Friday, December 12, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #7ish

A month? Seriously? I haven't blogged in a month? Hmmmm. I guess that must be right!

Wellll, a lot can happen in a month, as we all know. Things like traveling to Albuquerque for a long weekend, Thanksgiving, your first "baby" turning six years old. (Ouch. Still hurts to type that one.)

I am happy to report that although I have been MIA over here, I have NOT completely derailed myself from my weight loss efforts. It is actually amusing for me to report that I actually went, jogging, I said...on Thanksgiving morning to "earn" my big ol' meal! I mean, people -- JOGGING. On Turkey Day. This is big change. Big.


Basically, here's the update. I found this program through word-of-mouth from a great friend (who has a blog but no actual BLOG there or I'd hook you up -- subtle hint that I would like her to blog, isn't it?? she knows who she is.) and downloaded these podcasts to my iPod. So now I jog with good ol' Robert 3 times a week. I did day one of week 4 this morning and Robert -- whoo, he had me questioning whether or not this was such a good idea. BUT, I did it.

And, for all of you Biggest Loser fans out there -- I am pleased to tell you that both Vicky and Heba are good for something, after all. I just pictured them running on either side of me and told myself two things: (a) if THEY could run, I could run and (b) if I quit -- it would be a bad omen for Michelle, so I had to keep running if I wanted to give her some mojo. And guess what? I did it. So. Those two evil, scheming *ahem* women (this is me not cursing at them) actually kept me running this morning...who knew?

Okay. So we have one week left for our group before this session ends. I weighed in last night for the first time in 4 weeks -- I missed because the kids were sick, I was sick, Thanksgiving, and a snow cancellation -- and I was down 5 lbs from my last weigh in! This was very exciting to me because...

It means that I am only 1/2 pound over the weight that I was when I got pregnant with Mason and have now lost 38 pounds since having him! Yay!!!!! I'm also only 17 pounds over my lowest weight -- that was right before I got pregnant with Miss G, so June 2005. I'm so happy about that!

My first goal is 7 lbs.
My second goal is 17 lbs. I'd love to do this by April, as I am in my best friend's wedding and will be in a strapless gown.
My ultimate goal is 37 lbs. This seems more within my reach now that I realize I've already lost that much. Funny how your brain needs little things like that. Or my little brain, I should say.

I am just taking it one day at a time and trying not to be too crazy or obsessed. I'm also trying to be realistic about things. For instance, I have a date night tomorrow with my husband. We have a Christmas party at one of his co-worker's houses and will probably end up out for drinks with friends or by ourselves later. typical Friday cheating will not be happening. Nor have I had a glass of wine while I cooked dinner this week. (My favorite thing!! Love to do that.)

Anyway- there's the update. Have a long way to go but am proud of myself for the hard work I've put in so far. I'm giving all the glory to God though -- He has certainly provided me with a team of loving, supporting, encouraging people to cheer me on, and most importantly -- the strength and courage to do what I need to do.

He is so good. So very, very good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

Okay, so my friend, Jamie, tagged me for a little Meme. Yesterday I said I blew off a large portion of my day doing computerish stuff and my adorably preggo buddy, Emily, asked me if that meant I blogged. Nope, sadly. So, here is a no-brainer. (Right up my alley.) Actually though, I'm trying not to repeat what I've already said here , here , here and here. Hmmm...

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you. (Good, aren't I?)
2. Post the rules on your blog. (Seriously, I'm so on top of this.)
3. Write six random things about yourself. (Will do.)
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (Readers beware.)
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog (Mental note.)
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. (Jamie, I am doing a Meme. Just FYI.)

Six Random Tara Facts...

1. When I was little, my brother and I used to play "trucking company" together. He would haul (I have no idea what) around the house in his play semi truck and I would stay in my room. We had a phone that was disconnected, so I'd use that and I had a spiral. I would take messages for him and make appointments for him to take things to various parts of the country. I wonder if he remembers that. I always had fun. (Probably because I was bossing him around and telling him where to go, when to go, and what to take.)

2. I put deodorant and perfume on every single time I take a shower. Even if it's midnight and I'm going to bed. I just do.

3. I talk in my sleep. Chris has had some interesting conversations with me before (actually - more like conversations with me where he thinks I'm an idiot), only to find out that I'm asleep. I used to take orders in the middle of the night when I was a waitress.

4. I love tractors. Never been on one. Not sure why I like them, but I just do.

5. I love to dip fritos in cottage cheese. I know it sounds gross, but seriously - YUM. I blame my mom -- she introduced me to this little snack gem. (By the way, we never have fritos in the house, so I would say I eat this about twice a year.)

6. I could probably make an entire meal out of the relish tray. Olives, pickles, peppers, etc. Those empty, salty calories -- yeah. I am all about the relish tray. And my grandma used to make these things called watermelon pickles...I didn't like them so much when I was growing up but I would like to try them now. I wonder if she still has her recipe somewhere? I should ask!

Okay. There ya go. If you haven't blogged in the last two weeks, now you have something to blog about because I'm tagging you!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #6

I know I skipped a week. Here's a recap: started working out, didn't do so good on the eating front, gained a half pound.

Fast forward to this most recent week. Our "homework" from group was to pick one of the 9 commitments (prayer, attendance, scripture reading, verse memorization, encouragement, exercise, Live-It -- eating plan, the Commitment Record -- food journal, and Bible study) that you needed to really improve on and just go for it. I picked the Live-It (eating plan) and the CR since they go hand-in-hand and since I'd completely blown it the week before on both of them. When you draw a big ? on two days worth of the CR simply to avoid having to actually SAY what and how much you ate...probably not a good sign. At least there was plenty of room for improvement.

So. I had a GREAT week. I made it to the gym four days this week and can say that I worked hard the entire time I was there. Sore, but not TOO sore...just how I like it. I also just decided I'd write it all down. Good, bad, ugly, whatever. I know I'm loved and supported in my group, not judged or shamed AT ALL, so that wasn't it. It's all about me. Just overcoming my "stuff" of which there is a LOT to overcome. Shooo-weee. Lots of it. Funky junk in my emotional basement that needs some cleaning out, if you know what I mean.

Anyway- I can just tell you this. I went out to dinner twice, had four glasses of wine, stayed up late one night munching on snacks with the hubster, ate my way through a big ol' tub of frozen yogurt and STILL lost 3.5 lbs!! That was the most victorious feeling I've had in quite some time, and I am telling you now -- God is in charge of this whole thing.

HE gets my butt outta bed at 5 am. I mean, really - it's my nursing boobs, but come on. Who invented those? :) I jam my way through my workouts with some great praise and worship music -- my "God Rock" as Chris likes to call it. I get some major prayer time in while I'm doing situps and pushups. Mostly just calling out to Him to help me do 2 more. Okay, two MORE. Alright, two MORE. (Welcome to the inside of my head during workouts...scary, huh?)

Seriously. Between that, completing the Bible study for my group, sharing at the actual meetings with those amazing women, and my fantastically supportive hubby - it's hard for me not to give all the glory for this to God. He has pretty much set me up for success by giving me the tools and people in my life that I need in order to be on the right track. I'm sure that sounds hokey, but it is a fact for me.

So. Guess what happened when those 3.5 lbs came off? Two things.

