Monday, December 28, 2009

No tracking= No loss

I gained .5 lb this week. It's disappointing, but I know exactly what caused it. Whenever I am home and out of my normal work routine, I stop tracking my calories. This was the case from Friday-Sunday. I pretty much ate how I wished, and didn't log a single thing. Oops. ;o)

Back on the wagon again...I have 1 more week left in the first 60 days of the fitness challenge I am participating in. I have lost 14 lbs in 2 months and I feel really good so far. I am ready to make this week a great one. I have a plan of attack and I am going to hit it hard!

Goals this week:
1) Count ALL calories/points! No slacking!

2) Workout 4 times

3) Hit up the pool at least once for a swim

4) Drink at least 65 oz of water per day

5) Take my multivitamin daily

Have a great week and a blessed New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

WID: 215.5 lbs

Last week, I had a loss of 3.5 lbs. I was ecstatic and overjoyed. I lost 5% of my total body weight, and I was cruising along nicely. I admittedly forgot to update here. Maybe it was my over confidence in myself and my large loss. All I know is that I forgot to write it down here.

Today when I stepped on the scale, it was evident that the week had gotten the best of me. I think my cockiness came through, because I actually gained .4 lbs. I didn't log all of my points in my tracker, I worked out 3 days instead of 4, and I over did it this weekend. This is proof that I have to stay on top of my game or it will come back and haunt me!!

The holidays are tough which is why I started this trek on November 1. I knew that if I let it go any longer, that the pounds would just continue to pack on. I have another week ahead of me, and although it is probably one of the toughest all year, I know that I can come out with another loss next Monday. My will and determination is still present, and I truly think that I needed this reminder 6 weeks into this journey.

I do want to talk about a few non-scale victories that I have had. I think that these are just as important to the weight loss process as seeing the pounds on the scale. Firstly, I fit into 2 pairs of pre-maternity pants that I haven't worn since December of 2007! They are one size smaller and there is even extra room in them. I have also been able to move my belt loop over one notch. It's these small things that keep my determination level up even in the midst of a gain like I had this week. If you are on your own weight loss journey, remember to pay attention to those victories off of the scale!

So, here we are. 215.5 lbs and counting down. That is 14.5 lbs gone off of this body forever!

Happy Holidays everyone!! And thank you again for your continued support while I try and lose this weight for good!

Monday, December 7, 2009

WID: Week 5

I lost 9/10ths of a pound today. Not much, but little by little I am getting there. I felt bad about it at first. Upset, actually. And then I remembered Fat Talk and my introduction to it earlier this week....

One of my internet friends shared this link with me and I just think it's so awesome. Read all of it. Especially if you are one of my female friends. I often struggle with GUILT when it comes to losing weight. I did this week for sure. I felt guilty because I hadn't worked out as many times as I wanted to. I felt guilty because I splurged on pizza. THIS IS FAT TALK. I often dislike the way that I look. "Should I wear this? Or not? Does it make me look fat?" THIS IS FAT TALK. When I am with my thinner friends, I tend to instantly compare myself to them. I hear all of us doing it. We are all a part of the Fat Talk in our society and it has to end. With this post, I am choosing to end it. I will stop speaking in a negative tone about my body or about myself. I will not compare myself to others. I will not feel guilty about my food choices. Instead I will push ahead and keep on feeling positive about this entire experience. I have to remain positive! This is about getting healthy, and part of this journey is ending the fat talk.

End Fat Talk Week has already come and gone, but that doesn't mean I can't have my own End Fat Talk Week. It starts now. Read the article in the link above, and then watch the video, either here or in the link. This is life changing!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flying South

I was driving home from work yesterday. The snow was falling and the sky was gray. It was that first point of bitter cold, winter-feeling weather. I didn't have my coat on (denial???), but I warmed up quickly in the car. About 15 minutes into my 25 minute drive, I noticed 4 large flocks of geese. Each one of them had fallen in line with the "V" formation. 4 flocks. 2 of them flying South, 2 of them flying North. I thought to myself, "Fly SOUTH, not NORTH!" to the flocks that were clearly headed in the wrong direction.

I have often wondered about the geese and their internal 'clocks.' Some of them are clearly smarter than others. :o)

*****************

It's cold here. The snow has covered the green grass, and the birds are no longer chirping. It's almost as if the hibernation of Winter has overtaken us on Day 1! We awoke to a Winter wonderland and I am embracing it. Charlie had an adorable reaction to this 'foreign white stuff.' We went outside today and had a great time! He was very cautious with each step and he kept looking up at the flakes falling from the sky. At one point we even touched and tasted the snow. He was absolutely transfixed by this amazing Winter weather. I often complain about this time of year, but something in me really appreciated it today. My son discovered snow for the very first time and it was almost as if I did too. There is no need for me to fly South right now. I have everything that I need and want right here.

Charlie's Meets The Snow:

Monday, November 30, 2009

219.5!!!!

I did it!! I got below 220lbs in my first 4 weeks! I am down 10.5 lbs, and I have lost 7 inches. :)

I was so good on Thanksgiving, indulging when I wanted to, but not going over board. I stayed away from the rolls (they are store bought anyway, right?) and I had just a smidgen of pie. I ended up baking 3 pies for Thursday's festivities and I ended up leaving ALL of them at my parents house. We took home some leftovers (no pie!), even though I tried to brush them off with all of my might. (Thanks Nancy! :wink:) Curtis and I ended up eating just a little bite of each thing and then tossing it out. I felt satisfied, not overstuffed.

I am very proud of this accomplishment today. I think the first few weeks are always the toughest. You have to get into a routine; tracking calories and exercising diligently. Once I got started, there was no stopping me. I am motivated and excited about continuing this journey.

Thank you all again for your support. And continue to stick around, because this is just the beginning!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for...

-constant, omnipotent, always there...steadfast. My Savior.

-blue eyed, blonde and curly; robust and social. My son.

-gentle and sensitive, has the best hands, snuggle-riffic, knows me the best. My husband.

- sometimes dysfunctional, yet safe; lots of laughs, and even more hugs. My family.

-challenging and stress inducing; a source of laughter and fun. My job.

-warm and cozy; safe and happy. My home.

-hilarious and goofy; ears that listen and shoulders to cry on. My friends. YOU!

I am thankful. Always thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 3

Starting Weight: 230 lbs.
Current Weight: 221.7 lbs.
Loss this week: 1.7 lbs
Total loss: 8.3 lbs!!

3 weeks and 8 lbs!! WOOT!

Here we are at the beginning of Week 4 and I am determined to get to 220 by the end of the week. It's going to be challenging with Thanksgiving in there, but I know I can do it. I have 2 more workouts planned before Thursday (I already knocked 1 of 3 down this morning!). We aren't eating dinner until 6pm, so I plan to workout on Thursday too. I really want a piece of pie!!

I love to follow weight loss blogs and other weight loss websites. One of them is called Phit n Phat. Last week, Corinne had some really great ideas on how to keep weight gain at bay on Thanksgiving. Here is a link to her blog post. I love it!! I am definitely going to be applying some of her methods this week. I also really want a 1.7 lb loss next Monday!

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!! Keep it up with the cheers and votes of confidence. It is really helping me to stay motivated!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weigh In Day

This week was another great week for me. I said goodbye to 1.9 lbs. this week, I got 4 workouts in, and I stayed within my points range for the entire week! I feel AMAZING.

