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Motherhood

Before becoming a mom of two little ones my life revolved around the world of figure skating.

 

It was my passion, my life, my identity and my whole world.

I was lucky enough to make it to a very high level.  In 2006 I was able to qualify for a spot on the United States Olympic Team in Pairs Figure Skating.  To get to that dream though there were many sacrifices.  All of the hard work and dedication to one thing didn’t guarantee me my spot in the Olympics.  Although it was my biggest goal it was never my entire focus.  I firmly believe that the entire reason I was able to make the US team, leave competitive skating for pro opportunities and move on from the glitz and glam of show skating for motherhood was because I always had a healthy outlook on the sport.  I knew it couldn’t and wouldn’t last forever. But there is no doubt that being an elite figure skater shaped me into the person and mother I am today.

Now that I am no longer a “working” figure skater I apply many of the lessons that shaped me as an athlete into my newer role as a mom and step-mom.  Becoming a mom is no doubt my greatest accomplishment!  I absolutely love my new job.  And man is it ever a job, I don’t know how women juggle it all but somehow we manage to everything even if we are completely exhausted at the end of our days.  (Last week I went to bed at 7:45pm!  Yikes.)

Here are a few of the things that spending my life skating taught me and transferred to motherhood.

*Patience and Delayed Gratification:  A sport like figure skating is extremely tough because it takes years to develop your craft.  You are constantly scrutinized and since it’s a judged sport it can be very subjective.  I have learned how to work really hard and to take a lot of pride in working for something that may not have an immediate reward.  Motherhood is much like this too.  You are investing countless hours of everyday trying to mold, guide, and shape a little human into becoming a good and kind citizen of the world.  They are also testing your patience endless times in the day.  It can be you turn your back for half a minute to change the youngest ones diaper only to discover your toddler flipping their cup of apple juice over on purpose to play in the liquid with their hands.  The never ending loads of laundry, picking up after, cooking, cleaning of the kitchen to have to feed people all over again in a matter of minutes, running around trying to keep kids out of danger or occupied while you juggle cooking a meal, changing a load of laundry or just plain looking at your social media for a few minutes of sanity.  It’s constant and never ending but it’s also very rewarding and the greatest joy in life at the same time.

*Time Management:  Any mother can tell you how difficult it can be to have young children.  They demand nearly every second of your time while they are awake and their sleep schedules can smack you in the face too.  Just when you think you have them on a good routine and sleeping through the night, BAM the first tooth arrives!  Juggling everything during the day can be downright daunting.  Our days are very repetitive and our window of time to leave the home is so short.  Usually 9:00am-12pm is all I got and that’s if I force Westlyn to nap “on the go” (in the car because she wakes as soon as we arrive anywhere for fear of major FOMO!).  When we do leave the house I better be damn prepared or I will deal with the wrath of a two year old boy for not having the right granola bar.  So I leave our home with two different sizes of diapers, a bottle for Westlyn, a drink for Maverick, snacks for Maverick, wipes, changes of clothes for both because God forbid someone has a blowout and we need to change our outfits, a stroller that I can attach them both in and is heavy AF to lift in and out of the car, and any other little thing I can cram into my Louis Vuitton Neverfull handbag that will buy me a moment of piece while I run errands or attempt to conquer the real world with two children under 3 years old. There are countless moments that I remember back to my figure skating days of trying to juggle school and practice and then later on coaching and training.  (Many elite figure skaters coach younger skaters on the side for a bit of income.)  Being a busy teen and twenty something kept me out of trouble, made me focused and taught me how to make the most of my time and to be organized at all times.

*Encouragement: The best coaches I ever had and the ones that I worked the best with where the coaches who expected a lot from me but were also extremely kind and encouraging.  That is exactly how I tackle my parenting.  Things can be very black and white with me as a mom.  I will not make three different dinners for everyones preferences each night.  I make one meal for the family and that’s all.  If you don’t like it or eat that’s too bad.  That may sound harsh but children won’t starve and I’m trying to encourage eating different types of foods not just kid friendly pizza and chicken fingers.  I always put a little bit of what we are having on Maverick’s plate.  If he doesn’t touch certain things thats okay, at least it’s there for him to try.  And I don’t force him to clear his plate.  He’ll eat when he’s hungry and hopefully try new things in the process at some point.  Maverick knows now that that’s his dinner and he won’t be getting a PB&J if the meal doesn’t meet his approval.  Of course we have the kid friendly stuff sometimes too (I love a good Mac and Cheese night).  On the flip side I am extremely nurturing as a mom.  I praise good behaviour through the roof because I think children aim to please.  I kiss and want to cuddle them all day long!  I savour the moments I pull little Westlyn into bed with us in the morning and we snuggle together.  She is growing so fast everyday and I’m trying to cherish her baby self as long as I possibly can.  It all happens so fast!  Maverick doesn’t really want to cuddle anymore but he does ask for them before bedtime and it’s the sweetest thing in the world!

