Do you want Leftover’s Again?

Hey Mamas!

 

So I just celebrated my 2nd Mothers Day and my last Mother’s Day as a Mommy of 1- I still can’t believe that! I still feel like a Rookie Parent in many aspects as I have so much to learn in my journey of Motherhood.

I never really reflected on Mother’s Day before becoming a Mother but I took some time to really think about it this year. Motherhood is a HARD JOB and in my opinion one of the hardest there is.

 Mother’s Day unfortunately has turned into an over commercialized holiday in which the obligatory cards and flowers are given as a token of appreciation. Mother’s Day is often dreaded by husbands and fathers as they stress over what to get the Mothers in their life, but why??

The problem is that husbands and wives don’t really SEE each other. We give our absolute best to our jobs and other obligations during the day bringing home the “leftovers” to our families. We give all of our “warm and fuzzes” to complete strangers and only have the energy to say “what’s for dinner” or “what’s on the schedule for tomorrow” to those whom we call the most important people in our lives.

Its no wonder we don’t know what to get each other on special occasions. We don’t spend enough time getting to know each other. We don’t spend enough time studying and learning each other so that we can meet and anticipate each others needs. Holidays should be a time where we can’t wait to give each other just want the other person needs because we know what that NEED is.

Think about something you are really GREAT at… how did you get to be so good at that particular thing? You studied it, you practiced, you read about it..it other words your IMMERSED yourself in it. You may have fallen down a lot but you learned from your mistakes and are now confident in that particular ability. Well that should apply to the most IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP God gifts us with- OUR MARRIAGES!

My husband and I will both admit that we have often given each other our “leftovers” pre-baby and DEFINITELY post-baby and the result is not pretty. After becoming a Mommy I have been even more motivated to become a better wife because my daughters will model their lives and behavior mostly from what they observe me doing, saying and living. I don’t want them to observe a Mommy and Daddy just going through the motions, I want them to observe two people who love, nurture and care for each other.

God has gifted us Mother’s with a TREMENDOUS gift which comes with a TREMENDOUS amount responsibility. When my daughter looks at my with her big brown eyes she is searching for “ME” and saying Mommy do you see “ME”. I want to make sure that the “ME” she sees is the right one and that takes a huge commitment on my part.

Next weekend I’m devoting two days to attend the Beautiful You Conference in Washington DC. This conference is a 2 day event for woman designed to help us become better women, wives, mother’s and people through Gods love so that we can better serve the most IMPORTANT relationships in our lives. http://bymovement.com

I’m doing this for GOD first, and then for my husband and daughters. I tell my husband all the time that we only have one life and it CAN be AWESOME and AMAZING but we have to seek GOD first and put in the work.

I want my husband to know that there is nothing more important than our family and we make the most investment in those things that matter the MOST to us.

I ask for your prayers next week as I do some soul searching and reflecting. I know God is going to show up in a big way and I can’t wait to see what he does to make me a better wife, mother and woman.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mothers Day- even if you little ones can’t say it yet- You are the reason their hearts smile everyday. You are NEVER replaceable to them!

Make it a BEAUTIFUL day!

 ImageImage

Advertisements

Here I go again…

Call it mother’s intuition but I just knew I was pregnant this time! Even after the 1st, 2nd and yes 3rd NEGATIVE pregnancy tests I just knew. I calmed down, waited a few days, tested again and there it was the double line marking the beginning of another crazy, beautiful and LONG journey to meeting my new tiny human.

I remember how I felt the first time around…excited, nervous, scared, scared, SCARED..ok you get the point. But this time I felt another emotion I didn’t expect to fell…GUILT!

I felt guilty that being pregnant would hinder me from giving my little Cupcake all of the time and attention she would need.

I felt guilty that some days I would be too tired to play with her as much as I wanted too.

I felt guilty that she would not always be the center of attention.

I felt guilty that she would no longer be my ONLY…

I then felt guilty for feeling GUILTY so I just went and grabbed some ice cream 😉

I was always just fine with Adrianna being an only child but I wasn’t opposed to having another child..just not this soon.  I have spent too many hours stressing about how I will manage with a 15 month old and a newborn and just writing about it makes my head spin.

