Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bad habit

Ok, it's Tuesday, so I have another confession. For the longest time, I've had the bad habit of picking my cuticles. Any and all dry or raised skin around my fingernails gets picked. Sometimes even until I bleed. It's horrible. My thumbs are by far the worst, and my left thumbnail has nasty ridges in it from messing with the cuticle so much. I'm always so embarrassed of them. And it's so mindless, too--half the time I don't even know I'm doing it.

I remember one time in college while I was taking a behavioral psych class, I conducted an experiment on myself to see if I could curb the bad habit. I wore a rubber band around my wrist and every time I caught myself picking, I'd pop myself. The problem is, if there was still skin to be picked (OMG that just sounds so gross), it didn't matter how many times I popped myself, I'd go right back to picking. Pop, pick, pop, pick...ouch, ouch, ouch. Experiment failed.

Adam tries to help remind me not to pick, and even Aidan and Logan have started to get on my case about it, but I just can't help it. So frustrating!

But at this point, I'm seriously fed up with it, and I'm ready to really try to put a stop to it once and for all. This time the experiment is to keep my nails painted as much as I can, because I noticed that I tend to do it less if I have nail polish on.

Look at the fact that my nails match my shoes! Not at my thumb...

Adam and the boys got me an ELF nail polish sampler pack for Christmas so I've been having a lot of fun trying out new shades, and over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed my thumbs looking better. I'm SO hoping that if I can get my fingers back to normal, I can break the cycle. Anyone who picks probably know that it's a vicious cycle.

Unfortunately, my polish only looks good for like 2 days max before it starts chipping, which is why I never really bothered with regular manicures before because it's a PITA to keep up with and it takes my nails forever to dry. Oh well, I'm hoping it'll be worth it :)

In the meantime, if anyone has any advice for how to stop, I'm all ears! And if you have any recommendations for a good nail polish base coat and/or top coat, I'd love to hear them, too.

Linking up with

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ice cold

Even if the weather hasn't made up its mind--going from light snow on a Friday to sunny and almost 60* the next Monday, and back down to below freezing and an ice storm a few days later--I've made up mine. I hate the cold. I'm done with winter.


I've lived in NC my whole life (granted, it doesn't get that cold here for very long) but I'm starting to think I might be a Floridian at heart. Sometimes it takes every ounce of me to resist the urge to hibernate, huddled under a blanket on the couch with my little loves.

I'm feeling mostly uninspired, unmotivated, and physically tense. I carry all of my stress in my shoulders, so when I'm cold and shivering, the knots in my back get out of control. "Angry," as one masseuse put it.


The winter storm on Friday meant the kids got out of school early. I drove home from work as snow started falling, and while part of me was loving the magical winter wonderland aspect of it all, the other part of me was dreading the thought of taking the kids out in the cold to play. Then I felt guilty for wanting to deny them a rare chance to play in the snow that we maybe get once or twice a year.

Fortunately for me, the snow quickly turned to a mix of sleet and freezing rain, which was significantly more unappealing to them. Instead, we watched from the warmth our house as the icicles magically formed on Adam's car and the trees outside.


The kids did kind of gypped in the snow department so far this year--first a lame dusting and then ice--so if we did have one real snow, I supposed I'd suck it up wouldn't complain too much. :)


But all this back and forth with the weather is just teasing me. I mean seriously, it's supposed to be 74 here on Wednesday! Who knows, maybe the hint of spring is enough to get me out of this funk. Hopefully I (and my poor daffodil bulbs) can survive until winter is officially over. Can't wait.

my poor, confused daffodils...

PS: I admit that this is pretty much how we spend our weekends when it's too cold or wet to play outside. So yeah, for the sake of their brain cells, it needs to warm up ASAP.

Lorelai does get a lot of exercise bouncing around on that ball though!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The good kind of sore muscles

This past Sunday, I had every intention of going for a run while Lorelai napped. And then the lure of my couch, my computer and my comfy pants won out and I bailed. But then I got mad at myself because there was a Becky-shaped butt print in my couch and I just felt blah.

Monday rolled around, and since Adam and I were both working from home with the kids for MLK day, I decided to just take the afternoon off from work. I couldn't come up with a legit reason NOT to run, so run I did. I think the key that day was that I got dressed for the day in my running gear, so all I had to do was throw on shoes and go.

