Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year's Resolution for 2013

My resolution for this past year was to keep a journal for Baby A and every day write down something, something she did, something we did, a thought that I had about her, a food she tried for the first time, just something about that day. I did really well and only messed up December because I didn't buy a true journal, just a note book and I ran out of room for the last month. It's been a lot of fun to go back and read the entries from earlier this year. I started it when she was 4 months old, now she's 16 months. Such a huge difference. It's amazing.

For 2013, after the difficulty of the past few weeks, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to remind myself how very blessed I am and how many things I have to be thankful for. I am going to get another notebook and my goal is going to be to keep a list of things I'm thankful for. I'm going to be a little less comprehensive for 2013 and not do a daily journal, but instead try to do a weekly entry instead. With Baby A's journal I kept it on my bedside table and each evening would write down something from that day. For 2013, every Sunday night, before going to bed, I will make a note about the week and something I am thankful for.

I do kind of feel like it's a 'light' resolution considering I did daily notes for 334 days of 2012 and will now do only 52 but I'm ok with it.

A whole year of thanks and counting my blessings.


Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Recovery

I was concerned that recovering during Christmas would be sad and emotional, but in the end, it was so nice to have family around, and we were all so busy, that I think it was better this way. I didn't have time to dwell and I had lots of people to drink with.

I think the oddest thing for me right now has been the continued and unexplained weight loss. I had gone down a pound when I thought I was still pregnant and thought it was odd. I"m down two more. I've been doing my fair share of holiday eating and drinking, have started walking the dogs again but no other exercise and prior to discovering we had lost the baby, I had been on a 1500 calorie diet instead of 1200. All healthy calories, but still, I'm not sure what this is about. I guess I just keep an eye on it and enjoy fitting into my skinny clothes for a little longer. We have 18 days until we can start trying for another baby. Yes I'm counting. I want very much to start trying again.

Baby A had a fabulous Christmas. She got a red wagon from one set of grandparents and a little toddler sized table and chairs from the other, plus lots of toys, and clothes, and socks, and shoes, and puzzles, and holy crap the amount of crap!! I don't know where it's all going to go. One of my aunts got her a stuffed cat that's bigger than she is. Baby A really had a great time and I think enjoyed all the attention and food more than the presents, which it probably the way it should be.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The club no one wants to join, but somehow we're all in

This whole week has been kind of surreal. It's been so fast, and so strange that it's a little hard to remember what started it all. I had a very hard time coming back from the surgery on Monday. I deal with pain and discomfort really well. I don't usually let things hold me back but this knocked me on my butt and I have been struggling all week. It's Thursday and today's the first day I've been in the office for a full day. I"m counting the minutes until I can go. I'm not hugely uncomfortable but I'm definitely craving my comfy pants and heating pad.

The truly odd thing has been 90% of the women I talk to have had a miscarriage. I might almost say 99% of women with children has had one, or more. The number is staggering. I was amazed. I am amazed. It's so common, it's so frequent and no one talks about it. No one. It's like a dirty secret that you can't tell unless you're sure that the other person has had one too, and then it's offered as a shared comfort. Which is ironic because at the time, the last thing anyone wants to hear is other people's sympathy stories. At least for me. I don't know if other women find it comforting that there are a multitude of lost babies out there, but I didn't. It didn't change my pain. I didn't feel comforted knowing I wasn't alone, because I was alone. For a few weeks I had a little companion, always with me, always in the back of my head as a reminder of 'don't do that' or 'remember to do this.' I loved my companion. It had a heart beat. I saw it. I never felt it though. I never felt pregnant and I think that was a true sign of what was to come.

It's this strange little club, the miscarriage club. Lifetime membership at such a cost. No one wants to join but there are so many of us here. Huddled in our loss and hurt. The fortunate ones have babies to hug. My heart hurts for the women who lose their first baby and have to struggle through doubts of whether they can have a healthy pregnancy. I am thankful for that mercy. For my darling Baby A.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Miscarriage - Post-Op

Yesterday seems so fuzzy. Probably due to all the drugs. My husband and I left the house at 5:45 am to be at the surgery center at 6 am so they could prep me for a 7 am DNC. I still haven't looked up this procedure to see what exactly it is they did. I don't think I want to know. I'm sore. Walking hurts and picking up baby A is difficult. I am back at the office though. I decided it would be easier for me to sit still if at my desk here rather than home trying to sit quietly instead of do laundry, wrap presents and deal with the dogs.

Everyone here knew. I had just told them last Monday. They knew for four days and they knew I had a sonogram scheduled for Thursday morning. When I didn't show up to the office that day, they knew something was wrong. The hardest part for me was seeing my boss, JWV. He's such a father figure and has been wonderful to me over the years here. He has six grandchildren and loves babies. He's just one of those fatherly men and I love him dearly. He's the only one who made me cry a bit today. I've had lots of hugs and well wishes and prayers and I've managed to keep the tears in, with JWV it just wasn't possible.

Mostly I'm ok.
I don't have any other word, just ok.
I hurt, but I'm ok.
I'm sad, but I'm ok.
I'm emotionally drained, but I'm ok.

I keep watching videos of Baby A to make me smile. She's such a blessing.

My dogs have been such a comfort also. Any non dog person isn't going to understand. My dogs know when somethings wrong and it upsets them so terribly when I'm sad or sick. I spent most of Thursday with both dogs curled on on or next to me. There was quite a while where Big M was on the couch with me, with his nose pressed on mine and his big brown eyes looking so very, very concerned at all my tears. It is very hard to cry with a wet doggie nose pressed on yours. When I laid down to take a nap Thursday afternoon, Big M was with me in bed, all 70 lbs of him curled up with his face right up against mine. Yesterday when I got home from surgery Old Lady was on the couch and in my lap for the whole morning, 'helping' me heal. Big M took another nap with me, curled up behind my knees on the couch. They know when mama is hurting and they want so much to help.

Every time I feel the sadness creeping back in, I remind myself of how blessed our lives are and that everything will be alright. I do believe that what is meant to be, will be and we just have to have faith. Every time I see Baby A smile, I'm reminded of that faith and how wonderful life is and will continue to be.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence, Acceptance and Sorrow

The past two days are two that will be with me forever. I will never forget December 13th and 14th of 2012.

On Thursday morning, at 8:15 I went for what should have been a 9 week ultrasound. Instead we found I had miscarried my baby. There was no heartbeat and I knew as soon as the screen came up that something was wrong. The tech kept saying what she was looking for, and what we should be seeing and I kept waiting for the 'but' that would make it ok, knowing it wasn't coming. My husband hadn't gone with me to that appointment and I had to call him at the office and he came home to spend the rest of the day with me. I cried so hard and so long. All day Thursday for what we lost. Baby A's little brother or sister.

On Friday I woke up numb. Kind of hollow and still hurting. By the afternoon, after seeing what horrors had happened elsewhere during the day, I knew my hurt was nothing. A drop in the bucket next to these poor moms who lost their babies yesterday. These little babies who should have had a full life ahead of them. All those moms who will never hold their children again. Who will never sleep without dreaming of them. Who will never wake without a moment of sorrow that it was real, not a dream, that there is no child in the other room, safe in their bed, ready to wake for a new day.

My personal sorrow is still there. I will always feel the loss of this baby. But I know I have so much to be thankful for. So much to treasure and that is what I focus on now.

Hug your babies. Watch them sleep. Treasure every moment, even the ones that make you want to pull your hair out. Give them the cookie today and enjoy the light that comes into their eyes for such a small treat. Let them bounce on their beds today, wear their underwear on their heads, and love every piece of them.

