Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Power Over Choice

Today I am running full throttle with a pot of coffee coursing through my veins and a smile on my face.  Today is a really great day.  I am more relieved than you know to be able to say that.

If you read my last post, you will know that I have been struggling a lately with the bitch disease we call depression.  Normally I tend to run on the anxious side of things, but the black hole of weariness kind came in for a surprise attack.  At first I wanted to hide, because my first response was to be a tad embarrassed by the melancholia.  But, because I am who I am, I had to find an outlet.  So late at night, I wrote; and it made me feel a little better.  I awoke in the middle of the night feeling a little embarrassed by my outburst of sadness, deciding I would delete my "woe is me" post first thing in the morning.

When I turned on my computer in the morning, I was amazed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I had received from my friends.  It made me realize that it is okay to have a really shitty day every now and then.  I am the only person that expects me to have a smile on my face all of the time.

Here are a few samplings from the very sweet words that were shared with me:

"Hey sorry about the slump you are feeling. Been there a lot lately myself." ...  "Hoping you get in a better mood soon! I can't wait for fall either!!" ...  "Oh, Kelsey, we all have those days, weeks, etc.  I bet all those 'little' things have just been adding up over some time, and you know...it is really good to hear I'm not the only one that feels icky sometimes. You don't always have to put on your happy face for everyone, you get your turn to be sad, too!" ... "Everyone is allowed to have a bad day or even week. Its not against the rules. Keep your chin up and it will get better."

I shared with my husband (knowing that it would probably freak him out a bit) that I was fighting a little bout of depression and we discussed several options (including increasing my Lexapro dose), and decided that we would take a short-termed wait-and-see approach to see if I would be able to climb out of my hole without any extra medications.  I gently -- and not so gently -- let him know that I would need his patience and understanding for the next few weeks (patience isn't his strong suit... nor is it mine).  He very sweetly brought me flowers and a card.  I love him.

My parents came to visit for the holiday weekend, which was wonderful.  I never feel like I have enough time with them, and their visits to our house are few and far between.  The time with them was great, but I still felt like I was unsuccessfully wading in the dark waters of angst (does anyone else feel like I'm writing song lyrics for an emo band?).  So much so, that I threw caution to the wind and binged on a delicious trifle dessert that I had made for their visit.  I originally wasn't going to blog about this, but I feel like I want to be completely honest with you -- after all, if I am not honest about my journey, how can I help you in yours?  After eating more dessert in one weekend than I had in 9 months -- I hate admitting this -- I wanted to purge for the first time in years.  Honest to goodness it was hard not to.  I didn't do it, but the urge was there... and it was scary.

I almost felt like I was suddenly standing at a fork in the road, one leading back to obesity, one leading back to bulimia.  I felt panicked, scared, and overwhelmed.  Throughout this entire journey I've been telling people that what has kept me going was a lot of cussing and a lot of praying.  I feel like I've got the cussing down, but have been lately lacking in the area of prayer.  So, yesterday (even though I really struggle with asking for <and receiving> encouragement from others) I sent a text to a few of my friends that said:

"This is probably really silly... But would you please help me by praying for me?  I am super struggling in the area of will power.  Specifically in turning down sweets and also with portion control.  I'm just afraid I'm going to head in a backwards direction if I keep this up.  And I'm feeling like Divine intervention might be necessary.  I know, really silly."

I have to say that I am so very blessed to have such a great support system.  I could have never imagined the kind words that they would say to me.  I am so thankful for them.  I want to share with you some of their encouraging messages:

