Friday, April 30, 2010

Riddle me this, Batman

So I am dying to know. How on earth could I start working out again, eating better, and GAIN WEIGHT? Ugh, I know, I know, I hear it all the time, “It’s because you are gaining muscle…” Blah, blah, blah. I don’t want to gain muscle, I want to burn off this fat. Ya know, the baby fat rolling around on my belly and legs! Ugh. So.unfair. On the upside, I may have gained 4 lbs, but my pants are fitting looser, which means, I either haven’t washed them recently or I am slowly melting away that body fat. I guess there's always the option that Techy slipped me some of that juice from Alice in Wonderland and I am slowly shrinking - so slowly that I don’t realize it. But that’s highly unlikely since I usually pour his drinks – not the other way around.

In other news, I am working on a remarkable bathroom remodel. Ok, so not really a remodel - I am more or less doing a bathroom “makeover” – taking what I have and making it look better. The process is nothing if not tedious. Especially since my bathroom is extremely tight quarters. But it started with wall paper.

Oh wall paper…. We have quite the hate-hate relationship, wallpaper and I. Not that I hate all wall paper. Wall paper that is professionally done is not bad. Don't get me wrong though.... After this, you probably won’t find any in my house, but whatever, it’s not bad.

I do think that all wall paper may hate me, though.

The wall paper that we had in our guest bathroom was ridiculous. It was not professionally done – you could see every seam. It was peeling up around the shower stall and at some of the seams. Basically, it was just begging to be peeled off the wall.

And that I did…

Here’s what it looked like when I started.

You can actually see two or 3 seams in this picture.... Seriously!

Wonderful faux finish wall paper. Again, not criticizing, but faux finish is not in my blood either. I much prefer clean lines and sharp colors.

And the color….

You can’t really tell it from these pictures, but the trim and the window frame are a creamy color that I despise. I know it is just because when the previous owner redid this bathroom he got a really good deal on a cream bathtub, but really…. Everything looks dingy!

Ahhh, Feels better already....

Note: If you ever get angry and need a good way to vent your frustration, peeling wall paper may help!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

18 days

Today I am counting down to vacation....

Admittedly today, I would rather be here

with him

And I know that he would rather be here

even if it is with this

We really like vacation...

I would also like to be here

or here

And I wouldn't mind being here, either...

As long as they are with me

It wouldn't be any fun without them!

Friday, April 23, 2010

In the city of the land of Oz

Just so credit goes where it is due, I stole the title from my girlfriend. The girlfriend that I desperately tried to go visit last night. Who lives in the city. (Who will probably be appalled that I called her a girlfriend, so old-school of me!)

Originally, we were going to work out together, but then we opted for a quick visit and tour of her new home, which she has somehow lived in for almost 6 months without me being over to visit. I realize what a very bad friend I am. Extremely self absorbed with my new baby and whatnot. But no excuses….

Anyway, I got home from work, printed off directions to her house and headed out with Little Man in tow. I am always intimidated of the city, being such a country bumpkin, so I took a good look at the map before heading out. Didn’t look too difficult, so I figured I would be ok.

When I got off at her exit, I quickly remembered why I am so intimidated of the city.

Seriously. Making a left at W. Union Street is a little difficult when there is no street sign for W. Union Street. Need I say more?

Probably not, but I will.

I finally find the street I am supposed to make a right turn on and it is a one way street going left only. Nice. Somewhere in this city, I am supposed to be able to make a right on this street.

And one more thing

How do you go from way cute houses to slums in one block? For real? How does that happen? I thought I was going to die. And there are freaking stop signs everywhere. And every time you stop people are walking up to your car, in front of your car, around your car…. I was so afraid I was going to end up in some bad car jacking gone wrong. And with the baby in tow. I was a nervous wreck.

Finally, I found a road I recognized and I made the turn trying to get back around to a nice section of town. But I couldn’t get over far enough and somehow ended up back on the interstate. In wall to wall traffic. With no exits for 2-3 miles. Nice.

And this, my friends, is why I don’t go to the city. Ever. And our city isn’t even that big a city. I am way rural. Like Beverly Hillbillies Rural.

But I will go back.

After I buy myself a GPS with a setting for “No Pop-up Ghettos”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A love affair

I love technology. Obviously.

I love the convenience of talking to people without having to actually talk. I love the fact that I can watch all my favorite shows without having to stay up late to watch them. I love the fact that I can know all about what is going on in someone’s life without ever talking to them.

