Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday "Treat Edition"-Week 6

I can't believe that I've been immersed in this challenge now for 6 weeks (2 weeks behind my fellow comrades). Many Researchers focused on Behavior Modification will tell you that it takes approximately 6 weeks to form a new habit. I'm really hoping that my efforts to change my behavior stick. After all, I've got a half marathon, in April, to continue training for.

I'll be the first to admit that these past 6 weeks have definitely had their fair share of "bumps in the road". But the important thing to reflect on is that I pushed my way through...through late evening runs, through illness, through tired/sore knees, through weight losses AND gains, and through temptations to break down and eat an entire batch of Baked Oatmeal with blueberries. YUM! Sadly, I've just had to refrain from baking, which is really hard for me during this time of year. I LOVE anything pumpkin, and I've run across some really yummy looking recipes that I'm just dying to try. But I know that as soon as I finish baking my product, I won't just stop at one serving. So it's best just not to put that temptation out there. I digress.

So last Thursday I woke up feeling just terrible and continued to feel bad through Monday. I was so nauseous that I hardly ate....definitely not the best method for losing weight. When Tuesday morning rolled around, I felt A LOT better. And since then, I feel like I've been playing "catch up" (note to self: you cannot catch up on lost calories or sleep), eating whatever I can find. Thankfully, I don't keep a whole lot in our pantry...and I am low on sugar so I can't bake anything. Needless to say, my not feeling well for 5 days really killed my calorie burning progress. What is it that they say, "One step forward, two steps back"? Don't worry, though, I'll push through this, too.

So my sorry looking week looked like this:
Friday--off
Saturday--5K race (completed in 33:16 at 10:42/M pace)
Sunday--off
Monday--off
Tuesday--4 M
Wednesday--off
Thursday--5 M

It didn't help either that Randy was on-call and didn't come home Monday evening and didn't get home until 10:30PM Wednesday evening so that he could watch the kiddos while I enjoyed a nice run. I know, that's no excuse since I have BOB, the most awesome jogging stroller ever, but I feel better when I can blame my work out deficiencies on something other than "I don't wanna".

Okay, enough....what did the scale say this morning? NO CHANGE.

After the week I had, I'm pleased to see that I didn't gain. I'm giving myself another 3 weeks to finally reach the monumental 10 pound loss (and grab another shiny badge). Then I've got another 15 to lose to get back to pre-preggo weight, which I hope to achieve (and be trimmer) by April's race.

Christie didn't have a question of the week. Instead we were instructed to have fun....posting pictures of our kids, pets, pumpkins, etc. in their Halloween getup. While I grew up having my mom make our costumes and then having my dad drive us into town to trick-or-treat, Randy didn't. Therefore, our family doesn't either. We will attend our church's Fall Festival, but there will be no costumes involved or candy accrued (Josiah doesn't I don't need it). But just because we don't "do" costumes, doesn't mean we don't carve pumpkins (and roast the seeds). I decided to carve a small pumpkin this year, thinking it would be less work. As it turned out, it took more work to scrape the inside of the small pumpkin than it does a larger one. I usually carve a Christian symbol instead of the traditional jack-o-lantern face (last year it was THE cross and two years ago it was THE fish), but when I asked Josiah if he wanted a "J" for Josiah and Jesus or a face, he chose a face. Josiah got so excited after I cut out each part. He was so proud of it...he couldn't wait to show Daddy when he got home.


And to go along with Josiah's pumpkin, I thought I would dig out the same onesie that Josiah wore for his first Halloween-two years ago-for Laney to wear. The onesie barely fit her, but I was determined to get pics of her in it, too.

Josiah--2.5 months old (2006)


Laney--6 months old

So back to weight loss....how did you do this week?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stellan's Birthday


If you haven't yet met MckMama and don't yet know Stellan, I encourage to visit her. This is one of the most amazing stories, one that proves that God still performs miracles today.

Pulled directly from her blog....
MckMuffin is our 36 week old unborn son S--our fourth blessing! He was quite unexpectedly given to us, and even more unexpected was his diagnosis of heart failure: Premature Atrial Contraction at 20 weeks; Supraventricular Tachycardia, hydrops, and intermittent advanced secondary heart block at 23 weeks; and enlargement of the heart at 32 weeks. We were told at 24 weeks that he would surely die. God performed a miracle and MckMuffin is still with us! The doctors are unsure about what will happen to our baby when he is born. But God is not unsure!! We are praying for MckMuffin's full healing, but we know that God is good no matter what He decides.

The results of the amniocentesis yesterday showed that Stellan's lungs are mature enough, so the doctors moved forward with scheduling his birth. TODAY, at 9:30AM CST, Stellan will bless the world with his life via c-section.

