Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our 4th of July Surprise

We're relatively new to Wisconsin.

We never get invited to people's holiday activities because of that newness. People have their own families, traditions, and lives that just don't include us.

Typically it's on these smallish holidays that I get a bit blue. While everyone else is grilling and having a great time, the 4 of us just sit here doing nothing, wishing we were invited.
This year we decided to invite one family, who we met through our kids school, to our house. We've spent quite a bit of time together over the past few months due to play dates and such, and we've found we have a lot in common. They said yes.
Finally, not alone and bored on a holiday!

We had a nice cookout, and I made all super healthy foods, which they appreciated because they like to eat the way we do.

Towards the end of the evening the husband of my friend came in the house to tell us there were 2 hot air balloons coming toward our house in the back. We grabbed cameras and ran out.

One of the balloons took off, but the other one just kept coming right at us, super low. So low in fact, we could hear the people in the balloon talking! We yelled hello. They yelled hello.

Then the pilot said "Hey, can I land this in your driveway?".

Almost hit our tree!

Ha ha, sure, go ahead. Set it down and join us for a beer. Giggle. He's kidding, right?
Nope, not kidding!



He truly needed an open place, free of power lines, to set it down. So he did. My kids freaked out!
My younger daughter said "I just can't even speak right now" and the older one said "This isn't something you see every day!".



He let the kids get in the basket. Then he deflated the balloon, which was so huge it lay across the whole street and into the neighbors driveway. Then he taught the kids how to pack it up.
Then we all had champagne!

Seriously. Where who thought this stuff happened in real life? My kids could not stop smiling!

Best 4th of July ever.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Phew, we're back from our long trip to New York.
We were gone for a total of 9 days and took just about every form of transportation during that time.

First we drove from WI to our hometown in Upstate NY. We spent one night there then flew to NYC the next morning. At the end of our stay in NYC, we took the Amtrak train back to our hometown for another couple of nights, then we drove back to WI. Are you still with me? It was absolutely exhausting!

Since there were 7 of us on this trip, we rented an apartment in a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was a 4th floor walk-up. In case you're wondering, that means no elevator. I had no problem getting in 15-20 thousand steps on the pedometer each day!



We had a patio and a balcony which were awesome for hanging out after the kiddos went to bed. The patio and balcony were opposite each other so if the sun was too hot in one place, we just went to the other.

The most amazing and wonderful thing we saw while in NY was the brand new World Trade Center. It's actually called "One World", and it's beyond fabulous.
Of course I was in awe of the architecture, because it is truly a masterpiece. However, I was also overcome by the emotion and symbolism wrapped into this building.



Once at the top, you can see the entire city and New Jersey. I can't even describe it. Just make sure if you ever have the opportunity to go to NYC, this is the one thing that you MUST SEE.


Here you can see my kids looking out over the city. They really could have stayed there forever.

We have spoken to our kids about the tragedy of 9/11 and they learn about it in school. The significance of all those names was not lost on them.


This part was very emotional for me even though I didn't personally know anyone who died in the attack.
So many names.

We also got to visit with my husband's extended family who all live on Long Island. That was actually the main point of the trip since his one aunt is not in good health. They're a fun bunch of people and they showed us a great time.

Now that we're home, we're trying to get back into our regular routines. That means summer school for the kids, work for the hubby, and TONS of gardening, laundry, and shopping for me.
I'm sore from pulling weeds! I think when the home owner goes out of town, the weeds call all their friends over for a party!

I still got up and went to my spin class this morning though, because I'm just that crazy.

That's all for now folks.

Hope you enjoyed the pics. Have a great night!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ten Things Thursday

Catching up is hard to do...

1. I totally suck at keeping up with this blog. I guess it's a combination of being a busy mom of two active kiddos, and just not being into it because I'm no longer a "bandster" and not losing weight. I'm trying, but I've lost my gusto.

2. We're going on a trip to NY next week. It's like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, for real. We're driving 12 hours, stopping for one night, flying to NYC, staying a few days there, then taking a nice relaxing train ride back to the in-laws, then doing the 12 hour drive back to Wisconsin! I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate everyone and everything after that. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

3. I am pretty psyched to be taking the kids to see the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade. THAT is going to be awesome. Pictures are promised.

