Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hawaiian Family

You can't beat Hawaii for a family vacation!  I do have to say that it takes effort to get to Hawaii, especially if you are traveling with children.  The closest flight (from the west coast) is about 5 1/2 hours so you are on the plane with your children for a while.  But once you arrive in paradise it is worth it! 

Waikiki is the traditional touristy spot, but not worth throwing out of the itinerary!  When I visit Hawaii I love making it part of my stop.  It brings old Hawaii into a newer city that is vibrant and lively.  The beach itself has a lot to offer as far as beauty with the view of Diamond Head and all of the water sports.  Time for a surf lesson!
Kauai is an island of beauty and also offers the warmth of Hawaiian hospitality!  The island is perfect for relaxing with your kids on the beach, a spectacular pool or finding adventure around every corner. 

Staying in Poipu you are sure to always have a sunny day and a beautiful sunset!

The big island of Hawaii offers the most variety from all of the islands and if you are looking for a resort to stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village is amazing and perfect for anyone.  It is a village and it has a world to offer.  The property itself is so big there is a tram and a boat that travel through the resort.  And the architecture is so big it reminds me of something that would be in Rome or Las Vegas.  It offers something for everyone!

There is a full ocean lagoon that flows out to the beautiful Hawaiian waters with water sports and swimming.  You can snorkel in calm waters or eat in one of the many restaurants around the waters edge. 

The variety of entertainment and food is out of this world!  There are so many different restaurants and bars around the property and they all have a different feel.  From 5 star to sitting by the pool and eating  sandwich you will be pleased with the options.  There is no need to leave the property and go find somewhere new to eat and try.  There is also live music around every corner.  The luau is a must see.  It is a traditional Hawaiian luau and it is cool because it tells the story of Hawaii.  The food is also amazing with fresh fish, yummy desserts and traditional Hawaiian food.

Dolphin Quest is one of the coolest things about staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village!  The dolphins are on the property for everyone to look at and enjoy!  You can book different packages to swim and interact with them.  It is truly magical and amazing to have you child interact with such sweet creatures.  You feel as though you are part of their world. 
The pools at this amazing village are endless!  There are kiddie pools, water slides, adult areas, waterfalls, it is a water wonderland!  The property is located on the rocky beach but offers soft sand at the lagoon and at the kiddie pool.  All of the pools offer a bar service for parents enjoying their stay while watching their child swim!

I can't say enough great and amazing things about the Hilton Waikoloa Village!  Traveling to the Big Island offers waterfalls, beaches, culture, volcanoes, black sand, history, The Kona Brewing Company (which is amazing!), and all the beauty of what Hawaii is can be found on this island.  This resort is what the Big Island is all about.  You don't have to ever leave the resort if you don't want to.  You can make it as relaxing or as exciting as you want.  It is truly a village and it is worth the trip!  Visit Hawaii and visit the Hilton Waikoloa Village and experience the magic of Hawaii!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What is trending.... Check it out! Updated Every Week!

                         Alright Stay At Home Moms, make some extra cash!   
So we all blog, tweet and Facebook deals and cool things we find...  If you register and go through this site, now you can get paid for it!  Check out the link below and easily start earning!  I am!                      

Step 1:

Check out our growing list of available brands to see if there are any you use or recommend to freinds.

Step 2:

Share your personalized link to the Brand's Yazing coupon and deal page anywhere!
(your blog, tweets, txts, emails, etc...)

Step 3:

Earn Cash Rewards when people click through and make a purchase!


Jewelry Spotlight!  Check it out, trendy and affordable! we offer a great selection of affordable high quality sterling silver and gold jewelry for all members of the family. 

Kitchen Fresh Dog and Cat Food
Amazing stuff for our furry friends!!! Check out the homemade dog and cat food 
Here is the answer to your computer problems!

Problem with computers are the more you use it, the slower it gets. Ultimately having you buy a new one for a whopping $500. This software keeps your computer running at peak level so it lasts much longer!

