Happy January!

Ok so obviously we are some very slack mommies. Our last post was November! In our defense, since that time it was the holidays and Cameron is working hard at her job and I’ve been still getting into the swing of back to work with two kids. I’d love to say my new year’s resolution is to blog more. The thought did cross my mind, but then I realized unless the new year came with longer days I know there is no extra time to add in regular blogging. And I can’t make “lose weight” my resolution, because that was the whole point of the blog we started a long time ago. So I don’t really have a new year’s resolution. Since November my only goal has been to maintain my weight. Winter and holidays are hard enough. I call them the Dark Days. It’s dark when we get home from work. It’s cold/rainy frequently. There are mountains of yummy food and holiday obligations. My only goal for the Dark Days this year was to survive and hopefully come out the other side not weighing more than before. Mission accomplished! Despite my total lack of exercise and chronic eating of chocolate and delicious meals I maintained the same weight. Now that it is the new year and the Dark Days are almost over I can start focusing on my healthy eating. One thing my husband and I realized after spending some time with our families is how fragile health is once aging occurs. We are much older than our parents were when they had kids, therefore we’ll be much older as our kids grow up. Our parents are already faced with health issues in their 50s. Scary! Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t just a goal for a bikini (which will never happen anyhow) but for extending our healthiest years to have with our kids. That being said, I’ve been developing a plan in my head. 

My plan for my diet is going to be: Remove, Replace, Reduce. Remove temptation. Easier said than done. So far my removal efforts have been to eat the remaining holiday treats. And when I thought we were getting to the end my husband arrived home from the store with a cake mix and ice cream. Not helpful. Replace ingredients and food choices with healthier options. I figure if I can replace ingredients in dinners with healthier options that would be a good start. Try to replace a carb somewhere in my day with a veggie or fruit. And Reduce. If I think about eating less maybe I will. I’m sure all the extra bites of kids’ food and dinner while cooking and snacks add up. Plus I always eat dinner like a ravenous shipwreck person and end up eating too much. I am hoping that my remove, replace, reduce method will be a no stress way to diet. I don’t really have to think about things or change too much. Of course seeing if it has any results will be the true test. 

The second half of my plan is activity. (Notice I did not say exercise. Exercise implies I have time to go out running or to the gym or lift weights. Given my current schedule none of those will be happening, unfortunately.) I’d like to improve flexibility, muscle tone and strength, and cardio endurance. Activity will be tricky to do until after the Dark Days end. I need light and decent weather after work or on weekends to take kids out walking. I don’t really have a plan for “activity” yet. I just know I should. 

Really my new year fitness and health goals are no different than most peoples. Focusing too much on it though makes it no fun and stresses me out. With two kids and work I have to be content to know that small things make the goal. I want to lose ten more pounds although I don’t have a specific timeline on that goal. I would also like to do some type of family run with my daughter this summer. 

Grace

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Product Reviews from my house

I have a few new products that I thought I’d review, just because.

First up, the world’s worst vacuum. Our old vacuum (a Eureka pet one) was awful. It did pick up some things but most everything just shot out the back of the vacuum. This vacuum also had a switch between roller and hose. Which was nice, until you realize you’ve vacuumed the whole house with only the hose on… Finally this vacuum’s hose broke so we got a new one. A Hoover Windtunnel 2 Rewind Pet. I let my husband pick it out from Kohl’s and I figured, good store, good name, must be decent. WRONG. It does pick up off the floor and the attachments really do pick up pet fur very well. Also the cord rewind works great, but the cord is just a tad too short to reach all places in my very small house. Emptying the canister, however, is GROSS! It has a one touch bottom release, which is good, but the way the canister is designed in a way that nothing drops out of it. You actually have to reach up into the canister and try to pull all the dirt and hair out. SO NASTY. And the canister fills and stops swirling around within minutes of vacuuming (and that is with daily vacuuming, it’s not like I’m vacuuming once in a blue moon). The hose is so short. Even with the extenders there is no way I can reach the ceiling. It’s a workout just to try to yank the cord out far enough to vacuum the couch. So there you have it. Now Cameron has a Dyson and loves it, but I just can’t spend that much on a vacuum. Maybe it would be better but I feel like the price of that vacuum, it should do it for you!

