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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things are heating up, so it's time to cool down

Things are definitely heating up around here, and we are doing our best this week to keep cool...a feat that you don't expect to have to accomplish living in dreary Seattle, Washington. This place is known for coffee, Pike's Place, rain, and mild temperatures. Not this week though. Yesterday it hit a record-breaking 102 in Seattle


Considering that we do not have A/C in any homes in the Pacific Northwest, this has been pretty difficult to overcome. We have been getting creative and getting out of the house this past week to do what we can to keep as cool as possible (this includes eating fast food so I don't have to cook in a hot kitchen).

We've spent loads of time at the community wading pool this week:

We splashed:

We bonded:
And we left feeling refreshed:


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weight loss after pregnancy..

1 year ago, I was happily glancing in the mirror every morning to see how much my belly grew overnight. I was chowing down on Rocky Road ice cream, pumpkin bread, cookies, cakes, pastas, chocolate bars, icing out of a can, and-of course-pickles (not all at the same time, of course), all this time thinking "I can eat what I want! I'm pregnant! Once I have this kid, I'll go back to eating healthy and losing weight. For now, though, I'm enjoying this excuse."

Oh boy...little did I know that a year later I would be regretting all those late night binges. I had no idea I would be anxiously getting up in the morning to check out my belly in the mirror and see how much smaller it had gotten overnight (only to be disappointed when it wasn't). They say it takes 9 months to put the weight on, and should take 9 months to come off. Well, the 9 month mark is quickly approaching and I'm still hovering right over my pre-pregnancy weight. I still have 5 pounds to go, not to mention the additional weight I would love to lose before even thinking about getting pregnant again.

I don't believe in "fad diets" such as Atkins, South Beach, Slim Fast, Special K, etc. What happens after you lose the weight? Have you learned anything about proper eating habits? I can pretty much bet that weight comes right back. Because of this, I have found it a bit difficult to find legit weight loss info online. There are a very few things I have learned, and for the most part, I try to incorporate them into my daily eating rituals.

Firstly, I have learned a lot about portion control. I now eat 90% of my meals off the small plates (so hard when dining on Chicken & broccoli Alfredo!-which yes, I realize is awful for dieting), I am trying to eat several small meals instead of 3 large ones, and we now eat dinner between 6-6:30 vs. the 9 p.m. dinners we were having a few months ago so we could dine in peace. This one works in our favor, though, now that Addison is eating on her own, we actually have pleasant family meals.

On top of portion control, I have learned what to eat, and what not to eat. Surprisingly, ice cream ended up on the What Not To Eat list :( Who would have thought?! I have learned how important fiber is in your daily diet. According to my nutritionist, if you take the number of calories you eat a day, and subtract the amount of fat, that's how many calories you are actually ingesting. You'd be surprised how much fresh fruit I eat now!

Also, a great piece of advice I received was to make sure and eat some lean protein at every meal to keep your appetite in check. I love me some carbs, so this is by far the hardest part of dieting for me. I just try and add some chicken to my pasta and salads to ensure that I'm not hungry again an hour later.

Unfortunately, I know I still won't reach my full weight-loss potential while sitting around watching TV and playing with my daughter. I am trying my darnedest (Okay, that's a lie) to get back into Pilates-great for pulling in the abs after childbirth and great for toning your whole body-but between getting sick, and then the heat...excuses excuses! I also checked out this great fun class called Zumba! When we can afford a gym membership, I am definitely thinking of enrolling in this class! I'm actually excited about it!

Beyond this, though...I am at a loss. I keep hoping against hope that this weight will just melt off in this heat. Well, at least 2 pounds did so far! I'll weigh myself again this weekend and see if that continued or if me binging on ice cream and Popsicles kept that from happening. Sigh. I read this quote that I thought would be very encouraging for me: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." The only problem with this is, it isn't quite as movtivating when you add "...except for french fries," to the end of it.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Childproofing, Chapter 1

Well, the time has come. We have entered a new chapter in our parenting books. Addie is crawling now. In fact, it's pretty much a speed crawl these days. I remember a couple of weeks ago I was watching her saying "C'mon, already! You've been rocking for weeks!" And now, here we are...I feel like I have to keep an eye on her at all times!

Due to that, this weekend we did some pretty mild child proofing, although I'm sure we'll need to do more as time passes (hence the name "Chapter 1"). There is so much they suggest you do for child proofing. My mind spins when I walk down the childproofing aisle at Babies R Us. I feel like we can simplify this a bit. I think, for now anyway, we are angling towards the "teach-baby-consequences-from-the-start" method of childproofing. We are still, of course, taking care of all the real dangers. As time goes on, we will see if we need to be more thorough in our efforts to keep her out of harms way (and my books, and DVD's, and the cat's food...).

For now, I covered all of our plugs in the living room/dining room, put locks on the dangerous cabinets and drawers, and finally put up the baby gate. Right now, the gate basically just blocks off the rest of the apartment past the dining room, but eventually I know this will no longer do. I know Addie will want to explore past this area.

