Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter Egg Hunt!
This morning was Logan's first easter egg hunt. The moms from The Club got this together for a fun family day activity at the park. It was really nice & low key. Everyone just hung out while the kids played on the playground. There were treats to eat & of course, the candy from the easter eggs.

When we got there, Logan immediately noticed the brightly colored eggs that were "hidden". It took a little for us to distract him until it was time to start the hunt. But it started, he was ready to go. He found four eggs. Bill & I kept trying to show him where some others were, but he was very fond of a bright orange egg that he found & clung onto it. He didn't even want to put it in is basket. Just carry it, that's all. He liked the other three eggs that he found because when he shook them, they made sounds. It was so funny to watch him pick up eggs & shake them, looking up at us with a "hey look what I found!" expression.
After the hunt, the kids played some more on the playground. Logan went down the slide a few times, but he was more interested in one of the other moms stroller that she brought with her. He kept pushing the stroller around in circles. His friend, Little L, thought he looked pretty funny & just kept watching him go around & around.

After a while, the wind picked up & it got really cold. Logan was a little grumpy because he was tired from all of the activity & excitement (& we skipped his morning nap-every activity is scheduled during one of his nap times), so we headed on home.

We had a fun time & it makes me excited to get his easter basket put together this year. He's going to have a blast finding eggs in the back yard & playing with his toys from his easter basket. Toddlerhood is when the holidays get really fun!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

14 months old
Logan is growing into a cute, smart & funny little guy. So much has been going on with him this month.

He continues to be a great sleeper & has let us sleep in until 9:00am a few times. It's great, even though I'm no longer sleep deprived (I never thought I would say that). His napping schedule has been off quite a bit. Some days are one nap days, others are two. There's no rhyme or reason for it either. I'm still appreciating those tow nap days though!

He is still a little picky with food, but it's not bad. He tried bell peppers this month & they ended up all over the floor (I hate them too). But, all I have to do is cover them with cheese & he forgets that they're there. The big thing with food is that I don't get it to him fast enough. Everyday (usually at dinner), I have him in his high chair while I make his food. He's gets impatient & screams his "hurry up" scream. When he wants food, he wants it NOW.

One of the funny parts about meal time is Logan learning how to use his spoon. Sometimes he'll drop it in his bowl or on the tray & hold his hands up like a magician, as if he can use his mind to move it. Or maybe he believes the spoon itself is magical & will do the work for him. Either way, it's funny.

Our morning routine still starts off with morning cartoons. After we've watched them for a bit & we're ready for breakfast, I'll turn off the TV. He walks right back up to the TV & turns it back on, smiling at me of course.

He still doesn't have any real words yet & continues the "point & grunt" & "baby words". When we hold him, he likes to point at the entire room with a grand wave as if he's asking what all of it is. As his Mom, it's pretty easy for me to figure out what he's trying to talk about. It's way cute when I get it right & his face just lights up with excitement. I've tried helping him with talking, putting him through a little routine. I'll ask him to say "mama", "dada", "Buddha", Kitty Cat", "duck", "book" & whatever else pops into my mind (supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was asked one or twice). He clearly understands & responds with a "response grunt" (each of his grunts have a different tone or inflection & it makes it kind of easy to communicate) or a close mimic to it. He is starting to sign though. He mostly signs "popcorn" when I ask him if he wants to sing a song. I'll sing the popcorn song & he'll smile away making the popcorn gestures.

He still runs everywhere & all over. He tries to open the front door to go outside (he's still too small to open it though). He does really well with holding our hands & walking around in stores & stepping up & down the steps on the front porch. It's so cute to watch & I love seeing him so grown-up.

He still plays with the animals & learned how to play with Kitty & her feather this week. That's my goal for next week. Get this on film, because it's so, so, so funny. He is also loving to pet her & he started giving her kisses too.

I'm really impressed with his socialization skills. Even though he can be shy, he feels free enough to go wandering off without me at playgroups. He plays with the other kids & demonstrated this week that he's learning how to share. Yesterday he was sharing a ball with another boy. It was very sweet. He is however, still having a hard time sharing me. His friend, Little L has been infatuated with me since we babysat her last month. At every playgroup she comes over to sit in my lap. Logan get perturbed & tries to push her off. I make room for both of them & sometimes he'll still lean over to push her head.

