A Few Steps Behind

So, I am sick, AGAIN!

And I’m so frustrated about it already.

First we had that stupid flu for a week…..then I felt better for almost a week and then managed to pick up some stupid cough/congestion thingy. It sucks! Actually to say it sucks is putting it mildly.

And now Geli has the flu…..she’s been out since Saturday….it’s awesome. She’s normally a bit of a grouchy person and right now she is 100 times grouchier than normal….which makes for some AWESOME, AMAZING times at our house.

With me feeling like my head is full of 1,000 pounds of glue and that the glue is slowly oozing down into my lungs and suffocating me and no amount of coughing is helping to clear it away not feeling well, I’m not as “on top of it” as I normally am.

The house is a bit messier and I still have not come up with a meal plan for the week. We had a pork roast last night and I do have a lasagna in the freezer (Crap! I gotta go and pull that sucker out to defrost……be right back…………DONE!) and if we continue along with our “normal Wednesday meal of Soup, then I guess I have up to tomorrow planned. Although before right this moment, all I knew that I was thinking about doing the lasagna tonight as it required no effort on my part….

I still have to come up with something for the rest of the week, AND we desperately need to go shopping, but that’s the LAST THING that I feel like doing……..maybe Jon’ll go when he comes home from work tonight? We need stuff for the kids to take for lunches…..GLURG!

I hate feeling like this.

I hate seeing my house untidy.

I hate feeling like I’m behind on things.

I hate feeling just slightly out of control.

I hate feeling so stinking tired (and like an elephant is sitting on my head.)

I can’t wait to start to feel normal again.

Alright, so now that I’ve complained so much – I’m reminded of the whole “attitude of gratitude” thing and I’m determined to find something to be thankful for…….gimmee a minute…..

……..or two………

……..or three………

……..or four………….

Alrighty….well, that took longer than I’d have liked, and I really struggled to find something to be thankful for in the middle of these circumstances, but right now….

I’m thankful to be sitting here in my beautiful house (albeit a tiny bit messy) with the GLORIOUS SUN FLOODING IN MY BIG WINDOWS. The atmosphere in my house feels so alive and yet peaceful at the same time. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to enjoy the sun shining into my house and on me today.

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I could be working. It could be raining. It could be a lot worse than it is right now….but for now……I’m thankful.

Alright, I’m off to figure out the rest of the week’s food and to consider what else I am thankful for.

What are you thankful for today?

Another Monday Morning Weigh-In

Well, I normally dread these Monday morning weigh-ins and yet this weekend……not so much!

And wouldn’t you know it, for all of my not dreading it…..I gained weight this week. How’s that for fun?

The scale showed a clear 193.8…..that’s UP 1.6 pounds from last week.

While I’m not happy about that – I’m also not devastated. I’m still exercising (4 times this week) and I’d guess that I just need to be a little more aware of what I put in my mouth this week.

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I will get “there”. In my mind, “there” means healthy and happy with myself. That’s what I’m working on….. While at times it may seem like an uphill battle, every positive choice that I make takes me one step closer to that goal.

I think that for me, one thing that I’m learning is that it’s all about choices and consequences. If I choose to eat healthy and to exercise, I’ll reap the rewards that lifestyle brings. On that other hand, I am also responsible for the choices to eat crap and to take a day (or two or three or so) off exercising.

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While once in a while “treats” are okay – it really needs to be once in a while, and not “the norm”. I think I’m learning…..slowly….oh so slowly. It’s not that I’ve not known this in the past, but I’ve just not really accepted it or lived my life as if these rules applied to me. Like I said, I’m learning…..

I don’t really see a big difference between these photos and the previous ones, but that’s okay. I’m feeling good and I know that I’ve lost 10 lbs and for right now…..that’s good. It will come. I will be healthy. I believe it.

Crazy Week…..I’ll Be Right Back

Well, This has been a crazy week and I’m hoping that regularly scheduled blatherings nonesense programming will resume fairly soon.

I’m headed out to my cousin’s baby shower. She is pregnant with the the first in a string of babies to be born into our family. It’s so exciting. I can’t wait to meet her little one.

The girls have headed out to a pumpkin carving contest….we should hear back later today if they won or not. The prize is $500 for their school’s library.

