Wednesday, April 29, 2009

That's my boy!

I snapped this picture this afternoon while Keaton and I were playing "Where's the baby?" in the mirror.

Do you see it?

In other complete randomness:
  • I ran my 2 mile route today in 21:03 - a 35 second improvement over my last run. yay!
  • Was that not the worst AI results show ever tonight? Thank God for Jamie Foxx; those other two performances were horrid.
  • I can not wait for May 21st!!! Who knows why, who knows why???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A New Approach

The first one I distinctly remember was when I was in about 6th grade; I’m almost certain though that it probably started before then. Some have been harmless: cut back on chocolate/sweets, no soda, no fast food. Others have been much stricter, sometimes even bordering dangerous: no complex carbs, no more than 1200 calories/day. All have left me feeling guilty, unworthy, and more or less depressed.


As far back as I can remember I have struggled with body image. Up until about 5th grade I was taller than most of the girls in my class (I know, surprising now), and I never felt comfortable in my skin. As I got older the other girls caught up with me and most surpassed me in height. I wish I could say my complex went away with time, but it didn’t. It really only got worse. With each passing year my disgust with my body grew and grew. I hated it. I would work out like a phene, but it never mattered what shape my body took, it was never right. My thighs were always too thick, my hips too plump, my chest too small.

So I would diet.

But it would never work because inevitably I’d eat the forbidden food or miss a workout and that one simple indulgence would lead to week long downward spiral of gorging myself on a bucket of ice cream or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And when I finally came down off my sugar high I’d realize what I’d done and the guilt would set in. I’d sulk for an appropriate amount of time before I decided this is it! Today! I’m starting my diet again. And this cycle would repeat itself over, and over, and over.


When I first got pregnant I read about how some women have a difficult time with the weight gain and the change in their body shape. At the time I thought how could you? You are growing a life inside of you; this is not a time to be worried about your body. But then I started putting on weight. And I had to move into pregnancy clothes by the beginning of my second trimester and those old feelings about my body started bogging me down. It didn’t help when people told me I was huge. Even though I know they were talking about my belly, about the baby, over and over again my demented mind would hear “you are fat.” So I told myself as soon as the baby was here I’d work hard at loosing this weight and getting back into shape.

I’d diet.

Being well aware of the mental struggles I’ve dealt with over the years I was fully expecting to feel pretty disgusted with my body after Keaton was born. People told me that you’ll still look pregnant after giving birth, yet the belly that was still protruding from my mid section took me by surprise. I told a friend that day that this saggy pouch felt more foreign to me than feeling a baby moving around inside of me ever did. Those first few days were hard.

But, by a week post partum I had lost all but 10 lbs of the weight I’d gained over the past 8 months and something totally unexpected, something totally amazing happened. For the first time in…well, for as long as I can remember, I felt proud of my body. It carried my son and allowed me a fast, easy, delivery; it had been good to me. And I was happy. I wasn’t sure how long this feeling would last so I made sure to soak in the appreciation while I could.

It has been almost 4 months since that day in December and I have yet to loose any more of those last 10 pre-pregnancy pounds, but thankfully the feelings of appreciation that I thought would be fleeting have decided to stick around. For the first time in my life I feel different about what I want out of my body. I don’t need to be the thinnest or wear a certain size of pants. I just want to be healthy and strong. And I want to be a good role model for my son. And I think for the first time in my life I’m ready to approach this in a healthy way. There will be no counting of calories or cutting out food groups or telling myself I can’t have ice cream. I don’t want the guilt. But what I do want is moderation and to generally make healthy choices regarding food and exercise.

So here I go. It’s not a diet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


One of the best things about having a baby...well, other than the teeny tiny precious little bundle of love that you can't stop staring at or smelling or snuggling with....other than that, is the fact that you can now, after 9 long months, finally, Lord Thank You for this day, eat sushi again!!

