Monday, May 23, 2016

Just because I know life goes fast and I want to remember

So life goes faster than a train and once we had our girls it has started zooming by like a bullet train. So I want to remember the details when I'm old and gray. So I I can remember!

Norah is now a beaming beautiful 3 year old, who astonishes me almost daily with her new vocabulary or sentence structures or just with how genuinely kind she is to her sister. For lunch Lainey had a corn-dog. I cut a piece off for Norah thinking that neither one of them would eat it because let's be honest kids NEVER eat what you put in front of them. But they both loved it and started chowing down. So Lainey quickly ate her piece and started asking for more. So I told Norah, as she was still holding onto her piece and eating it, that if she didn't want her piece to please give it to her sister because she likes it. She said "but I do like it mommy." I said "ok baby" and turned to say something to Paul...and when I turned back around Norah was handing Lainey her piece of the corn-dog. She's just the most kind and gentle little being, not that she doesn't have her moments of terror like all kiddos...but aside from those temporary moments of insanity she's a doll of a big sister!

Lainey, our tenacious and tiny. She is fearless and has the tenacity of me when I was younger. I once adamantly refused to ask anyone for help 'fixing the toy-box' so I balanced the very heavy lid on my head as it freed up my hands in order to allow me to fix it myself. It didn't matter that it was so heavy it hurt my head and neck. What mattered is that I got the job done. YES! That is her. Everyday that is my little angel trying to work $hit out for herself. I saw her a few weeks ago struggling to put a straw into a juice-box one-handed (like it's not already difficult) but she wasn't fussing about it so I just let her try. And what do you know she did it. And then proceeded to pull it out of the juicebox just to wash, rinse and repeat!

She's also started saying the word "No" a LOT, along with a lot of other words as well. She'll almost mimic anything her sister asks her to, although I get the "No" answer still when I ask her to say anything. Of course! This past weekend she jumped into the foam pit all by herself without any assurance that someone would be able to get her out again. Or when we took her to the beach she walked right into the waves crashing into her and didn't skip a beat. I love her tenacity for life even though it scares me for what's to come as she just get bigger and bigger and more and more capable.

Our girls look very very similar and only getting more so by the day as Lainey's hair continues to lighten to a dirty blonde; HOWEVER, their personalities couldn't be further from each other. Lainey is the daredevil who welcomes newcomers while my shy little Norah takes a little longer to warm up to people and is cautious when it comes to the unknown. Norah is also way more sensitive, like her momma, and thoughtful...But we LOVE them both for their uniqueness and individuality. The fact that they love each other so much is such an awesome sight to see too. I guess it makes sense tho...if Norah is like me and Lainey is like her daddy...I mean Paul and I are pretty smitten with each other =)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Honest truth about 2 at & under 2

I had no idea that having 2 at/or under 2 would be this challenging. I thought in all my great wisdom of 31 years that it would be challenging, but I had no idea. Some days go very well with minimal crying, messes & meltdowns, while actually accomplishing other tasks that make life go on day to day. But, the days in between are the hard ones. Sometimes they start out like a beautiful sunset, calm skies with no indication of the storms that are brewing. Then, the onslaught of rain streaming down our faces are the only indication to the outside world that anything has gone awry. At the end of the day when the kids are down in bed and we can relax on the couch, it's our time to recoup, regroup and heal our broken house & hearts. HaHa!

She's so proud of herself for helping change Lainey's diaper.
But, the joy of siblings is something out of this world. It cannot be expressed any other way than just truly beautiful. Norah is so amazingly sweet to her sister, and in return Lainey lights up when she sees her face each morning. Norah gets so excited to help change her diaper and do anything that means being around and touching her baby sister. You can tell she is wanting Elaina to move quickly into the moving, crawling, talking, walking stages...way more than I'm ready.
Norah loves holding Lainey

A kiss from Norah

Norah feeding Lainey some rice cereal

Lainey is almost 5 months already, and has been such a sweet and amazing little blessing to our family. She is right on target for her weight, height and all that jazz. When she got her shots at 2 months, I think she screamed bloody murder for a solid 15 minutes. Crazy how unhelpful even her Momma felt when she was losing it. She wouldn't nurse. She wouldn't even open her eyes to look at me. She just screamed. One of the hardest parts about having 2 at or under 2 is that Norah isn't quite old enough to understand that babies just cry sometimes. So when Lainey cries, Norah gets upset and then I've got two of them losing it. That rarely ever happens anymore except in the car. I try to avoid having both of them in the car for longer than 10 minutes anymore. Lainey is still in her "scream if I'm in the carseat" phase and it makes traveling awful! Hopefully I don't jinx it, but it is getting better...thank goodness!

