Monthly Archives: June 2013

Piercing Perplexity

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My husband and I are considering getting our daughter’s ears pierced for her first little “half birthday” coming up (6 months). We’re on the fence because I don’t think either of us want to see her cry if it hurts her knowing that we caused it or what to expect on how she’ll react. But we know if we wait til she’s  a little older she will probably fiddle with them too much and get them infected or something. Or should we wait until she’s old enough to decide on her own if she wants earrings?

Any parents out there have any experience with this? Did you get your daughter’s ears pierced? How old was she when you did? How’d she do?

To pierce or not to pierce?

To pierce or not to pierce?

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Slow & Steady

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I mentioned in a prior post that The Hub and I decided to start tracking our meals, exercises and calories with an app. We started it a little over two weeks ago and things are looking good. So typically for a guy, The Hub shreds the pounds in no time (men are so lucky). So far he’s down about 15 pounds (way to go Honey!). Of course I knew it wouldn’t be quite that quick for me.

Going in to my pregnancy I made a lot of lifestyle changes for the better that I (as well as I’m sure others) didn’t think I would ever be able to do – I cut my chemical dependencies on nicotine and caffeine.  Since that time I have gotten used to letting my body rebuild its natural routine without depending on these chemicals so it was important for me to find a natural long-term approach to getting back into shape too. And let me just say that I know it’s not for everyone and I’m in no way saying that this approach is the best for anyone. It was just the best for me. For me cutting my chemical dependencies helped me to get better in tune with my body and its natural schedule and needs and also to flush out the toxins in my system and also not transferring any of that to my daughter during pregnancy or through my breast milk. I used to binge all day on coffee and cigarettes in lieu of eating. I had horrible sleep patterns – staying up super late and then had trouble waking up in the mornings. I was tense and nervous and used smoking or drinking to calm my nerves and help me relax. Now I’m finding sleep much easier to reach at night, waking up a breeze in the mornings and relaxation just as easily attained with a glass of herbal tea or a small glass of wine instead of an entire bottle. And since I’m still breastfeeding I am not drinking a lot so I spend more time thoroughly enjoying and savoring that one vodka cranberry or glass of wine much more than binging on ten.

I knew for me getting into shape after having the baby would be a little more difficult because I had already bettered my diet during my pregnancy and after while breastfeeding. I was going to have to do more than just eat healthier.  I had lost 20 pounds pretty quickly after having the baby (some of which was the baby herself). And the rest was thanks to nursing which helps you lose weight faster. But I had started my pregnancy out heavier than desired so just getting back to pre-pregnancy weight was only half of the battle. So when I hit a road block where the weight loss stopped, I knew getting active was going to be required.  I had missed out on much of that crucial weight-loss time when I suffered a horrible pelvic rotation and SI injury.The other tricky thing is that I knew I couldn’t approach this as I once used to by skipping any meals or substituting them with coffee and cigarettes because it’s critical for me to be eating each meal, making them healthy meals and getting enough calories in order for my body to keep producing not only the breast milk itself but quality breast milk. So, although cutting my calories by any significant amount would surely help me lose weight faster, I knew it just wasn’t possible.

For this to work for both myself and the baby long term I knew that “slow & steady” would be the name of the game. And so far it’s been going pretty good. I’ve lost 3 inches and over 5 pounds in the past two-and-a-half weeks. I know it may seem like nothing to most of you, but it signifies a lot to me. To me this whole plan is not just some short term crash diet that ends like so many where you spend a boatload of money on a new skinny wardrobe only to find yourself packing the pounds back on in no time and then spending a whole bunch more money on new fat clothes. I need to focus on each day individually and not really set any specific “goal” other than being healthy. Once I have achieved that the rest will naturally fall into place.

I am getting a good amount of exercise in each day between doing my physical therapy / core exercises and taking care of the baby and house. We are paying attention to not only calories but also the vitamins we need to be consuming each day and the areas to avoid large amounts of each day (cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, sugars, etc) because you begin to realize it’s not just about getting a certain number of calories every day but getting the right ones coming from the right foods. For the first time together we are focusing on the quality of what we eat as well as the quantity. I’m taking care of my body and helping it to get back to what it’s naturally designed to do.

