June 2013Back Home Again: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

This is Beautiful

A mother who births through a c-section is an unsung hero. At no other point in your life will you have a major surgery performed on you (with all its risks and side effects) and not only have no one really pay attention to your recovery, but will also be told repeatedly to be thankful for it (even though it causes you great daily pain and has permenant repercussions emotionally, mentally, and physically for you). "Healthy mama, healthy baby," is the mantra I was told over and over again, but I have to tell you that post c-section, especially if that c-section was unexpected and the recipient is not sure if it was or wasn't completely necessary, most mothers feel anything but "healthy." When you go in for a c-section, you sacrifice a lot. Often you sacrifice your ability to be the first one to hold your baby, you sacrifice your ability to hold your baby skin to skin right away (in our case, my husband was allowed to step in and give my baby that, but it tore me up to see that I would have to wait), you sacrifice your own health, you (sometimes) sacrfice your ability to breastfeed successfully (I was lucky in that I did not have this problem, but it is very, very commen for women with c-sections to have all sorts of post-surgery delayed milk production and other breastfeeding issues), you sacrifice your own mental and emotional health (many women find that the trauma of a c-section is much more than they ever thought it would be; not all, but many) and sometimes you allow yourself to sacrifice your own ability to say you "birthed" your baby, preferring instead to say your baby was "delivered" (I still struggle to think I "birthed" my baby through a c-section). I've met many women (me among them) who felt that their agency in the birthing of their own children had been negated just because they had a c-section. I often have found myself apologizing or giving excuses for my c-section as if I had let everyone down (most of all myself and my child), by allowing myself to be lain on a table and sliced open to give birth instead of managing to do it on my own.

This is taken from The Connected Mom, and it pretty much sums up how I feel most days about my c-section. I very much feel that I am looked down upon because I have had a c-section and have apologized to others for it on numerous occasions. I'm sure my fellow c-section mommas know "the look," the look of pity and judgement that happens after you tell other women you had a c-section or that you are planning a repeat. I can't tell you how many times I have seen it, even after having a vbac - especially since I got an epidural during my vbac when I had planning on doing it unmedicated (which is an entirely different post about that judgement!). I can also tell you that it almost never comes from a non-c-section momma either. It frustrates me to no end because unless you've been through it, you have no idea. I'm not saying that there aren't traumatic vaginal births out there because I know there are. I just read about one yesterday. However, don't judge us, just be glad you haven't been put through the hell us c-section mommas have gone through.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Before It's Too Late!

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Our Honeymoon

Since this is the week of vacations on my blog, I thought I would tell you about my favorite vacation. Honestly, trying to decide which trip I have taken is my favorite was really hard for me. Do I choose something before Alan or since we've been together? I've taken a lot of trips before him and plenty of little ones since we've been together. Ultimately, I decided on our honeymoon. We went on a cruise to the Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. 

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We left my hometown around 6AM the day after our wedding to get to Miami for our cruise. We were on the Carnival Valor and I know that Carnival has a reputation now because of the ship that failed recently, but let me tell you, our ship was awesome! Neither of us had been on a cruise before and we loved it. We spent our at sea days just hanging out watching the ocean go by, playing mini golf or in the casino. Oh, and we saw Cuba! I'm such a nerd, I know :-) One of our favorite things to do on the ship was snuggle on a lounge chair in the evenings watching movies on the lido deck.

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We opted to do a shore excursion at each stop and in the Cayman Islands we spent the morning walking around the port and then had a dolphin encounter and went to a sea turtle farm. As I've posted previously I'm afraid of fish so I was a little weary of the dolphin encounter since I didn't know how much I was going to have to be around dead fish. But, it turned out really well and the next time I get a chance, I'm swimming with dolphins. 

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Next up was Isla Roatan, Honduras. We took a glass bottom kayak and snorkeling through the second largest barrier reef in the world. I loved it. Alan, not so much. He cut his knee on the coral and their way of sterilizing it was to pour vinegar on it. Ouch!

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We bought an underwater digital camera for our trip and it was awesome. While we didn't see a lot of fish, I loved using it and we still get use out of it at the lake and pool now too. 

Belize was by far my favorite stop on our cruise. We went to Xunantunich (or tuna sandwich as Alan likes to call it), which is the ruins of a Mayan city. I have always wanted to see Mayan ruins in person ever since I saw the Voyage of the Mimi series back in elementary school. Now I finally did! The ruins are on the border with Guatemala so we drove across the entire country and back, which I really liked since it enabled us to see more than just the port. I also have a funny story about how I went to the bathroom on the bus...yeah, don't ever do that in Central America! 

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Something that's really crazy to me is that there was military guarding the border on top of the pyramid. Definitely not something you see everyday in the States!

Our last stop was Cozumel. We had originally signed up for Xcaret, an eco theme park, but the excursion was cancelled so we decided to opt for a beach day. Now as you know, going on vacation with me is like vacation boot camp, so a relaxing day is rare. But, it was so nice to just chill on the beach with a book and swim every so often. I would definitely recommend a relaxing shore day when you go on a cruise. 

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On the last night of the cruise, I finally got something I had been wanting to get the entire week. A sunset photo. Clouds covered the sun every night so it was fitting that the final night I finally got my photo. 

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I would highly recommend taking a cruise. It's a great way to see lots of places you might not otherwise get to. We keep saying we want to go on another one. I think I'll add it to our list of possible places for our fifth wedding anniversary :-)

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm Brooke and I blog over at Wide Open Spaces!

