Monday, August 19, 2013

Too many irons in the fire.

Last week I was talking with a friend, who happens to also be my daycare provider and I was telling her about all of the new things I have going on. She laughed and said it sounded like I had "lots of irons in the fire." I agreed, and added that there were too many, actually, and that they'll probably put it on my tombstone.

You see, I have this terrible habit of forgetting that I'm human and not Superwoman. I overbook, over-commit and overestimate my time. Can I do it all? Nope. Time and again, I've proven that to myself. So why do I always think I can?

Maybe the issue isn't so much that I think I can do it all, but rather that I want to do it all. I set these goals and make these promises to myself that I will fit everything in, but at the end of the day, my hours only contain 60 minutes, and my minute is only 60 seconds, just like everyone else's. I burn my candle at both ends, sometimes sacrificing sleep (and if you know me, you know that is one of my ultimate sacrifices) and often sacrificing downtime with my husband and son. And why? When I accomplish one of my goals or finish a big project, it feels good, but not great. I usually feel burned-out and apathetic. Glad to have something crossed off of my to-do list, but looking ahead at the next looming deadline.

I think it's time for me to stop the glorification of "busy" and re-organize my priorities. It's time to find some balance and make more time for the things that really matter.

Does this happen to you too? What do you do when you hit your breaking point and it's time to re-evaluate your priorities and commitments?

Monday, August 5, 2013


Is it August already? I find myself saying that every month. When I set my resolutions back in January, I didn't think 2013 would fly by this fast.

This month, I'm working on my hydration. This is one area of my heath that I seriously suck at. There are some days when I drink nothing at all besides my one cup of coffee or tea in the morning. I joke with Tots that I'm like a camel. I could spend one day drinking water and that's all I would need for the whole week. I just don't get thirsty, and I really don't like to drink while I eat. Unfortunately, this lifestyle has lead to a few cases of dehydration (to the point of vomiting and fever), not to mention severe hangovers back before going to bed by 10 was more enticing than having a few beers.

If you haven't noticed, rule number one about healthy living is to drink TONS of water. In fact, I think I read about it more and more. The basic rule of thumb is 8 cups a day, but now more health professionals are saying that it actually varies depending on your body weight and activity level. There are plenty of calculators out there to figure out what your ideal water intake should be, but they're all a little different. tells me I should be drinking around 93 ounces of water each day, but tells me I need roughly 72 ounces. Yikes. Both of those are well above the 64 ounces I struggle to drink anyway!

If you want to know what you should be drinking, you can google "hydration calculator" or "how much water should I be drinking" and come up with a number of sources.

For the purposes of this month, and in the interest of setting attainable goals, the magic number for me will be 64 ounces. It may not be "enough," but it's a lot better than the 12 ounces I get each day from my coffee.

Do you struggle to drink enough water each day?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/31

It’s been one of those weeks where I needed slapped in the face with a little gratitude. The last several days have required much more parental patience than I possess; I’ve had to stop myself and reach into my Superwoman stash and pull out miraculous amounts of calm, cool and levelheadedness (traits that I’m naturally lacking).

O will be 2 in about a month, and we’re already experiencing some symptoms of the terrible twos. Along with acting like a snotty teenager, he’s also tapped into super-human stubbornness and unbelievably high-decibel tantrums. I can handle that during the day, but when I’m supposed to be sleeping, it just doesn’t work. I take my sleep very seriously. 

Along with reminding myself that I should be grateful for a healthy and (albeit obnoxious) normal toddler, I’ve also found these blessings along the way:

Friends and family members who have been there, done that (got the Kool-aid stained t-shirt) in the parenting arena. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who wants to suck down an entire box of wine (yes, box… desperate times, my friends) before lunch some days.

Friends and family members who don’t have kids. To remind me that I used to be lots of fun before my name became Mommy. And to help me remember how to have fun after bedtime.

Our Roku. I was a little skeptical when Tots said we “needed” this device, but we watch so much Netflix, it really has been worth it.

