I Found Christina to My Meredith

Photo Feb 08, 5 10 52 PM

Have you ever met someone and instantly knew that you were meant to have that person in your life? I don’t mean a romantic partner but your person, your friend that is meant to be in your life. Yes, you will hear all kinds of Grey’s Anatomyreferences in this post because we both love Grey’s. I found the Christina to my Meredith and I am so thankful for her being in my life.

I met my Christina before I actually met her because our daughters go to the same dance studio so we know the same dance moms. I briefly met “Christina” during recitals in June but didn’t really get to know her. I know that Danyella loved getting to know her daughter during our downtime backstage. I know that her daughter was trying out for elite but didn’t think much of it when I heard of the mom at auditions (Danyella was auditioning for the current Elite team during makeups).

Both of our girls made Elite, Danyella made Minis and the “Christina’s” daughter made the newly formed Petite team. From the time of boot camp, “Christina” and I hit it off and talked the entire time we were sitting in the studio. It was like we were the same person with how much we had in common. We parent our children the same way. We talk the same way. Yes, we both say curse words but what can you expect… We are Jersey Girls. We like the same things, especially our tv shows. Even our husbands are very much alike. We just are so much alike it was almost scary.

One weekend we were talking and I was saying how I was getting married on Monday (our last-minute wedding ceremony). In one little conversation, we found out “Christina” knew my step father, future in-laws and…… has known my husband for years! WTH…. I known the world seems small at times but this blew my mind. It was all to funny to me because all of these stories I told her about my boyfriend turned husband, turned out she knew him. I swear that revelation made us even closer friends.

Since we found all of this out, she has become my go to person to talk to about things going on in my life. When I need to vent about things going on in my life, I text “Christina”. When I need a shoulder to cry on because of a horrible message, I text “Christina”. Each time I thought I was going into labor, I text “Christina”. After Evelynne was born, I text “Christina” the photos of my baby girl. When “Christina’s” daughter is acting up, we talk about how our girls are cut out of the same cloth. At 6:30 in the morning, “Christina” checks on me to see how I am doing.

Today, I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without “Christina” or what was my life like before our dance mom lives crossed paths. Our daughters are connected at the hip whenever possible and that is how we have become when we are together. She is the Auntie to Evelynne which Evie knows her voice like she knows mine.

I have had friends come and go in my life but “Christina” is one that will stay in my life. I am so grateful for the friendship we formed over coffee on Saturdays at the dance studio. I am grateful to feel like there is someone in the world that gets me. I am grateful for all the times she has given me a shoulder to cry on. I am grateful for all the laughs that we have had.  I am grateful for her talks that bring me out of my darkness or talks me off the cliff of doing something rash. I am grateful to have found my “Christina”.

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Last Days To Get Her Something Special Valentine’s Day Edition

Last Days to Get HER a Gift

Yes that is a mouthful of a title but how else can I get your attention when you have a week until Valentine’s Day to get your special lady something she will love! Thank goodness for Amazon Prime where they will ship with 2 day shipping so you still have time to get your special lady that lovely gift for a lovely day.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

1. State Stamped Necklace: If your girl is like me, we are proud of where we come from and love to show that pride to others. (Jersey Girl!)

State Necklace, Personalized Small State Shaped with Initial Heart on Disc Charm Necklace, Texas California State Outline Jewelry

2. Mommin’ Aint Easy Wine Glass: For the girl who is a Mommy too!

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy Stemless Wine Glass, Mom Gifts, Gift for Her, Mother’s Day, Christmas – SG20

3. Spa Gift Box for Her: Give her time to relax in the comfort of her own home with a Spa box

Spa Gift Basket Refreshing Rose & Jasmine Fragrance, Beautiful Wooden Gift Box with Mirror, Perfect Wedding, Birthday or Anniversary Gift, Bath gift Set Includes Shower Gel, Bath Bombs and More!

4. Lucky Penny Keychain: Let your lucky lady know you feel you are lucky to have her today and everyday with this keychain!