Please wrap MckMama and her family in your prayers as a range of tests will be performed on Stellan as soon as he is born and about his enlarged heart and about what may or may not happen at the moment he is set apart from me and his heart begins to tick completely on its own.
UPDATE: Stellan was born at 10:19 am CST, weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
The NICU attended the birth--which went very smoothly--and Stellan is with the NICU team now. MckMama is recovering and, in spite of a pretty low blood pressure, is feeling well. She has seen Stellan only briefly, but Prince Charming has been back and forth between her and baby Stellan. When she is stable, she'll be wheeled on her bed down to see their new baby. Details on exactly how Stellan is doing as well as photos of the sweet baby will be forthcoming. But, let's just say that Stellan got a 9 and a 9 on his APGARS and the NICU team has yet to find a single thing wrong with him...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Under $2

How many of your daily staples cost you less than $2 "these days"? For us, the answer is "not many". Even a half gallon of whole milk for Josiah costs more than $2.

HOWEVER, all.the.way.down.here, we can buy (today) a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for......$1.93.

How sad is it that I am excited that our gas prices are back to being less than $2/gal? I remember, "back in the day", when gas was $0.98/gal. And even then, we thought that that was a lot.

Before we moved, I was repeatedly told how much less the cost of living was going to be down here. I hadn't really noticed too much of a difference as most, if not all, of our groceries, utiilities, and insurances cost the same (and in some cases, more) as what we paid in VA. I'm definitely seeing the difference now. Our friends in VA are now paying a good $0.32 more than us at $2.25/gal.

What are you paying in your neck of the woods?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just to Ramble

Oh, where to begin.....

Randy has been extraordinarily busy this month with Inpatient Service...and we have only one more week to go! He has been up and out the door each and every morning by 4AM to allow himself enough time to "round" on each of the clinic's patients (up to 8 patients/per doc) before meeting with the assigned Attending to discuss the plan of treatment and all before 7:30AM when he is required to attend (and sometimes give) the morning lecture.

Then he is the doc on-call during the day (7AM-5PM) that the ER calls when one of "our" patients presents at their door and needs to be admitted. Unfortunately, if a patient is needing to be admitted at 4:58PM, Randy is still the doc to call...which means that he won't be home until after 6PM.
And then there are the weekends....Randy was assigned 3 weekend days to conduct "rounds". On these assigned days (Sat or Sun AM), he was up and on his way by 4AM (even earlier if he had a full load of 8 patients), so that he could complete his rounds by 8AM when he met with the assigned Attending, discuss the treatment plans, and then go back and write orders or discharge summaries. I never saw him back home before 3PM.
And lastly, there is "Monday call". Mondays are the absolute worst day to be on-call, and during Inpatient Service month, each and every Monday belongs to you. During "Monday call" or "Drop In Call", any time a patient presents to the ER and does not have a Primary Care Doc, they are assigned to our Family Practice clinic, and the on-call doc is paged. Mondays are generally very busy as a lot of folks wait "it" out over the weekend. Randy can usually field his "pages" from home on any other night, but since Monday nights are so busy, he spends the night at the clinic (and sometimes doesn't even have a chance to sleep). And now that the "Winter Texans" are beginning their descent, it's only going to get busier.
This is one of the hardest rotations during Residency here. Unfortunately, we've not seen the last of Inpatient Service...we will endure 3 months of it next year. UGH! While Randy has gotten very little sleep and has not seen much of his family, he has learned a lot. I know we're BOTH looking forward to ER next month, when things go, somewhat, back to "normal".
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Our dear princess is teething. Need I say more? Alayna seems to be having a lot more discomfort than I remember Josiah having in the beginning stages. Two nights ago, she awoke screaming every hour and just wanted to be held. When I finally broke down and gave her her weight in an appropriate dose of Tylenol, she calmed down and slept for 2 hours and wanted to nurse when she woke up (something she refused ALL night).
Well, it's two days later, and there is still no visible sight of those darn teefers. I can feel the hard and swollen bumps but can't see them. I'm not sure how much more either of us can take. She's gnawing on anything and everything she can fit into her mouth, her poor nose is runny, we've got pools of drool where she's sat for as little as 5 minutes, and she's waking during the night.

TEETH, UGH!
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In case you've never experienced a 2 year old living in a house full of tile flooring, let me "break" it down for you. Since we moved in (and especially within the last 3 weeks), we've lost.....

  • a few toys
  • a drinking glass
  • a glass jar of Strawberry preserves
  • a salad plate to our now discontinued wedding dishes
  • a clay coaster
  • and a candle (I especially sad about this one because I just got it yesterday)
And the thing about tile is that it doesn't absorb the energy of the falling object. Therefore, glass objects SHATTER into a million pieces. I'm still finding little pieces, and in places far from the point of impact.

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I completed my very first 5K race on Saturday. A couple of our fellow Residents helped organize the inaugural Sizzler, so it was important to me to show up and support our "family". While I'm faaaaaar from my goal pace, it was good to see where the last 5 weeks of training landed me. I finished in 33:16, which is a pace of 10:42/M. Not too bad considering that I'd been dealing with nausea, headaches, and gastro issues since Thursday (and still was on Sat AM).

