Thursday, November 5, 2015

Can I "So What?!" on a Thursday???

Yesterday was bananas. Like, legit bananas. As in, I sat with my face down on my desk and just sat there, exhausted, not knowing what to do next. Yeah. It's been fun.
So... I will "So What?!" on a Thursday...
I deserve it!
This week I'm saying "So What?!" if...
* I may or may not have participated in drinking 3 glasses of champagne last night. I knew I was going to regret it, and already had a headache before I was done drinking, but still... it was so delicious.
* I could have bet a million dollars that after my champagne binge last night that the baby would be up early. He woke up around his normal time, but instead of hanging out in his crib 30-45 minutes playing like he does every morning, he wasn't having it. Ugh.
* I haven't found a good way for people to announce themselves into my cube. Some people come up behind me and just start talking, which scares the shit out of me. Some people knock. Some people clear their throat. It all bothers me. Maybe just don't come talk to me...
* I skipped my workout last night. I worked out 8 out of the last 9 days and I just needed a break. Mentally and physically. I plan on making it up today though. 3 mile run and then pilates later. I hear the weather is going to be so nice today so I can't wait to run outside!
* I feel guilty doing anything that makes me late to pick the baby up from daycare. Honestly, he's never really been there later than 4:30, but if I get caught at work late, go grocery shopping, run, have an errand to do, I feel bad. Like I should have picked him up earlier. The only thing that saves me if I know it's a selfish want. He would have MUCH more fun playing outside than running an errand with me.
* I am SO excited about the holidays. I know everyone is all bah humbug already, but I'm looking forward to it. Halloween was EXHAUSTING, but it was so much fun. I anticipate Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the same. I just can't wait to be with family and just soak up all the extra time I get with them.
* I have NO idea where I stand on when I want to have another baby. I have the biggest of baby fevers, but I am literally the only thing standing in my way. Alex is all on the "the sooner the better" train, and I can't quite figure out what my issue is. That's a whole other post though.
* Almost everything on my Amazon Birthday / Christmas list is super lame. It's all kitchen supplies and stuff I need that I don't want to buy.
* I'm feeling "ho hum" about my birthday this year. I feel like I should do it big because it's my 30th, but on the other hand, it's just another day in life. Maybe that's what comes with age. Who knows. My birthday is hard because it's December 20th. I wish it was in a warmer month, but alas, I am doomed to be a December baby forever. (Thanks Mom...)
I think that's enough for today. I got to work early (Thanks Baby...) and I have so far spent my time searching to see if I have unclaimed money with the government (I DO!) and talking with a coworker. And I have nothing else to show for my morning. Soooo.... that's all!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Five on Friday: Halloween Edition

I'm really getting back into the swing of things with this link-up. I LOVED me a good link-up back in the day!
I'm so excited for this weekend. Between Halloween and the Harvest Festival this weekend, it should be a LOT of fun!
Now... let's get started!
One: pumpkins. It's all about the pumpkins right now. Little Man is OBSESSED. Seriously. They are everywhere, so we hear "punkin!" no less than 8 million times a day. Daddy of the Year went and bought him some more pumpkins the other day and surprised him when he picked him up from school. They were placed in all of these little places around the outside of the house for John to find them. Naturally, they have made their way inside. And are all places together. And in his cup holder...
Two: Halloween. I LOOOOVE Halloween. Alex, not so much. So, it is up to the babe to be my little Halloween buddy. So far though, it isn't looking good for this Mama. I bought him this cute monster costume and he wasn't having it.
I was going to attempt the monster costume for trick or treating at his school last night, but it was like 75 degrees so he would have been too hot. Lumberjack was out (which was my fall back plan), but he won't wear a hat. So we improvised. 10 minutes before we left the house.

Tom Brady
Three: Halloween again. But this time, for ME! I wasn't planning on wearing anything for work, but I got guilted into it. I came up with this whole elaborate plan and then slept in for the first time this week. So... thrown together gangster it is.

Four: Running Challenge Group is kicking my ass. I mean, I know I came up with the training plan, but DAMN! I am sore. I am tired. At least I know it's working! AND my T25 shirt came in the mail the other day. When you submit your before & after story, they send you a shirt with your program on it! I know it's just a shirt, but it represents all of the hard work I did, so it really means a lot more.

Five: Transitions. TimeHop can be a bitch sometimes. (Like reminding me of my tiny squishy baby.... Or a time where I could randomly go out and day drink with the ladies) But, it can also be a reminder of how far you have come. I remember that Halloween. Four years ago. I remember trying to throw something together for a costume. It was last minute because we were getting a huge snowstorm (I know... ridiculous) and Alex didn't know if he needed to plow. I remember feeling huge. And ugly. And sad. I was engaged, getting married in less than a year, and I was miserable. Now? A marriage and a baby later? I'm happy. I look at pictures of myself and I'm happy! For the first time in almost my entire life!

Welp, that's all I gots for ya today! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your Halloween! I will not because while I at first thought "How much candy can an 19 month old eat?" and told Alex that we get to eat most of it... someone posted a picture of just how much it would take to work off various "snack sized" candies. Ugh. Halloween. Ruined.
Linking up with a. liz adventures

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's my Baby and I'll Twerk if I Want to!

