January 31, 2012

Week 8: Wah Wah Waaaaah....

Current Weight:   237.4
+/- this week:  +2.4
+/- this round:   -12.4
+/- total:    -29.5
Short Term Goal 2:   225.8 (10%)

Well.  That happened.

This week was a huge challenge for me.  I knew that I wasn't going to see a loss on the scale today, I just didn't think it would be this big a gain.

I had a bad week mentally, including one really bad day.  When I'm feeling stressed or down, when I'm feeling scowly and dark, it makes it hard for me to eat right.  I made bad choices.  I used my weekly points in the exact way I DON'T like to use them - spread out over several days.  It never works as well as using them for one or two special occasions.  I didn't meet my goal for exercise either, I got one good walk in with Justin on Friday, and walked for about an hour with Danny in his stroller one day, but other than that?  Not a lot of activity.

So... this week is another week, and hopefully it will be better.  I'm disappointed in myself, but I also recognize that slip ups are going to happen once in a while.  I'm trying to take the attitude that this is just a bump in the road and I'm past it now.  It's not always easy to look at things this way, but there's not much point in getting down on myself.

I'm already doing better this week.  My eating hasn't been super great today, but I went to the mall and walked around for about 45 minutes, then went for a 40 minute walk outside.  So, that's good.  A few weeks ago, I had thought about trying to get up before everyone else to do one of my workout videos.  I never did it.  Because I like sleeping.  Maybe this week I'll actually try that.  We'll see.

As for challenges this week, nothing out of the ordinary happening.  We have date night tonight, so I will use some of my weekly points today.  For the rest of the week, I'll probably try not to use them at all since that's what works best for me.

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  29.5 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%)

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
To Go: 77.4 lbs

January 28, 2012

It was not a good day.

It was not a good day.

It started early.  I dreamed that Sam had been asleep on our couch and had been shot by intruders.  I thought he was dead.  When I knew they were gone and I walked into the room, his face was frozen with this expression of such fear.  Then I realized he was still breathing.  I called 911, and for some reason was not in the ambulance with him.  I drove, but then no one would tell me which hospital they had taken him to.  When I finally found out, I had a hard time getting there.  I walked up to the surgery desk and told them I was there for my son, and that he'd been shot.  Right then, I was awakened by Sam coming in to ask if he could lay in our bed.  Normally, we don't let him.  But I couldn't say no.

And that would have been enough.  It was just a dream, but 12 hours later I found that I didn't know how to banish it from my head completely, and it still makes me feel a bit like crying.

Danny got up first, then Sam an hour and a half later.  Things were all right for a while, but I was bristly.  I was sitting at the computer trying to order a new lunch bag for Sam since his has been inexplicably torn apart, and they were pushing and whining.  I moved Sam out of my way.  He screamed at me, pushing isn't nice, why did you push me.  I didn't push him, but I moved him physically and I probably shouldn't have.  I know that I didn't hurt anything besides his feelings.  He's sensitive.  Even when we fight, or when he is mad at me, he does not want to be away from me.  We can not send him to his room to calm down, he can't go be alone, it makes it 100 times worse.

At that moment, I envisioned myself just running.  Out the front door, closing them in, shutting out the whining and the crying and screaming and crying myself, throwing the kind of tantrum that I have to listen to from them. I think most mothers have those days where we just want to be ourselves for one. minute.  Please, just a couple of minutes without someone pulling on me, touching me, climbing on me.  Let me have my own skin back.

But what can you do?  You just have to move on.  So we got calmed down.  Until Sam started begging me to buy another game from the Wii downloads.  Kid, are you kidding?  In the past week, we have gotten more than 5 new games for various reasons.  We also dug out several old GameCube games to play on the Wii.  I'm not buying a new game.  And he's full on throwing a huge, crying, yelling fit.

I stared at him, because in those moments, all I could think is how he was acting like a spoiled brat.  Maybe he IS one.  And if he is, it's all my fault.  There must be somewhere I'm going wrong.  I must not be teaching him to appreciate what he has, or making him earn things.  We give him too much and then we expect him to forget about it when we say no?  He is a good kid, and I know that.  But on the days when we hit snags, it feels like failure.

Justin dealt with his tantrum.  He took him to his room and I held Danny and put on an episode of Backyardigans.  My heart was racing, adrenaline rushing through my veins, and I was so mad.  I listened to the sounds of the screaming, the jumping up and down and stomping coming from Sam's room and I was so, so angry.  It's not right or rational, it's not loving or motherly.  No one gets to me the way my kids do.  It's hard, but I know it also means that I love them.