*Good Sportmanship: Good sportsmanship may sound like a weird thing to carry on into motherhood but it is something I really want my kids to have.  You haven’t been a skater until you have to face the heartbreak of a last place finish or a performance marred by falls after months of hard work.  Many times you are competing against your friends and club mates.  Loosing with grace and dignity is key.  Congratulating your competitors when they beat you can be hard but it’s the right thing to do.  Sometimes the odds are in your favour and you are the best of that night but there are many times when there is someone out there who does what you do better and it’s good to celebrate them too.  I really hope to pass this on to my children.  The world is a really tough place and I want them to be confident enough in their abilities to know that working and trying your very hardest means more then being at the top of the podium.  You win some you loose some and how you loose shows a lot about your character.

Leaving behind my former life as a figure skater was not difficult at all.  I will never miss the stress and anxiety of competition.  I used to question the meaning of life before stepping on the ice to compete and why I put myself through feeling this way!  I constantly had to remind myself that I wasn’t a soldier flighting in a war or I wasn’t preforming brain surgery.  It’s a sport and supposed to be fun!  But it’s so hard to have that kind of perspective when it’s all you live and breathe for so many years.  I won’t miss the feeling of not skating your best at a very important competition because you got in your own head, or the heartbreak of missing qualifying for the next competition by one place.  What I do miss is the feeling of preforming professionally, nailing a tough element under pressure, and wearing all the glam and glitzy costumes!  Truth be told that is the real reason I started to figure skate as an eight year old.  It was all about those dresses!

xo Marcy

Olympic Skate can be viewed here, a Battle of the Blades skate here, and one of my cruise ship skates here.

 

My Figure Skating Bio:

Year Started: 1990, age 8

Age at first US Nationals: 12 in 1995 (Juvenile Level)

Number of active years skating: 23

Age started pairs skating: 18 in the year 2000

Cities I trained in (in order): Columbus, Cleveland, Newark- DE, Detroit.

US National Silver Medal in 2006

US Olympic Team in 2006

World Team Member

13th place in to 2006 Winter Olympic Games

Number of years Pro: 7

Cruise Ship Shows:  2006-2010

Shows in Germany: 2009, 2010

Battle of the Blades TV Show Professional Skater: 2011, 2013

To say that things around here have been busy is an understatement.  Things have been downright chaotic!  I am finally getting around to loading all the pictures we have taken since our baby girl Westlyn was born while both babies are napping….well sorta.  Westlyn is colicky so she wants to be held and comforted a TON.  While she has been great about taking a long nap in the afternoon wouldn’t you know that today she isn’t cooperating so well.  Sigh.  Mom life is no walk in the park that is certain!  I hope to get into our daily life routine in a future post but today is all about little Westlyn’s birth.

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Westlyn Isabel made her grand entrance into the world the morning of September 12th, 2016.  Her birth was very civilized as she was a scheduled c-section.  With our son Maverick I went into labor naturally.  We waited at home until the appropriate time to go to the hospital and I labored there through the night.  I asked for the epidural as things got crazy intense (kudos to mom’s who can do it without, I’m just not that women!) but had to wait until my doctor arrived so he could order it.  With it being the middle of the night that took awhile, or at least it seemed so at the time!  Once I had the epidural there was immediate relief.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt!  With the contractions being so intense you expect the baby to fully drop into position for a natural birth but Maverick would just not.  It was at that time we agreed to do a c-section rather then wait it out to see if things changed and then risk maybe being in a position where an emergency c-section was necessary.  I had an inkling Maverick would be a big baby, but man were we shocked when I had the c-section and he weighed in at nine pounds five ounces!