Bill is the bad influence in the house for sure. He taught Logan how to pick his nose & how to push (nice, huh!) It started out as a fun game between the two of them where Logan "rolls" Bill across the room. They get a kick out of this, but it's crossed over into playgroup. I'm keeping my eye on this though.

Logan is quick to learn & we haven't needed to do any time-out yet. My "stern mommy" voice & re-direction is all he needs right now. He's a really well behaved little boy.

Logan is growing up so fast & I just love him to pieces!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thanks for the help!
After reading the opinions about the two buttons, I added "cyber training" to #1 & ta-da! My new button...

For anyone who would like to add it to their sidebar here's the HTML code:

Thanks a ton for all of your help in the decision & hopefully this will keep the momentum going!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Short but sweet
Our visit with Aunt J & her boyfriend, C, was short but a lot of fun. They flew out here for a friends wedding & after that, drove up to our small town to stay with us for a day & spent the night.

They came up yesterday morning & played with Logan for a little bit while I rushed to get ready for a MOMS club meeting. I swear, I'm always running late for everything. But it worked out because they entertained & played with Logan while I ran around like a mad woman. After the meeting, we came home & I put Logan down for a nap. He slept for a long time & we goofed off taking dorky pictures of each other while we waited for him to wake up.

When he finally woke up, we went downtown to check out the local shops & grab a quick lunch. They really enjoyed the local scene & Logan had a great time honking his stroller horn at people in the shops. I wished the weather was more agreeable so we could've spent more timeout side, but that tricky Colorado weather...sun one minute, rain the next.

Later that night, we went to go pick up Bill from work & they treated us to a great birthday dinner at a hibachi restaurant. Holy hell, was that fun. We were at a grill with another party of four. Logan was the center of attention, of course. He was on his best behavior & only got pissed at me once because I wouldn't let him hold the soup bowl that I was sharing with him. I gave him his goldfish crackers & he forgot all about it.

The chef began his show on the grill, starting off with a huge flame that felt like it singed our eyebrows. I thought that would scare the crap out of Logan, but he just squinted & took it all in. We watched the chef catch eggs on his spatula, spin his cooking utensils like a sharp shooter & other teppanyaki tricks. The best part was when he chopped up shrimp, tossing it at people around the table to catch in their mouths. Both C & Bill got beamed square in the head with flying shrimp & C almost fell backwards in his chair. It was hysterical.

After the show, we all enjoyed our food. Logan had mixed vegetables & teriyaki salmon. He was so cute eating his "big kid" dinner with the rest of us. The other party had fun watching him eat too. I was very impressed that he ate almost all of his dinner without tossing most of it on the floor. While we ate, we noticed that this was "The Place" to go for a birthday dinner. It seemed like there was a birthday dessert followed by a chorus of "Happy Birthday" going on at different tables every five minutes. Of course we had to get in on this to get our free slices of chocolate cake! Bill & I shared our desserts & Logan even got a few bites. He definitely takes after me because this boy loves chocolate. After dinner, we practically rolled out of there from being so full. We came home, got Logan to bed & sat at the table chatting with a couple of cocktails. We had a really good time just hanging out.

This morning we made a big breakfast with Bill grilling sausages on his new grill. It was so yummy. I think we discovered a new allergy for Logan too. Garlic. Aunt J made some scrambled eggs with garlic & Logan broke out in a few hives. Our poor allergic-to-everything-child. Thankfully I had some Benadryl on hand for him (which I now keep in the diaper bag for occasions such as this). We tried to get some family photos, but Mr. Squirmy wouldn't hold still to save his life. He was getting a little grumpy too because the Benadryl was making him super sleepy. So, we got maybe two or three pictures.

We had a lot of fun during their visit. It was too bad it was so short. Hopefully our plans to visit them in Portland this summer work out (Thanks for a great time you two!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

It looks like we're sending him to boot camp
This afternoon Bill came home for lunch & we went to go get Logan's hair cut. It was getting crazy long & I wanted him to look civilized since his Aunt J would be here to visit tomorrow. I'm anticipating taking a lot of family pictures, especially since there will be someone else to hold the camera besides me!

So, we went to the same kids salon that did for his first cut. I forgot what length he had last time, so the (different) stylist decided for us. Halfway through, I was noticing how short it was & tried my best not to grimace. Logan freaked out a little more this time around, so my "Oh my God, you're cutting off all of his hair" concerns took a back seat to his tears of terror.

