Getting back to you after having a baby!

For 9 months you are no longer just eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising for you. You are growing a tiny human who is growing and thriving off of what you do. It’s a tough job! But how amazing is it that as your belly grows that baby is growing because of what you do?

There are fun parts of pregnancy like the maternity pictures, the baby shower, some cute maternity clothes. There are some not so fun parts of pregnancy like the morning sickness, heartburn, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Also for some expecting Mommies the wardrobe changes can be an adjustment. Slowly you no longer fit into certain pre-pregnancy shorts and jeans and have to get the ones with the band that go over your belly. Some shirts are too short or tight. Sometimes you even find that your significant other’s clothes are more comfortable towards the end! The weight gain can be hard for some too.

I was not active before or during my first two pregnancies. I ate what I wanted and when I wanted and did not exercise because I was afraid the baby would fall out! I felt like I literally sat with my legs crossed and propped up for 9 months! My most recent pregnancy with our third child I was active and ate healthy. I was working out daily and in the best shape of my life for two years prior to getting pregnant. Out of the three pregnancies I gained the most weight with my third pregnancy. The one I was the most active and healthy for. At first I wondered how that could be possible?! But then I discovered a book by Jillian Michaels called “Yeah Baby!” and it helped me understand that our bodies just know what to do during pregnancy. They know how much weight we need to gain and how quickly we need to gain it. To really trust our body and just control what we can as far as eating healthy and continuing to be active. So I did just that! And I had a healthy pregnancy with no complications. We had a healthy baby boy that was 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. He was the only baby out of our three that did not have any jaundice. He also had the highest apgar scores out of our three. My doctor told me (and I read it in several articles and my book) that being active would help during delivery and with my recovery..while I didn’t have a shorter delivery with him, I did have such a different recovery. I was shocked at how good I felt after and how quick I was able to get around! I did not need pain medication after leaving the hospital like I did with our other two. I really do think this is because of continuing to be active during my pregnancy!

Now I am almost 8 weeks postpartum and just finished my second week of getting back into working out daily at home, following my clean, portion controlled eating plan, and drinking my beloved “milkshakes.” I have stepped on the scale once just to see if I was making progress and lost 3.1 pounds in the first week! It gave me so much hope! I stepped on the scale a few days later and lost .3..what?! Not even another pound? But I had to remind myself that I need to trust my body and that again, it knows what it’s doing. It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s about being healthy and strong. It’s about being able to lift our son’s car seat in and out of my SUV that sits up a little higher..making it a little harder. It’s about being able to get his stroller in and out of the back of my car. It’s about having the energy to get up with him for nighttime feedings and being able to run on less sleep during the day. It’s about continuing to show our children (and not just teach them) that it’s important to eat healthy and be active. They are always watching us and are depending on us! It’s also important for them to see their Momma getting healthier and stronger not only for them, but for herself too. I have learned since starting my health and fitness journey in October 2014 that it is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is not taking time away from your child, but only giving them more time. It’s about you doing all that you can to be the healthiest you can be so that you can be there for them as long as you possibly can. So you don’t miss out on special life events like graduations, their wedding day, or birth of their children.

So Momma, whether you are a few weeks postpartum like me, a few months postpartum, a few years postpartum, or more than a few years postpartum..remember that it’s okay to take care of you too! It’s okay to take that time for yourself! To love yourself! Remember that it’s not just about what we are teaching our children or saying to them, it’s about showing them! So what are you showing them? Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate!

Did someone say Pumpkin???

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Fall is almost here and Mmmm I can taste the pumpkin pie already! If you are anything like me, Fall starts as soon as September gets here and so does the crafting. I have sifted through Pinterest and found some easy, fun, and educational fall craft ideas for you.

Fall Leaf Prints Here is one for the nature loving momma! Collecting leaves is fun!

Pool Noodle Pumpkins Because, why not? This is Florida after all and we use pool noodles for all the things!

Milk/Water Jug Ghosts Spooky Fun! Stock up on the Dollar Tree battery powered LED or tea lights for this one!

Rock Painting and Sorting  For all you rock painting mommas, this one is a must do!!! Paint rock for every season, mix them up, and then have the kids sort them! Fun and educational.

Leaf People OMG! I am in love with this Idea! It hits my Nature loving heart. My daughter loves collecting leaves and this is a great way to show them off.

