Bumpdate: Week 25

Two bumpdates in one week puts me back on track. I was trying to film a video of Delainey kicking me last night, but of course as soon as I took my camera out she stopped. You can already tell she’s going to be a stubborn one (thanks, Iman!!) Let’s just hope she isn’t argumentative like me. Talking back was my FAVORITE when I was a kid…and pretty much the only reason I ever got in trouble.

bumpdate25

Baby

How far along?

Baby

How far along?
25 weeks!

Gender?
a baby warrior queen :)

How big are they?
Gimme a second to comprehend this…she’s the size of a zucchini or rutabega and at LEAST over a foot long. How in the heck is she fitting in there??

*I wanted to put in a picture of me holding up two giant zucchini’s from my mom’s garden, but I spent 30 minutes looking for the picture and gave up. Why don’t I organize my old pictures? #bloggerproblems*

Changing Momma

Have you started to show yet?
Yes!!!

Weight gain?
between 15 and 20 again, I will probably stand on a scale next week. Ours is broken so I just wait till I go to the doctor.

Maternity Clothes?
yes! I am mixing it up with some looser t-shirts I owed. This week I’ve been fashionable like every day. This is unheard of, btw.

Stretch Marks?
Nope!

Belly Button In or Out?
Seriously can’t believe it is still in there. But, Delainey keeps kicking my belly button lol

Momma’s Feeling

Cravings:
None!

Anything making you queasy or sick?
Nope!

Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
This week I’ve been VERY moody

Movement

Sleep:
blah, another so-so sleep week.

What I Miss:
Eating a ton of seafood all the time…think I might have had too much this week.

Other Symptoms:
Shortness of breath like nobody’s business…and because I haven’t mentioned it before the waddle is in full effect.

Highlights and Coming Soon

Best Moment of the Week:
Family support!!! We are receiving so many great hand me downs and gifts and I could not be more grateful. I may be stressed about where we will be living in a few months, but I know that our baby will be clothed and have essentials like a place to sleep, a bouncer, a stroller, a carseat and a rocking chair. Also, I scored a BUNCH of jarred organic baby food for 50% off at the Fresh and Easy that is closing. I made sure they all expire no earlier than January!

Looking Forward To:
Our 3D ultrasound on April Fool’s Day!

 

The Body Positive Movement


bodypositivemovement 
by Mandy   

Today, the media offers distorted messages about body image; then we – especially us women and girls – internalize these messages and turn against ourselves and our bodies.Rather than continue down this dangerous path, I suggest taking on a more body-positive perspective. Most importantly, don’t you think it is time to honor yourself, accept yourself, and accept your body – no matter its shape and size?

 

First things first: What IS this Body Positive Perspective I Speak Of?

Traditionally, health professionals promoted the body-index method of health. This method estimate how fat you are [hence, determining “healthy weight” ] by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. However, the measurement is flawed, especially if the person carries a lot of muscle. (Source)   Despite its flaws, we’ve been using the BMI method to determine healthy weight for over 100 years! The body positive perspective is an alternative to the BMI model. The body positive perspective encourages us to look at health more holistically. Rather than just physical health, this perspective asks us to reclaim our overall health, practice intuitive self-care, cultivate self-love, declare our own authentic beauty, and build a community to support us in our health. (Source) You can see how this is a far cry from the BMI method! Think about how you might live with more joy if you embraced your health and your body this way?

 

Who AM I to say a Word?!

I am 5’2” in height, and, on average, 120 Lbs! Who am I to talk about the size, body shape, and health! Seriously though, skinny, petite people have it rough too. And, I have another reason to feel embarrassed about my body: I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a muscle condition/learning problem resulting from brain damage after a prenatal stroke. I walk with a slight gait (kind of like a limp). My left hand curls inward and is very tight (Where you might find getting your nails done a great treat, it actually is cause for great anxiety for me! And, I make it harder by needing shellac; because it lasts longer!) And, I have a monstrous scar on my left leg  – the result of an operation I had at 7 years old. So, I have reasons to get down on myself. Just remember we all have our scars and our inner demons.