Like Mother, Like Daughter 
Like Mother, Like Daughter {hand stamped jewelry & gifts} by Karen & Kaitlin Foster is a mother-daughter team that creates personalized hand-stamped keepsake jewelry pieces you wear on your heart. No two are exactly alike, as it is made just for you. They are located in Middle Tennessee and would love to make a piece for you to wear on your heart ♥

What started out as a "hobby" has turned into a business that has touched people's hearts with their custom and personalized jewelry. LMLD boasts 4,300+ sales on Etsy shipped all over the world.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mommy Sailing

For more on sailing, sailing vacations, sailing instruction, mommy time sailing visit      Moms sail too!

Footage Sailing on the Potomac

Enjoying Mission Bay San Diego

Check out webisodes of A Sailing Journey and for professional sailing videos and webisodes visit

Chill'n on the Chesapeake!

A great day trip to unwind and enjoy the beach atmosphere... The Chesapeake Bay!  Chesapeake Beach is only about 45 minutes from the Washington DC area and it is a great kid friendly beach area.  There are sandy beaches, sea shells, beautiful scenery, and mini waves.  It is great for kids and for a quick trip to the beach!  A lot of the beaches are secluded and you can take a picnic lunch and a cooler filled with your favorite beverages.  If you are in the Washington DC area, the closest actual beach is almost 3 hours away.  The scenery here is just as pretty if not prettier and it is a great atmosphere.  The town of Chesapeake Beach is beachy and fun too with cool restaurants and bars and little shops.  The Chesapeake is an easy day trip (not having to go over the big and scary Bay Bridge!) and the whole family will love it!

Gearing up for Fall!

Gearing up for Fall!  Amazing deal for the family or a couples getaway!

There is nothing prettier then the New England states during fall!   Below is an amazing package that I found and I am so excited about!!!  Check it out and book before it sells out!

The inclusions are as follows:

Seven days luxury motor coach transportation
Seven night’s superior accommodations
Welcome Reception
Seven breakfasts
One grand buffet luncheon at the Mount Washington Hotel
Five dinners including one lobster dinner
Tour of Historic Boston
Vermont Touring
Admission to Norman Rockwell Museum
Apple Barn ‘Taste of Vermont’ experience
Admission to Robert Todd Lincoln’s Hildene.
Admission to Rock of Ages
Vermont Maple Sugar Farm
Visit to Cold Hollow Cider Mill
New Hampshire touring
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram ride
Tour of Mount Washington Hotel
Cruise on the M/S Mount Washington
Castle in the Clouds
Coastal Maine touring
Cruise aboard Finest Kind Cruises
Eight days Northeast Unlimited Tours professional tour director/guide service
Baggage handling (one piece per person)
Hotel taxes; meal taxes and gratuities

Package Prices Per Person:

Kid Free Weekend Getaway!

The Bouchard Inn and Restaurant

Right in the middle of down town Newport RI, where all the action is on Thames St. is the Bouchard Inn and Restaurant.  This Inn is actually a true bed and breakfast, and the breakfast is the best part about staying here!  You get the most delicious freshly cooked French pastries delivered to your room every morning!   The restaurant itself is highly recommended and one of the premier spots to eat at in Newport.  The food is simply amazing and you can't go wrong with it.  The inn itself is very nice.  It is a great place to go for a weekend getaway without kids.  It is definitely more of an adult atmosphere as people are looking to enjoy the quaintness and sweet d├ęcor that it has to offer.  The room itself was OK.  The shower seemed to be a little outdated and there were no windows that actually opened in my room.  The bed was comfortable and each room has a coffee maker and mini-fridge so it makes it very easy to have that offered in the room.  When paying for luxury rates I just expect more up to date appliances and utilities in the room.  Overall the room was nice.  The restaurant is even nicer!  They rotate specialty chefs every couple of weeks to bring in different flavors and flare!  It seems to be working great for them as it is always crowded.  The Bouchard Inn and Restaurant is a great stop in Newport, Rhode Island!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Annapolis Sailing Boat Show

