Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Brag on my hubster

As you might recall, I am a stay-at-home mom as of this school year.  We are so blessed that Justin has a job that more than covers our needs PLUS he is a coach and team leader which earn him a bit extra cash.  I have also been given the opportunity to watch a friend's sweet baby while she is at work to gain a bit extra cha-ching for the bank account.  When we sat down to look at the budget the other night, I was in tears as Justin told me that his base salary alone covered every bit of our expenses and savings PLUS extra that he didn't know what to do with.  And on top of that we have his stipends and my extra earnings. God is good all the time, ya'll.

Anyways, because I stay-at-home, I'm, well...at home a lot.  I'm still in the adjustment phase of the whole "I wipe rear ends for a living" stage of my life.  Some days I love it, some days I tolerate it.  I miss my students like crazy but love being with my little one.  I spend a lot of my days at our kitchen table with Easton saying "no, no throwing food on the floor" or "no, no hiding food in your lap".  While we sit, this is what I see:
I guess I'm giving a bit away about my husband here...but this is where he comes early in the morning while I am still pressing the snooze button every 9 minutes and Little Bit is (praise the Lord) still in dreamland to pray and spend time with the Lord.  One day when I was alone at home, I walked into the kitchen and caught a glimpse of this and it struck me differently than it does on most days.  I have a fantastic husband.  Fantastic.  This is obviously a glimpse at the main reason: his love for Christ comes first.  I have lots of others so the rest of this post is dedicated to that.

1. He can't touch anything in the kitchen or bathroom without needing to at least rinse his hands.  It's hilarious and so cute.  I make fun of him for it but it's actually one of my favorite quirks of his.

2. Yesterday, he came home and Easton went straight for him.  I love it.  Justin then spent his first chunk of time crawling around on the floor chasing Easton and making him give those sweet baby giggles.

3. He takes care of the yard, finances, and dishes.  I cook, he washes.  I couldn't even tell you how we pay our bills.  I don't touch em.  In the game of life, I win.

4. Last year during baseball, a mom came up to me to tell me how much she appreciated Justin.  Justin's grandfather passed away on a game day and Justin spent his team huddle talking about a scripture he had read that morning and how it had affected him when he heard the news.  The mom said her son came home talking about how great Coach Nichols is and she just wanted to thank him for being a man of integrity.  Sadly, most athletes (especially male athletes) don't know what it's like to have a coach that doesn't cuss at them or scream and humiliate them.  He's EXACTLY the type of man that should be teaching and coaching high school kids.
5. He knows more about Aggie football and Astros baseball than ANYONE.  Quiz him.  He's a beast.

6. He is the perfect height for me.  He can kiss me on the forehead without looking up or looking down.  This was a middle school dream of mine.  Seriously.  (and that's why I don't teach middle school...that's the age when everyone is dumb as rocks)
7. He loves my cooking--almost everything, at least.  There was a homemade marinara sauce disaster and a beef and broccoli mishap that he tried to get through for me.  But everything else, he's so appreciative for.  I love to cook him something special because he gets so excited. 

8. He likes me.  He actually likes me.  Do you ever feel totally unloveable?  I do.  But he loves me.  He chooses to spend time as a family over almost anything else.  I definitely think that's a characteristic of a strong man and my man's got it.

9. He watches Downton Abbey with me.  And is just as obsessed as me.  (omg...have you seen the new season preview?!  Too much greatness for me to handle.)

10.  He always complements my housework.  Ya'll, my life is lame now.  I spend the day playing with babies, trying to keep them asleep, and cleaning.  I feel worthless a lot of time...but he notices what I do.  That's such a blessing.  He even complements me when I come back exhausted from a run.  He's actually proud of me for the lame things I do all day.

11.  He makes me laugh.  All. the. time.

12.  He prays diligently.  For me, for Easton, for our friends.  For example, we recently had friends tell us they were pregnant after giving up on the idea of ever conceiving after doctors told them it couldn't happen.  It still brings tears to my eyes to think about it.  After they told us the news, Justin congratulated them and said "I was thinking about y'all today."  I knew what he meant.  He meant he'd been praying for them that day.  In fact, he's prayed that same prayer for a co-worker of mine and her husband and friends from church.  He's so incredibly diligent and thoughtful even in his prayer life.

13.  He's an Aggie.  Laugh all you want but we take our school seriously down in College Station, Texas.  Aggies breed other Aggies...and I can not imagine being married to a Tiger (bleh) or a Raider (double bleh) or, heaven help us, a Longhorn (blehhhhhhhhhh).  I'm only partially kidding on this one...
Senior year at A&M...look how young we look
14.  He's soooo fine.  He is definitely my cup of tea.  (remember those same old dumb middle school days when you said things like "fine" and "hott" in your perfectly folded and decorated notes??)

I hate it when people say "my husband's the BEST" on facebook because I know there are LOTS of great men out there and each one is a fit for his wife.  What I will say about my husband is he is IT for me.  There's no one better for me and he's my forever.  I love that kid.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm a mom of a one year old??

