A two month old horse

Baby-animal-wallpapers

A horse weighs, on average, about 100 lbs at two months old. As of today, I have lost that many pounds, since October 27th, 2016, just under 5 months ago.  Yes, I picked the most fabulous looking baby horse that Google gave me.

On 10/27/16, after many months of preparations, appointments and tests, I went under the knife for Vertical Gastrectomy Surgery (VSG or Gastric Sleeve).

My surgeon and I chose this particular surgery over the other bariatric options because statistically, it yields the best, longest lasting results. To me, it seemed less scary than the bypass, which reroutes how everything gets processed. You lose more weight with bypass typically, and faster, but given that I had no really serious health problems that demanded immediate results, I could afford a longer loss time for the trade off. Also..no dumping syndrome should I choose to eat shitty food in small amounts, and I can still drink alcohol. And yea, I still totally do both of those things. Not all the time.

Here’s a fun little infographic to show you what my insides look like now.

Comparison-of-Gastric-Sleeve-With-Other-Bariatric-Surgeries

So that happened. Recovery was pretty quick, I’m a mutant fast healer. So I was out of the hospital the next day, and in two days I was off the pain meds. I take a shit ton of vitamins every day..and my relationship with protein is forever changed. I haven’t suffered much though, I have to say. Lately though, I’ve been losing a lot of hair, but luckily my hair was very thick to start with so..hopefully I won’t lose more than I can afford. It definitely has not been EASY though, so don’t let me hear you say the words “Easy way out” to me.  Becoming violently ill because I ate a hardboiled egg too fast, or learning the hard way what happens when I nod off too quickly before eating…nothing easy about that shit.

But..it’s worth it. I took my kid to Disney last week, and I could ride all the rides. I didn’t have to ask for a seatbelt extender on the flights. I didn’t have to stop and rest..at all. My brain plays tricks on me though..I put on the same outfit from my “Before” pictures I took the night before surgery and thought “Well they still fit..I probably don’t even look any different.” And I’m still reaching for the bigger sizes in the store.

But I am so glad I took these photos, and I’m so glad I took measurements. Overall, I’ve lost 68 inches.

Bitch, I’m only 65 inches tall. So that’s pretty cool.

Also..I could very easily have put on a much cuter outfit for these and do some makeup and put some spanx on, but I really wanted these to not be about that. I wanted them to be honest and raw and something I could recreate with minimal effort (and no excuses.). So without further ado…

100lbs

There it is. I’ll try to update more frequently!

Advertisements

Five Years.

It’s been three years since my last post here. But, it’s also been five years since my friend Jimi died, which is what is prompting me to write this. Something needs to be done to mark this day on the calendar, somehow. Writing things here about Jimi was so pivotal and important to my grieving process that it seems like a great day to start up again.

I cannot believe it’s been five years already. That sounds so long, and the more I say it, the crazier it sounds. 1,825 times the sun has risen and set that he wasn’t here to see it. A few of our mutual friends have also died. Babies have been born, so many babies!

And my baby..well. He’s no baby any more.

12698705_10208690655570970_3887710655532323709_o

Xavier James will be turning 5 in a few months. Man, this child is a character. He’s so smart and funny and sweet. Every day he amazes me. When he was born, I was deep into my grief and couldn’t see a way out, but he brought me back from the dead. Now, every time he pushes his boundaries or talks back to me or runs a little too far ahead..”XAVIER JAMES!”

And I’m reminded of my friend with the mellow laugh and the sunny smile. I’m still so proud that we named him this, because I never want to forget the sound of that laugh.

But sometimes I have to think for a second before I can recall it. Sometimes I have to search the recesses of my mind to remember what that song was that we missed, the time he got pissed at me for making us late to the Phish show because I had attempted to mix myself a rum and coke while driving and spilled it all over myself. (I don’t condone this behavior at all. At all. I was young and stupid and this was a waste of perfectly good rum). (Also, has there ever been a more cliche “me” phrase than “I was late to the Phish show because I spilled rum on myself”?) Sometimes I have to REALLY think about where that inside joke even originated, and wonder why I even still tell it because there’s literally no one around who would get it.