4. I found this fella on the side of my house this morning. I figured out that his wings were wet so he hung out there for a couple hours until he dried out and then he took off. Pretty cool though.


5. I did that 5K run that I posted about last time. It was like a page out of Murphy's Law Book leading up to the day of the race. First I didn't have the full 6 weeks to train. Then, 2 weeks before the race I gouged a huge HOLE out of the bottom of my big toe while working in the garden. There was blood everywhere! That took me out of my training routine for a full week. Then, the day of the race it poured cats and dogs, and the forecast was calling for thunderstorms. Turned out to only rain for the first mile, then it got really hot and humid, but at least the sun was out. It was a nice drive and the kids liked seeing me cross the finish line, so that made it all worth it.

6. This week my kids started summer school. It's all fun stuff that they get to pick like yoga, origami, fishing, etc. They're only there for 2 hours each day, and the school is about 2.2 miles from my house. I had the brilliant idea that I'd drop them off, and walk home. Then I'd walk back when it was time to pick them up which would give me 4.4 miles per day. Let me tell you, it was exhilarating, and I got a nice tan going on. However, the nail on my second toe is about to fall off. Oh, let me tell you how sore that thing is right now! I can't put a shoe on. What is it with me and toes?! So, I wasn't able to do the walk today, while waiting for this nail to fall off. I got a lot of errands done instead, which will help for the road trip prep.

7. I really should keep track of the amount of hours I spend each year in the garden and yard. We have mutant weeds here that just won't quit. Gardening is my new daily work out but it's getting old pretty darn quick. I think I pull weeds in my sleep.

8. I recently discovered that I'm deficient in CoQ10. Do you take it? I never did and realized that anyone above the age of 40 should be taking it, and anyone who takes statins for cholesterol should REALLY be on it. I can't believe the difference in the way I feel. I have a ton more energy and fewer aches and pains, after only being on it for 5 days. I was really starting to be concerned that I had a serious health issue brewing. I'm so glad I did my research.

9. I made some amazing muffins tonight, which was  recipe from one of the trainers at my old gym. They turned out great and have no sugar in them at all.
Here's the recipe.

2 C oatmeal
2 scoops protein powder
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
1tsp. baking soda
1tsp. salt
fresh blueberries (or really any fruit you like)

Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes

So simple, and so delicious. These will be our breakfast on the road trip this weekend.

10. I'm on my 3rd load of laundry and I have a very messy kitchen. I have to go get it done so I can be ready for the trip. Gotta' run.
Have a great weekend folks!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I Ache Like an Old Woman

For the last 2 weekends, I've been digging in the garden, weeding, and hauling dirt for hours and hours. I hurt.
My hip and back are angry.
But, I keep going, for several reasons.

1. The previous owners left us a HUGE raised bed garden. I always wanted raised beds. That must have been a lot of work for them to get this thing up and running, and I should be grateful that it was just left here for me.
2. I'm committed to having an awesome supply of fresh veggies this year. We eat a lot of vegetables in this family, so what's better than growing them myself!
Last year the garden didn't do very well and I pretty much gave up by mid-summer.
3. Digging in the dirt is free therapy!

I've got a bunch of seeds growing in the sun room, waiting to be moved out once it's warm enough. Also, my MIL sent me a nice gift card for a garden shop so I can go pick out other plants when the time comes.

All this work, on top of my regular gym routine, has me shuffling along like a very old woman. My everything hurts. I'm reminded that I'm no spring chicken and that pisses me off.

OH, and because I'm just that crazy, I signed up to run a 5K in less than 5 weeks. So, that means I'm doing the C25K program 3 days a week (and I had to skip week 1).
Today is a run day for me. You know I don't love running. It's just never going to be my favorite thing. Hubby is a marathon runner, in fact he just ran the WI marathon over the weekend. He convinced me to sign up for a 'fun' race, so I did. Lord help me.

That's it for now...going to take my old, creaky behind to bed early tonight and hope for a pain free tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Birthday Cake Boss, and Other Thoughts

Hello Peeps!
Since I last wrote, we had another birthday in our house. My baby girl turned 8. I kept telling her all month that I wasn't going to allow it, that we'd just say she was 7 for another year, but she wasn't having it.
This kid is very tech savvy and likes to search for video tutorials on line. She found the cake she wanted for her birthday and that was that.
I can bake, but I am no cake boss. Didn't matter, this kid wanted this cake, and it had to be done.