Twenty minutes later, they emerged, and it was like nothing ever happened.  Sam was calm again, happy, smiling.   We had an unexpected visitor, my husband's brother dropping off some things from the old house that we didn't know were coming.  Justin and I both got prickly and then the kids were just whining again.  I had to get away.  I escaped to our bedroom and I sat in the dark for 15 minutes, feeling sad and frustrated and remembering that my monthly visit was starting meaning I am sensitive and a little dark and scowly.  I wanted to leave the house, I was feeling trapped.  But next thing I knew, it was 4:00.  The day was mostly gone, and we still weren't dressed and I don't think we're going anywhere.

While Sam and Danny were eating, I escaped to the computer and looked in my feedreader.  One of the birth blogs I read posted a beautiful video of a home birth.  I sat there and wrote something on Facebook about the dream that I'm still thinking about.  A friend posted a comment on it, a virtual hug of sorts, and I felt the tears come back, stinging my eyes.  It hurts to think about it.

I watched the birth video, and it was beautiful.  But I found myself sitting at my desk and the tears in my eyes were not just for the beauty, they were for my longing.  I watched her arms around her husband's neck, the blind grasping for her support, the intimacy of having that person who can anchor you.  Things are just not the same now than they used to be, and I miss it.

5:00 pm and the sky began to darken, and we were still in our pajamas and no one had showered and I was hungry and the day was coming to a close.  Another friend recommended some acupressure points that are supposed to help you recover from nightmares, and I did a Google search and found some information.  As I looked at it, I felt tears in my eyes again and I wondered if this whole day and the way I experienced it came from some stupid, horrible dream I'd had.

It was not a good day.

January 27, 2012

Friday Fragments: Igloos, Vampires & Snowy Owls

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


We have been in the process of having Sam formally evaluated for possible Aspergers or developmental delays.  This week, though, he was acting so much more mature.  My Mom pointed out that Sam has had a pattern of being about six months behind, so it may make sense that he is now moving from acting like a 4 1/2 year old to acting more like a typical 5 year old.  For the first time this week he actually answered my question about what he learned at school that day!  He told me that snowy owls build their nests on the ground.  Female snowy owls.  It is so amazing to get these glimpses into the kinds of conversations and time together we might have a year from now.


Danny on the other hand has been a TOTAL pill this week.  At first we thought maybe he was getting sick.  Now it's been going on for days - he is tired, he whines all day long...  I am starting to think maybe he's about to reach some huge milestone.  Maybe to start talking?  That would sure be nice!


We went and saw Underworld Awakening this week.  It was just as I expected, and I quite enjoyed it.  I was really surprised that the girl in it was India Eisley.  Why?  Because I saw her on The Secret Life of the American Teenager when I watched the first season, and I totally thought she was a TERRIBLE actress.  I guess that's just how her character was supposed to be on that show??  I quite enjoyed her in this movie.  I enjoyed the movie as a whole, I am a huge vampire/werewolf fan and have seen all four of these in the theaters.  And if they don't make a fifth, I will be SERIOUSLY surprised since the ending might as well have said "to be continued."


Speaking of vampires, I'm currently listening to the audiobook of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  I'm really enjoying it!  Part of the reason is because there is so much history in it - I did not know much about Abraham Lincoln and now I know more.  I also find that I have trouble reading historical fiction that's written in the manner of the time, but that if I can read a historical novel written in modern terms, I really, really enjoy them.


This post at Absolutely Bananas cracked me up.  Because, only in Seattle would you come across an igloo and find a bunch of hippies smoking weed inside of it.


I was touched by this post over at Geek in Heels about her first time volunteering serving food at a local homeless shelter.  A lot of times, we do forget how much we have, and how amazing the things we get to experience day to day are.  Volunteering is so rewarding, and lately I have really been missing my volunteer work.  I think it might be time to figure out how to go back to DVSAS, or find another place that will fit into my schedule.


This made me giggle.

January 26, 2012

It Shouldn't Exist.

  1. Dreadlocks on white people.
  2. Botox or ever injecting disease into yourself on purpose to be "attractive."
  3. Black licorice.
  4. Neuticals.
  5. Anything with anise.
  6. Truck Nuts.
  7. Axe Body Spray.
  8. Big Johnson T-Shirts.
  9. Scientology.
  10. Toddlers & Tiaras.
  11. Calvin peeing decals. 
  12. Almost every Pit Bull song.
  13. These song lyrics: "Shush girl, shut your lips Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips."  (FAIL, 3Oh!3...)
  14. El Caminos.
  15. The book "Get Married This Year: 365 Days to 'I Do'"
  16. Pants with words across the ass (especially in children's sizes).
  17. The movie "21 Grams."
  18. Mosquitos.
  19. Non Alcoholic Beer.
  20. YOU CHOOSE - What else?

