Sunday, September 30, 2012

The One About Television, and With An Abundance of Parenthesis

So what is everyone watching this season??

Our DVR this season is full of our favorite shows - and we're only mildly embarassed by some of them.  To be totally honest, here is this season's lineup:

Switched At Birth                   (ABC Fam is my guilty pleasure)
Revolution                              (Hubs' new favorite show right now, and I love it too)
NCIS                                       (Hubs' old favorite)
New Girl                                 (Our favorite comedy )
The New Normal                    (We're trying to fall in love but it's not quite there)
Survivor: Phillippines             (I watch every season)
Glee                                        (It's not as great this year)
Grimm                                     (We love this show!)
DCC Making the Team          (Hahaha I conned Hubs into watching it)
Once Upon A Time                 (We love this show!)
666 Park Avenue                     (New, and super scary!)

Yikes.  Does everyone else watch this much tv??   And to be fair - the DVR means this is only our "can't miss" list. 

Yesterday was spent out in the "city"... we walked on the waterfront and ate at a crappy seafood place.  Total bummer since we live so close to so many amazing seafood places.  But I was being really obnoxious slightly cranky because I was so hungry and we chose the closest one.   Wrapped up the day with a trip to the pumpkin patch and farmer's markets.  It is really starting to feel like fall!  I dropped off the Little Man and Hubs at home that night and went out to see an outdoor play with some friends, and got the news that I did not get the part I had auditioned for in a different play.  Bummer, but it wasn't meant to be.

We spent our Sunday cleaning up our DVR and watching old Disney movies on ABC Family. Hubs mowed the grass and I made that White Pizza Grilled Cheese from Pinterest (not so great, and I lost the pin somewhere) and a homemade tomato soup from Tasty Kitchen (very good recipe! You can see my rating on the recipe as proof!)

Hope everyone else's weekend was as relaxed as ours!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The One With the Jumpsuits and the "P" word

No one likes pooping in their pants.  At least, most of the people I've talked to don't enjoy it.  And no one likes cleaning up a kid who has pooped their pants.  That one I can confidently say is a fact.

Little Man does not do well with dirty diapers.  He really hates them.  Whether or not it is sensory, or just plain ole' common sense - I couldn't tell you.  But his philosophy is, if it's dirty, get it off me - NOW.

The first time you wake up your little precious from their nap and they've had a "poopcident" - well it sucks.  You are grossed out, freaked out, you clean everything up and tell everyone what a horrific event it was... and if you are lucky, it will never happen again.  You think it was a one time deal brought on by sickness or a shower that went too long (more than your usual 5 minute prison shower) or whatever it is that prompts kids to try it just this once.  So when Little Man had his first poopcident two years ago, I went through the routine, cleaned him up, and prayed it would never happen again.  Hahahaha.  I was so stupid naive hopeful.

It wasn't a one time thing.  Anytime Little Man pooped during the night, he would wake up and take off his diaper.  Every. time.

So we started using onesies.  But he learned that he could get around those.  Yuck.  And then pajamas with feet.  They could unzip.  Or how about overalls?  Nope.  Not enough protection, you can slip your hands right back into the giant armholes.

I was at my wits end.  Every day involved copious amounts of Lysol and Clorox wipes.  And lots of laundry.  Of course, this was in the beginning of the Year of Vomit (ughhhhh another story) so I was always doing laundry.  And I lived in a slightly less affluent neighborhood than I do now (understatement of the year) and did not have access to a washer and dryer.  They were conveniently located in a little building across from my house, which was kept locked from dusk til dawn to keep out the unsavory sorts that might be lurking around the apartment complex.

In short - life was hell.  And everything smelled kinda bad.  Then I had this idea...

I took one of the footie pajamas, and snipped off the feet.  Flipped it around - and voila!  A jumpsuit only a desperate mommy could love.  The zipper behind the back kept it on, and the elastic around the ankles made it impossible to get his little hands up his pants leg.  It was a miracle.

