Month: August 2010

The Importance of Me Time

Let’s face it. As moms, finding me time is hard. Enjoying me time is even harder.

Over the weekend, I took some time away to spend with the ladies. We got a hotel room, went out to a fancy dinner and saw the show Wicked. Great night, right? It definitely was and I had an amazing time. However, it was not without the voice in the back of my head saying, “You had a great night tonight but you’ll be hungover when you get home tomorrow,” and “You’ll never sleep as good in that musty hotel bed as you would in your own,” and “Does my little boy miss me? Is he feeling okay?”

Despite all of the voices screaming in the back of my head, we discussed at breakfast the next morning what our next ladies’ adventure would be. The overnight was supposed to be a nice little mini mom break for me but it was just short enough to feel like there were other priorities. My husband and the “men” in the family (not to mention his friends) have been doing their man weekends for years going hunting, fishing and just plain drinking while the women stay home. So after further discussion, we decided we needed more than an overnight. We need an extended weekend at the cabin or the North Shore. We need VEGAS. Our ideas hilariously kept getting more and more elaborate as we got excited about the idea of a weekend with no responsibilities, no diapers and our husbands taking responsibility for the stuff we would normally have to do. 

I need my me time regardless of the guilt associated with it. I need the opportunity to decompress. I need adult interaction with other women. I need to remember to still be me.

How do you spend your me time? How does me time make you feel?

The Week In Rant

It’s Friday!! Please join me for The Week in Rant:
The Great Target Debate
Kids grow up way too fast
Why you shouldn’t wait to buy clothes when you start a diet and exercise plan.

1) The Great Target Debate
I’m so frustrated in hearing about the stupid Target debate and boycott. As you all know, I try REALLY hard not to get into political debates but this one really, really annoys me. Target made that donation because they are PRO JOBS. Does anyone even know anything about MN Forward other than the fact that they are backing Tom Emmer? Do you know that their motto is: Creating Jobs. Right Here. Right Now. Do you not support job creation?

From the MN Forward website:

MN Forward is a new organization established to ensure that private-sector job creation and economic growth are at the top of the agenda during the 2010 campaign. We are working with a broad coalition of Minnesota job creators to elect candidates from both parties who support policies that enhance job growth in Minnesota.

This my friends is why Target made that donation. To dig that deeply and say that Target is anti-gay because MN Forward backs Tom Emmer who promotes anti-gay policies” is absolutely ridiculous. One thing DOES NOT have to do with the other! Target shouldn’t have to apologize for trying to protect their employees’ jobs and promote job growth in MN.

This is exactly why I hate politics. I just want people to stop thinking “Democrat” and “Republican” and start focusing on the facts. Decide which issue(s) are most important to you, do the research on all of the candidates and make a smart and enlightened decision. Just because I consider myself a Republican doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t vote for another party’s candidate if they more closely aligned with my values and the issues I deem important.

2) Kids Grow Up Way Too Fast
On a lighter note… my baby boy is starting early preschool on Monday. Yes, he’s about to turn 2, but he’s still and will always be my baby boy. Time is just flying by- is there any way to make it slow down? Oh right, just have another baby! I’ve got baby fever in a very bad way. Why does it seem that when you want to get pregnant all you hear about and see are pregnant people everywhere? No updates in that category- still in the 2WW which sucks just as much as it did before we conceived Jack. I want terribly to believe that taking this journey again isn’t going to be as difficult. I asked Jack the other day, “How would you like to have a baby brother or sister?” His response, “Ooookay.” He has no idea what he’s in for!

