23 August 2012

New Shoes and Updates


Sloan loves to walk. Shoes are not her favorite, but with a little persistence, she has gotten used to them and will even bring them to me to put them on. Possibly because she knows she needs shoes to go outside. Sloan LOVES to go outside. Between her and the dog, once that door opens, its a frantic beeline race to get to the crack in the door frame before it closes. Here are some pics of what we have been up to this past month.

Mimi came to visit and we went to Stride Rite. Sloan is wearing a 4.5 WIDE :) 
Here are her awesomely cute shoes. She is less than thrilled but has now gotten accustomed to wearing them and walking in them much better. We even purchased her a pair of sandals for the end of the summer.

MIMI CAME TO VISIT!
Visiting Family in Texas!



A playdate with Henry!
                                  
Playing a new Game with Daddy! Ride in the Grocery Bag! She LOVES this game!

Finding streamers on the floor - Sloan is meticulous! She finds anything dropped on the floor but lately has gotten very good about handing it to Rick or myself or better, throwing it in the trash! 


Sloan can show you her belly button as well as mine, ricks, and probably even yours. Yesterday she picked up a doll and pointed to her eyes and said "eyes". It was very sweet. She then hugged the doll just before she proceeded to shake it relentlessly. The poor little baby never stood a chance. Sloan likes to "honk" my nose and will make the noise to go with it. She loves to be upside down as well as help me cook dinner. I have also heard her repeat the words: Yellow (WOWO) and Red (BED) along with her music table's educational cues.  When asked what a cow says, Sloan will say MOOOOO, and a monkey? oooh ooh ah ah. A horsey makes a noise that i'd equate with a pig squeal. Her elephant is lips pressed together and blowing (because that is how i make the best elephant noise and it is much too hard to describe),




















Today she showed me a giraffe and then gave a ROAR. Close enough. She also follows instructions VERY well most of the time. She will sit down. Stand up. Walk away [from whatever it is she shouldn't be doing]. And she knows DO NOT TOUCH, which she will repeat and get her hand as close to the object without touching it. We also sing this song, Open Shut to which she opens and shuts her hands and on cue will give a little clap. We are having so much fun with our little girl and watching her grow. She brings our family so much joy!
Our month has been jam packed with birthday parties, airplane rides, play dates, and church. Sloan LOVES music and dancing, and will often sing along in her own words. Her little voice is so cute! Sloan is now very comfortable at church and will let some of the bigger kids hold her while i drink my coffee.  She loves playing with the big kids and will be moving up to a Toddler room at school just as soon as they have an opening. Public Schools start on the 27th which should mean she is moving up in a few week. It won't be much longer until she is bringing home original artwork! I cannot wait to decorate my office with Sloan Violet originals and of course scan them in for the world to see!

19 August 2012

The Perpetual Honeymoon

I should preface this post to say, if you don't want to know then stop reading.  You've been fairly warned

As we started what id like to consider our normal bedtime "routine", I paused and asked Rick, can I blog about this? We giggled and he replied, sure, but be light on detail. Nothing graphic. 

Rick and I have been married for 2.5 years, not very long, Rick is the best husband, friend and especially LOVER i have ever known. I can't get enough of him most days and we find ourselves up until 12/1am enjoying our marital bed be it intimately or just laughing and talking. Our life is the perpetual honeymoon.  I have to say it again, Rick was absolutely made for me, and on a physical level, God could not have given me a better mate. 

I have actually heard that we act like teenagers- but lets be honest, do you see anything wrong with that? Plus we don't do that in public. Just mom and dad type kisses for the public eyes. And in front of the kids, just love. We wrestle, we laugh and tickle and tease each other, in a PG way. I think that will keep our marriage alive much longer than anything else. We love each other dearly. I would hate to be in a marriage lacking the camaraderie that we share, for lack of a better word.

Most of you know, Rick and I have had some rough circumstances these past 2.5 years. We've also had extreme bliss. Going into this [marriage], we expected the first six years to be the most difficult. We also realize that if we can get through the remaining 3.5 years, then we will be equipped to endure anything. 

We had to travel the other day to handle some business. I wholeheartedly support Rick and will always be by his side no matter what. That's the role a spouse ought to play.  About that business, the Bible Says: "Whoever walks in integrity, walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out." Proverbs 10:9. Rick and I are firm believers in the truth. In the end, light exposes dark. We don't have to do anything, God will be the judge in the end. Our business has been handled.

