Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pretty Proud of myself

I just sent this letter to my state senate representative I am pretty excited right about now

Dear Mr. Phil Bartlett,
My name is Lauren Radigan and I am emailing you today with a growing concern about our state’s health and safety. I have lived in Scarborough, Maine since the age of 12 and am now a 25 year old resident. Nine months ago I gave birth to my first daughter Mariah Rose Cowie. When I first gave birth I was asked to join several mom groups on Facebook. the mothers of one group believe in attachment parenting, organic foods and products, babywearing, and most importantly, and to my great surprise, not vaccinating their children.
                Before I became a mother I had no idea that parents were actually choosing to NOT vaccinate their children. When I learned there were many mothers making this decision I became intrigued and decided to do some research on my own.  What I found terrified me, due to these mothers who refuse to vaccinate, diseases that were once completely eradicated in America have come back. The measles for example which was believed to have been eradicated in the year 2000 has made a huge comeback. In the year 2011 there were 222 cases reported, and from January 1st to August 24th of this year there have already been 159 cases. If this trend continues it is expected that 2013 will have the highest rate of measles in 17 years. As a mother whose child is currently too young to receive the measles vaccination this absolutely petrifies me, because if my daughter is infected she will have to be hospitalized and could possibly die.
                I am well aware that we are not able to force everyone to vaccinate their children; however, there is still something we can do. The state of Maine is one of only 19 states that allow for philosophical vaccination exemptions, meaning that a parent can submit an exemption to send their child to public school with a sole reasoning that they chose not to vaccinate based on personal belief. In states that allow these the amount of exemptions between 1991 to 2004 have increased from .99% to 2.54% compared to states that don’t allow whose rates only increased from .98% to 1.48%. Out of the 159 cases of measles reported in the US so far a whopping 79% were people who were not vaccinated for philosophical reasons.
                What I would like to see changed in the state of Maine is the ability to receive a philosophical exemption for vaccinations. I believe that if we do not allow this exemption it would greatly reduce the amount of unvaccinated children in the state of Maine therefore greatly reducing the risk of measles, whooping cough, and other preventable diseases spreading in our state. My greatest fear is that if we don’t do something now that more mothers will refuse to vaccinate and we could see diseases such as small pox, yellow fever, and polio make an appearance again in the United States.I know that you are very busy, but I would greatly appreciate any help you could offer so that I could make a change here in the beautiful state of Maine before this issue becomes too large.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Transformation Tuesday

As most of you may new on August 24th I competed in my first 5k. I can not even begin to explain the sense of accomplishment that rushed over me when I first ran 3 miles with out stopping. To begin let me explain, in Middle School gym I was always the last to finish the mile, not even that, but I couldn't even run the whole thing. In High School I could maybe go a mile and a half and that was even after I lost all the weight. When I gave birth to my child I decided that I was going to teach myself to run. I looked up the couch to 5k plan and began my first attempt walking for 2 minutes and running for 1 and a half. I felt so pathetic I was completely out of breath and dying for the stop watch to reach 1.30.

I ran every once in a while, but it was so difficult I started finding other ways to work out. Three months later I decided to push myself with a new running routine walking five minutes running five minutes walking four running four so on until I got to one. It was unbelievably difficult the first couple of days, but I kept pushing. My friend Abby had me sign up for a 5k with her three months from then. I kept running and eventually fell in love with it. The views from my neighborhood, the sound of the birds, the wind blowing on my face, everything was beautiful. Three months later, a week before the 5k, I ran my first 3 miles with out stopping. Let me tell you I almost cried I was so excited. I even took a photo to commemorate the experience.

Running in the 5k was such a blast it definitely helped that it was one of the coolest 5k's I've heard of dressing up in ridiculous clothing while getting color cornstarch thrown at you, so much fun.
After the race I was so pumped.

Stoked to be crossing the finish line

Clearly couldn't stop smiling.