January 25, 2012

Non Sequitur

Last time I had a day off, I sat on the bottom floor of the library building at the community college where Justin works. I had plans - I wanted to read some that day, and write a few blog posts. Instead, I went for a walk after I dropped Sam off at school. I took some pictures of details on some of the houses around the Columbia neighborhood and played with my new camera lens. I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting, then I plonked myself down at a table with my computer, and sat there for 5 hours. And I didn't write much. I DID write (as in by hand) a long (and long overdue) letter to my penpal, which took over an hour. I did get to talk to my sister on the phone for almost an hour and get all caught up. I did get caught up with all the posts in my feedreader. And I managed to post my weekly update. But I didn't write much. Part of me feels disappointed about it, even though I got a couple things done that I really wanted to do, I also wanted to write and spend part of the day reading. Sometimes, I feel like there are not enough hours to finish everything I want to finish. I get a whole day off once a week, which is absolutely amazing. Somehow at the end of that day, I'm always left feeling like there was SOMETHING I didn't get done. I guess that's just life, right?  I find that with limited amounts of time, I have a hard time deciding which things I want to do, and which to push aside.  There are emails in my inbox that I should have already replied to, but instead I was reading blog posts.  There were phone calls I could have made, appointments to be scheduled, that I didn't even think about all day.  Right now Danny is not able to take care of himself to the point where I can get much done at home.  It will be nice when he's a bit older and I can do some of those things during the day while he's around.  Or not.  Who am I kidding anyhow, Sam is five and still wants to be with me most of the time.


This Tuesday, I'm felt more relaxed.  I had to take Sam to an appointment this morning, so I didn't get started on my day until about 11:30.  I headed straight to my Weight Watchers meeting, which took until 1:00 once I got in and got settled.  It was worth it, my weigh in was rewarding this week when I met my first short term goal of losing 5% of my weight.  It's slow going, but I am feeling really optimistic about it right now.  I went shopping for a couple of things, and got curtain rods to hang in the hall to create a gallery for Sam's work.  I can't wait to see it done, and I'll post photos when it's finished.  I haven't gotten to any of the posts in my reader, and I've only read about 20 pages today, but I'm looking forward to my date night with Justin tonight.  Maybe all of this is partly a result of being trapped in my house last week for literally almost a week.  From Friday to Friday, I left the house for 3 hours on Saturday with the kids, and for about 6 hours on Monday to attend a memorial service.  After that, we were snowed in until Friday afternoon!  It was crazy.  So I appreciate my freedom today!


I can't believe it's almost February.  I feel like this month has flown by (despite the way last week seemed to drag on and on while it was happening).  I got to go down to Seattle last Friday to visit my best friend - I'm going to do that once a month from now on.  I've been missing her like crazy lately and it was really, really nice to spend time with her.  We hung out, did a Golden Globe winner double feature and saw The Artist and The Descendants, and stayed up until 2 in the morning talking.  It nurtured my spirit. 


 I feel like I haven't been writing enough, and I need to find my muse again.  I know that there are words in here that want to escape, I just need to find a way to lure them out.

January 24, 2012

Week 7: 5% Woo!

Current Weight:   235.0
+/- this week:   -4.2
+/- this round:   -14.8
+/- total:    -31.9
Short Term Goal 1:   237.8 (5%) MET!
Short Term Goal 2:   225.8 (10%)

I met my first goal of 5%!  Yay!  I also lost 4.2 pounds this week.  Maybe less/more, for the past 2 weeks I lost 5.2 pounds and since I didn't have an official weigh in last week, I'm not sure how much happened each week.  I'm excited to be meeting goals.  It's so encouraging!  I got my 5% star sticker at my meeting today.  My next short term goal is my 10% - 225.8 or about 25 pounds.

I ate very poorly last week as a result of being trapped in the house all week, but I was also sick, so I didn't eat as much.  I also got almost NO activity aside from a walk yesterday with my Mom, my Sister and her Fiance, but it was a good walk - 2 hours on the trail.

There are no big challenges this week, and I'm going to try and go for walks with Danny twice, and do a higher intensity workout twice.

Tonight is date night, so I may not get much done, but either when we get home or tomorrow, I'll be making a new meal plan and putting together a grocery list for what we'll be eating this week.  I have all my cookbooks ready and I'm actually looking forward to cooking some new things.  

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  31.9 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%)

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
To Go: 75 lbs

January 23, 2012

Penguins Are Disgusting

S:  Mama.  Mama.  Mama.  I have to tell you something.
R:  Yes?
S:  I love you.
R:  I love you too.
S:  I never stop loving you.
R:  I never stop loving you either.
S:  When I am angry, I never stop loving you.  You are the best at Kirby's Adventures in Dreamland.

Isn't it lovely how a sweet conversation still becomes something that revolves around video games?


Twice in the last two days, Sam and I have had laughing fits together.  Something funny is said, then we laugh, his laughing sets me off and then my laughing sets him off, and we just laugh and laugh.  In those moments, there is nothing but pure joy.