Pumpkin Leaf Handprint Keepsake How fun would these be to give to Family on Thanksgiving?

Stuffed Paper Apple This one would be great for helping the kiddos with their fine motor skills. For the older kids I would do this one with felt, thread, and a needle.

Apple Stamp Craft We did this last year and my daughter really enjoyed it.

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I hope you all have fun with some of these. I know we will! If you do any of these activities, Everyday Moms would love to see your family in action! Please share with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Happy Crafting,

Suzette Foister

SAHM, Wife, Owner of Bring Your Own Canvas, Homeschooler

 

 

I’m Still Here

I ran across this quotation today and it stopped me in my tracks. This is true for me, but it almost wasn’t. As a society, in general, we don’t like to talk about our problems, our missteps, our mistakes. But it is so important that those around us, especially those who are in the midst of their own storms, see us struggle and push through. It’s important to be real. It’s also not something I’m good at.

We have Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat. We have filters for our pictures and photo editors on our phones. We crop out the mess, smooth away the wrinkles and post our highlight reel online, while hiding the mess of real life. This gives off a false sense of perfection to those around us.

We have come to value perfection in a way that is unrealistic and unattainable. We also don’t acknowledge a mental health problem for the medical diagnosis it is. If I have a diagnosed heart problem, that caused an emergency, and I go to the hospital for treatment, my friends and family would likely post prayer requests and information for my friends and distant family to see. However, if I have a diagnosed mental health problem, that caused an emergency, and I go to the hospital for treatment, my friends and family might not know much about it at all and they most certainly wouldn’t post about it online. It would likely be considered shameful. This is wrong. And this wouldn’t help me seek support or treatment.

More than ten years ago, through the perfect storm of stress, the ending of a difficult, debilitating relationship, and isolation from friends and family, I found myself in a pit of despair that seemed unending and inescapable. This is almost where my story ended. But instead of being the period at the end of my story, it became the semi-colon. Simply a pause. A break that was painful, difficult and hard to overcome, but oh-so-worth the struggle.

You see, ten years ago me had no idea what life would hold for me now. I had no way of seeing the joy and strength and love that would define my life now. Not perfection, by a long shot. Not struggle-free at all. But beautiful in it’s own messy way.

I want to be more genuine. I’m working to build a circle of friends that I share more of myself with. Women whom I can call, not only when I have joy and excess to share, but also when I’m in need physically or emotionally. Do you have this circle? When something bad happens or your day goes south, do you have supports in place to build you back up, help you find a smile even when it seems impossible, or come along side of you to shoulder the load?

Would it shock you to know that women in our Everyday Mom’s group have very real, very scary struggles right now? What if I told you some of them don’t know exactly how they will feed their children next week? How about if I told you that more than one of us have contemplated, planned or even tried to end our lives? These are beautiful people, who love their families so much, but they are in pain and when they look around, they only see our highlight reels. They are suffering in silence because they don’t know exactly how to reach out. They don’t want to reveal the struggle or expose their own weakness because somehow we’ve sold the lie that our lives are always perfect. This is not ok.

How do we overcome this? How do we move past the fluff and find depth in our relationships with each other? What will emotionally investing in one another cost us? I don’t have all the answers here, I really am asking, how do we help? What would help you?

We do have an awesome local resource in The Seventh Mom Project that advocates “holding the umbrella” for one another as we weather the storms of perinatal mood disorders. I think the analogy holds for any season in life. We can be umbrella holders for those around us, but only if we are allowed to see the storm. Only if we know that it’s raining in your world.

I also think there is opportunity here to put together a more tangible resource for our group. I haven’t ironed out all of the ideas that are floating in my mind yet, but we are so involved in each other’s lives, in one sense, because we interact online almost daily, and yet at the same time we are so distanced from one another that the problems can slide under the radar. There has to be a way to pull together and be there for each other during the storms. For some of us, this may mean offering childcare so a mom can run out for coffee alone. For others, it may mean helping sort through mountains of laundry. I love helping after a new baby comes or when there’s an illness in the family. I like to make a meal, send takeout or gift cards. There’s room to form an organized system for some of this, but it will only work if you will reach out. What do you think? Will you share your struggle, to help others share theirs too?

Snip, clip, burn….

