Found

I found a dog today. I was taking Isaac to visit Zach at work and there was this little dog running down the street. It’s a pretty busy street and we have coyotes in the neighborhood, so I stopped to see if I could get it to come to me. Yep…I was barely out of the car and she came right over.

She a cute little pekinese and very well behaved. She doesn’t mind our dogs or Isaac, which is good, since he LOVES her. She follows me everywhere and sits at my feet. I have posted on craigslist and the Aurora Shelter, but I don’t know what else to do to find this little girl’s owners. I hope we find them. She’s got to be missed.

Lack of Motivation

Today was much cooler than it has been lately.  I haven’t been walking in, oh gosh, over a month.  So, I thought today would be a good day to get back out there.  But then I was done with work and it didn’t really seem like such a good idea anymore.  So I didn’t walk.

I also didn’t feel like making dinner and I really wanted wings and pizza.  So we ordered pizza.  So much for the salad I bought yesterday!

But….I did get dressed today.  I did drink a bunch of water.  I did do three loads of laundry.  I did watch my boys play in the rain.  I did snuggle.  I did giggle.  Not all is lost.

Time

Once upon a time I went to college.

In that first year of college, I worked approx. 24 hours a week.  I drove 30 minutes to work and 30 minutes home.  I went to school full-time and spent 1 hour on the bus to school and 1 hour back.  I went to church across town (at least a 45 minute drive) and I went over there at least twice a week if not more.  Later in that year, I took on another job…still only working about 30 hours a week total between both my jobs, but still doing school.

Into my second year of college, I started dating Zach.  My dad still comments to this day that he never saw me and that I lived at Zach’s house.  Well, I kinda did….I just slept at Mom and Dad’s.  But if you look at my schedule, it’s easy to understand why we got into that pattern.

I started work at 6 AM.  In the middle of the day, I’d go to school, only to return to work in the afternoon and stay until 6PM.  I was working full-time, going to school just short of full-time.  It was a 45 minute drive home, but Zach’s house was only 30 minutes and on the way.  So, everyday I’d stop at his house.  We’d cook dinner and eat.  If I had a lot of homework, I might stay and do it while he watched hockey, or I might go home.  Either way, 9-10PM came really quick and I had to leave for work at 5:30AM and I needed my rest, so I’d rush home and go to bed.  On occassion, when I didn’t have much school work, I’d snuggle with Zach on the couch and watch a show or something, but I’d generally fall asleep.  We were in trouble if Zach fell asleep too, because then I wouldn’t make it home until midnight or so.

It’s no wonder my parents didn’t think I lived with them any more!

Now days, I wonder how I had the energy to pull all that off.  I mean, homework, driving, cooking, work, school, walking, catching trains, grocery shopping, finding recipes.

Today, Isaac and I went to the store.  It was almost 6PM, I’d gotten off work at 4:30PM.  Unlike the old days, I don’t have to commute, so why did it take me almost 1.5 hours to get to the store 5 minutes from my house?  How do people pull off long commutes?  I guess, once upon a time, I did, but I sure don’t want to again.

Parenting or shall I say Breastfeeding

I’m an opinionated person.  I’m generally quiet about my opinions, and I especially don’t like to speak up if I’m uneducated on a subject.  I’m finding parenting subject are hard ones for me to keep my mouth closed on.

So, let me first state, that although I might not agree with a lot of parenting decisions and techniques that those around me use, parent’s have to do what works for them and their child.  And even for me, I know things will change, but there are some “OMG, I want to slap that person” things that come up for me.

Today, we went to some friends we don’t see very often.  They have a three year old and a 10 month old.  Besides us they had an other family over, and they had a two month old.  As women of young children and one who is just starting her journey, our discussion typically surrounded breastfeeding.  I couldn’t believe the amount of mis-information that this woman has been fed.

I calm myself down, I decided I need to write about it.

Yes, I believe breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby, but I understand that it just doesn’t work for various people, which I get.  That’s fine, just say as much and let’s move on.

Here are some of the (what I believe to be) misconceptions I ran into today:

My baby weighed to much and my milk hadn’t come in, so we had to supplement formula in the hospital. What?  Are you serious?  My beef is that your milk doesn’t generally come in for three days, which is typically after you leave the hospital, so duh…no milk.  But here’s the thing, newborn’s stomachs are tiny, tiny…they can’t really handle high amounts of liquid for the first few days so, as they’re stomachs grow, so does your supple.

