Month: October 2012

A Mommy Fear Comes True

I’m not a helicopter parent by any measure. I stand back and let my son learn things on his own. I let him try new things. I try not to interfere or nag until it becomes a safety issue. I try to keep my “no” items to the things that matter the most so that he understands when I say no, I mean it.

When we started building our house 5 years ago, we had given up hope of having a baby. We picked a model and our FABULOUS Country Joe Homes sales manager exceeded our expectations by adding in the little extras that we loved but didn’t think we could have such as a pantry and a large wrap around front porch. It was our little dream home. We didn’t put much thought behind designing something child-friendly, because we were under the assumption we weren’t having one.

Cue our shock 4 months later when one pregnancy test after another showed up positive.

We were able to make small changes- such as what color to paint his room and what kind of carpet we should get that would withstand the spills of a child. We couldn’t do anything about the large staircase or the location of the upstairs rooms and bathroom.

Here is how our house is laid out (for the most part):

On the 2nd floor you can see that to get from the bedroom next to the master to the bathroom, you’ll have to walk right in front of the stairway. From the time we brought Baby Jack home, this has been a worry of mine- when he starts heading to the bathroom on his own, he’ll have to walk right in front of that huge, long staircase. We watched him a million times run down that hall to the bathroom and back without incident and finally gave him the freedom to leave his room on his own at night. I always hear him get up (we still have him on a monitor) and hear the pitter patter of his little feet trotting down the hall. I never go back to sleep until he is safe in his bed.

Early this morning, the sound of the door opening and his feet in the hallway awoke us at around 4:45am. My husband thought he had been in the bathroom a long time and went to check on him. Jack emerged from the bathroom, gave his daddy a leg hug and proceeded to try and run around him only he cut his turn short and went tumbling down the stairs. In an effort to try and grab and save him from the fall, my husband fell head over heels right behind him. I didn’t see any of this, I only heard the sounds of bodies going down the stairs and of my child screaming in terror. In a panic, I jumped out of bed and ran after them. Father and son were embraced at the bottom of the stairs. I quickly grabbed Jack into my lap to cradle him, put my hand on the top of his head to feel for any growing bumps and then felt the wet, stickiness of blood. Nausea flooded over me; however, I immediately I jumped up, turned on lights and ran to the kitchen where I hoisted him up on the counter to see what had happened to my baby boy. Seeing no gaping wounds, I caught a glimpse of my husband. He was a disaster. Arm bleeding, chin dripping with blood, swollen face. He took the brunt of this fall. I checked Jack from head to toe: barely a scratch. How is this possible? Seeing the state of my husband, I knew he needed medical attention. He stubbornly refused my offer of bringing him to the hospital and told me to just make sure Jack gets to school. Thankfully, my husband only required a couple stitches on his chin and had no broken bones (I’ll bet he’s glad I started making him take multi-vitamins!). He is in pain though with his bumps and bruises (yet apparently not so much pain that he’s able to hold his XBox controller?? Fishy…).

Seriously though, my husband is a hero. He sacrificed himself and did whatever he could to keep our son from getting hurt. True love, man. True love.

My mommy instincts are still screaming even though everything turned out shockingly okay. I know it is time to take action: What are we going to do to keep something like this from happening again? As you can see from the floor plans, there is a bedroom right across from the bathroom. I hate the idea of having him go through such a change (he’s been his current room since birth), but hate the idea of him getting injured on that stairway even more. Sure, we could put a gate at the top of the stairs, but what a pain in the ass those things are to fiddle with, not to mention you can STILL fall down the damn stairs after you go through it anyway.

I vote new room. We can paint and decorate it up and make it feel like it’s truly “his” room that he can be proud of. It will get him closer to the bathroom, remove the issue of the stairway and may even get us over the overnight bedwetting hump. Now to get my husband on board with this idea…

What are your greatest mommy (or daddy) fears? Did you take specific action to keep them from coming true? 

My Romantic 7 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, I celebrated 7 years of mostly wedded bliss with my husband. We know couples who have taken fabulous vacations on their 7 year anniversary. Upgraded their wedding rings to add more bling.

We did nothing of the sort.

At the last minute, I rushed out to find a suitable gift for my husband. Very out of character for me as I usually research for months for the perfect, most creative gift. We follow the traditional/modern gift chart for our anniversary, mostly for fun, to see who can come up with the most creative gift. The 7 year gift is either wool or copper. Sounds easy, right? Oh so wrong. Now, with some research, I probably would’ve come up with something unique in the copper department, but flying by the seat of my pants? No luck. So, I’m stuck with wool. Also sounds easy, yes? Oh so wrong. EVERYTHING I looked at that would fulfill my husband’s picky clothing palette was cotton! There were gorgeous merino wool turtle necks and v-necks, but no crew necks. I made one final stop into Banana Republic (yeah, I might be obsessed as it is one of the few smaller, less expensive shops to go in Downtown Minneapolis). I settled on a merino wool half zip sweater and crossed my fingers. Walking back through Macy’s, I also bought him a new pair of wool gloves that have a heater and touch finger so he can use his iPhone with them on and completely random, a new belt for his new skinny waist. I never shop at the last minute so I was not confident in my selections. Never mind that I could have bought him a bottle of scotch and nice cigar and he would’ve been content.

