Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Or as Bailey says, "Eeh! Eeh! Eeh!"
Or Collin, "Wic Oh Eeh!"

Despite heading out later than usual, 
Bags and Buckets were filled to the top.
Despite having to stop early,
And as always Mommy hated to stop! 

Boys had a blast,
Bailey loved it too.
Mommy and Daddy had fun,
And got along too!

"Trick or Treat"
"Thank you & Happy Halloween"
Is what the big kids said ,
with each house we had seen.

Chocolates, Taffies,
Lollipops and gum.
If you don't want Mommy to get them,
Grab the Reese's & run.

More manners seen, 
than any Christmas season.
Something about free candy,
gives everyone reason.

Treats are all sorted,
Kids are in their beds.
Visions of candy
are dancing in their heads.

Now it's Mommy's turn,
And Daddy's turn too.
To go through the candy,
And pick a piece or a few.

  Happy Halloween!  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 3

I am in my 3rd week of actively watching my portion sizes and working out. Also started the 3rd week of Couch to 5 K.

After feeling pretty sore all week and pushing through I had a lazy weekend. Meaning I stayed away from the gym, stuck to On-Demand videos and the Wii Fit.

The 5 K was amazing. To see so many people in one place for one cause. I was invited by a friend for a breast cancer walk. With each lap we got faster, ending with a 58 minute walk. (Not counting the time we stopped and waited for the rest of the Edible Arrangement's team.) I am looking forward to trying to do a MS walk in April. I'd love to walk for something that hits close to home.

 I watched my portions all weekend but ate a bunch of crap. I was convinced the scale would be much higher this morning. But it was 2 lbs less! Eight lbs lost since October 6th!

Today was day 1 of the 3rd week for C25K. So hard, pushed through, ran extra 90 seconds! 30 minutes, 1.88 miles hitting the mile mark at 15:20. Between that and the scale going down instead of up, it's been a happy day.

My current mini goal is to have a 10 lb total weight loss by November 6th, my one month mark. I am still struggling with portions. Like instant oatmeal? I usually make 3 packets. I was doing just one for a bit there, but have snuck back up to two. I am still working on the portions with everything else though and doing okay! Heck, Saturday night Thomas and Eddie (nephew) had mini reese's and reese's pieces! I could have snuck out half from each bag, but instead I just stole exactly one portion from each. Tasted oh so good!

Now onto progress pictures (don't mind the grumpy expressions):
Week 2:

 Week 3:

Still going strong!

Shore Line Trolley

I promised more photograph's in Saturday's post and am actually keeping true to my promise in a timely manner! Whoa is right! After taking 400 pictures, I managed to walk away with half as many usable shots, and kept around 30 total. Of course I am not going to share 30 with you here, but here are a few of my favorites. (If you'd like to see the 20 I have uploaded to Flickr, you can go here.

Dear Thomas,

Just over 7 weeks ago you began full day kindergarten. Mommy was dreading this. How can I be apart from you so long every day, every week, every month from September until June? At 180 days in a school year, that is 1080 hours, give or take, away from you. At first it was hard on Mommy. Constantly worried about how you were doing. Was the work to hard? Did you eat your lunch? Did you get to the bathroom okay? Were you alright getting off and on the bus? Are the teachers treating you with respect? Are the other children kind to you?  Have you found your voice amongst others? Are you speaking up when you need help or having a question? Are you having fun? Do you miss me? Do you even think about me while in school? For the 1st couple of weeks I actually counted down the hours and minutes until I had to be at the bus stop.

Seven plus weeks later, while I do still have most of my worries, I am finally okay with you being gone so much. Your little brother behaves so much better when you are not home and you are so much less whiny. That is not the reason I am okay with it though. You are learning so much without the distractions of your siblings getting in the way. I have been told by your wonderful teachers that you are the one child in your class always striving to do your best with every assignment. Though you are usually the last one to finish your work, it is not due to goofing around. You want to make sure everything is correct. Mommy is very proud of you sweet boy. Though we both get frustrated on homework days, I do understand you are tired. You worked very, very hard all day and just want to be a kid and play when you get home. We will work on something to make homework time less stressful. For both of us.

Thomas, this is the beginning of a long haul for you. I can't promise it won't be hard. I can't promise you will always have fun and enjoy it. Just please remember, as long as you follow your school's motto until the day you graduate things will be the best as they can be.

