This month, Ellie turned 10 months and Jack turned 2 1/2.
- LOVES music and youtube music videos: pentatonix, Daft Punk and Michael Jackson are his favorites.
- Favorite movie: Toy Story. He sleeps with a Buzz and Woody doll. Greets you by saying, “Howdy, Padnah (partner)” and “To Infinity and Beyond!” Refuses to leave them anywhere. We use Woody as a star child. “See, Jack? Woody is eating all his spinach. Woody loves to brush his teeth! Woody uses the potty to go poop.” It works like a charm!
- Has started referring to himself as “the Jack.” Ex. “Don’t touch The Jack.”
- Loves school. Every time I pick him up he talks about playing with his friends, Beau and Saxton. He is learning spanish, and loves to help with chores. He’s good at scrubbing toilets, putting dishes in the sink and picking up toys. It’s awesome. Early slave labor!
- Insists on manners. If you sneeze, he’ll immediately say “Bless you!” and expect you to say “Thank you, Jack” so he can say, “You’re welcome!” Then he’ll fake sneeze about 20x so you have to say “Bless you” and he’ll say “thank you!” and the cycle goes on and on and on. He also will shake your hand and say, “very nice to meet you!” He’ll ask you how you’re doing today, expecting to be asked in return. He always says, “I’m GRAPE! (great)”
- Loves teaching Ellie new things. He thinks it’s fun to teach her new things to sign and he loves touching her hair. He hates when she sleeps and will yell, “WAKE UP ELLIE!” when she’s asleep in the car. Thanks, brah.
-Is terrified of spiders, even fake plastic ones. Found this out the hard way. Started a therapy jar for him. #winning
-LOVES all food.
- Prefers drinking out of real cups, hates sippy cups. Don’t.You.Even.Dare.Offer.Her.One.
- Insists giving kisses, really wet sloppy ones.
- Repeats words you say: Night-Night, All-Done, Okay, Hi, etc.
- Great at playing with Jack (grabbing anything he is holding). Wants to be in his business 24/7. He’s patient with her 95% of the time.
- Already walking with assistance. SO close to walking by herself.
- Will unfold and destroy any pile of laundry you’ve folded. She thinks it’s hilarious.
- Is 99% of the time the most chill, happy, laid-back baby on the planet. The other 1%, she’s a royal diva. She’s definitely my sensitive child. Not comfortable with strangers and wants to be held by people she knows. Hates it when anyone is upset and doesn’t even like it when you scowl (oops).
To celebrate their milestones, we decided to MOVE AGAIN! yay!
Wait, what? Are you nuts? What are you smoking? Didn’t you JUST move?
Yes. Yes. Nothing good. And, yes.
Josh and I both sat down about two months ago to talk about our future – what we wanted to be doing, goals for ourselves individually and as a family, projects we wanted to do on current house, etc. I love this current house. It’s beautiful, safe, friendly, warm. It’s been loved in and prayed over by previous families. It was the perfect place to have a new baby last year – a haven. That being said, it’s freaking far from my family. My dad hates Dallas would remind me every time he drove out here just how bad 635 was and that he’d never do it again (635 is horrible and I hate it, too). My kids missed their grandparents. I missed having a life-line reasonably close by. I missed a short commute to work. Josh missed urban development, hipsters, and remodeling. When we said we’d move back to OC, Dr. Doubter got incredibly excited. I’m hoping this means he’ll move back to Texas. Also another amazing reason to move.
So, we made a huge gamble and put our house on the market the last week of February. It was under contract in 48 hours. I don’t even think it made it to Trulia or Zillow. We then found a crazy, awesome house in the OC and made an offer on that. It was another huge gamble because a developer wanted to buy the same house and flip it. I sent an email to buyers through our realtor with a family photo and they accepted our offer over the developer’s. They raised EIGHT children in this monster of a house and wanted it to go to someone else who would raise a family there and plant roots. Fast forward three weeks and we’ve undergone appraisals, inspections, more inspections and it’s finally at the end. We move on Wednesday and close Friday. HA!
