man down, leggies and homecoming

i experienced something i have been dreading since i started a this blog: my first noticed decrease in followers. bum out. trying not to take it to heart. this would be a great time for any lurkers to come on out and save the day. definitely not thinking about who it is and what made them de-follow. i'm not for everyone, but i wish i wasn't such a numbers person.

in other news the last 4 pairs of leggies that i have are on mega sale in my etsy shop for $5 each. the are butterflies and black with hearts. i want these leggies to stand up and walk into someone else's house. i want to revemp the shop bigtime and these are the last purge i need to make. of course if no one goes for them i have 2 baby legs of my own that i could stuff inside of them.

jesse is coming home in minutes from spending 3 days away at a conference. i would not have survived without his AMAZING mom (and dad) helping me with the kids so i could work/think/breathe. i love those dukes. but the one i love the extra most on the planet is totally irreplaceable to me and to one little 23 month old who has been pined fiercely. he just pulled in!!!

still risen

yeah so easter is way over. but luckily the consequences of this particular holiday dont expire. so under the same banner, i am getting away with posting these so late.

i have never been so close to breaking down as a parent as i was on easter. if i thought the previous sunday was stressful, easter sunday went to a whole 'nother strasosphere. it all centered around judah crying inconsolably (never happens) for 3 hours straight. i would be holding him while he wailed, "maaaaaa-maaaaa!" it ended with an angelic lady in the nursey informing us that he had an ear infection (mother of the year that i didn't figure it out myself) and making a sprint-trip to rite-aid.

we had to cancel our plans to go to the dukes house to celebrate and stay home instead. we had mcdonalds drive through for lunch (i had to go around 2 times making 2 different orders to get my food and had my perfectly funded and paid-off credit card declined at one point, adding to the fun). but my mother and father in law lovingly brought some of the leftovers from their easter brunch over to our house that evening so we could take part.

literally 60 seconds after i put the ear drops in and gave him advil. he slept for 4 hours straight and woke up a new boy.

being adorable in her easter dress

her new thing is to wrinkle the quilt up all around her

layla's not too sure about the outfit

i was hesitant to put her in this dress because i hate the old school style of baby clothes with monograms and smocking and embroidery. it's just not my style. but this outfit was allowed through on a special waiver because it wasn't too over the top and because it was sentimental

that's right, this was my outfit as a baby. my mom was awesome at keeping things like this preserved for us.

FYI: my legal name is katherine, but my parents always planned for me to go by katie. there were like 5 katies in my kindergarten class so i became kate. briefly tried to become kit after reading witch of blackbird pond in 5th grade--it did not stick. came up with k8 when i was 12 in honor of my beloved volleyball and soccer number. was told i couldnt have a number in my name so i just spelled it out as keight. that spelling stuck forever more. it was even on my wedding invites, so no going back now. i feel like much more of a keight than a kate anyway.

insane that i was inside that dress in 1983. circle of life, baby

the child can rattle off some faces

judah tries his first cadbury egg. thank jesus (and lu-lu who gave him his basket) that it was caramel and not creme because i cant STAND those in my vicinity. he got down on that junk

with 1/2 of his wonderful grandparents putting on a mega cheese.

now when we read the page in judah's word book talks about foods, he likes to "eat" the candy. thinks it's hilarious.

jesse isn't mad here i swear. he is however very good looking.

oh right, we're talking about judah eating the pages:

what a character, "ha HA! i et da candee!"

the child slays me.

p.s. now that everyone is safe i can finally appreciate how hilarious the helmet pics below are. me in my skateboarder helmet with wet hair and fear-dilated pupils was not nearly as cute so no documentation exists. if we ever have to do that while jesse is home, he will be rocking the construction hard hat that i received for my lingerie shower (with a coordinating toolbelt....thanks courtney!) and we will be quite the bunch.


gimme shelter

We are in the middle of reported tornado touchdowns and wicked thunderstorms right now. Jesse is out of town tonight. I am freaking and trying not to spread it to the kids but trying to be proactive. This would be funny if I was joking:

We are all wearing helmets like massive dorks. Dorks with plans to keep our brains. Lays in the closet sleeping and Judah and I are in the hall beside her.

He is sleeping on a pile of laundry and I am listening to every word on the news in the living room. Prayers would be stellar.

Update: 1am and the worst has passed. Just some thunder storms to sleep through. All is well, we are de-helmeted and in our beds again. Though once the adrenaline left me I had to fill the void with with something else. I chose cheese. Straight off the block.

