My family and I had a great time at Carolina Beach. We were looking for somewhere where we could park our car and just relax on the beach without having to drive anywhere. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Carolina Beach Oceanfront Hotel, where we had an ocean view room. They had a nice pool on the boardwalk and breakfast was included. There was a Tiki Bar conveniently located at the pool as well. There was a carnival right outside of the hotel and lots of restaurants and shops. We had a great dinner at Havana’s Fresh Island Seafood. They had the best Sangria I’ve ever had and the food was great and they gave you lots of it. Their service was great as well. While we were walking back to our hotel after dinner, we noticed this long never ending line coming from a boardwalk donut shop. I don’t remember the exact name of the restaurant but those donuts had to be good because that line was sooo long. Although we missed out on the donuts, we did enjoy ice cream from a local ice cream and fudge shop right outside of our hotel. My toddlers (2 & 3) enjoyed the beach. They played in the water and built sand castles. The beach wasn’t crowded so they had plenty of room to play. We had fun at Carolina Beach and we will be returning again soon, so if you’re in the area, keep them in mind! You’ll have a great time!
My two year old knows that my makeup is off limits but she always finds herself playing it when she thinks no one is watching. One day, without her knowing, I watched as she climbed up onto my vanity chair and began to apply the excess makeup left on my brushes. She knew exactly what brush went where and what to do with it. She even knew almost exactly where to put the eyelashes on her face. Right there in that moment, I realized that my baby is watching me and she will mimic every single thing that I do; therefore, it is important for me to be an example for her in every aspect of my life because the woman I am will guide the woman she becomes.
I will smile more, laugh more, sing more, praise more, read more, dance more, make healthier choices, and so much more because the woman I envision her to be is who I have to become. Smile mom, because she is watching. “Do as I say and not as I do” is a quote that is so untrue because they will do exactly as you do. Be an example. Be a leader because our children are our future. The change we want to see begins in us. Be great because they are watching.
I have been MIA for awhile because…MY SOLDIER IS HOME!!! He was deployed for 9 months to Iraq and we have been reintegrating and connecting for the past 2 weeks and I’m loving every minute of having him home! As some of you know, I originally started this blog to track my weight release journey during this deployment. Well, deployment is over and stats are in. I released a total of 24 pounds and 37 inches. My inches were significant and I’m happy about the pounds as well. Just because my husband is home doesn’t mean my journey is over. It is definitely continuing with him by my side. We are going on vacation in a months time so my next goal is 15 more pounds released by vacation.
I have discovered that my limit with a green juice or smoothie cleanse is 3 days. After day 3 I’m like “GIVE ME FOOD 😩”, so I am learning ways to continue my cleanse without breaking the fast and going crazy after 3 days. I am loving cinnamon sprinkled apples with melted peanut butter as a snack and I’m excited about trying cauliflower pizza! Help your girl out and comment your favorite healthy snacks and foods below!
Readjusting After Deployment
I realized a few short minutes after giving birth to my baby girl that she loved her milkies because when I unlatched her to switch sides, she had a fit. She didn’t even scream that loud when she came out of the womb. I mean it was a loud demanding cry, but she was fine once she continued her nursing session. Deciding to wean was a very tough decision for me and to be honest I was nervous about sharing my reasons for weaning because people can be so judgmental and sensitive when it comes to this subject; however, I personally believe that weaning is a decision that should be left up to each individual family and regardless if you breastfed your baby for 2 days or 2 years, you did a wonderful thing for your baby.
Just to add a little background for you, I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding nonstop since the end of 2012, so that makes a little over three years. My son was weaned (mother-led) at 15 months old. It was a little easier for me and him because he was older and was eating a variety of foods and his dad slept in his room with him for a week or so until he got used to drinking from his sippy cup at night. He also was supplemented with formula often as an infant (because I THOUGHT I had a low supply) until he was 9 or 10 months old. Weaning him wasn’t very emotional for me either because he was biting me and drawing blood so I had no problem saying no.
