some thoughts on bacon…

The other day I realized, to my horror, that the bacon I bought was reduced fat.  Reduced fat bacon?  What, may I ask, is the point?  Bacon is an indulgence.  So if I’m going to indulge in something unhealthy I want to indulge.  I want the fat in my bacon.  I want all the fat.  You hear that?  All the fat!

heavenly bacon

heavenly bacon

I feel the same when it comes to soda.  Why bother with diet soda?  Unless you really just like the taste of it better (yuck! really?!)

And just in case you are ever in need of a guide to help you decide whether or not you should eat bacon…

bacon flow chart

bacon flow chart

 

You’re welcome.  Now, go eat some bacon.  And for goodness’ sake, make sure it’s not reduced fat.

hello. my name is cameron, and i have the grumps.

Full disclosure here, I am terribly grumpy; I have been for a few weeks now.  So, why am I sharing my grumpiness with you?  Well,  I suppose for no reason other than honesty.  I can’t have everyone thinking that I suddenly got my act together 🙂

I’m pretty sure that the boys got together and discussed how they could best drive their mother insane.  Jacob, my normally eager to please little guy, has started throwing massive fits over the smallest and most routine requests and doesn’t seem to care about the consequences.  Fun.   Liam, my headstrong little boy has become even more headstrong (who knew that was possible?!) add to that his extremely limited vocabulary and our complete failure to keep him in his own bed at night and it makes for an exhausting day, and a not so restful night.  And then there’s my Noah.  He’s not even one (less than two weeks until his first birthday!) so there’s not much he does that isn’t just plain adorable.  But he’s going through a mama-only stage (meaning he screams bloody murder if I’m not holding him all.day.long) and he’s upped his nursing in the middle of the night.  So by the end of the day I’m just plain tired and when morning comes around all too soon, I’m already looking forward to nap time.  You can see how this wicked little cycle would get out of control quickly.  And that’s just what I’ve been lately.  A bit out of control.

I am so ready for warmer weather.  The boys need to be able to burn off some pent-up energy and I need to recharge in the sunshine.  Being a California girl through and through, I need the sun.  It’s coming though, it is.  The warmer weather, it’s on the way.  I woke up to the sun shinning through the blinds this morning and it looks promising outside.  Brighter days are on the horizon, and it gives me hope!

So instead of focusing on what has been bringing me down, like I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, I’m going to focus on things that I love and that make me happy.  I do believe that for the most part, my mood is under my control.  I can choose to be happy and focus on what makes me happy or I can focus on what is less than perfect and become consumed by it.  And I’m not going to lie, the Zoloft sure helps 🙂 So here are a few things, in no particular order, that make me happy, bring a smile to my face or are just plain good for me.

flowers! pretty scarfs! fluffy kittens!  coffee!  my boys!  sunshine!

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Great Dane

Great Dane (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

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Liam at only a few weeks

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Chicken Noah!

one of my favorite pictures of Jacob

one of my favorite pictures of Jacob

spring scarfs!

spring scarfs!

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Ah, even just posting these helped bring a smile to my face 🙂

The thing about these grumpy times is that they pass, even though it feels like I will forever be grumpy when I’m in the midst of a ‘grump’ time.  But they do pass, and I although I won’t go so far as to say that I’m thankful for them, they do make me appreciate my life a little more.  They also provide important reminders for me; I’m not a martyr and I don’t need to sacrifice myself, my aspirations, interests and goals and sanity for the greater good.  Talk to almost any parent and it’s clear that this is one of those things that we forget more than we should.  And for me, it takes a good few weeks of being completely miserable to remember that!  Also, spending some much-needed one on one time with my squishy Noah while shopping and grabbing some delicious Panera Bread certainly helped bring me out of the grumps 🙂

somebody loves bbq chicken salad!

somebody loves bbq chicken salad!

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So today will be a good day.  We’re coloring Easter eggs, I’m getting some time in at the gym (allergies and a cough that sets my lungs on fire has kept me out this week!) we’ll take the kids out to run around in the sunshine later and I’ll pick up the house (again), finish the never-ending laundry and play referee to some crazy kids.  Hey, I said it was going to be a good day, not a perfect day 😉

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It’s been a crazy few weeks but things have finally settled down so I’m back!

Despite all the sicknesses my family was hit with this last month (hand foot and mouth disease, RSV, pneumonia, eczema flare ups with infections, sinus infections and bronchiolitis) the kids still loved their Christmas. We holed up inside our apartment, stayed in our jammies and ate ridiculous amounts of sinful breakfast foods like cinnamon rolls, hickory smoked bacon, maple sausages, fluffy pancakes. If it was yummy and intended for breakfast, we ate it! It was perfect.

