Saturday, January 29, 2011

the sun'll come out, tomorrrow

yesterday, it was 68 degrees. and at first, i did not know what to do with myself. because,'s january. according to the seasons, it's WINTER. you hear that mother nature?? winter=cold. 68 degrees? does not equal cold. 

i'm not complaining. it was a beautiful day. so we put on our play clothes and packed a little lunch and bella and i headed off to the park. 

parks with one year olds? are not that exciting. parks with ONE one year old? down right boring*. 

listen, i love being outside as much as the next outdoorsy gal. and yesterday, the sun on my skin could not have felt better. but people? we were at a playground full of some of the coolest equipment i've seen (it's been a while, i admit) and bella wanted to play with rocks. 

we have rocks in our back yard. i did NOT just pack you up with all our crap and drive to this park for you to play with rocks. go get on that teeter totter! 

clearly we need other children to play with. 

but the slide was fun. the slide is always fun. 

today, it's supposed to be 70. we'll be headed to the park again today, because next week? it will probably snow. or something equally ridiculous. 

*i clearly don't think ANYTHING my child does is boring. my phone has about a bajillion pictures of her playing with rocks......


be sure to check out the hidden in my heart doll giveaway! ends february 11th!! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

hidden in my heart review and giveaway

i love handmade. 

more than that? i love QUALITY handmade. and i LOVE finding unique, beautiful , funky things. they make great gifts and are the perfect way to say "i'm thinking about you".  

december and january were big months for us-we had lots of birthdays and, of course, there was christmas....

so i needed some great gifts for some sweet little babies.

kiley, the creator of hidden in my heart dolls, makes the cutest, most well made dolls i have ever seen. and bella had to have one. i ordered one for bella and one for each of my nieces. i was able to personalize each doll to look like  the girls, with little piggies and bangs. 

bella loves her bella baby, which is what we call her doll. she carries her around by the arm, hugs her, kisses her, and most recently tries to put socks on her. it's entertaining at the very least. 

bella loves her bella baby. just like her momma. 

kiley is a stay at home mom, who hand makes all of the dolls and accessories. she just started making extra fun things for the dolls too, like cloth diapers, and dresses, and hair bows! oh my!

  why does she call the "hidden in my heart" dolls? 

this is bella's message on her doll.

and now? you are so lucky. because kiley is giving away one doll to a lucky reader!! enter now for your chance to win this doll

her heart message says:

entering is easy! 

mandatory entry:

*leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me why you love handmade! 

extra entries:

*follow my blog (+1 entry)
*"like" hidden in my heart dolls on facebook (+1 entry)
*"like" me on facebook (+1 entry)
*tweet about this giveaway linking it back here. be sure to leave your 
twitter handle in the comment. (+1 entry)
*share my blog on facebook (+1 entry)

be sure to leave your e-mail address in at least one of the comments, so i know who to contact, and each entry must be a separate comment. 

giveaway will end 11 february at 12 noon est 

Monday, January 24, 2011


I was 7.

I had big feet and I ran slowly and disjointedly, my upper half going much faster than my lower half. I had long arms and a short torso and I was uncoordinated.

I tried hard. I wanted to be good.

I was insecure.

I was 10.

To play the position I wanted, I had to race my best friend to it. She was faster than I was, but I wanted it more. I'm pretty sure she let me win. I played by default.

and I was insecure.

I was 13.

Everyone was older then I was, better than I was. They had all played together for forever. They moved as a unit. I got cut. I worked hard all summer. The next year, I tried again. the coach told me he let me make the team because he felt bad I hadn't made it before.

And I was insecure.

I was 14.

I wanted to make varsity. People told me I wasn't good enough. But I tried hard.and I made it. Varsity as a freshman. I worked hard. I ran hard. I wasn't fast but I pushed myself. Every day. Hard.

And I was good.

But I was insecure.

I was 18.

My parents had just divorced and I was on my own in a world full of pretty girls and the boys who chose them. I went to class and tried hard. I was top in my classes most semesters.  But I went to parties and disappeared.