All my prayers are for the families in Connecticut now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I smell old

So in the effort of pleasing my eye doctor I did buy new brushes, new facial moisturizer and some new makeup, not everything got tossed, but most of the things that go in, on or near my eyes did. I did most of my product purchasing on because it's all in one place and you get freebies. It's a pretty neat deal I got three different perfumes, a sample moisturizer and cute little nail file all free.

The only problem is, I now smell like an old lady. The perfumes I got didn't seem like they would be a problem. There's a Michael Kors, Dior and Givanchy. Three rather well known names and brands. After sniff testing all of them I decided the Givanchy smelled the least old lady like and squirted a bit on both arms.

Now I have to spend the whole day smelling old.

On the plus side, I'm wearing makeup for the first time in two weeks! Yay! There's just something that makes me feel better about walking out of the house with a little mascara and lipstick.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bored Eating

I feel the creeping in of pregnancy excuses already. Nine weeks in and I'm already leaning in the direction of 'I can eat that, I'm pregnant, I"m supposed to gain weight.' Oh this isn't going to be an easy 7 more months!

I had to retype that, I started to put 9 months, then changed it to 8. Then I actually thought about it and realized I have 7 months left, not 8.

With Baby A I gained 43 pounds. I lost all but about 3 or 4 of those pounds so really it wasn't too bad, but boy did it get hard lugging all that extra weight around when Baby A was born at 5 lbs 15 oz. Tiny baby, big, big 'ole belly. I really don't want to do that again. I know it's going to be harder to lose the weight the second time around, plus getting out of the habit of eating that much every day was the hardest thing to change. My body was used to getting all that food and really didn't need it all, even though I was pregnant.

My problem is work. I do really well at home. I don't overeat on weekends or days that I"m home with Baby A because there's so much for me to do there. But when I'm at the office there are chunks of the day that are very quiet, and I get very munchie, and the holidays are the worst time to try and avoid goodies. All our vendors and suppliers send food. Popcorn, cookies, cakes, gift baskets full of crackers and cheeses and nuts and all kinds of chocolates, filled chocolates, chocolate covered things, chocolate in things, it's just crazy, and completely unfair! Fellow employees always contribute too, fudge, cakes, things that end up in their house after parties that they don't want to eat themselves, etc, etc, etc.

So today for the past hour and a half (yes, I've been counting) I've been telling myself that I am not hungry and I do not want to raid the honey roasted peanuts that are in the break room. I do not want to get a bag of chips, cracker snack pack, poptart or candy bar from the snack selection. I do not want a fudgepop from the freezer that I bought the office as a summer treat on a super hot day in July. I only have an hour left until I can leave. I do have fresh cherries that I brought, they're non peak and not all that flavorful, but definitely my best option. I'm trying to hold out as long as possible before eating them so I have less time at the office to think about all the junk food options I could have eaten. Could eat. May still eat.

I put up a post a while back about and how I used it to lose a lot of the baby weight from the first pregnancy. I'm still using it to make sure that I'm not overeating now and will continue to keep my calorie count in check throughout the next 7 months.

Here's today:

I have a lot of snacks on there that are spread out through the day. My goal is 1530 calories but I get extra ones when I exercise and walking the dogs every morning counts. So as long as I stick to the dinner I have set for myself when I get home, I'll be nicely within all my goals.

58 minutes left. I think I need to go get the cherries.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Benefits of Little Girls

I don't think little boys get nearly the amount of wear out of their clothes that little girls can. Especially little, little girls. Baby A is 15 months old and just now starting to outgrow her 12 month clothes. She's just little. Part of the problem with that is people buy clothes for her age at the time and the weather at the time, i.e. summer dresses in a 9 month size because she was 9 months at the time. It was huge on her and given the crawling status at that point, she would have been crawling through the dress more than I was willing to deal with. However, with little girls, six months past the 'age' of the dress you can just toss a pair of leggings and a long sleeve onzie underneath it and now it's a wearable tunic. Slightly floral for December, but, it's clean and looks adorable.

This comes up because today is Christmas picture day at daycare with Mama T. I have a long dress that my mom got Baby A for church on Christmas, but I didn't want to send her to daycare in it to play all day, or make Mama T dress and undress her just for the picture. So, white long sleeve onzie, white leggings and a 3-6 month Christmas dress that I bought her last year for church, now works as a ruffled top. Done! Festive and just change the top for playtime later. Little boys just don't have that option. It fits or it doesn't and when it's outgrown, it's outgrown.

While I have absolutely no preferences on whether baby #2 is a second little girl, or a little boy, I do have an amazing array of little girl clothes that would make it awfully convenient to dress another little girl. Especially when both kids can wear the same clothes, one as a dress, and one as a top.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who killed Rudolph?

The parts are gone. Thankfully. However, I had to share my husbands response at my email to him regarding the Friday morning daycare drop off.

Me: We’ve been talking about so many other things this morning that I haven’t mentioned my ewww for the day.

Remember the bucket of ‘parts’ at Mama T's that I told you about last night. Something got into it last night. I pulled up to Mama T's house this morning to find myself staring into the eyes of a severed deer head sitting in the middle of her front yard. Ewwww. I had to walk into Mama T''s and tell her there was a deer head looking at me from her yard. Ewww

Husband: Just dress it up like Rudolph and tell all the kids that Christmas is dead…

Yes, this is what I married. My husband just killed Rudolph. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Deer heads at Daycare

You've heard me talk about Mama T before and I love her. I really do. I couldn't be more thankful that she is in our lives and caring for Baby A while I'm at work.

This has been a very odd week for me though. Let me give you some background on Mama T.

Mama T is a farm girl. Her parents still have a large farm in North Georgia with pigs and chickens and corn and cows, etc, etc. Mama T grew up chopping heads of chickens, shelling freshly picked beans and cooking freshly slaughtered pigs. This is normal, normal for her.

I could not be more un-farm like. I don't like cows. I like to eat cows. I have no problem with a hunk of beef on my plate or a nice pair of leather gloves. Fine with me. I don't like cows. They unnerve me. It's a long story that involves some childhood trauma at a dairy farm for which my mother still laughs at me.

So, one of her sons has been vising and earlier this week shot a deer with his bow and arrow. Fine. I get hunting. I don't do it. Have no desire to do it and don't really like the taste of deer. But I get it. However, he brought the thing home and dissected it there. In the front yard. And all week there has been a bucket in the front yard with things sticking out of it. Things...It's been a little creepy. Last night I actually had to breakdown and tell my husband about it because it was bugging me. There's a spine. A spine. Sticking out of a bucket. Ewwwww. And a leg, with a hoof. It's just, ewww. That's all I can come up with. Ewww.

I hadn't said anything to Mama T because I know this sort of thing just doesn't even phase her or enter into the thought process of 'maybe this isn't normal'. But hey, I'm in GA, it kind of is normal, sort of. But this morning as I drove up to her house, there was a deer head sitting in the middle of her yard. Looking at me. It was looking at me. An animal had gotten into the bucket of parts and had strewn them across the yard. I got Baby A out of the car and we walked into Mama T's house (Baby A is now walking from the car to the house like a big girl, it warms and breaks my heart all at once) where I looked at Mama T and said:

"There's a deer head in your front yard and it was looking at me."

She laughed, and laughed, and I confessed my wiggy issues all week with the parts sticking out of the bucket. It will be taken care of this weekend and gone by Monday, but, she did have a pretty good laugh at me and my non hunting/farming/blood and guts background.

