Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby Weight no More!

Every mom struggles with baby weight. Even Heidi Klum I'm sure struggled with getting the weight off, but for those of us who are not super models and can't afford to hire a live in trainer, getting that weight on certainly isn't as easy (or fun) as putting it on.

I'm one of those people who have struggled with weight my entire life. I look at a bag of Cheetos and gain 5 pounds. Always have. It didn't help the situation when I met beer. =)

Now, after Braden I was able to get the weight off (I still had the freshman 15 and the beer weight, but at least the baby weight came off). But Amelia was a different story. I tried it all – counting calories, exercising, low carb – you name it, I tried it. And NOTHING worked.

The thing is though, I didn't realize how much it affected the way I felt about my body. After having a baby your hormones are crazy to begin with and you get so little sleep that a tank top and maternity pants cut it most days. So, the fact that I was still dressing like that 9 months later didn't really bother me. I told myself that I was a mom and my body would never be the same and that one day I would get the weight off and when I did it would be fine, and I believed myself. I even stopped dancing around the house to a favorite song on the radio and didn't notice. I developed a chronic pulled muscle in my heel that hurt almost on a daily basis, but I wrote it off to changes one goes through after delivering a baby.

Well, I finally found something that worked for me. I'm about 37 pounds down and I feel so great! I feel so great that it makes me realize how not great I felt for those 9 months. I'm wearing clothes now that I haven't worn in almost 4 years and I promise you that last week I wore heels, something that wasn't possible with the foot pain! I'm wearing dresses now and looking forward to putting together outfits.

Now, not that I'm above tooting my own horn because if you knew me, you'd know what an accomplishment losing weight is for me. But more than that, I wanted to write this to let everyone out there who is carrying an extra 10, 20, or even 50 pounds of baby weight, that it can be done. You just have to find what works for you. I'm thinner now than I was when I got married and don't plan on stopping just yet (still have those freshman 15 lurking around). Are there days when it's hard to work out? Yes – especially since Amelia's favorite place to camp out during my ballet routine is clinched to the inside of my thigh, and sometimes after a full day of work, playtime, and cleaning up poop from one or more of my kids, all I want is to lie on the couch and melt into it and not get up. But, then I remember that cute little pink dress in my closet and it makes me get up and do a little something. I even find myself dancing around the house again, and I'd forgotten how much I missed that. =)

Anyway, better head to bed. Big day tomorrow – my baby girl turns 1 and obviously I need to bring the 'A game' since this will set the precedent for all future birthdays. I promise an update of the birthday festivities and other fall activities to follow soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A great life gone too soon

I think that one of the hardest decisions for a new mom to make is if and when to return to work. You are so enamored with your new buddle of joy that you can't ever imagine spending a moment away from them. So the thought of giving your child to someone for the better part of your waking hours pains you to your core.

For some, like me, staying home wasn't an option, so starting down the road of trying to choose who will take care of your child was daunting at best. Before Braden was born we explored several options, in home, churches, and group based daycares. We finally decided on a group based daycare situation and then began the task of finding one we could afford that we felt comfortable with. We finally found one and as many of you know, that first day is so hard! I went back at lunch to nurse and just to check on my little guy, but lo and behold he was doing fine. We had somehow managed to find someone who would love and care for our child the same way we would.

Last week the world lost an amazing light. One of Braden and Amelia's former daycare workers passed away suddenly and as I began to think about this woman, I began to think about all of the people who provide care on a daily basis to my kids.

I feel extremely lucky to have found not 1, but 3 different daycares that have provided amazing care to my children at different times in their lives. Not only do they provide care for my children, but they have fostered a want and a will to learn, which is so important at this age.

I feel so lucky that I have always been greeted each morning when I drop my kids off and been given a full report of the day's activities when I pick them up. The teachers and staff members truly come to love your children and respect your role as a parent. We still have a poster that Braden's class in Georgia made for him on his last day there. That was one of the hardest parts of leaving Georgia – leaving our friends and family at the Sunshine house.

I truly believe there are not many harder jobs in the world. Having to deal with kids who have an unimaginable energy level and being constantly outnumbered by them. Having to deal with children who are disciplined in different ways in each and every home they come from, yet having to make sure they all follow the same rules at school. Having to do all of this while making not nearly as much as they should, but doing it all with a smile and a heart full of love.

So, today I write this blog to say thank you to all of Braden and Amelia's teachers and the many staff that have touched all of our lives. You deserve much more than my praise and gratitude, but today that is all I have to offer. I write this in honor of you and in memory of Mrs. Chris Fain. For those of you with children, please take a minute today to thank the people who take care of your children when you can't be there with them, the ones who love your children like their own.

In memory of Chris Fain – a wonderful woman and friend, and someone who loved my children and always brought a smile to my face