Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things I Learned In A Restroom Stall- Part 1

I am continously amazed at how swiftly a carefree and enjoyable day out with the kiddos can turn miserable. Seriously within seconds.

Today I was running a few errands alone with N and A. We were happy and smiling and productive and then we just weren't. A was ready for a nap and N 'suddenly' had to go number 2 (even though we had JUST been to the bathroom 5 minutes before) and I felt like handing them off to a stranger and fleeing in the car.

Am I the only mom that finds the whole "two kids inside a public restroom stall thing" absolutely the worst 6 cubic feet in the universe?!?! It is a smothering, squirming, please-don't-touch-that... or-that-or-that punishment. N honestly spent over five minutes on the toilet- I guess he really is becoming a man. Since we were quickly approaching naptime, A struggled against me and whined and cried the entire time. I wanted to poke my eye out but unfortunately, I just couldn't put my baby on a bathroom floor to inflict the damage to myself.

Maybe I am being a little dramatic but this is just an example of one of those moments gone wrong. It did not matter that we had had a good morning or would be leaving the store as soon as N was done, in that 5 minutes I was miserable... and grateful that no other person was in the bathroom to hear me berating my 3 year old for not being an olympic speed pooper.
I guess you could also argue it the other way- you can go form meltdown to giggles again just as fast. I blame their underdeveloped brains but can't use that excuse for myself. At least today I recognized the flip-flop so maybe next time when they go from pleasant to institutional in under 10 seconds I will spare myself the stress, close my eyes and wait for the wave to pass... even if it is in a public bathroom.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

my name is jamie and i want to be an orthorexic

I would consider myself a healthy eater.
Or at least I always WAS- what has happened to me? Ever since my little girl graced us with her presence on Easter of LAST year, I have been falling off the wagon repeatedly. I know better than to eat some of the crap that I do and I really want to stay on the right path but more and more I see myself clinging precariously to the healthy wagon train as it leaves for the trip west. Please don't leave me wagon train!!
I just read that something called "orthorexia" may be considered a real psychological condition soon- it is basically an obsession with healthy eating- where do I sign up?

(note: i am downplaying the severity and realize there is much more to it. not poking fun of it either, just myself. but hey why am i apologizing, this is my blog? i need a self-help group. and now i am having a full converation with myself :/)

Back to the eating thing:
Maybe it is her fault, born on Easter after all- one of the three mornings of the year that it is okay to eat candy for breakfast...
Maybe it is my son's fault because he keeps me jumping so I can't sit down to eat a salad for lunch...
Nope- all my fault.

It was so much easier to take care of me when it was just me!
understatement of the century.

I grab and stuff random morsels into my mouth all day and I crave sugary evil! But I am determined to crawl back onto that wagon.
At least I make them eat healthy- I buy quality local and often organic. I cook from scratch to avoid preservatives and artificial dyes. I grimace at white pasta and white rice and white bread. But somehow today I found myself feeding tiny little A bites of M&Ms to keep her pacified while I decimated the bowl of Easter candy..... where is that self-help group?!

Hey Mamas!!

I am doing something new today.....
and that is referring you to a GREAT facebook friend/company called "Bundles and Buzz"

These ladies work their tails off to put together great bundles of fun that can be bought (for super cheap compared to retail) and discovered. Every bundle is a little different but they contain coupons, clothing, diapers, accessories for the itty ones and they are always fabulous.

In fact, they are SO fabulous that they are giving away one of these sweet steals to a blogger who sends referrals their way soooooo GO mamas- check them out (link should be below), like them on facebook and please tell them that Jamie Young from 'Our Beautiful Mess' sent you!!!!

Thank you thank you- cause who doesn't like free stuff?!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Little Late to the Magic Moment Monday Post..... Easter Edition

We were traveling yesterday and dodging flooding and thunderstorms so I didn't exactly have time to revisit my magic Easter moments but today I can. It was a great weekend spent with family and candy- and now I feel disgusting but that is beside the point.

First things first- the egg business.