Remember Thomas:
Be Kind.
Be Courteous.
Always Do Your Best.
And Always Ask For Help.

These words you are reciting every morning are an excellent reminder to all, including me. Remember if you need to ask, talk to, or tell me anything at all, school related or not, I am here for you. I want you to always be kind and courteous. I want you to always do your best, not to be confused with the best. And please Thomas, always ask for help. 

You have always been so smart and your intelligence is just shining through this school year. Mommy and Daddy are so, so very proud of you and love you more than you will every know. Thomas, you are our light. Our life. Our everything and more. Your siblings and yourself are what matters most to us. You are taking in everything you see, even more so than your younger brother and sister, and because of that Daddy and Mommy are striving to follow those four quotes as well. And if we do fall off, do not hesitate to remind us these wonderful words. 

Thomas, I hope the rest of the year goes smoothly for you, and I look forward with great excitement to see you grow and learn. The next big milestone you will reach is reading and I look forward with awe at the prospect of you reading us bedtime stories. 

Again sunshine, Mommy loves you so very much. Have fun in school and don't work too hard, but always do your best. 

Kisses and Hugs;

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

Yesterday I went to the Trolley Museum in my old town. Alone. With no time restraints. They are only open weekends during the Holiday months so it was a perfectly quiet local to practice my (lack of) photography skills. I have not even come close to going through the images but will hopefully finish within the next day or so. I had so much fun, despite being cold, having to pee, and being scared out of my mind thanks to sounds of someone or something walking in the woods just beyond the point of seeing. I got a two mile walk in as well walking the length of the tracks and back again as well. By the time I left, full bladder and all, I felt more relaxed about life than I had in a long time. I felt at peace despite our financial stress. All in all, great alone time with hopefully great results.

Can't wait to share some more images!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 2 Complete.

I mentioned a couple of days ago I had started Couch to 5K (C25K). Today I did my 3rd day of Week Two. And boy did I suffer! What makes no sense to me is, Day 1 was not bad at all! I mean I was beyond scared of running for 90 straight seconds, but I did it and with each run I completed, I felt amazing! I was so high on happiness when I completed the last run. Day 2 was hard, and I really felt it that night. My knees were killing me! Today, while I did get my 2nd furthest distance, was the hardest yet! I honestly did not think I'd finish! With each run I was planning on quiting. I did stick it out and for that I am super proud of myself, but damn that was hard! The inside of my calves are killing me. I swear I was expecting a fire to spontaneously start from them with each run! Week three I have to do a couple 3 minute runs! Oh man...

Eating is going well! I am so proud of myself at the moment. Since we have to get skim, 1 or 2 percent milk with Collin's WIC checks and Bailey needs whole milk when drinking milk, I decided to take the plunge and drink some 2%. I know it isn't the healthiest, but I'll take it! And I am slowly decreasing the amount of sugar I put in my tea as well! This is a big thing! I usually add ten, yes ten teaspoons per 10 oz cup of tea. I also usually put a bunch on my WIC cereals. I have started eating the Quaker Oat Squares and the Honey Oat's and Flakes (contains granola as well) and both are actually tasty with out loading on teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar. Who knew?

Newest accomplishment: I can actually get into push up position! I still can't do a push up but I can go half way down and back up! I can also do the yoga stance, downward dog. That one position has always deterred me away from yoga. I am so excited! I can't believe after just 16 days I am actually seeing changes! Mostly, I can't believe I am still sticking with it after 16 days! Go me!

If anyone has any healthy suggestions on to get that scale to move a bit faster, or how to sustain running for 3 minutes straight, I'd love to hear them! (Other than slow down, I already am really slow! I can walk at my running speed.)

Also, if anyone knows any good weight loss or fitness blogs, please share in the comments as well!
Thank you so much to those who have been so supportive of my yo yo urges to do this. I finally believe I can do this. I will lose the weight needed and I will get in good enough shape to play harder with my kids.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Collin is due for his 6 month re-eval since starting speech therapy. I am afraid they are going to say he doesn't need anymore. :blush: I know he still does. The kid can't even say his name (ah in) and so many other words. But he does have quite the little vocab now. He only grunts or moans for his requests a few times a week now, where as he was doing so all the time when we started. I am so proud of his progress, I couldn't be any prouder. He has come such a long way in the past six months. A very long way.

