Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A New Start

When I started this blog, I wasn't really sure what I wanted it to be.  And to be honest, I'm still not sure.  An online record maybe?  Somewhere for my kids to come in later years and read about the crazy train we were riding?

Yesterday, I realized that this blog will be whatever it ends up being.  And I figured this was a good day to get back into my blogging!

I've made the choice to reclaim my health.  I used to be thin and fit.  Post college, post 2 babies, post desk job...I"m not any more.  I'm significantly overweight.  In the next year, I'm looking to drop around 75 lbs.  A good friend of mine turned me onto Jillian Michael's Total Body Revolution.  It's a 90 day program and she went down 6 pant sizes.  It gives me hope.

Since I'm breastfeeding, I can't do the full diet program.  I have to maintain a certain amount of calories so that I'm still making enough milk for my daughter.  So I don't know that I'll lose quite as much as my friend but every little bit helps!

So I'll try and check in every week.  I've done two days of Jillian plus an extra 60 squats today.  when I weighed myself yesterday I was 204.8lbs.  So lets see where I am next week!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Best Apps for a quick mom break

1. Shop Style - FREE Unless you happen to live near the Mall of America, there's no way you could ever get the breadth of stores that ShopStyle has in one place. The app sells everything – clothes, d├ęcor, kid and baby stuff, cosmetics, and shoes from stores like Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Banana Republic, Hanna Anderson – plus 300 more. Not only can you order your daughter a cute little dress while she's dozing in the stroller, but you can nab yourself a cute pair of shoes (and a lamp) while you're at it.
2. Cut the Rope - $0.99 Cut the Rope may not have reached Angry Birdsstatus yet, but it's getting close. This addictive game, mixing strategy and physics (it's not as hard as it sounds), comes as a welcome distraction any time you have a free moment. You wouldn't think that cutting rope would be so entertaining, but it really is!
There's also a free version of the game.
Works on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. (While Cut the Rope isn't available yet for Android, a very similar game called Rope Cut is.)
3. Stanza - FREE We know you don't have as much free time as you did pre-kids, but Stanza lets you keep a library of e-books you can chip away at a few pages at a time. It has more than 50,000 titles – recent bestsellers, classics, even a huge selection of free books. Download a bunch and maybe you'll actually read something other than Goodnight Moon tonight
There are several other major e-book apps out there, but we like Stanza for its customizable options, like adjusting page margins, line spacing, and coloring. Hey, if you're going to make time to read, you want it to be just the way you want it, right?
4. Long Deep Breathing - $0.99 When's the last time you actually stopped and took a deep breath? It does wonders for your psyche and can help you pull it together when you've got a tantruming toddler on your hands. The app is a simple breathing aid that provides visual cues for inhaling and exhaling. After taking just 10 deep breaths, you'll feel more relaxed and ready to deal with whatever's going wrong – without throwing a tantrum yourself.
Works on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (There's a similar app for the Android called Breathe.)
5. Make Up - FREE Let us guess: Some days you dash out of the house only to grimace when you catch a reflection of your disheveled self later on. But you can do better – even if virtually. Upload a photo of your face and get your eye shadow groove on with the endless colors loaded in this app. Once you've got your look right, it tells you what the exact product is. Now you've got some new items for your birthday wish list.
6. Pocket Booth - $0.99 Pocket Booth will take you back to your teen years, when you used to squeeze into one of those little photos booths and take goofy pictures with your friends. The app lets you take a photo (or use an existing one from your camera roll) and turn it into a strip of four pictures. Bring your friends down memory lane by e-mailing them a strip or posting it on their Facebook wall.
7. Tap News - $0.99 Tap News pulls from 18 mainstream news sources, like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and MSNBC, and feeds them into one place. Most of these news outlets have individual apps, yes, but this is a timesaving way to get up to speed on current events. Because, let's face it, sometimes we want to talk about something other than our kids.
8. Island Pictures - FREE Dare to dream about an exotic island getaway with your mate. A trip to Tahiti may not be on the calendar, but drooling over Islands magazine's photos of the most beautiful beaches in the world will take you there for a couple of minutes, at least in your mind.

Daily Musings

Over the last 21 months, I've learned a lot about life.