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If you thought a man cold was bad….

After our second child, hubby decided he was going to get a vasectomy. All on his own, he made this decision. So, I called insurance to verify it was covered and paid for, I filled out the paperwork, I scheduled the appointment….After he told me I was procrastinating on getting it done.
(Love having to do EVERYTHING for my husband)
Once I told him when the appointment was scheduled for, he says under his breath “I don’t know why I have to get snipped…”
WHAT??? He’s the one that made the decision to get it done. All him. I even asked him if this was definitely what he wanted to do in case we wanted another baby later on. But now I’m forcing him to get it done…

So, here we are on the way to his appointment. He’s saying “I’m nervous, I just don’t know what to expect…” yeah, I feel you. I gave birth twice. Once with no drugs.
We get there. He goes back and has to put on the jock strap before they start for some reason.
Meanwhile, the guy that went before him walks out all normal. “Oh I didn’t feel anything. Didn’t even smell them burning it!” I’m thinking great! This won’t be a big deal…

WRONG.
He worked himself up sooooooo much that he had the table drenched in sweat. My husband isn’t a big sweater. He works outside in the Florida heat. The doctor had to get him a soda (for the sugar) so he didn’t pass out. Yeah, I know… pansy.
He walks out all limpy and acting like he’s been thoroughly beaten. Hobbles to the car, and lays back in the seat. On the way home he’s telling me, “oh I felt pressure, and they had to stick a needle down there…” AGAIN, I feel you. Just gave birth with no drugs and had a needle stuck in my vagina for stitches….
We get home and he says “I’m scared to poop, it’s the same muscle…” FIRST OF ALL… is it the same muscle? SECOND, try taking your first poop after pushing a baby out your vagina. THAT is the same muscle, but what do I know.
Day 1, laying around all day, ok. We expected this because sure, they tell you to recline and hang out the first day. But the direction wasn’t to not move the rest of the day.
After asking me for a million things he asks me if he’s being too needy.

I felt the need to be honest, here. I said “yes, you are because after giving BIRTH you expect me to function at 100%. You don’t ask how I’m feeling or offer to do anything to help me. All you had was a small procedure done.”

I left to pick up dinner and by the time I got back he seemed to have changed his tune.

The biggest thing I learned from this experience is that after watching me give birth twice. Once while screaming in pain because I was unmedicated, my husband STILL doesn’t think I’m a badass. After reading the articles that compare child birth pain to every bone in your body being broken at the same time, he still doesn’t think I’m a badass….

But getting a little tiny snip, clip, burn is the end of the world.

ZERO sympathy from your non-badass wife.

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a FEATHER… lessons for all ages.

A few months ago you could have easily of found me crying in my son’s room missing him so bad it hurt.  I would lie in his bed sobbing and feeling sorry for myself.  I was the mother that lost a child.  I thought I would never be able to go on.  How could I?  and then Facebook saved me from drowning!

Not literally drowning by emotionally drowning.  As I was in the dark crying rolled up in the fetal position on his bed, my phone would sound and my notification light would blink.  When I got enough courage to check my phone, it was full of joyful Facebook posts.  Post after post of my friends and their families, at parks, on play dates, out to lunch.  Everyone’s life kept on moving forward even though my life has slammed to a halt.  At first I was angry.  I was in so much pain I wanted everyone else to feel the way I did.   But then I was grateful.  Facebook was the only source of communication I had with many of my friends at the time.  My friends are FULL of joy, love and happiness and emotions are contagious.  Without them knowing, their post brought me out of my funk.  I smiled at the milestones their kids were reaching and it reminded me of the memories I shared with my son.  I laughed at their goofy family adventures and it reminded me of the memories I shared with my son.  I nodded in affirmation at the difficulties they were having with balancing school and sports and it reminded me of the memories I shared with my son.  I thought I lost my world but my friends reminded me, without even trying, that he will always be with me.  This is when I realized that the people I chose to have in my life are way more powerful than I could have ever imagined.

Think about it… What if I was on Facebook, my only outlet to the outside world, and it was bitchfest after bitchfest?  I would have lost all faith in humanity.  Emotions and attitudes are contagious!  

YOU ARE WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE!  If you surround yourself with happy positive people, you will be happy and positive too.  And the opposite holds true as well.

