Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Year in Review

Well, 2009 you've been a roller coaster. Like, probably the biggest roller coaster EVER. So let's review you, shall we?

(You can find last year's here.)

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I gave birth. I am pretty sure that wins. It was seriously horrendous and I can honestly say that I am TERRIFIED to ever do that again. In happier news, I also became a parent, which was new and crazy and insane. It was rough at first but things are going way better now. I also ran a 5K. Hooray for reaching physical goals!


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

According to last year’s post, I resolved to eat healthier, get back in shape, and learn to be a rockin’ parent. I totally accomplished all three! I made HUGE strides in my eating habits this year, although I am not eating healthy currently. I am resolving to continue that trend once we get to Tejas. I am in okay shape right now (okay is 1000% better than the shape I was in this time last year) and am going to keep going with that into 2010. (I’m running a 5K for New Year’s Eve!) I am setting a goal of becoming a distance runner in 2010. I want to run a half marathon in November. And while I don’t know if I’m a rockin’ parent, I know I am totally learning how to be more patient, generous, loving, and fun. I love that little kid and I want to be the best mommy for him.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
That’d be a yes. Me, for one. I’m pretty close to myself. Three dear friends from college gave birth this year (two boys and a girl) and a good friend here in Dayton had a sweet little girl in August.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Alex’s aunt passed away in May. My dear friend’s mother also passed away in November. I hate cancer with the passion of a thousand suns.

5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico! Alex and I cruised there for our long awaited honeymoon. We went to Cozymel and Calica. I looooooooooved it. We visited a private beach in Calica and it was absolutely amazing. White sand. Blue water. It was so relaxing and gorgeous. Cozymel was nice too, but the beach was super crowded and rocky, so it wasn’t as enjoyable, but we still had fun.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A church that I feel comfortable in. I miss community.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 3rd. Jack’s birthday. I will never forget that experience for as long as I live. It was really, really, really hard, yo. I know it’s supposed to be the happiest day of my life, but I’m just going to go ahead and keep it real here and say that it was NOT the happiest day of my life. I didn’t experience the instant love that many parents speak of. My love for Jack was slow growing and while not instant, it’s been real and powerful and overwhelming. So even though it completely sucked at the time, that day changed the course of my life forever.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I know, I know, broken record here, but GIVING BIRTH. My word, that really was difficult. You know? And it’s just so crazy that I successfully gestated a human life and successfully delivered it. That is INSANE. I’m also really proud of finishing my graduate program and getting my degree this year. And any other year, running the 5K would have been The Big Deal, but it pales in comparison to birthing a child and graduating from grad school.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Last year, I said it was not enjoying my pregnancy. This year, my answer is similar because I didn’t enjoy the first few weeks of Jack’s life. AT ALL. I was insanely miserable with severe depression and anxiety. I didn’t spend enough time with him and I just didn’t ENJOY him. And I am so thankful Alex was here and took copious pictures and videos so I can go back and look at this squishy little newborn on my computer screen any time I want.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I landed in the hospital a few times after my surgery. I had fluid in my lungs and then my C section scar got infected. It really sucked.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Civic. We really didn’t buy a ton of stuff this year. It was mostly baby-related.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Alex. My mom. The nurses from this story made me cry.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Tiger Woods. I’m sure there are more, but he came to mind first. Sorry, Tiger!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Baby! Baby! Baaaaayyyyybbbbeeeeee!!!!!!!!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My sweet baby boy. (Shocking! I know!) And I don’t know if it counts for three “really’s” but I am pretty pumped about moving.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
“Right Round” by Flo Rida. I. KNOW. But I have listened to that song a whole, whole lot this year. So I am pretty sure I will hear that song and think of Dayton in 2009 for the rest of my life.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier! Hooray!
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner! Thinner! Thinner!!!!!!!!!
c) richer or poorer? Richer! (WAY. TO. GO. 2009!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Laughing. Traveling. Connecting.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying. (As per usual.) Also, I could have done with less panic attacks.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Louisiana. With my family. Again. It was fun to spend Jack’s first Christmas with my parents since they were so clearly geeked about it. They went a bit overboard in the present department. We spent only a few days there because we had been in San Antonio the week before trying to find somewhere to live.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Well, yes. I had a kid, remember?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Friday Night Lights is still my favorite. That show is just SO. GOOD. I also fell hard for Glee.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Who would honestly answer this question? Also: Nope.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. By far. It was absolutely AMAZING.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ha! I have no idea. Considering the #1 most played song on my iTunes is a song by Flo Rida, I am not the person to talk to about “musical discoveries.”

26. What did you want and get?
I guess I wanted a new car? We certainly got one. A move to the south. I've been wanting that one for a while.

27. What did you want and not get?
A school counseling job. But hey! I’m okay.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
That’s a tough one. I saw several good movies this year. Star Trek. Up. The Blind Side. Star Trek was probably my favorite though. What can I say? I’m a big geek.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Alex, Jack and I went out to eat at my favorite brunch place. Then we drove down to Cincinnati and went to the Newport Aquarium. We ate dinner and bought a giant brownie to eat afterwards. My parents sent me flowers and Alex got me the Vera Bradley clutch I had been wanting. He also dressed Jack in LSU stuff for my birthday. It was a pretty sweet way to celebrate turning 29.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I’m really not sure. This is such a hard question. I guess if all of our family members were alive and easily within driving distance. Or, you know, winning the lottery.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Mostly it was…”Is this as big as a tent? Good! It should fit!”

32. What kept you sane?
Alex. Music. Xanax. Therapy. The Internet.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Craig Ferguson. I watched a lot of Craig when Jack was very young and I wasn’t sleeping. At all.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmmmmm….probably the health care reform. Though I admit my interest in politics was a little…shallow this year.

35. Who did you miss?
Everyone I missed last year. My family and friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I am pretty sure this sounds cheesy, but it's true. I have to say my son is the best new person I have met ever.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Ask for help when you need it. And by God, it is OKAY to not feel happy when everyone else is telling you that you should be. Listen to yourself and do what you NEED to do to be okay. You’re living your life, not someone else’s.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

- Kelly Clarkson, y'all

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas...late

Hope you got a ton of hats and an alphabet toy for Christmas, too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

^&*(%#

OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS. I have SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much to talk about and I can't! Because I don't have the internet! Argh! And I don't have the werewithal to tap, tap, tap out a decent blog post on my phone. But seriously, SO MUCH HAPPENNING. SO MUCH STRESS. I am so tired and I never, ever, ever want to look at another rental property EVER. Just...aaaagggghhhh! I miss you and your blogs and I can't wait till we get to hang out again. Maybe next week? If my parents' internet comes back?

And what should we do? The fancy pants apartment that is slightly out of budget or the kinda ok townhouse well within our budget? BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW. Aaaaaaggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Also! People in Texas will touch your child if he has red hair! Like, rub his belly. And hair. And feet.

And there are cats! Everywhere! Want to know where your cat runs off to? The answer is Texas! I probably saw your cat this past week and you didn't even know it.

I have to go. I am using the "business center" at our hotel (translation: two computers and two printers in a very small, very warm room) to print up one of the 2,735,831 applications that are necessary to rent! in! this! state! And I have to go fill out more. And someone just walked in and I feel awkward blogging with a stranger.

TEXAS!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seven Quick Takes - Pack Rat Edition - 12/11/09

1. Being a pack rat is both a blessing and a curse. We have filled up bags and bags and bags with trash and give away stuff. (In addition to the multiple boxes with stuff to give away that are sitting around waiting to be actually GIVEN AWAY.) I am flabbergasted at the amount of USELESS JUNK we owned. Most of it is mine because I am a collector of stuff. As I've stated before, I'm a sentimental sap and will keep the dumbest things because of the memories attached to them. HOWEVER, the good part is that you find some real gems every once in a while. Here's some of the best stuff I found.

2. A letter written on 12-31-99. (And OMG that is almost 10 years ago.) A letter written by me. TO MY FUTURE HUSBAND. I am pretty sure I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself that I had no one to kiss on New Year's Eve, so that's what prompted it. It's one page, front and back, handwritten. And it's so adorable, y'all. I mention Y2K! I talk about how I want to be a good wife. I go on and on about how I love him already. How precious is that? Oh, sweet, little 19-year-old me. You had SO MUCH to learn. (And yes, I let Alex read it since it was actually written FOR HIM. And he didn't make fun of me either.)

3. A note from Christy that she wrote in order to avoid doing her chemistry homework. I scanned it and e-mailed it to her today and we've determined it was sophomore year, probably in the early '00's. (Which yeah...ALMOST 10 YEARS AGO.) It is excellent as well. My favorite part is where she talks about WCW, which is Waffle Cone Wednesday. Our local TCBY offered waffle cones for a mere DOLLAR on Wednesdays and we went pretty much EVERY SINGLE WEDNESDAY. Man, those were good times.