 

Media Makes it All Worse

If you are not a size 2 these days, you are not accepted in the eyes of the media. Every magazine we see at a grocery check-out line shows models, singers, and tv stars who are thin, gorgeous, and dressed to the nines. For teenage girls and young women who feel they must measure up, this is an impossible ideal. I actually facilitated a community workshop on this subject back in Seattle about a year ago. I had participants thumb through magazines and tell me what types of models/different body types/people of diversity they saw. Diversity was not present in many magazines. Most shocking, the only “model” with a disability happened to be a blind muppet (I believe it was “Aristotle” )! As you can imagine, we had a pretty animated conversation following this exercise.

I’m just glad we have popular songs today that tell us that we can be exactly who we are, as we are. And, that all that stuff in magazines were probably altered in Photoshop! Still, I don’t think it has changed the fact that a lot of people suffer from mental disorders, eating disorders, chemical dependency, and substance abuse – all associated to the need to be perfect. And, what really is the need to be perfect but our cry to feel loved and desired?

 

Real Love and Acceptance Shows Up When You Don’t Need Validation

Ironically it is when you let go of the need for other’s validation and approval, and, instead, love and accept yourself from a pure, real place (not narcissism)  – that you find what you’ve been seeking all along! I’m not going to lie, this is really difficult. It takes someone who is really grounded and mentally healthy to let go of the need to gain approval from others. Perhaps, we can all aspire towards this reality. We will all live much happier, joyous lives.

 

Make Small Steps Towards Body Positivity

When you have lived with body shame your whole life, you cannot just wake one morning and live as if you are no longer ashamed. It takes time to change old habits and negative beliefs. That’s okay. Be patient with yourself. Start small. What does it mean to you to engage in self-care? What activities constitute self-care to you? They will be different for everyone. Permit yourself to engage in self-care activities at least once or twice during the week. The same reflection and analysis can be used when considering your healthy eating plan. What about eating only what your body needs rather what you think you want (You may like a yummy ice cream, but you are really hungry for a nice sandwich with lean turkey). Each area takes time, attention, love, and support. Each area requires a commitment to yourself. You are worth it. Shame is no longer welcome.

〰 〰

Physical health is important – yes. On the other hand, I don’t believe it is healthy to use shaming as a motivator to get to physical health. Also, physical health is only a small piece of a person’s overall health. Health really is a more holistic concept that covers physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relational, and psychological well-being. It is time see health in this grander, more holistic way. An old colleague of mine says something on her private practice website that speaks right to this idea: she says, “…deep down you are already whole, just unfolding.” How amazing of a sentiment is that?! And, how true! Deep down we are all beautiful, whole, and worthy of love. We ARE unfolding. Our unfolding is our very process of living and growing. I’d like to think we can embrace this process with love, acceptance, patience, humility,creativity, and curiosity as we navigate the valley’s and hills of life.

 

WQ: They Tried to Kill My Passion

I am so excited to be sharing with you another wonderful Warrior Queen of the month. The response I got was incredible! I’ve been making a button for everyone who is featured and am working on a web surve for more people to sign up. Would anyone be interested in manning @beawarriorqueen for the day their WQ of the month feature goes up? I really love the way that bloggers  do that! I’ve participated a few times :) Without further ado, please feel inspired by Melody and her ability to persevere in her passion! You go girl!

youreawarriorqueen

 

wqmelody

“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

 
Melody is a passionate 20-year-old, zealous about sharing her humble experiences through her command of language. She is studying Politics & International Relations at the University of Manchester while exploring the enchanting continent of Europe. Whenever she’s having a dull day, she turns to her books for inspiration. Whenever she’s in the midst of tribulation, she turns to her blog for reprieve. If you’re looking for a safe haven, join her at www.melodysim.com.

Facebook / Instagram / Google+


 

“What’s your name?”

Melody.”

“Oh, you must be really good at music!”

