Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I love about my hometown


I grew up in the DFW metroplex in a city called Colleyville.  It is pretty ritzy and fancy now, but that wasn't always the case.  When we first moved to Texas from Michigan, we lived in a pretty fancy house.  You know the kind with the high ceilings, the massive master bathroom and a powder room?? The nice thing about that neighborhood was that there were a lot of children close by to play with because the houses were so close together.

We moved to Colleyville when I was in Kindergarten.  The house was a lot older, and my parents and grandparents had several house renovations to do, but the yard was huge!

My dad put in a pool one summer, and we used it all the time.  My brothers and sister and I spent lots of time in the sand pit in our front yard, too.  Occasionally, after dark we would all play hide and go seek outside. It was so dark because there weren't many lights around, and we had to be careful because there was lots of critters out there-possums, raccoons, skunks.  It was an adventure!

The lot behind my parents did not have a house on it.  On rainy days we would all lace up our matching green and yellow rain boots and tromp around in the mud in the back lot.  We would lay out boards to walk across little lakes in the backyard.  I even remember burying a bag of coins back there.
Our chickens really enjoyed this extra space, too, as we would let them roam during the day, and they would find their way back to the hen house at night.

There isn't anything particular I like about my hometown like a restaurant or an annual event.  Really you could have taken our house and yard and put us in any town, and I think my childhood would have been pretty much the same.  It is amazing to me how entertained we all were with just a yard and some siblings to go crazy with.

Now, Denton has some things that I am pretty exciting about having Eleanor experience year after year that hopefully will help her remember her hometown fondly.

Sweet reader, what do you love about your hometown??
   

Monday, June 16, 2014

Snakes, Needles, and Swimsuit shopping

Well today is my first official day of summer.  (When I started this post, which was a week ago!  Ah, life with a baby!) I had great plans to go walking this morning with a couple other girls, but it is raining.  (I did end up going walking later that afternoon, and I have already gone today!  Hollar!)  I can't be too upset about that though because sweet baby girl was up a lot last night-not fun- and because I love a stormy night and morning.  Eleanor and I spent some time snuggling in bed.  But serious I need to start some sort of doable workout regimen to get back in swimsuit shape before my husband's family 4th of July get together.  I have a gym membership where I don't exactly feel comfortable with taking Eleanor to the childcare there.  Regardless, I need to get this booty in gear ASAP because I want one of these swimsuits below.  (I don't know how this whole swimsuit trying on thing will go as I definitely do not enjoy that process and can only imagine it being a bazillion times worse after baby!)

But regardless, don't you think these are cute?!?!

I have this swimsuit in navy, and I love it!  You can purchase yours here!  Prebaby I didn't need the rusching 
Same link as above.  Both are found at Dillards.

I am going shopping this afternoon and hopefully will not be found crying in a dressing room.  I just need to remember that just because something doesn't fit, doesn't mean there is something wrong with me.  The article of clothing is just wrong for me.  So instead of thinking, " I don't fit in this!"  Think, "It doesn't fit me."  I think I heard that on What NOT to Wear, and it really is a huge mind shift.  

If you are going swimsuit shopping soon, here is my virtual hug ( )  Good luck!  I will let you know how my shopping goes!

 xoxo,
Angela


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Free or Mostly Free things to do in the Summer in Denton and Surrounding Areas

Update:  This website has a much more comprehensive list of Denton activities, so I am not going to reinvent the wheel!  Go check them out!

This week in Denton:
(and for the most part every summer week)
Monday-Friday
The library offers some great activities for adults and children alike.  Check them out!  Eleanor and I will probably try to go to something on Thursday or Friday because currently we don't have anything else scheduled.

Wednesday
This calendar is a little easier to read.  It includes the Concerts on the Square at 11:45 on Wednesdays.  Although it doesn't show a band for this week even though it had one for last week and the following week.

Thursday
It also includes the movie in the park on Thursday nights.  It starts at 9, so that is a little late for us.  We will probably head to the square to listen to the Twilight Tunes at 6:30 instead.
Highland Village also has a Summer Concert Series as well on Thursday evenings.

Friday
I have never attended this, but there is a concert series at the Civic Center on Friday evenings called StarRise.  More information is available in the calendar mentioned on Wednesdays.

Saturday
Hubs and I went to the Community Market a couple weeks ago for the first time.  If you have little ones, this was something that you could definitely bring some chairs and a blanket to sit in the shade and listen to live music.  Food trucks are there for lunch and breakfast or pack a picnic basket.  Info here.
Denton Air Show is this Saturday.  We went a couple years ago, and it was so hot.  Definitely bring water lots of water and an umbrella.  No need to show up on time.  Children under 6 are free.   Adults are $10 at the gate, but you can get $6 tickets for adults online until Friday here.

If you know of any other upcoming free or almost free events in or around Denton, let me know and I will add them!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lazy Hair--How to look good in a Snap!

This is my last Monday home with my baby girl before I head back to work.  Fortunately, school is only in session for about 6 more weeks after I get back, and the state testing will be finished by then.  (Clearly, life got incredibly busy because I am just now posting this...a week before school is out for the summer.)