So, here are a couple pics so you can ooh and ahh about how awesome I am as a mother...



Why yes, those are Peeps all around the outside, and pastel M&M's around the top. Because that's what the kid wanted, so that's what she got!
This sucker took 2 cake mixes, an insane amount of food coloring, and a truck load of frosting.
Are you wondering how much cake I ate?
NONE!
Nope, remember sugar is my crack, so all the left overs went home with the parents.
I did steal a few M&M's off the top, because I am human after all, but felt I made a good decision to send the rest away so I wouldn't be tempted. I even tossed out the extra frosting.
I wish I had a pic of before it was cut, but those are on my phone.

Honestly, the cake wasn't that hard to make. The most time consuming part was placing the M&M's on the top in such an intricate pattern. However, all the parents and kids were totally impressed and couldn't believe I made it, so I'm now the mother of the year. I have them all fooled!

In other news...
I'm learning to say NO.
I've decided life is too short to do things that I don't enjoy.
Example: I've been teaching Sunday school here pretty much since we moved in and found a church. I don't particularly care for the job, and me being in Sunday school leaves my husband in church alone. I'd like to sit with him during worship. I know it's a small thing but I've decided I'm not going to do it any more.
Also, I help out in the library one day a week at my  kids school. I don't like that job either. I do plenty of other volunteer things in the school all throughout the year, but the book shelving thing isn't my favorite. So, I'm not doing it any more. I'm learning to say NO.

My time is precious. I could be doing something else that I find more rewarding. I might sign up to do a shift at the local food pantry instead.
Who knows what it will be, I'm just happy I'm learning to say no to the things I don't really want to do!

And more other news...
I signed my kids up for zumba at my gym.
How fun is that? I really hope they like it. It's only 30 minutes,once a week, but hopefully it'll be a fun form of exercise for them and they'll enjoy it.
Parents are not allowed in so I'll use that 30 minutes to work on the leg machines. I did already to to Pump this morning, but my legs could use the extra help for sure!
Then I'll be right back there before the sun rises for my Wednesday spin class. You'd think I would be skinny, right? Ha!

That is all for now. I must go mop my kitchen because, as I tell my kids "If the president came to visit, I'd be so embarrassed right now!".

Have a great night.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Lots of Catching Up to Do!

Wow, it was March 20 the last time I wrote!

Right after that last post, I was hit by a horrible sinus/upper respiratory infection that knocked me off my feet. It was just awful. I didn't even have the strength to shower for 2 days.

Luckily I was all better in time for my hubby's 40th birthday. He didn't want a party so the kiddos and I surprised him with a super fancy dinner when he got home from work, and then sent him off for a one hour massage. That was one happy man.

If you've followed me for a while, you know the hubs is a super healthy eater. He's into all natural, nothing fried, no chemicals, etc. So, it was my mission to make a dinner that we would all enjoy and would pass the husband health test.
I am happy to report, I succeeded! It was fantastic. I even had to take a picture of my plate because it looked so good.


It was broiled salmon and a new quinoa dish I tried and loved. Don't let the portion on this plate fool you, I definitely went back for more salmon and more asparagus!
Here's the recipe for the quinoa. I skipped the jalapeno and cilantro since we don't really like either of those flavors.

Giving up meat for Lent has forced me out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I didn't want to just put pasta on the table every day and call it vegetarian. I made lots of new dishes and nobody really missed the meat. In fact, now that Lent is over, I haven't felt the urge to go out and buy meat. I wonder if I'll feel sick eating it now after 40+ days without it.

Yesterday was Eater and we hosted some friends at our house. I instinctively made an all vegetarian meal, not even thinking about the fact that I could have meat since it was Easter. Everything turned out great, especially the egg dish. There were no left overs, and we were wishing there were.
Here's my little dessert tower which the kids loved.



Those little balls on top are called Carrot Cake Bites and I found them on some raw/vegan website. I don't have the recipe here but they were made of carrot, dates, raisins, orange zest and almonds, then rolled in coconut. I just had some of the left overs for breakfast! They were awesome, and not too sweet.
The birds nests were mostly for the kids. I thought they were cute.

The weather here has been great so we had an egg hunt outside. We have a HUGE yard, so there was a lot of running around to burn off the breakfast and sugar.

