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.

Archive for April, 2013

Exit the Kickstart, Enter the Uprising!

Last week was…unpleasant. My little family came down with an evil, evil stomach virus. (I can practically hear ominous music in my head just typing those two words) What’s worse, is that we were at my parents’ house when it hit the boys, so within 2 days, they had it as well. Probably lost a few Christmas presents for that one. However, Baby Jedi and I remained immune. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I am deeply, truly thankful. And throughout the messes, the barf, the clean up, and the sleeplessness, I managed to stay on course with my Revolt Now Fitness Kickstart plan. I was so greatful for my little plastic containers full of the clean, healthy food that I had made earlier in the week! Through it all, I was just able to grab a container and eat. It was good food too! Steamed fresh green beans, sirloin steak, salads topped with balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper, and a creamy tiramisu “mousse” was dinner, for example. I had to shuffle my workouts a bit, but I did all four days by the end of the week. By the weekend everyone was pretty much back to normal, so on Sunday I had my weigh in and measurements taken. And….. *insert drum roll here*….

I lost FOUR pounds! I also lost half an inch in all of my measurements! 

I was so shocked! I was so thrilled! Seriously, I haven’t seen results like these in…forever! Imagine me doing my happy dance, go ahead!

Actually, I take that back. I’m a horrible dancer so you don’t even want to envision what that might look like. 😉

Anyhoo, so Sunday I used our allotted “cheat day”. Doughnuts played into the picture, so you know I enjoyed myself. Today I started the official Uprising! Breakfast involved mini quiches among other things. The diet part of the Revolt program is really well rounded and I love that. Since you prepare in advance, you have built in portion control as well. This afternoon I got my workout in. Having the official videos and Nichole cheering you on makes it even better. I cannot wait to see what this week brings. I can’t wait to see how much stronger I get and how much smaller my body gets. It’s hard work, no lies there, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. I’m ready to fight! Plus, with such an adorable cheering section, how can I fail?

I kid you not, he was chanting this unsolicited while I finished my workout. My little love amazes me.

***Disclaimer: I was given my Revolt Now Fitness membership as a blogger to review for zero dinero. However, all of the words, posts, opinions and anything else that comes out of my cracked belfry are mine and mine alone.***

The Day the Tablet Died…

They started singing, “Bye, bye our sweet Tablet guy.”

No more Piggies, and the Angry Birds will no longer fly.

And my poor boys hung their heads and did cry

Saying “Without Angry Birds we will die!”

“Without Angry Birds we will die…”

My deepest apologies to Don McLane. But yes, as the sad song states, today the boys’ tablet took a tumble off of the couch glass first into the ceramic tile. It still works, but the screen is cracked beyond belief. When Jason and I moved into the world of iPads, (Props, Apple. Mad props.) Jason gave his old, slow, ridiculously large Acer tablet to the boys so they could play Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, Cut the Rope, etc. I guess it was just a matter of time before something like this happened, but my boys were heartbroken. Even Brendan, my two year old Bad Piggie architect extraordinaire, cried and mourned. You’d think their puppy had passed away. This occurrence was really the cherry on top of a morning that was heading south fast. But, I digress, because all in all, this is really a success story.

I woke up this morning full of hope. I stepped on my dreaded nemesis the scale. My darling devoted husband helped me take my measurements before leaving for work. He also helped me do something that I’ve never done before…take “Before Pictures”. No matter what kind of diet I’ve gone on, I’ve never had to guts to do that. Well, this time I did. Maybe this is a symbol of my determination this time around. I’ll tell you one thing, though, seeing myself in those pictures…well, it kinda took my breath away. Not in a good way. More like a “I kinda got punched in the gut” kind of way. Perhaps when my will power wanes, I can use them as motivation. I will not stay this way. Now I know why Nichole talks so much about “Revolting against the before picture”. Those pictures were enough to inspire an entire revolution of mind.

