Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Little Engine that Could, Maybe.

I hit a mental wall the other day in my fitness journey.

I have a goal that I am trying to reach by May 6. I need to lose 8 pounds of fat. Not just any old 8 pounds, but 8 pounds of fat. Honestly, I would be perfectly satisfied with losing 8lb of anything that wanted to come off of my body with the exception of a limb or something. However, right now I am not in totally in charge of this journey, my trainer is. Therefore, we will do it his way, since my way has not worked for, oh... about 37 years now, so 8 lbs of fat it is. In fact, I lost 3 lbs the other day and we did not even celebrate because his calculations showed that I lost muscle mass. Who would have thought that I would EVER be anything less than ecstatic about a 3 lb loss?

In order to meet my May 6 goal, I do resistance 3x a week and cardio 4x a week and eat every 3 hours of the waking day. This looks exactly like what I have been doing since making this lifestyle change about a year ago. It has been working, and I know that.

But, the looming deadline is a new dynamic that is messing with my mind.

Why a deadline, you ask? I plan to zip line through the Puerto Rican rainforest the first week in May. Yes, I am serious. I decided to make this my next "Hard Thing." I need to lose 8 lbs to meet the weight requirement. (Humbling to put that out there on the internet, but I'll just count that as a hard thing, too)

We are 6 weeks out and I am still trying to play both sides of the fence. You know, have my cake and eat it, too. Honestly, I have not succumbed to cake, but too many carbs and sugars for sure!

Several times, I have told my trainer and my husband that I don't want to actually do the whole zip line thing. I want to take myself out of the game entirely. Up until now, I have been focused on the process of losing weight and being healthy and enjoying the benefits as they come to me. This new wrinkle adds an element that makes me uncomfortable. I am seeing what I am made of and I don't like it.

I know what I need to do. I know what it takes to get there. I have been doing it with much success.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. Can I?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh Misery, thy name is Strep.

You guessed it. Strep has found its way to our home and into my body. I finally caved yesterday and decided that I might need to see a dr.

I knew something was not right by my response to the lady at Eddie Bauer when she asked me if I wanted her to go get the Long length pants on 70% clearance that she had in the back. My response was not elated jubilation (which is the usual response anytime that I can find pants long enough for my 6'2" body), but instead, I told her that I did not feel well and did not feel like trying on clothes today.

I don't know why I felt like I had to give her a reason, but I did. She, however, was not deterred and brought them to me anyway. Being me, I felt like I had to try them on for size even though I was feverish and felt like I had a large, scratchy rock in my throat. Before heading into the dressing room, I rallied and grabbed a few other items since I was going to make the most of it. She was right. The pants were great, but I decided that I did not need corduroy pants in Houston in March no matter how little they cost. (I hope to be a smaller size by winter anyway!)

I managed to find a cute outfit. I tried to find a link to it on the Eddie Bauer site since some of you told me that you enjoyed the scarf link in a previous post, but I came up linkless. You are stuck with my description: a green, sleeveless shirt that has a criss cross front, a band below the bust and then looser around the hips to bring the emphasis to the top and camouflage the "problem areas" and a denim skirt that falls perfectly at my knees. All that time I spent watching "What Not to Wear" is paying off, baby. Or at least, I think it is. I sure wish I had the $5000, Stacy and Clinton to help me out though.

Right now, I would just settle for more antibiotics!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Calebism #1

We have had a great spring break this week complete with sleepovers, swimming, cousins, grandparents, tractor rides and playdates with friends.

Today our friend came over with her 3 boys and 1 extra boy. In our opinion, you can never have too many boys!

Caleb wanted to go onto a website before they came over, but we ran out of time so he changed tactics. He came to me with a straight face and told me how much his buddy wanted to go onto the site (he is so selfless and other centered, you know.) I smiled and told him that I did not want this playdate to be all about electronics and that I just wanted them to play.

He said, "Mom, this is the 21st century and playdates are all about electronics."

Nice try son. Now go play so that Mom and her friend can update our Facebook statuses.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mama always said that there's more than one way to skin a cat.

