Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflections of 2010

I still can't believe that we are in the final week of 2010. The years just seem to be going by faster and faster, but I guess that's what happens as you get old :) This feels like a big year for me as a mom though. Beginning next year (in Aug. of course), I will have a child in school. I just can't believe it. I think I am more nervous than he is about it though. Luckily, I have 8 months to prepare-- WHEW!
Anyway, onto reflections from this year:
Can anyone say snow? I feel like we were under a constant winter weather watch and we had to deal with horrible but fun snow forever! There was a point in February when I thought that we would be sledding come June.
This picture was the snow in January. We got even more in February and this is VA??? It was a total shock and when Troy says he wants even more this Winter.....AAUUGGHHH

And after the snow melts, what do you get?

Yes, that's right, MUD! I also dealt with this scene an awful lot and will admit, thought it was funny that first few times, then I got a tad tired of this, but boys will be boys and my boys sure love the mud.
2010 also brought me into the world of SOCCER MOM and not just soccer mom, but soccer mom COACH. I have promised Troy that as long as he wants me to, I will coach his soccer team so I have done 2 stints now and I adore it. U6 soccer is so much fun and those kids are sooooo cute. It's a promise I am more than willing to keep.
The summer brought highs and lows. There was lots of fun with friends and family, plenty of pool time, and vacation in the 1000 Islands, but the summer is also when we said goodbye to my brother in law who was deployed for a 2nd time to Iraq. It has been very difficult on my sister and niece and nephew, but luckily, Skype has been a tremendous help. (The pic below is us on vacation.)
And Fall. Oh how I love Fall! Troy became a totally different child--more outgoing, friendlier and his anxiety eased (minor flair ups here and there, but better). Will turned 2 so that always brings fun and excitement. Fall also brought a beach trip, a trip to Wintergreen with friends, more soccer, beautiful weather... I truly do love Fall. If you have ever read anything before of mine, you'll know that my dad passed away in September a few years ago so it is a hard time, but the beach is our new way to get passed the moping. Below is a pic of Sandbridge Beach and Wintergreen

And that brings us to now. There is so much more I could share, but there's just not enough time in the day. As always, looking back, I realize how truly blessed I am. I have the most wonderful family there is and my friends are amazing. Although I may be getting older and you young uns think that things get harder and the fun stops. I can honestly say, that is as far from the truth as you can get. I am having the time of my life with my family and friends and although there are people missing from the picture, I know they are watching over us and enjoying it as much as I am. So I leave you with this picture. My favorite from the year because it has most of my favorite people in it in my favorite place (thank you Jennifer Price with Focus Photographers!) ;)

Monday, December 27, 2010

We didn't get much....

Snow that is. The huge blizzard missed us and we only got a dusting, but I think my kids still enjoyed it, don't you :) Also, I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the husband!

Will was in some kind of zone driving this tractor. Yes, he was still driving, kinda--it was just going round and round
Snow fight!!!
Got the 4Wheeler stuck

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Baking

I use this phrase a lot, so why stop now...Back in the day....yes, back in the day, I used to do tons and tons of baking. I was a teacher/athletic trainer at a high school and gave all the coaches a tin of holiday goodies. Here's what I made:
Then I would do the basic Sugar Cookies (slice and bake), Angel Food Cake, and throw in peppermints and Hershey Kisses for color. It could get tedious, but I enjoyed it. Since having children, this has gone WAYYYYYY down, but I usually can whip together something even if it was just the sugar cookies. I even did some Gifts in a Jar or Gifts in a Mug (tons of ideas found here). This year, I don't even know what happened. I had some time but chose to use it doing things that weren't so productive. I baked cookies only when I had to and tonight, I am going to a friend's house. I had many intentions of baking or putting together a mug/jar gift, but nope, I chose to do anything and everything else. So here's what I have thrown together. Yummy? Sure. Lazy? ABSOLUTELY. I feel horrible, but I just didn't make it a priority this year and now that the holidays are here, I totally regret it. Next year, let the holiday baking commence!
And the bad part of it is, I even used this:
Baker's Dipping Chocolate--you just microwave and dip. I feel like I cheated

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions

When you think about Christmas, I am sure you think of many traditions that you have been apart of over the years--decorating your tree with special ornaments, going to see the lights, programs, pajama nights with the family, special movies you watch with your children or loved ones....I am sure there are many. My all time favorite tradition is a tad odd, but it's one I have been talking about a lot lately. I can't even say I remember when it first started, but I have to say that it's one we no longer do and it crushes me, yet no one can do it the same way. First let me explain-- Dad loved to play tricks on us. For example, he would say he didn't get Mom anything and it drove me and my sister nuts. Every year he would go through this and my sister would by something extra for my Mom--just in case and, yet he would always hide a gift somewhere that was hers. For some reason, my sister always thought "This is the year he won't get her anything". He always loved keeping us on our toes so one year he decided he would be funny. He always gave us something that would fit in a small box--money, lottery tickets, jewelry... so he decided to hide the gifts in the tree. He stood back a ways from the tree and just threw them in there. The next morning, we went through our stockings, opened all the gifts and then Dad said "You haven't opened everything girls" and hinted to where they were. This became a yearly thing and we LOVED it. He loved doing it probably as much as we loved him doing it. When we got married, he did this for us and our husbands and then when Anaka and Troy came along, same thing. It was so fun to look through the tree and see where they ended up that year--some years were very challenging. Silly tradition? Sure. But I miss it and after telling Troy about it, he wants us to start doing it or rather, he wants to do it for Jay and I. I don't know if it can ever be the same, but I am willing to give it a try.

