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Friday, December 23, 2011

I Did it Again! Losing Weight!

I weighed in a day early since I have family arriving this afternoon and I lost .6 lbs!!  Even in my book, that is awesome since gaining or only losing .2 lbs is pretty normal for me. 

My husband made Oreo Truffles and I may have ate one too many but they are so unbelievably good!!!

I wanted to share a green smoothie recipe with you that my picky 2 year old who eats no fruit and vegetables unless they are in a smoothie (I've tried everything, but I try not to stress, this too shall pass) loves!  I was nervous that when he saw the color, he'd refuse it but he drank it so fast and then tried stealing his brother's:)

Annie's Eats posted this recipe and I've tried it with fresh pineapple and pear and canned fruit (in 100% juice) and it's great either way!  Click here for the Green Monster Smoothie!

Also, moms out there, have you heard of Lindsay Brin??  She's a fitness expert and is known for getting her pretty baby body back including her six pack.  This lady is phenomenal in my book and she has an amazing story of trying IVF 4 times, had a vanishing twin, a miscarriage, had 2 healthy babies.....and then....BAM...she gets a suprise pregnancy naturally and 6 months ago had a healthy baby!  Go visit her website http://www.lindsaybrin.com/.

Then, I'm still trying to wrap my head around exactly what a molar pregnancy is after reading Lilblueboo.com.  My friend sent me the link for Elf on the Shelf ideas and a few days ago I decided to read some other posts and long story short, she had a molar pregnancy and it fed her tumors and she is now undergoing treatment for cancer.  Her motto is "Choose Joy" and it's inspiring to see how she handles her current struggles including losing her father recently.  She has a great blog, she's definitely a super mom! 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and get to spend quality time with your family!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weight Loss and Crappy Friends

In great news, I lost 2.8 lbs on Weight Watchers new Points Plus program!!  I never lose that much weight in one week so that was awesome.  I didn't exercise so that was not ideal but I did track 5 out of 7 days and on those days I was consistently eating about 39 points which is 10 more than I'm supposed to eat:(  It's the sugar dang it!  I love, love sweets.  I did want to link a couple recipes that got me through this week and I'd highly recommend:

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos from Can You Stay For Dinner?
Easy Crockpot Baked Potato Soup from Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour
Mini Apple Pies from A Little Bit Funky

The pulled pork was delicious and I made a 3 lb. pork loin and froze the leftovers.  The  potato soup- so easy and so darn good!!!  I even ate the leftovers for breakfast 3 days in a row!  It was my turn for Sunday family dinner and I made the mini apple pies but only left out 1 for each person, then froze the rest so I wasn't eating leftover dessert for 3 or 4 days and that's a big win in my book.

And on to crappy friends.  This blog is not something I share with IRL friends and family so that I can vent and not edit down the content but in all fairness, I was trying to be an awesome friend this weekend and my friends decided to be crappy.  A group of 8 of us were supposed to get together at my house at 7pm and each couple was to bring an appetizer or snack food and a bottle of wine.  In the past, I used to throw huge get togethers with 40 people and I was the one who supplied and made all the food and drinks.  Well, it's just not practical and it used to cost hundreds of dollars.  One of my friend's sent a text at 6pm that said she had ate Taco Bell and no longer felt good and was going to stay home...for real?  I wasn't buying it, I knew she'd bail, she's been known to do that.  Then one person showed up at 7:20 that wasn't going to come until way later after his office Christmas party and boy did I feel dumb inviting him into the party where no one had shown up.  8:20 rolled around and here comes the first couple.  They were out Christmas shopping and were running late.  At 8:40 I finally texted the other couple because they are never late.  Well they had stopped at their cousin's party and got caught up there and finally got to our house at 8:50.  Needless to say I was ticked.  It takes time and effort to get my house ready, plan everything, have my kids go to my parents for the night, etc. and in return I expect people to show up on time or very darn close to it.   So I'm through with parties.  It used to be one of the things I was known for but it causes more frustration that joy in the past few years.   Everyone did stay until 1am and time flew by and we had a great time but showing up so beyond late was shitty or just plain bailing at the end was incredibly tacky.  I think I much more prefer having someone over for dinner or brunch these days.  Just one family or couple over at a time. 

I also understand that turning down an invitation soon after it's extended is much more tactful than acting like you can come and bailing or not showing up at a reasonable time.  Sometimes we are invited to a kids party or barbecue and we just know we have other things to do that weekend not necessarily that will conflict with the time but that just will have us running around dragging with two cranky kids so we just politely decline and we don't make up a lie, we just say we already have other commitments.  I'm also not a fan of birthday invites for kids parties via Facebook, even an E-vite is more tactful, IMO, than sending everyone on your friend's list an invite via Facebook.   Okay, I'm getting off on a tangent now!  I hope everyone is having a good week and getting ready for Christmas!    My sister and brother in law fly in Friday and I'm so excited to have them here with us for the next week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Moment of Truth, I Did it Again

That weight tracker you see at the top of my page that says I've lost 13 pounds, well, it's a lie.  I did lose 13 pounds and then slowly I gained it back at .2 lbs, .4 lbs and then when between the time I went to Seattle for my birthday and the 2 weeks following, I gained back 5 pounds.  Then I gained 1 pound, then 2 pounds and well now here I sit at only 2.2 pounds less than where I started 13 months ago.  Damn!

In September my Mom decided she no longer wanted to do Weight Watchers because she wasn't following the plan at all and therefore not losing weight so she felt she was wasting $40 a month by still going.  This wasn't the first time my mom bowed out of WW, this would be the 4th time she's done this and usually it takes me about 1-2 months before I follow suit.  Then a year will pass and I'll regret having given up so I walk my chubby behind right back to WW, and sign up once again.  It's a roller coaster, the least fun roller coaster I've ever been on.  But this time was different.  When my mom wanted to quit, I let her.  I've realized you can't make someone do something they don't want to do and the stress it causes to convince my mom to stay takes away from my focus on losing weight.  My mom had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 so we no longer share the same problems with weight loss. 

I'm disappointed in myself for gaining it back.   I now weigh 6 more pounds than I did a week post partum with Dylan and about 11 pounds more than I weighed when he was around 2 months old.  And only 11 pounds LESS THAN WHEN I GAVE BIRTH.  Granted I only gained 17 pounds during my pregnancy but still!!  It's just not healthy and I do not feel comfortable at this weight.  Dressing has become more about what makes me look less fat and that's just no fun.  I do remember a brief period of time where dressing was actually fun, I weighed 160 pounds and plenty of things looked great on me. 

I currently have 24 personal training sessions left that I've paid for, 10 sessions to Jazzercize that I purchased a month ago, and 9 more months left a gym membership.  But how many times have I worked out in the past 3 months?  Maybe twice?  I did take a Zumba class and loved it!  I used to love to go out dancing with my girlfriends in college, but this....this was following a routine and it was so fast paced I couldn't keep up but I'd love to go back and get some of the dance moves back because it was so much more fun than walking on a treadmill!!  I just wish exercise was a part of my daily life, but it's not.  Even when I prepay things so that I'd supposedly be more likely to use it, I don't. 