But they’re not gone yet, and I am really, really glad that I have this blog to look back on. When I read my posts from 6 months out, 1 year out, it’s easy to track the progression. So I want to continue in that effort at least.

Jimi’s mom and I keep in touch. His family is probably (hopefully?) going to read and enjoy this blog. When I’m in town I make it a point to find them and I consider them my family. We’re connected in our loss and we have each other to help patch the hole he left.

As for me. Well, my life looks pretty different than it did three years ago. I am divorced. I won’t go into too much detail about what happened, it’s the same story as everyone else, and in a nutshell, we just couldn’t make it work. So, in April 2014, I moved out, and took my mom, my dog, my cat, and Xavier with me. He lives with me, and sees his father every Sunday, and every other Saturday night. Single motherhood has been an adventure. When I first moved out, I had to google “How to Plunge a Toliet” because..well, because I did not know that, okay? I didn’t know how to plunge a toilet. But in my two years flying solo, not only can I plunge..oh baby. I have put together furniture. I have built THREE beds. I’ve hung shelves, shoveled more snow than I ever dreamed possible, I’ve learned to cook, make martinis and balance a budget. I have a tiny savings account with actual money in it. My car is MINE, and it’s insured, and I even get my oil changed on time. I even have a boyfriend, and yes, he’s aware of that, and has not filed a restraining order. Yet.  I definitely gained like..all of the weight back, but let’s not discuss that right now.

I’m still grooming dogs, but only part time. Last fall I took a leap and enrolled in community college. I’m presently majoring in Wildlife Conservation & Biology, buuut Biotechnology is singing me a pretty sweet siren song right now. I’m deciding. School is crazy. I’m surrounded by 18-22 year olds. When I was in school last, email was barely even a thing, so adjusting to the new ways of doing things has been a challenge. Conversely, some things are so much easier than they used to be! I’m involved with the Gender Equity Initiative at school, which is pretty cool. We do things to raise awareness for issues like Domestic Violence, Sex Education, LBGQT issues and all kinds of other things that stroke my activism boner.

I don’t mean to make this all about me, because this post really is about Jimi and that process. If it weren’t for him, and what happened, I probably would not have had the stark, glaring, proof that life is too goddamned short. It’s too goddamned short to stay in a marriage that doesn’t work. It’s too goddamned short to NOT go back to school and chase those dreams. And it made me realize that I CAN survive. I can survive the worst pain I’ve ever felt, and still function. Maybe not always function well, but I can function. I can pull up my big girl panties and get shit done, even when I’m really sad. I’ll be alright.

What I can’t stress enough, is that Jimi did teach me some very important things about what friendship is supposed to look like. There were many times over the course of our years that I acted like an asshole. I was irresponsible, selfish, arrogant, reckless, and really..not always a very good friend.  And that man showed me that brutal honesty and empathy were not mutually exclusive. He would tell me when I was showing my ass, to my face, and then defend my honor to everyone else.  He was better than I deserved, and it’s one of my greatest regrets that I’ll never have the chance to tell him that.

One of our last conversations has been bouncing around in my  head lately. We were discussing unfinished business, and the weight of carrying it around with you. I had had a falling out with our closest mutual friend, and it was weighing heavily on my mind, but I was too stubborn and too hurt to even know how to begin to fix it. He told me “You’re making this harder than it has to be. Just tell her what you just told me. Talk to HER, stop talking to everyone else.”  And do you know when I finally actually apologized to her?

Yesterday.

But more importantly, during that conversation he told me he had no unfinished business. None. Everything he had needed said had been said. The people he loved knew he loved them, and that was all he had to worry about.

Today, my old friend Dave,  that I’d fallen out of touch with messaged me to tell me a story about Jimi and it made me smile so much, so I want to share that with you. I love getting these little pieces of him that I never saw, because he was a multifaceted, complex individual that very rarely showed his entire hand. Mind you, I haven’t seen Dave in probably 15 years? I can’t even remember them ever meeting, but obviously it had happened.

