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joshua is old

I think I am having an identity crisis.

Last night when I was saying goodnight to Joshua as he climbed into bed I got really weepy. I mean, he will be eleven years old in a month. And laying there in his bed, he looked HUGE. And he was kinda just like, “Ok lady, tell me good night and get out of here.”

Instead I told him a story, a true story about how when he was a baby, once he really got communicative, between say 6 and 18 months, and he was SO sweet, I used to say to him ALL THE TIME: “Joshua, I hope you always love me as much as you do right now.”

Because he LOVED me. SO much. Unabashedly. With abandon. And he was just indescribably sweet. His babyhood for me was much easier and more enjoyable than Sophie or Jonah’s, both because he was an easy baby and because he was the only one. I was his and he was mine, completely.

tiny joshua

And now he loves Minecraft and friends and watching Agents of Shield with Daddy.

And he’s almost 11 and I’m 37 and…when did this happen? I still feel like I should be 26 with a newborn.

So…pop quiz: who am I, and what am I supposed to do with this giant man-child who could take or leave me?

Anyone have a cheat sheet?

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Randomoscity

Lots of things are floating around in my brain right now, but none of them have taken the shape of a real, actual post. So, since I haven’t a) done a random-things-on-my-mind post or b) made up a word for a post title in a while, I thought I’d do both.

In no particular order…

- Is this a mom thing? I am so tired of constantly wheedling my family into doing things they don’t want to do. Or, things they do want to do, just not right at the moment. Or, things they should want to do and would enjoy/would be good for them if only they would listen to me. Examples include going to the zoo to see the holiday lights display and going to swimming lessons that we pay a lot of money for on a regular basis. I feel like I am the only one dealing with the actual space-time continuum that means if Thing A is going to be done, Steps 1, 2, and 3 have to be completed by Time I. Am I alone here?

- My braces and I are in a good place right now. I can eat and talk without too much pain for the most part. This means, of course, that they’re due to be tightened. I have to go next Thursday to have the last set of wires put in – the super-sturdy ones that are going to hurt like a mofo. So, it’ll be back to milkshakes vitamin-infused smoothies and speech impediments for me. Between that and preparing for the hysterectomy to fix a problem that isn’t visibly causing me any issues, I am beginning to question the idea of preventative medicine.

- I guess I didn’t have enough angst when I was a teenager, because I am having it now. I am in a “What is the point of life?” phase at the moment and I’m not entirely sure why or how to get out of it. But really. If you know what the point of life is, please enlighten me.

- In my ongoing attempt to screw my kids up as little as possible, I downloaded this book the other day. Jenny and I have seen Brene speak a few times and she is super amazing. You should definitely download it too.

brene

That’s all I’ve got. What’s going on with you?

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Word Nerds!

spellers

Saturday, Joshua and Sophie were BOTH in our district Spelling Bee. Last year they both qualified, also, but Joshua did not want to do it, and we didn’t make him. This year, however, he was ready, but he did NOT want to win. He was like, terrified of getting to the final round where he would compete against 6th-8th graders as well as his own 5th grade winners. Sophie, however, was in it to win it! We studied pretty hard. I even made Joshua study because I told him he HAD to do his best, but I gotta be honest – the 5th grade words were ridiculously hard!

Anyway. Before we left for the big Bee, we had to do a family coin toss. Why? You ask.

Because both kids wanted Daddy to come with them in the spelling room. We had to flip a coin to see which would claim the Daddy prize and which would get stuck with boring old Mom.

Sophie lost. And let me be clear, LOSING = me accompanying her to the 2nd grade spelling bee.

Harumph.

Despite her handicap of getting stuck with moi, Sophie spelled her heart out and came in 4th place out of 20 spellers! She was SO excited, and I was SO proud. She spelled with confidence and made it through 18 rounds before she got out!

Sophie 4th place

Joshua and Bobby fared well in the 5th grade room, but not AS well as Sophie. The details are a little fuzzy, because when I asked how he did, they could only come up with “I was in the top 10 but not the top 5.” I had to laugh! We are so proud of Joshua for overcoming the fear that kept him out of the spelling bee last year!

joshua is cool

And of course, the same week of the spelling bee, both kids also qualified for the district speech meet. Which means…another early Saturday morning coin-toss is in our future.

I sure do love my little Word Nerds! Even though they love Daddy more.

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Foodie.com: Healthy & Quick Dinners


Check out Healthy (and quick!) Weeknight Dinners

by Emily at Foodie.com

This month I’m collecting ideas for healthy and quick dinners over on Foodie. Go check it out! I am particularly excited about the Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry. Also – that chicken enchilada soup? Best soup I’ve ever made, no lie. AND… that pot roast is ridiculous. For real. And not a packet of dry soup to be seen.