Second product review is our recent Craigslist purchase of a new Schwinn bike trailer/jogging stroller.  I had been watching for one and wanting to start running again. This was listed as used once and only $100! I actually think Amazon’s advertised price has dropped since I got mine because I remember we paid about half the retail price. With the safety features being so important on this type of product I was leery of getting a used one, but you can’t beat half price for used once. It has been awesome. So easy to push with two kids. And it converts easily from bike trailer to jogger so I’ve used it both ways. We’ve been going for family bike rides on the weekend. I’d say it is a great purchase for someone looking for a multipurpose piece of equipment. It is bulky though, so it takes up a lot of space in the house. We don’t have a garage or good outdoor shed, so we have to take off the wheels each time and haul it inside. I really like it though and wish I had more time to run!

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Lastly is a freebie we got wit a prize my husband won at work, a Philips Air Fryer! So this kitchen contraption “fries” food in air. It’s basically a compact convection oven. It is super awesome for all freezer foods. French fries, cheese sticks, chicken poppers… they all turn out AMAZING. Like a restaurant and way better than in the oven. Honestly we rarely even buy those kinds of frozen things because we usually make our own fries and chicken nuggets. But the air fryer is great because they cook in half the time and don’t require the oven to be on and pre-heated. So on the one hand, we’ve been able to make some yummy dinners super fast. On the other hand, I feel like our diet has taken a nose dive into an unhealthy realm we’ve never been to. We have been able to use the fryer for some better meals. It makes awesome roast vegetables. We roasted some butternut squash and other veggies to put into a soup. Instead of roasting everything in the oven for an hour we just used the air fryer for about 20 minutes. My husband likes to make toast in it, either cheese or peanut butter. He even made a chocolate cake one night in it. We’ve pretty much used it every day since we got it. I really wish we could give one to Cameron for xmas but they are a bit pricey. If it wasn’t a free prize we certainly would not have one.

So that concludes my review of a few new things around here. Next I want to write about pop culture and the three year old. Hopefully I’ll have time again soon. As for my weigh ins, my weight is about the same. I would love to lose more weight, but for some reason I just can’t quite give up my daily chocolate/sugar fix. And obviously with my new cooking appliance some of our meals haven’t been the best.

Grace

Random Thoughts

Hello! Is anyone still out there? I know that when the other half of the duo and I started this, we had dreams of blogging a bit more regularly. What were we thinking?!?! This being a full time working mommy is pretty darn hard.  So a big thanks to those of you that have hung in there and are still reading.

Now for the random thoughts running through my head.

1. Tater Tot is going to be one next month. One! I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast. But that brings up the issue of birthday parties. And unfortunately we live in the world of Pinterest and Instagram, so I know how awesome little kid birthday parties have become. Part of me really wants to throw this awesome party full of matching accessories and a fun activities. But the other sensible part of me knows that she’s only one and if I threw goldfish on the floor with some balloons, she’d be ecstatic. It’s not like she’s going to remember this birthday anyway. So I guess the party would be more for me than for her. I’m so torn on what to do. And that’s not even factoring in the family situation. Don’t get me started on that, but let’s just say there are certain family members I don’t want to attend, but would feel obligated to invite. Ugh!

Great eye firming cream from Pur Minerals.

Great eye firming cream from Pur Minerals.

 

2. Moisturizer.  The other half of this awesome duo gave me a belated birthday present and it was this fabulous eye firming cream. I know that she wasn’t trying to tell me anything or suggest that I needed it. She really likes the product so she shared with me, cause she’s awesome like that. But of course that led me down the path to thinking about other products like moisturizer. Truth is that I’m 31. Whoa, that seems really weird to be typing that number, but I am. And I don’t moisturize. In fact, I kind of suck at any skin care routines, unless you count my daily shower with good ‘ole Dial soap and any other random things that may land on my face courtesy of Tater Tot. So what are some good products out there? I don’t want anything that feels to greasy or has a smell. I’m really sensitive to smelly stuff.

