Thursday, May 31, 2007

Here a meme, there a meme...

O.K. So I've been totally slacking off with my posting. To be truthful, my brain hurts. There's a lot (and I mean A LOT) going on in our house over the next few months and my brain is on overload trying to get everything ready/done/finished up.

And Emma is starting to potty train. Which is at the same time great and horrifying...

Anyway, I got tagged about a week ago by both Sue and Gumby so I'm going to do something crazy and COMBINE them (who says I can't multitask?). Gumby asks for 5 reasons for why I blog about what I blog about on my blog, and Sue asks for my 5 favorite restaurants and why they are, well, my favorite. This should be interesting...

  1. BD's Mongolian BBQ - This place rocks because you can (mostly) control what goes into your own food. You pick the ingredients along this long buffet line. You have a choice of everything from raw meat to vegetables to spices and sauces, then you take it up to this huge open air cooktop and they cook it for you. It gives Dave and I a chance to talk about the kids which provide a lot of my blog fodder. I love my kids. They are both a source of frustration and daily hilarious antics, which is why I love blogging about them.
  2. Wendy's - Gotta love any place with a drive thru that's close to almost everything you do in the world. It really helps me stay on schedule when I'm rushing around. Since having kids, I have found a new appreciation for scheduling and organization which is why I like to participate in those kind of challenges.
  3. Bob Evans - I love breakfast food. I would eat breakfast food all the time if I was allowed. I especially love their cinnamon hotcakes. Jake loves pancakes, too, and we eat the frozen variety a lot while Dave is on business travel. Dave travels a lot for work and I love to travel, too, which is why I post about our travel experiences.
  4. King's Garden - This is a local chinese place that has an awesome tofu and veggie dish. YUM! It's as pretty as a picture. I love pictures and photography which is why I love taking part in Wordless Wednesdays. (alright, that one was especially lame)
  5. Applebee's - They have great food and a whole menu that includes points values for those on Weight Watchers. I'm on Weight Watchers and participate in an online weight loss challenge. I struggle with making good food choices and I love the support I get from others in the same boat!

I did it! And in my defense, I didn't say it was going to be GOOD, I just said I was going to do it. I'm supposed to tag 5 people for each meme, but I'm just going to do 5 people total. Do one, do both, combine them, ignore me...The choice is yours!!

Zany Mama

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

What? You don't own a scarecrow hat, too?? For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MDWLC - Week three

I'm down another .5 lb this week, but I have to say I don't know how on Earth that happened. I keep giving myself permission to go crazy with my eating, but pretty soon that's going to catch up with me so I'm going to have to kick myself in the butt sometime soon here.

We leave for vacation on Saturday, so I won't be able to post results next week. We should be doing a lot of walking, but that usually means I give myself permission to eat more so I'll be happy if I maintain while I'm gone.

And my goals are getting old. You know how if you leave stuff laying on your floor for a while you just get used to stepping over it instead of just picking it up? That's kind of how I feel about my goals right now. I've had the same goals for so long (even before this challenge started) that they don't really mean anything to me anymore. So here are my new goals (keeping in mind that we will be eating out a lot while we are gone):

  1. 96 oz of water every day.
  2. Eat my fruit or vegetables before anything else on my plate.
  3. No eating off kids plate (unless it's a fruit or veggie).
  4. Dessert only 3 times while I'm gone (this will be tough).
  5. Maintain weight until June 12th.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays - Sunday edition

I actually did pretty well this week with waiting until my to do list was done before I got on the computer, but I know that habit will suffer this week.

I am not going to choose a new habit this week because my mind is going to start switching to "vacation mode" which means there won't be a whole lot of brainpower left for much else. The whole family is leaving next Saturday for a week's vacation so all energy will be spent preparing for that.