Then, the kids got to go to a great community egg hunt where they cleaned up on toys and candy. Below they are seen checking their loot :)

I knew they would be getting plenty of sweet stuff from the grandmas so I went another direction for their Easter Baskets. N got a new wheelbarrow with things he can use for bug collecting and planting seeds. A got a sandcastle bucket with some baby snacks/toys :)

And of course I got to show off my cuties to Grandpa's church- A especially enjoyed her pouffy skirt!

By the way- they also got a candy/egg hunt at church! A good sugar filled weekend for sure.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Honey is Sleeping on the Couch

I woke this morning VERY upset with my husband.

What kind of person comes into your precious (and as a sleep-deprived mom, rather rare) dreams and cheats on you?! Wow my dreams seem really real!

It wasn't really his fault that I was mad- he didn't really DO anything other than break my sleeping heart, the cheating bastard. But seriously I am m.a.d. at him and I think that is pretty funny. I immediately tried to snuggle myself into a good mood this morning and he being asleep kinda shrugged me off so it was as good as an admission of infidelity to my mood.

Has this ever happened to anyone? I find it amusing that my dreams can set the tone for the day but also a little scary- I mean, am I now under pressure to create wonderful dreams too?? I thought it was bad enough to maintain the illusion of keeping a perfect house and family during my waking hours- what's a girl to do? 

So anyway, I just thought it worth mentioning that my husband can even tick me off in his sleep.
When I go to bed tonight I must remember to think positive thoughts and dream happy so I am in a good mood tomorrow and A can get off the couch and come back to my bed :)

Note: I do not mean to make light of a serious situation and my heart goes out to people who have truly been touched by this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

International Exercise Celebrity

So it turns out that tracking stats is kinda fun... and unnerving. I mean why oh why aren't my friends following me?!? Just maybe I am not as funny as I think I am :) Since I am pretty new to blogging I always feel so freshman when I see these great blogs with great designs and millions of readers, but alas I appeal to a few at least, even international- yeah non blogging folks- Fellow bloggers stop gloating at your superior followings! haha just kidding.

Anyway, the VAST majority of my views are from the US, but I've a handful from Europe and (northern)Asia as well. It excites me even though they are likely from accidental clicks....
For example, one of my traffic sources this week was from "Google Images"- specifically from the combo of words "beautiful. good-looking. girl working out." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Apparently this combo of words point to my blog. I urge you to try it and see what you get... my picture and link is not even close to looking/being like the other links so in order to actually click and visit my blog, someone would have to look through LOTS of actual pictures of beautiful and good-looking girls working out.
Since my viewership from northern Asia is up this week, I can only assume that the interested population is composed entirely of Russians :) Enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Walking Psychology Experiment

God could have made us all Sanguines.
We could have lots of fun but accomplish little.
He could have made us all Melancholies.
We would have been organized and charted but not very cheerful.
He could have made us all Cholerics.
We would have been set to lead, but impatient that no one would follow!
He could have made us all Phlegmatics.
We would have had a peaceful world but not much enthusiasm for life.
We need each temperament for the total function of the body.
Each part should do its work to unify the action and produce harmonious results.
-Florence Littauer in The Gift of Encouraging Words
Way back when, (in chiro school maybe year 2 or 3), we took a personality test. As the above verse explains,there are four main types of personalities: Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and Phlegmatic but often two "close" traits are mixed, like Phlegmatic and Melancholy. IF "opposite" traits are mixed, it is an unnatural combination, which "they" say is the result of masking of our true personality.

Wouldn't you know that I am a triple masked unnatural combination?! I am both a Melancholy and a Sanguine (with only one point shy of Choleric)- and they are total opposites... how does that happen??
I always held that I was multi-faceted, my high school principal called me a Renaissance child, but really it turns out that I am just a freak  mentally busy.

Today, I am chaperoning a choir competition and these kids are hilarious- junior high. That perilous edges between irresponsible kid and sorta responsible young adult.... a weird age. Awkward with an occasional glimpse of future potential. Personalities, unmasked, out there for all to see. No labels or expectations quite yet. They are who they want to be, not who they think they should be.

They are singing.