Prayers to all still in the path of this monster. praising him through these storms.

more from layla's sesh

we got the full CD from layla's second round of photos with our beloved photographer. this included about 30 images we hadn't seen yet. they are eye-meltingly divine. we are in hardcore swoonsville over here.

i made little collages based on theme/subject for your viewing pleasure because i am artsy so i wouldn't have to upload as many pics one by one.

this child. i can feel the love tingling in every pore!

favorite details: her sweet little mouth in the first pic. her hand in her mouth in 2 &3. sucking on that bottom lip in 4&5. singing in 6.

watch out ladies.

favorite details: the popped collar. his eyes. him pointing with his foot like a diva. at first glance it totally seems like he is peeing in the field in the first pic. rest assured, he only pees sitting down or in his diaper at this point in time. but i very much look forward to having him pee in the yard and other more hilarious locales.

fam of 4

favorite details: pic 1-i am trying desperately not to crush brenna's suitcase prop while also concealing my maternity waistband. this stance is the result. layla is not amused by our affections in the second pic. she is stone-cold. love our colors in it.

sweet time with the boo

favorite details: this is layla's love language: face eating. jesse is trying to speak the language back to her. my pic with layla is my most favorite ever with her. it wasn't even on purpose. jesse was off camera trying to get judah to pull his shit together and i was just sucked into her vortex of awe. best believe this is my facebook profile pic.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-mazing. look who learned something from big brother

favorite details: every single thing about these. except how i let her headband get turned around to the front like a fashionable coal-miner.


favorite details: pic 1-judah holding layla's hand and layla's shoe being completely off. LOVE this photo of all 4 of us. pic 2-having a mega-cinderella moment with my little prince. pic 3-i have NO clue what i am doing to achieve my julia-roberts movie poster expression, but i adore jesse and lay. and that the little fabric rosette pin i made 10 minutes before we leftto tie our colors together made an appearance. 4-i realized this perspective is what you'd see if there was a camera in our headboard. well this, and...more. like me eating a cheese block and reading sci-fi. bow chicka wow-wow.


fit-full: the gameplan

so yeah, my lame pun (fit-full vs. fitful) from the post where i talked about flashing my way to a life-change parlayed its way into being the title of this venture i've set out upon.

i have one week under my belt. except, after only one week, everything is still very much hanging over my belt. later this week i will recap my progress so far but today i just wanted to outline my fitness plan for now.

the routine i am starting out with is couch to 5k. the idea is to very gradually take a complete non-runner (couch) and get them to where they can run 3 miles straight (5k). not impressed? yeah, i know your kind. jesse hasnt exercised in months and could probably go run a 10k right now with minimal death. i other hand would be willing to cut off my pinky toe in exchange for a nap somewhere around 3/4 of a mile.

some people are natural runners, some people can train their way there and then the third category is: keight dukes.

let me share with you my history of running, wont you?:

-3rd grade: enter and run in first (and last) 5k race at my church. best friend amy runs along with me. they were handing out numbered cards as we finished so runners would know their finishing places. i was like 3 steps ahead of amy and cluelessly didn't grab my card. when i figured out the deal i went back and got a higher-numbered card. i was pissed and forced her to swap cards with me because i was supposed to have gotten her number. i ended up getting 3rd place in our age group and a sweet plaque. i think she was mad at me since 4th place got nothing. (*this story may deviate wildly from what actually occurred, which may have been me just stealing her card...i cant wait to hear how she remembers it). i dont remember this race being hard for me at all.

-5th grade. presidential fitness testing. the fastest runner for the 1-mile distance gets to run in the olympic torch at field day. despite my efforts to be the one carrying the fire, i get smoked by amy (and others) in the mile. consolation: i destroy the world in the sprint and thereby get get the honor of carring the grecian flag to much less fanfare than a hacked-off tiki torch aflame in the elementary gym. this is when i first realize my ample quads may be made for short distances and are no match for amy's awesome calves over a long-haul.

-9th grade. i am playing soccer and volleyball exclusively at this point and its coming time to choose which one to play full-time. one day at soccer we are told we need to do something called "conditioning." it involves running 3 miles around a track. during this death march i contemplate curling up in a ball in the bushes and rocking myself until its over the size of a soccer field versus that of a volleyball court. decide volleyball is the way to go: at 300 square feet how much of this so-called conditioning can they possibly make us do? i quit soccer after that year. that day was the last time i ever ran 3 miles. (unforeseen bonus: i picked the sport that is also in a climate controlled environment!)

-10th grade through sophomore year of college. decision to play volleyball has proven exceptional. only run sprints and suicides this entire time. i am always the fastest at these, even on my multicultural teams. perhaps i am a runner after all and that one day in 9th grade was just a fluke! cockiness inflates since it seems my theory of my supremacy in all things running will never be tested.

