Weight Lifted



9 months. We have had 9 long months of fear for Kasalina grace’s heart and what was going to happen. As a momma who struggles with anxiety made worse by post partum anxiety this has been hell for me. I get scared with her crawling and getting out of breath. I worry when she doesn’t gain in weight in a week or if she looses even on ounce I panic. But today we got the news we have been waiting for !! Her VSD has completely closed, her ASD is so small they don’t want to see her again until she is three years old! 

I sobbed in the care when I left her appointment, maybe it was just a build up of her screaming through all her tests and not being able to comfort her, or just a build-up of the last nine months. To finally be able to put her birth behind me and focus on her future is like a weight lifted over my shoulder. That has been hanging over us for nine months. That was all that was left of NICU. Everything else she has proven us all wrong! She crawled right on track with babies in her February due date group. She talks with them, she eats as good as them, she’s on track weight and height wise with them. She is proving every single doctor wrong and for that I am so eternally grateful for the power and healing grace of prayer. She has shown people who don’t believe that she is greater than what they thought she would be. As her mom I am so incredibly proud and humbled! 

Feeding is an experience!


Anyone else have an extremely picky child? Hayden Renee is my picky one, I made my own pureed baby food for her and was so sure I was doing the right thing. I don’t think I was wrong in my decision with her but I definently think all the factors of nursing her till 19 months and just doing puree’s and not giving her anything else her first year has led to problems. 

If you could survive on just chicken nuggets and Mac n cheese my child would be extremely happy! I would love to say im not that kind of mom that will bribe her child but I am! My three year old I will bribe with just one bite of food for a part of a cookie! 

So when Kasalina Grace hit six months I needed to find some alternative to what I did with Hayden Renee. I can’t handle another picky eater! Kasalina Grace has been bottle fed since birth due to her being a preemie, and I pumped up until about six weeks ago when I dried up all of a sudden! So I think that already has made a huge difference in her eating habits. We started her on a few purees three times a day and she didn’t seem interested at all and I couldn’t help but think “OH NO, ANOTHER picky one!” 

Boy was I wrong, we switched to baby led weaning about a month ago and this child is eating it up! So much has changed just from when Hayden was a baby! Isn’t that just insane? They are just over 2 years apart but so much has changed! Kasalina Grace will eat everything and anything you put on her high chair tray! This kid has no texture aversion like Hayden does, she will eat everything! Which is such a relief, she also has shown no allergies to food as of yet! Hayden is like me allergic to eggs and dairy. Some of that may be genetics but some of it may just be that I waited a bit to long to feed her solids or even attempt to! 

I have a list of do’s and font’s for you that I have learned over the past few months and from asking friends who are also in this current season of life! 

  1. DO wait until the baby is ready to eat, (sitting up on there own, reaching for things)
  2. DONT choose nap time to feed them, I don’t wanna eat when I am tired and they wont want to either!
  3. DO continue Formula or breastmilk they still need all those nutrients!
  4. DONT expect it to work! Your baby may hate this whole idea and THATS OK!
  5. DO Supervise them and engage, make it a good chance for one on one time! 
  6. DONT panic when they make an awful face at a new food! They are figuring out what is in there mouth and will spit it out if they don’t want it!
  7. DO Cut the food into tiny grasping size pieces! Not so small they can’t grab it but not so big they choke. It’s a fine delicate line that you’ll figure out!
  8. DONT overload them on five different foods in one meal! They will not like them and you wont be able to tell which one they don’t like! 
  9. DO Let them have fun! Let them throw that spaghetti and cover themselves in ketchup! Let them be little! 
  10. DONT freak out over how long it’s taking them to eat! Don’t worry about the mess it will come out! One day you’ll look back and wish you had watched them eat just a little bit longer! 
  11. DO take this opportunity to start family dinner traditions! I love and miss my younger days when no matter what we had planned we all sat down for dinner together and ate. We caught up on our days and what was going on. But we always knew that dinner was going to happen! I loved  that time! Even in my teen years when I complained, I secretly enjoyed it! 
  12. DONT give up! Your kid will not starve if 90% of there food gets on the floor! Momma you are doing amazing no matter how it looks! 

Every kid is different! Whatever you do always remember to watch for signs of a reaction! Hayden Renee scared me to death the first time she had eggs and broke out terribly and started wheezing and coughing. I knew what to look for because I had done my research! Please mommas do your research! Know what to look for! Know what the signs are! Being informed is the best thing we as moms can be!

