Sunday, July 24, 2016

It Always Gets Better

          I am getting ready for vacation, my yearly one.  I have taken off the end of July every year
time to go home
for the past seven years.  Have a brilliant reason to. Her name is Staci, and July 31st is her birthday.  I cannot even begin to fathom, how seven years has gone by so fast.  I was looking in her baby book yesterday, and I saw her 3D sonogram picture.  That was my first glimpse of my lil princess.  I could tell then she was going to be beautiful.  Also feisty LOL the sonogram tech had a challenging time trying to get Staci to stay still for all the pictures.  Little imp liked to play hide and seek, tickled me on the inside and out.  That first night I got to hold her in my arms I was exhausted, but could not go to sleep.  I just wanted to hold her and be in awe of how amazing this little being was.  She was so cute and cuddly, her hair so soft, eyes so blue, little bitty button nose like me, and round cheeks (like me too).  Her and I just sat and whispered to each other all night.  I could not believe she was all mine, 100%, I only had to share if I wanted to LOL August 1st I dressed her in this adorable white onesie with pink ballet slippers on it (I still have outfit) and I took her home.
such awe at the world
Then the fun really began.  She made the cutest faces and sounds, and she was so clever.  She was crawling by five months, and walking by 10 months.  When I had to go to work she would read me the riot act, of course she didn't speak a word I could understand, but the meaning came across loud and clear.  It was nice to be missed.  It was heaven to see her face light up when I got back home.  The first year was full of so much cuteness, rolling over, crawling, walking, first teeth, learning to eat food, playing with toys, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together. We played a game of object hide and seek. I would hide something, and then go "where is it" and she'd giggle and quickly find it.  After a bit she'd out of the blue come find me and say "where is it?" oh boy her version was complicated. I not only had to find it, but first I had to figure out what it was I was looking for LOL I decided nothing could be cuter than one-year-old Staci.
It wasn't me 

          Then she turned two years old, and she was even cuter.  She had mastered walking, and also running.  She knew how to talk in the most adorable little baby girl voice, she laughed at everything, was fascinated by the simplest things, and she became my best friend.  We did everything together, not that we didn't before, just now she participated more.  At restaurants she suddenly learned to put a spoon on her nose LOL no idea where it came from, but it was awesome to see.  She loved animals, she would chase the birds everywhere we went. She also could no longer be contained in her crib.  I'd put her in it at night, but after about an hour she would have climbed out and be crawling into bed with me. I didn't mind the snuggles. Two-year-old Staci was the best.
such a silly girl
          Then along came three-year-old Staci and wonder of wonders she was even more fascinating.  This Staci had the funniest sense of humor, and the best little laugh.  She wanted to learn about everything, and was so independent.  Her language skills showed great intelligence, she could carry on a conversation in the sweetest little voice. She started calling herself a big girl LOL no more me doing everything, she wanted to do things on her own, and thankfully she was pretty adept at accomplishing tasks.  She learned to go downstairs all by herself, I can remember the first time she refused to hold my hand, insisting she could do it all by herself.  She was dressed in a sunny yellow dress, golden hair in two little pig tails, cheeks all rosy, smile big as could be, and she went down the stairs.  I was a basket case, praying the whole time she wouldn't fall.  She was so proud of herself, she felt so brave, I was proud of her too, but a wee bit sad.  My baby was quickly disappearing. Now I had this little girl to go to the park with.  She did not need stroller, she preferred to walk and explore, getting into every nook and cranny.  She was the most adorable girl ever created, or so I thought.
beauty on the beach
          Would you believe four-year-old Staci was hands down the most adorable.  She was my little amazon.  Tall for her age, and so smart people thought she was older.  She could swim, climb, ride a tricycle, catch a ball, read simple words, and do simple math.  We had moved to Florida now, and she was definitely a sunshine girl.  Her hair was now long as could be, and so blond, also so wild LOL I always wanted a little girl whose hair I could fix with ribbons and bows, but not with Staci, she hates having her hair even brushed.  She prefers the wild child look LOL thankfully she is so gorgeous it works for her.  She loves collecting seashells on the beach.  We have quite a collection in Grandma's room.  She loves swimming at the pool and playing in the water fountain at Sunshine Park.  We went camping for the first time, and she learned that building a fire was fun, but roasting marshmallows until the resembled a charcoal briquette was even better. The dark didn't scare her, armed with her flash light she led us star gazing.  That was the first year we went to Disney World and had a blast. I could not even begin to describe how amazing it felt to get to share my love of Disney with her.  Four-year-old Staci was my best friend, and I never wanted her to change.

