Friday, October 31, 2008

Only A Few Days Left

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone exercised their constitutional right and voted? There are people in this world who live in places where they don't have a choice. There are people who have died for the cause of voting rights. We have mothers and grandmothers who didn't have the opportunity to vote, simply because of their gender. We have the right, it's our turn to speak up and be heard. Please, go vote.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eating Like a Champ

It wasn't long ago when I was bemoaning the fact that The Little Miss wasn't really eating much. I worried about her protein intake and a bit scared she just wasn't taking in enough calories. She's always been long and lean and I never got to enjoy those rolls of baby fat the moms and grannys love to pinch.

Although she is still a skinny girl, things have taken on a big 180 degree turn in the eating department. She's eating like a pig. Ever since she started pre-school 5 days a week, she's been a champion eater. I pack lunches that seem unreasonably large, expecting at least half of it to come back with her at the end of the day.

Our pre-school teacher carefully packs up any uneaten scraps so we know exactly what our kids have eaten or rather, not eaten. And everyday, I am amazed at what I don't get back. All that comes back are the zip lock bags and Tupperware that was once loaded with food.
I'm learning from her this is a probably a really great way to eat. She has a good hearty breakfast, usually fruit and cereal or or a whole wheat waffle, fruit and some OJ. She wakes up hungry and ready to eat. Then her lunch consists of a serving or 2 of protein, 2 or 3 servings of fruit and veggies, crackers and/or nuts, a string cheese and water. Around 4 o'clock she has a snack and around 6:30 it's dinner time where she'll graze on whatever we're having for dinner. Her biggest meal by far is lunch and other than that she has small meals and small snacks throughout the rest of the day.

I worry and I hope I am teaching The Little Miss about healthy eating patterns and good food choices. So far things seem to be working well and this just goes to show if you eat right and are busy all day you really can eat 1/2 your body weight in food each day. Well, not really but with all the food she eats at lunch, that's what it seems like.
A typical lunch: cottage cheese, peaches, plum, snap crisps, crackers, pretzels, cheese and a PJ and tofu sandwich

What comes back...empties.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling Lighter

Here's one way to lose some weight...

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Close Call

So it nearly happened. I almost had to go to Chucky E. Cheese... I dread that day. It was our friend's daughter's 3rd birthday and going to that evil place was one of the options. Luckily, we bribed them with alcohol, into having a little party at our house with lots of adult beverages, balloons and treats.

And, do you ever wonder why would any food establishment have a rodent as a mascot?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Setting a New Goal

It's been a lazy week on the diet/exercise front. Not sure why, but it just was. I stepped on the scale this morning and I was neither up nor down so I'm holding tight.

I feel like I'm in a funk. It's been hard for me to motivate, hard for me to cut back on my portions and hard for me to care about trying to lose weight. I think partially it's because I'm smaller now that I have been in YEARS and I'm totally psyched about that. I reached my goal. I'm there! Yeah for me.

But now what? I have yet to figure out what my next goal should be. I'm not sure what I want. Do I want to be a certain size? Do I want to lose X amount of pounds? Do I want maintain here? What? I need to think about it and really try and focus on a new goal. And I really think it's important to have a goals in mind so when you do accomplish one, you have something new to strive for.

In the mean time, I'll try and get my groove back this weekend, but more likely it will be next week since my weekends have always been my pitfall. The plan is, we have some family coming over on Saturday for a BBQ and Sunday we're celebrating our friends 3 year old birthday on Sunday. Both events sound like opportunities to dive off the deep end and gorge myself or opportunities to make good choices. I hope it's the latter.

I'm ready to check out of this work situation for a couple of days, it's been a bitch lately. And can I also add the drop in the stock market and bad economic news has become quite a bore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My New Favorite

I hope you enjoy as much as I do

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bad and Good

Sheesh, where o where does the time go? I can't believe a week has passed and I'm FINALLY posting again.