I have this new friend that I really enjoy. We have many things in common: We are Aggies. We are BoyMoms. We both have 9 year olds that are in the same class at school. We both work out at the same place. We are both sarcastic. There are many more similarities, but you get the picture.

Today, however, I realized a big difference between us. It noticed it when she asked me what I wrote on the note that I sent to school when I took my son home early to go to the rodeo. You see, she was preparing to write her note today, Saturday, for Monday when she plans to take her son to the rodeo. (There's another similarity: We both go to the rodeo.)

I could not resist the urge to point this difference out in an email to her. Note that I mentioned that we were both sarcastic.

Here is what I wrote:

Dear Name has been omitted in this blog to protect our budding friendship,

Just for fun: Here's a difference between me and you:

You: Carefully plan out your note for Monday and write it on Sat. Place it in the designated spot for notes and other home/teacher communication. Have your son pack it in his backpack on Sunday night to make sure you don't forget it. Serve him a healthy breakfast at the kitchen table and check to make sure he packed the note. Wish him a great day at school.

Contrast that with...

Me: Jot down something illegibly on a scrap of paper or napkin using a crayon while driving the kids through the car rider line wearing my jammies. Hand it to the kids who accidentally get syrup on it because they are having to eat their waffle in the car. Wipe syrup off on jammies. Give kids slightly sticky note. Wish kids a great day at school!

The good news is that we both get the job done!
There you go!

Rodeo Houston!

We took the fam to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Thursday. The boys were all aflutter because we took them out of school early to beat the crowds. We were all looking spiffy, if I must say so myself.

Note about my hat: I have ALWAYS wanted to wear a cowboy hat to the rodeo, but did not have the spunk, aka: self-confidence, to pull it off. Since my past year has been themed: Do Hard Things, I decided to go for it even though I was nervous. But first, I took a poll of my family: Jeremy and Caleb gave the hat a thumbs up while Jonathan gave it a thumbs down. Jeremy reminded me that I needed to trust myself more than I trust a 6 year old boy so I went with the hat. I am glad that I did! It was fun!

We bought the traditional Rodeo Funnel cake:

Jonathan is cut off of the picture, but he is sad because we won't get him a sprite to go along with his other sugary treat. Aren't we horrible parents?

Caleb is ever the statistician. He timed the cowboys and recorded their scores on the program!

After the rodeo, I was excited to see Clay Walker perform. Jeremy and I really liked him when we were dating and I was looking forward to reminiscing.

Jonathan had other plans, however. He decided that Clay Walker's performance would provide the perfect background music for him to learn how to blow his first bubble. He proceeded to park himself between me and Clay. This is what I saw:

Oh well, I can listen to Clay on my IPOD anyday!

There you go!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hi ho, Hi ho! It's off to work, I go!

After 8 1/2 glorious years of staying home with my kids, it might be nice to make a little money. Technically, I only stay home with the dog at this point since both boys are in school, but that point is neither here nor there. Since I have been unsuccessful at finding a job where I do nothing and make loads of money, I decided to fall back on my degree and apply to be a substitute teacher.

After months of being on the sub list and not subbing, I finally accepted a job today. It was an ideal situation: a half day job for a teacher that I know. I was so excited about it. Caleb was too. He said, "Mom, you are going to make me so famous by subbing at my school!" Glad I could help you out there, son.

I arrived early to make a good impression and because I didn't want them to dock any of my $45 dollars minus taxes that I would be paid for the half day. Seriously, I have paid a sitter more money to watch my kids while I go out on a date with Jeremy. And all I wanted the sitter to do was to keep my kids alive and mostly happy until I got home.

Today, I was in charge of 19 or 20 First graders. I knew that I would need a few tricks up my sleeve so I packed stickers, books, and a cool light up toy that I dubbed my "Happy Ring." Sheer genius, I tell you!

It started well as I managed to get them all in safely from recess and delivered to their afternoon classes. Then, the fun began with the group that I taught in the afternoon. They seemed to multiply as the day went on, and by multiply, I don't mean mathematically. There were so many of them and they all had something to tell me and they needed to tell me all at the same time and they were so cute that I did not have the heart to make them quit. The Happy Ring worked wonders though and I patted myself on the back for such tremendous forethought.

