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 the ‘Real Life’ Category

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.


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. 😉


Back at Last and Revolt Update

It’s been far too long. It’s been a blissful kind of busy, which I enjoy, but there was a loss of internet connection for awhile which I most certainly did not enjoy. There have been graduation parties, BBQs, Tae Kwon Do testing, babies born, babysitting, and more. Plus everyday life and finishing up school has been sandwiched in there as well. May always is a doozy of a month. Throughout all the hullabaloo, I failed to write my Revolt review for the week before last. Bad blogger. So I’ll try to sum up the past two weeks in a nutshell here before moving on to the wonderful things to come…

Weeks 5 and 6

Weeks 5 and 6

 

The Workouts: Not much to report here. I did a few workouts in week five but I was very busy, trying to recover from an ear infection, and feeling sick thanks to my antibiotics. I have to notice that I felt a difference without working out. It wasn’t a good one either. I didn’t have that extra spring in my step. I missed the rush and the sense of accomplishment. Even running up the stairs didn’t have that extra zing that it had before. Week six was worse because the internet was down therefore I couldn’t access my daily videos. Some of my fellow Revolters offered to type up a list for me though, which brings me to a new point I’d like to address…

 

The Support:  This program has an amazing support system. You join a group of people doing the exact same thing that you are and there you can ask questions, vent, or get tips. This is really a wonderful group of people. You can even talk to Nichole herself! For a woman who does so much and must be so busy, it amazes me that she always makes the time to answer your questions or even give you kudos or a virtual pat on the back. She always has a reason or an answer for everything as well. Why do we eat raisins as part of the post workout snack? Did you know there’s a scientific reason for that? It blows my mind. It also serves to prove that nothing about this plan is “just thrown out there”. It’s all carefully planned and designed to make your body work for you and keep you healthy.

 

The Diet: Week 5 went strong for me. Dinners were a burger patty wrapped in a big curly lettuce leaf with tomatoes and ketchup with a side of roasted summer squash and vegetables. It was delicious. I jazzed up my burger patties with chopped jalapeno and lots of fajita seasoning. This gave them a spicy kick that I really enjoyed. Breakfasts were banana crepes. I am going to share this recipe with you. Although this is a paid program, we’re encouraged to share some recipes and such to prove just how great this can be. Well, these crepes were pretty damn amazing. I looked forward to breakfast like you would not believe this week. You can even make them in large batches and pop them in the fridge. Pull a few out, pop them in the microwave, top them with syrup and you have a crazy delicious and extremely healthy breakfast for yourself. You won’t even know you’re dieting I promise.

Week 6 was when I hit some road blocks. This week was a modified detox to end the 6 weeks with a bang and help you bounce back from the Memorial Day festivities. We were supposed to rely on salt-free seasonings and skip desserts. It was one crazy week though. One day while out and about, I had the headache from hell (seriously an axe to the skull would’ve felt better) and ended up with a multi-shot drink from Starbucks. Another day I made a big Shepherd’s Pie and had my brother over to visit…and ate the Shepherd’s Pie instead of my bowl of stir-fry. Crackers and cheese came into play another time. I’ve been very solid in my diet up until this point but I found myself sitting on my butt in the middle of that metaphorical road to fitness grubbing on unhealthy foods now and then. I am human. It wasn’t all bad, though. The good news is that I didn’t gain any weight at least. I basically maintained. Which brings me to…

The Results: 

I did it. 😀 Throughout all the messy weeks and craziness I broke that evil 200 pound mark. I am proud to say that my ending weight after these six weeks is… *imagine a drum roll, if you will*

198 pounds 

Considering that I started my Revolt at 211 pounds, this brings me to a grand total of 13 pounds lost! So remember when I posted that pic of the 2 pound weight and the five pound weight as gone from my body?

Plus one pound GONE from my body!

Plus one pound GONE from my body!

 

This, for me, is just incredible. I still have tons of work to do to get to my goal weight but I really believe that I can do this with Revolt. I’m a believer for sure.

