Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in the new year with runny noses.

Looks like we're going to be starting off the new year with a heaping helping of sickness. Both boys are sick and my day has been full of whining, screaming, and excessive amounts of mucous. The kids aren't doing so well either.

Hah! I slay me.

Anyhoo, I'll be spending the evening hoping that all the medicine and nose-snot-sucking-out-with-the-blue-bulb-syringe-thingie work on both kiddos so they can get to sleep. Sean and I will also be drinking sparkling cider, eating excessive amounts of those little mini mint chocolate chip things with white sprinkles on the bottom (is there an official name for those?), and watching Season 2 of True Blood. 'Cause there's nothing like kicking off the new year with fake booze, junk food, and vampires. That's just how we roll.

I hope y'all have a very happy and safe evening and a very prosperous and fantastic 2012!

P.S. Y'know that whole diet I had planned for January? Yeah, so not gonna happen. I had a disastrous trial run today and nearly went out of my mind thinking about food non-stop. The whole idea was for me to set realistic goals, and I think that one was just a bit too much of a stretch for my level of self-discipline and willpower. I'm still going to eat better, just not like a starving, deprived rabbit. More on that later.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Resolution: Create a new me!

There is one day left of 2011, and this whole week I've been thinking about my resolutions for the new year. I'm usually not one to set resolutions because I tend to expect too much of myself, then by June I've pretty much forgotten the laundry list of things I was supposed to be working on through the year.

Well this year I've decided to set just one single goal, one that I'm sure most of you have made as well:

Take care of myself and get in shape.

Since getting pregnant with Oliver I've been on a crazy roller coaster when it comes to my weight, my fitness, and my diet. I get these crazy rushes of motivation, overwork myself and set unrealistic goals, then self-sabotage when I don't meet those goals and eat everything in sight. The biggest problem with this scenario is that going back and forth from eating super healthy to eating garbage just wreaks havoc on my body, both physically and emotionally. When I'm not eating right I'm tired and depressed all the time, my skin breaks out, I'm winded just walking up the stairs, even my nails get brittle and break constantly. No bueno.

So here's my plan. 

I can control this much easier than I can my diet, but what I've struggled with in this area is constantly getting injured. I've got horrible knees and even when I wear braces I'm in moderate to severe pain through any form of exercise that requires any high-impact move (i.e. jumping jacks, skaters, and even lunges). And running? Forget it. So how do I get a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout without doing anything high-impact? I think I may have found my answer. I saw an ad for Karve Studio here in Lindon and looked it up online. They specialize in a body sculpting method that combines ballet barre work, pilates, and yoga. It's very low-impact, but incredibly effective at sculpting and toning your body. Do I sound like a commercial right now? I'm just really excited about this! I'm starting it next week and trying it out for a month to see how I like it. If it seems like it'll work for me, I'll continue to go four to five times per week. On days when I can't make it to class I'll work on my elliptical machine at home.

I'm going to take my diet month-by-month with the intention of detoxifying my system and reprogramming my brain to crave healthy foods rather than junk. January will probably be the hardest month because it's the most restrictive, but I look forward to breaking a lot of my bad eating habits and really focusing on treating food as fuel instead of something I turn to whenever I'm bored or depressed.

My diet for January will consist of the following:
- Vegetable soups and broth
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies (like the Detox smoothie on THIS site)
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh or steamed vegetables (no added salt or butter)
- Nuts and seeds (mostly almonds)
- At least two liters of water a day
- No dairy, meat, coffee, breads, pasta, rice, or alcohol

I know it'll be incredibly hard to be on such a restrictive diet. Food (particularly foods filled with carbs and sugar) becomes almost a drug of sorts, and the withdrawals from eliminating those foods from your diet can have a lot of negative side effects - mood swings, escalated cravings, a feeling of hunger when your body has already had enough to eat, even anger and depression. I'm prepared to experience all of those withdrawal symptoms, but I'm confident that at the end of the month my body will have re-regulated itself and I'll be much better off. At that point I'll decide what to re-introduce to my diet and in what quantity.

I'm really excited to start taking better care of myself and get in shape. I'll post some updates periodically to talk about my progress and challenges. Wish me luck!

Happy 2012 everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Lullabye for Me" by Michael McLean

This hasn't been a day that I would call my best
I'd give myself a failing grade if this had been a test
I did not comfort you when you were all alone
I was too busy crying through some problems of my own
Today I have not been the mom you needed me to be
And tonight I wish that you could sing
A lullaby for me

I'm glad that you can sleep, I wish that I could too
I'm sorry that today I wasn't really here for you
I must have slipped away to some far distant land
Where I'm the child who cries until her mother takes her hand
Today I have not been the mom you needed me to be
And tonight I wish that you could sing
A lullaby for me

Tomorrow I'll reclaim my proper place
I'll tuck you in and gently kiss your face
I'll do the things a mom's supposed to do
And I'll know what those things should be
Cause now I need them too

This hasn't been a day that I want to repeat
I'm sorry I could only say I'm sorry while you sleep
Today I have not been the mom you needed me to be
And tonight I wish that you could sing
A lullaby for me
Tonight I need someone to sing
A lullaby for me

Dear Taylor,

I know that I'm not anywhere near perfect. Sometimes I'm not the mommy you deserve.

