Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Big M Update

In January my Big M was diagnosed with cancer, a rare and aggressive form of canine cancer. Thankfully, it's my practice to routinely have any lumps that come up on my dogs removed completely, and then tested, just in case. I don't wait. I don't test first and then decide what to do later. If there's a lump, it comes off, end of story. In this instance, that probably saved Big M's life, and my sanity.

Yesterday was Big M's fifth chemotherapy treatment, he has one more. Every third Tuesday I take him down to the Bluepearl Georgia Veterinary Specialist office for his treatment. Should you live in Georgia and need someone to save your dog, or cat, they're the people. They took good care of my Old Lady when she needed knee replacement surgery several years ago and they've taken good care of my Big M. It is extremely comical though to see a 75 lb boxer, a solid and very intimidating looking dog if I"m being honest, shake like a rag doll and hide behind my legs and cry. He's such a baby. :)

He has one more treatment and then we do another round of ultrasounds and xrays to make sure that in the four months that we've been doing the chemotherapy no other masses have come up. I know in my heart that they will be clear. He has escaped this round.

I am very concerned though about the next one.

We adopted him through a rescue group and his history is sketchy, we know that. We know that rescuing animals means you don't really know how old they are. What their health history is. What they've been subjected to. We do know that Big M had a rough past and he's always been wary of strange men. We know he was approx 2 or 3 years old when we got him, but vets tend to judge age by the health of a dogs teeth and Big M's teeth are a mess from some part of his dark past that involved, most likely, being chained, and chewing on that chain trying to free himself.

Even if the two year old estimate is accurate, which is the one we choose to go with, we've had him for four years which means he's at least six, if not seven or a little older.

A boxer's standard life expectancy is 8-10 years.

My Old Lady died just before she made it to 12 and she was adopted as a puppy by a family I knew. From a registered and safe breeder, always well taken care of. She came to me because the family had a third baby and, blah, blah, blah, they didn't have time. As a volunteer with a rescue group, and as a mom with small babies, I hate that excuse. But, it did give me my Old Lady.

I worry so much about Big M now because he didn't have good care as a puppy. He wasn't well taken care of and we just don't know what may come from that. He's living the good life now, that's for sure. But given how short boxers lives tend to be, and that we've already had one escape. I worry about the next one and how much time we will have.

(Forgive the Clemson onzie, we're a Tennessee house, but, if it's clean, and it fits, it gets worn! lol)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seven days without shopping

Doesn't sound too hard does it...

For me, that sounds terrible.

I love to shop. I don't even have to be buying things for me. I will shop for my girls, for my husband, the house, the dog, upcoming trips or holidays or birthdays, for work.

It doesn't matter.

I love to shop.

A coworker of mine gave up all unnecessary spending for Lent this year. She defined unnecessary spending as anything that wasn't involved with basic living expenses. Bills, obviously, need to get paid, gas needs to be put in the car and groceries need to be purchased. But do you need the box of crackers that's on sale? No. Do you need a new pair of shoes, or dress for church, or pants for work? Unlikely.

So, I am giving up shopping.

For seven days.

And really, I'm counting the start date as Saturday, so I'm on day 4.

Which is totally cheating.

I know.

But I'm doing it anyway because I didn't shop at all this weekend. So that counts.

Seven days of no shopping. As soon as I say those words things start flooding my brain with things that I need.

I need new shoes, but do I? Kind of. My feet are a little larger after this last pregnancy and some of my work heels are showing their age. But, they do still fit and I can wear them comfortably.

I need new jeans. - Kind of, but they're not going to fit around my belly yet, so why waste time and money buying something that only mostly fits now when it probably (hopefully) won't in another couple of months.

Ali needs hair bows. Really?? She's survived this long.

She needs bubble bath, we're just about out...but not quite yet.

All these things and so much more start jumping around in my head telling me they just CAN'T wait and I need to buy them now.

I think this may not be overly healthy.

So. Seven days without shopping.


To be fair...

The only reason I chose seven days, and not more, is because I spent a lot of this past weekend cleaning out Elle's closet of all her newborn, 0-3 and 3 month clothing that she's outgrown. I have two big bags full of things that I plan on taking to a new consignment store that's opened near Mama T's house.