The rest of the morning was shaky, to say the least. Some moon must’ve been in the wrong house, because it just seemed like everything that could go wrong, went wrong. After the tablet did it’s Humpty Dumpty performance, we tried to pick up the pieces of our shattered morning and move on. And we did! I ate exactly what I was supposed to and drank that gallon of water plus some. I had a small mishap with the “Power Up Pancakes” but at least now I know how to fix them for tomorrow. I have to say, I really enjoyed the food. It was tasty and I never felt hungry. I was even able to get my workout in, to the best of my sad ability. I have rarely felt as out of shape as I did trying to do those exercises! Mountain Climbers suck. Hard. Squats also suck. Hard. But now, it’s a challenge. I will eventually kick those exercises square in the butt. I will pwn them. Hard. 😉

I know good and well that this is still all shiny and new. No one starts a lifestyle change hating it on the first day. We all start off excited and hopeful with boundless determination. I know the excitement will wane and there will be days that I’ll probably look at my list of exercises and be tempted to go “Ah, f*** it.” and skip out. But the trick is to push on. If anything, this morning was a baptism by fire. Hardly anything went right and stress levels were insane…but I pushed on anyway. I didn’t let the stress drive me to chocolate or cookies or any one of my many, many food triggers. I have to remember that. No matter what, I can do this. And with the support of my friends and the limitless support that the love-of-my-life has been showering on me, there’s a good chance that I will.

Rain, shmain.

The weather has it out for us. The clouds wait, watch us mark our calendar with outdoor excursions, and then laugh maniacally. “What? The Centanni family wants to go to the park? Bwahahaha! Perfect day for rain then!” True story! In the past few months, we have made all of two of our scheduled park dates thanks to inclement weather. The cancellation that hurt the worst was our field trip to Dewberry Farms over Spring Break. Oh those smug little clouds thought they were really clever that day. You could tell because their laughter literally thundered in our ears the whole evening. Yesterday, the fighting between the boys had hit a crescendo and we needed our time out! However, true to form, the clouds grew dark and the forecast predicted a twenty percent chance of rain. This is just enough to keep you unsure…will it rain or won’t it? I decided to defy the tyranny of the weather and go anyway. We hadn’t seen any actual rain or heard thunder, after all. Sure enough, halfway to the park Sean points to the windshield and announces “Ohhhh no…sprinkles already.” NO! I had come too far. We pressed on in the hopes that perhaps the sprinkles hadn’t reached the park yet. Pretty soon we made it. The kids were off and running to the play equipment! I put Baby Jedi in his stroller and hoped for the best. What do you know? No sprinkles! Perhaps the weather had decided to be a little less malicious to us today…

After awhile Sean pointed out the nature trails. Gathering everyone up, we decided to have an adventure in the woods for awhile. It was great! The boys grabbed sticks along the way, we saw squirrels and colorful birds, and admired the nearby neighborhood when it poked through the trees. I even found our future residence! It was so beautiful and the landscaping just took my breath away. Yep, we’ll live there one day. The current owners just don’t know it yet. 😉 None of us had any idea of just how long those trails were and we ended up walking for quite awhile. No one minded though, we were really having a blast! Finally, we made it to the end. The overhang of the trees gave way to a huge clearing overlooking a field downhill from us covered in wildflowers. We stopped to take pictures and use the handy water fountain. Then…droplets…moisture…getting harder… Yup, rain. Touche, clouds, touche. We’re far from the car, outside of tree cover, at the very far edge of the park. Unfreakingreal. After that came the scurry to run back to the trails and try to get under the trees. This led to a revolt by little Brendan, which in turn led to me carrying him sack of potatoes style with one arm and pushing the stroller with the other. Yeah I unintentionally got quite a workout there. But onward we trudged, and eventually the rain eased up again. After a few more pictures and several more bouts of “Put down the branches, we are not taking them with us!”, we made it to the car. We were a bit moist, but pretty happy in general. We even stopped at Sonic where CreamSlushes were had by all.