And eating??  Well I love to cook and for some people they dread coming home and making dinner but for me it's relaxing and I don't think cooking dinner is what is really causing me to not reach my weight loss goal. I think it's the desserts and baked goods I make because it's not as if I make a batch of cookies or cupcakes and eat one or two and that's it.  I eat them until they are gone.  Often times it's like 6 cookies a day!!  And Starbucks, yikes, it's like my go to comfort thing when I start gaining weight and I don't enjoy the "skinny" drinks so it's the real deal that sets me back about $4.50 and usually around 350 calories:( 

So what to do?  Keep going to Weight Watchers and start fresh.  Clean up my environment, make a list of goals, think one day at a time and just keep repeating I'm worth the time and effort it will take to lose weight and keep it off.  Because I honestly believe there is a life that's waiting to be lived by me as a healthy woman.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elf on a Shelf, Creepy=Cool!

I had heard about Elf on a Shelf but until this year when I saw it popping up on Pinterest constantly that I realized there was more to it than I had first thought.  Once I looked into it I thought it was genius!!  You mean I can try to convince my toddlers that this Elf is watching them and reporting their behavior to Santa?  I'm in!  My boys are loving the magic of Christmas!  I can already tell this is going to be our best Christmas ever because I'm able to involve my boys more than when they were babies.

I went to Target and purchased my Elf on the Shelf box set and as many people have pointed out, it is a creepy looking doll.  It's not the over the top cuteness you find in most stuffed animals and dolls we are accustomed too.   But he does grow on you and becomes cuter by the day!

So here are a few of the antics our Elf, Buddy, has done in the past few days!
Buddy stayed up all night reading books!

Buddy went zip lining across the living room!

Buddy went fishing!

Buddy had a marshmallow fight against some toy soldiers.

Buddy toilet papered the tree.

The little troublemaker himself!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Foods that Could Ruin Your Fertility!

I usually am not one to jump on any bandwagon when it comes to not eating certain foods.  However, as I've said before when I felt like I was at the end of my rope with not getting pregnant 2 years ago, I tried the Candida cleanse and even though I stuck with it for less than 2 weeks, it is when I got pregnant without the help of clomid or a trigger shot.  The Candida cleanse is basically all organic, unprocessed food and very little meat. 

So when my coworker who is cra-cra-crazy obsessed with eating all natural, no vaccinations, breastfeeding for 2 years and so on posted this article on Facebook, "7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips" I clicked on it thinking it would be a good eye roller article.  But then.........I saw 5 out of 7 of the foods my family eats on a weekly basis and often times several times a week.  The foods they had listed that could affect fertility are canned tomatoes and microwave popcorn.  Hummm, interesting right?  Now I feel like I'm in a bit of a pickle- do I stop eating these items now knowing that I want to be pregnant in a couple years, or do I just wait until a few months before I start TTCing at which time I will probably go back to the Candida cleanse and obviously not eat canned tomatoes and microwave popcorn?  I wouldn't even give two seconds of thought to this if it were in some extreme all natural eating newsletter or website but it was in Prevention and I would say they are a reputable magazine.  Food for thought?

Friday, December 2, 2011

What to Buy Kids for Christmas? Limiting Spending!

Have you heard of Design Mom?  If you haven't, go check her blog out, I love her ideas and last year I read this post about what and how much to buy your kids for Christmas.  For the first Christmas with kids, I just sort of shot from the hip and a few months after Christmas was over I knew next year I had to change my plan.  I just bought too much and not necessarily things that got a lot of use or enjoyment.

#rehashingmychildhoodforthebillionthtime When I was little, my parents spent well over $1000 on me at Christmas.  It was like it was a no holds bar and even though we made our wish list which was always completely fulfilled, my mom still bought more things we never heard of our asked for.  She is a great gift giver but she gives too much.  As a kid, I had absolutely  no problem with it.....until my parents filed bankruptcy, lost a business and we were poor.  Then it became a guilt thing paired with being sort of bratty and wanting everything at the same time every time Christmas rolled around.  But you know what gifts I remember the most?  My great Grandma's less than $5 gift we received and begged to open each Christmas eve.  My Grandma had handfuls of grand children and lived in a very small country town so she bought at what she'd call the dime store but it's more like a tiny Walgreens.  The gifts certainly weren't anything on our wish list, often times impractical (like the big fluffy cream colored granny mittens) but it was almost like the unexpectedness and thriftiness of the gift made it that much  more special. 

My dad was always a bahumbug (sp?) when it came to Christmas.  Partly because he always works all the way up to Christmas day and the day after Christmas but more so because while he was working so hard my mom was out blowing that hard earned money on excessive gifts.  And no offense to my mom, she was doing what she thought was the right thing and what she always dreamed of doing since she grew up on welfare and had very little as a kid and wanted something different for her kids.  But finally around 6th grade, my dad started shopping for 1 special gift to my sister and I.  My mom wasn't allowed to pick it out and it never came from our wish list.  And we were over the moon when my Dad started doing this since we knew he never shopped or wrapped  a single gift for us prior to that. 

When I read Design Mom's blog post about giving her kids 3 things- something to play with, something to read, and something to wear I thought it was genius!!  It didn't necessarily talk about the amount of money to spend but that still helped me keep my focus.  Last year the kids play item was a train table and it's got plenty of great use. And before I forget, I'd highly recommend googling the item you are looking for followed by "discount code" or just going straight to Retailmenot.com to double check if there is a coupon code to save you more money.  This year, here is what the kids will be getting and yes, I do wander a bit from the 3 things rule but for our family, this is practical and affordable.  I linked items where I could to the items we bought.


Twilight Turtle From Cloud B- For Dylan.  I love, love, love Cloud B products and we have the sheep, giraffe, and AJ has the regular turtle.  Barnes and Noble's black Friday special was 50% off one toy, free shipping and 10% off for members so I paid under $15!!  Normally $32.95.


Cloud B Mimicking Monkey- For AJ.  Same thing as the turtle, 50% off (I cheated the system and put in 2 separate orders since the deal was only good for 1 item per order).  $34.95 normally.

No, that's not my kiddo but he sure is adorable!!  Gymboree is where we got their clothes gifts this year.  I did the black Friday sale but the current sale is equally as good so 50% off and free shipping!  I love going to the store but during the holidays, they tend to run out of sizes after I already plan out what I'm going to get and I hate digging through their stacks of clothes while I am butt to butt with the other shoppers!  I did not buy them just one thing, that's where I sort of cheat Design Mom's rules:)  I did spend $80 on 10 items, so each of them got 5 items, $40 a kid on clothes.  Not bad I think.  Their Gymboree clothes have always held up for me so well from kid to kid and the stains come out so I'll continue to buy them!

Step 2 Legacy Kitchen from Toys R Us -$129.99 - $10 Val Pak Coupon and I had $70 left on an old gift card so out of pocket was $50. On Cyber Monday it was listed for $103.99 but I missed it:(  I'll be making all the felt food and here's a great website with links to free felt food patterns on Ohdeedoh.com.  We have a ton of felt left over from projects so this is perfect!  Grandma is getting them the pots and pans set from Toys R Us.  my husband said 2 years ago he never would buy his boys a kitchen, then he realized how much they loved their friend's play kitchen and how they absolutely will not stay out of the kitchen and love doing dishes and helping me cook and he changed his mind.
The "Something to Read" items will be shopped for by my husband!  He loves Barnes and Nobles and we've budgeted $30 a kid in books.  Our rough estimate is $150 a kid.  And I completely understand that my kids are at the age where they don't beg for a gift and certainly not a particular brand where once they start school and clear through high school we will have to go back to the thinking board but for now, this works!  Does your family have any set rules on buying for your kids?  Did you shop Black Friday at the stores or online?  Are you doing things differently from your childhood or carrying on a gift giving tradition?  I want to hear!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Conception Story on TLC

I haven't heard any of you talk about this web series on TLC.com called A Conception Story which follows 6 couples on their various journeys to pregnancy.  I'm watching some of it tonight but just wanted to let you know it's out there and you can find it here http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/a-conception-story !