Any suggestions for recipes to add to my collection?

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This post is sponsored by Foodie.com.

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Things I Hate

I know you all love it when I’m angry, and I’ve been sick for over a week and am exhausted and overwhelmed/ living in a house that is DEFCON TWELVE level messy, and my kids have not one but TWO DAYS OFF school this week so I’m peeeeved.

Therefore. Thing I hate. Let’s start with hashtags.

HASHTAGS I HATE:

#fitmom (I prefer #slobmom. Actually I prefer we JUST DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.)

I actually pretty much hate the word “fit” now – even when used in a definition that has nothing to do with health.

#boymom, #girlmom (really, do you we need another reason to polarize ourselves?) OHEMGEE I have boys AND a girl, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO??

#dogsofinstagram – no explanation needed

#disneyside – ain’t got one

PEOPLE I HATE:

All these people who named all these kids. But especially the ones who NAMED THEIR BABY HASHTAG. #donotnameyourbabyhashtag

I know as I good Christian I shouldn’t hate people, so I promise Jesus and I will talk about this soon, and eventually I won’t hate them. But at the time of writing…HATE.

RANDOM THINGS I HATE:

Drowning in my own phlegm

Being too sick to do anything but the basics, AKA, living in a house that looks like a dirty laundry-only episode of Hoarders.

Kids having LOTS OF DAYS OFF SCHOOL (not MLK, the OTHER ONE! AND THE SNOW DAYS!) when I expressly pay large sums of American dollars each year for them to GO TO SCHOOL.

Things I Love:

Antibiotics and Mucinex.

Happy Monday! The end.

 

 

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(Dog) Haters Gonna Hate

Earlier this week, TimeHop, the handy app that tells me what I posted through social media outlets on this date in history, reminded me that three years ago, Jenny wrote me the best letter I had ever received.

Now, I don’t say this often – and it pains me a little to do so now – but Jenny was right.

Let’s review her words of wisdom, shall we?

photo by number657 on flickr

photo by number657 on flickr

Dear Cousin,
I love you. Just about as much as I love anyone on this earth. And I have in my past, loved a pet. More than one. I mean I used to let those cats SLEEP WITH ME
[OMG that is SO GROSS, Jenny.] every night, I looooved them, they were my BABIES, and you know what? I’M GLAD THEY’RE GONE. Going pet-free is the best decision we ever made for our family.

And that is the reason I am going to tell you that you should under no circumstances, get a DOG. I know your husband thinks he wants one, I know your daughter thinks she wants one, I know all our readers think your kids are going to turn out to be emotionally stunted irresponsible citizens who make a living stealing other people’s identities if they don’t get a one, but I am here to tell you that they are WRONG. Why? Because YOU don’t want one [she's right. I didn't, and I don't.], and they ultimately want what YOU want, whether they know it or not. This dog will make you unhappy, and when mama’s not happy…she gets TMJ, gets hopped up on muscle relaxers because she can’t deal with letting the dog out in the middle of the night one more time, refuses to leave the bedroom, gets fired from her job, and starts talking to her new hair dryer. [Let's all say a silent prayer of thanks that I haven't gone off the deep end quite so much. Yet.]

But you know what? I don’t need to give you any more reasons about how dog hair is gross [I do not have the words to adequately express how much I hate having dog hair all over my house. It makes my blood pressure skyrocket just thinking about it.] (and your cleaning lady is going to start charging you more) [Yep! We had to have her start coming every other week instead of once a month after we got the dog. Because dog hair.], how you are going to have to pick up POOP [Actually I have managed to not do that even once. The fact that I've never walked down the street carrying a plastic bag full of crap is one of my biggest accomplishments.] really, both your kids can take care of their own poop, shouldn’t you not rock the poop boat?), how you are going to have to make Kate get a JOB to pay for the tags, license, shots, etcetera that this pooch is going to require. And what if he gets hurt, or sick? Oh, you can just buy health insurance for YOUR DOG. I’m sure that’s cheap. And probably really good coverage. I am sure you will never have to pay out of pocket thousands of dollars so your dog won’t die so your kids won’t be emotionally scarred.

[Let me break in here to say that our dog has epilepsy. That's right, we have an epileptic dog, and my husband gives him medicine for that condition twice a day. On rare occasions, I have given it to him as well, I am sad to say.]

OH, and YOU HAVE TO PAY MONEY FOR YOUR DOG TO GET A HAIRSTYLE AND A MANICURE. Dubya tee eff, cousin. Like you even have time to get your OWN hair and nails done but your DOG will have to have regularly scheduled appointments?

I just died a little just thinking about it.

