Fri-yay Fun-yay!!

It's finally freaking Friday! This week was a super long one. Yesterday felt like the neverending day. Seriously. I didn't take a lunch due to leaving early to take my son to the airport to see his dad, and the day just dra g    g      e           d  .............

You know what I think is really cool? Being able to STALK my son's flight and knowing exactly where it is. I stayed up way past my bedtime waiting to make sure he made it in Chicago and found his grandparents without any issues, but that's just what we do as mom's right?

I sent Justin that picture and said "you're almost there!" and I think it kind of freaked him out because he replied "how do you even know that???".

Yes, mom's really do know everything!

I have a bunch of things from this week that I've absolutely been loving. Let's start with my FAVORITE. 

Obviously.

Now to my second favorite thing this week...

Shaun Week!!

I know I've mentioned this a million times, but it's worth mentioning again.

I'm not a beachbody coach and I'm not trying to sell you anything.

I just really love beachbody workouts. 

And these workouts so far this week are no exception. First of all, I've lost 3 pounds this week! Yes, seriously! I have been stuck at the same higher weight since about February and it's been really frustrating, but with this loss I'm almost at my lowest post-Jules weight! As I mentioned earlier, it was time for me to start being honest with myself about how much I've been eating and that's exactly what I've done this week and I'm finally seeing some results. Go figure.

I don't think the results are solely based off my eating though...these new Shaun T workouts are amazing! They are actually not quite as intense as my usual workouts and they're shorter than I'm used to (23-43 minutes), but they are seriously effective and I'm feeling the burn all over! To be fair, I've added a few extra workouts in (running, my core workout, and HIIT), but I'm seeing results doing this that I haven't seen in the past 4 months...so yeah. 

Also I love Shaun T as a trainer - there's a reason Insanity is my favorite program ever and I can see this becoming another favorite as well! 

I'm going to be deciding this weekend what my next program will be and I'm seriously considering not doing the last week of P90X next week, but I haven't made a decision yet. Don't worry, I'll let you know what I decide and I'll post my new workout schedule once I figure it out!

Since I've been really watching what I eat and drink, there are two things that have been my saving grace this week. 

That Halo Top is my favorite flavor of all of the "healthy" ice cream that's out there. I usually eat about 1/3 of a cup at the end of the night and it tides me over and keeps me from noshing on something else. Like an entire box of animal crackers. Not that I'd ever do that...this week...

And those drink mixes. Oh man. So I love water. Like I legitimately LOVE water and drink it all day long and usually don't like to drink anything else except for booze. The problem is that I was kind of reliant on drinking a glass of wine at night to wind down at the end of the day. And wine has calories. And my glass of wine was probably more like a glass and a half. So since I've been seriously cutting down on booze, I decided to try to find a substitute so I could still go through the ritual of winding down with a drink, but without the booze/calories. For awhile there we were buying Mio, but that shit has some seriously awful ingredients. All sorts of things that I can't pronounce and food dyes and pretty much all the stuff you should really try to avoid in life.

So I found these drink mixes in Walmart and they are fantastic! They're not anywhere near as sweet as most drink mixes, which I actually like since consuming too many sweet things dumbs down your tastebuds and then you require even MORE sweet things to satisfy cravings. Not even kidding, those are scientific terms and everything. These are flavored with natural ingredients, including stevia, which I know some people don't like the taste of but I don't mind. And it's dyed with beet juice and other natural dyes! The watermelon is my favorite, so I like to make a tall glass with ice and then sit and relax on the couch while sipping my hooch. 

Let me know if you check them out! Like I said, they're not as sweet as other drink mixes but by the second day you can't even tell anymore. 

The giant pile of laundry isn't really a favorite, however the two hours of Handmaid's Tale that I watched while folding the laundry is definitely a fave of the week. I think I'm 5 episodes in and let me tell you what...HOLY CRAP. I love this show and will probably watch a few episodes this weekend if I can handle them. Because it's super intense and I actually have a hard time watching more than one episode at a time because it kind of freaks me out a bit. 

In other favorite tv show news, I finished Girls last weekend. I'm sad because as cringe-worthy as the show was, I actually ended up really enjoying it! And I loved the way it ended. No spoilers here but if you're a 20 to 40-something and looking for an interesting show to watch, check it out!

Now that I'm done with that I think I might try finishing Divorce on HBO, the new season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I'm rewatching The Gilmore Girls because it's the best show ever. So there you have it - my tv faves of the moment!

I ran in shorts this week! I have mentioned this in the past, but one of my goals for 2017 was to run in shorts and do so comfortably. I never used to have a problem until I started gaining weight after going off Yaz a couple of years ago, and I hate when my shorts ride up when I run. I'm talking I get pissed off when it happens and stop my run and probably throw a temper tantrum. So I have just stopped wearing shorts and wear yoga pants. The problem with that is it's hot AF in Florida and running in shorts is almost a necessity. So yesterday morning I did it. It was only for 11 minutes, but I was running really fast that entire time and my shorts only made me go crazy like once. So I call that a win and a fave from the week!

Another fave from yesterday morning...

No filter needed sunrise pic for the win!

While looking through my old pictures for my blog on Wednesday I cam across this gem of an oldie but goodie. 

He wore that mustache for like a week and walked around all "excuse me, ma'am, but I mustache you a question..."

And this pic has me all sorts of excited for fall in New England! 

That was taken at our favorite place to hike in Massachusetts, Mount Tom. I've promised Justin we'll drive over to see my wifey Lucy and go hiking at Mount Tom and eat hot dogs at Nick's Nest ASAP upon our arrival in Rhode Island. I hope Jules loves hiking as much as we do!

So I sent this to my boss yesterday...

And he was totally cool with it. One of the things I'll miss most about Florida is my boss. He's very cool, very relatable, and is totally fine with me sending him a post from fuckjerry on Instagram or ridiculous Snapchats. 

I'm getting a spelling error for "relatable". And it's totally spelled right.

Get yo shit together, squarespace!!

I've had a couple of people recently make comments about my eyelashes and mascara game being strong, so I have decided to share my secret with you...

I use two different type of mascara. A volumizing one that I put on first and a lengthening one. You want to put them on without any break between them - so I put the volumizing on the right eye and follow immediately with the lengthening before doing my left eye. I love Maybelline mascara - I've even tried the super expensive Diorshow mascara and always come back to Maybelline because it's better. And I always use the regular kind - never waterproof. I hate waterproof mascara because it flakes off and looks terrible by the end of the day and I feel like it damages my lashes. 

So now you have the secret to my glorious eyelashes!

Finally I have one BIG recommendation to you and it's a huge YAY for me this week...

The Beatles XM channel is LIFE!!! My XM hasn't changed from this channel since I heard about it late last week and I don't think it will change any time in the near future. The Beatles have such fun and awesome music and I always have fun when I listen to them. Even when the song is "Yesterday". 

Question for you...

What are you doing this weekend? Do you have any fun plans? Any music or TV you can recommend to me? Don't forget it's Father's Day on Sunday!

This should be a fairly low-key weekend since Jason is working all of it but Sunday (and he's working Saturday night so he will be sleeping most of Sunday). I am going to go thrifting for winter clothes and stuff with a friend tomorrow and also plan on getting a poke bowl because I need to eat as many as possible before I leave. 

Speaking of leaving...we leave in 4 weeks...

