Thursday, December 25, 2008

A quick weigh-in

This morning I am down 0.2 pounds. As silly as it sounds, I am thrilled to be still moving in the minus direction.

I did not acheive all of my goals - my Christmas cards are still on my desk. I did not go to the post office the other day because my oldest woke up with strep throat. I knew it was strep throat the minute I saw it (and smelled it - strep has a really different smell, not just bad breath smell, but infection smell). However, our family doctor was insistant that I take Joshua to the ER for a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. Hmmmm....yeah....I'll be right on that. Knowing that Joshua had ZERO sings of meningitis, I took him to the ER to ask a second opinion. I have to admit I was completely disgruntled because it is a waste of medical funds to diagnose strep in the ER. I can almost see where our doc was getting the meningitis from, since Joshua's neck was so sore he couldn't hold his head straight. But, the doc didn't palpate the gigantic lymph nodes under Joshua's arms or along his neck, nor did he inspect his throat as good as I would have liked.

The good news is that I will be starting a full time job after the holidays are over. I will have different insurance for the kids and will be able to pick a doc based on good reputation, not based on being assigned by the crummy insurance we have now.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wooo hooo for weight loss and some new challenges

I'm down a whopping 0.8 pounds. But, that's a step in the right direction and I am happy for it.

I'm also admitting that I have become a mulitple times a day weigher. Seriously, every time I walk into my bathroom, I jump on the scale. Not only do I weigh myself (after I've used the bathroom of course, in case the urine in my thimble sized bladder somehow weighs over an ounce or two), but I try to guesstimate how heavy my clothes are that day. I know, seriously, I sound like a nut. So, recognizing this obsessive and unhealthy behavior, I am putting away my scale until next Thursday. Instead, I'm going to put my obsessive behavior into achieving some goals.

My challenges between this Thursday and next Thursday (Christmas Day) are:

* actually finish mailing out the Christmas cards before Christmas Day
* give myself a pedicure - my toes need some lovin' before Christmas Day
* move-it, move-it for at least 60 minutes a day for today and the next 7 days
* spend 8 hours organizing the house (we still have some areas in unpack mode)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Observations from my couch - or why I may cancel cable

The past week or so I've spent way too much time cuddled under a blanket on the couch. I've allowed my kids to watch way too much TV, and even had my 6 year old pour cereal and milk one night for dinner for the other kids. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm feeling a little television overload. I'm not even sure if it's just the television, perhaps it's the media in general.

I'm tired of hearing about how bad the economy is. Quite frankly, I don't really have concerns about my long-term retirement accounts. I have about 40 years before I'll seriously consider retiring, and I've been alive long enough to understand that our economy works in cycles. That's right, I plan on working into my 70's - I strongly feel as though nursing needs long-term nurses. My thought process with that is that I feel as though nurses that have survived change (current changes being related to increases in technology, local and national government changes related to nursing and population fluctuations), are more likely to help ease the field through the big changes that are still to come. And not to make nursing bigger than it is, but it is the backbone of health care in our country, especially as we begin to see the importance of primary (commonly known as preventative) care. But I digress. So back to the economy - in my little world my husband's job is stable for now - all the things I hate about the military all of a sudden become not so bad when it means I have a roof over my head and food to feed my kids. I am aware that there are other people struggling, and I wish I knew how to fix the problem. But when I turn on the radio or TV or read the paper and constantly hear about how bad things are, it is really overwhelming to me. I start to have anxieties that aren't even relevant to my situation. I almost feel as though I am getting too sensitive to the doom-and-gloom reporting of our country's situation. I'd love to hear more stories about all the people that are giving. We've had some great programs at our church lately, and my son's kindergarten class secretly raised over $200 for his teacher's Christmas gift this year - the money is going for a donation to her daughter's senior class mission trip. Did I mention that Joshua only has 15 other kids in his class - serious generosity at work here.