Not surprising at all, the bus was running late. So, I had the hubs pick up the kiddo from school and I swung by to pick up our romantic dinner of take-n-bake pizza and cheese bread. Yes, I classied that up with a little red wine. My husband then left to take the kiddo to swimming lessons while I played with my new iPad 3. My gift. Which I guess has some copper in it? Husband then dropped the child off at home and made his way to the gym while I put the cranky, tired kid to bed.

By the time he was home from the gym and showered up, the kid fast asleep, we were exhausted. I quickly sped through the DVR, watched The Voice and off to sleep I went.

Romance at its best!

We do have a sitter for this Saturday and we will attempt to go on a date. I say “attempt” because I begged to do something other than our go-to date night dinner and a movie and as you all know, the ideas in my head are usually much more exciting than reality.

There you have it! Pretty much sums up how our anniversaries are spent now that we have a little one. The good news? There’s a lot of love still there, even after 7 years of marriage and a full decade of togetherness. No, our marriage is not perfect. Is there such a thing? We bicker. We sometimes do not spend much time together. Our anniversary serves as a reminder of our commitment to each other and our lives together. Despite our busy and exhausting day, we were able to look at each other, look at our surroundings, look at our son and say, “We’ve done good.”

Motivation Monday: Moving On

No doubt, Medifast was an excellent weight loss catalyst for me. It helped me detox my body from sugar and carbs. I lost an insane amount of weight. It was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. They do give you the tools you need for a lifetime of maintenance; however, there does come a time when they set you free.

While I am still struggling with a lingering 7 pounds, despite being back on 5 and 1, I’ve decided to just let it go. At 157, I am still at the lowest weight I have been at in years and frankly, it is quite an accomplishment. I find that the longer I stay on Medifast, the more psychotic I get about that number. It HAS to be more than that. My boss asked me the question, “Why do this to yourself? You look fantastic.” Sometimes rather than comb over and over about what I am eating and what I am doing to be stuck in this rut (and to be honest I am dumbfounded that at 1000 calories a day, I am not losing weight), I should really be looking in the mirror and asking myself, how do I FEEL. Like most women, that is a loaded question. Depending on the level of bloat on any given day you can range from feeling like a sexy goddess to Honey Boo Boo. So, during a little break today, I looked in the mirror. In my cute corporate outfit, consisting of my Banana Republic Shawl Collar Wrap top (and I’m including a link because it is the cutest most flattering and comfortable top ever), tie belt, black pencil skirt, black tights and Mary Janes- I feel pretty. I feel fit. I look healthy (don’t take into account my lingering sinus infection giving me my lovely red hued cheeks). You can’t tell I have extra skin or cellulite still clinging to my behind. My hair is done. My makeup is perfection. My clothes make me feel pretty and confident.

How I feel about myself is more than just a number on the scale. Why is that so hard for me to get through my skull??

Therefore, I have made the decision to end Medifast. I went through transition once and yes, I gained. In retrospect, I know what I did wrong. I understand why it happened. Now it is time to move on. I will never be “done” with weight management and it is an issue I will always struggle with. As part of my maintenance, I have decided to subscribe to Weight Watchers online. I always told you I’d go back to WW as a maintenance program!! What I have always liked about Weight Watchers is that it allowed me to be human. It allowed me to have indulgences without getting crazy. It helps to keep myself in check with portions and serves as a solid reminder how important it is to have a BALANCED diet. Let’s face it. There is nothing okay with 900 calories a day and the truth of the matter is, my body is probably putting on weight because it is starving and going into my fat reserves. Logging back into Weight Watchers, I am CLEARLY not eating enough. With 26 points, on my Medifast maintenance, I was only eating 15 of those points, plus tack on exercise? Yikes. Starving. No wonder I’ve been dealing with illness and exhaustion. I think a change will do me good and maybe I’ll even get rid of those stubborn, lingering pounds. I also believe that Weight Watchers is what you make of it. I found it was not effective for me for weight loss but extremely effective for maintenance

After spending the last two years of my life solely focused on nutrition, I am planning another change to my healthy living program. I want to shift my focus back to exercise and training which is why in November I will start myCoach at Life Time Fitness:

myCoach connects you to your own personal fitness coach, who will create your plan, check in with you and provide the support you need to succeed! You’ll get together (in-person) once a month to assess your progress, review and refresh your program. Then it’s up to you to do the work!