It's a common theme that well-intentioned family, friends, and random strangers constantly want to know what you are doing with your life. Specifically, your body.
The questions come almost immediately once you reach a certain age or phase in your life.
When are you having a baby?
The questions are incessant. They can also be rather personal as well. I'm a firm believer that you never know someone's story and you should be careful with what you ask.
I remember when I was still picking up the pieces of my life, fresh off the news of our miscarriage, and having people ask when we were planning on having children. It was like a knife to my heart. Obviously, this person had no clue what I was going through, but wasn't that the point? With so many issues regarding fertility (not to mention just personal choices - maybe I didn't want kids or wasn't ready), it can be a hurtful subject for many people. Not to mention, none of your damn business.
Eventually, we were blessed with our sweet boy, but then we were met with the comments"
Well, you guys didn't waste any time.
In one world, I wasn't having children quick enough. In another world, because I got pregnant within the first year of marriage (and we also bought a house, but whatever), it was too quick. I can only imagine what the comments would have been if we were able to keep our first pregnancy. We got married in September, closed on our house in December, and found out we were pregnant at the end of January. The scandal!
Once our son was born it didn't take long before the questions started again.
When are you having another?
My answer is never good enough. I should do it sooner. I should wait longer. This person did this. This person did that. How many children do we want? That's too many. That's not enough. It never ends.
And that's just the conversations about getting pregnant.
The questions and comments that I received WHILE pregnant, were ridiculous. It was like all of a sudden, every single part of my life and my body were up for discussion. And as a relatively private person this didn't go over well for me. (I'm fully aware that I spill my guts for the entire internet to read, but honestly I can't see all of you people, so I get to be a little brave!)
I just don't understand why people think it is necessary or RIGHT to tell a woman what to do with her body and when. (I could get into the more "hot" topics regarding this issue, but I don't need to start a shit storm. We all have our opinions)
Would we ever say this to a man?
I was having this entire discussion with a friend at lunch the other day when I came back to work and ready this post.
It was about a woman, a dancer, who is currently pregnant, dancing in a dance routine with a class. Let's just start out by saying, that my dance moves resemble that of someone sticking their finger in a socket while standing in a pool of water on a GOOD day. When I was pregnant? Please. I couldn't even handle getting up from the couch with grace, let alone actually performing anything that might have slightly resembled a dance rather than a large mammoth having a seizure.
I applaud this woman. And in the attempt to never let the 90's go, I would just like to say, "YOU GO GIRL!"
But you know what happened?
Instead of people being amazed that she could still perform like this, while obviously having to work around a large belly, they shamed her. Told her she was hurting her baby. Possibly killing it. That she was irresponsible.
So... let me get this straight.
This woman, stayed in shape, was active, and kept up her daily life while pregnant, and she's a terrible person?
I'm sorry, don't we also shame those women who DON'T stay in shape during pregnancy and gain too much weight?
Aren't we constantly telling women that it is healthier for them AND the baby to stay active during pregnancy? That it helps with labor and delivery? And to have healthier babies?
We can't win.
Raise your hand if you are sick of society telling you what you can and can not, should and should not do with your body!

Yeah. That's pretty much how I feel.
So... the next time you go to ask someone about their personal life/body/gestating plans/etc. stop and think. Ask yourself:
Is this my business?
Would I want this person asking me this?
Could this be a sensitive subject?
Am I an asshat who has no idea about personal boundaries?
Just a few questions to stop you from making a mistake. Think before you speak people. Because if I have one more person as me one of the above questions, I can't guarantee what I'll do.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Now We Know: A Verbal Vomit of Marriage Life and Adjusting to Life with a Newborn

I came across this article the other day. I'll give you a chance to read it quick.
If you won't want to read it, the whole premise of it is that the woman is talking about how when she had her baby, she never thought it would have been possible to hate her husband. In the middle of the night, in the middle of exhaustion, she hated him. He could do nothing right. But then again, neither could she. It was a tough transition for them and she often questioned whether or not they would make it. Would their marriage survive this?
I shared it on Facebook and hesitated a little bit before I hit the "publish" button. I'm pretty open and honest about my life. I don't sugar coat things. But, I was worried that people wouldn't agree with how I felt. Or didn't want to admit that they agree with how I felt. (Plus, I knew my mother in law might read it and I didn't really want her to think of me wanting to kill her son. But... then again, she's a mom of two kids, I'm sure she felt that way at some point)
Thankfully, a bunch of people shared it and commented on it. The jist that I got was "me too!", which made me feel better.
It also made me realize that 19 months later it was the first time that I really heard someone else put into words what I felt.
When we first brought John home, there was the honeymoon period, like there is with all stages of life! We were both pretty clueless, exhausted, nervous, and we were in it together. I couldn't have loved this man more. We just had a BABY together. It was just the most amazing feeling in the entire world.
And then Alex went back to work. He went back to his "old life" and while I know that he wishes that he could have stayed home with us longer and he worried about us all day, all I thought about was that he got to go back to his old life. He go to be himself again, and I didn't even know who I was. I spent 24/7 at home, usually by myself, and it was hard.

Alex had little to no experience with babies, so I was really on my own to try to figure stuff out. I talked to my mom a lot, and friends with kids, but it would have been nice to have someone IN it with me. That I wasn't the only one making all of the mistakes. Everything kind of snow-balled from there. I was doing most of everything, so it was a lot easier for me to just continue to do it rather than teach Alex how to do it. Or let him figure out his own way. I'm pretty particular in how I like things done, and I wanted him to do it MY way. But, he wanted to grow as a parent, as a father, he wanted to try his own things. It wasn't necessarily wrong, it just wasn't how I would do things.