watch out world
Change she did though, into five-year-old Staci.  This was a bittersweet year.  My baby was gone, and in her place was a kindergartener.  I always thought she was big for her age until that first day of school.  She looked so small, but she was ready for action.  I however was not.  I cried the whole way home after I dropped her off that first day.  I was so anxious to learn how the day went, I was there early to pick her up.  She comes skipping out, smiling big and bright when she saw me (so glad I was missed) and begins babbling about all the new friends she had made.  She became bouncy Staci.  She was so excited about learning, and playing at school.  She learned to read, and work on computers.  Art was amazing, I saved lots. Despite having my DNA she was a wiz at math LOL each day at school was a new adventure.  Not for me though, I missed getting to hang out with her.  I was so happy when it was time to pick her up, then we could play, and I got to hear all about her day.  I loved my five-year-old Staci, she could not be any more amazing.
showing off her art
           That is until she turned into six-year-old Staci.  This little ball of energy mastered first grade.  She learned to read way better than I did at her age.  She can even do simple multiplication and division.  On the computer she finds videos and games, she is a google girl LOL She loves to create all sorts of crafty masterpieces, she even received an award for her imagination.  She is my bestest little helper in the kitchen.  She helps me bake and cook, she is always finding recipes for sweets she wants to try.  If given an option she will always chose sweet tea (Southern belle).  She is always dancing and singing.  Every other kid is her best friend, she is outgoing, yet shy at the same time.  When she gets excited she literally starts bouncing. We have two cats she adores, and she often pretends to be a kitty herself.  Her brother is now her hero, she is more and more like him every day. I'm going to have to start buying buffalo sauce by the gallon.  Nothing is too spicy for those two.  I discovered she does not like to fail at anything, she puts pressure on herself to be the best.  We are working on that.  I want her to realize she is the best at just being her.  I will always love her no matter what.  I just want her to have fun. 
I so love that face
          She is an amazing gift from God.  I am doing my best to take care and cherish this present I was given.  I want her to grow up knowing she is loved.  I want her to grow up loving herself.  I want her to know that she is unique and special, and do not let others tell her different.  I don't want her to let others define who she is.  I want her to value her intelligence.  Smart girls rule the world.  I want her to be confident and brave.  I don't want her to ever feel inferior to anybody.  I want her to stay kind to others, and keep her generous heart. I want her to feel as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  I want her to feel like her dreams are possible, even if the world says not a chance.  I want her to live up to her potential, but do so in a way that is natural, not forced.  Most of all, I want her to KNOW she is loved by me, always and forever.
          Every year I think she can't get any better, and yet she does.  I cannot wait to see what seven-year-old Staci does...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Anger of unknown origin

          Have you ever woken up, just pissed off at everything for absolutely no reason?  That is me today.  Shoot I was ticked off that this seasoning mix was not on shelf where I put it. It was on one above it.  Silly, but it infuriated me immensely.  Logically I am sure it is just hormones going crazy, but it is driving me mentally and physically crazy.  I had to warn my family to tread lightly around me LOL.  So instead of snarling and snapping, I busied myself doing bead work for the wind chime I wanted to make.  I finished it, I tend to get a bit OCD when I start a project.
Commander being my model
 I can't put it down until all done.  I am forbidden to do big puzzles LOL I also made a yummy veggie soup to nosh on over the weekend while I am working, and started a load of laundry (what an exciting life I lead).  Now I have to figure out what to do next.  If I sit still too long, I get tired and unfortunately fall asleep. This creates havoc on my sleep schedule.  Anyway I had aspirations of creating a fantastic blog post detailing how I made the wind chime. Yesterday though showed me I am lousy at giving directions.  
For me I just see the thing I want to make, and then my mind figures out a way to make it.  I might glance at directions, but rarely do I follow them.
          I did have one laugh today.  A friend of my brother saw my blog and grabbed the pic of my brother and me when he was about one years old, she blew it up, cropped just his pic, and then she posted it on Facebook telling everybody it was him LOL he’s going to kill me.  He really was an adorable baby, so squishy.  I used to love being his sister, then he went and grew up on me.  Just kidding, I love my brother.  I wish he would visit more often, just he hates leaving Reno, Nevada.  I move all the time, and he stays put forever.  I think he has lived in same apartment for about ten years now.
          So now what to do, I guess hang out with Staci.  That’s my absolute favorite thing to do.  She is such a hoot.  She has an incredible sense of humor, and always finds a way to make me smile.  Currently she is sitting next to me on her computer, playing Club Penguin and dressing up her penguins and puffles in princess outfits.  I cannot believe she is going to be seven years old next weekend.  The time has gone by way too fast.   