4. My original Nintendo controllers, Duck Hunt gun, and the Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt game. NOTE: I do not have the ACTUAL NINTENDO. It (very sadly) broke years ago. Which means these things are COMPLETELY USELESS. But as Alex said, "There is NO WAY we are throwing any of that out."

5. Now this doesn't really count as stuff or junk since it's a picture. But I also found my bangs from the early 90's:
I am assuming this is from Junior High? There's no date on the picture, but I am pretty sure it's not freshman year of high school and I got braces my sophomore year. So it's probably 8th grade. Maybe 7th. But man, that headband and that shirt. A sleeveless mock turtleneck, y'all! That is just AWESOME. And THANK GOODNESS it cuts off at the waist. Who knows what atrocious pants I was wearing. Although...I do distinctly remember that watch and for some reason, I kind of miss it.

6. My high school graduation announcement, my medal I wore when I graduated college (Yes, a medal. I have no idea why you got a medal and not ropes or cords or whatever.) and a myriad of cards, notes, and pictures from high school and college. It was kind of neat getting to show everything to Alex since he was not around OVER TEN YEARS AGO, OMG.

7. And finally, a picture of me from kindergarten:
Which yes, I was pretty cute and look WAY BETTER here than in the previous junior high picture. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, it is proof that my son looks likes me. We have the same cheeks! And chin! And bless his little heart, we have the same exact BAGS UNDER OUR EYES. Sorry kiddo.
Not the best picture for comparison purposes, but you can see the resemblance, right? Right??

Monday, December 07, 2009

Three Miles and More

I ran 3 miles today! THREE. ENTIRE. MILES. I have never ever in the history of my entire life even come close to running that much at one time. I didn't stop or walk or puke or anything! What's so funny is that I was all excited to post this and then I read Linda ran seven miles. Ha! That makes my three miles seem...not so impressive. But she is in AMAZING shape, so I don't feel too bad. Plus, she's training to run a half marathon (in New Orleans!) in February, so, yeah, different goals there. So, we'll just stick to my happy dance of three miles! Three miles!

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I have the best in-laws on the planet. I know you think yours are nice and I'm sure they are, but I have to say that mine really are the best. My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law AND her boyfriend came over yesterday and PACKED. They cleared out our bookshelves, took care of most of the office, and started on the kitchen. It's amazing. Granted our house looks sad and kind of empty now, but it's a good empty! A "We're moving!" empty. My mother-in-law is coming this weekend to help pack up the kitchen as well. And THANK GOD. Alex and I are TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE packers. We seriously need all the help we can get.

Example of terrible packing by Alex: He told them to pack up all of our pots and pans. Yes. ALL OF THEM. So we can't cook anything unless we can do it in the microwave or the toaster oven. GRRRREEAATTT. Funny story: I commented to Alex about this. I was all, "Why would they pack all of our pots and pans?" And he was all, "I don't know." Then I said something AGAIN because we needed to boil some stuff for the baby. And he paused and finally said, "I told them to do it."

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Another part of our terrible packing abilities include the inability to judge how many boxes we will need. Alex made a Home Depot run for boxes and when he got home, it was obvious we were going to need more boxes. A LOT MORE. So I decided to make the next run because, well, I wanted to get out of the house. I didn't bother trying to look okay when I went out, either. I didn't shower, didn't put on make up or, uh, a bra. I was looking pretty rough is what I'm trying to get at here. But I didn't really care because who goes to Home Depot on Sunday morning?

MY EX-BOYFRIEND, THAT'S WHO.

OH EM GEE, YOU GUYS.

I have not seen him since 2003 sometime. Maaaaaybe 2004. Maybe. I'm not really sure. And there is a very, very good reason for that because things did not end well. Not well at all. And there was just a horrible period there where I was just a psychotic bitch. (I mean, there's just no other word for it.) It was just...bad. Bad, bad, bad. The whole thing. Bad. Baaaaaaaaaaaad.

You know, I'm not one of those people who says they have no regrets. There are plenty of times I have acted like an idiot and I wish I could go back in time and fix those things. And some things, I'd like to completely erase. Just wipe that whole slate clean. And that whole...situation would be NUMBER ONE on said list.

ANYWAY, I've always wondered what I would do if I ever ran into him around town and I did not disappoint. I seriously looked down and MOVED OVER. IN TERROR. I was checking out at the time, so there wasn't a good place to duck, or I would have done that. And who knows what the guy checking me out thought when I suddenly went mute and cowered by the wall of gift cards. And I didn't NEED to move over. There was PLENTY of room for both of them (he was with his dad) to walk pass me. Oh yes. THEY WALKED PAST ME. (They came in the exit doors right by the check out counters.) AND they TOTALLY ignored me. So he either 1) didn't see me or 2) didn't recognize me. So...yay? I guess? You'd think I would have held my head high and smiled or waved or something. Let bygones be bygones. It was a loooooooong time ago, right? But no. I HID like a fool. GAH.

(I mean, I guess it's okay because I looked like CRAP and everyone knows that you are supposed to look SUPER MEGA HOT whenever you run into any ex, whether the break up was amicable or not. So all's well that end's well? Right? Sure? Uh-huh? I guess?)

OH, WHATEVER. Ex-boyfriend-run-in FAIL.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Eight Months

On Friday, this little kid turned 8 months old. Hooray!



He still has no teeth. (When will the teeth come? Why can't we blame the fussiness on the teeth? Why does he chew on our fingers IF HE'S NOT TEETHING!?) He still is not crawling. (But he WILL get on his belly and then whine and whine and whine until SOMEONE will come and pick him up. 'I don't care that you put that toy just out of my reach! PICK ME UP, WOMAN!') BUT he now says Mama. And babbles constantly. And will grab anything and everything, so nothing is safe on the table or on the store shelf or anywhere else, really. And he will try to drink from a straw when Momma puts some in the straw and puts it in his mouth. And he TOTALLY LOVES Peek a Boo. And he give kisses, OMGSOSWEETSQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!



We had a pretty big month again this past month. We flew for the second time and Jack is now a PRO at flying. Which is awesome because we'll be flying again next week. But Daddy gets to go with us next time, so I can just give him the baby when he poops through an outfit. He still does not get the sippy cup completely, but we're working on drinking water. We FINALLY got a high chair, so we've made meal time a pretty big deal. There's been no home food making this month because of traveling and holidaying and moving. So he's gotten the joy of trying all kinds of combinations of food that Momma never would have made on her own. He still eats like a champ and has yet to meet a food he doesn't like. The only thing he wholly rejects is the Naturally Preferred Green Beans and Rice. Which is pretty weird because he loooooooooooves Gerber's Green Beans. So I'm not sure what Kroger adds in with their Green Beans and Rice combo, but it is NOT approved of at the Sand Palace. Sweet potatoes are still gooooooood.



We had to switch up to size 4 diapers this month because over of the course of 2 days, Jack peed through three outfits and pooped through two. And well, Mama can't handle that. Even though I don't think he weighs enough to technically wear size 4's. And I don't like it because it makes him seem so...big. He's pretty much exclusively wearing 9 month clothes now, which is kind of unacceptable because WHO SAID he was allowed to grow up so fast? We have no idea how much he weighs or how tall he is because we are lazy and make the doctor's office tell us. But we do know that he gets cuter EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.



We switched to the 2-3-4 nap schedule this past month as well. FINALLY. I thought we were going to be going down for naps every 2 hours for the rest of our lives. But the 2-3-4 seems to be working nicely and he's taking longer naps, which is AWESOME. I really enjoy getting a good 2-3 hour stretch of free time to eat and shower and clean. And he is much happier when he sleeps for longer than 45 minutes at a time.



We're really having a lot of fun together, me and Jack. He gets so excited when he seems me or Alex. He screams with delight and sounds like a baby bird. He still does his little jig of happiness when we come close to him with a bottle. He cranes his head around to see me when I'm out of view. He begs for bites of our food even though he knows he can't have any. He loves playing with his new talking book and his stacking rings and his choo choo train and his chime ball. Everything still goes in his mouth. He's finally learned to love bath time. He smiles pretty much all the time. He's my precious baby boy who is entertained more thoroughly by a straw than anything else. He's a flirt and a charmer but he hates it when people laugh loudly. Sometimes, he'll laugh out loud and then cry immediately. He can be a complicated, confusing little puzzle. But he sleeps best when I'm near and holds my hand when he's tired. He's a joy and so dang happy ALL. THE. TIME.



