My New P90 Journey: Move It & Lose It!

Since birthing an 8lb, 13oz baby boy 15 months ago, I have been pretty lax about what I eat and to be honest, I haven’t really been paying attention to the scale.

When I was pregnant, I gained a whopping 28 pounds overall and had pretty much lost all but 5 pounds 2 weeks after having Jack.  (I blame the fluid)

Anywho, we recently booked our flight to Myrtle Beach for a lovely vacation with my in-laws in July, and instead of wanting to crawl under a rock and die while walking across the sand as the palest person there, I figured I would look good as the palest person.

Before getting pregnant and after getting married, Chris and I had our share of fun.  Nights at the bar, dinners at nice restaurants, ice cream before bed, and it all seemed to catch up with us pretty quickly.  We joke and say that we didn’t pay attention now that we were married.

Now, I know that I will never don another bikini at the beach or at the pool (thanks, stretch marks in my 37th and 38th week of pregnancy), but that doesn’t mean I am destined to wear a parka to hide everything either.  I should be proud to wear a J.Crew bathing suit as I chase Jack on the beach and help him dig in the sand.

We had started P90 last summer, but we stopped doing it because Chris moved to the mountains for his new job, and I was essentially a single working Mom in Philly with no time for anything.

The plan: I am going to commit myself to doing the 30-45 minute videos once a day along with my Weight Watchers program to lose the extra 25-30 pounds that I have been toting around since college.

An added bonus?  When we decide to have another baby, I will have less weight to lose and I will be a healthier Mom for it!

The plan is to walk when the weather allows for it for as long as Jack is not frozen to keep up momentum.

My bonus for losing these extra pounds?  Five, yes FIVE pairs of Sevens, Citizens and True Religion jeans that I have not been able to wear since having Jack. Essentially, my wardrobe will double and possibly even triple!!

My weight is almost evenly distributed over my body, but I would love to lose some pounds from my chest, thighs, hips, rear end, and my belly.  However, I am frightened to see more sagging skin in my belly area.  It is just something that has to be done.

I know my hubs will take heart when I walk out on the beach this summer in a tankini with Jack in tow as we run for the waves.  Lets see what 90 days can do!  It’s all about choices, portion control, exercise, and muscle confusion.  Tony Horton, I dare you to make my body beach worthy.

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Selling a Home is Really Tough

When we listed our home with a knowledgeable and reliable agent in July 2010 to sell our house outside of Philadelphia, we thought that the house would be shown, and we would be seated at the closing table a month or so later.  Unfortunately, we were dead wrong.

We had multiple people express interest.  Feedback that would follow would usually be along the lines of “Such a perfect home.  Move-in ready.  Please anticipate an offer from us soon.”  And then, we would hear back that the buyer decided to go with another home instead.

So many times, we have gotten our hopes up, planned the move in our minds and gotten to the point where we planned on when we could be down to pack and I would take the time to find a good storage facility until we found a home in the mountains that we could settle into.

Since July, I feel like I have been through the spin cycle and hung out to dry.  The selling process is frustrating.  Each time that the phone rings and the showing company requests a time for a showing, my heart skips a beat.  The thought that “this could be THE ONE” constantly echos through my mind.

We do enjoy living with my Mom and helping her out, and she loves seeing Jack each day (and us), but it would be so nice to be back in a place of our own with our own things and doing things our own way.

I buried a St. Joseph statue about a week and a half ago at the old house, and we are hoping that will bring us some luck and a great buyer.  And with the Spring Market mixed in with it, it should be a slam dunk!

I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in this house?!

The House

EDIT: As of 3/8/11, we spoke with our agent and decided to do a price adjustment to attract more buyers.  Here’s hoping that this is the 1-2 punch that we need to get this place sold!

Mean Mommies

This morning, I drove for our second adventure over to the local Mommy and Me.  I was excited for Jack to be around other children again and to play, run around, sing songs, and just enjoy himself.  We had a fabulous time with the small group last week and I was anxious for Jack to play with more kids and sing songs.

As we walked in the door, I felt like I walked in on a private conversation.  It was like every head turned to watch me walk in the door and whatever they were talking about was never mentioned again.  I took Jack’s coat and hat off and sat in the semi-circle waiting to begin the songs.  I introduced myself and Jack to the Moms seated next to us and participated in the sing along.  All was great up until the “free play” portion.

When free play began, the children aged from 12 months through 4 years ran to all of the toys.  There is a balance beam, tubes, balls, a hoop, a slide and more.