Monday, November 28, 2011

Organizing Your House!

Be honest, how clean and organized is your house?!  What's your philosophy on keeping up on cleaning and organizing?
A) Life is too short to worry about how clean my house is, a little dirt and piles of clothes never hurt anyone!
B) I like a clean house but I haven't sorted through closets and the rest of the house for a couple years.
C) Clutter and dirt drive me nuts!!  I continuously work at keeping my house clean and organized.

Me, I'm C.  It doesn't mean that I've never left the dishes sit overnight, but it happens like twice a month.  If someone came over unexpectedly, the mirrors may not be wiped down or there might be folded laundry in baskets waiting to go up to kids' rooms, but for the most part, I wouldn't be embarrassed to have people in my house. 

I often just tackle a room and purge what I can, donate, trash it, etc.  My bedroom has NO CLUTTER.  It's my little piece of heaven that is calming and mine (and DH's).  My goal by Dylan's first birthday was that anything baby had to be out; changing pad, diaper caddy, diaper pail, bassinet, baby blankets, kid toys, etc.  And I did it and I wish I would have done that sooner. 

But my Mom, my dear sweet Mom, she was slowly becoming a possible candidate for the show Hoarders.  Her bedroom was stacked with so much stuff you could barely move in there.  Her room is on the small side but still, what was all this stuff???  My mom has always been a shopper, and if you remember a few weeks back from this post about AJ's coat, we have very opposite opinions on shopping.  It makes me cringe when I see her SUV packed with bags from shopping or having her call me from a store while she's out shopping.  I want to put my bossy pants on and tell her to knock it off with the shopping!  Enough is enough. And I've tried having talks with her about the "stuff."  So last week I told her that I'd be willing to come over on Saturday and we'd clear her room out.  You could see her anxiety level rise but it just had to be done, had too.  Our plan was I'd come over at 9am and we would be done by noon and then go see the new Twilight movie.  Well 7 hours later, 10 huge black trash bags in the donation pile, and 3 trash bags out to the garbage, we had cleaned her room.  Now just pause for a moment and imagine 13 massive bags coming out of someones room?!? 13...13!  It still boggles my mind.  And I'm amazed my mom didn't have a break down and say that she has a shopping habit, a REALLY bad shopping habit.  These bags cup up to my belly button, they were HUGE, people!

And you guys, it was just stuff!  Cheap crap!  And crafts, OMG, the crafts.  She has 10 rubbermaid containers of just stuff after we purged as much as she would let go.  We are talking thousands of dollars just shoved in bags and boxes in her room. 

And the dust bunnies, they were huge and all over her really nice furniture which was covered in a thick gray coat of dust.  I even said early on, "Mom, can't you just smell the dust. It's really hard to breathe in here and I'm not even sensitive to dust."  Then I said we should crack the window open to air the room out.  That's when I came upon a window seal covered with mold and ice buildup.  And when I asked if she had an all purpose cleaner so I could clean it up, she didn't have all purpose cleaner of any kind.  Huh???  All this crap you buy and you never thought to buy an all purpose cleaner.  I made do with a vinegar cleaning solution I knew how to make. 

In the end we had a decent day and we never made it to the movie, I was exhausted.  My Mom and Dad even said they think I have a calling in life that maybe I never realized.  I tend to agree.  I really enjoy cleaning spaces (as long as I don't find dead animals like the show Hoarders, gag me!) but it is mentally exhausting trying to get someone to  let go of the THINGS, it's just things.  Really it's just crap, but I used the word things and stuff to be nice:)

So what does my mom ask me to do today, go pick up a huge plastic Step 2 play house for the boys for Christmas from her.  Where the heck is she going to put it???  It's so frustrating.  I've learned when she buys the boys gifts, not to feel obligated to keep them forever.  I purge their toys every 4-6 months and donate them even if it's something she just got them but they really didn't enjoy or have outgrown.  Same with clothes, I can't feel guilty and hold on to stuff forever.  It's just stuff.

If you are thinking of organizing a room, my un-novel ideas are this:

1)  Take everything out of the room including emptying all drawers, closets, shelves that hold stuff.  All that should be left is the furniture that is for sure staying.
2) Clean the room from top to bottom.  Dust, clean floors, windows, strip bedding and wash it, clean light fixtures, everything.  You are not going to bring things back in and set them on something dirty.
3) We brought everything out into the living room and from there, we just started grabbing things and making quick trash, donate, keep piles.  We started with clothes and I wouldn't put anything back in the room until you have your entire keep pile of clothes, and those are organized, folded, and separated in to type (sweaters, tank tops, pants, pajamas, work out clothes, t shirts, long sleeve shirts, etc.).
4)  Once you have all your keep stuff, go back in the room and discuss where everything should go in the room and if you need to add shelving or baskets, etc.  If you do, don't bring the stuff back in the room yet, put the shelves in, get baskets, etc. and then bring the items back in.  Buy clear plastic tubs for storing so you can see into them and only use open baskets or canvas boxes for items you use on a daily basis or almost daily basis, otherwise the items should go in stackable tubs and put away.
5) No items get an "I'm not sure yet what to do with this item."  A decision has to be made.  Even if my mom gets rid of more craft items, which I hope she does, they went in a keep pile, then organized into rubbermaid stacking tubs, labeled on the outside and put away.  She's welcome to take all the tubs out and go through them again but stuffing a bag of fabric in the back of the closet just doesn't work.
6)  Do one room at a time, and don't move on until that room is DONE!!  My mom kept walking into my dad's office asking what he was going to do to clear out his space and I kept having to refocus her to just worry about the bedroom.
7)  Crank up the tunes!  It's sort of hard to be in a really bad mood if you are listening to great music in my opinion!  We listened to Christmas music:)

I know none of these ideas are ground breaking ideas, but hopefully just serve as a little nudge to get you organized before the New Year.  My question to my readers- when family is buying you or your family gifts, do you have issues with them buying gifts that are just unnecessary and take up a lot of room or are expensive? (such as big blow up bouncy things, play houses, huge stuffed animals, things that hang on your walls that you don't WANT on your walls).  How do address it tactfully?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You're Not His Dad

"You're not his Dad."  Those few words turned a trip with two little boys and their DAD into a very short trip.

My husband is often very ambitious in his adventures out by himself with the boys.  Where I would just rather stay home than take them to places I deem stressful (Chuck E Cheese's, a department store that doesn't have shopping carts, a restaurant by myself and them) my husband has no problems with it and packs them up in the car and they are off!  On Sunday he decided to take them to McDonald's so they could play in the playland since it's been below zero out for about a week and he needed to do some reading for school.  I know, reading while watching two toddlers at McDonald's playland!  Crazy!

My husband is very nice to strangers and is willing to talk and carry on a conversation.  So it was no surprise that when he was out with the boys a lady that was Native inquired what tribe AJ was from.  They talked a little about that and she shared which tribe she was from.  But then....but then....the lecture and grilling started. 

"Are you feeding him Native foods?  Has he tried seal oil?  Do you feed him lots of berries?  He needs lots of berries?  What about dried fish, I'm sure he loves dried fish?  Does he eat lots of white fish?"  Which is fine, ask away lady even feel free to tell us about something we might not have heard of and where to get it or how to prepare.  And present in a sharing way, not a 'you are taking his culture away from him by not tracking down some seal oil' kind of way.