But still, who drives up to drop their child off at daycare to find themselves looking directly into the eyes of a severed deer head in the front yard. Apparently, I do.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'Reasonable' is in the Eye of the Beholder (or Doctor)

So, went back to the eye doctor yesterday because of this recurring irritation issue. I gave up on the whole double dipping doctor insanity and just showed up yesterday at the new eye doctor's office and handed him my whole mess.

Issue 1 - Recurring Eye Allergy
Issue 2 - Pregnant, can't take anything to help clear it up
Issue 3 - Glasses are 10 years old, falling apart and out of date

Overall I really liked the new guy. He talked about what he was looking for in my eyes and what the reactions meant. There really isn't anything medicated he can give me right now so he said we're going to have to find the cause of the allergy. To speed this process, he wants me to throw out all my makeup, makeup brushes, facial moisturizer and cleanser and start from scratch from an approved list of hypoallergenic and ophthalmologistically (new word)  tested products.

I did mention this doctor was male, right? Yeah, he probably thinks this is a completely reasonable request.

My husband didn't realize the issue until I told him that I spent $80 yesterday to replace a few things.

Note the word: few

Meanwhile I am make up free for two weeks while we try to see if that will clear up the irritation. I would like to think I have not reached the age in life that requires makeup in order to look 'normal'. However, there's a level of professionalism that I feel is maintained by hair, face, nails and clothes being 'done'. Suit and no makeup feels a lot like I'm wearing my pj's to the office.

Mmmmmmm, pj's at the office. I like that idea.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I have a parasite

I'm at that fun stage of pregnancy where no one knows, but I still have doctors appointments and so have to keep coming up with reasons to be out. It's not that my office is that stringent and I'm only allowed certain excused absences, it's more like everyone here is family and they tend to be concerned if you have more than one appointment a month.

'Is something wrong?'
'Um, I have a parasite.'

Hmmm...Probably not the best answer, although not far off...

Thanksgiving was wonderful although it was great to get back home and to our regular routine. It's amazing how important that routine is. I need it. Baby A needs it. The dogs need it. We all work so well when on our routine.

I am constantly amazing by what a trooper my little peanut is. She's around new people, not in her own bed, in her own house and she just keeps on keeping on. She plays, laughs, smiles and pitches fits, just like at home. She did learn a new behavior over the holiday though. Begging. That's fun. Someone was eating at just about any given point during the weekend and Baby A learned to toddler over, point at the item they were eating and then point to her mouth. 'Feed me'. Loud and Clear! And they all did. Pumpkin pie, Cookies, Cake, Ice Cream, Cheese, Crackers, you name it. We got home and that evening my husband sat down with his normal after dinner Oreos and Milk and don't you know, Baby A toddled over and requested some. Denied! Daddy don't share Oreos!

Thursday I have my first ultrasound. I'm very excited and hope we're able to hear the heartbeat. That's such a wonderful moment. It becomes so much more real and makes not having had any wine over Thanksgiving a little easier to deal with. I do miss my wine. When I'm home it's not a big deal. When we're surrounded by family and food and the corks are's a whole lot harder.

I poured my milk into a wine glass last night, just because. Me and my parasite roll like that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Came Early!

Apparently my mom had done some Christmas shopping for me already and this past weekend realized that all the clothes she had purchased for me for Christmas were unlikely to fit at Christmas, so I got presents this weekend! Yay! New skirt, sweater and blouse. They do all fit, currently, and I'll make sure that they get lots of wearing before my belly starts to pop. Which apparently happens faster with baby #2. My ab muscles are already starting to ache and if I turn funny or lift something heavy (like Baby A) they protest. I guess they remember what's coming.

Had a few hormonal moments this weekend. My patience levels have been so very, very low. There was a point where Baby A was pitching a fit and the dogs were both dancing under my feet and running over Baby A in the process and I pretty much picked up my 70 lbs Big M and put him on the other side of the room. At that, Old Lady ran to her bed laid down real fast and I could see her saying to Big M 'just don't dude, just don't.' My husband came in and took over, told me to go back to whatever it was I was doing. Later I said to my husband 'I guess I was a little hormonal.' What he heard was 'I guess I need a hormone pill' to which he said 'seriously?? a hormone pill??? you don't need anything else running around in there!!'

Yep. Gotcha. Loud and Clear.  Mama's crazy everyone run for your lives!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ok, Ok, There's an Elephant

Yesterday after posting I went back and reviewed the blog for the last several weeks and noticed a theme. A very cranky theme. When I started this blog I intended for it to be a story of my attempts to keep a clear perspective on the important things in my life, my daughter, my husband, our lives together, our families, etc. I wanted to share my journey through all the aspects of trying to be a healthy, happy mom, wife and individual and really see all those pieces separately and as a whole. The last several weeks have been very negative. Everything I wrote about was a complaint and it was not something I realized I was doing. It was a complete surprise to me to go back and read a month or more of cranky posts. Who wants to read about that??

Here's the deal.

I'm pregnant. :)  (Insert excited squeal here.)

We're so excited. We have been trying for a few months and a couple weeks ago a test came up positive. Completely by surprise. I had no idea that I might be, I've just been taking tests every few weeks for good measure. So, going back over my posts, apparently I've been a little hormonal and a little cranky. Even before I knew I was pregnant I was typing complaining posts.

So, during a month that is specifically and purposely dedicated to giving thanks for the blessings in your life, I have one big, big one that is going to count for every day this month. I am so thankful that our family is growing, that Baby A is going to be a big sister, and I am going to get to experience another pregnancy and feel new life grow within me.

And now, this blog will undergo another change in what that perspective is on life as we journey through the next 9 or so months. I will however, make a very thorough attempt at writing only positive posts. Happy moments with Baby A. Happy moments with my husband. Watching the changes in my body and trying (for the love of all that is holy) not to gain 43 lbs with this second pregnancy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's a 'day'

I feeling like I'm having a 'day'. Just a yicky 'day.' Stupid things. I broke my pen. Which in of itself doesn't sound like a big deal. But it was gift that I've had for years, like five or six years. Not only was it a gift, it was a Cartier. I don't own things from Cartier. I realized today that I can't afford to look at their website never mind actually pretend that one day I could spend $400 on a pen. I broke my $400 Cartier gifted pen. I'm kind of just cranky now.

Add to that I've had an on and off eye infection for about two months. My regular eye doctor dropped my vision insurance, but still accepts my medical insurance. So I can go see her for an infection, but not to renew my glasses prescription, which needs to be done also. So I had to go find another doctor to do that, but he didn't want to look at my infection because I'm already seeing the first doctor for that and am 'mid treatment'. Really??  My eyes hurt.

Now, given Thanksgiving is next week, I can't get in to see the new doctor until the week after that. So I can't get an updated glasses prescription to use while taking another round of drops for my eye infection. I have to continue using my 10 year old glasses that are falling apart and at least two prescriptions off my current blindness level.

I'm just cranky.

And I'm cold. I want my blanket.

Is it strange that when I think blanket I automatically start making the sign for it like I was practicing sign language words with Baby A.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Elephant?

I haven't posted in a few days and have started several but everything keeps coming back to a subject I'm not ready to talk about yet so I keep deleting them.

