28 March 2010

Three, Of Me

Three names I go by:
1. Amy
2. Mommy
3. Mrs. Hayes

Three Jobs I have had in my life:
1. Airborne Communications and electronics specialist
2. Lifeguard /water safety instructor/aqua aerobics instructor
3. Substitute teacher

Three Places I have lived:
1. Salinas, CA
2. Zushi, Japan
3. In a truck

Three Favorite Drinks:
1. Dr. Pepper
2. Water
3. Orange Julius

Three TV Shows I Watch:
2. Rescue Me
3. Dora The Explorer

Three Places I have Been:
1. Warsaw, Poland
2. Pyeongtaek, South Korea
3. Sydney, Australia

Three of my Favorite Foods:
1. Mangoes
2. Steak
3. Brussel Sprouts

Three Cars I have owned:
1. 2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport
2. 1994 Nissan Sunny (a Sentra with the steering wheel on the other side)
3. 2002 Ford Windstar

Three things I hate doing:
1. Running
2. Washing dishes
3. Bleeding

Three places to find me on the weekend:
1. In bed
2. At the beach
3. Shopping

Three Movies I have seen in the theaters recently:
1. The Princess and the Frog (loved it)
2. Alice in Wonderland (boo)
3. The Bounty Hunter (eh)

Three Places I would like to visit:
1. China
2. Brazil
3. Jordan

Three people I tag to complete the 3's of me:
1. Erika
2. Lindsay
3. Dean

Feeling It

Yesterday, for some strange reason, I woke up at 5:15 and left the house at 5:30 to go running. After running in the evenings and not really getting to bed before midnight all last week, I really wanted to go to bed early on Friday. That didn't happen. I had cakes to decorate and presents to wrap and a tricycle to put together. So, I went to bed around midnight with the alarm set for 5:00.

It was dark the whole way to Ko'olina, and I was thinking, "I don't really want to do this. I want to go back to bed". I got there a couple of minutes late, but nobody had started running yet. I tried my best to act like I really wanted to be there. They (Team in Training) explained the route, and we were off. I started out next to my sponsor, Cheryl. She's really nice, but slower than me, and she stopped to walk every few minutes, so I just set off by myself. Thankfully there were bathrooms along the first part of the route, because my IBS always strikes when it is least welcome. Boo. After two pit stops, I was feeling much better. I caught up with the walkers, and then with Cheryl, then I was on my own for a while...too fast for the slow folks, and too slow for the fast folks. The route was a 'run away, then run back' type of deal, and I wasn't even wearing a watch, so I had no clue when I should turn around (I was supposed to run for 90 minutes).

The first part of the route was along the Ko'olina lagoons, and absolutely beautiful, then it turned into running along some railroad tracks into the middle of nowhere, with tall yellow grass and tumbleweed looking things. I was sure that I would stumble upon a dead body or something. There was not a palm tree in sight, and dirt everywhere. I forgot I was in Hawaii. The ground was supposed to be gravel, but it was giant chunks of rock, which was very hard to run on.

For some reason, the urge to sing came over me. Weird? Nah. There was nobody within earshot in either direction, and singing regulates your breathing while running (as long as your cardiopulmonary system can handle it). I started singing worship songs because that is just what felt like coming out of me. I started to feel really good, and I think I even picked up my pace.

I finally started to see someone in the distance. Bill had stopped to stretch. I asked how long we had been running and he said, "47 minutes", then he took off back for the lagoons. I stretched for about a minute and then decided that I was going to keep pace with him the whole way back. Using Bill as pace bunny wasn't the easiest thing. He is about 60 years old, 230 pounds, and runs in shorty shorts with no shirt. So, for the entire way back, I imagined that he was Josh Holloway and that I was chasing him through the jungles on LOST.

We got back at the 83 minute mark, which means that it took 47 minutes to run to our turn around point and 36 minutes to get back. However, because of my two pit stops, I figured I kept close to the same pace on the way out, as I did on the way back. Bill must have felt like he needed to run faster on the way back because I was 100 feet behind him the whole way. Ha!