It was a gorgeous day for running--not too hot or too cold--so Adam took the kids out to play while I waved to them on each of 3 laps around my neighborhood, for a total of a little over 3 miles. I did C25K week 4, but at the end of the program, I was still feeling good so I did another mile(ish)!


But DUDE was I sore on Tuesday. It was the good kind of sore though. Made me feel like I got a good workout, but I was still mobile (although I visibly limped down the hall at work on a couple of occasions after sitting for too long and getting crazy stiff...).

And I even did some yoga and a couple of those exercise sportskool Thin in 10 programs a couple more days throughout the week. Go me!

Could it be that I'm finally back in the swing of things with working out?! I sure hope so, because I hate starting all over again.

 Linking up with Noel @ High Heeled Mama

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I confess: I'm a furniture anchoring newbie

Eight and a half years and 3 kids into this whole parenting thing, and before this weekend I had never anchored a single piece of furniture to the wall. I know, I know. Shame on me. But in my defense, Aidan and Logan never even so much as pretended to climb on any furniture so it never registered as a concern of mine.

Lorelai on the other hand...I've seen her try to climb up both her dresser and her bookcase. I yelled (yes, yelled) at her not to do it, but I knew that before we made the transition to a toddler bed and she could play in there unsupervised, we'd have to anchor her furniture. It was even more clear after I read this tragic story a few weeks ago. Unthinkable, and I was mad at myself that I even took that chance with the boys, knowing what could have happened.


So this weekend, we grabbed a pack of eyelet screw from Home Depot for $1.19 and used some cable ties we already had to secure everything to the wall. This was after we realized that apparently neither Target nor Walmart had any kind of actual kits. What?! But whatever, our way is just as good and probably cheaper.


I pulled out the bottom drawer of her big dresser and stood in it, and it didn't budge, so I think we're good to go. Whew! (Also, glad I didn't break the dresser...)

Linking up with

Monday, January 21, 2013

A toddler bed fail...but a pacifier win??

I had grand plans this weekend to transition Lorelai to a toddler bed in the hopes that it would help with her overnight pee issue. If she can get out of bed herself at night, maybe she'd come get us when she had to pee? No guarantee, but worth a shot, right? And since she's basically day time potty trained, this is the next logical step to fully potty trained anyway.

So we secured all her furniture to the walls so she'd be safe unsupervised, and took the crib rail off.


She was very excited to play in her new bed and pretend to nap in there with Aidan, so I figured she'd be good to go at bedtime. But apparently she was all talk, no game. Because as soon as I turned out the lights and tried to lay her down, she freaked out and pulled every last blanket and toy off her bed and refused to go near it until I put the crib rail back on. Total fail.

Call me naive, I really had no expectations that this would be a difficult transition at all for her. Aidan easily moved to a twin bed right at 2 years old (to free up the crib for Logan on the way) and Logan had no problem doing the toddler bed thing when he was (I thought) the same age as Lorelai now. Could be that he was older, but either way, 2 out of 3 transitions were a total breeze. But just my luck, third time wasn't a charm. It's like I have three completely different kids or something ;)

BUT...since I had already steeled myself for a long night of being up with Lorelai in case she fell out of bed or took advantage of her new found freedom, I figured I might as well do something else huge instead. Yep, we went cold turkey on the paci.

We had already weaned her down to just nighttime and naps at home a while ago (funny enough, she hasn't napped with a paci at daycare for a year and a half) and she knew the paci always stayed in the crib, but it was time to take that last step and get rid of them for good.

I didn't have a real plan going in because I was debating whether to do the paci fairy or something else along those lines. I had previously mentioned several times that it might be time for the paci fairy to come and take her pacifiers to a new baby who needed them, but she didn't seem to like that idea at all so I didn't really know what to do.

So on a whim, I went with the "oops, I must have lost your pacis, I'll go look for them" trick, tucked her in and left with no intention of coming back in with them (she sleeps with two). Of course she cried for them, so I made a show out of looking for them under her covers and distracted her by taking her to the potty. She woke up crying like 4 more times that night (all while Adam and I were still awake, so not too bad for us), but amazingly, she only asked for the paci that first time.