I was insecure.

I was 20.

I switched schools. I tried to fit in. I made friends with some shady people. Then I made new friends. I opened up in ways I never had. They accepted me. They loved me.

I was still insecure. 

I was 25.

They brought her into my room and put her in my arms. I sat, my husband by my side, and nursed my new born baby. I held her hand and she held my heart. My baby. My husband. And me.

And I was secure.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

and the winner is.......

you have been contacted. please, e-mail me back within 24 hours and we will get you your smartipants diaper! 

thanks to everyone for entering!

i have no coherent thoughts, and we are going out of town tomorrow, so i have mucho cleaning to do. like, overhaul. gah. hopefully when i come back, i will have something worth reading. 

hope everyone has an awesome weekend.

and yes. i am aware that it's only thursday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the battle of the sippies: round 1: flip tops

tommee tippee explora lil sippy flip top vs. nuby no spill mega flip it

tommee tippee

leakproof: 7
durability: 9
ease of use: 3 

\very durable. double wall insulated, so it keeps milk cold for longer, whih is great on long outings.

the flip top (bella can't open it herself), difficulty drinking (almost impossible after taking it apart to clean, it has to be put back just perfectly), not see through, the straw leaks when the water get's caught in the valve


leakproof: 8
durability: 4
ease of use:10

 bella can open it, see through, the straw is very easy to use, valve keeps food from going back in the sippy, 

 plastic is weak (broke after being dropped from the high chair), water gets caught in the valve and when you open it it splashes

and the winner is..........

 this was a close race, but i think i am declaring the nuby the winner. bella can barely drink out of the tommee tippee, and really, that's the point, right? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

saving a buck

i love to save money. but i think the thrifty jean did not make it into my dna.

i don't necessarily spend a lot (my husband may try to argue otherwise. he's lying). i just don't usually get good deals on things. and it's not that i pay full price either. but if i think i am saving a buck?? well, that's all i need to know. places that mark stuff up by $2, only to mark it down $1.50? i think you know where i am going with this.

i. am. a. sucker.

so this weekend i was talking to my sister in law, and when i told her about my blog and all the great giveaways and discount codes that i love getting (shameless plug? maybe. but it really was a part of the conversation), she told me about how she shops.

backstory: my husbands family? the royal family of a good deal. i swear, they know how to get the best stuff and pay the least amount of money for it. i don't know how they do it. i have a theory they have a secret money saving radar planted in their heads......

my sister in law tells me, she regularly goes to the grocery store and comes home with $100 worth of groceries for $15. after i picked my jaw up off of the floor, i asked the great coupon swami to teach me her ways.

she swears it's simple. i assure her that for me? it will not be so. but she reassures me and tells me how she does it.

southern savers is her website of choice. they lay out the adds from several popular grocery stores in the southeast. i know there are tons of blogs and sites out there dedicated to helping busy mommas (and poppas) save a buck. this happens to be the one she uses. she tells me a few ins and outs, and a couple of hints, and sends me on my way.

so today, i decided to put my new found skills to the test. i have to admit, i was oddly excited about it. the thought of spending a little and getting a lot is intriguing.

first things first: i got my coupons in order. i hit up southern savers, the sunday paper coupons and a couple of brand sites, hit print and went in the other room to retrieve my coupons. road block numero uno. the printer is out of ink. ok, so there is $30 i won't be saving, but, have no fear! i have cell fire. i actually already had it, but had no idea what it did. but it was on the site, so i read a little about it, and come to find out, you can load ecoupons onto your kroger card before you go, and your savings are set from the start!

this is how i saved most of my money. but i had a few coupons too.

i gathered my list and coupons, and headed off to the store.

after all was said and done, i saved about $40. that doesn't seem like much to some of you more savvy shoppers i know. but for my first time, i was pretty stoked. some of my better deals:

