Monday, March 31, 2008

Songs about children, pregnancy, twins?

When I was expecting Spunky Baby, there was a song on the radio that made me cry every time I heard it - The Riddle by Five for Fighting. It's a happy song - a song about the relationship between a parent and a child. I still cry when I hear it!

A good friend of mine is about to have twins - a girl and a boy. WHEEEE!!!!!!!!!

So I am putting together a basket of baby gifts. Aside from the usual stuff, I am compiling a list of songs I need to download and burn to a "Welcome Home Babies" CD for her. Over the last month or so I've heard songs and thought "I need to put that song on the CD!" Did I write them down? Of course not! Now I only have a couple of weeks before the little ones arrive.

I'm issuing a plea for help.


Here are the songs I have so far, plus some other ideas that are either “older” children songs (as they get married or move away), songs about unconditional love that make me cry, or songs about children, pregnancy, etc. I found through google searches:

  • Let Them Be Little, Billy Dean
  • Handprints on the Wall, Kenny Rogers
  • In My Daughter’s Eyes, Martina McBride
  • One Boy, One Girl, Collin Raye
  • American Child, Phil Vassar
  • Butterfly Kisses, Bob Carlisle
  • Two People Fell In Love, Brad Paisley
  • My Wish, Rascal Flatts
  • My Front Porch Looking In, Lonestar
  • When a Man Needs a Woman, Beach Boys
  • Baby Mine, lots of people such as Bette Middler
  • Daughters, John Mayer
  • Miracle, Celine Dion
  • Beautiful Boy, John Lennon
  • Thank Goodness for Kids, Kenny Chesney
  • Baby Mine, Dumbo
  • Daddy’s Hands, Holly Dunn
  • Real Life, Jeff Carson
  • Baby Shoes, Clint Black
  • Lily’s Lullaby, Clink Black
  • Baby of Mine, Alison Krause
  • Creed, Arms Wide Open
  • I Loved Her First, Heartland
  • Stealing Cinderella, Chuck Wicks
  • There Goes My Life, Kenny Chesney
  • All American Girl, Carrie Underwood
  • Ready, Set, Don’t Go, Billy Ray & Milley Cyrus
  • Father & Daughter, Paul Simon
  • You Can Close Your Eyes, James Taylor
  • When Your Love Someone, Bryan Adams

Does anyone have any other ideas? Not all of these are appropriate for her, and most are country (it's what I tend to listen to...but she listens to a lot of other stuff so I want to include a good mix.)

My goals is to make her a wonderful gift. I know a side effect will be lots of tears from a postpardum hormonal mom, but she'll still love it, right?

You know there are songs that made you cry when you were about to become a parent...and songs that make you teary today as a parent! What tugs YOUR heart strings? Please leave a comment with your suggestions!

Wooden Block 1, Baby 0

I never believed it existed until I became a parent, but yes, there is such as thing as parenting instinct. I am a pretty laid back (albeit Spunky) mom, and I tend to let my little guy explore and learn on his own. As long as he's not in real danger, he's free to explore if he bumps his head, then hopefully he'll learn "the dinosaur is hard - remember not to headbutt it next time I am playing."

At 7.5 months, he is VERY curious. He's been sitting for 2 months and is bored with just sitting, so now he leans forward onto his two hands and moves his legs/feet into classic crawl position. Then he rocks back and forth. He was content (and proud!) with this for about a week. We thought, "oh, he's getting ready to crawl!" That changed this weekend. Just getting into the crawl position has become "so yesterday." Now he's determined to move forward. He just hasn't figured out how to do that part yet, so he typically move one hand and lunges forward about a foot. He flops down on his belly and wiggles like a fish - all four limbs flailing. Of course, this gets him no closer to his final destination, but it makes for an enjoyable "how cute?!" experience for us, his parents.

Last night, Spunky Baby was performing his latest little tricks. There he was, sitting up playing with his wooden blocks (all 26 letters are scattered around our family room). I was sitting arms-length away talking to him and encouraging him. He dropped his block and leaned forward. Nothing new, right? Except this time, when he lunged forward, he didn't have a clear runway. Nope. The "H" wooden block was in his landing zone. Direct connect with the upper lip.

