Saturday, December 15, 2012

Processing the Connecticut Tragedy while Hugging My Babies

I had plans for today. I woke up to what I thought was going to be a wonderful day.

Knowing that the day would be filled with gratitude and happiness as the employees at our office received the Christmas bonuses.

Knowing that we would be ordering lunch from what is quickly becoming one of my favorite local places.

Knowing that I would be attending an Origami Owl party, carefully selecting charms and lockets for each of my daughters for Christmas.

Knowing that when the kids were all nestled snug in their beds that I planned to finish up the RACK 2012 Part 1 post that has been pushed to the side as my family fought back a nasty viral cold during the last week.

Today is not that day.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude and December Announcement

Hey everyone! The holidays are always such a busy time of year. Family, friends, eating, traveling, decorating, eating, shopping, cooking, eating.

One of my favorite things about Facebook? When November rolls around, people start posting 30 Days of Gratitude. Seeing the daily posts detailing what people are thankful for, from the big to the small, is awesome. It gives me warm fuzzies. And it is a nice change from some of the people that usually post their every move, the latest relationship drama, angry arguments, or woe is me updates. Facebook gets a little brighter, a little more uplifting, and a little more fun. Which is the perfect way for the holidays to kick off if you ask me.

Now, most people give thanks for their spouse, children, health, family, friends, etc. Some also include small things that might seem trivial, such as a favorite dessert or an extra hour of sleep. For me personally, I think I have a good mix. So I have been posting daily and this post will summarize my own personal 30 Days of Gratitude. And did I mention a December announcement at the end? See if you can guess what it is.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dream: Unassisted Footling Breech Homebirth by Surrogate

Sleep deprivation can do some very strange things. Including give you a homebirth.


Yep. Sleep deprivation gave me a homebirth the other morning. With the biggest twist EVA!

I'd been up late the night before, as in all night. I caught about 2 hours of sleep after getting the kids off to school with Hubby and woke up from the most vivid, realistic dream I think I've ever had.

So what did this dream involve?

An unassisted homebirth (no midwife or doctor).
In someone else's home, not mine.
Oh, and baby was a footling breech.
And did I mention that I was a surrogate for my long-time friend, Ashley?

Let me walk you through the weirdness that is my subconscious:

Dream: Unassisted Footling Breech Homebirth by Surrogate

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Nine

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Nine

As a parent, we are supposed to teach our children right from wrong, instill good morals, teach them kindness and compassion, and the list goes on and on.

But we often get so caught up on the daily grind of what we need to teach them NOT to do that we forget what we ARE teaching them to do.

For example, repeatedly explaining to Sassy that she is being disrespectful and not effectively communicating when she rolls her eyes or sighs heavily. That is VEEERRRRYYYYY frustrating. I spend so much time dealing with Sassy's "tween" behaviors right now that I forget things that she IS doing right. And, as children often do, it only takes a moment to put it all back in perspective, slow down, and admire what your children are growing up to be.

9) You Will Teach Your Kids Well

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gratitude List: To Prevent Flipping Your Shit

The last few days have been a rollercoaster. Mostly things I cannot control, yet rain down chaos and frustration from the heavens. I have had several not-so-proud mama moments. I have yelled. I have given mean looks. I have threatened. And I even flipped my shit exactly once.

I went through something similar to this a few years ago. It was not pretty. I did not like the person I was during that rough patch, let alone the parent I was. But I managed to soldier on and learned a lot from it. Namely, the warning signs that shit flipping was imminent so that I could head it off at the pass. Trust me, that is a HUGE deal. If not for me knowing those signs, I might be curled up somewhere quoting The Mad Hatter. You know, after flipping my shit...times infinity.

One of the things that has stuck with me a lot lately is this:

I have calmed the storm in my mind by thinking of these words. I do need to focus more on what is going right than wrong, especially in times like this. It leads to less shit flipping, as previously stated.

I remember in 8th grade English class that we did a project in November where we kept a list and wrote 5 things daily that we were grateful for. At the time, I was dealing with crappy family situations and the death of a close friend. I truly NEEDED that daily list, it helped me through.

