balancing act

So I mentioned a couple posts back that I was really struggling to find balance in my life. I started this year with a few goals. One of them was that I was going to break free from running. Running and only running had tied me down and pinned me in. I had a big running resolution in 2014 that I couldn’t meet for many reasons (including weeks and months where no motivation was present) but a major one that derailed me more than once was injury. My knees are horrible to begin with but something happened to my foot in November that quickly ended my running for most of the remainder of the year.

I still run but I also decided to try new things. Yoga. Pilates. Zumba. Cycling. Water Fitness. Interval Training. Turbo Kick.  And I have tried all these new things except for Turbo Kick because frankly I’m scared to death. But I will. Eventually. I have learned that exercise SHOULD be fun. It should be something to look forward to and not dread, as I felt many times before. Something that I can’t miss, not something that I can be easily talked out of doing.

Good news: All of these classes are offered for free at the YMCA. Bad news: Class times that I am able to make are at the worst times. There’s childcare available, but my kids have gone from tolerating it to hating it. {The last time I took them, Theo said it smelled like a huge poopy diaper in there and he was never going back. True, it did smell like a huge poopy diaper when I picked them up.} Now that Theo’s 5, he would go to the next age group which would mean Dexter would be left all alone in the stinky baby room. I can’t do that to them. So, I can only go when Ryan is home. Which means a few things: 1. Ryan and I can never exercise together. 2. Every time I go to a class, I am missing out on family time. 3. The more time I spend away from home at the gym, the less convenient it is for Ryan to also get a workout in.

It sucks. Number 2 is the big doozy for me. I would love to work out with Ryan but the main reason I’ve been struggling with balance lately is because I LOVE my classes. I love going to the gym. I look forward to the physical strength I feel and challenging myself through difficult moves. Depending on the day, I might see my kids for 2-4 hours on a weeknight. They are still asleep when I leave the 2 mornings that Ryan takes them to school. To be gone for an hour and a half or more on a day when I barely see them to begin with flat out sucks. Ryan is doing the majority of the care for the children on these days, such as bathing and putting them to bed, but he’s also playing games and reading them bedtime stories while I’m away. One night last week I put on my pajamas before I cooked dinner and Theo practically shouted with glee, “Mommy! You’re not going to exercise tonight!?” When I told him I was staying home, he jumped up and down and ran and told his brother that mommy wasn’t going anywhere.


I have been feeling that way too – guilty – but hearing him say it just made me want to puke. I feel like I’ve been selfish, but have I really? I found workouts that I LOVE and look forward to. I feel strong. I don’t want to stop going to my classes. In fact, I wish I could go to more but that’s not realistic or fair to my family. I wish I could find more time in the day. I have been feeling a little bit better about it this week because I have been making a conscious effort to spend more quality time with the boys while we’re together. I included them in my many chores over the weekend and they actually helped. We played together and we worked together. I took the time to sit on the couch and watch a whole movie with them instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to get things done while they were distracted. Dexter sat on my lap and Theo laid his head on my arm. I have been missing out on something that I didn’t even know I was missing. Not only because I’m gone too much but because it’s right there and I haven’t been making it a priority.

I can justify 2 weeknights at the gym (2 nights that I don’t put my kids to bed or spend quality time with them) for the betterment of myself and indirectly, my family. But what if I want to take a 3rd class? Or a friend asks me to dinner one week and a different set of girls are getting together 2 weeks later. Then there’s a team dinner or a fundraiser the next 2 weeks. Then a haircut appointment the following week that’s going to take 2 hours. All of the sudden, I’m very overwhelmed. If I don’t give up my 2 weeknight workouts, I’ll end up being gone 3-4 nights a week every week. It’s just way too much. Time is flying and I don’t want to regret being gone more than I was home when I look back one day. I guess I’m struggling the most with not wanting to miss out on time with my family but not giving up everything else that I enjoy. I don’t want to lose out on friendships because I always say “no,” but I know I can’t say “yes” every time either.