-junior year of college. we get put on an off-season training program that involves running a timed two-mile. i was outrageously fit at this point, (though this would be my first distance since having boobs to contend with,) 13% body fat, bench-pressing far more than my body weight, and generally being a machine.

after a few practice runs of this, my world is rocked. softest and least fit chick on the team annihilates me. our weights coach tells me that he wants to give me the iron-athlete award for that year based on all the other criteria, but he can't if i can't do the 2-mile in under 20 minutes. not even joking people. at my most in shape i couldn't run a 10 minute mile. i would run, hunched over the treadmill hanging on the handrails with my torso parallel to the ground. not pretty. i ended up getting the award because i ran it in about 19:52. am some kind of medical freak that i literally cannot beat the distance-monster.

-resign myself to the conclusion that i can outpace almost any female in distances up to 100 yards. i am average up to 400 yards. beyond that i am literally as slow as a biggest loser contestant on her first day at the ranch. i accept that i will NEVER be a runner. oh well, at least i can metabolize sugar, take that biggest losers!

-present day. am outpacing no one. the 23 month old with 20 inch legs can escape from me at will. if i jog from my car to the store due to rain, employees ask upon seeing me if i am alright due to what appears to be my extreme respiratory distress. "no--huff--is not asthma--puff.--is only--gasp--cheese fries buildup--cough--in my aorta--i'm fine--retch--in prime of my life."

knowing all that, you can see why being able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes without the motivation of an axe-murderer behind me or a cheeseburger in front of me (they come in equal on the "most-likely to make me jog" scale), would be a serious accomplishment for me.

if you know this program or followed the link to the C25k site, you can see how easy things start out: 60 seconds of running alternating with 90 seconds of walking. repeat for 20 minutes. they even tell people at the beginning to not do more than the program says to just because it feels easy. they say this to people at the couch phase of training. people who have never been given a college education for free due to their athletic prowess. so i'm thinking it's going to be really tempting for me to overdo it just because it seems so easy. i remind myself before my first run last monday that no matter how easy it was for me, to just follow the program and not run extra minutes or distances in a fit of fatty's-getting-ahead-of-herself-on-day-one delusions. this would prove hilarious.

the C25k plan only has me running 3 days a week, so it's not intimidating at all because i get 4 days off per week. out of 168 hours in every week, all i have to do is wear a sports bra and move myself linearly for 1.5 of them. .89% of every week. hello? is that the lamest sounding thing ever, or what? and yet this was too much for me until i showed turner field my lady lumps.

once i get a little cardio fitness back in my lungs and some muscle in my pants-fillers (formerly known as "legs"), i plan to add strength training/agility stuff in. this is where i thrive. i enjoy it much more than cardio and i am naturally suited to this area of fitness since i gain strength pretty quickly and enjoy the work much more. probably because looking at your muscles (when you have them) in the mirror while you work out in an air-conditioned gym is superficially pleasing. but hey, it's motivation and it's better than hating the guts of whats coming out of the mirror.

my instinct is to add in the weights right now, but i know that starting everything new all at once is wrong for me. so at the risk of sounding like a loser saying, "i will later..." that is what i am going to do.

i got new running shoes for the first time since 2005 (from 2005-last week they would have more fittingly been called "it's raining out shoes" or "it's too cold for flip-flops shoes" rather than running shoes). apparently there have been advances made in the science of cobbling since 2005 because these things seem like they are from the future. every stride i take i feel like i should be hearing the mario brothers sound effect for jumping off of a spring-loaded platform. "look! there goes keight...boing, boing, boing. dang she is pulverizing those bricks with just her fist!! oh shit, that piranha plant just came out of a sewer pipe and ate her!"

there is an AWESOME C25k app for the iphone that lets you rock out to your music and tells you when to run/walk/not die. so you never have to check a watch or anything. it also graphs your progress, has a journal for each day, GPS tracks your route and pace and generally does everything but massage my cellulite (that is the jesse app...still in beta version). i love this thing.

so there you go. that's the unholy combinations of the history, biology, plan and tools that are going into this fit-full transformation. if you see a purple/white lump of freckled dough doing what appears to be tiny convulsive jumps with little to no forward progress on the sidewalk of your suburban town, have no fear! do not call the sanitation department! avert your eyes! it's just me in an all out sprint.



my $6 iron is my sewing nemesis. i am constantly talking smack to it about how it is the least hot iron known to man and how much i hate it and how worthless it is at its job: "this piece of junk literally couldn't melt ice cream" and "if we ever have some panini's that we need to flash freeze, i know what appliance we can use!" (most of my sentences include some form of food).

well, saturday night my little toastmaster showed me just how hot a "cold" iron can be.

ouch. nothing like feeling metal pulling away from your sticky-melted skin.

touche, my iron (who shall henceforth be named "irony"), now please attack my fabric creases with equal gusto.


revolting beauty

good friday makes me a little uncomfortable. and the saturday afterwards too. i really dont feel like celebrating until the 3rd day, when i picture jesus doing a victory dance outside the empty tomb, fist pumping and talking smack to satan, "you can't have her. she's mine now! i have ransomed her!" he was talking about me! today i am thinking about how much that ransom cost. it's heavy.