3) Why you shouldn’t wait to buy clothes when you start a diet and exercise plan. 
I went shopping yesterday. With my Gap 30% off coupon in hand, I headed to the mall to see what I could find. Knowing that I am in exercise and diet mode, I felt a twinge of guilt about buying clothes that will become way too big once I reach my goal. However, I piled up jeans, tops and dress pants in my arms and headed to the dressing room. I was going to allow myself one pair of pants and one top for this excursion (with the cuteness of Gap, this was insanely hard to do). I pulled on a pair of Long and Lean Jeans and they were fabulous. They looked great on me, are comfortable and fit perfectly (minus the way too long length which I will be plagued with for the rest of eternity no matter where I shop). I bought some hem tape and I am wearing these jeans today and I FEEL GREAT. For some reason I just feel awesome in these jeans and I can only hope that is a reflection of my motivation and how slow and steady is winning my weight loss battle. I’m making slow progress and I am starting to see the results. My point is, just because you are trying to lose weight, don’t deny yourself clothes that will make you look and feel great in THIS moment.

Thank you for joining me for The Week in Rant! What are the things that you want to rant about this week?

Random Thoughts

Because I am too horrifically lazy today to come up with an even remotely intellectual blog post, I am going to simply post something sent to me that totally made me laugh today.

 Random Thoughts

For Mature Humans…

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after BlueRay? I don’t want to have to restart my collection… again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would be on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a purse, finding their cell phone and pinning the tail on the donkey- but I’d be everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes close, first time, every time!

Enjoy the beautiful day, beautiful people!

How Did I Survive Childhood?

I read stories all the time about child tragedies. They break my heart. They make me want to put a bubble around my son and protect him the best I can. Today, I read the story about a little girl that died while playing on school playground equipment. My heart goes out to her family… I simply cannot even imagine their heartbreak. Of course, the playground equipment is being blamed for this tragedy regardless of the fact that it was not faulty or broken. She fell off and didn’t get out of the way in time. It is the worst kind of accident- one that no parent ever needs to experience. But if this one piece of equipment is unsafe, what about the rest of them? I’ve seen some pretty tall slides- how easy would it be to fall off of one? What about swings? I can recall countless times where I’ve been crushed by someone on a swing simply due to my bad timing. My kiddo plays on a toddler playground at school- I have signed countless incident reports of him climbing up the stairs to go down the slide and slipping and hitting his face. I witnessed kids not taking turns and going down the slide before the other gets off and getting kicked and hurt. This is just kids being kids. When they are at school, we put our trust and faith in those providers and pray that they will be as close by as we would be should they fall off and be there to pull them to safety before getting hurt any further.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a paranoid mommy. I purchased an Angelcare Monitor for my son when he was an infant because I was so terrified of SIDS. I was terrified to give him a blanket and pillow. I follow him around the house to make sure that he isn’t getting into anything or climbing too high on the furniture. Even the perfect paranoid mommy can’t completely protect- just last night we were sitting on a recliner together and he decided to take a swan dive off the side. I was able to keep him from cracking his head on the end table, but his cheek still found the recliner’s lever. At daycare last Friday, he had an incident report that said he “woke up from his nap with a red mark under his eye and a red mark on his arm”. They blamed it on the cot he was sleeping on; however, that red mark under his eye turned into a full-blown black eye. A black eye from a cot? Really? This was one of those moments where I questioned what his two teachers doing that they didn’t see what happened. His lead teacher seemed distressed about this when she saw how bad his eye looked yesterday- I can only hope that they’ll take better precautions in the future. Just because my kid didn’t cry, doesn’t mean he didn’t get bonked in the head with a toy by another kid or fell into something. My tough cookie doesn’t really cry when he gets an owie which in some ways is great and in others, I worry that it might be something a little more serious even if he doesn’t think it is. I don’t want my kid to grow up and be a wuss or anything, but geez, it would have been nice to know where he got a black eye from.

Growing up, my parents definitely gave us the freedom to be kids. To take risks. To be adventurous.
We climbed trees as high as we could and hung like monkeys from the limbs.
We built forts out of as many hazardous pieces of equipment out of the garage that we could find.
We slid down the stairway in pillowcases.
We rode our bikes down the street and through parks without helmets.
We built a Pitfall adventure course in the unfinished basement complete with a rope hanging from a pipe over chalk-sketched alligators.
We did gymnastics on the furniture.