I walked the last 7 minutes of my 90, and got to witness a group of people getting baptized in lagoon number 4. I felt so good, and it was just refreshing to see such an awesome thing happening. Then I ran into Bill, and asked him how far we had gone (he had one of those Garmin GPS watches). He told me that we went 7.62 miles. I about crapped (again). I felt SO good. That averages out to just under eleven minutes per mile. If you take off around three minutes for each of my bathroom breaks, I was running ten minute miles! That is my pace goal, to ultimately finish the Hibiscus Half Marathon in under two hours and fifteen minutes.

This is going to sound like I am tooting my own horn, but I'm going to say it anyway. I'm pretty sure that I am a natural athlete. The problem is that I sit on my butt and let that talent go to waste. The entire five years I was the Air Force, I ran a total of about twelve times. From the time I got out of the Air Force until Sam was born, I think I ran twelve times, and maybe did Zumba like ten times. Even since Sam was born, I've ran for a few days, then took a month and a half off, then ran for a few days, and took a month an a half off. I possess the ability to get up and have energy and stamina after doing absolutely nothing for long periods of time. I think that if I had the time and motivation to actually train for a year, I could actually win a race, or at least place. If I could spend every day in the pool for two years and train, I bet I could give Dana Whats-her-face a run for the title of post-baby Olympic swimmer. Of course, I'm never going to be that motivated (much less, have that much time). But, I am going to try to not let my athletic prowess go to complete waste, like I have been doing for the majority of my life. I am in better cardiovascular shape than a lot of skinny people I know. The thing is that I could care less if I can run faster and longer than them, I just want my body to look like theirs!

Anyway, I had a GREAT morning. The running felt good, the weather was perfect, the people were nice, and I achieved a certain sense of peace, like a connection with God, that just felt amazing. I didn't want to leave right away and head back to Honolulu for the crazy day that was in store for me. So I hung out and stretched awhile, waiting for the others to return. SIGH.


On the way home I stopped and picked up mine and Amanda's packets for our race next Saturday. I got all giddy when I looked at my little paper number that I'll get to wear. I was thinking to myself, "Hehe. I am a runner. Woo hoo." Also, the race will only be 6.2 miles, and I had just done over 7.6! I was in an amazing mood.

I got home and had just over three hours to get ready for Jocelyn and Trevor's birthday party. I put Jocelyn down for a nap, fed Sam, kind of cleaned the bathroom, picked up the house, took a quick shower, made a giant fruit salad, prepped onion, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon for the burgers, set up the tables and chairs, inflated the bouncy house, set out the carnival games, set up the shave ice machine, hung up decorations and didn't stop moving for a second. Whew. People started showing up and there were kids bouncing and playing, people eating and talking, and I just felt happy.

We even made a new friend. The husband of a Diaper Swappers friend came by to hang out. He just moved here, and his wife and their son will be coming in May. We invited him to stay and go with us to the magic show on base later that evening. So we cleaned up the party, and got the kids ready to head out. We drove to where the magic show was supposed to be, only to discover that I am crazy. I thought the show was supposed to be on Saturday night on the Air Force base, when it was actually on Friday night on the Navy base. What? I really am losing my mind, and I was so embarrassed to come to this realization with this new friend in the car. Oops!

We got home, and Jocelyn started to play with some of her new things. A friend, her husband, and her two boys that couldn't make it to the party, stopped by to drop of a gift for Jocelyn. They stayed and played for a while. During their visit I sat down on the floor for a few minutes to talk/play, and my body just shut down. I was yawning over an over again, and it was only 7 o'clock. I felt rude for yawning so much with company over, but I couldn't help it! I felt like it was 1 in the morning! When our guests left, we gave the kids quick baths, and curled up on the couch to watch an episode of 'Rescue Me'. I think I passed out in the first fifteen minutes. I wanted to get on Facebook and upload photos form the birthday party, but that didn't happen, and still hasn't happened.