I yell.

I lose my temper.

I don't listen.

But I hope you know how much I love you. I adore you. You are my sweet boy and my heart aches as I watch you grow and become more independent. I need you to need me, and it hurts when you don't. I think you are so amazingly intelligent, and you've taught me far more than I could ever teach you. You've helped me to learn what true love, compassion, and acceptance is. You've helped me see the world through your eyes, and in doing so have made me want to be a better person.

I'm sorry for all the days "I have not been the mom you needed me to be." I'm trying to be better. I want to be better. I need to be better.

I love you, sweet boy. Forever.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini Tigs

[Warning: Geeky, fangirl post ahead. You've been warned.]

Imagine for a moment one of your favorite bands/singers. I'm talking if you could pick your top ten favorites, they'd be second from the top. Who would it be? For me - hands down - it would be the Miniature Tigers. If you're not familiar with them, they're a small indie band based out of New York. And I absolutely, positively, LOVE their music. I've been listening to them for a few years now and everything they've come out with has been fantastic. But I digress.

Now picture for a moment meeting that favorite singer/band in person. Picture them being excited to see you, hugging you, hanging out with you, joking around with you, then seeing them perform live and sign your albums afterward. Got the picture in your head?

Well folks, that's what happened to me!

Sean and I went last weekend on a little getaway to Salt Lake where we were going to see the Mini Tigs in concert and then spend the night at a hotel. I was insanely nervous because they were performing at a small venue and because of that I was hoping to see them after the show and hoped they'd sign my copies of their albums.

Now to rewind a bit, I follow Charlie Brand (the lead singer of Miniature Tigers) on Twitter. He's also an artist, and a couple of months ago he'd mentioned that he was offering to paint portraits of people on his iPhone for a very small fee. I jumped at the chance and asked him to create a portrait of Sean and I. He obliged and has been working on it in between shows. I tell you this so that you know why it is that he recognized us when we walked up to the venue.

Okay, so we were walking up the sidewalk to the bar they were playing at and there were a bunch of people outside smoking. One of them turns around, opens his arms, and yells, "You're here!" then walks up and hugs both of us. Yep, it was Charlie. Charlie Brand. Charlie Brand the lead singer of Miniature Tigers. I about had a heart attack.

We stood outside talking to him for a bit about their tour and about the portrait he was working on for us. Then we went inside where we met the rest of the band and basically just stood back and watched them joke around with each other just feet away from us.

Yes, I'm a total nerd. But just hang in there with me, m'kay?

After listening to the several [awful] opening bands, the Mini Tigs took the stage. It was amazing to finally see them perform live and I was so excited that they played some of my very favorite songs.

Afterward Charlie came up and thanked us for coming, promising they'd return to Salt Lake some time in the spring after their next album comes out. Then he and the rest of the band members signed our copies of their albums. They are honestly some of the nicest people I've EVER met. 

As we left the bar I think I was floating about five feet off the ground. I swooned about it all night and was still swooning days later. It was such an amazing experience, and I can't wait to see them again in a few months.


[If you're still reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me. Go have a snack or something. You deserve it.]

Monday, December 12, 2011

North Pole Express

Last week Sean and I took Taylor and my cousin Laura on the North Pole Express at Heber Valley Railroad. We left the babe with my mom since we didn't think he'd have very much fun on a long train ride in the cold. This was our third year going (L's first) and we all had so much fun!

We packed up the kiddos a little early so we could go to Dairy Keen in Heber and get some dinner first. Anytime we're in Heber (or even just passing through to Park City) we always stop for a bite to eat at the "train restaurant."

This is kind of a random side note, but have any of you seen these soda dispensers? They're amazing! The entire thing is touch screen and I think I could've spent an hour playing with it. Guess I'm easily amused.

After a yummy dinner we headed to the railroad, bundled the kids up, and stood in line for the train. The kids got their wiggles out while we waited. They're so silly!

We boarded the train and were really excited about the train car we got; it was super cushy and warm, unlike some of the cars we've had in the past. In fact before the train left we all un-bundled ourselves because it was so comfortable in the car.

As we started the train ride Santa's elves came around and gave everyone hot chocolate and a cookie. This was what both Taylor and Laura told us they were looking forward to the most. Not hard to please a four-year-old and a seven-year-old!

As the train chugged along the edge of Deer Creek Reservoir and the sun set we played games and sung carols with the elves and some high school choir students. Tay has some weird issue with singing and just sat and grumpily plugged his ears the whole time.

Tay just got more and more ornery with all the singing and finally went over, crawled up on Sean's lap, and almost fell asleep.