"Not silly at all!  I will pray for you!" ... "You are strong and will overcome this.  Praying hard.  You are loved!" ... "Not silly.  I will begin praying for you daily when I sit down for meals.  Prayer makes things happen." ... "Not silly at all!  Praying right now that God gives you the power over choice!  Jump back on the horse my friend and keep on your path.  Don't be swayed by the days of perceived disappointment.  With your next breath, next bite, start over!  But most importantly, God has you covered!" ... "Not silly!  YOU are an amazing mentor whether you mean to be or not!  You have inspired me for sure... and I know others as well.  I think it's awesome that you are asking for help like that, because now the people who have gotten so much strength from you, can turn around and try to help you.  Try not to be so hard on yourself.  You will never be back where you were because you have seen the light and you rock!" ... "Love you girl!" ... "2Timothy 1:7 - God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and love and sound mind."  ... "Take it one day at a time." ... "It's not silly... You are allowed to go through thinks like this.  We all do.  Keep your head up, I know you are doing great and it will get easier.  I will pray for you.  I am here for you whenever you need me." ...  "You can do this, Kels!  You have come so darn far and I tell your story when I talk about CrossFit A LOT!  You are an inspiration to me and I am not just saying that.  With the help of your CrossFit sisters there is NO way you are going to go backwards because we have your back!  Lifting you up friend!" ... "I am always here."

Talk about being humbled and being reduced to a huge ball of tears.  I have never felt so uplifted, so loved, or so blessed.  I could literally feel the prayers of my friends surrounding me, and I still can today.  What their messages of encouragement taught me was this:  It is okay to ask for help.  It is not silly to ask for people to pray for you.  You are always stronger than you think (and other people can see your strength more than you can).  If you ask for help and prayer, it is nearly impossible to fail.  You are not alone.

I feel like I have finally been able to crawl out from under my rock and pull my head out of my ass (as my dad might say), and am finally feeling better today.  Because today I choose happiness.  Today I choose to be wise.  Today I choose to be happy.  Today I have been given the strength to have power over choice.  I have made wise food choices, have stayed active, and have been reminding myself that I have power over my choices.  I do not have to succumb to cravings (hence the reason for the coffee as opposed to diet soda <aka: the hooch>).  I do not have to be a victim of myself.  I will not climb the same steep hill twice.  I have decided to have the attitude of obligation.  In one of the messages above, I was told that I am a mentor whether I mean to be or not.  If this is true, I had better be a good one.  I will not go backwards.  I will continue to encourage others with my story (and will work on allowing myself to be more open to the encouragement of others).

I want to encourage you to ask for help if you are struggling.  If you are feeling down, let the people around you know.  Surround yourself with people who love you, care for you, and who will lift you up.  You are loved so much more than you know.

Keep your chin up.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  And thank you, more than you will ever know, for keeping me... In Good Company.

P.S. -- It turns out that it wasn't necessary to increase my Lexapro dosage. But because I am almost positive that part of my recent struggle was due to a summer version of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I did increase my daily vitamin D3 intake from 400IU to 5000IU.  The recommended daily intake is 2000IU, but I am taking extra for various health reasons.  I can't say enough for the effectiveness of what is commonly referred to as "the sunshine vitamin."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pose of the Week: Wheel

Wheel Pose*, also known as Supine Bow Pose, is referred to in the Sanskrit language as Chakarasana.

Wheel Pose

The purpose of this pose is to strengthen the upper body, glutes and leg muscles; all while stretching the abdominal muscles.

To begin, lie flat on your back.  Bend your knees and press your feet into your mat at a position that is slightly wider than hip width.  Bring your hands above your head, bend your elbows, and place your palms face-down onto your mat.  Your fingertips should be pointed towards your shoulders.

Beginning position

Using your upper body and legs, press your hands and feet into the mat while lifting the torso and glutes up into an arched position.  While holding this pose, press your palms, heels, and toes down into the mat while you are pressing your abdominals and hips to the sky.  Try to straighten the arms as much as possible.  To intensify your concentration, focus your gaze to the tip of your nose.

Final Position

You should avoid this pose if you struggle with high blood pressure, or if you suffer from shoulder or back injury.  To modify this pose, leave a comfortable bend in your elbows as opposed to straightening your arms.  It is always recommended to back off of your level of intensity if you feel any pain.

Remember that it is okay to modify.  Know your body, know how to listen to your body, and respect where you are at today.  Also know that this is an advanced pose -- please don't feel frustrated if you can't complete the pose today.  Strength and flexibility come with practice.

