Sunday, February 26, 2012

What to do, what to do!

Life has been a little tense at our house lately.  Mostly because of the teething monster.  Our little Luke has a few new molars poking through, but continues to periodically struggle with pain as the others work their way through.  We've learned from experience that his teething can span several days, so we avoid using medications as much as possible.  Basically if the pain interferes with his sleep, we'll give him pain meds.  We've only had to give a few doses, which is good for him, but hard on us.  I imagine teething pain is like having a dull headache, which makes a person understandably cranky.  We've been turning to alternative comforts like rocking him, carrying him around in his Ergo carrier, or letting him play in the bath tub.  Those three things can apparently cure all ills in Luke's world!

In addition to the general crankiness, Luke is getting stir crazy.  So is Mama.  We are both ready for spring so we can be outdoors most of the day.  We've been very blessed to have such a mild winter....Luke has had several opportunities to play outside.  But it's not enough!  I'm really struggling with figuring out how to structure our day.  Luke is on a very predictable nap schedule, but it's a schedule unlike most kids.  He goes down for his first nap between 8:30-9am.  He's up by 11-11:30, we have lunch, and then our play time starts around noon.  He takes another nap around 3pm.  It seems that most toddlers are awake until lunch time, and then take their nap.  So all the activities at the library, mom's groups, playdates, and babysitting time at gyms are happening while Luke sleeps in the morning.  And then they start back up when he's taking his afternoon nap.  So what is a mom to do?

We are going to have to get creative.  Mark and I came up with some ideas to try this week, and I'm sincerely hoping they work.  Luke doesn't like to scribble with crayons.....he would prefer to eat them.  And tear up the paper.  He refuses to watch TV.  We live a solid 15-20 minutes from town, so running into town a couple times a day isn't going to work.  But what we're hoping will work is:

1.  Less toys.  We're going to gather up all his toys, and only have 3-4 things out at a time.  Our hope is that he'll actually play with those toys more, and will be excited when there are different toys out for each play session.

2.  Bath tub art.  The boy is a little fish.  He would play in the tub all day if I let him.  And I would let him, but I've noticed his skin is starting to get too dry.  So one bath tub play session a day with some of the colored soaps, etc.  There are some pretty cool bath things out there.  He can get good and messy, his favorite thing.

3.  One library play session a week.  The story time doesn't work for us, but he can still go play even if it's not story time.  

4.  Outdoor toys.  We knew we wanted to get him some outdoor toys for his birthday, but decided to wait to get those things until spring.  The time has come.  Having some toys outside will hopefully add some spice to our outdoor excursions. 

Hopefully our ideas will mix things up enough to make us all feel refreshed.  Just a few more weeks until spring.  We can do this! 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ouch!

Our little Luke is having a tough time right now.  He is cutting four molars!  That even sounds painful. 

He spiked a fever out of nowhere yesterday.  I didn't think much of it until I was changing him and his hands/feet were icy cold.  Apparently that can be a sign of meningitis (found on Google, verified by the nurse)!  We were extremely worried.  His doctor took one look in his mouth and found the problem.  She said the molars are very painful for toddlers, and told us what schedule to follow for pain meds.  I can't even describe the relief we felt, knowing it was nothing serious.  There is a big difference between meningitis, and teething!!  My advice....step away from Dr. Google.  The worse case scenarios always seem to pop up first.   

As a side note, our little piggy has gained 3 pounds in a month and a half!  I knew he was going through a growth spurt, but wow, that is a lot.  He's up to 24.8 lbs. 

Nolan was a really good big brother yesterday, as his needs got put aside to take care of Luke.  We were actually getting ready to walk out the door to go to the zoo when I discovered Luke's fever.  Nolan was devastated, but he handled it.  Our plan was that when Mark got home, we'd go out to dinner and a movie together.  Then, we had to take Luke to the doctor.  That further derailed our plans.  We went out to eat, and will go to the movie Wednesday.  I was proud of him for being so understanding.

