Friday, May 31, 2013

Music lessons for toddlers?

I love my daughter's daycare.  I really do.  She's learning so much there, and I know that she's safe, very well-cared for and happy.  It's one of the better facilities of the state, certified and everything.  But sometimes, I swear, the place takes things too far. 
 
I'm all for buying supplies for water days - swimming diapers, a swim suit, towel, sunscreen and water shoes.  I get that.  They shouldn't be expected to do anything like that.  And diapers and wipes.  Well, I get the diapers but not really the wipes.  Most kids use the same type of wipes, so isn't that something they could pay for with the astronomical tuition we pay?  But sometimes, I swear...I have a hard time getting what they do. 
 
When Aubrey was in the infant room, they had a fundraiser where each classroom competed to see who collected the most canned goods.  This fundraiser is a great idea.  In fact it shouldn't really be a fundraiser as much as a food drive, but...I digress.  The prize for the winning classroom?  A pizza party.  Really?  My infant child is going to eat pizza?  Hmm...
 
They have yearly fundraisers where they sell these pastries that cost $20 on up per tiny pastry.  They say the money is for supplies.  I'm sorry, but aren't you buying supplies with the amount I pay you, an amount so high that it should be criminal?  You need money on top of that? 
 
(Side note:  It's like when I got a phone call from my hospital's foundation when I was pregnant asking for my charitable support.  I told them I pay enough for my cardiologist and that they should consider that my "donation.")
 
Anyway, so this morning I get an email titled "Anxiety Music Class for Toddlers." And the sub-title was "Watch me learn to play the violin."  Yes, they are advertising this for toddlers.  Violin lessons.  I am all for Aubrey learning to play the violin.  I played the viola.  But I'd rather she learn to do this when she is old enough to care for an instrument or even say she wants to do it.  The cost for these lessons?  $65 per month.  Holy crap on a cracker. 
 
So many things wrong with this.  First off, my daughter, like most toddlers is destructive.  She would kill that violin.  It's wood, so immediately it would go in her mouth.  And she's 15 months.  How is she supposed to learn how to play the violin?  How is she supposed to read music?  What would this $65 be going towards exactly?
 
And "Anxiety Music Lessons?"  Look, I get it.  My daughter will likely get some sort of anxiety genetically from me, but let's not jump ahead here.  She's 15 months old.  I pray she doesn't have anxiety at this young age.  How is music supposed to help that?  And then I go back to...how is my 15 month old going to play the violin? 
 
I apologize if there are moms out there who are reading this who adamantly disagree with me.  I just find this extremely humorous.  And it's my blog, so.... :-)
 
Happy Friday, everyone!  Have a wonderful weekend!
 
 
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Second Blooming
 
This week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming is on the topic:  "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  Of course, this title brings me back to the horror of reading a Tale of Two Cities in World History back in high school, but I don't think that's what she meant.  I never really got that book anyway.  Or liked it, for that matter.  But anyway....
 
So it took a little thinking on what exactly in my life would fall under that theme aside from reading that God-awful book.  When in my life would I say it was the best of times and worst of times?  And immediately I thought of one period - my pregnancy.
 
Now I should preface, I don't say that because being pregnant was the worst of times.  It had its ups and downs, but I consider the entire thing a blessing.  But it was more so everything that was going on during it that make me think this.  I would link back to a post in particular, but I don't think that's possible.  For those of you who haven't read my blog for very long, I'm talking about the period of time basically from June 2011 until February 2012.  Of course, I didn't really reveal I was pregnant until August 2011 so I guess that would be my starting point.  But the "worst" of times started before then. 
 
I was a high risk pregnancy due to my congenital heart defect.  Before we could even consider the option of getting pregnant, T and I had to go through hell - consultations with cardiologists where the risks of my aorta rupturing were discussed, intensive tests, genetic counseling, you name it. But the benefits outweighed the risks so we decided to go for it, and we got pregnant in June 2011.  However, at the same time, my family was going through a very tough time.  My Grandpa, who had already had a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, also was diagnosed with renal failure.  He wasn't going to get better.  We were basically told we would watch him slowly deteriorate, and my mom and her siblings made the tough decision to put him into assisted living.  However, he was not in there for long before he was put into nursing home care.  Shortly after I became pregnant, things took a quick turn for the worse.  I was pregnant second to last time I saw him when we went to visit him in the nursing home, and he couldn't remember I was married, let alone the fact I was pregnant.  My mom had to keep reminding him.  I would joke with him because Aubrey's due date was his birthday, February 22nd, and he would say "well, maybe you'd name the baby George."  The very last time I saw him was our family reunion on July 30th.  I know it would be the last time.  I had to say good bye which was one of the hardest moments in my life.  I didn't want to let go. 
 
Throughout my pregnancy, we had all of the normal firsts every couple had - the first ultrasound, finding out the sex of the baby, feeling her kick, getting more and more excited each day for Aubrey's arrival as we put together her nursery and talked about her plans for the future.  I was elated.  I was so happy to be a mother, and I couldn't have felt more blessed.
 
At the same time, T and I lived in fear.  My blood pressure was rising each day, we had monthly, then weekly doctor's visits to monitor my heart rate, her heart rate, her size, everything.  We were told there was a risk she'd have my heart defect.  We were told there was a risk that she would be still-born because of her size.  We were scared and excited at the same time. 
 
And all along, I was reminded daily that I had to keep my stress down in order to lower my blood pressure.  I was on three medications for blood pressure alone, and still, it was relatively high.  I had an emergency echo-cardiogram done in January when my heart rate was 144.  It was scary.  And telling a pregnant woman who is already high risk and watching her Grandpa die and family deal with all of this that she needs to keep her stress low?  That's almost laughable. 
 
July 30th had to be the last time I saw him.  I remember the phone call with my mom when she told me he was put in hospice care.  I said I wanted to see him to say good bye, and she told me no, that I said my good byes, this isn't how I would want to remember him, and this isn't what he would want for me.  I had to put my health and Aubrey's health first.  It was too much of a risk to put myself into that level of stress.
 
So I didn't get that last chance.  I don't really regret it because I'm not sure it would be how I would want to remember him.  But the day we found out he passed, I felt a sense of relief and of just immense sorrow.  Going through a four hour wake, a three hour funeral, and all that accompanied that was hard.  It was really hard.  I had T by my side the whole time, but I was 8 months pregnant at the time. 
 
Once everything happened, I had no choice to move forward.  In the back of my mind, I couldn't ignore the irony that she was due on his birthday.  And she carries my Grandma, his wife's, middle name as her middle name.   But with the peace that accompanied his passing, came the joy of my daughter's arrival.  The "best of times" took over, and T and I welcomed our baby girl on February 15, 2012.  I had no doubt he was watching over me as we were in the hospital.  I have no doubt that he watches over Aubrey every day. 
 
So yes, it was the worst of times, but I feel the best of times far outweigh the worst.  Sometimes I find myself going back and reading through those old posts, especially the ones where I just lose it, when I felt like it was just too much to bear, and I see how strong I really was during that time.  I had to be because being strong was the only option for Aubrey.  And in the end, I have the most amazing gift anyone could ever be given - God had entrusted T and I with the life of this amazing little girl. 
 
