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Halloween has got to be one of the most fun holidays!  Growing up my mom wasn’t really into making costumes for us so it was either a store bought plastic one or one we came up with by ourselves.  I’ll never forget the year I was Claudia from the Babysitter’s Club or when I was a court jester by glueing red glitter to my shoes.  Please tell me how red glitter makes someone a court jester?!

Well, this is Christopher and Ivy’s first Halloween.  Holidays  are just so much more fun when you have kids.  This past weekend we had a Halloween party for our mommies group and we were surprised when my mother-in-law showed up with HAND MADE costumes for the kids.  It was so cool!  We had the best costumes there.  Our own little Raggedy Ann and Andy.

Kids are just so cute!  Leave us a comment telling us your favorite costume as a kid.DSC01282

Recently, two friends of mine from high school had a baby.  I say friends in the way you say “oh, yeah I was friends with that guy in high school, they dated so and so.”  Really, I knew these two people in high school and haven’t looked back since.  But, this past week has changed that.

Watching, or I guess reading about what this family has been going through puts me back 10 months ago to what I was going through with Christopher and my own family.  Usually, I talk about Christopher being a preemie and navigating the NICU with nonchalance and a laugh but, reliving it through the Allens has brought it back in a new light.  Seeing it through another family’s eyes is showing me just what a miracle we experienced and is making me pray just as hard for this family as my own.

I have added a link to the Allens’ blog for anyone that would like to send prayers their way.  I am also adding a tab to our blog titled “Christopher’s Story.”  I’ve been meaning to write his story for him so, that one day I can tell him all about his crazy first weeks of life.  I’m also doing it for people like the Allens and other NICU families so that they can see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I watch my nearly 10 month old, Ivy, and smile as she pulls herself across the carpet and up onto the ottoman.  She looks over her shoulder to make sure I am still there and I clap and congratulate her on this accomplishment.  And in that precious moment, a shadow passes over me and I think why isn’t she crawling?

Anyone I spend time with knows that this has been a constant concern for a few weeks now.  And although, Ivy only recently began spending time on her tummy without complaint, I still find myself questioning her development.

Being a new mom, I am constantly pouring through book after book reading and taking in everything I can about parenting, babies, feedings, diapering . . . phew, it is exhausting!  Every book I have read says that crawling is not essential and that babies will crawl in their own time.  But still the concern overwhelms me and now it takes away from the moments that I should be treasuring.

So, here is my new goal . . . no more talk about crawling.  If Ivy crawls, then Ivy crawls.  For now, I want to enjoy my beautiful and spunky little girl as she plays, claps, and waves bye bye.  These are the moments that I don’t want to miss.  Crawling concerns are taking me away from her and I won’t allow it anymore.

I challenge you to take charge of that shadow when it passes over you.  You know what I am talking about!  Those little thoughts that creep into your mind and make you question yourself, your child, your family.  Tell the shadow no, you will not take this moment away from me.  Then take a breath, look around and smile.  It really is a special feeling.

Texas weather is great.  One day it’s sunny and 75 degrees the next cloudy, raining and 55.  What is that saying??

“If you don’t like Texas weather, wait 5 minutes.”

Well, it’s been raining pretty much for weeks on end.  Normally, I try to walk 1-2 miles at least 4 times a week.  There is a great park that I go to with my mommies group about 5 minutes from my house and if I can’t get there, I’ll brave the 30 year old sidewalks in my neighborhood.

So, when it’s raining and you need to get out of the house and let the kids play where do you go??  Here is a list of good places to walk and play…

1.  My favorite but a little far from my house is Grapevine Mills Mall.  The entire circle of the mall is a mile long.  They even advertise that on their website.  You don’t even realize that you’re walking a mile when there are so many great stores to window shop in.  Just remember to walk quickly and keep your heart rate up to actually get that exercise in!  I try to make sure I do one lap before I stop to shop.

2.  The Shops at Willowbend…this is my other favorite because of their play place for kids.  The mall itself is pretty big and you can walk the bottom floor and then the top and probably get in about a mile.  The play place is great!  It is cushioned and looks like a big plate of steak and eggs.  They clean it twice a day at 11 am and 2 pm.  They actually make you leave while they clean it.  This makes me feel better with all the stuff about the flu going around.  This is a great place to go if your little one has a hard time being in the stroller for long periods of time.

3.  NorthPark Center… one of the best malls in the state of Texas.  People come from all over to go to this mall.  They have stores like Versace and Lacoste mixed in with Macy’s and EXPRESS.  This is a great place to people watch while you walk.  They also have a library for the little ones!  It’s the only mall in the country with a library inside of it.  The website also has a map specifically for mall walkers.

These are my top 3 malls to walk in.  Where do you go to exercise when the weather isn’t cooperating??

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Lil Tulips
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