Dear Rader #19

Dear Rader,

Today is your 19th birthday. I like to write you and your brother a letter every year, and this one will be no exception.

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I’m incredibly proud of you and your brother. Y’all have weathered some emotional turmoil this year, and even though you both have a little internal bruising, you are stronger for it.

You just finished your first semester in college. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to fathom you’re a grown-ass man. You worked your tail off earning ALL THE SCHOLARSHIPS to pay for college. You worked your tail off earning money to help pay for your trip abroad, your trip to Puerto Rico, and to buy yourself a car. I know adults who don’t have the work ethic you have now. It’s amazing to see you take control of your life, set goals, and work like a junkyard dog to achieve them.

You’ve always been my little individualist and it makes me proud that you’ve had a self-awareness well beyond your age. I’d love to take credit for helping you with that, but I think that you were just born with it. You weren’t a “normal” baby (as if there is such a thing.) You were always so independent, so curious, so willing to ask questions and make jokes and entertain yourself. You hated sleeping in bed with us as a kid, didn’t like cuddling, and spent the ages from 5-10 “hugging” me by poking me with your index fingers and saying “hug, hug.” So now, when you snuggle me on the couch, or hug me with both arms…it is truly special.

I love you, kid. And I’m proud of the man you’re becoming. Carry on.

Love, Momma

Dear Rader #18,

18 years ago today, I was in labor. I didn’t know I was in labor, and I worked a full 8 hours at the daycare, picking up babies, crawling around on the floor, and changing diapers. You weren’t due to arrive for another 3 weeks, so there was no way those regular pains and contractions I was feeling were real.

That night, just as your father was crawling into bed, I said “I think we might need to go to the hospital. They’ve been coming at about 5 minutes apart for a while now–and getting stronger.”

Off we went. We figured it was a false alarm, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?

They admitted me immediately.

At 4:00AM on January 30, after a night full of very strong, very regular contractions coming in at about 2 minutes apart, they just stopped.

The doc came in and examined me at 6:00 and told me I had two choices. I could go home and come back later that night when they would more than likely start again, or he could hook me up to pitocin and we could meet you today.

I believe my words may have been something along the lines of “I’m not going any-fucking-where. Hook me up.” Whatever I said, I’m sure it was colorful. You know me…

Labor with you was fairly easy, even with the pitocin. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t fun. That shit hurts. But my blood pressure didn’t spike like it did with your brother, and I slept a lot. Our friends and family came in and out all day, and about 4:00 that afternoon, the doc was convinced you wouldn’t be here before midnight.

You were. I’m a little fuzzy on your exact time of birth because shit got real not long after 4:00. You brought the pain.

Your AntiJen and Daddy were there through the whole process. There was a sprinkle of cursing among the tears and smiles. You came into the world bellowing like a baboon. You were also over 8 and a half pounds at 3 weeks early, so you never once looked like a newborn.

You took to nursing really quickly, but no matter how much you fed, you were never satisfied. We had to supplement you with cereal in a bottle between nursing times. You plumped up quickly, and at 3 months, you weighed 18 lbs…which is what your brother weighed at 1 year.

Your feet were cubes and you were completely pigeon-toed. You wore a brace with a bar between your feet for a while at about 18 months… you crawled around like a maniac. That brace never slowed you down. Once we removed it, you were like lightning.

We had to duct tape a sign to your back that said something like “If you see me without an adult, I’ve escaped again. Call my mom.” You always had to have a phone number attached to you, because you could NOT be contained.

I understood child leashes after having you.

You’ve been our Monkey Boy from day one. I also loved calling you Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop–mostly because you hated it so. You’ve been a daredevil from the moment you started to walk. I’ll never forget the time I was sitting with your Bobo behind homeplate at a baseball game and we both looked up to see you had climbed the fence in front of us…and you were so high up, we couldn’t reach you. Like I said, lightning fast.

Once you learned to talk, you talked for hours–sometimes for hours to yourself.

You weren’t a cuddler as a child, but now the fact you sit on the couch with me every night after school with your head on my shoulder and tell me about your day makes up for all the times I’d ask you for a hug and you’d hold out 2 fingers and touch each side of my waist or shoulders and say “Hug! Hug!”

