First of all, I am not Catholic so me participating in Lent is more of a self challenge than anything else. Anyhow, I decided to give up something that I do that has really been bothering me lately. Mindless TV. I don't have any desire to watch day time TV, I seem to stay really busy! It's the evening TV that gets me! About 5:30-6:00, I start to get a little bored, a little antsy, and I'm looking for some adult interaction. Since Kyle doesn't come home until 7:00-8:00, I've been filling those lonely hours with mindless TV (Food Network, TLC, HGTV).
This would not bother me if I hadn't noticed Avery zoning out to the TV with me. She can't help it, big, shiny, bright box that makes noise! But I hope she's a kid who enjoys reading, playing outside, make believe, and playing games rather than watch ingTV. Don't get me wrong, TV certainly has its place and I enjoy watching a classic movie or a good game more than anythng. I just want our family to watch TV mindfully rather than out of boredom.
So, I give up my evening TV and will spend it reading books to Avery, taking her for walks, etc. I'm still allowed to watch our regular shows and games (The Office, MvF) as well as shows Kyle wants to watch together. We'll see how it goes!
3) Did you get married in a church? No, outside at Kyle's parents house.
4) How many in your wedding party? 8, 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen
5) How many guests were invited to your wedding? Probably 150, the number grew as the days drew closer, none of that by my choice! I would have had 20 people there if it was my choice, but such is the chaos of wedding planning.
6) How long were you together before the engagement? About six years!
7) How long did you wait to tie the knot after your proposal? About nine months
8) How did he propose?? 12-13-08, under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris! It doesn't get much better than that!
9) Did you register for gifts? If yes, where? Yes, crate n barrel (good choice), pottery barn (not a goodchoice, their return policy is awful), and target. The things that I wanted most were a cheese knife set and new towels. Didn't get either! Ask Breanna about the cheese knives and I guess people thought towels were boring! We got lots of nice gifts though!
10) Who did you hire as your photographer & videographer? Jenn Fowler, don't even go there!
11) Did you have a DJ or a band? DJ, would have much rather had a band but not in the budget!
12) What was your first dance to? Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
13) Did your father walk you down the aisle? Yes
14) What color were the bridesmaids' dresses and groomsmen's vests? Burnt orange! Groomsmen did not wear vests, but their ties were burnt orange!
15) Did you have a bridal shower? Nope
16) What type of limo did you get? Stretch
17) What were your flowers? Calla lillies and white roses
18) What flavor was your cake? Best part of the whole thing was the cake (and the dress). From Gayle's in Capitola. One layer was lemon sponge with raspberry jam, second was flourless chocolate with hazelnut ganache. Beautiful cake!
19) What type of wedding gown? Strapless mermaid with beading on the boddice and down the back. Wish I could look that good everyday!
20) What was the weather like that day? Got lucky with a clear, warm, windless day in Salinas.
21) Did you have an open bar? Yes, biggest mistake of the whole wedding.
22) Where did you go on your Honeymoon? SF for a night and then up the coast to Gualala. Stayed two nights at a B&B. Then hit the road for Austin!
23) What was your favorite thing about your wedding day? That Kyle's grandma got to be a part of things before she passed. Looking really put together for once in my life and see number 18.
24) Did anything go wrong? Ha, nothing is ever perfect but the day ended with us married! Mission accomplished!
25) How long have you been married? A year and three quarters, looking forward to many new adventures that don't have anything to do with a wedding :)
**This post is kind of all over the place...kind of a glimpse into my running inner commentary!
We had a terrific weekend. Saturday, Avery and I went to a chocolate festival while Kyle was at the men's basketball game. CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL, need I say more?!
Sunday, Kyle surprised me with tickets to John Mayer on March 8th. Um, not going to lie, I kind of like John Mayer! We've seen him 3 times already and I loved every second of every concert. I think of his songs when I think of the soundtrack of my life. Definitely my good memories of adult life are to the tune of his melodies :) Summers in Davis, Charleston beaches, Paris winter, all spent with my buddy :) (For those of you who don't know, Kyle is buddy to me). Anyhow I am super excited for the concert. Not so excited to leave Avery for the first time (other than with Kyle), but I know she will be in good hands. Sara will take care of her, hopefully Avery is a good girl....