Which makes me think about a wonderful night not too long ago that ended in many many tears for me. Part of writing down all of these fun memories for me is to be honest and candid with how I'm feeling/handling everything. So here it mommy breakdown moment. It started out great. Beautiful day so we played at the park with a bunch of our friends and had lunch. Which turned into an invite for dinner. So we had dinner with some of our friends that evening and played in their backyard. All as calm as things can be with 2 under 2 but definitely nothing I couldn't handle. My stomach started hurting as we were leaving which made me in a crabby mood and made me want to have bedtime go all the quicker. But that didn't happen. Instead we had everything go wrong. Norah turned into a crab apple with her sister. Lainey would not stop crying unless I held her, which meant giving Norah a bath while listening to Lainey cry...and sometimes scream. I was trying to do everything at lightning speed, and stopped to pick Lainey up whenever I could. I laid Lainey down on Norah's giant stuffed animal dog when I got Norah a sippy cup of milk. Norah didn't like that so while I was out of the room for 30 seconds she ripped the stuffed animal out from under her almost causing her to roll over onto her face, and I'm fairly sure she bumped her head. So I fussed at Norah for hurting Lainey so now they were both crying. Things were chaotic! And stressful! Everyone was feeding off everyone's bad energy. And because I was trying to do everything so fast we were all frazzled and stressed out and just in a bad place all around. Then I did the unspeakable mommy act. I screamed at Norah to stop crying! I screamed like I was the 2 year old. Like she understood what was going on. :( Like she could do anything but cry when mommy was upset and screamed at her. :( Because I lost my cool and yelled, things just went from WORSE to HORRIBLE. After my mini breakdown I couldn't comfort either of them. I couldn't get either of them to stop screaming long enough to calm the other one down. I was in a hole and I needed a rope. So I called our wonderful neighbors to come and rescue me. Through tears Deedra understood the need and ran over to come to my rescue holding Norah and singing her favorite song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star....just long enough for me to nurse Lainey and put her down under the mobile so I could go calm Norah down even more and put her to hour and a half after her normal bedtime. Ya the bedtime that I had hoped would take 15 minutes took in excess of 2 hours. And the even harder part for me to deal with was that I broke. The calm, patient, understanding always together mommy, at least that's how I hope my girls see me, BROKE DOWN! It was an awful night. I felt like I had betrayed my little buggy. I'm still slightly beating myself up about it, but it's these kind of nights that make me have respect for all the other days when I am able to hold the fort down on my own without the tears, meltdowns and mommy breaking. Thank goodness Deedra was there to help and my friend Ashley came over to comfort me afterwards. I'm grateful for their kind words that night!

I guess I realized even more so that night than ever before, how much we need good strong relationships in our lives so we can reach out to others for help. And maybe even more humbling, but important, it is to know that we need the help. There is a reason for the saying "it takes a village to raise a child." I pride myself on being an independent person who can take care of herself and anything that comes her way. But now as a mom I pride myself on being able to ask others for help. Even if it's a sitter during the week or Memere and Pepere for a date night. We ALL need the help every now and then =)

So through tears, growth, love, admiration and a few more tears we have made it to the other side of our 2 kiddos being at or under 2. And still I know our journey will have some ups and downs but nothing can replace the joy and LOVE I have for my squee >>>>>

It's definitely the love for and from this man that helps me get through each day! He goes above and beyond to help out during the day where he can. Cooks, cleans, changes diapers, sways and puts down babies etc etc etc. I'm so lucky that I have him! So very lucky. Especially on the days when I feel so broken and run down. He is my battery recharger for sure! =) 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Selfish Fitness Quest!

I've been telling myself forever that I need to start working on my body. I have the benefit, and disadvantage that my body is very comfortable right at my current weight, and I've been there FOREVER!!! I feel like having kids, probably like every other mom in the whole world, has taken over my body. Pregnancy makes you fat, and then after you've pushed out your little you still have the fat there to haunt you. All while trying to stay and feel positive about your changing life, stressed out situation, the fact that you can't devote ANY time to yourself anymore. It's a struggle...but I know I'm not alone.

So I signed up to be a part of the Bikini Body Mommy 90 Day Challenge. It's done by a woman who is just like me. Trying to do something good to help get your body in shape. She's not the most in shape woman in the world, but I think it helps to have someone right there along side you who struggles too.