1. Maternity clothes are being packed up FOR GOOD (I mean it this time!!) today.
2. My old "skinny jeans" fit on Wednesday. Thank goodness for stretch denim, I say. I didn't say they fit WELL, but I wore them out in public because everything else was still wet from the washing machine. I didn't get booed or whispered at, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

All in all, a very good week for me. Like many of you, it was a pretty emotional week with the whole pre-and-during-and-post election "stuff". It felt nice to have some peace amid all of the turbulence.

Okay, can't give you my memory verse for this week because I didn't memorize it. (I continue to have a lot of commitments to pick from in the room for improvement category.) Instead, I will leave you with a link to a song that I seriously can JAM OUT with. I saw her do this song live at the Women Of Faith conference in September and got hooked on it. I am not kidding and being entirely serious when I say that on Wednesday morning, I had to restrain myself from flat out DANCING on the treadmill. Lucky for you, I have found the song, complete with dancers!! This song just speaks to me and makes me wanna get funky. Pretty much, picture me as these kids on the treadmill. Only less coordinated and a lot older. And bigger. And really tired with 5 am ponytail hair. Hmmmm...maybe I should get some camo sweat pants and just go for it? Yeah, probably not.

Enjoy my new fave: "Shackles" by Mandisa and have a wonderful weekend!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Some kidbits...

I haven't taken the time to keep track of some of the funnies that have happened around here lately, so here are a few from the past few days. It's hard to stay grumpy some days with stuff like this being said! Oh, and just so you know, any time you see the words "And don't forget..." from Miss G, picture her holding her right index finger up in the air like you do to get a hot dog from the vendor going up and down the aisles at the baseball game. It's her new thing.

Mommy: You're doing such a great job going potty, Georgia!

Miss G: Yeah. I love to go potty!

Mommy: You're almost ready for big girl panties. You just need to start going poop in the potty.

Miss G: And don't forget PEE!!

Mitchell: I'm ready to go outside.

Miss G: Me, three!

Mitchell: It's "Me, too" not "Me, three."

Miss G: It's me, too.

Last night when we were trick or treating on our block, this adorable little black dog followed us from house to house. He was obviously loose from someone's house in the neighborhood, but he didn't have on tags and didn't want anyone to get too close. He didn't growl, he'd just back away. Mitchell was really concerned about him. When he got up this morning we were talking about how much fun we had last night...

Mitchell: Mommy, what happened to the little dog?

Mommy: I don't know, buddy. Hopefully he found his way home.

Mitchell: I wish I could have helped him. Batman ALWAYS helps save lost little puppy dogs on halloween, you know.

Mommy: Awwww.

At breakfast this morning....

Mitchell: Can I have a treat when I'm done with breakfast?

Mommy: Hmmmm. Probably. Just one and only if you eat all of your eggs.

Miss G: Me, three! (seriously. she says that.)

Mitchell: And Mason, too!

Mommy: Well, Mason can't have a treat.

Mitchell: Sure he can. His MILK can be his treat!

While I was making dinner last night, Mitchell and Georgia were each laying under a blanket on a separate sofa in the living room, pretending to sleep. After a few minutes, they started to run laps around the kitchen table. I told them to go play in the living room for a little bit and that dinner was almost ready.

Miss G: Let's play Mommy & Daddy!

Mitchell: Nahhhh, we just DID that! Let's read books.

Daddy: When did you play Mommy & Daddy?

Mitchell: When we were asleep on the couch.

Mommy & Daddy: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Here are some pictures of our little trick or treating the way - Georgia called her wig her "crazy hair" and Mitchell was quite upset that his outfit was missing the yellow belt that the picture on the package showed. That's what happens when you go for the cheapo craigslist costume, dude. Oh - and I think I should say that out of the whole big bucket of yummy treats that they collected last night, both of them were most excited to eat -- their chips. A bag of cheetos for Mitchell and a bag of fritos for Miss G. Too funny! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun at the pumpkin farm...

We had so much fun at the pumpkin farm last year that we decided to go back to the same one this year! We all had a great time and the weather was gorgeous, minus a steady wind...but hey, that's what you get in late October on the plains of Colorado. (Actually, I think that's what you get year-round out there.)

I realized on the way home that we didn't get a single picture of Mason while we were there, but trust me. All you would have seen was a picture of the stroller with blanket covering it. No one saw him and he didn't see anything but the back of his eyelids, so I don't feel too badly. We have more than enough pictures of him in his carseat by now! (Isn't it funny how many of those sleeping and/or in the carseat, or sleeping in the carseat pictures you end up with, by the way?)

In any case, here's our day in pictures. Well, sort of. I was kind of a slacker with the camera this year. Anyway - I'll put a couple of videos at the end of the haystack jumping, which was noteworthy for two reasons: (1) We were in awe that the little two year old boy who would completely freak out with fear at the thought of going down a little gymboree slide was now a risk-taking almost 6 year old, jumping with glee off of a haystack tower and (2) I didn't have to take my husband to the hospital for another knee surgery after all. (Thank you, Lord!)

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful season as much as we are! Happy Fall!

Waiting for Daddy to pay for our tickets.

Feeding the ducks and fish is fun!

Proudly emerging from our successful trip through the corn maze! (Which is amazing, considering that I was the navigator.)

Gotta love the good ol' barrel train! Daddy took one for the team while Mommy took pictures. Doesn't he look thrilled? His expression makes me giggle.

And now...for some haystack jumping.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #5

Okay, I skipped a week. Sorry - my husband was gone for almost an entire week, so I passed over a few things. Cleaning the house and blogging were two of them. ANYWAY...

Last week, I lost 1.5 lbs -- which I highly suspect was more than that, since I am betting I had previously gained something -- and this week, I lost another 1.5 lbs. SO...I am down a total of 5 pounds so far. I'm happy about that! Only 15 more to go and I'll have met my goal for this session of our group meetings. I think I figured out I needed to lose about 1.5 per week to make that happen, so I am on my way!

One thing that I've done for myself this week is...I JOINED A GYM!!! Hooray! I am so stinkin' excited about this, I just cannot even TELL you! A woman in our group said that they were having "blowout" prices for memberships right now. I used to belong there - it's an all-women gym, which I absolutely I went to check it out. She was right -- it was a great deal! (For starters, they were taking $100 of the $125 registration fee off, if that tells you anything.) I could have gotten an even better deal if I'd signed up for three years, but I am having some FAITH that we are going to sell our house this spring, so I only signed up for one year and am hoping to have to join a new gym next fall.

As for when I'll be going...well, I'm gonna be back to my crack of dawn workout ways. The gym opens at 5:30 am and I plan to be there waiting for them to turn the key! Chris doesn't leave most days until around 7:00, so that will give me time to workout for at least an hour and run home to get everyone going. On the days that he needs to go in early, he will just come home by 7:30 so that I can work out before they close at 9:00 pm. I think it is going to be just fine, actually. Not only do I want to avoid paying the daycare costs, but ya know - my kids are around enough germs as it need to push our luck.

So. There ya go. Did MUCH better with sticking to my eating plan this week and I exercised 4 times, even before I joined the gym. I feel like I'm starting to turn the corner and am excited about making more progress each week. By the way - if any of you are hoping to downsize yourselves, feel free to join me and do some Mini-Me updates of your own!