The finished flower pot and beaded wind chimes outside, waiting for a summer breeze. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Flower Pot Wind Chime (my first DIY post)

I adore the Pinterest website.  I even did a presentation on it for speech class.  So daily at some point I will be on Pinterest looking for things to do or recipes to make.  If you want to check out my boards I am listed as leeandstacismom on there.  Most of the things I have pinned I actually try and make or do or cook.  Today I found three different wind chimes I wanted to try and make.  One is a wind chime made out of flower pots, another is made out of beads, and the last one is felt birds and bells. Feeling all inspired I headed off to Michael's to get all the crafty stuff I would need.  It was unbelievable hard trying to chose out of all the different beads they had.  We spent about an hour just ooooo'ing and aaahhh'ing over the sparklies.
The felt for birdies was easy, it was on sale for just 9 cents each, so I got one in every color LOL  Finally I picked out the little flower pots to paint.  So today we made the flower pot wind chime.  I thought it was take longer, just because the paint needed to dry, but I was wrong.  Paint dried super fast.  After we got started it only took a couple of hours for Staci and I to put them together.  I think it turned out fantastic.  If any one wishes to make their own feel free to do what I did.

What you will need is:

1 flower pot 3 inches tall
1 flower pot 2 inches tall
2 flower pots 1 1/2 inches tall
paint in any 4 colors you wish to use
wooden beads (about the diameter of a grape)
decoration to hang at the bottom for the bell clapper
1 metal ring to hang the chime

Paint the flower pots with the paint colors of your choice. Also paint four of the beads for decoration. Staci wanted purple, pink, and blue.  I am not very talented with painting, so we just decorated with polka dots.  Feel free to get all creative if you wish.  See that little unicorn in the picture?  It is a backpack pull.  I just added a bell to it for our clapper to hang at the bottom.  Cut a piece of twine about 2 feet long. Tie your decoration choice to the end of the twine. Go up about an inch on the twine and tie a plain wooden bead, then thread one of the 1 inch flower pots (open side down) onto the twine, going through the drain hole in bottom of pot, until it rests on the bead.  Go up about another couple of inches and tie another bead, then slide the other 1 inch flower pot onto twine, until it rests on the bead.  The next bead goes up approximately 2 1/2 inches, After that slide on the 2 inch flower pot to the bead.  The next plain bead goes up approximately 3 inches and gets tied on for the 3 inch flower pot to rest on.  Finally tie a knot in the twine a couple of inches over the 3 inch pot, then slide on the four decorated beads.  If you laid the chime down, the flower pots should nestle in each other.  Depending on how far you want the wind chime to hang down, trim the excess twine, then to that end attach your metal ring for hanging. The end product should look like this:

I realize I am not very good at explaining, but I tried.  I tend to just look at pictures, and make my idea of what I think it is LOL The most important part of all this was Staci and I had fun together. Next up is the sparkly wind chime.  We will work on that tomorrow and get you a rundown on how it turns out.  Theoretically it should be gorgeous...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I am an Anglophile

           About a decade ago I dated a chap from England.  He was so much fun, and did he ever make me laugh with his British sense of humor.  The relationship didn't last, but the friendship did, as well as a love for all things English.  They have a term for that, it is an anglophile, which means a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain.  I have never been to England, but would adore going there.  It would be brilliant (fantastic),
 Trying to add a few English terms in here LOL so while I was away with the fairies (daydreaming) I thought of doing a post about my love of all things English.  They have such fun sayings to start with.  Did you know most people at work like to chin-wag?  LOL that is a fun way of saying gossip. Blimey (my goodness) I love how they sound.  Now I hope I am not coming off as a wanker or a daft cow (idiot) for posting this. I could use a nip (nap) cause I am knackered (tired) but I had to wake up, and bob's your uncle (there you go) I started typing about bits'n bobs (various things) in order for you readers to be gobsmacked (amazed) with this post LOL.

OK that was a silly first paragraph, but it made me laugh, and you know what this is my blog and I can type what I wish.  I actually am quite a bit English in my ancestry.  I have my genealogy traced all the way back into the 1600's in England on my mom's side, and on my dad's side we can be traced back to Sir Francis Drake. I always thought that was pretty interesting.  When time comes for my daughter to do a school genealogy project we have got her a sure A+ most definitely.

So I don't go around trying to use a fake English accent, it would sound silly mixed with my southern one, but I do have a definite fondness for people who speak with the accent.  They always sound so intelligent and polite.  I love talking to my friend on the phone just to hear the accent.  What else do I love English? A good cuppa tea :)  hot Earl Grey or English Breakfast with sugar and milk.  It really is relaxing.

