Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 Years of Mommy-hood

Today at 1:46 pm EST I will be celebrating my 3rd Mommy birthday. I look at my little girl and it really is hard to remember she was so tiny at 6lb 1oz. I thought she was so big! HA HA, now at 30 pounds it is sometimes a struggle to pick her up from the floor. :)

I hope some day she finds this blog and realizes how much I love her. It is so hard to put down on "paper" my feelings for her. I knew I wanted to have children. I was petrified that whatever perfect little human God blessed me with I would ruin her/him. I had faith with a little help, a lot of reading, and a lot of love I would overcome my preconceived inadequacies.

Over the the last three years, I have discovered Aven is a wonderful, smart, sweet, beautiful little girl. I think in our case, it has taken a village to bring her to this point. So far, my husband and I have done the best we can to help her discover the world, discover her capabilities, and show her kindness, but the other people in her life have helped us help her.

Last night taught me a very good lesson. Aven has been on "super charged 3 year-old status" for about 2 weeks. First came Santa. This year was the first year she GETS IT. Then comes her birthday. In between, we had house guests that are wonderful and so fulfilling, but throw her off a schedule nonetheless. She also has not been in daycare for over a week and I know how much learning and stimulation she gets can satisfy her insatiable three year old thirst for knowledge. (I have been trying to recreate it, but I am not quite hitting the mark ;-) ).

Well...she didn't want to go to sleep. Duh. It is her first birthday she understands is all about her. After Andy and I let her chat up her stuffed animals for an hour, I went into her room to lay down next to her. Two hours of telling stories, me pretending to be asleep, me falling asleep, me coaxing her to fall asleep -- I had to get up and walk out of the room and let her fuss herself to sleep on her own.

I am her Mom. I want to do everything for her so she doesn't have to go through the tough stuff on her own. But alas, I cannot. She is only 3 and will need me for a very long time, but it is the beginning of Aven discovering her independence. Whether that be putting herself to bed after a very long week OR it be letting her realize the internet can be cruel and it is best to put your best face forward when talking to the WORLD WIDE WEB.

*Don't get me wrong...I will always be there to tell her she is doing something colossally stupid or equally great; but I pray she will find the best path on her own.

Ultimately, I think Tina Fey said it best...

*She can have tattoos, but nothing in a language she can't speak, no cartoons, and please I beg you Aven -- choose an artist, not "some guy who has a tattoo gun."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do Not Share! Explicit Photos!

I implore you, please do not share this information. If you do so, you will risk letting everyone know "The Secret Bike Truths..."

Cyclists smell. Stay at least 3 feet away.

I love riding my bike through these. Please drive very close to me so I can hit all the potholes YOUR car creates.

Neon really brings out the color of my eyes...

No we don't! We should ride our bikes on the sidewalks so we can run your kids over when they are walking to school!

I make this look good. I think I should wear a helmet all the time.
Please honk at me repeatedly so I know you are about to run me off the road. 


No, honestly your road rage and your need to get to your destination 8 seconds faster is WAY more important than my life.
Please do not share this with anyone. Especially friends and family who don't own a bike and only own a car. Those people should never know the cyclist code. If you can't keep this to yourself, please do it for my children. They really want to be orphans.

Sincerly yours,
Heather Sarcastic Sweet

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Breakup.

I did it. Finally.
At one point I went back, but we are through - forever.

It is time. 
I am ready - he is ready. 
After more than 2.5 years, I am finished. 

I broke up with my pump.

As great as it is for a working Mom to provide liquid gold for her new baby, and when it is time to send this guy is even better.

Things I will miss:
  • Producing the best nutrition on the planet for my baby
  •  Having a tether/life line to my little one
  • Taking 15 min "mommy" breaks 3 times a day
Things I will not miss:
  • Having my nipples streched to lengths I didn't know were possible
  • Feeling like a cow
  • Walking around in a cloud
  • Feeling the uncontrollable urge to bolt out of a meeting because electricity is seemingly flowing in my boobs...due to not adhering to the pumping schedule.
  • Feeling like a cow
  • Stressing about how little I pumped
  • Working with all men and them being embarrassed when I walk into the work kitchen with my milk
  • Not being able to lose the last 5-7 pounds
  •  Feeling like a cow
All signs point to YES, time to break-up. This relationship has been good and frustrating at times. I needed my pump and, to some extent, it needed me.

