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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When to Spend and When to Save on Kids Clothings

You all, I wish I was in a super crazy good happy mood and could write some lovely upbeat posts that are at least a little inspiring, but I'm just not there at this moment in time.  Maybe it's because the big 3-0 birthday is quickly approaching but hopefully I'll be in a better mood here shortly.  Until then, here's my rant!

My parents were at our house for dinner on Sunday when out of the blew my mom said she couldn't believe I spent that much on AJ's winter coat.  I looked at her puzzled like huh?  Where did that come from and why do you care?  Then it just followed with a discussion that was a "tit for tat" discussion as my husband would say.  I'm just going to put it out there that I paid $135 for AJ's coat at REI.  Dylan inherited AJ's hand me down North Face from last year that was still in great condition.  Last year I bought 2 coats, 2 pairs of snow pants, 2 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of gloves, and 2 winter hats.  This year Dylan inherited all his brothers things, gloves still fit AJ, neighbor gave us a pair of boots that were like brand new and then I did buy him a new winter hat.  So I felt this year was a relief because I had to buy so much less than last year.  When I went to get AJ's coat, I by  no means thought it was a super awesome price BUT....I only had to buy one coat that I know once again will be inherited by Dylan so I was willing to spend what I did.  Also, by October, my kids will wear their winter coats every day until April.  It's cold here and that's just what we do. 

My thoughts on kids clothes and accessories is that if it's something like a winter coat that will be worn for 6 straight months, then it's fine to spend more money on it.  Say I bought him a $20 shirt (rarely happens) that he wears 5-10 times versus a coat I spend $135 and he wears 180 times, how was the $20 shirt any better than the coat?  Plus, it's likely that shirt will be so heavily stained that it has about a 50/50 chance of being passed down to Dylan.

I'm not sure why this bothered me SOOO much but all I kept thinking in my head for the last 24 hour was 'thanks mom for telling me I did another thing wrong.' 

My tit-for-tat back to her was why is it acceptable then to go out to eat and spend $40-50 which lasts for an hour and is about 4-5 times what I'd spend on making dinner at home versus paying for a coat that is equal to about 3 meals at restaurant and will last through 2 winters between my two kids?  And unfortunately I should have just not even entertained the conversation and just let it be at her comment but I added in that I feel that eating out and going to watch movies or buying DVD's are the ultimate in frivolous spending.  I used those examples because that's what she chooses to do with her money yet buys clothes at Wal-mart where as I buy clothes from Gap and Banana Republic but cook at home 95% of the time. 

I hate "Mommy Guilt."  You know where someone tries to make you feel bad about decisions you make for your kids.  Whether it's things you buy them, how much time you spend with them, how long you breastfed, what you feed them, etc. that there always seems to be someone that questions what you do with YOUR kids.   I even said to my mom that technically I could buy all my kids clothing from Goodwill and there's no reason really to ever buy new, but that I choose to spend the money I earn on certain things and sometimes that includes expensive coats or shopping sprees at Gymboree or Gap and I've never justified it as a "need" for my kids, but a want.  I mean to each their own, there's no reason for anyone to judge other people's finances and how they choose to spend their money right?  Does your family comment on how you choose to spend your money?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biggest Loser 12, Week 1 review

So did you watch??!!!  Did you make yourself NOT eat dessert while you watched to avoid extreme guilt?!  That was my new rule about 3 years ago was not to eat ice cream while I watched the show since I used to do it on a regular basis.  One year I eve said I was going to work out while watching the show on my elliptical....that worked for 2 weeks.

First off, Bob, please cut your hair, that funky do you have going on is no bueno:(

Second, so glad that Debbie got voted off.  Why did she have to be such a negative Nancy the first week?  You know you shouldn't show your true colors the first week.

I want to set a goal for what I want to accomplish by the end of BL12 season.  It really doesn't make sense to take up 2 hours of my time each week watching the show and not be inspired enough to change my self.  I cry with the contestants when I hear their stories and always think to myself that I never want to let myself go like that.....but then I find myself watching previews for the upcoming season and I still haven't changed myself! 

I'm still not talking much about diet and weight loss here on this blog because I've kind of stalled out, I'm trying to find focus, I'm trying to figure out why I have never accomplished this goal, I'm trying to figure out what my life needs to look like in order to lose the weight for good, and I'm trying to figure out why I don't set an appointment with a trainer since I already prepaid the full year (because don't they tell you if you pay ahead then there is just NO way you wouldn't use it because you'd be wasting that money, well that just wasn't enough to motivate me). 

So I'm going to post my goal by the end of the week and I'll update on my progress towards that goal, if you have a goal or a challenge you're involved in currently, let me know!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Camping Road Trip with my Two Toddlers!

