Monday, May 28, 2012

Two of a Kind, Expat Edition

Well, we're packing up the desktop computer tonight, and I will have limited internet access over the next week, so I probably won't be blogging until (gulp) the big arrival into Wuxi.

And with that, our new blog header....

Wish us lots of luck, patience and may the travel Gods be with us as we take a 13 hour flight to our new home with an infant, a cat and a few suitcases in tow.

Until then, zài jiàn (goodbye).

Sal's newest trick

Mama's not so sure she likes Sal's newest trick of rolling over from back to belly when he sleeps.

Our little belly sleeper
Thankfully, we saw it coming while at my dad's last week. Sal has this jungle gym with an arc over  it that toys hang from. Sal got himself wedged against the arc many times, which kept him from completing the full back to belly roll.
He loves to be swaddled, but my fear was that he would roll over with his arms straightjacketed shut, and not be able to roll back over. So, the arm swaddling came to an abrupt when we returned home-- and that in turn lead to a few extra wakings each night as he got used to the freedom.

I ended up switching him into a sleep sack  for naps and night time. It  has swaddle wings that wrap UNDER his arm pits, around the belly, so he still feels secure at night. Today was his first nap as a completely free man. I didn't plan it that way, but I just forgot to wrap him up before starting our naptime routine, and by golly--he fell asleep without it.

We still makea point to put him down on his back, but it is literally only a matter of a few footsteps towards the door until he works his way over to the belly.

I guess this is just a normal sign the boy is growing up. I admit to checking on him multiple times each sleep period, sometimes going as far as to risk to waking him as I flip him back over.

Did anyone else have a coronary the first time they walked in to find their little one belly down in the crib?

Oh Sal, I'm pretty sure you're going to keep this mama on her toes for the next 18 years and beyond.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

How we spent our Memorial weekend..

Three words.

Garage Sale.


Oh, and lunch at Hooters.

(okay, so I had more words than three, but give my tired butt a break)

Yep. A Hooters opened up in town this past week. And call us crazy, but they actually do have really good wings.

And waitresses.

Sal loved the waitresses.

And they loved Sal.

I seriously can't wait for this move to be over so I can cook in my own kitchen again and just have some dang chicken and veggies for supper. Spare me with the " You know, they eat cat in China" jokes.

Heck, these days, I'd probably even settle for cat, just because it's meat.

Somebody give this girl a protein shake.

Oh wait.

Our blender has been sold.

Wah, wah.

Three days til the movers come take our stuff to storage, and 10 days till we board a plane with one way tickets to China.


Friday, May 25, 2012


I admit, I often have bigger plans than I have time for. I often say I should meet up with so and so....and never do. Time gets the best of me. Even before children.

But this week, I was able to meet up with one of my collegiate teammates ( UCDavis gymnastics) at the park with our kids. I love meeting up with my old teammates. I've said it more than once, but the gymnastics team was not only my sorority, but also my family while up at school, especially while i was battling Graves' disease and radiation. Even after my retirement, many of those girls stuck by my side, including me in team functions--and that meant, and still does, mean a lot to me.

We were all in it together, and it's nice to know that we could all still pick up right where we left off over 13 years ago!

Anyways, meeting up with Krissy and her two daughters was refreshing. She's one of those people who you could talk to for hours, and she's always good for a one liner that will make you laugh. And did I mention, she's an awesome photographer?

Sal & mama (4 months old)
photo property of

She busted out her camera at the end of our playdate, and caught this adorable grin of Sal's, with the help of our "when the saints come marching" rendition. Thankfully, krissy's version is the same as mine, as I have been known to fudge the lyrics on many a song.

Thanks for the meet up Krissy!

check her out :

Millville weekend

Let's see if I can complete a post before Sal wakes up from his (so far) only nap of the day. With the multiple showings of our home, combined with a return from vacation, he and I have been trying to play catch up, and are both a bit off kilter this week. I don't see an end to the chaos coming within the next few weeks, so all I can do is sit down, shut up and hold on..with my best effort of a smile. I am trying not to stress, but anyone who knows me well, knows that going with the flow just isn't my style. If stressing was a sport, I'd be pro.