Jack went to chase after a ball that he had bounced and one 3 year old decided that he wanted it and pushed Jack face forward to the floor.  I said to the little boy, “You shouldn’t push people, and you need to be more careful because he is just a toddler and he is smaller than you.”  His mother then came over, grabbed his hand and said, “Come on, usually there aren’t BABIES here, so you can’t play like we usually do.”  The emphasis on “babies” was a total slap in the face.  It was her way of saying “You are not welcome here.”  I comforted Jack and ignored her.  She can’t help that she is ignorant and unkind.

So, we left the ball and decided to play on the slide.  We patiently waited in line for our turn, and once it was our turn, I started helping Jack with stepping up the steps of the slide.  The moderator’s son (who had been obnoxious for most of the session) started walking up the slide and told Jack to get off his slide as his mother looked on.  I told him that it was Jack’s turn and that he could have a turn if he waited in line.  He then started trying to push Jack off of the steps of the slide.  That was it for me.  I picked Jack up, put on his coat and we left.

Yes, as a Stay-at-home-mom, life can often times be lonely and you can miss speaking to another adult about something other than diapers, toys, or sippy cups, but that was not necessarily my driving factor for bringing Jack to Mommy and Me.  Even though most of his play is parallel play, it is still important for him to socialize and be around other adults and children.

Believe me, I am not claiming to be the perfect Mom or that I have all of the answers because I don’t, but haven’t any of these Moms ever heard the word NO?  It’s a simple word that needs to be used to set boundaries for children, and no one has ever died that I am aware of from hearing “No.”  Why wouldn’t any of these Moms ever say “No, don’t do that” or “We don’t hit each other” or “That little boy was playing with that.  You can ask him for a turn?”

I consider myself to be very fortunate to be a mother, and one thing I will never understand is the mothers who make it out to be such an exclusive club.  Like they take ownership of whatever activity that we are at.  “Oh, you are new to Mommy and Me/Story Time?  My kid practically was birthed on the floor here at whatever-activity.  Therefore, you just play by our rules.”  Granted, I have not ever heard those words verbatim, but it does seem to come across that way whenever I take Jack to an organized activity.

If it were my son misbehaving or being unkind to another child, I would totally expect another mother to say something to him about the behavior if I did not see what had happened.  Am I alone in this?

And no, I am not trying to raise my son in a bubble where he doesn’t get hurt and everything is always sunshine and butterflies.  I expect him to have battle wounds.  I expect him to not always get his way.  I expect the village that it takes to raise a child to come together and love and care for all of the children, not to shun them for being new.

Maybe it would be better for Jack to have more socialization or to be able to participate in social outings, but you won’t catch me at this Mommy and Me again.

Two Years Later and Still a Miracle

In January of 2009, Chris and I were still on cloud nine.  Married a little over 8 months, happily living in our house outside of Philadelphia and preparing for the exciting new year ahead of us, our world was rocked to the core.

My Mom had surgery on her ureters 2 years ago this month, and while the surgery was being performed, they found a large amount of cancer in her body.  The cancer was eventually determined to be recurring cervical cancer and she was now in stage 4.  What determines stage 4?  The cancer has spread beyond the origination point of the cancer into other organs and tissues, particularly the lymph nodes.

When sitting down with her oncologist, he reviewed her diagnosis and her survival rate with the family.  6 months was the time estimate for someone who was at this stage.  Her cancer began in her cervix and went all the way up to her neck on the left side.

The first thing I did was jump on the internet and start reasearching as much as possible.  Sloane-Kettering, Fox Chase, The Women’s Cancer Center, stats, treatments, chemos, everything.

It became a mission for me to find something for her.  To save her life.  To keep her with us.

A year and a half after her grim diagnosis, she is hanging on with us and not throwing in the towel.  We are willing to try new drugs, treatments, etc… and so far, nothing has worked.  We are still trying though.

I am so thankful to still have her around to spend time with her, listen to her stories, watch her play with Jack and give him his bottle, and to learn from her.

No doctors will speculate any longer about her stay with us here on Earth, but they do all say the same thing.  She is a walking, talking miracle and I am so thankful to still have her around.

Mom on Christmas with her refurbished Gucci from the 1970's

 

Sometimes I Just Want to Live in Song Lyrics

While reading my friend Pam’s blog today, she had a playlist running and a song came on that I heard last summer that I absolutely loved.  So, I jumped on iTunes, bought it and have been listening to it all day today.  It got me thinking that the world would be such a better place if everyone could just live their lives according to song lyrics and beautiful music.

