Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Get real

There's a lot going on in my brain right now and I feel like I have enough content to write for eons. It's just all about finding the time, which has been difficult to do with two kids. But, thoughts about the in-laws, religion, adverse vaccination reactions (not my kids, but a nephew had one that sent him to the ER last week), "anonymous" moms in The Club -really, there's quite a bit floating about in that cranium of mine. I suppose the most prevalent is business related - Virtual Fitness, my "maternity leave" and where to go from here.

I'm half way into my maternity leave. I made the decision that taking care of a crazy preschooler, a baby and exclusively nursing was all I could focus on and give it my "best" (which honestly, I'm never feeling my "best" at parenting). I know me and that multitasking is not one of my strong suits. I can't be the best mom that I can be and work as much as I want to at the same time (someone will inevitably shoot me for saying that). We are extremely lucky that we've been able to make our lifestyle happen, as simple as it is.

I've been training a few people here and there, but I have not been writing anything on the other blog nor have I been advertising my services. For me, I have to be able to live the lifestyle to give it 100% which means, when Carter is a year old and no longer nursing I can hit the gym like I want. I can tweak my nutrition plans, I can develop new, creative exercises and I can take my business in a new direction. It's time to start preparing to get real.

For my birthday, Bill bought me some books to help me get my nutrition plan published. That damn plan will be published. Oh, it will. My goal is to hit the ground running when Logan starts school in September and when Carter turns a year old at the same time. At that time, he'll be finished nursing and will be old enough for a few hours of daycare. I will have kid-free time to write. I intend to have the book ready to publish in less than a year. Lofty? Maybe. But it's a goal. I also have plans to ditch the other blog and evolve it into a website. One with a recipe section and a place to calculate calories, carbs, protein and fat, figure out your own BMR and track your progress. It's somewhat scary because I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO ANY OF THIS and will most likely have to hire someone to design it for me (any web gurus want to trade?)

So, 2010 will be the year I hope to see my book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, the year I own a fitness website and God knows what else I'll come up with. Maybe even a cookbook (don't laugh Bill).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another one under our belts

Since there is about a week between my birthday and Bill's, we celebrate our birthdays together on "Birthday Weekend" - the weekend between the two. We have done this since the beginning and this year was our 11th Birthday Weekend.

Throughout the years the Birthday Weekends have been anywhere on the edge of crazy to the complete opposite, being downright boring (those were the years that I was pregnant and dying). This year was a good one - not too crazy, but not boring, either. For weeks we've been trying to decide on what to do and honestly, it's at times like this that you realize kids cramp your style. There's not much you can do with kids in tow at the end of winter in a small town. After much thought, we decided to go out for a very nice dinner and then have a night cap at home.

I hoped that we would be able to find a friend to come over to watch the house while the kids slept, but everyone else had plans too. This is where I'm very thankful for the barter I'm doing with the owner of the drop-in childcare center. Although Carter isn't old enough to go yet (he has to be a year old), Logan loves it there and we can drop him off any time - for free. So, that we did. Bill made reservations for later that night after bedtime in hopes that Carter would just sleep in his car seat the whole night.

We ate at one of the most expensive restaurants in town. I was pretty excited because I've wanted to have dinner there for quite some time. We got dressed up, dropped Logan off and Carter was all snugly and falling asleep. We had a delicious dinner with Carter waking up before our dinners arrived. He was quiet and very good, just looking around and fighting going back to sleep. At least he didn't even make a peep. While the dinner was very good and expensive, it made me realize how small of a town we live in. Bill and I have been to some very nice restaurants since we've lived in some big cities, like Vegas. This place while nice, wasn't as nice as I thought it was going to be. People were wearing jeans. And so were the waiters. But, that's our town for you - small,relaxed college town.

Anyway, dinner was fantastic, Carter was on his best behavior and we came home, got the kids to bed and had a few glasses of wine while watching some of the funniest stand up ever. We laughed so hard we were crying and it was a great way to end the night.

