Awful Beautiful Life

I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life…

Does a Body (and a Budget) Good March 3, 2009

Filed under: Health,Marriage — Sara @ 10:03 pm

It all started 6 months ago when Terry decided he wanted to lose weight.  He wanted to be a healthier Dad for Nate and baby #2.  I was about 7 months prego at the time, so I often ate ice cream while he did his nightly workouts.  At lunch one day, the waiter tried to give the huge plate of food to Terry and the lighter portion to me.  I quickly corrected him- a pregnant gal has got to eat!  Terry lost about 15 pounds by the time Evie was born.

About 3 weeks post-partum, I was amazingly back to my pre-pregnancy weight (something that took about 6 months with Nate), although my shape was completely different.  Then, Christmas and New Year’s came and left an extra 8 pounds around my midsection.  A little over 3 weeks ago, I decided it was time to do something about it.  For the first week or so, I half-heartedly tried to drink less Dr. Pepper and stop eating dessert every night.

Then, I decided I should try to track my calories.  If you’re cool and have an iPhone, you can use this program called Lose It!  If you’re me, you can use this awesome website- The Daily Plate, part of the website.  I tracked my calories, went over my goal most days, and of course, didn’t lose any weight.  Then, I got more serious when I entered into one of the many dares the website gives its users.  For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been tracking calories and coming in at or under my goal.  Subsequently, I’ve lost about 5 pounds. (yay, me!)

(insert clever segue here)

Terry and I have often lament that we should stop eating out so much.  It takes its toll on our bank account and our bellies.  We finally decided to get serious and try to not eat out for an entire month.  Of course, everyone we told was skeptical that we could do it. Our friends, the Meezys, were so skeptical that they placed a friendly wager on it.  You can see the terms in Terry’s post here.

Here’s our plan of attack for winning the bet:

  1. We ate out as much as we could at the end of February. I mean, like, every meal, every day, for the last week.  I was hoping to make the thought of eating out gross.  So far, it’s working, but it’s only been 3 days.
  2. We usually go downtown to have lunch with Terry once or twice a week.  Luckily, Terry works right next to Zilker Park and the weather has been beautiful recently, so we’re planning on having a picnic lunch instead of our usual lunch date.
  3. We’re planning meals that we love.  I always plan the week’s meals before grocery shopping – it just makes sense.  But I’d usually have one or two nights a week planned that weren’t dishes we both loved where we could easily be talked into going out instead.  We’re having some sort of steak every week this month. Yum.
  4. We’re also planning meals that sound exciting to make.  We both love cooking (when it’s the right meal) and actually wanting to cook every night makes us less likely to want to go out.
  5. We really don’t like losing.

But, even if we do lose in some capacity, we still win at life because they money goes to charity.  Wish us luck!


My Bloody Valentine February 15, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,Miscellaneous — Sara @ 3:46 pm

Terry and I tried to go out for Valentine’s in college, waited 2.5 hours at Cagle’s, and vowed to never go out on V-Day again without a reservation. Since then, we usually just don’t go out, especially since having kids. We try to go out for a fancy dinner to celebrate my birthday and Valentine’s in the week between the two (Although that still hasn’t happened yet this year. It seems like this having kids thing changes a lot of things).

Ahh, VD.  Not the gross kind.

Ahh, VD. Not the gross kind.

Terry has been bugging me to donate blood with him, because, you know, we’re good people and it saves lives and stuff.  I had planned for us to go on Thursday afternoon, after picking him up from the car dealer and dropping off the bottles, but it turns out they are closed Thursdays and Fridays.  That was a great day…  So we decided to go on Saturday- Valentine’s Day.  I know, it’s super romantic!!