The sailing show in Annapolis is an awesome event for the whole family. There are so 
many fun boats to see and lots of yummy treats for the little one. There is also 
lots of fun bar booths set up for the adults. The docks are set up so that you can walk 
through the boatshow and look at different sailboats, charters, vacation deals, and 
much more! You do not have to be interested in purchasing a boat or a boat 
membership to enjoy this show. You should be able to have a love for the water 
and being on it though if you are interested in attending the show. The 
Annapolis sailing boatshow gives you different ideas about vacation and different 
types of memberships that you can buy to enjoy without having to own a 
boat. And nonetheless it is a fun day in Annapolis with sunny weather to just 
enjoy the town itself. The event itself was reasonably priced and the next event 
will be in the middle of winter. But it will still be worth checking out for 
somebody that enjoys being on the water and sailing. All of the vendors were very 
excited about seeing children and giving them lots of cool loot.  It was a fun family 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Historical American Girl Tea Party

What an adorable event!  This American Girl tea party took place a couple of weekends ago at the historic Carlyle House in Alexandria, VA.  Young girls were able to bring their American Girl dolls and enjoy a "historic tea party".  This event is historic not just because of how fun it is and the enjoyment the children get but it is hosted by a colonial woman (a character) from Williamsburg.  The girls all had a lot of fun watching her explain the proper way to pour and drink tea.  All of the girls got to sit at the "princess" table as it was decorated for each girl with a small tiara for their doll as well.  After the tea demonstration the girls were then able to leave their dolls at the table for the doll's tea party and they girls were able to join their family, or friends, for small tea sandwiches, scones and of course tea.  The event is catered beautifully and the food is delicious.  Everything is decorated with a historic colonial flair and is very elegant.  It was a beautiful fall day and sitting out on the patio of the historic Carlyle House was so delightful.  It was a beautiful day and event to take a young girl to.  And as a mom I am happy to say that it is nice to see that the tickets were only $15!

For more please visit

It is important to play games and have fun with your children as a family!  Check out some suggested links:
For the importance of playing games with children:  
For the importance of children playing board games:

Learn More

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Carousel at National Harbor

For all moms in the Washington DC area, the Carousel in National Harbor is a do not miss for the summer! National Harbor is directly across from Old Town Alexandria, VA, crossing into Maryland over the Potomac River, the Carousel can’t be missed. It is located right as you come off of the bridge and enter into the harbor, it is right along the river. The setup is perfect! There is a big kid’s park as well as a little baby area with play equipment. The park alone is great. The play equipment is fun and it is all gated it. And in the park is a Carousel! The prices are great, you can get an unlimited day pass for only $5.00. That all being said, you can take your children out for a couple of hours and they will have lots of fun with great entertainment. There are also picnic tables there so you are able to bring in food and drinks. It is also so nice how they have reclining beach chairs for the parents to watch their children. It is such a cool little park. It is just enough to make a couple of hours super enjoyable. And if you get tired of the park there are plenty of restaurants and shops to walk around to. National Harbor is always playing lively music, or live music with performances and there is a beach area that is super fun for children to also run around on. So activities are readily available and both mom and child will not be disappointed!
For more please visit

And for today's tip: find a chair that is helpful to your posture and back!  Check out : and see the importance!   And as a mom and homemaker you want what is going to look good, so get some good decorating tips at:  

Image Source

The National Aquarium of Washington DC

The National Aquarium of Washington DC is the perfect place to take a young
toddler. It is on the smaller size of the aquariums been that it is only one
floor. When you first walking you see a bunch of little alligators. That
separates all of the fish. The fish are in smaller size tank and are a bit
higher up off the ground so for some children it is a little more difficult to
see unless the parent pick them up. The really cool thing about this aquarium is
that there are fish from all over the world from different preservations. The
National Aquarium of Washington DC took samples of different fish and their
habitats and put them in each tank. They even have one from the Potomac River.
It is very interesting to see the differences between saltwater and freshwater
fishes and habitats. One of the criticisms of this aquarium is that it is so
small and it costs at least $10 to get in. But I do think that people know what
they are getting into when they go there and the money goes to support the fish,
habitats and the ocean, which are all great causes. There is also endless
amounts of information on each fish and habitat as you go through the aquarium.
There is also an interactive area for children with a lot of hands on
manipulatives. And the gift shop offers a lot of fun souvenirs. Though some
adults may have the criticism of getting bored by this one for aquarium, I
believe it is the perfect place to take a young child especially on a cold day.
They love the fish and will be entertained for hours! It is the perfect amount
of entertainment for a young child to not be overwhelmed with and to learn and
be excited about the ocean.
For more please visit

