Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Super (heroes) Happy Halloween

This year, we vow to Defend The Candy-less.

To Stand Firm Against Root Beer Barrels and Toothbrushes

To Protect Our Rights To Self Ration Our Own Loot 

To Use Our Sugar Induced High For Good
(and a little bit of evil)

To Only Jump On The Cruddy Furniture

We vow to apologize sincerely when we use our powers
against one another.

And we vow to share gross hard candies with less fortunate adults who are unable to trick or treat for themselves.

Monday, October 29, 2012

10k Training Log: Week One

Here it is Monday, and as promised, I am going to re-cap my first week of training.  First, let me start off by what I have learned.

1. Planning out meal and exercise plans don't do any good unless you actually follow those plans. This would seem like a no-brainer. You would think, right?

2. You shouldn't beat yourself up if you worked really hard all week just to blow it all on one day. You need to enjoy life along the way. So, if your girlfriend invites you to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival, and you spend 8 solid hours eating and drinking yourself around the world, then enjoy it. But you do have to remember to get back on track right away.  Or, you could try moderation. I don't know how. But you could try.

3. Half the battle is just getting on your sneakers.

Now that we have that covered, let's get into the nitty gritty:

Monday:  Attitude is positive. Feeling confident about goals

Breakfast - Fruit Smoothie with a mini whole wheat bagel. Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Apple with peanut butter

Workout- 30 minute Spin Class

Lunch - Hummus and Lettuce Wrapped in Large Flour Tortilla. Water

PM Snack - Yogurt covered Raisins

Dinner - Brown Rice, Grilled Chicken, Broccoli

Bedtime Snack - 2 Cinnamon Graham Crackers

Tuesday:  Ready to take on the day. Resolve is strong.

Breakfast - Egg Beater Omelet with Ham and Veggies  + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Almonds + Grapes

Workout- 2.5 mile Run

Lunch - Taco Salad

PM Snack - Chocolate Yogurt Covered Raisins

Dinner - Lasagna

Bedtime Snack - Small Cookie

Wednesday:  Over confident...accidentally bought naughty cereal.

Breakfast - Yogurt with a bowl of fruit + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Apple + Cheese Stick

Workout- 30 minute spin class

Lunch - Ham Sandwich, Cheeze It's, Grapes

PM Snack - Hard to say - but I'm guessing it was covered in chocolate

Dinner - Chicken over pasta with a little bit of marinara

Bedtime Snack -  Dry cup of Naughty Cereal

Thursday:  This day is a little sketchy.

Breakfast - Chex cereal with cut up strawberries and bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Carmel Mini Rice Cakes

Workout-  Chasing Maggie. Didn't break a sweat.

Lunch -  Ham Sandwich

PM Snack - More of that delicious naughty cereal

Dinner - Frozen Pizza

Bedtime Snack -  I'm guessing it wasn't good.

Friday:  Attitude = What goals?

I started at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival "Around the World" in Mexico with an empanada and ended up in France with creme bruele. What happened in between wasn't pretty. There was fondue and German Beer and ginormous pretzels and sushi rolls and champagne and chocolates. There were Swedish meatballs and fancy coffee.  There was also a Beetles tribute band. Not that that has anything to do with anything. But it was fun, for the record. If you count walking very slowly from food booth to food booth as "exercise", then I got about 6 hours on the books.

Saturday: Resolve, determination and focus are out the window. Hard to believe I was thinking about donuts after all the junk I put in my face the day before.

Breakfast - French Toast with bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - none

Workout-  does going to the grocery store count?

Lunch - Chocolate Protein Bar

PM Snack - Caramel Mini Rice Cakes

Dinner -  Fish, Asparagus, Mushroom Risotto

Bedtime Snack - Hard to say if I stayed awake for one.

Sunday:  Gaining some resolve back, but still thinking about donuts.

Breakfast - Yogurt with a side of cut up strawberries and bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Donut holes

Workout- 4 mile run

Lunch - Salad and Small soup

PM Snack - raisins

Dinner - Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Carrots

Bedtime Snack - pound cake.

So, what does all that add up to as far as the scale is concerned? A one pound loss.  I'll take it. This isn't The Biggest Loser.  This is "slow and steady wins the race."  

The goal for next week is to run 3 times and to stay away from Epcot, and naughty cereal, and chocolate covered things.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I should make pharmaceutical commercials

You beat yourself up a lot when you are a parent. The worst was when I would be holding my ground on an issue (no, you may not have gummy bears for dinner) and one of the girls would relentlessly hound, threaten, throw tantrums or manipulatively sweet talk me until I finally broke.  I would give in, then I would hold a grudge against them. I could picture my future and I was their doormat. Then I would feel guilty that I wasn't creating boundaries for them.