Baby A is going through a fun stage with her sleep schedule. Naps aren't too bad, but nighttime is miserable. She's purposely keeping herself awake, rocking, bouncing, talking, screaming, whatever, to keep herself up. Her bedtime is 8, and these days she's awake until almost 9. It's a really fun hour. It doesn't seem to matter what we do. Be attentive, ignore her, shush her. It's been a couple months of this and I'm starting to lose my mind. Then I have to stop and remember that some people have children that really don't sleep, ever. Baby A isn't all that bad. It's frustrating because we haven't had many problems with her sleeping, so now, it's like it's magnified. It's this huge looming argument at the end of every day. And every evening I finally sit down around 8:45 feeling like she just totally kicked my ass and that we're going to do this every night for the rest of my life. Last night I had to tag my husband, you're it. I'm out. We've been working on teaching her to lay down in bed and lay still so she can fall asleep. If you're moving, you're not sleeping. If you're not moving, it's easier to fall asleep. It doesn't seem to matter, she's just awake, the whole time. Plus, I can't stop her from moving. I'll think we're doing well and then she'll start clucking her tongue. Or I'll see her little fingers wiggle out the side of the blanket, tap, tap, tapping on the bed. Arghh!!!

Old Lady still has this weird spot on her neck and it's growing. I think she's bothering at it so I've started giving her Benadryl and am going to get some doggy version of 'no more itchies . I had some but it went home with a foster who was having some skin issues at the time. It's starting to look pretty gross and I just can't do another vet visit right now. Especially since Big M has his annual shots in two or three weeks.

I'm tired. And cold, all the damn time. I live in sweatshirts and wool socks these days and my husband just looks at me like I'm out of my mind while I huddle under blankets, for those 5 minutes in the evening that we're baby free. I've lost all my organizational abilities. I can't get out of the house on time to save my life. It took three trips to the store to make a chicken pot pie, (came out really well though). The last trip was mid prep, in the rain, with Baby A who was completely freaked out by my umbrella and didn't want it over her. Had to laugh at that. She just didn't know what it was or why it was there. So funny.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The little things

Last night I had my second Ladies Night Out and it was great. The only problem was that my body hasn't caught up to the time change and at 8:30 in the evening it was saying it's 9:30, bed time. Other than that I met some great women, had fun and was very glad that I went.

I got home around 9 and snuggled on the couch with my hubby and dogs, Baby A was already in bed (good job daddy!). After about 10 minutes I realized that there was about a 12" diameter wet spot on my leg where Old Lady was resting her head. She was drooling uncontrollably. Got up, got her some pepcid and a piece of bread while my husband realized she had been curled up in 'her' chair all evening, checked it and it was completely soaked in drool.

This morning, got Baby A up to find that she had peed through everything last night. Cleaned her up, got her dressed and downstairs with her milk. Went to strip her bedding and start a load of laundry. Came back to find I hadn't screwed the top on the sippy cup completely closed and so Baby A was soaked, again, this time in milk. Fed her breakfast anyway. Back upstairs, cleaned her up, got her dressed. Into my room where she plays while I shower, finally. Got out to find a big ole' stinky diaper, and a baby who needs to be changed. Again.

After realizing there was no way I was making it to work on time, I logged into my email to let a few people know. Old Lady came up to me to say hello and I was scratching her under her chin when I realized there was something there. Apparently her collar has been rubbing and there's a big red raw spot on her neck. Collar off, neosporin on the dog.

Finally got to work, sat at my desk and realized I was thrilled to be here because it's highly unlikely that anyone at the office is going to pee/poop/drool/spill/bleed on me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Speak up!

All melodrama aside, the election is over and the persistent and obnoxious commercials and phone calls can end.

However, it isn't over yet.

I don't care which way you voted, I'm just glad that you did. I think it was a great year for election numbers and really a very, very close race, but it isn't over yet.

We can not sit back and allow the governing body to go back to it's bickering and stalemate tactics. We must stay involved. We must be a part of the decisions made and make sure that our voice continues to be heard. The finger pointing and  lack of compromise that has persisted in the House and Senate for the last two years is ridiculous and belongs on the elementary school playground, not Washington D.C.

Please know who your local and state officials are. Know how to contact them and know what they're fighting for, because it should be you at the top of their priority list. If you don't remind them of that, who will?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Is today the day the world ends?

Some days I wonder if other people worry about the end of the world like I do. There are so many shows and movies. All kinds of ways for the world to end; Zombies, Disease, Aliens, War, Meteors, Climate change, Infertility, Bombs that you never see coming.

There seem to be so many more cataclysmic events lately, more every year. Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Floods, Tsunami's, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, etc, etc. Does anyone not know someone who has been hit by one of these? I do. I know people who have lost everything they had, home, memories, pets. Have all these things always been this bad and maybe we're just more in-tuned to it now? Media channels are wider, death and destruction equals higher ratings, social media allows for more personal and direct access to the front lines? I don't know, but I don't think that's the only thing. I think things really are worse. And then there's people. All those panicky people. All those angry people, with weapons. Big weapons. And a massive, misplaced, self centered, sense of entitlement.

I worry.

Partially about a devastating sweep of natural events.

Mostly about what people can do to each other, willingly, knowingly, with direct and purposeful intent.

I worry about the election. There are so many people who are so very polarized on today's vote. Will this be the year that someone out there will decide, 'it's my way or no way' and blow something else up should their candidate lose? Am I paranoid for thinking that? I don't know. People have done more over less.

Now, I do not have a panic room in my house and I do not have stores of water and canned goods or an emergency zombie attack kit in my car glove compartment. But I will admit that yesterday I made sure both of our cars have full tanks of gas and my weekend grocery shopping was a little heavier on the nonperishables than normal and I have two full bags of dog food.

I do feel slightly foolish. Most of me knows the unlikelihood of any such event. Most of me knows the world is not going to end tonight, or tomorrow, or next week. Most of me knows, but part of me worries. Is this a complete bastardization of 'Always Be Prepared?' Probably.

But in the back of my head, I know what I would pack, for me, for my daughter. What items are higher priority and what gets left behind. I know what I would grab at the grocery store. I know my house is completely indefensible and I know where I would go.

And I would probably never admit to anyone else that I think these things and am only admitting it here in anonymity.

Oh, and I totally have my Post-Apocalypse outfit picked out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Under the Influence of Stupid

I think the roadways would be significantly safer if I was allowed to hand out tickets for general stupidity and discourtesy. Here's my list of violations that I consider ticket worthy:

~Going the wrong way down a parking lot with directional arrows and direction specific parking.

~Backing out of your parking spot without looking to see who's walking or backing out of their spot behind you.

~Stopping suddenly in the middle of a lane of moving traffic, with no blinker on, and holding up everyone behind you so you can cut someone else off to take a turn you were about to miss.

~Stopping suddenly in the middle of a lane of moving traffic, with a blinker on, and holding up everyone behind you so you can cut someone else off to take a turn you were about to miss.  Seriously, the blinker doesn't make it better.

~Getting to a 3 way intersection first where you have to turn right or left but  have no blinker on, and then sitting there doing nothing while I (with my blinker on) wait to figure out what the F you're doing and if I can take my turn.

~Coming up on stopped or slow moving traffic at the merging of two lanes and gunning your engine around those of us waiting patiently to merge so you can ride up the breakdown lane and cut off others who have already merged and were thinking they were done.

~Realizing at a stop light that you are in a turn lane (or in a straight lane when you needed to turn) and blocking everyone behind you from making it through the light because you're waiting to be able to move into the lane you should have been in had you been paying attention.

