Yep, I’m still here and the first thing I made you think of after this long is poop! I wanted to do that just so you’d know that it really was still me. Just me with a kid who’s a little older and a mom who’s a lot older! Because you know we age faster then our children!
Of course so many things have happened and changed over the last while since the last time I graced this blog with my ever flowing words of nonsense and wisdom! Yes, I said wisdom! Stop laughing! Too many things to try to relay to you in detail so bullet points seem to be the best option. Let us begin!
I guess that’s about it for now. Hopefully in time I’ll gain all of my past readers back and if I’ve lost you, gain some more! But really I want to find my words again. A place that all the tennis and shooting can’t replace when it comes to brain dumping. A place that surrounds me like the warm fuzzy blanket that I like to steal from my daughter.
Let me take you back to when I was a kid. Ok, maybe more of a more grown up kid. I guess that’s the best way to describe myself when I was somewhere between the ages of 15 and 20. Still a kid in a grown ups body with huge expectations of the future, no idea how much work it would take to realize those dreams, and how fast I would refocus those dreams to include time for chocolate cake and the Lifetime channel. Â But that’s whenÂ Sea World San Antonio (formerly Sea World of Texas according to Wikipedia) opened their gates. I lived about 45 minutes from this amazing place and, to my family, it was one of the best things that happened to us all. So many memories were shared there… all of them good. I can’t remember a single negative thing that happened over all the years we went….although I’m sure my parents could share a few moments… But you have to admit that’s pretty amazing considering how volatile my sisters and mother and I can be at times. (Hay we are human and all female… Need I say more?)
One of my fondest memories, and I have many, is when my parents took us to see Kayla Â (thank you again Wikipedia for keeping that name handy for me) the first baby orca (Killer Whale) born at Sea World of Texas right after the park opened in 1988. She seemed so tiny swimming along side her massive mother during all the shows, sometimes mimicking the jumps the other whales would do. Sea World was so proud of her that they had TV’s in many areas of the park showing the video of her birth. Watching her mother furiously spinning as the baby orca came flying out was one of the most amazing births I’ve ever seen by any creature and has always stayed with my memory. I can’t see a picture of a whale without thinking about that beautiful experience.
Another great attraction that Sea World San Antonio had back then, and they still have, was concerts. Â All the concert goers would show up early and anxiously await the time when they would let us through the gate. Then when it opened we, by that I mean my boy friend and I followed up by my parents and “smarter” but much slower aged family members, would race with the crowd as fast as we could run to find our favorite spot on the map. Â All the concerts where held in an area of the park where they had a giant map of the United States painted on it.Â Who ever got to the space first would lay down, arms and legs spread out, claiming it as our own. Close enough to the stage to see the great artists but far enough away to not get smushed by the crowd. Â One also had to be able to get to the potties without having to break our necks or pee ourselves as we weaved in and out of the other “campers”. Â We would lay out towels and blankets and have a camp out right there in the middle of SeaWorld waiting for the bands to start to playing. We would take turns hanging out on the map while the others in our group would go walking around and enjoying the sites and sometimes hitting the penguin hut for a little shade and relief from the heat. We saw some of the greats there, at least on the country music side of great. I’m talking about Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, and even George Strait. And many, many others. In hind sight I wish I’d kept a list since all of the big stars who arrived with opening acts because I know some of them became big stars too. It would have been nice to say I saw them when they were just an opener. How cool would that make me?? ….. I know… I would be AWESOME!
Sea World San Antonio still carries an exciting concert schedule every year and even though the big painted map is gone, with Celebration Cove sitting in its place, my memories of that time in my life will never fade. And now the concerts are held in the Nautilus Amphitheater which I’ll admit offers many more benefits then sitting on the hard concrete baking the sun… You know… things like shade!! To check out some of their upcoming 2011 events including concerts and other special events check out this LINK.