Since it is transformation Tuesday I wanted to update you all on my progress. I'm going to compare my new pics with the original one. While I haven't lost much weight since the last time I updated you all it's clear that I have gained muscle tone and I couldn't be happier about that. Hard work most certainly pays off.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wonder Woman

My very best friend posted this article by Glamour and I can't believe how true it is. Women these days are expected to be perfect housewives, perfect mothers, perfect feminists, perfect models, and perfect employees. Well, let's be real that's just not all possible.  When you become a mother you some how find time and motivation that never existed before, but no matter how hard you try and push yourself there is just not enough time in the day to be perfect at everything. The most important part is to not let your flaws make you feel like you are not wonder woman. I feel like to give you an example I should explain a day in my life.

I wake up before the crack of dawn at 4:45 am  to either do my Insanity work out or go on my run. When I'm done I start coffee, make my daughter a bottle, wake up her and my fiancee, then quickly head to the kitchen to make breakfast and pack lunch. When we have all eaten I run downstairs, get dressed, put my makeup on, and do my hair. I then play with my daughter until it's time to pack her and myself into my tiny two door eclipse. I take an hour long commute dropping her off to daycare and driving myself to work. I work 8 long hard hours selling as much as I can to afford my wedding/new house then go home.  When home I cook dinner, and I'm not talking about from the freeze pre-made dinners, I'm talking about completely from scratch, home made dinner. If it's Jack's turn to cook, I go on a run or complete another work out of some sort. I pick up after dinner, spend more time with my daughter, put her to bed, lay down, watch TV for a half hour or so then go fast asleep.

Seeing it written and thinking about all I do makes me think, wow, I really am superwoman; but then I lift my head take a look at where I am and realize, I'm living in my parents basement and currently it's a mess. I take a look at the scale and see it hasn't changed in several days and get even more depressed. But you know what that's okay, because did you see what I accomplished today? I managed to make a completely homemade meal, work all day, work out, and still have time to play with my daughter. Am I perfect? No, but will I ever be....maybe one day?.....but realistically....no, not ever and no one ever will be.

I like this article, because it really makes you think about what you have accomplished and not what you think you should have.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wedding Venue

So I am a blogging failure and haven't posted in what has it been three weeks? Sheesh, my life has clearly been consumed by wedding planning. Good news is we have finally chosen a wedding venue and we were so lucky to have found it. It's actually quite a funny story; Jack and I had chosen the venue, we were going to go with The Union Bluff Meeting House in York, Maine. The ballroom was stunning, it was right in the beach, and it was an all inclusive venue. I fell in love with it, but just as I had emailed the woman saying I was going to email her with a date so she could send me a contract, I suddenly hated it. I started panicking, because I knew there were no other venues in Maine in our price range. I decided to check back on Theknot.com and all of the sudden there it was, this beautiful barn venue with elegant chandeliers, white walls, and a huge farmhouse for my bridesmaids and I to stay. I had no idea how I had missed this before, it was exactly what I was looking for, but couldn't find. Turns out the place was only just renovated in December and was only put on the knot a couple months ago. I called and set up a tour immediately, I checked available dates on Friday and we chose May 25th. We went and toured the place on Saturday and instantly fell in love, we called the owners that afternoon to book and the 25th was already gone, so we decided to go with the 17th. There were literally only two weekends left from the months of April to October and we got the second to last one. The last one was booked the next weekend.

The Hardy Farm Check it out!

Tell me that's not the most beautiful and perfect barn you've ever seen?

Another awesome thing about this venue is they have a separate lodge for the groomsmen. That's just going to look awesome for pictures. 

They get their own bar and everything!

The only downside of this venue is that it is completely blank slate which means that I have to find every single caterer and every single detail. Unfortunately, the barn isn't large enough to sit the amount of guests I want for a reception dinner and dancing so I have to get a separate tent for dinner, which is fine. My entire wedding is going to basically be DIY so I'm so excited to share the upcoming projects with all of you! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Mother's love

In my post yesterday you all read how my life hasn't seen any drastic changes since the birth of my child. That does NOT mean that I haven't seen any changes. In a way you could say that every single part of my life has changed, but certainly not drastically. So for those of you who are thinking of having a baby in the near future here are a few of the changes that I've experienced since Mariah was born.

