Monday, October 27, 2014

All That Candy!

What will you do with the bazillion pounds of candy your child(ren) will accumulate over Halloween?
 
Will you let them eat endlessly from their plastic jack-o-lantern throughout the night? Or will you deprive limit them to a few pieces every day for several days, then hope they forget about all the rest?
 
When I was growing up I don't ever remember any limitations put on my "gold," so I asked my mom for verification. She said she was not as strict as I am with candy now that I'm a mom, and to quote: "Your dad ate most of it." Ha!
 
Trick-or-treating with friends was always a blast! After running wild through the neighborhood, we would dump our bags on the living room floor to see what we ended up with. I always separated my candy by brand: Milky Way, Whoppers (my childhood favorite), 3 Muskateer, Now and Later... and the candy I didn't like, which I left up-for-grabs. My friends and I would spend several minutes trading candy for our favorites, until we were satisfied with our takings.
 
Now that I'm a mother, I look at Halloween slightly differently. Now that I'm more health-conscious, I look at Halloween slightly differently.
 
The first year we took Emmalyn Trick-or-Treating she was eleven months old and didn't know what candy was, therefore she didn't have any. Bringing her door-to-door was really just for "show" and cute pictures. The second year, at almost two years-old, she still didn't know what candy was because she had never had any before. The candy put in her bag may as well have just been rocks to her. She ended up having the time of her life passing out her collected candy to other trick-or-treaters the remainder of the night, and I went home happy because we didn't have mounds of candy littering our house.
 
Last year, at nearly three years-old, I told Emmalyn she could pick out a toy at the store if she traded in her candy loot. She happily complied. I'm not sure what I would have done if she didn't take the bargain...?
 
This year, because of the amount of birthday parties we have been to in the past year, she knows exactly what candy is, and exactly what it tastes like. I know allowing her to have a few pieces is unavoidable. But that's just it--a few pieces. When we went Trick-or-Treating at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party last month, I told her she could have three pieces because she's three years-old. I thought there might be some resistance (and possibly a tantrum), because after all, kids usually ask for "more" no matter what, but really, she forgot all about the rest of the candy and never asked for it again.
 
We are going to two Halloween parties this year, plus Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood with friends. It's going to be a long night. And a lot of candy. I'm determined to stick to my guns about "three pieces" (I know, I know... some of you are rolling your eyes right now: Three?! That's it?! Let kids be kids!) and then let her trade the rest in for a "prize"--something tangible she can use or play with, instead of a tummy ache.
 
So, tell me, what are your candy plans for Halloween this year?

loyally,
katie
 
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Ballet & The Boobie Barre




If you would have told me five months ago I would be nursing my baby in the middle of ballet class, I would have thought you were a crazy person!

Five months ago I was struggling so much with breastfeeding. Every other day I wanted to quit. Practically every other day I was visiting my lactation nurse. I was constantly text messaging friends for support. I was telling my husband, "Don't let me give up!"

And look at me now:



It brings a whole new meaning to "The Boobie Barre"!

I also didn't think I would be getting back into dance at three months postpartum. But I did it! I was determined to stick to my mantra of "just get moving!" I'm so thankful that my ballet class allows me to wear Adelaide, and bring Emmalyn. This class is something I look forward to each and every week. Sometimes I am super stressed leading up to it (...Emmalyn doesn't want to get her shoes on, I accidentally take a wrong turn and end up on the interstate, Adelaide's crying, etc., etc.) BUT I leave it all on the dance floor!

I couldn't do the class without the amazing women and teacher who help and support me each week. They help me schlep my entire house baby stuff into the studio, and hold Adelaide while I do pirouettes across the floor.

Oh! I could easily make excuses for not going. I could easily say: "It's just too much work... It's too far of a drive... I'm too tired..." because let's face it--all the latter are completely true.

But it's so worth it. 

The hour-and-a-half my feet glide across the dance floor is therapy to me. It's hot and sweaty therapy! For that hour-and-a-half I get to be me.

