father’s day weekend 2013

Saturday we traveled to Richmond to visit some of my relatives and celebrate my grandmother’s 79th birthday at a surprise party.  My uncle Joe & aunt Sandy have an alpaca farm so we went there first to meet their newest baby, Annapolis aka “Annie.” 
The boys love feeding the alpacas.


All I could think was that poor mama! Can you imagine giving birth to this large of a baby?  Two weeks old! That’s the mother, standing right beside me.  I could only hold this strong girl for about 60 seconds.

No worries, these animals would scatter every time the boys took a step in their direction. They’re very docile animals.

Dexter loved this barn cat, Louie.

We hung out at the farm until we received word that the party planners were ready for their special guest of honor.

Time to go, boys!

Yes, Grandma had her hair up in bobby pin curls like she does every Saturday.  Gotta look pretty for church on Sunday.  Grandma has looked like this for as many Saturdays as I’ve known her, unless she was aware of a special occasion.  I don’t think she cared at all that she came to her party with a kerchief on her head!  I think she looks beautiful! 

It’s funny…the grandkids my age call her Grandma and the little grandkids and great grandkids call her Mamaw.  Not sure when the switch happened… Some people call her Barsie – no clue where that came from.  (She had a sister named Elizabeth who was only known as Tootie, so who knows?)  Hardly anyone calls her by her lovely given name, Arizona.  I always told Ryan if we’d had a girl, I wanted to name her Arizona and call her Zoey.

Lots of fun things for the boys to do at my uncle Kerry’s gorgeous, huge property.  They enjoyed a nice, sloooow go-kart ride (at least while mom was watching).

The birthday cutie opening cards and gifts.  She was so surprised, she just kept saying “I’ve never been surprised in my life!”  Can you believe this was her first ever birthday party?  I guess when you have 7 kids, 14 grandkids, and 7 great grandkids, the attention is always focused somewhere else.  

It was a little too breezy and cloudy for me to get in the pool, but the boys did not hesitate!

Happy Birthday Grandma!

On Father’s Day morning, I surprised Ryan by taking him to First Watch downtown for breakfast.  Oh. So. Yummy.  Afterwards, we went over to the Indiana State Museum for a short IMAX film about butterflies.  We were a few minutes early so we walked around outside for a bit.

Waiting for the show to start. 
Somehow, I abandoned my camera after the movie, but Sunday afternoon, Ryan’s parents came up and I fixed dinner for Ryan, the boys, and Nana and Pop-Pop.  It was a wonderful weekend.  Father’s Day is always bittersweet as I’m missing my own dad, but this weekend was full of family and gentle reminders that I am so very lucky to have all these special people in my life.  

we have a plan

First, I must say WOW to the last 5 days.  Three friends have had babies and I’m over the moon with excitement for them.  Two in-real-life friends and one of my favorite blogger pals, Mindi, gave birth in the past week.  Congrats to these ladies and their already beautiful, perfect families.

So, we have a plan.

We went a total of about 10 places and out of those 10, I have to say there was only 1 that gave us that “there’s-no-way-in-hell” kind of feeling.  Which was good, I guess, but not so good because we had a hard decision to make. While only one of the places was an absolute “no way,” most of the remaining places left us longing for a little more. Until last Tuesday.  We checked out a Montessori school and at that moment, it’s like everything just clicked into place.  Are you familiar with the Montessori method? One of our nephews has been going to a Montessori school for a few years and my sister-in-law loves it.  Initially, we thought we’d send Theo 5 days a week, which made us both a little sad to think about him and Dexter being separated so much.

When we read through all the info from the school, we realized that Theo would have 2 weeks for fall break, 2 weeks for winter break, and 2 weeks for spring break.  Not to mention 10 weeks of summer break, none of which are included in the cost of tuition. Because, you know.  You’re paying for the education piece, not the childcare piece.  There are camps when school’s out but the cost is additional.  Last Tuesday night, we met a friend’s babysitter (actually one of the mamas I mentioned at the beginning of this post) who is licensed and works out of her home.  She’s been in business for 8 yrs, has a full-time employee, and has a beautiful home.  It’s like we met her on the same day we toured the Montessori school for a reason.  All the pieces of the puzzle came together.  That night, we sat at the table for 2 hours figuring out our finances and how we could do this or that, compared various options, and finalized our plan.

I stole all the pictures for this post from our sitter’s fb page!

The home babysitter is affordable enough that we are able to pay for Theo to go there full-time in order to secure his spot, send Dexter there full-time, and then send Theo to Montessori just 3 days a week.  This arrangement relieves a lot of my concerns about them being too young and too close to be separated 5 days a week.  They’ll still be together more often than not, but maybe the bit of separation will help each of them to grow and adapt.  Maybe Theo will thrive at the school but appreciate having a couple of down days to spend playing with his brother and other kids at the sitter’s home. The good thing about paying for Theo to go to this sitter full-time is that we won’t have to make any separate arrangements or pay extra during those 16 weeks per year that school is not in session.

I stole all the pictures for this post from our sitter’s fb page!

