Wednesday, March 28, 2012

swirling thoughts

1) We leave for our trip in less than 2 weeks.... how the heck did that creep up so rapidly? I am simultaneously excited and terrified. I just try to imagine myself leaving for the airport early that morning (like 3:45 AM for reals... early flight, to say the least) and walking out on my sleeping kiddos and being just ripped apart on the insides with angst. I know that they will be fine. I know that I will be fine. I just kinda want it all to get here and be over with so it is a positive memory in the past rather than an anxious reality looming in the future.

2) My husband has loosened up the purse strings enough to let me do some awesome clothes shopping for the trip and I have been having FUN with that. After having had a baby and really buckling down on diet and losing some weight, new clothes have been much needed. I even found a swimsuit this weekend! A one piece, yes, but its cute so whatever. I'm 30 something with 2 kids, I don't need to wear a bikini to feel good about myself, yes?

3) The J.Crew spring catalog is my total obsession right now. If I had a blank check, I could do some serious damage.

4) We're debating whether or not we want to take our good camera on our trip, the Canon DSL. I mean, I want good photos yes, but do I want to carry that gargantuan thing around for just the two of us the whole time? I dunno. He thinks we should just take our iPhones and call it a day. I have a 5 year old slim point and shoot Sony Cybershot but haven't used it in years and I remember just HATING that thing because the photos were always blurry or the lighting situation was weird. What would you do?

5) I'm also trying to think of a bunch of fun prizes to leave behind for the people who are watching the girls to give over the course of our time away. I am thinking of doing some new movies, books and toys for Little L. I don't have a clue of anything to do for the baby because, well, she's a baby. And really? She just wants to be held and fed most of the time and she's all smiles.

6) This free trip is obviously costing us a bit more money than we had anticipated. HA.

7) I still can't believe I'm leaving my kids for 4 days in less than 2 weeks.

8) I told my husband I wasn't leaving them for this trip without a will. What's that you say, a WILL? "You mean, you don't have one of those?" No. We don't. My husband really doesn't like to broach the topic of death and it has always been a horribly touchy subject in this house. It took me to late last year to finally convince him that life insurance policies were not negotiable and the entire process of lab work, medical history and the bazillion questions they ask you in order to underwrite those policies just about killed him in and of itself. And I think part of this is that he hasn't want to put to pen and paper who would we would leave our children to should this happen, because his family will be incredibly offended that they weren't chosen (they shouldn't be, not a single one them is in a position to manage 2 small children) and I suspect he never wanted to answer the question if it was asked. But I think that ridiculous drama like that PALES in comparison to the idea of leaving to kids alone left to be argued over and swirling in uncertainty.

9) I don't like to think about any of this stuff either but the older I get, the more "in touch" I am with the fact that these things simply happen. A guy from my hometown died in a skiing accident 2 weeks ago while on spring break with his family. Yes, that really happened. And I don't even know him well and I have vague memories of his wife being from my childhood church also, but I see her FB updates and I think to myself how completely life shattering this must have been for her and their 2 small children. And, really? I tear up to put myself in her shoes. Because I think I would be utterly LOST without my husband. He's truly my best friend and he makes my world go round and in a perfect world, I don't want my girls to know a life without him or me. But this isn't a perfect world.

10) Reality sucks but God is good and faithful and I remind myself daily that he works together in all things for the GOOD of those that love him and are called according to his purpose.

I got off on quite a tangent there, sorry. Mortality has been a bit of a sore spot for me lately and I had to get it off my chest. Bless you all!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

8 new things, including a perfect heart

1) I found myself in a pediatric cardiologist's office yesterday. I didn't tell anyone we were going except for my 2 closest friends and my dad and his wife. It isn't that I thought we were going to get bad news, but I felt very guarded about the whole thing for some reason. At Little L's 3 year well check, her pediatrician noticed her lips were blue and asked if she'd eaten blueberries for breakfast. I said no and that her lips have always turned blue when she's cold (it was rather chilly and rainy the day of her appointment). I could tell she was quietly concerned by it and told me she wanted to "think/read on that over the next few days" and get back to me. Her office called the following week with a referral to a Cook Children's pediatric cardiologist for an EKG and echo cardiogram and I was kind of stunned silent. When I mentioned it to my dad, he commented that his sister (aka my favorite aunt) had been diagnosed with a valve defect at the age of 3 and had to have open heart surgery to correct. I just prayed about it all and stepped in to the office with a pretty calm, collected sense of peace. Her EKG and exam by the doctor were so good that he didn't even feel the need to do the echo. EXHALE. The blue lips are probably because she is so fair and tends to show coloration more than the average kid... I've been able to see most of her veins since she was born. I was relieved, to say the least.

2) Have I said lately how beyond thankful I am to have healthy children?

3) Baby S barfed ALL OVER me last night. She had been acting weird all day, fussy and not really interested in eating, and I was just fighting with her to take a bottle and as I turned her around to burp her she started making this weird gagging sound and then BOOM! Barf all over me, the couch, the blanket, the floor. Amazingly, she got none on herself. I was certain she'd wake up hungry in the middle of the night, but she didn't. She still seems off.... but no fever, generally acting normal and smiling, so????????? Babies.

