Just a man and his will to survive

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Parenting is like psychological warfare

meets advanced torture techniques.

where the enemy employs all the best tactics.

think about it...

those big cute eyes

then BAM loud shrieking noises for no reason for hours on end

a cuddly hug with chubby little fingers wrapped around yours

and BAM bodily fluids coming out of all potential openings all over you

"mom, i want to go to the store with you!"

next thing you know "WAAAAAAAAA, NOOOOOO, GO HOMEEEEEEE" (lying on the disgusting floor)

oh and the sleep deprivation... (just notice when most of my blog posts occur)

Yes, parenting can be wonderful, and your kids are cute and you love them more than anything you've ever loved before--but, if you honestly try to tell me you've never thought the CIA directors developed all their means of extracting info from their harrowing experiences as parents...

well, I won't believe you.

(If you can't tell... today was a parenting fail all around. I lost the battle.
But I'm determined to win the war!
Perhaps I should watch some more Cosby Show and get some expert tactics)

Does whatever a spider can

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I have arachnophobia.

I don't just dislike spiders like normal people do. I'm not just afraid of spiders. It's extreme and irrational.

Despite knowing this, it only enables me to laugh while simultaneously veering on the edge of heart attack.

I have previously posted about spiders here and here.

Now this particular story I'm about to share was foreshadowed by my sister texting me last week telling me about a spider incident in the car and knowing that of anyone, I would be able to appreciate that it scared her. I assured her I most definitely knew how she felt and would have reacted worse.

And thus sets the stage for yesterday's "adventures"

I am participating in a study with Tucker, so I'm heading to my appointment at 1 pm and of course am running a few minutes late (I dare you to get anywhere on time with a newborn... and then please call me and clue me in on how to do this).

I'm about halfway there driving on a two lane back road when a spider crawls on the inside of my windshield right in front of my line of vision. It's about as big as a quarter (Cary says I can't be trusted on size, so read: size of a nickel) and immediately my heart starts racing as the panic attack sets in and my brain is screaming "you're trapped! you're trapped with it about 6 inches aways from you!!! (I'm short ok--I'm pretty close to the windshield).

I veer off the road and precede to jump out of the car. My heart is pounding and I give myself a minute to come up with an attack plan (you'd think it was an episode of the walking dead the way I have to prepare myself for attack). As I look back in the car, shoe poised and ready for the smush, I can't find it.

Now the real panic sets in. My skin is crawling and I'm terrified to get back in the car with that thing lerking anywhere with the advantage of a surprise attack. I call Cary and proceed to cry as I explain my dilemma (now 10 minutes late to my appointment) that I can't get back in the car, but I have to get to my appointment. Oh and this is all just on the side of the road and Tucker is screaming his head off in the carseat--yes, I left my child in the car with the spider while I had a panic attack. Go ahead pile on the mommy guilt. I'm already painfully aware I might not be able to save my own child if a spider were to attack. (Oh and nevermind that no one stopped to ask if everything was ok... better to keep driving past the hysterical girl crying with her vehicle haphazardly pulled off the road, door ajar, and baby in the back.)

Anyhow, Cary finally talks a shred of reason into my brain, that I must get in the car and get to my appointment, so fearfully I get in and continue driving while Cary talks me through the rest of the drive and my eyes nervously dart from corner to corner with the utmost paranoia. (Poor guy probably answered the phone and immediately thought I'd been in an accident, he assured me it only took a few seconds to guess it was just a spider).

I make it to the appointment and jump out of that car and grab Tucker as fast as humanly possible.

Fast forward to the end of the appointment. I now have to drive home.

Well, I know the spider is still in the car so I'm in a bit of a bind. As my heart rate slowly starts to creep up, I pull my boots up by the straps and cautiously enter the car with a nervous sweep of the eyes and attempt to convince myself the spider obviously died during the appointment in the "hot" car (It only got up to 68 degrees yesterday).

About 2 minutes into the drive, Tucker is already screaming (not a fan of the car that one) I decide it would be safest to swing by Cary's building and have him check the car for me.

Well, Cary checks the car and no spider.

I thank him and skeptically get back in the car and start to drive home--Tucker is of course very hungry and very mad at this point.

We barely make it to the edge of campus when the sun shining in my eyes, I pull down the visor and to my horror the spider crawls out of his hiding spot right in front of me. BAHHHH. I veer off the road onto a side street and jump out of the vehicle (yeah, it's still running, middle of the road, blocking a driveway, baby screaming inside) pull out my phone and through tears tell cary he missed the spider!

