Monday, August 23, 2010

6 months since my birthday - update.

Wow time is flying by so fast! 6 months ago on my 33rd birthday I made several goals for myself, some of which I have easily attained, and others...not so much. Here's the update:

Goal 1: Run 2 5K's and think about a half marathon.
I am doing FANTASTIC with this goal. I haven't run the 5Ks yet but I am signed up for 2--one in October and the Santa Run in December--so I've been seriously training with great results. Running in general is a fairly new thing for me - I randomly decided I wanted to do the Santa Run 3 years ago, which was the first time in my whole life I'd ever run outside of a high school gym class. Thanks to Jr. and the ensuing pregnancy/post-partum/little baby madness I'd hardly run at all the past year until a couple months ago. For the past 6 weeks I've been faithfully getting up at 5am at least 3-4 times a week and hitting the road - no treadmill, no skipping weeks. I still wouldn't consider myself a "runner," I have yet to be able to run a whole 5K without walking thanks to all the hills around my house, but it's a start, right?

Goal 2: Lose pregnancy weight.
Again, lots of success here. I'm only a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight with the baby's first birthday right around the corner. I've visited this issue before so I won't rehash it, but I can honestly say that I am very happy with where I'm at physically and how I got there (i.e. normal diet and exercise stuff instead of starving myself and stressing out about it).

Goal 3: Get away for a weekend without the kids.
Yeah, right. I'm pretty sure our little blogger meet-up in October will be my first time away from the kids. A night away with BOTH of us? I don't see it happening any time soon but we'll see.

Goal 4: Decide what, if anything, I want to do with my career.
Honestly things have only gotten more confusing since February as far as that goes. I've been mulling over so many things in my mind and I don't have a really clear idea of what I want to happen. I really thought that at this point (6+ years out of vet school) I would be well on my way to owning my own practice or becoming a specialist. Neither of those things seems to be on the horizon, and I'm not quite sure how to make them happen. Do I go back to school? Do we move back to Colorado and think about opening a practice? Do I stay where I'm at for a few more years until the kids are older? What to do, what to do...maybe by my 34th birthday some kind of plan will be in place.

Goal 5: Debt free.
Still working on it. Due to the recession and its huge impact on Las Vegas, TH and I have both had to take fairly significant pay reductions this year with more on the horizon. Although we haven't accrued more debt necessarily, we've definitely had to slow down on paying down the credit cards and such. I could write a whole post on what it's like to make "good money" but still be essentially broke, but I don't feel like being depressed today. Another topic for another time.

Goal 6: Eat a pomegranate.
Hahahahaha. Hells no. I bought one, sat and stared at it for awhile, opened it, almost barfed looking at all those seeds, and shelved that goal for awhile. Couldn't bring myself to do it. I'll try again in a few months. Or never.

Hopefully when I revisit this again in 6 months when 34 is on the clock I'll have some 5Ks under my belt, I'll be fitter/thinner, debt-free, with complete clarity about where my life is going. Only time will tell...

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Slide

On Saturday I got off work by 2pm, so I decided to take J swimming, just he and I. We don't live really close to a public pool, and we've been so short on time this summer that we haven't really done much swimming at all. Now that I think about it, I think J has been in a pool a grand total of 3 times since May, including Saturday. (Next year I vow to do better, I promise!). It was my intention to do swim lessons this year but for various reasons it just didn't happen. The bottom line is, J still doesn't really know how to swim. Sure, he'll splash around in the water and even put his head under every now and then, but in general "swimming" to him has meant laying on his belly in the walk-in (i.e. extremely shallow) part of the little kids' pool, cruising around the pool by hanging onto the edge, or hanging onto me screaming and basically embarrassing me whenever I try to force him to float or something.

However, this year he has been sloooooowly acclimating to the water more, with less screaming and freaking out about water going in his mouth or nose. The pool we went to on Saturday, at the big local rec center, is one of our favorites because it's only a 10-15min drive from our house, it has long hours, it's cheap, and it has a really huge "activity pool" with wateralls and buckets that dump water on the kids and a gently sloping walk-in and a "deep" end of only about 3.5 feet. It also has a really big waterslide. As in, you have to be 42" tall in order to get on it, and there are usually mostly teenagers and adults in line.