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chique Handmade Cards

Chique Handmade Cards has a new website!  Come check out our new digs where you can find new products with great deals that are in style and on budget.  Did you know? We do custom orders!  Leave what you need at our contact page and we'll get you started!  We can do anything!  Come by and check us out .  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Nutcracker

A must do for the Christmas holiday season in the DC area is the Warner Theater to see
the Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker. It is truly a special event that captures the
the classic version of The Nutcracker along with local flare that makes it so
special and unique. The show starts off in Georgetown on
Christmas eve, Clara is given a nutcracker that happens to be portrayed as
George Washington and the classic story of the nutcracker happens with a lot local
flair that keep popping up through out the whole performance. In the second
act, during the spring, they even have cherry blossoms all over the stage which
makes a beautiful backdrop. The set design itself is gorgeous with so much
detail. The snow sequence and cherry blossom scenes were breath taking.
The effort and detail that went into the set design is just as amazing as the performers.The Warner Theater as a whole was very impressive. They cater to the children
that would be coming to see this performance. There is a grilled cheese bar
with lots of fun and yummy options and also an adult bar with lots of drink
options. Inside the lobby it was decorated just as nice as the sets that were
inside the auditorium. Everything was ready for Christmas. The Warner theater
is a must see with all of their decor and the performance and show itself is
nothing less of that. The dancers were beautiful, they hit all of
their marks and points with the music. The costumes were amazing.
Everything looked beautiful on stage. I do have to say that it was interesting
that there was no orchestra at the ballet, it was all on a CD. I thought that was
going to take a ways from the feel of the ballet for me, but everything else was
so picturesque and beautiful there was no need to think about the orchestra not being
there. The Nutcracker during the holiday season is a tradition and
special event, and at the Warner Theater they truly made it a memorable time for
everyone that goes. If you have extra cash this holiday season to see a
beautiful show, this is the one check out!

For more visit

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cox Farm

There is something very special about fall on the east coast.  Being from California I didn’t really understand that until I moved to Virginia.  The leaves change so the trees look like they are on fire, the weather gets a little cooler and there is usually some kind of fall festival or some kind of fall event happening that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and that is exactly what Cox Farm gives you.  Cox farm is an operating farm with animals, a pumpkin patch and lots of yummy food and elaborate slides.  It is truly fun for all ages!  There is usually some sort of band playing on a honky tonk kind of stage, apple cider, hay rides, a petting zoo, and an endless amount of entertainment for the children.  Cox Farm’s is located a little west of the Washington DC area and is worth going to.  The average ticket is around $15, which may seem a little steep for a glorified pumpkin patch, but with the amount of family entertainment and fun Cox Farm has to offer it is worth spending a little extra to get a small town feel with a lot of festive fun! 

Check out the video and for more visit for our professional home page or for other family activities and cool finds!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vintage Tins!

Check out this Etsy shop!  It is a great mommy find! They offer unique vintage items including gifts perfect for everyone in your family, fun vintage fashions for moms & dads, one of a kind houseware & home decor items. Even a few items for the little ones!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Residence Inn, VA Beach

Yes beach season is over as we move into fall, but this is the best time to head out and get to Virginia Beach on a nice, sunny weekend.  Virginia Beach is such a fun place to go and as soon as the high of the summer season is over, the fun gets even better.  The crowds die down, not gone, but die down and when it is sunny it is still nice and beautiful.  The Residence Inn at Virginia Beach ocean front is probably one of the best kept little secrets.  It is perfect for family travel and they allow pets so the whole family can enjoy a little vacation!  After Labor Day dogs are also allowed on the beach with a leash.  Being a pet friendly hotel I was a bit worried about how clean everything was going to be, and someone that is a germaphobe with an infant in toe, it was immaculate.  The room was beautiful!  All rooms are suites with a kitchen and living room area and all have a balcony overlooking the ocean, which is amazing watching the dolphins in the early morning with a cup of coffee. 

