Friday, December 30, 2011

Springtime will bring a shedding of the pounds

It just has to! I'm not sure if I ever officially announced on the blog that we're having a girl; I know I mentioned it in a recent post though. So here's the official announcement: Brian and I are pregnant with a little girl! Gage will be the best big brother ever.

I am stoked to have a girl (as much as I would've been stoked to have another boy) but it calls to mind some interesting issues for me. I've long harbored concerns about the media influence on girls. The images portrayed of tiny thin women being the only attractive ones; the other end of that spectrum that says being morbidly obese is fine as long as you love yourself (not true, as heart disease, diabetes, etc does not care how much you love yourself,) the princess ideologues that so many girls are into, the idea that being smart is no good unless you're also a perfect 10, that finding "Prince Charming" is far more important than finding God, etc. These portrayals can be SO damaging and I think, as a parent, offsetting these images can be key. But how do you do that? How do you encourage a healthy body image, a desire to be strong, active, and healthy, a desire for intelligence and self-sufficiency? I guess I have some research to do.

But what I most need to focus on is being a positive role model. I need to get myself healthy and active. How can I portray the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle when I'm overweight myself? "Do as I say, not as I do" is not an acceptable method of child rearing in most circumstances.

So once I'm no longer pregnant, I intend to get right back on the Couch to 5K horse. I want to get my weight to healthy point, I want to get myself healthy so I can enjoy more activity without becoming tired, winded, etc. It'll take a lot of work, but it's worth it. I'm also focusing on not having a ridiculous weight gain throughout the pregnancy, so hopefully I can keep that up. Of course, the holidays are now behind us, so that'll get a little easier.

Just as an aside, I'm not saying there are no pressures for boys in the world, or that I'm less concerned with the image issues Gage will face. However, it's a little different to deal with body issues with boys... And I'm not as familiar with those (no personal experience,) so I'll be doing some research and some learning as I go, too. Gage is already healthy, active, and on-the-go, so at this point, I don't see his becoming sedentary as an issue... Unless, of course, we are such good models of being lazy, which we also don't want!
What better motivation could there be than getting healthy and being a good role model to your kids? Here's hoping I can stay on the wagon for good this time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Onichophagia Anonymous

If you don't know what onichophagia is, you probably don't struggle with it. Or maybe you do, but never knew there was a clinical term. Anyway. It's the technical term for nail biting. Ongoing, long term, difficult to stop nail biting is CHRONIC onichophagia. I know all about the chronic kind, because I have it myself.
In case you're curious as to the causes of onichophagia, or if you think it's just a dirty, disgusting habit, please know that it's linked to a variety of psychological issues, like all body-focused repetitive behaviors (think hair pulling, skin picking, etc.) It has been linked to OCD, bi-polar, depression, and anxiety disorders. It isn't often a matter of just stopping because you know you should or because you know it's a gross behavior. It is entirely damaging to one's self esteem, given how people look at nail biting, and how obvious bitten nails are.
I can't say exactly when I started biting my nails, but I CAN tell you that I was VERY young. It goes back as far as I can remember. A few years back, I managed to quit. And then I relapsed. Then I quit again. Then I relapsed again. I imagine you can see where this is going.
I'm pretty down tonight (can't sleep, getting over a miserable cold) because I really thought I had this kicked, but suddenly I'm in the midst of the worst biting relapse I've had since quitting biting in the first place. It makes me wonder if I will either never be able to kick it altogether, or if I'm going to have to go on some sort of med to knock down the anxiety that makes me bite.
I've long thought that nail biting was my internal response to high levels of anxiety, and having a bad response to stressful situations. Now I feel that's been pretty much confirmed, and it sucks, because I feel like unless I seek help, I will ALWAYS relapse into nail biting when things are difficult. And I hate it SO much. I've been looked down on, ridiculed, made to feel like a disgusting person, and more because of this DISORDER. And that's all nothing compared to what I do to myself in my head over it. Because nail biting is somewhat common, no one looks at the chronic kind as a disorder. It's just something you should be able to stop doing, to most people. I won't gross you out with pics of my hands, but I can tell you that when I bite my nails, I do so with fervor. My fingertips ache and my nails look absolutely awful. And when I've just had my nails nice for the past two years? It hurts even worse to fall back into this.
I wish I had a better handle on my options, other than obviously trying to stop again, which of course I will. I've done it before, but when will it stick for good?
I just have to wonder, if I seek treatment. .. Will I be treated for the DISORDER of onichophagia, or will be I told to use more willpower and "just stop" the gross HABIT?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry (belated) Christmas

Ours was lovely, with tons of candy-making, canning apple butter, making ornaments, and spending time with family. Oh, and chasing Gage away from the Christmas tree as he cackled merrily, an ornament in his pudgy hand. He can't resist the shiny stuff. It's pretty funny until you've chased him for the 45th time that day. Then it's moderately frustrating.

I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say it was one of the best Christmases I've had in years.

Sorry about the bloggy absence. Not as an excuse, but as a reason, here's what my months look like, from mid-November on: mid-November kicks off with my birthday, then it's Thanksgiving a few weeks later. After T-day comes Gage's birthday, then it's time to get ready for Christmas. And getting ready for Christmas is a big deal. Then it's New Years, and after that, things finally calm down. I'm so happy our little girl will be born in springtime; I don't know if I could handle another Nov/Dec event! Also in there are my folks' anniversary and one of my nieces birthdays. Not events I have to plan, but they take a little time typically. It's just a crazy couple months. Throw in pregnancy this year, and I have about had all the festivities I can handle, much as I enjoyed myself!

But I'm getting back on the blog train and hopefully this effort won't fizzle. It's not a New Year's resolution (I avoid those like the plague, talk about destined to fail), but something I would just like to do.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, or happy holidays if you celebrate something else. Hopefully I'll see you a lot more in 2012!

PS, do you like our "apartment-sized" tree? My mom took pity on us because I didn't want to try and cram our humongous, full, seven-footer into our teeny apartment, so I was feeling woefully under-Christmased. She picked us up this wee tree, some shatter-proof ornaments, and plastic hooks so we could have a little spirit in our small space. It made us all happy. Thanks, mom. And thanks from Gage, too. Where else could he have found all those shiny ornaments to take off running with while bellowing laughter at our frustration? He sure did love having the tree around and that made us SO happy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy birthday, big two year old.

Dear Gage ~

I can't believe you turn two today. It seems like just yesterday I was at the hospital, barely just agreeing to further induction and epidural, wishing like crazy you'd make your appearance already. I was tired of labor, sure - but more than anything, I wanted to see your sweet face, meet you, and learn all about your personality. You were this perfect, tiny person who had been growing inside of me for nine months, and you knew me so much better than I knew you. I had prayed for you every day for those months; prayed that you would be strong, smart, caring, good, handsome, kind, loving, independent, sweet, and creative. My prayers must have been answered, because you are all of those things and more.

Each day I see you grow a little bit more. You become taller, more coordinated, quicker, and more brilliant which each passing day, and I am so, so proud of you. I guess I really always will be, and I know that you'll do great things. You'll do things that make you happy, things that are good and right, and I will always be proud of you no matter what.

You want to learn how to do every single thing. You don't like being told you can't do something because you're too little; you want to be able to do EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. I love your persistence, even though now and then, when you've taken something apart for the 50th time in one day, I get a little frustrated. Know that even though I get frustrated, I admire your strength of will and persistent spirit. Those traits will serve you well, all through your young years and into your adulthood. I hope you always feel that desire to learn, to do what you want to do to get better, to be the best at what you're aiming for.

Gage, do you know that you have never met a stranger? That is a cliched line, but it's true for you. Everywhere you go, people are just astounded by you. Your brilliant grin, your happy Presidential wave, your sweet demeanor and silly giggle win everyone over. Everywhere we take you, you make friends. I've been told how much you brighten peoples' day, people you've never before met and will likely never see again, just by being your own little charming self. I pray that this characteristic is not one you only have as a young boy, but one that you'll carry into adulthood.

The depth of your personality, especially for a two-year-old, astounds me. You already have such strong opinions, ideas about what you want, and ways of expressing yourself that are just amazing. You are quick to share a hug or a kiss, caring if I'm upset, and just overall so expressive of your feelings. Never let anyone tell you this isn't right, because it is so powerful to be able to share what you're feeling with others. It means the world to those around you.

You love your Daddy so much, and you're so excited to see him every day when he comes home. Seeing the two of you together makes me love you both even more, and I could not have asked for a better Daddy for you. He would do anything for you, and you two are my best guys. I hope you'll always know that if you need guidance in being a good man, you can go to your Daddy. He has first-hand experience.

I am so blessed to be your Momma, Gage. I never imagined how wonderful being a mom could be, and being YOUR Momma has been the most magical experience of my life. I pray that I continue to always do my very best for you, and that above all, you always know how very much you're loved, appreciated, and cared for. You have blessed us more than you'll ever know, and I will always love you, no matter what.

Be good, my son. Love your family, your friends, God, and your country. Accept our love in return; it will always be there for you. Happy second birthday, I can't wait to celebrate with you every year. Life with you is better than I ever could have dreamed possible.

With all the love in the world,
Your Momma

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No more TV

Alternately, why there will be a lot of fussing and screaming at my house this weekend.

We've gotten into the habit of letting Gage watch more TV than we would like. For the first year of his life, he watched absolutely none. When we stayed with my parents, our TV was in our room but only connected to. Netflix, and we watched after he was sleeping. Gage had no interest in TV, even. And I was really proud of that. But then, he got older and mobile, and we needed the occasional time where he was sitting quietly to do dishes or throw in a load of laundry or just sit for a second and take a deep breath.

So periodically we would turn on Nick Jr for him, he would watch for a period of 30 minutes to an hour tops, we would shut it off, and go about our day.