Other things we are planning to do in the near future are to get a cover for the fireplace and for the baseboard heaters to keep Addie from hurting herself, and we are also going to get some guards to cover the stereo and Playstation. We also need to lock up the medicine drawer in our bathroom and finish unpacking boxes soon so there aren't miscellaneous items scattered through the apartment.

Beyond that, we shall see! I know for sure we need to finish off the rest of the apartment at least to the level the living room is done in, but will we need to do more beyond that? We shall see!

Stay tuned for more!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everything changes, Nothing stays the same..

Anyone that has been visiting my blog for awhile should be able to tell upon first glance that something is different now. Can you put your finger on it? I'll help you out. There are several things different about my blog today.

First, and most importantly (because it took the most work out of all my changes so far), I now have a 3 column blog. Yay, me!! Man, you wouldn't think that took as much work as it did! No wonder they charge the big bucks to customize blogs and create 3 columns. Good thing I figured it out on my own, huh?

Next, you may now notice a few Google Ads on my page. No, I promise I didn't do this to annoy you. I did this to see if my blog could rake in any cash. You can thank me for choosing the most subdued form of advertising I could later ;) For now, just clicking on any of the links could help me out!

I have also added a new widget to my blog (with a few more to come soon!). You may notice I have a few buttons up on my blog now, advertising some of the blogs I read most often. Okay, I know there are only 2 buttons up there right now. I have to search everyone's blogs and see if they've created one! Mine is coming soon, and believe me, there will be a post about it so you can grab it and show off how much you love my blog to everyone *wink wink*.

The 2 buttons I have up there now are the blogs I have been reading the longest, MckMama's & Loni's .

The first button, I would like to talk about a bit and help spread the word. This fellow blogger,MckMama, has a 9 month old son named Stellan. Stellan has suffered from SVT (you can find out the details on this heart condition on her blog) since before he was born. He is now hospitalized again for this condition and is starting a new drug regimen (because another heart surgery isn't such a great option until he's older) and it seems he isn't doing as well as hoped right now. Neither is MckMama. As a parent myself, I can't imagine the struggle she is going through and the strength she has to find to make it through these hard times. That's why I am asking you, my readers, to hop on over to her blog and check out their story. Maybe put in a word to the Man Upstairs yourself & leave her some encouraging words on her blog. I'm sure she could really use that right now. I don't have many followers, but I hope the few that do read my blog see this and I am able to help someone, even just a little.

On that note, I will leave you to check out the rest of my bloggings. Any newcomers (or lurkers), please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of my work!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Summertime is Good for the Soul

I love summer. I love the sun, and beaches, and going to parks. I love watermelon, and BBQ chicken, I love the smell of the grill. I love drinking wine sitting outside with friends until the sun sets (at 10:30). All of these things, to me, are good for the soul. I think everyone needs a little summer in their life, to make up for gray, wet winters.

Addie loves summertime, too. She loves Otter Pops, watermelon, mango, and strawberry jello. Yes, I do realize some of these things may not be of the best nutritional value for an 8 month old, but to me, the value to her soul makes up for it. I feel like my daughter has thoroughly enjoyed her first summer, doing all the things kids do during the summer. She has been swimming, she has been to the beach, she has enjoyed an array of tasty treats, she has been a kid. There is nothing I enjoy more these days than watching her splash in a wading pool or wiggle her toes in the sand. That is what childhood is about.

This is a message to everyone. Loosen up. Enjoy life a little. It's too short to always make the "right" decisions. Sometimes, all that matters is that you live a little.


Family Planning

I used to think I wanted 2 kids, preferably about 2-2 1/2 years apart. Most people would say that is the perfect age difference. I always agreed. "Get my baby-making years behind me," I always said. "Why wait? I can have an early retirement this way and all my birds will fly the nest sooner!" I exclaimed when people acted shocked at my planning. I've since learned that what you plan, and what you get, are 2 different things.

Now? I have decided to slow way down. The past 3 years have been such a blur, I barely remember them anymore. I think it's time to put my feet up and relax for a few years. Hypothetically, that is. I'm sure there won't be much relaxing and propping of the feet with a toddler on the loose.

My family laughs at me when they hear I'm not ready for another baby just yet. "So," they say, "when are you having your next??"

"Not for a while. Probably a few more years," I reply.

(Chuckle) "Oh really?! Life's harder with a baby than you expected, huh?" I hear in return.

That's not quite the case, as I'm sure many moms can tell you. Plans change. Desires change. Life changes.

It's not that I don't want another baby, and it's not that having a baby is harder than I expected (okay, okay it's a tiny bit harder but that's not the point). It's just that we are in a different place in our lives than we expected a year and a half ago.

Besides that, emotionally we aren't prepared to do this all over again. I want to enjoy my little girl while she's still little. I want my body back for a little while. Mine. To enjoy myself again.

