Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cry me a river

I really had no idea that motherhood would involve so much crying.

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Faith crying because she had to sit her in high chair an extra 20 minutes longer because I couldn’t get to her to wash her off and get her down.

Seth crying because he chose to play DS and now our “learning time” window has passed and he’s mad.

Emma crying because I’m making her figure out a way to pay me back for bringing HOT PINK PAINT into her bedroom and spilling it on the carpet.

Gabe crying because I won’t let him wear the shirt he’s worn 3 times in the last week to school AGAIN today.

Jane crying because, she’s late for the bus, AGAIN.

From the time I returned from the gym (7:00 am) up till,and INCLUDING, this minute (oh the sweet rhythm of Seth banging on his locked bedroom door), someone has been crying in my face.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quick Quote #36


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Seth (out of the blue): "Hey Jane, does Satan wear undies?"

Jane (in all older-sister-seriousness) "Yeah, but they are really bad ones with bad things on them."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I wish it came naturally

Everyone was SO nice about my appearance in the comments on my East Coast Trip post.  I wish I could say: “Oh what?  That old thing?  I just threw it together.”  or “You think I’m skinny?  I didn’t realize.  It must have melted off while I nursed a baby and chased after five kids.”  But alas, that’s not how those things work for me.

It takes effort, planning and help from other people.

First off, the weight loss:

I did the HCG Diet.  It’s pretty extreme, which is why I didn’t mention it when I started it.  I’ve always been a Work Out More, Eat Less girl when it comes to weight loss—never done pills, extreme diets or fads.  But it wasn’t working and I had a few friends who had done this diet two years ago and kept the weight off.  I researched, read the info and discussed it with Ryan. 

I did it, without cheating once (the total key, more than with any other diet I’ve done), and I lost the last 18 lbs of baby weight in one month.  And it’s stayed off for 7 weeks now.  Email me (jessicaromney at hotmail dot com) if you want more info or the name of my supplier =). 

Next, the clothes:

I have been either planning to get pregnant, pregnant or post partum for the last two years.  You know what that means?  There was no purpose in buying clothes.  For two years.  So basically I hated all of my stuff and was kind of lost as to where to start—especially since I was so excited about my new size. So this is what I did:

1)  I have a friend who has LOTS of extra clothes.  She has great taste, is extremely generous and, luckily, has a similar body type to me.  She moved into a smaller place recently and sent me tons of cute stuff, especially in the jeans and dressy clothes department.  Tammy’s donations got me off to a good start. (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!)

2)  I did some research.  I emailed some friends who I really trust in the fashion department and asked them what were the trends I should buy for fall/winter.  I also asked them if they would recommend any fashion blogs.

3)  I read the (modest Mormon) fashion blogs and just tried to absorb what is in style, what I liked, what goes with what. (Sensibly Styled and Uber Chic for Cheap)

3)  I began a list of the things (scarves, belts, long necklaces, long flowy cardigans, ruffles) that I thought I needed, so I wouldn’t buy random stuff that didn’t really get me where I wanted to go.

4)  I approached Carie and her friend Heidi about getting their help with pulling together outfits from what I already have. (I am BAD at that.  I am a This Is the Shirt I Bought to Go With These Pants So I Can’t Think Of Any Other Combination type person.)  We are still in the process of putting together my new looks (it requires lots of picture taking…) but to start off they asked for my Fashion Manifesto.  In putting it together, I realized a lot about my personal style and it was helpful in solidifying what I wanted to spend my money on this year.

5)  I saved all of my birthday/Christmas gift cards and Bucks Back from the last year, plus some Weight Loss Reward money that I’d set aside.

6)  I went to Nordstrom (the juniors section, where it’s not as expensive) and found a super cute 20 year old worker and said to her:  “I am an out of style mom who wants to look cute.  Can you help me?  I want to incorporate cardigans, scarves, belts and these colors…”  She went to town.  After we found stuff I looked cute in, she helped me figure out the pants, jewelry, layering pieces, shoes I would need to complete the look.  It was such a fun experience and I felt all put together.

7)  I emailed Tammy back and forth a million times about the exact pair of boots I should get (because they are expensive, I could only get one and I wanted them to be right) and when they were on sale, I bought them (Aerosole, if you are wondering).

So you see…it wasn’t easy.  I didn’t have a ton of money, amazing fashion sense, or even a ton of awesome stores to shop at.  What made this all come together was patience, a willingness to just admit I needed help and asking for it, educating myself and being organized.  It totally paid off.

