Tell us about yourself and your family.
I'm from Southern Maryland. I loved being close to D.C. and boy do we love eating blue crabs, but I couldn't tell you the last time I actually did, sadly. I Lived in Norfolk, VA for 7 years before moving here a year ago. I taught 4th and 5th grade before having Clark and Henry. I was nervous about teaching math, but once I started doing it, I loved it! I enjoy procrastinating, swimming, cooking, reading mysteries like Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Clue, etc. I do my best cleaning when I put on British period dramas like Downton Abbey and just go to town on my counter tops and floors. My husband is a helicopter pilot for the Navy and is currently on the USS John C. Stennis. They deploy in October. As a family we have enjoyed moving to the area and getting into hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors without the pesky mosquitoes that seem to be everywhere on the East Coast. We have a cocker spaniel named Grover and he's my pal.
What surprised you the most once you became a mom?
Hmmm. How much I hate time. Not enough of it (for yourself or to get anything done), how fast it goes (how is Clark already 3??), or how incredibly slow it can go when you say no TV and then the children don't like the activities you want them to do with you. I'm learning how to make my time more meaningful when I'm with the kids or by myself. I always think as I'm doing the dishes and they are eating dinner...I should be sitting down with them, not standing up. They don't care if the dishes are done when they go to bed. Only I do! Because then after they go to bed, it delays me-time or what shit do I need to get done tonight-time.
Why did you join FIT4MOM? Why do you love it?
I wanted to get back into exercising and sorry YMCA you were great to me in VA, but FIT4MOM just gets my life right now. I need routine, mom friends, a community where I feel I can ask questions or offer advice, and be around other women who are in the same season of life as me. That just wasn't going to happen at the Y. I'm so thankful Karie jumped on me the minute she knew I got a double stroller..."So you're coming to Stroller Strides this week then right?" I love it especially because it helps me keep a routine. I was great at scheduling, routines, and procedures as a teacher. I think I miss the graphic organizers and planners. I have some that I write in now. But I'm not being paid to do it.
What advice would you give a first time mama to FIT4MOM Kitsap?
Hmm I was shy at first, I came to class and left quickly to do whatever, but just keep coming. Now I probably talk too much. And it's just plain good for your body and well being. Exercise, stretching, and adult conversation.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn't have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
Geographically, we could be in VA again. Maybe San Diego. Rhode Island. Italy. Japan. VA is closest to our families, but exploring other areas is pretty fun. Physically I'd like to just feel and be healthy and strong. Once the boys are in school I'd love just a couple of times per week to swim laps. Getting back into teaching or at least tutoring in schools would be ideal. I'm going to say if the obstacles of deployment or money weren't an issue I'd love to travel more. So many places to see.
What is your favorite go to piece of baby/kid gear?
Mmm snacks? Car seats are pretty safe. Right now Henry rides in a tricycle and Clark stands on the back while we walk Grover (our dog) around the neighborhood. Whatever gets it done.
Any advice for new moms? What about advice for veteran moms?
For new moms, find activities that get you and baby out of the house and talking to adults. 1 adult conversation per day. FaceTime with a good friend counts, but not your parents. Also, it took me a while to feel comfortable and confident with leaving the boys with someone other than family. So interview people, get recommendations from trusted people and just find a sitter. Schedule her and leave. I went to the black hole of Target today and when I came back both boys were asleep and later on Clark was like when is she coming back to play? That feels good to get a break and not be worried about them. For veteran moms- share the wisdom, funny stories, tips, etc. I love advice from veteran moms. Eliminating dairy, shifting nap schedules, potty training, just how much blood will there be during birth, best this, best that, etc. If someone asks, please tell!!!