Here's just a glimpse of what's going on in our life right now. We hung out with The Husband's best friend and his wife this past weekend who had a very fast and furious start to their relationship and now seem to be unravelling at that same pace. They met when they were involved with other people. She married, he, dating a woman. They both left their significant others and within a month bought a house together and moved in. A year after that, they had a child together and a year after that they got married. They've been married a year and a half and it's not a happy relationship. He and I were emailing today and I offered to let him move in with us and I think he'd love to, but is just too far tangled in this mess to see his way out right now. I'm glad it's not me, but it makes me sad to think about them. Love shouldn't hurt nor should it be so difficult.

On another front, would you walk away from a mortgage on a vacation home if that payment was putting you in an extreme financial situation? So much so you worry about losing your primary residence? And no, this isn't me, but someone I am related to.

My work is awful. With the economy falling apart, our billing is down a good 50% or more. I wouldn't be surprised to find some downsizing happening, which would be a first for the company. Even though I am only working part time, I don't thing I would be in jeopardy since I am one of the people who generates income for the company. I would suspect the support staff gets hit first. Or at least that's what I think would happen, but I suppose anything is possible. Just make all this madness end.

On some positive notes...

The Husband and I are happy.
I never owned a vacation house so I don't have to worry about that.
Work is hard, but at least I have a job.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weekend Recap

This pretty much sums up our weekend at the beach house.

Now, it's back to the crap hitting the fan at work. It's been a tough couple of days in the office and I don't see any end in sight. In the mean time, I'll hold tight to the wonderful times we had over the weekend and wish I was once again snuggled up to The Little Miss.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Things I'm Not Going to Do

We leave this afternoon for a mini family vacation. We're heading about 30 miles south to a little beach community and renting a small house on the beach for the weekend. I'm planning on watching all the kids play nicely together.

They are not going to fight over toys, they are not going to dump buckets of sand on each other and they are not going to fuss about anything. I just know it.

I'm not going to worry about the economy. I'm not going to worry that we have taken a big hit at work and I am not going to make fun of Palin all weekend, I'm just not, I promise.

What aren't you not going to do this weekend?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My New Life

As many of you know, starting in September I decided to cut my work hours back and work only part time. Although it's been an adjustment financially for us it was easily one of the best decisions I've ever made.

My new life goes something like this. I wake up with the morning light about 6:30, and lay in bed until The Husband gets out of the shower or The Little Miss wakes up. It's a crap shoot on what will happen first, but regardless I find myself hitting the floor around 7. I then have an hour and a half to get myself and The Little Miss, fed, clothed, lunches and ready for work/school. Now all you readers that don't have kids will be thinking, well, shit, that should be easy, it's an hour and a half, what could possibly take so long? For those parents out there, you all know it's a bit more complicated because getting a toddler to do anything requires selling the idea and incentives, also known as bribes. Yes, I bribe my child. And those of you who say you don't are either really good sales people or just plain lying. I have a hunch as to which it is, but I'll just leave it at that.

We rush out the door at 8:30, do the drop off at pre-school and I am sitting at my desk at 9a. Whew! It's a tight schedule but somehow, we've made it everyday, except for the one time where she was having the classic toddler fit kicking, screaming, crying and acting as though I had just told her she had to walk 6 miles in the snow and sleet to school with no shoes and not just told her she had to clean up her blocks and walk to the car.

I work until 1p when I then have me, me, me time until 4:30 when I go pick up The Little Miss. The time I have to myself is golden. It's precious time for me to refuel, to recharge and to do my things. Even if it's just going to the grocery store or doing laundry, it's time I can focus and slow down.

My relationship with The Little Miss seems less strained. I no longer resent her for taking up "my time." And yes, I know when you have kids you really forfeit everything, but I still need balance. We play more and struggle less. We laugh more and cry less.

I have to say, I am so much happier these days. It feels as though my life is much more simple and my priorities are more in line with what I value. I never realized how stressed and how unhappy I was before. With the burden of juggling so much lifted, the ease of my life is sharply coming in focus. I have much more patience and I feel as though I can breathe deeply and am satisfied.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Here's What I Got

The weekend has come and gone. Why they go so quickly still boggles my mind. Here's what I got on tap this week.

I was trying to lay out some weekly goals and it seems like they are always the same ol' boring things, but they seem to be working ok so I'm sticking with it.