Oh, speaking of sugar. You know I also gave up sugar for Lent. I made it all the way to Good Friday, and then I caved. I was putting together Easter baskets for the kiddos and without thinking, tossed a few jelly beans in my  mouth. Well, you know what happened next. I had a few more, then a few more. Then you know what I did? I threw out the rest of the bag. I had put just enough in the baskets for the kids, and really didn't need or want the left overs in the house, so in the trash they went.
I noticed after 40 days of not sugar, that my right eye almost immediately went blurry. Wow. Weird and scary all at the same time.

After all our friends left, and we all took a short nap, we went for a family walk. It's funny to hear from our friends on the east coast about how much snow they have because it's definitely spring here. It's cold in the mornings but warms up nicely during the day.

I got up early today and went for a good brisk walk and got to see the sunrise, which is my favorite part of the day. I even got to see a beautiful cardinal, and he was singing his morning song.

So, we've had some wonderful family and friend celebrations over the past month. We're all healthy and happy, and grateful. Things are not about to wind down any time soon since the in-laws are on their way to visit and will be here for 5 days while we celebrate my little one's birthday.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and are enjoying some spring weather where you are.
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Self Imposed Bed Rest

It's 10am. and I'm still in bed. Well, technically I got up and got the kiddos off to school, then hopped back in bed. And, truth be told, I don't really like it!

Here's the thing.
I may have mentioned before that in my old age, the dreaded T.O.M. is downright horrendous. I hemorrhage every month to the point that I wonder how I can still be alive after losing so much blood. Every month I become anemic too, as an added bonus.

I've talked to the doc about it and done loads of research, and aside from having a medical procedure (that my insurance won't cover), they all say the same thing. BED REST on the heaviest days.

Ha, that's comical. When does a working mother of 2 active kids get a chance for bed rest? Unfortunately my heaviest days usually fall on the day that I have to be on my feet, or have a million things to do that can't be rescheduled.

Except for today. Today for the first time ever, the heavy day is happening on my day off from work and I have no other plans. So, I'm giving rest a good try.

I had my coffee in bed.
I filled out permission slips for the kids in bed.
I watched some old episodes of Dateline in bed.
I'm now writing a blog post from my bed.

And it's only been 90 minutes.

I know I can't take much more of this. I am not made from the resting type of people. My people find stuff to do even when it seems everything is done. We do not sit idle.

While sitting here I'm thinking about how I could be cleaning out and organizing the hall closet since it's the first day of spring.
I'm also thinking about how I could be prepping dinner, or putting up the rest of the Easter decorations. Cleaning the toilets? Wiping the toothpaste off all the bathroom mirrors? Catching up on laundry. There's always laundry!

Nope, I'm forcing myself to sit here, and getting anxious, all because of this stupid monthly visitor that is trying to kill me. That's my day so far.

Soon I will get up because I haven't even had breakfast, except for a scoop of protein powder in my coffee.
Sitting here with my feet up, while a very nice thought, is just not me.
I tried. I think I'm done.

Have a wonderful, and restful weekend you guys!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Six Things Saturday

Or should we just call it "I can't come up with a full post, so let me share this random crap with you"?

This was supposed to be a "Ten Things Thursday" post, but I got sidetracked. Plus, I only have 6 things, so here ya' go.

1. I never thought in a million years I'd say (or type) these words.
I just made reservations for lunch at the American G1rl place in Chi-town. Yup, gonna' shell out $70 for me and my two angels to have lunch on Mother's day weekend. That's not a special Mom's day brunch price, that's just their regular WAY overpriced every day lunch. Never thought I'd do it.
But, here I am with my 8 and 9 year old kiddos who think their parents are the absolute best for coming up with this idea. Hey, you only live once, right?

2. I skipped the gym all last week. I'm on the injured list. The week before I went all Bad Ass and upped my squat and lunge weights AND went to Pump 3 times instead of 2. By Friday I could hardly walk. My hip is a super jerk and hates me. It's the SI joint (google it), it flares up from time to time and causes all kinds of havoc in my life. Like, making it difficult to walk, sit, stand, bend, sleep. Just those little things that I need to do EVERY day! I am still in pain this week but it's slightly better. I went to the gym but didn't do heavy weights. I also did the elliptical and treadmill at home twice. I've been doing yoga to try to get things back in shape with the hip. I probably should go to the chiro, but I hate his secretary, so I tend to avoid the place.
So for now I'm wearing sneakers every day, and walking around like an old lady. It's attractive.

