Life as MommyMo

Monday, July 05, 2010


I can sum up the time I've been away in one little word: HOT. Once school was out, we headed off to Disney World, a trip we've been planning for months now. I'm nearly certain that the term "hell on Earth" was coined by someone visiting the Magic Kingdom with small children in July. There are no other words to describe that particular place at that particular time of year.

I called my mom on her birthday while we were away only to hear that the weather back home was glorious. Not 12 hours after we landed back home, the craziest heat wave to hit our area in years descended upon us. I'm beginning to feel punished! It's supposed to be 100+ degrees for the next few days... I may or may not survive.

Oh, the actual trip to Disney: it was fun. I will now admit that I "get" what people are talking about. Since I'm safely ensconced in air conditioning I can also now admit that we didn't get to see enough while there. I went into the week wanting to just enjoy our time there and make sure no one got sick in the heat. Modest goals if you ask me.

We did accomplish both of those objectives and managed to find plenty to make both kids happy. I can definitely see why a trip sans children would be a fun time. It just may happen for Kelli's 40th in January, too. I'm sure I will have far more patience when the weather is in the 60s/70s!

The highlight of the trip for both boys turned out to be -- who knew? -- Donald Duck. Max went silly screaming "DUCK!" every time he saw him. Thank goodness no one thought there was a heavy object coming their way. He was quite forceful about his shouting. Sam also quickly discovered the whole pin trading phenomenon and set out to collect every unusual Donald Duck pin he could find. He was pretty successful, too. It was so cute to see him approach any and every cast member he could find to trade. I've managed to block out what this little activity cost... To be fair, he did "earn" $100 in Disney gift cards for good behavior in the weeks leading up to the trip. He also did a fantastic job of budgeting what he had while we were there. We only added a bit extra at the end (he doesn't realize he'd run out, which is fine...) to acquire one particular pin that he was DYING to nab but lost out on.

It's hard to believe I'm back to work tomorrow. What's even harder to believe is that I only have nine days left with the American Cancer Society. I'll wax more nostalgic about that in a few days, I'm sure. The reality hasn't completely set in just yet. Well, it's set in somewhat, since I've already had two meeting requests from fellow staff members at church! They are being incredibly gracious about asking me to put things on my calendar for the first week. For now, I'm focusing on leaving things as tidy as possible at ACS and making sure I feel ready for such a big shift in gears.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

So far, so good

I don't have a ton of time to post, but I wanted to document that while I've been fairly steady weight-wise for weeks, the change in what I'm eating seemed to kick things into gear! Yay me... I've lost two pounds in four days. Handmade, organic, whole grain spinach, tomato and garlic fettucine was the highlight of my day today. It's the little things that make me happy.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Day One is easy

I was weirdly thrilled to buy lots of groceries at Whole Foods yesterday... I also picked up super supplements that my mom is convinced could save the world. It had been a while since I'd done much shopping there, and I'm pretty sure the number of vegans in my region must have increased exponentially in that period of time. I was amazed at the vast selection of EVERYTHING for those who don't do food with a face. (I must say, though, that I think WF slaps a vegan label on anything they can... I saw several baked goods that I'm pretty sure have always been vegan, but some genius in marketing saw an opportunity and had a roll of stickers in his/her hand.)

I realize it's only 2:13 p.m., but I'm still happy I've done well. I had yogurt with lowfat granola and berries for breakfast. I'm having carrots, cucumbers and whole wheat pretzels with white bean dip for lunch, along with a bottle of Morroccan Mint Honest Tea. I was ravenous after church when I met up with the boys at a party, but I was easily able to not eat the pizza and cake they were serving.

I'm going to spend the rest of today figuring out if we can convince Rosie to go in a crate when we're gone. She is an absolutely lovely animal, but I'm concerned that her level of neuroticism is going to give us all problems. I don't know how long she cries when I leave, but she's at the window, clawing for her life when I leave and when I return. She's torn curtains and ripped into drywall with her scratching, so I think it's safe to say she's got a bad case of anxiety. I'm going to see if putting her in a crate where she feels safer helps at all.

