Donovan is always so quick to make friends wherever he goes.

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“Hey guys. What are you doing? What’s your name? I’m Donovan!” And those boys were equally nice to let him play with them.

Love my little man.

Wow. I haven’t blogged since August and I’m realizing how much I miss it, and how much has happened since then.

I’m going to be coming back to do a little catch up with you fine folks, but today is just going to be a few pictures— gotta ease back into it, you know what I mean?

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This morning, Grant went to wake up Donovan.  He turned on the hall light, opened his door and gently rubbed his back.  Donovan woke up and said, “Turn the light off.”  So Grant did.  Then he said, “Close the door.”  Grant closed the door.

Already, the kid is revolting against getting up in the morning.

Grant went back in after letting him lay there another 2 minutes and told him it was time to get up.  After brushing his teeth, he said, “I don’t wana go to school today.”

Dude, you’re 2.  Just wait till you have homework! Then, you can complain about not wanting to go to school.

Instead of telling him this, I just said, “You need to go to school today and tomorrow, then on Friday you get to go to work with daddy.”  (luckily school is closed on Friday anyway).  And the prospect of going to work with daddy??  He was pumped for the day.

Not wanting to get out of bed or go to school?  What is he? 14?

I think I’ve been avoiding my blog.  Not because I have nothing to say, but because I’m not sure what to say.  I could write about our trip in May to Arkansas (Grant’s sister, Phylicia, graduated college), the fun things we did on the weekend (bbq’s, hanging with friends), how I mastered making risotto (YUM), or how I made some awesome homemade bubbles. What a great time I had while my mom was out visiting (again!! yay!)  But I haven’t felt like doing that, and I think I’ve realized why.

There are lots of things I want to be doing.  Things I’ve been craving:

*Music. Singing. More importantly, being *gasp!* PAID to sing. Recording.

*Having another baby.

*Spending solo time with Grant.

*Spending solo time with friends.

*Being more of a morning person so I can get my butt out of bed earlier to workout longer.

*Wanting to workout.

These are the things that come to my mind immediately.  I’m sure there are more; there are things I’d like to do, but I’m not obsessing over it (being part of a book club again, traveling to visit friends/family, re-paint almost every room in our house).

The problem with my list of cravings is I see it as near impossible to do it all, especially simultaneously.  With a 2 yr old, husband, and house to take care of.  I want it all.  Is that too much to ask for?  Is it impossible or am I delusional in thinking that it is?

I need to at least try, right?  ‘Cause I don’t wana say that I never did.

So, in a nutshell, that’s where I am.  Figuring stuff out.  And I think that’s why you haven’t heard from me. When I feel like I have something to report on, I will.  Otherwise, it’ll be business as usual with us.  And our cute little man, Donovan  :)

 

5 days before the Memorial Day weekend, I got roped into running a leg of the Vermont City Marathon.  Our friends were part of a relay team and had someone drop out.  So would I agree to run 5.4 miles in their stead?  Ugh, I guess.  I ran a leg last year (the shortest one, 3.2 miles) and it was fun cheering everyone else on and getting caught up in all of it; seeing people that came from all over to run in this marathon, running into people you know….it’s all pretty cool.  The city gets packed!  Honestly, I was looking forward to a quiet, nothing-planned, quiet holiday weekend, but also wanted to help out my friends. So I ran my 5.4 miles….

And nearly collapsed.  Miraculously, I made really good time (just under an hour).  I felt like I was really just walk-jogging the whole way; didn’t think I was averaging 12 min per mile.  After 2 miles, I was ready to be done.  My quads were starting to hurt and it was hot.  It. Was. Hot.  75*, which is nice if you’re just guna be hanging out in the sun doing nothing.  But to be running in that temp? I was thankful for the route I was running—it went through a few nice neighborhoods and so many houses had sprinklers set up on their lawns aimed at the street so we could run through it for a brief cool-off.

I saw a man wearing a shirt that said “I hate running.”  I immediately thought I need that shirt.  I was just miserable the whole time. It was hot; my quads were screaming; I could feel a blister coming on; and worst of all, I just couldn’t get in my normal running “zone.”  The place you hit after a short time where you feel like you could just run at that steady pace for hours? Never got there.  I had my music blasting but that was no help.  I got to the end of my leg and had to do everything in my powers not to throw up.  Then after I finished cussing, I came to the conclusion: Nope. I’m never doing this again.

