Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Running Again

I'm back bitches! 

That's how it feels anyway. The dark clouds that has been looming over me clouding every moment seems to be parting and allowing some of the suns rays to poke through and warm me.

Last Monday I laced my running shoes up and met my dad for our first run together in weeks. We started slow. My left ankle was hurting, I didn't know from what, but I couldn't bare another day without feeling the cool air on my face. Legs carrying me forward, arms pumping, heart beating strong, mind clearing. 

That is just how it felt. I ran just over a mile and a quarter. The plan is to add a quarter more at time. Yesterday I ran a mile and a half. Still feeling good, more and more like myself again. No pain in my foot. I realized the other day it's time for new shoes, but that's no big deal. Soon.

The Tall Guy came with me this weekend and yesterday morning (my running partners out of town). He wants to do a 5K. I would love to help him get there. It will help me too. To help someone else always helps you.

This week on The Walking Dead, Hershel said, "A sad soul will kill you faster than a germ", and even though I'm not in the thick of a zombie apocalypse I would argue that is a true statement. My sad soul was killing me. Now that I can run again, I can shake that sad soul and get back to living in the sunshine. One mile at a time.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Candles Lit, Warm Wishes

Last night we, a few women, lit a candle. It was a candle for a woman who had begun her labor. 

We lit them in hopes it's light and our wishes for her and her babe would reach them and give them both strength.

Last night as it's light flickered I thought about my own beautiful delivery and baby boy. I wished for her the same love I had surrounding me that night. I went to bed trying to send, across all those miles all the strength I could muster for this new mama. 

I fell asleep smiling. Thanking God for all our blessings. Remembering the weight of my baby boy the first time he was in my arms. I slept so soundly and peacefully.

In the morning I checked my phone, no news.  I watched the candle and hoped all was well. 

My son is two now, life is so different than when he was an infant. 

I planned my day and went about my business. Still waiting.

Tomorrow I'll get to spend time with a good friend who is awaiting the birth of her little girl. When she goes into labor I will light another candle, and send her all my love and prayers. I'll spend lots of time thinking of my own baby. Funny how pregnant women and newborn babies always flood us with memories of ourselves and our own children (0r is that just me?). It's a beautiful reminder of how connected we truly are as women.

When I got the news that her son had been born this morning at 10:16 am, 8 lbs 10 oz, 21.5 inches. I was so happy for her. I celebrated by blowing out the candle, wishing them the best and then drinking a great bottle of wine and some outstanding brie. Just two of the things I missed most during my pregnancy (and the wine for much longer). 

Women thank you. Thank you for your beauty, strength and grace. Mommies, sisters, friends and fellow humans. Without you we would all suffer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What We Are Reading: Spot Goes To School

Two weeks ago we were getting Animal ready for his first day of school. We started with a visit to his classroom, and then we started reading books about starting preschool. We don't always read books that are timely with real life events, but I couldn't think of a good way to introduce the idea of school to a boy with limited life experience.

His favorite by far was: Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill. Spot is a lovable puppy (who you have probably already met if you have a toddler) with simple, fun stories that let children relate and enjoy real life experiences in a whimsical way, he (Spot) fast becomes a toddler favorite.

We have read this story a minimum of three times a day for the last  two weeks. This book is a lift the flaps book, which are very popular for the two and under crowd.

The first few times we read he couldn't help but look under the flaps as soon as I turned the page. Now with thirty plus times having heard the story, he patiently waits, little fingers itching to lift the flap, until I read the page. He's picked up a new word and laughs as he shows me what's under the flap. It's fun for both of us. Some books really benefit from you making silly voices, but the Spot books are very engaging with only a little enthusiasm from you.

There's also a website where you can have FUN WITH SPOT. Check it out, lots of information about the author, other titles, games for fun and learning and of course you can buy Spot books there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Is For Anxiety

I know part of it's from the inactivity. The craziness brewing in my head. It's been years since I've had this kind of anxiety. The only thing that makes me feel better is drinking coffee, eating sweets and a nightcap. This is not my best me. I wish I was in a different place right now. Not physically, but mentally.

I want to write, I have ideas. Really good ones. Ones I'm excited about. I'm working on some of them, but the anxiety keeps me frozen. Keeps me from pulling the laptop out and getting started. Seeing my blog name depresses me. I'm not in running shoes, I haven't been in weeks. 5 weeks. Not because my baby doesn't sleep, not because I'm a walking zombie, just because I can't. One more week. I just have to make it one more week.

There's a secret fear adding to the anxiety. What if this isn't  just a simple sprain as diagnosed? What if it's the beginning of the end for me? I've been injured before. It took a full year to get my running back on. I need this. I need this so bad. More than I ever have. I need to take care of myself so that I can be healthy for my son. So I can be a good example. So I can care about myself more. So I can have some peace and quiet. Some piece of my life that is mine, just mine.

Last Friday, was Animal's second birthday. It was a fun and exciting day. Animal started preschool. It was so wonderful, but it added even more anxiety. I thought with the first day behind us the heavy weight of it would be lifted off my chest and I would be able to breath finally. Sleep soundly again, but I was wrong. Last night on the eve of his second day, my mind raced. At first I was able to settle it packing lunches, getting nap bedding together and picking out the next days schools clothes. I even washed that nights dinner dishes, THAT NIGHT, something I always leave for the morning. When I crawled in bed I couldn't pretend it was just extra energy or even just efficiency. I had to admit what it was and practice all my mind clearing tricks to be able to let my exhausted body sleep.

It was restless sleep. The weight of the anxiety getting heavier and heavier upon my chest until I just couldn't breath if I didn't get up.

I had a post planned, one about Animal's first day. Another about his birthday weekend. Even one about his first school cold. All things I had planned to write about over the weekend and Monday night. All things I can't do because this anxiety keeps me from living my life. Even from typing.

