Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hawaii 5-0 (Mom @ 15 Months Post-Partum)

She's so heavy. She's so heavy, heavy, heavy.
— I Want You (She's So Heavy), The Beatles

Here's the blog post that I really didn't want to write, but it needs to be done. So here it is: I'm fat. Or as The Beatles sang


I'd like to blame it all on getting pregnant and then the whole new mother, not paying attention, stuff that happens, but to be honest, I was fat before I got pregnant. I had let me weight creep up and up and up until when I did get pregnant I started out at an unhealthy weight. To be honest, it has been because I just didn't want to pay attention to it all. Since having Jude I have been wanting to lose all of the weight, but would get motivated and then lose motivation back and forth until I just ended up maintaining. So here's some background.

When I got pregnant with Jude I was 180. That's 40 lbs over my healthy weight range. At that point my thought was, "Well, I'm going to be pregnant soon, so why bother with trying to lose weight at this point." That probably wasn't the best plan. Then at my highest weight during pregnancy I got up to 226. So, not only was I 40 lbs overweight but the pregnancy added another 46 lbs to my body.

As you can imagine, I didn't feel that good. Right after having Jude I lost 20 lbs right off the bat. I nursed and I think that helped a lot and I think some of it was just natural lose from not carrying a kid around anymore! So, I sat at 206 for a while. Then I joined a weight loss group at my church, First Place for Health. I loved the group and the accountability that it gave me. I really looked forward to the meetings and sharing with one another. I lost another 22 lbs which got me down to 184. Then Martin and I decided not to do the class again for another 12 weeks, and I kept the weight off, but didn't lose anymore. That was at the end of May. Jude was now 1 years old, and I still wasn't even down to where I was before I got pregnant. I still had 4 lbs to go! So, I got a little discouraged and ended up gaining 10 lbs back over the summer. I had originally planned to do another First Place class, but my work schedule isn't allowing it, so really, now it's up to me to get motivated.

And that's where the Hawaii 5-0 Challenge comes in! In celebration of my 30th Birthday next year Martin and I are planning on going to Hawaii! I've always wanted to go and we actually have a couple of really amazing friends who live there, so we not only get to see the island, but also spend time with some folks who we have missed greatly in the past two years! We plan to go next June and, as I told Martin, "No one wants to be fat in Hawaii!" I just keep thinking about Lilo and Stich and how Lilo went around and took pictures of fat people ... I don't want to be that person on the beach! So I've set the big goal for myself to lose at least 50 lbs before we go to Hawaii, but I also have some other goals to help pace myself. (Also, I was insanely motivated by Whit over here!)

1. Lose 15 lbs by Nov. 2011 and have completed the Couch to 5k program. I've actually been doing the Couch to 5k program for the last few weeks, and I'm just now on week 3, so this gives me time to miss a few days because of rain and laziness but still get it done by my first goal date. In conjunction to the running program I want to have at least 15 lbs off.

2. Lose 40 lbs by Feb. 2012 and complete the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon. If I lose 2 lbs a week until February I will actually be very close to goal, but I also know that Thanksgiving and Christmas is going to be in the mix, so I want to be realistic with myself and know that I could possibly mess up. As for the 1/2 Marathon I will have to really push myself from November to February but I know I can do it. I'm not looking to do anything record breaking at the event, but I at least want to run some of it. I did the Disney Wine & Dine 10k when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Jude and completed it, so I have no doubt that even at this point I could finish the race, but I want to do more than just finish, I want to be somewhere in the middle, instead of afraid the slow-poke bus is going to pick me up!

3. Lose at least 50 lbs by June 2012 and go to Hawaii! Like I said, if I'm really diligent I can probably lose the 50 way before June. If this happens, we will look at my goals and see how I feel. In all honesty I could probably lose 60-70 lbs which would get me somewhere around 120-130. But, I haven't seen those numbers since High School, and when I was 115-120 it was when I had been to Drum Corp and was working out 14 hours a day, so let's be real here. I think 143, for now, is a great goal weight. It's the number I'm working towards, and it's a weight that I would be happy with in Hawaii. We will be booking our trip probably in January and at that time I will be able to access if I'm really on track (hopefully, I will be WAY on track!)

