Photo Friday: My Morning

In the 4 years I have been blogging, I believe this is my very first Photo Friday. Crazy, I know! I decided to do a storyboard of the things I wake up to each day. So here's a little glimpse into my mornings...

I wake up first to my alarm on my BlackBerry:

Hubby wouldn't let me photograph him this a.m. so this is a shot of his t-shirt this Friday morning. Don't take offense, people :)

Then our silly, LOUD, very much morning people kids are in my view:

And our Lab Retriever:

Coffee is King in the a.m., shown here in a mug given to me by our nanny last Christmas:

Roses from our garden on our buffet:

Have a great Friday and happy weekend, everyone!


At first I was afraid, I was petrified....

...blah blah blah, the point is I survived my first kickboxing class! (And, um, don't tell anyone this, but I secretly really, really liked it! Yikes!). Now, my body still hurts like a mo-fo, but I'm lovin' the pain. I feel it in areas that need to be worked out, so that means those problem areas will be gone after the next class, right? I'll be svelt and confident and magically transformed into the 6-foot skinny make-up wearing blonde who dares to stand in the front of the class, right? (I still don't get wearing make-up while working out, especially a super sweaty work out, but that's another post...).
So for at least another week, I say: Bring it on, crazy happy, punching, kicking, high-fiving kickboxing instructor! Bring it. As my Lightning McQueen-loving 4 year old would say, "KA-CHOW!"


I am Kung Fu Panda: floppy & flabby...but fun!

Fitness is not really my friend. I am truly more Kung Fu Panda than, say, Kelly Ripa or Heidi Klum. I do not enjoy working out. I am allergic to gyms. I dread exercise classes and get anxiety over the thought of any type of exercise in a social setting; the last thing I want to worry about while sweaty and stinky is making witty conversation with other human beings. So why, oh WHY, did I sign up for a cardio kickboxing class? Was I drunk/high/tricked? I have no good excuse. For some reason, I thought it was a GOOD IDEA. Hmmm...old age is apparently making me lose all good judgement.

The one thing I DO like to do is go running. Once in a while. And by that, I mean, maybe a couple of times a month...or a couple of times within a few months. Scheduling exercise seems odd to me. Three times a week? At the same time every day? That's crazy talk. Only crazy people do things like that. Hmm...I am getting older and hence crazier...

Well, here I am, at the start of summer, shorts and swimsuit season, and it's hit me: I want to work out. Wha-wha-WTF? Who said that? Was that MY inner voice? Holy hell it was! I want to eat better and lose these extra inches that I'd love to blame on the babies, except the youngest is now 14 months. I stopped nursing a little over a month ago but forgot to stop eating those extra 500 calories...and they're not exactly leaving my body. I may weigh the same as I did in high school, but that is a BAD thing: my body is most definitely NOT the same! Which means I have lost a lot of muscle and gained the lesser-weight-but-more-fatty-fat-skin fat in its place.


The worst is the muffin top: the horrid "mom" syndrome of a belly and love handles that likes to flop over jeans that aren't even tight. I hate it. My ass isn't the same either. When I went running the other day, I actually FELT these horrid...things...flopping about as I pounded the pavement. Ick. I was so disgusted.

And so, in a moment of weakness, I signed up for a kickboxing class. It starts in less than 2 hours.

Well, shit.

Wish me luck. I've never taken a kickboxing class. What do I wear? I'm weary of it already because it's a class. The anxiety of "what if all the other people in the class end up as friends and go out afterward for post-workout coffee without me?" is already annoying my overactive imagination. But I'm going. I can't take the muffin top and love handles anymore. It's time to reclaim my body.

Deep breath. Here I go...!






Our Anti-Summer Camp Summer

Boo is now home an extra day from preschool, so he goes 3 half days instead of 4 from now until September. This means one less work day for me, which means more madness in the house in general, but during the summer it seems like juggling everything is less of a hassle and more of a joy. It may not be the lazy, hazy days of summer around our house, but it certainly feels like lighter, happier, more carefree days...even as busy as our days are.