I pulled out the laptop because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I thought it might cheer me up to write about any of the topics mentioned above. Instead ANXIETY leaked out of my fingers and onto the screen. At least a little of the weight was relieved and for that I say thank you.

I'm going to publish this now, edit later (that's my style anyway because I'm a shitty editor, if anyone wants to volunteer...)

Anyway, I know I'm not alone. It's comforting. So I invite you to share your anxiety with me. In the comments...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Preschool Prep

This Friday is Animals first day of school. I have been waiting for this day since I had to leave him and go back to work.  It's so exciting and nerve wrecking. 

Being a mom has made me so much more sympathetic to parents. I thought one of the reasons parents liked me was that I "got it", and I kind of did, theoretically. Being a parent is what I thought, I just didn't realize what it actually felt like. I know we're all different, but the all consuming love, anxiety, exhaustion, joy, and responsibility we feel for our children is more or less the same.

A little example is, I don't want my son full of empty calories and chemicals and hormones, so I shop and cook accordingly. I have my reasons. Maybe you have other priorities, for your own reasons. I have never respected parenting styles and choices more. 

Not to say I don't have judgemental moments, when a kid brings in a hot dog from AM PM for lunch. Once upon a childless life, I would think to myself, I would never feed my kid that and I certainly wouldn't send it in a school lunch. 

Now, I shake that judgement away. I don't know why they sent that. Maybe it's their kids favorite and they begged for it and the exhausted parent gave in. Maybe they forgot their kid's lunch and had no time to run home or stop somewhere else. Maybe they don't have money till payday, but they do have a gas card. Maybe it's none of my business, because their child is happy and I know their parents love that child. Before being a mom I would have let my personal beliefs slam the judgement book shut. Now I know better.

Last Friday we had a school visit planned, so Animal could get familiar and so we could meet with the director (my boss). I was so nervous. So anxious that I couldn't sleep, could hardly breath from the weight of that anxiety on my chest. How would he do? Would I be able to control him in this sort of situation? 

 I know it's a great school (because I work there). I know it's going to be a wonderful experience and that he is going to grow and learn so much. However, when I look at him I can't help but see a baby. I very energetic, emotional baby. Not a small boy. 

Even though I see a baby, that's not who he is anymore.  He is a small boy, and he is ready. (If he wasn't going to be in my class) I would be one of those moms crying outside the school on the first day. I always imagined what that must feel like.

But now I know.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Broken Record

We're two months into a new school year. For me, this means I'm more or less a broken record. There is a short list of things I say daily. At least 5 times a day. Each.

1. "Fingers out of your mouth, please." I say this so many times a day, I could possibly just put it on a loop in my classroom. It would catch someone with their fingers in their mouth 4 out of 5 times. There are 2 variations of this I say just as often, so technically, if the loop just included "Toy out of your mouth, please." or "Hands out of your pants." Then I would catch someone in the act, every time. Every. Time. 

2. "You need a tissue." and "Fingers out of your nose,please." Lest you think fingers only go in mouths and pants. No, toddlers like their fingers every where. Every. Where.  I say this 10 times a day, and just as often I say (frantically) "Don't put that tissue back in the box! It goes in the trash can." Do you ever wonder why children get sick every year when the school year begins? It's because, while children are amazing beings, they are also filthy creatures.

3. "Let's wash your hands." I say this so much. Luckily most two year olds don't mind this at all. It's a chance to get wet/play with water. Mostly they love it. Thank God, or the illnesses would be year round.

4. "We don't walk around with food in our hands/mouth." or simply "Please sit down." Lots of toddlers snack on the go. I know, but I'm not going to lie, this one drives me nuts. Nuts. Only children who only eat on the go have to be told daily, multiple times to please, sit down until they are finished.

5. "Does someone have a dirty diaper?" I change so many diapers. So. Many. Diapers. I'm sure I can honestly say it's well over 25,000 to date. I wish I was kidding, but I'm really not. It's one of the only times in my day where I can't believe how little I make and under appreciated I am.  Don't get me wrong, I make more than the average American woman (because I work at a great school, my field is terribly underpaid) and I have benefits. Not to mention I love my job, and it's way more than my paycheck for being a caring mommy. It's just that I change some heinous diapers and that is just the most diseased, filthy thing you can be in charge of. Think of the disease that would spread if I didn't sanitize properly. Okay, I'll get off my soap box. 

So there you have it. A day in the life of a broken record. If that broken record happened to be that of a preschool teacher, in a two year old classroom.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's This?

Halloween. It's a special time of the year. 

It's a time when we can enjoy all things spooky, and kick off the holiday season. There are ghosts and goblins and silly scares and heart stopping terror if you're lucky. B movie horror and haunted houses abound. Fun costumes and candy, really what's not to like?

Halloween was it's best as a child, but can still be incredibly fun as an adult. Now that I have a son, I get to do it all over again. Only even better. Is that crazy of me? Don't answer me.

There's one thing I hate though...

It's fucking Christmas being shoved down my throat two months too early. WTF!?! I love Christmas and all, but I don't want all that loving man kind shit, when I want to possibly find a hot french maid outfit to give the hubby a treat in. 

I know this topic has been done to death over the last few years as many of you feel this way, but this has been an especially tough month for me and I don't have much in the way of creativity. 

I've been sidelined from running, and when I can't run, I'm just lacking. Lacking in energy, creativity, and the right chemical balance in my brain. So this is all I could muster about Halloween this year, but it's not any less true.

Now for the a sad and happy farewell. 

This is the last Theme Thursday.  I'm a little sad to say goodbye, as it has afforded me so much support, good times and a wonderful creative outlet. I'm also ready to say goodbye. Jenn its creator, has become a contributor on In The Powder Room, and is working her butt off to make her writing goals come to pass. Starr is also kicking ass and taking names as a paid writer. Lori has been featured on Scary Mommy and continues to grow as a writer. I've been lagging behind, but I have gotten published twice in the last year. I'm ready to try to step it up, learn some shit and make my page look (and be) professional. I love to write, and I would like to perfect my love into a craft. 