Here are some highlights:
  • We played a Bingo review game in which I had to comfort a sweet little girl who had tears welling up in her eyes because she did not make a Bingo.
  • I had to go in to the boys' bathroom and flush #2 down the toilet because someone forgot to flush and none of the boys would do it for me. (I flushed using my foot and held my breath the whole time! Looks like all those years of staying home with my kids were preparing me for something.)
  • When a substitute teacher tries to change up a 1st grade class' routine, whether intentional or not, it causes them all to simultaneously shout out "That's not the way our teacher does it!"...maybe they are all a teensy weensy bit OCD, but it could just be me...
  • Holding a clipboard is all that I really need to feel like a real teacher again!
Since it has been a while since I taught, I knew that I might be a little drained by the end of the day. Whoa buddy, I am beat. My dogs are barking, too! I forgot the reason that teachers wear sensible shoes. They walk the equivalent of a marathon in about a day and a half.

One of the horrible side effects of working today happened when I got home and tried to play my Wordscraper games. I was so tired that I missed a 4XWord score, and my archrival, Kristin, scored 70 points off of the word HOG. She couldn't believe that I missed that move and asked if I was just letting her win. Not at all, my dear Kristin. My brain just does not know how to respond to 4 hours of hard labor.

But, at least I am $45 minus taxes richer!!
There you go!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Will someone please help me hold my eyes open?

I am a night owl. Truly, I am. I can get more done after 10:00 at night than most people do in a whole day. When I was younger, I could bounce back after a late night, but not so much anymore:

When Kristin and I were in Philadelphia, we stayed up until about 2am Thurs, 3am Fri, and 5am Sat.

Our mantra was: We did not come all the way to Pennsylvania to go to bed before 2am!

(The mantra changes according to the city that we are in at the time. We also don't so much use it as a mantra, but as a threat to the weaker one who looks like they want to go to bed. We are not above bullying, or as I like to refer to it, creative motivation, in our relationship.)

What were we doing until all hours of the night, you may ask? Although I would like to tell you that we were partying like rock stars or solving the world's problems, we weren't. We were scrapbooking: chronicling our families lives by making a book of scraps. She and I have been bonding over scrapbooking since before we had kids. Her husband says that their family is the best documented family on the face of the earth and I believe him. Mine is a close second!

Now you may also wonder, why can't you scrapbook during the daylight hours?
You see, we belong to an ancient group of Vampire scrapbookers and our only inspiration comes at night OR we are just plain crazy. Honestly, we did scrap during the day, but the genius really comes at night. Perhaps, it is the caffeine and sugar that we drink in order to stay awake that stimulates the creative side of our brains. I don't really know, but that is just how it is.

Anyhoo, we thought that we were so smart since we took early evening naps. Also, I planned to sleep on the airplane ride home. I am sure that you recall that my plane sleeping plans were thwarted. I did not worry much as I had a slow Monday and figured that I could catch up while the kids were at school and bounce right back into my busy life.

Yeah, things did not happen like that.

Let's just say this: It is Wednesday and I can barely hold my own head up without massive amounts of caffeine and a 30 minute or 3 hour nap each day. The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be! (hey, did you say that I was gray? I beg to differ as I paid good money today in between my morning and afternoon naps to be blonde!)

I really don't have a point to this blog, or maybe I did, but I am too tired to remember.
There you go!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

