Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TTT: Listen to the Voice

Yesterday began as a normal day.  It ended with me crying on and off for almost three hours convinced I was a horrible mother. 

I picked Lukas up from school as normal.  We sang songs and hunted for fire trucks on the ride home.  Daddy was still working when we arrived home, but Wrigley and Bailey were waiting for us.  We went inside and mommy needed to change clothes, so Lukas climbed the stairs to the second floor and raced into my bedroom.  I changed while he ran around singing and taunting the cat.

At some point when I was in my closet changing I heard Lukas ask to "jump bed".  I told him to wait for mommy.  He listened.  He waited.  He played with my dresser draws and shut his middle finger in the door.  He cried loudly.  Big tears welled in his eyes and he held his finger out to me.  I kissed his finger and asked if he still wanted to jump on the bed.  The crying stopped.

"Yes, jump momma." 

"Ok, buddy, you can jump for a bit."

This is normal in our house.  We're all for jumping on the bed.  We're for playing and laughing.

But we must take off our shoes and socks before we jump.  So Lukas sat on the floor and I removed his new green shoes and his Thomas the Train socks.  And I put him in the middle of my bed to jump.

He reached out for my hands, grabbed hold, jumped once and then fell back on his tush.  And then he laughed loudly, happily, wildly.  He loves to jump.  His laughter filled the room.  He jumped more.  Then I flipped him.  He laughed even louder than before.  He jumped again.  I flipped him again.

And then I heard the voice.  You know the one.  The one inside you warning you.  This is so dangerous.  You should stop flipping him this instant.  Why are you doing this?  Stupid.  Bad idea.  But he kept laughing and was so happy.  I ignored the voice.  I suppressed the bad feeling in my gut.

And I flipped him again.  Only this time he didn't laugh.  He looked up at me scared and stunned.  He had landed funny.  He didn't cry. He didn't scream.  He didn't say a word.  He just stared at me frightened.  In that instant I thought he'd broken his neck or somehow hurt himself very badly.  No, I thought I'd done something that hurt him badly.  I thought I'd hurt my precious boy.

He wasn't talking.  He wasn't crying.  In that moment I completely lost it.  Visions of him never walking again floated through my head.  At one point I had the thought, I will surely kill myself if I have hurt him.  I have never been so scared in my life.  My world is this little boy. 

I scooped him up and ran downstairs calling Mr. Cob on the way.  As I ran outside the front door (I think I was going to the neighbors' house to call 911), Mr. Cob pulled up. Through sobs I tried to explain what happened.  I was holding Lukas tight the whole time.  Mr. Cob asked to hold him and Lukas started crying and yelling for momma.  He flailed his arms and started moving normally again.  I tried to put him on the ground to see if he could walk but he would only stand on his tippy toes and cried for me the whole 3 seconds I let him go.  I held him tight again and continued to cry myself.  At least he was talking and moving his arms and legs.  But I was still sure something was very wrong.

We decided we would go to the ER to have him checked.  I didn't have shoes on so I handed Lukas over to Mr. Cob while I ran inside and gathered our things.  Our next door neighbors are both doctors and luckily one of them happened to be walking home from the park with their sons while Mr. Cob was outside waiting for me.  He took a look at Lukas, tried to calm me down and convinced me that Lukas seemed fine.  His husband, the pediatrician, would be home any minute and would come over to really examine Lukas and decide if a hospital visit was warranted.  He stayed with us and tried to distract me.

At some point Lukas asked Mr. Cob to see his dinos.  So we brought him inside and sat him on the couch to play with the dinos.  He quickly bored of the dinos and wanted to play with his baseball bat.  Just like that he hopped off the couch and raced to his room.  He ran back with his bat and was jumping all around, pretending to be a baseball player.  He was perfectly fine.  He was not hurt.  I cried harder.  Uncontrollably.

Our pediatrician neighbor came over and did a full examination of Luke and determined he was fine.  He tried to calm me down.  I continued to cry.  Lukas was not hurt, but the damage had been done to me.