So what I really need is to add about 6 hours to every weekday – I guess I could give up sleep but I’m not sure my friends or kids would want to hang out at 3am. The gym isn’t open and neither is my work. I know it’s a good problem to have, if there is such a thing. It’s great that I have friends and family and my health. Quitting my job is not an option. So how can I have it all without sacrificing myself? Is that even a thing?  I will keep trying to make more of an effort to be present, and really present, when I am home with my guys. I will say no sometimes. But not every time. And I will probably keep feeling guilty for not being at any one place as often as I wish.



just when i think he’s not a baby anymore

On vacation, we let the boys pick out a few small souvenirs here and there.  One day we were waiting for our table at breakfast and wandered to the super cheesy beach shop next door. The kind with hermit crabs, a million ugly t-shirts, shell necklaces, and knee boards; they are all the same. While perusing, Theo came across this little stuffed animal and started carrying it around the store. It was a smaller version of another one there but he thought the little one was cute. He started talking to the thing (what is it supposed to be?) in a baby voice – the same one he uses when he talks to the cats.  When it was about time to leave, I told him he needed to put the toy back and he instantly protested.  He begged for it and at $6, I couldn’t say no. I figured it would turn into a told-ya-so life lesson that I could rub in his face, for lack of a better term.



Theo instantly named this thing “Cute Cute” and carried it around the condo for the rest of the week. He never asked to take it places with us, but would think and talk about Cute Cute while we were out and about. Even after acquiring other (and seemingly more interesting) souvenirs, he kept going back to Cute Cute – his favorite.

This boy, that is obsessed with Legos and dying to watch shows that are way too old for him, fell in love with a stuffed animal.  He sleeps with it every night. He says and does adorable things for Cute Cute. For instance, on Halloween, he said she would get too cold trick or treating so he sat her on the couch and covered her up so she could be there waiting on him when we got back. He sleeps with her (yes, she’s a girl).


Just when I think he’s growing up way too fast, he does something that puts me right back in my place. He brings a little Cute Cute into our lives. He’s still a baby in a lot of ways. One day he’ll be really embarrassed about all of this, but I don’t care. He’ll always be my baby and that’s all that matters. For now, I am going to embrace and hang onto anything I can that reminds me of how small he still really is.




father’s day q&a

This year, as part of Ryan’s Father’s Day gift from the boys, I decided to interview them. I simply googled “father’s day questionnaire” and printed off the sheets before asking the boys what ended up feeling like a million questions. I did it while they were strapped in their carseats so they couldn’t run off or get too distracted.  It took quite a while to get all the answers, but it turned out cute..
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Dexter’s answers:

My Dad’s name is: Ryan Dan.
He is 6 years old, 4 tall, and 5 pounds.
His hair is black and his eyes are blue.
He is smart because he knows how to play.
At his job, my Dad fixes my house.
My Dad is really good at playing games.
My favorite memory with my Dad is the playground playhouse with tables.
His favorite food is broccoli.
My favorite thing to do with Dad is playing toy Batman.
It makes Dad happy when I sing songs to him.
Dad always tells me to go to time out.
If he could go on a trip anywhere in the world, he would go to Target.
And he would take me.
I’m just like my Dad because I like to play Batman.
I really love it when my Dad comes back from work.
If I could give my Dad anything for Father’s Day, it would be a toy guy birthday party.
What I love most about my Dad is his blue shirt.

Theo’s answers:

My Dad’s name is: Daddy.
He is 5 years old, 13 tall, and 8 pounds.
His hair is brown and his eyes are brown.
He is smart because he knows everything.
At his job, my Dad makes money.
My Dad is really good at coloring and chopping boards.
My favorite memory with my Dad is the splash pad.
His favorite food is soup.
My favorite thing to do with Dad is playing Legos.
It makes Dad happy when I play with him.
Dad always tells me to do stuff.
If he could go on a trip anywhere in the world, he would go to outerspace.
And he would take ME! and Dexter.
I’m just like my Dad because I have brown eyes.
I really love it when my Dad plays with me.
If I could give my Dad anything for Father’s Day, it would be a kiss.
What I love most about my Dad is his iPad.

Pretty priceless! I hope the dads in your life had a special day!