  • after combining a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon, i got a free burt's bees lip balm
  • i saved $5 instantly by buying 10 frozen items, all of which were only $1 each, so it was like my frozen veggies were all $.50 each.
  • i got $5 off a bottle of tide stain release, making it a whopping $2.99
  • and i got an extra $5 off using a coupon that i didn't get the product with. this i totally did by accident. i meant to get it, then put it back, and forgot to take the coupon out of the pile. i swear. 
it took me about an hour to go through all the clipping and printing and picking out, and i got several things that i probably wouldn't have normally bought. but we will use them, and they were so cheap, i can't really justify not doing it. 

typically, when i go grocery shopping, i stick to the rule of the outside. 90% of my shopping is done around the outside (produce, meat, dairy, deli) and 10% is in the aisles (pastas, breads, cans) this trip, i think i did about 80% in the frozen section, 15% in the aisles and 5% in the outside. i got a lot of things i probably never would have gotten, but i did learn that now hamburger helper makes chicken dinners, and uses 100% whole wheat pastas. i still think it's garbage, but at least it's leaning towards healthier, and it's not bad, so long as we aren't eating it every single night. and for $1 a box, i can't complain. 

and there are some things i will still buy, even though they are not cheap-organic milk, bella's food, and the chicken we use (purdue chicken, because it's hormone free and conveniently packaged). but, if i am saving so much money elsewhere, i think i am still ahead of the game. 

things i have learned:
  • i need to get better organized. i had to keep making sure i hadn't dropped any coupons, and i turned around and went down the same aisles, several times
  • don't take bella. i had to break open a bag of cheese cubes just to get her to sit still long enough for me to check the numbers on the coupons.
  • do my "homework" once bella goes to sleep
i'm pretty proud of myself. joel wasn't really ecstatic, though he was glad i saved a little bit. and christa? i hope i have made you proud. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

there's yer sign!

i assume you have heard that the zodiac signs have changed. apparently, ancient babylonians wanted a nice, lucky, round number of zodiac signs, so they just left one out. 

well, welcome to the club orphiuchus. oh and by the way? this is bella's sign. 

personally? i don't put much stock into zodiac signs and astrology and numerology and horoscopes. especially horoscopes. because, really, when i read them? they all fit me. 

"you are in a time in your life where things are changing. learn from it." uh, duh. when are things not changing? 

"you will come into a sum of money. spend it wisely" yes. payday is tomorrow. are you telling me NOT to go shopping for those new boots i really want?! dang it. 

"Your insights are sharp with others and your surroundings but they are blind as a bat with yourself!" what does that even mean!?

horoscopes are so vague. 

but the description of this new sign, bella's sign, seems so fitting. 

"The sign is associated with healing, enlightenment, 
medicine and higher education -- and also with black holes."

my child? is. a. black. hole. she just takes things and they are gone. forever. 

her latest victim? my car key. we have one of those stupid microchip keys. this one to be exact-

it's all cute and fun and flippy when it's in your possession. it's fun to play with. which is probably what bella saw in it. 

then one day? it was gone. i retraced my steps. over. and over. and over one more time. checked all the pockets in my diaper bag and jacket and pants. checked under all the couches and chairs and entertainment centers. checked outside in the leaves and under the bushes. i tore my house apart. for a week. 

it's been a month. we still haven't found it.

eventually, we just had it towed to the dealer (40 miles away) and bought a new key. which isn't like getting a key cut for your old '96 honda there is one machine in a 50 mile radius, and it's the only one that can cut a key. then it has to be programmed. and then you have the get a computer update, blah, blah, blah. whatever. all i know is, joel has been in a bad mood ever since. 

where was i going with this???

oh yes. i hope bella starts leaning more towards that "higher learning" bit, and away from the black hole bit. 

in the mean time, we are visiting bella's nana and bumpa. they got snow. real snow. 6 inches of real snow. and it's still here. kind of. bella likes it. i think.


check out the smartipants giveaway!! giveaway ends 20 january at 12pm est. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a 13 month old lives here.

