Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Girl Named Reluctant...

...to go back to work. We had SUCH a good long Labor Day weekend, I did NOT want to come back to work this morning! Friday Kylie was out of school, so I took off work to spend the day with her. We went to Panera for breakfast and had a giant cinnamon roll, then to get our nails done and pedicures, then to Aviary for lunch, then a little shopping. It was so much fun! 


Giant cinnamon roll for breakfast!


Pedicure
Lunch at Aviary
Saturday we didn't do much, just stuck around the house. Sunday we went to the lake and the girls had a blast! (Chloe stayed at home with grandma, she is a little to small to enjoy the lake!) They rode jet ski's, went tubing, and swam all day!


Claire and Dad tubing

Kylie and Claire on the jet ski
Kylie and Claire on the jet ski


Kylie and Claire on the jet skit

Claire and Dad tubing



Kylie getting ready to tube

I thought they would be scared to do some of it, but they weren't at all (I was more afraid for them to tube than they were!)  Then we had a picnic lunch, and sno cones for a snack. 


Picnic

Sno cones
We had SUCH a great weekend, the girls are still talking about how much fun they had! It was so relaxing, and for the first time in forever, I was relaxed and wasn't worried about anything! I didn't think about work, or anything besides the memories we were making. I know the girls will remember it for their whole lives (at least Kylie will). 

Now, back to the grind at work. At least it's a 4 day work week!   

Monday, June 9, 2014

Girl Named Not Skinny Mom

Okay, this post is pretty hard for me to put out there, it's almost like I'm publicly admitting that I know I'm fat. I've always been overweight, but it's never really bothered me. I have what I like to call "reverse anorexia" because instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a fat person, I look in the mirror and see someone much thinner than I actually am. I've always thought that my personality and intelligence would get me far enough that I don't have to be "skinny". I have a Master's degree, a great job, a beautiful family, I consider myself quite successful, and my weight has never been figured into the equation. I never though having abnormally high self-esteem would be a hindrance. 

Before I got pregnant with Chloe I had lost 40 pounds running and doing Weight Watchers (and was still considered overweight, but I thought I looked pretty darn good!) and ran a half marathon. Running is something I love, and have completed many races of all distances. While I was pregnant I gained about 55 pounds, and still have 35 of it left to lose. I'm currently 4 sizes bigger than I was last May. I have found it hard to find time to run with a new baby, but I owe it to myself to get back into it again. It frustrates me because I feel like I worked so hard to lose it, and now I'm losing the same weight all over again. But I did it once, I know I can do it again. It's just so hard when my family is eating ice cream, or cheeseburgers at a BBQ, or pizza, and I know I shouldn't eat those things but I splurge so I can eat with them. Then I don't lose weight. 

That brings me to what prompted this post. Friday I was driving with the girls in the car. We passed a pool with a waterslide, and they asked if adults can go down the slide. I told them yes, they can. Then Claire said "You can't go down it because you will break it. It's only for skinny moms." Now, she's 4 years old, so she just speaks the truth. As I tried not to cry in front of them, I tried to kindly explain that people come in all shapes and sizes. That just because one person is bigger than another doesn't mean they are any better or worse. The main thing that matters is being healthy (which although I'm overweight, I get yearly physicals and every level is perfectly healthy), what matters is how you treat people and if you're a good person or not, and we should never judge anyone else because of their physical characteristics. I know overweight people that are absolutely beautiful, and "skinny" people that are quite ugly, simply because of how they treat people and their personalities. It hit me hard though, because although I've never really worried about my size, it never occurred to me that my girls have noticed that I'm bigger than other moms. I don't want them to have the "fat mom", I don't want them to ever be embarrassed of me. I want them to be healthy and to have me as an example of being healthy (regardless of what size "healthy" is). 

