Category Archive : preschooler

A Scrooge No More

For years, I despised the coming of the holidays. The family tug-of-war. Where do we go? How many turkey dinners is it possible to have in a single day? Then the baby came along and that actually made the struggle worse as everyone wanted to see him. We tried a joint family holiday (yikes). Not knowing what to buy for presents for family. Not knowing if I should buy presents for co-workers. Shopping for the presents with ten gazillion other people. Procrastinating on the outdoor decorations until there is a blizzard blowing outside (true story). Weight gain. Gah.

I could go on. But…

So Proud Of His Tree

Something magical happened this holiday season. My child is old enough to get caught up on the spirit and I have to say, it is contagious. He loves all of the lights. He loves hearing about Santa (he asked if he could give Santa 3 choices this year). He was excited to learn Christmas songs. He keeps asking when his elf Ernie will show up (we are holding out on Ernie as long as possible… that is another whole blog post though). He helped me decorate the tree and is so proud of his work. How could you not be happy being around him?

This is also his first year of Sunday School and I am so happy that he is enjoying it! Every Sunday after the hubs and I pick up Jack from class we “recap” about what he learned in Sunday School. I just love that he’s learning about the true meaning of Christmas and having it be about more than just presents and Santa. He will be singing in his first ever Christmas program and my family (you know… the same ones that were stressing me out every year?), they will be there in full to support him and I LOVE it!

I will also be singing for Christmas with my best friend this year. I love singing with her on the holidays because it is a reminder of how long we have been friends, of everything we have been through together over the last 15 years, how our love for music always bring us together and especially it is a reminder of how much I truly love Christmas.

Here is a little snippet of my BFF and I singing together this past Easter (shameless plug… she has a Christmas Album that she recorded and I’ll be pimping it out for her next week):

So, forget about the stress. Forget about the stuff that needs to get done. Forget about yourself.

Look for the beauty in the holiday season!

Motivation Monday: The Finish Line

He’s my reason for everything. 

I know, I know… I have been absent lately. The last couple weeks have been very strange for me. Leaving a job that I have been at for 5 years was a huge thing. I think I held onto it for as long as I did because I didn’t think it was possible to “manage” my life starting over somewhere new. You know… full-time job, mom, family, self, etc. I had a good schedule down. I had things figured out. But, something was missing and I knew I was selling myself short professionally.

I have been able to take some time off between jobs. I am proud that I stood up for my need to have this week off, even though my new gig wanted me to start right away. My husband is away on a fishing trip with the “men” this week. While I’m sure I could have worked things out to manage a new job and my kid, I’m so glad I chose not to. As a matter of fact… I am loving my time at home. I feel relaxed and at peace. I don’t feel rushed. I am enjoying time with my boy, just the two of us. As I was getting dinner ready tonight, he ran up to me, threw his arms around my legs and said, “I forgot to give you a hug when you picked me up at school so I’ll give you one now.”

He’s my reason for everything. Especially my weight loss.

Yes, I have enjoyed the “benefits” of my weight loss. The size 8, the shopping for a new wardrobe, the two piece. I still kind of look at myself in the mirror, especially at group fitness classes and wonder if that could really be me. But it was about more than that for me. I wanted to lower my blood pressure (103/70 today… lowest in 4 years). My cholesterol was high. My BMI, a 32 when I started, was considered obese. I wanted to stop the spread of my endo. I wanted to do all these things for my health so I could be around for my little boy for a long, long time.

Today, I did it. I reached the finish line. Goal at Medifast is a little different. They take more into account than that elusive number on the scale. They look at your overall picture. At 151 lbs (just 1 pound from my original goal), they determined that I was ready to start my transition. With all the muscle weight I hav eput on, it wasn’t necessary to lose any more fat. It is possible I will continue to lose weight during transition; however, the goal is to get me back in the real world. This week, I get to add in an additional serving of veggies and I can choose from any of them (corn, potatoes and avocados for example are prohibited during the weight loss phase). Next week fruit. Then dairy. Then grains. Each week I will get to drop down the number of Medifast meals as they teach me how to eat going forward.

A pic of an outfit I tried on at Express.
I still can’t believe I fit in these clothes! 

While I reached the weight loss finish line, I know this isn’t the end of the journey for me. Maintenance will be a lifelong deal and I anticipate it being the hardest part. Let’s face it. I’ve got some food addictions. I’ve got some food issues. Maintaining this weight will not be easy for me.