Here's the LAW. If you aren't paying attention while driving and are in the wrong lane, don't, I repeat, DON'T punish the rest of us because you were too busy texting/talking/masturbating while driving. Miss your turn, turn around, come back and do it right. Read the road signs. They're there for a reason. If it says Yield, that means, you wait while I go through an intersection first. If it says '100 feet, right turn only' get out of the f-ing lane ahead of time if that's not a turn you intended to make.

You should know that under my rules, tickets for ignorance of the law and driving while under the influence of stupid have very high costs. I'm thinking around $1000 for the first violation and doubling for every incident after that, i.e. $2000 for the second violation, $4000 for the third and then you're just way too dumb to be driving and need to have your car sold and the proceeds funding local first responders who are the ones cleaning up the mess stupid people make.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bad Dog

Wow do I have a problem. I never thought I'd be in this situation and am horrified that I am. Horrified. Sick. Embarrassed. Sick. Horrified. I don't think I know enough words. Big M bit someone. Ugghh. It hurts to say, it hurts to type. I am so sick about it. The only fortunate side (as if there was one) was that it was a 'dog person' who has six dogs of his own and has been bit far worse by his own. I've known him for years. There was blood though. Visual top and bottom teeth marks but it wasn't deep and didn't bleed much. I'm so horrified. I keep using that word, I don't have another one. My brain shuts down when I think about it.

It's an issue with me, that we've known about. Big M doesn't react like this when my husband is around. It's me. He has decided it is his job to guard when my husband isn't around. So, Big M is grounded. His access to the house while we're gone is now limited to the dining room and the kitchen. The dining room windows are closed, shades down. They are not allowed to hang out in the windows and bark at everyone walking by the house. When I am home, he is attached to me. He has to go where I say, when I say, sit, down, stay and don't move until I say. I feed him handfuls at a time and has to leave it until I say he's allowed to eat. Sometimes, I put the handful down, leave it there, and then pick it back up and pretend to eat it myself. He is not allowed on the couch and not allowed on our bed. If he is not attached to me, he is in his bed. If I get up to go somewhere, he gets up too. If I have to go upstairs with Baby A. He has to go too. He has to sit before exiting and entering the house and I go in or out first. I am the leader. He is the follower. I dictate his every move. He does not. I allow him to eat. He does not decide.

Every time I start to feel bad for this harsh and complete shut down of privileges, I say out loud, He Bit Someone. He is a dog and I need to have complete control at all times and I currently do not. He Bit Someone and it is my fault. I knew he was really keyed up and I didn't take the time to calm him down before allowing this person to enter my house.

I've been doing lots of research and reading up on training methods for fear based behavior, because that's what it is. We've known that. It should have been addressed a long time ago but it was never a 'real' problem. Now, it's a problem. A very real, very big one and I am so angry at myself for letting it get here. I thought we had more control. We did not, clearly.

I don't even know how to end this. Apologize? Ask forgiveness?

I feel like such a failure.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mommy Day

Tomorrow is my Ladies Night Out! I'm pretty excited! Going out for drinks with 14 other women!! Yikes!! It's really nice to know that I"m not the only one who's been trying to get out of the house. I have a feeling that that many women is going to result in a restaurant take over. If you're in the Shallowford Rd area of Marietta, and were planning on eating out, you might want to wait until Wednesday night for fear of an Estrogen overload.

Baby A and I did attend the Baby Sign Language class on Saturday morning. It was nice but there was only one other mom there and Baby A had ZERO interest in sitting still with me for any length of time. Not that unusual for her, but I spent most of the class chasing her down. She thought it was hysterical. We did learn some new words and have started to put them into action. The other mom hadn't started any signs yet so for her I think the class was a little more useful. We've already got eat, dog, all done, bed and bath. We're working on 'poop'. Sounds odd, until you think about the frequency of that word in daily mom/daughter conversations. Baby A also has rather sensitive skin and the goal here is for her to tell me when she's dirty. She's started signing it back to me, but without real knowledge of what it means. Pretty typical, start with word/sign recognition and then attach it to the act/object. It's so rewarding to see her sign and her face lights up when I say the word back to her, understanding what she's telling me.

I've been working on Baby A's Halloween costume, however, I have recently realized that there are no activities in our town on Halloween. There are several festivals the weekend before, which we'll have to plan on attending at least one, however, for the actual day, there's nothing. As in, absolutely nothing going on. I expected our church to have something 'safe' for the children of the congregation for kids that were too small for trick or treating or just to have a safer 'something' to do. Nope. Nothing. Now I'm not sure what to do. Clearly a one year old isn't going to understand or care at all about trick or treating. Add to that, her daycare is closed that day because it's Mama T's birthday too (insert witch joke here). So, she's not even going to be able to wear her costume to daycare and have a little party with the other kids. I'm feeling disappointed already.

On the plus side, we do have plans this weekend with one of my actual mom friends. Not sure what we're doing yet, but we're doing something with the kids. Maybe one of the festivals.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crock Pot Cookin'

I love fall because that's when I pull out the crockpot. I love soups and stews and chilis and the ease of having dinner ready when I get home. I'm not sure why I don't use it more in the summer, but crockpot meals just scream cool weather to me and I can't make myself want chili when it's 99 degrees outside with 10000% humidity. To be fair I will do the occasionally pork shoulder for BBQ during the summer, but that's about it.

So, we tried a new recipe yesterday and I felt the need to share because it was AWESOME and there was NOTHING in it. Seriously, when I was putting the ingredients together I kept thinking I was missing something. This is from the Crockpot cookbook.

Italian Sausage Meatball Soup
1 lb mild italian sausage either already ground up, or remove from casings
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mush together and make marble sized meatballs. Toss in crockpot with:

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I added a little more than that)

Cook for 5 hours on low

Add 2/3 a cup of mini pasta shells. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Stir in a bag (10 oz) of baby spinach and serve with a little grated Parmesan.

It was so good! Putting this one in my back pocket for the next family get together when I have to make a dinner.

Monday, October 15, 2012

No more Mrs Nice Mama! I"m breaking out!

After several days of thinking, and after writing my Goal-less post, I have realized that it's not a goal that I'm lacking. It's me. I'm lacking me.

This weekend my husband had his annual 'boys weekend' homecoming football game at VT. They've been doing it for 10 years and look forward to it all year. It's always on the calendar and it's never a big deal. He even went the weekend when Baby A was only 6 weeks old.

Saturday evening I realized I was sitting in the house resenting him. Resenting his being away. But not just being away this weekend. I was resenting his Monday night bible study class. His running schedule and running buddies. His beer Friday's that happen once every two or three months. His afternoon at the firing range with W. I was resenting the fact that he has a life, and I have a baby.

Don't get me wrong, if there's ever anything I want to do he's more than happy to take care of Baby A. Every time he goes out for a weekend, or spends the whole day out doing something with a friend I say 'you totally owe me' and he says 'yes, go, do'. And yet, I never 'go, do' anything. I sit at home, do laundry, and stew.

I've never been very good at making friends. I'm not the social butterfly of our marriage, my husband is. They're his friends that I married into, and they're great, I love them. But, they're his friends, they have a long history together and I'm the wife. There are really only a couple of the other wives that I would call, independently of the husbands and make plans to hang out with just them. Prior to having a baby, this never bothered me. I was perfectly content with the life my husband and I had together. We both had routine exercise schedules. I kickboxed and went to yoga, he ran and went cycling. We'd go to dinner once every couple of weeks. The weekends were projects around the house, renting movies, ordering chinese, and we used to go dancing fairly regularly. Now, when I say dancing, I"m talking Fred & Ginger, not J-lo and P-Diddy. We had taken ballroom lessons before we were ever engaged and then continued throughout the engagement and the first years of our marriage  The studio has parties every Friday and Saturday night, $15 per person which gets you two drinks and dancing from 8 until midnight. We had a good little life and while we hung out with friends periodically, we were both very content with each other.