I can honestly say I've never been more scared in my life.  And mad at myself.  Why didn't I listen to the voice telling me to stop?  How could I be so stupid?  I thank God Lukas is OK and I'll never flip him on the bed again.  And from now on I will always, always listen to the voice.

Mother's intuition is real.  You just have to listen to it.  Next time I will be all ears. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lukas' Life via Instagram

I love food.  And making a mess.  And mommy likes capturing it on tape.  Also, look at all my teeth!

Chocolate Chip pancakes make me happy.

Mommy bought me these NEW SHOES!  Fruncle Ronnie bought me Thomas socks.  I think they want me to be a fashion faux pas.  Mommy says I'm stylish.  I'm starting to think mommy lies.

I visited daddy at work.  Found his secret stash of crackers.  Ate them all.  Sorry daddy.

Mommy and Daddy took me to lunch!  I should have been napping, but they decided grandma would have much more fun with me being sleep deprived.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night.  I cry loudly so mommy thinks I'm scared.  Then I refuse to go back to bed unless I'm in their big bed.  Works like a charm.  Every. single. time.

No, mommy and daddy did not get me my own car.  But I do have a birthday coming up, so a kid can hope!  Toy Park in Decatur is pretty cool though!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mad Moves

The video speaks for itself.  The boy loves to dance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why I Turned to Clean Eating

The back story:

I grew up in a "healthy" house.  My mother put time and effort in to cooking healthy meals for our family and she was probably ahead of her time on the health front.  I remember eating artichokes as a snack when I was a child and dinner was always a family affair.  Candy and sodas were a treat, not the norm.

I swam competitively until my senior year in high school so I didn't have to worry about my weight for the first 17 years of my life.  I ate anything I wanted and never put on weight (swimming 2-4 hours a day will do this).  I grazed (a word I still hate to this day).  I nibbled and snacked often.  My body needed the fuel to push me through intense workouts. 

Then I went off to college and ate dining hall food, followed by sorority house food and then began cooking for myself at 20.  I worked out in college but don't remember having many body issues. (Then again, I drank a lot of wine, so maybe I just don't remember.  I also smoked cigarettes - a lot - more than I care to admit, but I mention that here to emphasize that "health" was not at the forefront of my mind during this time.) It wasn't until law school that I really recall feeling like I could not lose weight.  I remember telling my girlfriends that no matter what I did I simply could not get under 130 pounds.  So I began running and doing yoga.  But I continued to eat the same - often eating out in downtown Athens, picking up fast food and eating a lot of Chex-mix from the law school's vending machine.  Running helped my mood and mental state during law school, but the weight didn't budge.

I began working as a lawyer in the fall of 2007 and the weight started creeping up.  No longer was 130 the number I couldn't get under.  I was now struggling to get under 140.  (I should note that I'm 5'4.)  My clothes were no longer fitting the same.  I felt less than sexy and found myself constantly worrying about how I looked and felt.  My first step was to hire a personal trainer at my gym, but instead of losing weight he just bulked me up and we didn't even talk about nutrition.  He and I quickly parted ways.

Then I signed up for Boot Camp at my gym.  I also became engaged to my now husband and was trying to lose weight for our upcoming wedding.  So I worked out at least an hour a day and was very conscious of my food intake (from a caloric standpoint, not a health standpoint).  The exercise, strict 1200 calorie diet, stress of planning a wedding and working as a lawyer did cause me to lose weight and I was at my lowest weight in a long time when I got married.  But I stopped working out on our honeymoon and indulged in decadent food and drink.  I didn't return to boot camp when we got home and a 1200 calories/day diet is not sustainable in the long run. The pounds crept back on quickly.   

Six months after our wedding I joined a nutrition program (Venice Nutrition) and met with a nutritionist once a week.  The program was centered on increasing your protein intake.  I was eating more protein bars than you could imagine.  I lost maybe 2 pounds in a couple of weeks.  It was discouraging.  And costly. So we parted ways.

Eventually I just went back to running and training for another half marathon.  Running kept me fit but didn't give me the slim thighs body I was hoping for.  But I was feeling good and was content for the time being.  I was under 140 pounds again and more or less happy with how I looked.