these two songs always bring me to my knees when i think about him on the cross, held there by my sin, bearing it willingly for my redemption. halle-freaking-lujah!

i don't dig the dated powerpoint backgrounds in these vids though.

jim lepage is an artist jesse found who is doing a a series of designs based on each book of the bible plus some of its major events. he is amazing. we are going to wait until he finishes the series and buy some of our favorite. they're so much better than the typical jesus art of a hot aryan white guy in jedi robes petting lambs.

this is one he did for the crucifixion of jesus. i am in love with it.

revolting beauty (click the link. the artist is also an awesomely funny/insightful/authentic writer. )

i am pretty jesus music ignorant. what are yall's favorite hymns/songs about the cross?

happy beautiful, terrible, divine, disgusting, amazing Good Friday.

5 months

layla baby! you turned 5 months old last week. there is really no way to describe you other than a pure and utter delight. you continue to have the most easygoing and sweet disposition of any human or higher-order ape that we have ever encountered. you NEVER cry or fuss unless you are ready to have a meal or go to sleep. and even then, it's never angry crying, just sweet pitiful little mewls. here's some tings we've treasured during your 5th month on the outside.

-you started solids. yay? when my milk dwindled down to nothing right at your 5th month birthday we decided to go ahead an add in solids with the frozen breastmilk and formula that you were now drinking. naturally you LOVE them. the doctor said go light to dark on veggies and then start fruits. i don't remember them telling us that with judah, who gagged so much on the veggies that we just gave in and he pretty much only ever had fruit. not you babe. squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and peas are all right in your world. you can't get them down fast enough.

little delicious love-gremlin! rocking an adorable bib that matches your leggies perfectly (if unintentionally) thanks to godmommy lena

-you sleep great. you go to bed at about 6:30 every night and wake up at 7. you take 2 or 3 two hour naps during the day. we often find you in your bed awake and busted out of your swaddle playing with your white noise machine so happily. then you notice us and it startles the junk out of you but then you cheese SO big at us.

-sometimes when you are still sleeping in the mornings we will start talking about you and then start missing you so bad that we have to come in and wake you up because we just want to be around you again. you are just like that. being around you is good for our souls. here is how those conversations go, "she is amazing." "she is the sweetest little thing i have ever known." "oh my gosh i love her so much i can't stand it." "she is the best." "i want to be snuggling her right now." "can i go wake her up?" these conversations are pretty boring to an outsider, but you just fill us up so much that we are overflowing and have to say these things over and over again or we will OD on love. (i am missing you hardcore right now as i type this).

-you said "dada" twice yesterday while you were babbling. no surprise there. but i think you still may like mommy the best. i crack you up when i tell you, "you better give me ALL your kisses." you also do this hilarious spazzy shriek thing that is so loud and spontaneous. the look you get on your face when you do it looks like you are trying to say, "this is an outrage!" you raise your eyebrows and tuck your chin into your neck and just start giving us the pterodactyl business. you're the greatest show on earth, lay lay.

- you do not get as big of a kick out of the exersaucer office as judah did, and you will only stay in it for a few mirth-filled minutes before you're over it and kind of sassy and confused about its purpose like, "what the heck is this thing and why am i in it?" then you might see your chef octopus friend again and go bonkers with excitement and then 10 seconds later it's, "where am i? what am i doing here?"

a typical reel of emotions

-you seem to prefer the floor after your tour of duty in the office. you like to flip flop from your back to your belly constantly and try to reach for toys. you get really frustrated if you can't get to them. i try to help you get up onto all fours in practice crawling position but you go stiff as a board as soon as my assisting hands touch you and want to be standing. i think you may be a late/brief crawler just like your brother. all you seem to care about is standing up and trying to walk. so i just let you flopsy on your blanket and practice pushups and downward dog to build up your crawlie muscles. also this little move that i call the swizzle stick.

-you're still loving your paci. i don't think you are crazytunes addicted to it, but in the car or in the crib, you really love to have it. i think it's adorable because even if youre tired or hungry you're just so content to work on the paci, but i dont like how it blocks my view of that sweet mouth. my favorite thing is when i make you laugh or smile while you have it in and your little grin starts to emerge from behind the plastic of the paci or even tumbles out if your glee is sufficient. its like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.

-you have started pooping more. when you were straight breastmilk you pooped maybe once every 10-14 days (best. baby.ever). now its like once every 3. and boy do they stank. you got me good the other night after a meal when i was holding you and went to check one side of your diaper only to look down and see my arm that was underneath you completely covered in poo. we took a bath after that, because i have never had so much poo on so much of me. like a bad spray tan, that junk was all over.

-you're still completely enamored of your big brother. if he is anywhere within your 270 degree field of vision you are looking at him. if he's not, you are pulling an exorcist and twisting around to find him. it is not fun when we are trying to feed you and your head is on backwards, but we don't care because we love how much you love him.