Exhibit A: The Jumpsuit
There have been other prototypes of the jumpsuit through the years.  During the first summer we attempted a sleeveless model which did not work out (armholes again).  And there was another one where we cut the legs a little shorter (too loose, easy access).   But the only one that has worked is this design here.  The elastic on the wrists and ankles means it is too tight to get up inside, and the backwards zipper means only Mommy and Daddy can take it off.
So everyday, all day, if we are in the house Little Man is wearing his jumpsuit.  It's not really very flattering.   But it works.  If Little Man goes while I'm doing the dishes, I don't worry that I need to drop everything and run to him.  We can put him to bed at night without fear of waking up to a very unpleasant surprise.  The grandparents have been godsends and done lots of research on bigger and bigger sizes of the pajamas, so we have enough that he should last until he gets too big for the 5T sizes.  Then it's a whole different ballgame.
Just a little FYI on why the next time you come over, my kid will be wearing a weird outfit.  Feel free to borrow the idea - I haven't patented it yet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The One Where I Start "Wordless Wednesday"

I've decided to participate in the seventeen million blogs who do Wordless Wednesday posts...  because sometimes I just have pictures and no good story.  Enjoy!

(Watching tv...)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The One For My Brother

I have had the same profile photo on Facebook for the last year and three months.  It is a picture of my big brother and I on Thanksgiving 2009, and one of the last pictures I have of the two of us alone together.

My big brother was killed in a bicycle accident a year and three months ago.  He was the most incredible big brother in the whole world.  He was my best friend.  He was the person who understood me more than anyone else I know.  He was my hero, my protector, and just overall the best human on the planet.

My brother was my half-brother.  We shared a dad, or rather a father.  There is a difference, and that's neither here nor there.  My brother didn't have to be a big part of my life.  He was 9 years older than me.  He could have dismissed me from his life easily, since our father died when I was very young and he lived with his own mother.  But he knew the value of family, and treasured my younger sister, my mother, and I in a way I think you can only understand if you have had really crappy family members bail on you.

The four of us were close in a way that you couldn't understand from the outside looking in.  We saw each other constantly and never got sick of each other.  When I moved far away from my mother and sister, he was the one who would drive two or three hours on a weeknight just to come by for dinner when I was lonely and newly divorced.  He'd call up my sister just so they could do their laundry at the laundromat at the same time and chat for a couple hours.  He tattooed "StepMom" on his leg.  He was the glue between us slightly more hormonal females, who sometimes forgot to be nice to each other.

I loved our family unit.  We were a great team.  Nothing could stop us.  Everything was possible and even on bad days we had each other.

Since my brother died, I feel like a part of me is gone and will never ever heal.  Our family feels broken.  Everything we do together now has a huge missing piece where I know he'd fit just right.  I get angry when I hear how my friends families can go long periods of time without seeing each other and not care at all, or when I see how little they appreciate their family.  I want to scream out that it isn't fair that you get them here, and you don't even notice them.  I want to make them appreciate what they have. 

The last time I saw my big brother, we spent an entire weekend together with little sister down here at my place.  We watched horrible movies, went out for a seafood dinner on the shore, and talked about how we felt about our love lives.  We ordered pizza and drank wine.  In short... it was a typical weekend for us.  He hugged me goodbye and said he loved me, and I shouted it back over the staircase railing as I struggled to get a wiggly three year old into a bath.

The night after the accident I changed my profile picture to that photo.  I haven't been able to change it since.  Today was the first day I really considered it, and it feels so strange to move forward.  I'm still so broken, and I know I will be for a long time.  I know he would want me to be okay, to keep on living and enjoying my life.  I just wish I knew how to do that without feeling like I'm losing him all over again.  I wish I knew how to make it feel less dramatic and life altering.  It's a photo.  I have 3348237 memories of him tied up in other places of my life.  This should not be bringing me to tears, should it? 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The One With A Wedding

The wedding this weekend was truly amazing.  I cried as I watched one of my best friends (I firmly believe you can have multiple "best" friends) walk down the aisle.  We'd all swore to ourselves we'd be hard as nails and need no tissues, but the minute the double doors opened up I knew I was going to be a blubbery mess.  Thank God for waterproof mascara!

Hubs and I finally got some cute photos of us to add to the wall. Some are a little too ridiculous for the internet to see... but here is a keeper:

Some of the photos from the wedding will need to be deleted... had a little too much fun ;)
We picked up Little Man this morning and are taking today realllll easy-like.  I found a frozen block of chilli deep in the back of the freezer, and we're letting it thaw out for dinner.  With a side of a couple Redbox dvds.  
Perfect weekend complete :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The One With Deadlines, and a Recipe!