We just figured after one c-section and a big baby that would not fully drop we would go for the scheduled c-section.  And honestly it was so easy on my end.  We walked into the hospital in the early hours of September 12th.  I was like a kid at Christmas the night before and hardly slept at all.  Great move when you are about to have a newborn baby!  We checked in and they put all my I.D. bracelets on, asked a series of questions, and started my IV.  Before long we were in the recovery room where I would be placed once the baby was born waiting for the team of doctors and nurses to get into position to start the operation.

*Kelowna moms the new maternity wing is just awesome!  There is now their very own OR right in the wing so you can have your c-section, recover, and then stay all in the same area.  Mom, Dad, and baby remain together in recovery after the procedure and everything is brand new and state of the art.  There are also more private rooms which is amazing!

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When you go into the OR your husband or support person remains in the recovery room until you are all prepped.  That part kinda stinks but it’s the way the hospital does things so I just make the best of it.  My nurses were awesome about making small talk while my spinal tap was being done and Dr. Yoshida, my obstetrician (he also delivered Maverick!) was so comforting and talked me through what would be going on.  Right after the spinal you feel a warm sensation and are virtually numb right away.  This next part gets a little tricky for my memory because the drugs took ahold of me quick and I was pretty spacey.  Once all the sheets were up and things have basically started they brought Todd in to be with me.  I was so happy to see him!  In his face I could see so much excitement but also concern over me and the baby.  It’s such an emotional time and you just want everyone to be healthy and safe.  Things were quiet between the two of us, we were just holding hands awaiting our babies cry and the first sign that everything was okay.  I remember feeling a lot of pressure and a “whoosh” sensation when she was pulled out and then her cry!  She seemed so strong already!  That’s when the pediatrician took over and did all the checks and tests on the baby.  They placed our little girl on the warming bed right in my line of vision and toweled her off, checked all her vitals and weighed her.  She was so sweet and they were saying how she was such a strong little girl giving them tension already!  Todd was able to cut her umbilical cord shorter (it was cut on the operating room table initially) and they wrapped her up and brought her to me so I could see her.  She remained on my collar bone for a few minutes and we just stared at her and marveled at our new little princess!  Westlyn was so alert and really trying to look at our faces.  So precious!

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After I was put all back together and the doctor reassured me that everything went great they wheeled us over to recovery.  I had a REALLY hard time recovering.  I was unable to sit up until that evening without vomiting.  The morphine that was used along with my spinal was too much on my system and made me very sick.  That was honestly the hardest part of the whole procedure.  It was hard to nurse Westlyn without being able to sit up.  My mom and Maverick arrived shortly after I was placed into my hospital room and I was so happy to see my sweet boy!  He was so proud and excited to see his new baby sister and I know he missed his mama a lot.  In fact in the days after when Todd or my mom would bring him over for a visit he knew just where he was going when they would pull into the hospital and he would say “mama and baby.”  So cute and so smart!

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We spent three nights in the hospital and everything was going great until night two Westlyn’s heart rate was dropping quite low when she would be sleeping.  It was all such a blur because the nurse who was taking care of us that day discovered it in the middle of the night.  After no to little sleep in the prior days it was hard to process what was going on.  Basically they took our little girl to the NICU for further observation.  They hooked her up to a bunch of monitors to watch her heart rate and oxygen levels.  It was hard having Westlyn stay in the NICU away from us but luckily for me my room was the one right beside the unit.  After keeping her overnight they did an EKG the next morning which came back perfect.  The kept her another night and did a second EKG the following day which was also good.  Everything was very precautionary we were assured and her pediatrician felt confident it would correct itself in a few days.  She was just getting her system sorted out.  Thankfully that was the case and we were discharged on the 4th day and we were able to go home all together!

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I cannot express how wonderful the care I received at Kelowna General Hospital was!  The doctors, nurses and staff were so wonderful and I marvel at their patience and compassion while doing their job. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to care for all of these mothers and their little babies at a very vulnerable and emotional time in their lives.  I found the hospital to be very comforting for both my pregnancies/deliveries which is funny for me to say because I don’t really like hospitals.  My experience both times was so special and I loved being there and meeting all the nurses and doctors who helped bring our little babies into the world!

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Westlyn Isabel Simpson

September 12, 2016

7 lbs. 9 oz.