I’ve heard this countless of times. No, I’m not really good at music…

When I was a kid, I used sit in front of the television for hours, watching (and listening to) symphonic orchestras. My eyes would be fixed on the piano (and its pianist) – the center of the limelight. The beauty of the monochrome keys fascinated me. The soothing yet distinct melody that stood out from the sounds of woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings amused me. I wanted to get my hands on that enchanting instrument. I wanted to learn how to express my emotions through the touch of my fingers on various keys. I wanted to be able to invigorate others through my music.

My parents saw the passion that had ignited within me. Supportively, they sent me for piano classes. I learnt the name of each key. I learnt how to press them simultaneously to form chords. I learnt how to read the scores of Mary Had a Little Lamb, all the way to Clair de Lune. I learnt how to exhibit grandeur with fortissimo and to portray tenderness with pianissimo.

Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3… It took me 10 years to finally be equipped for the Grade 8 ABRSM piano examination. The final grade. The one thing that every pianist aims to attain. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until a month before the actual day of examination. I had been too engrossed in practicing (more so, enjoying) the songs at my own comfortable pace that I had lost track of time. I wasn’t going to be able to perfect them in a month! I started panicking. I practiced day and night, often skipping meals and compromising on sleep.

Subconsciously, I started becoming a very unhappy person. I got angsty when someone interrupted me in the middle of a song. I slammed the keyboard when I made a mistake. I started crying a lot when the day of examination was approaching. I couldn’t do it. I started to hate the piano. It was robbing me of my joy. It was causing me to get mad at the people I loved. It was sapping the life out of me.

“Mel, darling, if you don’t want to take the exam, it’s completely okay!” My dad attempted to console me. “The only difference it will make is that you will not receive a piece of paper to certify that you’re Grade 8. You don’t need that. You ARE of grade 8 caliber no matter what.” What he said completely put things into perspective. I was chasing a certificate. I was allowing society to tell me what to do – you’re only a good pianist when we tell you that you are.

Screw that! Why should I let society dictate how good I am? Why should I let anyone or anything trample on my passion? Yes, I abandoned the examination. The examination didn’t abandon me. Some people may think that I was cowardice. No. A true coward wouldn’t stand up for her passion. A true coward would succumb to societal pressure, would accept how society labels her.

I’m not a Claude Debussy, neither am I a Richard Clayderman nor an Yiruma. My name is Melody. Am I good at music? Probably not. Do I love music? Absolutely.

Bumpdate: Week 24

Hi guys! It’s my first real post in OVER a week. What a drag :( On Tuesday or Wednesday, as I was preparing a super awesome post, I decided (read: baby mind decided) to drop my laptop and disconnect my parts. I was panicked (of course) and took it to my dad to fix, which he couldn’t. So I bought a Surface Pro 2. I splurged! To be fair, half of it was a gift from my dad for Christmas and he is letting me pay him back the rest but still.

My laptop’s working now by the way. Slowly, though. Then sometime over the weekend my blog went down, so that took awhile to fix. And now we’re here. Tuesday evening with Friday’s bumpdate. Not every day can be the best day. Today was pretty good though – I spent saved a ton at Fresh and Easy since they’re closing one of the stores near us. I even stocked up on some baby food that is good until September 2016.

Speaking of baby…

bumpdate24

Baby

How far along?
Technically, 24 weeks and 5 days since I’m late to the game.

Gender?
a baby warrior queen :)

How big are they?
At least as big as a letter.

Changing Momma

Have you started to show yet?
Yes, people are beginning to notice and ask how far along I am. Call me weird, but it makes me smile.

Weight gain?
I think between 15 and 20lbs. That escalated quickly!! My doctor still says I’m doing great weight wise.

Maternity Clothes?
yes! My dad bought me some new clothes last week, and I splurged ($16!) on a new pair of shoes that fit my now size 7 feet.

Stretch Marks?
Nope!

Belly Button In or Out?
Seriously, can’t believe it hasn’t popped out yet. I got a sample of bumpbows, and as soon as I can model them, I’m going to do a giveaway!

