Pregnant & Skinny

How much weight did you gain when you were pregnant? I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t gain much weight. About 18 pounds with Ethan and 30 pounds with the twins. It must be genetics because my mom said that she didn’t gain much weight and carried it all out front, so from the back you couldn’t even tell she was pregnant. But no matter if you gained 20 pounds like me or 80 pounds, people have a lot to say about it. And today, I’m over at Scary Mommy sharing 10 Things I Learned As A Skinny Pregnant Woman.

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My sister ready to pop anytime and I (in black) 4 weeks before I delivered the twins.

I’ve shared at Scary Mommy a couple of other times, too. I shared a yummy recipe for Olive Oil Cake (no, it doesn’t taste like olive oil!)

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I also wrote about being infertile and the jealousy I felt towards other pregnant women. And people had to say a lot about that! Some of what they had to say was not very nice…or constructive. Just cruel and insensitive. And I mean to all woman dealing with infertility, not just me. I write these types of posts to help women who are experiencing it, not to piss other people off.

I love sharing at Scary Mommy, even though some of the comments can get ugly. But that’s okay, I enjoy reading all of the different opinions and don’t take the judgement personally…especially because people can judge people more easily when they don’t know them and can hide behind a computer.

But even though it’s already gotten a couple of snarky comments, this one about being skinny and pregnant was a fun one to write. While all of it’s true, I know a lot of it will apply to women who gained a ton of weight too because I’m sure they heard a lot of the same comments. Either way, I’m sure that other skinny moms-to-be will be able to relate!

TWEET TWEET TWEET

4:59 AM:  Just outside our open bedroom window, a bird awakens and decides to greet this glorious new morning with a never ending TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET.

5:03 AM:  His neighbor joins him, and the two happily welcome the new day with the never ending song of TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET.

5:09 AM:  I get up and shut the window.

5:26 AM:  They stop! Though now that I’ve been listening to it for almost a half an hour, I think that I can still hear the never ending TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET…even though I have a pillow stuffed over my head.

5:34 AM:  They start back up.

5:45 AM:  Screw it, I’m awake. Might as well get up.

Because that damn bird wouldn’t shut up and I couldn’t go back to sleep, I decided to do some research on who the hell makes that kind of never ending racket for so damn long. Turns out, it might be a common warbler. This guy.

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Cute, isn’t he? I’ll tell you when he’s not cute. At 5 o’clock in the morning. Who knew something so little could make so much damn noise!

I’m not sure if this is him or not, but I have seen these birds around. Want to hear what the never ending TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET TWEET sounds like? I found this description of a common warbler and it sounded pretty accurate. When I played the little clip of it tweeting away, I was pretty sure I found my guy.

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Now this is not the first time I’ve had a bird violate my sleep. Back in 2012, we had a midnight warbler who kept me awake for nights on end. I wanted to kill that bird for its loud and rapid “Ah-Ahh Ah-Ahh Ah-Ahh” over and over again. I went back to read the post about that damn bird and although they have different songs, it sounds like the same bird again! I know it’s not the exact same bird, but the same kind of bird.

So much for sleeping with the windows open. I hope I don’t hear him and his buddy again tonight.

Update: I wrote this last Wednesday. I’ve heard those birds three more times since then.

The Freedom Challenge: Help End Modern Day Slavery

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Freedom Challenge.

Here’s a very sad but true fact: Modern day slavery exists. Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Every 30 seconds, someone is abducted into slavery. That means, by the time you are done reading this, there will be 4-5 more slaves in the world.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Did you know that there are 30,000,000 slaves worldwide? The International Trade Organization says that 80% of them are women.

Thirty.Million.Slaves. And 24,000,000 of them are women and children.

Let me give you an idea of how many people that is: Imagine that every woman in America between the ages of 18-24 was enslaved. Now add the entire population of New Zealand to that number. Next add in the entire population of Jamaica…and the entire population of Fiji. That’s how many
women are enslaved worldwide.

24,000,000 women and children have been forced into labor or indentured servitude, have been trafficked and sold, or that have been forced into marriage as a child bride. 12,000,000 children are under the age of 12. 2,000,000 children alone are exploited in the commercial sex industry.