Surprisingly, there were very few tears. It looks worse than it really is - it's just a triangle-shaped scrape (exactly where the block's corner connected with his face).

So, Spunky Baby received his very first "war wound." Wooden Block 1, Baby 0. Time to plan revenge...

Darn you, "H" block!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I'm happy to report that your happy thoughts worked. My uncle, who was admitted to the hospital on March 6th, came home late last night. He spent more than two weeks in the ICU and a few extra days on the regular floor before being released last night. It'll be nice having him home again - and I'm sure he's happy to be home. Thank you for all your words of encouragement and understanding. I appreciate it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter! No naps!

Spunky Baby decided to stay up ALL DAY yesterday. This is the same kid that snoozes for 4-5 hrs a day during his naps. Nope - not on Easter! People to see! Places to go! He made it without too much of a fuss and slept to/from dinner in the car.
We had a nice Easter with Spunky Daddy's family, and Spunky Baby ate mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, and turnips and carrots. Yum! No ham...unless you count him.

Oh, and we found him an Easter outfit. Thank you, Sears.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My (Guitar) Hero

Daddy, is this is G-chord?

Yes, I am right handed. Thanks for getting that straight. Duh, Mom...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Finally. Hot Water.

Spunky Baby thanks you, furnace guy #2, for his nice warm bath last night.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So $150 wasn't a bargain

We woke up this morning without hot water. Again. After it was "fixed" yesterday. Sigh...

Plus it was snowing.

And, to top it off, Spunky Baby was showing "sick" signs.


Call furnace guy first who tells me he can't fix it but maybe his buddy can. So call furnace guy #2 who agrees to come over around 10:00.

Call pediatrician second. After waiting on hold for 15 minutes I get an appointment for Spunky Baby at 2:00.

Call into work. I work about an hour or so from home, depending on the traffic. With those appointment times there's NO WAY I can go to work and juggle this schedule. Plus, did I mention, it's SNOWING again?!?! I explain I have a dead furnace and a sick baby (make sure not to incite panic by mixing those two up.)
There goes my day.

The sitter watches a very cranky fussy baby while I work from home on my laptop. I feel guilty that she's dealing with him in such a foul mood and I think he just has an ear infection or something not contagious so she's OK watching him, but still... I break to talk to the furnace guy (very nice guy - Pete - he ended up being here 1.5 hrs so this isn't going to be cheap and I still have to pay for yesterday too - ugh), work again, eat lunch, work again, go to doctor's office (Spunky Baby is fine, no ear infections or anything, probably just a bug or little virus, if it gets worse call...), work again while he naps because I sent the sitter home, and then Spunky Daddy calls to tell me he's working late and will see me around 11:00 or so, so I give Spunky Baby dinner, bath, playtime, bottle and put him to bed, then check in with work email one more time just in case something came through (I try to do more when I have to work from home - I am an excellent telecommuter and I don't want anyone to think I'm slacking off...). Finally I throw in a load of laundry, do the dishes, clean up the playroom, and collapse on the couch.

Now it's 9:45 p.m. and I'm ready to fall over from exhaustion. What the heck did I do today that wore me out?!?

Goodnight, all. Hope tomorrow is better. If I don't have a hot shower in the morning, you'll hear me in San Francisco...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Need Hot Water

Do you have any idea how many times a day you use hot water when you have a child? Let me tell you, in the last 24 hours I learned it's a lot. Laundry. Dishes. Rinsing things in the sink. Using a wet washcloth to get the carrots and cookies off Spunky Baby's face and hands (he HATES cold water). And when you don't have hot water, things get tough. Sure, you can microwave a cup for some uses, but what about his bath? Or MY shower? Or the supplemental heat for the upstairs (we heat primarily with a wood stove ducted to the first floor...but it was 13 degrees last night...we need some extra heat to help warm us!)