Last week we packed up a rented RV and set out on a 48 hour trip to a national park in our state.  Let's just put it out there that camping with toddlers is not the easiest thing ever.  But this was leaps and bounds better than tent camping we did next to a river (I made the kids where life jackets almost the entire time).  They were good little travelers.  Except I forgot ALL their clothes, so I bought a few shirts and socks from a tourist trap store and kept my fingers crossed that they'd keep their pants clean and they did!  Last time I didn't bring enough diapers and in very small towns, sometimes the convenience stores just don't sell diapers so last time we left almost a day early because of it so this time the diapers were packed and the clothes were not! 

We are in the midst of potty training both boys and having a toilet in the RV was a life saver so that we weren't back to square one when we got back home.  Dylan is a pottying king!  My goal is to have him in underwear by his 2nd birthday!  I'm so sick of changing diapers and buying diapers.  Diapering a newborn versus diapering a 27-37 pound toddler, two completely different things!  At some point, it just becomes gross:(

We have been busy this summer and partly it's because I've read over and over that people are happier when they spent money on experiences versus material possessions and we really concentrated on that this summer.  I love getting my kids out to DO things, they are like little sponges and I'd rather show them animals, planes and trains in person so they can see them move and listen to them versus just reading about it in books all the time.   I can't say orchestrating a one and two year old to go any where is ever easy but I've learned to just put on my big girl panties and go (around their nap and eating schedule) and learn that it's okay to leave if 30 minutes into it they melt down.

I've also come to realize that playdates and group activities aren't necessarily the key to having a well socialized, intelligent child.  My boys are great at sharing, they say hi to the other kids, they say, "Are you okay, what happened?" when they see another kid cry, and they are very smart.  And none of that comes from playdates....I think they've been involved in 5 planned play dates because during the week we are working so we don't plan a lot of evening activities and on the weekend we love just spending time with each other as a family. 
Dylan ALWAYS plays with my hair like this, but that's okay:)

DH and my two boys:)

We were driving about 15 miles per hour, I know perfect mothers everywhere I freaking out right now, but I was okay with it and they had fun!



Dead center is a bear:)

Mt Mckinley in the distance

DH had to navigate this blind corner in an RV with no guard rail, I about passed out from being so nauseous when I looked down!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pictures and videos over the past month!

My baby was sick and he never falls asleep on me, so of course I had to take a picture!

AJ riding a horse at the fair, he loved it!  Dylan, not so much.

My boys riding a ride at the fair, they are attached at the hip!

They woke up from a nap but were super tired so they sat in my bed and we watched a cartoon:)

They are both obsessed with helping me clean, I had already done the dishes but Dylan pushed the chair up and scrubbed the empty sink.

Well, it felt like I was closer in person, anyways, I had front row (side) seats to Colbie Caillat last week!  I love her, I saw her at the Palms casino back in 2007 before anyone really knew who she was.
Here's the boys helping us make pizza!  As you can see, they like to taste test during the process!  Dylan looks so grown up here, such a little boy and not a baby *tear*

2 decades of being fat, turning 30, is this the turning point?

I realized the other day that I've been obese for 2 decades... TWO DECADES.  Without a single break of being normal or skinny anywhere in there!  And I'm turning 30 next month which seemed to come out of no where, wasn't I just showing my ID at the local bar downtown to officially have my first legal drink in a bar?!

I guess the hardest part about turning 30 is realizing that for 20 years I haven't been able to get my mind straight about food, eating, my feelings, exercise or any other thing that make up a healthy person. 

-I'm obsessed over food, what to cook, what to buy.
-I've been in double digit clothing since I was in 6th grade.
-I've weighed myself everyday since at least 9th grade (*note to self, don't leave a scale in your kids bathroom when they get older, especially if you are lucky enough to have a daughter one day.)
-A day has not gone by for 20 years when I haven't thought about my weight.
-I can't even imagine myself as a skinny person, maybe that's the issue, I just have never been after puberty so it's not like I long for something I once had.

I really do believe I know "how" to lose weight.  But I'm the ultimate planner, but an epic failure at implementation. 

I always think 'today is THE day my life will change, I will lose the weight.'  Then it doesn't.  Dylan turns 2 in 2 months and I currently weigh 2 pounds less than I did one week postpartum.  That's depressing.  Granted someone could tell me I'd have to have my right arm amputated to be a mom and I'd do it.  My kids are incredible.  But I fear that I'm setting the example that I swore I wouldn't.  I thought they'd always eat balanced meals and we'd go on nightly walks/runs even in the winter and well that just hasn't happened. 

My kids eating is very frustrating, but they are 1 and 2 so my expectations should probably not be so high but there are all these cookbooks and websites that show all these fabulous meals that your little toddlers will just gobble up.  Well I call BS on 90% of it!  Austin gobbles up spinach leaves with a little ranch on them and sweet peppers but Dylan, the kid is a picky eater and after 2 days of him eating very little, you bet that I let him eat a Yoplait smoothie and chicken nuggets for dinner just so he will eat.  Which that isn't the worst meal but realistically, how many days can I let him eat that versus teaching him he needs to eat what the family eats and try new food.

