Life as MommyMo

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One week

I've been on Sonoma for one week now, and can actually say I'm enjoying myself. How weird is that?! I always like the sense I control I feel once I decide I need to formally follow a diet, but this sense goes beyond that. The food tastes good and Rob and I are cooking more. That means we spend more time together and get to talk. Before we committed to follow a diet plan that required A LOT of cooking, we used up every spare minute we had and one of us (mostly Rob) rushed to get something quickly on the table. The recipes we're using now mean that both of us usually need to be in the kitchen. I suppose a more experienced cook wouldn't find it that way, but neither of us are gourmets and we also have a nearly four-year-old who is STILL in the beige food phase.

Rob's having his willpower tested sooner than I am. He goes to Ohio for a Relay For Life Advisory Team meeting this weekend. I can let him report back on how easy it is to follow Sonoma when on the road. My dear friend Kelli tells me we can do it. She's been amazingly successful already and is the one who finally convinced me to try something other than Weight Watchers. So far, I've lost as much weight in the first week as I would have on WW (four pounds, for anyone in the Relay 10 lb. club who's counting!!)

I just realized that I've typed two entire paragraphs about a diet. Wow. What fun for no one else but me. Sorry. My blog, my free therapy.

I'm off to start an early day of work. I have more to do than I can possibly get done, and needed one day with a few extra hours in it to at least *feel* like I'm making headway. Lord knows I've learned that when you're flying solo with Sam, not much but the basics gets done!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A fun list

I love these lists for some reason... And I'm not quite ready to dive into email at this early hour.

Where is your cell phone? In my purse...needing to be charged
Your significant other? on his way to school for the day
Your hair? Is still in shock from being cut off last week; at least it's not grey for the moment
Your mother? needs a good vacation
Your father? probably already on his way to work in Kansas. I should call him today.
Your favorite thing? My computer
Your dream last night? I don't remember any dreams from last night.
Your favorite drink? iced tea, Ferrari Carano Siena, Belvedere vodka gimlet
Your dream/goal? to land a Relay For Life story in People magazine
The room you’re in? our living room
Your ex? Who knows? I haven't had an "ex" since high school. I'm pretty sure the last one is living in Michigan.
Your fear? People touching my pillow; not getting a referral until next year
Where do you want to be in 6 years? If a few key people/family would agree to pick up and move with us... back in Kansas City
Where were you last night? At home, watching Rob practice Wii tennis
What you’re not? a good cook
Muffins? We're following the Sonoma diet, so no muffins in this house.
One of your wish list items? Gucci by Gucci
Where you grew up? Lenexa, Kansas
The last thing you did? read a Max and Ruby book to Sam
What are you wearing? sweats
Your TV? tuned to The Upside Down Show
Your pets? Frankie is half in/half out in the rain; Roosevelt still seems to be sleeping in his bowl
Your computer? an iMac that is quickly running out of space
Your life? too busy and missing one little person, but otherwise quite happy!
Your mood? ready to write
Missing someone? Kathy -- we haven't had much time lately
Your car? a Toyota Sienna that's probably feeling unloved because Sam and I always talk about getting a Prius while we're in the car
Something you’re not wearing? lipstick
Favorite store? jjill
Your summer? restful and fun, since the boys are both home all day
Like someone? lots of people
Your favorite color? probably green
Last time you laughed? this morning when Sam woke up calling me a Silly Head
Last time you cried? last week at the airport when I saw Patriot Guard riders roll in to meet a soldier coming home from Iraq

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Early Birthday

I'm not sure if I'm about to turn 34 or 14, but I got an early birthday present today that makes me feel like a tween. We just happened to go into Target as they were stocking Wiis. Rob tells me they're still really hard to get, and I've had an interest in one since we picked one up at the very same Target under the very same circumstances for someone else back in February. I've also heard people talk since Christmas about how much fun they are. So... I decided it would be fun for us, too, and since they were right there, we got one.

We hooked it up during Sam's naptime and played for almost two hours. As it turns out, I'm quite an accomplished Wii bowler. I'm more in Barack Obama's league when it comes to knocking down pins, but give me a Wii control, and I'm unstoppable. I scored a 196 in my third game. Something tells me that I need to learn how to change the skill level. I think I may be playing at the Nintendo equivalent of bumper bowling!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Friends in high places...

