FirstHusband just went outside to get more firewood. He was wearing a t-shirt, jacket, shorts, socks . . . and flip flops.
I need to go open the sliding door. It’s getting hot in here.
I’ve taken action again!
I’ve listed some books on www.paperbackswap.com See something you want? Request it, it’s free! I’ll send it right out.
Not familiar with Paperback Swap? Here’s the short scoop. Free membership. You list 10 books and you become eligible to receive FREE books. The sender/lister is responsible for shipping costs. Supposedly, the book credits can be exchanged for credits on DVD Swap and CD Swap too, but I haven’t ordered anything from any of the three sites yet. I’m just purging excess books.
You know, taking ACTION to clear the clutter.
In other action news?
- Still on track with the workouts.
- Had the sonograms on Wednesday.
- Moved the biopsy up to Monday.
- Got sick this week and went to the doctor instead of . . . you know, not going to the doctor, which I tend to do (or not do as the case may be).
- Took FavoriteSon to the doctor and RUSHED to get to the lab for bloodwork the same day instead of putting it off for days, and days, and days.
- Made FavoriteSon an appointment with an allergy specialist on Monday because he is miserable and I’m tired of standing by helpless as he suffers from October to February EVERY year. We have exhausted all pediatric efforts. It’s time for the big dog. (which we don’t have, so he’s not allergic to that).
- Volunteered at PinkGirl’s school for Fiesta week and delivered TWENTY 7 minute presentations on the sea turtles near and around Panama.
- MUCH reading with highlighters in my quest to develop topics and prepare for opportunity.
- Cleaned off my desk! Papers filed, shredded or thrown away!
- Finally got a long over due cut and color today.
- Ordered my dad a new cell phone because scotch tape doesn’t work on a broken antenna.
- I even called my mother this week.
It’s Friday night, 11:12 p.m. and FavoriteSon’s last cough was heard 7 minutes ago. Hopefully he can get some much needed sleep. Unfortunately for him, the allergist needs him to be off antihistamines for 3 days prior to the appointment. So, he’s feeling “miserable,” as he put it. Last night we gave him some of my prescription cough suppressant and he slept all night – first time in a week. Praying for the same tonight. He’s exhausted.
I was speaking to another mom the other night. She has four kids and lives 30 minutes from school. She was telling me about her day and I said:
“I don’t know how you manage everybody’s schedule – 4 kids, you, your husband . . .”
“He lives his life. We live ours.”
She said it so matter of fact.
And then I paid attention. I was sitting next to her, across from her two daughters, at a restaurant. We were celebrating the end of basketball season for one of their big brothers. The other brother was playing in a varsity game about 45 minutes north east of the school. Both daughters had their backpacks at the table, both had their homework on the table, next to their empty plates. Both girls had their heads resting on the table. It was 7:30 p.m. and their older brother wasn’t due back to school for another 2 hours. The mom was talking about driving them home (30 minutes south west of school), and then driving back to school to pick up her oldest son. That would make three round trips to school that day. Three hours on the road.
I asked her if she wanted to move closer and she said yes, but . . . and cited the condition of the real estate market. She had already talked about work and I didn’t get a sense that she really enjoyed it, so I asked her if she HAD to work. She didn’t really answer and I got the impression she worked because they owned the business, one of two. Her husband worked and traveled a lot for the other business. Although she had shared so much with me, I got the impression that my questions made her uncomfortable, so I didn’t ask any more. I walked away from the conversation feeling very bad for her and her family, wishing there was something I could do to help, but knowing that their circumstances are a cumulative result of the smaller choices they’re making every day.
It all seemed so counterproductive. I’m so thankful that when we had an opportunity to buy a larger, more expensive home, we decided against it because of the sacrifices that would have been required. Sacrifices I’m still not willing to make. Our home may be smaller than most of our friend’s homes, but you know what?
It’s home. And we get to spend a lot of time there. Together. So we have to squeeze in. It’s cozy.
Every time I don’t buy something, I get something in return. Every time I say no to something that doesn’t support our family’s goals, we’re better for it. Every little decision we make is a building block in our daily lifestyle. These kids are growing right in front of my eyes and this window?
This is one of the songs I’ve ordered an accompaniment track for. Strengthens my resolve.
Follow-up: It may seem like I’m saying that being a stay at home mom is the best way to go. Not exactly. I’ve written about this before, in “to work or not to work, that is the question.” My point is that WHATEVER lifestyle you choose for your family – I hope you choose it ON PURPOSE.