And on a slightly different note, my dad's birthday would have been Dec. 26. We always celebrated Christmas Eve because he was so sick of family gatherings by Christmas night and just wanted to be left in peace. So here are a few pics of my dad I would like to share. They are very random and none are Christmas??? Why do I not have any of Dad at Christmas??? Oh well:
Walking me down the aisle
Dad and my niece Anaka
Dad and Troy
He came to the playground with us ♥
Holding Troy in the hospital
Happy Birthday Dad! Love you and miss you bunches

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the Day....

I don't know if I can blame this on age, becoming a mom or something else, but when did I forget how to relax? I remember back in the day, coming home from teaching or whatever job I was holding at the time and being able to just plop in front of the tv and veg. I would enjoy mindless tv, read a magazine or book and just sit. No guilt, no "I should be doing something else", no nothing....just sitting and relaxing. Now when I have a moment, I feel guilt over relaxing so therefore, I don't relax. I don't enjoy sitting in front of the tv. I HAVE to be doing something else--working on the computer, writing a thank you note, organizing the shelves or my purse, wrapping gifts......I must admit that I never can just sit still. WAYYYYY to ADHD for that, but I could scan through a magazine or newspaper, do the crossword or Sudoku and watch TV and I enjoyed it, I was happy, I was relaxed. Now, I can't stop thinking about all the things I have or need to do. Is this part of motherhood, part of age or is it just me? Someone teach me how to relax again--that doesn't involve alcohol or eating. If you want to know why....see previous posts.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Doing "homework"

Cheesin' on Troy's 5th birthday
He can't do anything without making it fun for him

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Will Earn Coolest Aunt Status!!

Yes indeed. I will be winning Coolest Aunt Status this holiday season. I am giving my 5 year old niece a gift that no one else would even think about! No toys, cute clothes, extremely over the top expensive gifts here. I am giving my niece something she will enjoy and remember for years. She's an animal nut, particularly crazy about seals (why? Not really sure, but whatever) and this is what she is getting from me this holiday season:

Seal Splash

Get Up Close and in the Water with our Harbor Seals

The Virginia Aquarium is the only place in the United States where you can get in the water to interact with harbor seals!

This 90-minute program takes you behind the scenes in the Harbor Seal area where you’ll learn about marine mammals, animal adaptations, training techniques, and efforts to conserve these unique animals and the environment we share with them. You’ll also meet a friendly seal or two in their private quarters, and observe a brief animal training session just prior to the in-water experience. During the 15-20 minute in-water interactive portion of this program, you’ll put on neoprene or rubber chest waders and a life vest (over your casual clothes), and enter the water with a trained animal professional (the water is about waist-high for most adults). Aquarium staff will walk you to a specially designed submerged platform to reach out and touch, communicate, and learn about the beauty and grace of our Harbor Seals. The seal will follow the target you’re holding, say “hello” (in seal, of course), and even wave to you. It’s the experience of a lifetime for the whole family!


Okay, so there is one small problem. She's not old enough for this, however they have something similar but the children don't get in the water--they still get up close and personal. Good enough I think. My sister is also an animal nut, so she gets to do it too. I hate that they can't do it right now, but at least they have something to look forward to!

Now, how the heck do I wrap this?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Embracing imperfections

** Before I even start, this is NOT a post to get compliments and be told that I am thin or look great--that is NEVER why I write these**

How do you do this? If anyone has the secret, please let me in on it. I had a friend once tell me to just look in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful/beautiful you are. I had to laugh because all I could think about was the SNL skit with Michael Jordan doing that and him cracking up. That would be my reaction too. I wish it were easier to be happy with how I look, but no matter what I do, I am not. I may never be since I don't recall ever being thrilled with my appearance, so how do you just embrace yourself and the imperfections?
I started my journey to better health over 2 months ago and I said it wasn't truly about weight loss, but I lied. I tried to convince myself that I would be happy just taking better care of myself and feeling stronger, but I am not. I really thought that along with changing my diet and beginning an exercise program, the weight would drop off. I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting some loss. It's been over 2 months and I have had only 2 days I cheated a tad (and I mean a very tad) and 1 day I went nuts, but that's it. I still have lost only a couple pounds total. I know my metabolism is very slow and weight training *should* (key word there) help, but it's not. Yes, I have built a lot of muscle, but it's still under all the fat. Here's the problem (and this is where I really need to come to terms)--there are 3 main body types (check here for full info: http://health.learninginfo.org/body-types.htm)
1) Ectomorph--naturally thin/lean, not muscular and have a harder time building strength
2) Endomorph--naturally carries more body fat and a low metabolish--think soft and round
3) Mesomorph--naturally able to build muscle easily, athletic, defined

and I am a endomorph mixed with a mesomorph and I need to realize that I will NEVER be long and lean. I will never be skinny. I wasn't even as a youngster--I was smaller, but never skinny. I have always held fat--especially in my abdomen and I build muscle VERY easily, yet I don't lose the fat so you don't see definition. I remember back in high school (I think it was freshman year), I had spent the summer babysitting 2 children and they had a pool so I swam a lot and became very muscular. I went to cross country practice that first day and the coach said "Jitterbug (my crazy nickname), you have gained a lot of weight over the summer"! I was devastated. I couldn't believe he said that to me and back then, I never cared about the scale so had no idea if I did. The next day I went to practice and he apologized to me because when he really looked at me running, he could tell that I had built a lot of muscle. This is who I am. I need to embrace the fact that I can become VERY strong and be okay with knowing that underneath the fat, I could kick some serious tail. I need to realize that unless I get a tummy tuck, I will never lose the belly I have from 2 CSections that is just loose skin (YUCK) so I just need to create a very strong core and embrace that the belly gave me two beautiful boys. I know all this. Yet how do I embrace it for real?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To My Almost 5 year old....

