January 29, 2009

It’s been almost a full week now, and I’m still sick.  What I need to do most is sleep, but as soon as I lie down, I’m totally awake and can’t sleep.  Instead I doze off in front of the TV as soon as M gets home from work.  I’m pushing myself too hard the rest of the day, doing only the bare minimum.  I’m never going to get well at this rate.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around.  Can’t promise I’ll feel up to blogging over the next few days until this plague moves on (hopefully not to the boys).

Bullet Posting Again

January 26, 2009

Sorry I don’t have the energy or focus for a real post today.  I caught a cold over the weekend (no idea how, I never go anywhere without at least one of my boys and they’re all healthy), and it just keeps getting worse.  So here’s a few thoughts, bullet-style:

1. Any of you with toddlers/pre-schoolers, I have a question for you.  At mealtimes, do you have to remind your child to eat every thirty seconds or so?  Unless PJ is just super hungry and the meal is exactly what he wanted (and sometimes even then), he continually gets distracted from eating.  While chewing one bite endlessly, he will start playing with his fork or spoon, or look under the table for the dog, or play peek-a-boo with me or Scooter, or anything else he can find to do other than eat.  Until I threaten to take his food away and dinner be over, he cannot focus again on eating.  Most meals, this happens with every single bite.  Is there any wonder I hate mealtimes some days?  So is this typical behavior?  Do your kids do this too, or did they have a phase where they did this?

2. I’m totally torn between finishing off the job of weaning Scooter so I can take real cold medicine and clinging to our last nursing session each day for that snuggle time.  The practical side of me says it’s time already, but I don’t feel ready emotionally yet.  He still seems to enjoy it as well, otherwise I would have moved on already.  It doesn’t help matters that M doesn’t fully understand how strong my emotions are about this and continues to encourage me to finish weaning.  Must be nice to be a man, where much of the time the practical side is the only side.

3. It’s weird sometimes to listen to PJ talk.  He talks mostly non-stop these days, and almost all complete sentences.  His vocabulary grows each day, and he often rattles on about something he could have only learned at school.  It’s just so normal that I tend to forget that less than six months ago he was barely talking at all.  He sings songs now and will try to quote the dialogue of his favorite movies along with the characters.  He asks for what he wants and can answer my questions (even if he doesn’t always do so readily).  I’m so proud of how he’s flourishing in pre-school.  I’m starting to hope they reconsider whether he needs the extended school year program this summer; not only will it prevent us from going crazy having him around all day every day, but I want to see his improvement continue and not have him lose any ground over the summer.

4. My parents are coming to visit us the first weekend in February.  It won’t be a long visit, but I’m super excited that they’re coming, other than the extensive cleaning I need to do over the next two weeks.  You see, although both of my parents have been frequent visitors over the past few years, they have never managed to visit at the same time.  The last time they visited us together was right after PJ was born, before we’d moved into this house (we moved the next weekend).  Even when Scooter was born, only my mom was able to come down right away; my dad showed up a week or so later when he was here on business.  Considering we only live 4 or 5 hours away from them, it’s crazy to think they haven’t been able to make the trip together.  It means a lot to me that they’re making a real effort to take a joint trip to see us.

Now off to start cleaning for their visit.  The guest room has become the catch-all room since it has been so long since we’ve had overnight visitors, so I need to find somewhere else to store all the junk hiding in there.  Wish me luck!

What Else Have We Missed?

January 22, 2009

Yesterday evening, about an hour and a half after the boys went to bed, our doorbell rang, fortunately not waking up the boys.  It was one of our neighbors.  She was clutching several opened envelopes.  It took all of about half a second for me to comprehend the situation.

You see, our mailmen basically suck.  At least once a week we get some of our neighbor’s mail, or they get some of ours.  I would say it’s an underhanded effort to bond us as neighbors, but I’m pretty sure it’s just laziness.  It would be more concerning if it wasn’t usually just junk mail.  I’m pretty sure that most of them take the envelope we hand them and take it right to the trash.