Lucky Penny Key Chain

5.Bring Me Coffee Socks: What woman can use a cute pair socks especially when they are in need of a cuppa coffee!

Luxury Cotton “Bring Me Coffee” Funny Socks – Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Him or Her, Hilarious Novelty or Gag Gift Idea for Wife or Husband – Best White Elephant Present For Coffee Lover

All of these items can be purchased with Amazon Prime’s 2 day shipping service! If you don’t already have Amazon Prime then try it for 30 days by clicking this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

I hope this helped you find a last minute gift for your lovely lady and that you both have a Loving Valentine’s Day

To Tie My Tubes or Not To Tie My Tubes

My decision to tie my Tubes

 

I just had my post partum checkup which went very well except that I had to fight to get my surgery scheduled to tie my tubes or in doctor terms tubal ligation. The visit started out wonderfully. One of the OBs in the practice came in and we chatted about how I was feeling physically and emotionally. I was cleared from post partum depression though I do suffer from general depression, I am attempting to forgo medication until I am done pumping to feed Evelynne because the medication I need/use is one that isn’t on the approved list for breast milk. Then, I was cleared to exercise (this is what I am most excited about!) and to have sex again (not that with current events I am looking to get into this again). Then came the birth control chat….

The OB started out asking if I had an idea of what I wanted for birth control, which I explained that I was supposed to get my tubes tied in the hospital but they were understaffed (being New Years Day) so they couldn’t do it without me basically starving until they could fit me in. I was starving and needed water while breastfeeding so that was a no and I opted for this to be done at another time. She then proceeded to ask about my husband getting a vastectomy which I said he wanted to get one done as well as my tubes being tied. This where it went down hill….

She couldn’t understand why we would both want sterilization done especially since mine was a surgery. I tried to explain to her that it is my personal preference after having 2 preemies and 2 difficult pregnancies that landed me on bed rest for months. I didn’t want to repeat any risks of getting pregnant again. She went on about other forms of birth control like IUDs or repeating about letting my husband get a vasectomy….

Again, I repeated my wishes that I wanted my tubes tied not to be put on another birth control. So again, the OB asked if that was really what I wanted and AGAIN suggested I just let my husband get the vasectomy. At this point, I was biting my tongue because I really wanted to flip out. Seriously, I should have just starved and died of dehydration in the hospital and had the procedure done…

Instead, I calmly explained that I wanted to tie my tubes for my own form of birth control because you never know what will happen in the future and there is no guarantee that a marriage or relationship will last forever. No I was not going to go into the details of my marriage that is holding on by a thread but that was the gist of the situation. The look on her face was speechless. When she found her words she went on to ask if I wanted to wait to see in the future if I wanted it done. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????

I flat-out told her that the only thing I will consider is getting my tubes tied. She finally gave in and went over my options for the procedure. I picked the single, larger incision that removes both tubes. This procedure is one that reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, which female cancers run in my family, so anything to reduce my risk is a benefit to me. With my extreme anemia, we decided on waiting to perform the surgery until after my next hemotologist appointment in March to find out if I will need iron infusions beforehand. My surgery will be April 17th!

If I was younger or only had 1 child, I could see doubting my decision to go through with tying my tubes BUT I am 36 years old and have had 4 children. I am not looking to put my body through anymore torture of a pregnancy since pregnancy and my body do NOT get along. April 17th feels like a far off date being that it is only January but it will be here before I know it… now I just hope that the baby will be sleeping for more than 2-3 hours overnight so my recovery won’t be as painful.

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Brown Sugar Pork Chops Instant Pot Recipe

I’ve become obsessed with trying to create Instant Pot recipes since I received my Instant Pot for Christmas. Since I ordered the pot, along with other gifts for my mom since she doesn’t know how to really order online, I knew that I was getting this a month beforehand. I added Instant Pot tips and recipes to my Pinterest board so I had somewhere to start when I got it home.