Some mommy brags are:
-Counting to 10 when he thinks no one is listening/watching.
-repeating letters, although they are all "E O A".
-know's the basic shapes (stars, circles, squares, hearts, triangles).
-know's basic colors although he likes to say all colors are green (black, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple, pink, white).
-Has started to sing songs he knows.
-Traces EVERYTHING (not speech related, but still love it!) and draws smiley faces giving them all names of the family.
-able to communicate potty needs.
-able to communicate needs and feelings. 

Since Thomas has started full time kindergarten, Collin is doing amazing. In speech therapy, as well as behavior. During the school day I almost never have to raise my voice (still working on that!), do time out, distract him, anything. He is an amazing listener when Thomas isn't around. The only time he acts up is when Bailey steals a toy, knocks over his blocks, etc, which is understandable.

We still have to work on him talking very loudly a lot of the time, and his recent development of covering his ears at 'loud' noises. And do a new hearing test. Basically, in public restrooms it started. Screaming "Loud" while covering his ears when the toilet's flush. Then it moved onto the sound of the vacuum, the toilet at home, buses driving by standing at the bus stop, Tom listening to music, Bailey crying, horns beeping. How he is reacting to loud sounds is my only concern.

I really hope today goes smoothly and he can stay in for another 6 months...
I have no support from Tom on this front at all. He never thought Collin needed speech therapy. And is hoping he can stop after today...

Anyway, I will update after his evaluation.

Survived the 1st two weeks.

I have been trying on and off since Bailey's birth to get fit, eat right, and be a healthy weight. Since her birth, I put on 25+ lbs. Yep I said it. My highest weight ever (not pregnant). 205 lbs. Whew. That was hard. This is the 1st time I am saying it out loud. Two weeks ago, today, I said screw it. We had finished dinner early. Another dinner of me filling my plate and not stopping until it was empty. Just they way I was taught growing up. There are starving children in China, don't ya know? Must always eat everything on your plate. Always. Or there would be beatings, televisions and toys taken away, and being locked in bedrooms only to be allowed to eat or use the bathroom. Needless to say I have always been one to clear my plate. Even when dieting.

I am done dieting. I am done having a gym membership that I only use a few times a month-if that. I need a lifestyle change.

Heard this before? Yeah, I said it before. I've attempted before. Yet, something seems different. I've never taken before pictures before. I've never taken measurements before. I've never successfully logged my calories more than a few days before. I've never gone to the gym 4 times in a week before. I've never worked out at home more than 4 times a week before.

I have gone to the gym every single day for the past two weeks, some days twice. Yes, my body is sore, but last night I saw some results. While attempting a beginners yoga video, I was able to touch my toes without bending my knees! May not seem like a big deal to most, but for me this is huge. I've not been able to touch my toes since elementary school. I've been aiming for 60+ minutes of cardio daily and strength training and toning 4 days a week. I've also started the Couch to 5 K program (C25K) Today will be W(week)2D(day)2! It is so hard! With each hour leading up to actually getting on the treadmill, I dread those running jogging intervals. During each run jog I push myself until I can't push no further. And I am doing it. It was so hard last week when I began. That 1st 60 second run jog nearly killed me. I pushed through. Monday when I started W2, that 1st 90 second run jog I saw a flash of white. I pushed through. I never stick with anything too long, so I am petrified off falling off the wagon. Eating is my biggest problem, which I didn't realize until I took a good look at my diet. Thanks to financial problems, I am no longer drinking my Starbucks Vivanno's, Dunkin' Donut's Latte's, McDonald's Smoothies. I am still having my nightly bowl of ice cream after the kids go to bed, but that is better than a 1/4 of a lb size bag of Reese's. And I've cut my portion size down. I am no longer filling my bowl completely to the top. Now it is 2/3 of the way. Baby steps people! I want these changes to last a lifetime.

Speaking of portions.. When making myself a bowl of cereal, I measured out the correct amounts. Wow. I was eating 3x the amount recommended in one bowl! I have a lot to change. I have time to change it though. I have a lifetime to make lifetime changes. And I will.

I have to pictures I want to share here. Hopefully to hold myself accountable. They are on Facebook, in an album viewable only to me. I am afraid to show them but if I can run jog 90 seconds straight, I can do this too. And I will share my *gasp* measurements as well... So scary!