As of tomorrow, you can vote. You can join the armed forces and die for our country. Legally, you are emancipated.

But you’ll always be my Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop. My Monkey Boy. My little tub of butter.

I’ve loved watching you grow into a man, and I’m really looking forward to life with you all grown up.

But for one more day, you’re still my baby boy.

Love,
Mom

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Many thanks to Rader’s dad for letting me have this set up in his yard last night.

et tu?

My youngest turns 18 on Saturday. Or as he continually reminds me via text message and on FB…I officially will be VERY OLD on Saturday when my youngest child is no longer a child. He will only be my offspring. My growed-assed progeny. Because I’m old.

Yes. That is a summary of how he teases me about his 18th birthday. Because he is cruel.

He is my clown, my goofball, my forever and unapologetically “himself” child. I’ve never met a more grounded or a more self-aware teenager in my life.

Please enjoy this very brief glimpse into our life together

I have made many mistakes over the years, but I’ve done 2 things pretty damn okay. And they are the beings I birthed, formerly known as my children.

But as of this weekend, I’ll be the mother of two growed-assed men.

Et Tu, Rader Tater?

black and… orange? gold? red?

college collage

This week, my youngest little bird was accepted to Hendrix College and offered $100K in academic scholarships. This doesn’t include the other scholarships he’s applied for.

To say I am overjoyed for him would be an understatement

Last night he found out that he can log in to his Vandy account today after 5:30 pm CST to see if he’s been accepted and how much need-based financial aid he’ll be receiving. (Scholarship information will come later.)

We will hear from Rhodes in January.

I am so nervous for him and so damn excited. I want so badly for Vandy to accept his application, and for the tuition assistance to be good enough along with his scholarships that he can attend. It’s his first choice. Hendrix and Rhodes are neck-n-neck for 2nd. He loved all the schools so much and would be happy attending any of them.

But Vandy felt like his soulmate. You could see it in his eyes as we walked through campus and toured the dorms.

I’m wearing my black and gold today, in hopes for good news tonight.

I feel rather positive that he’ll get in…but there’s always that niggling what if he doesn’t… and you know what? so what what if he doesn’t? He tried. He put forth a great effort and for whatever reason, if he didn’t make the cut–it will make him stronger and more determined to succeed at either Rhodes or Hendrix. But at least he wasn’t afraid to take a chance.

Talking to Rader’s godfather and my best friend Nick this morning he said that when he was afraid to leave for school his dad said “You know what son, I don’t want you to go, but you better get the hell out of here.”

And that right there sums it up perfectly for me. I’ll miss you when you’re gone, but you better fly away little birdie!

Okay, bitches! Keep your fingers crossed for good news! Maybe tonight, I’ll be the mom of an incoming Vanderbilt Freshman!

 

Operation Bootylicous Workout #5

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I saw this workout on Pinterest yesterday and decided to modify it to fit my needs.

I actually had planned to do the 80 lunges and go into the 70 squats, but that changed when I got to 30 lunges. I’m just not there yet.  Because of the arthritis in my elbows, I have a very hard time with planks and push ups, so I made an adjustment to suit my body.

I did this set twice, and by the end, I was winded and wobbly. The sign of a very good workout! And it was a nice change of pace from what I’ve been doing. You know, I don’t wanna be bored…

Last night, I was ravenous about an hour after the workout. I had eaten a big green salad prior, and had a high protein shake afterward, but apparently my body needed more. Unfortunately, it was 9:00 and I don’t eat that late, so I fixed myself some green and roasted dandelion root tea and toughed it out. However, when I woke up this morning, I made myself a yummy little egg and cheese open-faced sandwich on the Pepperidge farm thin whole wheat bread because my stomach had tried to eat my spine overnight.

Increase in hunger is to be expected when your metabolism is kicking into gear, but sadly, I’m not a runner who is competing and needs to fuel up on as many calories as I burn. I’m a girl who is trying to lose weight, and has to remind herself that the point of exercising is to burn the calories…not to jump into a vat of cheese dip and while eating all the chips just because you exercised…

Hmph.

