Clare's Chaotic Cacophony

This is my little piece of cyberspace where I chronicle events in my life. Where I can vent, or dream, or wax poetic… Grab a heavily alcoholic beverage and join me, if you will.

#Adjusting

Sometimes you just need to adjust. You may need to adjust your mindset, your way of life, or how you handle things. We all have to do it from time to time causing varying degrees of excitement, discomfort, or even pain. The old saying tells us, “No pain, no gain!” and it’s true, but oftentimes it’s little comfort. It’s far from an inspiring mantra that you chant with warmth radiating in your soul, and closer to “it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah”. However, from change often comes growth, even if it’s hard to see it in the beginning. The beginning is always the hardest time…the adjustment to a new way of things.

I’ve started using a new hashtag in my Instagram account: #adjusting. I’m adjusting now, or at least I’m trying very hard to. At a doctor’s appointment a few weeks back, I found out that some of my atypical symptoms popping up were being caused by yet another kind of hormonal disorder. Hormones are bitches. Especially in my family. You know when you go to the doctor and they start asking for your family medical history? Mine usually sounds like a cross between a cautionary tale and a horror story. So I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. The fix was simple enough, a second pill regimen to begin, however, this tiny pill came with a big dietary caveat: no alcohol, and do not eat any starches or sugars. Now, in my recent endeavors to “live healthy”, I’d cut back on carbs and sugary things dramatically. If a really amazing looking cookie crossed my path though? You only live once. Eat the cookie and move along. But now, no cookies ever. Or wine! No breads, wine, pastas, wine, rice…and then my doctor started listing things like peas, beans, and even carrots! And did I mention wine?!? I seriously walked out of that office defeated. I sat downstairs in the lobby wallowing in depression while at the same time realizing I was being one big walking first world problem. I was told to lay off booze and starch, for cripes sake, not that I had cancer! What was wrong with me? I could do this. I love bacon, after all. Time to fight.

Well, it’s been two weeks since eliminating all starches and sugars from my diet. I’ve been through the headaches and the “LowCarb flu”. I’ve had good days and bad. I’ve had slumps where one more cheese stick or strawberry rather than a big apple seems like my death knell. I’ve also realized what a deep, borderline unhealthy relationship I have with food. I depend on it way too much. I’ve blogged before about being an emotional eater, and this dietary change has proven to me that I eat my emotions…every single one of them. With that comfort measure gone, it’s been depressing. Being depressed over a lack of cookies, then makes me feel guilty again, which brings about, you guessed it, more depression. There are days that I want to whine and stomp and pout like a complete brat. This may have come to a head last weekend when I unloaded a torrent of whiny texts on my dear, poor older sister. Afterwards, however, I realized I had to make a change. I had to adjust my way of thinking. I needed to do some #adjusting.

Some of the wisest words in cinematic history.

I started by hopping up from my one-person pity party and making a new recipe. I altered a recipe for Impossible Pie to be low carb and popped them in the oven. I messaged Jason and told him that when they picked up Whataburger, to get the Ranch garden salad with grilled chicken for me. And you know what? That salad was amazingly delicious. Whataburger’s grilled chicken breast was just full of flavor mixed into a very generous salad. Also, Jason actually ordered the exact same thing I did. To pass on Whataburger for a salad to be supportive? THAT is true love, people. 😉  The Impossible Pie was delicious. It was sweet, creamy, coconuty and hit the spot. Since then, I’ve tried to focus on making the ordinary, extraordinary. I made my stash of roasted chicken in the fridge exciting for lunch by warming it with shredded cheddar and topping it with my adjusted version of Pico de Gallo and sour cream. I’ve tried out a few different desserts since the pie, and while they haven’t all been winners, I know they can be adjusted. Instead of focusing on how shitty I feel not being able to eat my beloved cookies, I’m trying to focus on the fact that I never feel weighted down after meals anymore. Food comas and sugar crashes are a thing of the past. I feel full but not like Jabba the Hutt.

