Thursday, March 31, 2011

From People to Family Circle: A Complete Magazine Upheaval

In college, I used to spend at least $50 each month on those smutty gossip magazines like People, Star or InStyle. I know, I know. I loved me some scandal. I can't believe I spent that much on those things!
Now, I maybe, once in a blue moon will splurge on a People. Usually around the Golden Globes or Academy Awards just so I can admire the pretty dresses.
But that's it.
I still read them. My gym gets them for free. I love that about my gym. Nothing says a good workout like 20 minutes on the elliptical and last week's People magazine about Charlie Freaking Sheen.

I find that my tastes in magazines has...matured. If that's the right word to use.
Now, I'm in love with Family Circle.
Not only does Family Circle tempt me with covers like this with delectable desserts or beautiful flower bouquets and decorations, but they truly convince my mind that, "Hey! If this is on the cover of a magazine I can do it too!"
Most times I can't. Although I did get some cute Halloween ideas from them. I also made some of their Christmas cookies and have dog-eared pages and pages of decorating ideas for when I get my dream house. Hey, a girl can dream.
But seriously, they have some sweet recipes, decorating ideas that aren't astronomically expensive or difficult and some genuinely good advice. They even give style advice that doesn't blow my life savings, like Vogue, I sooooo wanted that Chanel handbag.
Some people might be appalled at my interest in this magazine, they might say I'm getting old. I'm not. I'm only 26. So boo to you. They might say its because I'm a wife or a mother. True, but some of the articles in this magazine aren't PG- more like PG 13. Scandal!
I love it. Come over to my house and I'll show you my collection of Family Circles...and then you can help me clean.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Letter to Spring

Dear Spring:
     I really wish you would stop teasing me and just come to Montana in full force. I'm tired of wearing my winter coat. I'm tired of the snow and the gray clouds.
     I have these super cute shoes that really need to be broken in. I want to wear them almost as badly as I want to see the suns golden rays.
     Also, my pasty white legs really need some tender lovin' care. They practically glow in the dark.

K, thanks, bye

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

We are now into single digits. Jeff will be home on Friday (we hope).
It has been nine weeks and seven days since we last saw each other.
70 days and counting.

Since I last saw Jeff, I was seven pounds heavier and one year younger.
Since Caderyn last saw Jeff, he weighed one pound less and talked waaaaay less.
I wonder which one of us will be a greater surprise to Jeff.
Probably Caderyn, he is much cuter.

I am excited to have my hubster home. Excited for whatever changes come our way from this experience.
Just plain...excited!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Got Mah Herrr Cut

Ok. All goofiness aside. I really did get my hair cut.
And then Lisa took pictures. Five inches came off. It's straight now, but it won't be...on Saturday.
I'm excited to see how it looks.

Do you like?????

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lisa Kunkel Photoshoot Preview

My good friend Lisa and I did a photoshoot on Sunday.
Here is a preview of what we did. More fabulous pictures to come!

If you like what you see, you can find Lisa's website here

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Removing the Veil

As some of you know, my husband recently joined the military. He has been gone for 9 weeks in Georgia at his basic training.
I never really paid much attention to all of the fighting in the world before he joined. I was a bit apathetic- cruel word, I know. I just didn't think it would ever affect me, living in my comfortable little safehaven of Montana where the only thing I usually have to worry about is the snow in March, those blasted "evil" deer that take over my yard or perhaps getting eaten by a bear in Yellowstone.

Since Jeff has joined and been gone, I've paid more attention to what's going on in the world. Iraq...I don't know if that will ever be solved. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan...tragic. I watched some videos of the tsunami yesterday that made my heart hurt.
My recent focus has been on Libya and the violence and fighting that has started to escalate there.
Since the U.S. and other European countries have become invovled my heart beats a little faster just thinking that my husband could be called to assist in this overseas campaign. I guess it never really sunk in until now.
I'm not afraid to admit I'm frightened. I've spent three months without my husband. It has been very hard, but I know he's been working hard and safe. But what about the possibility of him being taken away from me for a year or more and never knowing if he's safe? It stresses this gal out a little.
I know this is what we signed up for and I know this is something wonderful for our family and Jeff is doing something that only 1% of the population does. He's serving his country.
But I would never ever want to lose him. He's my rock, my strength, my partner, my best friend.
I know many, many families have gone through this kind of seperation and, sadly, some have even gone through the loss of their loved one. I guess I've just been living behind a pink colored veil for so long now the thought of Jeff being called to serve never crossed my mind.
If he is called, it will be hard. But, it will be wonderful for him and our family to serve the United States of America. If he is called, I will probably be a basetcase. If he is called it will be a big change in our lives.
I just worry about these things now. I pay attention to what's going on in the world now.
Which is probably a good thing.