how can i tell? let me count the ways....

i spend all day cleaning only to walk back through the house and see a path of destruction.

last year, when things got quiet, all was right with the world. now? i kind of start to panic. because that usually means bella has destroyed something.

i find bananas in the weirdest places.

i have a whole new respect for stain removers.

being spontaneous means planning something a day in advance, and then spending the next 24 hours making sure i don't forget something. though inevitably, i will run out of wipes while standing in the bathroom changing her poopy diaper.

our date night plans depend on how much we want to pay the babysitter. it's often the difference between an epic saga and a mindless comedy. or staying in all together.

a fun day of shopping usually ends up with me coming home with bags and bags....of baby stuff.

lunch dates include the options of chic-fil-a, jumpin' jax or a similarly entertaining space.

i know my floors are clean when i don't cringe when bella decides she will be having lunch off the ground.

my shows on the DVR have slowly gone from racy dramas about steamy doctors, to animated shows about talking trains and clay-mation lambs.

our bedtime routine is a nice long bubble bath, reading a good book, then listening to music to go to bed. and then i drag myself to my bed, where i fall asleep with one leg hanging off the side. sometimes? i only make it to the couch.

my life has changed so dramatically. i wouldn't trade it. not for all the sleep in the world.


and don't forget to enter the smartipants giveaway! ends january 20th at 12 pm est! 


smarti pants review and giveaway

we have been a cloth family now for 13 months. that's about 12.5 months longer than i think joel thought we would make it.

bella, rockin out her cloth diaper, at around 2 months

in the beginning, i had my work cut out for me. before bella was even born, i had to convince joel that cloth diapering was not just something that people did back in the old days. in reality? it was not that long ago.

so first things first-we talked money. by cloth diapering, we found out that, if bella was fully potty trained by 2 (which is on the early side) we would save around $5,000 by cloth diapering. that had joel on the fence. he is a man who likes to save money. then, i made a big mistake. i told him that if he let me make this investment (and initially, it is a little bit of one) he would never have to change a diaper. ::palm to forehead:: i admit, i said that in a moment of desperation. because even though i LOVE cloth diapering? there have been some moments where i could have used a hand. (to be fair, he has changed 3 diapers......and once, because there was only a changing table in the mens room. thank you panera bread!)

but he conceded, and i dove in. into researching. because it is overwhelming. luckily, jessica over at SmartiPants is a genius. she has created a wonderfully amazing diaper. it claims to be a one size fits all, from birth to potty training.

so i bit. i bought 18 of them. i had a few other of different brands, just to try them out. see what fits. after about 2 weeks, Smarti's quickly became my favorites.

  • they're easy. the liners come out in the wash. this might be my favorite thing about them. because i don't have to grab a soaking wet liner and pull it out. with my fingers. yucky. nope. they agitate out in the wash, so you literally just throw them in the washer.
  • they fit. of all the diapers i have used, smarti's seem to fit the best at every stage. they have snaps that go up and down the front to adjust the leg hole size, and snaps across the tops and on the tabs, to adjust the waist. this is what makes them fit so perfectly, at all stages. you can overlap the flaps without adding a bunch of bulk. 
  • they aren't too bulky. back to those liners. the way the pockets are sewn on the diaper makes the liners fit perfectly and not get all bunchy, making them pretty trim, for a cloth diaper. 
  • they're absorbent. the liners in smarti's are by far my favorite of all the liners we have. and we have a lot. they are big and long, but somehow don't overwhelm the diaper. and they are incredibly absorbent. which is why they're there. duh. 
  • they're cost efficient. when i first started researching diapers, i was overwhelmed by the price. sometimes, a single diaper can cost up to $25. and needing around 25 or more, that would get expensive, fast (there's that investment i mentioned). but at $14.95 for a single one, they are more than $10 cheaper. there are different size packs you can get as well, saving even more money. 
  • they hold up well. we've had our smarti's for over a year. they are still in pretty awesome condition-no pilling like other diapers, not stretching, no fading, and no disintegrating (yes, i have had diapers that have just....fallen apart). my ONE AND ONLY complaint, is that the elastic is starting to give. but that is after one year of constant wearing and washing. i would say that's not too bad. 
not the greatest picture, but she looks so cute in her smarti's! bella at 2 months. 