This. All of this.

So I will continue to adjust. I really have no choice but to prevail…there is no cheating when dealing with medical issues. Doesn’t mean I can’t try to enjoy myself (or at least not be a miserable pouty lump) along the way. 😉

 


New Year, New You!

Don’t you love how all the radio commercials declare that? A new year and a new you! Am I the only one who finds that silly? Did you clone yourself? Are you standing next to yourself? It’s not really a new you, is it? How about a “changed you” or an “improved you”? I suppose that’s not catchy enough.

Well regardless of whether you’re improving yourself or submitting your DNA to become the human version of Dolly the Sheep, it’s a new year. People are breaking out their resolutions, gyms are packed, and Slim Fast commercials are inundating the airwaves. I made my own set of resolutions this year. They range from the simple (Keep your Sanity) to the more elaborate (Pick back up both a coding and a national language). Last year was one hell of a mentally taxing year, so the sanity part is a must. I’ve realized that everything from the election fiasco (Not touching that further with a ten foot pole here. Seriously, don’t ask.) to strained financial situations became a big lethal cocktail guaranteed to induce depression and cynicism. I’ve realized something else too: not taking care of yourself makes this cocktail even more potent. Things just snowballed last year. Not in a fluffy, pretty, white snowball kind of way…in the giant wad of snow, dirt, and rocks that chases you down the hill and threatens to smash you kind of way. But that year is over and behind us. That snowball has hit the bottom of the hill already. It’s up to us to dust the snow off. You have to learn from it and move forward.

This is how we see the “improved you”. Willpower, self control, and determination are the only way. There’s no magic pill. If you have support from others, all the better. If you’re spiritual, pray. All the working out in the world won’t change a thing if you’re woofing down toffee brittle every time you pass the fridge. (What? No this isn’t a personal example…exactly…) We sweat, we make smarter choices, we pray, we work harder. We get up and do the same thing the next day. If we fall, we get right back up. We bring it.

Or you could always get cloned. Your choice. 😉


And I say, “Hey…what’s going on?”

It has been so long since I’ve tried to put anything into this blog that it frankly feels a little weird. I’m sure it’ll play out like the “riding a bike” adage and things will begin to flow organically, but for now, it’s almost awkward. So much has happened since I last posted. We moved to a home in an amazing neighborhood. We’ve become involved in a co-op, Cub Scouts, and band. Biggest news is that we finally were able to welcome a little girl into our testosterone-filled household. That was the biggest shock and surprise we’ve ever experienced. Imagine going to a routine doctor’s appointment and having the NP walk in with a big box of prenatal vitamins. She’s talking like you know why she’s holding them but inside your head you’re screaming “WHY are you bringing those things in my room?!?” Total shock. Several weeks later I called for the results of some blood work and they tell me that after five boys, that unexpected little stowaway is a girl. Complete surprise. Aria Gabrielle was born in December 2014 and turned our house upside down. She’s loved, spoiled, and doted on by her brothers like a real princess. She also has her Daddy completely wrapped around her little finger. We finally have our “pink one”.