Here's my verse for this week...
Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If ya don't like poop stories, come back later.

Hey. I warned you. Right up there on top. I mean business.

Last night I made dinner. Yummy dinner. Chicken manicotti, garlic bread, and salad. Even oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.

By the way - can anyone guess why we had such a well rounded dinner? Yes, MOPS mommies - you probably guessed it. I took dinner to a new mom and made the same thing for us. It's like the only time I include a dessert. Anyone else do that or is it just me?? Anyway...

Chris got tied up (not literally, don't worry) at work so I was had the kids eat early and figured I'd wait and eat with my hubster when he got home from work. Yum, yum - everyone eats and Miss G decides she's done.


I say "Are you ready for me to clean you up so you can get down?"
She says "Ummm, I got some poop."
I say "No problem, let's just change your diaper then."

I walk over and whoooooooooooooo. She sure did have some poop - it was stinkin' to high heaven in that little pink booster seat of hers! So, I put the changing pad on the floor in the living room, grab the wipes and go get her. She starts FREAKING OUT when I'm trying to take her pants off. I'm like what is the deal??? (Oh, and I hear the garage door go up right about this time, so he hears her getting all nuts.) I get her calmed down, assure her everything is okay and she's fine.

So, I lay her down -- looks like a mini-blowout. You know the one. Slightly on the waistband of the pants and a tiny bit on her lower back. No biggie. I've seen worse.

(Ha, ha, ha, ha. I can hear my husband laughing at me right about here.)

Take her diaper off and ohhhh, my word. The stink. VERY stinky. UNUSUALLY stinky. As in gag stinky. My hubby walks around the corner right about now and brilliantly says, "How's it goin'?" Yeah. I think I managed to lock eyes while rolling them at the same time, and possibly may have grunted in his direction as well. Mitchell is a doll and runs upstairs to get her pajamas for me so that after I'm done washing off her back she can just jump in her jammies.

Mitchell comes back downstairs and says "Hey, Mom - is that poop on your shirt?" I look down and see a little spot where I was attacked by my spoon when tasting the sauce for the manicotti. I say "Nope. Just spaghetti sauce." Chris says "It really does look like she pooped on you." I say "Nope. Just sauce." Meanwhile I'm thinking that he's the one who gets pooped on in this house.

Back to the massive cleanup. Luckily it was trash night so Chris was on his way out to the curb with the trash anyway, so I just added the toxic grocery bag to his collection. Georgia is fresh n' clean, in her jammies, so I squirt her hands with the antibacterial stuff that I should buy stock in -- and she gets up to go play. I go toss her clothes into the washer on the soak setting and then head to the kitchen to wash my hands. Wash them up and am drying them when Chris comes back in.

I said to him "You know, I must really have been bothered by that stink because I can still REALLY smell it!" He said "It's fresh in your mind. It'll pass." Two seconds later, as he's helping me clear the table, he says..."Well, I think I know what you're smelling."

Yeah. A nice little pile of poop on her booster seat. DIS-GUS-TING. It was so gross. *By the way, I figured out this is why she was freaking out. She must have felt the poop come out when I picked her up or something.* SOOOOO, he goes to get the lysol for me while I scoop the poop. Together we manage to get all of the straps out of the chair so that they can join her clothes in the washing machine. I remember that there is another set of clothes that could use some soaking so I ask Chris to grab those for me.

He comes into the laundry room and I say "You know, I can STILL smell that poop! It just WON'T leave my nose!" He says "Well, why don't you just toss your clothes in there, too. Maybe that's it?"

Okay, just so you know, I'm literally sitting here giggling as I type this.

I take off my shirt and OH. MY. GOODNESS. There are two HUGE smears of poop on my shirt!! One is under my big ol' left nursing boob and one is on the sleeve of the left arm. My boobs are big enough at this point that they hid the poop from my sad is that? I started cracking up and said "Oh my gosh! There's poop all over my shirt!!"

Chris says "We tried to tell you that, but you said it was just sauce."
I laugh and point to my tiny little smear of sauce and say "THIS is the sauce. THIS (big, giant smears) is the poop!"
My hubby says "Well, I know you - and being in the position you were in, I wasn't about to argue with you about what spaghetti sauce looks like. I figured you probably wouldn't like that."

Smart man, that Cabana Boy! I hope you got as big of a laugh out of this as we did. I was about crying I was laughing so hard. We both agreed that this was another of life's very bloggable moments.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday - Gettin' Crafty.

My friend Jenn inspired me to do some crafts with my kiddos yesterday. I had this package of pipe cleaners, pom poms, and googley eyes sitting in the cabinet, so I whipped them out and now we're all decorated! (Seriously - that's all we used...markers, construction paper, glue and scissors. I'm not into very involved crafts.)

The top pumkin is Miss G's, the bottom is Mitchell's. He named his "Stinky" as you can see at the bottom of his page. The spiders were fun, too. Mine's on the left, Mitchell's is in the middle, and Miss G's is on the right. She kept knocking everyone's spider head off before the glue dried (shocking, I know), so those took a while to dry before we could hang them up. The kids LOVED it. I think we're going to make some leaf picture placemats today. Anyway - here's how they turned out!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #3

So, I'm not very Mini, I'm guessing. I had to skip my meeting last night because of a stomach "issue" which has since resolved itself, but it was a bad week.

I am working on not eating everything in sight, even if it's not such a bad choice food-wise. Having to write it all down and see the number of exchanges I have allowed for the day go clicking off just well, it stinks, pretty much. I like to eat. I'm hungry a lot. So, now I'm trying to figure out if I'm REALLY hungry a lot or if I'm just bored. Or tired. Or worried. Or sad.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out what is motivating me to be so hungry. (And before you suggest it, I've allowed plenty of breastfeeding calories.)

So. There ya go. I still like food. I still like a lot of it. Sort of a problem in the mini-me category.

Oh, and I worked out twice last week. We dealt with sick kids but that's a whole different Oprah so I'll just leave it at that.

My verse this week was Proverbs 20:4 "May He give you the desires of your heart and make all of your plans succeed."

I have to laugh...this week, the desires of my heart involved macaroni & cheese, chocolate, pizza, etc. Probably a good thing that they weren't given to me in the literal sense. Ha!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A hubby quiz...

A Saturday is a good day to have a post where I don't have to think so I have decided to copy someone. Cheri had a cute hubby quiz and I have decided to take it.

I really wanted to know if I was right on these, so I am going to ask him the same questions. I'll put my answers in blue and his in red, if they were different. Hopefully we'll just see a lot of blue, which will mean he said the exact same thing. By the way, he's downstairs making the kids lunch and I'm up here cleaning the bathroom. (Seriously, that's what I'm "doing".) I just called him on his cell phone to get the answers. I'm sure he'll be really pleased. NOT. Oh, and that smell? Fish sticks. They are sure stinky when you don't know what they are! Anyway, on to the quiz.

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what's on the screen?
Fox News or ESPN.
Either sports or a documentary. Like the history or military channel or something like that.
Oh yeah, I forgot about those.

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Blue Cheese. And lots of it.