In between seeing all the wonderful aquatic shows and waiting the endless hours till the concerts would start another great place we would visit was the Boardwalk. Its still there too after all these years! It was filled with basic carnival games such as the Skee-ball, the ring toss, throwing bean bags at bottles, betting the guy in a tux couldn’t guess your weight. (My mom won that one to the mortification of the man!! He was a cocky SOB till my mom walked up. I’ll never forget it.) With my boy friend of 5 years in tow (Yes, 5 years or so with the same guy. I was in luuubbb.*rolling my eyes*) we would make several visits a day to take on the challenge of the bean bag bottle toss. He was a pro and could usually knock over all three bottles with one bag. (He played baseball in high school.) Almost every time we would go he would knock round after round of bottles over winning me little stuffed animals that I eventually upgraded for bigger prizes. And the large prizes of choice were stuffed penguins!!! By the time we finally broke up years later I had an entire penguin family. If I had to guess I had at least 20+ of these foot tall cutie pies stashed around my bedroom. I still have a few of them left over from back then but I passed the rest of the colony on to the various children I’ve encountered over the years. I had to grow up sometime didn’t I?
That’s when my addiction to penguins began. (Seriously, I may need help y’all.)
After that first year in the 80’s, and for many years later, my family and I would always get season passes to Sea World San Antonio. And all those years of visiting the park, and seeking out some air conditioning, has also instilled a lifetime love (When I say love I mean squealing like a school girl, giggling, jumping up and down like an embarrassing freak in public when I see one type of love. Yep… Â I need help.) of penguins. I remember practically living in the penguin hut staring longingly at them as they would dart in and out of the water. Looking for the one little guy that was the spunkiest and naming him Fred. Always Fred. Â Trying to convince my parents that I wanted one and that I could just let him hang out in our freezer to cool off. In between racing from stadium to stadium to make sure we saw each show we would always make time to stop in and see the penguins…several times a day. And I even started making the penguin hut the final visit of the day just so I could say “see ya later” to the little gentlemen. That is where my life long love of penguins started and its never dwindled.
So to say I’m a fan of SeaWorld is a little bit of an understatement. It’s part of my history and now, with the introduction of the Wildside bloggers, its an amazing part of my life.
And with any luck it can be an amazing part of her life too.
*Disclosure…. I do not work for Sea World. All that has been provided to me by Sea World San Antonio has been only a gift. I was never asked to write about or advertise for them and I am not being paid for it. I am writing about my adventures and those I met because of the impact it/they have made on my life. And since that’s what I write about on this little blog then that’s the stories your gonna hear. If you have any other questions about this please feel free to ask me or simply read my disclosure policy. But, if after reading all this and that you feel like you would like me to get paid to write for you and/or your company…lets talk.
And now I’m passing the info and warning on to you. If you see an email that looks like this one I would just delete it for safety. If you have a package coming it will arrive without you risking your personal information to find a tracking number. Also, for those of you who use Outlook, you may want to be sure the email is properly deleted and not sitting in your saved trash mailbox. And if you’re like me feel free to also search the long headers of the email and send the offensive info on to email@example.com and let them deal with the turds of the electronic era.
Here’s a screen shot of the email I received just so you can compare if you get one.
That November I received an invitation to spend the night, slumber party style, with a group of women that at the time were all strangers. The only thing we all had in common was that we were moms and for some reason we caught the attention of SeaWorld San Antonio and the wonderful founders of The Motherhood @CooperMunroe and @EmilyMcKhann to take a walk on the #Wildside!
This was such a surprise, and talk about scary…spending the night with strangers…snoring…snorting…and all the other icky things people do…or I might do…while sleeping. Oh…the HORROR! But as it turned out sleep was the last thing that occurred that night.
We met armed with only a guest list full of names and twitter handles, and many questions and doubts about how the night would go. And then we started talking…and laughing…and finding in each other many, many things in common. From parenthood, husbands, and blogging (aka. Social networking junkies). The only three things that we needed in life up to that point had brought us together. As we entered the park it was decided that from that point on we were the #wildside Hotties! “Hay Hotties!?!”
