Friday, December 31, 2010

Midnight

January 1st, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to hoping the year is filled with much joy and many blessings for us all.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

If I Died Tomorrow

There are three things I'd want before I go:

1.  A kiss from my husband
2.  A smile from Kaia
3.  Snuggles from Kaia

That's it.  That's all I'd need to die happy :)

What about you?

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

6 Month Old Baby Genius

I have decided this is what Kaia is.  She's a very clever baby, no denying it.

Her activity center/jumper from Santa has an elephant with a mirror in it.  Today, the sunshine hit it just right and cast light onto the ceiling.  Kaia realized this and was fascinated, obviously, because of the science behind it all.

Then, this evening, she laid on the floor and showed me her newest trick . . . yes y'all, she can roll her tongue!  The girl is, indeed, amazing!

I intended on waiting until Kaia was 6 months to start her on solids but I let her decide and she was ready on the 9th.  We did rice cereal for two weeks and have moved on to oatmeal (I think she prefers this option).  And soon I'll be introducing her to even more exciting tastes!

Oh, further proof of baby geniusness, she can drink out of a cup.  Not a sippy cup.  A regular, big girl cup.  She started trying to get me to let her a month ago and about a week in I let her give it a whirl.  Obviously I hold the cup, but she drinks out of it like you or I would.  And don't worry, I don't give her a lot but she gets sips of water from time to time - OK, you got me, I totally let her try my lemonade too . . .

She still hates her tummy; almost immediately on being placed on the floor she flips over to her back.  Though she loves her sides too and so rocks around that way.  She is capable of a gradual, complete 360 on the floor.  A couple of times she's rolled onto her stomach from her back; well almost, I am convinced she doesn't go all the way over because she hates being on her belly but her legs are all the way over as if she was and her torso, oh so nearly!

This has been a big month.  There was the first Thanksgiving and the first Christmas.  Skype with Daddy made it extra special. 

Her jumper is her new favorite thing.  It definitely allows her to show off her skill and athleticism.

Happy 6 months my precious angel!  Your Mommy never knew life could get this good! 

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Resolution Ideas

The New Year is fast approaching.  I haven't, generally, made resolutions as an adult - not to say I didn't set goals for myself, they just weren't tied to the holiday.  But, this year I think it would be a good start to my year.  I could use the focus.  I am, after all, a list kind of girl.  So, here's what I am thinking so far:

1.  Achieve at least a 3.0 average in my classes this semester
2.  Follow a marathon/half marathon training plan (and not try to do more mileage)
3.  Run a marathon
4.  Throw Kaia an amazing 1st Birthday party - hopefully, be good enough to make her cupcakes myself!
5.  Get Kaia, and myself, on more of a schedule
6.  Get my personal trainer's certification

But I want some more good goals.  They can be short term or longer term.  Any ideas?  What do you think I should add?

What are your goals/resolutions for 2011?

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cupcakes!

Nothing new here but head on over to Kaia's Cupcakes for some recipes and visual delight!

Hugs from Kaia and I!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry 1st Christmas

Dear Kaia,

Today was your first Christmas, Saturday December 25th, 2010.  You are 3 days away from being 6 months old!  It was a beautiful day here today.  There was a light dusting of snow that is threatening to turn into a thick blanket as midnight approaches. 

You were up early, at a little after 8, with a smile and your sweet little voice to wake Mommy.  We got dressed and ready to go.  Daddy met us online for a Skype party from Afghanistan.  The connection wasn't great but we saw him and he saw us.  He watched you open ALL of your many presents, and stocking.  You were a very spoiled baby.  Funny thing is, you didn't really care about most of your gifts.  You do love your jumper from Santa though (Mommy put it together herself!)  Daddy bought you a little panda that squeeks, Kiyoshi and Jersey adore it and are dying to steal it from you.

Cindy's been here with us.  We are so grateful she's here!  She's been a good dance partner and cuddler for you when needed.

You took a nap early on in the day.  I think all the excitement wore you out.  But you weren't out long and then you were helping Mommy with muffins and cupcakes in the kitchen.

The rest of the day was filled with dancing to Christmas music or a little bit of country, trying out your new toys and books, and good girl time.  Except . . . you got to talk to Daddy again!  He hated missing out on such a big day for you!  But he spent a lot of it with you from across the miles and there will be many more Christmases with your Daddy here my sweet angel.

Mommy and Daddy Love you!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you and yours had a very special day!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wicked

First, I must sincerely thank you all for your kind comments, support, and understanding during my bloggy break.  I hope you can forgive my absence.  I will do my best to explain myself in this loooong post (sorry!)
Next,
Disclaimer: this post is very honest and involves my own experiences.  It is not easy to talk about and it’s hard to explain.  It may offend some of you.  Some of you may dislike me after reading it and choose to not come back.  If so, I apologize for offending you but I hope you can understand my side of the story too; I will not apologize for the truth.
The definition of wicked: morally bad in principle or practice.
Several years ago, I read the book, Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, and loved it!  However, at that time, I never knew how much I would someday be able to relate to Elphaba, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of The West.  She is described as, “a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.” (Wicked description)  You see, I’m a stepmother. 
When you hear the word stepmother, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?  For many people it’s wicked, witch, evil, nasty, mean . . . the list is endless really.  Let’s be honest, most people do not see, or hear, the word and think love, rainbows, and lollipops.
Well, frankly, I don’t think I’m a wicked or evil person.  In fact, before I became a stepmother, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would describe me as anything but nice, sweet, loving, or loyal.  If anything, I might be described as too accommodating or too nice (I’m not saying I didn’t have my bad days people, no one’s perfect, least of all me). 
Well, out of the blue, last week, just before the bloggy pause, I got a phone call from someone in Todd’s family.  This phone call was very accusatory, very judgy.  Very, you are not a good enough stepmother.  You need to step up and clean up after his mother.  You need to love him like your own.  Like Kaia.  If you loved Todd you would love him.  There was a lot said.  It was like a water hose really.  And by a water hose I mean a lot of cold, strong, water slapping me in the face that kept coming and I couldn’t hardly breathe, let alone talk and defend myself.  Well, then defend myself I tried.  It’s very hard to explain to someone who is not a stepmom what being a stepmom is like. 
Oh, on the surface it seems simple enough, love and be loved.  It won’t be that hard.  You are the grown-up.  The child is suffering.  The outbursts and meanness are justified and understandable, love through it.
You might be a stepchild.  You might have a friend, a sibling, an aunt who is a stepmother or a stepchild.  They might have shared their stories – good or bad.  But, the truth is, stepmothering is hard.  It is not cut and dry.  It is not always as simple as love and be loved.  Every once and awhile it is.  These stepmothers and their stepchildren are lucky.  Or, they are liars.
I’ve been a stepmother for almost two years now.  We have had my stepson here, with us for one summer, and lots of holidays and vacations.  It has never been easy.  It’s never been stress free.  In fact, I get sick, literally sick, with worry before each and every visit, wondering what we will face that particular visit.  There are fights over food – any food that is not peperoni pizza or chicken nuggets – there are full out tantrums at the store – even gas stations – when every whim is not caved to.  There are I hate you’s and I want my Mommy’s (not from us, if you started to wonder).  There is not listening.  Not following rules because, really, who could blame him?  Rules are a foreign concept at the other house.  There are no thank you’s . . . ever.  There’s more but you get the picture.
But, in one summer (and by one summer, I mean about a month and a half because that’s the point I realized there was a problem), before he went to kindergarten, I taught my stepson how to say the alphabet without skipping a couple of letters.  I taught him how to recognize every single letter (he only knew the one’s in his name).  I taught him his phone number and his address.  I made sure he got to go to karate and swim lessons.  I took him to the park and outside to play.  I held his hand.  I made him lunches and dinners.  And, did I mention I gave birth this summer?  To my first baby, too?  My first.  Do you remember what it was like when you had your first baby?
Well, I don’t love him like my own.  He’s not my own.  He never will be.  He has a mother.  She may not raise him like I would.  I may not agree with one thing she does.  But she does love him.  And he loves her.  I do care about him.  I think what I’ve done for him and what I continue to do, should speak for itself.  I do understand that this, the divorce and remarriages, have been hard on him, confusing.
But, please, don’t for one second think that just because I’m the adult, it means it’s not hard on me.  No one likes being told they are hated.  No likes being disrespected and mistreated.  I don’t care if your five or 95.
And please, take your judgments and hang-ups somewhere else.
Then, if you’re still with me, which God Bless you if you are!  If you are a stepmom, a stepchild, or a friend of a stepmom, please, go read Stepmonster.  It really explains the stepmom’s side, through facts and extensive research, much like Wicked, it really might change your preconceived notions about the nature of stepmothers and “good and evil”.   
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Intentional Blog Pause