I’ve never given blood before and Terry had only given once during college.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  I mostly wanted to go to see if I was still anemic post-pregnancy.  (It turns out I’m not, so I have nothing to blame my constant exhaustion on other than our two crazy kids.)  We packed up the kids and headed to our local blood bank.  After Terry was done, he took the kids and it was my turn.  This lady took me into a room and asked about 40 questions about my experiences with prostitutes, HIV, and homosexuality. I guess I passed the test, because they still let me give blood. (I was worried about it for a second there…)

I gave up my pint of blood and the nurse (are they nurses?) started rambling off instructions of what to do and what not to do for the next several hours/days: “Eat a well-balanced, hearty meal; No physical activity (I was soooo disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to work out); No caffeine or alcohol the rest of the day; Don’t take off the arm wrap for at least 4 hours.”  Wait, What?!? Go back a second there.  Did you say NO caffeine?  If you know me, and I assume you do since you are reading this and strangers probably don’t care what I did on Valentine’s, you know that I LOVE and NEED Dr. Pepper.  And I hadn’t had one yet that day because I was planning to have one with lunch. Oh well, surely I can go ONE DAY without one.  I did make it a whopping 10 days while pregnant.

So we go home to eat lunch and put Nate down for his nap.  I’m feeling weak, dizzy, headachey, you know, overall AWESOME.  I took some advil and lay down for a nap.  I woke up with an even worse headache and took some more advil.  Terry convinced me to drink caffeine.  He had already done it and hadn’t died yet, so I figured it would probably be ok.  I finally started feeling better in time to help make dinner- delicious bacon-wrapped shrimp (even Nate liked them!) and homemade chicken fettucine alfredo.  That’s what I call a hearty meal!  It turns out you burn 650 calories donating a pint of blood so we could pretty much eat anything we wanted yesterday. This is especially great since we weren’t allowed any physical activity (again, I was completely bummed about the no-working-out thing) and are both trying to lose weight (some of us are trying harder than others).

In celebration of eat-whatever-we-want day, I mean, Valentine’s Day, Terry decided we should all go out for ice cream after dinner.  After some arm-twisting, we went to Marble Slab.  Nate was adorable taking alternating bites from each of our massive ice cream bowls (insert picture we should have taken to show you how cute he is ).  This will definitely become a new Valentine’s tradition for us (going to get ice cream, not donating blood and feeling crappy), at least until the kids are older and we remember to get reservations more than a day in advance.


Life with Two January 12, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,Parenting — Sara @ 2:35 pm

Did you know that babies are supposed to sleep? Like, all the time? And they’re NOT supposed to cry all the time? This news has come as a welcome shock to us. Evie has her moments, but she is a little angel compared to what Nate put us through. She sleeps 5-7 hours at night. I think it took Nate about 6 months to figure that out. And then we ferberized him.  I’m not really sure why we thought it was a good idea to have another kid already, knowing what they could put you through.  I guess we figured it couldn’t be THAT bad again.  I guess we were right.

Nate ate every 2 hours, around the clock.  It would take him 45 minutes to fall back asleep so I maybe got an hour of sleep at a time for the first 2 months or so.  Then we switched to formula, for that and other reasons.  Evie has no eating schedule.  It’s kind of annoying because you never know when she’ll be hungry again- some times it’s 1.5 hours, sometimes it’s 4- completely unpredictable.  She also rarely poops (maybe once every 2 days) which is very different from most infants that poop in every diaper. For Evie, this means we sometimes forget to change her until her diaper is super full, but we’re trying to get better about it!  It’s funny how much you talk openly about poop once you become a parent (sorry to you childless readers…) Those are really my only two complaints about her, and I am more than happy to deal with them considering what she could be doing to us.

I love these people.

I love these people.