4) I got the bikini and cover up I ordered and, um, NO. The bikini was too revealing (seriously, no one wants to see the crack of my derriere) and the cover up made me look enormous. I returned it all and ordered a one piece from another site and got it next day and? Um, definitely NO. I am going to the beach in 3 weeks and have no swimwear but whatever. I'll try to go shopping this week. I think that online swimsuit shopping has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever tried to do. OF COURSE I have to try 500 on before I settle on 1 that is the least awful.

5) I did order this dress yesterday and it appears to have practically sold out in less than 24 hours since they posted it.

6) The soreness from all the working out has passed. I feel like I've been doing nothing but running the past 2 weeks. I also started counting calories hard core with my best friend this week. She sent me an app for my iPhone and now I'm doing the usual obsessing bit that I always do anytime I start counting calories. Did you know that in order for me to lose 1.5 lbs a week I can only consume 1200 net calories per day but for my husband to do the same he can have 2100? I enjoy being a girl but sheesh. 1200 calories is like bread and water, literally.

7) I'm hungry.

8) I'm making this pulled pork recipe for dinner tonight. Alison the Great gave it to me when I was struggling to find things to eat several months ago (during the heights of my MSPI desperation) and it has become a staple in our monthly meals. It is SO GOOD. It sounds kinda weird and "seriously?" when you first hear it, but it is RIDICULOUSLY easy and YUM. It is even Little L approved ("mom, this isn't yucky!") and I serve it with buns, onions and jalapenos for the sandwich and then roasted red potatoes and corn. Try it, you'll like it!

I hope you are all having a WONDERFUL week. I have been having a TON of "I love my husband and kids SO MUCH, how did I get so blessed? MY HEART COULD BURST!" feelings this week. I don't ever want to take one second for granted and I wish that feeling for EVERY person in the world.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

7 quick things

1) Little L is on "spring break" from her MDO program this week and OH MY did I totally forget what it was like to have 2 kids without a break all week. HARD. I had to take the both of them grocery shopping with me today and guess what? NEVER AGAIN. It is pure chaos, I cannot handle the management of two tiny humans plus the responsibility of a long grocery list. Nuh-uh, no way. J is taking off tomorrow so we can take them to the zoo, though. (barring rain or something Texas-y like that)

2) I ordered a bikini for Puerto Rico.

Truthfully, I hate bikinis and I know I don't look great in them but I have never found a one piece that makes me feel good either. And my husband requested bikini. So. Bikini. (Oh and never you worry, I did procure a coverup, TOO)

I foresee myself spending little time in just the bikini and mostly wearing this adorable coverup over said bikini. I do keep a photo of the bikini on my iPhone for motivation to run/exercise every day, though. I gained 5 lbs since I relaxed from the MSPI diet and I am fairly certain all 5 are located square in my gut.

3) Did I mention I am exercising every day? Well, since last Thursday at least. So. About a week-ish of solid routine under my belt. We got the treadmill working (for what it is worth, it turned out to be an issue with the electrical wiring in the room it is in, NOT a treadmill problem) and I took myself out to buy new running shoes because I had put 500+ miles on my old pair and noticed my knee was aching in them anytime I ran the past few months. I also started back up with The.30.Day.Shred and seriously? It is no joke. I've done a lot of gym classes, bootcamps, etc over the years and that video hangs up there with the best of them.

4) I am extremely sore.

5) The baby is all of the sudden HUGE!!!! As in, I am really shocked at how big. She's pretty much sitting up all on her own (with the occasional face plant and screaming fest, naturally) and much to my chagrin, she is fitting just perfectly in all those 12 month size clothes that I JUST ordered for her. (I was hoping that stuff would last us through her birthday in July at least... HA). I haven't a clue what she weighs or how long she is, but I do know that she just looks so big and is getting ridiculously heavy to hold for long stretches of time. Which, of course, is how she likes to roll... in my arms... a lot of the time.

6) We started The Story at church last week and I am really loving it so far. It is basically the bible but written like a novel. It is a cool perspective and a great way for someone who is unfamiliar with the bible to jump in and learn. We also bought the little kid's version of it for Little L and and it is the special book we read one chapter from every Sunday night. Memories are made of this...

7) I've been cooking like CRAZY lately, trying to get back on a good grocery budget and add some new things to our repertoire. I'm not a great cook but I am a GREAT recipe follower, assuming the recipe speaks in regular human speak, not chef speak. (seriously, I looked at the Julia Child's cookbook once and shrunk back in to my hole of nothingness) ANYWAYS. Alicia posted this link last week and I tried 2 of the recipes from week one and they were both pretty darn good. I did the baked pesto chicken and the chili coke roast; the pesto chicken ESPECIALLY took big praise at the dinner table from both the regular diners here. I swapped out the french bread for a cesar salad and we ate like kings. YUM. I am planning to try a few new recipes from this site each week. I am going to post the winners here because I LOVE getting good recipes endorsed by people I actually know.