Thank you for practicing with me today.  Namaste.

*Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, so I may not be able to address your specific contraindications.
I can only teach you what I know and what I have been taught.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


For some reason my heart feels heavy tonight as I write.  Nothing monumentally sad has happened to me recently.  But I'm on edge; anxious; grouchy.

Maybe it's because of the premature arrival of summer temperatures, which almost always make me a little testy.  I'm ready for Fall.

Maybe it's because the terrible two's ran rampant through my house all day.

Maybe it's because, even though I haven't gained any weight, I am feeling super chubby.

Maybe it's because I haven't been watching my diet as closely as I should be.

Maybe it's because I'm back on "The Hooch."

"The Hooch"

Maybe it's because I'm bloated.

Maybe it's because of the new zit on my forehead and the darkening of the sun spots on my cheekbones.

Maybe it's because my close friends and family keep telling me to write a book.  But I have no clue where to start and I am terrified of failing.

Maybe it's because I felt like the Yoga class I taught today was less than sub-par.

Maybe it's that I am feeling sluggish and tired, exhausted to my core.

Maybe it's because of all of the sad and terrible things happening all over the news.

Maybe it's because we recently made the decision to leave our church, and being without a church home makes me sad.

Maybe it's because I feel like I have been drifting in my faith.

Maybe it's because I desperately wish we could live closer to my parents.

My dad coloring on the sidewalk with my little guy.
This is one of my favorite pictures of all times.

Maybe it's because I'm incredibly crazy anxious about doing a CrossFit WOD in a very public setting next Friday evening.  I'm a tad terrified of seeming fat, clumsy, and incapable in front of that many strangers.

Maybe it's because my sister lives 3 hours away.  I feel as though I am missing out on so much of her pregnancy, her nursing career, and my hilarious nephew.

Maybe it's because I haven't had enough sleep for the past 2 1/2 years.

Maybe it's because I'm still mourning the cross-state move our best friends made 5 months ago.  It's not like we won't see them again.  But their little family is made up of my adulthood best friend, my husband's best friend, and my son's best friend.  The absence of the daily play dates and spontaneous shopping trips to neighboring towns have created a hole in our lives.  Maybe this seems a little silly, but they were our family in this town where we don't have any family.  They are the kind of friends that are a rare gem in adulthood.  The kind of friends that are welcome in your home any time, and are welcome to enter without knocking.  The kind that you truly feel the phrase "mi casa es su casa".  The friends you can call on in an emergency.  The friends you call on in a non-emergency.

Us with our best friends and their new arrival!

Maybe it's because I ordered a swimsuit and it should arrive any day.  And when I say "I ordered" it, I really mean, my mom sat me down, made me pick out a suit, and ordered it for me.  I am more than terrified to try it on.

Maybe it's because I have been allowing my thoughts to run wild.

Maybe I feel bad for feeling bad, when I know that my life is a cakewalk compared to so many others.

Maybe I just need to go to bed, say my prayers, and start tomorrow with a new and positive attitude.

Maybe I need to begin dwelling on my blessings.

Please forgive my temporarily crappy attitude.  I'm sorry that tonight I'm not being very good at keeping you In Good Company....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pose of the Week: Mountain

Mountain Pose*, also known as Tadasana, is the perfect place to relax and regroup; to allow your body and mind to become one.  It's purpose is to fill the body with energy and awareness, and to align the body's weight.  You will find that frequent practice of Mountain Pose will improve your posture and strengthen your spinal muscles.

To begin, stand with the joints of your big toes together and your heels slightly separated (this picture shows the feet separated as a modification to produce more stability).  Your arms should be down beside your body, palms facing forward.  Your neck should be nice and long, and your chin should be parallel to your mat.

Mountain Pose (front view)
Press the three corners of your feet (big toes, pinkie toes, and heels) into your mat.  Activate your leg muscles by lifting your calves, kneecaps, and thighs up toward your hips.  Press your hips slightly forward to avoid over extending your back, tighten your glutes.  Draw your naval toward your spine.  Relax your shoulders away from your ears and open your chest.  It is important focus on proper posture. Lift through your heart at the same time you are pressing your hips slightly forward and tucking in your rear.

