Love birds or not?

 - by emaroo

I am sure that many of you have followed the blossoming love saga that is Jack and Olivia. I never get tired of these pics from their first kiss more than two years ago.   It seemed like a love that was meant to be – written in the stars – hatched in the womb (ok, that was a stretch).  Sadly, both of them now answer with an emphatic “NO” when you ask if they are going to marry the other.  Maybe it was too good to be true.  Sigh. 

Regardless, I still enjoy watching them play so sweetly (when they aren’t fighting like an old married couple). 

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Oh, sweet Livi – how I so wanted you to be my precious daughter-in-law.  I guess I will just have to settle for the girl best friend that everyone is confused about.  Sigh. 

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Jack was handed down a bike by his cousin yesterday and after swimming we tried to get Jack to ride it around a little.  He made a pretty pitiful effort and gave up despite our cheering and coaxing.

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Yep – pitiful.  But who is the one person that didn’t give up on him?  Who is the one person that knew he just needed a little push?  Who is the precious future daughter-in-law (I haven’t given up hope!) who always has Jack’s back?  You guessed it – Olivia! 

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Step by step…

 - by emaroo

Six and a half days before he turns 15 months – on 08-09-10 – Colin decided to take his first, real, unassisted steps!  Bree was over and was walking with him, holding onto his fingers, when all of a sudden she let go and off he went.  Well, he took about 2 steps towards me and then gripped my fingers for dear life.  He repeated his new trick 3 or 4 times before pooping out.  I think I have hung onto the “baby” in Colin long enough and need to realize that I don’t have a baby in the house anymore.  Sniff.

I tried to get him to repeat the steps for Daddy but he would have none of it.  He did stand on his own for Daddy as he has been doing for a couple of days now.  He only does it when he isn’t paying attention, really.  If he is standing next to a table or the easel and is playing with a toy he will hold the toy with both hands forgetting that he isn’t holding on. 

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I checked – there are no hands down and he isn’t leaning on the chair!  He is standing!  He did this for a while.

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He started to lose his balance and he actually squatted a little and caught his balance.  Still – not holding on. 

Look out people!  He’s about to be on the move!!

ETA: This morning he figured out this whole standing thing and did it several times without something near-by to grab should he fall.  He still looks a tad uncertain but his legs are very solid! 

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Way to go big boy!!

A girl’s gotta eat!

 - by emaroo

After about 2 1/2 weeks on WW I feel like a changed woman!  I have officially dropped 3.4 pounds already (and since I am a compulsive weigher know that I have lost more than that – but weigh-ins are on Thursdays).  That might now seem like a lot – but I feel it.  I have actual energy all day – I get tired at night and want to go to sleep before 1am – and I just feel healthier!  I think once the clothes start to get too big is when I will really believe this is possible – oh the feeling of wearing a smaller size! 

I got my first “You look skinny!” today – but it was said by a crazy woman who is 9 months pregnant and obviously dillusional – or blind! haha!  Love you, Kerri!  I am FAR from skinny – but I am starting to be able to visualize the skinny girl that is hiding in this flabby body. 

With all that said, I have to tell you what I LOVE most about Weight Watchers!  I LOVE the freedom it gives you!  WW is all about choices and flexibility.  This weekend Alan and I had a little “get away” or a mini “stay-cation” – and when I am on vacation the last thing I want to worry about is food.  In fact, half the fun of a vacation is enjoying great food.  Thursday night we went out for sushi – which I learned is only 2 points for 4 pieces, wine is 3 points and yes – I indulged in a couple of small spring rolls too.  The next morning I blew the rest of the week’s “Flex Points” (extra points to use or not) and tasted a tiny bit of heaven.  Alan and I had the most decadently sinful blueberry and ricotta pancakes at Smoke – the restaurant associated with the Hotel Belmont where we stayed.  Knock me over with a feather – these things were AMAZING!!!  I enjoyed every last point!  But because I planned ahead – I was still sticking to the program!

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Leave it to me to blog about fattening foods in a post about losing weight – but it really is relevant!  I am the same way about food as I am shopping – if I deprive myself for too long I will binge.  So, this weekend was my time to indulge a little and now I am back on the wagon. 

Off to dream about those pancakes.

Brother MUST be napping…

 - by emaroo

…because there is no way THIS would happen without it turning into a traumatic experience for all inv0lved if he wasn’t.

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Jack and I had set his trains up during Colin’s morning nap but then Jack decided he needed an early nap as well (hear me complaining?).  When Colin woke up he quickly realized that there was no big brother around to scream bloody murder the second he glanced at a train.  This was the first time that Colin just wanted to play with the trains and not tear apart, chew on or otherwise destroy the set-up. 

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Colin cruised all around the table repeating his high-pitched, “doooo, doooo” (chooo, chooo in one year-old speak).  It was truly adorable.  I wished I had gotten it on video.  Yes, it’s that cute!

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“How big is Colin?”  This was Colin’s one-armed response of “So big!”.  We are still working on balance, so a one handed response was good enough for now.

