Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Princess!

I can't believe it. She's 5. How did it go by so quickly? There is something about 5 that seems to make her seem more grown up. I guess because now she is 'school age'. She will start Kindergarten this fall and I am so freaked out over it. I know she will love it, she loves learning, but this mommy is having major anxiety. But that's another post for another day.

This is all about the celebration from baby to big kid. Theres just something about 5 that makes you realize your baby isn't a baby anymore. They can sit in a different style carseat, they can eat basically anything they want (I mean, most probably can/did before, but mine seems much more open now), they can do so many more things on their own now. Learning to read, tying shoes, doing math, playing sports. Riding a bike. That was her birthday gift yesterday. A new bike. Oh how she loved it. We spent almost an hour outside yesterday riding up and down the sidewalk. She looked so sweet with the streamers, the little basket, her baby strapped in the back and her cute Ariel helmet (safety first!).

We started out our day with breakfast at IHOP to have her favorite mini-pancakes, then headed to get her big girl haircut. She was so still and so sweet while getting it cut. Her past 3 haircuts have given her some anxiety but she was so happy about this one-even without the bribe of a sucker! Guess it helps to actually have a sweet person doing the haircut for once! We headed to TRU to pick out her new bike, walked around outside for a bit enjoying the sunny, yet cold, weather and played at the play land before getting her first pair of (pink of course!) soccer cleats since her first game is coming up! We went to WalMart for the helmet, joined a friend for her favorite frozen yogurt and topped it off with a night reading books in bed. It could not have been a better more relaxed birthday! This has been the easiest birthday year in terms of work I've had to do, but its by far been the most emotional with the exception of her first birthday. Its like I suddenly realized I have a KID. Not this little baby I have to do everything for, but a kid who can do quite a bit for herself. And believe me, there is so much she WANTS to do by herself without my help. Just another sign of how quickly she is growing up. I admit some days I want her to be older so she is more self sufficient, but as the days go by and she needs me less and less it makes me sad. I'm enjoying most of the younger ages, she can still throw some serious fits and get too stubborn at times as well as distracted easily. But now that I see her around her soccer friends who are the same age I believe its more of the age than just the Irish blood ;)

Princess-You are growing up into such a beautiful young girl. Sweet, friendly, and with a huge heart. Although you are incredibly stubborn at times (thanks Irish blood), and want to do what YOU want to do when YOU want to do it (most of the time), you are always loving and kind to anyone who is around. I know that stubbornness will just become strength and independence. You are an amazing child and I'm so lucky you are my daughter. I can't wait to see what this new chapter brings with cheer, sports, friends, and school. I know you will continue to grow strong and independent, and I could not want more for you than being a confident, friendly, compassionate child. And I will do everything I can to guide you to the right path and grow up strong. I love you sweet pooh-pie!!!

Always supporting her cheer family with the 'Cheerleader Face'

Monday, March 10, 2014

Best birthday party....

EVER! I'm still struggling with the fact that Princess will be turning 5 soon, but we had her party this past weekend at Build a Bear Workshop. And I even managed to keep it a surprise from her! Yay mommy! This was the best and easiest party I've done so far. I usually stress and overthink on her parties and end up having ZERO fun because I'm doing so much work. This year, it was GREAT!

For starters the only food I had was cupcakes! I did the cutest set up for them. I think they turned out adorable. I used small 8 oz cups and added Dessert Skittles to the bottom to set the cupcakes a little higher. Then I added some pink frosted cupcakes, put another 8 oz cup over the top and cupcake tape (found in the scrapbooking section of Walmart!) to keep it closed! They traveled fine!

Everything I needed for our My Little Pony(ish) Party I found at Walmart!

Clear 8 oz cups
Dessert Skittles-softer colors to match the ponies, found in the regular candy aisle
Cupcake Tape-found in the scrapbooking aisle-lots of different designs!
Vanilla Cupcakes with pink/white peaked frosting

Put a layer of skittles, drop in the cupcake and place another cup over the top and tape. Make sure the tape goes under the bottom on each side. These traveled very well and looked pretty cute in my opinion!