For today, I am celebrating. I’ve lost 60 pounds over the last year and a half. I’ll be honest when I say that I never, EVER thought I would actually make goal. I struggled for so many years… I can’t even find the words to express what this means to me. I cannot thank Medifast enough for getting me to this milestone. I know there are many naysayers out there who are expecting me to gain all the weight back and all I have to say to them: thank you for the motivation to continue keeping it off. I will prove you wrong. 

My husband will be taking my official before & after photos which of course I will post for all of you to see. The question is… what to wear??? 

Motivation Monday: Introducing, Me

Riding the Dino Train

My weekend was insane. Between getting up way too early on a Saturday to see some dinosaurs (which Jack LOVED by the way) and going to a little league game that same afternoon followed by a Sunday of sprinklers and swimming, I need a weekend from my weekend! If you are in Minnesota you MUST check out the dinosaur exhibit at the MN Zoo. It is absolutely awesome. We signed up for their Dinos & Donuts preview (paid to go to the exhibit before the Zoo opened to the public). It was so worth it- the line was insane when we left around 10am. Jack got a dinosaur claw necklace and a wristband which he thought were both super cool. We also got free snacks and drinks in the dino village. It was pretty fun and worth the money to see it without the crowds.

I am also beyond stressed out. Awhile ago, I had talked about making the decision to find a new job or become a SAHM. Since finding out that I would be unable to have more kids, I decided that I would continue to pursue my marketing career. While I have seriously enjoyed my current position for the last 5 years, it was time for me to move on. Working for a small company has its advantages, but career advancement is not typically one of them. I have verbally accepted a new job offer and what stresses me out is the limbo- the time between getting the offer, putting in your notice and getting the super official OK from the new company. I’m having those moments of “What if the offer falls through” moments and just trying to take a lot of deep breaths. Changing jobs is both exciting and scary. All you can do is trust your instincts and have faith that everything will work out for the best. More to come as I wait for the A-OK from my new company. Meanwhile, as I clean out my files, I have discovered I am closet hoarder. Why did I keep all this stuff??

I digress. Let’s talk healthiness journey.

Over the weekend, there was no way I was going to be outside in the summer heat without a swimsuit on. I had bought a bikini a couple weeks ago on clearance (thinking if I absolutely hated it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I never wore it). I put it on to go to the backyard and play in the kiddie pool with my kiddo, yet I covered up with shorts and a tank. I pulled off my tank and asked my husband, “Are all the neighbors going to think I’m icky wearing this bikini top?” He looked at me as if I were nuts and said, “You’re kidding right? You look fantastic.” So, I did my best to “own” my bikini. I kept my shorts on most of the time but I couldn’t get it out of my head how self-conscious I still am. Regardless of how much weight I have lost or what size I am now wearing, that fat girl on the inside just will not leave me alone. I’m not sure if she ever will. Maybe, that is exactly what I need to keep the weight off for good this time.

This was a big week gang. After last week’s epic 3.5 pound gain, I worked my BUTT off (literally). I lost FIVE POUNDS this week! I am at 152.5 with just 2.5 pounds to my goal of 150!!! I am of course beyond elated and proves that when you work the program, it’ll work for you.

My goals this week:
– Daily workouts with 15 minutes of cardio per day and strength workouts 3x this week (Mon/Wed/Fri).
– STICK TO THE PROGRAM. 2.5 pounds left to lose? I got this.

I’m so excited for all of the exciting new things coming up in my life from my new career opportunity to my crazy skinny new body. So, hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joanne and this is the new me.

What are you doing to stay motivated this week? 

P.S. This is the OLD me from Dec 2011. Found this picture cleaning out my electronic files. Yikes.

I’m in the white shirt on the bottom left.
Thought I should put up a current pic of me.

Fabulous Fit Friday: Sum Sum Summertime!

Today is the last day of school for many kiddos. It is the last day of preschool 1 for mine! He moves into the next level up Preschool 2 room on Monday and we are of course oh so proud that he is transitioning rooms so quickly.

