Time Flies When You’re Up Every 2 Hours

Or “How the last 5 weeks got away from me.”

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in 5 weeks. Here I thought that I would be blogging at least once a week during maternity leave since I’d be home and have so much time on the computer.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Boy was I wrong!

Free time? What’s that? I definitely have less of it now than I did before. It’s so much harder to schedule and plan for things when you have an infant who eats every 2 hours. Just when you think you’ve got a few minutes to get something done, she wants a bottle or to be held or have her diaper changed.

She’s, like, so demanding…

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And of course the moments when Cora is sleeping quietly and I start to think “Here’s my chance!”, her big sister wants attention. Gees kid, make your old meals would ya!

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Seriously though, it has been challenging at times but we’re getting it figured out. Sure, there are 2 of us here but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. We each have our own agenda of goals to accomplish. Sometimes they align and sometimes they don’t.

As of this week I’m back to work so we’re adjusting to a whole new routine. CJ is figuring out the intricacies of being a Stay At Home Dad to 2 little ones while I get used to sitting at a computer all day and having to think about things besides spit up and play dates.

It’s all good though and establishing this new routine will help us in the long run. Fortunately Isabella is pretty adaptable and old enough to help out.

Both girls are doing great. Cora had her 2 month check up a couple weeks ago and is up to 10 lbs. 8 oz. and 23” long. Other than a bad case of cradle cap and dry skin, doc says she’s doing great. She’s very alert now and likes to “talk” a lot.

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It’s so much fun to sit with her and just “chat”. Those moments are priceless.

And when she smiles at me…fuhgeddaboudit!

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In terms of my recovery back to normalcy, it seems to be taking longer than I had hoped. Sure, I’m all healed up “down there” but there are other things. My tailbone got bruised during labor and delivery and it’s still sore. Sitting all day at work has aggravated it all the more so I’m using one of Cora’s tummy time Boppy’s to sit on and provide relief. I also have to ice it a couple times a day. I tell ya, I have sat on more ice bags in the last 3 months than anyone should ever have to…

My weight is still an issue too. I haven’t lost a single pound or inch in these last 5 weeks since I posted. I’ve been working out 6x a week and watching my calories but it’s not working.

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My “Before” pic – it’s a silly one but you can see my belly pretty good. Ugh. (FYI this was taken at Morrill Hall in Lincoln, NE)

So, last week I joined Weight Watchers. I had hesitated for a while because I was worried about the cost commitment but enough is enough. I know several who have done it and had success, and group support tends to work well for me anyway so I figure, why not. It’s still too early to have results but I’m hopeful this program will be what I need to drop these pesky 20 pounds.

Also, we are officially done having kids. CJ had a vasectomy last week. We’re both getting too old to go through this all over again. We’ve been so blessed to have two beautiful, HEALTHY, girls and I’m very content with that. So instead of going on birth control for years to come or not using anything and risking a pregnancy, we went this route. CJ is feeling pretty good, with occasional soreness.

That’s about it from the Team Trader camp!

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Update in Pictures

It’s been a couple of crazy busy weeks.

We celebrated CJ’s birthday.

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Had a family baby shower!

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Saw The Lion King with Isabella, my mom, sister and nephew!

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Isabella looks really evil there…I think it was her “Mom leave me alone” look.

I had my 36 and 37 week doctor appointments (not on the same day obviously). All is well but still no progress on moving the baby out!

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Quite a difference from when I wore this same shirt at 11 weeks!

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We took a tour of the hospital where the baby will be born.

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I may or may not have created a panic when I checked in on Foursquare from the hospital, without explaining why we were there. Oops. Guess that’s probably not a cool thing to do to your friends when you’re this far along!

My work friends threw us a surprise baby shower and we got this amazing quilt that my friend’s mom made!

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Here it is all unfurled.

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And in the nursery…Isn’t it gorgeous!

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Also, I was driving to work and realized that I have forgotten how to swaddle a baby. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU SWADDLE A BABY???

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Google for how-to videos on “swaddling”.

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It’s a Mystery

Have you ever played the game Clue? We played it all the time as a family growing up and I loved it!

Colonel Mustard, in the Ballroom with the lead pipe!

I’ve always had a fascination with mysteries – books, movies, TV shows, games, you name it. As a kid I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. As an adult I’ve loved anything by John Grisham, Alex Kava, James Patterson, and the like. CJ and I spend many nights watching Bones, Castle and Rizzoli and Isles too.

At one point I even wanted to be a detective when I grew up. Not sure when or why that changed. Heck, part of me STILL to be one.

So it should come as no surprise that when an opportunity to partake in the Fremont Dinner Train Murder Mystery  with a group of co-workers came up, I was all over it.