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
8K a Day - habit
Wear my pedometer - habit
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - mostly a habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - working on
Increased personal reading time - habit
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Friday, May 25, 2007

To have and to hold

Tomorrow is our 6 year anniversary. It really is amazing to me that it's been 6 years. I am so lucky to have married my best friend. The vows I made to him 6 years ago or more true today than they ever have been.

I, Thea, take you, Dave, to be my husband and friend. Before God, our family, and friends, I promise to be your constant companion, to walk beside you when times are good, to walk before you if you need to be shown the way, and to walk behind you if you feel like you are going to fall. I promise to be your best friend, co-consipirator, confidante, and biggest fan. Noone was ever necessary in my life until I found you.

The day itself seems like a blur, I only remember bits and pieces of what happened at the ceremony and reception. They were both filled with music and singing, though, just like our days are filled with music and singing now (although the songs and voices are a little bit different). Happy Anniversary to the man who has helped me to discover everyday that happiness is closer than I think.
You are my home, you make me strong
And in this world of strangers, I belong to someone
You are all I know, you're all I have
I won't let go
Happy Anniversary, Dave!! I love you!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm too young to feel this old

My nephew turned 17 this year.

And he went to his Junior Prom. With a girl. I have the pictures to prove it.

And then Dave and I saw him out at the movies. With 3 girls. He didn't see us. More precisely, he didn't see us before Dave told me to stop waving. Apparently, no kid wants to be waved over by their aunt at the movie theatre when they're with 3 girls.

Seeing him made me feel old. I've never felt old until that moment. I was only 13 when he was born. I remember patting his bottom trying to get him to sleep. And staying with him in the car while my sister ran inside the store. I used to do something that made him laugh out loud, I don't remember what it was now. When he was 3 or 4, we used to sing "Hold My Hand" by Hootie & the Blowfish. At the top of our lungs. Whenever I saw him, I would give him a thumbs up and say "Cool, dude." When I had jaw surgery and he visited me at the hospital, he wouldn't come near me until I gave him a thumbs up. That's how he knew me.

Then he grew up. When did that happen? When did he go from someone who needed burped to someone who needed to be fitted for a tux? I've never considered myself an overly sentimental person, but I nearly cried when I saw that prom picture. It took me a minute to register what I was looking at. My nephew, in a tux, with a girl. Holy Moses!

How do I stop the same thing from happening to my kids? I really don't think I can take it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Here we go again

Jacob fell at school today. It was bad enough that they had to call me to come in. It seems he tripped and fell onto the step of the playground equipment and his mouth took the brunt of the fall. His front tooth went into his bottom lip leaving a puncture wound and he has a cut on the outside of his mouth from the equipment. There was so much blood at school that they thought the tooth had come clean, through, but it didn't. His tooth was knocked loose so we headed to the dentist (a place that Jacob is sadly all too familiar with)...
Bottom line...

could become this:

We've got a follow up appointment in 3 weeks to see if it's healed enough to avoid extraction. I don't think it's going to make it. Before Jake had the first one pulled, the dentist told us that the tooth that got hurt today had suffered "a previous trauma" and may have to come out, too. It was spared that time, but I'm not sure it's going to make it through again.

On the bright side, Jake is developing quite a collection of things he got to pick from the dentist's toy chest. Good thing for me that I won this today! Thanks, Laura!

MDWLC - Week two

I did it! I ate out 7 times (3 times on Friday alone) since last Thursday and I still lost (and that includes a totally stress induced gorging of Fettucine and dessert last night). Granted, it was only a 1/2 pound, but that was my goal! It just goes to show that there are times when you aren't eating as poorly as you think you are.

Here are my goals for this week (same as last week, still having trouble getting them all in!):

  1. Journal every bite, every day.
  2. 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  3. 2 servings of dairy a day
  4. 8,000 steps a day on my pedometer
  5. .5 lb lost

I've got my official Weight Watchers weigh in this Saturday so that will be another motivator for me this week! Check out Tales from the Scales to see how everyone else did! And good luck on your own journey next week!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dadisms (or Should We Be Letting Him Read That??)