On the way up to the register, Bill kept saying how cute his new "summer cut" looked. "Don't worry, it will grow back. That's what I tell myself when my hair gets cut too short", Bill said trying to comfort me.

We walked out of the salon to the car. "Our child is bald. He has no hair. It looks like he's going to boot camp", I said flatly. "I know. I think it's cute", replied Bill.

I'm glad it's only hair & it will grow out.

This is a before picture of him a few weeks ago. I was trying to take a picture of the road rash on his face from him doing a face plant on the driveway. It never turned out, but you can still see his hair. It was even longer than this before it got chopped off.

His hair is way short, but this is a cute picture. He's trying to squirm away because he doesn't like to hold still for pictures anymore.

This one totally screams "boot camp"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Need a little help from my friends
I've been doing a little bit of work over here to keep the momentum going on The Other Blog. I've spent quite some time on these buttons (more than I would like to admit), to the point where my hand is numb.

Anyway, I need some opinions. Bill & I can't decide because we like them both. Which button do you like? #1, #2, throw them in the trash & start over or should we just use both of them?



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today is the big day.

When Bill gets home from work we'll have some grilled steaks & shrimp, chocolate cupcakes & beer. My mouth is watering just typing it out. Our two week long celebration will go through a lull after today, until one of my sisters & her boyfriend come out for a visit this weekend (beginning of next week). We'll have a babysitter for Logan & Bill & I will go out for a great birthday dinner. I love our birthday dinners. There's always a lot of good food & lots of fun. Then there will be another lull until Bill's birthday a few days after that.

It's kind of funny how our extended celebrations have changed over the years. We once got hotel rooms & threw big parties. We partied excessively & had so much fun. There were always crazy stories to tell the day after. Not so much anymore. Life changes, we change, things are different. Good, but different.

I think I feel older because I'm wiser. I've packed in quite a bit of experience in the last 12 months. So, it's not like I physically feel older, but definitely mentally. I feel like I've had a growth spurt, just like Logan had when he was smaller. I don't feel like the same woman (or Mom, for that matter) that I was last year. Quite honestly, I almost feel like this is my first birthday.

Last year was the year our marriage really started. The year our new life started. It's taken all of that year to really figure things out. To get our bearings straight. This birthday, I feel like a better person (certainly not perfect, but better). The only word to describe how I feel about all of this is "wow". Just wow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I wish I could have one everyday
If I ever came across a magic genie lamp & had three wishes, one of them would be getting a massage everyday. It would be amazing to wake up, take a long hot shower with all sorts of good smelling stuff & slide onto the table for an hour & a half massage. Everyday. Then after, relaxing with a cup of coffee & a great breakfast. Everyday. Boy, do I wish!

That's pretty much how my morning went. Just slightly different. I set my alarm for 7, but hit the snooze for half an hour (because since when do I ever set my alarm anymore?) I got showered, got Logan up, vacuumed the living room & computer room. I put Logan's clothes in the dryer & got his breakfast ready. While he ate, I cleaned up the kitchen, wiping of counter tops & sweeping the floor. The next thing I know, the massage therapist is at the door. The ring of the door bell wakes Bill up.

As the therapist is setting up her table, I get Logan upstairs to change his diaper & get him dressed for the day. By the time I have his clothed picked out, Bill decided to join the land of the living & takes over. The table was set, the boy was dressed, I was under the sheets & they were off to have father-son bonding time at the park.

The massage was glorious. It was also incredibly eye opening. My body is flat out jacked up. She was in awe of how tight my muscles were, constantly making remarks about how I'll probably be really sore tomorrow & the pressure that she's having to use was causing her shoulder to cramp up. No wonder why Bill only lasts for a minute when I ask him to massage my back.

I don't remember the last massage I had. I think it was a prenatal in my first months of pregnancy. So, the physical stress of pregnancy, labor & delivery, breast feeding & carrying a little kiddo around, accompanied by the mental stress of moving out of our brand new house, dealing with Bill's family, Bill's change in gyms, financial stress & just overall parenting & general life stress...over the course of two years...there's a lot of pent up tension in my neck, shoulders & back.