I caught a few episodes of Jon and Kate Plus Eight. I remember in the past seasons I really liked the show because I liked seeing her lists of stuff all over the house and her big calendar on her fridge. I loved how she occasionally lost her temper. I liked how they were real people struggling with parenting just like the rest of us. This past week, I was disappointed to see that the entire show has turned into a big advertisement for whatever destination resort has invited them to visit. I found myself thinking - man how does she have time to get her hair done with 8 kids at home? Or man, I'd love to hire someone to travel with me and the kids because Lord knows I could use the extra hands. I adored that the kids were all dressed in matching Baby Gap. I was jealous that she actually had the time/money/babysitter to go out on a date with her husband. Quite honestly, my covetous nature kicked in and the green giant in me started doubting myself and being envious that I'm not able to take the kids skiing in brand new clothes after just returning from my trip to Hawaii renewing my wedding vows in a designer gown while my children rolled on the lawn misbehaving. :)

It's funny, I'm really cautious about advertisements for the kids. I don't like the kids being commercially marketed to. Instead of watching Charlie Brown's Christmas Special on TV with all the commercials, I Netflixed it to watch with popcorn minus the commercials. I don't let them watch Noggin, because just about all the shows have become gigantic commercials for the lines of toys that accompany the shows. Not to mention I roll my eyes every time I hear that Noggin is like preschool on TV. Really? Where is the interaction with their peers, direction by an adult, learning about the world around them using all of their senses? Oh dear, this soap box is getting mighty high, I better step off. :)

But funny how I am so worried about over commercializing my kids (as I fully admit that Daniel is wearing an adorable Cookie Monster hand-me-down sweatshirt today, and my mom has bought them more princess, Dora/Diego and Star Wars stuff than the kids ever even knew existed, for Christmas), but yet didn't realize how marketed-to moms are. Lesson learned, the peer pressure for moms is brutal on TV, magazines at the check-out, and a million other places. Nothing like feeling miserable on the couch looking at size zero Kelly Rippa to make me think that it's possible that more moms secretly have self esteem issues and eating disorders than teenage girls, I think we are just more secretive about it, because we are all supposed to be perfect alpha moms.

Maybe it's just my cold-medicine induced hangover, but I'm feeling foolish for feeling the way I do...inadequate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A touch of the flu

Just a little funny - after talking to my doctor again this week, we both had a good giggle.

I had remarked that I hadn't been this ill and achey in a long time and I'm definitely not breastfeeding anyone anymore, but I swear I feel like I have mastitis.

We both had a good chuckle.

For those that don't know mastitis is often presented with flu like symptoms. I'm so tired and so overwhelmed with being mommy and being sick/tired/exhausted/aching that I couldn't even fathom having the flu.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Weekly Weigh-in

Today, I am down 1.6 pounds from last week - for a current weight of 147.4.

Which, honestly, I'm pretty surprised at the rate I've been downing soup. I'm sure all this sodium can't be good for me. I haven't been this sick in a long time.

I had THREE job interviews today. So I muscled through it with the help of some cold medicine, cough drops and soup for lunch between the 2nd and 3rd interview. My head hurts so bad now, and I'd love to go to bed for the night, but alas, the sometimes single mom thing means that I have 3 little darlings to take care of tonight.

The interviews went very well and now I'm afraid I have to make a decision between the two jobs.

I see I also won a Blog Award, I'll need to check that out tonight.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm still around...

Get it...a ROUND? ha, ha, ha....maybe it's the cold medicine, but I crack myself up.

I'm very rarely sick, but somehow the equation of lack of sleep + increased stress + snotty nose kids = mom with a really yucky cold.

So, I wish I could blog about wonderful food I've been eating, but it really hasn't been the case. I will confess that I had some excellent vegetarian black bean soup at Panara Bread last night.

I'm hoping to increase my water consumption over the next day or two. I've been doing alot of sleeping, so I haven't been drinking well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Wow, today's weigh-in is an even 149 lbs.

For the next 7 days, I'm going to record every single thing I eat and track it on to see what my ratio of carbs to calories is. While I'm not a fan of no-carb diets, I am an apple shape and therefore most of my carbs (healthy or not) hang out in my mid section. Can you say mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie crust?