This was one of those simple happy moments that remind me of how much I love Bill and our little family.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Infant nutrition planning

As a personal trainer and health and fitness fanatic, it's very important to me that I teach my children good eating habits from the get go. Portion control, healthy food choices, and balance are things that I think about when preparing meals. Over the years of making meals for Logan, I discovered why there are so many obese children today. Most parents don't have a clue what to feed their kids and the information is not easily found. Not to mention, most adults have no idea what to eat themselves, and here we are in this cycle of Fat America - a true case of the blind leading the blind.

When Carter began eating solids, I looked for my meal planning notes that I made for Logan. It turns out that I lost 2 months (6 and 7) and had to figure it all out again. It's not that difficult for me since I do this for a living, but it made me wonder what other parents who don't have any education in nutrition do. I think most people just put whatever food in front of their kids and really don't think much about it. I decided that I'm going to post my infant nutrition plans, not only to make it easier for me to reference to, but for those parents out there who would like to help their kids get a good start in healthy eating.

The most user-friendly reference on portion sizes that I've found was on Baby Center. I also use Wholesome Baby Food for meal ideas and age appropriate time tables of food introduction. I've found that the portion size recommendations have changed over the last couple of years, so these aren't the same plans that Logan had. There's more food than before, which is interesting. I also stopped portion sizes at 10 months when Logan started feeding himself because more food ended up on the floor than in his mouth.

6-7 Months
Breakfast: 2 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit
Lunch: 1 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit
Dinner: 4 TBS vegetable

7-8 Months
Breakfast: 3 TBS cereal, 3 TBS fruit
Lunch: 3 TBS cereal, 3 TBS fruit, 3 TBS vegetable
Snack: 2 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit
Dinner: 5 TBS vegetable

8-9 Months
Breakfast: 2 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit, 1 TBS protein, 1 TBS dairy
Lunch: 2 TBS cereal, 1 TBS fruit, 1 TBS vegetable, 1 TBS dairy
Snack: 1 TBS fruit, 1 TBS vegetable, 1 TBS dairy
Dinner: 2 TBS vegetable, 1 TBS protein, 1 TBS dairy

9-10 Months
Breakfast: 4 TBS cereal, 4 TBS fruit, 1 TBS protein, 1 TBS dairy
Lunch: 3 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit, 2 TBS vegetable, 1 TBS dairy
Snack: 1 TBS cereal, 2 TBS fruit, 2 TBS vegetable, 1 TBS dairy
Dinner: 4 TBS vegetable, 3 TBS protein, 2 TBS dairy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boys will be boys?

As Logan gets older, I'm realizing more and more how exhausting it is to have boys. Young boys are challenging, often getting into trouble and keeping you on your toes. Well, at least that's how it is in our family.

The preschool boy is one of high energetic, impulsive, often violent behavior. We never play joust or swords here in our house, but somehow, somewhere, Logan picked it up and now wants to play this with his friends. There is running around and when the adrenaline is rushing, the testosterone takes over and pushing and wrestling ensue. It's shocking to realize how physical boys really are.

During playgroups or any play time with his friends, Logan has needed to sit on time-out to step back and chill after getting too excited and pushing his pals. I don't think it's to be malicious, it really is a "boy" thing, but it's still not cool. It is so different than what the girls are doing in our playgroup; sitting quietly reading books or coloring, playing nicely in the kitchen or dressing up a doll. Sometimes I think raising boys is like trying to tame a wild animal. There is something ingrained in their DNA that makes them this way and a parents job is to help them learn to be civilized. At times this seems impossible, but you still have to keep on them.

This was the situation yesterday while Logan was playing with some of his favorite buddies. They get along very well and run amok together, but I think Logan is becoming more and more physically aggressive than they are. He was running in circles with one of his pals and pushed him down. Logan went straight into time-out and then apologized, with them hugging and then running off to play again. I have no idea how to curb this other than what we're already doing (which I guess is working somewhat). However, I think Logan needs an outlet for his physical tendencies.

It's time to look into getting him started in sports.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Another year older and wiser too, I suppose. Saturday was my 29th birthday and you know you're getting old when the best present that day is an hour long nap.