When I came out of my shell and saw the sun again, my friends were right there for me.  Bring me love and support and I started to feel joy again.  Being around happy people made me happy.  Emotions and attitudes are contagious!  I think to myself that myself…How did I get so lucky?  How did my life fill up with so many fabulous people?  Then I realized it wasn’t by chance.  Some way, somehow my parents taught me how to find quality people and ingrained in me the importance of surrounding myself by their influence.

This was probably one of the most important messages my parents taught me.  I current work at a middle school and I see the influence friends have over each other.  EVERY child is influenced by others.  Please don’t think that your kids are immune to peer pressure.  It’s not possible.  What students wear, their word choice, behavior, ALL of it is influenced by their friends.  I have seen good kids do very naughty things because of peers and I have seen naughty kids do amazing things because of their peers.  School aged kids are looking for acceptance and approval from their peers more than anyone else.  The older they get the more important it becomes to them.  So how do you teach your kids to pick good friends?

I don’t have a 100% foolproof answer to this question but I can share some of my thoughts…

1. Talk to your kids.  Know what is going on in their lives.  If they don’t want to talk to my, you can’t make them.  However, you can make it awkward for them not to.  For example: I use to ask my kids, “How was school?”  and they would answer, “good”.  Now I ask them, “What was your favorite thing you did today?” or “What would you change about today?”  This opens up the line of communication.  I also started reading books on cd with my kids in the car.  This forces the kids to unplug and it gives us something we all have in common which opens up the lines of communication.

2.Be the role-model.  If “birds of a feather flock together” holds true, then so does “apples don’t fall far from the tree”.  If mom is a gossip girl, chances are her kids are too.  Sometime our worst behaviors are projected onto our kids and we are clueless how they picked up the habit.  Bad language, rude behavior, talking back, anger.  These are all learned behaviors.  And so is kindness, using manors, taking turns, giving to those in need, sharing, being courteous, being brave, happiness, study habits, standing up for what is right.  Bottom line… If you want to know why your child is acting a certain way, look in the mirror first.  

3.Know your kid’s other role-models.  If your kid’s favorite person on earth is a thug artist chances are your child will mimic his/her behavior.  This goes for anything.  Favorite tv characters, movie stars, athletes and so on.  When my daughter started acting sassy, I thought it was just her age.  Then I realized even the characters on the Disney channel were talking back to their parents, being rude to each other at school, or being down right mean.  DISNEY?!?!  Be careful with what you expose your children to.

4.Get rid of toxic people in your life.  If you have someone in your life that is bringing you down, cut them off.  One of the best saying I have ever heard, “If you cut someone out of your life chances are they handed you the scissors!” This is a valuable lesson for your kids.  I had to cut off a family member because she was influencing my kids in a way that my husband and I felt was dangerous.  You are NOT going to get along with everyone and you DO NOT have to be friends with everyone.  It’s OK!  You have to smile and nod and be nice, but you don’t have to have EVERYONE in your life.  You will be happier without them.

5.Define “Good Person” for your children.  So many times we tell our kids, “Don’t hang out with ____ because he is not a good person.”  Explain why.  Teach your kids the morals and values that you feel they need.  Give your children things to say to other kids.  I worked at the same school my son attended and he would come home upset that someone would say something mean about me to him.  I told him to just agree with whatever they said.  My middle school son does not need to defend my honor to another 12-year-old.  This advice gave the rude kids nothing to talk to him about and it stopped.  

Bottom line, there is no instruction manual for life.  Life is short, live it full of love and kindness and surround yourself with positive people!  Emotions and attitudes are contagious! 

Snip, clip, burn…

Working Wife Momma Life

If you thought a man cold was bad….

After our second child, hubby decided he was going to get a vasectomy. I called insurance to verify it was covered and paid for, I filled out the paperwork, I scheduled the appointment. After he told me I was procrastinating on getting it done.
(Any other wives have to do EVERYTHING for their husband?)
Once I told him when the appointment was scheduled for, he says under his breath “I don’t know why I have to get snipped…”
WHAT??? He’s the one that made the decision to get it done. All him. I even asked him if this was definitely what he wanted to do in case we wanted another baby late on. But now I’m forcing him to get it done.

So, here we are on the way to his appointment. He’s saying “I’m nervous, I just don’t know what to…

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