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.

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.


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).