What I love even more is watching the older generation enjoy the wonders of technology. They don’t fully understand it, but they love it. This morning one of the ladies in my office, who just had a new grandbaby a few months ago, had obviously gotten a picture message on her cell phone and was toting it around to show it off to everyone. It’s so funny to me.

I can’t even go on Facebook anymore without seeing a comment from a former teacher, youth leader, or volleyball coach.

I love the fact that my mom knows how to text message.

I love the fact that everytime my father-in-law goes out of town, he feels compelled to send me a picture message of whatever sight he is seeing.

I love the fact that my grandma has a cell phone and email.

Now if we could just skip to the part where we all have flying cars and robots named Rosie, my life really would be complete!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pookie and Techy's Day Of Fun!

This weekend was a busy one. But last Thursday night, Techy stopped me while I was getting Little Man ready for bed to advise me that he had a surprise for me. Apparently he had asked my mother-in-law to watch our little guy for Saturday night so that we could go out for a well deserved night out. And he was so excited about it. He kept mocking that scene from Friends when Janice drags Joey back into the apartment chanting “Janice and Joey’s DAY OF FUN!” But we knew we had a lot to do before we ever made it to our “Day of Fun”. And we made a list.

-Oil Change
-Yard work
-Chop off the stump in our flower bed and mulch over it (We had a wretched plant that has been eating one side of our house since we moved in. Thankfully, during one of the 3 blizzards we had this year, it kicked the big one and fell over, so Techy and the neighbor chopped it down last weekend and my house breathed a long awaited sigh of relief)
-Clean Garage
-Laundry (never got done)
-Clean house (only partially done)

(We are list people)
And that’s only about half of what was on the list.

By 3 o’clock, we were exhausted and not even halfway through the list, but we had to stop if we were ever going to make it to dinner on time. And off we went.

We had a phenomenal time together. We went to dinner early. Amazing restaurant. Delicious food. Amazing food. It was like I have never tasted food before. The d├ęcor of the restaurant was amazing. They seated us at a couch with a table in front of it. (Almost like being at home with a personal chef and no tv) and proceeded to feed us all sorts of delectable delights. (I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed the food.) Our original plan was to head over to the mall after dinner, but since dinner took a bit longer than we had expected, we opted to head back towards home and pick up Little Man from the in-law’s house.

But, on the way home, we passed one of my all time favorite stores….

And I begged Techy to let me stop. So we did. Apparently, Techy has never been in a Big Lots before. He couldn’t get enough! Everytime I would try to make my way to the register, he managed to find something else amazing to look at. He reminded me of that guy from the Staples commercials – “WOW, THAT’S A LOW PRICE!!!”

And for the record, he walked away with a treasure.... A Solar Tiki Statue similar to this beauty

Now imagine a blue glow and you will have a good image of what he got. Talk about delighted. I couldn't have pried it from him if I had tried. (Which I obviously did not. He was far too giddy about that thing.)

If only every date could result in such an amazing take-away. Obviously, this date classifies as one of the top dates of all time! (I will just say it, we are very simple people...obviously)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Truly Professional

So I love to dole out unsolicited advice…LOVE it. The only thing better than unsolicited advice is solicited advice. But since that hardly ever happens….

I think it’s because I agonize so often over everything in my life, and if I had had someone to dole out some realistic advice, I might not have freaked out as much over my life. Not that I heed all the advice I hear.

Others: You should really try that all protein, no carb diet.
Me: No thanks! I love my carbs!

Others: You should be watching Dancing with the Stars! It’s amazing this season!
Me: I am still really angry at Bachelor Jake for picking Vienna and I really can’t stomach watching him be happy every week knowing he is with her. Also I can’t bear to watch Kate Gosselin trip over her own 2 feet week after week.

Others: You should really deliver that baby all natural. It is an amazing experience that you will never forget.
Me: No thanks! I enjoy the fact that I don’t have to suffer for hours in order to get my baby into this world, and I am going to relish the joys of technology and science as I deliver. Also, I don’t want to remember the horror that is natural childbirth.

You get the idea.

I, on the other hand, helpfully dole out SENSIBLE advice.

Me: You should really clean the dirt out from under your toenails before wearing sandals. Really.
Others: Thank you! That is a very helpful hint! I am so glad you brought that to my attention!

Me: You do realize that wearing white pants only serves to make your hips look wider? Wearing black pants is much more sensible for someone who wants to make their hips look smaller
Others: Wow, you are a fashionista! Thanks!