I had been running in the mornings before work, but on the treadmill, and only for about 2-3 miles at a time.  Not 5.  And as much as I was struggling for the next 2 days, soreness, blister and all, some good has come out of it:

*After the marathon, I thought “I just ran 5 MILES! FIVE MILES!! I can push myself to do other things to get in better shape.

*I really should do something about this belly pooch.  If I’m not constantly watching what I’m eating, every pound I gain goes right to the stomach, while my boobs and booty are spared. So. Unfair.

*Bottom line: Time to get my ass in better shape.

My first order of business?  Get a workout dvd.  Yes, I was running everyday, but I wanted to change up my routine and have another option in case I didn’t feel like hopping on the treadmill. So I got this

No, my goal isn’t to be “shredded” in a month, but I’d like to see what I can really accomplish. I mean, I’m getting up at 5:30 am every day.  I figure, I might as well make the hour I have worth it! Otherwise, I should just stay in bed (which I want to do most days).  Today was day 4 of using the dvd.  At first, I thought, “oh I’ll just do the 20 minute workout and be good.”  Because yes, it is hard work, even starting on level 1. But on the second day, I also felt I could get a short run in too. So on day 2, I started with a 20 minute run, then the 20 minute dvd.  And my calves were SO SORE.  It really kicked my butt.  Day 3, I upped it to a 30 minute run and the dvd.  I was feeling good, even though still a little sore. But it’s a good kind of soreness.  Hurts so good….

And of course you can’t shed any unwanted lbs without altering your diet a bit.  So I’m trying something I (again) never thought I’d do: Low carb.  If you know me, you know my weakness is pasta, cereal, pasta, pasta, mashed potatoes, pastries, and pasta.  So I did a little research and learned about foods that are good at helping you feel full and also trim the belly fat (you can find it here).  AND I also came face to face with a nightmare discovery: pasta not only adds fat to your belly, but when you eat it, it sends receptors to other parts of your body and takes the fat from those other parts and PUTS IT ON YOUR STOMACH.  Blasphemy!  Depressing.  But I made my grocery list, and bought things that came recommended.   I’m not following a strict diet, but I am trying to eat more healthy and pump up on the protein, so that website was a good introduction for me. Black beans? Yum. Avocado? Yummy. Shrimp? Yes, thank you. Almonds? I can do that.

So far, the eating change has gone really well, and best of all: It’s not as hard as I expected.  I’ll have 2 eggs and just one piece of toast in the morning, or instead of toast, I’ll eat some black beans with it.  Lunch is a big salad with tuna or chicken on it, or just the protein from last night’s dinner with some yogurt and almonds.  Dinner is whatever… Since I’m working out, by the time I leave work, I’m averaging about 600-700 calories allowed by dinner time.  My only restriction there is the portion size.  I’m eating off a small salad plate, rather than the big dinner plate. Yesterday was hard because it was pasta-Thursday (the only day of the week I’m allowed to make pasta for dinner at home).  But I was good and put it in a small bowl and ate my salad first before diving in to my delicious bowl of pasta with vodka sauce and turkey meatballs….. mmmmmm.  And I’ve noticed at work, I don’t get sleepy at all (despite waking up at 5 am every day).  I don’t get the 2:30 pm tiredness that I used to and I think it’s because with more protein in my body, my blood sugar stays regulated throughout the day.  My snacks throughout the day are simple: an apple, a rice cake with peanut butter on top, strawberries, etc. No more cheese-its, tortilla chips, chex mix….. And more water. Water. Water.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll be able to move up to level 2 of the dvd!  And so far, I’d recommend it for anyone trying to get started on a new program but can’t get away to a gym or just plain doesn’t like working out.  It’s only 20 minutes a day and you feel good when you’re done.  BAM.

 

I have a trip to Arkansas to blog about, but I wanted to hurry up and get these down before it got to be, oh, I don’t know… September.

There have been several times that Donovan does or says something ridiculous/incredible/hilarious.  I repeat them to whoever is willing to listen (as all moms do, right?).  After one of my stories about Donovan, my coworker said, “are you writing these down?”  I realized I wasn’t but I probably should.  Flash ahead to my 17 year old son, with his deepening voice, telling me how there’s no way he could’ve said or did the things we tell him he did.  I’ll have this record of my innocent, sweet, little man and the crazy things he used to do.