These are Dave’s words, not mine:

Your post answered a question I was thinking about recently. I didn’t know that jimmy had passed away. I truly am sorry to hear that, he was a good guy. He saw me in downtown normal one time and I got a ride home from him, he said his car was in rough shape. I knew exactly what was wrong and I offered to help him fix it because I knew how to complete a basic tune up. I never heard from him after that, so I assumed he fixed it. Point is, I was going to walk home to bloomington and he offered me a ride in a shitty car just because he remembered me from knowing you. I just thought I’d share that story with you.
Just because he remembered me from knowing you. Even though his car was acting up, even though they had only met maybe once? This story got me right in the feels because it made me realize that for all the scraps and pieces of him that I hold onto, after I left Illinois, he was just as happy to scoop up a little piece of me, even if it meant going out of his way to help an otherwise perfect stranger.
Also, the song was Loving Cup and it was pretty shitty that we missed it.

Parents: Enough with the warm and fuzzy.

I’m probably going to piss some people off with what I’m about to say, and what I cannot stress enough is that this does not apply to anyone I know. All of my mom & dad friends are absolutely doing it right.

Every week, I get someone in my newsfeed sharing a warm and fuzzy blog post or news article about how parents need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook if x, y, or z doesn’t happen. That EVERYONE is doing their best and we should all just be satisfied with that. Some of you need to read that stuff, because you are doing it right.
But here’s the thing, all you need is one trip through your local Walmart to see that not everyone is doing their best. Yea, I said it. I’m not talking about the two year old throwing a tantrum. That shit happens. It happens to me, all the time. I’m not talking about if your hair isn’t perfect or you don’t go to mommy and me pilates class every week. I don’t expect that much from anyone. Chances are, if you’re wondering if you’re fucking up, you’re probably not. I’m talking about the pregnant 17 year old, smoking a cigarette and selling crack while her other three obese, filthy children in just a dirty diaper, jump up and down screaming obscenities in the shopping cart while they’re drinking rum and juggling razor blades. (I may be exaggerating. But you know the ones…YES YOU DO.) The trouble is, she’s probably going to read that warm and fuzzy shit too and go “Ahh..see I’m doing fine!” And when she shares it on her newsfeed, her mom will probably read it too. And it spreads like herpes. Yay!

As a country, our test scores are in the shitter.(25th in the world! TWENTY FIFTH!!!) Our teen pregnancy rates, well, one out of three girls is pregnant before age 20. Speaking of one out of three, one out of three girls is molested by the time they’re 10. One out of five boys are, too.
We have more juveniles in prison, illiterate adults, and a higher crime rate than anywhere in the world.
Sure, we can blame the school systems, or the country, the welfare system, social services, drugs, society, whatever..Hey, some of you probably will find a way to blame Obama. But at the end of the day, it’s clear to me that not everyone is doing such a great job at this parenting gig. Let’s stop jerking each other off and get our shit together.
I don’t want to get into a great parenting debate. I don’t want to talk about whether or not you breastfeed, cloth diaper, vaccinate, eat organic, make them sensory bins or what the fuck ever. I don’t. I don’t care about your position on these issues. I care about MY position on them so that I can figure out how to do my best for my kid, not so I can defend them to you.
I want you to give a fuck about your kids. Think about the things you are doing and saying with them, to them, for them. I know parenting is hard. I get it, you’re tired, I’m tired. We’re all tired. But these kids are our contribution to the universe, seriously. When I’m dead and gone, I want to know that at least I left behind one decent individual. He doesn’t have to win a Nobel Peace Prize or the Superbowl..just be a decent person, with a decent existence.
I get that shit happens. I get that sometimes, a parent does all the right things for and by their kids, and they’re still psychopaths as adults. I get that sometimes, parents are fuckups and the kids turn out just fine. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. I get that you’re trying. We’re all trying.
Try harder.

Working on mah fitness…

Recently, the realization came to me that I was being fucking ridiculous.
I have always been sort of embarrassed to be working out. On the serious, I still get kind of embarrassed to even be seen looking at workout clothes. Those of you who have never been fat will probably not understand this, but there are 10,000 things that are pretty embarrassing to do when you’re a chunk. Maybe I’ll list those for you someday, but working out is definitely one of them.