1. Drink lots o' water
2. Get to the gym (or get some form of exercise) at the minimum 4 times
3. Eat healthy
4. Eat small portions
5. Have fun

I have also flirted with menu planning which, when I do it and stick with it, it's the best thing ever. When I do menu plans and don't stick with it, it sucks. So in an effort to do some menus for the week, I'm throwing these out there for options and we'll see what happens.

1. Grilled sage rubbed pork loin, potatoes and veggies
2. Asian steamed fish, coconut rice and veggies
3. Some sort of pasta with tuna and capers... don't know why but I've totally been craving this lately. Weird.
4. Hamburgers/hot dogs

I only need to do 4 dinners this week since tonight I'm going to a concert with a friend's husband. My friend didn't want to go and The Husband (my husband) didn't either so, we're spouse swapping for the night. Should be fun, especially since the husband I'm going with is super dang hot. And no, we're not really "swapping," but I am going to a concert with a really hot guy that's not The Husband but is a husband to a friend.

Then on Friday, The (real) Husband, who is also pretty dang hot, The Little Miss and I are heading to a beach house with another family for the weekend. We'll let the monkeys run wild and completely wipe themselves out and we'll get drunk every night. I can't wait. It's a good thing.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Marking the End of Summer

Dear Summer Garden,

Thank you so much for the tremendous bounty you produced over the past few months. You brought, not only us but many friends and family, so many delicious and fresh meals. There is something very special about food grown and picked in our backyard.

At many points you were giving me so much I had a hard time keeping up with you. I gave away several baskets of food to friends and family. Next year, I plan on planting a couple extra rows and giving food to the Food Bank. How wonderful it will be to share the magic of fresh food to those that don't have the change to experience it like I do, those people who rely on food bank donations of canned food. Will the taste of freshness jump and pop in their mouth the way is does in mine?

The look, feel and smell of a homegrown vine ripe tomato is the epitome of summer to me. I made fresh salsa from the jalapenos, green onions, tomatoes and cilantro that were growing. I ate fresh tomato and basil for countless meal. I picked hundreds of beans, roasted the abundance of orange and red peppers. I discovered new herbs, Summer Savory and Greek Basil this year. And so much more.

I find peace being with you. Tending your rows, feeling your dirt in my hands. I get so much pleasure watching you grow. Mature and bear your goods. But the time has come. This weekend I will have to dig up the remaining plants and say good-bye. I'll miss you, but we'll meet again next spring.

Thank you again for giving so much from my body, mind and soul.



Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Weight of a Child

I've hit another milestone. I have now lost more weight (by one pound) than The Little Miss weighs. I pick her up, groan and complain that she's getting so heavy, and can't imagine that not all that long ago, I had those 27 pounds on me all the time.

Today, I'm officially down 28 pounds. Yeah me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Consistent Motivation

Every day I take The Little Miss to her pre-school and every day I take the same roads, more or less at the same time. And everyday, I see the same round, plump woman, dressed in black shorts and a big blue visor, walking. Every. Single. Day. I see her on the same stretch of road, some days a little further than others, but none the less, she's there. She's consistent. And isn't consistent motivation the name of the game we're all playing?

It seems we all go in spurts, one day is great, the next, not so much. Or maybe it's a week or month that's good and then, not. And really aren't we all looking for is to be consistent? To find the motivation to keep going. To do exercise on regular basis, to eat well for more than one meal or one day or for one week at a time.

Seems like motivation is very illusive. It seems to wax and wane, making my struggles all the more difficult. It would be nice if there was an easy way find it but where we get our motivation is as individual as each of us. For me, I play head games with myself to get motivated, but works best is if I keep telling myself that I will feel better if I do it. If you exercise, you'll feel better. If you eat this instead of that, you'll feel better. If you do all those things, you'll feel better. I also try and break things down into smaller pieces. If I just do this one small thing and add it to the next small thing, soon enough the links in the chain add up.

I wonder how she gets motivated to take her walk? I wonder what she says to her self every day as she ties up her shoes? I wonder if she does that same little dance in her head, the one that I do, making up excuses on why she shouldn't go. It's too hot, it's too far, my body is sore. But every day she's out there. Consistently. I admire her strength to get out and do it. To do what so many of us struggle to do, when really it should be easy. I want what she has, consistent motivation.