Now, thanks to Prozac, I can clearly see that I am just fostering in them the skills of persistence.  And now that I'm not spending all my time beating myself up, I use my time to be a problem solver - two of those gummy bears they're getting for dinner are actually vitamins!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And I was runnning. (Said in my best Forest Gump voice)

Recently I have been thinking about approaching Forty Years Old.  I don't know when it started, but I think someone asked me how old I was and I responded with "32."  Only then I remembered that I had to give my actual age because I was speaking "on record" (could have been a doctor? I can't remember) and not just how old I feel.  So when I said 37 and 1/4, it kind of didn't feel right.

Forty is going to be here any minute and I want to mark it with some sort of ....victory?  So I got this crazy idea in my head that I should set some big goal.  A goal that would take me 2 3/4 years to reach. Since I just completed my first ever biathlon, (a very mini one = 5k plus a 400 yard swim) and could still walk the next day, I thought maybe, just maybe, I should shoot for doing a full fledged triathlon.

So there it is. My big plan. To go from on-the-verge-of-frumpy, late 30's, mother of two, to (insert super-hero-sounding Dun Dunna Na!) Athlete.

My first step is to complete a 10k.  I am signed up for one in the middle of February. In the process, I also need to drop about 14 pounds that I seemed to have gained in the last 10 months. (Curse you chocolate covered raisins and fig newton cookies!)   The only way I know how to go about this is to come up with a plan (courtesy of Hal Higdon and Weight Watchers) and then track my progress.

I am making this public as a means of keeping accountable. Also, to help anyone who might want to join me (cough cough, hint hint - Aida Urteaga). So, if you are interested in this sort of deal, then check in on Mondays. I will write about the past week's meal plan, exercise schedule and (gulp) weight loss progress. 

That being said, today's plan includes a short I'm off for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stealth Napper

When our first born started staying awake through nap time, I had a serious panic attack. My mother said "maybe it's time to give up the nap."  As calmly as I could, I yelled at her "I NEED THE NAP. WE WILL NOT GIVE UP THE NAP. I CAN'T MAKE IT WITHOUT THE NAP"  We spent weeks on end fighting for two hours in the afternoon before she'd give in and take a nap. Then at bedtime, she had plenty of energy to fight me for another good two hours. Eventually, I saw the light and figured out that without the nap, I'd save on about four hours of futility, and at least bed time would be peaceful. I just had to be brave enough to figure out how to make it through the day without a break.

When our second was old enough to make it through the day, in good spirits, I had no problem giving up the nap. In fact, naps have become a source of fear.  Troy and I take turns reading and putting the girls to bed so we get one-on-one time with each of them every night.  You can tell whose night it is to read to Maggie around 3:30 in the afternoon. It's the parent frantically saying "Don't let her fall asleep!!"

If you walk out of the room for even a minute, and it gets quiet...well, it could be all over. Sure, you think your precious bear cub is playing nicely with some puzzles and she's not even near her favorite place on the couch, so you feel confident that you can go to the bathroom without her falling asleep. But you'd be wrong.

This is what they mean when they say "It's the quiet ones that you have to keep an eye on."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Think Pink

Today I finished my first ever biathlon! It was a 5k run followed by a 400 yard swim. This is what a few of my friends would probably refer to as their Tuesday workout. But for me, today, it was so much more.

The race was a benefit for breast cancer research. I know a ton of women with breasts, so it's obviously a great cause to support.  Seriously though, I am grateful that I am not currently aware of anyone struggling with this type of cancer.   That being said, today as I started my run, I couldn't help but think of two women I do know fighting their own battles with different types of cancer.

As I settled into a nice steady pace, I began to think about these two women. The first I call a cousin, although we're not related. She's the mother of two young boys, wife to a loving man and the recent recipient of news that she has stage IV brain cancer.  The other woman, I haven't actually met. She married one of my college roommates three years ago, only to find out about a year later that she had stage IV lung cancer. She's never smoked in her life.

Since they were on my heart, I started to pray for them. I prayed for healing. I prayed for release from pain. I prayed for comforting of their fears. I prayed for physical support from those around them. I prayed for emotional support and encouragement. I prayed that they would find it easy to love. I prayed that bouts of discouragement be long overshadowed by pure joy.  I found myself rounding the corner to the finish line for the run, very aware of my own physical fatigue and pushed on to sprint the last bit, spurred on by the fight that my two lady friends, along with countless others, are waging against a serious enemy.