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And I believe that Fall has finally made it's way all.the.way.down.here. A couple of days last week, I was able to keep the windows and doors open ALL day, and it stayed cool enough that the A/C didn't kick on (it's set at 77). According to our weather folks, we are expecting a couple of cooler days this week as well (high's in the mid-upper 70's). We may even escape to San Antonio this weekend and enjoy a day at Sea World.

I was starting to feel a little "green" about missing the Appalachia Mountain "Changing of the Leaves" until I heard that there's a chance of SNOW tomorrow. And I'm sure I'll continue to become less envious when I can comfortably sit at the beach in December while my "northern" friends are bundled up in layers and having to give themselves an extra 10 minutes before heading to work in order to warm up their vehicle and scrape ice off the windows. ;-)

We may not live in the most ideal location come summer, when we shut ourselves indoors until after the sun goes down, but I sure am sittin' pretty for the next 4 months.

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I think I've done enough rambling....if you're still with me, thanks for listening.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)-Week 5

This week started and ended not-so-good. While my body has finally figured out what I'm trying to do, and as inspired as I am to keep up the downward direction of the scale readout, I'm tired. I'm tired of waiting until 9PM to go out for a run (after the kids go to bed), I'm tired of eating cardboard as afternoon snacks, I'm tired of sore knees (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome), and I'm tired of not seeing my husband. So when the weekend finally gets here, I want to spend time with my huband--as a family--not hittin' the gym. That's my excuse for the not-so-good start. And the not-so-good ending can thank the nausea, headache, vertigo, and cramps of the last two days. Sounds fun, huh? On bright side, however, I was able to get in two really good runs (and one walk) in the middle of the week. Here is how the week panned out:

Friday--off
Saturday--off
Sunday--3 miles with BOB
Monday--1.5 mile walk with BOB
Tuesday--5 miles
Wednesday--off
Thursday--off
I'm pleased to report that even though my week was less than jaw-dropping, I still lost 2 pounds. Making my total weight loss 6 pounds since starting this challenge 5 weeks ago!

And I'll take this badge....thank you very much!!!!

Christie's question this week was "what are some of your favorite things necessary for your success in this weight loss challenge?" My list is fairly short, but what I've listed is important for me to reach my goal.

  • #1 "thing" that is necessary for me to keep going is the support of my husband. If he wasn't willing to care for the kids or give up an hour of time together, I wouldn't be 6 pounds down. Thank you, Randy.
  • iPod with a couple of rockin' playlists
  • I have to have a good running shoe. If my feet aren't comfortable, it throws the rest of my body "off". I've been a lover of Asics for a long time. It used to be the Kayano but now I'm a faithful 2100 Series woman.
  • Running capris (I'm not much of a short wearer until Race Day)
  • Healthy recipes and fun snacks

One of my favorite dinners is Bourbon Chicken. I enjoy it so much that I include it on my meal plan at least once every other week. And one of my favorite waist-friendly desserts is Spice Pumpkin Muffins (I use 1/4 c. applesauce instead of the 1 c. water that this recipe calls for, but everything else is the same). And much as I would LOVE one of these (the Apple Pie is my favorite), I've found that I can satiate my sweet tooth by drizzling 1 T. fat free caramel topping over 1/2 a Gala apple. Why only 1/2 an apple? Well, that way it's only 1/2 the calories for me and then I'm ensured that my son gets a healthy snack, too. ;-)

What would you include on your list of necessary things to help you achieve your weight loss goal?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~October 20

While I may not have posted our menu plan last week, I still put one together. To say it simply....I'm hooked. It makes my life so much easier when I assemble a plan....and it's the only kind of plan that I can, for the most part, stick to. I've had to learn that when there are kids involved, all plans go right out the window. So, here is our menu plan for the week.

Monday--Chili (I'm making enough for one night of leftovers and to freeze some so when it's finally gets cool enough outside, I'll be ready)
Tuesday--Leftover Chili
Wednesday--Pork chops marinated in BBQ sauce and cooked in the crock pot
Thursday--Leftover Pork chops
Friday--Chicken Baseballs (recipe below)
Saturday--Rancheros Casserole
Sunday--Leftover Rancheros Casserole

And because I appreciate a new recipe, I thought I would include one from our menu.

Chicken Baseballs (8 WW points/serving)

3oz. light cream cheese, softened
2 t. margarine, melted
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 dash poultry seasoning
2 T. onion, chopped
2 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 (8oz) can reduced-fat crescent rolls
2 T. milk
2 T. breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Melt cream cheese, margarine, salt, pepper, onion, and milk in microwave for 15-20 seconds or in small saucepan. Pour melted mixture over cooled, cooked chicken and stir. Divide mixture into 4 servings. Separate crescent rolls into 4 rectangles and seal perforations. Spoon 1/4 mixture into the center of each rectangle. Pull opposite corners to the center and seal. Sprinkle each "baseball" with breadcrumbs. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Nope, nothing too exciting. However, if you head over to Laura's @ I'm an Organizing Junkie, you will most definitely find something that tickles your tastebuds.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)-Week 4


Thankfully, this week went much more smoothly for me. I don't think I could have endured another week of craziness without having been prescribed a psyche consult....by my own husband.