That night we started our after hours tour in the Coral Reef where I made a big hit with my Twitter post wondering if we were having sushi for dinner. What? Was that bad? I was starting to get that gut wrenching feeling that I just burst my bubble. But after hearing a few snickers about it I realized that these women “got me”! They understood the humor behind what I was saying!! A rare treat for me I must add for someone who’s used to tasting toe jam for the things that fly out of my head unchecked most times.
After seeing some of the most wonderful displays of aquatic life and some really sharp teeth on the sharks we continued our after hours SeaWorld tour. We visited different arenas, behind the scenes, from the Beluga’s Stadium where the playful whales spit water at us, to visiting Shamu’s home and getting an up close interaction with one of the killer whales. Apparently she is the matriarch of the group and saw some familiar friends in all of us mothers because she happily posed for pictures right up by the glass and happily interacted with us. She seemed genuinely interested in her late night visitors. Such a treat and she was such a sweet lady.
That night we walked and walked and then finely were fed a wonderful meal by one of SeaWorlds world class chefs before we were off to the Penguin Encounter where, SQUEEEE, we would be spending the night. When I say I love penguins it is not a joke. It is a fact and, as any member of my family can attest to, if you buy me penguin stuff you will forever have me as a fan. Just like others who deck their houses out in chickens or pictures of cats… I am a penguin kind of gal. So to spend the night that close to all the lovable little gentlemen was the treat of treats and I can honestly say I can die happy because of it.
And spend the night we did…sleep we did not. We talked, we tweeted, we giggled, we shared stories, and we did eventually attempt to bunk down. However it was really hard to sleep with the overwhelming smell of fish. Penguins may be adorable but the Penguin Encounter does have a dis-stink-tive odor of fish. Go figure. But it didn’t matter…we being the women of the blogosphere, also came armed with our I-phones which gave us distraction from the fact that no one was going to get any sleep that night.
Then morning came…. I think… It was still dark out when I went to brush the fish smell off my teeth. All of us bleary eyed and in a mostly zombie state were lead to our salvation of breakfast and COFFEE! We also shared our breakfast with a rambunctious group of boy scouts who apparently were in the park over night like we were. Bet they didn’t sleep either. And their loud, perky boyish screaming finally broke through the haze and woke us up.
After our nice breakfast we had our last adventure, feeding the dolphins. And let me tell you, those guys are HUNGRY, in the morning! As we walked up to the pool they were jumping, and playing, and talking, and splashing, trying to get a good look at us just like we were getting a good look at them. I’m not sure who was more excited. And then we fed them their breakfasts while they flipped upside down for us to pet their soft bellies.
It was wonderful. And as we all left the park, strangers the day before but now friends and companions, we walked away with memories none of us will never forget. Since that day many have moved on but a core group of us have become what is known as the original #Wildside bloggers and we now play a very special roll by sharing our experiences with SeaWorld San Antonio. And since that day I’ve had many more experiences that I’m going to be sharing with you. So stay tuned, this was only part 1!
And don’t forget to get your cutie patooty booties to SeaWorld yourselves! I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials on TV. This year they are making it easier on the budget to go and enjoy the park! Just pay for a day and enjoy the park all season long! Pick up your Fun Passes this year so you can enjoy SeaWorld San Antonio whenever you like! That’s a great deal so don’t pass it up ya’ll!!!
*Disclosure…. I do not work for Sea World. All that has been provided to me by Sea World San Antonio has been only a gift because they really are that awesome! I was never asked to write about (considering it took me a year and a half to get around to this post) or advertise for them and I am not being paid for it. I am writing about my adventures and those I met because of the impact it/they have made on my life. And since that’s what I write about on this little blog then those are the stories your gonna hear. If you have any other questions about this please feel free to ask me or simply read my disclosure policy. But, if after reading all this and that you feel like you would like me to get paid to write for you and/or your company…lets talk.