It hasn’t all been roses of course. The pressures of keeping up with six kiddos 11 and under after she was born kinda kept me in recluse mode for a long time. I feel like I’m still breaking out of that, to be honest. The bigger car that we had to buy turned out to be a big fat money pit of repairs. I lost my maternal Grandma. Floods came and claimed two of my family member’s houses. That’s life, though. That roller coaster just keeps rising and falling. A more personal failing has been losing all of the headway I made on my healthier lifestyle. I’m a cranky, tired recluse when I’m pregnant, so I let my training sessions at the gym go. I turned to comfort food way too often. As much as I talked with my doctor about going back to lifting weights and exercising, I never did. I stayed stuck in the rut. I bought workout DVD’s and never used them. Our neighborhood actually has a small gym in the clubhouse, but I’ve never gone. I’ve developed a lot of unhealthy habits. I’ve put myself last too many times in too many ways. What feels like ages ago, I posted on this very blog about a pair of jeans that were falling off of my hips when I ran thanks to my healthier lifestyle. I can still see that moment in my head. It was pretty freaking spectacular! Well those pants (which have become cut-offs thanks to time and wear) are uncomfortably tight now. This prompted me to get some batteries for our bathroom scale and step on it. No bueno. I’m at an all-time record high. But this will change. It has to. Aria is two years old. Baby weight, this is not. So I’ve fired up MyFitnessPal again, worked up some macros, and am trying yet again. I hope to chronicle my journey here like I did last time. It won’t all be food, health, and exercise, though. I’d like for this to be my outlet once more. I’m sure the kidlets will keep me in enough parenting shenanigans to be fodder for blogging, venting, or therapy for a long, long time.

So….here we go again! Fingers and toes crossed that it sticks this time!

Until next time, little blog. Peace and Love.


Fresh is Best!

I already posted about my week of fresh, healthy foods and what a time saver the “twice as much meat” method was. I’m actually kind of bummed that it’s over. I really need to locate more of these recipe chains that span a week. Regardless, it was fun cooking so very…fresh. I love cooking with fresh wholesome ingredients. It always tastes better and you feel better after eating fresh ingredients. Another thing I’ve noticed is that it actually looks better as well! Don’t we always eat with our eyes first? If your stew looks like puke-in-a-bowl, you probably aren’t going to dig in heartily. For example, everytime I open the My Fitness Pal app, the loading screen just incites hunger. It looks so rustic, like foods you’d take to a picnic at a Mediterranean hillside. Observe:

MFPscreen

Doesn’t that look amazing? Well, everything except the purple things, which I’m 99.9% sure are beets (aka Satan’s turds). But that’s just me.

Cooking fresh often comes with a caveat, however. It does take more time. You can bang out a pot of Kraft mac and cheese in under 30 minutes whereas making it from scratch will take at least twice as long. When you’re a mom with an adorable yet noisy 18 month old frantically pushing your legs away from the counter and shrieking, that box of Kraft just says “Screw it and cook me now!”. So I’m on a mission to find ways to make fresher more organic meals take less time. Any little tip or trick that would reduce the time I spend getting shrieked at is golden to me. This brings me to my first small victory…fresh herbs.

I love fresh herbs. Yes, I of course have a pantry and spice rack full of the dried ones as well, and that’s fine, but some recipes just require fresh ones. Cilantro, for example, really isn’t the same dried. Besides, it’s almost a mood booster to inhale it’s fragrance while chopping it. (The one downfall to dealing with fresh cilantro for me is that it gives me a powerful craving for Pho, but I digress..) Still, chopping herbs is messy and frustrating to me. Then one glorious day a tip from the online heavens passed before my eyes and revolutionized my herb chopping. “Use a pizza wheel.” This intrigued me. Not everyone has a mezzaluna. I don’t and as much as I love collecting interesting kitchen gadgets with specific uses, there’s only so much drawer and cabinet space in one home. But a pizza wheel…who doesn’t have that? So one of my aforementioned recipes required fresh oregano. That’s even smaller than cilantro and I didn’t want it all over my kitchen. So I killed two birds with one stone. I used the pizza wheel, and I cut it on a paper plate.

oregano

The paper plate kept the herbs contained in the cutting area. It also created a disposable cutting board with no scrubbing involved. The pizza wheel sliced through the herbs in no time at all and rather evenly too. In seconds, I had this beautiful, fragrant pile of fresh ingredient.

chopped

 

I used the same method on cilantro and actually reused the paper plate to also cut avocados for a salad. Once again, since the plate had raised edges, I could toss the avocado in lemon juice and seasonings and it picked up the remnants of the cilantro as well. Even my kids who claimed they didn’t like avocado ate it in their salad that day. I had fewer things to wash. Everyone came out happy. Score one for busy home cooks everywhere! 😉