and now? you can get one free! this is a great opportunity to try them out. or if you already have them (and love them) you can add to your stash! one winner will receive one diaper of their choice. and entering is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

there are several ways to enter! each entry is a separate comment and please be sure to include your e-mail address in each comment, so i know who to contact!

mandatory entry:

  • head over to SmartiPants. come back here and leave a comment telling me what color you would pick! 
extra entries:
that's it. you don't have to do everything, only the first one is mandatory, but each entry is another chance to win. the winner will be chosen by and announced on january 20 at 12pm est. don't forget to leave a separate comment for each entry with your e-mail address in it! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i'm on facebook

that's all i have to say tonight. joel has been home for 4 days. my mind is a little mushy. and i'm tired. 

so come find me on facebook, and make me feel like i'm legitimate. pretty please? 

we've been working on signing please.
then daddy taught her to hold out her hands for some snacks.
 so now this is the sign for please.......

Monday, January 10, 2011

it snowed!!!!

nah. that's not our house. nor is that our snow. and really? what we got? it isn't snow. it's ice. slushy, mushy ice. but it looks like snow. and that's what's important. it looks like snow and it feels like snow, and everything is covered in it. which is good, because everything is shut down. so, i'm glad there is a reason.

we got a call at about 7 last night, saying that the base was closing down. the schools had all already been shut down. i was kind of shocked. because at 7 last night? there was no snow. not one single flurry. or even ice. just a forecast. a prediction.

am i complaining? NO WAY!!! i love snow! i love being shut in and closed down! i LOVE when things slow down and people spend time with their families. and that is what we did today.

see? ice. 

currently, charlotte (our hometown) has about 6 inches and it's still falling. i'm jealous. we might have gotten an inch. most of our grass isn't even covered. but it was still fun to make believe. we sare going home on wednesday for a couple of days and i am PRAYING that there is still a significant amount there.


hey y'all! check out my about me tab for every bit of info you will ever need to know about me. i like to share.

thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i forgot where i was for a minute

this week we have a half week, because we are going home wednesday. and we are out of everything. so we loaded our little family into the car and headed out to the grocery store. when we got there the parking lot was PACKED. 

me: "is today some kind of holiday i didn't know about? or is there one coming up soon?"

joel: ::silence:: 

we find a spot, head in and dodge and weave around the people, their carts full of preservatives. and high fructose corn syrup. and milk. 

at the front, they have a lane roped off and a store manager directing people to the different checkout stands. bella gets antsy, so we leave joel in the line and go look at the valentines day displays. as i am walking back to the front of the line, where joel is paying, i over hear a lady talking to another lady in line. her cart is overflowing with doritos, little debbies, soda and plastic cups and plates. nothing is remotely nutritious and none requires refrigeration. just as i am thinking we are headed for a nuclear attack, she says, "we hadta git ready for tha snow, ya know"

::palm to forehead:: 

people? we are in middle georgia. if it snows here? it most likely will not accumulate. and if it does? it will be gone in less than 24 hours. 

plus also? heaven forbid we go 2 days without doritos and soda. 