My baby is just hungry all the time and by nighttime I just don’t have any milk left. So you might be out of milk, whatever.  I’m not going to dispute that point, but giving formula at night instead of nursing is not going to help.  In fact, it’s going to do just the opposite.  Newborns are hungry all the time because they are telling your body to make more milk and they are going through growth spurts like crazy.  If you don’t let them nurse, your body will never learn to make more milk.

People are telling me I need to put rice cereal in his bottle in the morning, so he isn’t so hungry. Are serious?  Babies are hungry for a reason…see above.

I heard these things over and over.  I wanted to tell her, when your supply dies when you go back to work and you really can’t nurse anymore, know that it was your fault and you were on that path from the beginning.

The fact is, newborns are work and feeding is work.  Whether you nurse or formula feed, you are going to have work.  It’s just what sort of work you want to have.  We used a bottle only a handful of times and could have probably gotten away with just having one bottle.  With bottle and formula feeding, you have a lot of cleaning to do.  And a lot of remembering how long the milk has been out.  And then there’s the cost….and I hear the poo is different.

Now, with breastfeeding, you don’t have the bottles (unless you have to pump, and for those that pump for years – Good on ya!  You are one dedicated mama), so the cleanup isn’t as challenging.  When your baby is hungry, you are literally ready to go.  No, bottle to make or heat up.  But here’s the thing, breastfed babies tend to want to eat more meals a day (but even in our adult lives, isn’t that what we are told to do…have five little meals, not two or three big meals).

To keep your supply up, you have to be aware.  You have drink plenty of liquids.  You have to eat well rounded meals.  And especially in the beginning you have to nurse at least every two hours, or you need to pump.

To ensure your baby is getting “enough” milk, you have to watch their diapers and count.  You have to pay attention to their growth patterns.  While babies do eat a lot and our hungry a lot, sometimes nursing is just for comfort.  And, part of me believes, if you just plop a bottle that drips milk into a babies mouth, when they are just looking for comfort, you are overfeeding and in the long run, you are probably leading to overeating and obesity problem later in that child’s live.  I haven’t done research on this little part, but it would make sense that that is why we have so many over weight people and as a society rely on food for comfort.

In the end, I just want the misconceptions to go away.  If you want to feed your baby formula, that’s fine.  It’s not going to kill the baby and I’m not ever going to make a woman for guilt for doing so, but let’s stop with the stupid notions and be honest.  Instead of saying, “Oh, I just didn’t have enough milk,” it’s probably better to state, “I just didn’t like having my baby attached to me 24/7, so I started skipping feedings and my milk supply dropped.” because in reality that what happened.  A nursing mom’s job is never done.

Friends are Friends Forever

People move in and our of our lives.  Some people are in your life for the long haul, some just to teach you something and then you move on.

Most of the time, people have to earn my trust.  Things can be awkward at first and after periods of separation, yet others are like siblings.  When you meet them, it’s like you’ve known them forever and if you haven’t seen or talked to them in years it’s feels like it was just yesterday.  I’ve had very few people that fit into this last category – Paul is one of those people.

Fifteenish years ago a family moved into the house across the street.  They were a military family and were moving all the way from Germany.  Susie and I were hoping for some boys our age.   We were 14ish, of course we wanted boys!   I was a spy…always watching the going-ons of the neighbors, so naturally it just intensified when this family moved in.

Sure enough, we got our boys.  One my age, two a few years older.  They also had a younger son in elementary school and an older daughter graduating high school and a son that didn’t live with them anymore, and I think there were some kids from another marriage that lived with there mom, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that.

We spent a lot of time outside.  We had neighborhood games of kick the can and played basketball almost every afternoon.  I even remember being taught how to play baseball and kickball.   Those were some good times.

Susie, Paul and Me

Jeff was closest to my age and Mark and Paul were older.  Although we all got along, Paul and I had a weird kinda relationship, I think Susie used to say we were engaged.  We just hit it off.  He was easy to talk to and fun to be around.  Four or five years later, when he got married, Susie and I went on our first road trip across Kansas to Missouri to attend his wedding, the only wedding of the brothers we went to.

We lost touch for years, in fact I haven’t seen Paul since his wedding in 2000.  For a while, we’d call each other, but we both got busy with our lives.  Thanks to Facebook, we (Susie and I) were able to reconnect with all three – Jeff’s wife was pregnant at the same time as me and had a little girl just weeks before Isaac, Mark married his high school sweetheart and has two kids and then there was Paul.  I knew he was around and had seen pictures, as his wife was on Facebook.