All this and more and I am still here today. I will do everything I can to protect my son, but not at the expense of his childhood. Placing blame on the equipment or even on someone else for that matter isn’t going to change an outcome. An accident is what it is: an accident. I know this seems like a harsh statement, but I simply am not going to live my life in a bubble and I won’t make my son live that way either.

The Week In Rant

There have been a few stories in the news this week that have set me off on some rantalicious conversations this week and it is only appropriate for me to rant about them here!

Rant #1: JetBlue Guy
I am failing to understand why this guy is being glorified as a hero. Where I come from, when you are hired to do a job you do it. We all have those days where we want to say SCREW IT, bitch someone out and jump out the window but most of us have enough professional integrity and ethics to control ourselves. All I can say is, if you burn your bridges that deeply, good luck getting a job ever again. Nuff said.

Rant #2: AOL News Story Calling Postpartum Depression a Crock
Gee. What a shock that a MAN made these comments. To recap, this is what he said:

“Most women who suffer depression after their children are born are suffering from post-how-did-I-get-stuck-with-this-kid, this body, this life? They may be depressed, but it is their situation and their psychopathic personality that brings them to kill their children, and not some chemical malfunction.”

Here’s the scoop: If you have never been pregnant or given birth, you have no place commenting on the validity of PPD. I spent 2.5 years with unexplained infertility (which had its own level of depression) so you would think that someone like me could never be depressed about finally being able to bring my sweet little boy home. I was pretty much a disaster for close to a year after giving birth. I never came close to hurting my child, but in retrospect, I was miserably unhappy and exhausted and really should’ve sought professional help. It was a slow process, but I eventually got back to being my old self and found the love for my son deeper than anything I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

PPD is REAL and hopefully any new mommies out there who are experiencing it didn’t read this and won’t be afraid to get the professional help they need. The article has since been edited to remove the above. A good editor would’ve never let the article go live in the first place.

Rant #3: Toddlers Roaming The Streets in the Middle of the Night
Lately there have been several stories in the news about toddlers (around age 3) escaping from their homes in the middle of the night without their parents being aware. I’m sorry. I just cannot understand how this can even remotely happen. I have the most rambunctious toddler in the universe. We’ve known this from the time he took his first steps to know that we are going to have to take extra child-proofing safety precautions with him from gates to door handle covers. We also have an alarm system that gets armed at night so he wouldn’t get far regardless without that sucker going off- the thing is loud enough to wake the dead.

My colleague and I had a disagreement about this. She said a friend of hers had a daughter who was able to get through all the child-proofing. Really? Then put a lock high enough on the door out of their reach. There is just no excuse for a toddler wandering the street in the middle of the night. None. Zero.

Rant #4: I want to win a contest!
Lately I’ve come across a bunch of mama bloggers who have been doing awesome giveaways. I never win, but I enter in hopes that one day my post will come up on the randomizer as a winner.

Molly, who writes the blog The Snyder 5 is giving away a super cute Yoplait Splitz Prize Pack:

The pack includes

A deluxe insulated cooler bag
A fleece, lined blanket
A four-pack of Yoplait Splitz for you to try (they are shipped to you Fed Ex with dry ice packs)

My kiddo is a yogurt demon so I know he would go crazy for the stuff. As for me? How cute is that cooler bag?

Have a beautiful weekend!!

Here You Go Universe

As an avid and long time follower of The Secret, I feel like it is officially time to put this out here in hopes that the universe will give a little love back:

ttc number two blinkie Pictures, Images and Photos

That’s right… we are ready to move forward with trying to have baby #2! I hesitated to make this public knowledge in my fear that this could go on and on and on as it did with trying to conceive (TTC) our first little man, but The Secret says to do otherwise. I chronicled my journey through TTC/infertility and my pregnancy the first go around so I will do it again including the good the bad and the ugly. For some reason, it just feels like the right time- baby fever hit me as hard as a baseball bat to the head! Jack is getting more and more independent every day and my husband and I are in a good place. I think Jack could use a playmate as well… we often find our dog like this:

I think I would die laughing if it were easy to get pregnant this time around, I’m not holding my breath for an easy go of it. There will be no fertility drugs and the deadline is the end of 2012. If we are not able to have #2 by then, we will stop and count our blessings for the awesome little man that we already have in our life.