Seriously long week…

 - by emaroo

Man, has this been the longest week ever and we still aren’t to Thursday!  Oh well, tomorrow I get to log my first official weigh-in.  I am anticipating greatness, people! 

I went to a yoga class last night with Bree and really enjoyed it.  This morning I am feeling muscles in places I never thought existed.  People who don’t think yoga is a work out are stupid! 

In starting this lifestyle change I have had to come to grips with a few things that are just facts that I can’t beat myself up about anymore.  For starters, I cannot – and I do mean cannot do traditional exercise.  I have a hard time putting that out there because my head then starts assuming everyone will look at me and say “oh, the fat chic is making excises again for not exercising.”  Truthfully, I have physical ailments that prevent me from doing normal, traditional exercises and I need to admit that and move on to what does work for me.  Yoga seems to really be that exercise.  Sure, right at the very end when I was laying flat on my back, my hip went out of it’s socket and I almost yelped loudly during a very peaceful moment.  Luckily, I contained my agony and laid there until I could roll over and manage to get to a standing position.  But – I made it through!  I think Yoga will help me to become stronger overall, which is what I need.  I don’t care if I have a sculpted and toned body – I just don’t want to be in pain all the time. 

My sister suffers from a disease called EDS (can’t spell the full name) which is a disorder of her connective tissue.  It affects all of her joints and is causing her body to deteriorate at a very rapid speed.  She is 36 years old and is already wheel chair bound.  It is sad to watch but has also made me hyper aware of my body and the fact that I likely have many of the symptoms of this disease (it’s genetic) but on a FAR lesser scale.  I have had chronic back pain since I was 12, my knee and ankle joints hurt almost everytime I stand from a laying or seated position.  This has been true whether I was 40 pounds lighter or not.  Granted the pain was less when I had less to carry around (another reason to lose this fat) but it was there. 

I am praying that Yoga will be the answer I have been praying for.

First week…

 - by emaroo

Actually, it’s only been  3.5 days back on the “wagon”.  I have been offered cake three times, pizza twice and wine once - and I have none!  Honestly, though – lately my problem hasn’t been the food I eat – it’s the food I don’t eat.  Alan and I work very heard to have mostly fresh, whole grain, organic, preservative-sugar-HFCS-crap free food in our house.  If there were crap in my house, I would eat crap – and  lot of it!  I know I would – and so would my kids.  I am proud of the choices that we are making for our family and I hope and pray that our kids will grow up healthier for it.

However, you can have all the great goods in the house that you want to buy but if you don’t make the time to eat them – they don’t do a lot of good!  I was literally drinking a cup or two of coffee for breakfast (of course while feeding the kids their nutritious breakfasts) and then around 10:30 after Colin was down for his morning nap I’d realize I needed to eat something (still not feeling hungry) so I would grab an organic cereal bar or banana.  Lunch time would come and I would feed the kids the most nutritious meal I could make with the food in the house.  Then potty time-book time-nap time would come.  By now it’s about 2:30 and guess who STILL hasn’t eaten?  ME!  Seriously?  I am not doing this on purpose – I don’t believe in not eating – I LOVE FOOD!  So about 2:30 I might throw something together – usually just a glorified snack because I didn’t want to eat too much so close to dinner – right?  Ugh.  Problem is that when dinner time comes, blood sugar starts to crash and Mama is HUNGRY – and Mama eats!  Mama eats too much, usually.   This cycle does NOT make for a healthy metabolism!

What have I changed so far this week?  I have started making protein smoothies in the morning which fill me up and are easy to sip on as I check email, edit pictures, corral kids, wipe faces etc.  If I put a little extra ice (or frozen berries in it) I can sip on it most of the morning keeping me full and satisfied.  Around 10:30 I have a snack of some kind.  Lately it has been one of these amazing Zucchini-Carrot muffins I made (3 WW points and full of veggies and fiber!).  That keeps me going until lunch time and is fast because it is there and ready to go.  Lunch comes around and I am really not too hungry because I have done a pretty good job of sustaining myself so I have something small – but healthy.  My problem hits when I realize that I have had lunch and dinner time is an eternity away.  I see this as a good problem, though, because what it means is that my body wants food again!  Already 3.5 days into my lifestyle change – I can literally feel my metabolism revving up!! 

For that mid-afternoon rut I love carrots!  I can eat 10 baby carrots for 0 points and they give me tons of crunch!

Then for dinner Alan and I have been trying to cook meals with high protein and fresh veggies etc.  I am still eating my largest meal at the end of the day – it is really just the only way for me right now but I have started making some real changes and I can feel it!

On the evening of Day 2 I told Alan – while literally fighting back tears – that I actually had energy for the first time in MONTHS!  I honestly wondered if I was starting to sink into a depression again but really it was my body being mad at me for not feeding it!

This has been a great week so far!!  Alan and I sat down and actually planned out meals for the week last night with me counting all the points to make sure we were making the best choices. 

For now, I am excited, invigorated and empowered!  Talk to me in a couple weeks, though because  I might very well change my tune. I know that there will be ups and downs but I’m ready!  Attic clothes – get ready!

Getting back on track!