I love him.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Seven Quick Takes - 12/4/09

1. So I said I'd write about Jack's 7th month of life yesterday, completely forgetting that it was Thursday. We'll do that tomorrow, for reals. Because I am just BURSTING with things to tell y'all.

2. I won something! Boo Mama did a giveaway this week for Bon Bon Charms for the new Sweet Petite Charms. And I won! I am SO EXCITED. You can see what they look like here. I am trying to decide if I want just Jack's first name or his first AND middle name on the charm. I have been wanting a personalized necklace like this for a while and so I'm THRILLED to be getting this for free, yo. I'll be sure to post pictures once I receive the finished product.

3. Fitness update: I haven't done the Shred since I injured myself a week or so ago. It's still really painful when I exercise and hurts every time I put shoes on. I've been wearing an ankle brace pretty much non stop the last few days and I believe it's helped tremendously. I want to shred again for this next week to help me prepare for the 5K I'm running next Saturday. And by god, I am going to RUN it THE ENTIRE TIME. I am pretty sure I can achieve this goal because I can now run 2 miles. WITHOUT STOPPING. Yes! Me! The most nonathletic person in the entire universe!

4. Alex just told me that we are all booked and ready to head to San Antonio week after next. Because you know what else is helpful to do when you're moving? Going out of town for two weeks. VERY, VERY HELPFUL. Jack and I are going to apartment hunt while Alex begins work at his new office for a week. Then we're going to drive four and half hours and meet my parents where Jack and I will hop in their car and head down to spend the week of Christmas with them while Alex keeps on trucking at the new office. We'll fly back up here two days after Christmas and spend the next two weeks FREAKING OUT before we move down to Texas for good. Come on, you know you're jealous of that schedule.

5. If you're a big fan of The Office, then you might find these two articles about the awfulness of this season very interesting. I pretty much agree with both of them. My disappointment with the show started back when they had Pam flunk out of art school. I felt like that was VERY uncharacteristic of Pam and really undermined the whole "art is my dream" plotline they had going for the first three seasons. And now co-manager Jim is REALLY sucking the life out of the most fun relationship on that show. I miss fun Jim! I miss fun Pam! I miss happiness!

6. Amazon is giving away one free Christmas song from December 1st through the 25th. Also, if you hunt around their site, you can find a SLEW of free Christmas songs on there. I have downloaded a good 15 or so free Christmas songs this past week, which is, you know, AWESOME.

7. Way back during the Christmas of 2007, I forced Alex to buy a precious Boyd's Bear ornament that had two moose holding a snowflake that said, "Our First Christmas 2007." It was ridiculously expensive and kind of dumb, but I love moose and I love Alex and I wanted to commemorate our first Christmas as a married couple. We then promptly lost it. I think it might have accidentally got thrown out during a overzealous car cleaning spree. But whatever it was...the ornament was lost. I was just sick over it. SICK, y'all. I looked for it last year and still couldn't find it and resigned myself to the fact that the ornament was gone forever. It was STILL bugging me this year, so Alex got on the old internets and hunted around for that ornament. He spent a copious amount of time on the phone with a strange lady somewhere in Pennsylvania earlier this week. And then yesterday? Santa came early in the form of the FedEx man. I married a good man, y'all.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Postponed

Today is my sweet baby boy's 8 month "birthday." I'll write about his past month of life tomorrow and (hopefully!) will include pictures.

Right now, I need to sit down, cry, and feel sorry for myself. Once I get over that, I think everything will be fine. But sometimes you just have to freak out before everything will get better. If you'd like to offer someone to punch in the face a la Pam in The Office, that'd be cool too. (Although she DID say it didn't make her feel better.) (And uh, no, I didn't just find out that my dithering boss is having an affair with my mom and then broke her heart.)

It's house stuff. Not important stuff like family or friends or health. Everyone is doing well. We have all the important things in life. We just don't have a big pot of money that we swim in, something I have always wanted ever since I first started watching Ducktales back in the day. So it's not big deal. Just crappy, stressful stuff. Our realtor told us that the three most stressful things in life are 1) getting a new job, 2) having a small child, and 3) moving. Good thing we're doing all three at the same time during the holidays!

Anyway, we'll be fine. And this has wound up being way more wordy than it needed to be. But I was afraid if I just posted the first two paragraphs y'all would get all worried that someone was dying or something. And it's nothing like that. So! All of that is to say that I'm super stressed out right now and am planning on writing a proper, happy post about my child tomorrow. I could have said that in one sentence. But I didn't.

I need chocolate.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Things I Have Learned While Packing

1. I am never ever ever EVER allowed to purchase another notebook, journal, card, envelope, pen, pencil, note card, sticky note, or piece of paper. OH MY GOSH, you guys. I have, like, a ZILLION pieces of stationary and such. And why? I never send cards. I always THINK I will, but then I don't. And how many partially filled journals can one girl own? I have filled up two not-very-small plastic drawers full of office supplies. Anybody need any writing utensils or paper products? Because I'm your girl.

2. I really SHOULD send more cards because I love getting them. I have kept every card anybody has ever given me. Yes, even yours! I just can't get rid of them. Which leads me to quite the conundrum. What do I DO with them? I cannot bear to throw them away. They makes me so happy and it's so nice to go back and read them when I'm having a bad day...but where do they go? And am I the only person who does this? I know I'm a sentimental old sap, but I can't be the only one who feels the need to KEEP all these things, right?

3. I don't read nearly as much poetry as I used to. GRANTED, a lot of those random sonnets I found were from either 1) college or 2) the aftermath of a particularly traumatic break up (or two), but still. Where is the poetry in my life? It has LEFT ME ENTIRELY. The closest I come to reading poems are Sandra Boynton books. BECAUSE THEY RHYME.

4. It kind of weirds me out how one's life can be packed up and put into little plastic containers. I feel like the sum of my existence is just sitting here. And what will people will think of it once I'm gone? Will Jack want to keep these pictures and prayers and posts? Will they be meaningless to him? Is this all my legacy is? A few kind words from friends and random pictures?

5. Dude, I REALLY hate packing.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Uh, no.

I am pretty sure this is not a joke.



Guys, let me go ahead and tell you now that a SURPRISE PAP SMEAR is NOT what the woman in your life wants for Christmas. I don't care how close you are to that woman. Your wife will kill you. Possibly make you sleep on the couch FOR ALL ETERNITY. Your mom will be baffled and offended. Your sister will be squicked out. Your friends will disown you. DON'T DO IT.

And how creepy is it that he's like...give her the gift that SANTA can't give. What? First of all, a pap smear is not a GIFT. It is a necessary evil. Second of all, if SANTA can't give that gift, then NEITHER CAN YOU. I am pretty sure Santa could indeed deliver a gift certificate good for one (1) free pap smear! But Santa is NOT STUPID. Is he implying that Santa cannot perform the pap smear? Because, guess what, NEITHER CAN YOU, BUDDY. Just...no. NO!

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for women getting checked out and taking care of themselves, but not as Christmas gifts. If Alex gave me a pap smear for Christmas, I can GUARANTEE you that he'd be getting a prostate exam for his birthday. GUARANTEE.

**I found this at NPR's pop culture blog.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Done!

NaBloPoMo is done for this year. I can't believe it's already November 30th. I got an e-mail about the badges today and I was like...why is she sending this e-mail early? And then I realized tomorrow is December 1st. Wooops.

It's been a good month. A crazy month. An exciting month. I'm glad I got to share it with y'all. I'm looking forward to December and celebrating Jack's first Christmas. And I'm really excited about what the new year has to bring. We're embarking on a new adventure at the Sand Palace.

But for now? Now we pack.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Decorating

I'm not much of a decorator. I really have no sense of style. And I mean, I KNOW it. I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'm a minimalist or anything. I own the fact that I am a decorating FAIL. I gifted myself a year long subscription ($5!) to Southern Living in the hopes that it might inspire me to make our (eventual) new home more...homey.

All of that is to say that I really don't enjoy decorating for Christmas. I mean, I DO it because I have to...but I'd rather not. And you know what I hate the most? Like, hate hate HATE HATE the most? Pulling apart the fake tree branches. OH MY GOSH. I CANNOT STAND IT. I managed to find MULTIPLE things to do today instead of pulling apart the tree. Such as:
- I pulled out all of my Christmas stuffed animals to entertain Jack.
- I started throwing away crap in our basement.
- I organized all of our Christmas music.
- I tried to teach Jack how to crawl.
- I sifted through our thousands of pictures of Jack (I'm not exaggerating on that number) to find 100 to print.
- I'm blogging.

