Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a Loser...

And LOVING it.

I am not going to make bold claims. Or celebrate with a big piece of cake.

But I AM losing weight.

I really am. (though I still have SEVERAL pounds to go)

For the first time in a few years, the needle on that wicked scale is going DOWN.

I mentioned the phone app MyFitnessPal not long ago on here.

It is still a pain. Entering my foods. Making me think about what I eat. Completely suppressing my fun on Taco Night (which was tonight).

But apparently it is working.

At least for now.

I doubt anyone else can tell.

But I can.

I saw something on Pinterest the other day that made a lot of sense.

It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body is changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks. Don't give up.

I would give credit to the author of this but I couldn't find it.

Anyway, hopefully in another 8 weeks, the world will notice. Hopefully there will be less of me to love. :)

I am inspired.

I can do this!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wishful Wednesday

It is a wishful Wednesday over here today.

Just bear with me.

Star light,
Star bright,
First star I see tonight.

I wish I may,
I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So here is what I am wishing for tonight (even though I haven't been out to look at the stars)...
  • more weather like today! And maybe tomorrow I can actually get out and enjoy it a little bit.
  • I knew what my dog was thinking sometimes. Then again, I may not always want to know.
  • I could go for a good hike.
  • I had a nickel for every glue bottle I have to unclog each day AND for every little shoe I tie.
  • I had a magic 8 ball that would tell me when to take my kids to the doctor and when to not...
  • I had my taxes done.
  • I didn't have to have a crown put in. Ouch! (physically AND financially)
  • that at least ONE of our kids had nice straight teeth that would not need orthodontic treatments (which leads to orthodontic payments)
  • I prayed more for my kids.
  • that I would get back on the ball with my Bible reading (that goes with my A Radical Experiment blog)
  • that I enjoyed exercising a lot more than I do.
  • that I could eat 1800 calories a week and still lose weight. 1260 sure takes the fun out of my eating...
  • that sushi was much lower in calories (as well as potatoes, bread, pizza, etc...)
  • I could hire a homework helper to supervise homework with my kids.
  • I could get caught up on laundry.
  • that legislators would really listen to educators before making policies concerning education.
  • that I could fix all the hurts in children's lives...
  • that I liked to drink water more.
  • that I could have the space of a minivan in a much cooler looking vehicle.
  • that my cell phone could read my mind when I text (both in WHO I am really supposed to be texting as well as in what I am trying to say)
  • that my restless legs (restless leg syndrome) would feel more rested
  • that I could spend the day with my grandfathers who have both gone on to heaven (though I am thinking they wouldn't want to leave heaven at this point)
  • that my parents and sister/family could go to the beach with us some time
  • that I had organized this house before having four kids
  • that I could re-do parenting at different points in my children's lives
  • that I could sing. Well.
  • I was a few inches taller.
  • I could stay awake long enough to do good, deep blog posts...

More soon,


Friday, February 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday...Yet Again

Okay, technically I am writing this Friday morning. But I did at least put the title down on Thursday night. :)

It has been a quiet week here on Blogger.

And I am not sure if today's post is completely a sense of thankfulness. Or maybe it is partly because I am too tired (conference week) to come up with something more original.

But no matter the reason, I do think taking time to remember what I am thankful for is never a waste of time. It reminds me of the many blessings in life even when things aren't going the way I had hoped or life brings disappointments my way...

So, what am I thankful for this week?

  • that we had a little snow but it did NOT stop us from having school. We are on track to have our longest summer ever! I don't want to mess that up with snow days.
  • carpools (neighbors and friends who help in delivering my children to/from school and activities)
  • a good week for the youngest at school
  • Schwan's fundraisers at school. I don't normally order from them (which is probably good for my bank account) but when they have our school fundraiser, I stock up on certain things. My new favorite is a garlic/herb shrimp. It cooks fast and is very low calorie. Will be a wonderful quick meal for me!
  • spring like temperatures (that came quickly after the snow)
  • a healthy (I think and hope) dog...she gave me a scare this week by acting hurt/in pain. Now she is back to her normal self.
  • my Valentine's from Giordano's in Chicago. I have enjoyed each and every bite!
  • unexpected flowers (white of my favorites) from my hubby, delivered by my hubby
  • our night away last weekend...much needed
  • sweet notes from students
  • watching t.v. while curled up with my sweetie
  • a visit from my sister and her family
  • kids who love to read as much as I do
  • 3 day weekends!

I know there are more but my kid crew is complaining about wanting breakfast this morning. Even if I am not at school, they seem to expect I will feed them or something. :)

What are you thankful for this week?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise...

Think that title in a Gomer Pyle type of voice. :)

Since I am watching my calories these days, I have to carefully plan which day I want to "splurge" (not count them). On Friday, I was cooked out. I really wanted to go to one of my favorite spots (Catfish Hole). Our youngest child had been telling me he missed going there. Suddenly I had visions of hush puppies and stuffed shrimp going through my mind.

