Sun kissed skin, so hot...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yay for summer! I'm so excited to introduce Zoey to many of my favorite things... starting with the pool!
(We haven't quite figured out what we'll do about there not being any swim diapers for the skinny baby... but until then we're living on the edge, risking it all in normal diapers!)

And she's off crawling...

I have squinty eyes, bad... something must have been really funny

Haha, I love those two and their faces

"Do you have to give me kisses dad, people will see this?"

so, so what?

Friday, May 25, 2012

I've been exercising like crazy, and trying to eat healthy, but lack of results is making me want a Mt Dew real bad...

At church, I was talking to a friend about babies and such and we started reminiscing about the horrors of pregnancy, which lead me to look over the ol' blog at pregnancy posts... bahaha I was seriously huge! (I'm glad I can kind of laugh about it... while grimacing and perhaps holding back a few tears)

Anyhow, now 6 months postpartum, I'm happy to report I can pull my favorite jeans up! (Can't button them, and nevermind that I wore them til I was 6 months preggo...)

So to those friends who took a whooping 3 weeks to fit back into your jeans after delivering (yeah, you did post it on fb)--our friendship may have secretly suffered a lot while I searched within myself to not hate you for being beautiful--but, I'm over it and we can be real friends again because I TOO can wear non-elasticized pants!

I also thought I should admit on the blog, I gave up on the no sugar, but it was a great kick start to losing a little more weight, and I'm now eating the insanity meal plans... but I decided I didn't like being weird at social events because I wasn't eating sugar, so now I make exceptions and control my addiction!

Only 9 lbs to go and maybe those pants will zip!

I'm thinking perhaps I should become a star and go on dancing with the stars (although I've never seen that show), I keep hearing how fit people get dancing 8 hours a day.

I suppose you'd get fit doing anything 8 hours a day... yeah, and I'd rather swim or bike--if someone wants to lend me a bike with a kid seat on the back!

Ok, ok, ok enough rambling.

In your wedding dress

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I need feedback.

One of my best friends is getting married, and Cary and I would LOVE to go.

The issue is the cost. The trip will cost us about a month's wages (yeah, we're poooor).
Oh and Cary doesn't really get vacation time, so we'd only be able to take 3 maybe 4 days off, 2 of which would be spent flying across the country
(if we could spend a week or 10 days we might just figure it'd be our last trip... ever)

I'm torn between wanting to be there for my friend and this being a once in a lifetime event vs. the financial strain and responsible side saying just send a nice gift.

What do you think? How much is too much to go to a wedding? If you were the one getting married, how upset would you be (or if you're already married, were you upset when friends couldn't make it)? Is this something that will put a rift in a friendship?

(And obviously I don't make all my decisions based on other's opinions, but I was thinking maybe someone has insight in a been there done that sort of way... ya know, i'll borrow some of that 20-20 hindsight right now)

Food glorious food, we're anxious to try it

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Zoey 6 mo appointment Stats:

14 lb 4 oz (13th percentile for age)
26.5 in (75th percentile for age)
eating like a champ despite her small size
I'm her favorite--which is absolutely the best feeling in the world!
One tough cookie--no uncontrollable sobbing during her shots, just alligator tears filled the eyes and the saddest look of betrayal... i think that's probably worse actually

So I was pondering...

since I have a "petite" (it sounds better than skinny when refering to babies) child

about all the children in this world who go hungry.

It breaks my heart to think of all the children in other countries, but especially our country who go hungry. I can't think of one single reason why a child in America should ever be hungry.

Then I got to thinking about how we pay farmers not to farm land, so that the crops stay at a higher price and the farmers can make money....

Which got me thinking, why don't we have them farm and then all that surplus goes to our welfare programs. Instead of the government shelling out money for people not to farm, as well as shelling out money for people in need to go buy doritos and crap from the grocery store, why don't we set up government "grocery stores" that are fresh, healthy foods, for people in need. They could sell meats, vegetables and fruits, breads, rice, all the basic foods for a healthy diet.

In my head, this would cut spending as well as take better care of those individuals in our country who are at risk of malnutrition.

Why don't they do that? No, seriously, please comment and tell me why don't they do that?

Mama always young and beautiful

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday was my first mother's day (although, I sort of counted being pregnant and home to a kicking baby as my first... but we won't get into that).

I am overwhelmed with all the feelings I want to share about mother's, but I feel that I lack the eloquence to express my feelings, so let me just say I am so grateful to be a mother to Zoey. I have learned more in the last 6 months about love, sacrifice, and who I want to be than in my previous 25 years. I believe the gift of children is more for the teaching and educating of the parents than the children. I am so grateful for the deeper understanding of my savior's love for all his children as I begin to comprehend the magnitude of love I have for this tiny girl.

