Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finally some Fall pictures!

I finally had my camera charged AND available at the same time just in time for pumpkin carving. What a blast!

First, though, some Autumn art. We picked up some leaves off the ground outside and then painted and glued. So easy, and so fun.

Can you tell someone is excited to carve pumpkins?!

I told him to reach in for some of the goop...

but he didn't like getting his hands dirty AT ALL, and immediately went to wash them off!

My nickname for him has always been Pumpkin, I don't even know why. It just kind of happened, but it makes this kind of thing even more fun, my Pumpkin with his pumpkins :)

The two of us. Man, are we tight.

And, this has nothing to do with pumpkins, but it is so fucking cute I can't stand it.

Can't wait to see everyone's Halloween pictures! Jeb is so excited to be Captain Hook. I can't wait!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Brain Dump

There have been several things I've wanted to blog about in the last 10 days, but they've all been competing for space in my head so badly, that I haven't been able to write coherently on any of them. So, I'm just going to brain dump and get over it.

1. An anniversary related to my placement happened this week. On Oct 19, 1997 I got a positive pregnancy test. I was 9w5d. It boggles my mind that I was so far along before taking a test, but I was so young and unaware. And, my cycles were irregular. When I was pregnant with Jeb, by the time I reached 9w5d, I thought to myself geez if I didn't know I were pregnant I'd think I was dying... how did I NOT KNOW? But? Youth and denial are powerful forces. And, pregnancy was so much easier at 17 than 27, ....and so many other things. I should really make a blog post solely about that day.

2. Autumn has been good to my family. B's business is going well. Our personal finances are so much better than they were 6 months ago when I wrote about the crippling money stress. We have had all the typical, awesome, family outings. We've visited the pumpkin patch, picked apples, gone to the County Fair, taken walks through crunching leaves, seen the Jack-O-Lantern display at the zoo, and all that good stuff. Of course, I forgot my camera for of these awesome memories, but I'm trying not to beat myself up for it ;) We have still to watch Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin while eating donuts and cider (a family tradition), and obviously we are looking forward to trick or treating in a big way. Jeb is dressing up as Captain Hook, and is so unbelievably excited to wear: A red jacket, mama! And a gold hook, mama!! Arrggghh!!

3. I am enjoying Fall on a whole different, much quieter level. I am heeding the pull indoors. Cooking hearty meals in the slow cooker. Snuggling under blankets to early morning cartoons, and to late evening movies/snacks. It feels strangely comforting to retire the herb garden and drink hot tea every afternoon. I'm appreciating my outside running, but am also looking forward to hanging out on the treadmill (no hills!), and reuniting with my yoga videos. The sunsets, albeit much earlier, seem so much more vibrant than I remember from the warmer months. I'm enjoying living in a place that shows me the beauty of every season, and commands my attention.

4. Jeb is at a new, ahem, developmental stage. Oh, boy. I revelled in his lack of 2-year-terribles. However, he is quickly approaching the even-more-difficult-3s. And it's not even that he's difficult, he's just smarter. I've lost my patience with him more in the last 3 weeks than in the last 6 months. My usually effective tactics just aren't working. A perfect example is when we are in the laundry room and it's time to go upstairs, I say Come'on Jeb, let's race! That used to work like a charm, now he looks at me and says Go ahead, mama, you can win while he tries to stay in the basement and play with any number of dangerous tools/equipment/toxins. Or, it used to be that when he fought with me about something, I would tell him that he wasn't being a good listener, and that alone would compel him to comply... now? He tells me I don't want to listen. Oh, ok. We've gone through other developmental transitions, and I know it just takes time for me to learn his new buttons, and for him to learn my new limits, but the middle part is sticky. Last week, one day he went to time out 6 times, because he was trying to call my bluff. The threat of time out used to be all-powerful, and then he woke up one day and decided to test it. That was a tough day. We'll get through, and I'm acutely aware that I need to (a. be consistent and firm, but not lose it, and (b. hug and validate him even more that usual. Let's just say that I'm finding this stage to be challenging, and when I lay my head down at night and think back on the day... if I didn't lose it on him, it's a good day.

5. The election. I won't get political here, but the election is on my mind often. B is a political junkie, so it's ever-present. I'm looking forward to post-11.2.

6. Hormones. I think maybe they should be called Whoremones, because I hate them. I am in the throes of one of the worst PMSs I can remember. I'm def not pregnant this month, which is OK, for a lot of reasons, but the PMS is just a slap in the face.

7. Gratitude. Honestly, I say a prayer of gratitude daily. Not because I think I should, it just happens. In the midst of toddler tantrums, and stressfull/busy schedules, hormones, and daily irritations, I am struck every single day with just how blessed my life is. I am eternally grateful that my "stressors" are: a job that needs my work, a healthy body that loves to exercise, a smart and healthy son who challenges me, a hard working and loving husband who wants some of my time, enough money to pay our bills and provide good food, a home that needs attention.