I have a lot of posts swirling around my head.  If you could see my page of drafts, you'd see a lot of half-assed  half-written ideas swirling around that I haven't finished.  It's just been an insanely busy week.  One of my best friends is getting married this weekend, and I'm in her wedding.  She has not asked us to do a single thing other than enjoy the day (thanks gorgeous!), and yet somehow I'm still running around like a crazy person trying to cram five days worth of To-Dos into four.

So tomorrow afternoon Hubs and I head out of here bright and early so I can get my mani pedi for the big day, and then we're staying in the city all weekend.  Little Man gets to go to his dad's for possibly the last time til our wedding in November, because I am at the end of my rope with the Ex. 

Hubs and I have been driving Little Man to the Ex every other weekend, which is a three to four hour round trip for us.  We've been trying to find excuses to make the trip worthwhile, like going to the mall or hanging out with my mother who lives halfway between the two points.  And we've been able to schedule a lot of fun adult activities to keep us needing and wanting him to spend time with the Ex.  But we're tapped out.  Ex has indicated that for various excuses reasons he will not be able to make the trip to us in the foreseeable future, so that's that.  I never want to keep Little Man from spending time with Ex, because he adores him and vice versa... but at some point I need this to be an equal partnership.  Gah.  Frustration. 

Anyways, since this week has been so busy most of our meals have been tossed together in a rush.  On Tuesday I went to Marshalls and found an amazing selection of kitchen spices and sea salts, so when I came home I threw together this spaghetti dish that is one of our standard "Hurry Up I'm Hungry" meals.  Hubs raved, I gave it four out of five stars.  I'm not sure it is as good as Honey Boo Boo child's mom's spaghetti (oh god, look it up, its so gross) but it's a start:

Please note, I'm writing it how I cook it, so don't be alarmed.  Your fridge may look different than mine, in which case feel free to substitute your own wilty veggies.

-1 onion, diced
-1 smushed from the crisper drawer red pepper, diced
-1 orange pepper, diced
-1/2 slightly shriveled and dry container of white button mushrooms, chopped
-1 can of tomato sauce
-1 can of diced tomatoes
-Olive oil
-Everything left in the bottom of the chopped garlic container, maybe 3 tsp or so
-1/4 cup of Cabernet, from the box in the fridge
-Italian seasoning
-Black lava sea salt from Marshalls that you absolutely are dying to use
-Black pepper
-1 pkg of homemade basil pasta, also from Marshalls

  • Have your Hubs chop and dice all the veggies while you are out shopping for shoes for the wedding.  Realize you want to spend hours at the store stocking up on spices you don't need and will never use, but sound delicious and amazing.  Then when you get home, your mise en place is done and waiting in the fridge.  BOOM take that Ann Burrell.
  • Hubs has decided not to chop up the mushrooms because they look funny.  Decide that mushrooms are a fungus so they probably can't get worse.  Chop 'em up.
  • Add olive oil and all the veggies to a big pan.  Let them get soft while you show Hubs how much you spent on shoes and spices.  Appease him by showing him the pair of pants you got him.  Stir veggies, change into pajamas at 5:45 PM.
  • Pour a glass of wine for yourself.  Splash some into the pan first because cooks always use wine, right?  Add the cans of diced tomatoes and sauce.  Stir.
  • Realize you need to boil water for the pasta.  Get on it.
  • Add a couple shakes of Italian seasoning to the sauce on the stove.  Use the precise measurement of "til it looks like there is seasoning all over the top of the sauce."  Stir it in.  Add a lot of pepper, and then your black lava sea salt (yay a reason to use it!).  Taste and add more of whatever it is missing, plus a tsp of sugar.
  • Add the noodles to the boiling water.  Cook til they are al dente.  Hubs is confused as to why you want to eat noodles with no sauce, he's more of a "It said 6 minutes on the box so that is when they are done" type guy.  PS: The box said 2-3 minutes but it took 8 to make them not crunchy, so I won that battle.
  • Stir the pasta sauce til the noodles are done.  Have Hubs drain the noodles and then add them to the sauce pan.  He thinks this is a bad idea, but you convince him it is brilliant and saves a bowl to wash.
  • Serve to all adults and eat.  Nuke 4 nuggets for the child.  If he's anything like mine, he'll be much happier that way.

