squeezes my face to make a smooched mouth.  Times I hope to remember lying in bed with my six year old talking about her day or my day or where we want to go together when we grow up.  Moments with my infant rocking, snuggling, giggling, and pumping his arms as only he does.  His laugh is infectious and he tickles easy.  Small moments in between the big, first preschool shows and long hospital stays.

Today was a day I long to remember.  It hasn’t gone well.  Though, I am smart enough and have been overwhelmed and paralyzed enough to know, that this bad day actually pales in comparison to the real thing.

We started out pretty good.  Made the bus on time, boys watched Toy Story and I got an article written.  Lunch went well, naps, bus pick up, lifted weights, showered, and played outside.  About 3 o’clock we came in after an outdoor snack time.  Mister spun himself into the curtains.  I asked him to get out of the curtains and unspun him.  He punched my leg and was promptly put in his room because hitting mommy is on the zero tolerance list.  While in time out he peed his pants; which is becoming such a frequent occurrence that I’m considering time outs in the bathroom. We worked through it, he and I alone in his room.  I was so focused on his tantrum and his feeling upset for having peed his pants that I forgot about the others.  We talked while he undressed and then we decided to wash off in the tub.  I filled the tub and he began to smile after the time out and frustration.  My heart breaks for him sometimes.  I think he is so big for such a small guy, and he just wants things his way. 

I left him in the bathroom to tend to the wet clothes.  When I stepped out of the bathroom I heard the sound a makes when it clinks “cheers!”  I said, “What is that?”  I rushed down the stairs as Goose called from the living room, “I don’t know, Mom.”  I quickly arrived in the kitchen to find the 19 month old on the counter.  He had climbed up the step stool in the corner, by the knives.  He sat on the counter and happily clinked an eight inch bread knife into a glass butter dish.  Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Then I saw the actual mess.  He had picked the coffee pot up, held it out passed the counter and dropped it.  How hadn't I heard that?  Coffee flooded the floor; glass sparkled in the wet, shining puddles.  Had he held the knife wrong, his hand would have been bleeding.  Had he crawled down the step stool he’d surely have slipped in the coffee and cut himself on the broken glass scattered across the stool and floor.   Heart racing, I grabbed him and scanned him for any blood.  Zero.  The knives!  The glass!  Not a scratch.

When days like this come - the tantrums, the peed pants, the hurt feelings, infants climbing counters, breaking coffee pots, playing with knives – I feel defeated.  I am frustrated by the unexpected glitch and sure tears will come, but they don’t.  They stay put, waiting for real cause.  Today wasn’t a moment of sheer joy or incredible fear – it was just a moment in the life of a mother of three who hopes that these memories will last.  This time, in our lives, is going too fast.  


Fretting Footballer

Flag football season has begun.  My littlest, when initially asked, said "YES! I want to play!"  He turned 5 four weeks ago.  Football started, though, and he did not.  He was sick for the first two weeks of practice.

Last week he was healthy.  I said, "Football practice is Thursday."  He said, "The thing is Mom, football is kinda wrestly."  I said, "Yes, I guess it is."  The next day I said, "Let's go buy you cleats for football on Thursday!"  He said, "Yes! I need cleats!"

Thursday came and he felt nervous.  We went to practice. Reticently, he went through the motions of practicing football.  At the end of practice the team played Sharks & Minnows.  Most of the team stands in the end zone; these guys are the Minnows.  A few team members stand in the middle of the field; these guys are the Sharks.  The object is to run past the Sharks without getting your flags pulled and stop at the other end zone.  My little guy was fast.  He dodged the sharks time and time again.  During the second to last round he made it to the end zone, but the Sharks pulled his flags anyway.

He turned into a puddle.  It was not a good practice.  All previous successful runs past the Sharks did not matter at all.  The only thing that mattered was the one run that ended poorly.  We took to the sidelines and then watched older brother practice.

Game day came just two days later.  Saturday.  We packed up the truck with rations for two hours on the football field.  Cleats, jerseys, mouthguards - check.  Juice boxes for the team - check.  Umbrellas - check.  Older brother played the first game and loved it.  He ran his heart out, tried his best, and had a grande ol' time.

