Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday: Smorgasbord!

Happy news for me this morning. I lost .6 lbs this week. Wish it would have been 2, but I can't be upset about a loss. I had 3 parties since last Wednesday and each had a smorgasbord of exceptional choices (taste wise, not diet conscious wise.) I am having a really difficult time fitting exercise into the equation. I can't expect the weightloss to continue without it so I must figure something out!

This post is going to be a smorgasbord of sorts as well..besides the weigh in day, there's lots to talk about!

The three parties in the last seven days: My Grandmother's 88th birthday. We had family come up from Florida to visit so it was great seeing family that we never get to see. My niece's (and Goddaughter)1st birthday party. She is getting to be such a big girl! She's still a baldy bean but should be walking soon.

I can't believe it's been a year since she was born. It got me thinking a little bit about one of the babies I lost last year. My first miscarriage was a baby girl. I named her Sadie and I lost her when I was 16 weeks pregnant. Her 1st birthday would have been coming up here in August. I think about what she would be like...

Ahem, The third party was a church gathering. A thank you party for those that volunteered to raise funds for our capital campaign. I didn't know what to expect because the party was held at house where our pastor lives and I have never been there. Also, our pastor is rumored to be an EXCELLENT chef (Although I have not eaten his food)and I was intrigued to see what would be served. Let me tell you the spread was not disappointing, BUT he didn't have time to cook anything and had it catered. There was wine flowing freely and hoers d'oeuvres like: Mushroom Pate, Mini Crab cakes, A cheese assortment, These pinwheel thingies, Spiced nuts, an Olive tray, Tomato tarte, and more. Then there was a dessert room with tons of cookies and treats. It was heavenly!!!

On Monday when I went grocery shopping the power went out. The generators came on, but it meant that I couldn't dump the kids into "The Eagle's Nest" which is the free daycare at the store. I wasn't about to go home so I started the trip with the 4 girls beside me. There were no Large Carts (you know, the ones that you can seat three children in) so I had the baby in the cart and everyone else just tagging along. I was hoping that the power would come on within minutes, but tried to make the best of it. I gave my list to Jordan and set her to the task of finding and checking off items from the list. Ava and Olivia helped pick out the produce: nectarines, mangoes, bananas, apples etc.

An older woman stopped to admire Chloe and asked if she was mine. I said yes, then she noticed my tag alongs and asked "Are these yours too?" She asked with a smile. "Yep!" She said that I did not look old enough to have 4 kids. I said "Well, I am 33." She looked at me like I was nuts and said that I looked so young...she thought I was 16! OK! I took it as a compliment. Recently, I've noticed some wrinkles that were never there before so the fact that this woman thought I looked young, made me feel good.

Monday night was book club. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin was this month's pick. I was super excited to read this book. Who couldn't use more happiness in their life? I've decided to start my happiness project but I have to think about it more. I'm sure you'll be hearing me go on about it in this blog sooner or later! I've already included a button on my sidebar if you want to check out what it's all about.

Also, we are under construction at "What Little Girls Are Made Of"...lost my layout so I was forced to revamp a little. There are more changes to come, but for now, I just wanted to make it presentable. I am working on a new banner and I may change other things too. I just need to find the time!!

Lastly, I'm super exhausted. Between making phone calls (which I despise), taking care of kiddos who have some sort of mystery fever, cooking, keeping up with daily chores, detail cleaning for our first open house this weekend, and being alone in the evenings (Hubby has been working late--yay, for extra money for vacation. Boo, for parenting alone, no adult conversation, and one tired man) I am completely pooped.

This really was a smorgasbord...hope you found something to indulge in...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday: Slow and Steady.

Here we go...settling into a normal weight loss. I would have liked to have seen two pounds this week but I'm down one instead. Fine with me! Any loss is a good loss and after a spectacular first week I will take anything except a gain! I'm down 7.6 pounds since starting, down 37.6 from the height of pregnancy, and down 22.8 from 2 days after giving birth. Not too shabby for 8 weeks.  Just 4.4 lbs to go until prepregnancy weight.