(Please forgive the crappy picture, it was taken on my not-an-iPhone. Hopefully you can see the big corkscrew slide in the back with 2 stories of stairs leading to the top.)

As we were paying to get into the pool, J saw a bunch of kids standing up against the little measuring line they have to determine if you're tall enough for the slide, and he went and stood against it like they had. "Good for you, you're big enough for the slide!" said the ticket lady, "come get a frog stamp for your hand so you can get on it." J, who had no idea what slide she was talking about, was more than happy to get a frog stamp, and we went in to the pool.

"Soooo," I said nonchalantly pointing at the slide. "Do you want to go on that?"

His immediate response? "Definitely NOT. It's too scary."

Which was fine by me. We splashed around the kids activity area for awhile, playing some involved game that J made up about rescuing dolphins and sharks from evil penguins (?). After an hour or so he started complaining of being hungry and thirsty so we stopped at the snack stand for an ice cream sandwich. Right next to the snack stand is the fenced-off lap pool and high diving boards, where people were taking turns diving -- some basically belly-flopping, and some doing really impressive somersaults and flips. For whatever reason, J was fascinated by this, so we ate our ice cream watching the diving pool, which also put us right in front of the splash down area for the slide. Out of nowhere, before he was even done with his ice cream, J stood up and said, "I wanna get on that slide." And he said it very seriously, the way one might say, "I think we need to talk," or, "There's something I have to tell you."

Sensing that if we didn't go immediately he would lose his nerve, I quickly threw away the ice cream, took J's hand, and we almost ran over to the stairs leading to the top. "You're really going to do this?" I asked. "Yep," he said. "You understand that we can't go together?" "Yep," he said. As were climbing, I thought for sure that once he realized how high we were going he would chicken out, but instead he seemed to get more and more excited, so I hammed it up, saying things like "This is going to be so much fun!" and "You're definitely a big kid now!" As we neared the entrance to the slide, I told him that I would go first so I could wait for him at the bottom, and I tried to give him a little instruction on how to handle the splash-down area, which we were told was 3.5 feet (remember--HE CAN'T SWIM). "When you go into the water at the bottom, try to POP! up to the top really fast and look for me." Right before I went down I told the lifeguard at the top that J had never done this before and couldn't swim, so if he chickened out and didn't want to do it I would look up there and the lifeguard would just wave at me to let me know to come back up for him.

So, down the slide I went. And about one second into it, I thought we'd made a mistake. You guys, this is a real waterslide. Fast, with 3 big corkscrews, with lots of sliding up onto the walls and a pretty decent splashdown at the bottom. I remember thinking, "There is no way J is going to do this." At the bottom, I waited. And waited. And looked up at the lifeguard to see if he was frantically waving -- nothing. Just as I was about to get out and go rescue J, I heard him coming around the last turn, his voice echoing on the walls of the slide: "MOMMMEEEEEEEEE!!!" and then he came into view, half on his back, sideways, a look of sheer terror on his face. He shot out of the end of the slide, went under, and took so long coming back up that the lifeguard in the splash area got nervous and reached in, pulling him out by his arm. After sputtering for a few seconds J literally jumped into my arms and said, "I kept trying and trying and trying to POP! up but I got stuck under the water!!" (I have to admit, when he said that I kind of questioned my own judgement in letting my non-swimming kid do this, but then again I kind of believe in the old school thinking that the best way to learn to swim is to be thrown into the water and just have to do it. With close supervision, of course.)

"Did you have fun though?" I asked.

"YES!!" he said.

"Do you want to do it again?"

"NO!!" he said, firmly. Then he added, "Maybe next week we can do it again."

I'm not usually one to give bribes and rewards, but I was so proud at that moment, I felt it was definitely worth a new Hot Wheels car. So after a little more swimming--yes, he got back in the pool and swam around some more after that!--we packed up and made a little trip to Target.