3. What's one food he doesn't like?
Tomatoes. And onions. He hates them both.
Me, too.

4. Where did he go to high school?
Machebuef High School

5. What size shoe does he wear?
11 1/2.
He said "Eleven point five."
Nerd alert.

6. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
Hoodie sweatshirts from different colleges or aircraft carrier hats. He already has a bunch of both.
Either baseball gear or historical memorabilia.
When I read him my answer, he said mine was better.

7. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Pastrami. With LOTS of mustard and LOTS of cheese. (Well, technically I said, "What? No cheese?" after he said pastrami with mustard on sour dough. And he said "Of course. Lots." So, I'm right. Right?)

8. What would he eat everyday if he could?
Peanut butter. (And he totally does.)
My wife's lasagna and my mom's enchiladas.
Yeah, I'd eat those every day, too.

9. What is his favorite cereal?
Frosted Flakes.
Granola or Frosted Flakes.
(By the way, I don't think we've ever bought Frosted Flakes. Ever. That might be a fun Christmas gift.)

10. What would he never wear?
Any sort of NY Yankees gear.
Parachute pants.
And now you know why we laugh a lot.
He then said, "To be serious, anything with a Yankees or Lakers or Raiders logo. Or anything with Obama on it."
Just highlighting that my right answer is first. :-)

11. What is his favorite sports team?
The Boston Red Sox. Or will he say the Broncos? Or the Celtics? Hmmmm. Red Sox.
His answer started with "Ooooohhhhh, that's hard, man." Then he said "I don't have one. It's the Duke Blue Devils, Red Sox, Broncos, Celtics, Air Force Falcons. I can't pick one. If you have to pick one, Red Sox."
Yesssssssssssss, I'm right again. I wish I got paid for this!

12. Who is his best friend?
(Yay, he agrees.)

13. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?
Leave my shoes around the house.
He said "Where do I start?" He SAYS he was kidding.
Ha. Ha. Very funny.
His real answer is that I never finish the entire cup of whatever drink I'm drinking.
Well, yeah. That.

14. How many states has he lived in?

15. What is his heritage?
I believe his ancestors are from Mexico. BUT - I bet he'll say American.
If I have to check a box, it's American. If I have to choose an ethnicity, it's hispanic. He now wants to know if we're ever going to get to important things, like beer and foreign policy. Whoooo. That Cabana Boy is something, isn't he?

16. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake?
If it's cake, I'll say German Chocolate. But he'd probably rather have pie -- either pecan or key lime.
He said carrot.
I said "Really?"
He said "Nooooooooooo!" He asked what I said
and I read him my answer.
He said "Yep."

17. Did he play sports in high school?
Yep, baseball, basketball (not his best) and soccer.
He is now all miffed that I tattled on him and would like you to know that while basketball was not his best, he was All-State in soccer and All-Conference in baseball.

18. What could he spend hours doing?
Playing soccer, watching nascar or any sport, really -- sleeping, and talking politics.
Flying my F-16 simulator, golfing (oooh - I forgot that one!) and building models.
I totally didn't see those answers coming.

I love you, Cabana Boy. *smooch*

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #2

Well, this week I neither gained, nor lost. To me, that is a victory because mid-week, I was a cheese eatin' fool! Seriously - I went on, of all things, a cheese eating streak. It was strange. I also know that I didn't eat my snacks that day, so it was right before dinner and I just snarfed it down. I'm sure that's what did it, but I truly was relieved when I saw that I didn't gain anything back.

As far as exercise goes, I did better this week. I exercised 4/7 days, which felt great to get back into. I'm not having to totally kick myself to get it done and I totally thought I would be. I'd like to improve the pace that I'm able to walk at, but I know that will come with time.

In thinking about my week, I can tell you that I did LOTS better eating-wise on the days when I kept my little food journal thing WITH me and was able to write down exactly what and how much I had eaten right away. The days that I didn't have it or remember to do it at all until the next day pretty much got away from me. (Cheese night is a good example. If I would have known how well I'd stuck to my plan at that point -- I probably would have figured out how much I *should* have, cut it up and put the rest back. Instead, I just kept that big ol' brick of cheese right next to me while I made dinner and snacked away. Oh - and got some grapes while I was at it -- one of my fave combos to eat together, grapes and cheese.) Anyway - I have noticed that one, so a goal this week is to keep my CR (food journal) with me all the time.

One thing I've done that's been absolutely fantastic for me is the meal planning. Seriously - that has been amazing. It has saved me a bunch of time at night, a bunch of food has been saved from being wasted, and we've saved in our food budget BIG TIME.

I'm about halfway done with my meal planning for the rest of this month, so I'll put that on the sidebar again when I finish. It's actually been kind of fun...I always talk about trying new recipes or making ones we've enjoyed again but then I get into the middle of a hectic weeknight and just make the same ol' stuff because it's there. Now I can actually TRY those recipes and make those things again that I've only made once but that we really enjoyed.

Yesterday I picked out two cookbooks and two magazines that I knew had a bunch of recipes I'd been wanting to try. I needed 27 more meals for October, so I made a list of 6 chicken/turkey, 6 seafood, 5 pork, 5 beef, and 5 vegetarian dishes. What I now need to finish is actually putting them onto the calendar and making a shopping list for each week from the recipes, based on what we already have in the freezer/pantry and what I'll need to pick up for those meals. Then, I'll be all set. LOVE it. Absolutely love it. The other thing I still need to do and will probably just do in batches is figure out the food exchanges for each recipe. If I know how many are in each serving, it will really help me during the day and stick to my eating plan better.

So, there ya go. My weight loss week in a nutshell. Goals for this week: keep my CR with me and add in some different exercise, not just walking. Even if I don't get a DVD or something in there, I want to make sure I add some easy strength training and stretching in every evening.

My memory verse for this week was Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint."

Yes, and some do it with cheese!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Here's the face that gets me all melty.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Great Opportunity & My Favorite Cuties...

Most of you that know me know that when my husband asked to support two U.S. soldiers for his Father's Day gift two years ago, it was a great decision for our whole family. It has really blessed us to be pen pals and provide care packages for our troops. You think you're going to help them and it ends up blessing you more than you can dream of.

Anyway - I just got an email saying that they are pretty desperate for support right now. If you have any interest in being a pen pal and/or care package provider for one of our guys or gals overseas, you should check it out. Just go look and see what you might possibly be moved to do. They also have some special programs and holiday support, so look at those, too. It's a wonderful organization -- I can't say enough good things about it.


I just uploaded some new pictures from the camera and thought I'd share. It's amazing to me how quickly these kids grow. (And I have the receipt from a recent shoe shopping trip as proof!)

Miss G is so good at making messes. As you can see, she loves it. What you don't see in this picture is that she has the ENTIRE newspaper spread across the living room floor. She had just as much fun picking it up (I had her put it all in the empty laundry basket - it was just easier that way) as she did taking it apart. And it let me get dinner together, so I didn't mind too much.

In case you are wondering what Mason might look like when he's 5, here's a rough estimate:

Mason clearly enjoys being admired by his Big Sister. I think that she was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" to him.

I love the little moments that make up our days together. Most of them, anyway...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #1

Yes, it's back. Well, I'm back. Hmmm - well, my efforts to slim down a bit and get healthy are back.