Today, I woke up with the sickness that Brad has had for the past week, and feeling like I broke my right foot. Every part of me aches. I'm going to feel miserable for a while, but it is totally worth the physical suffering, because my spirit and my psyche are feeling the opposite of miserable thanks to the amazing day I had yesterday!


10 March 2010

Passing Mommy Judgement: The Jury is OUT


If you thought high school was going to be the most cliquey, drama filled, gossip oriented time of your life, you obviously haven't ever experienced motherhood! Everyone talks about the joys of motherhood and how there is nothing like it. Yes, being a mother is one of the best, and most fulfilling, experiences in the world. However, it does come with some negative side effects. Some of the not so pleasant baggage that accompanies us on the journey of motherhood includes judgment, jealousy, passive aggressive tendencies, plain-ole aggressive tendencies, lying, bragging, so-on and so-forth. It's not just about preparing to be on the receiving end of these monsters, either. It's about "trying" to avoid being one of the monsters. Sadly, it cannot be completely avoided. All mothers have been judged, just as all mothers have passed judgment on other moms. It's going to happen. Period. The same goes for bragging.

"My baby could hold his head up since birth."

"My baby is fatter than your baby."

"My baby was walkiing at 8 months."

"My baby can say her ABCs backwards."

"My baby never watches TV."

"My baby got her first tooth at 3 months."

Who cares? Uh, we ALL do, when it is our baby! You are going to do it, and it is going to be done to you. It cannot be helped. Motherhood is a very serious responsibility, and most mothers treat it as such. They make some hard decisions based on what they believe to be best for their child and for themselves. Once these decisions are made, and the mother has convinced herself that she has made the right choices for the well being of her children, it is easy for her to feel insulted or to become defensive when someone else comes along who happens to do things differently. Everyone wants to defend their parenting decisions because they truly believe that they have done the right thing. Nobody wants to be told that they made a bad choice (though all of us have made, and will make bad choices regarding our children). A friend of mine once wrote, "I don't think I have ever failed my boys in any way." I find that really hard to believe, because we all make mistakes and have regrets, especially when it comes to our kids.

The drama involved with parenting, mostly mommying, is endless. For some reason the daddy world is so much more laid back. I think that is just because men do not have the same type of protective gene that women have. They also have much smaller drama genes (usually). Anyway, I find it hard to believe that there would ever be a blog out there, started by a man, and with 177 comments from other men, bashing another dad for not wanting to wear his baby. Yeah, the blog exists, but of course there is not a male comment in the bunch (as far as I can tell).

Is this really our nature? YUP! If you are a mom, you cannot deny it. You have looked down on other moms for doing things differently than you. I know I have done it. We all have reasons for believing that what we do is the best way. Though sometimes we do know there is a better way, and do the lazy mom thing because it is easier for us (not breastfeeding by choice, letting our kids watch too much TV, giving them cake for breakfast, letting them play in the street, etc). No mom is completely selfless, or even close. The decisions that we make open us up for judgment. We should all be aware of that, and learn to take the worst of it with a grain of salt, because arguing about parenting never gets anyone anywhere! I might tell you that I don't understand why you would choose not to breastfeed your child. This is only because I have been able to benefit from breastfeeding in so many ways, that I do not understand why anyone would turn down the opportunity. However, this puts everyone on the defensive. But, then you can turn around and tell me that you don't understand why I let my daughter watch Super Why and Dora all morning, when it has been proven that TV will rot her brain. Uh, because I have to harvest my farm on Facebook, DUH! It all equals out, yet we will still continue to judge. Mothers are the most judgmental people on the planet.

None of us are perfect, we are all very far from it. That doesn't stop all of us from still seeming to think we are better than the mom next to us...at least some of the time. I know I'm not the worlds greatest mom. Hell, I let my 6 month old daughter sit on top of a picnic table, then she fell off onto concrete and got a concussion! The same week as the concussion, she almost choked to death on a hairball while on tummy time because I never cleaned my floors! Judge away, ladies!!! But, I still think I'm better than a lot of moms! Wow! Yeah, I just said that. There is no point in hiding the truth, when every mom knows deep down, that they feel the same way. We all deserve medals for the things we do (giving your daughter a concussion comes with tons of guilt...and it's not exactly easy to watch her cry, knowing you could have prevented it), but we all also probably deserve a kick in the butt every now and then as well, for being drama queens.