Paul had joined the Air Force and with joining the military he gets to move around.  His wife was so happy when he was coming home.  It was quite a surprise to me that a few days after he got home, I got a call on my cell phone with a message from Paul, telling me Happy Mother’s Day.  I had meant to call him back, but his number got wiped from my phone, and we all know how I feel about talking on the phone anyway.

A few days ago Paul, IMed me on Facebook.  I am normally hidden on Facebook, but had decided to show up for a while and I’m glad I did.  We chatted for a while about games on Facebook and life over the last 10 years.  Nothing too fancy, but it was like being reunited with a long, lost brother.  I miss Paul…hope he makes it back out here soon so our families can meet.

18 Months

At this age, little guys change so much.  And so many of the new things they are doing are so fun and cute you think you’ll never forget, but then a few weeks down the road you’ve forgotten, so here’s one of those mom updates…mainly for me to keep track of my little guy.

Isaac is now 18 months old.  We went to the doctor the other day and he is 21 pounds…3rd percentile…kinda shrimpy, but doctor assures me there is nothing to worry about.

He still waves Hi and Bye to almost everyone he sees, but if you get lucky, you might hear a “hI.”  It’s so cute because it takes a lot of concentration and the “h” is almost non-existent.

We have somewhat moved out of the “no” for everything stage.  For a while, Isaac said yes to everything, eventually adding in the yes head shake, but then he learned the no head shake and for weeks everything has been no.  Finally he is mixing it up shaking Yes when he says yes and shaking no when he means no.

He will now point out whatever he wants to eat in the fridge or pantry, even sometimes trying new things out.

Isaac gets cereal or yogurt almost every morning.  He gets very excited about it and is getting very good with the spoon (he’s been good with the fork for ages).

Isaac loves airplanes and will point to the sky and say “AaarM” (or something like that).

He also loves cows and saying “maw” – he word for moo.

Dogs say “haaahaaa” – like he is panting.

He can recognize so many things in books and remembers almost everything.  For example, months ago he threw the rubber band ball from the dining room to the TV room with Uncle Cody.  He didn’t ever do it again.  Uncle Cody came over a few days ago and immediately, Isaac went and got the rubber band ball and threw it off the ledge.

If you ask Isaac “Who’s Cute?” he will put his hands to his face, squeeze his cheeks and smile.  Even if you just mention cute, but aren’t talking to him.

Camping

We went camping last night.  Before we left, Cody came over to watch the dogs, because of this, we didn’t lock the dogs up before we left.  Zach had the car doors open in the drive and I had my hands full of the last minute things, when both dogs bolted out the door, climbed in the drivers seat and found spot in the car.  All the while, we were all yelling at them to get out and back in the house.  Guinness made himself at home on top of our pillows and Lexi decided on the front seat.  I finally got them both out, only for them to jump right back in.  It took a lot of neogotigating, but we finally got them out and in the house.  It was quite the fiasco.

We had a nice twoish hour drive.  Isaac was fine the whole time, which was awesome.  We got to our site, which was right on the water, right as the sun was setting.  We had to stop a few times on the way to look at the cows.  Isaac loves cows.  We got the tent setup, which was a bit of a challenge in the semi-dark with Isaac getting upset with the too tall grass.  We then had a nice little campfire and looked at the stars – there were sooooo many!

Sleep was not fun.  It was COLD.  Isaac doesn’t like covers and would scream every time we tried to put under the covers.  I was so glad when morning came.  Isaac was awake with the sun, but he just hung out and read his books for an hour or so, then covered me in kisses to wake me up.  It was so cute!

We had breakfast, with a minor meltdown when we wouldn’t let Isaac go to the water.  Then we did some geocaching.  Unfortunately I left my camera battery at the house, so I didn’t get to take any photos except with my phone, and it was absolutely gorgeous.  We had a great day and made it home, so we were gone for less than 24 hours.  We still have our Sunday left of our weekend.  Great time.

I am not fat.

For pretty much my entire life, I’ve thought I was fat.  I look back at old photos and I can’t believe that I’ve thought that.  I mean, I wasn’t skinny, I was average, healthy.  I shouldn’t have been worried about it at all.  But I was.  I was always told I ate too much, and maybe I did….I did eat a lot.  I was told I weighed too much.  If I could just loose a little bit of weight guys would actually like me.  This along with constant reminders to “stand up straight” and “too bad you have such bad acne,” caused me to have a big complex.  My confidence level was low.  I was constantly concerned about what others thought about me.

Fast forward…Zach helped me get over these insecurities.  I won’t say they left, but I did begin to feel better about myself.  I lost a few pounds and my acne didn’t seem to bother him.  Amazing how good it feels to like yourself.

