Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My gratitude, my joy.

"We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful."
-From Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hand, foot and mouth and Memorial Day.

The weekend wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and by Monday all was better and we had a great Memorial Day with great weather.
Here's what I learned about hand, foot and mouth:
1:  Your child can have it for up to two weeks and be shedding it before any symptoms occur.
2:  There is no way to really know it is hand, foot and mouth before it is too late.
3:  The process of symptoms is fever, sore throat, spots.
5:  By the time the fever presents itself you aren't really contagious anymore.
4:  The older you are the less worse it is.  For adults it is a mild cold.  (I never got sick.)  Eva got a couple very light spots on her feet and Scarlett got a lot of bad spots where some on her feet turned to blisters.
5:  It is a virus so the only thing you can do is pain management.
6:  It lasts 3-5 days.  Sore throat day was the worst for Scarlett, fever day was the worst for Eva.

Apparently hand, foot and mouth is pretty bad this year so watch out.

I am so glad I didn't get sick.

So for Memorial Day we had a nice BBQ and just hung out.

Have I mentioned I love snow cones?  I Instagram them every chance I get.

Lame post I know but I thought maybe someone out there would want to know.


Friday, May 25, 2012

I was posted on another blog and my weekend plans.

My friend Becky is a mother of twins.
I met her when I lived in Minnesota.  I love Minnesota by the way (I miss you my MN Brady's!).
I love reading about her adventures of being a mom of identical twins plus everything else she does.  And she makes some amazing dinners that inspire me to do much better on my planning and preparing meals.
She flattered me by posting my motherhood essay.
Check it out here.
I am always surprised when I find out people read my blog and there is always this weird insecure feeling that comes over me.
I am always extremely surprised and flattered when people actually like my blog and tell me they enjoy it.
So thanks Becky.

In other news I am quarantined all weekend.  Scarlett and Eva have hand foot and mouth.  I have no idea where they got it and I feel so bad having to tell people they have been around that their kids will most likely get sick.  Luckily for adults it can be just a mild cold.

Scarlett is almost over it but Eva just began the process today.  If you don't know what the process is it goes fever, sore throat, spots and rash.  It lasts 3-5 days and is a damn virus so I can just do pain control.  Ugh.

We thought it was chicken pox (I wish, that would have been much easier) or scarlett fever but nope.

So those are my awesome Memorial Day plans.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am paying someone to spend time with my kids!

Paying someone to spend time with my kids is the most frustrating thing for me.  Not that I actually think that someone should do it for free but the whole idea of paying someone to spend time with my amazing kids rather than being the one to do it just seems so preposterous!  I want to be that person.
Scarlett had a fever yesterday when I picked her up and it persisted all night.  By morning she was doing much better but still not 100%.  I went to work anyways but the guilt is horrible.  My sweet Scarlett is not feeling well and I am the one she wants and I am not the one she is with it sucks!

Eva took this picture of us.  Scarlett looks so miserable.

Trying to eat some fruit leather which she normally loves.

The one good thing that can come out of this is that it just motivates me to work harder towards my goals and be successful at working out of my home and being with my kids.  

And there you are, the woes of being a working mom but one who doesn't actually want to be working.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Organic? Eliminate toxins in your life post 2.

I am listening to an audio book about all the bad processed food in our lives and what it does inside your body.  I pretty much have heard the information before but it is good to hear it again so that I can re-commit to a healthier life.  The problem though is that all the guilt and depression that comes with the knowledge that the chocolate covered raisins I bought are just feeding my potential cancer cells or making my body more yeasty or throwing off the ph balance or whatever can be really heavy on my brain.  Then throw in my kids and the little treats I give them and now I am believing that I am a horrible parent and can't possibly love them enough.

I am aware this is irrational but really, our food is messed up and our brains are messed up and we all need to just eat whole foods ideally organic and we would all be happier, healthier people.  Plus, one good thing is that if I had to eat one food the rest of my life I would have to pick organic strawberries or raspberries.  So I think that is a positive thing since I didn't pick some dessert or chocolaty sweet thing.  Aren't you proud?

photo credit

Did you know that there are some fruits and vegetables that you should always buy organic?  There are fruits and vegetables that hold on to pesticides more than others.  Don't worry, I have provided some lists for your enjoyment and help.