Holy shit!!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Time for some Monday

And WHAT a Monday it is! My car is being dumb so I had to take it to the car shop where I'm sure they'll try to inflate everything that's wrong with it so they can get all of my money. And it's cloudy and rainy and just blaaaaaaaaaaah outside. This is the day where I wish I could call in and hang out at home while wearing my unicorn onesie pajamas, but I'm a responsible grown-up so I'll just go to work and be all responsible and stuff. So dumb. 

Plus, my vacation time doesn't renew until July, so I don't have any time to take anyway.

I obviously have a case of the Monday's today! It doesn't help that there is a huge wolf spider in Julianna's room. At least that's the last place I saw it. And that mother effer RAN at me when I tried to go in and kill it. So of course I ran from her room while screaming bloody murder and now I don't know where that asshole is. What I do know is that wherever it is, it's probably plotting to kill me in my sleep EVEN though it's not poisonous. It's so big that it will actually grab a knife from the kitchen and STAB me in my sleep. Yeah, not even exaggerating...

So today I'm going to do a weekly workout round-up/weekend happenings/what I'm doing this week for workouts post. 

Monday - P90X Chest & Back and Core

I don't remember ANYTHING about this workout, so it must have been fine. Actually, that's a lie...I do remember that I actually struggled more during pretty much all of my workouts last week until Friday. Like I had to do less reps with the same weight. Which is annoying. I'm assuming it's because I'm watching what I'm eating a bit more and not carb loading for a non-existent race like I have been the past 16 months (2 years...). Also, I look super puffy in the 2nd picture compared to the 1st...I'm swole??

Tuesday - Turbofire, HIIT, and Core

I may have mentioned this a million times in the past month or so, but Jules is sleeping terribly again. So she's been waking up between 4-5 and getting up with me for my workout, which usually is fine. I had hoped to run on Tuesday and Thursday this week, but it was thunderstorming both mornings and with Jules being awake that makes it a double-nope. So I subbed a 30 minute kickboxing workout and 10 minutes of HIIT on Tuesday, along with my core workout. 

Jules is also doing this thing where if I put her down for any period of time and leave the room she screams bloody murder. So this is how I have been able to get ready for work...

#nopantsclub #workingmomlife #idowhaticantomakeitallwork

Wednesday - P90X Shoulders & Arms & Core

I apparently only got a before workout picture...my bad! I'm sure we will all live without the after and don't worry, I have so many more to show you!

Thursday - Kickboxing & Core

See?!? More pictures! I couldn't run on Thursday as I mentioned above, so I did a 53 minute Turbofire workout and my core workout. And I mixed things up by taking my before and after workout pictures in our still clean bathroom mirror. Ooooooooooooooh!!!

Friday - P90X Legs & Back and Core

Oh man, that's a great before picture! Classic Jamie. Jules woke up midway through my workout on Friday and at one point I was doing these squat jump things and I knocked her down with my butt. To be fair, I didn't know she'd gotten off the couch.

Best. Mom. Ever.

Also, I love messy baby wake-up hair. She looks so cute all mussed and messy!

Saturday - RUN DAY

Awwwww...look how hopeful and smiley my before workout picture is!! Jason ended up picking up a shift Saturday morning so I had to run with the stroller, but I figured it wouldn't be a big deal since pretty much all of my long runs are with the stroller. We even ended up leaving an hour earlier than we left the week prior - it's gonna be a great run!!

1.5 miles in....

4 miles in....

It was SO EFFING HOT and humid out during this run. Oh my GOSH it was rough. I literally had sweat pouring off of me by the time I was done. And for some reason I decided to challenge myself and run the bridge, which I hit at 2.25 miles and 4.5 miles. I actually ended up walking once I hit the top of the bridge and going down it on the way back because I had zero gas left and still had 2 miles left to run. Also I didn't wear a hat for some reason...still not sure why. So all of the sweat went into my eyes and I didn't have protection from the sun at the end. 

But by the time I was done and stretched, I was actually pretty happy about the run because it was the furthest I've ran this year! I was supposed to do some sprint repeats at the end, but decided that was a horrible idea and just ran the 6 miles. 

Do you SEE how freaking sweaty I am here?!? GROSS!! When I picked Jules up from her stroller she actually didn't want to touch me because I was so disgusting. Can't say I blame her!

The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning, errand running, and hanging out with some friends.

Walking the dog... 

Waiting out the rain before dashing into the grocery store...

Shoving a delicious poke bowl in my face hole...

Shenanigans...

Sunday - REST DAY

Which involved me taking a NAP with Jules from 10-12 because I was up past my bedtime hanging out with friends and watching Girls Saturday night and Sunday also involved cleaning/organizing for the move. 

Here you can see Jules is wearing a long-sleeved onesie and her Christmas dress from last year - both still fit her really well, so I think she'll be wearing them both again this year (just not at the same time). 

So now I have something important to ask you...

Do you know how to get rid of wolf spiders? I need to catch this killer death spider before it hunts me down and eats my face off. 

Also, how do you feel about the same Christmas dress 2 years in a row? I'm actually 100% into it because (1) it's cute and (2) she only wore it for like 4 hours...that's a waste of money and I'm a cheapskate!

As for my workouts this week, I actually only have one week left of P90X - time flies when you're having fun - BUT there's a new set of Shaun T workouts being released this week and I love him. So I'm putting P90X on hold for this week and doing Shaun T week and then I'll do my last week of P90X next week. So be sure to keep an eye out for my results/thoughts on both of those programs!

Here's to a great Monday, friends! 

Fri-YAY Fun Post (and am I crazy?)

Happy Friday to all of you, my friends! It's such a great day, isn't it? I love Friday. I know I've said this before, but I like Friday even more than the Saturday or Sunday because it's the day that starts the weekend and I'm always in a great mood knowing I have 2 days off coming up! 

Today's post is going to be all about the things that are making me say YAY! Some of them will be funny, some will be weird, some might be annoying for some of you, but whatever! It's my blog and I do what I want. 

Don't tell me how to live my liiiiiiiiiiiiife!! 

First and foremost, how many of you are like me and you eat well for a few days to a week and start looking at yourself like, have I lost all of the weight yet? Am I making progress? Am I skinnier yet?

This was me yesterday and I was feeling good. Like, oooooh I feel so good in this dress and my stomach is feeling flatter and YAYYYYYY. Then this morning I weigh-in and I've lost less than a pound in 2 weeks. Mother fucker. 

This weight loss stuff is so fucking frustrating and I hate how I can feel good one day and the next be so annoyed because the scale is a dumb whore. 

Am I the only one who goes through this? Am I insane? Please tell me I'm not crazy...at least not in this regard. 

Also, sorry about the language...I'll limit my French from here on out :-)

This is the other sunrise picture I took last week after my run when the sunrise was just so freaking pretty. No filter needed here, my friends!

How about some fun/ridiculous take-out pictures?

You know, these are the pictures that I deemed not worthy for other blog posts, but put in here because I have zero shame.  

Here's a series of the ridiculous faces I make when doing my pre/post-workout pictures. 

I am so photogenic. 

Speaking of photogenic...time for some BABY SELFIES!!

She gets it from her mama!

And her daddy too

I love how curly her hair is! I hope she keeps the curls and has beautiful, wavy, thick hair like her daddy. 

Just in case you're wondering where Justin is, he's been up in his room playing video games except for the times I order to him to come downstairs and hang out for an hour or two while I'm making/eating dinner or when I yell at him for not doing his chores. 