It pays to have friends in the right places. I asked my fabulous designer friend, Ms. Lauren Reid, about possibly creating an Earth Day kit. I have lots of outdoorsy pics of Sam and thought the kit itself might raise some awareness about "making the Earth happy" as my dear son likes to say. So without further ado...I give you "Tree Hugger." How CuTe is this kit??! I love it... If you're a scrapper, go to so you can go to the store and buy it. I'd stay longer, but I'm off to scrap myself.

Sorry, Senator

I've been planning for weeks now to take today as a vacation day to volunteer for Obama in Pennsylvania. I had a great time working with MoveOn on Election Day in 2004 and know that today's primary will be closely watched as the Convention gets closer and closer. Well... the best laid plans. George and I both made every effort to clear our schedules, but both of us had work stuff come up that we just can't miss. Instead of waving signs during Philly drive time, I'm wearing my Obama 08 shirt and making another nice contribution to the campaign. I've been a member of the Out-Of-State Volunteers group on, but I think I'll switch and see what I can start to do in NJ.

I've got a few stories to catch up on, but as usual, the last couple of weeks have been crazy.

Well, even though every plan we thought we had on Saturday didn't happen as we'd anticipated, we still had a great evening at home together. For one reason or another, we've not had a "regular" Saturday together in weeks. Rob had a Relay engagement on Saturday morning, but by naptime, we were all at home together. The best part was that the weather was absolutely perfect for the first time that I could actually enjoy it. We ate dinner outside and played in the yard until bedtime. My favorite meal of the year is the first one that we can cook on the grill and actually enjoy on the patio.

We made another attempt at the soccer thing on Saturday. Thank goodness Uncle David is a coach, or else I'm not sure Sam would have ever seen any action. We think it's all related to the other behavior issues we've been dealing with, but Sam REFUSES to play. My mom couldn't even get him to the field last weekend. He went fairly willingly this weekend, but then put on the brakes the instant we arrived. He clung to me like his life depended on it and would not play with the team. I don't want to demand Sam play soccer, but I also don't want to reinforce behavior that is becoming a bigger issue every day. I told him that he didn't have to play, but that we were going to stay. He'd asked on the way if he could have lunch at Wendy's when soccer was over. I'd agreed, so when he refused to play and wanted to leave to go get chicken nuggets, we had plenty of whining. I explained that we were going to watch so that he could decide when he was ready to play. I also told him that I really wanted to watch Danny play if he wasn't going to play himself. I'm not sure which part of the process worked, but about 35 min. into the hour-long game, he decided he was ready. He just stood up and announced that he had changed his mind and wanted to "be a blueberry." Coach Jeff had set up a scrimmage. Some kids were in their blue shirt and, thus, blueberries. Some wore yellow "thing" (for all my years of soccer, I can't remember what they're called!) that made them bananas. All in all, I was just glad he decided on his own to play. Every day since, he's asked when he can go again. We shall see how that goes.

The Pope
I've always had an interest in the formalities of the papacy. I watched the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of the new pope three years ago with bated breath. I watched much of the coverage of Pope Benedict's first US visit last week, too. I even recorded the last part of the Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral since it wasn't finished by the time we had to leave for soccer. I watched in amusement Saturday night the long procession of the church dignitaries into the cathedral. I was mesmerized by the symbolism and reverence with which all of the clergy in attendance waited for the Pope's entrance.

I got the giggles, however, when I noticed a certain sign of the times that really put a bit of a damper on the sacredness of the occasion for me. As Pope Benedict made his way down the aisle, you could see tons of priests and nuns taking his picture. Ok. I get that. It's a huge moment in their lives. While I was distracted by the flashes, I tried to understand the significance of what was happening to someone who has devoted their lives to the church. What got me for some weird reason, though, were all of the clergy one or two seats back from the aisle who were holding up cell phones to take pictures as if they were at a Rolling Stones show. I don't know why the device used to take pictures was so noticeable to me, but it was. Oh, well. I suppose that since I probably missed some of the coverage that I'll be able to access it online now. Do you think nuns go back to the convent and upload cell phone video to You Tube?