Maybe Luke somehow knew that Nolan sacrificed for him, because he gave Nolan the greatest gift this morning: He called him "Bubba"!  Nolan was beside himself with joy, it was really sweet.  We've been labeling Nolan "Bubba" because we knew that would be easier to say than "Nolan".  Life as a big brother is not always easy.  But there are some pretty cool moments mixed in there to make it worthwhile <3 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Not so bad

Well my weigh in wasn't as bad as I expected - I didn't gain, which made me happy.  I didn't lose either...but I'll take it.  I decided to go easy on myself about it.  Life happens.  There is no way for me to anticipate every single food challenge.  The amount of days I've made good food choices far outweigh the days I've made bad food choices.  I'm proud of that.  In twelve days I have to parade around in public in my swimsuit, so I'm determined to make really good choices in preparation!

One strategy that has been helping me with stress eating is to remind myself that eating something is not going to make my stress go away.  I have to live amongst/work through the stress no matter what.  I can either choose to eat comfort food, which ultimately increases my stress (because then I'm stressed that I fell off the wagon), or I can choose to say no, which ultimately decreases my stress (because I feel proud that I resisted the urge to overeat).  In the heat of the moment, it's awfully tempting to reach for the chocolate...so this is definitely one of those things that sounds easy and simple, but it's really not.  Someone who has never struggled with their weight would read this paragraph and think, Well duh, this is not a novel concept!  So if you're thinking that, give thanks that weight struggles is not a cross you have to bear. 

The other strategy that is helping me stay on course despite my little speed bump, is reminding myself that spring is just around the corner.  The thought of putting on skin baring clothing is enough for me to swear off chocolate right then and there! 

So the battle of Me vs. Fat rages on.  Cheers to that.  Peace <3 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

3 o'clock in the afternoon...

.....is my favorite time of day.  It's the calm before the storm.  Luke is usually taking his afternoon nap, and Nolan isn't home from school yet.  If my day has gone smoothly, I'm done with the things I wanted to accomplish for the day, and dinner is either in the crock pot, or it's prepared and ready to go.  I pour myself a cup of hot tea and enjoy the quiet.  It's my way to rejuvenate before the chaos of the evening hits.  I love the energy that fills our house when we're all home and sitting around the dinner table.  But I also love my chill time!

Speaking of dinner, I must share an awesome dinner recipe I found on...PINTREST ;)

I made this last week and Mark was in heaven.  It's a yummy crockpot steak.  I have trouble making a good steak unless it's on the grill.  Even then, I'm not known for my steak-cooking abilities.  The steaks I made this way came out fantastic.  There was a little left that I was going to give to the dogs, and Mark said no way and instead saved to reheat for lunch the next day.  I ended up making more of the dijon mustard/A-1 combo to dip my steak in.  Also instead of the white wine I used beef broth.  We don't drink white wine, so it would have been a waste to buy a whole bottle.  I'm sure it's equally good made with white wine.

I'm making steaks again tonight, and adding garlic roasted asparagus as the side dish.  It's to die for!

I told Mark that dinner would be served at 6pm sharp.  He is chronically late...but I know he won't be late tonight!  

I'll close with a few pictures.  My parents came for a visit a few weeks ago to celebrate Nolan's birthday.  Nolan got lots of fun stuff!  Luke was "helping" with the unwrapping, and enjoyed wearing a bow around.




Here are a few pictures of Luke playing outside recently.  I love the first one, even though you can't see his face.  He was in that adorable toddler pose, examining a "treasure".  I love that toddler squat!  


We have an outdoor cat named "Cheddar".  This picture cracks me up because Luke is chasing Cheddar down the sidewalk.  Cheddar will learn very quickly to go hide when he sees Luke coming!!

Love my boys!!  I'll have to ambush Nolan again soon to get some more pics of him - you have to be crafty when it comes to 10 year old boys :)

    

Not good!

I hit my first speed bump with my diet.  I'm posting about it so I can embarrass myself into jumping back on the wagon immediately! 

As I've stated before, I'm following Weight Watchers.  They give you a "bank" of points each week to use however you'd like.  I've chosen to use the extra points all at once each week.  When I'm planning my week, I look at what I have going on.  If someone has a birthday, or there is a holiday, or if I know I'm going out to eat, I choose that day to use my points.  For all the other days, I stay within my daily range. 