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion about how hard my life will now be. But you see they don’t know that this little woman has always juggled working 3-4 jobs at a time so hey how hard can two little ones be??…please don’t answer that question, let me live in my own little world that it will be a cake walk 😉

But you know what? This time around I’m not reading any books on how to prepare for this new chapter in my life- I’m going to write my own book so to speak.  Common sense tells me it will be tough in the beginning but so is anything new that you take on.  I don’t need an “expert” to tell me to ask for help or take naps when I can..if anyone tells me to go ahead and take a nap I’m going to jump in the nearest bed!

I haven’t chronicled every single milestone with this pregnancy and hell just tack that on to the list of things I feel guilty about too! I have been just trying my best not to miss a single moment that is going on in the present with my now 1-year-old baby girl:

I try to go to bed early so that I have energy to run around the house with her.

I get up early to take my Zofran so that I can hold down meals since I have been sick as a dog for the past 14 weeks :/

I hold her a little bit longer after she falls asleep at bedtime and just stare at her sweet little face.

I talk to her about her new baby sister and tell her she will soon have a best friend for life!

I’m 3 weeks away from the halfway point of my pregnancy and I’m still in shock that I will have another little girl to hold in my arms very soon.

I can happily say the guilt is subsiding and the excitement is kicking in. Cupcake will have a sister so close in age to her and that is something I ALWAYS wanted growing up.

This is something I have been telling myself to help me when I have those days of feeling overwhelmed by the thought of possibly loving another little girl as much as I love Cupcake.

“Cupcake wont have to share my heart, my heart will simply multiply to make room for her little sister”!

Guilt subsided for now…now off to snuggle with my little Cupcake 🙂

IMG_3958

And the winner is…

Remember the days when you would snap a picture, take your film to get developed and anxiously wait to pick up your pictures? Way back then 😉 you couldn’t view your pictures before getting them developed and choose which ones would make the cut…half the fun was getting your stack of pictures back and laughing at the silly ones and being mortified of the ones you should have used better judgment in before taking. But you know what, I have albums filled with amazing memories..not all of the pictures are great but who cares. That’s not the point of taking a picture, IS IT?

Well fast forward to now and its ALL about taking the “BEST” picture. We put on lipstick before taking a candid shot. We photoshop the hell out of a photo so it looks “PERFECT” and we carefully select which picture will make the cut before sharing our oh so precious memories with family and friends.

The holidays, which should be a festive and fun time of year, has turned into a sort of pageant in which we see who can out decorate, bake and dress each other. Speaking of pageants, I do think growing up learning to compete at such a young age has equipped me for this ultra competitive world we now live in. Let me explain…

I took the stage at 3 years old competing against 10 or so other tiny dancers in the tap division. My older cousins danced so my mom decided to put me in it for fun. I left my mom in the wings, took my starting position on stage and never looked back. I took 1st place at that competition (I’m sure I had no idea what that was) and received a score sheet telling me what I did great and what I needed to work on. That score sheet went back to my dance teacher so we could prepare for the next competition.

Through the years I won many competitions and pageant titles and lost many as well. There were tears when I lost but I never felt inferior to the dancers I lost to, I vividly remember telling myself that I needed to practice harder or brush up on my skills when I didn’t get the score I wanted.

I remember at times seeing costumes that I thought were prettier than mine so my mom and I looked for different costumes. I didn’t wish ill will on the dancer with the “better” costume or envy her. When I saw a dancer that was clearly out of my league in a category I would watch in awe and take notes and congratulate her when she won top honors.

All of this I learned from my mom. She told me that God gave me my dance ability and that I could take it as far as I wanted too. If she heard me talk negatively about myself or compare myself to another dancer she would sternly say “don’t you dare do that!”, “God made Wanda with a unique set of gifts that no one else has, you concentrate on your gifts and not anyone else’s” Those lessons have shaped me and I only hope I can do the same for my daughter!

Social media makes everything a competition and its really sad and exhausting especially for new parents who already feel the need to keep up with “appearances”. Who dresses their little one the “best”…who decorates their house the “best” and we all LOVE this one..who has the “best” after baby body…seriously???!!!