Day 1 - Weight 1X6. Workout completed. Hard to do some of the moves because my quads are still so sore from softball. Started my 90 day challenge 3 days behind. Oh well.

Day 2 - Did a short jog (1.5 miles). Ate a bad lunch. Good dinner. Trying not to snack tonight. Late workout completed. Very hard to do some of the squat thrusts. Gosh I hope those get easier. Feeling proud.

My Double BOB! I LOVE IT!
It definitely helps that my Amazing Husband got me a new double BOB jogging stroller. I am no longer attached to the house when the kids are awake. I can get out and run with both of them. I FEEL FREEEEEE!!!! I love my new BOB! I took it for a stroll tonight, running in my flip flops. Ha! It handles like a dream! It lulled Lainey to sleep too...guess I might be training for that half marathon with the kiddos after all just so I can get her to nap, NOT! At least not for now ;)

I really really hope I keep this up...the 90 day challenge ends on my birthday (August 3rd)! Any positive encouragement is appreciated! What a nice birthday present it would be to feel better about myself :)

Day 3: Jogged 2 miles with my friend Ashley, who smoked me. I realized I need to get much faster! Did my workout. Ate decently. Good snacking. 
Day 4: Ended up in the ER with Lainey. Fluke thing and everything was ok but mentally and physically exhausted on this Mother's Day. Still managed to do my workout later in the day. Did pretty good with food. Really ready for my break day! Hot tea and hot water with lemon have replaced any alcohol. 
Day 5:   Ran a little over 1 mile in the drizzle with the girls with my new BOB! Lainey cried most of the way. Did my workout when Lainey went down for her cat nap. Feeling accomplished. 
Day 6: Rested. Sick. Bad day (fight with family members :( )
Day 7/8: Kicked butt! Did 2 workouts to get caught up today even though it should have been a rest day. I did that yesterday. The lunge up-downs are awful. I hate them! 

Week 2: Found that I am still encouraged to find the time in my day despite being pulled in 3,000 directions. I realized that yes this is about fitness and weight loss but also about my own time. Some 'me' time in the midst of taking care of everyone else. I ran a little but am nervous about weigh ins on Day 15. Day 10 measurements shocked me. I realized I need to set some goals. 

So my goals are: 
  1. Losing 30 lbs in 90 days, basically 1 lb every 3 days. Not sure if this is realistic or not but why not but I'm setting my goals high!  
  2. The other part of this journey for me is about completion. I want to not only commit to this process but I want to complete it feeling good about the fact that I made time, set my mind to something and accomplished it. All while life throws you curve ball after curve ball. 
  3. Lastly, I want to come out the other side feeling STRONGER. I've been sore pretty much every day from the workouts, softball and ab exercises but I'm grateful that I've pushed on. I would love to achieve this at the end of this. Seems really really daunting now but I still have hope!


Week 3: Day 15 - weigh-in day. Down 3 lbs, which is 10% of my goal. I'm happy that I've seen some loss but I'm bummed it's not more. I blame it in part on the fact that it's difficult to assess whether or not I'm eating the perfect amount of calories. Because I'm still nursing Lainey I can't just cut out all fat and limit calories to what I want to. I have to find the perfect balance. Some days I've also found that even though I'm not hungry I get light-headed close to meal times because what I believe is low blood sugar. Trying to find the right balance. Day 15 was also about redoing your Fit Test from Day 1. I killed my Day 1 scores. Means I'm getting stronger. I <3 it!

Week 4: I've found it incredibly hard to stay motivated this week. BUT I've managed to push through all of my workouts. I have found that one day a week I'm just exhausted, unmotivated and can't find the motivation to do the workout. However, I was able to push through and pick myself back up and make up the day sometime that week, usually just skipping the regular day off, which is every 7th day. I've revised my goals a bit and I think I'm close to hitting my first one, a custom spray tan. Woot woot! I haven't been doing super awesome with my eating but it's a challenge. It's a challenge for everyone but especially a nursing momma. I literally cannot limit myself too much. I could be doing better though. Ugh it's SO HARD! Gotta stay positive though...