My plan is to update you weekly on my progress ... so if you aren't interested in my progress if you see the Hawaii 5-0 logo, then you know to skip this blog! And, if you don't hear from me each week ... CALL ME OUT! If I'm not updating that means that I've fallen off the wagon and I need my friends to tell me to get back on it! :) I will also update on Jude (which we have a doctor's appointment today, so be looking for a Jude essay sometime this week) but I wanted to use the space that I already had on the net to update my progress instead of getting a new blog. And really, Hawaii is like the land of rainbows ... so what better way to Watch for Rainbows than from my healthy (skinny) self on Waikiki Beach?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Golden Slumbers (On God & Jude @ 15 Months)

Golden slumbers fill your eyes. Smiles awake you when you rise. Sleep pretty darling do not cry. And I will sing a lullabye. — Golden Slumbers, The Beatles

My child does not sleep. He’s a sweet little 15-month-old who thinks sleeping through the night is for wimps. In fact, in his little mind, it’s not even necessary.
I have read every book, asked seasoned parents, and even thought about just letting him cry-it-out, alone in his room, but nothing seems to work. Our bedtime routine happens like this: Dinner time at 5:30, it’s usually something yummy like green beans with turkey or mashed potatoes with ham, followed by a tall glass of milk and maybe some yogurt for dessert. After filling his cute little tummy, it’s on to bath time where we sink a thousand rubber duckys into a pool of bubbles while dumping cups of water out of the tub onto the tile. Then it’s off to the nursery where we read “Goodnight Moon,” sing a special lullaby, and begin the rocking to sleep.
Now, all the parenting experts tell me that if I follow a steady routine, if we keep everything the same, then my little angel will slowly close his eyes and I’ll be able to lay him down in his crib, drowsy, but not asleep, and he will roll over and nod off on his own. From this point, I should expect him to sleep 10-12 hours while I go curl up on the couch with a good book and just relax.
What really happens? Well, I sit down in the rocking chair at about 6:30 (with hopes of drooping eyes by 7) and at first I enjoy the time together. I rock him and I whisper in his ear how much I love him. I pray over him and thank God for him and ask continuous blessings over his life. But then, 8:30 rolls around and I’m still rocking him … and I start to ask myself, what have I done wrong? He doesn’t really cry that much, he just stares up at me with those big blue eyes and I wonder … WILL THIS CHILD EVER FALL ASLEEP? I start to get impatient, I start to worry that he’s never going to sleep— Well, let’s be honest here — I get annoyed!
That’s right, I said it. I get annoyed at this sweet little angel who just stares at me, fighting sleep with every ounce of his small body, and I can tell he’s completely exhausted! Sleep is what he needs to do, but at this point he can’t figure out how to get it right. So, then I feel guilty. I think, how can I be mad at this kid? He’s not putting off sleep on purpose, it just not natural for him to fall asleep when there is so much around him to keep him distracted. The world is too exciting, and who wants to close their eyes when they think there might be something better out there than what Mommy has planned for the night! It’s at this point that I start to relax again and snuggle him close. And usually, just like that, he drifts off to sleep and I honestly feel like I could hold him forever.
What’s interesting is that now, as a parent, God is using my son to teach me about God’s love for me. God only wants one thing from me, for me to love God and to love others as I love myself. And I try. But the world, it’s out there … and there is so much to pull me away. So many things that I think is better than spending time with God, so much so that I don’t want to do what God has planned for me.
My God, my provider, makes sure I’m well-fed and taken care of … but still, there I am, starring back up at God, fighting mad, because things are not going the way that I want. At the end of the day I have failed at doing what God wants me to do. I’ve become exhausted by my sin, my fears, my doubts, and I don’t know how to get back to where I’m supposed to be.
But, God … he can’t be mad at me. God doesn’t leave me alone, or walk away and let me cry it out for a minute. He stays in the room, just like I do with my son. God rocks me slowly back and forth through the quiet words of scripture, sings me soft lullabies through songs that glorify his name, and reminds me, as I do my son, that I am loved. In the stillness, God lays me down carefully, as I do my dear Jude Wesley, and offers the weary … rest. And it’s in that quiet moment that I feel God release me from my sin, through grace, and I can finally relax. I can sleep … knowing that God will hold me forever.