McDonald’s Vanilla Ice Coffee. It’s not great for you by any means, but it sure makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/24

Hey there! It's been a while, but I haven't really done anything blog-worthy recently, so I haven't had much to say. I hate to write posts that aren't real posts, ya know?

Well, this one isn't really a real post either. Over the last week, I've found a lot of new things to be grateful for. Here are a few of them:

Old friends who pick up the phone at 10:30pm. For some of you, that doesn't seem like a big deal. You are probably 24 or younger.

A healthy family. Watching Jack Hoffman win an ESPY was such a proud moment for the entire Husker Nation. If you're unfamiliar with Team Jack (you're probably not from Nebraska), you can learn more about him and his fight against pediatric brain cancer here. He and his family are really an inspiration, and whenever I'm feeling negative about anything related to my son, I step back and think about the Hoffman family and get slapped in the face with a little bit of perspective. My son is healthy. My husband is healthy. I am healthy. Life is good.

Again, a healthy family. Over the last couple of years, my husband's uncle was battling with cancer. In early May, he was able to announce that he was officially a cancer survivor. We were able to see him and his family briefly in June, and the bond between them is incredible. The four of them have walked through fire together and come out on the other side, stronger.

My plastic microwave egg cooker. Seriously, I cook eggs in the microwave every morning. Breakfast dishes? Aint nobody got time for that. Especially when you're perpetually running late and you've got a kid to feed.
I got it fo' free. Jealous?
As a side note, my kitchen attracts convenience-based microwavable cookware like nobody's business.

The fact that every day is a new day. Each day, we all get the chance to start over, and make a change if necessary. Someday, I'd like to get my crap together and get serious about this blogging business. Obviously, that day hasn't come yet. We can both hope it's out there somewhere, in my future*. Bottom line, if you don't like who you were yesterday, be someone else today. That's the opportunity you get every time you wake up.
*Or maybe you don't hope that, which is cool, but then why are you still reading? Nobody's got a gun to your head or anything. Unless somebody does. Blink twice if you're in danger.

Monday, July 15, 2013

1 going on 16.

Since O hit about 18 months, we've been dealing with what I like to think of as "early onset terrible twos." Sometimes it sucks; it's frustrating and infuriating, and it forces me to be a much bigger person than I ever realized I could. However, I've been told by many more experienced parents that the terrible twos pale in comparison to the threes (they're so bad, apparently nobody has given them a cutesy name yet).

That's all fine and well- it's wonderful to have something to look forward to, right? (eye roll), but sometimes I feel like I'm living with a teenager. Every time I go into his room in the morning or after nap time (always after he wakes up on his own), he rolls over, scowls at me, and shouts "Mommy WEAVE (leave)!!" As I get half way down the hallway, I hear him shout, "Cwose da door!"

He's also become a bottomless pit, his feet STINK and all he cares about are sports and cars. I can tell his interest in the ladies is imminent and inevitable. 

Yes. A tiny little teenager. One going on sixteen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/14

Looking back on my weekend, I have many things to be grateful for. We had a pretty busy couple of days, filled with family and friends, a wedding and a funeral, and quite a few miles on the truck.

1. Opportunities to come together and celebrate. You probably think I'm talking about the wedding but the funeral is actually what I had in mind (not to say that the wedding wasn't a great celebration, because it was; the pounding in my head this morning tells me it actually might have been a little too great).

On Friday, we celebrated the life of a woman I didn't really know. She was my great-step-grandmother-in-law, and I had only met her a handful of times. I remember very vividly when I was a kid, and I was at a funeral for someone I loved very dearly and I was angry at all of the people who were there that didn't seem to know the deceased, and I asked my dad why they thought they should be there. He looked at me and said, "Jessie, this isn't for the person who died. The funeral is for the people who are left missing him. You go for those who are grieving."

So, that is exactly what I did on Friday. I went for the bereft. Everybody there was so sad to have lost her, but they were so filled with joy to be together and to share stories about her life. Sometimes, when you hear about the way someone lived their life, it re-focuses you and reminds you of how you want to live your life, and what you want to be remembered for.