Geli did win a different contest recently. The kids at the school were challenged to submit an entry that pertained to the Olympics…..2 winners were chosen from the school and those two kids got their designs turned into a flag that lines the streets here in our city…. Geli’s was chosen and two weeks ago she got to spend the morning working with some artists to fine tune her picture into a design suitable for a flag.

It will be exciting to go and see it when it’s hung. They will let us know when and we will go and take a picture of her and her flag.

I hope that your weekend is restful and peaceful and full of fun and laughter.

Monday Morning Update

So, another Monday has rolled around and the kids are off to school and I’m headed off to coffee with a dear friend shortly.

Jon is cooking some breakfast – eggs and homemade sourdough bread…..YUM!

I’m sitting here in my clean and tidy home and today feels like a GREAT DAY.

It doesn’t hurt that when I stepped on the scale this morning I was down to 192.2lbs.

YAH!!!!! That’s 5.2 lbs down since Sept 28th and from August 9th (when I started exercising)…..it’s 10lbs+/- that I’ve lost.

Although, if I’m totally honest, I will have to admit that the weight loss (this week) was from a really cruddy week of being sick, and not from extra diligent and careful effort on my part. I ate soup, soup and more soup and I managed to drag myself out to exercise ONCE (on Friday) and…..it was BRUTAL!

I think that saying that I did about half the class is an overstatement. I guess that’s the fallout from spending the week on the couch.

I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER and aside from just being a tiny bit tired….it’s as if last week never even happened.

I’ve been frustrated for a while at how tired I’m feeling. It’s been particularly frustrating because WHY AM I EXERCISING AND NOT FEELING ANY BETTER? After two months at this, I should be able to do a set without feeling like I’m dying, right?

Then I started wondering about my Iron levels. See, I cut out red meat back in the summer. If I don’t absolutely HAVE TO, I’m not eating it. I feel really cruddy when I eat it…like it’s physically noticeable how hard it is for me to digest and so….I choose to stop eating it, and VOILA – I feel better! But, like I said, I wondered if I might have a bit of a low iron issue – due to other issues that I’m just not gonna talk about right now – trust me on this one…..honestly!

Well, This past weekend we went out and got a Iron Supplement and I’ve been taking it since Saturday and the difference is already noticeable.

I’m hoping that I’ll feel a bit more energized soon.

I’m back at the exercise this week. I am noticing changes in my clothes and that adds a tiny bit of extra incentive to keep going. The clothes I wore yesterday honestly felt “frumpy” because they were a bit too loose, so I’m gonna need to ransack my closet and figure out which clothes actually work and which ones need to get shoved to the back corners…..hopefully forever.

It is hard to keep going when you don’t see “things” happening, but I am seeing that perseverance is paying off. This is no quick fix deal. It’s a life style…..made ONE. CHOICE. at a time…..for every good choice there is a positive reaction (eventually) and for every poor choice there is an equally poor consequence……

I’m working towards making the positive choices.

ps. I’ll try to get Jon to take a picture of me today and I’ll add it later…….

Focusing on an Attitue of Gratitude

I know that it’s late and that Thanksgiving is over, but seeing as I was sick through the weekend – I figure that I got a little extra time….and really, who needs an excuse to be thankful, REALLY???

Recently, I read this…

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and it really struck me.

Only shortly after reading it (while I was feeling like death warmed over and stuck at home alone left to care for two children, the 11 yr old, who was sick and the 2 yr old, who was not sick…..I know, poor me!) Xandra dumped a bag of popcorn – by accident – all over the kitchen floor.

This flashed back into my thoughts and I realized that I had a choice as to how I was going to view this situation.

I could be SO annoyed and angry that she did this and that now I had to clean a huge mess when I was already feeling cruddy and the baby was just getting into everything and spreading mess everywhere and everything hurts, especially to move and this required a lot of moving and bending and extreme head ache-y-ness and my mood could have just spiraled down so that I ended up feeling even worse than I already did. If I was feeling particularly bad, I could grouch loudly at Xandra and make her feel even worse than she already did…maybe I could even make her cry….see it could just be an all round amazing situation…..

Or, I could realize that it really wasn’t that big of a deal and not only did I get to spend some extra time with my daughter, but we were in no hurry and had tons of time to clean the mess up AND….I got a clean floor out of it all.

I CHOOSE to grab a hold of the second option and felt a lot better than if I had gone with Option A.

