Feel Good Friday

feel good fridayHere’s my Friday spiel: There’s a lot of crap in the world, so let’s talk about things that made us feel good this week…because it’s Friday – and that’s reason enough.  It’s easy enough to focus on the things that aren’t perfect or on drama, but it’s not worth it.  So here are my feel good friday things….

The NFL is getting things right by suspending players who feel like it’s ok to beat up on women and children.

We had a great trip home to see my family.  Jenson changed a lot since they saw him in July!

I went to my nieces JV volleyball game and found out that her coach is a friend of mine, and her assistant (volunteer) coach is MY old volleyball coach (who is an amazing coach)(though some would disagree).  She was the winning-est coach in high school varsity for years, so obviously she’s good.  It was great to be able to see my niece play.

Went to church with my mom, so she got to show Jenson off to everyone there.  It’s the same church I grew up in, but it’s a lot cooler now.

Another good volleyball game on Tuesday – actually, a double header.  I thought I was sore when I posted on Wednesday…turns out it got worse! (but it feels good)

My good deeds of the week…

I set my sister up on a date – a girl date.  A friend of mine from volleyball moved to Las Vegas and I put her in contact with my sister.  They got together this week and had a good time.

I’m in the process of trying to introduce two other people.  I just kept having a feeling they’d get along.  We’ll see.

 

motherhood

Hobbies and Motherhood

As I mentioned in another post, I started playing indoor volleyball again.  It’s a lot of fun and it’s a super-competitive league.  I feel like I’m doing well enough – my hitting and blocking is coming along and my defense is spot on (served up another short stack of pancakes last night).  Playing a double header made me realize that I really do need to start actually working out again.  Like consistently..not just twice in one week and then not again for another week.  I am SORE today.  Though I’m not sure that workouts could actually prevent that, as there’s no gym workout that can prep your muscles for serving, blocking, hitting, and diving for 2 hours.

 Unfortunately, Jenson isn’t a good sleeper right now – meaning, he’s only happy sleeping when he’s curled up against me like a spider monkey in our bed.  He wasn’t sleeping well since he had a cold, and then when we were at my parent’s house, he always ended up in the bed with me by 1 or 2 a.m. (tried to keep him in the pack-n-play, but it was a no-go).  Sunday night we got home late after an extra-long drive home (thanks to some crazy traffic jam in the middle of nowhere).  We were both tired (I was actually going to bed before 11:30 p.m.), and we didn’t expect him to sleep well, so I just put him in our bed from the start.  I thought maybe I’d move him later in the night, but we all slept pretty hard.  Monday night he went to bed like normal around 8, and we tried to get him settled around 12:30 when he woke crying.  By 1:30 we gave up and to bed with us he came.  He calms and falls asleep as soon as we pick him up, but if we lay him down (not in our bed) he freaks out and immediately sits up and starts crying hard.

I had a double-header on Tuesday, so Lo had to handle bedtime.  We did what we could to make sure he got to nurse before I left, but when Lo put him to bed later, he wasn’t having it.  He tried for 45 minutes and Jenson just wasn’t settling, so I came home after my game and gave it a shot.  I took the advice of our sitter and tried to keep him laying down because once he sits up, he just keeps crying.  After nursing him and him falling asleep in my arms, I laid him on his side/stomach (how he prefers to sleep) and kept one hand on his side and the other rubbing his back.  He woke and cried and tried to roll a bit, but with some “shhhing” and back rubbing, he soon laid his head down and fell asleep.  I started lightening up my touch so he wouldn’t notice a sudden lack of touch, and eventually took my hands off of him and held my breath.  It seemed to work, so I backed out of the room and went to the bar, lol.  Our volleyball team sponsor is a sports bar just down the road and the team went because we were getting our shirts that night, so I wanted to go for a bit because the manager likes to meet us and say hello.  Jenson woke at some point in the night (around 3?), and I just grabbed him and brought him to bed because I was too tired to try to settle him and assumed he’d end up there anyway (baby steps).