Yummies are fish and chips with malt vinegar and sea salt.  Or bangers and mash with HP Sauce,  At Christmas time I do my best to make plum pudding  If you click on those purple words you will be taken to a site that talks about Queen Elizabeth and gives her recipe for plum pudding.
          I love all the rich history of England, the majestic castles, the scandalous royalty, the beautiful countryside, the quaint pubs, the brisk seaside, sweater weather all year long, and how very proper they sound even when joking around, but since I have no passport and no thousands of British pounds (money) to visit England properly I have to pretend and content myself with visiting the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot  LOL

One of the days I will make it across the pond...

Sunday, July 17, 2016


A little bit sleep deprived, but still wishing to keep this blog active.  I want the excitement of beginning this blog to stay with me.  Each say I look to see if somebody has perchance noticed my little corner of the internet. I love it when I see that number has gone up.  I was so excited the other day to see my first comment LOL.  I am working on a new actual post, one that takes brainpower to write LOL  I never realized how much effort goes into a blog.  Thinking of ideas is a challenge.  I am now always on the lookout for something that inspires me to write about, then try to find just the right pictures to make the blog fun to look at.  Today I have nothing but my musings. So here they are:

Pokemon Go has continued to amuse me.  Chick fil a is closed on Sundays, yet since it is a hot spot there were cars in the parking lot LMAO  driving home I noticed all the people out wandering with phones, hunting for Pokemon.  It was funny and awesome at same time.  I think it is great that people are actually outside walking around.  There is this egg incubation part of game that in order to get the egg to hatch and give player a cool Pokemon, the player has to walk.  Shortest distance is 2 km while some are 10 km.  No driving either, games knows if player moving too fast for walking.  I read somewhere that the game has increased step counters numbers dramatically.  The Pokemon Go diet started out as joke, but it is becoming an actual thing.

This week my work schedule is a bit jumbled.  I have adjusted it so that I can take my bi-annual CPR certification on Tuesday.  I've only had to do CPR in real life twice.  Both times no fun breaking the ribs.  Remember the old show Emergency?  The paramedics on the show did CPR, and people watched show, so in real life they tried to do CPR, just badly.  So CPR began to be taught to the public, so that it could be done and lives possible saved.

Next week is vacation!!! So excited.  I take vacation every year, last week of July, because that is Staci's birthday.  I realized this morning I haven't worked that week in 7 years LOL this year we are going back to Orlando.  Usually we go to the Nickelodeon Hotel, but unfortunately that closed a few months ago.  So this time we are trying SeaWorld.  First time we are also trying an AirBnB to stay at.  Found a nice condo with what looks to be a super fun pool to play in after a hot day of exploring Orlando.  We are going to Old Town Kissimmee, the Crayola Factory, Medieval Knights, Congo River Mini-golf, and Disney Springs.  Plus anything else we can think of to do.  Defintely will be blogging about those outings, and my AirBnB experience.

I've been working very hard to get ahead in school, so that I can just enjoy time off.  I have enjoyed studying American History this summer.  It has given me a better understanding of what America has been through, and how we are still making the exact same mistakes we did back then.  People just don't seem to learn.  Government still a mess, civil rights still an issue, religious persecution still issue, and country divided on multiple issues.

Speaking of school, for 2nd grade I am homeschooling Staci for a few reasons.  We are going through Florida Virtual Academy.  It is still considered public school, yet it is all done online.  Doesn't cost any money, and they just sent us a big 40 lb box of school supplies and books.  I was shocked at all they sent us.  The books look totally fun and colorful, and they sent a full art kit, science kit, and a jump rope and kid's yoga DVD for P.E.  Also a bunch of tiles for spelling with and math shapes and figures to work with.  School will hopefully be fun. Added benefit is no getting up early and fighting traffic to get to school on time.

OK those are my musings for today LOL an lil insight into how my mind works on a daily basis.   Now time to finish up the laundry, clean the kitchen, watch Leverage, as I enjoy my Five Guys hamburger :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pumpkin Planning 50 Pumpkin recipes

It's happened LOL  Sometime in Summer, I never know when, the urge to start planning for Fall hits me.  Nothing means Fall more to me than pumpkins.  Luckily it is loaded with beta-carotene, high in protein and fiber, low fat, low calorie, and full of essential vitamins and
minerals that do a body good. So I thought I would gather all the pumpkin recipes I could find and put them here for my convenience, 50 of them total..  Click on the name of the recipe, and if I do this right, you should be directed to the website where I found the yummy.  Enjoy :)

No-Bake Pumpkin Turtle Pie

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Buttery Pecan Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Pecan Baked Brie

 Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

Pumpkin Danish

Pumpkin Scones

 Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Pie Butter Cups

Pumpkin Ginger Muffins

Pumpkin Energy Balls

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow Treats

 Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Magic Custard Cake

Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

 Gooey Pumpkin Cake

Maple Pumpkin Custard with Glazed Pecans

Caramel Pumpkin Snack Cake

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin Butter

No Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Pumpkin Bars

 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer 

No Bake Pumpkin Spice Latte Bites

Pumpkin Spike Snowballs

 Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Pumpkin Blondies

Pumpkin Pie Twists

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

Harry Potter's Pumpkin Juice

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gotta Catch Them All!!!