Since taking BOB out last Friday, I've been a lot more inclined to take the kids out on Monday evening when Randy spends his nights at the hospital. I guess I just needed to "break him in" to get the "wheels" rollin'. And as hard as it is to push 50+ in a jogging stroller, I'm enjoying it. It's a win-win for all involved. I get to exercise, the kids are contained, and we're all getting some much needed fresh air.

Here is what my week looked like:

Friday--3 M with BOB
Saturday--off
Sunday--4 M
Monday--off (although I did take the kids out for a 1 M walk around the neighborhood)
Tuesday--4 M
Wednesday--3 M with BOB
Thursday--off

All of my hard work paid off as I LOST 2 lbs this week, a pound more than my goal! I'm so close to grabbing this badge, I can smell it! When I weighed in earlier this week yesterday (because I was just curious), I had lost 3 lbs, but because I chose to go out and play Bunco with my MOPS chicas last night, I didn't get a "last minute workout" in.

Christie's question(s) du jour is "which part of your body do you want to "refine" during this process?" and "which part is your favorite?" The point is to become aware and proactive about specific changes you want to make about your body, rather than just "losing weight", while still appreciating the perfectness you have in other areas.

These were hard questions to answer as I would like to "refine" every body part. But since I've been instructed to only focus on one, I think I would choose my arms. Back in my competitive swimming days, I had great arms and a strong back. Sadly, I didn't appreciate them "back then" as I had the most difficult time finding shirts that would fit...it was so frustrating. I would give anything to have those arms back. I'm soooo over the jiggly jello mold that has replaced my tricep. On the flip side, if I had to choose a part of my body that I love hate less, I would choose my back. While my triceps definitely morphed into something else, my back has remained somewhat flabby-free. I'm not saying that it doesn't need some work, but it's just not as needy as my quads, hammies, glutes, abs, etc. Plus, it's the only body part that seems to tan well. :-) I *heart* a good tan, I just don't *heart* skin cancer or wrinkles.

If you had to answer these questions, which part of your body would you select as "needing the most refinement" and "closer to perfect"?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Praise on the Hill

Tonight we attended our very first community event, Praise on the Hill. It was held at one of our local parks (it has a couple of large hills-hence the name of the event). I'm not entirely sure of the history of the event, but was an awesome time for The Valley to come together and praise our Mighty King.

It was a wonderful time of listening to local church praise bands, playing in bouncy houses and on the playground, and eating yummy food that you'll only allow yourself to eat at fun events like this. However, the most awesome part about the event tonight was that we got to listen to/see Bethany Dillon and Caedmon's Call. Yes, these two large Christian recording artists travelled all the way to South Texas.
See?


We really enjoyed listening to Bethany Dillon. In between songs, she shared a couple of tidbits about herself....she just moved to Dallas from OH and she just got married about 6.5 months ago. She seemed so genuine...and she even spent a few minutes signing autographs and taking pictures.


We also enjoyed praising with Caedmon's Call. Josiah and I walked up to within a couple 100 yards of the stage so that he could watch the band members play their instruments. His most favorite-favorite (Josiah's new term) was the drums and guitar. :-) Unfortunately, Randy had to be at the hospital early tomorrow AM for Rounds, so we left about 4 songs into their "set".
While it was a little loud, the kids really enjoyed it....even Laney. She just loved watching all of the people (I think they reached their goal of 6,000 attendees). It was a very fun evening...for the whole family.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I *heart* BOB

I decided to try a little something different tonight for my evening workout. I thought it might be time to break BOB (as in BOB Ironman Dualie jogging stroller) out of the garage for something other than a walk....it was time for his first run. So I harnessed both kiddos in and "hit the pavement" for a 3M run.
The kids did great. When it was just Josiah, he would be screaming to get out at 2M, making it nearly impossible for him to come with me while I was training for the half marathon last year. Tonight, though, he just asked a lot of questions. Unfortunately, I was soooo not in the mood to answer...I was trying to find a groove. And Laney, she was perfect...she fell asleep.

But I have to say that jogging while pushing 50+ pounds (Josiah=32lbs, Laney=18lbs) is hard work, harder than jogging 2M for the first time in over a year. It was a whole body workout...my arms and shoulders were even "feeling the burn". I can't imagine what it would have been like using any other jogging stroller....BOB was so smooth.
In short, I enjoyed the change of scenery (even though the weather was far from perfect--75 degrees and 95% humidity)...and will plan on running with BOB during the evenings when Randy won't be home until late (or at all).