Your gaze should be focused straight ahead, or you may close your eyes.  Slow your breathing, allowing yourself to fully and deeply inhale and exhale.  If you chose to, you may try to visualize yourself standing on top of a mountain, trying to feel the rocks beneath your bare feet as you press them into your mat, feel the breeze on your skin.  Try imagining the strength and majesty of the mountain below your feet, then feel that strength come up through your body; making your body become rock solid.

Mountain Pose (side view)
You should avoid overextending your spine, as well as collapsing your chest forward.  Be mindful not to press your hips too far forward or too far back.

You can clearly see that my shoulders are pressed too far forward,
my back is too rounded, and my hips are pressed too far forward.
This is too often mistaken for proper posture.  However, you can see that my back
is overextended, and my shoulders and rear are pressed
too far back (creating a phenomenon I like to call "Stripper Back").

Proper alignment.  Chest open, shoulders above the hips, tailbone
tucked in, hips above the ankles, naval pulled in and up.

Thank you for practicing with me today.  Namaste.

*Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, so I may not be able to address your specific contraindications.
I can only teach you what I know and what I have been taught.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pose of the Week: Side Angle Pose

This week I would like to share a Yoga pose with you called Side Angle Pose, or Parsvac Onasana.  Sometimes you will also hear this pose referred to as Extended Angle Pose.

*As always... Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, so I may not be able to address your specific contraindications.  I can only teach you what I know and what I have been taught.

Side Angle Pose will stimulate the nervous system and internal organs.  It will help to tone and cleanse the spinal muscles, as well as strengthen the quadriceps and the muscles surrounding the knee joint.  It will also stretch the groin and waist.

To begin, place your feet warrior position, by placing your feet about 4 feet apart. The toes on your front foot should be pointing straight ahead, while your back food should be pointing to the side; creating a long "L" shape. Your heels should be in alignment as if you were standing on a balance beam.

Feet Positioning: Side Angle Pose
With your chest facing the same direction as your hips, create a bend in your front knee without allowing your knee to protrude past your toes.  Reach down with your front arm, and up to the sky with your back arm, keeping both heels planted into the mat.  Your top arm should be strong and stable, and your gaze should be focused beyond your top fingertips.
Side Angle Pose
Keep your back glute tight and your core muscles strong.  Your chest should stay open (you can even focus on rotating your chest to the sky with each exhale).  If you feel your top shoulder start to collapse forward, transition into Modified Side Angle Pose (pictured below).

If you would like to take this pose a bit further, you can come into Bound Side Angle Pose by placing your top arm behind your body, your lower arm in front of, then underneath, your front leg and reaching up and behind.  The goal is to be able to clasp your hands behind your body.

Bound Side Angle Pose

Bound Side Angle Pose

Modifications: If flexibility is an issue, you can utilize a Yoga block, place your hand at the ankle or calf, or you can rest your elbow or forearm on your quadricep.  Be mindful of this pose if you have weakened knee joints.  Remember that it is okay to modify.  Strength and flexibility come with practice.  Know where you are at today and listen to your body.  If you feel pain or discomfort, back off of your level of intensity.

Modified Side Angle Pose

Thank you for practicing with me today.  Namaste.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lycra and Crotch Guards

Its inevitable.  I have to do it sooner or later.  I am not going to be able to avoid it much longer.  You know what I'm talking about.  The activity that strikes fear in the heart of women everywhere.  Swimsuit shopping.
I have milled through the swimwear sections of several different stores on several different occasions.  It's overwhelming to see all of those itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikinis in hot pink and flame orange.  I find myself surrounded by strapless suits -- thinking, in your dreams, sister.  Each time I tell myself to just pick up a black one-piece and try it on, damn it.  But every time, I feel a real life panic attack start to creep up on me and I have to walk away.  What is it about the dreaded swimsuit that is so terrifying?  I don't freak out when I browse around Victoria's Secret -- but get me anywhere near Lycra and those weird sticky crotch protector things and I need a Xanax.  Stat.