Honestly, it took a lot of work to get US back. I remember when John was 5 weeks old, feeling SO far away from my husband, thinking that we would never find US again. I asked my mom if she would babysit one night so that we could go out to dinner. I wasn't ready to leave our sweet boy, but I needed to grab a hold of my married before it floated too far away.

So that's what we did. Once a month, we went out to dinner. Just the two of us. It wasn't long. We spent the entire time talking about the baby. But, it was just what we needed. Overtime, we got more comfortable leaving him. We left him for a little longer. A little more often. We started to see our friends more, which helped with feeling like our "old" selves again. For awhile it was hard because we never got time to ourselves, so if we had a sitter, we just kept it to us, but as he got older and we noticed that he really didn't care that we were gone since he was having so much fun with my parents, we went out a little more often so it was easier to spend time with friends.

It also helped that as he got older, we could bring him more places. I mean, sometimes I want to slap myself in the face because, duh, there's nothing easier to tote around then a tiny baby who can literally eat and sleep ANYWHERE, but we were dumb and new and nervous. We didn't know. (Our poor second child will be dragged all over creation!)

It got easier. We found us more. It took some time though. And it is still work to find time for us. It is SO easy to just get caught up in the entire world. The demands. The to do lists. It is SO easy to push each other aside because it's the "least important thing on your list", but that is SO wrong. SO WRONG!

You chose each other. You chose forever. To share a life. Through sickness and in health. For better or for worse. You owe it to yourselves and each other, to never lose that. A hard part for us was that we were never much work. I mean, it wasn't always sunshine and roses, but that connection was always there. This was work, and it was SCARY!

Now we know the importance of it. Even if it means just making sure that we sit together on the same couch, while doing two completely different things. Just to have that closeness. It all helps. Every single bit.

So know that it will suck. Know that you will kind of hate each other at times. That's normal. Just know that it isn't forever. It doesn't have to be anyway. It's just a season. But it's work. And you're worth it.

I guess I just wish someone had said it to me. That it was normal. That my marriage wasn't crumbling. That we could fix it. It was terrifying to be a new mom and wonder where our lives were going. And I know that some of it was probably dramatized because of lack of sleep and heightened emotions, but still. It was scary.

So... it's NORMAL. I'm sure we will go through it again with the next one. We'll have to reevaluate our lives again to adjust to the next squirmy little baby. But now we know. And we know what to look for. And that it's worth it. Now we know. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five on Friday

It has been a hot moment since I have linked up, but I figured what better day than now? Especially since one of my favorites, Christina over at Carolina Charm, is hosting one.
Five on Friday!
One:  Last weekend, one of my friends was celebrating her 30th birthday. For the most part, all of my friends have either turned 30, or are turning 30 this year. I'm one of the last one's in December (short of a couple youngin's in the group), so it was fun to get the celebrations started. Naturally, I needed to use this as an excuse to bake. And being the good example that I am, I had to show that my dinner Friday night consisted of raw cookie dough and champagne. Because... why not?!
Two: Saturday was the celebration. We met around 11:00 AM (with me being late as always, ugh!) and jumped in the Limo (part of her Hub's birthday present) and headed to a winery. We stopped and grabbed lunch first, and then headed to where it looks like every other person in the world planned on going. We opted to skip the tour (since most of us had already been on it) grab some wine and some snacks from the limo and chat. It has been a LONG time since we had some day drinking and it was great to catch up with these fabulous ladies!

Three: Alex and I had talked about how we needed to get whatever we could out of the garden by Saturday night since our first frost was predicted. So... being the stubborn person I am, deciding since I started the garden I was going to finish it, I did it. Saturday night. In the dark. With a flashlight. Drunk. Yeah...but, I was successful and we got a whole bunch of stuff! Now, just waiting (hoping) that they ripen!

Four: Because I don't have enough going on, I decided it was time to resurrect Fraggle Creations. I have a Vendor Fair tonight, that sounded like a great idea two months ago when I signed up for it two months ago. I had plenty of time to prep. But then Beachbody took off like crazy and I got busy with that. So I had nothing. Which meant that I spent my week pulling my hair out prepping some inventory. I managed to pull it off and I am really looking forward to it. AND they decided at work that they wanted to do a "paint your own wine glass" night so they hired me to do it!

Five: We attempted Family Pictures this week. I say attempted because we were NOT successful. It started off great. We took some silly family pictures. We played outside. But then things ran late, John fell down the hill, he was over it, and finally after lots of tears and a busted lip, we called it a wrap. We are going to try it again on Wednesday, so I'm hoping we can be better prepared. If not... looks like this is our Christmas card...
Aaaaaand that's all I got for you today. I still have a big to do list to prep for tonight. But... the pain is temporary and they serve booze there, so I'll survive! Just sad to be missing my lil bub's bed time tonight.
Have a great weekend folks!