Basically, I've found ANYTHING to do but pull apart the tree branches. Because it is the WORST JOB EVER. Every time I think I've pulled them all apart and made the tree look all full and fluffy....THERE ARE MORE BRANCHES STUCK TOGETHER. I have the bottom part of the tree somewhat ready, but the top part...well...the top looks like crap. It kind of looks like someone took a bite out of the top of the tree. And I'm just not motivated. The only reason we are even putting a tree up this year is because it is Jack's first Christmas. Otherwise? That tree would be happily packed away in its box. I've hung up a few ornaments to try and get myself excited about decorating the tree, but it ain't happening.

Alex should be home soon from basketball. Maybe he'll pull apart some branches for me. Although I am pretty sure he ALSO hates doing it and that is why he put off getting the tree out of the basement until today instead of doing it Friday when I first asked him to do it. See? We're both so full of Christmas cheer! Jack is so lucky to have such committed parents! At least he'll benefit from my obsessive compulsive spending at Target and wind up with WAY MORE toys for Christmas than we had planned on getting him. So it all evens out, right? Right???

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday

We haven't been home much today. We headed up to Bowling Green to eat some chicken and cheese stuffed breadsticks at Pollyeyes because Alex is kinda obsessed with them. We met some of his friends from college and they oohed and aahed over Jack. Alex showed us around campus and we all bought some BGSU gear to take down to Texas with us. It was a nice day even though Alex elbowed me in the eye at one point. We are not coordinated here at the Sand Palace.

We came home and fed Jack and Alex put him to bed. Then I headed out to Target to take advantage of a great deal they had on this sweet little puppy. And then I bought another toy. And another one. And then I got him a Christmas outfit. And some leather slippers with TRAINS on them. (OMG THEY ARE SO CUTE!) And I seriously cannot be left alone in a store when it comes to baby items.

And then LSU won! In overtime! Geaux Tigers.

So all in all? A good Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Seven Quick Takes, Old Navy Black Friday Edition - 11/27/09

1. We didn't get up super early, but we did hit up Old Navy because they were having a sale on their jeans. Specifically, my new favorite pair of jeans (in my pre-pregnancy size. WOO! FREAKIN'! HOO!). I know the Sweetheart cut is a little mom-ish, but well, I AM a mom and these jeans are the most complimentary to my new shape (AKA: my lopsided, c-sectioned belly).


2. We also fell for Old Navy's advertising and got jeans for the whole family. Alex and Jack both got new pairs because that's pretty much all we wear here at the Sand Palace. And Jack's are fleece lined which is great because it is COLD here now. I felt bad for the little guy's legs today.



3. I also picked up this sweater because I thought it was cute. Also, I haven't bought a non-maternity sweater since 2007 sometime. Guess whose wearing that tomorrow on our road trip to Bowling Green!


4. Alex thinks these slipper boots are hideous. And well, maybe they are. BUT! They are fantastically comfortable. And so, so, so warm. I am wearing them right now and my feet are thanking me. And well, I can't help it. I think they're cute too.


5. I kept noticing ladies with gigantic bags from The Children's Place, so I had to go see if they were having a great sale. And they were! Their clothes were actually reasonably priced! It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. We got Jack a sweater, a polo, and a brown and white striped polo that I can't find a link to, but it's super cute as well. Trust me.

6. Most exciting of all, I got this wool blend jacket that I have been obsessed with since I last went outerwear shopping at Old Navy at the beginning of November. AND it was only 27 dollars, not the 34 listed on the website. AND they had it in my size, which they did not have in stock on the website. AND I got it in the Chinchilla color that is no longer available online. I am THRILLED to death with it because it has 3/4 length sleeves which should serve me well in south Texas and it is SUPER CUTE. It's a little "fashion forward," according to Alex, whose reaction when I asked him if he liked it was less than desirable. BUT I think it is awesome. Also flattering. And I cannot wait to wear it, like, EVERYDAY.


7. So, yeah, we did ZERO Christmas shopping. Most of it was for me and the baby. But the baby always needs new clothes, right? And I couldn't resist some new deals on clothes that fit me. I should enjoy getting clothes now that I'm smaller, right? That's how I'm justifying it, so please don't tell me otherwise.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We made it.

Good night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Today has been such an excellent day. Nothing really exciting has happened, but it's been low key and laid back and not stressful. Which is shocking because lo, I have been stressed about The Thanksgiving.

But instead of spending the day freaking out, I've been having fun. Alex took the day off of work to help get the house ready and my sister-in-law came over to help watch the baby. We got the house clean...sort of. We've started cooking. I exercised. And we went out for pizza, completing negating my exercise, but SO WORTH IT.

I hope y'all have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gimme That Christian Side Hug

Ok, so there is no way this is for real, right?



I mean...no one is this unaware, right? It's a parody, correct? Please, someone tell me! Because if it isn't...well, I don't know what kind of world we live in.

Also is this side hug thing a big abstinence teaching tool now? Are kids these days, like, involuntarily humping while full frontal hugging? Is that why we want only side hugs now? Do we tell them this? Seriously? Save hugs for marriage, kids! True Love Waits. So Do Hugs.

I'm just so baffled!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ouch (Still) and Dumbness

I went for my first run in my new shoes today. The shoes were great and the entire workout would have been a success if my tendon/ligament/muscle/SOMETHING wasn't still sore. It's around my ankle, heel, achilles, calf area and it huuuuurts. Especially when I walk. Which...we did interval training today so I had to walk VERY QUICKLY for far too long for it to feel good. My trainer is all "RUN THROUGH THE PAIN" and I'm all "I HATE YOU."

Amazon had a $3 credit available today so I, of course, took the opportunity to download Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield" because I don't love that song enough to PAY for it. And then, like an idiot, I accidentally BOUGHT the song. I lamented my idiocy to Alex in several ALL CAPS instant messages. He was all "Uh, I think we can afford the $1.29?" And I was all, "THAT IS NOT THE POINT. I WANTED IT FOR FREE." And you know what Alex did next? ACCIDENTALLY BOUGHT A SONG. We are morons here at the Sand Palace.

I could probably keep telling you pointless stuff but it's almost midnight and I am tired and need to post this. I have had ZERO (0!) caffeine today, so I am not as full of energy as I normally am. I miss you Diet Coke!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Bizarre

Today has just been a bizarre day. I didn't get up until 2 pm, which I didn't know was possible when you had a baby. But it turns out it IS possible if your husband gets up with the baby to let you sleep in and then the baby takes a monster nap wherein you ALL sleep an extra 3 1/2 hours. (Note: I didn't go to bed until 4 am. Thanks a lot ill-timed peppermint mocha!)

And then we ate at Bob Evans, which is on our Dayton Eating Bucket List. And I got basted eggs. Which is not normally how I order my eggs.

And then I bought some fancy running shoes. Apparently I over pronate and have an "almost" collapsed arch (is this possible?) and really narrow feet. I totally had to get the AA width because it's the most narrow. WHO KNEW?

And then we went to Wal-Mart and bought a lot of stuff for Thanksgiving, including TWO POUNDS of powdered sugar. And we're planning on using half of that in ONE dessert, y'all.

And then, THEN, I went to Trader Joe's by myself (By myself! I never grocery shop by myself because I am a food idiot.) and wandered around in a complete stupor because I was stunned by all the organic, natural foods. One employee actually stopped what she was doing, pointed at me, and asked, "Are you ok? Do you need help?" Apparently my wide eyed stare and erratic walking pattern were noticeable. I escaped with the most random assortment of food EVER, none of which could compose a meal, but at least it's ORGANIC AND NATURAL AND NITRATE-FREE AND CONTAINS NO ANTI-BIOTICS. (Because a major lifestyle food change is a PERFECT thing to do right before you host a major holiday and move across the country.)

And now I need to clean the bathroom(s). Because Thanksgiving is THURSDAY and our house looks like 7 dirty college freshman guys live here. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon Hating

I'm totally going to talk about spoilers for the entire Twilight series in this post, so be ye warned. If you haven't seen "New Moon" yet and want to see it with fresh eyes, then, uh, I'd come back here tomorrow.

So here's the deal. I have read all 4 Twilight books. I totally get their appeal, but I also think they kind of suck. I spent most of my time reading those books either hating Edward or Bella or both. Bella is so whiny and ungrateful in the beginning of New Moon, that I wanted to throw the book across the room. And when she was depressed about Edward leaving her? It literally took me months to get through that section. I just wanted to shake her and yell, "Snap out of it, stupid!" It's pretty safe to say I'm Team Jacob. He's kind of a jerk too, but at least he's not a stalking control freak like a certain sparkly, blood sucking tool.

