Monday, July 25, 2011

11 months old

Nevaeh is 11 months old today :-) :-( One more month until the anniversary of the best day of my life!

11 month facts:

<3 She has 4 top teeth, 4 bottom teeth, and is starting on her two top eye teeth
<3 She can stand for 5 seconds while thinking about it, but I'll catch her standing for a while when she's distracted with a toy
<3 She is trying to snap her fingers.
<3 She dances like it's oxygen, and she actually has some rhythm. She also has taste in music, if she doesn't like a song she'll blow raspberries
<3 She has an overload of energy. She thinks it's hilarious to throw herself onto the couch or bed or crib because she bounces
<3 I started cutting her bottles with 2oz organic whole milk today. Adding 1oz every week till she's off formula
<3 She is climbing everything
<3 Dada, Momma, Dog (minus the G) Bob, Baba, Hi, Dohdoh

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Projects

Summer time has always been my favorite season. When I was younger it was mainly because *Cue Alice Cooper* School's out for Summer! I loaded every day with trips to the pool, challenges with my sister on who could walk the furthest with our stilts, endless supplies of bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Vacations amidst the greatest vacation of all. Summer Break, Baby.
Now, I'm permanently out of school so I can sing the second line of everyone's favorite AC song. "School's out FO-EVA!" I'm still in that mode though. Something about summer time is just so much more relaxing than during "the school year." I'm loaded with projects right now, mostly revolving around Nevaeh's birthday party, but also with the house and especially our bedrooms. I'm slowly weeding out our hand me down "these will do" items and replacing them with items I choose myself from thrift stores or Walmart or the ever reliable Target.

1. Invitations for Nevaeh's birthday party-They are almost complete, I just have to glue the string onto about 15 more, then "sign sealed delivered." (Can you tell I'm in a real music mood today?)

2. Decorations for party-I'm making her birthday banner, butttt I think this project may be abandoned. It's turning out a lot cheaper looking than I anticipated, and spending any more money on it would defeat the purpose. I may just go banner-less. With the amount of kids coming to the party, it'd fast be destroyed anyway.

3. Lullaby books-For the love of all that is Holy, PLEASE go to this website!
It is fantastic. I bought 2 blank books. Literally, just a 5x8 white cardboard blank book. I made up a lullaby for Landon and one for Nevaeh, so I plan on illustrating those lullabies in these two books as keepsakes for them <3 Can't wait to get that project done!

4. Bedroom stuff-Whatever I find! Landon's corner of his room has been decked out with colorful circle wall decals, a metal colorful lizard that is supposed to be a lawn ornament but we hung it on the wall lol. Spongebob bedding of COURSE, but the next time we move we are getting him a twin bed, so I will probably be making him a quilt that fits his personality. Nevaeh's corner is more subdued colors, a mixture between pastels and bright (Brighstels?) A paper flower, her black wooden giraffe with color Nevaeh letters, and I got these paper ball lantern things to hang from the ceiling in the corner, that I might use at her birthday party as well. Pictures will follow soon. I'm still not sure what's going on with Chris and I's bedroom...I'm making a headboard out of the black bamboo sticks I got a few years ago, but I haven't found a fabric that I like to go with it. Once I get that figured out, a quilt will be made for the bed.

5. Pictures! I am finally getting around to printing the hundreds of pictures that I have lol I have a wall I'm making into a picture wall, full of frames. A few ideas for making my own frames with a fabric back ground and 3D pictures. Pictures of those pictures whenever it's done ;-)

Oh Lord! That probably isn't all the projects I have going but they're the major ones that came to mind. Busy busy! I have plenty to do during Nevaeh's naptimes (Which are less frequent nowadays).

Oh and one more thing I wanted to mention. Babies! Chris is seriously ecstatic that everyone around us is having babies, because that (for now) quentions my baby obsession haha! My sister in law Jackie had her daughter Isabella in April, my friend Becky had her daughter Naomie in June, my friend Beth just had her daughter Adrianna TODAY!! and my friend Aubrey is due in October with Oliver, Kellie in December with Estella Faye, my husband's cousin's girlfriend is due in February I think, and my Aunt Rachel is due in November I believe with a girl, and my sister in law Jessica is due August 12 with a girl!! :-D :-D babiesssss!! And I had a pregnancy dream so...someone else is pregnant. Don't know who, probably someone in the family (Not me I swear!) but I have NEVER been wrong with my pregnancy dreams. I usually have them a month or two before finding out who it is, so I'll know soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beauty is the eyes of the beholder

