Sunday, January 22, 2012

Instagram Lovins

I'm a bit hipstamatic/instagram obsessed. I probably use my phone for a majority of my photo taking. I'd like to change that but lets face it, my phone is always way more accessible. I realized that I very rarely have an opportunity to share my instagram or hisptamatic prints here so this week I am linking up with Jenni @ Story of My Life  for Best of Instagram.....

1) and 2) Raine enjoying his zebra walker toy he got from Auntie Melinda and Uncle Marc

3) Raine won't leave his Uncle Jesse's side
4) Kat the cat hogging the bed per his usual routine

5) Self portrait taken during a slow bartending night
6) Raine getting into things he shouldn't be

That's it for this week. Not many due to house hunting but maybe I'll make this a weekly least until I get sick of it ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Peace and other mindless ramblings

I'm going through this "thing". I think it's time I admit that it's a legitimate "thing" at this point. I can no longer place the blame on postpartum hormones (a year and a half later? C'mon) or some sort of new psychosis. I am definitely changing. Well, maybe not changing but certainly evolving. It's for the better. I'm completely fine with it because it feels great and I'm glad that it doesn't appear to be a temporary thing.

Back a couple years ago I was....well, I don't want to say an ugly person but certainly low. Because I was in such a low place I didn't do right by many people or myself for that matter. I spent a lot of my life this way. I would categorize it as unfeeling, unempathetic, even sociopathic. I came through it, I fought hard and I changed that aspect of myself. That person is still there but she has so many things to live for. I'm motivated now thanks to my family.

I've found so much happiness. Even in sorrow I can recognize the promise of something positive now. There is good and bad in life but the bad no longer tramples me over like it used too. I now appreciate the lessons in the trials. I've finally acquired my definition of happiness but it still sometimes feels like something's missing. I figured it out though.


That's what I am missing. Happiness may be the dominating emotion in my life lately but I'm still very raw inside. It's time to accept that some things are the way they are and find peace within myself.

I want peace in all aspects of my life. I need it within me but I also want to portray it on the outside as well. I'm so cynical sometimes...*cough*....all of the time. If I feel great but portray a cynical attitude then I'm certainly not spreading any positive around, am I? Is that what I want to do? Spread the positive around? I think so.

If someone treats me unfairly I don't want to react in hurt feelings and anger. It even goes beyond how I react. If I'm hurt, I want to find peace with it. Acceptance. Let it go. I don't want to let it fester anymore.

I want to change my perceptions too. Usually if a stumbling drunk walks into the bar I think "great, now I've got to deal with this mess". That's a horrible reaction. A horrible way to perceive the situation. Making assumptions helps no one and let's face it, we all do it but it's not right to treat people that way and it's not good for ourselves either. Maybe this person had a really bad day. Maybe he even lost someone close to him. Maybe he needs my understanding instead of my judgement. That's a little bit of peace both within me and portrayed by me.

There is nothing peaceful in pointing my finger, making assumptions, or striking out. Especially if its after my feelings were hurt. I need to turn the other cheek. I want to be more accepting of others as well as myself. When I feel hurt by someone I want to feel it, process it, accept it, and move on. If I allow it to dwell in me then who does that serve? Not me. I'm only allowing that person to come in over and over and smack me around. Wayne Dyer said “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. ” and it's a quote that stirs up in me often. If I reacted inappropriately, even if it's privately, I'm not hurting anyone but myself.

More importantly, I just want to feel this peace. Happiness aside, I feel pretty muddled all the time. It's easing up though as I change my way of thinking. The "thing" is I don't know where this desire to be better has come from. I'm not necessarily disatisfied with who I am to begin with. I just sort of started seeing things differently. A lot of people would say that it's for Jimmy and Raine but I think it's really something I want to do for myself. They are always on my mind though, of course.

I have no interest in changing myself either. I love who I am. I just want to change my perception a bit. By doing so I am hoping to find peace. By finding peace I'm hoping to change my perception. Change how I handle people and situations. I want to better who I am not change who I am entirely. Cynicism may tone down a bit but I'll always be as sarcastic as ever ;)

So..... have I confused the crap out of you yet?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Embrace The Camera: Jammie Time!