After the running portion of the race was finished, I headed to the pool. It was just a short wait before a lane had opened up. Anxious to get started, I didn't think about much the first couple of lengths but how to control my breathing. Soon, I started feeling lighter. Refreshed. My skin had cooled off and the weightlessness of the water gave me new energy. I wasn't the fastest kid in the pool, but as far as I knew, I was the youngest feeling person there.  I swam on with a childlike joy of being in water.

Again, I began to think of my friends; how the running portion of my race was like their fights. Pounding and hot and hard and at some points seemingly endless. And in my head I kept hearing this: Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 41:30-31)

So, to my two friends, and all of those currently fighting, what I will keep praying is that you will get to the swim. Light, relieved of the worry, supported by your own bodies to move freely and easily through cleansing water only to be made new again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Me Too

So I joined this Mothers Of Preschoolers group. On accounta I am one, and misery loves company I had heard some great things about it. Also, one of my newest favorite people said I could sit at her table. 

Anyway, today's topic was about getting connected with other moms. Sometimes it's not easy. You may find someone you totally adore, but your kid - who is normally a mellow, sweet love bug - always ends up punching her kid in the throat.  Now your new friend won't even answer your calls.  Or your kid begs and begs and begs you to call her favorite friend for a play date, but that kid's mom smells like patchouli, which would be totally cool if it didn't give you a migraine.

I've digressed.  So part of today's discussion was taking risks and sharing personal things about yourself a little at a time, until you meet someone that says Me Too. Then you know you've found a lady you can connect with.  I am all sorts of ready to share and make some new lady friends, but I may need to use a filter.  The discussion went a little like this:

Starter Question: Would you ever invite someone to your house, last minute, if you knew your house was dirty?

No, no, no.  We mostly agreed. Unless you know the person really well.  At this point I think that everyone and I are on the same page with what "Really Well" means and this is - that they've been over once when the house was clean (so they know I am capable of cleaning it) and are willing to accept a blanket "I'm sorry if you stick to anything" sort of apology from there on out.

Lady #1: My husband is really helpful with keeping things up. If things are getting out of control he'll get the rag and polish out and do some dusting.

(Some other ladies were nodding.)

Me: Uhm. Dusting? I've purchased one can of Pledge since we moved to Florida two years ago.

Rest of the table:  cricket noises, blank stares

Me: Really? No one's gonna "Me Too" to that?

Rest of the table: shaking their heads "no" and interjecting things like "oh no, I'm a freak about cleaning."

I almost got up and requested a new table, but then I overheard someone say "My daughter is only 4 and her sass has me terrified of the teenage years."  I sat back down because I had some things to add to this conversation. In fact, I had a lot to add.  I didn't even get to the part about the Taz, the fruit of my very loins, calling me Stepmother.

Anyway, I like this group of ladies and it's a safe place to share, network, commiserate, celebrate and eat. (These women really know how to put on a spread.)  But I do think it will be a while before I share things like "This morning I found two peanut butter M&M's in Maggie's car seat that didn't have hair on them, so I ate them."   That kind of information is best left to sharing with all 28 of you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Costume Sneak Peak

The Taz came around the corner.
Her hip was popped, one arm dangling all too-cool-for-school style,
the other arm was "holding up the wall."

"Mom. I'm no ordinary woman."
And Bear Cub just sauntered up all quiet-like. Her super power is her stealth-ness.

They will make a great team, when the time comes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Because, sometimes fresh air isn't enough

When you need your fresh air to be really fresh....
Part of me wanted to like the owner of this bike right away. But then he picked up a lizard and started chasing my Taz around the playground with it. Luckily, she's still "on love" with Jonah from the pool, so she wasn't immediately attracted to his mean-ness.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Ok, listen. In recent weeks I have been a little leery when my Tazmanian Princess has mentioned being "on love" with a boy named Ian. First of all, when I asked if he was funny, she said "no." Strike One.  Second, she came home last week with a note from the teacher that said she had a hard time following directions. Her response to my inquiry was this "Well, Ian was sticking his tongue out at me, it was really cute, but I had to push it back into his mouth, so that's when I got on the warning line."  Strike Two.

Now come to find out, this Ian is the same Ian that was in her pre-kindergarten class who was out of school last year, for over a week, because he broke his arm. AND, come to find out some more, Ian who "broke" his arm was really out because he found his grandpa's gun and SHOT himself in said arm. Strike Three.

You can imagine my relief when we were at the pool this weekend and Rylee started playing with a boy named Jonah. After ten minutes of water races The Taz whispers in my ear. "What's his name? I'm in love with him."   Ah Jonah, who lives in Pennsylvania and is only here for 3 more days and has never shot himself in the arm. You, sweet Jonah, have my approval.