Dear my sweet Troy,

It is almost your 5th birthday and I can't believe it. I really am having a hard time believing that you are 5 and starting Kindergarten next year. Things are going to change so much so I am going to cherish every last minute of having you home more these next 9 months. When I look back over the past 4 years, it's been amazing! I have enjoyed watching you learn and grow. I have loved being able to stay at home with you and do all sorts of fun things. I have loved everything--even the struggles (not that there have been many, but there have been some). This particular year has been the most amazing though. You have changed so much in such a short time that I have been in awe. It's really been all since July so that's what has been even more incredible. In this short time, you have learned to ride your bike completely on your own without training wheels, you learned to swim, became more outgoing, become an acolyte and usher at church, and have begun to read. The one thing that has been the same is that you continue to be such a compassionate child--especially with your brother and those younger than you. I am always so proud when I see you sharing, being kind and thoughtful, and interacting with Will, Antonio and the other young ones that come around. They all love and adore you and it's obvious when they look at you! That is one thing that I hope never changes in you. I am so proud to be your mother and know that over the next many years I will continue to feel like this. I will always be here for you however you need me!


1 Year Old
2 Years Old

3 Years Old
4 Years Old

Almost 5!

Monday, November 29, 2010

And then we take one step back.

Well, after Thanksgiving, I really thought that we are totally past the anxiety phase with Troy. Unfortunately, I was wrong. We'll never know if it is definitely anxiety or a bug, but I tend to lean more towards anxiety since it's pretty much the same scenario when he has the symptoms. It's usually a party/family event of some kind in which there is a crowd or people he's not really comfortable with. He'll get quiet, complain about a headache, go pale or flushed, then he's done and just wants to leave or be left alone. His stomach will start hurting and he either feels like he has to throw up or he actually does--even if we leave the situation. He's done it numerous times, but hadn't in MONTHS, but this weekend we had a joint birthday party for Troy, Will and my mom. There were quite a few people--most he knew, but some he hasn't been around a lot. He started out fine, then suddenly, it all began and he wanted to do nothing-- no presents, no cake, no ice cream.....nothing. He just wanted to go to his room and be alone or with Jay or me. Most everyone thought he was sick since he seemed okay at first and we'll never truly know. He had no fever, but he did get sick multiple times--once after we left, and he went to bed at 7. He woke up the next morning with no residual effects and went on about life like things were fine so I really do think it's anxiety. Maybe it was too much too soon with Thanksgiving being just 2 days before. Maybe it was the anxiety of the focus being on him. Maybe he was sick? We'll never know and it's tough to know how to plan for it and I am pretty sure he actually does feel sick so he doesn't even understand. I just wish I could do something to help him but I am at a loss.
On a side note, Will has shown absolutely no sign of having the same issues. If anything, he's the exact opposite and seems to like crowds and being the center of attention. He's definitely a ham!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What a Difference!

Flashback 1 year to Thanksgiving 2009....
As it got close to time to leave to go to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving dinner, Troy went from energetic and happy to quiet and reserved. When we got there, he virtually did nothing. He didn't talk to anyone, he didn't leave mine or Jay's side, he didn't eat. The only thing he did was get more and more anxious. Thanksgiving with my family is overwhelming since it's a very large gathering--think 40+ (this year was 50), but he virtually secluded himself from everyone. He complained of not feeling well and so we finally gave up and left. He gets in the car and everything is great. His mood improves, his energy level is back and he's talkative. Unfortunately, he worked himself up so much that he did throw up on the way home....twice. My mom and sister swear he was sick, but I am pretty sure that he just was under too much stress.

Forward to tonight, Thanksgiving 2010....
He was a tad nervous early in the day so I started talking to him about who would be there to try to add some familiarity. I wasn't sure if it was working but he stayed in a great mood through the afternoon, even on the way there. We got there a tad later so the house was full so we immediately went into what became known as "Romper Room" since there were soooo many younger children there. He did fine in there. Then, it was time to eat. That didn't go very well, but it wasn't because of anxiety, he just didn't seem to like anything, which is surprising since my family is some of the best cooks EVER (I swear that is true), so back to the Romper Room he went. He proceeded to play, enjoy, talk, and was having so much fun we basically had to force him to leave at 8:30 (he normally goes to bed at 7:30). In the car, he says "Can we go back there tomorrow?" Another thing for me to be thankful for! This was going to be my test for his anxiety issues and he passed with flying colors! I am so happy!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed their day with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting on my soap box.....

Okay. Breathe. Count to 10. Ready now. I don't get offended or upset easily. I can hear people's opinions and usually listen to what they have to say, but sometimes, I do get really frustrated. Reading the Dec/Jan edition of Parenting magazine and in the Mom Poll (page 24 if you are interested) and the question was "Should restaurants have the right to ban loud or screaming children?" One of the responses to Yes was this:
"I never understood why some parents seem to need to inflict their brats on the general public. Are they too cheap to hire a babysitter, or do they actually enjoy all the screaming? The management has every right to ask an unruly customer to leave. I see no difference between an offensive drunk and a screaming child, except it's not the child's fault he/she has inept parent. Anon4242"