Shhhh, they're in my sock drawer just in case!

That was on Saturday, so at nap on Sunday, she asked for them again. We looked under her bed and my bed with no luck (obvs), and she went to sleep just fine (although didn't sleep as long as usual, maybe coincidence). Sunday night was the exact same thing--she asked about them, we looked, and she slept fine without one. Tonight, she asked, I said they were still lost and she seemed fine with it.

I don't know if it's too soon to tell, but it's looking like we're pacifier free now, woohoo! And if it sticks, it's really not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

And if I had to choose, I'd choose the paci win over the toddler bed because to be honest, I'm not all that upset that she's still contained at night. It's more peace of mind for me that she can't get into mischief while no one is looking...or go wake up the boys or crawl into bed with us!

Maybe we'll try the toddler bed again in a month or two...who knows. There really isn't any pressure, thank goodness!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Snow" Day

At 4pm yesterday when it was 45* and rainy, our school district--in its infinite wisdom--decided to completely cancel school today based on a projected forecast of 2-4 inches of snow.

And this is what we woke up to:


Whomp, whomp. Only a lame dusting--not even enough to play in.

Granted, we don't "do snow" well here in central NC anyway, since it doesn't happen often. But seriously?? They couldn't have at least called a 2-hour delay until they knew for sure? Now we have to have a makeup day for no reason.

On the plus side, I got to hang out at home in my sweats with two sweet boys who kept me company. I mean, I was still working, and they kept me company by watching way too much TV and video games on the couch next to me...but they also vacuumed my floor, so that kind of makes up for the technology overload, right?

Adam went to work and Lorelai actually went to daycare today, since they just had a delayed opening (we pay for it regardless, she loves it and wanted to see her teachers, and I needed to focus on work...so I'm trying not to feel bad about it). But when she got home, she inexplicably ditched her pants (but not boots) and got in on the Wii action.

She really wanted them to play Skylander Giants.

And to top it all off, this guy lost his first tooth!


I really hope the tooth fairy has a $5 handy, since she already set that precedence with Aidan. And you better believe he remembers and has already mentioned how he's going to spend his $5 (putting it towards another Skylanders character, their new obsession.)

So even though we didn't get much snow to speak of, I suppose I can't complain about what's basically a 4-day weekend (aside from the fact that I still have to work) since everyone is out of school on Monday for MLK day. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Overnight diapers are no match for her

How is it possible that Lorelai can pee so much at night? I really don't think my expectations are too high here. It's not like I think she should be dry all night. But is it too much to ask that she doesn't wake up (early) soaked all the way through with wet clothes and sheets??

I've had to change her sheets the past two nights in a row, and I can't remember the last time she's gone a full week without leaking. And last week, she had peed through her diaper by 2:30am! OMG.

Pee sheets? Nope, not funny, honey.

We've tried to cut back on her liquid intake at dinner and make her pee on the potty right before bed, but even then, she sometimes still leaks.


I have no idea what to do at this point. Do I really have to start waking her up in the middle of the night to change her diaper and take her pee? No bueno. We didn't have to do that for the boys until they only needed the less absorbent pullups at night which was easier than messing with a diaper. Any suggestions??

Oh man, I'm on a roll with the potty talk. First poop, now pee. You're welcome.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A dead battery and a bad memory

Friday morning my car battery died while I was waiting at the bus stop with Aidan and Logan. It was a cold, rainy morning and I was already tired and grumpy after having been up with Lorelai several times the night before. Not to mention the fact that Adam was out of town. Since it was raining and I was not near neighbors that I actually knew, I felt bad flagging down a random stranger to help, so I just sat in the van shivering until roadside assistance showed up, almost 45 minutes later.


While I waited, I got to thinking about the last time my work day started with a dead battery. It was a day that completely turned my career all the way around and upside down. The day I lost my job (or, got fired for being pregnant, as I so affectionately refer to it).

It was a cold February morning in 2004, and I remember being in such a good mood because it was the first time I got to wear my maternity pants (side note: I feel silly now for being excited about that because it was certainly a step down in the fashion department--I blame first time mom craziness). I was headed to my job as an account rep for a very small PR/Marketing firm but I couldn't get my car battery to jump, so I think Adam drove me to work that day and I arranged for a co-worker to take me home.