These last 2.5 months have been a good test of our faith, ever since we returned from Hawaii. It seems like once it rained it poured. I probably could have handled some things better at times, but I can't be the perfect "Stepford Wife" all the time. So occasionally at home, things might have leaned towards less than ideal but those times were short lived. Rick and I are troopers and we dug our heals in, we stood on principle, and we kept  our integrity. James 1:2-3 says, to consider it joy whenever you face trials because these trials develop perseverance. I know this applies to your faith, but lets apply it to our relationship. What does not kill us makes us stronger. Hard times either drive a wedge or adhere you like glue. Rick and I sure have been made into glue. Point being, no relationship should have to go through some of the stuff we have in the first year. I can't wait for the silver lining. Every cloud has one and this one seems like it is ready to pass. 


14 August 2012

Eating Real(ly Good) Food

About six months ago, i decided to set out on a new life goal. Eating Clean as i like to call it. I started something similar in my late teens/ early 20s but never had the income to follow through. I really struggled with my weight starting my freshman year in college (as soon as my soccer season ended). Some of this was lifestyle (partying), but a great deal of it was not knowing how to eat, and making poor nutritional choices. All you can eat cafeterias will do that to wide eyed 18 year olds. I definitely struggled with my weight, at least in my mind. I may have never been termed "obese" but i was not comfortable in my skin. These two pictures are of my sister and myself BEFORE we made some major changes. (taken in 2004 and 2002)


My sister became a vegan a year or so ago, a lot of it as a result of the research she did as she tried to help understand her youngest son's diet restrictions and allergies. (He is allergic to a LOT of stuff and was constantly sick because of this). The more she researched, the more she learned about how wrong we really have it. "Diet" Foods are just crap fillers.  The things we (the human race in general) are putting into our bodies and calling "food" is not even food but chemicals and manufactured fluff made to taste like food. It goes so much further and deeper than that.

Lori has a great website and has helped many people lose weight by making major life changes.  Not just weight loss but kicking bad habits such as sugar or salt addictions, go look for yourself and contact her for your own good!

Anyone that has tried to diet knows that quick fix and FAD diets only last as long as your will to follow them. Look at Atkins. How long can you really go without eating complex carbohydrates? The brain fuels on them and without them your brain will suffer. Same for a liquid diet. Can you really eat only liquids for the rest of your life? What happens to you when you start to eat three whole meals a day again. There are other "diets" out there but as most people know, unless you make a complete change in lifestyle, the weight always comes back. My sister planted some good seeds in me, but I had to take baby steps and I wasn't ready for her changes yet.

I hoped and prayed my body would absorb most of the toxins I was consuming while I was pregnant (mostly sugar - yes refined processed sugar IS TOXIC). Rick bought me a book in December 2010 when I came to see him in Dubai: Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven which was very eye opening but a little much to start you out, for me anyways. I sort of followed some general guidelines but not rigidly. Then I had the baby and six months later, started feeding her Real Food. Not just breast milk, but solids. And everything changed. I always cared about what i was feeding her but i guess with the breast milk, i was just hoping my body took all the bad and only gave her the good of what I was consuming. I probably screwed that one up royally (again sugar), but I can only fix the present. So once I started making all of Sloan's food from scratch, I started reading labels. On the rare occasion I would buy her some Plum Organics baby food ( like when we would travel ) I made rice cereal from brown rice using my food processor to make it real fine. Everything I put into her body was homemade organic goodness and it was real food. I mostly ate "real food" but once i started feeding Sloan, i started thinking about my own health.

I stumbled across a website a friend of mine "LIKED" on facebook http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ and decided to take their 10 day challenge, along with Sloan. Rick was not interested though he has made huge leaps and bounds as far as his diet is concerned- i can safely leave him to eat his broccoli without hovering to make sure it doesn't go to the dog!  So for 10 days, Sloan and I ate nothing but real food. The website I have included above has a little less rigid guidelines that I myself would follow. It required some work but nothing too intense. But this website , while helpful, doesn't go the extra mile, but was definitely a good start for me.

The difference between myself and what the 100 days of real food pushes, for example, would be things like whole grain pasta and bread and dairy. Pasta and flours are binding. Even whole grain or brown rice pasta, sticks to your insides like glue. Don't believe me? cook some pasta and sit it in a cup of water for a day and tell me what happens to the pasta. Does it dissolve? Probably not. When I tried this, it got very sticky and glue like. And this was with brown rice, organic, pasta.