Friday, October 16, 2015

On Being a Working Mother... (Updated)

I've written before about what it feels like since becoming a mom, and my thoughts on being a working Mother. I thought since it has been a considerable amount of time since I had written those, that I would give you an update.
You know... since I had a 3 month old at the time, and now I have an 18 month old. And a new job. And a new schedule. And a whole new set of crazy to deal with.
Being a working Mother blows. Still.
It's hard. There's so much pressure, and there's no way to do both jobs 100%. You're always failing at something. I try my hardest to make sure that I am doing the best that I can at both situations, but if I can't do 100% I never think I'm good enough. I'm working hard on changing that, because I know that I'm the only one putting that pressure on myself, but it's hard.
I have a new job now that makes things a little bit harder. I absolutely love my new job and my new boss (same company), but unfortunately the downside to a new job was that I lost my "work from home" days. Thankfully, the pay increase was enough to cover the cost of daycare, but just barely that, and it's been an adjustment.
I now have to deal with the fact that I have two less days at home to spend time with John, grocery shop, clean, plan, do anything really. It's been a tough adjustment. I find myself scrambling most weekends to get everything done. I no longer have the flexibility to throw some laundry in while I'm home, or work out at lunch, or clean here and there, or even take some impromptu trips to the park with Little Man.
It's been tough. I mean, don't get me wrong, sometimes when I am out running errands at lunch, by myself, and I see some crazy kid throwing a fit at Target, I thank my lucky stars that I get the chance to be by myself. But... then days like today, when all I see are Mamas and their babies being silly and cute, I can't help but think that someone else is getting to be silly and cute with my baby. While I work. And pay them an arm and a leg. (Well... the daycare. The workers get paid crap, but shit god damn is tuition expensive)
It's just tough. To scrimp, and save, and worry, AND miss out on time with the man. Unfortunately, I make just enough money for it to be worth it for me to work. I mean... I know I should be thankful, but I also know that these moments on fleeting and that I will blink and he will be at college. Every day I am reminded of how quick it all goes.
So... we make the most of the time we have. Take the time to relax together when we can. To focus on the family time, even when our "to-do" list is a mile long. Every so often, I get the ability to work from home, which is nice. It's just all been a big change.
So here's what we have been up to and how we are handling the adjustment...
We spend our Sunday mornings (the one morning we all get together) taking our time, watching some TV, and having a nice cup of coffee to get the day started.
We take the time to fit some work in when we need to and when we can.

We make sure to never take life seriously, and to know that dinner prep time can ALWAYS be used to try out some new fashion trends.

We take family car rides to run errands. Chatting and singing away. Making the most of every moment we have.

And we are enjoying every free moment outside that we can, before the wicked Massachusetts Winter holds up captive for months on end.

We make the most of the time we have. And do the best that we can with what we have. Whether it be time, or money, or whatever. This is all just a season and I know some day that it won't always be this hard. Unfortunately, Baby John will not wait for that day and is growing by the second (despite my requests to stay my tiny baby forever).
So, it's hard. I LOVE the Mother part. The working part... well... unfortunately we have all grown accustomed to a roof over our head, heat, electricity, clothing...FOOD! So, since we work to keep us in this lavish lifestyle that we are determined to live.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Journey... so far...

So, it's not secret that I've been on a fitness journey. With most of my life (short of the black hole of the past year) I always want to remember where I was and what I did. Since this is something that has been a huge part of my life, I really wanted to make sure that I document it.
I know that some day in the future, I'll find myself pregnant again, and trying to lost the baby weight AGAIN. I really want to make sure that I remember this. Not only so that I can remember to treat myself well while I am pregnant, to be healthier for myself and my baby, but also to remember that it's a journey. That I did it before, and I can do it again. To remind myself not to continue to push off something til "tomorrow". Because that's what I did.
Here is my "before" picture:
Notice the date? Yeah. August 2014. This was my beginning! I was going to DO THIS!
Except... I didn't. I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. (Other than be miserable)
You know when I DID start? January 5th. FIVE months later. Do you know that I could be 5 months further into my journey? 5 months further into my progress? Do you know what we did in those 5 months?
We did family pictures. Celebrated our baby's first Thanksgiving. Celebrated my birthday. Celebrated our baby's first Christmas. All of those events involve countless pictures (the ones I DID take, not the ones I dodged) that I hate looking at. I hate they way I look. I know I look uncomfortable, because I'm probably thinking of how bad the pictures will look. That was most of my baby's first year. Avoiding the camera. Hating the pictures we took. I can't believe I did that to myself.
So, I had enough. I started January 5th and got my eating on track. I logged everything that I put in my mouth. If it wasn't in my calories, I didn't do it. I only drank on the weekends, and even when I did, it wasn't a lot. I needed to lose the baby weight (I still had 15 to lose) and my goal was his first birthday, March 22nd.
I lost 9 lbs that month. And nine inches. JUST from changing my diet.
February, I got started working out again. I dusted off the old T25 and I did. Every day. Even when it killed me. Even when I didn't want to. Even when it was hard. Eventually, it became part of my routine and I started to look forward to it (well... I didn't dread it).
I got through Alpha in the 5 weeks and moved onto Beta. Beta was my JAM! Alpha has a lot of cardio in it, which is what I needed, but I was so out of shape that it was tough. It got easier, but it was tough. Beta brought in a lot more weights, so I really enjoyed that. By the time I was about 3 weeks into Beta, I knew I was hooked and I ordered Gamma to make sure I had it in time to continue on.
5 weeks of Beta. Done.
Then I started Gamma. And then life got busy. And then it was the Summer. And then I started that damn program over THREE times before I finally finished it. My last day of Gamma was October 1st. 8 months after I started. A 15 week program took me 8 months. BUT, I did it. I kept with it.
Although it just goes to show, if I had just kept with it, where would I be now? I still have about 8 more lbs to hit my goal. I still have areas that I want to work on. BUT... I don't want to focus on what I could have done, or I should have done. The important part is what I DID do, and that was kick some serious ass.
Check it out for yourself:

That's me now. Notice the big difference? Yeah. I do too! It's the smile. I'm wearing a bathing suit, taking a picture, and I am SMILING. That's the big difference that I notice. Yeah, there's a huge change in my body. BUT, I most love the big change in ME! As a person. I'm happier. I'm more confident. It's a big difference, from how MISERABLE I was.
Take a look at them together:
And here's the results in numbers:
30 pounds. 30 inches.
Not THAT is progress!
And now, I just can't stop. I've been doing PiYo for the last couple weeks, and then I'm starting a Runners Challenge Group on the 26th. It's been really great being a coach because it's definitely keeping me motivated to keep going with my journey.
And then the next excitement? The new Hammer & Chisel workout comes out December 1st. It's all about weights and building muscle, which I am definitely down for. T25 helped me lose the weight and define. PiYo is definitely helping me define a bit more, but Hammer & Chisel will DEFINITELY get me tones! Hopefully I'll be meeting my goals soon!
My new plan is to (hopefully) hit my goal weight and be about 95% happy with the progress I'm making on my "rough" areas by my 30th birthday, which is December 20th. I mean, I don't know a better way to enter my 30's than to be in the best shape of my entire life.
So that's what I've been up to. When I'm not running around work like a crazy person, or doing 12,000 things to make sure the baby/husband/dog have everything they need, whilst making sure that I stop that baby from doing the 20,000 things that will end up with him in the Emergency Room (there's no time for an ER visit in the schedule), I'm working on ME. It has helped so much with my stress, my self confidence, my sleep. I'm so glad I finally took the time to do this for myself.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dating, Blonde Bombshells, and Clean Eating

What's been going on?! Long time no talk.
I know, I'm all "oh hey, back to blogging" and then radio silence.
Life is BUSY. As I'm sure everyone else is.
Let's backtrack, shall we?
Alex and I finally were able to head out to celebrate our anniversary (3 weeks late). I can't believe that it has been 3 years since we said, "I do!" Time sure has flown. We were at the mercy of our babysitters so that's why we needed to wait so long. Oh the difference of before vs. after kids. Our anniversary was on a Tuesday, so I was NOT bringing an overtired baby out to dinner after a long day at daycare. On our actual anniversary, we just did take-out and drank some adult beverages, reminiscing about the past few years.
When we were able to REALLY celebrate our anniversary, my parents took Baby John for the night. Originally, the plan was for us to have a yard sale to get rid of all of the junk in our basement on Sunday, so we had him stay over so we could get everything ready without him running crazy. But, I forgot that we are lazy and our follow-through sucks, so there was no yard sale. Shocking. But we kept the overnight sitting anyway... duh.
I have to admit, the baby sleepover always sounds like a good idea until he's gone, and then we miss him. We try not to do it too often, but there are some cases that it is just easier for my parents to have him at their house. Plus, they have a whole Baby Vegas thing going on there, so it's kind of like his home away from home.
We couldn't figure out where we wanted to go, as usual, so we finally settled on this delicious pizza place. I know you're thinking "Pizza... so fancy...", but it's one of those nice pizza places. They have other food there too, but you go there for your pizza. It was delicious.
We started the night with some beers in the garage. The baby monitor doesn't reach out there, so unfortunately our nights of drinking in the garage came to a screeching halt once Baby J came. Felt like old times.
After dinner, we were going to head to another place for a drink and some dessert. It's this restaurant that I have been dying to try, and it's known for it's dessert. But, as we were driving out to it, we were behind a muscle car at a red light. Alex made a mention about how this was a good night for a ride, and I knew our plans had to change. We were right by the turn to go to our house, so I told him to take it and we should go for a ride in the Chevelle.
Along with garage beers, Chevelle rides were another thing of the past. In fact, I don't think I have been in that car since July of LAST year. Yeah. I encourage Alex to clear it off and take it for a ride every so often, but unfortunately they frown upon leaving your child home alone (even when they are sleeping), so I don't usually get to ride too.
 I of course stayed in the warm truck while he warmed the car up. It was a bit chilly out, but it was a blast!
It's SO important to make sure that you continue to date your spouse, especially after kids. It's so easy to get lost in daily life, responsibilities, etc. But, you are married for a reason. You bound yourself to each other for LIFE for a reason. Don't forget that. Take time for yourselves. John had a blast at his grandparents' house and could not have cared less that we weren't around.
After I successfully ate to my heart's content that weekend, it was time to get back down to business. The scale hadn't moved in a long time and I knew why. My eating sucked and I wasn't working out as much as I should. I tried and tried to get back on, but I knew I needed a drastic reset.
Enter... the 3 Day Refresh.
I tried this before and while I had great results, I struggled. I went into it with wanting to drop some weight quick, and not with the right mindset. I also didn't have coffee, which should probably be illegal. I was GROUCHY.
This time, I went into it knowing I needed to be healthy. Knowing I needed to give my body good stuff, and it was SO much easier. (Plus, I drank coffee. Duh.)
Day One food. (Minus dinner) Trust me, I was NOT hungry, AT ALL!
The results were AMAZING. I felt great after the 3 days. I lost 5.4 lbs, and an inch EACH around my waist, hips, and thighs. Definitely worth it.