I will completely understand if you try and recreate this recipe and it falls short.  It is clearly a complicated and difficult dish to master. I'd have taken a picture, but I was stuffing my face instead. 

Bon' Appetit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The One That Bites

Little Man has what can only be called a major problem with mouthing.  "Mouthing" being the watered-down and socially approved word for "chewing on everything not nailed down."  It's ironic only in that he is also the pickiest eater I've ever seen.

When it first started three years ago it was kind of cute.  He'd be flipping through the pages of his little cardboard books and then nosh on the pages every so often.  Then he had these chubby little plastic toddlers from Little Einstein... they got their heads nibbled on while he watched tv.   Then it was the coffee table.  Or pillows.  Stuffed animals, the bottoms of bowls or sippy cups... anything that could go in his mouth was fair game.

The kid from Lemony Snicket's got nothing on Little Man

All his therapists and doctors told me it was no big deal.  "Most kids go through this stage, he's going through it a little later because he's developmentally delayed."  "Give it time, he's exploring his world."  So we gave it a little more time.

The cute little nibbles and bites became vicious with the addition of more teeth.  It got fun for him to hold a book in his mouth and tear it to shreds.  His plastic crib guard that we'd gotten to protect the wooden crib was destroyed - and then so was his crib.  He had leg and hip braces he was supposed to wear during the night that he chewed through and pulled out the metal screws with his teeth.   Oh, and then he chewed up (and spit out, he never eats anything) the foam inserts for each one so we couldn't even fix the braces.

When Little Man would get really overstimulated or excited, he would chomp down on anything that was in front of him.  It was all in good fun, unless he bit you.  Then it really, really hurt.  Innocent bystanders that thought it would be fun to tickle him or blow bubbles during a therapy session were the recipients of Little Man's "love bites" more than once.

It's been three years and Little Man has not outgrown the mouthing stage. By now we barely notice the accommodations we make for his chewing needs, but from the outside looking in I'm sure our parenting methods are slightly unorthodox. 

  • Chewy tubes, teethers, and chewy toys.  Many bath toys work especially well since they are that smooshy plastic that feels almost like a dog toy, but cute enough to drag around in public.  We have all the Thomas the Tank bath toys, a Caillou bath toy, and a dozen chewy tubes.  These work sometimes if there aren't too many other distractions like the seat belt of the grocery store cart that is more interesting to chew on.

  • When those options don't work, we go to Plan B - The Nose Pinch.  Since Little Man has amazing jaw strength from three years of chewing nonstop, we can't always yank the grocery cart seat belt out of his mouth when he gets the urge to chew.  And sometimes its an emergency situation, like when he latches on to a nice neighbor's fancy dining room table or his grandma's beautiful leather couches.  Plan B is exactly like it sounds - we pinch his nose.  He needs to breathe, so he releases his jaw.  If he is latched onto a human, we also remember to push (gently) into the bite instead of trying to yank away (which tears skin).  Obviously this works only if you're remembering this as you're being bitten, which is only about 50% of the time.  I can't take credit for Plan B, it was on the advice of one of the nice doctors at Kennedy Krieger who gets bit on a daily basis.  But I thank her mentally just about every day.

  • We also have Chew Proofed our house to the best of our abilities.  We found soft crib bumpers that are made of heavy duty fleece with a waterproof lining beneath it, and they are much safer than the plastic ones he breaks through.  Any small toys are out, for gifts at birthday time we usually ask for cardboard books or toys appropriate for 12 months.  Stuffed animals are fine, but not ones with button eyes, removable battery packs, or button batteries.  We hide our shoes, especially flip flops, which are apparently delicious.

One of the best ways we cope since Little Man has started chewing is to keep a sense of humor.  Sure, its probably odd that my son chews on what looks like a dog toy during dinner.  It's better than your napkin.  I know I'm ignoring him chew on the handle of the shopping cart. I just disinfected it with Lysol wipes because I knew that would happen and that there was nothing I could do about it.  And I usually laugh at your awkward faces when I pinch his little nose to make him let go of my purse straps.   It's a nice purse!  Oh... and finally I will say I'm sorry that I flinch sometimes when Little Man tries to kiss me on the arm or leg.  People have mentioned that its really strange for them to watch.  I've just been bitten too many times to trust him.   I swear he gets plenty of snuggles where I make sure his teeth are facing away from me. 