This week has been a challenge both mentally and physically. I rarely blog about work but it has really taken it’s toll on me this week. There has been more drama in the workplace than I care for and I cannot even tell you how grateful I am that it is Friday. I will NEVER understand how some people can be so inept at handling conflict resolution. I know not everyone is like me and can move on quickly from issues, but acting like a petulant child is never the professional thing to do. I have been trying to act like I don’t care abd blow it off, but deep down this person is causing me loads of anxiety. I keep hoping this person will just move on, but it isn’t looking that way. I just don’t get it. Grow up and act professional. We aren’t in high school anymore. Being called out on your mistakes is part of being in a professional job. How you handle them are what makes you a professional.

Physically, while there was no way on God’s green earth I was going to be able to workout twice a day, I have worked out every day. I think my body is finally feeling the wrath of it too. I’m quite sore today and physically just feeling exhausted and burnt out. The mental stress isn’t helping this situation either. I’m just feeling down and defeated after this long week.

On the other hand, I’m feeling GREAT because SUMMER IS HERE. I love that I can go running at night after the kiddo goes to bed without feeling that I’m going to get run over or attacked because it is too dark out. I love driving with all the windows open and my hair blowing everywhere. I love being able to sit outside on my lounge chair while the kiddo entertains himself in his pool, sprinkler, swingset (etc.) I realized the other day for the first time in, oh, YEARS that I had no qualms about putting a pair of short shorts on. I am getting much more comfortable with having less of me covered up. It’s a huge victory! 

Dinos at the Zoo?? Cool! 

This weekend is going to be a fun one. We are going to the special Dinos and Donuts day at the MN Zoo to see the dinosaur exhibit before the Zoo opens for the day. It’s hella early in the morning (we want to be there by 7:30a) but there will be a small amount of people compared to seeing the exhibit with the general public. I can’t wait to share our adventure! We will also be going to my 10 year old nephew’s final baseball game of the year on Saturday afternoon followed by some dinner at the Galaxy Drive In where I really have no idea what I will eat to stay on plan. A Diet Coke? Ugh. What to do??

My Handsome Nephew

Sunday will be all about enjoying the summer heat and letting the kiddo relax and play in the pool while mommy works on her tan.

I received some pretty rockin’ news today and my adrenaline is still coursing through my body over it. I can’t share yet, but I promise I will soon!

In the words of Rihanna…
Cheers to the freaking weekend
I drink to that.
Oh let the Jameson sink in
I drink to that.
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Turn it around with another round.

Have a great weekend!

Wordless Wednesday: 2011 School Picture Edition

There is nothing I look forward to more than getting school pictures back and Jack’s photos this year did not disappoint. How is it possible that he is this big? How on earth did they get him to sit and smile like that?

Crying It Out: A Response

I love when mom bloggers out there say, “I’m not trying to be judgmental.” Yet, their entire post is an entire blabbering of finger-pointing, guilt-ridden, “I’m better than you at parenting” bunch of garbage.

This is my response to THIS blog post on crying it out. No apologies for my excessive use of the F-word.

I usually LOVE this blog for its often brutal yet hilarious points of view when it comes to being a part of the mommyhood. This type of self-righteous, finger-pointing post seems out of the norm for this blog and despite the blogger’s insistence about not being judgmental, the entire thing had me gaping open-mouthed wanting to throw things and scream obscenities through my monitor. 

It was actually a great post about how her family makes it work without doing crying it out. I always find it interesting to hear how other parents are able (or not able) to get their kids to sleep (especially those that have more than one kid). It was a great post until THIS comment:
People wonder and have asked, why don’t I do Cry it Out? Plain and simple, I believe it is not healthy for the child. Children learn trust in the first 2 years of life. If we stick them in a room, turn off the lights and leave them to “self soothe” what are we teaching them? What would we do if someone did that to us? What if someone put you in a room and despite how upset you got, they just left you there for 12 hours?