So what worked this week. I counted points this week and stayed within my range.  I'm not happy that I did not account for a couple of bites that I took here and there and I want to pay closer attention to the grazing that I tend to do during the day.  On the exercise front...only got in one (half)
 yoga session this week. I have a nice healthy ache in my shoulders, biceps and abs from it--little bit that I did.  I'd like to work on that as well, since it's great to be loosing weight, but just as important is the need to tone up.

I'm supposed to take measurements today, promised myself I'd do it every two weeks, but I haven't done it yet.

In other news, It's my Grandma's birthday today and my aunt and uncle are hosting a swim party at their house. Also some out of town relatives will be in. So it promises to be a fun family day.  When the family gets together you can expect the food temptations to be high.  I just have to practice some moderation today!  Wish me luck!

P.S. I've been informed that my background is going to be disappearing this Friday...forcing me to change things up..which is fine, because I need to update and add little "Chlo-worm" to tree. To that end, we will be going under construction in the next week or so. Please bear with!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sleep Experiment...

Note: I know that baby is to sleep on her back, but she does like being on her belly and I'm sitting right here next to her, so don't fret!
I'm reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin for book club this month. Actually got the book awhile ago and started to read it and I got away from it, and now I'm reading it again for book club.  So, I like the book and when I like things I tend to look them up on-line. And Gretchen has a blog that she started that went along with her writing the book and now there are thousands of people doing their own happiness projects and what not. But I digress, because I'm not writing this blog about the book. 

When I was looking at the site this last time, a little thing about Grumpy Spouses caught my eye.  It caught my eye because I have a grumpy spouse. (I hate to admit it, and he's not grumpy ALL the time, but sometimes he's really grumpy.) So I clicked on the link because I want to understand my grumpy spouse. The little side article talked about reasons why your spouse might be grumpy and there in black and white listed close to the top of the list was not getting enough sleep. And BINGO!  I know for a fact that Jim does not get enough sleep. We go to bed usually at 10pm and he is up at 4:30am (sometimes earlier), not to mention that he's a light sleeper and we are often disrupted by late night visitors who are scared, need help using the bathroom, are thirsty etc. or the baby wakes needing changed or fed or both,  or the dog is freaking out because a little storm blows through and he is a big baby, or whatever!

It makes me sad to look at the dark circles under my husbands eyes, or to see him fall asleep on the couch before dinner, or once the kids go to bed (or both) because this is valuable QT that we could be spending as a family or as a couple. His fatigue causes him to become short tempered with the kids, impatient with me and uber sensitive to mess. I had a bright idea at the end of last week.  Why don't you get 8 hours of sleep for a full week and see if it alters your mood and energy level, dear.  Well, counting back from 4:30am means getting to bed no later than 8:30 (um, the KIDS don't even go to bed until 9 since it's summer and the sun is still out at 8:30!) So, he has to make due with 7.5 hours a night.  He wasn't all too keen on the idea--I mean even though we expect the kids to settle in shortly after the sun sets, he thought it would be hard to do, plus we would miss all of our favorite shows (but that's what the DVR is for). Also, he likes when I come to bed at the same time that he does, even though I have the luxury of sleeping in, sort of, if I want to. So to entice him I told him that I would also turn it at 9pm. And he agreed to try it for a week.

Well, I thought it would be nice because my eight hours would be up around 6 am even if I spend a miscellaneous hour up with the baby, feeding, changing and pumping.  If I woke up at 6am, I could maybe get in an early morning workout, shower and eat before the kids start their day.  Visions of sipping my tea while I leisurely flip through a book in the quiet of the house filled me with happiness...this won't be bad I thought.

The first night of the experiment, Sunday night, was okay, but we got plenty of interruptions to the night's rest.  I asked Jim how he felt and he said he slept horribly.  It WAS hard to fall asleep at dusk and then it seemed like just when we did, one or another child entered.  One plus is that Jim did not nap during the day on Monday and managed to squeeze in a workout that evening--I would never begrudge him this, but I was kind of jealous, because a workout didn't happen for me.  Some of the kids were up at 6am--so that threw a wrench into my plans.