 
 
So stop by Gretchen's and see what other Spinners have to share.  These posts could be very interesting...
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

That inner voice

Throughout my Motivation Monday posts, I tracked my weight loss journey, from start to finish as I lost more than 30 lbs. post-baby.  It was hard, but it is a huge accomplishment.  Finally, I'm back to my ideal weight after almost ten years of being slightly overweight.  My blood pressure is down.  I'm healthy.  It feels pretty good.
 
But, despite being at my goal weight and the ideal one for my age, height, etc., and despite hearing my doctor say that I shouldn't go any lower," I have to be completely honest.  It's hard not to want to go lower.  It really is.  Part of me wants to see if I can lose just five more pounds, even though I've been advised that would be the wrong thing to do.
 
Weight and body image is something I've struggled with since high school.  My junior and senior years in high school I barely ate.  There was a period of time when I just wasn't hungry.  Not at all.  My parents had to force me to eat.  I remember my Mom getting upset that I couldn't even finish a Pop tart.  I wasn't actively trying to lose weight.  I don't remember it being something that was like "if I eat, I get fat."  I just wasn't hungry.  So I did lose weight.  I lost enough that my doctor tested me for mono, which I didn't have.  I later did get mono my sophomore year in college, and I believe I got to my lowest weight at 100 lbs.  You could see my ribs it was that bad.  In college it got worse to the point where I was comparing myself to other girls all around me.  I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't tan enough, I wasn't pretty enough.  I didn't have a very good image or myself, and I certainly lacked in self-confidence.  Looking back at pictures during those years, it's actually pretty shocking just how thin I got.  As I went through college, I gained weight to where I was healthy or healthier, but I've always had it in the back of my mind.  That voice that I'm not good enough. 
 
I gained quite a bit of weight in law school, and then I lost it.  And then I gained it back.  I felt like Oprah with the ups and downs of weight gain.  Then came the pregnancy.  I didn't have a problem with that weight gain, but once I had Aubrey, my body changed.  I have a scar, I have stretch marks, my stomach is not the same.  Even after losing 30 lbs. my stomach is not the same, and I'm not sure it ever will be.  And again I hear that voice...
 
I seriously hate that voice.  That voice in my head that, for instance on Saturday when T and I had a date is telling me that I shouldn't have eaten those two pieces of pizza, promising myself that I will eat very little the next day and work out.  I don't always tell T I'm thinking of this because I know he grows tired of me saying "Oh I feel guilty for eating that" or "I am so fat."  Why do I say that?  Seriously.  Why?  I actually know why.  I have a problem with self-image.  And as much as it is hard to say this or even admit it, I have an eating disorder.  I do. 
 
I'm not sure why I'm writing this post.  I guess it makes me think of women all over the world who hear this exact same voice.  It's wrong.  It's wrong for me to say I'm fat on a daily basis or to weigh myself every morning to make sure I didn't gain weight from the day before.  Wrong.  When will I get to the point where I'm honestly say and believe that I'm good enough? 
 
I worry because Aubrey is there when I do this.  She's only a toddler and has no idea what I'm saying, but as she gets older, she will.  She'll already be surrounded by images and media telling her that thin is beautiful.  The last thing she needs is the person who is supposed to be her female role model teaching her that she should be worried about her weight.  I want her to love herself for who she is.  But how can I get to that point when I don't believe it myself?
 
For God's sake, I've lost 30 lbs.  I'm in size four pants, and I find even those loose.  But something has to change because I don't want Aubrey to ever say she's not good enough.  And that starts with me.  So it's time for a change.
 
I'm not sure how to go about that change exactly.  I think that first step is acknowledging the problem, and honestly, I'm not sure why I've chosen this blog to be that platform.  But it is.  I think the next step is to find some sort of support group to talk about these struggles. 
 
I want Aubrey to see her Mommy as strong, confident in herself, someone who loves herself, because that's the kind of woman I want her to grow up to be.  So I think it's time for that change.  And that change starts now.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Random

I'm not in the mood to come up with one of those well though out, creative posts so we're going random with this.  I'm sure I'll come up with some super creative, awesome posts later this week.  But really, any post by me is awesome, so that's just being redundant, right?  Anyway...random...
 
 
So T and I had a date night on Saturday.  A honest to God date night.  It was lovely, let me tell you.  We actually hired a sitter, which is a first for us, but I've decided we don't want to solely use family for date nights, since T and I want to make a point out of going on actual dates at least once a month so this makes it much easier.  Aubrey did awesome with it.
 
 
This weekend we had to go out, bite the bullet, and buy baby gates.  I know, I know, we should have had them sooner, but our walls are weird in that they are just one inch wider than what the normal gate measures.  So we had to go and buy a special one, of course, which meant more money.  For the past few months we have used our ottoman and a table to blockade the stairs.  It's looked really classy, let me tell you.  But they're up!  And we got the kind that open and shut so I don't have to do that awkward stumbling over the gate thing.  Our kid is a wanderer, so it's a good thing we have them.
 
 
Speaking of our kid...she's turned into Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, seriously.  We use a dowel rod in our screen door as extra protection to lock it.  So she's started taking the thing out and waving it around like she's a ninja.  Hitting the wall, marking things up, you name it.  Take it away from her, and watch out...it's not pretty.  But I keep calling her Donatello, so I'm hoping I'm naming the right turtle.  I think he was the one with the rod thingy, right?  Maybe I need to go Google that. 
 
 
And speaking of our back door...looks like we will be getting a new one.  We noticed leaking the other day after it rained, so T had the door installer come out and check it out.  It turns out there is a hole in the door frame, a manufacturer's defect, so it is covered by warranty.  But, having an entire door taken out will be a huge undertaking.  So not looking forward to that. 
 
 
I ran this weekend!  After taking almost a week off, I managed to run 30 min on Saturday, bike on Sunday and then ran a 5k on the treadmill on Monday.  So maybe I can get back on track with everything.  My legs were tired about halfway in, so I don't think I'll be taking a week off like that again.  My next mini I'm aiming for is in November.  I have some time, but it gives me a goal! 
 
 
So anyway, that's all I have for now.  I'm tapped for ideas.  But I'll have my normal brilliance tomorrow, promise!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  Here's to a short work week!
 
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Little moments

There are so many moments where I wish I had my phone on me so I could record the little things that Aubrey does.  Those little moments where I just want to hug the stuffing out of her.  They aren't always big things, but to me, her Mom, they mean the world. 
 
 
The nights I put her to bed, and as I get ready to lay her down in her crib, she puckers up to give me a kiss and goes "mmmuah!" and then pats my shoulder, giving me a huge hug. 
 
 
Or the day she went with me to the family doctor, and she started mimicking Mommy as I had to take a deep breath in and let it out, deep breath in and let it out...the doctor even found that one funny.
 
 
Or like Sunday afternoon when T and I were on the floor playing blocks with her, and she just thought it was hilarious to throw the blocks up in the air and say "weee!"  We did this for a good 10 minutes, and I swear, watching her belly laugh has to be the cutest thing ever. 
 
 
I love watching her do her little drunk walk.  She's getting so much better at walking, but she still stumbles around like she's just gotten kicked out of a bar.  It's hilarious.
 
 
Or when she reads to herself.  The past three days last week when I picked her up at daycare, it's madness all around, and she's just sitting on the floor, looking through a book.  She does that at home, too, and she will babble to herself.  I'd love to know what she's saying.  And I love that she loves books.  I have a smart one on my hands. 
 