P.S. My neck DOES NOT look like this. Gross

Monday, March 21, 2011

Compiling My Book List for Summer...Already

I've already got a great list of books started for my summer reading.
I can't wait. I don't usually get to read all that often during the school year because of classes- so I'm starting to get SUPER excited.

1. Dead Reckoning- the 11th? book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, comes out May 3
2. Forever- the 3rd book in this series comes out in July
3. Jane Eyre
4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
5. A Reliable Wife
6. To The End of the Land
7. Bird Cloud

That's all I've got so far. I think that's pretty good!

I want this...

For my entry way. Yeah!?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freud Would Have Ripped Me A New One

Since nothing interesting is happening, other than the fact that I just want to write, this fabulous and spectacular post will be all about moi.
Since I have been alone, I have started to notice that I have some weird quirks and habits. Can you tell I've been alone for too long already?

Weird quirk #1: Bananas
I love em. Eat 2-3 of them each day. BUT, I don't eat the end of bananas. You know, the pointy ends of bananas. I either cut them off or throw them away.  Why do I do this? I don't know. This weekend I thought about trying to eat an entire banana without dissecting it. Didn't happen. The thought of it made me nearly vomit.

Weird habit/quirk #2: Crossword puzzles
Like bananas, love em. As a matter of fact my morning habit includes rolling out of bed. Letting the dog out and grabbing the paper. Reading it and then setting the crossword puzzle out while I make breakfast.
I am not allowed to get in the shower until I have exhausted every across or down answer I can possibly think of.

Weird quirk/habit #3: Lotion
I have to lather this bad boy on morning, noon and night. I have lotion scattered throughout the house so that as I walk through the house on my missions, if I feel the need to lotion up, I can quickly walk over to my lotion station for a squirt.

Weird quirk/habit #4: Vacuuming
Obsessed with it. I have to resist the urge to vacuum every day. I can vacuum my entire house in one minute if I put my mind to it. I love the sound of dirt being sucked up into the machine.

Weird quirk/habit #5: The dishwasher
I have to organize the dishes in my dishwasher before I run it. All of the utensils have to be grouped together- its easier to put them away. All of the plates and bowls have to be in the same order and all of the glasses and coffee cups have to be grouped together. If someone else loads my dishwasher and I happen to notice its out of order I will quickly rearrange it when no one is looking. Sounds a bit OCD yeah?

Weird quirk/habit #6: I resist with all of my heart taking the trash out.
I hate it. It's a long walk to our trash bin. I resist. I bag everything up and set it outside the back door so I will notice it. I usually ignore it at least once before I finally convince myself to grab it. Then, I put it on the hood of my car so I don't have to walk up the hill to the bin. I drive it up there, OH MY GOSH. I'm so lazy!
Now, my house is not at all filled with trash. I usually end taking the trash out once a day. I just hate doing it and try to convince myself out of it.

Are you sick of me yet? I am.
Photo courtesy of Caderyn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thinking Thin

I find that I'm very candid when I talk about my weight.
Always the touchy subject, I'm not one to hide in the dark when I talk about my food relationships and fears, my body image views or struggles to lose weight.
I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a size 2, and you know what, I wouldn't want to be. I like my curves- they are what make me feminine. I like my height and my proportions, for they are what make me strong.
Two years ago, I gave birth to this little dude.
Two years ago my views on my body image and weight changed completely. My body is the way it is and looks so that I can provide and care for my children.
Two years ago, I embarked on the great journey that is Weight Watchers. Two years later, I FINALLY REACHED MY GOAL!!!!!!!
**Caution: You will actually find out how much weight I gained and lost in this next clip. Caution**

Before my pregnancy, I weighed in comfortably at 163 lbs. For my height anywhere from 150-170 is healthy.
I then got pregnant and proceeded to eat cupcakes like they were going out of style.

