Family, Parenting, Playtime

Playtime: Mary’s Park Sensory Playground

Minerva turned one on Wednesday, so we decided to go check out the Sensory Playground at Peninsula Town Center.

There is highly interactive sensory and tactile play available. The park is Wheelchair-accessible too! The surface is playground rubber.

There was plenty of seating around the playground and some seating was in a shady area. The playground is surrounded by bushes and secured fencing.

I loved that the Minerva could climb some fixtures on her own. I did have to go after my brave baby at some points, haha!


The gravity bowl was so fun for Maxine once she understood how it worked. Her first go ended with her SCREAMING for me to help her stop. By the time we left, she had been back on several times.

The park was really fun! The bathrooms were a block over from the playground, but there was a drinking fountain in the park so that was convenient. We can’t wait to go again! We will have to check out their play fountain next time too.

Also, there is a smartphone app that goes along with the play area! You can listen to the Hans Christian Anderson stories that the park’s themes are based on: The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling.  The stories are offered in 16 languages!

Mary’s Park Sensory Playground is an outdoor playground at Peninsula Town Center that was built in partnership with the Peninsula School for Autism.  

Family, fun, Parenting, Playtime

Playtime: Windsor Castle Park Natural Playscape

Smithfield, Virginia is my hometown and such a beautiful place! Maxine is at an age where she can enjoy playing on her own so I decided to take her to check out the new Windsor Castle Park Natural Playscape.

Maxine has her back facing everyone. She is at the top of the slide and hovering before letting go. The background is very green.

She loved it! I loved that they had a side for younger children. We stayed over there today.

Maxine is walking across small logs in the ground. The background is green and trees

The entire area was beautifully shaded by trees. It didn’t feel as miserably hot as the thermometer read.

Maxine is playing in a large sandbox

Maxine is flying down the slide.

This slide was the perfect size for Maxine and she went on it several times. The other slide on the big kid size is 30 feet!

Maxine is walking in a wide green park

Maxine is climbing a wall.

Max had a blast and we will definitely be back soon!

review

Review: Honest Kids

So  a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try out Honest Tea through a Klout perk! I fell in love with the tea. When Honest found out that I have a toddler, they offered to send out some Honest Kids juice samples to try with her and I agreed. I expected samples–you know, like a box of one half size per flavor of something. Boy, was I wrong. Honest sent me three full sized boxes of their juice!

 

Maxine and I were so thrilled! I love this juice. There is zero added sugar. It is sweetened with fruit juice. It is organic. FAIR TRADE.  It is gluten free. It has no GMOs. It’s basically the best juice for kids.  When I first tasted it, it was not as sweet as I am used to but that was expected because it has no added sugar. I gave Maxine a pouch and she drank the whole thing! She seems to like the Berry Berry Good Lemonade the most. My favorite was the Super Fruit Punch.

Honest Kids has a new customer for sure. Great juice! I highly recommend these!

Uncategorized

I Don’t Understand

Why do items for girls always cost more? Items could literally have only a different color and be marked up. Why? Does pink dye really cost that much more than blue or white? Do pink and purple blocks really need to cost more than primary colored blocks? Do companies really need to mark up items just because they are for girls? I don’t think there is a reasonable explanation. I see why girls are “more expensive” than boys.

words

Thankful

Everyone does the “I’m Thankful” posts this time of year. I’m joining in this time! These eleven things that I am thankful for are in no particular order.

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1. I’m thankful to be able to breastfeed this beautiful baby, especially since some people can not breastfeed. I cherish the journey so much.

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2. I’m thankful to have such a cute and cuddly baby who loves to be worn. It makes things more peaceful for the both of us.

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3. I’m thankful for being a mom. It can be hard at times, but I can honestly say that I have never been happier in my life.

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4. I’m thankful for that warm day in September when I got to meet my wonderful daughter, Maxine Elisabeth. You changed my life!

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5. I’m thankful for the Green Bay Packers! Football makes me happy and so does my team. GO PACK GO!!

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6. I’m thankful for being able to have been pregnant. I hated being sick all the time, but I am very happy that I got to do it. I’m happy with the outcome. I’m happy that I didn’t gain a single pound the entire time.

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7. I’m thankful for my best friend Sarah. I have had a long year and she has helped make it easier for me. Even though she lives a couple hours away, I can always count on her. We’ve been friends for about 17 years now and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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 8. I’m thankful for this smile. It always brightens my day.

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9. I’m thankful for Carressa! She has been there for me through so much since she moved to Smithfield and ran into the boys bathroom. I love my roast beef and her entire family. They treat me like family and I’m thankful for that too.

46439_816528394014_1239187228_n10. I’m thankful to have been able to graduate from college!  I’m also thankful for a great little sister. She’s got my back on everything!

wpid-IMG_20120527_091433.jpg11. I’m thankful for my wonderful husband! Thanks to him, I’m a mom! Our relationship has grown so much through the years we have been together and I am excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

What are you thankful for?