S:  Some things are the same, and some are different.  God and Jesus are supposed to be the same.
R:  Oh?  Who is Jesus?
S:  He is the one who decides if you are a boy or a girl.  And what color your eyeballs are.  That's all I can think of right now.
R:  Who is God?
S:  I don't know.


S:  Penguins are disgusting.
R:  What?  Why?
S:  The way penguins eat is disgusting.  They eat food out of other penguin's mouths.  It's disgusting.
R:  Well... actually, a lot of birds eat that way.  But it is kind of gross.

January 17, 2012

Week 6: There snow official weigh in this week

Current Weight:   239.2 - 10.6 pounds! (unofficial)
+/- this week:   -1.0
+/- total:    -27.7
Short Term Goal 1:   237.8 (5%)

I didn't go to my meeting today.

This is WASHINGTON.  People freak out a bit at an inch or two of snow.

Let alone a foot.

I don't even know if the Weight Watchers office was open today.  But I certainly wasn't going anywhere with my bald tires.

Also, I have a cold.  And Sam is sick.  So basically, it's been a pretty low key day.  School will probably be closed again tomorrow, and possibly Thursday.  It's snowing again right now, and we will get 0-9 more inches tonight.

So.  This week, I ended up not having any real big challenges.  My book club was cancelled, so that wasn't an issue.  I did not get as much exercise as I would have liked.  I had planned to walk some over the weekend, and that didn't happen.

For some reason, I didn't use all of my daily points any day this week.  I don't know if I have passed that hump of feeling hungry all the time, or if it's because this cold was coming on.  I didn't use any of my 49 weekly points either.  I have a feeling I am actually down more than a pound... my scale used to match the ones at the office, but I'm not sure it does anymore.  I guess we'll find out next week.  I also pulled out my Just Dance Wii game and did it for 45 minutes the other day while Sam was at school.  I got 8 activity points, and Danny was fairly cooperative, so I'll probably try to do that kind of thing more often.

With a foot of snow on the ground, I'm really looking forward to it getting warmer outside and being able to walk outside more.  Oh well.  This week and next week will probably be the main part of our winter - we usually don't get more than one or two big snows a year, and it's usually not even this much.  When it does get warmer, I think I might try doing Couch 2 5K.  We'll see.

Challenges I foresee this week are Bunco on Thursday night, visiting my best friend in Seattle Friday night, and going to dinner at our friend's house Saturday.  I'll try to get some extra activity points, and save up my weekly extra points, as well as eating light those days until the event.  It's all about portion control, and I'm finding my willpower is better than it used to be.

If you're on Weight Watchers, here's a question for you.  Do you save up your extra weekly points and use them for one or two special outings/events?  Or do you use them gradually throughout the week, some each day?  I feel like if I save them and use them up when we go out to dinner or I have book club or whatever that I do better loss-wise than if I spread them out and use some each day.  Just wondering what other people's experiences have been like!

I'll be back next week with an OFFICIAL weigh in!  

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  27.7 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%)
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%)

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
To Go: 79.2 lbs

January 13, 2012

Friday Fragments!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


This week, a family in my community suffered a horrible tragedy when their 10 year old was accidentally hanged on Monday evening.  I wrote yesterday about how the community has been rallying around the family.  Today, I'm just finding myself upset because of something I KNEW would happen with media coverage.  People are being insensitive, saying things about his parents, about how he "should" have been raised, about it being "fishy" (it's not).  I did not expect Caleb's story to show up on Huffington Post or The Daily Mail.  Or for a wonderful reporter from the LA Times to write an amazing, beautiful story about him.  I just wish that people could see this for what it is - a terrible, terrible accident - and support Caleb's family right now.  I am also really proud and amazed that the Moms in my community raised over $1000 in less than 2 days to give to the family. It makes me feel like I'm part of a great community, and it makes me feel a little safer knowing how people support each other when things happen in life.


I discovered the best thing this week thanks to Mimi from Irresistible Icing.  I had the Weight Watchers app on my phone already, but she recently featured the Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner in a post on her site.  You scan the barcode on any food and it tells you the serving size, fat, carbs, protein, fiber & points plus value!  This is going to be SO handy when I'm grocery shopping or at the store trying to pick out a snack.  I LOVE it!


Last weekend my best friend and I were talking about something we're going to do later this year - attend the Supernatural Con in Vancouver, B.C.  I am SO excited. I'm going to start saving my money now so I can buy a couple of photo ops.  Yes, I'm a geek!


Justin just got home from work and I found out he got invited to go down on a sort of 'man weekend' with his boss and co-worker.  Normally I would hate that... but Danny freakishly fell asleep early today (he is asleep at 5:30.  I am scared about what will happen next).  I guess I'm feeling generous.  I called my Mom and she said she can hang out with me and maybe give me a couple of hours off Sunday, so he's getting his stuff ready to go now.