Anyways, time to catch up with the blogging and brag say how wonderful Sal did on his first plane flights! We took a quick trip up to see my dad and his girlfriend last week. We could have driven the 8+ hours, but knowing that I was nervous about flying with Sal, Nick arranged for us to do some test flights. We flew LAX to SFO, and SFO into Redding ( on a 30 seater prop plane, which turned out to be just the right level of white noise to make Sal pass out before take off!). Other than the rookie mistake of nursing him before we even backed away from the gates (OMgaaaawd child, please don't cry--they haven't even closed cabin doors yet!..Quick, here's something that will pacify you and I will earn mother of the year from all the surrounding passengers for having such a quiet baby), he did incredibly well. So, okay, I was done nursing him before we even took off, that's what the other side is for, right?

Simply put, he was well fed that day.

And a gem (can you call boys gems?) to travel with.

Sal says hi to grandpa Jet
We arrived to redding Airport, and we saw my dad and Mary waiting for us at the chainlink fence ( yes, some airports are still that small!) to land, camera in hand. I think they were excited. Maybe just a little. Okay, A lot.

And I'm pretty convinced upon our return to the States, that we're going to have to buy a diesel truck ( yah yah yah on the fuel guzzling lectures--I'm only kidding) because Sal caught most of his vacation naps in the back of my dad's truck while cruising down the dirt road to and from his house. The bumpy ride, mixed with the diesel rumble suited him just fine.

We spent most of the weekend relaxing. Nick and pop went fly fishing on the Sac river and we girls went shopping ( for Sal of course) and got our brows threaded. I'm pretty sure that threading is my new favorite form of hair removal. I hope I can find it in China.

Nick and I were treated to babysitting and a helicopter ride on Saturday afternoon, which was so freaking awesome. I can't wait til Sal is old enough to go with us. Maybe next time.

Sal & NZ

Pop and Me

NZ & me

Pop & Nick bring home the bacon (err, the turkey).
And yes, we are it.

Sal meets cousin Simon

checking out houseboats on Shasta
There's just something about my pop's that makes us take a step back, breathe in the fresh country air, and relax.

It was the perfect (and much needed) breather before we buckle down and get this show on the road..

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hel(i) Yeah!

A quick post until I can commit more time in front of the screen...NZ and I went on our first helicopter ride last weekend! We were up visiting my dad out in the boonies, and someone he knew has a helicopter--and it just so happened he was giving rides that day.

How lucky is that?

We got picked up in dad's neighbor's yard, and flew off into the sky. We got a bird's eye view of Millville & Palo Cedro and the ride was so freakin awesome. It was like that ride at California Adventure "Soarin over CA", only, we weren't on an amusement park ride, and the swooping and sideways turns and the sights, smells and sound were real.

Now I've been bitten.

I want to buy a helicopter.

But that would mean I'd need a license.

And lessons.

And a money tree.

I'll just settle for seeking out helicopter rides on future vacations.

I'm sure my ol man would appreciate that more than me asking for a helicopter for Christmas.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Three Years Old

Today is May 18th.

Even the tiniest of footprints leave a mark on this world.
Denise 05-18-09
I'm wishing that we had a sassy pants 3 year old to celebrate today.

Wishing that the culmination of agonizing over which party dress to put her in, and the deets of a family birthday party were all coming together...and definitely, most definitely, charging our camera battery so we could capture her nailing the pinata with a whiffle bat.

Instead, I'm sitting here remembering the little girl that we had to say hello and goodbye to in the very same breath. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her in some way. Sure, time has mended my broken heart, but the scar is still there, and it's still not completely healed. I'm pretty sure it never will.

I'm okay with that. I like to think about her. I don't want to forget her, because as I've said over and over in this blog...she was very much wanted and loved.

This year has blessed us with a little brother for Denise.

It's bittersweet, it really is.

Sometimes I stare at him while he is sleeping, and wonder if she would have looked like him. I wonder if she would have acted like he does, or smile the way he does...and sure, it makes me a bit sad that I will never get to know, but at the same time, I feel like I see a part of her everytime I look at him.

And for that, I am ever so thankful.