Dave got this book several years ago from his mom (I think) and it has become one of Jake's favorite, um, bathroom reads. It's one of those gift books that you would get from Hallmark or whatever and it features things a dad would say, but what he really means when he says them.

For example:

Dadism #4: "If you fall and break your leg, don't come running to me."
Translation: "Be careful up there. Our health insurance policy has a $200 deductible"

He doesn't really understand anything that he's reading (I think), and it's just too funny when you are walking down the hall and suddenly you hear one (or several) of the following come from a voice in the bathroom:

"What's so funny? Wipe that smile off your face"

"Because I said so, that's why."

"I never talked to my old man like that."

"Turn off those lights. Do you think I'm made of money?"

Everytime I hear it, I stop and think "Where on earth did he learn that??" and then I remember what he's doing. Maybe someday we'll take the book away, like if he ever learns what the stuff means or if it starts bleeding into everyday conversation, but for now, I'll just pass the room and chuckle.

I mean, really, who wouldn't laugh at a 4 year old giggling while reading
"It's only a little blood. Besides, chicks dig scars."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

I did really well this week with my goal of 8,000 steps a day. There was only one day that I didn't get 8,000 steps in, but the other 6 days I surpassed my goal. It's amazing how many steps you can get in when you walk in place while making dinner!

Tuesday is the last day that Jake is in school, so our daily schedules are about to change drastically. So my habit for this week will play off of that and my continuing effort to limit my personal computer time.

This week, I'm going to make it a goal to not do any personal computer time until all my non-computer and "business" computer tasks are done! This is going to be a HUGE excercise in self-discipline, so we'll see how it goes.

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
8K a Day - habit
Wear my pedometer - habit
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - mostly a habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - working on
Increased personal reading time - habit
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My day has come!

For Christmas, Dave got me the best present I can remember receiving in recent history: a day off. He got me gift certificates to Bob Evans (love it!), Starbucks (love it!), and a local day spa (hell ya!) and said he would take a day off work so that I can leave the house for the ENTIRE DAY! I almost died. All I had to do was pick a day and he would make sure he didn't have any meetings or travel or anything.

And then life set in.

Tomorrow, FINALLY, my day has come. I plan on leaving the house very early (well, early for me anyway) and spending the entire day out of the house. There'll be breakfast food eating (not really high on Dave's list of favorite things)! There'll be clothes shopping (I am in desperate need of clothes that fit)! There'll be shoe shopping (If I can find anything in my gargantuan feet size)! There'll be manicures and pedicures (for the first time ever, at the urging of a VERY INSISTENT friend)! There'll be lunch with friends (I'll have to be sure to follow my own advice)! I think I see a book store trip in my near future, too! Heck, I might even see a movie by myself (but probably not, that just feels weird)! I'll read! I'll sit! I'll do nothing!! All in one day! And I won't come home until dinner!

But WAIT! There's more!

When I come back at dinner, I will have our babysitter with me because we are wrapping up the day with dinner with some new friends of ours.

All in ONE DAY.

Holy Moses, I think I'm about to pass out...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kangaroo-footed thing

Last night, we were playing around with a towel and Jake was pretending to be a superhero (see picture below). I made a comment that the cape was a little long and he looked a little bit like a hobbit.

Dave thought this was hilarious. He got down on his knees and proceeded to act like he was a hobbit, too. He said:

"I need something to be my big feet. Where are you shoes?"

Yeah, that went over well.

Wordless Wednesday - My Hero

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MDWLC - Week one

I had a pretty good week. I've been loving my new pedometer, but unfortunately I've been loving candy this week, too. But the good news is: I DIDN'T GAIN!

Sometimes, that is a GREAT thing based on how you ate/drank/excercised that week. I didn't give myself a specific weight loss goal for the week because I knew I had Mother's Day coming up and I knew that I probably wouldn't make the best choices (and I was right), but I did have a wonderful week so it all balances out.