I so need to hang my head in shame or scream in excitement LOL  I caught a Bulbasaur today!!!
 Driving to get Staci from camp and I am hunting Pokemon.  It is this new app for iPhone that I downloaded for Staci, yet here I am playing it without her. It is called Pokemon Go  and it is awesome for a couple of reasons.  First of which it is giving my kids and me something to do together.  My son even is playing on his iPhone.  We are competing to see who gets the best Pokemon LOL  I think I win with Bulbasaur.  Staci was jealous of his Evie until we got one today.  He was wandering around the parking lot after work the other night, looking for Pokemon, when his district manager saw him and said "you're looking for Pokemon aren't you?"  My son just shook his head and laughed :yeah"  He is trying to convince his manager to figure out how to make his restaurant a Pokemon hot spot.
Second reason it is awesome is it is getting kids (and adults) up and outside walking, hunting for the elusive Pokemon. Instead of sitting in front of a video screen, kids are out in the sunshine playing, and since not too safe to wander alone the parents are with them.  I think that is fantastic.  Staci and I were out hunting last night LOL walking around the neighborhood, searching for Evie,  It was fun, she and I had a blast trying to use the game to track Pokemon. Anything that gets kids up and active, combined with interacting with their parents is awesome in my book.

The Pokemon Go Diet

Just an infographic for me to help keep track of what those little shadow figures are LOL

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Me and menopause (sort of)

Disney forever
Oh my LOL I’m too young!!!! 
Me at 1 month old
I keep telling myself that, but more and more I am less inclined to believe it.  I do not feel old, thankfully I do not look old.  People are shocked at how old I actually am.  I will turn 48 this year (if I had an emoji of a banging head that would be here). I definitely do not act old; I love doing kid friendly things. I still watch cartoons, go to the park, play with toys, and love anything to do with Disney. I’m still just a kid at heart.

troll doll cutie
Unfortunately, my body is starting to let me down.  I think I have reached that stage in life where I am premenopausal.  Ugh that is the normal hormonal fluctuations that occur as a woman nears menopause.  It is confusing trying to figure out how I feel about this new phase of life.  One part of me feels so sad that the possibility of having any more children is gone (not that I planned on having anymore) it is just sad that it is no longer an option.  On the other hand, no more periods LOL hate having those. 
say cheese
         Signs and symptoms of perimenopause that I seem to be stuck with due to the shifting hormones are fatigue, irregular periods, mood swings (I go from happy, to sad, to angry in 3 seconds) lots of trouble sleeping, and forgetfulness.  Did you know that a study was done that showed that 60% of women in my situation had short term memory loss, did not learn new things well, and had a hard time trying to concentrate (no wonder this is taking forever to write)?  Also 40% suffered from those awful mood swings.
never let a drunk uncle give you a haircut
  Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind.  I speak before I think now, and the things I say are in no way what I am feeling.  I have lost ability to censor myself at times.  No wonder old folks speak so candidly LOL   

          So to any family or friends that read this, please forgive me and have patience if I say something hurtful or stupid.  I am sure I didn’t mean it.  It’s the hormones talking.  They say this doesn’t last forever, I am sure hoping that is true, because I miss being me.             

          Yep all of these shots are me.  I used to be young and cute LOL 
the last good pic of me

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Gift of Negatives

          I was quite shy as a child. I just sort of coasted by.  Always wanted to be special, but I was just average.  My mom was a single parent, so just had basics, no luxuries.  I guess I always told myself that things would be different for my kids, and I am setting out to make that true LOL but that is not always the best thing to do.