2. The people I've somehow managed to surround myself with. I've said it a million times; I've got great friends. As we were celebrating last night, I was amazed to think of what we've all been through together: how many of each others' weddings have we attended or participated in, the birth of at least 5 kids (you get them together and get them running around, and you sort of lose track of how many there actually are) and countless other events. It's nice to have friends who are there for all phases of life-- people you don't outgrow. I was so afraid I would never see them again after the birth of O, but they've been right there, growing with us.

3. A husband who is willing to split the parenting work 50/50. As I type this, he's bathing O. He actually came home tonight and decided that it was time to start potty training, so he's been spearheading that operation for the night (don't worry about him, I'll have the day-shift all day tomorrow). I don't know what life would be like if I were on my own through this parenting ride.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/11

I spent a little time on the road today by myself, for the first time in a long time. That meant listening to anything I wanted and singing as loud as I wanted, without a toddler telling me "Mommy, too woud!" or "Mommy, music OFF!" or, my favorite, "Mommy, no music. Sing twinkle sarr."

Today I'm thankful for:
1. All of the different "phases" of my life so far. I'm not kidding when I tell you that on the way to my destination, my iPhone played (in this exact order) Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Brand New, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, James Taylor and Tom Petty. Each song took me back to the day I downloaded it (legally, I assure you), and even though I'm a completely different person than I was back in my Brand New days, I still love all of that music. It's symbolic to me of where I've been and what I've overcome. Oh, and there is no season or mood necessary for Tom Petty; that's good music anytime.

2. Dex's new-found maturity. I don't think I've shared it with you guys, because I didn't want to jinx it, but it's a pretty big deal: Dex is finally kennel-free. I know. I was shocked too. From the day he broke out of his kennel while we were gone and ate our entire stash of Subway trash (receipt and all) and pooped all over our floor, I never thought we would get to this point. I remember very vividly the first day I let him out of his kennel for a few hours while I was at work. We had a very serious conversation about maturity and responsibility. He gave me a knowing look that said, "Look Mom, you can trust me now. I don't do lame things like eat your electricity bills or poop on the floor anymore. And I swear I won't annihilate your pretty throw pillows either." I took a leap of faith, and I'm so glad I did. I thought the ugly wire kennel was going to be a permanent furnishing in my house. Now that it's no longer taking up space in my room (serving as a frequent thigh-bruiser and toe-stubber), I feel so... free.

3. Nate's sense of humor. Maybe, more specifically, the sense of humor Nate and I can share. At one point in conversation with our friends tonight, we both looked at each other and said, "Buzz, your girlfriend... woof!" Who does that? Straight-up 90's.

What are you thankful for? Are you playing along with me? I'd love it if you would post your blessings in comments!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thanksgiving in July: 7/10

1.       Modern technology. I live about six hours away from my mom and dad, and sometimes it’s hard to have so much distance between us. That’s probably why my son has hijacked my facebook page (sorry, all of my college friends who gag at all of my mommy posts). I don’t want my family to miss anything, and I want O to know who they are, too. Facebook makes it really easy to look at pictures and share videos and stories. Just ten short years ago, I would’ve had to resort to calling my mom, every day, on my flip phone that may or may not have had a crappy camera.
2.       Second chances. We all need them sometimes.
3.       Subtle reminders of who and what we want to be. Sometimes it comes in the form of an inspirational, positive person who we aspire to be like. You know the person who lights up the room with their smile, has never said a bad word about anybody, and can encourage and lift even the most despondent situation. Sometimes it’s the opposite. Have you ever been around someone who is chronically negative, or two-faced, or angry? It sort of opens your eyes and reminds you of what you don’t want to be.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thanksgiving in July?

I've done it again. It's a pattern I'm not proud of, but seem doomed to repeat. I keep breaking the cardinal rule of blogging: erratic and unpredictable writing. Sorry I keep leaving you all high and dry for week-long stretches at a time. The only real excuse I have is that I've got a lot of obligations fighting for my time an attention. I think of you all often, I really do. I just have trouble making this the priority that it should be.