The Future: Today is my cheat day and I’m enjoying it, but tomorrow begins the June Uprising in it’s new four week format. From now on, we’ll get new workout plans and menus for each month. Each month is supposed to start with a detox week to keep things fresh and clean. (I won’t be detoxing, but more on that in a later post…) In my next post, I’m going to explore fat mass and lean mass. My measurements are about to get hard core. 😉

If anyone would like to join me in this June Uprising, follow this link and sign up today! Or you can sign up for a free one week Kickstart to the program and experience it yourself with no commitment.

Please don’t forget that the Fit Into Summer Giveaway is still going strong as well! Check out the prizes and enter HERE  to jumpstart yourself into your own fitness journey! The giveaway ends June 10th, so enter soon!

 

***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.***


Revolt …Against the Virus

Last week did not go so very well. I was sick. Not just sick of it all, sick of stress, or sick of my current nail polish, but bonafide I-think-I-had-the-flu sick. It was pretty dang awful. My kiddos were sick as well, so the week pretty much consisted of blankets, movies, and naps. My Revolt review will be a bit lame as a result, but let’s give it a shot…

The Diet:

Bowls of canned soup was the norm this week when I could eat. Before the virus really took hold, I’d pre-prepped a crock pot full of Revolt’s Coconut Curry Chicken and Basmati Rice. As I started to get better, I ate this a lot. It was delicious. Warm, filling, and full of flavor, it really was a wonderful meal. It took virtually no time at all to prepare also, which always gets a thumbs up in this busy mom’s book. I also had an amazing smoothie made from mangos, coconut water, lime juice, milled flax, and a pinch of cayenne. It was surprisingly delicious and felt great on sore throats.

The Workouts:

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. My exercise this week seriously consisted of shivering under a blanket and attempting to walk straight while making meals for the kiddos. This virus was an evil debilitating bastard.

 

Yeah I probably looked a lot like this…

 

The Results:

Starting weight:    203.5

End of the week:  200.5

So I did lose three pounds, but this was probably due more to lack of eating and living on soup for awhile. I lost a little bit inch-wise as well, but I’ll post those next week after a full week of Revolt and actually working out. Overall, this virus put me on a diet that I would heartily recommend… to no one. But I have hope for this current week! I have some amazing meals on the plan, including Banana Crepes and Burger Patties with Roasted Vegetables. Honestly, loosing weight never tasted so good. Also, I left off with half a pound left before my mini-goal of being below 200 pounds again and I know I can do it! With this plan, I am assured that it will come off and more inches will melt away. I dunno about you, but I like certainty…especially when it comes to getting fit.

There is a brand new Revolt Uprising starting the beginning of June! If anyone would like to get fit along with me, visit the Revolt Site and sign up! We could even build a team and work together! If I can do this as overweight and food addicted as I am, then anyone can. Seriously. 😉

 

***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 Old Lady and the Salmon

In my sons third grade reader, we read a story. It told about a little old lady who woke up one morning and found that everything went horribly wrong. After several mishaps, she decided that she must’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. The little old lady is so desperate to change the tone of the day that she seriously changed back into her nightdress and crawled back into bed, this time getting up on the other side. And what do you know…her day improved! This story really amused and stuck with Sean and me. We often reference it when the day is going sour.

Well, today went sour. For a morning that started so well, it ended very poorly. Klutz that I am, I actually injured my foot exercising yesterday, so no workout for me today. Brendan woke up with a sore throat and was miserable. Testosterone attitudes started piling up over things like “Go clean your closet, please.” Sean even got sent to his room for copping a ‘tude and fell asleep where he’d been pouting on the floor. And then, the salmon happened. But to explain the salmon happening, I must first tell the Story of the Salmon…

This week’s meal plans has some tried and true favorites for me (like Breakfast Burritos! 🙂 Ole!) but there are some things that sadly, I’ve never tried before. Some of these are very basic foods too! One of these things is salmon. Salmon is a much beloved dish and as someone who considers herself somewhat of a foodie, it blows my mind that I haven’t tried it yet. This probably has something to do with fish not being my favoritest food in the world.  When I’m pregnant, I won’t touch raw fish with a ten foot poll. The sight and smell alone is enough to make me hurl. I’ll only eat it fried and served up with Tartar Sauce. Delicious, yes. Healthy, NO. Let’s face it, fish smells…fishy. But as I’m not pregnant and there’s no danger of hurling, I figured it’s time to suck it up and broil some fish.