While I was pregnant a new sushi restaurant opened up just 3 minutes from our house. Hey, know how to torture a pregnant lady?? OPEN A SUSHI RESTAURANT 3 MIN. FROM HER HOUSE!! Good thing Keaton made an early appearance, I'm not sure I could have waited 4 more weeks. I was like a rapid dog, foaming at the mouth, each time I drove past and laid my eyes on that sign Sushi * Grill - it was like the bright lights of Vegas, I was awestruck, my mouth would gape open and my eyes would glaze over, and I could practically taste the sting of the wasabi on my's a miracle I didn't cause an accident as my neck would crane back to catch just one last glimpse of heaven.

Since getting home from the hospital we have made a (practically) weekly tradition of ordering take out and we told Kira and Justin once Baby Bender (n/k/a Jackson) made his arrival we'd bring sushi up for them - all they had to do was tell us when. So on Friday I called in our order, we headed up to Mosinee, and we all had a great feast.

Mmmmmm.....yes, one of the best things about having a baby, is finally being able to gorge myself on sushi again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our boys

My brother is my only sibling and despite the fact that we are four years apart in age we have always been close. I do recall him once pulling my hair so hard that I lost a large chunk in his grubby little fingers, but for the most part my memories are good ones. Some of my favorite memories of our childhood are from various family vacations. Sometimes we just went to our cabin up north where, in addition to swimming, fishing, and tubing behind the boat, we would beg Mom & Dad to take us go-carting and mini putting and horseback riding. We are both pretty competitive and even as a little kids we would ram each other with our go-carts just to cross the finish line first. Other summers we'd all pack up in the family van and head out for a long road trip. This was back before seat belts were a must and I vividly remember Justin and I fighting over who would get to sit on the cooler that was positioned just so between the front captain seats. If a decision couldn't be made mutually we would play "bull" and the winner would get the seat. To win in a bull fight we would get on our hands and knees on the floor of the van and put our heads together in a headbutt and then try to push each other over an imaginary line. It didn't feel good on your head at all, but yet we'd play this game numerous times on any given trip.

Over the years we took swimming lessons together, danced at the same studio, watched each other play in various sporting events, and were there for the infamous college drop offs. In fact, I remember when I was moving back to college just before my junior year. Mom and Dad were in one car and Justin rode with me. We talked about a number of things and one conversation just happened to be about how he wanted to ask Kira to homecoming. :)

When Collin and I made the decision to move back to Point I was only comfortable with it because I knew Justin was here. When he and Kira made their home in Madison following college I was sad, and secretly (or maybe not so secretly) hoped they would some day move back up here.

Justin and Kira have been much more than just a brother and sister-in-law to Collin and I over the years; they are also two of our closest friends, and I am so excited that we get to embark on another of life's greatest journey's together: parenthood. And I'm even more excited that we are going to be raising two little boys together. I know these two little munchkins are going to raise alot of hell together, but I can not wait! The best is definitely yet to come.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Keaton's First Playdate!

We had a good day today. For the past two days Keaton has slept through the night, not waking up until 5 am. On work days this is perfect because it's the time I need to get up anyway. But today, Keatsday, I was hoping to catch a couple more hours of sleep. So after his 5 am feeding I put him back down and even though he was wide awake and full of smiles and coos he was content on his own and eventually fell back asleep. So Mommy and Daddy got to sleep too. Until 9 AM!! Let me just tell you that again. We didn't get up until NINE o'clock in the morning! I can't tell you the last time we caught this many hours of sleep in a row. It was fabulous.

I finally rolled out of bed in time to jump on a conference call for work and then Collin and I got some work done around the house before my friend, Amanda, and her son, Blake, came over for a playdate. I haven't seen Amanda since I left for maternity leave in December so it was so great to catch up and to finally meet little Blake, who was born 9 weeks after Keaton. The boys were so great today, neither one of them hardly fussed the whole afternoon. They seemed to be very content just listening to their mommy's voices.

Playdates are hard work!

In good playdate fashion we indulged ourselves with Dairy Queen ice cream. I wish I could remember the name of the flavor, Something Truffle....all I know is that it was amazing. And I think you should all go out right this second and get yourself a blizzard. I also think we should make a new rule - all playdates should involve ice cream. Or, if not ice cream, than at least dessert of some sort. Who's in?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Running thoughts

Oh boy, here I am again, 10 pm on Sunday night and all I can think is man, weekends go by way too fast. No matter how much I do on the weekends, I never seem to get enough done. I mean, seriously, I'm still working on Baptism Thank yous. Keaton was baptized TWO months ago. The living room is in desperate of vacuuming,the whole house needs to be dusted, I haven't done any laundry and we have NO groceries.