So, we catch up, again.

We're still trying to sell our house, and it consumes me more than it probably should. I have a few more posts to share with you about some of our projects, so be looking for that.  I also have some really fun non-house related projects that I've been working on in my spare time, and I can't wait to share them with you. I'm hoping to post at least one later this week (so ya know, like, next month in JessieTime).

I'm still training for my 5k, even though the 5k date keeps getting pushed back due to life's interferences. I was very impressed with myself the last time I ran. Don't laugh, but I ran for twelve minutes straight, without stopping to walk. I know, you can probably do that right now without any issue, but for an avid non-runner like myself that was like a marathon. I think my feet fell off when I got home, but I can't confirm that because I blacked out (just kidding Ma. I didn't black out, but I couldn't feel my feet for about an hour).

In all of my impatience and grumbling about things beyond my control, it's probably a good thing that this month's resolution is here. I've been so caught up in my own world, wishing and longing for things that I don't have and things I can't control, I haven't been as cognizant of all of my blessings. In all honesty, I've been so consumed that I didn't even realize what this month's resolution was until today.

It's so easy to take things for granted; even the most important things. For the rest of July, I'm going to work to find three blessings each day, and I invite you to do the same. It will be pretty easy at first, starting with the most obvious and basic, but I think by the end of the month, this is going to truly become a challenge. My hope is that by opening my eyes to the blessings (even the small ones) every day holds, I will become a little more grateful and content, and a lot less anxious.

These are the blessings I'm focusing on today:
1. Air-conditioning. It's pretty nasty out there today, and I'm really lucky that I not only have a home to live in, but a functioning air-conditioner to make it comfortable.
2. The ability to work part-time. Today is one of my days at home, and it's been great. From "coffee time!" with O, to late morning grocery store trips (when you don't have to fight with anyone over the last un-shriveled pepper), this extra time at home has been a blessing. Every day is an adventure. Within the first three hours of my day, my house was a train station, a doctor's office and a restaurant.
3. The community I live in. I know, I've spent a lot of time focusing on getting out of this town, but it's not because of the town. I love this community, and I will be really sad when the day comes to leave. It's a nice small town that still offers lots of big-city luxuries, and it's really invested in it's own growth and success.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back patio gets a facelift

Can you believe next week is the 4th of July? I'm hoping we can squeeze in some time at the water park or zoo before September gets here!

One of the reasons my summer fun keeps getting pushed aside is house projects. As you know, we're in the middle of trying to sell our house (and wow, I'm earning a gold star in the patience column... not! That's a different post, I suppose.), so home upgrades have sort of taken priority. In fact, we spent our first weekend of summer pouring some sweat into our back yard (figuratively, not literally, as the weather was anything but summer-y. We were freezing our butts off in the rain and wind, shivering in hoodies and gloves.)

You see, when we first moved in, our back patio was... well, it was okay. Nothing amazing by any means. It was small and it was not the way we would have done it. I won't go into my rant about it, but we'll just say it was on our list of things to fix (along with finishing our basement, painting upstairs, planting and landscaping out front, adding a fence to the backyard... the list goes on and on).

Because we weren't in love with it, and because he knew we were going to change it, and because he's pretty awesome like that, my dad put up a small pen for Dex right after I brought O home from the hospital. He knew that I wasn't going to have the time/energy/patience to chase Dex in and out of the house every time he needed to go outside, so he created what lovingly became known as Dex's "shit-pen" around the bottom of our deck so it would be as convenient as opening and closing the door. Of course, you can imagine what happened... it didn't take long for Dex's little pen to become a little (a lot) unsightly.

Yep, pretty ugly. Again, in our defense, we knew this would happen, and we sort of intentionally let it happen. Who wants to mow grass under stairs? 

We knew we had wanted to extend our patio so that the steps came down to concrete and so we wouldn't have to maintain a lawn under the landing and stairs, so this wasn't really a big deal until we decided to put our house on the market.