I just re-read this post. Wow, does my life sound exciting or what?!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A New Beginning

After another round of mismatched symptoms and blood tests, I've decided that I am going need to use my control freak tendencies to my advantage to do more than just diet. I'm convinced that I need a pretty radical change to be healthier overall. For once, I am not going to make weight loss my top priority. That's kind of daunting, but I also think doing so prevents me from making long-term change.

Don't get me wrong. I think Weight Watchers, in particular, is awesome. But I think I'm finally becoming honest enough with myself to know when I take liberties that I shouldn't because it seems like I'm still "on plan" when in reality I'm only hurting myself.

I also know that we have lots of reasons (which are really just more excuses) for not doing what we need to do. We are busy, but so is everyone else. We have a very picky eater living with us, but so do lots of other parents. The truth is that we haven't prioritized our health to the degree we should.

So, while I wait for Rob to return from Costco with lots of our "regular" fresh veggies and fruit, I'm doing some flexitarian/part-time vegetarian/healthy living research and preparing for an exploratory trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods while Max naps. The child will go to sleep with Pop Tarts in the house and wake up to more steel cut oats.

Actually, the kids and even Rob are a hurdle in all of this. I had enough of a meltdown this week over feeling miserable that I think Rob's on board, but I'm not sure exactly how we'll tackle incorporating all of this for the kids. I have decided that we can take that as it goes as long as I am always putting out the effort to make the right choices for myself. I'm not deluded enough to think that things like lentil rice pilaf are going to take the place of chicken nuggets for at least one of my children anytime soon.

Friday, June 04, 2010

I'm a control freak

Odd that, while I've known this about myself for years, I don't think I've actually been willing to believe it about myself until this week. There's so much up in the air right now, that I'm finding it hard to focus, hard to sleep, hard to keep my wits about me from moment to moment.

I want to be patient and take things as they come, but things like a baby who is in the throes of a total food throwing phase test every last fiber of my nervous system. Luckily, I find myself able to take a step back *almost* in the moment to realize that said child is doing nothing but practicing motor skills and having fun. He loves me and certainly would NOT be tossing banana at the back of my head were he to know that I was about to crack about deadlines, expected phone calls, schedules for three other human beings, etc.

So... I decided just today that while there's lots I can't control in life, I can control how controlling I am. Poetic, right? Basically I'm trying to promise myself to take a few more deep breaths than I usually do before I start to feel the stress ball in my stomach begin to well up. I'm sure that the stress will still be there, but no one but me is ultimately affected if I let it get to me. So I won't. Or at least I'll try not to. Now... Who's going to volunteer to keep me honest?!

Monday, May 31, 2010

I figured it out...

For some reason, I've felt the need to be entirely too self-critical when it dawns on me how long I am able to go without posting to my blog. I usually let myself off the hook, but yesterday I found myself wondering what exactly keeps me from writing.

I love to preserve memories. So that made me think that I do that in so many other ways that maybe I don't feel the NEED to blog, too?

I like to write. So that made me think that I am doing a lot more wordy stuff with the way my job has changed. Maybe THAT sucks the need to write about myself out of me?

I like to share cool, funny stories. So that made me think that I have Facebook for that.

There you have it. Lots of "reasons," but really nothing more significant that a busy life and too many distractions. It was actually seeing a service to print my blog that brought me back here today. I want to do a better job of capturing stories as they happen. When I go back and read old posts, I realize I do it well sometimes, not so well others. If I DO do it well, I really could create a fun memory book for the kids that involves no scrapping. Imagine that!