House needs work. Josh gets excited about it. I get excited for about five seconds and then I remember how much work it was the first time. Luckily, we have a lot of friends and family who wants to help. And we have great imaginations. So, I’ll continue to imagine the house in a year while we are in the middle of renovations. It’s a huge house – lots of room for more kids, guests, entertaining and room for kids to grow. I will definitely blog about renovations. Our realtor thinks we need our own TV show. I agree. I’m dramatic. Josh isn’t. My kids are cute. Jack is hilarious. C’mon, HGTV!
So, I’m currently procrastinating on packing. House is 90% packed and I’m 100% over it. My family has been amazing, once again. They drop everything to watch babies and pack boxes. Even, Papa Charlie, who hates driving up here. I swear my mom is the most talented person at making something from nothing – she always makes my houses feel like homes instantly. I’m so grateful for our parents. Josh’s parents will be up soon to help with painting, remodeling, plumbing and electricity. I married into the perfect family for a task this big. Everyone is excited and encouraging – we are loved.
So, if you come over to the new house, expect a paintbrush and a bottle of wine. I’ll wine and dine you, whisper sweet nothings in your ear, do your laundry, whatever. Just come over and help. (also, jk about the laundry. I can barely do my own).
Jake, is the head coach of a CrossFit box in Arkansas. I’ve had the pleasure of taking his class, being coached by him and watching him develop into a wonderful trainer and athlete. He’s one of those annoying people who can envision himself performing a skill or moving heavy weight and actually do it. He has aspirations for making it to the Games this year, after starting CrossFit last year, and I will not be surprised when he actually makes it. His long-term goal is the Games (mine, too! HA), and I would bet he probably accomplishes that, too. Anyways, in discussing the Opens, he kept telling me to sign up and do it, just to prove to myself I can. I dragged my feet and made up excuses and he signed me up anyways. So, here I am – finished 14.2, still shaking from the scarring memory of 14.1, and about to get my trash handed to me in 14.3.
14.1 AMRAP 10 min
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatches 55# for females
My first thought: “I finally have DU down. I can do this!”
I was prideful and the Lord humbled me.
I struggled through DU, flew through power snatches and almost made it into 4 rounds (this was my second attempt, too). It was so painful to see myself struggle that I laughed the entire time. I also stopped to tie my shoes and tell my husband how to parent at one point. Woof.
I almost quit CrossFit that night. It was demoralizing. I thought to myself, “Why do I do this to myself? There is no need to feel like this on a regular basis. What the hell!?” Then I looked at the people standing around me. CrossFit is about culture – it’s about the people around you.
The ONLY redeeming part of that WOD was being surrounded by some amazing friends who’ve become family to me these past two years. Having people rally around me and laugh along side me (mostly at me). I was definitely the “special” person performing CrossFit. And I became okay with that. Because these people genuinely care about you – they care about you performing your best. These coaches invest time in helping you reach your goals, become a better athlete and not kill yourself in the process. These members pour sweat, blood and tears along side you day after day, WOD after WOD. They power walk WODs with you when you’re 39 weeks pregnant. They bring you food after you just had a baby. They leave you drunk voicemails and come spend holidays/birthdays with you.
So, when people ask me why I’m doing the Opens, it’s because of the people. Friends and coaches who helped me get to this point. It’s because I survived a pregnancy nine months ago with an awesome group of people and this is my celebration of the strength I’ve developed since those nine months. It’s because I can carry my 37 lb toddler and 22 lb infant together at the same time and not bat an eye. I’m stronger – emotionally and physically – because of the community of CrossFit.