Not much else to say now!  I hope everyone has a good weekend, I'll be around to visit all the Friday Fragments posts, maybe even tonight!

January 11, 2012

Tragedy, Heartache & Community

I spent a good part of my day today thinking about a boy I never really met.  Yesterday, a 5th grade student from Sam's elementary school died after a tragic accident on Monday night.  I do not know his family personally, but Caleb Kors was very well known in our community.  His parents vend at the Bellingham Farmer's Market, and he was a member of the Bellingham Circus Guild and performed at the Farmer's Market and various other places and events.  His family lives a mile away from us, and are members of the same community we are.  I heard a lot about him because of my connection to my Sudden Valley Moms group and Sam's school.

What a vibrant, cool kid.  I realized after the first news came out of his accident that this was the boy I'd seen around the playground a couple of times walking tightrope style across the top of the swing set.  He loved what he did, and loved entertaining people.  I have seen a lot of comments on Facebook and our local newspaper website from people who knew him from seeing him perform.  People say he had a heart of gold, that his skills were great, but his heart was even bigger.  He was a charismatic kid who spent a lot of time making people smile.

I find myself in a position again where I am left feeling absolutely heartbroken for a member of our community.  It's been less than two years since the death of Anna Brulotte, a little girl who was killed by a car in downtown Bellingham.  Even though I didn't know her, there were people I knew who had been there, and my husband went to high school with her mother.  When Caleb passed away, a part of me could not believe something like this could be happening again.  Then I imagine the ache in my heart time a million and I can't stop thinking about his parents and siblings, and how terrible it is.  My heart just hurts, and I wish more than anything that there was something I could do to help.  No one should ever have to lose a child.  It's inconceivable.

It has been a little weird because information has been flying around Facebook since he was injured, and it seems so public.  Many of my mom friends around town knew what had happened and the outcome way before the local paper even did.  The information that his death was an accidental hanging is brutal and it was out there before he even passed away.  Since then, the information has become public with the consent of his parents, but at the time it was hard to know who knew about it and even though I wanted to know what happened, I felt a little strange knowing.

But this is another case where my faith in the goodness of people is being restored.  I have watched the other mothers in my community rally around this family - there is already an online meal calendar set up to provide food for Caleb's family so they don't have to think about it.  They are making prayer flags, and talking to the school, and thinking about housecleaning and what the family will need when they are home.  People are already talking about fundraisers and memorials to help the family pay for medical bills and funeral expenses.  Not just talking, but taking action.  A Facebook page has been set up for sharing news, information, and most of all for supporting his family.  There is already a paypal account set up for people who want to help monetarily.  This little boy had dozens and dozens of people rooting for him, and now all of these people are praying and offering whatever they can to his family.  These are not resources that would have been in place in the past, and action would not have been this quick.  This family is obviously very active in the community in Bellingham, and I'm sure they would have had support.  But is there really such thing as too much love, caring, or compassion in this kind of situation?

A letter came home from school today that said that they have grief counselors on hand, and also that Caleb will be helping people because he is an organ donor.  I think it's amazing for a child's parents to be able to see through their grief that they can help others.  It's a huge gift to others who are sick and need help.

Today I as I drove down the road, there were clear blue skies, the sun was out, and Mt. Baker was crisp and beautiful in the distance.  I looked around me and I thought, the world is going on, but it's never going to be the same for Caleb's family.  It is so beautiful and bright, but for them it is such a dark time.  As a mother, even the imagining of losing a child is almost too much.  I tried to get my head around all the people in this community who are hurting right now.  Around how much his Mom and Dad and siblings are missing him right now.  I don't think I can.  My heart is with the Kors family tonight.

If you are the praying type, I know that any prayers or thoughts for peace and comfort for Caleb's family will reach them somehow.  A paypal account has been set up to help with medical bills, funeral expenses and whatever the family needs. You can make paypal donations by donating to the email address calebflipkors@hotmail.com.

January 10, 2012

Week 5: The First Disappointment

Current Weight:   240.2
+/- this week:   -0.2
+/- total:    -26.7
Short Term Goal 1:   237.8 (5%)

Well, that was disappointing.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting today HOPING that I would hit 10 pounds lost this time around (I was at 9.4 last week), and I didn't.  I guess I wasn't too hopeful, because I know that I made some less than stellar choices this week.  Oh well, tomorrow starts a new week, and I WILL hit that 10 pounds next week.