This is a whole new lifestyle of taking care of ourselves, and maintaining good eating and exercise habits to make sure we are staying healthy so we can be a part of our daughter’s life for as long as possible and also so we can set a good example and give our daughter a healthy life too. We’ve certainly done enough damage to our bodies over the years to ask for trouble. And while we can’t guarantee that we’ll never get sick, we can do whatever is in our ability to naturally prevent it from happening and pay better attention to what we’re doing moving forward. God knows I now have something more than ever to live long for… And it’s not just about living. It’s about living well.

 

It's not just about living. It's about living well.  -The Write Side of Life

It’s not just about living. It’s about living well.
-The Write Side of Life

Holy Missing Fingers Batman! They Named Their Baby What?!

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So for those of you, like me, who have been waiting for the news of baby Kimye’s name, today is the day. People Mag announced that the name has been released…they have named their baby North West. No seriously, NORTH WEST! I can’t quite believe it either. I was prepared for something different since they’re in competition with little miss Bleu Ivy, but I was not prepared for this extreme. Poor thing sounds like an airline. I hope they plan on buying her an airline for her birthday present. That may make it a little better and reduce some of the millions they’re going to spend in therapy later. North West. Wow.

In other baby news, last night was quite entertaining for our little miss Adriana. It’s funny (though not at the time) that babies pick the worst time to go balls to the wall bananas. Last night while putting away the dishes I sliced the top of my ring finger off on a mandolin. On that note, thanks Pampered Chef for such a seriously sharp blade that even with it in safety lock I still managed to create a new lady fingers recipe for your Season’s Best cookbook! Seriously though it was squirting blood like crazy. So Adri picks this time to decide she’s had it with her Bumbo and it’s time to eat. Nothing makes a situation more frantic then a crying baby. After my husband helped me get it all bandaged up with cotton balls and bandaids I took care of feeding her. But then at bath time it started gushing again. So daddy had to get her dried off and dressed for bed on his own and then come help me get this cinematic blood spraying finger under control again. The baby thought it was all hilarious once she was fed and could  just sit back and enjoy the show. By 11:00 I had soaked through a cotton ball, three bandaids, medical tape and was filling up a neoprene glove finger. I didn’t know what to do. What the hell do they do at the hospital in situations like this anyway? It wasn’t a cut that could be stitched. It was a whole piece of finger missing! My mom suggested WoundHeal – a powder that makes it instantly scab to stop bleeding. Turns out that did the trick. It was a messy little procedure but we got it under control.

It still hurts like hell. And with all the chaos of it daddy forgot to brush the baby’s hair after the bath too so her hair is pretty chaotic today. I think I’ll rename her Chaos for today only in trend with the weird baby names. It’s still a better name than North West.

Daddies, Rabbits & Teeth

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dedicated daddies out there! The Kimye baby was born yesterday too – almost a month early after Kim K. elected to have a scheduled c-section. They said it’s because she didn’t want to feel the labor pains but c’mon, there’s epidurals for that. At first I thought that maybe she was doing it this way to preserve the “hoo-ha” but let’s be real, with all the boys her milkshake’s brought to the yard, the damage there is pretty much done. Then I realized she probably just wanted to be able to have the baby for Kanye in time for Father’s Day. How sweet. “Here you go honey, I scheduled a serious surgical procedure more than a month before my due date so you could be an official daddy on Father’s Day. Jay-Z and Beyonce got nothing on that”. Geez.