Me: When you want to boss someone around, but don’t want them to get angry at you, always call them “hon” or “sweetheart” and make it sound as sweet and southern as possible. The more southern you sound, the less they can get angry with you.
Others: You are so right! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom!

All that being said, I realized this week that I have bestowed advice to everyone I know who has had a baby since me. Sad, huh? I probably should apologize to everyone for that. Sorry, guys.

I really was expecting the worst when I gave birth to Little Man, (probably a result of my miserable pregnancy) and really got the best. Labor was not bad, thanks to the help of lots and lots of meds. Delivery was a breeze. (Ya know as far as pushing a watermelon out of your hoo ha can get) Nursing was ok. Clogged mammory glands suck, but ya know…it comes with the territory. Baby sleeping through the night…check! And I want everyone else to experience that. And so I dole out the advice that helped me and things that I learned along the way that I wished I had known beforehand. Should I be sorry for that? Who’s to say.

Looking back, I think I do and have done this about everything.
-College? Let me share my opinions….
-Getting married? I would LOVE to weigh in on which dress your mom should wear and how you should style your hair.
-Redecorating your house? Have you seen my mad decorating skills? Let me show you how to balance that room out!

If I have done this to you, please know that it is only because 1) I agonize about decisions and 2) like to pretend like I know everything. And love me anyway. K? Thanks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And I don't mean slippers or socks

Let’s just be honest, it’s not every day that you are truly happy with your life and the way things have turned out for you.

But today…

Today I am oh so happy with my life. That isn’t to say that all is right with the world, but that I happy to be at this stage in the game.

Last night, we packed up Little Man and headed over to our friends’ house for the evening. As I sat there holding their 9 month old and my 3 month old, I couldn’t help but relish the moment. As we all laughed and cried about babies teething, nap times, crawling woes, dirty diapers, work drama, day care drama, family drama. And I couldn’t help but think that these are the moments we all look forward to. Then we talked about our friends who are getting married and planning their own families and all the drama that comes with that.

This is life.

Crazy, hectic, emotional, stressful, sad, and beautiful. Sooooo beautiful…

I have warm fuzzies. Don’t you?

I am so thankful for this life that God has given me. It’s pretty awesome.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fun Facts in the World of Mommyhood

1. Losing the baby weight is neither fast, nor easy.
People tell you this when you are pregnant, but when you are that miserable, you just don’t care. Exercise makes you even more miserable. (For the record, pregnancy=constant sweating, whether it’s over the bowl of a toilet or a result of the giant bowling ball you are carrying around in your stomach. Anything that creates extra sweating=even more misery and should be avoided at all costs.) That’s not to say don’t exercise. Believe me, I am poster child for consistent exercise while pregnant. I walked 2-3 miles a day 3 days a week until 2 weeks before I delivered, and my labor and delivery was minimal in comparison to several others’. But hard core exercise to keep off the baby weight is nearly impossible. I had wanted to run well into my pregnancy, but everytime I warmed up enough to break a sweat I would get sick.
All that being said, I gained somewhere around 50 lbs. with this kiddo. So much weight so little time. I lost about 10-15 lbs. of it after I had him and now I have about 35 lbs to lose. It’s depressing. I feel like I look better, but I haven’t lost any weight, so I guess my goal at this point is just to get healthy and not worry about weight.
Although…that scale is such an easy way to gauge one’s success.
I guess the tape measure is just as easy a way, but I don’t have one anymore. Oh well.

2. My legs are rebelling against me.
Last week I tried to start running again. I made the stupid assumption that it would be easy to get back into it. I mean, hello, I was running like crazy before I got pregnant. So the first day I ran a mile total. Meaning I ran the first ½ mile and the rest was intervals of running and walking. The next day I decided it would be a good idea to push myself to 2 miles. I made it ¾ miles without stopping and then intervals of walking/running for the remainder with a sprint to the finish (honestly, it was a lame attempt at a sprint, but whatev. I gave it all I had at that point). The next day I was sore and had shin splints. By the end of the week the shin splints were gone, only to be replaced with pain in my knees that is so ridiculous, I can barely bend them. My hopes of a May 5k are quickly disappearing with less and less time to train. Ugh! In the meantime, I am exercising in other ways – walking, cross-training, pilates, etc. Anything to get the heartrate up. I need a good bike to take the stress of my knees. Anyone know of anyone willing to donate a bike to a good cause?