When the little guy was up, trepidation set in.  Dad laced up his cleats, tucked in his jersey, took his hand and confidently charged the little guy to warm ups.  The little guy, hung his head, and cautiously walked beside his father.  Just as cute as could be, he warmed up.

The Lone Firefly
The game began with his team on offense.  If you've never watched 4 and 5 year old children play flag football, it can be likened to releasing a jar of fireflies back to freedom.  They scatter.  Some follow the ball, other's run randomly in all directions, and usually one stays back inside the jar.  That one, alone in the jar, then looks ahead and slowly leaves.  That was my little man.  The lone firefly.  Once he realized everyone else was down somewhere in the end zone, he walked there, then he looked off the field of play to see his mother cheering him on.

He turned into a puddle.  He ran off the field, to my arms, crying hysterically.  Game over.

This week, I've tried to talk it up.  I've been upbeat, positive, "it's just like playing tag - you're so fast, buddy!"  His sad eyes return, his head droops, "but what if I cry, Mom?"

The debate then has been in my head all week, certainly not his.  He is not feeling it.  Do I make him go?  Do I tell him buck up camper?  Do I make him sit on the sideline to watch?  Am I one of those mother's who says, "finish what you start" or am I one of those mother's who says, "you're 5, don't feel sad about sports"?

I've certainly been the "finish what you start" Mom.  When my eldest tried to puppy-dog eye pout her way out of soccer at age 5, I tried the buck up camper bit.  Now, at 9, she is terrified of competitive sports.  So maybe that isn't the best choice.  I am also certain the "finish what you start" Mom will return, one day, when this guy is older and it actually matters.  This time I'm opting for "don't feel sad about sports".  I'm going to enjoy his silly shenanigans on the sidelines while cheering for the older brother who really loves it and really wants to be there.


Indecent Exposure or Childhood Phase? You be the judge.

I'm experiencing one of those motherhood moments when I am unsure how to handle a situation with my children.  My boys are very happy to be boys.  They like the freedom that comes with urinating wherever they want to urinate.  Trouble is, they want to urinate in places I do not want them to urinate.

Where you ask?

On Tuesday my kids were helping me in the garden at work.  I have been teaching mini-garden lessons with the camp kids on Tuesday mornings this summer.  This week was my last week so I let my kids pitch in.  I talked a little with the camp kids, then my children distributed nectarines to the campers from the back of my truck.  Next to my truck was a line of bushes.  Behind that line of bushes is the actual YMCA swimming pool windows.  Between groups of campers coming and going we had some down time.  My son, unaware of the windows, went between my truck and the building and peed on the bushes.

I do not want him to urinate outdoors at my place of employment.

On Thursday my kids spend the day with my niece so I can work.  They love it because sometimes they get to go to her house and swim, jump on the trampoline, or play video games with my brother. Yesterday, my boys were jumping on the trampoline and one of my boys chased the other with his pants down and tried to pee on him.

I do not want him to urinate on his brother.

Finally, Friday morning around 1 am.  There I was sleeping peacefully in my bed.  When I heard something, it sounded like someone was peeing in my bathroom garbage can, in the dark.  I opened my eyes to see my littlest, sweetest, darling child crying in my bathroom and peeing on the floor.

I do not want him to urinate on the floor.

Then I wonder, is this a passing phase or will it linger, rearing its ugly head throughout the years? Will one of them be delivered to my doorstep by the PD for public urination?  Will I find one of them, likely intoxicated, urinating in his closet?  I've been jovial.  I've been firm.  I've tried everything to make it clear that a toilet is the desired target.


A One Act Play: Boogers

Have you ever heard your son or daughter say something that you would totally say?  You think, oh geez - that sounded just like me.  But it wasn't the nicest thing in the world to say?  So you (sorta) kick yourself for being nasty and you (totally) giggle because it was (very) funny?

Act 1
Scene 1

Driving today the boys have a conversation.

MISTER  What's your favorite food?

HAPPY CRITTER  I don't know.

MISTER  Is it boogers?  I think it's boogers.

HAPPY CRITTER   (Turns quickly in his car seat) No, it is not boogers!

MISTER  (Furrows his brow) Well why do you eat boogers if you don't like them?

HAPPY CRITTER  (Yells) I don't eat boogers.