-you do this hilarious thing where you suck your bottom lip all the way in until it's invisible. then you just sit there like a little froggie. it kills us. thus a video and picture for our records

-you are very forward and aggressive with your love. if anyone's face comes within your little 14-inch reach you grab both sides of their head and then lunge at them, mouth open and drooling wildly, and proceed to kiss/maul them.

judah has entered the vortex of love and your tractor beam has locked on. you are very stern-faced when you do this and, i won't lie, it's a little intimidating and freaky.

he beat you to the grab! what you're struggling with here during this canoodling is the ages old question of "what do i do with my hands?" i'll tell you later. about 20 years later

-your hair continues to grow and continues to have mostly one setting (unless i have forgotten to bathe you in a week): straight UP. it is very hilarious and people always comment on it. i adore it and cant imagine you with little girl hair ever. you're just my little translucently fuzzy bald baby.

-you know the quilt that sweet miss nina at church made you? well you really love it and i hate that i know how to sew, yet i didn't make you a blankie myself. so i am making you the next size up quilt. i am SO excited. i totally ripped off my friend raechel's quilt that she made for her daughter, your friend hazel. but raechel had ripped off the brilliant lady who designed this amazing fabric (that's why we make good friends, we're co-rippers).

cheesing on miss nina's awesome gift.

-the fabrics of these ladies' awesome inspiration quilts have me head over heels IN LOVE. so obviously i am copying those as well as the layout. the collection is totally out of print so i had to be a crazy internet sleuth lady and even beg scraps from people (including raechel. so now hazel is your quilt sister!) to obtain the entire collection to make yours. SO much love is going into it (way more than skill) so no matter how mad you get at me when you're older, you may never shred this quilt to hurt me, okay? half of my soul may be inside of it (like a horcrux, but without the murder. we've read HP 6 together, right baby?).

the first 5 blocks. there are going to be 16 total i think and i have 11 now and am waiting for the last few fabrics to arrive (some came all the way from england!)

i feel like we are right on the edge of seeing your full blown personality explode forth. i can't wait for you to show us even more of exactly who you are. we love you so very much and you are THE perfect 4th piece to this family, layla girl.


an upskirt revolution

remember how i told you that i wore that summer breezy dress to the braves game? and how i said it would be important later. well now is later.

i wore the dress, it was so the right choice. no crack-attack worries, no heavy denim suffocating every sweaty pore, a nice wide entryway for all things cool and windy. it was plenty long (ample knee length) so i could do various mom-of-toddler maneuvers such as squatting, chasing, bending and threatening without having to worry about scalding everyones eyeballs.

like i said, we were in awesome field level seats, so from the main walkway thoroughfare, to get to our section, you walked down stairs.

well when the game was over (and we stayed until the last out rather than trying to beat the traffic so that judah could run the bases after the game...except we found out that that is only for kids 4 and up: bummer) we had to walk up to exit. we had left our stroller at the top of the stairs in the handicapped seating area on the main walkway where the lower and upper levels feed into. so we sort of pulled out of the packed exiting line and i went about buckling judah in.

it was high stress. we were sticking out and partially blocking traffic and we wanted to leave ASAP too. the buckles wouldn't work and judah was a going all free willy on me thrashing against his bonds. so after like 2 straight minutes of trying to wrangle him down in his seat, i needed jesse to help me. while we are both intent on wrestling with the stroller and the toddler, this cute lady arrives at the top of the stairs and pulls me aside to whisper something to me. i am braced for getting ripped on for holding everyone up and telling myself to not be too sassy back. in fact, i actually should have been enjoying my last few moments of ignorant bliss.

"i just wanted to tell you that you can see up your dress."

i am immediately so relieved that she saved me from any embarrassment, thanking the LAWD it was just another chick who saw. until i remember i had been standing like that--bent over at the waist, with my butt pointing out toward the field over the lower seating area in a dress--the entire time i was buckling judah in, not just for that one moment she spotted me.

and i am telling myself, okay, it's not that bad, everyone had probably already left, and i go to take a surreptitious look over my shoulder at my audience and oh holy mother of bejosephus of arrhythmia, there are a good 10,000 faces down there all staring UP at the exact vector that would lead their eyes straight up into to my flux capictor.

and cue death wave of total self-hatred.

my vagina-having female mind that is so quick with the self-hate-talk kicks into high gear imagining all the different comments people must have been saying at the sight of....such.

skinny college girls (volleyball players in my head): "oh my god, look at that. she should either do some shuttle runs or NOT bend over. ever."

teenage boys: "dude, DISGUSTING! i will never eat/use my eyes/masturbate again!!!!"

a mom: "well she does have two little kids, but geez, so did i and i never had that situation going on that bad after i gave birth."

