Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decisions, decisions

I'm still here. This blog is still here. Yet I don't know if it should be.

Where do I go from here?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fitting In


When I was younger, I fit in anywhere. I could instantly find friends anywhere. I had no pre-conceived notions about who would/wouldn't make a good friend. Boys were not "Icky." Girls were not pretentious. I could slap a coffee filter on a G.I. Joe figure to have him parachute from the third story window immediately after cuddling my Cabbage Patch doll.

I knew what I believed, but was happy to hear everyone else's views. Many Sunday mornings, after sleeping over at my best friend's, you could find me with her in her Lutheran Sunday school class. I went to Catholic school. At lunch, among friends, I debated the value of Yom Kippur vs. Catholic confession (9-year-old me was quite certain one day of fasting and coming to terms with G-d myself was much preferable to cowering in a confessional being judged by a priest and 30-something-year-old me still feels exactly the same way).

So many people fear public speaking. Not me. I love it. I'm comfortable in front of crowds. I wanted to be an actress. I'm a born leader and I enjoy (almost) every minute of it. The best compliment I ever received from my mother was when she asked, "Why did you never become a rabbi? You know all this stuff. You've always been a leader. You would have been good at it."

Now, though, I find it increasingly difficult to fit in. Among most of my friends, being Jewish makes us the odd ones out. With one group of fellow Yids, we're too observant. With others, we're not nearly observant enough. With some people, we're the wrong religion entirely and therefore not even a candidate for friend. I have to bite my tongue around some friends so as to not make political comments that I know will tick them off. Many of my friends are far older. A number of those have grown children, so when I'm exasperated by the toddler tantrums, my friends look at me like I have three heads and go back to helping their daughters' plan their weddings. Others are young and single and are equally baffled when the toddler tantrums or the kindergartner insists on wearing his Batman mask, bathing suit and not much else. They're too busy planning their road trip with friends (from which they will post ten THOUSAND pictures to Facebook) to hear my explanation.

So it's nice that we have finally managed to find a little space in the world where we've collected people with whom we feel comfortable. I can randomly bust into song and not only will no one stare, but some friends will actually JOIN IN and sing along. One or two might even grab their guitar or play along on the piano. And that, right there, makes all the slings and arrows in life so much more bearable.

"You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can`t forget. Those are your friends." --Dana Scully "the X-files"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are Libraries Cooler Than Cupcakes?

I say, "Yes," and you know I love cupcakes, so that's a big deal.

I've posted before about how I do so love Children's Librarians. Then, today, a (librarian) friend shared this and so I feel compelled to do the same.


I don't know about you, but I would find a way to watch a reality show about our local librarians. That would be some interesting stuff.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rules that only morons need to hear: What Cannot Be Unseen

Have you ever had to explain something to someone which really should be common sense, but for some reason, it wasn't for that particular person?

Don't speak loudly and in great detail at the gym about the best blow job you ever gave, particularly when there are elderly ladies on the treadmill next to you is one such rule.

I came across another one last weekend that needs sharing: While at a restaurant, do not EVER speak of anything you have seen on a television segment titled anything remotely similar to, "What Cannot Be Unseen."

This should be common sense, but it wasn't to the group of ladies a few tables down from us at a restaurant. After hearing about one such segment (again, in great detail), I had to put down my food because I had lost my appetite. Now, I don't have a weak stomach, so if even I was grossed out, you can rest assured what you just discussed (LOUDLY AND IN GREAT DETAIL) was completely inappropriate in an establishment where eating takes place (or at least DID before you grossed people out).

So, what other rules have you felt compelled to clarify for the morons?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make new friends and keep the old
(but only if they're Christian).

I heard of such things, but I didn't believe they really existed, at least not among nice people. I figured the concept was just something people threw around to try to prove a point of bigotry. Sure, some bigotry exists, but I didn't believe it really existed in such an outright and confusing form.

People really exist who won't be friends with people who are not Christian. Please excuse me while I find my jaw and pick it up off the floor.

What's even "better," people--sweet nice people, won't be my friend because I'm not Christian.

The one in question (and I suspect now that there have been others) isn't some mythological awful vicious beast. She's nice. She's very sweet. She and I have a lot in common. I often invite her to parties and events and she always declines. I figured she was just busy with her large family and many commitments. Nope, she's just...Christian.

This blows my mind. I don't understand it at all. I tried discussing it with a (Christian) friend who laments that she's on the opposite side. She knows she has friends who are ONLY friends with her because she's Christian. She tried to explain the rationale to me as she's actually had this conversation with some friends including the one in question.

Turns out some people believe only fellow Christians can share their goals, beliefs and philosophies. I find this so odd because, for years, I recognized that my parenting style and goals were most similar to a fundamental Christian friend. Politically and religiously, we were polar opposites, but our goals in life (menschkeit, even if she probably wouldn't refer to it as such) and parenting were the same. We had a lot of fun together and we had some great discussions. She once called me, "Insightful," which, to this day, I think is the best compliment I've ever received. My life and my children's lives are richer because she and her children were a part of them.

In addition, I've been told that, some Christians basically have the idea that, "You're going to hell anyway and I'm not, so why bother getting attached?" Hold on. There goes my jaw again. Must go chase it as it rolls under my desk.

Now, I know many (if not most) branches of Christianity believe that faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven. Funny, though, many of those claim that their and only their exact interpretation of Jesus will drop you on the yellow brick road to heaven. Everyone else is either headed to hell's western shore or will have to renounce their beliefs in the end times. Honestly, I find that offensive. Go ahead and pat me on the head and say, "Oh, that's a cute little doily your son has on his head, but I'm right and you're wrong and in the end, you'll just toss that in the trash and hand him a 'Jesus Rocks' baseball cap instead."

Judaism believes it's actually EASIER to be a good person if you're not Jewish. We have 613 laws to follow. The rest of you have only 7 fairly simple ones (among others, don't murder people or eat a live animal and you're good to go).

In Judaism, we don't focus on the afterlife. Whereas Christian texts write extensively about heaven, we Jews know very little about what the world to come has to offer. That's because our focus is on the here and now. If we worry about our behavior here, the rest will take care of itself. So my concern is not who I'll share a booth with in the next life, it's who I'm sharing a drink with in THIS life and how I treat him or her.

I'm just stunned and in disbelief that this not only happens, but has happened to me and that it's done by otherwise nice people. What a shame! What an absolute shame!


Monday, July 05, 2010

The Moment I Knew


I'm taking part in e.p.t.'s "Moment I knew" blog tour.

Just thinking about that moment when I first learned I was pregnant (we'd later find out it was with not one, but two babies) makes me grin like a big idiot (a happy idiot, though).

With our first pregnancy, we were ttc (trying to conceive) when my husband was sent away. We tried to plan visits around my cycle, but with no luck. Every month, my cycle got longer and longer, so every month, I took a pregnancy test only to be greeted with a great big honking evil BFN (big fat negative). I was heartbroken.

Then September 11th happened. My husband was away and I had just found out, yet again, that I wasn't pregnant (I visited him a few weeks prior in an attempt to catch ovulation). My lmp (last menstrual period) was September 8, 2001. During the awful chaos of the 9-11 attacks, I was thrilled that I wasn't pregnant and it made me question whether I even wanted to have children given all the uncertainty in the world. Dh and I discussed it in depth and decided we still did. We took comfort in the fact that maybe we could raise children who could counteract such hatred.

It was good that we came to that agreement because, when I visited him 3 weeks later, it finally worked. He came home for good (well, as "for good" as you can get in the military) a week after that and I kept joking that I was pregnant (Would you grab an extra piece of chocolate? Oh, it's not for me. The baby wants it.), but we just didn't know. I didn't have any of the usual symptoms. In that time, the military had given us orders to move almost immediately. So we planned one last trip to visit family in the area before we were sent across the country.

