Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nine Months In, Nine Months Out

Today my baby was supposed to have her nine month appointment. I say "supposed to" because my son got hit in the mouth with a swing at school, which nearly knocked his front tooth out. This called for an emergency dental appointment, which called for me changing Alice's appointment until next week. Oh well. No sweat on that. When you have three kids, you get used to the rescheduling.

At any rate, though, Alice and I are both at our nine month mark. I had a lot I wanted to accomplish by this point, and I think I've done pretty well. For one thing, I'm still breastfeeding. I didn't really give myself a choice on that one--I was going to do it come hell or high water--but it still amazes me that I've been able to keep at it. Let me tell you, breastfeeding + working at a high school does not equal anything good. Kids are unpredictable, and so are their schedules. And thus so is my job. Finding time to pump and a place to pump and all of that is frustrating, and sometimes impossible. But I'm still at it. Alice is eating solids now (we are doing Baby Led Weaning to some degree--I have given her a bit of spoon fed foods like yogurt so she could get different textures and I think she likes that), so her milk consumption while I am at work has dropped quite a bit. However, she still consumes her normal feedings in the evenings and at night. Thus, we still have our time together. It is so nice to come home and take her in the bedroom after a long day at work and both of us to get comfy under a blanket and just have that time. I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. And at six weeks, I never thought I would be typing those words.

I have also done AP to some degree, and have been happy with the results. Alice is calm, sleeps well and seems to be developing quickly (if not a bit quicker than my other two). My grandmother and mom do make comments about how much she is held or carried, but to me, the proof is in the pudding. Everyone says that she is the best baby they have ever seen, and yes, I know people just say that, but she really is pretty awesome. She is the perfect baby for our family because as long as I am paying attention to her needs and giving her myself as best I can, she can go and do whatever. For instance, she has attended every softball and t-ball game with me this season (we even have matching shirts--my shirts say "Sam's Mom" and "Gabby's Mom" and hers say "Sam's Sis" and "Gabby's Sis"), and has been perfectly pleased to sit on my lap and cheer. Developmentally, (and this may not be related at all to the AP) she has learned to crawl faster than my other two, and just has an awareness that is, I think, different from what I have observed previously. In short, she is swell.

As for myself, I have met my original weight goal that I made for myself way back when Alice was just a twinkle in my eye. I started as a size 14, and got down to a 12 before I got pregnant (although that first 30 pounds was definitely the hardest!). Then, post pregnancy, I have gone from a 12 to a 4/6. I am pleased with this--I wanted to be a size 6. The only thing that is odd is how I see myself. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window or something and I think, "Where is the rest of me? Is that really me?" and I am pleased. Other times, I think, "This is what I thought I looked like when I was a 12. Am I still a 12? Is it all just vanity sizing?" It is strange. I would really like to lose about 5-10 more pounds and tone up a bit. I have started running, and I really love it. Mostly because I go either with a group of girls in my town or with my Ipod. I need to restart on my abs and upper arms because I have exercises that I like for both, but I keep putting it off. There are not enough hours in the day.

As far as life issues go, things are going well there as well. I am considering going back to law school next semester. However, there are a few things that concern me about the school system where we live, so I am worried about getting myself further into the program before we decide what we do. I've got a couple of months to mull it over, so I will take advantage. If I take another year before going back, I want to get a different job. Nothing against this one--I would just like a change in pace. My position right now is paid for by a grant, so technically it is up next year anyway, although they would like to keep me around and have promised me another position if I am interested. I am currently deciding if I am or not.

And our family is complete. That is a nice feeling, ladies and gentlemen. There is just something about it. I don't know how to describe it. I feel like we have the perfect little team--a Party of Five if you will. Only without Neve Campbell. I never liked her anyway.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Random Things to Type While Everyone is Still Asleep

Yesterday, my husband and my two older children went to my brother in law's college graduation. It was about 4 hours away. This means that Matt drove 8 hours yesterday (the kids stayed up there with my mother and father in law and are returning today--they were too tired to make the trip last night). For some reason, Matt and I were both keyed up last night, and managed to stay awake until 2:00 am, just talking and laughing on the couch. Despite this, I woke up early. Matt and Alice (who hung out with me yesterday and went shopping and out to eat with my mom last night) are still asleep. I am typing this in order to keep myself from ordering stuff from the J Crew website.