I really, really, really, really LOVE cupcakes. If I had to choose between owning a new pair of shoes or eating a delicious cupcake, I would probably choose the cupcake.
Seventy pounds (oh my gosh did she really just say 70???!!!) later I had a baby and a whole lotta extra flub.
I was able to lose about 23 lbs on my own before I caved in and joined Weight Watchers.
As of today I have lost 47 pounds on Weight Watchers and weigh less than when I got married. The baby weight is GONE! I even weigh less than before I got preggers.
I feel great. No, I feel freaking amazing!
The first year was such an ordeal to let go of my old eating habits, my binging during times of sadness and punishment with exercise, it was an ordeal to really accept my body. But once I just let go of all my past anxieties, I saw the goal clear as...well, clear as clear could be.
I have given up sugar (but for the weekends and in massive moderation) and I don't miss it. I control every portion that I eat and I haven't gotten sick from eating too much food or something too rich in probably 4-6 months. You know how sometimes when you eat out and overeat or if what you ate was too rich, sometimes you can get sick. I haven't had that in forever- don't want it no thank you.
I rarely drink and I really don't comfort eat anymore.
I have also enlightened myself on my workouts.
 I absolutely love working out. I love dancing, I love running, I love biking, I love sit ups, I love push ups. You name it and I am in love with it right now. Before, exercise used to be about staying thin or a punishment. I didn't truly enjoy it.
Now I adore the time I get to workout. I love my Zumba classes and have so much fun. I love being able to just put my head phones on and escape from life for an hour. I love how strong and healthy I feel and how much more energy I have.
These past two years have been very enlightening for me. I feel that I've matured and learned a lot.
But, the biggest plus of being down 70 pounds is how much more fun it is to play with my little man. Seriously, he's a busy guy and trying to keep up with him sometimes feels like I'm running a marathon.
But, as we all know, our kids are worth it. It's worth it to be healthy and happy for them so that they have a good role model of what being fit and happy is.
Now, if you will excuse me. I'm going to celebrate my weight loss by eating a cupcake...but just one.
Celebratory picture to follow...SOON!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reflections From a Toddler Mom

In just two short days my little boy will be two. No longer will he be little. He will be a full-blown toddler.
It's crazy.
I keep thinking about what my life was this time two years ago. I remember not sleeping, being very uncomfortable and ready to meet Mr. Man.
Do we all need a reminder of just how PREGNANT I was. You do? Oh, okay. Here.
Very. very, very pregnant.
I remember my labor, I vaguely remember my delivery. I remeber what it felt like when they finally put him in my arms. I remember bringing him home and being in the new parent daze. I remember just looking and looking at him in amazement. I remember forgetting to eat and how much he wanted to eat. I remember his first smile, his first laugh, his first steps, his first big personality burst.
I love this little boy.
I still look at this picture and see how, even today, he still looks a little the same.
Here are some fun facts about my almost TWO YEAR OLD!!
1. We chose the name Caderyn for two reasons- 1. It's Welsh (and so am I) and 2. Caderyn literally means "battle ruler" and Jeff couldn't pass that one up.
2. Caderyn's hair grows super fast just like his mommy's, but he is almost an exact carbon copy of his daddy.
3. Caderyn has never been much of a snuggler. He's a hot sleeper so taht sometimes makes snuggling difficult.
4. Caderyn loves to be read to.
5. Caderyn is starting to try and sing along with mommy, books and movies.
6. When Caderyn was 5 weeks old he put us through the ringer by contracting RSV and ended up staying in the hospital a whole week until his oxygen levels increased and he didn't turn blue when he was sleeping.
7. Caderyn hates to have dirty hands
8. Caderyn loves bath time
9. Caderyn won't eat veggies unless they are in baby food form. We have tried and tried and tried.
10. Caderyn could eat raspberries until his hair turned red!

My little toddler.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's That Time of the Year Again.

I was trying to decide what to give up for Lent this year again.
Once again, I find I've already given up a lot of my old self. I've given up on sleep. I've given up sugar (with the exception of one day during the weekend). I've given up (but not hopelessly given up) on my social life. I've given up my husband to the military. I've given up my youth- I'm on the downward slide toward 30 now (haha!).

But, then I discovered something that REALLY needed to be given up because it was a bad habit. Those silly Fbook games. I play them all the time and they are a distraction to say the least. Many a time I have let my house sit dirty while I've played FarmVille, Cafe World or Frontierville. Many a time have a procrastinated for a half hour at work thinking I've owed myself a break. A break from my computer job to just play a computer game. Sounds ridonkulous.
So, I am going cold turkey and giving up these stupid games with the intent to NEVER play them again. I have much better things to do with my time and I'm mad I got sucked in so easily.