Then in the winter of 2010 I became pregnant.  I was overjoyed.  I could stop worrying about losing weight.  But I wanted to be healthy for the baby so I began reading as many books about prenatal health that I could get my hands on.  I must have about 20 books on being pregnant.  Seriously.  I committed to eating healthy and working out during my pregnancy. 

But I failed to carry out my good intentions.  Most days I was too exhausted after work to exercise, though I did try to walk a few days a week.  I was constantly hungry while pregnant and didn't plan accordingly, so I wound up getting a snack many days from the food court below my office building.  The week before Lukas was born I weighed 202 pounds.  So yes, that means we're talking over 60 pounds gained in less than 9 months.  (I do think part of my weight gain was genetics - my mom gained over 50 pounds with each of her pregnancies and I put on weight each week even if I walked 5 miles every day and only ate very healthy.  But I'll admit that there were many choices I could have made differently that would probably have had an effect on my weight gain.)

I loved being a mom more than anything I'd ever experienced.  But I hated the way I looked and felt after my son was born.  I remember going to Target when he was maybe 3 weeks old because I needed some pants to wear around the house.  I cried in the dressing room when the LARGE black sweat pants were too tight.  Way too tight.  But I had to wear something, so I purchased the Extra Large sweat pants.  And then I signed up for Weight Watchers.

I didn't start seriously following WW until Lukas was about four months old.  And I didn't work out regularly.  But I was nursing and the weight slowly started coming off.  When Lukas was 9 months old, I had lost almost all of the baby weight.  I do think Weight Watchers helped because I was writing down everything I put into my mouth, so it made me aware of what I was eating.  But then I stalled around 142.  No matter what I did, I seemed to hang around this number.  I started working out again.  No change.  I strictly followed weight watchers.  No change.  It seemed that I was bound to stay somewhat flabby and less than enthused about my post-baby body.

But then I started really looking at what I was (and wasn't eating) and the exercise I was getting (or not getting).  Most days I ate only 2-3 fruits and vegetables.  I was consuming a lot of sugar.  We were eating out many meals a week.  And I wasn't working out regularly.  Something finally clicked and I realized that I was in control of my body and what I put into it and what I did with it.  I wasn't destined to feel frumpy.  I was destined to feel however good I chose to feel.  It was on me.  No more excuses.  If I wanted to change, then I had to change what I was doing.  I also made the decision to be HEALTHY.  I was less worried about the number on the scale and more concerned with leading a healthy life for myself and my family.

Running had never given me the body I wanted.  So I realized that signing up for another half marathon might get me in shape, but it wouldn't give me the end result I was looking for.  I needed to switch up my workout routine.  On a whim I decided to try Insanity.  And it has been amazing.  I feel powerful and energetic.

But I think the reason I've managed to lose over 8 pounds in less than 2 months is because of the change in my diet.  I didn't set out with the intention of "clean eating" but as I've gone along these past few months, I've done a lot of research and reading and realized that eating clean is something I can sustain and do without feeling like I am sacrificing anything.  It is not a diet.  It is a way of eating and living. 

I started by making simple changes.  I eliminated sugar from my coffee.  I read EVERY food label and ingredient before I buy a food.  If there is an ingredient I can't pronounce, I don't buy the food.  I buy mostly unprocessed food and shop on the perimeter of the grocery store.  But the perhaps the biggest change is that I PLAN AHEAD.  I go to the grocery store with a list.  On Sunday I plan out what we're eating every night for dinner AND what I will bring to work for lunch every day.  Each morning I spend the extra ten minutes to pack lunch AND snacks for my day at the office so that I am never unprepared at work when hunger strikes.  And I eat breakfast every single day.

In the next post I'll talk more about my strategies for clean eating, but I hope this post gives you some insight into why I finally decided to make a change. 

Have you struggled with losing weight?  What has worked for you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CE Recipe - Breakfast To Go

(I really could use some lessons on photographing food...my pictures never make the food look as appetizing as it really is!)

