Making my dreams come true

When I was around 8 years old, I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian.  That dream stuck with me for the majority of my childhood, and is the dream I spent the last decade or more pursuing.  But it wasn’t my only dream.

I also wanted to be an author.  I wrote story after story.  I have thousands and thousands of words telling the tales from my childhood imagination.  I wanted to write the book that would change the world.  Maybe be the next JK Rowling (or Carolyn Keene, or John Grisham, depending on when you asked).

I continued to write when I got into college, where I started out as (and quickly quit being) an English major.  As my college career progressed, I started working 30-35 hours per week and I joined a sorority, filling my spare time with all the associated sorority functions.  My time to write quickly diminished and became a lower priority.  During vet school, I don’t think I typed a single word of fiction, and non-fiction involved writing papers for classes.  Since I graduated, my days have been filled with long hours at work, pregnancies and newborns, and general adult projects (house remodels, etc).  So while I’ve played here and there, I haven’t written much of anything in the last 5 years either.

Well, as of today, that’s officially changing.

I’m already impressed that I have as many blog posts here as I do.  This is actual stick-to-it-ness for me!  (And yes, I realize we’re only 8 days into the year.  I still maintain that this is a great start!)

But today I committed myself further.  I bought a domain for the blog/website I’ve been pondering for awhile.  Hopefully soon, http://www.theprimalpet.com will be ready to go public, and I can actually start blogging about something that I have a passion for, something that might actually be of some use to people.

Not that I don’t love blogging on a site like this, and I intend to continue.  But when I included writing on my list of 100 things, this blog wasn’t really what I had in mind.  I was already picturing the new blog.  The Primal Pet will be an actual project.  Like something that might actually help people, rather than just entertain them.

I’m soooooo excited for this.  I have to get it a little more put together before I make it public, but I signed up for a 3 year contract.  So it’s real, it’s gonna happen, and I can’t wait.

I’m turning myself into a real author after all!  Maybe not in the way I always dreamed when I was little, but since blogs didn’t exist back then (cue age jokes…), I can hardly be blamed for that.

Long story short, I’m making my dreams come true.  Only in ways I never imagined, which just makes it that much more exciting.

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Off to a slow start

Seven days down in 2014, and only one item off of my list.

That’s ok, I still have lots of time, and several of those items will probably go together (taking a personal day and reading for 2 hours straight?  Damn straight that’s what I’ll be doing on my day off!)

Today was a good day off but yet another uneventful day for the most part.  I finished making my monthly menu and prepping everything for the month, which took about 20 minutes or so.  Otherwise, I dealt with kids.

The daughter sprouted 3 teeth at once a couple weeks ago, and I think she’s probably already working on more.  She was up half the night (which means I was up too), and she was pretty warm today.  Of course, she only took 20 minute naps, which isn’t helping anyone.  So weird.  In every other way, she’s followed almost the exact same timeline as her brother.  But this teething thing?  She’s gonna have a whole mouthful by the time she turns 1.  He had like 4 teeth at that point.

However, even though she didn’t sleep well, at least she was happy.  And when she was sleeping?

Well, I’ve said before my kids are adorable.

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See?

(And yes, she’s sleeping on her bottle.  She fell asleep eating, and every time I tried to take it she tried to wake up.  So I left it.  She still only slept for 20 minutes.)

Why I’m choosing to disconnect

In today’s society, nearly everyone has a smart phone.  From the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed (and even not then, sometimes), they are connected to a  huge network of people.  Anyone they’ve ever known, and many they’ve never met.  Instagram, twitter, Facebook, constant access to emails, texts, phone calls.  You name it.  I’ve seen constant mentions of this in the news as well as some research they’ve started to do on the effects of constant networking.

Saturday when we were on the train, the son got hungry so I walked down to the concessions car to get him some food.  And I kid you not, well over 50% of the people I walked by were on their phones.  Not just using the cameras to take pictures but scrolling through this website or that, completely oblivious to the scenery passing by outside the windows.

Are you kidding me?  You paid to be taken on a scenic tour in a historical train, you’re spending time with your family, and you’re missing all of it?

Yesterday, we took the kids to the children’s museum.  I was sitting with the daughter while the hubby and son played with balls and a suction machine (like the one that takes your money at the bank).  A woman was sitting behind me playing on her phone.  Her son came up to her to ask for some water.  Her response?  “Oh my goodness, you are being so obnoxious.  We came here to play but you keep coming and annoying me!”  I wish I was making that up.  I’m the first to admit that I sometimes get sucked in by my phone, but getting upset when your kid interrupts you to ask for water?  Come on.  (And before you get all over my case for being judgmental- which ok, I am- she was playing Words with Friends.  Which can be set down for 2 seconds.)