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)-Week 3

I'm so frustrated that I'm not sure whether to scream or cry. This week was a very busy week for Randy, keeping him at the hospital until late most nights of the week. Therefore, I was only able to make it to the gym 3 of 7 days. I had fully prepared myself for the possibility reality that Hubs wouldn't make it home many nights before the gym closed, but what I wasn't prepared for was the emotional rollercoaster that I found myself riding on earlier in the week.

I'm still learning how to be at home with Josiah and Laney. And lately, I truely believe that it has been Josiah's mission to drive me absolutely crazy! I know deep down in my heart that his defiance, strong will to do things "myself", and just plain ol' running around non-stop (and loudly) is just part of being 2 years old. But there is only so much that I can take! I'm also still nursing Laney. And she must have sensed my stress because she wanted nothing to do with nursing. Unfortunately for her, I'm far from ready to give up and just give her formula. So I tried and tried and tried, resulting in feeling more stressed (anyone who knows me, knows about my love-hate relationship with breastfeeding--but it's very important to me, so I keep going), but we did get it. Sooo, if it weren't for the fact that I'm losing my hair due to my hormones "normalizing" after having had a baby, I would have definitely pulled some hair out earlier this week.

But what's unfortunate is that I've always been an emotional eater. So when my best friend (AKA Randy) was not around much earlier in the week to deflect the craziness of caring for two small children, I turned to another, quite familiar, friend....food. And honestly, my food choices were not that bad. There was only one night where I splurged a little....a couple servings of Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers and a couple of WW Twinkies. Whoa, I know, heavy stuff, right? I have purposefully banished any and all really good bad foods from the house, leaving behind whole wheat mini bagels with whipped strawberry yogurt spread, rice cakes with PB, Special K cereal with strawberries and vanilla soy milk.
So as a result of feeling guilty for eating more than one WW twinkie and a serving of RF Nilla Wafers on Saturday night, I kicked my own @#% during my "dates" with the treadmill, burning approx. 400-500 calories each workout. My week looked like this:
Friday--none
Saturday--none
Sunday--3M
Monday--none
Tuesday--4M
Wednesday-3M
Thursday--none
While I was not able to meet my goal of "checking in" at the gym for 4/7 days, I was able to meet my goal and kick out 3M runs this week with a "push it" day where I completed 4M, at a slightly faster pace. Forgetting briefly about my food drunkeness on Saturday, I was proud of myself.
Okay, you've heard enough of my whining....my HFH Fat Ticker Friday Report = 1lb. GAIN.
I'm only 50% sure why the flux in the "wrong" direction. This is what's odd....during my first week of the challenge, when I only made it to the gym 1 day and only ran 2M, I had NO change. And this week, I make it to the gym 3 days, run 3-4M each day, and I GAIN a pound? Not sure where the fairness is. Maybe I gained a little bit of muscle since I've started running further? Maybe I'm getting closer to TOM? Maybe I ate more than I realized (the most reasonable explanation, of course)?
No doubt that I'm feeling a little less than motivated/inspired to keep going.....but no worries fellow HFH comrades, this fat lady is not ready to "sing" quite yet. My inspiration to keep it up is knowing that there will be weeks where the weight loss/gain makes NO sense, that I've done this before--lost all of the weight gained from my previous pregnancy (plus 10 pounds) and completed a 13.1 M race, that I will be expected to stand up (wearing a cute dress) for my little sister when she gets married next summer, and that I will wear a cuuuute bathing suit during our beach vacation when Randy finishes Residency in 3 years (everyone needs a long-term goal, right? But I'll need 3 years to work off the weight gained by another pregnancy).

So there's my report....how did you do this week?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~October 5

Just to provide you with an update regarding the new recipes that I tried last week....the Bruschetta Chicken was delicious! It was easy and quite healthy. It's definitely a recipe that I will be making again. I've got 3 new recipes in my plan to try this week, recipes I found a couple of weeks ago when Laura hosted the Family Favorites Edition of MPM.

Monday--Sweet & Zesty Meatballs (these are easy to freeze, so we will only be eating them one night)
Tuesday--Tater Tot Casserole
Wednesday--Leftover TT Casserole
Thursday--Sweet & Sour Chicken
Friday--Leftover SS Chicken
Saturday--Bourbon Chicken
Sunday--OPEN (Randy has requested that one day during the weekend be open for him to cook--Woohoo!)

I'll let you know next week how we liked the meatballs, casserole and SS Chicken.