Then it evolved into, "How are you going to make sure he's proud of his culture and gets to experience his culture?"  WHAT????? We've been grilled on that repeatedly by social workers, lawyers, tribal council members, birth parents, the judge, etc.  We dealt with that for 2 years straight and our answers and actions were deemed acceptable and he officially become OUR SON in June. 

In our state, there are commercials that are asking Native families to step forward to become foster parents because the percentage of Native kids in foster care is extremely high and disproportionate to the percentage of people that are Native in the state.  I understand wanting the kids to be able to experience the culture and honestly, if there had been an available Native home when AJ was placed with us, he would have been moved.  If a tribal member had wanted to adopt him over us, that would have most likely happened.  But there was no one that stepped forward and we wanted him so bad we did everything we could to make sure he didn't go to yet another family.

And then she drops the bomb, "Are you his foster dad?"

Husband : "No, I'm his Dad."

Rude lady: "No you're not."

I know my husband and I know how he sounded on the phone right after he quickly packed up the boys and left.  He was crushed.   After we talked about it I told him it's perfectly okay to tell someone, even a woman, that she was being rude and that the comment was completely inappropriate and left it at that.  I didn't want him to get into a verbal battle but it really is okay to tell people they are being rude. 

I'd say 90% of people that we come in contact with say things like, "Oh, he has dark hair like his dad, and this one has blonde hair like his mom!"  And they leave it at that.  The other 10%  of people dig a little deeper and start asking about their ages, are they brothers, etc.  I feel that I'm pretty good at reading people's intentions so if they are still asking appropriate questions then we will say we were lucky to be able to adopt our oldest this past June. 

I doubt this will be the last time my husband or myself encounter someone who makes inappropriate comments in front of our kids but it is a good reminder that we need to talk more about how to handle those situations and how we are going to start talking to AJ about adoption and where he came from. 

But in better news, AJ turns 3 this week!!  I can't believe it!  I brought that chubby cheeked cutie home as a 5 month old and he's a little boy now that carries on conversations with me!  We are very lucky to have him in our lives.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween Picture Post!

My boys were monsters this year and they loved trick or treating!  It was a blizzard out there that night but they were troopers!  I made sure the costumes I bought this year would work well with jackets, snowpants, hats, and boots:)
Dylan as the green monster

AJ as a blue monster

My cuties:)

I told you, a blizzard out there!

My peeping toms.

Monday, October 31, 2011

2 Toddlers Potty Trained in a Weekend! 3 Day Potty Training Guide Worked for us!

I'm actually in shock I'm even writing this post now, not 6 months from now or a year from now but like RIGHT NOW!!!  We are diaper free!! And instead I have two cute little toddlers running around with Thomas and Buzz Lightyear across their bums:) I read Suz Steece's blog post about training her quads with the 3 Day Potty Training Guide and I was intrigued.  Grossed out at some points in the story because changing a diaper is yucky enough but when they are going to the bathroom on your floor or lap?!  Go read her post, it'll give you a little glimpse into just how committed you have to be to those 3 days.

Both of my boys showed signs of wanting to sit on the big potty at 18 months.  However it was sporadic and they still reserved poop for their diapers and would not tell us when they had to go.  It was more of us sitting them on the potty or some days we'd say we were going to set a timer for every 30 minutes and after about 3 hours we kind of just lost momentum, went and ran errands, went to a playdate, etc. so the 30 minute rule was no longer convenient.  My oldest turns 3 next month and I just decided it was now or never.  I prepped my husband for 2 weeks prior making sure he understood we were literally going to be at home for 3 straight days (my mom actually came over the first day, Friday until my DH got off work).  I told him we weren't cooking, cleaning, working on projects, or running to the store.  And we had to keep our eyes on them for 3 straight days, was he ready?  He agreed.  Even on Thursday Dylan was starting to get sick, by Friday DH and I both were sick with some kind of cold bug, but we sucked it up and did it anyways!

Preparation:
-First, you have to buy the E-Book at http://www.3daypottytraining.com/ .  I gave it to my mom and DH to read (I'll admit that DH probably skimmed the guide until he was so frustrated by noon on Saturday that he spent their nap time reading it word for word, it was smooth sailing after that!).
-I made a trip to Target for big boy underwear, 20 pairs for each kid, flushable wipes, potty treats(2 M&M's for peeing, reese's peanut butter cups for pooping), stickers, 2 suprise gifts (Hexbugs- this one was a blast, and two cars from Cars movie that you pull back and let go), lots of juice, snacks, rubber gloves, and waterproof pad for each bed(we already had one on each, but we double layered for quick changes at night or nap time).  I did all the grocery shopping but planned on ordering food in for 3 nights in a row and made sure nothing had to be cooked or prepared extensively.
-I didn't mention anything to the kids except Grandma was coming to our house the next day.
-I moved their rug from their play area into our bedroom, moved the couches around so I could sort of corral them to one area, set out paper towels and cleaner(out of their reach), got potty treat stash ready, set out a couple stacks of flushable wipes at each toilet, and covered the couches with older blankets.  We have wood floors so I decided not to put a tarp down.
-I should have got more sleep the night before, I was a little nervous and jittery:(

The BIG DAY!
-We woke the boys up, changed their pull-ups, ate breakfast and tried to get them to drink juice with breakfast and then I changed them in to undies and grabbed a Target bag and we ran around the house to each of our diaper stashes and I let the boys throw them in the bag and they were laughing and thought it was so much fun.  Then we went to the garage and tossed them into the trash.  I thought about keeping them but didn't want to give myself that chance of giving up so away they went.
-My  mom arrived and we came up with a plan and away we went.  The first day was 9 accidents, it felt like 20!  I was prepared for my floor to be flooded with urine, it wasn't, it was usually a tiny spot because we'd pick them up and run to the toilet!  Pooping accidents weren't too bad because my kids were constipated, TMI?,so it stayed in their underwear and we flushed it down the toilet.
-My oldest kept saying he didn't have to poop but you could tell he had to.  But I followed the guide and didn't allow him to just hang out on the toilet. 
-At night, they both had an accident around 3 or 4am after going to bed at 7pm and being woke up by us to go potty at 8pm and back to bed.  Also, just a note that we always gave our kids a full cup of milk to go to bed with at nap time and bed time.  It's one of those things every month we'd say we needed to wean them off of, and just never did.  They asked a couple times the first night for their milk and then fell asleep and it's not been an issue since.
-My dad came over to say hi and ask me a couple of work related questions and no lie, I'd turn and look at the paper my dad had and within 30 seconds one of the kids peed standing like 2 feet from me.  I cleaned that up, he asked another question, I turned to look at my Dad, Dylan squatted down and peed.  I finally had to tell my Dad I just couldn't do this right now, it'd have to wait.  He felt bad and really didn't understand that you have to look AT THEM ALL DAY LONG! 

The Next Two Days:
These days were sort of a blur.  It reminded me of when Dylan was born and just the complete exhaustion.  By Sunday, Dylan was accident free, asking to go potty, yelling poop and super proud of himself.  He even made it through the night (with a wake up at 8pm and 5am to go potty) dry and all naptimes since have been dry (they sleep about 2 hours for a nap).   AJ at this point was doing great except for saying his butt hurt but not wanting to go potty or going into the bathroom and then saying he didn't have to go.  And so he wet himself once that day I think trying to avoid pooping, TMI again huh?  By Monday I was on my own and my husband even said Monday evening that as soon as he got in his car to go to work, he thought to himself, 'I feel so bad for her doing this today by herself.'  It really wasn't awful, I moved the furniture back, left the blankets on them, made them lunch, picked up around the house and just continued to ask like every 15 minutes, "Tell mommy when he have to go potty, OOOOOKAAAY?"  They did awesome.  But for two straight days I literally had to hear my oldest scream, cry and throw fits saying his butt hurt and go into the potty like every 5 minutes.  On Tuesday I finally told him he'd get a time out if he screamed or yelled and that if he continued to scream in time out, he'd have to go take a nap.  That helped  alot, and he did get a few time outs and he did have to go take one 10 minute nap.  By Wednesday though, the whining stopped, the boys were cheering each other on to go poop and high fiving each other and life sort of returned to normal minus the diapers!