Week 5: We've been so busy with family in town but every day I find the time to do the routine and I think I'm starting to see results. That is the motivation I need to force myself to workout instead of relax in the few spare MINUTES I have before the sun goes down and the clock is nearing 10pm. Get 'er done!
Day 30 weigh-in - down 5lbs and down a few inches in the waist, hips and thighs. Loving that I'm seeing results!
Week 6...Paul did the workout with me
Day 37 & 39 Comp
Week 6: I've found myself being very proud of my success in sticking with this program but the days that I wait until 10pm at night suck! All I want to do is relax on the couch...ugh. This weeks cardio and strength training exercises were BRUTAL! I'm  not sure how I can keep increasing the intensity at that rate. I started counting my crunches that I do on my 8 minute ab series. I got just over 320 on day 44. Gonna try to beat it next week. Paul did a cardio workout with me this week. I thought he was going to die afterwards. He wasn't prepared for it since we had just eaten but it felt good to know that he gets just how hard I've been working for this.

Day 45 weigh-in - HALF WAY DONE!!! I'm down 7lbs and down a few more inches in the waist, hips and thighs. Total inches lost in 35 days (didn't do my first measurements until day 10 - 3/4 inch on my biceps, 1 1/2 inches on my waist, 1 1/4 inches on my hips & 1 3/4 inches on my thighs). Woot woot. I really needed some motivation to keep going!!! I've been really nervous about this weigh-in because I don't feel like I have my nutrition under control. Last night we drank bourbon and coke until the wee hours of the night with friends. I'm pretty sure that's not on the fitness calendar. Whaa whaa! I've vowed to do the second part of this with nutrition in mind. I NEED to feel better about myself! I'm doing the work BUT I want MORE results.

Week 7
Week 7 so far - I hurt my knee doing step-ups. So far this journey has proved to be empowering, strengthening and overall a very good thing for my body. It even healed a shoulder stiffness/soreness I had for a few months before starting. This is the first thing that I've done that I've hurt. Hopefully it goes away soon so I can keep after it. I don't need anything getting in my way these's hard enough doing this as it is.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Our pups! Our kids before our kids...

Must love dogs...

For anyone who has dogs or has had dogs, you know that they are like your children. You let them get away with EVERYTHING!!! They sleep on your bed, and make you scoot over to the side like you're not the one that bought the damn thing, scratch on your door, bark and wake you up, etc., etc., etc.

But, the love that you have for them is very REAL! And the loss that one feels when they are stripped from you is all too real too! I had the painstaking decision around 6 years ago to put down a pup for severe behavioral issues. It still hurts. And the loss of our sweet puppy Jager is all too current and real too! 

I've had so much guilt about our dogs going from being our kids before our kids, to being dogs. While I love those fools, unfortunately we don't give them as much attention as they deserve. Their walks have gotten shorter, and far less frequent than I'd care to say and my patience is almost nonexistent. But, the moments that we share together will never be FORGOTTEN.

RIP Jager

December 2001 - February 2015
Shadow Box for our beloved Jager

Jager *aka YaYa* would have turned 15 this year. He was just about 100 in pup years by the time the end came. It was a sad sad day. Paul and I went together to the vet's office, but I'm not sure I held it together for Paul very well. He is my always put together stoic husband, and even though his heart was breaking right before me, he was still comforting to me as I balled like a baby. Even though it was one of the hardest things we have ever done, we knew it had to be done. His body was doing great for an old man, but he had doggy dementia and was having anxiety attacks daily where he just couldn't be calmed down. It was like he was on the front lines, and there were bombs going off everywhere around him. It was sad and he was destructive and scared. It was just hard on him :( 

...But he lived a good life. Paul spent several years with him before I came along, which I've heard were filled with all kinds of stories of them together rock-climbing and just doing everything together. Where there was Paul, there was Jager. When I met Jager I he was 8 and I guessed that he was no more than 2. That's how good Paul took care of him, and it's the love that he showed that sweet puppy that let me know just how loving and kind he would be to his own kiddos one day. He was a special puppy with a special bond...that will never be broken! 

Jager snuggling with a very preggo Kali

Our last Christmas with the big man :(

Dakota *aka Kota* is our 10 yr old pup now. Hard to believe he is that old considering his youthful playfulness. He will still retrieve a ball or swim until he collapses, although 'the chase' isn't as long as it used to be. He's the most gentle dog I've ever seen, and therefore gets bullied by everyone. Daisy even picks on him, even though she's half his weight. Poor thing. Kota is my empathetic pup. If ever mommy is sad there is Kota trying to crawl on top of me, licking my face...basically doing everything to try to comfort me. He is the peace keeper, the lover, and definitely a girl's best friend. Although if it came to choosing me or Paul, I think he might just choose Paul. The love he has for him is real. 