Weaning my baby girl at eleven months was more challenging. One because she was exclusively breastfed and two because for the most part I had to do it on my own because her Dad was answering the call to duty. I started by allowing her 3 feedings a day. Before, I let her nurse whenever she wanted so any time she wanted to nurse outside of those feedings I just distracted her with snacks, sippy cup of water or juice, or toys. The transition to three feedings was pretty easy. I then started eliminating a feeding every few days and offering her a cup of whole milk to replace the feeding. I used the word offer because she didn’t always take it. She was not crazy about whole milk, which is understandable because whole milk is not as sweet as breast milk, but eventually gave in and drank it. One day I ran out of whole milk and gave her almond milk and she loved it so I continued with almond milk because I’m not crazy about drinking from a cow myself. I just make sure to include good fats in her diet since almond milk lacks fat. She was also becoming constipated from the whole milk so I was happy all the way around with the switch and so was she. After three weeks, I decided that I was officially finished nursing. I was very emotional because I felt like I was selfish for rushing her through this process but I reminded myself that I am doing this to become a better me for my family and be the best mother I can be all the way around. I was also emotional because I loved breastfeeding my baby and would have loved to have done baby-led weaning but I felt my husband (yes he had a say so as well as he should) and I made the best decision for our family for various reasons. She was weaned from day feedings when I reached my stopping point but certainly not night feedings. I had done no night weaning up to this point, but I had no choice because like I said I was done. The first two nights my mom had to put her to sleep maybe two or three times throughout the night because she would not take a cup or bottle from me. She only wanted her milkies. The third night, she would receive a bottle from me but it had to be a bottle. I kept reading from various sites to only offer a cup, but I guess the breast-like nipple is soothing for her, and she has been fine with not getting mommy’s milk ever since. We still spend lots of time cuddling and bonding and we are just as close as we ever were if not closer. Every now and again she shows interest, but as long as she gets her milk in some form or fashion she is just fine. Because I did not go cold turkey, it was not a traumatic experience for her. A little disappointing but not tramatic, so I’m very happy about that. I did experience slight engorgement and pain (I believe it was a very mild case of mastitis) for the first few days, so I hand expressed a little milk for comfort and lightly massaged the painful areas. The pained lessened as the days passed. I was taking sudafed for congestion and there are claims that sudafed dries up milk but it did not have that affect on me.
Finally, I happily threw away all of my maternity bras and replaced them with brand new Victoria’s Secret push-up bras lol. I am now kicking up my weight loss regimen quite a bit since I no longer have to worry about having a milk supply or harming my baby with supplements. Manny and Arie deserve to have a mommy who is energetic and healthy enough to care for them, teach them, and play with them. Most importantly, my babies are happy and healthy so their mommy is happy!
*The features photo was her last day nursing. A very bittersweet day*
There is so much I can say about my first born. He came into my life and framed my world. Even when he has his “terrific two” mishaps he turns right around and does or says something that makes me forget all about it and brightens my day. Named after his father, Manny (his nickname) is the only heir of the Riddle family, which means he is the only one to carry on the Riddle name. My husband and I found out we were having a boy early (at 15 weeks gestation) because he was leaving for school/training before my 20 week anatomy scan could take place and I couldn’t imagine finding out the baby’s gender without him. I was so thrilled to be giving my husband a son. My husband was the end of the generation and he always wanted a little brother, so a son was even bettering my book. He was so proud and excited. During my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time traveling up and down the road visiting my husband while he was in school, resting and relaxing, and gaining weight. I am so fortunate that I did not have any complications especially with the way I was eating. My husband was stationed 9 hours away at the time so I decided to be induced so that he could be present for the birth of our son. I couldn’t imagine giving birth without him.
