Why This Competition is Different

trainIt’s hard for me to believe that I’m already four weeks into my competition prep.  And, I’ll be honest.  There are many times I wanted to quit. Many.  For many different reasons.  But, unfortunately/fortunately, I let everyone know I was going to compete and I don’t want to be seen as a quitter. 

Preparing to compete is no easy venture.  When I competed from 2008-2010 I was worry free.  I was single and ready to mingle.  The main thing on my mind was competing and I went at it full force.  The main thing I had to worry about when I woke up in the morning was what color sports bra to wear to the gym.  My abs were cute, I was cute, I was on a mission.

Now, all of that has changed.  I am married.  I am a mother of a toddler. My priorities are completely different.  I wake up thinking about the activities my son and I are going to do together.  At night I can’t wait to spend quality time with my husband.  It sucks not to be able to eat dinner with them at night and eat the same things they do. We went on a vacation to DC for a week. While I cooked most of my food, I enjoyed two meals with husband. I’m so over chicken breasts.  I’m so over tilapia. 

The other thing that is different this time is the category I’ll be doing.  I LOVED competing in fitness.  The surge of energy doing a two minute routine is thrilling.  I actually started as a figure competitor.  That was cool too because I was able to build muscle, but not too much muscle.  But, now…… Now, I am a bikini competitor.  I remember when bikini first became a division and I thought very little about it.  Even now it’s my least favorite division, although it’s the most popular when it comes to numbers. I now must get on stage in an itsy witsy teeny weeny (I don’t know the color) bikini!

So, I’m just weeks away from my first post-marriage, post-pregnancy competition.  I had a major setback last week when I became sick with meningitis type symptoms.  I was in bed and out of commission for almost six days.  It sucked.  I didn’t eat like crap, I just didn’t eat.  But I learned it’s one of those things you either let hold you back or use as a comeback.  Mine is going to be a comeback baby.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  My good friend Larry Jackson is my trainer.  Some people think that could be weird, but it’s actually been a good thing.  He knows me and I trust him.  While I may call him and very briefly complain about eating tilapia three times a day, he know when he gets off the phone that I’ll eat it. He and his wife have fallen in love with the competition industry and I’m proud to be a part of his team.

So, please wish me luck and say a prayer that these next couple of weeks go as planned.  Pray my butt gets smaller and my smile gets wider.  Pray the judges say, “That’s one hot mama!” and award me first place. Now, off to eat some asparagus I go.

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I Now Understand

 

 I Now Understand

I used to be in an all women’s investment club. We called ourselves S.T.A.F.F. (Sisters Together Achieving Financial Freedom). Our group met monthly for over 10 years and we saw various members get married, move away and start a family.  I left the group at the beginning of the year in 2011.  And one thing I was known for with the group was always being on time.  If the meeting started at 7:00pm, you can believe I was there by 7:00pm.  Often times I would be the only person there for 10-15 minutes.  The running joke was that if I left my house at the start time for the meeting, I’d get there around the same time as everyone else.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I understood what was going on.  Yesterday Maximus, at the ripe age of five weeks old, was asked to film a newborn video that would be shown in hospitals to new mothers.  He was going to be paid a savings bond and filming started at noon.

To me that seemed like plenty of time to get things done, but little did I know that being on baby/youth time is different than single/independent woman time.  It first started with a baby that did not want to be put down.  Morning time is usually snuggle time and this day was no different.  Usually that’s fine, but not when you’re praying that at least one dress fits over my now wider hips and it’s more difficult to do when lil man is in your arms.  Then comes getting Maximus dressed. Usually that’s pretty simple, but now I must time it so that he doesn’t puke or poo on his clothes since he’ll be filmed.

Which leads to breast feeding. I tried to time it just right so that eating would be the last thing we did before leaving the house.  All seemed to go well and I thought I would still be on time – until I realized I couldn’t find the black dress I had picked out to wear.  It’s a simple black dress, it couldn’t be in too many places.  I looked high and low and couldn’t find it.  Maximus wasn’t much help.  I found a less pleasant dress to throw on. As I was getting ready to walk downstairs, I remembered I’d put the dress in the dryer to get out the wrinkles – and there it was.

We were finally on our way.  While I would love to say I was 10-15 minutes late, we were actually still on time.  BUT, I can now completely relate to my friends being late places and having a million things to do before one simple task can be complete.

It feels great to now be a part of this not so secret parent society where most people speak the same language. I’m not the president or the founder.  I’m just a rookie member starting to learn the ropes. Go team!

No Dial Tone

 

  No Dial Tone

I’ve seen it before with some of my friends.  They run around looking like their head is cut off and never seem to have it quite all together.  Many of these friends of mine have kids (plural) and always seem a little bit frazzled.