 My maternity leave has seriously flown by!  I am a little curious how everything is going to work when I head back.  I think a lot for me is going to be previous night preparation. Since the majority of my pre-maternity clothes do not fit comfortably, I am going to have to make sure that I lay out my outfits the night before.  

I have been dabbling around with some different hair styles that I have found on Pinterest.  Especially for me as I struggle accepting were my body is right now, it is super important for me to have good hair days.  Fortunately for me, I don't have to wash my hair often, like I am talking about once every 5 to 7 days.  I have a couple go-to looks but wanted to extend my options.  Here is one that I really love:

My version of the below tutorial I found on Pinterest.


Friday, April 4, 2014

When work is not fun

Earlier this week, I surprised a good friend for a birthday dinner and for an evening at the Meyerson.  


I heard this song and really identified with it as often hubby and I both feel overwhelmed and stressed with our careers.  






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

5 things I am loving right now

I am five minutes into being clean--no spit up, pee or poop.  I am trying not to nap during Eleanor's naps because I feel like there is just so much to do that I can't get to during the day.  Plus, we are sleeping in very late, so I really am getting plenty of sleep.  Just wanted to stop in and share somethings I am loving right now.

1.  I am brewing a cup of coffee and mixing it with some of this for an afternoon pick-me-up to help me get through the rest of the day.  There is a McDonalds so close, and I was stopping by there a couple times a week to get their Hazelnut Iced Coffee.  That habit had to stop.  Money wise not a smart decision; this is so much cheaper!

2.
 It is like a straight-jacket for the babe.  She almost always goes right to sleep.  It is a must have!

3.  Free Lactation Consultant services at the local hospital and feeling so supported by other mommies.  No judgment here!  For info click here.

4.  I finally ordered my Doterra Essential Oils.  I feel like I am getting more and more crunchy as time goes by.  Natural birth, cloth diapers, essential oils.   By product of Denton, I suppose. I am not an expert with these at all, but I have had them highly recommended by two friends.  Check them out here if you are curious.  I will keep you updated on my journey with those once I get them.  Excited!

5.  Taking on more responsibility at home.  My husband takes such good, good care of me.  He always has, but now that I am home for the time-being, until the end of maternity leave and then for good after this school year, I want to take some of the load off of his shoulders.  Two things that I am really proud of my progress with is laundry and dishwasher.  Before baby, laundry consisted of washing a bunch of loads throughout the week, but never folding them and putting them away.  I have been doing laundry almost every other day so that the amounts are more manageable.  With the dishwasher, I have been trying to make sure that it is either dirty or empty.  We were the worst about collecting dishes in the sink to "soak."  Can I get an "AMEN"?

What are you loving right now?
xoxo,

Dreaded this my whole life...

For most of my life I probably have had this irrational fear of child-birth.  And with good reason, every tv show or movie portrays it as a woman screaming her head off for hours on end with no break until this ginormous needle gets plunged into your spine.  For someone who strongly dislikes needles, the thought of all of that was a bit too much for me to handle.  Plus it doesn't help that a lot of people who have given birth feel like it is their rite of passage to scare the crap out of future first time mommies.  " Well, I had to go through it and now that I am on the other side, I am going to tell everyone how horrible the process was."

First, I had to combat my fear. 

This acronym was like an epiphany for me.  It helped me with my needle fear.  I think for the longest time I thought that the nurses stuck the entire length of the needle into my arm, like they do on tv when someone runs up from behind and stabs a syringe in someone's neck to sedate them or like an epi pen. 

So, in regard to childbirth, education of what really was happening was key.  At first, I just wanted to be blissfully in the dark, but as my pregnancy progressed, the more I knew, the more confident I felt in my abilities to birth.

My doula gave me the book Prepared Childbirth-The Family Way.  It is really informative even if you are not planning to birth all-naturally.  One of the biggest things that stuck out to me from that book was another acronym. 
P-Purposeful
A-Anticipated
I-Intermittent
N-Normal

For me, realizing that each contraction was my body opening up more and more for my daughter's arrival really helped me embrace the contraction instead of gritting my teeth and fighting through it.  I remember several contractions that I would say "open" in a low moan to remind myself that that is what I was doing.

The "A" and the "N" go together for me.  Knowing that I would experience pain and knowing that it was normal helped me not panic and think that something was going wrong. 

I clung to the truth of "I"!  Even when my contractions were at their worst, I knew there was a break coming soon.   Instead of looking at labor as a whole, I looked at each contraction.  I just have to make it through this contraction, and then I get a break. 

In addition to this book, I also watched several birth videos.  My husband and I watched the Business of Being Born as homework for our birthing class.  Even though our hands were in front of our faces for some of the video, we both admitted that it wasn't as bad as we had thought.  We also watched some clips in our classes. Although I was probably stunned at first, I am glad I watched because I knew what was going to happen.  In labor, I could feel when the end was near, I didn't need someone to tell me they could see her head.  I knew what to expect, and that helped me. 

As far as actual pain-coping strategies, I moaned through each contraction.  My goal was to keep my moan as low as possible.  Once I started getting high pitched or screaming, I knew I was not in control of the contraction, and I would refocus and try to make my moan even lower. 

Lots of love to all, regardless of how you choose to birth,
Angela