The sleepless nights and the days that blended into each other? I can totally handle that again. I can even handle the colic, and those first few weeks of breastfeeding again. I just can't handle not being 100% there for my little girl yet. Kudos to those moms that can do it. I applaud you if you can devote 200% of yourself to your kids. That's just not me.

That being said, I think we have finally decided on the time frame for baby #2 being another 3-4 years away. Sure, that's a pretty big age gap. Sure, it means I won't be "done" as early as I'd expected. I guess that's one of the benefits of being a Young Mom. Time is on my side. I'm not racing against my biological clock to have all of my kids by a certain time. When you look at it that way, a 5 year gap sounds perfectly fine.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, having a second child looks a lot different from this side of the delivery room. I know what to expect. I know what I'm getting myself into, and knowing this, I think it's best we slow down for a little while and just enjoy what we already have.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Planning already...

There is something about being a mom that transforms you. You know all those things you swore you wouldn't do after having kids?? Like, say, planning a first birthday party when your daughter is 8 months old?! Yep. I'm planning her birthday party! I swore I wouldn't be that mom that goes overboard for a first birthday party. I hope I'm not. Can I use the excuse that I just want everything organized so I can be prepared? I've picked out a theme (nope! not telling!), have a great idea for custom invitations, and have 2 cakes to choose from. I've even started thinking of appetizers and food to serve. No. I'm not crazy. I'm just that mom.

Through all of this planning, I have still refused to believe that my baby-the baby that 8 months ago didn't even exist-is ever going to turn 1. I refuse to believe that she will ever be a toddler, she will ever be potty trained, will ever be a pre-schooler, or a teenager, or get married. Not my baby!! I'm having a hard enough time watching her crawl over to the Playstation 2 and start pressing buttons. It's sad enough that she already ignores me when the TV is on, or when Daddy gets home from work.

Sigh. She has to grow up sometime, right? The least I can do is make sure that her very first party in her name just totally rocks her socks off.



So sorry for the radio silence. I'm back online now and working on a new post! Stay tuned for more.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Young Mom?

I was driving down the road recently, and passed a church with a sign outside inviting "young and teen moms" to join them for discussions. I must admit, I was shocked to see that the age grouping for this "young and teen moms" group was....16-24. Yes. I would never have guess that 24 is a young mother.

I am 24. I never considered that young for becoming a mother. In fact, I considered that pretty average. I am pretty shocked after getting into a conversation with several women, and finding out many of them feel that 24 is too young to have a baby. They feel that before you are 30, you do not truly know who you are. You have not lived your life. You will regret "settling down" so soon.

Excuse me if I'm wrong, but isn't a child supposed to add to your life, not subtract from it?? I feel I have lived my life. I have traveled. I have graduated from college (some of you may remember this post so I thought I would clarify that I do have a degree, just not the one I want). I have partied. I have had my heart broken. I have moved across the country. I think it is time to settle down and have my children now. If I feel the urge (which believe me I will feel the urge) to explore, it can be done with my daughter in tow. She should be able to explore as well.

To me, there are so many advantages to having a child "young". I have enough energy to deal with all of the things having a child entails. I will be young enough to enjoy my retirement when my birdies leave the nest. I can plan my life to include my children. And most importantly, my life is fulfilled. Why wait around for what you want when you are capable of achieving it right now?


Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This 4th of July, I most certainly did not feed my daughter strawberry jello.

After said nonmeal of jello...I did not let my daughter bath in the kiddie pool with her friends, instead of in the real tub. Not me!
Being the great mother that I am, I did not keep my daughter up 1 hour later than her bed time in order to continue with the holiday festivities, nor did I get her out of bed when the fireworks scared her...that would be wrong. She needs more rest than that.

And finally, I am not on blogger right now, writing a Not Me! Monday! post instead of spending quality time eating ice cream with hubby. I am a much better wife than that!

Good night all!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

Happy (belated) 4th of July, everyone! Boy oh boy did we have a good time yesterday! We visited with some friends, whose daughter shares a birthday with Addie. They have become such great friends, so young in life! It was, I dare say, the most fulfilling summer holiday I have had since I left home 4 years ago. The kids played, the grown ups played. We all ate our fill of all sorts of goodies. The girls got to swim splash in the pool in the early evening, which is apparently way more fun than a regular bath. They were both pretty wiped out by the end of the day and hung out with the adults, toasting marshmellows and enjoying smores for a couple of hours killing time until dark. Addie drifted off to dream land sometime around 8:30, but was startled awake sometime around 10 as the fireworks started. I was able to get her back asleep, but for fear of her startling again, but me being outside and unable to hear her, I let her rest in my arms while we watched the show over the water. She was a little angel. She slept through the entire show, including the explosions closest to our viewing site. I was able to keep her asleep during the transition to her car seat once the fireworks died down some, and we headed home without a kink in the evening. Once we got home, I was able to gently place her in her crib, still asleep, and we were not disturbed 'till morning, where we blissfully slept until 8:30 in the morning-1 hour later than normal. I hope everyone is just as happy with their holiday as I am.