Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jon!

Yes, all of the cliches are true:
Having a baby changes your life.
Time flies!
They grow up so fast, etc.

This year has gone by so quickly, yet it is hard to remember my hefty, semi-independent little boy as a 9 pound, squirmy bundle. We are so thankful for our little guy, who is sweet and happy and cute and...I could go on and on : ) We had Jon's birthday party on the 22nd (so thankful we did - Jon and most of his party guests were sick on the 29th!) and I will post about that later. Below is what we did on Jon's birthday, the 28th:

Time to wake up! Jon was actually up at about 7:15am, but I needed a shower, so he played in his crib until I came to get him at 8am for breakfast. These days he eats baby oatmeal with a banana or blueberries mixed in along with an 8 oz. sippy cup of milk. Yes! Real milk! Even though I buy to organic stuff, it is still soooooooo much less expensive than formula.

Jon 'helps' me unload and reload the dishwasher. I have learned to take the sharp objects out before he realizes I have opened the dishwasher. He especially likes closing the door when we are done.

Going to run some errands! Probably our last picture of a rear-facing car seat.

Getting some fabric at Hobby Lobby for a couple of projects. Green seersucker was on clearance, and I see some shortalls in his future - we will bring a little Memphis to Central Texas! Those two fingers are in their usual place.

Playing with blocks at library story time! Today the stories we listened to were about being sick - a barnyard full of sick animals and a guinea pig who had to go to the doctor for eating too much chocolate : ) After the story, there are tons of toys for the kiddos to play with. It is also a great place to start teaching Jon manners - like not stealing toys and being gentle. We also sing songs and learn some sign language. I am so glad we have this activity twice a week!

After a nap back at home, it is time for lunch! For his birthday, Jon had spaghetti (parents' dinner from the night before), cheese, a clementine, and milk. The second picture is of Jon's new fine motor skill: putting small bits of food on the spout of his sippy cup. His father may have something to do with this new habit....

In this picture, Jon is pointing to our cat, Sigma, and squealing. Sigma is hissing. Such a sad tale of unrequited love : (

I found out Jon has another new skill: opening sliding screen doors! Did this the first time on his first birthday - yay : ) Since our screen doors do not have locks on them, this new skill will make the next several months lots of fun around here. I love having fresh air in the apartment, and our only windows are sliding doors. Thankfully they make a noise when opened, so I'm keeping my ears open for the telltale sound.

After another nap and a snack of a banana, rice chex and water, Jonathan is now home from work and he and Jon play with some plastic cups on our bed. Jon loves playing on our bed, because he can flop all over the place into the comforter and pillows. A whole living room full of toys, and Jon loves playing with the cat, the sliding screen doors, and plastic cups!

We decided to go out for dinner to celebrate making it one year as parents. Our original plan was to go somewhere with margaritas, but our fav mexican place doesn't sell them, so we opted for the pizza place down the street and a pitcher of Shiner Boch. It is great to have so many things within walking distance from our apartment!

Jon had his first taste of pizza! Well, pizza crust with tomato sauce, and some green bell peppers. He enjoyed his dinner of black beans, avocado, another clementine, cheerios and milk.

Back home, getting ready for bed.

So that was our day! I was not far behind Jon in getting into bed, because a 4-mile run awaited me in the morning. I am thankful for a happy, healthy, one-year-old who keeps me running around every day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

If you needed any more evidence that I am a Democrat...

The proposed budget for the state of Texas came out this week. I have been pretty interested in state budgets since my sophomore year in college. I was an intern at Youth Villages, and the state of Tennessee had to virtually shut down for several weeks because the legislature could not come to an agreement on the budget. Mental health facilities were some of the only state funded organizations that stayed open, so I kept my job for the summer. I learned then that even though I worked for a private organization, my salary was indirectly tax-payer funded. My husband also teaches at a public university (and has for the past 6 years) so I also pay attention to state budgets and tax debates because our family's financial well being is tax payer funded.