I've learned that I took for granted the free time I had prior to being a parent.
I've learned that being a stay-at-home mom is a lot of work.
I've learned that being a mom while working full time is a lot of work.
I've learned that I can be lazy.
I've learned that I can be very productive.
I've learned that I have no clue who I am.
I've learned that I really have no idea what I'm doing.

We've been watching Mad Men a lot. We just started Season 4 and I've been really upset that I'm not a Betty Draper. I don't have a neat house all the time. My fridge is usually filled with junk. Of course, I recently reminded myself that Betty does have a maid.

Life has also been extremely adventurous. Just the other day, I decided to write a book about living with a child (soon to be children) 2500 miles away from your family. I decided this book shall be called Adventures in Poop. I mean seriously. Why is there ALWAYS poop involved?! I have many friends who dodge Facebook friends because they are constantly talking about their kids' poop. Or poop in general. Somehow, kids always end up associated with poop!  Whenever my husband comes home, I immediately start on the daily poop updates.  I understand why people who are not parents get bent out of shape because my whole day revolves around poop!  (Sorta...)

I'm getting a hands' on experience on the differences in pregnancies.  When I was pregnant with Orion, I worked full time from home.  It was a very fast paced job that required me to be in front of my computer 40+ hours/week and I was on the phone for a good 30 of that.  I had lots of information that I needed to just be able to call up at any given moment and that's one of the things that made me a valuable employee.  I had a lot of info that I could just summon and I was quick and efficient at paperwork.  I love paperwork.  Seriously.  Working from home allowed me to laze around and I spent many hours watching television or surfing the internet or playing World of Warcraft.  If I needed to sleep, I took a lunch break and slept.  I'd go to bed early and sleep late whenever I could.  If I had an early shift, I'd take a nap and then still go to bed early.

When I brought my son home, I was granted 6 weeks maternity leave (30 business days).  I took those days for granted.  I took for granted when my son was immobile and when he was breastfeeding.  I'd just block him out unless he needed something.  Obviously I kept an eye on him but he was more a part of the furniture than anything else.

The more mobile he got, the harder my job became.  I ended up on anti-depressants because I was having trouble coping with my life.  A full time job, a full time parent, a full time wife and maid and cook?  I mean seriously.  That's way too much for one person to do with no help.  Now, that's not to say that my husband didn't do anything.  He was all of these things too.  But when it's all said and done, where is the personal down time?  It doesn't exist.  Things start slipping.

This second pregnancy is very very much wanted but was as much of a surprise as when I found out I was pregnant with our son.  I panicked because we'd been planning to get an IUD and wait 5 years for another baby and here I was pregnant again.  At least I'd be delivering in September.  Except that we found out I was much farther along than I thought.  I would be delivering at the end of July.  We decided that I should put in my notice for work (my job was pretty specialized and I'd been doing it for 5 years so I gave them 2 months' notice).  My time got cut a month short and I've been a stay at home mom ever since.

But being a stay at home mom isn't easy by any means.  I spend my days chasing my 21 month old toddler who is incredibly active.  If I'm not chasing Orion, I'm trying to do the cleaning and cooking that need to be done.  And I'm exhausted.  I'm 7 months pregnant and all I want to do is sleep.  Everything hurts and it's hurt for far longer than it did with Orion.  I'm contemplating a maternity support belt because wow.  Ouch.

I've learned along the way that I can't stick to some things and others I'm really good at sticking to.  We watch a lot of TV.  I'm tired.  Orion loves Toy Story.  If it's not Toy Story, it's Rio or Little Einsteins or Go Diego Go.  We had Netflix on a PlayStation 3 for awhile so we also watched The Backyardigans or Sesame Street or The Cat in the Hat or Curious George.  He eats more mac and cheese than I ever wanted him to.  And French Fries?  Forget it.  Can't get enough of them.

But ya know something I've learned?  My little boy is happy.  He's healthy.  He smiles and laughs and we have a good time.  I've learned that I've been too plugged in for too long in his very short life.  He'll come running up to me and slam my laptop closed if I've been on it for too long.  So I make sure that I limit my computer time.  My lazing about time.  If we're watching TV, I pull him onto my lap and we talk about what's going on.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Time Magazine article (what mom hasn't?!) about being mom enough (This is a much much longer blog entry, not for tonight) and you know what it comes down to?  My little boy is healthy and happy and loves me and knows he's loved.  And that's what's important.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sunshine living

When we first moved to SoCal, I had this vision of how things were going to be.
So far, pretty much nothing has turned out the way I thought that it would.

