Time Management

time

My time management sucks! It’s bad and it has to change and fast. I have always been late for stuff. Yes, I am one of those people. Roll your eyes if you must but at least I am being honest. It is not a great quality but one I have struggled with much of my adult life. Actually even before that. In high school I was late more often than not. The problem is that now it isn’t just about me, I have two tiny humans that I have to get ready to be places and I also have a husband. Which by the way is just another person to keep track of and get out the door. We live literally a five-minute walk from Audrey’s school and most of the time I am one of the last parents to arrive. Not ideal, but in my defense I think the closer you live the more time you think you have until you realize you don’t.

My intentions are always good!

I will get up early on a Saturday, make coffee and have a little time to myself before it is time to shower and get everyone else up and ready and out the door by 915 to get to Gymboree for 930. Except I inevitably take a little too much time drinking my coffee then I don’t have time to shower, Chris has slept in and we are scrambling trying to get all of us ready and out the door. Without fail we are usually 10-15 mins late.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME

My intentions are always good!

I feel like I am always doing something all day long. Feeding the kids, laundry, playing with the kids, tidying up after the kids etc. But at the end of every day I look back and realize how much I needed to and could have accomplished had I just set some goals for the day and did it. Like I said I feel like I am always busy I just feel like my time could be used better and maybe just a little more organized and intentional. Make sense?

My intentions are always good!

How do you manage your time? How do you manage to get all the things you need to get done but to also include the things you want to get done for yourself or otherwise? What tips do you all have to help me be a little better at managing my time and being more intentional about how I use that time? I am also on the lookout for a good daily schedule template as well, any suggestions? As much as I like the one below I feel I need a little more to it!

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Starting Over…Again!

My intentions with this blog have always been to write something here daily no matter how big or small. Yet somehow I end up with a bunch of saved drafts that never get published. The other day my good friend Carly posted THIS and she has once again helped light my fire to write in this space no matter how insignificant it may seem on the day-to-day. But this is my space and my blog! It is here for my thoughts and stories no matter how big or small they may be!

Writing has always been an escape for me. Therapy if you will. From the day I learned how to write I could always be found anywhere in my house with pencil and paper. Writing stories and filling page after page with word after word. As I got older the stuff I wrote evolved from imaginary people and places to my real life. The day-to-day struggles and triumphs. Now that I have a very active toddler and preschooler  I could fill this blog daily with stories of the funny things they say and do, the drama of whatever thing they are fighting over from one minute to the next. They give me a never-ending supply of material and it is really time I start using it.

I think one of my biggest struggles and roadblocks when it comes to writing here is worrying that people don’t want to be bored with my daily drivel. But after reading Carly’s post I realized that it really doesn’t matter. The writing is for me and I am happy to share it with all of you but it isn’t why I write. My challenge to myself is to write in this space at least 4 times a week with the hope of stopping by daily and sharing a snippet of my life in that moment. I urge you all to hold me accountable.

Aside from all of that I am trying to soak up the rest of summer with my tiny humans and right now I am going to go enjoy the next hour or so of peace and quiet before they wake from their naps! Happy Monday everyone!

How To Lose A Fat Girl

 

245.6!

That is how much I weighed on Friday March 9th.A lot of people are pretty secretive about what the number on their scale actually says. Aside from being ashamed I am not really sure why. I am significantly overweight and anyone who has actually seen me knows that. My highest weight ever was 248 pounds, not counting when I was pregnant. I am less than 3 pounds from my highest weight. How did that happen?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that my weight gain really started after my mom died. It was an incredibly sad and stressful time in my life. My life choices at the time were far from positive on my health. The thing about weight gain is that it happens so fast. Before I knew it instead of my normal 130 pounds there I was looking at 248 flashing back at me. Surely the scale was wrong, surely I had not managed to eat my way to 100 plus pounds overweight. I had been slim my whole life, I never would have imagined I would be waking up every day as a fat person. But there I was looking at that number. I was devastated.

People who have never actually been overweight just don’t get it. People have actually said to me to just lose the weight. If it was that simple, I am pretty sure there would be no fat people in the world. The reality is, it’s hard. It becomes so much more than just losing weight. There is a whole mental game that comes in to play. My biggest struggle is looking at the big picture. I look at what my goal is and think WOW that is a lot of weight to lose I can’t do that. It’s overwhelming and it’s scary.

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I’ve lost weight before. Almost 50 pounds to be exact. I did that by simply watching my calories and exercising. I know I can do it again, I just need to get out of my own head. I need to believe I am worth it. I need to stop believing I can’t. And then I need those around me to hit me upside the head and say “DON’T EAT THAT FATTY!”