Although Evie is a fairly easy infant, the last six weeks have not been easy (I won’t even go into the fun delivery details, you can read them here dated November 27-28).  Had she been difficult, I would probably be writing this from a mental hospital.  I had problems nursing Nate and gave up after 2 months.  I started having similar problems with Evie in the hospital and constantly asked the nurses for help.  Most were encouraging and said I was doing everything right, “it just takes time for mom and baby to adjust”.  The first night nurse told me “some women just aren’t made to breastfeed.”  I wanted to smack her.  Instead, I cried.  How dare she say that to me!  She was probably just being honest, but that’s not what struggling mothers need.  By the time we came home, I was bleeding and in incredible pain at every feeding.  By our 2nd day at home I had chills and 1o4 fever from mastitis, which also makes your boobs even more tender than they already are from engorgement. I could write an entire post (maybe a book) about my struggles and failures with breastfeeding, but I will save you the details.  I gave up when Evie was a week old and I found myself dreading and crying at every feeding.

Only two people I’ve told have been entirely supportive of my choice to bottle feed.  I go through days when I feel like a terrible mother for not being able to stick it out.  Could it really have been all that painful? And then I recall telling Terry how having Evie was way less painful than those feedings and I know that it must have been really bad.  An emotionally and physically well mother, bottle feeding her baby, is much better than the alternative, even if it would have only lasted a few months, in my opinion. If you have something encouraging to say on this subject, please comment. Otherwise, please keep your thoughts to yourself. I can’t go back and change my decision. I’m thrilled that there are women who are able to successfully breastfeed and would encourage every new mom to try it, but it doesn’t always work out.

I’ve already amazed myself with what you can accomplish with two kids, and I still have a lot to learn.  I’ve run into the grocery store with Evie in a sling and Nate on my hip because his shoe fell off in the middle of the parking lot in the freezing rain.  I’ve learned to do oh so many things one-handed- like fold laundry, get Nate out of his crib while giving Evie a bottle, and typing this blog post (VERY slowly).  I’m still a little weary of leaving the house by myself with both kids, but the double stroller is quickly becoming my best friend.  I’m quite proud of how much we’ve done as a family since having Evie.  We were terrified to leave the house with Nate because he would likely scream the ENTIRE time, even in the car, and we would get those judging stares.  I think we went out to eat for the first time when he was 6 weeks old because I was so stir crazy I was about to explode.  Evie, on the other hand, went to the mall, grocery shopping, to Babies-r-us, and out to eat several times before she was a week old.  Apparently, stir-craziness increases exponentially when you have an 18 month old in the house with you. 🙂

And finally, I’m excited to say that Terry and I are getting along better than we have in years.  Not that it’s been bad, it’s just great now.  It’s like when we first started dating. Only with a mortgage and 2 kids.


The Big Burrito Debate November 13, 2008

Filed under: Marriage,Miscellaneous,Pregnancy — Sara @ 4:23 pm

I love Freebirds.  I even started a Facebook group to petition them to build one in Lubbock while we were living there (they actually have 3 there now!).  Over the past year or so, Terry decided that he favors Chipotle to Freebirds.  It’s like I don’t even know him anymore…  I tried it just to shut him up and was appalled.  It was awful.  Seriously?!?!  You like that place?  You like that place MORE than Freebirds?  I almost made him sleep on the couch that night.

Since then, several of our friends have also jumped on the Chipotle bandwagon and go on and on about how great it is.  I’ve attempted to de-friend them over it, but it hasn’t really worked out.  So a tiny part of me recently decided that it can’t be that awful.  Why would sooo many people go there and talk about how great it is?  It either actually is good or this is the biggest, most useless and expensive practical joke ever played on me.

Today, Nate and I went downtown to eat lunch with Terry.  We tried Shady Grove first (yummy), but there was a 25 minute wait and the pregnant lady and 17 month old were not waiting that long to eat. (In our defense, we had just driven 30 minutes to pick Terry up and were already hungry when we left the house…)  So, I quietly offer that, maybe, possibly we could go to Chipotle so I could give it a second chance.  Of course, Terry jumped at the opportunity, even though the 900 calorie burrito would break his diet for the day.  I’ve decided to compare my burrito experiences for you…