Still, I was glad our neighbor had made the effort to bring our mail to us, even if she had opened it by accident.  She explained that she was getting ready to pay her bills and realized that she had two bills from the same people.  Only then did she recognize the name on the bill was ours, not hers.  She apologized sheepishly, especially because she admitted to having had the bill for a week or so already.

I told her it wasn’t a problem, smiled big, and greeted her three young children who were all still up and outside without jackets on in the chilly weather.

When M and I looked at the bill a little while later, we realized it was an uber-important tax bill.  The postmark on it was in the middle of November, and the bill was due over a month ago.  We were very lucky that our mortgage company pays this bill for us and that we weren’t actually late on it.

My questions are this: 1) She’s just now getting around to paying an incredibly important bill that was due over a month ago? and 2) Her mortgage company doesn’t take care of it for her?  From what I understand, that’s standard.  I’m concerned that her family must not be doing that well if they’re putting off major bills like that.

At least we weren’t hurt by her procrastination and the post office’s mistake.  Once again we lucked out.

In Love

January 21, 2009

Sometimes it still hits me with a real fierceness how much I’m in love with my boys.  We’ll be sitting around playing or watching dinosaurs on TV, and one of them will come up and give me a hug–and I won’t want to let go.  Scooter will smile at me, and no matter what mood I had been in, I’ll have to smile right back.  (Seriously, this kid has the most contagious smile in the world.)  I about burst from pride in them when anyone compliments them, which happens pretty often.

The other night, PJ gave me a hug and a kiss before bed, as usual, and I almost started crying when he said, “Mmm-ma, Mommy!”  He has said it so many times that I don’t know why this one time was so special.  Maybe it was the way he said Mommy.  Often he talks about what Mommy will do to me–as though he’s talking about me to me–but he doesn’t often directly address me with Mommy as my name (if that makes any sense at all).  It’s so moving to be called Mommy by my children.  Hearing Scooter repeat “Ma-ma-ma-ma” does the same thing to me.

And I am the center of both of their worlds.  There are times of the day when neither one wants anything other than me, usually at the same time.  They act as though they are mine, only mine, and everyone else is an outsider to our special relationship.  My boys play together happily, forging a close brotherly relationship, but I can tell as much as they love each other, they still consider themselves mine first.

There are days when being this needed gets to be overwhelming, and I wish they would cling to their daddy this way.  But all it takes is a little snuggling from either one, and I am reminded how much I will miss this closeness when they grow up just a little and I am just Mom, complete with eye-roll.  No wonder I still find myself longing for another baby, feeling eager to put myself through all that again, to prolong the feeling of being the center of a little one’s universe.

I can only hope that I make my boys feel this special throughout their entire lives.  As much as raising them up to be polite, well-behaved boys, I think this is my job–to make them feel this loved.

Thoughts on the Inauguration

January 20, 2009

I’m actually watching some of the inauguration, something I didn’t expect to be doing today.  Normally I avoid coverage of politics altogether; it frustrates me too much to see the arguments, long-winded speeches that promise impossibilities, and hypocrisy.  And yes, it’s on both sides.

I hate watching people be praised for things they had no hand in accomplishing, and I hate watching people be criticized for things they had no control over.  I hate the way the media subtly–and sometimes not so subtly–dictates what and how we should think about political figureheads and issues.

That said, I’m seeing many different opinions about the historic event taking place today.  There are some who embrace today and the hope it entails, who are practically giddy at the prospect of the change in store for our country.  There are others who are more cautiously optimistic, unwilling to place the weight of perfection on our incoming President.  There are some who are probably crying as they watch what they believe to be the beginning of the end.

I personally have mixed feelings about all of this.  No, Obama was not my personal choice for President.  Honestly, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with any of the choices.  Still, I don’t exactly think he’s the anti-Christ (something I have actually heard).  I can’t help but get a little caught up in the excitement.  I’m interested to see how he does as President, and I’m proud of our country for breaking the racial barriers in electing him President.  Yet at the same time, I have to admit to some misgivings.  He can’t possibly be as perfect as many people seem to think he is, and the country is setting itself up for a huge disappointment to expect that from him.  I’m trying to push aside my misgivings, excusing them as leftover frustration from an election that didn’t go the way I’d hoped.  Instead, like the rest of the country, I plan to make “hope” the word of the day and wait to see what is in store for us on this momentous day.

