Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

From the Self-Evident Supermom household to yours, have a very happy new year!

It's as if she's mocking me,
saying, "Oh, you fool,
you think 2 is bad? Wait."
This year will bring a new job (surprise, surprise!), a new schedule for both me and L., the dreaded Terrible 3s (3 is the new 2, have you heard?), potty training (ugh, eventually), a wedding, L. starting school and, hopefully, more topics to write on and more productivity, all while trying to maintain simplicity.

Every year, I make 10 resolutions. I figure I have chance to keep at least one.

Before I set my goals for 2014, I'd like to just take a minute to list my accomplishments of 2013. Not for bragging purposes, but as inspiration that sometimes, despite what my inner critic thinks, I can do it!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve thoughts

Right now, I'm currently without my daughter on Christmas Eve. It's sad. I don't have cookies and milk out, although I know Santa will come. (The photo shown at the right was taken a few weeks ago.) 

Our Elf, Banjo, has already flown back to the North Pole until next year. L.'s presents are packed in a bag and about to be put into the car to be carted around tomorrow instead of under the tree.

This is the sucky side of Christmas for a child of divorce. SO much travel between all the houses of parents and grandparents and soon-to-be step-grandparents.

But, instead of the few paragraphs I wrote then deleted complaining about how much divorce is affecting our plans tomorrow and how inconvenient all the traveling will be for L., I'm just going to count my blessings instead of sheep tonight because even Santa Supermom has her nights of the "Bah! Humbugs!" But that doesn't stop tomorrow from coming, as the Grinch learned. And it won't stop Christmas from being magical for L., as well as all those who love her. And that's the most important part of Christmas.

Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Simply listening to a wonderful Christmas song (Why I Like "Wonderful Christmastime")

Something happened between last year and this one. I don't know what the sociological shift was, but it made everyone decide they *hate* Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Chirstmastime." Maybe they already hated it, though. But it was this year it seemed those people decided to post about it on social media. At least once a week, a status would pop in my feed about hating the song. Even my beloved Simple Mom posted about it. It was as if my friends realized, "OK, YOLO (or some other Carpe Diem-esque statement), I can now admit that I don't like something one of The Beatles did without looking like an ignorant child saying I hate mommy and daddy's music generation."

To those people, all I can say is, "Come on! That's your least favorite Christmas song? Really? Of everything out there?"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Never would I ever ...

Don't let the smile fool you, there is FEAR in those eyes.
"When I'm a parent ... "

Let me stop you right there, oh childless ones who say these words. You think you're so wise. Well, I hate to speak in terms of absolutes, but you're not. Despite how many kids you've babysat for or how many younger siblings you've taken care of, you have no idea how your mind somehow changes and, dare I say it, warps  when you have a child of your very own. A child you're responsible for shaping and turning into a decent human being. Not to mention, you have to keep this child alive! And, though a lofty goal, at the very least, you picture these happy, heartfelt moments with your children 24/7.

I won't spoil the surprise for when you find out in the first 48 hours at home with your new child that these heartfelt moments are hard to come by when you're not even sure what you're supposed to do with this little one and you're sleep deprived and you're questioning every single thing you're doing and wondering if you're doing them all wrong.

And, as soon as you find the answer you're looking for and something "works," the next day, you'll be searching for a new answer to a new question and/or the answer you just found that worked will no longer work.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A toddler and her stomach bug

Banjo recovers quickly from losing her magic
on her first day.
As I previously mentioned, L. got her Elf on the Shelf and promptly began hugging, kissing and dancing with her. While the fiance and I were away, we sent Banjo to the North Pole to get her magic back. Santa sent us a photo of her progress and she came back, fully recovered. Now, that was an easy-peasy thing to remedy.