Despite a frustrating start to that morning, everything was business as usual until I got called "upstairs." Didn't think anything of it, since I had asked for a review so I could talk raises. I had been there full time for about a year and had recently gotten very positive feedback from a client, so I was trying to be proactive. The details are extremely fuzzy (mental block due to emotional distress?) and I don't remember exactly what was said to me, other than the fact that that where I was in my life wasn't where they needed me to be as an employee. I just remember being completely blindsided. I was humiliated, angry and devestated. I managed to pack up my desk, but I couldn't even leave with dignity--I had to call my mom from the break room crying and wait for her to come pick me up since I didn't have a car that day.

That was without a doubt the most demoralizing thing I've ever experienced. I questioned every ounce of my self worth. Wondered why I was such a failure and how I could have been so stupid to not see it coming. Criticized myself for choosing a college major (Journalism, Advertising concentration) that I was apparently incompentant at.

And of course I immediately worried about expenses since we had a house a baby on the way, and Adam was already working two jobs for us to make ends meet. (The company did throw me a bone and paid for my insurance through the end of my pregnancy, which I'm so very grateful for.) And I figured no one would hire me since I was pregnant. The temp agency I registered with was a bust but I ended up with a part time job as a receptionist at my gym for a couple of months, with a paycheck that was enough to maybe cover a couple of monthly bills and that's it.

“Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals - Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want” ~Marsha Sinetar


But perspective is a beautiful thing. I'm still occasionally bitter about the situation, but I've come to realize that the truth is...they were right. While I was most definitely not an incompetent employee, I really was not well-suited to that type of career and that type of workplace. It was the type of place that forced you to put career above all else. If you're not coming in early and staying late, you're falling short of expectations. I was never praised for a job well done, only criticized and nit-picked for what I should have been doing better or differently. I can't thrive in an environment like that. It was toxic, plain and simple. And the fact that they didn't even have any maternity leave policy before I announced my pregnancy certainly didn't bode well for me in hindsight. I could have never simultaneously been the mom I needed to be and the employee they demanded I be.

It's funny (but I'm not laughing)--Adam and I have actually both lost jobs in very unfortunate ways, and we've both had much better opportunities that wouldn't have otherwise happened. In the 3+ years since it happened to Adam, he's gotten several promotions (with hopefully another one coming up soon) and is making more than he ever did before.

As for me, I was given a chance to go back to the software company where I interned during college, albeit doing a completely different job. They took a chance on me, and I can honestly say I've felt like a valued employee for the past 8+ years I've been there (since Aidan was a mere 6 weeks old). I'm proud to say that I keep getting positive feedback on the work I'm doing, which is a big change from before. I got a huge promotion last summer and a couple of awards, including one last month where my boss said such incredibly nice things about me in front of my whole department. I just got an amazing annual review, and I'm thriving and growing my career in a way I never thought possible back then.

I would have never had this opportunity if it hadn't been for that fateful day and that miserable company, so in a twisted way I'm grateful. I totally could have done without the humiliation, overwhelming stress and lack significant income for almost 6 months, but it forced a career change that worked out for the better.

And my day on Friday ended immesurably better than the other time my car battery died before work :)

“The freedom to move forward to new opportunities and to produce results comes from living in the present not the past” ~Brian Koslow


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Emoji poop is funny

Subtitle: I'm immature

So while Adam is living it up in sunny Florida on a work trip, I sent him this text.


Yeah, that happened.

Couple of things to note here:
  • Yesssss! Finally a poop in the POTTY! (Lorelai has been pretty much day time potty trained for a few months now, with the big exception of #2. She has no problem with pee, but holds her poop and saves it for a nap time pullup or diaper at night. UGH!)
  • As I was putting her to bed, she was so excited to tell me the story about how "I had a big poopie in the potty, ewww! and mommy was so proud and I got a chocolate chip and it was yummy and I clogged the potty [snicker]."
  • My kids have an uncanny ability to clog the toilet, and apparently Lorelai is no exception.
  • I should really be a pro plunger by now, but darn it if it doesn't take some serious effort for me to unclog a freakin' toilet!
  • Emoji icons are awesome.
  • No idea why I put the mustache dude on there, other than the fact that my sweet little girl took a man dump. And mustaches+poop=LOL.
  • Aidan, Logan and I cracked up over this text for way longer than we should have.
  • Sorry for the poop talk.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I confess: I feel so unhealthy!