The day was pretty chill with Bill leaving for a disc golf tournament early that morning and being gone all day (7am-8pm). The kids and I hung around the house for a bit and I talked to a few people who had called to wish me happy birthday. I dropped Logan off at the drop-in childcare center for the afternoon and went to pick up sushi to eat at the hospital with photographer friend. Afterward, I took a nap (total awesomeness), picked up Logan to do a little shopping (for nothing special) and that was about it! Nothing extraordinary, but nothing dramatic either.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and perhaps a birthday (or getting older) is the appropriate time for reflection. I've never been bothered by our imminent demise but since having kids, the thought of my passing (or anyone in my family) has really been poking at my consciousness in the far recesses of my brain.

It all started way back before Carter was born when Bill and I were watching Six Feet Under. It's a great series and despite death being a central part of the storyline, I really enjoyed watching it every night before going to bed. At times, it was a little unsettling to realize how sudden death can be and the grieving process a family goes through afterward. Then we watched the final episode. It was heavy and I pulled the covers up to my nose as I sank lower into our bed. It detailed the deaths of all of the main characters, so you ended up watching how a handful of people die in the course of an hour.

Since then, the thought of our mortality has stuck with me. Right now at this phase in my life, we are surrounded by birth and the starting of or the continued growing of families. Soon enough, that will change as the life cycle comes around. Granted, we're not in our 50's when all of this really starts to happen, but as witnessed in the series - you just never know. And that freaks me out.

Morbid, huh! I know 29 is young (even though kids make me feel 10 years older), but this really is the first year that my birthday brings some reality along to the celebration with the cake and ice cream. Birthdays aren't what they used to be (even though I'm always down for a party). And yes, I know all of this thinking is a bit premature, but whatever. I'm off to plan my funeral.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Last night Logan had his very first sleepover at our house. He's slept over at photographer friends' house a few times - twice for preterm labor visits (but we came to pick him back up after being sent home) and then when Carter was actually born. This time we got to return the favor and Little M came to our house to sleepover while photographer friend went to the hospital to deliver there little baby (who's gender was still unknown).

I was out to dinner with another friend when I got the call, so I told her that I would be home ASAP, but Bill was there with the kids so she could come over now if she needed to. I drove home as fast as I could (not as I legally could) and ended up meeting them in the middle of our street as they were on the way out. I talked with them for a quick second and then pulled into the driveway.

When I walked in the door, Logan was thrilled to be hosting a sleepover. I've never seen him so excited in all my life. You would have thought the sleepover was better than birthdays and Christmas combined. The two watched a little bit of Logan's dinosaur movie (Land Before Time) but soon they were running around the house, laughing and screaming, playing and being outright wild. After many attempts to calm them down, I realized my efforts were futile and let them wear themselves out. They ended up passing out - Logan in his bed, Little M on the guest mattress in Logan's room - at the late hour of 11:00pm. This was a sleepover indeed!

While the kids went crazy and then passed out cold, photographer friend had been updating her status on Facebook, giving a somewhat play-by-play of the labor and delivery experience. This was both exciting and hilarious at the same time. First, what a great way to be in the labor room, but not, still giving them the privacy they needed (and what a great concept for intruding in-laws who want to be right there in the action). Talk about modern technological advances! Labor was taking quite some time, so everyone drifted off to sleep in the middle of the night waiting for the good news.

In the wee hours of the morning (about 6:00 - 6:30), I received a text that the baby was going to be born soon. The kids were still sleeping and I thought they would be for quite some time. I thought wrong. Shortly after getting the text that they had another baby girl, Logan came wandering into our room to start his day. We were able to convince him to cuddle in bed and watch TV for a bit while I slept a little more, but then Carter woke up. So, scratch that idea! Little M slept for a couple more hours, waking up 15-20 minutes before her Dad came to pick her up to meet her new little sister.

So, we had a very eventful night, loaded with tons of fun. We paid for it today though. Logan slept for most of the day recovering from his preschool sleepover and we stayed in our pajamas. It was worth it though. You never say no to that kind of fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Carter's 6th month check-up

This morning Carter went in for his 6th month check-up. I had been waiting for this appointment for a week considering all of the food allergy issues that were going on. We had a lot to talk about and I was anxious to get everything straightened out.