When it comes to your own children, however, not only do you learn there is nothing you won't do for your child, but you also take on this inner strength you might not regularly know you have. It's not the inner strength that shows itself when they're having a meltdown in the grocery store. It's not the inner strength that could come in handy when prompted to "all fall down" at the end of "Ring Around the Rosey" for the 40th time and you're not sure you will have the energy to stand up again. It's the inner strength that comes when you've reached what you perceive to be your limit and just keep going. Similar to the phrase mouthed by mothers to children, "Because I said so," when faced with a challenge, mothers subsequently tell ourselves, "Because I have to."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holidays don't have to equal stress

Some tips I've accumulated over the years to cut down the holiday stress. Some are wholesome, some not so much ...

Beating SADD
The Lights at Virginia Beach, where the fiance and I
went for Thanksgiving.
I felt my seasonal grumpies start in October, of all things. There's been a lot of stress at work and at home while we slowly moved into our house. I lost about 40 minutes a day in the car because my commute is longer. I was pretty busy when November hit and I kind of took it one day at a time to try to make myself happy anyway I could (Read: Goodbye, diet. Hello comfort food.)

Once the end of November hit, while most people complained about how early people were pushing Christmas, I was happy to see decorations up. I had remembered my trick last year to staying positive.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The stuff I used to judge ...

Before I was a mom, well, let's just say I wish I could go back and slap myself in the face for judging any other parent ever in the history of the world. Except when I judged "Mommie Dearest." I think that was the only one that was OK to have an opinion on.

The truth is, parents are doing the best we can. As much as I thought to my "wiser" (read: wiseass) self, "Oh, when I'm a mom, I won't _____(fill in the blank)___ like that mom over there," I had no right to even have an opinion. Even if it was a positive one. Because you don't know until you are a parent.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reminder: You're only human

I've heard that phrase plenty of times. I don't know what it is about me, and maybe women in general, but I've noticed we try to do it all. Commercials in the '80s pushed the idea when moms were going back to the workplace and advertisers were marketing things like pumps you could also play basketball in. And I'm sure the intentions were good, despite slightly sexist undertones. Regardless, it seems to be universally known that women try to take everything on.

2:30 in the morning the day
 before Halloween, I was
 hot gluing L.'s hat for her
 costume. Sleep was not even
 an option in my mind.
It's difficult to say no. No one likes disappointing others. In my case, I try to be as good of a mother as possible, which means avoiding any form of mom guilt. I work a full-time job in which the last month, I was working six-day weeks. And, when it comes to the house, after moving in, sleep was such a back-burner priority, it was a source of guilt when there were boxes still left unpacked, yet I was tucking in for the night.

This mindset had to stop. First of all, I can't change the fact that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I should do or want to do. Secondly, I don't think anyone was expecting me to accomplish everything as quickly as I set myself up to in my mind.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Failure to Laugh

So, if you've seen my blog in the past week and a half, you've noticed I haven't posted anything. Unfortunately, when it came down to it, I picked the wrong year to try to participate in the 31 Days challenge. All week, I've had Kirsten Dunst's voice running through my head from "Elizabethtown" -- coincidentally another Cameron Crowe movie, the writer/director of "Almost Famous" from where the photo used in my 31 Days button comes from.

"You failed! You failed, you failed, you failed, you failed, you failed, you failed ..."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17: Making the connection

Today, I laughed at: the fiance telling me about the washer and dryer he bought us.
He apparently saw a sticker on it for WiFi and he just assumed it meant the washer and dryer would send up a text or maybe even Tweet at us when it was done.
Now, he had researched this washer and dryer through his tech-loving websites. He found this one that dried clothes in, get ready, 30 minutes. He was in love. 
The Kenmore Elite Steam
Washer and Dryer will
not text you when
the laundry's done.
There were even settings on the washer so if you were to leave clothes in overnight, it would intermittently circulate fresh air in as it tossed the clothes around. Same with the dryer so clothes wouldn't wrinkle.
This is a high tech washer and dryer he decided to buy from an outlet, after a discount for being a returned item. Watching him read the owner's manual online was almost uncomfortable, like he was watching adult entertainment. That's how excited he was about this washer and dryer.
When he got to the part about the WiFi sticker, though, he found out the washer and dryer would not be texting us when our clothes were ready. However, when we call for maintenance, the WiFi would transmit signals over our phones to the computer for diagnostic ... um ... things. I don't actually know exactly what it does, now that I think of it. I think I was laughing too hard at the disappointment he had mixed with the excitement over all the cool things our new gadgets could do. I love him and his gadgets.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16: Top 5 Underrated Movies

Today, I laughed at: the fiance referencing "The Big Lebowski" while rug shopping at Ikea today.
L. was looking at rugs with us when she decided to climb on one. The fiance looked at the rug and said, "That rug really ties the room together."