Joe was worried that the boys would notice that their bundles under the tree weren’t overflowing or that they would be disappointed with a few toys instead of an entire toy store, but they didn’t notice. They didn’t care. They were over the moon happy with what they received. And thank goodness! Geez, could you imagine if they were disappointed?! And a week later they are still loving everything – I consider that a success!

So between sicknesses and general Christmas craziness I was still able to find time to do something I’ve been dying to do; make my own facial moisturizing oil! I love it! I’ll have a post on it this week. I also made a brown sugar scrub and I’m experimenting with an oatmeal lotion to help with Noah’s poor sensitive skin… those will be out in a new post this week too.

And because I never pass up an opportunity to show off my adorable boys, here are a few pictures from the last few weeks…

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not just a seat-filler

I’m learning, slowly, that the best way, for me at least, to get through something uncomfortable is to just jump in, with full abandon.  Then once I’ve done it, most of the anxiety subsides and I’m able to reach a place where I am more comfortable and don’t feel like a weirdo who has to remind herself to smile at appropriate times.  Because yes, I do at times need to remind myself to smile at others!  I’m not grump, I just forget 🙂

This year is apparently my year of jumping in… to everything.  And that’s good.  It is!  Must keep reminding myself that it.is.good to be involved; good to be around others, good to be around people who have goals, who have ambitions and who have interesting things to talk about!  Being a stay at home mom is awesome in so many ways; yet for me there is this black hole where most of my non-mom smarts have been sucked into, seemingly never to return.  Why do I feel the need to always qualify any downside I have with being a stay at home mom by proclaiming that I do indeed love my kids and being home with them?  This is one of my biggest pet peeves about myself!  GAH!  Guilt, that’s why.  But that’s a whole other post.  So, moving on…

Jacob, my five-year old, brought home what I think was the third notice from his school that they were still in need of three parent volunteers to serve on the school council.  Last month’s meeting was cancelled because without parents, there’s no council.  Now, I’ve already  pushed myself way out of my comfort zone and  am on the stewardship committee at church and I joined the PTO. I’m also on a small committee for a holiday event the PTO is hosting.

And here’s where some of that guilt comes into play; I just couldn’t see how I could not volunteer for the school council.  I’m certainly interested in what goes on in Jacob’s school and it’s uncomfortable knowing that he goes to this place 5 days a week and I really don’t know the ins and outs of how the school is run or what it’s plans are for our children.  I have the time; I don’t work out of the home and my kids aren’t in a ton of after school activities.  Well, Jacob’s the only one old enough for them yet and he’s not in any. PTO doesn’t take up too much time, for now at least; talk to me in three weeks when we’re in full preparation mode for our ‘Polar Express’ event!  Sure, there’s the teensy issue of not having the slightest clue what a school council actually does, but that’s not too big of a deal, I hope.  And I’m hoping that if a PhD is needed to be on the council, they’d at least wait to tell me in private that I am not qualified to be there!

You see, I really had no reason to not do it.  So what did I do?  I made a second cup of coffee, loaded it with a ton of sugary creamer (Coffee Mate’s Belgian Chocolate Toffee, yum!) gulped it down and made the call to the school.  They sent home a sheet to fill out explaining why I wanted to be on the council.  I was as honest as I could be.  My answer was, ‘because no one else will’.  Just kidding.  I gave the best answer I could; that I want to take an active part in my son’s school and feel that the best way to serve our school and all the students is to get involved.  Pretty straightforward.  No beating around the bush like I typically do.  There was some confusion for me over whether or not I should just show up to the council meeting or if I needed to wait to be notified that yes, as the only parent able and willing to volunteer I was cordially invited to show up.  This also was cleared up with a phone call to the school.  This is a big deal people!  I’m calling people, talking to them on the phone, talking about stuff!  Big deal indeed!

The meeting was yesterday and I’m happy to report that I survived.  I’m also happy to report that there was another parent there.  The meeting went well and I even fessed up to not knowing what the hell a school council’s purpose was.  And now that I have a better understanding, I actually think that I might be able to contribute in more than just a seat-filler capacity.

Summoning up the courage to put aside my anxieties and just jumping in has had some unexpected effects; confidence!  energy! happiness!  motivation to keep on putting myself out there!  These things are priceless.  It’s been too long since I’ve felt these things in regards to something outside of motherhood.  These unexpected effects are two-fold; as I gain more confidence, energy, happiness and motivation in my outside-of-home activities, I’m gaining more confidence, energy, happiness and motivation as a mother.

YAY me!