Neck: 13.5''
Bust: 41"
Hips: 41"
Arms: (Left) 15.5" (Right) 15"
Thighs: (Both) 28"

That was hard. No going back now. I must continue this journey. I have a minimum of 50 lbs to lose. I want to lost 60. My starting BMI was 34.1; I am currently at 33.1. Both of which are in the obese range. I really want to get down to a healthy weight. Not obese, not overweight, but healthy. To just move from "obese" to "over wieght" I need to get down to 179 lbs. The heaviest I should be and still be in the healthy range is 149.5. I could only dream of being in the 140's! 135 would put me right smack dab in the middle of the healthy range. I don't see that ever happen. 149 would be amazing!

Most people say I hide my weight well. I think everyone is blind. While others found me sickly when I was down to 150 lbs just two years ago, I was also coming off of Heroin. This time I will not have track marks on my arms and hands and that anorexic look. I will do this right. For my children. For myself. 

Just because I am really trying with this C25K program, I also would like to share my 1st week, and start of the 2nd with you.
Week One:
     28:46 min; 1.45 miles

    28:54 min; 1.65 miles
    27:14 min; 1.63 miles

    Week Two:
    30 min; 1.82 miles

    Today I will do W2D3, hopefully. Unfortunately, the gym is closer than anywhere I'd like to do this outside. And my only way of tracking my distance.

    I've also been working out on the Wii Fit and Gold's Gym Cardio Workout (Wii).
    I aim to do 30 minutes of free step while watching television. And Gold's Gym while the kids are occupied. I usually sweat like a pig when working out. Thank you Methadone. Love that side effect. The Cardio workout is intense for someone as out of shape as I am. But I love it! Nothing like punching away stress.

    Anyway, I've attempted to use this blog to hold myself accountable before. Here's to hoping this time is the charm! I'd love to be 149 lbs by next May!

    Be satisfied eating proper portion sizes.
    Size 9 jeans.
    Size med top.
    No muffin top! 
    Run 5 K with out walking
    Keep up with kids when playing outside and running around.
    50 push ups.
    10 pull ups.
    Ability to get up from the ground without struggle.
    Ability to do yoga poses! 
    Bend over with out my stomach getting in the way. 

    I just don't want to look like this anymore:

    I'd much rather be like this:


    Wordless Wednesday-Sweetness

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Bailey's Birthday Bash-Finally!

    I know I know... I put this off a whole week. I have not spent much time at all on the computer. I will tell you why in another post. Whenever I get to writing it! Oops... I am so sorry, I should be back to my regularly scheduled posting soon... As soon as the hubs is back at work, which should be tomorrow. It's a pretty big pay cut, but more than nothing. As long as we cut back on luxury's we should be good.

    Bailey's party went without a hitch. Well there was one. Not many of the kids showed up. Eight of the fifteen I was counting on came. Five of those had to cancel last minute, and two of them-their father completely forgot and made other plans.

    Bailey looked amazing in the outfit a dear friend made. Due to wind and slightly chilly temps, I added a long sleeve shirt under her birthday onsie and a pair of leggings under her tutu, but she still looked great! Especially with the bow I had just found one day before her party.

    My amazing cake decorator friend Katie and her sweet niece helped me decorate, which we did the best with the wind blowing everything down as fast as we could get it up. We made sure all the kids that showed had their name on a goody bag for when that time came.

    Not having a meal worked out perfectly! We always have a lot of food, (burger and dogs with all the usual salads in the summer; baked ziti, meatballs, cold cuts, etc in the cooler months) but this time we stuck with snacks. Veggie platters, fruit platters, pepperoni cheese and crackers platter, jalapeno poppers, chips and dip, nacho's and salsa, was all that covered the table. I am very, very grateful to my parents for supplying the fruit, veggie, and cheese platters, and my aunt for bringing the poppers.

    While everyone ate, I made my rounds socializing and the kids all played with the toys at my parents house. Bailey and Katie's son (just a few months older) fought over the purple car that we found months ago on the side of the road.

    When the cakes were set up everyone ooh'ed and ahh'ed, exactly like I hoped for. I was so proud of the cake, cupcakes, and smash cake. My visions were brought to life perfectly. And while I did not do the icing, I did keep my tradition of making my children's 1st birthday cakes. I baked everything and added the candy bits, tiara's, and candle's. Katie took my wish of putting a "letter block" on the smash cake and totally rocked it. 