 


False Starts…

I can’t say how many times I’ve opened this blog, wanting to type out my thoughts and send them out into the netherwebs. There are several half-completed drafts sitting in my dashboard to prove it too. But something always comes up: a kiddo screams, someone punches someone else, my little lap monkey can’t keep his hands off the keyboard, or I just can’t get fully behind what I’m writing. Brain farts are quite typical in motherhood, apparently. So typical in fact, that I often get the bug to do something to expand my brain. I’ve blogged about this before, in fact I think it was when I first dabbled in HTML and CSS. Hard to believe (feeeeel the sarcasm) but that fell by the wayside after awhile. Not that I didn’t enjoy it…life just got in the way. It became just another false start.

So here I sit, as usual with a squirming monkey in my lap and thoughts rambling in my brain, trying once again to get a blog post out. (I can’t promise anything stellar here. I’ve already had to pause once or twice to attend to something or another.)

My quest for fitness is going well enough. The holidays brought a lot of goodies and four extra pounds, so that was somewhat of a road bump. But with the help of my trainer, I’m already back to my pre-holiday weight and working on going further. I’ve had amazing success with cooking extremely healthy dinners that the kids love. They’ve eaten quinoa, brown rice, roasted broccoli, baked fish, and more. Even though they’ve balked more than once at the new food, they’ve loved every bit of it. Some of the dinners employ this genius ideology of cooking twice as much meat as you’ll need for one dinner, thus giving you pre-cooked meat for a future meal. For example, half of the large Chili-Rubbed Pork Loin was served as a roast with sides one night, and the other half was sliced and warmed with peppers and onions to make pork fajitas another night. It’s a wonderful time saver! This week in particular, I’ve challenged myself to eat uber clean. No cheats. I started strong Friday morning and am already drooling over cinnamon rolls. Damn cinnamon rolls with their thick cream cheese icing and their gooey cinnamon oozing from between the soft folds of dough. Yes, damn them. I refuse to give in. I must be steel. Cinnamon roll hating steel.

Anyhoo, In addition to my quest to improve my physical side, I’ve also embarked on a journey to improve my mental side. I already referenced the brain farts, so you’ll know where I’m coming from here. Jason introduced me to the world of free online classes offered by major universities (otherwise known as MOOCS). That love of coding that started with my HTML endeavors now has a structure to grow in. I’m taking a computer science course from Harvard. It’s amazing. There are video lectures, walkthroughs, problem sets and online groups and forums as well. There are nine projects and one big final. I’ve already submitted one ahead of schedule that I was rather proud of. Still waiting with bated breath for the grades on that one, though. There was a surprise section of Math with that project which really gave my brain a workout. I’ve had my fingers crossed since clicking submit that I aced it…I guess we’ll see.

A side note definitely worth mentioning is that we’ve been able to start the tradition of date nights. My (wonderful and darling) youngest sister has volunteered her Thursday evenings off to play with my kiddos so Jason and I can have time to go out and just be adults. We’ve had three such nights so far and it’s been amazing. We can eat and have conversations and even watch a movie without any interruptions. It’s allowed our brains to unwind and for us to reconnect. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the kiddos, that we forget to carve out a bit of “us time”. Time flies when you have kids and before you know it, it’s been months since you’ve had an evening together. Last year we had a grand total of two dates. I kid you not. So having three nights out in the same month has literally been mind blowing. It’s also reminded me how very important it is. I think I’m especially guilty of taking the “putting your children first” to the extreme. While it’s true that we currently exist to raise and take care of our kids, I’m slowly realizing that I must take time to take care of myself as well.