The teacher kept emphasizing the importance of recognizing these things in our life that we were thankful for because it was good for the mind and soul. My first few days were filled with "typical" things: parents, siblings, home, friends, food. But it evolved to more: the cool crisp in the air, the warmth of the autumn sun, the acrobatic leaves swirling through the sky. Focusing on the mini-blessings helped to ease the burden of the big picture.

As I have struggled the last few days, I have found my soul reminding my heart of little things that have had a positive effect, even if minute. Hopefully listing them will help me lift my spirit a little further out of this funk and maybe help someone out there in the Interwebz.

So here is my handy dandy Gratitude List (TOO much Blues Clues lately, it is affecting my handy dandy vocab) from the last few days, in no particular order.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Diary of a Diva Cup Convert

This is the follow-up to my Diary of a Diva Cup Newbie from March. I've now been using the Diva Cup for around 8 months and I am officially converted. I will never go back to toxic chemicals, dryness, and the cramps that tampons subjected me to.

Now, in my last post, I warned friends and family that we would be talking about my lady bits and that they should not read any further if they thought it would lead to awkward moments when they saw me next time.

This time you do not need to worry about it. Minimal lady bits discussion here today, mostly sharing the scary information I have learned since I switched to a menstrual cup. So stick around and learn. Like how the materials used to produce disposable tampons and pads leave you exposed to dioxin and other toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Main List

I figure that it is about time that I create a main list for my series on parenting principles that I wish I had known before becoming a parent. I've been slowly adding to the series as the mood strikes me, mostly when some experience or thought crosses my mind and I realize it belongs on the list.

Although I am not quite done with the series, I really need a main list. Mostly to remind myself about how many I've written and what I've discussed. See? Mom-Brain strikes again. When I did Episode Eight, I honestly had to go through the archives to remember how many posts I'd already completed and to make sure I had not already discussed the topic in some way.

So this will be the centralized list for the series with a link to each post and a brief except from each. Enjoy!

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Eight

I absolutely DESPISE when strangers interfere with my kids. I mean, how dare they?! I do not want a stranger (or even some family and friends) giving unsolicited advice, trying to discipline my kids, etc.

But this week I become that crazy mom that interferes with a stranger's kids.
And I am NOT ashamed.

8) Learn When to Interfere with Other People's Kids

I was driving on a busy road that has a speed limit of 45 mph, but most vehicles go 50-55. I crested a blind hill that then quickly goes down to sharp turns. At the top of the hill on one side is an embankment, where I found 3 kids taking turns rolling down the hillside toward the road, which is maybe 5 feet from the bottom of the hill. SERIOUSLY?!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Varicella Vaccine + Monkey = Mild Chicken Pox


I decided that I have been dealing with Monkey's reaction to the varicella vaccine for over a week and it is time to do something proactive on the blog about it. Because frankly, I process my crap better when I write and I cannot actually do much with Monkey's reaction right now except let it run it's course. So because I feel somewhat helpless, I figure I can use this post to explain what happened, what I have done about it, etc. And at least THAT will feel productive.

Now, before anyone gets super worried, Monkey is fine overall. So I'm sure some may think I'm overreacting. But any type of reaction to any substance or medication should be treated seriously. For example, non-drowsy Sudafed does not cause a severe reaction for me personally, but it makes me SUPER sleepy for some reason. Therefore, I do not take non-drowsy Sudafed unless I am going to be home and not driving, working, etc. So, even a mild reaction to a substance or medication should be addressed appropriately.

Next issue to address in this post: Disclaimers regarding Pro-Vax and Anti-Vax. I feel it is important to give a brief explanation of my current stance on vaccinations before going over Monkey's reaction and resources for adverse vaccine reactions.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Derailed by my Kids' Weird Stages

You ever have one of those days where you have huge plans, then a series of unfortunate events causes your productivity to come to a screeching halt? Yeah, that's been my weekend.

I'm supposed to be sunning diapers, making freezer meals, and sorting kids clothes to pull out everything too small to donate and sell.

Instead, I finished a book series, .....

Actually, that was the height of my weekend productivity.