This is my second time participating in Embrace the Camera with Emily over at the anderson crew. I actually looked forward to this all week! It's a great way to motivate me to actually get IN the photos with Raine and Jimmy (plus putting my new tripod and remote that James gave me for Christmas to good use) and I really enjoy visiting the other blogs that link up and seeing everyone else's photos too. Last week it even helped me come out of my shell a bit and socialize with other bloggers. I know, me? shy? but it's true people. 

Raine and I are having a lazy-curled-up-in-our-pajamas-in-front-of-the-t.v. sort of day. I like to do this with him on days I have to work that night to get in quality time with him. Neither of us look very glamorous but we sure are comfy ;)

Here are some other ones I took over the last week....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's new?

I've been struggling to find time to post recently. Things have been a little chaotic around here. Definitely in a good way though so I can't complain about so little down time. I have plenty of post ideas floating around in my head I just need to find some time to sit down and write them. A lot of things are changing around us and much faster than we had anticipated so hopefully soon I will be able to relax....just a little.....maybe?

Our mortgage lender ran our numbers and we are approved for our second mortgage. A little higher than was originally calculated too with some of the wedding expenses so the hunt for a single family home (we currently own a two family home) has begun. Our realtor has us scheduled to see nine houses this weekend. I'm so excited because you know what this means.......more babies! We have no room in our apartment for another tyke but we are looking at homes that can house 3-4. Not that I actually want 3-4 more kids.....who knows? This baby fever is killing me. Can't you tell? I've already decided on nursery themes for either a boy or a girl for Pete's sake.

Now that Raine is walking, sitting down is not an option during the day. He's still mostly cruising but will let go of the furniture and walk to things without even thinking. I think the cruising is just something he's still used to. He is everywhere and into everything. I'm going to need a leash soon. Just kidding. Or am I?

Since The Boy has mainly mastered walking he's back to talking up a storm. He started saying "up" which can get pretty demanding from a snuggle baby, ya know. Also "ball" for his favorite cartoon The Amazing World of Gumball. He's obsessed with it. No idea why. I swear I don't let my kid watch television all day (hardly at all actually) but he even hears a commercial for this show and it's "ball? ball? ball?". Yes, it's insanely cute. Oh, "buh-bye" too. With the backwards wave and everything. Anytime someone is leaving or he wants them to leave ;)

All this baby chasing is helping me lose weight though. I'm still at 145 lbs but I changed things up so I have fluctuated a little. I changed my diet to increase my vegetable intake every day. I'm eating loads of veggies and a little more fruit than I am used to. I'm taking in less meat because it was insane how much I ate. The first week of this healthier meal plan I went up 3 lbs but then lost them immediately the following week. It's obvious now that I'm not going to hit my goal in my time frame but I've added a daily morning workout so between that, a nutritious diet, and chasing The Destroyer I am finally seeing changes. My stomach is toning out already from all the crunches. I missed you, tiny tummy. All that aside, I feel much more balanced and healthy now. Each day gets better. That's what's important. Not the number on the scale.

With my facebook account deactivated I am also enjoying the extra socializing.
There is a lot more visits/visiting with friends and family and just plain being with people again. It's good for Raine too. I Don't want him to end up some insane antisocial psycho killer or anything. I was beginning to forget what laughter sounded like. I'm definitely familiar with what it LOOKS like (lol?)

It's all pretty overwhelming but in a great way. I'm giddy lately with it all. So far this year is shaping up to be even better than the last two and I didn't even think that was possible. Corny or not, it's freaking fantastic!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing: The Snuggler

Raine has been an uber cuddler lately. I think he may even snag the title from his father! Maybe he'll have to be called "The Snuggler" ;) His new routine is to play for a bit then walk over and snuggle with me for twenty minutes or so then he wants back down to play for a time and the cycle repeats. I'm not complaining at all though. I know some day he'll be a boy wanting to do boy things...or girl things, whatever makes him happy but he sure won't want his mama hanging all over him and snuggling him. 

I eat up every cuddly moment. It slows me down too. I get so involved with teaching him cool things or even household stuff and I can sometimes forget to take a moment to relax. His insistence on snuggle time forces me to do that. It also makes me stop and just be with my son. Outside of all the teaching him stuffs and interaction. We just spend time together.