*This story comes from his teachers at daycare. They told it to us during one of our parent/teacher conferences.  He was in the Jitterbug room (1-2 yr olds) and it takes place during lunch time.  Donovan is sitting at the table with the other kids, who are eating away.  Donovan takes his bowl, dumps out what is inside, and puts the bowl on top of his head.  He gets it to balance there, then silently looks around the table to see if any of his friends can see what he just did.  Charlotte notices.  She looks at the bowl on top of his head. Looks him in the eyes. Looks back at the bowl. And back in his eyes. They are both silent for a moment until Charlotte busts out laughing and so does Donovan.   I can just imagine him thinking, “I got her!”

*For his second birthday, I was determined to get him a Rally doll (a stuffed version of the UVM mascot).  His friend Simone has one and he would play with it whenever he was at her house.  He loved it.  After opening presents from his Grammy and friends, he looks in the bag, pulls out Rally and yells, “Rally finally here!!!!”

*At daycare, one of the substitute teachers, Joseph, worked there for a few months. He was the only male teacher and when he first started, I picked up Donovan after work, was getting his stuff out of his cubby and putting his snow boots on.  Donovan looks over and starts saying, “hey man!” and waving.  I’m confused because I don’t notice Joseph standing across the way.  Donovan is waving furiously, trying to get his attention. “Hey man! Hey man!”  Joseph turns and says, “hi Donovan!”  I look confused, apparently, because Joseph says to me, “he can’t pronounce my name yet so he calls me ‘hey man.’ ”    Me? Slightly embarrassed at the informality of it, but amused at how clever Donovan’s name for him was.

*Donovan was getting the beginning of a cold, but being the mom I am, I sent him to school anyway (go ahead and judge me).  I get a call later that he has a high fever and I need to come pick him up (the dreaded call).  I pick him up and his teacher, Rachel, tells me that  even though he doesn’t feel 100% he’s been ok that day.  During lunch, Charlotte was eating some gummy fruit snacks.  Donovan starts eyeing them, and Rachel tells him those are Charlotte’s.  He continues to look at them and Charlotte, then leans in close… closer… closer.  They continue to tell him that those are Charlotte’s, and he can eat from his own lunch.  He leans closer and whispers close to her ear, “mmmmm Charlotte. Mmmmmmm.  Have some?”  Extra cuteness bonus? He pronounces it: have shum.

*One morning, I was getting ready for work and was running late.  It was my turn to drop off Donovan at school, so I had to leave extra early and was a bit frazzled.  Just as I’m getting his shoes on, he tells me he pooped.  In the throws of potty training, I couldn’t just leave him in his diaper and have one of his teachers change him at drop off (which I would’ve done any other time without hesitation—again, go ahead and judge me).  So I take off his diaper, make him sit on the potty, get him all cleaned up and tell him to go get a diaper and his pants and bring them to me because we have to hurry up and go to school.  He’s gone longer than expected and I call out to him. He comes charging into the bathroom, with a pair of his underwear on his head and he’s swinging his head around saying, “yar matey! yar matey!”  I lost it. Laughing, I grabbed my camera and tried to take his picture, but all I got was a few shots of a brown blur running up and down the hallway shouting “yar matey.”  At that point, I thought, screw the clock. I’m guna be late to work.

*Staying late one night with the Shabazz family, the kids were playing way past their bed time.  I immediately regretted not bringing any pj’s for Donovan to wear because surely he would pass out on the car ride home.  Simone happily lent Donovan the most masculine pair of jammies she owned… he LOVED them and was excited to show them off.  I HAD to get a picture of him in them, so I asked Donovan, “where’s your frog?” He says, “right there!”

And for some reason, whenever he says the phrase “right there” it comes out in a southern accent…. so funny and strange….

