I Am Woman Wednesday – Reshaping The Mom Bod Progress

What better way to start I Am Woman Wednesday than with a look back at how far I have come in a year?!?

We took family pictures on Easter and it had me browsing back through past photos. I stumbled across our first family pictures after my son was born (he was about 10 weeks old). They were taken almost exactly a year ago so I had to do a side by side. Keep in mind that I wasn’t even 3 months postpartum yet and that my progress has been a combination of diet and exercise along with 14 months of breastfeeding and now three weeks of plexus. Just seeing the progress has given me new motivation to keep going and get to my goal body so I had to share! Even when you think you aren’t getting anywhere . . . you are!

 

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And because I Am Woman Wednesday is about being a strong woman, I am coming back from an injury this week and feel super excited to say that I have gotten 3 miles in this week so far after two weeks of taking it easy! My goal is to do my next 5k (in less than two weeks) in 30 minutes so I am working on getting a 10 min mile down. Yesterday I was able to do a mile in 11 min 30 sec on the treadmill so I will keep working hard and pushing for it!

My First Shoot It Saturday!

This week I have been working on improving my bokeh. It is not something that I have ever paid too much attention too but I have recently fallen in love with it! So I decided to combine two of my favorite things for today’s Shoot It Saturday . . . photography and gardening!

For those that don’t know, the term “bokeh” refers to the blurred background you see in so many photographs these days. Basically this is achieved by using a low aperture setting to create a shorter depth of field which in turn blurs a portion of the image. I have always been a kit zoom lens user so that is what I used.

These shots were taken with the Nikon D7000 and 18-105 mm lens with the camera set to aperture priority. 105 mm at f/5.6.

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My sweet girls helped me plant and Miss Mae picked herself a flower and named her Daisy.

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My dogs helped too but they got a little confused on the concept and dug up one of my plants!

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And in case you were wondering . . . this is what the first day in the 90s looks like for a husky!

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Next week I will be working with my new 50mm lens and exploring everything it has to offer me!

The Switch

After almost four years of shooting with a Canon Rebel XS I have switched over to Nikon and upgraded to a Nikon D7000 as my main shooter and a Nikon D3100 as my second shooter! This has been a huge adjustment because of all the differences but man am I having a blast learning and discovering all of the new settings and features!

 

I had a really hard time deciding between upgrading to a better Canon or switching over to Nikon. The Rebel was a wonderful starter camera and really helped me get my feet wet in the world of DSLR. It was also the tool that helped me capture memory after memory for both myself and others. So why not just keep the Rebel as my second shooter and upgrade my main shooter to the Canon 7D? Well it started when I got my hands on my photography partner’s Nikon D3100. The feel of it and sound of it won me over right away! I guess I was just meant to be a Nikon girl! But more than that, I do a lot of all day themed photography specials and the Nikon has 2 memory card slots and a longer battery life. Those two things are pretty important to me to make it through those days but also around the house when I want to grab the camera and catch a special moment between my kids without worrying if it’s charged or if the card is full from the last shoot I haven’t deleted yet. The D7000 also it has better image quality and color depth which is nice and it does better at night which is a huge plus. But most importantly for me, being a stay at home mom, the cost! Amazon has the Nikon D7000 with 18-105 mm lens for $999.95 while the Canon 7D is priced at $1,299.00 for the body only. It’s a really a good price for both cameras especially if you use Amazon Prime Free Shipping.

Now by no means am I a camera expert. In fact, I spent hours researching and comparing different cameras on snapsort.com and other sites and blogs before making any decisions or purchases. I have never shot with a Canon 7D so I have nothing of personal experience to go on as far as it’s pro or cons but I sure do love shooting with my Nikon D7000!

 

These were a few of my test shots with the Nikon D7000 using the 18-105 mm lens.

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Baby Steps

When we arrived at speech today a wonderful woman from the OT part of the therapy center was there to meet with us. Instead of her normal speech session we were taken to the OT building and Miss Rae was observed as she played and I was able to discuss her with the therapist along with going over the questionnaire from two weeks ago. After today we are very certain that our girl does in fact have SPD and will be starting occupational therapy in just a few months to help her with it.

Words can not express the feelings of relief I feel now knowing for sure what we are dealing with and that we are in such good hands. I of course came home and started doing more research and I could swear this was written just for me – 10 things they don’t tell you about parenting a child with SPD

The Beginning of Our Journey

So through all of the bumps in the road we have with Miss Rae I have read numerous blogs and have felt very comforted by reading other mom’s similar stories . . . so I thought I would start blogging as we go and maybe my blog will help someone down the road?

Here is a little back story. When she was 1 1/2 I took her to an eval at Sooner Start. They told me to bring her back in 6 months. At her 2 year eval they told be she was 30% delayed and that they needed a 50% delay so to bring her back in 6 more months. At this point I asked her doctor for a referral for a different therapy center but I got more of a story of her family member who talked late too instead of help. So we switched doctors and were immediately referred to do a speech eval and she qualified for therapy right away with highly suspected speech apraxia. It took a month for insurance to approve the eval and another month for them to approve the therapy but even just 4 sessions in I feel so optimistic. She absolutely loves her speech pathologist and gets so excited to go see her every week!