This is a good resource for allergic reactions!


Who we are.

This post is close to my heart and ive had it in my head for months now and I don’t know why I haven’t written it before now. With it all coming to a head in the past few weeks I finally have the courage to write it down. 

We live in a small town called Christmas, my husband grew up in this town, his family has been here for 40 years and like most of the families around here this town is in their blood. 

The biggest part of this town is the St. Johns River the biggest businesses in this town are the gator farm and airboat tours. This is who this town is. This river runs in my kids bloods and of all the adults who grew up on this river. 

These tours are what make people come to this town. 

These small businesses are made up of men who either took over a family business and have made it their own, or are supporting a family in the way they were raised. Than you get one company come in and think that money should determine what and who gets to ride on the river. Sure those of us with our own boats can still go out and enjoy but at what cost? At the cost of our friends and who they are? That ruins it for all of us. 

This river is what shaped a lot of those who grew up on it. They played on it as children, they learned how to swim in it and drive their boat on it. They met their now spouse on that river, they hunted and learned the thrill of providing for their family. This river has shaped so many of our husbands Into the men and fathers they are today. Why is it ok to come in and try to take that away from our town? Why come and take this one thing that so many of our husbands have worked so hard for? 

Regulations are such a good thing to use! Regulations are not bad. But to Come in and completely disband and take away so much work is not right! These men went to school for months learning charting and safety and licensing just so they can deal with people day in and day out who sometimes are rude and other times come from far away just for those specific captains! 

My daughters both rode and airboat for the first time on those small business boats! My three year old daily talks about her Uncle Bruce and how he does airboat tours. She is so incredibly PROUD of him! I wouldn’t trust anyone else to teach my daughter all about the river, the animals and how they are needed to help our eco-system. I trust him to show her all the trees and what there names are. I know she will grow up with him and learn all about how the river gives back. 

These men that are just doing what they know are some of the best men in this town. You hurt them you hurt Christmas. We are a small town but we are the town that one of our own is in an accident we throw a fundraiser to help them! We are the town that bands together when one of our own is going through cancer. We clean up that river all throughout the year and have benefits that help with breast cancer funding. These men are all apart of that, you take away their right to do that you hurt not only them but all of us. 

I’ve watched these men in the past ten years I have been here band together for countless people. I’ve watched these men become husbands and fathers and give their families everything they could ever need, with the business that is getting the rug jerked out from under them. 

I have a hard time with expressing sometimes but my heart aches for these men who have had to unexpectedly pay thousand upon thousands of dollars just to keep there jobs. I think competition keeps the world going round. But I also think that when we let companies come in and take over and create rules around what they want we are hurting something so precious to our society. Small Businesses built us and we need them to continue on. They provide a much needed product and a personable level of care that we need still in this world. To let big money take over is just taking an easy way out of actually putting in the time and effort to get to know the individual business. Even with regulations we are going to lose some good men who have worked to build a business. 

Sometimes going out of our comfort zones and fighting for who and what we believe in is the best choice to make. I have two young daughters who will learn from me. I want to show them that whats right in your heart and worth fighting for may not be what society tell you. But that is 100% ok. We as humans work best when we follow what we know is the truth, otherwise we fight an internal battle of thinking we gave up. I want my daughters to see that being a business owner is incredibly rewarding, but you have to follow who you are and do it without being physical, or without screwing other people over. You have to be able in a non-confrontational manner be able to show people you are more than money can buy, you are a person and your business no matter how small makes an impact on the community. 

This battle is one i’m sure is fought all over our country and my heart aches for them. The small businesses that people won’t support because they stick to there beliefs. The small business that is getting run over by big businesses over and over again, my heart aches for them. We need to not forget them! We need to be better than this! Small Businesses built this nation and without them we will crumble as a nation. Money is not worth ruining a family and ruining a way of life.

If you can’t say something nice…

Y’all today has been one of those days that you hear others talk about but never think it will happen to you. 

I had Haydens three year check up today. Yay!  You would think super simple in and out get everything done no problems. I had also set up for Kasalina to be checked out at the same time because I had some concerns on her heart and how tired she seems to be getting lately. 

The doctor came in to examine Hayden and the first thing he says to me is she is fat, and I needed to get her to loose weight and if she didn’t loose some she would have to come in every three months for a weight check. 