    Because my niece's 3rd birthday was on the 6th and my in laws do nothing to celebrate birthday's, I had Katie ice one cupcake especially for Lizzie. Liz was given the only purple cupcake. Sadly, just like with my nephew, my sister in law did not show to see her daughter blow out candles for the 1st time or actually rip open wrapping paper for the 2nd time ever. (1st time was Christmas with the one gift we got her.) Breaks my heart.. Anyway, because I found Bailey's bow last minute, I let Lizzie wear Bailey's birthday hat. It matched her, and the cakes wonderfully. It did bug me that my daughter didn't wear the hat I bought her, but it made me so happy to see my niece's face light up when I gave her the "shiny" hat.

    Tom held Bailey while we sang Happy Birthday to our princess and 'helped' her blow out her candles. It was so sweet watching them. I love those two so much.

    Of my three children, Bailey was definitely the neatest with the smash cake. It took her a while to even touch it. She just sat there staring at it as if to say, "What am I supposed to do with this?" She eventually dug in, mainly eating the "B, 1 block" on top and just digging off the top of the main cake. She was so sweet! Only got a few spots of frosting on her actual outfit! I was originally going to undress her but it was too chilly and I didn't have anything cute other than her other birthday outfit she was supposed to wear after cake. (Didn't happen) Now the smash cake pictures I know we are all waiting for! 

    First tastes.

    Only two real messes; her hands and face.

    My big girl using a spoon.
    (Clear shot of her 1st tooth, the top right.)

    My favorite; digging in.

    After the cake mess was cleaned up we did presents as the few guests we had were starting to leave. Lizzie opened her two presents 1st and her face lit up when she opened the Snow White dress up doll set Tom and I got her. The only photo I have though is her opening the present my parents got her. Not even my in laws brought her (or Bailey, or anyone ever, unless you count hand me downs and good will finds in a plastic shopping bag) a gift to open on what we tried to make her day as well. I am not usually this angry about people not bringing gifts. In fact I usually ask people to bring a dish in lieu of gifts. It just bothers me that my in laws always ask us to purchase gifts and other needs for these two kids, but only ever give my kids old clothes, that they never had new to begin with, including old used toddler underwear with actual poop still attached. Yes, call me materialistic but if you are going to ask someone to buy a gift for your kid/grandkid, at least give that kid a gift instead of wasting all your money on Wendy's and booze.

    Bailey could care less about the gifts, although she did enjoy the bows and paper. I am so grateful for all the clothes my daughter received! This poor girl had almost nothing in her correct size! I can finally pack away all the 3-6 month stuff that she is still wearing! (She can still fit in a lot of it..) The three toys she did get, she loved. Stacking rings, a musical butterfly she already had in a different color with working batteries, a play cell phone, and this leapfrog reading thing, that plays music, reads a story as you press the buttons, and names, shapes, colors, numbers, and letters. She was also given two pairs of sneakers. One she can wear now, from us, and one she will be wearing in a few weeks from my Aunt-the surrogate Nana I've mentioned in previous posts. And her favorite gifts of all were the 2 books she was given, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (collection of nursery rhymes and lullabies) and Brown Bear, Brown Bear; a new family favorite.


    After presents Bailey just sat, relaxed, and then climbed on a chair while Mommy packed up everything that had to go into the van.

    At this time all that was remaining were the two sets of grandparents, and maybe two other people, with out kids. So we finished the clean up, hung out with our parents for a bit, and left. We arrived home at 7 pm, and Bailey was out cold. Would not wake to eat whatsoever, didn't even wake when we changed her diaper. She even slept through the night! She was pooped! 

    Mommy was pooped as well! Between not going to bed until almost 4 am on Saturday night (Sunday Morning?) and getting up early for the party, I was exhausted. I ended up in bed by 11 pm Sunday night (early for me) and sleeping straight until just after 11 the next morning. So glad for Columbus Day and for Tom being home and getting up with the kids.

    I do wish I spent more time with the kids enjoying myself, or at least taking pictures, but everyone was in a rush from the moment they got there that I just tried to keep food/cake/presents flowing to get it all done. This was our shortest birthday party ever and I do not remember much of the in between food parts at all. And while this is common with me, I do not have many pictures to look back at. They are all of decorations, cakes, and Bailey eating.. I hope in the future this good enough for her to look back on. I know she definitely enjoyed herself, and, well, that is all that matters. 


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