I wore Spanx this weekend to a wedding and holy moly, why do women rave about those things?  I've owned several Spanx items (each time convincing myself that they make me look thinner, ha!), most commonly the really high wasted knee length short looking things.  And the minute you sit down or breathe the wrong way, the top rolls right down underneath your fat roll so you look like a can of Pilsbury biscuits that just exploded.  And then in a room full of 200 people you have to figure out how to inconspicuously pull those suckers back up!  Those things are going in the trash today.  I've never felt fatter than when I was wearing them!

And I really don't want to blame PCOS, because unless I want to wear a shirt every day that reads "I'm fat because I have PCOS, it's not my fault" then I have to change.  PCOS I'm sure makes things harder for me to lose weight but it's not impossible and it's not an excuse like I've said before.  PCOS doesn't order my meal at Applebee's and it doesn't force me to make three dozen cookies and eat a dozen of them in a few days all by myself, and it doesn't tell me to watch TV all night instead of heading to the gym. 

I just read this post from Jennifer over at www.itsuxtobefat.com on the top 10 tips on How to get Fat.  It's so true that you want to laugh and cry at the same time! 

Okay, it's obvious, I'm having an 'I Feel Really Fat Week' but I hope everyone else is having an I Feel Skinny and Healthy Week and maybe one of these weeks, I'll join you:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

House Guests....if only I was a gracious hostess!

I'm pretending I'm in my bedroom working on a client's file just so I can get a quick break from entertaining our house guest.  I should probably feel guilty but I don't and since I don't want to go back out to the living room, I'm going to rant a bit!

I almost always think company should stay at a hotel.  Isn't that awful of me?  But when I visit my in-laws we stay at hotels.  It's something about having to be "on" from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed that just rattles my nerves.  Exceptions are my best friends and my sister.  I love spending time with them and losing track of time and saying at midnight that you really need to get to bed!  Other house guests, it's like 6:30pm and you are already watching the clock for it to become an appropriate time to announce you are just "so tired, better hit the hay!" 

And when you/they stay at a hotel, you almost always skip the first morning food talk about what to have, can I make you a cup of coffee, pardon me I'm going to go take a shower (and I admittedly always take an hour to get ready with shower, makeup, blow dry and straighten my hair and ironing my clothes, it's been this way since junior high) and I'll probably be MIA for at least an hour and I don't want to hear you give me a hard time and tell me I should just skip the makeup.

Then there is the part where my company doesn't bother to rinse plates, help load the dishwasher, prep dinner (you know, help cut veggies, shred cheese, etc.) that REALLY gets to me!  I'm not saying I need a housekeeper and cook for a week, but help out darn it!  And don't ask "do you need help?"  Crap, I have a one and two year old, I work full time, and have a messy husband, did that question need to be asked?  If you are my house guest, can you just say you'll unload the dishwasher, or set the table, or rinse the dinner dishes off, put food items away after dinner and just do it so it's not that awkwardness where I tell you to just relax, I got it. 

If the majority of meals are made at my house, which they are and I 90% of the time cook from scratch and you haven't helped out with groceries, when we are out to eat, why not offer to pay the tab?  Oh man, that's really selfish of me to even say that huh?  But unless I BEG for you to come visit me and I know that you are on a tight budget, your vacation is not an opportunity for my family to wine, dine, and entertain you.  It's to enjoy each other's company but that's hard to do when I'm cooking you 3 meals a day and cleaning up after you for a week!

Rent a car.  Unless you are in a super busy city, rent a car.  Save the money before you plan your vacation and take breaks to go do your own thing even if it's only for a couple hours.  It gives everyone time to breathe.  I'd say our guests can take one of our cars, but with DH working nights and going to school full time, that just doesn't work for us right now.

Finally, respect the kids' schedules.  Some kids go with the flow and are not on a set routine.  My kids aren't.  It will take you all of about 6 hours before you realize this.  When my kids go to bed at 7, please don't feel the need to talk loud for 2 hours straight or crank the volume on my TV up.  Maybe after the 5th time you saw me have to walk upstairs and put one of the boys back to bed because they can't get to sleep, you would have thought 'maybe I am being too loud?'  Again, another reason to rent a hotel room.  Also realize that not all toddlers want to go on several hour long road trips several times during your stay.  My boys like to play, run around, take naps in their beds, and it's really difficult to do this when we are jammed packed into my car all week long.

Okay, I'm I going to go down as the worst  daughter-in-law, nephew's wife, etc. in history?  Probably.  But I've realized this week how much I do not like having guests stay at my house....okay, let's just be honest, my husband's family at my house.  I could write for days about all the horror stories of my MIL's stays at our house but I've ranted long enough so I'll end it here!