My response: That’s your answer when someone asks you why you make certain parenting decisions? How about telling them, “Mind your own fucking business.” Before we tried crying it out, I was convinced if we didn’t intervene that he would cry for hours on end and nobody would sleep regardless. Imagine my surprise when we tried crying it out and Jackson NEVER cried for 12 hours straight. After going down to sleep at 7:30pm, he would usually wake around 10:30ish (and still does this to this day). The longest he ever cried in one stretch was 15 minutes. That’s it. Most of the time it was a rolling around, 3 minute whine-fest that he was barely conscious for and he would go right to sleep. Should I have gone in and picked him up, interrupting his sleep and started from square one or let him work it out and go back to sleep in a matter of minutes? At that moment was he truly in need? Plus, I got to know his cries well:

  • There is the “I’m bored and want attention” cry (where he would cry, stop and check the door to see if we were coming in and prior to cry it out, when we came in, he would dive back into bed and pretend to be sleeping. That can also be the “I’m just fucking with mommy and daddy to see how far I can push them” cry).
  • The “I have a huge crap in my diaper” cry (which we always responded to and became rare unless he had a stomach bug and then… yeah… we were there cleaning up the mess)
  • The “I woke up sick with a raging fever” cry (always responded to immediately followed by endless hours in the ER only to find out it was just another damn ear infection) 
  • And of course the “I lost my fucking nuk” cry (we could see him rubbing the sheets around him looking for it) and we always snuck in the room to get it from the just out of reach spot into his hand where he promptly stuffed it in his mouth and went back to sleep. 

With a video monitor we could always tell what was going on. As a matter of fact, I refused to allow crying it out until we got one. We could see whether or not he was just trying to manipulate us or whether he was indeed crying for need. Hey, Kim! Are you a pediatric mental health expert? Who are you to say it isn’t healthy? Because one of ten million magazines you read while pregnant told you so? Did you ever consider to read about the other side of the argument? What do you say to all those who “swore by it” and their kids have no ongoing “mental” issues? Or are all of their kids totally fucked up now and you can attribute it back to crying it out when they were babies? I can’t imagine any parent who does cry it out who doesn’t have some level of responsiveness. Fuck, we aren’t made of stone! WE KNOW OUR KIDS!!! Why? BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PARENTS. Screw you for suggesting otherwise.
This also pissed me off:
Finally, the reason why I don’t let my babies just cry it out, is because I don’t believe parenting stops when I go to bed. I am a parent 24/7 and with that, comes nighttime parenting.

Fuck you for even suggesting that cry it out parents are not 24/7 parents. What an awful, stupid comment to make.

And to top it all off, this:
Sometimes I get just SO tired that I would give anything for one of those mythical babies that sleep all night long at 6 months old. But, I know that it comes at a price, and it is a price I am not willing to pay.

Weird… I had one of those mythical babies that slept through the night around 4 months old (we didn’t start crying it out until 6 months) we just learned and got to know what his needs were and responded accordingly. Exactly what price is it that I’m paying? 

Kim, let me tell you this: at 3 years old, Jack is a well-adjusted preschooler who LOVES his mommy and daddy even though we often let him cry at night. He trusts us, still needs us and guess what- he sleeps like a freaking champ. He LOVES his sleep. We are now heading into the overnight potty training era (which very well could last for fucking years) and yes, we are getting up with him at 3am to bring him to the toilet to take a leak. He then goes back to sleep (in his own bed… which sounds like another topic deserving of its own blog post) without another peep until morning. Teaching him how to fall asleep on his own without our coddling him was the best thing we could have done for him. We are teaching him how to function in an independent manner. What price did we pay for that again? My kid is great. I might be a hair biased, but for real, he’s a happy and wonderful kid and I certainly do not think we mentally screwed him up for letting him cry a few times.

I’m not judging anyone. I promise. Every parent has to do what works best for them. If getting up every hour all night long makes you feel better about what you are doing as a parent, then do it. If co-sleeping works for you. Do it. Hell, Jackson had a paci at night until he was almost 3. Who am I to judge? He was in his crib until 2 1/2 and could’ve gone even longer. Who am I to judge?

Crying it out is just another one of those hot-topic controversies that moms are never going to agree on, nestled right next to co-sleeping and breastfeeding (and the list goes on). There is no one universal truth or answer. At the end of the day, parents are going to make the decision that is right for them. The one that fits their family best.

Yeah, my post is a total knee-jerk reaction. It is my justification for making the decision I did in letting Jack cry it out. I’m sure Kim wrote her post for the same reasons. She got tired of explaining to people WHY she made the decision she did. Too bad she alienated and put down a shit-load of parents in the process.

Wordless Wednesday: Preschool Swinging & Rapping

To say that I wasn’t comfortable with how high daddy was pushing Jack on the swing is an understatement. Yes, my reaction at the end was completely overdramatized.

I truly have no idea how he picked up and learned this song…