On Saturday.

And I want to be able to buy a few things while I'm there.


The seven day shopping hiatus is definitely not 100% along the correct  intent of the exercise.

But I have to start somewhere, right!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Day 5

I have made it through 5 days of my challenge. I like how each day the numbers get a little higher, and then they'll have a lighter day. Today I only had to do 5 sit ups. I can do that.

Come to find out, post pregnancy, I can't do 20 sit ups. I was pretty surprised at that. I could do 10. The good thing about this program is that they say you don't have to do all the exercises all at once, you can break them up a bit. This program has sit ups, crunches and squats. The squats I can do. I'm up to 35 for this particular challenge. The goal is to get to 100. The sit up goal is 40 and for crunches, they want to get to 100.


Which is funny, for me to say yikes. I used to kick box (like, for real kick box, with gloves and an opponent who was trying to hit me) and I used to be able to do a couple hundred sit ups and crunches and all kinds of things and never even blink.

You know, back in the day...

Now my belly is so sad looking. I know that it will get better, as long as I continue to work on it, but wow, those days seem so far away!

I am down another pound since my Ground Zero post a month ago, which stinks, a whole month and a whole pound. :(  I really want to be doing better than that. But, I've also lost an inch around my belly and half an inch on my hips.

              March           April
Weight    135.6           134.4
Belly       35"                34"
Hips        41.5"            41"

Keep on keeping they say.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Old Habits

Today I was checking out at the grocery store and was chatting with the check out lady.

We talked about the weather, and then on dogs and rescue groups and after a few minutes of the conversation I realized I kept referencing my dogs.

But I don't have 'dogs'.

I have 'dog.'


Once I realized it, I couldn't go back. I kept talking about my 'dogs'. It hurt too much to change and correct myself. And then she asked me, how many dogs do you have, and I said two. It just came out.

I then told her all about my two boxers. My old lady and my Big M and I kept talking about my Old Lady like she was still here. My heart was breaking inside and I couldn't stop. Once I started, I just kept going and then couldn't go back because then I just felt foolish.

I cried all the way home.

I lost my Old Lady on February 1st. It's been almost three months and I still haven't adjusted to saying dog instead of dogs. My dogs.

I'm still sitting here crying. Looking over at my Big M sitting in the shaft of sunlight coming in the window. There are two windows in the office, there are two shafts of sunlight and there used to be a dog in each one.

There is still such a hole in my life from losing her.

I miss her so much.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Accountability-Step One

I did my 'Day One' exercises this morning for my 30 Day Ab & Squat Challenge. As sad as it is, 10 sit-ups is pretty tough these days. My poor stomach muscles are a mess after being pregnant.

I am glad though that the two pounds I put on over Easter weekend have come off again. I was a little annoyed with myself for those and would have been really cranky if they had stayed.

Step one for me needs to be accountability for my lack of exercise. I really am not doing anything right now and that is bad. Bad, bad, bad. I haven't been on my fabulous $30 yard sale treadmill since I went back to work.

I need to involve my husband more in my attempts at getting a program for myself together, because if he isn't there to help me, it isn't going to happen. His runs and workouts happen, every night. Mine don't.

So, whether he likes it or not, he's going to be taking on more of the bedtime duties at our house so I can go walk for 20 minutes.

On Tuesdays, I will leave work early, at 4:20 to get to the gym for a 4:30 yoga class. I will have to leave the class at 5:20 to get to Mama T's before she closes, but that's ok.

On Thursday's I will walk.

On Saturday's my husband will be in charge of the kids while I go to a 12:00 Pilates class.

Each morning I will do my 30 Day challenge exercises and try to find my stomach muscles again.

Let's just start there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

30 Day Challenge. Accountability

I've seen these before, mostly the squat one, but considering the whole postpartum thing, abs are a major concern for me right now. So, starting tomorrow I will be doing the 30 Day Ab & Squat Challenge.

I downloaded their app and have invited a few friends to face the challenge with me, and hold me accountable. Because, let's face it, my history these days doesn't lend a whole lot of support to me sticking to a 30 day schedule on my own.