I think a large part of my derailed efficiency is that my kids have turned into demon spawn. (not literally, but DEFINITELY figuratively)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Beginnings

When I started this blog, I was looking for an outlet. I'd always been a writer and, more importantly, a voracious reader. One of the best ways I process information is by writing my thoughts out. So it is only natural that after many years of neglecting this side of myself that I really NEEDED to return to writing. Not professional writing, but cathartic writing. THAT is what I loved doing in the past. Writing to work out and analyze literature, but also writing to work out my own thoughts on my life.

Monkey's pregnancy and birth really took an emotional toll on me, opening my eyes up to a new world that I was not aware of before in many different aspects of my life. I had never fathomed attempting an unmedicated birth, breastfeeding for longer than 6 months, babywearing, delayed vaccinations, cloth diapering, etc. NONE of these things were even on my radar. So the entire experience not only opened my eyes, it changed my entire frame of reference, giving me a new perspective on life in general.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

School Supply Cakes

I'm WAY late getting this post out because I did this project as an end-of-the-year teacher gift. But, this is actually the PERFECT time to buy supplies for this project because of all the back-to-school sales. It was so much fun to make a school supply cake for the teachers, so I made a cake for both of the girls' classrooms.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lost my Beach Virginity

Yep, you read that right. I have LOST my Beach Virginity.

I bet you didn't know that this was a real thing, right? But it totally is. See, I am in a land-locked state. The closest beach is easily a 4-5 hour drive. Growing up, I went on ONE trip where the bus I was on drove by the ocean. I was about 12 years old and I swear that the beach and waves laughed at me as I passed it with puppy dog eyes.

Also, my family never went on vacations when I was a child. Like, no beach, no camping, no trips to the mountains, no amusement parks, etc. I went on a few school trips (like the one where the beach mocked me as I passed) and weekends with friends, but not an actual family vacation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

First of all, YES, I know that Mother's Day was 2 months ago and I am WAY late. But I have lots to talk about and lots to show you, so DEAL with it.

This year, I had a pretty rocking Mother's Day. And I have all the pictures to prove it. So be prepared to be PHOTOBOMBED!

Monday, July 9, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Seven

7) You are Not Your Parents

Ok, so we have already went over how your children are not you in my last episode.

Now we are going to discuss how you are not your parents.

And I know what you are going to say:
"But, I know so many people who are JUST like their mom/dad!"
Well, that's great!

My point is: It doesn't have to be.

Platinum Boobies: A Double Edged Sword

So last week, my boobies went platinum.

And no, I'm not talking about this:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shhhh...I've Been In Hiding

Hello All! I know I have been MIA for a while now. And I have a really good excuse.

I have entered the Wit-Sec program. Yep. Inspector Mary Shannon is my new BFF.

I also wax poetic with Marshall.

Yep. So that's been me. REALLY busy. Being snarky with Mary and clever with Marshall.

Ok, not really. I mean, I have been busy, but not hanging with Mary & Marshall.

I WISH. ~le sigh~

In all reality, I have been slammed. I had Mother's Day stuff, then end of school year stuff, then OMG I'M GOING TO THE BEACH stuff, then I had a workshop, and now I still have to fully unpack from the beach.

I have officially become one of those bloggers that have MILLIONS of ideas for blog posts, but just don't have the time to sit down and bring them to life. So I figure that the best thing to do is check in and let you guys know what I have in the works.

Coming Attractions

Mother's Day- Yes, I know that I'm over a month late to post about it. So what?

School Supply Cakes- I totally got my craft on and did school supply cakes for Sassy and Diva's teachers. Because I rock.

Beach- I had never been to the beach. My children had never been to the beach. So I have LOTS to tell you about the beach. These posts may take a bit, considering that I still haven't fully unpacked. Like, my trunk is still half-full. And I haven't even posted my pics to my FB. patient.

Birthdays- There have been a few birthdays recently, so I will update you on who is older.

Workshop- I have a few ideas burning in my mind related to the baby food workshop that was last weekend. Not sure how they will play out, but just throwing that out there.

Father's Day- I feel obligated to do a post on this, since I will be doing a post about Mother's Day. Not that Hubby reads my blog, but I would feel guilty. Stupid Mommy Guilt is spilling over into Marital Guilt. What the crap?!