Meanwhile Laura was loving every second of the carol singing and tried her hardest to get Taylor into it too.

Luckily Tay perked right up when Santa came aboard our train car! He talked with each of the kiddos individually and asked them both what they wanted most for Christmas. Taylor's request: a Batman cave set (luckily Santa's already got it hidden in our coat closet). Laura's request: a desk. He said it was just about as great as a girl in the last train car who asked for a pencil sharpener. I remember being that age though and dreaming about having a desk. Is that weird? I don't think so.

Anyhoo, then Santa gave each of them a jingle bell as a souvenir and they were both so excited they laughed and rang their bells all the way back to Orem.

It was a really great night and I was happy we could take Laura with us. Hopefully next year we can take Oliver with us so we can experience the North Pole Express as a family.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Fun Fishy First!

We had Oliver's birthday party at my aunt and uncle's house on Sunday evening. I decided to go with a fish theme because Ollie's very favorite book is "Friendly Floppy Fishy, What Do You Wish For?" I've spent the last couple of weeks making decorations and collecting serving platters for the party. I'll post more details about the items I made on my other blog.

I decided this year to make all the food myself, rather than giving assignments. This is partly because I didn't want to trouble anyone, and mostly because I'm a major control freak. Here's the spread, perfect for a one-year-old party: deli and pb&j sammies cut in the shape of fish, clementine oranges, veggies, goldfish crackers, and bowtie pasta chicken salad.

I made Ollie a little "smash cake" and then made cupcakes for everyone else. I wanted the cake and cupcakes to be really simple, so I just frosted them with light blue cream cheese frosting, added some sprinkles, and some honey graham goldfish crackers.

The decor was simple as well: blue balloons, streamers on the ceiling, and a felt birthday banner on the mirror above the mantle.

We had quite the turn-out! I think if we'd had one more person there people would have to start sitting on laps. I think next year we may try to reserve a room at Noah's so we have more room.

Oliver was a little confused with all the people there, but he was really social and even showed off his new walking skills for everyone.

Opening presents was a bit overwhelming for him. He hated opening a toy and then having it immediately taken away so he could open another gift. Plus it was pretty loud and there were lots of people taking pictures and videos. By the time we got to the last present he was done with the whole thing.

What on earth is up with this doofy expression on my face? It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

I opened a few of the small gifts so he could play a while and then it was time for cake! He cried when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him because it was so loud, but was excited when I put the cake in front of him. This was the most hilarious part because he'd happily dig right in to the cake, then look down at his messy hand and start crying. We'd finally get him to have a bite, then he'd get excited, dig into the cake again, and cry about his messy hand. It was hilarious!

Trying to feed Aunt Kristi:

Once people started heading home Oliver seemed to relax a little and had fun crawling around the house while Sean, my mom, and I cleaned up afterward. It was a really fun night and it was amazing to celebrate my little munchkin's birthday. And now to plan for Christmas! (I think I'm going to need to sleep for about a month after December is over.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


My little Ollie Bean is officially one year old today! It's taken me until tonight to make a blog post because my day has been consumed with decorating, baking, frosting, and cooking for his birthday party tomorrow.

I have really mixed feelings about my baby turning one. I love that he's so big and is learning new things every day, but I'm sad that my baby is growing up.

Some little facts about my bitty one-year-old:

- He is adventurous. He's always getting into mischief and looking for something new to explore.

- He's a good sleeper (for the most part). Ollie typically goes down to bed around 7:30pm and wakes up between 6 and 7 in the morning. He also takes two naps during the day, typically two hours long each.

- He thinks he's funny. He's already got this hilarious little fake laugh that he does whenever he does something that he thinks is funny. He cracks me up!

- Ollie loves playing with Taylor. He'll crawl right up to Tay and tackle him to the ground, laughing and squealing. Tay usually likes it, but sometimes it gets on his nerves.

- Oliver loves books. He's absolutely obsessed with them. He spends most of his day either sitting in a corner looking at books by himself or making one of us read him the same book again and again.

- He officially took his first steps a few days ago! He's already standing up on his own without any support and will take a few steps forward before he flops over. When he wants to go further he'll grab his walker and cruise across the room as fast as he can go.

- Ollie loves to eat. If he's grumpy all you have to do is offer him something to eat and he's happy as a chubby little clam. If you ever say the words "breakfast," "lunch," or "dinner," he'll make a beeline for the kitchen.

- Oliver's most common words/expressions: uh-oh, all done, dada, brother, hot dog, banana ("ana"), cracker, here you go ("her-doe"). Instead of calling me "mama," he calls me "da-do." Don't ask me why.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I really can't believe how fast times flies. It's amazing to me that one year ago today I was holding my little newborn baby in the hospital. He's grown so much and I wish I could slow down time and enjoy my little munchkin forever.

I could probably sit here for an hour and write about how much I love my little Ollie, but I've got to get back to baking cupcakes. I'm excited to celebrate with him tomorrow and watch him open presents and eat cake. Happy birthday, little one!