Happy 3rd Birthday, baby girl..( if she were around I bet she'd say "Mama, I isn't your baby. I'z a big girl!" or something so stinkin cute I'd go grab the video camera and prod her to say it again)

Denise, your mama misses you. Every.Single. Day.

And with that, I'll leave you with a link to my song for her from the Band Perry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Coral Tree: Diaper Bag

Coral Tree Diaper Bag

Many of my friends and fellow shoppers have asked me where I got my  Diaper bag.

Anyone who has been following my blog long, could probably guess...

It's a Coral Tree bag.

Being one of the first to test out this bag has been an honor, and I love that it is unique, and so very very versatile. I often take it out shopping ( as my purse) even when I don't have baby in tow. Heck, with the pockets in this bag, I would even venture to say that any photography aficionado would find this as a useful camera bag..but I digress, this is a diaper bag..and what a diaper bag it is.

This bag is made from a 100% cotton duck (medium weight) with a modern floral print in grey, and soft aqua. The interior lining and pockets are made with 100% cotton (light weight) in white and aqua. Heavy duty stainless steel rings are used for the handles and flap.

The  bag is roomy (Height - 14" , Length - 20", Depth - 9") without being overly large and cumbersome. It easily fits in the basket of my Chicco Stroller, and the gathered straps fit and stay comfortably over my shoulder. No falling strap syndrome with this bag.

gathered straps and O ring hardware
The bag is easy to close by threading the fabric flap through the O rings. I like that this bag closes with a flap rather than a zipper, because let's face it, we all tend to over stuff a bag from time to time. The flap allows for the bag to stay shut, even when overflowing with sweatshirts, towels etc.

Easy close: thread belt through loop closure
My absolute favorite thing about this diaper bag is the amount of organized space it holds. The sides are lined with pockets of varying height and width. Perfect for bottles, changes of cloths, diapers, wipes, keys, wallet, camera,pacifiers, sunscreen.... you get the picture.
Multiple pockets and a large open main area
Even with the pockets packed full of your necessities, there is room in the main compartment for a small blanket, a sweatshirt or two..or even better, a Coral Tree changing clutch.  The changing clutch ( sold separately) folds out to provide a soft changing mat with two pockets that can house a pack of wipes and a few diapers. By using the changing clutch ( which conveniently fits in the bottom of the bag) in combination with the bag, I've freed up two pockets in the bag for other goods..These days, it's extra burp cloths for all.that.drool!

Eight roomy pockets full of goodies, and the bag still has space!

I'm excited to announce that these bags are now available in the Coral Tree etsy shop. Go check her out. This week only, she has so graciously given my blog readers a chance to shop and save 10% on items in her etsy shop. At check out, enter coupon code: Save10 to save 10% on your total purchase. She has many great items for sale.

Southern California peeps can also find the Coral Tree booth at the Spring 2012 Long Beach Patchwork Indie Art & Crafts Festival on Saturday, May 20th from 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.. Held at the Marine Stadium Bayshore at Appian Way.

Tell her Brie sent you!

I'll love you forever.

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Not my first rodeo

Ahhh, I knew it was coming.

I knew it would happen.

Well wishers, wishing me a Happy first mother's day.

To outsiders, this is my first mother's day.

But really, this is just the first mother's day that I have fit society's image of a mother.

I've been a mother for quite a while now..four years to be exact.

..and there are lots of other mothers out there today, who are not being celebrated by society, because they too, hold babies in their hearts, not in their arms.

Sending lots of love to those out there who are missing the mothers/daughters/children in their lives today and to those whose road to motherhood seems long and never ending.

FOUR months old

When Sal was first born, the consensus amongst friends was that the first three months are the most difficult. Each week is a new challenge, and the days run into nights, and nights into days. Before you know it, your baby is 4 months old.

Nick and I took that advice with a grain of salt, and I always chuckled when he'd answer with, "Well, I guess we'll find out", because really, what other option is there?

For the most part, our friends were right. The three months fly by. I woke up today and realized that we have a four month old. Whether the first three months will be the most difficult-- I guess we will find out after we have something to compare them to. Speaking for myself, they weren't all that hard. Perhaps my view is skewed because I'd struggled so long to have a baby that I could be responsible for. I had sat through enough baby showers and overheard mothers talk about how tough the first few months were..I don't really know, but the first three months were totally what I expected, with the exception of a son who refused was superhuman and didn't need daytime naps. With the help of my pediatrician, we improved that issue, and other than that...I'd do our first 3 months all over again.