Next week I start another league, so I hope we can get him in the habit of going to sleep easily again.  Lo approved me playing in the second league, and I have a sub that I can use sometimes if bedtimes are still rough and conflict with game times, but I wonder if I didn’t take on too much.  While a lot of the games will be after J’s bedtime, it still cuts into my evening hours when I get things done, hang out with Lo, and relax (ie blog, edit pics).  On the other hand, it’s good for me to get out and do something I enjoy.  Someone asked me the other day what I like doing (it was an odd question in an odd situation, but whatever) and I hesitated with how to answer. Normally I would have said things like travel, read, go out to eat, yoga, play volleyball, drink wine with friends, etc.  My answers have changed since I’ve become a mom because those things aren’t as easy to do anymore (without careful consideration), and I knew that hanging out at home with Lo and Jenson can’t really be considered a “hobby”.  I feel like a lot of people go through a stage of redefining hobbies/interests after having a baby.  My only automatic answer (once I discounted saying “being a mom”) was “play volleyball”.  So I guess since volleyball was one of the first –and only -things that popped into my mind (other than motherhood), it’s probably good that I’m taking time for myself to play.  Plus, my volleyball time is somewhat limited.  If we end up having another baby, I’m out for a year during pregnancy and after I have the baby.  And who knows what life will be like after that point…volleyball may not fit into the equation anymore.  If that’s the case, I think I’ll be fine with that.  I’ve had to miss time here and there for my elbow tendon tear and then pregnancy, and I wasn’t dying without it.  The volleyball world in Columbus has been good to me…it’s provided me with about 75% of my friends in Columbus, kept me in shape, has filled my tshirt drawer, and given me TONS of amazing memories.  So for this next session, I’ll focus on the fun and try to not feel guilty for doing something that I love while Lo holds down the fort at home.

(and by the way, even though I was home tonight, Lo handled bedtime and was able to get him to sleep fairly easily)

46 weeks

Photo Favorites : August 18-24 , 2014

Since he started crawling the week before, he was all over the place this week!  It opened a whole new world to him to be able to play with what he wants, when he wants.  He did a little better sleeping this week and we were hopeful that it would stick (it didn’t).  He says mama, dada, and bff, along with his mouth full of consonants and funny noises.

Photo Favorites: August 18-24, 2014

1. Much easier for him to keep up with Braxton now that he can get around!  This ball tower toy is one of his favorites now that he can reach the top and then crawl after the balls once the come out the bottom.
2. Crawling also makes it easier for him to try to sneak out the doggie door.  :)
3. Our sitter sent us this picture of when he woke up from his nap one day.
4. Playing at his music table.
play

5. Hard napping
6. On the way to dinner with friends at Yabo’s
7. Having eggs…
8. One of his other favorite things is taking all the books off of the shelf.  He doesn’t put them back.

eat sleep play

9. Funny faces after waking from a nap with me.
10. Reading…
11. One of his favorite books “The Dog that I Love Best” (about a shelter dog, like Boof)
12. Kissing the dog puppet on the book.  When I read it to him, after each page I say “woof, woof” and he leans in to give the dog a kiss (or bite its face)

reading

13. Gathering up the balls
14. Playing with the tower
15. Climbing on the stool
16. After dinner with friends at Cinco – our food took forever, but he did so well (with the help of some puffs)

babylegs

17. and 18. Oatmeal can be finger food, right?
19. Loving his breakfast
20. He keeps raising his hand like this and it cracks us up – not sure what he’s telling us.

finger food oatmeal

21. Time for cleanup
22. Wiping his own mouth (or chewing on the washcloth)
23. All clean!
24. Happy after breakfast

meal time clean up

25. This darn sticker again
26. Where did it go?
27. Going for the plugs (babyproofed, of course)
28. Trying to distract him so he forgets about the sticker

week 46 bloopers

29. He won’t find it here (he didn’t)
30. Seems to have forgotten
31. Posing with Boofy
32. Our 46 week old sweetie!

week 46

33. They are totally making the same faces
34. And the same poses
35. and 36. Checking out his bear (which was going to wear his sticker if I couldn’t get him to)

boof and bears

feel good friday

Feel Good Friday

Same thing this week…I almost forgot to post!   I know there were a few things that I meant to remember for this, but can’t.