3 Day Refresh Results
I had planned a Clean Eating Challenge Group for the same week, and it could not have been better timing. It really kept me on track the rest of the week to go from the Refresh to good eating.
I made the Turkey Burgers and I was hesitant because I'm not a huge fan of Turkey burgers, and they didn't have much in them (no egg, no breadcrumbs) but they were absolutely DELICIOUS. I put a little fresh Parmesan Romano cheese on it, because, cheese, but they were still low cal even with that. (I also whipped out my scale because what I "thought" was 4 oz, was actually closer to 6. I need to get better with weighing my food and not guessing. That's another problem of mine)

And lastly, in random things about me that you probably don't care about, but I do. I made my appointment with my hair dresser to go back to my "natural" brown for the Winter. I say "natural" because I have been coloring my hair since I was 13 and Lord knows what the actual color is. I think it is kind of an ashy brown/blonde thing, but I know it isn't pretty.
However... the closer to got to the appointment, the more I realized that I loved the blonde. SO, we just added some low-lights to "Fall-ify" it and called it a day. I love it!

I made my next appointment to go back to brown in November, but who knows what I will actually do. I'm kind of digging the blonde. My bank account is not. But... what does my bank account know about life? Exactly.
Welp... that's all I got for today! Hope all you lovelies are having a fabulous Monday!

Friday, September 11, 2015

We Will NEVER Forget

I'm feeling a little emotional today.
I'm pretty sure everyone in the country is feeling a little emotional today.
Every single year, I'm brought back to that day. Those moments. Today they were asking where everyone was when the world stopped turning. I know everyone remembers.
Me? I went home sick that day. Early that morning actually. I had heard something about it while I was in the nurse's office, so I turned on the news as soon as I got home. I remember sitting on our coffee table, not moving. Just stunned. Trying to make sense of it all. We had no idea what was happening at that time.
As we found out more information, the fear grew.
I remember talking to a friend online later that day. Finding out new information. Worrying about what this all meant. My current boyfriend, his best friend, was in boot camp for the Navy at the time. When they started talking about the military, I wondered what this would mean for him. For us. For everyone.
I remember being sick to my stomach as my "friend" told me that he would probably be deployed right out of boot camp. That he would go to war, and there was a very good possibility that he would die.
Good friend.
This was way more than my 15 year old mind could handle. It was already WAY too much of an emotional situation when he was gone and now I literally had no clue how to process any of this information. I was numb.
For the record, he did not get deployed. He is living happily in California (at least that's where he was a billion years ago when I spoke to him last).
He was scheduled to graduate boot camp on September 20th and his mom and I were flying out to see him. Things were still tense, but thankfully we were flying out of a smaller airport, so it wasn't so bad. We were the first group that was allowed on base to watch the graduation since the terrorist attack. We needed to meet in a strip mall parking lot, we were searched by the navy officials, and then boarded a large bus that drove us onto the base.
It's amazing to think that this was all 14 years ago. I feel like it happened yesterday. I can remember it like it was yesterday. All of it.
It amazes me that something that happened so long ago, still has such an emotional effect on a nation. In a world where we are more concerned with what Kim Kardashian is doing, rather than what really matters, I'm proud of us for remembering this. This wound has not healed. And it won't heal. And because of that, it will never be forgotten.
It's a shame that it takes such an absolutely tragic event for us to come together as a nation, but at least we know it is possible.
I found this on Facebook last night, and it really resonated with me. It shows us that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and that we should always remember to say "I love you":
At this moment, 14 years ago, millions of Americans
went to bed quietly,
with not thought that the next morning their world
would change forever.
That night, hundreds pack flight bags 
they would not live to open.
Thousands, slept with loved ones for the last time.
One never knows what a new day has in store.
Let us live each day to the fullest,
and never miss a chance to let those dearest to us
know of our love for them.
So, TONIGHT, if you have someone in your life that you love,
tell them...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three Years... and to Many More!

Three years...
Damn does time fly!
I can't believe that it has been three years since I married my best friend. It was one of THE most amazing days of our lives. Everything was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

There isn't a day that goes by that I regret my choice. I know that we are the lucky ones that found our soul mates. The people we were meant to be with. We found our happily ever after.

I am constantly reminded of how amazing of a husband and a father he is. He is constantly working hard for us. Spending all day long working on cars in the heat, or the freezing cold, to make money. And then coming home and continuing to do it. Or working on the house. Or plowing.
It's such a comforting feeling to be able to go through life knowing that we will be OK. No matter what. We are far from rich, and there are times when things are VERY tight, but I never have to worry too much. I know that we have Alex. And he will figure it out.
We are a team. We are complete opposites. We have virtually nothing in common. But we work. We talked about this the other night, the realization that we have pretty much NO common interests. At all. The thing that works for us though, is that we are interested in each other. So if it is important to him, I make the time to be involved with it, or understand it. And he does the same. We've been married for 3 years, together for almost 8 1/2, and we just realized that we have nothing in common. It's never been an issue.
I love watching his relationship with our son grow. To watch our sweet boy's face light up when he sees that his daddy is home. To watch the day's sweat and wear wash off Alex's face the second he sees his boy. It's like his day never mattered in that moment. To watch them together, two buddies, just the guys, hanging out, is amazing.
He truly is the most amazing man that I have ever met. I am so unbelievably lucky that I get to call him mine!
So tonight, after out sweet boy goes to bed, we'll order some take out, open some champagne, and sit down together with our wedding flutes, as we do every year, and talk about how much our lives have changed over the past year. And how we can't wait to see what else life has in store for us.
He's my husband, my love, my best friend. My always and forever.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's Been Going On...

