Monday, August 20, 2012

Picnic Photos

Photos from our lonely, Friday night picnic- refer to previous post for sad details.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How I became a desperate weirdo.

{A letter to you both}

I have talked before in these letters how I am still struggling a little bit in the friend department.

Since you were born Elle, I have been playing the "it will happen when" game. When you were small, it was "it will happen when we can go out and do more stuff" then "it will happen when she starts to talk and can actually play". Then when I had you Brynn, it was "it will happen when she can actually play" and now it is "maybe it will happen when they start school, play sports, become teenagers or maybe the only mom friends I will have will be when you are both adults and I find some women I can sit around with and cry because our kids grew up".

I have friends. I have great friends. But I have friends with barriers to friendship- the biggest one of those is distance. My friends are scattered across the country. Some so far away, I only see once a year. One who is so close but far enough away that seeing each other requires an hour drive and some organizing and of course gas money.

A few weeks ago, I saw this mom downtown with her son. She seemed normal and fun and we struck up a conversation but the children had needs that needed to be met and off we went our separate ways. This happened two more times, once at the park another time at the museum. Always short visits because of various circumstances. Two days ago, I saw her in the grocery store. I was awkwardly purchasing Miralax (of course) for my constipated toddler. Right there in the digestive aisle, we struck up another conversation and I suggest we exchange numbers and get together sometime. She seemed excited and gave me her number.  We parted ways and found ourselves face to face again in the Starbucks line. She goes there too! (what mom doesn't go there) More things in common! More laughs were exchanged! She is new in town too (as of April), all the way from Texas! Success!

I have this number issue where when I write numbers, I always transpose them- meaning if someone says 5 6 7 I will write 5 7 6. Always. When she gave me her number I tried to focus very hard so I would not mess them up. But I was not totally sure and I did not want to be like "let me read that back to you because my brain is actually 5 years old and I cannot work my fingers".

Several hours later, I sent a friendly text. And waited like a girl who just left a message for a first date she liked. Nothing. The next day nothing. I must have got the numbers wrong, I thought. So I came up with a wonderfully creepy idea. I would leave her a note at Starbucks with my number saying I accidentally wrote her number wrong. The baristas were very friendly about it (they all know me and my kid and also knew this mom and her kid). Today I stopped by and the barista asked if the mom contacted me. Nope. She had come in 30 minutes after I left the note and she never texted me.

I was a little crushed. I think I was holding the loneliness at bay knowing that a mom would come and save me from my sadness. And I totally thought that mom was her. My husband was working tonight so I felt this weight of alone settling around me. So I packed a picnic lunch and took the girls to the popular park. Not a soul was there on a beautiful Friday night. So we sat and played alone. And I pathetically wanted to cry.

Why is it so hard? Why did that mom not text? Did I creep her out with my note? Probably. But the thing is, if she had left a similar note for me I would have been so excited! It probably would become that silly "how did you guys become friends" story.

I have thought about if the internet has made this mom friend thing easier or harder. And I have settled on harder. It is torturous!  I will find someone's blog and think, omg they are just like me! And I bet our kids would play so great! And she lives in....Arizona. So I know she is out there (so many "shes") but I cannot ever really know her. If it is not that situation, it is that the cool mom already has a bff or maybe 5 and they all live near each other and their kids play and they vent about potty training and teething but also about being a woman, constant blog posts about their various adventures.

I feel like if I had to make a mom dating website profile it would say:

Younger mom of two girls seeks friend who has a great sense of humor, fun kids, adventurous spirit and a serious silly side.

Is that so hard to find? In the same town I live in? I really, really hope not.  I will keep looking.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

To Brynn, who is 1.

{A letter to Brynn}

Last week you turned a year old.

Throughout the day I thought about what I was doing at that exact time on the day you came. That morning, I was tired and sore and frustrated in a way that only an overdue mama can understand. A few hours later, your sister and I were sitting in the doctor's office watching your heart rate spike and fall during my non-stress test.  Minutes later we were watching you bop around on the ultrasound screen. We walked back upstairs to meet again with my doctor and I held my belly as you kicked, with that tiny cloud of fear/shock/realization settling around me that I would soon be a mama to two.

A few hours later, I was in the hospital bed, already 4 centimeters dilated waiting for my mom to get there. Your birth was longer and harder. I did a poor job of preparing myself for the pain once again. Your nona coached me through it all and when my water broke, you came out in 20 minutes. I can remember seeing your brown hair and your smooshed little face and I loved you instantly.

The rest of the day was spent snuggling you and feeding you and knowing that once we left this room, I would not be able to give you such undivided attention. For the past year, I have felt so much guilt about the fact that I was not able to just sit there and stare at you. To soak in every little bit of you. Your tiny mouth, your huge eyes, each and every little peep.