We both thought the second night might go better.  I haven't asked Jim about his night, but it was a no go for me again.  I returned children to their own beds TWICE through the night and was up at 6am with one or more kids. I didn't get to exercise until 8am--after I fed the baby, the girls, and myself. I chose a yoga DVD thinking that I would ease myself into the day.  The video was tough and reminded me that I am WAY out of shape and on top of that, as the instructor is talking about relaxation, cleansing breaths, and focus, the girls are blasting their music CD upstairs, and Chloe is sitting in her seat screaming her head off.  So much for my dreams of a quiet morning.

I have managed to get 8 hours of sleep through the night, not consecutively, and I am more tired than I've been since the first week of Chloe's life. I don't know what's going on...I texted Jim that I thought in order to get some down time from the kids I would need to get up at 4am because it seems to be the only time that everyone is asleep.  I miss the hour of downtime at night--even if I was only watching TV or reading it was nice to not have them up making noise and being in my hair with their bickering and neediness.  Getting up with them and going to bed with them is not satisfying to me because I get no downtime. 

I love my girls and I know all of this doesn't sound too good...but it's what I'm feeling in the midst of this sleep experiment.  I hope Jim has a better week, but if we decide to continue on beyond this one week, I will have to suggest some modifications so that everyone will be getting a semi-decent night's sleep and the much needed downtime that mommy requires to stay sane!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

It was a day like many others. Our tale begins with a simple request: Please clean up the play room.  Back up though. I have been cleaning up after the girls for the past week with no nagging. Not once did I ask them to pick up after themselves. I wanted to try the "monkey see, monkey do" approach. I thought maybe they would begin to notice that things magically got themselves cleaned up and have a desire to keep it that way. Wishful thinking, I know.  A couple of times one or the other would walk in during one of my straightening sessions and wonder what I was doing. They would lend a hand and throw a couple of toys into a bin or something, but that was the extent of it.

So today I had one simple request. Straighten the playroom. It wasn't that messy.  I took the toys from my room, the hall, and their bedroom and tossed them in. You are responsible for this one room, I said. I set the timer for 20 minutes and asked them to get to work. I threw a threat out there too. If it wasn't done when the timer went off then they were being unplugged: No TV, No computer, No Leapster, No DS, No radio/cd's.

Let the whining begin. They all sat around whining, the whining turned to crying, crying to fighting, fighting turned to screaming and blaming and bossing.  All the while the minutes ticked away. I urged them to get to work, warned them and even tried to bribe them with a "special surprise".  Until, BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. The timer went off...and the room was still a mess.  Without too much shouting on my part I sent them to their bedroom and told them to lay in their  respective beds until I came to get them. I told them that no one was getting the "special surprise" and no one would be watching TV, Listening to music or playing with any electronics for the day.  Then I proceeded to clean the playroom. It took all of 10 minutes.

Enter Jordan with a bright idea.  I ordered everyone downstairs, but Jordan hung back. What are you doing? I asked. Nothing, she said.  Don't think about turning the TV in my room on, I warned. I won't, she said. What are you doing then? I asked again.  Jordan proceeds to tell me that she would like a second chance at the special surprise, so she was going to make an even bigger mess in the playroom and clean it up herself.  I tried to tell her that there aren't any second chances. Everyone lost their chance at the "special surprise" because MOMMY had to clean the playroom. 

I don't know what she was thinking. I told her not to do it. But she began dumping toy bins in the middle of the room.  She tipped caddies, and emptied the toy box. In the middle of the craziness I told her to stop. No, no, she assured. She would clean it all up, all by herself.  I washed my hands of it, and headed downstairs.

Poor Jordan,  about one hour into the clean up I could hear crying from upstairs. I had the baby monitor on and I could hear her, berating herself. Saying how she never should have done this, how she was so stupid. At this point, I stopped her. I hate hearing my kids talk like this. You aren't stupid, Jordan. You just made one bad mistake. That doesn't make you stupid, I said.  I need help, she said. 