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Oh how I wish I had a summer break again. I've actually thought about getting my teaching certificate and becoming a teacher, but that would be a big problem for me because:

  1. I like money and things and that would be a huge pay-cut and homie don't play that
  2. I don't really like children very much. I mean, I like my kids and my friends kids and my nieces and nephews. But that's because they're all pretty well-behaved and not total assholes and have manners. It's the asshole kids without manners that I don't like to be around and I have the feeling teachers have to deal with a lot of those. 

So no being a teacher and having a summer break for me! Womp womp!

Would you like to hear about how crappy Jules has been sleeping?

There's apparently an 18 month sleep regression and I'm 99% sure Jules is going through it right now.

On top of that, toddlers apparently start having nightmares around her age and I'm pretty sure she's having those too. They can start around 18 months or earlier if the child has experienced some sort of trauma, which the poor little girl has definitely dealt with :-( 

So what we're dealing with right now is a toddler who wakes up at least once in the middle of the night and absolutely will not let me put her down. I've tried rocking her and putting her back down in her crib and patting her back, but she's absolutely not having it. And then I work full-time and can't miss out on the limited sleep I do get, so I'm lazy and put her in my bed with me. So now she's doing this super fun thing where she wakes up between 4:00-5:00 and thrashes around and flings herself all over the bed, waking me up repeatedly until we both finally get up when I workout. Then she sits on the couch or bed while I'm working out and whines/cries through most of it. 

Needless to say, she's killing me. I am so tired and find myself getting frustrated with her and then feeling horrible since I know she's just a growing toddler and this kind of behavior is to be expected. I am hesitant to do sleep training again, since I don't want to traumatize her any further, but I don't know how much longer I can live like this. 

Do any of you have any advice? Have you gone through this and found a way to help the situation? 

"That flash is so bright mom, don't take pictures this early!!"

And to that I say, "your foot is so strong and swift when it kicks me in the head at 4:30 in the morning...stop doing that and I'll stop taking pictures"

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DEAL????

(she's flailing around and fussing in that picture...send help...I'm going to lose my marbles)

You know how I have absolutely no shame and like to post horrendous pictures of myself for your enjoyment? Well here come some goodies!

I'm pretty sure I was trying to show how tired I was after my run in this picture, but all I'm getting from this picture is that I sweat a lot and make some INteresting faces. 

Of course I took more than one super unflattering pre-Jules jeans pictures! No shame in my game, folks! I need to just burn those dumb pants. BURN THEM!!!!!!!!

Except they're really nice jeans, so first I'm going to try to sell them to a thrift store. But then if they don't take them, I'm BURNING THEM!!

Speaking of flash...

That didn't work at all. But it does show that our bathroom is still pretty clean and organized and I'd like to give myself a pat on the back for that

*tries to pat self on back but remembers that I have no shoulder flexibility so I just scratch my neck instead*

Close enough.

Finally, I have some music recommendations for you guys! Do any of you even listen to any of my recommendations? If you don't, you should!

  • Reverend by Kings of Leon (late on the train for this one, but I love it!)
  • Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists
  • Slide by Calvin Harris
  • Know No Better by Major Lazer with Travis Scott
  • Rollin by Calvin Harris

For tv stuff, I'm still watching Girls and currently in the last season. I really like this show and would recommend it to everyone! Lots of boobs and butts with some "V" thrown in as well, just so you're not thrown off guard when it pops up on the screen. 

I also started watching The Handmaid's Tale last weekend and can I just say, HOLY SHIT! This show actually stresses me out so much that I can only watch one episode at a time. And tv shows never have that effect on me. But it's SO GOOD! 

Finally, the new season of Orange is the New Black was released today! Woohoo!! I will probably wait a month or two before watching, which is what I always do...once I watch it, I have to wait another freaking year for more! So I like to wait and savor knowing that it's there to watch before I binge all of the season in one weekend. Anyone else do this?

That about sums things up for me! This weekend should be fairly low-key, but busy. We're taking Justin out for dinner tonight to get some Udon/Ramen because he made the honor roll. I have a 6 mile run with some sprints at the end planned for tomorrow morning and I'm going to do it without Jules, which should make things easier...however as things always happen with running, it'll probably end up being a total shit show instead. Or it'll rain like crazy the entire time like it's been doing all week and I won't run at all - I'll run if it's raining just a little, but it has been straight pouring/storming every morning this week. Then we're having some friends over Saturday night and I may or may not be painting my kitchen table on Sunday #norestforthewicked

How about you? Do you have anything fun planned this weekend?? I hope it's a great one for you!

Road Trippin' - my tips to make it work with kids!

Happy HUMMMMP DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! 

(Now fake like I am right next to you and I sang it to you like an opera singer...fun, right?)

I hope your week is going fantastically and your Friday comes quickly. We're so effing busy with work and with life right now that my days are all flying by. I actually wouldn't mind if they slowed down a little bit - I only have a little over 5 weeks left here and I'd like to savor them (and as many poke bowls as possible). 

And just in case you're worried, because I'm SURE you are...I've already found several poke restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that are totally in driving distance from where we'll be living. Me being the crazy person I am, I have no issues driving 3 hours for a day trip somewhere...it's just the way I was raised! More on that in a minute, but first...

Also, Jules is back to her usual shenanigans...

She is walking/running pretty well now. She still has a bit of a limp and walks kind of wobbly and her balance is way off - the doctor says it will take some time for her to get full mobility back into her joint - but as most toddlers do, she has adapted and is up and running. Literally.

And walking the dog as much as she can. You can tell by the look in Jax's face how much he loves it when Jules walks him. But like I said before, ever since figuring out Jules will feed him anything she's eating he's become much more tolerant of her. 

As mentioned above, I will drive 3 hours for a day trip...one way. That's 6 total hours in one day. But if it's for something super fun and worth it, like a trip to the beach or an awesome amusement park, why wouldn't I?

I'm pretty sure this sense of adventure and doing stuff is something that runs in our genes or something. My entire family, mother's side and father's side, are a bunch of traveling/adventuring fools. My Gran moved to the U.S. after a childhood in Nazi-occupied Norway and my dad's mom moved to Boston with her husband where she didn't know anyone and my other grandma has traveled literally all over the world. As I was growing up, we would go on trips everywhere, usually by driving. My Gran and Granther drove my brother and I from Illinois to California to see family twice in my childhood - once when I was 8 and another time when I was 12. That's a long-ass drive to take with 2 kids! And we'd regularly drive from Illinois to Florida with my mom and step-dad, grandparents, and my siblings. It's just what we do!

Needless to say, after having Justin I wasn't about to stop traveling and road tripping everywhere - it's the absolute best way to see the country and it's fun! 

(please ignore the straps on Justin's carseat - I obviously didn't know 12 years ago how to strap him in properly...pretty sure no one knew that 12 years ago).

Having children makes the whole thing a bit more complicated, however don't fret - it's totally doable! Justin was a champ at the whole road trip thing practically from birth and Jules...well Jules was a bit more difficult since she hated her carseat and would scream whenever she was in it, however we still managed to drive up to Virginia and back for a spring break vacation last year when she was 8 weeks old and that's a 12 hour drive!

Without further ado, here are my top tips to successfully road trip with kids:

This post will include some affiliate links - these are things that I have personally bought and found really useful in regards to this topic. Should you choose to buy an item based on my recommendation, I will get a very small commission from Amazon as a thank you. See my full disclosure here

Bring stuff for them to do. 