And last week I talked about making plans, but of course I am a master of not following my own advice so here is my plan for this week:

  1. Journal every bite, every day.
  2. 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  3. 2 servings of dairy a day
  4. 8,000 steps a day on my pedometer

My mini goal for next week will be a .5 lb loss. I know if I buckle down this will be totally doable.

Check out Tales from the Scales to see how everyone else did! And good luck on your own journey next week!

Monday, May 14, 2007

6288 feet

When a group of friends approached me to go on a road trip with them, I was all for it. I was looking forward to getting out of town for awhile and also jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with the guy I was interested in (despite the fact that he made it abundantly clear he wasn't interested in me).

They let me know that we would be driving to New Hampshire to camp for a couple of nights, hike up Mt. Washington (the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River) and then reward ourselves with a one or two night stay at a luxury hotel at the foot of the mountain. We would continue on to spend one or two nights on the coast of Maine before heading home. They warned me that the hike would be a strenuous one, but one of my friends had made the trip before so he was comfortable leading us up the mountain. I told them I was in and we started to make preparations for the trip.

Because the hike was strenuous and I had a history of knee problems, I decided (and they insisted) that I do some training. I added the Stair Stepper to my workout, increased the incline on my treadmill routines and did some trail hiking with a loaded backpack to prepare for the trip.

The day had finally come to leave and we were all excited as we piled into the car. I was a little bit nervous, but I knew that I had done everything I could to prepare myself. We arrived in New Hampshire and set up camp. I only have pictures to remind me of what our stay was like at the campsite, no real memories remain. All my thoughts were focused on the mountain.

We woke up early on Hike Day to get in a good breakfast and get all of our gear and food into our backpacks. Our plan was to hike up the west side of the mountain via the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail which connects to the Crawford Path and then head back down the mountain via the Gulfside Trail which connected to the Jewell Trail. The starting and ending points were both within walking distance from where we parked our car.

We got to the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail head (which was at an elevation of 2500 feet) and started our ascent. It started off with a gentle slope and I started to gain some confidence in my ability to climb and was convinced that I had prepared myself enough. We reached a natural pond named Gem Pool and stopped for a break. I joked with my friends that they had all worried about me and my knee for nothing. That's when my friend who was acting as guide told me that so far the hike had been easy and that the worst was yet to come.

100 yards later, I realized that I was in over my head and nothing could have ever prepared me for what I was going through.

The terrain changed drastically and we were now following the water that fed into the Gem Pool which meant slippery rocks. I was suddenly unsure of my footing as we crossed the rocks and I started to panic. But I had nowhere to go, only up. I dug deep and continued the ascent to 5012 feet where the next trail began. There were 2 beautiful lakes there (aptly named Lakes of the Clouds) with a lodging station for those hiking the Appalachian Trail. We rested for a little bit but we knew that time was working against us and that we had to keep moving. Three miles of our hike was behind us with another 1.2 miles (and 1276 feet) to go. I felt like I was going to collapse and I knew I was slowing everyone down, but I couldn't stop. I had to keep going.

The trail from this point was above the tree line and was a clear shot to the summit. My friends did not feel the need to stay within sights since there was only one direction to go, and I quickly lost sight of them as they continued ahead of me. It was then that I realized the whole extent of my situation. I was hiking alone (although I was surrounded by strangers) up a mountain and I didn't know where the end was. I had nothing with me but my own thoughts and my body which was screaming at me with every step that I took. I reached the top in tears, at once proud of myself and in total agony and pain. My friend who had been waiting reached out his hand and walked with me the last few feet, but I felt no joy.

At the summit, my friends barely spoke to me and I realized what had happened. They were disappointed. Because of my inexperience and physical condition, I had slowed them down so much that they were now forced to change plans; there would be no hiking descent that day, we had run out of daylight. The hike that was supposed to have taken 7 hours round trip had taken me 6 hours to go one way. There was a small cog railway that ran down the mountain. This became our only option to get back to where we had started. We boarded the train in silence and didn't speak a word for the rest of the day. Their disappointment was obvious, as was my guilt.