Of course, as soon as we decided we wanted to list our house, we wanted it done like, yesterday. So, we enlisted the help of (who else?) my dad, the master-planner/builder/craftsman, and my mom, Grandma and babysitter extraordinaire. In the matter of a couple of days (and hours of digging, leveling, wheeling concrete across the yard from the truck), we had this: 

 (Of course, in true Jessie-style, we underestimated the amount of rock we would need, so we were a little short for a while. I was too impatient to wait for more rock to get a picture after all our hard work. Don't worry, it's much better now.)

After living in our house for two and a half years, we've finally got the patio we wanted. Because we did all of the work ourselves, it only cost us around $400, by the time we purchased the rest of the rock and the plants we wanted. 

Sure, it's nothing amazing, but we really do love it. I've already used the back patio more in the last month than I did all last summer. The moral of my post is that you shouldn't wait until your selling your house to make it amazing... unless you're like me and you need a fire lit under your ass :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vanity re-do


As promised, I'm going to begin sharing some of the projects that are keeping me busy during nap time, night time, and weekends. My goal is to share one project a week... however, it may not always be a completed project, sometimes it might be a work in progress. I would love to be able to complete one project a week, but unfortunately (even with my new part-time work schedule) there just isn't enough nap time for that kind of progress.

This project is one I had been excited about for a while; even before we decided to sell our house. When I was in my early teens, my parents bought me this cute little vanity for my bedroom. I'm not sure which birthday it was for, but I know it was before I could drive, and probably right when I started to get into hair and makeup. I'm assuming this was purchased to alleviate the issue of bathroom time between me and my brother as we would get ready for school.

Anyway, once I went to college, this vanity just sat, abandoned, in my room. It did serve as a make-shift desk in a cracker-jack college apartment for a brief time, but when Tots and I moved in together, it got packed away again.

I'm not sure what sparked my excitement for this project, but right before we decided to sell our house, I got the strongest urge to get this vanity out and re-fresh it. I began to dream of clean, shiny white lines, and a cute patterned cushion. When I randomly stumbled upon the perfect fabric, I knew it was fate.

Hopefully this is obvious, but the picture on the left is the before. I just wasn't feeling the silver tiger patterned cushion anymore :).

What do you think? I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. This is one of the more simple projects I've done recently, but I think it's a good example of how high impact a can (or 4) of spray paint and a yard of fabric can be.

Obviously, I don't have a little girl of my own, and my bedroom is much too small to fit this extra piece of furniture, so now that it's finished, I will be selling it. I'm sad to see it go, but in the name of moving, it's time to cut the emotional ties and downsize!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Catching up

It’s unbelievable to me that June is already half gone.  It’s been at least two weeks since I’ve posted anything, and I don’t even have the nagging, guilty feeling I usually get if I go longer than a week without updating.  That tells me that this time has flown by at a pace I’m almost unaware of.

I didn’t post a whole lot about my 5k progress.  Don’t worry.  I’m still training, and still hating almost every minute of it (with the exception of the walking breaks).  I did have to take last week off due to a minor back/neck issue, but I’m back at it again this week.  On that note, does anyone else ever get a stabbing pain between their neck and shoulder on the right side?  It’s almost like someone or something is pinching me really hard on a pressure point.

According to my resolutions, June is supposed to be the month that I make my house feel a little more like “us.”  However, we’ve actually made the decision to put our house on the market and move to the town where Tots works (he commutes about 40 minutes each morning and evening).  We didn’t see this coming in January, but it’s where we’re at now.  If you’ve never bought or sold a house before (this is a first for us in the selling department), let me tell you that it’s an all-consuming process.  In fact, anybody who knows me or has had to be around me for the last month can probably attest to this.  So, that means you’re going to get to read about all of the projects we’ve worked on to get the house ready to sell, instead.  Deal? 

This also means I've got a fire lit under me, and that I need to finish all of my half-started projects in the garage (and basement, and spare bedroom, and closet...).  I'll be posting those, too.  I've already got a couple stockpiled, I just have to get around to taking pictures.

