Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Have A Jealous Child

When you bring home the second child (or third, fourth, etc.), you may find some jealousy come from one or more of your other children. It's commonly called "The First Child Syndrome". Well, I have a bit of a different situation going on...my jealous child is my Siberian Husky, Dakotah. I suppose she thought of herself as the baby (we did get her after Tanner, after all). She was definitely a spoiled dog - sleeping in our room (often on our bed), going on walks all of the time, having run of the house...etc.

Well, once Breckin came along, I have to admit some things changed for Dakotah. She wasn't allowed in as much when he was younger for fear that her howl and general talkativeness would cause him to wake from his naps. Also, she sheds like crazy, and the last thing I needed with a new infant was to have to vacuum the house every day. Some of her walks were given to Breckin instead. She had come to expect a certain amount of attention, and once he came along, it diminished quite a bit.

She's never been hostile toward Breckin, but shows her jealousy by trying to nuzzle up between Breckin and me when I'm playing with him on his play mat. Or anytime I'm cooing at him and talking to him in a babyish high-pitched voice, she automatically trots over and tries to rub up on me and again, get between the baby and me. She even tries to crawl her way into my lap and if I don't let her, she actually tries to use her paw to pull my hand toward her to let me know she would like to be pet. If I gently push her away, she starts talking back (I'm serious). Siberian Huskies are known for talking (you can YouTube it to see what I mean). So what she does is she howls at me in a low tone to let me know of her disapproval for the way she's being treated. And she will go on and on and on....and on. Then after that little fit, she generally goes and finds a spot to lay down...and let's out an loud, and completely obvious, sigh of disappointment. I mean, c'mon, does YOUR dog do that?

I absolutely love my dog...because she has this crazy personality as if she actually thinks she is a baby, almost human, and should be treated as such. We've slowly let her have run of the house again in the last couple months and she's back to sleeping in our room - on the floor. And once the weather warms up a bit, she'll be going on a lot more runs with me. She's my little princess - and definitely acts as such. So I guess in a way, I do have my girl.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Active Kid, Happy Kid?

Writer's Workshop Prompt: It has been said that kids these days are pushed into too many extra-curricular activities and are not given the freedom to play, be bored and to use their imaginations. Is this true?

When I was younger, my mother made sure my brothers and I dabbled in a bit of everything. During the course of my childhood, I participated in extracurricular activites such as dance, gymnastics, yearbook staff, tennis, softball, basketball, swim lessons, church group...I'm sure there are many more, but thanks to selective memory, I only remember those few. I suppose my mom just wanted us to be active, get socialized and maybe even possibly find our talent or niche. Because by the time we reached middle school, we were pretty much left to make the decision of one or two things that we wanted to participate in - I think the idea of driving three kids back and forth from each of our different activities proved to be a daunting task.

I personally don't think that my mom's signing us up for a vast array of activities was a bad thing. And we did A LOT of different activites. However, I don't remember never having been able to be bored and use my imagination. I'm also quite the artist, as are both of my brothers. And who can be an artist without being creative and imaginitive?

I also believe that persuading your children to take part in extracurricular activities makes them less likely to get involved in "recreational" activities, if you know what I mean...and also the added perk of knowing that your kid has to maintain a certain grade point average to participate in certain activities they might love.

When it came to choosing the activity I wanted to continue to participate in, I chose dancing. I loved how it made me feel, and I greatly credit my 20+ years of dancing experience with helping me to have a desire to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle today. It was also an outlet for my artistic creativity, as I loved choreographing - and always created my own solo performances for competitions and recitals.

While I can't say I completely kept out of trouble during my teenage years, I know that I could have been a lot worse off. Even though I went to high school parties and *gasp* drank alcohol and smoked the occasional joint, I managed to graduate high school with a 3.8 GPA, go to college and now I manage a household, have a loving relationship with my husband, and care for the two best things in my life: Tanner and Breckin. All in all, I didn't do too badly.