I may have reached the top of a mountain, but I fell to a new low that day. When I think back to that trip, the memories are bittersweet. I am so proud of the accomplishment I made that day. But I will never forget the physical and mental pain that got me there.

This post is an entry into Scribbit's monthly Write-Away Contest. This month's theme was travel.

An easy scapegoat

Emma has been a little "off" for the past couple of days and we can't really put our finger on what the problem is. She just seems not quite right. She's a little more whiny and clingy than normal and nothing really seems to make her happy. For the first hour or two she was up this morning, she pretty much just sat in the room and cried...that sad, pitiful moan of someone who can't really communicate what's wrong with them.

My theory: she's teething. But that's my theory for everything when nothing else seems really wrong. It's served me well over the last few years, but I know I won't be able to use that excuse forever. As much as I would like to, when the kids are grumpy teenagers, I won't be able to say "Oh, the must be teething."

By then, I will have switched to: It must be hormones. This one is really good because it covers a much broader spectrum of problems and can also be used for a much longer period of time (heck for Emma, I can use it for the rest or her life, really).

Because the thing is, I need a reason for things. More accurately, I need to be able to BLAME something. It's much easier to put a name to something than to say "I don't know what's wrong". With these abstract ailments, it's easier to say "there's nothing I can do" as opposed to "I don't know what to do".

And I, for one, want to keep up the illusion as long as I can that I always know what's going on.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

Alrighty folks, I'm ready to jump right back in. And you know why? Because I have a wonderful husband. Last week I posted how my habit of 8k steps a day on the pedometer became an impossibility because my pedometer broke. While Dave got me this for Mother's Day and I LOVE IT!

It's actually an accelerometer instead of pedometer, but it counts my steps which is what I want. It is much more accurate (meaning it's less likely to count a good tackle from Jacob as a step) so I have a better idea of how much I am ACTUALLY walking a day.

I was SO happy about it, that I actually started marching in place today while I was clearing the dishwasher - anything to get those steps in. It's much more comfortable and has a lower profile than my old pedometer so I barely even notice that I am wearing it. Here are some of the best features:

  1. It has a clock on it so it automatically resets my steps to "0" every night at midnight. I start each day without having to do a thing except put it on.
  2. It has a 7 day memory so I can keep track of how much I walk each day. It also adds the steps up so I don't have to think or add or anything to find out my total steps for the week.
  3. Besides keeping track of the number of steps I takes, it keeps track of the distance that I've walked.
  4. It has an internal "stopwatch" that keeps track of the amount of time that I've been active (above a certain threshold) during the day; I've been wearing it for nearly 13 hours today, but it knows I've only logged about 43 minutes of true exertion.
  5. It has a website where I can log on and keep track of steps. It even has online challenges and keeps a running total of the number of steps I take. I am currently in a challenge to see how long it takes me to walk the number of steps equivalent to walking the Pacific Coast Highway (784 miles total, I've got 777.58 miles to go).

Anyway, it's just about the coolest thing I've ever owned I just hope it doesn't fall in the toilet (not that that's ever happened to me...). That would be bad, very bad. So my habit for this week will be to walk 8,000 steps a day (EVERY DAY!)

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
8K a Day - game on
Wear my pedometer - game on
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - mostly a habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - working on
Increased personal reading time - habit
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Zany Mama tagged me for this wicked long meme, like, 100 years ago (1 week, 100 years...who's really counting?) and I am just now getting around to doing it. It's kinda cool. But only kinda.


Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. I've always been a ranch kind of girl but red wine vinagrette has been growing on me.

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Wendy's, no question. Well, maybe a little question b/c I really like Subway, too.

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. Ooh, that's a tough one. I like food. Alot. So as long as they serve that I'm pretty happy.