Last week, I started getting up at 5:30am to exercise. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I want to keep sleeping. Yes, it takes a LOT of energy to get out of bed in the morning. What I didn't expect, was to feel so great during the day! I have more energy, I am more conscious about my food choices and the best part is that I don't have to worry about working out after Charlie is asleep for the night. In keeping with this new trend, I woke up this morning and pushed out 50 minutes on the treadmill before I left for work. I can already tell this is going to become a habit, and it's a habit I have been trying to get going for the last 6 months!


Overall, I am feeling really great. It's the end of week 2 and the start of week 3. I am down 6.8 lbs. My clothes are starting to feel loose, my energy level is up and I am determined to keep this streak going!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weigh In Day

Well, here we are. Week 1 is finished and I am feeling good. I will cut right to the chase. I lost 4.7 lbs this week!! I am feeling really great about my loss. I stayed on plan all week long, and I also got in my minimum 3 workouts. I feel AWESOME!!

I have been wanting to make it a goal to wake early to get my workout out of the way. This morning, my dear son decided to wake at 5:30am. I gave him some milk and put him back to sleep. As I crawled back into bed semi-drowsy, I realized I should just wake up and get my butt on the treadmill. After a few minutes of listening to my conscience, I got up. I put my tennis shoes on, grabbed the Mad Men DVD and headed into the basement. I cranked out 45 minutes of walking on the treadmill before 6:30 this morning!! I feel great. I am already geared up to eat well today thanks to my early morning workout. I am hoping to keep up this routine. The fact that I have my workout out of the way is such a great feeling!!

I also wanted to say a special thank to those of you that are working to keep my accountable here. I truly appreciate your words and your votes of confidence!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tipping Point

230 pounds. That is what the scale said on Sunday morning, when I apprehensively stepped on it. I would like to say that I couldn't believe my eyes, but I knew that it was going to be bad. 230. 230. 230!! This is the heaviest weight I have ever been. It is 15 lbs heavier than I was on the day that I delivered Charlie. I am fed up. I am sick and tired. I am at my tipping point. Literally and figuratively.

I have never told anyone my weight. I actually loathed the idea of doing it here for all of you to see, but it's necessary. Being 6' tall, has it's benefits. One of which is that my weight is hidden nicely amongst my tall frame. But, I am still obese by all medical standards, and I have had it with being fat. I hate my body. I hate the way that I look in my clothes, and it's time for me to reclaim my confidence in my self image. Right now, it's not there.

I committed to a 90 day fitness challenge that my friend Ang is doing on Facebook. November 1 was the starting point and I finally feel that I have the tools and the motivation to lose this weight. One of those tools is going to be this blog. I have abandoned this place for some time. Being a working mother has taken a lot out of me, and one thing that has suffered is my writing space here. That is all about to change. I am on a journey to a healthy lifestyle, and I need you all to join me for the ride. Losing weight has always been a challenge for me, but with the support of everyone that reads here, I know I can do it. I know I have said all of these things before, but I am on this road, and I am not turning back.

So, here we go. I am 230 lbs today. I am going to lay out my first few goals right here:

1) Recommit to Weight Watchers. I already did this, and since Sunday, I have been meticulously counting my points and watching what goes into my mouth.

2) 3 days of exercise per week, MINIMUM. Part of my problem in the past, is that I don't get moving enough. I need to exercise to lose weight. I just bought myself a spankin' new fitness swimsuit, and I plan to hit the pool up this weekend. Many of you know of my love to swim, and I am hoping I can re-tap that love and use it to my weight loss benefit.

3) My 10% Weight Watchers goal is 207 lbs. That is 23 pounds that I need to lose. My goal is to lose that weight, by the time that this 90 day fitness challenge is done.

Monday is weigh in day. In the past, weigh in day was always on Wednesday or Thursday, so that I could have a few days to get past the weekend. The weekends are always a struggle for me. This time, weigh in day is Monday. That way I have no excuse to slack off on the weekends.

So, there you have it. Will you be my cheerleader?? I need all of the support that I can get. And if you have your own weight loss journey, I can be yours too.

I am at my tipping point today. This is the heaviest I will ever be. I am committed and ready to lose this weight!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1 Year Pictures

Two blog posts in one day?? I know you are all flabbergasted by this accomplishment!!

It's another short one...I just wanted to share a sampling of Charlie's 1 year pictures courtesy of Amy Carroll. Amy is a dear friend of mine and an amazing photographer. She took Charlie's 2 month pictures, and we went back to see her on Monday for his 1 year shoot.

Enjoy the cuteness!!

Charles Jefferson-1 year

Party Time!!

Charlie had his 1st birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Originally, we were going to invite all of Charlie's buddies along with our families, but after much debate and consideration given to my sanity level, we decided to keep it to family only. I am so happy that we made that decision!! I enjoy planning a party here or there, but we would have likely had to rent out an arena with all the people we were going to invite. Charlie is a popular little nugget!!

I won't bore you any further with the details of the day...instead, look at these pictures!






















Thursday, October 8, 2009

To my son, on your 1st birthday

At 2:27pm on October 8, 2008, you were born into this world. You were 8 lbs 9oz and 20 inches long. You had some reddish fuzzy hair, and a set of lungs just like mine. You were absolutely perfect.

I can't quite describe the mix of emotions that I felt that day. After 36 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing and 1 cesarean section, our little boy had finally made his debut. I was shivering cold from the spinal when I first saw your face. I could see tears through Daddy's mask, and I knew you were perfect. We both laid eyes on you and immediately fell in love. All of my hard work had finally paid off. You were here!
The days and weeks that followed were challenging and rewarding all at the same time. We were tired, exhausted, giddy with excitement and over the moon with joy. You feel so many emotions when you become a parent. Sometimes they are emotions of frustration and sometimes they are emotions of happiness. Each day brings it's own set of trials, and it's own set of accolades. For us, it was all about managing one day at a time.

I think back to those early days, and much of it is a big blur. I have moments of absolute clarity regarding those early days, though. I looked forward to my nights with you. I would nurse you in our bedroom, while watching late night TV. It was something I looked forward to, which is very strange for me as I have always loved my sleep. Those quiet early mornings with you are forever etched in my brain. I would run my fingers along yours, and you would snuggle your face into my chest. You were such a tiny little thing back then. You used to scrunch your face up in the goofiest of ways, and it would make me giggle with glee. For a long time, I still didn't think you were ours. I would gaze at you and wonder "how did we get so lucky??"

This morning, I was eagerly waiting for you to wake up from your slumber so that I could wish you a happy birthday. You decided to sleep in today, and it was getting time for me to leave for work. I peeked in on the video monitor, and you were awake. You were sitting up in your crib, with your thumb in your mouth. Then you stood up and started shaking the crib rails like you were in some sort of jail. I could hear you mumbling to yourself. I walked into your room, and your face lit up with delight. You don't know the special meaning of this day yet, but somehow, I think you knew it was an extra special day. You wrapped your arms around my neck, and we sang "Happy Birthday" while you looked at Dad and I with a confused face. As you drank down your bottle, I told you the story of the day you were born. I told you how special that day was for us, and how important you are in our lives. You sat up, looked me in the eye and said "ma." I take it that you are thankful for me too :)

Reminiscing about the last year has been a reward in and of itself. It's so fun to look back on this past year! We made it through our first year as parents, and we have a healthy, happy toddler that is full of opinions and a zest for life. You are a true blessing in our lives, and we feel very fortunate that we get to be your parents. You will forever be our first born and the boy that taught us the parenting ropes. We are still learning and we are not perfect by any means, but we are having a blast raising you. Each day brings more fulfillment into our lives. I always knew I wanted to be a Mom. Today I can confirm, that while the first year is one of the hardest, I feel like being your mother is some of the most important and fulfilling work that I will do here on this Earth.