This may seem obvious, but don't expect your kids to just sit in the back quietly without anything to do. For an older kid like Justin, it's easy enough to bring his phone and a charger, headphones, and a book or two. That's all he needs. However when Justin was younger, we always brought crayons and drawing paper, some Legos in a small tin, mad libs (LOVE mad libs), and the iPad/computer so he could watch a movie or two. 

It's a bit more difficult to keep a toddler entertained, however it's doable! First and foremost, I highly recommend getting them something new to play with. We bought this for Jules a couple of months ago and she loves it, and I'm planning on getting this for her for our huge impending road trip/vacation/relocation up North. It's a good idea to give them something new (or something they haven't seen for awhile) for the trip so they are really interested and play with it for awhile. 

I also have absolutely zero issues with screen time for a road trip (or really anytime...pick your battles, people). So we always bring an iPad so Jules can watch movies/tv shows. We have Netflix, so we're able to download movies on our iPad - her favorite right now is Secret Life of Pets and she still loves Moana. While I hope to one day have one of those fancy schmancy cars with the built-in entertainment system, right now we don't have that. So how does my toddler watch movies without throwing/breaking/killing my iPad (or phone when the movies didn't download on the iPad and we have to leave right now...aka the last time we went to the beach)? I got this on Amazon a few months ago and we've used it several times. It is extremely easy to set-up and you can put pretty much anything in it. We bought it primarily for the iPad but we've used our phones as well and it keeps them in place well enough AND Jules can't reach whatever we've put in there to mess with it. I wish I had a picture of it in my car, but I suck. Sorry.

Bring plenty of snacks/drinks

We always bring fun snacks/drinks for everyone whenever we drive anywhere over an hour. I know some people are anti-eating-in-the-car, but it's insane to expect your toddler not to have a snack when you're driving anywhere long-distance. Same for drinks. Plus, how fair would it be for me to be eating cheddar cracker Combos (my road trip snack) and not let the kids eat? Bring a sippy cup and plenty of bottled water for everyone (we don't drink soda) and make sure someone is sitting in the back with your toddler while they're eating to ensure they don't choke - and don't give them anything super crunchy or hard so you eliminate most of the choking hazard. Jules only eats soft foods like cereal bars or bananas in the car to eliminate the choking risk. Yes, I do usually end up with my car being covered in food, but I honestly don't care if it helps to ensure a happy road trip. It also leads to more bathroom breaks, but that leads me to my next point which is...

Take plenty of breaks

I know this may seem insane to some of you and my husband is still getting used to it, but when I drive long-distance I never go for longer than 2.5 hours without stopping. Part of this has to do with me being terrified of getting a blood clot and you should be too, especially if you're on birth control. But it's also just a good thing to get up and walk around for a few minutes, especially when driving with kids. We love a rest area when it's daytime and if there are a lot of other people there. When I drive long-distance without my husband and without any other adults, I only stop at rest areas under those conditions for safety reasons. So if it's dark or the rest area is mostly deserted, we'll wait and stop at a big gas station or a McDonalds or even a playground if I can find one. Get out of the car, change diapers, everyone goes to the bathroom even if they say they don't need to, we usually get another snack, walk around and shake our limbs, get some fresh air, and then jump back in for another few hours before doing it again. 

I also do lots of research every time I drive/do anything and try to find things we can do along our route that can give us a break from the monotony of the drive. And if you're really lucky, Niagara Falls will be pretty close to where you're driving and you can pull off and see it. It ended up adding about 2 hours to our drive, but it was totally worth it.

Don't try to do it in one shot and be flexible

If you have a 12-16 hour drive planned (or more) and you're doing it with kids, don't try to do it all at once. That's insane. If they're older kids it's more doable, but when you have kids under 5 you're just asking for a hell of a drive. When we start our relocation/vacation road trip in July, I'll be driving the first half of the trip by myself, with Justin and Jules and our two cats. We'll be stopping at my dad's house which is north of Tennessee for a couple of days before heading up to my mom's house and that's a 12 hour drive. I'm not going to do it in one day - I probably could, but it would be awful for everyone involved. Instead, I'm going to leave Friday afternoon and drive as far as possible before stopping for the night around 9. Then we'll only have a 6-8 hour drive left the next day.

Additionally, be flexible. When we drove back from Virginia when Jules was only 2 months old, we originally planned on driving straight through. Then Jules completely lost her shit in Georgia and we decided to stop for the night in Savannah instead of trying to push it through, because that would have been miserable for everyone.

Helpful hint for you: 90% of the time when we stop on a road trip we have some sort of pet with us, so we always stay at Red Roof Inn. They allow pets and don't charge any type of pet fee, and a lot of their motels have been completely remodeled with wood floors so they're a lot nicer than I think they used to be. I try to do some research prior to leaving and find hotels along our route with good ratings that we can stay at should we need to stop and have never had to stay in a total crap hotel. 

Sit in the back

This obviously won't work if you're driving by yourself with one kid, but if you have another child or adult with you, have them sit in the back to help with your baby/toddler. I'll probably get crucified for saying this, but there have been times when we've been driving somewhere and Justin started in the front seat and jumped in the back at a stop light because Jules was losing her shit. Now we usually just plan to have him sit in the back if we're driving anywhere remotely long distance so he can keep her happy/fed/watered if she needs it. Or to nap in solidarity with her...

Make sure the temperature is comfortable

This is especially relevant when you live somewhere with hot temperatures or in the summer and have a baby/toddler. When you have a child in a rear-facing carseat, the recommendation now is to keep them rear-facing until they're 2 and even longer if possible (35-40 pounds, which for our little peanut will be until she's like 5). It's a lot safer for them and protects them better in the event you're involved in a car accident. With that said, when they're facing backwards they're not getting the benefit of the air conditioning like everyone else in the back who's facing forward. I'm pretty sure a lot of the reason Jules constantly lost her shit in the car seat was because she was hot. So now I always make sure two of the vents in my car are angled to hit the backseat and let them run a lot cooler than I personally need so she can stay comfortable. And if you have a car with a/c vents in the backseat, I'm jealous of you and you thought this out way better than I did :-)

I hope you've been able to find something helpful out of these tips on how to have a successful road trip with kids, but my #1 piece of advice is just do it. I've seen a lot of comments/posts here and there about people who are too scared to travel with their kids and in my opinion, you're doing yourself and your kids a disservice by not getting out there! The country/world is so big and the more we see, the more we can appreciate it! I know it sucks when you have to stay in a hotel/motel/tent and their sleep/nap/meal schedule gets thrown off, but I promise it's worth it! I mean, I have been dragging Justin all over this great country of ours (and he's been to Europe several times to see his dad) and he is such an independent and laid-back kid who has been a total joy to raise and I promise you we never had any type of nap/sleep/meal schedule. So don't let your fear of the trip stop you - just do it! 

Have any of you reading done any crazy road trips with your family? Either when you were a kid or with your kids now? I actually hate flying (control issues) and would drive everywhere if I could! I'm lucky my husband loves me because he's the total opposite, but he goes along for the ride...literally. HA, PUNNY!! 

And I almost forgot...I have another Le Tote coupon and this is a really good one! I am still 100% subscribing and absolutely loved the box I got last week so I still highly recommend, especially if you're between sizes! Click below and make sure you use the coupon code FIRST50 and you'll get 50% off your first month!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Just Being Totally Truthful

Hi guys! It's me!!

I'm still over here doing my usual running and working and moming and wifeing and being awesome and stuff. 