* The photo above was taken when Jude was about 4 months old ... back when I dared sneak into his room when he was sleeping! : ) Here's a recent 15-Month-old photo of my wide-eyed boy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't Ever Change (or Jude at 14 Months)

So, please, don't ever change -- No, don't you ever change -- Just, promise me you're always gonna be -- As sweet as you are -- I love you when you're happy -- I love you when you're blue -- I love you when you're mad at me -- So how can I get tired of you? — Don't Ever Change, The Beatles

Today is my birthday. No, I didn't get around to writing about how special my baby boy is on his first birthday, but it's after midnight on what is now, my 29th birthday, and I couldn't be happier when it comes to being a mommy to my perfect little Jude.

The other night, as Jude's Dad and I were putting him to bed, Dad said, "Don't ever change," and I said, "Yes son, please be like we used to write in our high school yearbooks, 'Stay sweet, don't ever change.'" Although I'm glad I've changed since I penned those words in the blank pages of my peers annuals, I have to say that I really do wish that Jude wouldn't change at all.

But, he's already changed so much. He's much taller now and he has the sweetest, roundest most kissable tummy in the world. Sometimes I just grab him and kiss him all over and call myself the "kissy monster" in hopes that it's a boyish enough term that he will still let me do that when he's seven ... here's hoping.

His hair is growing long and Jude's Dad says we should cut it. It's blond as the sun is yellow with sweet tender curls resting on the nape of a adorable little neck ... I can't do it. Please let me have the sweet baby hair for just a little while longer. He takes his little hairbrush and he brushes his hair, then reaches up to try to tame the mess that I call my own hair. If only that child knew how lucky he is to be a boy, that when he's 13 and the curls don't work anymore, we can cut them off and it will actually look good. Unlike poor mom, whose hair at 13 was more like a white girl's fro!

He walks with purpose now, around the room, to his toys... OH LOOK! The dog left some food out ... he doesn't try to eat it. Just picks it up and returns it to the dog's bowl. My little helper already. Sometimes he walks around and spins in circles and stops, turns to me and runs over just to lay his little head on my lap. It's intoxicating how much I love this kid! He says "MOM" and "Ad-Dad" and sometimes "Awyer" to the pup, Sawyer, and sometimes "Book" and "Banana." He laughs constantly, he is, on most days an easy-going, charming, happy, little boy.

He's still got the bluest eyes I've ever seen and the gorgeous smile to go with them. We walk around the grocery store and he waves at all the little old ladies and says "hey" to each one as we walk by. He's a social butterfly with a big personality. He's the perfect mix of myself and his dad, and I can't get enough of his sense of humor. He already plays pretend with me ... picking at non-existent stuff on the floor and putting it up to his lips just to hear me say, "what do you got?" Then he smiles and I know it was "just for fun, Mom!"

I'm so in love with this child that I can hardly see straight! I have loved spending lots of time with him this summer, and my heart breaks a little to know that I won't be able to spend as much time with him the next few weeks.

But God blessed me with a summer of Jude and Mommy time, and I am eternally grateful ... for my little boy will change, as much as I beg him not to ... but for now, I get to hold him close, brush that soft hair off his forehead and just breath in that sweet baby smell for just a little while longer.