First let me say, I know crying/loud/obnoxious kids in restaurants is annoying. I get it. I know servers don't enjoy dealing with children sometimes. Sometimes, my child is the one being the "brat". I understand why some people say that they should ban. Do I agree? Depends on the restaurant. Any restaurant that has a children's menu, high chairs, boosters....heck no. If it doesn't, then sure--they are already telling parents the child isn't welcome. Now, getting up on my soapbox for a minute.....
To answer the questions and reply,
1) No, we are not too cheap to hire a babysitter. We simply like to enjoy a meal out together. If "our brats" are not allowed to be out in public because, HEAVEN FORBID, they make a peep, they will never learn how to act in public.
2) Do we enjoy the screaming? No, but that is why one of us will take our child outside to calm him down, bring a coloring activity in or bring food to tide them over until the meal gets there. Will they still be a little loud? Possibly, but most good parents will deal with it.
3)Am I an inept parent because my child makes noise or isn't happy 100% of the time or wants attention....HELL NO. Children are impulsive, children don't completely understand the difference in locations, but as I said in No. 1--if they aren't exposed, then they can't learn? Nothing gets me more aggravated then having someone make comments that their child would NEVER ever act up in public, never whine, never act ugly to someone, always uses their manners because they know better. I am sorry. I have known some wonderful children, but I have never seen the perfect child. And for those that do swear that their child is on the best behavior 100% of the time.......I just have one thing to say--WRITE A FREAKING PARENTING BOOK that doesn't include beating them into submission. Okay, that last part was a bit nasty (I am not going to debate spanking with anyone), but you hopefully can understand why I feel that way. Children are impulsive, and they are learning to express emotions so if you are saying I should be banned because my 2 year old cries/fusses/laughs too loudly, then maybe YOU should eat at a restaurant that doesn't cater to families......or are YOU to cheap?
4) Lastly, comparing children that GASP....behave like children to unruly drunks??? That is the absolutely most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I can't even fathom how anyone can justify that statement.

Stepping off the soapbox now. Should children be taught to behave, have good manners, be respectful.....absolutely. Should they be banned and parents be considered bad parents because they don't act like perfect angels? I don't think I need to say this, but I think not. Now just to clarify---there are crappy parents out there who don't teach their children these things, that ignore them when out in public and just don't care what their child is doing...that's a whole different blog. But for the majority or parents, I think most will agree. We do the best we can and shouldn't be referred to as inept or our children brats.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas is coming...

And that means it's time for Christmas cards. I LOVE getting cards. I especially love getting cards with pictures and I REALLY love getting cards with letters in them. I thought everyone did, but I have heard a lot of negative comments about the family newsletters or updates and how no one cares what your family has been up to. I find this odd?? If you don't care, why are they sending you a card? Maybe I am weird, but I send cards to family and friends and people that are important to us so I hope they actually care about what's been going on in our lives. I don't really enjoy those cards with every.little. detail in them or those that are like 3-4 pages long and I admit, I don't send a letter to everyone mainly because we send sooooo many cards and for some, a picture and a little handwritten note seems just fine to me. However, I enjoy reading highlights or fun and important things that are going on and I enjoy taking this time to reflect on what has happened with us. So I am just curious......what do you think? And be honest, since I really want to understand why some people despise the letter?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The past few days...

Well, the past few days have been interesting, challenging, sad, .....so many things. My emotions have been all over the place and I have to say that I am exhausted because of all of it. To begin with, I blogged back in the Spring about life being unfair http://mysahlife.blogspot.com/2010/05/this-is-so-unfair.html.
Here is the update. On Friday, November 12, he passed away :( They stopped treatment since chemo was showing no signs of affecting the cancer and he passed away surrounded by his very large family and a lot of love. We went up to NY for the funeral and although I cannot say that I knew him very well and had only been around him a few times, I got to know him through Jay. so I, too, was very saddened by all this. Also, having gone through this with MY father a few years ago, I could really understand how everyone was feeling. After leaving the funeral and spending time looking at pictures and talking to family, the loss of this man is devastating to so many. Not just his family, but all of those people he helped that had no one else. He truly was a great man. It was hard on so many levels too. He was such an extraordinary man, he was a veteran (military funerals are very tough on all), and I had to try to explain to Troy what to expect at Family Night. I think I did okay and gave him the option to go up to the casket or not. He chose to go and handled it very well, but I was really worried for him.
Since we went to NY, we got a chance to visit with Jay's family--2 sisters, his brother in law, 2 nieces, his mom and his very close friends and their children. Despite the circumstances, we had a wonderful visit and enjoyed the time seeing family we normally only see once a year. Having Troy being more outgoing helped as well because he truly had fun from the time he got there until we left rather than having to warm up to everyone. It was exhausting to watch the kids though--their energy levels never cease to amaze me. And to top it off, we were in a hotel room--1 room, 2 beds and we had never done this before. We had slept in the same room, however, the boys went to bed first and we came in later. This time, we were all together and the boys did wonderfully. It meant earlier bedtimes for us, but that was okay since we were all worn out anyway. I have to say the boys did really well on the trip overall--the drive, the hotel room, the going here and there and everywhere, being around people they don't see often....They really surprised me. The best part for the boys though--Uncle Brian (or Uncle Silly) is a firefighter and took them on a tour of THE nicest fire station I have ever seen. Of course, I forgot my camera, but luckily my sister in law took plenty (that I hope she will share with me) so pics to come later. Troy and Will were in awe of all the trucks and equipment and loved every minute of it. HUGE thanks to Uncle Silly for that one--you now have favorite Uncle status!
As for Troy and his being not so nice to me....well, that is over for now. He stopped saying hurtful things and I even got the "You are the greatest mommy!" again! I knew it would change, but for some reason, just was so hard for me the past couple of weeks. I think I am over it and so is he....for now anyway ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

And it continues...

So yesterday, I got the "I just like daddy better than you." Today, it continues and is worse. I really don't know why Troy is saying these things. I know that anyone I talk to will say one of a few things:
1) Don't take it personal.
2) He didn't really mean it.
3) Aww. He loves you too though.
But my replies:
1) I can't help but take it personal. He's saying what he feels. We always talk about how refreshingly honest children can be.
2) Yes, he did mean it. He gets tired of me by the end of the week and it shows every week. Not normally like this, but it shows. Then he gets his day with Granny and it's all good. This week, he's not getting a day (Granny's on a much needed vacation to the beach) and so he does want to get away from me.
3) I know he loves me, but he just doesn't like me very much lately.