Dessert Skittles and cupcake tape!

For the goody bags I did cheap and simple! Pink Zebra plastic bags from Walmart with bubbles, a ring pop, a lip gloss,  a sheet of My Little Pony Stickers, and a little 'grab bag' MLP from Walmart-you don't know which one you get til you open it! (only $2.37!). I also put the mini bottle of water inside the bag. Easy to transport. I folded down the top and taped with more cupcake tape, punched a hole in the top and added a home made MLP thank you card! Done!

"Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me! You are one of my best pony pals!"

Bubbles, Lip Gloss, Ring Pop, Stickers, and MLP grab bag. Perfect for the princesses!

Pink zebra duct tape, found in the craft or hardware dept of WalMart/Target helped add a nice touch to the mini water bottles!

We started our party at Build A Bear where Princess got to ring a bell and have a sweet ceremony with her friends to bless the heart of their new friend. So now she is able to carry around 6 hearts all loved on by her friends.  I admit, I cried. I'm a softie. They got to fill the stuffer, wash their stuffed friend, and then we sang to Princess. Afterwards we headed to the food court to sing happy birthday, open presents and thank our friends for joining us. We even had a stranger passing by who asked who's birthday it was and handed her a $5 bill and told her to enjoy her birthday. Yes, I cried. It was a nice reminder that there are still kind people in the world.

It was one of the easiest and least stressful parties I've ever put on. I managed to successfully surprise my kid, and the look on her face when I told her all her friends where there to celebrate her birthday was priceless! I fully recommend BaB for a birthday party as it is simple to execute and there is something for every kid! Each of our 7 kids got something completely different.

Photo of all her friends with their new stuffed friend!
Princess and her puppy Cutie.

I still can't believe this sweet baby girl will be 5 on Wednesday. How quickly it goes by....

Thursday, March 06, 2014

When did weight become....

Such an open topic for discussion? When did it become acceptable to discuss a person’s weight outside of a fitness activity or doctors office? When did it become ok to judge someone based on their size? And when did that acceptable size become a stick and bones size 0? I’m by no means a fat girl. I’m ‘fluffy’ as I like to put it. I’ve got more fluff than I’d like right now. BUT I’m actively changing it. I'm sure as hell not changing it so that people can judge me solely on my size.  I’m not changing it to be skinny.  Im actually ok with being a little bit bigger. It took a long time, but it doesn't bother me to NOT be skinny because I know my weight is not WHO I AM. I’m changing it to be more fit and healthier. But what if I weighed the same as I do right now but it was all muscle? Is that better? Is it the number on the scale, the waist of the pants or the look of a person that you have to judge?

 Answer-none of it. No wonder there is so much bullying these days. So many people are fixated on the size of a person’s belly rather than on the size of their heart and personality. A friend of mine posted on facebook the other day a rude comment made about her size from a former acquaintance and that literally made my fists clench and my temper flare. How dare some judgemental BULLY comment first on the fact that she had gained weight instead of something like “good to see you again” or the such. Why on earth did he think it was ok to even say the words ‘wow you used to be so skinny’. As if the size of her body is anyway a determinate of her personality. You see so many celebs in magazines talking about their weight and so many slammed for not being ‘thin’. Why? Why do you HAVE to be a size 0 to have a part on a tv show? I adore Rebel Wilson, especially in Pitch Perfect when she says “ I cant believe they let my sexy fat ass in”. She embraced her size. I read about a pact that her and Melissa McCarthy made to not lose weight-basically saying they were happy in the skin they are in and don’t feel like they need to change to be accepted. And people love them. Their personalities are funny and sweet and THAT is what makes them both beautiful.

