Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Evolution...

So where was I?  I started MyFitnessPal.... and I pretty much told my work team that they should all do it too. We focused on drinking a ton of water, working out as a team, and logging our food. Realizing how many calories were in my "normal" foods was a complete eye opener.
That super yummy Caribou Cooler I loved? Between 400 and 500 calories.  I started realizing how I had gotten back up to my highest weight, but I also realized that it was possible to change things.
I can't be like some of the people around me; eating and drinking whatever they want with no real impact to their waistline. That's just not how I'm built and I need to be ok with that.

There were moments I wasn't ok with it; lets be honest.  A couple weeks into things we went to a big event with a lot of friends. I was trying to be REALLY good with my eating and my drinking. I ended up having a panic attack, but thankfully my husband talked me through it and my bestie took me to a Zumba class the next morning. 

2 months into my journey, I had lost about 30 pounds.  Exercising was starting to become a habit and my work team was on the road to a healthy lifestyle with me!  We set a big goal as a team and would workout in the gym at work or around town! Each week at weigh-in, I was surprised at the progress that I was making.

March 31, 2015 in our fitness center at work

March 29, 2015, walking in my neighborhood
April 15, 2015, walk with  my work team by our local stadium

What I realized in the beginning...
Food had been my comforter for far too long.  On bad days (before all of this), my amazing, wonderful, loving husband would go get me ice cream.  He did it because he knew that for a little while, this made me happy.  Taking away this comfort was hard.  There was one day where I was stressed out and emotional and I sat down and cried because I didn't know what to do. I couldn't eat to make myself feel better!

Things that were REALLY hard in the beginning started to become less hard. It is possible to go from super out-of-shape to the person who works out every day.

Team accountability makes a HUGE difference. It made me weigh-in each week, it made me WANT to meet my goals, and we forced each other into working out even if we didn't all want to.

My husband can change from the amazing, loving person who gives me ice cream to the amazing, loving person who always makes sure I have time for a workout and makes sure I have food that I can eat wherever we are. He is a huge support to me.

I was changing my life right in front of my own eyes... No more saying NO.
For Mother's Day, I played paintball with the middle kid at his request.  I said YES to Paintball.

For our anniversary, on May 22nd, I went kayaking for the first time!

I LOVE it!

I say yes when  my bff makes me try stuff! May 29th

I got a new bike

Monday, September 21, 2015

You've Always Been Beautiful...

Let's go way back... back to when I was young - elementary school even.  What is one thing that sticks out so clearly to me?   I was the fat kid. How did I know?  Well, there was the time when a few kids called me a whale as I walked off my bus (this was probably at age 7 or 8) or the time in 6th grade when a girl said, "why didn't you get a pull-over starter jacket? Couldn't find one to fit?"
I know, kids are mean. They will say horrible things for no reason at all or pick the one thing that will get to you and keep picking, but the weight wasn't imaginary. I was heavier than most of my classmates. I couldn't shop in the same stores as my friends, couldn't wear the same clothes, and had a woman's body much earlier than some.   I lost some at one point in high school, but it came back plus more - especially during college.

Sure, I always had a boyfriend and people would tell me I had a gorgeous face.  I had friends who always said they loved my style even if I couldn't shop in a normal store.
But what was always in the back of my head?   - If only I was thinner - life would be so much better.
I feel like that's what we're taught by the media and society as a whole.  Heavy/Fat = BAD.  Thin = Good and Happy.    

In 2010 I lost about 40 pounds before our wedding. Over the course of the last 5 years, it came back. Working at a new job, then going through the adoption process, and then being a new mom - I allowed myself to go back to eating whatever I wanted.  I knew I had gained and I knew that I wasn't making the best choices, but... I don't know... it didn't quite hit me.

Then, on January 28, 2015 I had a doctor's appointment. They weighed me and for some reason this time I looked at the number they wrote down. I was shocked to see I was back to my highest weight.
I went to work that day and I think cried a little and told my work team that I needed to make a change.  That was the beginning of something...
I went home and talked to Brandon about it - I was so upset. How could I do this to myself? How could I let it all come back? How did I not notice??  I couldn't continue to live like that.

The next day I signed up for MyFitnessPal, an online tool that helps you track your food, count calories, and your exercise.

September 2014

December 2014

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Remember Us?

So it's been a couple of years since I've posted. It's amazing how busy life can get and all of a sudden that baby that you dreamed about is three years old, talking non-stop, with tons of sassy attitude and smarts.