Big boy, indeed.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

TH and I are in a little friendly weight-loss competition. We don't want to call it "The Biggest Loser" because that's taken and it's been waaaay overused at this point. So then we thought of "The Big Winner" but that seems cheesy. So I've settled on "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner," an old phrase I've heard before but never really loved until hearing Guy Fieri say it on my favorite guilty pleasure Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on FoodTV. We're weighing in weekly, and I'm keeping track of measurements -- TH doesn't want to do measurements because being a guy he wants his arms and chest to get bigger.

I don't really have time for Weight Watchers meetings right now so I'm doing the online program, which I don't love as much as the meetings but at least I can track what I'm eating pretty easily. As of right now I'm only about 10 pounds away from where I was 18 months ago before I knew I was pregnant with Jr. As I suspected, since I stopped breastfeeding a few weeks ago I finally got off the plateau I was on and it's also been easier to exercise. The hardest part right now is the frigging HEAT here in Vegas - we just had a record-breaking July with average NIGHT TIME temperatures of 97 degrees. So it's difficult finding a comfortable time to get out and run; I've found that around 5am is best but trying to get myself used to waking up that early has taken some time. Jr. usually makes it til around 4:30am before waking for a bottle, so now I've been making myself get up and get out of the house once he's back down, as soon as it's light enough for me to feel safe alone on the roads. I know. That's pretty early. But alot is at stake.

Which brings me to the Chicken Dinner part of this. In order to make things...interesting, TH and I have a little wager going on. Jr.'s first birthday is in exactly 8 weeks (gaaaah!! already??), and whoever loses the most weight by then is the winner. Of what, we're not sure yet. It has to be good. That's the first deadline. The second deadline, which is really just my own personal goal, is 2 years from now. Yep, I said 2 years. In two years, TH and I will have our 10th wedding anniversary. When we got married eight years ago, we were pretty much your typical broke newlyweds -- I was still in vet school with TH supporting us both on an entry-level salary. Long story short, we didn't go on a honeymoon. So my personal goal is (deep breath) to get into Bikini Shape in time for us to go somewhere beachy for our 10th anniversary/belated honeymoon. That may not sound like much to you, but here's the thing. I have never been in Bikini Shape in my life. Ever. Not when I was in high school, not when I was in my early 20s, never. I actually weigh less and look better now than I did 10 years ago when I was 23. So for me to wear a bikini would be HUGE.

Now I've put it out there, and I guess that means I've gotta see this thing through. In 8 weeks I fully expect to be collecting...something from TH as the Chicken Dinner Winner. In two years, I fully expect -- well, I fully hope -- to be wearing a bikini on a beach somewhere looking like the MILF my husband swears I am. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

His grandmother would be proud.

On the way home from church today, J out of nowhere said, "Daddy, I need to see your Bible." Which he pronounces "Bobble" but I don't correct him because it's cute and makes me laugh. It was kind of a random request because although we've gone to church pretty regularly since J was an infant, we can never tell if he's actually understanding anything that goes on at church or what we're talking and singing and reading about.

"Why do you want my Bible?" TH said. "I want to see what it's about," J replied. TH handed him the Bible, a black leatherbound old-school Christ's-words-in-red King James Version (i.e. no pictures, really small words, thin pages), and J turned to the first page, and just...started reading. TH turned down the radio so we could listen, and J proceeded to read through almost the entire first chapter of Genesis before stopping and saying, "God made the light because when it was dark it was really creepy and scary so he made a flash of lightning so there would be light." Wow. I don't know why, but I got goosebumps listening to J read the Bible like that. He seemed so grown up, not like a 4-year-old at all. When we got home, I made him read it again just so I could get it on tape. (I mean, on memory card. Is that something that's going to give away the age of people in our generation, that we still say we're "taping" something? Anyway.)

I'm sure you're all getting sick of me going on about J's reading skills but I felt the need to brag this time, so here you have it, J reading the Bible. (He actually went on for quite awhile but that would be too boring even for me, his adoring mother.)