Such beautiful things are listed in songs if you just take a minute and listen closely.

I vividly remember trying to choose a song for Chris and I to dance to for our first dance at our reception.  So, we pulled out our laptops and scoured songs and lyrics until we found the perfect song.  Only “the perfect song” didn’t really have the most lovey dovey lyrics that you could imagine.  Our song talked about heartache and falling in love.  So, why would we choose it?  We had always loved the song itself, and when we were dating, we found ourselves waiting and hoping to fall more and more love with each other.  The song, to us, just made sense.  (Our song was David Gray’s “This Year’s Love.”)

Although much of our music in the car nowadays consists of Raffi, Sesame Street and Disney songs, I still find myself listening intently to the beautful lyrics sung in each song.  My example, “Baby Mine” from Dumbo.  Today, Jack and I were driving home from Wegman’s and I found myself crying to the lyrics as I sang them to my sweet toddler who was nodding off in his carseat.  The love that the mother Elephant had for that baby crossed through the steel bars and meant everything in the world to little Dumbo.

We remember the happy songs with friends, concerts with our favorite people, and the music that seems to flow throughout our lives.  The music, for me, seems to make the memories.

And tonight, while listening to “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson, Jack and I broke out into an impromptu band/dance party.  We played our maracas, the tambourine, and Jack did lead kazoo as he danced.  I never even reached for my camera because we were having so much fun playing along to this song.  Near the end of the song, the music stops, and Ingrid & Co. begin singing a cappella and start stomping and clapping.  Well, that little musical toddler drops the kazoo and starts clapping along too.  This memory is now buried deep in my brain to always be celebrated as a great time with my son.  The love that I have for that child is insurmountable.

The next time that you are driving to work, listening to a singer at karaoke, or dancing your socks off at a wedding reception, think about the lyrics and how beautiful they really can be and the memories that you are making with these songs.  Some things just click, and this was my revelation tonight.

Elmo at a Premium

Elmo’s Green Thumb, aka Sesame Street Live is coming to our town in early March and tickets go on sale this Saturday.  Like a good Mom, I wanted to take Jack to see the characters that he dances to every morning after breakfast.  Chris and I talked it over and decided that we would both take Jack to see the show.

I remember going to see it as a child with the magic and excitement of seeing Big Bird in person.  It absolutely made my year.  My Mom would get us dressed up in our dresses and Mary Jane’s with white tights in our Sunday coats.  We always felt so special walking in there to see our childhood idols.  During the show, my sisters and I would be dancing in the aisles to the music and my Mom would just enjoy the twinkling in our eyes as we watched Big Bird, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Oscar and the gang dance and play on stage.

The bottom line is that when I logged onto the computer to see about the tickets and sections available, my mouth dropped as I read the price for the cheapest nosebleed seats in the whole arena.  $66 a ticket.  $122 for 2 adults to take their toddler to see a 1+ hour long show.  I immediately triple checked the whole site to see if there was a clerical error and the computer was only showing the best seats available.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

In today’s economy, we were willing to splurge $60 for two of us to take Jack to see the show, considering that I am not working right now and we are still paying a mortgage on a home that we don’t live in.  But $122 for 2 parents to take their child and seat them on their laps is asinine.

Right now, it is undecided about whether or not we will be splurging to take him to see the show, but I just feel like the Sesame Street creators are getting a little greedy and stepping over the line.  Yes, they lost essential government funding and they rely on telethon support, but don’t take it out on the hardworking families who support Sesame Street in other ways.  We have a few Elmo DVD’s, toys, books, etc… with all proceeds going to support SesameStreet.org.  People purchase and support things according to their means.

If we don’t end up going to the show, we will try for a family trip this summer to Sesame Place, provided that they are not charging $500 per person for admission.

A Toddler and His Meatloaf

My sister lives in Brooklyn and comes home to visit every couple of weekends.  When she arrives, she usually has her goldendoodle, Meatloaf in tow.  When she comes home, Jack absolutely falls head over heels with her and Meatloaf all over again.  Meatloaf comes bounding into the house and Jack chases him all over the house.  Don’t get me wrong, Jack loves his little dogs, Killian and Bailey, but once this 60 pound dog comes waltzing into the house, he just wants to throw himself all over him.

Meatloaf

I mean, he is a big cuddling oaf, but watching the smile come over Jack’s face and the squeals when he plays with him are enough to make the coldest winter snow melt.  He brings toys over to share with him and lays with him while they watch TV.  Meatloaf never even bats an eye.