Well this post is now WAYYYYY too long, so all you need to know is I couldn't get back in that car except to pull Tucker out, and after exclaiming I would have to walk home (still 6 miles), Cary talked the slightest bit of sense into me. The car stayed in the middle of the street until Cary could come save me (20 minutes later) and I waited and rocked my baby to sleep on the side of the street. (Again, despite lots of people passing by on foot, bike and car no one stopped to ask what the heck I was doing... ahh fellow southerners, you disappointed me last night).

Of course, my dilemma is the spider is still in the car. I know it and he knows it.

So, logically, I won't be driving anywhere anytime soon.

Feel free to visit me and the kiddos at the apartment... I'm sure we'll get bored without transportation. Or if you're interested in trading vehicles hit me up, I'm willing to drive anything spider free :)

When the days are cold and the cards all fold

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For those friends not from North Carolina... our state fair is legendary.

It's seriously awesome.

I haven't been anywhere else that has a state fair quite as great.

If you'd like to fly out next October, I'd be happy to take you and show it off.

That being said... taking the littles makes enjoying the fair a little more challenging.

But we had a good time.
We met up with Grandma and Grandpa much to Zoey's excitement... she didn't want anything to do with us the rest of the fair.

The Giant Adirondack chair

And as always the fried foods are a guilty pleasure we look forward to all year... the highlight this year... deep fried samoa girl scout cookies, mmm warm coconut caramel chocolate gooey-ness. Yum.

(Tucker was there. He got 4 vaccinations that morning though, and slept through most of the fair.)

We'll never be royals

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tucker is 2 months old!

We made it! 
Well almost, I really don't consider newborn phase over until the 3 month mark.

We sure love this little guy. He's still my perfect baby. He sleeps great as far as newborns go! He really only cries when he's hungry (which is often... but at least I know exactly what's the problem). He does eat ALL the time. This is frustrating for Zoey, but we're falling into a rhythm.
She LOVES helping with Tucker and gets very upset with me if I don't pick him up the minute he starts fussing. 

Tidbits about Tucker:
-weighs 11 lb 6 oz (30% and 30% for height)
-outgrown most of his newborn clothes, but still kind of drowning in the 0-3 months
-size 1 diapers around 6 weeks! (it felt like it took zoey forever to outgrow nb diapers)
-he can stand on his legs while I hold his hands for a long time
-he's great at holding his head up
-HATES tummy time
-likes the moby wrap
-still very stoic... if you get a smile out of him, consider yourself lucky
-easy going and chill 95% of the time, the other 5% well... 
watch out, he's got a fierce "tippets temper"

We're gonna have a good time

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cary turned the big 2-8!

We started the day with Daily Donuts (they're delicious... mmm) and presents!

I think Cary's favorite was the lottery scratch off's I got him.
(He LOVES playing the lottery,
but obviously we realize gambling is wrong and a waste of money we don't have...
so he only gets to buy a ticket if the jackpot gets over $300 million....
and his birthday!)

He won $12!

We were both pretty stoked! The lottery is a lot more fun when you win.

We didn't really get any other time with Cary between work and young men's that night, but I made him some delicious black and white cupcakes to share with the boys.

I think turning 28 wasn't too bad.

May be simpler than it seems

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ok, I'm not a sponsored blog.

And I'm not a fashion blogger (I cringe anytime someone gets me in a photo).

And I definitely wouldn't normally talk about undergarments on a public forum...


Have you heard of trueandco.com?

Day No. 25 Pushup

It's a bra shopping experience that isn't painful! Crazy talk you say? No, seriously, not painful.

You find your fit through a quick questionnaire, then they provide all the possible options based on your questionnaire, you pick 3, their experts pick 2 and they're shipped free to your door! Keep the one's you like and send back the one's you don't.

Seriously, no creepy sales people asking to fit you, or other invasions of personal space.

Love it.

(And they just sent me a promo code for $25 off $100, promo: PPTRKA... enjoy.)

I'm sexy and I know it

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cary and I are starting a 10 week fitness challenge!

It'll end (healthy living never really ends--but the "final" weigh in) on Christmas, so we're calling it...

Santa's Bringing Sexy Back 

The dets:
(details... i'm poking fun at my younger cooler sisters who abbreviate everything)

Cary and I are trying to lose the extra baby weight. 
My goal is to lose 10 lbs and his is to lose 15 lbs. 

We will have our weekly weigh in on Saturday mornings. 
We are going to cut back on the crap we eat,
 but since I'm nursing this is more about exercising. 
Our goal is to exercise 6 days a week.

With a newborn and extreme sleep deprivation this can be challenging, but even if it's 5 minutes of push ups and sit ups, I'm determined to do something each and every day!

