Just Let Me Lie Down

Calling their bluff: The first reaction I have toward moms who claim that they run five miles a day, hold down a full time job, clean and organize their house themselves, go to church, volunteer, use coupons, cook an organic roast every night, and sew their kids clothes. If I hear the term "Who says a mom can't have it all?!?!" I begin to itch and slowly question each moment of their day for verification.

Mom, it's not your fault: The list of things I admittedly cannot do at age 31, but my mom seemed to be born to do. I don't know how to replace a button loose enough to actually use the button ever again. I've never made a turkey and won't until forced to host Thanksgiving. Wrapping gifts is a nightmare for me, so I will always opt to use gift bags. I've never made a loaf of bread.

One outta three ain't bad: For the first year of motherhood I was lucky if I wore make up, ironed my pants, and dried my hair for work. I always made sure one of these was accomplished so not to be totally worthless.

Sweet relief: When you get on the train on your way to work, take a deep breath, and realize you have 30 minutes of private, personal silence ahead of you. These are the only moments of the day that are just for me and I usually spend half of it trying to figure out if I should spend the time checking my email, returning a phone call, or reading a book.

This post was inspired by Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom, which I received complimentary as a part of Chicago Moms Blog (Silicon Valley Moms Group) Book Club.



I had a post up on Chicago Moms Blog today.... Don't ask who it's about. I'll never tell.



OK, OK, maybe I've developed what I'd like to call a "mom accent." I'm sure this isn't a surprise to most people, but I'm admitting it. That's probably a bigger surprise, right?

Check out my new post of Chicago Moms Blog.


Paralyzed By Our To Do List

I just sat down and wrote a quick to do list off the top of my head. I'd been feeling as if I was carrying a weight around and it was just starting to get too heavy. Turns out, the weight was a pile of stuff to do with no direction and no clear idea of what exactly has to be done.

So, here I am with a double-sided list. It's insane, but the good news is a couple of the items were contingent on the delivery of our tax return and we have it. This week we'll be able to start work on some outstanding home improvement issues. First on the list is painting the house (the barn red is starting to take on a more purple hue). If only we can agree on a color... (Item #22: Choose paint color for the house.)

If I owe you something, like a phone call, an email, a thank you note, a piece of writing, some money... You're on the list. And I'll get there, I just have a ton of things to cross off before I do.


Booze Cruise Season

With the quick taste of warm weather we had (and then lost) we opened booze cruise season for the Hannemaniacs. Kid in stroller, wine in plastic cups, water in sippy cup and a stroll after work. It was a great few days.

Unfortunately, we only had a quick taste of this relaxing and enjoyable routine to end our day. We're really hoping Chicago weather takes a turn for good and our booze cruises can continue into the spring season.


Happy Earth Day!

Me: "Baby, what are you doing?"

W: "Big hug!"

Me: "Are you hugging the tree?"

W: "Yeah."

Our little guy LOVES the outdoors. Can hardly keep him inside these days. How can you think about not taking care of the outdoors when you look at this sweet face? Seriously. Recycle, compost, walk, be responsible.... And take care of my little guy's world.


I Wish It Was Easier Being Green

I consider myself to be pretty “green.” I’d dare say I’m “greener” than the next person, which isn’t too hard when you consider how non-green some people are (tsk, tsk) these days. But, I have so much work to do. And I get overwhelmed to think about it, because it’s hard to keep up and stay ahead of the guilt.

Back in March I listed the changes I’d made in pursuit of a greener lifestyle, but then I read National Geographic’s Green Guide Families and I felt practically paralyzed. How can you lead a somewhat normal life while still abiding by all the green rules? There are just so many things to think about. How do you keep it all straight? (And not go completely broke?)

We moved into a house that is over 50 years old. I have no idea what’s in the walls. I am sure there is a layer of lead paint in here somewhere, asbestos, and plenty of scary stuff in the dark corners of the basement. The thought of uncovering all that may be hiding in this old house of ours puts me (and our bank account) over the edge. Ignorance does have its perks. Instead, I’m lying awake considering what might be lurking in our house.