         Every disappointment or sadness as a child, while at time was awful, was in fact preparing me for adulthood.  I am guilty of being one of those moms that has made life easy for their children.  I never wanted them to feel sad, disappointed, or left out, so I try to help them avoid all those feelings.  It is not just me that does it, society also contributes.  Way back when awards were given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Now everybody gets a participation ribbon.  Nobody is allowed to be a loser, shoot loser is a bad word now in school.  Being a loser teaches an important lesson though, it teaches how to be a good sport.  I recently figured out my daughter is a poor sport :(  she lost a silly game, and instead of being able to laugh and shake it off, she cried.  That sparked this blog.  I took away the gift of losing.  Now she has to learn how to be a good sport all at once.  She is not going to be able to win at everything, that is impossible, so she needs to learn how to deal with it with grace and good humor. 
     My mom gives me grief on this one, I took away the gift of disappointment, by 99% of the time giving my daughter what she asked for.  We'll go to store, she'll want a toy, I say no, but in the end we are walking out with a small toy.  Or if I say she can have one, and she can't decide, crying not because being a brat, but sad for toy that it has to stay in store, we end up with both.  My place is overrun with toys LOL I need to learn to say no, so when she is adult and other adults say no, she can accept and move on.  Crying to get a raise won't work with the boss.
         The last area I actually do fairly well in giving is giving her the gift of boredom.  I had that as a child and looking back it was amazing gift.  Now Staci has an iPad, TV, laptop, ninetendoDS, toys, and relatives to keep her entertained.  She is rarely bored.  Sometimes though she is, and that is when she has to use her imagination. When I take away the electronics, and am busy with school work she is forced to entertain self.  That is when she reads or plays with toys creating fantastical adventures. 
          Boredom begets imagination.  When I was a child there was only 3 TV channels, no video games, and no instant gratification.  I had to find ways to entertain myself.  So I explored the neighborhood, imagining all sorts of outlandish things, when I dug in dirt I was an archeologist looking for treasure, I had a fort made up of old wood and boxes, where I battled invaders, I would swim and pretend I was a mermaid from Atlantis LOL silly kid stuff.  I also knew how to day dream.  Staci has great imagination, but she doesn't daydream.  She is missing out on that fun.
          I still want to give her the best life I can, but I also need to keep in mind that eventually she will have to face life on her own, so I need to prepare her for real world.  So anybody reading this love your kids, give them all the positive stuff you want to, but also give them the gift of the negative.  It shows you love them all the more in the long run.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Gym

My daughter has taken to calling herself the internet girl.  While it is cute, it is not a healthy moniker for her to have.  I am not liking how much time is spent in front of an iPad or laptop.  Soto combat this we have been trying really hard to help her be healthy and fit.  Growing up I was not the healthiest kid.  When I was I think twelve I had a bad accident in gym class where I blew out my knee.  This was back in the dark ages of knee surgery, so for six months I could not walk without using crutches,  First it was a hard cast that covered my whole leg, then I had a brace that went from hip to ankle.  It was locked into a certain range so my movement was limited.  Worst six months, I could not run, play, swim, or even walk.  Even after the brace was gone, I still had to be careful, cause if I moved too fast my knee would slip, and down I would go in a lot of pain.  So no running for me.  You know I literally dream about running...
 OK back to my girl.  I do not want her to become a sloth like me LOL  I want her to be active and healthy.  So I try to do everything I can to promote her being healthy.  This means offering nutritious foods at every opportunity.  Yeah I still let her have treats, but she first has to have something healthy.  I have a snack drawer that is full of healthy options she can chose for herself.  Luckily she likes salads and will often chose one for dinner.  While she was in school I took the time to make sure I made her lunch, including fruits and veggies every time.  Proud mommy me was thrilled to see that those usually were eaten every day.

 In addition to the diet we are working on being active.  With summer here and no more recess play, I decided to enroll her at My Gym.  I so love this place!!!  Staci does too.  She takes Cardio Kids on Wednesday with Coach Natalia 

Warming up the muscles

Kettle Ball Work

I love how patient Coach Natalia is with all the kids, especially Staci.  She makes the hour go by quick.  The kids have so much fun, they don't even realize they are exercising.  They mix intense cardio play with free play and games.  Coach Natalia appears to generally like her job and children.  I have yet to see her not smiling.  On Thursdays Staci does the Zumba Kids workout with Coach Amanda. 

That is a bit challenging.  I don't even think I could keep up LOL  Coach Amanda tries to break it down so that the kids can learn the moves. Coach Amanda is always dancing, and the kids all try and dance next to her.  She has ruined songs for me LOL  Instead of just hearing the songs, I now see the moves in my mind.  I like the music they play during class.  Current, popular, upbeat songs with all the naughty words removed.   
Coach Natalia and Coach Amanda with my girl :)
Staci is very excited for next week.  Monday starts first day of Summer camp at My Gym.  Every day has a different theme. Monday is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tuesday is Finding Dory, Wednesday is Ice Age, Thursday is Superheroes, and Friday is the Olympics.  I'm told they do games, free play, crafts, and are provided a nutritious meal.  I caught the coaches even practicing silly songs and skits LOL  Staci will have too much fun.  If you want something fun and healthy for your kids to do July 11th - 15th check out My Gym Jacksonville on their Facebook page.  The coaches post silly pics and events where they will be.   One last pic of Staci's favorite thing at My Gym
The Ball Pit 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Designer Baby

