Thursday, February 28, 2013

February wrap up

February 2013

* I posted this picture earlier, but it was my favorite for the month. Indicative that I have to find any moment of sweet/funny/kindness in the day because to not is to start crying.

- Major potty training success
- Watched all of season 1 of Homeland
- On book 4 for the month.  Mudbound was the favorite read in February
- Semester has kicked into high gear with lots of late nights/weekend work, in general paddling to stay afloat
- Big freeze ahead weekend session to last until the end of the semester
- Started the house purge of all baby/toddler items with a spreadsheet of what needs to be donated/sold
- Dr appointments for wellness/screenings
- Brian and Bill's birthdays
- Managed to meet up at least once with each of my groups of friends for dinner
- Volunteered with Ben's class to teach about Presidents
- Several "snow days" i.e. school schedule was wonky, kids played outside just enough to get it out of their system without loosing power or make up days
- Saw a classical concert by myself and loved every minute that I wasn't coughing up a lung
- Transitioned Ian to a big boy bed and paid dearly with lots of nighttime wakings in the wee small hours to find Ian roaming
- Did an art class with each boy with an end result I want to hang in my kitchen to remember that all days were not a wrestle mania/Power Rangers sword fight cry-fest
-Speaking of Power Rangers, can now emulate Yellow Ranger's opening credit dance moves

* Note, only a 2 or 6 year old are impressed with mom abilities.  I'm not so sure that the 6 year old wouldn't disown me if I did them in public.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not on the wagon. Actually the wagon ran over me.

I am not quite sure where the person who could spend hours a day exercising has gone.  In fact I'm starting to wonder if she has permanently decided to exit the building and moved in with someone else after giving up on me.

You may remember for Christmas that I bought, wrapped up, handed to Bill a gift of 10 personal training sessions and then promptly asked for my gift back. I planned to start redeeming them before the crazy new year resolution people showed up at the gym.  So far I've gone to 3 sessions of the 10 with the plan of going every 2/3 weeks and using the planned workout in a rotation. 

Cue to the other day where I procrastinated going in for a measly 30 minute workout.  I sat and called my insurance company, waiting on hold forever and then took the time to make an long overdue appointment for a mammogram.  All that time wasted over just NOT wanting to get out of the car.  Another day that I got to the gym, upon realizing that I didn't have socks promptly talked myself out staying.  The desire is just not there to make exercise any type of priority. 

I'll be honest, I've put back on about 10 pounds since my 2nd surgery last March and the #1 reason is not exercising.  You would again think weight gain would motivate me and it has on getting a trainer and dragging my butt there 2-3 times a week.  I'm also maximizing my time so that in 30 minutes I can get a decent workout that rivals doing more for the same results.  My diet has relatively stayed the same so this is all about exercise.  

I really can't put my finger on why after years of being happy at the chance to work off stress in a child-less environment hasn't come around again. Aall I can think of is if I am leaving work early to swing by the gym that the time could be better spent on prepping dinner, walking the dog a longer distance, tackling the mountain of errands and chores that I would rather do in joyful silence before pick up starts. 

I'm flat out exhausted by 10 hour days at work, lots of issues with behavior from the kids between pick up and bedtime, finding time to keep us in clean underwear, and then often more work at night to stay ahead of grading. Doing it in the am is not an option as I'm already up daily at 5:15.  Doing it after the boys are in bed is also not an option, as I'm too worn out. My only real time is afternoons that I can carve out time.

Back in January I signed up for a color run to do with Ben later in the spring.  I figured that the training sessions plus a return to regular gym time would have be back to being able to run a 5k. I have added running back, but not to the level that I think need to be at to run the whole race without stopping.  

For that I'm embarrassed that I, 

1.  Could run 5 miles without stopping PRE surgery and now can't even make it a full mile without wanting to stop   

2.  I don't have the desire to want to be back in better shape  

3.  The same old man I see at the gym on the track seems to pass me every time we are sharing a lane. 

I have 6 sessions left that I hope to finish by start of summer.  I'm seriously thinking about signing the boys up at the Y to be able to use the child care option over the summer break.  I fear if I have to schedule super early am time to be there before Bill leaves for work I will find even more excuses not to make the effort. 

Ideas on some type of incentive to get motivation back on track appreciated short of a Jillian-screaming-in- my-face intervention are welcomed.  

Monday, February 25, 2013


Friday sucked so, so, so much.  Like stopped by Trader Joes to buy myself flowers in the pouring rain bad.   I walked out with $100 bucks in unplanned groceries.  Note to self:  don't buy groceries when you are pissed off or you will talk yourself into trying everything new.