Hello wonderful readers who I am truly grateful for!  You've helped me immensely since I started blogging in September.  It's been challenging in a new place without having very many friends here and now having hubby deployed.  You all have helped fill some gaps for sure :)

I may not blog much over the next couple of days.  I had a very hurtful and hard day yesterday that I need to sit back a little and heal from.  I have downloaded myself a little book in fact that I want to focus on getting read that I think will help me get through this.  I will be sure to tell you about the book when I am done.  I hope that you won't forget about me or give up on me if I don't post for a few days but I will do my best to at least put up a little something and try and make sure I visit you all at your blogs too.

Kaia and I did, almost, complete all of our holiday shopping so I hope you all are having a great holiday season free of stress!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baking Tips?

I need some baking tips.  I've made like 10 batches of cupcakes since I started Kaia's cupcakes and I haven't been 100% happy with anything yet.  Well, chocolate pumpkin came close.  But the problem seems to not be with the recipes as much as with my failure.  Most of them have been coming out either heavy or a bit dry, or both.  What am I doing wrong?!  What are some tips for a moist bakery fresh cake?  I mean, all those box mixes I used to make always came out perfect!  I want my from scratch ones to turn out at least that well - preferably better.  Please help!  I need someone to offer me free baking lessons much as my lucky bloggy friend Elizabeth (Flourish in Progress) got lucky with for cooking lessons.  Anyone?  Anything?  I'd really appreciate your help or advice as I really do want to make Kaia fancy birthday cupcakes myself and not buy them or make them from a box.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Red Velvet

That's what kind of cupcakes Kaia and I made today.  We need to get the recipe and results posted on Kaia's cupcakes.  We are delinquent on that blog lately and have two posts to get put up yet.

Kaia also helped motivate Mommy to work out this evening, I definitely was not feeling it.  But, we did 25 minutes on the elliptical, switching up the workout again.  Then I finished up with 100 crunches, 25 side crunches on each side, 25 reverse crunches and 10 pushups.  Tomorrow I doubt there will be any workout.

Because . . .

We're going shopping!  We probably have half of our gifts yet to buy.  Daddy's bought for, the sisters in law, one niece, brother in law, one part of the gift for each Grandma, my favorite cousin Cindy (she'll be spending the holiday with Kaia and I this year :).  But, there are still so many left to pick up!  Outlets, here we come!

Speaking of shopping and gifts, why must so many things cost so much?!  Todd and I would LOVE to get an espresso machine to make lattes from home but it seems like any latte machine worth buying is at/over 1,000!  And then, of course, someday I'd like to buy a treadmill too which is going to cost at least $1K for a good one.

Though, I do suppose, the best Christmas gift is priceless . . . if only Daddy could come home!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inspiration

What inspires you?  Maybe what inspires you will inspire me too.  Please do share.  To give myself a push to keep positive today, here are a list of 10 things that inspire me:

1)  Kaia's smile.  For her, I would move mountains (well, try anyway)
2)  My husband.  His hard work and support inspire me to dream big.
3)  Your comments on my blog.  You inspire me to keep writing.  Even at the end of the day when I'm tired and unmotivated.
4)  Strong women.  Famous or not, who have overcome adversity, prejudice, or any other number of obstacles placed before them.
5)  Skinny jeans.  Well, because they inspire me to be skinny.
6)  Cupcakes, because that's one way I can express creativity.
7)  People in the gym, or out running, because frankly, I've been accused of being type A sometimes and I want to be faster, stronger, fitter than you.
8)  Nurses, because you're already living my dream.
9)  Magazines, 'cause man, there's some pretty amazing stories on those glossy pages.
10)Extreme Home Makeover.  How do you make a house like that in a week?  It's amazing!  And I love the volunteers.  And the families?!  Wow, always so selfless, so positive, so unique, and so deserving.

Kaia and I did . . . dun dun dun . . .

22 min on the elliptical and she cheered me on for push ups and sit ups.  Shocker, I know!  But, I did change the elliptical workout to a hills instead of cookie cutter get on and go and my calorie burn pretty much rocked.

My fabulous friend Christina visited today so that's my 11th inspiration, friends and family that always call/visit at just the right time.  Who could stay down surrounded with people like them?

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Workout

Short and sweet tonight.  Workout - 33 min elliptical, 50 su, 15 pu.  I know, I know I'm not doing well on the switching it up right now but trying to make sure I'm ready for my physical fitness test.  I am planning on starting running again when I start school and can use the gym between classes.

And, because enquiring minds want to know . . . I still have Jersey for the time being.  Though I do have ads out without any interest yet.  I have talked to my uncle (used to train dogs) and an animal behaviorist.  It's not that he is beyond help, but it does become a concern with Kaia here.  I did implement some changes, the animal behaviorist had me immediately take away his bed and have more structure/controlled feedings and I have seen some improvement already.  But, if he bites at me one more time, or shows an inkling of inappropriate aggression again, he is out of this house immediately, one way or another.  The end.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guest Post

Hi everyone, I'm guest posting today over at Sweetbutterbliss.  It's all about fitness motivation so go check it out!

If you're here from Sweetbutterbliss, Welcome!  Take off your coat, have a latte, and stay awhile.  I'm so happy to have you.

Here's a few post that might help you get to know me better:

How it all began. My first attempt at blogging.

My funny post.

Why I will win the mother of the year award.

A letter to my daughter.

Wonderful hubby.

Emotional eating.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit.  Please come back anytime.  I do so love new friends!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

What Would You Do?

My daughter's 5 months old.  My husband's deployed.  I have two dogs.  I have no yard.  Both dogs must always be on a leash.  The weather is getting bad.  And . . .

The older dog, the lab mix, my husband's dog . . . is being a jerk.  No, seriously.  I'm sorry if you're a huge PETA person and you think that dogs are the same as people, but they are not.  And he is a jerk.  Jersey has been being nasty lately.  He's bit at me twice now.  Not nipped.  Bit.  He has tried to attack another, larger mind you, dog in the neighborhood - twice.  He has tried to bite at a man moving some people in.  I know when you take a dog in, as my husband did for Jersey from the shelter 4 years or however long ago it was, that you are supposed to be a responsible pet owner and keep the dog forever and blah blah blah.  Well, he's well treated here.  He's fed, watered, given treats, petted, given toys, doggie beds x 2, bathed, I leave lights and radio or t.v. on for the dogs when I'm gone.  Still he does these things, and did I mention pee in the house too?  Yeah, he also has peed in the house quite a bit since we moved here (he's been house broken for YEARS).  And now he has taken to getting on my bed when I'm gone.  The other day Kaia and I walked back in the house and he was laying on the couch like he owned the place.  When I raised my voice at him to get off he finally sauntered off, went over to his doggie bed and pissed on it.  He won't go to the bathroom when I take him out on his leash now.  And I have to drag the baby out into the cold with us when we go because I'm here alone.  Then, yesterday, he ran out of the house when Kaia and I came home from the grocery store and tried to attack the German Shepherd on his leash (who could, like I said, actually eat Jersey if his owner had let him).

I have explored various options on what I could do (there are fewer options than you may think).  I even called an animal behaviorist people.  I'm at my wits end.  I don't think I can handle it anymore.  I think I'm going to have to get rid of him.