Now, what did he say today, you wonder? "Mommy, I wish Daddy stayed at home and you worked. I just like him better." Yep, he got one cheek yesterday and I turned it and sure enough, he slapped the other one today. Hopefully, since it's Friday, he'll get out of this funk and Jay is taking off Monday (most likely to hunt a lot, but he has to hang with Troy in the AM since Will has his 2 year check up) so he'll get some time away from me. I am just hoping that next week, his attitude changes towards me a little. I miss my loveable, huggable almost 5 year old.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Slap in the Face

I knew this day would come and I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't. I have even had a good friend tell me about her experiences and I knew it wasn't isolated to just her, but it really did nothing to help me when my time came. Today, Troy basically told me that he liked Daddy better than me. It may sound silly and you may even laugh and think that I am joking, but it really felt like a slap in the face to actually hear the words. I already knew that he loved spending time with Daddy, and I know that he misses Jay while he's at work. I think what bothered me is that he's been so different this week. With everyone else lately, he's fine. When it's just me, he's moody, defiant, whiny, easily frustrated...This isn't normally like him at all. This afternoon, he didn't nap, but chose to play in his room. He came out and was miserable. Whining, complaining, weepy...so I told him to go back to his room until he could come out with a better attitude. He lost it. Threw a temper tantrum like he did back when he was 2 1/2. I had to carry him to the room and he cried for almost 20 minutes. I was shocked but he finally came out and talked to me and that's when he told me that he was being mean to me this week because he just liked Daddy more. Was he telling the truth? Don't know. I do know that people have told me that children act differently for their parents, but this is totally different lately and it's a sudden change. I just hope he's not getting sick :( I know he's tired because he won't let himself rest the way he needs to, but how can I change that? I do everything I can to help him rest and he just doesn't. So it's seems like his sleeping habits are causing issues, but I can't seem to fix it. I am a fixer so it's driving.me.nuts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sometimes words aren't needed

But I use them anyway! Looking through my pictures, I found one that I just love and wanted to share. The way that Will was looking at Troy just melted me. Complete adoration and fascination ♥. This was taken in March of 2009

Monday, November 8, 2010

A letter to my metabolism

Dear Metabolism,
You suck. You really suck. Just wanted to tell you that. I know I am 37 years old and I shouldn't expect that much from you, but you've been doing this to me for years. I have tried to be patient, I have tried to be nice, but I am done. I am doing everything I can to speed you up, however you are persistent that you would rather move at a snail's pace and frankly, I think that it's really not cool. Five weeks ago, I made a huge change in my diet. I have cut tons of calories, especially ones from sugar. I have been working out like crazy 5-6 days a week. I am doing cross training and changing it up weekly and I KNOW I have gained muscle. I can tell. What have you done for me? Um, let's think. Oh yeah, I have lost 1 pound. 1 pound in 5 weeks of working my tail off and eating less. What do you want from me anyway? I know that I have lost weight before, however, I was MISERABLE. I was eating right at 1000 calories a day, working out 1 hour a day sometimes 2 and was in pure misery! I am not asking to eat 2500+, but could I eat 1500 at least so I am not starving all day. I made it through the Halloween season and have had candy 2 days--and only a small amount. I am drinking maybe 4 sodas a week (down from 7-10 if I must be totally honest), I haven't touched alcohol in 5 weeks, and I am getting up consistently to work out. Do you think you could help me out a bit and speed up? I am not asking for much, but snail's pace isn't working for me.

Someone really sick of her weight.

Friday, November 5, 2010

To my Almost 2 year old....

Right before we left the hospital (we did tighten your straps so don't worry

Just a picture of you that I loved. You were staring at me and just "talking away"
My favorite picture of you and your big brother at EasterYour 1st birthday. Poor thing. You were so not feeling well :(
And this is the latest of you

To my dearest almost 2 year old,
I apologize for not doing this on your birthday, but I didn't know if I would get the chance, so better early than late, I always say. What can I say to you on as you get ready to turn 2? I simply cannot believe it has been almost 2 years! Everyone tells you before you become a parent that the time will fly, but I didn't believe them. But it is so true. When I look back at the pictures of you as a newborn, I feel like it was just yesterday. I have to be honest. The first 6 weeks didn't seem to go by fast since you had some issues with colic, but now that I look back, it really wasn't that long. You definitely have kept us on your toes little one! Everything Troy did/liked, you did the opposite, so it has been a learning experience but a wonderful experience of course. It's been so much fun watching you learn, discover, explore, try to keep up with your big brother, and develop your own personality! You, my dear, are the comedien of the family. I cannot wait to see what you do or say next because you certainly make us laugh and shake our heads at what you come up with. We have said it plenty--you are Pop Pop. You look like him and Lord knows you act like him so I know that the future will be interesting. Full of fun, mischief and love! We love you little buddy and hope you have a wonderful 2nd birthday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When did the tornado hit?