I gave myself the 6 weeks after the baby to let my body heal without getting too crazy, and lucky for me - the very next week my First Place group started up again! (It's basically like weight watchers, but is a christian group - so therefore, not much like weight watchers at all, I guess. Well, hopefully you get the point.)

So, last week was our first meeting. Let me tell you, for some reason - it's more motivating to me to eat well when I know that someone is going to be reading about everything I put into my mouth. Why it's not just as motivating to me that MY body is going to look/feel better instead of that someone else is holding me accountable, I will never know - but that's the way it is for me. At least at this point, anyway.

Week #1 - I've done pretty well. I set my goal at 20 pounds for the 13 weeks of this session. I figure that is attainable and not too crazy. Oh - and before any of you get all over me about not dieting and breastfeeding, I'd like you to know that not only did I add 400 extra calories onto my plan for breastfeeding, but that I sought and received my doctor's approval before I began, so there ya go. Besides, really all I've changed is the quality of what I'm eating -- not really even the quantity too much.

We had our meeting last night and I lost 2 pounds this week, so I feel like I'm off to a good start. Yesterday was the first day that I was able to work out. I'm okay with that because I did get a major handle on changing my eating habits this week, and I had a pretty stressful week with MUCH less kid-free or reduced-number-of-kids time than I anticipated having. It's hard to exercise with all 3 of them around. I think I'll put my exercise log in the sidebar again, that helped me stay on track last time.

Georgia got sick last week and then this week, we had a strange deal with hand, foot & mouth disease. You'd think that Miss G would get it, but it was actually Mitchell who showed up with it. Luckily, he only had sores in his mouth and not on his hands or feet, but they were pretty painful. They are almost gone, thank goodness. For 3 days he was talking like he had just been to the dentist for a filling and we had a pretty limited range of foods that he could eat without pain. We've been really, really trying to keep it away from Miss G and Mr. Magoo -- hopefully they will be able to escape it. So far, so good.

ANYWAY - having him home from school, keeping him away from the baby, keeping the other two from fighting, etc. - a good challenge for me in the ol' emotional eating department. Oh, and did I mention that Miss G is giving up her nap? Yeahhhhhh...sigh...sad, but true.

I started really paying attention to myself with regards to eating because I try to write down what I eat the minute I eat it, otherwise I'll forget. I noticed that whenever I would be talking on the phone to someone about what was up with us these days or right after the kids were stressing me out with fighting, I'd end up standing in front of an open refrigerator looking for something to munch on. The good thing is that I had really set myself up for success. I made a menu and planned our meals -- side dishes and everything -- for two weeks before I went to the grocery store so the only groceries I bought were things for our lunches and dinners and healthy snacks. Let's just say that I have eaten a lot of cucumbers and celery with roasted red pepper hummus this week...which feels like a good change from goldfish, chips/salsa, or some ice cream.
(By the way, two tablespoons of hummus is actually quite a bit!)

So, there you go. Emotional eating in the wake of the first week of mops (and all of that yummy food!), a 5 year old hand, foot and mouth victim, a semi-nappy two year old, a boob-loving newborn, a hubby with a stressful, very important week at work, a dinner date and concert, and a women's conference -- that was week #1. I feel BLESSED to have come out 2 pounds lighter at the end of all of that, now that I read it that way.

I think I'll end each mini-me update with the memory verse that I learned each week, since for me - the beauty of my First Place experience is that weight loss is pretty much a bonus. It's what it does for the WHOLE me, not just the chubby parts that I love. This first week I got to pick my own verse, and it sort of sets me in the right frame of mind. I am His, this body is His.

Romans 6:13 (NLT) "Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Have you ever...

This looks fun, and who doesn't love an already done for you blog entry? Cheri had this on her blog, and I thought it would be fun to see what you all have done, too - so feel free to do it. Just copy and paste the 200 statements then bold the ones you have done...the idea is to highlight the things you have done out of the 200 items on the list.
If you see bold in this one, it's because I've done that. Okay, here we go...

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper (about 2 minutes ago, actually)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain (most of the way, anyway)
9. Held a tarantula (I passed on that one when given the chance. *shudder*)
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (not smart enough to actyally FEEL that way ,ost of the time, sadly)
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal not physical
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy - PLAYDOUGH, YAY!!
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe.
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in a historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one **just in mini-golf! :)
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Ran a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class-
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunch box
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a camp fire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a weekend...

This is a long one, so you might want to grab a snack and a beverage. Hmmm, well, considering the content, perhaps just a beverage. And a comfy chair.

Miss G hasn't had a great weekend so far. Thursday night, I started my First Place weight loss group meetings again (so watch out for Mini-Me Fridays to start over!) and Chris had the kiddos at home. I didn't realize until I got home that I had actually left my cell phone in the car. It had slid under one of Mason's blankets in the front seat. I walked in the door and his first question was "Where is your phone?"

Uh-oh. That's never a good welcome home question.

"Ummmmm, probably in the car, I'm guessing."
"Well, you should think about actually HAVING it with you more often."
"Yeah, I'll look into that."
"Where is the vinegar?"

Uh-oh. That's not good either. That means something needs to come out of the carpet with my super-duper, fantastic diaper-assisted removal technique.

"Why? What happened?"
"Just where is it?"
"Why???? What do you need it for?"
"She pooped on me, okay? She pooped on me AND the carpet, and I want to get it out! I put both of us in the shower with our clothes on, if that tells you anything."

Ohhhhkay then. Poop. The Cabana Boy has some major poop-related issues, so this was not a good night for dear ol' Daddy in the "quality time with the kids" department. (If you've seen the youtube collage of men changing babies' diapers, they are his kindred spirits. The 2nd man reminds me of him during our Norovirus night earlier this year, and the 3rd guy reminds me of when he changed Mitchell's diapers with a painter's mask on for the first few weeks of his career in Fatherhood. No kidding.) Did I also mention that we *just* had our carpets professionally cleaned last month? Yep, sure did. Oh, and I mean what I say at the top of my blog, by the way. You've been fairly warned. Poop seems to come up a lot around here.

Anyway, I helped Chris expertly extract the yuckiness from the carpet and then we got everyone into bed. It occured to me that in order for the poop scenario to play out the way it did, something was up with our baby girl's digestive world. It also came to mind that my first MOPS meeting of the year was in the morning (of course!) and she would probably not be a good candidate for the childcare situation. I am on the steering team (Alana, since you asked - I do publicity) and really needed to be there to help with the registration process and providing some of the food. Things got even worse when she woke up screaming her head off at about 2 a.m. She has issues with the lights being on - like the ACTUAL light in her room, not a night light. (That is a completely different post in itself that I'll bless you with on another day.) This is what she was screaming about, but while I had her in the bathroom going potty and all of that 2 am fun, I noted that her nose was running, she was all kinds of crazy stuffed up and had a cough.

Basically, she was a complete mess.

Luckily, my father-in-law wasn't working the next day and when I called him in the morning, he willingly agreed to put his own health at risk by watching this little germ factory for us. I went to pick her up after MOPS and he reported that she was as goofy as ever and that she didn't act like she felt bad at all. He also handed me a bag that held some rinsed out pants in it, meaning that the poop situation was not yet resolved. (It was also majorly putting a kink in our Operation Potty Training effort. *sigh*) As I put her into her carseat on their driveway, I asked if she had gotten stung or bit by something. He said he didn't think so, but I was looking at this.

