2 years in 200 words

To get all y’all up to speed here’s what has happened over the last 2 years in 200 words and no particular order:

-Got certified as a group fitness instructor and taught BootCamp style classes 2x’s per week

-Put our travel pants on and went to the Ozarks (with kids), Austin (no kids), and London (no kids).  

-Became a runner (what the what?!). 

-Ran my first half marathon and did not die

-Had a third baby girl (yes – we chose to have a third child who ended up being a girl). 

-Got my zen on by becoming a member of a local yoga studio

-Did at least 500+ loads of laundry (that should be a Guinness world record right?!)

-Celebrated 12 years of marriage to the same person, whom I have also known for 18 years!

-Aquired the status of Aunt for the second time 

-Changed a semi-truck worth of diapers (another Guinness record?!)

-Watched the Cubs play in the World Series 

-Helped (very loose term) my parents move 15 minutes away

Beyond that, my goal continues to be keeping my 4 year old, 2 year old, and now 4 month old alive.  Easy, peasy right?!  Some days are tougher than others! ūüė≥

Stay Tuned…

I bet you thought I quit this blog…as I tell my girls “No ma’am!”. ¬†Stay tuned – I’ve got lots of great stories coming your way, especially since adding another baby girl to the adventure we call life.

Taking the leap

Well, I am at it again! ¬†Not only am I a SAHM to 2 beautiful girls, President of my neighborhood association ¬†(next up -taking over the world!), and on a committee to bring a Spanish dual language program to the girls’ future elementary school, ¬†I decided to become a group fitness instructor. ¬†Now before you go all skeptical on me, keep in mind two things: ¬†I am a type A personality, therefore I literally do¬†not¬†know how to just do nothing. ¬†Plus,¬†I genuinely want to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

When I told some friends and family members about my new endeavor, there were two typical responses – the first, and most common, was “don’t you have enough on your plate?”. ¬†I am the first to admit, there are days¬†where I feel like I am busting at the seams running on 5 hours of sleep and trying to keep up with the girls and the house. ¬†Add anything else on those days and watch out for my infamous water works (in case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a crier). ¬†The second and less common response was “that’s awesome!” ¬†followed by “what made you decide to do that?”. ¬†At first, my response was “I’m basically at workout class 4-5 days a week, why not get paid for it?” ¬†Sure – it will be nice to bring a little money in per month and be able to attend workout classes for free, but after some reflection there is a bigger¬†driver of taking this leap.

I subscribe to “A Mighty Girl” feed on my Facebook account and have been since Little Miss was born. ¬†Wanting¬†to raise a daughter (and now I have 2¬†daughters!) who is strong, independent, and kind among other things I knew I was going to need all the help and support¬†I could get. ¬†This news feed is just a small tool in my toolbox. ¬†Each time I see a post, I am inspired by it and look forward to sharing them with the girls when they are a little older. ¬†Each post shares a story of a “Mighty Girl” who made a positive impact on something either in the past or present. ¬†As I read the stories, there is always a moment where someone inspired the “Mighty Girl”¬†to push beyond their limits, break barriers, and make a positive impact on someone or something around them.

So why did I decide to take the leap and be a group fitness instructor? ¬†I want to inspire those around me. ¬†Wether it be the first-time mom who didn’t think they would be able¬†complete a 5k, half marathon, and/or marathon soon¬†after having their baby to the mom with¬†three kids under 5 whose daily win is getting out the door to go to workout class. ¬†But even more than that, I want to inspire my girls. ¬†I want them to see that little things can produce great, big results. ¬†I want them to feel the joy of breaking down barriers and achieving goals. ¬†I want them to feel pride in improving something around them. ¬†In short, I want for them to be the¬†“Mighty Girl” in their own life, whether they be the person who inspires or¬†they are the person who is inspired.

As Dr. Suess says “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. ¬†It’s not.”

 

My daughter the Twonager!