While myCoach won’t tell me to eat right, it will help me design a workout program that works for me and is fun for me. It will help me focus. Best of all, I only have to meet with my coach once a month. Other check-ins are electronic. Perfect! It has been very hard for me to maintain a weekly weight check at Medifast. The closest office isn’t that close and their hours pretty much suck. These weigh ins kill Saturday mornings for me. Time that I could be spending with my son. TIME is something I don’t have much of. The gym on the other hand is open 24 hours a day. No real excuses. I can go after the kiddo goes to bed. I can manage meeting with a trainer once a month. This is something I’ll actually be able to do and stick with.

One thing I have learned: maintenance is actually just as hard as losing weight.

My Head Is Spinning

My head is spinning.

Firstly. I got the flu. The knock down, drag out, kick me in my ass flu. Where did I get it from? It is a mystery. Doctors won’t say it happens, but I got sick 5 days after I got my flu shot after being pretty healthy for the better part of 2012. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway it sucks. Really sucks. I cannot train for the Monster Dash given the fact I can barely walk two feet without busting out in a coughing attack. This means a lot of hard work over the last month down the drain. I am about a week out from being back up to speed. I am also singing in a wedding in 10 days. This bugger knocked me down for 8 days straight. My husband likes to think I was a total baby wuss. However, this wuss didn’t miss a day of work over it despite a body that ached from my hair to my toenails and a daily temp of 101. I’m hard core like that. Perhaps I’ll get over my issues with using PTO for sick time. I just feel like I need it for much better things like holidays and trips to Disney World (which I swear to you I’m going to blog about someday). Needless to say, after developing secondary infections (sinus & bronchitis) I got some strong antibiotics and I am slowly getting back on my feet again. Does anyone find it strange that not a soul around me got sick? Did I really keep my bubble that tight around me?

The second thing that has me in a tailspin is the fact that my always growing son is about to reach school age. There are a few things about this that have me mildly freaking out:

1) His age. He is one of those lucky kids who was born close to the age/grade cutoff. So what to do? Make the exception and send him to Kindergarten a year early? Wait a year? We feel like this one decision could be so important to the future of his education and we have no idea what the right choice is. If we send him early, will he be ready? Will he fall behind? If we send him later, will he be bored? What to do? What to do? Moms. I need you. What did you do with your late August/early September babies? Do you have any advice? Any regrets?

2) With being school age, we no longer have the comfort of him being in one place all day. Two full-time working parents have to figure out where to send their kid before and after the bell. To tell the truth, we both dislike the idea of having to do this at all. Both my husband and I were spoiled in the fact that we always had a parent waiting for us after school. Always there for that afternoon snack. Always there to remind us to get started on that homework. After feeling like I made the biggest decision ever in my career, changing jobs, changing companies… I am now re-thinking everything. I think my husband saw this coming a mile away, yet didn’t mention it. I both love and hate that he makes me figure these things out for myself. He knew I’d choose my son above all. However, this is all still a year or two down the road. My hope, and yes, this is lofty, is that my current job will either let me go part time or mostly remote. There are a number of my colleagues who this company has made concessions for and I can only hope that after a couple years of a strong performance, they will consider me an asset and do what they can to keep me. Like I said, lofty. The other option is to find freelance or part-time marketing work. The flip side of this is that my husband may go back to consulting and if he’s traveling, that will force me to be at home. There’s no way I could continue this job and these hours with him gone all the time. I wouldn’t do that to myself and I won’t do that to Jack.

3) We are also intrigued by the idea of a private education. We are impressed with our church’s K-8 school and suddenly, this option is now on the table. Is this crazy? So many of his preschool buddies are heading over to the public school. Will he even care? Will he even notice? The money isn’t a concern- it is actually less than we had been paying for these last 4 years of daycare. The classes are smaller. They teach religion. He’ll still be able to be in community league sports (if he wants). They get brand new Macs starting in 6th grade. This kind of feels like a no-brainer, right? I freaking HATED Catholic school. Now, I’m a girl though and girls are just innately evil and mean. Add rich to that and you’ve got a verifiable mean girl nightmare for a 10 year old girl. I begged my parents to send me to public school in the 6th grade and thankfully, they complied. They pulled my brother out too although, I’m not entirely sure why. Money? Perhaps. Thing is… I learned that pubic school girls can be as equally nasty as the private school ones. Ugh. Why does this matter? I’m just on the fence. We live in a wonderful school district and I’ve heard nothing but great things about the public schools. What to do? Help a mama out here.

So many things going on… so many important decisions to make. Nobody ever said that being a mom (and a professional and a wife) was easy.