This week was no different.  I knew Mark and I had a date night planned for Saturday, so I ate all my extra points.  I had meals planned at home for the other days.  I knew I was eating lunch out with friends yesterday, but I figured I could find something within my range. 

Then, we lost our power Tuesday.  It was out all day, so I couldn't cook at home.  It was also Valentine's day,  and I hadn't showered, so we ended up at Pizza Hut, thinking it wouldn't be too busy there.  Pizza is a major weakness of mine, so I completely went off track.  And as a side note, it was busy, and I ran into someone I know!  Awesome.  Then, since I knew I went off track, I decided why not have some Kudos bars when I got home?  One Kudos bar on a normal day is fine....but when I already ate too many points, and had more than one Kudos bars on top of that, it's not a good thing. 

I woke up yesterday morning determined to undo the damage from Tuesday by being really good at the restaurant. I ordered a salad, but then decided to nibble on a half piece of bread.  That was all I had to do to trigger carb cravings.  When I got home, I indulged in more Kudos bars. Then, when dinner rolled around I took a bigger portion than I should have.  It was even a WW recipe, so I should have had no problems!  But, my rational was that I already ate more points than I should have....the day is already "ruined", so have whatever you want.

The moral of the story is, I have a problem with the"all or nothing" mindset.  Once I take a step outside of my boundaries, I just open the freakin' flood gates and go wild!  I heard a sayings once - if you drop one egg, would you throw the rest of the dozen on the floor too?  Well, no, of course not!  But for some reason I do that with my eating patterns.

I am scared to weigh in tomorrow.  Overeating 3 out of the 7 days does not make my weekly weigh in seem too promising.  I am going to force myself on the scale though.  I need to face the damage I did!  It takes so much work to lose a pound, and I'm angry at myself for possibly gaining back one (or more!) of those pounds I worked so hard to lose.  UGH.

Today I am giving myself NO OPTION of eating outside of my planned foods.  It's back on track for me.    

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hodge Podge

I've got many random things to say, so it's going to be a hodge podge kind of post!  Perfect for a Monday :)

  • Weight loss is going well!  The scale didn't move much this past weigh in; however, I lost inches so I'm happy.  Again, I am so glad I'm taking my measurements this time around.  My favorite food find of the week is.......Claussen Hot & Spicy pickle spears.  YUM-O!  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.  Each pickle is only 5 calories.  I can't believe something so good is 0 points :)
  • Couch to 5K: Not for me.  I take back everything I said!  Day one reminded me why I vowed to never run again.  I get zero enjoyment out of it, and as I was running I was plotting the excuse to avoid running the following day.  I love to walk and it's helping me lose weight/inches.  If I get to a point where nothing works anymore, then I might consider running.  But probably not even then....I promised myself that I would make lifelong changes this time around.  Anything that requires running on a regular basis would not be a lifelong sustainable change for me.  
  • Nolan is home sick today :(  Poor guy has ear pain, a sore throat, and is super congested.  Get better soon Nolan!
  • Luke successfully hung out with my friend and her husband this weekend while Mark and I enjoyed a hot date :)  We had a great time, and so did Luke!  I think he was semi-disappointed when we returned.  They somehow taught him to blow his nose, which still cracks me up.  Apparently my friend's husband put a tissue up to Luke's nose and said blow your nose.  And Luke did, much to his surprise.  Who would have thought a 13 month old could do such a thing?  Not me.  But I hope he continues to do it so we can pack away the dreaded bulb syringe!
  •  I am teaching myself to crochet!  I had considered learning for awhile, and I finally got around to buying some supplies.  In addition to being an enjoyable activity for me, it will also serve as a great reminder of how difficult/frustrating it can be to learn a new skill.  Nolan has to learn many completely new concepts in school, and sometimes he gets frustrated.  Believe me, my empathy for him increased exponentially as I muddled through the different crochet stitches this weekend.  Sometimes as parents we forget to put ourselves in our children's shoes.  Life isn't always a cake walk for them, just as it isn't always easy for us.
  •  I am happy.  Like the true blue totally satisfied kind of happy.  It's funny because our current circumstances are far from perfect in a lot of ways.  It occurred to me while I was out with Mark Saturday night that my happiness stems from our loving marriage.  There is a saying about how the person you marry will be responsible for 90% of your happiness, or 90% of your unhappiness.  That is an epic truth.  There is something very powerful about a strong marriage.....it makes all the craziness of life seem not so bad.  I don't know how I got so lucky in this department, but you'd better believe I am thankful each and every day.  So there you go, my mushy tribute to Valentine's day <3  Stop rolling your eyes!
And that is it.  Off to tend to my sick boy!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Powerful