*Back story: Donovan loves the show Olivia. In one episode, another girl named Olivia joins her classroom.  Olivia is confused and surprised that another person could have the same name that she does. So in a way to continue her individuality, she decides to change her name to Pam. While at school, her best friend Julian is trying to get her attention. He says, “Pam. PAM. PAAAAMM!!!!” and then Olivia finally turns around.  He says he’s just trying out her new name.  Fast forward a few weeks, Donovan and I are driving home from a UVM basketball game, I was singing along to the radio–something Donovan hates for some reason :)  Whenever we’re in the car and I’m singing, he says, “mama.” I say, “yes?” And he never responds.  He doesn’t even need to say stop singing… I know that’s what he means.  So this time, I keep singing and he keeps saying, “mama.  Mama! MAMA!” and I continue to ignore him because, well, I like to sing, and he needs to get used to it.  That’s when he screams, “PAM!”  I stop and say, “Pam?! Who’s Pam?”  He says, “Vivi Pam.”  Meaning, Olivia is Pam.  My mind was blown.  The fact that he made the connection between the two situations and used it in the right context…. it was from that point on I started giving him more credit than I had been.  Dude is smart.

*Donovan will let you know when you’ve cleared your plate at any meal.  In fact, he’ll let EVERYONE know you’ve cleared your plate because he’ll loudly say, “Mama ate it ALL!”

*It was a Saturday, around 3 am.  Donovan has had a rough night of sleeping and after numerous attempts to get him back to sleep in his crib, we cave and Grant brings him into our bed.  He immediately perks up like it’s one big slumber party.  Grant tries to get him to calm back down and get back into the sleeping mode.  I, of course, try my best to ignore Donovan because I don’t want to provoke him any.  Finally, he lays his big head head on my pillow, gets his face really close to mine, and starts sniffing me.  Then he says, “mmmm. Smells good.”  I couldn’t help but laugh.

 

That’s all for right now.  I’m sure he’ll say something else crazy soon.  And when he does, I’ll post it here :)

A few weeks ago, I had my first overnight away from Donovan. Yes, the kid is 2 and I hadn’t been away from him for more than…. uh…. maybe 8 or 10 hrs tops?  Seriously, time flies so fast when you have a kid, that I think back and go, “how is that possible?”  I couldn’t believe there hadn’t been a morning that I didn’t spend with him.  So when I heard comedian Kevin Hart was coming to Boston, I knew it was a perfect opportunity to leave Donovan in trusting hands, and have the ultimate date with Grant Wilson in Boston.

Thankfully, our friends Trish and Rashad volunteered to watch Donovan. It was perfect because Donovan is so in love with their daughter Simone, I knew he’d have a great time.  We packed our bags, dropped Donovan off, and when we walked out the door, he didn’t even cry. YESSSSS!!!  This is what I was hoping for.  It made leaving him that much easier.

Grant and I had an easy drive down to Boston, checked into our hotel.  Our hotel was right in the theater district of downtown Boston, just blocks from the Wilbur Theater. My plan for the whole trip was to park our car and just walk every where.  Everything was just about a 10 min walk away.  Perfect.

Grant and I found a nice pub and had some appetizers and cocktails before the show.  We walked over to the theater and Grant realized he didn’t have the tickets…….. he just had them when we were at the restaurant, so he RAN back to and found them on the sidewalk. Turns out he dropped them out of his pocket when he pulled out his phone.  Crisis averted.  The show was hilarious.  Kevin Hart had 3 guys open for him, each did a set for about 20 minutes and they were really funny too.  And I loved that every woman I saw was wearing a pair of heels.  People got dressed up to go out–this is something I miss living in Vermont.  People here are toooooo casual and it’s refreshing to see women and men get gussied up for a night out.

After the show, we found this place called Scholars.  It was AMAZING.  The atmosphere was cool and modern and the food was one of the top 3 meals I ever had in my life.  Seriously.  Go there if you’re ever in Boston.  You won’t regret it.  We hung out, had great conversation and about an hour and a half later, a dj came in and started spinning.  Then the place got crowded and we people watched for another hour.  It was a lot of fun!  The next morning, we found a movie theater close by our hotel and went to the 10 am showing of Hunger Games.  We both had just finished the book and were dying to see the movie.  And since we already had a free sitter, why not toss in a movie into our weekend away?

It was Easter Sunday, and even though I was bummed we weren’t at home so we could go to church and celebrate (it’s my favorite service of the year), and seeing folks in Boston dressed up to go to church, I was happy Grant and I were taking the time away.  We both really liked the movie, found a Pop-Eye’s for a quick lunch and got back on the road.  Turns out Donovan had a great time while we were gone too.

They got dressed up, had an egg hunt the night before, and Donovan got an Easter basket that I put together before we left.  He actually cried when we picked him up because he didn’t want to go home.  He didn’t miss us one bit!

Totally doing this again.

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