Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Swimsuit Woes

I bought this swimsuit top to go with

this swimskirt bottom.

Imagine my surprise when it arrived in the mail and the swimskirt was crotchless!?! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Instead of turning my 2 piece swimsuit into a 3 piece, I decided to go to a 1 piece and ordered this swimdress.

So you can imagine my surprise when it arrived in the mail and I tried it on only to find that it is CROTCHLESS!!!

Am I missing something? Is there a new trend in the swimsuit world?

So I am back to square one and have now ordered the third piece to the original swimsuit. And I've spent way too much time and energy on purchasing a swimsuit this year!

Soccer Drama

As long as I've been in the Allen family, I've heard the story of how Mom Allen "beat up the paperboy". Apparently he had been making fun of her kids on a regular basis and she had decided that enough was enough. Now, I've never really believed that she actually beat the kid up. I know my mother in law to be a very kind and gentle woman. When asking Blaine the details of what really happened, he said he thought she grabbed his shirt and while pointing in his face threatened to "knock his block off" if he continued to pick on her kids (it was the 80's...you could totally do things like that back then). This story always makes me laugh when I hear it. Well, last night at Bella's soccer scrimmage (she is in the tumbleweed division for 3-5 year olds), I had a moment when I really thought about knocking a five year olds block off. It went something like this...

Bella and Sophie (her BFF) were mostly just hanging out on the field, holding hands, talking about who knows what, skipping around, and not paying any attention to the ball. They were oblivious to the soccer game going on around them. Their coach had told them to stay in their positions, and they pretty much didn't move. Tasha (Sophie's mom) and I started to notice a little blonde haired girl that kept coming up to our girls and getting in their faces. We started wondering if this little girl was talking smack to Bella and Sophie? Then the little girl started pushing them. She would push them, run off, and then come running back to them and push them some more. Once I saw her point really forcefully into Bella's face (and later I learned that she was yelling "loser" to Bella). Well, enough was enough. A primal instinct kicked in and I became a mother bear who needed to protect her cub. As Bella neared the sideline, this little blondie followed her to push her. I ran up to her and in my Mama Bear's voice told hert to stop pushing and that it isn't nice, etc. And then with my blood boiling, I told Bella, who was crying and hugging my leg telling me she didn't want to play soccer anymore, to get back into the game and if that little girl pushed her again, to push her back (Not exactly the turn the other cheek philosophy...woops) My sweet Bella looked up at me and through her tears said, "But Mom, that isn't nice!" Now, normally I don't condone aggression. I definitely don't want to encourage it yet at the same time, I want my kids to stick up for themselves. It was painful watching Bella getting bullied like that and I really wanted to teach that little girl a lesson. What really irritated me was that it was obvious that this little girl was pushing everyone around and not one parent or coach ever said a darn thing to her. Where is the discipline, people? I hope I scared that little girl a bit. She is only 5 and already a huge bully. I can definitely say that I understand the paperboy story now on a whole new level and I kind of wished I would have grabbed blondie by the shirt and threatened to "knock her block off". But can a social worker do that with out losing her license? Hmmmm...

Soccer Stars..or something like that!

They became the black team during the scrimmage. You can tell how serious they are about the game...

I think they are doing their hair here.

See that little blonde girl right behind Sophie and Bella? One second later and I probably would have gotten a push on camera!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Soy Hungry?

This little munchkin turned 9 months old this week. I was hoping to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time she turned 9 months (you know...9 months to put it on and 9 months to take it off) but let's face it...I gained 65 pounds with her and that is a WHOLE lot of weight! In my defense, I have lost 60 pounds (on a good day) or 55 (on a bad day...YES, I fluctuate THAT much) and these last 5-10 pounds are really giving me grief. The problem is this: I LOVE to eat. I mean, really, who doesn't love to eat? And with all of the running I am doing, you'd think that a little overindulgence here or there wouldn't derail my weight loss efforts the way it seems to. O.K. Maybe derail was a bit strong of a word. I am maintaining my weight loss up to this point but I can't seem to shed these last few pounds. People continue to tell me that maybe when I am done nursing Cali, my body will finally release the last of it. But, that is still a few months off. For now, I am going to celebrate how far I have come.

Speaking of food and how much fun it is to eat...Cali definitely would seem to agree. She enjoys just about everything that we put in front of her. She's got the adorable chub to prove it (just look at those cute pudgy hands as she reaches for more cantaloupe!) Unfortunately for Cali, we have discovered that she has a milk and egg allergy...which makes feeding her more of a chore than I want it to be. We discovered this allergy a few months ago when she had a severe allergic reaction to some formula that I had put into her rice cereal. She turned purple from head to toe, with big, white hives, and she was throwing up. After taking her to an allergist and having the skin and blood test, it was confirmed that she has a milk and egg allergy. I carry an epi pen around in my diaper bag now.