While there are LOTS of things more important that fashion and clothes, I have been an all around more content person because I feel good when I look in the mirror.  Another friend’s mom is an image consultant who basically teaches:  Make yourself look the best you can and then forget about yourself and focus on others.  That’s what I’ve been able to do, because I’ve lost the weight and put some thought into my wardrobe.

Thanks to the friends who advised and encouraged and to Ryan who footed the bill WITHOUT EVER SAYING THE WORD “BUDGET”.  And thanks to you for the compliments!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In review

First, we had Halloween.  Some people have Halloween pictures that look like this.  We have these.

Seth was Prince Caspian.  We’re always happy if he chooses Prince over PrincESS.

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Faith being a monkey.  So true to life:  strong, climbs everywhere, screeches constantly and makes everyone laugh.

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Don’t ask Jane what she is because a) she doesn’t know (she keeps saying Hollywood Rock Star, but it was really a Hollywood Starlet)  and b) she say it like this:  Hollywood Wock Stawh and no one can figure out with that lisp what she’s saying.

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We think Gabe was a little disappointed when the Indian boy costume came in the mail.  His skinny, pale frame did not compare favorably to the strapping brown skinned model.  He may or may not have been called an Indian girl at some houses while trick or treating.  Darn those big eyes and dimples.

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Then, we had Faith’s birthday.

Here she is on her birthday table.  I didn’t even cry setting it up.  I think I’d successfully stuffed all sadness at her growing over and over that I was able to deny all sorrow.  I’m new to this whole “blocking emotion” thing; it’s surprisingly effective.

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She's really close to walking.  On her birthday, she was up to 5 steps.  (You don’t even have to tell me how darling she is, because, seriously, she oozes darling.)

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Here she is opening her presents.  Guess what?  She couldn’t care less about these toys now, a  whole week after receiving them.

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Here’s her cake.  Don’t look to close at the lettering.  Or anything else, for that matter.  The picture makes it look cuter than it actually was.  

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Here’s the craziness that results from getting together with the Daines for parties.  Can you even believe that these children are the result of only TWO families?

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This is my favorite picture of her trying to eat her cake.  She couldn’t figure out how to navigate such a big hunk of food.  It was hilarious.

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Then we had “The Campaign”

Here’s Ryan on his first official ballot for city council.  He won.  Without putting up a sign, attending the debate or even voting for himself.  He’s a little busy right now.

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Then I flew to Utah for my brother’s homecoming and my pretty cousin Sydnie’s wedding.

The pretty cousin:


Me and Faith at the wedding.  Notice how blurry Faith is?  Yeah.  That’s cause SHE NEVER STOPS MOVING.  EVER.



After the homecoming:


Ryan’s brothers and sister in law, lucky me, are also good friends with my brothers, so they came up to the homecoming and lunch after.  We had such a fun time talking and eating:


Now I’m home and because it’s Veteran’s Day, in the middle of the week, on a gray and rainy day…my kids are making me nuts.  I’m going now, so I can put them to bed…and catch up on all the TV and blogs I’ve been missing.  Priorities, people.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Unappreciated Appreciation

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Gabe hit Seth.  Mom thought that since Gabe couldn’t handle Seth in the room with him, he should just clean the room by himself, without Seth’s help.  Gabe was mad, but did it.  When he was done with the bed, the dirty clothes and lots of toys, Seth looked at the room.  Mom heard Seth gasp. Seth quickly went and found Gabe, and with real pride in his voice, said: “Wow Gabe.  Gweat job on the woom.  I’m weally proud of you how you cleaned our room.”

Gabe, despite Seth’s sincerely given compliment, slammed the door in his face.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I’m feeling the need to clarify

(Read the post following this, if you haven’t already, for context).

1.  Intercourse is a town in Pennsylvania where lots of Amish live.

2.  I would not discuss my vacation s*x life on my blog.

3.  Especially if it was disappointing.

4.  Which it wasn’t.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This is the Perfectly Boring Recap of our Perfectly Wonderful Vacation


The exit:

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Can you see how broken up I am about leaving my kids?







The places:




Beautiful Connecticut (I don’t know why I didn’t take one picture of the 4000 gorgeous homes and trees that we gaped over out the car window).











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New York (after a rainy ugly morning, the sun came out for our evening adventures)












Boston (from the Bunker Hill memorial)










Plymouth Rock.  See the actual rock behind me?