I feel like maybe I am ready to actually take this beast on head first and kick its ass once and for all. Why now? Well it could be the fact that I have a wedding to go to on Saturday and I have not one thing in my closet to wear to it. I have cried about that fact this last week or so more than I would like to admit. I have no one but myself to blame but it doesn’t make it suck any less. It could also be the fact that on Sunday afternoon I was putting my shoes on and it was unbelievably uncomfortable to bend over.

I really have enough reasons to be motivated. Aside from the fact that I just feel like crap. I have 2 little girls who will look up to me as an example as they get older. I have to be better for them. They deserve a mom who is healthy in every way. I cannot change a lot of the circumstances in my life but I can change this and it’s about time I actually do something about it. I don’t feel good about myself, I can’t wear the clothes I want to wear and I am so insecure and self-conscious that every where I go I am convinced everyone is looking at the fat girl. I recently had a friend tell me “I don’t know what you’re seeing in the mirror, but I’m not seeing the same thing.” I want to see myself the same way she does, but right now I don’t and it’s time to change that.

Just to be clear, I am not looking for diet advice. Maybe I am hoping by putting this out there and being totally transparent and vulnerable that it will be the push I need. Maybe. I have been doing some weight loss challenges with a group of friends who I love a whole lot. The support has been amazing. I’m incredibly thankful for all of them and I hope we continue to push, encourage and hold one another accountable. As for the rest of you, hold me accountable, go for walks with me, remind me I don’t need ice cream 18 nights a week!

It’s time to make some goals and rewards. It’s time to start trying to see myself the way other people do!

What motivates you?

Finding Your People

“It’s nice to feel wanted!”

Earlier today Carly said those exact words to me.

Let me back up a little. When I was a growing up I always had a lot of friends. I had strong bonds with people I grew up with, went to school and church with. You sort of take for granted that those relationships will always be there. After my mom died I ended up moving to the Vancouver BC area. I needed a new start, I needed to find me and to find my path. That decision changed everything for me, most of it good. But there was some bad, the bad was learning how freaking hard it is to make friends as an adult. How hard it is to find people who get you and who genuinely want to be a part of your life. When we lived in Boston I met some really great people, but when we left Boston and came back west to Portland I struggled to connect with people. Now let me be clear, I have some amazing people in my life. Some of the people who mean the most to me are relationships that came at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places. On a boat at a wedding, on a weight loss site, on twitter while tweeting about big brother. A year ago I reconnected with one of my best friends after being out of touch for at least 13 years and now we talk daily thanks to apps that allow us to stay connected. I had a friendship happen out of the blue when I was pregnant with Audrey with a friend who I had known since I was about 16 years old. We were more acquaintances with a mutual friend connecting us. Then about 4 years ago we just happened, that friendship was almost ended by a crock pot. True story!

While all of those people mean a whole lot to me its hard not to have that in person connection. I have friends here in Oregon, but I have never felt wanted. No one was knocking on my door, inviting me for drinks or dinner etc. After a while being the person to always initiate becomes tiresome. So I gave up trying. It’s no secret that I am shy and incredibly insecure. I became convinced that nobody wanted to be friends with the fat girl and so on. When I had Audrey I felt so isolated. I grew tired of seeing posts on fb of people going to happy hour and having girls nights and parties around the holidays and I was never included. As hurt as I sometimes was I came to the realization that if people didn’t invite me or want me around that they just weren’t worth my time or energy. In the past year or so (after the previously mentioned crock pot incident) I really had to reevaluate what it is that I want in a friend, who I want in my life and around my kids. I had to take a hard look at myself and make some changes. As much as I need good people in my life I needed to be the same for others. I had a longtime friend end our friendship about a month before Lauren was born. It was via email and it was devastating for me. It came out of the blue and it completely tore me down as a person. It was awful. I let that email and those words play over and over again in my head, I let those words convince me she was right. For a time I believed it. For a time I allowed those words to break me down and affect my ability or desire to seek out any friendships old or new. I will be the first to admit my many flaws and that I am probably not the greatest friend. I’m loud, stubborn, awkward, opinionated and a host of other things. But what I also am is fiercely loyal and love those in my life really really hard. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to get past the surface and see that part of me but it totally exists, I swear!

