Oh wait. It’s Wednesday. My bad.

Last weeks Tuesday was brought to you from a luxurious resort in Scottsdale. This Tuesday… uh I mean Wednesday? From the sofa.

Let’s recap the week. Last week found us enjoying the sights and thrifty shopping adventures of Arizona. It was lovely.
Until:

I should have known things were only going to go downhill from there. I mean this is not a baby that just FALLS asleep on a bed unprovoked. Even if it is an ultra awesome down comforted resort bed. The rest of that day was spent celebrating (er, shopping) with my sister for her 23rd birthday celebration (which was Saturday). Then we were on the plane to come home:

Ella enjoyed the plane ride and wasn’t at all fussy. Clue #2.

The three episodes of unusual poop should have tipped me off. Clue #3. I blamed the travel. We arrived home late Thursday. Tired but in one piece. Mostly.

Then came the vomiting. And more pooping. More vomiting. I was up and down most of the night. Mostly up. Friday 8:30 am I was calling the Big Kids to pick them up from their dads (they had just returned from a ski trip with grandparents). By 8:30 more vomiting. And the lethargy. She couldn’t even hold her head up. I was genuinely concerned and shortly thereafter we were making an appointment to see our pediatrician. We haven’t seen him since Ella was literally 18 hours old. (That’s another story.) In any case by the time we reached his office things were looking up. Ella was able to nurse and keep it down. The diagnosis: Something viral. Awesome. We stayed there for a while just to be sure and then came home. I breathed a sigh of relief. The Man picked up the Big Kids. And our day proceeded on.

I was tired. Like really tired.

Later Friday there was more pooping. And Friday night more pooping. There was luggage and clothing all over the place that had to be put away.

I was tired. Like really really tired.

Did I mention I was tired?

Why am I so tired?

Saturday night more pooping. More. Pooping. Less. Sleeping. I just cannot sleep when kids are sick.

Again. Tired.

Sunday looked better. Kind of. Oh yeah and it was Easter. Oops. Thanks to Staci’s mom for getting me stuff at Costco to throw together some kind of Easter meal that wasn’t pizza. (I should have just gotten pizza.) Ella seemed to be herself and we had a kind of pathetic Easter celebration. There were no fancy dresses. No baskets. No egg hunts. No photo ops. We gave the big kids itunes gift cards purely because we didn’t want to support the tiny plastic crappy Chinese toy industry.

I’m a lousy mother. I was purely in functional mode. Cooking. And trying not to fall asleep standing up. I didn’t even get the camera OUT.

Except for this:

And this (it’s pie):

And this (it’s beer):

And this… The Big Kids teaching Ella to play blackjack.

Hit me.

Sunday night the Big Kids laundry was all done and the vomit was mostly cleaned up and they went back to their dad’s for a couple of days. Sunday night, more pooping. And then more vomiting. What. The. Hell. I gave up and sat on the sofa. All. Night. Long. Every time I’d put her down she would cry in pain. So I didn’t put her down. Instead I watched Brothers & Sisters on netflix (not a bad show, even when cradling an ill infant). At 5:45 I made the handoff to daddy (who had been taking her every morning because I refuse to wake him up at night). Slept 2 and a half hours. Got up.

She looked like this:

I looked like I’d been hit by a truck. Not a small truck either.

And on that note…

Here’s some things:

1. I CANNOT tolerate sleep deprivation like I used to. I just can’t. I’m either too old. Or I’m too old. I used to go 24 to 36 or more hours without a wink of sleep. Now one night and I feel like death. What happened? Oh yeah. I’m old.

2. I am a RN. I have been doused in every body fluid imaginable. Blood? Amniotic fluid? Bring it on. But I. hate. vomit. Not the vomit itself just the act of vomiting and seeing people vomit. Case in point, I myself have not vomiting since I was 5. No shit. (OK I dry heaved when I had my wisdom teeth out. But it took 4 vicodin on an empty stomach to make that happen). I don’t like it.

3. The way that I have learned to cope with vomiting (or sick in general) children is to get up and pretend it’s day time. That’s how I cope. It’s a control thing. This means a couple of things: 1. I’m not awakened abruptly by anyone vomiting on me. Which is nice. 2. I don’t sleep. At all. and 3. My Big Kids actually didn’t mind being sick in the night too much cause it meant they got to watch whatever they wanted on TV while mom set about disinfecting every imaginable surface.

Anyway. Ella is better now.

I still feel a little like I’m spinning in the middle of my own personal tornado.