/end brain dump.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Teasing at 3

Jeb is now in a classroom full of 3 year olds daycare. (They make the transition at 2y9m) He is doing amazingly well; in fact, it's the easiest transition I think we've ever had in his life, like, ever. I am so thrilled and proud and have all those gushy mama feelings that come up simply because your kid is thriving.

Ok, so I have to back up a bit. Starting around a year ago, whenever I painted my toes, Jeb wanted in on the fun. So I painted his toes. For months on end his toe nails were pink, since I paint mine every couple of weeks. Bennett rolled his eyes some, but it was a non-issue. One day Jeb decided he wanted his finger nails painted. So I painted them. Every few weeks he'd ask, and I humored him. See where this is going?

2 year olds don't notice their peers' finger nails. 3 year olds do.

I was heartbroken when his teacher told me he got teased for his pink finger nails. My poor baby was so confused. He said to the Teaser but my mama told me it's ok. << This is where my heart shattered into a thousand pieces. (ok, maybe a tad dramatic, but really maybe not.)

My only reason for heartbreak is that my perfect, wonderful, amazing son was sad in that moment, and confused. That just a little smidge of innocence was stripped. Not only that he experienced teasing, but for something so superficial. These kids are only THREE for crying out loud. Rationally I know it's more about this age learning very concrete gender "rules" than anything else, but irrationally I want to slap the Teaser across the face and double dog dare him to EVER tease my precious again.

On the other hand, what an opportunity. Bennett and I had a really terrific conversation about how to handle teasing, and how to handle when Jeb wants to do something that we know makes him vulnerable out there in the Wild. Like having pink finger nails. Do we care about the nail polish? Of course not. I don't give a shit if Jeb wears a hot pink tutu with purple glitter sequence on it every day of his life. But, I won't let him wear it to school until he understands what he's getting himself into. Also, it's not Jeb's job to be my example to the world that I am super cool with hot pink tutu wearing boys.

It's also been a huge opportunity for really terrific conversations with Jeb. I've casually used it as an example of why we shouldn't tease others. He's been talking a lot more about who in our family is a girl, and who is a boy. I've explained that some people think it's silly for boys to wear nail polish, so for now we'll just keep it on the toes since it doesn't feel good to get teased. He's happy with all of this, and I'm sure he's not understanding most of it still, but I've found it to be very very good practice.

Seriously, though, I had no idea that teasing started quite this young.

Friday, October 8, 2010

OT 10 Update: The Nutrition Side

Operation Treadmill 2010 is still in effect. I've missed a week of exercise here and there, because of heat, or the exorcism that occurred on my face in late August, or whathaveyou. BUT. I've always climbed back up on the wagon (treadmill). In fact, this is the first time in my adult life when I've implemented an exercise routine and stuck with it even after a bad week. In the past, if I missed a few workouts I threw the whole thing out the window. I'm pretty proud of this fact alone.

It's been 9.5 months. My weight loss has plateaued in a big way. I'd lost 15 pounds by late spring/early summer, and I've put a couple of those back on. I'm still fine with how I look, but a good nutritional plan was eluding me. Back in June I was running a lot of miles. I was going on 5-7 mile runs. I was thinking about training for a 10 mile race in my area, and possibly a half marathon. Everything came to a screeching halt when I didn't support any of it with the right nutrition. I was still restricting calories, and especially carbs, while upping and upping my miles. I got really sick. For 2 weeks I would have a couple hours in the afternoon where I couldn't get off the couch. I was nauseous, exhausted, a mess. (It felt like early pregnancy, but I knew I wasn't pregnant.) I even cried to Bennett one day What is wrong with me? I feel like I'm dying. I was really and honestly worried that something was seriously wrong with my health. I didn't run for a few days because I was feeling too sick, and then I went on a carb binge. After 3 days of eating whatever sounded good (read: lots of carbs) I felt human again. After reading a bit about nutrition and training, it quickly became apparent that I wasn't eating right/enough to support my work outs. So, I started eating more. But running less. And then I missed a week here and there. But I was still eating more. So I gained a few pounds. Which is no big deal, but I felt like I was still left with the mystery of: How can I eat enough to support my work outs (and rev them back up) without gaining more weight, but without feeling sick?

And then I read Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Micheals. Holy smokes. I've never gotten into fad nutrition philosophies or the whole organic movement. My philosophy was always to eat well, lots of produce, not a lot of simple carbs, keep the meat lean, watch your portions, have a treat now and then, ect. This philosophy worked great. Even when I gained weight, I could look at my eating habits and know where I got off track, and get back on track. This whole regular exercising thing really threw me off. I needed more calories, but didn't know how to go about it. Until I read this book! It's amazing! The focus is on whole foods, and total hormonal balance. I learned so much about the hormones of hunger and fullness, as well as stress hormones and girly hormones. I have only made a few changes, over the last few days, but it already feels "right".

It's also been the motivation I needed to keep OT 10 going. I was still enjoying my work outs, but the whole thing felt kind of direction-less. I feel focused again, and I won't lie, I'd love it if another 10 pounds came off ;)