Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Night leftovers

  • It's offical. Summer is here! Yesterday was the last day of school in my town, and pre-k graduation at my kid's school. Cam is starting Pre-K in the fall and is super excited about it.
  • I'm a little worried about it, because it's a more structured environment for him, and he has his group of friends that we call the Fearsome Foursome. They will all be together in Pre-k, and I just have a bad feeling about it.
  • So bad, in fact, that for the first time, I'm asking for a parent/teacher meeting at school to talk about their plans to handle (and hopefully spilt up) the 4 of them.
  • It's been raining here for a week, and the forecast is for rain for through next week.
  • We are supposed to ride in our local 4th of July parade in an antique car, and I literally hope it doesn't rain on our parade!
  • This past week I hit 100 miles total swum for the year. To non-swimmers, that may not sound like a lot, but to give you an idea - at a normal swim team practice we swim about 2 miles, and it takes 90 minutes.
  • This week also marks a full year that I've been back in the pool. I'm so glad that I'm back to it.
  • This week I was super proud that I had 'kept up' with my CSA (eating/cooking up all the veggies). Then I realized it was Thursday, not Tuesday, and I had missed a pick up. Sigh.
  • Cam has been asking a lot of questions about God. I guess one of his buddies at daycare has been talking about it a lot. On our way to school the other day, I had this funny converstation:
    • Cam: Mommy, is God a good guy?
    • Me: Yes, he is a good guy.
    • Cam: So are dogs. And alligators!
  • So at first, I was like - OMG what do I say to him about god. And then I realized, after talking to the mom of the boy who has been talking a lot about god - that the stories in the Old Testament, they are a lot like super hero stories. So of course Cam is totally interested in God. If you ask him, he thinks that God is bigger than a giant! And people can fly up with jet packs to see him!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fat fat fat

If you've read me for any length of time, you know I'm fat. And don't say I'm not. Because I know. But I don't mind being called that anymore, because if I did mind it, then I would be ashamed of myself. I'm not. After a lifetime of wishing I could wear 'normal' clothes, and always wanting to order a donut but not because of whatever version diet I was on at the time didn't allow donuts or just the general frustration over the fact that I have always exercised and eaten pretty well and never seem to be able to lose weight, I finally said ENOUGH. That is the point that I threw out the crappy wardrobe that I've been wearing 'just until I lose weight' (most things bought at Target 5 years before) and just stopped the self hate.

This body of mine? It's done a whole hell of a lot of awesome things. And it still does.

I have to admit when I found out Cam was a boy, I was secretly relieved because I was VERY worried about passing on my body issues to a daughter. Then, I found out I was pregnant with twin girls? I couldn't stop smiling for days - so it's kind of sad to me that my only thought was of body issues and not the excitement of having a girl. I read and thought and stressed out about how I would deal with it. And I find that when I hang out with other mom's of girls, it’s a big topic of discussion. I think that now with the whole 'war on obesity' it's even harder to get a good message to your kids. FAT = BAD! No consideration for how bodies change and grow throughout life in preparation for puberty, etc.

So on that day, 4 years ago, I decided that I needed to throw away my worries about my size, and worry about my BODY. We always eat healthy. Yes, we go out for ice cream, but most things are done in moderation. We don't smoke nor do we drink excessively. And we exercise regularly. And then, studies like this come out. If you study and compare people who are fat versus thin and their 'healthy habits' (great visual here) that fat people can be as healthy as thin people.

I talk to a lot of people about exercise, and I hear the same thing over and over - no matter how much I work out - I'm not losing weight! And that makes me cringe. People give up on exercise all together because their only goal is to be smaller - not to have a stronger, more healthy body at whatever size it may be. Or thin people who don't exercise because they don't need to (thinking that since they are thin they are automatically 'healthy'. Sorry folks, not how it works.) I know from years and years of exercise that I don't lose weight from working out - but damn do I still get a lot out of it. Stress reduction, different social circle, personal quiet time, and better sleep!

So I've decided that is my message to both kids. Don't worry about the SIZE of your body. Worry about what you can DO with that body. And love it for what it can do, not what it looks like.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LIfe is a Pie

This is an extension of what I was saying yesterday. Time. Everything takes time. You need to decide what to do with that time, because you only get a certain amount of it. This is not a groundbreaking discovery.

When I was struggling to get pregnant, I was seeing a therapist. At the time, besides the whole issue of infertility, I was struggling with just starting to have our own home and be a wife. In Aaron's family, every woman has an amazing garden. They can their own pickles. Aaron's aunt still irons her SHEETS. My mom always baked her own bread. Her house was perfectly clean, all the time. As I was struggling that with all the hormonal crap of infertility, I didn't understand how these people did it all! He helped me with a lot with his explanation that life as a pie. The size of the pie - it never changes. What you do with your 'pie' that is what shifts. He asked me - when do you remember your mom baking that bread? Was it when she was first married? With small kids? Just starting out her career? Doubtful. He reminded me to find what was important to me, and to have that be what I worry about spending my time on.