And to go even deeper into how amazing her speech pathologist is . . .

Along with speech problems, Miss Rae also has a lot of other issues including trouble sleeping (which she is on melatonin for), horrible abusive melt downs that last an hour at least, touch issues shutting down in stressful situations, etc. Her doctor referred her to a neurologist to see if the shutting down was seizure related (no seizure activity was found) and then referred her to psychiatry for the melt downs. After searching and searching no one will take our private insurance so my dad has found a child study center that we are currently working on getting into. After talking to her speech pathologist I have also done a lot of research about sensory processing disorder. I asked her doctors office for a referral to occupational therapy for an eval to see if maybe that is the root of all of this but was denied since we have the referral to the study center and her physical development is all on track. So I called OT on my own since it is in the same therapy center as her speech and they were able to talk to her speech pathologist who gave me a sensory questionnaire to fill out today and then returned it to OT for me.

Babydolls Are Not For Brainwashing!

I am not one to publicly rant very often but I read an article tonight that really got to me. The article was about the super bowl commercial for GoldieBlox. The company and the toys seem really great and I would totally buy them for my girls as well as for my little boy. What made me angry was a specific paragraph in the article – “She’s filling a need so many parents have for toys that encourage girls to think. Girls are taught to be nurturing, to be mommy, to be a homemaker or to be the sexy girlfriend. They’re sold pastels and pink, this girlie cliche of what it means to be female. It’s either hyper-sexual dolls like Monster High or Bratz or toy brooms and irons. It’s a form of subtle but inescapable brainwashing.”

First of all, girls have never been limited to “the pink isle” at the store. My girls have always had their own tools, cars, balls and blocks.

Second of all, the GoldieBlox toys are pastel and pink!!

Third of all being a nurturing mommy or a homemaker does not amount to not thinking. As a stay at home mom this part irritated me more than anything. Running a home and raising children requires a vast amount of thinking and knowledge as well as hard work. Also encouraging and teaching a girl how to be a nurturing mother and how to run a house is vital to her future as a successful adult whether she chooses a career outside of the home or not. It is not brainwashing her against thinking for herself.

I can honestly say that despite the toy isle’s separation of toys preferred by boys and toys preferred by girls, my daughters both play princesses, mommies, pirates, doctors, police officers, fire fighters, race car drivers, etc on a daily basis right along with running around “fixing” things with their tools and breast feeding their baby dolls. Pink toys have yet to brain wash them.

Where Are Their Parents?

I am convinced that parents are a thing of the past.

Parenting is hard. It is a non-stop 24/7 job that involves physical, emotional, and mental work. If done correctly, parenting does not stop on date nights, while your at work, while your kids are at school, when your ex has them for the weekend, or while you are busy on social media, video games, or even reading a book. A parent, whether on duty or on call, is always a parent. It is a parent’s job to take care of their child from conception on. Good parenting involves making sure that all basic needs are met (food, drinks, cleanliness etc) but also that emotional and social needs are met. It is the parent who is responsible for their child feeling loved and knowing how to love. It is the parent who is responsible for their child knowing right from wrong, knowing how to treat and interact with others, how to behave and present themselves to others, how to participate and pull their weight in our society.

Whatever the reason, (laziness, a single mom stretched too thin, the love of money, death of a parent, split parents with a lack of communication, addictions etc) involved parenting has become a rarity. This leaves children to raise themselves in a horrible culture of women who don’t respect themselves, glamorized violence, disrespect for others, vulgar language etc. When this is all they see it becomes all they know. It becomes who they are.

I live about 30 miles from Duncan, Oklahoma which is where the Australian baseball player, Christopher Lane, was killed by “bored teenagers.” There are vines and tweets and photos popping up everywhere of these kids expressing hate and showing off guns and money prior to the murder. Where were their parents? The father of the 15 yr old made the statement that he knew where his son was 95% of the time. I have a hard time believing that. I also have a hard time believing that he did not know how his son is or how his son thinks or what his son was capable of. It is the parent’s job to know their child, to correct their child’s bad behavior, and to mold their child into the man or woman they need to be.

Another very obvious case of parenting gone wrong is the biggest topic in social media right now, Miley Cyrus. My husband I don’t usually watch the VMAs but we DVRed it this time so that I could watch the NSYNC reunion. As we were fast forwarding through the program we stopped here and there to watch parts of various perfomances. Miley’s was beyond awful and once again I found myself asking “Where are her parents?!?” Yes, I understand that she is 20 years old and can do as she pleases. However, this kind of behavior and lack of self respect does not develop over night. It is a parent’s job to instill lasting moral values in their child to protect them from today’s corrupted culture. I also want to state again that parenting never stops! I am 27, married, and have three children of my own but if I were to even consider behaving in that manner both of my parents, as well as my step mom and in-laws would be in parent mode in a heart beat.

I also have to say that I am utterly disgusted with our television networks these days. MTV’s target audience is age 12-34 and this is what they show. Is this what we want our children growing up to? What we want them thinking is normal? I won’t even get into Kanye thinking he is Jesus. That is another post entirely. Right now my children are still young and I am able to keep my TVs on Disney Jr but as they get older these are the things I will have to battle. But who are the television networks to worry about the future of our country’s youth as long as they are getting their money right now?