Perhaps it is cruel...but I told her I couldn't help her.  She tried to cajole her sisters into helping...of course they both declined.  So here she sits, in the middle of her mess.  Her little belly grumbling (she missed snack):

Maybe I'm a "bad mommy."  But there's a lesson to be learned here.  I was regaling Jim with the events of the day.  He was prepared to come home and come to the rescue because he felt sorry for Jordan and I was going to let him.  It isn't often that he gets to play hero around here. But, in the end, Jim came home to see that the mess wasn't that bad--she did do some cleaning before he got home.  Jordan will clean it all up eventually (with minimal help from her sisters) and we'll all live happily until the next time I ask them to clean up after themselves!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday: Something Went Very Right!

The first week of counting points went really well!  I'm happy to report my first loss for the new "lifestyle change" a whopping 6.6 pounds!! Makes up for the two pound gain last week.  This loss is despite attending a very well stocked graduation party: Ribs, Fried Chicken, Hot Sausage, Huge Cookies, Cake...just to name a bit of what was on the overly tempting menu. 

So here's what went right this week.  I started counting points. I had success on the WW plan last time and I'm comfortable with the whole points system, plus I like the "freedom" to "eat what I want"...but I did a little research and when I got to thinking about it, I made a little discovery. Many products  have shown/are showing up on the market that have gotten wind of the points plan and have lowered their calories and upped their fiber intake to lower their points value. These foods end up being low in points but still offer no real nutritional value. For example, I was looking at the nutritional content in the Klondike, slim a bear, 100 calorie Fudgecicle (it's really yummy) made with Splenda so it's low cal, low fat, and it has 4 grams of fiber.  The whole fiber thing floors me.  Where's the fiber coming from?...I think that it's akin to just adding a spoon full of Metamucil to the recipe to lower the point value...the bars are a mere 1 point according to the plan. 

Anyway, after that I made a little resolution to try to eat as many whole foods as I can. So during the week when I wanted to grab Swedish Fish, I ate an organic apple instead. Instead of a Toaster Strudel, I ate some berries, A handful of almonds instead of chips, an avocado smoothie instead of a Fudgecicle. I was able to eat a lot more food and I felt so much better about my choices. I wasn't able to completely eliminate processed food from my diet, but less of it is better than nothing!

On the exercise front I was less successful...only got in one solid treadmill work out. I took a long walk at the graduation party with my sister Lindsey and pushed my little niece in the stroller along the way (it was a good way to get away from the temptations back at the pavilion). And I had a failed workout attempt a couple of days ago which amounted to maybe 15 minutes. Better than nothing!

In other news, Ava and Jordan are at gymnastics camp this week. They were wiped out yesterday...4 hours at camp is a lot of exercise for those little buggers, but they seemed to like it.  My little outgoing girl Jordan tried to sit with the "big girls" at lunch and was disappointed to find that no one really talked to her. I felt really sad for her...she was upset because she was so "shy". I tried to convince her that if she sat with the girls her own age she would feel more confident and have more to talk about with them.  She doesn't need to sit with the big girls. I don't want her to grow up..I asked her why she didn't sit with Ava...Well, this is Jordan, the little socialite we are talking about. I told her to sit with Ava today because it sounds like Ava had more fun at lunch than Jordan did!

I've been happy with my time with Livi and Chloe's nice to have some time with them without the bigger girls vying for attention.  Speaking of which, Chloe is begging for some (crying) right now! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Wonderful Weekend, or…?

So Jim is away this weekend…he just left this morning for his yearly golf outing with his best bud and my Uncle and Cousins.  It’s an overnight thing, so it will be the first time that I am all alone with the girls for more than 24 hours.  I think we’ll be okay because it won’t be much different from when he is home…but I know there is a period of time during the weekend when I will be exhausted and ready for him to come home.  I handle most, not all, of the child rearing duties anyway so I know that won’t be overwhelming to me, but I need that adult contact, the daily support of my husband, and the break that nightly “wrestle fest” (Yes, we have those even in an all girl house!) with dad provides.

I’m trying to keep a positive attitude…planning fun things for the girls and I to do. And I’m sure the weekend will fly by.

In other news, I tried to get on the treadmill yesterday morning. Our treadmill is in the basement so I took all of the girls down there with me. I’d like to say that everything went smoothly for the 40 minutes that I was plugging away down there, but it was frustrating.