What would you do?  I have a baby, a sweet little baby, who's getting drug out into the cold.  Who might be next on his bite list.  Honestly, if you were me, what would you do?

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Short Sunday Workout

300 jumping jacks, 80 sit-ups, 30 push-ups, 3 sets of 15 bicep curls, 90 calf raises, 200 high knees, 10 squats, and a LOT of walking around holding Kaia. 

Oh, and we made brownie cupcakes which I will try and get up on Kaia's Cupcakes tomorrow.

Happy Sunday night lovelies!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Nursing School

First, I apologize for not reading and commenting on many blogs the last two days, unfortunately, the next two days might not be much better.  Busy, busy!  But I do promise to do my best to catch up.

I registered for my classes today.  Overall, it went well.  However, I did have a lot of mixed emotions.  Here are just a few of the thoughts that circled through my head:

"Is it selfish of me to go back to school?"
"How many firsts am I going to miss?"
"Will Kaia resent or hate me later for this decision?"
"I wonder how Kaia's doing without me?  I miss my baby."
"I can't believe I'm really going to be starting school in January?!  I've wanted this for years now!"
"It'll be nice to meet some new people."
"I wonder how Kaia's doing without me?   I miss my baby."
"I'm going to be out of place.  Most of my classmates are going to be 20-21yrs old, unmarrired, with no children.  I'm going to be the "old" lady in class."
"I like the small campus feel.  Everyone seems pretty nice."
"I think that 17 yr old working in the library was just a bit taken aback when I said I was going to be a new student."
"Todd and I need this.  We need at least one guranteed job between the two of us."
"I wonder how Kaia's doing without me?  I miss my baby."
"Was that my phone ringing?!  Is it Nanny?!  Is something wrong?!"  (It was ringing, it wasn't her, and nothing was wrong)
"How many hours have I been gone now?"
"I'm looking forward to clinicals."
"I really can see myself as a nurse."
"This schedule is confusing as hell."
"This building's not even listed on the map.  I'm supposed to go where?"

But, that's more than enough; you get the picture.  Kaia and Nanny did very well together today.  And, yes, I did check the background check and references.  Clean record, glowing reports.  Seems like I got pretty lucky she's willing to work for me.

I am back to playing Army this weekend.  Tomorrow I take my physical fitness test, the first since labor.  It's not going to be pretty folks.

Todays workout:  33 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, 23 minutes on the elliptical.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do You Eat Organic?

I was reading my "Glamour" magazine yesterday and there was an interesting food experiment in it where one writer could only eat things she saw advertised on t.v. for a week.  She chronicled her lethargy, changed behaviors, mood swings, etc.  Apparently, we consume far too much sodium and sugar daily and our bodies adjust to this and increasingly crave more and more to achieve the same initial baseline "high."  I guess I've heard this before.  Really, I know I consume way too much sugar in a day.  I mean really, how do you escape it?  It's in everything!

Now, this writer, generally, eats mainly organic so the week was extra challenging for her.  To this I say, "Good for you!"  But, I also say, "How?!"  I genuinely would LOVE to eat all organic, all the time.  It's true; I love Whole Foods.  I love farmer's markets.  I love healthy.  I love no chemicals, no processing.  I love supporting local farmers, bakers, etc.  However, unfortunately, it is just not realistic for me to eat all organic.  It's so expensive! 

Todd and I decided to do one week at Whole Foods instead of the regular grocery store before he left.  We spent as much, if not more, for probably 1/3 of the amount we'd normally buy.  We also frequented the farmer's market many weekends this summer.  The cherries were delicious.  They were also at least 3 times as expensive (close to 5 times more expensive when cherries were on sale at the grocery store) the same can be said for some of our other favorites, locally baked bread and sweet corn.

I know the health benefits can be huge.  I'd love to raise Kaia on organic.  I literally cannot afford it though.

Do you eat organic?  If you do, is it everything on your shopping list?  Or just certain items?  And how do you do it?  Are you rich?  Do you have tips for the average woman on how to shop organic affordably?

P.S.  Thank you to everyone's support and sweet comments.  We got to talk to Todd today and he's safe!  Shew!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Skype

Kind of feeling a bit sad right now.  I haven't talked to my husband the past two days.  Kaia's stayed up to talk to her Daddy.  She misses him too, I know she does.  She's wiggling all over on the floor right now.  She hasn't rolled over again yet but somehow she has still managed to turn herself around the clock from 6 to 12.  She is so silly!  It seems like at any moment she will flip herself from her back to her tummy.  She is so close.  She hikes her knees up to her tummy and rolls all the way over on her side.  I think the only thing stopping her right now is how much she HATES tummy time.

I think I'm decided on a Nanny for sure now.  Kaia and I did an in home interview today and she answered all my questions like I hoped she would.  She is OK with what we're able to pay.  She is OK with the hours.  She knows baby CPR.  She's nannied for 3 families before, she gave me all their phone numbers.  And best of all, Kaia seemed to like her pretty well.  She lives close by too so we won't have to make accommodations for live in which is nice to not have to worry about since we're renting and would have to clear with the landlords and we'd lose our guest bedroom for when friends and family come over.

Despite the suckiness of not being able to talk to Todd tonight, Kaia and I did do our elliptical time today.  She's a good workout buddy.  We spent 31 minutes 30 seconds on it.  Then I did 20 push-ups and 40 sit-ups to finish up.  I am definitely out of shape and I'm not loving the workouts yet but I'm forcing myself to keep doing it.  It has been making me feel better.  Between the workouts and the vitamins hopefully I'm back to where I want to be before too long.

Off to try and get my angel to sleep since Daddy's still not on.  Fingers crossed and prayers that we'll get to talk to Daddy tomorrow.  Sweet dreams all.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Months!

Happy 5 month birthday baby!  (One day late because the computer didn't want to cooperate yesterday, I'm sorry!)  I can hardly believe you've been here, with me, for the past 5 months and it's even harder to believe when you consider you've been, with me, for well over a year when you count "tummy time."  You never cease to amaze me.  The littlest things are the biggest things to a Mama.  Who would have ever thought I would find poopy diapers and baby toots the cutest thing in the world.  And may I just say, waking up to your little voice and sweet little angelic face in the morning is pretty much the best thing ever - probably shouldn't tell Daddy that.  You haven't grown much this month.  You're still weighing in right at 13 pounds and are about 26 -ish inches.  You've rolled over from your stomach to your back, twice, on the same night but will not, for the life of me, repeat it.  We've decided to wait a little bit longer before trying solid food because you're not that interested yet.  Maybe this month, or next.  OK, now for your part.  Your likes and dislikes are not that much different, but so we don't forget, I'm going to let you list them all again. 

Here are the things I love:

1.    I love being held, this part isn't new, but, sometimes I even like being held when we're sitting down too - but back to not usually!
2.    I love the sound that plastic makes.  (Think Mommy digging into a plastic bag of reeces pieces)
3.    I love to laugh when I find things that are silly - like puppies.  The puppies are definitely the funniest things in the world.
4.    I love my Teddy.  I'm kinda over my snail though.
5.    I love rattles, and all things that make a rattling sound.
6.    I love walks - a lot (but not so much when it's freezing out).
7.    I love talking to Daddy on the phone/skype - but it's still kind of confusing.
8.    I really love my co-sleeper!
9.    I also love my Your Baby Can Read video - I just moved on to video number two today!
10.  I love listening to the book Daddy recorded for me.
11.  I love sucking in my lower lip.
12.  I love waking up in the mornings.
13.  I love my fingers.  And my toes, but not as much.
14.  I still love bouncing and dancing.
15.  I love walking, jogging, and elliptical riding.
16.  I love silly sounds, all kinds.
17.  I still like making Mommy look silly trying to make me happy, and oh how well she does it too!
18.  I love the sounds animals make, and animals in general.
19.  I love music, right now I'm really digging my Christmas CD.
20.  I love sitting up by myself on the couch or in my swing, sometimes, I still prefer being held.
21.  I still really love milk.
22.  I love talking on the phone - especially to Grandma.
23.  I love my Bjorn.
24.  I love staying up late, just not as late as I used to, 1030 is my normal bedtime now.
25.  I love licking Mommy's plastic water glass.
26.  I love ripping Mommy's glasses off her face.
27.  I love looking out windows at the world.
28.  I love splish, splashing in the bath.
28.  I love wiggling around on the floor, as long as you don't put me on my tummy.
29.  I absolutely adore standing, with assistance of course.
30.  Having visitors, especially relatives, rocks.  It means more loving arms for extra snuggles.
31.  My favorite book, aside from Daddy's of course, is How Do I Love You?
32.  I love getting out of the house for awhile to people watch.
33.  I love talking and speaking my mind.
34.  Mommy and Daddy are still pretty cool too.
Here are the things I detest:

1.   Daddy being gone.
2.   My fingernails being clipped.
3.   Sleeping, especially during the day.
4.   Tummy Time.
5.   Shots.
6.   My mittens.
7.   Socks and/or shoes.
8.   Having Mommy put my onesie on first thing in the morning.
9.   Waking up from the few naps I do take, I'm usually crying.
10.  Q-tips
11.  I'm usually not too big of a fan of my car seat.

I think that about covers it everybody.  Mama and I love you all for reading!  Come back soon!

Oh, and Mommy and I did exercise yesterday, 32 minutes on the elliptical again, bench press, leg extension, sit-ups, and push-ups, so we might be lazy today.  We finally posted our cupcakes from last week over at my other blog too, Kaia's Cupcakes, so go check them out.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Workout

Did I tell you my gym is all put up downstairs?  My sweet friend Karen's husband, Ryan, finished it this week.

Tonight I finished 32 minutes on the elliptical, did 50 sit-ups, and 15 push-ups.  It wasn't the best workout I've ever done, but since I haven't been working out a ton since labor, it was still tough.  And, even better, I feel great!  I really need to get back on the train for real this time.  I'm running out of time to get back in shape.  Please, please, help me.  If I haven't posted what I've done at least three times a week, absolute minimum, then bug me about it.  Even if I have, bug me about it anyway.  Tell me what you think I should be doing.  Tell me what you've been doing.  Ask me what I've been doing.  When I'm going to post what I've been doing.  When I'm going to get brave and start posting my "stats" again.  Anything at all to get me motivated.

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homelessness & Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  While there are probably a million things to be happy for this year, one that means a lot to me, aside from the obvious hubby and daughter, is my warm home.  I ask that you please remember that, this season, not everyone is so lucky to have this simple pleasure.  Here are some facts from our country that I got from PBS.

Between 2.3 and 3.5 million people in the U.S. find themselves homeless during a given year.  1 out of 50, or 1.5 million children are homeless every year.  23% of those that are homeless are chronically homeless.  Recession has had a large impact on these numbers.  Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State, and Washington, D.C. have the highest rates of homelessness.  Can you imagine being homeless in Alaska?!  Can you imagine being a baby, a Grandma, or someone with a serious medical condition and being homeless in Alaska?!

It is believed that approximately 40% of males that are homeless are veterans.  That means they served our country, were willing to die for us, and now they are sleeping on the streets, under bridges, or in shelters.

Many people who are homeless also suffer from mental illness and/or HIV/AIDS and other acute and chronic health problems.

If you're interested in what you can do to help go to The National Coalition for the Homeless

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Nanny

Keep your fingers crossed . . . I just might have found myself a Nanny!  Thank you so much Ameena for the tip on GoNannies.Com!

Asking for prayers from our wonderful readers that everything works out and that she is a wonderful, sweet, trustworthy person!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Giving

Hi sweet readers!  Happy almost Turkey Day!

I know that the focus on Thanksgiving tends to be on the beginning of the word, "Thanks," which is fantastic!  There are so many things that we can all be thankful for.  Like I've mentioned before, I am so grateful for my handsome husband, my beautiful daughter, friends, family, and You!  But, the other part of Thanksgiving is the "Giving" part.  A lot of times, one of the nicest things you can give at Thanksgiving is food to those who don't have enough.  But, I know times are tough for us all these days.  So, here is something you can do for FREE all it'll take you is a minute of your time.  No, really, completely free, absolutely no gimics, tricks, or strings attached.  My good bloggy friend Elizabeth at Flourish In Progress is donating one dollar per comment on her post Erasers For Everyone to purchase toys for deserving, and needing, children.  Please, please go visit her so that she can buy a LOT of toys and not just a few erasers, as precious as even those can be!  And, for all you Glee fans, "Don't be a Sue!"

Big ThanksGiving Hugs!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Quality Childcare

Question of the day, does quality childcare exist?  If it does exist, does it exist at a reasonable price point?  My mom used to do in home childcare when I was growing up.  I have no idea what she charged.  I'm pretty sure it was next to nothing and she did a darn good job of watching those kids if you ask me.  So, maybe I have unrealistic expectations?  Or am out of touch with the current reality of childcare?

As I mentioned, I am going back to school in January.  That is very short notice to find quality childcare.  I have looked in the past, just in case, with little success.  I've even interviewed some women.  Let's just say the interviews were TERRIBLE!  One was sweet, I guess, but didn't speak very good English (not a huge deal) but it was a huge deal to me that she didn't seem particularly warm.  The other girl was a college student who wanted me to drive Kaia over to her college apartment with like 70 roommates in one little place so she could watch Kaia there for like $20 an hour!  Um, I don't think so crazy as hell chic.

So I'd LOVE to have a "Nanny" or someone to come watch Kaia at the house anyway but everyone here charges a minimum of $10 an hour for that.  Maybe that's actually cheap?  To me it seems expensive when I have one baby who happens to be the best, sweetest, least fussy in the world.  But, I also wouldn't mind bringing her to a small in home daycare either.  There are hardly any here!  And most of them that are here seem a bit run down or in bad areas.  Traditional daycare is my least favorite idea but even they are expensive!  And, to top it all off, none of them seem to be open the hours I need!  Clinicals start early morning and none of these places open until like 730am.

There's a daycare by my school that seems like it might be a good match (though they don't open until 7 either) and their rates are $100 a week cheaper than here where I live, ridiculous!  But, then I'd have to make Kaia, at 6 months old, ride at least 2 1/2 hours in the car everyday.  That seems a lot to ask of a sweet baby.

I don't know what to do!  Any suggestions?  Anyone looking for a job?  Want to come be my Nanny or know anyone who would want to?  You could even live here for free if you're not a crazy pants.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

School Girl

I found out the other day, I am no longer on the wait list for school!  I will be starting on my journey to become a nurse in January.  I am very excited about it.  This is something I've wanted to do now for quite awhile.  I was not sure that everything was going to come together.  It was such a long wait and so many steps to get to where I am now.  I was thrilled.

Yet, there was a moment.  A very distinct moment, after I hung up the phone, and when I went to pick up Kaia, that I nearly broke down.  The tears welled up and threatened to pour out.  I will miss my sweet baby so dearly while I am in class and at the hospital doing my clinicals.  I know that it will be good for both of us in the long run.  But, she is my sweet angel.  She is, like I said, my little bestie.  Please pray for us and keep your fingers crossed that I find childcare that I feel comfortable and confident leaving her in while I pursue this dream.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

True Confessions: Have a Pint

Of Ben & Jerry's that is!  So, I must confess, in the middle of my meltdown yesterday, while trying to get up the courage and drive to throw out all of that 4 months of pumped breast milk, I pulled out my pint of Ben & Jerry's to see what state it was in.  It was in the deliciously melty state that I love.  And, as I mentioned, I am an emotional eater, so I fished around for several bites of brownie bits and cookie dough before recapping and getting down to business.  May I just say the indulgence was delightful and it made me feel so much better.