Here’s my spiel: There’s a lot of crap in the world, so let’s talk about things that made us feel good this week…because it’s Friday – and that’s reason enough.  It’s easy enough to focus on the things that aren’t perfect or on drama, but it’s not worth it.  So here are my feel good friday things….

I finally changed the theme on this blog.  It needed updated for SO long and there still a lot that needs done, but it’s a start.

Got to spend some quality time with our friends this weekend.  Kelley and I were so engrossed in conversation that we didn’t realize the Buckeyes had been behind the entire game until the 4th quarter.

NFL season started!  Even though my fantasy team draft looked pretty good, my team did not do well.  They actually sucked.  But I’m not crazy into it anymore, so it doesn’t ruin my day like it would have 7 years ago.  I just love watching football and try to enjoy it whether my players or my teams (OSU and Steelers) suck (and the Steelers did suck last night).

My first indoor volleyball game of the fall was on Tuesday.  Even though I’m terrible at working out anymore, I wasn’t awful.  My hitting isn’t going to impress anyone but I had 4 or 5 pancakes.  For those who don’t know what a pancake is, it’s when you dive and get your hand between the court and the ball.  If it’s “clean” (which means it hit your hand and not the court), it pops right up.  I’ve always been good at this, but have never had more than 2 or 3 in a game (and even that is a lot).  My teammates finally realize that if I dive for it like that, I’m probably going to get the ball up, so they better be ready to play it.

pancake

A friend took my recommendation to get a rock-n-play (or something similar) for their newborn to sleep in (since he wasn’t sleeping well) and it worked and they are all so much happier.  I’m just glad that it worked because those first few weeks are SO hard and you have no idea what you are doing (when it’s your first).  I always tell everyone who is pregnant that they can ask me ANYTHING and I’ll try to offer support.  I learned a lot from others who had babies before me (especially my SIL), so I’m thrilled to pass on info when asked.

My coworker was happy when I wore my new black pants again.  He actually said that he saw from across the street and was super-excited because I hadn’t worn them for awhile (they were languishing in the laundry).  Pants don’t usually look fab on me, so it made me feel good that these apparently work for me.  (again, he is gay, so it’s not weird or inappropriate for him to comment on how good my pants look)

Fall.  I like fall.  Except that it leads to winter.

Jenson’s cold is gone (he was never miserable, but it sucks to seem him uncomfortable in any way)

I “think” I’ve successfully cut out my before-bed pumping.  Part of that is because he’s been waking between 1130-1 and I usually have to nurse him a bit at that point, but I’m going to try to suffer through it even if/when he doesn’t wake so my body will adjust.

Get to see some family this weekend. <3

never forget 9.11

9.11

Remembering all of those who were affected on this day in 2001, and those who sacrificed for America as a result, in the years following the attacks.

This day is a reminder that while our country feels so safe and isolated from attack compared to other areas of conflict, we are not immune.  Considering the events surrounding ISIS and our country’s imminent involvement, we need to make sure to love our loved ones extra hard, and to be forever grateful to the men and women who serve to protect us, and their families for the sacrifices they make.  Make sure to thank, or buy a cup of coffee or meal if you see someone in uniform out and about this month – this includes police, ems, firefighters, and soldiers – as they are all on the front line when on our soil.

domestic violence ribbon

Abuse is not love, Mrs. Rice.

Let’s talk about this Ray Rice situation.  Let me start by saying thank God he was released from the Ravens.  Hopefully he is banned for life.  I know there are a lot of bad people in the NFL – who are role models for our children – and it’s time to start making examples of them.  I’m not saying every situation would deserve such penalty, but when the evidence is completely clear like this, penalty should be extreme….because that guy should be in jail.  The NFL admits they didn’t handle it correctly, and they have since announced a new domestic violence and sexual abuse policy: a six-game suspension without pay for the first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense. Goodell specified that these rules will apply to all NFL personnel, including executives and owners, not just players. A player who receives a lifetime ban can petition for reinstatement after one year.  I can only hope that this helps, as there has been a TON of domestic violence in the NFL – and professional sports in general.