 A lot can happen in a year. A LOT can happen in 13 months. Throw a baby in the mix and life is literally NOTHING like it was at this time last year. Nothing. We get a lot more sleep now, which is nice. Haha.
In June, Alex and I got to have a little bit of the pre-baby life when we had our first full night away from the baby. (Although, at this point I should probably put "baby" since he is a horse) We had never planned on waiting this long for a night away, it just worked out that way. We were in Boston for a family wedding, that just so happened to include our babysitters (a.k.a. my parents) so our dear friend Nicole held down the fort for us at home. It was a two day event, that Alex couldn't make the first half of, so Baby J was my date. I contemplated the ramifications of bringing a baby to a wedding... in Boston...outside... but left with legit no choice other than to bring him or not go, I put on my big girl panties and brought him. He was an angel and I had a lot of help. But... yeah... babysitters are the way to go.
Saturday night was filled with delicious food, a hotel room, and an open bar. I should also mention that the Reception was within walking distance from the hotel and we got a pedicab back (in the pouring rain), so we took full advantage of this and partied like it was 1999... (or at least like we were 21 and could handle the hangover)
(Little sidenote... as a Congratulations to myself for kicking ass and losing my baby weight, mixed with my Mother's Day present, I went blonde for the Summer. I'm madly in love with it and I never want to go back. I mean... I will because I'm poor and blonde is not a good Winter look for me, but I love it!)
We had way too much fun and Sunday morning brought along the consequences of our actions and a mad dash to the vending machine to grossly overpay for a bottle of Gatorade. Although, that Gatorade tasted so good at that point that I probably would have traded Baby J for it! (Kidding!... kind of...)
It was nice to let loose, and recharge our parental batteries. The Gods smiled upon us and gave us a cold, rainy Sunday and a 4 hour nap to recover. Baby J got exactly 14,000 episodes of Mickey Mouse Club House and whatever snacks he pointed his tiny, pudgy fingers at.
Survival Mode Parenting at its finest.
Continuing in the world of "All About Me"... in January I decided to finally get off my ass and do something about my weight... again. We all went through the struggle together before when I was getting married and I couldn't believe that I had let myself get back to this place again.
I was miserable. Nothing fit. I refused to buy new clothes. I was WAY out of shape. When I was having trouble standing up getting Baby J out of the bath, I knew I had to get it together. This wasn't the mother that I wanted to be.
So... I set a goal to lose the rest of my baby weight by his 1st birthday (which was emotionally devastating, but we all made it through with minimal tears; note: I'm the only one who had a problem with it... shocking...) and I did it! With a couple weeks to spare.
I started by tracking what I was eating and then in February I started T25. Alpha was tough, but once I got into the weights in Beta I was HOOKED! I'm on Gamma now and madly in love. I'm not about 15 lbs LIGHTER than I was when I got pregnant and about 5 lbs lighter than when I got MARRIED! Which is insane to me. Although, it's funny to look at the scale and then look at pictures. I may only be a few pounds different, but the difference in my body is CRAZY. I definitely have more muscle this time around. It makes so much of a difference to following a program that works and that you LOVE!
A year difference. Absolutely crazy.
I've become completely addicted to this new lifestyle and it feels amazing. I'm definitely not so strict with myself now that I'm within 10 lbs of my goal weight, but I'm not stopping now. I've totally drank the BeachBody Kool-Aid.
I was so inspired by how far I had come that I wanted EVERYONE to know how great all of this was, so I became I Coach again. I was a Coach last Fall for a hot second, but I wasn't ready to really be serious about this. And timing is everything. Once I was in though, I was HOOKED!
We do a lot of challenges that are absolutely amazing for the support and the motivation. They also lead to a lot of these gems on my phone...
I mean... I know Alex knows he is such a lucky man, but I feel like if he saw these pictures he would just fall in love with me all over again. I mean, who doesn't love awkward sweaty selfies?!
And now onto the reason I'm sure you all are here, because no one cares about us anymore. It's all about the Mini Man!
He's amazing. Honestly, I know I'm his mom, but he's legit one of the best kids I have ever met. He's funny, he knows how to do stuff to make you laugh. He's sweet, and smart, and inquisitive. He's just the best thing ever.
He's also attached to my hip most days (thank you Separation Anxiety), along with Felix (who is now referred to as Dog-A). So, this is my scene most days:

Best friends, who are never too far away. Most of the time they both need to be touching me. Sometimes (rarely) they love on each other and I can watch from a distance. With no one touching me. Drinking a beverage that I don't have to share. Or sneaking a snack (who else has the Mom-cough down so that your kids don't hear you opening a food wrapper or the refrigerator?)
So life looks a lot different. A lot crazier. Busier. Stressful. Happy. Exciting. Full-filling. It's SO different. But SO much better!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blink and You Miss It