Throwing out all that milk did suck though.  And the day seemed endless.  I was feeling achy in my joints all day and I could not feel warm to save my life.  Kaia stayed awake until almost 1am to top it off but . . . the day was not all bad.  At approximately 9pm on November 17th, Kaia rolled over, twice!  From front to back.  It was amazing!  Of course she would not repeat it on camera or skype for her Daddy nor would she repeat the act today, but she did it and I saw her and I am so proud!  What an amazing little angel!  And, I got to talk to her handsome Daddy on skype for like an hour so I guess I could not ask for too much more goodness.

Oh, and the fridge/freezer is now fixed so back to trying to restock the supply.  It was the motherboard ladies.  I know, I know, I thought that was a term I would only hear when some lame, I mean totally awesome, sci-fi movie/show was being talked about but, apparently, your fridge has one too.  Who knew?

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meltdown

Look out world, I'm about to have a meltdown.  No, seriously, I am.

We rent, I don't know if I've mentioned that.  It generally is not important and so does not come up in conversations or posts.  Anyway, the point of this post is that our refrigerator/freezer stopped working.  Have you ever stopped to wonder how much money is sitting in your fridge?   Probably at least a couple of hundred dollars right?  Well, oh well, that blows but that's something I can get over if I have to.  Some things may be able to be salvaged.  Other things will get thrown out but there's a grocery store right across the street.  Nothing in there is irreplaceable . . .

Oh wait, I'm a nursing mother who has been planning on possibly going back to school when my daughter's 6 months old and who wants to continue to give her breast milk for a full year.  So, naturally, I have been pumping for almost the whole of her existence as well.  Never mind I have 4 1/2 months worth of saved milk in my freezer.  No problem that all of that has to get disposed of now.  No, really, sweet landlord and lady, please, take your time and call me back within an hour to let me know what you're going to do!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Best Friend is Five Months Old (Almost)

My daughter is my new best friend!  I just love her to pieces!  I know a mother is not supposed to be "friends" with her kids but, in our case, for now, I think it works for us.  Kaia does everything with her Mommy.  She is always there.  I wake up with her in the morning (and through the night ;), I dress her and she hangs out patiently while I get dressed, I feed her, she's there for moral support when I eat.  We watch her video together.  She cuddles with me while I type or read.  I wipe her butt, or in today's case, catch her poop in baby wipes (I know it sounds gross but it actually was fantastic considering the alternative of cleaning it off of all of her after it's squished around her diaper and out onto her body and clothes!)  I talk to her.  She talks to me.  She lifts my spirits with her little laughs and smiles.  Somehow I make her laugh and smile.  Who could ask for a better friend than that?!

On another note, my sweet friends Karen and Ryan are coming over tomorrow to help me get the gym set up!  They are wonderful and I can't wait to get it up so I can start using it!  Mommy really needs some elliptical time!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Emotional Eating

Medicine Net defines emotional eating as, "Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food -- usually "comfort" or junk foods -- in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions."

This is totally me!  It's not all the time but, generally, when I overeat this is my problem.  I'm sad about something so i fill my belly with M&Ms, cupcakes, or ice cream.  I think I definitely overdid it on the comfort foods today.  I had Cinnamon Toast Crunch (and a banana!) for breakfast, pizza for lunch, a cupcake for a snack.  I did have squash, potatoes, and carrots for dinner but then I finished off with ice cream.  This is a problem, no?  I think I need someone to come and stay so I can stop this craziness!

Besides, even when i'm not emotionally eating junk, I'm still eating like crap since Todd's gone.  Most meals, if I eat a "meal" at all is a hodge podge of foods like crackers and yogurt that are eaten standing up next to the island bouncing my sweet baby on my hip.  Not exactly inspiring healthy eating!

But, I promise to try and start doing better.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Memories

My Mom just left.  I got a tremendous amount of things done while she was here.  Kaia got extra snuggles.  The doggies got extra walks.  I could not have asked for a better visit with her.  I miss her already and wish she didn't have to go.

Now that I'm a Mom too, I thought it was important for my Mom to know that I really do have so many good memories from my childhood and how grateful I am to her for the part she played in the person I am today.  Some of my favorites?

* Baking massive amounts of cookies, all kinds: chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, etc, and laying them out to cool on brown paper bags all over every surface of the kitchen.
* Waking up early and watching my Mom cook my Dad breakfast before work - pancakes, eggs, bacon.
* Playing in the yard and trying to get passing semis to honk their horn.
* Sledding down the hill across the street.
* Talks with my Mom when she'd take me on drives, just the two of us.
* Dinners as a family, my Mom's home cooked meals - lots of casseroles, mmm!
* Family reunions
* All the trips to the library
* Swim team, gymnastics, soccer, softball, and anything in between
* My Mom reading to me and giving all the characters different/fun voices
* Sharing a room with my favorite person ever . . . my sister!
* Planting two trees
* Homemade apple pie and fresh rhubarb with sugar

There's so many memories to choose from!  I hope someday Kaia will look back on her childhood and smile.  I want to provide her with a lifetime of good memories!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cupcakes & Dining

I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting today - more details over at Kaia's Cupcakes.  I also made a successful trip to the post office this time - thanks to my Mom!

Then, we finished the evening off with good friends and good food.  Karen and Ryan introduced us all to a new fabulous restaurant and all our families got to meet!

Now, unfortunately, is a countdown to my Mom leaving. 

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Friday, November 12, 2010

ProBlogger

So, I decided I'm going to take the ProBlogger 31 day challenge - though it will, likely, take me more than 31 days.  I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Also, all of my fitness equipment is here and waiting anxiously to be put together and used!  I just need to get it set up . . . yeek!

Tomorrow is cupcake day over at Kaia's Cupcakes.  I will be making a vanilla cupcake but am not decided on the frosting yet.

My Mom's visit is nearing it's end and I am not looking forward to her departure.  Most of her time here has been spent helping me mark tasks off of my list.  While absolutely needed, I feel bad we were not able to relax and enjoy each other more for her visit.  I know we'll see her again in a few more months but I really wish she was closer all the time!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You!

Today is Veteran's Day.  It's an important day to me.  Not because I am a Veteran, but because some of my favorite people were and are.

I've been to Iraq.  It's not a place I want to return anytime soon (though I am glad for the experience).  My husband went to Iraq twice and is in Afghanistan now.  My old Soldiers are in Iraq.  I have close friends who are in both conflicts currently.  One of the men I respect most in the world is a Vietnam Veteran. 

I think that everyone should know that, while deployed, Soldiers - and government contractors, American men and women, live in trailers (if they are lucky) and tents.  They eat meals ready to eat (food in plastic bags that are often eaten cold) or mass produced food in large fly infested cafeterias.  At times, they are shot at with many types of guns, rockets, and mortars.  Sometimes, they are struck by improvised explosive devices.  They are kept away from their families, the people they love the most in the world, for months to a year - or over.  Internet communication is limited, if it exists at all.  Sometimes, there is no access to phones.  Sometimes, on the worst of days, you lose a friend.  Then, after a short visit home, a kiss to a loved one, a trip to the mall and the movies, the Soldier's country asks her to go and do it all over again.

The other day, my Mom told me that most people that she works with have no idea what it is like for the deployed Soldier.  I can understand that.  I can understand being removed, not realizing, not knowing someone personally and so not feeling invested.  What I cannot understand is what she said next.  She said most of them don't care to know.  Not care?!  I must admit that, at this, I found myself fighting back tears.  Not care?!

I know I do not know the people my Mom was talking about but I most certainly do know the people they don't care about.  I took it personally because these people, if they die, they are not a number to me, they are not a coffin draped in a flag.  These people, to me, are: husband, father, best friend, brother, sister.  They are mothers and fathers of beautiful young babies.  They are extraordinary people with bright futures and big dreams.  I don't expect thanks.  I do ask, please, for a little respect.  Please, these people mean the world to me.  Care.

On the lighter side of Veteran's Day, thank you Chilis for my delicious and free salad! 

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Too Old

Do you ever feel like your stumbling around in your own life?  I mean, really stumbling? 