Breakfast Wrap

1 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla
1-2 Tbsp of almond butter
1/2-1 banana sliced thin (and maybe some strawberries if you have some, which I didn't)
1/2ish cup of quinoa mixed with cinnamon & 1 tsp agave (on Sunday I made a big pot of quinoa to keep in the fridge for the week)

Heat tortilla in microwave for 30-40 seconds.  Heat quinoa mixed with cinnamon and 1 tsp agave in microwave for 30ish seconds.  Spread almond butter on tortilla, top with banana and quinoa mixture.  Wrap like a burrito.  Eat or wrap in aluminum foil to eat later.

This breakfast was MUCH tastier than I anticipated.  I was worried it would be rather dry, but it was actually tasty and delicious! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

22 Months + 9 days

It's time for a little man update. 

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Lukas will be TWO in less than two months.  I don't know how this happened.  It seems like yesterday that he was unable to do more than lay still and stare at me.  Now he is a non-stop ball of energy that I am so totally in love with. 

So what's he up to at 22 months and 9 days?

Teeth: All of them but his two year molars.  (Momma's not real excited for those to make an appearance.)

Hair: Blond with a touch of curl.  Like his daddy.

Eyes: Grayish green.  They look more like his daddy's eyes than his momma's.

Weight: I'd guess 27ish pounds.  We'll find out at his 2 year doctor appointment in November.

Diapers: Size 4

Clothes: All over the board.  He can still fit in some 12 month pants/shorts!  He's mostly in size 18-24 month shirts and PJs though.  He's tall but skinny!  He wears a size 5.5 shoe, but I think they're too small already!

Eating:  Most anything.  He loves waffles in the morning and asks for goldfish and cookies for snacks. He drinks a lot of (whole) milk and water but refuses to drink any sort of juice, which I suppose is not a bad thing.  He loves cheese and tomatoes.  All bread products.  Most berries.  Sausage, bacon and chicken.  Occasionally pork or fish.  Our new trick is to all act like dinosaurs at the dinner table - it makes for a very interesting dinner, but Lukas ends up eating his whole plate of food!  (So if you come to eat with us soon, be prepared to act like a T-Rex!)

Sleeping: 11-12 hours every night!  1.5-3 hour nap (1.5 hours at school and over 3 on the weekends!).  We try to put Lukas to bed around 7:30 every night and bedtime takes about 30 minutes.  Many mornings we have to wake him up for school - the kid loves his sleep!  He is still sleeping in his crib with bunny and his blanket.

@ Primrose: He is still "missing Rome" everyday when you ask who he played with at school.  And he misses Nate but gets excited whenever we see him (They are in a class next to each other now).  He talks about Owen and Vera the most, so I suppose those are his two current buddies in EPS2. (And Owen still bites according to Lukas....)
- He is in love with Elise (our friends Lauren & Eugene's little girl) - we see her often and Lukas just follows her around.  She tells him what to do and bless his little heart, he does it!  He calls her "Lisey".
- He talks about "Baby Oliver" often, even if it's been a few days since we've seen Chris, Emily & Oliver, so I think he likes him and is excited to have a guy friend to play with one day on the weekends!

Favorite Books:  (there's a few...)
- The Little Engine that Could (I'm really ready for that phase to end.  Luckily, he is more interested in finding the farmer and his sheep than actually reading the book.  Last night he had to kiss the farmer good night!)
- Goodnight Moon (Every. Single. Night. Multiple. Times. Sigh.)
- "Wocket Pocket" (i.e. There's a Wocket in My Pocket) or "Cat Hat" (i.e. The Cat in the Hat) - he really likes Dr. Seuss right now
- Just Like My Mum (It's a really cute book if you've never read it or are looking for a baby shower gift! And Lukas knows most of the story so he "reads" along with me.)