The Residence Inn is a beautiful hotel with great rooms and great services.  The staff is very helpful and they offer great amenities.  There is a big breakfast in the lobby area every day, there is always fresh coffee and ice water out and some evenings they offer a dinner/ appetizer buffet as well.  It really is a great deal for what you pay for such a nice hotel.  The pool is indoors so it is nice if the weather turns bad and there is also a hot tub.  Staying in a suite with two children is definitely the way to go when traveling to a hotel.  It is so nice to have the convince of the at home amenities.  The Residence Inn in VA Beach is a great hotel that I will visit again, and for anyone else looking for a weekend beach trip it is worth checking out!

For more visit 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Check out Chique Handmade Cards!!!!

Chique Handmade Cards, based out of Washington, MO , is a one woman shop.  Run by Heather Hauck, this shop is able to make just about any card you can dream up, and it’s all done with style in mind.  Right now, Heather is working on the new line of Christmas, Chanukah,  and Kwanzaa cards for the holiday season.  These lines will be debuting sometime in October.  Check out Chique Handmade Cards’ Facebook page,,  and Etsy page,,  for details.   For any type of card for any occasion, or just because, try Chique Handmade Cards.  Chique cards with style in mind!

This is a great find that we just discovered so check it out!!!!  Great for a child's birthday or holiday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pearmound Winery

Pearmund Winery in Fauquier County, VA, is a revamped and newly renovated vineyard that is worth checking out!  This is one of the closest vineyards to Washington DC and is a very easy day trip, only taking about an hour to get to.  Of course there are other vineyards that are in that area as well so you can go just for this tasting or keep moving on to others.  You do taste about 12 different wines, which they specialize in their Viognier and this white table wine is delicious!  They also have the option of buying a barrel if you want to join their club and of course different options of food and other wines.  Their reds are also very well done!  And the people are so friendly and happy to discuss the wines, the process, or happy just to be social with you. 

The setting is beautiful!  It is very country meets Tuscany.  The outside seating is very scenic and relaxing.  You are able to walk through the vineyard as well as the barrel room and it really makes the experience entertaining and a great spot to go wine tasting.  The great thing about this winery is it is very children friendly as well as pet friendly.  There are different games to entertain children, plenty of room for them to run around and your dog will love sitting out on the patio!  This is a vineyard that is making a new name for itself, a great mommy’s day out, or fun for the whole family!

For more information please visit


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July in Old Town Alexandria, VA

Such a fun and wonderful community event for Alexandria, Christmas in July!  All children want Christmas to be more than just once a year, I want it to be more than once a year.  This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate a midyear Christmas.  The Christmas Attic in Old Town Alexandria is the center of all the activities.  There you can meet and talk to Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate Christmas ornaments and play loads of fun games for the whole family.  It is a lot of fun to see Santa dressed up in a summer outfit. 
The Christmas Attic isn’t the only store that participates in this mid summer’s Christmas holiday.  There is a list of stores and restaurants that enjoy getting in the spirit of the holiday with Christmas cookie decorating, games, music and lots of holiday cheer.  There are carolers walking around and a band playing Christmas music.  The spirit of the season is definitely captured with this event.  Besides being in the middle of summer you feel like you are walking the historic streets of Old Town Alexandria during the Christmas holiday.  This was the perfect activity to bring your child to.  My daughter thought it was so cool to see Santa in summer clothes and to be able to tell him what she wants for Christmas.  You can’t beat the Christmas spirit and this is a perfect way to have a mid-year celebration!

Please visit for more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From Us... Plus One, A commentary blog by Kelli!