Not to be outdone by her mom with the laughing babies, PinkGirl is participating in Friday Funnies this week. Check out her entry, it’s contagious! I can’t decide which entry I like more – hers or mine.
Way back in August of last year, I recommended Kitchen Bouquet. It’s made from “caramel, vegetable base (water, carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley, spices) sodium benzoate, (less than 0.1 of 1% to preserve freshness).” It has 10mg sodium per teaspoon.
This weekend, I found myself making our standard roast with carrots and potatoes, so I grabbed the camera.
First, brown the roast. Most often I use a chuck roast, but this pot roast was on sale. Then cover the roast with peeled, cut up potatoes and baby carrots. We use frozen baby carrots, but we give the carrots a little head start by cutting open the bags and nuking them for a few minutes.
Cover with water.
Then pour in a little Kitchen Bouquet – just enough to turn the water dark brown.
Turn the crock pot on high and leave for 6 to 8 hours or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. We’ve also made this meal on the stove top and it seems to cook much faster. We’ve put it on before church and served it for lunch. We are freakish and separate the potatoes and carrots – each one getting their own serving bowl. Then we remove the meat and make gravy with the broth.
Pinkgirl devours these carrots. I’m surprised she doesn’t turn orange. And FavoriteSon, my little carnivore, LOVES the meat!
I dare you not to smile.
FavoriteSon: How are they totally in sync like that?
I’ve been tagged for a fun music meme by Elle at A Complete Thought. Here are the instructions:
1. Put your iPod (or MP3 player) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag some Moms you admire who could use a laugh and a song.
My mp3 player actually had a dead battery, so my sweet FirstHusband found the power supply, charged the player, and completed the meme FOR me while I put PinkGirl to bed. Here’s the result:
HOW DID YOU BECOME A MOM?
“Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes” by Jimmy Buffett (Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes)
WHAT DID YOU THINK THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BABY?
“Faithfully” by Journey (Frontiers)
WHAT DID YOU DO THE FIRST MORNING AFTER A SLEEPLESS NIGHT?
“Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson (Breakaway)
WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN SOMEONE COLORS ON THE WALL?
“Sweet, Sweet Song of Salvation” by Selah (Selah)
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A TODDLER’S BODILY FLUID ISSUES?
“Heart and Soul” by Huey Lewis and the News (Sports)
IF SOMEONE SAYS “Can I have a snack?” YOU SAY?
“What Have You Been Doing Lately” by Relient K (The Anatomy of Tounge in Cheek)
IF SOMEONE LEAVES THEIR STUFF ON THE FLOOR, YOU SAY?
“Bad Sneakers” by Steely Dan (Katy Lied)
IF SOMEONE ISN’T SICK TODAY, YOU SAY?
“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel (Glass Houses)
HOW DO YOUR KIDS ENJOY YOUR COOKING?
“You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me” by Diana Krall (Love Scenes)
HOW DID YOUR KIDS DO IN SCHOOL TODAY?
“There Must Be a Way” by Louis Armstrong (What a Wonderful World)
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHILE SITTING IN CARPOOL LINE?
“Come to Me” by Bonnie Rait (Luck of the Draw)
HOMESCHOOLERS, WHAT IS THE FIRST SUBJECT TAUGHT OF THE DAY?
“The Coast” by Paul Simon (The Rhythm of the Saints)
WHAT DO YOUR KIDS WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP?
“Goodbye Earl” by The Dixie Chicks (Fly)
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP?
“Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” by kd lang (Shadowland)
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY AS A MOM?
“From Way Up Here” by Pierce Pettis (Tinsletown)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE AS A MOM?
“This Nightlife” by Clint Black (Put Yourself in My Shoes)
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO AS A MOM?
“Pushing the Needle Too Far” by The Indigo Girls (Nomads, Indians, Saints)
HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE REALLY A MOM?
“Take it Easy” (Live) by the Eagles (Hell Freezes Over)
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MOST OFTEN AS A MOM?
“Walking Man” by James Taylor (Walking Man)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY AS A MOM?
“Little Girl Blue” by The Carpenters (Lovelines)
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET AS A MOM?
“I Can’t Love You Anymore” by Lyle Lovett (The Road to Ensenada)
WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE AS A MOM?
“Same Old Love” by Anita Baker (Rapture)
WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
“So Many Words” by Pierce Pettis (Tinsletown)
WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO THAT MAKES YOU CRY?