He was weighed and measured by the nurse. He measured 25 3/4 inches long (20%), weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces (less than 3%) and his head was 16 1/2 inches (8%). When the Doctor came in, we talked about his growth and she wasn't concerned in the least. She said that he was measuring similar to what Logan did at this age (although his stats in their office start at 9 months). She said that he was beginning to slow down, but that was to be expected at this age. He looks very healthy and has some sort of chub on his arms and legs and he even has wrist lines. She shrugged her shoulders and said that breast fed babies aren't well represented on the growth charts. This was a relief since my initial reaction after the nurse took his measurements was a drop in my stomach, worried that he wasn't eating enough again.

We went over his food reactions and have a slower plan to go with. Rather than using the every three day rule before introducing a new food, we're going every week to two weeks. He's back on rice cereal and then we'll start with yellow and orange vegetables first. I'm adding banana to the list of possible food allergies and when he's a year old, we will discuss going in for allergy testing. But, at this point any testing is going to be inconclusive and a waste of effort and money.

After that, she went over his developmental milestones saying that he passed with flying colors. I was a bit concerned about his gross motor skills since he's not really moving too terribly much, but I suppose this is in comparison to Logan, who apparently was very physically advanced. The boy was crawling at 6 months and Carter isn't even rolling yet (a few times, but not across the room like Logan did). However, Carter is quite strong so there's nothing to worry about. He's just content to lay there and kick around.

The last topic of discussion was vaccinations. Prior to dealing with his Raynaud's, weight issues and food allergies, I was somewhat open to starting a single dose, selective plan. How quickly that all changed after witnessing Carter's body not functioning quite like it should. Those were major red flags for me and enough to not start any vaccinations at all. If his body is hyper-reactive to being cold and eating food, what's not to say he'll have a more severe reaction to chemicals? Add the family history in the mix and that's where I draw the line. I have to trust my gut, because I didn't with Logan (more than once) and he suffered from that.

So, she and I talked at length about it. She gave me the medical reasoning, but never pushed me into a decision. I thought long and hard about it, my eyes welling up with tears because of all of the parenting decisions I have to make, this is by far the most difficult. I think she understands that, thus why she doesn't push me. When talking about what vaccination she recommends the most, Hib is her number one priority. Logan had a mild reaction to this vaccination. So, my stomach turned even more and tears rolled down my cheeks. This issue is so heavy for me because I feel like I can't protect my kids either way. I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't. I feel like a schmuck with whatever decision I make - if they contract a vaccine preventable disease or have yet another adverse reaction. For me, it's a no win situation.

It's even more difficult when you are having the discussion about the fatality of a disease in relation to your children. When the Doctor says, "this is an important vaccination because if he contracts Hib, every Doctor, no matter how good they are, doesn't think the child will make it or will have severe permanent injuries if they do survive". Then in the same conversation, "there's nothing we can do if he has an adverse reaction. The only thing we can give him is Benadryl for hives and rashes, Motrin for fevers and swelling and heavy steroids if it gets out of control. Once an adverse reaction starts, there's no stopping it. And I'm not going to say that there are not vaccine injuries out there, because there are".

It kills me. It is a gut wrenching predicament and I cry every single time I'm faced with making a decision.

The appointment ended with her telling me not to make a decision right then, to go home and think about it. This is why I really like her. She does fulfill her medical professionals obligation by informing me of all of the possibilities and consequences, but she knows how I feel and sympathizes. Unlike many other non-vaccinating parents out there, I don't think I'll ever have to worry about being kicked out of the practice for going against the CDC guidelines. Unless something else happens (God forbid) we won't have to go back for a while.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The last ever!

Tonight was the last night I will ever have to workout at 8:00pm. I. AM. THRILLED. Let me tell you, working out that late sucks. But, you have to do what you have to do. Now that Carter is 6 months old, he meets the age requirement for the gym daycare. I got everything set up so we can go every day in the afternoon if I want (and I do!). It will be good to get the break in the middle of the day and still have enough time to come home and make dinner. Then after dinner, I don't have to rush out of the house, I can actually just kick back and digest! I can have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner (because working out after having only one glass just isn't good - totally crappy workout).

I hope to try it out tomorrow and see how it goes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've been looking forward to this milestone for a very long time!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 months old

Oh, Carter.