I can't even explain how he is this old. How that sweet baby turned into a kid.  A kid who is fearless on the playground, but hates loud noises and still wants us to hold his sippy when he has milk.  A kid who has been known to say "Mom, you can't tell me no" but then also says "Mom, will you sit with me and snuggle?"   I walked into the house yesterday and he said "Mom!!!!" with a  huge smile on his face then asked "Mom, how was your day? Good?"   Sometimes Brandon and I look at each other and just smile.  Even in the moments where he is throwing a fit, I'm amazed at him.  He almost climbed up the fridge the other day while trying to get a toy we took away!  He completely explains the term "threenager" at some points.  
A few other things about our 3 year old... he's totally potty trained during the day. We were so lucky here. It was pretty darn easy!    His favorite tv shows at this moment are Lego Ninjago and Octonauts. We wants a lot of Netflix rater than actual TV.   He saw his first movie in the theater last week - Inside Out.   He says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.  His favorite people besides mom & dad are Grandma (my mom) and a friend's daughter who babysits sometimes.  He begs to go see them.

Why did I post now? Well.. I've had some major changes in my life, but it didn't seem right to switch subjects without giving an update on this handsome little man who stole my heart!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wait... he turned ONE??

I know, I've been horrible at keeping up with the blog.    I had no idea that I would never have time to sit down at the computer!  I can keep up with Facebook and Instagram just fine, because I have my smart phone.  Updating a blog is a whole different story!
Somehow, time has flown by.   My teeny, tiny, sweet little baby boy turned ONE YEAR OLD on July 25th.
The weeks leading up to that day were very emotional for me.  It was saying goodbye to my life as a mommy to  a BABY.  Never again will I have that experience.  From the moment he first held my hand to the moment he put his birthday cake in my mouth.... I have discovered an amazing, true, love that can only be felt when you become a mommy.

We were lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family at his birthday party, which my mom helped me throw.   It was a Little Man theme with mustaches and ties!  He won't remember, but this momma sure will.  He was spoiled of course and received so many lovely gifts.

12 Month Stats:
20 pounds, 8 oz
31 inches tall
5 teeth
Taking a few steps (probably up to 10 on his own)

Shortly after his birthday, we got his hair cut!!  I cried when they removed all of that hair!  We did bring him to a barber shop that is predominately African American men and they decided taking most of his hair off with the clippers was the best thing to do. They told me it will grow back in with his natural curl pattern.  It still broke my heart a little! 

Now at 13 months, the kid is walking like it's his job. He is also CLIMBING a lot!  I find him standing on chairs, trying to go up the stairs by himself, standing on boxes, etc.  He even started trying to climb INTO his crib.   He definitely has a mind of his own and is trying to figure out how he can get what he wants.  He screams, he throws fits, and tests the limits.  He also giggles like crazy, has the best smile, and gives lots of snuggles and hugs.  And his hair is growing back and is actually pretty cute now :-)
Mommy and T (with oldest Brother in the corner) while camping in August

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

In the past, Mother's Day was filled with so much heartache. I yearned to have the thing that everyone else was celebrating and I cried because of the pain.

This year on Mother's Day, I woke up to my husband saying "Tell Mommy, Happy Mother's Day!"

I still have a little bit of tightness in my chest... I am a mother because of someone else's brave, yet difficult decision.   I am also still a stepmom, which brings it's own challenges.  To love a child and have them call someone else mom is pretty tough too.

But in the end - I was shown a lot of love on Mother's Day.  I received two new coffee cups - one for cold drinks and one for hot.  Apparently T and Brandon had an "argument" over which one to get (apparently Brandon says I am one hot mama so I needed the hot mug, but T said that I'm the coolest mom around, so i needed the cold cup).  In the end - I got both :-) I also got a super loving card from Brandon and TWO cards from T.

We went to the zoo and even R, now the middle child, came with us.  He actually CHOSE to spend the day with us and it made me super happy.  It was T's first time to the zoo and the first time Brandon and I have gone there together.  We looked at lots of animals and got some ice cream.    It was an added plus that I got in free, since it was Mother's Day and this year I could actually say "yep, I'm a mom".

Mommy and T

R (not so little anymore), T, and Mommy checking out the animals

Daddy and T

He loved the big aquariums!

T seems to be saying "um... mom, you're weird"

This... I love. Thank you R for capturing it!   
I get to be this little boys Mommy!  It's the best thing!

I even received my first ever daycare Mother's Day gift from Tristan.  These little items are so special!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Honesty... Being a Mom of a 9 Month Old

Honestly, I knew my life would change when I became a mom, but I don't think it really hit home until recently.