“I May Know the Word” by Natalie Merchant (Tigerlily)
WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO THAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
“Honkey Tonk Blues” by Huey Lewis and the News (Sports)
HOW DO YOUR KIDS DESCRIBE YOU AS THEIR MOM?
“Yellow Moon” by the Neville Brothers (Yellow Moon)
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
“Weasel and the White Boys Cool” by Rickie Lee Jones (Rickie Lee Jones)
WHAT WILL YOUR MOM OF THE YEAR CERTIFICATE SAY?
“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” by Willie Nelson (The Essential Willie Nelson)
This last one was FirstHusband’s favorite – but it is a song HE put on MY mp3 player a while back because HE liked it and wanted me to listen to it. But, hon. Willie Nelson? okay. I’ll try.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE AS A MOM?
“Same Old Love” by Anita Baker (Rapture)
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO AS A MOM?
“Pushing the Needle Too Far” by The Indigo Girls (Nomads, Indians, Saints)
And I do have hazel eyes.
I’m tagging any of the following moms who might happen to have an mp3 player (and a few minutes to spare) – Stephanie at Scraps, Memarie Lane, Tina at Multiple Mom T, Audra Krell, Mocha with Linda, Sandy at Jesus and Dark Chocolate and Amy at Diaries of a Not So Super Mom
I’m curious to see what’s on your mp3 players!
I’ve mentioned a few times that I do strength training with a personal trainer. It continues to be one of my “ACTION” items this year. I started a little over a year ago. The day after my 43rd birthday (I’m 44 now), I called a nearby gym to arrange personal training sessions.
Why at 43? My mother had a stroke a few months prior. She’s only 22 years older than me. I don’t want to get weaker as I get older. I want to keep up with my kids. I don’t want a handicap sticker on my car. I want to be healthy. Strong. Active.
The hard fact is that I am overweight. I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight after my son was born. Even though I’ve been overweight all these years, I’ve always been under my own personal invisible panic number on the scale. My whole life (with the exception of pregnancy), I’ve stayed under this number. I knew if I got to this number I would freak out. In 2006, I passed that number by 10 pounds. The number is . . . 200 pounds.
I freaked out.
I’ll break this up into two parts. First, the changes I made (and continue to make) with regard to food. Then, what I’m doing about exercise.
First, I called Jenny Craig. I’m a Jenny Craig “lifer” and I needed help. I went on what I called “Jenny Watchers” which is a combination of Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. Basically, it is Weight Watchers, but I used the prepackaged Jenny Craig Food. I used Jenny Craig to get back down below the panic number again. I relearned what a portion size looks like. I was reminded to eat something about every 3 hours to keep my metabolism from dropping (it also helps the reflux too). I have a real good understanding of the nutritional info and good eating habits. Now, I am FINISHED with diets. I am just CHANGING the way I eat. Everyday. I can’t sustain a diet for the rest of my life. I need something reasonable I can live with – forever. I’m still learning, trying different techniques and recipes, incorporating new habits.
But I did “Jenny Watchers” for a few months – until summer vacation. It was the first week of August, 2007. I went on vacation at Walt Disney World, ate dinner at the best restaurants on property for 8 days and then didn’t get back to Jenny Craig for 6 weeks. Guess how much I gained after eating Disney food for a week and “normal” food for 5 weeks after that?
I lost 1 pound!
In five weeks. No dieting. Just living normally. After a week of eating DISNEY food!
So no more diets. Just changing the way I eat. The way our whole family eats.
Exercise was next.
I called about personal training sessions. Because I’ve met me. I need accountability. Let’s just say, the trainer at the nearby gym didn’t “get me” and leave it at that. So I called Bally. I joined Bally back in 1989 for something like $2000 (with unlimited tanning, of course) and after paying that off, they’ve been taking $5.33 a month out of my checking account for nearly 2 decades now. The only problem is that I moved a full 30 minutes away from the nearest Bally. But seriously. $5.33 a month. I just couldn’t cancel it. I just couldn’t do it.
So I called Bally. After briefly explaining the reason for my call, the manager asked:
“Do you prefer a male or a female trainer?”
“I don’t have a preference. I just want to maximize my time at the gym. I want to work multiple muscle groups at the same time. I’m not focused on losing weight. I want to be stronger and healthier and I feel like, if I accomplish that, the weight will take care of itself. And I need someone who can help me recognize the line between pushing myself and hurting myself.”