Boobies, Vaginas, and Babies- Yep, pretty sure I'll post at least a little about that.

So now that we are caught up at least a little, I'm going to check out again. Mostly because I have finished eating my lunch and need to get back to working since I am at work.

Oh, final thought. Tomorrow is West Virginia Day. I have tons of clients nationwide that I deal with through work and they always ask me what West Virginia Day is. So I will do my little part to educate the masses.

Here's a link to learn more about West Virginia Day. Consider yourself, as my father-in-law would say, Edu-ma-cated.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

In My Daughter's Eyes...

I went to my last Mother's Day Tea on May 10th. Ok, not my last ever, but my last for a while. My children's elementary school does a Mother's Day Tea for the Kindergarten and Pre-K classes each year. I went to Sassy's Pre-K Tea, then her Kindergarten Tea, and then Diva's Pre-K tea. And now I have had my last Mother's Day Tea for a while with Diva's Kindergarten Tea since I will not attend another until Monkey is in school in a few years.

It was very cute and very fun. The kids sang, then joined us at the tables to show us all the gifts they had made. You can read all about them in my Mother's Day post that will be coming soon, but one gift really hit a nerve and I thought it deserved it's very own post.

The students each completed a fill-in-the-blank sheet about their moms. This is Diva's sheet:

Very cute, right? But I want to break it down piece by piece, because it shows you exactly how my daughter sees me as a Mom.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Six

6) Your Children are not You, Even if You Treat Them as if They Are

Ok, this one seems like a no-brainer, right? We've all heard about the parents that shove their child into football, ballet, piano, and yes, even Math-letes because that is what they excelled in and they want the same experience as their children. We've all heard about parents pushing their children to fulfill dreams that the parent did not accomplish. We've all heard about the parents that start their children on the fast track to the Ivy League when they are still busy trying to control their legs and pooping in their pants.

These parents are clearly the ones that forget that the their children's accomplishments are not a reflection on them as a person or as a parent. They project their own insecurities on to their child instead of accepting their child for who they are. They drive and put pressure on their child to clutch to every opportunity that they have to drive them towards goals that the parent wishes they had been able to fulfill when they had the chance back in their glory days.

Friday, April 27, 2012

How I Became "That Weird Breastfeeding Mom"

When I was pregnant with Sassy, I was a scared young college student. Worried about what this unexpected blessing would do to my life, but even MORE worried about what I would do to her life. I mean, I don't have the best relationship with my parents. Although this is not the time or place to get into that. Suffice it to say that my childhood gave me many examples of how I did NOT want to parent. So suddenly realizing that I was about to become a parent was scary.

There were many things I was unsure of, but I focused much more on the end result of having the baby instead of the journey of pregnancy and birth. I made many choiices because it was just "the thing that people do." I willingly followed every recommendation and request of all the medical professionals I met during my pregnancy because I knew very little about how birth really worked. To sum it up, I did a LOT of things that I would have done differently if I had bothered to educate myself.

But do you know the one thing that I did "right?" I decided to breastfeed. So many people in my life said that it was pointless to try because I could just use formula. They said it was "ok for other people, but I think it's gross to have a baby sucking on your boob." They said it would be too hard and I should not bother putting myself through the heartache. But I decided that women had fed babies by breastfeeding for generations, therefore I would give it a try. Worse case scenario? My baby would have formula.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Five

5) Family Time is Important. And Necessary. And Intimidating. But It Shouldn't Be.

Some families have great traditions from early on. Family Game Night. Pizza Night. Movie Night. Lots of things that the family does together that strengthens the bond they share.

Those families are lucky.

Then you have families that struggle to find that family time. Families that get lost in the daily grind of work, school, etc. Families who spend a lot of their "down time" reading and watching TV in separate rooms. Not really the best way to strengthen family bonds.

Many of the families that fall into Category B want to find more meaningful family time, but it can be intimidating.