I just really, really want to fit into my clothes. Elle will be four months old on Sunday. At five months, I want to be in my pre baby pants with the button buttoned and at six months, I want to be able to put on a bathing suit (not a bikini, still have crazy bellybutton issues) without feeling like a whale.

I want a waist. It doesn't have to be the waist I had before, but I'd like one that's reasonable. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

The stomach bug

I'm not sure if it's reached a national level of epidemic, but it is certainly regional. The stomach bug is going around and we got it last week. It was terrible.

I'm 99% sure it came from Ali's church Sunday school, but it swept through her daycare too. She started Monday night, I started Tuesday morning. My husband had to come home from work on Tuesday to take care of Elle because I didn't want to handle her more than necessary to hopefully keep her from getting it. No such luck, she started going on Thursday morning. It was just a mess.

After talking with the doctor on Thursday, it's everywhere. We didn't go in to see the doctor, there's not much to do but wait, as long as I can get the girls to keep water down and stay hydrated.

All I can say is that I"m super thankful for wonderful neighbors. By Thursday we were just pathetic and I had to call one of our friends up the street and ask her to go to the store for me. Elle had thrown up in her car seat so I literally couldn't leave the house, it was disgusting and at this point I was out of laundry detergent. So my friend went and got a massive jug of laundry detergent, three big bottles of pedialyte and lysol wipes.

I proceeded to do seven loads of laundry that day.


It was followed by many more over the weekend as stage two of that bug hit Elle, which is almost worse than the vomiting in stage one. We washed more sheets and baby clothes as this bug worked through both girls systems. I can't even believe it. Fortunately, once they made it past the first stage, they were perfectly happy and playful, just not quite ready for daycare or public in general with the unpredictability of their diaper needs, and frequent clothing changes, but happy.

We really don't need to do that again anytime soon. 

Or ever.  


Friday, April 18, 2014

The best thing about Amazon Prime

I love my Amazon Prime account. 

Now, it isn't for everyone.

However, I save enough in diapers each month to pay for the membership and then some, especially now with two in diapers.

Every month I get diapers, wipes, formula, paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, bath soap, doggie medicine and a few other things delivered and I don't ever have to think about it. It just shows up.

But the best thing about Amazon Prime is the box.

Last month, when I got my shipment I decided to have some fun with the box.

I made a 'fort' for Ali. Basically, taped up the sides, cut a 'door' in one side and gave her a pile of crayons. She thought it was great. She's spent so much time in this that it's now much more taped up than it was initially and well colored.

This month I decided to expand on her playhouse.

This time I taped up the sides, turned it over and cut out 'window's, a 'sky light' a 'front door' and a side entry door with a matching cut out in the original box, then taped the two boxes together.

Kiddie Condo!

To say she liked it, doesn't quite cover it. 

I'm feeling like a super cool mom right now.

And am totally wishing we had Amazon Prime deliveries when I was a little kid because I would have LOVED this!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The hunt is on

I think one of my favorite things with Ali is that she is finally at an age where she can really participate in things and have fun.

Last week Mama T had an Easter Egg Hunt and little party at her house after work one day. This was really Ali's first egg hunt. Last year she was kind of old enough, 18 months is still a little young to get it, but it was also cold and rainy all spring (and summer for that matter) and it just wasn't possible to get outside.

This year it was beautiful. Sunny, warm, the grass was green and the kids were adorable. She had a blast and every day since has asked to go hunt eggs at Mama T's.

Mama T and the crew.

I love this one because Ali is looking at her little BFF Max and Elle is looking at Max's little brother Will, her future BFF, she just doesn't know it yet.

I am so looking forward to Easter next weekend. My in laws are coming down. They haven't seen Elle since January. My husband ordered a play structure for Ali that should arrive this week and give him and his father some quality bonding time with tools and likely a lot of swearing.

I may have told Ali that her daddy is building her a club house. She is only mildly obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney channel, so she is beyond thrilled that Daddy is making her a clubhouse of her very own. :)

No pressure honey. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's a good day

The scale was nice to me this morning.