For Aaron and I, before we had kids, we were big into triathlons and working out. When I wasn't swimming or running or biking, I was knitting. And we used to go out a lot on 'dates' - out to dinner, out to movies, and spending time with friends.

Here would be my sample pie from a 'perfect' week. Working a normal day, a 1.5 hour workout (the 'health' part of the pie), sitting and knitting, and spending a small amount of time cooking/cleaning/laundry.
And then there is now. I've changed from working out 1.5 hours a day to hoping I can fit in about 5 hours of swimming a week (and those 5 hours include travel time to the pool). My only 'hobby' is really just reading a book before I fall asleep. I thankfully am at a time in my kids life where I still manage at least 6 hours of sleep a night - but usually 8. The housework is more - because we have a bigger house and more people to clean up after. So I've hired a cleaning service to help with that. And then there is the whole classification of 'kid stuff' - making lunches, giving baths, reading books, going to tee-ball, play dates, building blocks.
Sure. There have been weeks when my pie is totally taken up with unexpected things - caring for a sick kid, or Christ, dealing with grief.... things that need to take over for that time. But in normal life, when I get overloaded - I take a deep breath and visualize my pie. What is eating it all up? What do I need to change to get things back to normal? Manageable? What do I do that makes me feel better?

Just a year ago, I didn't spend ANY time working out. I spent that time sitting on my butt knitting or watching TV. But now, I use that time to swim. It's a vital part of my mental AND physical health.

It's a great visual for a statistics geek like me.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Last week I took a planned trip away. In normal Cece-style, I invited all my friends, as I was renting a house that sleeps 10 people. But everyone was busy, breast-feeding still or had just gone on vacation and couldn't take time off. Only one friend could come, and only for one night. So I went on Wednesday after work and was home with the kids for dinner on Friday. It was wonderful.

This is my thing. I think Aaron and I have a pretty great balance going. We both work. I take the kids to school in the morning, he picks them up at night. We all hang out together until bedtime. Two times a week I go to swim team while he stays home with sleeping (hopefully) kids, and on the weekend I will go swim for Saturday afternoon, and I usually take the kids somewhere alone on Sunday afternoon. The rest of the time we spend together having fun. Aaron goes away a few times a year for long weekends with his friends, I do the same. We also take family vacations, date nights and more recently have even been doing nights away as a couple, without the kids.

I'm sure that what works for us is not what works for everyone, but I know that I really needed that 24 hours of complete alone time. I had dinner alone at a wonderful Mexican place. I got a massage. I went for a bike ride. I sat on the beach and read a book. And then when my friend got there, we had a great time sitting around and gossiping and laughing and drinking a bit too much wine before we headed to bed. Friday we went out for breakfast, talked more, and left. This weekend was a big mix of family time and parties and ending Sunday with an impromptu BBQ.

Growing your career is important. Spending time with your kids is important. Time with your spouse is important. Exercise is important. Key thing in there? Time. So many relationships to foster and only so much time.

I don't even know what to say here, but I'm glad I had a perfect mix this weekend of family time, friend time, and alone time. And I know Aaron and I need a date night soon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Out with a bang

The block party was a huge success. As Aaron and I have done this stuff more than once, it wasn't all that bad for set up/cooking/take down. We had a bounce house, a fun ride called a Happy Wagon, the ice cream truck came, two bands, great food and everyone had a great time. But, there is a lot of stress when trying to pull big groups of people together. And drama. So much drama. I've been doing this for 3 years, and it's the last. Going forward, I'll just do a big 'hurrah for summer' party that I don't need to satisfy everyone for.

Here are some highlights:

One of our neighbors works on an Air Force base. We got this insanely large bounce house for $125. How awesome is that? It's bigger than my house.

 I arranged for the ice cream truck to make a stop. No matter the age of the kids, EVERYONE loves the ice cream truck!
 Here is the Happy Wagon. It's so hard to describe - the man who drives it is the husband of my son's preschool teacher. Such a hilarious guy. He and a friend came up with this idea, and made this 'ride' I guess you could call it? He shows up at all local events (Springfest, local daycares) and the kids LOVE it. My kids never got off.
 He cut us a deal for a shorter visit, and my mom paid for it as a summer gift to the kids. BIG hit.