In today's world, we are flooded with images of "perfect" families. Don't get me wrong, we also see dysfunctional families and lots of other things. But how many times have you been watching TV and run across a show that shows some family spending time together, looking so happy, usually after resolving some big drama much more easily than you ever could in real life. Or seen the same thing in a movie. Or ran across a book or magazine with a magic list of fun things to do with your family. And searching for "fun things to do with my family" yields over 308 million hits on Google.

So many people get stuck trying to figure out the best way to spend time with their family.

Go to the park? Go to a ball game? Go camping? Amusement park? Gardening? Trip out of town? Cooking? Swimming? Scavenger hunt? Game Night? Movies? Zoo? Bowling? Laser Tag? Scrapbook? Play Barbies? Bakugan? Build a fort? Talent Show? Fly a kite?

Feeling overwhelmed yet?

So many people get so caught up in trying to figure out what to DO for family time that they get overwhelmed and end up not doing anything that they feel is "special" family time. Sure, you still spend time together as a family, but you are not doing the activities that make you FEEL like you are getting that special bonding time.

I had always thought that I would be "that mom." You know, the one that bakes cookies with her kids weekly, has family game night once a week, plans a new activity each weekend, etc. We'd go camping one weekend, bowling the next, day trips to the zoo, etc.

Then I had kids. And it can be EXHAUSTING just getting through the daily grind, let alone planning and executing special family time.

Hubby and I both have full-time jobs. He is very involved in several fraternal organizations. I am involved in several things of my own. Sassy and Diva have school. And Monkey is a toddler. 'Nuff said. We have some responsibility or activity almost every weekend. Out of the next 6 weekends, each one has at least 1 major event except one. Evenings during the week involve coming home from work/school, dinner, homework, and bedtime routine. Not a lot of space for additional family activities other than our usually already packed weekends.

So I understand how overwhelming it can be to make time for quality family time. I get it.

But do you know what I have realized?

We don't NEED to plan and execute special family time to HAVE special family time.

It has taken me some time to learn this lesson, mostly because I had all these grand ideas of what quality family time should be. Like when you are in the kitchen and you envision yourself as Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain, or Rachel Ray. And really you are burning grilled cheese and overcooking your pasta.

Let me give you an example. A few weekends ago, we had events and meetings on Saturday. On Sunday, we spent some time at my MIL's in the morning, then had a birthday part early in the afternoon. Afterwards, we had a few hours free until dinnertime. So we decided to get the family out to enjoy the spring weather. Just spur of the moment, we decided to head for a local park.

Nothing fancy.
No big activities.
Just a small playground and a scenic overlook of our city.

We let the kids play on the playground

Monkey monkeyed around with Hubby's help

Sassy struck a pose on one of the cannons

Diva struck a pose on top of the playground

I even tried to get a family photo of all 3 kids. And failed. Monkey looks most unhappy. And slightly constipated.

But it was still a great time. We were there for a little over an hour at a small park less than 10 minutes from our home. It just goes to show you that some of the most special quality family time you will spend is unscripted and spontaneous instead of orchestrated and meticulously planned.

You don't have to make big plans to spend time with your family.

Just DO it and memories will happen.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Informed Consent Go?

Did you just sing that? Because I totally did. It's been running in my head all day long and I have been waiting and waiting for that time of day when I can actually plop down and get some me-time to work on a post. Which, as any mother knows, translates to after the kids are in bed and I catch up on a few things around the house and online.

So here I sit, thinking back to the way I used to treat medical decisions. You know, before I made INFORMED medical decisions. I would go to the doctor, they would tell me the course of treatment we were going to take, and I would not question their standard policies and procedures. Why would I? They went to MEDICAL school. They have MEDICAL degrees. I'm just a lowly person with no medical training, why should I question what they want to do in regards to my health?

Friday, April 6, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Four

4) Frustrations Transform to Teachable Moments

Remember back in the day when you were in high school and you would be heading for the water fountain, only to be cut off by some jerk who then took their time guzzling down water while you waited impatiently? Yeah, that was frustrating.

At least I *thought* that was frustrating. Until I actually had kids.

Now imagine that you were heading for the water fountain and some jerk cut you off, but while you are impatiently waiting you now have a baby crying and a child yelling "I WANT WATER NOW!!!" All while feeling the glare of the judging eyes of everyone around you because you cannot control your kids.