But I also knew that Valentine's Day was coming up. We had already ordered pizza from our favorite Chicago pizza joint (it comes via Fed Ex on dry ice!) for our Valentine's dinner.

Yet I just had this gut feeling that there COULD be a surprise coming my way.

Hubby had mentioned looking into some things.

I went ahead and ate fairly lightly for breakfast and lunch.

Finally we talked about dinner.

I just point blank asked.

"Is there ANY possibility we will be going anywhere tomorrow? If not, I want to splurge on my calories tonight at Catfish Hole."

He did give me a hesitant look. Then he assured me we should go to Catfish Hole.

By the way, my "splurges" are NOT pig out sessions. In fact, I am still probably eating way less calories than I used to on a normal day.

Anyway, yesterday (Saturday), I went back to counting calories. I even only ate 1 waffle in anticipation of making mostaccioli that night.

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in until 7:30 yesterday morning since Child 3 did not have a basketball game. We just lounged around the house (avoiding going out in the cold). We cleaned up some paperwork. Straightened up the kitchen. Worked on laundry. It was just a nice leisurely morning. Even better, Mark took two kiddos out to buy a couple of things they needed.

Around lunch time, I checked my e-mail and found a message from my husband (who was across the room from me) with the title "Thought you might enjoy this..." When I opened it up, I saw a confirmation for that night at the Loft Hotel in a nearby town.

"Um, dear, what is this?"

He smiles.

That sweet handsome fella of mine had been lying to me.

He DID have a surprise.

A night away.

He even had a sitter for the kids and the dog.

"Just be ready by the time Child 2's games are done so we can get going..."

At that time, I was walking around in pj's. I had paperwork everywhere (gathering tax stuff). I was working on laundry. And had no idea what to think.

Then dear hubby informed me that not only were we going away for the night, we were heading to the new art museum (Crystal Bridges) the next day (being today).

I asked, "Can we watch a movie tonight?"

It is VERY rare for us to go to the movies.

If we get a "date night" out, we usually go out to eat or something like that. Not go to the movies.

But I had been reading about a movie called "The Vow". And I had just been thinking that morning, "I would love to go with Mark to see that."

He said that sounded great and even got right on the Internet to buy our tickets.

I went ahead and ate fairly light for lunch, anticipating a popcorn dinner at the movies.

Then hubby left to take Child 2 to her volleyball games. I stayed home to get ready for the night and to hang with the little ones since it was their naptime.

I did not get to take a nap. A small price to pay for a night away. :)

Finally, Mark came home (Child 2 went out with friends for the evening). We threw our stuff in the car, gathered up the remaining children and the dog, and headed to my parents' house.

We said our good-byes.

The kids were more than excited by the way. The dog, well, she was a bit antsy when I was packing. But she always has fun with my parents' doxie.

Then we headed down the road.

We are like little kids when we get a night away.

Free of responsibility.


Maybe a little too happy. :)

We checked into our hotel room. (I was a little worried we were splurging too much but he had gotten a special on it which was even better)

Then at the last minute, we decided to hop across the street (via the car since it was bitterly cold at that point) to eat dinner at a yummy restaurant. Crabby's. Seafood of course. And steak.

Dadgum those calories.

I had already splurged.

I couldn't even splurge for the week ahead since I am doing that on Valentine's Day when I enjoy my Chicago pizza.

I decided to eat sensibly but enjoy myself too. And just take a loss in the calorie department.

We were fortunate.

We got to the restaurant early.

Their first question (since it is the weekend before Valentine's Day)?

"Do you have reservations?"

Of course not. We are flying by the seat of our pants. Being spontaneous. Etc.

Thankfully there were some tables in the bar area that were open since every other table was reserved.

Dinner was delicious.

I ate as lightly as I could while still enjoying my meal. And I just knocked off the rest of the calories left on MyFitnessPal app. Probably "undercounted" but that was okay. It was a special occasion.

By the time we finished dinner and paid our bill, we were cutting it close with the movies.

Thankfully hubby knows the area better than I do. He took the most direct route to the theater. And we made record time.

VERY thankful we had already bought the tickets and were able to by-pass the line.

We walked into the movie and found a very full audience.

We were able to squeeze in partway up.

Most people who came in after us had to sit up front. The neck-ache rows.

As hard as it is for me to resist, I did NOT get any popcorn. I really tried to be somewhat healthy.

Oh, loved the movie. It was romantic, but not sappy romantic. Just a nice movie to enjoy with one you love.

One little perk with the movie was that it was set in Chicago (unlike the actual story which was set in New Mexico). Since we went to Chicago for our anniversary, it was like taking a walk down memory lane every time they showed Chicago landmarks. :)

After we left the movie, we went straight to the bookstore and bought the book the movie was inspired by.