Somehow, I've lost my side of that happy little life. I've gained an amazing and beautiful daughter, and I wouldn't change that for anything. But, I've been missing something and I didn't know what. My husband doesn't seem to have skipped a beat and works it all in. I feel like I can't go do anything because I have to take care of Baby A. So I thought about why I have to be here to take care of Baby A. Why? Why? Why? Because my husband doesn't know what time her naps are, so I have to be here for that, or leave detailed instructions on when and how to put her down. Huh?  Because my husband doesn't know what or how much to feed her for lunch so I have to be here for that or leave detailed instructions on where in the fridge her food is and what snacks go with it. Huh? Because he's usually busy. If he's home, he's doing yard work, or work work, or has a run or ride planned and so I feel like I have to do these things rather than upset his plans. Huh?? Now, I have a very intelligent husband. He's quite a capable person. I have no idea at what point I decided he's a moron and I'm June Cleaver.

So as I sat around this weekend (as much as you can just 'sit around' with a one year old) I realized the only person keeping in the house was me. It's all me. There is no reason I can't go find something to do and someone to do it with and, in a nicer way, tell my husband he's on his own - figure it out. So, the grass doesn't get mowed. Oh well. He'll just have to play with his year old daughter instead. Why do I feel like I can't say that?

Well, I'm saying it!

First - I joined a local Mom's Meet up club. Baby A and I will attend at least three events each month. We will socialize and make friends! This coming Saturday there's a sign language work shop. How cool is that?? We've been doing some sign language with Baby A already, but it would be great to get some instruction and input on how to continue.

Second - I called one of the few 'wives' I know and made plans for a picnic outing with the kids at a park next weekend.

Third - I have joined a few ladies night out groups. If you haven't seen, you should check it out. There are so many groups on there, books, hiking, language, singles, etc, etc. Anyone looking to get out of the house can find something on there to join. I will attend at least two events each month BY. MY. SELF. Just me. No baby, no dogs, no husband. I will talk with other women. I will have a good time. I will make friends.

I will no longer sacrifice my happiness so that my husband can tear up the paneling in the living room. I will no longer sit and home and stew so that my husband can go for a three hour bike ride with his friends. I will not be June Cleaver and if my husband has to cook dinner one night while i go out, he is perfectly capable of doing so. I will be social. I will be active. I will make me a priority and not feel guilty that I didn't have time to make baby food and Baby A will have to eat (gasp) prepackaged dinners.

And, I will get my toes done! Damn it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Her Royal Highness, Queen Old Lady

I call her Old Lady because she is my old lady. My girl is almost 11 years old, grey in the muzzle where she used to be all black, stiff from arthritis, walks oddly from a knee replacement two years ago, has a big scar on her shoulder where we had a tumor removed, she's basically falling apart slowly and it hurts my heart. She's my first baby.

However, she is also a spoiled rotten diva. D.I.V.A.

Once the air starts to get a little chilly Old Lady prefers to curl up in my chair in the living room. She doesn't want to curl up with me, she wants me out of the chair so she can be in it and she will stare me down if I sit in it when she's decided it's her turn.

She's developed a new preference. Yesterday evening Old Lady followed me around the house being a pest. She'd already eaten, I tried letting her out, I thought maybe she wanted some quality Mama time and I spent some time snuggling and petting her. No. This was not what the issue was although she wasn't going to argue with a good ear scratching. She eventually gave up and went to her bed in an obvious pout. I started cleaning up the room a bit. As part of the clean up, I folded the blanket that I keep in the living room for me (ME) when I get chilly and I dropped it in my (MY) chair. Two seconds later...

Yes, that was the issue. There wasn't a blanket in the chair for her. My blanket, in my chair. That's what she was being a pest about.

Spoiled. Rotten. Diva.

To top it off, this morning, she hopped up on my bed while I was getting ready for work. This is fairly normal, that's where Big M and Old Lady tend to hang out mostly as an effort to keep out of Baby A's reach. Instead of curling up, Old Lady just stood there and stared at me, from the middle of my bed. I sighed, left the room, came back with a blanket that is usually at the foot of our bed, but had been moved during my stomach bug issue while I slept in the guest room. I put the blanket back on the bed where Old Lady immediately curled up on it.

Yes, Your Majesty. Will there be anything else Your Royal Highness.

Queen Old Lady rules our house with an iron paw.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spanx it - The Update

Don't wear Spanx if you plan on going to the bathroom that day.


I feel like I need a new goal to work toward and I'm not sure what that should be. I'm (happily) eating again after a miserable two day stomach bug and waiting an extra couple of days to get some calories in my system before heading to the gym. I think if I tried to go right now I'd fall off the treadmill. I did walk the dogs this morning though.

I eat well, I'm exercising ok, not great, but enough to maintain and to be honest, I haven't hit the point where I"m willing to give up my wine to be able to lose the last three pounds from pregnancy. I'm doing well with the pre-planned grocery shopping and have been better organized lately. I'm involved with a dog rescue organization.

I feel like I need a new goal. I don't suppose 'get pregnant' can really count as one but that's definitely something that's on my list. I can't wait to add another peanut to our family. That's actually another reason I'm not willing to give up my wine in order to lose a few pounds, I'm expecting to not be able to drink for 9 months soon and will just put those three right back on with the next one, so, what's the point?

I need something for me. That's fun, easy, inexpensive and has a flexible schedule.

I'd love to dance, but, not cheap, not flexible.
I'd love, love to get back back into boxing, but schedule hits me again.
Yoga - stupidly expensive and schedule
Reading - cheap, flexible - horrible guilt complex just sitting on my butt and 'doing nothing'. I never had that problem until Baby A came into the picture. I used to spend every Sunday afternoon reading. Now, there are so many other things I feel I have to do instead. Plus, it's quite hard to do while she's awake, I have a limited nap time window and usually use that time to clean while she's not around to play in the dirt piles I sweep up from the kitchen.

I want to want to run, does that count? It just doesn't sound fun.

Searching for a goal. I'd like to make year 34 be something more.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Silver Lining

The only good thing about a stomach bug is the unintended weight loss. I"m down a pound and a half in two days. I also haven't had coffee in two days. That part stinks. I like coffee. I miss coffee. The thought of coffee makes me want to hurl right now. I've had a handful of Ritz crackers today and a small bowl of cheerios this morning.

It's so hard being a mom while sick. Baby A wants to play and get out and do things and all I can manage is to lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow and halfheartedly dance her little bear around. Picking her up takes all my energy. I have to rest part way through changing her diaper. Literally, stop and wait a minute until I can continue.


Friday, October 5, 2012

'Spanx' It

So, my birthday was Wednesday. Not a milestone one, just a regular one, 34. Oh well. I actually got my present from my husband last Sunday because he was leaving for work Wednesday morning and we wouldn't really have been able to celebrate anyway. Plus, I knew what he had gotten me since I very, very specifically asked for it and said I didn't want anything else. Music in the kitchen. I spend so much time in there and I love to dance and cook at the same time. So, now I have music in the kitchen. It's been great and the cutest thing is that Baby A will be crawling around doing her regular thing and then stop and do a little bebop dance and then keep crawling and playing. It's awesome. Super cute.