I will continue to perform the WODs to the best of my ability. Be proud of the gains I’ve made. Recognize areas that still need work. And cheer on the people around me who are doing the exact same thing. If you’re not doing the Opens this year because you were afraid of failure and looking stupid – join the club. All non-competitive CrossFit athletes feel this way. NEXT YEAR, someone like my brother will sign you up and you will experience the adult version of Friday Night Lights – sadly, without Tim Riggins. And you won’t regret doing it. Well, you’ll regret it for 10 minutes.
The challenge ended on Sunday. In typical fashion, I was delinquent in my blogging efforts because I was too busy telling the world I spent the last 24 days sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. I lost over 10lbs. Five inches from my waist and two inches off my hips. To celebrate, I ate the icing of the cake that had been in my freezer for three weeks and promptly threw up. That’s winning right there, folks.
Questions I got asked the most on the challenge:
1) How can you do that AND breastfeed?
Simple. I didn’t take all the supplements recommended for a non-lactating individual. No herbal supplements or extra stuff. I drank Spark because I only like coffee that tastes like candy and that’s apparently bad on a sugar detox. I also took Advocare’s Catalyst, with is an amino acid builder. Both are safe while nursing. In addition, I took the same things I always take daily. Calcium, Prenatal Vitamin, Fish oil, and Probiotic. With my diet, when I noticed a drop in production I simply added in a complex carb — I ate my weight in sweet potatoes, occassionally I had brown rice and black beans (may the paleo gods not strike me with lightning).
2) How are you going to maintain?
It takes a month to make a habit, right? So, for a month I’ve been eliminating crap from my diet. Surprisingly, I don’t crave any of the stuff I was craving the first week. Dairy literally makes me have cotton-mouth and my lips itch. So, that’s been an easy elimination. I’m essentially on week four and I’ve still been eating almost exactly the same. A little more fruit, but nothing crazy. I will have a cheat meal once a week because I’m human and hate feeling deprived, but I really like the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle and I know this is a way of eating I can maintain.
3) What about your kids? What do they eat?
This always makes me laugh. Uhhhhh- they eat what I eat? Both kids love fruits and veggies and protein. Jack won’t eat bread mostly (unless it’s in the form of pizza and then it’s like crack to him). Ellie is almost nine months old, so she eats small bites of whatever I eat and she loves it. They’re not normally picky eaters, so I’m very lucky that they both love to eat whatever I give them.
4) Would you recommend this to others?
Most definitely. It’s hard for the first 10 days, but it is great to readjust your system and fix some bad habits. Like with any challenge you can make it as easy or as hard as you want, so it’s accessible to anyone. That’s what I loved about it.
5) Where’s the picture proof?
This is pretty humbling, honestly. But good for reflection and motivation to continue to change.
Still have a ways to go, but any change is good change and continued motivation. Plus, at least my hair looks good.
(She’s the perfect CrossFit partner! She hung out for 21-15-9 of dead lifts and sit-ups RX weight of 155# and I finished in 3:29. Then 5×5 back squats at 185. My coach, Kris, carried her around like a little CrossFit princess while he coached. She loved it. )
I survived the baby shower without cake. My mom asked if I could see a difference having accomplished two weeks of no sugar, refined carbs (absolutely zero-gluten) and dairy. Can you see a difference in two weeks? My clothes fit better. I sleep like a rock (this is a bad thing sometimes). My workouts feel easier. I can’t see a difference, but I can feel one.