Longnecks, Three-Horns, and Sharptooths

January 19, 2009

How about something non-fitness-related today?  (Although you might be interested to know that things are going well, as my incredibly sore muscles can attest.  Hopefully I will have a good update soon.)

You might remember that PJ’s cherished comfort object is a stuffed dinosaur, one that happens to share his middle name (long story).  That random affection for his dinosaur has extended to all things dinosaur.  We now buy him clothes and pajamas with dinosaurs on them and are starting to accumulate a nice little collection of dinosaur toys.  PJ also clearly asks for his dinosaur favorites regularly.

Saturday we accidentally took it to a new level, though.  There was nothing on TV, typical for a Saturday.  M was cruising through our on-demand movies to find something appropriate to play in front of the boys.  I didn’t really think much about it when he suggested The Land Before Time.  We had laughed the night before about how on-demand had three of the movies listed and how many more there were that hadn’t made the cut, and then reminisced on how long it had been since we’d seen the movie.  I assumed M was suggesting the movie out of nostalgia more than anything.

Then I saw PJ’s face when he saw the dinosaurs walk across the screen.  Oh, yeah, it’s a dinosaur movie, something that would not escape PJ.  The rest of the weekend, any time the TV was on, PJ asked endlessly if we could watch the dinosaurs.  We gave in more than I’d like to admit.  (Most weekend TV is pretty pathetic after all; it’s not like we had anything better.)

If you’re curious, apparently the T-rexes and their huge, pointy teeth are actually funny when they run after the little baby dinosaurs.  I was worried that part would be a little scary, but PJ was enthralled by the action.  Typical boy.  I hope they keep the “dinosaur movies” on on-demand for a long time.  Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll be investing in at least one of them.  How can I deny my boy the object of his passion?

The Plan

January 16, 2009

More for myself than anyone else, here are the changes I am making in my diet and exercise plan:

1. Pay attention to the calories I’m eating.  Yesterday I ate less than 1500 calories.  I think that’s pretty typical for days we don’t eat fast food.  I think I’ll eat healthier if I’m just aware of how many calories I’m taking in each day.

2. Drink juice and milk in more moderation.  That probably means I’ll have to drink more water each day, but it’s starting to look like I don’t have a choice.  I’m also drinking a small glass of V8 Fusion at lunch instead of milk.  It’s only 50 calories (instead of 1oo-ish) and gives me at least one serving of veggies each day.

3. Pay attention to when I’m hungry, eat slower, and watch for when I’m full.  I tend to overeat sometimes because I can’t stand to waste the food on my plate.  If I stop when I’m full, regardless of what’s left on my plate, I’ll probably eat many fewer calories each day.

4. Pay attention to my body when it comes to exercising too.  I finally decided the ankle pain was severe enough the other day that I should rest until it gets better.  Two days later, it feels fine.  I’m back at it today.  I’m planning to start with less traumatic activities on my ankle this time to see how it feels, and if it starts hurting again, I’m backing off.

5. Tomorrow I should be getting that workout video I ordered.  I plan to work out with it three or four times a week and do yoga and/or strength workouts on the off days.

6. Start weaning Scooter.  How does this connect, you ask?  In a very convoluted way.  I haven’t wanted to work out lately because of the nasty, crippling headaches I keep getting.  I’m almost positive the headaches are sinus related, and the wimpy allergy medicines I’m allowed to take while nursing aren’t cutting it.  I need to be able to better control the headaches to feel better overall, and I can only do that when Scooter isn’t nursing.  He’s almost sixteen months old, after all; it’s about time.  For now, I’m just no longer offering him the boob during the day.  He’ll get it in the morning and if he wakes up at night needing the comfort and if he asks for it during the day, something I doubt will happen.  We’ll look at the next step once he (and my boobs) are used to this new routine.

7. Get a real sports bra this weekend so that I am able to do the bouncier exercises once my ankle can handle them again.