In Conclusion:
I understand this might not work for every kid but for me, it was worth a shot.  I don't have a lot of experience in potty training and my mom simply potty trained the kids she watched when I was little by throwing Cheerios in the toilet and having them pee to sink them, then they got a couple Skittles.  But that didn't work for my kids so I tried something else.  It wasn't the diaper cost that made me decide to do this, it's that my oldest is 3 years old and he was less potty trained than my youngest and he had no problems pooping in his diaper then coming to tell me to "CHANGE my diaper."  It wasn't cute.  I can't even describe the changes that have taken place in 3 short days with my boys and their attitudes, their manners, everything.  They are such big boys now!  My parents are on vacation since last Saturday so I have had them at home with me which made it ideal to do this now.  I've got to snuggle with them, play with them, bake with them and now I get to finish up preparations for their 2nd and 3rd birthday which both occur in November.  Yes, I feel like i've spent 12 hours a day inside my half bath but it's been worth it!  If you haven't read the 3 Day Potty Training guide, check it out and see what you think.  It's got great detail in there and I'd love to hear if it worked for you!
Celebrating a succesful week with frozen yogurt!

Coloring and keeping them entertained during training!

Mommy Bashing

This is just a quick note to let you know I'm going to try my hardest to keep any sarcastic comments or "passive bashing" of other moms to a minimum on this blog!   I haven't went back and read posts where I probably did that, but I'm sure I have in the past.  Lately, I've reduced the amount of blogs and videos I've watched drastically because while it's great that other moms want to share their lives publicly and maybe I'll learn a thing or two, more times than not I get so tired of women not being able to explain their story and their lives without passively bashing other moms who make different choices.  After about the third eye roll while reading a blog, I usually just don't go back.  So I'm just going to write about my life, hope you stick around!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie, Lightened Up!

My  memories of chicken pot pie were those small little pies in the frozen section which were 90% crust with just a little bit of filling but I loved them when I was little!  I've had a craving for pot pie even though I haven't ate when since I was probably 5 years old!  I saw a recipe on Annie's Eats for chicken pot pie but after running it through the recipe builder on Weight Watchers, it came out to 32 points!  I only get 29 points a day, so I filed that recipe for a later time when I have a splurge meal but it had no business in my food plan for this week!

So I searched on Weight Watchers and "Old- Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie" for 6 points came up with over 800 reviews averaging 4 1/2 stars!!  I made it and it was sooooooooooooo yummy!! The filling was creamy with great flavor and the topping add just enough reminder of crust but without the guilt and calories of a traditional crust.  I always buy rotisserie chickens at Fred Meyers and either shred or chop the meat after removing the skins. 

Also, just a note that mine looked nothing like the picture as far as the filling was concerned, it looked more like traditional pot pie!  Next time I think I'm going to cook some yukon gold potatoes in the microwave and then chop them up and add them to the filling. Give it a try, I think you are going to love it!

Minimize the Post Baby Belly!

On my recent shopping trips I bought a few shirts and sweaters that work best with a cami or tank underneath but since I'm pretty tapped out on my shopping budget, I stopped by Target just to see what they carry.  In the past I've worn Spandex tank and that thing was a bugger.  It rolled right up, didn't control my body parts in the areas in needed so it went in the donation bin in a few months ago.

Our Target didn't have a wide selection and sizes were pretty limited.  But I grabbed this grey tank (I wanted black, they didn't have it in my size and since it's not going to show I thought it would work) for $21.99 but online it's a few dollars cheaper.
I wore it today and I LOVE IT!!  I actually have a waisteline!  You know how it looks all loosey goosey on the model above, well it's not loose oon me, it nicely sucks everything in and it's long enough that it doesn't ride up so quickly.  Also, you can adjust the straps and I have mine so that my scoop neck shirt doesn't reveal the tank.  This tank is called Suddenly Skinny with self expression (a division of Maidenform).  I'm going to keep my eye out for when the nude color comes in my size but just thought I'd share!  Especially for us PCOSers, we tend to carry the weight in our bellies, boo!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Dirty 30

Yep.  I'm 30.  And yes I do feel older.  And where did people come up with the saying "The Dirty 30."  There was nothing dirty about it!

I headed to Seattle for the weekend with my mom and sister for a weekend of shopping!  Now, I could make this a pretty whiny post about how I'm completely uncomfortable in my skin and my belly still looks 6 months pregnant...........but I'm going to stop there and say we had a FABULOUS time!!  We shopped until I thought someone was going to have to push me around in wheelchair because my legs and feet hurt so bad.  I don't live in a city that relies on public transportation or walking very much, we drive everywhere, but I loved being able to walk to everything!

Where I live, we do not have a lot of clothing store choices so going to Seattle is such a treat!  I've learned over the years that if I don't 110% love the item I'm thinking of buying, don't buy it.  It will sit in the back of my closet forever until I pack it up for donation bin.  Here's my run down of the weekend highlights:

-I love Ann Taylor sweaters!  I have a large bust, stomach and hips but their sweaters in XL fit me perfectly!

-Have you all read http://girlwithcurves.tumblr.com/?  If you are a curvy girl, I can say that I'm 99% confident you are going to love her site!  My sister told me about it the first day of our trip and I'm so glad she did!  How beautiful and stylish is that girl?!

-One thing I learned on Girl With Curves is she buys a lot of tops at Forever 21.  Well I decided to check it out since they have a plus size section, knowing it's not high quality (which is my preference) but stylish and inexpensive and I scored a few tops for date nights and just weekends (since I usually just throw on a t-shirt and if my friends invite us out, I freak out because I have no "fun" clothes!).  Do you buy from Forever 21?

-My sister is obsessed with Nordstrom Rack.  To me, I don't love digging through multiple racks to find something I like, too many choices also overwhelm me.  I tried on 10 shirts, none of them fit.  This post-baby belly is killer and even discounted, the clothes still have to look good!  I did get 2 pairs of jeans that look so much better than my current jeans!  I could actually breathe in them:)  One was Kut from the Kloth and the other is Calvin Klein.  I also grabbed up 2 pairs of Franco Sarto boots that were great deals.

-All the women in Seattle wore tall boots with their skinny jeans or leggings tucked in.  I'm not a fashionista and where I live, people are definitely behind the times in the fashion department but I'm thinking I might try it out.  If you are a curvy girl, any suggestions on skinny pants to tuck into the boots?

-Scarves seem to also still be very popular so I jumped on that band wagon( I know, I'm a bit late to this trend) and my mom bought me a beautiful J. Crew scarf as my birthday present.  Okay, now how do I wear this thing??!