The cravings have subsided. I did dream about Starbursts… ew. Really, subconscious brain, that’s the best you could do? I don’t feel the need to bathe in queso. I am completely realistic that this way of eating isn’t sustainable after the 24 days. It’s completely okay to have a cheat meal. It’s acceptable to eat small amounts of dairy. It’s awesome to have raw honey and fruit. I think elimination periods are great. Temporarily. People are funny about the label “Paleo” because they think it’s a trendy, legalistic, unsustainable way of living life. For some people, that’s true. For others – it’s completely life changing. I know people who had health issue after health issue until they eliminated dairy and all grains. Friends with Crohns, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis (to name JUST a few) who feel complete freedom from their disease because of eating paleo. For others, it IS trendy. It’s cool to sip the CrossFit/Paleo Kool-Aid. However, I think the whole idea behind paleo is going back to basics. Eating close to the source. Eliminating anything refined or processed. Discovering what you can tolerate and cannot and moving forward towards a healthier life. If someone told me they were trying a new way of eating to be healthy, in no way would I criticize them for being trendy or hopping on a bandwagon. Instead, I’d rally along side them. Try to learn as much as I can about being healthy. And share knowledge with people in encouraging, uplifting ways.
Guess what? I ate brown rice last night. My breastmilk supply has TANKED this week. And do you know what was so awesome? I felt completely fine after eating that brown rice AND my supply went up. So don’t paleo-rsecute (see what I did there?) people for making adjustments to their diets where needed. I’M A NURSING ATHLETE, SON.
Josh gets migraines with gluten. I get GI issues with dairy (and really fat with bread). It’s been really enlightening to look at the food in our lives and how we function without things we LOVE to eat. I jokingly (kinda) say that Josh eats to live and I live to eat. Week two has really helped me view food as fuel – hitting some nice heavy weight in CrossFit has also helped motivate me. If I don’t eat small meals throughout the day, I will chew the tire off my car. It’s been fun doing this with friends. Laughing about how silly it is to be angry about not being able to eat cake (first world probs, am I right?).
So, here I go into week three! With a much better attitude, perspective and freedom about the food I eat. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my nutrition and eating habits. I read frequently. I have many leather-bound books and my house smells of rich mahogany. (Ron Burgundy, anyone?) Anyways, one of the things I tend to be horrible at is eating consistently clean. I will do wonderful for about a week. But then, a cheat meal here, a cheat meal there. Here a cheat, there a cheat. Everywhere… You get the point – it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket. I’ve come to the realization I’d be morbidly obese if I didn’t love to workout. This is a problem. I want abs, damnit. Like, legit “run-in-a-sports-bra” abdominal muscles. The kind that make people go, “She had two babies? 19 months apart? GET OUT.”
I have 10-15 vanity pounds I’d like to lose and my child is almost a year old. I have some bad habits that need breaking. I have zero mental stamina. I needed a kick in the trash to get started. Luckily, competition is one of the best ways to get me motivated. Our gym combined the Advocare 24 Day Challenge with paleo eating (I’m modifying some of the Advocare products because I’m breastfeeding). While I’m not crazy about supplementation, I am more disciplined when I think I have things aiding my progress. “Oh, this will make me 120lbs and 5’10” by tomorrow? I’LL TAKE IT! It’s going to give me cancer? Don’t care. I’M GOING TO LOOK AND FEEL SO FABULOUS.” Please note, Advocare supplements don’t give you cancer and I am dramatic.
Last friday I went to my CrossFit box to take before photos and do the entry WOD. The two owners officiating the challenge made me take my shirt off while they took measurements of my post-pregnant belly and then shoved me towards a tripod with HUGE lights surrounding it. Under the glaring lights, I blindly stumbled for the tape line to stand on as they made me face forward and “ACT NORMAL” while they took my half-naked photos. “ACT NORMAL?!” I screamed in my head, “How is that even remotely possible when I’m trying to suck it in so you don’t realize how much pudge I actually have around my middle, while not sucking in too much so I can make my after-photos look awesome. Also, I feel like I’m a convicted felon right now.” As I was being told to “TURN TO THE LEFT” I realized my crime was my lack of discipline and my well-deserved punishment was 3+ weeks of mental bootcamp (along with humiliating photos of myself).