But, it was a nice weekend, we got to spend some more time with my family and visiting with Baby Jackson, who is so adorable, and both Saturday and Sunday I took a nap with Keaton. Today's was almost 3 hours long and it was glorious.

My one big accomplishment of the weekend is I donned my running shoes and went for my first outdoor jog in 11 months. When I finally found out I was pregnant last May I pretty much stopped running, I'm sure I was being paranoid but I was just way to nervous to take any chances. I tried to exercise at the beginning of my pregnancy but the exhaustion usually won over and instead I found myself on the couch every night. Here and there throughout those nine months I would walk or work out to an exercise tape but for the most part exercise took a backseat. Two weeks postpartum I started walking on the treadmill again and after my 6-week appointment, when I was given the "all clear" I started slowly increasing the speed. Since I went back to work I have not been able to find the time to work out. But Saturday I was determined to find the time, one way or another. I want to take this pregnancy weight off and the only way I'm going to be able to is if I start moving again.

I only planned on going for a short run, to the stop sign and back, which is just short of 2 miles from our house. As I was lacing up my shoes I looked at Collin and told him: This is going to suck.

And suck it did. But it was also exhilarating. The burn, it felt good. The run took me 21 min. and 38 seconds, not impressive, but I'm just so glad I finally got out there and did it already. The thing I love most about running is that it gives me time to think, although the thoughts I was having during this run weren't very deep:

2:08 - Oh my God, my legs, they already feel like jelly.

4:13 - Can't breath! Lungs....exploding....I think I'm going to die.

6:28 - Holy Shit, that hurts like hell....what is that.....the pain it's coming from my hip and shooting down into my knee cap....Is this death?

6:32 - Maybe I'll just walk for a little bit....

6:50 - Please don't let any cars come by...this limp...I look ridiculous.

7:58 - Okay, that's enough walking Bender, let's pick up the pace.

8:00- 11:30 - No recorded thoughts, trying hard not to die.

11:30 - This isn't so bad. I actually feel pretty good.

13:40 - Spoke too soon. That incline, it gets me every time.

14:56 - Dude, should have worn shorts.

17:00 - I think I can make this in under 25 minutes.

19:04 - Final stretch. I can see our house. Maybe I'm not going to die after all.

21:00 - Just sprint to the end - you can do it.

21:38 - Oh thank God THAT is over.

As I was walking up the driveway Collin came out to greet me.

Him: Did you get your ass kicked?
Me: Yeah, twice.

And then I did something I've never done before. I took "before" pictures. And I learned two things:

1.) If seeing your half naked body isn't motivation; I don't know what is.

2.) I seriously need to invest in some bigger sports bras.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter weekend recap

Good food, fun with family, fight at the dog park, no baby.

That about sums up our Easter weekend.

Our weekend began on Thursday night when we took Keaton with us to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which proved to be a big mistake. Church started at 7 pm, which is pushing his bedtime, so I thought it would work out perfectly, that he would sleep right through mass. Oh boy was I wrong! He did okay until the homily and then he started fussing so I took him out. I came back in for the Eucharistic prayer and he screamed through the whole thing!! Yup, we were that family. Thankfully he was much better on Good Friday.

My parents came up on Saturday afternoon and after lunch we took the dogs to the dog park. They were both so excited to get there and had a great time but unfortunately we had a little “incident.” Yeah, there was a fight. But it wasn’t the dogs. It was me. I got in a fight at the dog park! With a fellow dog park goer.

Okay, here’s what happened. First of all, the dog park has poop bags at stations throughout the trail so I never bring my own with because I pick them up at the trail head. But, on Saturday the station at the trail head was all out of bags so even if I wanted to pick up bags I had to wait until the next station. So, my mom, dad, Collin, and I are walking along and I have Keaton in the Ergo on my chest and Maia and Maggie are having a good ‘ol time running around when Maia stopped and squatted. We waited for her but she was constipated so nothing really came out. Okay, if I’m getting technical then two little drops of runny poop were released but it wasn’t even enough to call it a turd!!