So I went into the movie knowing I would probably dislike it. As I mentioned yesterday, I thought the Twilight movie was TERRIBLE. The book was much, much better. But I figured the production value HAD to have gone up since the budget was bigger, so I had kind of high expectations for a good movie despite the vapid plot.

And it was...better than Twilight. Sort of.

I liked:
- Taylor Lautner as Jacob. He is HOT even if he is underaged. And he has so much more chemistry with Kristen Stewart as Bella than Robert Pattinson as Edward. I think movie Jacob is less of a jerk than book Jacob, so that helps as well. I thought he was sweet and likable and totally swoon worthy.

- Kristen Stewart's hair. I may hate her acting, but her hair was fabulous.

- Charlie is really likable. I always read him as being older in the books, so it's still really jarring (to me) to see this young guy as her dad. He comes across as a great dad who loves his daughter and I really, really, really like that.

- The wolf pack were fun and light hearted. I wish they had gotten more screen time.

I disliked:
- Edward. Dude. EDWARD. I don't remember hating Edward as much in the first movie so either Robert Pattinson has gotten worse as an actor or I really do just hate Edward. The scene where he thinks Bella is dead? He lurched around like Frankenstein. And how am I supposed to take him seriously when he's wearing a red bathrobe for the Volturi scenes? And...did he not work out? Edward is supposed to be all chiseled and insanely beautiful. And..no. Just no. He took off his shirt at the end and I was all...PUT IT BACK ON! And the scene where Alice shows Aro future Edward and Bella? Are you kidding me? Running in slow motion in A KHAKI VEST? I wasn't alone in thinking that was completely ridiculous. The entire theater laughed. He just seemed so weird and distant and awkward. I didn't buy that he was mega in love with Bella. And I certainly didn't buy that he was the most beautiful guy on the planet.

- Bella. She was more likable this time around and I think it's because she spends most of the movie with Jacob. And like I mentioned earlier, Kristen Stewart has better chemistry with Taylor Lautner. Or it could be because Jacob is FUN and DOESN'T TELL HER WHAT TO DO AND CONTROL HER, OMG. But Bella still grates. And I hate the way Kristen Stewart portrays her with the shaking and the compulsive blinking. Stay still and look straight ahead, girl. (But your hair is super lush!)

- Ghost Edward. GO AWAY. So, so, so cheesy. It was so weird to see his disembodied head floating around. And when he floats up to her in the water? My jaw dropped because it was so stupid.

- The vampire make up. Edward looked sick. Not hot. And what did they do to Jasper? He looked RIDICULOUS. These people are supposed to be BEAUTIFUL not pasty. Again, I'm not alone in this because there were several snickers in the audience when Jasper first showed up on screen for his three minutes of screen time. And Rosalie looked TERRIBLE. Definitely not the most beautiful woman in the world.

- No Jacob and Bella kiss. I know this doesn't happen in the book, but movies are allowed to take artistic license and deviate from the plot. I want consensual hot werewolf kissing. (Because lo, do I hate Jacob for forcing Bella to kiss him in Eclipse. That is not cool on a myriad of levels, but I'll cover that when I go to see Eclipse on opening night and then make fun of it for hours afterwards.) But seriously, why else do you go to these movies if not for the kissing?

So! Those are my thoughts. Yours? I realize other people like these movies way more than I do. The girl I was sitting next to was CRYING during the movie. CRYING. And she got all verklempt when Edward proposed. Come on! You know she says yes. Just wait until June when Eclipse comes out. Geez.

It WAS fun to go see it with all of the people who were into it because there was a lot of cheering and clapping and giggling, especially when Jacob took his shirt off. And I saw it with two of my friends who also thought it was cheesy, so it was fun to snark on the movie on the ride home. Like I said, I'll be back for Eclipse next year, so even though I nit pick the movies, I do it out of love.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Seven Quick Takes - 11/20/09

1. I am posting early today because I have ACTUAL PLANS tonight. Like a real person! I’m going to see New Moon with two dear friends tonight. And I could not be more excited. Not really for the movie because frankly, I thought the Twilight movie SUCKED. But I am a sucker for hugely hyped movies. I want to see them so I can talk about it with others. (Also, this was also my least favorite of the books, so I’m going in with very low expectations.) But more importantly, I get to go WITHOUT THE BABY. And while I adore that child, I am REALLY looking forward to having some “me + friends” time for a few hours. (I also wish Taylor Lautner was older so I could admire his chest and not feel like a pedophile.)

2. I bought two new CD’s this week. I picked up Kris Allen’s debut CD which is straight up BOMBING on the charts. He’s set to be the lowest debuting Idol winner EVER. Worse than Taylor Hicks, y’all. (Although Jordin Sparks is actually the one with the lowest debut.) That is BAD. Bless his heart. I also got the Glee soundtrack. OH YEAH. I love me some “Don’t Stop Believing.” Also? Both CD’s were only 10 bucks at Target!

3. Speaking of Glee. Oh my goodness. Have y’all been watching? SUE SYLVESTER MADE ME CRY. Just…good lord. I couldn’t handle that scene at the end of last week’s episode AT ALL. I also can’t help but love Puck. Is that bad? Probably. He’s just so…HOT. (Not that my husband isn’t the HOTTEST MAN EVER.) I also really, really love Emma Pillsbury’s hair. I want it. For me. Now. (Tangent: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love having red hair and it makes me so sad that I can’t dye it red because I married a red head and then gave birth to a red head, so I’d totally look like a poser. :sigh: Had I known this, I would have dyed my hair WAY MORE when I was single.)

4. We had a strange evening last night. Around 4:30 I got an e-mail from UD stating that the Montgomery County free H1N1 vaccination clinic had no line, but was ending at 6 pm. I didn’t check my e-mail until 5:15. So Alex and I literally dropped what we were doing, grabbed the baby, and headed out the door. And indeed, we did not have to wait more than 5 minutes to get Jack his shot. So yay! Baby is fully vaccinated against all evil forms of flu! (Sort of!) And also…dinner was eaten out since we left the sausage in the oven and the pasta on the stove. AWESOME.

5. I can’t keep track of my water bottles. I bought a cute little steel bottle at Old Navy (5 bucks!) a few months ago. And I proceeded to lose it. I looked EVERYWHERE and couldn’t find it. So I gave in and bought another one. Sure enough, we found the original water bottle a few weeks later. Which was fine because then Alex could use the original water bottle. And you know where this is going right? I totally lost the new water bottle this week. I have NO IDEA where it is. I thought it was in the diaper bag and it is NOT. THERE. Nor is it in my mom-mobile. So I’m back to using the original bottle. Poor Alex. He has to use BPA laden plastic bottles instead.

6. I’ll write a full post about Jillian Michael’s book later, but my initial reaction has pretty much been this: OMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIIEEE. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS! ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! FOOD DYES! BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ARE CARCINOGENS! GIVE THE BABY WOODEN TOYS AND GLASS BOTTLES ONLY! YOU SUCK AT LIFE, YOU BIG PROCESSED-EATING, PLASTIC-TOY-GIVING LOSER!

7. So this morning, my baby decided to make me feel like a jerk for being so excited to spend a few hours away from him tonight because he started saying, “MAMA!” I know he’s probably just babbling and doesn’t know what it means, but it is unmistakable. He sits there and says, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” And it’s the most adorable thing in the known universe. My sweet little baby can say Mama! I left him playing in the living room to start my coffee and he started yelling “Mama! Mama!” So I came running back in and he smiled. And I’m not just hearing things. Alex heard it this morning and pretended not to die with jealousy that our son said Mama first. Woo! Mama for the win!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ouch

So I think I have my first official Athletic Injury. I had to come home and ice my leg. Which is most definitely a first. My leg was hurting before I started my workout (running on the treadmill at the gym) and then it felt better and then I thought, 'OW.' While I was stretching, I felt, uh, A LOT of pain. I consulted Dr. Google and I am pretty sure that I have got some SERIOUS shin splints going on. Like...SERIOUS. The top of my foot hurts as well, so it's really awesome when I try to walk.

All of that is to say I'm not shredding tonight. I don't think it's a good idea to aggravate my leg and foot any more. Which totally sucks, because today would be Day 24, which means I am SO CLOSE to finishing. I feel like I'm quitting and I'm shocked at how guilty I feel about this. I still plan to do the shred for 7 more days once I feel better, so I'm not ACTUALLY quitting, but still. GAH.

But! On the bright side, this TOTALLY justifies me going out to get some bangin' running shoes. Silver lining, right?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Huck

I randomly went in our local Books and Co. earlier this week because I accidentally got off on the wrong exit on the interstate. I meant to go to Target, but Target is the next exit down. This is the SECOND time I've done this, despite the fact that I know exactly where Target is. So instead of wasting the trip to turn around, I thought it might be fun for Jack and I to hang out in the book store for a little while. We browsed various section and I came upon a sign saying that Mike Huckabee was going to be signing books on Wednesday of this week.