When hubby and I bought our house just over a year ago, we knew that we wanted to do some remodeling. ¬†Specifically, we wanted to gut and re-build our kitchen (my oven was over 20 years old¬†and so small it wouldn’t even fit a Thanksgiving Turkey!), ¬†put hardwoods in 4 rooms and replace our entire HVAC system.¬† We started this remodel the first week of March and needless to say life has been a¬†bit messy these last few weeks! ¬†Friends and family who have gone through a remodel told me that I will find dust everywhere¬†and they are not kidding – there is dust in my bed, in my closet, even in my refrigerator. ¬†What they don’t tell you is that¬†your two year old will suddenly become¬†a Twonager.¬† What’s a Twonager you ask?! ¬†It’s simple really, just picture your toddler exercising her right to be a teenager. ¬†Here are some real-life examples to help you understand if your¬†two-year old turned into a Twonager overnight:

Example 1:  When you ask your two year old if she wants to play outside, she pouts and says no in her angry voice.  Less than 2 minutes later, someone other then you asks her if she wants to play outside and the immediate response is an enthusiastic yes!

Example 2:  You go in to get your two year old out of bed in the morning and her response is that she wants to stay in bed all day.  Clearly, this is not an option and you start your day with reasoning/guilt-tripping/bribing her out of bed, in that order.

Example 3: ¬†Slamming doors accompanied with “No mommy!” is a daily, and sometimes hourly, occurrence.

Example 4:  While acting silly, your two year old looks at you like she wants to disown you or die Рwhichever happens to be easier at the moment.

Example 5: ¬†All your two year old wants to do is watch TV so you employ Example 2’s¬†“get out of bed tactics” with the hope that Example 1 doesn’t happen to each of your suggestions of things to do other than watch TV.

If one or more of the above has happened in the last 3-5 days, you have a Twonager (or Threenager, Fournager, etc.) on your hands.  As someone who is currently dealing with a Twonager, my advice is to stay calm and let it ride.  Also, a little bribing goes a long way and never hurt anyone :).  This too shall pass and your little person will be back to the little person you know in no time (or when your remodel is through!).  Good luck to us all!

You know your a diabetic mommy when…

-You have as many snacks in the diaper bag as your 2 year old.

-Your glucose tablets are affectionately known as Mommy’s Candy.

-Your 2 year old knows how to open your blood glucose meter case and put a strip in the meter.

-You get as excited about getting new equipment (insulin pump, blood meter, etc.) as your 2 year old does about getting a new book (Little Miss LOVES books!)

-You don’t share food with your 2 year old because you already carb counted to take the appropriate amount of insulin and sharing with her means setting yourself up for a future low blood sugar.

-You have as many wellness appointments per year as both of your children combined.

-You get up in the middle of the night more than your 2 year old and 4 month old in order to check your blood sugars

-Your glucose tablets are strategically stashed next to your 2 year olds snacks in the car(s) and the stroller(s).

Decisions….decisions….

I like to think of myself as a “mostly judgement-free” mama. I don’t outwardly judge other moms since it does no one any good, but I do judge other moms inside my head every once in a while. I will continue to work on being a judgement free mama, but I know I have come a long way in the last year. And for the record, we all know there is no such thing as a 100% judgement free mom and if you say you are, you’re lying.

I am also a 100% breastfeeding mom. I took everything in my breastfeeding class to heart and for better or for worse I developed this mentality of “I’m going to hell if I don’t breastfeed my child”. Breastfeeding Little Miss was arguably one of the hardest things I had to do as a mom, but I did it for just over a year. I was not one of those moms that loved breastfeeding – I liked it during the day and learned to tolerate it during the middle of the night. But what got me through it was the phrase “breast is best” and my SUPER-competitive personality – “of course I will breastfeed, its what is best and I have to be the best”.