For those who haven’t paid attention, Ray Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended for two games after being seen dragging his unconscious then-fiance, now wife off of an elevator in February after a fight.  No one really knew what happened, but most felt the punishment was too lenient and that the NFL (and the Ravens) failed to investigate sufficiently.  Now video surfaced of the incident on the elevator, that the “NFL” somehow couldn’t get ahold of before (or didn’t try very hard).  In short, they were arguing, she came at him, and he knocked her out.

EVEN IF it was just a reaction and he didn’t really mean it (as most abusers would claim), he clearly showed no concern for her when he dragged her off the elevator and eventually walked away once she was regaining consciousness.  He didn’t even pretend to be sorry (and still has not publicly apologized to her, though he has apologized to many others).   Actually, I think he was sorry…he was sorry that he got caught and suspended.  He probably figured he was safe with the Ravens after his suspension because they don’t seem mind having criminals on the team, considering Ray Lewis murdered someone and eventually retired from the team.

The worst part of this situation, besides the actual abuse, is that she married him just a month later.  It’s sad to think that she may have felt coerced…marrying him would show that they are “OK” and that the situation wasn’t so bad.  Or like many domestic violence victims, maybe she just felt stuck, or that she deserved it, or that it was “normal” or that she was afraid, or that she didn’t feel like she deserved a better man, or one or more of the many reasons that victims stay with their abusers.

My question about the marriage, is how could her father walk her down the aisle and give her away to a man who punched her in the face just a month earlier?  How could her family and friends attend a wedding and feel like things were going to be okay?  Did anyone try to intervene?  I know that they would have likely got married whether or not people supported the wedding, but did the people closest to her address their concerns (over and over) to her?  Or did they just take her word for it that things were all good?  Because victims tend to claim that things are just fine, or that it was their fault, or that it was an accident.  They said they attended marriage counseling, but I have a hard time believing that a month of counseling could resolve this situation completely.  It seems that they just swept it under the rug and went on with life.

The second worst part of the situation is that the media keeps showing the video over and over.  So she has to relive this awful moment over and over.  And everyone she knows (and doesn’t know) gets to see this terrible, private moment, over and over again.  I don’t care about the effect that this has on Ray Rice – he’s a piece of garbage and doesn’t deserve to have his feelings considered.  But it’s terrible for her – especially if things are all “OK” with their marriage as she claims.  I hope she realizes that she didn’t deserve this and that she doesn’t have to take that from some who is supposed to love and protect her.  I hope she realizes that she doesn’t have to apologize for “her role” in the situation.  Regardless of “her role” in the situation, she didn’t deserve to be punched in the face like a man, by a man, and then be dragged out of the elevator without concern.

Here’s a quote from her:

“Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”

Abuse is not love.  There is no love in abuse.

 

45 weeks

Photo Favorites : August 11-17, 2014

We had a pretty calm week this week.  It’s probably the week that I took the least amount of pictures since Jenson was born.  Choosing the photo favorites for this week was a cinch.  It was my birthday week (Sunday) and I didn’t mean to not mention it on the blog at all – I had a good day for sure – and I just never got around to posting anything.  Lo got me a food processor that I’ve wanted and an awesome photo puzzle of pictures of our little family.  (why did I take any pictures of these things?  I’ll make sure to….).  He made me a cake complete with homemade frosting…we were gone in the early evening, so by the time it was done, it was pretty late and we didn’t even have any that night.  I’m not usually in a great mood on Sunday nights after Jenson goes to bed…it signals the start of the workweek and having to leave Jenson all day long.  It’s not that I’m worried about him when I’m gone…he’s in fantastic hands and is loved and so well-cared for (thanks ML)…but he’s just not with me and I miss him.

Another fantastic birthday present came from Jenson…he started crawling forward that day!  He’d been going backwards and scooting around on his belly for weeks and we really just figured he’d skip traditional crawling, but he decided he wanted Boof’s orange hedgehog dog toy, and just took off after it.  We got him on video a few times and he looked like he’d been doing it for weeks.

During that week, he also started making new noises and “talking” to us – as Lo described it – with a mouth full of consonants.  It’s hilarious jibber-jabber.  The identifiable things he says are dada, mama, and B-ff (boof).