So, now that Sally Bananas ( he earned a new nickname this month)  is a whopping 4 month old, he's gained a few new skills to add to his repetoire.

Our favorite?

Babbling. Laughing. Happy Shrieking.

I can not get enough.

Sal made his first long roadtrip this past month, and met many many cousins in Yosemite. He attracted all sorts of attention from the Asian tourists..many would walk by and do a double take with no shame...finger pointing included..What I wouldn't give to know what they were saying. I'd like to think it was along the lines of " cutest baby ever!". Nick warns me that I should prepare for much of the same when we arrive in China. There's something about babies that make them go nuts.

Sal didn't seem to mind the attention, although he is becoming more aware of where Nick and I are at all times. He was slow to warm to many of our family members, but I do believe it was a mix of tiredness and overstimulation from such a new environment for him. By our last night inYosemite, he was tolerant of other people holding him.

So, what's month 4 have in store for the little guy??


Lots of it.

Wish us luck!

Make it: (grand)Mother's day gift

While my sister was here last month, we made gifts for Salvatore to give to his grandmas for Mother's day. I had received a gift of a paving stone kit shaped like flip flops a few years back, after we lost Denise, and never got around to pouring the concrete molds.

We've been cleaning out our house in prep for our move, and I ran across the kit in my craft mess. I had just the plan for what to do with the kit.....

Garden footprints for grandma Val & Grama Sandy..

I mixed up the concrete, poured it in the molds, layed crushed glass out to resemble the flipflop strap, and then with my sister's help, we put both of Sal's footprints in each stone along with the year and his name.. Now each grandma has one for their gardens to remember just how small he once was.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cat's (not) in the bag

We've got a major minor hiccup in our master plan.

The cat, the myth, the legend...Beaver

NZ called Continental/United Airlines to book our cat with their Pet transport/Quikpak program. He was able to reserve Beav's spot on our flight, but was informed that if Shanghai had a predicted temperature of 85 degrees F or higher when our flight was scheduled to land, they would not allow him to travel.


Continental/United touts it's high standards of pet care ( thank goodness!) throughout it's explanation of the quickpak system. The website and the woman I spoke to on the phone at the begnning of all this flaunted the fact that they use airconditioned kennels and vans when transporting from the holding facility to the airplane.  The website claims, "Personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles for connections over United's hubs when the animal will be exposed to temperatures above 85°F (29.5°C) degrees for more than 45 minutes". So this surprises me that they do not offer these air conditioned vehicles in Shanghai as well. Plus, we have a 13 hour flight, and our cat has to check in a whole 2 hours before we do--so how on earth will they know how warm it will be when we arrive an entire 15+ hours later??

My heart sank when NZ told me the news.

Yeah, yeah, I get it.

They're looking out for Beaver's best interest.

But how on earth are we supposed to get our cat there? Wait till winter?

Beav is a major part of our family, and neither one of us want to leave him behind. The move itself is going to be traumatic enough for our 12 year old, to get him to the airport, only to have to leave him with someone til we can ship him under favorable conditions just breaks my heart. Not to mention, China has this weird rule that the cat must arrive within 2 weeks of the owner...

I've got an email out to the vet in Shanghai that is assisting us with the transfer of Beaver from the airport to the government run quarantine where Beaver will be held for 7-30 days. The vet we are using will translate and make sure we have proper documentation for our arriving cat, as well as help navigate the quarantine system.

Who woulda thought that taking our cat with us could cause such a commotion!

Paring down

I recently reconnected with an old fitness industry friend of mine through facebook. When I told her about our upcoming move, she responded with a link to a fantastic blog, the minimalist mom. The blog writer is a woman who recently moved to the Isle of Man with her husband and child. They pared down the excess and are living the minimalist life, almost free of debt.