We did take before shots... but I'll spare you. 

Please feel inclined to check up on us and keep us accountable! 
(Especially with the holiday eating coming up)

And even better, 
if you feel inclined to join in the fun I always love friendly support. It doesn't have to be about losing weight, 
you can set any fitness/health goal.
 It's about not waiting til New Years to feel better and make the changes you know you should.

I sure would like some sweet company

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I'm gonna say what no mom who blogs ever says...

Some days the kiddos drive me absolutely crazy! 

Some days are filled with no sleeping newborn and a toddler who screams and cries and tests every boundary and word you say. Those days are tough and it can be easy to lose sight of the gift it is to be these kiddos mom. 

Our week started off a bit in that manner, the last two days however, my kids are perfect. My boy smiled and smiled some more at me, and boy does he have the best smile in the world. He's also started to get his baby chub and look a little less like an old man!

And my zo, just keeps making me laugh. Oh I don't know what I'd do without her! She sure makes the tough newborn days a lot easier to get through. 

My favorite moments this week include:
Everytime she pulls out a "mom" book (i.e. a book with just words and no pictures) she thinks it's a hymn book and starts singing "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam." (maybe I should read more often so she knows there's other books without pictures)

Her favorite activity this week is calling people. She gets especially excited when they don't pick up and she gets to leave a voicemail. 

She named her stuffed pig Penguin. It's really confusing people, but it is a funny looking pig that is a similar shape to a penguin, so it kinda makes sense. 


I got the eye of a tiger, fighter

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

(Reading the DVD cases since I said she couldn't watch the shows)

Lessons from a week unplugged:

1. Zoey is happier. I really thought it would be hard for her to give up watching her shows, but she only asked once all week to watch something. She woke up happier and generally behaved better throughout the day, I think because she loves having our undivided attention. (I started to realize I acted the same, and was pretty excited to get Cary's undivided attention in the evenings--like mother like daughter.)

2. It was brutal for me. Though I was pleasantly surprised at the better behavior from Zoey, that didn't make it any easier to get cleaning, cooking, or even just showering done. 

3. The art of bribery is alive and well. The least painful way to get some things done around here is to let Zoey watch some tv in exchange for what I need/want (i.e. When needing to comb her hair, getting her to sit is possible if you offer tv time. Last week just turned into me offering treats instead of tv. So ya know, rot her brain or encourage poor eating habits... I'm not sure how much I improved.)

4. A 1 year old is pretty capable of entertaining themselves. Zoey did really well with reading her books and doing puzzles when I had to feed Tucker.

5. A 1 year old isn't very capable of entertaining themselves. Her attention can only be held by puzzles/books/her toys for so much time each day which created a lot of pressure to go and do something to occupy our morning hours. Although I often try to plan a fun activity for Zoey each day, knowing I had to was challenging some days when balancing Tucker's needs and my sleep deprivation. 

6. Tv time makes getting ready possible. Showering or even just combing my hair and applying a touch of make up was ridiculously hard without something to hold Zoey's attention. Packing a lunch/supplies, unloading groceries, and cooking were also difficult and almost broke my conviction to limit screen time just about every day.

7. I felt really uninformed. I like knowing when hurricanes are forming and heading my way, or the government is in shutdown and our good for nothing representatives are not making any progress in getting it back up and running. These things are hard to know when you don't use tv, phones, or computers.

The take away: Generally, we're better off without the screen time and plan to keep it limited. However, there are certain circumstances in which it is a lifesaver and I fully plan to embrace it because, hey, I was born in the 20th century for a reason, right? 

We're hiding behind skin that's too tough

Monday, October 7, 2013

Recently, I was out in public with both kids and I went into a public restroom to change Tucker's diaper (props to me for actually finding the restroom... at this age it'd be so much easier to just change his diaper on the floor and move on, but people tend to frown on that).

Tucker was crying as I changed his diaper because he'd just woken up and was hungry. A lady comes up to me as I finish changing his diaper and says "I can see that you're a new mom, but you know- babies cry for a reason, and you need to figure out what that reason is."

Ummm. Really. 

Babies cry for a reason?

Mind blown. 

I laughed. Especially when he moved on to the more annoying- parents of grown children who criticize parents (see above scenario). 

But then I also realized I'm guilty as charged. I see other parents with children who throw things at them, or have a yelling match, or are generally acting like horrible brats and judge the parents. I take these opportunities to observe behaviors, parent and child, around me and make mental notes of things I do and don't like, and things I plan to do or not do. And though this is probably just part of figuring out parenting in an attempt to avoid trying every parenting technique... we (I) can be a little kinder. 