3. Speaking of the gym...I went back to my early morning spin class yesterday. Can you believe I willingly set my alarm for 5am. and actually got up and left the house? It must be spring. I used to go regularly until the temperatures got to be -20 all the time, and I just couldn't do it.
Who the heck wants to get out of bed when it's cold, dark, and windy? Not me, I can tell you that.
So, now that the temps are steadily on the rise, I'm up and out and exercising super early (before I can talk myself out of it).

4. My 9 year old reformed picky eater has been asking for spinach smoothies in the morning. Yesterday I was out of spinach and she refused to eat the orange/banana/pineapple smoothie that I made. She said it's just not the same without spinach. What!? Have I been transported to some alternate universe? Or has my daughter been taken over by an alien?
Also, she noticed after 2 days of green smoothies, the huge bruise she had on her knee was pretty much gone. I like that she gets the connection between food and health. Teach them well!

5. The no meat for Lent thing is still a big hit in our house. Tonight we had baked cod, roasted asparagus, and a tomato salad. No starch! I could have put bread or pasta on the table but I figured we don't need it and if someone really missed it, they could get up and get it themselves. Nobody said a word. This was my first attempt at asparagus and it was awesome. I have some left over for tomorrows lunch. I've heard from many people that it will make my pee smell weird? That should be exciting.

6. With the warmer temperatures, I was anxious to start going for my awesome neighborhood walks. I decided to head out yesterday afternoon, and take it slow due to the hip issue. On the way out, I was feeling great and not in much pain. On the way back, whole different story! I found myself wishing and hoping that a helicopter would swoop down and take me home to my bed.
Got home and had to ice the hip and take a nap.
I remember my mom always being old in my mind. She had arthritis throughout her body and had lots of aches and pains. I don't want to be that person. I can't take it.
Let's hope for a full recovery.

OK folks, time to get breakfast and get ready for the day.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Good Food is Not Fast...

and fast food is not good.

With my new found love of vegetables, and my Lenten commitment to go meatless, I've started to get pretty creative in the kitchen. I've left my comfort zone.
I decided that going meat-free would not mean eating lots of pasta and rice. 
I wanted to make a positive difference in my health, and the health of my family.

That takes time!

I swear most days I start prepping dinner at 3:00. No joke.

On Tuesday evening I wanted to make some sort of Quinoa. My husband has been eating the stuff for years, but I could never get past the 'dirt' smell. I was determined to like it. It's so healthy and full of real protein.
I diced up and cooked a large sweet potato along with onions and garlic. I cooked the Quinoa in organic vegetable broth instead of just water. When both were done, I threw it all together in one bowl and this is what I got...


It was DELICIOUS! Hubby and I couldn't stop eating it. The texture and aroma were perfect. Tons of protein and veggies, and so filling.
I guess I'm getting better at this vegetarian stuff.

I also roasted a load of Brussel Sprouts. I did a ton because I knew it would be a good thing to take to work for lunch the next day.
They may not look really pretty, but those little heads taste amazing when roasted with onions and olive oil.


Last night I made lentils. No picture of that because, let's face it, lentils look like poo. My kids wouldn't even try them because, as they put it, "we don't eat poop!". I can't blame them. They do look pretty bad but if you can get past that, they are pretty good!

Tonight will just be tofu and brown rice because it's easy and I know the kids will eat it. I know, weird, my kids like tofu. I never claimed we were normal.

My house is full of GS cookies right now and I have not even had one. I remind myself that I don't really like them anyway, and if I start back on sugar, I won't be able to stop, so that's kept me away from the boxes so far. I'm giving most of them away to our 'helper's like the postal carrier, piano teacher, etc. Soon they will all be gone and I can get on with my life!

That's it for now folks.
Have a happy, safe, and healthy weekend!


Monday, February 23, 2015

I Didn't Watch The Oscars, and Other Random Stuff

I watched the red carpet with my girls because they love the fancy dresses. As soon as they went to bed, hubby and I popped in a movie and watched it in bed. No Oscars for us. We haven't seen most of the movies anyway, so why bother. 