Yesterday morning we woke up to very little hot water. It's happened before and to fix the problem we just go down into the basement and manually fire the boiler. That's what I did. Many times. Even waking up at 2 a.m. to go down and fire it to make SURE I could take a hot shower this morning. Fast-forward to 6:00 a.m. No hot water. Darn.

So the furnace guy is coming out to look at it this morning. I'm just thankful the sitter is at home and can let him in. Right now I can't imagine trying to take a morning off of work to deal with this.

"Dear Furnace Guy: Please don't call and tell me that I should come home and say goodbye because it lived a good life. I don't want a $6,000 replacement bill. Not this week..."

I'm still not out of the funk from yesterday.

Update: It was a $150 fix. No new furnace needed. Whew! I'm taking a hot shower when I get home. And Spunky Baby will get his bath. Good times!

Monday, March 17, 2008

So You Had a Bad Day

Queue the old music from "American Idol."

I'm having a bad day. A "down" day. I'm just not happy today. I'm on the verge of tears and I need to go to work. A bunch of things all got together and ganged up on my emotions to train wreck me today. Every so often they do that. One at a time I can handle, but when they all decide to come in together, then things get ugly. Also, today is the 19th anniversary of my grandfather's sudden death. Anniversaries like that drudge up memories and make me even more teary-eyed.

But Spunky Baby just smiled at me. He makes me feel better. Of course, soon I'll be at work without him and missing him will make it even harder. Stop focusing on the bad and focus on the fact that soon you'll be home again with him! Sigh...

Oh, I hate days like today.

At least the sun is shining.

I'm going to go read other people's blogs. They make me smile.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Like a Mommy Bird Feeding Her Baby Bird

Spunky Baby likes to EAT.

A lot.

He is still skinny even though he eats a lot. That could be because his little legs are always moving. Even when he sleeps! But that's OK. Maybe he has Spunky Daddy's fast metabolism and not my turtle-slow one (which is why Spunky Daddy sneezes and looses 10 lbs but I diet, exercise, and do everything "right" but still gain).

So at his six-month well-visit three weeks ago, he pediatrician starts by saying some kids don't take to solids for several months after they are introduced. She gave me the go-ahead with cereals and purees at 4 months, and we found out immediately that he likes to eat. So, she asks about a typical day. I tell her the truth and I don't think she believes me. After talking with her about what is normal for him, she give me the "thumbs up" to feed him whatever he can handle (of course, within reason), so I thought I'd share...

Spunky Baby's schedule:

7:00 - 7:30 a.m. - wake up, play until Spunky Mommy and Daddy go to work

8:00 a.m. - 8 oz bottle (formula)

8:30 - 9:30 playtime

9:30 a.m. - 3 oz pureed fruit (or sometimes fresh fruit - kiwi, watermelon, banana, etc. cut up very small), 3 oz oatmeal, 2 oz cottage cheese or yogurt, and a crunchy biscuit cookie plus a 4 oz sippy cup with water and < 1oz.

10:00 - 12:00 - naptime (2 hrs or so...)

12:00 p.m. - 8 oz bottle

12:30 - 1:00 playtime

1:00 - 4:00 - naptime (2 hrs or so - sometimes 3 in the afternoon)

4:00 or 4:30 p.m. - 8 oz bottle

playtime - Spunky Mommy gets home around 5:00ish.

6:00 p.m. - 3 oz pureed or finely cut up soft veggies (avocado is a favorite right now), 3 oz rice cereal, 2 oz cottage cheese or yogurt, and a crunchy biscuit cookie plus 4 oz sippy cup with water and < 1oz.

7:30 p.m. - final 8oz bottle

8:00 p.m. - bedtime

Lately we have a new problem with feeding Spunky Baby. I swear we cannot be in the same area code and put a bite of food into our mouth without also putting something edible into his mouth. He throws a fit and wants whatever we have. Did he hear the doctor say it was alright? What gives? Case in point: last night I was eating leftovers - Pork Chops with Onion and Mushroom Sauce. Not the type of thing I would feed to a six-month-old. I was alone with Spunky Baby and he was playing, quite contently, on the floor with his toys. The microwave buzzed and I grabbed my dinner.