Favorite songs:
- The Thomas and Friends theme song - he tries his best to sing along and gets SO EXCITED when he hears it.  My favorite part is when he sings about Thomas as the "cheeky one"...I'll try to get a video soon!
- The Mickey Mouse Club house song & Hot Dog song - perhaps he's been watching a little M-I-C-K-E-Y m-o-u-s-e....
- Electric Car by They Might be Giants - Lukas knows all the words.  And loves "leclec car". (The CD is another great kid gift!)

Favorite toys:
- Dinosaur flash cards and his dinosaur figurines.
- Toy kitchen
- Thomas the Train & Thomas puzzle

Lukas is a really happy, sweet boy.  He gives hugs and kisses and likes to snuggle.  But he also likes to be independent.  He doesn't walk, he RUNS everywhere.  He loves to dance and sing and play.  The only time we have real tears is at bedtime.  Lukas would rather stay up and play or read books than go to bed, but once he goes down, he's out for the night.  Mr. Cob has a better handle on the bedtime routine than me...perhaps because I give in to Lukas' "requests" even though I know he is simply stalling.

I love this age.  He can more or less always tell us what he wants or what is bothering him.  And he is just so fun to be around.  He reminds me to smile and have fun with life!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clean Insanity

So my last health update was about my mental health.  I am happy to report that things are continuing to look up in that arena.  I stopped taking the antidepressant (with my therapist's approval and advice) a few weeks ago. I was nervous that the depressed feelings would swoop down on me again, but so far they have not. I do think the depression was largely hormonal and now that I'm about 4 months post-weaning the hormones seem to have leveled out. The therapist also helped me get a grip on the non-hormonal aspects of the depression. I probably would've stayed on the pills longer, but to be honest, thanks to therapy I realized I really do want another baby soon-ish and I didn't want to take anything while pregnant. (I'm not pregnant though, for anyone wondering.) I just want to have some time where my body is hormone and drug free before getting all hormonal again.

I also wanted some time to get my body in shape and healthy.  I lost all the baby weight within a year of having Lukas, but I never got into a solid workout routine.  I never regained all the lost muscle or definition and I haven't felt "good" about how I look in a long time.  I felt OK, but not good.  So before going and getting all baby-big again I decided I wanted to slim down and get healthy first.  It may seem backwards, but I have the goal of losing about 13 pounds before getting pregnant and gaining them all back.  I figured that if I could get in a good workout routine NOW and eat healthy NOW, then I'd have a better shot of only gaining the 25-35 recommended pounds the next time around.

So, I've been hitting this from two sides wholeheartedly: workout and eat clean.  And I couldn't be happier with the results!

I'm am currently in week 7 of a 9 week program called Insanity. I love it. I work out 6 days a week for between 30 to 60 minutes per day. (I wake up early or fit my workout in after dinner.  This is a big time  commitment, but it is me time that I need and that is important!)  The program is seriously insane.  I still cannot get through an entire DVD without having to stop and rest at some point.  It is hardcore.  And I LOVE IT!  If you're looking for a new workout program, this is worth every penny!  I took pictures at the half way point and can't wait to compare them to my after pictures in two more weeks.  I am gaining muscle, toning my body, shrinking my stomach and feeling all around amazing.  I honestly haven't felt this good about the way I look in at least two to three years.  Maybe longer.

The other part of my little health revolution has been clean eating.  I touched on clean eating a couple weeks back when I first started.  I'm now 5 weeks in and feel great.  My trusty old blender turned out to be not so trusty, so I'm now the proud owner of a Vitamix and LOVE IT!  This morning I drank a kale, spinach, swiss chard, celery, cucumber, pineapple, mango, banana smoothie for breakfast.  Delicious.  Mr. Cob and Lukas have also been clean eating and they both are actually eating the food...because the food TASTES GOOD! It's simply real, minimally processed foods.  I've been cooking recipes from the Clean Eating Magazine nightly and most everything has been great.  Clean eating does require forethought and planning, but it is completely do-able.  If I can do it, you can do it!  I plan to write a detailed post soon simply about clean eating and some "how tos" for the busy mom.  But for now the simplest tip is this: Don't buy/eat any food that has an ingredient that you cannot pronounce or do not know!

