September 24, 2010

The Week in Rant: A Mommy Bag of Rant

Let's start the day off with some controversial stuff:

Formula Recall
Dear Breastfeeding Mommies. I totally get why you are grateful to be breastfeeding on a number of levels. However, please understand, not all women are able to breastfeed for a number of reasons. I was one of those. Because I was unable to breastfeed, I had to give my boy formula. I had to. I had no other choice. Not because I was forced to. Not because the doctor sent me home with samples (which by the way, they gave me plenty of breastfeeding supplies as well prior to baby being born). Not because I was lazy. I had to. My baby needed to eat.

I hate that this formula was recalled. Gross. Nasty. Scary. I truly hope I never hear of such a thing again, but here's the deal, some mommies have to buy this stuff. This doesn't make them terrible mommies. How can a mommy wanting her baby to eat and live be terrible? We mommies, ALL mommies do what they have to do for their babies. Even give them formula.

Elmo and Katy Perry

Who complained that this was inappropriate?! Sorry if you're one of them, but seriously... My 2 year old is an Elmo freak. Show him anything Elmo and he goes crazy for it. When he saw this video he wasn't pointing at Katy Perry's boobies. He wasn't thinking that Katy Perry is too sexy. He has no idea what that is all about. All he cares about is Elmo running around laughing and the funny girl singing the catchy song. Chill out people!! It's not like she was throwing down f-bombs and smoking a joint with Elmo.

Getting Rid of Nuk
It's true what they say, the older they get, the harder it is to break them of the habit. At age 2 we are down to nuks with naps and sleeping. We were able to cut it out during the day pretty easily by the time he was 1. He was just starting to go without it during naps when they moved him to his new Early Preschool class- the transition was just too much and he was causing some issues with the teachers and his lack of napping and crying, so we said let's put it back in the mix and then we'll ween off of it again. Nighttime has been another story altogether. This nuk is like crack- even in the morning when he gets up, we ask him to put the nuk down and he takes a couple more "hits" off of it before completely letting go. What is with these things?? So, I asked for some advice from my mommy friends on Facebook, here are the suggestions I got back:
1. Tell him that mama bird took them and flew away (huh???). With our boy, I'm thinking we'd have to say that the backhoe at the house construction next store dug it up and shoved it into the ground.
2. Have him throw it away in the garbage. If he understands that is where trash goes he'll make the connection and no longer want it. I can dig this option, however... what if it is still a disaster and he has thrown all of his nuks in there and then we have nothing to fall back on?
3. Cut the tip or make holes in it. Unfortunately this idea is out as our kid has already punctured his nuks to the point of my considering they may be choking hazards.
4. Cold turkey. One mom responded and said that is is most likely harder for the parents because they fear it will be a total disaster. Yup- this explains us perfectly.

So, over the past few weeks, we have been trying to plant some seeds. Telling him that if he loses his nuk at night to just say "Uh-oh. Bye Bye nukie." We've also been letting him know that since he is a big boy, he's not going to need nuks anymore. We've also been waiting for a weekend that we don't actually require sleep. I think that weekend is here and it is time to give it a try.

September 21, 2010

Back on the Wagon... Again.

I'm sure this is about the hundredth time that I have blogged about being "Back on the Wagon". I have to wonder, how many times is it going to take for it sink in? How many times do I have to fall off before I can truly make a healthy lifestyle work for me?

As usual, I have my excuses. I have had a nagging cold for almost 2 weeks now. Good times. As I'm hacking out a lung, the last thing I am thinking about is getting on the treadmill and running a mile. Or, the seemingly endless amount of parties, showers and events over the past few weeks. Good excuses, right? RIGHT?

I struggle with my motivation both with eating healthy and being active. There just seems to be nothing that is enough to get me to take the step to truly get and stay on the path.  A bridesmaid's dress wasn't enough. Ill fitting clothes isn't enough. $130 coming out of my checking account for a gym membership that is barely used isn't enough.