So naturally, when Little Sister arrived, the plan was to breastfeed her until she was at least one year old. Boy did that plan change! I should have seen the warning signs, but as we all know hindsight is 20/20. In the 2 months that I breastfed her, she would park herself on the boob and fall asleep within 5 minutes. If she didn’t fall asleep within 5 minutes, she would spit up most of what she ate within 10 minutes. She had a terrible latch and there were countless times where she would choke and/or vomit. These were new and big challenges for this breastfeeding mom! So I changed my tactic – I pumped for 20 minutes, 6-7 times a day so that she could take breastmilk from a bottle. As my fellow moms know, pumping is worse than gouging out your own eyes. Even though the bottle had a slower flow, the issues still persisted, albeit less frequently. Fast forward a few weeks, which included 2 ER visits and an overnight stay in the hospital, we learn that Little Sister has reflux and is allergic to eggs, soy, peanuts, and dog dander. If Little Sister came in contact with any of her allergens, she would break out, head to toe, in an itchy, red rash which I learned was actually an eczema flare-up. She would also be more prone to vomiting and/or spitting up most of her meal. So in a family that has no history of food allergies, eczema, or reflux, my baby had all three – and she had them in a bad way. Back to the allergies for a moment and keeping in mind that I was still breastfeeding – can I just say that there is not a whole lot of foods that don’t contain eggs or soy?! Breakfast, my favorite meal of the day, was ruined for the next 10 months. If you know me, you know how I love my omelettes – breakfast, brunch, lunch, and/or dinner. I went through my fridge and pantry and found that over 70% of the “prepared” foods I ate contained eggs, soy, and/or peanuts. I cut those items out for over a week to ensure they didn’t pass through my milk yet her eczema and reflux still flared up which made for a very unhappy baby. So with a heavy heart, I made the decision to give up breastfeeding. For me, knowing that I could potentially contribute to her feeling miserable outweighed the benefits she would receive from breastmilk. Plus having piece of mind that my milk was not a direct cause of her eczema and reflux flare-ups was worth more to me than words can say. In the end, Little Sister got “breast is best” for a little over 2 months and now eats a special amino-acid based formula (if you read between the lines that’s just another name for expensive). While her skin is not always clear and her reflux is not always under control, she is happy more often then not and that is priceless.

Why am I telling you all of this, you ask? 2 reasons – first because you’ll read it (and hopefully not un-follow my blog) and second it’s important to remember that as moms we have to force ourselves to make difficult decisions every day. So instead of judging one another (I can’t believe she is feeding her baby formula when breast is best) we need to support one another through those difficult decisions. You just never know what factors forced a mom to make that particular decision…

What No One Tells You About Kid #2!

Hey y’all! The last few months have been a whirlwind of sleepless nights, diapers, and lots of tears by all the ladies in the house. Little Sister has had a bit of a rough start to life, but slowly and surely we are making baby steps to get her healthy (more on that later).

While I was pregnant, people would give me all sorts of advice from how to welcome Little Sister into our family to how to discipline Little Miss since she will no longer be the center of our world. Today, I would like to share with you some of my “words of wisdom” when it comes to having kid #2. Here’s my top 10 little nuggets – you’re welcome in advance. ūüôā

1. Little Sister’s health issues aside, parenting a second kiddo is actually more fun! As a round two parent to an infant, you’re not freaking out about every little sound, what color her poop is and if it is good or bad, will her hair actually grow back?!….
2. It actually does take 2 hours to get out of the house. Some days it will take less time and others it will take more – good luck to you.
3. When you do decide to leave the house, you feel like you need to rent a moving truck because there is so much stuff to bring.
4. Amazon Prime will be your knight in shining armor (see numbers 2 and 3)
5. The amount of laundry increases 20 fold. Why it does this when you added just one more person to your home, I don’t know. If and when you find out, please enlighten me.
6. Inevitably, when kid #1 is having a great day, kid #2 is having the worst.day.ever. and vice versa.
7. There is nothing greater then the love of 2 sisters. I look forward to that love evolving and growing as my girls get older.
8. You would think breastfeeding would be easier since you have done it before. Nope, not even remotely true. Kid #2 has the potential to bring in a whole new set of challenges like terrible latches, vomiting, and my personal favorite falling asleep while eating.
9. There is no such thing as nap when your baby naps when you have a toddler running around the house.
10. Showers are considered a luxury, not a nice to have.

Everyday is a new (and many times frustrating) adventure, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Welcome to Little Sister!

Whew! Time passes so quickly and YES – I am alive, although barely at times…

I am thrilled to confirm that 3 weeks ago, Little Sister came out to play! My experience birthing Little Sister was very different compared to my experience with Little Miss. Little Sister was a scheduled C-section (stubborn girl was still breech at 39 weeks!), while Little Miss ended up being a C-Section after trying to push her out for 4 hours. While I did everything in my power to have a VBAC with Little Sister, in hindsight, the scheduled C-Section was the best thing for all of us. Mainly because Little Sister was 11 pounds 3 ounces! Yes, you read that correctly – she was the size of a watermelon, but of corse way cuter! A huge THANK YOU to my mom and dad for giving me tall genes because I would have never been able to carry her if I wasn’t 5’10!! The first thing my doctor said when Little Sister came out was “Look at those thighs!”. The second thing “You wouldn’t have wanted to VBAC this girl!” – got that right Doc!!