Momma’s Feeling

Cravings:
I really don’t have crazy cravings.

Anything making you queasy or sick?
Nope!

Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
Apparently, I get grumpy a lot easier and I might be sassier, but I’ve been feeling mostly happy and a little bit frustrated.

Movement

Sleep:
I think I’ve been doing well at this thanks to Spring Break!

What I Miss:
Funny story…on Sunday I started crying about all of the foods I missed. I also made Iman promise not to let anyone drink the rest of the Absinthe because it is now mine (prior to being pregnant, I had no desire to try any buuut now I want to! I snuck it back into the US from our honeymoon and there is a little teeny bit left.)

Other Symptoms:
SWELLING! I was so, so swollen the weekend before last because of the weather.

Highlights and Coming Soon

Best Moment of the Week:
Getting a bunch of gifts and winning a couple more giveaways! My friends are the SWEETEST! One friend gave us 500 size 1 diapers and a bunch of baby clothes; another friend got us a bunch of baby clothes in different sizes (many of them EAGLES gear). I also received my burpcloths in the mail from Nurseries by Mimi! I have to show you how cute these are!! (I’m going to do a baby swag post soon because I have to!)

Looking Forward To:
Our 3D ultrasound on April Fool’s Day!

College Roommates

Hello Warrior Queens!

It’s Rashae again – last month I introduced myself to ya’ll. I’ve been trying to think about what I’d share with everyone today and I have to admit; my mind has been drawing a blank. I shared with you guys that I’m the resident college writer, but when I’m trying to think of something specific to share, all my experiences in the last couple years have meshed together. Not very helpful, eh?

So, I decided to share not experiences I’ve already had, but experiences I’ve yet to have. As you may know, I’m taking a semester off. But, come September, I’m going to be in Idaho, working on my Bachelor’s for Web Design & Development.

I decided to go to Brigham Young University – Idaho, for my parents. I’m really nervous and a little hesitant, but I’m ready to go. I just put the down payment on my apartment I’ll be living in while I’m in Idaho. I just can’t believe that in a few months I’m going to be on my own, going to school, a good 15+ hours drive from my parents. Just…..wow.
byuidaho

I’m not nervous for the school part; I’ve already had three semesters previous to this. I’m nervous about living with five girls I know nothing about and having to get familiar with a new town and not being able to drive home after a long day to my mom’s cooking.

How did you ladies cope with a new living space? With roommates? With an environment you’re not comfortable with? With newness in general?

rashaewq

Why Women Should Lift Weights

You can find me guest posting on Abbigayle Rashae’s blog today! Here’s Emily with her monthly contributor post!

 

womenweights

by Emily

 

 

I hear a lot of health and fitness myths that just blow my mind, but the one I hear the most is one of the craziest: “I [as a woman] don’t want to lift because I’ll bulk up.” I could rant for pages on why this isn’t true, but most of what I would say can be condensed to one sentence: women aren’t designed to “bulk up” like men do, so in order for a woman to gain tons of muscle mass, she has to consciously be pursuing that in both workout routine and diet. Now that the fear has been dispelled, I have some reasons you should lift weights as a woman:

Increase bone density.

Osteoporosis, primarily a woman’s condition, affects 200 million women worldwide. While it’s definitely important to take care of bones by eating the right foods, you can actually increase your overall bone density by lifting weights. I’d say that’s a pretty simple way to avoid breaking a hip later down the road.

Make everyday activities easier.

While carrying my groceries from the bus stop to my apartment is still not my favorite thing in the world, I know it’s a lot easier because I’ve worked to build strength in my upper body. Weight training will not only help you build strength, but it will also give you more energy. In short, the harder you work in the gym (or at home,) the easier it will be to go about your everyday life.

Support your mental health.

Lifting weights is linked to lower levels of stress hormones and a better mood in general. Too much stress over time can lead to all sorts of health problems, both physical and mental, so having a healthy way to reduce stress is vital.

Live longer.