MISTER  Yes, you do.  (Gazes out the window) Just forget I said anything.

(The scene shifts to Mother in the front seat, thinking.)  

MOM  (He has a valid point.  Why do people eat boogers?  Is it like picking toe nails or scratching your ear with a bobby pin?  You do it, but you don't even realize you are doing it?  Does it taste good?  I think when I was a kid I ate boogers.  Maybe everyone eats boogers.)

As an aside: People actually study eating boogers.  There is a biochemistry professor, Scott Napper, from University of Saskatchewan who studied whether eating boogers boosted the immune system.  Can you imagine? People actually participated and were told to eat their boogers...and they did.  It makes sense to me that anything excreted from our bodies should not be ingested or put back into our bodies, regardless of whether it is going to boost our immunity.  Buy some tissues and zinc for Pete's Sake!  Maybe even a copy of Emily Post's Etiquette and brush up on our manners a bit.  Or if you're more of a modern reader try Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck - either way, keep your fingers out of your nose and your boogers to yourself.



Body Image

body image
1. an intellectual or idealized image of what one's body is or should be like that is sometimes misconceived...

I love my work.  I teach fitness and wellness to help people improve their lives.  There is one down side to my field: body image issues. Everyone has given some degree of thought about his body image.  Sadly, some folks have more severely misconceived ideas than others.

I have had countless conversations about nutrition, weight loss, strength building, endurance training, and supplements.  I have talked with people who are physically fit, unfit, and everywhere in between.  I have talked with people who are incredibly sad and those who use exercise to remain incredibly happy.  Helping people work through an issue, develop a plan, and create a more positive body image is the best part of my job.  I believe much of it can be done within our own mind.

There are two types of body images: negative and positive.  People who struggle with a negative body image are not comfortable in their body for a variety of reasons.  They feel their body is unattractive or inadequate; but, this is a perception.  People with a positive body image have a more realistic appreciation for their unique figure.

Negative body image is deeply ingrained in us: from the images we have seen all of our lives, to the conversations we have participated in, the social perceptions we have been raised with, and the expectations we've crafted - body image runs deep.  

How can you conquer your negative body image?  I think the first place to start is trying, hard as it may be at times, to focus on what you do well.  I give a mean hug, for instance.  I also knock out a mile in 10 minutes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I am not a runner for speed - I am runner for sanity.  It clears my head.  I am not great at it. Regardless, I do it because I think better when I'm moving.  When I start running, I am so angry because everything hurts.  I want to quit.  My legs. Ouch.  I conjure up my POSITIVE MENTAL SPACE - and I tell myself, "This is why God gave you the muscles on your legs.  Keep using them."  

Thing is, nearly all of my life, the muscles of my legs have been a source of my negative body image.  Most girls do not have manly legs.  People have asked me all of my life about what I do to have "those legs".  Very little, in fact, genetics.  I envied the legs of other girls, long and lanky.  I envied the way their jeans fit, the way their inner thighs didn't rub together driving their shorts upward.  Shorts were always the worst part of summer.  Loose, baggy pants were my friend.  Skirts and I were chummy.

Just a few years ago I actually accepted these legs as they are when I met HIIT.  HIIT workouts, or High Intensity Interval Training, are very quick, very hard workouts.  My legs got me through them every time.  Even when I thought I would puke.  Truthfully, though, that is when it happened - my mind changed because I focused on what I could do.  Not what I looked like.  

These negative perceptions of ourselves are just that, perceptions. These perceptions have been created by so many things that you have had no control of at all - all of your life.  These ideas were planted by media, friends, neighbors, or family.  Making the shift to a positive body image is POSSIBLE.  There is some work involved.  Introspection.  

This shift is within the scope of your ability - what can I do to help you?


It is OK

When someone says "we have to go," I understand that to mean I should ready myself with a pair of shoes and coat and head toward the exit.  My children understand it to mean: "I should get Legos out and begin building a complex aircraft" or "maybe my American Girl doll needs a new outfit for her soccer practice this afternoon."

FYI: Your American Girl doll does not have soccer practice after school because she is made of plastic. LET'S GOOOOOO!!!!!