I never foresaw nursing my baby at the ballet barre in my future. But looking down at her sweet cherub face, catching her smiling at me mid-plies, is quite magical. Sharing my passion with my littlest one is special and unique, and well--just magical.

Five months ago I would have thought you were crazy for saying this was in my future.

And now? I'm the crazy person.

And I love it!

loyally,
katie 

P.S. Do you think So You Think You Can Dance will add another genre of dance next season called Boobie Ballet? ;-)

*TELL ME: What do you like to do for exercise post-babies? What *excuses* are holding you back? I encourage you do go after what you want--and make it happen! You are way more capable than you think!






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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The 'Almosts'

There were a lot of names we threw around before deciding on "Adelaide". As a little girl I was constantly writing down baby names in a journal. It hasn't stopped since I've become an adult. It's funny how "Emmalyn" was never on my "baby name list" growing up. I actually thought I would name my first girl, Halle, and calling her "Hal". (I was slightly obsessed with Lindsay Lohan's version of The Parent Trap.) Emmalyn was 'almost' Olivia, a name I completely adored, but was too popular for us at the time. Also, I find it interesting that none of Emmalyn's 'almosts' showed up on Adelaide's potential name list. It's funny how things change.

 Here are a few of the top contenders that, while I love, didn't quite make the cut. Maybe next time...? ;-)

- Charlotte/"Charlie" {this was acutually her name for a couple of weeks until we decided it was becoming too popular}
- Fallon
- Maclaine
- Mackenzie
- Harper
- Teagan
- Tallulah {okay, so only I liked this name, but it was still on my list}
- Avery
- Stella
- Quinn {it became a middle name!}
- Addison
- Taylor
- Cordelia
- Scout
- Hayden
- Amelia
- Claire
 
I'm still very fond of all of the above names, but I can't imagine Adelaide being anything other than "Adelaide".
 
What names did you 'almost' name your child or children? What was the reason you didn't?
 
 
loyally,
katie

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

We are human

I've been thinking a lot lately about how far I've come as a mother. Most people know about my battle with Post-partum depression, and how horrendous it was. It may get deep here for a quick moment, so bear with me. Shortly after Emmalyn was born, I was convinced I was going to die--that something was terminally wrong with me. As time went on and I wasn't feeling any better, I wanted to disappear. I wanted to float away on a cloud, have my mom take care of my daughter, and return when I felt like myself again. Flash forward (to almost) four years, and I haven't returned to myself again. I've returned as a much better person.
 
Cognitive behavioral therapy helped me immensely. It aided me in becoming a better "me". I was at the lowest of lows. You can't get any lower than being brought to the emergency room, stating you're suicidal, then being admitted to a behavioral hospital. On the ambulance ride from the ER to the behavioral health hospital I kept demanding answers from God, "Why? Why is this happening to me? I'm a good person, so why? Why?! Why?!!"
 
I now know why. God challenged me in ways I never knew were possible. He was stripping down my insecurities and building up my strengths. He was doing this so I could be the best mother possible to my daughter, and future children.
 
My spit-fire of a (almost) four year-old (!??!!) challenges me nearly every day. She can sometimes make me question if I'm doing a good job as a mother. She can overwhelm me and get my blood boiling with her gold medal temper tantrums. But she's also tangible proof of my triumphs. She was put on this Earth by God to make me a better person.
 
I needed help. I couldn't do it on my own. Life isn't easy. It's hard! No one should have to carry all the burden and do it alone. Sometimes reaching out for help is the kick-start we need to becoming our better selves. I know it was for me.
 
The other day when we were putting Emmalyn in the car, my husband called her a "doll baby." Emmalyn shouted back, "I'm not a doll baby--I'm a human!" We laughed because it was so cute and innocent coming out of a three year-old's mouth, but it stuck with me on a deeper level--because it's true: We are human.
 
First and foremost, we are human. There are going to be days where we question if we're doing the right thing. That's "only human," as the saying goes. If you and your baby are fed, bathed, and clothed, you are doing the right thing.
 
We cannot be so hard on ourselves. I know I am doing the right thing. YOU are doing the right thing, my friend. Because after all, we are human.
 
loyally,
katie
 
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