It’s no mistake that the Kentucky area is one of the nation’s premier destinations for holiday events.
With so much to do in our area for the holidays, weekends are full of family fun.
So get your hot cocoa and Christmas sweaters ready, because we have a list of awesome local events to turn up your holiday cheer!
Have a group of kiddos that have a thing for animals? The zoo doesn’t have to be a summer activity and the Louisville Zoo feels the same way! The Zoo transforms into a Christmas wonderland with plenty of activities and crafts for the kids as they wander through the completely heated animal displays. Santa and Mrs. Claus make a big appearance with adorable photo opportunities for your family’s Christmas card. Have some hot cocoa and some delicious treats and spend a fun weekend day at the Louisville Zoo for their big holiday event.
North Pole Express at the Kentucky Railway Museum
It doesn’t get more holiday spirit than the Polar Express and the Kentucky Railway Museum brings this children’s story to life with their North Pole Express experience during the month of December. Kids are encouraged to wear their Christmas pajamas, and listen to holiday tunes while they take a ride on a real Christmas Train! Santa and characters make their way through the train cars after scooping him up at the North Pole. This awesome holiday adventure has become a family tradition in our area, bringing Christmas magic to kids of all ages and kids at heart.
The Southern Lights Presented by the KHP Foundation
Feeling extra festive but it’s a weeknight? The KHP Foundation presents an amazing drive-through light display that draws crowds from surrounding states for over 20 years. Kids can explore a Christmas train, visit with Santa and check out an amazing petting zoo area. Browse handmade gifts from local artisans after strolling through light displays and cross a few loved ones off your gift list. This event is regularly chosen as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, making this a staple event in our area that we look forward to every year!
We are always looking to add new holiday traditions throughout the season to bring a little more excitement to family outings and the Kentucky area has plenty to go around.
Whether it’s a weeknight adventure with the kids after school or a whole weekend day of holiday fun around town, our area is filled with Christmas spirit to help you make some sweet memories with your family this year.
My sister came over to my house over the weekend in search of a specific picture from our childhood. While elbow deep in the throes of my cedar chest I came across the pregnancy test that I had taken over 4 years ago. Neatly sealed in a ziplock page but showing age I was instantly transported back in time.
It was Sunday morning and I was going to volunteer at a local fundraiser. I was so upset because my period was late and there was only one explaination, there had to be something wrong with my cycle. After 18 months of one horrible pregnancy test after another showing one line I knew there was no way that I could be pregnant but I also knew the first thing the Doctor's office would ask when I called on Monday would be if I had taken one. So there I was, in my bathroom, hair a mess, teeth unbrushed peeing on yet another stick. As I pulled the stick away and glanced to make sure it was working properly, I saw it. A little pink line that I had never seen before. There it was almost instantly. I gave it another second and yet another line showed up and my head started going crazy. The test must be defective. Nope, the control line is there. I must be looking at it wrong. Cue my head instantly turning from one side to the other. Still two lines. Really? Dozens of times I had sat in this exact same spot. Dozens of times there was only one line, how in the heck was there two?
I must have had the strangest look on my face as my husband walked in and asked what was wrong. All I could do was stare at him. He asked again, this time truly concerned. I held up the test and said a series of words that I will one day lie to my grandchildren about, Holy ******* **** , there are two lines.
The flood of emotions were unreal. Happiness, disbelief, scared, back to disbelief and then happiness again. I knew one thing in that moment, looking at that stick covered with pee, my life was changing forever and it would never be the same, it was changed in the most glorious of ways.
I have survived pumping at work!! I am up to 14 months and counting of providing breastmilk for my Little. The first 5 of those months were exclusively pumping. It has been a long and hard road that has led us down some interesting paths and left me with some great stories to share!
Returning back to work at 8 weeks postpartum was such a difficult task. Adding to that, we were still having issues working through a tongue and upper lip tie that left me exclusively pumping. Finding the time to pump 6 times a day that included a 9 hour work day with a full 2 1/2 hours of commuting to boot was super hard. With a 19 month old and newborn in tow, I learned early on that a pumping bra to reach hands free pumping would be a staple in my life. Getting creative and doing my hair and makeup during my morning pump was just the beginning. I slowly graduated to being a little more daring and pumping while driving during my horribly long commute. I even started a cashier's morning off right in the McDonald's drive thru when my cover fell off and she stood in horror has my nipples were sucked into those clear plastic tubes!