It highlights all of your fatness, to be sweating, out of breath and slow as shit.. so of course, it’s a little embarrassing. So I still do 90% of my exercise alone, or with a friend, or with the hubs.
However, about a month ago, I attended my first real fitness type class. Granted, it was taught by a friend. And 3 out of the 4 other people in class were my friends. So..it wasn’t really that scary. Plus, it looked pretty cool. It’s called TRX Suspension workouts, and it’s pretty badass. What was cool about this class was that my friends who are in MUCH better shape than I am took the same class as me, and we were both challenged because you set your own difficulty level.

Even at the senior citizen rate, I was sore as fuck for three days afterwards, btw. Again, if you’ve never been fat it sounds ridiculous, but I have no idea how to exercise, when to stop, when it’s too much, because the line between mental and physical isn’t really very clear. 10 seconds in I want to stop. My muscles shake, I want to stop. Something burns or aches, I want to stop. But I’ve learned that just because I THINK I can’t keep going, doesn’t mean I can’t. But just because I CAN, doesn’t mean I SHOULD.
So when you don’t know something, it only makes sense that you should go see someone who does. DUH.
TRX was CRAZY, and I’ll be going back for more. Here’s where I give a shout out to my girl Danielle over at Fitness Fusion in Bristol, RI.
She LOVES what she’s doing, and not once, not even a little, did I feel like I was being judged for being fat or slow or sweaty.
http://fitfusionri.com/
So while I was at TRX class, I realized that I pushed myself harder than I EVER would have at home, or alone. I realized that I was doing things incorrectly, and therefore, ineffectively. And there’s nothing my lazy ass hates more than doing something for nothing.

Yoga’s been my favorite thing for the past 6-7 months or so. But man oh man..how embarrassing I thought it would be to do try to do that shit in public. But after TRX, and talking to a couple friends about it..I decided it might be time to look into a class. I do videos at home all the time, and I subscribe to the GAIAM channel, OnDemand. Dudes, it has bajillions of yoga videos. But I keep coming back to this one:

http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/forrest-yoga-unraveling-tension-hips-neck-and-shoulders

This is, of course, after learning basic moves and stuff. Rodney Yee’s Pose Guide is GREAT for that. http://www.gaiamtv.com/tv/rodney-yees-yoga-beginners-video

So when I first got bitten by the yoga bug, I googled Forrest Yoga and found Raffa Yoga over in Cranston: www.raffayoga.com

Then, a friend ALSO recommended their hot yoga class. Now..I’ve always been TERRIFIED of hot yoga. I hate being hot. I just don’t tolerate it well. So when I found out their Beginner Forrest Yoga class was practiced at a stifling 90 effing degrees, I was SO close to not going. But I have a friend willing to go with me, so what the hell, right?
But I’ve gone twice now, and it’s AMAZING. It’s this whole yoga center, it’s all they do! I kinda want to live there. The rooms are all dim, and it’s quiet, and smells nice. I sweated my face off Tuesday night, and I’ve never felt so amazing.
My point is this: get out of your comfort zone. Just do it.
Because here’s the thing, it is fucking ridiculous to feel embarrassed about being fat, slow, or weak when you are actively trying to be fat, slow or weak. If anyone has paid me a second glance, I can’t tell. I’ve decided just..not to waste anymore mental energy being embarassed and paying mind to these kinds of defeating thoughts. “Everyone’s looking at me, oh man I should’nt have worn this, I should just go, oh jeez, everyone’s facing this way now I bet they’re looking at my arms..” Every time those thoughts bubble up to the surface now (and I assure you, they do, often. I’m human and the presence of one pretty young thing is all it takes to send my head spinning.) I push it right back out with this mantra: Yes, I’m fat..but here I am, working on that shit. So laugh it up if you gotta, haters, but I’m a force to be reckoned with.

A Revival, Again.

Hello again friends. It’s been a very, very long time.