Well, so far I have not turned into a fire-breathing monster or put my face into a giant bowl of queso. It’s been SEVEN full days and I’ve been 99.9% paleo. I’m really proud of myself. I realize that every year since having my first baby, that my nutrition has gradually significantly improved. After Jack we began dabbling in the paleo diet, eliminating (most) fast food and cutting out soda. With Ellie, we’d almost completely removed all gluten from our diet and working on dairy. Now, I’m completely dairy-free (with the exception of the rare occasion of cheese) and gluten-free. This 24 day challenge has made me step it up even more and really eat whole foods – veggies, fruit, lean proteins. Since I’m continuing to breast-feed I’m trying to eat small meals throughout the day and chug water. I’m averaging about 64-80 oz of water a day and working out with my CrossFit Box 4x a week in addition to teaching five fitness classes a week.
The punishment for failing?
I hear they whip people with cat-o-nines while making you run continuous sprints with weighted burpee box jumps every 400 meters. That’s hell for me, at least. I’m trying to challenge myself to be more disciplined with my diet. I think that it’s incredibly important to be aware of what you put into your body; using food as fuel and power instead of comfort and celebration. I’m also deathly afraid of wasting money. So, that’s also punishment.
A cheat meal. Just kidding! But seriously I will list out the things I am currently craving (and will eventually eat one at a time):
- Bob Armstrong dip (if you’re not from Dallas it’s beef, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo mixed in queso – it’s freaking amazing).
- frosted cookies from Pokie O’s.
- a hamburger with french fries (the greasier the better)
- a diet coke (oh yeah, the cravings are bad, baby)
- a vanilla latte from Whole Foods (the BEST)
Also, I am hosting a baby shower this weekend AND DON’T EVEN GET TO EAT ANY CAKE. NONE OF IT. NOT EVEN THE FROSTING. Send prayers.
I am the worst blogger on the planet. I said it. I’m trying to be better.
Anyways, well, 2013 ended very quickly and unexpectedly. It seems that the first half of 2013 dragged along at a turtle pace and then once baby #2 arrived everything went into hyper speed. Now I have a 7 month-old and a 2 year old starting his first Mother’s Day Out program (he LOVES it, by the way).
Our family experienced an over abundance of amazing things this year, let me quickly recap for you my year (however, if you follow me on Instagram these are no shocker).
JANUARY – We were currently living in an apartment with a toddler and trying to decide if we should buy another house or not. We were close to the ER where I work, our CrossFit box and lots of toddler-friendly places. On the other hand, our downstairs neighbor was a child-hating jerk and I daily wanted to push him out a window.
FEBRUARY – we traveled to Disney Land to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday. This trip coincided with a work trip in San Diego for Josh, so Jack and I went for the whole week and explored together. We went to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo (where I tormented him with a leash backpack), old town San Diego and the USS Midway with an old family friend! I was proud I explored a city by myself with a 15 month old and survived.
MARCH – We began house hunting fervently. Our neighbor downstairs continued to be a total a-hole (I plotted creative ways to kill him frequently) and we knew that it was going to be impossible to live there with two children under two years of age. Our realtor, Alan, was fantastic. He scrambled to find us houses when he knew the market was bare and sellers had control of everything. He even bravely went to houses with me and Jack while Josh was out of town – we even found THE house and made an offer the same day (my one contingency was I wanted the mini-trampoline in the backyard. Josh said I’m never allowed to make an offer on a house by myself again).
APRIL – Found out Ellie was breech. Did everything in my power to flip her, including headstands, hippy chiropractors, lots of stretching and inversions and even slowing down on working out to give her some room. She flipped. We bought a house. We packed up an apartment. We got a new dog (Zip). We are either masochistic or certifiably insane.
MAY- We moved in and had a baby within two weeks of each other. That was intense. Luckily, we are blessed to have amazing friends and family who dropped everything to move us, unpack boxes and feed us.