I made a trip to the fresh fish department of the grocery store and stared at the fish for awhile. The guy behind the counter just stared at me staring at the fish, probably thinking I was a bit “off”. First I made sure that the fish I was staring at was indeed salmon, and then I grilled the poor guy about bones. I’ve watched enough Food Network to know that pinbones hide everywhere and require a giant pair of tweezer to painstakingly pull each one out. I don’t own a giant pair of tweezers, nor do I want to spend hours pulling tiny bones out of fish flesh. He assured me that filets are clean, so cringing at the price, I bought a pound. That’s a little less than I needed, but I figured I’d substitute chicken a day or two. The next day I open my neatly wrapped package and stare at the salmon. I have to admit it’s beautiful. I begin to look at this fish as a new culinary challenge! I proceed to google “how to broil salmon” on my trusty iPhone. I find directions, gather my ingredients and get to work. I weigh my portions, rub them with a touch of olive oil and spices and lay them tenderly on the heated broiler rack. I got this. I proudly think with a smirk. It comes out of the broiler even prettier than when it went in. I even achieved the crust that the recipe talked about! I peel the skin off, put them in my lunch containers, and congratulate myself on a fish well cooked.

So all morning I salivated over my beautiful, perfectly cooked salmon. When the day started to turn into a steaming pile, I had sampling my fish in the back on my mind. By lunch time, a headache was starting to bloom from all the morning fun and games. I warmed my lunch, picked a big piece of perfectly flaky fish on my fork and took a bite….

…and hated it. I was incredulous. How could such a prized piece of meat taste so horrible to me? Why was it soooo terribly fishy? The strong fishiness was inescapable, in fact it even permeated my roasted asparagus! I tried another bite. No good. I tried a bite of the inner meat, which was even softer. Worse. By this point the happy little bubble of hope in my head burst. I couldn’t even finish my salmon.

About this time, a sleepy faced Sean wandered over to me with a grin and sheepishly asked “I don’t suppose we could be like the little old lady? Start over from the right side of the bed?” And then he hugged me and apologized for his earlier outburst.

I’d love to say that the madness ended there, but it didn’t. At one point, I even put on a video for the older boys so I could take a nap with the baby simply to try out the old lady’s technique myself! I woke up hopeful that we’d started over. Then I heard the words that strike terror into every mother’s heart: “Oh eewwww, go tell Mom…you’ve got poop on your legs!”. Apparently the nap wasn’t long enough. Next thing you know, I had pizza ordered. So add “falling off the wagon” to my list of the day’s shortcomings. Luckily we didn’t have any wine around or I could’ve added “polishing off a bottle of wine” to the list as well! 😉 Even the neighborhood kids were in a nasty mood because my kiddos came in knowing a few words that had never graced their ears before. Luckily no one was curious about what “f–k your mother” meant so I was spared that explanation. Things stayed pretty crazy right until bedtime. At the moment, I’m the last one awake. The house is quiet. While catching up on  messages online, it seems that a few of my friends had a rough day as well. Even Jason said his day was crazy at work. So maybe it’s that “moon is in the wrong house” explanation. But here’s hoping that bedtime brings peace and maybe tomorrow we can all wake up like the little old lady, on the right side of the bed, and everything will be right again…just like that. 🙂

 

By the way, the salmon fight is not over. I’ve been given some suggestions on how to ease the “fishy” flavor and plan on trying them tomorrow. If anyone has any other tips, please leave me a comment and let me know! I’d greatly appreciate it!


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? 😉