Thanks for listening.

ella , messed up crap , mothering , OVERACHIEVERITIS , wordy whiny wednesday

Sad. Sad excuse for a blogger.

Sooooo. I’m in Arizona. Yesterday was spent enjoying the terror miracle that is human flight. And trying to keep Ella quiet on the plane. Which meant basically non-stop nursing and essentially showing every person on the flight my entire bare tit.

 

You’re welcome travelers.

 

 

And arriving at our hotel luxurious resort. It’s awful.

(It’s A-mazing.)

Wish you were here to enjoy this:

 

And this:

But not so much this:

Or this:

And definitely not this:

 

That guy grabbed a hold of my leg during my hike this morning. Ouch. Note to self: 90 degrees or not… shorts and cacti = bad idea.

 

Anyway, this place is, well, it’s FANTASTIC. It’s in Scottsdale, which I believe is widely known to be the ritzy part of Arizona. Point made Scottsdale. Two Bentleys was enough to convince me. Thank you very much. Now before you think I’m RICH (cause I’m SOOOOO NOT rich.) I am here because my husband has a tech conference. He works for a little teeny company that you may or may not have heard of. (If you’re American and haven’t heard of it, you might want to just go ahead and admit you are the most out of touch person. Ever. If you’re from another country, I’ll give you a pass, but not if you’re from India, Asia or Europe. NO excuse. Sign up now.) So eBay (who owns Paypal) is footing the bill for the room (but not the room service or the massage I’m not getting because it costs a zillion dollars). We bought my plane ticket and a rental car so I could see my sister who also lives here and not be away from the man I love for yet another week. It’s working out nicely. The Big Kids are enjoying the first part of spring break skiing with their grandparents (well acutally MY grandparents, so their great grandparents, but you get what I mean.)

Last night my sister and Ella and I went out for dinner and a stroll around. It worked out ok. Until Ella started screaming bloody murder in the car like she was being tortured with a thousand tiny needles.

This is my baby. My sister who is like my baby. And a big ass cactus. Ella looks like she loves Arizona so far.

Yeah. Not a fan of the car.

We have a lovely room and a big city at our feet and periodically the Man shows up with a snack he has leftover (most recently some CAKE.) Ella and I went to an AWESOME yarn store called Knit Happens.

See:

 

I mean I didn’t actually BUY any of that yarn because the first skein I picked up was $31.50 and after I picked myself up off the floor and checked myself for a concussion I could only manage to find one ball of eco cotton for $8.50 which is still too much but frankly I felt bad for the puddle of urine I left on their floor when I peed my pants…. so I bought it. And a pair of size 3 needles. And then I RAN OUT. Before I got into real trouble.

 

Also I went to Forever 21:

 

 

It was in a fancy schmany mall that had things like Barneys and a hamburger place that charged $10 for a burger. WITHOUT FRIES.

Is it really necessary for a hamburger place to have a chandelier?

Apparently.

This was a fancy mall. There was a place for dude to get a SHAVE. On their FACE. A whole place dedicated to shaving a guys face. I’m clearly way out of my shopping league.

Anyway. I went ot F21 because I thought to myself, “Self, F21 is the same EVERYWHERE. You can tots afford it.”

Forever 21. Not the same everywhere. Not. At. All.

Moving on.

 

After that sad, sad experience (let’s face it people, I’m not 21) I went thrifting. Yay.

 

I scored three books for me (not pictured), three for my boys (two Hardy Boys. YES.)  and eight for Ella. EIGHT. They were buy 4 get 1 free and all $.99.  Also two fun and funky shirts and a dress for Ella. For like $21. No shit dude. I could have done more damage but honestly I was ti-red. So more of that tomorrow. This was from a place called Savers. Tomorrow a kids spot called Hissyfits is in the line up also Goodwill and the Salvation Army. There are some sweet places in downtown Phoenix I hear so I’ll check those out.

Here’s Miss Lady relaxing in the room (with one of her new thrifted books):

 

Oh and your truly. Moi.

 

 

And now… there is a pool. And it’s beckoning to me, “Joooooonnnniiiiii squueze your oversized caboose into a swimsuit and get out here. (But please fortheloveofgod wear a coverup.)”

 

Ok pool. Ok. I’m on it.

 

And I’ll see y’all on the flip side yo.

j

iphone photo monday , Raegan , thrifting , travel

Weight.