the entire 40-man roster of the atlanta braves: "quick let's hit the showers so we can look at each other's junk rather than watch this train wreck for another second."

everyone: "we hate her. she is awful and revolting."

healthy, no?

leaving the stadium, i am on 100% auto-pilot mode and don't remember much of the walk to the car except for thinking, "every step i take away from there lessens the number of people within view who have seen my pale, postpartum, sweat-wedgied, bent-over booty. must keep walking."

as soon as we got home i did what anyone would do and immediately went and stood up on the side of my bathtub and bent over so i could see in the mirror the exact image that sections 119-121 had had scorched into the cerebellums. oh. man.

april 16th, 2011. dear diary, today is the day that i decided i am tired of being out of shape and care enough to do something about it. make a note. this feeling: it sucks.

will i ever get to the point where bending over in nothing but some stretchy bottoms in front of strangers is fun for me? well, it did essentially pay for my college education, but volleyball career aside-- probably not. BUT (ha) rather than that event triggering a cataclysm of self-loathing and disgust, maybe if i was more fit it would just be funny on account of how pale i am or because i have cartoon animals on my underoos rather than an impeachment of my very soul.

so here it is. accountability. putting it out there so i can't puss out or claim i wasn't really trying: i am hereby trying to lose all my babIES weight. the weight i gained with judah, lost most of, then gained back plus some with layla plus a few pounds GAINED since the cord was cut.

i have told jesse i hated feeling yucky and ugly during pregnancy. i want to be a hot pregnant chick for once. so we aren't allowed to have any more kids until i am so happy with how i look that jesse is telling me to tone it down on the skimpy outfits because i am a mom and shoudln't dress that way. that's how in shape i want to be. that's the litmus test.

it is possible that i just effectively announced that we are never having more kids.

if you remember with judah i was not like most women who lose a lot of weight while breastfeeding. you can pretty much weigh the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid and that's all i lost from my first pregnancy until my milk completely went away. then about 20 pounds came off relatively easy.

i am not counting on that for this time around, but so far it has been the exact same story. sadly, this story is the same as far as my milk disappointingly leaving the building at 5 months (it was at 4 with judah, so at least there's that). that said (and more will be said about that soon), now would be the time that the weight came off easily if this was like before.

but i am not counting on that, because: A-i am older and bigger than i was after judah, B-all pregnancies and post-partumsies are different and C-i don't just want to be fat-less, i want to be fit-full (not fitful, though i am that by nature already). i want muscles back. i want an athletic and active lifestyle. i want to kick some ass at barbecue ball and make my kids eat my dust at fun-runs. i want more shadows cast by muscular definition than by cellulite dimplage. these are my demands.

i dont do well with lots of change. i always try to fix my diet and start exercising and cleaning my house daily and more consistently reading my bible all at once and i can never keep up with it all. so it all spins out of control and then gets discarded (not the actual bible, just my discipline on reading) and i just end up feeling like a failure and having this guilt/shame-blot in my subconsciousness that makes summoning up the courage to try again later really hard.

knowing me, i know the crazy diet thing i will never be able to go 100% on. i love food and i think counting every calorie makes me insane and is not sustainable for me beyond like 8 days. i believe in indulgences. if truffle ball binges at christmas and chick-fil-a at least thrice monthly is wrong, i dont want to be right. so i am not counting anything, i am just making a small and intentional life change overall to try to get more veggies and brown stuff in there whenever i can and maybe eat less overall. it's not a mystery how you should eat to be healthier.

so that leaves exercise. unless aetna covers liposuction and glute-etching now? no...? ok exercise then. it blew me away this week when i realized that from ages toddler to 21 i used to exercise least 20 hours a week, and in the past 15 months i have exercised: ZERO TIMES. seriously. i took the entire pregnancy off and havent done jack since having layla either. no freaking wonder.

i've often said i would worry about getting back in shape when i was done having all my kids; just get them all out of my system and then reboot. but you know i dont think i can live with myself like this waiting for that day. who even knows when we will be totally done having kids and, damn, shouldn't i get to feel good about how i look and feel sometime before then? yes. i should.

in the past this whole braves booty thing would have had me signing up for a gym membership and going all out for maybe 3 weeks and then tapered into slacking until i was finally back to doing nothing again with one more pearl on my guilt/failure strand of goodness. i already have a cycle back in my life that is pretty vicious (thank you, endometrial lining and uterus, yall the best!) so i am trying to not overdo the exercise on the front end, but still wanting to set clear manageable goals that are sustainable forever. i found a really easy non-threatening starter-routine that i think will work for me. it's 3 times a week and i started it on monday and have done 2 workouts so far. details to come.

i have a numerical weight loss goal (dozens of lbs!), some general size/body measurements goals (jowl-free by swimsuit season!) and a few fitness level goals (don't die while chasing down judah in target!) that i am thinking of setting in stone as the prizes upon which to fix my eyes.