I’m serious about this plan.  I’m not ready to give up and buy a new, larger wardrobe.  I can’t let myself be defeated until I’ve exhausted every single approach to losing weight.  Wish me luck!

Details–Way Too Many Details

January 14, 2009

This may be an extremely boring post, but since some of you actually want to help me instead of just listening to me whine (thank you, Kristen), I thought maybe it would help if I gave a little more detail about my diet and exercise routine.

Diet first:

Breakfast–I usually have a small bowl of cereal or an oatmeal bar on mornings I don’t have time to sit and eat something.  I have a glass of grapefruit juice with it most days.  I used to eat Pop Tarts almost every morning and just didn’t eat if I didn’t have time, so I think this is an improvement.

Lunch–It’s usually a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich or a small portion of leftovers from the previous night’s meal with a glass of milk.

Dinner–This varies more.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is my least healthy meal of the day.  M and I try to cook something about five nights of the week.  It is usually something super easy and covered in cheese and lacking many veggies; we’re not great cooks, so it’s great that we make anything at all.  The other two nights are usually fast food.  Not something I’m proud of, but it’s a vast improvement over fast food four or five times a week like we were doing for a while.  (For the record, I am not against healthier meals as long as they are as easy to cook as the simple meals out of boxes.  I don’t have the time or talent to do anything more than that right now.)

Snack–The only snack I have during the day most days is right before bed.  I know this is the worst time to eat, but I have pills I have to take before bed, and I have a little trouble swallowing them.  A couple of bites of something after makes them go down easier.  I have cut the snack down to literally a few bites, an improvement over a couple of cookies.  I usually take the pills with a glass of milk too.

I also drink at least a bottle of water during the day–not as much as I probably should be drinking, but all I can stomach.  I get water-logged easily.


Since I started doing Wii Fit, I have been aiming for a full thirty minutes of “fit credits” each day.  Since those thirty minutes take a good forty-five minutes to add up with all the clicking you have to do between each activity, I find it difficult to schedule time for more than that.  I’ve been doing about 12 minutes of yoga, 5-8 minutes of strength training, 10 minutes of aerobics, and a couple of minutes of balance games if I just need a minute or two to reach the 30-minute goal.  Most days, I focus the aerobic activity on the more strenuous activities, like jogging and hula hoop (it’s WAY more activity than you think it’s going to be).  I agree that the other aerobic activities are kind of pathetic–better than nothing, but not exactly helpful to get you buff.

I have also increased how much I’m doing around the house, using chores like vacuuming to add some extra activity into my day.  These may not be calorie-burners, but they’re better than living life as a couch potato.

I decided after yesterday’s frustrating weigh-in that it was time to accept the Wii Fit’s limitations and ordered a workout DVD from Amazon.  I’m hoping that a real thirty-minute aerobic workout staggered with the Wii Fit routine will jump start actual weight loss.

Even though I was ready to just give up yesterday, I hate the way I look right now and fit into clothes that I can’t just let it win.  If I have to work even harder and eat even less, then I’ll have to do it, as much as I hate it.  It’s better than staying like this.

But while I’m thinking about it, I have two questions about complaints I’ve had lately that I can only assume come from my new diet and exercise routine.

1. I’ve been getting headaches every afternoon and evening.  I thought they were probably from dehydration, so I started drinking lots and lots of water every afternoon.  The water isn’t helping.  The weather has been bad for sinus problems, so it’s quite possible it’s a sinus headache (which would explain why ibuprofen isn’t helping either), but it seems weird for it to only kick in in the afternoons and evenings.  What do you think?  Are there other possible causes–and solutions–I’ve overlooked?

2. I’ve always had weak ankles, so it’s no huge surprise that one of my ankles has started bugging me.  I’ve cut back on jogging (partly because for the first time ever I need a good sports bra and don’t have one yet), thinking that would help the ankle problem, but it just keeps getting worse.  I’m trying to work out despite the pain because I know I tend to use any excuse to just throw in the towel.  M seems to think the pain sounds like a pinched nerve.  I really don’t know what to think.  Ibuprofen isn’t helping this either, and it’s excruciating to even walk much around the house some of the time.  How would I go about easing the pain if it is a pinched nerve?  I’m not ready to consider the possibility that it’s something else quite yet because that would almost certainly end the workouts for at least a short time and I know how likely it would be that I would start them back up once I have to stop.