Last night, my mom and I went shopping. My mom lives in Memphis, which a good 8-9 hour drive from where I live, so we don't see each other super often. The scary thing about my mom and I is that we are both incredibly Type A personalities, and we both like to be moving at all times. We bring this out in each other to an even higher degree. Put us together, and we are probably the most annoying people on the planet. We decided last night to drive the hour to the mall just to go to American Eagle. Why? Well, because our malls around here a c-r-a-p-p-y, and AE is about the best you can do. Also because that is one of three places that my mom can find clothes, which is pretty hilarious. My mom is a 55 year old woman. However, she is also a half marathoner and she wears a size 0, sometimes a 00. This, I have discovered, is a curse. For some reason, American Eagle stuff just fits her better than most, and luckily, she is a college professor who teaches a bunch of her classes online, and can get away with having little to no professional clothing. At any rate, we put Alice in the Maclaren and went to it.

The fun thing about shopping at American Eagle is the hilarious people you see in there. I saw a couple who were probably in their early to mid 30's. They were shopping with two daughters, probably 6-8 in age. The daughters were wearing matching halter dresses. The mom had bleached blonde hair, a ring of lipliner around her mouth and booty shorts. Very Warrant video girl (SWEET CHERRY PIE!). The dad was a bit pudgy and wearing a huge pair of madras print shorts with a bright yellow t-shirt and Timberland boots. With thick white socks. Hawt. They had a display of American Eagle brand cologne and he was spraying a bit from seemingly every bottle and then sniffing the air. And by "sniffing," I mean "snorting." Like a pig. It was entertaining to watch--in fact, I spent a great deal of time looking through the graphic tees (I haven't worn a graphic tee since I was in college) just to watch him.

Anyway, mom and I were gathering up some stuff to try on, and voila, I see a kid that attends the school where I teach. She is a sweet girl with nice parents and is just absolutley terrible at algebra. She sees me too, and kind of smiles. It is at this point that I feel incredibly old. Like picture Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies. That's what I felt like. I was holding Alice (who had picked that moment to gnaw on the bottom of her Hanna Andersson dress) and also a pair of cropped destroyed jeans. Classy. The kid comes over and talks to me and we have this sort of awkward conversation. I look down and she is holding the same pants. Nice. I decide to disappear into the dressing room with my 55 year old mother.

And here's the kicker--those pants fit me like a dream. I kinda love them. In fact, I bought them. They are sitting in a bag over here with a camisole and a v-neck t-shirt that I got for $10. So here's the I wear them to school? What if that kid bought the same ones? Things are pretty casual at the high school now as we near the end of the year, and all teachers have been wearing jeans all the time--not just on Friday. I would love to wear my new pants, and actually, it is kind of a have to thing since I currently own very few pants that fit correctly and I got ice cream on my white Old Navy Weekend jeans so they are at my grandmom's house where she is trying to get the stain out for me. Hmmm. This is a toughie. I have a feeling that I will probably wear them anyway, but if she has them on on the same day, I will quit my job and move to New Zealand to become a sheep farmer. I am just barely exaggerating.

I also bought a black dress at Target that is way cute, and a pair of khaki shorts, a tank top and a new cardigan. Can I just say that Target's Merona Collection has gotten exceedingly better over the last year? I think they are trying to copy J. Crew and it is awesome. Yes, there are definitely a few fails over there, but for cheap stuff, you really can't go wrong if you look and try on. Their t-shirts actually fit my mom and me, which is a minor miracle since I have huge boobs and she has no boobs. We are still trying to figure out how. And those suckers are $6! $6! That is the price of a Real Simple magazine and a coffee! Throw a cardigan over one of them and put it with jeans and you can look put together in little to no time and with little to no effort!

Which brings me to my next topic...I have developed a uniform. I seem to wear jeans (sometimes rolled to mid calf), a detailed cami/tank, and a cardigan everyday. I have a navy blue Jackie that gets the most play, but I also have a green Gap open front cardigan and a teal cardigan from the Crewlet that I also wear a good deal of the time. I am totally comfortable in this ensemble, and I think it always looks pretty good. I think I am making up for the fact that I have always loved cardigans, but they have not always loved me. Before I lost weight, I swear to God, I looked like my father every time I wore one. And that is not an insult to my dad. But let's just say that is not something I aspire to. My husband thinks I am insane with them because he points out that it is hot and we live in VA. Yeah, well, that means every building you go into is air conditioned to within an inch of its life. Yes, when I anticipate being outside I will wear shorts and a t-shirt. Hell, I have worked so much to lose weight that I am considering only wearing a bathing suit all summer, and probably will if I can lose about 5 more pounds. But the cardigan thing--you seriously can't beat it. I certainly hopes it looks as good as I think it does.

Well, I just heard the siren call of a freshly awake baby. Happy summer!