I have some updates to give, and the blog will soon be getting a makeover. Sadly, we no longer have three beasts. This is one of the reasons I could not post for so long. In February,  we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Capone. It happened very fast.  One day, he was fine. One day, he skipped breakfast. Three weeks later, he was gone. Cancer in his abdomen.  I miss him dearly, every single day. Every single dog I look at, and I see a lot of them, I miss those big brown eyes and his mile wide grin. It’s been months and I have yet to fold up his crate and his sweater still sits on my nightstand. I miss my dog.  But I don’t want to spend the day crying. Someday, I’ll tell you all the story of Capone. But not today.  I’ve tried to make my peace with it, 10 1/2 years is a damned good run. He didn’t suffer, and I was with him at the end. You can’t ask for much more than that.

RIP,  Old friend.

RIP, Old friend.

On a much lighter note, I’m much lighter. In September, I decided to lose a little weight. Shit was getting scary. Nothing even in the plus size stores fit me anymore.  I was BIG. I decided I would give a 10 day diet a shot, maybe I could get something going.  Lose a few lbs, see the scale move, get inspired.

Man..did it ever.  As of last week, I’ve lost 90 lbs (Put four back on this week, but let’s not talk about it, I’ll get rid of them!)

Here’s me at Xavier’s birthday party last year:

553695_785252158169_1146908123_nAnd here I am at his party THIS year:

IMG_9869

Okay not the best comparison shots. Here’s another:

374761_10200999988749106_878016546_n

That was at 80 lbs down.

I wish I could tell you a secret that was exciting and new. But it’s just calories in, calories out. I eat a lot of salad, I walk, I do yoga. I drink lots of water and take my vitamins.

(We’re still not talking about this last week that was a shitshow.)

I’ve started a weight loss group on Facebook and it’s a stellar little community. It helps hold me accountable and provides support for others who are facing the same sort of challenges.

OBVIOUSLY I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of what I’ve done.

My mom and I took a trip with Xavier back to Illinois last month, and we got to spend some time with our family, which was really great.  I got to meet two of my nieces that I hadn’t, and Xavier got hang with his aunts and uncles.

388142_2771801061379_1448585313_2896488_1554631399_n

Xavier is doing fantastic. He’s just the coolest little mini-me.  I cannot believe how lucky I got. He sleeps, he eats, he’s happy, he’s healthy, SO smart and sweet and charming and funny. He’s BUSY, and getting busier every day.  Man how I love this kid!

IMG_9897

Xavier’s birthday party was on Saturday and it went very well. I’m excited to show you guys that, but it’s going to need a post all to itself. Here’s a sneak peek:

IMG_9820

I’ll post more details soon, promise!

Sandy, you nasty old bitch.

Tell me about it, Stud.

Well, we survived it.

Sunday night I watched The Weather Channel and essentially scared the shit out of myself. They said it would be hitting around “Early afternoon”. Well…I was scheduled to work an hour away, until 3:30. Oh man..the thought of getting STUCK an hour away from my baby? No thanks, Frank.

So I took the day off and we hunkered down (whatever that means.). Well..it just misted until like 4 anyway. Lots of wind, but that’s about it. Then around 5:30..RIGHT as I had put sweet potatoes in the oven, of course..the lights flicked off and on 3-4 times, and went out.

Shit on a goddamned dick.

Well, we tried to make the best of it anyhow. Went to bed, still no lights. The first thing I heard when I woke up the next morning was..nothing. Nothing but the sound of my neighbor’s generator. I knew..we still had no power.

So the first thing I said was “Who wants to go to breakfast then?” And so we did.  Then we came home, collected our crap and headed over to a friend’s house. We took showers and charged our phones. I wanted to stay longer but Xavier was being REALLY cranky, and refused to nap in a new place. So we headed home. On the way home, I psyched myself up. The power will definitely be on when we get home. I had preemptively turned on the porch lights when we left so I would see as soon as we turned into the driveway. I just KNEW, surely it would be on by now.

But the closer we got to home, the more and more dark houses I saw. I knew that it wouldn’t be on. And damn..it made me so sad. Of course, when we got here the porch lights remained dead, and I started to cry. Yep. I cried.   I’m still all messed up over Irene’s 6 days of  no power. I knew it was happening again, we’d be putting our food into coolers,  and it would be days of dumping water in the toliet tank just to do something simple like FLUSH, brushing my teeth with bottled water, and showering at my friends’ houses. And I just couldn’t face that. After I finally got Xavier down for his nap, I curled up in my bed and just dozed in that sad, helpless kinda depression.

