"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Gray Days

Oh the gray days, they are a-loomin'.
Yesterday afternoon the clouds shifted and it suddenly was very dark in the house. In the middle of the day. With no rain. Am I the only one dreading the winter?
I'm not trying to be negative but man I hate that January-February-March/when will it end?- time of year.

Any tips for keeping the dreariness only on the outside this winter? I keep all the blinds open and ignore the electricity bill turn on lots of lights. That seems to make me feel a little better.

I guess I've just been so happy lately that I don't want something as uncontrollable as the weather to come along and knock me down.
Maybe I'll be able to fight it with some silliness.

And try to laugh as much as possible.

Now that I think about it, with two children in the house, I think this winter will be much more colorful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I seriously don't deserve anything else.

I have so very, very much to be thankful for.
These are my top 3:

I'm hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow so that's all I have time for right now.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to my (wonderful) blaaaaahg readers!

P.S. WW was another loss this week!

Next Wednesday ain't gonna be so pretty.
I'm thinking tissues are going to be needed at that meeting.
And chocolate... and elastic-waist pants.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A heads up

I'm not going to be blaaahhhgging for a while. I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WW Wednesday

Wow! I can't believe it is here again already!
Today's weigh-in went well: I lost again!
I really wasn't sure how it was going to go. I didn't feel any different.
I lost 2.2 pounds, though. That's 9 sticks of butter. Sounds like a lot when you think about it like that, doesn't it?
I still don't have a long-term goal and I'm glad. I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I made some good choices this week but I also did things like have cracker barrel for lunch and wendy's for dinner on the same day, though. :) You'd think I would have one of their nice, healthy salads, but nope. I had a bacon cheeseburger and fries, baby!
I still can't get on board with salads. Please tell me how you find them tasty!? My life would be a little simpler if I enjoyed salads.

Goal for this week: Plan Thanksgiving (like I was supposed to do last week)

Ok, off to the park with the kids!

Peanut butter and Jellyfish

Ok, so there wasn't any peanut butter... that I know of. With BigBoy involved there very well may have been some peanut butter residue along for the trip.
We had an extra-long weekend with J that involved a day trip to the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher.

It's right on the beach so we got out and walked around for a few minutes. It was a little chilly and windy so we never planned to stay long. Just enough to see the ocean and hear the waves.

I don't think BabyCakes fully appreciated the beauty before us.
I can appreciate her beauty before me, though. :)

I think she'll have more fun next summer.
Is there anything more soothing than seeing and hearing the rolling ocean waves?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Kind of Wonderful

My old friend Kelly has recently started a blog. Our Kind of Wonderful is her outlet for a school, work, obsessive-cleaning-ful life.

She's new to blogging and putting herself out there, but has a lot to share. In real life she's a hoot so I expect nothing less from her blog. I've known her for over 20 years (wow, that ages me) and she always keeps it interesting.

Here we are in middle school:
(That's her in the sunflower vest and me in the Mickey Mouse Christmas sweatshirt...with turtleneck. Kelly, I'm sorry!)

And this is the day after graduating highschool:
(She's in the green pants and I'm the one with the poofy side-ponytail.)

Anyway, head over to Our Kind of Wonderful and show her some love!

My flowers

What is it about flowers? I've talked about my love for them on numerous occasions.
I bought these for myself at the grocery store yesterday.

Maybe it's the fact that they are present for so many important times in our lives.
Births, deaths, weddings, birthdays, sickness, achievement.
Poinsettias, carnations, roses, irises, tulips, daisies... I'll even take dandelions, or "dandies" as Biz used to call them. :)

They can heal wounds, heal friendships, and restore peace.

Job 14:2 says "He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure."
That's us. We grow up and flourish, spreading our beauty out to the earth, and then just like that we are gone. God implores us to share our gifts of compassion, work, support, knowledge, and love.

Whenever I'm faced with a question as to whether I should do something, I try to answer it with my own personal motto: If I can, I should.
Now, I'm human so I don't always make the right decision, but I try as often as I can to give of myself what little I can offer.