Then I got pregnant. And I was nauseous. And I was (am) exhausted. And I got (get) some of the worst headaches I have ever had in my life. The result was that I found myself relying more and more on the TV to keep Gage busy so I could rest. Slowly but surely, Gage has started becoming defiant when we turn his shows off, whether turning the TV off or even just changing the channel. He won't even watch football with us anymore because he wants Blue's Clues. Now, I'm not saying that all he does is sit in front of the TV because that's not the case. And for the most part, he doesn't ever sit while watching; he plays with his toys and runs around, and just lets the TV be background noise, which is good. But he has gotten to a point where turning off that background is a fight, and that isn't acceptable to us.

So, we are going cold turkey on baby TV. Er, toddler TV. Today and tomorrow, Gage can watch a little TV, up until his naptime. After nap, it is off for the duration of the day. If he won't nap, he can have a bath, then we'll try another nap. If he won't nap then, then we'll go for a little walk. We will have a bath and walk after nap if he goes down for nap easily. I'm just trying to have some fun, relaxing activities for us to do that will distract him.

Saturday, the real fun begins. Starting Saturday, for two weeks to a month, Gage will be watching no TV. There may be a special on (it's that time of year) that we watch with him, or we may need to stream a show on a phone for him at a restaurant, but during the average day, there will be ZERO TV time for him. I think it's all or nothing for him at this point. I know there will be crying, but I know the end result will be worth it. We've been having some sleep issues in recent weeks, and I think that those may be directly related to the TV he's watching.

We're going to focus more on drawing, playing together, and some learning play that will hopefully give Gage a jump start on learning. We are also going to focus more on reading books, which will be loads of fun for both of us. I haven't done as good a job on being up on his learning as I was when he was younger, because I didn't research it enough passed about a year and a half, so that's my failing. But not one that can't be undone.

I'm excited about this change. Not the fussing, but the end result. I know this will mean some "pushing passed the pain" for me (this pregnancy has been really hard so far) but isn't that what being a parent is about sometimes?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Giving thanks

I am thankful for so, so many things. And this post is about those things. If that doesn't interest you, skip this post. I feel like I do an ok job of maintaining a thankful attitude year 'round, but it often gets easy to overlook my blessings and focus on what I don't have. Hopefully this list will help me remember the much cliched but not inappropriate "attitude of gratitude."

1) I'm so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Before becoming a more serious follower of Christ, my life was kind of a mess. Brian and I were sort of happy, but we felt stuck. I'll post up my testimony one of these days and it'll be clear. Until then, just know--following Christ doesn't mean an easy ride or no troubles. It does mean you have someone to walk you through all of those times, the ultimate Teacher!

2) I'm so thankful for Brian. Who knows where my life would've ended up if I hadn't met him. It sounds lame to say he changed my life, but if you knew me back then you probably know that's true.

3) I'm more thankful than I can put into words for Gage. Being a mom has made my life complete. I'm still learning and growing, but he's been a big part of my transformation. The new baby will open a whole new chapter, and I'm thankful for him/her, too.

4) I'm thankful for the simple basics. A roof over our heads, warm places to sleep, enough money to meet our needs, food on the table, etc. I refuse to take those things for granted. Clean air to breathe? I'm thankful for it.

5) I'm thankful for my parents. They do, and have done so much for us. Not just tangible things, but the intangibles too. Supporting our decisions, being outstanding grandparents to Gage, being kind and generous to my husband are all things that I'm thankful to my parents for... But those are the tip of the iceberg. My parents are good folks.

6) I'm thankful for Brian's parents. Brian's mom is a super mother-in-law, and I am so blessed. She is really good to us, and another wonderful grandparent to Gage. Brian's dad loves Gage so much, and really is a great grandfather to him as well. I think Gage is so blessed to have so many people who love him and grandparents that want to be a part of his life.

7) I'm blessed for the grandparents I had. I will always miss my maternal grandparents. They were great people, and they loved me so much..... And I always knew it because they showed it.

8) I'm thankful for a good dog companion, Chevy. I miss her counterpart every day, but I'm glad he was a part of my life for the time I had him. And I'm glad Chevy is sill here and healthy.

9) I'm thankful for good friends who love us and faithfully share our ups and downs, and invite us to share theirs. It's sure a blessing to have people in our lives that care.

10) I'm thankful for my family's health.

11) I'm thankful that technology allows us to stay in touch with folks we've met and moved away from.

12) I'm thankful for no longer being friends with some people who have been very negative impacts on my life.

13) I'm thankful Brian has a job that allows me to stay home. We aren't getting rich, but we've got what we need.

That's all I've got for now, although there is so much more important can't put into words. I hope you have a happy, blessed, beautiful Thanksgiving, and remember all of your blessings today, too.

Odds and ends

I'm baking bread today. I kneaded it with the Kitchenaide for around 7 minutes and it is rising now. It looks gorgeous and smooth, so hopefully it will bake well. I've got the bowl covered in plastic wrap instead of a towel, and I'm hoping that with all of my adjustments to my technique, it will come out really nicely.

Gage woke up at 4:45 this morning. I got him back to sleep for a few minutes, then he woke up, and Brian got him back to sleep for a few minutes... Then he was awake for good. Needless to say, there's a lot of tired around here today. Especially because Brian works a full day today. Because he's tired, Gage is a funny mix of clingy and playful. It's extra cute. He's also having a foodie day; having eaten a bunch of cereal, a yogurt cup, a whole piece of buttered toast, a cup of milk, and two and a half bowls of applesauce. That was all before 10:30, so lunch is yet to come!

I've been reading a lot of people posting about being thankful all November, trying to put up one thing a day they're thankful for. I have so many, I'm not sure I could condense them into a month! Instead, I think I'll make a thanksgiving post that I can add to across this month, then post it on Thanksgiving day.

I thought I had more, but I guess that's it, really. Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Tonight, we left Gage in the capable hands of my mom and dad (they were in charge of putting him to bed, and he did great. He's never gone to bed without me before, so I was happy that he was comfortable.) We went to the Sox Place fundraiser at the Comedy Works South in the Denver Tech Center.

I have to be honest here. In my head, the fundraiser became an opportunity to get out of the house, to dress up, to enjoy an evening away from home. I did not realize that I would have the wind knocked out of me, or that I would leave the Comedy Works totally humbled, feeling blessed beyond belief, and with a semi-broken heart.

Maybe you don't give a lot of thought to homelessness. I haven't, really. And we're somewhat closely acquainted with Sox Place - we donate clothes, I'm donating a lot of time writing, etc. But we don't frequently see the impact. The real people who have had their lives changed forever because of what Sox Place does.

Three street connected youth stood up in front of a room full of people to tell about how Sox Place has affected their short lives. I won't give you all of the details, but suffice it to say, their stories were heartbreaking. And while each talked, all I could think was that this was ALL they knew. These stories that humbled me and broke my heart were simply all they knew, what they had grown up with, the pasts they live with every day. Broken homes doesn't even begin to describe these kids' backgrounds. Living hell is closer to the truth. It blows my mind to think of innocent little children being put through what these kids have been through.

Sometimes I feel down on my life, I wish we had more money or newer cars, or all the things that Americans want. But to hear stories of the people touched by Sox Place, I think we are so much more fortunate than so many. We have a roof over our head, a safe place to live, warm food, electricity, beds to sleep in, working vehicles, Lord, I could go on and on. The blessings my family enjoy are ENDLESS. Not because we have an abundance of wealth but because we have what we need.

If you feel like you have a little extra money this holiday season, and want to share with a charity that makes a very real, very obvious difference in the lives of young people, please consider Sox Place. If you can even afford $52.80 a month, it is a huge help. Maybe it doesn't seem like too much money, but it makes a huge difference to the street youth of the Mile High City.

Visit Sox Place online to find out more info, or to donate. Even if you can't donate, please just keep these kids and the staff of Sox Place in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Place to Belong

When you were a teenager, did you ever feel lonely, rejected, unloved, unlovable, or maybe even like the world would have been better off without you? I did, despite having had the benefit of supportive family, a few good friends, and a lot of advantages that I took for granted. Being a kid/teenager is hard - your body is changing, your brain is developing, things are changing so fast that you can barely keep up, let alone manage all of your thoughts and emotions.

Now imagine that you are going through these changes, thoughts, and emotions, and your family can't be counted on, at all. You have been abused, maybe in every way possible. What do you do? Where do you go? For a staggering number of kids and teens, there is only one answer - you leave, you run away, you figure the streets are a better option than your home. Most street kids are homeless because the homes they left behind were so bad they could never go back. Many are homeless because they CAN'T go back; they've been kicked out or they're unwanted. Maybe you know someone like this, or maybe you can even relate if you have a difficult background. Did you, or would you have wanted, some place to turn? A place where you would be accepted, to get a hot meal, and relax in the safety of a comfortable environment. A place you could watch a movie or surf the internet for a little while, and just be a kid. A place where you were made to feel welcome, and like you matter. A place where you belonged, no matter your current situation or your vices.

Sox Place, in downtown Denver, is this sort of place. They offer a place for the homeless young people of downtown to drop in, eat a meal, relax, feel welcome and safe. It is a Christian organization, but acceptance of the homeless is not based on desire to be saved. Anyone is welcome, everyone is made to feel valued. 

Sox Place is 100% non-profit, and they do not accept government aid. It isn't one of those charities that you hear about from time to time, where the guy who runs it shows up to work every day from his million dollar home in his brand new BMW. No one is getting rich from Sox Place; in fact the man who started it draws no salary. He isn't doing good works because he wants money or recognition; he does good works because he feels God has called him to do so. Because Sox Place is non-profit, all costs such as the rent on their building, the small salaries of a few employees, keeping the power on, etc, come from private donations.