What on Earth am I going to do with you? Your 5th month started off a little rocky, thus why I am a whole 4 weeks behind, almost missing this month all together. Better late than never, right? I promise that I'll make it up to you in your 6th month update. I swear!
So, it all started when your hands and feet looked like little plumbs that felt like ice cubes. After nursing you in the middle of the night, I would bring you into bed with me to cuddle and snuggle for a few hours before we had to wake up and start our day. Your feet were painfully cold! I thought putting on some thicker socks was the answer. It wasn't. It turns out you have Raynaud's Disease. Fortunately, you are just fine and since keeping your room at a 70 degrees at all times, you are not quite so discolored.

Right after that scare, we had another! During one of your appointments to check out your feet we discovered that you weren't gaining weight at all for a couple of weeks. We are so fortunate to have caught that early, otherwise you would have been one upset and sick little baby. After nursing ever hour, on the hour, for an entire week, you gained the weight you needed and everything was back on track.
Since you like to just hang out and be carried around rather than use your little legs, we got you an exersaucer that you just love. You stand in there and play with your toys, watching me cook dinner or staring at Kitty and Buddha. We thought that you might like the jumperoo too, and you do! You spend some time in there jumping away, always making Logan laugh himself into hysterics. I am so proud of you and your sitting skills, sitting all by yourself and playing with toys or Logan. But, what's funny to me is that you like to use these toys, but when it comes to playing on the floor, you'd still rather just hang out and not roll around. I've caught you twice or so rolling over in bed, only because you scream when you're on your stomach. You're not in too much of a hurry to learn how your body moves.
You are definitely my little buddy, although you are becoming more accepting of other people. You have been content to hang out with some of the moms in The Club and have been OK hanging out with Daddy too. This makes me so happy knowing that you feel secure in the world around you. You are also beginning to make friends with the other little brothers and sisters in our playgroup. It's almost illegal how cute you are when you look and smile at your little friends while laying on a blanket or playing with toys. Soon enough, it will be time to start going to your own playgroup rather than tagging along to Logan's!
Speaking of Logan, you love that guy so much, sometimes I think more than me! There are times that I can't make you smile like he does. And believe me, Logan just eats it up. I'm sure he really enjoys having a pal to laugh at his jokes and stories. You two are the best brothers and certainly, best friends.

Well, Baby Bean, that about sums up the last month. Now that it's getting nice outside and you are entering your 6th month (which is always full of new experiences), we are going to have all sorts of fun. I can't wait to watch you enjoy the world around you.


Monday, March 16, 2009

We've been here before

Carter's voyage into solids has been put on hold and as of Sunday, he's been back to exclusively breast feeding again. He had a reaction to some food. A big one. And thus begins our battle with food allergies. Again.

On Friday I noticed that after eating banana, Carter had a raised diaper rash. That's a clear sign that it's not sitting well with him. I decided that we were going to stop and move on to the next food a few days later. On Saturday while I was at the writing group meeting, Bill tried to feed Carter a bottle (I got some lactose-free formula just in case I was going to be gone longer than expected). Carter wasn't digging the formula and wouldn't eat from the bottle at all. It wasn't that big of a deal because I was home 20 minutes later. Bill put the formula in the fridge so it didn't go to waste.

Later that night I decided to use the milk to mix his cereal. He wouldn't eat it at all. After only a few bites, he had a massive diaper explosion (I decided to throw out the outfit rather than wash it, it was that bad) and soon after that, he began to break out in hives on his lip, back and feet and his elbows broke out in a red patchy rash (eczema). I gave him a bath to get cleaned up and kept him in his diaper while I waited for his hives to come down before tucking him into bed. He was OK after an hour and woke up fine the next morning.

So, here we go again. It figures too. I give Carter 3 different foods and he's allergic to 2 out of the 3. I have no idea what I'm going to do about feeding him solids right now; if we should go in for allergy testing first or what. He has his sixth month check-up on Thursday, so I'll consult with our Doctor and go from there.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The write stuff

A week or so ago I came across some information about a group of writing moms here in town. Their motto is to "meet, write, get published and make money". Well, sign me up for that! I've been thinking about the nutrition book that I started years ago, lost and never started again and this was a great opportunity to be "forced" to sit down and get it going again. Not only that, it was an opportunity to branch out and make friends outside of The Club - not that I don't like them, but it's always good to have friends in different places.