 

I’ve been avoiding it. For like a hundred and twenty-seven reasons. I don’t want to talk about how much I weigh (a lot), because it’s too much (it’s a lot). Also I don’t want to talk about needing to lose weight because I need to, but I don’t really *want* to. And when I say I don’t want to, I don’t even mean I don’t want to be thinner or feel better. Because who doesn’t want that? And I don’t mean I don’t want to do the work. Because I’ve totally done it (I lost 60 pounds and went from getting winded after running 30 seconds to running 10 miles) and I know I can do it. I just haven’t really wanted to because I’m not really disgusted by my body like I used to be.

 

I blame the Man.

 

Damn him for loving me how I am. Damn damn Man.

(He’s awesome.)

 

You may have read the one where I talk about how I used to be like so super skinny. Or the one that caused all the fuss.

 

But anyway everyone has their breaking point and I have reached mine. I am at *THAT* place. The place where I don’t just see myself in photos and think, “oh yeah you’re a little chubby but that’s totally ok. Have a cookie.” I have reached the place where I see myself and think, “How can I immediately destroy this photo? And possibly the camera just to be safe.”

These are the things I know to be true:

1. There are women who lose weight while breastfeeding (Dear Women Who Lose Weight By Breastfeeding Alone, I am jealous. I won’t say I HATE you because hate is a strong strong word. But yeah. You’re lucky. That is all.) I am not one of those women. I have never been one of them even back when I was young (and could eat a cheesecake and not gain a pound) and had one baby I was not one of them. Add four babies and 16 years. It makes a difference. Oy. So breastfeeding is not enough for me. Damn. Maybe if I had triplets?

2. I am not meant to be that thin. I can say this because I’ve been THAT thin (125 pounds which is incredibly small for me) and it was almost impossible to maintain. It’s important to not apply an ideal to yourself that isn’t YOUR ideal. I cannot run 5 miles a day AND go to the gym AND ride my bike. I mean I COULD but I’d never see my children and my husband and I’d be thin but obsessed probably and it’s all about balance. I am round. I am busty. I am soft. I used to picture my 16 year old self and think, “Well that’s the ideal.” No. It’s not the ideal. I was not a grown up woman at 16. I had not given birth. I was not a mother.  I was not 36. Striving to fit into the jeans I wore in high school would just be stupid. Also, they were acid washed which was a bad bad fashion trend anyway.

3. I eat. I am not going to try to claim I starve myself and still am overweight. I’m not going to try to say “Oh i don’t eat THAT much. I must have a thyroid problem.” Because I definitely do NOT have a thyroid problem. Unless the thyroid is where your cupcake drive is. Cause then yeah, I have hypercupcakethyroidism. Like furreal.

4. I don’t have any desire to be a single digit size. Honestly. Size 10 is just fine. When I’ve lost weight in the past I immediately became so addicted to the result of the loss that I kept setting my goal lower and lower. Until eventually I was smaller than I had been since I was 15. And honestly I looked like a really muscular bobble head. It was not cute. Like at all. My husband may feel free to weigh in on this one. (He is the authority on the matter because he has seen me THAT thin. And now. I’m like a totally different person. Or two people.)

5. I like muscles. I do. But I don’t have any desire to be rock hard or bounce a quarter off my abs. I am honestly and truly in a place where I enjoy being soft and round. I actually like being a little squishy. I like that my kids memories of their mom will be that she was soft. Also my husband likes soft. And I like that. That being said I also like shapely calves and arms so squishy in the right places, muscle-y in the right places.

6. And while we’re on the topic of soft and round…I’ll just confess. I am honestly terrified to see what I’d look like if I weigh less than 150 or 155 pounds. While those numbers do not appear in the range of what is apparently ok for my height, I know (because I’ve been there) that at a certain point parts of my body start to deflate. Namely my soft underbelly and Mt. McBoobs. This point was probably around 150 pounds before I was pregnant for the fifth time. I can recall being quite upset that I was thin for all intents and purposes but my belly looked just frightening. Moms, holla. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway. I am not going to get a tummy tuck ever. SO… all this is just my longwinded way of saying I’d probably rather just have a round belly than a deflated one. This also goes for the Grand Tetons. Amen.

So what’s important:

1. Fitness is important. It’s not important that I be able to run 10 miles. But it is important that I can walk and run and chase kids around. And generally not feel like I’m going to have a cardiac arrest walking up the stairs.

2. Food is important. And healthy, fresh food even more so. Cupcakes are important too. Balance.

3. While we are on the subject of balance. Balance is important. I really am a believer in the “all things in moderation” motto. Yes that means exercise. And food. And a good Cab. And time with family. Not in that order.