I’ve found myself over the past couple of days with time to think and seeing as life has drastically slowed down for me this week – what with me being sick and all – I’ve had lots of time to think about this whole “attitude of gratitude” thing.

It is amazing what can happen when you choose to focus on the positive in any situation.

Siah poked a pencil into my BRAND NEW LEATHER OTTOMAN…13 times ….and I wanted to cry. I called Jon, and whimpered quietly into the phone. After I got off the phone, I thought to myself, “Really, what is the good in this situation?” it took a bit of thinking, and what I came up with was that now it’s had it’s first “child wounding” and unless you really look for the holes, you can’t see it and well, really in the grand scheme of things it’s not the hugest deal AND I got to talk to Siah a bit more about treating things with respect (“being nice” – in 2 year old language).

I could have been angry and yelled at him and been annoyed for the rest of the day, but I choose to focus on the positive and not to dwell on the negative. It was amazing.

I have caught myself multiple times feeling grouchy and annoyed that I feel SO CRAPPY, but instead of wallowing in my own personal dimension of hell, I’ve focused on the fact that I’m having a quiet week. I’ve stepped off the crazy train of life and have been able to cocoon inside my home and rest. I’m able to rest…..that right there is amazing. Aside from the feeling crappy part, oh, and the part where I still have 4 kids and 80 million loads of laundry to conquer and a kitchen that never seems to stop spitting out dirty dishes and……okay, I’m getting carried away again……aside from all of that stuff, it feels almost like a little vacation.

I am choosing to slow down, take it easy, rest, relax, heal…. I’m not pushing past it all and valiantly forcing onward. I’m being selfish and not sharing any of the these germs with anyone else, if I can help it.

I LOVE that in the middle of this rough week, that I can still smile and be thankful…..for everything…..even if some things require a little more thought to see the positive within the situation.

What are you thankful for today?

When Planning Ahead Totally Pays Off

Last Thursday was an “At Home” day for me.

I had planned on running out to the store to pick up some groceries for the weekend and then figured that while I was headed out, I might as well plan for the next week of meals and pick up what I could for the next weeks meals and that way I’d be one step ahead of myself (if that’s even possible).

And now……am I ever glad that I planned for this week early!

I feel like crap BUT…. Jon and the kids are able to keep things running smoothly on the meal side of things.

There were a few adjustments to last weeks schedule…..but this is normal, eh?

Friday we were supposed to have Bar-B-Que chicken, BUT…the girls headed over for a sleepover at my sisters and so Jon, I and the boys had Taco Del Mar. YUM!

Saturday was the Thanksgiving dinner with my family and then Sunday…….

Sunday was the day that I felt absolutely brutal. We were going to have Jon’s parents over for dinner and have pork roast. Instead, we canceled on Jon’s parents and took the chicken that we were going to make on Friday and used it to make Chicken Soup.

It was just what I wanted….and it was so good that I made a second batch this morning.

My Chicken Soup Recipe

Put a few pieces of chicken, cloves of garlic, a whole cut up onion and 2 Tblsp of Oregano into a pot of water.

(I did 4 chicken legs, 6 cloves of garlic, and 1 large onion into approx 16 cups of water)

Boil it all for 2 hours or more.
Pull out the meat and put aside to cool.
Strain the garlic and onion out of the broth and blend in blender with a tiny bit of broth.
Pour blended garlic and onions back into broth.
Once meat is cool enough to touch, strip it from the bones.
Cut meat into small pieces and return to soup
Cut up 2 carrots, 1 cup daikon, 1.5 cups zucchini, 1 cup celery & add to soup. (all guesses)
Add 2 Tblsp of Miso soup paste to soup.
Add rice noodles or rice or barley……your choice….(I did rice noodles)
Add Salt to taste

Simmer, Stir and Enjoy……

Anyway, without further delay, here is the planned out Meal Schedule for this week.

Monday: Beef & Broccoli over Rice (I ate some broccoli and rice – it was yummy)

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Salad

Wednesday: Soup & Salad and Biscuits

Thursday: Chicken Stir-fry over Rice noodles

Friday: Ham & Pineapple Kabobs with Rice

Saturday: Burgers with Homemade Fries

Sunday: Lasagna & Salad

I’ll probably eat soup for as long as I feel crappy, but the rest of the family will still eat good.

It’s just nice to know that even though I feel lousy that we have what we need and I don’t need to run out and pick tons of stuff up.

Loss at a Price…it’s not worth it!