Charles Jefferson, today I am proud to call you my son. You are a beam of light in my life, and I will cherish you always. Happy Birthday!

Love, Mom

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

.......

"Hold on for a minute. I have to go and get the doctor," said Dana. I was nervous. I could see the blood flow on the screen, and it looked like it was traveling in a semi circle. I asked her if that was his head, and she confirmed that it was. And then came those dreaded words. I waited patiently for Dr. Cummiskey to come into the room. I knew what she was going to say, though. The cord was wrapped around his neck.

The plan of attack was for me to have an NST (non-stress test) the following day to be sure that Charlie was still doing alright in there. In the meantime, I went home for the evening, only to freak out about the state of my son. Was he okay?? The cord is AROUND his NECK!!! I was very upset, but tried to remain calm.

I had plans to go to work the next day. I still wasn't completely ready to go on maternity leave, and I thought for sure this kid was staying inside of me until my induction. I went to bed early. Afraid, uncertain, and scared for my NST.

At 3am, I woke up....with a sudden urge to use the bathroom.

By 6am, I was sure it wasn't the need to use the bathroom that was haunting my stomach. It was a baby boy, and he was ready to make his world premier........

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reminiscing

1 year ago, I was hugely pregnant. My belly was stretched as far as it could go, my feet were swollen, and my hips ached. Sleep was a distant memory at that point. I had to pee every 15 minutes, and I could barely keep any food in my smooshed stomach. I was carrying an 8lb 9 oz baby in my belly. He was all tangled up inside of my womb, just waiting to make his debut.

October 5, 2008 was a Sunday evening. We knew that it was likely our last baby free weekend and we took advantage of that. We went out to eat, and to a movie; we spent time reading books, and snuggling on the couch. My due date wasn't for 10 more days, but my doctor was ready to induce me that following week because of my gestational diabetes. I wasn't excited about my induction, but I knew it was what we had to do. I resigned myself to the fact that this was the only way that Charlie was going to get here.

We were high with anticipation of the coming week. I had an appointment on October 6 (Monday) to determine Charlie's size, and to also make sure that I was good to go for my induction. I was excited about that 3pm appointment, because it would mean that I was going to see my son on a TV screen for the LAST time.

We were going to meet him soon. Very, very soon.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Go! Go Speedracer!

I got a new car last week. I traded in my 2005 Subaru Outback, for a 2010 Subaru Forester. The Forester is a bit roomier, a bit sleeker, and it's NEW! I haven't had a brand spankin' new car for awhile, and so this is a real blessing! I love this car. It's a blast to drive, I can get Charlie in and out of it much easier than the Outback, and it's BLACK. With Black interior. It's hot, as far as station wagons are concerned :)

Today, we piled into the Forester, and we drove out to Cannonsburg Rd. to see my Colorado buddy, Lindsay. She is in town for her baby shower (due 11/8/08!!), and we had a date for her to meet Mr. Charlie. We left her parents house after an AWESOME visit; Curtis in the passenger seat, and Charlie chillin' in his car seat. We were 200 yards off of her parents road, and BOOM, I see him. And then I see the 40mph speed limit sign. I saw him put down his radar gun, his brake lights went off, and I knew I was BUSTED. I glanced at my speedometer and I saw it decrease to 50mph. I had hit my breaks instinctively, and it was at 50 (!!!!!) when I it was decelerating! CRAP!

So, yeah, I have a lead foot. I have said it before. It's a bad trait to have, but I have it. Curtis didn't say a word as Deputy H. wrote me a ticket. I was actually going 60 mph in a 40mph zone. He caught me doing that 372.4 feet before I actually passed his car. That is 20 mph over the speed limit. 300 feet away. Damn me!! :) He spared me serious consequences and wrote me a ticket for 45 in a 40. 5 mph over the speed limit. xoxo, Deputy H.

I am most ashamed because Charlie was in the car. I need to slow down. No matter how awesome my car is, and how easy it is to take off speeding, I need.to.slowwww.down. I told Charlie today that I was a bad example to him. Parents make mistakes too, right? :)

In other news, we have another kind of speedracer on our hands.


video

Monday, August 17, 2009

He Walks!

Charlie is growing up so fast! The cliche is that your children really do grow up way too fast. I never believed it until I actually had my own. He is 10 months old already. He is walking (!!!!!!), babbling up a storm, and turning into a little-big boy with a huge personality. His tufts of hair are now turning into full blown curls. He can scale the stairs in 15 seconds FLAT, and he loves to terrorize the cat.

I stay home with Charlie on Fridays, and I saw those first steps while we were hanging out in the living room. I couldn't believe my eyes. I felt like the entire Earth stopped for a few seconds, and the joy that I felt watching him motor around was just too much. I called Curtis at work, and gushed to him about our sons new found skill. 10 steps on Friday turned into 50 steps on Sunday, and we have bets that he will be a professional walker by weeks end.

Watch him go!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dear Blog and Readers,

I promise you that I have not abandoned you, nor have I walked out on you, my trusty readers. Life has been busy. It's the summer time, and we are doing our best at enjoying it while we have it!! Pretty soon, it will be football season, and we will be drinking hot apple cider and getting ready to hole up for the Winter.

We have an active 10 month old running around our house. He likes to climb stairs, and dump the cat's water dish in his spare time. He also likes to tug at our heartstrings with his daily expressions of love (read: screaming in his highchair until I give him more blueberries. :o)

I am recommitting to updating here. My fingers are inspired and I have a lot to say (der, as usual!). I hope you will stay tuned in!


Signed,
ME

:)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

7/8/NINE


Our sweet little boy turned 9 months old today. I can hardly believe that we are 3/4 of way through his first year. It really does FLY by. No one can prepare you for just how quickly life seems to zoom by when you have children, but I really do believe time has gone by much quicker than 'normal' now that he is here.

Charlie is the greatest joy in our lives. He is now pulling up on everything, cruising, standing for a few seconds without any assistance and crawling everywhere. He is eating mostly table foods now, and has shown very little interest in his pureed food. He is all about self-feeding now. Mr. Independent. I wonder where he gets that trait :) He mimics us when we talk, and last night we had an entire conversation together. He squeals, I squeal back, and he continues the pattern. He doesn't like to cuddle as much anymore, but right before bed, he will lay his sweet head on my shoulder, and close his eyes. I spend those moments with my eyes also closed, just trying to allow his love to seep into me. I really can feel it. And it's the most amazing feeling ever.

This boy is thriving and we are so fortunate to have him as a part of our family. He is a true blessing, and I need you to know that I really don't know how we ever lived without him. That sounds so cliche, and generic, but it really is the truth. He is engrained in our lives forever, and with each new and passing day, as we continue to get to know him, we also continue to love him more and more.

Happy 9 Months to our sweet, sweet boy. We love you, Mr. Man!! ♥

Friday, June 19, 2009

We Made It!

We are here....the nation's capital is pretty amazing, and my excitement definitely returned once we landed on the tarmac at Reagan Airport.