One of this week's challenges (and somewhere I went a bit wrong) was book club.  I ate more pieces than I needed of the chocolate slice (cake/brownie thing) than I should have, and I got fast food on my way home because I was wanting something more substantial than the snacks I'd had there.  I could have just done a chicken sandwich at Wendy's, which would have been a better choice.  Instead, I had a personal pan pizza from the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut.  I also did not get as much activity this week as I would have liked.

I think I am getting to the point where I need to step up my intensity of activity.  Going for long, slow, walks is great, but I'm going to get more out of it if I up the difficulty.  So, I am going to talk to Justin tonight about planning for me to take walks on the weekends without the kids.  I am also mildly considering trying to get up before my family every day and do some type of workout video or do the Wii Fit.  This seems like a completely crazy idea considering that I'd have to be up at 6:15 or 6:30 AND I am the opposite of a morning person.  BUT maybe I would get used to it.  Maybe I would get more done, and feel better during the day.  I'm not committed yet, but we'll see...

This week's challenges:  date night tonight (I ate light today in preparation though), and my other book club on Monday night.  My plan is portion control, and eating light Monday during the day so I'll have more points for dinner.  

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  26.7 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%)
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%)

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
To Go: 80.2 lbs

January 9, 2012

My Goals for 2012

Well, 2012 is upon us.  How did this happen?  I failed miserably at achieving all but one of my goals for 2011.  This year, I'm going for specific & attainable.

1.  Under 200 pounds by my 32nd birthday. 

I've been back on Weight Watchers  for a month and I've lost almost 10 pounds.  To get under 200 by my birthday (11/23), I need to lose 40 pounds.  That should be completely attainable.  If I lose more than that, it's just the icing on the cake.  And it will be better than actual cake.  Except maybe Coldstone Red Velvet/Cake Batter Ice Cream cake, because that shit is delicious.  ANYHOW.  How am I going to do this?  
  • Stick with Weight Watchers.  Count every point - bites, tastes, snacks, meals, all of it, even if I feel regretful afterwards.  No food goes unwritten.  
  • Cooking again - continue meal planning and shopping with a grocery list every week.  Try at least one new recipe each week along with old favorites. 
  • Planning for challenges at the beginning of each week.  I'll notice when I have a party, a dinner out, a book club or whatever coming up, and I'll plan for it.  I can save weekly points.  I can eat something filling before I go.  I can control my portion sizes.  I can look at menus and figure out points before I'm at the restaurant.
  • Be accountable by posting weekly updates here every week.

2.  Exercise at least 3 times a week.

Even if it's just walking for an hour or two around the mall, get some exercise at least 3 times a week.
  •  When it gets nicer outside, I can go on more walks outside.  
  • I'm looking into joining a gym that has a pool because I'd like to be able to swim for exercise. 
  • I will dig out my Wii Fit and my Just Dance game and my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD because those are perfectly good options as well.  
  • As with food, I will plan at the beginning of each week - write down which days I plan to exercise and how I'm going to get it done.

3.  Reconnect with my friends.

I realize this sounds less than specific, but that's because there are different parts to it.
  • Spend one night a month overnight with my friend Brooke in Seattle.  I've already talked to my Mom and Justin about this, and about having her take at least one of the kids to help out.  I'm going to sit down and plan out the dates ahead of time so that it can be on everyone's calendars.
  • Email my other friends at least once a month.  There are 3 women in particular I've been friends with since high school who I don't talk to much anymore.  I'm going to make a point to email or write letters/cards to them once a month to keep in touch.
  • Arrange to see those friends at least once this year.  I'm working on it already.
  • Have monthly girls nights with my friends in Bellingham.  I used to do this, and it's stopped happening. I'm going to make an effort to plan it even if only a few people can make it.

4.  Schedule special time for Sam.

As soon as we were pregnant with Danny, Justin and I talked about making sure that Sam always got time with us alone - without his little brother.  We have failed at this completely.  So this year, I am going to get a calendar and schedule one night a month with Justin and one day/night a month with me for Sam time.  This works out well with #3 because I think on the night I go to Seattle, my Mom will take Danny and then Justin and Sam will have a whole night of Dad/Son time together to do whatever they want.  Then another day or night I'll do something with Sam while Danny stays home with Daddy.

5.  Learn how to use my camera for real.

I have had my Canon Rebel for over a year now and I have not learned too much.  My goal this year is to really get to know it.  I read my entire manual the other day, and I plan to do that again.  When spring comes I get really excited about taking photos outside - I love taking macro photos of flowers.  I'm going to make a point to experiment with the manual modes and teach myself as much as I can.  I would love to take a class, so I'm going to keep my eye out for one that's affordable and will fit int he time I have.  I now have 3 lenses, the 18-55 kit lens, a 50mm macro lens, and a 70-300 telephoto.  Any advice in this area about resources would be highly appreciated.