Now that we've got an (almost) 2 year old and another on the way, I find myself struggling to keep my son engaged and myself from going crazy.  In December, I left my job to be with my son full-time and it wasn't until recently that I realized that what I walked away from was also my adult interaction.  I spent more than an hour on the phone with one of my good friends this past week - and it was the first time I had spoken to an adult besides one of my family members in a very long time.  It felt good.  I felt like I had a real shot at being a human again.

Where does that leave me now?  It leaves me searching.  My son needs friends and interactions that challenge him.  I know every parent says it, but truly, my kid is smart.  He doesn't talk a lot but he's smart.  You can see in his face that he's constantly working out the laws of how our world functions.  Gravity is definitely NOT his friend (sadly, he gets this adorable trait from me).  So I spent a part of my day yesterday researching.

With a baby due at the end of July, I have a hard time plugging into new groups of moms because it takes a lot of energy to meet new people and form friendships.  I just don't have the energy to share with new people and new relationships.

So what have I found?  I found some fun kid friendly places!

Play Town Indoor Playground - http://www.goplaytown.com/general
--Cheaper than some of the other options I've found.  Hoping to check this one out in the next week.

Kidville - http://www.kidville.com
--Also an indoor playground.  Definitely going to check this one out too.

Any other suggestions out there for things to take a very active 2 year old to do that won't require this very pregnant mommy to expend very much energy?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trucks and Kisses

Yea, I trade Hot Wheels for kisses. You don't?

I had a discussion with a friend who happens to be an Occupation Therapist at a BBQ the other day. During the course of said discussion, she mentioned that my toddler is behind in speaking. He's 20 months old and doesn't say very much clearly. He does say things, they're just not always clear and a lot of it has to be taken in context. She mentioned that we could consider taking him in to see an OT and maybe give him a boost in his speech, or lack thereof.

It got me thinking.

Where does this "kids should be doing X by X" come from? My mother asked her family doctor if Mr. O should be saying more by now and if it was a cause for concern and he says "No, she shouldn't worry. Boys talk later. First children have a time table all their own."

This isn't the first time I've heard that boys talk later than girls. Boys supposedly walk earlier than girls. My son was walking at 8 months. The babbling started around the same time. So what does that mean? I just don't understand where all this "should be" comes from. I'm sure there are studies out there that lay it all out on the table but they're studies. What if they're not accurate? You can find a study that says one thing and then find a study that says the exact opposite. And supposedly 75% of statistics are made up.* So then what? And of course, you hear all the Old Wives' Tales about heartbeats and heartburn, etc. The docs will tell you they're not true. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. According to a pencil trick done by my husband's grandmother, we were only supposed to have one girl. Well, I have a 20 month old that says different. Either that or the whole penis/vagina thing is a scam....

I don't know what I'm getting at here, really. I think I spend 75%** of this pregnancy in a dazed and confused state similar to that of someone in a mental ward. Guess it keeps life interesting for my husband, eh?

*Yea. I made up that number. I worked in market research, people. I know how the numbers work. I did hear that though. That X % of statistics are made up. And it was a higher than 50% number.
**that one is made up too. Sue me. But don't really.

Hot Wheels

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy wow! I'm a big boy now!

This past month has been quite the month!

We're settling into our new place quite nicely and I'm sooo very happy to be on our own. After more than 2 years of having a roommate, it's been super quiet and a little on the lonely side. It'll be very nice once Baby Girl gets here, though. We haven't had to use a baby monitor because our room and our son's room are so close together that we hear him when he rolls over. Which is an exaggeration but you get the picture.

Mr. O has definitely moved to a new stage in life. Last week, when Josh's mom was here, Mr. O decided to show off. He climbed from his crib onto his changing table when she went to get him in the morning. Since he has been attempting to sky dive off that changing table ever since he was 6 months old, we figured it was time to move him to the next stage...Toddler bed! We purchased a mesh guard to go on the front of the bed and started him in it that night.

Don't let ANYONE tell you that transitioning into a toddler bed will be painless. The first night, he got very scared and stood in the hallway screaming. Our house is not very big. It's about 7 feet from his door to our door. Josh's mom called out to him from where she was sleeping on the couch and he was off and running. He finally got calmed down when Josh picked him up and slept the rest of the night with no issues. I got some feedback from some Facebook friends and family and rolled up a blanket to place next to the mesh guard. I have a feeling he was worried because the mesh guard gave when he rolled over into it and it made him feel like he was falling.