This is a tongue in cheek post. I loved nursing my 2 kiddos. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It is one of the things about early parenthood I am so proud of...but it is hard, demanding, and sacrificial. All of which I am ready to be finished. I nursed Aven for 8.5 months. I nursed Tristan for 7 months. I know it isn't the "year" everyone says you should strive for, but it is what I was able to do. If I was a stay at home mom, if I worked from home, if, if, if. Well, none of those ifs existed for me and this is what I did. I feel accomplished and gratified; but if I never ever see that pump again I would be so happy.

So...without further adieu, in the words of Taylor Swift:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day #3 - Opening My Eyes

I took a nap. It was great. I fell asleep with my son in my arms. When we woke up we looked at each other straight in the others' eyes and smiled. It was then, I realized that moment would be frozen in time. *click*

Becoming a Mom has been a gradual process. Sure, biologically I was a mother right away, but becoming someone's MOM is not a simple biological occurrence. It evolves.

I would say, until my kiddo was about 2 years old, I was a care giver. Essentially, keeping them alive. After that, when they have a voice and start having opinions, then the parenting starts. Or at least picking your battles, bartering, psychology, and trying to figure out how to get protein in a diet consisting of primarily pasta and pretzels are my goals.

This upcoming Sunday will be my 3rd Mother's Day. My first was a reward for being the best caregiver I could be and successfully crawling out from under the newborn cloud with my senses intact. My second was realizing my baby was gone and a toddler was taking her place. This year I have a potty trained Daddy's girl who tells me on a regular basis about flying dragons, being on TOP OF THE WORLD, she has crusty oatmeal up her nose (AKA crusty boogers) that she HAS to get out, and she dreams of drinking her milk---every night. I also have this wee little baby boy who is only 6 months old, but he feels like has been in my life forever.*sigh*

On the other hand, I thought I wasn't the type to have kids. Now that I am deep in the throws of being a wife and mother, I am shocked I have 2 kids and a husband sometimes. It feels too grown up to be responsible for another person, let alone 2...and sometimes 3! Seriously, at a party I am more comfortable sitting on the floor with no shoes discussing the difference between Mamba and Starburst than the typical "adult" conversations.

But honestly, I think my life would really suck without them. Sure, we might have more money, sleep,and time. Oh, I probably would be thinner and stronger. I might even be able to take a nap...oh wait, I did that. With my baby boy. And it was the BEST nap ever. Yup. My life is better because of them. Fuller, richer, warmer, and purposeful. 

Having a human being that I made (with my husband's help), look me directly in the eye and connect on a level I have never connected with another person before is freaking AMAZING.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!

Especially, the single Moms...I don't know how you do it. Double and triple pats on the back to you ladies.

Monday, April 22, 2013

20 years...WTF?

This June I will have been out of high school for 20 years. Wow. I am astonished, but at the same time - not. I think everyone thinks of themselves in their mind's eye as younger than their chronological age. Really. I have never met a single person who says, "Oh yeah, I am (insert age here) and I totally feel comfortable in my own skin, I look like I am (age), and I feel like I am (age) Ahhh."

OK...maybe if you are the Dali Lama or some other enlightened soul (Tom Cruise-this does not apply to you--you are a complete freaking whak-a-doo).

20 years...who was that kid? She was an asshole. She was self absorbed. She wanted all the good things in life, but didn't want to work for them. She didn't take the time to cherish her family; all she wanted to do was escape them. She made very bad decisions and was very lucky to come out alive on the other side. She was stubborn (even more so than now ;-)). Ultimately, she thought she knew better than anyone else who she was and how the world worked. She was wrong.

20 years...who am I now? I guess I am still all of those things. No one will ever escape their past and the decisions that form them. I hope I am the smallest fractions of those negative characteristics possible. I guess the single most important thing that started my transformation is meeting my husband. When we met, I was 29 and he was 23. He had more compassion, patience, and kindness at his young age than anyone I had ever met. I spent my entire 20s wrapped in a cloud of self-depreciation and being a self proclaimed martyr. He showed me it is ok to trust people, to be kind, and life doesn't have to be torturous.

Reflection is painful. Acceptance is strength. Learning is power. 

Bla bla bla. Where does that bring us? Recently, I have gotten a lot of Facebook friend requests from people I knew in high school. Why? Why do they want to be friends with me on Facebook? Stalking? Genuine friendship? To see what that asshole girl did with her life? Is she still an asshole? Is she fat? Are they trying to connect with their 18 year old self? Are they seeking reflection? Acceptance? Knowledge? 