6.  Read 50 books.

This is an ongoing yearly goal.  I managed in for 2011 (yay!) for the first time in several years.  I'm already well into 2 books for 2012, so I'm on the right track!  Just like last year, I have the Goodreads widget tracking my progress over there in my sidebar.

7.  Write at least 50 pages of my novel.

In 2011, I got the bug to start working on/finishing the novel I started 10 years ago.  I didn't do much.  For a little while, I was making a point to work on it each week, but I've stopped.  I need to spend at least an hour each week when I have my day off working on the book.  I hope that by the end of the year I'll have at least 50 pages.  I realize that's not a ton, but I also want to make realistic goals for myself.

8.  Improve my marriage.

This was a goal last year, and it did not happen.  I don't write a lot about this here, because it's really personal and if this was an anonymous blog maybe I would, but I also realize it's not just my story to tell, it's also Justin's.  So, I'll just say that it needs work.
  • Reinstate weekly date nights.  I'm going to talk to my Mom about having a regular night for it again, and if she doesn't want to do it every week, get a babysitter to come on the weekend so we can go out.  
  • Take a trip with Justin, and my Dad gave me 2 plane tickets for my bday (awesome) so we can use those to actually go away somewhere for a week - something we have not done in a long time, but I think that Danny and Sam can handle it.  
  • Do at least two overnight trips with Justin to either Seattle or Vancouver.

9.  Use a budget.

We have struggled a lot financially in the last 5 years.  It's time to sit down and make a real budget and stick to it.  Sometime in the next week I'm going to write down all of our expenses and figure out a budget, then go on the envelope system - cash only.  We need to be more responsible and really think about every dollar we spend.  

10.  Be a better pen pal.

I got a pen pal last year, and have been absolutely crappy about writing to her in any reasonable time period.  This year, I'm going for a 2 week turnaround time with the letters - this means that within 2 weeks of receiving her letters, I'll write back and get it in the mail.  No more procrastination.

Whew.  I think that's enough...  I hope that next January when I look back at this list I'll be able to check off way more than I did this year.

What are your goals for 2012?

January 6, 2012

I did it! 50 Books in 2011 & goal for 2012

I'm really excited that I reached my goal of reading 50 books in 2011!  Here's what I read last year:

This year, I hope to meet the goal again.  I've updated my lists of books I've read since 2008 and books I want to read someday to link with my Goodreads account.  One thing I love about this is that I can click over and browse the covers when I'm not sure what I want to read next, and see what catches my eye.

What are you reading in 2012?  Do you have a goal this year?  Do you have any recommendations?  I have my Goodreads widget in the sidebar, and a short list of books I'm already planning to read this year:

January 5, 2012

2011 - The List

This list has been popping up on a lot of blogs I read, and I do love lists, so I thought I'd do it too. I really like the idea of having a list of the same questions and answering it every year around the same day. It's fun to have a little snapshot to look at and compare from year to year.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Walked my son into an elementary school classroom, flew cross country with 2 kids who could both walk (or run away from me) and survived, stayed with my 12 year old sister & my 2 boys for 2 weeks by myself, worried about a friend who has cancer, saw Les Miserables, said goodbye to a place that meant a lot to me.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

Last year, I resolved to: Lose 70 pounds and run a 5K, Learn how to take great photos on purpose, Improve my marriage, Write more, Read 50 books, Write letters to everyone I love and Learn to use a budget - seriously, for real.

I achieved exactly ONE of these.  I read 50 books.  2011 was not a great year, and a lot of the time I was trying to just keep going and not thinking about these extras on top of it.  I have made goals for 2012 - some similar, some different.  I'll post those soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I remember!

4. Did anyone close to you die? 


5. What countries did you visit? 


6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? 

More time to myself (probably do-able thanks to my awesome Mom), a lot more photos (especially of the kids).

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

Christmas Eve.  

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

I don't feel like I achieved much, honestly.  My biggest achievement was getting through it.

9. What was your biggest failure? 

How do I choose?  I feel like there were a lot of failures this year.  My biggest one...not being able to be there completely for my kids during the times when I was struggling.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 


11. What was the best thing you bought? 

Well, Justin bought it for me, but my Nook Color.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? 

My little sister.  She turned 13 in September, and during the two weeks I spent with her over the summer, she really impressed me.  She has a good head on her shoulders and was really helpful with the boys while we were there.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

Hmm...no comment.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, medical bills, moving, living expenses.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

Weekend trip to Seattle with Justin to see Les Miserables in August.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? 

Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Sadder, fatter, maybe a bit richer, but not much.  I'm working on all 3.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? 

Made time for each of us to spend time with Sam without Danny, worked on my novel, learned more about my camera, taken more photos.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? 

Fought, eaten, been angry, procrastinated.

20. How did you spend Christmas? 

At home with my sister and her boyfriend in the morning, then just the family in the afternoon/evening.  It was a very low-key year.