"The Big Lebowski" is probably the fiance's favorite movie and, I have to agree, while I didn't laugh out loud when I saw it, I do appreciate its humor and I will still say it's a funny movie.
Most movies I consider funny aren't actually "laugh out loud movies," now that I think about them. But few of them had me holding my stomach the first time I saw them.
And that brings me to the topic of the post I originally wrote yesterday but, ugh, got deleted. (I won't even link to yesterday's sad excuse for a post).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15: Hmph!

Today, I laughed at: hmph.
Yes, that is what I meant to type for this post.
Originally, I had a post all written before midnight last night. Then, in trying to add a photo from my phone, the entire entry was deleted. So, I gave up. It was midnight, I was an hour from home, and I needed to be in bed.
And I was not in a good mood.
So, I got home, got in bed with the fiance and he stroked my hair and said, "It's OOOOO-K. Caaaaaalm dooooown. I'll taaaaalk with looooong syllibleeeeh. I can't eeeeeven saaaay 'syllables.'"
OK, that did make me laugh. And that is the point, after all.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14: Retiring a joke

Today, I laughed at: nothing I can really describe.
I don't really know how to explain the laughter I had today (late, late last night/early morning). I got home from work and when the fiance met me at the door of the house we're moving into, he said, "Do we have to paint tonight? I'm sorry, I'm just not in the mood."
The fiance as we were brainstorming
the future location of the bar
in our basement.
I was so relieved because I felt the same way. I had been rushed all day and I really wanted to just sit.
I knew I had the energy if I needed it, but I did not really have the motivation to do a good job.

So, instead, we grabbed a few beers and went downstairs to the basement to look at how the walls were coming along. We're hoping to finish the basement so we'll have it as a big play room, initially for L., but I'm guessing the fiance will have more toys down there.
Anyway, as we planned out things for the future, I began to get that feeling in my stomach like when you're about to go over a rollercoaster hill. I started laughing and I couldn't even describe to the fiance what was so funny. 
It wasn't so much that it was funny, but I was so excited about spending my life with him in this home we're putting together, the only expression my body could release was laughter. And so I laughed. I smiled until my face hurt.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13: Write what you know (or what you pretend to know)

Today, I laughed at: "Friends."
At work, we have to get the lottery numbers and they're usually aired on the channel with the news. But when sports games are on, they're aired on the channel that airs "Friends" reruns.
And those are some of my favorite nights!
The show never gets old for me. I watch the entire series once a year. I even got the fiance into it. I got to enjoy it all over again while watching it with someone new who got to experience it for the first time.
"Friends" is one of those shows I hope to watch with L. and have her enjoy it as much as I do. Even if I have to explain to her why coffee houses were so great even before the free WiFi. Even when I have to hold my tongue when she gets upset when Ross and Rachel are "on a break." I hope she'll be able to quote the show just as much as I can. That's the dream!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12: You're never fully dressed without a smile (and yoga pants)

Today, I laughed at: the fiance pulling me onto the air mattress we've been sleeping on in the new house and saying, "Hey, let's cuddle."
Here's my future husband, TSPing
the walls in L.'s new room.
Between having a new house and the officialism of the engagement ring that's given us this crazy sense of "Wow! We have a lot ahead of us!"
Not only do we have a house we can basically make our own, despite renting (best landlords = future in-laws), but while we're doing mundane things like TSPing the walls, we can talk about wedding planning.