For those of you who don't know, Mike Huckabee was the governor of Arkansas and made a run for the presidency this past election. He's an Evangelical Christian and also a pastor? I think? (I'm sure my Arkansas friends can vouch for that.) Either way, he is ultra conservative and from the south. Which means my dad (who is a Southern Baptist preacher) is a big fan of him. I thought it'd be a cool Christmas present if I could get him a signed copy of one of his books.

Governor Huckabee, or The Huck as I like to call him, is out on tour promoting a Christmas book he just released, but I wasn't interested in buying that. My dad is not a "I want to read feel good stories" kind of a guy. He'd much rather read something about politics and then debate it with you. Well, maybe not you. But with someone who is willing to debate with him. (I'm not his debate partner either. Neither is my mom. Because we enjoy silence and happiness.)

ANYWAY, I picked up a copy of his book about his presidential campaign because that is RIGHT UP my dad's alley. And then, I got in line. A very, very, very long line. I was unsure if I would even get a chance to get to The Huck. He was only going to be there for an hour and I was waaaaaaaay back in the line. And did I mention I had a 7 month old with me too?



He was a big hit in line. I know this is going to SHOCK you, but it was pretty much all old people there. One guy was absolutely ENAMORED with Jack and gave me a quarter to give him. He told me not to give him now, but wait until he was going to use it. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. I'm planning on keeping that quarter in his baby book.

The tour bus was running late from their last stop in Indianapolis, so they gave us numbers and let us roam around the store. Jack was WONDERFUL the entire time and we met a sweet little seven month old girl while waiting. She and Jack flirted the entire time and he seemed to really enjoy talking to her.



Eventually, the bus arrived and everyone gathered to see the celebrity.



I was really disappointed that The Huck was only going to be at the store for an hour because that meant he would not pose for any pictures or personalize the signatures. And I was really hoping to get a picture to give to my dad and have The Huck sign the book to, you know, HIM. But alas, it was not to be. We were eventually herded into yet another line for the actual signing. The lady in front of me in line was GREAT and totally entertained Jack the ENTIRE time. He smiled for her and was in a phenomenally good mood even though it was totally past his nap time.

I eventually got up to The Huck and I was prepared to overcome my shyness and talk to him. His kids went to Ouachita and he spoke at one of my classes while I was there. So when I got up there, I just blurted out, "I went to Ouachita!" He looked up and smiled and said, "Alright!" and gave me a high five. I blabbered on a bit and mentioned that his daughter was there when I was and low and behold, SHE WAS THERE. So then I had a totally awkward conversation with her because it's not like she and I were friends or anything. But whatever. I got the book signed.



A random book store employee took this picture for me. Thank you random nice lady!

So my first book signing experience was a success. It was not as cool as meeting The Pioneer Woman, but hey. I do what I can.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Next Step

I moved to Dayton in the spring of 2002. I was a naive, young 22 year-old who was going to change the world. I was working for the North American Mission Board on a 2 year assignment as a US/C-2 missionary. I had been assigned to work with the Baptist student ministry at Wright State and Sinclair. I had been dating my (then) boyfriend for a year and was convinced that we would get married once my assignment was up. Dayton was just a temporary stop on the way to the rest of my life.

My first weekend retreat with the ministry taught me that I had NO IDEA what I was getting in to. I should have seen it then. All lights were flashing, "Abort! Abort!" But I decided to stick with the assignment despite my uneasy feelings. I told myself it was just a temporary thing.

A year later my relationship fell apart (all my fault, FYI). To put it mildly, things at work became rough. I finished the rest of my assignment (barely) and instead of leaving Dayton like I had planned, I decided to stay. For some reason, I felt like going back home would be a failure. And I had no plan. None. At all. So I took a job and told myself that it was temporary. Again.

I wound up working for that company for three years. During that time, I went through a serious depression. I had a wicked bad end to a relationship. I retreated inside myself and lost almost all of the friendships I had forged during my first two years here. I was miserable. There were weekends where I didn't change out of my pajamas. I would come home from work on Friday night, put on PJ's and stay in them until Monday morning. I had a few good friends who got me through that rough time and I am thankful for that. They helped keep me sane and alive. And through all that, I kept telling myself, "This is just temporary! You are not settling here. Dayton is not your home. You're not supposed to be here."

And then I met Alex. He was a breath of fresh air. I had finally gotten to a pretty good place mentally thanks to a new 5 day a week gym habit and a renewed commitment to healthy eating. I felt like I was changing as a person and when I met him, I instantly knew he was "The One." Our first date went extremely well and I straight up schemed for him to ask me out again (Thanks Mrs. G for the idea on that one!) and we were inseparable from then on. We got married a year and half later. And we had a baby a year and a half after that. (We move fast around these parts.)

And yet. I still didn't feel like I was at home. STILL. I was very clear with Alex that I did not want to live in Dayton for the rest of my life. From the very beginning. So he knew getting into it that I would not be happy if we stayed here forever. He promised that we would move if the right opportunity came. When I got pregnant last year, I thought we were going to stay here forever. It wasn't the end of the world, but I still had a hard time thinking that hey, guess what? YOU LIVE IN DAYTON. IT IS HOME. Because Dayton is not terrible. It's not terrible at all. But I have always thought of this place as "temporary." My 22 year old self has been alive and well in me, I guess.

Two weeks ago, Alex got a phone call. And it was the phone call I've been waiting for for almost seven (7!) years.

We're moving.

To San Antonio.

San Antonio, TEXAS.

I came to Dayton as a naive 22 year old. I'm leaving as a 29 year old wife and mom with a little bit more wisdom. My time here has been painful, funny, bizarre, depressing, and fulfilling. I have family here. I have friends here. I have lived here for 7 years.

Dayton has never felt like home.

But I will miss it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mmmmm, Burger

I had planned something else ENTIRELY to post tonight, but I had to share this instead.

Alex and I decided to try Five Guys Burgers tonight. And dude. Duuuuude. They. Are. Awesome. Like....SO AWESOME. I want to eat them everyday. I realize I may be the last person on the planet to eat there, but I really, really, REALLY enjoyed that burger. It was possibly the most pleasing burger experience of my ENTIRE LIFE. (Uh, I guess I should mention that I haven't had a burger in months.) Although next time, I will get the little burger. I didn't realize that a regular burger comes with two patties. Not that that stopped me from eating it all, but you know, I'll order differently NEXT time. And! The fries were also delicious. And! They have the ketchup pumps and I love ketchup pumps.

Well, I promised yesterday that I'd report on Level 3. And...ha! HA! HAAAAAAAAAA! I actually don't feel like I got that great of a workout because I had to take more than one break. And my knees and elbows cannot handle these hardwood floors, so I need to get the baby's play mat back out for tomorrow's session. (I have a yoga mat, but I like the extra room and padding the play mat provides IN ADDITION to the yoga mat, because I am a big fat weenie.) And yeah. Wretched plyometrics. I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE plyometrics. Who came up with that crap and can I please, please, please kick them in the shins? I hate jumping. I hate it. I cannot jump. I am just now conquering running and now everybody wants me to JUMP. Jumping makes me want to die, so I'd prefer to NOT JUMP, JILLIAN.

Not that that stopped me from totally checking out her latest book from the library today. I stumbled upon this book last night on Amazon while I was searching for new workout DVD's to curse at buy and I had to at least get a good look at it since I was just wondering how to boost my metabolism, like, an hour before hand. I'm convinced that is what is keeping me at the same weight, NO MATTER WHAT. So imagine my joy when I found the one lone copy available at my library this afternoon. I'm excited to see if her eating plan will help.

Although I am pretty sure Five Guy's Burgers and Fries are TOTALLY not recommended in her eating plan. Sorry, Jill!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

30 Day Shr...ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I'm pleased to announce that I have survived 20 days of the 30 Day Shred. Which means I am going to try Level 3 tomorrow. And I'm not so sure about it. I took a quick peak at it last week and it looks...well, HORRIBLE. I'll be sure to report back tomorrow with how terrible it is. Level 2 is still a MAJOR workout for me, but I am doing the same plan that Kristen did (Except that she had VISIBLE results after 20 days and I have, uh, none.) and she graduated to Level 3 on Day 21 and so, I will too. Although today I managed to do 10 whole seconds of double jump ropes before having to fall back on to good old fashioned jump ropes. So, yay?

