I Think I Can…

So I know, most of you don’t make resolutions.  In fact nearly everyone I know claims not to make resolutions cause they don’t keep them anyways.  It’s become this antiquated and trite notion.  But you know what?  I like the idea of having this clean slate with which to begin again.  Like a cosmic reset button.  The problem is that a resolution implies that you have resolved to make a change, or rather to have a firmness of purpose.  I guess that’s why people don’t make resolutions.  Cause they know their intentions aren’t there and that they’ve set their sights too high.  But I have resolved to work on things I KNOW I can accomplish.  For crying out loud I grew a person last year!!  I can do anything!!  Or at least I’d like to think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

1. I’m gonna lose my baby weight.  Yea, so this is what everyone starts out thinking in January right?  That they’re going to start this whole new diet and exercise routine and be like five sizes smaller by bikini season, right?  Well I’m just not that unrealistic.  First of all, I’m no gym rat.  I’ve never actually joined a gym cause, well, they kind of intimidate me.  Treadmills are fine, elliptical are tricky but alright. But I have NO IDEA what to do in a gym beyond that.  The weights, the machines, the sweaty people.  Not really my bag.  I need to go to a gym or to classes with someone I know so that I can figure it all out.  I’d much rather mall walk or do a yoga tape or do a Wii Fit thing.  So realistically…I’m not going to get a get a bikini body until I’m done having kids and get some lovely reconstructive surgery and laser treatment on my midsection.  Cause seriously, crunches or not, NOBODY wants to see what’s going on down there.  Come January 3rd I reinstated my Weight Watchers account because it works.  I’ve lost weight with WW before and I know it can be done.  Besides, have you seen Jennifer Hudson?!  She looks frakking amazing!  And she just had a baby…  40 pounds by summer?  I think I can…I think I can…

2.  This blog will be redesigned, I will get my own domain name and ::gasp:: may even switch to WordPress.  If this past year of blogging has taught me anything it’s that I really really really need this outlet.  And I want to take it more seriously.  I’m not sure how my Google Followers stalled out at a measly 24, or why my Facebook Fans stopped at 129.  It’s not really about how many people like me, I just want what I write to reach more people.  I want other Mamas out there to feel like they’re not alone.  Like they have a friend out there somewhere.  Cause those first few lonely months of being in a new city with a new baby I was literally rescued by the likes of Teresha and Eliza and Diana and Kate & Lydia.  When I went back to read some of my earliest posts it’s easy to remember just what it was like in the trenches of new mommyhood.  But let’s be honest, if I’m going to pay for a fancy new page with a button and all that shit I’m going to have to start taking it more seriously and writing more consistently.  It’s exciting to think about a whole new year of writing and communicating again.  So two to three blog posts EVERY SINGLE WEEK.  I think I can…I think I can…and speaking of writing…      

3. I’m going to write a screen play.  With my sister.  A family drama with a healthy dose of sarcastic humor a la classic Sims sisters.  She came with a pretty genius premise and now it’s just a matter of getting down to business and committing to the process.  Writing a screenplay is hard.  The format is rigid.  The language is tricky.  You have to be perfectly descriptive but concise, which I’m sure you could already tell is a bit hard for me to do.  But when you consider that most screenplays are 90 to 110 pages long, it’s doable.  It will require a lot of discipline, like turning the TV off when Cedella goes to bed.  Or ::gasp:: having Michael watch Cedella for a few hours a week so I can get out of the house and go write somewhere.  But writing something with my sister is something I have always wanted to do.  And using my incredibly expensive Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies is something I NEED to do.  A few pages a week.  That’s what I’m starting with.  I think I can…I think I can…
4.  I’m going to learn how to take absolutely amazing pictures of Cedella with my new Canon DSLR.  Sure, it’s not the newest model, but it’s a seriously kick ass camera.  On the Auto mode my photos have already become 10x better.  Imagine what I can do when I remember all the basics about photography like F-stops, shutter speed, depth of field and focal length.  And lighting?  Well I really have to brush up on that.  Though I like the idea of all the happy accidents that come from just trying different settings and taking a shit load of pictures.  I’m going to give myself assignments and teach myself how to use every last single button on that thing.  First assignment?  Cedella’s One Year Old photos this week.  We’ve got wardrobe changes and everything.  Can’t wait!  I know I can…I know I can…    

5. I am going to find out all I can about my ancestry.  After literally receiving an Ancestry.com subscription for Christmas I have no choice but to dig in even further than I already have.  My Grandma Rose and Great Aunt Billie were pretty serious weekend geneologists.  They used to travel all over Indiana and the rest of the country going to graveyards and court houses.  Making notes by hand and photocopies on ancient Xerox machines.  The furtherest back they were able to go is our ancestor in the Revolutionary War.  And thanks to the magic of the internet, not only can I digitize all of the hard work they did, but I can go even further than they ever imagined.  In fact as of today I can go back to my 9th Great Grandparents on my maternal line.  That means I can tell you who my relatives were in the 1650’s in Germany.  There are so many empty spaces on our family tree.  So many mysteries to be solved.  So many stories and scandals and inspirations.  It is so much more than a hobby…it is an obsession.  I can’t wait to see what I find tomorrow and the next day and the next day.  I know I can…I know I can…