There were far too few chest naps. Far too few uninterrupted snuggles. Far too many first giggles missed.

But there was a lot of love. And a lot of cheek kisses. And something magical that I missed out on with Elle, which was watching my first baby love my new baby.

I tried very hard to never wish time to move faster to when you were sitting, to when you were crawling, to when you walked and instead to just enjoy your babyhood.

And so at your birthday, we celebrated the changes that brought you from tiny ball of infant to attempting to walk toddler.

And so even it was only last week that we said goodbye to babyhood and hello to toddlerhood, I am grieving.

Grieving that my time as a mother to small babies has ended forever. Never will I birth another tiny, wailing human that is completely and most definitely mine. Never will I pull a small, swaddled bundle from a bassinet in the wee hours of the morning. Never will I provide steady support to a back trying hard to support my sitting little. Never will my baby's tiny fingers curl around my mine while trying to walk.

It is a such a predicament that we put ourselves in as mothers. Before motherhood happens to us, we have no idea that we can love that way. That way that cannot be shaken or broken. A love that runs so deep, it settles deep inside of us. And then grows. These babies we love, they are destined to one day leave us. So we each set out on a hard, often times thankless but always precious road as mothers. Waiting at the end is a bedroom, now empty, which once held the tiny souls we raised. Playrooms are still as the young minds that explored there are now exploring the world.

I can see myself when that time comes, my head resting on the doorway of your room, flashes of babyhood playing in my head, trying to remember all the moments. Tears running down my face for the profound loss that is my own child's childhood.

Now, watching you toddle around the living room, how I wish I could take back every frustrated moment, every time you squeaked and I did not look. Every time you reached for me and I had to walk by.

All I can say is I will try to do better. That I will remember how fast this year went and how the next year will go faster.


My little fearless one. My super cuddler. My littlest little.

I love you.

With all my broken, full heart.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tummy Challenge, Week One: Aug 1st-Aug 8th

Just to show the kind of work I am doing. For eating, I am trying to stick to paleo. 

August 1st

WARM UP: 1 Road Run (400 meters), 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, 15 squats, 15  PVC pass throughs, 15 good mornings then 5 minutes of stretching and mobility work
SKILL: 3 Sets Not For Time:
10 Jumping Squats (50% of max height jump)
Rest 30 seconds
10 Sumo Deadlift High Pull (24/32)
Immediately do 5 Broad Jump Burpees
Rest 60 seconds
3-5 Rounds For Time
10 Overhead Bumper Walking Lunges (15lb)
1 Flag Pole Run with Bumper (15lb)
10 Hand Release Push-Ups (alternate hands on bumper plate each rep)
10 Bumper Plate Touches (upright sit-up position, feet in air, touch bumper on each side of you = 1 rep)
August 2nd:
Workout: Walked one mile with the girls in the stroller.  We signed for our land today so I could not make a workout.

August 3rd:
WARM UP:  1 Road Run (400 meters), 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, 15 squats, 15  PVC pass throughs, 15 good mornings then 5 minutes of stretching and mobility work

SKILL: Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3
WOD: 4 Rounds For Time:
500 Meter Row or Run (must alternate each round)
15 Wall Balls (12lb)
15 Slam Balls
15 Hand Release Push-Ups
15 Kettlebell Swings (12kg)

August 4th & 5th:
Skipped the gym, walked a lot with the girls. 

August 6th:
WARM UP: 1 Road Run, 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, 15 squats, 15  PVC pass throughs, 15 good mornings then 5 minutes of stretching and mobility work
SKILL/STRENGTH: Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell Squat (8lb) 4-4-4-4-4 (per arm)
WOD A: Benchmark WOD
500 Meter Row
40 Squats (butt must touch ball/box every rep)
30 Sit-Ups (hands must touch behind head and in front of feet every rep)
20 Push-Ups (hands must release from ground at bottom and elbows must be locked out on top –  no worming)
10 Strict Pull-Ups (arms must be fully extended at bottom and chin about the bar – no kipping at all)
3 Minute Rest Between WODs
4 Rounds For Time:
30 Double Unders
20 Two Stage Jumping Jacks
10 Alternating Single Arm 12kg Kettlebell Presses (per arm)

August 7th
WARM IP: 1 Road Run (400 meters)15 box jumps15 GHD sit-ups15 back extensions15  PVC pass throughs15 good mornings then 5 minutes of stretching and mobility work

SKILL/STRENGTH: Deadlift 5-5-5-3-3

WOD:5 Rounds for Time
20 Wall Balls (12lb)
15 Toes To Bar
10 Burpees
 5 Deadlift (95lb)

August 8th
Rest. Holy Crap. Body is tired.