As you can see, she isn't all that bothered by the ginormous welts taking up half of her sweet little face, but I sure was. I am allergic to bee stings and swell up in welts like that when I get bit by spiders, so I was thinking that was probably the case. She helped her Papa pick tomatoes in the garden, so it was a completely plausible theory at the time. I gave her some benadryl before I fed her lunch and thankfully, they disappeared after about 20 minutes. I put her down and she took a great nap. No pictures this time, but when I put her on the potty, I noticed that the rash had done a magical reappearing trick as it was now only on her left thigh.

Hmmmm. There goes the bite/sting theory.

Have you ever noticed that kids tend to get this sort of thing ONLY when there is something great going on that you have been looking forward to? My husband and I had a fun date night planned -- we had tickets to the Montgomery Gentry/Toby Keith concert. Of course.

I think we might have the best parents in the entire world because much like my hubby's father, my parents completely threw caution to the wind and gladly welcomed our little hive-sporting, snot blowing, poop shooting two year old into their home with open arms. (I should mention this would also be their first time babysitting all three of them at the same time!) I agonized about leaving her while she was sick, but again - she was running around like her normal little self, minus being a little sleepy from the Benadryl. We ended up going to the concert and having a wonderful time...I'm really glad everyone convinced me to still go. Miss G did fine - the poop situation improved and my parents said she did great.

We all spent the night at my parents' house since we got back so late and their house was so close to the concert location. When my mom and I got Georgia up in the morning and put her on the potty, the hives were back and in full force. This time they were on her right cheek, all over her stomach, and up and down both legs. It was just so bizarre! Thankfully, she wasn't itchy or in pain, but it was really starting to worry me.

Yeah, about that looking forward to stuff thing? My friend, Erin, got a free parking pass and tickets to sit in a suite at the Women of Faith conference and would be picking me up in about an hour and was taking Mason with me. Mitchell would be going to the CSU football game to watch our cousin play. I told Chris he just had to call the pediatrician and take her in now. It turns out that she has an ear infection. I guess the tube in her left ear isn't working like it should and that it is all tied to and possibly originated from her two year molars coming in.

Poor sweet girl. She never once said anything about her ears, and we asked! In fact, we just went to the pediatrician not too long ago to get her ears checked and they were fine. It was Mitchell who had the ear infection.

I always feel badly when it ends up being an ear infection, it makes me feel like we should have known and gotten her in sooner or something. The thing is, in this case, her ear infection was camouflaged. We saw hives, a runny nose, poop issues, no pain, and an overall happy little girl. Not what typically happens when she gets an ear infection.

I started thinking about how many times I do that in my own life. One issue gets covered up with something else. Something completely seeming unrelated gets piled on and before you know it, like my sweet Miss G, I am a complete mess.

The other day is a great example. We ran late for school. The carpool kiddo I pick up was runing even later. Mitchell left his lunchbox in the car and I had to take it back to school. A cup of milk got spilled on the floor I had just swept and mopped. I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription to find out they still hadn't gotten the refill authorization from my doctor that was requested a week before. The kids wouldn't nap at the same time. Mason was nursing while Mitchell needed help in the restroom. Miss G woke up from her nap early. I made tacos for dinner and as I went to put a filled up shell onto a plate, I fumbled it and everything dropped on the floor. That I had now already swept and mopped twice.

Ever had a day like that? How do you even begin to untangle that mess and figure out exactly where you started feeling annoyed. Or weary. Or frustrated. When do you physically break down and start crying? (For me, it was the taco that put me over the edge.) By the time my husband got home, I was not in a good way. I was covered in spit up, my hair was in a ponytail and pulled halfway out in little loops from Miss G's makeover attempts with her Dora brush, a trail of taco meat covered my shirt and pants, and my eyes were rimmed from crying. I think he deserves a shout out for not turning on his heel and running a four-hour errand or something.

The thing is, not once during the day did I stop to ask for help. I called my husband to vent and I got a latte, but neither of those made my insides feel any better. The one thing I didn't do is the one thing I should have done, starting with running late for school. I didn't pray. I didn't ask God to help me. To strengthen me. To give me an extra dose of patience. To give me an extra measure of laughter. To give me some p-e-a-c-e.

Seriously, Tara. What a bonehead move. I know that if I ask, He will give it to me. Now, for my friends who are not on the same page with me on this one, I'm not saying "give me a million dollars" and poof - it's there. I'm saying that when I pray for peace and comfort, I get it. Does it mean I'm not worried about things anymore? No. It means that the peace and comfort offsets the worries and anxieties of my life and things are more tolerable and less intense.

Please, learn from my mistake. When you have "that" day, don't wait until you end up being a complete mess before you take a breath and look to Him for some help. There's a good chance your day will turn around, and even if it doesn't, you won't be as weary and beaten down at the end of the day. Diagnose the problem early, and call The Doctor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Six weeks later...

And here I am. Still somewhat in awe of the fact that I have three children.

Let's put it this way - I can only offer to drive two children somewhere and I have a MINIVAN, people. There should be wayyyyyy more room in there! But, no -- we pretty much fill it up on our own. Very strange. (In a wonderful way.)

Anyway, I'm getting ready to go to bed soon but thought I'd do a mini update.

Mitchell just started (and is LOVING) kindergarten. He had to miss the 2nd day of school because of a cruddy cold, which we found out today ended up turning into an ear infection. Go figure -- healthy all summer and BAM. Instantaneous illness with school starting. Nice. Doesn't it always end up that way? He is all kinds of excited because his teacher is taking them on a REAL treasure hunt tomorrow. He keeps emphasizing the "real" part to me. They are all dressing in their pirate best and everything -- he could not be more excited. I'm wondering what the treasure will be. I'm hoping it's celery myself. I would love something like that to be the ending. Tee hee!

Georgia just started (and is also LOVING) preschool. I am told that "she is a pro" when it comes to school. Now, if we could just get her to be a pro on the whole potty training thing, I'd be good. My hair stylist recently informed me of some gray hair sightings...I blame the potty training. She is more into playing with her babies these days and has developed a serious need to sing every day. Not a preference. A need. The girl must jam or things go south. She is also all about anything princess or princess-related. I believe it is an illness, actually.

Mason is growing like a crazy man. He is a little chunk and those baby smiles and coos just melt me and then some. He is the sweetest baby boy! At my MOPS steering retreat this weekend, I believe the longest he was not held was for about 7 minutes. He was a spoiled boy and just ate those ladies up. He would just snuggle in and the next thing you know, all sorts of hormones and "I want another one" comments just started flyin' around the room! He is a joy.

So. There you go. Again, I'll leave you with some pictures. First day of school and Mason at 6 weeks. The picture of him is actually the result of Miss Sassy Pants refusing to stay in her bed tonight at bedtime. We had to remove her beloved Duck and Blankie from the room. Mason was guarding them with his life, as you can see.

I hope to get back in the bloggy saddle soon - both reading and posting. For now, I'm doing the best that I can. Love to all...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Settling in.