Here is the list you should buy organic in order of most pesticide potential if not buying organic: (did that make sense?)
1:  Apples
2:  Celery
3:  Strawberries
4:  Peaches
5:  Spinach
6:  Nectarines
7:  Grapes
8:  Sweet bell peppers
9:  Potatoes
10:  Blueberries
11:  Lettuce
12:  Kale/Collard Greens

Here is a list of foods least likely to have pesticides just so your head doesn't explode with worry:
1:  Onions
2:  Corn
3:  Pineapple
4:  Avocado
5:  Asparagus
6:  Sweet Peas
7:  Mango
8:  Eggplant
9:  Cantaloupe
10:  Kiwi
11:  Cabbage
12:  Watermelon
13:  Sweet Potatoes
14:  Grapefruit (yay!)
15:  Mushrooms

I got these lists from Eating Well magazine which I love.  Here they are online.  Eating Well has amazing recipes and amazing tips.

Good luck.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some inspiration for you.

Brene Brown has a new book coming out and she announced it on her blog here.  I highly recommend you read this post.  It is amazing.  Here are some quotes from it to get you over to her blog to read the whole thing.

"Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”-Brene Brown

"When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make."-Brene Brown

"Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience."-Brene Brown

"For years, I drew courage from the question, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I even own the paperweight. When I was getting ready to speak at TED this year, I pushed that question out of my head to make room for a new question: “What’s worth doing even if you fail?”-Brene Brown

Also her most recent post she interviews Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman which you can read here or just for heaven's sake check out her blog.

It is inspiring and one you should check out regularly.  I have a tab up above dedicated to Brene if you need further help getting to know her.

I share this because I love and care for you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Life is pretty

I am feeling really good today.
And honestly I am a bit surprised about it.  
I am still in the phase where when I am feeling really good I question if I should grasp on to it and enjoy it or let it go knowing that the next day could be quite the opposite.
I am feeling safe to grasp on to it and hold tight.
I believe that I am over a lot of humps and through a lot of roadblocks and the 
future is looking much more positive.  
Dare I say it?  I am feeling really, really happy.  
Even the future of pushing a baby out of my body can't bring me down today.  
I realize that things can change in an instant so I must document these feelings now.

And so here are some of my favorite pictures as of late since these girls are such a huge part of my happiness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

35 weeks pregnant and getting nervous.

(I am aware that I was wearing the exact same outfit when I took a picture of myself at 33 weeks but seriously I am 35 weeks pregnant a running quickly out of comfortable clothes so stop judging!)

I am to the point in my pregnancy where the only positive thing left about it is that I don't have to maintain my mustache and leg hair.  All the hair on my body has turned very fine and it looks like I shave my arms.  It is quite nice.  I guess the other positive thing is that I can groan and moan about how uncomfortable I am and I get a lot of sympathy and people help me out and rub my feet and legs which is very, very appreciated.

For the most part this pregnancy has been a breeze and I can't really complain.  I haven't had any real emotional or physical issues which has been a big blessing with all the emotional drama that has been going on these last 8 months.  The good thing now that I am at the end is that the emotional drama has subsided and things are going pretty well.

One thing I have noticed about this pregnancy is the way people speak to me and comment about my belly.  So many strangers talk to me like I am a child and go into a voice they probably only reserve for a 3 year old and tell me how precious and cute I look.  I can tell they want to touch my belly but so far no stranger has.  Also, a friend pointed out and since then I have noticed it to be true, that other babies love me and seem to be really snuggly and fall asleep when I hold them.  It must be a special pregnant energy.  Not only do I have that pregnancy glow but my energy must have a nice pregnancy glow too.

Lots of women told me I would carry differently with a boy and it is true that since I am having a boy I am carrying so differently than I did with my girls.  This pregnancy I am literally sticking straight out and it looks like I just have a basketball under my clothes.  It is interesting.

The closer I get to my due date the more nervous I get.  I think I am making myself more and more nervous by talking about it and thinking about it but I can't help it.  I have to push a baby out of my...body and I am nervous, OK scared, about doing it.  I know I have done it twice before but jeez I have not forgotten it and I would really like it to go by quickly and just get to the moment where all the pain is gone and a baby is plunked down on my chest and I get to have the surge of happy chemicals enter my brain and I exclaim that I would like to have 5 more.  Right after Scarlett I was so high on happiness chemicals that I claimed I would like to do it again 5 more times.  That's how great it feels when it is over!  I just need to focus on that moment.

I have a group of friends and family that I text updates to during labor and when they can come visit (let me know if you want to be apart of the group.) and I will be asking them all to light a candle and pray when they get the text that I am in active labor and headed to the hospital because seriously I will need a lot of silent support this time I think.  I just need some bravery and peace I think.