Why am I so afraid of this?  Maybe it's all of the dumb magazine covers that tell me I need to be working on my bikini body.  Maybe it's just the thought of exposing that much of my body to the general public.  Maybe it's the saggy white skin and flames of stretch marks that cover me from mid-thigh to navel.  Maybe because I have a vision of what I look like in a swimsuit burned into my brain.  That's probably it.

Let me explain -- there were, of course, pictures taken of my son's very first time in a swimming pool.  Obviously, I was there.  Unluckily for me, I was photographed.  I know that I was 75+ pounds heavier then, and had absolutely no muscle mass.  But I still cannot shake the images from my brain.  I'm not ashamed of where I have come from -- I am proud of this journey -- but I am still terrified that I will morph back into that old body if I put a swimsuit on.  What?  You think I'm crazy?  That's funny, I've heard that somewhere before...

Anyway, against all better judgement, I'm going to share the pictures with you -- maybe I am crazy after all (but I was shooting more for brave).  Then maybe you'll understand my fear.

I know that I can't avoid this forever -- I will be the world's worst mom if I don't ever take my kiddo to the water park this summer -- and it seems that scuba suits are hard to come by in Kansas (I'd buy online, but I don't really know what size I wear in neoprene).  Maybe it would be a good idea to drink a few glasses of wine before shopping for swimwear.  Isn't there a quote about that?  Something about buying drunk and returning sober?  Maybe that quote was about writing and editing.  I'm confused.

Splish splash.  Keep the camera away from the pool, for Pete's sake.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pose of the Week: Warrior II

I would like to begin sharing with you some of my favorite Yoga poses*.  The benefits -- both mental and physical -- of Yoga are countless, and I would love for you to learn to enjoy this ancient form of exercise as much as I do.  We all know how consistent I am in my posts, but I really would like to share a new pose with you each week.  I would like to remind you that each Yoga instructor typically has developed his/her own style or method of teaching, and poses often have more than one name.  If you have any questions regarding my teaching, please feel free to ask.  Also, I know that my legs are pale.  You might want to keep your sunglasses handy.

*Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, so I may not be able to address your specific contraindications.
I can only teach you what I know and what I have been taught.

I will begin with one of my favorite strength poses:Warrior IIWarrior II, also known as Virabhadrasana II, will help to lengthen and tone spinal muscles and the nervous system.  It strengthens glutes, quadriceps, and glutes; and stretches the chest and shoulder adductors.

To begin, place your feet about 4 feet apart.  The toes on your front foot should be pointing straight ahead, while your back food should be pointing to the side; creating a long "L" shape.  Your heels should be in alignment as if you were standing on a balance beam.

While I love practicing in the sanctity of my back lawn, I believe a
surface more stable than grass will have to be used
for future photographs.

Your hips and chest are opened up in the same direction (facing the same way as your back toes).  Now, create a bend in your front knee and luge slightly without allowing your knee to extend beyond your toes.  Extend your arms straight out to the sides and focus your gaze just beyond your front fingertips; your back arm should be at the same height as your front arm.  Tighten your triceps.  Keep your spine straight and your shoulders directly above your hips.

Both of these photographs show the improper holding of the Warrior II pose -- both of these
inaccuracies are quite common.  In the first picture you will notice my back arm is too high
and my shoulders are too far forward.  In the second, my front arm is too high,
my back arm is too low, and my shoulders are too far back.

Focus on tightening your back glute, and relaxing your shoulders away from your ears.  Hold this pose for five slow, deep breaths.  In this pose, you should feel strong, stable, and in control.  You should feel aware and prepared for action.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Warrior II

Modifications: Because Warrior poses tend to be strenuous, be mindful of your body if you have weakened knees.  Always listen to what your body is telling you, and respect your limitations.  Know where you are at today.  If you feel pain, stop what you are doing, or back off of your level of intensity.