It is nothing like a good Bridesmaids dress try-on in the closet to realize, "Oh dear god... If I gain one single pound, this thing is NOT going to fit me on November 6th." I have my official fitting next Thursday. Not really enough time to make a difference, but enough to know that I have to keep things in check. Although my suddenly tight Bridesmaid's dress was definitely a factor it was also a realization that I had following my son's 2nd birthday party. I avoid getting my picture taken like the plague. I am so sad that I have so few pictures of me and my little guy. I don't want it to continue being that way. I want my confidence back! 

Getting on that treadmill last night was total torture. I trudged down the stairs as though I was dragging a 50 lb weight behind me; but, I turned on Dancing With The Stars and was able to ignore the countdown of time on the giant treadmill display. 20 minutes went by quickly and I moved on to my weights. I felt good and asked myself why I always dread working out so much- I really didn't have an answer! I do feel as though it is yet another thing to add in to an already busy day. By the time the kid goes down at 7:30p, I feel like that is my first opportunity of the day to just breathe, zone out and veg. But no more. I can do just as much mental zoning out while on the treadmill or taking a walk. I can do it!

Food on the other hand is a whole other story. I've been on Weight Watchers online for on and off since before I got married 5 years ago. I go through periods where I do well and follow it religiously and then I just either get bored or forget about it. In my new revelation, I am back on plan. I went back and added my points over the weekend and was ashamed at myself. No wonder I have so many issues. I really need to work on self control and just saying no and not feeling badly if I hurt someone's feelings by not eating their cake or sharing an appetizer mozzarella sticks. Prior to getting pregnant with Jack I was on a weight loss tear- I lost 15 pounds and felt awesome. I want that back again and am determined to do it!

I really hope this is my last post about falling off the wagon. 

If you are a person who has had to constantly work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle- what do you do to stay motivated?

September 17, 2010

The Cost of Being In A Wedding

Firstly, let me say that I am totally honored to be asked to be a bridesmaid in my brother's upcoming wedding. Despite the fact that my future sister-in-law has a million friends and adding us to the mix made the wedding party enormous, she insisted that my sister and I be included. How do you say no to that? Not to mention my husband is an usher and my son is a ring-bearer (THAT should be an interesting moment for a 2 year old...). Most wedding party honorees know exactly what they are getting into and know that this honor is not a cheap one to accept.

Our Costs for The Wedding Party Honor:
Dress: $125
Lingerie (good god... I need a new bustier): $45
Alterations: $75
Shoes: $65
Hair: $50
Mani/Pedi: $50
Tanning (yes... this is necessary... gotta fix my tan lines!): $75
Shower Gift: $30
Bachelorette Party (Bus, Food, Liquor): $100
Wedding Gift: $75 + (not sure what we are getting quite yet...)
Husband Tux: $80 (? could be less)
Ring Bearer Outfit: $30
Ring Bearer Shoes (yup... shoes...): $30
GRAND TOTAL:  a shocking $830

I'm hoping my husband doesn't read this or he's going to freak out about as much as I did when I added this all up.

Did I mention I am also singing in this wedding? My time and talent = no charge. What was I thinking? 

Considering I am amazed that my brother actually met someone as great as lady love, regardless of the cost, I am proud to stand up for him and honored to be included in their memories for many years to come.

September 15, 2010

The Great SAHM Debate: Conclusion

Today is a bummer day. I just got a call from an ad consultant who has resigned from his position. We've worked closely together for the past couple of years and is one of the few ad reps I have actually trusted, not to mention he treated me like a real client, regardless of the fact that my company isn't exactly a big commission check for him. In our conversation this morning, he made a point that I have often tried to make for myself: If it ever stops being fun, I will walk away.

I have spent the last few months contemplating my professional fate. As I have mentioned, a lot of things have changed for me at my company. Some good, some bad. Nobody likes change, especially me. I'm not good at it. I like routine. There are many things over the past few months that I have learned to live with in terms of these changes. Sure, there are also many things that continue to nag at the center of my soul, but I also have learned that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. 

