It’s been a long time since I wrote much about parenting.  About my babies.  My kids.  They are hardly babies anymore, but they are.  Still.  I’ve had a heart bursting with feelings and a head full of thoughts.  I don’t know how to organize it into anything meaningful on this blog anymore.  I can post pictures and recap our fun adventures, but that’s not all there is to it, is it?  There’s this feeling, this tug at my heart.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe because vacation’s over.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t taken a picture on my DSLR since we got home.  Maybe because I just don’t know what to say sometimes.  I don’t know – I feel like I’m missing something. Or that I’m going to miss something. Do you ever feel that way?

Theo.  Theo is so big now.  So smart.  He is starting to understand things that are more complex.  I can reason with him sometimes, where Dexter is the exact opposite.  Theo knows how and when to use his manners.  He thinks ahead.  He was using the bathroom the other night and while pondering life, sitting on the potty, he flicked the loose side of a bandaid on his thigh repeatedly, mumbling under his breath.  He’d gotten his flu shot earlier.  He didn’t want me in the bathroom so I was kind of hanging around in the hallway and caught this glimpse of his reflection in the mirror, looking so grown up.  I stopped and listened to him grumble “I’m never getting another stupid flu shot again.”  Automatically, my bad-word radar went off and I said “What’d you say!?”  He looked up like a deer in headlights and said, “nothing! I said I’m not getting another flu shot.”  He knew he’d been caught.

And this silly, simple moment became something bigger to me.  My kid, who was so brave for his flu shot, was so ticked off about it 12 hours later that he was “cursing” (for all he knows) under his breath about it when he thought I wasn’t around.  But he knew that he couldn’t kiss his mom with that dirty mouth, so you better believe he cleaned up his language when pressed about it.  He says please. He says thank you.  Granted, he doesn’t do it all the time but at least I’ve taught him something, dammit.  Some common courtesy. 

I love him.

Sometimes I just look at his innocent face in the rearview mirror while he’s looking outside and feel this swelling sensation inside.  Time is flying by.  I think about how small he was when we brought him home.  I think about his extensive vocabulary now and how he’s telling stories and jokes (bad jokes, and he doesn’t really understand the whole punchline thing, but still).  And I think about how he still asks me to sing to him at bedtime, like I did when he was just a few months old.  I think about how he still sucks his thumb when he’s tired.  Sometimes I yell at him and wish I hadn’t.  I am becoming painfully aware that you only get one chance to raise your kids and it flies by. 

Dexter.  My little blonde bear.  He’s such a busy body. He’s becoming such a big boy too.  He looks up to Theo in every way, but he’s so different from him.  He’s not a deep thinker like Theo.  He blows whichever way the wind does.  He doesn’t stop moving long enough to process things.  He’s sweet. He’s loving. He carries stuffed animals around like they’re babies.  His language is also expanding rapidly.  He doesn’t like the dinosaur costume I bought him for Halloween so I asked a friend about borrowing an old costume of theirs, a Donald Duck.  When I asked Dexter if he’d like to be Donald Duck for Halloween, he said “Ummmm, probably I’m gonna be Goofy.”  Ha.  He is goofy. 

I love him.

What he doesn’t know is that I would do anything in the world for him.  That he’d probably get whatever he wanted if he just asked with one of his big bear hugs.  Sometimes after he falls alseep in his big boy bed, I go into their room to make sure they are covered up.  Just to stare at my boys for a few more seconds that day.  Because I know they will never be this young again.  Soon enough, they’ll spend the night with a friend.  Before I know it, they’ll be on their own.  They won’t need me to brush their teeth.  Dexter wore underwear to a restaurant for the first time this week. No accidents.  My big boys are getting bigger.  They’re still so little, but not as little as they once were.  It’s kind of sad.  I will touch their faces and kiss their heads and pick them up and carry them around for as long as they’ll let me and as long a I am physically able.  They’ll be bigger than me in no time at all. 

Man, I love them.  No one tells you that motherhood is about one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking things you’ll ever do. 


weigh to stay: 9 months in

Before October’s over, I wanted to get my weight loss post up.

Previous updates HERE.

I was excited to weigh in a couple of days after we returned from vacation to find that I actually lost 1.5 pounds on our trip.  I’m pretty sure they’ve caught back up with me since we’ve been home.  I’m still successfully keeping the weight that I lost away, and in excess of my original goal.  My goal was 20-24 pounds and I’m staying around 25-26 pounds lost.

I knew I wouldn’t log in to MyFitnessPal on vacation and I’ve had a really hard time getting back into it since we’ve been back.  I’m sure I’m eating more than the recommended calories, but not enough to gain all my weight back (in the last 2 weeks anyway).  About 4 weeks before we left, I made a goal of running 12 times before vacation and I came pretty close – 11 runs.  I saved the last one for the day before we left and that was a mistake – there was just WAY too much to do.