While visiting, we stopped to pick up an e.p.t. I tucked it away and we went to bed. In the morning, I woke up before Dh and took the test. I refused to even look at the test until a full 5 minutes had gone by. I was terrified that it would be yet another negative.

When I looked at the test, I was shocked. TWO LINES. I had never seen two lines before. I stared at it for a while trying to believe it. Then, when I was fairly certain this was really happening, I went back into Dh who was still sleeping. I shook him and whispered, "It worked." It took him a second, but suddenly he sat up straight and I handed him the test. He saw it too.

We decided not to tell the family right away, but we had a family dinner that night. We just about floated through that dinner. We were SO happy. Giddy as can be, we had to keep our news to ourselves and pass the potatoes. We couldn't hide our excitement, though. There are pictures of us at that dinner and you can see these huge goofy grins our faces in every single one.

I still have that test. I tucked it away and everywhere the military sent us, that test came too. Nothing in the world will ever compare to the early morning when I first saw two lines.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of e.p.t and received an e.p.t. keepsake case and a $20 gift card to JustGive.org to facilitate my review.

You can find out more about e.p.t. products (including a keepsake bag which would have been ideal for toting my first test around the country) at testaccurately.com.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coconut Oil and Randomness

Tropical Traditions sent me a jar of their Certified Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil last fall. I was just stomping through my archives and realized I never posted my review. Ack!
As luck would have it, I'm STILL discovering new uses for the stuff.

First and foremost, I cooked with it. It tastes absolutely amazing with sweet onions and tilapia. It adds just a hint of sweetness which makes for a much richer flavor then olive oil.

I tried baking a chocolate cake with it, but it wasn't quite my favorite. First and foremost, I need to say that I don't like the taste of coconut. When baked, it has that flavor. So it wasn't quite my style. Although, oddly enough, when I ate some cake the next day (after it was refrigerated, I liked it much better. The coconut flavor wasn't as strong the next day.

So, even if you don't particularly like coconut flavor, you may find that, like me, you really enjoy this with meat or vegetables.

I found the most random uses in addition to eating it. With the oil, Tropical Traditions included a little booklet that had lots of information and included some alternative uses.

One idea mentioned was using it as a moisturizer. I found this coconut oil was the only thing that worked to get rid of TheBaby's cradle cap. I rubbed it on her scalp and the next day, the flaky dry skin was gone.

I also made the most wonderful exfoliating concoction. I added used coffee grinds to coconut oil and kept it in a little container in the shower. I used it in the mornings. The smell was great and my skin felt very soft. I have oily skin, but using the oil on my face didn't cause any problems.

Unlike most other oils, this coconut oil is a solid at room temperature. So, you can add "Prop in a science lesson" to its resume'. This has proven to be endlessly fascinating to my kids.

Our vet recommended giving the cats some oil to help prevent hairballs, but we've never had any luck getting the cats to actually eat oil, though. The booklet mentioned that some pet owners just put a small scoop on their pets' food. Sure enough, we put a scoop in their food and one of our cats loved it. I must admit, one wouldn't touch it, but neither of these cats would eat any other type of oil. Our fuzzy boy happily licked this up right away.

Last weekend, I found the most bizarre use for this coconut oil. Would you believe it works wonderfully to cover scratches in hardwood flooring? Well, it DOES. Moving furniture left us with a big scratch on our floor. After panicking momentarily, I remembered reading that walnut oil was supposed to be good for such scratches. We didn't have any (and we had company coming very soon), but I did have a little bit of this coconut oil left. So I put some in the crack and rubbed it in. The kids and I were all shocked when we realized you couldn't see the scratch at all. I then cleaned the floor as usual with hardwood floor polish. A week has gone by and it still looks great.

The price on the oil seems a bit steep to me, but they have sales all the time--really good sales. If you sign up for their newsletter, they'll let you know what sales are happening and they link you directly to them. I've found that very helpful. They also list sales and blog giveaways via twitter.

Dancing Naked Men

I have a chance to see dancing naked men tonight. I, however, am passing up that opportunity and instead will stay home with the family.

I want a freaking metal!

I know there are people out there who complain that the male body is ugly. I am not one of those people. In my opinion, the male body is gorgeous and worthy of longing stares.

But no! There will be no happy staring at swinging bits dancing men for yours truly.

My husband had better appreciate my sacrifice.

I can also think of a few other things he had better do.

FYI: I just created a "Dancing naked men" label for this post. How have I blogged for 4 years and not yet created such a label?

EDITED TO ADD: Here's my giggle for the day. I'm wading through my archives and I just found this post:
Sexually Deprived For Your Freedom. I guess some things never change. Some things don't change one single bit. ;-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Bargain Brag

Here's a tip for you: always check out the clearance. I don't care where you are, go find the clearance aisle and look. If you were at the store last week, check again.

I found some fantastic deals at Borders. I didn't even realize they had a clearance section, but when we were there for the Fancy Nancy party in May, I saw it. At the time, they had the Wallies Peel and Stick chalkboard designs for $4 (down from $20). I came *this* close to getting one or two, but decided we really didn't need them.

Then, when we were there about two weeks ago, I had to hunt down the children's clearance section. It was much smaller and was a completely different location. They still had those chalkboard stickers, but this time, they were 98 cents each.

For that price, I snapped them up. One package was a little too beaten up, so I let it go, but I got two packages of the plane and cloud designs and one of the house/tree designs. I figured I'll give one of the plane/clouds as a gift. I saved $60 and paid less than I would for the tiny chalkboard strips at the Dollar Tree.

They have excess in the packaging (like the borders on stickers), so I'm going to cut out some smaller designs too.

Oh and we're going to put one up on the front door so that we can leave notes to each other and reminders when we're on our way out. Another tip is to put one inside your cabinet door and that way you can write down items as you run out. We found it useful to do something like that on the cabinet door where we keep medicine. That way, when we gave the kids a dose of medicine, we wrote down who got what when. That was particularly useful with twins when we often found ourselves trying to remember who we got medicine last.

Back to the topic of unlikely clearance and great deals, I once found a big box of foam Chanukah stickers for $1 on a clearance table at Barnes and Noble. I don't think these are the places where most people even think to look for clearance.

No matter where you are, try to hunt out the clearance section. You might be pleasantly surprised. We certainly were!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Ode to the Children's Librarians

I love you. If I "swung that way" and wasn't already married, I would propose to you--all of you.

I love that you seem genuinely happy to see my kids and to stop and chat with them. If, in reality, my kids annoy the hell out of you, I love that you're fantastic actresses.

I love that you know where the heck the Lauren Child books have gone. They were there for months, then suddenly, Franklin stares out at us from their place on the selves. Franklin doesn't hold a candle to Clarice Bean or Charlie, but a quick stop at your desk sends my children on their little yellow brick road to Lola-land.

I love that you love that hissing cockroach. I sure as hell don't want anything to do with it, but I'm thrilled that there's someone who's willing to show those nasty things to my kids while I'm ALL the way on the other side of the library.

I love that you believe my daughter when she reports that we dropped that book in the drop slot on Thursday, even though the computers still show it as checked out. I also love that you let her tell you all about how we know we brought it back on Thursday because we were there for the water cycle program, but we were a day early because it was really on Friday. So we came back on Friday and made these really cool water cycle crafts. And TheBoy even got to make one even though he's technically not old enough for the program, but they let him do it anyway. And we know we dropped that missing book in the book slot in the back of the building because we like to do that when we have a lot of books to return because it's just easier, so we use that and park in the side lot and walk a little farther to the side door.
After my daughter's big long explanation, you put a trace on the book so we won't be charged. Yet another reason to love you.

I love that not only do you stand up in front of a room full of over 100 people and sing a song which compels children (to the tune of "Merrily We Roll Along") to follow a number of simple tips including, "If you have to go REAL bad, REAL bad, REAL bad; If you have to go REAL bad, sneak out quietly," but you do so loudly, clearly and with no hint of embarrassment.