On a more meaningful note I want to send a very special “Happy Father’s Day” to The Hub who is celebrating it on the receiving end for the first time. Since I met him I have found a great many things that suit him and make me love him all the more. Like his love and appreciation for the outdoors and nature, his fearlessness, his protectiveness, how good he looks in a tux and now fatherhood too. Fatherhood definitely becomes him whether it’s his terror of changing a freshly crapped diaper that’s overflowing (or running to the car to do it when the poop explosion happens while we’re eating lunch…at a restaurant…on vacation), panicking about the baby crying and worrying that she’s hungry (it’s both funny and cute to me that whenever she whimpers he worries that she may be hungry – even if she just got off the boob – and that he can’t do anything for her), the way he talks in a sweet baby voice to our daughter (it never loses its effect on me to see this 6’4″ bear of a man talk so sweet and childish to our baby), his willingness to participate in our natural birthing classes and the strong partner he was for me in the delivery room when it came time to show what he had learned, his faith in me as a mother, or just the way he’s strapped on fatherhood (and a baby carrier) proudly. He is such a proud papa and I love not only watching him be a father but love that I was able to give this to him and that we were able to create this life and this miracle together. So happy Father’s Day, honey. I love you and so does Adri. I am so proud that you are her daddy.

Adri & Daddy

Adri & Daddy

We spent yesterday at my father-in-law’s house frying chicken and eating too much. The Hub and I both downloaded a new calorie tracking app on our cell phones so yesterday was a true test but I happily passed it. Apparently we weren’t the only ones indulging in good food yesterday. We woke up this morning and went to our new vegetable garden to do some weeding and found all the tops of our green beans eaten off. Not like chew-holes from insects but totally eaten off which leads us to only one other culprit. Bunnies. Here we spent all the time trying to create a garden perimeter that kept our dogs out that we didn’t consider other cute little garden nuisances. We never imagined it would be a concern since it’s no secret that our dogs terrorize any creature that comes into our yard- and have killed most of them too. We never thought we’d have a problem with Peter Rabbit coming to steal our veggies. So I guess we’re going to spend some time replanting the beans. Everything else still looks great though. It seems Peter Rabbit is a picky eater. (This is the only time I am thankful for that trait). But at least we’ll get to spend Father’s Day doing something as a family and for our family. The baby cut her first tooth this week so it’s only a short while before she is ready to dig in to veggies!

It’s hard to believe that my baby is five months old already but now that she’s getting teeth I feel like things are moving so fast. She was chewing my fingers when the tooth cut through her gums and almost immediately after it happened I started thinking about how one minute she’s a toothless grin drinking all of her meals and here soon she’ll be sitting at the table with us eating smaller chunks of the same food we are. Time flies. My little Tulip is getting so big. As sad as I will be to say goodbye to the toothless infant months, I love nurturing and watching her grow. When it comes to gardening she’s my most prized crop.

Top Gun 2: Ice(box)Man

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I heard on the news this morning that Jerry Bruckheimer is in the works of putting together a sequel to Top Gun and, more importantly, Goose and Maverick and everyone are all on board.

All I have to say about this is:

1) Yay!

and;

2) The Iceman better stay away from the Icebox because a fat Kazansky just won’t do…especially not for a new volleyball scene!

What the hell happened to Val Kilmer?

What the hell happened to Val Kilmer?

Iceman has become Icebox Man :(

Iceman has become Icebox Man 😦

I wish this was just costume but, alas, Val Kilmer went from hottie to hot dog. This is NOT acceptable!!

I wish this was just costume but, alas, Val Kilmer went from hottie to hot dog. This is NOT acceptable!!

Thought for the Day: Grieving

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In painful times there is no right or wrong way to grieve – only your way. The blessing about grief is that while you are in this darkness it makes even the smallest spark of light seem tremendous in helping you see. So flicker by flicker you begin to return to yourself until once again you are completely surrounded by light. Hang in there.

 

Hang in there

Hang in there

 

Mortgage Hype to Mortgage Hope

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I mentioned on my Facebook page yesterday that we finally may be getting some good news about our mortgage. We bought our house during the real estate boom before the recession so not only did we pay way more than the house is now worth but the interest rate was higher than they are now. For years after the recession i had been calling to look into refinancing options to get our interest rate back down and our mortgage payment reduced. For years they’ve been telling us that in order to do that we’ll have to come to the table with the difference of what we owe and what the house is now worth (in other words, tens of thousands of dollars). Regardless of never missing or being late on a payment and having good credit, the banks just refused to do what I would think would be a simple process of transferring your existing loan into a new loan.