I attended a wedding shower last night for a co-worker and as we were playing the word scramble game, I got an incredible rush of nostalgia. As she talked about her plans, her dress, the catering, the drama and the craziness I remembered.

I remembered my wedding, almost 5 years ago. It was one of the most romantic and magical days of my life. So, just for today, I’m going to go back to a place before poopy diapers and before the perils of infertility. A place that was just about two people who loved each other and wanted to share their lives together.

From the Bachelorette Party- Brian Setzer was at Nye’s.

Surprisingly, I turned out not to be a crazy bride. I did a lot of the legwork myself and didn’t want to make any drama out of it. I happily shared the details of my planning with my bridesmaids and other than having to pay for their own dresses, I didn’t really ask much of them other than to just be there to share in the fun. I seriously take pride in the fact that they considered me such a cool and laid back bride. They threw me a legendary, kick ASS bachelorette party which I will never forget. It may have been a little bit selfish, and oh, okay, more than a little bit anal, but I didn’t want to share any of the planning or accept any help from anyone. Truth be told, I loved doing it all. The most important thing to me about the whole day though, was really to have the opportunity to celebrate our love with everyone that we love. We didn’t go crazy inviting people we haven’t seen in a hundred years. We wanted it to to be intimate, special. We wanted it to be fun and memorable not just for us, but for everyone that was there to celebrate with us. We succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.

The best part of getting married was definitely our honeymoon. It was everything a honeymoon should be- 7 days on a Jamaican beach doing nothing but being together.  We ate, drank, snorkeled, went horeseback riding… it was fabulous. We went on several vacations after our honeymoon, but for some reason, they were not quite the same. There really was something magical about being on our honeymoon and those memories will be with me for a lifetime.

Whenever I get overwhelmed by life in the present day. When being a mom and working a full-time job feels like too much. When my husband and I are at each other’s throats. I think about this incredibly brief, but amazing time in my life and I am reminded of what it all means and how we got to this place. A place I love.

Why Can’t I Do This? A Weight Loss Rant.

I read a blog post today: How I Lost 115 Pounds. While I don’t need to lose that much, I still have a LOT to lose. Amy is of course inspiring, but a part of me is insanely frustrated and jealous.

Weight loss has been a lifelong struggle for me. I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t on a “diet” and trying to lose weight. There were times when I was skinny (in college, I was a lean, mean 135 lbs) but not without insane hard work. I maintained that weight throughout most of college but in order to do that,  I had to work out every single day (and sometimes twice a day), have a diet of cereal and beer (this is why the Special K Diet is so fantastic) and walking all over campus didn’t hurt either nor did managing the front desk at a LifeTime Fitness. Enter in life change: college graduation. I got a job as a recruiter. This job required me to wine and dine my consultants and clients. I didn’t make wise decisions and I quickly gained weight over the course of a year. I didn’t care all that much until my boyfriend at the time decided that he didn’t want to be with me anymore because he said, and I quote, “Well,  you gained a lot of weight. You’re just not the same person anymore.” ExCUSE me? Enter in revenge Joanne. I made it my solemn vow to get back to skinny me, date a lot of guys and make said ex-boyfriend insanely jealous. I lost the weight, never quite getting back down to that sickly lean 135, but nonetheless looked good and felt good. Ex tried numerous times to win me back (somehow there was always a commitment free stipulation attached???) and I finally cut him off for good when I met who is now my husband.