I’m determined that unlike the drafts in my dashboard, these things will not be false starts. I want to see progress in my measurements, weight, and body composition. I want to pass this course with flying colors and earn that certificate from Harvard. I want Jason and I to have time to be adults and be able to still date each other. For being less than a month into the new year, 2014 is really teaching me a lot…

 

 

 


The Thankful Post Thing…

It’s that time of year again…the time when everyone tries to post something they’re thankful for everyday in November, or at least until Thanksgiving. I know it annoys a lot of people, but I actually applaud the practice. We take too much for granted in our society nowadays. Things and even people have become very disposable and this is widely accepted. We spend so much time reaching for what we want that we forget to be thankful for the things we have. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone sometimes. For example, we live in a 1600 sq ft townhome right now. It feels small, our neighborhood is sketchy, and our “wall neighbor” apparently hates our guts. We’re planning to move as soon as our lease is up next summer. In the meantime, however, I often get so caught up in the negatives of this home that I forget to thank God for the fact that we have a home. It may be small, but it’s still newish, bigger than our last home and rather pretty. Our neighborhood may be sketchy, but hey…my first home was in Aldine. The graffiti there used to brag about it being “The Little 5th Ward”. So this is far from awful. Our neighbor may hate our guts, but at least our landlord is awesome and sticks up for us to her. In general, we have a nice home that provides shelter from the elements, and allows Jason to have a 15 minute commute. This is worth it’s weight in gold.

So this has been my theme today, because everything has felt like it’s just piling on top of me. My stress level has been really high due to this feeling. Therefore, I decided to implement exactly what I just wrote about in the above paragraph into each little chore that crawled under my skin. And you know what? It worked. It really helped me. I’m an optimist by nature and putting a thankful spin on things today helped me to remember:

There is ALWAYS a silver lining. 

I spent part of my morning fighting with Aidan to get his math done. (He’s a whiz at it, but hates it anyway. Go figure.) This really made my head hurt and my blood pressure rise, but I am thankful to have the freedom in our state to homeschool our children without government interference or harassment.

I spent the other part of my morning folding the never ending mountain of clothes that continues to pile out of the laundry room. I hate laundry with a purple passion. But you know what? I’m thankful we have clothes…and that many of them too.

I feel like a day can’t go by without me having to run to the grocery store to buy something I forgot and today is no exception. This drives me nuts. But…at least I have grocery stores so close by and so abundantly full of food that it is actually possible for me.

I went through three or four different names before I actually put the right name to the proper child. This makes me want to curse my brain. I hate forgetting things and stammering over something that I’m trying to convey. But, amusing as this sounds…I have a brain! It retains quite a few things and is without disease or major issue.

I spent time immediately after lunch attempting to slay the metallic blob (dishes piling out of the sink and counters) only to have so many still sitting there. But hey, at least I have a dishwasher! I cannot possibly express how thankful I am for that. 😉 Washing all of that by hand would’ve been a real beeotch.

I spilled a cup of orange juice down my leg while cleaning the dishes. I found a cup of water spilled on the dining room table and running down onto the floor. I stepped on yet another motherfudging lego causing great pain. I most definitely had to count to ten a few times while cleaning all this up, but this also gave me time to think… I have clean running water. I have the means to buy orange juice. I have cups. My children have toys. And most importantly…I have children. These monkeys may drive me crazy, they may break things, break the sound barrier with their fighting, cause dirt to be everywhere, spill things, and stress me out…but I have them. I can hug them anytime I want. I wouldn’t trade their precious faces and sweet little personality quirks for all the tidy quiet houses in the world.

My children are a blessing. So are dishwashers, cups, clothes, easy access to food and water, and the freedom to live my daily life among so many other things.

I am very blessed. And there is always a silver lining.

Thank you, Lord.


Comments are *FUN*

I had originally planned to turn this blog into a business of sorts. I envisioned hosting giveaways, doing product reviews, the whole nine yards. However, I really began to burn myself out on all the social media. Blogging, tweeting, pinning, facebooking, instagraming, emailing, and practically spamming everyone I knew consumed me. I was trying so hard to drum up exposure and get page views, comments, followers, etc, however I never seemed to get anywhere. I did manage to get some comments from fellow bloggers and I loved them for it, but as far as reaching the masses…it never happened. Perhaps someday I’ll revisit that idea but for now, I’ll just stick to my bohemian blog-however-the-wind-moves-me-to ramblings.