Throughout the day, I had noted Xavier’s crankiness, and when he woke up from his nap, his nose was a faucet. I thought he might be coming down with something. But then..he just climbed up on my lap and nestled his head under my chin.  I noticed he was pretty warm and thought “Yea, he’s getting sick.” Great. So after cuddling him awhile I decided to take his temp and see what was going on.

The first reading said 105.6. That can’t be right.

Tried it again. 104.7. …..Huh.

One more time 103.7

So I give him a dose of ibuprofen, call the on-call pediatrician and explain the situation, describe his symptoms. He said “Yea, I don’t like that. Take him to Hasbro.”

So we do. On the way there it was POURING rain, harder than anything during the damned hurricane! They take his temp and it had already come down 99.9. They look him over and tell me it’s an upper respiratory virus, it just has to run it’s course, and just keep pushing ibuprofen and fluids.

We stopped off to grab some dinner on the way home and while we were waiting, my mom texted me that the lights had come back on. Hal lay loo!

So we head home, and just as we walk in, prepared to do our victory dance, what do we see? Squirt’s guilty face. And one of the coolers, looking like a damned bear had mauled it. And food from inside, strewn all over the living room. Yogurt containers torn open, cold cut containers gnawed to bits. I can always count on that dog to fuck up.

He’s afraid of the dark, yanno. We left a battery operated lantern on for him..but it appeared to have gone dead, possibly before the electricity came back on.  Not that I’m making excuses for him..he sucks.

Xavier still ended up in our bed that night. When he doesn’t feel good he ONLY wants to be held. So we do what works. Judge me if you need to, I am an occasional co-sleeper. So at around 6 am, the heat this kid was throwing off of him was incredible. He was just tossing around and whimpering. We got up and I took his temp. 103.7. More meds and it went back down. We decided at 10 to take him for a walk and at first, he seemed alright.

But about 10 minutes in, he just put his head down on his tray and whined.  So we took him home. John tried to put him down for a nap, and all he wants is me. He wouldn’t sleep and we had to pry his little fingers off of me so I could go to work.

By 4, however..John tells me that he has been inconsolable for nearly an hour. And despite meds, his temp is climbing to almost 102. I call the dr again, and they tell me I need to give him Tylenol AND Ibuprofen. Well..we only had ibuprofen in the house of course. So, I left work and picked up some Tylenol and headed home.

He was hot and miserable and didn’t want to eat anything. But we got his temp down, and got him to stop crying.

Last night was pretty rough. At 4:30 in the morning he woke us up HOT again, and I had to give him a tepid bath to get his temp down from 103.7. So scary. But today, he’s much perkier and eating well. So hopefully, this is the tail end of it, and maybe..just MAYBE..tonight he’ll tolerate his halloween costume long enough to get some pictures taken. Which I will surely post!

And here are some crazy ass aerial photos of the coasts of RI. Obv, it’s nowhere near the wreckage that NJ & NY are dealing with, but we were insanely lucky and we are intensely grateful. http://www.flickr.com//photos/ridotnews/sets/72157631891636224/show/

 

Wanna know something cool?

I don’t know if you guys are aware of this..but I like to take pictures.  Pictures of dogs, and babies, and people, and cats and bunnies too.  But when asked in the past, I would always say “Noo, I don’t think I want to do weddings. They’re scary.”

Awhile back, I tried to get my feet under me to do things professionally. But life got in the way, and then I got pregnant. And then Jimi died. (And they used my photo for the obituary. Go figure.)  And I just kinda..stopped.

But then..I dusted off the ol’ Canon, and started snapping pictures of Xavier. And I’ve started feeling that little shutterbug bite again. And in the spring, when my friend Tana of The Murphys Photography started looking for someone to fill in for her for a few weddings..I thought “Huh..maybe I could try it.”  And we talked about it, and they were kind enough to agree to let me tag along for a few weddings and see how it went.

Let me tell you. Weddings ARE scary.