I also got a package from my mother in law. She loves to buy me clothes, probably because I love to get clothes and because my two sister in laws are impossible to shop for. She also always buys me things that I would never in a million years have even thought to try on in the store. The dress she sent me this year is a light shimmery chocolate brown knit, fitted pencil skirt bottom with a loose, draped cowl neck top. Pretty much the exact opposite of any dress I have ever owned and something I typically avoid.

The shape of it looks a little like this but with short sleeves and it's fitted in the middle too, just the top is loose and blousy.

And, she bought a size small. I have lost just about all the baby weight from my pregnancy but things just aren't quite what they used to be. There are some lumps and rolls that never used to be there and I'm very aware of that. I haven't worn any of my dresses all summer because they just don't look the way they used to. Not that they're super tight and not that I really have anything to be embarrassed about, but I hadn't quite decided to give in to my post mommy body and was really dreading trying on this dress and having to tell my mother in law that it either didn't fit or looked terrible. I even think it looks a little dumpy on the model.

I, however, look fantastic and let me tell you why.

I bought a pair of Spanx. Well, the Target brand variety, but still. After trying on the dress and realizing it wasn't half bad, in fact it was mostly good I decided it had room to be better. 

Why the HELL have I not purchased these before?? They're amazing!!! I spent all of Wednesday even after Baby A went to bed going through my entire dress wardrobe realizing what a difference a little bit of spandex makes! Panty lines, GONE! Love handles, GONE! Last little bit of belly roll that I have't lost yet, GONE! 

I will be investing in several more of the wonderful, magical undergarments. And I highly encourage anyone else who hasn't, and has some minor post baby body image issues like me, to run, don't walk, run to your closest Target and stock up!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mid Vacation

Quick post while my husband is out running. So far it's going well. We're getting into a good routine of keeping Baby A occupied and on schedule for naps and meals. Hubby is doing a lot of the work too. Our only really issue is Old Lady. She's not eating and we don't know why. The other odd thing is Big M and his food. I bought a different variety of the same brand and didn't realize it would be an issue. This is Big M. He loves to eat, he eats anything. Well, I apparently found the one brand that he doesn't like. Or there's something wrong with it, which is my guess. Old Lady got into his food several days ago and hasn't eaten since. *sigh*. My poor girl. I'm trying to wait for next week to take her to the vet and crossing my fingers that she works through it before then.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Working through chaos

I just realized how ridiculous my desk at work is. Right now i have two travel coffee mugs, one actual coffee mug, two water bottles, and two containers that housed my breakfast (plain greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and organic granola, mmmm)

I reached for my water, only to not know which thing I was reaching for.

I may need help.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vacation looming

I think Mama T goes on vacation just to remind us how hard is it to be a full time parent. We are going on vacation next week as a family. Our first real family vacation with all of us, Old Lady and Big M included (please reference the post from a few months ago regarding packing and multiply it by 10 as that is how many days were gone). We're not going anywhere all that exciting or glamorous, we're actually just crashing my in-laws cabin in north TN. The in-laws will be there for this weekend, but after that it's just us.

I am very much looking forward to getting away. Away from the alarm clock. Away from work. Away from the house and all the pending projects that we're scraping money to try and finish this year. All of it. Just get out of the house and be somewhere else.


There is no Away from family responsibility. Baby A still needs her regular schedule. She still needs to be fed, several times a day; diapers changed, naps had. The dogs still need walks and meals and playtime too. So a family 'vacation' isn't really a vacation as much as a change of scenery with all the same stuff going on. And what I am concerned about is that, my husband is going to have a wonderfully relaxing week, which he absolutely deserves. He's been working long hours, traveling a lot and is very stressed out. But I'm concerned that I'm not going to get any down time. That I"m going to have to be the single parent while he's relaxing. I'm going to be doing every breakfast, every bath, every nap, every lunch, every play time, all of it and I don't know how to say I don't want to without sounding like, and feeling like, a terrible mother.

I want to look forward to all of the vacation, but part of me is already worn out from just the knowledge that it's 24/7 parenting with no Mama T. I love Mama T. I appreciate her. There are some evenings and occasionally a morning that are so rough, and so whiny that when we get to Mama T's house I practically throw Baby A at her and run to the office. It's not every day, and it's probably not even once a week. But I know that after 10 days of full time mom, I'm going to give Mama T a big hug and yell 'see ya' as I run out of the house.

Just typing all of that makes me feel guilty. I don't want the idea of 10 days with Baby A to stress me out. I want to want to be a stay at home mom. There are even some days where I think I could be. We'll have a fabulous 3 or 4 day weekend. Baby A will be happy and playful and eat great, take nice long naps, with minimal fuss about anything and I'll think 'I could totally do this'. Then, we'll have an evening where I want to tear out my hair because she cries and whines about everything. And then once I'm frustrated with Baby A, my Old Lady knows I'm upset and thinks she's in trouble. So she's now under my feet doing her 'I'm sorry dance' with big eyes and a wiggling butt. Add to that Big M who, seeing Old Lady dancing for attention, comes over and does his own 'me me me' dance and he's the biggest cry baby of all of them. His normal 'talking' mode is a whine. Everything is a whine. He's excited for a walk, he whines. He's hopping around waiting for dinner, he whines. He thinks I've said something fun like, ride, or food, or treat, and his ears perk up and he whines. All of a sudden, I've got three babies all under my feet, whining at me. And this is what I'm going on vacation with.

Maybe I'll just stay home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Planned Cooking, week 2

I did a really good job last week and so decided to continue the trend. Grocery shopping had to wait until Sunday morning, but, Baby A and I had a great day. I made all her meals for the week as well as a chicken pasta salad that we haven't had in a while and whenever I make it we always say 'we need to make this more!'

2 cooked chicken breasts diced
16 oz pasta
8 oz Italian dressing
8 oz creamy Ceasar dressing
1 green bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan
8 oz mozzarella diced.


It also makes a ton of food and is good for at least two nights worth of dinner and then an additional lunch sized portion.

The next dinner of the week will be done Wednesday and that will be chicken and mushrooms with mozzarella over rice. mmmmmm

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oddly Good, Super Easy, Garlic Bread

I love my Ellie Krieger Cookbook. It's great. There are a few recipes that we haven't really cared for, but overall, it's a great book. Part of the reason I love it is because she gives you menus, not just recipes. It's a meat, vegetable and starch that all go together and are all easy. We tried her garlic bread recipe last night and I was amazed at how good it was, and how easy.

Step 1 - slice bread
Step 2 - lightly coat with olive oil
Step 3 - place under low broiler for 3-4 minutes
Step 4 (this is the neat one) - Remove from broiler. Take a large clove of garlic and rub it vigorously across the oiled side of the bread.
Step 5 - Eat!

The toasted bread serves as a grater for the garlic. Be careful, it's more effective than you realize. The first piece I did ended up a little stronger than I intended it to.

Even my husband was amazed and he gave me a couple of really odd looks as I was scrubbing the bread.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm an Aunt!! I'm an Aunt!!

Super excited!! We waited all day yesterday for news. Prego SIL checked into the hospital for a scheduled induction at 6 am yesterday and didn't have their adorable little girl until 9:30 last night!! What a very, very long day!! I can only imagine how exhausting that must be. My little niece is 7 lbs 12 oz with a head full of beautiful dark hair. I can't wait to meet her. We will call her NJ (Niece J).