By the way, the book (now renamed "The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie") is very different from the movie. I knew that going in. And I highly recommend the book. It is a beautiful story of love and faith. Just don't expect it to be the movie.

And yes, I have read the whole thing already.

Nights away don't have to be romantic the whole time.

Sometimes that means he can watch t.v., I can read.

The best part is we are doing it without interruption.

This morning, we enjoyed sleeping in without any children OR dog waking us up (though I admit, I missed the little furball wanting to snuggle...she wakes up early in the morning and curls up with me until I get up).

We lounged then went to the hotel gym to work out together. Well, in the same room. He did the elliptical. I hopped on a recumbent bike. It was still a treat. We rarely get to exercise at the same time. Hopefully we worked off a few of those extra calories we had consumed at dinner the night before. :)

Then we freshened up and headed further down the road to the museum.

And since this is pretty long already, I will save that post for another day. :) I guess this story is "to be continued".


Friday, February 10, 2012

Thankful Thursday (Whether I Like It or Not)

I don't really intend to do Thankful Thursdays as often as I do them. I mean, I don't have a schedule or anything telling me to do that. It just seems like things go more wrong on Thursdays than other days. (Whatever happened to the whole "Manic Monday" stereotype???) And on those days, I could easily go down a slippery slope to a pity party.

Which I may or may not have done today. :)

One child's sport is over with, the other had a ride to her practice tonight. I had made plans to make dinner with my firstborn (it is his week). And I knew there would be a lot of homework for the third child. And with child 4...well, I just have to be on guard all of the time. I never know what he might be planning.

And then hubby decided to go out of town for the day, meaning a late night arrival.

Okay. I can handle that.

Well, until I found out that Child 2's ride had a sick child.

And that Child 1 was apparently out of lunch money and I didn't know it. (I am supposed to get alerts but somehow didn't...)

Oh, and we had sick students leaving school left and right.

And my head was throbbing most of the day.

I suddenly went from "I can handle this" to "I am REALLY stressed!"

And that is when I realized I needed a Thankful Thursday.

Because no matter what, I have a lot to be thankful for. And One to be thankful to.

So, here are a few things I am thankful for today...
  • It didn't snow. :) (I am trying not to think about the forecast for next week.)
  • Hubby and I are going to have a DELICIOUS V-day dinner. Well, the kids will too. We are going to share. Very romantic, isn't it?
  • Our dog makes me laugh. She is into playing chase right now. She wants me to try to get her toys from her but when I step by her, she takes off running. Yet if I don't chase her, she is at my heels, waiting for me to notice her to take her toys. I wonder if I can count this all as exercise?
  • Overall, it has been a fairly good week for the kids. Of course, we still have a day to go.
  • This is my favorite time of year to teach. I am watching the kids grow leaps and bounds. Trust me, I am not taking credit. I just love getting to watch!
  • I ended up making a payment online for Child 1's lunch. And though it said it COULD take 24 hours to show up (meaning he wouldn't be eating today), it didn't. And he got to eat. So I guess I am thankful for the ability to do all that ONLINE.
  • Somehow Child 3 finished up all of her homework and her Valentines. I have to say, I have dreaded Valentines with her in the past. Fine motor skills are not a strength, so the writing process can be painful. Except this year it wasn't. She really took her time writing, and I really had to do very little to help. That is something to be thankful for.
  • Another iPhone app...Grocery IQ. I promise, I am not getting any kickbacks from Apple for these app praises. They are actually free apps, so I am not sure what kind of kickback I would get if I could. Anyway, when I run out of something, like toilet paper, I just use my phone to scan the barcode and it saves to a grocery list. The grocery list is automatically saved by aisles in the order my store is. The best part is that if my dear hubby went to the store tomorrow, he could click on the app and see what we need, checking them off as he found them. It is just nice and saves us a lot of frustration (like having no toilet paper).
  • After telling Child 2 I just couldn't take her to volleyball practice (due to the little ones' bedtimes), hubby ended up finding a friend she could carpool with. SUCH a relief. I am thankful for a hubby that would take the time to do that AND for a friend who was willing to help out when we were in a tight spot.
  • Thankful for time cooking with Child 1. (Each week one child gets to plan and cook a meal with we get that "together time" once a month at least!) He wanted to make red velvet cupcakes, so I got to share a few things I know about baking and decorating.
  • a hot bath after a work out
  • a DVR so I can watch American Idol after kids are in bed without interruption
  • health. There is a lot of sickness this time of year. And my kids have coughs and runny noses. But so far, other than one case of pneumonia over Christmas, we have not had any "stay at home" illnesses. I can only hope that continues.
  • my dark chocolate with sea salt caramel Ghirardelli square...a 63 (I think) calorie taste of heaven for me each day. (Even better...chilled in the freezer)
  • a warm house on a cold, dreary day
  • hubby made it home safely

I am sure there is more. No, I KNOW there is more.

But I better head to bed.

So, what are you thankful for today?