  1. Tortilla- this one goes to Chipotle.  I get the flour at Freebirds and it’s decent, but the Chipotle tortilla tastes more homemade and delicious-like.
  2. Chicken- Freebirds.  I don’t like spicy stuff.  At. All.  The chicken at Chipotle was ok, but it was a little too spiced and I’m sure what all parts of the chicken I was actually eating.  The goodness of the white meat chicken breast from Freebirds wins.  Hands down.
  3. Rice- Also better at Freebirds.  Chipotle rice has no flavor so they add cilantro to it.  I don’t like cilantro.  This one was an easy one.
  4. Cheese and sour cream- This one is a draw.  Although, you do have a choice of cheeses (or queso!) at Freebirds.  I am a lover of all cheese so I don’t really care as long as it’s on my burrito.  And sour cream is pretty difficult to mess up unless it’s old and moldy.  That would just be gross.
  5. Cookie- Freebirds wins again.  Mostly because they actually sell chocolate chip cookies.  And, because I have become particularly attached to chocolate chip cookies since becoming pregnant 9 months ago.
  6. Cups- Another draw.  I prefer styrofoam cups and neither establishment is willing to kill the environment to make me happy.  Negative points all around.
  7. Price- Chipotle.  We spent about $5 less today than we would have at Freebirds, mostly because Nate’s meal was $2 cheaper (this is particularly awesome since Nate only eats about half of his quesadilla usually).  Neither of us got drinks today, so that would add some to our normal tab, but it would still be slightly cheaper than Freebirds.
  8. Bathrooms- Draw again.  Neither place had great bathrooms (trust me, I have a lot of experience with public restrooms, mostly because I have a baby playing the drums on my bladder 24/7).
  9. Locations- Chipotle.  If I ever do decide that I like Chipotle, it’ll be great because they are EVERYWHERE.  The closest Freebirds to our house is about 25 minutes away.  Luckily, there is one less than 5 minutes from Terry’s work, so it’s not so bad when we go visit him for lunch.
  10. Chips- Freebirds.  I threw this one in there just to make the list an even 10 items.  I didn’t actually have any chips at Chipotle, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like them as much as I like the chips at Freebirds. 🙂 (no, that’s not cheating.)

So there you have it, 4 for Freebirds, 3 for Chipotle, and 3 draws.  Unless my math is wrong (and it quite possibly is because I have a fried prego brain right now), FREEBIRDS WINS!  You should celebrate by eating it for dinner tonight.  You know you want to.

I guess that about wraps it up (ah, burrito pun…).  After today, I will say that Chipotle isn’t all that bad.  I will no longer gag when Terry mentions that he ate there, but he will most likely not be eating there with me again anytime soon.


Yes, I am Alive November 7, 2008

Filed under: Marriage,Miscellaneous,Parenting,Pregnancy — Sara @ 10:35 am

I know.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked.  But, I have an excellent excuse!  I like to call it pregnancy woe #435: Anemia.  If I had posted anything in the past two months, I would have been so dull and unentertaining you might not want to be my friend anymore, so really I was doing you a favor.  Now don’t get your hopes up too high about the awesomeness of this post, but here’s an update to all things Heath.

35 weeks prego.  I look tired...

35 weeks prego. I look tired...

It turns out there’s an explanation for why I never got the 2nd trimester energy, nails that could grow forever and never break, and headaches (and why I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to chew ice ALL THE TIME- so sorry @terrbear).  Sadly, I wasn’t diagnosed until about 6 weeks ago and the treatment takes 4-6 weeks to make you all warm and fuzzy inside again, so there went 3 months of my life…  Let me just tell you that anemia sucks.  But, luckily, what I was going through was treatable and not just another one of those pregnancy side effects that you have to suffer through in order to produce a beautiful child 10 months later (yes, 10, the 9 month thing is a LIE).  More sadly, the treatment sucks because your body just doesn’t want to take 5-6 times the amount of iron it needs so you get wonderful side-effects from that until your body can adjust.  BUT, a month or so later, you feel halfway back to your normal self.