Well, it's been three and a half weeks now since we added little Mason to our family and I can tell that we're all getting settled in.

Georgia, who initially didn't quite know what to make of him or the whole situation, is now fully into loving on the little guy. She calls him "my new beebee" most of the time and loves to kiss, hug and hold him. (The first week or two she was all about just checking him out occasionally, but wasn't real interested in touching him much.) She also must be listening quite closely to what I say because I noticed today that when he started fussing, she immediately said "Hold on, Mason beebee. Mommy be WIGHT there!" Poor little third baby -- even Georgia knows he has to hold on for a minute or two at least 80% of the time. She is working on the whole potty training deal, which given the family circumstances at the moment, is not going all that badly. She is also cutting her two year molars which stinks. (This is actually the reason I'm up at 3 am right now -- not Mason, actually. I think she is FINALLY going back to sleep, but I am not convinced enough to lay back down yet, so I decided to sneak in a little blog time.)

Mitchell is still all about being a great big brother. He absolutely LOVES to hold him, read to him, and try to make him smile. Might I also suggest, as an aside -- if you are having trouble with a hygiene routine with your little might consider adding a new baby to the family! He has never needed so few reminders to wash his's wonderful! Really though, he will put the boppy pillow on and hold his little brother for a long time. And I've noticed that Mason clues right in on Mitchell when he's around -- I'm guessing that his little shadow is already trying to figure out how to be just like his big brother!

Chris is back in the groove at work but I think it's still somewhat difficult to leave us. We all just got so comfortable with being together all of the time. His knee is healing really well and he's working hard on the rehab. His soccer team had their first game today so he went to watch them play. I think it darn near killed the man to have to just sit and watch...he is itchin' to get back in there! I have to give him a little shout out for a great idea that has worked really well for me. When he leaves each morning for work, he puts out what he calls "bird seed". He leaves a cup of juice in the fridge and a little bowl of dry cereal on the kitchen table for M and G and turns the tv to Noggin or PBS or something before he turns it off. Then, when the kids get up entirely too early for me, instead of coming to wake me up...they head downstairs where Mitchell gets the juice for them and all they have to do is turn the tv on. I always hear them get up, but it buys me an extra half hour or so of wake up time. It's marvelous, especially after nights like tonight! I'm hoping the whole DNC in Denver madness isn't too crazy for him this week - he works right downtown in the thick of it. He's so funny - he bought himself some extra stuff at Sam's Club today, "just in case" and is keeping it in his office. So if something goes down, know that my husband will be holed up in his office and able to sustain himself for quite a few weeks with granola and powdered lemonade.

As for me, I have to say that I'm actually doing fine. I just "got my hair did" as my best friend says...and instead of touching up my highlights like I planned to do, I actually took them out and went back to a full head of dark hair. It will lighten up, but it's pretty dark at the moment which still catches me by surprise when I see myself in the mirror, but I like it. My husband LOVES it which is nice -- I have been teasing him that he just likes having a new woman in the house. I feel really good physically and other than the usual being super tired by about 3pm each day, I'm managing with the lack of sleep okay. This week I need to get on the stick with trying to nail down a little more of a schedule with Mason. It's funny that I even say that because I'm a little anal about that sort of thing and I remember writing down the whole when they ate/slept/pooped deal with Mitchell and Georgia for weeks. I did it for about 3 days with Mason and that was because I knew I'd be too tired to tell the doctor about what was going on at his little checkup. Hopefully getting something a little more set this week will help us get off to a good start with school the following week. (Kindergarten, by the way. Kindergarten! How is this POSSIBLE??) I'm also getting back on my exercise horse this week. Starting out slow, but man -- I gotta do something. I am ready to pack 'em up and ship 'em out with regards to the maternity clothes, if you know what I mean. My run with "The Dinner Fairy" is coming to an end, and let me just say -- that right there is reason enough alone to join MOPS. What a gift to have your doorbell ring and see a smiling face holding a hot meal for your family, knowing that they really don't care if you have brushed your hair or cleaned your kitchen for days. Angels. All of them.

Mason, our sweet Mason -- has decided that he would like to grow as quickly as is humanly possible. We took him for his 2 week checkup (which was a little closer to three weeks, actually) and the child had already gained over 2 pounds from where he was when we left the hospital. Yes, that's right...2 pounds in less than 3 weeks. We could tell he'd put on some weight -- not only did he feel heavier, but he developed himself a nice double chin in a matter of days...I kid you not. He is a delight to have in our house and it's a rare thing when he full-on CRIES -- he usually just sort of fusses a bit here and there to test the waters. I've noticed that the fastest way to have him cry his little lungs out is to strap him in his car seat and go where he can't see you...this happens a lot as I usually have to make at least one or two trips to the car before I put him in there. Sippy cups, my purse, big kids, etc. By the time I get back in the house to get him, he's usually just howling. The second he hears and/or sees me, all is well. I'm still having issues with myself and putting the little man down. I just can't. I think he might eventually become stuck to my shoulder...we seem to have developed a little nook there, my baby boy and I. He loves snuggling in there and trust me, I don't fight it.

Well - I just went to check on Miss G and she's conked back out so I'm gonna climb back in bed for probably about an hour until he wants to eat again. I'll leave you with a picture of all three of our little buddies and a picture of Mason at 3 weeks.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I went to the grocery store.

Yes. With all three children! (And lived to tell about it, which I think is most noteworthy.)

Seriously, this outing was one of my biggest fears about having 3 kids...which sounds sort of silly...but truly -- I really was worried about it. So, yesterday when I discovered we were in dire need of a few things...I got brave.

It really wasn't bad. My hope was that one of those dumb car carts was available so that Big M and Miss G could drive themselves silly and Little M could ride in the seat part by me. Yeah. Two of them left -- neither of them had steering wheels. (WHY are they still out then??) So, they were walking.

I must admit, I am NOT above bribery in times like these. No siree, Bob. We headed straight to that cereal aisle and I told them they could each pick whatever box they wanted. You should have SEEN their eyes...they were huge and dancing with excitement! (I guess that's what happens when Mommy decides to let something else in the house besides oatmeal, honey nut cheerios and kix.) One box of Fruit Loops and one box of Cocoa Puffs later, we were making our way through the store...and I'm happy to report that it was a successful trip. They took turns grabbing things off of the shelves for me and putting them in the basket, and were equally helpful when I was putting the stuff up on the belt to get checked out! It was -- almost -- fun.

It's funny what becomes a big deal to you as a mom in times like these. I mean, really. It is somewhat sad to me that a simple trip to the grocery store was the highlight of my week. Well, it's a toss up between that and Georgia pooping on the potty for the first time, if that tells you anything.

I'm taking each moment as it comes and trying not to lose sight of the blessings I have under this roof. And the more that I think about it, I'm GLAD that the grocery store outing was such a big deal. It means that I'm right where I want to be doing what I know I was meant to do right now, and that's enough for me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Week One Reflections...

Well, I've officially survived my first week and a half as a Mommy to three children. That right there is a definite plus, don't you think?