 

3, More kids? I know don’t panic, we’re not pregnant and no we’re not even trying. But I’m the oldest mommy in the daycare group and typically the oldest mommy most places I go. I’m sure there are lots of mommies out there older than I, but around these parts I’m a bit of anomaly especially to only have 1 child at 31. Plus, it seems like everywhere I look folks are pregnant with baby #2. I know that doesn’t mean I have to get pregnant as well, but it sure does make the wheels start turning. I worry about my age and trying to have another kiddo. I also worry about how many years I want my kids to be apart. My sister and I were six and half years apart. So growing up I always felt like the babysitter and not a sister. It’s just been in the past year or so that we’ve started to have a good relationship. Plus, kids are expensive, like really expensive. Another kiddo means 2 daycare payments and I don’t know that we could handle that. So, round in round these thoughts go in my head.

I know these are totally random but it feels good to put them out there.

Cameron

The Wrong Direction

Even though I had early success with losing weight when I went back to school, the scale has slowly started going the wrong way. My diet lately has been filled with fat and sugar. Really, we’ve eaten pretty crappy dinners, more food on the go, and I’ve fallen back into the stress and tired zone that requires an ongoing level of chocolate in my blood. Gone are my healthy days of eating good snacks and cooking decent dinners. And certainly gone are my days of doing any form of exercise. It is so frustrating. On a daily/weekly basis I am accomplishing nothing. I don’t get what I need to done at work. I don’t have time to do house work. Make dinner. Exercise. Lose weight. Play with kids. Talk to husband. Even yesterday (Saturday) we had time to do stuff and I managed to vacuum and clean the hard floors. During P’s morning nap. How on earth do you get a house ready to sell when in 45 minutes you accomplish a chore that is not even really out of the norm? It’s not painting the bathroom or repairing the window. It’s not improving the “curb appeal.” It’s not clearing out and “semi-staging” the living area. All I did was make it somewhat cleaner for my baby to crawl around. Which should be happening anyhow. Today should be bathroom day because we need to do some repairs and paint. But even just cleaning the bathroom will take a whole nap time. Even now I type a sentence and then go chase after a kid. I so want to be less cranky. And more productive. And weigh less. 

I heard this story on the radio the other day on my way to work. It is about sports and how fans eat more food and worse food the day after their team is defeated. Well I was thinking, is it would make sense that this feeling would translate to other areas of your life as well. So if a day at school goes poorly or you lose your temper with your kids or you end up realizing the house is a disaster despite trying to clean it wouldn’t you feel defeated? I’m thinking I get off school and drive home telling myself I will totally make an awesome dinner and play beautifully with my kids, then the night doesn’t go that way, I would probably feel defeated. And then eat more. Even if subconsciously I felt defeated. 

I am certainly feeling defeated this morning. I weigh more, didn’t get anything cleaned, didn’t finish grocery shopping yesterday, and so far today have demanded my kids entertain themselves while I type and drink coffee. Guilt and defeat. Makes a handful of chocolate chips much more appealing than oatmeal. Not to mention I can get that in two seconds. And a box of markers just got spilled. Off to clean. 

Grace

 

A new mommy friend???

Could it be, have I managed to make a new mommy friend?

I’m a bit nervous writing this post. As if just by typing the words for the world to read  my new mommy friend might just disappear into thin air.  Ack!

For some of you this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for me it is A BIG FRICKIN’ DEAL! If you all haven’t picked up on this, Grace (the other half of this duo) lives an hour and half away. While that isn’t terribly far, it’s too far for us to get together and do things doing the week. It’s also too far for one of us to just run over to the others house without planning a meal and what to do with the kiddos.

My other friend lives in Georgia, so we have to do major planning to see each other. And finally I have one other friend that lives in Florida. So yep, I am capable of making long distance friendships work really well. Apparently it’s the close ones that I struggle with!

So here’s how it all went down.