I have several problems right here and there’s more to the story. First of all she’s three don’t you dare say in front of her that she is fat. I refuse to have my daughter already having body issues at such a young age. Second of all, she eats very well, she doesn’t eat a lot of junk food and very rarely do I allow her to drink juice. The kid never sits still, its all I can do most days to keep her entertained because she is so active. My heart just started breaking at that point. This world is so focused on body image we are starting to ridicule and police our girls at such young age. We want to put them in this bubble of a strict diet so that they stay skinny and the way society expects a little girl or any girls really to look. I refuse to have my child turn into me as a teenager, barely eating anything throwing up what little she does eat all to maintain a weight that your mother and family thought was “healthy.” I will not put that on my daughters. If he think we have an unhealthy diet because of the way I look than he should maybe get to know his patients. I went through years of infertility treatments that screw with your hormones, on top of having pcos which makes loosing weight extremely hard. Am I proud of how I look no. but I am working hard to change that! 

If you aren’t fired up I have more for you!

As he is berating me on all of this Hayden is trying to put her shoes on. 9 times out of 10 she can get it first try, today she couldn’t, new pair of shoes and boots mixed together just confused her. So I am trying to assist her while letting her do it herself because she is in that stage. I directed her to put the boot on the other foot and when she couldn’t get it on I bent down to assist her and she lifted the wrong foot again. I hear him above me go, its interesting how fast she forgets what foot you told her the shoe goes on. If I could put in eye roll in here I would. Yes she forgot and lifted the wrong foot, but this is the same child who can count to 20, knows her ABC’s. Can recite any song you put on the radio. The same child who has figured out every child lock in my house, so I have had to super glue them together. This child who talked at 18 months, and still to this day talks better and clearer than most four year olds. This child who potty trained herself at 18 months! This child is not a dumb child, she forgot one time in her nervousness which foot. 

After he got through with me on Hayden he asked me what was going on with Kasalina, she is a 33 seeker, she stopped growing at 32 weeks and they took her via csection at 33 weeks. She spent 15 days in Nicu and is in most ways doing awesome. She however has an ASD and it isn’t closing, she will drink two oz of milk and get tired and than 45 minutes later finish the other two oz. She isn’t sitting up on her own yet or crawling, but she is rolling like a champ and talking. I have voiced my concerns to previous doctors at the same office, to which no-one has seemed it was something to listen to me for. Not today, he decided to add on and berate me for these things. He asked why I hadn’t gotten her started in First Steps, which is essentially therapy for babies. He asked why I haven’t gone back to cardiology (because I needed another referral and they didn’t give me one) He than commented that she may be heading towards congestive heart failure. 


Ok how did you come to that conclusion? Are you all of a sudden a cardiologist also? 

Needless to say I walked out of that office, loaded my kids in the car, called my husband and just broke down sobbing. 

Its been 12 hours now and I am still in-between sobbing and anger. How dare this man who just met my children that day be so horrible! How dare he call a three year old fat, how dare he make me feel like I am less than as a mother. I have done everything in my power to give these girls the best I can! I nursed Hayden for 19 months, I don’t give her junk food I play in the mud with her, I teach her to be polite and kind to others. Kasalina I sat with for 15 days in the NICU. 15 days where I couldn’t see the sun, I didn’t know what time of day it was, I MAYBE, MAYBE ate one meal a day because I was TERRIFIED that she would crash when I left the room! I watch her like a hawk and every single time her monitor alarms I don’t sleep after that for fear that it’ll alarm again. 

But in 15 minutes this man who just met us made me feel like I was less than as a mother, that made me question everything I do for them. 

That infuriates me! 

There are so many things in this world that will tell our daughters they aren’t good enough, or skinny enough, or bright enough, or enough in general! Why in the ever-loving heck would you start this problem at the tender age of three!! Why would you start policing them so young. This baffles my mind. Yes she eats chicken nuggets more times than I care to admit, but at least she ate that day! I do as much as I can do to give her healthy options. I know the risks of heart disease and diabetes, and illnesses. I know the risk! Im doing everything I can do to ensure those risks are low! But how she looks and her body image are not your concern! Pull me aside and educate me, her mother. DO NOT call her fat to her face and point to the areas you think are not ok! 

My heart is still breaking for little girls that deal with this. If I was a single mother with no family support I would feel utterly defeated tonight! I still feel utterly defeated but I have a HUGE support system who is just as infuriated with me. 

Mommas YOU ARE your daughters mirror, you have to tell them they are beautiful and perfect the way they are. You have to show them the world is so incredibly wrong!