Somehow along the way, I did manage to find some exposure, though. I was found by Spambots! They apparently love me! They leave multiple comments on each of my posts, in fact. I’m not sure what cheap nikes and football jerseys have to do with my writings, but hey. However, some of them are downright hard to read. For example:

“Realizing areas needed for make contact with lesser amount of wall membrane modifications are vastly different within various ins and 24 / 7 inches width by toaster ovens any oblong plan considering oven microwave combination easier action best toaster oven in addition to array and in addition reduced in office interference. That this hulls isn’t going to pack in, however they’re finished for instance like upside down transparent.”

Say what now? This was posted in reference to my first week review of the Revolt program. Well…I did write about cooking, but definitely not toaster ovens and wall membranes.

My post about working out while pregnant gathered the most spambots. Some of these were the most mystifying of all. For example:

“boy”

Hmm. A bot of few words. Or how about:

“The antonio brown, under the leadership of Pope Gregory XIII that a special
list/calendar/book of antonio brown for the St. If it was a disaster.”

Okay that has nothing to do with gyms, pregnancy, or even nikes for crying out loud. Pope Gregory XIII?? And what did he do that was a disaster? And how does that relate to my blog? Mindblowing.

I get international comments too, but they’re mainly in Russian. I don’t understand Russian, so I won’t post them here just in case they’re porny or anything. This however, might as well be Russian for all the sense it makes:

“Keep eating valuable time helpful toaster ovens and also toaster over tray best toaster oven gaining variants – indulgence recipes for which you very often implementation, with regard to selecting variety of gouda, fruits or vegetables. How’s it going desiring to hyperlink their Nintendo wii console around the?”

Toaster ovens again? Who the hell is this obsessed with toaster ovens? And that last sentence drives me nuts. Hyperlink their Nintendo wii console around the… Around the what? I have a Wii…what could I hyperlink it around? The suspense is killing me.

I even got a comment from a site offering me a free tranny sex movie.

PASS.

Then there were bots offering to show me where I ranked on Google, or how to get 10,000 hits a day to my site. These were usually a bit more coherent. Some made sense in the way of not sounding like gobbldeguk, but yet didn’t make sense. Like this one:

“In this way you may be faced with the challenge of keeping my living
quarters tranquil, open, and airy-seeming.” 

Umm what? I’m sorry, I can hardly keep my own house clean. I’m certainly not going to do it for any ole spambot who messages me on my blog. For the love of toaster ovens! I am not that kind of girl, thank you!

 


Here’s to New Beginnings…

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve neglected then “rechristened” my blog and started fresh…well I wouldn’t be a rich woman but I would have more cash than I do at present. I’m not sure why this is. It’s chronic though. I was a miserable journal/diary keeper growing up as well. Maybe it’s in my genetic code. Is there a “crummy journal/diary/blog keeper” gene? If not, I’m naming it after myself and that will be my contribution to science. Anyhoo, I’m coming back to my poor neglected blog after months of abandon, once again looking to start anew.

So what has changed in Clare’s Chaotic little portion of the world? Well…a lot. Summer came and went, much to my kids’ chagrin. Or all of my kids but one. Little Erik started Kindergarten this year and could not have been more excited. He’s kept that precious enthusiasm through all seven weeks he’s completed. In fact, he even tries to work ahead in his workbooks. Perhaps I finally have an enthusiastic scholar on my hands. Or the workload could increase next year and he gets tired of it after all. I’d prefer to look at the glass as half full though. This school year has brought other good things as well. Activities with the local homeschool group started up again, for example. The kids get to run some energy off, make tons of friends, and I get some conversation out of the deal too. 😉 Our new church has a moms group that meets for park dates and activities as well. These meetings bring extra special joy to my heart. There are some truly stellar women at my parish. I always feel like I can learn from them, whether it be faith, mothering, or just chit-chat.