I mean, of course they are- it is a choir trip :) Here I sit in the front seat laughing with the bus driver and suddenly I am aware. My multiple personalities are all there wanting some attention! The sanguine in me, the life of the party entertainer wants to stand up and at the top of my out of practice lungs and with my out of shape old dancers body, show them what a real performance looks like! And then.... the choleric steps up as a lead by example professional adult and the melancholy me sits and takes to writing about how there is a crazy lady in there somewhere. I must, for some reason, remain the mysterious and very adult wife of the choir teacher (and coach- maybe he is unnatural too) who is quietly musical and very in charge. The older I have gotten, the less I put myself out there. I almost feel that to be the professional me, the fun me had to leave and that is a big shame.

Keep singing kiddos- my multiple personalities all like it in different ways.

My sanguine self- partially buried for awhile...
Chicago (the musical) 2002
-don't judge... the costume fit my character :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

another life lesson

This has been a long week.

Productive, but long. I somehow managed to steal an "office day" on Monday, which means that the kids were NOT in the house and I could catch up on work for a day. I didn't really get everything done, but most. Then yesterday I amazingly got an extra two hours of alone time because it was an exam day with my college class ( which = early out) so I finished most everything left.

What a GREAT and totally FOREIGN feeling.

Last night I had no stress except for the perpetual mommy-child struggle. We went to daddy's baseball game and embarrassed him by backtalking in front of his players: "Dad- how many times do I have to tell you this?!" I have no idea where N has head that before :)
We got home, got the kids bathed and asleep and I even went to bed early.

And that is a good thing because I started myself awake at 5 am on tax day and realized that though our personal income taxes have been done for weeks, the quarterly estimated tax for my business has not.
So actually, I am not caught up at all. Such is life

Monday, April 11, 2011

Magic Moments Monday- Birthday Edition

We went "home" this weekend to have A's 1st Birthday Party and it was so much fun. We held it at a Siloam Springs State Park. If it hadn't been SO windy, we would have set it up entirely outdoors near the playground, but instead we held it at the main shelter house- which is huge. It was so good to spend a few hours with family and our little monkey had alot of fun getting new toys and smashing cake.

I had fun organizing this party with lots of polka dots and monkey details- it wasn't exactly my original 'vision' but I think it turned out pretty cute for carting all the food and decor to a destination party :)

She smashed that cake like a true pro!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Probably not the first or the last post on this topic

I love my family and everything that is our life- watching my babies grow, experiencing parenthood with my best friend who happens to be a great spouse, having a home and a dog and some money……
But sometimes I have an amazingly strong ache for four short and exhilarating years called “college”.
I think that I might appreciate teaching college so much because deep inside I wish I were still there. It is finally spring and today as I walked across the blooming campus alive with students in shorts I felt the nostalgia hit. As I sat in the coffee house grading papers in between classes, it hit harder (nevermind that the students behind me were completely hungover, and not wanting to study for their afternoon exam sat recounting tales of the night before) and then on the drive home I was actually laughing out loud in my car thinking back to old times.
I am not a freak. I know, because all my college girlfriends CLAIM that this happens to them too. We simply had a great group of friends and a seriously great time. There were also lots of tears and bouts of stress and all-nighters and growing up, but mostly, there was just fun (though that word does not suffice). I miss it. I am glad it is done because I have my family but I still mourn its passing nearly every single day.
I would LOVE for one day to wake up in Willer Hall to Kei flying into the room late to take a shower and get to class, walk into the common room to find Bernadette still on the couch asleep (fourth position) from overnight studying and head to lunch in the café with Amy and Mya. Later, I would meet Kerstin to work on a philosophy paper and walk with her to choir where Aaron would be waiting. Eventually I would have a great musical rehearsal/choreography session with Drew and after practice, us ladies would head to Spring Street or the Abbey and reminisce about how much we miss Holly and wish she would come visit. Notice I left out the insane amount of studying that probably was sandwiched in there somewhere- not important in my fake QU flashback J
Instead, I wake to babies crying, but really truly, that is okay because ten seconds later they are giving me hugs and singing me songs and in that respect, it is not much different than a good college night out. College molded me and made me but these kids are my legacy. Someday they will ‘go forth’ and meet their own incredible friends and make life memories. Above all, college made this family possible, because it delivered me Aaron and for that alone, the tuition was worth it.