Well, I called the mortgage company yesterday after getting yet another letter in the mail about changes in the laws for home financing and how we may be able to reduce our payment based on new regulations – even if you’re upside down on your mortgage to value. If you own a home I’m sure you get a lot of these too. Many of which are duds or even scams according to our local “Don’t Waste Your Money” news guy. But this was actually from our lender so I called. It looked like it was going to be the same dead end as usual and I was getting really frustrated but then the loan officer found an option where we can basically just transfer our loan balance over into a new loan at the lower rate and a much lower monthly payment. It creates a new 30 year loan but the current loan is less than 10 years old anyway and we’re not planning on keeping this house full term either so that doesn’t really matter to us. We just need some room to breath while we’re waiting to be able to sell this place when the market climbs back up when we wouldn’t be taking such a hit. The other perks are that there would be no high out of pocket closing costs (we actually get a credit) and we would get a free month without a mortgage payment when the paperwork finalizes too. The only thing we needed to qualify for this was a good credit score. Thank God!

All afternoon I kept thinking, “This just can’t be that easy. It can’t be right. There’s got to be a catch”. Isn’t it funny though how you can spend so long (in this case years) arguing the simplicity and logicalness of something only to be told no repeatedly that by the time they come around and start doing it that way and give you a “Yes” you think it’s too good to be true. We are so programmed and controlled that sometimes we don’t even realize it.

Guilty Pleasures

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It was a big joke when, after reading the 50 Shades of Grey series, I came up pregnant. Yes, I apparently am part of the baby boom referred to as the “Shades of Grey Babies”. I always thought the whole Harlequin novel obsession was funny but after becoming totally obsessed with Twilight and then getting caught up in the much more mature Shades of Grey, I get it now. Those damn books are addicting. I guess really it’s just books in general. I love to read. But anytime I can easily picture the characters I can easily get lost in the pages – no matter how farfetched the story may be (Ahem. Such as timeless, glittering, lovestruck vampires or young, beautiful, love hungry billionaires). Throw in a modern fairytale, love story – risqué or innocent – and I’m hooked.

After finishing the 50 Shades of Grey series and being disappointed that it was over (as per usual when I finish a book), I stumbled upon the Crossfire series in my Kindle recommendations. I read the first two in a couple days and was upset when I found out the third wouldn’t be available for months. I had almost forgotten all about it until last week when the third one that I had preordered was downloaded to my Kindle. Surprise! The only trouble was, having a baby made it a little difficult to find time to read. Hell, I’m part of a book club and still hadn’t been able to get started on our latest selection either. But, once you’re invested in a series, you can’t abandon ship. So I made time around the baby’s naps and when she had fallen asleep for the night and was able to finish it in a few days. Now I’m back to waiting for the next installment to be released…only this time there’s not even a projected date or title or ability to preorder like last time. Had this happened before the baby I’d be going stir crazy and throwing myself into a great depression waiting to get back to the characters and their too-good-to-be-true plot. Good thing I’ve got my hands full here so I can pass the time easily!

So there, now you know – Aside from actually keeping up with the Kardashians (I know, I hate to admit it but I can’t help it), the Twilight, 50 Shades and Crossfire romance novels are my other guilty pleasure. Anyone care to share theirs?

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

Shitzenfest: It’s a Pisser

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Nothing quite prepares you for a morning like this – Even with all the new found strength my stomach has developed from being a new mom. Apparently the moon was at perfect phase and the planetary alignment just right to spark a wicked marathon with the bellies of our little ones – both the baby and our fur monsters.

