The busy life of a full time employee, student, mom and wife

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My baby is getting so big!!

Next month, Anthony is going to start ice skating lessons and in September he'll start hockey. Also in September, Anthony will go to pre-kindergarten. At a real elementary school. I will have to drop my baby off at school for the first time!! Can moms come too?? I'm potty trained, I meet the requirements!

I just can't believe my little baby is getting so big! I can't believe it's time to start registering for school and sports already. It couldn't have possibly been three and a half years ago when he came around, turned my life upside down and stole every inch of my heart that Brandon didn't already own, could it??

Look at that stud muffin! SO BIG!
I'm pretty sure i'm going to cry the first day I drop him off at school. And i'm absolutely positive that I'm going to be the insane, loud cheering mom decked out in team gear of any sports team he's on, ever. I just need time to slow down a little bit. I love every single thing about the little boy he's becoming (attitude and all) and I just need more time to savor it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Relay for Life

This past weekend was our Relay for Life, and overall I'd say it went well. A few hiccups here and there but nothing that couldn't be overcome. Like the fact that my mom literally bombared me before I was even out of the car telling me I needed to go up on the stage and introduce our team because all of the team capitans had been called up. And the fact that I made it a whole two sentences into my introduction before I started crying and finished my intro talking in such a high pitch im sure no one could understand me. I may have summoned a dog or two with that pitch.
Our camp with our team name sign. Walk to Remember.
This year we went to a different Relay than we normally do. Each town has thier own Relay and this year our usual Relay fell on my moms birthday, so we signed up with a neighboring town. This Relay wasn't quite as intimate as our usual one was, but it got the job done. I walked 9 miles and as a team we raised about $600, so I would say it was a success!

Every year it has been me, my mom, my sister, my husband, and all the kids who have gone, but this year we were joined by my aunt and her daughter in law. It meant a lot that they came out to support us. Sometimes I forget that it's not just my immediate family that hurts over the loss of my brother. Seeing my aunt this weekend reminded me that other people hurt for him too. I'm just really glad we are able to do this every year, to show him we haven't forgotten him and his fight and that we're still fighting for him too.

Our team!

Anthony, showin why we're there

Rememberence flags

My little family

My luminaria bag

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The mommy conundrum

As moms a lot is expected of us. I don't just mean that we're expected to hold down a full time job, cook, clean, change diapers, fight bad guys, and still look decent. I mean, once you become a mom, there's a long list of things that you aren't really "allowed" to do anymore, on top of you trying to figure out who you are now.

I was 21 when I got pregnant with Anthony. Not obscenely young, but still pretty young to be a parent. Before I got pregnant I was living like a young, wild, free adult. I didn't have a whole lot of responsibilities other than a job, and my life reflected that. There was a point in time where I'm pretty sure I lived solely off of wine and tater tots.

But when I became a mom, it all changed. I couldn't be out all night drinking and dancing, I couldn't wear provocative clothing, I couldn't drink wine for dinner. I had to be responsible and modest, because that's what moms are "supposed to do" and I wanted to be a good mom. Moms are judged pretty harshly sometimes. If you see someone you know is a mom out drinking or dancing your first thought is usually "doesn't she have a kid??" Like moms aren't allowed to be out anymore, ever. How dare she!
I cant speak for every mom, but I know on the occasion that I do go out, I feel like I have to defend myself. I find myself feeling like I need to tell people that I don't do this often, or that its for a special occasion, or that I left after my kids went to bed so they don't even know I'm gone. We aren't allowed to be out anymore.

Now I'm not saying I want to spend every night out and live the way I used to. If I wanted to, I would. I love my time with my kids and husband and I prefer to be with them. What I'm saying is that once a young woman becomes a mom shes met with a great challenge. On top of learning how to be a parent, she has to re-learn how to be her. When you've lived a certain way for so long, then all of a sudden have to change it you're met with a certain identity crisis. You don't know who you are anymore. You used to be carefree and fun, you used to spend your days and weekends a certain way and now its all different. A lot of new moms feel boring and like they've lost who they used to be. It's incredibly difficult to find a balance between who you used to be, who you are now, and who you're expected to be.