There was a writing assignment on a motherhood/parenting related topic and the members would read their pieces over coffee sans kids. Even though I write on here regularly about my experiences as a mom, it was a new challenge to sit down and focus on prompted writing. I was distracted by everything and anything; facebook, emails and other random places on the web. Hmm, no wonder why the book isn't anywhere close to being started, let alone finished. I have absolutely no self-discipline and I swear I have ADD to boot. Regardless, I was able to write like I normally do but in a different way and was excited to meet other like-minded women.

With the printed essay tucked away in my little purse, I drove to the coffee shop fighting the St. Patrick's Day parade traffic (and parking) the whole way there. After introducing myself and grabbing a latte, the small group (myself and two other women) got to know each other, discussed marketing and promotion for the group, how to reach our goal of getting published and then listened to each of our essays. I had a fabulous time and knew right away that I would be attending these meetings regularly.

Even if I never get published and don't make a dime, it's still totally worth it. Just the time to spend on writing, discussing our writing with each other and making new friends is payment enough.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Putting in overtime

At the beginning of the week, Bill left for the East coast for business leaving me with the boys for three days. This was actually his first business trip since starting with the company a little over a year ago (I think?). We've known for a while now that business trips are in his future, but luckily, not that often. About once a quarter or so and as of now, they will all be in the States. For a while there, there was discussion about him going to Europe which both made me green with envy and freaked out at the same time.

Anyway, I was gearing myself up for some hard work being a single parent for a few days. I really thought it would be difficult. But you know what? It wasn't. It was actually pretty easy! Monday started off the week on a perfect note; Logan being very cooperative, following direction and being on his best behavior while we went grocery shopping. I got to make a delicious shrimp dinner that Bill would have hated (he is totally grossed out by seafood). As a stay at home mom, the only extra step I had to take was getting both kids bathed and in bed. Not that difficult. Really, with Bill being gone, all I had was an extra two to three hours of work each day. It was like I was putting in overtime.

Tuesday was pretty average, not too bad behavior-wise and again, I made another great dinner that Bill wouldn't eat (orange rosemary chicken. YUM!). The kids had a great time taking their bath together again and another easy day was under my belt. Bill came home Wednesday and we went out for lunch after picking him up. That's when Logan started acting up. Talk about great timing.

So, the next time Bill goes on a business trip (possibly in April), I'm not going to be worried about being on my own with the kids at all. It's not that much more work for me and I get to eat whatever I want to make. The big downside is going to bed alone. I hate that. A lot. So, I'll always look forward to him coming home and not sleeping by myself.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Land of Gross

This time of year is absolutely horrible for our town right now; the germs are making their way around offices, playgroups and homes. People have been out sick for weeks and not from just one virus or infection, but many. One after the other. It's nasty!

A few weeks ago we had a head cold make the rounds in our home. I got over it just before photographer friend's baby shower (thank God). Things were pretty good for a little bit, but then Logan started coughing something fierce. We thought it was allergies because he was breaking out with eczema in places that he had never been itchy before. It made sense too with all of the warmer spring-like weather, the trees starting to bud and all of that business. But, his cough lasted for a while and what do you know. Now I have it. I think I have an upper respiratory infection because it burns to breath (but not that bad that I feel like I need to see a Doctor). I hope this is just another bad cold or something like that.

All of our friends have been sick with something or another. The flu, colds, rotavirus, RSV and the adenoid virus (I've never even heard of this one before until now). We've been lucky in our house that nothing serious has hit us and most of all, Carter has been pretty healthy (just a little runny nose, but nothing bad). All of these infections are really making me think though, because Carter is 6 months old today and ready to go to the gym daycare. Germ central.