Then I thought about it, and I don't have any friends that are overweight (and I have a lot of friends, if I do say so myself). I recently connected with a friend that does, and she's been a great support. Every one of my other friends is thin, an acceptable weight, a few are what I think to be too thin! My point is, I don't have anyone to talk to, anyone who knows the struggle of trying to lose weight and project a healthy body image to 3 daughters. Then when I have friends that are really thin talk about how they need to lose weight, it falls on deaf ears. I do know that every woman has their own body issues, and I am by no means dismissing theirs or saying they should be happy with their body, I just mean it's hard for someone who legitimately needs to lose weight hear someone that is so thin talk about losing 5 pounds. 

I also don't want my husband to have a fat wife. I know that he loves me regardless, and he knows that I'm losing baby weight, but it doesn't seem fair for me to do to him. He didn't marry a fat person, so it's not fair for me to stick him with a fat wife 12 years later. The bottom line is, while I was losing weight already, I'm now even more motivated for my family. It's just SO hard, because I don't want my girls to always know me as being on a diet, and always trying to lose weight. I'm careful not to mention anything about being heavy, or trying to lose weight. When I do talk about it, I emphasize being healthy, eating healthy, having more energy, etc.

There. I've put it out there. Now that I've said it, you all know I'm overweight ;) But now I'm more accountable because you all know, it will help motivate me to lose the weight so I can show everyone it's possible. 

Have any of you struggled with this? Does anyone have any words of encouragement or tips on how to deal with this issue with your children? Do you think you can be happy if you're overweight or will society not allow it?  

P.S. I think this girl is awesome, and I want to be like her when I grow up! :)

Plus Sized Pole Dancer

Monday, June 2, 2014

Girl Named Crazy

I read this article today, and felt the need to blog about it. It's about being ashamed when you have more than 2 kids. 

To the Lady Ashamed of Being Pregnant With Her Fourth

When we had Kylie, people asked if we were going to try for a boy. When we had Claire, people asked if we were going to try for a boy or if we were done. When I was pregnant with Chloe, people asked if she was an accident or planned (and I was always amazed people had the nerve to ask such a question), and if we are done or going to try for a boy. Now, when we did PLAN to have Chloe we were trying for a boy, but not everyone knows that. Why would they just assume that since we had two girls we automatically wanted a boy? And now that we have 3 girls, we will automatically try for a boy again? Having a girl and a boy doesn't define the American family. We are very happy and blessed with the 3 amazing girls that we have. 

People also assume if you're having more than 2 kids you're crazy. Studies have been done, and the parents of 4 kids reported being the happiest! Having said that, sometimes I feel like I'm crazy. Having 3 kids is HARD work. But for us personally, the benefits far outweigh the work we have to put in. Those 3 girls are our lives, and we can't imagine it any other way. And it melts my heart on a daily basis to see them interact with each other, and the sweet little sister moments they have (when they're actually being nice to each other!) and the bond that I know they will have for life. I am an only child, and I have wished my whole life that I had a sister to share everything with, so I'm so happy to have provided that to my kids. Every day is a new adventure, and I just want to enjoy this "magic time" while they're little because all too fast it will be past. 

The bottom line is - 1 kid or 20 kids (if you're a Duggar) it's everyone's individual family decision, and none of anyone's business. Moms get judged for SO many things, why add the number of children she has to the list? Why can't we moms stick together and support each other instead of picking apart every little thing that each other does. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Girl Named Back at Work

Well I'm officially back at work. It was so nice to have 10 weeks off to spend with Chloe, I'm a little sad to be back. It is hard to leave her every morning. But I am glad to be back into a routine, and using my brain on a daily basis, and talking to other adults! It is definitely exhausting though (all you mom's understand!) Getting up by 6:30 (this morning I was up at 5am!) to get ready and get Chloe fed, drive her to Springfield to the sitter, then back to Republic for work, then after work drive back to Springfield to get her, then back to Battlefield to get Kylie at school and Claire at preschool. Yesterday it took me 45 minutes after work, and I only picked up 2 of the kids! Then fix dinner, baths, bedtime, then it's my bedtime! I've yet to figure out how a shower for myself works into this routine... ;) I know we will get used to it, it's just a big change. Having 3 kids at 3 different places every day is a lot of driving! I am so fortunate that Chloe sleeps very well at night still, most nights she's asleep by 8:30 and sleeps until about 6:30am, so that helps a lot! 