Finding your people is hard. Finding your people who are in the same stage of life as you is really hard. People always talk about finding your tribe. I feel like I am finally starting to have that in all areas. I recently met my mom other half. Completely unexpected but totally awesome. Maybe it was the near death experience (ok that’s probably an exaggeration) by a swarm of angry bees outside our kids school or maybe it’s the fact we are both incredibly loud. Either way, we get each other and she doesn’t judge my messy house and sink full of dishes AND she brings me coffee. Like Carly said “it’s nice to feel wanted.”

Now that I am the wise old age of 40 I feel like I am finally starting to figure it out. I know the kind of people I want in my corner. You all know who you are, some I have mentioned here and some I haven’t. But I love you all an incredible amount. Life is hard, being a mom is hard, all of it is hard and we all need a tribe of women beside us. We all need someone to laugh with and cry with and to sometimes eat cheese and drink wine with or sit up till after 3 am chatting about everything and anything.

How did you find your tribe? What do your friendships look like now compared to other times in your life?

 

Being A Mom Without A Mom

When I was growing up, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have to do life without my mom. I think we all get into the mindset that those we love will always be there. My mom and I were very close, even in the midst of my teen years and my rebellion and attitude. She loved me through it all. When you’re 18 years old, you don’t think you will have to go through the rest of your life without your mom. You expect her to be there for college, your wedding, and the birth of your kids. The list goes on.

When I started my 18th year I had no idea that by the time the year was over it would be the worst year of my life. The 4 or so years that followed weren’t any better, in fact they were very dark. By the grace of God I found my way to a better and happier place.

I think about her a lot. I always have. But since I have had kids I have missed her more than ever. From pregnancy…to giving birth to Audrey and Lauren…to now, there isn’t a day I don’t wonder what it would be like to be able to call her up and ask her advice, ask her what I was like at this age and how she handled this and that. The thing about losing her so young is that she wasn’t here into my adulthood to share that stuff with me. Share her memories of my childhood. She isn’t here to fill in the blanks and it sucks. She isn’t here to tell me that in spite of all the frustration of having a full blown threenager and feeling like a giant failure much of the time that I am indeed doing a good job. It’s hard and sometimes even at 40 years old, you just want your mom to tell you that you’ve got this. There really isn’t a manual on how you became an adult and a wife and a mom, and without your mom, you just have to figure it out.

Lately Audrey has become more and more aware of things and who is who in her life etc. I know that it’s only a matter of time before she starts asking why I don’t have a mommy. I know it will be hard to explain it to her and I am not looking forward to it. What I do know is that I want her to know that her Grandma was a pretty amazing lady. She was quiet but she loved her family fiercly. She made me laugh. She taught me how to love others. She taught me compassion. She taught me what it means to be strong. I don’t know what my future holds. I do know that if my girls ever have to go through what I did I want them to have things to look back on to remember. The one thing I have that my mom didn’t is technology. Sure–she may have kept a journal and she took pictures, but it isn’t the same as the way we can record everything these days.

I’m not really sure where I intended to go with this post. It’s been on my heart for a while, but now that I have actually tried to sit down and put my thoughts down it just feels really disjointed. I’ve actually written and deleted this 4 times now. I guess one of the things I wanted with this blog was to be completely transparent, vulnerable, and raw. Motherhood is so many amazing things–but it’s also hard, exhauasting and emotional. And without my own mom here to walk me through it, those things are magnified times 1000. I am not going to sugarcoat it.

Today we have digital cameras, computers, cellphones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc. It is so easy to capture every moment, good or bad. We post every milestone or every funny thing our kids say. I can pretty much find every picture I have ever taken of my girls in minutes. They will have a lifetime of memories to share with their own kids. I don’t have that and it sucks. I hope this blog is a place one day they can look back on and see the stories and struggles I went through at different stages of their lives. I hope when they have kids of their own and their 3 year old spits in their face (yes, that happened today) that they will know how to handle it and realise being a mom is hard–but so is being 3.

I never thought I would be a mom without a mom, but here I am. My mom taught me a lot in the 18 years I had her here. Aside from documenting my kids lives in a way she couldnt, I hope I can be half the mom she was. I was lucky to have her, and I hope one day my kids feel the same way about me and God willing they won’t need this blog or anything else to learn about their childhood.


 

 

Balancing Act

5 months ago I started this blog, and I’ve struggled ever since to find it’s direction. So it has sat here vacant for months. I have come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t need a specific direction. Maybe it’s okay for it to be a little bit of everything. So for now I am back. For now I am here to just write about whatever it is that is floating around my head on any given day. That could be a good or a bad thing, you decide!