Sometimes when I put my daughter down for a nap with that excitement that I can finally get things done around the house...I find myself transfixed by her. I lay down with her and just absorb her beauty, that utterly helpless, completely devoted love that pours from every fiber of my being into her tiny frame. While I am stunned by the amount of love I hold for her, I am equally amazed that she doesn't fall over thinking "WOW, My mommy really loves me!" I breathe in the natural scent of her flowy hair, memorize the curve of her eyebrows and smirk at the dirt that seems permanently etched in her crawling knees. I now know the culprit behind all those eyerolls my teenage self gave my mother every time she told me I just didn't understand. How could I possibly understand what she was talking about when I wasn't a mother myself? I love my mother more than life itself but it's a completely different emotion compared to the love I have for my daughter.
I can't wait to tell her she just doesn't understand <3

Today I am kicking my ass. Ever since Nevaeh was born and I recovered from the seemingly unbearable aches of childbirth, I kept saying I was going to get back in shape. Eat right, exercise, be completely healthy like I was my entire pregnancy (Nevaeh made me crave health foods thank God...unfortunately, post baby Bethany does not). That determination would last a week tops. I'd be all gung ho, make a grocery trip and load up on veggies and fruits and new socks to allow my feet to breathe better in my tennis shoes. And then a slice of pizza would appear. And while I still even now eat relatively healthy, there is a lot of junk sneaking in. I am drinking entirely too much Mountain Dew, my body seems to depend on it because I didn't drink any yesterday and I was going insane! I eat turkey burgers instead of the super greasy ones but then I load on the cheese and mayo. I need to kick it up a notch. Hell, getting rid of my daily pop intake will probably help me drop 10 pounds alone!

So I'm getting tough. I'm putting myself out there and while I ultimately hold myself responsible, I am asking those close to me to hold me accountable as well. My husband, my sister, a few friends. Snap at me if you catch me being horrible! Get on me to take at the very least, a daily walk or swim with Nevaeh (Or use the Kinect during days like this week where there is a heat advisory and I myself can barely stand the humidity, let alone take her out in it). I need to get myself active every single day. No more than one pop a day, and hopefully I can get that down to either no pop or very very limited pop. More fruits and veggies. I love them, they're delicious, so there should be no reason why I don't consume more of them!

Now the biggest kick in my butt...really putting myself out there. Making my embarrasment known so I am forced to do something about it. When I first got pregnant I was 150lbs, very slender and had a flat stomach and perfect boobs and a nice curvy butt. I have thicker bones and my big booty will never go away, it's genetic, but pre-baby I carried everything in the right places. I gained 20lbs during my pregnancy which is ideal and I gained it all in the right places. Post baby however, it all re-adjusted itself. Too much booty, no more boobs, leftover belly that is totally not cute when there's no kicking fetus behind it.

I now weigh (runs to scale) 162lbs *gag*

The number is not what makes me embarrassed. I hate the way the weight is laying. I am still pretty slender everywhere except my butt and belly, and the way it sits on my belly makes me look like I'm 4-5 months pregnant. I feel beautiful because I am a mother and this is an ok "price to pay" to have my daughter here, but I am not happy. I want that confidence back. I want to pull on a pair of jeans that don't look ginormous on the rack which in turn makes me feel ginormous when they fit. I want to wear my blue bikini instead of the purple post-baby suit I bought to hide the pudge. I want to wear form fitting clothes out in public without holding my breath, waiting for someone to ask me when I'm due. I want another child in a couple years but until then I want to look like a hot Mama, like a sexy wife, like a healthy confident woman completely comfortable in her own skin!

I am going to keep a daily log. Not really tracking every morsel that goes in my mouth, but at least logging that I did in fact in healthy foods and if I did intake junk, it was not an excessive amount. I will record the exercise that I did, and every month I will weigh myself. Only once a month, because again the number on the scale does not matter. The confidence I feel when I look in the mirror is what matters.

Starting now! Tonight for dinner I am having grilled chicken with potato chunks and broccoli. Water to drink. Power cleaning my house and the kinect tonight for exercise.

