Monday, March 28, 2011

I will "Rock" the minivan!

I began the search for a new vehicle almost two months ago when I decided that my current vehicle is just too big for someone of my tiny stature.  This has taken longer than usual for two very distinctive reasons, one being the fact that we NEVER buy brand new vehicles because of the immediate loss in value the very second it is moved off the lot--I will let someone else take that hit and proudly drive a practically new, one-year-old vehicle, and the other reason being my expensive, precise, and never-satisfied taste---I know that there is something out there that I will love, and when I find it, I will know!  Which leads me to my latest finds.  After tedious and time consuming research, I found a few vehicles that I really love, that are within budget, and meet all of my requirements of satisfaction.  So being merely satisfied with the narrowing down of my choices, imagine my surprise that when I was driving down the highway and spotted a very interesting vehicle for sale, I pulled over to check it out.  Now, I don't know whether it was the extremely shiny veneer, or the sporty body shape that lured me in, but wow, was I ever shocked that I was actually taking sweet, precious time to stop and look at a--yes folks---a minivan!!  Now, no offense to anyone who drives one, it is just one of those things that I swore, "I would never do," which, since motherhood has consumed me, is slowly becoming a smaller and smaller list!  So as I step out of my obnoxiously high vehicle, I begin walking towards this incredibly shiny, black minivan and immediately see that it is not too old and definitely within the price range.  I cup my hands around my eyes and push my head to the window and check out the inside---sunroof, beautiful leather, rear entertainment, and a whole variety of features that are a "must" on my list.  I step back and thoroughly examine the outside, all the while thinking, "can I really see myself in this?"  And that's when I notice the most incredible feature of all, this is so completely easy to get in and out of with my kiddies...they can easily step right into it, as can I.  This minivan is awesome and I will totally "rock it out!"  I haven't made my decision yet, but there is something to be said when designer shoes and sports cars are replaced with designer strollers and minivans:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can I please just shave my legs?

There are few luxuries in life when you are mom to two little ones and in school full time fighting for a spot in graduate school, and by luxuries of course I mean instances such enough time to actually get your hair washed in a three day period or when you finally find the time to go and pee because, like a four-year-old that is too busy playing, you haven't taken the time to go relieve yourself of excess bodily fluids, and you would actually find toilet paper on the perfectly coordinated rubbed bronze paper holder and not across the room on the floor and you wouldn't have to to yell, "can someone please get me the toilet paper?"  Ah, yes, luxuries.  Today it seemed that I would get to experience the luxury of having shaved legs so that I may wear my cute little shorts as apposed to jogging pants, again. So,  I go into the bathroom and prop my leg onto the sink and begin the simple yet tedious act that every fourteen year old girl partakes in on a daily basis.  Just as I began to think that maybe I would make it through the entire process, there it comes, that pitter-patter of tiny running feet that starts off as a distant rumble but quickly turns into an obnoxious roar and then bursts through the bathroom door.  Doing everything I can to keep from falling and trying to maintain my sanity while being consumed with running, chasing, shouting, pulling, and "mommy whatcha doing," I finally exclaimed, "can I please just shave my legs!?"  Finally, Matt makes it in to take the kids into the other room so that I may finish, and it hits me--shaving legs is something else to add to shelf of "has to wait to kids are asleep." Truth is I would have rather been chasing and running around with the kids than trying to rush through shaving my legs.  Just another metaphoric look into the frazzledness of our time for simple luxuries, just time for living!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HCG, P90X, and the countdown to the beach season!