If you or someone you know, would like to help out a really great charitable organization, please contact me and I'll get you in touch with the right folks at Sox Place. In addition, their annual fundraiser is coming up on November 3. It's at Comedy Works south in DTC. Tickets are $75, and can be purchased online or at the door. You can also check out their website for more info on how you can help. If you can't give anything, please just pray for Sox Place, if you're so inclined. Pray for generosity of donors and that God will continue providing the methods for this center to keep their doors open.

Please consider giving this holiday season, whether to Sox Place or to another charity of your choice. The holidays are so often consumed with what we're getting and even what gifts will make our friends and family think more highly of us. Let us never forget those who don't have homes to go to or families to shop for.

Disclaimers: I am not employed by Sox Place. I do not have any stake in Sox Place. I was not asked to post this or compensated for doing so. My husband's uncle is the person who started and runs Sox Place, and the center is very much a family affair. I have seen first hand the good that they do, and I want to assist in any way possible with keeping the doors open. If I did not believe so strongly in how good and necessary Sox Place is, I would not have made this post.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I've been baking bread for years... And I'm still a total novice

I have a favorite recipe. For a while, I was making all of our bread. I had it down almost to a science. But I could never figure out why my crust would look sort of crinkly and the bread would be kind of crumbly at the edges. I took a lengthy break from baking bread when Gage came along, and I'm now trying to get back into it. Of course I've lost the "down to a science" part, but I figure I can get my baking groove back with practice.

I made two loaves today. As usual, the bread came out kind of wrinkly and weird. It tastes delicious though, which is the important part. I decided to ask my friend Google some questions about why my bread was coming out as it is, and I quickly found my answers. Basically, I'm a baking hack. OK, not quite, but I've still got a lot to learn. I can't be too hard on myself though, yeast breads at altitude are notoriously difficult to master. Here's what I found out.

1) I'm not kneading long enough. I use my Kitchenaide stand mixer for kneading, but I only let it go for a minute or two after all ingredients are mixed and dough is the right consistency. Apparently for yeast breads that should have a smooth texture, it should be kneaded for 5-8 minutes if using a mixer. Yeeeaah. That's a lot longer than my usual minute or two.

2) I cover the bowl that the bread rises in with a flour sack dishtowel, which results in an unfortunate crusty coating on the dough. I should be covering it with oiled plastic wrap, because that crusty coating impedes rising.

3) I'm ripping the big dough ball right in half after punching it down to separate it into two loaf pans. Apparently that screws up the gluten strands. I should be cutting the dough in half with a sharp blade or scissors, in one downward motion.

4) I'm not effectively shaping my loaves before putting them into their pans. I should be shaping them roughly, letting them rest for a few minutes, and then placing them into loaf pans.

WOW. I didn't realize I was doing so many things wrong! I'm looking forward to eating up these two loaves so I can try again with these tips at the forefront of my mind. Fortunately, Gage is a homebaked bread fiend (maybe he gets that from his momma). He will certainly help me eat my crumpled, flaky, yet delicious bread. I'm glad he likes it, even if it isn't pretty. I sure do!

And hey, sometimes good flavor is the best us novices can hope for after baking for years. HA!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween is less than 10 days away

And Gage is good to go. Since he isn't quite 2 yet, he won't be going trick-or-treating. He doesn't eat candy and Brian and I don't need buckets of candy around the house. I also feel Gage is too young to enjoy the experience of running around outside after dark, so there is really no point.

That said, I think dressing him up is a blast. We were at my mom and dad's house for Halloween last year, so we enjoyed sharing his "costume" with the family and taking pictures. We had stumbled upon some glow in the dark skeleton pajamas in Kohls that we thought were perfect--comfortable, warm, and soft. He wasn't a year old then, so it worked out great. He was really cute.

This year, I didn't give too much thought to Halloween until a few weeks ago. We'll be headed to my parent's house the weekend before Halloween, just to carve pumpkins, have dinner, etc, since Halloween is a Monday, we'll want to be home. We aren't decorating this year (we have very limited space in the apartment, none that grabby hands can't reach) so I just haven't been too concerned. But when I DID think about it, and started looking into costumes for our little, I discovered something unfortunate. Most costumes rely on headpieces for the majority of the effect... And Gage hates things on his head. I am not about to subject him to wearing something miserable just for one day of a few pictures.

We decided to just go the skeleton pajamas route again. And after searching high and low (who knew that after we stumbled on them last year, they'd be so hard to find this year?) we finally found the last set of 18-24 month skeleton Pjs at Old Navy. They'll JUST fit him, but we really only need them for now. They were on sale for under $10, so even better. I also didn't want to spend $20-$30 on a costume he would wear once. We picked them up, brought them home, and that was that.

Until I decided Gage needed matching footwear. Last time we went to Target, I was planning to pick up some white fabric paint, but forgot. Then I remembered that I had some fabric paint leftover from our wedding (I'm not too good at throwing away; we got married 4 years ago) and so I pulled it out of my arts and crafts box. I found a pair of black socks that Gage has almost outgrown, and stuffed an old pair of his sandals in them to stretch them like feet. Then I used the white fabric paint to paint on foot bones. And I think they came out AWESOME! They look really good. I can't wait to see him wearing everything, I think the full effect will be pretty cute.

So I guess if Gage wants to be a skeleton next year I'll just buy him a pair of black Pjs, and paint the bones on myself! 'Cause hopefully next year, he can have some say in what he wants to be!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perfectionist in name only

Is it weird to be a perfectionist in some ways and a total slob in other ways?

In some ways, I want every single thing to be perfect, as they pertain to certain events. Birthday parties for my kid, giving birth, surprises for others, and things like that... I demand perfection in such a way that it would likely never be obtainable. By the time the thing I wanted to be perfect is over, usually I've gotten a grasp on the things that DID go well, and I'm ok with whatever wasn't perfect. But in the planning process, I tell you what, everything better go just right or I'm panicking. I think that this has an effect on my insomnia; I lay in bed the other night debating for hours if I could give a gift that was baked in my kitchen to an acquaintance who's daughter has a peanut allergy, even though what I baked wouldn't be around or contain peanuts. It's a severe allergy, so ultimately I decided it wasn't worth the risk -  but why worry about it into the night? Why not have the thought, consider it, and either think about it tomorrow or make a decision? Instead I lay there worrying for hours about whether or not they would feel left out, and whether that was better than a possible allergic reaction because hey, I fix my kid a PB&J in the kitchen every day and what if a molecule of peanut butter got into the bread I was baking even though I clean the kitchen before big bakes? Ugh. How can my Christmas baking be perfect if someone may be allergic to the peanut butter molecule that may or may not get into the baking? Can't sleep must think. Sigh. I appreciate my ability to consider the minutiae, but I sometimes wish it were restricted to the daytime hours.

But in other ways, I'm helplessly NOT a perfectionist. Toys all over the floor in the living room? Meh, no big deal. A few dishes in the sink? No big thing. They'll get done at some point. I don't wish I was fanatical about keeping the house clean, but I DO wish it was a little more inherent for me to clean. When I met Brian, he was a fanatical neat freak, and I was fairly slobby. Over the years, we've worn off on one another, but I sure do wish I could find a little more motivation for cleaning than I do. I would like for Brian to come home to a (more) clean house. I keep thinking I need to make a schedule for myself and adhere to it better - then maybe I could get done the things around the house that I want to instead of realizing suddenly that he will be home in 10 minutes and there isn't anything I can do then (even though there really is.) With cleaning, that is one of those things that I'm going to just have to pep talk myself into and get it done. I've told Brian on numerous occasions that I'll try harder and it hasn't happened... so it sure would be nice if I could actually get my stuff together and be a better housekeeper, considering I'm here all day.

In other news, I talked to the apartment leasing office yesterday, to find out if they could be of any assistance with our rent going up and now I don't know what to believe. The leasing office told me that they would never raise anyone's rent more than $100/month, and that it would likely only be $30-$40. But a friend/co-worker of Brian's recently moved out of here because they were going to raise his rent by around $200, so that makes no sense. I'm really not sure what to think, but ultimately our plan will just be to look around and see what's out there. I can't figure out why either party would lie to us - why would our neighbor lie/exaggerate by that amount? Why would the leasing office lie? We'll know what our increase will be in a few months! Is it normal for apartments to raise rates on existing renters? I've never lived in an apartment more than a year, just a rental townhome... is it normal? It seems once someone's renting, you'd be best to just leave their rent alone, unless something crazy happens, like the addition of a really great amenity. I don't know. I'm just confused. Brian's dad made a good point yesterday though - he said our responsibility as renters is to be sure that WE are getting the best deal, which means looking around for ourselves, no matter what the circumstances. We are responsible for being prepared for a rent hike, whether or not it actually happens. We of course knew that, but it was a nice reminder. We'll keep an eye on the rental market in the coming months, to be sure. Because, you know, we have to have the perfect place to live. Ha.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Writing like a crazy person

Well, so maybe crazy people don't write a whole lot... but forgiving the figure of speech, I'm at one of those phases that folks who freelance write or do writing from home get to. We work our regular writing assignments (mine is the magazine - it is not freelance, I am a staffer,) we look for other opportunities, we throw our scribbling out into the world, and we hope madly that someone will like our work enough to pay us a little money for it.

I'm still making a pittance from the mag. I still enjoy the work (mostly) so that's ok. And hey, a teeny tiny income is better than no income at all. But I sure would like to add a few more projects to my plate in the hopes that I could bring in a little more money.

I'm in talks with one of Brian's co-workers to take over their monthly newsletter. Not sure what the pay there would be, but it's worth the talks. We're kind of halfway through my telling his car club what I would do differently, etc. I haven't heard back yet from my most recent round of discussions (it's all through email) so we'll see what happens next.