I can honestly say that 99% of the time (because no one is perfect 😉 I don’t fall into those traps! I can look at a picture for what the picture is and not what material things are in it. I can look at a picture of a beautiful friend and sincerely think, WOW she looks great without comparing her to me. I can look at someone’s life and not think I wish I had their life and be sincerely happy for them when they accomplish their dreams.

You see it all starts at the beginning. Teaching our children to value and love themselves and to be content and proud of who they are makes them confident and secure. There will always be someone prettier or more successful than you if you look at it that way. However, beauty doesn’t have to have one definition and neither does success. EVERYONE CAN HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY and believe me you wont be able to tell a mom any different 🙂

So this holiday season try not to get wrapped up in making everything perfect. Be bold and post a picture without you wearing makeup or take a candid shot of your family just being a family and just try to lay off of the filters and picture perfecting…Trust me people will still “like” your pictures :)May your Holidays be MERRY AND BRIGHT and full of LOVE!!!

IMG_3840

A Better Me!

Hi Mama’s!

I was having a rather introspective day today and did a lot of thinking about how becoming a parent completely changes your life. Everyone always tell you this when you announce your expecting but its one of those things you have to experience to really get. Parenthood steals your time, energy and money and sleep and me time and…well you get the point BUT what you gain from becoming a parent makes up for what you lose and then some.  My sweet cupcake this is what becoming your mommy has given/or taught me:

Patience: Ok, I will pick up your toy again even though this is the 10th time you have dangled it in front of me and dropped it on the floor!

Acceptance: You want to wake up at 1am tonight, 3am tomorrow night and then 1am AND 3 am the next night? Ok, I guess I have to accept that!

Responsibility: I’m responsible for all of your needs! You can’t do anything on your own. Even writing that makes my heart hurt. Before you my biggest responsibility was your fur sister but I could put her in a crate and leave her at home for hours. Not to worry I will take you everywhere that I can- you already know that!

Empathy:  Becoming your mommy has made me more empathetic.. perhaps as a result of all of the hormonal changes 😉 I tend to make more decisions from the heart now which makes me a happier person.

Nurturing: Holding, kissing and loving you has automatically made me your nurturer , but what was surprising to me was how much this nurturing quality has spread into all aspects of my life. Before I react I often find myself thinking that is someone’s son or daughter and hope those who teach you in the future have that same thought process!

Thankful: Cupcake, you are the most tremendous gift I have ever received. Having you has drawn me closer to God because I know he handpicked you out just for me. There is not one day that I take you for granted and I’m so very thankful I can call you my daughter!

Thank you Cupcake for making me a PARENT. I’m a much better person because of you!

Its so easy to focus on what your life used to be like before become a parent and I hope this helps you remember that the person you became by becoming a parent is a MUCH BETTER person!

Image

Check your Belly- PART 2- THE WORKOUT!

Hi Mama’s,

So I have given you plenty of time to “check your belly”!  If you are like me and have a wonderful new friend Diastasis Recti not to fear the TUPLER TECHNIQUE aka Mummy Tummy Fixer is here!

Fair warning..I just put away my Wonder Woman cape from Halloween so I may use a lot of super hero references in this post 😉

Lets just get right down to business because if you are like me you have AWESOME..FABULOUS plans for your Friday night.. My plans just might be lounging in my PJ’s, sipping some wine and watching Lifetime but right now that is my version of my Fabulous Friday Night!

***Before you start the program, take pictures of your belly from the front and the side. Your before photos will inspire you to continue doing the program- TRUST ME!

Healing your Diastasis Recti is all about using your Transverse Muscle correctly. Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1. Gravity affects your ability to engage the transverse muscle; therefore, it is best to exercise in a seated or standing position.

2. Belly breathing puts the transverse muscle in the right starting position, 5th floor,  which I will explain below.

3.  In a back lying position when the shoulders come off the floor, it is impossible to bring the transverse to 5th floor and hold it there which is why sit-ups are a NO NO if you have diastasis.

4. A forward crossover movement will make the diastasis larger. Avoid activities such as tennis or golf until you are healed!

OK so what is this 5th floor thing??