My sister does this thing with her boys that sort of stuck with me. They call it a "sometimes" food. Sometimes it is ok to have it. Sort of like potato chips. Those are a sometimes food, though not very often. If you completely restrict your/ or your child's diet, that's all they will want to eat when you're not around because it is forbidden. So by making it a sometimes food, you don't totally deny them, and you hope the healthier choices are what they crave.

Don't believe me yet? Watch this
DAIRY
This is somewhat related to my post yesterday in that I am still nursing my daughter (and because of her milk protein intolerance refuse to give her any dairy). But what if she didn't have this intolerance, what about dairy? It is a real food, that is correct, but do you wonder why so many people are lactose intolerant? Have you ever thought about the fact that milk comes from the nipple of a lactating cow, full of her hormones, that may be perfectly safe for her baby calf, but maybe not as safe for a baby human.  Having experienced this first hand being the relative of a dairy farm owner - a dairy farm that my father grew up on, I have seen udders dipped in ointment because they are inflamed. I have seen infected udders. I have had milk straight from a cow (well, in a cup). Its unpasteurized and warm. I still don't really like milk. These cows seem happy but so what? Goat milk in the raw state (unpasteurized) is the safer alternative. Nutritionally children don't need cow's milk. They need breast milk, and water. And once she is weaned, she will get water and freshly squeezed juices when I can manage.

Here are some links that sum it up for me. I encourage you to do some research yourself on what you are putting into your body.Cow's Milk: Dangers,  False Promises. I personally agree that dairy, at best, should be consumed in moderation, always organic, or even better "RAW",  I think something happens in all foods when they are pasteurized, which kills the enzymes and healthy properties. Similarly, the fat in milk is what slows the absorption of the sugar in milk, so if you drink skim milk, you're drinking sugar that causes spikes in your insulin levels. The fat in milk is what helps your body tolerate the natural sugars. Similarly fats and proteins do that for all foods, which is why i serve protein to my diabetic husband with his starch.

In summary, if you drink milk, drink organic raw milk. And if you must drink milk then, drink it in moderation. There is a lot of compelling evidence out there to support why dairy is not the best. Did you know it takes 10 pounds of full fat milk to make one pound of cheese? Cheese is much worse than milk, and should be avoided. I have grown to tolerate soy cheese, but i typically just go without. Every now and again I'll go to Whole Foods and walk around to sample the cheese to satisfy my cravings, but rarely do i purchase cheese for myself (Rick is another story)

As for fats, there are plenty of healthy fats in avocados, flax, nuts and fish like salmon. There are an abundance of places to get your daily intake of fats without consuming dairy. We have cut out most processed foods. We eat Ezekiel Bread. We buy organic when we can, especially the Dirty Dozen.

On a typical day we eat fruit and cereal for breakfast. By cereal i mean, oats mixed with organic ground flax seed and almond milk. Sometimes cooked, sometimes raw. Fruit for a snack. Beans and vegetables for lunch, sometimes chicken or wild caught fish, milk for a snack after nap, (i eat another fruit or raw almond snack), and for dinner I make a starch (quinoa is my favorite but rick likes organic white potatoes though i'm more a sweet potato girl - much healthier), a protein, and a vegetable (baby spinach is a favorite to everyone) and Sloan loves broccoli. We broil our potatoes cut into small wedges to satisfy someone's french fry cravings. They do serve Sloan lunch at school, but i try to send in organic and fresh alternatives to compliment what they are serving. I cannot control what they serve at the school, but i can control what she eats.

MEAT
Finally, the last step in the right direction is knowing where your meat comes from. I became a vegetarian for about a year and a half in college. It all started because I ate a steak and then went to play soccer and felt so lethargic. Later on, I was on the freeway and a chicken truck was near me, all crammed in the boxes, and it made me sad. So i vowed to abstain from chicken, pork and beef. I still ate fish.  While my diet today is largely vegetarian, i am by no means a vegetarian. I love meat, so does my family. My grandfather raised beef cattle, grass fed of course. He recently sold his cows due to the fact he is aging (84). It made him very sad. Me too. At least with his steaks I knew they were grass fed and hormone free. Feeding Sloan hormone free food is important to me. I am happy that she hasn't been to McDonald's to eat (YET).