21. Did you fall in love with 2011? 


22. What was your favorite TV program? 

Really, just one?  I can't choose.  Supernatural, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Grimm

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 


24. What was the best book you read?

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Les Miserables

26. What did you want and get?

A telephoto lens, new shelves for the living room, a new house (rental), a day off each week (thanks Mom!), a new phone, a Nook Color.

27. What did you want and not get?


28. What was your favorite film of 2011?

Hanna, Super 8, X-Men: First Class or The Muppets.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 in 2011.  I spent a weekend in Seattle, Friday night went out to dinner and to see "Breaking Dawn" with 9 friends, then spent time alone reading & wandering around on Saturday then spent the night at my sister's house and helped decorate the tree and helped her and her boyfriend plan their trip to Hawaii.  Sunday I spent some time alone then went to my best friend's daughter's birthday party.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?

If it fits, wear it.  Wish it fit better.  Add bling.

32. What kept you sane?

Booze.  Just kidding.  My Mom.  Hope.  Faith.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Occupy Wall Street

34. Who did you miss?

My friends in Seattle, especially Brooke.  Justin.  My sisters and my stepmom.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

The women in my Bunco group & my book club's newest member, Carrie.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Anything can happen.  Just because you think you know how to do something right doesn't mean you won't screw it up, and then find yourself wondering how the hell you ended up there.  

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"I feel just like I’m sinking,
And I claw for solid ground,
I’m pulled down by the undertow,
I never thought I could feel so low,
And oh darkness I feel like letting go.

If all the of the strength and all of the courage,
Come and lift me from this place,
I know I can love you much better than this,
Full of grace, Full of grace, My love."

- Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan

January 3, 2012

Week 4: Menu Planning & Cooking Again

Current Weight:   240.4
+/- this week:   -2.4
+/- total:    -26.5
Short Term Goal 1:   237.8 (5%)

I haven't been staying for meetings the last couple of weeks for various reasons.  This week I had Danny with me and needed to get a check to the bank immediately.  Last week, I had a limited amount of time to do some things.  And the week before same deal.  Hopefully next week I'll be able to start staying for the actual meetings, but I did make sure to make it in for my weigh ins each week. 

I had weighed myself at home this week so I'd know what to expect - the 2nd week of Christmas break, and I'd used all my weekly points and only gotten 13 activity points, so my expectations were not high.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a loss of over 2 pounds at weigh in!  I'm going to get my goals for 2012 up later this week, and I feel like I am on my way with my weight loss goal.  For 2012, I have decided that by my birthday (Nov 23) I want to be under 200 pounds.  It's been a long time since I was, and now that I've already lost almost 10 pounds I feel like it's within my reach.  Any further progress toward my long term goal will just be a cherry on top.

Challenges this week - I attended a birthday party and had a piece of cake, we had date night, and I had pizza for dinner twice.  I managed to do well with portions though - I only had 2 slices of pizza and some crazy bread, and when we went out to dinner I did not eat my whole meal.  Probably the most important thing for me personally is being ABLE to still have a piece of cake or a cocktail, as long as I count the points and plan around it.  I absolutely cannot give things up completely, it just doesn't work for me.  This way, it's about learning when I can have treats, and when it's not worth it for me.

I also put up a new organizational tool this week - my new menu board!

I bought a cheap white board and put the lines, labels, and title on with Sharpie so it's easy to rearrange when I need to, and to update the board.  I've found that menu planning and shopping with a shopping list of ingredients helps immensely with sticking to Weight Watchers.  Since the goal of the program is about changing the way you eat, learning how to cook and judge healthy portions is key.  I have a couple of Weight Watchers cookbooks, a Cooking Light cookbook, a Hungry Girl cookbook, and a three ring binder with recipes I've pulled out of magazines (including Weight Watchers Magazine) and recipes from online.  I love that I can use my e-tools to plug in any recipe I find and figure out the points and sometimes reduce them with substituted ingredients.

One of my very favorite resources is Gina's Skinny Recipes, she posts tons of good recipes and tonight I made my favorite - Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes.  Just look at it:


And yes, it tastes as good as it looks.  I substitute quinoa pasta because I like it better than whole wheat pasta, and it's gluten free for Justin.  It makes four servings, so we have leftovers, and it's only 9 points for a portion that will fill me up completely.

This week, I'll be cooking every night (hopefully) except one that's reserved for leftovers.  I love looking through my cookbooks and picking out our dinners, and I have a place on the menu board to note the location of the recipe.  This week I've got 1/2 old favorites and 1/2 new recipes - I'm really looking forward to the cheddar stuffed burgers!

How was your week?  Do you enjoy trying out new recipes?
Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  26.5 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%)
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%)

Long Term Goal: 107 lbs
To Go: 84.4 lbs