Yes. THAT is frustrating.

Kids make everyday frustrations magnify. And once you have kids, your frustrations will multiply like naughty little bunnies.

It's ok that I'm talking about rabbits multiplying because it is Easter and bunnies are everywhere right now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Opposites Attract

Opposites attract.
Likes attract also, but aren't nearly as interesting.
When opposites attract, the reaction can create quite a spectacle.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this. I know I would be. My blog has mostly focused on a few areas of my life where I have developed some "crunch." Or as I refer to it, a little more natural, a little more green, and a whole lot cheaper. So why am I delving into something that seems so far removed from my usual posts?

Because my life is FULL of opposites attracting.
And by that, I mean that Hubby is truly my polar opposite so much of the time.
This causes some conflicts at times. And by conflicts, I mean full on battles in the war that is parenting and life in general.

We are not always on the same page for many of the issues that come up in the course of our marriage, family, and lifestyle. This can cause some...let's call it marital discord.

Marital Discord

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Diary of a Diva Cup Newbie

Ok, before I go to far with this post, I have an announcement to make.

This post will talk about non-toxic feminine care products, specifically alternatives to tampons. I won't just be talking about feminine care products, I will be sharing details of MY monthly cycle, MY experience with "traditional" feminine care products, and MY experience with the Diva Cup.

In short, I'm going to be talking about my lady bits.
A lot.

So I thought it would be a good idea to start off this post with a warning.

If you personally know me (friend, family, etc) and think that reading about my experiences with my lady bits will cause you to be too embarrassed to look at me the next time you see me at the grocery store, the elementary school, the local park, or the next family holiday should probably stop reading now.

I'll give you a minute to close out of my post.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 10


Want to hear a secret?
I skipped posting last week.
I decided I was so busy with work, kids, etc. that I was going to skip a week.

Want to hear another secret?
I actually gained 1lb during the last 2 weeks.

One last secret?
I don't care because my clothes are still getting looser.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Three

3) You Will Feel a Wide Range of Emotions. At The Same Time.

Before I had children, I had felt a wide range of emotions. I had felt love. Anger. I had been proud of my loved ones. Astonished at their actions. Shocked by their audacity. Frustrated. Flabbergasted and speechless at times. But rarely were these emotions felt concurrently.

Then I had children.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 8

Ok, Ok. I know that I am 2 days late for my post. This has been a very busy week again. I was not sleeping well at the beginning of the week, so Wednesday evening I was exhausted. Hubby had a meeting, leaving me alone with the kids. As soon as we finished dinner, Monkey nursed and went to bed, then the girls went to their room to watch a show before bedtime. I decided that I deserved a night off since everyone was in their rooms by 7:30, so I settled in with a cup of pomegranate and blueberry tea and caught up on some shows that have been sitting on my DVR. It was amazing to have an entire evening of downtime, just laying around, all curled up in a blanket. Then last night we were at my MILs for dinner, so I decided to wait and post tonight.

This last week I did lose a little weight:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cloth Diaper Peddler

I recently found a blog post going around Facebook titled "Becoming a Walking Cloth Diaper Ad." I related to this blogger on so many different levels. Before Monkey was born, I had never been introduced to modern cloth diapers. Since he was born and I started using cloth, I could literally talk all day about it to anyone that listens. I am certainly a peddler of cloth.

There are tons of different types of diapers and different brands. There are diapers made by WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) that can be custom made to fit your specific needs. There are some people that literally collect cloth diapers like a child collects Pokeman cards. Wait, that's showing my age. I should say like Sassy collects Bakugans. There, that sounds more "hip."

Monday, February 20, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode Two

FINALLY getting back to posting. Monkey has been in bed for hours. Girls are having sleepovers with Grandma and my aunt. And my insomnia is in full swing. So I've decided to be productive!

2) Grow a Thick Skin. And Moisturize It.

