I've been wanting to write a blog on here for like a week, but at the end of the day, it just seems to fall down to the bottom of my list of things I would rather be doing.
I've also noticed a huge decline in the blogosphere lately. People aren't blogging as much. Instead, they're micro-blogging on Facebook and Twitter. Part of the fun about MACRO blogging is the idea that your friends and family will actually have an interest in what you have to write about. The other fun part, is that you sometimes don't care if they have an interest because this is, afterall, your family scrapbook and it's to conserve your own posterity, and that's it.
So for those of you who do have an interest, here is what we've been up to lately:
Yes, he did finish his 93 mile hike around Mt. Rainier 2 weekends ago. He did roll his ankle, a few times actually, and continued to hike on it. He did freeze a little bit as Rainier got its first snowfall for the Fall. He did not run into any bears, but did run into bear poo. He did lose his map. He did hold the course record for a few hours until the other guy he was competing against finished and reset the record. He didn't lose any toenails this time. And yes he was pretty sore for days afterwards.
He says that he is done "adventuring" for the year, but somehow I don't think so. :)
He has returned to his role as "Super Dad" as I have officially begun my Fall schedule of piano and violin lessons as of last week. And so Will has been taking charge of the little guy from 3pm - 7pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. They read books together, go on errands together, go out side and throw rocks together and sometimes even wash the cars together. They are such buddies and Preston LOVES it. Seriously, can we say shadow?
Will is still continuing on the job hunt. We get asked quite frequently how that is going, and his answer is usually "It's still going." The good news is there seems to be a slight increase in job availability lately, so that is good. But still, in Will's field of work, it is slim-pickings.
We are still hanging in there and are doing okay. I knew when I married Will that our family would never be in want, even in hard times. This is a guy who knows how to take a dollar and stretch it beyond imagination. Just last week, he went to Albertsons and came home with $75 worth of groceries that he only paid about $2.50 for because of coupons and deals that he found. Impressive, eh?
But I have to admit, that I am ready for whatever is next. Don't get me wrong, I have actually enjoyed having Will at home. It's been a special time and a rare opportunity that he has gotten to spend so much valuable and irreplacable time with Preston these past several months. I know that soon enough, when a job does come along, he'll be back to working 40 or more hours a week and only have a few precious hours in the evening to spend with Preston before he goes to bed.
But...every now and then the entire situation gets to me and stresses me out a little bit. Sometimes I feel like a gerbal in a wheel who is just running around and around in the same place in a cage. I want to move forward and onward. Sometimes I feel like everyone around us is happily employed and thriving...but we're just standing still. Waiting. It's very frustrating for us, as we are both equally ambitious people. And yet...it's hard to be ambitious when there aren't many opportunities.
Will has asked himself if he should consider going back to school instead of looking for a job. He already has a Masters Degree, though it is a very specific degree (in Real Estate Development). He has considered going back to get his CPA (as he has a BA in Finance), or a MBA. But the fact remains...that accounting is not his passion, and neither would an office desk job. His passion lies within real estate, investing, etc...and he is determined. And it is just not a field that is doing particularly well in our country right now.
In the meanwhile, Will also has been working several odd jobs that provide a couple hours of work here and there, such as: Being a Fitness Trainer for ReStart Addiction Recovery Program clients, carpentry jobs, real estate estimating jobs.
Preston is growing like a weed, it seems. (He is 15 months old as of today). He hasn't really gained much weight in the last few months, but he's just grown extremely TALL. It seems like one week he'll wear an outfit that fits him perfectly, and the next week it's too small. His pants are growing shorter on his legs, his toes are starting to hit the end of his shoes too. He's just a big boy!
He's also given his parents a true test in patience. :)
Screaming, not obeying us when we tell him "no", temper tantrums, not wanting to go down for naps, getting into EVERYTHING and making messes. etc. It's a hard stage that he's going through, and I know that it is perfectly normal....but WOW I can't wait until it's over. Although, some tell me that this stage lasts until he turns 3 years old!! Ugh.
Aside from the hard toddler-ish stage he's going through right now, he is doing some really magnfiicant things too. It's amazing how smart he is, and how many things we see him doing just by observing us. For example, he knows that you put a cell phone up to your ear and say "Hello". He knows that hats go on your head. He knows that if we put his shoes on, it means we are going somewhere. He knows that if I say 'Preston put it in your mouth" that it means he needs to eat his food. He does understand "No No" even if he doesn't always listen. He understands actually quite a LOT of what we say to him, even if his own vocabulary is still very limited.
He also knows that when I say "Preston, can I have a kiss?" that he puts his mouth up to my cheek or puts his head on my shoulder (like a hug).
And my favorite, is that every morning he wakes up and yells from his crib, "Da Da Da Da!!!!". I roll over and nudge Will and say "That's YOU!!! " I enjoy not having to do morning baby duty most of the time :)
Like I said earlier, I have started my Fall teaching schedule. I have 15 piano and 2 violin students. I never ever intended to take on this many students, however, I recently shortened all lessons from 45 minutes down to 30, and was able to add an additional 8 students to my schedule by doing so and still making the same amount per lesson. Genius, I think.