Daisy *aka The Beast* is our only girl pup. It's hard to believe I've had her for 11 years. It's been a trying 11 years at times with the ups and downs of a dog that is fear aggressive. I assume most people think she's insanely mean when they first meet her because it sounds like shes going to tear into you. However, she is truly a sweet pup. We're finding out just how tolerating she is recently as Norah hit her in the face with a pen repeatedly and she just sat there and took it. She's been my little 'work in progress' for a long time now, but I still love her. She always cuddles with me when I feel sick and don't want to get out of bed. It's sweet! And she's made amazing progress from where she used to be until now. Paul has done a world of good for this sweet pup, giving her love and showing her that all men are not going to be mean to her. He's gained her affection and trust very early on and because of it their relationship is so sweet for me to witness. 

They weren't always together as brothers and sisters, but they will forever be! Kota and Daisy miss their brother dearly...they've been moping around for months I'm sure wondering where he might have gone. It's sweet and sad all at the same time.

Dear Sweet, Sweet Norah

Dear Sweet, Sweet Norah, 

     I was a little concerned about your little sister arriving shortly before you turned two.You know, that horrible age where you're supposed to throw temper tantrums and drive me crazy! Well, you must have missed the memo kid, because I am LOVING you at this age. You're the sweetest, kindest little girl a mommy could ask for.  More importantly, you've adjusted tremendously well to your new sister and treat her with such sweetness that it just makes me want to cry. I didn't always have the best relationship with my sisters growing up, so it's my goal to help establish the life-long bond that you will have with her be as STRONG and UNBREAKABLE as possible. You'll learn that you need each other even more than you need me or Daddy.


A few days ago when your sister was crying, you ran to get her a toy and put it in her hand to help her feel better. When you said goodnight to everyone last night, you kissed Lainey's forehead and lips three times, and then told her you loved her. It's as sweet as pure sugar cane. :) I guess I might have a small hand in it since I am constantly encouraging you to interact and 'help' mommy with changing diapers, dressing and bathing Lainey. Anything that I can think of to help you stay/get involved with your sister. Although, the times when I don't ask and you are kind to her, makes my heart the happiest. Like the time I looked in the backseat when we were in Austin, and you were holding Lainey's hand because she was crying. Even in your little toddler speak I can tell you adore her. You also told me that she was pretty after we put a new outfit on her. I know you can't wait to run around and play with her...soon my love...very soon!

You've been kind, and sweet, and have not been jealous about her in the slightest, even though the amount of attention is definitely swayed heavier in her direction. It's shocking how few incidents we've had considering you're still so small yourself. You shock and amaze me everyday you little Turkeyhead. I have seen what an amazingly sweet little girl you are and are becoming. You somehow understand that little Laineybug is slightly more important than you right now, and you even listen to me when I tell you that you have to be quiet because she is sleeping. You're so cute when you to tell me to 'shhh' because the baby went night night. Trust me...I know ;)

Somehow, even though it hardly seems possible, you are growing cuter and cuter by the day. I am so grateful to have you in my life. I hope you feel that love from me each and every day! You make my <3 happy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why are Mom posts so annoying???

I feel like I have developed into the over-sharer when it comes to my kids. Every coo and smile, every major milestone and development warrants an all out hissy fit slash "awwwwww" to follow. I wonder if I'm getting on anyone's nerves every now and again...and then I say 'oh well' and post yet another cutesy photo and status about my two little ones.

But why? Why do we all do this as parents?

Because 90% of the time we're cleaning grapes, goldfish, PB&J's etc. off the floor, washing yet another sippy cup, changing the 14th diaper of the day, yada yada yada. The mundane, the monotonous...the things that make you want to drink the night away. Quite literally ;)

So, the other 10% of the time, when our children are model kiddos. Behaved, clean, well-mannered...and we as parents feel like we have our $hit together. We like to give ourselves a pat on the back. A kudos. A way for others to reach out and share in that kudos, so that we don't pull all of our hair out the next time we get poop on our hand, clean up pee off the floor and wash that 'I'm gonna throw up' sippy cup we found underneath of our kids crib because she's learned how to throw, and when it's empty it becomes a hand grenade. 

So for all of you folks who haven't caught the 'my kids are awesome. everything they do is wonderful bug' God Bless you for listening to us when we do go on a rant about our kiddos and how cute, wonderful and special they are. =)

So just to prove my point, here's some more cutesy pics of my little ones ;)