He smelled it before he saw it.

His back was to me. His head was down and he was leaning over playing with blocks. When the dish came out of the microwave, I swear he sat bolt upright, whipped his head around 180 degrees and let out a pitiful whine.

I managed to get the food cut into bite-size pieces so I didn't have to go Neanderthal on my dinner, ripping meat off in chunks. But no sooner was the knife set down and the fork lifted to my mouth then I heard a terrible noise.


Translated from baby-speak, that means "I want a bite too Mommy right... NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"

Spunky Baby is quickly scooped up and propped on the couch next to me (yep, multi-tasking at its finest - I DVRed both American Idol episodes and managed to avoid hearing who got kicked off so I was watching them, eating dinner and trying to keep Spunky Baby entertained. Not easy.)

"Eh eh eh eh eh eh HMMMMMMMMMMMMM...."

I really wanted to finish my dinner (it was good!) What can he eat here? Not pork chops. But sauteed onion? Sure, why not? And I'll dip it in the cream of mushroom soup.

I put a tiny little bit on the fork and turned toward him.

Spunky Baby looked like a starving baby bird with his mouth open wide enough to drive an 18-wheeler through.

I put in the bite.

Close. Chew. Chew. Chew. Swallow. Mouth open WIDE again with "AH AH AH!" sounds emanating. My baby bird calling for his Mommy bird to feed him. Oh, how sweet.

Now, Spunky Baby has no teeth. But he has "accidentally" bit me (many times) and his jaws are STRONG. Small pieces of soft onion? No challenge there, Mom.

So, before he ate the REST of his dinner last night, Spunky Baby had about 15 bites of COM soup and onions. One bite for me, one for him. And he loved every one of them. Before I put him in his high chair to eat his real food, I gave him one last bite. It was no bigger than the size of this "0" - a piece of pork chop. I don't think he even knew it was in his mouth. Swallowed. Gone.

This kid likes to eat. Who am I to complain? Feed me, Mom, I'm yours.

Maybe I'll try beef jerky next week. Or not.
"Hey Mom, you gonna eat all that? I can take it off your, gimme that..."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feel-good news story: You have a friend in me

Every so often you hear about a beached whale and it's sad. Yesterday I heard a news story on the radio about pygmy sperm whales in New Zealand that were saved - rescued - by an unlikely hero.


Moko is a dolphin. He's well known by locals and seen often swimming in this particular area.

The human rescuers had all but given up - the two whales weren't budging and from what I understand the sandbars were so numerous that even if they were freed from one, chances are they'd beach again unless they knew the way.

Enter Moko.

He knows the way out.

The whales were about to give up when Moko the bottlenose dolphin came in, did all his dolphin chirps and squeels, and all of a sudden, both whales "woke up", listening to him for a minute, and made one last valiant effort to save themselves. And they moved! But, the sandbars were still a problem. So Moko, the good little dolphin, showed them the way out! I guess he literally swam this way, took a right, swam that way in between two sandbars, etc. until he was out to sea with the whales right on his...heels (flippers?). AMAZING!

This quote is great: "I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," Mr Smith told the BBC, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."

Moko, the altruistic dolphin.

Now, don't you just feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

In return for his help, Mr. Smith went into the water and gave Moko a nice pat. Awww...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In Search Of...Easter Outfits!

Quick! What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say "cute Easter outfit?!?!"

I bet you thought up something like this:
I admit I did too. But I am dressing an adorable (so says I) little boy for Easter this year. So what are my options? The selection for boys stinks, the sale prices aren't as good, and you have to buy multiple pieces (pants, shirt, sweater vest, jacket, tie, etc. vs. girl dress and maybe hat.) My friend Melissa and I were discussing this little problem this morning.

The other day I went to one of my favorite second-hand children's clothing stores. I walked by three big displays of little girl Easter outfits - with all the frills, lace, flowers, hats, etc. How adorable! But I couldn't find the boys outfits. So I said to the clerk, "Could you please tell me where I can find boy Easter outfits?" and she said "Oh, they are mixed in with the girl outfits on those racks..."