This morning, like clockwork, I woke up at 6:30am, and for the first time in 8 months, there was not a baby stirring in his crib. I almost instinctively turned to the nightstand to switch on the monitor, and then I remembered, that I am baby free for 5 days!! While I miss him terribly and I wonder what he is doing at every moment since we left the house, we are having a great time so far. This trip would not have been conducive with him, I am sure of it. It was wise of us to leave him home with Grandma and Grandpa. I turned over, and fell back to sleep for another 2 hours. Pure bliss!!

We have a lot of fun things planned. The weather is actually pretty decent right now, so we plan to hit up the monuments and the Holocaust Museum today. Last night, we took a cab over to China Town and had an amazing tapas meal with red sangria and lots and lots of succulent bites. It was awesome, and almost as good as San Chez :)

Vacation is awesome, and we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves so far.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane...

We are headed out of town for the next 5 days. You would think I would be really excited to go. But, really? I go in and out of feeling ready to get out of here. There is just so much going on right now at home, that it seems odd to just jump on a plane and head out. We are leaving Charlie too, and I am really starting to get upset about it. I never in a million years, would have thought I would be feeling this way. I knew I would miss him, but I didn't think I would feel so anxious about actually doing so. I didn't sleep a wink last night. And while putting him to be tonight, I cried like I was leaving him forever. :( If anyone has advice on that front, I would surely appreciate it.

I know we need this time away. We need time to work on us. We need time away from our jobs. We need time away from home. We need time away. I know this. Before Charlie, I looked forward to our vacations so much. When we were getting ready to go to Europe, I spent 2 weeks packing my lousy bag. I was so fired up for that day to get here. With this trip, I just feel blah. Almost as if I don't even want to go. (shhh, don't tell my husband.) It's such irrational thinking, isn't it??

I am hoping that leaving on that jet plane, will magically snap me out of this funk I am in. We have planned and planned and planned for this. Just a few weeks ago, I was SO excited. Where did that excitement go?? I know that it's lost in recent events, and the fact that I am leaving my baby. I know we will have a great time, but tonight, I am having one of those moments. I am sure that once I am sitting in the airport, having a pre-board cocktail, that all of my feelings will diminish.

Maybe I just need to cry it out. Or maybe it's the jet plane that will be the fix I am looking for :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Boom Boom Pow

This is going to be a post full of randomness, because that is exactly how the last week has been.

I am currently listening to Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. I kind of love this song. It makes me want to dance. Yep. I tried the moonwalk in the kitchen this morning, whilst wearing my Birkenstocks, and I imagine I looked like a real nerdface.

I have to laugh today, because this week has been a rough one. I am realizing the importance of family and most importantly about the power of my Heavenly Father. I truly have not prayed as hard as I have this week...since...well. EVER. I pray every day, but lately, I have been taking breaks throughout the day to talk to my God. My sister and my niece and nephew need Him so much right now. I pray that He will lift them up.

Yep, I just went from Boom Boom Pow to my crappy week. See, I am random this week. I told you.

We leave in one week for Washington D.C. Curtis has never been there, and as most of you know, he has a real passion for the history of this country and beyond. We have so much planned and I can't wait. We are going to go see King Lear at the Shakespeare Theater (Charlie's Father's Day gift to Daddy), and I have made all sorts of fancy eating-out reservations. We are going to pack in as much as we can in 5 days. I am really looking forward to this trip.

We are also leaving Charlie for the first time. Leaving him with G&G N. seemed like a great idea when I booked the trip a few months back. Now that we are getting closer to the trip, my anxiety level is rising a bit. I am nervous to leave him, and it's purely selfish, because I am more worried about me, than I am about him. I know he will be in great hands, but can I really be away from him for so long?? I guess I am going to find out!! I am certain we will enjoy ourselves to the fullest.

It's a gorgeous day today. We went to the bookstore, and then to drop off a package to Aunt B.C. Later on, we might go to the pool with Grandma Nancy, Lily, Jack and Aunt Mary. It's just beautiful outside. We can't waste these gorgeous days!! Especially the ones that I have off :)

Please cherish your family members today. Tell your siblings, parents, kids and friends that you love and appreciate them. This week my family has had to come together in support of my sister, and it's been refreshing to know how much we all love each other, even though we don't say it every day.

And now it's picture time!! Random!!!

Liz and Lana's Dirty Thirty:
Last Friday, we took a limo out to the lakeshore and partied it up THIRTY STYLE!!

The hotness is out of control in this picture!!



Wednesday night, we saw our first concert of the season. We don't have many planned this year, and the ones we do have planned are close to home. Thank heavens for FMG!!

Derek Trucks Band:





And a few of Charlie splish-splashin' in his baby pool!




Have a great weekend!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

40 sticks of butter-GONE

Did you know that 4 sticks of butter is equal to 1 pound of fat? I blogged about Weight Watchers' visual aids almost 2 years ago, and here I am still fighting the good battle against my fat cells.

I have lost 10 lbs. TEN POUNDS!! I am ecstatic and really feeling great about myself right now. It took me 6 weeks to lose that amount of weight, but one thing I have learned about losing weight, is that slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race. You can't expect to lose the weight as fast as you were able to put it on. It just doesn't work that way, and in order for you to lose it and keep it off, a weekly loss of 1-2 pounds is how it needs to go.

One area that I really need to work on is exercise. I am a lazy fatty on most days, and after tucking Charlie in, the last thing I want to do is go and work out. I have never been a morning person, so working out in the morning has never seemed like a viable option. I have come to the realization though, that if I am going to dedicate myself to this plan once and for all, I need to make more than just food sacrifices. This might mean that I need to set the alarm a bit earlier and really make an effort to work out. So, for the next 10 pounds, my goal is to work out at least 3 times a week until that 10 lbs is shed.

Speaking of goals, I wanted to address them real quick. I have found that with Weight Watchers, it is so important to set mini-goals for yourself. Whether it be an exercise goal, a goal in regards to your eating habits, or a weight loss goal. Each mini-goal being accomplished seems to continue the momentum for me. They really push me to the next level. Reward yourself when you accomplish them, too. A pedicure, a night out for a splurge meal, or those sandals that you have been eyeing for months. Treat yourself in this process!! It will keep you going.
If you are having a tough time with weight loss motivation, I am a huge believer in setting mini-goals for yourself before you start setting the big ones. Each mini-goal will eventually lead you to the big one!

And always remember....slow and steady wins the race!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mary Jean Graduates

I cannot believe it, but Mary is done with highschool! This officially marks the end of children in my Dad and Nancy's house. No more kids!! Come September, all 6 kids will have moved on. Tonight we had Mary's graduation party, and I just got home. She decided that she wanted lots and lots of desserts instead of the typical Saturday BBQ. I got to my parent's house and I was so sad that I had forgotten my camera. My brothers moved all of the furniture out of the living room (it was supposed to rain) and there were tables set up instead. There were tons and tons of desserts. Cupcakes, a chocolate fountain, Grammy's famous cookies, a gorgeous cake, caramel corn, saltwater taffy, more cookies and more yummyness. It was in every corner of the house.

I was looking at Mary's picture display tonight, and I started to get teary. There was a picture of her and I that must have been 15 years old. It reminded me how short life really is. I can hardly believe that she is 18 and about to go to college. Where did the time go?? My Grammy was standing with me, and she told me that I was too young to feel that way. She is probably right, because I can't imagine what it must be like to be in your late 80's and to have watched time just fly right by you. Life is so short.