 
I love those moments when I've cleaned everything up in the living room, and she looks around, promptly dumps out the blocks out of their container looking at me like "Mom, that's not the way I left them!" 
 
 
Or nights when I peek in to check on her before we go to bed, and she's fast asleep, on her tummy, butt high up in the air, looking as cozy and comfortable as one person could possibly be.  Sometimes I wish I could get that cozy and relaxed.  She makes it look so easy. 
 
 
I love when we get out of the car, and one of us comes to the back door to get her, she just gets this huge grin on her face and waves. 
 
 
I pretty much love any time she grins. 
 
 
It's these moments where I just step back and realize how very very blessed I am.  She's an amazing little girl, and I'm lucky enough to be her Mommy.  I couldn't ask for anything more.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Something new....

I may be alone in this train of thought, but I think this is awesome.  Target, apparently, has debuted a line of wedding and bridesmaid gowns, ranging in price from $99 to $129.  And I think this is an absolutely awesome idea. 
 
I've never been into those "Say Yes to the Dress" types of shows.  I loathed wedding planning.  I'm just not one of those women.  The day was beautiful, everything perfect, but all of the "oh I have to have the most expensive dress, and I need this, and I need that place setting..."  I'm not a details person.  I would have been more than happy to have a wedding planner do it all.  I was excited to go dress shopping, but even then, I walked into it pretty nervous about the cost.  I had seen how much bridesmaid's dresses cost me in the past.  I could only imagine how much a wedding dress would set us back.
 
My own dress I purchased at David's Bridal for somewhere around $250.  The alterations made that price jump, of course.  The first dress I really liked at another boutique was $750, but once I saw that price tag, I couldn't bring myself to say "hey, Mom and Dad, I'm wearing this dress for a day...can you give me $1,000?"  Not that there's anything wrong with parents who are willing to pay that for a wedding dress for their daughter.  It's just I knew my family's financial situation, and I just didn't feel right about it.  The dress was beautiful, but so was the one I picked out.  And more cost effective, too. 
 


Honestly, looking back on the wedding, I'm not sure I would have scoffed at the idea of purchasing the dress via a store like Target.  I'm sure it's not like you can just hop over to the store, hit the Dollar Spot and then get a dress before picking up a gallon of milk.  I'm sure it's an online sort of deal, but seriously...it's not a bad idea.  And if you look at some of the dresses they have, they're actually very pretty.  Of course, I am the girl whose flower girls wore dresses from Target. 


I've read some comments on it, and some people aren't really for it.  I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the wedding industry.  I mean, it is a huge money maker.  HUGE.  It's criminal how much they charge for dresses.  And the emotion tends to get the best of people so there's that whole element of how much they spend.  But to me, this seems like an excellent alternative.  I only wish that they had this around 2009 and 2010 when we were planning a wedding.  Maybe my second wedding?  (JUST kidding, T! I love you!)


What are your thoughts?  Would you purchase your wedding gown from Target?
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tolerance

I consider myself to be a fairly tolerant person.  I am open-minded.  I'm one of those unique people out there who are considered liberal-Catholics.  I have my faith, which is so important to who I am, but at the same time, I'm financially liberal (hello, working in a legal services agencies kind of makes that a given, right?), and I may offend several of you out but I am pro-gay marriage and pro-choice.  Now would I choose to have an abortion.  No, not at all.  But I don't judge.  I'm happy to listen to your viewpoints and consider them.  Do I need to agree with them?  No, not really, but I don't judge because of them.
 
Anyway, that's not the point of this post.  The point I'm trying to make here is I try my very best to be open-minded.  My friends come from all walks of life, and they all have a variety of opinions and views on life and what is important to them.  And I love that.  I respect that.  I have several friends who are atheists and are so openly.  They respect my lifestyle and view points, and I don't ever give them any level of disrespect for that.  Do I agree with their views?  No, but who I am I to judge?  Who am I to push my views off on them?  There is only one person who I need to judge, and that is myself and the person I am, the way I treat others. 
 
So I do get a little tired when I see people out there lumping those of us who would fall in a certain category and outwardly bashing the way we live and believe.  It's all part and parcel of free speech, and as a lawyer, I respect that, too.  You are allowed to your views, and you are allowed to express them.  I just don't appreciate being judged.  I don't appreciate being judged for being spiritual by those who aren't.  I don't appreciate being judged because I'm Catholic by those who aren't and those who have misunderstandings or lack of knowledge of what being Catholic really means.  I grow tired of being judged for being a Democrat and being labeled as "liberal" as if it's some awful thing.  I grow tired of being told I'm going to hell because I'm pro-choice.  Or for the fact that two of my closest friends are lesbians, and I recently went to their wedding.  I grow tired of being judged for the fact that T and I chose to live in the suburbs.  I grow tired of being judged because I chose to formula feed her and I don't make my own baby food.  I grow tired of being judged for being a working mother and sending my child to daycare.  I grow tired of being judged for the fact that we are choosing to send Aubrey to Catholic school instead of public.  I grow tired of being judged for the fact that I chose a legal career that doesn't involve climbing to the top and getting rich.  I could go on and on. 
 
I say this in response for a little Facebook spat I got into with a "Facebook friend" and his friend.  These two are adamantly against living in the suburbs, and the term "dipshit suburbanite" was thrown out.  Against my better judgment, I chose to defend those of us who are these "dipshit suburbanites."  And I got a "hey, chill man, I wasn't calling all of you that" as if I were overreacting.  It's what I get.  I should just hit "ignore" or "hide," which is what I usually do when I see some post from someone being intolerant or name-calling for other's viewpoints.  I have very little patience for that.  You can express your opinions, it's a free country, but your viewpoints sound much more educated if you leave out the overt judgments and name-calling.  Honestly, this is one of the things I truly cannot stand about Facebook.  I so looked forward to the end of the election season for this reason.  And then the Pope conclave...geez, people had a problem with it.  Well, it's not your religion, and the Pope really doesn't affect you so calm down.  But I digress...
 
I'm writing this post after just getting into this little stupid confrontation so I'm a little heated.  But I do get tired.  Tired of the judgment.  I am all of the above things I stated, which I could restate but choose not to.  It all makes up who Nain is.  I don't need to be around people who are just like me.  God, that would be boring.  Everyone is different.  Do T and I have the same views on each and everything?  No.  That's not what I want.  All I ask is for tolerance and a little civility.  Stop the judgment and just let people be. 
 
Don't be hatin'.  "Ain't nobody got time for that."
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Will you go to prom with me?

Yesterday's post I was all like "oh, I'm old.  Oh so old."  Well, today's post is somewhat similar.  It's amazing what things have changed with high school.  Seriously.  Here's a case in point:  did you know that the asking of the prom is apparently this huge deal?  In fact, one of my employees who has a daughter in high school was telling me about the extravagant measures her daughter's boyfriend went to in order to ask her to prom.  And apparently this isn't exactly a random occurrence.  One boy, she told me, put up signs along a highway leading up to "Will you go to prom with me?"  I mean, really? 
 
These are called promposals.  John Stewart on The Daily Show was actually making fun of this practice just the other day.  It is sweet, don't get me wrong, but these boys (and girls, too) are going to such huge measures you would think they were asking someone to marry them.  Isn't the whole prom thing supposed to be the bigger deal?
 