I walked nonstop while on vacation, but haven’t gone on a run since we’ve been back.  Do I have excuses? Sure.  Are they good? Eh.  Kinda – I’ve been coughing since before we left and pretty sure I had the flu this past weekend.  Just kind of waiting to feel better. I was looking for some inspiration yesterday and came across this quote:

I don’t know who said it.  It’s relevant for many things, but couldn’t help but immediately relate it to losing weight, living a healthy life, etc.  There’s always an excuse.  So, in short, I’m still doing okay.  I could be doing better.  I don’t plan on getting back into the bad habits I had a year ago when I could barely stand to try on clothes or look in the mirror at myself.  
I’ve talked about it before – I hate winter.  It’s no secret.  I feel a little sad in the winter. Tired. I don’t like to be cold so I don’t like to leave the  house.  I’m euphoric in the springtime.  So it will take a little extra mmmph to get me up and out and moving, but I know this is what I want for my self, my life, my health. So I have to find a way instead of an excuse.  

the Disney World vacation chronicles: days 8 & 9

Get caught up:

Day 7
Days 5 & 6
Day 4
Days 2 & 3
Day 1

Ah, Day 8 – Friday, October 11, 2013.  The last full day of our long-anticipated vacation.  We planned to spend our last full day at the Magic Kingdom.  We knew ahead of time that it closed at 7pm for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and assumed that’d be a good day to end a little earlier so we’d have some time to finish any packing the night before our flight.

We got our eviction notice bright and early Friday morning, telling us that the bus, the Magical Express, would depart at 7:45 and that we needed to check out of the hotel and into our airline prior to that.  Sad realization!

But in that moment, we knew we had one more big day of fun and wanted to make the most of it.

Yep, Dex wanted to bring Baby Sully.

Uncle Bob, Aunt Michelle, and Spencer on Main Street.

First ride of the day – Tomorrowland Speedway.  The boys loved it!


My nephew Spencer.

Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure

Prince Eric’s castle.

Beast’s castle.

Inside Be Our Guest for lunch. It was beautiful!

Wanted to ride the Barnstormer with Grammy.
We packed a lot of rides into the day on Friday and I guess I did not pull my camera out as often as I did the other days.  We were rushing around much of the time and trying to squeeze it all in.

End of the day.

Sun setting on the Magic Kingdom.
Friday night we left the Magic Kingdom with sad faces and tired bodies and headed back to the hotel. Although we had our strollers, my back was aching so bad by the end of the day Friday.  The boys asked to be held/carried any time they were not in their strollers (i.e., waiting in line – which we did quite a lot). By the time we were packed up, I literally could not sit up straight.  I took no pictures of the madness that was our room while rushing around to get things tidied up and stowed away.  The boys were very tired and ready to rest.  We hit the sack and set another early alarm for our departure on the Magical Express. 
Day 9 – Saturday, October 12, 2013.  
The Magical Express is a really nice service — we got on the bus with our carry ons and didn’t have to deal with our bags until we arrived home in Indiana.  We just had to get through security at MCO and then find a comfy spot to relax at our gate while waiting for our 10:45 flight.

See?  Remember?  I told you we’d get that pic eventually.

Clearly not happy to leave.  Or maybe just mad that his Capri Sun was all gone.  I don’t remember.

Ready to get home.

I just noticed Dexter in this photo — not really sure what he was doing here.  We were at the gate for quite a while because of course Disney transportation does not want to be responsible for anyone missing a flight.  We were at the gate at least an hour and a half before departure.  I remember thinking how good the boys were being at the airport and feeling a peaceful calm – proud of my kids. Not just at the airport, but over the course of the whole week.  Sleep deprived and everything, overall they were still very good.  We came, we conquered, we left with a mind full of memories.  Many of which will at least last a lifetime for Ryan and I. 

The boys were asleep before the plane took off and I had to wake Dexter (once again) when we landed. Theo too.  While we were waiting at the baggage carousel for our suitcases, a grandmother-aged woman that I recognized from our gate at the Orlando airport approached us and told us in so many words that our boys were so very well-behaved and adorable to boot.  My first instinct was to say “well, you didn’t see … ” but I accepted that fine compliment and nodded my head, “we think so too.  Thank you so much for saying that.” One of the most heart-warming memories from the trip took place 20 miles from home.  

As soon as we got home, Theo went right to work introducing the new Legos to his old ones.  They played with the cats.  Hugged their stuffed animals. Watched a movie.  Colored some pictures.  Back to normal as if nothing ever happened.  
Now, when we talk about our vacation to Disney World, Theo talks about it as if it was just a 20 minute ride down the road.  I suppose to him, it was (especially considering that he slept a good portion or all of the flights).  It’s so hard to explain to him that getting back there is much more than a quick flight.  
Tonight on the way home from the sitter, we were admiring spooky Halloween decorations along the road.  Theo brought up the Haunted Mansion ride.  Theo wanted to know if next time, he could ride with Dexter and a grown up (because kids can’t ride rides by themselves or they might get lost).  I said he sure could and of course Dexter pipes up “it’s not scary! I want to ride it again with Theo!”  We have conversations like this on a daily basis now.  I have a feeling Theo will remember at least bits and pieces and Dexter’s memory might be more the result of their conversations.  
That’s it, folks.  It’s over.  All the concerns that I had before the trip practically ended up being a non-issue.  We had a wonderful time and I worried that I’d (at some point) regret making the decision to take this particular vacation while the boys were so young.  I have not one regret.  It was magical for all of us.  It lived up to my expectations and then some.  And some more. So much that I can’t stop thinking about the next time we can all get away together.  Maybe not to Disney World, but I know that I want family vacations to be a priority in our lives.