Governor Perry has pledged that taxes will not increase, nor will the state dip into its 'rainy day fund.' That means budget cuts. Unfortunately, many of the cuts proposed are in public education. Scholarships for public universities are being significantly cut, which means that many low income students will not be able to attend. In elementary schools, the new budget proposes cutting hundreds of jobs, specifically in art, music, physical education and librarians. I recently heard the comment, "If I don't have children in school, why should I have to pay taxes for public schools?" Comments like those cause me to die a little inside. Imagine our future if children today do not have the opportunity to express themselves artistically, exercise using parachutes, or explore libraries.

I would gladly pay more in taxes to ensure that my son's future elementary school has art, music, PE, and a cranky librarian! I wish my crazy Kara could have been his librarian : )

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am a Rogue

Jonathan's Christmas/birthday present to me was a training program through Rogue Running in Austin. This is a four day a week training program for beginning runners or those who have run before but have taken some time off. It involves two core workouts, a speed workout, and a long run - all led by coaches. Since I participated in team sports from 2nd grade through college, I find it very motivating to exercise in a group and have someone wiser than myself telling me what to do : ) Rogue should be very glad of this, because it makes them money!

The program started on January 8th, the day after my 29th birthday - motivation enough to jump start my running! Since my training group is so big, the coaches divided us into two groups, asking us to choose which group to go into: the newbie never-run-in-my-life group and the I-can-run-3-miles-without-stopping group. I chose the more advanced group, but soon found out that most of the folks in the group were more like I-can-run-10-miles-without-stopping people. So, as usual, I was at the back of our long run. But hey, I ran three miles that day - which is more than I would have done on my own were I not with a group : )

I was out of town for the next week, and since I was in Chattanooga with 8 inches of snow....I didn't run at all. : (

I went to my first core class on Monday, and it was pretty awesome! I haven't done a workout like that since I was on the crew team at the University of Aberdeen. I'm going to list out what we did for those of my friends who are interested - everyone else can just skip it : )

a) Jumpies/Star Jumps: start by standing, squat down with your back remaining perpendicular to the ground(don't bend forward) until your fingertips touch the ground, jump straight up with your arms straight above your head.
b) Push-ups
c) V-crunches: start by laying down flat on your back with your arms extended behind your head, keeping your legs and arms straight lift them up to touch your toes (you are making a V with your body)
d) Weighted Squats: hold a medicine ball or other weight (I used either a 10 lb or 8 lb weight), squat down without bending forward until your legs form a 90 degree angle, like you are sitting in a chair, then stand back up
e) Tricept Dips - Sit on the edge of a chair or a bench, walk your feet out in front of you so your legs are straight, lower your body by bending your arms so they make a 90 degree angle (that is much harder to describe than I thought it would be - hopefully you know what a tricept dip is).
f) Bicycle crunches

Do 7 circuits as follows: each exercise 10 times, then 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and another 10 times. Between each circuit rest for 30-60 seconds.

This is an example of a workout that I would NEVER do on my own, but I did it 110% with 40 other people and a coach. Thank you, Jonathan for my present!!! Needless to say, yesterday I was very sore, but sore in a good way : )

Then last night, I had my first speed workout. The coaches stressed that we are easing into this training program and not to go out to hard. No need to tell me that : ) Our work out was a mile warm up run, and we ran to a neighborhood where there were four cul-de-sacs next to one another. The speed workout was to easy jog from the main street to the turn around, then pick up the pace a bit to run back down the street, then easy jog to the next street and continue for four blocks. No stopping - the rest periods were the easy jogs between the faster running. Then we had our "cool down" mile run back to where we started. I never feel like my cool down jogs actually cool me down : ) Despite being tired after the workout, I felt so good about myself and my ability to run the whole thing without stopping to walk. I also met two other girls who run at about my pace. One went to Texas State and one grew up in San Marcos, so we talked a lot about the little town, restaurants, bars, etc. on the run. I'm looking forward to running with them for the next 10 weeks!

Thankfully today is a rest day : ) I'm still sore, but I feel good, and I slept like a log last night!! Although I have only been at it for about a week, I can truthfully say "I am a Rogue!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Last night, I was holding Jon in the kitchen while Jonathan was heating up our dinner on the stove. I said, "Stove hot," trying to teach Jon not to try to touch the stove. When I said "hot," Jon reached up and grabbed the bill of the baseball cap I was wearing. I say "hat" every time he grabs the bill, but I didn't realize he had learned the word!