Apparently the promposal isn't just for someone asking a date who they aren't officially in a relationship with, too.  Boys and girls who are so-called "boyfriend and girlfriend" are expected to do this, too.  I'm sure if you were a guy, and you didn't do some grand gesture of asking someone to go to a high school dance with you, you would be considered lazy or I don't know, a bad guy? 
 
I hate that I sound like one of those "Back in my day...." old person.  BUT...back in my day, if you were in a relationship with someone in high school the whole prom thing was a given.  And if you asked someone to go to a dance, well...you just asked them.  That whole process in and of itself is intimidating.  Now you have to come up with some creative and huge idea to do this?  Isn't the dance the bigger part of the whole "fun" experience? 
 
I don't know...it just seems kind of weird to me.  I'm always asking my 16 year-old nephew about what the "young people" are doing these days, and it blows my mind.  1) Because I was 16 when he was born, and here I am asking him what high school students do; 2) he has a girlfriend?  When did he get old enough for this? and 3) Why are things like this such a big deal? 
 
I don't know.  I'm coming upon 13 years out of high school, 10 years out of college.  My senior prom was in 1999.  It was a lot of fun and a wonderful experience with my boyfriend at the time, but did he need to write out "will you go to prom with me" in balloons outside my bedroom window so that it was the first thing I saw that morning?"  No...a simple "Hey, want to go to prom?" really was all I needed.  Actually it was more like "I'm purchasing tickets to prom, do you want to purchase the tickets to the next day after-prom thing?"  But what would I know...I'm old.  Hell, I learned to type on a typewriter, after all!
 
Want to see me going to senior prom?  Here you go!  Don't I look so youthful and vibrant? 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Going old school

Sometimes when I'm driving to work, and of course when T isn't in the car because he'd mock me, I listen to K-Love.  I used to roll my eyes at the mention of Christian music, but I've started listening to it just to get a little inspiration.  Plus, it's calming, and when Aubrey is able to talk more clearly, I'd rather not have to worry about her singing about Taylor Swift's most recent breakup or God knows what.  Of course, she is starting to mimic noises so I'm best to play it safe. 
 
 
Anyway, that isn't the point I was wanting to make.  The morning hosts were talking about how some high schools are going back to having students use typewriters.  The reason for this was that students would be more careful when they type and not make mistakes. (Remember the correction tape?) and would focus since they wouldn't have access to the Internet.  I, personally, think this could possibly be a good idea.  I was the last class in my high school to taking typing as a class and do it on a typewriter.  It was an electronic typewriter, mind you, but still...we had to feed in the paper, mark the margins, and for the entirety of the class we worked on letters, memos, etc.  I hated the correction tape.  I'm a fast typer, but I tend to make a lot of mistakes.  You would get a mark for each time you used correction tape, and honestly, there were times when I got F's because I had to use too much tape.  I was a straight A, honor student, and I got F's in typing.  You had to finish a certain number of assignments during the 45 minutes we had class, so there was always that sense of urgency.  Plus I tend to stress out in general when given a timeline like that.  So I made mistakes.  But it did make me have to really watch what I was doing.  So I can see the benefit to this. 
 
 
The part about less distractions is also true, too.  Who hasn't started working on something only to switch over to the Internet to just waste time?  I know I'm probably an extreme case of this with my short attention span, but kids do the same thing.  Working on a typewriter would make someone have to really focus on the job they are doing.  I don't know...I guess I can see good and bad to it, though.  Because it doesn't really teach them how to use the latest software so it is kind of antiquated.  But the meaning behind it is good, in theory.
 
 
It's hilarious because when I tell T that I learned to type on a typewriter he immediately laughs.  His family was one of those first ones that had a computer in the home, and he went to a private school that had computers.  I guess our school was just one year behind his or what not.  Who knows?  The two staff attorneys in my office who are about 5 years  younger than me think this is hilarious, too, and I get lots of "man, you are OLD!" comments.  (I am NOT old, by the way.  Thirty-two is the new twenty-two, right?)  But just hearing that story this morning made me reminisce because that's exactly how life was like when I was in ninth grade.  I wonder what schools are actually doing this.  I mean, don't most classrooms now let kids have iPads anyway?  My 10 year old niece and nephew could probably school me on what they know with the computer.  Maybe I am old....I mean my sophomore year I did take a spreadsheet class called Lotus 123 (I had a hard time with errors in that class, too.).  I'm not even sure that software is around.  I can use Excel but only to the point where I can do simple tasks.  I'm nowhere as experienced at it as T.  But I'm an attorney.  What do I need with Excel anyway? 
 

So what do you think of this "revolutionary" idea?  Think maybe this is sparking a movement?  Maybe they'll bring back cassette tapes.  I mean, back in college I did have to use cassette tapes for Spanish class.  God, I AM old. 
 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Motivation lost?

Motivation Monday

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you look at your calendar and want to just hide?  Yeah, that's me this week.  I'm more than ready to just skip over this week and not have to do a thing.  But, alas...it's not possible. 


This week I'm looking at working past closing time, conducting legal clinics in outside counties and busting my butt to get two grants completed before Friday.  It's looking a little intimidating.  I'm sure I can get through it, but it's going to take some motivation and focus.  And time.  Last week I did have one good day when I got a ton of things done.  The next day?  Yeah, um, not so much.  I did manage to get two blog posts written and signed up for The Examiner.  Oh and join BlogHer.  But actual work?  I just couldn't bring my mind to do it. 


I wrote a post on BlogHer about my questioning whether I had Adult A.D.D.  Some people joke about that, and I've been known to joke about having A.D.D. before.  But, you know, I'm honestly I do believe there is some truth to it.  Focusing on one specific task at a time is something I've struggled with, not so much as a kid, but it's gotten worse as I've gotten older. 


But, as Sweet Brown says "Ain't nobody got time for that!" 


I've got things to do, money to get, and check marks to be made on my "To do" list.  I'm thinking maybe I can make sure that no matter what I actually do accomplish at least.  I think it's the enormity of the list that gets me.  And the fact that for awhile there, the deadlines were in the distance.  But now they are here.  So it's shit or get off the pot time. 


Personally, I blame Pinterest.


I'm struggling, too, with doing it all.  I've made the decision that I want to get back into writing, which meant reviving my Examiner account, dedicating more time to blogging, but at the same time doing Mary Kay, getting work done, housework done, and more importantly, spending quality time with T and Aubrey.  So.....yeah.  Now that I've just typed all of that, I'm wanting to hide. 


But I can't, I must press on.  And that, my friends, is my motivation this week.  Let's do this!


Since I've talked about it twice now in this post, I am the Examiner writer for the Johnson County Indiana Courts System.  I started this back in 2010 but took a break for medical reasons and then pregnancy reasons and...then for Aubrey.  It got out of hand.  So please, check out my articles if you get a chance.  I'm at:  http://www.examiner.com/user-byersals.  Click "subscribe" to get notices when stories are out.  I hope to get an additional topic soon - TBA! 