Night number 2 was painless. He slept all night.

Night number 3? He was up four times. I'm not sure if he was frightened or if he wasn't feeling well but he refused to sleep.

Night number 4 he was up once and ended up in bed with us because I was too tired to take him back to bed.

Night number 5 he was up twice and the second time he stayed in bed with us.

Night number 6 was last night. Holy moly. He slept until about 3am and then brought the whole house down. Josh attempted to get him to sleep in his bed and he was NOT having it. Josh worked with him for an hour before I went in to relieve him. It took me three tries but I finally got him to sleep and he stayed asleep. He then slept until 7:50. It was awesome.

We're working on breaking all the bad habits we had. It used to be the only way to get him to sleep was to give him a bottle. When we broke him to a cup, it was still rough. He HATES going to sleep so he would get very antsy and put up a huge fight. I walked away with a lot of bruises. Now, he'll go to sleep sitting on the couch, watching TV. The nights he's climbed in bed with us, I've only had to cuddle him and he'd fall right back asleep. Our next step is getting him to fall asleep in his bed with no assistance.

I know people always say you learn what NOT to do with your first kid and while that's true, it's also NOT true. I love how connected we are to each other. He has a very strong bond to Josh and to myself that I wouldn't trade for the world. Do I wish he didn't wake up in the middle of the night and want to snuggle? Sorta...I'd rather he didn't wake up but I know that the snuggling is only going to last for so long. Eventually he's not going to be my snuggle bunny anymore. I'm already sad for when that day comes but that doesn't slow time. I already wonder how in the world we're coming up on his second birthday. It seems like I was just planning his first birthday!

So for now, we're just working through the speed bumps and the crazy and hoping that life will slow down just a little bit so I can smell the roses.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's a....

Girl!

Thursday was our ultrasound for gender and we were (not so) surprised to learn that we're having our girl! We've known it was a girl pretty much from the start. Everything is a 180 from my pregnancy with O. I'm much more hormonal, eating a lot more, showing earlier, etc. Everything is so different. It was just awesome to have that confirmed!

This may be our last baby. I know it will be for awhile. In some ways, that's disappointing but in others, it's a major relief. This pregnancy has been a lot harder on me physically and emotionally so it's a relief that we may not do this again. On the other hand, I love my babies with everything I have and would welcome more children. It's a fun conundrum.

My mother is currently visiting, which has been nice. She's here for another week and some change, so we're hoping to get a lot accomplished in the terms of packing and cleaning. We move at the end of the month, so the time creeps up quickly. We're still not 100% sure where we're going to end up. We have a lead on a house in Oak Park, but I'm not sure we're going to get it. It's an awesome place and it would be amazing to have our own house until we can buy one but who knows.

I guess it all works out in the end, eh?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

She says it's all gonna end and it might as well be my fault....

Lately everything that has gone wrong has felt like it's my fault in some astronomical way.

Our toilet leaked and that was my fault.
Mr. O isn't sleeping so very well and that's my fault.
Mr. O is a holy terror and it's because I'm doing something wrong so again, my fault.

I *know* that it's not my fault. I mean c'mon. I can't directly effect things so much that it's like the world around me is ending. Perhaps it's because I've been reading The Night Circus where everything does rely on 2 characters. Who the heck knows? I can tell you that I've spent most nights in tears because I feel like I'm failing my son.

I'm terrified that I'm going to screw him up.
I'm terrified that I'm going to be at fault if he gets hurt (he has a bruise in his ear...how the hell do you get a bruise in your ear?!)
I'm terrified that I'm not cut out to be a stay at home mom and that I'm going to ruin all our big plans by failing at this one important thing.
I'm terrified that I'm not going to be motivated enough to get through my classes this semester.
I'm terrified that I'm not going to be able to keep us within our budget.
I'm terrified that I'm going to miscarry our new baby.

So I spend a lot of time, banging my head against a wall, trying not to overburden my husband with my pregnancy hormone induced crazy train.

I've got some errands to do today and it's sunny and beautiful and I'm hoping that I'll be able to shake these feelings I woke up with.

I think some Ozzy Osbourne might be necessary today. Spotify, here I come.