When my kids ask for your recommendations on teen graphic novels, I love that you check with the teen librarian (I didn't even know there was such a thing) and then you bring every single option back to me to look over first. I can't tell you how thrilled I was that, even though you don't have any kids, you knew to let me have a look first.

And you, the new young one, you have a cool literary-themed name. I think that's cool as hell.

I love that you do so much outreach in the community, both through the library and personally. I've gotten to know some local children's librarians and I'm floored at some of the things they do on their own time and with their own money to help out children in need.

My children make crafts and get the bright red corn syrup all over the tables and you don't even flinch. When I jump up to wipe it up, you assure me that's not necessary. For that, I could kiss you.

I love that, during story time, you can respectfully get a child to sit down, quiet down, stop breaking the blinds, climb down from the rafters, etc. And I also love that, if necessary, you're not afraid to find whoever came with that child to deal with it. I've always been amazed at the awesome balance children's librarians can strike with that. They're friendly and respectful, but not doormats.

You know my son is probably not going to stand up and do any of the dances, but you just let him be. Thank you for not making a big deal out of it.

I love that you offer neat craft ideas.

I love that you have whole stacks of ideas for audio books that we can take out and listen to during road trips. I also love that you were absolutely right about Stockard Channing reading the Ramona books. Those were loved by all during our last long drive.

I ADORE your summer programs. You can't beat free, local and air conditioned in the summer. Add the fact that they're educational and I know you bust your butts to set them up and run them and I'm just about ready to don a cheerleader outfit, grab pom poms (which my kids probably made at a library craft program) and create a cheer in your honor.

You are wonderful and for that, I thank you and because of that, I love you.




Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh Shit! I'm Becoming My Mother.

My mother is very superstitious. She carries all her own old ethnic superstitions as well as others she's collected over the years. I can get behind one or two of them, but most of them just have me shaking my head and moving right along.

So, yesterday, when I noticed someone left the baby's shoes on the table (a HUGE bearer of bad luck according to my mother), I snatched them off and said, "That's bad luck." Wait. What? Who said that?

Girl2 turned to me and said, "You do you realize you sound just like your mother, right?"

Just you wait, child. Just you wait!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Old people rock!

Today, an elderly couple stopped to chat with me. The woman mentioned that she has two great grandbabies. She saw my brood and asked if they were all mine (NOT in the usual condescending tone). When I confirmed they were, she smiled and said, "Four is a great number. It's a perfect size for a family." I smiled and said, "We think so."

I can't tell you how nice it was to hear something like that. So often, my gaggle of kids is met with wide eyes and a horrified, "Are they ALL yours?" I must point out that my kids are very well behaved. People make these comments while the kids are standing right beside me in the super market or are sitting on a bench with me at the park. It's not as though two are attempting to do a trapeze act from the light fixtures while one rolls around on the floor and the baby's busy pickpocketing someone's wallet.

So I was very grateful for the kind and accepting words of that woman.

She reminded me of Cleo, who lived across the street when we moved in. She moved to a nursing home years ago, but she was a lovely elderly woman in my neighborhood. Cleo was 93 and had eight children and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than she could remember.

When I was at my wit's end with colicky premature twins and a husband who worked the night shift when he wasn't deployed, I would pack up the twins and go for my daily constitutional. I'd pack them in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood. I'd stop to visit Cleo on her porch and we'd chat, mainly about babies (hers were born at home).

One time, I tried to make a hasty exit when the twins were particularly fussy. Cleo didn't even bat an eye. Whereas we always hurriedly left restaurants when the twins made so much as a peep which caused people's heads to snap around violently so that they could glare at us; it didn't bother Cleo in the slightest.

I told her they were hungry and started to rush away. After she asked if I was nursing and I assured her I was, she said, "Then just feed 'em. In my day, they got hungry and we fed 'em. No need to get up and go. You've got what you need. "

That was when I was still new to nursing and nursing in public was often a tricky fumbling disaster. So I was so relieved to hear her say such a thing. Not long after that, I became quite the pro at nursing in public and I think Cleo's reassurance played a big role in that.




Sunday, June 13, 2010

Turn and face the strange cha cha changes.

Times they are a changing!

Lots of changes, minuscule, monumental and everything in between going on in my world and I wouldn't have it any other way.

We're making lots of changes around here. New phone number. New social media outlets. New pets. New career for the husband. And, as early as August, a new address for all of us. Wahhoo. Yippeee! Hallelujah! And other such exclamations of happiness.

Then, just today, a great new volunteer opportunity was presented to me. It's birth-related and you all know that's something that's near and dear to my heart.

Something that hasn't changed is my family. I'm still happily married (for over a decade) to my husband who rocks. Our kids are great. Girl2 finished the entire Harry Potter series in 7 weeks. She has since moved on to the Septimus Heap series. We have to take two of the books at a time out from the library because she finishes them so quickly. Girl1 prefers the Graphic Classics. Thus far, H.P. Lovecraft is her favorite. They both taught themselves to ride without training wheels this year. TheBoy loves math, Ponyo, BabyMouse, Franklin, the Hulk kids' comics and any sort of attention. This kid has a future in sales because oh boy is he a charmer! TheBaby celebrated her first birthday, but before that, she took off running and climbing. She can make it to the top bunk on her own (much to my dismay). This kid doesn't sit still. She now has a head full of blonde curls. Her smile is absolutely adorable. And what a lover! She runs over to us just to give lots of kisses. That sweet face of hers does sometimes remind me of what we're missing, but that smile and those hugs and kisses help me heal.

Now, for some less-than-thrilling news; I've been re-evaluating blogging. Obviously, this joint isn't as jumping as it once was. I tried NaBloPoMo in hopes of once again lighting my blogging fire, but it just didn't happen. While it did inspire me to do some writing of which I'm proud, it just didn't lure me back to the blog side. So I've decided to leave this place and ride off into the bloggy sunset (blogset?).

I won't be going anywhere just yet, but I'm going to wrap this blog up in the not-too-distant future. This place will remain, but I'll be movin' on. I've written quite a bit here about military life, veterans' issues, homebirth, midwifery, c-sections, breastfeeding, babies, Judaism, children, twins, and just life in general that I'd like to keep available in the blogosphere. I'll leave comments opened as well, but I'll leave the current settings--older posts have moderation enabled to thwart the spammers.



Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My Favorite Picture Book:
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?"

I have four children and more books than some libraries. So if I begin a phrase with, "My favorite," and end it with, "Book," you know it's gotta be good.

My children love Lauren Child's illustrations and her artwork is darling. She's the creative genius behind Charlie and Lola. I love the way her writing and artwork captures childhood. Both her characters and drawings are so sweet with a hint of mischief (or, in Lola's case, sometimes more than just a hint).

My twins made it their mission to take out all of Lauren Child's books from the library at least once. During that quest, we came across "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?"

I really can't quite describe this book in a way that will do it justice. In this book, Lauren Child introduces us to Herb who likes books. Although, Herb has used and abused one of his collections of fairy tales. As luck would have it, one night, Herb falls into this twisted fairy tale book. At one point, we find Herb falling into an upside room because he tore it out and glued it back in upside down when he was younger.

I love not only the story and illustrations, but the way it's told. In the upside room, the text too is upside down. At one point, characters climb up the text. It swirls and whirls and keeps your attention. There is absolutely nothing boring about this book.

I love love love love LOVE this book.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Sometimes, Kids Say Logical (and Hysterical) Things.

The other day, we saw our small black dog sporting a bandanna. After a discussion with Dh, we realized the kids were responsible. When we asked them why, Girl1 replied,

"Because he stayed still long enough for us to do it."


Thursday, May 27, 2010

About that weight loss thing...

In case you haven't guessed by my complete and utter lack of any updates about that whole weight loss thing, I am failing miserably.

I fell off the wagon a while ago when life got super crazy. I stopped counting points and my days were far too hectic to get any exercising in.