It was a great day, and totally worth all the work of organzing.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Wow. I haven't posted all week. Not because I meant to, but because things have been so crazy this week. I've been really busy at work, but also prepping for our block party tomorrow.
  • I've got pretty much everything in place for the party, which is exciting. Lots of food, drinks, a bounce house, and even the ice cream truck is coming.
  • I'm glad that my kids are of the age that they will really enjoy it, because if not, some of the planning headaches wouldn't have been worth it.
  • One of the reasons that this week has been so insane is because on of my guys is on vacation this week, and the guy that used to back him up quit about two weeks ago. So I haven't had time to find a replacement (and even if I did, there is a hiring freeze on now) so I'm his back up. And wow. Does this guy deal with a lot of crap on a daily basis! I'm totally going to get a welcome back balloon and treats to have at his desk when he returns next week.
  • We don't have a big Father's Day plan, but I did get us tickets to see the new Superman movie tonight - Aaron has been looking forward to it for a while.
  • On Father's day morning, I'm swimming in a big open water race - which will be my first open water swim 'race' in years. I'm excited. The kids expect me to win. I expect to finish.
  • My mom is coming for the weekend to see all of this, which is great.
  • Last year, Aaron and I went to some AAA baseball games, and they had these things that were basically Capri Sun juice packs but with alcohol in them. As we were sitting outside the other night, Aaron remembered them and said we should get some. But we had no idea what they were called. Well, I found them and we got some and yep. Going to be a perfect summer drink. 
  • It's been raining NON stop here for the past few weeks. We'll get a day or two of sun, and thankfully we have had at least one good day on the weekends. I've been freaking out that the block party would get rained out, but tomorrow we will have full sun and 75 degrees! Not too hot not to cold. Perfect.
  • And I have a mini-vacation to look forward to - after work on Wendsday, I'm going to Falmouth and staying at a friends house for a couple nights. First night all by myself, next night with a girlfriend. And thankfully, the weather looks good! My plan is to sleep in and then sit on the beach, drinking a few pops and reading.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Night Leftovers

• I was bragging about my son to another mom, like an asshole, telling her how he is always gentle and kind, and rarely throws tantrums. Can I get some guesses as to what happened directly after I said this?

• Can we talk about tee ball for a second? I had sworn up and down that I would never put my kids in tee ball. It looked like torture to me to all parties involved. I just think that tee ball is expecting a level of patience that 3 and 4 year olds just don’t possess. But, I succumbed to peer pressure and both kids did it this spring. Wow. It sucks just as much as I imagined. Maggie is thankfully done (and honestly, had a good time) as of last night. But Cam’s tee ball has been canceled 3 times so far for rain, so it just keeps getting extended. I’m SO thankful that Cam is old enough to start town soccer in the fall.

• Today is the last day for my friend at work that I joke is my ‘work husband’. I’m really going to miss him.

• We’ve decided to have the kids do daycare only 3 days a week this summer, and take our vacation time in long weekends. Saves us a big chunk of money, and kind of forces us to take things a little slower this summer.

• It’s been a stressful work week for both Aaron and I. I’m very much hoping that we are able to shut down and log off for the weekend and recharge. We’ll see. I think I should be able to, but it’s often a challenge for him.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

And so it goes

Work is pretty busy (lots of people are quitting and then others are sick or taking vacations and I'm the only one left. Which is fun. NOT.) Anyway, I popped online yesterday to take a break, planning on telling everyone about our wonderful and fun weekend (Everyone! We had a fun and wonderful weekend!). I did some blog reading first, and over at Ask Moxie she had a post asking for people who have lost an infant if they could help out with a study.

I'm all about helping others where I can, and definitely when it comes to helping people deal with the loss of a child. There was this whole disclaimer for who you could contact if these questions were too triggering for you - and I basically just scanned over that section. Because really. What harm could a ten minute survey have?!

Well. The woman is 'investigating the availability and impact of bereavement options and ritual on parents who have experienced the death of an infant' so the questions centered on burial and support and ceremonies and what you did/didn't do. Wow. That is apparently a very sensitive topic, because once asked, I was transported right back to the days after Nora died. I distinctly remembered calling my minister and leaving a message. I was crying and just kept repeating, "I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do." (just typing that is making me cry right now). I thank my lucky stars that I started attending that church just a year before, because our minister did swoop in and take charge. And when people were giving me options. Do I want a casket? A cremation? A cemetery burial? Do we have a family plot? What kind of service do you want? What prayers? What songs?

I'd never been through the death of a close family member, but I will assume when a death is expected (or at least on the horizon - Aaron and I have talked to each other about what we would like in a round about way) you have an idea of what you want. Like my mother. She wants a full on burial. With the church service, very specific songs, I even know what she wants on her gravestone. But when a baby dies? It's just SO unexpected, you just almost can't think about it. I for some reason felt very deeply that she should NOT be in a casket in a cemetary. To me, I just didn't think that was where my baby belonged. As for the service, I mostly let my mom and my minister drive that, with the one request that the song "Saying Goodbye" from the Muppets and the Ode to Joy were played.

But the pain and confusion and even the unexpected expenses of a funeral, it was all totally overwhelming, and remembering it kicked me in the gut yesterday. I do hope by filling out that survey I help her help others, but I don't even know what I mean by 'help'. It's a brutal time, and I wish no one had to experience it. If I find someone close to me going through it? I will just stand close and help however I can.