We have toys and stuff down there so there should be plenty to keep the girls occupied, but they still found a way to grate on my nerves…the problem really isn’t the girls, it’s me, tied to the treadmill.  Of course Olivia had to go to the bathroom and wouldn’t go upstairs by herself, so I had to argue with Jordan to go up with her…Then Ava and Jordan wanted to play with Bratz dolls so I gave them permission to go upstairs and get a few, but 10 minutes later they still weren’t back. I’m having visions of overflowing toilets, spilled juice, crayon marks on walls, a hurricane blowing through the playroom that I just straightened, and/or cuts and bruises requiring first aid. All the while, I’m screaming my head off so that my voice will carry to the upstairs and huffing and puffing on the treadmill at the same time…”Here we are, Mom!” 15 minutes later…”What took so long?”  “Well we had to dress our dolls!” Gah!  Just get down here where I can see you!!! Also, Miss Chloe was well behaved…she did sleep through most of the workout but had to have Passy reinserted twice. I made Jordan do it and she pouted because “why do I have to do EVERYTHING?” Uh…maybe  because it’s hard for mommy to do everything and walk/jog at the same time.

I made it through the workout, but I know the novelty of following mom to the basement is going to wear off in a New York Minute and then I’m going to be stressed out wondering what everyone is up to while I’m working out. This is not the kind of “sweat” I want to build. Seriously my blood pressure boiled a couple of times during this first work out…There has to be a better way…short of locking them all up in a soundproof booth.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday: Change is a comin'!

Well...when I stepped on the scale yesterday it read LO I tried it again this morning since I *have* to weigh in on Wednesdays and instead of saying LO BAT, it said I gained 2 pounds!  I would rather have had to pick up new batteries at the grocery store than see that, but I know exactly why it happened: Holiday weekend, and my last "DIET FREE" weekend. SO,  you know I had to eat fried chicken, a bunch of stuff at the baptism/birthday party on Friday including TWO pieces of cake (I had to, there were two different yummy flavors: Chocolate with chocolate filling and White with raspberry cream filling). I also ate a rack of baby back ribs, potato salad, crazy snacks while watching fireworks, crazy snacks while sitting at the backyard fire pit, and crazy snacks at Idlewild.  This was over a span of four days but it was still quite piggish!

This is what I get:  Indigestion and a horrible gain. BUT, the diet hasn't officially started--my 6 week appointment is tomorrow and that will also be the start of my diet. I'll be doing Weight Watchers (unofficially)--I know how many points to eat and have all the tools from the last time I did this, although I'm sure things have changed because they are always updating the program and making it "new and improved." 

I'm also going to try to get on the treadmill again...I still haven't figured out the best time to do this. I wish I could say that Chloe had a reliable schedule of nap times and awake times, but she doesn't. She is reliably asleep every day around midnight but that it not exercise time!!! Also, have I mentioned that she cries alot and likes to be held? A self soother she is not, which baffles me because the other three were pretty decent at self soothing and would stop crying if they were tired and fall asleep. Chloe just cries and cries...even if she is tired, she will not fall asleep until she is snuggled into some one's arms and when you think she is sleeping and put her down, chances are she only sleeps for about 10 minutes and then wakes herself back up because God forbid she doesn't feel any body heat! I will most likely plop her down in her seat in front of the treadmill and hope that the whirring of the machine and the pounding of my feet will provide enough rhythmic white noise to keep her mesmerized.  And if I have to, I'll just crank up the volume on the stereo and ignore her cries. 

I don't think I am spoiling this child...everyone says you can't spoil a newborn--she really has had this "don't put me down" personality since birth. I'm just dealing with it and hoping that she gets better. I can't hold her 24 hours a day!  I found my snuggli from when Jordan was born and I wore it a little this weekend, but it gives me a backache. And a friend just sent me a wrap called a Mai Tie...and it is much better, but I'm sweating my butt off (not literally apparently because I still managed to gain two pounds) because we are in the middle of a heat wave and I've got the baby glued to my chest like some sort of radiant heating baby kangaroo. As I type this she is lying on the floor crying.  Ah well....

It's time for lunch anyway. Hope I have happier news to report next week!


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