I even start to question some of the progress I have made. For instance, I’ve bought all new energy efficient light bulbs, but some of my energy sucking light bulbs are still working. Do I just replace them before it’s really necessary? Isn’t that in itself wasteful? Throwing away light bulbs to sit in a landfill?

I also bought all new “green” cleaning products. So, should I just throw the old stuff away? That doesn’t seem right. When I treated myself to a cleaning service last month, the lady was very disappointed in the cleaning product options I gave her. She found the old stuff and then called me into the kitchen to show me how much better they worked. I tried to explain that they were toxic, but her limited English and my shock that she found the products made for tough conversation. And, I have to admit, there was a rough winter month when I convinced myself that switching to safer cleaning products was resulting in a much sicker family as we passed around colds and respiratory infections for weeks.

I know that I’m making better decisions, but I wrestle with the wasteful nature of “out with the old.”

I need to give myself a break and I’m willing to bet most moms are in the same green boat. It's OK that I’ll never give up deodorant or lotion. I tried the recycled paper towels and most likely won’t go back. I can’t only buy locally grown produce exclusively. I may never learn to rely solely on vinegar and baking soda for my cleaning needs. But, that is all OK.

Instead I’m patting myself on the back for the little changes that we Hannemaniacs have made in our quest to be green. Today we christened our new composter with the scraps from last night’s dinner and plenty of stuff from the yard. I already know that we’ll considerably cut down the amount of trash at our curb each week. Baby steps are a big deal. And the awesome index in this book will help me along the way.

This post was inspired by Green Guide Families, The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents by Catherine Zandonella, which I received complimentary as a part of Chicago Moms Blog (Silicon Valley Moms Group) Book Club.


Our New Saturday Morning Ritual

We signed the little guy up for gymnastics class through the local park district and he totally loves it. Even better, we take him out for pancakes after his Saturday morning class, which he totally loves (as you may recall).

We forgot the camera the first week of class (seriously, we did). So, this week I snapped a few photos of him enjoying his favorite activities at gymnastics class:

Here he is on the trampoline. The teacher was impressed by his lack of fear the first week, as he bulldozed his way onto the trampoline. While we appreciate his moxie, it's distressing that he shows the same tendencies when it comes to the street. He practiced his trampoline moves all week, saying "Trampoline! Down, up, down, up." He doesn't have jumping down just yet, but the concept is there. (The lady on the trampoline is a teacher, not me. I know, the glasses and dark hair may have been misleading.)

And here he is in the foam block pit. His most favorite place in the gym, which also happens to be the most germ-filled place in the gym. He really prefers it when Mom and Dad are both in there with him, but I had to pass this week on account of being too grossed out after last week. But, man, he's having fun in there, isn't he?

How about those cheeks full of pancake? Pretty sweet, huh? The little guy thought so.

P90X = Marriage Counseling

Day 2 and I've convinced Matt to join me on the P90X journey. At first he didn't think that all of my awesomely hilarious jokes were funny, but he came around. I mean, come on, we were doing plyometrics, which includes a ton of jumping... And let's just say that no amount of kegels will keep a mom from wetting her pants whilst performing plyometrics. Sorry to all of you who don't have kids, but consider this your warning: Jumping jacks will never be the same.

Anyway, it was pretty hard. The last time either of use did plyometrics was in high school, so let's just say it's been a long time... Even longer for Matt. (Kidding (but so true)).

What with his asthma and limited exercise time lately, Matt was kinda struggling at one point. In his defense, we had just gotten home from brunch where he enjoyed a delicious chorizo scramble. We could have waited to embark on our ass kicking work out, but agreed that nap meant go time. It was now or never -- Even with stomachs still full of breakfast.

Dialogue during said break:

Lisa: "Maybe you should lower your exertion level."

Matt: "Maybe I should lower my chorizo and eggs level."

And with that I explain why marriage counseling and P90X are pretty much the same thing. Both encourage communication and force us to consider and be responsible for our daily choices.