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. 20%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. Doritos or Ice cream or Butterfinger or...

Q. What is your favorite type of gum?
A. Anything minty, but not so minty that it hurts my tastebuds.


Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. 2


Q. What’s your best feature?
A. I hate these types of questions...umm, my hair? I hate it but everyone else seems to like it so I'll go with that.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. If you allow me to get creative, quite a lot, actually. When I was a kid, I fell on my driveway which resulted in rocks in my head which were removed. I had a tooth extracted. I had a piece of bone taken out of my hip , but that was put back into my jaw so it might not count. Two kids. And blood. Lots of blood.

Q. Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
A. Definitely smell. I get queasy very easily as a result.
Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. Gosh, I don't even remember. 2 or 3 years ago?

Q. What is the heaviest item you lifted last?
A. My "97th percentile for his weight" son, Jacob, weighing in at 47 lbs.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. Never knocked unconscious, but I've been under anesthesia and it sucked waking up.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Absolutely not. I worry about it enough already.

Q. Is love for real?
A. Unbelievably so.

Q. If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
A. When I was a kid, I always wanted to change it to Jessica. I kind of like it now, I'm never confused with anybody...which I guess could be a bad thing, too.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Muted shades of green.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. I nearly ate a slug once. And I used to eat paper and glue on purpose. But I can't think of anything by mistake.

Q. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
A. No.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. No.


Q. Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
A. Depends on how rural of an area we are talking about, but I would consider it.

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. Yes. As long as she bought me dinner first.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. Um, no. I've grown quite attached to them.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. Never EVER? How would I explain that to the masses? But yes, in a heartbeat.

Q. Would you pose nude in a magazine for $250,000?
A. How many people subscribe? More than 1? Then, no.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000?
A. That makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. No.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. Absolutely not.

Q. Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
A. Wow, to be honest, I'm not sure I could. I do love me some boob tube.

Q. Give up MySpace forever for $30,000?
A. Don't have an account so does that mean I should be getting a check in the mail from someone for $30k?


Q: What is in your left pocket?
A. Lint.

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. I've never seen it and I have no ambition to.

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A. Carpet, ceramic tile, and wood laminate.

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A. I have been known to do both.

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A. Yes.
Q: How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
A. Zilch. I don't like the feeling of stuff between my toes.

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A. I used to be bad when I was a kid. But ever since then I've gone straight, as I can prove by my record - 33 arrests and no convictions. (Not really, that's just a line from a show)

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. Still happy

Q: Friend you talked to?
A. Dave

Q: Last person you called?
A. Dave


Q: First place you went this morning?
A. The pediatrician

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A. Eat dinner.
Q: What’s the last movie you saw?
A. Disturbia. I actually liked it!

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A. For the most part always, but I have a mean streak.
And with that, I tag Dave and Gumby (the show is over so you have time to do a post this, long, right? RIGHT?).
Ready, Set, GO!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Losing it and Keeping it off

O.K. I'm going to get back into this. I really am. I swear. And the May Day Challenge is going to help me.

Ever since I hit Lifetime (the goal, not the network) in February, I have not been a very good Weight Watcher. I've been eating everything I can get my hands on and then going back for seconds. I eat off my kids plates...before they're finished eating. I am doubling and tripling my portion sizes and making crappy choices. I haven't been excercising nearly as much as I was when I lost it the first time and I am nearly on a first name basis with the workers at our local Chinese restaurant and Dairy Queen (and whoever put those two establishments right next door to each other is an evil genius).

Yes, I am a fine example of healthy living. Nice to meet you!

But this time will be different. I want and I need your support and I will greedily lap it up like there is no tomorrow. Despite my bad habits, I've been lucky that my weight hasn't come back any more than it has, and I am making this recommitment now instead of waiting until I can't stand myself anymore. I've got 5 pounds to lose to put me back to fighting weight, and then I will maintain that weight for the rest of my life (plus, I want my name on a gold star and a cool new graphic for my sidebar).