I've received gifts of flowers lots of times, but sometimes if you want that beauty, you have go out and get it for yourself.
Maybe that's what they are to me -- a reminder that I am a creature of God and worthy of a beautiful life, but I have to make that life. If I sit around waiting for great things to happen, I'm going to be doing a lot of sitting.

So, yes, I'm going to keep giving myself flowers.
God says I'm worth it. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WW Wednesday

I have exactly 5 minutes to write this post so it's going to be fast and dirty.

I made a lot of healthy choices this past WW week. I think I learned the most when I made a poor choice, though. I didn't get the same satisfaction that I used to get, and that's a good advancement for me.

I forgot the stroller today when I took the kids out and ended up carrying BabyCakes in my arms for over an hour. she weighs roughly the same as what I have lost and when I put her back in the car and stood up, it really hit me why I feel so much better these days.

My weigh-in at WW was good today: I lost. I've decided not to share the actual numbers every week now because I don't want to take focus off the important issue, and that is making healthier choices, not losing weight. This week I worked to eat better and I did, and it was reflected on the scale.

Okay, so my goal for the upcoming week is to stay focused and plan my Thanksgiving menu. I don't want there to be any surprises on the scale at my post-turkey day weigh-in.

Now on to the oral surgeon for a wisdom-teeth-removal consult. Feel for me.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fussy Monkey Business

There's a blog I enjoy that I want to mention today.

Fussy Monkey Business
is a blog by a fellow SAHM of two, where she shares her addiction to crafting, sewing, and frugal decorating with the rest of us.

Raised in the same town I grew up in, she does Pottery Barn style on a Wal-Mart budget.
A woman I can respect. :)

Right now she has a Christmas ornament tutorial up.
Check her blog out some time. I think you'd enjoy it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

At least they don't smell.

In the last few weeks, BabyCakes' personality has really started to come out.
She's been fun and interactive.
Occasionally I would catch glimpses of something familiar in her. I couldn't put my finger on it.
What could it be? She has always seemed so different from her brother.

But then the wind changed, the animals began to stir, and I saw this picture.

That's right, our second Stinker had officially arrived.

Ah yes, I can only imagine the things to follow:

Destruction of property

Petty larceny,

Deadly weapons

Just like her Big Brother.

They think they're SO smart.

Mama says "Quit that!" and they just eat it up.

So now there are two Stinkers in the house.

I need a drink some chocolate.


It was such a pretty afternoon yesterday that we HAD to go outside. I loaded BabyCakes up in the stroller and BigBoy and I walked her up to the neighborhood playground.

BabyCakes loooved the swings, but what baby doesn't?

No wonder, it's the closest you get to feeling like you are flying!

Pure excitement and joy.

Biz loved some swings, too.

Can you tell BigBoy's opinion at that age?
He's always disguised his feelings so well. ;)

I wish it would always be so easy to incite joy in my children. I doubt at age 14 the swings will do the trick.

Baby Got Back problems

Good morning! Is anyone else as mixed up with the time right now as I am? I guess it would help if I changed ANY of the clocks in the house other than the bedside alarm clock, and J did that.

We had a strange weekend. Thursday I strained my back and by Friday afternoon I was in full-on pain and couldn't make it stop. Now, this was no migraine, but it hurt. It got hard to move.
I think carrying a 22 pound baby might have helped it along, too. Between BabyCakes and my um... other physical attributes, it's amazing my back doesn't hurt more often.
Anyway, it did.
So I rested. I sat. With a heating pad... all weekend.

It was weird.

Other than taking the kids to get flu shots on Saturday, I did almost nothing constructive. I helped keep the children alive and fed, made sure the house didn't implode... and sat.

As for this morning, I've never been so happy to be up and doing laundry!
Yes, my back is feeling much better and it's a good thing -- I have lots to do.
I'm trying to get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas little by little this year. No last-minute grocery shopping or gift-wrapping here. (At least that's the plan.)
Just like my health goals, I'm going to get my household and holiday tasks done little by little.