Day One
Well, as much as I don't want to admit it, Weight Watchers seemed to work best for me when some stranger had to see with her own eyes how much I weigh. I suppose it must have been the humiliation factor that kept me on the wagon. Now that I travel with complete irregularity, it was becoming impossible to stick to a meeting day. I don't know anyone faithful WWer who was relaxed enough to weigh in when it's convenient. No, when you invest in the program, you wear the same clothes to weigh in on the same day. And you generally have nothing in your stomach when you go. I came to realize that this wasn't a "lifestyle change." I have been telling myself for a while that in order to really make a change, I had to be accountable only to myself. That brought me to WWOnline. No real success there. I just felt like I was missing something once the initial motivation wore off, and I lost steam quickly.

So, after quite a bit of research and discussion between Rob and I about what we can do together that will really mean healthy changes that are permanent, we decided to try the Sonoma Diet. This is one that calls a spade a spade and says, Yes, you are on a diet. I like the honesty in that. However, once you get through the first two "waves" that, like Weight Watchers, are focused on weight loss, you are supposed to be able to maintain on a not-so-restrictive rest-of-your-days plan. In theory, it's not much different than any other plan in the maintenance regard, but from the get-go, the plan basically revolves around whole, unprocessed food. You're trained from Day One to consume far less sugar, which I think will be a big change for me. I always still ate sugar-free pudding and the like on WW. I think the theory of cutting your sugar cravings with no sweets other than fruit is probably more sensible (if not as much fun as you get used to it!) We both checked out the book and actually thought 95% of the recipes sounded like stuff we'd like to make anyway, so we're giving it a go. I'm fairly good at sticking to a plan in the initial stages, mainly because I'm very stubborn and refuse to fail. I just hope that this is what actually makes us eat differently in the end.

I will admit that when I saw that Day One's breakfast was oatmeal with skim milk and coffee, I thought I was in good shape. In the nuances lie the change. No sugar in the coffee or on the cereal. Duh. But, I think those are small sacrifices once we bite the bullet and get used to it. I just have to be honest with myself and realize that what I'm doing is going to help me feel better when I'm another year older and trying to keep up with a new baby! I did a good job of losing weight in anticipation of Sam's arrival, and this baby deserves the same commitment.

Well, now that I've had my own little therapy session, I'll go boil some steel-cut oats and start the day.

Monday, April 14, 2008


After having Sam home with us for nearly three years now, it's easy to take for granted that he knows he's going to be part of our family forever.

I don't think that he remembers anything from life before us, but I do firmly contend that buried in his psyche is a bit of insecurity. I'm also fairly well convinced that it's this insecurity that may be at the root of some of his behavior issues.

If I ever wondered, he gave me good reason last night.

In the midst of reading books, after a VERY trying weekend (he was so out of control Saturday -- witnessed and recounted by our neighbor -- that my mom couldn't even get him to soccer) he made a comment out of the blue that blew me away. I don't recall what prompted the comment, but in the midst of reading a Dr. Seuss book, he started to pout and say that he was sad that we weren't "going to keep [him] forever."

We explored this conversation for a bit. He told me that his puppy told him that Mommy and Daddy weren't going to keep him. When I asked why puppy would think that, he said, "because it's true."

I asked if he thought that bringing a new baby home meant he wouldn't stay here and he replied that he feared that the new baby was "instead of" him.

Obviously, we didn't stick to our usual bedtime routine at that point and had a very long conversation about what it means to be family; that we'd be together forever; and that Mommy and Daddy needed his help when the new baby came.

I don't know that this has anything to do with adoption but might be fairly typical new-baby-on-the-way stuff, but considering the fact that we think his "psychological organization" (yes, we've been doing lots of reading) has been affected by his frequent changes in caregivers, we're extra sensitive.

I think that I also just knew last night that we'd had our first taste of the self-doubt that we've been warned all adopted kids will go through at some point. I don't know how much soul searching a preschooler is truly doing, but in some ways, it's scarier that he just takes it as a matter of fact that we might consider him disposable.

I held it together while finishing the conversation because I didn't want him to hear anything but enthusiastic reassurances that "our family is forever," but I was a wreck when I left his room.

Thankfully, he's much more himself this morning. I tested the waters by asking him what it means to be a family and he smiled from ear to ear and said, "it means you're going to keep me forever and ever!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Catching Up

(photo from bjyphotos)

I suppose that someday I will realize that my no-longer-new job means crazy months at the beginning of the year. I've been traveling so much lately that I have a hard time catching up to myself once I'm home again. This last trip was longer than usual, but it was because I went to Kansas City and got to visit family for a few days. It was so fun to hang out with everyone, especially Angie, Tony and the kids. I miss Luca and Joey already!