Friday night we got the boys to bed and watched several weeks worth of backlogged Daily Shows and ate cookies.  Lots of cookies.  Romantic, you bet, especially when I realized I slept in my work clothes Friday night.  Again.

Saturday it was cold and rainy but we had plans with the boys so we tag teamed and sloshed in the rain. Bill did a Lego build and I did an art class with the kids. Bill and I went out for his birthday to Melting Pot. It was super yummy and we had more than .912 seconds to discuss the wrap up from the two parent meetings about Ben and a new med trial starting this week.

I read a book by the fireplace after watching Good Wife which can I say is FINALLY back to being good this season. Seriously who cares about a fight with the trustee guy from the Birdcage week after week.  Give me Will people.

Sunday I did church, the grocery, library, then took the boys solo over to Durham Science and Life.  Sunday was sunny and gorgeous.  I always make a deal that each boy gets to pick 2-3 must do things and then we budget time to make sure hit those activities first.  We wound up staying until they closed and I brought home some wiped out kidos.   Isn't this sweet.  Note that about .912 second later they were engaging in some WWE smackdown behavior.

Later I caught up with some friends for a belated dinner and then headed home to watch the Oscars. Quite a Meh experience. That is unless you love singing.  Good God.  Can we please stop? When did the 2013 Oscars become a tribute to the movie Chicago?  Am I crazy or didn't that movie come out like 10 years ago?

Worst was a toss up between the cast of Les Mis ensemble sing off and Babs performance of "The Way We Were."  I'll note that I was forced to watch all Barbara Streisand movies with my mom.  I can't think of one person who will ever convince me that Les Mis is a good use of 3 hours.  At least some of the movies and actors I was rooting for won.

None involved singing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love List February


1.  Teachers who love my kids even when they act like total tools.  Both of Ian's teachers have reported lots of ugly toddler behavior this week. Big positive is he is making progress on potting.  Every time he potties one of his teachers draws a smiley face or a heart on his hand.  Love this and thank them for their literally dirty work.

2. This outfit from White house, Black Market.  I almost didn't buy the dress as I thought it was too short.  I remembered I had bought some super soft black legging from Gap Body so I paired them with the dress (black, white, purple, and khaki) and some cute flats from Nordstrom.  This outfit is the closest thing I have to wearing pajamas to school.  So comfy!

3. OMG these are SO good.  I told Bill that I didn't want anything for Vday but mentioned that I had bought the boys' teachers Ghirardelli salted caramel chocolates but hesitated on these for myself.  Bill came home the next day with a package with a big red bow attached.

4. This new restaurant in Cary.  Can we say brisket burritos with fresh salsa verde + margaritas not an unnatural shade of green.  Throw in the salsa trio our waiter comped us and it is a new favorite.

Taqueria del Sol is now open!  Check this place out if local.  It  is across from Noodles in Crossroads Shopping area. 

5. Upcoming Academy Awards this weekend!!!! For the first time in a while I've actually seen several of the movies in a real movie theater.  Even though Lincoln was like porn for this history teacher, I'm betting on Argo.  This movie had everything:  suspenseful engaging (TRUE) story, dark comedy in unexpected places, and did I mention the super cool late 70s clothes and lamb chop sideburns on the men.  Oh yeah baby, fashion that looks good on no one, even a shirtless Ben Affleck.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not funny

Yesterday I got a call from one of the nurses to let me know that some of the labwork from a recent visit had come back wonky.  None was indicative of something serious just she had some questions for me including:


Drop the phone lady, in fact my actual words to her were as follows:

I can answer that in one word or two, "NO" and "HELL NO"

She laughed.  I didn't.

I went on to have a conversation in which I rambled on about how I lost a pack of birth control pills after picking up a new prescription from the pharmacy last week.  For God knows why I felt the need to tell her on the same day I also lost a Talbots gift card and a student's paper on the War of 1812.

Needless to say she may have wanted me to come in to take a test of my mental capabilities not just for some low iron and B12 levels after my rambling on and on.

I told her no that there was no way I could be pregnant and that despite loosing the pills I knew that replacing them was kinda important.  I also added (much to what I'm sure was "get this crazy lady off my phone") that I was aware of how one gets pregnant and could assure her that I was not.

She asked if I could swing by the office and pick up a bunch of supplements to try and make plans to come by for retesting.

When I got there it was kind of her to put all the supplements in this bag.

Thanks lady for panic as well as the reminder by my children's horrific double meltdown behavior last
night that the answer to are you pregnant will now and forever be, "I can answer that in one word or two."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tales from the little potty-Book 2, Volume 2

Has it really been 7 months since I posted anything about potty training trials with Ian?  Either I'm super lazy or with child two or instead of thinking I have to meet some great golden schedule in the sky have been so much more relaxing about the end result.