  • Before Mariah was born Jack and I spent most nights cuddled on the couch with a bottle of wine and a movie. Now we spend most nights cuddled on the couch with a glass of wine (if we're in the mood), a movie, a baby, and a baby bottle. There's also several singing toys that like to join us as well. 
  • So long to being on time or cooking a meal that isn't burnt. Mariah has a tendency to instantly need something as soon as it's time to walk out the door or just as dinner is ready to be taken out of the oven.
  • We can no longer travel to the store or go shopping with out an entire car filled with various things. Even so we are always missing the one thing Mariah wants which means we have to stop whatever we are doing go back into the car and drive home to get whatever she needs.
  • Instead of listening to the radio in the car we get to listen to the sweet sounds of baby talk or the wonderful cries of baby screaming her lungs out, because Miss Mariah does not enjoy car rides.
  • 7:30am is considered sleeping in
  • Nap time is one of the most treasured things in my life. 9 times out of 10 I'd rather nap than anything else.
  • Getting to do anything is 10 times more exciting than it used to be. When Jack and I go out to dinner it's similar to the feeling you'd get if you just won a free trip to Disney World.
  • Spit up has become just another accessory to my outfit.
  • My purse currently is filled with a pair of baby shoes, a pacifier, and a diaper.
  • There's no level of stress that isn't instantly relieved at the end of the day by my sweet baby's smile.
  • Leaving the house is far more dreadful than before and I avoid it like the plague.
  • Grocery shopping now takes 1.5-2 hours
  • Free time no longer exists
  • People no longer care about you when you walk in the room which is absolutely fine, because it's so amazing watching people dote all over your baby.
  • All our extra money is now spent on diapers, formula, and baby clothes lots and lots of baby clothes. Buying baby clothes has actually become quite an addiction.
  • The biggest change is you immediately are able to love like you never have in your life. A mother's love is unlike any other love in the world and it is by far the greatest feeling I have ever felt.
So yes, to say there have been changes in my life since Mariah has been born would be an understatement. However, I guess it would depend on the person to determine whether or not these changes would be considered drastic. Maybe they are drastic and I just don't see them that way; everything I do now just has an additional step. Life now has so much more meaning and is so much more entertaining. Who cares if the most exciting thing Jack and I do is watch a movie without reading the description. Becoming a mom is the absolute most best thing that has ever happened to me and is equivalent to what I imagine Heaven is like.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Being a mom

A while back I read a post or a quote saying "if your life hasn't drastically changed since becoming a parent you are doing something wrong." For awhile this quote haunted me, because frankly Jack and my life has not changed drastically since having Mariah. I thought that I was a bad parent and that I was doing something wrong. Then I thought, wait a minute who is this quote to tell me whether or not I'm a good parent? Not only that, but if your life drastically changes after having a child wouldn't that mean that you were not necessarily ready for a child? Either way I don't think it's very fair to judge what makes any one a good parent or a bad parent. Mariah is a very happy and healthy baby girl who sleeps through the night and rarely cries, which could only mean I must be doing something right, right?

My whole point is that every body is so quick to judge another's parenting styles when instead we should really be embracing them. There is no such thing as a perfect parent and just because you chose to raise your child differently does not mean you are doing anything wrong. The only bad parenting style are the ones that don't exist. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen parents neglect their kids or chose drugs instead. That my friends is bad parenting, when you are trying to sell your food stamps for heroin money, you are NOT a good parent. If you love your child and would do anything for them chances are you are an amazing parent and don't let any one, any quote, or any book tell you otherwise. Only YOU can decide what is best for your child.

These are just too adorable I had to share.