Friday, May 17, 2013

My aversion to pets

Second Blooming
 
 
This week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming is on pets.  I don't have a ton of experience in this area.  We never had dogs or anything growing up.  I was actually scared of dogs and still am somewhat of the bigger ones.  The only pets I have had are of the rodent variety.  I didn't become extremely attached to them.  In fact an experience I had in 2008 permanently scarred me from having these kinds of pets ever again.  Sorry, Aubrey, but no way in hell am I having a guinea pig.  Never ever every.  I've written about this in the past, but I'm recycling the post in honor of this Spin.  So without further ado....this is a post I actually wrote for Gretchen's Spin Cycle back on July 27, 2012, on comedy:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming, is one on comedy. I, unfortunately, don't have any jokes to share. However, this week I'd like to share with you something that happened to me in 2008. It was one of those situations where it was only funny after the fact. But now, I find it downright hilarious.

It has to do with guinea pigs. And why I will never ever own one again.

Back in 2007, I read this article that said people who have pets live longer and are less lonely. I was living on my own at the time, so I decided to get a pet. I didn't want to jump into the commitment of having a cat or dog, so I chose a guinea pig. I had hamsters when I was younger and a guinea pig in law school so I figured I could handle it. So I went to Pet Smart and picked a black and white guinea pig. The teenager who helped me checked the boy/girl area and determined she was a she. So I named her Ruby. I brought her home in hopes that she would make my apartment just a little less lonely.

Well, she didn't really do much. She just sat there, was never really active. So at the suggestion of a friend, I got Ruby a roommate. I went to Pet Smart again, and a different teenager helped me and gave me another female guinea pig. I named her Pearl. I happily took her home, and I quickly introduced her to her new BFF Ruby. And as soon as I put Pearl in the cage, Ruby chased her down and immediately got on top of her. I, of course, freaked out so I called my brother, who had guinea pigs of his own. "Is this normal? It seems weird." I told him. But he reassured me that it was totally normal. Ruby was just establishing her dominance. So I took that advice for what it was worth and life went on as normal.

Pearl began to grow and got a little chunky, but she was so young when I bought her so I thought nothing of it. That is...until....

Easter evening, when I came home from my parent's house, I entered my apartment and took a quick glance at the cage. And I saw them. Three little balls of fur. Sitting there all huddled together in the cage in a corner. What. The. Hell. I ran over to the cage, and sure enough, baby guinea pigs. How in the hell did this happen? I frantically called my brother, and as soon as he answered the phone, I let him have it. "You said that Ruby was establishing dominance!" He told me to calm down and asked what was going on. "Babies! There are babies! You said that Ruby was just establishing dominance. But they were doing it! They were doing the nasty in my living room. Right in front of me. God!" He started laughing, and I told him that this was no laughing situation. "Balls of fur! Balls of fur every where!" He continued laughing and said "well, it's an Easter miracle!" "This is an Easter disaster!" I yelled. I kind of freaked out not remembering what species of animal ate their young shortly after birth. Did guinea pigs do that? How much longer did I have? So he asked, well, which one is the male? You need to get him out of there. Which one was showing maternal instinct?  "I don't know which one is a he. They're ignoring them.  Britney and Kevin are just sitting over there in a corner away from their children. No one is being maternal!" "Well pick them up and look." "Hell, no, I'm not digging around their junk!  That's disgusting!" "Well, put your hand in there, and the mother should go to her children." I reached in there, and instinctively, Pearl moved my direction towards the kids. So it was Ruby. Ruby was a he. Ruby was a Rudy. Or a Ruby was sexually confused. I didn't know.  And I didn't have a cage to put him in. So I quickly ran and got a trash can from my bedroom, threw out the trash and put him in it. "Dammit, I have to go. I have to get something to put him in." So I hung up on my brother and rushed out the door to buy supplies. Food, an extra cage or something to put Ruby/Rudy in and food. I'd figure out the details later.

I found a plastic Rubbermaid thing I used to keep Ruby/Rudy in. I put him next to the other cage so he and Pearl could share prison visits but no conjugal ones. The next day I called a vet's office to ask what I could do. Apparently, you have six weeks to keep the kiddos with their mom because they still nurse off of her, but you best be getting rid of them at six weeks because then the boy kids will start having some Oedipus complex and will start procreating with the mother. Gross. So I took the entire cage to the vet, as well as a picture of them to see if the vet staff could help find homes for them. I can't recall which ones were boys or girls. I didn't really care so I named them Marsha, Jan and Cindy. One of them had a bit off ear, probably when the mother was "giving birth" or whatever guinea pigs do. So I figured that one was Jan. "Poor Jan." I managed to find homes for the babies. Thank the Lord.

So some time passed...well, a few weeks, between Easter and my birthday in late April. I had plans to go out with friends and my siblings so my brother and his wife came over to pick me up. My sister-in-law picked Pearl up to play with her, and she started feeling around and said "Hey, Nain? I think she's pregnant." No. No, no, no. Did you all know that guinea pigs don't waste any time getting it on after they have a baby? In fact, if you don't catch them as soon as those babies are out, they'll get preggers again. And that's what happened. That little slut got knocked up again. "Pearl! You whore!" I whispered to her. Sure enough, she had gotten chunky again. I thought it was just that weight you gain after a baby. But she got big this time. I mean REALLY big. Like softball size big. So I feared there were more than just three babies in there this time. And I was correct.

A short while later, I came home one day and my fears were confirmed. There were five now. Five. I mean, don't get me wrong...these babies were cute. But five? Holy cow. I quickly named them - Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Michael. And again, I headed back to the vet's office to determine sex. At this point I was so over the guinea pigs. I momentarily debated just letting them go into the wild. But I did have a heart. So I managed to somehow find homes for them yet again. However, I did have some stragglers. Ruby/Rudy was still in his cell, and Pearl and another baby were in the other cage. (A girl baby, mind you...I wasn't making that mistake again.) Did you know how much poop six guinea pigs can create? Seriously, I was cleaning poop every other day. Like I said...I was over the guinea pigs. 

I did end up finding homes for Pearl and the other baby. My brother's friend had two children, and one is autistic and was so excited to have the two pets. So I knew they'd be going to a good home. I did keep Ruby/Rudy until the end. But I swore...never again. If Aubrey ever says "Mommy, can we get a guinea pig?" That will be responded quickly with a resounding NO. No freaking way. They are little sluts, those guinea pigs.  

So while this may not be a joke or comedy...well, it may be a comedy. It's one of those situations where you can only look back on and laugh. And learn. Never again.
 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Telling my story

So for those of you who have been with me from the very beginning waaaaay back in May 2010, you'll remember that I began this blog as an effort to get back into writing, as a jump into writing a novel.  Shortly after I started writing this blog, I began working on a novel.  The book was based on true stories, a series of events I went through, mistakes made, etc., before I met T.  I got fairly far along, and I even joined a critique group with some amazing writers to keep myself accountable.  But...then I switched jobs.  And I lost the time to focus on it.  And then I got pregnant, and finding time for anything during a high risk pregnancy became difficult.  So somewhere along the way, I haven't even looked at the file in well over a year. 


I see that many of you out there do the same thing - you start writing but then lose your drive somewhere along the way.  I know many of you then pick up where you stopped and finished the book.  I have the utmost admiration for you who do that.  Pushing yourself through writer's block, making time for a project you are dying to finish, I truly admire that.  I know, I have a one year old so it's completely understandable that I don't have the time, but then I know other writers, such as Julie Lindsey and Steph Campbell (both from my critique group, btw) who have more than one kid and pump these puppies out, amazing books, amazing writers, and I wonder how they do it on top of everything else.  It blows my mind. 