As a stay at home mom of two young kids (3 years old and 19 months) I have been really struggling with balance lately. I am not a planner and I am not organized. This just makes trying to balance things even harder. Between meals, crafts, naps, keeping the house clean, spending time with Chris (what’s a date?), laundry, exercising, gymboree, school and church–there’s a lot going on. Some people are natural planners and organizers. I am a natural “let’s let future Evey take care of it” type. Actually now that I think about it, maybe I am a planner, maybe the problem is more the follow through. Every night before I go to sleep I set my alarm so I can get up to exercise, make coffee and prepare for the day. Every day I plan to do crafts with the girls, to read with them, to paint with them. It just all gets away from me. Balance, I need to figure it out.

My girls deserve more from me and I deserve more from myself. So…where do I begin? At the top of my list is to make a list. I don’t do lists. I never have. Maybe that’s the problem. I don’t know how many times I have been at the grocery store and Chris has asked me if we need a certain item and my answer is always, “I don’t know!?!” Why don’t I know? Because I didn’t make a list, of course. Logic would tell most normal people to make a list for the next time. Not me, I don’t need a list. Sigh!

With the New Year creeping up on us ever so quickly, maybe this should be my first of many changes to make this coming year. And maybe instead of waiting till January to start I will start now. I want balance so I better make a list. Stay tuned. And if any of you have great advice and ideas on balance please let me know.

1. Make a list

2. Follow through

 

The Peepening!

“Potty training was the worst experience of my life.”

“Potty training is the best birth control.”

I dreaded it. For years all I heard from friends and family was how terrible and hard potty training was. Traumatic! Agonizing! Awful! I. Was. Petrified. Thankfully, I had a good friend who calmed my nerves and told me how she potty trained her two kids. I took her advice and vowed to take the journey in the least stressful way possible.

We bought Audrey a potty almost a year ago. For a long time it just sat in our bathroom downstairs and she really had no interest. Eventually…she was curious. She started just randomly sitting on it at times–and funny enough–the first time she sat on it she pooped a little! Every time she did even the littlest bit of something, I jumped around and celebrated like a crazy person. We had a timer that I would set during the day every 30 minutes or so and I would have her sit on the potty for a few minutes. Most of the time nothing happened and sometimes she refused. I never forced her. Not one time.

I slacked off for quite a few months with the timer thing and encouraging her to try sitting on the potty. I was always so distracted by Lauren who was always needing me for something or other. Once I decided to start trying again, Audrey had zero interest. I was frustrated at first but then once I thought about it I quickly realized that wasn’t going to help either one of us. So I let it go–Frozen style! When she was ready she would let us know.

A few weeks went by without even looking at her potty. Then a few months ago she was sitting on the couch one morning watching a show and she just looked at me very matter of factly and said, “Momma, I want to go peepee on da potty!” Um…OKAY let’s GO!!! So to the potty we went. She excitedly exclaimed, “Momma, I’m peepening!” The next week she peed on the potty on a regular basis. No prompting by us whatsoever. When she had to go, she told us and she went. Before long she was asking to go first thing in the morning and right before bed. After a week of peeing on the potty and having a dry pull-up all day, she told her teacher at Kids Church that she had to go potty. Huge step for her–to not only not go in her pull-up–but to tell someone who wasn’t me or Chris that she had to go. That night we took her to the store to pick out her own underwear. Of course, she picked Frozen. The next morning for the first time we put our big girl in underwear and off we went.

Poop took a while to master. She either went in her underwear or she waited till she had a pull-up on. But our reward and sticker system worked and eventually she just got it. We only ever had one poop accident outside of the house. Not bad if you ask me!

We are using her sticker chart and rewards for a few more weeks but even now we are fairly confident she is full speed ahead as a big girl. She hasn’t had an accident of any sort in weeks. She poops on the potty like a pro and doesn’t even need our help when she goes pee anymore. In the past week we have stopped putting a pull-up on at naptime and she is currently only wearing a pullup at bedtime. Even then in the last 3 weeks or so she has only had a wet pullup one morning. She goes potty right before bed and even wakes us up in the middle of the night! (Yay? I think?)

We couldn’t be more proud of our big girl!

My advice to those of you who have not yet entered the land of potty training is to not force it. I would highly recommend introducing it early around 20 to 24 months. But just let them explore. Don’t pressure them. Let them get comfortable with the idea of it and when they’re ready they will do it. No sense in traumatizing everyone in the process.

So what are your tips and tricks? What advice would you offer others getting ready to take this step?