When I arrived at the hospital, the first thing they did was soften my cervix. This part was a piece of cake except for the part about me witnessing a woman who gave birth very quickly as well as med free and was screaming for her life. I remember hearing her and looking at my mom saying, “I changed my mind lets go home” and she replied, “it’s a little late for that now isn’t it”. Of course my husband slept through all of this but who could blame him? It was 1 in the morning. The next morning they broke my water and I was given 2 doses of iv pain medication that I absolutely loved when my contractions started getting stronger. After the medication wore off, it was time for my epidural. Everything was going great. I was progressing as I should and couldn’t feel a thing. That was until I started feeling my legs. I told my nurse but she said it was normal, increased my medicine and went to lunch. Shortly after, I started feeling contractions. These weren’t just any contractions either. The word of the day is pitocin. What is pitocin? I’m glad you asked. Pitocin is the devil’s first cousin. It’s purpose is to speed up labor by making contractions stronger and closer together. I’ve felt regular contractions and normal contractions have nothing on pitocin contractions. I was in so much pain that I turned into a mad woman. I was yelling and screaming demanding that someone do something. I wanted pain medicine that instance and I even jumped out of the bed and had to be tackled by my nurse and my husband to keep from getting up trying to run away from the contractions. As info could really get away lol. I also demanded an on the spot c section that my nurse sternly informed me I was not getting. I felt so bad for my husband because he was looking so scared and helpless. He just stood there silently. I guess he was afraid that if he said or did anything he would become the target of my raft lol. Finally the anesthesiologist came and would only give me an epidural only if promised to be still. I didn’t care what I had to do to get relief as long as I got it. My nurse held me during the epidural and helped me breathe through the pain. She even went to take care of something for a second and ran back to me when I begged for her to comfort me when a contraction came on again. My nurse was the greatest. I couldn’t have had a better nurse even if I had Denise Sherwood herself. Once my epidural was back in and my family reappeared, I was once again as sweet as pie. I did not feel a thing and got an opportunity to take advantage of some well needed and deserved rest before the big push. My nurse woke me up to check me and I was 8cm, so my husband decided to go and get some dinner. He was so confident that our son wouldn’t arrive for awhile that he left his phone in the room. The nurse came back in and had me push my way to 10cm because I was feeling pressure and my husband came back to the room to his wife’s legs in stirrups. He immediately threw his food down and came over to see what was going on. I pushed and pushed and pushed and nothing was happening so my doctor demanded that my epidural be turned off so that I could feel what I was doing. I tried my best to push him out before the medicine wore off but without success; however, once I did feel what was going on it did not take me very long to push him out of there. After two hours of pushing, vomiting on myself, and another embarrassing accident, a screaming little 6lb 2oz boy was placed on my chest. That was the happiest I could ever remember being and I was crying both because he was finally here and because it was finally over. Motherhood had officially began. As I lay here now beside my sleeping baby boy cuddling with his baby sister, I’m so grateful for him and blessed to be his mom. Their mom. To my fellow mommies out there and mommies to be please don’t get an induction unless you have to. (See my blog about my daughter’s birth to find out why.) be patient. Your baby is worth the wait. God Bless
This past Saturday, my family (mother, siblings, kids, and nephew) and I went to the Georgia National Fair in Perry, GA. It was a little shy of a two hour drive for my mom and I and it was well worth the trip. There was so much to see and do and plenty of good southern food to eat. Mondays are free for military and their dependents but it worked out for us to go as a family on Saturday. My two year old son enjoyed riding age and height appropriate rides with my nephew. I was actually impressed at how many rides he was able to enjoy at his age and height, which was about four or five rides. Wristbands for rides are not available on busy days, but it is free to enter for children 10 and under. The highlight of my day was that a nice church had a free cool area for mothers to nurse and change their babies. I was actually wearing my 15lb baby girl so it was nice to take a breather in a comfortable cool place to nurse and change her. In addition to rides, games, and food, there are also live concerts, lots of venders with interesting items for sale, animals, artwork, and so much more. I highly recommend this event for all families with kids of all ages; however, I would suggest to budget a set amount and carry cash so that you don’t overspend. Overspending is very easy to do with all of the games for prizes, rides, and food, and yes moments like these with family is priceless but I like my money where I can see it….in my closet 😉 (Shhhh don’t tell my husband). B.O.B ladies and gentlement (Ball On a Budget).
His security TRUMPS your insecurities! It’s crucial that we understand our worth, who we are in Christ and our identity as believers. The moment we accept Christ in our heart, we become complete. But what if I still struggle with insecurity? Truth is, we all do; however, we don’t have to struggle, because as believers, we are overcomers. In order to deal with insecurities, we have to first know that we are overcomers. We have to know that we have everything within us to succeed in our journey through life. Our walk in victory requires daily effort: We must build up our spirits by reading, listening and finally speaking the Word while we are in our low times as well as high times.
You may have heard your limiting beliefs say words like:
- You aren’t smart enough for that kind of dream.
- Who am I to accomplish such a thing?
- I don’t really have what it takes.
- I’m too tall or I’m too short.
- Last time I tried something like that, I failed.
My question is why do we focus such a large amount of energy on our insecurities that we lose sight of the infinite possibilities placed deep within us by our Creator? Could it be possible that you and I are so conformed to the ways of the world that we negate the possibility of ever making an impact? Or maybe we are paralyzed by the fear of failure, pride, what others will think, who will reject us, or what others will say about us? Even worse, are we so self-centered that we fail to realize our fight to victory is not just about us, but it’s about the people that we come into contact with?