After Carter's Raynaud's disease visit, I was pretty adamant that he wouldn't be getting vaccinated since he has an autoimmune disorder and that (in addition to our vaccine history) increases the chances that he'll have an adverse reaction to something. On the other hand, I know that if Carter goes to gym daycare for a few hours while I workout, he's bound to get something. A while back they evacuated and closed down the daycare because one of the kids showed up with a staph infection (a really common infection in gyms anyway). I'm really starting to get a bit worried because of the infections that have already been spreading. This is one REALLY bad year. And to top it off, I saw a news story about how the flu in our state is particularly bad (4 kids have died making it the worst season in 5 years).

It's hard to separate the propaganda from the reality and make informed decisions right now. Add the fact that we have a germy preschooler who plays in the dirt, picks his nose and other activities that make his hands disgusting (and we wash hands often). He also LOVES to hold Carter's hands and get him his face, despite me telling him not to. I think he hears differently and does it more rather than less.

I have a bit of thinking to do over here...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nothing like Samson

As a second time mother, I clearly remember some of the pitfalls that occur during the first few months of motherhood; the lack of sleep, the dramatic change in lifestyle, the loss of your sense of self. First time moms are caught by surprise, but after that, you know what to expect when it comes to your identity. Or so you think.

After Logan was born, I was quickly sucked into Mommyhood. I was Logan's mother first and foremost, everything else took a backseat; my marriage, my self. I was busy in the routine of breast feeding, diaper changing, cleaning up spit up and not showering, not working out, not taking care of myself and not paying much attention to anything else. The first sign that I was loosing Me was when I flipped out over Bill making a trip to Home Depot after work to pick up some screws. After being housebound with nothing to do, that trip without me was as if he went out for a steak dinner and I was left home with Spaghettio's. The next sign was when we moved to our small town and Bill had plans to go to a concert with Uncle J. I was LIVID that here I was - at home taking care of the house and our baby while he was working and then he had the freedom to run off to party at night. In that very heated argument that night, Bill said the words that needed to be said. "You need friends".

So true.

That night I joined MOMS Club and it forever changed my life. I got ready for activities on almost a daily basis (showered and put on make up!), made friendships that will last a lifetime and with workout partners, I found my gym mojo again. I found Kristin once again and tried my best to keep my inner fire going by writing, cooking and many other interests.

One thing I began to notice was that the pendulum was swinging in the opposite direction this time around. I was determined not to let myself go, to get lost in motherhood. I made it a point to be dressed and presentable most nights when Bill came home from work. You'd think the only thing missing was my heels and pearls. I started working out as soon as I could so I could get back into decent shape. I started cooking the family dinners again and decorating the house. I did not want to be a frumpy house wife with two kids, even from the get go. But, it started to happened again. All it took to realize this was a hair cut.

A few weeks back, Bill purchased a package deal from a salon in town so I could get my hair done. Without his effort, I would have continued on my ragamuffin ways until God knows when. All I know is that I wouldn't have made the time for myself, let alone the financial commitment. I had my appointment on Saturday morning, leaving Carter with Bill (awake!) for the first time since he's been born.

Fortunately, I wasn't that far gone. But after this past weekend, I see that I was beginning to slip. It was a chore to get out of the door to workout and it had been that way for quite some time. Bill took on the hard ass trainer attitude and literally guilted me out of the door on an almost daily basis. I was still going out with friends, I still got myself ready for activities. I still made major efforts in our marriage. However, I think if I was left to my own devices, we would have had many more pajama days than we did.

After the stylist handed me the mirror, I could not wipe the goofy grin off my face if I tried. I was thrilled. Not because I liked the cut (even though I love it), but because I realized that after 24/7 pony tails for months on end, I was starting to lose sight of Me. I was once again lost in focusing on everyone else - being the "wife", the "mom", the "personal trainer", but not taking much time for "me". Seeing the pile of hair on the floor was shocking. I had been neglecting myself for much longer than I thought.

I walked out of the salon with a swagger and that goofy grin from ear to ear, excited that I get to go back at least three more times for more "me time".

Monday, March 09, 2009

The first of many meals

Carter is a few days shy of turning 6 months old (yeah, his 5th month update is coming up soon). He's also sitting up all by himself for longer periods of time and has been smacking his lips while we are eating dinner. You know what that means. Time to start solids!