I don't see this as a struggle for me, I see it as a good thing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Greatness that is Caderyn's Great-Grandparents

Caderyn is very lucky. He has three sets of Great-Grandparents.
And they love him so very much. And he loves them.
In the past three weeks, he has gotten to spend lots of time with both sets of my grandparents in Montana. I consider this time with them so so so very special. They make him laugh (and vice versa), they play trucks with him and are amazed at his obsession with all things that move, they give him special treats and special snuggles. What a special boy. He has not yet met his Great-Grandparents that live in California, but they send him sweet little letters and cards in the mail to let them know they are thinking of him.
What a special life my little boy is growing up in. Such enrichment and love.
Pattycake with Great-Grandpa M

The royal treatment at Great-Grandma and Grandpa S's

Look at how little Caderyn is!

Enjoying the start of Fall with Great Grandma and Grandpa M

5 week snuggles with Great Grandma M

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, Bloody/ Poopy Wednesday

WARNING: The contents of this post contain a lot of talking and some very GRAPHIC descriptions of the following topics: POOP and BLOOD

So yes, yesterday was Wednesday. Hump Day as some people like to call it, the middle of the week when things just start to get better as Friday is within every working person's sights.

My Wednesday started with POOP. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and smelled something funky. I knew immediately, before I had even opened the door of my bedroom, that Lucy had pooped in the house.
Who me?

As I opened my door, I was nowhere near prepared for the extent of desctruction. Lucy was waiting by the front door, embarrassed. I immediatley let her out. You just can't be mad at a little dog that's sick.
Then I surveyed the damage.
She had pooped not once, but FOUR times all over the carpet of our RENTAL home.
They weren't little solid piles either. They were huge destructive, diarrhea, staining piles.
I cleaned them up the best I could before just finally calling a carpet cleaner. They would be at my house by 1:30p.m.


So I let Lucy back in and patted her head and rubbed her belly. I cooed soft, hopefuly tummy calming words and let her know repeatedly she wasn't in trouble. She still was slinking around the house in shame.
Then Caderyn woke up. I got him up, changed his diaper and walked out to my little dog in the middle of her SECOND uncontrollable bowel movement since I'd gone into Caderyn's room a mere 5 minutes before. There was some running involved that took her outside and then I, again, cleaned up poop.
I thought I had a nose and stomach of steel after having a baby, but I nearly threw up twice in the middle of these cleaning processes.

Now on to another story of poop. Caderyn has been constipated. Usually he's a morning movement kiddo, but the past few days he's really struggled to get his #2s out. I felt bad watching him push in pain and frustration. I rubbed his belly, fed him copious amounts of beans and other fiber filled foods and even let him sit extra long in a nice warm bath in hopes of releasing the beast within. No avail.

I left Lucy outside yesterday until I went to work and I barricaded her in the kitchen. I got home at 1:00 p.m. to meet the cleaners and was bombarded with a kitchen/mudroom COVERED in diarrhea. Before I even had the door open Lucy had bolted outside to do some more dirty work and was crying. :(
I started cleaning up her mess. Lots of papertowels and bleach were involved. The carpet guys came.

I was ecstatic.
Lucy had a poopy butt.
They cleaned. I cleaned.
I had to run back to work.

Before I picked Caderyn up from daycare I wanted to run home and let Lucy out again. I left work and essentially floored it all the way home. My kitchen was again covered in diarrhea only this was bloody. Very bloody.
So I called the vet. They told me to bring her in immediately. I internally freaked out.
I wrapped my poor little dog in a towel (she was just filthy) and floored it to the vet.
They analyzed her, propped her, stuck stuff up her very sore bottom and then decided to keep her the night. She was very dehydrated and they wanted to give her some antibiotics.
So Lucy has spent another night at the vet.

I picked Caderyn up and just felt exhausted. We ran to a playdate and then ran home.
Low and behold, Caderyn- aka Mr. Constipated for the past two days- become Mr. Constipated no more. He literally exploded out of his pants. It was gross to say the least. I was so tired of cleaning up poop that I coyly asked my babysitter to change him so I could start dinner.
When he was sparkling clean the next thing that happened was that he got a bloody nose.
How much blood and poop can one woman take in one day!
I think I overdosed on both because I just about burst into tears when I saw his blood. Thankfully, my babysitter was there and she shooed me out the door to the gym where I was able to lose all train of thought for 45-bliss-filled minutes.

The moral of this story...
1. It's gross and I'm sorry but I have been super busy all week and this is the most interesting thing that's happened
2. My husband is going to spend lots of time outside cleaning up all of the dog poop when he gets back.
3. I need one of the following a) a massage b) a big glass of wine c) a cake all to myself d) hardwood floors