Being bored and imaginitive is completely wonderful for toddlers - that is how they learn, but I don't think it's OK for a 12-yr old to sit in their room bored and end up doing something mischievous. My Tanner is a wonderful little artist. He is perfectly happy coloring all day - he doesn't even use coloring books anymore, all he wants is a pile of blank paper and he can go on for hours. He is always so excited about and proud of his "masterpieces". I can't even remember what color my refrigerator is because I haven't seen it in years. He is 5 now, so I try to pull him away from drawing from time to time to go outside and get some fresh air, run around and play. We also enroll him in beginner recreational sports. He was an only child for so long and we like to get him socialized with kids his own age. Even though he has a brother now, he won't be able to really talk and play with him for a while. I absolutely intend on letting Tanner try a little bit of everything - and hopefully around his middle school years, he will have found his talent or niche, or just something he is happy doing. Last season he played soccer...this season we are signing him up for baseball. He also LOVES swimming and Jake and I truly believe he has a talent in that - maybe he'll be on a swim team someday. We aren't going to force him continue to do anything he doesn't enjoy...but we do feel it is our job as parents to introduce him to as many of the the activities out there that we can, so he can hopefully truly discover something he loves. I don't see anything unhealthy about that. And hey, if in the end, all he wants to do is draw and paint, then so be it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Insanity Update - Pics!

Well, here it is - these were taken today. I've been doing Insanity now for almost 3 weeks and the results have been awesome! I'm getting some tone and definition back. Granted, I have a little ways to go, but I am so happy and proud of myself that I wanted to share these photos with you as my update (in place of new measurements, I will take those sometime this week):

Needless to say, for those of you that may be interested in trying out the program, I DEFINITELY recommend it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I don't know anyone who doesn't have a scar. (With the exception of newborn babies and Breckin.) Scars are so interesting. Most people hate having scars...some can be pretty gruesome. Then there are some that just look cool...like maybe a cut that separates an eyebrow or something (think Luke Perry). Just about every scar has a story. I don't have any huge scars, but I do have some with good stories behind them.
The first one that comes to mind is my left elbow. When I bend my elbow, it's not too noticeable, but when I straighten it, it looks all gross and wrinkly. Surprisingly, as small as it is, it's the biggest one I have from a day where I could have (and probably should have) died. I guess instead of the word "surprisingly", I should say "thankfully".
It was April 20th, 1992. I had just turned 9 years old six days earlier. I was playing down the street with my best friend (at the time), Shilah. Down the street from our house was an irrigation canal...it was probably only about 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep. On this particular day, the water in it was very low, maybe about a foot deep. We were playing in it (looking back, probably not the smartest thing), jumping back and forth over it. Well, I ended up stumbling and falling on my a** right in the water. So I was soaked from the waist down. I asked Shilah if I could borrow her bike to ride to my house just down the street to change my clothes. Wait, why didn't I have my bike you ask? Get ready for some irony. I was grounded from my bike that week because my mom had caught me riding without a helmet. OK, here comes the irony...
I quickly scanned the street, and I think I only looked one way. Pulled out into the street and the last thing I remember is looking down at my right foot and literally seeing a bumper a couple inches from it. BLACKOUT.
Oh yes, the irony here is, I was riding a bike without a helmet (didn't have mine since I was grounded from my bike!) and I got hit by a car.
The reason I say I should have died is because this particular car was a Suburban going 35mph. But me, I ended up with some scrapes (including a big one on my left elbow) and bruises. Not one broken bone...unless you count my chipped bottom front tooth.
Oh, the crappy part...I get hit by a car, and my friend Shilah gets a new mountain bike from the woman that hit me. I got some flowers and a teddy bear. If only I had been riding MY bike. Her bike wasn't even a mountain bike - it was a cheesy girls' bike. Oh well, I guess I'm alive. I'll be thankful for that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things Husbands Say...

So I don't know if it's just me (or rather MY husband), but it seems that most men just don't think through things they say before they say them. For instance, grabbing my newly aquired love handles just a couple weeks after I give birth and saying how he loves having something to squeeze (whatever that means) is NOT a sweet comment that makes me feel good about myself. Though I'm sure in his head he thought it was. He is constantly doing/saying things like this and I know he means well because he always says how he loves my body and thinks I'm sexy, but after a while, I just have to give him a stone-cold glare and say, "Really? Did you really think that I would think that to be a compliment?" C'mon Jake, KNOW your audience.

Well, so today, an episode of Dr. Oz happened to be on and they were featuring a woman who had obviously given birth a few times and her abdomen skin was very wrinkly and saggy. (With good reason!) Unfortunately, hers was to the point of requiring surgery for any sort of real fix and they were introducing a new form of less-invasive liposuction. Hubby did not know that they were talking about liposuction and says, "Ooh, maybe you should watch this."