25 Random Things about me:

1. I was adopted at 12 days old. Having kids was an especially cool thing for me because I finally had someone who looked like me (even though everyone always remarked that he looked just like my husband).
2. I always wonder what I did during those first 12 days.
3. I still trade Christmas cards with my 5th grade teacher and I can name every teacher that I every had from K-12.
4. I really love a Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic. It's the ice, baby!
5. I don't make my bed on a regular basis because we are just going to get back into it that night.
6. I like repetitive mindless tasks and am really good at them.
7. I once wanted to be a doctor or an advertising executive.
8. My fingers turn an amazing shade of purple when I am cold or stressed. Oh yeah, my toes do it too!!
9. I learned how to swim at the age of 35 from my kids' swim coach.
10. Friends is/was my favorite show. I have been know to ignore a real friend's phone call so that I could watch my fake friends: Monica, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross and Chandler.
11. I keep several episodes of Friends on my DVR and watch it almost daily.
12. I have lived in Texas, Virginia, and Louisiana.
13. I love the color pink and wear it in some form at some point everyday.
14. I have been over 6 feet tall since about 6th grade.
15. I really get tired of people who ask me how tall I am. When I am really irritated, I will tell them in inches and make them figure it out for themselves.
16. I love to learn new things, often just for the sake of learning.
17. I became a Christian at age 14, but really started walking closely with the Lord when I was in my early 20's.
18. I spend way too much time on the computer... (bet you knew that one!)
19. I have always loved to read.
20. I wish my life were a musical or at least had a soundtrack.
21. Our family watched a space shuttle lift-off during our 2007 vacation to Florida. It was the coolest thing ever!
22. I am a night owl who has been trying to reform herself for many years without any luck.
23. I think that my kids are the cutest, smartest, cleverest, handsomest kids in the world.
24. When my youngest son was born, he went through a not so cute stage: baby acne, cradle cap, red blotches, and hair that stood straight up. I told Jeremy that we would just love him even though he might grow up to be ugly. Jeremy thought that I was nuts. Looking back, I think I was. Gotta love those postpartum blues.
25. I do not like to listen to messages on my phone answering machine. Right now there are 8 messages on it and I do not know what they are about. Moreover, I do not want to listen to them and probably won't for days. Call me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just Keeping it Real

This post has been added in an effort to keep this blog true to life. We apologize in advance for the negative tones that are present in this entry. We expect that the positive, uplifting tone will return once the author gets a decent night's sleep and hug from someone in her family.

Do you remember that a few short days ago, I posted about how much I loved airports and how romantic they are and all that junk?

Well, I don't exactly take it back because I did feel like that on the Thursday when I was fresh. Note the past tense used in that sentence.

You guessed it, there is another side to that "Romantic, I would love to travel all the time" coin.

A not so pretty side, called: "Sunday-night-travel-home-when-the-plane-is-delayed-and-a-snowstorm-is-threatening-to-come-in-and-dump-9-14 -inches-of-snow-before-I-can-get-home-and-I-am-so-tired-what-was-I-thinking-when-I-left-the safety-of home".

All exacerbated by the following:
  1. We stayed up until 5am scrapbooking and being silly. Sleep deprivation brings out the best in me. Not.
  2. I did not have lunch. When I did try to eat, I stood in line at Burger king for about 10 minutes. When I reached the counter, the lady showed me a small, one might say miniscule, sign that said that they did not take credit cards. "What kind of place in America, in an airport nonetheless, does not take credit cards?!?" I screamed deep inside my head, as I sweetly turned on one heel and searched for an ATM machine.
  3. Plan B of catching up on sleep on the plane ride home was thwarted by an Evil Master Plan devised by some Evil Tweens in the row behind me who had more energy than the Energizer Bunny. They kept talking and talking and talking and talking and kicking my seat and kicking my seat and kicking my seat.
  4. The cabin was C-C-C-C-COLD!
  5. I was even colder since during the 5 minutes that I actually did fall asleep, I inadvertently spilled about 16 oz of ice cold diet coke all in my lap. Good times! Good times!
Did I give up with all that "adversity"? No, I persevered! I used a ton of Self-Talk strategies.

It was tough, but I did it. I survived the scheduling delay and the Burger King debacle. I did not let the evil plan to keep me from my beauty sleep stop me, but instead, I used that wide awake time to categorize the pictures on my laptop. The diet coke dried and Flight 1077 triumphantly landed in Houston.

I maneuvered the baggage claim, the park-n-fly, and drove all the way home for a warm welcome from my darling family whom I assumed were waiting expectantly for me to return and complete their lives.

Well, think again, baby. I came home to a dark house and all boys snug in their beds.

But as the saying goes, There's no place like home!

There you go!