That first time was a definite learning experience especially with timing and venting the Pot. After that initial first time I was on the go with dinners, making all kinds of meals. I was especially happy to be able to cook the meat frozen because I have the worst memory to actually take the meat out of the freezer and thaw it.

Today, I am sharing with you my simple Brown Sugar pork chop recipe for your Instant Pot. You only need a few ingredients and it’s simple to make. Add some noodles or mashed potatoes and a veggies and you have a delicious dinner!

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On saute setting, add some oil and brown the chops on each side
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Place the porkchops so that they are all in the juice you created

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A simple, delicious pork chop recipe for your instant pot.


Credit: mogulmomartisan.com

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of diced onion or dried onion
  • seasoning or salt/pepper to season

Directions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode, add the oil and brown each side of the pork chop. Wipe the oil out of the pot.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and onions. Heat for a few minutes.
  3. Add the pork chops. I seasoned each pork chop as I placed it in the pot.
  4. Set the Instant Pot to manual for 20 minutes. Vent with caution!
  5. Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes and a veggie!

Creating A Vision Board #thankfulthursday

What you want in life

About 15 years ago, I was watching Oprah and she had someone on her show that was talking about living a positive life. I don’t remember who the woman was but I remember what she was saying about mind over matter and changing your thoughts will change your life hit home. At that point in my life, I was living in a dark time and needed the positive influence to change things for the better to get out of the rut.

This woman and Oprah talked about Vision Boards and how they truly helped change their lives. Essentially, it was taking things that they wanted and put it into the Universe to become a reality by seeing these things on a board. They even presented a little kid that had a vision board which helped them stay focused and achieve their school goals. I wanted this board to change my life too!

After that show, I bought a bunch of magazines and cut a piece of cardboard to start my Vision Board journey. I didn’t know what I was really doing with that first vision board but I cut out all kinds of things I wanted for my life. Things I wanted to have, a job that I wanted, clothes I wanted to wear, an apartment I wanted to live in and other things that I can’t remember at this point. I would continually add to the board as time went on and I received some of the things on my board.

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Over the past 15 years, I have created 5 Vision Boards to help my life be what I want it to be. I have added words of things I wanted to feel like beautiful and confident, things I wanted to accomplish like running my business from home, the relationship/marriage I wanted to have in my life, things that I wanted in my life like a new phone and new computer, places I wanted to travel to like Las Vegas, even the baby that I wanted in my life and so much more. These things have all come true in my life though somethings haven’t ended the way I wanted but that is why a vision board is always evolving with your life.

For the new year, I started a new vision board but never finished it because life just became difficult. I let my vision board sit there for so long. With the new year, I knew it was time to get back to my Vision Board and my positive life. What did I want to see in my life this coming year? I want the house we have been looking to buy. I want my body to feel happy and healthy. I want to have fun and enjoy life more. I want to take my kids on a vacation and so much more! I can’t wait to keep updating my Vision Board… Are you ready to start your Vision Board today?

 

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My Vision Board for the past couple of years
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The start of my Vision Board for this year

The Increase of Hands Off Parents

plan the perfect

After trying numerous different sports and activities, Danyella has found her passion at a young age…. dance. For the past 3 years, I have supported Danyella taking several different dance classes and auditioning then making the Elite competition team. I sat in the lobby for hours while she was in class. Traveled to different competitions. Basically, I made her dance my life as well. It has been a wonderful experience for both of us…. until recently.

For this dance season, Danyella and I agreed that she could double up on some of her classes so that she move up another level in jazz and ballet. With my due date for Evelynne being in the middle of dance season, I set up Danyella’s dance schedule to be 7 classes and elite rehearsals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This way, if I went into labor or needed anyone to take her to the studio it would be easier to fill 2 days then 5 days, like last year. Timing ended up perfect that I had Evelynne over the holiday break so Danyella only missed classes the one week because she was sick.

