Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Restructuring and Guest Blogging Opportunity

A few major life changing events have been on the surface of our reality here in this household. Obviously you all know that we are trying for baby number two (nope, still no news on that front), but we've also been long...long...long...awaiting news of a possible move for Michael's job. It's looking like that may not happen (or at least not in the very near future) and honestly we aren't sure where things are standing with his position as the company is currently undergoing a major restructuring process.

If you have been reading lately I think you would agree that I've been in a sort of funk. This sort of what you might call limbo has contributed to that fact and I think that's pretty understandable. I've come to the conclusion that this state of limbo might not be going anywhere any time soon so I've been busy trying to figure out just how to deal with it.

There has been a lot of buzz in the blog world about social media and the time we allot to it and I have to admit I've been feeling the same. You may have noticed that I haven't been posting quite as regularly (Did you miss me?) and although I know I have no intention of making this lack of irregular posting a habit, I do know that it's been helpful as I sort through this process of restructuring my days so that I can get back to truly enjoying life as I envision it. 

Priorities are something we all have to reanalyze from time to time and I've been thinking a lot about mine. I feel like a lot of my "stress" comes from not organizing my day correctly so I've currently been focusing on getting back to basics. I have started getting up earlier in the mornings so I can try and get some things done before E wakes up although I swear he has spidey senses as he somehow manages to wake up as soon as my feet hit the ground. I've also dusted off my Home Organization Notebook and have been getting back into the swing of all that. I've made sure to get dressed in the mornings and make up my bed (isn't it amazing how making your bed can make the day so much better?). I've also found it's important to my sanity to get out of the house a few days of the week prior to Ethan's nap time.

I've put blogging on the back burner lately to help me get back to a positive place and so far it's been working great. I can truly say that I've been happier as of late and I like where things are headed. Blogging is important to me though. It's a sort of therapy to me. It's a place I connect with other moms as well as a creative outlet and how I document this truly magical time in my life. I haven't found my groove just yet though as far as where it should fit into my day.

I'm thinking of taking a blogging "Spring Break". I'd love to have some more time to regroup and gather my thoughts. Instead of just leaving this blog to lay dormant though, for the first time ever, I'd love to open up my blog to some guest bloggers. If you would be interested in guest blogging please shoot me an email (mythoughtsuninterrupted at gmail dot com). 

One last little note....I've got one other little favor to ask of you all! If you don't mind could you please head over here to vote for my blog? I'm currently in the running for The Best Family Blog award held by Apartment Therapy. How exciting is that? Just scroll down to the bottom of the list to sign in and place your vote. Thanks in advance, I'm truly honored that you would take the time to do it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunshine is Good for the Soul

Ethan and I have a new resolution which is simply to get out more. Today we spent a good hour and a half at the park enjoying this incredible February weather.

We watched a man fish...

...collected rocks and sticks...

...and threw them in the river, which I'm sure the fisherman appreciated. 

Ethan timidly checked out the puddles. I've been anxious for puddle season. Yes, there is such a thing as puddle season. It's called spring and I've been dying for Ethan to be old enough to jump in one.

He's not quite ready to jump, but he danced.....

...and splashed.

I'm pretty sure those size 5 suede baby Van's will never quite recover. It's okay. We are in the market for size 6 rain boots anyways.

Ethan finger painted for the first time and chased me with messy hands.

We spotted "wild" animal prints...

...and left a few of our own.

I had so much fun today with my little guy. It was nice letting him do whatever his little heart desired. My only request was to "stay on the path" and of course that's hard for a little boy full of wonder to do.

I'm pretty sure he had a blast regardless. 

Sunshine really is good for the soul!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Randoms

This Tennessee weather has been killing me lately. Glorious 60 degree weather one day then 25 degree snowy weather the next. Bam! I've got a cold! Seriously nose like a faucet. Ugh. Let's just hope E doesn't get it although I bet that's nearly impossible to avoid.

Today is bread making day here. This is about the third round of bread I've made (really the 7th and 8th loaf) since starting our "real" foods diet. I've always loved baking cakes but baking bread is a whole new animal that I need to learn the rules for. If any of you have websites or books you recommend I'm all ears. I'm also discovering my Kitchen Aid mixer is too small to make multiple loafs at once and have started to think about a bread machine although I'm not sure of it's benefits?