It's just a nice feeling to have a great relationship and a lot to look forward to.
(Am I making you sick with how cute we are? Trust me, we constantly comment on how sickly sweet we are, too.)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11: This, too, shall pass and become funny

Today, I laughed at: an imitation my coworker did of me.
At work, we've been waiting for the new restaurant down the block to open up, since we've gotten tired of the same take out all the time. When we tried the food, unfortunately, none of the orders were right. I would have quietly eaten my veggie wrap, which was completely different from what the menu promised, but once other coworkers started hovering around, wondering what the new food was like, I snapped. The combination of others' curiosity and watching me eat, along with a cold side salad in a wrap instead of a grilled mushroom, pepper and cheese veggie wrap I was promised was too much and I flipped out, grabbed a coworker and brought my food back.
Later that night, we were recounting the story and another coworker did an impression of my face and said in a high voice, "This veggie wrap is just wrong! Please, oh pretty please, fix it!"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10: Diagramming a joke, Part 2

Today, I laughed as: I said "yes" when the boyfriend proposed!
I also cried. I was also so happy, I didn't know what to do, so I laughed, and cried and, of course, said yes.
I was in the kitchen packing some things for our move when I heard L. come running in, leave something on the counter and run away. I heard the boyfriend say, "I think you should see what she brought you."
From this, I assumed it was cat poop or something gross. But when I looked down, it was a black velvet box. I opened it and saw the ring and turned around and saw the boyfriend on his knee. And I was so full of emotions, I laughed while crying.

Day 9: Diagramming a joke, Part 1

Today, I laughed at: the boyfriend imitating a horse while he played with L.
At Target (where I'll go for three things and come out with three bags, somehow), L. was fascinated with a dinosaur from the dollar section. Hey, as long as it was only a dollar and it wasn't princess/Disney related, I was fine buying it for her. When she brought it home, she introduced him to her toy horse and the Yo Gabba Gabba gang figures she has.
When the boyfriend woke up, she handed him the horse and began having a babble-speak conversation with the dinosaur. The boyfriend joined with the horse and "neighed" his portion of the conversation. "He-e-e-ey, ho-o-o-ow a-a-a-a-a-are yo-o-o-o-o-ou?"

 L. got a kick out of it and so did I. Have I mentioned how much I love the boyfriend? Well, it's a lo-o-o-o-ot.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8: For practical joke purposes

Today, I laughed at: my boyfriend reading Mindy Kaling's book aloud.
Technically, this was last night, but it was at 1 a.m. and this deserved to be documented.
The other night, I had my keys in my hand and I went to rub my eye, not even thinking, "Hmm, keys near my eyes could be a mistake." One of my keys went into my eye and it had been bothering me through the next day. After copy editing for eight hours, my eyes were both pretty tired and all I wanted to do was put some drops in and go to sleep, but I also wanted to continue reading Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)" I've been enjoying. The boyfriend, feeling bad for me and my eye, offered to read it outloud to me. (He really is the greatest.) I accepted the offer and I got to hear the boyfriend reading the first-hand account of how Mindy Kaling made a great babysitter because she could talk for hours with her charges about which member of *NSYNC she would want to marry. I'm not sure if it was hearing about how Justin Timberlake was too flashy that made me laugh or the boyfriend pronouncing JC Chasez phonetically ("JC Chazzes") that had me laughing more.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7: Nothing to fear but EVERYTHING

Today, I laughed at: Ordinary Batman Adventures. 
 A gif sent from the boyfriend when I told him I hadn't laughed yet today. 

Thanks, boyfriend.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6: The more, the funnier

Today, I laughed at: the reaction I got when asking my co-worker to get me a Happy Meal at McDonald's.
No, seriously, I did this. I got one a week ago because of extremely poor planning on my part and I was running late with L. and realized we needed a quick lunch on the go. So I swallowed my pride and went to McDonald's. Inside the Happy Meal were figurines of characters from "The Wizard of OZ." Before I knew it, L. was in love with the Dorothy doll she got, which I ended up giving to my ex-sister-in-law when dropping L. off. So I've kind of indulged and have been getting Happy Meals here and there just for the toys for L. Look, we've already gone through how "Glee" is my McDonald's. Well, McDonald's is my McDonald's, as well. Oh, the stuff we do (and eat) for our kids.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5: How do I compare thee (to make others laugh)?