We moms have to find a balance between loving our kids and devoting ourselves 100% to them, and remembering ourselves too. We're often left grasping at straws of our former selves, trying to keep hold of something. What seems to make it worse is that, even though almost all moms go through it, no one wants to talk about. No one wants to admit that they miss their old self, or that they're lost. It's almost like if a mom admits she misses her old life that automatically means she doesn't like her current life. Why can't you love your kids and miss old times at the same time? Your lost in limbo between mom and young adult and you aren't sure where you land. Why can't we openly admit this without being judged?

Yes, sometimes I miss going out and having late nights. I miss weekend naps during the day. I miss listening to whatever music I wanted or watching whatever show I wanted and not having to worry about the language or content of it. I miss being able to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without stepping on an alligator xylophone. I miss having wine and tater tots for dinner. Does that mean I want that life back? No. I wouldn't trade this life I have now for anything in the world.

I guess my point is lets be more open with each other and slower to judge. To the new moms: know that it gets better. As time goes on you'll find yourself again. No, it wont be the same self it was before, but be assured you wont always feel this lost. And seasoned moms: if you know a newer mom who seems a little lost, instead of judging, give her a hug and tell her it gets better. Tell her you went through it too. Tell her its normal. Swap stories and maybe even plan a moms night out!

And if you aren't a mom: remember that sometimes moms need a break!

Friday, June 15, 2012

ebony and ivory

My boys are just under three years apart in age. I always heard about how siblings are always so different from each other but I guess I just never really got it. My sister and I are practically polar opposites but I still didn't really get what people meant. Until I had a second kid. Noah is a completely different baby than Anthony was. Anthony was colic, Noah was calm. Anthony drooled like a mad man, that kid could soak the front of a shirt in 5 minutes flat. Noah barely drools, even when he's teething. Ant was walking at 9.5 months, Noah barely started crawling at 9.5 months. Anthony was a little tiny stick figure of a baby, Noah is a chunka monka. Anthony has curly blonde hair, Noah has straight brown hair. The list goes on and on.

Seriously, how can they both look like dad but not at all like each other?
They amaze me in that they both  look SO MUCH like their dad, yet somehow look nothing like each other. Honestly I wouldn't even guess them siblings if I didn't know them.  How can they have the same parents, and both resemble their dad so much and still look nothing alike?! Little magicians.

I always knew that Noah kinda resembled how Ant looked as a baby, but I never realized how much. Until today when I was looking through old pictures on my Facebook and realized that even though they don't look alike now, when I look back at pictures of Anthony at this age, Noah looks just like him. A little chubbier and brunette, but the similarities are so present. Present in that you can actually see similarities in them!

These two babies could almost pass as siblings! ...if they existed at the same time. But alas, Baby Anthony took these pictures in 2009 and Baby Noah took them in 2012. Maybe when Noey grows up a little more he'll start to resemble Ant a little more. Until then, I have these two little tricksters, who both come from the same parents, both look like their dad, but somehow look nothing like each other.  I love these little tricksters so much.

Impromptu Fathers day pictures taken last night :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dinner Menus

When I was on maternity leave something happened to me. Other than having a baby. I found this new love of cooking. Growing up no one taught me how to cook. As a older teen and in my early 20s I could mess up hamburger helper. I told myself I just didn't have the "cooking gene" in me and moved on.  When I had Anthony I started to try my hand in the kitchen. We had many burnt, over cooked, under cooked, and just plain not good meals. I slowly improved, learning little tricks here and there, but I still never really cared for it. I just did it because my family needed to eat. I  had about 15 meals that I just rotated through, I very, very rarely tried anything new. But something changed when I got pregnant with Noey, all of a sudden I was looking up new recipes and wanting to try new things. I don't think we repeated a meal once while I was on leave. I fell in love with cooking! (Im sure its no coincidence that I've had a hell of a time dropping the baby weight this time around haha)

While home I spent hours in the kitchen, but every day struggled to try to figure out what to make. I always wanted to make a million things but usually didn't have a few ingredients and didn't want to drag a newborn and a toddler to the store for a handful of things. I eventually came up with the system of making a weekly menu. On Sundays I would dedicate an hour to looking up recipes, writing out a menu, then writing a shopping list of necessary ingredients. On Monday we'd make the trip to the grocery store and buy our necessities for the weeks worth of meals. I loved this, I loved knowing what I was making, I loved having all the ingredients there already, I just loved the organization and structure.