This time last year, I had just held my little one for the first time.  I'm still amazed at what the Lord has done through this last year.  But, I'm saving the sappy post for when I have the pictures of his part-ay to show you.  But looking back on this year there are two rather selfish things I wanted to mention:

1) I have officially nursed my son for one. whole. year.  Anyone who has nursed, even for a shorter time frame, knows that that is a miracle.  I pumped for 9 months while I was working and was fortunate enough to meet Easton's needs every day.  I loved every second of nursing (and hated every second of pumping).  For some mothers, it just isn't their thing or it just doesn't go smoothly.  I TOTALLY understand that whatever works for your family is what is best for your kid.  My mom formula-fed us for most of our first year and I think I turned out okay (I guess I shouldn't really be the judge of that, though).  But for us, nursing was just our cup of tea.  Easton was a pro from the time he first tried and he loved the slow pace it gave us.  And by slow I mean sssllllooowww.  I don't know if it was him or me, but we enjoyed LOTS of mommy-Easton time during our extremely long nursing sessions.  I'm no expert because I've just had the one little goober, but I am going to write a post on what worked for us sometime soon.

2) I have also officially lost the baby weight.  Miracle.  The thing that saved my body is that I didn't let myself go nuts while I was pregnant.  That whole eat for two thing?  Lies.  You only need 300 more calories a day than normal in your second and third trimester (and no extra calories in your first).  That's a candy bar extra a day.  I definitely did not watch my calories, but I ate when I was hungry, controlled my cravings, and snacked on healthier options (most times). 

I am not going to lie--I did splurge here and there and let those extra calories come and more.  Have you ever had a hamburger that has grilled cheese sandwiches (yes, plural) instead of buns?  Get pregnant and go find you one.  It will change your life.  What I was careful to do, though, is to only consume meals like that once in a blue moon.  I ate like I normally did, still exercised, and gained a healthy amount of weight (doctors suggest between 25-35 pounds if you are at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy, a little less if you are  overweight). 

As I say that, please know that some women can watch what they eat and still gain more than 35 pounds.  Each body is different and knows how much extra cushion you need.  There is way too much judgement in the world towards women and it only heightens when you become a mother.  Trust me, no judgement here.  If you want to gain 60 pounds and eat what you want, please do.  And eat some macaroni and cheese for me.  Here's me 4 days before Easton decided he was done cooking:
Whenever I look at these pictures, I remember how dang hard it was to breath at that point.  Everything felt squished inside and I couldn't get around.  I was a freakin tank.  I feel tired just thinking about it.

The day before my delivery, I weighed in at 182 at the doctor's office, which was 28 pounds above my starting weight of 142.  Four weeks postpartum, the same scale marked me in at 146.  And the best part about that?  I did nothing to drop the weight but breastfeed.  The most exercise I got was sweeping the floor, and even that felt like running a marathon.  I am lucky to have a body that took care of it for me because I sure was not about to do anything more than was necessary for survival at that point in my life. 

Unfortunately, I hung around 146-148 for the next 10 months.  I couldn't seem to get rid of the ugly extra softness that had gathered around my waist.  I ran off and on but it is so hard to work-out when you are working mom of an infant.  Too hard.  Every time I looked in the mirror, I felt gross (even though I know it wasn't as bad as I thought) and would get frustrated that I couldn't lose the weight.  I just wanted to get back to 142.

Can I be honest for a second?  I shouldn't weigh 142 normally.  I love food.  Like, I LOVE food.  And the food I love is cheesy burritos, peperoni pizza, mac-n-cheese, and anything with at least a bazillion grams of fat.  I ALWAYS keep the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies in my pantry just in case I need (yes, need) to make some.  I wasn't blessed with that "eat like a bird" gene that most women have that makes them love salads and things like cherry tomatoes.  I have never watched what I ate (is that grammatically correct? eaten? Whatevs).  If I craved something, I ate it.  I didn't go nuts with my portions, but I ate as much as a wanted.  Most of the time, I ate the same amount of food that Justin would eat.  And he's 6'2".  I've always known that I could weigh less if I just watched what and how much I put in my pie hole.

I feel like a little kid for this (be honest...you all went out and were determined to be a gymnast after 1996 and the famous one-leg vault), but the Olympics were what spurred me on.  I was watching these amazing athletes and thinking about my cushion-y self, and knew I had to change.  I started running at least two miles at least 3 times a week and following that run with a pilates video.  I also finally started using the MyFitnessPal app to track what I ate.  I watched my calories for the first time EVER and in the first week, saw my waist line change.  My abs decided to be less floppy and my extra hip cushion finally realized it was not needed and started to shrink. 

Four weeks later, I was down to 140 from 148.  Woohoo.  I feel better about myself than I have in a long, long time.  My clothes fit well, my legs look more muscular, and I've already seen that I am satisfied with smaller portions.  I choose things like raisins, fruit, and healthy nuts for snacks.  I have never been able to keep up with my "healthy eating" kicks as long as I have this time.  There are certain food that still make my mouth water like the thought of a slice of pizza, but other things that I loved (like the grilled cheese sandwich heart attack burger) just don't sound appetizing anymore.  I haven't weight myself in a while, but I am hoping to drop another 5 pounds.  That may not be realistic for me because I have weighed 140ish since 10th grade.  We shall see--I will be content with 140 as long as that means that I am healthy.

Anyways, how's that for a ridiculously "tooting my own horn" type of post?  I promise I'll be less obnoxious from here on out and only brag about my son.