It's that time of year when everyone steps on the scale after the holidays and says "oh crap!" and unfortunately I'm no exception. But honestly? My unhealthy ways started before the holidays. I'm a snackaholic with a huge sweet tooth and no will power, and a severe lack of motivation to start working out again. I was planning to go to Zumba last night, but decided against it because it wasn't my night to wash my hair so I didn't want to get it dirty. Really?!? That was my excuse. And to add insult to injury, I had a bowl of goldfish crackers and a bowl of nerds at 9pm even though I had a perfectly filling pasta dinner. Pitiful.

What I'm starting to worry about at this point (in addition to growing out of my jeans) is that I'm teaching my kids unhealthy habits. Fortunately most of my unhealthy snacking is either at work (frustrated? overwhelmed? need a break? sure, I'll have some Doritos or m&ms) or mindlessly in front of the TV at night. But I do it on the weekends too, when it's easier to grab something quick out of the pantry instead of actually making something more healthy. And let's not even talk about how much I sat on the couch doing nothing pretty much our entire holiday break!

Fortunately, we just started a new health challenge at work, so I'm hoping to really get back on track with both working out and eating healthy. One of my goals for the challenge this week is no unhealthy snacks, so we'll see how that goes...one week at a time. I brought edamame to snack on and didn't have a single chip all day. And tonight I even challenged Adam to a Wii Just Dance battle, and we danced our butts off for 30 minutes while the kids watched. I definitely want them to see me excited about being active again--it's good if that's what they see as normal growing up.

Wish me luck! I'll definitely need it because I've tried before and it didn't last long. Boooo.

{alazycrazylife} {alazycrazylife}
...but the tempura shrimp sushi with the spicy mayo is just too good to pass up. And ice cream? Sigh. Maybe I'm hopeless...

Linking up with

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 in review

Happy 2nd blogiversary to me! Hard to believe I have another whole year of blogging under my belt. So just like I did last year, it's time for a roundup of my highlights from 2012. I just love having a way to look back and remember all we've done and all the pictures I've taken--for me, it's the biggest motivation for me to keep blogging (because otherwise, I wouldn't remember what I did a week ago, let alone a year ago...).

Here we go!

January: We confirmed Lorelai's peanut allergy, I shared how I created a Pottery Barn inspired Advent calendar, freaked out about getting LASIK, got pink eye, then went to my surgery appointment but got sent home. I also partied it up with mustaches, Lorelai got fussy and turned 18 months old. I started doing a weekly iPhone photo dump which I kept up with for most of the year, and a monthly 10 on 10 photography challenge...which I did not keep up with for most of the year.


February: I finally got LASIK! We celebrated Valentines day, I ate Girl Scout cookies for dinner, confessed some body image issues and decided I needed to start working out again ASAP. We also had to have a tough conversation about death since Adam's grandfather passed away.


March: Lorelai developed quite a sense of fashion, Logan melted my heart with some kind words he had for a sick teacher, we took a road trip to IKEA, I got personal about the time I thought I was having a miscarriage, and we went to the zoo. Last but not least, I actually won my age group in a race. What?!


April: I started to worry that Lorelai didn't love me any more, then realized I was completely wrong. We hosted Easter and I put together another Easter egg treasure hunt for the boys, Adam took the boys to Monster Jam and Lorelai became Miss Independent. Finally, Adam and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary and went on a cruise!


May: I went on a rare political rant, blogged about our cruise excursion to Tulum (and I'm now realizing I never blogged about our Cayman Island excursion, whomp whomp), celebrated mother's day, and freaked my kids out with a lobster for my birthday.


June: I blogged about our cruise excursion to Belize, Aidan finished 2nd grade, Logan graduated preschool, I put together a summer bucket list, we cried over bad haircuts, we celebrated father's day and Logan drew Adam a penis tie. Aidan melted my heart when he shared his proudest moment, and the kids had a blast dancing in the rain.