If you haven't caught on yet, I have decided to stay at my job despite some of the... challenges. I have found that it is a much different world when you work at a job because you want to and not because you have to- it makes some of the challenges a little easier to deal with. I just cannot bear to pull Jack out of his daycare environment- he has friends there, loves his teachers and I am shocked at the education a 2 year old gets at this place. There were so many more factors involved in making this decision and when it came down to it, our son's education and continuing to build my career regardless of the bumps in the road won out in the end.

I'm sure the envy will mount when I get e-mails from the local SAHM's for donut get-togethers after "sending the kids off to school" (seriously... what do these women DO all day?). However, I will then pull out the memory of picking up my son from Early Preschool and watching him give a hug to his best friend Andrew. I'm not going to be the one to break up a pair of best buds.

September 11, 2010

How 9/11 Turned Into a Happy Day

On 9/11/01, I walked into work and found a group of employees hunched around a TV- they told me that the World Trade Center was burning. They weren't sure why- was it a bomb? A plane? We then watched in horror as another plane few into the 2nd tower. This wasn't a movie. This was real. For days, I as glued to the television, watching the coverage, crying. I picked up the phone and called my loved ones just to say I love you. I never forgot.

2 years ago, 9/11 gained new meaning for me. My little boy decided to make his appearance 3 weeks early. My dad came to visit me in the hospital and he said, "Bummer that his birthday has to be 9/11, huh?" I looked at him with a confused look and said, "No! It is because of my son that we can now smile and celebrate on this day. He's made this day a reason to be happy." I continue to hope that his date of birth will mean that he will keep on surprising everyone and make those around him smile for a lifetime.

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet Jackson Robert. You are loved and celebrated in every way.

September 10, 2010

And The Discipline Begins

Like my own mother, I am a pushover. My sweet boy's big brown eyes stare at me like saucers when he does something naughty and he knows it. I scold, but when those giant saucers fill up with tears, it takes all of my willpower not to throw my arms around him and tell him its okay, even though his behavior was clearly not.

We started watching Supernanny over the past year. As we watched, we would say, "No way is my kid ever going to be that naughty." As my little angel is about to turn 2, we have noticed that he does things knowing that they are wrong but does them anyway. No amount of telling him NO over and over is going to stop him. So, we decided to give time outs a try. I know they don't work for everyone, but for us, they were like magic. The first attempt was a disaster, he was upset tyring to get away. The second time was a little better and now, he knows. When we say time out and take him to his naughty stair, he sits there, doesn't move and cries his eyes out. When his 1-2 minutes are up, we ask him if he understands why he was in time out and he tells us! Crazy! Then we tell him we love him and give him a hug.

Since the day he was born, I secretly dreaded having to discipline him. Would I do it right? Would it work? Will my kid be like one of the naughty kids on Supernanny? This whole parenting thing always seems like one big experiment. Trial and error. We just do the best we can. Discipline is a necessary part of parenting and it is hard to find the right fit. It feels good to know that everything we have done for Jack up until now has been the right thing. He is a sweet boy and we are so proud.

September 07, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Review

For nearly two weeks it seemed as though my husband and I were two ships simply passing in the night coupled with tag team parenting. So, we decided that Labor Day weekend would be only about us. We vowed each day to do something fun, just the 3 of us, as a family. We meant no disrespect to family and friends who wanted to spend time with us, we really just missed each other and wanted some alone time.

Friday, September 3. Children's Museum
I cannot even recall the last time I set foot in the Children's Museum, but let me tell you, this place is simply incredible. We weren't sure where to start, and were even more unsure of how much to let Jack run free. Thankfully, we discovered the Habitot where our little guy could run around and be a toddler. He loved it. A sensory explosion, he ran around like a crazy man, climbing, jumping, crawling through tunnels, exploring...

It started getting a little packed in there so we moved on to the Wizard of Oz exhibit which he enjoyed- plenty of buttons to touch, wheels to turn and corn to run off with.


We finished off our Children's Museum adventure in the Earth World. Jack loves all kinds of animals so this place was perfect for him. He ran through log tunnels, stared at the giant turtle for eons and went through the tunnel and down the slide about a million times.