I came home to a spotless house and car courtesy of my husband!!  Isn't that the best gift ever?  I took the day off to be with my boys on my birthday and we baked a 3 layer cake that we decorated with sprinkles and M&M's (aka potty treats) and we went to the park and played and I took lots of pictures of them.  It was such a good day to reflect at my adult life.  I always said I'd be married and have 2 kids before I was 30 and make X number of dollars in income.   I accomplished all of that!  The journey to 30 has definitely had lots of bumps in the road but I'm here, I made it.  I hope my 30's is filled with health and happiness.  I never even set goals or wished for those two things in my 20's.  They are now the priority:)  I hear your 30's are "not so bad" but I hope that my 30's are fabulous and great and wonderful!! 

Now I need to go put the rest of that 3 layer cake in the trash and kick start my 30's with a bang!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When to Spend and When to Save on Kids Clothings

You all, I wish I was in a super crazy good happy mood and could write some lovely upbeat posts that are at least a little inspiring, but I'm just not there at this moment in time.  Maybe it's because the big 3-0 birthday is quickly approaching but hopefully I'll be in a better mood here shortly.  Until then, here's my rant!

My parents were at our house for dinner on Sunday when out of the blew my mom said she couldn't believe I spent that much on AJ's winter coat.  I looked at her puzzled like huh?  Where did that come from and why do you care?  Then it just followed with a discussion that was a "tit for tat" discussion as my husband would say.  I'm just going to put it out there that I paid $135 for AJ's coat at REI.  Dylan inherited AJ's hand me down North Face from last year that was still in great condition.  Last year I bought 2 coats, 2 pairs of snow pants, 2 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of gloves, and 2 winter hats.  This year Dylan inherited all his brothers things, gloves still fit AJ, neighbor gave us a pair of boots that were like brand new and then I did buy him a new winter hat.  So I felt this year was a relief because I had to buy so much less than last year.  When I went to get AJ's coat, I by  no means thought it was a super awesome price BUT....I only had to buy one coat that I know once again will be inherited by Dylan so I was willing to spend what I did.  Also, by October, my kids will wear their winter coats every day until April.  It's cold here and that's just what we do. 

My thoughts on kids clothes and accessories is that if it's something like a winter coat that will be worn for 6 straight months, then it's fine to spend more money on it.  Say I bought him a $20 shirt (rarely happens) that he wears 5-10 times versus a coat I spend $135 and he wears 180 times, how was the $20 shirt any better than the coat?  Plus, it's likely that shirt will be so heavily stained that it has about a 50/50 chance of being passed down to Dylan.

I'm not sure why this bothered me SOOO much but all I kept thinking in my head for the last 24 hour was 'thanks mom for telling me I did another thing wrong.' 

My tit-for-tat back to her was why is it acceptable then to go out to eat and spend $40-50 which lasts for an hour and is about 4-5 times what I'd spend on making dinner at home versus paying for a coat that is equal to about 3 meals at restaurant and will last through 2 winters between my two kids?  And unfortunately I should have just not even entertained the conversation and just let it be at her comment but I added in that I feel that eating out and going to watch movies or buying DVD's are the ultimate in frivolous spending.  I used those examples because that's what she chooses to do with her money yet buys clothes at Wal-mart where as I buy clothes from Gap and Banana Republic but cook at home 95% of the time. 

I hate "Mommy Guilt."  You know where someone tries to make you feel bad about decisions you make for your kids.  Whether it's things you buy them, how much time you spend with them, how long you breastfed, what you feed them, etc. that there always seems to be someone that questions what you do with YOUR kids.   I even said to my mom that technically I could buy all my kids clothing from Goodwill and there's no reason really to ever buy new, but that I choose to spend the money I earn on certain things and sometimes that includes expensive coats or shopping sprees at Gymboree or Gap and I've never justified it as a "need" for my kids, but a want.  I mean to each their own, there's no reason for anyone to judge other people's finances and how they choose to spend their money right?  Does your family comment on how you choose to spend your money?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biggest Loser 12, Week 1 review

So did you watch??!!!  Did you make yourself NOT eat dessert while you watched to avoid extreme guilt?!  That was my new rule about 3 years ago was not to eat ice cream while I watched the show since I used to do it on a regular basis.  One year I eve said I was going to work out while watching the show on my elliptical....that worked for 2 weeks.

First off, Bob, please cut your hair, that funky do you have going on is no bueno:(

Second, so glad that Debbie got voted off.  Why did she have to be such a negative Nancy the first week?  You know you shouldn't show your true colors the first week.

I want to set a goal for what I want to accomplish by the end of BL12 season.  It really doesn't make sense to take up 2 hours of my time each week watching the show and not be inspired enough to change my self.  I cry with the contestants when I hear their stories and always think to myself that I never want to let myself go like that.....but then I find myself watching previews for the upcoming season and I still haven't changed myself! 

I'm still not talking much about diet and weight loss here on this blog because I've kind of stalled out, I'm trying to find focus, I'm trying to figure out why I have never accomplished this goal, I'm trying to figure out what my life needs to look like in order to lose the weight for good, and I'm trying to figure out why I don't set an appointment with a trainer since I already prepaid the full year (because don't they tell you if you pay ahead then there is just NO way you wouldn't use it because you'd be wasting that money, well that just wasn't enough to motivate me). 

So I'm going to post my goal by the end of the week and I'll update on my progress towards that goal, if you have a goal or a challenge you're involved in currently, let me know!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Camping Road Trip with my Two Toddlers!

Last week we packed up a rented RV and set out on a 48 hour trip to a national park in our state.  Let's just put it out there that camping with toddlers is not the easiest thing ever.  But this was leaps and bounds better than tent camping we did next to a river (I made the kids where life jackets almost the entire time).  They were good little travelers.  Except I forgot ALL their clothes, so I bought a few shirts and socks from a tourist trap store and kept my fingers crossed that they'd keep their pants clean and they did!  Last time I didn't bring enough diapers and in very small towns, sometimes the convenience stores just don't sell diapers so last time we left almost a day early because of it so this time the diapers were packed and the clothes were not! 

We are in the midst of potty training both boys and having a toilet in the RV was a life saver so that we weren't back to square one when we got back home.  Dylan is a pottying king!  My goal is to have him in underwear by his 2nd birthday!  I'm so sick of changing diapers and buying diapers.  Diapering a newborn versus diapering a 27-37 pound toddler, two completely different things!  At some point, it just becomes gross:(

We have been busy this summer and partly it's because I've read over and over that people are happier when they spent money on experiences versus material possessions and we really concentrated on that this summer.  I love getting my kids out to DO things, they are like little sponges and I'd rather show them animals, planes and trains in person so they can see them move and listen to them versus just reading about it in books all the time.   I can't say orchestrating a one and two year old to go any where is ever easy but I've learned to just put on my big girl panties and go (around their nap and eating schedule) and learn that it's okay to leave if 30 minutes into it they melt down.

I've also come to realize that playdates and group activities aren't necessarily the key to having a well socialized, intelligent child.  My boys are great at sharing, they say hi to the other kids, they say, "Are you okay, what happened?" when they see another kid cry, and they are very smart.  And none of that comes from playdates....I think they've been involved in 5 planned play dates because during the week we are working so we don't plan a lot of evening activities and on the weekend we love just spending time with each other as a family. 
Dylan ALWAYS plays with my hair like this, but that's okay:)

DH and my two boys:)

We were driving about 15 miles per hour, I know perfect mothers everywhere I freaking out right now, but I was okay with it and they had fun!

Dylan

AJ

Dead center is a bear:)

Mt Mckinley in the distance

DH had to navigate this blind corner in an RV with no guard rail, I about passed out from being so nauseous when I looked down!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pictures and videos over the past month!

My baby was sick and he never falls asleep on me, so of course I had to take a picture!