3. Crying it out is not just for babies.
So Little Man is more than amazing. We are in the process of dropping his last feeding of the day, the 8:30-9 pm feeding, which means he is sleeping somewhere close to 11 hrs at night. He just started that this weekend. Today, the little guy is 15 weeks old and he has dropped 2 feedings in the last 4 weeks. The “dream feed” or 10:30 feeding was dropped somewhere around 11-12 weeks. (at the time he was cluster eating at 6:30, 8:30, and 10:30 in the evenings – when he dropped the dreamfeed, we moved the feedings to a looser schedule 6:30-7 and 9-9:30. Over the last few weeks, I have slowly been edging the last feeding back and watching him eat less and less at that feeding.) Finally, over the weekend, I moved the 6:30 feeding to 7 and let him go without that last bottle. He managed to make it to 6:30 am. This morning he made it to 6:45 which means we are edging ever closer to that 11 hr mark.
HOWEVER, that is not to say that all is well in the land of babies. For you see, I have failed as a mommy. HARD CORE FAILED. I committed the unpardonable mommyhood sin – I rocked my child. I enjoyed it. (Secretly, I still do.) But the more and more I think about it and the more and more I read, I have decided that I am doing my child a disservice by not letting him learn how to sleep on his own. It is one thing to look at it as a nuisance and not rock your child for that reason, (obviously not the case for me since I am one of those sicko’s who enjoys it) but I am robbing him of the opportunity to learn how to do it on his own.
In that light, how could I rob my child of his first opportunity to be independent? But oh is it difficult.
Saturday afternoon, after 2 easy morning naps taken while running errands in the car (my baby loves sleeping in the car) I put him down to cry it out in the pack n play. Only to have a 2 hour crying fit on my hands. To say that I was stressed is downplaying it.
Now, this isn’t the first time this happened. I tried this for weeks solid after Little Man was first born, but it never worked. He only cried harder and for hours at a time. Finally, I decided that I would wait to fight the battle until he was a little older. And here we are.
Yesterday was a bit better with only a 1 hr crying fit at 1 nap – all others and bedtime were only 20 minutes tops. Totally doable.

4. Techy’s birthday gift of the century.
This year for my birthday, Techy got me something that I could have never guessed, even if I had tried. He always comes up with something very unique for me. Not usually anything on my list, but always something I want/need. Techy bought me an iPad. To be honest, I feel completely unworthy. I mean, until last week, I didn’t even know what an iPad was. (I know, head in the sand, right?)
Fortunately, for me, I quickly got up to speed and am uber excited about it. It’s waiting for me, when I get home. Can’t wait to try it out. I promise to brag all about it over the next week or so. Be prepared to be completely jealous.

5. Disappearing act.
Last week, someone close to me disappeared for a couple days. Limited contact would be putting it mildly. When all was said and done and she had returned home, we learned that she had secretly been dating someone online and had gotten herself a passport and a plane ticket and flown to Nova Scotia to meet him. I know...NOVA SCOTIA? Pretty much our response, too. And no, I am not kidding. Turned out fine. At the time, it was a horrible nightmare that really could have played out into something really horrible.

Ok, so I think I have caught you up on everything since my last post. Don’t you feel better now? Like your life is complete? I know, I know. I have that affect on people. It’s a gift…really…a gift. You are lucky to know me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't call me fatso, you fatso!

I really hate that appearances mean so much in our society. Even more so, I really hate what appearances mean to me. I hate that I hide from pictures with my son because I don’t like how I look right now. I hate that I always intend to have Techy take pics of us when I look nice – I have an 3 month old son – I spend 99.9% of my time at home looking sloppy with spit up on my clothes and my hair pulled as far away from my face as possible. I hate how hard it is to find clothes to flatter this bigger version of me. I hate how I absolutely dread meeting my brother’s girlfriend in 6 weeks because I don’t want her to think of me as her fat future sister-in-law. I hate that I feel torn between spending time with my baby boy when I need to be exercising. I hate that I am completely jealous of people who can afford the Y (where daycare is provided) or who have free time to work out during the day while their kiddo’s are napping. I hate that my treadmill kicked the big one last year right after I got pregnant…probably a result of 6 miles a day/5 days a week/50+ weeks a year/almost 3 years. What I really hate is that I thought I was fat before I was pregnant when I looked like this.

Ahh, to look like that again.