We try, when we can afford it, to buy free range organic chicken, grass fed beef, and wild caught fish that comply with these guidelines. Monterey Bay. Animals, be it land or sea, raised in captivity are much cheaper on the pocket book, but you are what you eat eats as well as what you eat. Did you get that?

Last I checked it wasn't natural for animals to eat corn. Especially genetically modified corn. I would recommend watching Forks over Knives,  Food Inc, and Food Matters. It can be eye opening but also overwhelming. I recommend starting small. Focus on eating food that is acutally food. Read labels. Boycott high fructose corn syrup, eat real food, repeat. My biggest struggle is with refined sugar, like sweet tarts, laffy taffy, and the like. These are a few of my favorite things that I have mostly given up but I have a soft spot for candy.

I am happy that Sloan loves fruit and vegetables. I am happy that my husband is slowly getting on board and at least trying the meals i prepare (we had black bean and quinoa enchiladas the other day, he was less than pleased but managed to eat half albeit covered in cheese). Rome wasn't built in a day, and i can only control what i put into my body. And for now, my daughters body.  But i sure do feel great, my body is performing like it should, and we all sleep peacefully at night. I am pretty good at hiding healthy food inside "normal food" to bulk it up. Who knew beans would double my "meat" for spaghetti and take on the flavor of the beef. Little by little we are evolving and eating the way nature intended.

There are other things that we are slowly working on. Like i said, it is overwhelming and cannot be done overnight. We have committed to stop using our microwave and are almost there! My sister actually built her kitchen without one! She is much braver than me, but we are about 85% microwave free. Here is some information I would suggest you read.

I might have botched this blog or goofed in some way, but these are things I believe to be true about health and nutrition based on my experiences and the research of others. This is my sister now. She has two children and is in the best shape of her life. Also (to be fair to my sister) i have included a pic of myself from late May near the end of our Hawaiian vacation. I'm not as thin/fit as I prefer but we are doing all right and i really cannot complain about how well my body has bounced back from my first pregnancy! Most importantly, I want Sloan to have the tools to know how to eat well and exercise for health, so that she never has to diet or stress about her weight a single day of her life.



BLOGS I PERUSE:

13 August 2012

Why I choose to Breast Feed (STILL!)

In honor of World Breastfeeding week (Aug 1-7: which has now passed) I wanted to share this .
Six months old and going strong...
Not that i owe anyone any explanation about why I have chosen to breast feed my daughter well into her early twenties, (i kid, i kid), but I am quite surprised at how many well educated people are so uninformed. The other day a single 35 year old man (and friend of mine) tried to tell me it was time to wean. I'm glad he is an expert on the subject matter and that this was any of his business, so while I smiled and sort of just shrugged him off, here is some information I would like to share:

First, the obvious, My body, my choice.  This is my life, and if i choose to continue to eat a flawlessly healthy diet (most of the time), abstain from alcohol (all of the time), and refuse to spend the night away from my daughter in order to ensure she gets her daily nutritional needs from me, then who are you to argue?  Do YOU have to offer up YOUR breast? Did you give up those tasty (insert ANY dairy by product in here) for the sake of your child who for whatever reason, cannot tolerate milk protein??  No, i didn't think so.

Second, the less than obvious. Here is some information i bet you didn't know in regards to the babies health. I know *most* people realize that there is a big push for breast feeding for at least six months for increased health reasons, but the benefits continue even past the first year

"Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
"Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child....Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother....There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
"Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child and should continue as long as mutually desired….If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements
– Dewey 2001
Not to mention the contributions to Intellectual Development, Social and Mental development, and the Child's overall health. 
Third, there are significant benefits to ME as well. The most obvious is weight loss. I make milk. It's like a super power. It also burns a lot of energy, and therefore calories. I eat a very healthy well balanced diet - a great topic for another post. I am the same weight that I was at age 14, my freshman year in high school. The only time I struggled with weight was my late teens and 20's - especially in college when i did not practice good eating habits.  Also the longer i lactate, the lower my risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Still not convinced? The worldwide average length of breastfeeding each child is about FOUR years. do i plan to nurse [Sloan] this long?  Probably not because I don't want to nurse more than one at a time (though many do). But shouldn't this be MY choice? And despite any hangups and opinions the outside world has, is it really anyone else's business? (i mean other than the obvious response, in that I have made it your business by writing about it).