**UPDATE**We enjoyed all 3 new recipes. Everything was so easy to make. I've got meatballs in the freezer for when I don't feel like cooking a rainy day. The Tator Tot Casserole was so yummy that Josiah had NO problem cleaning his plate (he is a BIG fan of tator tots). And while the Sweet & Sour Chicken is not the same as you would enjoy at a Chinese Restaurant, it was still delish and much lower in fat.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Smiles, swings, squeals & shoes

This past Thursday was Josiah's first visit to the dentist. I've been thinking about this milestone for quite some time, going back and forth as to when the right time is to begin the check-ups. Some folks will tell you to wait until a child has lost all of their baby teeth and some will tell you to wait until all of a child's baby teeth have come "in". But did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child's first oral health risk assessment be conducted as young as 6 months of age with the eruption of the first tooth? Although, looking back at Josiah's dental history, his first tooth did not erupt until he was 8 months of age. So we won't be making Laney's appointment for a few months yet.

Why so young, you ask? I, too, asked this same question, so I did some research...can you tell I miss the office? Answer: The CDC reports that dental caries is perhaps the most prevalent of infectious diseases affecting our nation's children. More than 40% have dental caries (aka cavities) by the time they reach kindergarten. YIKES! It's important to establish a good "dental home"--brushing, flossing, diet, and flouride--before permanent teeth inhabit your child's mouth.

I was amazed with how well Josiah behaved. But what was even more amazing was the dental office itself. When we walked into the waiting area, the first thing we noticed was this huge boat--a mini waiting area for kids inside the waiting area for adults. An Interior Designer sure had his/her thinking cap on when this room/office was designed. Josiah thought this was the coolest! There was a TV in the boat showing a movie...it definitely made filling out "new patient" paperwork a breeze when I knew that Josiah was entertained by the fact that there was a boat inside. He kept singing "Row, row, row your boat". When they called Josiah back, I immediately got nervous. I thought that this kid is NOT going to cooperate: he's NOT going to lean back nor is he going to open his mouth. On the contrary.....I lifted him up onto the chair, and he immediately asked me if he could lay down. WHAT?! The DA then said, "Sure, you can lay down. You can watch the movie on the ceiling.". WHAT?! Sure enough, there was a flat-screen monitor on the ceiling playing the same movie he left out in the boat. Why can't they have something cool like that in General Dentistry offices? That would definitely make my experience less sweaty. Anyways, Dr. Linda then came in to conduct Josiah's first oral health risk assessment. I'm proud to say that he has a BEAUTIFUL smile with 16 BEAUTIFUL teeth (8 on top & 8 on the bottom). In addition to receiving a really cool "big boy" toothbrush, we were given the "green light" to begin using "real" toothpaste (up until last week, he has been using the toddler toothbrush with the training toothpaste). I couldn't have asked for a better visit to the dentist. Unfortunately, I have an appointment for next week to assess a crown. UGH!

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I think we may have finally reached Autumn here in South Texas. Instead of the 90's and 100-something's of Summer, we have recently been blessed with mid-to-high 80's. Not quite perfect, but I'll take it. And because we've been cooped up in the house and other air conditioned establishments for the last 3 months, I took the kids to one of our community parks on both Friday and Saturday. Josiah had a blast climbing, sliding, and swinging while Laney hung out in her stroller in the shade of the pavilion. With the breeze, it was quite nice in the shade. Josiah doesn't mind the sun...as long as he's having a good time, he could care less that he's sweating, unlike his mother.

Here are a couple of pics taken from our visit.

I just love how the Palm Trees decorate the landscape.

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Laney turned 5 months old on Saturday. I say it each month, but really, "Where does the time go?" I am definitely enjoying her the more she outgrows the "baby" stage. Just in the last month Laney became so much more interactive. She definitely has the "social smile" down pat; she just can't wait for her daddy to pick her up when he walks through the door; she gets super excited when I approach her with her cereal bowl (I've started feeding her 1-2 T cereal 1X a day); and just in the last 2 weeks, Laney has started talking more. We're not talking about soft cooing here...she fills our house with squeals. It puts a smile on my face each time I hear her. It's so much fun.


video

(Sorry for the poor video quality, I used the vide0 function on our digital camera instead of using the actual video camera)

Just look at those chunky legs...she barely fits in the Bumbo.

Additionally, I weighed her about 2 weeks ago, and she weighed about 17.5 lbs. That's about a .5 lb weight gain in 2 weeks...so she's still on track to Sumo Wrestle. Unfortunately, I think that it's her status as a "chunky monkey" that she still has not rolled over. Well, that, and my thoughts that she's lazy....or smart. Why do all of that work when she knows that someone is going to come and get her. However, while she may not be breaking any records for rolling over early, she is sitting up quite well on her own and has started transferring toys from hand to hand.

I can't wait to see what she does in this next month.

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Josiah loves playing in our closet. He just loves shoes. You've seen the picture a thousand times...the little girl, playing dress up in her mom's dress, pearls, and high heels. Well, Josiah enjoys dressing up, too....by wearing Mommy's shoes. While Randy did NOT think this was amusing...I laughed and just HAD to get the camera.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)-Week 2

So after last week's failure to get to the gym to run but 1 measly day, I made a conscientious effort to hear the checking-in "beep" of my gym ID card at least 5 days this week. As I reported on Friday, I did manage to get in 2 miles on the treadmill; however, that was after I had already weighed in. Here's how the rest of my week unfolded:

Friday: 2M
Saturday: 2M
Sunday: off
Monday: 2M
Tuesday: 2M
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 3M

I'm very pleased with how things have been going. Granted, my pace is no where near what I would like for it to be, but I just started the process.....so, I'm cutting myself some slack.