Due to the fact that my blog covers a range of subjects I figured what better name than that! 
Married life, beauty experiences, friendship, motherhood, silly life events and my favorite, recipes
If you haven't already, come follow me over at Bloglovin by clicking on the icon below :)
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While Holly is on vacation soaking in the sun, dipping her toes in the water and taking it easy I am taking over her blog today! So hello to you!
 
Vacations are always something I look forward to. The days leading up to a trip is like waiting on Christmas to arrive. Checking the lists twice, preparing for the open road and of course the excitement of all new things to come!
 
I am a picture taker to the ultimate maximum. At every given opportunity I will take anywhere from 200-800 pictures. Everyone calls me their Personal Paparazzi because I am constantly taking pictures of everyone and everything. Hey we must not miss a moment, right?
 
My all time favorite vacation would be when the hubs and I took a trip to Las Vegas. If I could live there it would be a dream! The nightlife is for me! I love that everything is busy, on the go and so bright and colorful!!
 
If you haven't had the experience of Las Vegas, here is a little tour guide of our favorite spots to visit!
 
Las Vegas strip
The Venetian Hotel
The Gondola rides are very romantic!
The Stratosphere is awesome! 3 thrill rides on top and a spectacular view!
 
 

Carnaval Court has to be the coolest bar in Las Vegas
The bartenders perform flame throwing acts and balance fifths of alcohol on their noses and heads! They also have a live band!
Besides the atmosphere, the margaritas are the bomb.com
Circus Circus is a very kid friendly themed hotel. Full with thrill rides, live shows and water slides for any age!



The Bellagio is amazing! The nature theme indoors is gorgeous and a very uplifting atmosphere


A view from the Bellagio from the Eiffel Tower
 


Freemont Street is incredible! They put on light shows with music every hour. This vacation the theme was the Beatles

Another show Las Vegas hosts is the exploding volcano at the Mirage hotel. The show starts at 8 and goes every hr until midnight

If you are a shopper Las Vegas Blvd is filled with shopping centers, boutiques and yummy places to eat!


We stayed at Ballys and loved every minute of it. The hotel has a restaurant that stays open 24 hours with $1.50 margaritas and $1.00 tacos! It is very clean, has a friendly staff and seemed to be one of the less busy casinos! The pool was just as nice as well! All around it was a win win!


If you haven't visited Las Vegas yet I highly recommend it!
The scenery is amazing and you never run out of things to do!
For more tour guides, beauty advice, recipes and fun filled girl talk stop by and say hi over at
I would love to have a new bloggy buddy :)

 
 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Call for Bloggers: Kinderfeets Wooden Pushbike Giveaway


Sign-ups are open for the fabulous Kinderfeets Giveaway
This event is free to join with an announcement post. 
For participation, you will receive 2 free links (Facebook and Twitter)
Sign-ups for the event closes on June 28th
Sign up for the event Here

If you sign up, please tell them Back Home Again - Holly Higgins sent you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When it rains, it pours!

Just wanted to write a quick post to let you all know we're back from vacation...I will write an in-depth recap next week, but for now just know that we had to come back early because our good friends let us know that our garage and basement flooded in the crazy rain storms that came through Monday. Enjoy the guest posts I have set up for the rest of the week while we clean up and try to salvage what's left of our vacation!
What happens when three inches of water flood your garage.

A Trip to Yosemite

Holly so graciously asked me to fill in for her today. I guess I should introduce myself first. My name is Jenn and I blog over at a traveling Wife. I recently moved to Indiana from California at the beginning of this year. You should come stop by and say hi or just be a creeper and stalk through my blog. You might find funny vlogs with my Husband, aka A, or see photos of my adorable pup. Don't fret, you'll get at least one photo of her below too. 

Alright, back on topic. While Holly is away doing what we all want to be doing right now being on vacation - get your mind out of the gutter I am going to share my favorite vacation.

When I think of vacation I think of warm weather, running around on the beach in a bikini, staying up late making bad decisions and drinking too many adult beverages, amongst other things. Here is the time during this post that I am going to disappoint you. My favorite vacation that I am going to share does not include any of those items listed above! And it really wasn't a formal vacation either - rather a weekend away.

I know. I know. You are probably thinking how lame. But wait, just wait. You are about to see some breathtaking views.

So remember back when I introduced myself that I said I used to live in California, actually Northern California. A, my Hubby, and I did a lot of traveling within California because that state just has far too many great places to offer. 

We rented this little cozy cabin up in the mountains because we wanted to go camping. I am not really the tenting type and I need to have my full service bathroom. Spoiled? Definitely. We didn't have much hope that the cabin was going to be all that great but our mouths dropped open when we pulled our jeep in front of this.
Oh yeah! We knew that our $100 didn't fail us this time. Then we walked inside...
Hello, laminate floor and king size bed. Not to mention we had satellite tv and a window air unit. This is what I like to call roughing it!!

My favorite vacation does not end there. We picked the camp site location because it was about one hour from Yosemite Valley Floor. 

After we were well rested from our night in the king bed we packed lunch, grabbed the dog, and headed towards Yosemite. If you have never been to Yosemite, it is a sight to see. Beautiful scenery, fresh air, trails for days, waterfalls, wildlife, and I could keep going. Here is just a glimpse of Yosemite.
As promised, our little pooch. She loved walking and hiking in Yosemite but her favorite might have been snacking off our lunch. She is really spoiled too!

Have you ever been to Yosemite? We were lucky enough to stop by there a couple of times and my mind always wanders back there. I mean, Indiana doesn't have anything close to that for a view.

Thanks again for letting me share my favorite vacation with you. Now I am going to make myself a yummy cocktail and pretend I am vacationing like Holly.
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