Today, I laughed at: ... I don't wanna say. ("Glee" I laughed at "Glee," ashamedly, OK?!)
Jim Gaffigan has a bit on McDonald's and how everyone has their own guilty pleasures they don't admit to others they enjoy:
"I’m tired of people acting like they’re better than McDonald’s. It’s like you may have never set foot in McDonald’s, but you have your own McDonald’s. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac, you read Us Weekly. Hey, that’s still McDonald’s. It’s just served up a little different. Maybe your McDonald’s is telling yourself that Starbucks Frappuccino is not a milkshake. Or maybe you watch 'Glee.' It’s all McDonald’s—McDonald’s of the soul: Momentary pleasure followed by incredible guilt eventually leading to cancer. ‘I’m lovin’ it.’"
I laughed when the kids from the deaf choir said/signed, "Oh god, it's those McKinley nerds."
I laughed at "Glee." I laughed when Sue Sylvester said she legally changed her middle name to "Rodham." 
And I cried out of happiness (pure, unadulterated former chorus geek happiness) when Blaine proposed to Kurt at the end of the episode. And that made the boyfriend laugh at me.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: Like a crappy wine, jokes do not age well

Today, I laughed at: Substitute Teacher: Key & Peele video.
Technically, I laughed at the sports guys at work. Some of the funniest people, I feel, are the ones who work the weird shifts. You have to be funny to be able to laugh at the fact you're working late at night on a Friday, when most of your friends are out doing fun things. Anyway, a few months ago, they discovered this video and we laughed at it. Tonight, it was re-brought up, only to bring about laughter in the newsroom again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3: Being extra observant

Today, I laughed at: L.'s cupcake face
We went out to dinner to celebrate the boyfriend's father's birthday tonight. Before leaving, I was terrified. Absolutely scared to death about bringing a toddler into a public restaurant. But, she went right into the high chair and played with her toys on the table, especially since the boyfriend's mother brought ones she had never seen before. It turned into a wonderful dinner and the whole family ended up taking so many pictures of L. and her cupcake face.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2: Is laughter the physical expression of superiority?

Today, I laughed at: Good Job Brain podcast
When the iPhone updated about a year ago to include the new podcast app, I had moved into my apartment and had no TV yet. Or even internet connection. So, I used my phone for entertainment for a few days and I discovered podcasts. 
"Good Job Brain" was the first one I found and I've loved it ever since. I realized I really love trivia and learning new things, and I love finding any opportunity to tell people the facts I've learned from the shows. 
This week's episode had me laughing during a segment they were talking about the Big 5 in hunting in which a tangent led to the hosts discussing lion-head urinals. OK, sometimes my fifth grade sense of humor gets the best of me, I'll admit.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1: Lessons in laughter from my dad

Today, I laughed at: My Drunk Kitchen: An American Tale
I am so out of practice at laughing, I kept looking for things to make me laugh today with no success. I got to look at the house we're moving into today and that was exciting, but there was nothing really funny about it, unfortunately. While at work, I was freaking out a little, feeling like I was a failure the first day of my 31 Days of Laughter Challenge. So I went to my rarely used YouTube app and the newest episode of My Drunk Kitchen was suggested for me. Thank goodness for Hanna Hart. Even though I hadn't watched the webisodes in a long time, the random clips eventually forced a belly-chuckle out of me.

Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days: "Does anybody remember laughter?"

When was the last time I laughed?

I asked myself this question yesterday midway through my shift at work. And I couldn't answer that question. It could have been that morning over something silly my boyfriend did. Or it could have been the day before with some coworkers. But I honestly couldn't remember having a "fit of laughter" in some time. At least not one memorable enough to look back on and laugh about later.