I'm in progress of backing up all of our pictures and videos from last year. I've totally revamped my organizational system for pictures after seeing what a huge project our year end photo book is going to be for 2011. Let's just say I haven't made it past Easter when it comes to just selecting pictures for the book....yeah I'm still not even anywhere near putting the pages together. Ugh. I think one of my biggest fears is that one day I'll lose all my pictures since I never print them out. I've currently got them saved on Kodak gallery and an external hard drive. I've now decided that I will also be burning them to DVD's as well. Everything just seems like it may one day go "technically" out of date or break and that makes me twitchy. As for the videos....I don't have an online place to save them. Any suggestions? What's your way of saving your videos?

It's almost time for Lent and I've had the hardest time deciding on what to give up this year. I normally give up caffeine, alcohol or junk food but seeing as how I no longer consume any of those things I'm having a hard deciding just what to do. My husband mentioned giving up our cable for a month, but um, I think the silence might drive me mad. I'm thinking giving up desserts sounds more doable. Yes, I know dessert isn't exactly on the "real" foods bandwagon, but hey, I have a major sweet tooth that I just can't seem to kick. As long as Easter is before my birthday I think I might be telling desserts goodbye for 40 days. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Think I Hit the Jackpot!

When you are a boy mom you often hear comments that make you feel like you somehow missed out on the grand prize of having a girl. I can't tell you how many times I've heard comments such as these: "Hopefully the next one will be a girl." "Oh, a girl would have been so much fun." "I can't wait until you have a little girl." Now I wouldn't mind to have a little girl someday, but to be honest I've always wanted to be a boy mom. 

I didn't know exactly what I'd be getting into when I had a little boy as I grew up with a sister. I have a clear picture of what I think later years will be like and the challenges they will present, but I had no idea what a little boy would have in store for me. Let's just say I've definitely learned why people use the saying "He's all boy!". We have most certainly entered the stage of big sticks, a little aggression and running full speed ahead. 

What I love the most about this little boy stage are all the sporadic moments of sweetness - the hugs that come out of nowhere, sweet kisses that are freely given and the smiles that light up my day.  Today Ethan escaped out the back door while I was making lunch. He ran into the yard full speed ahead as I tried to catch up laughing and giggling all the way. He stopped suddenly in the middle of the yard and bent down to pull up some "flowers" and immediately handed them to me with the biggest smile on his face. My heart melted. 

I can't wait to experience all the joys that a little boy can bring. I'm sure little girls are just as sweet, but I don't want anyone to think that my little boy is some sort of consolation prize. To me there is nothing better than being a boy mom!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ethan's 16 Months Old!

How about a semi-wordless Thursday? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Traveling on a Whole Food's Diet

Traveling is a whole new ball game these days. I remember feeling so excited to take a weekend road trip when it was just me and Michael. Everything was so easy and seamless....carefree you might say. These days the word carefree is not even in our vocabulary. With a baby, a type-A mama and a new way of eating I was a stressful mess the day we were set to leave on our family road trip.

We've traveled as a family of three twice before, but this trip was a little different since we were staying with family members and things were a little more out of our control (we all know how I love that). My biggest worry was about food for a couple of reasons. I refuse to feed my baby crap fast food and when Ethan wants to eat he wants to eat. He has yet to learn how to "go with the flow" so I always feel the need to be very prepared. We are also on a budget and trying our best to stay away from fast food so I needed options for us to eat in the car on our way there and back.

I packed a ton of options so we would all be satisfied and not bored with what I brought. I was happy with all the choices I packed, however, next time I will probably bring less of each option to save on space. I packed a variety of fruit and veggies, a pasta and a veggie salad, milk and water, granola, cheese, oatmeal, yogurt, hummus, cream cheese, peanut butter, honey, jelly, organic cheddar bunnies, bread and tortillas. I also made sure to bring paper towels and utensils. 

One thing I learned is that it would probably be better to assemble the wraps and sandwiches before we left so I didn't have to do it in the car. I had at least pre chopped all the veggies and fruit so they were all handy. I look forward to traveling in the summer when we can stop at a rest area with picnic tables because car eating is not as much fun as I thought it would be. We used the booster seat for Ethan which was fabulous, but peanut butter did end up covering my car door and window. Ick. 

Our trip went very smoothly and I contribute part of that to me being very prepared. I didn't have to worry about what time everything was happening or where we were going because I had options always ready for Ethan when he needed/wanted them. It helped me to relax and enjoy the trip and not feel like that pain in the ass that has to control every aspect. 

I can't say that I stuck to my new whole foods diet on this trip. It's amazingly hard when you are out of your element and eating out to make the right choices. Ethan, however, did not have a diet change on our vacation because of my preparedness. Well, that is if you don't count the little bite of king cake that I absolutely would not deny him of!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Love Story

Since we are not too far away from Valentine's day, I thought I'd link up with Mrs. Mama today to share my love story with you! I know I've shared parts of this in the past, but since I have so many new faces around these parts, I thought it would be fun to share again in a different way!