Being overweight certainly can cause health issues and I’m a strong supporter of having a healthy body, but when did healthy ONLY equal skinny? How many of those skinny girls are struggling with eating disorders? Or working out TOO much (yes there is such a thing!) and damaging their body? I’m not a doctor, I haven’t claimed to be so that's not what this is about. But I have some common sense (usually) and what upsets me is the emotional pain so many people get by being judged simply by how they look. I believe in being active and eating well, and I do my best to do both of those things, not just for me but as a good example for my daughter. She is in activities and I try to make sure she drinks lots of water (she's never had a drop of tea or soda!) and has good food around. I actually love to work out. Shocking right? But I do. I enjoy Camp Gladiator when I was able to do it, I love going to Zumba, and I love my current dance class. I want to get back into yoga, and start the Barre fitness classes. Besides the fact that its FUN, its a great way to meet new people and do something good for your body. I get that so many people are overworked and stressed out, but squeezing in that workout helps boost your mood, and surprisingly your energy. Sadly though, so many people can't afford the 'healthy' food or the workouts. But get a group of friends together to go for a walk (time change is coming so that's what I plan to do!), find some friends to play something like soccer or volleyball, try out a new sport, or just start by cutting one or two bad things from your diet. Start small. Find something you enjoy and do it more often and it will be less like 'working' out and more like having fun. Its very simple to start, and easy to continue if you find something you enjoy about it.
I just wish that people could take a moment and think of how their words affect others. And that a person's weight is not a definition of who they are. Look at their heart and their soul before you judge them solely on weight. And again, when did it become acceptable to comment on a persons weight? I'm now around a lot of young girls with my Princess being in all star cheer, dance, and soccer and I hate to think that any of these beautiful young athletes feel they are judged on how they look. Its just not fair. My dream job was always to have my own dance studio, but these days I'd love to get involved in a healthy school program-activity programs and healthy lunches. If we teach our kids the value of their health and wellness then that's something they can hold on to forever and maybe it will help with the judgments and bullying over things like weight. But to also teach them that a person is a person no matter their size. We have no right to judge or taunt them based on their waistline.
My hope for my child and all her friends-that they grow healthy and happy and realize that people deserve kindness and compassion no matter what.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

My Birth Story (5 years later)

I can't believe my little baby is going to be 5 in one week. It still feels like I just left the hospital. I never wrote out my birth story so as I reflect on the days my life changed forever, here it is. Mostly just in print for myself to always remember, but if any of my pregnant friends are interested, well there it is! Apparently sharing birth stories is a 'thing'. I'm not cool so I never did it. Til now. Modified at least for the public.

Not gonna lie, I had a pretty miserable pregnancy. In fact so bad that I tell people don't do it. But anyhow. I had very high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and my face and feet swelled so much I had to buy new shoes! I also had constant morning sickness that was so bad I couldn't keep anything down. Not even water. Looking at my notes from my OB I only gained 19 pounds total, that's how bad it was. I mostly lost weight, especially in the beginning. The only things I wanted to eat were pineapple, mangos, salad and Mexican food. Almost everything else made me sicker than I already was. I don't remember being overly emotional, but I do remember a few instances of driving my very short (thank goodness) drive to work and crying at the homeless people lining the street. I did lots of singing to my belly. How weird is that. I remember singing lots of Staind and Taylor Swift's Love Story. Don't ask why. I was weird when pregnant (and just in general I suppose however I hate that song now).

I had this super adorable little one bedroom apartment in the swanky "Medical District" of my big city. It was cute but loud. Construction was going on all around it. I didn't sleep well anyhow, so the noise didn't exactly keep me up but it was irritating. And everything irritated me. Still does actually. I was pretty bitchy while I was pregnant, but considering I wasn't expecting to even BE pregnant and her dad wasn't around at all I think I deserved to be bitchy. I was also throwing up EVERY.FIVE.MINUTES. Literally. I would have to pull over in a parking lot to throw up. That's how bad that 'morning' (lies) sickness was. So that made me pretty irritable as well. Once I got farther along and Princess started growing to add to my constant pain and discomfort she decided her sweet precious little FOOT needed to reside in my rib cage. Basically the last month was her using my rib cage as a xylophone with her feet. And she still has some serious strength in those legs! But watching her move around in my belly was really cool, after you get over the freakiness of watching an elbow pass under your skin.