  • Take a belly breath in (you should visibly see your stomach extend as you take in air)
  • As you exhale pull your belly button in as if you were trying to have your belly button reach your back.  NOTE: This is not the same as sucking in as many of us have been know to do to get that “perfect” picture.  When you “suck in” you are sticking your ribs out which you DONT want to do. You want to close your ribs and have your transverse muscles rest in their proper place!
  • This position in which you are pulled in is called- FIFTH FLOOR. Fall in love with this position because you will be here A LOT!

THE WORKOUT:

These are going to be the only 2 exercises you do for 2 weeks.  Try to refrain from weight training and running during this time. You really need to concentrate on healing and retraining your abdominal muscles before going all out with other forms of exercises. Again- TRUST ME!  I learned this the hard way!

EXERCISE #1 ELEVATOR (seated)

  • With ribs in, bring belly to 5th floor and hold it there for 30 counts. Count out loud so you are breathing.
  • Do 10 little squeezes from 5th to 6th floor (so pull your belly button even further back towards your spine)
  • End with a belly breath. Expand belly to first floor (all the way out) and then bring belly to 5th floor on the exhale.
  • That’s 1 set!

EXERCISE #2 CONTRACTING (seated)

  • Ribs are in and hands are resting on upper and lower belly to ensure backward movement.
  • Belly goes from the 3rd to 5th floor (instead of pulling your belly all the way back first like in the Elevator only pull back 1/3 of the way and then squeeze back to 5th floor).
  • Control the release only back to 3rd floor.
  • Make sure you count out loud so you are breathing.
  • 1 set = 100 squeezes going from 3rd to 5th floor!

YOUR GOAL FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!

WEEK 1:  5 sets of CONTRACTING  & 10 sets of ELEVATORS

WEEK 2: 5 sets of CONTRACTING (but start at 4th floor and squeeze to 5th..the goal is to not relax your muscles as much as you did in Week 1) & 10 sets of ELEVATORS

HELLO…ANYONE THERE???

I know Mama’s it sounds like a lot but Im telling you IT WORKS! Once you learn how to do the exercises it becomes second nature. You can do these driving, cooking dinner and getting ready in the morning but dont try to be a multi-tasking Wonder Woman yet ;).  Focus on doing the exercises correctly and dont rush through them.  Break up your exercises by doing some in the morning, afternoon and night, put in on your to do list and make it a PRIORITY!

THE SPLINT:

If you want to see Super Hero like results I really encourage you to order the Rehab Split. It is recommended that you wear this all the time even while sleeping until you heal. I will admit that I didn’t wear it while sleeping but wore it consistently for 3 weeks especially when doing the exercises.  Here is the link with a video to show you how to put it on!

http://strongtummies.com/home/?shopp_product=diastasis-rehab-splint® (just copy and paste into your browser if the link doesn’t work)

So thats all you need to focus on for now!!

Back to your day you go to fight crime and save cities.. well really it’s off to dirty diapers, dirty dishes and dirty laundry for most of us but you get the point!

Good luck Super Mommies… lets get those bellies back to where they belong!

🙂 Cupcake’s Mommy

PS.. Picture of my belly taken last week 7 weeks after starting the program and the other picture is Cupcake or I should say “Super Cupcake” and I, “Wonder Woman” on Halloween 🙂

IMG_3485 IMG_3488 photo-2

Have you checked your belly?

Hi Mamas!

I must admit I honestly thought my stomach would deflate like a popped balloon after I gave birth.  When that did not happen I thought did they forget to take something out or HOLD UP is there another baby in there. I look back at the pictures following my C-section and my stomach looks like I’m 6 months pregnant! Talk about feeling let down.

Being a dancer all my life honestly has made me a bit critical about my body. Being in the professional dance arena in which you are paid to look “perfect” didn’t help either.  No matter how fit you are pre pregnancy you never really know how your body is going to respond to being pregnant until you go through it. Some women work out and eat healthy and still gain an extreme amount of weight while others pig out and hang up their tennis shoes for 9 months, pop out their baby and the next day look like they never had one.- THAT WASNT ME and if that was you please don’t tell me 😉

I ate pretty healthy and worked out often but I didn’t push myself by any means. Coaching dance and working, at the time, in a sales job kept me active most days which I believe helped to keep my weight gain within the normal range.  Friends and family would always tell me “you will bounce right back and have your 6 pack back in no time “while very discouraging articles and “others” would say you might as well kiss your figure goodbye..those “others” will remain nameless!