Also, this was our 8th Valentine's Day together! I feel like our first Valentine's Day was just yesterday! Sophomore year at Davis. He had a test that morning so I wasn't expecting much out of the day. I woke up to roses and a card at my door that said to be ready at 11:00 for a surprise. He picked me up and we drove to the SF zoo! Spent the day hanging out at the zoo and then went to Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Sounds so silly, but if you knew Kyle when he was 19, this was a big step for him! He is someone who does not make rash decisions and carefully invests his time whole heartedly into only things that are very important to him. Putting that much thought and effort into a day planned just for us made me realize that we might be on to something special :)
I also went to Bikram on Sunday, which I will say has been a little like going home for me! I used to do Bikram (hot yoga) in Charleston a lot and then I started doing it in Austin, but then got pregnant. Can't do Bikram when preggo or you might cook your baby! For Christmas Kyle got me 25 classes at my favorite yoga studio in Austin and also agreed to watch Avery during the class. (I cried when I opened this present, it meant so much to me that he knew exactly what I needed but would never do it for myself. Guess that's why we work together!) So a Valentine's Day yoga class was perfect! We stayed in that night and ate lobster tails, asparagus, beef bouignon, and chocolate fondue. We watched Julia and Julia which must have inspired us to eat all of that yummy food. We both love that movie, yes even Kyle. It involves good food and Paris, what more could we ask for in a movie?!
Monday I took Avery to the mall so that I could get a haircut. Whenever I try something new like this, I hold my breath because I'm never sure how it will work out. I figured if I walked around the mall long enough, she would fall asleep and then sleep right through the haircut...well she did fall asleep, but at the first snip she woke up! Now, getting a haircut is not something that you can stop halfway through! It's go all the way or go home looking awful! I held my breath the entire haircut just waiting for a meltdown, but she was an angel. Intrigued by what was happening to mommy and smiling for anyone who stopped to see the sweet baby parked next to the salon chair! We made it through and I feel so much better after a trim.
Funny story, on the way out of the mall we were riding the elevator down (never thought about always needing an elevator when you have a stroller, complicates things just a bit when you're shopping!). An older lady is riding with us and she looks at Avery and says, "I see that you have a very nice big sister taking you shopping!". Before I could register what she said the doors opened and we were walking out. What the heck? Did she just say I was Avery's big sister? Now, I know I'm kind of young to have a baby, but really?! I'm not that young!! Do I look like a teen mom?! I really don't think so, but obviously she did! When I got home I told Kyle and I don't think he knew how to react. He said, "Are you insulted or complimented?". Poor guy, this could have been one of those trick situations girls put boys in! I was insulted of course, I am her mama and proud to be! Don't judge me lady! In hindsight what does it matter....just a funny thing to rant about :)
Oh, and if you're reading this please keep Avery in your thoughts and prayers this week. We go for another x-ray on Friday and let's hope the brace comes off!
I am no domestic goddess. Cleaning house is not something that I am very good at, nor have I historically put a lot of effort into it. I do the bare minimum of cleaning to get by. Maybe that's just the way I've always been, maybe it's because Kyle and I have never lived in a place nice enough to really care about, maybe because cleaning up after him is like having a full time job (sorry Buddy, it's ture!). Add the dogs into the mix and it's a recipe for things to always be a mess and that's where my complaining begins today. Dogs.
Since having Avery I feel like I've made much more of an effort to keep our place clean and sanitary for her. I'm cleaning the kitchen nonstop (with no dishwasher this sucks), I'm sweeping and mopping weekly, vaccuming, keeping the bathroom clean, constantly picking up clutter, and trying not to drown in never ending laundry (having to trek up and down three flights of stairs with baby in the bjorn to do laundry sucks). So needless to say it's a lot of work to keep up with the cleaning for me.