She spent the entire time on my neck, shoulders & upper back. The entire 90 minutes. After the massage was finished, it left me thinking, "This is how I'm supposed to feel all the time??? Wow. I really need to do something about this". I clearly didn't know how bad my body was until it started to feel better.

Bill has worked out a deal with her to come over once a month for six months (SIX MONTHS!) The miracle is that nothing comes out of our pocket. It's a deal that he was able to swing with the gym. So while I won't be getting a massage everyday, once a month is damn close enough for me!

In the meantime, I'm busting out my foam roll, yoga DVD & other stretching equipment. That way the next time she comes over, hopefully I won't be such a mess.

And, I have to say it again, Bill has certainly won the "Best Husband of The Year" award for this years birthday present (it was asked when, it's tomorrow).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Let the celebration begin
This week marks the beginning of birthday celebrations at our house. My birthday is this week, Bill's is next week & we usually celebrate the two with a big weekend bash in the middle. But, what really happens is the celebration is drawn out for the two weeks anyway.

This year is kind of funny. If Bill hadn't mentioned it, I would've forgot that my birthday was coming up. Even more funny because I've been thinking about what present to get him for a while. I guess I'm not as excited about it anymore.

This weekend Bill spilled the beans on what he got for me. He worked out a deal with a massage therapist to give me an hour & a half massage at home. This may even be a monthly occurrance, truly being the gift that keeps on giving. I am so freakin' excited about this. My first massage is tomorrow morning. Bill is taking Logan out (to do what, I don't know) while I FINALLY get my shoulders out of my ears from the neck tension (really, it's my whole back). Bill has officially won the "Best Husband of The Year" award this year.

Because he couldn't keep a secret, I had to tell him what I was going to get for him. I've been saving all of the money I've made from working at home & we called our cable company to lower our bill. Actually, we told them we were switching service to another company & they dropped our monthly bill by $70. Almost half. So, because we've been saving wisely & we skipped out on birthday & Christmas presents this last year, I wanted to get him something he really, really, really wanted. An outdoor grill.

The dude wanted to drop everything right then & there to go get it. After telling him that he needs to be patient because we have a toddler who needs to eat & get ready, we hurried as fast as we could to go shopping.

We did some comparison shopping at two or three different stores & found a grill that would work well & fit in our budget. Bill had been advised by friends to have the service department put the grill together for us, but no. He couldn't wait 24 hours. He wanted to make burgers that night, damn it!

He spent 4 hours in the garage putting that thing together while Logan & I hung out & took a walk to the park. However, we did come home to Bill in a great mood, ready to fire up the grill & make yummy hamburgers. He's claiming this to be the best birthday present ever. Right up there with the best Christmas present ever (a long board that I got him 4 years ago).

The birthday celebrations have got off to a great start!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My cool, hip musical taste died during pregnancy
Last night I found that I had been tagged by Jezer. While she added a disclaimer saying that if I think it's lame, no hard feelings. Well, there's no shame in my game. And actually, this is a topic that I've thought about addressing for quite some time.

Here's what it's all about:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

OK. Since my adventure into motherhood, my musical taste is completely off kilter*. Pre-pregnancy, Bill & I used to be avid concert goers. We used to have parties (that had a specific name that shall go unmentioned) where DJ Bill would have an array of music ranging from rap to rock to techno to a good old hippy jam band. We had great times enjoying various different genres of music.

Then it all changed during pregnancy.

Being "with child", I didn't want to rock anymore. While I was working out, my ipod was full of more mellow toned lyrics & bands that sang great melodies. Before, it was 311 & Metalica that fueled my cardio fire. This has carried over into parenthood as well.

Now, rather than listening to my favorites of the past (which now make me feel incredibly OLD), I listen to the same melodic music & kids CD's. At this point, I think I listen to more kids music than anything.

I don't know why this changed happened. Why I automatically gave up rock & hard core riffs without thinking twice. It's weird. But, life is different now so I guess my musical tastes follow.

So I'm going to do 2 lists. One for me, as in the adult music I seldom listen to & one for Logan, or the kids songs I really enjoy as well.