For those few men who are reading this, count your lucky stars that you have a penis, and that you can sit back and relax about being a dad. It's not likely that another dad will ever ask you something like, "Uh, your 2 year old is still sleeping in a crib? Do you think that's a good idea?" I apologize on behalf of all of us drama mongering mommies for making you take sides against our closest friends because they let their 6-year-old watch a scary movie.

For you future and soon-to-be moms reading this, don't think that you will be able to escape this guaranteed part of motherhood. Take all the pregnancy/mommy advice, including this advice, in stride! Your children will be the judge of your parenting abilities and decisions, not anyone else.

I read the book, "I Was A Really Good Mom, Before I Had Kids", while I was pregnant with Jocelyn. It's hilarious, but honest. I highly suggest it!

Cori, when we write our book, we are going to have to dedicate a chapter or two to drama!

If anyone is thinking about commenting on this, saying that they are not a judgmental mom...just don't comment. I will call you a liar! Haha.

05 March 2010


Weathering The Storm

I've heard/read many stories about how inspiring it can be to survive a deadly natural disaster such as an avalanche, a tornado, an earthquake, or even a tsunami. You know the I-looked-death-in-the face-and-never-thought-I-would-make-it-out-alive types of stories, the kind you can read about in Reader's Digest, or watch on Discovery Channel's "I Shouldn't Be Alive". While these stories are entertaining, the media does a far better job of scaring the crap out of people with reports on natural disasters, than they do of providing hope with stories of people who have survived against the odds. Most people aren't very optimistic when when they turn on the news to hear that their 600 square mile island is about to be hit my a giant wave. People panic. People rushed out of their homes last Saturday at 0600, to wait in line for 2 hours at Wal-Mart so they could buy water and spam as I slept in, laughing at them in my sleep. I wouldn't say I was optimistic. I was more skeptical than anything. I didn't believe for a second that I had any reason to even get out of bed, while friends were headed for higher ground. Call me a bad mother, but I didn't feel there was a need to wake my children and head for the hills when the island tsunami experts were predicting a 2 meter wave. I didn't understand how 6 feet could frighten anyone, much less and entire island full of people. We are about 3000 ft from the water and we were not anywhere near the 'evacuation zones'. Most of the evacuation areas only extended about 50 feet inland. Anyway, I know I wasn't the only one laughing. I also know that I shouldn't have laughed at the people who thought they were just doing the right thing to protect themselves and their families. But, the real funny part is the people who made it sound like they barely survived by the skin on their teeth AFTER the whole thing (if you could call it a thing) was over. "Hawaii Dodged a Bullet" was even a headline in more than one news paper. Yes, we were lucky that there was nothing to worry about. Thank God for that. And, it is always better to err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst, but I don't think getting people on the mainland worried about their families and making the whole world turn their attention to Hawaii was really the right thing to do. Now, it is kind of embarrassing. I feel like Hawaii called 'wolf'. Anyway, I had been considering blogging about this all week, so I thought I'd just get my thoughts out there. I'm glad everyone is safe, and I'm sorry if you don't agree with my opinions about this matter.


After The Storm

My garage sale was postponed due to the hoopla, so I tried it on Sunday. It rained all day, but a few people still came. We made like $130. I'm going to try again tomorrow. I hope the weather is nice, because I want to take the kids to the beach tomorrow, too!

Sam's 4 month check up was on Monday. He weighed in at a healthy 16 pounds, 14 ounces, and measured 27 inches long. He's happy and healthy...and tough. The shots barely phased him. Here is a video of 4 month old Sam hanging out with his best buddy...the iPod bear.