I've been feeling the itch to write lately. Coupled with the fact that so many people have started to come back to blogging, posting about how they miss it, my feed has been a constant rolling announcement of "I'm coming back". I kept thinking, that I want to be back. I miss it. Not one to just jump on the bandwagon because all of the "cool" kids are doing it, I more like to consider this a sign of where I should be. I mean, if I was really over it, I would have stopped checking my feed.
I haven't quite figured out how to do the whole "back to blogging" thing, while still maintaining the privacy of my sweet baby boy. I mean, that's why I went AWOL in the first place. I could barely throw a post together, but now I was supposed to watermark, and protect pictures, and approve requests to follow from people, hoping they didn't steal all of the information. It's a crazy world out there. I may just keep pictures of him off here. I may figure out how to post some things, while still maintaining his safety. I continue to keep him off Facebook and limit my Instagram followers to friends and close family so they can see him there. It's terrible that it has all come to this. That I can't post a picture of my son without wondering if someone is going to view it with malintent.
But, I digress. That's not why I'm here.
I'm here because I just posted a novela as my Facebook status because I was so overcome with emotion halfway through that I needed to keep writing. Yeah... that's not what Facebook is for. I'm pretty sure they used to have a character limit, and it was for people like me, who want to drone on and on whilst crying into their phone, their tears messing up the touch screen causing it to autocorrect to asinine things.
Here's what happened...
The last time I posted about Baby J, he was four months. So... that was 13 months ago. Babies tend to do this strange thing called "growing", and they do it A LOT over 13 months. I mean... I tried not feeding him, knocking him down when he was trying to move, etc. but the dang kid just kept thriving. He's now a walking, running, talking, crazy little man who has his own personality and wants and needs in the world. He is absolutely hands down THE most amazing thing that Alex and I have done with our lives. We are constantly amazed with how much he learns and how quickly he picks things up. His vocabulary is exploding and he is quick as a whip. He started daycare about a month ago and let's just say that while the weekly bill makes me want to crawl under my desk in the fetal position, we are definitely getting out monies worth.
For most of his life, Baby J has practically transitioned himself. It's just what he has done. Sleeping in his crib, drinking out of a sippy cup, eating real food, he just decided when he was ready (long before I was ready, but when I at least had it on the horizon that I would start trying), and just like that, he was done.
At his 12 month appointment, his doctor told me to get rid of the binky and the bottles. At this point he was only having a bottle in the morning when he woke up and right before bed. Alex cuddles with him in the morning. I cuddle with him at night. WE weren't ready to give it up.
At his 15 month appointment, his doctor told me to get rid of the binky and the bottles. I was coming around to the idea of the bottles, but knew we were going on vacation and then he was starting daycare so I wasn't going to rock the boat. And the binky thing, we are cool with... for now...
Let me take a side road on the binky here. I don't plan on my kid being 4 still walking around with a binky in his mouth. I believe it is totally up to each parent/child/family when it is right for you to get rid of it, and as along as they don't show up to their first day of high school with it, I call it a win. Right now, he sleeps with it (but doesn't wake up if he loses it) and he uses it to calm himself down. He doesn't have the verbal skills or the cognition to work through why he is upset sometimes. Sometimes he is just hungry, and tired, and over it. So, when he's losing it, he grabs his binky and his blankie, and calms himself down. Which I think is amazing. So that's our stance on the bink.
Anyway... coming up on his 18 month appointment, I knew it was time for his bottles to go. I made the decision that next Monday, August 31st would be the day. Cold turkey. No more bottles.
Except... for the past couple days, he hasn't wanted them. Not in the morning. Not at night. Refuses. Last night, he politely pushed the bottle away, said, "no no", gave me a good snuggle, and then went to bed. This morning, I gave him a sippy cup with milk and he was happy as a pig in slop.
But, I wasn't ready. I was ready for THIS Monday. I was ready for Sunday night, to sit with him in his chair, like I have done every night since he was born. Give him his bottle. Rock him. And have a little moment as my baby, once again, gives up one of his "baby" things.
I can't remember his last bottle. I don't know if it was Sunday or Monday. Morning or night. Was I rushing? Was I trying to get him to go to sleep so I could do one of the 8,000 things I need to do after bedtime? Did I not even have him? Was Alex the last one to give him a bottle? Did he get to suck up every last ounce of this "baby" thing? I don't know. I can't remember. It made me cry a little, surprisingly. I mean... I know that this is AMAZING. Some people have to fight and fight and fight transitions, and he rocks them. But he's my baby.
I have a whole box of his tiny baby things. Some I have saved for future baby(s). Some are just in a box because I can't throw them away yet. His tiny baby bottles. From when he was so little. His itty bitty baby binkys. The ones he found and tried to use, and then giggled like he knew that those were for tiny babies and he is a big guy.
It goes so fast. I just didn't think I would get so emotional over something so little as his bottle, but here I am. Sitting at my desk. Crying. My little man is growing up and it is beautiful. Beautiful, and amazing, and wonderful, and a little sad. He will never be that tiny little baby anymore. That tiny baby on those cold nights, bundled up with my in a blanket in his rocking chair, at 3 in the morning, just me and him, drinking a bottle, and rocking back to sleep. It felt like there was no one else in the entire world at the moment, it was just me and him.
Oh man, this Mama business is tough work. I mean, let's not even talk about the emotional strain of all the WORRY! Is he OK? Will he get hurt? Am I keeping him safe? Etc. etc. etc. But the emotions that go along with the GOOD are just as strong and overwhelming sometimes. It is not for the faint of heart.
So, now I'll pack up all of his bottles. And put them with the rest. Maybe I'll throw them away. Maybe I'll put them on a shelf until I'm ready to let them go. He may be done with them, but I'm not quite there yet. His Mama isn't quite as good at transitions as he is. It's obviously something he got from his father. But, I'm learning. I'm trying. For him. My big guy.