I wrote a post about Mary on her 16th birthday. I just re-read it, and I crieda. She is a grown woman now, and she has so much ahead of her. I am proud to call her my sister, and I am forever grateful that I have been able to watch her grow to be the woman she is today.

Congratulations, Mar-Bear!! God has amazing things in store for you and I can't wait to watch it all go down :o)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Never Leave Your Child Unattended

So, my germaphobe side did actually come out tonight.

I was working while Curtis was cooking dinner. Charlie was playing independently on the floor, when all of a sudden, I looked over and he was gone. This kid is crawling EVERYWHERE. I thought, "no biggie, he is probably going after the Play Station." I walk over to grab him, and both of his hands are completely COVERED in cat puke. Charlie's hands MEET Sylvia's stomach contents. It was foul...and I threw up in my mouth a little. Immediately, we swept him up and into the tub he went.

He is resting happily in his crib now, but I can't get the smell, or the thought out of my head. Did he eat it?? Did he stick his nose down into it?? Ew Ew Ew. And how in the world can that boy even look at that stuff without immediately gagging? HA! Oh the curiosity of an 8 month old that doesn't know any better.

Lesson learned #823,789: Do not leave your child unattended. You never know what you will be surprised with :o)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crane Man for Governor

Today, one of my co-workers was driving by an accident scene at just the right time. Wes is one of the road service technicians at my place of employment. He was on his way to see another customer, when a county sheriff flagged him down and asked him to help out. He has a crane on his pimped out service mobile, and there was a young man pinned underneath his truck. Wes was able to use his crane to pull the truck off of the boy.

Crane Man for Governor

The comments are CLASSIC. One of my other co-workers, called Wes and said "hey, did someone steal your truck? Because someone commented on how Wes "has a heart." He really does, but he is one of the most rough-around-the-edges types that I have ever met. He is never a sappy guy, and he would never take the true credit he deserves in this instance. We all had a lot of fun giving him a hard time today. You could see the modesty in his face when his jokester side (the only side!!) came out. He said "well, what are you gonna do when a sheriff pulls you over and tells you to get to work?? I wasn't going to tell him that I had to go change someone's oil!" We all laughed. He is a goof!

Before I left for the day, the last comment on the article said "Crane Man for Governor." You can bet your ass that Wes will never live this awesome event down. He is a hero now. Whether he likes it or not :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Anal Retent Has Left the Building....For Now.

I was a born perfectionist. Some things just have to be a certain way, or I get dizzy and feel like I am going to faint. I am anal about being on time, and about how my house looks and about things on counter tops. I need things in piles or in some sort of organized fashion. You won't ever come over to my house and find a pile of papers strewn about on the dining room table. I just can't stand it. I am a true believer in the old saying "A place for everything and everything in it's place."

When I was in college, I had serious issues with how dirty the house would get. My roommates would find me at 8am on a Saturday morning, cleaning the house after a party, because the thought of all the beer stuck on the floor made me want to vomit. (The beer I drank also was a contributing factor) I had serious anxiety about that, and it's so funny to laugh about it now. (Seriously? Who does that??!!)

As I got older, and moved through my 20's, I learned to chill out. (I know some people are snickering, going "yeah right!") Even more so lately, I have become even more lackadaisical about my old compulsions. Being a Mom has majorly changed me in a whole lot of ways, and this is one of them.

Case in point:

My friend Sarah, one of my old college roommates commented on the video I posted below. She said her favorite part of the video was how immaculately clean my floors were considering that Charlie kissed them. I laughed so hard, because the floors hadn't been cleaned in 2 weeks!

Charlie shares his toys with other babies. GASP! His buddy Sydney will suck on a toy, hand it to Charlie, he will suck on it, and the only one gasping is Sydney's mom. (Love ya' Jules!!)

Right now, at 8:00pm, there are toys in every corner of our house. I have no desire to pick them all up right now. And it's totally cooolllll.

I am never on time anymore. I can't make it somewhere on time to save my life. I try with everything in me but it just doesn't happen. I justify this with the fact that I was on time for 29 years, so I should be cut some slack in this department :o)

This is just a sampling of some of the things that I have relaxed about. Don't worry, I won't go all laid-back on you, but I seriously feel like becoming a Mom has chilled me out like no other. I just can't worry about it all anymore. Even the serious worrywart in me has left this building. I think I have learned to enjoy life a lot more, and to not let it pass me by so quickly. Sometimes I wish I had more of the laid back attitude that Nancy has, or that Lindsay has. The go-with-the-flow, live-and-let-live thing is kind of fun. And for now, I am enjoying this new found freedom from my inner self :o)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mobile Charlie

Charlie has started his own version of crawling. We can't put him on the floor with his toys anymore and walk away. He is into EVERYTHING!! And of course, his favorite toys are Curtis' PlayStation remote control and the cord to the floor lamp. OY VEY. We are in deep trouble!!


Original Video - More videos at TinyPic


Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weigh In: Week 3

I know what you are all thinking, "What in the world is she doing now? More weight loss??" Well, yeah. It's kind of one of those things that is never-ending, at least for me.

3 weeks ago, we joined Weight Watchers for what I hope to be the last time. I have a good 45-50 lbs to lose, and I am bound and determined not to be this chubby kid anymore. I am sick and tired of it. Shopping is no fun, and getting into a bathing suit (something I had to do on Saturday) was even worse!! It's going to be a long and tough road, so I will continue to blog here about it as I have done in the past.

Weigh in day is Thursday. Today marks the 4th Thursday since we started the program. Our first official weigh in was on April 23. That was the beginning of the end. We started with just trying to eat properly, and in the last 2 weeks, we have added back in the workout routine.

I am proud to announce that I am down 5 lbs in 3 weeks. I am ecstatic. I haven't been this excited about losing weight in a very long time. It feels really, really good. When I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, they told me that I have a 40% chance of developing Type II diabetes in the future. That is enough for me to start focusing on my health, and putting that before anything else right now. We have Charlie to think about now, and he needs his Mom and Dad!

I am patting myself on the back today. And I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Going Private NO MORE

I obviously didn't research this whole "taking the blog private" thing. Sometimes, Blogger irritates me and I wish I could do things "my" way, but such is life.

Going private with this blog, would require me to dredge up everyone's email address, and I just decided that it's too much work for me.

So, for now, this place will remain open to the internet viewing public, and I will continue to do my thing here. It's just too much work for this new mom, to attempt to gather all of the email addresses of the suspected people that read here. I just don't have the time.

So, that is that. No more going private. At least not for now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going Private

I have always loved keeping this blog open for everyone to read. It most always brightens my day when I get a kind comment from a stranger, or a tidbit of advice from a friend of a friend.

Over the last couple of months, some things have made me realize that this place is sacred to me. Now that I have a child, and I am sharing photos of him, and milestones, and feelings about motherhood, I felt it was time to make this place private. You will have to login and be approved to read the posts here. The difference is that I get to choose who reads here, instead of letting the world see it! I am hoping this will also allow me an opportunity to be a bit more candid. I have felt very limited and vulnerable in my writings here, and this will allow for me to be much more open and forthright with my journal here.

I hope you will all continue to read, and I hope you understand.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You know you are old when....