Brad and I saw Shutter Island on Wednesday night. I liked the story, but there were like twenty blatant editing mistakes that made it really hard for me to enjoy. I am very critical of things like that because I believe that the people who get paid a bunch of money to edit huge movies should be able to do their jobs better than that!! Anyway, I want to watch it again before I cement my opinion about the ending.


I have some good news and some bad news about diapers. The bad news is that cloth diapering isn't working for a friend whom I tried to convert. This makes me sad because she really wanted to do it, but her kid just pees too much. The good news is that there is more good news than bad news! First, Blueberry had a sale on side snapping minkee diapers this week. These diapers are usually $25 each plus $6 more for the inserts that go with them. I got them, brand spanking new from the Swaddlebees website for $12 each...including inserts! They are super soft and come in very cute prints (see below, I ordered four of them). The other good diaper news is that Melynda's new neighbor is converted! A couple weeks ago I gave all of Jocelyn's diapers to the girl who moved in across the street from Melynda. She decided that she liked them, built up her own stash in a flash, and gave mine back to me tonight! I want to say that her son is 15 months, but I cannot remember for sure. Anyway, she wants to have more kids, so this was totally an awesome idea for her, and I feel so accomplished! :)



Next week will be my last week of sleeping in! My days of staying up until 0200, letting Jocelyn sleep until ten, and Sam sleep until noon, are numbered. I'm excited for this schedule change, however, because it means that I will get to spend my days with Trevor and Parker! I'm so grateful for this opportunity for Jocelyn and Sam to bond with their cousins...even if it means waking up at 0600 every day. Ugh. I'm sure it will grow on me.

I am about to get myself back on board for this half marathon training. The meeting I was supposed to go to last Saturday was canceled, and I cannot go to the one tomorrow morning because I'm not allowed to take the kids, and Brad goes to work at 0430, and who's going to come stay with the sleeping kids at 0600 on Saturday so I can drive across the island to walk? I promised myself that I would not run until at least the 15th of March. I want to make sure that I don't mess up my knee again before it is all the way better, but now I am getting antsy! I feel so fat. I think I'm fatter than I have ever been. I need to do something about it beside just talking about doing something about it. I'm going to walk at least three miles tomorrow night, and if my knee doesn't bother me at all, I might just jog a little. :)

Speaking of this half marathon, I also need to get on board with the fund raising! I thought it would be easier. Big thank yous to Cousin P and Aunt Marcia for their donations to the cause! What cause? I'll be running this half marathon with Team In Training as a fundraiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. My personal fund raising goal is $750, however, Brad will be running as well, so our fund raising efforts have been combined to set a Team Hayes goal of $1500! That's a lot! I think we can do it, though. I think I'm going to have a Pampered Chef Fundraiser show, in which 15% of the show total will go to LLS. If you are interested in ordering a few Pampered Chef items to support the cause, let me know and I will give you the link to do so. If you would like to donate directly to the LLS, the link is below! $50 down, $1450 to go!
Help Team Hayes fight blood cancers!

Brad and I finally got around to constructing a budget for ourselves. We've been talking about it for a long time. We weren't doing too badly before, but there is tons of room for improvement. Yeah, cloth diapering, breastfeeding and no cable save money, but even if there is money in the bank, more money in the bank is always a good thing, right? We tested out our budget estimates in February, and it's looking pretty good. We were pretty close to our $500/month on groceries estimate last month, but we want to try to cut that in half. We can't control how much or how little we spend on things like internet, car insurance or mortgage. So, we have decided to take control of our spending where we can. If we can stick to our plan, we should not only have all of our debt (not counting the mortgage) paid off by the end of the year, but we should be able to take a nice vacation for our 5th anniversary. We are going to try to set up meal plans. I think that will definitely help lower our grocery spending. We have never done this before. I usually just open the freezer and say, "What sounds good tonight, Honey? Ribs, pork chops, chicken?" We have already put off the meal planning for a while, but we hope to sit down this weekend and actually do it. Also, we usually don't make a list, and if we do, we always buy way more than what is on it. We are going to become better grocery list makers, and stick to the lists. Wish us luck!

So much for writing shorter blogs, huh? :)