There was a couple behind us with a ratty looking dog that saw the squat but they weren’t close enough to know exactly what was going on. When we started walking again I hear the guy say “Well, pick it up!” I stop for a second, look at Collin and ask “Did he just tell me to pick it up?” and then I hear him making more noises and hear him say something about it being “right on the trail.” That’s when I got fired up because

a) It was NOT right on the trail.
b) There was NO poop to pick up!
c) And even if there was, there were no bags at the trail head so I couldn’t pick it up if I wanted to.
d) And how did he know what my plans were??? Maybe I was going to get a bag at the next station and go back and pick it up?

Oh, he had me fired up. Man, he has me fired up just thinking about it because here’s the deal. I’M NOT A POOP LEAVER! Under normal circumstances I would have picked it up, even if it was just two little runny drops!

So I start running my mouth about what a prick he is and it wasn’t on the effing trail and as we come up to the next station my mom grabs a bag and heads back and by this time they are closing in on us. So I yell, “Mom, you’re not going to f*#$ing find anything because there was NO POOP!” As they pass us his dog stays behind and was hanging out by us. So I kicked it.

I’m just kidding! But what cracks me up is that I told this story a couple of times over the weekend and each time my Mom’s eyes would get real wide and she’d say “You didn’t kick his dog?!” No Mom, I was just kidding the first time. And I’m still just kidding. I didn’t kick his dog. Don’t worry. But I would have liked to kick him (the man, not the dog).

That night Grandma and Grandpa stayed home with the Stink while we went to the Easter Vigil. It was a beautiful service but as I slid into the pew at church I started feeling a little guilty about the dog park incident. What if I saw him there?? I should probably try to watch my mouth; not let it run so much.

Sunday we headed over to Kira & Justin’s for Easter dinner. It was an awesome dinner of ham and cheesy potatoes, and green bean casserole, and deviled eggs, and veggies and dip, and fruit and dip, and the list went on. It was delicious.

We were all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Bender. But no. S/he has been quite content inside Mama. But, s/he is getting an eviction notice tonight! Check out Kira’s blog for the latest.

Here are some pictures from our weekend.

Keaton with his bunny from Jean

Hell yeah we put the ears on him!
Don't mess with me, I'm the law.

Easter outfit

Mama & Baby

Keaton & Auntie Kira

Kelsey, Keaton, Kira

Sue & Keaton - You guys are funny!

Family picture

Keaton with Grandma and Grandpa
The Bender clan (we had already boxed Keaton up before deciding to take this picture, hence the car seat)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter...

from our little bunny/chick to yours....

Last weekend we took Keaton to Cutie Pie Photo Studio for his 1st Easter bunny and chicks pictures. The animals cracked me up. That little bunny just sat there and posed like he was being paid and the chicks were not afraid at all. We especially like the little guy who is sitting in the crook of Keaton's arm.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful day and a beautiful Easter season!

Happy Easter!


The Konos

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday: Keatsday

Wednesday, otherwise known as Hump Day, now know as Keatsday.

I went back to work two weeks ago tomorrow and as much as I had myself completely worked up over it, it hasn't been as bad as I expected. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I haven't completely lost my drive. Once I got back into the office and started digging into a couple of projects I found myself actually somewhat craving the mental stimulation. Okay, craving might be going a bit far....but you know what I mean.

My dreaded return has been made significantly easier because I am now working only 4 days a week. Those four days (M, T, Th, F) are long and draining, and I don't get to spend much time with Keaton on those days because he has been going to bed by about 7:30 or 8 pm, but having Wednesday off completely makes up for it.

So, Wednesday, or Keatsday.