The big girls just love Chloe though, Kylie is so good at feeding her and holding her, and calming her down when she's crying. Claire just loves kissing her and telling her she looks beautiful. I look at those girls every day and think how blessed we are to have such beautiful, healthy, smart little girls. They enrich my life in unimaginable ways, most days they are the only thing that gets me through!

We took the girls to a Springfield Cardinals game on Sunday, it was Chloe's first! We sat in our Ashley Furniture suite, so it was easy to be able to take care of her. They had a lot of fun! 


Kylie had her kindergarten graduation on Monday, I can't believe the school year is over! This year has flown by, it seems like just last week we were taking her to the first day, and I had just found out I was pregnant. Now we have a 2 month old and Kylie's almost a 1st grader!! 


The days are long, but the years are short. Kylie will be 6 (going on 16) years old in a month, and Claire will be 4! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Girl Named Blessed

It's been a couple weeks, but I've been busy adjusting to life with 3 kids! It's crazy, but as a good friend said (that has 3 boys) it's "crazy awesome"! The big girls have adjusted well and love Chloe, sometimes a little too much...like when she's sleeping and they try to kiss her ;) I think meal times are the hardest, breakfast and dinner on weeknights because the baby is always hungry when I'm trying to feed the older ones. 

At her 1 week appointment she was 96th percentile for weight and height, and at her 2 week appointment she was 98th for weight! She loves to eat! She's sleeping 4-6 hours at night, depending. Usually she'll eat around 11pm, then sleep until 5am or 6am. If she eats at 2am she sleeps until 7 or 8am. She is an AWESOME sleeper so far (I knocked on wood, don't worry!) but I know that can always change. I'm just very thankful for all the unexpected sleep I've had so far, as she's never gotten up to eat every 2 hours. 

She had her first bath and hated it! Cried the entire time:
First bath!
The second bath she only cried half the time and it ended much better:

Second bath!
Today we took her to Mexican Villa for the first time, and she slept the whole time. We sat at the table right next to the booth we sat at on our first date and I told him we never thought we'd be sitting there 12 years later with 3 kids! On that note, Monday is our 7 year wedding anniversary, and not to get sappy because that's not my style, but I am so happy I married him. He is the best father these girls could ask for, and the best husband I could ask for (most of the time...) I look forward to 70 more years of wedded bliss with him (yes, I'll be 103)! 

I'm loving being on maternity leave, although it took me a couple weeks to adjust to being off. She will be a month old next Saturday, and it's going by way too fast! My husband actually told me a few days ago that he looked at our finances and I could stay at home permanently if I kept Chloe and Claire at home with me. I immediately said no, that Claire needs to be in preschool and I need to be at work. I've been thinking a lot about it since though, and trying to figure out what the best answer is. As all of you fellow mom's know, whether you work or stay at home, it's a big decision. I want to spend time with my kids as much as every mom does, but I also really enjoy working. I went to college and got a Master's Degree to help me with my career, and I enjoy what I do. I also enjoy having adult interaction and talking to  people every day, and having a reason to take a shower and put make up on! On the other hand I am really enjoying spending this time with Chloe and being home as well. I know ultimately I have to do what is best for my kids, and Claire is almost 4 and I truly think it's best for her to be in preschool (Kylie is in kindergarten so she's not a factor), she's getting ready to start kindergarten next year, doing activities with kids her age and keeping her routine. Our babysitter that we have lined up for Chloe is the same one that watched the big girls and she is awesome. She did so much for Kylie in the 4 years she kept her, and taught her so much that I know that Chloe will be in great hands and will be learning a lot and doing a lot of activities at her house as well. So...does it make me a bad mom if the best decision for my kids is to not stay home with me?? I also know that working keeps me sane (when it's not making me crazy) and my kids need a sane mom. Anyway, I rambled a bit, but any fellow moms that want to give your (cordial and nice) opinion I would be happy to take it (and any friends that know me well feel free to chime in with your opinion since you know me)! In the end I just want to do what's best for my kids. 