i am also thinking of upping the accountability/traceability of this process by doing a simple weekly post about my numbers/pace/mindframe/progress. i am worried this may drive most of you away in horror/boredom, but am balancing that fear with the desire to never have jillian michaels up in my grill asking me about my daddy issues. "there aren't any, jillian! i just seriously love meat and cheese and seriously hate sweating and exerting effort! why can't you understand my story is really that simple!!"

here we go.


sharing 101

layla spots spencer the train. decides he would fit nicely in her mouth

layla attempts to acquire spencer the train using her only known move: the reach. reach comes up short.

judah remains oblivious. layla is excited that spencer is getting closer despite the failure of reach. just a little closer and the train will be hers.

spencer closes the gap and strikes our for new territory on bald top mountain. choo-choo. alas, this was not what layla had in mind.


braving it

yes. we went to the braves game on 100% exhaustion and overstimulation and on 0% notice. this was miraculous on several levels:

-i am an antisocial introvert who tends strongly towards eremitism (i went for "hermicy", but learned it's not a word). large crowds at sporting events, amusement parks and concerts literally have me screaming inside my head "i hate EVERYONE!!!" by the end of the evening. like, all of these people that are smothering my personal space and having all these different odors need to just disappear before i snap. probably not good for my whole "love your neighbor" efforts.

-i HATE day baseball games because they are hotter than the center of a red dwarf star and i am 100% uncomfortable the entire time. mixing sweat with a bud-light filled redneck in a tank top whose arm is pressed against mine for 4 hours due to the 14 cubic inch seats at turner field is pretty much my idea of a slow death of soul. no matter what i wear i always feel hot and fat and sweaty and miserable by the bottom of the first inning.

if i had had more time, i know i would have talked myself out of it. but because the game was starting right when i realized we had the tickets, i kind of just impulsed it past all the fear and overwhelmed centers of my brain. even still, i ALMOST balked (get it?) and stayed home with layla while jesse took judah. but somehow i pressed on. heroic, i know. where's my monument?

when we arrived at home from church just after deciding we were going to attempt this we feverishly changed everyone's outfits. i knew there was NO way i could wear jeans without ending up hating my life due to sweat and exposed booty crack. and the world is not ready for these ultra-pasty flabberwompuses that i call legs to be rocking shorts, so a nice breezy dress was selected (this will be very relevant later this week). it was only 75 degrees, but i am not an outdoorswoman and anything above or below 71 degrees has my complaining circuitry on overdrive.

judah wore his official braves PJ-top and some shorts and sandals. he looked ADORABLE. 5 miles from our house i am driving, trying not to go 493 mph like i want to in a rush to get to atlanta so we dont completely miss the game. i am telling myself that we rushed at home to get ready, now all i can do is drive safely, but my brain is still in frenetic hurry mode. no delays will be tolerated. jesse in in the back with the kids feeding layla sweet potatoes and a bottle and i hear judah say, "layla spoon. i try?" and jesse says, "you want to try some sweet potatoes and oatmeal?" a pause. then i hear the ever-so-faint sound of a gag/dry heave and a splashdown.

i am still not sure how we didn't shut it down right there. normally i would be going DEFCON 5 apeshit bananas on jesse for feeding the world's most touchy-gagger some baby food! judah gags at cheese or pasta. did we really think pureed yams with oatmeal and baby formula would be a winning texture??? luckily all that came up was lemonade and some candy coloring. i pulled over and toweled him and his seat off while jesse looked to see if we had extra clothes. amazingly we did (thank god for the fact that we never clean our car). we put him back in wearing just his diaper in case he was sick and not just gaggified, and saved the clean outfit until we got to the stadium.

we were back on the road in literally 3 minutes. you have no idea how amazing this is for me. i will pull the plug on an outing if i have a hem that doesnt want to lay flat. so this was new territory.

about an hour and $10 later we were parked RIGHT next to the stadium and on our way in to catch innings 6-9.

right outside the gates. FYI the ring sling*** i am wearing, i made last weekend using some target sheets that i had bought for fabric. it is my new favorite method of baby-wearing (i have tried 4 others so that is saying a lot)

notice we arrived in the 6th inning. thats okay! we only wanted a child's-size portion of baseball anyway. it's funny to me that this picture is 75% bricks.

the dot on my shoulder is a bug that would end up on layla's head, very near my mouth, prompting me to spazzz out and smack it. sorry, tiny baby.

judah was mesmerized by the whole affair. he has learned the appropriate little boy vernacular and everything is "guys" now. soccer guys, biker guys, robot guys, and now baseball guys! he loved seeing the baseball guys swing a bat just like his and throw a ball. he was tickled by the tomahawk chop and did it like a pro. he loved having an excuse to clap every 5 seconds and about went nuts saying "WHOA" when the fireworks went off for our home run.