I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to breastfeed my daughter at work during my lunch break ( or whatever time is most convenient to her needs due to an incredibly flexible schedule.). I am so blessed to have had only minor issues with breastfeeding and no significant issues with my supply. And I am grateful that my body and Sloan's natural reflexes did exactly what we needed them to do.
And if you tried and failed, I truly feel sad for you to have missed out on something so wonderful.  but you can't beat yourself up over it..  If you just chose not to, i don't judge you, but it does make me a little bit sad for you and your child. For me, choosing to become a mother meant sacrificing my body for however long that means. For the record, I don't follow attachment parenting philosophies nor do i co-sleep (i have trouble sharing a King sized bed with one person let alone two)

Nursing a toddler could be seen as a bit taboo, or even socially unacceptable. But while I have answered for you the "why" if you so object, then please tell me "Why Not?".
Nursing an acrobat!


10 August 2012

One Year Facts and Figures

OKAY, i actually don't plan to present any figures so try not to be disappointed. Here is a flower growing out of a friends front porch bricks. Yes i said bricks. randomly defying nature. I like it. Rebellion and all.
So about my little flower, Sloan is 30 inches tall. That's 2 and a half feet.  In another six inches she will be tall enough to ride the kiddie roller coasters, but i don't expect that for another two years. She loves riding around in a diaper box as well as speeding through the house in her little tykes car.  She is a real dare devil, enjoying running (well i run and she "rides"), flipping upside down, going face first  into the bathtub or pool, and jumping out of her high chair. Ok the last one i made up. She stands but i catch her.

She is in the 65% for height which i believe is tapering off from her usual stats. Her weight is 20 lbs and 9.5 oz. She is still in the 50% for weight. I think this is nice.  It shows that she has good nutrition. Sloan had her finger pricked at her last appointment and four shots. The finger prick was far more dramatic than the shots. I think it took about 10 minutes to get over the prick, the shots took about 30 seconds.  Some people i know delay vaccinations, but I don't.  I guess people think there is a link between shots and autism, but i strongly disagree. I know plenty of people who have gotten all their shots and aren't autistic. While there are many theories out there, no studies have shown that there is any link between delaying vaccines and any developmental delays. There ARE however studies that show links between autism and child spacing. And i can verify this in some circumstances to be true for some.

As for teeth, sloan has FOUR MOLARS coming in, the first finally broke skin after 3 weeks of being the size of a grape ("eruption hematoma" ). The tooth finally broke through the bruise on Tuesday morning, but now the other three are starting to turn purple. I can now feel the two on the left side of her mouth.

Watching the Olympics
Something clicked in Sloan after her birthday party and Sloan will now pull up, or stand from a seated position, and walk from one object to the next. It's funny because as she gets closer to the second object, she walks faster and faster, as though she's about to fall so she has to quickly get to the wall, chair, toy, whatever it is she is aimed towards, to catch herself from falling. She also started out by walking like an orangutan, you know, arms in the air. It was pretty cute, but now only a week later, she has established much better balance and can even stand up in the middle of a room and take off. She is about 50% crawling and 50% walking. She can change direction, turn and go the opposite direction and stop to stand and play with something in her hands now without falling. I wrote that about three days ago, Sloan is now walking. She falls but she stands right back up. She used to crawl to an object to pull up. Now she realizes she can just stand in the middle of the room, so she does that and keeps walking. 

Sloan has a large vocabulary, and most of the time I can understand what she is saying. Her favorite words are BALL and ELLIE, often used in the same sentence. She loves to play fetch with her dog, and she is now working on kicking the soccer ball to Ellie and does so with great success. She can sign MORE, ALL DONE, Water, and MILK. She will also come to you, put both her hands up in submission and say "UP". this morning she repeated the word blue berry and last night after her daddy told her to sit down in the bathtub, i came into the bathroom and she stood up, then sat back down and said a bunch of words that ended with "sit down". I think she was telling me what her daddy told her to do. The kid is brilliant, at least verbally. She repeats almost everything I say. We are very careful what and how we talk around her.

She loves to eat, and fortunately loves her fruit and vegetables, but the girl is a true Beeman as she LOVES bread and meat. Her daddy is so proud. She also loves beans, corn, avocado, broccoli, pears, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, as well as hummus and spicy foods! The other day I was eating hummus and brown rice crackers and Sloan dug in with both hands. We also went to an Indian birthday party and she ate some spicy rice. That is my girl! She has also tried sushi but isn't quite a fan. She will get there.