Kelli's blog can be found at 

Being pregnant at the same stage of Kelli, I felt that this blog entry really hit home as it did for a lot of other moms and moms to be!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the idealist and cocoa puffs.

i've now entered the ninth month of pregnancy. i've experienced almost all that pregnancy has to offer, sans the 'labor and delivery part,' and i have one glaring observation about the whole experience of being pregnant. the best part about being pregnant, of course, is that it will end after nine months. ...oh, and of course, that it will end with a baby. yes, that is important.

however, the worst part about being pregnant, for me, wasn't physical or mental. it wasn't going to work and vomiting in the trash can next to my desk or having an emotional breakdown while walking two blocks to my car in 115 temperatures at 37 weeks. it wasn't the diarrhea or constipation, the crazy, sudden stinging nipple sensations or the inability to wear shoes. it wasn't even the physical exhaustion or the braxton hicks that woke me, sure 'this is the moment of labor... and i'm only 24 weeks!' it wasn't even the mad rush to get everything completed before she arrives, and the crazy midnight assembling of an impossible pack-n-play.

no... the worst part about being pregnant was probably other people.

i know that most people are well-intentioned; in fact, a majority of people are VERY well intentioned. they want to share their knowledge with you. they want to share their birth experience with you, or their medical knowledge with you. they have a need to share what they've learned in books, or through their parents, or on oprah or dr. oz. and it's incredibly REAL and IMPORTANT... to them. the minute my huge belly comes into view, three to five prerequisite questions are asked, after the initial 'so when are you due?' at first, i found it incredibly odd that sometimes perfect strangers would ask such personal questions of me, but now i realize this is just the politics of being a woman about to have a child. the questions range from a variation of the following:

'are you going to breastfeed?' this usually includes a dissertation on how long you should breastfeed.

'have you read ____________ (insert book here, but usually either 'what to expect...,' 'spiritual midwifery,' 'the happiest baby on the block,' and/or any book by penny simkin or dr. spock).

'where are you delivering?' and their inevitable response that what you've chosen is/isn't a good place to deliver and how much they loved/hated their choice.

'are you delivering 'natural' or not?' let's not even bring up the can of worms this answer will open.

'are you going to stay at home or go back to work?' ditto on the can of worms philosophy with this one.

now, these questions seem nice and innocent enough, right? until you are the pregnant woman on the receiving end of them, and every pregnant woman or woman who has kids knows what i'm talking about:

the answers to these questions becomes a political and philosophical MINEFIELD.

who knew that having a baby could stir up so many staunch opinions, ready to be unleashed, with loaded phrases to induce guilt into any (already highly emotional and often scared) pregnant woman. as if making it to 12 weeks (sometimes going weeks without getting the reassurance of listening to a doppler heartbeat) wasn't scary enough, now you have to worry about whether or not that mile you just ran or taste of wine you just had was 'wrong,' due to an onlooker unsoliciting-ly asking you, 'are you sure you should be doing that?

yes, people become experts at being pregnant even if they've never done it. i remember the first-time-shock of a super skinny, 20-something, biracial hipster waitress with hand and armband tattoos eying me when i was obviously pregnant, as i had ordered a cup of coffee in her ultra-cool, super-organic, all-local farmer's market restaurant. she actually had the nerve to pause and ask me, 'now wait... are you sure? can you even have coffee when you are pregnant?'

this, from a young woman who likely believed that labor and delivery happened exactly the way you see it on Grey's Anatomy.

and i'll admit it. i used to be 'that' girl. i was the marathon-running, vegetarian coolio who bought organic, chemical-free, dye-free, fragrance-free soap and used only sulfate-free laundry detergent crafted from the urine of indigenous island folk who spoke only in tongue clicks. i bought recycled toilet paper, and balked at people who had the audacity to eat fast food. i continued to run several miles a week until just a few weeks ago, and i was certainly not going to be one of the women who got swollen feet in the last few weeks, because i was doing everything right.