The bottom-line it’s time to focus on what God has to say about us. We’ve all gone through life long enough on our own thoughts and understanding. Let’s start proclaiming the Word of God over our insecurities. Let’s allow His SECURITY by grace build us up and complete our insecurities.
Meditation Moment: “I have the Greater One living IN me; GREATER is HE Who is IN me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
For more scriptures on who your identity in Christ, visit the link below:
I chose to share my daughter’s birth story ahead of her big brother’s because hers is the more pleasant one. Princess Arie (Lioness of God) was born five days before her due date in the cold snowy month of February. At my 39 week checkup, I found out that I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doctor then decided to strip my membranes to speed up the process. It was very uncomfortable but not necessarily painful. The night after I had my membranes stripped, I put my son to bed and checked my Facebook the last time for the night and found several of my friends impatiently waiting for Arie’s arrival. I remember posting a skeleton meme and telling them that they will continue waiting because she is not ready to grace us with her presence yet. I then took a shower and went to bed. About ten to fifteen minutes later, I was awoken by mild contractions. They weren’t too bad but they were definitely stronger than Braxton Hicks. I woke my husband up and he kept trying to convince me that this was a false alarm and the contractions would go away if I just went back to bed. I still cannot believe he wanted to sleep at a moment like that lol. I timed my contractions for thirty minutes and decided it was time to go to the hospital. My husband did not have his bag packed and it felt like it took him forever to pack his bag and get our son situated to go to a friend’s house. Finally two hours after my contractions started we arrived at the hospital, which was around 2:30am. I responded to my body by jumping up, leaning on my husband and swaying during contractions. I also sat and swayed when I felt it was necessary. My poor husband had worked all day so he just wanted to sleep but I called him for support as needed. He was a trooper at first until he tried to tuck me in under the covers during a contraction and I barked at him not to touch me. After laboring for a while and vomiting all over the bathroom floor, the OB decided to finally admit me. To my surprise, I could not get an epidural until having thirty minutes of IV fluid in my system and waiting for an hour of blood work to be done. Some time after 5:00am, I finally got my epidural and found out that I was 8cm dilated. I loved the fact that my husband was allowed to stay in the room with me during my epidural and I could lean on him for support. That definitely was not allowed at the hospital my son was born at, but I will get to his birth story later. I attempted to get some rest but that did not happen because I was continuously being checked and began to push shortly after the insertion of the epidural. After three sets of pushing, my beautiful baby girl arrived. That epidural was so great that I did not feel a thing! I love the fact that they immediately placed my daughter on my chest and did not remove her until I was ready and that everything was done bedside. My baby girl latched right away and she cried like crazy when I unlatched her to switch breast and she is still a fuss box when it comes to her food till this day. Do NOT mess with Princess Arie’s food! My baby was not rushed this time and she came on her own time and her birth experience was much more pleasant than the first. My son’s birth wasn’t horrible but it was not as smooth as my daughters birth that’s for sure. I encourage you to be patient and let your baby come when he or she is ready. They are worth the wait! 😉
I have been blessed with two beautiful healthy children. My son is currently two years of age and my daughter is five months old. I had my daughter when my son was twenty months old and became a mom of two kids under the age of two. There was no fail of birth control and I was aware that breastfeeding was not a solid form of birth control. My husband and I were just really anxious to grow our family. On my son’s 1st birthday, he received a special gift, which was the news that he was going to become a big brother to a new baby brother or sister, which we found out a few months later would be a sister. My daughter is a very calm easy-going baby so the transition has not been too difficult, but like any other transition in life, it does come with its challenges. If my son isn’t taking off his poopy diaper and playing in the contents, he is on the baby’s back saying, “Go horsey! Getty up!”, but when he kisses his sister on the cheek and tells her how much he loves her, that is the heart melting moment that I dreamed of during my entire second pregnancy. Moms who have been on this journey before me tell me that when my kids are older I will be happy that I had them so close together because they will be close to each other and out-of-the-way. Little do they know, we want two more kids later down the line. The one thing I have learned thus far is to have patience. A lot can happen within the three to five seconds you take your eyes off of a toddler such as lipstick on the wall, or pen on the couch, or my personal favorite, experimentation of dog food; therefore, I am enjoying the ride and cherishing every moment, even the messy ones. Thank God for Legacy of Clean!