Thursday, January 6, 2011

pour one out for the babies

today? i am opening a bottle of wine and celebrating.

why do you ask? because one year and 3 weeks ago, bella and i started on a very roller coaster like journey. and now? it's over.

i'm talking about boobs here, people. specifically, ones used to nourish my baby.

i thought i would be sad when bella stopped nursing. truth be told? if it had been earlier, i might have been sad. i may have even shed a tear. but we have been in this nursing relationship for one year and 3 weeks. that far surpassed my original goal of 6 months.

bella latched with no trouble 30 minutes after being born. we never dealt with thrush, or infections, or clogged ducts. we never dealt with a bad latch or her refusing to nurse. bella was quite the boobie monster.

it was painful at first. very intensely painful at times. i remember when she was about 2 weeks old, every time it was time to feed her, i would start to cry in anticipation. and when she would latch, it would cause me to scream.

that's the thing no one really prepares you for. the lactation consultant told me, "if it hurts, you're doing it wrong". and after the initial few weeks, that may be true. but at first? it hurts. bad. looking back, the painful period didn't last long. but while recovering from birth and not sleeping much and nursing every 3 hours, it seemed to last a lot longer.

but after the pain? it was gloriously wonderfully simple. once bella and i got into a routine, once we hit our stride, nursing became my most favorite thing as a mother. for one, it allowed me to be lazy. and i am lazy. and i like it. there was no warming bottles. no getting up to prepare formula. no testing to see if the temperature was right, then waiting another 2 minutes only to have heated it up TOO much. it was, plop. done. i even got to where i could lay down while nursing. that made it even greater. also, it was extremely portable. i didn't have to carry a cooler and then look for a source for hot water everywhere i went. i just found a comfy spot and started feeding her.

it wasn't all glorious. there was that time i was nursing her in target and a man followed me all over the store, peering over my shoulder. true story.

and i had people blaming bella's sleep problems on my choice to nurse. and cloth diaper. because those are bad parenting choices. apparently.

and there was that one time that i was asked to go sit in a room where the door could be shut while dining at a restaurant. another true story.

sadly, there are people who are ignorant when it comes to breastfeeding. but there are an increasing amount of people who are incredibly aware of the benefits and naturalness of it. it's not for everyone. i get that. but, no one should ever feel shame for choosing to feed their child. whatever way that may be.

to new momma's (or soon to be new momma's) who may be reading this, if you are on the fence, if your deciding factor is wrapped up in being embarrassed? take heart in knowing you are not alone. it's a struggle at first. as is everything child related. but i have never met anyone who said they REGRETTED breast feeding. true statement.

weaning wasn't nearly as difficult as i imagined it would be either. bella has a lovey that she sleeps with, and i am certain that made all the difference. i started doing a little research when she was almost one, and decided to do baby led weaning. i was CERTAIN that she would continue to nurse until she was 5. it would be my luck. slowly, we cut back. i wouldn't deny her, but we played a lot more. i kept her pretty distracted. after about a week, we were only nursing first thing in the morning and right before bed. then one day, she didn't nurse before bed. i didn't offer it, but i didn't refuse her either. she just didn't ask. the next night, same thing.

now we were only nursing in the morning. that lasted for about 3 days. and then a few days ago, she stopped. completely. on. her. own. we haven't nursed again since.

over all, i loved nursing, and i will do it again with every child i am blessed with, for as long as i can and for as long as they want it. i know i'm lucky to have had such a great experience.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

crock pot luau

i LOVE my crock pot. love it so much that i have 3 of them. excessive? maybe. but there have been occasions where all three have been in use at one time. that's how much i love them.

i don't think i need to expound on that. but i will. crock pots can be used for EVERYTHING. and it's pretty much, toss in ingredients, put on lid, go about your business as if nothing were happening, eat. how perfectly simple is that?

so, when these fine ladies decided to have a crock pot blog hop, i couldn't resist sharing my favorite recipe.

it's one that i picked up our first month we were in hawaii. it is amazingly simple and AMAZINGLY wonderful.

crock pot luau.

