Friday, July 26, 2013

Operation Get Fit

So this is the dreaded post where I pledge to hold myself accountable to getting my body back to it's more happy state. I'm very hesitant to post this partly due to the fear that I will kick off this campaign and have it go nowhere, but I'm slightly even more frightened that if I don't then I will never do anything about the situation and blissfully give in to all the Mickey D sweet teas and sugary treats I desire and just become comfortable in this more fluffy appearance. 

I'm currently 7.5 months post baby. I tried to look back to see exactly how much I gained with Jackson, but I couldn't find the number. I believe I gained 45lbs...if that's not accurate, it's close. I believe I hit my pre-E body around the 9 month mark and then weight just kept falling off after that until I became pregnant again with Jackson. I haven't been able to do too much yet since I was nursing Jackson up until a month ago. I have been doing hot yoga for about 2 months, but now I'm ready to get my diet more under control and hopefully add in some other exercise as well. At this point I feel like the weight is just "stuck".

In hopeful aspiration of hopping into size 4's or possibly size 2's without any flabby belly overhang or spandex contraptions that truly create amazing optical illusions, I am kicking off operation #MTUOperationGetFit. (There isn't much there yet, but there will be soon...hopefully.)

Onto, the even more dreaded part...the before stats and pictures.


Waist: (Above belly button) 31in 
                                                     (At belly button because I feel this is my trouble spot) 33.5 in
Hips: 39in
Thighs: (L) 22in (R) 22.5in
Calves: (L) 15in (R) 15in
Arms: (L) 12in (R) 12in

Props for bravery on posting this right? Ugh. Sorry for the's incredibly hard to take pictures of yourself in a narrow mirror with beveled edges. 


For the sake of keeping a little bit of mystery about myself I won't give you the actual number. I know...whomp, whomp. I feel like people take those numbers without any consideration of height, build or whatever else might impact it. So, instead I'll go the + or - route. 

First let's talk goals. I'm +9lbs of where I was pre-Ethan. I'm +20lbs of where I was pre-Jackson. I'm honestly more concerned with shape than numbers, but they go hand in hand somewhat I guess. Let's just say my old normal weight looks nothing like it once did, but I think my healthiest weight is somewhere in the middle.

So, let's say:

+14lbs from Goal Weight

So, there you have it. My fluffy pictures and stats ingrained in the inter webs forever and ever. That just means there needs to be a darn good after, right? 

**Today I'm beginning a detox cleanse to kick things off. Be on the lookout for the review of that sometime next week.**

Monday, July 22, 2013

Let Them Be Little

The moment Ethan walked into the hospital room to meet his little brother for the first time, I began seeing him in a different light. Before Jackson's birth he was my baby, but the second Jackson had been extracted from my uterus, he obliviously became the oldest. 

In that moment, he unknowingly gained the responsibilities that notoriously come along with being the eldest sibling. He now had to meet every one's expectations of being a leader, of being a protector and caretaker of the youngest. I immediately began to give him less grace. There was now someone smaller, more innocent among our family. Ethan...he should know better.

It all sounds so silly. He was only 26 months old at the time Jackson was born. Looking back at pictures and home videos I realize how young he really was to have such things projected on him. This seems to be a never ending thing with me. I can remember crying around his very first birthday "Oh, he is not a baby anymore. He is so big!". Now, all I can do is laugh at myself. He was still bald, chubby and wobbly. Did I really think he wasn't a baby anymore? And I'm sure in 6 more months, when I look back on pictures of the present day 33 month old Ethan whom I still expect so much of, I will laugh and think the same thing. 

I'm in constant battle with myself. I want to rush him to the finish line, but in the very next second, I want to cry because another stage has passed and I feel the need to morn the fleeting moments of his littleness. That's the thing with the oldest. You want to check the box, you want to get to the next stage, but when you get have the feeling that maybe, just rushed it. You missed something. You didn't realize the preciousness of it until it had passed. 

Most days, Ethan amazes me when I watch him with his little brother, but some days are less great than others. Some days I find myself expecting too much of him. Some days I find myself trying to fit him into the stereotypical oldest child role. And at the end of those days, when I look in on him at night all cuddled up to his blanket and lovie, I wonder if I'm being fair. If I'm forgetting how tiny he still is. If I'm remembering to give him enough grace. If I'm remembering to just let him be little. 

I should know better. I know all too well the burdens and responsibilities of being the oldest because I am one. I'm not at all saying it's a bad position to have, but sometimes I wish I could have had a little more grace. A little more freedom to make mistakes. A few less responsibilities. A little less pressure to be more sensible. 

I'm making it my mission to check myself from time to time and try my best to give Ethan the grace he needs. He only gets one childhood after all. This is his time to be little and I want to make sure I give that to him.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baby Love Shower

This past week I had the chance to throw a new friend a baby shower and I had so much fun putting things together. It seems the more parties I throw, the easier they get to do. I guess I'm sort of finding my "entertaining groove" which is somewhat stress relieving since I will have two special birthdays to plan for in a few upcoming months.