The school said we can bump up to full time at the beginning of any month.  The sitter said she is happy to watch Theo intermittently as long as she doesn’t go over her ratio (but if she does, that spells trouble and stress for us).  Ideally, I’d like to see Dexter go to Montessori at least part time when he’s 4 but it would be nice if he could start at 3 as well.  He’s just very different from Theo in a lot of ways that are hard to explain and I think Theo needs this now…would greatly benefit from this now.

A nice thing about our “plan” is that they will both go to the sitter for a little over a month before Theo starts school.  It will be plenty of time (I hope) for Dexter to get comfortable there and then when Theo transitions to school 3 days a week, maybe it will be easier on Dexter than if they just both started going somewhere new, apart, at the same time. It feels good.  It feels right.  I didn’t know if we would get to this point the first full week that we were searching.

I stole all the pictures for this post from our sitter’s fb page!

I’m still super sad about our sitter deciding to close, but we’ve communicated a great deal about it and plan to stay in close contact.  She’s become a part of our family, just as we have become a part of hers.  Theo knows a change is coming. We’ve been trying to talk to him about it without confusing him.  The first few days, he’d say “well, today was my last day.”  Now he isn’t saying that, but he’ll say “she’s not gonna babysit us anymore,” “she’s gonna do a different job,” “in [insert random number] days, it’s gonna be OVER!” (very dramatic, this kid), or he’ll say things about how he’s going to behave poorly at a new place (I guess to threaten us all with the consequences of this unfortunate scenario).  I really hope that’s not the case, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned.  I know Theo is smart, but I think he’s probably a lot smarter than even I realize.

If nothing else, it will be very interesting to see how all of this unfolds.  As of now though, we’ve got a plan…for what that’s worth.


weigh to stay: 5 months in

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I have been on a mission to lose some dreaded L-Bs since the beginning of the year.

Recap so far:
1 month report Feb 2013
2 month report Mar 2013
3 month report Apr 2013
4 month report May 2013

I’m happy to report that I have met and exceeded my goal…for now.  I know it’s really negative to add that “for now,” but let me explain.  Before I get too sidetracked though, my goal was to lose 20-24 pounds then remain within that range. As of today, I’ve lost 25.8 pounds.  I’m staying right around that thus far and very happy about it.  That’s not to say that there isn’t still work to be done, but as far as my weight is concerned, I’m comfortable with it now.  HURRAH.  Considering I hated walking past a mirror 6 months ago, this is a pretty big accomplishment.

Now, back to that “for now.”  As happy as I am about my success losing the weight, I’m equally as afraid of just packing it right back on.  I love food.  Love it.  Especially food that is not good for me. Love chocolate and cookies and ice cream and that and that and that.  Love comfort food.  Cheesy, warm, melty, gooey.  All those things. I have not cut those things out of my life and I never will.  It’s all about moderation and portion control, I fully understand that.  I will never do a crazy diet that I can’t keep up with after the weight is gone.  For me, it’s as simple as diet and exercise. Portion control and self-control.  But my larger me would just help herself to second (and third) helpings of whatever was tasting good.

At this point, I have been exercising pretty regularly. This is a beautiful thing for a couple of reasons. Not only is it good for my body, it’s good for my mind. It feels good to let off some steam in a healthy way.  I’d been slacking off for a few days and come home from work one night earlier this week just exhausted. I laid on the couch and told the kids to bring their toys and books to me when they asked to play or read with me.  The whole night, I felt so incredibly lazy, guilty, and truthfully just gross.  I remember sitting laying on the couch thinking, “well this sucks.  This is how I felt every night when I was not exercising.”  Ryan mentioned that it was nice outside and somehow I found the energy to get up off the couch and go for a 2 mile run.  Nothing too crazy, but I can’t even explain how much better I felt. I had more energy at 8pm than I’d had the entire day and wasted an entire night being lazy with my kids. Being exactly the mom I did not want to be. 

When I stay active, my energy level remains higher and I AM more active, whether I am exercising or playing with my kids.  When I make a point to stay active, I want to move around, which burns more calories and keeps my metabolism elevated.  I don’t ever want to feel that way every single night again. 

The problem is that I get comfortable. I’ll think that my metabolism is higher so I can afford to enjoy that order of fries that I should avoid. Or I will think that I deserve that DQ blizzard at 10pm.  Like I said before, I refuse to cut those things out of my life completely, but the kind of trouble that I’m talking about creeps up on me in the form of fries one night, ice cream the next, then cookies for lunch the next day, and on and on and on. Until I am right back in the habit of making bad choices.

Losing weight has never really been the problem once I set my mind to it.  It’s always been keeping the weight off, staying active, and maintaining that elevated energy and metabolic level.  So far, so good.  I might need some encouragement along the way to keep up at this point.  My goal starting out was of course to be healthier and more active as a whole, but in tangible terms, I wanted to be able to wear shorts when we go to Disney in October and not be ashamed of my legs. Wear a swimsuit at the resort pool and not be trying to constantly cover myself up out of embarrassment.  Well, I’m wearing shorts.  That bathing suit thing will take some work. 

Time to start some strength training and stop relying on running alone for exercise.