In a nutshell, the Murder Mystery dinner train is a dining experience that gets the audience involved in solving a murder that took place on the train. Actors in full costume walk amongst you and provide clues while you enjoy a 5 course meal.

We boarded the train at 7:15pm on Saturday night.

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We ate crudités and crackers while waiting for all to board and the train to start up. Once we got going, a funny little old man gave us a history of the train, along with rules (no smoking) and details about the evening’s agenda.

As the train moved along, we were treated to beautiful scenery.

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I was glad we were able to do an evening in the summer, when it’s light out later in the day, so that we could see the landscape outside our windows. Had it been in the winter we would have missed it all.

The actors were walking around, in character, engaging in conversation with the tables. One of the gals started referring to CJ as “Dairy Queen”* because she said his hair looked like the swoosh on top of the cones.

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What do you think?

Then this actress asked the 2 ladies sitting at the table with us if they would like to be part of the show! They would be playing the part of sisters who were models. One of the ‘sisters’ jumped right in (*cough* Kelly *cough*) while the other grudgingly agreed.

Don’t they look smashing?

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Pretty soon the first course came out, which was a beef and barley soup.

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I am a picky eater and was immediately suspicious of the soup – I mean beef and BARLEY?!? Really??? Plus, it looks kinda gross….but I gave it a go – and surprisingly liked it! I inhaled it as a matter of fact!

As we were eating, the actors got up and started the show. They had each table of 4 appoint a secretary (me, naturally) who would take notes and write down clues. Then they introduced the characters and started in on the story (which I won’t give the details of so as not to spoil it for anyone). Our job was to figure out who the killer was, how they did it and their motive.

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We chomped on some salad (very good but I forgot to get a picture of it) while putting our heads together to decipher all the clues we got.

We continued our detective work over the main course.

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I had the Pasta Primavera, which came with peas and fruit. CJ and the rest of our table ordered the Prime Rib. My pasta was decent and the peas and fruit were good. CJ said the Prime Rib was good too, though not anything to write home about.

At one point it was starting to get overwhelming with all the information from the actors. We had a lot of clues but none of them seemed to help narrow down the list of suspects.

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Finally they served dessert, which was carrot cake.

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As we pulled back in to the station, we were asked to write down our guess for the murderer, their means and motive and turn it in. Our table was split 50/50 as to who we thought it was. One of the actors came over and gave us a final clue, which was the last piece of the puzzle we needed. We turned in our answers and crossed our fingers.

They then announced that of all the tables (maybe 30 in total), only 5 got it right. And guess who was one of the 5?

That’s right – us!

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And we got certificates to prove it!

All in all it was a really fun experience. It’s kind of pricey ($86 per person) but worth it for a date night splurge. We got dinner and a unique entertainment experience all in one! I would definitely recommend trying it at least once. They also do other kinds of shows besides mysteries, so those would be neat to check out too.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel like having some ice cream.

 

*Update: in no way am I trying to endorse or malign a certain ice cream restaurant chain’s image.

 

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I Am A Warrior!

CJ and I did the Warrior Dash on Saturday.

I am not kidding when I say that I had the Lita Ford song “The Warrior” stuck in my head the whole time.

I had signed us up for this race months ago – like back in March. A few couples that we know were doing it so I thought, hey, why not? CJ and I are active and in pretty good shape. We can totally do that too.

Then as the months approached I started to have worries and doubts.

For one, I am not a runner. I work out a lot but for some reason do not have a body built for running. I’ve tried and tried over the years and it’s just not my thing. I ran a 5k race a couple years ago and hated every minute of it.

Two, I am not a water person. I can’t swim and get terrified if I’m in any body of water that goes up past my waist. In looking at the course map, 2 of the obstacles involved water.

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But I was bound and determined to do the dash and complete all the obstacles. We weren’t focused on the race aspect or doing it superfast. We just wanted to finish.

And finish we did!

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It turned out to be super fun, albeit tiring. Ironically enough, the obstacles were the easiest part of the whole thing.

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What really got me was the walk/run in between because it was so hilly and the hills were steep. As luck would have it, I came down with a sinus infection 2 days before the race. I tried my hardest to rest and get rid of it before Saturday but no luck. So the fact that I couldn’t breathe real well hampered me a bit. I could definitely feel it in my head and lungs as I was climbing up the hills.

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We both finished in about an hour.

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I think I could have done it faster if I hadn’t been sick. That’s what I tell myself anyway. Next time I’ll shoot for 45 minutes.

Here’s my advice for anyone interested in doing Warrior Dash or something similar in the future:

1. Try to get as early a time as possible when you register. We were in the 2nd heat of the day (8:30 am) which was good because a) it was the coolest part of the day and b) the course wasn’t too badly torn up. Also, we were able to get good parking.