I've been able to maintain for the most part, but I'm not losing at all and I'm feeling pretty low about it.

I saw video of myself last week and wow, what a shock! I didn't realize I was that big. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the camera adds 10 pounds, I know. If you told me it added 50 lbs, then I might be comforted.

I'm close to cancelling my WW online membership. I haven't had time to track points.

I know I need to get my motivation back. I know I need to start exercising again. I had plans to run in the evening after Dh got home, so of course he's working late and getting home at nightfall. I'm hoping he'll get back into his usual work routine soon, but until then, I'm just feeling stuck.

In case you can't tell, I'm heaving a big sigh over here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Motivates You?

At Hebrew school, my daughters' class was asked, "Why are you here? What motivates you to come to Hebrew school?"

One girl said, "So my parents can go on dates while I'm here for 2 hours."

Another said, "So my mom can clean without us in her way."

My daughters both said, "So we can teach our parents because they've forgotten all the Hebrew they ever learned."

At the end of class they added, "And so we can read Torah."

Nice save, kids. And hey, thanks for not throwing us under the bus like your friends did with their parents.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The World Is Wonderfully Bizarre
(or at least our closet is)

Remember that little girl who taped a note to her closet for us to find? Well, curiosity (and my daughters) got the better of me. I found that little girl (now an adult) and have been chatting with her a little bit.

Get this: Her husband is in the military and she has twin girls.

Should I remind you that MY husband was in the military and we have twin girls?

Isn't the world wonderfully bizarre sometimes? I love it!

In the course of our chatting, I've learned some of the stories of this house. See, this is why I prefer older houses to new ones. Old homes have souls. They have stories to tell.

True, sometimes it may not seem so romantic. Sometimes, old homes just have issues that leave you muttering under your breath.

Why in the hell is that wall there? Who thought eggplant purple was a good color for a bathroom? In what world was a tree a good idea right there? Those bears on the wallpaper are terrifying. How in the world did the last owners sleep with scary bears glaring at them every night?

For every ugly wall color, baffling shrub placement or murderous bears on wall borders, there's a story. These are stories that new owners may never know, but that those who made them will never forget. From now on, whenever I find myself wanting to ask, "Why in the world did they do THAT," I think I'm going to simply announce, "I bet there's a story behind that."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Letters From the Past
Tucked Inside the Closet

Yesterday, while getting ready for bed, Girl2 came to me and said, "There's an envelope taped to the wall inside our closet. Should I take it down?" She did and I opened it.

In the envelope was a letter from the girl who last lived in this house. I knew there was a young teenage girl here, but we never met her. Based on the handwriting and the letter itself, she was about 12 or 13 at the time.

She wrote about how this house had a lot of happy memories for her and a lot of bad as well. She wrote about how she hoped the new owners would enjoy it and how she hoped we would take care of her house.

This absolutely made my daughters' weekend. I thought it was pretty neat too. We've lived in this house for 8 years. How have we managed to miss that all this time? I'm glad we did, though. I'm glad it was my daughters who found it when they were old enough to appreciate it. How neat is that! This is the stuff of those sappy pre-teen novels.

Although, I must say, that note from a little girl written nearly a decade ago has me wandering our halls looking at our home with new eyes.

We planned to move years ago, but weren't able to for various reasons. Then, we were supposed to be gone this past summer, but the economy made that impossible. We find ourselves complaining about how we can't wait to move out. We have a long list of things we want (more than one bathroom would be phenomenal). We have wander-lust. We want out. We're anxious to move on. This house has become a relic from our past to which we're shackled long after it has outgrown its usefulness.

Since reading that letter, though, I find myself walking the halls and wondering if that little girl, now a woman, would recognize anything in this house. We've put so much work, so much time, so much love into this place. This was our first home.

All of our children took their first steps in this house. My children's heights are marked on the inside of the foyer closet door. My youngest was born in this house. A big "Welcome Home," banner was stuck in this front yard when Dh returned from his deployments. Hell, it was in the back office of this house where I started this blog 4 years ago.

Being a military family, we never felt at home. We moved from rental to rental, but those places were never, "Home." Some of them weren't even comfortable. This place, though, this has always felt like home. That's a huge deal, particularly to someone who lived for 20 years in the same house where four generations of her family had lived. There was never any doubt that that house was home and ever since I left, I found myself searching in vain for somewhere else that would have that same comfortable quality. This place was exactly that.

I want to thank that little girl for her note, not only because it excited my children, but also because it made me look at this house with new eyes. We're still ready to move on, but I can better appreciate that this house has a soul all its own. It was here before us. It was here for us and hopefully, it will prove to be not just a house, but a home for someone in the future.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My weekly weight loss update (a few days late and a few pounds short)

Sorry I'm late with my posting this week. With Pesach and the news about my friend's mom, I've been so busy.

This week, I was 140.8. I have now lost 10% of my starting body weight. My goal was to be under 140 by Wednesday and maybe, just maybe, that will actually happen. I'm not sure, though, because that weight was at the end of the week, not my usual mid-week weigh-in. Plus I've splurged a little bit since then. I'm going to get lots of walking in tomorrow and Tuesday and then we shall see where that takes me.

The weather is so gorgeous lately. I'm going to grab the opportunity to be out in the sun as much as possible. I'm hoping I can start working in the garden soon. I'm not much of a gardener, but it's great exercise plus then we can grow our own healthy pesticide-free veggies. Plus it's always a homeschool lesson for the kids.

Tomorrow is another big meal night, but we're keeping it simple (fish, green beans [yes, we eat kitiniyot. Dh and I are Ashekenazi, but I'm Sephardic too, so Passover is the one time of year I pretend that other side doesn't exist] and mushrooms) and we'll have a little K for P wine.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can hit that weight goal by Wednesday. Of course, I have a scheduled lunch date with friends that day. We're going out for Chinese to celebrate the end of Pesach and the return of chametz. It's not even bread I'm craving (I'm actually hoping to stay pretty low-carb even after Pesach has "passed over"). It's the sushi and soy sauce. Yum!

Friday, April 02, 2010

More Bad News

Do you remember that friend's mother I mentioned? The one who was diagnosed with cancer, was unresponsive to chemo and was moved to hospice care? She passed away last night. I've known this woman since I was five years old. I absolutely cannot wrap my mind around this.

Baruch dayan he'emet




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling Defeated Until My Pants Start To Fall Down

I haven't lost as much as I had hoped and I've been feeling pretty let down about the whole thing lately. I was considering canceling my Weight Watchers online subscription and throwing in the weight loss towel.

Then I got dressed yesterday. The awesome super cute Target capris I got on sale were very loose--too loose to wear. So I put on a pair of jeans--real jeans, not the elastic waisted maternity ones. They were too big. *Gasp* Today, I put on the pair of jeans I wore to my oldest daughters' birthday party. Back then, I had to use my "sucker-inner" shapewear just to get them closed and even then, I had to hold my breath and lie down. Today, they closed without a problem and I was even able to get them down without unzipping or even unbuttoning them. *Double gasp*

I'm still heavier than I'd like, but this is the first time I'm actually seeing a difference in my body. I think this is the perfect motivation to keep going.

This week, I was down another pound. I'm just over 2 lbs away from having lost 10% of my starting body weight.

Pesach (Passover) starts soon. That's going to make doing WW kind of tricky (I can't find any Kosher for Passover WW foods) on one hand (counting points), but I usually lose a few pounds during Pesach just because my carbs are so limited.

I know it's going to be a stretch, but my goal is going to be 140 or less (I'm 143.6) by the time Pesach ends. Let's see how close I can get.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bad news

I'm still here. I just have bad news.

First, I found an old college friend has Cancer AGAIN. This is the third time he's been diagnosed with it. He has a wife and a baby. I feel absolutely awful for him. He's coming out swinging, but I can't even imagine how shaken he must be.