I suppose I have other reasons for keeping to myself more than usual lately, but I also like to think I'm entitled to that. Look at me telling myself it's all ok, no matter what! Oh, well. We all know I'm a pretty open book. I'll get back in the groove somehow, sometime and be a better blogger. Ah... Someday.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No big surprise

I suppose it was going to happen at some point. After living under the same roof as a family of four for nearly a year now, we've finally all managed to get the same germ. We have become experts at lining up illnesses one behind the other, but it's a whole new world to have four people sick at the same time. Not fun. I am counting my lucky stars, however, that this particular virus is not of the intestinal variety. I could go the rest of my life without *that* shared experience.

So, we'll be going off en masse to our respective doctors tomorrow. If I knew how to do it, I'd quickly buy stock in some pharmaceutical company, since I have a feeling that at least a couple of us will be on antibiotics by this time tomorrow.

All of this newfound germiness means a rare-these-days pajama day for us. We scored a trip to Ikea yesterday before the last of us fell, so Rob is being more industrious than I have the energy to be, constructing a new dresser for Max's expanding wardrobe. I'm trying to keep the boys out of the danger zone (not only are there tools and small parts in the vicinity, I have a feeling a few choice words will also fly before the project is complete.)

In other news, Sam is home for his first ever spring break this week. Since the holiday child care program was going to be more trouble than it seemed to be worth for us, I'm preparing for a week of childcare swaps and bribery in order to get my job done with him at home. We'll also be fitting in the annual Becker Passover seder and yet another visit with a state case manager to finalize details for Max's next round of therapy. We're fortunate that our daycare center is awesome and is going to let him have speech therapy there, so that we're not trying to manage a second afternoon therapy appointment each week.

My other huge task is to kick the Easter Bunny in gear this week. I probably should have had a word with Mr. Bunny while I was not shadowed by a precocious kindergartner, but Rob and I had back-to-back work trips, so eggs and cellophane grass just weren't on my radar.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Date Day!

Last week was slooooow and busy all at the same time thanks to -- count them -- TWO blizzards. I actually can't recall the last time we had measurable snowfall twice in a single week let alone two bona fide blizzards. For the record, the news tells me we had 44.3 inches in five days. We're supposed to get another storm tonight, but I think this one is only bringing a couple of inches. I doubt the school districts will even blink. Thank goodness.

Having everyone home for most of the week made the week drag to some degree, but we were still frantically busy trying to keep the kids occupied and get ourselves and anyone else who needed us dug out from under the snow. And, of course, when you work from home and your office is technically in Atlanta, there is no such thing as a snow day. So I was trying to manage conference calls and all kinds of assignments while Rob managed the kids and finding stuff for them to do ALL DAY for TWO DAYS.

That's what convinces me that we earned today. Because of the Dec. 20 snow day that Sam got and Rob did not, Sam has school today. Rob and I both, though, have President's Day off, so we're having an official date day. It's an incredibly rare event that we have that much child care working in our favor... I literally can't recall the last time we went out alone just because we wanted to. Rob has a terrible cold. I have dentist appointment. Rob has several Relay volunteers calls to make. I have an assignment that I really need to focus on without the phone ringing. BUT... We're still going to lunch and movie, darn it. We will have fun today if it kills us!

Saturday, February 06, 2010


I haven't been MIA in general (Facebook will prove that) but I have been awfully neglectful of my dear blog. We've had a busy couple of months fraught with lots of change (at work) and illness (at home.) I've also been working on a new project that I'm totally excited about... Details on that to come.

I figured the best way to jump back into MommyMo is just to post my Project 365 layouts. That pretty much covers a good portion of the time I've been absent from this particular place. I'm pretty excited that I've yet to miss a day taking a photo. I have never been particularly inspired to do that (ahem...I've been scared of failure..ahem) but when I looked at photos at the end of the year and saw how MUCH the kids had changed, I suddenly wanted to capture a piece of every single day to see what it tells me at the end of 2010. The boys are both at ages that will bring lots of change, so it should be fun and rewarding to commit to P365.

Look how coordinated and organized it looks using this kit! I'm NEVER this organized, but am going to love this album at the end of the year, I'm sure. I you want to use the kit yourself, it's from the lovely Leora Sanford at Little Dreamer Designs.