Actually, that's not true. I did get reminded of the "Saturday Night Live"  with Will Ferrell and Norm McDonald in a "Celebrity Jeopardy" skit in which McDonald plays Burt Reynolds and changes his name to Turd Ferguson. Something about that skit made me laugh uncontrollably at my desk last week and I couldn't stop. THAT'S the last time I memorably laughed.

(Until a few minutes ago when I decided to find the clip of that to post and ended up laughing so hard, I began coughing, a leftover side effect from my recent cold.)

It's good to know I have at least one trigger to incite my laughing. And, after watching that clip, I took stock of how I felt after. My shoulders let go of some of the tension; my mouth perked up on the sides, as if expecting to laugh again; my mind seemed less focused on "I must, I must, I must get this blog post written" and more on "What else is going to make me laugh this month?"

Here's where the challenge comes in.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Internet Finds

Thank you, Huffington Post, for supporting bloggers who are pro-vaccine. As much as it pains me to watch L.'s face in anguish as she's getting her shots, the diseases the vaccines are protecting against are much worse than any temporary pain she's experiencing.

JJ Keith wrote an article on Huffington Post today coming out as pro-vaccine. She mentions my cousin's daughter, Clio, who is battling leukemia and, because of the inability to receive vaccines, she is vulnerable to the diseases. I can only guess the risk is increased with all the trips to the hospital she has to take. As far as we know, childhood cancer cannot be prevented. Diseases that were mostly eradicated but have seen a jump in recent years, however, can. And transferring these diseases to others who don't have a choice about getting the vaccine is unfair, in my opinion.

So, if the article is a call for more parents to come out as pro-vaccine, consider this my announcement. Read the facts, do a Google image search of kids with those diseases vaccines protect against (it's heartbreaking), and decide for yourself.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Surviving a cold with a toddler

It was inevitable. I was getting sleepy at work, the tickle in my throat was getting more annoying and what I thought were allergies were getting stronger. None of this clicked until the head congestion set in halfway through my last day of work for the week and I realized I was getting sick.

Ugh, one of the worst annoyances to a mom. The common cold. On top of being annoying to deal with, deal with a cold has to be one of the biggest triggers of Mom Guilt. And I have to keep reminding myself to take time for me. But, tell that to any mom and she'll nod graciously, but secretly think, "Yeah, OK, like that every happens."

So, I prepared. I got my liquids, my Tylenol Cold and Sinus and my tissues set up in the living room and L. got to watch as much TV as she wanted while I sat like a zombie, pretty much doing the bare minimum of making sure she didn't hurt herself or get into trouble. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why I like my smartphone

When I gave birth to L., I had a pre-smartphone. Not like the ones out there today. It made calls, sent texts and photos, but to get on the internet, I had to literally go to the browser and type in my destination, like Facebook or my email. From there, I would have to login or, sometimes if the phone was feeling particularly generous, it would remember me, though it rarely did.

I was comfortable with the phone and the basic touch screen. The keyboard slid out and had actual buttons, which I loved. I uploaded photos of L. to Facebook if I had time but, mostly, used the digital camera to take the majority of photos of her for social media.

Then I got an iPhone. And, I am not exaggerating when I say my life was changed. And even today, there is a feeling of nakedness when I go anywhere without my phone.

First day of hockey season and, since L. couldn't be
there with us, I used my phone to make sure
her New York Rangers pajamas were seen.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tantrum Level Midnight

I read in "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" that the peak for tantrums is actually 18 months. By the time I had finally gotten around to reading the book, L. was about 22 months. I heaved a sigh of relief and tore through the book as quickly as I could. After learning how to spot a tantrum before it begins (warning signs are the key, by the way), either her tantrums have gone down on their own because she could communicate more or I'm just that good.

(Note: Pat yourselves on the back every so often. It feels good. And you deserve it.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ugh, technical stuff.

Not sure why there's such a large gap between the titles of my posts and the posts themselves. Sorry for the awkward looking blog, folks. I'll try to Google my way out of this pickle, but I make no guarantees.

Parkercise: How I finally lost the baby weight!

* In no way am I a medical expert. The closest I've come is taking a few anatomy classes and being a sports and leisure management major for a year in college. 