I have been busy promoting my new album, The Lullaby Album. We've had several great reviews in newspapers and by music critics, so that is great. We've entered the album into the Childrens Category for both the Independent Music Awards, as well as the Grammy Awards. So we are busy trying to promote, promote, promote so when the voting rounds happen, there will be more voting members who will have heard of the album. These awards processes are such a procedure of who you know, it seems. As a member of the Recording Academy myself, and having voted in past Grammy Awards ballots, I know firsthand the amount of albums/songs you have to go through in the voting procedure. It's very time consuming. I spent a great deal of time looking artists up online and going to their websites to listen to their music before voting. Most I had never even heard of (aside from the obvious popular artists on the mainstream radio stations). But not all artists do that. They just vote without knowing artists or having heard the music, which is sad. OR they vote based on who they know, etc.
I would never expect to even get a nomination in the Grammy Awards because of the process, however, I have a small hope for the Independent Music Awards. The goal with these types of awards are not monitary value or fame, but simply the result of having your music be introduced to a huge amount of people who otherwise would never have heard it. Even nominees names go into music magazines, articles, etc. across the country.
So anyway, that is what my Mom and I are busy doing this fall - is sending out the cd to broadcasters, radio stations, newspapers, and other artists who are voting members in the different awards all in the hope to get the album more familiar and "out there".
If you would like to help, simply just tell people about my music. :) http://www.jenniferthomasmusic.com/. I appreciate it more than you can know. (Thanks Kaylene for your blog the other day, you rock!)
Other news for myself, weightloss. I don't really talk about this very often on this blog, but I guess I will this time.
Over the past 15 months, I've managed to lose about 45 pounds (I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant with Preston). I still have 15 more pounds to lose to get back to my Pre-Pregnancy weight, and then more after that as well to get to my ultimate goal.
But wow it's been hard. In addition to my teaching schedule and music career, I also try to fit in a healthy diet and exercise plan. I've been trying to get up around 6:30 a.m. every morning to go to the gym. Sometimes I meet that goal, and sometimes I don't. But I'm constantly trying to be better and better.
Back in April, I decided to stop eating sugar. I went on a Sugar detox which basically just involved a week straight of not eating any type of sugar at all. Anything with an "ose" at the end of it (Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, etc.). And it worked great. I realized what a power sugar was having over me, and to be free of it was amazing. I stayed relatively sugar free for about 4 months, but recently strayed off of it. But I want to go back to this way of living because I truly feel like a better human being when I am not eating sugar.
I also try really hard to eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains. I no longer eat lunch meat (because of the sugars and the additives), I don't eat anything "white" (white bread, white potatoes, etc.).
I just have a couple of goals with this weight loss.
For one, I refuse to ever gain as much weight again during a future pregnancy as I did with Preston. And I refuse to get pregnant again until I've lost all the weight. So, in a way, losing all the weight is motivation so that someday we can hopefully add to our family.
Another reason, is if in the event we are blessed enough one day (again, not any time soon) to have more children, I figure at that point I will so consumed by motherhood that I won't be able to do as many music projects as I do right now. I am working on one more solo album called "Portraits", and would like to get the promo pictures taken for it before getting pregnant again, and then just setting the photos aside until the album is done. Obviously, because there is no way I would ever get photos taken if I were prego. But I would obviously still work on music while prego. If that makes any sense. And once a baby came along, it would probably be another 2 years again before being completely picture ready again. (Ughhhh I can't believe what a long process it is to recover from childbirth it is - at least or me and my body). Holy cow.
Anyway, but I've still got a long road ahead of me before a photography session occurs, or any baby stuff occurs either.
I just stopped breastfeeding last week - congratulations to me for making it just under 15 months. And so I am trying to re-adjust to the different hormone levels and calories not burned in my body now. Having breastfed every single day for the last 15 months and now NOT, is kind of weird. I know that probably sounds weird...but it was just part of the daily schedule and was was done to care for my child. And now that I'm not, it's taking some adjustment.
Wow I've talked SO MUCH! If you have even read this far, congratulations! Now I feel like I'm completely rambling.
There are so many other things I want to share that I've experienced recently, but I don't want this blog post to turn into the ultra novel of the year. I will just summarize though and say for one thing, I'm grateful for visiting teachers who bring me dinner when I've had a rough day being a mom and I didn't even say anything to them. I'm grateful for prayer and how I can tell Heavenly Father anything and he listens and understands and directs me. I am happy to know through prayers and answers to prayers that if I put God first, everything else and I mean EVERYTHING else will fall into place and be taken care of. I feel incredibly lucky to be married to William Edgar Thomas. He is my soulmate and best friend, and I think he's kinda hot too. :) I'm so luck to be Preston's mom too.
And that's it. :) The end, for now.