Fast forward again…We’ve been married four years, my acne has cleared, probably due to age, but I’ve gained 15-20 pounds and am currently at my highest weight.  I’m miserable….I feel ugly and gross….and then I get pregnant.  9 months of eating good, but got being to concerned with gaining weight.  I honestly can’t remember how much total weight I gained during pregnancy.  I remember having a panic attack when I went over 170 and I think that was around 30ish weeks.

Now…18 months after giving birth, Isaac has stopped breastfeeding and I feel like I can just focus on my needs.  I don’t have to load up on calories and nutrients to produce milk or feed a baby inside me.  So I’m watching what I eat…and I’ve lost five pounds….I’m at my lowest weight in over two years.  All this is good and I hope I continue on this path, but that isn’t exactly what this post is about.

Yesterday I was at the store and I was watching a girl younger than me lumber out of the store, her clothes were tight (like she was trying to show off her curves) and he seemed to wobble around.  She was maybe two or three times bigger than me.  I realized then that I’m not fat, despite my own vision of myself.  My overweightness doesn’t not effect my ability to do anything.  I can walk just fine, I can buy clothes at a regular store, I do not need special scales or two seat on the airplane.  In fact, I’m probably where many women would like to be.  I need to learn to accept this and love myself, instead of getting down on myself for that one or two extra pounds

NC – Part III

The last part of the trip is the reason we went to North Carolina – to participate in the spreading of Zach’s mom’s mom’s ashes in the ocean.

Zach and I began Thursday at the beach.  We left Isaac and Stacy at the hotel in bed and enjoyed a sun rise on the beach with all the surfers.  Unfortunately, it was still yucky weather…it was overcast and cold, but it was still fun to cuddle on the beach – something we’d never done.

After the sunrise, we went back to the hotel to get ready to meet Zach’s Mom, Sue, her husband, Jack and her cousin and aunt.   We then headed back to the beach.  It was windy and cold, but it felt like the beach shared the emotions of the group.

I never really got to know Jean.  She spent the last few years in a nursing home and had just started showing true signs of dementia when Zach and I started dating.  From what I know about her, we would have loved each other.  He house was filled with books and photos.  She loved to travel and be around her family.

After the walk on the beach, we went out to lunch.  After that we were supposed to spend the day with Sue and group, but we weren’t invited to whatever they planned.  This caused a lot of stress and frustration in our little group.  Technically, we flew all the way out here for this, to spend time with Zach’s mom and she (and group) were acting like they didn’t want us around.  A lot of yelling between Zach and I transpired and we spent the afternoon in the hotel, napping and doing pretty much nothing.

We met back up with Sue and her family for dinner.  Jack and Sue have always talked big about the two places we ate with them, but Stacy, Zach and I all agreed it was the worst food we had on our trip.  Neither place would we recommend or go back to on our own.

After dinner, we did go to a park with everyone, (which we were planning on going to before we went to dinner), but it was rainy, so it was kinda cold and not too fun.  Stacy and I tried to find two geocaches, but we didn’t have much luck.  As we went to leave it started pouring, but Isaac needed one last run across the playground.

Back at the hotel we had a bowl of ice cream and were going to watch a movie, but I started feeling bad, so went to bed.  Isaac didn’t sleep well, and by morning we decided that we were going to enjoy our day and not have breakfast with Sue and group.

First thing in the morning, we had a backup in the bathroom, which overflowed the toilet all over the floor and our beach stuff.  It was gross and getting it fixed and cleaned up while we were trying to take showers and pack was not ideal, but we managed.  We said a sad goodbye to Stacy as she headed back to Virginia and we began the trek back to Raleigh.  My stomach was still not feeling 100%, so we did have to make a few quick stops along the way.

We got back to deliver the rental car and made it to the airport just on time.  We were questioned at the ticket desk for Isaac’s birth certificate (the first time ever in the nine airplane trips he’d taken), which was at home in CO.  Thankfully, they let us on the airplane.  At security, it was a fiasco.  We had to laptops and Isaac’s stuff and such.  They made us separate, needed to recheck Zach or something, but that left me to repack our laptops and bags, collect our stuff, put my tennis shoes on and put Isaac’s shoes back on all on my own, while the security person impatiently waits so she can check our baby liquids.  It was miserable.

Thankfully, when we got to the gate and went to gate check Isaac’s carseat, we learned that they had extra seats and if we wanted, we could have one for Isaac.  Of course we did!  That was nice, and the rest of our trip home was uneventful.