No worries, I did not immediately get the shot gun. Jake is still very much alive. (For now.)

However, I'm assuming you know this did not end well for him. My first reaction was just to give him the aforementioned stone-cold glare and ask him why he thought I needed to watch the show. I'll be honest with you all...and I'm sorry, but I have to toot my own horn. I think after the last few months of killing myself and now being so dedicated to the (definitely crazy-insane) Insanity workout program, I look pretty dang good. I'm only 5 months postpartum, so naturally I have a little ways to go, but my tummy is flat and I'm just about to my pre-pregnancy weight. And unlike this woman on the show, I am lucky enough not to have the wrinkly, stretch-marked abdomen skin. I do realize I do not yet look like I did before having Breckin, but I'm working on it.

So of course Jake realized how he sounded and said, "No, you look awesome, that's not what I meant." I guess he was just thinking they were going to have some sort of solution for stretched-out skin since I had mentioned the other night to him how that is what takest the longest to bounce back. My skin doesn't look stretched out while standing, but I had mentioned to him while doing planks and similar workouts, I have that little bit of skin that sort of hangs. (I think most mommies have that for a while.) So then I told him the show was about liposuction and that was the only cure for what that woman had and the poor guy felt like a jerk.

Men, gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Family Update - January 2011

I'm going to start a series of little family updates - posts that include little tidbits about each member of my family and the goings-on with them. I have a lot of family and friends on the other side of the continent and I love to try and keep them in the loop as best as I can!

Well, we'll start from the bottom up...
Breckin turned 5 months on January 8th. I can't believe it's almost been half a year already. It definitely is a whirlwind. These precious moments pass all too quickly. We have been enjoying this new personality in our family. He is like Tanner in so many ways, but also still very much his own little person. He is particularly mommy-attached (but I don't mind that too much) and he definitely loves to be heard. He squeals all the time and loves to have plenty of attention (much like big brother). We switched him into cloth diapers this month. I love them. It is going to be so much better for him (and the Earth!) This is what they look like:

I'm getting so into them and plan on ordering more. I just found these ones and I'm ordering them this week:

He is eating cereal already and has started rolling over. He should be sitting very soon! Currently his favorite toys are his Jumperoo and exersaucer.
Tanner is a happy and bouncy little 5-year old. We are signing him up for Spring Baseball this month and he will start in March. We will soon be signing him up for Kindergarten as well! He will be attending Laurel Hill Elementary in Mount Pleasant. He is our little artist - very imaginitive and always drawing pictures (he is quite talented for his age!) He also loves playing games on our new Wii. Since he is at home with me now and not in pre-school, I have been prepping him with Pre-K and Kindergarten workbooks. He is such a little smarty and I know he will enjoy being in school. He is looking forward to warmer weather so he can run around in the sun and go swimming!
Naturally, I would come next in this lineup, however, I feel it's better etiquette to speak about everyone before myself.
Jake will be turning 33 in just under a couple weeks. (He may kill me if he finds out I announced it!) He has been playing on a recreational basketball league this season with a group of friends he usually plays beach volleyball with in the spring and summer. (And he's been catching a few games of beach volleyball when he can too.) He is loving his role as daddy to our two wonderful boys. He is going to take Tanner camping this spring with a group of other dads and their kids from our church, Seacoast. They went on one last winter and had a great time.
And well, me...most of you know the gist of what's going on with me these days (hence, your reading of this blog right now), but basically I'm still trudging through trying to lose my pregnancy weight - less than 5 lbs to go and less than 15 to my goal! I've been doing Insanity and I absolutely love the results it's been giving me. I highly recommend this workout if you are serious about getting in shape! Other than that, I'm enjoying my life as a stay-at-home mom. I am so blessed that I'm able to do this. Of course I'm still working on my cleaning business, but it definitely allows for much more time with my boys. The business is steadily building and I'm thankful for that. I am currently looking for an evening and weekend part-time job. I had an interview at a local gym last week and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it. I should find out very soon. Like Tanner, I too am looking forward to warmer weather - I've had all the cold weather I can take! It has not felt like South Carolina these past few weeks! I'm so excited to take Breckin to the beach so he can be a little beach bum like his big brother. I'm going to have a blast with them out there this spring and summer and I can't wait!
Well, that's all I've got for now! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cleanin' Green

As you know, I have embarked on a journey to become more green. The recycling bins are set up in the garage, the cloth diapers are on baby's bottom and I've made all of my cleaning concoctions. I thought I would share with you some of the cleaner recipes I am using. So far, so good - they work great! And vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so don't worry about not getting those germs out of the way! Here's a list of recipes - take from it what you will, and ENJOY!