IT DOES NOT HELP WHEN YOU GET POOPED AND PEED ON, LITERALLY! Seriously, waking up to a pug pooping in your bed and coming out in the living room and seeing a wet pee mark from the bulldog is enraging when you're doing your best to keep things clean for your baby. I just don't know what to do because these dogs are driving me crazy. I am so happy Peyton doesn't sleep with us anymore, now I would give anything to get Grahm out of the bed. It's just gross (the pooping is not a rare thing, happens at least once a week). And I have to wash everything each time!!
I love my dogs, I love my dogs, I love my dogs. I keep trying to tell myself this even though in the back of my mind I just keep thinking that life would be so much simpler without them. I know we would never give them up, they've been part of our lives too long. What we really need is a change in living situation. They need a backyard. I need a washing machine. Sigh, one day.
It's about time that a write about the thing that has taken up much of my time for the past 3 1/2 months. Not Avery, well not directly Avery. Breastfeeding. It's something that I was determined to do ever since I found our we were having a baby. Being someone who is fairly concerned with proper nutrition and being married to someone whose career includes educating athletes about appropriate nutrition, my main motivation to make breastfeeding work was to avoid giving her the synthetic ingredients of formula. I wanted her diet to remain as pure as possible for as long as possible. I figured she will have the rest of her life to consume processed foods like we do, and this would be the only time in her life where her diet could be completely what nature intended it to be. My other motivation was monetary. I'm saving around $100 a month by not using formula, with our budget that amount makes a huge difference.
Anyhow, I want to reflect on my feelings about breastfeeding now that I'm a few months into the whole thing. I had no idea what an impact it would have on my daily life nor did I realize what a special experience it would be for Avery and I. Supposedly when a baby nurses, a certain hormone is released in the mother which causes nurturing and loving feelings towards the baby. The baby in return knows that mother is a source of food, comfort, and love. The first month or so my days were consumed with feeding. Now it's just part of our day and we can go anyplace without thinking about what to bring or when I might have to feed her. As long as we're together we've got all the tools!
I know breastfeeding isn't for everyone and I think that is great. That's why parenting is such a unique experience, you get to do things your way for the first time in life. Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed, which I totally get. It is time consuming and if I had to go back to work I probably wouldn't stick with it. Pumping just doesn't give you the same satisfaction as cuddling with your baby while you know she is getting everything she needs to grow right from you. So, my final thoughts are that breastfeeding has and continues to be worth it to me. It's something that Avery and I do together, and it's something that only lasts a short amount of time in the grand scheme of life. It has allowed the two of us to develop a closeness that I think I would have missed out on otherwise. It does take time, but these days I'm not worried about racing against the clock!
1. Drinking jasmine tea all day. Either green or white jasmine tea. It's delicious and feels completely cleansing. I feel so much better when I drink this instead of coffee. Don't get me wrong, I still love my coffee! (Had a grande skinny cinnamon dolce latte today!), but the tea is so great to sip on all day. Added benefit, filling up on tea keeps me from mindless snacking :)
2. The library. I can't imagine ever buying a book again! I make a trip every week and stock up on books. I'm not into reading anything heavy right now, so its mind candy girly books that keep me entertained when Avery is sleeping. I feel a lot better about this than watching TV all day and the best part is, it's free!
3. Researching photographers. I want to get Avery's pics professionally taken and there are so many great photographers in Austin. Still debating if we can afford to shell out the cash or not, but I really want it done. If anyone has opinions on whether or not professional pics are worth it and/or when would be the best age to do them, let me know.
4. Facebook stalking. I don't think I need to say more on this. I know we all do it :)
5. An outing a day. Even if I don't "need" to go anywhere, I must get out of the house. Avery seems to do so much better in the evenings if we have had an outing. If she's anything like me, the day is just brighter when we are out and about. Sometimes we just go to Whole Foods and walk around. Anything to get us out of the house!
6. Avery. I know everyone thinks their baby is adorable, but I REALLY think she's amazing! It's like I never get sick of hanging out with her. I wake up everyday just looking forward to seeing her. Of course there are times when I need a break, that usually comes around 7 or 8 when Kyle is just getting home and I need 10 minutes alone. He's good at helping with that :) Anyhow, the two of us are having the best time and everyday seems to be a new adventure!