Okay, I'm off to tackle that pile of clothes that don't really fit anymore and even when I can wear them again I still won't really like stuff on top of the dryer that needs a home. Maybe I'll just donate them. If I liked them that much I wouldn't even have to debate it.


P.S. The following was added because Gramps complained about the lack of a grandchild pic. Thought I'd throw him a bone...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Real quick before we're out the door...

BabyCakes modeling her new sweater. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"I knew she would be scared."

That was the response I received from BigBoy when I asked him why he climbed in the crib with BabyCakes.
Let me back up a bit...

Neither of my children likes the vacuum.
It's big. It's loud. It freaks them out.

I heard BabyCakes talking to her seahorse so I knew she was up from her nap. I thought it would be a good time to vacuum since she was still calmly contained.

BigBoy was huddled in the corner of the couch covering his ears when I began.
Because of his speech delay he's had his hearing tested twice in the past. Both times he scored as high as they could measure and I was told he had "super-human" hearing (their words, not mine). When he says his ears hurt because something's too loud, he means it.

After vacuuming the living room I moved on to the kitchen and that must have been when he made a run for it.
I saved BabyCakes' room for last and when I came in, there I found him.
He was covering her ears with his hands and she was chewing on Rex' tail -- two things that don't usually happen. Usually she would fight to keep his hands off her and he would fight to keep her hands off Rex. I guess they both knew what was best in that situation and accepted it.
BigBoy "knew she would be scared" and didn't think twice about putting his sister first.

My son may be a lot of things, but a bad big brother, he is not.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I have the best babysitter in the world.

As I mentioned yesterday, Neighbor Stacy watches BabyCakes while I go to my WW meetings on Wednesdays.

She knitted this sweater for her when she was born and I was surprised to find that it fits.
I thought Stacy would enjoy seeing her wear it.

(I got these big smiles by jumping around on my front porch waving my arms and saying "Boogers! Boogers!" Classy, I know. At least I got the picture, though. Try it sometime when your kids aren't cooperating and see if it doesn't work for a smile!)

When I got home an hour-ish later this is what I found:

Adorable, aren't they?!

And all it cost me was 3 cans of Chunky Soup and 2 sleeves of saltines.

If only Gymboree worked like that.

WW Wednesday

This week the "WW" stands for "Whoop Whoop!"

(FYI - I'm going to try to avoid using the actual terms "Weight Watchers" and "Points" on here as much as possible because I'm not sure how they feel about that.)

First of all, I have to thank my friends again for your support in my quest for a healthier lifestyle. My success this week is directly related to the feedback I received in response to my plea for help. :)
So the weigh-in: 4.2 lbs, baby! Aw yeah, I'm enjoying it while I can. Neighbor Melissa knows first-hand how the last few weeks have been for me, and I thought I'd share a little of that.

A few weeks ago I got off track. I was stressed and in moments of high-stress I am weaker in my resolve. The last few weeks have been me bouncing around between making healthy choices and making notsohealthy choices -- some of them big, like a LARGE mocha frappe from McDonald's.
(I'm new to coffee and those things are sinfully delicious!) How bout 4 pieces of pizza? Yep, all me.

I kept going to my WW meetings, though, and let me tell you, it was HARD.
Neighbor Stacy had taken away my scale, so here I was walking in blind to a weigh-in when I KNEW I had not done well that week. The success for me those weeks was that I went. That was big. The old me would have said "well I know I have gained so I will just work hard this next week and then go next time when there won't be a gain."
But I couldn't. And I am glad I didn't. Those weights reflected my attitudes, emotions, and actions for the week.

When I started this I put lots of checks in place for myself.
Neighbor Stacy watches BabyCakes while I am gone and she holds me accountable.
(BigBoy is at preschool.)
Neighbor Melissa attends meetings with me and her success and positive attitude is inspiring. Our reasons for attending and goals are similar.
I also have 2 other friends, one here in NC and one in TN, that are working on things of their own, that I check in with on the phone.
And on top of it all, I have a loving, supportive husband who has told me I am am beautiful possibly every day for the last 10 years.