and now, in this last month it isn't unusual for me to have a dinner that consists of two hot dogs and cocoa puffs. to top it off, most friday nights i beg my husband for a dinner of mcnuggets and fries, and eat EVERY LAST BITE of them, because i can't fathom the idea of having to cook, and i just want to be 'not hungry' and 'not hungry NOW.' at present time i haven't washed my hair in 4 days and i consistently wear my husband's t-shirts and shoes. my feet are the size of a bee-stinging victim's, and i resort to coffee on a regular basis. i've even had a few nights where i indulged in a 1/2 glass of *gasp* wine. ...and not the non-alcoholic kind of my early pregnancy.

it's not that i've reached a point of all hell breaking loose and a total disregard for pregnancy safety, it's just that i've reached a point where i've become way less idealistic and way more practical. i can't be idealistic all of the time; it's too much in pregnancy. the pressure is incredibly intense, even for me: a well-adjusted, 'older' woman with a stubborn streak and high self-assurance. a pregnant mother has so much weighing on her, with what she 'can' and 'cannot' eat, and do, and plan.

she is supposed to lay a certain way in bed every night to sleep, in order to give her baby the best blood flow. she supposed to walk as much as possible, and sitting on the couch at night is frowned upon, because it 'causes the pelvis to relax and narrow, rather than open.' she is supposed to still get up every morning, even with night after night of shitty sleep due to nausea, or peeing ten times, or horrible back and hip pain, and still get to work on time. she is supposed to drive in rush-hour traffic as if it doesn't matter that her stomach is precariously close to the steering wheel. she is supposed to have high-quality, protein packed, perfectly balanced meals and her practitioner will require her to spend a few days tracking what she eats to ensure it meets a certain standard. she will be hounded at medical appointments to go over said food diary. she will be asked if she wants to have genetic testing performed (or be told it is required because she is 35 or older) and she will be dammed by some if she does and dammed by others if she doesn't. she will have to consider the horrible dangers of vaccinations versus the lifesaving and communal benefits they offer, and will again be dammed by someone because she chooses to vaccinate or not.

let's not even approach breastfeeding in one single blog entry, for sanity's sake.

the biggest and most heated topic is the choice of how to birth: 'natural' (the wording even offers the subtle assumption that birthing any other way than vaginally is inferior) or 'medicated' or even worse yet, the dreaded 'c-section.'

and all the while, she has to keep her composure, smile, and try to entertain the endless conversations that inevitably (and endlessly) occur regarding all of these topics, all because when you are pregnant and get together with a group of women, this is what you talk about. and nothing polarizes a group of women like the discussions surrounding these topics. nothing else offers more unsolicited opinions and superiority/inferiority complexes like these topics.

it's exhausting. and in my pre-pregnancy naivety, i thought it was so simple.

i completed the ever-popular bradley classes. i maintained a meat-minimalist diet throughout pregnancy, and i consistently exercised. i faithfully attended doctor's appointments, went to the chiropractor for back and hip pain to avoid OTC pain relievers, and i read every damn baby book there is. i studied zen buddhism meditation in order to have the most 'natural,' calm, and out-of-hospital birth possible. i was super pregnant woman, and i felt like a goddess.

and then, it happened: life's little (big) lesson.

an unsure midwife and subsequent ultrasound at week 35 revealed the impossible: this baby is breech.

breech means that your options become more limited. depending on where you live, this means 'automatic c-section.' this means a hospital, an invasive procedure, an epidural, no 'natural' laboring hormones, and weeks of recovery while taking more prescription medication in order to cope with the pain while trying to nurse your new child. i had never even considered this might happen to me.

of course, there are underground networks that you can research. i tell my story to people and suddenly i hear there are things i should be doing:

-find a doctor or (better yet!) a midwife who will attend a breech vaginal birth! see if you can have one out of the hospital while you are at it!
-try chiropractic care to get the baby to turn! insurance won't cover it, but it's so worth it at $65-$100 a session!
- try hypnotherapy!
-try acupuncture!
-try moxibustion!
-find a doctor willing to try an external version!

you must, must, must now exhaust these resources. you must not surrender. you must not give in, you must rally against the fate of having a procedure you didn't want. you must not leave any stone unturned. you can even fight it to the end: allow yourself to go into labor, show up at a hospital, and refuse a c-section! you can! fight for your right to labor!