Tater Tot and I were out in the driveway playing and getting ready to go for a walk. We try to walk every night but it’s so hot that we have been waiting until later. While we were playing we saw a woman walk by with two dogs and a stroller with a baby inside. Jackpot! We have two mutts, so finding friends with dogs is a plus. Those of you that don’t own dogs just don’t get it. Anyway, as soon as I saw her, we waved and I threw TT into the stroller and we set off behind her. Ten feet down the road and I realized I was being a bit creepy and sort of stalker-ish. So I tried to play it cool and we turned and went down one cul-de-sac while she went the other way. I knew that our route was shorter and we could then go down her loop and “run into” her again. And that’s exactly what we did. However in my haste to make sure we “meet” on the walk, I started going faster than normal. You have to picture us, it’s about 98 degrees in the boiling sun and I’m pushing TT like we’re on a mission to win. So by the time we “run into” the mommy, I’m a gigantic pile of sweat. I mean, who want to be friends with me? RIght???

Okay, so TT loves dogs and as soon as we see them coming she starts saying “ogg”, which is of course my 10 months old way of saying dog. But it’s the perfect opening for me to stop and talk to her. I totally blow the being cool part and immediately I’m like “Hey, you’re a mommy and I’m a mommy so let’s be friends”. I suggest that we get together and walk sometimes, cause you know having someone to exercise with is better than doing it alone. Then I whip out my phone and suggest we exchange numbers. So I give her my number and she says she’ll text me later with her info. At this point I realize she thinks I’m a crazy person and there’s no way she’s going to give me her contact info. So I say goodbye and cut my losses.

Here’s the thing. Before we bought our house, my husband and I tried to purposefully buy a house in location with families. We knew we wouldn’t be close to our family, so we wanted TT to be able to have other kids to play with. I have attempted unsuccessfully to be-friend other mommies. Somehow we ended up living next to a really cool family, but the mom is drop dead gorgeous and I’ve never ever seen her exercise. Plus their kiddo is about four years older than mine, so we haven’t really done any play dates. The other mommies haven’t really welcomed me with open arms, so mostly it’s just be me and TT. Not asking for pity, just tellin’ like it is. I think I’m awesome but apparently not everyone does. Crazy!!

Anyway, back to the story. The hubbs has taken a second job (that’s a whole other post that I owe you guys) so it’s just TT and me on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After the walk we head home, do dinner, bath and then bedtime. I check my phone after putting TT down for the night and OMG – I have a new message. I didn’t recognize the number so I assumed it must be my new mommy friend and it was!! Hooray! Turns out she doesn’t think I’m creepy, she was just trying to get home so she could pump and feed the baby! We exchanged all of our info and even went for a walk together yesterday. Success!

I’m not saying we’re besties or anything, that’s what I’ve got Grace for. But can I tell you how nice it is to go for a walk and have someone to talk to. Not that I don’t love singing the ABC’s and reciting Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for TT, but I think everyone else in the neighborhood is happy that I didn’t have to do that. Turns out she’s a teacher, so we had lots to talk about. And it seems like our husbands might get along, which is another plus.

So I’m really trying to play it cool, but internally I’m freaking out like a 12 year old girl right now. A new friend!!!

And because you know you want to see the cuteness, I’ll leave you with a picture of TT!playground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron

 

Scared of the Scale

Other than not blogging lately, I have also not weighed in. Frankly I’m too scared of what the scale might say. The past two months have been so incredibly stressful and I have not been able to walk farther than from my car to work. The eating due to stress and tiredness is out of control. Clothes that were starting to fit are now way too tight again. There is no need to step on the scale to confirm what my clothes tell me. Everything has really come to a head this weekend when we just bought two pizzas and ate on them all weekend in lieu of cooking. So what all has been going on, because I’m not sure anyone knows it all.