AJ riding a horse at the fair, he loved it!  Dylan, not so much.

My boys riding a ride at the fair, they are attached at the hip!

They woke up from a nap but were super tired so they sat in my bed and we watched a cartoon:)

They are both obsessed with helping me clean, I had already done the dishes but Dylan pushed the chair up and scrubbed the empty sink.

Well, it felt like I was closer in person, anyways, I had front row (side) seats to Colbie Caillat last week!  I love her, I saw her at the Palms casino back in 2007 before anyone really knew who she was.
Here's the boys helping us make pizza!  As you can see, they like to taste test during the process!  Dylan looks so grown up here, such a little boy and not a baby *tear*

2 decades of being fat, turning 30, is this the turning point?

I realized the other day that I've been obese for 2 decades... TWO DECADES.  Without a single break of being normal or skinny anywhere in there!  And I'm turning 30 next month which seemed to come out of no where, wasn't I just showing my ID at the local bar downtown to officially have my first legal drink in a bar?!

I guess the hardest part about turning 30 is realizing that for 20 years I haven't been able to get my mind straight about food, eating, my feelings, exercise or any other thing that make up a healthy person. 

-I'm obsessed over food, what to cook, what to buy.
-I've been in double digit clothing since I was in 6th grade.
-I've weighed myself everyday since at least 9th grade (*note to self, don't leave a scale in your kids bathroom when they get older, especially if you are lucky enough to have a daughter one day.)
-A day has not gone by for 20 years when I haven't thought about my weight.
-I can't even imagine myself as a skinny person, maybe that's the issue, I just have never been after puberty so it's not like I long for something I once had.

I really do believe I know "how" to lose weight.  But I'm the ultimate planner, but an epic failure at implementation. 

I always think 'today is THE day my life will change, I will lose the weight.'  Then it doesn't.  Dylan turns 2 in 2 months and I currently weigh 2 pounds less than I did one week postpartum.  That's depressing.  Granted someone could tell me I'd have to have my right arm amputated to be a mom and I'd do it.  My kids are incredible.  But I fear that I'm setting the example that I swore I wouldn't.  I thought they'd always eat balanced meals and we'd go on nightly walks/runs even in the winter and well that just hasn't happened. 

My kids eating is very frustrating, but they are 1 and 2 so my expectations should probably not be so high but there are all these cookbooks and websites that show all these fabulous meals that your little toddlers will just gobble up.  Well I call BS on 90% of it!  Austin gobbles up spinach leaves with a little ranch on them and sweet peppers but Dylan, the kid is a picky eater and after 2 days of him eating very little, you bet that I let him eat a Yoplait smoothie and chicken nuggets for dinner just so he will eat.  Which that isn't the worst meal but realistically, how many days can I let him eat that versus teaching him he needs to eat what the family eats and try new food.

I wore Spanx this weekend to a wedding and holy moly, why do women rave about those things?  I've owned several Spanx items (each time convincing myself that they make me look thinner, ha!), most commonly the really high wasted knee length short looking things.  And the minute you sit down or breathe the wrong way, the top rolls right down underneath your fat roll so you look like a can of Pilsbury biscuits that just exploded.  And then in a room full of 200 people you have to figure out how to inconspicuously pull those suckers back up!  Those things are going in the trash today.  I've never felt fatter than when I was wearing them!

And I really don't want to blame PCOS, because unless I want to wear a shirt every day that reads "I'm fat because I have PCOS, it's not my fault" then I have to change.  PCOS I'm sure makes things harder for me to lose weight but it's not impossible and it's not an excuse like I've said before.  PCOS doesn't order my meal at Applebee's and it doesn't force me to make three dozen cookies and eat a dozen of them in a few days all by myself, and it doesn't tell me to watch TV all night instead of heading to the gym. 

I just read this post from Jennifer over at www.itsuxtobefat.com on the top 10 tips on How to get Fat.  It's so true that you want to laugh and cry at the same time! 

Okay, it's obvious, I'm having an 'I Feel Really Fat Week' but I hope everyone else is having an I Feel Skinny and Healthy Week and maybe one of these weeks, I'll join you:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

House Guests....if only I was a gracious hostess!

I'm pretending I'm in my bedroom working on a client's file just so I can get a quick break from entertaining our house guest.  I should probably feel guilty but I don't and since I don't want to go back out to the living room, I'm going to rant a bit!

I almost always think company should stay at a hotel.  Isn't that awful of me?  But when I visit my in-laws we stay at hotels.  It's something about having to be "on" from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed that just rattles my nerves.  Exceptions are my best friends and my sister.  I love spending time with them and losing track of time and saying at midnight that you really need to get to bed!  Other house guests, it's like 6:30pm and you are already watching the clock for it to become an appropriate time to announce you are just "so tired, better hit the hay!" 

And when you/they stay at a hotel, you almost always skip the first morning food talk about what to have, can I make you a cup of coffee, pardon me I'm going to go take a shower (and I admittedly always take an hour to get ready with shower, makeup, blow dry and straighten my hair and ironing my clothes, it's been this way since junior high) and I'll probably be MIA for at least an hour and I don't want to hear you give me a hard time and tell me I should just skip the makeup.

Then there is the part where my company doesn't bother to rinse plates, help load the dishwasher, prep dinner (you know, help cut veggies, shred cheese, etc.) that REALLY gets to me!  I'm not saying I need a housekeeper and cook for a week, but help out darn it!  And don't ask "do you need help?"  Crap, I have a one and two year old, I work full time, and have a messy husband, did that question need to be asked?  If you are my house guest, can you just say you'll unload the dishwasher, or set the table, or rinse the dinner dishes off, put food items away after dinner and just do it so it's not that awkwardness where I tell you to just relax, I got it. 

If the majority of meals are made at my house, which they are and I 90% of the time cook from scratch and you haven't helped out with groceries, when we are out to eat, why not offer to pay the tab?  Oh man, that's really selfish of me to even say that huh?  But unless I BEG for you to come visit me and I know that you are on a tight budget, your vacation is not an opportunity for my family to wine, dine, and entertain you.  It's to enjoy each other's company but that's hard to do when I'm cooking you 3 meals a day and cleaning up after you for a week!

Rent a car.  Unless you are in a super busy city, rent a car.  Save the money before you plan your vacation and take breaks to go do your own thing even if it's only for a couple hours.  It gives everyone time to breathe.  I'd say our guests can take one of our cars, but with DH working nights and going to school full time, that just doesn't work for us right now.

Finally, respect the kids' schedules.  Some kids go with the flow and are not on a set routine.  My kids aren't.  It will take you all of about 6 hours before you realize this.  When my kids go to bed at 7, please don't feel the need to talk loud for 2 hours straight or crank the volume on my TV up.  Maybe after the 5th time you saw me have to walk upstairs and put one of the boys back to bed because they can't get to sleep, you would have thought 'maybe I am being too loud?'  Again, another reason to rent a hotel room.  Also realize that not all toddlers want to go on several hour long road trips several times during your stay.  My boys like to play, run around, take naps in their beds, and it's really difficult to do this when we are jammed packed into my car all week long.

Okay, I'm I going to go down as the worst  daughter-in-law, nephew's wife, etc. in history?  Probably.  But I've realized this week how much I do not like having guests stay at my house....okay, let's just be honest, my husband's family at my house.  I could write for days about all the horror stories of my MIL's stays at our house but I've ranted long enough so I'll end it here!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ovarian Reserve Testing for PCOS, good or bad idea?