Wish me luck and I'll keep you updated!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Raising an Underachiever

When I was growing up, I wasn't involved in a lot of activities. I was in a bowling league when I was about 7, I either played an instrument or did one sport per season through grade school, and I was involved in the Drama Department once I got into high school. As well as I can remember, none of the activities overlapped to the point where my mom and dad had to be 14 places at once. Since there was 6 of us kids, I'm sure there was some confusion sometimes, but I just don't remember things being as SCHEDULED as they are today.

I have a confession to make: Jake is not involved in anything either. Aside from going to preschool 2 days a week, there's not a whole lot else on his schedule. We don't have him enrolled in any classes at the rec center or anywhere else that offers "specialty classes"; no dance, no music, no art, no nothing. We do have him signed up for a few day camps over the summer, but that's more for my mental health than it is for any skill advancement on Jake's part. Heck, we don't even really have playdates very often.

And you want to know why? I'm lazy. Yep, that's it in a nutshell. I'm too lazy to get him involved in all those things. And really, I see no reason to. I really want to teach Jake (and someday, Emma) that you can still be happy and have fun and succeed in life if you do not do every class/activity/opportunity that is ever presented to you. And I know that there will eventually be a time when Jake truly wants to get involved in things, but we will not let him be involved in too many things at once.

And if he doesn't make the sports team when he's 7 or 8 because he didn't start playing when he was 4, then I guess he'll just have to be happy playing with us in the backyard. And I see nothing wrong with that!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

So I did not do at all well with my habit this week, but I had a good excuse: my pedometer actually broke on Sunday. And since I wasn't about to count all my steps in my head, I kind of let this one go.

I feel like I've been struggling with my time management this week. And actually, it's something I always struggle with. I've never been very good at setting limits for myself. I put things off, and put things off and then try to do a mad dash of things at the very end of the day. I then proceed to feel crappy about myself because I couldn't get it all done.

So, this week, I am going to go onto autopilot. I'm just going to maintain what I've been doing so far, because I'm not sure that I can add one more thing to my plate. I'm starting to get discouraged with myself (and that spiraling, unsettling feeling of loss of control) which is usually the tell tale sign that I'm taking on too much. So I am going to stop and smell the roses this week, spend some good old fashioned down time with the kids and the hubby, and just slow down.

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
8K a Day - on hold
Wear my pedometer - on hold
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - mostly a habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - working on
Increased personal reading time - habit
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Exciting stuff, folks!

Beth tagged me for the handbag meme and I finally got around to taking pictures of my bag, which was a little weird. I've never been much of a purse carrier so please try not to fall asleep while you reading this.

This is the bag I carry when I don't need the diaper bag. It's my reminder to myself that I deserve to carry something other than a receptacle for other people's poo. I take it whenever I don't have the kids or if I'm just running a short errand or something. I got it at Target for like, $15 or something like that. And I am so cheap that I hesitated even paying that much.

Drumroll, please...
Front view
Aerial view

Yes, this is the entire contents of my purse: wallet, phone, chapstick, notebook, pens, WW Membership book, tissues, ponytail holder, pictures of the kids and an empty film canister. I use the film canister to transport my sugar free hazelnut creamer when I know I'll be having coffee someplace other than my kitchen. And when I drive, my keys go in the purse, too.

That is all. Thank you.

Friday, May 4, 2007

7 Things Meme

Sue tagged me yesterday for the 7 Things Meme. I'm going to tell you 7 random facts about myself and then tag 7 other people to do the same. Here we go!