In other, non-workout and whiny because I’m hungry news: Pearl is up and running again! Ian’s dad helped us out with purchasing a new battery and she seems to be purring like a kitten. She still needs to have some tweaks done to her, so we’ll take her in next week and have her looked at. I drove her today, to make sure she was safe. I don’t want Ian carting the 4 year old he’s babysitting around in Pearl if she’s going to break down again… Looks like we’re a go, for take off! yippee!

Ian and Pearl

Ian and Pearl

Life is good, bitches. Live a genuine life and be happy. Or else I might have to get stabby all up in this place. Don’t be taking shit for granted, ya hear?

Melf’s Compound BootyCamp Day 1: Report in, sir.

pinup18So…it was kind of a success! I say “Kind of” because clearly, I like to believe I’m still fit as I was when I played 3 hours of basketball every afternoon and ran a 9 minute mile without breaking a sweat.

Just in case you were wondering, I am NOT in high school, anymore.

The boys were awesome. I actually didn’t expect them to take it seriously and get out there with me, but they did. Even my nephew Ryan jumped in!

I made 1 round of all the exercises, which totaled 22 minutes. I had hoped to do the full round of 42 minutes, but it just didn’t happen. I know I got a good workout in though because I wanted to puke a couple of times. That’s how you know you’re doin’ it right. Right? LOL

Or it could have just been the extreme heat and humidity. Whatever.

It was a pretty leg intensive workout, which is what I need. (the boys bitched about it. Said they want more upper body work. hah!) I have large thigh and butt muscles (big butt, SO WHAT?)  and I need to focus on getting rid of the extra padding around them. But we did arm work along with the leg work, so we did get a pretty full body workout.

I’m quite pleased with my first attempt, thankyouverymuch.

I ran out of energy faster than expected because I didn’t eat enough calories yesterday. I ate some peanut butter on a whole wheat pita about an hour prior to the workout, but…it just wasn’t enough to get me through. I have GOT to do better about eating more calories during the day. The thing about doing the low carb lifestyle is I’m just not as hungry. Which is GOOD and bad…because I have to eat for energy if I’m going to exercise more than just walking. And of course, if I exercise at night, I generally am not hungry at all afterward. Whicexercisepinuph means I ended yesterday with only 821 calories and I burned 420. Not good for energy levels.

This morning I made sure I ate a good breakfast. A grilled chicken burrito with Greek Cream Cheese and spinach on a low carb, whole wheat tortilla. It was so tasty and satisfying. And I’m not crabby at all.

We’re gonna be back at it on Wednesday night! I hope I can push myself to do more than half the workout. I have a hard time motivating myself to do the workouts. I need a coach to bully me. LOL Oh, the 80s. How I don’t miss being yelled at and shamed for being curvier and slower than the rest of the basketball team. I certainly wasn’t anywhere close to fat at 135 lbs and 5’6 tall. But to hear the coach tell it, I was morbidly obese and lazy.

Which is why, now that I am overweight, it’s really hard for me to motivate myself. I shame myself for the body I have because I felt so much shame about the body I had. WTF is wrong with adults who shame children like that? Don’t they know that shit sticks?

Eh. The only failure is failing to try again. So, I’m just gonna keep trying until I’m successful.

And I’m going to love me for who I am. Because seriously? I’m pretty fat-tastic. FANtastic. Awesome even. And I’m gonna rock this body, no matter its size, shape or leftover shame. There is no shame in being human. There is only shame in being an ugly-on-the-inside human.

I am ANYTHING but ugly. Inside or out.

Let’s stay motivated, bitches!

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full house! and Operation Bootylicious, take 2,000

After a lovely and tiring 5 days with friends doing awesome lake stuff, Rader Tater returned to me last night. It was great to see him again and hear about his exploits and how awesome his trip was. I met “Grammy and Pops” his friend’s grandparents, and they had nothing but love for Rader. “He’s such a sweet boy. So polite and well-mannered and fun. You’ve done a great job.” Well, so far. Yes. LOL There’s still time for me to screw him up. I’m working on it!

pin_up_exerciseOPERATION BOOTYLICIOUS is back on track.

I’ve managed the diet portion of my health and fitness journey, but I keep falling off the exercise wagon. I loved Booty Camp and miss it…but when you’re saving money, organized bootcamps are not necessary expenses. Also, the times were so hard for me to work in. The best class was Mon/Wed at 7:15, but those are my days with the boys…and I really don’t like giving up my time with them for the gym. Tues/Thurs would be perfect, but they didn’t offer anything at night. And sadly, no matter how hard I try, I cannot get to a 5 a.m. class. I’m just not a morning person.