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The start of a Challenge

Thought I'd give this a go...this blog seems to be turning out to be more for my own benefit than anyone else's, but I love the idea that someday my kids can look back and read my thoughts, like I have done with my Mom's journals. So I will try to continue and blog as long as possible :-)

  • I seem to be exploring Ohio. I was born in Bluffton, raised in Lima, moved to Dayton, now in Columbus. 2-3 years from now I'll likely be in Cleveland.

  • I'm so relieved I don't have to go to a 4 year college. I will get an Associates or Certificate in something just to have it under my belt, but we are secure with Chris' job and I can stay home and raise our kids and do my crafts.

  • I'd like to think there's nothing "basic" about me, but I'm really pretty average, and that isn't a bad thing.

  • I have worked as an office assistant, dishwasher, sandwich artist twice, server, hostess, floor manager, cashier, and housekeeper.

  • When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be a writer, but as an adult I didn't want to go through the "obligations" of writing my novels by a certain deadline.

  • I used to collect rocks, and I had written a note saying that "When I am 21, I will decide what to do with these." Well...I'm 21...and I threw them out a few years ago :-/ I failed my 8 year old self!

  • I played Basketball, Volleyball and Softball until 8th grade when my Catholic school's rich kid favortism got the best of me and I quit.

  • I was a girl scout until my classmate's mom became the leader and did the rich kid favortism thing and my mom pulled me out right before the Canada trip and I was devestated.

  • I met my husband through a mutual friend and we played Guitar Hero for 3 hours. I knew him as Muskratt for about a month before I thought to ask his name and he thought to ask mine. We played "cat and mouse" back and forth for 3 months before officially dating. We married two years later on our dating anniversary (February 19)

  • I have a lot of anxiety and I would love nothing more than to scream my heart out on top of a Mountain and relieve all the pressure on my chest.

  • I will play sports any day, but absolutely cannot stand watching them on TV.

  • I make fun of shows like Teen Mom, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Secret Life of the American Teenager....but I watch them ALL!

  • I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get my body back to how it was (or remotely) before Nevaeh's sweet self came along and destroyed it.
  • Adjusting

    There are so many things on my mind tonight! We had a great Fourth of July. We went to Heritage Trails in Hilliard, it's a 7 mile bike/horse trail with a small water park somewhere in there. It was beautiful! I had gotten a bike trailer for the kids so we hooked that up and went for a bike ride. What better day to appreciate Nature's Beauty than Independence Day?? After that we went for a cookout with our new friends. Chris met Cris (haha) at work and I made friends with his girlfriend Kim. She just had a baby girl, soooo adorable! Full head of hair! She was a month old so Nevaeh was fascinated with her (and was surprisingly gentle!) and Landon played with Kim's 2 1/2 yr old and almost 4 yr old daughters. It was so nice to be surrounded by fun, sweet people! Hopefully Kim and I can start making play dates and girls days once Hannah is a bit older. I'm really in need of some friends here in Columbus!

    The 4th being so recent has also made me contemplate our Country. Casey Anthony was just announced Not Guilty in the murder of her daughter, and at first I was completely furious at the system for allowing this woman to get away with it. Whether Caylee drowned or was murdered, that doesn't even matter to me. what matters is that a woman who cares about no one but herself, who did not report her daughter "missing" for over a month, got a tattoo saying Beautiful Life, among other things, is now going to walk free and continue on with her life. Undoubtedly there will be a movie deal, book deal, countless interviews and magazines. She'll be financially set for life. It infuriated me that the System would let someone like that go. But then I dug a little deeper and first let go of my anger, because no matter what happened, Casey will answer to God one day. It is not my responsibility to worry about punishing her or seeking justice. God will take care of it all. Secondly, the system is not faulty (completely) rather the Prosecution did not prepare itself fully and the Jury was not well educated on how to take the information given to them. One of the jurors said that one of the main reasons they found her not guilty was because they did not want the Death penalty. However, there were also less severe charges (Murder 2) available and had they charged her with that, the Death penalty would not have come into play. The juror had even said if the DP was not on the table, their verdict would have been different. That disgusts me that they were not prepared enough to know that.