  1. I used to collect Pez dispensers. At the height of my collection, I had well over 200 pieces.
  2. I hate Pez candy.
  3. On the first day of my honeymoon, I got over 80 mosquito bites on my legs and ended up in a Dominican Republic clinic getting antibiotics.
  4. I don't like swimming in the ocean (or lake, or river). I'm not too keen on swimming with other species. If it's not chlorinated, count me out.
  5. I had jaw surgery the summer before my senior year of high school. I spent my 17th birthday with my jaw wired shut. My mom made me a "shake"; she blenderized my favorite Peanut Butter Cream Pie and vanilla ice cream.
  6. I am REALLY afraid of the dark. I'm much better than I was growing up, but I still have a hard time walking from through my own house if all the lights are off.
  7. I once took home top prize (the coveted Spirit Stick) during a weeklong cheerleading camp.

I tag Beth, ZanyMama (yes, you must now do 14!!), Michelle, Kimberly, Lara, Shannon, and DeeDee

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Today's the day!

Don't forget to check out Tales from the Scales today! My first post is up over there, and we are already getting some GREAT feedback about the site. The May Day Weight Loss Challenge starts in less than a week so get your thinking caps on to come up with a plan of action!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I'm DONE!!!

I finally finished up the second part of my 30 day Organizational Challenge: Jake's art/craft area. Just to refresh your memory, here are the before pictures.

Once I cleared everything out, Jake and Emma had already repurposed the space for Hide and Seek. Thankfully, I was able to toss/donate enought stuff that one whole cabinet remained empty!

And here is the end result:

Thanks to advice from Laura herself, I got these oversized drawers that were just the right depth to fit into the cabinet. The top drawer has a container for playdoh, a container for playdoh toys, his container of foam stickers, and a bag of lacing cards. The bottom drawer has all of his coloring and activity books and a box for his crayons and markers. The skinny box on the right has 12x12 scrapbooking paper and scraps that I don't use anymore. There are 2 poly envelopes on the left, 1 for stickers and 1 for loose coloring sheets. Finally, the magazine holder has foam sheets, cardboard sheets, blank paper, and old magazines to cut up.

This is the drawer that's directly above the cabinet. It has the stuff that we don't use quite as often so it didn't need to be with the stuff in the main cabinet.

There are a few questions that Laura wanted us to answer to see what we got out of the challenge:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

For me, the hardest part was falling into my familiar trap of over-organizing. I was trying to hard to come up with labels for ever little thing instead of coming up with categories that things would fit into. Laura helped me out by sending me a great article that made me realize I was making things harder on myself by trying to pigeonhole every last thing.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

Everything is labeled now so that whoever goes in there, they will be able to find things easily (and put them back just as easily).

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

There was a whole bunch of stuff that I threw out - dried up playdoh, empty sticker sheets, unusable paper, unfinished projects that I knew would stay that way. I was able to donate playdoh and some toys to a local daycare center that was more than happy to take them off my hands.

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?

That there is no reason to keep every scrap of every piece of paper because "someday" it may get used. More than likely, "someday" will never come, so it's easier on EVERYBODY to just get rid of it. If it doesn't serve a purpose (and won't anytime soon), there is absolutely no reason to keep it.

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

Definitely. This is just a stepping stone for teaching the kids about a lot more than organization. By teaching them to pick up after themselves and where things need to go, I really feel like this will help out as far as their independence and respect is concerned. Because everything is labeled, Jake is already realizing that if he wants to color, all he has to do is go get the stuff out himself instead of needing to come get me to help him. He's really starting to take better care of things, because he sees how important it is.

Wordless Wednesday

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy May Day!!

So that exciting news I was talking about a few days has arrived! Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry has launched a new blog focused on helping YOU lose that extra weight!

Please, go check out Tales from the Scales for information on the upcoming May Day Weight Loss Challenge. All the fun starts next week (May 8th), so that gives you a week to take inventory of your life (well, your diet life anyway) and decide on what steps need to be taken to make 2007 the year that you drop the pounds.

And once you are there, please take note of the picture on the left of the red-headed goddess frizzy haired girl listed as a contributor. Look familiar? That's right, it's me! Beth has asked me to be a regular contributor to the site so please keep your eye out for "Thursday's with Thea" (cute, I know) for a weekly weight loss article penned by yours truly!