Now I have you too, though. And you better believe I'm going to make you a part of this. Consider your support as a way of thanking me for pics of slobbery smiles and chubby cheeks. :)

I know I am very lucky to have so much support. Very lucky to be able to stay home with my children and have the time to attend meetings. Very lucky to be able to afford the food I want to buy and the weight-loss program I am on.

I could go on and on but this is a blaaahg, not a book, so I'm going to move on.

Lessons learned in the last week: Just because one egg is broken, you don't throw out the whole dozen. One day at at time, one meal at a time, one bite at a time. One bad choice does not begat another.

Goal for this WW week:
Track my points every day. Plan my meals so there are no last-minute I'm-starving-but-nothing-sounds-good-so-I-will-just-eat-this moments.

Total lost:
21.2 lbs

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chicken San Antonio

So I'm by no means a foodie blogger but I did make a new dish tonight that I should share because it is easy and healthy. It's loosely based on another recipe I found online but because I wanted to only use what I had on hand, it got a bit tweaked.
I'm calling it Chicken San Antonio because it's a mexican-style dish and I love San Antonio. :)

What you'll need:
Crock pot/ slow cooker
Salsa of any kind
Taco seasoning packet

Cut chicken (I used boneless, skinless breasts - 2) into strips.
Coat in mixture of 2 tbsp flour and 1/2 packet taco seasoning.
Place in bottom of crock pot.
Slice (red, green, yellow, etc) peppers and or onions -- I used a bag of frozen pre-sliced peppers and onions I bought at Trader Joes and this part was made even easier
Mix the peppers/onions with 1 - 1.5 cups of salsa and then pour over the chicken.

Cook on high 3 hours or low I'm guessing 5-6ish.
Stir it all together before serving. Easy peasy!
I tried mine after almost 3 hrs on high and it was perfectly done, if not a little salsa-heavy (I used 1.5 c).

You could eat this with hard or soft shells, over rice, etc. The original recipe called for topping it with cheese but I didn't feel the need.

For my WW friends, it was only 5 points for 3 over-stuffed hard taco's full and I myself am now stuffed, too.

Tomorrow is my WW Wednesday so I will be sure to share my results with you in the afternoon. The end of last week was UGLY but by the weekend I was back on track, partly because of all the support I found from my blaaaahglanders. :) So, thanks!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Almost Famous

I know the blog has been very BabyCakes-heavy lately, but that's just how it goes sometimes.
Sometimes I get lots of good shots of BigBoy, sometimes BabyCakes, and almost never the two of them together. Today it was BabyCakes.

I bought this little dress at Gymboree at the end of the season last year and took a guess at what size she would be. I was right! I paid $3.99 and used gymbucks and a gift card to pay for all the clothes I bought that day. I looked at my receipt (it was with this dress) and I calculated that I ended up paying $1.25 per item after tax, out-of-pocket. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. :)

I wasn't sure if I liked this dress that much when I bought it but I also bought a purple coat and also jeans in the same line and I love them on her.
I guess you never know until you see it on a child.

The hairbow (of course) came from a pack of four I bought at Target during my bow-binge weekend. Matches. perfectly. :)

The dress has a guitar on it. I don't know how much of a rock star she is but J and I are already her biggest fans.

Good morning!
Again, THANK YOU to my wonderful friends for all your support!
I look forward to sharing with you.

So, last night -- Halloween.
BigBoy was supposed to be a chocolate Darth Vader. (I think "chocolate" just because he likes chocolate -- never knew how that was supposed to work its way into his costume.)
I was actually excited and looking forward to trick-or-treating.

Then life happened. I'm not going into details but it was one of those times you have to go through on your threat to punish, even if you don't want to.
We HATED to do it, but we had to take away trick-or-treating. Big fat BOO.

BabyCakes wore her ducky outfit we borrowed from Biz for all of 5 minutes while we returned the Darth stuff to Miss Stacy next door.

So yeah, we could've had better evenings.

On a positive note, the only candy I ate all night was a fun-size twizzler. :)