But they’re also fun. And even though I’ve felt like I was going to pass out or throw up on the way to every single wedding I’ve gone along for, once I was there I felt like it was what I SHOULD be doing.  So The Murphys have taken me on for three weddings this summer. Holla!!

Here’s a link to their website and blog. I’ve already learned a ton, and I am so excited to have this opportunity.

http://themurphysphoto.com/

Which, by itself is super cool.  They even let me touch their stuff. And their baby too.

And now, this past weekend, I tagged along with ANOTHER amazing photographer, Ms Mandy Mayberry. I KNOW. And get this..she was all “Yanno, if you wanted to, you could be my assistant or second shooter or whatever sometimes…”

I tried to play it cool but I don’t think I fooled anyone. I’m so freaking pumped.

Here’s a little bit of Mandy’s work:

http://www.mandymayberryblog.com/

I can’t even tell you how psyched I am that I managed to get this lucky this summer. What I can tell you is that I’m SO READY to work my ass off and get some skillz and try really hard not to screw it up.

Happy Jimi Day, bitches.

 

Mmm..cake!

 

 

Here it is, May 16th, my friend Jimi’s birthday. The 2nd one of which he is no longer here to celebrate.  I took the day off, and I didn’t make any appointments or plans for this day. I was planning on being pretty damned sad, and probably wallowing quite a bit, much as I’ve done the other milestones.

But there’s something that I’ve lately come to realize. After being my chief problem solver and confidant for many, many moons, I came to know what Jimi was going to say when I’d call him up with some (cough *EVERY* cough) problem I had. It seems that I’ve retained some shreds of this internalization..let’s call it my Inner Jimi.  I consult my Inner Jimi quite a bit regarding major and minor issues. The dude was wise. And, I’ll admit, my imagination falls sadly short sometimes when it comes to solutions. I lack objective. But I do my best and sometimes, it helps.

So over the past year..I wondered what I should do on this day to memorialize my friend. I thought about different rituals that I could do over the years to honor his memory.

Then, I asked my Inner Jimi what he would like for me to do.

“Live your life.”  I just feel like he wouldn’t want me crying as I light 33 sticks of Nag Champa incense while listening to Phish and wallowing in sad. I’ve known all along he wouldn’t want me sad, but up until now I just plain couldn’t help it. In my head, when Inner Jimi said “Don’t be sad! I’m okay!!” I would say “Too fucking bad, chief. I’M NOT OKAY!”

But today, I’ll try to be okay. Call it a birthday gift.

So far today, I spent a few hours cuddling in bed with my little family. Later, I’m going to snuggle a sweet little newborn and watch Xavier play with his bestie. Hopefully he won’t bite her, grab her ass or steal her things again.

We’re still SERIOUSLY struggling to get some damned sleep around here. I tried sleep training last week. That’s a whole other post though…let’s just say for now it didn’t work. I wish I knew why all the sudden  he’s waking up every 2-3 hours.  (And before anyone says just let him cry it out, let me tell you that I learned last week that it just doesn’t work for him. He doesn’t give up, ever. EVER.)

 

Xavier, Month 9(ish)

Well, technically, he’s 10 months old today. But I was busy as fuck this month so I failed on taking his pictures, and we fell behind on vaccines so he didn’t see the pediatrician until yesterday.

Obviously, he’s still really freaking cute. Which is good, because he’s the goddamned devil. Kidding..he’s actually insanely freaking charming. I can’t take him anywhere without getting stopped because he’s smiling at strangers.  He’s a really happy kiddo, and I’m lucky.

But yea, he still has no damned hair.

What he lacks in hair, he makes up for in head size. Still chillin in the 9oth percentile.

He’s got seven teeth. I’m pretty sure there’s one straggler coming in now, but it’s taking it’s sweet ass time. He is pretty good with his seven teeth. (So is your mom.) We’ve started on finger foods and he’s doing great. The thing is though, I have to literally sit and feed him one cheerio at a time, or he grabs handfuls of them, shoving them into his mouth, until his mouth is crammed full. (Again, just like your mom.) Chubby little fistful after fistful. And it’s not just cheerios or even little finger foods. Mum Mum Crackers? Teether Biscuits? NOM! He breaks them in half and shoves the two halves into his mouth.  He probably thinks my chunky ass is gonna try to take his shit. He doesn’t know yet that there’s way better foods out there than plain cheerios and diced carrots, I don’t need his crap.