A friend told me I should write about my birth story. I thought too boring, but people do seem interested when they find out my daughter is a designer baby.  I had her via IUF so she is 100% all mine. So here is her story

When I was a little girl I always dreamed about being a mommy.  I wanted a little boy to play with and a little girl to dress up in pretty clothes and ribbons.  I loved kids.  My first job was as an assistant preschool teacher.  I got to play, nap, and sing silly songs LOL after that I was a nanny for a couple of years, then a secretary in a preschool.  Always something to do with children.   When I was 26 I finally got my dream come true J  I became a mommy to an amazing little boy.  He was perfect in every way, and still is.  Cute as could be, full of mischief, and he listened when I told him no LOL he made parenting easy.  He and I did everything together.  The only bad part was he grew up on me.  When he became a teenager I got the baby fever in the worst way.  I loved my son fiercely but part of me was missing that little girl I had dreamed of.  I would walk through Target and see all these adorable little outfits, and just ache.  At work there were a lot of women who were becoming single mommies.  I was so jealous of them.  I was forty years old and running out of time.  I knew I did not want to share another child with anybody else.  I had more than a decade of terrifying custody battles, and I wanted no chance of that ever happening again.  So I asked around at the hospital I worked at and got the name of doctor in town who specialized in fertility.
Oh my goodness was I nervously scared that first visit.  The doctor took me into his office, sat down behind his big desk, and asked me why I was there.  I laughed and said I wanted a baby girl.  All of a sudden it was real, I had told a doctor, and started the wheels in motion. No turning back at that point.  He and I discussed my medical history, my menses cycle, my previous pregnancy, my age, and risks involved.  After all that I then had to prove I could be a good mom.  I had to have a complete physical to show I was healthy enough.  I had to show financial records to prove I had enough money to raise aa child, LOL I actually had to go see a psychologist to prove I was of sound mind, and knew what I was doing.  It would have been easier and cheaper to just go hook up with a guy LOL not that I would have actually done that, too dangerous.  Anyway, I got all the clearance so was now left with choosing a donor.
That was HARD!!!  I used the California Cryo Bank.  I had no idea where to begin.  I started basic, Caucasian like me.  OK thousands of results. Blue eyes like my son and me, still in the thousands.  I always hated being short, so I plugged in I wanted donor taller than 6 feet. Still in thousands.  I am Irish, Scottish, and English, so plugged those in, yes down to the hundreds LOL I plugged in college educated, blood type, religion, hair color, no cleft chin, CMV status, anything I could think of to get the list down.  Finally, I had it narrowed down to ten donors.  So with those profiles in hand my son, my mom, and I went to dinner and went through them, listing pros and cons of each, until we finally picked the one J you wouldn’t believe how expensive just two tries was going to be.  That is all I could afford since insurance didn’t cover any of this.
I had to take shots!!!  The doctor wanted to make sure I was producing enough eggs, so he prescribed shots.  Silly man said I could give them to myself at home. NOPE NOPE NOPE I got the vials from pharmacy, drove across town to doctor’s office, waited for the nurse to be free, and then had her give me a shot that took all of 10 seconds to administer, then drove all the way back home.  LOL I hate shots.  I also had to monitor my ovulations.  When it happened I had to know so I could go to doctor for implantation.  Finally, one morning the test said it was time, so called doctor, set up time that afternoon, and off I went.  Did not take long, had to lay still for half hour afterwards, then free to go home.  Then waiting and waiting.  The first month did not take L  drats another shot, then waiting for ovulation.  It came so quick that the doctors said it was impossible for me to have ovulated.  I told them test said I had, they said come in and they would do blood test to see.  Yep test was right, I had missed that month’s window. So another shot, and more waiting.  I had one more vial, one more try, so time came and in I went again. I was praying the whole time during procedure, and whole 30 minutes after, shoot pretty much constantly. 
I was so hyper-sensitive to any sign that it might have taken.  I was horribly sick with my first pregnancy, that I was expecting that nausea.  Three weeks went by and still no period. Driving home from work I felt the tiniest twinge of nausea.  My heart started beating so fast.  The next day was my doctor’s appointment for blood pregnancy test.  Too soon for urine test.  I was so scared.  I went in and the tech drew my blood, saying they would get back to me as soon as test came back.  All day long I waited and waited.  By 4pm I was close to tears.  I just knew it hadn’t worked, and they were just putting off telling me bad news.  I finally called office and asked what was going on.  The nurse wasn’t available, and would have to get back to me.  I went into my son’s room so depressed.  Right before 5pm my phone rang, it was doctor’s office.  My hand shook so bad; I was terrified to answer the call for fear of hearing the bad news.  Nervously I said hello, then I hear “Jennifer CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re pregnant” oh my God I started bawling like a baby.  I was having a baby!!!!  My son just looked at me like I had lost mind LOL