I did get to see my man Liam Neeson walk on stage just before turning the TV off though. I know he's getting up there in age but that man still does it for me.
Then I got lots of razzing from my kids about how I have crushes on all these 'really old guys'. It was hilarious!

Are you practicing Lent?
I usually give up sugar. I know I feel better when I'm off the 'crack', and for some reason it's easier to stick with it when it's for Lent. I actually started a few weeks before Lent but am continuing with it now that 'God is watching'!

I'm also giving up meat for the full 40 days (not just on Fridays). This may seem extreme to many, but for me I don't think it's that big of a deal. I don't eat red meat at all anyway, so I'm really giving up chicken and turkey.
I found an all natural, organic veggie burger that the hubby and I both love, so I've been using those when my meal plan falls short. But other than that I've been enjoying cooking with beans and quinoa. I've also been roasting vegetables and LOVING it. Who knew roasted cauliflower could taste so different from regular cauliflower! 
I think eating more vegetables has helped me look and feel better. My skin is definitely showing improvement.
Now, as if giving up meat AND sugar wasn't enough, I'm also doing away with packaged/processed foods. Nothing out of a box. No granola bars, pretzels, crackers, cereal...
I did have one slip last week. I was at the kids school all afternoon. I brought a bottle of water and some fresh strawberries but it wasn't enough for the 4 hours I was there. So, I snuck an organic Kind bar from my kids cubby and had that to hold me until we got home. Kind bars are non GMO, gluten free, so not too bad for a 'cheat'.

My kids have today off (some sort of teacher work day) so I'm taking them bowling. If we don't go somewhere they'll sit on the couch looking at a screen all day. I want to avoid that.

There's another wind chill advisory for today so playing outside is not an option.
I have to say as sick and tired I am of this horribly cold weather, our family and friends back east have it way worse. They're getting the cold AND snow. We don't have any snow here in Wisconsin, and don't have any in the forecast. I call that a win for us.

I am SO ready for spring so I can get out there and walk the hills again. I really miss that. I remember last year heading out before the sun and watching it rise while I was on my walk. That was the best part of my day.

Well,the kids are starting to wake up so I better get on breakfast duty. Just wanted to check in since I haven't posted in a long time.

Have a great and healthy day today!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tummy Trouble and I Got a New Gadget

So, I've been trying my best to avoid gluten for some time now. I've noticed that when I have gluten, I get a bloated tummy, look pregnant, and get really gassy. So staying away from it has helped me feel better.
You know I've also been avoiding sugar, and feeling more in control of my cravings as a result.

Well,today I had the desire to bake something. I wanted to make muffins for the kids, but wanted a recipe that I would be able to eat too.

I found this recipe but used gluten free flour instead of the wheat. I also used natural apple sauce instead of butter. No sugar, no gluten. Awesome.
They turned out great. Not very sweet at all, which was what I was looking for.

Well, here we are a few hours later and my stomach is trying to kill me. I feel like I have a brick in there. Actually, I feel that at any moment I may explode.
Could it be the gluten free flour?
I've never used it before but read the ingredients and it's all just normal stuff.
The good news is I have not had the need to eat anything since those 2 muffins this afternoon.
The stomach is closed for business.

In other news, I got a new kitchen gadget today.
I had to stand and watch a pretty stupid, long winded demonstration at WallyWorld in order to get it, but you know I love free stuff!


This little trinket that so clearly states that it was made in China (and probably costs .01 to make 5 of them) is a pretty neat thing to have around!
I made these cute little zucchini spirals tonight.



Tomorrow I'm planning on curly sweet potatoes. It's so easy to do and so fun. The kids got a huge kick out of it. I have high hopes that they'll actually start to eat vegetables if they can make them curly!

Speaking of tomorrow, wish me luck, say a few prayers, whatever it is that you do.
The kids and I are going on a field trip at a chocolate shop. Lord help me! I'm planning on bringing a book and sitting in a corner to read while they get their tour and learn how to make chocolate treats. They've been told that not only will they get to sample the treats while they're there, that they will also make something to bring home. Oh good, stab me now.

Will I be strong enough?
Will I remember that I am truly a sugar addict and can't stop at one bite, EVER!?
Send me strength people!