Do you ever wake up and feel like you can take on the world?  Today is one of those days for me.

Today's theme is power.

I have the power to say no.  No to overeating.  Success feels so good.  It's energizing, addictive.  I have the fuel I need to keep going.

I have the power and the right to say no.  I am divorced, which means I have to share Nolan between another household.  However I will still protect what I find to be sacred: Family time.  Many people like to enroll their child in every activity they can possibly fit in.  It's quickly becoming the norm.  But I don't have to follow the norm.  I will forge my own path for our family.  A mom is more than a taxi.  Parenthood is more than activity coordination.  Activities are important, but I also take interest in other aspects of my children.  I care about their spiritual health.  Their education....both academic and general life lessons.  I care about conversation, and I want to have time to sit and listen to the small details of my family's life.  I care about family dinners at home.  When my children are grown and gone, I want a rush of memories to hit them when they walk through our door.  I want them to remember the smell of dinner cooking.  I want them to remember the laughter and fun that took place in our home.  I want balance in our life, and I will fight whatever fight comes my way to ensure I can continue raising my children the way I see fit.  I don't care what everyone else is doing.  I am only concerned with what I feel is right for our family.  Taking the road less traveled is a good life lesson within itself.

I believe in the power of an apology.  Especially an apology exchanged between a parent and child.  If you've never done it, try it.  You will see the magic that happens.  Children need to see their parents are human beings who sometimes make mistakes.  Children need to learn to take responsibility when they make a mistake, and they need to learn how to forgive.  The parent-child relationship is a wonderful way to teach those lessons.

There is power in grief.  It is a hard journey that no one wishes for.  But we get what we get in life.  I've chosen to keep on living.  Yes there have been awful moments and sometimes I don't know how I've made it this far.  But when I see where I am 13 months after Adam's death, I feel proud.  If I can get through this, then I know I can get through anything.  Again, there is power in grief.

Today is a good day.  The momentum from today will get me through those days I don't feel so powerful.  I am one tough woman who is not afraid.  Of anything, or anyone. 





Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chobani Champions Giveaway!

I have mentioned a few times that I am a huge fan of Chobani yogurt.  Well, I just became an even bigger fan!  Why am I mentioning this particular yogurt yet again?  Because you are going to have a chance to win some Chobani Champions yogurt of your own!  Keep reading to find out how :)

One of the wonderful employees at Chobani came across my post about Luke eating yogurt in lieu of drinking milk, and sent us an awesome package containing:

  • Their two new flavors of  yogurt
  • Magnets
  • A cool retro style metal lunch box  

It was an exciting moment at our house.  When Nolan saw the package, he became convinced that we must be famous ;)  This first picture captures their actual excitement, this is not a pose!


Luke is chilling inside the insulated bag the yogurt was packed in, and Nolan is modeling all the contents of our package :)


 These are the two new flavors of Chobani Champions that you can win - Vanilla Chocolate Chunk and Orange Vanilla!  