    I am also calming down. For some reason I've been feeling anxious and irritable the last couple months (No, I'm not pregnant!) and I was just on edge. My patience was a very short fuse especially when it came to Landon because he is just in a wild stage and really defiant, so holding in my temper and forcing myself to acknowledge that he is only (almost) 3 was difficult! I think the talk I had with Chris is what made me relax. Telling him what I need for myself and telling him that I felt lost in Motherhood and Wiferhood because I was forgetting about myself as an individual. I am Bethany, not just Mommy or Wife. He has made more of a conscious effort to tell me he appreciates all I do, to rub my shoulders at night or just cuddle me in bed so I have his amazing arms wrapped securely around me. I find myself a lot less stressed. Chris is always the one to tell me "Don't worry about it. Everything is good." and he's so right. I freak out if I don't get my super long list done, I worry about the tiniest things. He reminds me to just step back and let it fall into place. Breathe.

    Blogging is cut short tonight. The timer for my meatloaf is going off and Landon has just decided to play with bubbles in the house which means they are dumped all over the carpet, and I'm positive once Nevaeh realizes that she will be over to those bubbles faster than lightening! Have a great night!

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Independence Day

    Oh no, not the Fourth of July, my friends. Today is July 2nd and it is an Independence celebration day for my 10 month old, who has decided that she can now walk with the push walker!

    She never ceases to amaze me <3 We had a cookout with a couple today, Chris works with Cris, and I made friends with his girlfriend Kim, and Nevaeh made friends with their new sweet precious 4 week old baby girl Hannah. Such a little Momma! She was very curious about this teeny little person and amazingly, was very gentle! She pet her foot and while she did sort of poke her eye a little, I could see that she was being cautious and it was simply a motor skill slip that put her thumb in Hannah's eye :-) Made me feel a little better because Nevaeh was into all the tons of baby dolls and let me tell you what....she'd give each baby doll the sweetest biggest hug ever, and then toss them aside like yesterday's underwear! But she knew to put the bottle in the baby doll's mouths, then would "tease them" and put it in her mouth. Silly girl!! She's going to make an amazing big sister someday and a beautiful mother a long-aways-someday.

    Independence Day has also spread to another self-empowering woman.

    I am reclaiming myself. I am bringing back the body I was so confident in, the spirit that shined so brightly. I am finely seeing the light past this funk I have been sitting in for the past year or so. I feel better about myself, I feel better about where I am at in life. Nobody tells you how hard becoming a mother can be. They gush about the rewards and the undeniable, unexplainable love. But they don't tell you that it is so easy to lose yourself, to forget that you are so much more than Mommymommymommymommy. I suppose it wouldn't do any good even if they did tell you. I was so conflicted, because while I held my precious daughter in my arms and thanked God that I was blessed with her beautiful presence, I cried inside and out because I could not remember who I was, I felt myself slipping into a role I knew nothing about, and I was terrified. I felt I had no one to turn to, because I would normally turn to my mom and she would make it all better and explain everything. I had to figure it out on my own. I had so many inviting hands stretched out but I knew if I couldn't lean on my mother, then I had to lean on myself. I had to allow myself to sit in the depression and think the thoughts that I had. Not once were any ill thoughts towards my daughter, so post-partum didn't cross my mind. But then I realized that having post partum depression did not mean you were having ill thoughts on being a mother, or hatred towards your child. Post partum depression can be a plethora of things, including losing yourself and diving headfirst into a world you thought you were prepared for, but in fact you had no clue what you were doing. Wondering when the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and sadness would pass and you would finally be able to just fully enjoy and embrace being the new person that you are. I was totally content with the life I was handed and yet a part of me was rejecting it because everything happened so fast. Mom's death, pregnancy, marriage, baby, two moves, work and school then abruptly no work or school, just sitting at home day in and day out with no one but a very needy infant who couldn't offer any conversation in return except babbles that meant "It's all about me, Mom." It took me until recently to finally work through that, and more recently to admit that first to my husband, then a close friend, and now on here where I want to remember this. I want to explain to my daughter the feelings I had, the journey I traveled, and tell her that she will likely travel the same sort of road. Parenthood is not easy, no matter how much of a breeze it is. Nevaeh is the simplest baby in the world, so happy and bright and straight forward and beautiful. What can happen to any mother has almost nothing to do with the baby him/herself, but with the new emotions and the vast change of direction for your own life. Settling into the new role and realizing what all it meant, and finding a way to keep who you were before present in your life. Holding on to your sense of self.

    I have regained Me. And it is so sweet, and satisfying, and  releasing.

    Happy Independence Day!