Most importantly, TT has given me support and friends. When I first became a mom I felt very isolated. I was so in love with my family, but felt so lost and like such a failure in most areas and a small success in other areas.  I needed a community where I could freely say, my son's a cockblocker. I can't sleep. I'm celebrating my sons first birthday with moderate drinking, after forced sobriety, as well as how I planned to make up for that 20 months. I can't add a link for that because I write a lot about drinking. Theme Thursday meant a commitment and I needed that. 

Thank you to Jenn, who not only came up with this awesome idea, but for welcoming me. I had no blog, and she gave me tips, encouragement and friendship. Thank you Jenn, Starr, Lori and all the great bloggers who have participated, read, and or shared anything I've ever written. Now because of all of you, I have a place where I can put my thoughts, my worries, my truimphs, failers and joys. I am forever grateful and can't wait to share more. 

To read my first post, which I posted too soon and so it was not officially a Theme Thursday post, click here

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Escape Artist

I had been waiting for this day since the day we moved Animal from his bassinet to a crib.

I had been waiting for the morning, or night, that we found him wandering around his room, instead of in his crib where we left him. 

All children do this eventually right? I've seen it in movies and TV shows, and you know what? It's way cuter when it's not your kid, but I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty fucking cute. 

Still adorableness aside, I don't want him wandering around his room when we can't watch him. 

You know those Martha Stewart moms, who's houses are immaculate? 

The children's rooms are perfectly decorated and no sharp corners are left exposed? The decor is color coordinated and they hand made all the wall art?  I'm not that mom.  I'm crafty, the hubby's an artist, but we are the biggest procrastinators. 

Before Animal, his bedroom was our catch all room. It was also our art/craft room. All the hubbies art supplies, a large table, futon, my scrap booking supplies and everything we ever bought that we didn't know where to put just yet, were housed in that room. Oh and it was filled to the brim. It looked like an Episode of Hoarders in there, minus the pizza boxes, bottles of wine and dead pets and/or rats. That room is what gave our home some semblance of tidiness. 

Literally the weekend before he was born we boxed up our Hoarders episode and moved it into it's new home, the garage. 

His room has furniture we want out and/or is not safe for a toddler. Like a full size futon. Boxes of clothes, to sell, to keep and to donate. Books, not just his board books on his shelf but art books, dictionary's, anatomy, scrap books, and his dad's sketchbooks. There's a metal easel, The outlets are covered, but Animal either has a death wish or really wants to be electrocuted, he's always trying to get to the plugs to do God knows what.

Anyway, one night we tuck Animal in for bed as usual. There is silence coming from his room. We feel safe that he's down for the night. I open a bottle of vodka and pull out the laptop. We here a little cry, wonder if something woke him up. 


I keep drinking. The hubby decides to jump in the shower. He heads down the hall. He comes back a little later and says, "this guy has torn his bed to shreds, I can hear him in there. I'm going in." I raise my glass and say, "Okay". 

The next thing I know the hubby shouts for me. I panic, we don't talk when we go into his room so I imagine the worst; Animal covered in shit that he dug out from his own diaper smeared all over the crib and himself. 

What I see when I get there is my son standing in the middle of the room, clothes, blankets, and wipes strewn all around the carpet. The wipes box in one hand and a wipey in the other. An impish grin on his face, and a gleam in his eyes. 

His dad picked him up and checked his diaper. In the meantime I picked up the wipes. Threw the clothes in a drawer and got is bed ready again. I walked out. The hubby tucked him back in and walked out.

After he shut the door the hubby said, "Well you knew this day would come". I said I did. He was nearly 20 months old, it was about time. I was proud of him in a way. He was a little person, more and more each day. Doing what his heart desired. Being a little rebel. I only wish I could know what he was thinking and watch it happen. 

The thing is, his room is not roam free territory, but it needs to be. We listened at the door.  He climbed out 4 more times that night. Each time we went in, didn't say a word and put him back in his crib. It took about 45 minutes after that first time before he stayed in bed and finally fell asleep. 

The following night we did the same, only we were misjudging and were going in before he actually climbed out. We decided to buy a video monitor on day three. 

Guess what? The little fucker went right to bed. We walked out, turned on our expensive little toy and that little punk didn't even move. Just closed his eyes and went right to sleep!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I've been racking my brain since last Wednesday when we changed the Theme Thursday page and put the new writing prompts up.


I kinda hate to DIY. That's why I'm so broke all the time, because I pay others to do it for me. I'm envious of the DIY people. It's awesome to install your own computer, down load playlist onto your mp3 player or bake your own fancy cakes. I'm just not the kind of girl. I'm more a leave it half done kind of girl. 

I have several hobbies. Except for a few awesome necklaces, some cards other people have thrown away and a few scrapbooks (and no, none of them are baby books) I don't have much to show for it. Well, except for a ton of supplies. Seriously, I could host crop nights. 

I love the idea of starting and completing a task. The satisfaction of getting something done. Also I love keepsakes and being able to show off a new skill. What I lack is focus, organization and a deadline. I am great under pressure. Not so great at time management. 

I wont bore you with all the things I've tried or even all the things I still plan to try. I just want to share one DIY success story.
Pureed Veggies anyone?

I made my own baby food. 

I'm not talking about breastfeeding (I did that also) but while pregnant I read a lot about the benefits of making your own baby food; You know just what's in the food (no guessing what those scientific sounding words are on the label), freshness, baby is less likely to be a picky eater and more likely to be an adventures eater ( I don't know about that, just something I read) and here's the one that sold my never tighter budget ass it will save you money. 
I still use this bad boy. I made flourless, high protien pancakes

In my mind I'm sure I thought if I bought all the stuff, my mom would just do it for me. I realized soon that she's old school and she would make "baby food" as she saw it. Oatmeal, mashed fruit, and soups. Nothing wrong with that. But I started buying all organic stuff. The more I read the more I wanted things to be done in a precise manner. Like certain fruits and veggies first, then spices, some tofu and lastly meat. That just isn't fair to ask of someone else. So I started using my amazing Baby Beaba. I had a couple of make your own baby food recipe books and it was so easy. Sure it took 1-2 hours (eventually 2-3 hrs) every Sunday to make and freeze the weeks food. In all reality though it was fun. 