2. Hydrate as much as possible the day before. Again, because it was a hot and humid day, you sweat a lot. It doesn’t do you any good to chug water right before either because then you get water logged. Do your drinking the day before and you should be good.

3. Train for endurance. I made the mistake of concentrating most of my training on building upper body strength. I should have put more time in to running/walking up hills and getting my legs ready for that. The upper body training did help though as I didn’t have any problems there and my arms weren’t sore at all afterwards. Next time I’ll make sure to put more time in to training my legs too.

4. If you do it in a group, make sure at least one other person is willing to go the same pace as you or else you’ll do the whole thing alone, which isn’t a bad thing it’s just good to have clear expectations going in. CJ and I agreed ahead of time to stay together which made it all the more fun.

5. Rinse off immediately after you finish, before the mud has a chance to dry. We waited a bit too long and it was hard to get all the mud off later.

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Most of all – have fun!!

That about covers it! The most important thing for me was the experience and the fact that I got to share it with my husband. CJ probably could have gone on ahead of me and finished faster since I was hampered by the sinus infection but he didn’t. We stayed together and made it an experience we’ll never forget!

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Isabella even got in on the action!

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She calls it her moose hat. CJ says they remind him of the Flintstone’s “Order of the Water Buffalo” hat.

Go Warriors!

Surprise!

My dear  old husband had a birthday last week. He turned 50. Normally he wouldn’t be keen on me sharing his age with the world but the half century mark is one that he’s proud of.

I couldn’t let this birthday go by without doing something special. I’ve know since the summer that I wanted to plan a surprise party for him but it took me a while to figure out just how I would do it. It all came together though and the big night fell last Saturday, the 10th (his actual birthday is the 15th).

The “rouse” was that we were going out to dinner with my family, which we do on a regular basis anyway so it would be nothing suspicious. The guests would arrive around 5:30 and we would get there at 6 for the surprise! Believe it or not, we were able to keep it a surprise too. There were a couple close calls in the weeks leading up to the big day but all were covered up so that he didn’t suspect a thing.

The day of the party was the most stressful for me and CJ did not help matters. I had created a video slideshow of old and embarrassing pictures that would run during the party. It took me until the night before to get it finished so I needed a way to get it to the restaurant on Saturday. We had plans to meet up with some friends Saturday morning for brunch so I suggested that CJ just go alone while I stay home with Isabella (and therefore use that time to drop off the DVD). He said no and insisted we all go. I tried again to convince him he should just go and enjoy some time away. He kept insisting so I finally relented.

I texted my brother-in-law and he said he would come to the house, pick up the DVD and drop it off for me. I told him I’d leave it between the glass front door and the storm door.

About an hour later, while we were at brunch, he texted and said the front door was locked. I had forgotten to unlatch it for him. Damn.

Plan B. When we got home and after I put Isabella down for a nap, I casually mentioned having to run to Target for milk and bread. He said he’d do it because he needed to pick up a prescription anyway. NO! I’LL GO! I insisted and he relented. *sigh*

Finally it was time to head to the party. We got there and he saw my family at a table (which was the plan) and headed toward them, into the room reserved for us. Suddenly he saw 40 or so people waiting for him and he was indeed surprised!

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Isabella was too!

I was so happy to see so many people able to come out and help us celebrate. I know he was tickled too!

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His sister and brother-in-law even made it all the way from Michigan! A delightful second surprise!

After some socializing and laughs over the slideshow, it was time to sing and have cake!

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I hope someone was ready with the fire extinguisher…

Isabella had fun running around with some other kids but then started getting tired and cranky.

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So my parents took her home so that we could stay and party! The last guest left around 10:30 p.m. and then we headed over to Two Fine Irishmen for some live music and dancing.

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All in all it was a super fun night that I know CJ will remember.

I’m just glad it’s all over. All the sneaking around and withholding of information was starting to get to me!

We spent the next day with CJ’s sister and BIL, showing them around town.

We went to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and walked all the way across and back (even though it was a cool rainy day).

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Then we went to The Upstream Brewery to dry off and warm up with a few beers.

And monster poopy diapers. Isabella had 2 big ones during our visit and wouldn’t you know, we only had 1 diaper. CJ had to run down the street to the gas station and get another package. I was the good wife and changed both diapers, being judicious with the wipes as we were low on those too.

It all worked out and we had a really nice day.

Here is the video slideshow from the party. Enjoy and thanks to all who came out to help us celebrate!

Tee hee…

**Most of the party shots courtesy of H&J Creative Studios!

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Happy Birthday CJ!

Another Day Older