Halloween Senior Year at Quincy University

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No stronger than the next!

I got a lot of feedback from my birth-day post, )
 especially about being “brave” and “tough” for having a natural birth and of course I am, but it comes from attempting motherhood, not from going au natural :)
A drug-free labor is something I feel very strongly about attempting. Notice I said “attempt” not “achieve”!  Every woman’s birth experience is completely different and truly can’t be compared. Some are easier/harder/faster/shorter/traumatic/pleasurable (insert descriptor) and often a woman’s idea of delivery is nothing like the real thing for better or for worse.
For me, my biggest qualms about the use of an epidural was that if I used one I would either prolong/slow labor to the point of a failure to progress that would turn into a c-section or that I would not be able to feel to push/control my pushing and require vacuum or forceps assistance with birth. So for me, I choose to have a go without it. As you have read in my birth story, I had the birth I wanted with Aila and it was because my husband really knew what he was doing.
Is that possible??
Can a man be partly responsible for how a woman’s labor goes?
The answer is absolutely! We used the Bradley Method of childbirth (which is a husband-coached relaxation technique) but it doesn’t have to be a man/husband, it is anybody that can support and reassure. In cases of home births where drugs are not an option, labor support takes on an entirely new meaning, but in a hospital setting (where the drugs are a shout away) there are VERY few women who could make it drug-free on sheer will. Most will reach a point where everything feels out of control and subconsciously, the body goes into self-preservation mode- you can’t help it. You ask for help! You ask for it to be over! You want out! If you are in a hospital, this is where the epidural comes in.
OR it is where your support system kicks it up a notch- if you can relax and breathe, the pain goes down (or even away for some very practiced people). When we get scared, we tense up and this makes labor painful.  I could talk about this subject for hours but that is an entirely new post! Aaron was ON with Aila because he knew I wouldn’t accept anything other than a completely natural birth.
Now hold- I am NOT judging any woman who has used medications, I already said before that you can’t compare labors!! He knew I needed to do it because for Nolan’s birth I had in desperation asked for an epidural, had him a mere 45 minutes later and was crushed. I had been so close! And then I had to go back to Logan (chiropractic school- in our 4th year there no less), the mecca of a drug-free existence, where the first thing people wonder is if you had a “natural” birth, not if you had a healthy baby….        
Note: ¾ of said people are men or single childless women
Sooooo I carried this guilt around and worried that my second birth would be the same. Dumb. All had been perfect with his delivery- I could still feel to push and obviously I waited long enough to avoid prolonging the second stage. He was just a booger in utero as he is now!! He had a nucchal hand (where it is up by the head) and didn’t want to descend cause of his wonky position so he took awhile getting lined up. My water also broke several hours before my contractions started and my doc was out of town until about 3 hours before delivery. I had to deal with this spastic doctor over the phone who yelled at me that I had to get to the hospital immediately to “get some chemicals in me”. I hung up on him and burst into tears, and thus started the super “relaxed” labor I had been aiming for. With the assault to my safety net complete, my body decided it was not in the mood- let’s face it, the body knows it is not a good idea to have a child if you are in fight or flight mode!  To try to jumpstart my contractions we tried every pressure point/trick in the book and didn’t quit once labor was established so I ended up with unnatural piggyback-style contractions…. Overall, good times.
So see,  I have been there. I have had the relaxed labor and the crazy, overthink everything little thing labor and the difference is night and day!!! If you can relax and breathe, your body knows just what to do. And Aaron was my perfect coach reminding me that I was laboring like a champ, and helping me get the birth I needed to have as ‘redemption’ I guess…
Anyway, I just thought it should be known that I am not any braver than the next woman!! All births should be celebrated, no matter how baby arrived, but if you WANT to give it a go, you totally can do it- all moms are strong and tough- you just have to get into the right mindset and get out of your own way. And if your husband knows where to push and rub, that is a bonus!