1 rump or shoulder roast
2 tbs liquid smoke
kosher sea salt

rub roast with sea salt-however much or little. it's not a science.
put in crock pot.
pour 2 tbs of liquid smoke over roast.
cook on high 6 hours.

serve over rice. doooone.

y'all? it does not get easier. or yummier. your tummies (and your husbands) will thank you.


want some amazing recipes? here ya go.

inspired by finn review

last week, bella cut 4 teeth. this week? she has 2 more. it's like her teeth all were hanging out one day and decided to rain hate upon my head. i feel bad for bella. that must be some pretty terrible pain. i also feel bad for my sanity, because it is taking a serious beating. 

our nights around here have gotten pretty rough. i choose to not give bella much in the way of drugs. we have some motrin on hand, but we have had the same bottle for a year. and it might have about 3 doses missing. 

but when bella was first teething, i found out about baltic amber and it's effects on pain. when i heard of the baltic amber teething necklaces, i thought they were just something else for bella to chew on. 

first of all? you don't chew on them. baltic amber works by being absorbed into the skin. it helps soothe pain naturally. you can read a little more about it here

then i stumbled across inspired by finn. they specialize in necklaces for children and adults made from baltic amber and hazelwood. their "teething necklaces" are much more than an accessory.

 when bella is in the throes of teething pain, i put on her necklace (and sometimes just because it's so cute) and she seems to be soothed all day.

 today? she was a fuss butt. whiny and clingy. right now? she is very cheerily chasing the dogs around the house and playing peekaboo with her baby. with her necklace on. 

the girl is not only stylin', but she seems to be pain free. 

right now, inspired by finn is offering a 25% off code to my readers. just enter JN25 at checkout. it will be good for the next 2 weeks, so pass it around! and it's not just for babies. they have necklaces, bracelets and anklets for kids and adults too. 

go to inspired by finn, check out all their beautiful stuff, and if you get something, make sure you let me know! you will not be disappointed! 

*i bought bella's necklace and chose to review it on my own*

Monday, January 3, 2011

money can't buy happiness. or help you lose weight, apparently.

it wasn't really a resolution, but a week or so ago, i mentioned that i am going to start running. after a brief hiatus for being super sick and then of course, new years eve/day (which i totally did not acknowledge, except by doing nothing at all), i have been hitting the treadmill.

when bella was about 3 months old i, like every new momma anxious to shed some weight, joined a gym. i told myself, i am not like most people who join a gym. i will not succumb to the shiny factor, and work out hard for 2 weeks then stop.  i will make this a habit and i will lose the weight.

the first 2 weeks were free, so of course i went every day. they were great-bella sat in the child watch and i got a decent workout for about 45 minutes. which is usually when i would start to hear bella screaming from the other room.

week 3? when the money started to flow from the bank account? bella decided she didn't like the gym. i would get about 10 minutes into my workout and i would hear her wailing. i would go about another 10 before the watchers would come out and get me.

"bella won't stop screaming. the other kids are getting upset."

i stopped going for a couple of months-joel deployed and i went to stay with my mom. when i got back, bella was a little older and a little more independent. at 6 months, she was crawling around and was actually able to play on her own. so i gave it another shot.

i got 15 minutes logged on the elliptical.


keep in mind-this is about 30 yards away, behind a closed door. with a room between us that had a lot of "hiya"s and "ALRIIIIGHT"s emanating from it.

i got the lecture from joel-"we are spending $30 a month so you can sit on your butt and eat bon bons while that gym membership goes to waste!"

people? i don't know what a bon bon is. and i am rarely on my butt. but apparently, unless you go to the gym for 8 hours a day? that is what you are doing.

so i continued to butt sit and bon bon eat.

we had a free gym on base, but the only thing i knew about the child care was-"there is a room that has exercise equipment on one side and a glass room in the middle where the kids sit". that didn't sound like something bella would be in to. actually, it sounded a little sketchy to me. so i never went. because, hello?! if it sounds sketchy, it probably is. and it's probably even worse than that. and bella would NEVER.......

until last week. joel and i tried my gym again. and it was a massive failure. she was crying before we even entered the building. so the next day, we headed to the base gym. at this point, i was willing to prove joel wrong try anything. after a walk that seemed like it should have taken us into a different country, we got to the room. and went in.