It's official. I am down the 20 pounds I set my goal for! You know what's sad? I'm not as enthusiastic as I thought I'd be. Isn't that always the way? I guess because you lose weight so slowly, you don't notice. I notice in pictures of myself. I notice in my clothes. But, I don't know, I just don't FEEL 20 pounds lighter.

But you, dear readers, don't care about that, right? You want to know HOW I did it.

If you're like me, you see a post on losing 20 pounds in a certain amount of time. Mine happened to be in 8 weeks, practically. From your perspective, eight weeks doesn't seem that long. It's eight. It's not 10, which is a really long time, apparently. And, for the first two weeks or so, it'll seem like a cinch to reach eight weeks.

But it's hard. It's frustrating. The initial weight loss is amazing and it goes so quickly. And starting anything new is always fun at first but, at least for me, my brain and body start saying, "OK, this was fun and all, but, um, when are we going back to doing things our way? As in, doing the absolute bare minimum every day. Seriously, we don't have the time or the energy for this anymore."

One of the biggest hurdles was finding the time. I love doing yoga, but on top of getting dressed for it, putting in the DVD and waiting for it to load, getting out the mat and accessories, there's also the shower afterward I have to account for. I have two hours before work now and, as much as I'd like to put in my 50-minute yoga DVD, I'm really looking at an hour and 15 minutes dedicated to working out. That's a lot of time, in my world. So, I had to figure out a way to be a mom and exercise.

I present to you Parkercise.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Celebrating small victories

I am a reluctant tosser. Despite the three garbage bags of clothes recently donated from the depths of my closets and drawers, I will not get rid of clothes I absolutely love and have served me well. I will repurpose them if I need to. But, if it's not stained, ripped or out of style, the fact that I can't fit into an article of clothing will not stop me from wearing it.

Meet one of the greatest tricks I learned in pregnancy:

The elastic-through-the-button-hole.

(Stretch marks blended, courtesy of an app on my phone. But, trust me, my tiger mom stripes are pink and prominent!)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Avoiding hoarding by repurposing

I have had this green sweater since middle school. Since my mom took me back-to-school shopping at Bob's Stores before eighth grade. Yes, this sweater is 17 years old. Of course it's stretched, it's unflattering beyond belief, but it's comfortable.

But, in my effort to declutter, I realized I had to say goodbye. I hadn't even worn it around the house in years, despite it's comfort. It's just so stretched out and misshapen, I don't even feel good in it.

It was too tough to say goodbye to it. So I decided to figure out a way to repurpose it. And, that said, I present to you the sweater and what it has become.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Less is more: Cleaning out my closet

I'm currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. One of her tasks was a major wardrobe downsizing. Between her and (the love of my life) Tsh of SimpleMom, I had heard the phrase "You only wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time."

Considering how my laundry was piling up, I could have probably just gotten rid of anything that wasn't in the laundry basket, since I seem to always look in my closet and have "nothing to wear." But I still decided to take L.'s nap time to reorganize the disaster closet. 

The "nothing to wear" closet.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why I Like Little People

The boyfriend's mom saved all of his and his sister's Fisher-Price Little People sets. I guess she realized how much toddlers loved these sets so the ended up with about seven or eight. When she brought out the tub last week, L. went silent. She spent about an hour playing with them. I had never seen her so focused on one activity for so long.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When an idol falls

My daughter is 2 1/2. She turned exactly 30 months this past week. I normally don't count months anymore. But I liked the idea that for one month, she would be the same age in months as I was in years.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to plan anything crazy, like my #30for30 Challenge. But, I must have been channeling it when I took this picture.

Quite similar to the photo taken the morning of my birthday before setting off to do 30 good deeds.

Best birthday ever, I think.
One of the reasons I enjoyed doing those 30 good deeds was, despite how young she was, I wanted L. to learn what it is to be a good person and, hopefully, find something admirable about what I was doing and maybe achieve something like it one day.

I'm not saying I want to be her idol. But how does a parent have influence on what kind of idols are admired in the house?