I'm also wearing a DIRTY shirt that I'm pretty sure I talked about in another blog post (but I could be making that up since I'm super tired and my brain don't wanna worky). Anywho...I spilled food on this shirt the last time I wore it and then I apparently threw it in my closet instead of washing it. And now I'm wearing a dirty, food-covered shirt. 

#imthemessiesteateralive 

#evenmessierthanmytoddler

I wish I was kidding, but I'm not...ask my husband.

I'm also still here creeping on my kids and taking amazing pictures of them like the #photographer than I am. 

And don't forget about the super fun every day crap (pun intended) that I'm doing...like taking a picture of the "clean" litter box that Justin took care of earlier this week. I'm sure the cats loved having the scooper in there while they tried to do their business. That's like me trying to pee while the plunger is in the toilet.

Awkward AF.

One thing that I'm not doing enough of right now is blogging and for that, I'm sorry. Life is really busy right now. Work is insane and my husband is working a bajillion hours so home is insane too. Throw a promotion and relocation on top with a dash of a hospital stay, and you have pure chaos and insanity...

Fun story...whenever I'd read the word "chaos" I used to read/say it phonetically. Like "cha-hohs". Until I was a senior in high school. Now if I was just saying it in a sentence I would say chaos correctly. It was just whenever I had to read it out loud for some reason. 

I'm super effing smart though, I swear. 

Back to what I was saying...

Life is a bit crazy right now and as such, I may not be able to blog as much as I have been blogging. It's going to be even more insane once we move to Rhode Island and get settled in. I do intend to continue blogging regularly, but I'm thinking I will go to a 3 times a week schedule and try to make them more meaningful/fun/informative. 

So now I turn it to you - what would you like to see more of or have me talk about? Do you like the day-to-day stuff and shenanigans or would you rather have more of the informational posts and how-to posts? I'm thinking about going to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday plan with Monday being a weekly wrap-up of workouts/food/shenanigans, Wednesday being a WIIW or informational/how-to post and Friday being either a Fri-yay or informational/how-to post. 

What do you think? Please leave a comment and give me some feedback so I can keep this thing going and give you what you want!

Also...

Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend, friends!! 

WIIW - Stuff & Things

Happy hump day!! It's all downhill to Friday from here! Holla!!

How's your week going so far? Mine is pretty good! I actually got a little bit of sleep last night - still not enough and Jules was up once around 1am, however it's better than it has been!

Today I'm going to do another round of What it is Wednesday and then tomorrow I'll post a deep Topic Thursday of some sort (I have to alliterate in my titles...can't help it...sorry, not sorry). 

First and foremost... 

Don't mind his goober face on the right (he was half asleep), can we marvel at how much he has grown and how BIG he is now?!? If you look at where his ears are on the door, he has seriously grown like 4 inches. I can't handle it...time can slow down now. They aren't even kidding when they say you need to cherish the time you have because it flies by - I have an 8th grader. It's been several years since he has asked me to pick him up (and since I've been able to physically hold him since he's way bigger than me now). Before I know it, he will be in college somewhere eating pizza all day every day and never putting pants on...which honestly isn't that much different than where we are now. 

So the entire point of this is, do try to cherish the time you have with your kids because it does fly by and they're all grown up before you know it. Even when they're being assholes, because let's be real...kids are assholes a lot of the time (you know it's true). 

Mirror update...it is CLEAN!

I deep cleaned the entire bathroom this weekend and organized some crap and it looks so great. And I can see myself in the mirror without any embarrassing stuff all over it. I mean, I didn't really care all that much, but it was kind of gross. 

Guess what my first thought was when I saw this picture my husband took of Jules and I playing at the splash pad? "Uuuugggghhhh...why is my stomach so pushy-outy, I look so..." and then I stopped myself and thought (1) look at how happy Jules and you both are!! (2) Jason actually took a picture of you so stop your bitching and post the damn picture!

Also my hamstrings look awesome, so shut up critical inner voice! 

More splash pad fun...

Such great pictures of all of them <3 

Jules is walking so much better - she still has a limp that I am calling her pimp walk...judge away. But she's able to pretty much run now and is obviously loving having her mobility back. 

She even got to walk her dog this weekend, which made all of us happy...except Jax. He's not really a fan, but he tolerates it. He's become even more tolerant since he's figured out Jules will feed him anything she's eating if he's patient and sits next to her. Smart dog!

No filter necessary for the sunrise during my run yesterday. Seriously makes getting up worth it!

This picture was taken on Sunday. It's super cute, right? Now scroll up and look at the first picture I posted from Justin's last day of school on Friday...same shirt. I'm 99% sure he wore it the entire weekend and I'm also 99% sure those are the same pants. 

Teenagers are so gross. 

This picture is still cute though.

Jason worked extra duty at MegaCon this weekend, which is a huge comic book/tv show/movie/nerd fest and he was able to get us some free tickets so we went for a little bit on Saturday. First off, I saw some famous people from across the room - so cool (it's the simple things for me). Also I was pretty impressed by the amount of dedication these people have for their costumes and it makes me want to come up with a cool cosplay outfit for myself...except I'm lazy and don't care enough to spend that much money on a costume/outfit. HOWEVER we do still have our Halloween costumes from this year and since we'll be up by Massachusetts I think we'll need to go to Salem in October dressed as the Sanderson sisters (from Hocus Pocus) and Marti is totally going to fly up and join us, RIGHT MARTI?!? :-)

Now I have some super fun food/music/tv/movie recommendations, because what would a WIIW post be without those??

Favorite Recipes Right Now

These firecracker meatballs are so effing good. I urge you to plan on making them asap - we've had them 2 or three weeks in a row now and I might make them next week too...that's how good they are. We usually eat them with some white rice and broccoli or whatever your veggie of choice is and I seriously struggle not to get seconds...or thirds. DO IT!

Then I made these chicken thighs last night and MAN they are good! It is a bit of work for a weekday meal, but we ended up having 4 of them leftover so they'll be great for dinner tonight too. Of course I served them with white rice and sauteed some zucchini and summer squash for sides. Yummmmmmmm. And super cheap too; since the recipe calls for skin and bone-in chicken thighs they were only $0.99/pound at Aldi. 

Favorite Songs Right Now

I'm still obsessed with that Ra Ra Riot song I talked about in an earlier post - pretty sure I listen to it every day. Then I'm also still into the Hamilton soundtrack and have been jamming to that as well (when I say jamming I mean bopping in my car with jazz hands and faking like I can sing). However I also have some new favorites that I'm just going to admit to and get it over with...

Malibu by Miley Cyrus

The Cure by Lady Gaga

Sweet Creature by Harry Styles

So yep...that pop explosion just happened. I do find that I go in waves with the music I'm listening to based on the weather/time of the year. Here's how it usually goes...

January - early March: crazy, ratchet rap music. I need to get crunk after listening to Christmas music for a month and a half or so

March - May: I always go through a Dave Matthews phase when the weather starts warming up and lots and lots of alt rock

May - August: Summer always calls for lots of pop music, classic rock, and random musicals for road trips

September - October: I usually go back to alt rock/classic rock with some seriously hard rock/metal throw in for whatever race I'm training for. I love running to Slipknot. 

November - December: All Christmas music, all the time. Not even kidding - ask my husband. He loves it. When I say I'm basic, I mean I'm basic. 

Moving onto my favorite show right now...

I realize I'm super late to the game on this, but I've been binge-watching Girls for the past month or so and I really like it. However it makes me cringe constantly. I'm pretty sure that's the entire point of the show, but I literally cringe several times each episode. 

Finally, what I'm still all about right now...