 

All that being said I have set REALISTIC goals. These are things we all can and should be doing and aren’t extraordinary.  This doesn’t mean I’m trying to lose 10, 20 or 40 pounds, though ultimately I would like to lose some weight. I will weigh myself but only as a recording tool. I’ve been weighing myself almost daily (or at least weekly) since Ella was born and so far I’ve done absolutely nil with that information. So I’m not going to start to becoming scale obsessed now.

Here’s what I am capable of doing at this point. I say capable because I’m not trying to set myself up to fail. I know I can’t (nor do I want to) spend hours at the gym. I like food and my husband and I like to cook and eat together. I also like to bake. And frankly I’d rather eat cake occasionally and be a little bigger than never eat it and be a size 6. That’s my trade off. I give myself permission to love cake. So anyway… here:

1. Water. Drink it. This is so simple and yet for me so easily overlooked. I don’t love water. I know I should but I don’t. So this, while simple, really is a goal for me.

2. Fruits and veggies. Eat them. I do ok on this front but need to do better. There are plenty of fresh and dried things around to eat. So that.

3. Exercise. Do it. Right now I’m doing the 30 Day Shred again. It’s not realistic for me to say I can work out 30 minutes EVERY day, because some days I just can’t do it. But I can say 5 days a week. 30 minutes isn’t that long and I don’t have to leave the house. Also I’d aim to walk with Ella (the Man and the other kids too when they are here) at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

4. Sleep. Get it. You know, when I can. This is probably the number one problem most women (and men) have right now. I am SO CAPABLE of functioning of 6, 5, 4 or even less hours of sleep. That DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD. There are so many studies that show the vast difference between 6 hours and 7.5 or greater. Honestly when I nap I feel lazy. I lay there and tally all the things I could or should do but the fact is it isn’t lazy. It’s really necessary. I lived for many years being proud of myself for functioning on 3 and 4 hours of sleep. I went through nursing school that way and I worked nights that way. There were 4 day stretches where my total sleep would equal 8 hours. In four days. That is not something to be proud of, it’s stupid. Also besides making you stupid, lack o sleep sows your metabolism making your body think it needs to protect you from some awful thing, you know, like NEVER sleeping.  So sleep.

 

This is for ME. Do I want my husband to think I’m beautiful and sexy? Yes. Do I want my kids to see their mother as fit and healthy? Yes.  But this needs to be for me. It’s very easy, especially when you have small children to get caught up in what they need, what your house needs or your husband needs or your friends need. I’m guilty of feeling guilty for being selfish but a little selfish goes a long way in being to able to do all those other things.

So there you go. That’s where I am. Not a funny today but a serious. Because it’s all about balance.

 

So what things are you doing for you?

 

fitness , self-love , serious stuff , weight loss , wordy whiny wednesday

I’m a failure. I completely skipped last week. I meant to post it but then, well, I didn’t. So yeah. ANNNNNyway. Here we go.

TWO weeks of iPhone photos.

We went to the park and played with friends. Or you know, the babies shared toy slobber and the mama’s talked. It. Was. Awesome. I’m very lucky to know a few mama’s who parent the way we do and have babies close in age. (Except some day they will move and that will SUCK.)

Ella got this awesome headband from her BFF’s mom Emily. I die of the cute.

Dead.

April 5th we did One Day Without Shoes. Frankly though, most days around here are without shoes. But you get the point. (Also my friend Staci got me a massage which was FANTASTIC. Like really. It should be a bi-weekly thing for all moms.)

Oh I bought myself some flowers. Cause dude, I totally deserve them.

Annnd on Saturday we took a drive into the foothills to check out a hill slated for bench mining. For gravel. We think this is  a bad idea. For a lot of reasons. Aside from the changing the landscape there is the whole hundred thousand diesel trucks in the already smoggy valley thing. Anyway, we’re environmentalists like that. But take a look at this here mountain.

Also the cows seem to like it.

And this horse. Him too. Despite his abysmal hairdo.

The kids got a kick out of being able to reach out and touch some farm animals. Then we went to In and Out Burger for burgers. Which was both ironic and sad. And delicious. A strange mix of emotions.

Strawberries are back. Yeeees. We will be eating our weight in berries again. No doubt. This is a waffle. Yeah. It is.

There were many days I tried to make the bed. And failed. Foiled by cat and baby. Again.

At least one day where I succeeded. One.

I ran. I wish I could say it was awesome but it mostly was just embarrassing and difficult. Better than last week though. SO that’s something.

Also I took this picture on an unexpectedly foggy morning.

Grandpa came for a visit. This is my dad. You may be able to tell since we share the same *ahem* pumpkin proportioned noggin.