Earlier this week Maximus and I went out to eat with some of my former colleagues.  He slept the entire time.  We went to the bank.  He slept the entire time.  We just had one more stop before going home and it was a quick stop to a small baby boutique.  For some reason, Maximus doesn’t always like the car and he starts crying – loudly – and won’t quit until you pick him up (which is impossible to do while driving).  In route to the store, the drama started. When we arrived, I took him out of the carrier and walked with him inside.  We made a purchase and headed home.  I could tell him was hungry, so as soon as we walked in our room, I pulled out the milk factory and all was good.

I looked for my cell phone and couldn’t find it.  I looked in the diaper bag (I can’t believe I now carry around a diaper bag!) and it wasn’t there.  I looked in the car – not there either.   So now I start to worry.  From my house phone (thank God for still having a land line) I call my cell phone.  It went straight to voicemail.  I tried two more times and had the same results.

Crap! Please don’t tell me I Iost my phone and someone else has already  started using it.   Although I knew the phone could be replaced, I hated that many of Maximus’ undownloaded newborn pics were saved on it.  I called the Baby store and they didn’t see a phone. I asked them to check the parking lot.  They saw nothing.  Oh me oh my! Had my iphone gone to phone heaven?

I decided to take fate in my own hands and drive back to the store (it was only five minutes away).  I looked at my parking spot, which now had another car parked. Underneath the car I could see my red phone case.  ALLELUIA!  I picked up the phone and although it wasn’t crushed, you could tell it was melting from the heat.  Luckily oh luckily it just needed a little TLC and air conditioning and worked just fine.

Lesson learned: Don’t give up hope too easily.  Even when you think all is lost, take that one extra step to give it your all.  Just because someone has taken your spot (like the other car did my parking spot) doesn’t mean that your opportunity is lost.  And the most important lesson learned – iphone cases are everlasting gifts from God!

Mother’s To Be Day

Today Baby Turner has made it to 34 weeks. Each and every day is a blessing.  Although I thought I’d get off of bed rest this week, my doctor would like to keep me on for another week – so bed rest lives on.  It was a difficult transition at first because I went from being  in the hospital and having EVERYTHING done for me, to being at home and having just the opposite.  Luckily I have an AMAZING husband that has been there 100% of the way and has never complained.  I see how tired he is most nights, and a couple of times tried to help out.  But I was told to lay back down and bake a baby.

This morning, Mother’s Day, I woke up to the following post from Milton on my Facebook wall:

Michelle: I have watched you grow literally and figuratively over the past eight months. A little over a month ago, I got a call saying that you had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance because of pre-term labor. I rushed to the hospital not knowing whether our son would be OK at little over 2 lbs. You were told you couldn’t get out of bed for a month, but you used love, patience, and ingenuity to help our baby grow to more than twice his size. You beat the odds when even your doc didn’t think you could make it this long. All the while, you still ran three businesses from a hospital bed. I know it was hard and we shared a lot of tough times and contractions together, but you learned the great skill every great mom has: sacrifice. Mothers sacrifice everything they have for their kids and you are living, walking (ok, maybe waddling right now), talking proof that that nothing is more valuable. Thank you for giving our son a chance at a healthy life. Happy Mother’s Day, baby. I love you.

Of course it brought tears to my eyes. Milton helps me realize that being on bed rest is not just about being lazy all day, it’s about creating a safe haven for a developing baby.  Seven weeks ago my child try to make a special early appearance.  Seven weeks.  And for seven weeks I’ve helped slow down that process. Like Milton said, it’s the beginning of many sacrifices I’ll make.

Today was somewhat hard for me because I miss my mother.  Both of my parents are deceased and today brings up the realization that neither will be around to raise/spoil their grandchild.  My mother was one of the most amazing people you could meet.  I don’t say this just from personal experience, but everyone that met her said the same.  Even after her death, people were doing things to honor her.  Nobody can replace my mother, but luckily many of her friends have stepped in to do motherly things. Currently a group of them have started organizing a food delivery list so that Milton doesn’t have so much to do after working a 10 hour day (with a two hour commute). They have been a blessing.

What would have made my mother proud is that I reached out to them for help.  As an only child, one my my mother’s largest worries was that I didn’t reach out to people when I was in need and always tried to do everything by myself.  I’ve come to realize, though, that especially once I become a mother, I will need people’s support, love and advice more than ever.  Life is all about relationships.  Some are built over time and some are unexpected. My mother has an amazing legacy because of relationships she established with others.  I think I’m finally prepared to do the same.