I debated about signing Boo up for summer classes: swimming, soccer, music, art. But signing up for the classes we want for the days and times that would work for us is always a huge headache, and in the end, I decided against any formal camps or classes. Boo just turned four; he's not 12. He already goes to school and has that structure, and during the summer his preschool has mini "camps" anyway. I truly believe that as a society we tend to overschedule our kids. I am a big believer in letting kids be kids: let them enjoy a lazy day here and there of just hanging out in the backyard collecting bugs, waking up with no set schedule and seeing where the day takes us, not having to be anywhere at a certain time. Even if I can give Boo two of these days a week, or even just one day with no plans, I notice that he is a much happier soul. And as much as we know kids crave schedules, I also want Boo and Tickle to grow up knowing that most days you just need to roll with the punches and see what happens. The ability to schedule but the flexibility to change: that's what life is, right?

So here we are, on a sunny Monday morning, hanging out having breakfast in pajamas. Boo said he wants to print out more pictures for his photo album, the mini travel album that we made for him when we travel places so he gets excited about the people and places we're going to see.
That's the only thing on our "agenda" today. Granted, I've got a million things to do for the businesses, my formal revised biz plan to finish up before I meet with my business counselor this week, and I should probably clean the house, but whatever. Those things can wait and they'll happen in due time. Today we're just going to breathe and enjoy just being. I love summer!

Tickle stopping to smell the flowers:


Weaning & Co-Sleeping

It's officially been two weeks since my last nursing session with baby Tickle. At 13.5 months old, we were both done. She was just using me for comforting nibbles, and it was time. I had no goals for nursing with her. With Boo, I wanted to make it to 6 months, and we made it to 8.5 months before he essentially weaned himself before I had to go on a trip to San Fran and couldn't take him with me. It affected me more than it did him. I was in PAIN! This time, the parting was a whisper, where I haven't felt any difference and apparently, neither did Tickle. She's a big girl, and she just loves her sippy cup and drinking out of regular kid cups too.

Part of me is sad. She's our baby, our last baby, and the lovely nursing sessions are done. Another milestone that we won't reach with another kid.

But yesterday at the doctor's office a woman walked in with a crying infant, all chubby and pink and maybe all of two months, and all I could think was: "Cute. Glad we're done with that phase." And so, I know, no big pangs of wanting another from this mama.

As for Boo, we made a deal that when he turned 4 he'd start sleeping in his own bed in his own room again. That's right: ever since Tickle came home from the hospital, Boo has been sleeping with us. And we loved it. Boo is our baby too, and he's getting so big so fast, and we know he's not going to want to snuggle up with us as much anymore as he gets older. I know lots of friends who cosleep for different reasons, one of them being that they work FT and cosleeping allows them to connect more with their kids. While hubby works FT out of the house, I work FT in the house, and it just makes me want to spend as much time snuggling my little babes for as long as I can, for as long as they'll let me.

Boo is four. Last night he slept in his own bed in his own room. I was so proud of him, but also a bit sad. Our kids are growing up, and I just don't want to miss a minute of it. He ended up crawling into our bed halfway through the night, and I was a little happy about it.

(If you are wondering about Tickle, she's been sleeping in her own crib in her own room perfectly happily since she was about five months. She's our independent one).