“I have just the person for you. I’ll have her call you when she gets in later today.”
So, later that day, TinyPowerHouse calls me and we arrange my first session.
That was over a year ago and I’ve been driving the 30 minutes to Bally twice a week to let her push me to my limits.
She is SO worth the drive! She’s really VERY good at what she does and a great fit for me. (The right trainer makes ALL the difference!) We rarely use weight machines. We use an adjustable step, dumbbells, weight bars, weight balls, a Bosu balance trainer, a balance ball and my own body weight. I have NEVER worked a lone muscle with her. I ALWAYS work multiple muscle groups when she is bossing me around. And EVERY session, we take it up a notch. EVERY session is challenging. Some might not like that, but I LOVE it. My thought is that if I’m going to pay for it – and make time for it – I’m going to make it COUNT – every time. I even bought a Bosu balance trainer for my house. I already had the dumbbells.
So, you may be wondering. After working with TinyPowerHouse for over a year, how much weight have I lost? Only 5 pounds.
I’m down 10% body fat. 10%! Woooo Hoooo!
I read that we lose 10% muscle mass every decade as we age. If that ‘s true, I’m 10 years younger than I was when I started!
The real benefit for me is that I am stronger. I have more energy. More endurance. I am healthier. My body shape is different. I have visible muscle tone! And when I arm wrestle FavoriteSon, I still win. Although I have arthritis in my neck (an old laptop case/bookbag injury in MBA school), I rarely get into traction anymore. At the advice of my accountant, I asked my doctor if he thought strength training would help my neck. He did and wrote a letter indicating that for tax purposes. I found out I can even write it off as a medical expense through my business!
The speed bump in this endeavor is that on January 9th, Bally closed in my area and now the nearest one is 45 minutes away. So TinyPowerHouse and I have decided to continue working together and I’ll pay her directly. She makes more per hour, I pay less. She comes to my house, and tomorrow I’ll go to the community work out room in her complex. I even bumped up my sessions to three times/hours per week instead of two.
Now to add the cardio for some additional weight loss and to modify my evening eating habits, which currently are sabotaging my efforts. Since reading Simple Steps: 10 Weeks to Getting Control of Your Life: Health, Weight, Home, Spirit, my goal is to walk 20 minutes a day on the days I don’t do strength training – and I hope to sneak in some walking on the strength training days too. Some days, I’ll walk longer. Last quarter, I was up to an 18 minute mile and trying to get in 2 or 3 miles at a time but the block of time it required just wasn’t sustainable long term. I know I need some accountability, so I’m probably going to put a widget somewhere on the right indicating whether I’ve been physically active that day.
I’m not giving this up. nope. not giving this up. It’s working for me.
I do most of my strength training workouts while the kids are in school and my kids are old enough to leave home while I walk around the block (with my cell phone, of course).
But moms of babies? Moms of toddlers? You can do it too!
You can find a gym that has a childcare center – don’t settle for substandard care – and take your kiddos to the gym with you! Or take them for a walk in the stroller – just 20 minutes! Check for a “stroller workout” class in your area by going to www.strollerstrides.com or www.strollerfit.com! Can’t find a class? Try it on your own or with some friends using this workout! Or try a video like Mom-O-Rama Workout With Baby, Mom-o-Rama: Workout with Toddler, Mommy Baby Body Builders or Fitmom Postnatal Workout.
You can DO it!
In my quest to triumph over the fibroid tumors:
Action: Annual appointment today wherein I told the doc of my desire to rid myself of the pesky fibroid tumors.
Action: Ultrasounds tomorrow (and yes, that would be more than one.)
Action: Biopsy scheduled in two weeks. (I’m trying to move that up.)
Other “Action” items?
Action: FavoriteSon to the doctor and bloodwork today for nagging, dragging allergy-like symptoms.
Action: Walked twenty minutes for the second day in a row.
Action: Strength training with my trainer three times/hours last week.
I need to schedule my annual mammogram, make an appointment with an allergist for FavoriteSon and an appointment for PinkGirl to have a cavity filled. Until I actually schedule and/or DO these things, they don’t qualify for action items in my book.
I wonder if my “word” for the year should have been “co-pay” or “deductible” instead of “ACTION.”
And just a question – Have you ever had surgery and have no memory of it at all? It turns out I had surgery in 2006 to have a uterine polyp removed. Who knew? Lucky for me my doctor keeps records.