When I go to that place, it's called morning, in my head to summon the ideas to write this post, my temples begin to throb, my jaws clench, and my heart races.  If there was ever a time a film director needed to get his actress to act angry he should simply say, "Imagine you are trying to get your children out the door."  BLAMO! She could pretend pissed on demand.

Wednesday I felt sick.  I told the kids, "I am sick. I can't talk."  They hugged me and did the "oh sorry mom" and then went about the business of ignoring me and the morning routine.  After repeating myself twelve thousand times I finally stopped.  I stood in the hallway and threw a terrific temper tantrum.

It felt so good.  I let the water works fly, I sobbed, I moaned.  I mean I came totally unglued.  I put myself in the bathroom for a time out and tried to get it together.  When I came out everyone was ready for school.


I thought all day about how it had happened.  The self-reflection lead me to this conclusion: I'm beating myself up for nothing.  I'm human, it's OK.  Humans fall apart.  Humans have bad days.  It happens.  There is no such thing as a "mother of the year" award.  98% of the time I am trying my hardest in every hat that I wear.

When my children came home, I talked with them about it.  I apologized for my temper tantrum, I explained I needed more effort from them in the morning, and I gave them a new system to stay on track.  I think this one will be easier to stick with and create a happier morning for us all.

I write to tell you all: it is OK, you are doing a good job.


Because Sugar

The Happy Critter had a visitor at preschool: the dentist.  He has seen our dentist twice so he is familiar with the rules of dental care.  This visitor, however, made quite an impression on the little guy.  As soon as I picked him up from school Tuesday he explained the situation, "Mom, did you know candy has sugar? Pop,  sugar. Ice cream, sugar.  Cake, sugar!"  The list was long and plenty.  We dropped his friend at home and his lecture on the dangerous foods of sugar continued.  "You know Mom, we really shouldn't eat donuts because sugar.  I gotta tell Dad he can't buy us donuts because sugar."  Because sugar.  That is the reason.  All week, we should not eat any foods with sugar, because sugar.

I've been buying individual bags of fudge stripe cookies; he lovingly calls them Fun Stripe cookies because they are "delish".  The Happy Critter loves Fun Stripes.  I love the individual bag concept because then I don't need to monitor how many cookies everyone is eating.  Though someone my husband has been sneaking more than one bag per evening.  Yes, I know it's you.

Wednesday the dentist visited school again.  At this lesson he learned that sugar makes you cry.  How he came to this conclusion I do not know.  Because sugar has never made me, nor anyone I know, cry.  Maybe the dental work involved post excessive sugar intake or the bloat?  I don't know.  After  lunch on Wednesday he climbed on the counter and pulled a bag of Fun Stripes out of the cabinet.  He ate them with milk.  When he was done he announced, "Delish!"  His older brother walked in the room and said, "You do know that those cookies are made with sugar."

The Happy Critter said, "WHAAAAT? You gotta be kidding me!"  We both looked at him, smiling.  "Afraid not, sir, you just ate sugar."  He screamed, "Oh noooo!  I have to brush my teeth right away before I cry because sugar!"  He ran, double time, to the bathroom and slammed the door.  Moments later we heard the hum of his toothbrush, all because sugar.


Anniversary of an Oops

Today is the anniversary of the first time I messed up at motherhood.  It was a cold Thursday afternoon, nine years ago, and I was pregnant with my first child.  I worked as a high school teacher and it was my final day before my maternity leave started.  I was very pregnant, swollen, and insanely excited to meet my daughter the next Monday.

I waddled to the parking lot and cried on the way home.  I was so incredibly happy.  When I pulled onto our street I saw my husband's truck.  He was also taking the next day and following week off to be home with me and our new bundle of Goose.  I parked the car in the garage and opened the door to the house.

He was standing there with his hands on his head.  I said, "Hi."  He said, "We missed the appointment!"  I said, "What appointment?"  He told me the hospital had called and was looking for me because I was scheduled for a c-section at 8 a.m. and had never shown up.  The nurse told him they called the house repeatedly that day but no one answered.  Then they called the doctor's office who suggested I was at work.  The nurse told my husband to tell me to please call the hospital at my earliest convenience.

Wait.  What?  I missed my first real date with motherhood?  How can that be?