Fast forward a bit to 3 months post C-section and I still looked pregnant. Yes I had some extreme gas (sorry just keeping it real) but I was running, weight training and doing abdominal work..so why did I still look like this?

I went back to my OB and he assured me it would just take time for my body to return to a “new normal”..God bless him and his “new normal” statement! He is lucky I like him!! He prescribed some medicine to work on my gas issues but I wasn’t satisfied with that answer..something told me to do some research.

I turned to my trusty pal for which I have a love/hate relationship with, Google, and it was here that I started to find light at the end of the tunnel based on my symptoms:

  • Severe gastro issues following a C section
  • Extreme bloating
  • Appearance of still looking pregnant…

DIASTASIS RECTI…

So turns out that I have this! In other words my abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy and didn’t come back together. So that bulge that made me look slightly pregnant was in fact my intestines!! I know, I know its gross but at least I now knew what I was dealing with.  I was having gastro issues because my intestines were hanging out unsupported by my abdominal wall. They need each other and my abs just said, see ya! Not nice at all! And you know all of that core work I did as soon as I got cleared to exercise??…that just MADE IT WORSE! (gravity was not my friend)

Why didn’t my OB tell me about this or check me for this? Well the truth of the matter is your OB is concerned about keeping you and your baby alive, whether or not you flaunt flat abs in a bikini in the near future is not on his/her lists of concerns but its on mine!!

You see I think a lot more women could rock flatter abs after childbirth if they just knew what to do and NOT to do.  MOST IMPORTANTLY..All women should check their bellies for a diastasis recti!

SO HOW DO YOU CHECK…

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor.

2. Place one hand behind your head, and the other hand on your abdomen, with your fingertips across your midline-parallel with your waistline- at the level of your belly button.

3. With your abdominal wall relaxed, gently press your fingertips into your abdomen.

4. Roll your upper body off the floor into a “crunch,” making sure that your ribcage moves closer to your pelvis.

5. Move your fingertips back and forth across your midline, feeling for the right and left sides of your rectus abdominal muscle. Test for separation at, above, and below your belly button.

Use Correct Form for an Accurate Assessment…

  • Make sure that you don’t simply pull your head off the mat-a common mistake. To effectively contract your abs, you need to move your ribcage closer to you pelvis. If you don’t adequately activate your abdominal wall, you might assume that you have abdominal separation. But for most, as the rib cage moves closer to the pelvis and the contraction deepens, the width of the gap at your midline will decrease.
  • Don’t panic if you feel a “hole” in your belly in the first few postpartum weeks. Everyone’s connective tissue at the midline is lax after childbirth. As you recover, your midline will slowly regain its former density and elasticity, and the “hole” will become shallower, and if you do the right exercises, more narrow too.

Signs of Diastasis Recti/Abdominal Separation…

  • A gap of more than 2 1/2 finger-widths when the rectus abdominis is fully contracted.
  • The gap does not shrink as you contract your abdominal wall.
  • You can see a small mound protruding along the length of you midline.

So…do you have one??

If the answer is YES..here is your homework..

STOP DOING THE FOLLOWING:

  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Sit-ups

These will only make it worse!

I’m in week 4 of my rehab for my diastasis recti and the results are incredible…

My next blog post will feature the exercises and tools I am using that have helped me.  I’m only an email away if you have questions until then!

In the meantime start telling yourself that you CAN have a flat stomach again..its possible mama’s.

Contract your abs three times and tell them “There’s no place like home” 😉

IMG_0922

Picture taken about 3 months post C-section (April 2013). Will include recent pictures in my next blog post to document progress made using the Tupler Technique designed specifically for closing your abdominal separation!