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  Amish country, Pennsylvannia








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Gettysburg (the beauty of not traveling with kids:  we finished early with the Amish folk and decided “hey, why not drive an extra hour and see Gettysburg?”)






The people:


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The Johnsons—every picture with Carter, looks like this.  We had so much fun talking and driving and eating.  Though we don’t know how they could leave such a beautiful place, we’re hoping to have them closer in the near future.







Gabi was so sweet to invite us to stay at her house.  Even though she had seminary in the morning.  And 4 kids to prep for Halloween at school.  And a Halloween party to put on. 

She’s the uber-hostess….gift baskets and breakfast spreads and talking till the wee hours.



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  Annie (and her sweet, indulgent husband) met us for dinner in Boston’s North End.  While we felt they were wildly more educated and sophisticated, we loved our conversations, Annie’s Boston tips and G’s tidbits about the mafia in the North End.





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My cousin Abby, is my type of girl:  the type who knows the place she lives in, loves it, and is willing to explore with two kids in tow.  Despite the pouring rain, Abby made New York interesting and fun.  Plus, she’s got the cutest over-priced, 2 bedroom apartment in all of Manhattan.





The food:

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4 completely unrelated sources told me: “Get the cannoli at Mike’s.”  Holy cow.  It was the yummiest dessert I’ve had all year.  We went back the next day, for the awesome Italian, Boston accented service, as much for the sugar.









Notice the cop and the fireman behind me at Regina’s Pizzeria.  While the pizza was good, it was the rude waitress and the clientele, that made this the perfect final Boston culinary experience.










Here I am in front of the oldest continually running restaurant in the country.  Paul Revere ate here, and so did we.









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For lunch in New York, Abby took us to Shake Shack—best burger EVER.  For dinner, Abby took us to "L’azzo’s” the only U.S. pizzeria certified by the Italian government.  For dessert, we went to this creperie, where we got the one with nutella, ice cream, strawberries, whip cream, nuts, bananas and chocolate sauce.  Ryan and the plastic waiter would like you to try some.






You thought we were done with food in New York?  Oh no, for second dessert, Abby served us these amazing peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes.  Also, raspberry and chocolate.

Yeah, I’m adding a few miles on the treadmill this week.




The transportation:

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  The subway is my new favorite mode of transportation.  You can read, talk, text, surf the net AND hear the latest in gangsta rap—while riding in complete vehicular safety. 







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I LOVE seeing a city using my own two feet.  There is nothing as fun as taking in the architecture, the shopping, the history, the people at a walking pace. 

Plus, it’s the only way I could still fit into my jeans at the end of my trip.




The activities:









The Freedom Trail—here we are at the end.  It was my favorite activity of the entire week.






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Here’s me with our guide book.  I read every word.  Seriously. 


I LOVE guide books.







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Ryan didn’t quite share my enthusiasm for finding the graveyard with actual British bullet holes.

I know, what is his problem, anyway?







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  Paul Revere’s house was super old and super cool.










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We loved Charlestown and the Bunker Hill monument.  Notice Ryan’s creativity in facial expressions—he was apparently getting pretty tired of the picture taking.









We stayed at The Kendall Hotel, a converted old fire station, in Cambridge.  It was darling, had good food and a super nice wait staff.  It was our only hotel stay, and we loved it.







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We met up with the Johnsons at Plymouth Rock.  This is the Mayflower replica that we toured. 





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The Metropolitan Museum of Art—short stay, but so worth it.  Someday, I will go to New York and spend 3 days all by myself in that place.




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So I literally CRIED, because I was so thrilled to be watching Wicked on Broadway.  It completely lived up to all the hype.




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We found Ryan’s true doppelganger.  Of course, he’s a male model on a store window in NYC.



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Intercourse was a little disappointing, I must admit.  (The Amish town in Pennsylvania, people, where are your minds?)  We did enjoy this tour of an Amish home and farm house…situated approximately 20 yards from Target and Kohl’s.




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All of Gettysburg was incredible…loved the museum, the film, the cyclorama—and the fact that Ryan wasn’t interested in the doing the 24 mile driving tour of the battlefield.





This was such a good thing for us to do.  I looked forward to it for an entire year.  It was beautiful, educational, relaxing, invigorating.  Not that I needed a reminder, but I sure like the guy I married. 

Perfect, I tell you.  Every minute of it.