Then, I found out the mother of one of my oldest friends was undergoing chemo for Pancreatic Cancer, but it didn't work. She was just moved to hospice care this past weekend. I'm in shock.

Any thoughts or prayers would be appreciated for these friends and their families.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Like leprechauns, only with kippot.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone. Yes, we are Irish. Yes, we're Jewish. Yeah, we're a pretty rare breed, but we are not, however, alone.

Apparently, there are enough of us to warrant not only t-shirts, but even jewelery.

So, I wish a Happy St. Patrick's Day both to my fellow rare Jews of Irish decent as well as to those Irish not of the tribe. To those of you who aren't Irish, I wish a happy Wednesday.

In case you're wondering, my father's maternal grandmother was Irish. My husband, too, is Irish somewhere way down on his father's side, but we're not sure where.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm sure you're sick of my weight loss posts, but here we go again.

This week, I was down about a pound and a half after being up last week. Not bad since I didn't count any points at all last week (it was super busy and I wasn't often home). I'm now just about 2 and 1/2 pounds away from losing 10% of my total starting weight.

Last week was wonderful for exercise. I was able to swim and walk like crazy. I loved it. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to a pool. That's such a shame because I absolutely loved it.

So I'm definitely going to try to mix things up a bit with the exercise. With swimming, I was able to routinely get 2-3 hours of exercise a day and I loved it. It kept us all entertained and even though I gained weight, I could see the difference in my body and feel the difference in the way my clothes fit.

With the weather getting warmer, I'm going to make an effort to get out more and play with the kids.

As far as food, I've been much better with throwing together lower points high veggie foods. Artichokes, mushrooms and portobello mushroom burgers have become staples in my diet. They're tasty, they're relatively easy, they're quick and they're super low in points.

Ohhhh, pretty crafts.

This Cherry Blossom Branch is gorgeous. I'm dying to make that for my daughters' room.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

From babies to big kids in 2 seconds flat

It's so bizarre how our children grow up and we don't even see it coming. It should be obvious. Growing is what all living things do. It's common sense that our babies are going to grow up. We help them blow out an ever-increasing collection of birthday candles each year. We move them from our beds to their own. We complain when we realize those brand new pants that fit them just two weeks ago are now too short. We smile proudly when they learn to write their name, then sentences then page 200 of their 500 page autobiography.

So, the other night, when my kindergartener fell asleep in my lap, why was I shocked by how big he has become? I remember putting him to the breast for the very first time. I remember smiling at the toothless grin on that little boy who took to nursing so easily. That very first time, when he fell asleep at my breast, he fit in the crook of one arm. When he fell asleep in my lap a few nights ago, he took up half the couch.

In my experience, we see them grow up, but we often don't see them. I watch them grow, so there's rarely a big jump from one age to the next. It's not until I look back at old pictures that I realize how young they looked a year or two (or eight) ago.

My oldest daughters are no longer babies, but I find that particularly difficult to believe. They're the same age I was when I started wearing a bra. A BRA for goodness sakes! Oh. My. Stars! I can't even think about my first babies wearing bras. I swear they're still toddlers. I still think of them that way even though one is now working her way through all the Harry Potter books in record time and the other is plotting ways to start a business to raise money for a laptop.

I don't think anything prepares you for this. Before you have kids, you hear people marveling over how quickly it goes and you think they're just sentimental saps. When your baby hits his/her first birthday, you may marvel at how quickly it has gone or how much they have changed (unless you have preemies. Then, if you're anything like me, when you get to the one year mark, you think, "It's about damn time!"), but even that only gives you a glimpse into how much you will be absolutely shocked by how these children grow and everything they learn.

I wish there was some way to tell mom or dad up yet again, rocking a fussing baby to sleep at 2 am that in a much shorter time then they expect, they'll relish those moments when their baby is 30+ pounds bigger and, in a very rare event, falls asleep sprawled out across mom or dad's lap.

A friend of mine likes to say, "This moment is brief," in regards to parenting troubles. She then adds, "You can take that whatever way you want." Maybe you take that as a comfort that these difficult times will end soon. Maybe it serves as a reminder that all of these moments are far too brief and we'll find ourselves longing for them in the not-too-distant future.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Up up and a weigh

This week has been a mixed bag as far as weight loss goes.

I was up just over a pound. That puts me back over my last goal. Humph! :-/ I'm not thrilled about that at all. There's no explaining it away. I ate too much of the high fat/high calorie foods. I went overboard with Purim. I know it. I probably won't be able to get myself back in check this week either because it's awfully crazy. I haven't counted points in nearly a week. I'm trying to make decent choices, but it's so hectic right now and I'm rarely home at all, so it's difficult.

The good news, though, is that I've been super active this week. Lots and lots of swimming and walking. When I put on an old pair of pants (which have been tight), they fit great. The last few times I wore them, they were tight, even after I started losing weight. So I know I must be losing inches if not pounds.

Before I started putting some weight back on, I saw a few pictures taken of me last weekend and I realized I'm finally at the stage where I don't cringe as soon as I see myself in pictures. That's a big deal. My face is one place where I put weight on almost immediately, so you can absolutely see it in my face when I gain weight. Seeing those pictures, I still look "fluffy," but not as big as I did just a few months ago. This thrills me beyond words.

Of course, I put weight on after that, so well, humph! I don't know.

I'm going to continue trying to make common sense choices and get as much exercise as I can until I can get back into my usual rhythm of counting points.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sometimes Realization Slaps You In the Face

I asked a friend for help in dealing with my mother. Mom is an odd one and even after 30+ years, I still can't figure her out.

That friend directed me here: Symptoms of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and I am absolutely floored. So many of those fit my mother. My jaw is hanging open. Yes, her father was an alcoholic, but so too was my father's father and my dad is the complete opposite of my mom. My mom doesn't often (really ever) talk about her father (he died from liver cancer decades before I was born), so while we all know he was an alcoholic, the details of her life with him are largely unknown. I never even considered that it would play a part in her personality issues (aka acting like someone out of their ever-lovin' mind).



These are particularly shocking for me (and right on the mark)


8 . When someone gets angry at you, do you shrivel inside?


9 . Does personal criticism make you feel as though you're under attack?


11. When things go badly, do you feel like a victim?

OMG! OMG! Go read this and then reread this little ditty: You Say You Are a Superstar. Get Off the Cross We Need the Wood.

I'm floored! This explains SO much.

Although, I just wish it would explain how in the world I'm supposed to deal with her. If every little criticism is seen as an attack, how in the world am I supposed to ever disagree with her without her hopping on the drama llama?


Friday, February 26, 2010

Parents Say the Darnest Things

I actually said this to my kids the other day and as soon as it left my mouth, I thought, "I need to blog that."

My bum is probably not the ideal spot for P.J. Sparkles' birthday party.


Weight Loss and Bad Guys With Tasty Ears

In health news, I'm officially down just over another pound. Well, I was when I weighed myself for my official weigh-in and when I weighed myself again today, I was down another pound from there.

My next goal was to be under 145 and I've made it. As a young teen, I hit 145 and for the first time ever, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I lost some weight, got everything back in check and swore I would never be 145 again. I have further to go, but I'm thrilled to have gotten here.

I've been playing around and managed to create a hamentashen recipe that's 0 points per serving. It's not fabulous, but not bad. It'll do. I'm going to try to play around with it some more, but it will have to be after Shabbat.

Purim starts very soon and I'm super excited. We're going to the Purim dinner after Havdallah on Saturday and the pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, so I'm going to need to plan accordingly.

The kids look adorable in their costumes. I think I look okay in mine. I didn't cringe when I saw pictures of myself in my dress, so that's a start.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Crafting for those who are NOT certifiably insane

Like I said, in times of trouble, I look to crafts to distract me.

Cool Mom Picks just posted this. It's cute, but the price tag is completely uncalled for.