This stage stinks.  I try everyday to think of better ways to get through it.  But its not the end of the world, and we'll be fine.  We're hoping it stops before the permanent teeth come in.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The One With A Quick Explanation

Holy cow.

I took a little "me-time" this week.  I joined BlogHer about two weeks ago because I am a blog reading addict, and decided to throw my hat into the ring and set up a post or two on their site.  Then the day after I posted my mompetition rant here and cross-posted it to their site, I got an awesome email from them!  They selected "The One With Mompetition" as a featured post for the day, and even added a cute little picture of some crocheted Olympic medals (and a new title).  It was awesome, I felt famous.  And now my little rant has more page views on BlogHer than my entire blog does here.  Bwahahah. 

So I really have no excuse for not posting again, other than that I was sitting in front of my computer hitting refresh and seeing if someone would comment on the post.  My bad.

With all that happening, I decided to bite the bullet and post a tiny, somewhat hidden link to this blog in a comment to a friend on Facebook.  So I think at least two more people have found this blog.  Also super exciting, and a little nerve wracking.   Sorry if I'm not nearly as exciting as my rant made me out to be!  I swear once in a great while we have interesting stories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The One With "Mompetition"

Mompetition:  The one-up rivalry that moms play making their child seem better, smarter, and/ or more advanced than yours. May involve two or more moms and any number of children, even full-grown. [from UrbanDictionary]
In the world of parenting, I am a noob.  You'd think now that Little Man is four, I'd have achieved a moderately higher rank by now.  But alas, I have only one child.  And he is only four.  And I am *gasp* a young mom.  Only 26.   I mean, my kid is alive now... but from all the unsolicited advice and thinly veiled threats, I wake up every morning thinking Child Services might be staked out in front of my house waiting for me to make a wrong move.
Why is that?!  Purely rhetorical.  I know why I feel like a parenting noob.  Because of those Other Moms.  You know them.  Gwenyth Paltrow (check out GOOP if you're particularly sadistic).  Giada DeLaurentis.  Even just a random Facebook friend.  Wait a minute... not "even just" a random Facebook friend.  Ninety percent of my mom guilt comes from self-righteous Facebook mommies.