In other fitness-related news that I am sure you don't care about, (side note: When did this become a fitness blog? I don't know! But it's FREAKING ME OUT.) I successfully ran a mile again today. I wasn't able to track my distance while I ran at my parents' house, but judging from my time today, I probably ran close to a mile twice last week as well. I am still the Slowest Runner EVER, but I can tell that it's getting a little easier. And get this, I am EAGER to take on more. I KNOW! I'm meeting with my trainer this week who will most likely push me really hard and make me want to die and I'll rethink taking on more distance, but for now, I'm all BRING IT ON!

That's pretty much all I have to talk about. I mean, I could tell you about my day. Alex let me sleep in. We went out to eat and I blew my diet OUT OF THE WATER. We grocery shopped. (Lots of healthy stuff! Will get back on track with the eating ASAP.) I exercised. Alex finished the floor. (Pictures soon!) See? Boring! This is my glamorous life, people. This is why I can't post everyday. I'm off to take a bath and relax and I hope you get to do the same.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blah

I've been feeling really blah today. I came home to a house that is a WRECK. It kind of looks like a bomb exploded in here. A bomb that leaves kitchen contents spread across the living room and cheese wrappers and water bottles all across the house. (Please note Alex and some of our super awesome friends are putting down a new kitchen floor.)

I gained weight this week despite my best intentions, even though it was only a pound...the same pound that I spent the last three weeks trying to lose. Being on a plateau has got to be the most frustrating thing in the ENTIRE world. It was really hard to motivate myself to shred tonight knowing that it doesn't seem to matter how hard I push myself or what I eat because I will be the same wretched weight forever and ever, OMG. (And I ate, like, 3 bread sticks at the Olive Garden tonight because I was so pissed off about it, which is, you know, the OPPOSITE of what I need to do.)

Jack was fussy for most of the day. Poor little man was so tired from our cross country flight last night that he just screamed and screamed last night and this morning. And then he screamed at his grandma and his great grandpa tonight. (And why do I have the only baby in the world who hates laughter?)

I know I'll feel better in the morning, but right now, I am so tired and frustrated. I am overwhelmed and stressed out and when I feel this way, I usually cope by eating. Alex usually copes by sleeping. And we can't do either one of those, so instead we're just cranky and whiny at each other. (Sometimes, I really miss just hanging out together.)

Tomorrow's post should be happier. (Thanks for letting me unload, internet.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Leaving...On a Jet Plane

Our bags are packed and we are pretty much ready to go. The baby is napping and I have shredded, showered, and eaten lunch. We'll see y'all on the flip side!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Travelin'

I have a lot on my mind tonight as tomorrow is Travel Day and Travel Day always turns me into Crazy Lady. I can never sleep well the night before I travel because I'm always thinking of things I need to do before I leave the next day. I make lists, but it's still hard for me to turn my brain off. And traveling with an infant does not make things better. I'm always thinking, "What if he poops a lot! Should I bring more pants? More diapers? More wipes? More of everything so I can not keep anything straight and then not use anything in my bulging diaper bag because it's impossible find any item I want?" You know, the usual kind of Crazy Mommy Lady thoughts.

In fun news, I am totally getting this coat for Christmas. And Christmas cannot get here soon enough. I love, love, love it. I finally own a fun coat in a fun color! Hooray! No more plain old brown and black for me. I also scored some mega cheap deals for the baby today. I got him some super cute blue and white tennis shoes for $1.75 and a plaid blue summery sun hat for $1.45. Score!

Also, Seven Quick Takes will not be appearing tomorrow as it is Travel Day and also, I Still Don't Have My Laptop Day. I know you're disappointed. I'll try to check in here before we head to the airport, so my NaBloPoMo streak will be kept alive.

And now, I shall go back to over packing the diaper bag. Have a great night, y'all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yet Another Post Where I Discuss My Fitness

I successfully completed Day 16 of the 30 Day Shred, which means I am officially Over Half Way. I'm really, really excited that I have stuck with it this long, especially since I have been out of town since Saturday. That is a really momentous accomplishment for me since I always, always, always gain weight when I vist my family.

I got to see a dear friend today and wound up explaining the 30 Day Shred to her and I realized that maybe not all of you know what it is. So, please, allow me to explain. It's a 20 minute workout (Although that's a bit of a lie as Level 2 definitely does not end until minute 26.) in which you do 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. And then you do that 3 times. You also begin with a short warm up and end with a laughably short cool down. So it's definitely a full body work out. And since it's so short, you can do it everyday. (The goal being 30 days in a row, hence the name. Supposedly, you are "shredded" by Day 30.) On the flip side, since it IS so short, it's pretty hard core. I'd go so far as to say it makes you want to die. Repeatedly.

So there are two girls with Jillian who show you the moves. Anita does the "beginner" moves and Natalie does the "badass" moves. (Jillian's words, not mine.) Natalie cheats ALL THE TIME and it drives me crazy that she is supposed to be "advanced." Anita is SERIOUSLY HOT and is most definitely not a beginner, so I guess I don't feel so bad following her, even though I know she could do all the advanced stuff no problem. So Jillian reminds you to push yourself, but if you can't keep up with her and Natalie, to follow Anita. I DEFINITELY had to follow Anita the ENTIRE time on Day 1 of Level 2. But today, I decided to try and do as many of the advanced moves as I could. I made it all the way until the very last set of cardio exercises. I can do the plank jacks, but the double jump ropes are just too much. Even though Jillian says she wants you to gargle your heart, I don't thinks she ACTUALLY wants me to pass out. Well, she probably DOES want me to pass out, but my mom doesn't want me to, so I try to refrain for her sake. (For the record, Jillian wants you to gargle your heart at the end of the SECOND circuit of cardio. She wants you to feel like you're going to DIE at the end of the THIRD circuit of cardio. SO! ENCOURAGING!) So I am almost there with being "advanced" for Level 2 and to be honest, I am SHOCKED that I am doing as well I am.

The one advantage to having an audience member is that she has noticed how I have improved since I first worked out Saturday night. She noticed last night when I did the first set of plank jump thingies. And then again today, she commented on how I was able to do more difficult moves and can tell a difference in my endurance. And y'all, I cannot tell you how GOOD it feels to be able to do that. And for someone to even NOTICE. I am not athletic AT ALL. I really hate working out. And to be honest, I loathe shredding every day, but the sense of accomplishment when I am finished is so, so, so satisfying that it is motivation enough to keep going. I like knowing that I am pushing myself and growing stronger.

I want to set a good example for Jack NOW, you know? I want him to grow up thinking that his mom is disciplined enough to take care of herself. And that his mom loves him enough to make time for herself so she function at her best. I want him to know that she wants to stick around for the long haul and see him have sweet little red headed babies of his own. And I want him to know that it's good to challenge himself. And it's okay to try something that he is not sure he will succeed in. In fact, it's pretty awesome to take on a task that scares him. I want him to know that he can push himself to the point where he thinks he can't do it, and then keep going because HOLY COW, he really IS strong. He really CAN do this.

........

Uh...I went a little deeper than I meant to there. The 30 Day Shred! It makes you think!

Anyway, you know what else is motivating? Fitting into a pre-pregnancy t-shirt and pair of jeans with ROOM TO SPARE.

Boom!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiiiiiiiiired

Words simply cannot express how tired I am today. My sweet, wonderful, precious little baybee thought it'd be awesome to not sleep much last night. I gave in some time around 2 am (Did I mention he is getting up between 4:30 and 5 am every morning? Mmmmm, I sure do love the combination of the time change AND central time zone!) after he peed through his SECOND pair of jammies and brought him into bed with me. He proceeded to knead me in the side for the next three hours. It didn't matter where I moved him, he always managed to turn himself perpendicular to me and knead, knead, knead, OMG. I wound up squeezed onto a very, very tiny piece of the bed trying to stay away from his prying little toes and praying that he didn't roll off the bed. Around 5, I heard my mom stirring and I did what every spoiled only child would do and yelled for my mommy to PLEASE TAKE THIS CHILD AWAY, I WANT TO SLEEP SO SO SO SO BAD HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP ME!

So I'm going to bed early tonight. This is my life. It is exciting. It's like I'm a rock star or something.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaand he just cried. It's going to be a long night, people. Send coffee and love to Louisiana.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I'm Sorry

I know, I'm totally phoning it in this month for NaBloPoMo. But that's what happens when you lose your laptop. And my mom's laptop does this weird thing where if I hit a certain button, it highlights the previous sentence and deletes it. It does this OFTEN and is driving me INSANE. So I have to constantly re-type stuff. Boo!

Next week should be better? I hope?

See you tomorrow for another hastily typed post from a borrowed computer!

ETA: Goodness gracious! The typos! I am SO SORRY, Y'ALL. I will edit better next time. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Very Quickly

Notes on today, so I can keep up with the NaBloPoMo business...