Over a month ago we switched phone plans.  I still have a fancy smart phone, but I chose a plan that costs me $10 a month in return for not being able to access the web unless I’m within range of wi-fi.  I thought this was going to be tough.  The reality is I haven’t missed being able to Facebook while running errands, or check my email 20 times a day.  The only time it has been a problem is if I’m at the store needing to look up a recipe or something.  Then I call the hubby instead.

However, even with the limited access, it has truly been hard to stop the compulsive checking for calls and texts.  I mean, seriously, I don’t need to check for texts every 20 minutes.  I’m not that popular!  (And that’s a good thing!)

So now I’m leaving my phone behind.  When I’m with my kids, I don’t have my phone on me.  They have my undivided attention.  Maybe some people are good at providing undivided attention with their phones in hand.  I am not.  And I don’t want to be one of the people so afraid of missing the latest status update that I miss witnessing the passing scenery, or seeing my kids smiles, or whatever is in front of me (just beyond the screen).

Therefore, if you send me a message or call me and I don’t respond immediately, I apologize.  I’m still around, and I will get back to you.  But not until me and the son are done with our puzzle.

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Best day EVER!

When my daughter was 8 days old, she decided to quit nursing.  Completely.  I was caught totally off guard.

A few months before she was born, the woman who had been my lactation consultant when I was in the hospital with my son told me that no two nursing relationships were the same.  Just because my son and I had enjoyed 13 months of nursing with no trouble didn’t mean I would have the same success with her.

Cue eye rolling.  Whatever.  My son loved to nurse, of course my daughter would just latch right on!

Well, she did.  She latched right on, gained weight like she was supposed to, then when she was 5 days old we were up all night with me trying and trying to feed her and her acting like nursing was the worst thing ever.  By the time she was 8 days old, she refused entirely.  I never figured it out.  Was I choking her?  Did she have some sort of hidden tongue tie?  No idea.

I fought for several weeks with nipple shields, and was actually starting to make progress when I went back to work.  Then I had to make the choice between continuing to nurse (which, let’s face it, wasn’t particularly fun for either of us and took HOURS of work) or spending time with my son.

So for the last almost 9 months, I have been strapped to the damn breast pump.  The bane of my existence.  Amazing how much more I hate this thing when I’m stuck exclusively to it.  It actually makes me miss nursing.

But today.  Oh yes, today.

Today, I decided to organize my stash of frozen milk that was all in a disarray since we moved.  (I hauled an entire freezer-full from Montana to Utah!  And in this tiny rental, I chose my freezer over having a dryer!)  The dates were all mixed up so now that we’re slowly starting to use some (my supply is dropping as my motivation drops), I needed to get the oldest stuff moved to the front.

So I organized.  And I counted.

And I have 475 bags of frozen milk.  That’s right, I have 2,850 ounces sitting in my freezer right now.

My daughter will be one year old in 95 days.  Which means that if we do the math, I can use 30 oz of that frozen stash a day and not run out before her birthday.

She’s only drinking 30 ounces a day total right now.

Halle-freakin-lujah!

If I’m looking for reasons to be content with my life right now, the fact that I am now only strapped to that pump as much as I want (which will translate into a couple times a day or so, instead of the 5 or 6 times- including middle of the night- that it was)- this is at the top of the list!

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Isn’t it beautiful?  🙂

Crossing off the first item

Today we took the kids to ride the train.

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I made the mistake of telling the son where we were going several hours before the event.  Because hey, I was excited!  But I forgot that he doesn’t get the concept of time yet.  Oops.  We went to Walmart right after I bought the tickets, and he thought we were going to the train right then.  He looked so sad in the entrance to the store when he said “Choo-choo?”  Poor kid wasn’t happy when I said he would have to wait until after nap time.

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He was sooooooo excited when he saw the big choo-choos.  He got to climb all over this car while we were waiting to board.  Unfortunately, the wait was apparently a little longer than usual because the train had to take off suddenly as it was being filmed for a commercial for the Russian olympics.  (The commercial is being aired in Korea- never did find out why it was being filmed in Utah unless it had something to do with the 2002 olympics…)  When it took off, the son started sobbing because he thought it was leaving and we weren’t going to be able to go for a ride!

Of course, in the gift shop, the toy trains were almost more exciting than the real thing.  So that helped.

Finally we got to board.

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Even the daughter was fascinated!  At least until she fell asleep.

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It was a great way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, and a good start to getting things crossed off my list!

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A good day

Today was a good day.

For my last surgery of the day, I got to take an 8+ pound spleen out of a 40 pound dog.  That’s always cool.  Then I get home, and my kids are ecstatic to see me.  You can’t beat the running tackles from the toddler and the whole body bouncy smiles from the baby.  Lots of warm fuzzies.

That morphed into a (playful) screaming match between me and the son that fully entertained the daughter who giggled and giggled (which she never does).  The hubby filmed all this but you don’t get to see it as he didn’t bother to tell me that my pajama pants happened to be riding a little low in the back (which of course is the part of me facing the camera).  Just trust me that it was awesome and my kids are adorable.  Especially when they giggle.