Once January rolls around, we all start sweating those added pounds the holidays brings us, and begin looking to the future of sunshine, coconut oil, and poolside margaritas, well at least I do anyways! I love winter season, don't get me wrong, but once the holidays are over, I am ready to break out the shorts and strapless bra.  This is around the time that I start off my tanning and introduce some sort of exercise routine.  Last year I was especially proud of my "abs" that I worked so vigorously on, and this year I can only hope to get back to that point.  I am also hoping to do something with my legs and tone up my arms a bit, which leads me to P90X.  I think I may be able to squeeze in a night time routine at home, and I know that if I can just stick to it for a few days I will be hooked.  Of course I have been planning all of this out for weeks now, as I do with everything.  I had everything figured out--when I needed to start to be finished in time, what time of day I would do each activity, and, not surprisingly, I researched the heck out of it to make sure it was worth my time!  All of this talk of exercise and "hot bathing suit bodies" made Matt start thinking of how he was going to look standing next to me and sparked a fire under him as well.  He decided that he wanted to lose a few pounds before we started the P90X, thus leading him to the HCG diet.  He had a great experience with this diet last year and knew that he could drop twenty or more pounds in a mere six weeks if he followed the protocol correctly.  If you have not heard of this diet, I am here to enlighten you.  I first heard of this diet several years ago, but I simply did not pay it much attention.  Then my friend Kelly started speaking of the diet that her husband tried and had success with, and it didn't take me long to begin my own research of it.  It was invented, or discovered rather, by a doctor by the name of Dr. A. Simeons in 1954, and then later discussed by Kevin Trudeau in one of his books.  I read both books before Matt began this diet last year, and honestly the reasoning is just plain brilliant!  To sum it up, our bodies need calories for survival, right?  If our bodies are deprived of sufficient amounts of calories, we go into "starvation mode," which tells our bodies to turn to our stored fat supply.  Our bodies ultimately absorb the excess fat that our body has stored up, thus making us lose weight.  It is honestly like instant lipo!  The HCG, a potent hormone produced during pregnancy, is the extra little shot to the metabolism that allows one to maintain sanity while on a very low calorie diet plan, 500 calories a day to be exact.  Now before you say, "well of course you lose weight by only consuming 500 cal a day, anyone will do that, you are starving yourself," I will tell you this, with the help of the HCG, you are not starving yourself, you are actually living off close to 2000 or more cal a day, you just are not eating them.  Every time your body absorbs the fat you have stored, you are receiving all of those calories, vitamins, and minerals, just as if you had eaten them!!!  Genius, right!  I mean Dr. Simeons seriously believed it to be the "cure" for obesity, as do I.  After the third week of the diet, your body's metabolic function readjusts and you are set for life, assuming that you followed his protocol exactly.  It is a pretty tedious diet; you have to weigh your food exactly and only have about ten options to choose from, but it seriously is only six weeks and you are done!  I mean who can't stick with something for six weeks, seriously?  Matt has been doing it for three weeks and has almost reached his goal of thirty pounds.  Once he is there, he can finish up the last phase early, and then it's on to P90X!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby boys will melt your hearts

Everyone knows that I love everything about having a little girl, I love huge hair bows, smocked bishops, ballet lessons, cheerleading, princess movies, and the list can seriously go on forever!  I love that my first baby was a little girl and honestly, I hope that my next baby is a little girl as well.  When I found out that I was pregnant for the second time, I knew that I wanted to wait and hear those exciting little words, "It's a boy(or girl)!"  There are so few surprises in life and why not enjoy one of the greatest surprises ever!  What an amazing ending-- to deliver my baby and pull him up to discover that he was in fact a little boy.  It is now, that my little Shep-man is approaching two years old that I know how heart-warming it is to be the mother of a little boy.  There is just something so meaningful behind every little moment with this little guy.  He is rougher and tougher than Chrimson ever was.  He runs, jumps, climbs, shouts, throws anything that remotely looks like a ball, and is--pardon the cliche--"all boy!"  But, when I am holding this wonderfully smushy little angel-puff, and he reaches up and puckers those little, tiny, baby lips up and plants a sweetly moistened baby smooch on me, I just melt!  He and I have invented this little game that only we can play:  I say, "give me a kiss," and he says as he swats his hand, "unhhh(which is kind of like a grunted no sound)." We repeat this process several times until sporadically he grabs my cheeks and finally gives me a kiss and huge hug.  It is a surprise for me every time!!  I LOVE this game.  I have big plans for this little guy, and I hope to teach him everything that he needs to know to grow into a wonderful young man. 