I am being honest when I say that both new flavors were a big hit at our house.  Nolan (10 years old) said the yogurt was "amazing".  Coming from a child who generally does not like yogurt, that is impressive!  Luke (13 months old) gobbled down an entire container of Orange Vanilla, and happily sampled Nolan's Vanilla Chocolate Chunk.  My husband and I like the regular Chobani yogurt because it tastes so fresh - there is no hint of artificial flavoring.  Chobani Champions is no different.  As a mom, I am impressed with the ingredient list.  It truly is an all natural product, which is hard to find.  They use evaporated cane juice instead of refined sugar, there is a lot of protein, active cultures, calcium, and even vitamin D!  I was happy when they offered the option of a giveaway, because I'd love to help spread the word about this healthy, yummy product. 

Now for the GIVEAWAY!  Two lucky readers will receive a case of Chobani Champions yogurt, delivered to your door straight from Chobani.  Each case contains 3 packages of Orange Vanilla, and 3 packages of Vanilla Chocolate Chunk.  That means a total of 24 yogurts!  One of my dear friends is running the giveaway through her blog.  All you need to do is visit her site and follow her directions.  You just might be the lucky winner of a case of Chobani Champions yogurt!!

Click this link to enter the giveaway: 

Chobani Champions giveaway link


Also, if you "like" them on Facebook, you can enter to win yogurt through their FB page! Click here to go directly to their FB page.  Check it out!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!






Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shopping woes

When Luke was a tiny baby, shopping was a nightmare with him.  I'm pretty sure I wrote a few posts about some of our special shopping adventures.  After a few failed trips, I simply avoided taking him along.  Then, like all things, the stage passed and he became a great little shopping partner.

Ah, those were the days.  I have memories of him happily sitting in the cart at the grocery store, babbling away and enjoying the experience.  And quietly sitting in his stroller at the mall, sometimes drifting off to sleep while I shopped......

Fast forward to the present time, and the scene isn't so dreamy.  Within the last month or so, grocery store trips have become a struggle.  Mr. Naughty doesn't like to sit in the cart basket in the correct, safe way.  He likes to writhe his body around backwards so he can grab things out of the cart basket.  I usually give him something safe to hold on to, but lately there isn't much I can deem safe for him.  He eats a hole in anything cardboard (I found out the hard way, and had to hand the cashier a box that looked like it had been destroyed by a puppy).  I thought hard plastic containers would be okay, until he threw down a package of sour cream.  It promptly exploded all over the floor.  He would easily eat through regular plastic, cans are too dangerous because he likes to throw things, and glass....self explanatory.  I've tried bringing along small toys for him to hold, but he has no interest in them.  I mean come on, there are way cooler things in the cart!  The last time I took him shopping, I had to resort to holding onto his hands to basically restrain him.  Picture me pushing a cart full of groceries one-handed, while restraining a screaming toddler with the other.  Pure awesomeness.

Retail shopping?  It's not any better.  Well, I should say it's okay as long as he's in his stroller, and the trip is a very quick one.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking Luke shoe shopping (he managed to outgrow his shoes in merely 6 weeks!).  I decided against using the stroller, because he needed to be out of the stroller to test out shoes.  It was a train wreck.  He needs a size 6, and Dillard's was out of his size in all the shoes I was interested in.  He tried on a couple pairs that I was hoping would work, but they were too stiff.  I was tempted to just buy them, because I couldn't imagine having to visit another store with him.  But they are way too expensive to settle for a pair that won't be good for his feet.  So we packed up, and went to Stride Rite.  Luckily they had what we needed, and he got cutie pie Elmo shoes.  But boy did I suffer during the process!  He was running around, grabbing any and all shoes within his reach.  He found packs of headbands at Stride Rite, and was slamming those around.  While I was cleaning up the shoes and headbands, he got away from me and ran into the back where they store all the shoes.  It was truly ridiculous.  The whole time he was laughing and having a grand 'ole time.  I apologized profusely at both stores, and managed to restore their shoe displays to their original form.  Thank goodness for understanding sales people who assured me much worse has happened before.  *sigh*  I will never go shoe shopping alone again.

Like all the other stages, this too shall pass!  Someday soon his listening skills will improve, which will make a world of difference.  He listens pretty well at home (as much as you can expect at this age), but when we are in public he loses all self control....there are too many tempting things.  He's a happy, healthy little guy who is full of life, so I guess I can't complain too much :)