I went through all the clothes on the rack from 0-12 months and I swear there had to be 100 girl outfits. How many boy outfits? 2. TWO! And neither were 1. in his size or 2. something I would put on him.

There are very few options for boys unless you want to dress them as a sailor, a bunny, or in a full suit. Plus, most Easter suits for boys have shorts. New England there's still a high degree of chance that it'll SNOW Easter day therefore he needs PANTS. Either way I'm betting I have to bundle him up in his snowsuit to head out to Easter Dinner. Poor little boys...I'm off to find something cute and appropriate for my Spunky Baby...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Melt Down

It was bound to happen.

This weekend it did.

Spunky Baby was due to eat at 5:00. We went to a store and there were VERY long check-out lines. Thinking we were still safe, we entered the check-out line at 5:15 with a very happy baby.

Queue the theme from Jaws.


Fast-forward to 5:40. We are JUST checking out now, with a not-so-happy-but-still-okay baby who is pulling at his Mom's hair and trying to grab everything in site like a 17-lb octopus (how many hands does this kid have?!?). I am juggling Spunky Baby with one arm and trying to sign the sales slip with the other. After the cashier hands me the sales slip I take a close look at it.

"Did you take off the 10% from my coupon?"


Oh, no.

"I'm sorry but you'll have to go to customer service and they'll immediately credit it back - it's a two-second fix. I am unable to do it at this register."


Grumble grumble grumble.

So, we trek up to floor #2 and find the customer service desk. I send Spunky Daddy out to get the car because it's in the next zip code and the wind is howling. I figure we'll be out in 5 minutes and we can get into a nice warm car.

Fast-forward another 20 minutes. It's 6:00 and Spunky Baby is STARVING and BORED. He is also overtired and the more tired he gets the cuter and louder he talks until BANG he's throwing a tantrum. He's shrieking like a banshee and I'm trying desperately to calm the natives. We are quickly entering tantrum territory - one I have only seen a handful of times and I know it can be avoided so I am doing everything in my power to head this off. No such luck with the customer service reps. Can they not SEE the melt-down in progress?

"I need your frequent buyer card."

Huh? I don't think we used it....

"It says on the sales receipt there is a credit from your frequent buyer card and we cannot fix this until we have the card."

Well, it must be with Spunky Daddy who is out getting the car. I'm on the cell with Spunky Daddy trying to keep my language PG as I'm in public: "GET IN HERE. NOW...." Spunky Daddy comes in. He says he didn't use the frequent buyer card. ?????


So I say, "Listen, I need to leave. Now. I'll just take the stuff and call customer service tonight from home and we'll take care of this later on."

"We can't let you leave the store - we canceled the original receipt/transaction and have to ring you up again before you can leave with your things. In order to do that we need your frequent buyer card."

(through clenched teeth) "BUT I DIDN'T USE A FREQUENT BUYER CARD...."

So the customer service rep hands me a sales slip for $75 MORE than I paid originally which now includes the 10% off but charged me $100 more because she can't find said frequent buyer card. WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTT?


It took at least another 15 minutes to realize that the first cashier rung up the sale under frequent buyer card when he should have rung it up under trade-in (long story short). If they had simply asked the right questions I would have been on my merry way!

Now Spunky Baby has lost it. Arched back, big tears, wails that could only mean that monkeys are pulling out his fingernails. Kicking. Hitting. Me.

Spunky Mommy wasn't far behind - I had tears welled up in my eyes and I was D-O-N-E.

Here's your receipt, have a nice day.

Yeah, nice day. Have a nice day.

Did you every try putting a screaming six-month-old in a five-point harness car seat while he's having a tantrum because he's hungry and tired and wet and you should have been HOME by now? Nice day.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Everyone needs to think happy thoughts...