Part of the allure of this whole move for me, is just a more minimalist lifestyle. We have the opportunity to squirrel away some savings, and rid ourselves of what many Americans consider a necessity--like having TWO cars. I still feel that having two cars is a necessity, especially living in Southern Ca where we have a non-existant crappy mass transit system. This will change shortly, as both of our vehicles are up for sale, and we will be car-free ( no car payments! No $100 tanks of gas to buy, no car insurance premiums!) during our life in China.

I actually look forward to that.

Ask me again as I try to schlep an infant, a stroller and a basket of groceries onto the bus.

Our plan is to rent out our home, unfurnished, which will help offset mortgage costs, and we'll have our same home to come back to once our time in China comes to an end.

The only thing we plan on storing while away, is our grown-up furniture ( ie. nothing that lived thru our college years and has been refurbished--Sal's currently using a re-painted dresser that my ol man has had since college), and Nick's tools and machinery. We never set up a real nursery, so the pack and play will stay at a family member's home, so that Sal has a place to sleep when we visit. Our apartment in Wuxi is furnished--including flatscreen TV's and cooking pots. With the exception of a baby crib and changing table, we really won't need to buy any furnishings.

Nick and I have both cleaned out our wardrobes, and either sold or donated our back-of-the-closet and bottom-of-the-drawer clothes.  I've downsized my jeans from 4 pair to just 2. My dresses have been downsized from over 20 ( yes, this girl loves a dress!) to 5. Nick got rid of a lot of clothes he hasn't worn for a few years. Cleaned out the T shirt drawer ( why we didn't do this sooner, I don't know! I can actually fit all of his clean shirts in the same drawer now), and downsized the boardshort collection to two pair.

My situation of being post-partum presents a bit of a challenge when deciding what clothes to donate, and what clothes need to be shipped. Do I ship my clothes that are a bit too tight still, in hopes of getting back in them?? Or do I donate them, and just take what fits me now ? I have no doubt I will get back to my pre-pregnancy size, it just hasn't happened as fast as I expected. I also have loads of maternity clothing that I have decided to store. Maternity clothes are 1) not cheap, and 2) hard to find things that fit for me, putting them in storage until I get pregnant again just makes sense. I'll just pick them up on one of my trips home early in my pregnancy.

I've already shipped all of the clothes Sal received as gifts, and my sister-in-law had loaned us clothing up to the 6 month size, so most everything he wears these days will go back to her before we leave. He has a few 6 month outfits that are his to keep, so I won't be taking a naked baby over there. I did stockpile Enfamil and diaper wipes and OTC baby meds for him, but I feel justified in knowing that they all meet US standards. When I heard that the recalled Enfamil from Walmart was found on market shelves in China, that was all I needed to justify sending over a stockpile of non-recalled formula. Piece of mind in a suitcase. Sal is getting away with taking the most over with him--I'm taking children's books, toys and his carseat and stroller with us. Once again, when it comes to child safety, I trust what I know--I can't go on blind faith that a carseat I buy in China is up to par with US standards. I mean, just look at the photo below of something being sold as a carseat. No thanks.

We recently had a garage sale, and I was shocked at the amount of things we had accumulated over our 5 years of ownership of this house. I admit, most of it was mine. Seriously, how can I have so many craft items and still feel the need to stock up on more? I had bins of fabric, scrapbook supplies and paints stored under beds and on garage shelves. I had saved cards and  old magazines....and I got rid of it all. We even sold our dishes and most our pots and pans, leaving us with no diningware for the next month...but it's like totally romantic eating defrosted ziti out of the same casserole dish together.

Perhaps this whole living with less thing will wear off on us for some permanent changes.

So, here's to a man, a wife, a child and a cat moving overseas with just a suitcase & a box each.

It can be done.

Just watch.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thank my lucky stars

I woke up to an email from my sister this morning. At the bottom of her email to me, there was a link.

I clicked it.

And what I saw put me in tears.

The link was to my childhood friend's blog. He and his wife welcomed their son into the world on May 2nd. A few hours later, the baby was lifeflighted to UCLA due to a heart condition discovered shortly after birth by the amazing nurses on duty the night he was born.
He is in surgery as I type.
He's only 6 days old and in his first surgery of what might be many.
Life is so not fair.
I can't stop thinking about the family as I sit here on my sofa, listening to my little guy babble away under his jungle gym.
I do not know much about the diagnosis of the baby ( Tetrology of Fallot with Pulmonic Artesia. ), but I do know that it's going to be a long road ahead for my friend and his wife. My heart goes out to them and all other families dealing with a sick child.
And tonight, I am thanking my lucky stars & hugging Sal extra tight, because having a healthy baby is not something to take for granted.

and a note to baby Shane....Sal says Fight hard, buddy! There's so much fun to have when you get better!