I was told today by a friend that I need to write a "New Parent's Guide to Dealing with Stupid People." Although I do not use them as often as I feel like it (damn internal filter), I have been known to make snarky and sarcastic remarks to people who shove their nose in my business. You see, as soon as you find out you are going to be a parent, you WILL be judged for every single decision you make. You WILL be interrogated about your decisions. You WILL hear comments about how your method isn't working.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 7

This last week has been crazy in my house! Sick kids, a killer stomach virus, etc. I'll be honest, I did a LOT of slipping up this past week. I went to the gym more than normal, but I did not eat as healthy as I could have. There were LOTS of cookies last week. In my defense, I am a stress eater. Kids passing around a stomach virus and some other things going on in my life really made me crave sweets. It is also why I haven't been posting much the last week. I have several topics I would like to write about and have some rough drafts in my head, but just haven't had the time to sit and write yet. Hopefully I can knock all of the ideas I have jumbled in my head out soon. Now, let's get down to business:

Yep. That's right. Still the same. No gain, no loss. I did go to the gym 3 times last week, but after the weekend of the stomach virus at my house, I haven't been back until tonight. I was able to stay under my calorie goals for the week, although I did go over 2 days:

All those cookies also really helped my carb and fat percentages rise, as you can see.

Hopefully this weekend I can take the steps I need to get back on track. I need to work on some menu planning. I need to do a "spring cleaning" on my pantry. I need to pack my lunch for the week. This will be helped with my office being closed Monday for President's Day. Hopefully I can get back in the swing of things and start seeing the scale slowly go back down.

Sorry so short tonight, but I also think that I've come down with a bit of the stomach virus my kids had over the weekend. Off to bed I go!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 6

Although I didn't have a lot of progress with my weight this week, I have felt GREAT anyway. I have also been working out A LOT. More on that in a minute. First, let's check out the scale:

So I'm only down 0.2 lbs from last week. Not a great amount. But, I had a rough few days at the end of last week. Monkey got his very first ear infection. Started with a fever Tuesday night, then he was miserable Wednesday. We went to the ped to get checked Thursday and she said it was an ear infection. From that point on, he basically went on a reverse nursing strike. He wanted to only nurse Friday and Saturday. We went from our normal schedule of 4-5 times a day to 20+ times a day.

Yes, you read that right. Over 20 times per day.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

10 Parenting Principles I Wish I'd Known: Episode One

Each of us can look back on our lives and wish we had known something "back then" that we know now. I had read a quote not to long ago that was along the lines of "Better to get the information before the decision instead of getting the information after the decision and regretting the choice that was made."

That got me thinking. I'd already posted before about my perspective on my parenting past. I have no regrets, only experience. But what if I had made different decisions because I had access to different information? What do I wish I had known "back then" that I know to be true in my heart now?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 5

Another week bites the dust! Looking back, I don't think I did that bad this past week. I worked out 2 times. I was below my calorie count every day except one, when I only went over 34 calories. So when I hopped on the scale this morning, I was excepting to be down a little, maybe a pound. And the verdict is:

Yep...I'm actually up 0.2lbs from last week.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tomato Garlic Baked Tilapia

We tried out a new recipe tonight. I loved it, and while it wasn't a huge hit with the entire family, I had enough of a success to make it again. Everyone in my family has very different food personalities. Hubby is very "meat &  potatoes," which makes it hard for me sometimes since I like to add in lots of veggies and fruit. He hates seafood unless it is sushi or unless he is "within a stone's throw of the ocean." I love fish and would love to have it more often.

Sassy loves her carbs, potatoes are the only veggie she will eat and not complain, and she only eats some chicken and salisbury steak. Diva hates most meat unless it is chicken tenders, but loves veggies and will eat her weight in salad. Monkey is my garbage disposal and will literally eat anything I put in front of him.

So, needless to say, trying to find new recipes are difficult in our house. I usually try to compromise and include at least 1 thing that each person will eat, but that usually ends up with us eating the same things over and over.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

No Regrets, Only Experience

Yesterday, I was finally using a gift certificate to a salon from my birthday and started making small talk with a stranger. She asked why it had taken me so long to use the gift certificate and I explained that it had been a very busy year since Monkey was born and that I had just not made the time to schedule an appointment.