Each of my doc appts I went to my great OB would ask me 'Are you taking it easy? Do I need to give you a note for bed rest?' and of course I always said no. And she would look at my BP and tell me to slow down or she would make the decision anyway.

Well I finally pushed her limit I guess and she put me on bed rest around the beginning of March. Princess was due March 30. My doc finally decided that with my high blood pressure that she wanted to induce me on March 16th. I had my final baby shower at work thanks to the work bestie on Tuesday March 10 and my water broke at 11:57 pm on Wednesday March 11. I had a chicken enchilada type thing from Taco Bell and watched Dancing with the Stars in my bed. I remember getting up to go pee for the zillionth time and as I laid back down and tried in vain to find a comfortable position to fall back asleep in I felt what could only be described as a (watch for the TMI here) a water balloon popping in your crotch.  I got up and went in the bathroom and distinctly remember saying out loud 'are you kidding me child?' I waddled to the living room where my mother was peacefully sleeping while dialing the after hour number for my OB and saying 'hey, we need to leave'. I'm pretty sure she didn't believe me at first. I was thrilled when I called and found out my OB was actually on call that night since I went to an office with 4 docs (3 female 1 male-I hate male doctors). My mom probably made the hardest drive of her life driving my Kia Sportage that she had never driven before at night through a somewhat unfamiliar place while I tried to figure out WTF was going to happen next. I don't remember being panicked, just uncomfortable and thinking 'I'm ruining my seat here'. I had a pillow and a towel. I don't think I even had an overnight bag. Oops.

At the hospital I was put in a room with an IV, a catheter, and a blood pressure monitor. The nurses were friendly and told me to rest. Yeah right. The BP cuff was set to take my BP every 15 mins so I'd just start to relax and the stupid thing would go off. As it turns out my wonderful OB was OFF HER ROTATION AT MIDNIGHT. So the next doc would be delivering my child. The male doc. Hey buddy, I've only met you once but go ahead and get up close and personal with my girly regions. That's not awkward at all. Nope. But it turned out he was pretty freakin awesome. And the nurses were pretty great too, in fact as I was lying there contracting and deciding on an epidural and trying to NOT freak out that a tiny human was about to be squeezed out of me, the nurse, my mom and my best friend of a zillion years were discussing apps to make your iPhone have a flash. Yeah I remember that. A few friends stopped in to keep us company, the long time bestie Whit, the short time bestie JL (who very lovingly agreed to be in the delivery room with me even though she might faint. I generously let her leave), and the work bestie D.

I managed to hold out on the epidural until the nurse finally said if I didn't get it then more than likely I would miss the window. It wasn't as bad as I expected although I'd spent the last 7 months being so miserable that I just think I gave up on the pain getting to me. I think I started pushing at about 2:30 pm and 4 short pushes at 2:47 pm on Thursday March 12 2009 Princess was here! All 10 fingers and all 10 toes were perfect. My mom and my bestie Whit were in the room by my side to welcome her into the world.

The rest of the stay was a blur of a private room that I desperately wanted sleep in (and a Dr. Pepper which is the first thing my mom brought me!). It was cold and raining and the weekend of the big St. Pats parade. I went home that Saturday. My little brother came to pick us up and drive me and the Princess home and I'm pretty sure he only drove 10 mph the whole way.

The few days after that were a blur of sleepless nights, crying (her and me), bottles, trying to find a cozy position to sleep in (a big blanket on the floor of the living room worked well). Oh those first days. Terror at being responsible for this teeny little thing that you feel you would break just touching. But the enormous amount of love that fills your heart can't be measured or even described.

And now, this precious little thing is about to turn 5.

I love you sweet Princess, even with your craziness and drama I could not be any happier or more proud of the lovely, sweet, and kind hearted little girl you are. I love your curiosity, your imagination, how generous you are with the hand drawn pictures you love to pass out and your ability to always share, and most of all that crazy giggle that always makes me laugh no matter how mad I might be. You brighten every day my little princess.