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?

Michael and I had our first "real" date in June of 2004. We tied the knot in June of 2008. So, as of June of 2012 we will have been together 8 years (Wow!) and married for 4 of those. I suddenly feel really old! 

(Fall 2004)

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}

Michael and I actually knew each other in high school. He was two years younger than me and didn't really hang out with my group at the time so he wasn't really on my radar. My sophomore year of college I came home from Knoxville on the eve of my 20th birthday to celebrate with a group of my guy friends. One of them decided to bring a friend who would be his future college roommate at UT the next year. Yep, it was Michael. He really made an impression on me and I asked him to drive me home. He tried to give me "my last kiss as a teenager" that night, but I turned him down. What? Half the fun is the chase right? I'm no dummy. When I came home for the summer, I just happened to run into him at a gas station where I gave him my number. He called not too long after while I was on vacation to set up a date. I ended up coming home from that vacation a few days early just to go and the rest is history. You can read a more expanded version on this here

(Summer, 2006)

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}

We got married a day before our 4 year "dating anniversary" on June 14th 2008 and have been happily married for 4 years this June!

Fall 2007

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?  If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?

We got married in a church in our hometown in front of over 300 friends and family. It was the wedding of my dreams. The bridesmaids dresses perfectly matched the blue table linens, the flowers were all white and green and included my favorite orchids.

Our reception was held at an old family factory where the band played until the wee hours of the morning and we danced the night away. We spent the night at a local bed and breakfast and actually walked in around the same time of the morning as the rest of the Bonaroo crowd that was staying there that night!

We honeymooned in St. Lucia although things didn't really start off as planned. One of our first adventures as a married couple included missing a flight and staying in a sketch Comfort Inn that had blood on the bathroom sink. Ick! The rest of our honeymoon however was lovely and perfect just as it should have been.

Read more about our wedding here.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!

Yes, we do have nick-names. Michael is kind of like Ray on Everybody Loves Raymond. You never know what he's going to call me when he walks in the door. I'd say his main one though is "boo" which I also call him. I guess you can say we've got a little ghetto fabulousness in us. Please excuse me while I go die of laughter.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.

There are so many things I love about Michael that it's hard to narrow down to 3. I love that he is so unbelievably calm about things. It really balances out my type A control freak side that may get a little nutty at times. He aims to make me happy and succeeds most of the time. Most of all I am in awe of his love for me and our son. I give Michael a hard time (it's just my personality) but he is more than I could have ever dreamed of when it comes to husband material and I should probably tell him that more often!

7. Tell us how he proposed?

Michael planned the perfect proposal in July 2007 that included a scavenger hunt of activities for me that day. After a day of pampering I still had time to go find the perfect engagement dress and shoes before I met him in the Knoxville sun sphere where he popped the question. I don't remember a thing he said, but I said yes a million times (several of those being before he had even actually asked the question) and we ended our night with a fabulous dinner at the Melting Pot. Read more about our proposal here.

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberrieschampagne, and rose petals?

Normally Michael is the type of guy who surprises me with flowers when he comes home from work. For Valentine's Day though we have a little tradition of Godiva and champagne although now it's more like Whitman's chocolates and milk.

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?

I LOVE having a nice dinner out that includes dessert, but lately as life as has been kicked into another gear, I rather enjoy watching the DVR cuddled up on the couch.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?

We love to travel and I could think of no one else better to travel with than my husband. Michael and I dream of going to Europe for at least two weeks one day. Maybe our 10 year anniversary we can make that dream come true! 

Jamaica, 2009

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.

My dad is coming up to watch Ethan one night the weekend after Valentine's Day so that Michael and I can have a little date night. As for the day of....not sure yet, maybe I'll make chocolate covered strawberries or something. We'll see!

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?

Nope. Michael and I gave up gifts for each other a long time ago. Maybe one day we will get back to it, but for now, we have more important things to spend our money on like this little guy!

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.

Love is easy to fall into, but hard to keep. Never stop working on a relationship that is worth staying in. Find time to make time for yourselves and talk about more than just daily happenings. Respect each other and be grateful for who they are and what they contribute. Oh, and yeah make sure to actually tell them!

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Keeping It Real

Yesterday's post was at least the second time if not third that I've posted something that included an apology. 

Now that I look back, I realize how silly that was.