I have been spending a lot of time with my high school girlfriends, lately. A few of them have moved back here recently, and this has created a reunion of sorts. We are all getting to know each other again, and do some of the things we used to do.

Friday night, on a whim, I called Curtis and asked him if he would watch Charlie while my girlfriend and I went out on the town. She has a little girl too, and so it provided an opportunity for the two of us to get out of the house and head downtown. We started off our night at a local bar, and before long, you could tell we were some of the oldest girls in the place. We moved on to one of the other local hangouts we used to frequent, and with the same result, we found ourselves headed out to find something more "our age." My girlfriend got hit on by a boy, er uh, a guy, that could not have been more than 22 years old. When I asked him what he did for a living, he danced around the topic, and then finally ended up with "Well, I am done with school if that is what you mean." Ha! A graduate, hitting on a couple of MILF's. He said we were drawing "attention" to that side of the bar. LOL!!! As I drove home, I thought to myself.... "you know you are old when"....You get hit on by a 22 year old GVSU graduate.

Saturday morning, we piled the two kids in the car, and we headed to a local church sale. They were selling all kids stuff, and we were looking for a deal. We had a blast scoping out the deals at that sale, and then we headed back home. I had remembered seeing a sign for a "second best" sale at our highschool. I didn't really think we would go, but as we drove by, we decided to stop. We pulled into the "senior parking lot" and unloaded our strollers and our babies. We wheeled up to the gymnasium and strolled on in. This is where the feeling old part really takes hold. The gym still smelled of early pubescent man-sweat. The bleachers were still dingy and tired looking, yet the gym felt like it had not changed a single bit over the last 12 years. We were almost in shock over being in that place, that we were barely paying attention to what was on sale. It was bizarre.

We didn't end up leaving with anything from the sale. But, I did leave that place with a sense of feeling old. It was a fundraiser for the class of 2010. 2010!!! We joked on the way home about our adventure back to our high school. Would we have thought that 12 years from graduation we would be wheeling our strollers into the gym for a second-hand sale?? HECK NO!

A trip back to high school, and a night out at the bar amongst college kids, accomplished one thing:

I now feel old :o)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nothing But The Blood




Easter is about forgiveness and repentance; it's about pain and suffering, and renewal and rebirth. It is about our salvation. For Christians, this is it. This is the what it's all about.

I got an Easter card from my very wise Grammy. She is the definition of what it means to be a Christian woman. In her card, she had written 9 special words. These words were spoken at my Grandaddy's funeral and these are words that I will NEVER forget.

"In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection."

The Lord is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adorableness

We had Charlie's 6 month photos taken on Saturday.

Check out this blog for more info.


;o)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Birth Story--for my Son, on his half-birthday

Dear Charles,

6 months ago yesterday, I woke up at 2am with what I thought were terrible gas pains. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that afternoon, because my ultrasound the day before (Monday) showed that the cord was around your neck. They wanted to do a non-stress test to be sure that all was well in the womb, and that you could continue to stay in there for a few more days. I was already set to be induced because of my gestational diabetes on that Wednesday night. I remember feeling giddy that the likelihood of having a 10-9-08 baby was almost inevitable at that point (Amy and Tiff were probably jealous for a minute there!!) I had plans to go to work on Tuesday. By 4am, I figured I might want to start "timing" these gas pains. By 6 am, Daddy was awake and calling into work. I was still in denial that this WAS labor. I now know that it really was labor. I was having a baby!!

We went to the doctor's office for the NST at 3pm that day. I had been contracting all day long, even though I didn't really know it. The NST came out perfectly, and Dr. Klyn told us to stay at home until the contractions started getting much closer together. At that point, they were still very sporadic, and Dr. Klyn was not convinced I was in full blown labor yet. I was not dilated very far at that point, and she still thought we might still have another day or we would go ahead with the induction on Wednesday night.


Daddy and I came home, and we relaxed for a bit. I wanted to grill the steak we had waiting in the refrigerator, because I was afraid it was going to go bad. I have never thanked your Dad for suggesting chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese, but I really should. He saved me a whole lot of suffering later on!! By 9pm, my contractions were getting worse and worse. I could barely talk through them at that point, and we were having to try the different laboring positions and techniques that we had so diligently learned. Mostly, though, I just rocked on the bed in agony, while Dad rubbed my back. Around 11pm, I knew we needed to get going. I still remember the drive in the car on the way there. I used to always think that crazy ladies in the movies, yelling at their husbands, was just some sort of Hollywood farce. But, I learned that you really do become a crazy lady. I told him to throw out the air freshener that was in the car, because it was going to make me sick. I yelled at him to hit the gas. I was certain we were having a baby in the car, at that very moment :o) Yeah, crazy. He got us there safe and sound, and next thing I knew, I was in a wheelchair, waiting for the triage nurse to push me into the elevator.

We got into triage, and I was dilated to 4.5+ cm. It was music to my ears to hear that they were going to let us stay. I don't know what I would have done if they had sent us home!! At that point, the highlight of the experience so far, was the realization in triage that I wasn't going to have to be induced, and that you decided to come on your own. I really was in labor!!...... And then I puked :0) The nurse asked if I wanted the anesthesiologist, and I immediately gave in. I had wanted a natural birth. I had studied the techniques and educated myself, but when it got down to it, I was in a lot of pain, I was exhausted, and I needed some rest if I was going to have a baby the next day. I called my doula and told her about my decision. I probably should have waited for her to talk me down, but I was ready. I knew what I needed to do at that point.

By 1am, I had the epidural, and I was resting so easy at that point. I labored well into the morning hours. At 5am, my water broke on it's own. No assistance was needed by the doctors or the nurses. You knew you wanted out of there, and you wanted out right away. By 10am, I was ready to push. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed and pushed. I watched in the mirror as your head would appear, and then disappear. You had different plans for your entrance into this world. After 3 long hours of pushing, and the help of Dr. Klyn and Dr. Wolfe, we collectively decided that your little head was turned the wrong way, and you were only going to come out via Cesarean section. I was devastated that my plan had seemingly flown out the window. But, at that moment, and after those many hours, my desire to meet you once and for all, outweighed the angst about my "plan." You had a different plan, and you showed us that we needed to learn to start compromising right away.



At 2:27pm, Dr. Klyn and Dr. Wolfe pulled you out of my tummy. I remember waiting to hear you cry, and asking your Dad if you were okay. I was panicky, as I couldn't see a single bit of what was going on. I just wanted to hear and see my little boy! And then I heard your little cry. Oh, sweet relief!! I have never felt so many emotions in my entire life. Your Dad brought you over, all swaddled up like a burrito, just waiting to check out your mama. My heart melted. My little
Charlie was here.



8 lbs, 9oz * 19.5 inches * 2:27pm * October 8, 2008




***************************************************************

You are 6 months old today. You can sit on your own, and roll over and over on the living room floor. You love sweet potatoes, and squash, but you aren't so sure about the fruits quite yet. They are sour!! You absolutely love water, and have never once complained about bath time. I think you get that from me. I can't wait to introduce you to Lake Michigan, Gun Lake and the pool!! You were a fussy boy in the beginning, but now you are such an easy going little dude. You only get fussy when you are hungry or tired. You are curious about Sylvia, and when she meows, you stop what you are doing, and stare her down intently. She really does love you. I can see it in her eyes. She wants your attention, and you are surely going to give it to her. You love the Jumperoo, and Daddy makes you laugh hysterically while you are jumping away. You are ticklish on your belly, your thighs, on your cheeks, and on your feet. You are one ticklish little boy! We love to get a giggle out of you on the changing table before bed. You already love ESPN. I hate to say it, but the TV has grabbed your attention, and it's all about sports for you. Basketball, hockey, you name it. You love the movement on the screen. I wonder if you will be a sports freak like your Dad is. You have big blue eyes, and puffy cheeks, and you have that rosebud mouth like I have. We have a ton of nicknames for you. Monkey, Sir, Mr. Man, Little Buddy, just to name a few. You make funny sounds, and you can contort your face in such a manner that I crack up every single time. You really do make us laugh our heads off!