That same year when I started writing my blog, I also went through a retreat at my church.  I was a participant at first, and then after my retreat, I chose to continue on to plan and give the next retreat for the next group of women who were seeking more, wanting some spiritual guidance.  Part of that retreat process was to give my own "witness."  This witness was basically me telling my story - the good, bad and ugly.  It was hard to write, and a lot of it was based on events I wrote in my book, things it took all I had in me to vocalize, let alone put on paper.  I did it (crying through most of it, of course), but I gave my story.  It was hard but yet liberating at the same time.  Many of these things I vocalized I have never told anyone, aside from T, and I intend to keep it that way.   These confessions were things I was worried when I first met T would cause him to say "yeah, this is too much."  But it didn't.  Shortly before we were married, I went to confession at church, more as a way of forgiving myself than seeking forgiveness.  And I burned that witness in our fire pit.  I let it go.  None of it mattered because it was all past, and I was beginning my future.


Time has passed.  Like I said, I haven't looked at the book file in forever.  So much has changed.  I'm married, in a completely different place, a mother, my focus on what is important has changed.  All of that drama, all of that crap I don't even find important at all.  Those things that at one point were so important, were so traumatic for me, those stupid decisions I made...none of that even is a blip on the radar.  Sure, it crosses my mind, and sure I have moments where I still can't forget.  It is a part of who I was.  But I'm not who I was. 


I wanted to write that book as a way to let it go, to tell my story and vocalize what I couldn't for so long.  But the thing is, I have.  I could open that file and finish my story, but it was hard enough that first time around to write down events that happened.  I kind of relived certain things I didn't want to relive.  And honestly, I don't want to do that again, and I don't see the point of it.  I don't have the desire to finish what I started.  I just don't have the drive to do that.  It doesn't seem important anymore. 


Do I want to write still?  Hell yes, I do.  My dream job, my ideal world, is for us to have enough money for me to practice law part time, doing wills and basic transactional legal stuff, and to write.  I would love to have the time and freedom to do that.  Honestly, as I get older, with my heart condition, I see backing off what I do as a necessity.  Essentially I've been told by doctors I can't keep up my lifestyle, the stress that comes along with being a litigation attorney and director.  Not for my health and the good of my family.  And my passion, what I want, deep down more than anything, is to write.  For right now, I can't.  I have to work full-time, I have loans to pay off and expenses towards which to contribute. 


I would love to find the time to get back into writing.  For that reason, I have been inspired by Gretchen at Second Blooming to challenge myself in the month of June to write a post a day.  It'll be hard, but I want to do it.  So...I need ideas.  If you have any, please leave them in comments.  I'm keeping a notebook with me to write them down as I go along. 


Do I have a story to tell?  Yes.  Is it the one I thought was important back in 2010?  No, not in the slightest.  I've let that go.  And I have to say it's a great feeling.


Plug:  And in an effort to increase readership and this blog's potential, I've joined a variety of networking sites including BlogHer and "I'm on the fence."  Click on the icon to your right each time you stop by, and you submit a vote for my blog.  The more votes I get, the more visibility (yay!).  Also, if you don't already, follow me on twitter @viewfromnain!
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This must end now

I've been holding off on something for awhile now...say, about 6 months.  The pacifier.  The doctor said it needed to be done, and I was like "yeah...we can push it off just a little longer."  And then it turned into a little longer....and a little longer.  And then it turned into "Oh she only needs it for sleeping."  "Oh, this once will only calm her down when we're at church."  And last week when we were in St. Louis, we used it quite a bit to keep her quiet so as to not annoy our hotel neighbors or to keep her quiet in restaurants so as to not be "those people."  Excuses after excuses.
 
 
T's been on the whole "let's get rid of this thing" since the doctor said she no longer needed it to comfort herself.  That was at her 6 month appointment.  In fact he was all for going it cold turkey.  She had to stop using it at daycare in order to transition to toddler, and she's done fine with that.  But at home?  Not so much.  And I'm afraid I've been her paci dealer.  I've kind of let it go along too long.  Bad, Mommy, bad. 
 
 
But after one of those incidents on Sunday where she reenacted a scene from the exorcism as we got her ready for bed, and when she realized we weren't caving and giving her a pacifier?  She flipped out.  Like literally flipped out.  I am not sure I've ever seen her get that angry.  Home girl actually bit the nipple off of her bottle and used that as a pacifier.  Milk everywhere.  Everywhere, I tell you, everywhere!  So we just took the bottle out of her hands, put her in bed and walked out.  As soon as she calmed down, then she had her bottle, but as soon as she finished and figured out there was no paci forthcoming, all hell broke loose.
 
 
Sure, we could do the weaning thing, but I think we've tried that.  It's not working.  I mean the kid, the other day, saw one on the kitchen table, somehow reached it, took it off the table, looked me dead in the eye, smiled and stuck it in her mouth.  She knows what she's doing. 
 
 
So this week and the next might suck.  In fact I'm pretty sure there are moments.  But it has to be done.  This is a paci free household.  It has to be.  This has to end now. 
 
 
We're two nights in.  Two long nights in.  We've got a stubborn one on our hands, but what she doesn't realize?  I'm stubborn, too.  And only one of us can win. 
 
 
Who knew such a power struggle could come from a piece of plastic? 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What a difference a year makes

I need to upload vacation pictures, I know.  So I'm going to hold off on that post for awhile.  It was a fun trip, and we got to explore the city and see a lot, eat a lot, and walk...a lot.  St. Louis is a pretty cool city.  I mean, it's not my favorite city in the world, but when your level of comparison starts with Dublin, Ireland, not much can beat that.  Or ever will.  Did I mention I'd love to go back to Dublin sometime?  Oh I hadn't?  Yeah.  That sounds good.
 
 
It's funny because we went to St. Louis about a year ago when Aubrey was 5 months old.  It was July, so St. Louis felt like it was the second circle of hell with temperatures well into the 100s.  So we didn't really get to do much walking, and everything we did was inside.  That and Aubrey pretty much either slept, ate or stared around in her car seat/stroller.  It's not like we went anywhere where Aubrey would be interested.  There really wasn't much that did interest her.  So this time, almost a year to the date, things were different.  The main difference - she's mobile.  Oh man, she's mobile.  She's still not a steady mobile, mind you.  She has that toddler, walking around like a drunk co-ed look, stumbling and falling down on her butt every few steps.  But she gets around.  And she gets into every single thing.  And finds everything.  I mean, I guess it's a good thing because she's perceptive as hell, but it keeps you on your toes. 
 
 
It was a little more fun taking her around, watching her observe things around her.   This time, she was sitting straight up in her stroller, looking around at everything.  It was hilarious the things she found interesting.  At the zoo, she'd rather watch the people around her than see the animals. (I don't know...maybe she is like her Mommy, silently judging people around her.  She loved the arch.  We passed a construction zone, and T said she absolutely loved that.  Sitting at a restaurant, she's looking around everywhere, turning around in her high chair to where she's almost completely twisted. 
 
 
This time around she's more vocal.  Babbling, laughing, and...screaming.  Oh dear God, the screaming.  Just random screaming.  I think I can pinpoint which child in her classroom taught her this new, fun trick.  And she doesn't just scream out of anger.  It's just random, for no reason at all.  Not a fan. 
 
 
It's amazing what a difference a year can make.  Here's last July:
 

 





And here's now....it amazes me how much she has changed.