Jenny goes on to use my own words against me, and you should really read the rest of the original post because it’s some funny shark.

But anyway, it’s been three years and I still hate having a dog. Like, a lot. I hate the hair (did I mention that?), I hate that he snatches food off the kitchen table and counters, and I hate that guests are welcomed to our home by a dog freaking the hell out the moment the doorbell rings.

In all fairness, I have to give a shout out to my husband. He handles 98 percent of the dog’s care and doesn’t expect me to do it. When we’re away from home, he’s the one who remembers there’s a living thing at our house who probably needs some attention – because I kid you not, it does not cross my mind. And rationally, I recognize that the dog isn’t even a “bad” one. He doesn’t chew anything except tennis balls, he’s continent (which is lucky for him, let’s just say that), and he doesn’t… well, those are all the redeeming qualities I can come up with.

Andy and Kate are convinced, though, that somewhere inside my coal black heart, I possess a soft spot for the dog. Really, they think I do. But I am here to tell you – unequivocally – I hate having a dog.

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Hitting It Where It Counts

This post is part of my duties as a Together Counts™ Energy Balance Ambassador, for which I am being compensated. All opinions are my own.

So…I never really got around to doing a year-end recap post…that perhaps, was indicative of the fact that 2014 was a little crazy! Jonah started preschool, the big kids both had big academic achievements, and I got a J-O-B. We ended the year running at a very frenetic pace! This past year I was also once again an Energy Balance Ambassador for Together Counts ™ so the family and I made an extra effort to eat, play, and stay active together! That’s because Together Counts™, in case you need a refresher, is an initiative of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation that encourages and provides lots of resources for families to be active together and to work on their energy balance – calories in during family meals, and calories out during family activities.

So what did the Rapsons do together during 2014 to make it count? Well, lots of things of course! One big thing was that the big kids started going sailing with Daddy on Sundays. A great way to be active and spend quality time together! Jonah’s not quite ready for that yet, but someday he’ll be a rational being and he will make a great sailor as well. The best part of this is that they also get to be active with their Grandpa, Bobby’s dad, the original Rapson sailor.

Joshua and Pop

Joshua and “Pop” getting ready to sail

We also took some time to serve together in active ways – once again doing the Buddy Walk for Down syndrome together and during the summer the kids also got to come with me to help deliver shoes and socks to kids who needed them with Shoes 4 the Shoeless, where they got to run and play right along side the kids they helped.

Buddy Walk

2014 Buddy Walk for Down syndrome – Team Peace, Love, & Joy!

Another thing we did was make sure to be active on our family trips! That’s right, we didn’t just lay around on the beach (although that sounds lovely, and um, maybe I’ll put that on my list for 2015!) – we took a really looooong walk to the Lake Erie beach instead of taking a shuttle, we walked all around Cedar Point, and we played at parks and tromped around mountains at my parents’ place in Virginia. And of course, we took lots of opportunities to swim together, whether at home at our local pool or at hotels when we were traveling.

scrambler

Me and Joshua at Cedar Point!

 

indian rocks

The big kids with some friends at Indian Rocks in Viriginia.

Jonah Boxerwood

Jonah at our favorite nature play park in Virginia, Boxerwood Children’s Garden

As it has gotten colder, we’ve still tried to keep up the activity (just not this week in the -25 degree wind chill temps!) – and just to make sure we were intentional about it, the kids did swim lessons this fall, too.

And of course, we’ve shared meals together as a family – got to fuel up before we play!

We’ve loved being active as a family together this past year – how about you? What ways have you worked on energy balance with your family? For more great resources and ideas on the why and the how of being active together, go check out Together Counts™!

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Deja Vu All Over Again

So my big kids went to school 3 days this week. I consider that a win! Because Jonah only went ONE day this week…which is exactly how many days he went this same week last year. It was his first week of preschool EVER, and I cannot even express how much that STRESSED me out! Although you can read about it if you want to go down memory lane.

Jonah and me working hard - me w/ my laptop and him with his Leap Frog writing toy which he ADORES.

Jonah and me working hard – me w/ my laptop and him with his Leap Frog writing toy which he ADORES.

This year it also stressed me out, because well, not only was I dying for him to get back to his routine, having a job and having him home every day really complicates things! I get about 3 hours a day, 4 days a week to workworkwork or solo grocery shop or clean house (gotta tidy up for the sitter on Mondays and Wednesdays at least!) and not having that this week was difficult  - primarily because since we were just coming off Christmas break – I hadn’t had it for two weeks!!  Plus, speech therapy was also cancelled which stresses me because he had been off that for two weeks because of the holiday, TOO! And you guys know how I feel about my kids’ therapy. It is 30 minutes a week when the pressure is off me a little bit. (See the “Jenny is neurotic” category.)