I better enjoy being “myself” again, too, cause this baby’s coming SOON.  We keep telling Nate about the new baby and then lament to ourselves about how it’s going to rock his world to have someone else get attention in this family.  Then we realize, this baby is going to rock OUR world, too.  TWO KIDS!?!  Are you serious?  I don’t know what we were thinking…  But now, it’s happening, likely within the month (1 cm dilated yesterday!!).  And I’m sure it will be fine.  Or we will forget the beginning when it so was not fine at all because the rest is soooo much better than those first 2 months.

Nate’s growing by leaps and bounds everyday.  I can’t believe how big he’s gotten.  Ok, so his actual size is still pretty small thanks to our dwarf genes, but his mind is expanding like crazy.  He runs everywhere now, which is awesome for a mom who is 36 weeks pregnant and can barely waddle to walk, let alone run after him and scoop up his 23 pounds to keep him safe.  It’s also awesome because he can’t seem to keep his face without a bruise or scratch on it. 
16 months old.  How did he get this beautiful?!

16 months old. How did he get this beautiful?!

About the time an injury heals, he face-plants into a door, or pulls the kitchen drawer out and bangs the corner into his forehead, and here we go again with some gigantic bruise or cut that makes it look like we neglect or abuse our son.  He sure is a trooper, though.  A few minutes of crying and he never mentions it again. He’s so energetic that it was very difficult to take his picture this time around.  They were originally 12 month pics that turned into 16 month pics once moving and life got in the way of our oh-so-important picture schedule.  You’ll notice not a lot of smiling and A LOT of drool in them.  Luckily, he’s so cute and our photographer is so awesome that we still got tons of great images.

Terry and I took a “romantic” (read as we left Nate at home so we could take naps and go to a movie) trip to Lubbock to eat at all the awesome places we miss from college and go to a football game.  I’ll post more details about our adventure later.  Nate had his first real Halloween, which I will also post about later because there are just too many cute pictures to squeeze into an update post.  You can cheat and see them on our flickr page, but I will force you to look at them again when I finally blog about it.  We also had a super-fun Halloween party and you missed out if you didn’t come.  More on that in the Halloween post…  I sure am setting myself up to write a lot more posts before the baby comes.  Hopefully, you’ll get lucky and I’ll have time to get them all done. 🙂

Terry’s decided he wants to be in better shape when baby #2 gets here (yes, we still don’t know what the sex is and we’re still not telling what the names are).  He’s been dieting and working out like crazy and has lost something like 12 pounds in 3 weeks.  I’m so proud of him!  I, on the other hand, and am VERY close to passing that big, scary number on the scale.  Once I do, the scale and I will no longer be friends and it may end up being hidden away until this baby comes out.  Terry will just have to guess how his progress is coming until then.

So basically, I am still dying from this pregnancy, just in different ways that I was the last time we talked.  My back hurts in 3 places every night (and some times during the day) so my OB suggested I see a chiropractor.  Not sure if I’m going to try that out or not….  The baby has officially made my left lung/under rib area the resting place of its foot or hand or some appendage.  That feels great.  Heartburn has taken over my nights and Pepcid is my new best friend.  My restless legs have turned into one leg that cramps in 3 places most nights.  And my migraines have apparently returned after a very welcomed 2 month hiatus.  All I can say is thank goodness for darvocet (and those doctors better be right that it won’t hurt this baby!).

I think that’s all the highlights and complaints I have about the last two months.  But don’t worry, I’ll let you know if I think of anything else.  And look for new posts in the next week or so (crosses fingers).  I’ve really taken to this nesting thing and am running out of things I can do around the house since we don’t know the baby’s gender.  I’ve been focusing my energy on things like helping my stepmom re-decorate (like huge overhaul) her house (sooo fun to spend other people’s money!) and, hopefully, blogging more before the baby comes.  We all know I won’t be doing much of anything once this thing gets out of here (GET OUT, GET OUT SOON!).