We decided to use the South Beach Plan since it was recommend by hubby’s doctor as the best one to handle all the reasons we are on this diet to begin with. Â And it’s not so bad. Â It’s not a cheeseburger, but it’s not bad. Â At least I’m not starving which is a BIG bonus that I’ve hated about every other diet out there. Â I like their meal plan where it says to start with the serving suggested and then after you’re done feel free to go back for seconds. Â Now that’s my idea of a diet! Â I can pretty well eat as many veggies as I’d like in a meal as long as I stay away from the ones that have the evil carbs in them. Â But so far I haven’t really felt the need to snack out side of the mandatory snacks. (Another happy bonus…”mandatory” snacks!) And I’ve been full after eating the portion recommended surprisingly.
And so far hubby’s been pretty happy with things or at least is remaining upbeat about not getting to have his evening ice cream. Â Aside from a little squabble between us where I had to convince him that he would not die if he ate chicken for lunch AND for dinner because I’m a busy house mom and NOT a cook to order restaurant chef, we are doing ok. Â As far as I know he’s sticking to it when I’m not around, and when I am, I’m portioning out everything so he doesn’t have to think about it. Â And so far we’ve both dropped weight!! Â In just 3 days! Â That’s the coolest part! Â The South Beach Plan does say that you will drop weight fast in the first two weeks and then it will slow down a bit as we add some healthy carbs and fat back into our meals. Â And I think I’ll be ok with that. Â As long as we stick with it. Â I’m pretty sure I can but I’m hoping my husbands old habits don’t come back when we can eat a larger list of foods. Â And I refuse to be the food police slapping bites out of his hand, so he’s going to have to resist on his own.
The only thing it seems the diet leaves out of its plan is considering that some people who should diet actually play competitive sports versus the mild exercising that its urging people get. Â Yes, sometimes plumper people still carry their weight, ba da bump, in competitive sports and its almost harder to lose weight for us since we also need to eat to compete. So the hubby and I have had to both plan a little bit of extra carb intake just to survive on the tennis court and not get woozy. Â My carb of choice was a small baggy of Cherrios nibbled on through out the match, so I’m not exactly gut busting out there. Â We just know we need to have a little extra energy to burn so we don’t pass out on the court. Â After talking to some other tennis folks who have done this diet and talking to one man who actually did pass out on the court, we decided to opt for safety instead of risk when it comes to that. Â So if that’s a cheat we cheated on our diets but I’m thinking spending 2 solid hours running back and forth on a court excuses me the excess.
So thats it! I know, so exciting! Â I could be a walking, blogging ad for South Beach so I won’t bore you with more details. This time at least. Â But to make up for the diet dribble here’s a cute photo of a past trip to the beach. Â Next time maybe it will be me in the picture showing off my cute beach body!
Why you ask? Why would I miss the days of regretting my size 9 jeans? Because since that time in my life I’ve had two husbands, a baby, and a mortgage. And thats a lot of yo yo’s for a woman’s body to deal with. I now find myself at a comfortable size ** (Like I would tell the world that number! Again, proud card holder in the sisterhood!) and I’m rather happy with myself. Sure I’ve got junk in the trunk, but I’ve earned it! And I’ve got the baby hips to prove it. I’m as healthy as an ox, I still play tennis all the time, and am considered one of the fasted on the court amongst my teammates. I’m not gaining weight, nor losing it, but not trying to lose it either. I’m also looking forward to having another baby and the idea of dieting and trying to slim down, only to pack it back on to feed another succubus, is not an enticing one.