Pretty Little Liars…

IMG_2381 Hey Mama’s! First things first, no, this is not a post about the show Pretty Little Liars..in fact I have never seen the show. As they say, if the shoe fits… confused?? Let me explain… I have something to admit. I’m a liar! (get the title now 😉 ) There I said it! I know, I know, I have some explaining to do so here it goes… Every since I became a mommy I have gotten into this bad habit of telling little white lies. About what you ask? Well they all stem from what I’m actually doing when asked how my day is going. For some reason I feel like I always have to be doing something when asked.  For example, here is an excerpt of a recent conversation with the Hubs… “Hubs”- Hey hunni how is your day going? “Pretty Little Liar aka Me” – OMG I’m running around like crazy, just vacuumed, took the dog and baby for a walk, cooking dinner and answering emails!! “Hubs”- Silence Really what is he supposed to say to that??I’m sure he is glad he is nowhere near ANY house where all of that is going on. Well most days are REALLY like that for me. How I manage to work, coach, cook, clean and take care of Cupcake and Hubby on a daily basis is beyond me and I know I forget to do many things because of how insane my days get. Sadly some days, if I don’t have to leave the house, it’s the shower I forget :/ BUT SOME DAYS ARE NOT LIKE THAT AND I STILL SAY THEY ARE!

  • Why cant I admit that I actually sat in silence and did nothing on the rare day that she took an hour nap?
  • Why can’t I admit that I slept in until 9am because I use her for my alarm clock and she ACTUALLY slept ALL NIGHT LONG?
  • Why cant I admit that when I said I had to work late that I actually went and got a pedicure and enjoyed every last second of it!!?

The amount of pressure I put on myself to do it all is ridiculous. I mean I don’t see my hubby making excuses for needing to go to the gym or sleeping through her cries because he has selective hearing disorder 😉 He just does it and makes no excuses for it! 2 weeks ago, I did the unthinkable and took a bath IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! I can hear all of you gasp. How could she do that?? It wasn’t like the baths of old times when I would pour myself a glass of wine, play soft music and relax for how ever long I wanted to. This bath was much different:

  • A cup of coffee replaced my wine.
  • Baby toys surrounded me instead of scented candles.
  • I kept my eye on a baby monitor instead of turning the pages of US magazine.

But I achieved something that I don’t get too much of these days. ME TIME! When my hubby called me that day and asked how my day was I told him about my luxurious bath and his response was ” Good for you Hun!”.   See how simple his reply was! I can learn something from him. So Pretty Little Liar no more! The next time I’m running late because I can’t function without Starbucks or I’m late coming home because my nail chipped and I “had” to fix it or I sat in the car for a bit after coming home because my favorite song was on and I was relieving my college years, I’m just going to tell him or anyone who asks me exactly what I did! Even Wonder-woman, aka every mom I know, need breaks and we shouldn’t have to lie about needing one. Lets all take the oath to boldly declare, “Pretty Little Liar no more, I need a break and I’m going to take one!” Hope you took sometime for yourself today..Hell even if it was just to shower- THAT TOTALLY COUNTS 😉

Never Will I Ever…

 

Sounds like the beginning of that fun little game I bet we have all played at one time and I’m not about to tell you what my response was 😉

No this is about the hardest and the best lesson I have learned as a woman and now a mother. 

 

This time last year I was about 8 months pregnant and working full time in medical sales. My job required me to drive about an hour into my territory to visit physicians and hospitals. The day-to-day work was getting taxing on me but for those of you who know me know that I have a tendency to think that I can do EVERYTHING! In addition to working full time I was also coaching my college dance team. I have to admit I was tired, but I would NEVER have admitted that to anyone if they asked me..for some reason I thought I had to say I was fine.

 

I forgot to mention that I was also on modified bed rest which meant that I should NOT have been doing much of anything but I really just don’t know how to do NOTHING..I think I missed the class in which that word was defined in school.

 

I knew there was a scheduled work sales meeting coming up in Las Vegas and in the back of my mind I knew I shouldn’t go, my doctor told me not to, my family told me not to but I’m stubborn and I thought I had to go in order to let my job know that I was still a go getter despite me carrying around the extra large basketball in my stomach. 