When I went back to work I lost this. I kinda momentarily lost my head a little when I went back to work, the transition was not an easy one for me. I've gradually gotten my footing back, and gotten back into my routine. Hey, it only took like 7 months. One thing I didn't get right back into was my menu making. Every night would be a mad scramble once I got home to figure out what to make and with either a lack of ideas, lack of ingredients or lack of time we often (FAR too often) ended up just eating out. Our waistlines and wallets suffered.

Last month I reintroduced the weekly menu into my life and I haven't looked back. I didn't realize how much I missed cooking. I'm loving having some structure in the kitchen again and eating real meals again. I love trying new recipes and playing around with some old ones. It feels good to know a thing or two in the kitchen finally so I feel comfortable enough to tweak some details here and there.

I found a whiteboard at Target that just displays the week so it works out perfectly for our dinner menu. The bottom has a little strip of cork board which works out perfect for any recipes i'll for the week. Best $8 i've ever spent. Okay probably not ever, but its an organizational, menu making dream come true.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Battle of the births

I had a much more fun, crafty and organizational post written for today but it can sit in drafts for a little bit longer because I'm irritated. This is probably brought on from the fact that I know about 15 pregnant women right now so I've seen this conversation quite a few times lately.

I'm so sick of mothers who chose to birth in a hospital, using an epidural, being criticized and demeaned for their decisions.

The biggest, biggest frustration is when someone says they're a "real woman" for giving birth naturally. Last time I checked the epidural didn't remove my vagina, boobs, or any reproductive organs. I believe I'm still just as much of a woman as you are. Is a man any less of a man because he takes tylenol for a headache? No. Is a man any less of a man for taking vicodin after a surgery or a bad accident? No. So why am I less of a woman for taking pain medication during one of the most painful experiences on earth? Just because you chose/are choosing not to?

Just because I chose to go to a hospital and chose to use an epidural does not mean that my birth experience was somehow less meaningful, powerful, or special than yours was. I labored for 6 hours unmedicated (out of a 8 hour total labor) with Anthony and I was completely, utterly miserable. Then, I made everyone around me miserable. I was scared, pissed, and stressed about how much pain I was in. I was snapping at everyone, all my loved ones who came to support me, yelling at them to shut the hell up so I could focus on trying to manage the pain. Does that sound beautiful and peaceful? No, it was fucking awful. And Anthony was reflecting my stress. After I finally got the epidural I was calm and at ease. I was able to carry on conversations and allow the people there for me to do what they had come for, to support me and assure me that everything was going to be fine. And Anthony reflected my peace. He was born vaginally when I was ready for him, I was never pressured to rush my birth or deviate from my birth plan. The hospital listened to my wishes and always responded. Now please tell me what is so bad about that?

With Noah it was even better. I went in knowing what to expect and got the epidural around 5cm because I knew what was coming. I never got to the point of being miserable and making everyone around me miserable. My entire process of birth with Noah was completely peaceful. I was laughing and joking, having a down right good time during my labor. What about being happy and laughing during labor is bad for the baby?

In neither birth was I "out of it" from my epidural and unable to respond to, bond with or hold my babies. I was very aware of what was going on and felt just as much love and joy when I met my boys for the first time as anyone else. And my both of my boys were born responsive and not "drugged out."

People who criticize medicated hospital births always site these horror stories. Saying how your baby will be drugged out when he/she is born and you will be unresponsive because you will also be so drugged out that you wont be able to tell whats going on and your baby wont bond with you and you wont be able to breastfeed. Such sensationalism. Lets just take the absolute worst case scenario, something that happens to 1 in 1,000,000 women (not a real stat) and say it happens to everyone. Lets scare people into making the decisions that WE think are right.