How often have I wished someone would help me rather than stare? Or lost my cool after a particularly challenging day? Or been mortified at my child's behavior in public? 

Here's to trying a little harder to be a little better...

When I'm wiser and I'm older

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When I get to the pearly gates, my first question:

Why will my babies sleep in my arms while I'm standing perfectly still, but as soon as I sit down they wake up??? Seriously, they're in the same position, is there some slight change in the force of gravity on their tiny bodies or what?

Followed by:

Why can babies laugh in their sleep long before they can laugh while awake? Is their slumber that much more amusing? Are they also already having complete conversations in their sleep? I think we need to tap into newborns dreams.

And I'll tell you baby it was easy

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tucker is 1 month old... 
and some change 
(still learning this new balancing act...)

stats on Tucker:

-He weighed 9 lb 9 oz at his one month appt. which put him in the 40 percent, can't remember his length but it's the 20 percent. So he's chubbing up a little :) and shorter than zoey was but I'm hoping part of that is from coming early (and bless you for that child).

-Gave up his first smile today! It's the biggest smile I've ever seen on a baby and completely worth the wait! I'll catch it on camera soon.

-Still master of the skeptical grump face.

-Great sleeper! He probably sleeps about 18 hours a day! He has even started giving me a chunk at night about 10:30 pm to 4 am, which is very generous of a one month old... and not to sound ungrateful, but he then wants to be up til 6 am and then zoey is up at 7 am, and well, the 4 am wake up is just kinda brutal.

-Not really much else to say. He doesn't track me yet, and is definitely not as busy as Zoey was at this age, which had Cary and me a little worried about his hearing/eyesight. But, after some unscientific tests we've concluded he's just a chill baby and doesn't really care when we're all making loud noise.

-Oh and I'm still his favorite. There's nothing quite like cuddling with a little baby, and I try to focus on how much I love it instead of what I could get done if he'd sit with his dad.

Basically, he's still my perfect baby. So easy, so easy going... we're all pretty smitten with this little man!

So wake me up when it's all over

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I have a confession.

I let television co-parent.

I attempt to make myself feel better with whisperings of "you don't let her play on a computer, ipad or phone," "it's pbs-it's educational," "she's expanding her language skills watching," "maybe sesame street can teach her the alphabet faster than I can"

I wasn't always this parent.

There was a time we never turned on the tv. On the occassion I did attempt to get something done by letting Zoey watch tv, it bought me a meager 2 or 3 minutes. Then we discovered this super obnoxious baby music video, and suddenly I had my 20 minute window to shower, get dressed and perhaps clean up the kitchen.

And then she discovered Tangled.
 Ahhh, something enjoyable for me as well 
(I think this fueled my problem). 

Tangled became somewhat of a lifesaver during the particularly sick days of pregnancy and those long rainy days that never seemed to end in June/beg of July. 
(Do you remember those? Yeah the summer ended fabulously--but the beginning of summer was rainy and dreary and hardly screamed "let's go to the park"!)

Fast forward... Tucker was born and I'm at a complete loss.
 How am I supposed to take care of a newborn (newborns are supppperrr needy) and my rambunctious 1 year old, who left unattended (meaning parental figure is predisposed) turns the furniture into a jungle gym, colors on walls, and other mischievousness?

We started watching shows pretty much every morning to wake up and every feeding, and some nights just for fun. 

That is a lot of tv. For anyone. But especially for a 1 year old. 

(I know, I know. Huffington Post. But it was a provocative read)

So we have embarked on a screen free week. 

I'm allowed "essential phone time" (gps, messaging, calendar) and screen time during Tucker feedings in the middle of the night--because otherwise I get really angry that I'm up for hours when I'm exhausted/it's really boring to just sit for an hour in the middle of the night awake.

And now this post is just too long... 
check back to see what I'm learning.

do this and joy...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In the church talk I mentioned in the last post, the sister missionary talked about asking for blessings and then living our lives so that Heavenly Father can give us those blessings. She also shared this thought that stuck with me:
 "Roots before Fruits"

One example of this concept she shared described a family where the parents were raised in the gospel and praised their childhood because of the great values that were instilled in them. They enjoyed church and got along well with their siblings because of the lessons they learned there. And although they said they wanted the same values and lessons for their children they chose not to actively live the gospel or take their children to church anymore.

She said this was ridiculous. 
You can't expect the fruits of the gospel if you don't have the roots of the gospel. 

Although, I suppose this should be obvious and is essentially why you hear the ABC's or sunday school answers of the gospel so often... it stuck out to me.

So as a reminder to myself to be better and to live this gospel I know to be true, 
"Roots before Fruits"