There are obvious things that she can't have such as yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs, etc. But, I am discovering that there are so many things that have milk and eggs in it (especially milk). Chocolate for example. Oh, yeah...MILK chocolate. And most cookies and cakes have some sort of egg or milk product. Even those little baby crackers and cookies have milk derivatives such as whey. It is becoming quite difficult to figure out what to give my baby who is so anxious to start eating everything. And protecting her from herself and other people is going to be a challenge. The other day I was with some other moms and their kids. Cali was rolling around on the ground and I looked down to find her with some other kid's sippy cup of MILK in her mouth! I quickly grabbed it away but she had already ingested some of it. Luckily she only had a small reaction to it. Eventually we are hoping to be able to experiment with introducing baked goods and other things into her diet but the allergist said we'll wait until she is about 18 months old and do it in his office. So for now I am going to start focusing on all of the things that she CAN have and remind myself that although this is a difficult inconvenience, I have friends with kids who are dealing with some pretty serious medical situations. It could be so much worse! So break out some soy chocolate and soy cheese...my baby is hungry!


I AM a child of God, a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a social worker, a young women's leader. These descriptions of myself are part of my core being and part of the roles that I take most seriously. But, the list can go on and on. I AM compassionate, I AM a good cook, I AM an impulse shopper (hey, it can't ALL be positive, right!?!) Lately I have been expanding who I think I AM to areas that have always been foreign to me. I AM a woman with SHORT hair (and I love it!). I AM a runner (I ran 10.5 miles today withoutstoppingbytheway!) Even just a few short months ago I would not have identified myself as someone with short hair or as a runner. But that is what is so cool about identity. YOU control who and what you want to be (aside from the few definitives such as being a child of God and your gender). It is never too late to shape who you are and break out of the mold of who you have always been. I like the newer version of me. Shorter hair suits my busy lifestyle as a mother of 3 small children. I think I always thought I'd have long hair (and most likely I will grow it back at some point...I know Blaine would like that) but for now, this is what is working for me. And running? I started with the goal to run a 10K this month, which I will do on Memorial Day. But I've already moved on to the goal of running a half marathon on September 18th (anyone want to join me?). Dare I say it? I actually ENJOY running now. Hmmmm.

When I struggled for years with infertility, it became a familiar habit to rag on my body. I felt like it had betrayed me on the most intimate level. I worked through those feelings of betrayal and started reclaiming my love and appreciation for my God-given body a few years ago. Then I became pregnant and experienced the miracle of what a body can do on a whole new level. Now I want to continue to use this body that I have to do things that I never knew were possible for me...such as running far and running fast. It feels great. I don't always treat it well (like eating half a bag of chocolate chips as if it were air-popped popcorn...and it gets worse...but, let's not turn this into a full-fledged confessional). However, I am working on it and realizing that mind over matter goes a long way. After all, I AM a strong woman who can achieve my goals if I set my mind to it.

It was an honor

to speak at the FSA (Families Supporting Adoption) regional conference for Colorado and Wyoming last weekend. I was asked to speak on "Parenting the Adopted Child". I stole this picture off of the FSA blog. I am obviously making an incredibly insightful and poignant remark (you sense the heavy sarcasm, right?).

It really was awesome to be among so many incredible families who have adopted or who are hoping to adopt. The adoption world is so very supportive.

When Blaine and I got home from the conference, we took the kids to the grocery store and bought angel food cake, frosting, candy, ice cream and candles. We have started the tradition to celebrate the anniversary of legalizing and sealing Bella and Ezra to us. We call it "Angel Day" or our family's birthday. Each of us (including Bella's best friend, Sophie, who is practically family) got to decorate our own piece of cake, and blow out our own candle after singing "Happy Birthday" to our family. We are trying to keep this holiday as general and inclusive as possible as we don't want anyone to feel left out (such as Cali, who doesn't have a special sealing day to celebrate).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Month of April in Pictures

Easter Fun...

Cali regularly does pilates exercises. She is working on her abs.
Benjamin and Cali were born in the same hospital on the same day! They are little buddies. Ben's family and our family take turns watching each other's kids once a month so we can go on date night. The kids all love getting together. It is a great set up.

With the weather turning nicer we've been going on lots of awesome family hikes lately. I love the end of winter and getting outdoors. We bought another backpack so that Blaine can carry Ez and I can carry Cali. Only Ez usually wants to exert his independence halfway through the hike and Blaine ends up with an empty backpack. I think next time I'll offer to have Ez on my back!