You are a light in this dark world, my son. I am truly joyful to be your mama, and I can't wait to get to know you better. You are a blessing that I am so proud to have created.

Happy Half Birthday, Charlie.

I love you,

Mom


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Madness and April Fools

I am going "mad." And it's not even March anymore. The basketball tournament is upon us, and bracketology is in full effect in this house. Curtis has his red pen out; diligently marking off the teams that have met defeat. The basketball announcers voices are now familiar to me. Yes, I can name them by their voice, without even looking at their faces. We are huge fans of our Alma-mater, and we love cheering them on. They are Final Four bound, with a big game on Saturday night. We are flying the green and white outside our house, and Curtis has his window flag flying out of his car. Yep, you might just cut me and I might just bleed a little green and white :o)

In March of 1999, I was a sophomore at Michigan State. I was living on Beal Street at the time, and I got my first real taste of MSU basketball that year. We made it to the Final Four, and we were set to play Duke. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was a big night in the news for East Lansing, as well. It was the "night of Cedar Village", one of the very infamous riots on MSU's campus. MSU ended up losing, and well, everyone went apeshit, apparently :o) I never made it over to Cedar Village that night, (I swear) but I did use that night as a source of a pretty funny April Fools joke. I called my Dad on April 1, 1999 (10 years ago! HOLY CRAP!!) and I told him that I had something very important to tell him. I asked him to promise me that he would not be angry with me. I can still hear his stern voice saying, "Just tell me what is going on." I gulped, and then I said it. "Dad, I was arrested over the weekend. For indecent exposure. You know those riots.....?" I went on to give him a pretty short, but good story, that involved breast exposure, and cops, and burning cars, before I finally busted out laughing and told him that the joke was on him. I could HEAR his face turning white. I think he gurgled and maybe he even passed out for a second. It was one of the better jokes I have played for April Fools.

I really never cared for this "joke" day. I always seem to be had on April Fools. And I can never muster up enough of a poker face to really pull a good one over on someone else. I tried telling Curtis that I was pregnant last night, but that failed. He knew I was lying almost immediately :o) That is why I take such pride in my big prank against my Dad. It really does qualify as my best effort EVER as far as April Fools Day goes. Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, I will be receiving a call from Charlie, with some elaborate story about how he got into trouble.
Then the joke will really be on me.
(Note: He would get extra bonus points if MSU was in the Final Four, and he was attending the school :o)

And now, I must do a shout out to my team: To be a part of a school when they win a championship of any kind is awesome. I can honestly say I have been there, done that, and what an AMAZING experience it was. I rushed the streets of East Lansing after we beat Florida in the 2000 tourney. I have reveled in this sport and this team for 10 solid years now. The excitement will forever live on in this household. Fo-eva.

Now, everyone brace yourselves for the awesomeness:



GO STATE!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Until Further Notice

I have slowly weaned Charlie from the breast over the last month. My goal was to make it to 6 months, but I wanted to gradually do this so that he wouldn't be shell-shocked by the formula he was getting. This week is probably the end of a milk supply that I diligently worked to keep up. I am so proud of us, today. Charlie and I made it this long, and I am ecstatic about that.

I haven't talked much about my breastfeeding experience, but I am going to now :o) There is your warning!! And this post might get a little long :)

Breastfeeding has been one of the most amazing, instinctual, challenging, selfless things I have ever dedicated myself to. When you are pregnant, I think there is a misconception that breastfeeding is somehow a super easy process that simply comes naturally for mom and baby. This could be the biggest fallacy of new motherhood. Breastfeeding is NOT easy. It is really, really hard. It takes massive dedication, and commitment. Even then, not everyone is able to successfully breastfeed. It creates guilt in ways that I have never understood, but yet it is the most primal, awesome act that I have ever done for my child, so far.

We have had a lot of breastfeeding challenges. It started with the latch in the hospital. I kept Charlie in our room, because he didn't want the pacifier, and he screamed in the nursery. They brought him to me time and time again, so we just kept him in our room. I had a Cesarean section, so getting out of bed, was very difficult for me. The entire time we were in the hospital, Curtis would have to bring him to me, or I would just let Charlie sleep on the pillow next to me. He would stir, I would nurse him. I was sure to seek out the help of the lactation consultants. I made friends with one of them, and requested her for the 4 days I was in the hospital. Every day, she would come by and help us with the latch. She helped me with the pump at the hospital, and I can still remember the day that I saw some colostrum come out of my breast! AMAZING. I really think that as much as I did not want a c-section, being in the hospital, completely helped our breastfeeding experience, thanks to her.

We got home, and it was a tough transition. For a long time, I would writhe and wiggle in pain while he latched on. I read the Nursing Mother's Companion in the middle of the night; the room lit up by Jay Leno, and Charlie attached to my breast. I needed reassurance constantly that we were doing this thing right. I still questioned whether he was getting enough milk, or if I was feeding him often enough, or had we created a snacking problem or what about his poop? OMG HIS POOP!! I over analyze things as it is, but with breastfeeding, it was just compounded. My determination had me wanting it to work out, and for it to get easier too.

When I returned to work, it got even more difficult. Being attached to a pump is not nearly as awesome as watching your baby with content eyes while he nurses. There are no content eyes. Just my office, a computer, me and the pump. Here is where the dedication and sacrifice comes in. Breastfeeding is a sacrifice. Whether it be your supply, or your nipples hurting, or that your child has a dairy sensitivity, or you work full time. There is always something that makes it challenging. All I wanted, was for it to get a little bit easier.

Easier it did get. It took awhile for my supply to establish itself, and for Charlie and I to get to know each other. It took some time. Time is what no one tells you about. I really believe that if you give it time and a TON of energy, you can successfully breastfeed your baby. Yes, there are extenuating circumstances for some people, I know this. (disclaimer: this is in no way a diss on people who can't breastfeed!!) And, the temptation to give up is always there. The formula cans arrive at your doorstep without you even asking for them. You are pressured to supplement in the hospital because your BABY IS STARVING, FEED YOUR BABY!! But, really, this has been the truest test of patience for me as well. It takes a lot of things I never thought I had in me.

Now, onto the good part. Breastfeeding is awesome. It's practical, it's cheap, it creates a bond that is unexplainable. I really believe it is the best thing for your baby. Breast milk has biological properties that are fascinating. To be a source of comfort for your child is something that I cannot define. I feel like I am that for HIM. I often look at Charlie's wrist rolls, or his chubby thighs, and I think to myself, "I did this. WE did this. You and me, buddy." To have 6 months of being the sole source of my child's nutrition really has made motherhood for me. It has created a beautiful bond that I share with my child. I feel a tiny bit of guilt for stopping, but we were both ready. I am going to miss our nursing sessions with his bright blue eyes staring up at me. It's such a trusting, joyous relationship that we have. Curtis congratulated me tonight, and told me I will continue that bond with Charlie. He is right. After 6 months, and a lot of hard work, I know that no matter what this child eats, he will continue to grow and be strong.