  1. Beck- The Information. Beck is one of my favorite artists of all time. Bill & I saw him at the Tropicana when we were living in Vegas. That show is still the best show I've been to in all of my life. His latest album, "The Information" is awesome. I love this album so much that it's difficult to pick a favorite song.
  2. Ben Folds- Songs For Silverman- "Gracie". Ben Folds was another great concert that we attended. Gracie is a song that has a little more meaning & sentimental value now that I'm a parent. When Logan was a newborn, we would listen to this & the "Live at Perth" album together. Constantly.
  3. Cake- Pressure Chief- "The Guitar Man". It's a cover that was originally done by Bread back in the early 70's. Either version is great. But, Cake is another band that I totally love & have seen many times. Their best show was at The Crystal Ballroom in Portland.
  4. Easy Star All Stars-Radiohead- "Paranoid Android". I loved this song the first time I listened to it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I especially love the the horns. If this song (& band) selection doesn't show you how much of a hippy I used to be (still am sort of?), then I don't know what will. They also did an amazing Pink Floyd cover album too.
  5. Rocco DeLuca and The Burden-I Trust You To Kill Me- "Gift". I first saw this band on VH1's Rock Doc featuring them & their band manager, Keifer Sutherland. Yes, Keifer Sutherland, the actor. It was a really interesting episode & I thought this band was amazing.
  6. Weezer-Make Believe. This is another album where I can't really pick out one song that I'm infatuated with. Nevertheless, it's another all time favorite band from way back in the day who unfortunately broke up & we won't be hearing from them again.
  7. Trey Anastasio-Shine-"Shine". Many loyal Phish fans will debate the quality of Trey's solo album until they're blue in the face. Many claim that by creating this album, he's gone pop commercial. I don't care. I still like it. A lot, in fact. And this is another album that made Logan happy when he was a newborn.
So there it is folks. My play list that I listen to when I (rarely) listen to adult music. So now for Logan's (or my) top choices in the kids category. These we listen to every day, all day. This list is the more accurate of the two.

  1. Ralph Covert-At the Bottom of the Sea-"At the Bottom of the Sea". Thanks to the Disney Channel, Logan dances to this every time it comes on while we watch morning cartoons.
  2. Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell-Catch The Moon. We both love this entire album. There are some great songs that he loves to dance to & I love to sing to him.
  3. For The Kids Too (various artists). This is a great album. This collaboration of various artists is playing everyday in our home. Logan dances to it in the play room, in his high chair, anywhere he can hear it. Bill came home & I had it playing so loud I didn't hear him come in. "Are you rockin' out to kids music?" Yes. Yes I am.
  4. They Might Be Giants-Here Come the ABC's- Yet another album that is fun & very difficult to pick just one song that we listen to. However, this album has The Higglytown Hero's theme song, which Logan gets so excited about.
  5. Elizabeth Mitchell-You Are My Little Bird. Again, too many great songs to choose from. She does a cute Bob Marley cover of "Three Little Birds". "What Goes On" is a favorite of mine too.
  6. See You On The Moon: Songs For Kids of All Ages (various artists)- Great Lake Swimmers- See You On The Moon. This is a fun catchy little song. It's one that I don't mind listening to on repeat.
  7. Curious George-Sing A Long's & Lullabies for The Film (Jack Johnson)- "Lullaby" & "With My Own Two Hands" are so incredibly cute & heart warming songs. They make me cry (Hell, I cry at everything).

So, that's it! Like it wasn't enough. It gives you a little glimpse into our musical life here at the home. And why Logan dances all day long too.

For the 7 tags: Kayce, Ashley, Beth, Erin, Erica, Jake, Debra

Same disclaimer applies!

*After writing this, it's become evident that my musical taste really hasn't changed as much as I thought it did.

***And, go check out Virtual Fitness for an update on Wendy's success in her 10 miler on Saturday!***

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yesterday was an insanely busy day. We did our usual errands, grocery shopping & whatnot. It took up most of the morning. Then to top it off, Logan decided that he didn't want to take a late morning nap. OK, that's usually cool with me, but we were hosting playgroup. He needed to nap so he would have enough energy to play with his friends AND I needed him to nap so I could clean up the house without interruption.

I made him lunch & he threw most of it on the floor. Rice. Ground turkey. Peas. Carrots. All over the floor.

Fortunately he did take a nap & I frantically swept the floor, cleaned the bathroom, scrubbed food off of various places where Logan's hands flung meals & finally mopped. With 15 minutes to spare.