8:18am

20 inches

 

xo Marcy

 

 

So at 38 weeks pregnant I FINALLY got around to having some maternity photos taken!  This summer has been so hectic that the weeks of my pregnancy were flying by and before I knew it we were into fall and I was 9 months along.  My amazing friend Kim captured these moments of Maverick and I last week and I am so glad that we were able to make it happen!  I haven’t felt like getting very glam or even doing my hair for that matter in recent weeks so it seemed a bit daunting to do maternity photos so close to my due date.  I knew that the end result would mean a lot to have years down the road.  She captured Maverick’s spirit and curiosity about the world perfectly and I will forever hold onto these precious little memories of mother and son.

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Shop the post:

American Eagle Chrochet White Maxi Dress size XS and on massive clearance!

Flower Crown made by me with flowers and supplies from Michaels.

Maverick pants: H&M

xo Marcy

Well the official countdown to baby is now on!  In mere days we will have a new little baby in our home and Maverick will be a big brother at not even two years old!  My hospital bag is packed and ready to go and I am just hoping that the baby hangs on until my mom arrives on Friday.  I really want Maverick to have his Gigi with him when we leave for the hospital to have his little sister!  Here is what I have packed.

Mommy Hospital Bag:unnamed

  1. Robe
  2. Slippers/Socks (2 pairs)
  3. Nursing Bras- seemless (2)
  4. High Waisted Underwear- Black (4)
  5. Loose Pajama Sweatpants- Black
  6. Travel Toiletries: maxi pads (overnights, thick kind), hair brush, comb, hairspray, hair ties, bobby pins, face wash, face wipes, washcloth, lotion, face cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, hand sanitizer, contact lenses, dry shampoo, dry deodorant and glasses.
  7. Makeup bag: foundation, concealer, bronzer, lip gloss, tweezers, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner.  (Hey I want to look decent in photos!)
  8. Nursing Pillow (I wish I would have had this with me when I had Maverick.)
  9. Nursing Cover (In case you have to feed your baby in front of guests and you don’t feel like whipping out your boob!)
  10. iPad
  11. DSLR Camera
  12. Going home outfit- loose dress, booties, cardigan.
  13. Handbag- Louis Vuitton Neverfull with wallet, care card, notepad, pens, sunglasses, phone, and whatever else I shove in there last minute on my way out the door!

 

Baby Hospital Bag:

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Surprisingly the baby needs less then mommy!

  1. Swaddle Blankets (3)
  2. Sleepers (4)
  3. Cute little headbands for baby girl!
  4. Pampers Newborn Swaddlers (your hospital will give you diapers, ours states you get 10.  I’m bringing extras because I’m anticipating being there three nights with the c-section.)
  5. Wipes (1 pack)
  6. Newborn hats (2)
  7. Socks (2)
  8. Nail Clippers
  9. Jelly Cat Stuffed Bunny
  10. Baby Wash
  11. Burp Cloths
  12. Newborn Mam Pacifiers
  13. Going home outfit (I packed two as Maverick had a blowout on his so you just never know!)
  14. Carseat with Carseat base installed in the car.
  15. Backpack Diaper Bag- packed with all of baby’s things so they are easy to tell apart from Mom and Dad’s stuff.

*I put many of baby’s items in separate ziplock sandwich bags (socks, headbands, toiletries, etc.) since their items are so small.

*A tip on diaper bags, pick something gender neutral and in a monotone color.  Dad will end up taking the diaper bag on outings on his own with the baby and you don’t want the poor guy lugging a pink diaper bag around!

*Also I found that the backpack is the BEST option because you can wear it as you chase a toddler around the park.  And even more importantly you wear it when you travel on an airplane.  I have flown many times with Maverick on my own (I know, crazy!) and having the diaper bag on my back is definitely easiest when boarding a plane, holding a baby, and a purse.  At least the diaper bag is on your back and not bumping into fellow passengers.

 

Daddy Hospital Bag:

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Don’t forget about Dad!

  1. Comfy T-Shirt
  2. Pajama Pants
  3. Hoodie
  4. iPad
  5. Chargers
  6. phone (Dad can send out those precious first texts and pictures to family and friends!)
  7. toothbrush
  8. gum
  9. snacks- candy, power bars, salty snacks, etc.
  10. change and cash for vending machines and cafeteria.
  11. Pillow from home
  12. Swell Bottle (to fill with water and juice for both himself and mom!)

 

All About This Pregnancy:

First Trimester- Felt pretty good.  Not much nausea but extremely tired which made chasing after our toddler difficult.