All around I feel good.  I'm happy.  And the scale is moving.  I'm down almost 8 pounds in 5 weeks.  This may not seem like much, but on my 5'4 frame, it is to me.

Mr. Cob and I are going on vacation in October and I'm actually looking forward to going bathing suit shopping in a few weeks.  I'm excited to continue on this health journey and make it a part of my entire family's life.  It's not a diet.  It is a lifestyle.  (Luckily, I've deemed red wine to be a "clean food".  I mean, wine is made from grapes.  Grapes = clean.  Logical, right?)

So that's what's been going on in my world.  Healthy, clean and insane!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Giveaway winner!

The lucky winner of the frog backpack, as selected be random.org, is #2 - Katie!! Congratulations!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nest Changes

There have been a lot of changes going on at Casa de Swan lately.  Here's a sneak peak...I hope to take some "real pictures" (with my camera instead of my phone) once we're finished, but I thought I'd show some "in-progress" pictures for now!

Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration and Mr. Cob for the handiwork

Where do you think this guy will show up?
Refinished floors!

Laundry room - new paint and floor

Who doesn't want a hanging ironing board?  Don't mind the ugly blue ironing board...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blog Giveway: La-La-La Leash

It's time for a BLOG GIVEAWAY!!!!  Get excited.

So if you're friends with me on facebook, you know that I ended up with two backpack harnesses last week after leaving Lukas' black backpack at my parent's house and fearing a trip to the airport with Lukas without it.  Mr. Cob sprung to action to buy me a replacement, but our only option was the Eddie Bauer Frog Backpack Harness.

Ain't he cute?!?

Well, Lukas wasn't a fan of Mr. Frog and refused to wear him.  So froggie enjoyed the scenic view to Boston and back on my arm instead of Lukas' back and I carried Lukas in my other arm.  It was a great arm workout.

So here's where you come in: we do not need to own TWO backpack harnesses.  I mean, really.  So I'm giving the frog backpack away to one lucky winner!

To enter, simply leave a comment!  Added bonus if you tell me where you'd like to travel with your kiddo and the froggie harness!  The giveaway will end at midnight on Friday, September 7, EST, so be sure to enter before then, at which point I'll select a winner at random!

Note for all you leash hating parents: the backpack can be used sans leash as just a cute backpack!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Solemn Vow: 4 Years Later

Mr. Cob and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary this past week.  It is possible that I deserted him on our actual day while in Boston visiting an old friend.  The day came and went with little fanfare this year - we didn't even exchange cards. Mr. Cob wished me happy anniversary over my voicemail.  Our gift to each other is a week long vacation sans the kiddo in October.

Even though we weren't physically together on our anniversary this year, my heart still smiled. I love August 31st each year because it's the date I committed myself to another person. Four years ago on August 31 Mr. Cob and I looked in each other's eyes and said "lets do this!"  And each August 31st is a reminder to me of those vows I took and a time to recommit myself to our life together.  We're in this for the long haul.  There is no out.  We're clear on that point.

But it's not always easy, this marriage thing.  There are moments we don't like each other.  There have been whole days we don't want to talk to one another.  There are weeks we are tense around the house.  And I'm sure in the future there will be rough months and perhaps even years.  Sometimes we need a reminder that we love each other.  We need to remember what it was that made us fall in love with one another.  We need to recall those feelings we had when our love was still fresh and new.

Which is why I love August 31st.  It brings me back to Pine Mountain, Georgia where I cried and stuttered my way through vows that I wrote myself.  It reminds me that I promised to cherish this man.  I promised to love him.  I promised to support him.  I promised to listen to him.  For all the days of my life.

And he promised to make me laugh.  He promised a whole bunch of other things too, but this promise is the one that I cling to.  The one that ensures me that we can get through any rough patch.  The promise that will be there once beauty and youth fades. 

He has held tight to this promise and he has delivered.  I am a lucky woman to be married to this man who makes me laugh.  I am a lucky woman to be married to this man who approaches fatherhood with laughter (and the joy that cannot help but accompany laughter).  I am a lucky woman who laughs often.  I am a lucky woman.