Without further adu, here is my Fat Ticker Friday report for Week 2....A LOSS of 3 lbs.!

I'm so very excited to see such a HUGE number. I think this the first time I've ever seen the scale move so drastically in one week. My goal for this challenge is to lose only 1 lb/week. I tripled my goal loss!!! Woohoo! Not sure if it's due to the nursing (burning an extra 500 or so calories a day) or the fact that I'm now regulating what and how much I'm eating. I've enjoyed two new snacks this week: lightly salted rice cakes with PB and mini cinnamon bagels with strawberry yogurt spread. Plus, I'm drinking tons of water and my new found love, Raspberry Green Tea Crystal Light. And the one thing (breastmilk production) that I've been most worried about since starting the challenge hasn't shown to be much of an issue (YAY!)....as long as I keep up my fluid intake.

The HFH Hostess, Christie, asked us to share our "push it" moment from the week. I think I would have to say that it was my 3M run last night. I wanted to see if I could complete 3M and at a faster pace...and I did both! And boy, did I feel great afterwards. :-)

This week's goal is still to lose only 1 lb. and to make it to the treadmill at least 4 of the next 7 days (Randy started Inpatient Service on Wednesday and has been home very little to watch the kiddos) and run 3M each workout, except for Thursday, when I'll try to bump it up to 4M.

Click here to see how others are doing and how much weight we've lost collectively as a group.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

100

In celebration of my 100th blog post (can you believe it?), I thought it might be fun to participate in the blogger's right of passage, the "100 Things About Me" meme. Here we go!!!!

  1. I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

  2. I was born on September 25, 1977.

  3. I am the oldest of three girls.

  4. I've been married for a little over 5 years.

  5. I have two children: a son (2) and a daughter (5 months).

  6. I waited to find out what the sex of my children were until "push" day.

  7. I love reality TV, specifically Big Brother and Biggest Loser.

  8. I love any and all aquariums.

  9. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist as a child.

  10. I played in the marching band in both high school and college.

  11. My most favorite household chore is vacuuming.

  12. I'm addicted to blogging and Facebook.

  13. I enjoy being at home with my kids (yes, it finally happened) but I also miss working in an office.

  14. I've completed 1 half marathon (at 5 weeks pregnant) and hope to complete another one in April 2009.

  15. My favorite meal is spaghetti (and I have to have milk to drink).

  16. My dream vehicle of the moment is the Saturn Outlook.

  17. My favorite gemstone is the Sapphire (in fact, the center stone of my wedding ring is a sapphire instead of a diamond).

  18. I despise folding/putting clothes away (I enjoy washing them, though).

  19. I'd do anything if I didn't have to go to the dentist (but I still keep up with my bi-annual appointments).

  20. I learned how to crochet this year as part of my New Year's Resolutions.

  21. My favorite board games are Taboo and Tribond.

  22. I LOVE to bake.

  23. I'm not much of a cook, but I do try.

  24. I've travelled to remote villages in Kenya, Africa.

  25. I always wear my seat belt.

  26. I really enjoy teeny-bopper shows/movies.

  27. My favorite movie genre is Romantic Comedy.

  28. My favorite movies are The Cutting Edge and Just Married.

  29. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons (although living in South Texas now, I'm surely not going to experience either).

  30. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays.

  31. I am cloth diapering my little princess. I go back and forth regarding my love for it.

  32. I love shopping at Target and Kohl's.

  33. My favorite color is Navy.

  34. Following each pregnancy, I cut my hair and donated it to Locks Of Love.

  35. I've worn glasses/contacts since the 7th Grade.

  36. I would love to have Lasik, but I'm afraid of a surgery-gone-totally-wrong.

  37. I attended Auburn University. WAR EAGLE!

  38. Since 10th Grade, I've not lived anywhere longer than 4 years.

  39. I hate the packing and actual moving part of moving. Our move to South Texas was the LAST time that we're moving ourselves.

  40. I really enjoy college football season.

  41. I avoid driving at night when at all possible.

  42. I ate an African termite during my travels in Kenya...yes, on purpose.

  43. I have blue eyes.

  44. My hair has some natural highlights, including one streak of "auburn" underneath-behind my left ear.

  45. I love to tan, but I keep my time out in the sun to a minimum now (stay away Melanoma and wrinkles!).

  46. I really enjoy Season's Premiere week on TV...I can't wait to start where we left off from last season and to see what new shows have been created.