On Saturday, I also spent the better part of FIVE HOURS working up a resume, answering questions, scanning writing samples, and putting all of that together to apply for another automotive writing job. A friend of mine sent me the job listing a little while back, and I decided I better either apply or decide that I wasn't interested. As I WAS interested, I did want to apply. It was just time consuming - they wanted writing samples, but they didn't want any attachments to be sent to them, only links. Well, all of my writing (other than this blog) is from print media. I had to figure out how to scan a few examples, and then get them online so that I could send a link to the company instead of attachments. I created a basic blog and uploaded six scans to it. Then I had to manipulate the sizes to make the scans legible, but not obnoxiously large. It took a little (ok, a LOT) of time! They wanted text of the resume, rather than an attachment, so I had to import my resume into an email and format it correctly from a .docx to the body of email. That also took some time. They wanted three questions answered about cars, writing, and writing about cars online. Since I am not capable of answering complex questions in a couple of sentences, and because I need to edit my writing to death when it's not casual writing (like this blog) that ALSO took a while. I felt very proud of what I submitted though, so we'll see what happens. I'm a little nervous! I will be a little disappointed if it's back to the drawing board and I don't get a job that I spent that much time and care applying for. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing like a crazy person, and hope it'll all work out. Because, ya know, it will.

Monday, October 17, 2011

(Almost) Always the optimist

Yup, that's me. I'm a pretty optimistic person, I am fairly good at trusting that the Lord will help get us to where we need to be, no matter the obstacles. I haven't always been this way. I always really tried when I was a teenager, but I succumbed to negativity and darkness. Anyone who reads me who knew me as a teenager would probably be surprised that I turned out the way I did! I was looking at my Jr. High yearbooks the other day, and discovered something I had totally forgotten. I was a member of Youth Under Christ in eighth grade (the first time. Yes, I repeated eighth grade. When I was young, I didn't think school was terribly important.) I had totally forgotten. I think the whole reason I joined was because I figured the Christian kids were more likely to be accepting of me, and not mean. I mean, we went to church, but I never really fit in there any better than I fit in any where else. I wonder how the course of my life would have gone if I had chosen to stick with Youth Under Christ instead of going the way I did, with the darkness? No point in wondering REALLY - my life's choices have made me who I am today, and I wouldn't change a thing, but still a curiosity thing for me. One of these days I'll post my testimony (it'll be a two day post) and then you'll get a better idea of what I'm talking about. Because right now I'm way off topic of what I was going to talk about.

Last week, we were told by the leasing office at our apartment complex that the people who live above us are moving out. We don't know when exactly, but they've not renewed their lease. So we decided we would very likely just stay here another year, since the majority of our problems are tied into the stomping from above, the birdseed, the mice caused by the birdseed, etc. Last night, I was talking to our downstairs neighbor. I mentioned that the people upstairs were moving out, and she wasn't surprised. She wondered how anyone could afford to stay... she was not going to renew her lease since they were raising her rent by $400. Seriously. She signed her lease a month or two before we did, so it isn't like sh'es been here for five years and she's due to have her rent adjusted for the times or something. She's lived here a little under a year. Just like we have lived here a little under a year. Needless to say, the chances that we'll be staying here are a lot slimmer than they were. When I'm done writing this post, I plan to call the leasing office to find out if they can estimate what our rent will go up to. We would like to start preparing if we'll need to move again - about 2 weeks from delivery date by the time our lease terminates, so it would be nice to not have to do all of our packing when I'm huge. When I was pregnant with Gage, we moved when I was about a month from delivery... course I felt a lot better with that pregnancy, and we didn't already have a toddler, so it was a bit more simple.

Brian is concerned about the rent hike, as he wonders if rents going up by THAT much are standard among apartments, or if it's just here. He's worried about moving when I'm extremely pregnant, and he's unhappy that we've moved each year since 2009. I'm on board with these worries to some extent; I can't say I'm excited to move AGAIN, I hope everywhere isn't raising rents too much, and I hope we can get Gage into a stable home that we can stay for a while. But I trust that we'll end up just where we need to be. Maybe we'll find an even better apartment. Maybe we'll find a house we can rent. Who knows? Maybe we'll find someplace we'll want to live for the next 5 years. Sometimes things that seem miserable when they happen can lead to good outcomes, ultimately. God only knows, and time will tell. But for now, I'm trying to let the troubles roll by, and pray it all comes clear in time.

How do you deal with stress? Do you worry yourself sick? Do you just let it go? Or do you lay it at the feet of God and trust that He'll bring you through? 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bank of America is bad, mmmkay?

I heard on the radio today that BofA is going to start charging their account holders $5 a month for the privilege of using their debit card. Whether you use it daily, or once a month, you'll see a $5 fee on your monthly bank statement for the pleasure of accessing your own money.

Fortunately, we do not bank with BofA. There are many reasons, not the least of which came from a co-worker of mine shortly after we had moved to Albuquerque. She had gone over the easy mountains, and her debit card hadn't worked. It was a weekend, so Monday morning she called BofA to find out why. They told her they would research it and let her know. A week or so later, she received a letter telling her that since she was attempting to use her card in MEXICO all weekend, without informing them, they declined the charges. She was solidly still in NEW Mexico, not even close to the border. When she called them on the phone and told them the name of the town in NM, they started to stick to the reasons in the letter. Eventually she got it through to them that New Mexico is in the USA and they offered a weak apology. I won't bank with a company who doesn't know the names of all fifty states. I have other reasons too, but don't feel like sharing 25 paragraphs.

But shortly after purchasing our house in NM, our mortgage got sold. This happens a lot, and you have no say in where the mortgage goes. Unfortunately, ours went to BofA. We were disappointed, but there was no recourse short of re-fi, and obviously that wasn't an option on a brand new loan. It didn't really bother us too much until we were working through the short sale process. I couldn't count how many rude people I talked to there, how many threatening letters we received (despite their knowledge and approval of our short sale,) and how many times they made me feel like a low-life criminal because we were upside down on our house. They even made harassing collections calls to my parents, while we were fully entrenched in the short sale process WITH them!

When the house closed in late March, we were thrilled to be done with Bank of America. Interesting enough, they actually send you a little check when you close; it's to thank you for doing short sale instead of sticking them for a foreclosure. We knew (thought) our closing was 100% complete when we got the check from them.
But we were wrong. A couple weeks ago, I pulled my credit. The first, most prominent record on there was our OPEN mortgage, showing that we hadn't made a mortgage payment for over a year. No wonder my credit score was hurting. At first I thought I would fight through the credit bureaus to have it fixed. But then I thought of BofA and their shady business practices, and realized that maybe they still thought we owed them money or something. I called them up, and not surpringly, was connected to their collections department as soon as I entered my social.

I informed the representative of the situation; we closed in March, it was still on our credit, etc. She snippily informed me that they were still awaiting paperwork from us before they could close our file. I tried to stay calm. "How can that be? The house closed in MARCH. Someone else LIVES in it. We couldn't go back to that house if we wanted to! Someone else has a mortgage on it. Someone else OWNS it!" She backtracked after my quiet outburst. "Well, you'll need to be patient. It can take 90 days to close out the file." I was incredulous at this point. I exclaimed, "We closed in March. It's been more than 90 days!" She placed me on hold. After a long wait, she got back on the phone. Her demeanor had totally changed. She would have to send it to the higher ups, she explained, and have them close it out. It would take 15 days or so, and then we would get a letter stating that we were resolved of the house debt. I asked her if she showed we still owed anything, and she said no, principle and interest both showed zero owed. She stopped short of apologizing, but with a gentler tone explained that somehow it just got overlooked when it came to closing the file. I asked if it would report to the credit bureaus that the house closed in March, and she haltingly said it would. I don't believe that, and I think I'll still end up fighting the credit bureaus. But hopefully at least now, six months after the house closed, we can finally move on. I thought we already had.

I guess they were too busy trying to figure out ways to rook their customers out of more money by imposing ridiculous new fees to be concerned with wrapping up what was a miserable experience for all of us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It was not such a good day... until it was

Actually, I'm not too sure I ever hit the "good day" part, but I did manage to have a decent day. It was one of those days that just seemed like nothing could go right, and I wished I could have stayed in bed. Would it have been as crummy if I wasn't pregnant and hormonal? Maybe. But the fact is, between the events of the day and the hormones, I cried more times today than I usually do in a month.

The day started out ok, Gage slept until 7:00 AM which was awesome because he'd gone to bed at 7:00 PM the night before. So he got a solid twelve hours of sleep, and that makes me happy. Unfortunately for me, I had gotten a not-so-solid... um, maybe six hours. I was pretty tired. We walked Brian down to his car, and Gage fought me and cried all the way back upstairs because he wanted to go with Daddy. After playing for a bit, he climbed up into his highchair, so I fed him some breakfast. He can now get the tray off of his highchair himself, which is a bummer because he basically kicks it onto the floor. That can be with or without food. This morning, he did eat all of his breakfast before kicking off his tray, so that was something. He then proceeded to throw a huge fit when I tried to get him down. Guess he really wanted to stay in his chair and color, so I set him up with that for a bit, and all was peaceful.