6. And finally, cause I haven’t given myself nearly enough hobbies…I wanna have another baby this year.  Michael and I have always wanted to space our children out by only a couple of years so that our kids grow up close.  And I’m not gonna lie, when I see my neighbor’s sweet little two month old boy, my ovaries go ::thump thump::  Cedella is such a big girl suddenly and she’s sweet and gentle with other kids.  She is going to make a great big sister.  So we’re thinking summer or fall, but the who knows, we didn’t have to try very hard to have Cedella.  I know we can…I know we can…

And that’s it.  Way more than enough to keep me busy and just enough that I certainly won’t get bored.  Who needs chores and housework when you have so many other things to do?  Cause if there’s one thing I’ve given up on resolving to do?  It’s keeping a pristine house.  We’ll have a spic and span house when and if we can afford a maid.  So what are you resolved to do this new year?  Whatever it is good luck and I think You can…I think You can…

And now your moment of gratuitous cuteness:

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Last week I celebrated my ::deep breath:: 32nd birthday.  That’s right…32.  Whoa.  When did that happen?  I’m Thirtysomething.  True, it’s been 2 years since the real milestone but still, now it feels official.

In our family it is birthday season.  My little sister, okay not so little anymore, just turned 30 on Sept 23rd.  One of my best friends Kristyn is on Sept 29th.  My Uncle Steve is the 2nd.  My birthday is the 5th and my brother’s is on the 8th.   That’s a lot of cake (we’re talking an extra 5 lbs gained in two weeks).  Apparently in my advanced age things have slowed down and my birthday was not the all-month party it used to be.  We had a very large, funny and crowded birthday extravaganza with my siblings, mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all together, that was my big bash.  The real celebrations centered around Tracey’s Big 3-0 and Kristyn’s Big 4-0.  As these pictures demonstrate, I’ve been inside a bar more in the past few weeks than in the past year and a half.  It was a lot of fun though, but I really truly can’t hang the way I used to.

Mmmmmm….Sugar Shack cupcakes for the Birthday Girl
My sis Tracey makin’ a wish
The Crew…including my Mom
With the other Birthday Girl Kristyn
With my BFF Erin
The Future Babies: Tracey, Me and my little bro Robbie

So after such an exciting week it was finally my birthday, and we took it really really easy.  It was the most beautiful indian summer day, 70 and sunny.  Perfect for Uncle John’s Cider Mill.  Gotta love Michigan for it’s plentiful apple orchards and pumpkin patches!  We went last year on my birthday when I was nice and pregnant and couldn’t do much else but meander around the farm, so I guess this is turning into a Mansour family tradition.  It was really great to spend the entire day with Michael and Cedella.  We both get so busy all week long that we rarely get a chance to just chill out and spend time together without a TV in front of us.  The only thing I regret…not asking someone to take a picture of the three of us together.  Boo.  Oh well there’s always next year.

Happy Birthday to Me!!
Ella and Dada
She wasn’t happy until she had a baby pumpkin in her hands
This smirk says she’s secretly liking all these orange thingys
In the wagon
How tall this fall?  It would help if she was standing on her own ; )
Enjoying ourselves
She loved them so much she wanted to put the entire thing in her mouth at once.  That’s my girl.

So I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions but I do like to think that birthdays are a wonderful time to reflect upon what the year has brought and what you would like the next year to be.  This year has been the most amazing and challenging year of my life.  From being pregnant and preparing to be a Mama and having a successful natural birth experience, to the reality of motherhood.  I have survived the craziness of the first year of marriage, and all of the struggles and triumphs that no one tells you about when you’re picking out a white dress.  I’ve gone from being a working woman and bread winner to a stay at home Mom.  In short…whoa.  A lot of things in my world have changed, and honestly, change really is pretty damn cool.  

In the next year there are more things I would like to change.  To begin I need to restore my yoga practice to three times a week.  I went to a Mama yoga class last week and challenged myself and though I was sore the next day I was so incredibly proud of myself.  Yoga makes me feel good, yoga makes me strong and flexible, yoga makes me calm and yoga makes me connect to something more than myself.  The next thing I want to focus on is getting rid of my baby weight.  25 lbs. to lose to be back at my wedding weight and 40 lbs to lose to be really healthy.  So I’m joining Weight Watchers again, and plan on losing 25 lbs by Cedella’s first birthday (that’s 3 months…wish me luck).  With WW and yoga and walking with my new Meetup group that should be a piece of delicious fat-free cake.  Finally, I want to take the lesson from my birthday and make the rest of the year just as memorable.  The priority will be to spend quality time with my family having fun adventures as often as possible.  Sure, we all say we’re going to do more stuff.  Gonna get out more.  Gonna turn off the TV more.  But this is my mission: our family will be one of adventures and traditions.  Up next: bring on the Howl at the Moon walk and the Christmas tree farm!!