Contrary to what the term "Facebook friend" implies, we all know that some of your "friends" are most certainly not friends.  Some of them are co-workers.  Or people you know through your significant other.  Ex-classmates.  The list is endless.  Sometimes I feel really ambitious and try to whittle down the list of people I don't really give a crap about.  And somehow I get about ten or so people in and I'm exhausted.  And then in the next few days a couple of these people refriend me with confusion and I just give up.
One of the toughest groups to ignore read on Facebook are the MOMS.  Not that I want to ignore all of them!  Your babies are cute.  Look at that one covered in spaghetti.  Aw, a cat hugging a baby!  The cuteness explodes my Newsfeed and I comment on each picture like it is my job.
But there are the others.  The ones who inform me that every.single.thing. I have ever done to keep my child alive to raise my son is absolutely wrong. 
Status Update: "Little Man ate grapes today for the first time!  I can't believe he ate a fruit! I AM A GREAT MOM!"
Mom #1:  LAWL that is so cute!  I hope they were organic locally grown grapes - you know that if they weren't he will be exposed to pesticides and chemicals and grow flippers right??
Mom#2:  Are you just now introducing grapes after four years?  I am sure you cut them in half so he didn't choke to death on them, right?!  Princess has been eating grapes for years now and we deseed them individually and cut them into quarters before they are allowed to touch her precious baby lips, just for EXTRA safety.  ;)
Possibly an exaggeration.  BUT NOT BY MUCH.  These women are merely annoying.  I can usually roll my eyes at this kind of Mompetition response because well... I let my kid eat bread off the floor when he drops it.  And sometimes I look over at him and I'm not even sure what he's found in the couch cushions.  I assume it is some more of that bread.  I've never heard a news story where a kid dies because his mom did not buy him organic grapes.  I've only heard that one news story where someone almost died from a steady diet of chicken nuggets.  So these kind of "one-up" comments from Moms are just something I sigh and chuckle about and remind myself to block them from my Newsfeed ignore it.
The ones that are hard to ignore and get my feathers all ruffled are the ones where someone leaves feeling genuine guilt and sometimes fear because of the way they have been raising their child. Not doing extended breastfeeding?  Your child will never get into college.  Not breastfeeding at all?  Sacrilege, your child's every illness is your own stupid fault.  Your child is sleeping on her tummy?   Do you have a death wish!?!?!
Heated debates on everything from attachment parenting to infant circumcision fill up my Newsfeed at least once a week.  Everyone seems to know exactly how children should be raised, and God forbid you disagree or... *second gasp of the day* DID IT WRONG!  Don't worry, 100 other mothers (and most have never met your child) will tell you how badly you've messed up.  And in the meantime, remind you how they've done it right.
Its just so ridiculous it makes my blood boil.  When I say I didn't breastfeed my son, and that I probably won't be breastfeeding future children, you'd think that I was advertising my intent to set their cribs on fire.   And I feel so guilty. (For like a minute.  Don't worry too hard.)  These moms make it their goal to make you feel unbelievably shitty for something you may or may not have control over.  And they feel justified in doing so because we've created this culture of mompetition, where every mom has to be the BEST mom or they're not doing it right.  If you're not homeschooling, feeding them organic meals three times a day, teaching them Chinese, and making sure they are reading above grade level then you're a failure.  And you BEST have lost that baby weight six weeks after your little precious came into this world, don't even get me started on moms who "don't care about their physical appearance."
There are not nearly enough moms who support each other, who lift each other up, who try to understand different points of view.  I don't need to be educated on how to be a mother.  We've read the same articles, the same books, and heard the same stories.  I'm living motherhood.   Every day is a crash course in parenting, from the one little person whose opinion will matter in about twenty years when he is reflecting on the job I did.   When I mention I am doing XYZ with my son, its not so you can tell me what I'm doing wrong.   Its probably because I think a really funny story is about to come out of this.  If "I'm right and you're wrong" is all you can think of to say, then keep your lips zipped.  You can come give me that opinion in twenty years too actually.  If he's living in my basement building pipe bombs, then remind me I should have breastfed him and given him more organic vegetables.  Maybe then I'll agree with you.  My prediction though, is that he will be a happy and well adjusted person who thinks I'm the greatest mom ever.  And he probably won't even mention all the times I let him eat bread from under the couch cushions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The One With Good Mornings

(Good) Mornings here are incredibly lazy and slow.  Hubs gets up at some ungodly hour to get ready for work.  Probably around six or so, but after about a month of living together I quit acting like I was totally cool getting up early with him and now I just sleep away and kiss him goodbye when he leaves.

I didn't want him to get spoiled.  Plus, I am a much better wife with extra sleep.

So Hubs gets up super early.  He walks the dog, watches the morning news, drinks a cup of coffee... and heads off to work by 7:00 - 7:30.  At least, I assume he does these things, since every morning I put his coffee cup in the dishwasher, change the tv channel to the "fun" channels, and the dog doesn't pee on the floor.  Remember, I am still sleeping.

Hubs' last act before heading off to work is to turn on my bedside baby monitor.  Sometimes Little Man is up, and sometimes he's not.  It really all depends on how many escapes he's had the night before, and what time he actually passed out.  Today for example, he was slightly awake.  He'd gone to bed early (1:30 AM) and since he had skipped nap yesterday we got a longer sleep. 

So at 8 AM I hear the toy alarm signaling he'd like me to bring him to breakfast.  We shuffle downstairs and get dressed for the day - typically a switch to a clean pair of his modified jammies and a fresh diaper.  No promises on real clothes for me either, although I skip the diaper.

Then it's my favorite part.  Breakfast!  I pour a great big bowl of cereal for Little Man, and I get a nice hot cup of coffee.  I linger over my coffee and blogs for an hour at least, while Little Man shovels food in his mouth practices his fine motor skills.  I didn't realize how fast I could eat, until I saw how slowly Little Man enjoyed his sugar cereal.

After I drink my coffee, start some laundry, and put away some dishes, I check in with Little Man.  He's not quite done nearly an hour and a half later. 

Well actually.  He's done.  Crunch Berries.   We're fans of the berries, not the crunch.

That counts as a fruit right?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The One Where I Try To Get Organized

I'm a hot mess. 

I have so many projects to tackle, things I want to do, housework needs to be completed... It is all piling up and I'm overwhelmed.  I need to make changes in my household.