Anyways, that's it.  Tomorrow I hit 35 weeks!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day.

I'm sure if you are a blog reader you read the Nie Nie Dialogues or at least have heard of her.  She had an essay contest on what motherhood is and then posted some of her favorite essays.  Those that she posted were mostly mothers who had extreme and hard situations like death, sickness and disabilities.  They were all wonderful to read and I learned a lot from the essays on how to be a better mother and how to be more grateful for what I have.

It got me thinking of what I would write and how I view motherhood right now.  I am not a great writer and I try to make sure my writing sounds like my voice so maybe that's why I am not so great but I thought I would write my own essay on what motherhood is for me right now.  I'm sure things will change as I grow and learn in this life and as my children grow but for now here is my essay. 

Motherhood is a series of goodbyes.

I was watching Downton Abbey last night and over the baby monitor I heard my 3 year old Eva say, “Momma, come snuggle me.”  I pushed pause and went to her room and laid next to her in her bed.  She shimmied closer to me and played with me hair.  I stared at her sweet face and attempted to stop time.  It was a moment when I realized that someday very soon my sweet girl would not want to snuggle with me anymore.  Someday I am not going to be her sun, moon and stars.  Someday very soon I will be replaced by others.

This terrifies me to my bones.  What am I going to do when I am not the center of someone’s world? 

 I often read a poem by Mary Oliver which helps remind me what motherhood is and what I am expected to do.

“to live in this world 
you must be able  
to do three things  
to love what is mortal;  
to hold it  
against your bones 
knowing  your own life depends on it;  
and, when the time comes to let it go,  
to let it go”  
― Mary Oliver

I am trying very hard to be a good mom.  I am trying to teach my kids how to steer through this world and be independent people.  The thing that comes when you teach your kids how to be independent is independence and it can be like a knife in my heart.  Right now I get sad about not being able to help with  silly things like getting dressed, zipping up coats, using the bathroom but someday it will be bedtime,  reading books, and dare I say it...driving! 

That’s why I say motherhood is a series of goodbyes.  Kids are constantly changing and growing and you must be able to say goodbye to the sweet 3 year old and welcome the next sweet stage that comes.  It is terrifying how happy you can be and how sad you can be.  Motherhood is my sun, moon and stars and it will be for the rest of my life.  Right now I am holding my kids against my bones trying so hard to remember every second of these wonderful years and prepare for the time to let them go.  

I realize how blessed I am to have what I have and I realize how fragile life is and how things can change in an instant.  Motherhood can sure be terrifying but still I wouldn't give it up for anything.  Motherhood is worth all the worry, guilt, anxiety, fear, and regret.  It is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced.  If you ever wonder what the purpose of life is then you should have kids and you will quickly find out.  Motherhood has taught me more about life and myself in these short 3 years then I will ever be able to teach my kids.  

I am so grateful to be able to be a mother.  I look forward to having a new baby and being a mother to a new person.  I am so happy.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Some thoughts I must share.

Again, I love Brene Brown and I read her blog and love every post.
Today she quoted Harriet Lerner and it was powerful for me so I thought I would share it with you.

"If we would only listen with the same passion that we feel about wanting to be heard."
-Harriet Lerner

This hit me.  When going through a divorce you are use a lot of phrases like "I don't feel heard or I don't feel listened to." and "Please just listen to me, just let me speak without interruption."  Still you are so worried about being heard and understood that you can't hear anything else even if you do not interrupt you are thinking of what you are going to say when the other person is done.  One of the main problems in marriages is that we aren't listening to our partners.  Not only to their words but to their unspoken words.  This breaks my heart.  I know I can do better.  Right when I get to a space where I think pain has passed because of the better space I am in I can just see my mistakes more clearly and what I could have done differently and then enters the pain again.

I haven't read any of Harriet's books but it sounds like I need to.

Seriously, life is a crazy roller coaster.  Today I just need to focus on today and attempt not to think about yesterday and tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some things.

So my 33 week is officially up.  Yesterday I hit 34 weeks.  Nothing really major happened to me last week that I would deem extremely lucky but maybe lots of things happened that I am unaware of.  But it was a good week and I am happy and healthy and my kids are happy and healthy and the weather is wonderful so things are going well.