I shouldn’t write when I’m tired. Let’s move on.

He’s down to four bottles a day now,  3 are seven ounces, and bedtime is 8 ounces.  We feed three meals, and one snack. It appears to be working, he’s 23.75 lbs. He jumped from 50th to 83rd percentile.

He’s a super busy little booger, he started crawling about a week ago, and he cruises along the furniture. He prefers to stand and cruise to crawling, he only crawls as a last resort. Don’t ask me. We have had to really step up our game in the childproofing department, because he’s into EVERYTHING now.

“What? I’m just standing around, nbd.”

Those jeans he’s wearing, btw, are size 18 months.  They don’t even fit him when he’s wearing his cloth diapers! So is the hoodie. When my friend Tess gave it to me I thought “Oh this will be so cute come Fall 2012”

But the hat? The hat is a size 3T/4T. I shit you not, his head is that effing big.

He’s 29 inches tall, having grown an inch and a half since his last visit three months ago.  He jumped from 50th to 60th percentile there.

That’s the look I get about 400x a day now.  “No, Mom, I def was not playing with that electrical outlet. You told me no like 400x…sheesh.” (Goes back to playing with said outlet.)

Sleeping..oh sleeping. Sleeping has become a serious problem around here. I think..I might have spoiled my child. I don’t know. I talked to his pediatrician about it, and he tells me that until we teach him to put himself to sleep, he won’t learn how to put himself BACK to sleep in the middle of the night. Which..he sleeps through the night like 1 out of 5 nights, so I know he totally can do it. (And what awesome nights those are!) But the other four nights, he wakes up at least once. And sometimes, I’m tired/lazy. And the quickest way to knock his little ass back out is to put him in bed with me.

 He basically recc’d crying it out. Which, I don’t wanna stir the shit here, for some babies, and some moms, that’s totally fine. Do what works for your family. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I have the stomach for it.  So, this is me, looking for some hippie sleep solutions.

I can’t believe my little baby is going to be a year old in just two months. I’m starting to lag behind on party planning because I’ve been so busy, but I need to get crackin.

“When you’re a Jet..”

Confession: I have a strange desire to put my kid in a pageant. But not really. But kinda. But I won’t. Probably. I think I just watch too much Toddlers and Tiaras.  And the way Xavier blows kisses and claps and dances..well, I think he’s just really talented alright?

Nah..but he is wicked cute huh?

Alright that’s all for now. This weekend, I’m tagging along for some more wedding photography with some heavy hitters.  Here’s hoping I don’t fuck it up. 🙂

Crankass McFusserson

Don’t let that cute face fool you.

He’s the devil right now.

 See?

He is 9 months old, and I’m getting toddler behavior.

Last night, this child BIT MY FOOT, and when I said “ouch! Don’t bite my foot!” he started to cry. Like all babies should have footbiting rights and I was violating his civil liberties. He then proceeded to bite my other foot.

Boy am I glad I got my boobs out of there before all the biting started.

He won’t nap for more than 30 – 45 minutes, which is why my blogging has been minimal.  He wants to torture the dogs, ingest my phone, pull my hair, scratch my face, bite my appendages, rip out his dad’s chest hair, SCREAM, and he wants to walk or crawl but can’t quite figure it out. So he wants to stand and hold your hands. But then he tries to let go of your hands like “I GOT IT I GOT IT” and then he falls on his ass and screams some more.

You try to contain him in any way, you’re met with shrieks that will wake the dead. DON”T YOU FUCKING DARE PUT ME IN THAT GODDAMNED JUMPAROO!!!!

Your shit? He wants it.

Oh, and he has a cold right now. So in addition to all of his unpleasantries, that cute little face that MIGHT redeem has a steady stream of snot flowing from it. DON”T YOU FUCKING DARE TRY TO WIPE IT OFF!!!!

At least he seems to have gone back to sleeping through the night. I just couldn’t take this crap on an empty tank.

He’s waking up. See you in 18 years.