PS- Have you heard of Hypnobirthing?? I have a few friends who have done this and/or are certified teachers of the technique- google it an be amazed! In the throes of labor I said "I wish I had sprung the money for that damn hypnosis class" :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Magic Moment Mondays

i could be posting pics of my lovely's bday today but it was pretty low key around here. me and N made her a carrot cake from scratch and she happily smashed it to oblivion. we will be having her real party this weekend and i am so excited for it- i LOVE planning parties- so i will post pictures from that next week.
for now, here are some other moments taken from our first Cardinals outing of the year (yesterday). what a beautiful day it was. we managed not to blow away and the birds even won though honestly whenever i go with the kids i have no idea what happens in the game. the reality is that i only know they won because the fireworks went off at game's end......
nolan's new thing is to give everything a thumbs up ;)

aila's new thing is to run away from wherever you wish she would stay :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"birth"days and birthdays :)

Tomorrow my sweet baby girl turns one.

Unbelievable really that at 5:50 am (my OB says that 90% of all her babies are born at night/dark which is an entirely different blog post) I won't have an official infant anymore. I always (as in the three birthdays i have experienced with my son)  feel more nostalgia the day before the birthday because I can't help but remember all the terrible wonderfulness and exciting anticipation of labor and delivery. For instance, last year at this time, we were in Easter Vigil mass where I was my husband's sponsor as he became Catholic and I was having occasional mild rounds of contractions. Happy one year as a catholic day too honey :)

It was a busy day! Obviously it was quite a night too ;)

Moms know there is NOTHING quite like birthing a child- amazing and powerful and maybe a tad horrific at times but unique and special! I am so excited for my friends and family who will be experiencing this soon, both for the first time and as veterans (you all know who you are)!
What a high when you finally meet that person on the outside and know they already owned  a piece of your heart while on the inside. Whenever a birthday comes, I always wish mommy a happy "birth"day because it is also a celebration of birth and being a mother.

Tonight I will go to sleep with thoughts of contractions and miracles and power but I will probably meet April 4th a hell of a lot more comfortable than last year :) And I will certainly get more sleep!

If you are interested, Aila's birth story is below. I read a BUNCH before I had her in order to get into the birthing spirit so I felt very compelled to write my own!