The Big Kids refused to participate in photos. I recorded The 12 Year Old playing guitar then drums then trumpet but was told I may not share it. Twelve is a fun age.

We went to world market again. Where I saw this.

And almost cried.

Oh and these.

And lastly…

Chocolate cupcakes. Peanut butter frosting. Amen.

 

 

iphone photo monday

For days of yore, see here. And this is where it get’s serious.

So years passed… many of them. In 2005 a friend and I were chatting about the Man’s brother (as he was a mutual friend… like I’ve said before, small town). I went home thinking about where the Boy/Man was and what he was doing. Again. I hadn’t spoken to him since his graduation night in 1992 (where I said hello, and swooned, but he doesn’t remember).

I went to work.

I came home.

Rinse. Repeat.

Curiosity was getting the better of me. (For those who will inevitably ask… Yes, I was married. I had been for 12 years. No, I was not looking to rekindle anything, not being shady or seedy, just wondered what brilliant thing he might be doing with his life and wanted to find out. The very basis by which social networking thrives. Duh. (Admittedly more curious about what was going on with him than anyone else I went to high school with.)

I googled his name. It wasn’t hard to find his email address. Thank you World Wide Web. So I emailed him. We exchanged emails and quickly got caught up on each others lives. He was newlywed. I was on my way to a career in midwifery. We filled each other in and chatted about how he was going to be in town for a get together. I told him it was still hot in the valley. He told me he still hated it here.

Caught up on what he was doing with his life (being married, not having kids, working in the bay, playing in a band), I went about my life. He went about his. Etc.

The next year he emailed me at my birthday. (he remembered my birthday?)

I didn’t get the email (an address I no longer used). Another missed intersection point on our life graph.

Then I thought again about emailing him. Just to check in. Two years had passed. Certainly there was a little Boy (or Girl) running around by now. So I came home from work early one morning, got the kids of to school and I shot off a “HEY! What’s going on?!”email. And within a few minutes (literally like five) he emailed back. And no, no little Boy (or girl). He told me about his job and asked me about mine. We struck up a friendship. We exchanged opinions and talked about the upcoming election. We talked about religion. The valley we grew up in. Music. Our marriages. My kids. His cats. Work. We talked about running. Fitness. My half marathon training (and leg breaking). We bickered about why we had never really dated. We found we had a lot in common.

We became fast friends.

This went on. For some time. Like a long time.

While this was happening, other things were happening. My marriage was in the state of discontent it had perpetually been in. And the discontent was getting the better of me. The kids were older now and I was feeling less compelled to stay for the sake “of the children” as it were. I nearly left. Then I decided to stay. I spent nights on the bathroom floor. Sobbing. Staring at my own reflection. Trying to figure out what was the best thing to do. For them. For him. For me. (This is one of those life situations you really need to be IN to understand. It’s an ugly, sad, scary place.) The Man, as a good friend should, told me I should get to work on the marriage. And fast. For the kids. The vows. Myself.

I did.

Months passed.

It didn’t get better.

What happens next is certainly not the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to two people. But also far from ordinary. It sounds a little Montel Williams, only no screaming and punching.

I left. (The marriage that is.)

{I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it all eventually worked out.}

Anyway… After I left I decided to go see the Boy/Man.

I hadn’t seen him since I was 17.

And I. Was. Terrified.

But I drove to the Bay where he was living. A heap of trembling flesh. Sad but relieved. Scared but hopeful. Lonely but not alone.

And there he was. The same. But different.

And I fell into him the way you fall into a pool on a summer day in this valley’s unrelenting heat. Completely. And with reckless abandon. And all the way to the bottom.

And I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said that he fell into me the same way.

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is the other half of your puzzle?

All the corny, cliche things that they make romantic movies about?

Yeah. That.

This happened in September.

Of 2009.

Go ahead. Do the math.

I wish I could provide you with some tale of an extended romance. Of courting and wooing. Something drawn out that would keep you suspended in anticipation. But the truth of it is, when you meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right away.

And so it goes.

The months that followed were a blur of seeing each other when we could, talking on the phone until the wee hours and trying to build our future. All while trying to pick up the pieces of the past. He met the kids. I met his cat. By October we were partly co-habitating with him living in the Bay and here. In December we were getting engaged.

By the beginning of the year we were making a baby.

Then buying a house.

Then getting married (admittedly a little out of order)…

I call this one “Feigned indifference”

THEN having a baby:

And that, my friends, is our story.

Sometimes smack in the middle of an ordinary life, the universe gives you a fairytale.

He is mine.

love , marriage , the man , the story of we