Am I the only one who thinks Cool Mom Picks has really gone off the expensive deep end lately? I find myself not even bothering to check that site because the things they feature are crazy. I did buy their featured Valentines to raise money, but that's about it. I used to check every day at least once a day. Now, though, I fear they've gone crazy, so I just don't bother.

Well, that pillow is cute, but I'm going to challenge myself. I believe I can recreate it completely free with fabric from my stash.

So stay tuned and let's see if I'm actually motivated enough to do it.

When the going gets tough,
the tough get crafting


Stained t-shirt recycled
Originally uploaded by ReizaRose
When I need a distraction, I tend to hit the craft blogs. I certainly needed that, so that's what I've done.

I just came across the El-cheapo Shirt Challenge and I love it.

It reminded me of this old shirt I made for TheBoy a few years ago. I took a stained t-shirt, dyed it, painted it and added outgrown legs from pajama pants to make it warmer.

It looked far cuter in person (wow, this is a really awful picture, isn't it? I'm sorry about that), but this gives you the idea. I paid a quarter for the t-shirt and everything else I had on hand.




FYI, there are lots of super cute shirts linked up, but this postcard one is my absolute favorite. How cute!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Breast Milk, Feeding Choice, Deep Thoughts, Cancer and My Husband

I have ranted about this in the past, but recent events and The Feminist Breeder's podcast on Formula Falsehoods (to which I'm listening right now) have compelled me to write about this yet again.

When my husband's father was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote "What was that about feeding choice?" Since then, Dh has lost another close family member.

So I have already fought my way down this dark road. And it is a very very dark one.

We knew my husband had an increased risk of cancer because of the fact that he was formula fed. Now, that risk is even greater. There was another death in his family last week. Now, every single male on his father's side has been diagnosed with cancer. All but one has lost that battle.

This absolutely terrifies me.

As Gina pointed out on her podcast, there are benefits for mothers who breastfeed. I've always taken comfort in the fact that I have decreased my risks for various forms of cancer (including Ovarian cancer which killed my favorite aunt when she was only a few years older than I am). Even those women who did not receive the protections of receiving breastmilk as babies can still get some benefits from breastfeeding their children. I was breastfed and I have breastfed my children, so I have been blessed by the fact that we've avoided many of the dangers of formula-feeding.

My husband was never breastfed and obviously, he doesn't have the options afforded to me in regards to breastfeeding.

Really, you should just go read that original article. I made all the points I wanted to there. This is far too much for me to wrap my mind around. Things have just become a bit more bleak for us in the face of yet another victory for cancer and loss in Dh's family.

In that feeding choice post, I wrote this which sums it up quite well,

If you were to frame the discussion by explaining, "You can do X and increase your child's risks of illness and death for the rest of his life," do you think ANY mother would willingly take that option? What kind of a choice is that?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our World Is Shaken.

Dh's co-worker attempted suicide last week. He survived, but barely. The bullet traveled from one temple to the other. It has left him blind and brain damaged. He's in critical condition.

The man was in an unhappy marriage. They have three children. The kids were just told today about their father. The five-year-old daughter just keeps asking, "Where's Daddy?"

I never met the man. My husband didn't particularly like this man. Still, the more I hear, the more my world is shaken.

When another co-worker texted Dh with some gruesome details of his hospital visit, I ran to my husband and hugged him.

I'm constantly shocked by how many people around me are in miserable relationships. I've watched friends/family divorce. I've watched some fight and say horribly nasty things to each other. I've listened on the phone while some rant about what assholes their significant others are. I've been stunned at some of those stories, because, truly, their significant others are bigger assholes than I could ever imagine. I've had long discussions with friends who have just given up and insist they'll suck it up and go along because they promised "Forever" in their wedding vows.
Dh and I have our issues, but we're in such a different place. I'm not trying to hold our marriage up and say we're so much better than everyone else. We've had rough times too. But we've never been anywhere near with his co-worker is.

I just can't wrap my mind around it. The whole situation has absolutely shaken me. I find myself clinging to Dh and hugging him more than ever. I'm reminded of that Veteran's Day only days after he returned from his last deployment. When faced with the horror of what could have been, I hugged him and cried in his arms. This feels eerily similar to that.

That poor man! That poor family!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Attention Target Cashiers

Dear Cashier,

I think I love you. If I wasn't already married (and it physically impossible since you too are female), I would like to marry you and have your babies.

The other day, my friend and I came to your line with our herd of kids. One of hers was not having a good day and was screaming while confined in the shopping cart (it is NOT a buggy. Shut up). Other employees stared wide-eyed with that look of terror. They may think I didn't see the relief in their faces when we passed them by, but they are WRONG.

You, however, gave no such look. You smiled sweetly and spoke to the screaming child. You spoke TO him, you didn't yell at him or mutter under your breath. You were pleasant the entire time.

When I came up next, you chatted with my kids too. Not only that, but you recognized that my eldest children are twins. For that alone, I could have kissed you. You didn't squint your eyes judgmentally and ask, "How far apart are they, anyway," in that, "Don't you know what causes that," tone of voice.

When you rang up my clearance item (yes, I did manage to shop at Target and only buy one thing. I know! I was shocked too), it came up as even less than labeled.

So, dear cashier, for those many reasons, I think I have fallen in love with you. When I handed you my $1.32, I believe I also handed you my heart. Please handle with care.

Sincerely,
Reiza
and the multitude of children

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hopping Back on the Wagon of Weight Loss

I'm back on wagon that is weight loss and I'm feeling invigorated. I'm 146 which is a total of 10.8 lbs from when I started WW. I'm making myself exercise. I'm sore and I'm loving it. I love it when I hurt because it reminds me that I actually do have muscles in there plus I'm more likely to work out again when I'm sore because I know continuing to work out is the best way to ease the pain.

Yesterday, a friend said, "Your double chin is gone." I could have kissed her. I had been feeling kind of low since I didn't lose last week and I wasn't as consistent as I wanted to be with my exercise, but her comment was exactly what I needed. It motivated me not only to work out last night, but to exercise longer than I had planned. I only worked out 3 times last week, but I did it, I'm feeling the results and I'm going to keep doing it.

We have family coming out to visit in less than 2 weeks. I really wanted to be down below 140 by then, but I've had to adjust my goals since my weight loss slowed. So, now, the goal is to be at 143 by the time we have visitors. It's going to take some adjusting to keep the weight down because we usually eat out quite a bit when we have visitors. So I'm going to make a point of cooking home for everyone. I figure I can use some Weight Watchers crockpot recipes along with cooking larger portions of the healthier recipes we like.

Purim is only 10 days away. I LOVE Purim. It's one of my favorite holidays. Along with Purim, though, come hamentashen. Those cookies are my favorite Jewish food. The Apricot ones are my absolute favorite. Last year, I couldn't have them because I was pregnant and avoiding carbs. This year, I am so tempted to have a bunch, but I need to remember to do it in moderation. I want to see how much I can tweak the recipes to make them more WW friendly. The ones available at shul during the Purim carnival, though, are sure to be high in fat and calories (and yummy goodness. Yummmmmm. Pardon me while I drool).

So that will be my next challenge.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year.

Valentine's Day is almost over. Do you know what that means? It's almost time for my favorite holiday of the year.

Happy half-price chocolate day, everyone.

Run, don't walk, to the nearest store to take part in this most wonderful of days. For those of us trying to lose weight, maybe we'll skip the chocolate this year. Then again, maybe we'll buy a giant box for a friend who is NOT trying to lose weight and who we know will be willing to share a piece or two.

Tomorrow also begins the wonderfully festive Stock Up For the Daughters' Birthday season. I love to grab the Valentine's Day leftovers to use as decorations and goody bag filler for the upcoming birthdays. I also love grabbing discounted Valentine's Day decor for the twins' bedroom. I saw some uber cute things this year that I'm hoping to be able to grab tomorrow.