I’m a little disappointed to not be doing the home projects I had initially planned, but I hope you’ll find these valuable too.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5k May: Week 6

Well, May is almost over and I've only blogged about my 5k training once!  Oops.  I think about it every time I go for a run, but I've had other things that have been on my mind lately.  Important things, like drunk parenting and my dog with an over-developed sense of self importance.  My intentions have been good, but as usual, my follow-through is lacking.

Currently, I'm in week 6 of my C25K training.  Week 6 day 1 is 5 min jogging/3 min walking/8 min jogging/3 min walking/5 min jogging.  Day 2 jumps up to 10 min jogging/3 min walking/10 min jogging.  Needless to say, I've not yet reached day 2. 

It's interesting to me how much your environment and conditions can effect your running.  I started out running indoors on a track (I didn't want to run on a treadmill, and it was still winter-like conditions here in northeastern Nebraska).  It was a great start; challenging, but I was always able to finish my workouts.  As the weather got nicer, I started running outside.  Why is it so much harder to do that?! 

I've been stuck on day 1 of week 6 for a week now.  I was able to finish it the first couple of times, but it was a struggle.  The last two times I've done it, I actually had to stop half-way through my 8 minute jog to catch my breath.  Most recently, I've been having a sharp pinching on my right shoulder, close to my neck.  I'm not sure what it is, but it usually goes away after about a minute and a half of walking.  I think it's just something I have to push through.

Do you run?  What kinds of pains or road blocks have you encountered?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dexter Mayhem: all in a day's work.

For those of you who haven’t met my semi-loyal companion (he only likes me when I’m feeding him, scratching his belly, or pregnant), I think it’s probably time to get you more familiar with Dexter, the self-appointed CEO of the Hurricane Household.

As CEO, his duties include (but of course, are not limited to):

  • Greeting all guests with a goofy grin and excessive jumping/body-wagging
  • Sharing his toys with O
  • Answering tough questions like “whosagooboy?” and “Who the hell ate the whole roll of toilet paper?” with a passive eyebrow-raise and leisurely departure of the room
  • Eating rolls of toilet paper (as indicated in previous duty)
  • Enforcing security:
    • Barking at neighbor children for using our segment of the road
    • Barking at the mailman as he delivers our mail
    • Barking at scary commercials on tv
    • Barking when our garage door opens (typically indicating that it is someone who lives here or has our security code)
    • Barking at any and all decorative door items including but not limited to: 
      • wreaths
      • signs
      • sashes
      • bells
      • floral arrangements (especially those damn floral arrangements... oh, how he hates those flowers)
  • Ensuring proper noise levels at night (He snores.  Louder than some humans)
  • Post-meal kitchen clean up (although he's now on a restricted diet for his allergies, so we do our best to not leave anything for him to clean up, which, if you've ever lived with a toddler, you know is impossible)
  • Kid clean up specializing in facial and forelimb areas
  • Stealth-farting (and not-so-stealth farting) and leaving the room, spurring “who farted?” arguments among all speaking inhabitants
  • Ensuring daily tug-of-war and ball-playing quotas are met
  • Lightening the mood and cheering up all Hurricane Household members with silly antics including but not limited to:
    • Licking face
    • Chasing imaginary fly
    • Jumping up and down (literally, all four paws off the floor at once)
    • Wagging entire body in circles around said person’s feet, rendering them immobile until proper cheering has occurred
  • Scaring away varmints within the perimeter of the Hurricane Household, including but not limited to:
    • Cats
    • Raccoons
    • Opossums
    • Stray children

In addition to these duties, he’s also held accountable for the following:
  • Being the reason we can’t have nice things
  • Being the reason we house our toilet paper rolls on the vanity or the toilet tank like a frat house
  • Being the reason O can’t have a pacifier outside of his crib
  • Keeping us guessing as to his medical condition (constantly itching/balding/licking, through various food changes, medicines, lotions, sprays and voo-doo magic)
As you can tell, this job is no walk in the park (or pee on a fire hydrant), but he handles it with the grace of a rhinoceros and the expertise that only he can bring to the table.