So since I’m not sharing the video with you, I’ll leave you with this example of why I had an awesome day:

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See?  Adorable.  (And for the record, I’m totally not biased…)

And now I’m off to work on one aspect of my list of 100- date night #1 with the hubby.  Which I had all of 20 minutes to plan for so we’re watching The Internship and eating caramel corn.  Cuz that’s how we roll. 🙂

100 things in 2014- part 2

51. Get a pedicure- I love having my toenails painted, but I’ve only had them done for me for my wedding.

52. Ride a horse- Used to take riding lessons.  Would love to get back on.

53. Make money at writing- Long shot but something I’ve always dreamed about.

54. Read for 2 uninterrupted hours- Haven’t been able to do this since I had my son almost 3 years ago.

55. Get coffee with a friend- I have a tendency to be very anti-social.

56. Buy mom lunch.

57. Buy cute boots- I don’t buy myself stuff, ever.  And I’ve been eyeing a certain pair of boots for a loooong time, so at some point I’ll give in and actually buy them.

58. Go to southern Utah- I’ve always wanted to take the hubby to Moab area.  Now that we’re so close, don’t have any excuse not to.

59. Play softball- There’s several leagues around, I used to play.

60. Go to lunch by myself- Wonderful alone time!

61. Take son to a dairy- I miss working on cows.

62. Do a cheese tasting event- There’s a local dairy nearby that does these every once in awhile.

63. Go to a Sundance movie- Can’t live near Park City and not attend at least a part of Sundance!

64. Do a pull up- I have never ever done a pull-up by myself.  It’s been a life-long goal!

65. Have a girls night out- This requires me either making friends here to invite to a girls night, or going back to Montana long enough to host one.

66. Sit in a hot tub- I love hot tubs.  But I’ve been pregnant or with an infant in my arms way too much the last 3 years.

67. Make a new friend- Necessary if I’m ever going to decide I like living here.

68. Reach out to an old friend- As I don’t make friends easily, I try to hold onto the ones I’ve had.

69. Go on a road trip.

70. Go someplace new- Lots of ways to fulfill this one.

71. Hand write a letter- Don’t you just love to receive letters in the mail, rather than a text or email?

72. Have chickens- We had chickens in Montana, I loved having fresh eggs every day.  This one would require us to move, however, not sure what the plan is there at this point.

73. Have a garden- See 72.

74. Have amazing sex- Again, two kids in 3 years.  Certain parts of life get ignored when you’re that sleep deprived.

75. Take kids to the zoo- Son is finally old enough that he would appreciate the animals.

76. Play clarinet with a group- I used to play and this is one of the hobbies I would like to pick back up now that I may have time to consider it.

77. Have a son/mommy day- I have no idea what we’ll do for this one but we’ll figure something out.

78. Have a mommy/daughter day- Ditto above.

79. Have a sleepover with the kids- I’m thinking with tents and forts in the living room.

80. Build blanket forts.

81. Learn to paddle board- There’s a lake very close by…

82. Have a dinner party- Did this a lot in Montana.  Don’t have people to invite here quite yet, but we’ll get there.

83. Find a good pizza crust recipe- I can’t eat wheat.  And I really miss pizza.

84. Bake a wheat-free cake- See 83.  Haven’t found a decent recipe for this one either.

85. Go to caves- Hubby really wants to see some of the caves in the area.

86. Do an adult puzzle- I’ve been doing tons of 24 and 48 piece puzzles lately.

87. Get professional pictures taken- Did some for a maternity and newborn shoot, and loved them!

88. Go to pumpkin patch- Son is getting old enough to appreciate picking out a pumpkin, and we moved 2 days before Halloween this last year.

89. Put up a Christmas tree- I didn’t decorate for Christmas at all this year.  Sad.

90. Perfect monthly meal planning- No easy access to good grocery stores (remember, food snobs) so this would make life easier.

91. Find friend for son- One potential lined up.

92. Find friend for daughter- She had a friend already lined up in Montana as my friend had a daughter two months before I had her.

93. Go on a solo mama retreat- Read this on a blog, she went to a hotel on the beach by herself for several days.  I wouldn’t want to do several days without my kids, but something short would be awesome!

94. Drive around looking at Christmas lights.

95. Do 50 pushups- I’m actually not too far away from this one, surprisingly.

96. Buy dad lunch.

97.  Go bowling.

98. Have a phone conversation with mother-in-law- Hubby is an only child so I’ve always felt like I should make more effort to communicate with his mother, and feel bad that I’ve always been so busy.

99. Go to farmers market.

100. Go to local Christmas events- The town goes all out for Christmas, and we didn’t make it to anything this year.

So there ya have it.  100 things I aim to do in the next year.  Wish me luck!