I held a brand new baby yesterday and Scarlett seemed pretty OK with it which put me a little at ease for my future.  I must say though that I love my little routine with my girls right now and I am sad that it is coming to an end.  I worry that I won't have time for all the snuggling and I find myself praying that this baby is a really good sleeper and mellow so that I still have time to spend with my girls and kiss Scarlett's squishy cheeks and hold Eva when she asks.  I remember having these same worries when Scarlett was coming and everything turned out fine so I'm sure everything will be fine and I will end up wondering how I ever lived without 3 kids.  Pretty sure at least.

On a very side note, remember this picture of Scarlett in my Frye shoes?

Well the Frye company on Instagram liked my picture.  That's it, they just liked it but it made my day.  Silly.

Eva had her first swimming lesson on Monday and she has another one today.  Her lessons will last the whole month.  She absolutely loves them and threw the biggest fit of her life so far when we had to leave.  It was sad and funny.  On the ten minute drive home I remained quiet and this is what she said, or at least what I can remember she said:

"And you are mean to me, and you make me cry, and you talk grumpy to me, and I don't want to leave swim lessons, and you make me leave swim lessons, and you turn things around, and you need to drive with two hands, and Scarlett needs to stop looking at me, and you need to talk gently to me, and you talk mean to me, and you are talking sassy to me, and you are making me cry..."

She just went on and on for about 10 minutes until we got home.  So now I know what Eva hears when I discipline her.  I wish I would have recorded it but I didn't know it would last that long.  I will be prepared for the next time.  I will also prepare her better today and explain to her exactly how long she has in the pool.  It should be fun though because me and Scarlett are going to play in the pool while Eva has her lessons.  That is right!  I am going to get into a swim suit and maybe, just maybe, I will take a picture of the amazingness of it.

And here is Eva's first school picture.  It doesn't really look like her but I think it is pretty funny because they posed her.  She got to pick her outfit and how her hair was done which means her hair wasn't done.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I am a giraffe.

This is how I feel right now when I bend over.
It is really fun.
Especially when I wear my skinny jeans. 
Ya, I don't know why I still wear them but I do and I have to pull them up and adjust them every five seconds.

Here is the best shot I could get of me leaning over to pick something up.
It is pretty hilarious and pretty amazing that I took it myself.
Look at that big belly!

Serious the above pictures are so similar it is hard to tell which one is me.
And when I am not pregnant my knees are that knobby.  
One day I will share the proof.

34 weeks and counting.

Monday, May 7, 2012

"It can cut through steel and tomatoes!"

It is a time in my life when I must avoid certain things and since I am a really good procrastinator I find avoidance easy.  I think those two go hand in hand pretty well.

I find that my emotions are so near the surface that with a certain comment, topic, song or movie I will become a mess.  And not just a few tears but the kind of crying where your shoulders shake and you can’t control the sounds that come out of your mouth.

There is a list of movies I will not allow myself to watch.  For example Finding Neverland, I am not going to be able to watch that movie for years!  When everything was fine in my life I would cry uncontrollably at the end of that movie so if I watched it now I would probably cry myself into a 3 day coma.

When it comes to music I know Adele is so hot right now but seriously I can’t listen to any of her songs.  Even if she just sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star I would probably break into a million pieces.  Her voice is so full of passion and sadness that when I just hear her in a grocery store I have to force myself not to listen.  I particularly have to avoid listening to her lyrics.  Goodness me, Adele must know heartache!

Last night I made the mistake of watching The Descendants with George Clooney.  I was a mess, mess, mess.  It was a very well written and well acted movie but just one I shouldn’t have seen at this time in my life.  I had a really hard time getting my body out of bed this morning.

What I constantly tell myself is that I can’t expect going through a divorce to be easy because it is really, really, really hard.  There I said the nasty word divorce.  I hate the word.  It sounds like it should be the name of a knife.  “Buy the new divorce!  It can cut through steel and tomatoes!”   I literally take my life one day at a time and one step at a time and try not to have expectations.  I have gotten used to my situation but I don’t think I’ve fully grasped the reality of my situation.  I think my brain is doing a lot of self protecting. 

I am learning and growing a lot.  Many different veils have been lifted from my eyes and I am a wiser person.  All of this is good but I am learning that to gain wisdom you must go through heartache, sadness, grief, guilt, loss, and pain.  If you allow the lesson to be learned the wisdom comes and you can more fully recognize and accept joy, happiness, grace and peace when they come to you and they are so much sweeter when they do!  During hard times it is difficult to remember that things will get better but that’s part of wisdom I guess. 

Anyways, where am I?  OK, I am avoiding, I am growing, I am learning, I am living. 

Today was a glasses day which usually means I look hammered and I am using my glasses as a distraction.