i fully expected that pledge commercial, the one with the lady in the glass room, and the dust and the cats? but it was a room a little bigger than a racquetball court, with about 1/3 of it blocked off by a glass wall, and a half door (whew! i was wondering how she would breathe!?!? duh.) inside the little room, were mats, and big cushiony chairs and a couple of bosu balls and toys and a tv. the walls were painted bright colors with a mural on it.

i put bella down in the room and closed the door. and she played. and tumbled over the furniture. and got up, looked at me and laughed. and played some more. she waved at me as i ran, and played peekaboo from behind one of the columns. and i ran. and then i lifted. an hour later, i had worked up a pretty good sweat, and undoubtedly burned more calories than i have in a whole year. and it was wonderful.

today, i went with my good friend and her kids. and they played happily while we ran and talked.

lesson learned: bella and her father are in cahoots against me spending money. oh, and a $30 gym membership does not mean you get a free babysitter. most importantly? when something is free and doesn't get used? it's much more forgivable than when something costs money and doesn't get used. oh, and with the $300 i have wasted on that gym membership? i could have done a lot more.

joel, you were right. i was wrong. there. i said it. you better save this page, because you may never hear those words again.


if you're here from MFM, check out my about me tab! it's everything you need to know (and maybe a little more. i'm like that...). thanks for stopping by!! 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

i want to be a better liver. or maybe a pancreas.

i'm a little late the game on the obligatory "new year, new you" post. mostly because i don't make resolutions.

i think they are the biggest highlighter of failure, and i don't need that. instead, i like to reflect on things that i've accomplished, and see where i've come from, so i know where i'm going.

this year was a HUGE year. in my 26 1/2 years, this one ranks up there as one of the biggest, coming in a close second probably to 2005 (got married and moved to hawaii) and right in front of 1984 (i was born. it was a big deal.).

things i accomplished this year, in no particular order:

365 days of:
-breastfeeding. THAT is a serious accomplishment if you have ever tried it. my child better be grateful in 15 years when she is not obese and has a healthy immune system.
-cloth diapering. with the exception of about 2 weeks of dealing with a wicked rash, we have had bella's bum covered in fleece for an entire year.
-less than 5 hours of sleep per night. that's right, for an entire year, my child has not slept through the night, which means, neither have i. before you start giving me advice? she started on december 31st. her resolution must be to be a better sleeper. or to not hate her mommy so much.
-being a mother. most important thing i have ever done with my life. ever.

other things we have accomplished this year:
-i moved us from our apartment to a house while my husband was deployed. i'm pretty proud of myself for doing that. because that was a big undertaking. i had help from my friend and her 2 teenage sons, but that was it-2 women, 2 teenagers, an 8 year old and a baby. that should have been a reality show.
-we survived 2 deployments-one to haiti, for relief and one to jordan. bella was 6 weeks old when joel went to haiti, and 10 months when he went to jordan.
-lots of travelling-bella and i have made several road trips on our own, most of which were 6 hours long. we also traveled a lot with daddy.

bella has had a big year too! this was her first year of life. some of her milestones:
-6 weeks-made her first long road trip and saw snow for the first time.
-11 weeks-first trip to disney world!
-4 months-sat up on her own
-5 1/2 months-started crawling on her hands and knees
-9 months 3 days-took her first unassisted steps
-13 december-celebrated her first birthday

we've done a lot this year, and i am not the same person i was one year ago. i remember her. i liked her. she was nice. but she had no idea what lie ahead. i am stronger now. more in check. more sympathetic. more patient. i am willing to let things go that aren't important. and i know how to put my foot down when something is important. i am healthier, though not entirely healthy (i still have a good 20 pounds to lose). and believe it or not, i am more rested than i was a year ago. but only slightly.

i don't know what this new year holds. i have a lot i want to do, but mostly, i want to be happier and healthier. i want to be a better wife, a better mother and a better friend. i could say i want to be a more consistent blogger, but the truth is? when i'm not blogging? i am living. and not thinking about how my life looks in writing. so, i want to be a better liver of life. and hopefully i can be better at recording it.

happy new year.