Logan was still sleeping while all of his friends started arriving. After a few loud toddlers were playing with musical instruments, Logan woke up. He was happy & ready to play. At first he was a little shocked to wake up to a house full of people & other kids playing with his toys. But, he didn't freak out at all. I was very proud of him. He shared all of his toys & even shared his treasured goldfish crackers. He was happy to share my lap with Little L & we read a bunch of stories. It was incredibly cute.

It was a fun playgroup & I was happy that only a few of the moms showed up. Four moms (with one kid each) came, when it's usually three or four more than that. Our house isn't that big & even with a small group it was still a little crowded.

After they left, Logan went down for another nap & I vacuumed the ground up goldfish crackers from the carpet & tried to work on some fitness plans while I had the chance.

At the end of the day when Logan was in bed for the night & Bill was home from work, we were watching TV & I promptly passed out on the couch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Our first day at the park this spring
In Pictures

Watching the other kids play on the playground

Sharing a wagon ride with Buddha

Wore out & comfortable

Monday, March 12, 2007

I couldn't miss this
Last night I read Beth's new post. It was about her fitness results using the plans from The Other Blog. She lost 8 lbs in one week! I am so excited for her!

She's been working hard to make it happen. She's doing all of her workouts at home, with two kids no less. She hasn't achieved results from dropping her calories & starving & this isn't "water weight" either. 60% of calories are from carbs. Nope, she's doing this the good old fashioned way & with some science in the mix.

The big part of her success is that she's the one making it happen. She's making the choice to workout or not. She's making the choice to eat right or not. And her efforts are showing!

I just had to give her a shout out because I know how much she wants to succeed. Reaching her fitness goal means a lot to her & she's well on her way to doing it!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Fever!
The sun is out & the snow that was left from this winter's blizzards has melted. We can go outside without having to worry about our noses freezing off our faces! I don't even have the words to express how unbelievably excited I am about this. I hate winter. It's not fun. But now it's almost over. THANK GOD.

Bill is going to come home for lunch & we're going to take Logan out for his first wagon ride. We're going to attempt to train Buddha to be a wagon pulling dog too (yeah, right). Hopefully this marks the beginning of our daily walks outside again. I want to start roaming the neighborhoods looking at houses for rent & if miracles of all miracles happen & our old house actually sells, look for another house to buy. Either way, we're leaving this house when the lease is up.

Bill has had an itch to get the backyard cleaned up so Logan can run around out there & he wants to get our hammock hung up. Man, it will be so nice to be outside all day again. Backyard barbeque's & beers, playing in the grass, going to the park, running through the sprinklers, long walks & the most exciting part about spring...hiking season!

I think I could ramble on forever about how happy I am.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

All good things must come to an end
I'm really proud of us. Actually, both Bill & I are very proud of us. We've learned some great lessons, reprioritized some things in life & most importantly, learned some valuable skills. We've worked hard & it shows. Yesterday we talked about ending our sessions in marriage counseling.

It's gotten to the point where we've worked on the issues that we originally started going for. Nothing else needs to be addressed & there's nothing else to talk about. Our progress has been really fast & it's been a point of conversation about how things like this usually don't resolve so quickly with other marriages. I think this really shows how much we love each other & want our family to be happy & healthy.

The last piece to our puzzle is The Conversation with Bill's parents. We're finally ready & prepared for it. Especially since we've already had a practice conversation with Aunt Ju-Ju (& we all know how that went). So, we've decided that we'll have The Talk in the next few weeks & we have another counseling session afterward in case we need to sort anything else out. But until then & after that...we're finished.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not this again
Now that the cold has run it's course through everyone in the house, I woke up this morning covered in hives. All over my trunk, hips & legs. It's always something, isn't it!

This totally reminds me of the allergy episode that I went through 6 years ago. At least I know what to do & it's not going to be that big of a deal (hopefully). But, guess who get to start an allergy elimination diet! Wonderful. Well, at least the last time I did this I lost 30 lbs in 2 months. Not that I have 30 lbs to lose, but that "last 10" that I've been planning to drop once we were finished with breast feeding isn't going to be a problem.