I honestly enjoyed making his food. Watching him try this and that for the first time. Mixing things he had had to make new combinations. It made me feel like a "good" mom even if I had to go to work and miss hours of his life everyday. 

First Taste of Peas

I got great tips from a friend who had done it for her girls. We never had any tummy troubles. No vomiting,  no diarrhea,  no constipation. He was (is) an adventurous eater (that could be genetic his parents are adventurous eaters too). The best part? It was way cheaper! When he got closer to a year I started buying the organic squeeze packs for convenience and because he wanted to feed himself but had little coordination or patience to do so. They are as cheap as 1.28 and as much as 2.19 around here. That adds up quick. 

Click here to see more DIY tales
or add your own 

If you're on the fence about this DIY project, I say take it on.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Change a Haiku

Change a Haiku 

Acorns falling 
low hanging branches- plentiful
Children gather delighted


Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Thought I Was Past This...

I just wrote about this. Like two weeks ago. Also it's been on my mind in the past...

I have been extremely under the weather this week. Animal seems to have something also. He is a super healthy boy (knock on wood) except for some heinous colds, we have been golden. Thursday morning when I opened his bedroom door there was a horrendous stench. If you are a mom, you know the one. Vomit. Fucking vomit. It was on his PJs, the sheets, the breathable crib liner, and his teddy. I was scared. Scared to look too closely at anything else. I just threw his lovey, and blankets in the hamper without examination. 

I made a doctors appointment and took him in Friday. 

I think I made a terrible choice when picking our pediatrician. In my defense, she tricked me. We met her at our birthing class and she fucking sold the shit out of herself and her practice. The hubby and I gobbled it up. 

She really seemed to be all about her field. The nursing staff at the hospital also seemed to really like her. To be fair, she was really cool when he was born.

Since then however, well, it hasn't been a love fest.

We haven't seen her much, we mostly get her nurse practitioner or other doctor in her office. Some of them are awesome, some are not. She seems to have no patience for my high energy, temperamental son. That would be fine, if she was a waitress at Sizzler. She however is a pediatrician, that means she chose to work with children. They come in a wide array of temperaments. I know, because I also chose a profession that revolved around children. That means no matter how I feel inwardly about a certain persona, I am patient, kind, understanding, firm, and a professional. I don't ignore my "client" if he is a pill. 

Here' s the other thing. Any toddler in that situation can be a nightmare. Mine often is, when he's there.  I can see and feel her annoyance, and it's unsettling. 

At this visit, she didn't speak to him. Only to me. She asked me to put him on my lap, and she asked me to help her examine his mouth, ears, heart and lungs. She asked me how old he was, which I found to be super annoying seeing as she has his chart before she walks in and he's been her patient since birth. 

During the 15 minutes she spent with us, she told me "He doesn't talk". I told her, he didn't speak much, but he did have over a dozen words he said EVERY DAY, and more that he said occasionally. She repeated that "he didn't talk", and told me she wanted him to see a specialist. (Oh in case you wondered about his health, she said he was fine, his throat was irritated, he didn't need medicine. He would recover on his own) That could be. I'm not denying that he may need a specialist, I'm not a speech expert, but she didn't say hello or goodbye to him (two things he can say). She didn't try to engage him in anyway, and she didn't listen to me when I said he could talk, or even challenge what I said by asking him a question. I mentioned he'll be in preschool in just a few weeks when he turns two, and she said "why wait? You don't want to wait with speech delays"., A completely reasonable notion,  I have asked at the last two well baby appointments about a speech delay. The last two times when I was the one worried, I was told "he's a boy and in a bilingual home, don't worry, this is normal".

On her way out the door, she asked me to stop and see Cindy (the receptionist) for the appointment with specialist. 

Animal threw another little tantrum on the way out of the office because he wanted to play at the train table in the waiting room. I felt bad for him. I'm reading a discipline book right now by Dr. Karp, and it says in there to imagine myself as a toddler, always loosing. Being smaller, weaker and with less words than practically everyone around me. It's given me a lot more patience because it's so true. He just wanted to play trains, but first I whisked him away to be poked and prodded, then to be strapped into his car seat. It's no wondered he reverts to fussiness.

In the car, once music was playing, he looked at a favorite book happily. Pointing and asking "Es que?", saying "ball" and "car" when he found pictures of those things. When we got to Grandma's he didn't fuss, he just waved and said "Bye". 

On my way in to work I did a mini soul search. Am I just not wanting to believe he may have a speech delay? Is it just wishful thinking on my part because I am his mother and I only want to see the best picture of him? I would say that is a total possibility. Honestly though as I recently mentioned, he really and truly is speaking. Clearly, I'm not the only one that understands his words. Is he very verbal? No. Working with his age group also lets me see, he's not that behind any more. 

We're going to see the specialist. It can't hurt, right? If he does have a problem the sooner we know the better. I get that. I just refuse to let this person (doctor or not) who has spent only 15-30 minutes in the last year with my son. Tell me who he is, based on a mediocre (at best) visit. 

If you were me. What might you do? Or think about all this?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Is Clutter a Collection?

click here to see more

Collections. Do I collect? 

Yeah, I'm a pack rat. It's terrible. Worse still, I'm married to another pack rat. Wait there's more, he thinks that he isn't a pack rat, and that I'm the only one that holds on to everything. So you can imagine what my home is like. On the plus side, we're not Clean House crazy.

Here's a short list of things I collect or have collected (and therefore still have in a box somewhere). 