When I first started reading blogs back in '08, I found the recipe blog by Stephanie O'dea.  I was a terrible cook at the time, and her easy Crockpot recipes and tiny pictures of all the ingredients made cooking seem like a snap.    Of course now I read these fancy schmancy cooking blogs with beautiful pictures in natural lighting, and 25 different steps per recipe.  And while they are fun and amazing and talented cooks... I have a soft spot in my heart for this blog of my past, and the no-fail cooking methods.

Anyways, I've been recommending this blog to friends for many years now.  In the meantime, she's gotten famous.  Her blog journey turned into several cookbooks, and my new favorite tool - The Totally Together day planner.

Since I am not an advertisement, just a happy consumer, the short story is that this planner is a great tool for me to organize my life.  I started it last night and am already loving the organizational tips.  Weekly chores versus monthly chores, reminders to schedule appointments, cleaning solutions... I love it.   I'll let you know if it lasts more than a month, because then it will be a miracle!

My goal for this month is to be more organized at home.  I want to do more meal planning, because I feel like it really saves us money.  I want to keep on top of chores daily rather than spending entire days cleaning and other days doing nothing.  I want to have days where I can tackle my big projects (erhm, Little Man's medical binder needs to be first on that list).

As much as these seem like tiny "wants", they all add up to a giant "NEED" to get organized for the sake of family harmony.  So wish me luck.  Today I am going to plan a menu for the week, and finish up several blog posts that have been waiting around half-written. Baby steps!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The One With An Award!

Look!  I got this sweet award!

I am apparently an Illuminating Blog.  (As if you didn't know it already)  ((Kidding, I'm kidding))

That last line of text would not get approved by an English teacher.

But to accept this award, I have to share a random fact about myself.  And then pay it forward by nominating five other blogs. 

So Random Fact:
I walk on my toes.  Everywhere.   I also run on my toes.  So does my little sister.  We have no idea why, my mom used to say it was because we took ballet as kids.   We have amazing calf muscles.  That is actually the only "muscle" of mine that you can see.

There ya go.  That was actually two facts.  Lucky you!  

The One With The Scale

Confession:  I have body image issues.

I am one of those people who constantly complains about their body.  It is annoying, its melodramatic, I can't stand it about myself.   It is involuntary.  I catch myself telling yet another friend how unhappy I am and I cringe internally.  I never liked hearing that sort of negativity in college (when I was fine with my weight), and now I am that person I couldn't stand.

And its not like I need to lose massive amounts of weight.  As of March, I needed to lose 20 lbs to be back at my goal weight (post college-pre baby weight gain).  But every morning when I got up, I hated what I saw in the mirror.  I hated seeing the stacks of cute clothes I couldn't wear any more.  I hated feeling dumpy and lumpy and "mom-esque".  I missed feeling cute and fun when I dressed up.  All I could see when I looked in the mirror was blerghhhhh. 

So back in March, I made a pledge to myself that this year I would start actively making changes.  I would try to stop complaining as much.  I  would actually do something to lose the weight I was bitching about instead of just staying miserable and chubby.

So I bought a scale.  I started exercising during Little Man's naps, and took a couple classes at a local gym.  While the gym part didn't stick, the home exercising did, and I lost 5 lbs eventually.  Then I got stuck for awhile, and had been waffling back and forth around the same 2-3 lbs.

I was bummed.   I had been exercising, but I hated that I had so little to show for it.  My friends convinced me I was building muscle or something (they are really sweet friends).  But I still hated that stinking scale, mocking from the corner of the bathroom and telling me I was never going to be happy with myself at this weight.

I decided a couple weeks ago to start eating clean.   Not just for the weight loss aspect, but because it really struck a cord in me when I realized how much I rely on processed junk foods and take out when I could make something much tastier from scratch.   AND it normally leaves me feeling happier and more satisfied that I fed myself and my family a home cooked meal.

Since my eating clean challenge began, I finally got out of that plateau!  Not only that, I have lost another 3 lbs!  Which puts me at halfway to my goal weight!!!!

I am so thrilled that I'm finally making my goals a reality.  I don't want to be that person that whines and cries how nothing ever happens for them while they never make a move towards change.  I am making changes in my life to make myself happy.   I will get to the point where I can look in the mirror again and say "Hot damn.  Looking good."

I am starting to love my body again.  And it feels nice to be able to say that.