 

Did I go? Well I sure did and guess what?… I ended up in the ER due to contractions caused by dehydration and missed half of the meeting anyway. THANK GOD I convinced my husband to come with me “just in case” something happened. 

 

So was that the lesson I learned?  Well, that would have been a good enough lesson but no there is more!

 

I was called into a meeting the next week by my manager for which I thought would be a meeting to discuss the sale of our company and the new direction we were headed but nope boy was I wrong. The meeting was to tell me my position was ELIMINATED as a result of “restructuring”!  I can close my eyes now and picture it like it was yesterday..I waddle my huge self into the meeting, was greeted by my manager, was asked how I was doing and then told “we are eliminating your position and no longer need your services.”

 

I was:

 

SHOCKED

 

HUMILIATED

 

ANGRY

 

MAD…AT MYSELF!!

 

You see I could have lost something MUCH MORE important than any job will ever be to me..MY BABY GIRL.  I wasn’t a personal decision to my job and I made a HUGE personal mistake in even going on that trip.

 

The path I was going on in my career was not the path I was supposed to be going on. My dream has always been to make dance my full time career and I knew I wanted to have the flexibility to stay home with my baby girl. THAT WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITH THE JOB I WAS WORKING. 

 

This isn’t the first time that God has pulled the rug from under me in order to get my attention but God will NEVER have to do that again!

 

This was a harsh reality check for me! My life was severely out of balance. Not anymore!

 

▪   GOD FIRST

 

▪   FAMILY SECOND

 

▪   WORK THIRD

 

I will never put a job or any material gain as first priority in my life. That is not to say that I will not give my absolute best to my job but it will NEVER come at the expense of time with my family or my health again.

 

I’m replaceable to everyone EXCEPT my family. I gave 200% to my previous employer, broke sales records and worked weekends and guess what they still fired me.  

 

There is more to the story with the job..A LOT more.  God saw to it that I didn’t walk away empty handed. I cant elaborate much more for many reasons but I was the clear winner!  Almost three months later I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl!  There isn’t a paycheck, bonus check or company car that compete with her!

 

As a new mom it is so tough to go back to work. You feel the tug of war of trying to be the best mom you can while trying to make sure you are performing your best at work so no one thinks you hit your head on the “mom tree”. What the “mom tree”?? You know that tree you bump your head on that makes you a bit forgetful, a little less organized than you used to be and just a tad bit late at times. Well so what! That bump on your head doesn’t make you any less valuable to the company you work for unless you feel that way yourself! 

 

Being a mom makes you more valuable because hell you can multi-task like it’s a new Olympic sport and if you can pump and drive like I have on many occasions you deserve a gold medal in my book! Don’t speed and pump because that could be a mighty interesting traffic stop;)

 

Being a mom means you put your children first..END. OF. STORY. If anyone tells you differently do yourself a favor and fire them! 

 

Cupcake and I are dancing our way down the RIGHT path now!

 

 

Image

 

 

Image

Cracks in the Foundation

Image

Image

 

It is often said that happiness is fleeting. Well if you don’t have a solid foundation, it can be!

You see we have been dealing with drain flies for the past month. It started as one or two and over the weekend that number quickly became 1,000 or more. Those of you who personally know me, know that even typing the words “drain flies” makes me squirm. I’m petrified of bugs! We couldn’t figure out what was causing the flies and originally thought they were getting in from the back door. Well, after turning to Mr. Know it All aka GOOGLE, we learned that drain flies can be caused from a clogged drain.

Ok easy to fix, right? Sure we thought so too! We cleaned the drains and they kept coming and by kept coming I mean they were now coming out of our ventilation system and landing on our walls.  We then taped up the vents just to make sure and yup those mini wings of terror were flying out of the air ducts and sticking to the tape. 

Our next call was to a plumber. I thought he was going to snake the line, unclog it and back to normal we go, but oh no..he found a BIG OLE CRACK IN THE PIPE THAT RUNS UNDER OUR HOUSE. Yes I’m screaming because our house is old and it sits on one large concrete slab. So in order to fix the problem they had to dig two holes in our kitchen (see exhibit A- the nasty picture).