But, I survived. We were all safe and warm. No two-hour delays, which mess me up WORSE than school being cancelled. I got to wear stretchy pants and my fuzzy bathrobe more than usual and surprisingly, was able to keep up with my no-sugar cleanse. Even though I really miss it. And cheese, DANG I MISS CHEESE!!! (But I’ve lost 4 lbs in 5 days. Woot. Which I feel I deserve because the sugar withdrawal headaches I had for the first three days were VICIOUS.)

And I think I got enough work done to not get fired, too. Knock on wood!

But Old Man Winter, Queen Elsa, or Mother Nature,  PLEASE get back to better behavior next week or this might come to blows. I will put on my thinsulate-lined boxing gloves and get in the ring with your icy @$$ because I don’t think I can keep this UP for too much longer. I’m only human. And I’m not as good a human as most people, as we all know! Take some Xanax and sit by your happy light and WARM UP (don’t chill out, I beg you) so we can all get back in the swing of things.

How was your first week “back to normal” after the holidays??

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Back to Basics

My surgery is scheduled for March 25, and my doctor’s office evidently wants me to be prepared.

Yesterday, I got this in the mail.

image (68)

It’s a handy little pamphlet full of useful information. Highlights include:

– A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. During pregnancy, the uterus holds and nourishes the fetus (a baby growing in the woman’s uterus).

– It also depends on the findings of a pelvic exam (a manual examination of a woman’s reproductive organs).

– A needle may be placed in your arm or wrist. It is attached to a tube called an IV line.

– After a hysterectomy, a woman can no longer get pregnant.

It also contained before and after pictures:

At least I’ve got that going for me.

I guess I shouldn’t be making fun of this, because in reviewing it I learned that I’m not actually having a hysterectomy – because they are removing my ovaries (two glands, located on either side of the uterus, that contain the eggs released at ovulation and that produce hormones) and Fallopian tubes (tubes through which an egg travels from the ovary to the uterus) as well, I am actually having a salpingo-oophorectomy. So there’s that.

Anyway, this brochure got me to thinking about the completely absurd educational materials designed to teach girls about getting their period.

Anyone remember this gem?

I was scarred for life after having to watch Daisy Duck get her period when I was in fourth grade.

And then there was the famous uterus pancake featured in the VHS video Always would ship if you sent them a self-addressed stamped envelope. Anyone remember that? Evidently the video itself doesn’t exist on the internet, but I will say google finished my sentence for me when I started to type “uterus pancake video.” (which I do not recommend doing, by the way)

uterus pancake

All of this leaves me with one more question – are men/boys also presented with information about their reproductive health in completely ridiculous ways?
Please tell me there’s a comparable video about Mickey Mouse’s… never mind.

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Happy New Year! Let’s Torture Ourselves

In an effort to make my life one big cliche (and keep Emily rolling her eyes at me pretty much constantly), today, yes the first Monday of the new year, I am starting a cleanse. No dairy, no sugar, no lots of other things but since I can’t eat wheat anyway, dairy and sugar are the MOST painful things – basically everything I love and hold dear I cannot have for 10 days. WAAAAAHHHH! Crazy, right? I mean, I have zero self-control. So. This should be fun.

jenny likes sugar

EXCEPT, I’ve done it before. Are you shocked? I have. And I lived to tell about it. It was sometime last year, I can’t even exactly remember when, but I did the cleanse, I DIDN’T EVEN CHEAT, and I survived. The thing I missed the most was my sugary, liquid-poison coffee creamer. Oh man. I might cry just thinking about it! I wish I would have had an extra helping yesterday!!

I should probably be even more cliche and say the reason I am doing this cleanse is because I want to “get healthy” but that would be a bold-faced LIE. Or a bald-faced lie even. Probably both. The truth is, I am doing this cleanse because NONE OF MY PANTS FIT. It has taken me over two years, but I have finally gained back every last pound of the 12 ell bees I lost when I quit eating wheat. That’s right, I’m here to prove that you can eat gluten-free and still be fat! Thanks, Mountain Dew! Just kidding, I know I’m not fat. BUT I AM SQUEEEEEZING myself into my pants in a MOST UNCOMFORTABLE manner which in case you didn’t comprehend from my use of ALL CAPS is extremely uncool.

That’s right, people. Vanity rules.

So.

Cleanse.

No sugar. No dairy. No amazing creamer or sugary lattes. No Mountain Dew or Chewy Sweet Tarts. No cheese sticks, Sonic slushies, or delicious chocolatey gluten-free cereal.

Oh man. I feel sorry for my kids.

If you need me I’ll be huddled in the corner pretending a carrot stick is a pixie stick.

Wish me luck!

 

 

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