Against my wishes, but per hospital policy, Little Sister then had to go to the NICU for 4 hours of observation. Luckily, Hubby got to stay with her for the first 3 hours and I was able to be with her for the last hour while Hubby picked up Little Miss and took her home. Hubby came back to the hospital after putting Little Miss to bed and then promptly spent most of the night in the bathroom. I am thankful for 2 things on this topic. The first – he was not sick while I was in the process of having “major abdominal surgery”. I wouldn’t have made it through the operation without him by my side. The second – he was at least feeling human the next day. Needless to say, I don’t remember a whole lot of that first night in the hospital except there was little sleep to be had and Little Sister and I cuddled a lot or at least I think we did…

Hospital day and night two were uneventful (at least compared to day and night one!), but the third night in the hospital was a bit rough around the edges. Hubby and I talked prior to having Little Sister and we decided to plan for him to stay at home with Little Miss that night. They would then come to the hospital mid-day on day four to take Little Sister and me home. So I was flying solo with Little Sister on night three. There were tears from both her and I (mainly me…), but we made it! At one point the nurse chastised me for sleeping with Little Sister on my chest. I almost threw a bottle of formula in her face – didn’t she understand that I was utterly exhausted and trying to keep my “hungry as all get out” baby from screaming the entire night?!

Day four was the best day by far – we got to go home! Hubby and Little Miss picked us up around noon and took us home. It felt amazing to leave the hospital with Little Miss and Little Sister in tow.

As I look back at my birth experience with Little Sister, there were certainly ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have traded them for anything. Just like my experience with Little Miss, my birth experience with Little Sister was as unique and special as she is.

Parenting Style #436

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know that the NFL and it’s respective teams have come under a tremendous amount of scrutiny for how they have handled the personal choices of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and other players within the league. I am not here to agree or disagree with the actions taken by the NFL or the teams impacted, but these two stories impacted me more than I’d like to outwardly admit so I thought why not write about it in my blog!

After my initial head-shaking-in-disgust reaction, I started to think about these stories from a parenting perspective because that’s what I do now. For Ray Rice, how did he ever come to think it was an appropriate action to hit a woman so hard she was knocked her off her feet and rendered unconscious? He had to see or learn it from somewhere or someone… For Adrian Peterson, why would you inflict upon your son a questionable punishment your parents took against you? Isn’t one of the “benefits” of parenting the opportunity to do it better, or at least different, than your parents did?

As I was asking myself (and continue to ask myself) these and other rhetorical questions, I started to think about my parenting style. I remember seeing on FaceBook some sort of parenting style quiz and it made me chuckle, because I don’t have just one style of parenting, I have what is called a 2-year old. Therefore, my parenting style evolves day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes even minute by minute. What drives these evolutions? For starters, trying to find my way in the sea of thousands of parenting styles, tips, and techniques found on the internet. However, more often then not, my style evolves because it’s what Little Miss needs from me, and more recently my style evolves because I am preparing Little Miss for being a Big Sister.

Here’s a perfect example of said evolution – the use of the timeout. Timeouts used to work great when Little Miss decided she was going to hit, kick, and/or head butt me. Within a week of using them multiple times a day, and even multiple times an hour, I came to realize that she was hitting, kicking, and/or head butting JUST to be in a timeout. It was her way of “asking” to remove herself from a situation that she was not happy with, wether it be nap time, getting dressed for the day, or walking our puppy in the morning, among other things. So instead of positively reinforcing her inappropriate actions with a timeout, I started to tell her no, hold her arms down, and move my head out of striking distance. When she is calm, I acknowledge her feelings of being upset and/or frustrated and tell her that hitting anyone or anything with any part of her body is not how we act. I have to tell you, when I first read about that approach on the internet, I laughed and thought, she is not even 2…how can “talking” about her feelings stop the behavior? I have been using this approach for 2-3 weeks now and she is hitting less often, so clearly something is working and I am going to keep riding that train until it doesn’t run anymore.

The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again expecting a different result – this has never been more true then under the umbrella of parenting. There is no doubt that I hate the reality of there being “Ray Rice” and “Adrian Peterson” stories occurring out in the world on a daily basis, but if there ever is a silver lining, it’s my take-away from those stories – the simple act of questioning my parenting style is what makes me a better parent. It’s certainly not fun to question myself time and time again, but because I am, I can be more confident that I am doing everything possible to raise 2 girls who are strong, independent, positive contributors to society.