Thank you for practicing with me.  Namaste.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kelsey Lately: Motherhood Edition

I'm baaaa-aaaack!  Did you miss me?  I missed all of you!  Life has been quite the whirlwind lately... and when it finally calmed down -- and I began writing blogs in head during the night -- my DSL connection went bad.  Can I just say that going five days without a home phone or Internet was a killer?  I didn't realize how addicted I was to it all.  Particularly Facebook, which I will now refer to as "digital crack."

Let's get rolling with another installment of my favorite rambling posts.

Kelsey Lately: Motherhood Edition
*disclaimer: I cannot promise you there will be any rhyme, reason, or systematic approach to what follows*

I love this so much.
While my husband went on a business trip to California, I took the munchkin and the mutt to Kansas City to see my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.  As I have said many times before, my sister is my best friend, and I always cherish the time we get to spend together.  But, for the record, she runs me ragged!  I assume that I am used to a slower-paced, small town life.  She, on the other hands, loves to explore all of what the Kansas City area has to offer.  After several days of exploring, playing, shopping, and staying up late to talk about nothing and everything; I was ready for a margarita and a solid twelve hours of sleep.

At the brand new Aquarium "Sea Life."  You can see that my
sister's shirt blended with the green screen.

My little guy on the pedal tractors at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.

My adorable nephew riding a pony at Deanna Rose.

Helping my munchkin bottle feed the baby goats.

I will admit that I loved all of the memories made in just a few days.  We have been having continuous conversations about stingrays, sea stars, sharks, bird nests, cows named Olive, feeding goats, eating at Fritz's, bunnies, golf carts, soccer, and sea horses since we got home.

A few weeks ago, at the end of a very bad day -- you know the kind of day where you can sort of understand why wild animals eat their young -- I found a large inhabitants of ants living in my home office.  I was immediately, and unnecessarily upset.  I became even more upset when I opened a box that appeared to be their mother ship.  When a few crawled up my arms, I flipped my lid.  I mean it.  Flipped.  My.  Lid.  I called my husband and yelled at him for not having sprayed because we live in Kansas and they travel indoors when it rains and our windows are old and he should have sprayed three weeks prior and how dare he make those ants live under our computer desk and crawl up my arms dammit!  Not my finest moment.  He calmly told me that he didn't put the ants there and that I needed to chill out.  You know that moment in cartoons where the character begins to turn red like an old-fashioned thermometer, beginning at his toes and traveling up to his head before the top of his head finally blows off?  That's kind of what happened to me next.  Like I said, not my finest moment.

A few days later, my husband and I were reading a bug book to our son.  I pointed at a spider and said, "This is a spider.  If you see one of these, you step on it."  Next up were the ants.  I smiled and jokingly said, "This is an ant.  If you see one of these, you call Daddy and yell at him."  My husband and I chuckled.  I assumed that our little guy's two-year-old brain would soon forget my comment.  Nope.  I don't mind that he says, "Spider.  Step on it."  But it is a little worrisome that he still calls ants "Call Daddies."  Crap.

 My son has been going through a phase of telling us what things are not.  For instance, I will ask him the color of his shirt.  Instead of telling me that it is blue, he will tell me that it is "not pink" or "not green".  We were at the grocery store recently and a stranger asked his name.  His response?  "Not Joan!"  "Not Joe?" she asked.  He looked at her square in the eye and with perfectly over-emphasized pronunciation he said "NOT. JOAN."  She looked mildly confused and said (in her deep smokers voice), "No I'm not Joan, I'm Vickie."  He looked super annoyed, held one hand up and said a very attitude heavy, "Bye."
Not Joan.
A lot of funny things have been coming out of my toddler's mouth lately.  I kind of wonder why his little brain works the way it does sometimes.  He has been playing around with different types of laughter (many times in situations that aren't funny at all), followed by a "Ha ha ha, that so funny!"  He has also been practicing talking in funny voices.  My favorite is a very deep (almost exorcist style voice) in which he will repeatedly say "Scooby Doo."  He will also break out in dance almost anywhere -- he has a pretty awesome white boy dance (you know, all elbows and no hips).  His new favorite song is "Skinamarinky Dinky Dink".  I have a feeling that he might follow in the footsteps of his mommy and have a love for theatrics.