Sloan is also very funny. She has a great sense of humor and will often do things to make us laugh. Like hitting both cheeks and screaming, sort of like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. I have no idea where she got this since she's never seen the movie. Maybe she's just an original. She will pretend eat just about anything, and go Mmmmmm....  She loves her music table which has a little door that says open/close and she will repeat.OPEN CLOSE and stick her face inside and go  Mmmmmm .. She likes to spin the ABC wheel and she will press the lever on the violin up and down and then repeat: UP DOWN in a sing-songy voice just like the table. We often play kitchen and mix different toy foods together. She can point to your nose, mouth and eyes, but mostly she likes to grab your nose. She can mimic a horse, a cow, a rooster, a sheep, a dog and a lion, though her horse sounds more like a squealing pig. She likes to use her imagination more and more.

When the pastor of our church was holding her last week i asked her, where is mama, and she points to rick. If you ask her to say mama, she will say DADA and smile real big. She will say mama, but only when she wants to. That's ok with me, I'm still her favorite though dada is much more fun and games.

Just for smiles, lets have a look at young Rick and his first birthday cake




Sloan's first birthday cake:


My first birthday cake:





It's a tough call. I see a lot of similarities in both of us. Definitely my coloring. We could all be related couldn't we? We both have dimples and a great big smile. I think baby Sloan has the best of both parents and hopefully none of the bad. What do you think?

03 August 2012

A Closet Confession

I have a confession to make.

I love shopping.

I love to spend an entire day trying on clothes and coming home with great new threads. No wait, i take that back. Aside from boutique shopping or better,  boutique shopping in a foreign country, on a broader spectrum, I HATE shopping. I hate trying on clothes. The dressing rooms are hot and cramped. The act of putting on and taking off clothes is actually exhausting and should be likened to an Olympic event. I tend to shop in some pretty easy clothing for that reason - and often try clothing on top of what i'm wearing to check the fit rather than wait for the fitting room. Unfortunately I have some pretty broad shoulders (that i attribute to years of competitive swimming) - and have actually had to cry  breathe my way out of some dresses that were a perfect fit going on, but nearly impossible to get off due to this genetic curse  blessing . Never do those florescent bulbs feel as hot as they do when you think you're stuck.

Thankfully, in this day an age, who needs to physically enter a store, when we have the wonderful world wide web and free shipping both ways!

I guess I don't love shopping as much as I love new clothes. But does it really stop there? House things, shoes, gadgets, baby stuff. But lately I have been shopping less because i realize I have so much already. I even have a box of clothes in the rear of my over sized closet labeled : Fat and Maternity, because at any time, I might just have to drag that box down, and no, this isn't an elusive way to declare or announce anything.

But as i thumb through catalogues and browse online, i realize something. Aside from needing some new shoes - since my former collection of heels and sandals no longer fit or feel right post pregnancy, I have too much stuff. Hundreds of t-shirts from soccer tournaments, surf shops, college training days, goodwill scores, and the like, things I just can't fathom parting with because they are so sentimental and well worn. As i sift through the memories, I do realize, I never wear some of these things.  It is so easy to get caught up in what someone else is wearing, or driving, or where they're living... but when you take a step back at the broader scope of things, I own more than 95% of the world's population, i'm certain of it, just by having a house, a car, and a change of clothes. Maybe instead of dwelling on what i think i need to have in the moment, I should focus on what I can give.

So before i buy another dress (oh how i do love a beautiful Tunic Dress or a pretty skirt), I really need to take a step back and fill a box or two or three, for those who have not.... after all, life is so short, and i seriously doubt anyone will care what I was wearing as much as they will take note, in what i was doing to make myself, and the world, a better place. And if you know me, you better believe we will be laughing and smiling the whole way through.

I saw this trending online and found it appropriate

02 August 2012

The Birthday Cake

I totally forgot to include this in my previous blog. yes, it is my daughter eating her birthday cake. Not a big deal but I was unable to get pictures because someone was filming the production. It's 2.5 minutes long but the first 30 seconds are pretty cute where she tries to grab the candle with her fingers and I had to think fast. Yes, i am the mom that gave my daughter a real candle on her birthday cake. Why not?

And then around the 2:10 mark she goes face first into the cake.