I feel that way now.  I feel so conflicted.  I feel like I know where I want to go, but I'm not sure how I can get there.  And really, if I'm to be honest with myself, where I want to go is not a reasonable destination. 

I want to do too many things.  I love being a SAHM people.  I do!  I love my daughter.  I want to be with her 24/7.  Well, OK, as long as I can get a shower, some sleep, and maybe go out for a few hours to myself once in a blue moon, but mostly 24/7.

But, I also have other ambitions.  I've talked about wanting to be a personal trainer.  I definitely do want to do that.  I've helped an old co-worker lose weight healthfully.  I've gotten friends to work out and feel better about themselves.  I've worked with kids and taught them gymnastics and boxing (yeah, didn't I tell you I used to box, totally bad a** right?!)  And every time I've done these things I've LOVED it!  I could see myself doing it for a living!

I also want to be a Pediatric NP.  I used to want to be a Doctor.  Then real life hit me in the face a couple of times and I realized a nurse was way more up my alley.  I want more interaction with the patients than a Doctor gets to have.  I respect Doctors.  I think they are amazing.  The schooling they have to go through.  The responsibilty on their shoulders.  It is astounding.  But, it is also not for me.  When I was in Iraq, I got to assist in healing babies, kids with horrific burns.  It was heart renching and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life.  I want that kind of satisfaction from my job daily.  I want to help people.  I want to help kids.

And, I want to write.  Something good.  Something people read.  Something they want to read.  Something to be remembered for.

And bake, I love baking.  I may not be the best at it by any means, but I love it.

So, where do you go from here?  I mean, obviously, I cannot do all of these things.  I cannot be a SAHM and be a practicing NP.  I cannot be a SAHM and a PT.  I can be a SAHM and bake and write.  I can be a NP who occassionally writes and bakes and maybe even one who trains a few friends or gives out a lot of free fitness advice.  I can be a PT who stays at home with her daughter a lot and works a few hours a week. 

So what is it that I should do?  I hate that I even have to make a decision here.  I know that it isn't all up to me.  I'm on a wait list to go back to school for nursing.  If I do not get in off the wait list that won't even be an option.  I could study for and take the PT certification test and fail.  I could try and start taking writing jobs but never get picked up for anything. 

There are so many factors to consider.  There is what I want.  There is what I can actually do.  There is reality.  There are bills that need to be paid and a lifestyle that I want to achieve for myself and for my daughter (and future kid(s) - fingers crossed).  There are pie in the sky dreams.  There is the reasonable, realistic Mom in me and there is the young dreamer.  It just feels like all these thoughts and dreams are constantly battling it out in my brain.  Struggling.  And in the meantime, I am stumbling.  I am stumbling about trying to find my footing.  Aren't I too old for this?  Shouldn't I have things more together?  I'm almost thirty for heaven's sake!

Does anyone else feel this way?  Or am I still stumbling out here all alone?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally, a Friend!

First, let me start this off with the admission that I know this is pathetic but . . . I've lived here for 6 months now and I have made my first friend!  (Of course I have the fabulous Karen but, to be honest, I just got lucky in knowing her from work before we both moved out here.)

Met Selby for coffee at Starbucks tonight and she is too sweet.  Kaia and I will both now look forward to her baby getting here so Kaia can have a friend too :)

On another note, Kaia is a complete angel and was so good all day even though we did a million things.  Lucky Mommy!  Not so lucky in doggie motherhood though.  One of the A holes peed in the house again. 

I took the day off exercising today as I was a good girl and did something everyday last week!  Though it may be somewhat negated as I am also, generally, consuming a cupcake every day because of our cupcake project.  What's your favorite flavor?

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Study Sunday

I finished all of my work here today so, . . . it's time to get on to studying!  I really need to get moving on the book teaching me about becoming a personal trainer!  I wish it was smaller though so I could read it while I hold Kaia.  It's so awkward and heavy though!  I need an e-book version. 

I'm going to keep this short because I want to get in as much as I can before my mandatory afternoon run (2 miles today) which I guess is good that I finally test my foot out on more than a walk and strength training.  Besides, it seems most people don't do a lot of blog reading on the weekend.

How has your weekend been going?  I hope well!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baby's Deep Thoughts

I am working this weekend.  That means that I get up early, very early, to drive to work, have a full day, and then have a drive home from work.  This, hopefully, will be the last weekend of the drive.  In any case, as Todd is gone, my Mom decided to visit this week/weekend to help me out with Kaia over these two days.

As many of you already know, Kaia does not like to go to bed at night.  Last night was no different.  I tried to stay up with her.  Then I went to bed because I knew I had to wake up so early.  But, finally, I could take it no longer.  I felt bad for my baby and for my Mom when I heard her continue to scream bloody murder.  After a little loving on her, I got her to calm down.

But . . . it was nothing short of horrific for me, heartbreaking!  My beautiful, little, even tempered, calm child was fit to be tied for awhile.  When I laid her down to change her and check her little toes (to make sure no strings in her jammies were cutting off circulation) my sweet baby was shaking!  And her eyes, those big blue eyes!  I can't even explain those eyes to you.

It was at this time, staring back at her, holding her, hugging her, kissing her little cheeks, that I began to wonder.  What can a small baby understand?  What can she grasp?  How is it that she sees the world?  Because, in that moment, I really believe that she was terrified.  She was terrified that when I passed her off to my Mom and went up to bed that I was leaving her.  I think she was worried that I would disappear like her beloved Daddy.  Of course he's coming back!  Of course she gets to hear his voice from time to time.  But she can't see him!  And how do you explain to her, an infant, that he is not gone for good?  He will be home soon.  That he still loves her with all his heart.  And me, Mommy, Mommy is not going anywhere.  I would never leave her and not come back.  Never, ever.  I couldn't, even if I tried.  And finally, while I was worrying about all these things, and she was staring wide eyed at me, staring all the way into my soul, finally, she relaxed.  She calmed.  She trusted.  And then she slept.

I want to hold her forever.  I want to keep her safe from everything.  From everyone.  I don't ever want to see my baby staring back at me with those big blue eyes and that unexplainable look.  I want, always, to see that twinkle, the light, the love, the trust, the happiness, because she is worth it and because she gives all those things to me every single time I look at her. 

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Blogging

T.G.I.F!

Hi everyone!  Today is a fantastic day!  My Mom is here!  She got in early, early this morning and we've been having a great day!  We made this week's cupcakes and they are AMAZING!  Head over to Kaia's Cupcakes http://kaiascupcakes.blogspot.com/ if you want to read more about them!

My elliptical got in today.  It's sitting in my garage right now as we speak!  Now I just need to get some help putting it together so I can start using it!

I will continue to post while my Mom is here.  I apologize in advance though because I probably will not be as avid of a reader of all of your blogs this week.  I'll try and catch up later if I can!

I really hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I will be working, boo!  But . . . who cares!  My Mom's here!  Woot Woot!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Will Blog For Free

Oh wait!  I already do that!

Well, today is Thursday.  Tomorrow is Mommy arrives Friday (410am) and hubs has been gone for three weeks Friday.  Every day is such a mixed bag these days.  Great, soaring, exciting moments and crashes.  I'm not depressed.  Trust me, I know what that's like.  But, I would be lying if I said I wasn't down.

Here's a day in the life example:  Todd calls!  (Up)  Reception sucks!  (Down)  But, I know he's OK!  (Up)  It's raining and I have to take the beasts out (Down)  Kaia's face lights up in an amazing smile!  (Up)  She screams and cries, nothing makes her happy (Down)  She eats and falls asleep, angelic, in my arms (Up)  I get various annoying phone calls from con artists and the ringing threatens to wake the baby (Down)  I get the financial aid package for school in the mail!  Score!  (Up)  I find out I'm still on the wait list though and have to keep waiting (Down)  This is boring, and you get the point anyway . . .

Sorry if this is a Debbie Downer post again!  I am happy!  I am grateful for so many things in my life.  I know that He has blessed me.  Still, I cant shake the funk at the moment.

I am infinitely excited and optimistic that all will change tomorrow though!