A holiday at "home"

Again I am stepping back to write about our 2010 holiday season.  I feel it is especially noteworthy because it was our first holiday season in our new home.  It was sometime around March of 2010 that Matt and I began the home buying process.  We looked around at several homes and, for me, nothing really jumped out as special.  The day that we were to go put a formal offer in on a home in an Oak Grove subdivision, I began to have a slight panic attack, as I sometimes will when I have seconds thoughts about a big decision.  This led me to the internet to the multi-listing service that all home-seekers should be familiar with.  As I scrolled down the list, I spotted an adorable little pink Colonial-Revolution style home in the historic district of downtown Hattiesburg.  The moment I stepped foot in this house, I fell in love.  It is exactly what I imagined for us as a first house.  It is 2000 square feet of history, charm, and character, and I am slowly, and I do mean slowly, turning it into the decorator's dream home that I know it one day will become!  But that's enough on the house, I am going to do many blog posts about all of the updating we have done, but for now, back to the holidays.  So a mere five weeks into living in our new home, it was time to have Shep-man a birthday party.  This was the first occasion for everyone to come over and check out our new house.  At this point, there wasn't a whole lot to check out.  We had seriously just gotten our furniture delivered the day before his party!  But this meant less cleaning for me to do and more concentration on the party, which I believe was a huge hit!  Now, after this I had a whole lot of time to concentrate on getting the house ready for my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  This was a huge deal, as I am sure it is with everyone.  I planned menus, decorations, crafts, activities, and everything else I possibly could.  The decorations inside were relatively simple because my normal home decorations are in deep oranges, browns, and yellows, so the colors go perfectly!   My biggest accomplishment was my front porch.  I was eventually pleased with the way it looked.  Anyone that drives by our house will probably recognize that the front porch decor was rearranged a hundred times before I finally left it alone.

Pretty simple...I printed out and bound together little coloring books for the kiddos and just covered the table with brown packing paper
This was a little "snack bar"
This was by no means all of the desserts, we had many more.  This is just all I had out at this time.
I was so relieved to finally be done and placing the food out on the table
This is what our fireplace looks like all the time, with the exception of Christmas, so I didn't have to change anything

 It is also around this time every year that we partake in a lovely holiday ritual, the Pumpkin Patch.  I am huge on tradition because, let's face it, I get very conformed to certain things and do not like change at all, so traditions really stick with me.  If I do something one time and like it, you can almost guarantee that it will become a tradition.

We also had an eventful Halloween...the neighborhood really goes all out to make it extra exciting for the kids in the surrounding areas...we dressed up and hopped in our wagon early to stroll around and trick-or-treat, and then rushed back to our house to hand out candy as well, which was especially fun for Chrimson!  Once the sun went down, we headed over to our amazing neighbor's home where she hosted an outdoor movie was so incredibly cute!  We sat out on the lawn and watched movies and enjoyed snacks and fellowship with the other neighbors!!  The kids' costumes were very simple, but we still got several compliments.  I love, love, love homemade costumes as apposed to store bought ones, and since I cannot sew, I turned to the next best thing--Etsy!  I was browsing around through all of the costumes when Chrim spotted the super hero costumes...she is obsessed with Spiderman and Batman because of Matt's comic books and so she insisted on the super hero costumes!  I ordered them their own personalized capes and masks, which they play with all of the time by the way, and just accesorized them....I think they turned out super cute!

These are our adorable neighbors who have inspired me to really go "all out" next year when it comes to handing out candy!

Christmas seriously sneaked (yes, "sneaked!" It might surprise you that "snuck" is not the past tense of "sneak," it just is so overly used by Americans that it has overtaken the proper form and is somewhat acceptable which makes me cringe because I know that there should be no such word as "snuck," just like there is no such word as "bust" or "busted!") up on me, and I had very little time to decorate, shop, wrap, and everything else that goes along with the season.  I did what I could and even managed to do a birthday party for Chrimson in the middle of everything.  I LOVE everything about Christmas; the decorations, the music, the movie marathons, the events, the shopping, the food--I mean seriously, everything!!  I think that I really would have fit in perfectly in Norman Rockwell paintings--that is what I envision when I think of Christmas!  I was super excited to be involved the the downtown "candle-lighting" events that take place every year.  In the end we had a great time, and the best part of the whole Christmas season was that my whole family was able to stay over night on Christmas Eve, just like the old days---my twenty-three year old brother even ran in and jumped on the bed to wake me up just like when we were kids:)

I had a great time decorating this massive tree...I plan on adding more decorations each year until it is completely full!

Shep went straight for that book and hardly put it down.  It was honestly his favorite.