The morning went ok from there, until I tried to get him to nap at 10:00 AM. At that point, it all went downhill. Gage was clearly tired, but he refused to nap. He screamed and fussed like the world was ending. So I went and got him after 10 minutes, figuring maybe I could settle him back down. It didn't work. We were due at my folks' house between 12 and 1, so I figured we could try again a little later. It never happened. He was wide awake, and wouldn't give any consideration to napping. About 12, I figured I better get ready with a quickness. That didn't go as planned. Gage felt the need to try to clear off my dresser, clear off the bathroom counter, open every drawer in the bedroom and try to pull stuff out, shut me in the bathroom, shut me in the bedroom, dump the water out of the humidifier, turn the lamp on/off/on/off, and generally reek havoc in our bedroom... all while giggling his ornery giggle and grinning big at me EVERY time I stopped him from doing something. It got a little frustrating. The third or fourth time I kicked him out of the bedroom, I was pleased by a few minutes of peace. He stayed in the family room for a bit, and I got my hair done. I came out of the bedroom to get him ready, and saw my previously full water bottle laying empty on the ottoman. I looked at the floor under the ottoman; it was bone dry. So I turn around to look at the couch, next to which is the end table that the bottle had sat on. Bingo. The couch was SOAKING wet.

I'm not proud to say that I sank to my knees in the middle of the room and bawled like a baby. Hormones and frustration. Heavy on the hormones. THEN I felt like a giant jerk, because (soaking wet) Gage came over, threw his arms around me, and cuddled up into my lap. He cuddles me if I cry; I am telling you he is the single sweetest kid I have ever met. So I held him, cuddled him, got myself together, and got him ready to go. We got out the door, and got to my folks' house. Because we were running late, they had eaten lunch without us, so it made me depressed to think that we would be at their house and eating by ourselves, even though that's dumb because they would sit with us while we ate, anyway. Hormones? Yes.

So we got there, and my dad told me they had some good turkey (lunch meat) for sandwiches. I'm a little nervous about lunch meat and listeria, so I didn't want to eat the turkey, even though it sounded good. My dad said they didn't have much else for me to eat... and that triggered a whole NEW crying jag. With me standing in their refrigerator crying over lunch. Again, ridiculous, because their house is loaded with food, and it isn't like I would starve, I would just have to look a little harder. My mom heard me, and gave me a hug, and we talked about it. Between eating lunch (my dad grilled me a hamburger) and watching Gage's happy delight in playing at his grandparent's house, I felt much better. It also helped to have someone sharing the Gage-chasing for a bit, as I was a little frazzled and frustrated. By the time I got home, my mood was much better.

When Gage and I got home, Brian and I split the dishes. Then we had a tasty dinner of leftover baked ziti and put Gage to bed. After the Biggest Loser, we're just kind of hanging out. I love this time of the evening. I really enjoy my days with Gage, don't get me wrong. He is the light of my life and I treasure every moment of being home with him. It is nice to have a couple hours of the evening just Brian and I, though.

Hope you enjoyed a good day. Or at least, a decent day, because a decent day is much better than a terrible day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y, NIGHT, hey!

That song always makes me think of partying, getting all fired up to go out and do fun stuff until all hours of the night. 'Course I don't do that anymore. We do fun stuff at home 'til the early hours of the night, ha. And I am SO ok with that. We are enjoying a quiet evening with college football on TV, a sleeping son, me blogging, and Brian trying his dangdest to fix his friend/co-worker Tony's phone. It's an HTC MyTouch 4G, and it's stuck in an endless bootloop. Maybe it's ROM related, maybe battery related. We don't have a battery that fits it, so it's hard to test. I appreciate that Brian wants to fix this phone so badly he's been working on it all day. I would tell you how he's a nice guy. But that would ruin his street cred.

Oh, I kid. Nothing could ruin his street cred.

Speaking of street cred, I have to tell you I'm a failure as a volunteer. I know you remember the project for Sox Place that I told you about a while back? Yeah... I've totally dropped the ball. I would say it's because this pregnancy has knocked my socks off, (it has) but a few years back I decided to give up excuses. So I'll just say I want to try harder on it. Hopefully tomorrow I can get going again. Maybe I'll even start tonight.
We've been pretty much around the house this week. A couple trips to Target were about as crazy as we got. It's been a fun week though, and the weather has been beautiful. I need to get walking as the weather cools but isn't yet cold. I love walking in the fall, and I know Gage just loves walking. I'm also going to work harder to be vigilant about my weight gain and food intake in this pregnancy. I'm looking to only gain about 20 lbs (that's what the doc recommended because I'm a little heavy already) and so I need to be making up my extra calories with fruits and veggies. The difficult thing about this pregnancy and food is that I will be nauseous for hours, and not hungry, then suddenly the nausea subsides and I'm so ravenous I'm light-headed, then I'm ready to eat everything in sight. It's very weird. With Gage, I was just always hungry.
Everyone wonders if we want a girl. Scratch that. Everyone ASSUMES we want a girl. I don't care either way. I'll love either just the same. And I really wouldn't mind another little guy. The one I have is WAY awesome.

My parents took a Colorado vacation week. They drove around to places like the sand dunes, Snowmass, Creede, and rode the Cumbre and Toltec scenic railway. They came back Thursday in time to watch Gage for us while we visited the baby doc (we were very grateful). I guess they had a wonderful time, did some beautiful hikes, and didn't want to come home. I'm only a little jealous. Not really though, they deserve it. I missed Gage and my weekly visit with them though, so it was nice when they came home. My folks are transplants to Colorado, but they're native at heart.

I hope Gage can feel like a native here. He has lived here longer than he did in NM. This state has so much to offer. When we moved to NM, I didn't think I would ever want to come back to Colorado. But my feelings changed when Gage came, and Brian's did too. I hope that we can make the sort of memories with Gage that my folks did with me and my brother; we were always hiking or camping or skiing or going to Estes to listen to elk bugle. My parents took great advantage of this state we lived in. I hope we can too.

Man, this has gotten long and rambling. This entry is a miscellaneous mismatch of stuff that hopefully was an enjoyable read. You know, like when you throw together Corona, lime juice, tequila, and Sprite to make beer-itas for Saturday night parties. Doesn't seem like it would work, but somehow it does. 'Course, it's been at least three years since I have made any cocktail, let alone bulk cocktails. And that's no complaint.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cry-it-out page added to the page bar under header

A lot of traffic hits this blog from searches relating to cry-it-out, so if you're one of those folks, welcome! I added a new page right underneath the header up top that gives an overview of our experiences with CIO for those folks who hit this page because they're searching for information relating to CIO. I know from experience how muddy the sleep training waters are - so I tried to put together all of our info and experiences in one convenient place.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years.

I won't post much today because I'm in the mood for more of a thoughtful day than a blog posting can really get across. I want to treasure my family and be thankful for the many blessings I have been given, like freedom, life, and liberty. There are many people who serve our country and make those rights possible, who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I want to pray more for our troops, our first responders, and their families. I want to remember in my prayers to thank God for giving some folks the bravery and strength of character to defend our country against all threats.

Today, on the tenth anniversary of the worst attack on American soil, take a moment to remember. Remember that day, what you were doing, how you felt when you saw or heard about those planes hitting. I will never forget what I saw that day and how I felt. Remember how you felt after. Were you a little kinder to those around you? Did you reconsider before complaining about something that really wasn't worth a complaint? Bring back that aspect of the aftermath. Let our kindness to our fellow man be the legacy of those who lost their lives. Whether you are a Christian or not, you can live Jesus' greatest teaching: love one another. If you have the opportunity, do something for someone that will unexpectedly brighten their day. Not just today, but any day.

We will never forget, and we shouldn't. There was terror that day, yes. Unspeakable, unimaginable terror, death, suffering, hate, and pain. But there was also strength, bravery, life, recovery, love, and healing, that day and going forward. It is the latter that means that all those who died did not die in vain. Remember the first responders who rushed in, again and again, saving lives while knowing full well that they'd be giving theirs.
We will not forget. Not in ten years, not in fifty, and not in one hundred. What rose from those ashes of death on September 11, 2001 was life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Time to play the lottery, perhaps...

So, I never really win anything. Usually I don't even participate in raffles/contests/etc because I typically don't win and then I get sad. Yep, I'm kind of a sore loser, especially when the prizes are awesome stuff. A couple years back, though, I won a digital camera in a work raffle, which would have been terrific, if Brian and I didn't already have one. I was still pretty stoked though, given my lack of ever winning. But then my co-worker, who'd won an iPod Nano, lamented that they wished they had won the camera instead because they didn't have a digital camera. I didn't have a working iPod at the time (other than a Shuffle) and I would've loved to have won an iPod. We traded, and both of us were thrilled. Anyway, I went back to my non-winning spree for a few years, until I started throwing my name into the hat when people would have bloggy raffles on blogs that I enjoy. Now, I by no mean enter every bloggy contest that I see on a blog I love, because let's face it, I'm not putting my name in the digital hat if I am not even interested in the prize. That's just mean to those folks who would LOVE the prize.

Last month (I think August, but maybe July), a blog I enjoy the heck out of, Christian Mama's guide, had a raffle with a company they were working with, the Little Card Company. I went to their website, checked out their stuff, and loved the company and the product. Christian Mama's raffle was for a little gift pack with a small tote, free thank yous, and a $15 gift card for the Little Card Company. I entered, and WOW! I ended up winning. The gift pack was so super cute, they shipped it fast, and I was so excited to have won. I still haven't used my $15 because they have so much neat stuff I can't decide, but rest assured I will!  I need to pick up Christian Mama's book too - if you're pregnant, look for "The Christian Mama's Guide to Having a Baby." Even though I've done this pregnancy thing once before, I'd still love to read her book. Just need to order it, and stop being lazy. HA!

Anyway, so mid-August I was browsing blogs on my Google Reader, and another of my favorite blogs, Secrets of a Running Mom, was having a giveaway for a Road ID wrist band identification. As a sometimes runner and frequent walker, especially someone who walks with a child, I was pretty excited to enter that drawing. I figured I wouldn't win, but I put in multiple entries, as outlined by the raffle. Lo and behold, I found out today (I was drawn yesterday, but didn't read any blogs as we were busy) that I actually WON the Road ID wrist band ID! I am over the moon, seriously. I know this seems like a silly thing to be super excited about, but really, how cool. If you're active and frequently run/walk/bike/etc on your own, you really should check out Road ID. It could make all the difference in the world if you needed to be ID'd out in the world without your purse/wallet. Oh, and thanks to RunMom for pointing out that I don't have a clear "Contact Me" button in my blog... so I've added one up there at the top under my banner.