I got lucky the other day and he actually fell asleep in my arms! Once we transitioned Raine to his crib he literally would only ever sleep there. Wouldn't even sleep in his carseat on long car rides. But he snuggled right up to me and took a little snooze. I missed that from his little teeny tiny baby days *pout* 

Linking up with Emily over at The Anderson Crew for Embrace The Camera 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Week Clean

Hello, I'm Traci and I am an addict. I am currently a week sober. It's been rough so far I must admit. Temptation is strong but things are finally starting to let up. I'm pretty proud of myself, truth be told. I almost asked my husband to use his once or twice but I stood firm. Totally happy that I did because I think if I had logged in once I would have been done for. That's right, I quit Facebook......*cough* again.

Not to poke fun or diminish the seriousness of real addiction of course. But let's be honest here, Facebook is like CRACK. It's addicting and can ruin lives. For some people anyway. Others it's probably more like marijuana with all the laziness in front of the computer and that wonderful zoned out mentality but for me? Crack. No joke.

You know when you go out and get loaded with your buddies and everything is funking fabulous? You're having the time of your life and you don't want the night to end. Everything is A O.K. Couldn't be better. You go home and maybe throw up once or twice but it's all good because it was the most amazing night ever......then you wake up the next day. Your head is pounding, your nauseous as hell, the sun literally freakin hurts, and it's at that very moment you vow that you will NEVER drink again. Not even a drop. You are forever sober from this day forward......but it never happens that way, does it? You're right back out there the following weekend having "the time of your life".

That's Facebook.

It's quite possible it's me. I know a lot of the negativity is of my own doing. I'm only human....well, mostly. I see things that hurt me and sometimes make me angry. It's certainly my reaction to people's status posts or comments (especially when it comes to family members) that is the problem but if I can't control my emotions and reactions then is participating in this brand of online social media really something I should be doing to begin with?

I have a tendency to feed into the drama too. Not in a direct "I'd like to start some trouble" sort of way. I grew out of that but if something directly involves me and my feelings get hurt then I go on the defensive.

Let's be honest though, it's not always about me. Not as much as I narcissistically like to believe. But we all do it. Someone posts a status, maybe bitching about someone or accusing. It's a vague status and usually freaking cryptic and you wonder "are they talking about me?". Even if you may know it's not about there's still a teeny tiny part of you that thinks "what did I do now?". No? Just me? Damn.

Doesn't help that like text, emails, and the like, you can't really glean emotion from people. Not always. Your uncle (general) comments on your status and you get upset over his rudeness, his downright disrespect. You become angry and resentful. You stop talking to him. You snub him at family gatherings. The relationship fizzles. And guess what? It was never his intention to hurt you to begin with! This happens a lot when people lack the ability to punctuate (or don't at all) and anyway, it's really freaking difficult to catch someone's meaning without seeing their body language, facial expressions, or being able to look into their eyes. Heck, some people can't even figure it out given that much. Throw them into a situation where none of that is provided and all hell breaks lose.

This happens to my mother ALL THE TIME. The woman has a heart of gold. She cares about everyone (regardless of my insistence that she shouldn't) but the woman can't punctuate properly to save her life. It's sort of odd to see. Growing up I always admired her professional writing style. Anyway, this constantly gets her in trouble on Facebook. Something she says innocently is taken out of context or someone assumes she's being aggressive and BAM! Family argument. I'd be lying if I didn't say that some of these people can be vipers and will attack with multiple statuses and slander. It's like offering the lamb to slaughter.

Oh, she isn't always innocent (love you mommy!). She's been hurt quite a bit (not just on Facebook) so she can sometimes automatically assume someone else is being aggressive towards her and will fly off the handle. The difference being that HER "flying off the handle" usually comes in the form of religious status updates and Christian music video posts. Attempts at trying to look passed the altercation and see something positive or learn a lesson from the ordeal. Of course, these attempts are usually translated as her being "judgmental" and even being hypocritical. They obviously don't know my mother at all..

For all these reasons and more I keep stating "I'm quitting". This is where the crack part comes into play. I occasionally love some good drama. We all do. It's why reality t.v. is so popular. Quit shaking your head. You know it's true. You may not enjoy LIVING in the midst of drama but it's certainly got its entertainment value. That's facebook...reality t.v. laced with crack. You log on and get to enjoy your aunt theresa (twice removed) lay into her husband (your uncle) right on his Facebook wall for the world to see. Relationship statuses change and you get to watch the whole divorce unfold online. You can't get that sort of entertainment just anywhere!! Ok, I'm obviously a little sick.

