I Think I am Old

Sometimes I think about something, and then I say it out loud, and then I tell other people, and then they are excited….. and then I wonder what in the world did I get myself into?

Well, that’s about how I feel right now.  I had an urge to compete, and I scratched it. But after going ‘public’ with the news, I have doubts on whether I can succeed.  I was always a fitness and/or figure competitor, but now I’ll be doing bikini.  Do 37 year old women really look good in bikinis?  Do the poses we’re supposed to do look goofy instead of sexy? Can I proudly poke out my booty?  Can I go without my favorite foods for nine weeks?

I told my doubts to my husband, trainer and some of my Facebook friends.  They were all very supportive and pretty much said to go for it. Many thought I was in great shape already.  Little did people know that they are the ones who have inspired me.  I’ve watched several of my mom friends go below 200 pounds for the first time since being pregnant.  I’ve watched my husband earn his I LOST IT shirt in a little over a month. I watched other friends compete in their first competition.

They motivated me, so now I want to help motivate them. Today was my first day of workouts.  And I’m sure if I cussed, I would have cussed my heart out.  It was hard and I was exhausted.  Milton and I also did cardio sprints tonight.  I so wanted to give up.  My poor little legs could barely sprint. But he pumped me up and encouraged me to keep going.  And I love him for that!  So, please say a prayer for me.  My success is in my hands.

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What in the World?!

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)

 

I always told people that I would never do it again. I said that I didn’t miss it. I talked about how I enjoyed watching other people do it, just not me. Well, fast forward two years and I take everything I’ve said back.

I was sitting at home on my bed and this random thought came into my head. The voice yelled in my ear, “Michelle, you need to compete again!” I NEED TO WHAT?! Huh? Do you realize I just had a baby last year and that my body is no longer shaped the same? What?! Have you seen my mommy pooch or my ‘close to 40’ butt? Yikes!!! Do you know how much I value a nap? What in the world?

I then found my fingers reaching for my cell phone to see when the next local competition is. It’s 9.5 weeks away. Oh boy! I begin to wonder 1) where were these thoughts coming from and 2) who will think I’m crazy for wanting to do it and talk me out of it.

So, I first call my friend Larry Jackson who trains ladies to compete. His response was, “Let’s Do It!” He said to throw on a bikini and send him a picture. A bikini? Me? I used to rock a bikini with pride, but now they hide in the back of my closet. Whew. I told him I needed to pray about it and that I’d either send him a photo in my bathing suit or some random crazy picture to let him know my mind isn’t right.

I knew there was one person I could depend on to talk me off the competition ledge – my husband. He always talked about how he didn’t like it when I competed because I was no fun to be around when I lack carbs. Surely he doesn’t want Carbless Barbie Michelle laying next to him every night. I picked up the phone to call him. His response – “Go For It!” Say what?! Do what?! Huh?

Everyone around me was supporting my decision. I thought it would be cool to try to get in shape to compete. My body is in no way the shape it used to be and my muscle defiinition has decreased. I may have to enter bikini instead of figure (which bothers me) but it could be fun.

So ladies and gents, my goal is to compete in 9 weeks. I’m hoping to bring my abs out of hiding and tighten up my glutes. I know nutrition is going to be key and I’ll be using a meal plan and the Visalus products in addition to my workouts. Wish me luck and say a prayer – I sure do need them!

Overcoming Obstacles

MyGymBallsI think everyone overcomes many obstacles in life.  Some are larger than others and many of them make us stronger as a person.  Today I was able to watch my son Maximus overcome one of his.  All summer we have been attending My Gym Louisville.  It’s a cool gym for kids. Maximus is in the Waddler group and he’s able to run, jump, climb, slide and swing.  We love it!

They change the set up of the room around every week. Today they had a walking plank that led into a huge pit of plastic balls.  Although Maximus loves the balls, he’s always scared to jump into them.  Usually I’ll say, “1, 2, 3” and throw him in and he has the brightest smile.  Today started like a normal day with the balls.  He loves to walk across the plank, but as he gets closer to the end with the balls, he walks closer to me and holds on tight to my shirt.  You can tell he’s scared.  He would gradually push his toe over the edge and then step in in slow motion.

Next, he tries to climb out of the balls back onto the plank so I push his booty in the air to help him. He gets back up and once again walks to the edge. He scoots closer to me and then falls in.  It takes him about four times to realize jumping into the balls are pretty fun and touching mom isn’t necessary for it to be successful.  So the next time he gets on the plank, he walks to end, stands there and jumps right in.  I become one proud parent!  I watch him do it several more times and each time he’s more confident. In less than 20 minutes I was able to watch my son overcome his fears.  I think toward the end I was smiling more than he was. I’m so excited to watch him continue to grow. I’m glad that he still thinks I can solve all of his world’s problem, but I’m also glad that he’s willing to try to solve his own!

What Was I Thinking?

 

Back in January my son had a difficult time at a daycare.  In fact he hated it.  He cried every day. During that time of stress, I came up with the brilliant idea of mentioning to MIlton that it would be great if his mother moved in with us.  SAY WHAT?!  He thought it was a great idea.  He called and asked her and after thinking about it for a couple of hours, she said yes. Once the school year was over, she’d move in.