I went back to work the first week of August. Right before that our truck was in need of major repairs and so (after much fretting) we ended up trading it in and leasing a new truck. This involved multiple evening trips to town and obviously a lot of stress over a major purchase. P came down with roseola right when he was supposed to get acclimated to day care. Therefore the transition to day care was horrible and I ended up missing my first day back to work. Add to the doctor trips and truck trips a few vet trips. Due to a summer “vacation” away the pets ended up with fleas and the damn things just won’t go away. We are still battling them. Matt and I are also battling over what to do with the pets (I say get rid of them, he says no).  Somewhere in the first month of school my husband went through a bout of job recruiting. We attempted a yard sale. Matt was out of town during the week. Took a family trip to see another potential city. Discussed potential life changes on a daily basis. P came down with croup. M got sick too. P developed a rash. Now we are home with pneumonia. Four more doctor visits, two of which were at the after hours weekend clinic. Matt and I were sick. The kitchen sink flooded the kitchen due to a leak. The vacuum broke and we got a new one (that is equally awful). M threw up from all the coughing. More life changing decisions and searching for city information and housing options. All this while getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night (not consecutive) and working full time.

I know, it sucks being whiny about stuff. Everyone has “life.” But, for real. We need a break. It appears we are staying put for now, which means we need to get our house on the market and sold. And now the vacation/sick time has been used up and we are some how supposed to travel to see family in December. Another life conversation we had over lunch today. How to travel with kids and not enough time off? Then there is the feeling of totally being trapped. Stuck here in a house we have outgrown, in a job I don’t like, at a stress level that is becoming ridiculous. Isolated from anyone and not having luck making connections. We were so desperate for something to change, anything really. Trying to decide about jobs and housing and your life plan, especially when it is for a whole family, has to be the most thought occupying thing. The whole process is like trying to maneuver a giant balance with many parts. Location we want, but not the job. Job we want but far from people. Housing good but no opportunities. Obviously we know we can’t keep everyone happy in what we do or where we go, but that still leaves us with the giant question of what do we want? When do we want it? Where do we want to be? What can we live with? At this point I am very sad we aren’t packing up and leaving but also realize that the part of the balance leaning towards responsibility and low-risk won out. This time.

Last Friday I so badly wanted to go out to eat with Matt. Have a relaxed conversation (that didn’t include a five year family plan), eat without crying (kids or me), and just be. Now the other half of the duo would gladly watch our kids, but when we see them we want to stay all together. And the other half of the duo also sent me an email that left me crying, not because it was bad but because it was exactly what I needed to hear and was the absolute best thing to help me. Probably even better than getting a date with Matt. It definitely reminded me that having a friend like Cameron is the best.

So in conclusion, working is hard. Planning life is hard. Sick kids is hard. No sleep is hard. Everything else in the last month has been hard. I have no cheery outlook on it other than I hope it doesn’t wreak too much havoc on my body and will hopefully be coming to a stay, at least for a while.

Grace

Letter to the new mommy at daycare

Dear New Mommy at Daycare,

I noticed that when you pulled up at daycare, you parked right in front of the door. Don’t do that. There are lots of other kids that go here and their parents pay the same amount of money that you do. So let’s leave the walkway clear so that our children have a safe place to walk and enter the building. Secondly I noticed that not only did you leave your car running, you also left your purse on the front seat. Are you insane? I’m all for believing in the good of people, but seriously, seriously are you insane? Leaving your purse on the front seat of your shiny BMW in plain view is like saying pick me, pick me!! Keep in mind the daycare I’m referring to is located on my college’s campus. So while yes, the majority of folks you’re seeing are other parents just trying to rush and get their kids dropped off for the day, there are other folks here that may take advantage of the opportunity you just presented them with. Third, when someone says hello, say hello back. Your kid is watching you and will treat others the way in which they see you treat other people. We don’t need to be best friends, but its cool to show that you have some common decency. Forth, be nice to the people that take care of your kids. You didn’t realize it, but we’re in the same daycare group. And yes I saw how you barely had time to talk to teacher or even barely notice the other parents in the room. My little one has been going to this daycare since she was 9 weeks old. I’ve seen these ladies go through some really bad days and believe me, just a friendly hello in the morning goes a long way. And lastly, don’t put your shit in my kid’s spot. There are assigned cubbies for a reason. Move your crap.

That’s all.

Oh, and my kid is way more awesome than your kid.

Sincerely,

Me