July: A roller coaster of a month that started out with our neighbor's house getting burglarized. Summer break ended, Aidan started 3rd grade, and Logan started kindergarten (after basically getting kicked out of preschool on his last day). Lots of woes with Logan, including him thinking I like Lorelai better and completely freaking the freak out. Aidan turned 8 and we had a decidedly not "Pinteresting" party for him at the beach. And last but not least, Lorelai turned 2, we went to the NC Aquarium on her birthday, and we sort of started potty training her.


August: Adam turned 33, our house pissed me off and I started (sort of) dreaming about a new one with a porch, the boys were grumpy, Aidan struggled with homework, I freaked out about fall, had a bad dream, and Lorelai went through a biting phase which thankfully didn't last very long. I also took some of my all-time favorite pictures of her from that post.


September: I vented, Logan turned 6 and we went to see tigers, we had an impromptu Labor Day pool party, I tried (and ultimately failed) to start running again regularly, I lost my patience, admitted I was the crazy car seat lady, shared some funny things Lorelai says, and we took another amazing trip to the beach.


October: We went to a corn maze, carved pumpkins, and went trick-or-treating. I shared some "fancy" beach pictures, got nostalgic about breastfeeding, channeled my inner "Jennifer Beals in Flashdance" at work, officially put myself out there in the blog world, I vented, and work was crazy.


November: I had to confiscate the majority of Lorelai's candy (and subsequently ate it all myself), took a much-needed day off work, got nervous about a work presentation, had a relaxing Thanksgiving break, and confessed that I hate cooking (and shared a yummy recipe!). I also shared some more funny things the kids say. Love them!


December: I shared what we're thankful for, our Elf on the Shelf Jack kicked off some Christmas excitement while I tried to figure out how to simply and avoid stress while still making Christmas special for my family, and I'm happy to say that it worked! I also had my very first blog giveaway and shared our Christmas card. In news I wish I could forget, I hit another low point with Logan, and our country hit another low point with the CT school shooting, both of which really messed me up for a while. But I'm happy to say our family ended the year on a high note with an absolutely wonderful Christmas break.


I think blogging has helped me reflect, gain perspective and to be more purposeful in my life--to make a concerted effort to do and photograph things that are worth remembering, but also to write about and photograph the little things I might otherwise forget.

In the next year, I hope to be as consistent as I was in 2012, and continue to write, solidify family memories  and grow blog friendships. I'm looking forward to another year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Soaking it in.

For the past glorious week and a half, I've just been soaking it all in. Time off from work. All the Christmas joy. Presents. Parties. Family. Relaxation. Food. Shopping. Cousin sleepovers. Games. The end of a good year. The beginning of a new one. And most importantly, lots quality time with my loves.


But all good things must come to an end, because today was the much-dreaded dive back into reality after an amazing Christmas break. To say that I was not ready to go back to work is an understatement. I miss the warm fuzzy Christmas feeling, my kids, my couch, my comfy pants...


We left our camera at the in-laws' on Christmas, so I don't have many pictures of our festivities to share yet, but here's a sneak peek from my iphone photos.


Forgive me in advance for dragging Christmas out into January (again), but if the camera photos are any good, I'll probably do another post. But even if my blog is still full of Christmas spirit leftovers, at least our house has been de-Christmassed. And it's maybe the earliest ever—we took down the tree and almost all of the decorations yesterday. While it's always bittersweet, it felt time. New Year, clean slate or whatnot. Eh, we only got halfway to that clean slate, since nothing is put back in place. Our living room just looks empty and depressing now. Oh well.


Speaking of the New Year, Adam and I rang it in at my friends' annual NYE party (complete with a total Just Dance fail on my part, I suck). I even donned my very dangerous and painful glitter shoes for the occasion.


We got home after 2am (whoa!), but I was up at 7:30 thanks to the "joyful" noises of 6 kids, because my mom watched my kids and 3 cousins overnight at our house. We vegged on the couch all morning, savoring every last moment of the last day of vacation. Then I took an awesome 3-hour nap. Best way to spend the first day of the year? I think so. :)


We really did have a great holiday break, and I enjoyed every minute. Happy New Year to everyone!