She is currently in NICU for a heart condition that they discovered during the pregnancy. My poor SIL must be so overwhelmed. It was hard enough when I had Baby A and they took her to the nursery for half a night. SIL doesn't even get to sleep in the same room as her new little girl. NJ also has Down Syndrome, which we were expecting. When the doctors tell you it's a 98% positive on the chromosome test, there really isn't much room to do anything other than expect it. It's going to be such a different learning experience for them than it was for my husband and I. I wonder if, since this is their first, it's almost easier. They don't have a reference. They won't know anything other than NJ and so as much and we had to take raising Baby A one day at a time, so do they.

We're a little worried because NJ does have a fever and is under observation, but the doctors aren't too concerned and think she should be able to go home in a few days. There are lots of tests to do, both for her heart and her DS. Lots of prayers and good thoughts in the next few days.

P.S.  I'm an Aunt, not an Ant. I am not a bug. I do not have 6 legs and ruin picnics. I am an Aunt, as in gaunt but without the g. Just to be perfectly clear.

Monday, September 10, 2012

So far so good.

I made my dinner plan Friday evening. I made my shopping list and Saturday went out with Baby A to buy her first pair of 'walking' shoes. Even though she's not quite walking yet, she's pulling up and cruising the furniture. It's so cute.

I followed my dinner plan for Saturday and Sunday and tonight is 'leftover' night.

Saturday's dinner:
Open Face Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches - So Easy by Ellie Krieger
1 Loaf whole grain bread
4 baked chicken breasts sliced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup Marinara
1 cup mozzarella
4 tbs shredded Parmesan

Cut loaf of bread in half and then slice each half lengthwise for 4 sandwiches. Remove some of the insides of the bread to create a 'bowl'. Pour 1/4 cup of Marinara into each sandwich. Top with 1/2 cup spinach, sliced chicken, 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1 tbs parmesan. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden. Do not leave unattended! This doesn't take long to cook.

I left the recipe for Sunday's dinner at home and so will post that later. It came out really well too except for the garlic mashed potatoes that actually tasted like we were going into battle with vampires and needed fortification.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Planned Cooking

I used to be really good at actually planning meals for the week and would spend time each weekend going through cookbooks and making a grocery list. Since Baby A arrived that really hasn't happened much. I think that is mostly because I do the majority of the grocery shopping on Friday afternoon's now, on the way home from work with Baby A. So I make my grocery list Friday morning while at work, in between phone calls and emails. It's a much more abstract list, something along the lines of:

Ground Beef
Veggies for Baby A food
Canned Baby A food (for the days I forget to have home made on hand)
Lunch stuff

But there's no real plan as to what the veggies are, or what I'm going to do with the various assortment of meat and/or fish that I come home with, so during the week, when I'm just trying to make it through until Baby A's bed time, I'm staring into the fridge with no real idea of what's in there and no real plan of what I'm going to make.

Well, today is Friday and would normally be shopping day, but I can't today because my daycare lady, Mama T, had a family emergency this afternoon and I'm going to go play with the kiddos for an hour until the other mom's can get there. So, I"m going to have to go shopping this weekend.

I pledge to create a meal plan for next week, a coordinated grocery shopping list, and know what's for dinner every evening prior to 7 pm when I would otherwise be staring confusedly into the fridge.

Go Team!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Motivated by a completely fabulous shopping experience this past weekend where everything I tried on was TOO BIG(!!!!) I am feeling committed to continuing my healthy eating and exercise plan. I have actually been doing rather well with my prior commitment to going to the gym between work and picking up Baby A from daycare. I have gone at least once a week, usually twice, I really want to make it three visits during the week and then maybe once on a weekend. Let's just start with what we have though.

So, if you haven't heard of, you should really check it out. It's free and it's easy and it really  gives you a visual of your eating. What meals are super high fat, or calories, or carbs and where you can make quick adjustments. For instance, measuring the creamer that you put in your coffee. Sounds dumb, but 2 tbsp of creamer is 40 calories. How many cups of coffee do you drink each morning? Do you know how heavy handed you are with the creamer? Think of it as, three cups of coffee, 2 tbsp each cup and that's a granola bar you could have eaten as a snack later in the day. I measure one tablespoon per cup, two cups a day.

So, here's what my normal morning looks like:
Coffee - Brewed from grounds, 2 cup (8 fl oz)5001
Yogurt - Chobani Greek Non-Fat Plain, 6 ounces1007018
Publix - Half & Half, 2 Tbsp40130
Strawberries - Raw, 1 cup, sliced531301
Add Food  19821320

And then lunch.

Publix - Muenster Cheese, 1 Slice80165Ico_delete
Arnold Sandwich Thins - Flat Bread, 100% Whole Wheat, 1 roll1002215Ico_delete
Helmans - Real Mayonaise (From Label), 0.5 tablespoon45050Ico_delete
Oscar Meyer - Deli Fresh Cajun Seasoned Chicken Breast, 6 slices (51g)50219Ico_delete
Add Food  275251319

I will have a V8 as a snack around 11 and then cheese in the afternoon:
Publix - Reduced Fat Mozarella String Cheese, 1 mozzarella string cheese70148Ico_delete
Campbell's - V8 - Spicy Hot (5.5 Fl oz), 1 Can30701Ico_delete
Mars - Snickers Minis, 2 piece901142Ico_delete
Add Food  19019811

So, 200 calories for breakfast. 275calories at lunch plus 200 in snacks...ok, ok, you saw the mini snickers. I only had two pieces though and I never said I was trying to be a saint...

One of the great things about is that not only does it add up your calorie totals for the day, but, if you exercise you get extra calorie points. So before dinner I typically have 660 calories or so. My goal for the day is 1200. But, if I go to the gym and spend 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, I get an extra 218 calories added to my goals! If I walk the dogs in the morning, that's another 80 (was sprinkling this morning so my two pansies couldn't bare to get their paws wet).

Your Daily Goal1,41815938106
*You've earned 218 extra calories from exercise today

Dinner is super easy too because the majority of the recipes from are already loaded in, so I just look them up, and add them to my menu, along with brown rice and a small spinach and tomato salad and one small glass of wine. Watching those calories add up really makes you think about the second glass of wine, although sometimes is necessary, but at 122 calories per glass. It's hard to justify when you're trying to stay within your goals.

Allrecipes.Com - Heavenly Halibut, 4 oz23511426Ico_delete
Rice - Brown, long-grain, cooked, 0.5 cup1082213Ico_delete
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!-Original - Margarine, 1 tbsp70080Ico_delete
Tomato - 5 Slices, 1 container (5 medium slices ea.)20401Ico_delete
Spinach - Raw, 1 cup7101Ico_delete
Generic - Kraft Light Creamy Cesar Salad Dressing, 2 Tbsp35420Ico_delete
Diamond - Chopped Walnuts, 1/8 cup1002103Ico_delete
Barefoot - Pinot Grigio, 5 oz122500Ico_delete
Add Food  697393534

So, at the end of a typical day, here's what my eating looks like. 58 calories to spare, I'm under on my carb goal and a little short on my protein, but at 84 grams in a day, that's really pretty good. I"m over on the fat portion, but that's because of the fish dinner and walnuts in my salad. I find it so hard to believe how high in calories and fat nuts in general are. They're healthy for you, but definitely in moderation only! An 1/8 of a cup is 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. Yikes!

Your Food Diary For:

Tuesday September 4, 2012
Here's one thing though. If you're going to join myfitnesspal, don't hide your food diary. Make your friends hold you accountable and let them see that you just pigged out on an ice cream sundae, or stopped at Wendy's for lunch. That's what this whole system is for. To put your goals out there for others to see, be a part of and support you.