We stopped for a drive-thru lunch recently, and as I was trying to order, he was loudly telling the speaker his name and yelling over and over, "HI!  I want somfing to eat pwease!"  And when I was paying, again with the introductions and the repetition of , "HI!  Fank you!"

He has also been inhibiting an incredibly sweet side lately.  He will say things like, "Oh fank you mommy --  I wuv you so much!"  "I yike Daddy.  Daddy is so hasome (handsome)."  And recently he came and hugged my leg and said "Awww... you sweetheart Mommy." 

Because my son loves race cars so much, my husband has been letting him watch Nascar.  I have a constant fear that if he watches much more he will want to wear a mesh hat with a picture of a confederate flag.  Anyway, he loves watching the cars and likes to talk about "Juner", "Darrell Cartrip", and "Jeff Govette".  He gets super excited for the pit stops, and reacts with quite the level of emotion during a wreck.  While in Kansas City, my sister and I took our boys into an accessory shop in a snooty part of town, and as we were trying to keep them quiet -- both of their "inside voices" are already quite loud -- my son starts yelling "JIMMY JOHNSON!  JIMMY JOHNSON!  JIMMY JOHNSON!"  You can imagine the looks we received after that.

Now that I have an almost 2 1/2 year old, I am constantly being asked "isn't it about time for another one?"  My answer to this is, "No.  It's not."  I don't mind the original question, as long as the conversation heads in an agreeable direction.  But I get frustrated when complete strangers try to convince me to have another baby.  One woman even said, "Oh you just have to have another one, then you can have a boy and a girl and be done!"  As if I have any control over that.  Generally people back down when I tell them that I'm not certain that I am ready to put my body through the hell of full blown PCOS and fertility treatments.  But sometimes I get the extra stubborn "Preg-o-Nazi" who tries her hardest to make me want to get pregnant.  I even had one tell me that she just hated only children.  Really?!  Those are the times I get a really strong urge to shut them up by busting out The Running Man while singing "It's My Vagina" (to the tune of Bobby Brown's "It's My Prerogative").

It's not that I don't ever want another baby -- but it's also not that I necessarily do either.  I love being a mommy, I love my son, and I have especially loved watching my husband become such an amazing dad.  But we are content with where our life is at right now.  Maybe someday we will feel that a piece of our puzzle is missing.  But, then again, maybe we won't.
There are days when pancake-induced fits make me think
that one might be enough for us....

I have been learning recently that I am not the mom I had expected myself to be.  I had intended to be a perfect wonder-woman with an always perfectly dressed child.  No snotty noses or dirty cheeks to be found here.  No sir!  Winter pajamas are not allowed in the Spring.  Clothes must match at all times.  No running around half dressed.  My child will never throw a fit at the grocery store.  Homemade baby food, handmade crafts and picture perfect picnics would be a way of life, by golly.  I was driving myself crazy with all of the expectations I had put on myself as a mother, and probably stressing out my poor son as well.  But what I have learned lately, is that it is so much more fun to breathe -- to not stress out when life doesn't go as planned -- to just deal with the fact that dirt happens, poop gets flung onto walls sometimes (because you know that, even though they hold perfectly still for wet diapers, the minute you have the most disgusting poopy diaper in history, they flail about like a seizing octopus on speed), and meltdowns happen in public.  Believe me, the anxiety and fear of being inadequate still takes hold some days.  But, as a whole, I think I am getting better, and my son seems to be having a lot more fun.
Playing outside with messy hair, no pants, and Lightning McQueen slippers.

Playing outside, in April, in snowman pajamas, with sandals.

Below you will find links to two great mothering articles that I found online.  Obviously I want you to read them:  Don't Carpe Diem  and Your Children Want YOU!

Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.