I'm going to bed early tonight and hoping to actually get some good sleep. We make better decisions when we're well rested, right?
Last night I hardly slept at all and I fully blame my husband for that. He's not even on this continent at the moment, so how can I blame him? It's his absence that gives me restless nights, that's why. He's not there and I wake up all night long looking for him.
Tonight I'm taking Tylenol and hoping for the best because tomorrow I will not fall off this wagon!

That's it for now folks. Have a great night and be well!

Friday, January 30, 2015

It's Thursday! Or at Least it Was When I Started Writing This Post.

My favorite day.
Ten Things Thursday.
I need a random day because apparently putting together a full blog post seems to be beyond my ability these days.

Here goes:

1. I'm still mostly on my deprivation diet. I say mostly because the day before my T.O.M. started I pretty much ate everything that wasn't nailed down. Carbs were calling my name that day.
I haven't weighed myself again because of T.O.M., and hopping on the scale right now would be sadistic.

2. My kid is sick. Again. We were all sick between Christmas and New Year's, and now the kid has it again. I hate school germs.

3. Remember when I mentioned in my last post that hubby was in China on business? Welp, turns out he's going again on Monday. Telling the kids that Daddy is leaving again, even though he just got back, was real fun. He really shouldn't have unpacked.

4. I have discovered roasted vegetables. Oh my, when I roasted a head of cauliflower with garlic and onions, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Hubby and I ate the whole darn thing ourselves and  wished we had more. I'd say there are worse things in life.

5. I'm taking the girls to Disney on Ice next week. We've never been and I've always wanted to take them. Tickets are pretty expensive for this stuff, and I could never justify the expense. I happened to have a coupon code for 30% off, and still had some money left from my Bingo winnings a few months back (did I ever post about that?)...and since it's just us girls next week, I figured it's time. My oldest is almost too old to even want to go to such things, so I want to do this before it's too late. I hope it's awesome!

6. My new favorite beverage is steaming hot decaf coffee with a scoop of chocolate flavored protein powder and stevia. Yummmm, it's like grown up hot chocolate.

7. I don't love football (understatement) but there is a slight chance I will watch some of the big game this weekend. My brother has a very good friend who is a referee for the game. Because of his job, I've learned about the game a bit more, and my husband is so stinkin' happy that I just might sit and watch more than the commercials with him this year!

8. Couldn't go to my weight lifting class yesterday due to a work thing. Going tomorrow to make up for it.

9. We went to see American Sniper today. No matter what you feel about the war in Iraq (I'm not a supporter), you will walk away with a greater appreciation for our military. I can't even imagine doing the job they do every day. It was an amazing story.

10. It's 4:00 and I have no idea what's for dinner. That's my problem. Lack of planning. I just went shopping yesterday, you'd think I would have figured out something to feed these people!

Well, that post took me a very long time to write due to many of life's interruptions.
Maybe I'll get to write more when the hubs is out of the country and the kids are in bed.
Until then, be well!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Down 6 pounds in 6 days

I've gotten back to the business of losing weight.
I've been so disappointed in myself and my weight gain for so long, I decided enough was enough.
The scale just kept going up and up and up.

After Christmas, even though I avoided all sweets and alcohol, my size 14 jeans were getting uncomfortable. For those who have followed me for a while, you know I spent many years at a nice size 10. Then my band was removed and all hell broke loose.

So, how have I managed to lose 6 pounds in less than a week?

Deprivation. 
Complete and utter deprivation of any food enjoyment.

Absolutely NO sugar
NO dairy (I'm lactose intolerant)
NO gluten (I was getting bloated after eating anything with gluten)
NO bread, NO pasta, NO rice.
NO snack foods
NO peanut butter (my downfall)

Let's just say, I don't do much chewing these days. I'm doing a mostly liquid diet.
Protein shakes for breakfast and lunch. Maybe a veggie burger and a piece of fruit for dinner. Lots of decaf coffee or green tea in between.

You might think this is extreme, and I do too, except that I know my metabolism is so messed up from years of yo-yo dieting, then having the band, and then not having the band, that a 'normal' diet doesn't work for me.
The week we were back home with our family for Christmas, I gained 4 pounds just by eating normal, healthy meals. We're not talking fried foods or fast foods. My in-laws eat a very healthy diet full of whole grains and vegetables. Fruit for dessert.
It's just that I CANNOT eat 3 normal meals a day and maintain my weight. I just can't.