Alrighty, so right off the bat….I stepped on the scale this morning and I weighed 194.2 lbs.

But, I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.

I ache all over and my tonsils feel like they are too big for my throat and swallowing hurts and my head hurts….and well….It’s not awesome.

I’d post a picture for you, but seeing as I desperately need a shower and my hair is greasy and stringy and all over the place and I’m in my pyjamas and feel really nasty because Siah peed on me after he climbed into bed with us this morning (Oh yah, THAT was a real treat of a wake up call) Well, the picture just ain’t gonna happen – at least not today.

If I had to choose between the weight loss and feeling this badly or staying the same weight or even gaining weight and not feeling sick…..I’d choose the not feeling sick and gaining weight over this. I really don’t remember the last time I was sick and THIS SUCKS! I’m so glad that we don’t get sick very often.

We have 4 of the 6 of us out with varying forms of “not feeling well”…..Jeremy is coughing like he’s practicing as if it’s an Olympic event. Siah has the LONGEST snot trails that I’ve ever seen….and Xandra – well, she feels like me. Jon and Geli are unscathed, and unless something miraculous happens, I’m not seeing us returning back to normal life anytime soon.

I’m hoping for the miracle.

On Addition and preparation…….

Okay, so I had some great feedback and encouragement about the weight…..

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I’m serious. I know…..like really KNOW that I am in fact losing inches. I put on a pair of pants today that I wore a month ago and they were tight….like muffin top tight. It was HAWT! And yes…I wore them anyway! How sad is that?!?

Anyway, I put them on this morning and……not only did I fit into them, but they were loose.

I have lost my measuring tape….I think the kids have taken it so I really have no idea what the actual measurement is now.

I just need to stay focused on my goal of being “Healthy” and not so focused on the skinny.

I have some thoughts to share on the whole skinny thing but I’ll save that for later. I had this revelation the other day…it was interesting……..

Anyway, I did make up my meal plan yesterday and then promptly ignored it…..or maybe I should say that I rearranged it.

Here is how I worked it on originally….

Monday: Pizza
(We never did do the pizza last week. We had some family come over for dinner and threw on some burgers instead)

Tuesday: Hard Shell Tortilla’s
We didn’t do this last week either….we ended up having a “scrounge for yourself ” night.

Wednesday: Soup, Salad, and Bisquits
I made some fresh Chicken soup yesterday and it smelled like Thanksgiving dinner. I made enough for 2 batches)

Thursday: Salmon, Rice & Veggies

Friday: Bar-B-Que Chicken & Potatoes

Saturday: THANKSGIVING DINNER with my Family

Sunday: Leftovers

That’s how I planned the week, but I never did make it out to the grocery store to pick up a few items that I needed and so the pizza didn’t happen last night. Instead, we ate one of the batches of soup. I am not sure if I’m going to go ahead and eat the second batch on Wednesday or if we’re going to swap and have the pizza on Wednesday.

I’ll wing it when tomorrow afternoon comes.

This is why I LOVE having a meal plan. I still have flexibility to change if needs be, but on days where I have no time…it is so immensely helpful. Not to mention so much nicer for the kids. Someone mentioned that their mom did this when they were kids and that they LOVED knowing what was coming.

I seriously hear the question, “What’s for dinner?” a bazillion times a day. Okay, maybe not a bazillion….but the kids do start asking even before they have eaten breakfast. Which….honestly…is SO FRUSTRATING! because….well, I haven’t had my coffee yet and just eat your breakfast and don’t ask stupid questions….. GAH!

So as long as I plan, and then remember to write it out on the family calendar, so that the kids can see….it not only helps with staying on top of the daily meals, but it eliminates SO MANY annoying questions.

And seriously….who likes annoying questions anyway, eh?

Yup – And here it is…..

Alrighty so guess what? I gained weight this week.

How’s that for a bummer?

Here it is Monday morning and I’m supposed to weigh in and so i stepped on the scale this morning and…..

198.2lbs

HOW THE CRAP DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Yah…well…it’s that oh so special week of the month.

And for whatever reason I gain….as in… I stepped on the scale one day and was down at 194……and then the next morning I was right back up to 200.

I didn’t eat anything weird or different….this is just my fun yo-yo monthly weight fluxuations.

It is VERY discouraging, but because I know to expect it….well, no, it’s still discouraging even though I know to expect it.