  Move ahead several months to July. Maximus loves his new daycare and especially the daycare teacher, Ms. Melissa.  Life is good, and now his mom is ready to come. YIKES! What in the world was I thinking?  She is going to come here and not leave.  Ever.  Her address will be our address. WHAT?!! Something had to be in my Visalus shake that January morning I thought of the idea. We drove to Kokomo, IN to get his mother’s items and she made the trek to the Ville.  I  had a feeling this month was going to be the longest…….. month…. ever!!   And the exact opposite happened.  When my “crack-o-dawn” son wakes up at 5:30am every morning, he excitedly walks into Nana’s room (or bangs on her door) to hang out with her.  It makes her day to see his morning smile expressing utter delight to see her.  She went from rarely seeing him, to spending quality time everyday with him.  They take morning walks together and he is her pride and joy.   I cook the majority of the meals and when we’re done eating, she always volunteers to clean up so Milton and I can spend quality time together after dinner.  And, she is nice. And, she is funny. His mom and I hang out and we have a great time. WHO KNEW? Milton loves it because he feels he’s able to provide full circle.  It may not work for every family, but thus far (knock on wood) having three generations under one household has been a blessing!   ** Random: Maximus had his first haircut this week.  I’m pretty sure I was more nervous that he was.  I sat in the barber chair and he sat on me.  At first he was cool and all was good.  About 3/4 the way through, he realized what was happening and freaked out. My baby really looks like a toddler now. Thanks to LaRon at Cutting it Close Barbershop for the 1st Haircut certificate. Proud mom moment!

Happy Father’s Day Unhappy

 

The Saturday before Father’s Day, Milton and I were with Maximus at My Gym, a play gym for toddlers.   In the middle of class, I leaned over to Milton and whispered, “I feel nauseated.” In the world of a fertile woman, that general means two things: either I have food poisoning or I’m pregnant.  Milton wanted me to wait until Father’s Day to pee on a stick, but as the day went by, I kept having to urinate and was tired.  Later that evening, me, the toilet and a stick became one as I took a pregnancy test.  Instantly a “+” appeared, which meant we were preggo-tastic.

Milton was excited! I was excited! Maximus was looking at us like “what is wrong with you people?” I’d only had two menstrual cycles since I was breast feeding so Milton’s aim was once again on point.  On Facebook, Milton claimed Sunday to be “The Best Father’s Day Ever!” 

I called my doctor that following Monday and they wanted to wait until the six weeks mark before I was seen.  That was about a week later.  I went in and all the office people were excited, especially since they’d been there the entire time with Maximus’ birth. I was talking with Debbie, the sonographer, about Fort Knox as she was doing the exam.  I noticed I didn’t see the sac like I had with Maximus.  She called my doctor in and to doc said she didn’t think I was as far along as I thought.  They suggested to do some blood work and see me again in two weeks.

I went and had some blood drawn and was called the next day with results: HCG level 800, progesterone level 10.  Decent, but not great numbers.  I came back the next day for more blood work with the goal the 800 level would double.  I was called the next day to say the level instead had decreased.  That meant I was going to have a miscarriage.

You never want to hear those words.  You never want to call your husband and tell him those words.  At first I just sat there. I found amazing strength to get through the situation from a wonderful group of moms on Facebook.  I reached out to my special group of international mamas and let them know my tragic news.  Little did I know that many of them had been through similar experiences and now they have the most precious babies I have ever seen.  I told them it was one of those clubs I never wanted to be a member of, but I was glad such amazing people were in it with me.

Some people have symptoms first of a miscarriage. For me, I was told it would happen first. Then, came the stressful days of waiting for it to happen. It took about four days to start.  When you see the blood leaving for your body for the first time is when you know it is really happening.  I was fortunate not to have a painful or long process.  I was also blessed to have an adorable 13 month old son by my side that showed me what life is all about.  

I went back and forth as to whether or not I was going to write about this.  But I knew the strength I had to get through this came from the strength others had to share their stories and be there for me with full support. I pray that if anyone else goes through something similar, that they know they aren’t alone and its not their fault.  I also pray they know there can be life after death.  Milton and I will continue to help Maximus give a sister or brother.  Please keep us in your prayers. 

Oh What a Difference a Year Makes

 

After 10 weeks of bed rest, it was a blessing to welcome Maximus to the world June 3 of last year. With a troubled pregnancy, it was good to have him just ‘slide out’.  And ever since our eyes locked, it has been instant love!

 


There have been plenty of hours of little to no sleep.  For awhile I thought waking up at 12:30, 3:30 and 5:30am were normal. I am now a champion diaper changer, but know that explosive diapers out in public are never good. 

I’ve learned that the smile of a baby can go along way and the fact that my son goes to me to make everything better means I am the queen of his world. I hate feeling helpless when he has a fever or after his shots.

I know that da-da slides off his tongue easier that ma-ma and that when you drop something intentionally on the ground you say, “Uh Oh!” The Mickey Mouse Club House song is the best song in the world, with a close second being the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

People in church think when Maximus tries to sing random sounds out loud in service that it’s cute.  I think he might hold the world record for producing the most slobber.

Maximus crawled and then walked at nine months and is officially into any and everything that isn’t a toy.  He’ll blow you a kiss and clap if you sing.  

 

We don’t leave home without his binky and the car is the perfect place for a nap. He loves when dad comes room and runs to the door every time.

 

 He has six teeth and loves to read books.  His smile and eyes can light up a room, but his stranger danger is real.  I’m proud to have breast fed him for an entire year.

I’ve relented to the fact that everyone thinks our son looks like my husband and I know that the two of them traveling solo by airplane is a major disaster.

But most of all, I’ve experiences the unconditional love that many other mothers and fathers have described. It’s hard to believe that we produce such precious souls. I’ve loved reading about everyone’s kids graduating from elementary, middle and high school recently.  When you’ve said times goes by fast, you’re not joking.

I wanted to thank each of you for the stories you’ve told me and advice that you’ve given.  I’m a better parent because of you.