So, now that I'm at the end of my first full week of this 'deprivation diet', let's see where things stand.

My sugar cravings are almost completely gone.
I made chocolate chip pancakes for my kids yesterday and did NOT even take a nibble.
I now make my kids lunches without sneaking in a pretzel or two. That was a hard one.
My jeans are loose again.
I feel better and less bloated.
My face is less puffy.
I pee ALL the time. It's pretty annoying.

So far, this is what works for me. I'm not saying I can stick to this for the rest of my life. I know there are always going to be social gatherings or times when I just have to eat out, but at least I finally found something that actually works for me.

I do have to say it's been easier to stick to it this week because my husband has been out of the country. I'm not cooking for him so I just give the kids something simple while I have my plain veggie burger or shake. Once he's back and we're eating at the dining room table as a family again, this may get a bit more difficult. However, now that I've detoxed from the sugar, I'm hoping I have the strength to stick to it.

I sure could use you guys, my faithful readers for encouragement and support.
Thanks!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The 2 month recap

How is it possible that 2 months have passed and I haven't written a post?!
I can't even believe it myself. I think about blogging all the time. I just never get around to actually doing it. It doesn't help that I have 2 kids who always need the computer for something, and I rarely get to use it.

Here's what's been going on around here:

It's -4 friggin' degrees out. I want so badly to run/walk outside. I tell my husband that I'm very delicate and if I went out in this weather, I would surely die. Immediately.
Meanwhile, he doesn't even wear a coat. Silly boys.

Our Thanksgiving plans were derailed by rioting in Missouri, so we went out to dinner for the first time EVER in my whole life. The meal was surprisingly good. Then we went to a hotel downtown so the kids could play in the pool and have a change of scenery. And mostly because if we sat home I would surely get depressed thinking about how I miss being with my family.

Right before Christmas we had 2 bathrooms remodeled. Not a full tear out, but definitely a nice face lift. It helps that the hubby works for a company that sells vanities, sinks, faucets, etc.
Our house was in 'construction mode' for a couple weeks, and it nearly drove me crazy.

Kids bath. New floor,vanity, and paint.

Santa came to our house the week before Christmas since we wouldn't be here on actual Christmas. It was super fun because the girls had written a letter to Santa asking if he could come early, but they weren't sure if he would actually do it. I guess he really does read his mail!

Late night wrapping  No make up

We went back "home" to NY for Christmas and it was awesome. We got to see lots of cousins who we rarely ever get to see. The kids were loving every minute of it!
There was also an announcement of baby news, so I'm going to be a great Aunt again in late summer. So exciting.
As much as we loved the visit, we were all ready to get back here and back to our regularly scheduled lives. We wanted our own beds, and our own foods, and our own routines.
We were flat out exhausted.

Then, everyone got sick.

Both kids had fevers touching 104. It was a scary couple of days but I was so grateful that at least they weren't sick while we were away.
The coughs and fatigue lingered on into the new year, but we just took a few days off and watched lots of movies, played games, and gave ourselves permission to be lazy.
We were all better in time for work and school (much to the dismay of a certain 9 year old).

Hubby is on his way to China right now. Well, he's on his way to Chicago to catch a flight to China. He goes several times each year, so we should be used to it by now, but we're not. It doesn't help matters that an AirAsia plane recently crashed, or fell out of the sky. Scary stuff.

I'm taking the girls to a play this afternoon to keep their minds off missing daddy. Should be fun.

On the weight loss/healthy living front, I'm still exercising every day.
Still doing my yoga DVD's about 3 times a week. Doing weight lifting at the gym twice a week and doing the elliptical at home on non-gym days.
I asked for Hop Hop Abs for Christmas, and got it. It's definitely a good cardio work out, but I'm not positive that it's really focusing on my abs. I'll keep doing it because it gets my heart rate pumping, which is what I need right now since I can't get outside much.

Still off the sugar and feeling great. I fell off the wagon a bit while we were in NY, but I realized pretty quickly that I felt like crap and was tired all the time, so as soon as we got back, I got back on track. Feeling good again.

I think that's it for now. I'm sure other stuff happened over the last 2 months that I'm forgetting about, but that just means I need to be better about blogging more often!

If I have any readers left, I hope you're all keeping warm and well.