No, not my disgusting and messy car...I'm talking about the empty carseat with my purse in the back. I'm still 100% putting my purse in the back whenever I put Jules in the car so I always have to walk around and grab it. In doing so, I ensure that I will never leave her in her carseat on accident. This is super simple, but I urge you to adopt something similar if you have a kid(s) in carseats so we can prevent any further tragedies with the hot weather this summer. 

So now I want to know some stuff about you! Do you go through random phases with your music? One music I never go through phases with is country - I can't stand it. I mean, I liked the Dixie Chicks in high school like every other chick who graduated in 2001, but everything else country is so not my jam. Also have you watched Girls and does it make you cringe as much as me? Hannah is just sooooooooo cringe-y and entitled and it drives me insane. 

I hope your hump day is humptastic!!

What it is Wednesday!

Howdy ho, friends! How are you doing?

I am doing okay-ish...it seems that all of my emotions and stress from the past week are starting to catch up with me and manifest in some not so fun ways. For example, all of my muscles in my legs are cramping up all day/night long, I have a horrible stiff neck, and I am completely unable to fall asleep. Like I lay down at 9:30 and then my heart starts pounding and flopping around and I will start to fall asleep but jerk myself awake a million times until it's 1:30 and I know there's no way I'm getting up at 5 to work out. So that kind of sucks a lot! However I'm sure it will work itself out soon and I'll be back to normal in no time.

On the plus side, Jules took a couple of steps to get to me when I came home from work last night. Can I get a hallelujah?!?

Today I'm going to bring you another edition of WIIW, which is when I talk about some of the things that I'm totally loving or want to rant about. 

I actually don't have any new music to talk about this week...I KNOW!! I honestly have not been listening to much music since we've been in the hospital and then rushing around to appointments and whatnot. However one thing I have been doing, since I felt I needed some laughter in my life, is re-listening to all of the Straight Talk with Ross podcasts. I have been all caught up on the new episodes and decided to start back from the beginning, which has been a great decision since laughter is the best medicine and this shizz is FUNNY! 

I highly recommend you check it out if you like to laugh and love ridiculous people and shenanigans - and since you're reading this, I'm assuming you do. The podcast can be found online here and you can also listen through any podcast app that you might have on your phone. 

Let me know what you think if you check it out!

Another new absolute favorite thing for me right now?

I guess this is a two-fer because that expression on Julianna's face kills me "MOM, I'm EATING!! Get that camera outta my FACE

Let me tell you a little bit about Caramel M&M's. They're delicious, I love them, and you should get them. I don't like regular M&M's at all; like not even a little. But these caramel M&M's are so effing good - the caramel is the perfect consistency and everything just works together to make it one of my favorite candies of all time. Get them and thank me later. You're welcome. 

I love, love, LOVE baby raccoons. This little fella/lady was so freaking cute. Probably had rabies, but still SO cute. 

Another thing I'm loving so much right now?

Meme's about man rompers...

Just in case you're wondering how I feel about man rompers, I think these express it perfectly. 

Moving on.

What do you do when you've been super sick and cooped up in a hospital for several days and then stuck in the house for several more days and you finally get out?

Go to Target and browse all the stuff and things and try on hats. Obviously. She's definitely my daughter!

This picture has so many of my favorite things in it. My husband being all handsome and silly, Jules reenacting Lady and the Tramp with chips and her daddy, and a yummy Mexican restaurant with $3 happy hour margaritas and the best queso fundido of all time. 

If you check out the third picture, that's Julianna's new silly face. She goes "oooooooh" or "wowwwww" and makes that face and then giggles like a loon all the time right now and I love it. 

I'm so glad she's feeling better and acting like my silly little Jules again.

Speaking of silly little Jules...

When you're feeling lazy and don't want to lean forward to play on the iPad, why wouldn't you use your foot? So smart.

We've also started playing peekaboo/"where's Julianna" on the regs again since getting home from the hospital. She's such a good hider...

You may or may not know this, but I am about to have an 8th grader on my hands...

Those pictures are from his first day of school - he's already grown out of two shoe sizes (those were 11's and he's in 13's now) and is in a size large for shirts and 32x34 for pants. Like a real man.

I'll post a comparison picture after Friday, but holy crap.

I look way too young to have an 8th grader, right? 

Here's some link love for you...

This is so effing funny and makes me love Melissa McCarthy just a little bit more. 

If my house is a disaster when you come over, it's because I love you.

Finally, I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention how freaking amazing and awesome my mom the cat/dog/toddler whisperer really is. She found a flight and flew down last Wednesday and has been such a huge help throughout this entire ordeal. I never would have asked her to help, but didn't need to since she's an amazing mom and knew we needed her. She has helped with doctor's appointments, getting Justin to/up for school, cooking, cleaning, drinking wine, helping me cope, etc. And I seriously don't know what we would have done without her - I would have made it work, but I'd be way more unhinged than I already am and that's scary. 

So thank you, mommy for being the best mom ever. Also, thank you Daddy Todd for telling mom to go when you knew she and I both needed it. Oh and thanks to my mom's boss for also being awesome and telling her to come down here and being so understanding (Hi Chris!). 

That about wraps things up for this week's edition of WIIW! I hope you found something funny/useful/amusing and noticed that my sense of humor and amazing personality is starting to shine through my writing again. Just think how amazing it would be had I actually slept more than a few hours the past couple of nights (or maybe it's better because I'm delirious?). 

What are your favorites/rants/whatevers that you want to tell me about? I'd love to hear what it is for you on this lovely hump day! Take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow! 

*mic drop*

Take-Out Thursday

Happy Friday Eve! We're almost there! 

I'm starting to feel like crap, which makes me think I've probably picked up whatever Jules had/has, which is not a good thing. Because I literally do not have the time to be sick. 

A quick Jules update for you - she is doing mostly better. She's still clingy and cranky once I get her from daycare (she went back on Wednesday). She's also developed this fun new cry that sounds how I'd imagine a pterodactyl with a smoking problem would sound. It's absolutely ridiculous and drives me nuts; I'm guessing she got a reaction she wanted while doing it when she was sick so now it's her new cry. Yayyyyyyy...

Today I'm going to do a Take-out Thursday, since it's been awhile since I've done one. These are basically the pictures I deemed unworthy for a regular blog post that I've decided to share anyway, for one reason or another. So here we goooooooooooo!!

Sick, miserable Jules picture from Monday afternoon. I was like, I can't put that on my blog...that makes me a shitty mom. But now I'm like, whatever...it doesn't make me a shitty mom and it makes me more relatable because I'm sure most of us do it.

Did you know that apparently relatable isn't a word? I mean, I know it is, but I'm getting a spelling error and I know I spelled it right because I googled it. Weird. 

Anywho, moving on...

Other than the fact that I have melasma, my skin is pretty good...I rarely break out and if I do, they're usually itty bitty little zits. Not this week! I had this giant honker on my forehead yesterday and of course I had to share it with you guys! You're welcome!

Some outtakes from our run on Saturday. We're so photogenic and don't you forget it!

Jason was so excited about the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert a couple of weeks ago. Can you tell?? (He might kill me for putting this picture up, but that's the whole point of this post - crappy, outtake pictures!)

Jules really, really, really, really, REALLY loves breadsticks. Don't worry, I made her finish it before we took off. She's not allowed to eat back there by herself yet since I'm a psychopath and am terrified she'll choke. 