-Doing the 30 Day Shred with an audience (my mother) is...interesting. She tries to talk to me and I can't really respond.

-Level 2 is straight up KILLER. I've done it for 3 days and I still hate Jillian and her wretched planks.

-No really, I HATE THE PLANKS.

-I took a 3 1/2 hour nap this afternoon. So did the baby. We were super duper tired.

-I still have no laptop.

-I have NOT eaten a nutty bar, even though there is an ENTIRE BOX in my parent's house.

-I am boring. I know. But I posted! Woo!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Well, at least no one pooped on me

So. I neglected to mention this on here, but I traveled down to visit my parents this week. They were missing Jack and I wanted to get one more trip in while I still had the freedom of being a stay at home momma. Since it was a last minute decision, we couldn't get a direct flight like last time. I picked the shortest layovers possible and hoped everything would turn out okay.

And it did! Jack was WONDERFUL. He didn't cry. He didn't pee on himself. He didn't poop on himself or ME. He slept for most of both flights. He charmed the flight attendants and passengers. He was an absolute joy. That baby is such a trooper.

I, on the other hand, did NOT handle everything so well.

I had a little bit of trouble balancing my bulging diaper bag and the lightweight stroller and tipped it over at one point (Don't panic! Jack was NOT in the stroller when it tipped over.) and a kind lady helped me pick it back up. And I smiled and pretended like my face wasn't on fire from embarassment. Look at me! The stupid mom who can't keep her stroller upright!

I also freaked out when I couldn't get it to fold back up when my flight from Atlanta was about to board. (And a lady next to me kept watching Jack and reaching out for him any time he even THOUGHT about leaning forward because she was CONVINCED he was going to go flying off the seat while I wrestled with the stroller. Again! Look at me! Mom of the YEAR!) I panicked and called Alex whose advice ("I just kicked it!") didn't help. I wound up throwing myself on the mercy of the airline employees who were kind enough to close up, bag, and then walk the stroller down to the plane for me. (Thank you wonderful Airtran employees!)

I was so excited when we landed in New Orleans because we! had! made! it! I bent down to grab my diaper bag and laptop and...where is my laptop? It was right here. I put it down there. I KNOW I DID.

I checked everywhere. The seats in front of me. The seats behind me. The baggage area above the seats that I hadn't even touch. I got the flight attendant to help me. NO. LAPTOP. ANYWHERE.

I lost my laptop, y'all. I LOST IT.

It might be in Atlanta? Apparently I hallucinated bringing it on the plane because there is an unclaimed pink laptop in the Atlanta airport's lost and found. But no one was available to actually LOOK at said laptop and confirm that it is mine. So I will wait and see. And continue feeling stupid. Because I LOST my LAPTOP. Me! Internet geek extraordinare.

At least I didn't lose the baby, right?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Seven Quick Takes - 11/6/09

1. I typed the first few of these while wearing a Snuggie. You know you’re jealous. My Maw Maw gave me two for Christmas last year, so no, I did not spend actual money on them. And I can’t make fun of them because my only living grandparent gave them to me. Therefore, YOU cannot make fun of me wearing them either. Anyway, I know you’re curious about it. It’s a nice shade of blue, not a scary leopard print one or anything like that. It is also warm. And well, pretty darn snuggly, so I can’t complain or anything. Alex hates it when I wear it because I look too monk-ish. I guess he doesn’t like the thought of being married to a monk? I don’t know why not. Monks are straight up SEXY.

2. So here’s the thing. Jack cries every time someone laughs loudly. Not just a loud crowd. ANYBODY. Including Alex. Including me. The other day, I was talking to Alex on the phone and I laughed NOT VERY LOUDLY and the tears were flowing before I even realized what happened. It is the most bizarre thing in the entire world. At the Halloween party, everyone laughed out loud at the same time and Jack went NUTS. It took forever to calm him down. This totally sucks because I like to laugh loudly. As does Alex. And we can’t for fear of freaking our son out.

3. I have multiple mysterious bruises on my right leg. Most of them are on my calf. I cannot figure out for the life of me where they are coming from. Do jumping jacks cause bruising? Visible bruising? Is Jillian Michaels finding me in the night and literally beating me? Because I am baffled as to how I am managing to injure myself without KNOWING it. And my calf is SORE. I thought it was from all the exercise at first, but then I realized it’s from all the bruises. And I am the first to admit that I am very, very, very clumsy, but at no point have I violently walked into things without noticing it. So where are the bruises coming from?

4. I hate packing. Still. I should be packing right now. But I’m not. I’m watching 30 Rock and blogging. Which is way more fun than packing, but doesn’t have quite the same result. I’m just so not excited at the prospect of rolling clothes and stuffing a suitcase to the brim. Maybe if I ever learned not to overpack, I’d enjoy the process more. But me not overpacking is like asking Parsnip not to be annoying. It’s IMPOSSIBLE.

5. So two days ago, I said I was on Day 7 of the 30 Day Shred. This was false. I was on Day 9. Today begins Level 2. See? Spark People really is very helpful! Otherwise, I would have been doing the 30 Day Shred for way more days than I ever wanted! And I just measured myself and saw…no difference? Maybe I’m bigger? I think I am not measuring myself in the same places I did before or something. Because seriously, my clothes are getting baggy. It’s really exciting because the t-shirts that used to be too big on me are finally getting to be too big again. And I’ve gone down a belt loop.

6. So it is now Friday. And guess what? I ran a mile today! An ENTIRE mile. WITHOUT STOPPING. I realize this might not seem like much, but it is a HUGE feat for me. When my trainer told me we were going to meet to work on “my first mile” today, I assumed that we would be doing more interval training. So imagine my JOY when she told me that I was going to run two laps around the lake for a mile. And she was all, ‘DON’T STOP. I don’t care how slow you have to run, just keep going and don’t walk.’ And in my head, I was all, “FAT CHANCE, LADY.” But then I did it! Granted, it was the SLOWEST. MILE. EVER. but I still did it. It was a great feeling, even though I was pretty sure I was going to die by the end.

7. Despite the running feat, the real highlight of the session was when my trainer's son tried to eat goose poop. She let him run around while I stretched and I looked over and said, “Um, I am pretty sure that is poop he’s picking up.” I did not realize that pregnant women could run that FAST, y’all. She got to him in time before he ingested anything, so that was great. But at that point, I stopped and said a little prayer thanking God that Jack is not super mobile yet, HALLELUJAH.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Whoops (almost)

I almost forgot to blog today. I remembered while I was shredding earlier, and I was all, "Oh snap! *wheeze* I need to *huff* blog! *puff*" So here I am. Blogging. Hooray!

I have plenty to say, but nothing I can talk about, so....

I miss cookies.

Hugs,
Cora

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fitness-Related Stuff

I tried the gym child care for the first time today.

In other news, I didn't get to work out today.

Jack seemed upset the second I walked away from him in the day care room. I was hoping that he would stay calm and happy and play with my trainer's toddler. I stuck around for a little while and then decided to suck it up and let the baby learn how to live on his own.

I got on the treadmill to warm up and when I got off, the guy at the front desk said, "Uh, she's REALLY struggling back there with your baby. He won't stop screaming."

I walked back to the child care room and lo, the sounds of my child screaming his little red head off were there. It took me quite a while to get him to calm down. I tried sitting him down again and entertain him with a bouncy ball and he was having NONE of it.

I walked him out to reschedule the trainer and she asked if she could hold him. Maybe she could hold him while I exercised! I was all excited that maybe that would work. That excitement lasted for all of 10 seconds before he started screaming again. And the biggest, most impressive snot bubble came out of his nose and we knew it was over.

Jack and I came home and he fell asleep almost immediately. And has not woken up since. So...I guess he was tired? I know, I'm mom of the year for knowing my son so well.

So we're going to try again on Friday. Outside. At a track. Where Jack can sit in a stroller and watch me the whole time. Hopefully it will go a little bit better.

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I've been meaning to mention this on here for a while, but I joined Spark People to help me keep track of my calories and work outs. It's been really great so far and I highly recommend the site as a tool to help you keep track of your fitness. They have recipes, strength routines, articles, and other good stuff.

My favorite part is that they break down the nutrients of your food and then GRAPH it for you. Like, with pie charts and EVERYTHING. It's quite the eye opener to see how many calories, fat grams, carbs, and such that you are consuming every day.

And the best part is that it's all free! Woo!

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I'm still sticking with the 30 Day Shred. I missed Sunday because I was feeling like crap and was pretty sure I was going to puke if I even tried doing 30 seconds of jumping jacks. But I've done it every other day, so I am on Day 7 today. Only three more days until Level 2!