So I had to start taking prenatal vitamins, and watch my diet.  I went and bought a Winnie the Pooh toy from Toys R Us while looking at all the baby stuff.  For nausea I had a ready supply of Zofran and Tums on me at all times.  For the first trimester I went to the fertility clinic, then had to switch to an obstetrician.  I took my records over and had to laugh when I looked at them.  I was termed an elderly OB patient LOL. I guess forty years old was not the norm.  I didn’t care, I was too thrilled.
Five months pregnant and it was time for genetic testing and the ultrasound to tell me if everything was healthy, formed, and gender if I was lucky.  I was lucky because I was having 3D ultrasound.  Ultrasound tech had me relax on the table and then poured the gel on my tummy.  I immediately heard the heartbeat, then I got to see the heart beating.  I was in awe!!!  She showed me the lungs, the spine, the heart, kidneys, brain, each time telling me it all looked good.  Finally, she asked if I wanted to know if boy or girl.  YES!!! Laughing she moved the wand and then said “It’s a girl” of course I started crying.  My dream was finally fully true.  I had my girl to dress in pretty clothes and ribbons.  She printed me 3D pictures of my beautiful little girl to take home and gaze at for the next four months.
My baby then became a Staci Lee.  She is named after my brother whose first name is Stacy, and the Lee is tradition, as well as my son’s nickname.  I was in heaven getting to buy all sorts of cute outfits and nursey items.  I went with Winnie the Pooh for the nursery.  I loved going online to and reading articles about Staci’s development.  Physically pregnancy at forty was miserable, but mentally I was thrilled.  The last three weeks I could barely walk I was so miserable physically.  My blood pressure was going up, so my OB doctor said no more work.  It was July, so no fun going out in heat anyway.  I stayed inside in the air conditioning.  July 30th came and I decided I needed groceries LOL so at 2am son and I went to Walmart to stock up.  I broke down and used the electric wheelchair.  I felt ridiculous in it.
 July 31st at 2:30 I woke up from my nap and decided I needed a shower. I felt a cramp in shower. Hmmmmm I got out, got dressed, and wow another cramp, then another.  I called my mom and asked what she was doing. “just driving around”.  I said “ummmm can you take me to hospital now?” I wasn’t in a lot of pain, just crampy.  By time we got to hospital that all changed!!!  I hurt.  Made it up to maternity floor, they hooked me up, and lo and behold I was well into labor.  For nine months I had been making these nurses promise me drugs when time came. Well it was time, I wanted my drugs!!!  First they had to get IV in me.  Yeah that took forever and six tries to happen, then they had to give me 2 liters of fluid before epidural.  All the time I am having contraction after contraction. Finally, they put epidural in and then check me. It’s time to push!!! WAIT I get 10 minutes of relief and it gets shut off????  That was so not fair.  OK at time I did not know it but things got a bit bad.  My daughter was in a bit of distress, and they had to put oxygen on me and kept insisting I push hard and NOW.  After the fact I found out that she wasn’t in perfect position and that cord was around neck. Glad I didn’t know it at time. So push I did and Staci was born at 6:59 pm. Four hours of labor, and no drugs LOL She was perfect. Big blue eyes, soft wisps of blond hair, 8 lbs. `11 oz., 21 inches long, and so beautiful.  I was enchanted by this amazing gift from heaven. 

That face is too cute!!!

Two months old and so smart already. 

First Birthday

She finally got hair for me to fix LOL
prettiest flower in the garden

Pluto and the Princess

Being Silly at the store

She makes my heart melt

She is going to be seven years old this month, and she still enchants me every day.  I do not see any of the donor in her, except for the height. Oh and the blond hair.  She kept that.  On Facebook I belong to a group of some of the other moms who have children by the same donor as Staci.  As best I can tell, Staci is the oldest.  She has at least 10 younger brothers and sisters. All of them absolutely adorable and blond LOL which is weird cause I thought donor had brown hair listed.  Each child looks just like their mom.  People ask me what will I tell Staci about her dad.  I have no idea.  She hasn’t really shown any interest in subject.  A couple of months ago I showed her a few of the other kid’s pictures, and tried to explain who they were.  She didn’t care LOL she was more interested in her toys.

WOW I did not expect this post to be so long LOL  I also did not expect to tear up remembering parts of it.  As I type this Staci is playing and dancing around the living room, she still is a gift, and one I will cherish forever. OK now she is pretending to be a cat LOL silly girl J