So why am I dieting you ask? Because I have to. Or more like WE have to. Let me be more specific. Because my husband has to diet, I have to diet. YAY fun for me! That’s one of the things they don’t warn you about in the Till Death Do You Part Handbook. Just like how they don’t warn you about walking into the bathroom behind your husband or the man cold. You just have to learn to read the signs and learn to adapt. They don’t tell you that when your husband has to start eating better you will be forced to leave the things out of your diet you like just for the sake of his. Even when those bad things he loves to eat on a regular daily basis, but are not something I eat very often however do enjoy on occasion, have to be cut. He has the sweet tooth in the family. Me? Not so much. But now when I get the hankering for brownies or cookies I can’t just whip up a batch and delve into the happy chocolaty world of indulgence because he might be “forced to eat one” (his words). And that just stinks!
So what do you do when your loved one has to change the way he/she eats? How do you support that endeavor and still be able to enjoy things that you love? Is it selfish to even say that? I know it will only benefit me to eat better. Of course it would. I’m not crazy enough to think that I don’t have to watch what I eat, but we are talking some simple staple items here that I may have to give up? Like white rice!!! I like white rice. I know I can live without it in my weekly meal plan, if that was the only thing that needed to change. But when you start adding together all the things that need to change or be cut then it can be considered a lot. And a lot is no fun at all.
I’ve always found the will power to lose a few pounds when I’ve been unhappy with myself. But how do you find the will to change when you’re actually happy with your body the way it is? That’s the tough one. I would go to the moon and back for my husband and my child, and I will attack this problem with gusto for the sake of my family. I am not selfish and would eat cardboard for every meal if I had to for them. But if I have to do this I will be demanding a little payback in return. Hmmm. But what? When I figure it out I’ll let you know. But for now that doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it to you a little bit. And sneak cookies now and then. And cake.
I’ve have now crossed another Mommy Milestone and, unfortunately for you, I have to share it with everyone! Have you ever watched your child consume massive amounts of sugary substances at a party or gathering and wondered ,with dread, how it would present itself later? Because you know… what goes in…must come out. I have crossed that line. Or more like, my daughter has crossed a line that I believe no parent should ever have to tip toe over.
Not that I’m in the habit of sharing such personal information with you, nor do I ever really want to again, but I can’t resist sharing with you “The End Results!” (Imagine this line being said in a deep, thundering, dramatic voice.) Because “The End Results” had me twisting in agony, and intermittently laughing my head off all while gagging. And “The End Results” had my daughter twisting herself into a pretzil so she could see what was so funny at her other end.
Have I given you enough details yet to make you curious enough to be willing to see what I have to share with you?
Well, hold your proverbal breath ya’ll cuz I’ve got a treat for you!
Apparently when you feed your offspring enough of this…
Then they will eventully give you this…
Yes indeed. My child did shit shamrocks.
Did you really think I’d give you a clear shot of the unfortunate diaper gift? I’m not that cruel.
I mean really, do I need to elaborate further? Are you signifigantly grosed out while simutainiously laughing your asses off? Then you know how I felt. Please also use your imaginations to picture a cute little hiney stained green. Yes, my daughter has a green arse. I know there’s a joke in there somewhere but I just can’t find it. Yep, another Mommy Milestone crossed and another Mommy Milestone that really didn’t need to be turned over. Please, please, please daughter!! Learn to use the potty before you start shitting rainbows! I don’t think I could handle that.
“Oh wow! Â Hi keyboard! Â Has it really been well over a month since the last time we met? Â Yikes? Â Do I still have readers? Â Does anyone still care if I’m here? Â Does it matter? Â Ohhhh woes is me… the guilt of not posting…. Â Wait a minute!! Â Who is the blog for anyway? Â I write for me! Â Don’t I?”
