Tuesday, March 29, 2016

April Fools Pregnancy Joke

I have mixed feelings about this. 

For 8 years on and off we struggled with not being able to get pregnant until finally this year we decided to let the dream go and that adoption would be in our future. 
Over the years to make light of my own situation I HAVE posted April fools pregnancy funnies. I'm not sure what has made me sadder...a friend posting that they are pregnant for real....or the relief I've felt around April fools day when someone says their post was a joke. Don't get me wrong. I find joy in others happiness but when you have a goal in mind and you keep failing while others seem to be winning it can be discouraging. 

I just don't know. I guess if you've been on both sides of the spectrum you could either feel like people are insensitive or like people are to sensitive.  I try my hardest not to judge other people as I could never walk in someone else's shoes. I don't want to. From my perspective, in the past I've posted because it helped me to make light of my own situation and helped me to laugh at myself. In my case I believe God knows what's best for me and what is meant to be will be. This year, I will not post an April fools pregnancy funny. Out of respect for the women who like me have struggled with infertility and who don't find it funny that happen to come across my post I'll remain pregnancy post free on April fools day.  Empathy and compassion are the first steps in being my sisters keeper.   I'm sure I can come up with something else that is sure to be way more epic and unforgettable. After all....I'm a huge jokester! 

What are your feelings on this topic? 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I am a Mother Runner....I am!

This week I began running.........again. Consistency with running has become a great challenge that I must get over. For the past year I have started running again ....over and over and over again.
I love running. No, not in the way that I love Disney but, I do love running. Ok, it's more of a love hate thing, but once I'm consistent the benefits far outweigh the hate. Running gives me peace. This is the time I'm able to meditate and pray clearly with no distractions. I've never been good at praying. I'm sort of like Dori from finding Nemo when I pray. I start praying about one thing and then....oh! Running is great for my self diagnosed ADD. I can concentrate on going forward, listen to my music or nature and pray without ceasing for as long as I run. Winning! 

In 2014 I ran my first and only 1/2 marathon. It was a Disney race of course!
I was even featured on the Drink Chia blog during my training. I've run many 5K's and have discovered that 10K's are my sweet spot! A 10K is 6.2 miles. This distance gives me a bit more of a challenge than a 5K yet prevents me from trying to kill myself by trying to run 13.1 miles.  Don't get me wrong, I love the challenge of the 1/2 marathon however, as a mom and a business owner I barely have time to shower let alone train enough to get that mileage in.  I do have this crazy idea that I'd like to run the Walt Disney World Full Marathon in 2017 or 2018. Crazy. I know. I'm going to do it! 

I've found that being signed up for races is key for me to be motivated to run. This year so far I have run a 5K to support Autism. I was excited to sign up for this race as it included a medal also known as "bling" to the runner community.
Bling, is also a good motivator for me to run. It gives me something to remind me of my accomplishment. I am also signed up for my one Disney race of the year.  The Star Wars Dark Side 10K is sure to be a fun race! While I'm not a Star Wars fan, I am a Disney crazy lady. I'm trying to brush up on my Star Wars history by watching movies before the race. I'm planning to run as C3P0. 

If you are looking for stress relief I encourage you to start walking/running. It's a great way to relax and be healthy. If you would like to join me in my next race on April 9, I am giving away a FREE race registration this week on my Facebook page! If you miss the contest you can register for the 2nd Annual Live, Work, Move Seminole 5K online at https://www.facebook.com/events/801749953268303/

Be sure to join the Amaya Papaya team! 

Please pray for my running consistency 😜.  

Holiday Traditions

 I've always been the type of person that loves holiday traditions. Traditions have not always been something that was a big part of my life as a child, but I always knew that traditions would be a part of the life I would create for myself as an adult and for the child(ren) I would have one day. 

Aside from Christmas, Easter is my favorite holiday. I love to celebrate the sacrifice of my lord and savior Jesus Christ with my family.  It's a great time to be reminded of the reason we live this life. I love the tradition of getting the children dressed up in their Sunday's best. I can remember as a child getting a new dress and getting my hair done in candy curls. I am grateful to my mother for always making sure that Amaya has a new dress on Easter Sunday just as I did as a child. She reminded me of this tradition a few days ago when I told her that having a new dress wasn't a big deal......most likely to make myself feel better because I felt I lacked the time to go shopping. I'm usually working so much during the week and weekends at Amaya Papaya, that Easter week sneaks up on me and I end up rushing to be sure I have everything that Amaya "needs" to be ready for this special day.   This year she opted for a cute navy blue dress, a big difference from the flowered dress she and I picked out last year when I was able to take her shopping! I guess she's growing up. 

I love all things Disney. Anytime I can incorporate a tradition that involves Disney in my family's lives I'm ecstatic! Last year I came across a fun Easter event that Disney host at the Grand Floridian. They have giant chocolate Easter eggs on display in the lobby of the  resort. Each egg is designed to look like the scene of a Disney movie or character!  The smell is divine. This year we got to experience the Easter egg displays again. The designs were exquisite!
We even discovered that there was another display over at the Contemporary Resort. That display made me really happy as it featured an egg designed with my favorite princess, Ariel! 

This display is definitely an Easter holiday tradition that I hope my family continues to do every year.  Check out my Instagram account @amayapapayasmom to look for our family picture from last year. Here we are today after checking out the displays. 