I've re-read the list of foods that were causing problems last time & I think I've narrowed the main culprit to dairy. Unless there's a new food, but I doubt it. Or at least I hope that's it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Logan always knows how to make us laugh
The last week has been full of comic relief due to Logan's hysterical antics. He's been learning how to dance. This leaves us on the floor in complete stitches. He grabs any one of his musical toys & sits on the floor, bouncing & shoulder shaking away. We call him our dancing Zoolander because when he stands up & dances, he turns around in only one direction. Only turning to the left. We don't know if he knows how to turn in the other direction. But no matter what he's doing, if we turn on the TV to one of the music channels, he instantly gets up & starts spinning.

He's also been having lots of fun playing with Buddha. While I'm working, he & Buddha have a good time entertaining each other. If it's not with crackers, it's with toys. It's so cute how the two of them play.

I got some video of Logan dancing & playing with Buddha this weekend. Again, there's no audio, but I decided to make them into montages so they weren't silent.

Friday, March 02, 2007

This took a very, very long time to write
In all of the posts that I've written about my past, this one contains the most pain. It was more than I intended to share. It took many hours to collect the courage to publish it. Regardless, I decided not to edit it as the events are real & they had a very real impact on me. This post also contains the most profound change that I've experienced in motherhood. This is the reason for sharing this information. As well as the benefit of a cathartic purge.

Last week, one of my sisters told me about some events that had happened in the House of Horrors that used to be our home. Our youngest sister is still living there. I don't have a relationship with her because I moved out when she was 4. I was 15. I didn't keep up with frequent contact while the three of them were there because it was entirely too painful for me. After my final blowout with my mom, I didn't call the house ever again. Relationships with my sisters grew stronger after they moved out & I could talk to them. Our youngest sister has 3 more years to go before she escapes. However, I still hear about what happens through my other two sisters (because they choose to still have a relationship with our mom).

I've looked back through posts about my childhood & I've never explained why I hate my mom so much. I never really gave any details about my Hell.

When I was 8, our parents divorced. Even though our Dad was a drug addicted, abusive, alcoholic, I blamed our mom for a lot of it. At the same time, she was a drug addicted alcoholic too. But even with the blame, I still had some level of respect for her. Even admiration. After the divorce, she worked & took care of us girls (in retrospect, she didn't really) & I saw her as a strong woman who didn't need a man (another childhood delusion about her).

Very soon after the divorce (too soon), our step-dad (AKA: Satan) entered the picture. He was another drug addicted, abusive, alcoholic. But he also had pedophile attached to his resume. The following 7 years of my life were the most traumatic & painful years I've ever experienced.

I endured torment in one form or another from both of them. Beatings & verbal rages were daily occurrences. The deepest pain was that our mother just stood back letting it happen. Not only was she to blame for the pain, but she was also to blame for not stopping it. She flat out denied that anything was wrong. When the time came & I told the whole story of what was going on, she called me a liar. She chose an addicted, abusive child molester over her own first born daughter. And still does to this day.

It was a miracle that I made it out alive because when I left, it was to the point where someone was going to die. Either "Satan" was going to kill me from slamming my head into the back door one too many times, or I was going to kill him by pushing him down the basement stairs or I was going to kill myself because I could not take it anymore. Whatever scenario it was, death was a daily thought in my mind.

When I left, I had major issues with the guilt I had in leaving my sisters behind. After Bill & I got married, each sister made it a point to graduate early so they could leave. Once they finished school, our home was a place that they could escape to.

When the first "escape" happened, I had grown to hate my mom even more. Not only did she damage me, but she damaged my sister too. When my sister had a conversation on the phone with our mom about why she left, I could hear our mom cursing & screaming at her. I grabbed the phone from my sister & screamed like I have never screamed at my mom before. That was the last day I ever talked to her. I decided that my life was better off without having to deal with such a toxic person.

When the second "escape" happened, the hate for my mom grew like a cancer. I had come to understand what living a childhood like that does to a girl. All three of us were dealing with major issues, from a range of panic & anxiety attacks, depression, drug & alcohol addiction & eating disorders. Each time one of my sisters fled from home, I wished my mother an instant & extremely painful death.

Years have gone by since the last escape. My sisters & I have grown much closer than we were in our early years. We've been there for each other & we understand the shared pain we carry in our hearts. The hatred for my mother never diminished though.

Then last week I heard that our youngest sister was going through some hard times. It echoed my experience, but much worse. She has been bounced around from one house & back, not doing well in school, hanging out with the wrong crowd & making poor choices. A final blow up happened & she is going to live with another sister over the summer.