Second Trimester- We found out that Baby Simpson was going to be a GIRL!  While visiting my family in Columbus I went with my mom and Maverick to have a 4D ultrasound at 17 weeks pregnant.  There we got the awesome surprise that our little baby was a girl and immediately the nickname “Tinkerbell” was born!  My mom called the baby “Tinkerbell” in a round about way when she suggested we go to the mall to pick out her very first dress and it has stuck.  So cute.

We celebrated Baby Tinkerbell with a Gender Reveal Party when my husband Todd arrived in Columbus!  He had no idea what we were having until he cut into a cake that had pink frosting on the inside.  It was a fun little party and a great way to let all of our family share our excitement!

Felt great all and all!  Was able to work out a bit here and there.  Spin and Barre classes.  Had energy and didn’t feel too huge yet.  Started to feel those precious flutters that turned into kicks!

Cravings: Chocolate, Eggo waffles with American Syrup (No Canadian Maple here!), cake, bagels and cream cheese, water.

Third Trimester- I started to slow back down.  Heartburn set in.  I didn’t even know what heartburn was until I was pregnant as I had never had it before!  Now it’s a daily occurrence.  Many bathroom breaks, especially during the night.

I have low iron so I take supplements for it but man it can still dip without warning which leaves me disoriented and without much brain function until I eat right away.

Baby girl has become more active in third trimester and recently slowed down a bit more.  I’m sure she has run out of room!

Weight gain has plateaued at 25 pounds.  I’m happy about this as with Maverick I think I gained around 40 pounds.  I feel like I’m not retaining as much water this time so my legs and ankles aren’t nearly as swollen as they were with him.  That being said my belly is HUGE and I’m not comfortable at all.  I’m pretty much down to only wearing sweatpants and one pair of shorts and a couple of tank tops.  Thankfully weather is staying nice and I haven’t had to wear much else.

Cravings: Orange Juice, Chocolate still (especially Aerobars), Peanut Butter and Jelly, Special K cereal with Strawberries.

Things I have disliked: Salmon (which I normally like), pretty much all meats although I am eating them I’m not loving the taste right now.  Vegetables.

It will be interesting to see how big this baby is.  Maverick was a tank at 9 lbs. 5 oz. and was delivered by c-section.  This time around I think our baby will be a little bit smaller but we’ll just have to wait and see!

 

xo Marcy

 

 

 

With our sweet baby girl “Tinkerbell” arriving in September it’s time for me to start thinking about being in newborn mode again!  It’s funny how quickly you forget everything.  I find myself wondering how many times do I feed a newborn?  How often do you burp them?  How many hours a day do they sleep again?  You are just kinda in the stage you are in and can’t really remember the details of the other stages.  I’m sure it will all come flooding back when she arrives but in the meantime I am going through all of my favorite newborn essentials and I’m also adding a few more things to my wish list!  Newborns don’t really “need” a lot of items but I have found that these below helped a lot with our son Maverick.

 

Newborn Essentials!
Shop the post!
4moms mamaRoo swing, Aden+Anais Classic Swaddles, Medela Freestyle Breast Pump (expensive but worthwhile if you want to pump, it’s the most efficient), Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra (If you pump you NEED this.  Trust me, you will want your hands free while you pump.), Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, MAM Start Newborn Pacifiers (love these, they have many sizes, and the newborn ones are perfect for babies little mouth), Aden+Anais Long Sleeve Kimono One-Piece, Aden+Anais Classic Burpy Bibs (We used these a TON with Maverick.  He spit up A LOT.  These also have a snap so that they can be a bib too!), Motorola Video Monitor, Pampers Swaddlers Newborn (the BEST diapers IMO), SwaddleMe Velcro Swaddler, Boon “Grass” Countertop Drying Rack, Avent Bottles, City Select Baby Jogger Stroller (This Stroller is great if you have two children close in age or twins!  Can configure 16 different ways!  Only downfall is the base is heavy to lift in and out of your car.  And it does not stand up when folded.), Britax B-Safe Infant Carseat (rates high for safety), iBaby Wifi Monitor (great for grandparents to look in on baby too!), Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag (Highly recommend a backpack diaper bag.  Way easier for travel and staying hands free when juggling a little
one.)
And for Maverick! (18 months old)
 Toddler Essentials
xo Marcy