For the rest of the evening, Jonathan would ask, "Where is mama's hat, Jon?" and Jon would reach up to touch my hat. Then Jonathan would ask, "Where is Mama, Jon?" and Jon would just look around confused. Jon usually calls both me and Jonathan "Dada."

This morning we were playing some more, asking "where is the cat? where is the fan? where is the light?" etc. When I asked, "Where is Mama?" Jon looked at me like I was crazy and pointed his finger straight at me as if to say, "Mama, you are right there, why do you keep asking?" Melted my little heart : )

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on 2010

I promise that once I organize pictures from the holidays, I will get a nice blog post up with lots of First Christmas fun!

In the meantime, here are my thoughts on 2010:

In some ways, this has been a rough year, but in others it has been so wonderful! We obviously welcomed Jon in January. That in itself was bittersweet because I had a very anticlimactic c-section and I thought I was in some way cheated out of childbirth, but I must admit I had a completely pain free birth (the not laboring helps with that) and a very fast recovery. Jon has been such a sweet, happy baby even from the day we brought him home from the hospital. He has always been a great eater, slept through the night at 6 weeks, let us change his schedule around to meet our needs very well, meets his developmental milestones, and is in general the cutest part of my day.

I was a working mom for four months, and I must tell you that I pretty much loved it. I had a flexible job, a husband home caring for the baby, and I felt pretty balanced between 'me' time, work time, and family time. There was exhaustion and these were Jon's pre-mobile days, so that made things much easier. I lost my baby weight pretty easily with the help of Weight Watchers. That in itself was a big boost to my postpartum confidence. I gained about 70 pounds while pregnant (eek!!) and lost 75 pounds between January and August.

Jonathan graduated from the University of Memphis with his PhD in May, and we took a celebratory vacation to Disney World! Next time we go, though, I don't think we would like to have a 3 month old and 13 extended family members... I definitely needed a vacation from the vacation when we returned home.

In July, just when we had given up hope, Jonathan got a job : ) We had one month to pack up and move to Texas. I had to leave my job, my friends, my church, and my beautiful apartment.
As I have told many of you, the move has been much more difficult than I could have predicted. This is, I believe, due to so many changes at once. I had always dreamed of being a stay at home mom, but I must admit that this dream did not involve living in a rural area without any friends. The past five months have been a bit of a blur with unpacking, trying to make our little apartment into a home, trying to get a schedule for myself that hopefully involves showering at least every other day, and trying to stay positive. Library story time and our new church have pretty much saved my sanity. Although our church is small, it is made up of very genuine people and it preaches the Gospel. I never leave a service or meeting feeling like anything has been watered down or sugar coated. There are a lot of young families in the church as well, so we are getting to know people that are going through the same joys and struggles we are. As story time finished yesterday, a mom came up and started talking to me about Memphis and Ole Miss (I was wearing a Memphis Runners t-shirt) and I saw another mom that leads the Stroller Strides I went to once. Two adult conversations back-to-back in the same day!

In the midst of all of this, a very sweet couple close to us experienced the joy of a pregnancy and the devastating pain of a miscarriage in a matter of weeks. My sister and brother-in-law moved to San Diego and almost immediately were separated due to a deployment to Iraq. My friend Kara died.

One of my friends has called 2010 a character building year. I know that I have learned a lot of things about my character that I wish I didn't know; mainly that I am selfish and have a lazy streak. I like things to go my way and people to behave how I want them to behave, and if I don't have a specific task to complete, I find myself wasting time. I suppose that if I had not been through so much change this year, I would not have realized that. I would have thought that I was doing okay, when really I was just covering up those sins. I have asked God to forgive me for those specific sins and more that I do not recognize. I have asked him to replace my selfishness with selflessness and to replace my laziness with industriousness.

As we march into 2011, we face some of the same struggles and joys of 2010. Jonathan's job is only guaranteed through May, although he has confidence that he will be asked back to teach for another year. I am slowly but surely getting used to domesticity. Jon continues to grow in leaps and bounds! He is now obsessed with lights and fans. This morning he was all giggles while playing with the cat. We celebrate his birthday at the end of the month!

Thanks for reading my thoughts on 2010, and Happy 2011 : )