I hate to admit this, but sometimes I forget to just write for me. Sometimes I write with my audience in mind. *Gasp!* People want rainbows and sunshine. If there is a post about a particular struggle, they would prefer that it ended tied up in a pretty little bow that includes a life lesson and everyone dancing off into the sunset. It makes a great read, but that's just not life though...or at least not all the time. And, that's ok.

Sometimes as a mommy blogger, I feel the pressure to make everything just peachy. Sure there are some trials and tribulations everyone goes through as a parent and that we all freely share on our blogs: the sleep deprivation, the household chores that seem to never end, the sprinkles that are shoved up little noses and the furniture that our one year old's break. (Oh wait, you didn't go through those last two? Just me then, huh.) But I think deep down as moms, we feel the pressure to exude happiness at all times. Your children's childhood memories depend on it right? After all, this blog will be a reflection of my child's life experiences when everything is said and done. So maybe the audience I'm thinking about also includes my son one day.

It's funny how things change. Last year around this time I was fully immersed in being a mother. I had set myself aside and completely turned my focus on my newborn. This year, as things have calmed down and settled in, I see my focus being able to split so that I can include myself back in the picture. I like that. I miss me. I want this blog to be a reflection of both me as a mom and me as, well, me. 

Sometimes I have a hard time separating those two people. While, deep down, I know this isn't true, I guess what I'm really afraid of is that my son will think that my unhappiness with myself is a reflection of my happiness with him. In the end, that's why I was really apologizing in those previous posts.

I think I'll go ahead and blame these feelings on the mommy guilt that apparently all mothers are given as some sort of twisted push present. That internal fear that we will do something to screw up our child's childhood. I don't want my own personal struggles to become that issue for Ethan.

It's a delicate balance to be me as a mom and me as me. Hopefully soon I will find it. In between time, I will be remembering that it's not necessary to exude happiness at every moment, either in real life or blog life.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pity Party, Party of 1

I've written at least five posts today and gone back and deleted them every time. Everything is coming out depressing and blah right now. And while, I might be having those feelings, I also feel ridiculous for expressing them when I have so many good things in my life right now too.

The other night I was talking to my husband and I ended up breaking down and crying about just how hard it is to be an adult. I was tired of feeling guilty about wanting to do things for myself, I was tired of feeling run down, I was tired of feeling tired. I've been having a hard time finding the joy in life lately. Everything feels like a chore....even the good things. 

The sad thing is that no one is to blame for the way that I feel except myself. I cause so many of my own problems. If someone else were to blame I could easily tell them how to fix it, but when it comes to fixing me, I struggle. 

I'm trying hard to keep a happy face, but really even that is tiring. Truth be told I just want to sink into a hole and hide for a little bit. I constantly feel like I have to give myself a pep talk to get through life. "It's okay, you can do this." "Just start doing something and things will fall back into place." I'm missing my zeal for life right now and I want more than anything to get it back. 

I'm almost embarrassed to publish this post because I'm aware of the annoying whininess. I'm sure this will pass, but for now I'm just going to keep pushing my way through life. Hopefully, before I know it, I'll be waltzing my way through instead of pushing. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Things that Make me go Hmm...

There are two words that I hear all day long from Ethan. One is "cracker" and the other is "banana" or in Ethan language this would be "qwacka" and "nana". 

I baked him a fabulous banana oatmeal this morning even though he had woken up (for good I might add) at 4AM thanks to a cold. Guess what he wouldn't eat? The banana. Go figure. And yes, I am patting myself on the back for making a real breakfast despite the lack of sleep.

I don't know if ya'll have the Sprout Channel where you live, but it's our channel of choice during the day for age appropriate shows. I could give some great commentary on all of the shows, but I'll save that for another time. Something feels wrong about making fun of kids shows. 

Setting that feeling aside for the moment of the main things that makes me go hmmm is why Caillou is still bald at the age of four? 

I'm so sad Ethan is sick while we are having this wonderful 60 degree weather this week. I just don't even want to get him out of the house when he is under the weather, but both of us could use some vitamin D in a big way. I do wonder though why are we having this fabulous weather in January? Does this mean that winter will actually hit in March when I'm just dying for Spring? 

Poor little sickie baby!

The other day when I was at Kroger I stopped by the organics section to price out their milk. It's a short display with two mirrors on the end caps to make it appear longer. I kid you not, there was a woman leaning over all the fresh organic milks and cheeses, popping a big pimple in the mirror. Thank God I had already bought my milk at Publix. So much for eating clean right?

And finally....

Why is it that every time you wash a dog, it rains the next day? So much for a freshly cleaned, white pup!

Please share: What makes you go Hmmm?

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