Thanks so much to both of these awesome bloggers who've thrown these cool giveaways. It's so fun to win something here and there, just for reading someone's words who you enjoy.

Bloggy disclaimers: I am affiliated with none of the blogs or companies. I simply wanted to give a little shout out to those who've done some cool raffles (that, ya know, I won) and to the companies who provided great products for the giveaways. I was not compensated in any way for writing these things about these blogs or these companies, except for being the randomly chosen winner of these two raffles.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let us never speak of it again

I'm going to stop saying I'm sorry for my sad lack of posts. Because it's just the current normal. I am going to try to get back in the habit of posting a few times a week though, so hopefully I can do that.

Being pregnant is a funny thing. You suddenly have to second guess every decision you make involving your diet, skin, etc. Will this hurt the baby? If the baby comes out with a second head, will I know it was because I used X product before I even knew I was pregnant? OK, so that may be an exaggeration. But seriously though.

I'm having a terrible bout of pregnancy induced acne. I am not kidding, I look like a nightmare. Or maybe a Biblical leper. Brian says I look fine, because he is nice like that. But it's bad. I have a facial cleanser that contains triclosan, and maybe it's working just a little. It's an antibiotic. Supposedly it helps kill the bacteria that causes the acne while being a gentle cleanser that doesn't bleach clothes, like benzoyl peroxide, (goodbye, green tank top), or make me break out worse due to allergy like salicylic acid. It also dissolves oil so that's nice. Out of curiosity, I looked up triclosan to see if it was dangerous in pregnancy... I found one obscure website that said it can form a chloroform gas when mixed with chlorine... You know, like tap water has. THEN I read that it it found in a lot of household cleaners and increases headache and some other fun stuff. That info was on a mainstream site. Great. Guess it's time to find another cleanser... Cause I sure can't use the benzoyl peroxide outside of the shower, I don't have that many shirts. Oh, and just an aside, salicylic acid isn't safe during pregnancy either, even if you aren't allergic to it. Benzoyl peroxide is safe for pregnancy, just not your shirt. Update: I've been reading more about triclosan after posting this. It seems that it actually isn't too safe for ANYONE... The chloroform gas produced with tap water is a widely known effect, and triclosan is also a possible carcinogen. It can be found in acne products, antibacterial soap, and many toothpastes, deodorants, and mouthwash. It's worth a check to see if products you're using has this chemical. I didn't find it in anything other than my face wash; we don't buy antibacterial soaps. Scary stuff. The FDA is even looking into banning it, Canada already has.

This pregnancy is way bizarro for me. I'm having symptoms like crazy that I never had with Gage. I'm craving salty foods like I never did with him, either. When pregnant with Gage I wanted non-stop ice cream. This time I want chips and salsa, chips and queso, nachos, beef jerky, etc. Salt cravings are uncharacteristic of non-pregnant me, as well. I also frequently crave fruits and veggies. And let me tell you, when those cravings pop up I fully indulge them. Because I can tell you non-pregnant me rarely thinks about how badly I wish I had a carrot/zucchini/garbanzo bean mix spread on a pita. It was seriously good though. I've also been craving hummus on pita chips. Go figure.

So what do all of the differences in this pregnancy from the last mean? It doesn't mean I'm pregnant with a girl, although that's Brian's gut feeling. It doesn't mean anything except that I'm pregnant for the second time... And pregnancies can be drastically different, I guess. I'm living proof. My pregnancy with Gage was such smooth sailing, when we watched a show on BBC America about women addicted to pregnancy, Brian expressed his fear of the possibility that I could get addicted to pregnancy because it was so good for me. I've got news, I'm definitely not gonna be addicted to pregnancy. So no worries there.

I'll try to be back in a few days, maybe a day. I have some other pregnancy related things I would like to talk about so hopefully I can in the next few days. But if I forget or feel too cruddy to post in the next few days, you won't see more apologies, I promise.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The one in which I whine like I actually have it bad...

Can I start by saying that I know a lot of other have it worse than me? I know I'm so blessed and please don't think I'm losing sight of that. But, man, it has just been a rough few days.

Today, Gage has a cold that he likely picked up when we were at the doctor's office, where we found that we should have a speech evaluation done for him. I think it's likely there are no real issues with his speech, but I don't mind having him checked out just in case. We kind of knew last night that we might wake up to a sick kid today. We kept hearing little uncomfortable coughs through the baby monitor, and Gage isn't a night cougher. Sure enough, he woke up this morning with a seriously runny nose and stuffed up head.

Yesterday, we had a great doctor's appointment, where we found out the new baby is healthy and has a strong heartbeat. Then I came home and called the insurance company to find out about co-pays and whatnot, and found that we are going to be SO screwed monetarily through the process of having this baby. I won't give you specifics, but our payout will be in the neighborhood of $3k. Seriously. We are probably going to pay more out of pocket than the insurance company will. So that's pretty crushing!

I got a prescription to help me with the crippling nausea I've been experiencing with this pregnancy, and it sure takes the nausea away. But it gives me crippling headaches. Go figure. On top of my horrible headache, I'm getting a stye in my right eye and ooooh, it hurts! Speaking of pregnancy symptoms, it has been a rough pregnancy. I won't harp on it too much, but suffice it to say the nausea, light headedness, abdominal stretching pain, acne, exhaustion, heart palpitations, and constant thirst are all normal, all miserable, and all things I didn't have much with Gage. Well, I had some acne, a tiny bit of exhaustion and a little nausea after eating, but nothing like this. Definitely goes to show all pregnancies are different!

It's just been a little rough. Thanks for letting me vent. I know it will all be ok, and I know we'll get through it. I can count my blessings and know that I'm in a lot better situation than so many other people. Just sometimes feels like a lot piling up.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Gage update

As promised, here's a little bit about Gage. He is awesome. That is all.

But seriously. He learns more every day and accomplishes so much. He is currently teaching himself to catch, which is so cute. Tuesday he has a doctor visit where we will get some tips to hopelly get him talking. He doesn't talk much yet, but communicates very well. He does get frustrated when he can't get certain things across, so if we could get him talking, it would be good for us all. Tomorrow I will spend the day logging all the words he says, so that should be fun. It'll probably mostly be animal sounds, as that is his primary conversation, verbally anyway. The doc wants an accurate picture of his verbal habits.

This will likely be my last update on cry-it-out. We are essentially done, I'm sick to death of blogging about it, and I imagine everyone is sick of reading about it. Suffice it to say... It worked for us. Once we got CONSISTENT with it, every single night, the process worked like a charm. Within a week, Gage was sleeping through the night. And I mean within a week of our restart. We weren't consistent the first month and that screwed us. Now, Gage smiles and waves when we lay him in bed and tell him goodnight. He is excited to go to bed, loves his routine, and even looks forward to "laying in his bed" after our bedtime stuff. It is really rewarding to see how he loves having his own bed to sleep in. He naps in there too. We are still working on nap duration but we will get there. And even better? He is weaned! We are on day 3 and he hasn't asked for it at all, which is amazing. We talked a lot to him about being big and how he doesn't need nutrients that way anymore, he eats from a plate and drinks from a cup like a big kid. Seems that may have helped ease the transition.

Guess that's really about it for now. Things are going great for Gage and we are cherishing this short time of him as an only child. We see the doctor at the end of this week about #2, so we are hoping all is well there. We are both feeling some apprehension that something may be wrong, but that isn't grounded in any reason, just what parents do I guess.

Hope you had a nice weekend, we did!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where in the world?

Right here in CO as usual... But haven't been up to blogging much recently. I promise I will give a few updates one day soon. I want to tell you about this pregnancy, how cry-it-out ended up working for us, and how weaning went. I want to update you on my life.

But I am oh-so-tired-and-nauseous. I will be back soon, though, I promise!

Monday, August 8, 2011

WTH, Etsy sellers?

I'm trying to kill the battery on my phone to reconfigure the battery charge capacity. I would've done it tomorrow except I can't sleep. So I'm browsing Etsy on it, hoping that the large quantity of picture loads will suck down battery juice. I am looking in the children's stuff, for obvious reasons; current and future Littles. 

Have you ever been browsing Etsy and seen something that just strikes you as wholly inappropriate? It doesn't happen to me much, because I'll be honest, I ordinarily LOVE Etsy. Most things that I look at on there are quite wholesome and nice. But there are always exceptions.
Anyway, first I see a onesie that has a large slogan printed on it. It says, "I'm with the M|LF." FIRST of all, my honest opinion is that vulgarities, or the implication of, don't belong on baby clothes. Babies are brand new and pure... They don't need a mockery made of them. But really-"I'm with the M|LF"?! I doubt the seller thought it through, but the "I" in M|LF does stand for "I'd" so that makes for an extra disgusting connotation. What was the person thinking when they printed that onesie? So tasteless, creepy, and disturbing. On multiple levels, really. 

OK, so I kept browsing. Then I see a onesie set; one is white with a tuxedo pattern (like a tux t-shirt) and the other is purple with a faux pearl necklace attached. What first caught my eye was how odd to attach a necklace to a onesie, what with the possibility of a baby getting hung up in it. .. Then I read the description. "Carrie and Mr. Big's night out," it read, "Matching onesies for twins or siblings." Let's pretend for a minute that Se.x In the City is your favorite show. It isn't mine by a long shot, but whatevs. It isn't appropriate for kids by a long shot. But didn't Carrie and Mr. Big date or get married or something?! Do you want to act out some romantic relationship from a show about se.x with your sweet, sibling babies?! I sure wouldn't, how creepy!