Me with little Brynn

Saturday, August 4, 2012


{A letter to you both}

One thing I feel very lucky about is that your dad and I are and always have been on the same page about money.  I have been a money hoarder since I was young enough to realize it was something you could save. When I was in middle school, my grandmother made a deal with all her grandkids. It was that whoever saved the most by X date, she would double it. My 12 year old brain went into overdrive thinking of saving money and then getting a reward.  I took on pet sitting job after pet sitting job. My poor mom driving me all over the place taking care of random dogs, rats, cats and birds.

In the end, I won by far and saved $500, so my grandmother gave me another $500. I still had that $1,000 when I graduated college (yes, I have a problem) when it was spent on a business endeavor (when I was a newly graduated 21 year old- went through in 3 years- I started a business where I teamed up with other financial professionals to teach classes to young people about how to save money and budget).

Your dad was always a bit more of a spender than I was but he saw the value in saving.  When I was working, before I had you Elle, we saved almost my entire check every month for years. I was hilariously protective of it, your dad had to do a lot of work to get me to spend it on anything! When I would get birthday money, it was saved...never, ever spent. But it allowed us to buy a car with cash, fully fund my maternity leave and start a land fund.

When everything happened with the house (as in we could not live there anymore because when two police chases end in your yard, it is time to go), I refused to touch that fund because I knew that if we did we would not be able to save that amount of money for a long time with me not working and two young babies. So glad we did not as with such low interest rates, we were able to use the funds to get that land and now we are well on our way to our dream.  When we sold our house, my parents understood the value of that land fund and what it mean't for me: a dream I had been saving for 6 years.  We owed the bank (meaning we sold our house for less we owed, thank you crap economy) and they helped us so we would not have to use that money to get out without any detriment to our credit.

I hope one day I can do something like that for both of you. I am so lucky to have parents who were able to help us. I am looking forward to paying them back.

These days, your dad and I cannot save a ton with his one income, but we have been so careful not to have any debt. We have no car loans, no student loans (thank you fire department for paying for your dad's degree! ) and a very small amount of credit card debt. If I could teach you one thing about money,  it would be stay away from debt! Yes, that means that until you are established you will not be able to go on expensive vacations on the fly or buy expensive cars with huge payments, but I promise you will not regret it.  Yes, have fun, save for trips, go on adventures but I see so many young people completely bog themselves down with debt that they can barely afford to live their dreams.  Of course, some debt is necessary, like student loans and of course mortgage stuff but make sure you have something to show for the money you spent.

Because I am an extremist weirdo when it comes to saving, I am sure we will talk about this a lot in the future. And my head will be spinning as you spend (gasp!) your birthday money on shoes (gasp!) like normal people and you will roll your eyes at me. I hope you both have dreams that are worth sacrificing. Because when we closed on that land last week, it felt 1,000 times better than anytime I bought a cute pair of shoes.

Dream big & be smart little girlies.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What can I do with this stomach?

{A letter to you both}

I do hope with all of my heart that both of you become mothers because there is so much joy and beauty in the journey. But I have talked before about being less than thrilled with my post-baby body. I am not sure there is a woman on this planet who gives birth, a month later lifts her shirt in the mirror and thinks, "Wow, I look AMAZING!".

More like, "what the flip is this jello situation? I have never quite seen...such a...weird, floppy...mushy..." yeah.

Well after two, it gets even worse. Your stomach just gives up trying to put itself back together. It just hangs out, like little bulldog jowls.

I started working out two weeks after you were born Brynn, and I saw muscles returning but it was not until I really dialed in my diet- following a modified paleo diet that I saw quicker results. In february, I cut out bread and pasta and ate meat, veggies, fruit and nuts. I still eat very little bread and have not had pasta since february. I actually don't miss it and I have much more energy. 

When we moved, I joined a new crossfit gym. The workouts are really hard, I am not going to lie. But I actually do really well when someone pushes me, so I really like doing it. By the end, I am sweating and barely able to sit up. The good news is, this summer, I wore short shorts! And my legs looked really good! And my arms are getting quite toned. But this tummy... it mocks me. 

So I am challenging my tummy in the month of August and on September 1st, I am going to post a pic of myself (I took a before pic in September when Brynn was a couple weeks old) and compare it that one. If I still look like I have a baby bulldog living under my belly button, I lose. If I can see definition, I win!

I will be eating a little stricter than I am now, drinking lot's of water and aiming for 4 crossfit workouts a week.

So my lesson I am trying to teach you here, is that if you set your mind to something, you can do it. The question is, can I?

Time will tell!