We received some very sad news this morning - my closest uncle was rushed to the hospital overnight and when they realized how serious his condition was they brought him via ambulance to UMass Memorial Hospital. He is in for emergency surgery right now and we are all holding our breath. It's the type of call no one ever wants to receive. Things like this really make you realize that "you never know" - he went to bed feeling fine and woke up at three a.m. in a world of hurt. I talked to my aunt and she's hanging in there but just requested "happy thoughts" to get through this. I may be heading to Worcester later today. Please please please send all your good thoughts his way and I'll update when I can...

Update one day later: Good news. They seem to have caught the problem in time and he is on a long road to recovery. I didn't go to the hospital yet - visitors aren't encouraged right now - but hope to see him in a couple of days. Just the other day he said he hadn't seen my little munchkin in awhile and so I was looking forward to seeing him soon. We'll make sure we see him REALLY soon now. You just never know. Thanks for all your kind thoughts and well wishes. It worked!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You'll give me how much?

I have one child. One. A boy. He's pretty easy. So far.
Of course, I have friends and relatives who have more than one.

Two seems do-able.

Three, you seem to be entering "challenge" territory.
But do I know anyone who has four or more young children? I would have to really think about that.

Then tonight on my commute home listening to the radio I hear that Turkmenistan is offering a one-time cash bonus to families who have lots of kids. Isn't that nice. So, how many kids do you need to have?

Oh....EIGHT or more.


Eight kids!? 8? That's a handful. That's more than the Brady Bunch! Oh, to sweeten the deal the government will not only give you $250 they'll also pay your utility and dental bills and let you ride public transportation for life.

AH! Well, if you put it that way...

Nah. Still not desirable from my standpoint. Throw in a lifetime of our household income, adjusted for inflation, health insurance, mortgage payments for the house I would need to support all those kids, food and clothes, paid vacations at exotic locations for mom and dad, a live-in nanny, butler and maid, and a college education for each child and MAYBE we might be closer to a deal. Maybe.

Disclosure: I had to look up where Turkmenistan is...I don't remember it from fifth grade geography. I don't think it was called that when I was ten. Well, it's north of Iran and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Goodbye, Mommy Tummy

I still haven't lost the baby weight. Yeah, I know...give it a year...blah blah blah. Well, Summer's coming and I want my body back. I look at photos in my first trimester and I looked so thin and healthy! I miss those days. I feel like a dumpy mommy and I don't want to be that way. Plus, I haven't exactly WORKED at losing the baby weight either and with Spunky Baby about to become REALLY active he needs a mommy who can keep up with him.

I gained (gasp!) 60 lbs from the time I found out I was expecting until I was admitted to the hospital when he was born. I remember coming home from the hospital with my brand-new 7 lb 15 oz baby boy and thinking "I must have lost 25 lbs!" So, two days after he was born, I did it. I stepped on the scale.

Now girls, if you haven't had a baby before and think, like me, this sounds like a good idea - I warn you, DO NOT DO THIS. Almost all the post-baby endorphins and happy thoughts were wiped away in one fell swoop when the scale came back and told me I lost...6 pounds. SIX POUNDS?!?? I just had an eight pound baby and all that other stuff fell out of me too! My stomach looks like a deflated balloon, complete with the stripes and crinkles - how could I possibly only lose six measly little pounds?!?!

It's true. I swear. I have witnesses (a house full of people and a sleeping baby who heard me bellow from the upstairs bathroom while standing on the scale). I guess I was "retaining water." Yeah, right. More like a swimming pool.

The good news is that one week after my son's birth I was down 20 lbs.

The bad news is that six months after my son's birth I am still only down 20 lbs TOTAL.

I have not lost a single pound more in that time. (Actually, this isn't true. I lost about 10 more lbs, gained it back, lost it, gained normal weight fluctuates about 10 lbs so this wasn't abnormal to me. The HIGH number of my weight is the 20 lbs loss...)

Now, Spunky Daddy decided about three or four weeks ago he wants to tone up. So he joined a gym and works out an hour every day at lunch. He's already down 10 lbs.

Then there's me...

So what am I going to do about it?