JUNE – DECEMBER – some stuff happened. I can’t remember specifics because I haven’t slept a full night since then, so I apologize if I leave almond milk in the cupboard and put my shoes in the fridge from time to time. I’m pretty sure I’ve called my son by our dog’s name and more than once fell asleep in Jack’s bed and woke up covered in drool. I probably have unanswered emails and texts from May, so many apologies to anyone trying to communicate with me.
I had a birthday, I think.
Jack turned 2.
My sister had a baby! After a very dramatic and stressful pregnancy, she now has a sweet baby boy named Wyatt.
We took our first plane trip with two kids (no one died).
The ER is crazy (much more to blog about later on this topic).
Josh turns 30 this year (we’ve been planning his birthday for a long time).
Dr. Doubter is still single.
We have a pretty awesome community of friends and I’ve never been more thankful to live close to my mom than this year.
Just a tip from new moms to friends without kids, if you’re afraid to text and bother us about hanging out or catching up on life, don’t be. We’d rather you be up in our chili, knowing that you care, then wondering why you fell off the face of the earth. We don’t have time to go to the bathroom in peace, let alone to call you. Not using this as excuses, just as a reminder that it’s okay to be a persistent friend. It’s even better to be the friend who brings wine over and helps fold laundry or holds kids while you go to the bathroom (CARALYN).
Our goals for 2014 -
- Live a life of simple abundance: If something comes in to our house, we need to give something away. Trying to live a life of contentment with what we have and learning to be creative with our resources.
- Put away our phones. Connect with people outside of social media. Our kids rooms are “no phone zones” but we want to extend this to other areas of the house.
- Connect with our community. We have church in our neighborhood. We are getting to know our neighbors. We are at a CrossFit box down the street. We want our home to be a place where people come and hang out, eat a good meal and are able to relax.
Photos by the amazing Amanda Geier
Happy 2014 from the Ramsey Family! Here’s to more blogging about our crazy life this year. Cheers! (I drank a whole Ace Pear Cider while blogging this – just for you)
I’m the worst blogger on the planet. I feel like Garth from Wayne’s World when he’s testing out the “Suck and Cut.” When he tests out the appliance, hilarity follows as the experiment goes awry and he screams, “MAKE IT STOP! IT’S SUCKING MY WILL TO LIVE.”
ellie turns SIX months this month. What? Where have the last six months gone? I know I haven’t slept much, so it really does feel like one long day.
He talks up a storm. He runs around like a tornado. He jumps and climbs on everything. You can find him in the most impossibly high and dangerous places possible. He’s incredibly smart and very stubborn. I wouldn’t say he’s in the “terrible two’s,” but he definitely challenges us and is constantly trying to disobey. It’s like having a little angry terrorist in your house who is trying to hold you hostage.
His favorite things to say and do are:
- “Now wait a minute!”
- Still calls Josh “Josh” (not “Dad” or “Dada”)
- Favorite foods are: pomegranate seeds and Pirate Booty
- Favorite movie is: Despicable Me (“Pickle Me”)
- Loves CrossFit. Seriously. Kid is sipping the Kool-Aid.
- She can roll over both ways and scoot.
- Is happy 99% of the time unless she’s not being held or talked to.
- Makes the LOUDEST happy noises on the planet. We jokingly say she “chirps.” Really, it’s more of a screech.
- She wants to put everything in her mouth and is desperate to eat solid food. We did baby-led weaning with Jack and it worked great, so we’ll try that with Ellie and see if it is also successful.
- Still nursing around the clock, including waking up every 3-4 hours at night to nurse. Longest stretch we can get has been 6 hours, but after that she’s hard to get back to sleep. That’s killing me, but we’re powering through.
- She dresses better than I do.
She has such great taste.
Anyways, once life starts slowing down and we eventually find our rhythm I will blog more. Yes, I still religiously go to CrossFit. Yes, I’m still working in the ER as a nurse. Yes, the kids stay home with me. Yes, we’re all still sane (barely). Life is busy and crazy, but we love it and wouldn’t trade this for the world.