So please, think before you judge. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Swap meet treasure

I used to hate swap meets and garage sales, but in the last year or so something has changed in me. I blame pinterest.

This past Saturday my boys and I headed down to the sports arena to Kobeys swapmeet. Usually I don't find much, just little things here and there but this week I could have spent some serious money. 

I was walking past a booth where a man was yelling everything was half off. It was getting later in the morning and people were starting to have "sales" to get rid of their stuff so they didnt have to take it back. I wandered into his area, hoping to find some half off treasures when I found it. My love. A vintage hard shell suitcase with a purple/pinkish satin lining inside and another smaller, matching suitcase hiding inside it. It was love at first sight. I looked at the little sticker with the price written on it and saw just a 4. This must be wrong. It's missing a 1 in front or a 0 after or something! I asked the man and no, these lovely ladies were only $4. And half off. I bought two awesome ass suitcases for $2.

Brandon hates them. I don't really know what i'm planning on doing with them. I'll probably use them as my suitcases when I travel, but that doesn't happen often. They're way too awesome to just stash away and store. I need a plan for these ladies.

Cell phone picture taken at the swap meet
I'm gunna cut someone if my pictures don't start rotating.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome back to the gym

One of the many benefits my job offers is free onsite gyms and free professionally instructed fitness classes available in those gyms. Classes are offered before work, around lunch time, and after work. I prefer to do the classes because I work a lot harder than I would if I was working out on my own. But seeing as I have two tiny people I need to take care of before and after work my only option for gym time is during lunch. This presents a few obsticals:
1. When will I eat?
2. I get sweaty at work.
3. I have limited time during lunch.
And most importantly:
4. When will I eat??

I make due, usually sneaking out of the classes a few minutes early to get back on time and fortunately the gyms also have locker rooms with showers to rinse off if you need, then I'll eat at my desk. I've worked at this company for five years, but recently changed positions. When I got this new position I had no idea how strict or lenient they would be with lunch times so I held off on going to the gym until I knew my new group better. I didn't want to be gone over an hour and come back to a brand new, pissed off boss. I went on vacation a week and a half after I started this job, and obviously did not go to the gym on vacation. Came back and staggered for a week trying to get back into my routine but just couldn't get to it, I was still stuck in vacay mode. Then Brandon got sick and I didnt give two shits about the gym.

All excuses aside, it's been about five weeks since i've been in the gym and I'm feeling it. I gained back the weight I worked so hard to lose before Hawaii and am fitting poorly in my clothes again. Im feeling sluggish and can feel the tension building up in me because I've had no outlet to let it go. So I decided it's time to get back into it.

My lovely friend Libby somehow convinced me that a boot camp class was a good idea to get started again. So much for easing back in. I'm not sure that i've ever sweat that much in my life. My shirt was drenched, my pants were drenched, I was a red, sweaty beast. I felt good after a good ass kickin in the gym, but I'm not sure I looked great coming back to my desk red faced and still sweating a little. I'm really pretty and girly. I made the mistake of forgetting a water bottle and have drinken three bottles (actually a re-usable cup that holds a bottle of water.. I'm green, guys!) of water in the hour that i've been back at my desk.

Tomorrow if my legs aren't complete jello i'll go to my favorite class- Step Triad.. It's a three part class, the first part is a shit ton of cardio in the form of step, the second part is strength training, and the last like ten minutes is yoga. I usually skip out on the yoga because well.. I just don't like it. Yoga is too slow for me. So hi-ho back to the gym I go. I just need to stay focused and not let myself get derailed again.

Are my pictures showing up sideways? I've rotated them ten million times and they're still showing sideways for me! EFF WORD!

Look at that girl, headin into the gym all excited and full of hope.
Look at that girl, bright red and sweaty leaving the gym.
Look real close at that after picture. Notice how about at my elbow my shirt is about a shade darker? Yeah, thats sweat. My shirt is drenched with sweat. I'm a lovely, dainty flower.