I’m still behind on these….but like to think I’m catching up? (not really)

Photo Favorites: August 11-17, 2014

1. His sitter sent this picture and it cracked me up – looks like road rage.  I know the feeling again, now that OSU has started back to classes…it’s taking me 45-60 minutes to get to work each day, instead of 30-40.  Awful.
2. Just hanging with his dad
3. -4. Eating beets and green beans.  It’s the first time he had beets and he actually liked them.

playing and eating

5. Playing with Brax
6. Boof looking longingly out the window – probably at her boyfriend – the neighbors’ dog who hangs out in their window.
7. Playing with a truck  Chewing on a string
8. No pictures mama (I have a feeling I’ll see this a lot in the future)

playtime and boof

9. He took an epic morning nap one day and I couldn’t help but take pictures of him – I happily stayed in bed with him.  Look at his ankle rolls in the first picture and how he’s sleeping with his legs like that…ahh!
10. He doesn’t use his binky much, but sometimes when he’s napping if I don’t nurse him to sleep.
11. Crashed out
12. Wake up!

sleepy boy

13. Just woke up!
14. Funny faces
15. He loves playing on our bed
16. Planks

waking up

17. Enjoying the “ice cream” cone on his exersaucer
18. – 19. Being silly and adorable
20. A walk in the stroller knocked him out (which was probably our intent).  We just bring the stroller in the house and let him keep napping.

eat play sleep

21. He’s 45 weeks old!
22. Find the sticker…and peel off
23. “hey – where’d it go?”
24. Not thrilled that it’s back on
25. Distracting him enough to get another good one/
26. It’s over…practicing his new crawling skills and going for the (babyproofed) sockets

45 weeks old

27. Sticking out his tongue
28. Big laughs
29. Mom of the year here…I have to move a chair to take the pictures in this spot (best light) and one of the chair leg pads came off and I didn’t realize it until I took this picture and saw something in his mouth when I was taking it!  I was so glad I saw it and was able to snatch it from his mouth because if he would happened to have swallowed it, he would have choked.  Unlikely that he would have tried – as he’s pretty good at spitting out food when he has too much in his mouth (thanks to baby led weaning), but it was still a little scary.
30. Boof didn’t want to be left out of the photos.  She joins the pictures on her own now (she knows she’ll get a treat afterwards).  I don’t think she loves sitting beside him, but she’s going to be disappointed once we aren’t doing weekly photos anymore.  Maybe I’ll have to continue to take one each week (but less organized and NO sticker, lol).  She was in most of my weekly pregnancy photos, so she’s been taking a weekly picture for over a year and a half!

photo shoot

magic shell

Homemade Magic Shell

We eat kind of a lot of ice cream up in here.  I like to jazz my ice cream up sometimes and I was sometimes tempted to buy Magic Shell (or the Reese’s version) at the grocery store, but it’s expensive and I feel like you don’t get much out of the bottle.  It always feels like there’s 1/4 of the bottle left, but it won’t come out.  Annoying.

I remembered reading somewhere that you can make homemade magic shell, so I googled some recipes and picked one at random.  They are all pretty much the same.  I’ve made it more than once and used different recipes.  The more coconut oil you use, the harder it will get on your ice cream (but it can give you a greasy mouth-feel).  Too much chocolate and it won’t harden up.  The recipe below are the quantities that I found best to harden up, but not take too long to do so.  I intend to make this with peanut butter soon, or add some mint extract to the chocolate version, but I haven’t yet because I’m trying to cut back on the ice cream a bit.  For awhile I was just buying it every time I saw a brand/flavor that we liked on sale and we pretty much always had some (because I’d buy more than one).  I’m going to try not to buy it so regularly now – and just get it when we really really are craving it again (or if Talenti Gelato is on sale – it’s just stupid to pass that up).  And when I do…I’ll be making more of this.

I prefer to store this is a glass container of some sort.  It should be stored at room temperature, but if your house is cool at all, it’ll harden slightly (or a lot).  You can just pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to liquify it again.  I try to mostly use glass containers in the microwave, so it’s just easier to store it that way.