I made caprese salad on Sunday, which is one of my favorite summer dishes. I'm lazy and like to keep things simple, so I just buy the mozzarella pearls that can be found in any deli, cut up some tomatoes, some basil, salt, and olive oil. 

Get in muh bellay!!!

Not our good sides. 

Blog10.JPG

That's Julianna's "sup, brah" face. 

How about some fun outtakes from our beach trip?

First off, Justin is an amazing photographer...

About half the time I ask him to take a picture he zooms in and tries to make it ridiculous. And it's usually awful. Like up my nose or something.  #eyeroll

Being photogenic and working our angles runs in the family. 

I love how much Justin loves Jules (and she obviously adores him). I've talked about this a few times already and went into depth about my gap kids and their bond here, but it makes my heart so happy <3 He's been a huge help this week since Jules has been so clingy and won't let me put her down; they've watched all of the Toy Story movies together and he's helped her with snacks and tried to calm her down every time she'd lose her shit while I was trying to make dinner. I really loved when I took Jules upstairs to go to bed and Justin was still watching Toy Story when I came back down - he's a good teenager. 

I wanted to prove I have my priorities straight...

That's the pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom that really needs to be folded and I was going to do it last night...but I decided to paint my toenails instead. To be fair, my toes were looking ratchet AF - it had been a solid month since I've painted them and instead I was just putting an extra coat on anytime one chipped. So yeah. Not cute. But now they're super cute! 

#priorities

Finally I wanted to share the sunrise from my morning run with you, because it was so beautiful.

No filter needed. 

Seriously, if you really want to get into a good workout routine/schedule start forcing yourself to do it in the morning. Yes, it sucks for the first few weeks and when Jules doesn't sleep well, but I am always so happy to see the sunrise after an awesome workout. Give it a shot!

That's all I have for today and I hope you enjoyed my random picture outtakes and musings. Are you a naturally photogenic person or are you like me, and you always look like a troll if you're caught in a picture unexpected. Seriously...I am only photogenic if I'm prepared. Otherwise, WATCH OUT...it'll be funny, but your picture will be ruined. 

Have a great Thursday!

To My Friends <3

This is an ode to my friends. 

I hope you know who you are. 

I have never been the kind of person who had a million friends. There are some people I know who seem to have 25 best friends and they had a hard time whittling their list down to 10 bridesmaids when they got married. Instead of having a million friends I've always had a pretty close-knit group of girlfriends who I completely trusted and love as a BFF. The older I get, the more I find that this is what works best for me and for my friends because I hardly have enough time for the friends I do have, let alone having a bajillion of them.

If anything, the older I get, the closer and smaller my group of friends becomes. 

I've been friends with some of you for decades...

Even when we've been separated by states/countries/oceans we always come back to exactly where we always were **++ (that's secret code language). I love how we can go months without talking and then pick up the phone or have a lunch/crazy night somewhere and pick up right where we left off. 

My friends have been there for me through all of my highs and lows and trust me when I say that there have been plenty of both. We've cried and laughed and had epic fights where we swore we would never be friends again, but here we are...

There are some friends who leave an awesome impression in your heart and you know they'd do anything for you and you'd do anything for them.

Keep those friends. 

Don't worry about the rest. 

There have been friends I've lost along the way that I regret losing - we've grown apart or maybe we didn't recover from that epic fight. There have even been friends that I have been a super shitty friend to and for that I have major regrets. If you're reading this and that's you, I'm sorry.

I sometimes wish I could be a better friend to the friends I have now, since you've been such a great friend to me. You've held my hand while skipping around high school, we've gotten in epic trouble together, we've cried over dumb boys together, we've cried over not-dumb and awful things together, we've traveled and moved across the country, and here we are...still friends. 

Just as much as you've been there for me, I hope you know that I will seriously always be there if you ever need me. Really, I mean it. 

Thank you <3

  • For being ridiculous with me - whether we're trying to ride a moped or making dumb faces or singing songs at the top of our lungs in downtown Orlando or chasing a bear out of a field or drinking wine while watching The Walking Dead on a Sunday - those are just a small portion of my favorite memories with you and I can't wait to make some more as time and funds allow (cause you know, I'm a broke-ass working mom)
  • Thank you for loving my children and never making me feel like they're a pain in the ass(even when I know they can be). Some of you have kids and some of you don't, but you're all the same in this regard. We may not be exactly the same in our parenting styles or views on kids, but I've never felt like that was an issue from you and I hope you know it's never an issue from me. Also thank you for not getting mad at me if I drop an f-bomb around your kids - I don't mean to have such a shitty mouth and I'm not perfect so sometimes they slip out. 
  • Thank you so much for any time you have babysat or offered to babysit. Being a single mom for as long as I was, I had to rely on people to babysit so I could go out sometimes and be the mother effing P.I.M.P. I was back then. And now that I'm married, I still need to date my husband whenever possible. I am so thankful to have you in my life and know that I can leave my kids with you and trust they'll be well taken care of. I promise I will do the same for you if you ever need it so don't hesitate to ask!  
  • Thank you for doing nice things for me without expecting anything back. I do nice things for people simply because I like to do nice things for people - never because I expect them to get me back or to keep a running tally. My friends are the same kind of people - sometimes they might be giving me 80% and I'm only giving 20%, but the role will be reversed eventually and I'll give them 80% whenever they need it. That's simply how these things work and when it happens organically it's a wonderful thing
  • Thank you for never making me feel bad if I forgot about you - I promise it was not intentional and not because you don't matter. It's just simply because my brain can only hold so much before I lose stuff and unfortunately I do sometimes forget plans/dates/things. These darn kids and husband of mine take precedence 99.9% of the time and I'm a worrier so I'm always worrying/thinking about them/trying to figure out ways to make sure life keeps going well. I promise I will do everything I can to make it up to you if I do ever forget anything involving you and appreciate knowing that while you might be annoyed with me now, you'll forgive me  
  • Thank you for supporting me in my choices and never making me feel bad about them, even when you know I'm wrong. You know that this has been my life to live, just as much as I know this is your life to live. As such, having you to support me and my choices without judgement means the world to me. I am so lucky to have you there to pick me up when my choices have been wrong or to celebrate with me when they've been right 

I feel that I am so blessed to have the friends that I currently have and hope that all of you reading have the same support I do.

And if not, go get you some better friends!

Husbands/boyfriends/significant others are great, but there is definitely something to be said about an old fashioned girl's night out/Frozen sing-a-long/ridiculous shenanigans with my girlfriends. 

I encourage you to go hug a friend now. Or if you're not a hugging type, send a text message. And if you really don't feel like you have any friends, subscribe and talk to me and I'll be your friend :-)

Disclaimer - there is a chance I may have forgotten some of my friends in the pictures. Again, this was not intentional and I'm sorry if you are like, WTF, JAMIE?!? Jules and her illness have sucked the life out of me over the past few days and I'm completely brain dead. Please forgive me :-)

WIIW (What it is Wednesday) and Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!! I very obnoxiously snapchatted about it this morning and if you're not following me already, you probably should because I'm hilarious (and modest too). I tend to be semi-to-totally inappropriate, with some ridiculous videos of my kids thrown-in and sometimes a ghost makes an appearance (best. snap story. ever.)

I enjoy these WIIW posts because I really like giving my opinion to everyone and this is a good way for me to round up my opinions on a weekly basis and make it seem less bossy than when I tell people my opinion otherwise. What do you guys think of them? 