I know that part of the reason the weight is being stubborn is probably my IUD.  I’ve always been sensitive to hormone changes, and I think my body is just overreacting to the different hormones, partly by making me gain weight.  I hate the IUD for other reasons too, so I’ve been thinking about what my options would be if I got it taken out.  I have a feeling that the diet and exercising would be almost a moot point if I do decide to change birth control, but until that happens, I have to do this the hard way.

So, if any of you made it through this excruciatingly boring post, do you have any advice for me?  Thank you in advance.

It’s Not Fair

January 13, 2009

Today was my fifteenth day to work out on the Wii Fit.  It is always kind enough to tell me how many days it has been since I started working out.

It was also kind enough today to chew me out.  I now have three more pounds to lose than I did to begin with.

In two weeks, I have gained three pounds.  Insignificant, until you consider that I have been sticking carefully to a reasonable diet and working out diligently every day (except this weekend when I was struck with a breast infection–no bouncing for me!).

How can I eat less and burn more calories and still gain weight?  I know you gain some muscle mass at first, and that will temporarily boost your weight, but after two full weeks, shouldn’t it be tapering off at least a little?  Not be a full pound heavier than yesterday (while wearing fewer clothes and having had a very small breakfast two full hours ago)?

I’m utterly defeated.  I look at myself in the mirror and have to turn away.  Even my face is showing those extra twenty pounds.  None of my clothes can hide my pregnant-looking belly.  I feel like I look hideous, and I can’t understand how M can tell me I’m beautiful and hot with a straight face.

Speaking of M, he started watching what he eats around the same time I did.  He has cut the majority of the sugar out of his diet (but less than I have) and exercised once or twice for half the time I do every day.  He has lost those three pounds I have gained.  Doing almost nothing.  Tell me how that’s at all fair.

I’m tempted to just give up, throw the stupid Wii Fit out with the trash.  If only I could accept this new, unhealthy, unattractive me, then I might be able to do just that.  But I miss the old, healthier, skinnier version of me.  I know I’ll never look like I did before I had kids, but what I have turned into is unacceptable.

But there is nothing I can do to change that right now.  If exercise and diet don’t work, what’s left?  Why should I put myself through all the pain the exercise is bringing me and spend an hour a day doing something I don’t want to do if it’s only going to make me feel worse about myself?

Has anyone else had problems with this?  Please tell me I’m not the only anomaly out there who defies the weight-loss rules.

Dutiful Mommy Blogging

January 7, 2009

I think I need to start writing down the funnier things PJ says.  Yesterday was a drizzly day in the morning, so when I was picking him up from MDO, he told me I needed to “turn the rain off.”  I wasn’t even sure he understood rain; it had been long enough since we’d had any.

Another funny one from a few weeks ago happened when he was “helping” me change Scooter’s diaper.  He had to inform me that “Scooter’s p*nis is bwoken.”  It wasn’t, but he has such a fixation on things being broken these days that he’ll call anything broken if it doesn’t do exactly what he thinks it should do.

Scooter also made us laugh at something he said for the first time yesterday.  He’s been saying “all gone” often, sometimes even in the right context.  I think he was trying to tell me he was all done sleeping (he often mistakes “all done” and “all gone”) when I was doing his after-nap diaper change.  Of course, the “all” part of “all gone” came out sounding a little like a scream at first, it was that loud.  I wish I had a recording of it; it was the funniest thing, that scream-like singsong “all gone.”  M heard it from the other room and cracked up along with me.

It was nice to have that funny moment yesterday because so much of the day was spent frustrated with his screaming.  He wasn’t sleeping well at all and was overtired from not sleeping enough at night and taking incredibly short naps.  He would seem happy for the first half an hour or so after waking up from a nap, but it wouldn’t last and he’d collapse into screams shortly after.  I’m still going to blame it on teething.  On the bright side, he slept much better last night and seems to be in a better mood today.