So take that, clouds. You thought you were pretty smart, didn’t you?

Well, you kinda were. But we had fun anyway.

The Countdown is On!

So as previously stated (especially in this post ), my healthy living attempts have been a wreck. I have been feeling like a complete failure. Every time I’ve gotten pregnant since baby number three, I think “I cannot possibly get heavier!” and yet I do. The personal records I’ve broken are nothing I’m proud of, in fact they’re usually the exact opposite of what I was striving for. I am beyond ready for a change. I have been overweight far too long, and it’s time to let go of “chubby mommy” and welcome in “fit mommy”. I just had to figure what would be the best way to accomplish that…

Then one fateful day, my longtime friend Crystal posted about a new program called Revolt Fitness that she was trying for her own healthy living efforts. It piqued my interest. After a lot of researching and watching Crys’ amazing progress I decided to take the plunge. I was given the amazing opportunity to join and blog about a six week program myself. By the way, you can find Crystal at her site HERE and see her progress for yourself. Her site is also full of fun giveaways and tips on savings too, so check it out!

So enter Revolt Fitness and Nichole Huntsman.

This is Nichole. Isn't she adorable? :D

This is Nichole. Isn’t she adorable? 😀

Nichole is a mommy, like me. In fact, she had four children. She says she gained way too much weight while pregnant also, and then also decided that enough is enough. Nichole’s is a story I can most definitely relate to. These days she is a fitness goddess. If I can look a fraction of the way she looks, I would be beyond thrilled. Her program works in six week intervals. You get meal plans, shopping lists, and workout videos. Plus, since she’s a busy mom herself, she understands the plight of the busy mother. She helps you to figure out how to prep your entire week’s worth of food in one afternoon. That way, your food is always there. It’s ready to go when you are, it cuts down on cooking and dishes during the week, and in my opinion, helps keep you on the path of righteous fitness. After all, if I’ve had a horrible day, don’t feel like cooking and order pizza for the family, my food is already sitting in the fridge staring at me. I really have no excuse to glut out on pizza! This is extremely attractive to me. And how many times do we use the cop out “Oh I’m too busy to throw together a snack”? If it’s sitting all ready and prepared, that excuse is gone! Just eat it. Her workout videos are short, between 20-40 minutes a day, and uploaded daily to keep things fresh and fun. She also tapes them from her living room to prove that anyone can do it in their home with a minimal of equipment. She becomes your trainer and your fellow Revolters are your support group. It’s all very structured, which is what I’ve realized I need. I need a big ole structured kick in the ass. I need a routine and a way to be held accountable.

You can find more info and even a free trial here at the Revolt website:

I am so excited for this. I cannot wait to start this program, I can’t wait to start seeing results, and I can’t wait to share the entire journey with you. *fingers crossed* I can leave my past failures behind and find that “fit mommy” inside of me. Big girl jeans, your days are numbered!