All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup vinegar
½ gal. water
1/2 cup lemon juice (I added this to weaken the vinegar scent)
Directions: Spray of surface and wipe clean with a dry cloth (let sit longer for heavily soiled areas)

¼ cup baking soda
4 tbsp vinegar
3 cups hot water
¼ tsp castile soap
Directions: Spray and wipe down. You will want to go over again with a cloth soaked in hot water so there is no baking soda residue leftover.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
½ cup baking soda
1/8 cup castile soap
10 drops essential oil
If possible, make this in a cleaned out ketchup or mustard squeeze bottle. Squeeze out along rim of toilet bowl then spray with pure vinegar, allow to foam for 10 min., flush. No scrubbing needed (unless extremely soiled)!

Glass Cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tbsp vinegar
Directions: Spray and wipe clean. This so far has not left any streaks for me!

Wood Floors
¼ cup vinegar
30 oz water
(do not allow vinegar to stay on wood, make sure it is rinsed properly.)
¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
¼ cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil
Directions: Use microfiber mop to apply and go over again with damp cloth with hot water to get vinegar off.

Dusting – Wood
1 cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
Directions: Rub in with cotton or microfiber cloth using wide strokes. My wood has never looked so good!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 11 Things I Want To Do in 2011

This is similar to New Year's Resolutions, but just a tad different. And maybe a little more fun. ;) 2011 is a new year and I feel like it's going to be a great one for my family and me. I am excited for all that is to come. Breckin will be turning 1, it will be his first summer at the beach (and my first summer trying to handle 2 kids at the beach!), Tanner will start Kindergarten in the fall...there are just SOOOO many great milestones for us this year. Here are some things I would like to do this year:

11. Get a new tattoo. Possibly a cover-up of the sun on my shoulder, or something in honor of my sons. It's been almost 7 years since my last tattoo. Dang.
10. Re-pierce my nose. I miss that tiny little diamond stud. And I loved it. Anyone who didn't - well, I just don't care.
9. Pay off every last bit of debt we have. We can do it!
8. Take a trip to Idaho to visit family.
7. Take a trip to California to visit old friends...and RELAX for a long weekend.
6. Get my body back and have it be even better than before.
5. Learn how to play guitar.
4. Rediscover my passion for dance. Take advanced adult classes at a local studio.
3. Take a cooking class.
2. Start living more "green". As mentioned in a previous post.
1. Go on a romantic getaway with hubby, if only for a weekend.

There's many more, but that's all I'm going to bore you with for now. Do you have any must-do's for the new year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Journey To Green...