Mickey Mouse paraphernalia, I have silverware, a toaster, a waffle iron, cake pans, jello molds, bedding, coffee mugs, stamps, stationary, phones, stickers, books, vinyl toys, I'll just stop now. I'm embarrassing myself.

Movies. We love movies. We own lots.

Vinyl toys. I wish I had lots more.

Scrap booking/card making supplies. I own so much scrap booking and rubber stamp paraphernalia that I have several storage containers for it. Not one, two or even three. Several. How often do I scrapbook? Since I got pregnant. 1 night for 3 hrs. So, that was money well spent. Oh and how often do I make cards? I've made like 30 thank you notes, 20 invitations, and 10 random cute cards and 30 almost finished Christmas cards. All in just 15 years. It only cost me about $600, so totally worth it.

I also went through a jewelry making phase. So I have tools, cases of beads and natural stones, wires, clasps, and toggles. 

I love belt buckles. I have a nice little collection of them. My favorite doubles as a flask.

I collect clutter. There I said it. Also hobbies. I'm a collector, but I'm trying not to be.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You Cannot Beat The Television

You cannot beat the television.
The television, television.  -OK GO

I've been a couch potato for as long as I can remember.

Scooby Doo, Sesame Street, Burgugas (Mexican show in the 80's, you can YouTube) are some of my earliest childhood memories.

I can name a lot of other cartoons, children's shows. I can spend whole days in bed doing nothing except zoning out to whatever strikes my fancy. 

I really, really wanted to avoid that for my son. I had a plan. No TV till two, then limited screen time from then on. 

Well we all know how that turned out, right? You don't? Read it here, I'll wait.

So I spent a lot of time beating myself up (as did the hubby) then I made peace with it. At home he gets 20-30 minutes Monday through Friday. On weekends as little as nothing (except Football ALL Sunday, not that he cares. Unless we cheer, then he cheers too. Epic cuteness) Or maybe a family movie we try to watch. He'll pay attention to pieces, but I can't say he watches. At my moms, I don't know how much he gets to watch. When he starts school in just a few weeks it will drop dramatically as he'll be at Grandma's two days less a week. I think we'll be just fine. 

In the meantime we have found two shows approved by both the hubby and I that we LOVE.

My Number 1 pick, Super Why! (the hubby's #2)

Art work by me, no not a 7 year old

This show is awesome. I love the reading readiness, the message it sends and "Hip Hip Hooray (the super readers saved the day)". No matter if Animal paid attention to the episode or not (but almost always yes) he starts dancing and throws his arms up in the air. I love it. I especially love the idea that if you have a problem you can't figure out, you can find the answer by reading a book. It's the same message he'll be getting from me his whole life, because when I don't know something that's how learn about it. 

My Number 2 pick, Team Umi Zoomi (the hubby's #1)

It's such a fun show. Completely age appropriate. Fun with shapes, counting, and patterns. Math skills are super important and this is a great show to get your preschoolers mind engaged. I also like the music in this one. 

Animal also likes:

 Peppa Pig (harmless, age appropriate and fun)
Yo Gabba Gabba (lots of fun, musical, my favorite song; Don't Bite Your Friends)
Bubble Guppies (learning, music, and funny. I like this one too, the hubby can't get over fins)

I can't stand Dora the Explorer. I just can't.

The hubby can't stand Ni Hao Kia-Lan. I was sad about that one, because I think it's cute and Animal likes it. He (the hubby) doesn't like it because he thinks the characters are whiny and that after they're whiny and pout, they get what they want. I don't always agree, but they are whiny. 

I still watch TV.  A lot compared to some. 

Compared to my old self however, I'm down 50-70% a week. The only day the TV is on all day now is Sunday, but when the football season ends that will change. I'm pretty happy with that.

How about you? 

This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration. To add your two cents or to see what others are watching. Just click the TT button.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ten Awesome Things...

Ten Things of Thankful

10. A strong, loving husband. Last Sunday I had this terrible piercing pain shoot up from my right foot and up my leg. It was too painful to put any weight on it. I cried, crawled around, and the hubby was kind enough to carry me. I am so thankful he is strong enough to lift me, and kind enough to do so.

9. Friends. My wonderful friend, I used to call nursing student, but now I'll call her Nurse (because she is now an RN), was kind enough to drive me to and from the doctor's office and to and from my mom's so Animal could be looked after. While I was looked after. She also kept me company and made the whole 3 hrs (I ended up needing x-rays too) fly by.

8. My mom. She watches Animal Mon-Fri, and because she can and is willing to do so, I can have peace of mind all day. Occasionally when situations like this arise, I don't have to wonder how I will contain, watch over or chase my little guy. For that (and everything else a good mother does) I will be eternally grateful.

7. Paid sick time. Man, what those days and the knowledge that my misfortune need not be my families financial worry, mean to me. Is hard to express. I wish everyone was so fortunate.

6. Health Insurance. Not having to freak out about how I will pay to see a doctor, or sweat it when she sends me to get an x-ray is a wonderful feeling. Not waiting a day, or two, or more wondering if it's something serious is something I treasure. I wont lie, I feel equally guilty that some people don't have that luxury. I can't believe using that word, luxury, is appropriate. 

5. That it was only a sprain, and not a fracture. No walking (for exercise, or for fun) for 2 weeks. No squats for the same amount of time. Here's the one that puts a lump in my throat. No running for 6 weeks. No Half marathon in October. The kicker? I'll have to start squat challenge over from scratch. I was on day 22, I had done 185 squats that day. More than half way done. Also, I'll be back to 2 miles tops for a while and have to work my way back up. All the while being scared of getting hurt. I've been there, done that with other injuries. It sucks. Still, it's only a sprain. Only 6 weeks, and I'll be walking and squatting sooner...

4. My bloggy/Twitter friends. Once again, thanks to you all. I feel hopeful and not so depressed. The jokes and well wishes make me feel ready to jump back and kick ass!