Jingle bells, Netflix Smells, Workout Laid an Egg

So, as previously chronicled, I have a love\hate relationship with exercising. I don’t do it nearly enough, if at all, and this bothers me. You’d think chasing after these children, running up and down the stairs all day, and toting around a 20 pound nine month old would be enough to keep me trim for life and give me buns of steel. Unfortunately this is not the case. My body responds extremely well to exercise though. Plus, when I do workout, I feel like a million bucks afterwards! You’d think with realizations like that, I’d be jumping on that bandwagon and not looking back. But I don’t. Pretty soon, that’s going to change in a huge way and the official countdown is on! Until that time, I figured it can’t hurt to get a little more prepared. My go-to exercise videos have always been yoga. I love it. It honestly calms me and makes me feel all stretched and limber. Well this morning, the baby was sleeping downstairs and their brothers were watching a quick video, so I ran to the TV in my bedroom and pulled up Netflix. I searched for Yoga…nothing. I searched for kickboxing…nothing. None of my old standbys were available! To the computer I went and tried to hunt down an answer. Huh. It looks like Netflix increased their level of suckitude and eliminated all workout and fitness videos from their streaming line up last year. Why do we keep Netflix around? Seriously, every time we find something exciting, they get rid of it, or lose a contract and now they’re talking about raising prices again. I’m beginning to think they just want to run themselves out of business. Anyhoo, as usual when Netflix lets me down, I turned to Amazon’s Instant Video service and as usual, they didn’t disappoint. I found yoga to watch for free, yoga to pay to rent, and even yoga to buy a digital copy of. There was even one called “Pure Nude Yoga”. HA! Yeah, lots of women needing help with fitness choose that one I’m sure. *rolls eyes* I found a yoga video to stream for free and jumped right in. Aidan wandered up, sat on the bed, and kinda watched for a minute. In true kiddo fashion, there were a few giggles. Then the screaming started. Our home is very open concept with ceramic tile as the entire downstairs floor, so the yelling carries upstairs effortlessly and with unwelcome gusto. Apparently, a fight was breaking out over the end of the video and as usual with boys, discussion is impossible. I think yelling, pissing contests, chest pounding, and eventually physical violence is written into boys’ DNA. *cough*GirlsRule*cough* So yoga gets paused. The fight is resolved, and I try to start up again, thankful that the baby didn’t wake up. About two positions later, ridiculous chaos erupts again. Pause, resolve, try again. Third time was the charm. By that third outburst, the baby was up and crying as well. I maybe got 10 minutes of yoga done amidst all that. I threw in the unused towel at that point. I’m not defeated though. I enjoyed those ten little minutes and I am determined to not go into my new program cold. I have some major work to do on myself and neither snow nor sleet nor screaming children will stand in my way. I’ll get it accomplished this time. I have to believe this. Maybe this afternoon when Jedi takes his long nap, we’ll give this another go.

Oh yeah, and girls rule.

Just had to get that out one last time. 😉

Cleaning ADD

I have many times seen jokes made about Cleaning ADD. Well, it’s real, people. It’s a menace that attacks stay at home parents mercilessly and without remorse. You start off with the best of intentions, for example:

“This kitchen is a freaking sty. I’m going to give it a good cleaning!”

And you begin by putting on some music (Peppy rock usually does the trick for me, today’s selection was The Offspring.) and pulling out the disinfectant wipes. You’re dancing and cleaning when it strikes… Your counter-wiping leads you to realize that the bar is a bigger sty than the kitchen counters. Bars look nice in theory, but let’s face it…they’re really catch-alls for crap. Toys, papers, legos, pictures, cables, chargers, bills…

“Ooo where did this bill come from? *sigh* My med insurance strikes again. Idiots don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground…better call on this before I get collection threats.”

You know if you wait, you’ll forget. So off the music goes, and you call. They refer you to a different company. They refer you to your insurance. Your insurance still doesn’t know the difference between holes in various places, so you call the original company to figure things out. While waiting on hold, being transferred from one drooler to the next, and begging for infomation you’ve wiped another counter, soothed a baby, taken a picture of a proud little boy’s pyramid, and then noticed the floor…

By the time it’s all done, you’ve been instructed to print some forms from a website and they’ll get back with you. So still no real resolution. I sometimes think insurance companies enjoy leaving people hanging. I think that deep down, they’re secretly hoping that you’ll forget and then HA! You’re stuck with the bill after all. There are deadlines you know! (Not that they ever call, write, or email to remind you…)

Meanwhile, the kitchen is half done, the floor is partially picked up, and it honest-to-goodness looks like nothing was really accomplished. You fed the baby some Gerber puffs and perhaps you had to fish a few legos out of his mouth, so I guess that’s something.