Happy Easter from my family to yours! What are your favorite holiday traditions? 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Amaya's Dad on Potty Training

Potty training. Two little words that mean many things to parents. It could mean your little one is growing up. It could mean saving money on all those money-eating disposable diapers. For Mom, it could mean replacing a diaper bag with a change-of-clothes bag. For Dad, it could mean no more mall trips toting that lovely Disney Princesses Diaper Bag. It could mean breaking out in song; our drumming instructor, Mark, even has a song to sing that helps kids go potty! No matter what those words signify to you, they also mean consistency, effort and patience! 

When potty training your child, you have to be consistent with potty breaks. Have your little one sit on the potty chair with or without a diaper for several minutes each day. Don’t leave them alone; stay with them. Even if they sit there and don’t go, still praise them. We know how hard it is to have a 1 or 2 year old just sit still. My mom told me she set it up in the living room, in front of the TV to have me sit still, but that’s my mom! 

Be aware. When you notice your child is squirming, holding their private parts, or even squatting, get them to the potty fast! Become aware of the signs and help your child become aware of the signs, so they can begin to head to the toilet. After a couple of weeks of successful potty trips, it’s time to wear training pants (or underwear)!  My advice is to have your child wearing bottoms that are easily removed. Don’t put them in those farmer overalls that you need a college degree to unhook. Not being successful because your equipment is not setup for success is frustrating. Soon, you won’t even remember when they wore diapers! 

Be careful with incentive rewards. If you choose to use a reward system, it should be based on the day’s efforts, not on singular events. I was listening to a Freakonomics podcast a while back and a father thought he could use an economic incentive strategy to help his daughter potty train. He decided that he could reward her with M&Ms for successful bathroom trips. But, little did he know that KIDS ARE SMART. She figured out she could go and “tinkle” every 30 seconds and get a reward for each “tinkle.” Kids 1 - Dads 0. 

It’s a tough job, but its one that parents like you have been succeeding at for thousands of years. Look at the bright side; just think of all the funny potty stories you’ll be able to embarrass your child with when they reach adulthood. I remember when...well, I’ll save that story until Amaya is 21!

 *The information mentioned in this post are the opinions of the blog owner.....................

Use this potty training chart to help with your potty training success! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Strawberry Picking Fun

Today was a rare Saturday off so when I saw the post on the Pappy's Patch U-Pick Strawberries notifying the public that they were open today I had fit it into my plans for the day!  My strawberry picking crew ended up being an all girls squad of awesomeness. My cousin, a fellow mommy friend and their daughters joined Amaya and I for a girls afternoon out of gathering. 

When you arrive at Pappy's Patch park just along the fence near the road. There are a few tables along the beginning of either side of the rows of berries loaded with crates or flats. Grab your desired container and then go picking! We arrived about 2 hours after the patch opened. The crowd was moderate. There were still lots of good berries to be picked. I've heard that on certain days it can get really crowded and that the berries can get picked really fast, so my advice would be to arrive earlier than we did. After you are done picking your berries head over to the shed where the nice staff (I believe it was one of the owners, I can't remember her name... BOMB Mom brain) will weigh your berries and complete your transaction. Be sure to bring cash. I paid just over $11 for 3 huge crates! 
I definitely recommend that you visit this local jewel in Oviedo, Fl. It's a great time and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally, for days....or in my case weeks to come (I'm freezing a bunch for smoothies)! 
Pappy's Patch U-Pick Strawberries is located in Oviedo, Fl off SR 434. Information about the patch can be found on their Facebook page under their name. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Don't Personalize Seasons

Going through my FB group pages tonight I noticed that a few people had disconnected themselves from the groups. At first thought I felt a little defensive and took personal the reason they may have disconnected. After a few minutes of thought I was reminded that for everything there is a season. People in our lives will connect, disconnect, reconnect or move on for various reasons. It's important not to personalize other's season. If we merely think of ourselves as rainbows in a persons cloud we will understand that a rainbow appears and then it disappears. There is often no specific beginning or a specific end. We may see an illusion of what appears to be a beginning or an end but it is simply a perception of the reality we choose to see. The only "person" I've ever heard of finding the end of a rainbow was a leprechaun...and they are not real.....I don't think...but maybe they are.
My lesson: Their season in the group is over. It is now my season to inspire someone new! That's exciting!
My word for you: Stop looking at what's not and pay attention to what is!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Adult Interaction

I just read a thread in a mom group that asked, "How many hours of adult interaction do you get, as a stay-at-home mom, a week besides with your spouse?". About 95% of the women said they got none. Throw on sleepless nights, crazy days, and no friends and you'll find a depressed and stressed out person.
Mama's, you have a very special job of holding down the fort, you GOTTA take care of yourself FIRST! (Crazy right) Accept company at home, no one cares, truly, that a hurricane frequently passes through your home leaving chaos in its wake. We all understand. Go out with a friend or 2, even if it's just to sit around. Join a local play and support group and come to their meet-ups. Socialize outside of the Internet.
To family and friends: Try not to take no for an answer when we say we don't need help or want to go out. It's not easy accepting help from others when we feel that we're supposed to do it all. We don't realize that sometimes we're drowning and need a hand or just someone to talk to. Heck! Come over and just let mama shower alone and sleep alone while you watch the littles in the living room. Bring a meal, even if we don't ask. Help tidy up, even though we all know it won't last long. Every little bit you do makes a difference and that mama will appreciate you more than words can describe.
Lots of love to all mama's out there! You're doing a GREAT job!

Blog written by Ashlie King
Ashlie King is the mom of Isaiah. She enjoys volunteering at Amaya Papaya and keeping cupcakes away from Amaya Papaya's mom! Ashlie is the Happy Momma Orlando for Happy Family Brand Foods.