I called the nurse back and she said, "Did you know you were supposed to have your baby today?"  I said, "No, I'm supposed to have my baby Monday.  My husband and I have the whole weekend planned for just 'me time' things like going to the movies and sleeping."  She said, "We called you all day and then we called the doctor's office and they said you were at work!"  I said, "Yes, that's where I was." She replied,  "How early can you be here tomorrow?"  I said, "You tell me."  She said, "8 a.m, don't eat after midnight and nothing in the morning."  I hung up the phone and my stomach flipped.  Tomorrow.  I turned to my husband and said, "Looks like we're having her tomorrow."

Turns out my OB/GYN told me February 19 but told the hospital February 15.  Hello?  My husband asked, "Well what should we do?"  I replied, "Portillos."  We went, barely spoke to each other as we processed the new turn of events, but occasionally laughed at what dummies we looked like.  Who misses their c-section?

When the world of motherhood starts on an oops, you have no where to go but up!  I look back at the nine years of getting to know this incredible Goose of a girl and I think - wait, what day was she born again?  I basically have a mental celebration of her life from February 15 through February 19.  The week of the Goose.  


Worry Wart

I was never a worrier until I had the Goose - I was calm.  Upon conception life is forever altered because it isn't just me anymore.  I remember when I was pregnant with the Goose I went to the fire station to have the car seat properly fit.  In my twenties I'd seen a movie that terrified me; it was the opening scene of Dead Calm (1989), with Nicole Kidman, she was driving, hit the brakes, and her daughter flew out the front window of the car.  That is how a mother's mind works:  I once saw that movie, I was pregnant, and then I began to worry about my own child's car safety.  When it comes to my children, my thoughts and worries aren't tied together in pretty, neat packages.  It is more like a pin ball game - my mind races from here to there, back there, over there, up there, and around to the start again.  Then just when I've decided on a position, relaxed around an idea, and the ball is settled - BOING!  Off it goes again - spinning thoughts that swirl, race, and spin.  

All that crazy mom mind applies to everything.  I over think the weekly meal plan, the work call I'm about to make, the work call I just made, the training session I am heading to, the training session I just left, the class plan for Monday, the schedule for the children, the birthday party plan, what to serve for the Super bowl, the entire day.  If I let it - thinking about the action of every day would consume me.  The thinking would take control and lead to inaction.

How do I quiet this storm?  Simple. I pray.  I practice a daily habit of reading Jesus Calling and having a little quiet talk with God to start my day.  I have to give him my worries and pin-ball thinking so that I can take the day by storm, with patience, and calm.  My kids know where to find me when they wake up in the morning, they come down one by one and climb onto my chair.  I know I'm not alone in how I handle and manage motherhood.  I also journal about my thoughts and the things I'm thankful for to keep my mind in a positive place.

My daughter, however, is a worry wart.  She can work herself into sickness with worry.  She and I talk very often about what to do with the worry of life.  For the past week she has worried about her loose tooth. Two nights ago she was in a panic about swallowing the tooth in her sleep.  We joked about pulling the tooth, as parents do, even though I have no intention of ever doing it.  My mantra for the past week has been: "The fact is the tooth will come out on it's own.  That is what teeth are designed to do.  Have you ever seen an adult with their baby teeth?  Huge mouth and tiny teeth? Nope."  I encouraged her to give the worry away.  She told me she doesn't understand what I mean when I say that.  I told her it's a simple practice - when the worried thoughts creep into your mind interrupt them with your inner voice and ask God to take them.

This morning she went to the bathroom before breakfast and she screamed at us, "MOM DAD THE TOOTH JUST CAME OUT!"  She ran into the kitchen and she said, "it just came out and it didn't even hurt!"  That's what I said would happen from the start, I told you so.You should listen to your mother more often and forever.  We put the tooth in a baggie and she placed it under her pillow so we're all set for tonight. All that worry - for nothing!  

When I think about the life she will live and the worry she will have --- I worry.  It is so big and heavy to worry about the kids.  It can be crushing.  It can send me into a tail spin.  I fear that her nature to worry will create agony and anguish.  I can't help her every time.  I can't ease her worry.  But I can teach her how to cope with worry and anxiety.  I can guide her in a positive direction to handle and manage her spinning mind. Modeling the tools that work for me to cope with worry is the first step to help her; I pray it works!