 
 
 
 
 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Back from vacation motivation

Motivation Monday


So we're back from vacation, back to reality.  And as I type this I'm not even sure if I mentioned that we were going away at all.  We went to St. Louis Wednesday through Sunday...Thursday and Friday I had a work conference, and I did things with T and Aubrey in the afternoon. And then on Saturday, we had a family day.  It was a blast, but we were definitely ready to come back home.  And...being on vacation and what not, we ate like we were on vacation.  Granted, that deep dish pizza on Friday was worth it.  As was that whiskey and chocolate cake on Saturday.  We did work out separately twice using the hotel gym and walked around a ton, but...yeah...I'm going to have to stop eating like I'm on vacation.


So that's my motivation this week.  And I need to stay away from the chocolate.  Some evil person at work brought in a few boxes of chocolates, and I have had some will power problems.  I haven't gained weight or anything but still...you just don't feel the same, less energy or what have you, when you are eating badly.  So I need to kind of steer myself back to the eating healthy thing.



Working out, too, is something I need to keep up this week.  But I may have to be careful with the running.  I ran on Thursday, and I did notice, as we were walking around Thursday night, that my right shin hurt.  So...don't want to injure myself.  I did an elliptical work out Saturday, and we have the bike so I might have to take it easy on the running, even though I really really don't want to.  But I have a goal of running another mini either in September or October.  Leaning towards the October one because when I did the women's mini in September, it was hotter than hell.  I hate heat or at least running in the heat. 


So stay away from the chocolate this week, Nain.  Just say no. 


What's your motivation this week?  Anyone else having a problem with saying no to the chocolate? 


Happy motivation Monday, everyone!
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I've got a problem

Second Blooming
 
This week's Spin Cycle is on Obsessions.  And automatically I start singing that song from the 1980s...you know...this one:
 



See, now that's going to be in your mind, too.  (Evil laugh)  Anyway, Gretchen, you couldn't have piked this topic at a more ironic time because I have a new obsession. 


Pinterest. 


I made fun of people who used it in the past.  I was all "what the hell is that all about?  What's the point?"  That is, until about a month ago, when I had my first taste.  And I was hooked.


Seriously, there is a lot of good stuff out there.  I could literally spend forever just browsing and getting ideas.  Holidays, gifts, organization tips, especially the organization tips.  I've used these gems since joining Pinterest (one to organize Tupperware lids and the other to organize all that clutter in my kitchen and on the table):


 

 
 
I heart this site.  And these are just a few of the things I have tried.  Did you know you can make your house smell really good by boiling orange peels with cinnamon?  Because it does.  I made my Mom a Mother's Day present of coasters you can make with small picture frames and wine corks.  And I made a cute little sign for our front door saying "Please Remove Your Shoes" with cute little back and white pictures as a passive way of getting people to take their shoes off when they come in our house because it drives both me and T crazy.  I'm working a couple other projects, but seriously...I'm hooked.  I've got it bad. 
 
 
I've found some great ways to trick Miss Aubrey into eating her veggies.  The other day I tried out some cupcakes using Bisquick and veggies.  She ate them up.  I found an awesome recipe for buffalo chicken wraps, for pizzadillas, and for some grilling recipes.  I'd love to try some of the desserts I've seen on there, but....
 
 
T laughs at me every time I say "you know, I have this idea of something I saw on Pinterest..."  But even he can't say he hasn't benefited from it.  Cleaning tricks, organizing ideas...I'm all over this like white on rice. 
 
 
But it's a fine line, I tell you.  A fine line. 
 
 
So stop by Gretchen's and see what other Spinners have to share!  Maybe we can all join a 12 step program together. 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Giving up or giving in

 What am I doing? 
 
 
Seriously...what am I doing?
 
 
This past weekend I kept asking myself that same question over and over.  It was a tough parenting weekend.  Hell, it's been a tough parenting couple of weeks.  Aubrey has been so moody lately, so fussy, just plain rotten.  And sure, every parent says that, and yes, I've had people tell me "oh wait until she's 2...or 3..."  Yeah, well, this phase sucks, too.  And Mommy and Daddy are just about broken from it. 
 
 
It's the constant tantrums if we take something away from her.  The bucking bronco thing.  The constant crying.  Dear God, the crying.  And we can't take her anywhere without her fussing...out to dinner, to Target, to church...this past weekend we tried to go to mass where I spent half of it at least in the outer gathering room, part of that period of time in tears.  I couldn't figure it out.  Why was she crying?  I let her walk, she was upset.  I let her sit with me, she was upset.  Crawl, upset.  Sit in her stroller, upset.  No idea.  And I was just about to lose it.  Where was my little girl who is always so happy? 
 
 
Bath time for the past five nights have just been terrible.  Screaming like we are torturing her, as one of us holds her in the tub while the other cleans her, as she tries to claw her way out of the tub or throw herself back directly into the water.  I can't remember a time when we had a good bath night. 
 
 
It's hard to get her to understand that "no, don't do that Aubrey" even though we say it.  And I hate to say I have raised my voice, as has T.  The girl doesn't understand punishment.  It's not like I could take something away from her, and she would understand it was a consequence of her behavior.  Instead we just wrestle with her as we get her ready for bed. 
 
 
She's teething, getting two of her molars at once.  We try to stay on top of it with orajel and tylenol.  But she's also transitioning to toddlers so she's more active, doing more during the day, probably more tired, and she's around toddlers now.  Could she be picking up behaviors?  Is she upset with us over the change? 
 
 
The thing is I don't know.  I just don't know.  And I have no idea what I'm doing
 
 
So yeah, I know...it gets worse, I know.  But that doesn't help at the moment.  Right now, I'm considering just giving in and waving the white flag.
 
 
 
 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Motivation Monday 13.1 edition

Motivation Monday

Happy Motivation Monday!   So I survived!  Yay!  I ran 13.1 miles...well, ran most, walked some, but I did it!


I actually did a ton better than I thought I would.  I was so incredibly nervous that I was driving both myself and T crazy, as well as making myself physically ill.  See, I'm really good at that - just ask pretty much anyone who knows me at all.  Anyway, so after driving T and my family crazy, Saturday morning finally arrived.  We had to be downtown around 6:30, and we were picking up my brother on the way from my parent's house.  So that meant T and I got up at 4:45 a.m.  I do not - I repeat - do not - get up when there is a 4 on my clock.  But it was a good thing that Aubrey was looking out for us because she wanted to make sure we didn't get into a really deep sleep, by waking us up at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.  So when the alarm went off at 4:45...we were pretty much awake anyway.  Tired, but awake.  So we dressed, coffee-ed up and headed out. 


One thing I hate about races is the waiting.  You have to get there early because you can't be one of those crazy people who thinks that they'll be able to find that magical parking spot despite the fact this is the biggest half marathon in the country and 35,000 people are running this damn thing.  But the waiting just makes you nervous and more nervous.  And I was in corral X.  I was sooo far in the back it took me over 30 minutes to actually start.  Ugh, the painful waiting.