Today Little One woke up a little after 7 am in a very good mood. I could hear him in his car seat (yes, he's sleeping in his car seat. That's another post!) just talking away. We got up, had breakfast, and saw Daddy off to work. Then we played the kick, kick, kick game with the ottoman. I have a video of it that I'm trying to upload to flickr but our computer is horribly slow. I like to cuss at it, but it doesn't seem to speed things up at all. :)

About 9 am we cuddled up on the couch and took a nap. A long nap. We didn't get off of the couch until almost noon. I'm pretty certain naps are going to be a glorious part of this day off thing.

We didn't do much this afternoon except have tummy time and play peek-a-boo in the mirror. I've been wondering how ridiculous I look when I talk to Keaton. Yeah, now I know. And it's pretty ridiculous.

Here are some pictures of Stink Stink today.

Completely unrelated to any of this, I just checked my blog stats for the first time in forever and the following keyword searches landed folks on this blog:

"Walk around before the snap"

"Cousin urinate tub"

I've had some odd ones in the past, but WTF??

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear Keaton: 3 Months

Dear Keaton,

This week you turned 3 months old. This month has been bittersweet. You have become so much more interactive with all of your smiling and cooing and talking to us and I had no idea how much fun that would be. When I lay you down on your changer it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, it can be 2 in the morning, you always break out in a huge smile, curl your legs up to your tummy and say “ah-goo.” And even if it is 2 a.m. I can’t help but giggle at you because this is what makes the sleepless nights all worth it.

The baby books all say that you’ll start to learn the difference between your baby’s cries. This month we have definitely been able to distinguish a tired cry from a wet/dirty cry but I’ll tell you what we can distinguish even more. Your coos. In Keaton talk Ah-goo means ‘Man, you guys are the funniest, coolest people ever! Don’t ever stop making those faces at me. I love you!’ As you can imagine we love to hear ah-goo. Ah-gee on the other hand is the exact opposite. We usually hear this when you are eating and we make you pause to wipe your mouth or “get the burpies out.” Ah-gee means “Women, you right done ticked me off! Give me back my food. Give me back my food, right. this. instant. You are a cruel. Cruel I tell you!”

We also learned this month that when you are upset reading or singing to you will usually calm you down. You got lots of books for your baptism and when I can’t get you to calm down I whip one of these out, walk around and read to you and almost instantly you snuggle into my neck and settle down. Singing also works well, especially in the car or at night when it is bedtime. We spent a week down in Earlville this month at Gamma and Gampa’s house and your Gamma refreshed my memory on a couple of French children’s songs. You especially like Alouette. I think it is the repetition that you like. I usually touch your head, nose, eyes, etc. when I sing the words to you, which makes you smile. But the one I like singing to you even more is Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frere, which means Go to sleep, Colas my little brother. I change the words though to say Go to sleep, Keaton my little son. And I have to tell you, almost every time I sing this song; it practically brings me to tears. Sometimes it still just shakes me to think I’m a mother; you are my son. I am so in love with you Buddy; you make my life complete.

Your favorite activity this month is kicking in your bouncer. We set the bouncer up against the ottoman, tell you to kick, kick, kick, and you go to town kicking the ottoman. You love doing this and you’ll kick until you are practically out of breath. Then you stop and start talking. Ah-goo? Ahhh! Ohhh! It’s so much fun to see your reaction when you say a new sound. We can almost hear you thinking – Wait? Did that come from me?

Unfortunately I can’t talk about this month without mentioning the black cloud that has been hanging over me since the moment the calendar read March. My return to work. That’s right, my 12 wonderful weeks at home with you came to an end this month. To say that this has been a rough month for me knowing that I had to go back to work is an understatement. I hate it Bugs, I hate that I have to leave you. I hate that we no longer get to spend our days together. I’m mad and sad and jealous and regretful. I have pretty much felt every negative feeling possible this month. I don’t want to leave you. I don’t want to miss out on the new things you are learning and doing. All I want is to be home with you. And I'm terrified. I’m so scared you are going to start loving me less because I’m no longer the one that is with you during the day. I’m not able to be pick you up and comfort you when you cry and I’m not able to feed you when you are hungry or sing to you when you are tired. I know we can make it through this and I know things will be okay but if I could change this, if I could make things be different, I would do it in a heartbeat.

You mean the world to me Little One and I can’t wait to see what this next month will bring.

I love you with all my heart,