My husband returns to work in the morning after three weeks at home with us. It has been just long enough to make it feel like a new way of life -- having him around and just having family time all the time. I am so very, very lucky that he was able to have that kind of time at home with us...I know that. But I won't lie. I'm already getting a little teary thinking about him walking out the door in the morning. We're all going to miss him so, so much. I think it might be a rough morning around here. I think I'll try and focus the kids' attention on doing something special for him though - maybe we'll make some special pictures or bake some treats. I just want to channel their feelings and energy into something that will make everyone feel better at the end of the day.

Anyway - I thought since true reality will hit me tomorrow, I would post a short update while I have the chance. Here are some of the happenings of our big first week together at home.

* My husband has taken a surprising (and completely unprompted) interest in styling Miss G's hair. I'm serious. He came to pick me up from the hospital and very proudly told me that he figured out how to put her hair in a ponytail for the first time. It was seriously cute. Since then, he's taken the initiative and done her hair most days and has even accepted some modeling and coaching from me. Who knew?

* Half of my family thought Mason's name was Nathan. I guess it sounds sort of similar on the phone or something. I believe everyone now knows that it's Mason, but still -- how funny would that be if we got a card or something for Baby Nathan? I giggle thinking about that.

* Georgia has definitely come around to the whole Big Sister and Baby Brother idea. She asks about him all of the time and frequently wants to hold and kiss Mason. The funniest thing to us is that she never seems to be able to see him when I'm nursing. I mean, my nursing boobs are big, but it's not like you can't see him there. She'll walk around all confused looking everywhere and look straight at me and say "Where's my Mason?" See. Now there's a girl for ya - looking anywhere BUT at the boobs. (If any of you watch that silly "Wipeout" show -- which is our new family favorite, by the way -- Chris had me laughing so hard one night. He said Georgia is like that crazy girl from Alaska who couldn't find the pole when it was sticking up right in front of her. It is JUST like that.)

* Mitchell is a great helper, just like we knew he would be. He is so smitten with his Baby Brother. Our favorite is when people come to see us or bring a meal over...he turns into sort of a mini Vanna White. He holds his hands up just like she does at the beginning of a new puzzle and says "And HERE is Mason. See? Here he is!" It's pretty cute. He also reads him books every day - and that gets me all misty. I mean, you just don't ever expect your "baby" to be big enough to read books (and I mean READ books) to a mini-him. Very strange. And special. And extraordinary. And bizarre. All at the same time.

* My husband looks pretty darn hot holding this little guy. What is it about the whole Daddy thing? He is a great Daddy and seeing him in action with all three of our special little kiddos just makes me weak in the knees.

* Can I tell you that I had forgotten just how much these little newborn people poop? Really. All. The. Time. Mitchell has gotten a complete kick out of the two times that I've gotten mega peed on. I thought he might have an accident himself the first time - he was laughing so hard. It got even more giggly when Mason started pooping on the changing table. I'm still trying to remember to cover that little fire hose with a washcloth every time I take his diaper off. I got out of the habit with Miss G.

* Mason is just about as sweet as he can be. I am finding it very difficult to put him down, not because he's fussy but because I know all too well how quickly it goes and how fast they grow. Right now, one of my very favorite things on the planet is true -- his little teeny bottom fits right in the palm of my hand when I hold him. *sigh* I just adore that. He is a complete snugglebug and I think that I might be setting myself up for trouble in the future, but I don't care. I am gonna hold and snuggle and love on that baby boy all I can.

So. There ya go. Just the tip of the iceberg but some of the latest happenings and learnings at our house. We are happy. We are in love. We are beyond blessed.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We have a baby!!

And it's a.............

very long story.

The labor -- well, the labor is its own little ball of wax. Nothing major, just long. And by long I mean 3 days of very little sleep and lots of contractions. We did end up being induced the night before, which was not fun for me at all. I wouldn't change a thing though, as it's all gone the way that I know it was supposed to.

Actually, as I was laying in bed Wednesday night, fighting through some very painful contractions for the third exhausting night in a row, I started to get discouraged. I started to doubt myself. I started to question the way it all was going. I started to cry and swirl negative thoughts around myself.

Then I realized what I was doing and heard my husband's voice in my head...he had been saying all along that we were going to be positive. We were going to say positive things. We were going to have the positive experience that we wanted. (When we were walking the halls of the hospital at 3 am Wednesday morning before they sent us home...I told you the labor was its own story...I told him that I was positive I wanted to go home and sleep.) He was asleep on the little pull out sofa bed in my room and had no idea that my sleeping pill had worn off when I started diving into my little negative pool. But I looked over at him and just knew he wouldn't stand for it -- if I woke him up to tell him what I was battling through -- and he would be right.

So. I made a decision to just knock it off and I went back to my word for the year. Trust. I made that the focus of my prayers that night. Trust in myself and my body. Trust in my husband. Trust in the doctors and nurses caring for myself and my baby. Trust in our family to care for Mitchell and Georgia. Most of all, trust in The Lord and His plans for all of the above.

My decision to meditate on and pray for the trust I so desperately needed to give myself over to resulted in a huge surge of the strength, hope and encouragement that I so very much needed at that time. It's the best thing I could have done for myself, and you know what? Things started to turn around shortly after I made that decision.

As long and drawn out and painful as my labor was, my delivery was equally as quick, painless and wonderful. I can honestly say that this was the best delivery of the three and that I would do it all again in a heartbeat without a second thought! One of my favorite things is that while we waited for the doctor to arrive (yes, I had to sit and breathe through some contractions and fight the urge to push!) I decided that I wanted Chris to tell me who this baby was. So, when the doctor finally arrived, I told him that I wanted it to be my husband who announced the news about it being a girl or a boy. That was a great decision -- it was so wonderful to hear the joy and see the delight in my husband's face as he pumped his fist and yelled

"Yes!! It's a boy!!"

I remember just crying and laughing, all at the same time and being about as full of happiness and gratitude as one person could be for the healthy new life that we were welcoming into this world and into our family.

Mason Lawrence arrived at 12:33 pm on Thursday, July 31st. He was 7 lbs, 12 oz and a lengthy 21 1/2 inches long. He has a head of black hair and is as sweet as can be. My mom made the comment this morning that we'll need to label all of the newborn pictures or we'll get his and Mitchell's mixed up -- he is the spitting image of his big brother. Well, except that Mitchell was totally bald. But put a hat on them, and it is a pretty striking resemblance.

We are beyond thankful that he is a healthy little man. Believe me, I don't take it for granted that we were able to stroll out the doors of that hospital with our baby boy just days after his birth. As we waited for the elevator to come, I said a special prayer for all of the mommies and daddies in this world who don't get to do the same thing, and an extra special prayer went out for those people in my life who have had very different endings to their own birth stories.

As I rode in the car after leaving the hospital, hand-in-hand with my very best friend in the world, we remarked how different our journey home has been with all three kids. The first time, I honestly couldn't believe they were letting us go home and wondered how they could be so certain that we could keep him safe and healthy without help. The second time, we were bathed in pink, marveling at how much things had already changed and how we just couldn't believe we had TWO children. This time, we left feeling happy and relaxed, grateful and proud. It was like the thing we never knew was missing was in place, and we were the last ones to know how good it would feel.

Well, Mason is beside me and starting to squirm around, which means he'll be ready to eat (again) in a minute. I'll leave with some pictures of our magical little guy and the very proud family into which he was born.