You guys, remember when I showed you the Cake Batter/Red Velvet ice cream thing from Arctic Zero last week? This is a Salted Caramel Arctic Zero ice cream thing and it's even better. Yesterday was my fast day, but I needed something sweet and this did not disappoint. Get them if you find them! Shoot, I might stock up just so I never have to worry about them running out!

I have been trying to get my son to workout on a semi-regular basis, because he is a pretty typical, lazy teenager. If he had his way he would sit in his bedroom and play video games the entire weekend, only getting up to make and eat an entire pot of macaroni and cheese. We've done a few 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts from Beachbody and they're perfect for him since they're not super difficult and only 22 minutes. He actually did a workout by himself on Monday AND sent me a sweaty selfie. I am so proud of him! Now if he'll just keep it up!

You might be wondering why I'm trying to get my 13 year old to exercise - the reason why is because the earlier it becomes a habit, the more likely it will stay that way for life. And all I really want for my kids in life is for them to be healthy and happy. Working out helps with the health AND the happiness, so it's a win-win!

I am seriously loving the swimsuit I wore this weekend. It is SO HARD to find a flattering swimsuit that is comfortable and this one is both! And it makes my tiny little boobs look pretty good, so that's awesome too! And it only cost $30 at TJ Maxx, so YASSSSSSSS!!!

Link Love!

I am loving these two articles from Scary Mommy this week. They both apply pretty directly to my life right now, and I had to share them with you guys. 

As A Mom, I Value Quality Way More Than Quantity In My Friendships

I am so on board with the message of this blog. The last thing I need in my life right now is a judgmental, high-maintenance friend and I have made some changes in my friendships over the past 6 months or so that involved distancing myself from people who were like that. I honestly just don't have the time or energy for half-friends right now or people who make me feel bad about myself! I have a handful of really good friends who are both long-distance and local, and even though we don't hang out all the time, we always pick up right where we left off whenever we do hang-out or talk. And we usually do so in a house that I didn't even worry about tidying up because I know they won't judge me. These are the friends that will drink crappy, cheap wine with me and eat my partially stale chips from a half-eaten bag without judging me or making me feel like I need to do more for them. Because our friendship and support for each other is enough, and that's how friends should be. 

So to my friends who are reading this - you know who you are - love you!!

Stop Being A Judgmental A**hole When Someone Tells You Their Child Isn’t Sleeping

Everything about this. When you are pregnant and have young children, it suddenly becomes open season for everyone you know (and some you don't) to give you advice.

"I sure hope you plan to breastfeed since breast is best" (but God forbid you do it in public because that might make people uncomfortable)

"Don't hold your baby like that, she can't breathe correctly" (while holding Jules in football carry because it helped with her gassy stomach)

"You better stop giving her that pacifier now; she's so pretty without it" *insert middle finger here*

Sleep is a HUGE topic point for anyone with baby/toddler and is something that everyone wants to give you advice regarding. And for whatever reason, everyone seems to be baby sleep experts and their little snowflake is a MUCH better sleeper than your child. I get it; Jules doesn't sleep well and never has. Justin didn't either. But then the second Justin hit 2 or so he started sleeping 12 hours straight from when I put him to bed. Meaning if I wanted to sleep a little later, I would keep Justin up until 10 and he'd sleep until 10. And I'm hoping Jules will do that same thing. So instead of telling me how tired I look and that your unicorn snowflake baby slept through the night a week from the hospital and here's what I'm doing wrong, please just commiserate with me and be empathetic. 

I think everyone should try to have more empathy in general and in doing so, the world will be a better place. 

World peace, Jamie-style.

My current favorite songs...

In no particular order...

Just for listening:

  • Every Time I'm Ready to Hug - Ra Ra Riot
  • Silvia - Miike Snow
  • Open Your Eyes - STRFKR
  • Hot Thoughts - Spoon
  • HUMBLE - Kendrick Lamar
  • Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel

For running (all of these songs have really high BPM which help me keep my cadence over 180 - aka great for running)

  • Drop The Plot - Gregory Peopper and His Problems
  • Hard Times - Paramore
  • Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
  • When Your Heart Stops Beating - +44
  • Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
  • The Bomb - Pigeon John

Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

Man, I'm doing a lot of quitting around here! First the scale, now ab workouts, next I'll be quitting wine or something crazy like that (or not...most definitely not...if I do quit wine it will only be because I'm taking up margaritas #summer). 

First and foremost, I am not a fitness professional so if you are really worried about something being wrong with you or are thinking about starting a new program please see your doctor first. This is just something new that I'm trying and sharing with you so you can be entertained by my success or failure. I'm pretty sure I was a guinea pig in a past life because I love testing out new things!

I know I've mentioned at least once before in the blog that I'm working on strengthening my transverse abdominus. You may or may not be wondering why, but regardless I'm going to tell you why because this is my blog and I control ALL OF IT!!! 

Even though I have been really slimming down all over recently, I still have a very noticeable mommy bulge/tummy/gut. And it's the entire thing - top, bottom, middle. Now some of this I can totally blame on my eating - I don't eat perfectly (and don't want to), but I do tend to eat really healthy overall and *should* probably be seeing a bit better results considering how hard I workout. 

I've known about diastasis recti for a long time and even self-diagnosed myself with it postpartum, however I have refused to accept that I have it and it's affecting me in any way, shape or form because....I'm stubborn? Actually, I know why and that's because they tell you to avoid all impact exercises while working on recovering from diastasis recti, which means no running, jumping, kickboxing, etc - basically everything I love to do. And I can't stop doing that stuff or I might lose my mind, so I ignored it. But it's not getting better, and my core is so weak. The past few weeks I've been doing some additional research on it and have finally accepted it's time for me to do something about it before it gets worse or I give up and become a sloth. 

First, I did another test to confirm how bad my DR is and this one is a great one if you want to try it yourself:

I have about a 1.5-2 finger gap - it's not that bad, but still there and it is affecting my overall core/abs so it's something I should do something to fix. 

What's the #1 thing you need to do if you do have a gap? Stop doing traditional ab exercises. Crunches, planks, the bicycle, etc. - basically anything that is in a traditional ab workout including pilates can actually make this worse! So no more V-Ups for me no matter how cool I feel when I do them!

Like I said, I ignored this for going on 15 months now, however I have noticed that when I'm laying on my back and doing a traditional crunch or sit-up, I have a small cone-shaped mound that pops up on my stomach above my belly button...this is because I have a gap and the muscles are bulging through the gap - appetizing right? This is one of the signs you have it so if you are doing crunches and see a cone-shaped mound or pyramid pop up on your stomach, you probably have DR! If you think you might have DR I encourage you to follow along with the video above to confirm how bad it is and then for the love of Pete, stop doing ab workouts! 

There are several systems out there that you can purchase that help to rehab your core - one is called MuTu - and they all have rave reviews from women so they obviously work. But I'm a cheapskate and stubborn, so instead I turned to the internet and found this workout here. This is actually based off of MuTu and it's recommended to do it every day. So that's what I'm going to do and did do this morning. It took me about 12 minutes since I'm not familiar with the exercises, however I could seriously feel it deep in my core which is exactly where you're supposed to feel it. 

As I said, I plan on doing this every day and I'll keep you guys updated on how that's going success or not, since I love oversharing on the internet!

Have any of you had issues with diastasis recti? Have you tried any of the rehab programs like MuTu that are supposed to help and did it help? Will I ever lose my mom belly without giving up wine and carbs (cause that ain't gonna happen, yo!)?

Do you guys have any fun things you're loving right now that you want to share? Music, food, wine, etc - I love to hear about it all so please share!