We are so blessed to have the beautiful girls that we have, and I am so thankful for them. I will keep you guys updated, and I plan on doing a post at least once a week still. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Girl Named Mommy...AGAIN!

She's here! Chloe Grace Edwards was born at 8:19pm on Wednesday, March 12th! She weighed 7lbs 15oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. I had a fairly easy delivery, I got to the hospital at 11am to be induced, so 9 hours total! We came home Friday morning, from a very frustrating stay at Cox Hospital (we've had all 3 babies there, and never had such bad "service" and disorganized and unknowledgeable nurses. We were not impressed with Cox this time.The bright spot was that I got to eat popsicles and jello and drink anything clear during labor!) 

Our first night home Chloe was up pretty much from 1:30am to 6:30am, she didn't sleep much. The second night (last night) she ate at 1:45am (Pete fed her) and at 5:30am (I went to bed at 9pm, so by 5:30 I'd had 8 1/2 hours sleep! Unheard of!) She's working on getting her days and nights straight, and she's still in that newborn sleep all day phase, but I'm trying to keep her up more in the daytime. I've been nursing and so far have been more successful than with the other two, but have also had to supplement a bit with formula, which we did with the girls as well. 

She is so beautiful (I'm of course not biased!) and I am so in love with her. She is (so far) such a good baby, she is calm and doesn't cry very much, very sweet and good natured. The girls are pretty excited that she's here. Although Kylie is very disappointed that Chloe sleeps so much and she can't play with her. We keep telling her to wait a few months and she'll be playing all the time! Claire has been a big helper, holding bottles, putting socks on, and getting towels and diapers. 





We are just so happy and blessed, our little family feels complete and I can't wait to watch the girls grow up together! The third baby is so different than the first - with Kylie I was in shock about having a baby, and simultaneously mourning the loss of my independent do-what-I-want lifestyle, and struggling with postpartum depression. With Chloe it's all about completing our family, being blessed with another healthy girl, and not about a huge lifestyle change. 

I am just so happy she's finally here (and I'm not pregnant anymore!) and we get to spend time with her. Or maybe that's just the 8 hours sleep I got last night talking... ;) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Girl Named 40 Weeks

I made it! 40 weeks! And no baby... I went to the dr yesterday and she scheduled me to be induced Tuesday night at 9pm. She then told me that is the last induction appointment for the week, and it's likely they will cancel and reschedule it. I was a little upset about it. Not because I have to wait until Tuesday, but because I didn't want to go in at night. I've experienced both ways - with Kylie I went in at 7pm (if your cervix is closed you have to go in at night to get Cervadil before they can induce) and I was awake all night, so by the time it was time to push at 2pm the next day, I was completely exhausted, and still didn't have her until 4:30. With Claire, I went in at 7am, and had her at 7pm, and was tired but it was SO much better after having a full nights sleep. So I was upset that I need Cervadil, and that I have to go in so late at night, and that it may be cancelled (I know, at this point I'm a big cranky whiner). I'm praying that she will just come on her own before then! I just had it in my head that because I was induced at 39 weeks with Claire, that I wouldn't go this long this time. 

I've had a cold for about a week, so with that added, I'm even more cranky and miserable. But, last night I slept better than I have in weeks (maybe months!) I slept 4 hours on one side (usually I have to flip every hour because my hips hurt) then got up to use the bathroom, then slept 4 hours on the other side! It was amazing, I feel like a new woman today! So now I'm just waiting to see if she'll come on her own, and if not, I'll go in (hopefully) Tuesday night! I can't believe she's almost here, it seemed like this day would never come. I've had everything ready at home for a few weeks now, so there's nothing left to do but wait. 

I will keep you updated and post pictures when she comes! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a smooth delivery and healthy baby!