This morning I was super busy. I worked out, started laundry, went grocery shopping, got dinner started in the crockpot, helped Will with fingerpainting, cleaned that up, got him changed....I was on the move from the moment I got up and really felt when I sat down at 10:00 AM (yes, I did all that before 10) that I had accomplished something. Then I looked around and wondered when the tornado came through my house? It truly looked like I had sat there doing nothing while someone just ransacked the house. There were cars, trucks, clothes, balls, paper....you name it....thrown all over the place. How does this happen? When I went to bed, I had straightened up most everything. The boys were only playing (and I kid you not) for 15 minutes! The rest of the time, they were at the table or getting ready for school???? How do kids do this? If it's the kitchen, then the mess is ALL me and I will admit it, but this was the living room and toy room. My boys shouldn't have been named Troy and Will, but Tornado and Hurricane.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 4 of Healthier Me

Sooooooooo, yeah. Week 4. This is a tough week (as all women have). Won't say more, but I am sure you understand. The last 3 weeks have been relatively easy and I have stuck with it. Until today. I have a confession to make. I cheated today. I felt sooooo guilty but the day started off horribly. Last night, I stayed up too late finishing a book so decided to skip the 6AM workout. BAD MOVE. I should have known better--to stay up late first of all, but I definitely should have just sucked it up, gotten up and worked out. I would have felt better and had a better attitude if I would have just gotten my lazy butt up. Then, I took Will on some errands and ended up at the drug store where they have crushed ice. There is nothing like a soda on crushed ice. Weird? Maybe, but it's YUMMY. So I got a Coke, no biggee. It was my one treat for the day. Then, this evening came and I took the boys out for dinner because we were out and it was wayyyyy past dinner so I did the quick route. After dinner, I let them split a small milkshake for dessert. After drinking a bit of it, Troy decides he doesn't like it and so I just say, "Well, I might as well just blow it today since I didn't work out"....the same old attitude I had 4 weeks ago. I didn't drink a lot--probably 1/2 at most, but that's not the point. The point is I not only skipped my workout, I had 2 "treats". SIGH. It made me feel so guilty that I did a workout after the boys went to bed. Nothing hugely strenuous since I had just eaten and it was so close to bedtime, but I still did 45 minutes of WiiFit. I know I shouldn't beat myself up over 1 slip up, but I am so determined that I will not fall back into the thought of "Well, I already blew it, so I might as well eat/drink.....". Especially with Halloween coming up and all that yummy chocolatey candy that will be right there tempting me EVERY day (we are cruel parents and won't let the boys have more than 1-2 pieces a day tops so it lasts for months) ACK! I have to stay strong and not have another day like this!
I did learn something about myself though this week. I kind of already knew it, but I confirmed it yesterday. I am a huge emotional eater. I was in a horrible mood yesterday and wanted candy ALL day. I kept saying to myself that one piece would just make me feel better, but I didn't give in. Which is yet another reason I felt so horrible about today. I just let myself fall right back into the pattern. However, I will not let it happen again. I can tell that I am losing weight or at least toning and I have been feeling so much better overall. Now, if I can only remember that the next time I feel like skipping the 6AM workout.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Letter To Sesame Street

Dear Sesame Street,
I know that technically the experts say that TV is bad for kids and that young children shouldn't watch and yada yada yada, but I allow my kids to watch a little bit. Some days more than other, but that's beside the point. Almost every day when my oldest son (almost 5) gets up, he runs into my room wanting to watch Sesame Street. That is fine with me. I like your show as much as an adult can. Soon after, my youngest (almost 2) wants to do the same and he wants me to watch with him. That too is fine. Like I said, I like your show much better than some of the other options (like Barney, Calliou, Arthur....but again, that's a different story). So what is my problem you ask? Listen, I know that times are tough economically and it may be costly to pay Elmo's salary. I mean, you had to let The Count go (I miss him by the way Ah Ah Ah--that's my imitation of him as best I can type it) and so you understand. However, why do we have to keep watching the same episodes over and over? We are watching the same 4 episodes--some days back to back--OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND....It's a new season and yet, there really aren't new episodes? What is up with that? I get that the letter of the day is either C, F or L and I am getting a little tired of Kelly looking for the Golden Triangle or watching the Shoe Fairy (although I do love Neil Patrick Harris). My son, who has watched his Firefighting movie somewhere around q29834756104 times even said he doesn't want to watch anymore. So is it too much to ask for a little more variety? Maybe it's not you, maybe it's our local PBS station, but still. Just remember that some parents actually watch with their kids and not just throw them in front of the TV to go off and do other things. I do understand that there are many more important things I should be worried about, but hey, if my kids are complaining I feel like it's important for me to say something.
One very bored Momma

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Fun

Before Troy started preschool we did a lot of painting. He painted himself more than anything, but still, on days it wasn't possible to be outside, we painted. For some reason, when he started preschool, we just didn't do it anymore. I think that Will has painted once? How horrible is that! My poor deprived almost 2 year old! This weekend, Troy and Will received a thank you gift from a friend whose birthday party was last weekend. She used the paints we bought her to paint a gourd to give to them. Troy loved it and since it was going to rain today, I stole the idea :D We went to the store, bought a few and I let the boys go to town! It's funny because Troy loves paint, especially the getting messy part of paint. Will, surprising to me, doesn't like that part. He much prefers the brushes and if he even got any on his hand, he wanted me to clean it off. That is until he watched me paint with my hands and then he went a little nuts, but then started yelling BATH!!!! It was fun for all of us and a great way to spend a rainy Fall day.