And, as my husband would say, "And then I found $20!!!"

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday

It's Wednesday and I'm not really feeling a post today.  Especially not a long one.  But . . . I already did my 30 minute exercise video today!  And Kaia's waking from her nap as I type this so, hopefully, we'll be off on our walk before long too.  I hope you are having a fantastic fitness day!

My exercise equipment is being delievered next Wednesday!  Exciting!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dog Walkers Beware

Some people are jerks.  That's just a fact of life.  I will take you back to our walk on Sunday to tell you why I say this.  I walk, everyday if I can, for exercise, to get Kaia some fresh air, and to exercise and potty the two doggies.  So, this requires me to wear Kaia and hold one dog per hand.  Keys and doggie bags tucked somewhere in pants.  Most people that see us out like this stare or do a double take.  Many say, "Whoa!  You've sure got your hands full!"  Why yes, thank you for noticing!  I do!

However, some, instead do this . . .

We are on our way back.  We are all slightly tired.  We see a man and his dog, Kiyoshi's younger brother with a different coloring, across the street.  Of course this riles my dogs to no end.  I pull and tug at them to keep them moving.  The man crosses the street to our side.  Oh no!  We must be in front of his house!  He keeps approaching, I am really having to strain to get the dogs to move away now.  The man says nothing but grins at us.  Mind you, Kaia is still in her carrier as I visibly struggle.  He continues to approach within inches, continues to smile good naturedly.  Finally, I manage to get my dogs turned around, though grudgingly.  As we walk away, I hear this, "OK, [insert big happy grin-chuckle here] you've seen them now."  And they walk away from what, most definitely, was not their house.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Work It Out

Really trying to get back on the workout train.  Last week was walks and an exercise DVD - it's tough!  This week we are going to continue the same and try and fit in at least two short runs this week - foot permitting.  I picked up a running log at the mall so am excited to start using it!  Today we just had a mini walk, because of fussiness, but I also fit in 20 minutes of exercise in the house so not a bad start for the week.

Kaia is amazing!  She did so well on her appointment today!  She only cried for like 30 seconds with her shots!  She's healthy and strong.  I was a titch off on her measurements.  The nurse had her at just a little over 25 inches instead of 26.  She also weighed in at 12lbs 13oz.  And the best news of all . . . still no helmet needed!  I hope it stays that way!

Finally, long overdo, requested pictures of the Jers (L) and Yosh (R)!  This was right before a hike we took them on in June before little Miss Kaia arived.



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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cupcake Sunday and Silly Saturday

Kaia wanted her very own blog so we started Kaia's cupcakes at http://kaiascupcakes.blogspot.com/ if you want to check it out.  As you can probably guess, it is a cupcake blog and we have now completed our first cupcake recipe.  This site will only be updated once - twice a week as we choose and review our cupcakes for you.

Now, on to our silly Saturday.  Yesterday, I decided that it was time, finally, to get to the post office and mail some deployed friends care packages.  This meant three different packages, a Mommy, and a sweet little baby.  Kaia did excellent at first.  Then, she decided that she wanted to be held, so fussed at Mommy.  Imagine a disgruntled woman, a 4 month old baby in hand, three bags of goodies for packages (not yet packaged), three boxes, three customs forms, and a roll of tape.  I know, hillarious, right?!  So I'm carrying her, trying to keep her from fussing, writing, and trying to scootch along the line with my copious amounts of stuff.  Everyone was looking at me funny and trying to find out if they could go around me.  Which, of course!, this is going to take me awhile people!  Then they start looking at me funny for a different reason and someone finally asks if I need help.  All cheery like I say, "No, thanks!  I think we're good, but thank you so much!"  At which point she looks at me funny again and I look at Kaia to coo at her and keep her happy.  To my utter horror, Kaia has a pen mustache!  Literally, a pen mustache people!  A crooked line above her lip and below her nose!  I did that to my baby!  I'm feeling like the worst mother at this point but am so happy that I at least didn't poke her in the eye!  Then the lady asked me if I wanted her to help by holding my baby!  Um, that is super sweet lady, but Hell No!  I don't know you!  Maybe you can help me scoot my packages along or tape up my box, but hold my baby?!  Oh no!

We finally made it out of the post office and off to the mall to pick up some more wintery stuff for baby.  We ended up getting Daddy a count down calendar (The Office)!  Then we went to the Baby Gap where I again ended up holding Kaia and pushing her stroller.  So many cute things!  My baby totally dresses better than me!  My favorite purchases?  A cute pair of white faux fur boots and a cute pair of mittens and hat.  The hat is a little bunny hat and the mittens match.  Yay for warm babies!  Now the trick is going to be getting her to keep her little boots on!  But yeah, yesterday's excursion definitely reminded me why we don't get out much! 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thank You

I know a lot of you lovely ladies do thank yous on Thursdays.  Makes sense.  But, today I am just feeling very thankful in general.  Here are some things I'm thankful for today.

1.  I talked to my handsome hubby this morning and the connection was only crappy for a little while at the end.
2.  Last night I had dinner with two fabulous ladies.  (Thanks Karen and my darling little girl!)
3.  The blogger community!  Ladies, thank you for your wonderful, amazing, inspiration.  Thank you for your comments.  Your honesty.  And your beautiful, creative, and humourous posts.
4.  That the dogs have not escaped, peed/pooped in the house this week.
5.  That my Mom is coming in to town this week.
6.  That my husband's great.  Even when he's not here he still makes me feel beautiful and special.
7.  That Kaia went to bed at 1130 last night!!!  I know, A-MAZ-ing!  This never happens.
8.  For my fantastic friends who call me or read my blog and comment!  (Love you guys!)
9.  That my foot is slowly healing and I have been pretty good at working out this week even if it's just been walks and my cardio/strength exercise DVD.
10.That it's Saturday!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

ACE

Slowly, I'm starting to study to get my personal trainer's certificate.  I think it's something I'd really enjoy.  Even more now that I'm a new Mom.  I feel, and have read from others of you who are struggling, that fitness is even harder as a new mother (or mother at all!).  I would really love to focus on women's health and fitness.  So many of us lack confidence in our body image.  We always put everyone else first.  Sometimes we just get intimidated and don't know where to start.  But fitness is so important!  Not to make us skinny.  Just healthier and happier.  Did you know exercise has been proven to lower symptoms of depression?

I would LOVE to get programs together that work for Moms (working moms, SAHMs, WAHMs. all moms).  I want to develop a community eventually.  Because that's what it's all about!  You are more likely to stick to a program when you have support!  And, besides, I'm all about paying it forward!

Some ideas I have are:

1.  Community, community, community (a place where women can feel comfortable asking whatever they need/want and where they can link up with a friend - or friends! - like them, to do joint workouts together)

2.  Develop more programs that mothers and daughters (or sons!) can do together.  Maybe even get Dads involved!

3.  Offer them at times that are reasonable for everyone, not just early mornings!

4.  Put together races and tris that can be done with baby!  (Baby in stroller, bike trailer, - swim probably going to have to be Mommy solo)

5.  More prenatal options that fit the individual woman's current fitness level and health

6.  Make it more affordable.  Design programs that fit/work for every budget.

What ideas do you have?  What has kept you, as a woman, as a mother, from working out now or in the past?  I'd love your honest feedback!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

4 Months!

Hi Everyone! 

Kaia, back again!  It's my big 4 month birthday today so I thought I'd update you on my progress.  Mommy weighed me in right about 13 pounds this morning and I'm hanging out around 26 inches.  I'm starting to do a bit better sitting up by myself now and Mommy thinks I'll be sitting tall and strong by next month for sure.  Every day Mommy helps me stand for a little while and feel the carpet between my toes . . . I totally LOVE it!  I love and hate pretty much all the same things I did at 3 months but with a few changes to the list.