So that's my WTHeck this evening. If you've never checked out Etsy, don't let these two bizarre items sway you. Etsy is generally a great place to find all manner of beautiful handmade goodness.

I'm off to bed, having successfully killed my phone. Another day of nausea and exhaustion lies ahead of me. Just wish I could sleep.

*Lest you think this blog is laden with typos, please note that I made specific changes to certain words that may, in a search engine, bring the wrong type of attention to this blog. I think the post is still clear. And honestly, I'm giving some thought to taking the blog private, anyway. I have very few followers but since I do post a good bit about my little fella, I'm just not sure I want it public. It would be email invite, rather than altogether private. Thoughts?

A brief update

I'm doing OK, trying to get used to the newness of a second surprise pregnancy.

As I write this, it is 6:47 AM, and my little fella is still sleeping! That is a huge step in our sleep process.

The sleep process is really important now they we'll have a new baby in a while. It still hasn't quite hit me yet, although I do have moments where I think WOW, we are having another baby! I really look forward to my doctor's appointment at the end of the month. Maybe it'll be real to me after the ultrasound?

ETA: this was supposed to post 8/6, but apparently it failed. So I'm trying again.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Please excuse me for my distance

So, I've been a little absent recently. I just haven't really felt like I had much of anything to say. I haven't been feeling all that great, have had day after day of killer headaches, and just generally haven't felt much like myself, let alone writing. Gage is doing great on cry-it-out, at least at night. Maybe next week we'll get him crib napping. Thus far it's been largely couch napping. But he is still out of our bed altogether.

A couple days ago, I sort of felt like blogging and thought maybe I could come up with something to say. I didn't feel very well though, really light headed and nauseous so I ended up scraping the idea. Yesterday I totally felt like blogging, because I had something I needed to get out. But it was premature, and so I had to wait until today to make my point. If you are friends with me on facebook or Google+, you totally already know what was wrong with me and why I haven't been feeling that great. In fact, you might know by now anyway! But in case you've missed it, here's why ...

I'm pregnant! Yep, that's right. Not too far along, but enough to get three positive at home tests. We'll see the doctor at the end of this month to try to nail down the actual due date. I can hardly wait. That's about all I've got right now. Hooray!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Update: we still have a whole 'nother day!

Today was a mostly nice day. Despite a cranky fussy guy at times, we had a great time. We went for a morning walk before it got too hot, then we came home and tried to get our little to nap. That didn't go amazingly well, so we took him swimming. He loved that and so did we.  We came home and tried more nap with little luck. After the failed nap, we went to the apartment complex ice cream "social" at the pool, where we all loaded up on sundaes, and were "gifted" with leftover chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup by the people doing the ice cream. We also happened to be gifted with a floaty swim suit by some neighbors we had never met while at the pool the first time.

As we were drying off and getting ready to leave, a mom at the pool inquires about Gage's age. I told her, and she told us her little boy's floaty swim thing didn't fit him anymore.  Would we like it, she asked? Never ones to pass up useful free stuff, we said sure. It looks brand new. Kind of a strange day, in a good way. 

Tomorrow we are trying out a new church. Gage will be in the children's ministry, with kids his age and without us for the first time.  We would like to find a good church family to be part of, so keep us in your prayers that this will be a good fit... and that Gage will enjoy the children's ministry. After that, we will try to get a nap out of Gage, then we'll be off to my folks' house for dinner. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... we sure will.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snake-a-phobia (and other assorted miscellany)

Gage and I visited the doctor today. We learned that basically, cry-it-out isn't working for us because we have been doing it wrong since roughly night 5. Sigh. So as of tonight we are trying to get back on track. Gage has woken up once already (it is 12:22 AM) and got himself back to sleep in 10 minutes. Wish I could say the same for me. I just lay here, feeling like I'm waiting for him to wake up. Which is pointless, because I have to let him self-soothe anyway. But really glad the doctor thinks everything is a-ok, we just need to adjust our strategy.

Nothing else amazing going on. Monday morning Gage and I took Chevy for a walk, and had another snake encounter. This one was uncomfortably close to home. I had Gage in his wrap, and I specifically avoided the snakey weeds by our apartment complex park; we were walking there last week and saw a nice snake skin that had been shed. Do you know what a snake skin says to me? Snakes are present in this area. Shudder. So I'm not too comfy over there, especially since the apartment jerks don't bother to knock back the weeds over there. Walking through there I am just waiting for a snake to strike, and the weeds encroach so thickly on the path that it is entirely too easy for me to imagine. Seriously. I have a hearty fear of snakes, that goes without saying if you've read this far.

Back to my recent run-in. We were just getting ready to walk through some rocks to the sidewalk in front of our building when Chevy spotted a rabbit. She went after it, and I yanked her back. As I yanked her almost to me, I looked down at her feet, and saw a tan and brown snake, roughly 3 feet long, recoiling from her and doing the creepy tongue thing snakes do. THANK GOD it didn't bite her. And seriously, thank God for that rabbit. I was not far from that snake, but I would've been right on top of it if not for Chevy's antics. Wearing Crocs flip flops and just ripe for the biting. I did what any self-respecting snake-a-phobic (is there an actual medical term for snake-a-phobes?) would do. I shrieked like a girl and ran away from the snake. A guy getting his baby out of a Hummer nearby surely heard and saw my performance. He likely thought I was absolutely nuts. I may or may not have referred to slithery creatures with an obscene name and hoped aloud to Brian that when the maintenance guys mowed, they would grind up the snakey jerks. I don't like them that close to home. For once I'm kinda thankful we live on the second floor!

Fun ahead this weekend. Friday night (er, tonight, I guess) we are having some close friends over, then this weekend some friends from Albuquerque will be here. We can't wait to see them, too. And they'll be shocked when they see Gage.

Tomorrow, Gage and I have a blissful day of no plans. Hopefully his crib naptime (recommended by the doctor) will go ok. I have a feeling there will be a lot of tears. Gage probably won't be too happy with the arrangement either.

Hope you all are having a blissful night of sleep. I'm off to Google the clinical term for snake-a-phobia. Oh, hush. I know you're curious too.

ETA: Fear of snakes is ophidiophobia. And if you Google that, and your curiosity is peaked, yes, looking at pictures of snakes gives me anxiety and panic feelings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A brief cry-it-out update

This will be a very brief post because I'm in desperate need of a shower... and sleep. Gage will see the doctor tomorrow morning to discuss his bizarre-o sleep issues. We are at the point where we feel like we've given cry-it-out a fair shake - and it hasn't really worked. Sure, we had a couple of good nights in there where we thought everything was going to be ok, but then we went right back to old patterns. The one good thing that has come of CIO is that he will go to sleep in his crib without crying. Unfortunately, he won't stay asleep in his crib, and many nights he wants to play at 2:00 AM. Clearly, this is an issue for all of us.

Hopefully the doctor can shed some light on why he is so against sleeping. Because right now, he won't even really sleep well with me. He just doesn't seem to be interested. So, who knows? I've done well logging our days, so I just need to organize and print those so I can take them with us. Also need to go through the blog and make note of the first 20 days or so and how they went, since I logged pretty faithfully here.

Keep us in your prayers. The sleep is something that affects all of us and we are all definitely feelin' it right now! I'm sure you can tell, seeing as how it's almost all I've written about for the better part of a month.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flash card project, part 2

Here's some pictures of the finished product! Between Brian and I, it took most of Sunday and part of today.

The cards are totally worth it though. Gage loved them, and I think the engage him more than typical flash cards.

You'll notice some of the color cars look weird, like yellow, green, purple and orange. I had to color white cars, and shiny brochure paper isn't the easiest to color. Nissan doesn't have a large selection of purple, green, yellow, or orange cars. I know they aren't perfect, but I like them! And Gage likes them; that's the important part!

The above shot is of the colors, obviously.

This shot above is the number cards. Number 9 cracked me up because it got pretty hard to stack that many cars on and still have room for the number, word, and dots. Hee.

Finally, a picture of them all together. Is it funny that I'm really proud of these? Next up is a matching game made of cars and then a couple posters made of cars. Can't wait until the weekend for more car art baby projects. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flash card project

For a few weeks now, I've been wanting to make Gage some flash cards for letters, numbers, and colors. I wanted to do colors first because that's most age appropriate. I originally planned to just get a note card and make a color block on it, then write the color below the color block. Pretty normal, average flash card, right?

But then, I saw how Gage took to the colorful car sales brochures that Brian brought home from his work to read to Gage. He LOVES cars and trucks. So I thought, what better way to make engaging flash cards than to cut out pictures of the cars, stick a few of the same color to a card, then write the color below?! I got off track after cutting out the first few because, let's face it, it is tedious and difficult with a curious toddler.

This morning over breakfast, Brian took the idea one step further. He thought for each number, we could put that many cars on a flash card, plus that many dots, the number, and the word number. I love this idea! So while I try to get Gage napping, Brian is busy cutting out cars and trucks. We have a poster idea for him too, but I will have to post a picture because I can't adequately describe it.

I can't wait to show you the finished product! I will post a few pictures up when the flash cards are done.

Prayer request

I stumbled onto a blog yesterday that weighed heavy on my heart. This family's precious 7.5 month old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and 24 days later he passed away. You can imagine the nightmare this family is facing; if it weighs on your heart as it did on mine, please say a little prayer for the parents. And hug your littles a bit tighter. You can see their story here:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A brief update because there's not a lot going on

There really hasn't been much going on. I've spent a fair bit of time tracking Gage's days with an app I got for my Droid called Cub-Cal tracker. It cost $2.99 but has been totally worth it. It is so much easier to keep track of his days with it. He had a pretty rough night last night; he woke up at 1:30 AM and just simply wouldn't go back to sleep. He played until 3:30 AM and then never really got back to sleep. Nor did I. Needless to say, we are all a little brainless today.