The paints didn't do great, and they are still wet, but here is the final product

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The With-It Mom is the New Cheerleader

Think back to high school days for a minute. Remember the girls you used to look at with envy for whatever reason--looks, fashion, smarts, boyfriends, popularity... or whatever it was about them that made you envy them? For those of you who didn't envy anyone, I am now envious of you :D but anyway....For me, that group was the cheerleaders (not all of them, of course, but the general group). I envied them for various reasons. I was a tomboy HUGE so I looked like a boy for years and didn't really care how I dressed. I just wanted to be comfortable so it was whatever was comfy cozy at the time--sweats, tshirts, jeans. I didn't dress to impress, that is for sure. I didn't wear make up or have a decent hair style. When I got to an age where I started to really want to be noticed by boys, I started caring more about appearance, but I was(and still am really), a FASHION DON'T! I was awkward and uncomfortable and it just wasn't easy. So I would see the cheerleaders and was so envious because they were everything I wasn't--confident, stylish, noticeable....There were girls that weren't cheerleaders that I was envious of as well, but as a whole, I really used to focus on them. It probably also had to do with the fact that my sister was a cheerleader and my idol, so I was automatically drawn to that group.
Now fast forward present day and I am a mom of 2 boys. Now I find myself watching other moms and how they look, how they interact with their children and how they handle any behavior issue. I find myself feeling the same as I did back then. Envious that they still look feminine, that they have style, that they don't seem flustered, that they handle their children without getting upset or yelling, and that they just seem so organized. I would love to look like something other than a chicken running around with their head chopped off. I would love to look like a mom who has their act together. Notice I said, LOOK LIKE, because I am sure behind closed doors, these mom's actually are more like me--they just hide it better (at least I pretend that's how they are to make myself feel better). Sometimes I wonder what other people see when they see me with the boys?? Do they wonder why I don't have more control? Do they wonder why I lose or forget so many things? Do they wonder why I even bother going out at all? I know I shouldn't care. I know I shouldn't be envious of anyone because I am blessed with all I have. I know that back in high school, I should have just been who I wanted to be and not cared and I know that now I should just do the best I can and not worry. But, alas, I do care.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Am I Expecting Too Much

I know that I have very high expectations of my boys with regards to behavior. I know that they are too high, but yet, I can't help myself. I have come to terms with the behavior in church and know they will not be able to just sit and listen until it's time to leave. I don't like it, but yet, so many people in church say they don't mind so both Jay and I have relaxed a bit (not completely, but a bit). I understand they are young children with TONS (and I mean TONS) of energy, so it's hard for them when we go places to not be silly, act up a little and so on, however, I do keep tabs on them and make sure they don't get too out of control. It's hard sometimes because Troy is a follower so if there is someone else doing something, even if he doesn't know them, he'll try it too. And then of course Will just follows whatever big brother is doing and it just gets crazy! But they are just 4 and 23 months after all.
However, I have to draw the line at the dinner table. We've been eating family meals since they were born. We sit at the table, chat, eat and then move on, but lately, this has become miserable. Mainly because Will tries to get a laugh and does something. Then Troy encourages (or lately, instigates and gets Will going) and it gets out of hand. I have tried ignoring Will and getting Troy to ignore him, removing Will from the table for a bit and then trying again, removing him from the table completely and nothing works. We've resorted to our yelling (because we get fed up and finally just snap) which we don't really want to do but I am not lying when I say nothing is working. Finally, today at lunch I had it. They weren't finished eating and Troy was still hungry but they started in with the playing. I gave them both a warning and said if they continued, that was it. No more food, no drink, they were to get away from the table and not allowed to come back and finish or have a snack. Well, right after I said this, guess what happened? Yep, that's right. More bad behavior. So that was it, I did what I said and explained why I was furious. I felt just fine about it too until Troy was whining later about being hungry and wanting to finish his lunch and how he was starving. I didn't give in other than allowing him his milk. He went down for his nap angry at me, refusing to talk to me, not even saying I Love You back to me and turned away when I went to kiss him :( So am I a horrible mommy for expecting good table manners or should I hold strong demanding good behavior even if they go to bed hungry? For those people who always say, "My child knows better than to act up/whine/have bad table manners", how in the world did you get them that way? I certainly feel like we've done a lot and been very strict but it's getting us nowhere????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have a new friend!

Yes, I have been wanting to meet this guy forever! And I do mean forever! Jay has tried to introduce me to him many times, but it just never happened for some reason. I don't know what I was expecting, but I really like him and I feel so much better for meeting him. He has already helped me through some tough times and I think I will really like for him to stick around for good. His name is Will. Yes, Willpower is his full name. I must admit that a couple times I have wanted to kick him out, but luckily, he ignores me and has stuck around. Like this morning, the alarm went off and it was time to work out, but I simply turned it off and rolled over deciding I would do it later. Well, do you think Will was going to let that happen? I don't think so. He pretty much kicked me right out of bed. Then later today, I wanted to take the easy route for lunch and just run through a drive through. Just as I was about to turn in to McDonald's....he pretty much took the wheel from me and directed me to go home and just eat there. Pushy, don't you think? It's only been 2 weeks of me changing my lifestyle, but this time has been different. I haven't talked myself out of exercise and I haven't talked myself into eating or drinking something I shouldn't. I think I like Mr. Willpower and hope that he's here to stay!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I must admit that I am a "yeller". I try very hard to stay calm, but when my boys act up sometimes or just don't listen when I am calm, I resort to the yelling. It gets their attention and usually changes things, but I can't stand doing it. It drives me nuts, but for some reason, I haven't been able to stop it completely. I have gotten better, but I still have a long way to go. My husband is too and when he yells, WHEW! It's loud and you shape up quick. He doesn't like doing it either, but yet, we're in the same situation. We can only stay calm and positive for so long. Yesterday was a huge wake up call though. We live on a decent size lot. We can see our neighbors easily, yet we have privacy as well. It's really nice. However, it's not quite far enough for people not to hear us yell. A neighbor's dog came into our yard and while we don't really care, we didn't want him bothering our dog so I walked him home. It's only about .2 of a mile, but I still couldn't believe it when I heard him yelling at the boys. It was so clear I could even understand his exact words. When I was talking with our neighbor, she mentioned that she could hear them outside (not yelling, just playing). I was shocked. Now I am wondering how much everyone has heard from me yelling/fussing at the boys. Have I been THAT parent? The parent that everyone wonders about?? I am not saying that I yell all the time, but at the same time, I have done my fair share....Luckily for me, I read this and got some great tips on how to do things differently:
I think that I will definitely be thinking twice about my volume from now on *blushing as we speak*

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Week 1 Check in!