Here are a few more things I love:

1.  I love being held, this part isn't new, but, sometimes I even like being held when we're sitting down too!
2.  I love the sound that plastic makes.
3.  I love to laugh when I find things that are silly - like puppies.
4.  I love, love, love my Teddy.
5.  I love to kick my rolly polly snail and make him sing.
6.  I love walks - a lot.
7.  I love talking to Daddy on the phone.
8.  I really love my co-sleeper!
9.  I also love my Your Baby Can Read video.
10.I love listening to the book Daddy recorded for me.
11.I love sucking in my lower lip.
12.I love waking up in the mornings.
13.I love my fingers.

I don't love baths but I don't hate them either so they go here in the middle.

I still detest sleeping and tummy time but now the thing I detest the very most in the whole wide world is my Daddy being gone :(  Also, I hate having my fingernails clipped.

I bet you didn't even realize time was flying so fast did you?  I'm such a big girl.  I help Mommy a lot and take good care of her.  We're doing a cupcake project together now and Mommy promised if she gets good enough at it she'll make me some really special ones for my birthday.  She also said if she doesn't do too well at it she'll just buy me some really special ones, so, either way I'm pretty happy!  I go in for another round of shots next week.  I know it's good for me but oh how I hate shots!  Don't you?!

Talk soon!
Amour Kaia

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Today is Wednesday.  I turn four months old tomorrow.  And, Sunday is Halloween.  It's hard to have all these days without you, from the little everyday ones to the big important ones.  I miss you a lot.  I am sorry that I've been missing your phone calls most mornings since I'm still sound asleep like a bug in a rug.  It isn't always that way.  Here are some of the things I miss about not having you here - of course, the list is nowhere near complete, but it is the top 10 reasons anyway (in no particular order).

1.  I miss going to bed at night and having a warm snuggly Daddy next to me to drape his arm protectively nearby just to make sure I'm OK.  And,  I miss waking up and seeing you snuggled next to me on the weekends.

2.  I miss having prickly beard kisses.

3.  I miss not having to watch Mommy shower or take baths because we have each other to play with.

4.  I miss the silly noises you used to make for me - Mommy tries to recreate them sometimes but it's just not the same.

5.  I miss you coming through the door after work and giving me great big smooches!

6.  I miss you taking me shopping and buying me things, even though I don't ask for anything.

7.  I miss hearing your voice and seeing you at the same time.  Especially when you're telling me how much you love me and how pretty I am!

8.  I miss watching/helping you play computer games.

9.  I miss our occasional naps together.

10.  I miss your smells.

Really, Daddy, I just miss everything about you.  I cannot wait until you come home.  I promise to have lots of extra big slobbery kisses and hugs saved up for the moment you step off that plane!  I know Mommy's going to want to give you hugs and kisses first but I'll be fighting her for the first one the whole time, you just wait and see!

Amour,
Your Little Princess,
Kaia

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amour

What do you do when you love someone and you think they are making a mistake?  A big one.  One that can forever influence his/her life.  The biggest thing you can do.  The first thing, is to tell them.  To be honest, to provide advice.  To let it come from the heart, even though it may be hard.

But what do you do when they don't listen?  Or when even if they listen, they don't fully hear, they don't take your advice? 

I guess the only things you can do are to wait.  To pray.  To hope that it all turns out for the best in the end.  I guess you have to hope that you're wrong.

On a more positive and less vague topic.  I am back to exercising again.  Right now I'm trying to take it slow-ish.  Yesterday and today we walked.  Tomorrow we will walk but I think I might try my intense cardio/strength DVD again too.

Sweet dreams my friends.  I hope you had a great Tuesday!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Seeking Job

I'm seeking a new job.  Let me rephrase that, Kaia and I are seeking a new job.  I am loving being a SAHM for the time being but Kaia and I love being out and about and we love . . .things, lots of things.  So, we decided we should look for a job.

Know of any permanent, full-time or part-time, mother-daughter work out there?  We're open to suggestions.  We are good at walks - preferably without overly eager dogs, laughter, eating, playing baby games, watching movies, sometimes other forms of exercise, and, debatedly, blogging.  We also are fans of learning.  In fact, we'd love to learn something creative/crafty like blog design or cupcake making.  Oh how I'd love to have my own cupcake shop with cute, delicious cupcakes.  Anyone need some apprentices?

Our ultimate dream job would be to write for "Runner's World" or any other fab running magazine that would pay us a little cash to travel around the country (or world) to participate in and write reviews on different races.  How does one get such a job?

No, seriously, how do you?


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sensitive Sunday

I'm going to keep today's post short, sort of, but in honor of the Lords day, I think I'll also be super honest.

I am sensitive.  Lately, overly sensitive it seems.

I'm not posting this for sympathy/pity comments, like the person who says oh, I'm so fat or so ugly just to hear people say, oh, no, you are sooo beautiful!

I'm posting it because, since we are getting to know each other, I think you should know this about me.  Maybe it stems from a lack of self confidence but it is just as likely to be my current situation: at home, alone, with an infant, and a husband that is deployed.  Who knows really, and who cares why I am.  I just am. 

I analyze and overanalyze everything these days.  Who called.  Who didn't call.  Who said something nice.  Who said something mean.  Who didn't say anything at all.  You get the picture. 

I feel sad for me sometimes.  Sometimes sad for my baby girl - she deserves to see her handsome Daddy everyday after all.  And lots of times, I feel bad for other babies.  I feel bad for babies born to mean, uncaring, or simply irresponsible parents.  I feel bad for babies born in poverty, in drugs, in war.  Then after I feel bad for the babies I feel bad for the kids.  Then after I feel bad for the kids I feel bad for the adults (well, some of them) because, after all, adults used to be babies too and not everyone chose their situation.  And not everyone could get out of it if they tried.

What do you feel sad about?  Are you sensitive?  What tugs at your heartstrings most?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sunshine Saturday

Today I am thankful for my beautiful friends and my lovely family. 

Last night was a tough one on me.  Todd officially left country, though he has been gone from home for a week before that, last night.  I was a mess.  Depressed might be an understatement.  Of course Kaia keeps me afloat on the daily.  Her little smiles - and need of food and diaper changes of course - keep me from going to bed and not getting out, even for showers.  But, my friends and family also help keep me going too.

My Mom calls me whenever she can now so that I don't feel lonely.  Despite my not being a "phone person" we manage to talk for hour long stretches half the time now.  My sister is also trying to help out when she can with phone calls - she's a super busy Momma too with three of her own.  My Mother-in-Law is a sweetheart and likes to call in to check up on us too.  And my bestie, Nicole, is always perfect with texts and phone calls to cheer me up.  Today, Kaia and I had a delightful day out with our friend Karen.  Thank you Karen for our lovely, beautiful, afternoon!

Of course, I talk to Todd whenever I can.  Every little bit helps but nothing is ever the same as having my other half here.
 
Now, there is you!  Yes, you, reading this right now!  You are all becoming my friends every day as you learn more about me and I learn more about you.  Thank you so much for the comments!  They too are little buoys that help keep me afloat.  I look forward every day to reading your blogs.  I look forward to reading your comments on mine.  I look forward to feeling a connection to people I don't "know."  Is that weird?  Of course I'd love to meet you all in person too but all of your fabulousness is spread across the country!  I wonder what it's like to meet a bloggy friend in person.  Do any of you know?  I'm sure it's cool and "normal like" if you meet a bloggy friend at bloggy boot camp or something but what about for coffee or lunch?  Is it awkward?  Like a first date kind of?  Do you think you meet and then love each other less?  Or do you love each other more?  Is it a sustainable friendship?  Or can it be lost easily because it started out as a virtual comittment free friendship?  Would my bloggy friends be put off by my real life appearance in jeans or yoga pants - daily people, not just once in awhile?  Or my lack of ability to wear make-up and do my hair?  Or in some ways is a bloggy friend a better friend than some you'd meet in your day to day life because they know so many more of your inner thoughts and secrets because you're always spilling the beans here and have less of a filter?

Does anyone else think these things?  Ask these questions about their bloggy friends?  Do you ever want to meet your bloggy friends in person?  Or is part of the appeal to a bloggy friend that you never have to?

 
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