I had no specific theme in mind when I decided to take on this task so I asked the soon to be mom of two what her nursery colors were (navy, grey and orange) and it helped guide the way. I remembered awhile back seeing a "shower" themed shower and I thought it was such a unique idea and that it would work perfectly with her colors. I decided to use orange as the "pop of color" and turned the theme into a "Shower of Love". 

All the decor was super simple and I got it all done in a weekend. The mantle garland was simply tulle which was uber cheap at Hobby Lobby. I just cut equal lengths of 3 different colors (you can't really tell that in the pic below) and tied them around a longer length of tulle. Note: Do not buy glitter tulle unless you want your house to be glitter-ific. 

For the raindrop strands I just used a heart stencil on scrapbook paper and cut the hearts in half. I strung them on sewing thread and put a dollop of glue on each to keep them in place. Hang these suckers immediately. Do not even try to "neatly" stack them until party time or you will spend a good hour untangling. Trust me.

I tried to keep the food fairly simple as well since I was doing it all myself. I used the cloud cookie cutter that I had bought for Ethan's airplane birthday party to add a touch of the theme. I also attempted to make an "ombre-ish" cake that my cake idol Sweetpolita had put on her blog not too long ago. It didn't turn out exactly as envisioned, but this non-cake decorator was pretty satisfied. I'd much rather bake than decorate any day. Don't even ask me to make cupcakes. I'll cry and redo them a billion times over. 

As for the non sugary food I made chicken salad served with croissants, artichoke dip and individual salads. I'm a sucker for entertaining-ware, but I think one of my favorite things to do is use individualized serving pieces. I have to say I use these mini trifle dishes quite a lot. They are perfect for making simple little things extra special and you can do so much with them. 

For the buffet table I used a grey chevron table runner that I simply folded and ironed for a finished edge. I also picked up these mini vases at Hobby Lobby for $1.50 a piece. They were the perfect way to stretch a floral budget. They helped make an impact without hurting my bank account. I definitely foresee using these quite a bit more in the future whether as centerpieces or perhaps across the mantle. 

To see other party ideas check out these posts:

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Good Ole Random Update Post

It's been awhile since I've done just a random life update post and today seems like a good day to do just that. So, I'm just going to type and we will see what comes out. How about that? 

This summer has either been dreadfully rainy or horribly sticky hot. I haven't done one single fun summery thing with Ethan during our normal weekdays. How terrible is that? I'm just too uninspired to do anything of the sort and then there is the problem of having to figure out what to do with Jack and by the time I'm done thinking about all that I'm just exhausted. So we do nothing. There is always next year right?

I'm anxiously counting down the days until August. I'm not talking about the excited kind of anxious either. It's more like my eyes are starting to dart back and forth in search of an "Oh S*!# bar" to hold onto. The end of the year gets crazy busy with holidays, travel, birthday planning....hold me. I feel nauseous already. And how are we talking about the end of the year ALREADY? I haven't even finished wrapping up my end of the year "to-do" lists from 2012. And didn't I just.give.birth like yesterday? How is my baby going to be one?!? Sigh. 

Life has been going fairly well. The husband got a new position, which thank God didn't require us to move, but now will have him mostly working from home. I know I should be leaping for joy over this, but as per usual I can find negativity in almost anything. It's one of my less charming qualities I guess. I've installed (ahem...he installed) multiple baby gates throughout the house which Ethan mastered in 2 seconds flat. I envision chasing children away from the office and constantly trying to hush them all day. We shall see what happens there. 

My hormones have been raging lately. I don't know how it works for other people, but I swear there is at least a-whole-nother 3 trimesters after birth known as complete udder joy, hair loss and finally raging hormones that wreck havoc on your emotions and face. I can literally feel things changing and boy has this last wave of hormones been a train wreck. I swear there are times when literally all I can see is red and you better just get out of the way. Sorry fam...hopefully this demon inside of me will be evicted soon.

With that said, I've been trying to get a little more zen. And less fat. I started hot yoga about a month ago and I'm really hoping it will kick start things. I'm tired of wearing the same 5 t-shirts all the time and I refuse to buy anymore "fat" clothes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to do something other than yoga to get back to my original state, but it's a start and it's making me feel like I am capable of doing more. You've got to start somewhere right?

Speaking of getting my body back, I gave up breastfeeding. It was just getting to the point where we were doing more formula than breastmilk and it's just a slippery slope from there for me. We almost made it 7 months and I'm proud of that. Plus, Jack grew teeth. Teeth scare me. He's a biter. No bueno. No milko. Sorry little dude. It was sweet while it lasted, but it's time to move on.

I think that's all for today. As you can see, not much has been happening. Enjoy your day! Hopefully it's not raining where you are.


P.S. If you haven't joined Amazon it. I'm totally addicted to it and the Subscribe and Save program. Two day shipping plus other benefits save me from running out to the store with two kids all the time. I buy everything from Amazon. No, really. Everything. If they sold produce...I'd order it. They have a free 30 day trial going on right now. Click the banner. Make it happen. Try it, you will love it. Promise.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Warnings for Potty Training Boy Moms

***If potty talk grosses you out...RUN! This is not the post for you. Come back another day, things are about to get graphic.***

I use to be a modest person. I didn't like to change clothes in front of others, much less would I talk about bodily functions. Motherhood changes you though. It rips the modesty right out of you in one swift tug. Bodily functions become your main focus when you have a baby. Potty training just brings them into a daily reality.