Over the weekend two major things happened with the littlest Vinson

1.  We moved Ian into a toddler bed and out of his crib.  No judgement on the fact I kept in behind bars so long other than there is security in knowing where he is at night. Cue to last week when during quiet time the sound of running led me to find him climbing out.  

2. Ian stayed dry almost all day with minimal accidents.  He is using the potty multiple times throughout the day and waking up in the morning not soaked.

We have been working with his teachers to make sure we are using the same methods as well as being consistent at home.  Ben is also all too happy to show him how to use a big potty and frankly had been a big help in the encouragement department.

Some of the most supportive people have been his wonderful, amazing teachers at his daycare.  One of his teachers makes him paper airplanes for good behavior as well as draws smiley faces and hearts on his hand for potting.  I am beyond grateful knowing that Ian is loved and cared for during the day by incredible people.

*Note Ian loves drawing smiley faces himself, such as this beauty from the driveway. 

So where are we? Still on a long road to ridding ourselves of diapers.  I recall that I erroneously believed that once Ben was pee potty trained that the other would just happen.  18 months later and lots of frustration I know understand that it will all happen in good time. Did I mention I'm not looking forward to age 3?  What a horrible age from Ben. 

Does this mean that I want him heading to kindergarten in diapers?  Obviously not, but unlike Ben who I felt it was some personal mom failure that he was still in diapers closing in on age 4 I'm not seeing this as something to stress me out.

One more pictures of my baby.  In motion, running up the what he calls "Ian way" or whenever he can find a ramp to beat me to the door.  *Note blurriness, as any other mode would not be appropriate.

Check out that smile :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yet another reason to love him

Before dawn yesterday my brother was bound for Miami to connect after layover for a flight into the capital of Guatemala.  For the next week he will be working with a medial team partnered with a rural, outpost hospital with the intention of performing just under 200 surgeries.

When Brian told me he was considering joining this team but had major reservations about being out of the country for the first time I told him he HAD to make this happen.  I knew that the chance to be part of something so life changing was worth any hesitancy.

I hope this week my brother stays safe, healthy, and is able to use his talents as a surgical scrub nurse however is best needed. I talked to him last week on his 35th birthday and passed on some thought on last minute items to pack.  My last thoughts to him were how proud I was of him for choosing to give of his time and heart. I am praying that he will return safely with stories and memories to share.

I'm posting one of my favorite pictures of him that makes me smile, from a after college trip to the Rockies.  Everything I love about him is written in his smile.  He is happy and full of life.  I hope that same spirit serves him well this week.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Project Runway-An Occasional Friday Series, Bag Swag edition

I have a friend who once her youngest was potty trained tossed her giant mom/diaper bag in place of a cute, fashionable purse.  If ever there was a prize for mothers to no longer have to change diapers on nasty bathroom changing table, a new purse is a catalyst.
I thought I would shoot for the same goal and with Ian making progress in the potty department had started looking around at a replacement for my well-loved and well worn Haiku bag. 

Let me tell you a little about the well-worn aspect as this bag was purchased when Ben was weeks old.  It has gotten me through many a stroller ride, zoo visit, multiple 1400 mile Florida road trip solo with the boys, lots of nasty has been cleaned out or on this purse.  I have loved, loved, loved this bag. 


It started smelling like all the places we've visited with a public bathroom being tops on the smell list. I started only carrying my wallet and phone only to leave both on a store counter leading to a mad dash upon realization. 

While we were in Atlanta I borrowed Bill's Osprey bag that he carries to work. Instant bag love.  So much so that I tossed aside any notion I had of a fancy designer purse and went for a special order to get my favorite lime green shade in a smaller version. 

I cannot rave enough about this bag.  It has pockets galore, a comfortable shoulder strap, a side pocket for a water bottle.  It's deep enough to fit my on the go lunch box for the boys including two more water bottles.  It even a deep pocket perfect for a book or Kindle on the back.  I haven't lost my phone or wallet once since carrying it.

Better yet after walking away from a group of people I'm not leaving behind the lingering fragrance of Chanel Number 5.  More appropriately, Urinal #1. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A different kind of love story

Happy Valentines Day.  I'm not the biggest fan of this holiday due to spending my daylight hours today at work watching the cruelty of high school play out into two categories:

1.  Someone loves you enough to give you a giant bear, a half dozen balloons, a vase of flowers, and a cookie cake to carry around all day

2.  You are not carrying around public pronouncements of love today for all the world to envy

**Personally I would want to sucker punch anyone making me carry around a state fair-sized bear all day.

Instead I want to share with you a different story about love. 