looking like an enthralled little chunk right when we emerged from the tunnel

no chance he was going to look at mommy and the camera. he was all, "yeah right, out of everything here those are the two things i see every day. i think i will find something else to stare at"

they both went with the throwing on a fake cheese face and looking past me.close enough

we found our seats and joy of joys realized that logan's family actually had given us their extra tickets and that they were in attendance too! judah is in LOVE with logan. he is in his preschool class and they just started coming to our church too. if you ask judah any question that begins with "who" the answer is ALWAYS "WOGIE!" whether it's "who is in your class?" or "who is your teacher?" or " who is that with elmo?" the answer: WOGIE!

one time judah was sitting in the main cabin of our cart at target (actually the same day that i had this encounter) and at checkout he was chatting himself up talking about logan. and i am like, "yeah we love logan, dont we? and you will see him at class on monday!" and he just wouldn't stop. so i finish paying and turn around and he's pointing to the checkout line beside us and, what do you know? there's logan in his mom's cart peeping back at judah. it was hilarious. judah knows his homeboy (and now probably thinks he can summon him on demand).

precious buddies

they crack us up.

as expected judah didn't understand the whole sit in your seat and just watch and sweat theme that is baseball game attendance. the poor little kids cant see the field while sitting so they try to stand up on the fold down seats and when they put their weight on the back of the seat they fall right through like a trap door. hilarious. also when he would turn around in the seat his face was essentially IN the college kid's crotch who was sitting behind us. judah has no concept of personal space. even sausaged in at the braves game, there are limits, my son.

so jesse and i took turns letting him run up and down the stairs and through the hallway thingies around the perimeter of the stadium where it was nice and shady. the kids is flipping fast.

layla as expected could have been swapped for a teddy bear while before we left home and it would have required the exact same amount of effort. the child is so chill and good-natured (she get's it from her mama). this is what she did the entire time:

um, is she being coy? i think she is even bordering on coquettish. probably my fave pic of us ever. jesse is taking is from beside us, so camera props for him.

have i mentioned that i am obsessed with this child and that my love for her makes my brain want to explode? we must be best friends.

"baseball guys!"

boom boom boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.

he was constantly identifying things. (i love logan in the background trying to go AWOL)

little man and his daddy at a ball game. love times a google.

we had taken $40 out of the ATM on our way up and we spent $0 on our awesome tickets thanks to logans sweet parents, $10 on prime parking and $5 on some bottled water being sold out of coolers by the neighbors of the stadium. we were thinking we did hit it out of the park (keep em coming!) with saving our money and eating our home-packed snacks rather than spending like $30 on dippin' dots and chili fries like we (i) normally do.

and then we went to merge on to the highway and saw an elderly lady with a homeless sign. we never carry cash so the fact that we were sitting there with $25 and there was this frail little blonde wrinkled women living on the streets just killed us. i just said "all of it?" to jesse and he said, "yeah." and then we prayed really really hard that she wasn't addicted to any substance and that the money would actually help her instead of furthering an addiction.

i ALWAYS think after i give money to homeless people that i need to buy and pack bags full of stuff that could ONLY help someone who didn't have a home rather than being forced into a choice between: doing nothing, giving money that could be spent on damaging things, or giving them a ride or taking them and buying them a meal which might not be wise as a chick with babies in a scary broken sinful world (i am not sure those excuses even matter though...jesus asks tough things).

what would be good to put in these love-bombs? like i try to imagine if i was homeless what would help me the most? like not just help me live more comfortably on the streets, but maybe help me get a job or find a center to live in? do any of yall know any good stuff about the best ways to help the homeless that could be packed in bags and given in just a few moments at a red light or if i was alone and didn't feel comfortable inviting someone into my car?

i think this would be an awesome thing for us to make with our kids and for them to see us always having in the car ready to be given. i know that seeing us pick up and give rides to or go buy a meal for or invite into OUR home folks who have no home will have an even bigger impact, but i am weak and afraid and entitled and i don't always do that. but i never want them to see me lock my doors, ignore it and do nothing.

that would be kind of awkward when we read the red letters from jesus' mouth about the poor: "right judah, well, i know he explicitly says 'whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, [strangers, the sick, prisoners, the poor] you did not do for me,' but that doesn't apply to mommy and daddy because...er." i am pretty sure there is no end to that sentence that i could say with any integrity to my kids, much less to jesus.

feel free to comment on just the baseball game or to leave a detailed packing list for our lovebombs. that post kind took a turn for left-field there at the end (i can do these puns all day, yall).

***several of you asked (on and off the record) about the ring sling i made in the above pics. i set out to buy a ring sling and found maya wraps. you can get them factory made here for $75 or make one yourself like i did using their FREE tutorial.