Outside of school, we’ve seen Sean rise to High Green belt status at his studio and Aidan finish his Summer basketball season. We’ve also had several birthdays including my biggest boy turning TEN and my baby Jedi turning one year old. I know I ask this a lot but …where has the time gone? Seriously? How do I have a ten year old child? And my baby buddy is weaned, babbling, running everywhere and following his big brothers around. (He’s still my little snugglebug though.)

No update would be complete without mention of my fitness/weight loss quests. After all, this has always been somewhat of a central point in my blogs. I went a little over two months with the Revolt program and had to change. Did it work? Yes. Could I stick with it long term? No. There were some major perks to the program and some drawbacks as well. Some of the drawbacks were more my fault than Revolt’s but it is what it is. In the end, trying to workout at home became a chore. Plus graceless klutz that I am, I kept injuring myself. I threw out my knee a few times and finally pulled something in my foot that made walking very painful. That last one effectively put the kibosh on the workouts. It took a very long time to heal. The food was excellent, it really was. However, eating the exact same thing every day grew tiresome. Plus Saturdays around here are busy, so doing major shopping and then preparing a week’s worth of food the same afternoon lost it’s luster pretty quick. Now there are women who do make it work and their results are amazing. It just wasn’t a good fit here. I did, however, come away with a lot of wonderful fitness knowledge. Revolt introduced me to the concept of eating clean. It opened my mind to new ingredients and portion sizes and the beauty of drinking more than half my body weight in water every day. It showed me that I love working with weights and that exercising can be exhilarating. I am thankful to Revolt and Nichole for that, I really am.

So where does this leave me? Well I picked back up with Weight Watchers while my foot healed and lost a few pounds. I backslid again into the land of donuts and burgers and gained a few pounds back. Then my beautiful baby sister got engaged and asked me to be her matron of honor. Amidst all the excitement I knew I had to get back on the horse. I would not buy a bridesmaid dress in a plus or “extra-large” size. So I started watching what I was eating more closely. Then I found out that the company Christmas party is going to be black tie. Holy schnikes. I’m going to need a beautiful formal gown and my ass is still a mile wide. I started eating clean and stopped picking at things I made for the kids cold turkey. Then I did the best thing yet. I joined a gym again. I even bit the bullet and bought some personal training sessions. I figured I need some in-your-face personalized help. Obviously I don’t do spectacularly on my own. My trainer promised me that this will work and I will see results. She set me up with a meal plan and showed me how to supplement at the gym between our sessions. She kept me moving. At the gym, the baby never climbs on me, the kids never interrupt me, and I can blast my music as loud as I want without having to worry about hearing something (or someone) break. If I have any questions, there’s always someone to help. And…I lost 1.5 pounds in three days. Bring it.

So here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to rocking formal gowns or even jeans with confidence. Here’s to the fledgling school year. Here’s to starting fresh in my blog…yet again. May they all be successful.


School’s Out For the Summer!

School’s Out Forever!! Okay, not really. But I couldn’t pass up the Alice Cooper reference.

So, we’re done! The 2012-2013 school year is completed at last! I had intended that we take this week and slowly finish up any loose ends and last exams, but my little go-getters had something else in mind. By Tuesday the remaining subjects were dwindling fast, so they decided to power through to dinner time and finish everything. And finish they did, right down to the book report that Sean was avoiding. I think, in their school-finishing giddiness, that their usual cup of jokes and puns did overflow. For example:

Sean (reading a question on his Religion exam): “Jesus Christ gave his apostles the power to blank, blank, and blank on earth. Hmm…OH! Live, Long, and Prosper!” *huge cheesy grin thrown my way*

Yes, I laughed. I couldn’t help it one bit. Part of me was thrilled at the geeky reference and part of me wondered at the appropriateness of making the apostles into Trekkies. I’d like to imagine that God got a chuckle out of that one too.