Weightlifting helps prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes, some of the most common chronic diseases today. Being strong will also help you live a more functional life as you’re older. As I mentioned before, your bones will be denser (reducing the chance you’ll need a walker,) as will your joints. Your lungs and heart will also be in better shape than your inactive peers.

You don’t have to hit the gym for hours every day to get the benefits of lifting weights. To get started, buy a pair of dumbbells that’s the right weight for you (they shouldn’t be too difficult to lift, but by the 12th repetition or so, you should be getting pretty tired) and use them twenty minutes three times a week.

emilywq

Bumpdate: Week 23!

Woah, how did we make it to the six months bumpdate so quickly? Seriously?? I’m trying to enjoy every second, but it really seems to be flying past! Also, not going to lie, this week’s been a tough one. I’m exhausted from that crazy work week I’ve had!

bumpdate23

Baby

How far along?
23 weeks – 6 months!!!

Gender?
a baby warrior queen :)

How big are they?
As big as a pomegranate or a mango! She’s probably pretty long in there!

Changing Momma

Have you started to show yet?
It’s like I’m bigger everyday finally!

Weight gain?
I find out on Monday!

Maternity Clothes?
Shopping with my dad on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stretch Marks?
Nope!

Belly Button In or Out?
Almost out, almost. I keep thinking it will be any day now since it’s so close. I can’t wait to get my  bumpbows!

bumpieweek23

Momma’s Feeling

Cravings:
Nothing really this week!

Anything making you queasy or sick?
Nope!

Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
A little moody this week thanks to general work exhaustion and a messy house (Sorry Iman!!)

Movement

Sleep:
I am back to my usual barely any sleep, sleep a bunch, barely any sleep, sleep a bunch annoying sleep pattern

What I Miss:
Caffeine and my clothes fitting!

Other Symptoms:
Braxton Hicks

Highlights and Coming Soon

Best Moment of the Week:
Seeing my belly actually move! Also, she got hiccups!!

Looking Forward To:
Monday’s appointment!

 

Are you pregnant, too? How far along are you?

raewyn

Loki Necklace Giveaway

Can we pretend that this post is going live at 630 am instead of pm? Because let me tell you, little miss has me on her own schedule right now and it’s basically a miracle that I make it to work on time.

Today I’ve got a fun giveaway for you (hurry and enter before my best friend takes all of the entries), for a Loki pendant from Northern Lights Bridal!

This giveaway is hosted by Elora from Out My Front Door and Robin the designer behind Northern Lights Bridal, and cohosted by Raewyn of Be a Warrior Queen, Nina from The Grand Adventures of Me, Cassandra from Cassandra M’s Place, Kerry from Kerry’s Habitat, Natalie from Natalie Patalie, and Tiffany from Endless Bliss. We are so excited about this giveaway! One ‘I am Loki’ Loki Pendant Necklace is the prize. The giveaway ends at 12 am on the 20th! You can check out Robin’s Etsy shop here.
You can also check out Elora’s review of her work in a post she wrote after she bought some pieces for last year’s Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You guys might remember that Elora has an Etsy shop of her own, Transcendence Designs. I did a couple of giveaways with her back in December.

Tomorrow is a bumpdate and then the coveted spring break (I’m working at the restaurant only, but at least I get to SLEEP IN!) Hopefully I actually accomplish my spring break goals:

1) Clean

2) Thank you freaking cards from our wedding

3) Blog hard.

It’s like my winter break goal list all over again #neverending

Catch ya in the morning!

raewyn

One of Those Weeks

Hi!

It’s one of those weeks. One of those I-can’t-breathe-I-might-be-getting-sick-and-work-60-hours weeks. No literally, I have been very out of breath this week. Thanks for stretching Delaney!

So the blog of course suffers a little bit on these weeks – but we all manage to get by, thanks to my awesome contributors, like Cole and her post from yesterday. Did you see it?

I’m off to attempt to prep blog posts for tomorrow and Friday. Counting down until Sunday 4pm, when I get some time off from teaching (spring break at one of my schools = 4 days of sleeping in, but still working at night).