Can you just see the love?

They act like lifelong pals.  Jack will walk backwards to be able to sit on Meatloaf’s head.  And that dog, never flinches.  He just takes whatever abuse, loves, hair pulls, ear pulls or screaming that Jack throws at him.

Playing with Meatloaf

All the toys in the world wouldn’t make him as happy as he is with my sister’s dog.  I just wish that they lived closer.

My Little Sunshine

This morning, I woke up to the dogs barking and Chris chasing them downstairs to get them to be quiet as not to wake the house.  Not necessarily the best way to wake up, but there was not a peep over the baby monitor from Jack.  So, I pulled my fat ass body out of bed and head downstairs to greet the cleaning lady.  (Yes, my Mom has a cleaning lady and it is freaking awesome!)

Sidenote: I clean this house all.freaking.week.long.  She comes once a week and gives it the deep clean and I love her for it.  Once Chris and I are back in a house of our own, I absolutely need her to come and clean maybe once a week or every other week for us.

I greet her and give Chris a kiss goodbye.  My morning habit does not involve coffee.  Read: I do not drink coffee.  At all.

This morning, I could have used an additional 3 hours of sleep, so I am having trouble getting myself up and moving.  So, I grab the paper and peruse the obituaries and the front section and within 30 seconds, I hear Jack saying Dada and Mama in the monitor.  There’s my cue.

My feet hit the steps and I literally run up them as fast as I can.  I come to a dead halt in front of Jack’s door and take a listen.  (He is usually throwing his bluffers on the floor and taking to Charles, his teddy bear.)  The door slowly opens, and Jack immediately stands up with a grin from ear to ear.  He exclaims, “Mama!!!”  As I reach the crib, his hands go up and he starts squealing with delight.  We pull up the shades and I sing, “Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun” for him.  He kicks his legs and grabs my face.  God, I love these moments!

That is the only dose of happiness and caffeine that I need in the morning.  Pure, unaltered Sunshine from my little guy.

My little Sunshine

Embarking on a Cloth Diaper Journey

Today is the first day that I will truly begin cloth diapering Jack!  I have been using gDiapers since Jack was about 6 months old, but I was only ever using them with the flushable/compostable inserts.  They have been great and easy to use and are compact for travel and convenient.

When I started with the little gPants, it was summer, so you would see Jack playing and cruising around town like this:

Look at that little fluffy bum!

Sorry for the junky photo.  It was before my Nikon days.  🙂

The ease of using the flushable inserts was my selling point on gDiapers over many other great CD brands.  I liked that if we went somewhere for a weekend, I didn’t have to make the host uncomfortable by asking if I could constantly wash my CD inserts or have a heaping pile of cloth inserts to bring home.  I could just bring my disposable inserts and either flush or toss the mess away.

Another great thing about gDiapers?  Their customer service!  I just love them!  They have a great FAQ and video page on their site to help newbies like myself learn how to properly use their products.  After reviewing a video about properly disposing of the flushable insert, I realized that I did not have a swish stick.  So, I searched my g materials and packaging and was unable to find a stick.  So, I e-mailed them to see if I missed something or if it was an item that was sold seperately, and they were gracious enough to mail me a new one!  YES!  Turns out, they do come in the two packs of gPants, which I had purchased, but someone may have removed the sticks prior to me purchasing them.

So yesterday, I gathered my coupons, gift cards and Jack and we headed to Babies R Us to get a few size large gPants and for the cloth inserts.  The cloth inserts are very soft and seem very durable.  The price for the inserts (6 inserts for about $26.00) was a little steep in my opinion.  I purchased 12 inserts, but will begin with 6 to make sure that I like them before cracking open the other box.

As of now, I have 5 size medium little gPants and 3 size large gPants.  He’s right in between the medium and large right now, but the cloth and disposable inserts work for both sizes.

I’m not going to lie.  Part of me is hesitant to go the cloth diaper way for fear of those oh-so-outrageous-diapers-that-we-cannot-speak-of.  Chris is also hesitant for that reason, but I feel like I truly do need to give it a try.  The worst that can happen would be a bath in the middle of the day or a quick wash of our changing pad.  On a side note, I loathe our changing pad.  It’s cold on his skin, he cries, and then I end up changing him on the couch instead.  Most days, I just go right for the couch because it is easier.

This morning, we were not prepared with the diapers after he woke up, so after his morning nap, we will be ready to rock and roll!  Here goes nothing!