Nakedness is next to Godliness...or was that cleanliness?
Just go ahead and pack away the camera for awhile. Potty training apparently means living sans pants for a good portion of time. In fact, I hardly even notice nakedness these days. One morning I let Ethan follow me out the front door to take the dog to do her business (seriously...I'd hate to add up just how much of my day is focused on everyone's in take and out put) and our neighbors pulled in their drive. I gave them a big wave thanking my lucky stars that I'd actually changed out of my pajamas. Apparently I'd forgotten to note that my 2 year old was completely pants-less in the front yard. Beautiful.

Forget about having guests over.
If the nakedness isn't enough to scare them off, your bathrooms certainly will. Once your little boy learns he's got a little water gun on him at all times, he will want to use it and do so inappropriately. The walls, the floor, the potty seat, the trash can, his feet, your feet, the sink....nothing is safe. Thank God for Windex touch-ups...I now have those babies in every bathroom. (And, no. This is not a sponsored post.)

The world is their toilet. 
I don't know if this is just a boy thing, but apparently it's cool to check out every.single.bathroom on the face of this planet. Every gas station stop becomes a pee stop. In fact, once he learns a building has a bathroom, it becomes a ritual. Oh, sure, make them pee before you leave the house and try to "make them wait" while you are at the store. You know what will happen? They will scream "But mama, I have to POOOOOOOP!" so loud that people will stare and you would be ashamed not to take them to the bathroom at the speed of light even if you know it is all just one cruel, cruel joke. Oh, and outside totally awesome because they can make their own mud. Fascinating. I swear I'm not raising a wild beast.

(Poop) size matters.
You will be made to inspect every poo. He will want to save the big ones because "Daddy will be real proud.". He might even cry if you flush them during nap time. 

Germs aren't nearly as fierce as you think.
I've literally almost had heart attacks watching Ethan touch toilets that he shouldn't. No matter how good of a nest I have made him, he will always find a way to put his hands somewhere he shouldn't. They almost immediately then go to to his face every single time. I don't know how you girl moms do it. We mostly use the aim and shoot method these days thank goodness. 

How many lids can there be?
The top lid, the potty seat, the seat lid. Sometimes all of these things are touched or peed on or slammed and for the love....why are there so many??? Just a little tip-ity, tip if I may...little boys are at a bad height for lid slamming. Just saying. It's a vital lesson to impart. 

Potty training is not easier than diapering.
Sure, it's a must learn life skill and better earlier than later, but potty training is a lot of work. It's a lot of cheering, cleaning, hauling, teaching and sprinting. Let's just be thankful that it's cheaper. I'll wait and celebrate the day modesty comes back into play.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jackson's 6 Months Old!

I can't believe the half way mark is here already. I know now, that you will be starting the quick slide out of babyhood. I will blink and it will be your first birthday. Time goes entirely too quickly. Last night, as if you felt my sadness, you fell asleep on my chest. Something you haven't done in months. I just sat there rocking you, soaking all of your littleness in. It was heaven.

This month you have done quite a bit of growing. You are now weighing 15lbs 14oz (16th percentile) and measuring 27 inches (59%). You grew 4 inches this month alone! Take that growth percentile chart! You are serious about your food son. You eat about 12oz of baby food at meal time and aren't picky in the least bit. Your bottom two teeth have just recently broken through and you are dying to eat real people food. You look at me like "Hey mom, I'm ready! Let's do this.".... in time bug, in time.

We are still nursing although not quite as much. We usually get in little sessions right after meal time although I think it is more for comfort than nourishment at this point. We do formula before bedtime or for snacks. You drink between 4-6oz which is a lot less than your brother ever did. I'm pretty sure you are making up the calories at mealtimes though. 

You have been sitting up like a champ this month with the straightest little back. I envy your posture. You aren't on the move just yet, but we are sooooo close. You get up on all fours and rock back and forth. You do baby planks all the time...strength training I guess. And, when you can't figure out how to get going, you propel yourself head forward into whatever direction you are wanting to go. Hey, determination is not a quality you lack! I like it.  I have to admit that I'm terrified to have a second one on the move. Shew. It is going to happen any day now. 

Sleep has been going pretty good. You take one long morning nap and a short afternoon nap without really any fuss. I'm pondering dropping your paci....I really think you wouldn't mind. As for nighttime you go down around 7 or 8 and wake up between 11 and 1. Sometimes you might wake up between 4 and 5:30 but lately you have been sleeping until 6-ish which is awesome. 

You are such a chill little guy. You happily entertain yourself for most of the day catching my eye from time to time and giving me the biggest smile. You love to laugh and grin. It is my favorite quality of yours. I have taken to calling you Jack instead of Jackson (something I didn't think I would do), time tell what ends up sticking though. You have many nicknames: Jack-o-potomus, Jack-a-roo, Jungle J, Baby Jack, Jack-Jack, Jack-attack and Baby J. You are certainly well loved and cuddled. We love you little guy!

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