So Wednesday marked the first official day of Summer for my boys and they celebrated with a huge water gun fight with the neighborhood kiddos. They were running the streets for over three hours, streams of water flying everywhere. There were some crazy tales that came from that one. For example, two neighbor boys decided to ambush a pizza man making a delivery. My adult side was horrified and made sure that my kids knew in no uncertain terms that this was never acceptable. My inner child is still giggling over that one, though. One kid pulled out his hose, other kids took to their bikes for drive-by-soakings, and much mayhem was made by all. I think my favorite story, however, came from the evening after my kids had come in. Around 8:30, my doorbell started ringing like crazy. Then frantic knocking began. Before Jason could even make it down the stairs, the ringing started up again. As soon as he opened the door, some of the neighborhood boys  yelled, “Sean! Sean! We need your water guns! We need them for an all out AMBUSH!” Allow me to backtrack a bit here… A few weeks ago, a small-scale water fight broke out in the street and a group of boys (including my Erik)  decided to squirt two ladies that like to jog and walk around our street in the evening. I called out for the boys to stop but the women just laughed and ran. The next time they passed by the same thing happened except as they ran away one woman yelled out laughing “We’re coming back with a hose! We’ll get you back!” I thought it was incredibly sweet of them to be such good sports about it. Well guess who was jogging around the block with a stroller last night and pulled out a big water gun on the neighborhood kiddos still outside playing? Yep! The same two women decided to exact water revenge. Laughing, I told the kiddos that the guns were drying out in the garage and two words: pay back. Just typing this story has me smiling again.

So Summer in all it’s fun and craziness has officially begun. I’m hoping that there will be outings, playdates, and many memories made. I want this Summer to be as vibrant as the Houston sun. 😉


Clean Food a Day Keeps the Fat Girl Away

As previously stated, we had a lot of fun this past week. I probably got in lots of exercise between the walking and carrying my teething little man around so much, however, I didn’t actually workout. I didn’t open one video or allow Nichole’s peppy enthusiasm to spur me into a sweaty cardio session. Being busy is never a good excuse. There’s always a few minutes in the day that I could’ve pushed myself that extra mile and completed a workout. After all…

Truth.

 

What’s worse than that however, is this…

I let my inner fat girl come out to play.

She’s a behemoth. I usually let her poke her head out on cheat days. After all, she needs satiating every now and then or she’ll spiral out of control leaving a huge mess of fat, calories, guilt, and shame in her wake. But I let her out full force this past week. I started off strong. I kept my food clean and my portions down. I even ordered a salad at that mecca of unhealthy goodness, McDonalds. Granted, it wasn’t very clean and it involved crunchy things on top, but it was better than my usual cheeseburgers and fries. But then little slip ups became a big slippery slope and I began to slide down it with wild joyous abandon. I threw caution to the wind. By the end of the week, the fat girl was out devouring seconds of pasta, second slices of candy bar pie, and craving anything sugary, fatty, or unhealthy that was in sight. Releasing the behemoth never comes without a price. By Sunday I was tired, irritable, weighted down feeling, and riddled with guilt. I knew then that telling inner Fat Girl to shut up and sit down in the back seat was crucial this week. NO FOOD is ever worth loosing all the progress I’ve made so far.

 

Truth.

Wise Word to Live By..

 

So I fed her one last treat last night in the form of Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato, tucked her back in, and turned the lights off. This morning found me eating clean and back on the Revolt fitness train. I’m chugging my water and eating my pre-portioned food like the skinny girl that I’m striving so hard to be. And do you know what? I am not only enjoying my tasty clean food, but I feel 110% better after just half a day. I don’t feel so weighted down and I can even feel the irritability lifting already. I’m rising above the fog and doing it with grace. Now if I could extend that grace to my workout, we’d be doing amazing. 😉