well, you know what?

i'm calling uncle, i'm calling time out, i'm calling BS.

i know i have these options. i know that i can rally until the last minute against what fate is bringing me.

but at 37 weeks, quite frankly, i'm tired. i'm more inclined to surrender than to fight it. this does not make me any less of a mother-to-be.

if she's breech and decides to stay that way.... let her, dammit.

it isn't due to some type of psychodynamic underlying fear that i have that she won't turn. it wasn't because i had coffee, or i ran that 5k at seven months. it wasn't because i had a hot dog or two or because there were nights i just couldn't sleep on my left side anymore. it's not because i haven't relaxed enough or given 'hypnobabies' a chance. it's not because i've failed to try moxibustion or the knee-chest position three times a day.

or it might be all of the above. it doesn't matter.

there comes a magical switch for someone like me during the ninth month of pregnancy, and it goes like this:

i don't care how she gets here. it's no longer my battle and frankly, it's no longer my choice to force. it's her choice, and as long as she gets here safe and happy, i'm the mother of the year because i let it go, and let it happen.

that's the right choice.

and dammit, i RESERVE my right to say these things. i reserve my right to say enough is enough and not feel guilty that i didn't exhaust every option in order to get what i wanted. i reserve the right to bitch about people who piss me off with idealisms that i just can't practically adhere to. and i fully uphold their right to be pissed off and abhorred by my heathen words. that's what makes us parents. we judge, we feel superior and inferior, and we have to live with the choices we make.

in the end, i've lost the ability to argue most points about pregnancy and idealism. it isn't fair, and it isn't productive. and honestly, THANK GOODNESS for this breech reality check. i needed it. the choices women make before, during, and after pregnancy are as intensely personal and sacred as her own religion, politics, and morals. ...and they should all be respected as such. the last thing we should do is alienate someone who is doing what they feel most capable of doing. i believe we are all truly operating at our highest capacity at any given moment, and if that means a dinner of hot dogs and cocoa puffs the night before our scheduled c-section, then dammit...

that's ok.

maybe next week i'll have the organic spinach salad and tofu while reading the buddhacarita.

(or fifty shades of grey. i'm sure it all will eventually have implicit meaning.)

i take a deep breath and shout my rallying cry:


(i would love to give credit for the blog photo, but i have no idea anymore where i found it or how to give it credit. if anyone does, please let me know for i find it smart and hilarious.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Washington Plaza, DC

                The Washington Plaza Hotel is a little tiny slice of Miami put in the middle of Washington DC.  The architecture of the hotel is very modern and airy with elegance.  It is light and vibrant with some color which is different and refreshing for being in Washington DC.  Most of the hotels in DC don’t have the resort fell to them and the Washington Plaza definitely does.  The rooms are very spacious with comfortable and fun colors.  There is a huge presidential suite that can be rented for a very large amount of money, but if you are looking to have a Miami experience in DC, and have the money, then it could be worth it!  The big draw to the Washington Plaza Hotel is that there is a beautiful outside pool.  It is very chic and there is pool service from the bar and restaurant.  Most of the hotels in DC, if they have a pool, it is indoor, so this is one of the most appealing features of the hotel. 

                The hotel also offers two tasty restaurants, the International Bar and Ten Thomas Restaurant.  Ten Thomas serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, which for the most part is all reasonably priced.  Some of the entrees may get a little expensive for what the meal is, but most everything is locally grown and the chef prepares everything fresh in a very chic setting.   The food is very tasty and the setting makes a fun day or night out.  The International Bar serves a variety of fun drinks and cocktails and offers a smaller menu that is very affordably priced.  I don’t know if I would say that the hotel is an overall child friendly stay.  There were children in the pool and walking around with families, it is to be expected when you visit Washington DC, but most of the singles laying poolside were not happy when they got splashed.  Though this would not rate as one of the top hotels to take your children, I think it is fine to take children there, my toddler did great, but it is a more mature cliental.  No matter what age you are staying at the Washington Plaza Hotel is an enjoyable experience. 

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