I got a letter in the mail from my doctor saying I was past due for my annual (should have happened in June) and to call her to schedule it and that she is dying to see a picture of Dylan.  I've been putting off my annual because we did not have our private insurance and just have Tricare which is crappy and my doctor doesn't take it anyways.  But as of 9/1/11, we have our old insurance back!!

My mind has been wandering since I received that letter on Friday.  Why?  Because a part of me knows that my doctor will ask when we plan on having another baby.  My answer lately has been in 2 years I'll try to get pregnant because it makes sense to wait until 1 kid is in Kindergarten and one is in preschool.  I think that would help with the daycare bill (which is already at $1500 a month) and would allow me to not feel guilty if the oldest is in school, Dylan is in an all day preschool and I can spend more time with the baby one on one during the day.  I will not be a typical SAHM because I also work from home and at that point, having a newborn around is feasible.  Having a 4 and 5 year old at home during the day, not feasible (I explained in other posts why I can't have my kids at home during my work day).

But what if she says she doesn't think it's the best idea to wait?  I can't imagine a fertility doctor encouraging someone to wait a few years, can you?  Or am I being crazy?

Also, looking back at it, my mom, aunts, and grandmas all were done having multiple kids by the time they were 25.  Yes, I know, I got pregnant at 27 so I was already older than all of them with my first but waiting until I'm 32 to get pregnant again?  Is that silly? 

My mom had a hysterectomy at 25 right after I was born because of endometriosis.  But as far as I know, I don't have endo so I shouldn't think I'll be in that situation.

If you were me, would you get the test to check your  ovarian reserve?  Should I even bring it up?  Because if I do and for some reason my test results show I do have diminishing ovarian reserve compared to 3 years ago, I'm still not in the position to get pregnant today.  I mean, it would take some planning and I could possibly try next summer to get pregnant, definitely not in the next few months.   I'm still determined to lose 50lbs and but I'm afraid if the results of the ovarian reserve come out bad, I'll be depressed.  I still want one more baby, at least one and what if someone tells me my chances will be slim (not to be dramatic, I have two awesome boys, but I admittedly would be a bit sad for a little while if I never got pregnant again)?

And I think my mind flashes back to ALL those appointments trying to get pregnant and stay pregnant with Dylan and all the fear and worries during that period of my life and I've tried so hard to push it out of my mind.  Any opinions out there on what you'd do?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trying to go Vegetarian a Few Days a Week!

At WW this past weekend, our leader talked at length about trying to go vegetarian for at least ONE day a week.  Surprisingly, when she asked how many of us have never went vegetarian for an entire day only about 3 of us raised our hands.  Maybe the people not raising their hands were just as shocked at the few of us that hadn't tried it!  Our leader also said that WW healthy guidelines only suggest 2 servings of protein a day.  Funny because I've thought I was supposed to have one at EVERY meal and most of the time with a snack too. Yikes! 

Well, I'm a meat cutters daughter.  My dad has been a butcher since I was born and is well known where I live for being a butcher.  I grew up eating steak and prime rib on a regular basis.  In 5th grade, we ate out 5-6 dinners a week and what did I order?  A t-bone steak, baked potato with ranch dressing on it, dinner salad with ranch and croutons and cheese, and texas toast.  WTH?  Yeah, I gained over 30 pounds in less than 9 months.  And obviously I'm still bitter that my parents even LET me do that (and this was the year that after school snacks were peanut buster parfaits from DQ or McDonald's french fries or a crisp meat burrito from Taco Time).  That was a bad, bad year.  And I promise I will never allow my kids to eat that way EVER.  Anyways, sidetracked, but that was definitely what spiraled into 20 years of bad eating habits and obesity.

Every week when I plan our dinners, I grab my meat recipes I want to use that week and then decide on side dishes.  But it always starts with the meat selection, always.  One thing I know about vegetarian meals is they can be equally unhealthy if you are eating a ton of white carbs and cheese and fats so I didn't want to be tempted to do that and I just am not a fan of ground meats or substitutes like morningstar crumbles, I'd rather just leave the meat out all together.

So today I will be making my favorite pasta dish without the turkey sausage and substituting whole wheat pasta.  Tomorrow we will have Boca Burgers for dinner with sweet potato fries. I actually really like the Boca burgers but I've only prepared them for a quick lunch, so fingers crossed my kids enjoy them too as a dinner. 

At lunch today instead of having a turkey sandwich I had just a veggie sandwich and a bowl of my homemade tomato basil soup and it was really good but I had no protein at lunch.

I haven't been blogging much this past month and part of it is I've done some really dumb things as far as my weight loss (eating two cupcakes a day, defrosted my last box of Samoa cookies and ate 5 yesterday, defrosted my leftover raspberry cheesecakes and ate several) and I haven't seen the gym in weeks either.  I've been losing and gaining the same couple pounds for nearly 3 months so I decided to look for inspiration on the internet, someone that was inspiring and I found two great blogs, priorfatgirl.com and dashingdish.com!   Check them out if you aren't already familiar with them and as soon as my weight loss starts moving in the right direction again, I'll be back!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Favorite Things for August

Here are some of my new favorites, enjoy!

Favorite New Blog: Styleberryblog.com
Shawna is a super mom that is a photographer, home stager, super organized, party planner, cloth diapering, baby food making lady and she just is now pregnant with baby #2 after some infertility struggles.  Check her out!

Favorite New Cupcake: Annie's Eats Red Velvet Cupcakes
OMG, so divine I even ate 2 on Monday:(  And then I decided for kicks to throw the recipe into Weight Watchers recipe and it spit out a big 12 points a piece (my batch made 18 cupcakes)!  But worth it, I need to go trash the last 10 I have because they are not diet worthy:)

Favorite New Office Accessory: Rag Bone Bindery According Photo Book
I saw this in the Oprah magazine and I love it!  It now sits on my desk and motivates me to work hard to give my kids financial stability:)


Favorite New Drink: The Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee
To die for!  So cheap to make!  A few of my friends said the recipe looks too complicated, huh?  You dump ground coffee into a container with cold water, let it soak for 8 hours, strain through to a pitcher.  Seriously, it takes less time than a trip through the Starbucks drive through and now I save $4.65 each time!


Monday, August 15, 2011

When someone tells you their struggle with infertility and PCOS, what advice do you offer?

I read an article a few minutes back in one of my magazines about people who are always offering up advice when sometimes the person on the other end is just venting or isn't wanting advice.  Sometimes I'm guilt of that and especially when it comes to infertility and PCOS.  If my friends even begin to mention it's been X number of months of trying and they still aren't pregnant I want to start shooting off questions

It's been a while! Oops!

Work is busy, busy!  Which is AWESOME!  I'm very proud of myself for having as much sales in 5 weeks as I did the first 6 months combined this year.........and can you believe I did that working from home!?  I officially gave up my office and moved everything out by the end of July and it feels really great.  My head is finally clear and I can focus on what has to get done each day instead of dreading stepping foot in the office.

One little hiccup I'm experiencing is my husband's giving me guilt trips when he is off work (aka basically laid off for a week or so at a time)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dueling Ducks? Potty Training a 1 and 2 year old Simulataneously!

Oh yes, potty training not just 1 kid, but 2...at the same time.  We first bought a singing potty, what the heck was I thinking?  Instead of going potty, they played with the fake handle, the toilet seat lid, the little cover that you can flip down so boys don't pee everywhere and basically anything else but sit on it and go potty!!  Then I saw the Baby Bjorn pottys but at $31.99 a piece at Target, I quickly scanned the aisle for the cheap ones.  $15.99 a piece and ladies and gentlemen.........