3. Instagram. This social outlet has been inspiring me left and right to do better. Be better. Focus and recharge. I'll be sharing more on this in an upcoming post.

2. Pictures. Does it ever boggle your mind how quickly you can capture a moment and hold it forever? I love photography. I always have. Now with our digital cameras, and our smart phones you never have to miss a moment. When my son was born we took so many pictures. When I want to relive any of it I just open the scrapbook, my phone, or the look through the prints. It's beautiful and amazing.

1. Life. Getting to live it. Getting to share it. Praise God that I am lucky enough to be here. Thank you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goals, Lofty & Not

Goal -noun 
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

We all have goals. Some that we share, others we keep close to our chest.  This month, in the coming months and in the next year I have somethings I'll be working on.

Peach Protein Pancakes
1. Cook more. Eat clean. I've been working on this one for years. I have a feeling that it will be a life long pursuit. Unless I won the lottery tonight. Then, I may be buying expensive stuff from the deli at Whole Foods. Something I rarely do because it cost the same as going out to dinner, except I still have to do dishes.

I was selling tickets to a gun show
2. I sprained my foot. So my mission to be a ripped bitch has been side lined. No running for 6 weeks. Have I mentioned I love to drink? The only time I take a drinking hiatus is when I'm training. I love dessert. I love cheesy things. I love pumpkin things. (We're just about to kick off the eating lots of delicious things season) I need to workout. I need to kick it up about 10 notches and I needed it a year ago. Now the goal is to not gain any of the weight I've worked so hard to loose this year. Then I wanna see this girl again...

3. Write more. Write for money. So that one, I can call myself a writer and answer the questions such a statement brings up. Two, I can add money to Animal's college fund.  What ever I can add the better of we'll all be. 

Write about the things I love. Being a mom. Fitness. Health. My family. Drinking, and eating.

Here's a nice little graphic of some good times

4. Finish school. I've enrolled in school, met with a counselor and it turns out that it's completely possible to graduate with a part time schedule by the time Animal graduates from preschool. Right now, that is exactly what I need.

5. Be the best mom, wife and me I can be. 

Sometimes I'll fall way short. As long as I'm trying. As long as my efforts, aim and the end is insight. I'll be proud of myself. Chances are I'll be getting closer to my goals, if I just keep trying. One tiny step at a time...

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Puts A Smile On My Face

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Just knowing Fall is officially here in a few days puts a smile on my face. I can't think of anything I don't like about fall. The weather, the food, the holidays, short days and long nights are all wonderful.

My love for the Fall season started when I was a kid. Fall meant the beginning of a new school year. To me it means a fresh start and fun times ahead. Every school year I was ready for acing the year. Making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones. Meeting new teachers and getting smarter and older.

The weather in the South Bay in autumn is outstanding. There are a few unseasonably hot days, so you get one last chance to wear favorite summer outfits and sandals. Crisp mornings perfect for running. Lots of perfect sunny days so that you can walk and hike. Falling leaves, colorful leafs, beautiful trees everywhere. 

Pumpkins. Pumpkins of plenty, everywhere you look. Big ones, little ones. Orange or white. For decorations and for treats. I would argue that pumpkin could be put in anything and make it better. Pumpkin is like my bacon. Pie, pancakes, muffins, bagels, milk shakes, cookies and coffee of course. All are special to my taste buds. It's probably the only time of year I love to cook. True I don't make the Thanksgiving dinner. I do however make a pumpkin cheesecake and a killer cranberry sauce.

3 months of holidays ( I know Christmas is in the winter but we start celebrating the day AFTER Thanksgiving). My sons birthday is in the fall. I love that. Then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I am an early to bed, early to rise girl. It is not uncommon for me to be asleep by 8. It makes me a rather odd bird to most people and I hate going to bed when the sun is up. Also much to other people's surprise I would like to sleep in. 6:30 to 7 is a much better time to wake up in the morning. If only the sun wasn't up so darn early. In the fall it isn't. So on the odd night I'm up till midnight I'm still getting 6 hours of sleep, more sleep than I did when Animal was a baby. Also, on those fore mentioned unseasonably warm days it cools down faster than mid summer. So you can enjoy your evening to. Jacket free but without sweltering heat while trying to catch some zzz.

 Plus I think autumn is just inherently romantic. It's a wonder everyone doesn't have a summer birthday...

Every one loves the fall right?

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Es Que?

Es Que?

Guys. Animal is 22 months. Almost two years. I can't believe how fast the time has come and gone. He's huge. More than half my height. I still think of him as a baby. Not just because he can barely use a spoon with any real proficiency, and not just because he's my baby. 

It's mostly because his verbal skills are still not what Baby Centers emails lead me to believe is "normal". 

I'm not as freaked out as I used to be about all this. 

Animal is almost two, and two year olds, I know. I know them well. 

Animal 's vocabulary is not very big. At this point he has 10 words/phrases. He says: Hola, Hello, Bye, No, Oh no, Car, Ball, Es Que? (that's: that what? in English) On ta? (instead of Donde Esta? (where is it? in English).  Hi-ya (as in K is for karate kick; hi-ya)

That doesn't worry me the way is used to. I have had so many two year olds that only say No. Or Mom. Or wah wah (for water)  in Sept/Oct when they start the school year and by the end of the year you wouldn't have known they started with less words that their peers. 

I'm actually feeling pretty confident that he'll be fine and that by his second birthday he'll have about 2 dozen words. He understands a lot. In English and Spanish. If anything I'm worried that he'll lose the Spanish as English becomes more and more the predominate language. I find that I try to speak more and more Spanish as we get closer and closer to starting preschool. I'll be pushy like my parents were about him keeping up his other native tongue. 

So funny how I went from feeling like a crappy mom because my son hardly had a word, to being super scared he'll lose his bilingual status in the next few years. 

Growing up I didn't realize how important it was that I spoke, read and wrote in Spanish. Now I can't express how fearful I truly am that he wont share those skills with his grandparents, me or his extended family. 