Typically, Danyella has looked forward to every single on of her classes because when she dances, that is when she is in her element, her zone. The past few months, Danyella has dreaded her Saturday morning classes because of the actions of some “mean girls” in 2 of her classes. These girls will talk nasty to the other girls, about the other girls to their fellow “mean girls” or to the teacher and his assistant. They will fool around in class and make it difficult for other kids to learn and take their passion seriously. They will sit on their cell phones and make phone calls during class. They will walk in and out of the class which makes the teacher or assistant have to go chase them down.

Some of the other parents and I watch and listen to all of this go on for an hour and half! These girls are 10-12 years old which means they know better than to act like the way they are but no one is there to discipline them. The teacher tries to take control of the class but these girls just laugh at him and do what they want. So where are the parents of these “mean girls”?

As a dance parent, I spend from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm at the dance studio on Saturdays because I want to make sure that Danyella feels safe during her classes. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I have dropped her off and ran to do errands or home to deal with some stuff. Since Danyella has expressed how unhappy she is in the classes, I have parked my butt at the studio because if I need to intervene then I will.

There are a few dedicated moms or dads that stick around for the classes but not many. Even for that hour and half, the parents will drop these girls off and use the studio as a babysitter for their girls that don’t behave and then we wonder why they act the way they do. When a parent isn’t around, kids will push their limit until they find the breaking point. Is there a breaking point when the parents can’t bother to stick around for a simple class observation or to even make sure their child makes it into the class?

When did our society feel that sports and activities have become a babysitter for parents to drop their kids off and never know how their kids act? I know technology has aided in the “hands off parenting” approach but when you can’t even bother to support your child in the sport or activity they are participating in then don’t be surprised when your “angel” starts getting into trouble.

These parents don’t even want to believe that their “angels” could say some of the things they do or act they way they do. Then take the time to sit there like the “hands on” parents do and watch how their children act or be there to stop their behavior.

The actions of these “mean girls” and the hands off approach of the parents have caused other parents to pull their girls from the classes or even the studio. Danyella’s only reason to stick to these classes is because one of her best friend’s would be stuck in the class by herself. Danyella refuses to let her best friend to thrown to the wolves and be hurt by them. This shows me that I have done something right because Danyella has a loyalty to those that she cares about and loves. Maybe these “mean girls” could learn something valuable about life from the kind girls they pick on every Saturday morning.

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Finding Positivity During Hard Times

I thought with the birth of my little Evelynne on New Year’s Day, that 2018 was going to be a great year…. my year. Well the trials and tribulations have just continued into this new year. So a new year doesn’t always mean a new slate, it just means adjusting your perspective and approach to those hard times that plague your life.

I am starting off this new year with having to find a new home for my family due to circumstances out of my control as a renter. I am having to make a decision that is breaking my heart about my marriage because the trust has been broken between my husband and I. I am having to make a decision about to do about going back to work and whether I want or have the heart to put my precious baby into the care of someone else. These are all changes I was not expecting to deal with 18 days into 2018…. 18 days after my little baby was born.

I won’t lie or sugar coat this at all, I have cried and cried and cried but those tears were not getting what I needed done or helping my family. My other concern about my tears is falling into post partum depression which I experienced after my first baby. PPD is not something any mother wants or should have to deal with especially if being triggered by outside circumstances.

How am I keeping the positive during these hard times? I am working on my self care. This is something I have consciously work on or I can find myself just sitting and wallowing in my sorrows for hours.

This means I am making myself get up and shower. I am making myself read and listen to my positivity books when I am sitting to pump or feed the baby. Those moments when I get down, I make myself pull out my notebook and write positive things about myself and my life. Lastly, I let myself cry when I need to cry as long as it does hinder myself from doing things I need to do for my girls and myself. (Even as I am writing this post, tears are flowing because sometimes I need to let them out).

Life isn’t always the way we want it to be but we can’t let the negativity pull us down. As a mother, I need to have the strength to be the best I can be for my children. Yes, Times will be hard and times will be sad and times will be easy and times will be happy but no matter what the times are for you… always find the positive even if it means taking the extra time to do so.