We finished off the day with dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Turns out my kid really hates their high chairs. Due to 2 year old sitting on my lap for the entire dinner, no pictures were taken. I gave new definition to how quickly you can eat a Chicken Tender Wrap.

Saturday, September 4: Burnsville Center
I didn't take any pictures of this adventures, but it was a good one. Jack was due for some new shoes, so we ventured out to Stride Rite at the mall to take advantage of their buy one get one 50% off sale. Stride Rite decided that they didn't need to open promptly at 10am like the other stores so we paced back and forth outside their store with an impatient toddler waiting for them to open their doors. As suspected, Jack wasn't really up for any feet measurements. Not sure what he thought the lady was going to do to him, but he wasn't having it. I quickly got him away from the poor sales lady and over to the really bad play toys they had in store, which my teething toddler decided to of course try to chew on. If he's not sick in the next day or two I will be amazed. We then headed to Baby Gap in search of new jammies and of course treated our son like a little doll- putting hats and coats on him and doing our best to keep him entertained while the lady in front me in line threw a hissy fit that they didn't have an appropriate sized bag for her little gift card (ummmm... how about the giant purse you are toting around?).

Jack was pretty excited about his new shoes and much to my shock and awe, he refused to let us take them off.

Sunday, September 5: Minnesota Zoo
We became members of the MN Zoo this year. We live close and Jack absolutely loves the animals so it is a perfect entertainment (and educational!) investment. This visit was no exception and Jack was in prime form (aka, good mood).

He cruised in his brand new wagon

Made new friends

Enjoyed time with his daddy

It was a perfect day and one he is still talking about today at his first day of Early Preschool. In his words: "I had fun at zoo. I saw sarks and goats and BIG BIG wooster."

Monday, September 6: Home Sweet Home
We didn't do anything adventurous on our last day of Labor Day weekend, but we did spend time playing, reading, running, chasing and all the other fun things to find in our house.

It was a great family weekend and we are all finding it increasingly difficult to get back in the grind after so much fun.

How did you spend your holiday weekend?

September 01, 2010

The Definition of a Blog

I was followed the other day by a new author. He isn't published yet, but through his Twitter and blog he is chronicling his journey.

In the first line of one of his posts he says, "Up to this point, I've written about my topics generically. After a few tries, I think I can conclude that what I've written to date isn't what blogging is all about." However, he never goes on to define what blogging is all about! A woman left a rather snarky comment: "Is the purpose of your blog really just to share thoughts on how to be successful as a writer? There's already a plethora of blogs out there filling that niche -- maybe do some research to see where you could add something unique? But if the real purpose of the blog is to cultivate readers interested in your writing you might want to just share excerpts and hold off on writerly advice till the book is actually published. My $0.02." While in many ways I agree with her comment in relation to this particular blog, it got me thinking about my own blog. Does it need a purpose? Am I doing something horribly wrong?

From Dictionary.com:
Main Entry:   blog
Part of Speech:   n
Definition:   an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log
Example:   Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.
Etymology:   shortened form of Weblog
Usage:   blog, blogged, blogging v, blogger n


So if this is the definition of a blog, in a general sense, why should I even consider that there is something wrong with my blog? Why does a blog need to be only focused on ONE thing? I don't think it does! My blog is a perfect representation of the dictionary definition of a blog: an online diary, a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page. Sure, I lean towards blogging about some main subjects in particular; however, I love my blog just as it is. It is an outlet for me to rant my thoughts and feelings on a variety of subjects that I am passionate about. I have been blogging about everything and nothing for over 4 years and I love that I am able to go back and relive great moments, cry over the sad ones but most importantly I have found that I have stayed true to myself in my writing. My life isn't about just one particular subject, it is a tapestry of many which is what my blog is a reflection of.

I'm not looking to be published. I don't pass myself off as a writer. I wouldn't even care if I made a penny or a thousand dollars from my blog. I would love to have more followers, not for bragging rights but as an opportunity to have conversations with a variety of interesting people.

What is your definition of a blog?
 
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