The baby leaked through her diaper not once, but twice overnight but that was nothing compared to the gift I received when I entered the kitchen this morning and found a raised relief map of the Smoky Mountains and Fontana Lake…made with the only pliable material the dogs could come up with. It apparently was one of those projects where squatting in one place just won’t do. I’ve got to give it to them, their determination created a damn good likeness (i’ll spare you an actual picture). Their attention to detail was impeccable down to what appeared to be a small village in the valley. It was quite a masterpiece… Just not one i’d like to hang on the fridge. I don’t know how but I’m surprised I didn’t vomit all over it and ruin their work of art.  Good thing I hadn’t eaten yet.

The only thing I can think, other than the possibility that they got ahold of something outside, is that it’s from changing the brand of food they were eating. We have changed their food before without slowly integrating it with their old brand until it’s gone and since we were out of dog food this go round and a different brand was on sale, we figured they’d be fine. Apparently that assessment may have been inaccurate. But don’t worry, they both seemed just as chipper as usual this morning. Maybe more since they were excited to share their masterpiece.

There isn’t really any comparison for the type of dread this sight conjured up first thing in the morning. Washing toilets with a tooth brush doesn’t come close. Baby shit is a pleasant thought compared to this. Standing over a dumpster in 90 degree heat would even be better than this I think. This is the type of thing that makes you want to just grab the baby and what you need and toss a match. The only thing that stopped me was my dreaded hoarder tendency and knowing there’d just be too much to grab. So with a pit in my stomach and armed with my trusty gag reflex – I got the bleach and set out to clean their dirty work. Then, to reward my stomach for not selling me out and just because I’m now apparently a tough mother who laughs in the face of all that is disgusting*, I had breakfast.

* Okay, I didn’t really laugh at anything but since I didn’t cry (or puke) and still had an appetite afterward, we’ll just go with that.

Since we're being honest, I also didn't look anywhere near this 'put together' either. But hey, it's my story.

Since we’re being honest, I also didn’t look anywhere near this ‘put together’ either. But hey, it’s my story.

Scary Cat, Scary Cat, Why Aren’t They Feeding You?

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Ever since we went on vacation our cat has been eating from larger bowls. Cats are so easy to leave at home when you go on a trip since they do their business in a litter box and only eat/drink what they need. In our case a huge litter box and two large dog bowls for food and water. The bonus to having larger, dog-sized bowls for her is that I don’t have to feed her as often…or so I thought.

Apparently it doesn’t matter if the bowl is a petite dish or a five gallon bucket…when it’s half full it’s still equivalent to “it’s gone” in the cat world. Here I had thought for a whole day that her chasing me around and yelling stuff was just her excitement that we were home. Apparently she’s just cussing me out for thinking she’d stoop to such a level to eat from a half empty bowl. And God forbid you be able to see any of the bottom of the bowl at all (even if the food is totally pushed over to one side). You’d think she was about to implode from starvation. Though trust me, she’s got enough in reserves to last her a while even if the bowl DID go empty for a few hours. She could probably survive in the wild for a couple weeks on reserves if she had to. And to think, there was a time she was eating from the dumpster and not knowing where her next meal would come from. Sure didn’t take long for her to get used to her  current lifestyle.

I can laugh about her frantic meowing at me when I’m walking through the house or the way she scurries through my legs and tries to usher me to the basement door (where her realm resides) telling me in Catinese what I’m sure translates into: “There’s an emergency!The food is nearly depleted! I may DIE!!!” (and probably few names and four letter words). Sure, it’s all fun and games…until shit gets real and you wake to find her staring at you from the hallway, silently plotting whether or not to kill you.

The good news is that I think she knows if I’m dead, her food bowl will go empty. What worries me is whether or not she’s factoring in how long my corpse would feed her. Talk about a damn good incentive to diet!

Scary Cat, Scary Cat, Why Aren't They Feeding You?

Scary Cat, Scary Cat, Why Aren’t They Feeding You? (Seriously she stood here like this for 20 minutes and didn’t move a muscle. Can you say “creeeeepy”!)