Other than getting Sam snuggles again, the greatest thing about being home is that I arrived to 80-degree weather! The first day I can skip wearing socks is a banner day in my year. I will probably still find reasons to wear pants just so I can wear my comfy boots a few more times, though. I'll have to bug Kim to go shopping for the flip-flop version of Uggs with me, now that I understand the addiction.

The last night I was in Kansas City, a few of us took our dear friend Kelli out to wish her good luck in her new position with ACS. We had a blast at a Roger Clyne show at the tiniest and perhaps seediest place I've been (voluntarily) in quite a while. As it turns out, there really is an "other side of the tracks" and it's located off Rochester Ave. in Kansas City. If I ever had to wonder what a real live honky tonk looks like, I found it on Wednesday night. We saw the show crushed in with several hundred other die-hard fans, breathed way more secondhand smoke than anyone affiliated with the Society should, and were close enough to touch Mr. Clyne himself. I happily behaved like a groupie for the evening and loved every second of it. Now, if I could just convince my dear husband that a trip to Mexico for Circus Mexicus is the perfect birthday gift...

Sam, thankfully, is feeling much better after a week of fighting a fever. He recovered by Saturday for the most part, only to spike another fever on Monday afternoon. We're waiting for (painfully slow to return) results of a urine culture, since the doctors can't think of what else would cause his fever to come back. It was up over 104 on Monday afternoon!

Rob and I are going to spend the weekend doing one of our favorite volunteer activities: teaching the pre-marriage course at our church. I am wondering, however, how two people who have only been in the same house for four nights in the last three weeks are going to pass muster. I am awfully happy to see him. Maybe we can demonstrate that you can still be super happy to see your spouse after more than seventeen years together!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Still Slacking

I have blogger block. Well, not really. I just know that I'd sound like a whiner if I blogged, so I just decided not to. Sorry if I've bored anyone, but it just doesn't seem like fun to blog about my own little complaints.

I'm headed to Kansas City for a visit tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing my family and I actually think my meetings are going to be productive, but I HATE leaving. I hate it. I absolutely love everything about my job except the leaving town part. I don't mind the travel per se, but if I could have one superpower, it would totally be to be able to be in two places at once.

It's harder than usual to leave this time for two reasons. I'm gone for five nights, which is much longer than I am normally away. We decided that seeing my family was the best excuse for being gone for so long. I really, really wanted to take Sam with me, but since Rob was just out of town himself for the senior class trip we decided that much disruption of Sam's routine was not a good idea.

I've finished my first reading of "Raising Your Spirited Child," and completely agree with the author that you know your kid and his limits, and that you have to abide by them, even if other people try to convince you otherwise. And Sam's limits most certainly involve needing a routine and structure. He enjoys being out of his routine, but it sets his behavior in a tailspin. I think we may be turning a corner with some of the new strategies we've been trying, so messing with it is out of the question right now.

The other reason, the bigger reason, that it's so hard to leave is that my little guy is SICK SICK SICK. Other than a febrile seizure a couple of years ago, I'm not sure I've ever seen him so miserable. He's so sad and whiny and limp. The funny thing is, another mom in the doctor's office today assumed he was there for a well-child visit because he was talking and playing quietly, not moping in my lap. It's all a matter of perspective. For us, a reasonably quiet child is actually a sick child! Thank goodness the doctor says it's just a virus that will pass. As long as his fever stays down, we should be in good shape.

I have a Sam story that's funny that I keep meaning to write down. It happens every day. We've learned that Sam has trouble with transitions, which means he does better when we warn him of what's about to happen as opposed to just, for example, switching off the TV to go to school. If you say, "Sam, in five minutes, we're leaving for school," he miraculously does not throw a tantrum when we go to leave.

However, no matter what amount of time you give him, his always cheerful reply is "five minutes is a lot, Mommy." Sometimes an hour is a lot. Sometimes 30 seconds is a lot. Sam is certainly grateful for every moment he gets, apparently! It's the cutest thing. I really need to remember to use our video camera and capture him saying it.

Seeing as I'm getting up before 4:30 a.m. for the fourth time in seven days, I think I'll head off to bed. Hopefully I'll get a bit of sleep on the plane tomorrow. Keeping up with the cousins takes energy!