I am seriously excited about this. I can't wait to head out tomorrow to see what treasures we'll find. I'll be sure to report back tomorrow. You be sure to pretend that you care. If you don't, well, I'll just talk to myself. That's nothing new.

Jokes From My Son

My son has taken to telling me jokes. Here are two he shared this weekend.

First, a bit of background. My daughters love that stupid, "Why did the lady throw the butter/clock out the window" joke.

My son asked, "Why did the man stand under the window when the lady was throwing butter out?" The answer was, "Because he was hungry."

TheBoy also asked, "Why did the man get in his car and drive away from the house where the old lady was throwing butter out the window?" The answer, of course, was, "Because he wanted to get far away from the crazy lady throwing things out the window."


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday: Lather Up The Kids For Free

I've never done the WFMW thing, but I have a tip I've been meaning to share, so I figure I'll jump in.

Once upon a time, I had a coupon for a free children's bath product. I have no idea where I got it from, but I used it on one of those foam pump soaps for kids with tear-free body wash inside. The soap is long gone, but I kept the pump. Pampered Chef also sells a version too, but it's cheaper if you buy the version in the kids' bath aisle (I found mine in the baby aisle). If you're worried about wear/tear, I can tell you ours has survived for several years and still works well.

You can often find $1 off 1 coupons for Johnson's Baby shampoo. Frequently, there are no exclusions on size. Many stores sell the travel sizes for 97 cents -$1.07. So, very often, my kids get free soap. One travel-size shampoo mixed with water will fill the entire pump. So, anywhere from free to 7 cents, I get an entire supply of tear-free soap for the kids.


For more great ideas, check out Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Zero is NOT my hero.

After a birthday party this weekend wherein I ate far too much junk (I didn't think I was doing badly, but when I got home and calculated the points--OUCH), a few trips for fast food and very little exercise, I stepped on the scale for weigh-in today and found I haven't lost anything since last week. My weight loss is 0.

Ack!

I suppose I should be happy that I didn't gain. So I'll use this as a springboard for change. I'm going to try to avoid using any of my extra weekly points this week and see if that helps. I'm also going to make myself exercising more. I've been lazy and I know it. Time to get up and go.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Weight Loss: One is the loneliest number

Humorous Pictures


I forgot to update earlier in the week, but this week, I lost 1 lb. I know I should celebrate any weight loss, but I'm just not feeling it this week. My clothes feel tighter and my weight loss has slowed.

That being said, Aunt Flo did pay a visit yesterday, so that could explain the tighter clothing and this "Meh" mood I'm in about it all. I'm continuing to count my points, but I definitely need to up the exercise. We had snow and bitter cold here which had us cooped up for a while. Now, though, I need to do more. Yeah, I said that last week too. (sigh)

I weigh in again on Tuesday. I'm curious to see how I do. I've lost exactly 9 lbs. I would love to hit the 10 lb mark. We shall see in a few days.

Monday, February 01, 2010

When Clouds Hand You Snow
Make Snow Frappacinos

Last night, we made snow ice cream with the kids. While enjoying it, I thought, "This is the same consistency as a Frappacino." Then a light bulb went off in my head. That light bulb was behind a sign that looked something like this:




I then made some coffee-flavored ice cream which could easily be turned into a Frappacino (just let it melt for a few minutes).

Here's what I'd suggest:

In a bowl, mix coffee the way you like it and add some milk. You can play around with this. I added some 1% milk in addition to the usual amount of flavored creamer. I suggest that if you use sugar, you add a bit more than you usually would with your coffee. If you want it sweeter, stick closer to the amount of sugar called for in the snow ice cream recipe (With liquid Stevia, I found the usual amount I used in my coffee worked, but with sugar, sticking closer to the snow ice cream amount worked well).

Mix it all together first in the bowl. I added bits individually and it didn't blend well. So mix coffee, sugar/sweetener (artificial sweeteners may not lend themselves well to this), creamer and milk together. Then get fresh snow and add and mix little bits at a time. You'll probably find you can add much more snow then you originally thought. For snow ice cream, we used two large sized pitchers full of snow. For my Frap, though, I used 1 and 1/4 pitchers. It depends on how much liquid you use.

Put it in a cup and depending on whether you have absolutely no patience or if you can wait a few minutes, you'll either have coffee-flavored snow ice cream or a super cheap Frappacino (for a fraction of the WW points that are in the Starbuck's version--a grande no whip Mocha Frappachino is 5 points. Mine came out to less than 1 point per serving when I used Stevia in place of sugar).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wordless (day after) Wednesday: Reward



I figured out how to reward myself for hitting my first weight loss goal. My last pair of casual sneakers (as opposed to gym ones) are in shreds (literally), so I went on a hunt for new ones. I found these at Target on clearance. I paid a whopping $4.98 for them. Go me!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!

Today, I hit my first weight loss goal. I'm 148.8 lbs. My first goal was to be under 150 and I did it. Yay!

That meant my points were re-evaluated. I'm down to 25 points a day (I had 26). That's okay. Lately, I'm eating much less meat, so I've had an easier time staying within my points.

I still haven't gotten back on the Wii Fit (I really should, though. The last time I used it, I was pregnant and about 15 lbs heavier. I'd love to hear that little scale congratulate me for being down. Yes, I really do care what that stupid little scale says.). I haven't exercised as much as I'd like, but I've done something and my food choices have gotten better (and easier). So that's good.

My weight loss is slowing a bit, but that's to be expected. So I'm not heartbroken.

My next goal is to lose 10% of my starting body weight. That will be when I hit 136 lbs and that's only a few pounds away from my goal (I'd love to get down to 125, but I'll settle for 130. When I was at my lowest, when my twins were toddlers, I was 107 lbs. I was also in my 20s, though. I'm not as young as I was then, so I don't know if my body will let me get anywhere near there).

I'm happy. We've been able to balance eating out on occasion and still lose weight.

This week, I discovered that friends are a great resource for recipe ideas. Social networking is a huge help with that.

So, now, what on earth should I do as a reward for reaching my first goal? I have no ideas at all. I'm open to ideas, so suggest away.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fathers Say the Darnest Things.

Dh takes TheBoy to the bathroom every night before we go to bed. For those who don't have boys, I will explain that there's some penis tapping/shaking which occurs after such an event. The other night, I heard dh exclaim, "That's enough. It's not a guitar."

The next sound I heard was my own snorts of laughter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Biology: Ur Doing It Rong

For your Bio 101 lesson of the day, I want to explain genetics.

The child's adorable little dimple is NOT from you Great Aunt Olga. You cannot attribute the brown hair to the child's mother's brother. Well, you could, but then you'd be wrong.

DNA comes from the parents. Dad's brother had nothing to do with the creation of this child (well, at least we all hope). So no, that little girl did NOT get her straight hair from Uncle Isaac (unless there's something we don't know). She and Uncle Isaac may very well have inherited the gene that determines hair type from the same source, though, but there is no possible way he passed it along to her SINCE HE PLAYED NO PART IN HER CONCEPTION.

Now that I have shared this information with the world, there will be no reason I will have to refrain from smacking someone the next time one of my father-in-law's sisters says something like, "Oh, she gets that dimple from her great aunt." Knowing, after all, is half the battle (the other half is BEATING SENSE INTO PEOPLE).

While we're on the topic of biology, let Professor Reiza tell you that, in the case of twins, the mother is the only one who determines that. Don't go patting dad on the back for doing anything spectacular. It was mom who either released two eggs or provided conditions in which a single egg could split. Also, you can save yourself the trouble of inquiring as to whether or not twins run in the dad's family. See above. Although, a father can pass down that genetic tendency to his daughters if his mother had fraternal twins. However, if his father's mother had twins, then nope, no deal.

My favorite response to, "Do twins run in your family," is, "Now they do."