For the past week we have been without a kitchen and our house is a mess..a dust covered mess. We finally had to vacate the house and have been living in a hotel for the past 3 nights. We had to fumigate the house to get rid of the existing bugs and cross our fingers that this solves the problem. We had to go home to get more stuff to take back to continue our forced “stay-cation” and it was like entering a war zone. Dead bugs everywhere and a layer of dust on EVERYTHING!

There have been many times when I wanted to break down and blame someone, anyone! But you see I cant break down..there is a little person who needs me to keep my S*i!  together.  As I was packing up our belongings to move to the second hotel..yup you are really getting jealous of my “stay-cation” now aren’t you, I looked over at my daughter who was staring at me as I let out an audible loud sigh..ok REALLY LOUD sigh.  

As I looked at her my mood changed instantly. I smiled and she smiled with her large infectious smile that lights up her entire face.  She reminded me that my happiness can not be based on my surroundings because my little cupcake has remained happy though it all.  (see exhibit B-the happy picture)

I did everything I could to recreate her surroundings so that she would adjust well. I brought her favorite toys, her playpen, and made sure I had her favorite music on my computer but you know what she didnt need any of that stuff she just needs me to be HAPPY! 

This experience has taught me a lot about myself and if my foundation wasn’t solid I could have let this situation break me down. If I dwell on how much it will cost, the state of my house or its contents I will lose it. I had to make the choice to focus on what I do have and I have a lot!  We have a long way to go to repair our house but this did not crack my family’s foundation and it could have!

We all woke up in one big hotel bed this morning and thanked God for each other and our temporary home filled with laughter, love and NO BUGS…well there IS one big giant love bug here aka Cupcake but we will keep her 😉

 

 

 

A Bigger Heart…

Image

Cupcakes sick, nothing serious but sick nonetheless ;(

No book, class or “must have” list prepares you emotionally for motherhood. I always wondered how I would feel at times when my baby girl was hurting.

My mom has told me countless stories of my rather sickly childhood and I have vivid memories of quite a few of them. I remember my mom sitting up with me as I battled chronic strep throat and my dad was often there too even though “Mom” was always the first name yelled. I was the one in pain so I never even contemplated how they must have felt.

Well, now I know.

It’s awful 😦 Her cries are raspy and her sobs congested. Her great big eyes look up at me.. AT ME! I’m now the one who is supposed to save the day. How did my mom do it? She always knew just what to do. I immediately feel inadequate and contemplate getting a T-shirt made that says Rookie Parent!

She has a bad cold, it will pass. In the meantime I will pick her up when she cries and kiss her tears and tell her its ok..why oh why didn’t my pediatrician send me home with a list of things to do to help ME cope!

I remember preparing my list of things that I just “had to have” like that useless wipe warmer, and that list seems so frivolous right now. In all honestly, new moms need to know that you will somehow have to make your heart bigger and stronger at the same time. Anyone know any stores that carry a device that can do that??

Imagine a Wonder Woman cape tied around your heart..yup that describes the “new heart” you will need.

I know dealing with a sick baby is just one instance in which I will feel ill equipped in this motherhood thing. Experienced mommies I know you are just shaking your head and saying ” poor thing this is nothing, just wait until…” Well you see I’m not ready for the next thing to happen. I’m still trying to figure out how to be..well like my mom was.

How did she know how to do and fix EVERYTHING!

Well that’s the beauty of motherhood..we mommies often make it look easy when inside our heart is trying to glue its cape back on.

So here is my advice to myself and other “Rookie Mommies”:

▪   Step 1- BREATHE!

▪   Step 2- Wrap your superhero cape around your heart.

▪   Step 3- Look into your little ones eyes and say, “Mommy will fix it”. You may not have the slightest idea how or if you can and that’s ok..well, it is ok for me now. I may lose this tactic once she can talk and reason with me;)

For now this approach calmed her and she closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms. Tears built up in my eyes because I now realized how my mom felt all of those times.

I hugged Cupcake a little tighter, put her back in her crib and prayed ” Dear God, please give me a bigger heart and a couple of capes. I have a feeling one will not be enough.”

Hoping your little ones or not so little ones are healthy and happy! And if anyone knows of a heart cape maker please send him or her my way;)