This is the part that I'm having a very difficult time accepting....

Upon hearing this news, my initial gut reaction was, "How incredibly sad. This mother has lost all of her children by choice. That was her last chance & she blew it. She must feel an enormous amount of pain. She must be dealing with some serious self loathing".

It was a feeling of empathy from one mother to another. It was the first time in my adult life that I didn't have an instant hatred & death wish upon her. It was the first time I saw her as a person rather than a monster. It was a feeling that totally caught me off guard & I was completely unprepared for it. I wasn't "working" on trying to feel differently about her either.

I didn't (& quite frankly, still don't) know what to make of this. It's unsettling because that hatred was comfortable, familiar & safe. It's confusing. Is this forgiveness? If it is, does that excuse the events of the past? Am I ashamed that I didn't instantly feel she was a villain? Is this the beginning of finally letting it all go? But I do know, whether I like it or not, whether I made a conscious effort to do so or not, it's a step in the right direction in being completely healed. If that's even really possible.

I've asked my sisters what our moms says when they explain their feelings about our childhood. They say she cries & says she's sorry.

This empathy has been conflicted with flashbacks of the past as well. How can you empathize with someone when remembering being pelted with rotten apples from the back yard trees when you weren't picking them up fast enough. Or standing in the front yard with your friends explaining why the DEA & swat team were there on a drug bust. Or explaining to the Doctor that "I fell down the stairs" when really you were beat with the entire phone, base & receiver, after it had been ripped from the wall in your mothers fit of rage. Even more so, remembering the stages of grooming a pedophile does to his victim. Remembering the day after, going to school feeling like a completely different person-like a hollow shell-forever changed. And remembering that the only way I felt safe at night was to move my dresser in front of my bedroom door, barricading myself in.

Somehow, empathy & forgiveness seems wrong.

I struggled with these conflicting feelings all week. I cried thinking about my mom as a mother in pain. I cried knowing that even though she's sorry, she still doesn't make any life changes. I cried at night not wanting to accept this change of feelings, not wanting to acknowledge that I really might be taking the steps to letting go. I tried to sort them out this morning, wondering what this may do for our future. I'm not ready to go there yet. And all I can say, is that it still makes me cry.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sick day bullets
  • I woke up this morning with the left side of my face swollen. My left eye looked super puffy. My ears are still clogged & my sinuses are a wreck (Boo!)
  • Logan is feeling better (YEAH!)
  • Bill fixed the computer (YEAH!!)
  • There's another Pertussis outbreak in Colorado (again) & Aunt Ju-Ju has been exposed to it. Baby B has had Croup for a while & now they're worried that he has whooping cough instead. Bill called asking if Logan has had this vaccination. Yeah. It was the one that he had the really bad reaction to at 2 months old. His pediatrician recommended that he not get that one anymore & we're waiting for a call from the pediatric allergist to see what component of the vaccinations he's allergic to.
  • I think we have to start implementing time-out. Logan has been a little stinker today. I've had to use my stern mommy voice. He knew he was doing something he wasn't supposed to (scratching me, trying to climb behind the TV to get to cords, etc). After telling him No, he would look at me with this "You're not serious Mom. I'm not really in trouble" look, complete with devilish grin. This ought to be interesting.
  • I've been sitting on a post topic for about a week & have been thinking about posting it on Friday. It's another introspective, personal post. I've been crying silent tears about it at night. I'm not sure if I'm ready to write about it yet because I'm still getting choked up about it. I haven't talked to anyone about this either. Bill has no clue. My sisters don't even know. I'm sure I'll get phone calls now that I've mentioned it. It's not a bad thing, just a feeling that I was completely unprepared for that totally caught me off guard. I'm not sure if I'm ready to feel this way because I wasn't trying to. I don't know if I want to accept it either.
  • I am very excited for all of the people working out on The Other Blog. I have received email updates, along with reading posts on their blogs about their successes so far. Every single person who has started has lost weight, fits into their clothes better & they are beginning to feel better. It's been less than a month!
  • I also have to give major, major Thank You's to everyone who has been linking to the fitness blog. I really have been able to work from home, actually making a paycheck. It helps our family out tremendously. Because it's all by word of mouth, I wouldn't have been able to do it alone. So, many thanks to all of you!