Professor Reiza would also like to remind you that, when the answer to, "How far apart are they," is "One minute," chances are that they're twins. Please don't stare at the parents with your brow furrowed completely unable to comprehend that any children could possibly be a minute apart. Please don't follow that question up with, "Are they sisters/brothers/cousins/guinea pigs?" And in the case of flustered parents of twins of any age (particularly newborn), please refrain from distracting them to ask questions of any type (particularly stupid ones). Smile at them. Nod. Then GET THE HELL OUT OF THEIR WAY.

Now you know. Go forth and share your knowledge with the world. Class dismissed.

Weight Loss update

Here's the latest update from this member of the GREEN TEAM (you thought I was kidding about always typing it that way, didn't you?)

Before I lose my nerve, I'm going to post my weight right off the bat. I'm 150.8. I'm down 6 lbs total so far. Yay! I'm 1 lb away from my first goal (to be under 150). I can now fit into those pajama pants, but yeah, I totally have that fuzzy stuffed sausage thing going on. Not a good look for me (or anyone for that matter). But, hey, I can get them on now. That's one step in the right direction.

This past week was not a great one for me. We had fast food for the first time since I started this. My activity was limited too. I got more low-impact exercise in (lots and lots of walking), but not nearly as much higher impact stuff. So I need to make a point to combat that.

This week, I need to stop playing Wii Sports Resort and get back into the Wii Fit. I haven't used it since I was pregnant, but I had good results in the past. I think I need to have some more Weight Watchers-friendly crock pot meals ready so that I'm not tempted to go out to eat.

Does anyone out there have any great healthy recipes they've found that they really liked? If so, please share.

SHOES: I could do this.

I've told you all before that I cannot use a sewing machine to save my life (what type of situation, exactly would one find oneself in where a sewing machine would save one's life?). I, however, still love crafts.

I just saw this tutorial at Prudent Baby for baby shoes and I think I could hand sew these. I'm not a big denim fan, so I probably wouldn't follow exactly, but I could absolutely do these with other material.

Stay tuned because if I do manage to pull this off, I'll be sure to post pictures.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here are some quotations from MLK Jr. that I want to share.

Dr. King, your message lives on.

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. "

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. "

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. "

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. "

"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. "

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. "

"The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. "

"The time is always right to do what is right."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm going green.



I am now a proud member of the Green Team as part of Blog the Weight Away. Also as part of the Green Team (which yes, I WILL always insist on writing that way) are Stacey and Ilissa (I hope I spelled that right). We've been randomly assigned to (wait for it) the super awesome wonderfully astounding Green Team.

My goal is to lose 25 lbs from where I am now. I would love to lose more, but 25 lbs will get me down to a healthy weight. I want more energy. I want to know I'm eating healthy and in reasonable portions. There are a number of diseases that run in my family and, by being overweight, I'm putting myself at a greater risk. I want to know I'm doing everything I can to keep myself healthy. I want to set a good example for my children.

One of my big goals is to donate these damn maternity pants. I would love to fit back into "real" pants so I could get rid of the last of my maternity stuff. Plus, my mother bought me super soft pajama pants for Chanukah, but she, living far away, not seeing me and not realizing I've gotten fat, bought me a size small. I was going to return them, resigned to the fact I would never be a small again, but then I signed up for Blog the Weight Away and now I'm keeping them with plans of losing enough weight to fit into them (comfortably. I don't want to look like a bright pink striped sausage in them). Of course, this might be easier if my mother would stop sending bags and bags of baked good mixes, but that's another post for another day (Holy mixed messages, Batman!).

I have never, in my life, done this, but I am going to be truly accountable and post my weight. Please keep in mind that I am super tiny. I know many normal-sized people would love to be my weight and would be within a healthy BMI at where I am. For Keebler elf-sized folks like myself, though, this weight is super unhealthy.

My starting weight from 1/3 was 157 lbs. This past Monday 1/11, I was 152.8. I cannot believe I just told you people that. My husband doesn't even know what I weigh. The only person I ever told what I weighed was my midwife (and even then, reluctantly so) and that's only when I was pregnant and expected to gain weight (FTR, I was 161 lbs when I delivered the first two times and I was only 9 lbs higher than my starting weight when my youngest was born. She weighed over 8 lbs).

I'm trying to find a before picture, but, as you know, I like anonymity and don't show my face on here. So I may need to work my magic with that.


ETA: Here you go. Here's my "Before" shot. I didn't even need to slap anything over my face (I was going to use a Kermit face--get it? GREEN) I cannot believe I'm sharing this with you. I detest this photo of me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Much needed good news

I got some bad news last night. I couldn't sleep and was just generally down. I'm still "in a mood" right now.

So I'm trying to rejoice over the little things to counteract that.

Good news:

I stepped on the scale and I'm down another pound and a half. Wah hoo! I'm SO close to my first weight goal. I felt good enough today to put on my regular jeans--not the maternity ones or the stretchy yoga pants I've been wearing, but real jeans that require me to be able to shove myself in AND zip 'em up (unless, of course, I want to leave the zipper open and have my gut hanging out which is OH SO SEXY). I have to wear a billowy top over them, but they close without a problem. Yippee. This morning, while TheBaby napped, I had time to dye my hair AND clean the bathroom. I even had time to blow dry my hair (which I very rarely d0).

The kids are making their own lunches (I love having bigger kids) and later, we're headed out to the park with some friends. It's a local park too. I live pretty far from most of my friends, so I often have to travel to meet everyone. This time, everyone decided to meet at a park just a mile from my house. Yippee!

Monday, January 11, 2010

WW Comeback World Tour 2010

So, I finished week 1 of my WW Comeback World Tour 2010 (it's more exciting if I give it a cool title. It's even more exciting if I insist on saying it in that deep "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" Monster truck voice).

Not bad. In some ways, it's more difficult with 4 kids (I have to rely on the online version since I just can't fit meetings in sans kids). The most noticeable is that fast food is no longer an option if we're out and about. In some ways, it's easier (not as much time to eat).

The news, however, is very good. There is slightly less of my fat ass. My eligibility window to apply for the role of Super Fat Ass is closing. There are four pounds less of me than there were this time last week. When I added that to my weight tracker, I found I'm just under 3 lbs away from my first goal. Yay!

Here's hoping I continue to rock on with my bad-ass self.

Monday, January 04, 2010

My wish for the New Year

There are many things I hope 2010 brings those I love. I figured I'd take the opportunity to share them with you all.

In 2010, I hope...

  • The stupid people stay far away from you.

  • That if a few of those stupid people wander into your path (or if they live in your house, so you have no other choice), I hope you have a really big stick, a great aim and a complete lack of remorse.

  • Should you be unable to beat the stupid people senseless, I hope you have the perfect comeback for their stupidity and that, after you slap them with that witty retort, they either change their ways and stop being stupid or they read this and FOLLOW THE FREAKING RULES.

  • That your children are absolute angels

  • And that if that last one doesn't happen and you're in public, I hope there's enough room to distance yourself from them so that no one realizes they're yours.

  • If they disregard that angel part and you're not in public, I hope you have a padded sound-proof room to shove them into until they CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

  • You have TWO padded sound-proof rooms so that you have the option of locking yourself in one if need be.

  • Someone finds the secret for yummy calorie-free (kosher) alcohol and chocolate.

  • Someone perfects that whole, "Beam me up, Scotty" machine.

  • You laugh at an endless supply of truly funny lolcats.

  • That your kids continue to supply you with an array of funny phrases.

  • That when your kids say those funny things, they do so quietly and FAR away from church/shul.

  • That the vast majority of your days are wonderful and you have one bad (but not awful) day a month so that you can always truly appreciate those great days.

  • Those around you always let you know how awesome you are.

  • That you continue to rock on with your bad-ass self.



This Little Piggy Went to Weight Watchers.

I sucked it up and joined WW online. *exhales* Well, here we go. Now there's no turning back. And hey, I lost .2 lbs from yesterday. .2 lb loss? Hey, I'll take it!