I do feel puffy and my fingers feel squishy…that’s where I can really feel the “bloat”. So, I’m just gonna keep on exercising (I made it to class 5 days this week – YAH) and watching what I’m eating and I’m hoping that my next weigh in, things’ll be back to normal.

I might even have a picture for next week’s….if I can remember to get Jon to take one.

Well, I’ve gotta go and plan my weeks meals and tidy the house and fold 80 bazillion loads on laundry that are currently in a mountain on my bedroom floor. But, HEY! They’re clean, at least…..and COFFEE….that’s the very next thing on the to-do list.

I’m gonna leave you with a little song that I’m currently grooving on right now….I LOVE this version.

Struggling in an Upward, Forward Motion

With all this talk of weight loss, meal planning, and food – I thought it about time for something entirely off that topic.

Things have been hard recently.

Things with Jeremy have been hard recently….and yet….they’ve been AMAZING.

I’m seeing things this year that have me almost crying with excitement and relief.

He is LOVING this new chance at this new school in this new year with new friends and new teachers. It’s been amazing. In the morning, He is so excited to go to school. In the afternoon, he comes home from school so excited by the events of the day. He has the most amazing teachers and after our first meeting with them – they had NO IDEA that Jeremy was anything other than one of the other “normal” kids.

This move was a GREAT move for us. We are really seeing that now. We believed that it would be, but we are REALLY seeing that is the case now.

He is still struggling with his reading and his spelling is atrocious. His organizational skills are not amazing, heck, they are almost non-exsistent BUT…..compared to last year – it is staggering how far he has come.

And, there is even classwork, that the teacher is expecting the kids to have to finish at home (not enough class time given) that Jeremy is finishing within the time allotted during class.

Having talked about how great this year at school is going so far is just one aspect of where we are at.

My Boy

This summer was brutal. Jeremy needed the extra chemical help over the summer more often than I would have liked. And to be honest, we “dealt” with his atrocious behavior more often than we should have because 1) We are trying to get him to be self aware to to monitor when he thinks he needs the meds and 2) the meds make him feel sick to him tummy and 3) he sleeps even worse ON the meds than he already sleeps without the meds and 4) we were trying desperately to fatten him up over the summer as (see number 2) he really doesn’t eat when on the meds during the school year.

So, we “STUCK IT OUT” and really, it sucked….it was a rough, ROUGH summer.

And, he didn’t gain the weight that we’d hoped for after all. Talk about a bummer all around. All that struggle and effort for NOTHING. AAAARRRRGGGHH! This is where you’d see me banging my head against the wall.

We had an appt with the pediatrician on Monday afternoon and we talked about two main points of struggle. Eating and sleeping. The fact that the teachers had no clue that Jer was on meds or that he struggled with ADD is a pretty good indication that the meds that he is currently on are working really well for him. So, based on that, we are not going to mess with his meds because why mess with a working thing?

We are hoping that the other areas that he’s struggling with will be helped by 1) actually getting him to eat something….lots of somethings….and 2) we’ve got a prescription for Clonidine.

It’s the Dr’s hopes (and ours too) that after a month on this med and some pretty scheduled bedtime routines that he will fall into a regular sleep routine. Also, getting a month of sleep can’t hurt and we’re seriously hoping that it’ll really help. After discussion of his sleep behavior, it’s unlikely that he’s TRULY sleeping at nights and this would/could account for the inability to wake up in the mornings and the brutal, BRUTAL dark circles under his eyes, and the waking to come to our bed multiple times at night, and a host of other issues all sleep related.

It’s so hard to see him struggling……to see him upset at himself…….to see him recognizing that what he is doing is not appropriate and to see that he feels powerless to make appropriate changes (not true, but it’s how he feels from time to time).

“I” know he’s not powerless and “I” can see the times that he makes good choices, and we try to make a BIG deal when he does make great choices and to not FOCUS or HARP on him when he makes not so great choices, but to still let him learn from the consequences……but in his mind..

……the negative outweighs the positive. And that’s so SO hard to see.

But, we continue to have hope and to see the negative while holding onto the positive and believing for the best. We continue to put one foot in front of the other in an upward and forward motion knowing that we are walking this road for a reason and knowing that we are not alone and that there are BIGGER “plans for hope and a future” and that we will all come through this situation more loving, more compassionate, more understanding of others who are struggling down their own life’s paths.