Yesterday I got him some rice cereal and he had his first dinner. He loved it! Bill got some video and I got some pictures afterward...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Two peas in a pod

Carter is getting old enough that he is beginning to play and interact with Logan and it is OH. SO. CUTE. Logan will do silly things to make him laugh and they smile and giggle together. Logan is thrilled that Carter plays with him and will often exclaim "Carter loves me!" throughout the day.

With growing older comes new toys that the two of them can play with together. A few days ago we brought out the Jumperoo for Carter to bounce around in. Logan thought it was hysterical, which made Carter smile and jump around even more to make Logan laugh. The infectious laughter was adorable. I grabbed the camera just in time to catch the tail end of this family moment. I was fortunate enough to film a few giggles, grins and jumps...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Technical diffculties

I'm a little neurotic about posting every day and I've been pretty freakin' busy this week - thus the lack of action on here. I have some super cute video of Logan and Carter playing together, I'm WAY behind on Carter's 5th month update and really, there's just an insane amount of stuff going on. Bill built our desktop the other day and I couldn't upload the videos or pictures. Hopefully we'll figure that out tonight.

Sit tight until tomorrow when I KNOW I'll have a whole night of nothing while the kids are in bed and Bill is out for Dude's Night Out.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The weekend that kicked my butt

First, I got a cold. Then, we looked for furniture - which was going to be delivered BUT only after the baby shower. Next was an errand list a mile long. Add massive tantrums from Logan who had to sit on time-out in front of Wal-Mart not once, but twice and this was just "one of those weekends". Nobody was in a pleasant mood and "I can't wait for Monday" was actually said. Who looks forward to Mondays? Apparently, Bill.

While the cold was a pain in the butt, it wasn't that big of a deal. I realized that after you live with HG for 9 months twice, a cold is a walk in the park. Stock up on Vicks and Kleenex because for one, there are no sick days for moms and secondly, life goes on. You should have seen the difference between my cold and Bill's Man Cold from the week before. It was amusing (when I was healthy).

Furniture shopping was what put us all in foul moods. We have a budget to work with and trying to find something that was kid-proof (microfiber) and that would fit in the front room appropriately was next to impossible. We did find a set and it would be delivered on Monday, just after the baby shower. When I needed it most. How convenient. We opted to wait on the purchase to see if we could find anything else. We did, but not a complete set. We found a chaise lounge that is going to be returned because I never considered the height of the piece when in contrast to our vaulted ceiling. It looks a little ridiculous being so low. But oh well. We had it for the shower.

Then the highlight of our weekend, Logan's MASSIVE TANTRUM. He was, has been (and is being) a holy terror lately, talking back and being an outright snot. While shopping, I had to carry his 30 pound shrieking body out of the store to sit him on time-out with everyone either staring, waiting for me to pummel him or averting their eyes, embarrassed for me. While sitting out in the front of the store, people walked by and a few made comments. One guy (kid, really) who was in his early 20's with his girlfriend loudly exclaimed "There are better days ahead man!", to which I quickly retorted, "Yeah. When he's 18". Not too long after that, an older woman in her 50's complimented me on how I was handling the situation. "So many times I've seen parents either spank their kids in the store, which does nothing, or they don't do anything about the tantrum. You're keeping your cool and handling it nicely". I thanked her and assured her I wanted to murder him even though I didn't look like a serial killer. She chuckled and then Logan's time-out was over.

We went back into the store (after a shorter second time-out) and joined Bill and Carter in the checkout lane. One of the employees had been oogling over Carter and we got to talking about Logan's time-out. She actually thanked me for taking him out of the store and correcting his behavior because so many other parents do not and just let their kids freak out while shopping. I was a little stunned and had few words. I couldn't imagine enduring that torture, but I do see it happening frequently. I just try to ignore it while it's going on (because I know how mortifying it is).

So, the weekend finally ended and we were all ready for photographer friend's baby shower on Monday morning. Now THAT was fun! We made milkshakes, hung out and talked while the kids played downstairs in the playroom pretending to be dinosaurs. It was cute. I organized a group gift where we all chipped in to pay for a house cleaner to come over to her house while she was recovering after the birth. We collected enough for a little over 6 1/2 hours (which would be about 2 cleanings). She was thrilled.

It has taken me a full day to recover from everything. I feel like I need a vacation.