Over the past few years, I have been very interested in learning more about "living green". It is definitely easier said than done, but now I am just seeing more and more articles about the things that are brought into the average home on a daily basis and how it affects our developing children. As a mother of two, I simply can't feel good about disregarding the info. I have decided to take some steps to living a "greener" lifestyle.
I was watching an episode of "The Talk" yesterday. (Mommies, if you haven't seen this show, you simply must! It's airs live on CBS at 2pm EST.) Anyway, this particular episode focused on chemicals that are commonly found in children's toys, vinyl purses, etc. that are harmful even to the touch as they have been proven to cause hormonal development issues. For instance, many young girls' ovaries are maturing very early. There are also a lot of known carcinogens in these items. Children's toys? I mean, c'mon, kids are putting these things in their mouths! It also focused on how hazardous household cleaners are, microwaves, even baby powder, disposable diapers, clothing and common skin and hair products. Check out www.smartmama.com for more info.
Well, so I have decided to really start making some steps to becoming more "green". I have always said "oh I should" or "I would really like to", but it's time to put those shoulda-woulda's to action.
Last night, I convinced hubby to let me order cloth diapers. They may be a little tougher to deal with, but not that much. And we will be saving so much "green" in the long run. I only wish I had done this with Tanner. But I know I will be making up for all of that time with my choice to live more "green" from now on. I am happy that Breckin will be in cloth diapers and I know it will be so great for him.
Another thing that I will be doing is recycling. Unfortunately, Jake and I live in a county that does not do neighborhood recycling. I've let that be my excuse for too long. I am going to create bins for paper, plastic and glass and start taking the loads to a recycling center myself.
I've also been greatly considering getting rid of our microwave. Some things may become less convenient, but microwaving is so unhealthy. It changes the composition of our food.
And here's a big one - I'm going to be making all of my own cleaning products from now on. This includes cleaning products for my cleaning business, A Modern Cinderella. This will also be very beneficial to my health, as I am so often using cleaning products and being exposed to harmful chemicals each time. All I did was take the time to do some research on natural cleaning solutions and concoctions and it actually is not that hard to make them. Also, will definitely save me a lot of money! Another thing I will be making myself is Dakotah's flea retardant. I never even thought of how much the kids will touch her and not wash their hands and how much harmful chemicals they may be ingesting. As well as Dakotah by just having it on her!
Before Breckin was born, I had already decided that I would be making his baby food when the time comes to introduce solids. I have a food processor and Charleston has so many great farmer's markets. I know this will also save me a lot of money. May not be as convenient, but definitely worth it. Again, I feel terrible that I did not do these things for Tanner. I only wish back then I had known better.
I am also considering going through a lot of Tanner and Breckin's toys to get rid of the ones that might not be PVC. lead or Pthatalate-free. Toys like this are generally the ones with flexible plastic, such as teething rings (which, oh yes, go directly into the child's mouth!). Some brands I've discovered that are or have many toys that are PVC-free are Lego, Sassy, Melissa & Doug...there are many more.
Anyway, this is just my start to committing to a "greener" lifestyle. I know there are so many more things to change, but of course, big changes like these often require baby steps. I hope to keep you updated with my progress and my experiences with living this "greener" lifestyle. It's definitely going to take a lot of convincing my husband to get him on board - as we all know, typical men could care less where their food and clothing comes from and certainly hardly care about chemicals they might be ingesting...haha. I would never expect to find Jake reading up on stuff like this. I suppose I will just have to suggestively force him into seeing it my way, like I do with most other things. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fitness Idols...

Do you have a fitness idol? Just someone whose body you admire so much that motivates you to aim to look your best? I do. I know some say it's wrong to idolize others, and I know it is. I guess my fitness idol I wouldn't say is someone I "idolize", as in I don't want to be her or have the exact same personality, but rather she is just someone I admire. She works out regularly, eats right and has hobbies that are healthy, such as surfing. I think that is something worth admiring and a lifestyle worth striving for. My fitness idol is Marisa Miller. One of the main reasons she is a fitness idol of mine is that she and I are the same height. So trying to work toward having a figure similar to hers is not completely unattainable. Not saying I will ever be quite as small as she is, but if I get within 15 lbs of it, I'll be happy.

Her stats are the following:
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 110 lbs
Measurements: 34-23-35

As of yesterday, my stats are the following (mind you, I AM just shy of 5 months postpartum, so these stats are not my standard):
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 140 lbs (down 15 from my last measurements post! 5 to go to pre-prego, 15 to goal)
Measurements: 32-31-37 (I'm down 2.5" in both my hips and waist since last measurements post! Still a bit of work to do, but it's happening!)

I think pre-2nd baby at my smallest, I was weighing 125 and my measurements were 31-26.5-35.5, so really not too far off from my "idol". I am aware I'll never be a Victoria's Secret model, but I do love to strive to be the best I can be.

The New Year is going well so far. I started Insanity yesterday. It was a brutal first workout back since my short Christmas workout hiatus (guests in town, etc.), but I managed to push through and finish the entire workout. I felt so much better afterward. And I was conscious to get the amount of water intake I needed. Water is key to weightloss and management...it helps cleanse the system, relieve bloating and keep all systems in your body running properly, this includes metabolizing and digesting (VERY IMPORTANT FOR ACHIEVING A HEALTHY WEIGHT!) Today, so far I've done a butt/legs strength-training routine and I will be doing Insanity Day 2 when hubby gets back from playing beach volleyball. But it's amazing how energized just two days of good exercise makes me feel. Bikini season is just around the corner and I want to be ready for it!


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