But seriously, how often does this strike? All. The. Time. You start one thing, and in the midst of doing that thing, you find something else that you just know you’ll forget, so you do that really quickly, which leads to you another thing, etc…etc..etc.. And the vicious cycle continues circling, driving most stay-at-home parents to distraction. Or perhaps to sit on the stairs looking at all of the half accomplished things shaking their head and muttering obscenities. It looks like you’ve done nothing…but you’ve been busting your booty all day!

Cleaning ADD is a serious threat. It’s eroding the sanity of good moms and dads everywhere. Where is the cure? Where will it end?

Perhaps I should take up a collection. I’ll start a new website. It’ll be a non-profit organization that specializes in research. All proceeds and donations will go towards the hiring of a housekeeping professional. The research will be conducted by me…I’ll see if letting someone else do the cleaning eases this evil ailment and restores a touch of sanity.

A girl can dream, right? 😉

Brace Yourselves…Change is Coming…

Shameless appropriation of a Game of Thrones quote there. The new season has me so excited, btw! So much happens in the third book, I wonder how they’ll handle it to be honest.
Anyway back to the matter at hand! I have put a temporary page on my website at last. I have a lot to learn still, but these little steps are exciting to me. Soon Clare’s Chaos will be part of Big things are coming! A new website, a new venture, and hopefully, a new me!

Downton Abbey *Spoiler Alert*

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains a huge plot spoiler regarding the series “Downton Abbey”. If you haven’t watched through to the end of Season Three, you may want to close this window right now. Seriously. 

One night Jason had fallen asleep on the couch and yet I was strangely awake. I grabbed a snack and scrolled through Amazon’s instant video selection and saw Downton Abbey. I’d heard so much good about this series, so I clicked play.

And an insatiable addiction was born.
Since that time, many hours were spent in the evenings watching the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family and hanging on every elegantly pronounced word. I laughed, I cried, I felt rage. It was like the tamer British cousin of Game of Thrones for me. Jason became hooked as well and together we spent our evenings flying through all three seasons. We discussed it with my in-laws on Easter since apparently they’ve kept up with it but one thing struck me as odd. My mother in law kept saying how angry it made her that they were trying so hard to save Downton Abbey when financial ruin threatened the property. I inwardly wondered “Why?? Why wouldn’t you want to save such a beautiful estate and such a genteel way of life?”
Then the season finale came. And Matthew Crawley, the immensely likable and totally selfless savior of the Crawley estate lay beneath his overturned car with blood running thickly through his handsome blonde hair. 
I was stunned. 
How could they do this? How could they kill off probably the most likable character in the entire series? And right after he’d finally produced a newborn heir to secure the title forever and continue the line! Then it hit me… perhaps Downton Abbey is evil…

Just look at the title screen…dark as well as light! Evil side much?

Of course! It’s the house! It’s the bloody house… It’s alive like some Amnityville Horror of the English countryside. Until now, Lord Grantham has produced nothing except girls (therefore in sexist old England, no heirs) and it’s been worried. But it can’t off Lord Grantham because he genuinely loves the estate and wants to preserve it. But Sybil disses the legacy, marries an Irish Socialist, and produces another girl… and what happened to her? Yep, she’s gone. Died within the walls of the home. But Matthew Crawley gets sucked in. He marries the prickly eldest daughter, falls in love with the estate, and sinks a fortune into it to save the legacy. He modernizes it to keep it afloat. He saves that estate’s bloomin’ arse. Then the crowning glory…he produces a male heir. The line is saved! Succession is achieved! Downton Abbey has no further need for dear Matthew. It chews him up and spits him out on the side of the road bleeding beneath his car like yesterday’s rubbish. It won’t off Mary Crawley though… she bleeds Downton’s stubborn lifeblood like her father does and she’ll need to raise the heir apparent with the same values. The house is intelligent as well as evil it would appear.

Or perhaps the writers are just cheeky bastards who like to toy with our emotions.
But I’d put my money on the house…