Baby Gear 3.0 months

I've added some new must haves to my arsenal, and thought I would share my favorites with those of you with baby registries, and those of you waiting for the call.

Fisher Price Swing:

We have this one on loan from my sister in law. We tried it a few times when he was a newborn, and he screamed to the high Heavens when we even tried putting him in it. One day, while Sal had been fussy for quite some time, NZ swaddled him and set him in the swing like Dr. Karp from "Happiest baby on the Block" recommended. Ever since that day, I use the swing for most of his daytime naps. It works like magic.

Infantino Play Mat:

I purchased ours off I wanted something portable and compact, and most importantly, entertaing for Sal. He loves this one, and I like that the toys canbe detached and new ones traded in every so often to spice things up. He spends a good half hour under his gym as a happy campe every day, as he works on his motor skills. I love that it folds and zips into it's own carry case. SCORE!

MAM teether:

I saw this at the local grocery, and thought it looked neat. I bought it on a whim for when he starts teething, but, being impatient, I couldn't wait to open it up ( & sterilize first, of course) and let him try it out. He gets the biggest grin when I rub the nubby part on his lower gums.

Piddle Pad:

This is a registry MUST have. Don't wait till your first blowout to learn the hard way. Those carseats are difficult to take apart and clean..and poop does get every where, beleive me! The piddle pad is waterproof and also protects the lower harnesses between your little one's legs. It saves the day when an accident happens.Unfortunately, I learned the hard way, and this was quickly installed after our first mishap that ended up all over the seat and the seat belts. ICK. Worth the $17 for sure!
Infantino Toys:

I use these on Sal's carseat handle, or attached to the headrest on my backseat. They also make their rounds on Sal's Infantino gym. The legs jingle and the animals vibrate when pulled. He digs the vibration and is stoked when he manages to pull one himself.

Coccoli Union Suit:

I love the long lean fit of this brand. I've got a string bean ( he is chunking up a little, but he is still mostly long and lean), and this suit fits perfectly. I love the fabric and weight of the material, and it is easy to get on and off.

Old Navy Socks:

Just learned about Old Navy socks and their amazing ability to defy the odds and stay on little pigs. We lose socks left and right, but this brand tends to stay on quite well. They are just the right size.

Coral Tree Cloth Diaper Burp Cloths:

We've got serious spit up issues. The burp cloths from etsy shop, Coral Tree are super absorbent and the larger size is enough to clean up any mess and still have enough cloth to wipe a face. I've got a set of these, and I wash them every day so I can use them again the next day---because they are my FAVORITE! It doesn't hurt that they have super cute prints to boot.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Yosemite 2012

We just returned from what was my 9th annual trip with the Zentil family to Yosemite National Park, and Sal's first! NZ's family, extended and all, takes over Yosemite every year for a week. It's really special to be a part of such a close knit family who truley loves being together. Families like this are few and far between, and one thing is for certain....You can't be a Zentil without loving Yosemite.

The two go hand in hand.

my list was a long one!
I was a bit nervous about our first overnight trip with a baby, so I started my list early...and we did pretty good. I didn't forget a single thing for Sal, but NZ and I both forgot some of our own "must haves" for the trip. Poker chips for him, and socks for myself. Ah well, we survived.

Here are a few pictures from our get away..

swapping babies. Newlywed Adriana with Sal, and me with little Gianna

Nick and Sal at lower falls

impromptu photo op after a roadside diaper change

Hot dog picnic night!

homebound with all his toys. What a trooper!

I'm sad that we probably won't be able to join in the annual tradition for another three years, due to our move, but there is relief in knowing that Yosemite and the Zentil invasion is a tradition that is sure to continue long after we return to the states.

I am looking forward to Sal being able to take it all in..the bike rides, the hikes, the beauty of it all...