And those of you who are…YOU ARE NOT HUMAN.

I walk 2-4 times a week with Marissa at lunch. And that’s great, because it keeps me moving, but I have GOT to add a more hardcore exercise program to my weekly regimen.

So, starting tonight, Welcome to MELF’s BOOTYLICIOUS COMPOUND.pin-up-girl-on-scale

Instead of leaving my kids to go workout, we’re going to start working out together. I’m putting together a 40 minute HIIT workout and then we’re gonna do 15 minutes of abs. And it’s gonna be awesome.

Here’s this week’s workout…

Do every exercise for 2 minutes. Repeat once.

  • 2 minute warm up run
  • Walking lunges,  10lb weights
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats (8 regular/8 pulses)
  • Jump on trampoline
  • Narrow Squat With Overhead Press
  • Line drills with medicine ball
  • Push ups
  • wall sit
  • Tricep curls
  • jump rope

This will be a 40 minute workout. Then abs.

I’ll report back tomorrow. If I can walk. Type. Or breathe.

Oh…check out this awesome blog post. 25 things fat people shouldn’t do. #19 Run.

You know, I keep reading these motivational quotes, images, posters, and what nots from people who THINK they are helping us big girls. But the problem is, shit like this doesn’t help. Because DUH. We know this:

getting-back-into-exercise-389x435If wishing worked, my Booty would make Beyonce’s look like a squishy marshmallow.

We know it’s hard work. I’m not lazy. I’m strong as hell. My legs will crush you like rotten nut if you give me a chance. I have lots of muscle under my layer of fluff. And I really don’t have a problem with being a woman of substance. HOWEVER. I want to be healthy. I’d like to ween myself off the BP meds if I can. I’d also like to get my toned arms back. I don’t know what happens with me. I do well with exercise, but not diet. Or I do well with diet but not exercise. It’s like I have fitness ADHD!

Either way, maybe working out with my kids and Jefe will make a difference. I know I enjoy walking more when I have someone to walk with…so, I’ll keep you posted on Operation Bootylicious. Hopefully you’ll be seeing less of me soon. *wink*

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The problem with this? I’m done, when I’m tired. UGH.

LET’S PLAY FAIRIES!

My niece Double A.

My niece Double A.

When I was a little girl, my favorite thing to do on the 4th of July was play fairies.

You don’t know how to play 4th of July Fairies? What is wrong with you!?

You light up sparklers for each hand and you “fly” around the field yelling “I’m a fairy!” I taught Double A this game last night, and we spread our fairy sparkle far and wide at the compound. I’m pretty sure it’s still glowing out there.photo 3(7)

Ian and Ben and my brother Mike bought ALL THE LOUD FIREWORKS KNOWN TO MAN and we blew shit up for hours. Well, they did. I lasted about 30 minutes. The skeeters like my sweet blood way too much. They apparently don’t even care if I bath in Off or Skin So Soft or Gasoline. It doesn’t matter. The want to suck me dry.  photo 1(9)

For a while, the entire county sounded like we were at war. I thought maybe the British were actually returning…and Paul Revere fell down on his job. But by 11:00, the bang, bang, booms had stopped and the world was quiet again.

I think everyone was excited we weren’t under a burn ban. I can’t remember the last time it sounded like that. I bet it’s been since I was a kid.

OMG. we used to have the best 4th of July celebrations when I was younger. Bonfires, roasted weenies, s’mores and lots of booms and bangs. This would have been the perfect year (weather wise, especially) to have brought back the Compound Celebrations, but with Jefe still down with the plague, it just wouldn’t have been the same. (you know he doesn’t feel well when he didn’t even come outside to blow anything up!)

Today, the kids are coming back to test out the waterproof fireworks in the pond and to blow up old toys. Good grief. We have created monsters! (Monsters of awesome)

I still have some sparklers left, so I shall play fairies one more time.

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Have a fantabulous weekend, bitches. I will be sparkling and fairying all weekend long. If you need some extra awesome, just stop by the compound. I have plenty to spare!