Whatever their reason is, I am glad they reached out. It has given me pause to think about that 18 year old girl. Mourn her and embrace the 38 year old woman I am trying to become.

Taking a break from riding my bike on the IM Wisconsin bike course w/ my friend Meredith
Hiking in Idaho

After my first (and last) road biking race in Tennessee

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I am a Runner, Right?

It is happening...really it is. Can you feel it? I can!

I am slowly starting to creep out from under the newborn momma blanket. For those of you who are new to my blog, please read the first paragraph from THIS entry from October. Tristan is going to be 2 months old this upcoming Friday. Aven turned 2 years old on NYE and she is almost fully potty trained. I started back to work last week. Finally, I have created a training program to get back in shape (my first workout was yesterday). Milestones people. MILE - STONES.

In my last blog I went on and on about how I wish I could have had more time with T, but alas I can't, so I am not going to whine about it and keep blathering on "woe is me." I love our day care and feel Aven has had such a great experience with them over the past 2 years. They are safe and happy in a place that I am happy about and I am able to participate in the land of the living - AKA the adult world.

There is a certain freedom in knowing our family is complete. Unless God has a different plan for us, we are not having anymore children. Our pediatrician asked us why. He said we were so good at having healthy babies he thought we should have more. I could have slapped him right there in his office. Of course my reaction could have been a knee jerk from the fact I had JUST accidentally delivered T at home 3 days prior.

Reason #1 : Two kids is man on man defense. I give the Mommas and the Pappas who have more than 2 kids a HUGE amount of credit. Zone defense is waaaaayyy more difficult in my eyes. I couldn't imagine 3, 4, 5, or even 6 kids! My mother-in-law is one of 11 kids! Can you imagine having 10 kids AND then getting pregnant again??? Something to be said for those German Catholic Mid-westerners. LOL

Reason #2 : We have 2 beautiful, smart, healthy kids. I am going to put it out there and say T is smart. Even at 2 months I see his potential (can you say proud momma?). Why jinx it? I know this is silly, but maybe it has a lot to do with my Catholic upbringing and perpetual guilt. If I have something good in my life, I have this constant fear there is an equal bad around the corner. Maybe it is dualism, maybe balanced Karma; whatever it is I don't want to push my luck.

Reason #3 : Many people in Chattanooga don't know this, but I am older than Andy. Much older. (7 years older) I know, I don't look it. I actually have a hard time remembering that I am closer to 40 than 30 myself. Sometimes (OK most of the time) I still feel like a girl not a woman. Throughout my entire pregnancy with Tristan, I was so worried about his development. More so than when I was with Aven because I was 2 years older. What if because of my selfishness to have another child we have a baby with genetic problems? I couldn't live with that guilt.

Reason #4 : OK here is the selfish one. I want my body back. I want to abuse it with exercise. I want to push my body to its physical limits. I want to SWEAT. For almost 3 years (by the end it will be closer to 4) now I have held back because I was trying to get pregnant, pregnant, nursing, trying to get pregnant again, pregnant, and now nursing for the final time. I didn't understand the physical commitment I needed to make to my kids. I thought, "Oh sure, I can sacrifice 9 months and jump back to my 'before' routine." HA! Double HA HA! Not that I was delusional, I just didn't know what to expect. Now, before you "tsk tsk" me...I would do it again in a heart beat. No doubt, but there is also no doubt I am ready (in about 1 year) to be Tristan's mom and not his food source.

Back to the crawling out from under the blanket, I worked out yesterday! I am taking this slow fo sho. I am pretending I have never worked out a day in my life. Starting back super slow will hopefully give me the motivation to stick with it and have working out become a normal part of my life again. I didn't take it slow with Aven. I pushed her with nursing, I pushed myself with working out, I had lofty goals that got in the way of taking it slow. I was stressed about getting back in shape. Not good.

I am walking. Then walk/jogging. Then jogging. Then running. When I first started working out 8 years ago I did the Oprah walk/run program. It worked, and in 3 short months I considered myself a runner and did my very first race. I remember the feeling of crossing the finish line. I was almost in tears. It was a 4 mile race around Lake Bloomington, IL. Short compared to the marathons, Ironman and half Ironman races, and century rides I have done; but it was HUGE to me. It always will be huge in my heart. I am so stoked to get back to running.
Cara and I taking 1st (Cara) and 3rd (me) at the Rodeny Miller tri

Me and Candi doing her first half marathon

Me and Mere taking a break at WIBA

Me and Elaine at the Flying Pig Marathon Expo

Me at IM Wisconsin