Now as an adult I can appreciate what my parents gave up coming to the United States. 

I can't imagine leaving everything you know to go to another country, in hopes that your offspring will have more opportunity's than you could offer them in your own land. Can you fathom it?

I've never asked my parents if they realized they would create these hybrid children. Who speak another language, identify with a different culture, and are like strangers. Even more so than is the natural scheme of things as children grow into adolescents and into adulthood.  Literally not speaking the same language as your children?

That's too deep for me today. 

We'll talk about that another day. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Difference between a Butt and an Ass

The hubby has been on my case to open an Instagram for weeks now. I think because he's secretly jealous of my Twitter following (compared to his. Not because I'm a juggernaut or anything) and wants to have more followers than me (somewhere) again. After dragging my feet on the whole thing because I'm on social media overload as it is I finally opened one a few weeks ago.

What have I found?

Well besides a few IRL friends, I have found: cats, dogs, food, fashion, aaaannnddd fit girls. Have I mentioned how badly I want to be a fit girl again ? I'm inspired and re-energized! I got really lazy after the 100 mile challenge. I couldn't get my ass out of bed in the morning. My warm comfy bed. It is still my dream to be an athletic woman someday. As I've mentioned before, I will never be a skinny girl, but a toned, sexy, fit girl? Hell yes I can! Hard work. That's all it takes.

These ladies post a ton of pictures. Not just of their toned bodies. They show you their workouts. Correct form. What they're eating and post encouraging words. I am so inspired. I'm ready to have a new mentality.

The last few months have been hard on me. I've been up and down the same 3 lbs all summer. 138-141. On the one hand I kind of don't care. I'm wearing a lot of pre baby clothes. I look in the mirror and I like what I see. A "normal" woman. The hubby? He's a happy guy. That makes me BTW, a super happy wife. So there doesn't seem to be a lot of motivation for me to step away from the cocktails.

Except when I take my clothes off. My gut (can't call them abs without laughing), legs and under arms are less than okay. I have been having this inner dialogue. A dialogue that says: I'm 35, and a mom. This is as good as it gets. It's cool. Get over your self.

Instagram and the fabulously fit women on it are changing my mind. Not totally. Maybe it's time to give up on the idea of weighing a buck twenty five. However maybe, just maybe I can tone up and be truly fit at this weight. I have shifted my focus. Of course I still plan to run. I love running and hope to be at it until I'm OLD OLD OLD. Maybe it's time to focus on getting strong. Not maybe. It is time. And I'm ready.

I found a challenge. This girl is fucking amazing. You can follow her @cctchickentuna. I'm on day 17 of this challenge and I'm loving it. The hubby has started buying me panties again. I feel great.

The wheels in my mind are turning, my imagination is racing. I feel like a jack in the box ready to pop from the anticipation of just doing it and the self satisfaction I'll get as a reward at the end. Self satisfaction and a nice ass, that's really it's own reward isn't it?

Here's the Challenge:

I'm not getting any younger, and you know what?

It's not fun, getting older. It sucks that we put on weight, when our calories in, to our calories out have not changed. We eat the same number of really yummy dinners. Drink the same number of wine glasses with dinner and the same number beers on Football Sunday. But our jeans get tighter. Even though we run the same number of miles, maybe more.

There are little lines on my face I don't remember ever seeing before. More than a grey hair. My skin is loosing it's youthful glow. Or so it sometimes feels. You know when it doesn't feel that way? When you set a physical challenge and then you work hard to meet it.

You wanna know the best part? Everyday that you get up a little earlier, or find that time in your busy day to say; "Right now, in this moment, it's about me. It's about me and this amazing thing called life. Right now I'm respecting me, my body and my soul's need for my mind and body to work together". You'll feel at peace with yourself, because you'll know it's true.

Digging deep in my in my well, for the desire to be my best self, is hard. It hurts and it doesn't come easy. Every time I do it any way. Every. Time. I feel good. I never finish a work out and think, well that was a big waste of time. Never.

When it's over I have an incredible sense of accomplishment, and that's good for one's health. As is the strengthening of ones body. It strengthens your mind too. So let's do it! Who's in?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Parenting Wins

Parenting wins.

Sounds like the kind of topic I would be excited to write about, right? For me this is often a wonderful, but difficult area.

Mostly I feel in the trenches of life. Stuck in the day to day. The humdrum. Always so busy.

So there isn't much time spent in thoughtful reflection.

If there is, I'll tell you what I'm not likely to be thinking: How well I am or I am not doing at this parenting thing. If I did, I would be much more likely to see the fails than the wins. I'm also more likely to share the fails. Like I did here, here and here. Why? I don't know. I think it has something to do with being a female.

When I read the writing prompt this week, I didn't know what to write.

I asked the hubby.

Me: "If you had to pick a Parenting Win, what would it be?"

Hubby: (with hardly a pause) "When I became one."

What a simple and beautiful fact. 

(I should end this here, but I'm a blabber mouth, so there's more)

He went on naming moments when he felt pride in his parenting skills. It was nice to hear him name them. I agreed with all of them.

That got me thinking. There are things I certainly see as parenting wins.

Like, Animal is a happy, healthy and active boy. He's becoming a person and I can tell he feels safe in expressing his wild ways. He feels safe to do so, because he feels safe and secure and that is a WIN.

Sometimes, like all moms, I'm pressed for time. Instead of cooking him a healthy breakfast, I make him a PB&J, wash some fruit, put it on a plate and call it a day. I hurriedly pack our lunches and if he catches sight of green beans, broccoli or some fruit I'm chopping up, he'll go crazy. He stuffs his little mouth with big bites of veggies. Or at dinnertime I watch him shovel brown rice into his mouth like it was ice cream. He loves salmon. It makes me so happy. It is an amazing win for me to see his love and appetite for things that are not typical toddler fare.

The biggest win for me as a mommy however is a regular bedtime.