My P90X Journey Begins

Today I started P90X. My sister has been following it in preparation for her wedding and said she has seen better results from this than any other workout she's done. And she just so happened to have an extra copy since the packaging was totally busted when she received it and they sent her a new copy, telling her to get rid of the old copy. Wasteful, right?

Well, I can't let a good workout plan go to waste, so offered to kindly take it off of her hands. Ok, so maybe she had to bug me about it a few times and I was a little too scared to initially jump at the opportunity. But, here I am. One day down. So that makes it P89X now, right? (OK, so I don't really even know what P90X stands for, to be honest.)

Here are some lessons for Day One:

1. The trainer on the video (Tony) is incredibly annoying and likes to refer to the people working out with him and his at-home followers as "kids" or even better "boys and girls." He also likes to mention how good looking he is and how much better he is than anyone else when it comes to fitness, but he has to teach the moves and make sure that no one else cheats so he can't prove it... And, oooh, even better... He likes to cross his arms in front of his chest to make an "X" when trying to really show you how to live and workout "X" style. Not kidding. I kinda want to stab him.

2. I am pretty much unprepared for what I'll need for the workout. Day #1 called for a pull up bar. Um, really? My house is like 1,300 square feet and somehow when they built it in the 1950's they forgot to include the home gym. So, I improvised with bands this morning. I can't wait to see what else I'll be missing for future work outs. One might think that I would go through all the information they sent, which I'm sure specifies, but why bother, I'd rather be surprised.

3. Carving out an hour a day is going to be a little difficult, but it's not impossible. Obviously easier on the days I work from home and weekends, but I'll figure it out.

4. Bridesmaid dresses are really good inspiration to take off the remaining post baby extras that I have so lovingly been clinging to since the little guy was born. Seriously, it's time.

I'll try to include mention of how P90X is going at least once a week... Good motivation to keep it up.


Boy, Oh Boy

We've definitely got a rambunctious boy on our hands. He's so excited to be outside these days! So excited that he refuses to come inside, as in hangs onto the door frame, screaming, limbs and bones turn to liquid, repeating "No, no, no!"

In honor of his love of playing outdoors, I'd like to share a glimpse of his first grass stain. The first of many, I have a feeling:

And today we came home to a scraped knee, dirt under his finger nails, new bruises on his shins, and a boy ready for a good bath. Hello, spring!


Baby Lambs

When we were in Wisconsin last weekend we went to a little petting zoo at the local garden store. You know our little guy is a bit obsessed with farm animals, right? He really wanted to see baby lambs and told us so again and again and again. I shared the good news that we'd get to see them.

So, we walk up to a pen with sweet little furry babies jumping around....

Lisa (in high pitched voice): "William, baby lambs! Matt, get him in there. They're so cute. Awww, look at the baby lambs. William, look! Do you see them? Aren't you excited? Baby lambs!"

Matt: "Um, Lisa, they're goats."

First Get Together

Tonight was my first Moms Blog event for Chicago Moms Blog/SV Moms Group. It was hours of chatting, tasting, mom meeting, sponsor meeting, schwag accepting, and on and on. And, seriously, I'm tired. But, I gotta say, it's nice to go to events that I'm not managing. It's not often I'm on the other end of these things.

I'm just starting to get my feet wet in terms of blogging. I don't even have cards. Like most moms I didn't start this blog with huge intentions, just a way to keep friends and family involved in our lives... Oh yeah, and to keep myself sane and to not feel so bad for not filling in a baby book for William.

Met a lot of great, cool, smart women who I've grown to kinda know through their blogs and profile pictures, which is always cool. Wish I could get into all the details. There was a lot of stuff to think about. But first I have to get through all of this stuff that I walked out the door with:


Internet is Down and Out

Been pretty quiet around here, huh? WHY? Our internet is down. Ho hum. And we have so much to share.... Pictures of William's first Easter egg hunt, visit to a make shift petting zoo in Janesville, stories of why the internet owns us. Hopefully, if Comcast can get their act together, we'll be back up by tomorrow.

Hear that, Comcast? Tonight is your third attempt to fix this. You better make it work. (Thanks to Josh who diagnosed the real problem. He's the bestestest... and his wife ain't too bad herself.)