I often see pictures of that old me from 8 years ago and wonder how over the course of these years I could let my weight creep up. I often wonder if my husband would’ve even remotely been interested in me back then if I looked like I do now. I guess that is the beautiful thing about my husband and our marriage: he loves me no matter what. However, that has often been my perfect excuse for letting myself go over the years. Being with someone who LOVES to eat doesn’t help my situation either. I went from eating popcorn and cereal for dinner to delicious home cooked meals full of carbtastic goodness.

Like Amy, I have reached my breaking point more times than I can count. I’ve been at this point for quite some time but have seen little progress despite my hard work and that is simply why I keep quitting and coming up with excuses. I understand that weight loss such as this doesn’t happen overnight or without struggle and hard work, but I read posts like this and it seems as though the weight has just melted away and they did the same things that I am doing. Perhaps I should really face facts and accept that I can’t do this on my own. I’ve been doing WeightWatchers online for, um, forever? Maybe I need a group leader to kick me in the behind. Maybe I need a personal trainer to hold me accountable for working out. Is it really going to take total and utter humiliation again to make me face reality? I truly hope not.

Tired But Thankful

I’m dedicating this post to stormageddon which blew through the Twin Cities last night. From about 1-5a, it stormed non-stop. I’m not talking a little rumble and then some rain, I’m talking insane lightning, thunder, wind, torrential downpours for FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT. Needless to say, I’m ridiculously exhausted today.

I’m not going to whine though. I’m going to give some thanks on this stormy Friday morning.

1. I’m thankful that Jack only woke up due to a lost nuk. Apparently the wicked, end of the earth storm made no difference to him.

2. Thankful that I didn’t have to put too much into my appearance today. Paid $10 bucks to charity to wear blue jeans on Friday for the rest of August.

3. Thankful and excited for my renewed motivation in getting healthy and getting fit. I’m really, honestly there. I can do this.

4. Thankful that Jack has had more than a few colds this summer and didn’t get a single ear infection.

5. Thankful that my friend asked me to join her to sing with her next Saturday at her contemporary worship service. Despite my recent issues with her, somehow she always pulls through and does something awesome to make up for it.

What are you thankful for today?

Decisions and Getting Fit- An Update

To SAHM or not to SAHM. 

While I have made no definitive decision on whether or not to become a stay at home mom, this week is leaning more towards staying at work. I am still painfully uncomfortable with my work situation, but I am swaying towards toughing it out. Why, you ask? Jack loves his school and gets so much out his relationships there. He is now starting to talk about his teachers and his friends and my good conscience is not just telling me, it is SCREAMING at me to not take him away from something that is so positive in his life. He is a great, happy kid and I owe a lot to Primrose for helping him to be that way.

More and more, I feel like staying home is just a selfish excuse for me to escape. Has anyone ever had a job that felt 100% ideal? I know it could be worse and I am fully aware of that. Going out to test the job market waters, I have found that although I’ve had 10 years of progressive marketing experience, I still need more of what I am doing now to be able to move forward and do what I really want to do. Despite some of the political ick, I do enjoy my actual WORK and believe in what our company is trying to sell and do. Plus, I have my own office with four walls, a door, a window and a big ol’ desk! Certainly beats the old cube-ville.

Bridesmaid Countdown: T-minus 86 days

And I feel like a failure. Instead of losing weight, I’ve gained upwards of 4 lbs and I am not happy about it. Is my anger at myself enough to be motivating? I’m not sure. The hardest part is just making it a part of my everyday life. Working out should be as much a part of my day as anything else but it is the habit-forming part that I am failing at. We, meaning both me and my husband, often take the easy way out after a long day when it comes to dinner. LeAnn Chin, Papa Murphy’s, Tombstone… you name it, we cheat with it. I was proud of myself last night though. My husband said he was craving Dairy Queen and I just said no. I’m not going to lie, it was hard to say no. I wanted a Blizzard. I just have to be smarter. Make better choices. I can still go out, I just have to be smarter about it. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. While my time may have run out for losing weight for the wedding, my motivation really needs to be more about me in the first place.