..but most importantly, I look forward to his excitement over seeing his cousins, both young and old every year. They will be the memories that last a lifetime...

..and for that, I am so very thankful to be a Zentil.

Yosemite 2016, I'm already counting down the days!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#operationwearmyjeans: Weigh in

I'm not sure whether it was the smaller quantity of food (quality of food sucked this week..more on that in a minute), or the walking I did this week...but something clicked and I broke through my plateau this week. I'm officially into the one teens again. A total weight loss of 31 lbs since January, with 9 more to go.

I can do this!

I wish I would have eaten better this week, but uhm....we sold ALL of our dishes in our garage sale last week. Sooooo, we've ordered pizza, takeout, and took our forks to town in a casserole dish of baked ziti one night ( how romantic, right?). Our frige is practically empty because we're trying to run as lean as we can on perishables until we go. We still have frozen dishes left from our pre-Sal freezer stock extravanganza, and well....we should eat them, since that was the point of making them. I suppose more romantic eating out of the same dish nights are up ahead of us. LOL.

I walked a ton this week. Some on the treadmill, some outside. I spent Thursday in Santa Barbara, taking my cousin to have surgery. While Sal and I waited for him to get fixed up, we walked the area around the surgical center. My mom works over that way, so we surprised her which was nice, and after that, we walked back to pick up my cousin and take him home. I got a good 45 minute walk in. Yay for multi-tasking!

Other than that, no workouts. Just walking and eating small portions of crap food. I've been so busy, feeling like a chicken with my head cut off, that I'm forgetting to eat, then raiding the empty fridge and settling on things like a tub of cottage cheese with cheesy Ruffles used as a spoon! How's that for honesty?  I promise I don't double dip though. Afterall, Nick  has to eat out of that container too.

As you can tell, the state of our food situation is really, really sad.

Goals for this next week...

  • at least 2 workouts
  • at least 4 walks of 30-45 minutes
  • choose water before diet sodas 
  • replace the potato chip scoop with a real spoon for my cottage cheese consumption which might just mean a trip to Golden Spoon (and a frozen yogurt) to swipe a few Golden Spoons. Golden Spoon spoons are my favorite!
  • Maintain this weight or drop another lb or two. 

All it takes is a glance

In our preparations for the move, we've been cleaning out the house from top to bottom. We had a garage sale last weekend, and rid ourselves of many no-longer needed items. It felt so good to purge ourselves of the excess. I had no idea that we I had accumulated so much junk. Good news is that almost all of my crafting, baking and sewing supplies sold like hotcakes. Nick says it's cause I'm a much more generous bargainer than he is. Someone would offer me a price, and I'd usually take it. Even if it was a steal! Math has never been my strong point, lol.

Anyways, I had a bookshelf in our office that was full of my fabric bolts, books and other miscellaneous items that I wanted to sell. So, one night last week, I started the business of clearing off the shelves so that it could be moved to the garage, cleaned and priced for sale.

And then I saw it.

All it took was a glance..

 I was brought back to the days immediately following May 18, 2009 when Nick brought home a velveteen bag with a box inside.

We still have her.

How could I have forgotten?

As I did a double take, I realized I wasn't seeing things, but that we do in fact, still have our little girl's ashes...and they've been living on a dusty bookshelf amongst my colorful bolts of fabric and Garth Brooks CD set.

I got teary eyed. Okay, I bawled, and Sal looked at me like, "iz u okay, mama?"

Having a child now does not replace the dreams and hopes and wonder of what she would have been like.  I still want her, I still miss her...I still wonder.

I gave myself a moment, and quickly grabbed her urn, and moved it to a safe place..Our desk drawer.

The following day, NZ found her in our desk, and said the exact same thing that I had...all it took was a glance and it stops you dead in your tracks.

We've been fortunate to have the arrival of Sal into our lives. Neither one of us take a single day of him for granted...but one thing is for certain, we wish she was around to dote on a little brother. I imagine she'd be a spitfire. Maybe a bit overbearing, but defintiely a mama's "helper" that loooooved her brudder.

All it took was a glance to ground me once again.

Now I'm starting to think that maybe it's time we spread her ashes somewhere special that we can visit year after year.

I'm ready.