It's not healthy for anyone. Especially if you view it as I do. And we all make the excuses. "How else will I keep in touch with so and so across the country" or "but I need my account for my games" (I'm talking to you, mom). If its making you miserable then cut the crap. Get their email address. Better yet, get their telephone number. Even better, get a plane ticket and have yourself a little visit! You'll find other games, I promise.

Facebook should only be for people like my husband. He rarely gets on. He couldn't care less about your (or my) status updates. At least, not if it has nothing to do with funny Back To The Future references or corn. He doesn't bother watching anyone's video posts or does he even pretend to give a crap about all those photo albums of your kids....or ours for that matter. he's not even sure why he has the damn thing. But it's that level of indifference that makes it ok for him because it does not run his life. His first thought when we were married WAS NOT that he needed to change his relationship status pronto. If you think "oh, I can't wait to post this on Facebook" more than once a week then you probably shouldn't have one.

Unfortunately the reality is that not having a Facebook makes you a social pariah. I reach out to people with little response. It's not like I'm not doing my part here. I'm just not making my life so easily accessible as I would on Facebook. What motivates a personal relationship if my whole life is posted online? If you see videos and pictures of my son almost everyday what reason do you have to physically see him?

Life wasn't always like this. I miss real relationships with people. I figure if people truly care about us, no distance nor not having a Facebook account will make a difference. Maybe one day I can have an account and hold a clear head. Until then, this chick is off the pipe.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beautiful Happiness

Lately many have commented on how beautiful I am. I don't know if "beautiful" would be an accurate descriptive word for me. I'm pretty humble about my looks. I'd say I'm satisfied with them. Not vain nor am I insecure. My self esteem is pretty level but anytime people comment on my looks (other than "oh my god, your hair is purple!") I'm a bit put off by it. It's not in line with the way I think about it on the rare instances I DO think about it.

I'm not down on myself either. Generally like most woman I have my moments. Especially recently with the trouble this baby weight is causing me. But for the most part I'm actually content.

I just couldn't understand where all this "beautiful" crap was coming from. I've been doing my hair and makeup slightly different which I'm prone to changing up occasionally. Was that it? I've been dressing a little differently too. All that finding myself and my identity stuff. I'd say a lot more feminine than I used to adorn myself with. Maybe that?

Finally a couple people brought it up again. In response to the perplexed look on my face a friend said "Traci, don't you get it? It's because you're happy!" whoa....that's heavy. But makes perfect sense. For the last year I've been smiling a hell of a lot more, cheery, charming, downright fucking bubbly. A far cry from the girl I was a few years back. She was depressed, withdrawn......drunk.

I have been happy. I have a lot to be happy about....finally. It's also nice to know that the majority doesn't just find beauty in the physical sense. We can still see it in what really matters. The fact that people find more beauty in the smile on my face than in the super model on the television reassures me especially when it comes to possibly raising a daughter of my own someday.

I thought maybe something was wrong with The Cuddler with all his telling me I'm beautiful crap even though others were saying it too. Maybe I should cancel that eye doctor appointment I made for him...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Maintenance is progress too!

So.... I managed to maintain my weight the last few weeks. Big accomplishment in my opinion seeing as I ate like a pig! But in a better semi healthy way and I started a little exercise regimen too. I can't complain because it could have been way worse seeing it was the holidays. Now it's time to buck up. I've already turned down quite a few opportunities to eat out (James is sick and in no mood to cook) so I am fighting the good fight at least partly....Now it's time to start saying no to my occasional glass of wine. Bargle. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Destroyer Walks!!

I guess we are starting the new year off right with Raine's first steps. He's been cruising like a champ since our honeymoon but hadn't yet taken any independent steps. This morning he let go of Jimmy's hands and actually stood unassisted for 30 seconds or so. I said " I bet he's walking by my birthday" (Jan. 27th) but I guess Raine has very little patience like his mommy because within an hour he decided to take all that independent standing to a whole new level. We are pretty excited seeing as he's been pretty lazy about the whole mobility thing. 

He's doing things slow. He'll walk when we start him off in a standing position but not as much stepping away from the furniture on his own just yet. I give it about a week or so before I have to break out the baby containment devices.