  47. I did NOT attend my 10 year High School reunion. In fact, I don't think our class even coordinated one.

  48. I am not liking the "all tile" flooring in our current house. It hurts my back to walk around barefoot.

  49. I don't like wearing socks.

  50. I take a vitamin every morning.

  51. I would like to travel to New England as I've never been more North than Pennsylvania.

  52. I would also like to travel to HI and AK.

  53. To date, I'm not really into scrapbooking (although I would really like to start keeping Alayna's baby book in the form of a scrapbook).

  54. I hope to take a photography class next year so that our memories can be captured by more than a simple point-and-shoot methodology (and since one of my favorite photographers now lives in OH).

  55. I love to swim, I just hate getting into a swimsuit.

  56. I enjoy having my nails done.

  57. I have a Master's Degree in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology.

  58. I worked in Bioterrorism Preparedness prior to our move to VA in 2003.

  59. I love vacationing at the beach, specifically the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

  60. I met my husband while moving in (my apartment was directly above his)-although we didn't "hook up" until a year later.

  61. I hope to learn how to bake bread before the end of the year (yet another 2008 New Year's Resolution).

  62. I wear a size 9.5 shoe.

  63. I love crawling into a bed with freshly washed sheets.

  64. My favorite scented candles are warm sugar cookie, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon vanilla (ie. those found during the Christmas holiday).

  65. I spent most of my childhood in a small rural community in Eastern Iowa.

  66. People, Shape, and Real Simple are a couple of my most favorite magazines.

  67. I enjoy trying new recipes.

  68. My favorite kind of juice is OJ.

  69. My perfect day would be one with NO responsibilities (and maybe relaxing on the beach in low mid-70 degree weather).

  70. I love sweets, specifically anything with chocolate in it.

  71. Sadly, I've had to give up chocolate (at least for the next 4-6 months) because it bothers Laney's tummy.

  72. I learned to play the flute/piccolo and piano; however, I haven't played either in about 10 years.

  73. I love the smell of a fired up backyard grill. Yummmm, hamburgers.

  74. I enjoy cutting up hotdogs and mixing them into Mac-n-Cheese.

  75. My favorite clothing store is Ann Taylor Loft.

  76. My favorite flavor ice cream is Cookies-n-Cream/Oreo.

  77. I spend waaaay too much time on the computer.

  78. I love my friend Sara's homemade pizza.

  79. I love my friend Gina's Apple Crisp.

  80. I use internet BillPay to pay for all but 1 household bill.

  81. I cannot stand flourescent lighting.

  82. I've only had two pets in my lifetime, if you don't count a guppy and a lizard (who needs pets when you have two tiny tikes?)

  83. I experienced my 1st hurricane this year when Dolly decided to get upclose and personal.

  84. I love snorkeling.

  85. I love to use Google to find answers.

  86. I love perfume.

  87. I don't wear makeup except for special occassions...it's too much work to wear everyday.

  88. My middle name is Dawn.

  89. I don't have any allergies.

  90. I've never been stung by a bee.

  91. My favorite camping activity is cooking s'mores.

  92. I used to be completely frightened by public speaking, now I'm just kinda frightened.

  93. I've never been hospitalized for a serious injury/illness.

  94. I enjoy picking and carving pumpkins.

  95. During the Christmas season, I love to sit in a room where the only light is from the Christmas tree.

  96. I hate extra scribbles on my paper. Therefore, my calendar is done in pencil so that I can erase, leaving a "clean" week.

  97. I enjoy finding a good bargain. However, if it's not staring me in the face, I probably won't find it. I'm not patient enough to look through bin after bin and rack after rack.

  98. I have to eat breakfast each morning otherwise my day seems "off", resulting in me being grumpy.

  99. I love eating breakfast for any meal. French toast is, by far, my favorite.

  100. I enjoy a good nap (preferrably, longer than an hour).

Recipe Box Swap

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy finding and trying new recipes. So, to support my "habit", I found this swap, hosted by Randi @ I Have To Say. This month's edition is focused on Lunchtime Favorites.

One of my favorite lunchtime meals is a recipe that a dear friend shared with me a couple of years ago. I enjoy it so much that I make it at least twice a month.

Tortellini with Zucchini

1 pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups julienne cut zucchini
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 t. chicken bouillon
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Meanwhile, spray large skillet with non-stick spray. Heat on Medium-High until hot. Add zucchini, red pepper, garlic, basil, and salt. Cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender. Drain tortellini; rinse with hot water. Add tortellini, water and chicken bouillon to veggies. Mix gently. Cook for 3-5 minutes over Medium-Low until thoroughly heated, stirring occassionally. Add cheese. Toss gently to combine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday--Biker Dudes

(My apologies for the darkness.
Unfortunately, there is not much sunlight left when Randy gets home.)
Josiah enjoys riding his tricycle (aka scooter/motorcycle) along side his Daddy. You can't really tell because of the darkness of the picture, but Josiah is also wearing one of Daddy's helmets. Sooo cute!
For more WW, visit 5 Minutes For Mom.