I'm wearing pre-baby pants (unbuttoned but who's looking).

And I'm wearing some sassy shoes.

It's a good day.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A quiet weekend, they actually exist.

I love my Ali. She is the light in my heart and I would move heaven and earth for her.

However, she's also two. And that's a tough age.

Saturday we were spending the day like we normally do.



And Vacuuming 

My little helper with me at every turn. I actually attempting to 'sneak' vacuum the upstairs while she was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so that I could get it done faster. That didn't work. She went and got her little vacuum and brought it upstairs (which makes my heart stutter when I think about her lugging that up the stairs by herself) so she could help.

I am really not sure what she was planning for the broom and the back yard but she was entertained so, whatever.

After my husband did his morning run, he took over at the house and I went to a Pilates class.


I went to the gym!!!

By myself!!!

And then when I got home Ali kept asking to go to Grandma's house. Over and over. When I put her down for a nap I said I would call her and see when would be a good time. I didn't. After her nap, she kept asking so I called my mom and said we needed to schedule some quality Grandma time. Mom said 'great, bring her on over.' So I did. Took 5 minutes to pack an overnight bag and I took Ali to Grandma's house. 

Again I say, I love my Ali with all my heart, but wow, was it nice to have a quiet house. Elle is such a calm quiet girl that it's like not having a baby in the house, and really with baby #2, it's just easier. So we had a quiet evening. 

And a quiet Sunday.

I got to cuddle and play with Elle. 

Do a 30 minute Yoga routine by myself. 
Well, mostly by myself.

Fold laundry, once, as opposed to multiple times while attempting to stay ahead of my 'helper'.
Prep dinner while dancing and singing in the kitchen with my one and only fan (Ali tells me to shhh whenever I sing.)

 Seriously, the chins on this girl are epic.

It was a nice quiet day.

It was also so nice when Ali came back and I got big hugs and cuddles. I definitely miss her while she's gone, but it's nice to have a break every once in a while and I just don't know how parent's survive without having their own parents around to help. I highly recommend all parents have an occasional night away from your children. It's good for everyone involved. It gives you a break from your kids, gives your kids a break from you, gives Grandma (or whoever) some quality time to build that bond. It gives you all a little perspective on just how challenging it is to keep up with a toddler and how precious that toddler really is.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Complete and Thorough Exercise Fail

I took down my 'plan'. In three weeks I gained almost two pounds.

That's just annoying.

Of course, I haven't really done anything that would potentially cause weight loss.

I've been eating too much. Drinking too much. Not exercising at all even though I had 'a plan'. And I'm 'a planner'. Just crap.

I have zero time.


I don't know when I'm supposed to do this.

I get up at 5:15 in the morning. I get straight into the shower.
At 6 I get Elle up.
At 6:30 I get Ali up.
At 7:15 I'm packing everyone up and getting out the door by 7:25.

(BTW - I do feel extremely proud of myself that I have managed to adjust the morning schedule so that we're leaving on time)

I leave work at 4:50.
I pick up the girls at 5.
I get home at 5:30.
I get in the door, let Big M out. Get Ali her water and snack then I change out of work clothes.
It's now 5:50.
Get Ali's dinner ready.
My husband comes home. Walks Big M and then goes for a run.
At 6:20 Elle goes down for a nap.
At 6:30 I feed Ali and frequently myself too.
At 7:15 after Ali finishes eating (yes 45 minutes is typical for her) I take her upstairs to brush her teeth and change into her pj's.
at 7:20 my husband is home from his run and comes up to join us for story time.
7:30 we read two books.
7:50 Ali goes to bed.
7:55 I go down stairs to make a bottle
8:00 I get Elle up and feed her. She's awake until about 9:00, sometimes she'll go down a little earlier than that. That's my one time of day that I actually get to play with her and pay attention to her without Ali there too.
9:00 put Elle down for the night and sit down with my husband for 20 minutes.
9:20 we go to bed.

That's my whole day. All of it. It doesn't stop. I get 20 minutes in the evening and 45 minutes in the morning without kids. Where in there am I supposed to exercise?

It is so frustrating.