Last night I continued my journey to fitness by jogging with the hubs around the neighborhood pushing the new jogging stroller. For the record, the hubs is no more dedicated to working out than I am, so I have to be the motivator. And when I feel like stopping, he lets me. As much as I can’t stand Jillian Michaels, I need her on my butt to keep me going. Anyone wanna volunteer to be my Jillian? Anyway, ¼ mile into the run, I remembered something very important. I have asthma. Allergy triggered asthma to be exact. Which is one of the main reasons I spent so much time working out indoors on my treadmill. I was wheasing like a freight train.

I made it through the mile, though. After several stops for both me and Techy. On the upside, Little Man loved the ride—even the bumpy parts. I am planning to go running with one of my gal pals tonight, and I have forewarned her of my weakness. And then we are going out on Thursday with another of our friends. With this level of accountability, I should be back on track soon.

But I won’t hold my breath…this is a long, long road.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Did you know that when your niece's birthday is the day after yours, your birthday no longer matters?

Aaaah, the joys of family. Admittedly it isn’t always joys, but this weekend it was.

We made another of those infamous Virginia trips this weekend. And I have to say, we had more fun than I ever thought possible. Friday, my niece turned 1 and Saturday was her birthday party. I love it when we actually get to go home and visit with friends and family. Usually, everyone is busy with their own lives when we go home and we might get a 20-30 minute window to see someone, but this trip, everyone had already planned to drop what they were doing on Saturday afternoon for one adorable little girl’s birthday. So we got to show off Little Man (finally) and catch up with everyone. Man, was it fun.

Who knew that kids are a ton of fun when cake is involved? Techy took control with his new camera and got some amazingly adorable shots. Most of the family complained that I brought the papparazi with me, but they won't be complaining when they see the adorable pics of their kiddo's.

Did you know that kids love Dorito’s so much that they will stick their whole arm in the bag to pull out just a handful of crumbs?

I thought I was the only one who did that!

Also, did you know that when you tell a 4 year old that you expect to a big smile, he interprets it to mean that he should be sticking out his tongue?

We learned that my nephew loves his little sister so much that he wants “bie (read 5)sissies, Mommy. Please? Bie Sissies?” Imagine him holding up all 5 of his doritos-powder-covered fingers and saying “No, not 2, Bie sissies!” Something tells me he doesn’t know what he’s asking for.

But Baby Girl loved every bit of her party.

She loved her first taste of cake,

And she loved squishing it between her fingers,

she loved having her brother and her friends help her open her gifts.

And mostly, she was just happy, cause she is just a happy girl.

Ah, the cuteness!

Is it any wonder that I caved and had a kid after these little guys entered our world?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am wearing my Easter bonnet, where's yours?

This year, as I think about Easter, I am so thankful. To me, it is so easy to see Christ as our redeemer and love Him so much for His gift to us, and in turn, view God the Father as someone to fear. This year, as I have thought over the Easter story, God touched my heart with something I have never realized before – this plan was not Christ’s plan. Jesus actually begged for a way out as he prayed in the garden that last night. He was willing, he gave his life for us, but this was the Father’s plan. This was His only way to restore fellowship with us and He wanted it so badly that He sent his Son to die for us, in our place, giving us Mercy – a gift that we never deserved. But that’s how much He loves us.

Philips, Craig & Dean recorded this song several years ago that brings me to tears almost everytime I hear it. The first verse is so graphic for me. It’s more about the gift God gave us that day than about the actual Easter story. The first verse goes:

“Once there was a holy place, evidence of God’s embrace,
I could almost see Mercy’s face pressed against the veil,
looking down with longing eyes, Mercy must have realized
once His blood was sacrificed, freedom would prevail.
And as the sky grew dark and the earth began to shake,
with Justice no longer in the way, Mercy came a runnin’
like a prisoner set free,
past all my failures to the point of my need,
when the sin that I carried was all I could see,
when I could not reach Mercy, Mercy came a runnin’ to me!”

I totally get it! I can visualize Mercy standing there waiting for the go-ahead from the Father. I envision the Father watching anxiously, almost on the edge of His seat, knowing that everything would go according to plan, but so anxious for the final moment that He was tapping his fingers on His throne. I imagine that final moment as Jesus cried out “It is finished”, the Father – with just a twitch of His finger – tore through the veil that for so long had separated God from his people and motioned Mercy on His way to reach all of us. The sad thing is that so many of us have rejected Mercy and the Father, despite all the love poured out in that moment in time.

This Easter weekend, I hope that you can honestly say that you have not turned Him away, but have welcomed Him into your heart to make Himself at home.

God Bless and Happy Easter!