Anatomy of a Mama's Morning

Here's my morning:
  • wake up against my will
  • check emails in bed
  • shower
  • get dressed
  • deal with ungodly thick hair that has no shape
  • make breakfast for son
  • feed the dog
  • make second breakfast for son because dog ate his first breakfast
  • unload dishwasher
  • make coffee
  • put away dirty dishes from sink
  • take out trash (to the actual trash bin outside & not just in our garage, ahem)
  • vacuum (and sometimes mop the floors)
  • get baby dressed
  • change baby's new and very full poopy diaper
  • get baby dressed again
  • feed baby breakfast
  • put away hubby's dirty dishes that he left out from last night & this morning
  • check emails
  • resolve sibling morning squabble
  • fix some website issues
  • order dad's day gifts + a little something for myself
  • clean up after baby's breakfast (big mess)
  • pack son's lunch
  • get kids out the door & son off to school
  • go to work in the office
Hubby's morning:
  • wake up against his will
  • shower
  • get dressed
  • iron a shirt or pants
  • get in car and go to work
Are you mamas out there going through the same type of morning imbalance in your routines?


Beach Birthdays: Not for the Weak

Birthday Week is over, and I think I am breathing again. Except that from the 3.5 days I was without internet access (hotel *said* there was free Wi-Fi, but it did NOT work EVER for me!), I amassed 13,000+ emails. That's right. There's not an extra "0" there. 13-THOUSAND emails. I've got it whittled down to 12, 510 as I write this.

Friday was hell. No, actually, it was Hell - capital "H." I ran around all morning doing last minute errands, packed up all of our stuff in super anal organized fashion (man we had a LOT of stuff!), did all of the last minute food prep, went for an oil change for the car, picked up hubby from work (he was *supposed* to have the day off to help in the morning. Grrrr), drove to the beach, checked in. Hung out on the beach for a bit (that part of the day was great), went back to hotel, attempted to decorate the cake and cookies, then spent the entire night trying desperately to get baby Tickle to go to sleep. She wouldn't have it. We did stories, rocked her, sang to her, let her walk around for a bit, gave her more milk, took her for a drive even, and she slept maybe a total of 4 hours. Total. Then, of course, it was time to "wake up" which was a silly thought since we barely went to sleep! Boo, thankfully, got some sleep. He was the only one.

(Pic below of dino egg cake + dino cookies)

Saturday, the day of Boo's birthday beach celebration, was a marvelous day. It wasn't sunny but it also wasn't windy at all (odd for the coast) nor did it rain at all. It was just right for us. We set out Boo's cake (which melted, by the way, in our hotel room after I had decorated it. PISSED was I. It looked like CRAP!), all of the food we brought, the cookies, and set out the sand buckets and shovels and dino toys for the kids' party favors. Friends and my parents arrived and Boo had a great time. Granted, he protested when it was time to sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles, but we were fine with that. If you didn't know Boo, you'd probably be all sad that he missed out on that, but Boo is his own person and he does what he wants when he wants, and this was birthday celebration #3 for him last week, so hubby and I really didn't push the matter with him too much. He had a GREAT time and still talks about it. It was so nice of his friends and our friends to come out to the beach for Boo's birthday. He spent the rest of the day and night playing with his new toys, we went out to dinner with my folks, watched crazy people hold bonfires on the beach right outside our hotel room (it was freezing at night!), and then, by some miracle, both kids slept super soundly that night.

Will we do a destination kids birthday party again? Probably not. I absolutely love entertaining, cooking, baking, organizing, organizing some more, and putting together parties. But moving a kids party someplace that requires even more prep work days beforehand, packing, and additional "what if" planning is too much even for this crazy mama. So many people I know told me "what a great idea! Less stress!" To which I say a big fat "HA!" Is anything about a kids party or traveling with kids NON-stressful? Now multiply that stress times, oh, about a million. That's how stressful this weekend was for me.

Was it worth it though? (pause). Yes. I think so. Boo got the birthday party he has been talking about for the past 8 months. Tickle got to play on the beach that she loves so much. The ocean calms her, and it's so interesting to see her on the beach. They got to fly kites, build sand castles, search for seashells, watch the seagulls, build sand pits/forts, and just run around on the sand. For us as parents, it was just lovely to watch them be so happy and in love with a place that we have loved for so long.

But yes, I am glad to be back among working technology, and no birthday celebrations to plan for 11 more months. Even my 12, 510 emails in my inbox can't faze me now...! :)