Have a glorious Wednesday!

raewyn

Moms Can Go To College Too

coleteenmom

By Cole

 

It was in March, just eight years ago, when I found out I was pregnant. I had just turned 17-years-old and was back in school after having dropped out the previous semester. I was more than shocked and I wasn’t ready to be a parent. I felt like I could barely take care of myself let alone a baby that would be completely dependent on me for everything.

Before I had realized I was pregnant my life was just a series of bad choices; I didn’t take my life seriously, I just didn’t care. That all changed though when I made the choice to become a mother.

In Ontario it’s completely legal to get an abortion. The thought even crossed our minds but once I saw the ultrasound for the first time I instantly fell in love. I think that was the first time I had actually realized that there was a little person inside of me,that that little person was my baby and I didn’t want anyone to ever hurt her.

 

Nick and I didn’t tell anyone other than our two best friends about the pregnancy. We kept it a secret until we couldn’t hide it any longer. We were fortunate that my parents were supportive of our choice and my step-dad helped Nick get a good paying job.

Becoming a mother at a young age is extremely difficult, though. There are so many more challenges when you’re raising a child; everything becomes about them.

Even though I dropped out of high school (again), I worked really hard at completing my high school credits through correspondents and then an adult learning centre. It took me until the age of 22 to graduate high school because of how slow it is to do it through correspondents (snail mail).

At the age of 23 I started college. I had worked a series of really awful, minimum wage jobs that barely got us through even though I was working 44 hours a week and Nick was working even more. Plus, I was too tired to enjoy the time I did have to spend with Sidney. It was definitely a wake-up call.

I struggled with the idea that if I went to college I would have to go for something that would guarantee me a decent paying job after graduation. I didn’t want to spend all of that time, all of that money on something that I would leave me miserable or unemployed.

So I decided to follow my heart and I registered for a journalism program.

A lot of people told me I was crazy because “journalism is a dying field,” but what they didn’t realize is that if you’re passionate and you work hard you can achieve anything.

But there was something else that scared me: how was I going to get through college?

My parents were not in a position to help Nick, Sid and I financially or even offer us a place to live. The idea of committing myself to two years of school without an income and taking out a student loan was terrifying. Not to mention I had to take into consideration how I was going to get to school and back, who was going to watch Sidney, how would I find time to study, what would people at college think once they learned I was a parent? These questions and more raced through my mind and my goal of becoming a college graduate seemed so far away and so difficult.

I refused to let that hold me back though.

Nick and I got ourselves a small apartment near the bus terminal.  I got a bus pass. We’ve both worked odd part-time jobs to get by. My grandma, mom and friends have all helped babysit when Nick and I both had to be at work or school. We’ve had to use the food bank at times. I’ve reached out to social services for help. We’ve had to go without a lot of things just so Sidney could continue to have a normal childhood: swimming lessons, art lessons, family vacations and day trips, appropriate clothes, etc. We make it work so we can eventually have an easier life.

Now, finally, after two years of struggling, I’m about to graduate.

All of the pain, the tears, all of the times I wanted to give up, the awkwardness of waiting in line at a food bank, working nights and still going to school without sleeping, having clothes that are ripped and stained and not wanting to spend money to buy myself nice things, not getting a haircut in two years, pinching pennies and studying until my brain hurts – soon it will all have been worth it!

Next month I finally graduate. I already have a freelance job, I have an interview tomorrow at a great company, I’m finishing up some of my last assignments and gathering my best work to submit to the journalism awards gala. It’s almost over.

College has been a crazy adventure, but it’s one I will remember forever and I am so grateful for, even if I didn’t quite have that college experience you see in the movies.

I guess my point is, life doesn’t always work out like we expect. Sometimes we make bad choices (like being a reckless teenager), sometimes we make great choices (like being Sid’s mom), and they all have their consequences, good or bad, but in the end we can still choose, we are in control of our own lives and we can all do great things regardless of what life throws at us.

Peace,
Cole

colenemethwq