Oh how we struggled the first weeks and months of his life. Time has softend the memories of sleepless weeks and months, but I KNOW it was horrible. I was just a shell of a person trying so hard to be the best mommy I could muster. I was living past exhaustion on a daily.

I was so envious of other mommies with their little sleepers. They could just take their baby anywhere because they slept in their car seats, their carriers, their arms. Not my guy. Only attached to a nipple (my nipple) it felt like...

I was desperate for sleep. I asked other moms what they did. What I heard was: Nothing, because their babies just napped and slept. Or they used a family bed or cry it out. Well my son didn't nap without lots of help. We tried the Family bed, only that would turn into the mommy and me bed, and I just couldn't let my husband sleep on the couch every night. Not to mention I hoped and prayed that we would have a sex life again and that was not going to happen with us in separate rooms. Last we didn't have the heart for cry it out, plus we live in an apartment. Who wants to listen to someone else's crying baby? No one.

I read articles, books, message boards. I watched You Tube videos, read blogs. Then one day I happened upon a book on Amazon. I ordered it, read it and took it's advise to heart. As did the hubby. It worked. Like a charm.

We have had our ups and downs. Not so many downs anymore. This morning Animal woke up at 6:40, I walk into his room and pull him out of bed at 7. Even though he can climb out of his crib, he didn't. He waited for me to walk in, then instead of reaching up for me, he climbed out of his crib and ran to me for a morning hug.


This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration. To read or join in just click the TT button.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Early Bird Gets The Worm (and all that jazz)

This is me, if I were a card stock bird
I've always been an early bird.


I know what you're thinking, my parents were blessed.

One of my absolute favorite stories my dad tells about my early childhood is just so me that I can just see it perfectly. Picture if you will, a cute little chubby cheeked toddler of the seventies. I would wake in the room I shared with my parents when the sun rose, then stand quietly in my crib, bottle in hand. Just waiting. Waiting for what you may wonder?  Waiting for either of them to open their eyes. So that I could hurl that bottle straight across the room at their heads. "Feed me you lazy sons of bitches"! I can only imagine my cute little toddler self screaming. Only in Spanish, because I didn't speak English then. I didn't make a peep my dad always says, he would sometimes pretend to sleep and peek at me through barely opened eyes, and watch me, watch them. I wouldn't throw the bottle until their eyes where open and I knew they were awake. Yeah, I was a thoughtful tot.

I still wake up with the sun, and I like waking up with the sun.

I rarely need to set my alarm. That my dear readers is a beautiful thing. When I do sleep in till 6:30 or 7 am I'm still up early enough to feel like I have the world to myself and hours and hours ahead of me.

On the weekend that is especially nice, I can get some morning nookie, catch a movie or some trash TV. Run to Starbucks alone. Go to a Weight Watchers meeting and be home in time for breakfast. 

Even on the weekdays it's helpful. I run, sometimes I even run a quick errand. I wash the dishes, make the lunches, if I'm not abstaining from coffee, I make myself a large cup to leisurely sip through the hurried morning. Make and eat breakfast. Shower. Then I get Animal up so we can play for a little while before the rush begins. If I wasn't an early bird I wouldn't have any time we'd be rushed from the moment I hit the snooze button and I'd loose those 15-20 minutes of silly time with my little man.

The hubby, if he was made by a teacher with
too much time and card stock on her hands.
The only down side to being an early bird is that that makes me an early to bed kind of girl. Not a problem in itself, nothing a well timed RedBull on a night out can't fix. The problem I have found is that I'm in love with, married to, and raising a family with a night owl. If I forget to drink that highly caffeinated beverage, I fall asleep in the middle of a movie. Sometimes at 7:30. On date nights. At the theater. At concerts I wish I was kidding, but I'm totally not. Even at parties, and I'm not talking lame dinner parties, I mean really good parties, where lots of shit was happening.

We've learned to make it work. I remember to get my dose of caffeine as needed for nights out. I let him sleep in to the last possible moment on weekdays, he doesn't complain about me crawling out of bed so early in the morning, and I don't complain about his crawling into bed so late at night. On the weekends he gets up early so that we can have the whole day, and I stay up as late as I can.

I think Animal's gonna be an early bird, we keep his room super dark. He still manages to get up with the sun. I can only hope that keeps him an early to bed kind of boy. So his mom and dad can continue to get a little alone time.

Theme Thursday is part of a multi blogger collaboration. To read more or link in just click the Theme Thursday button.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two Truths And A Lie

This week is another interesting Theme.

Two truths and a lie.

This could be fun, or serious. It could be an essay or a short story. It's really a meaty topic, and I'm excited to read everyone else's post.

A Phony.
I feel like a phony a lot. Like I'm living someone else's life. Someone who is just a sheep. Someone who doesn't think for themselves. I do all these things that I never thought I would do.
I'm such a consumer. Such a conformist. It's so easy to be one. I didn't mind so much before. Before I became a parent, but now that I'm responsible for another being it's hard not to be disgusted with the person I am; If I look to closely at myself. I guess I don't mind being a hypocrite if it's just me. I'll even call myself out. To be one when someone so impressionable is looking at me as a model for how to be a human. It kind of kills me.

Lazy Bones.
I can be so lazy. It takes a lot of thought and cajoling for me to get shit done. Cleaning. School. Running. Cooking. Even writing. Sometimes I'm just kind of on auto pilot and not much gets done. It's not because I'm depressed. It's just because I'm lazy.

Looking from the outside in. You might think I'm confident. I'm friendly, and I smile a lot. I talk like I have a clue. Mostly because I do, but having a clue and actually being...anything, well that's completely different. I'm actually worried and scared more often than I let on. I worry, because I do have a clue. I know what I should be doing or what the score is in this world we live in. I may appear to have the confidence in myself to get things done, and let's be honest sometimes I do get things done. The truth is that, that is a lie and a lot is left to be done. Conquered. Changed. Moved past. Solved. Taken care of.

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