But it started, and I just started runnin' (I say in my best Forest Gump voice, for those of you who get the reference).  I ran the first two miles straight, no stopping, which is an all-time best for me.   My official finish time was 2:39:39, and that included a 4 min stop to go to the bathroom.  I actually ran quite a bit more than I thought I could.  The race takes you to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and you run the track for miles 6 through 8.  I was determined to run the whole two miles, but dude, that track is huge.  And it is a lot more than you think it is.  But I was running when I crossed the yard of bricks, so that was awesome.  Once you're out, you run the last 5 miles back to downtown, and it's a straight shot which is tough.  I'm not going to lie, miles 11 through 13 were tough.  They have the big last mile marked with checkered flag banners, and it took all I had in me to finish running it, but I did it!


When I was running, I passed this woman who had a t-shirt for congenital heart defect awareness.  I said she had an awesome shirt, and apparently her daughter had a congenital heart defect, too.  Anyway, so that got me thinking - here I am, asthmatic and heart defect, I am running 13.1 miles.  I mean, a lot of people let obstacles or conditions like that prevent them from pushing themselves, but I view it as a challenge.  I did this race for me, but in a way, I also did it for Aubrey.  I want her, as she grows up, to see that she can do anything she puts her mind to, no matter what roadblocks are in the way.  Yes, this is cheesy, and I hate that I'm actually boasting about something because I'm normally self-deprecating.  But maybe it was the runner's high, it was just a thought that came to mind. 


And I thought "I have to do this again."  So now I'm looking for other races to do.  I've got the bug, man!



 
 
 
 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bucket list

Second Blooming
 
It's all about bucket lists this week on the Spin Cycle with Gretchen at Second Blooming.  What things have I always wanted to do?  What things would I like to do before it's my "time?"  I haven't really thought about it, honestly.  I mean, the biggest item on my list was go to Ireland, and we did that, as well as go to the Guinness Storehouse, so I can die happy, right? 
 
 
But I'm sure I can come up with some things...so here are just a few things I would like to do in my time.  (In no particular order, of course):
 
 
Get married to the love of my life (check)
Start a family (check)
Go to Ireland and drink lots of guinness (check)
Write a book (I started this way back when and yeah....it hasn't gone anywhere)
Start my own law practice
Travel across the country (road trip!)
See the Pacific Ocean
Make Thanksgiving dinner for my family
Go sledding.  Seriously, I have never been sledding.
Go on a hot air balloon ride
Meet a U.S. Supreme Court Justice...preferably not one of the following:  Scalia, Alito or Thomas
Go to Hawaii
Go to Spain and meet one of my bloggy friends, Chloe, her husband MJ, and their new baby who is on the way!
On that same note, travel through Europe, including going back to Dublin
Become grandparents (faaaar in the future)
Become ridiculously, independently wealthy
AND completely pay off Sallie Mae so I can get rid of that (insert not nice word) for good
 
 
So while this list might not be glamorous, and I'm sure, given a little more creativity, I could come up with more, I think it's a good start.  And look!  I'm already checking items off!  
 
 
So wish me luck this weekend...I'm going to be the crazy woman getting up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday to run 13.1 miles in what is looking like will be a rainy morning.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the rain holds off!  Have a good weekend!
 
 
So what else do people have to share?  Stop by Gretchen at Second Blooming and find out!
 
 
 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Momma time

I took a few hours for myself yesterday.  T and I had plans to take care of a few things, transition conference at Aubrey's daycare and of course, a wonderful and happy topic - executing our will.  So in between those fun appointments, Momma went shopping!  My birthday present was the chance to get some clothes for the summer that actually fit, and I had some money from family, too, so I hit up my two favorite places - Kohls and Target.  I got myself some new Capri's for summer, tops, skirts, and I still have some of my birthday money to spend!  It is kind of nice because none of my summer clothes from years past fit.  Nice and not so nice...I mean, I have no clothes now.  But the reason for it is fine by me!
 
 
And I have to say, I enjoyed the hell out of walking around the stores without a one year old fussing constantly and throwing random items out of the cart.  And I actually got to try on clothes, too!  Whoo!  I think someone needs to do little things like this more often, and if it needs to be during the work week, then so be it.  I can gladly make up a few hours here and there for work if that means Mommy gets a sanity break.
 
 
I needed it for sure, too, because little miss was so tired when we got home.  Putting her to bed, she reenacted a scene from the Norman Bates movie.  Her liking the baths lately has become hit or miss, and last night she was not having it.  But being a toddler, she's out in the playground more and needs a bath.  But apparently bathing and putting lotion on her equals child abuse.  So this is the conversation we had, as I was clothing her for bed: 
 
 
Me to Aubrey as I was getting her dressed for bed tonight: "Look, Aubrey, I know this whole bathing thing is painful and I'm an awful mom for doing this to you. Let's just get through this together right now, and in the morning I'll give you the DCS hot line number. Keep in mind it's a statewide number, but someone will come talk to you locally. You might not have much of a claim because there ...are no outward signs of abuse and neglect. Clearly you are fed, no bruises, you're healthy, and I don't know...I'm not sure use of Johnson and Johnson bedtime lotion is included as abuse. I can check the statute tonight and get back to you, but from my experience, it's normally a good thing when a mom bathes and cares for her child. But I'll leave that to your discretion." (She cries all while I'm doing this, of course).
 
 
She was out as soon as her head hit the bed, so I'll give her a break.  Just this once.  Or this week.  We'll see if she follows through on that DCS phone call.  Something tells me when I'm the one with the warm clothes and bottle tomorrow morning, all will be forgotten.
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bunnygate 2013

T and I have a history with...well...wild life.  Mice, squirrels, you name it...we've had it in our house, this one or the rental before this one.  We recently had three mice in our window well down in our basement last fall.  T had to mercilessly kill these mice, unfortunately, because we couldn't catch them, and two of them were dying if not already dead.  It was gruesome.  So we took the window screen out of the window, and we haven't had any mice since. 
 
 
Well yesterday, T noticed a baby bunny down there.  Poor little thing must have fallen in a crack in the grate covering the window well.  I don't know....it might have been with its mommy and gotten lost.  But the poor little guy was stuck down there.  So T is too chicken (sorry, T!), so I was the one left to catch Thumper.  So rather than climb down into the window well, I opted to open the window from down in the basement, reach in with gloves and pick him up.  Ill-advised decision.  I chased him around and around the window well until he leaped over me and into the basement.  I screamed, T jumped back, and the little sucker made its way across the basement and promptly hid under the water heater. 
 
 
Getting him out of said water heater was not easy.   We found a curtain rod, and I grabbed our big orange Home Depot bucket.  T took the curtain rod and carefully poked at the bunny as I waited on the other side to throw the bucket on top of him as he ran out the other side.  Yeah, that didn't work.  He made his way past me and into the other corner of the basement behind T's golf clubs.  I moved the golf clubs and threw the bucket down on him as hard and fast as I could, hearing him squeal so I'm sure I hurt him.  I felt bad about that, as T looked at like me like I was flipping crazy.  Anyway, I got the idea to put a cardboard box piece underneath the bucket, and we flipped the bucket over, keeping Mr. Bunny inside.  I ran up the stairs like a mad woman, as T made sure the door was open and then shut before I let the little guy out.  It's a good thing, too, because Thumper ran back towards the house. 
 
 
I think at some point before we even tried this animal rescue event, I said "oh he's so cute, can we keep him?"  Yeah, scratch that.  Definitely not how I envisioned spending my Tuesday evening, but what can you do?  Never a dull moment in our house! 
 
 
And thus ends Bunnygate 2013.