In the beginning, T went everywhere we did. We'd just keep him in his infant car seat if he needed to sleep. He would let just about anyone hold him and wasn't too fussy. We took him to friends houses, restaurants, shopping, etc.   It seemed pretty easy really.

Fast forward to recent times. T is now 9 months old and is very mobile. He uses a car seat that stays in the car, he is on a better sleep schedule, he eats finger foods as well as bottles, he asserts his independence... and did I mention - he is MOBILE and VERY BUSY.

We chase after him constantly now. He loves exploring and getting into things. He grabs dog toys, dumps over the recycling bin, and throws his food on the floor. Sometimes the only thing he wants is for me to hold him. He's been known to scream and cry and reach for me, even when Daddy is holding him.

He laughs and plays hard. He fights sleep and cries when he is tired.   Honestly, sometimes I cry with him.  

There have been times where Brandon and I have had to fight to bring some focus back to our marriage so that we didn't forget about each other.  There have been days where we are so tired that we barely make it to bed before closing our eyes.  

There have been times when friends and family have gotten upset that we don't have as much time to give to them. 

 I have cried with fear that I am not doing enough and cannot be enough.

I will be honest and say I miss being able to just pick up and do what I want.  We miss our friends. We miss our alone time.   We have only a couple of evenings per month where we are "kid free" now and we try to make so many different people happy.. including ourselves. We pack as much into those moments as we can and sometimes we are more tired afterwards!

In the end though, he is SO worth it.  He is worth every minute of lost sleep and every change in my life.  I pray that my family and friends know I still love them and know that this isn't forever.
I will keep trying to do everything and be everything, because that's what so many moms do.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

I can't keep up!

It's been a long time, yet again, since I have written.  The fact is, I had no idea how busy I would be once baby came into our lives!   Apparently I was clueless about how active babies are, because wow - T is a little bit crazy!   He keeps us on our toes and there is not much time to just sit.

A lot has gone on!

He has started eating solid food!   I was going to try Baby Led Weaning, but he just didn't seem interested in picking up food himself.  He was very interested in bowls and spoons though, so we started him on baby purees and spoon feeding.  
So far he has eaten carrots, peas, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, prunes, peaches, and pears.  He also tried some avocado.   His favorite, by far, has been pears. He LOVED them immediately!   Many of the veggies take a bit of getting used to. 

The biggest news by far is that T's adoption was FINALIZED on February 1!
We had a fantastic day.  We took the older brothers out of school and had lots of other family and friends meet us at the court house.   The judge was fantastic and made a point to read a portion of our final recommendation from our home agency.  It said, "We enthusiastically recommend Beth and Brandon for this adoption".   I teared up and looked over at my amazing little boy.    When he signed it and said that the adoption was approved it was surreal!   After everything we went through, it was essentially over!  We went out to eat afterwards to celebrate.   

We have since gotten his updated birth certificate that shows his new legal name and our names as Mother and Father.  

I can't really believe that it has been just about 7 months since we welcomed him into the world. I barely recognize the teeny newborn I see in photos, because now we have an active, vocal, amazing little boy.  He is still very tall (28 inches at his 6 month appointment) and still pretty skinny (only 16.5 pounds at the appointment) and I am pretty sure his hair is about 5 inches long when you pull the curls straight.

He did have his follow-up echocardiagram and he still has the little hole in his heart (a VSD - Ventricular Septal Defect).  Luckily, it is so small that we don't need to worry at all and no further follow-up is necessary.

Being a mother isn't easy though. There are days when I am so exhausted that I cry right along with him.  He has become pretty dependent on me and sometimes pretty needy.   It is an adoptive mother's dream to be this bonded to her child, but at 2am when he is screaming and reaching for you, it's hard.
Sleep has been the biggest struggle, but I'm hoping that someday we will get there.   Everyone has opinions on what we need to do, but  I think we have to figure out what works for us and for T.
Staying connected to my spouse is much harder now. We don't have much time to talk like we used to, but he is an amazing father.  I couldn't be more lucky in that department.

Another little new tidbit - I am working toward going part-time at my day job. It seems right for our family at this point in time.  I want to be with T as much as I can so that I can be the one to teach him things and watch him grow.   We are lucky that we can make this possible.
I've also started my own business as an Independent Designer for Origami Owl.  My experience with the company started with the birth of T (as a gift to his birthmother), so it's a wonderful thing to now be a part of it.