So just about a week ago, I made the decision to take better care of myself, eat better and exercise 5-6 days a week. I figured I would do reports to keep tabs on myself and hope someone out there may keep me honest ;) The first week went really well and it hasn't been as hard as I thought. I have had issues where I have wanted to cheat and have a soda or a treat, but I have held firm on my 1 a day rule. I have to admit that I have enjoyed getting back into exercise despite getting up at 6AM to do it most days. It's definitely started my day out better and having it done and behind me makes it so much nicer. I am alternating between running, doing Wii Fit or Wii Active and the dreaded Jillian Michael's Shred. She knows how to kick some tail and I despise putting that one in the DVD player, yet when it's done I am in awe of how I did so much work in 20 minutes. It's tough but worth it. Have I lost weight in the week? Maybe a pound. Have I been dreading the 6AM wake up? You bet. Have I been sore? You got it. Has it been worth it? No doubt in my mind. In just a week, I have felt better, been in a better mood, slept better and today, put on a pair of jeans that were super loose. Just the motivation I need to keep it up! Today will be a test though--going to my sister's for cake and ice cream and then tonight is a fund raising dinner for the local Fire Company and they have the most amazing chocolate cake. Decisions Decisions......I can only pick one........

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Writer's Block

I have started about 5 different posts yet none of them feel right. I have so much on my mind yet everything is so jumbled that it's not coming out the way I want to. Things are so good right now in so many ways, yet so many of my thoughts were negative and I just couldn't go with them tonight. Troy is doing well, Will is really coming along with speech, the weather is gorgeous....and so on. I haven't felt this content in so long and it's SOOOO nice! So since I can't get thoughts together, I will just share some random pics :) Pics are good, right?!?!?

Beautiful Fall pic--I just love Fall!
Our Beach adventure from a couple weekends ago
Troy found a horse shoe crab tail
My beach bum
Troy's new favorite thing

And the shirt says it all :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Time for Change

I did this a while ago and it didn't work :( I finally decided that I would make a change to lose weight and started really well. However, when I "diet" I get more and more obsessed with food and it becomes ridiculous. I think about it all the time, crave anything I shouldn't have and just become downright miserable. I did really well with my exercise but the eating...not so much. After my 4 mile race, I took some time off because of knee issues. This time off turned into a month of almost no exercise except a walk here and there. Here's the odd thing--I actually lost 3 lbs??? It was weird so I just kept going with it. I was eating and drinking crap and feeling guilty about everything--what I was putting in my body, the fact I wasn't exercising and just overall being a slug. Plus, I am pretty sure the weight loss was muscle just wasting away. I felt like junk, looked worse than I felt and pretty much was miserable. So I decided that I was done with it. No more self sabotage. Beginning Oct. 1, I made a change. I am back to exercising 5-6 days a week, I am eating better, but allowing myself 1 treat a day (a coffee, dessert, soda or beer), and I was going to learn to get past the cravings and obsession. It's only been a few days but I am feeling more positive about it all and plan to be successful. I have no goals right now regarding weight loss either. I just want to feel better and take better care of my health. Part of me wanted to take measurements and post them, but I just felt like that wasn't in my best interest (plus, I didn't have anyway to do it :) ). I feel like this may be better for me anyway--just looking at it from a healthy standpoint rather than putting emphasis on weight. Now, anyone want to join me?!?!?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We Made It Through

The anniversary of my Dad's passing was on Sept. 25. I wasn't sure how this year would be since we decided to go away. I didn't know if it would help make it easier or if it would actually be harder. I knew we wouldn't forget and that wasn't my intent. I just wanted to get us out of the habit of moping, being sad, and me being angry. It definitely helped a great deal. We still talked about him, we still remembered what it was like years ago, but having the distraction really was nice--for me at least. I was able to enjoy my time with the boys rather than getting frustrated with everything going on around me and I think we will continue this tradition. It may not be the beach every year, but doing something fun and enjoyable was much nicer than what it's been like in the past. To honor him, we dressed the boys in bibs (what my dad wore all the time), went out to dinner and toasted him--me with a Michelob Ultra (not quite a Michelob Light, my Dad's drink of choice, but close enough). The only thing that would have made the trip better was if my husband and sister and her family were there.

Dad--we made it. It's still not easy, but I hope you were proud of us this year.
Dad with Troy
A siggy made for me by Linz

Monday, September 27, 2010

Through a Child's Eyes

One of the coolest things about being a parent is getting to experience life all over again. There are so many things we overlook, ignore, basically, we just don't truly even notice anymore. However, when a child comes along, we go back to really paying attention and noticing how wonderful and exciting things can be, no matter how simple. I experienced this a lot this past weekend since I took the boys to the beach with my mom and a couple family friends. Troy had been before, but it had been awhile so it was like his first time all over again and of course it was Will's first time. It was amazing to watch and see them explore and figure things out. Troy didn't take long and was very fascinated with the water, shells, sand....Will was a little hesitant at first, but by the end of Saturday, he was the same. I felt like a kid again squealing when we found things, pointing simple things out--surfers, pelicans, dolphins or whatever, and it made me realize how much I had overlooked for so many years. Then, we went to the Aquarium. I was very excited about this because I just knew the boys would love it, especially Will, since he's obsessed with all things fish. I was definitely not disappointed. Both boys were in awe and excited and loved every exhibit they had. I felt like a little kid watching with them and cannot wait to go back!

Will walked into an exhibit that was basically a tunnel of fish. He was awestruckThis one says it all to me