My nieces are in town and Gage has quite enjoyed playing with them when we are at my folks' house. There has been some serious drama going on with their family up north but I don't feel it is my place to post it here. Suffice it to say, their summer here is definitely for the best. Thursday, while we were at my parents', the two younger girls wanted to run through the sprinkler. Gage kept trying to, but the water falling on him made him so uncomfortable at first. He did enjoy his kiddie pool and running around. Right before I took him in to get him cleaned up for home, he decided to get into the sprinkler full on! It was excessively cute.

Yesterday morning we walked for close to three miles. I need to get an earlier start because by 11:15 AM when we were coming home, it was blazing hot. Gage seemed ok but I was sure hot. I took water bottles for each of us; I imagine Gage got tired of me shoving his water at him and telling him to drink. But when it is hot and dry I so want him to stay hydrated.

No plans for the weekend, Brian works a half day today so hopefully we can come up with something fun to do! I started my day with some Bible reading... I've been doing the chronological one year reading plan for 50 days now. I'm in the midst of Leviticus which is one interesting book. Reading Leviticus always makes me even more thankful for Jesus' sacrifice. The rules in the old Testament are intense.

Hope you all have a very enjoyable weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some random thoughts bouncing through my noggin

Let's see. I won't tell much about cry-it-out tonight, especially because I'm a little discouraged. We keep having such severe ups and downs that I believe something else is going on with the little guy. We'll have a few good nights and then go back to bad, or worse. Last night was a "worse" by far. Gage went down about 8:00 PM but didn't sleep. At 8:30 I went in and cuddled him until he was drowsy, at which point I put him back down. He slept until 9:30 when he fussed a bit and went back to sleep. Then came the badness. He awoke at 12:14 AM. I went in and rocked him as I usually do, and laid him back down. He was quiet. But around 1:00 AM (I think) he woke up again. At that point, I decided to just bring him to bed with us as I hadn't slept at all. He wouldn't sleep. All he wanted to do was get up and play. So I figured ok, maybe he'll play for 30 minutes, then realize how exhausted he is. No... he played until almost 4:00 AM. And even then, he didn't want to go back to sleep. I had a mini-breakdown and cried about my utter inability to fix this problem. Then the little fella slept until 9:30 AM this morning. He did not nap today outside of a car nap (I did this on purpose) and he played for a while at my parent's house. Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight, if for no other reason than sheer exhaustion.

If you've been following along, you know we're coming up on a month of cry-it-out. The doctor told us it would take a week. Obviously, every child is different. But why, after a month, do we see absolutely no progress that lasts? We have stuck to the bed time routine, we get him into bed at the same time every night as best we can, etc. There seems to be nothing that affects how he sleeps. Starting today, I am going to spend the week mapping out the details of Gage's day. After 7 days of mapping out Gage's days, I'm going to make an appointment with his pediatrician so we can try to figure out what on earth is going on with this little boy's sleep patterns. Why can he only seem to sleep for 4-5 hours at a time? Why does he have such a hard time relaxing? We have many questions that I feel need answers in order to get this sleep issue under control. That's where we're at. I downloaded an app for my Incredible that will help me track the little guy's patterns. I'll be monitoring and logging eating, sleeping, activity, what we do in a day, etc. I figure nothing is too small to log and assess for importance. In case you're wondering, it's 9:03 PM right now and Gage is indeed sleeping. Has been for a little over an hour.

The pictures are starting to pour in from Brian's cousin's wedding. We so enjoy getting to see the pictures everyone took. I can't wait until the photographer gets her pictures online though; it was such a gorgeous wedding that I am excited to see pictures.

One thing is for sure a result of all the family time this weekend and the wedding. I have got to get serious about weight loss. I think I've said that on here a few times, but seeing pictures of myself really brings the point home. I look about 5 months pregnant. My arms are huge, flabby, and fat; my gut looks like it's housing a baby, and my face is way too round. Add in my double chins, and you've got yourself a pretty chubby looking chick. I am not happy with myself, and I've got to get there. I hate being that girl that constantly looks at pictures of herself and hates them. But I've arrived at that point, and it makes me deeply unhappy. I want to look at pictures of myself and my family and say, "Wow, we look great/happy!" Instead, I look at pictures of us and say, "Wow, Brian, you and Gage look great!" While inside, I die a little, thinking that people probably look at me as a fat slob.

My biggest weight challenge is portion sizes. I think if I can get that under control I can get my weight going down again. I started trying to be more cognizant of portion size today. I had lunch with my mom and dad, and we had hot dogs (all beef) and chips. I had two hot dogs, but I did not have any chips as a side. I only put sourkraut on my dogs, and I ate them with whole wheat buns. I did not consume the entire bun. I ate maybe .25 oz of these cinnamon chips my parents have, as well as two graham cracker bites which are roughly the size of a silver dollar. I also had a scoop and a half of ice cream, around 1/4 cup. If you know me, you know this is pretty good. I didn't eat breakfast before I left the house, so lunch was sort of both. Yes, I am aware that this is bad. I rarely skip breakfast, but this was a WEIRD morning. Back to lunch, I ate slowly, and didn't continue eating when I was full. Stopping eating when I'm full is another biggie. If I really like the food I'm eating, I'll eat it fast and hard and then deal with the stuffed feeling consequences. I must re-train myself to eat slowly and stop when my stomach is satisfied - not stuffed. For dinner I ate nice, normal portions of everything I made. I'm focusing on dishing Brian and my meals onto salad plates as opposed to using our dinner plates. This will keep our portion sizes down. I want to stick to what the package recommends for serving sizes, especially with things like cereal and what-not.

The other part of my plan is to walk/run in the mornings before it gets too hot. I have been telling myself I can't get out because it's too hot to take Gage, but if we go early that isn't the case. Even if I'm dragging my butt from exhaustion, I can still get out there and walk a bit. It might even help refresh me and make me a little less cranky.

If I could get my weight under control, I know that I could be a happier person, and in turn a better wife and momma. And of course I would be healthier. When I'm always feeling like I'm not healthy, I'm not attractive, I'm the ugliest person in the room, etc, it is hard for me to be at my best. A big part of my issues with how I look is how I feel I reflect on Brian. He loves me as I am, and tells me so, but I can't help but feel that people judge him on how I look. I constantly wondered if his family was thinking about how much I've let myself go when they were here. I know this is ridiculous behavior, but I can't help it. I can't help but think my social anxiety would improve if I could feel more confident.

Don't get me wrong. I 100% know that looks aren't everything, or anything, really. But if I don't even feel healthy, then how can I feel comfortable in my own skin? I can't. But I want to. I want to be a positive, active role model for Gage. I've posted about that before, too. I refuse to give up, even though I've started and failed multiple times. I know you probably are thinking that I won't make it go this time either. But I'm going to do my best, and maybe, just maybe, this time I can make it stick.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekend Update: Cry-it-out edition

I've totally lost count of what night it is... let's see. I last posted night 20 on July 4, so that would make tonight night 25, I guess. It's been going pretty well, Gage has been doing alright despite some adversity with bedtimes due to life conflicts. Currently, he has been going to bed without crying for about a week, with only one evening where he cried a little when we laid him down. We went back in, got him out, and sat with him for another few minutes; we cuddled. He went back down easily and went to sleep. Last night and two nights prior, he did wake up around 11-12, crying. Last night, I went and got him, cuddled him in his rocking chair, nursed him a little, then laid him back down and rubbed his back. Once his eyes got really droopy, I left him, and he slept until 5:00 AM.

It has been a crazy week, so I'm not too surprised that he has had a little bit of issue with sleep. Wednesday, Brian's aunt got into town for Brian's cousin's wedding. We went to Brian's (local) aunt and uncle's house to visit with them and the aunt from out of town; we haven't seen her for many years and she hasn't met Gage. Brian's uncle and aunt that live here are the parents of the cousin who was getting married. After doing our best to get out by 7:30 to get Gage home into bed on time, we got out a little late, and got Gage to bed a bit late. He was also really overstimulated from the festivities and new people. He slept that night until 11:30, and then we let him sleep with us. Thursday night we were home, but when Gage woke up at 12:00 AM, we let him sleep with us again, knowing Friday would be a late night, since that was the wedding (at 6:00 PM, downtown Denver.) Friday we really wanted Gage to have two naps in preparation for a late-ish night, but he had other plans. He got in one late nap, and didn't sleep in the car on the way. He behaved beautifully at the wedding; we let him watch some Yo Gabba Gabba (with the sound off) on my phone during the ceremony so he would sit quietly. Thanks, Droid and Netflix. At the cocktail hour and reception he ran his little legs off. Brian or I just held his hands and walked around with him. He is sure an energetic kid! It was a gorgeous wedding, very much reflective of the bride and groom's personalities.

About 8:45 PM, Gage ran out of steam, so we loaded him up and brought him home. We got home, threw him into PJs, and got him into bed. I went down to talk to our neighbor downstairs for a bit, and we didn't get to bed ourselves until close to midnight. We are not going to be up late tonight!

Today, we went to a bar-be-que at (are you ready for this?) Brian's (newly married) cousin's wife's parent's house. It was pretty fun, but a little overwhelming. There was another Robinson aunt in town for the wedding, with her hubby and two boys. It was nice to spend more time with everyone, but there were a lot of folks we didn't know there too. Since we are both a little socially anxious, it was nice to come home and relax some after all of the social events of the week and weekend. We'll be in bed early tonight, and tomorrow will be a day of rest, relaxation, and maybe even a visit to the swimming pool.