This is what I’m thinking as I open up my lap top. Â Sometimes I think the invention of all the other gadgets in my life is causing my blogging life to disappear into the realm of too much global access. Â When I started Mommy’s Joy, like all new bloggers, I had the good and bold intentions of writing everyday. Â And I did for the most part. Â I banged out ideas and stories and posted pictures and blogged till my little heart practically ran out of words. Â Then I decided it was time to slow down. Take some time for myself since it seemed like my online personality was taking center stage to my daily life, and my daily life was constantly on hold. Â And that’s not a lifestyle that can continue. Â Especially with a two year old who has her own opinions about who’s time belongs to who and a husband who insists on wearing clean underwear. “No honey, I didn’t get the laundry done today. Â But I did finally finish what I think will be the blog post of the century. Â Wanna read it? No? Why not? Â Because you’re lost in the sea of dust bunnies floating around the house?” Â “EJ!! Â Where are you child? Â Oh! There you are! Â Sorry, I lost you for a minute. Â I guess its easy to do when you’re covered in so much dog hair from the couch. Â You blend.”
And when you add in the all access inventions of the Iphone and the Ipad which should make blogging easier for most, I found myself lost in all the abilities afforded to me. Â When the WordPress app came out the for the Iphone I thought that my days of hiding behind my computer and not getting a thing done were over with. I even posted about it. Â I was so proud thinking that I would be able to finally post more since I could do it on the go! Â So now where ever I went I could share it with you bing, bang, boom! Â And I did. Â More than you ever knew, I did. Â I started so may new posts and exploited all the in car riding (while hubby drove of course. I promise I never wrote while driving. Â Only in my head and I’ll get to that next.), standing in line, waiting at doctors offices, waiting here and there. Â Daily life had now met my blogging life head on. Â And then thats when daily life thumbed its nose at technology and took over. Â Suddenly the periods of time I had to use were just not as long as I needed to actually FINISH a post. Â And by the time I got home or to somewhere else where I had a few minutes to write, I was already mentally bogged down with so many other things I just couldn’t find the words. Â So many of those posts went unfinished.
Another of my sad blogging woes is how many posts I write in my head. Â I could have written the great American novel by now with all the creative thoughts that run through my head while I’m giving my daughter a bath, battling dirty socks into the washer, or changing poopy diapers. Â But sadly, by the time I get time to sit down and put all those amazing thoughts into typed word the words have disappeared or have been forgotten.
So what do I do? Â I’ve tried to set aside time everyday to sit down with my computer and write. Â Write something. Â Anything. Â But I am not a creature of habit like most. If I say 9:00 will be my blogging time everyday, and that doesn’t happen everyday like clockwork, then I find myself drifting off to other endeavors. Â Its also doesn’t help that I have a husband who’s schedule jumps all over the calendar and the clock randomly, so he may just decide he want’s to go do something during my precious blogging time. Â So I blame it on him too. Â Because I can. So there…
I know by now you all are pretty tired of hearing me whine and bitch about time and having none of it. Â Most of you are all parents so I know you’re only rolling you eyes at me thinking buck up sista’. Â It only gets worse from here. Â So you tell me. Â What do I do? Â How do I find more time in my day? I only have one child right now. One very active, crazy, opinionated child. Â But only one. Â I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I have more kids. Â So that’s what I want to know. Â How in the world do you, parents of multiple children, keep on the blogging train?
And just so you know I’m not full of baloney about a crazy two year old here’s evidence.
Its been exactly 94 days since my last post… Yet I still consider myself a blogger. Â Does writing in my head count?
Its been exactly 2 years, 5 months, 31 days that our house has been for sale with no bites. Â Where will I be sitting this time next year?
Its been exactly 2 years, 7 months, and 9 days since I became a mom… Yet I still consider myself a new mommy. Always learning, always teaching, always on duty.
Its been exactly 5 years, 1 month, and 24 days since I became a wife… Yet I still am trying to get used to the ever evolving relationship call marriage.
Its been exactly 35 years, 11 months, and 16 days since I was born… Yet I still haven’t figured out why I’m here. Â Whats my purpose? Where am I heading?
Its been 11 months, 30 days and 17 hours since 2009 and I haven’t accomplished any of my resolutions. Is it too late to lose 10 pounds?
Thats a lot to consider with the new year approaching in 6 hours and 41, 40, 39, 38……minutes.
Maybe I should just start drinking now….flash my porch lights on and off at midnight….and quit whining?