I also had to break down yesterday and buy 3 lb weights for my 30-Day Shred workout video. I found I was putting off doing the video because of the intense pain after the work out. A good burn is great, but when pain interferes with my activities of daily life, it's time to wave the white flad and say I'm worth getting fit, but not getting hurt.

I'm saddened by my weight gain. But I am comforted in knowing that I continue to try.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Standing in the Gap

I strongly believe that the Lord calls on us to "stand in the gap" for each other. In Ezekiel 22:30-31, the Bible says Because the Lord God did not find anyone to "stand in the gap," to intercede for the land, He was requited to pour out the judgment due its disobedience.

For me, to stand in the gap means to intercede on behalf of someone else. This person might be too broken down to express their needs or too hurt to be able to sort out their feelings. To intercede in prayer is for me to pray for someone else. I think God calls on us to pray for each other, speaking on behalf of each other, carrying each others' heavy burdens and rejoicing with each other.

As the new year rolls around in a few weeks, I am adding a new challenge to my prayer life. I am taking the addresses from each of the return envelopes of the rapidly-growing pile of Christmas cards on my desk and putting them in a special place. Each week, I plan to pull an address and stand in the gap for that family. I may not know what specifically is going on for each family, however I can still praise the Lord on their behalf while they weather their own storm. I can also speak on their behalf to the Lord of the harvest to use their family for the plans that He has already planned for them.

If you have sent us a Christmas card this year, you can expect to open your mailbox on any given day to a note from our family letting you know that we have been praying for you and your family. If you are interested in sending a Christmas card our way - please let me know in the comments section - if you leave me your email address, I can send you our house address.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It works for Oprah!

I can't really say that I'm an avid watcher of the Oprah Winfrey show. However, I check out her site all the time because she's always got some great ideas and discounts for the super-cheap like myself. Every once in a while, Oprah does a show based on her favorite things. I've seen it go from something simple like 90 calorie frozen fudgepops to $200 pairs of shoes. I think her entire studio audience gets to take home everything featured on the show. Well, I'm not giving away my favorite things (remember, I just admitted to being super-cheap!). But I am going to make a post every once in a while of my favorite things that allow me to cheat a bit on dinner. You know, those nights where it would be soooo easy to order a pizza because we've been on the go non-stop all day? I try to keep a small arsenal of healthy-ish fast-ish food in my freezer for those days when I have exactly 4.2 minutes to put dinner on the table or someone is going to fall apart. My MIL turned me on to these sweet potato fries. While I have to admit, I like fresh sweet potatoes sliced and baked just a tad bit more than these, it's the time saving factor that makes me like these bagged sweet potatoes. While these are baking, I have time to warm up some Stakelets (vegetarian steaks - very yummy!), boil some corn on the cob and chop a salad. Sure, it takes a little more than that 4.2 minutes allotted by the irritable, hungry children, but it's worth it.

I'm sure there are those that would read this and comment that it really doesn't take that much longer to peel and chop fresh sweet potatoes. And I will take this time to remind you all that this blog is about my own personal growth. That just a month or two ago, I probably would not have given a second thought to finding something healthy for dinner. I probably would have had the phone propped to my ear (battling over insurance coverage for hospital bills, finishing up things from our move, searching for a name it, we all have our things that start as a 5 minute task and then end up sucking up 30 or so minutes of precious dinner prep time), and tossed some hot dogs in the microwave, and tater tots in the oven, or worse, opened a bag of chips to go with them - just in case we hadn't gotten our weekly quota for sodium all in one day.

I'm all about being the best mom any of us can be, whatever that means to you. So for me, being the best mom I can be last week on Thanksgiving meant that I was able to forgive myself for using store bought cranberry sauce just as easily as I was able to have no regrets over the 40 minutes I spent that morning helping my 6 year old create an amazing rocket out of legos. My life is about creating balance. I wish I was that 100% from scratch mom, but for where I'm at today, that's not me. Maybe in a year or two, as I grow in this journey and learn to use my time wiser (than, say, wasting time blogging about my poor time management in the kitchen!). So here is the start of a new segment of things I will label as My Favorite Things. They are my time and sanity savers.