Birth Story
I had awoken to contractions for several days off and on- nothing too intense but consistent and strong enough to make me take notice. Each time, it would last a few hours and then stop. I was beginning to get concerned that once actual labor kicked in and stayed, that I wouldn’t know when to make the hour long trip to the hospital since I had had so many fake outs. I was happy because I was doing the easy work in advance and hoped that when active labor ready got going, I would be primed and ready. But emotionally, I was starting to melt down a bit and knew a release was coming. Aaron had his initiation into the Catholic Church scheduled for Easter Vigil mass and since that was my due date and I was his sponsor, we were really hoping to make it through with no drama J
Saturday morning (my due date) brought on my emotional release- I was uncoordinated and tired and anxious and my two year old, Nolan had thrown his umpteenth tantrum for the week and I just lost it. I held it together to get Nolan to my husband, locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed for 45 minutes. It helped a lot. Afterwards I felt much more relaxed and less “crazy” and I know it removed a block that was getting the way of my labor. My parents arrived after lunch to be there for Easter Vigil and we played outside with my son all afternoon.  I cooked dinner for everybody and we went to church. While there, I had a few contractions, again nothing major. The mass was beautiful and long as Easter Vigil masses are and Aaron left the church a full member. We attended a little reception afterwards where all the other people from the RCIA group wished us well and made us promise to bring that baby by once she “finally” arrived.
When we got home, I chatted with my parents for awhile before bed and felt the contractions starting again. I didn’t say anything because it had all happened before (4 or 5 times) and I was trying not to expect anything. When we went to bed around 11:00, Aaron and I said his first rosary together and I had to actually stop and breathe through these contractions. When they arrived, I would stop talking and Aaron continued to pray until I could join him again. By the end of the rosary, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute. These were stronger than before and then I started to get the shakes. These had been pretty prevalent when I labored with my son so we knew that this was no practice round. It was very hard to relax when my body was in mini-convulsions, but as long as I really concentrated and breathed deep and low it was possible. Aaron gathered up our stuff and we told my mom to come sleep in our room in case my son awoke overnight looking for us and we went ahead and left for our hour drive to the hospital (we picked that hospital over the other dozen that were closer because they were most supportive of natural birth practices).
During our drive (which only took 45 minutes since it was 1:30 in the morning and Aaron was being an overachiever) the contractions continued to intensify and upon arrival, they were 4 minutes apart and lasting 1-1.5 minutes. We walked into the hospital, stopping twice to lean against the wall and breathe. I was dilated to four centimeters at intake (around 2:30) and after the initial routine, our nurse left us to labor.
My doctor gave us permission to monitor intermittently so we were free to move but I found a side lying position to be the most comfortable. With each contraction, Aaron put pressure into my sacrum and reminded me to relax and breathe. I went to the bathroom regularly to keep some movement going and would just squat slightly and lean into Aaron during these contractions. They continued to intensify and get closer together but I stayed pretty relaxed with Aaron’s help. Two hours later at 4:30, the nurse checked me and said I was 6-7 cm dilated. We were happy with the progress and knew that it was about to get hard but we were getting closer to meeting our baby girl. After that, things happened pretty fast, contractions got even stronger, the shaking returned and I found it impossible to relax through one particular contraction because of the shivering. Aaron climbed in bed behind me and started breathing hard with me reminding me to keep it low and deep in my stomach. He rubbed downward strokes across my sacrum and into my hip and we were able to keep the shivering under control as long as I kept concentrating on my breath. Relaxing was getting very hard and I started to get agitated and cried a little bit. Transition was near- I said I couldn’t do it and Aaron reminded me that we knew that I would think that but that was doing it already and just to hang in for 15 minutes (which is what I had told him to tell me and I reminded him of that).
Suddenly I knew I couldn’t lie down anymore. I started getting hot flashes and told Aaron to “get off me”. I scrambled up onto all fours and breathed through another contraction. Then I said I was going to pee my pants and I had to get to the bathroom so Aaron helped me into the bathroom. Went I sat down, suddenly I felt more relaxed again. It almost felt good to bear down slightly and I did a little through the next contraction (they were right on top of each other at this point). Suddenly I felt very lightheaded and felt a super powerful pressure in my pelvic floor along with a stretching sensation. I grasped the bar on the wall and said “Aaron I think she’s coming”. He ran to press the call button for the nurse and while he was gone I couldn’t help but bear down- I was feeling overwhelmed because I hadn’t expected it to progress like that. The contractions had switched to the pushing kind without my even noticing! When he got back in I grunted (truly) that I needed the nurse and reached down to see if I could feel the baby. The stretching and burning intensified but it was mostly just an amazingly powerful sensation. My nurse, Meghan ran in (she told me later she had heard my telltale grunting and managed to grab gloves on the way) and said “Jamie we HAVE to get you back to the bed” so Aaron grabbed me as I felt like I was holding my baby in and we hobbled quickly toward the bed. About 5 other nurses were running in with delivery equipment as Meghan yelled to “call Dr. McDonald” followed by “Oh my, she’s delivering” as I flopped backward onto the bed. As I did that, my water broke and baby Aila spilled (I use this term because that is what it felt like) out of me. What a tremendous relief! Meghan caught her and said give one more push. It was really the only push I felt like I consciously made as her entire body came out and they put her on my stomach. At this point, the house doctor ran in- she had been across the hall and was still too far away to make it in time for delivery. Of course, my doc was probably in the parking lot still at this time, as we had never thought I would go from 7 cm to delivery in less than 45 minutes. It was 5:15 am and we had our beautiful little angel in our arms. I had no tearing, no bleeding issues like I had with Nolan and no time to even process that I had just had a baby! It was the birth of my dreams and though it was incredibly intense, I would not have not done it any other way. The staff referred to me as ‘the lady whose baby fell out’ and all those pre-runs of early labor really paid off getting Aila in the best position for birth. We were all doing well so we discharged about 35 hours after we got there. God is good!