On a more happy note Eva starts swim lessons today.  I am excited to go and watch her.

POST EDIT:  After reading this I had a hard time understanding myself so I am sorry if it is jumbled and random and inconceivable (I can watch Princess Bride!).  It was also a hard post to name hence the name.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Post from the past.

This is a post from July of 2008.

It is about my lucky number 3 and it still rings true for me today so I thought I would post it again.  Also I am so very glad that it is not July 2008 and that year is far behind me.

Why is it that when we finally figure things out it is way too late to apply the learning? Why is life like this? Like high school, you look back and you can see what was really important and that you wasted all your time worrying about all the stupid, unimportant stuff. Or like being single, all that you want to do when you are single is find someone that you can make a commitment with or get married to and then when that happens you realize that you are happy but that being single wasn't so bad and you wish you would have enjoyed it a bit more. Or when you are young and all you want to be is older than you are and then you get older and all you want to be is younger than you are.

My wish is that if we really work hard during this life and we learn from our mistakes we will get another life and be able to apply all these things that we have learned. Otherwise, what is the point. The thing I dread is that this is my second life which would mean I am a very slow learner and if that is the case I hope we get three.

Three is my lucky number.

Here is a cute picture of Eva for you for stopping by today.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

For the love of olives and shoes.

During this pregnancy I have come to love kalamata olives.
This is kind of a big deal because I have never liked these olives and the word hate could be used.  
I could only the handle the black ones that come in cans but have now learned that these olives are virtually tasteless and boring compared to the other wonderful olives out there in the world.  
I now buy kalamata olives from the olive bar since I am so hip and trendy and I suck on them and can't get enough.
I went to my refrigerator to eat some olives and I found 3 there waiting for me.
It wasn't enough, of course, but that is how 3 popped into my life today.  
I know not that cosmic but it's all I got.
If you are wondering about the 3 thing click here.

In other, unrelated news, Scarlett loves shoes.
When she got to be a really good walker I started putting shoes on her and she could tell this was a big step in the world of growing up.  Since then she loves having them on and will bring me shoes and say, "Soo, soo." so I can put them on her.  ( I don't like putting shoes on my kids until I have to because I love baby feet and toes and kissing them any chance I get and shoes seem to be a hindrance in doing this.)
Here are some pictures of Scarlett in my shoes.

And here is a picture of Scarlett because she is so gorgeous and you might have forgotten that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Big, messy hair = love.

Did you know I love big messy hair?
To me it is fun, sassy and unique.
Because my hair is stick straight and flat big messy hair is a challenge but one I still love to attempt.  Hence my favorite look is beach hair or otherwise known as a ratted messy mess of hair that is more dirty than clean.  Love, love, love beach hair and I am so glad summer is hear so I can do it every day.  Just hand me some beach spray and move aside!

I pin a lot of hair dos I love on Pinterest if you would like a better idea of what I am talking about.  I get inspired by a look and then I attempt to copy it to a more subdued day look.
Here is one I came across yesterday:

Love the hair, love the makeup, love the lighting, love the photography.
If I had a photographer in my life I would copy this and make them make me look this gorgeous.

Because I don't have the proper tools, time and probably hair this is my rendition of this hair do and mind you it must also be office appropriate so the picture is more inspiration with the result being very much subdued.
And because we are in the week of 3 here are 3 hilarious pictures of me trying to capture a picture of myself and my hair.

Here is the final look.

Here is one with a braid but I have too many layers to do a braid right now.
Don't you love my belly shirt?

And this is just freakin' funny.

I feel like my hair is a little bigger than what these pictures show but whatever.

Enjoy your day.  I hope you are inspired by something today too.

And if you need a good hair blog here is my friend Reagan's blog who actually knows how to do great hair and she gives great tips.  She is Hairdresser on Fire.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I will only miss 1 thing about the cold weather.

I really, really don't like cold weather.  I don't even like chilly weather.  In the 60s is not warm enough for me.  I prefer 80s and 90s and even 100s to 50s and 60s.

So when I say I will actually miss something about the weather being cold that means that the reason must be so wonderful that it will be hard to live without.

It is (drum roll):

Watching my girls play/sit in front of the heater to warm up!

Here they are after a bath.

Here is Scarlett playing with some lip gloss in the morning.
I loved watching her plop herself down and scoot close and her hair blowing in the breeze.

Eva took this while I was in the shower.
They sat in front of it during my whole shower.
I loved listening to them play and chat.

While it is sad that I won't be seeing this happen anymore I do have these pictures.
Yay, for spring!

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