 

Homemade Magic Shell
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate, depending on preference)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a microwave safe bowl or jar, preferably one with a lid that you can use to store the magic shell.
  2. Heat for 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted. Stir and allow to cool slightly before using.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over ice cream and allow to harden for 20-30 seconds before enjoying.
  4. Store covered at room temperature.
Notes
This may harden at room temperature. Microwave for 15-20 seconds to remelt before using.

I used dark chocolate chips this time, and it was really really good.  I preferred this to semi-sweet or milk chocolate.  Use whatever you want though.

magic shellmagic shell magic shell

Feel Good Friday

There’s a lot of crap in the world (especially this week with I.S. activity again) , so let’s talk about things that made us feel good this week…because it’s Friday – and that’s reason enough.  It’s easy enough to focus on the things that aren’t perfect or on drama, but it’s not worth it.  So here are my feel good friday things…. (trust me, I had a good enough week, but it’s hard not to complain or talk about negative things some weeks!)

feel good friday

Long weekends!  Labor day weekend meant extra time with Jenson…and I can never get enough time with him. (more…)

Photo Favorites : August 4 – 10, 2014

Our life started to get back to normal this week.  Less busy, just able to relax and play with Jenson.  He was getting into crawling position constantly, but only going backwards or doing his sit/crawl position shuffle.  He’d get into crawling position and then sit, and then crawling position, and sit…and eventually end up where he was going. Our week consisted of his 10 month photos, a visit with some of Lo’s family, his first Crew game, breakfast at Cherborg Bakery (all gluten-free and amazing), and just playing around.  Here are two favorites from his 10 month photo shoot.

10 month10 month

Photo Favorites: August 4-10, 2014

1. He loves looking at books (and pulling all of them off the shelf.
2. Playing with daddy before bed in his favorite jammies
3. Funny faces
4. Chewing on his favorite toy (a haystack block)

playing before bed

5. Boof likes books too.  She’s sleeping with a soft book between her paw and chin.  Must have fallen asleep reading.
6. Sweet sleeping face
7. Thinking while he’s sleeping
8. Heading to bed

sleeping babies

9. Trying on some clothes before pictures “mom, really?” (this shirt was too warm/bulky)
10. Ok, I’ll smile
11. This outfit made the cut
12. Shoveling in with both hands

picture day

13. Picture day! We decided to get 10  month pictures taken, thinking we’d get his hair cut before his 1 year pics.  We haven’t done that yet, so who knows.  It wasn’t the best photo shoot, because it was just at Target, but it was fine.
14. We laid him on this bench to change his outfits and he was flailing his arms and legs like crazy
15. We took off the legwarmers.  Lo isn’t a fan
16. He was obsessed with the football and it was hard to get him to look up for pictures.

pictures

17. Lo’s grandma got this castle cube at a garage sale and it’s in perfect condition.  He loved playing peekaboo through the porthole.
18. Sliding with nana
19. Meemaw helping Sadie and Jenson slide together.
20. Boof approves of the new shade.

sliding

21. Looking through the porthole
22. Beautiful Sadie
23. King of the castle
24. Our hibiscus bush took forever to bloom this year, but it’s always gorgeous when it finally does.

slide

25. – 26. Jenson went to his first Crew game on August 9
27. Our Crew
28. He wasn’t a fan of the cheering (or booing) and it was getting towards his bedtime, so we spent more of the time in the club area where it was quiet, and watched on the tv’s.

crew game

29. Bathtime
30. Playing peekaboo with Chuck
31. Out to breakfast with Chuck and Kelley
32. Playing in his saucer

sunday funday

33. Sunday morning playtime
34. Boof had a doggie spa appointment and they sent her home with a pretty bandana.  She smelled amazing for about 3 days.  Worth it.

daddy and boof

35. Oh no – sticker time again!?
36. I’ve got places to be
37. – 38. 44 weeks old!

44 weeks

39. Another sticker?
40. He just wanted to play with the sticker
41. – 42. Trying to distract him
43. Ten months old!
44. Poses with his puppy

10 months old

45. – 50. Funny and adorable lovey baby

funny faces

51. – 54. More playing after pictures

water bottle play

55. – 60. This series of pictures is ridiculous.  Could they be posing more similarly? I was going through and editing pictures and when I noticed these, I was cracking up.

dog boy twinsies