Back last fall as we drew closer to the holidays I was in a funk.  I couldn't really place the source to anything specific, but the funk had taken up residence in my everyday life. I would attribute some to ongoing difficulty with Ben or having an obstinate two year old in the house that defies sleep. The fullness of my life manifests itself as days that hit the ground running at 5 am and collapse asleep 18 hours later many a night face down on the couch still in my work clothes. 

It is my life and I wouldn't trade a minute to be living another.  I am blessed beyond reason and only have the faces of my boys to remind me that in the grand scheme of things the days may be long but the time short. 

Finally I figured out that part of my funk was heading into the holidays without my family.  I can't tell you how many times I said to someone that I hope they (and their kids) had a great holiday visit with family feeling a giant hole in my own heart.  Don't get me wrong, I think back to 6 hour drives on a Friday afternoon facing a weekend to be spent caretaking to my parents.  I frankly don't know how I took care of my own family during the hardest parts of a 10 year run of living that responsibility other than you just keep moving.

What I wanted and missed was the "me too" of holiday plans that included grandparents enjoying time with grand kids, going to the Messiah with my mom, making favorite meals that would be shared with extended family. After the Sandy Hook shooting I wanted more than anything to curl up with family and not let anyone out of my sight.

Somewhere in there I got a Christmas card that made me smile. From the crazy decorated envelope alone, everything about this card was welcoming.  It was from the teacher across the hall at my first school.  She saved many a day my first year of teaching by simply giving of herself, her files, her listening ear. She has continued to check in on my as I moved from being a new teacher to mentoring the new crop.

I smiled because it made me feel loved and important to someone not because I was just another name on their holiday card list, but because they considered me worthy of their time to continue to pursue a relationship long after I no longer saw them daily. 

I started thinking about how friends from years past to those I am fortunate to have as an adult have become my family in absentia. Somewhere over the new year I heard about Ann Curry's 26 Acts mission to remember the lives lost at Sandy Hook elementary.  Somewhere I read the book 29 Gifts in which the author in dealing with her own life struggles commits to doing 29 acts of kindness.  I decided that in the new year I would make it a resolution to show my appreciation to my friends as well as total strangers by passing on kindness.

I had a couple of ideas of things I wanted to do, but instead of trying to do something each day for a month, I opted just to do whatever felt right as January unfolded with many acts intentionally anonymous. Not knowing the source of a act of kindness seems to somehow change the meaning that the universe is smiling upon you for that brief moment.

So how have I been forwarding on kindness and love in a project that has extended beyond January?

-a basket of school supplies for the new 1st year teacher that I am now sharing my room with this semester.

-dinner for my new neighbors after hearing they were sleeping on the floor awaiting their furniture

-doughnuts for my department during final exams

-a good luck gift of wine and the latest Southern Living for my friend starting a new job

Even a few items that seemed strange, but oddly the right thing to do like mailing back tax documents to our home's previous owner realtor to mail on to them to a new address, sending a nice bottle of wine thanking my amazing surgeon on being a year out, or a card to my high school best friend's mom whose husband was having open heart surgery.

On this manufactured day of love I am reminded that every single day there are multiple opportunities to pay a compliment, thank someone for the smallest of acts, or choose kindness towards others over being self serving. 

It doesn't take a special day to tell someone or show them that you love them.  It takes a heart too full of thanks to be contained. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Quick check in

Oh hi February, I didn't notice you were 11 days old already.  It's been busy with lots going on both at work and home.  Some good (Ian's made real progress on the potty) and some not so good (lots of negative from Ben at home and from school reports.)

I have a meeting with his counselor alone later this week after multiple conversations with Ben's teacher about some ongoing issues including catching him in a lie that has been going on since early December.

On the work front I'm teaching US History this semester for the first time ever in a 13 year career. I feel like am a "big kid" getting to teach the hardest, most comprehensive subject in our department but the trade off is lots of outside work prepping and frankly relearning a subject that I love, but don't know the ins and outs to teach.

Also on the positive is I've continued on a roll with choosing reading over mindless tv watching at the end of the day minus a couple of series.  I'm closing in on 10 books and it's not even two months into the year.  I picked up Mudbound on a weekend trip with the boys to the library and am already 1/2 finished.   I've been downloading books for walking the dog.  Most recently I finished Behind the Beautiful Forevers- Katherine Boo and am about to start the Dovekeepers-Alice Hoffman.

Here's to possibly being back later in the week with a February love list, pictures of a new mom bag that I should have bought years ago, and whatever is going down of note.