Oh, and because I think this is the most hilarious thing from The Office in a long time:

“It squeaks when you bang it.”

“That’s what she said.”

And, because we beat #1 Texas last week (did you know?!?!?!), WRECK ‘EM!


My Hypothesis Is… September 9, 2008

Filed under: Marriage — Sara @ 3:44 pm

Terry is a wonderful husband and father.  He usually makes perfect sense out of most situations and can calm me down when I freak out (which seems to be happening a lot more recently…).  Except when he’s sleeping and gets woken up in the middle of the night.  If he get startled by a noise, he nearly has a heart attack and grabs the closest thing in reach to use as a weapon (sometimes his pillow, which I don’t think would be very effective for some reason).  If I wake him up because he is snoring or a baby is crying or I’m scared because it’s dark and I heard a noise, it takes him a few minutes to really wake up and be coherent.  Sometimes he will even get up out of bed and walk around, but still be sleeping (I think the medical term/concise way to say it would be sleepwalking).

My not-so-useful-in-the-middle-of-the-night husband.

My not-so-useful-in-the-middle-of-the-night husband.

The first time I encountered this lovely tendency of his, we were living in Lubbock and he woke up in the middle of the night (which means I woke up because something moved and it might get me!).  He never gets up in the middle of the night, so sat up I asked what he was doing.  “Going to the bathroom,” he said, sounding a little annoyed that I asked.  So I lay back down and tried to go back to sleep.  Then, I hear the front door open.  Although we were in Lubbock, we did not have an outhouse, so things didn’t really add up.  So I follow Terry and find him in the front yard, about to do his business (just #1, thank goodness!).   I told him to he needed to go to the bathroom and escorted him inside.  He later told me he woke up mid-pee in the bathroom, wondering what had just happened.

I somewhat shrugged this incident off at the time.  We were in college and it’s likely that Terry had been drinking that night and we all know how crazy drunk people can be (certainly not from personal experience, though…).  Of course, 3 years later, it happened again.  Now I just think he’s crazy, regardless of his level of drunkenness.

So this past Monday night, Nate woke up around midnight.  He’s been waking up several times a night for a week or so because he is getting his molars in (poor baby).  Usually, he cries for a few short minutes and goes back to sleep.  But that night, he cried a little longer and I figured we should give him some tylenol and a comfort snuggle.  So I woke Terry up. Since I’m pregnant AND scared of the dark, I figured he should be the one to rescue Nate.

I nudge Terry and tell him what’s going on and what his mission is.  He gets out of bed and says, “I need to turn on the light.”  “Why?” I asked, annoyed that I had to be disturbed by having the light on.  Doesn’t he know how hard it is for me to fall asleep?!?!  He walked over to the door and turned on the overhead light.  Then, he walked over to the lamp next to his nightstand and turned IT on, as if the 4 fluorescent bulbs above us weren’t bright enough for whatever it was he was doing.  “What are you doing?” I ask, even more annoyed.

“My hypothesis is, that if I turn this lamp off, he will stop crying and go back to sleep,” explains Terry.  WHAT?!?!?  Then he heads for our bathroom, with Nate still crying halfway across the house.  Imagine that, turning off the lamp in our room didn’t make him stop.  “Where are you going now? What about Nate?” I ask, REALLY annoyed now.  “I have to pee.”

By the time Terry flushes the toilet and heads back to bed, Nate has stopped crying.  I ask him if he’s drunk (seems like an appropriate question after what had just happened).  “No,” he says, “I’m just really tired.  Do you want me to go in there still?”  “No, he’s stopped crying now.” (duh! can’t you hear?!?!)  So he turns off the overhead light and curls up in bed, and falls back asleep in no less than 60 seconds.  I lay awake for another 30 minutes or so, trying to understand what just happened.

The next evening, I ask him if he remembers what happened.  He said he woke up mid-pee again and was a little confused.  I guess this is what I have to look forward to after baby #2 comes and we’re up in the middle of the night more often.  I’m so lucky.