Family, Maxine

Maxine is Here!

Maxine Elisabeth Marsh
September 25th 4:03 pm
5 lbs 15 oz and 19 in

Very exciting news for everyone! She is here! Maxine arrived at 37+4 weeks and it was a great surprise for us all! We didn’t expect her to arrive early, but we are incredibly excited that she did! Last week (Tuesday) when I went to the doctor, she told me that I was 3 centimeters dilated and she went ahead and swept my membranes. After the appointment, we went out to eat because I was craving Five Guys SO BAD. Then we went to walk around the mall because walking around helps the baby drop. When we got home, I bounced and rolled on an exercise ball while watching TV with Marvin, then I went to bed. I was feeling more cramps than usual, but it was expected since I had my membranes swept earlier in the day so I didn’t think anything of it.

At approximately 4:15 AM, I woke up to what I thought was me peeing on myself. Once I got to the bathroom, I realized that my water had actually broken. I changed my pants and then told Marvin to get up. Of course, he didn’t hear me tell him to get up so I said “Marvin, my water just broke, we need to go to the hospital NOW”  and he jumped up out of bed faster than I have ever seen him jump up before. I threw some last minute stuff into my hospital bag (which I had packed since 34 weeks) and headed downstairs. I wasn’t having contractions yet, so I drove us to the hospital since I knew the way and since it was so early because Marv had not had any sleep that night.

Well, 13 minutes later, we were at OBICI hospital making our way up to the women’s center. I won’t even say how fast I was driving. When I got there, I said “Okay ladies, it’s for real this time! My water broke!” Then I had my first contraction of the day. I was doubled over in pain! The nurse asked me if I was sure my water broke, so I unwrapped the towel from my waist and she said “Go get a room ready, her water DEFINITELY broke.” They put me in room 319 and I finally got to lay down and watch some TV. The contractions started getting very close together and by 6 AM I was begging for an epidural. More power to you ladies who go through an entire labor without drugs. Marvin kept trying to go to sleep and I would not let him. He told me that I said “You better not even think about going to sleep right now, I haven’t even had my epidural yet and I am HURTING. ” Finally, at about 8, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural and I felt like a brand new person. He also set me up with a fentanyl drip for when the pain got too overwhelming. I felt better immediately.

Marvin finally got to take his nap. My mom and dad arrived shortly after my epidural. I was so glad that they were finally there. Then a few hours after that, Marvin’s mom and sister arrived. We all chatted for a while and then I started to feel my contractions again. What I did not know was that my epidural was wearing off. I started to press that button for my fentanyl after almost every contraction. The pain was THAT BAD. The doctor, Tobi, came back in to see if I was dilated enough to start pushing, and I wasn’t. I still had another centimeter to go. At this point I was shaking very badly. I had been shaking all day because my body was in transition, but by 2:30 I was shaking so badly that I was shaking my entire bed. Her student assistant, Laura, came back at 3 to check me again and determined that I was ready and then she went to get Tobi and John, another student that I gave permission to watch my delivery.

FINALLY, around 3:15 it was time to push. My epidural had worn off completely and I was in so much pain that I was vomiting between pushes. And yes, there was poop. Tons of poop. Guess I’m a pro at pushing a baby out! After an hour of tears, I finally pushed her out. At 4:03 PM on September 25th, I became a mother. Marvin cut the umbilical cord. I am glad that he did.I didn’t tear at all! I was most afraid of that. While they were cleaning the baby off, I delivered the placenta. Marvin got to hold the baby first. Then the baby got passed around. I wanted to have bonding time with just me holding baby and trying to get her to latch but that didnt happen. Next time, it will happen. Next time we will have that chest to chest! When I got to hold her, I didn’t cry, I just stared at her cute little smooshed up fresh baby face. Yep. We had a moment.

Eventually, everyone left and Marvin and I got to finally be our little family of three. I can honestly say that this was the most traumatic moment in my life. It was also the most rewarding moment, and I have never been more proud of myself. I know that even though I did not enjoy pregnancy, I will probably do it again in a second. Soon, I will feel normal again. Soon, I will forget the pain and misery. Soon, I will forget how traumatized I was after I gave birth.

I love Maxine so much already. I sit and cry because I’m so happy that I finally have everything that I wanted in life. I have my husband, I have my baby, and I have the family that I always wanted.

our family

Parenting

It’s Irritating Really

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I’m trying to figure out why doing this for your child is a bad thing?

Why are parents so critical of each other?

So what they did that. First child syndrome? Nope, it’s called parenting their own way. If they have a second child, they will probably do the same thing because that is how they parent.

I guess people will tell me that I have First Child Syndrome too when I have my kid and do things my way.

Now don’t get me wrong, Baby Sideburns is hilarious!! But this just struck a nerve this morning.