First, I'm going to find and actually READ the book my doula loaned me. My tummy still has folds. Yuck. So, I'll figure out what I need to do. Then I'm going to pop it in the mail back to her. Six months is too long for me to borrow a book, especially a book I should have read when my son was born.

Second, I am going to go out this weekend and buy a few things: a new pair of sneakers and a nice sweatsuit for me to wear when I walk at lunchtime while at work. It has been really hard for me to find the time at work but I need to. This is important.

Third, I am going to walk at least 3 times a week. I figure realistically I could do more but if I aim low I won't be disappointed. Then when the weather gets better, I'll "up" the number. When it's nicer I can pull out that wonderful jogging stroller that our dear friends gave us and put it to good use. I figure by Summer I'll be jogging 2-3 miles a day again 3-4 times a week (like I was when I got pregnant).

Fourth, starting on Monday, I am going to dedicate myself to eating better. Not a diet. Just eating less food and making better choices. I don't do well on diets. I do do well with guidelines - and gray edges. And I'll start to use my favorite food-tracking website again. HUGE help.

I've done it before and I can do it again. When I was in grad school I put on about 70 lbs over three years. Ugh. I committed myself to losing the weight and had a great doctor who helped me meet my goals - I lost 65 lbs in 6 months and would have kept it off had I not found out ON THE DAY I HIT MY GOAL WEIGHT that I was pregnant. Not that I'm complaining. It's going to make losing the baby weight that much easier.

I'm already 25 lbs closer to my goal than I was when I started losing weight last time.

I want to look at family photos and of photos of me and my baby and smile, not cringe. I'm not happy with how I look and I need to do something about it. I don't want a double chin. It's a me thing.

Also, I'm following a fellow mommy-blogger, Susan, and her husband on their weight loss journey and I am inspired. When she posts bikini photos, I'll be right behind!

I just hope I'm not too disappointed that when I reach my goal weight my skinny jeans still just don't fit because of my mommy hips.


My mantra: Nothing tastes as good as being thin and healthy.

Anyone want to join me? Leave comments and we'll connect! Maybe we can start our own community blog and all contribute. Tell me if you are game!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Bridle Shower

There are many occasions in life when a "shower" is held to celebrate something - a marriage, a baby, etc. A bunch of friends and family, typically female, get together to eat cake and give a small token or gift for the next step in the guest-of-honor's life.

If you know my family, ANY reason is reason enough to have cake and party!

But recently my aunt gave us a great excuse for a party...she adopted a horse! "Sammy" is set to arrive in April and my aunt is SO EXCITED!!

So the rest of the family decided to throw her a surprise bridle shower (I'll put puns in RED - ha!) We told her it was just a brunch with the girls to celebrate my sister's baby number three, and she believed us.

First we had cookies made that look just like her horse. At the restaurant, we had the cake inscribed "May the HORSE be with you" and we made her a carrot corsage. I made up a baby book for Sammy (a page with his pedigree, photos and info on his mom, dad, sisters and grandparents, fill-in pages for how they met, his homecoming, etc. and a TON of horse treat recipes in a cookbook). We all chipped in for a feed bucket with treats, a lead, brushes, and all-things-horse. She has new decals for her car that say "My Morgan Sammy" and another that says "My Best Friend is a Morgan." Plus we gave her a gift certificate for a local store where she'll be buying most things for Sammy once he arrives.

When she walked in, we all neighed rather than yell "Surprise!"

We heard all sorts of strange horse laws and then played a horse trivia game (Aunt She won, of course.)


And we all were able to celebrate that she is Getting HITCHED.

Come to find out, this isn't an original idea. I know other people must have horse showers - it was nice to see others ideas too!

Also, I guess there's a song with the title "May the Horse be with You." You can read the lyrics by clicking HERE or hear part of the song HERE.

Maybe next time someone adopts another animal we'll have a shower!!! To see the rest of the photos or video of the actual surprise moment, click HERE.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I knew I wasn't going crazy

At least about this. Other things are still up for discussion.

New Hampshire nears all-time snow record