I also want to express my deepest gratitude for my own mother. I have only begun to glimpse what my mother gave up for me, and my benefit and learning to be where I am today. The sacrifice that started with her body and followed with time, love and support, care and concern, her desires in exchange for mine. I marvel at what our mother's give to us, and marvel even more that my mom continued to sacrifice so that I (a 4th child) could be born into my family.

I am also grateful for my wonderful grandmother's, and cary's mother, whose influence on me and those people most important in my life has undoubtedly made me a better person.

And, to all the sisters, sister-in-laws, aunts, cousins and friends who make such a profound impact on Zoey and me, thank you.

Also, if you have one more moment to reflect on motherhood (I know the big day was yesterday, but...) Elder Holland gives praise much better than I ever will.

Happy Mother's Day.

Hey I just met you, and this is crazy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My baby is 6 mo old!

Truthfully, that feels about right. 1/2 a year is a long time, and not very much time at all. I'm not sure I'll ever be one of those mom's that thinks my babies life is flying by and I'm not ready for it. I love her more every day, and she gets more and more fun every day. I'm excited for all the adventures the future holds for us.

For her 1/2 birthday we took her to a local farm ice cream shop that was rated top 10 in the country by Food and Wine Magazine, Maple View Farm Country Store in Hillsborough NC

Feeding herself, so mom could get dressed

Cary dressed her... then decided she looked like a boy, so that outfit didn't last

Enjoying the storefront rocking chairs and the 70 degree weather... perfect!

1/2 birthdays are so great!

Wait, you're eating and I'm not?

Ice cream? Without me? (Sorry, babe, we're horrible huh? 6 more months... we'll go back!)

Kisses for dad... hopefully he won't have to always force those ;)

Rare family photo

Tuckered out after swinging at the park

Chocolate pudding! Just kidding... prunes, but they look like chocolate pudding, sort of... Happy Birthday baby girl!

A few 6 month updates:

She eats 3 meals a day now. She eats everything! And still always seems hungry.

She's not a picky eater, but she definitely makes it known when she doesn't like what she's eating--the yuck face is priceless, and then she just opens up for more, silly girl.

She doesn't sit yet... but we're getting close.

She doesn't officially "crawl", it's more like a bunch of rolls and army crawling to get across the room, so for the moment I like that she can get all her toys, but she's not going anywhere very fast.

She sleeps from 8 pm to 6:30 am. It's glorious!

Bathtime is her favorite time of the day.

She loves taking lunch to her dad, and hobnobbing around UNC campus (we're starting the indoctrination young)

I keep thinking things will never change

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Words of wisdom I wanted to keep and share:

Class of 2012,

I became sick of commencement speeches at about your age. My first job out of college was writing speeches for the governor of Maine. Every spring, I would offer extraordinary tidbits of wisdom to 22-year-olds—which was quite a feat given that I was 23 at the time. In the decades since, I've spent most of my career teaching economics and public policy. In particular, I've studied happiness and well-being, about which we now know a great deal. And I've found that the saccharine and over-optimistic words of the typical commencement address hold few of the lessons young people really need to hear about what lies ahead. Here, then, is what I wish someone had told the Class of 1988:

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings. Look around today. Certainly one benchmark of your postgraduation success should be how many of these people are still your close friends in 10 or 20 years.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. I'll spare you my personal details, other than to say that one year after college graduation I had no job, less than $500 in assets, and I was living with an elderly retired couple. The only difference between when I graduated and today is that now no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. I know that I'm supposed to tell you to aspire to great things. But I'm going to lower the bar here: Just don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up. Too many smart people are doing that already. And if you really want to cause social mayhem, it helps to have an Ivy League degree. You are smart and motivated and creative. Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. They are right, but remember that "changing the world" also can include things like skirting financial regulations and selling unhealthy foods to increasingly obese children. I am not asking you to cure cancer. I am just asking you not to spread it.

4. Marry someone smarter than you are. When I was getting a Ph.D., my wife Leah had a steady income. When she wanted to start a software company, I had a job with health benefits. (To clarify, having a "spouse with benefits" is different from having a "friend with benefits.") You will do better in life if you have a second economic oar in the water. I also want to alert you to the fact that commencement is like shooting smart fish in a barrel. The Phi Beta Kappa members will have pink-and-blue ribbons on their gowns. The summa cum laude graduates have their names printed in the program. Seize the opportunity!

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. Yet the message we are sending from birth is that if you don't make the traveling soccer team or get into the "right" school, then you will somehow finish life with fewer points than everyone else. That's not right. You'll never read the following obituary: "Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place."

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Great quote, but I am willing to bet that Teddy's mother wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer.

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it's also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship. That's just not how we usually think of it.

9. It's all borrowed time. You shouldn't take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. I offer you the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.

Good luck and congratulations.

-- Adapted from "10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said," by Charles Wheelan. To be published May 7 by W.W. Norton & Co.