Many of these women are sold to another human for less than one hundred dollars. Imagine one of your children being taken from you and sold for $100.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

That makes me want to do something about this very real, worldwide problem. And that’s where the Freedom Challenge comes in.

What Is The Freedom Challenge?

Freedom Challenge is made of women all over the world who participate in physical challenges. These physical challenges test our limits while raising funds and awareness to free oppressed and enslaved women and children all around the world, and set women and children on the pathway to freedom. They use a four-pronged approach to freeing women and children around the world. Their goal is to Prevent. Rescue. Restore. Develop. You can lean more about it here.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Their mission is to free 1 million slaves and has already raised over three million dollars for the cause to date. The goal for 2016 is to free 1,000 women and children.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

So how can you help? Together we can make a difference because when we do things together, we can accomplish more than when we are alone. There are so many ways to show your support!

You can join a local event in your area or even get together a group of friends and create your own Freedom Challenge doing whatever you like to do – you can run, walk, swim, hike, climb…the challenges are endless.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Physical challenges not your thing? You can still show your support. You can donate. You can sponsor someone else’s challenge. Every single penny helps get us to the goal, but if you are unable to do give monetarily, you can show your support by spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge.

Join me in spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge

Simply helping spread the word about the Freedom Challenge is a huge support. Knowledge is power, and if you are deeply passionate about a cause, introducing others to it is a great way to drive awareness to the cause.

You Can:

Sign up to stay in touch with Freedom Challenge and they’ll share the work and impact of The Freedom Challenge with you. Encourage others to do the same.

Read stories of women and children who were freed from slavery by the Freedom Challenge and share these heartbreaking but courageous, inspiring stories with others.

Follow Freedom Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Freedom Challenge is women fighting for women.

It’s Our challenge for their Freedom.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

The Scents of Spring

Four years ago, I wrote a post called the Scents of Summer and it’s still one of my favorites. You know how sometimes you smell or see or hear something and it just takes you straight back to your childhood? That’s what the post is about.

Last night, it rained. I walked outside to see how hard it was raining and I could smell the rain and for some reason it took me right back to being a kid for some reason. So I thought it would be fun to write about the scents that remind me of spring.

The Scents of Spring For Me Are:

The rain

Warm wind that blows the scent of Italian Cypresses around (we had about 40 of them around our pool at the house I grew up in and so it always smelled like them)

photo source

photo source

Jasmine and magnolia trees

Soil and freshly cut grass

Wet cement

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But so many other things remind me of spring, too. Warm, windy days. Eating dinner outside. Working in the yard with the radio playing. Digging in the soil and planting seeds. Warm days and cool nights. The feeling of excitement because summer’s right around the corner. Playing outside from the time we got home from school until it was time for dinner.

I absolutely LOVE summer, but as I get older, I find that I prefer spring more. The weather is milder and not just hot, hot, hot for months at a time. The time changes so the evenings stay lighter longer. The excitement of school ending and the lazy days ahead. Everything blooming. The excitement of the baby birds hatching (the same nest above our front door has had babies every year for the last 5 years!) Just the fact that everything seems to be coming alive after a long winter.

What sights, scents, and sounds remind you of your childhood springs?

My Life In Pictures: April 1 – 15, 2016

Back in October, I started what I thought was the best idea EVER: To share my Instagram pictures a couple of times a month since I can’t seem to find time to write! I decided to call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here. So here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

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That top picture is of the community garden we started last year with friends and family. As you can tell we really let it go over the winter. The bottom picture shows what twelve people can do in just a few hours of hard work! We’ll be planting soon.

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And while we are busy pulling more weeds than I think I’ve ever seen, the kids stay busy by selling lemonade and treats. They make great money are are currently saving it to buy a snowcone maker and all the fixings.

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I got this cup for my birthday. It’s my new favorite!

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Ethan loves his dog, and she’s getting old. I’m not looking forward to the kids losing her. It’s going to break their hearts.

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So glad to have found this shirt at Target for the girls!

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