We have a dedicated Mother's Room in the basement of my work building. It is nice enough with a couch and a ton of magazines but is missing an essential pumping requirement, good wireless service! I lasted about 2 weeks without the internet and went on the hunt for a new place to pump. I tried to convince my mangers that I should pump at my desk but they insisted that the screeching of my pump and flow into my bottles would be distracting to my cubemates :)
I finally found a vacant office. There it sat with lots of outlets, a lock on the door, an empty desk and 4 glorious bars of service. It even had huge windows with a view overlooking a courtyard that our lovely city has provided. The huge windows made it really easy to clearly see on the day I was surprised by the window washer. I'm sure that he was super pumped, pun intended, that day!
Other mom's caught on to my magical space and I was soon sharing my little slice of heaven. I was not a happy camper the few times that I went to pump and found my office occupied. I learned that something was going to be as essential as my hands free pumping bra, a solid pumping schedule. It has likely saved me from attacking a coworker on days when my boobs feel as though they are going to explode. We try to be respectful and considerate of each other, texting or emailing when we are going to be late.
I have provided a link to download the schedule template that we are currently using. Happy pumping!!!!
1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Let me give you a moment to process that... 1 in 4... 25% of pregnancies end in loss.
How many people do you know that has been affected by pregnancy or infant loss? You most likely can't recall 25% of the people in your life telling you that they have.
Unfortunately in our society so many of these parents suffer in silence. There seems to be a stigma behind miscarriage that leaves women wondering what they did wrong? And what could they have done differently? They are afraid to share and concerned of how they will be judged.
How sad and lonely these parents must feel. To feel that your heart is being ripped out and not be able to discuss it.
We must change the way the we approach these losses if healing is to take place. If you have experienced loss please talk about it. Please remember that regardless of the length of time your little one existed on earth, they are special and they are important. You deserve to be surrounded by the love of others and supported through your grieving.
Sharing is processing and processing is healing.
The number one question that I get when I tell someone that I am a doula is "A what??". The second question, "Why?".
Birth is unpredictable, lasting a longggg time on occasion. Sometimes pregnant women (especially women close to giving birth) aren't super easy to deal with. And who wants to live the on call life?? Ready to drop everything and leave your child's birthday party with one phone call??
The truth is, there are so many reasons. Pretty sure since the day I was born, I have nurtured. I have instantly jumped into action and cared for others, even strangers.
I LOVE pregnancy and birth!! I am amazed by the entire process. The fact that two people can come together make a precious life then a woman can grow this baby from nothing!!! Mom grows a NEW organ, yes organ that feeds and helps grow this little life. At some point the baby decides that it is ready to live in the outside world and the mom's body does the other wise impossible and expells it. Her bones move and her uterus helps to push this little creature out. WHAT!?!
BIRTH IS IMPORTANT TO A WOMAN!!! Ask an 80 year old woman what her 15 grandchildren's names are and see what happens but ask her about the birth of her children. Watch her face light up as she gives you details!
Families aren't as close as they once were. For centuries and centuries women would gather when it was time for someone to give birth. You were surrounded by others that had been there done that and knew what you were going through mentally and physically. We just don't have that any longer. We are cared for by our medical system but their priority is a medically healthy mom and baby. That is their job and what they have time for. So that leaves the mental and comforting support to be come from elsewhere. Unfortunately it is nonexistent in so many births.
Postpartum Depression rates are ridiculous. The lack of support during birth and the fourth trimester definitely contributes to this. I truly believe that additional help during this time would make all of the difference in the world!
In Part Two I'm going to talk about how my own experiences contributed to my desire to become a doula!!
We hear the phase thrown around in every birth book, on every pregnancy website and almost certainly somewhere deep in each Facebook Mama page, your ideal birth.
What in the heck does it mean?? Does it bring images of a young mom in a hospital bed with her husband holding her hand to your mind? What about a woman leaned over her kitchen counter with a doula standing behind her applying counter pressure to her back, all in hopes of getting some relief through her current contraction? Heck, you may envision a beautiful woman with a halo of flowers squatting behind a tree with all of the animal kingdom watching on: just for them to erupt in celebration as her baby crowns, a scene straight from Snow White.
Every baby is different. Every birth varies. Every mom longs for a different variation of this ideal birth. Home or Hospital. Relaxed with an epidural or working through those tough contractions and going natural. Maybe it is even in an operating room with
their partner standing by their side during a csection.
Do your research and decide what is important to you and work towards that goal. Know that there are no wrong choices, only your choices.
So on this day, September 9, 2015, my Little's 1st birthday, I want to share with you my version of the ideal birth. I did a ton of research and was so fortunate to find an awesome care provider. Together we made a birth plan, I took a great Childbirth Education Class and put together an awesome birth team. In the end, all of the hard work paid off!