As many conversations go when children are mentioned, we started talking about my children and that while the stranger did not have any children yet, she shared some details about her nephew. She mentioned how difficult it was sometimes for her sister to have a night out because she was nursing her young baby, which led to me mentioning the monthly Breastfeeding Cafe that I attend and how much it has helped me to have the support and education that it offers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 4

This past week was rough. We were preparing for Monkey's birthday party, which caused some rushing around and stress, which then led to poor food choices. But I was still able to stay below my daily calorie goal each day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monkey's Winter One-Derland

I am currently in party decompression mode. The last few weeks have been quite a whirlwind. We've had some complications, including sick kiddos, furnace on the fritz, and the busted water main. And to add last-minute drama, we had an ice storm hit the night before the party. Oh, and I forgot my camera at home. So the blurry pics are from my phone and the rest are stolen from a friend. But, it still turned out great!

Before this year, I had never heard of the theme "Winter One-Derland." Luckily, many of the ladies in my different mom groups on Facebook used this theme for their parties. Given that it is really a theme you can only do once, I decided to go for it for this year. Snowflakes and snowmen abound!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 3

Another week and another pound lost!

We've had some issues this last week at home. Our furnace was not working properly last Friday, causing an impromptu sleepover at Mom's and Mike from Grogg's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to grace us with his presence early Saturday morning. But, Mike did an awesome job and we were back home Saturday after the house warmed back up.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mind Your Own Vag....

Ok. That was a little blunt. But, seriously people...Mind your OWN Vag.
Let me explain what I mean.

This is a lovely phrase I picked up during my pregnancy with Monkey from an online parenting forum. As all forums go, there was arguing about every single detail regarding the pregnancy and the postpartum stage.

I am going into Exaggeration Mode.

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 2

One week DOWN! And I didn't do too bad for my first week overall. I keep having to remind myself that healthy changes will not happen overnight and I need to take baby steps. And I'm not referring to my weight, rather the healthy changes in my goals.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Then Use the Nozzle to Spray the Poop into the Bucket...


Yeah, you heard me right. And that is just one step in my laundry routine for cloth diapers. Tonight I'm going to tell you how I was lured into cloth dipes by some friends when I was first exposed to the way of the crunch.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Breasts: What Just Happened Here?

Ok, now that I've got your attention, let me explain. :-P

It is a known fact that motherhood changes a woman's body. This includes her hips, her abdomen,  and her breasts.

It is a myth that breastfeeding causes deflated, saggy boobs.

Pregnancy causes the changes in your breasts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 1

And so my journey begins. One year ago today, my Monkey was born. After that date, I did what many typical moms do. I lost a lot of weight, then slowly started packing it back on. Before I realized I was pregnant with Monkey, I had quite the magic algebraic equation to explain the weight I gained after Diva was born:

Sweet tea obsession + Junk food habit + Depo Provera + lack of exercise =

Nicole + 40 lbs (at least)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monkey's Birth: The Beginning of My Crunchy Journey

My Monkey's actual birthday is tomorrow, but my labor actually started on January 3, 2011. So here is my birth story, explaining what I went through last year on this date and the journey that got me there, culminating with Monkey's birth. Prepare yourself. It is LONG.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Daycare Meltdown

My Monkey is nearly 1 year old. I returned to work at around 8 weeks postpartum, but I know many women that wait until 1 year or longer if they are able. I have many friends that are looking at getting back in the workforce. For many of us, this means that our babies will be with another provider, whether that be a babysitter, nanny, family member, in-home daycare, or daycare center.

This means that the inevitable will happen: You will go to pick up your child and your poor baby will be a cranky, emotional mess as soon as you get there. It will break your heart. It will make you think they are sad to be leaving their provider instead of being happy to see you. Because, really, WHY would a child who is happy to see Mommy be crying?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Resolutions for the New Me

Yep, I've been sucked in. I've decided to do a stereotypical list of my New Year Resolutions. I figure that the best way to commit to some new changes is to put them on the Internet, cursing them to live there forever.

Many of my resolutions are related to this crunchy layer that is slowly creeping further and further into my life. Others are the typical resolutions that most people make. So, here's a countdown of what I want to work on in 2012 and some of the tools that I plan to utilize.