8) I have plans for a GIRLS NIGHT OUT on Friday and I could DIE, literally, just DIE FROM EXCITEMENT. We haven't left the kids with a sitter in almost 7 months and I haven't had a night out on my own in longer than I can remember. My best friend and I are going to have sushi! I haven't had sushi since before I got pregnant with S, so.... a year and a half plus? I can.not.wait.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Now that you are 3...


39.5" tall
34 lbs 2 oz
Size 4 clothes, or XS; Size 9.5 shoes

The Three Year Questionniare
(An idea borrowed from Alison the Great, I asked L all of these questions and recorded her responses and will do this every year she is a willing participant!! Most of these things she had an IMMEDIATE answer for, a few took her a bit of thinking and then on the holiday one I had to explain what a "holiday" was and give her options to choose from.)

1) What is your favorite color?

2) What is your favorite toy?

3) What is your favorite fruit?

4) What is your favorite TV show?

5) What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
Cars S'getti O's with meatballs

6) What is your favorite outfit?
Sleeping Beauty costume

7) What is your favorite game?
Hide and seek

8) What is your favorite snack?
Nutrigrain bars

9) What is your favorite animal?
A lion (ROAR, thrown in for good measure)

10) What is your favorite song?
E-I-E-I-O (aka Old MacDonald)

11) What is your favorite book?

12) Who is your best friend?
Libby (from MDO)

13) What is your favorite cereal?
Fruit Loops (mom, I want fruit loops right now)

14) What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Go to the park

15) What is your favorite drink?

16) What is your favorite holiday?

17) What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

18) What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Sausage and eggs

19) What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
CAKE (duh)

20) What do you want to be when you grow up?
Princess. Or a doctor. (both answers completely acceptable!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the three

My little L is 3 years old.

I was with her every single one of those 1095 days (save the 3 nights I was in the hospital for baby S's birth). There are days when it feels like I am beyond aware of every single one of those minutes we've spent together and then there are days when I can hardly fathom how she went from being a tiny little newborn to the strong willed, outspoken, independent person that she is today.

I'm not the best mother in the world. My creativity is lacking and I know we watch more TV than we should and there are days when my patience has run dry and I'm too quick to heat up spaghetti oh's and let you wear your pajamas all day. There are days when you plead with me to let you play outside and I spend too much time wrapped up in work to get around to it and other days when I blow off work entirely just to take you to the mall to ride the carousel horses and eat cookies.

I never fully filled out the baby book. I started with the best intentions and I have milestone dates, weights, lengths and things you've said jotted down in notepads, stored in old blogs, added to the notes section of my phone and some I've sure have just gone forgotten. I've taken more photos and videos of you than anyone will EVER care to see (much to the dismay of all my facebook friends, I'm sure) but I've done a terrible job of organizing them or printing them to a book or burning a cd of compiled video for you. I fear our computer will croak someday and I'll lose them all and regret not having been better at managing them. Snippets of our days, our biggest and smallest moments together... trying desperately to capture and cling to what I can as you grow in warp speed. I find my memory is just awful and now that there are two of you, I struggle to remember who from what.

You're so independent. You don't need help doing anything and you make sure we know it. If I start to help with something, you'll stop me and make a point to start the whole process over so that I see just how ridiculous it was of me to try in the first place. You can dress yourself, brush your own teeth, make your own lunchbox, wash your own hands and clean up after yourself. You are kind and thoughtful and incredibly creative. You make up stories and songs and love to dance and laugh and make everyone else around you laugh, too. There are times when you are wild, loud and crazy but at the same time you are reserved and not quick to leap without looking first. You think through your decisions and choices and rarely act brash or bold but you are willing to try new things and give new experiences, foods and people a chance.

The one thing we learned about you this last year that we didn't know before is what an AMAZING big sister you are. I was so worried you'd be jealous or feel abandonded but you surprised us with neither reaction. You are quick to help and always eager to give your sister a toy or a kiss. You 2 speak a language that no one else understands and I know that regardless of what happens in life, you'll always have each other. I pray the innocence and love that you share now as you just look at one another and smile will last a lifetime.

What I don't think you'll ever know is how profoundly you have changed my life. Before you, my life was my own and I was far too selfish for my own good. There are moments in life that change a person so deeply that they never, ever return to being the same... and you, my first miracle, were truly one of the biggest of those moments for me. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for that fluke cycle when everything seemed to go so wrong but ultimately each event went so right. I cannot even think of where we'd be if that cycle had failed because there is not one single ounce of me that cares to know.

It never occurred to me when I was younger how a birthday was the end of a year instead of the beginning. Your third year was pretty magical for me and I am watching you fondly as we start the fourth, hoping time will find a way to slow down but knowing that it only gets faster as it goes. Regardless of how big you get, I hope you know that you'll always be my first baby love, sweet girl.