I am patting myself on the back. And ladies and gentleman, this milk-factory is closed for business until further notice :o)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sour Face

Sweet potatoes are a hit.

Pears need a little more work.

And I think we even got a tinkle shiver on video.


Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Fog Has Lifted

A couple of days ago, I was telling my sister how excited I am that it is finally Spring. We were chatting about motherhood, and the challenges therein. We talk about that a lot lately. I am really thankful to have her, because she is an experienced mom of 2, and she knows me well. Talking about motherhood with her, is just like shooting the breeze. I told her the other day about how I was excited to get out of the house, and how I was finally feeling like my old, goofy self again. She said "I know what you mean, it's like the fog has lifted." EXACTLY. That is how I feel.

On Friday, whereas I normally would have stayed home all day, I was encouraged to go walking with 3 girlfriends, and their 2 babies. (Well, three, because I have to count Shannon's in-utero baby :o) It was a brisk day outside, only about 45 degrees, but the sun was shining and I welcomed the opportunity to get out. And I was so glad I actually followed through and got out of the house.

Today, we took Charlie out to eat, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. Yes, PPD and snow will hole you up in your house for good, or so it seems(ed). We went to Applebee's, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Charlie bopped his head around, checking out all of the people, and we had a nice meal outside of our house. It was amazing. :o)

When you first have a baby, it's a little overwhelming. Maybe it isn't that way for everyone, but it has been for me. As much as I tried to prepare myself for the entrance of our little boy, I was (and still often am!) blindsided by this entire experience. It's a lot to take in all at once. When it's compounded by a fierce Winter, and a little bit of depression, it can really have you crawling into bed, never wanting to crawl back out. But, now that I see the sun, and the flowers, and the grass turning from brown to green, I feel a bit of myself returning too. I realize that Charlie is a part of this family now, and we need to learn to incorporate him into our everyday. As difficult as it might be or as it might seem.

In those early days, I would go to Babies R Us, or Target just to get out of the house for a bit. His schedule was unpredictable, he hated his car seat, and he was often very fussy. It was so much easier just to stay home. Now, he is easy going, and portable, and interested in everything around him. He is learning something new each and every day. Today, his new trick was to roll across the living room floor. Back to front, then front to back, then back to front and so on. He is a joy, and now that my fog has lifted, and Spring is here, I am excited for what the next several months have to bring. I imagine a Tigers game or two, many trips out to Lake Michigan and Gun Lake, Charlie's first experience in a swimming pool, crawling, maybe even walking, babbling, and eating real food.

Each day just gets better and better.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blogger Layout ADD

I have it. We all know I have a tiny bit of ADD in real life, and I have to confess that it has transpired to this place too!

I know I have changed the layout here a million times in the past few months, but I just couldn't decide what I wanted it to look like around here. After reading, and gathering feedback, I decided I really didn't like the black background. I figured it might be wise to see if Jenni could help me out with my ADD layout problem. She helped me design our birth announcements (no, really, she gets all the credit) and her blog is always looking so fabulous.

This new layout is what she came up with :o) Isn't it awesome?? I love it so much!!

It's the first day of Spring today, and it was time for a change. Don't you think??

Happy Spring!

Oh, and go State!! :o)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Moments I Love

Charlie's latest thing is to grab at my face. Instead of staring over my shoulder, he is leaning way back, his face lit up with such intent; trying to grab my eye, or my nose or my mouth.

Tonight, as I was putting him to sleep, I put him over my shoulder to burp him. It was still light in his room from the daylight savings sunshine, and he was smiling, HUGE, right at me. Then he grabbed my face, put his mouth on my CHIN, and started sucking away. I couldn't help but to start laughing uncontrollably. And he couldn't help it either. We did this feeding/burping/chin sucking/laughing routine off and on for awhile. I even had to call Daddy up to witness his sillyness.

Charlie is so fun right now. Everyday he gives me another moment (or 20!) that I love.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Exhausted

Daylight Savings Time always does a number on me. The addition of Charlie has only made it worse. I had to fight to keep my eyes open all day long. I even ventured out into the sun, to grab myself a caffeinated beverage.

It was a typical Monday. The kind where everything seems to go wrong, and absolutely nothing goes as planned. I got to work, and my co-worker was out with a sick child. The server was running at a snails pace and everyone was complaining about it, so I decided to do an update and see how if it would increase the server speed. In that process, I was asked to install an update for Quickbooks (on the server). I went ahead and downloaded it, and the worst error message I have EVER seen showed up. "Filename is CORRUPT. Please run chkdisk utility." Oh no!! I started to panic, and when I attempted to open the file it read "0 KB" Again, I panicked. And then I spent all morning restoring the backup file from Friday. Thank heavens for $4.95 online backups. I always thought that the $4.95 monthly fee was a waste, but for the first time in 4 years at my job, I had to use it. And without it, I would likely have croaked from a heart attack. :o)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toodles to the 20's

I turned 30 today. It's a weird sensation, leaving behind your "best years" as some would say. I don't know if my 20's were my best years, but I know that a lot of awesome things happened in the last decade. I graduated from college, I got my first job, I bought my first home. I got married, sold the one house, bought another, had a baby, moved jobs two times, and most importantly, I learned A LOT along the way.

I have long felt that our 20's are there to teach us. We learn right from wrong, how to live on our own in the real world, how to manage our money and so many other things. Some of us learn how to live in the same house with a man who doesn't change the TP roll, and some of us start the path to learning how to be parents. We come into our own in our 20's. We learn what it really means to be alive, and I will look back and forever thank my 20's for teaching me, and teaching me well.

Now, I am 30. I feel a little older. I won't lie. It's harder to lose weight, and there is skin damage, and wrinkles, and even some gray hair. I look older, my soul is wiser and my brain forgets more often. In reality though, and this is my 90 year old grandmothers talking, "I am a spring chicken. I am still young." I know this. I know that 30 is nowhere near being old. But, for the 3 decades I have been here, well, today is the oldest I have ever been. And it feels OLD.

I took the day off today, and I reflected on my many birthdays over the years. There were birthdays with surprises, and birthdays with a lot of drinks involved, and birthdays with quiet dinners at home, and birthdays in other states, and birthdays that meant more than others, and birthdays that I don't miss at all. I didn't do much of anything today. I delivered a meal to a friend that lost her mom, I spoke with my big sister for awhile, I spent the day with Charlie, and I was surprised by a husband that came home at 1pm to greet me with flowers. We ordered takeout and put the baby to bed. Of all of my birthdays, this one has been the most peaceful. I feel like it can only get better from here. I might not be able to drink like a sailor anymore, and I might have a (gasp!) age spot or two on my face, but with age, comes knowledge.

I feel good about today. And I look forward to the next decade. I figure the 30's are when you get to enjoy yourself a bit more, instead of waking up with a hangover on a Saturday morning. It's all about family, friends, my career and so much more. I really feel like I know what life has in store for me now. There is still uncertainty, but it feels good to know what to expect a bit more from here on out.

************************************************************

A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips. ~Attributed to John Wagner

We turn not older with years, but newer every day. ~Emily Dickinson