 - by emaroo

This post, and subsequent lifestyle change, have been a long time coming!  It is time for me to focus on ME for a while and get my life, body and health back on track!  I feel like I was seriously derailed with having kids.  I recovered somewhat after having Jack and then tumbled off a steep cliff after having Colin.

Sure, I could make ALL sorts of excuses like, “who has the time?” or “I’m just too tired” or “I’m working two jobs simultaneously,” etc, etc.  All of those “excuses” are true – but dangit  - I’m done with them!

I have a serious issue with weight, dieting, losing weight, keeping it off etc.  I look at some people that need to lose a few pounds, so they just load up on protein and fruit for a couple of weeks and it melts off – that AIN’T me!  It is truly HARD for me to lose weight.  My body hangs on to it like a famine is about to hit. 

I should start by going back to high school.  I was a STICK – I mean tiny!  But being in high school with all the pressures that go along with that, I also developed an eating disorder.  I won’t go into that – it is what it is – but it shaped a lot of my self-image and also, I believe, my struggle with losing weight now.

I have done Weight Watchers more than once.  The first time I was a WW rockstar!  I lost 40 pounds before my wedding and was so happy with my body and energy level.  Well, then I was married and happy, going out and enjoying our new life.   The pounds slowly crept back. I was up 30 pounds when I got pregnant with Jack – during which time I gained 40 more!  I was terrified of the fight I knew I would have, but I was really banking on the whole “breastfeeding just melts the pounds away” part.  Well, not for me!  Again, they clung to me.  I kept repeating to myself what so many had told me, “it takes nine months to put on the weight and it will take you nine months to take it off.”  Well, you know what?  It did!  On Jack’s nine-month birthday I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight!  Yes, I was ecstatic to be back to being only 30 pounds overweight!  

At that point I was still working full-time and made at least one failed attempt at WW again.  Then when Jack was 18 months old – I got pregnant with Colin.  The fear of the weight gain and struggle to lose it again came back.  I tried to turn that fear into eating healthfully for both me and the baby, however.  That pregnancy, I gained only 30 pounds and took that as a major victory!

Between baby and nursing I dropped 20 of it almost immediately.  Those pesky 10 pounds have hung on ever since.  I am still in my “fat” clothes that I bought after Jack’s pregnancy (and swore I would only need for a short while).  Because of that, I haven’t bought clothes in AGES - except for a couple of special occasions where I HAD to have something – because I hated the idea of spending money on clothes that I didn’t plan to wear for very long. 

Well, 14 months later, those temporary clothes are getting pretty darn worn out and I am getting pretty darn fed up!  As a result, yesterday I recommitted to my WW lifestyle - and I am determined to get back on track!  Honestly, I don’t know if I can/will lose 40 pounds, but I don’t care.  This isn’t really about a number to me anymore – it about being happy again.  It has been a very long time since I have been happy with my body and felt energetic.  I’m not asking for pity – again – it is what it is.  Yes, I KNOW I have two kids and also a growing career that take whatever energy I have, but I am tired of making them my excuses too!

In future posts I will talk about how I am going to go about all of this.  This is simply Day 2 so I have a lot to figure out.  I have a lot of baggage to unload about my misconceptions about body image etc.  Lord knows I know HOW to eat and what to eat – my problem is simply eating!  My metabolism is SHOT because I haven’t been finding the time to eat. 

So, step one is EAT!  HAHA!  That usually isn’t the first step in a weight loss plan – but it is for me.  After 2 days of forcing myself to eat healthy meals at regular times - I feel AMAZING!! 

Please pray for this to continue!  I am the Queen of derailed attempts – rather WAS the Queen – but this time will be different.

Another fantastic fourth!

 - by emaroo

Yes, I am desperately behind on this poor blog again.  Summer has been busier that I expected with both photography and chasing after the boys!  I’ll update with mostly pics since that is what I know best!

We started out our 4th of July with Red, White and Blue pancakes prepared by the amazing Alan! 

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Next, I had a hankering to do something very “4th-y” since I hadn’t really been feeling it this year.  This is my second favorite holiday and I was just not in the “holiday spirit”.  We looked online and found a good old fashioned, small town parade in old downtown McKinney – a northern suburb.  It was so cute and quaint.  Despite Jack’s grumpy – “leave me alone” face, he had a really great time and still talks about it!

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Later that evening we met back up with our friends – the Schultzes and had a refreshing time in their pool.  They had a 3rd of July party the night before which we went to, but again, I was in a funk so we went back over with pizza in hand on the 4th to relax!  We did see fireworks both nights but sadly they were from afar.  We still had great views but it just wasn’t the same as being right under them and feeling the rattle of the BOOM in your head.  Next year for sure! 

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On the 5th we ventured over to my cousin’s new house and enjoyed their community pool.  It has a great 6 inch inclined area as you get in so Jack was super comfortable since he could be in the pool without being held.  I have GOT to get that kid in swimming lessons, pronto!  I just wish I had more options for watching Colin so I can take him.  Oh well – I just really need to make it a priority.  Now that he will be in the pool for a little while without SCREAMING his head off – I think we can start to get him swimming.  I am more concerned with him knowing how to save his own life should he need to than actually swimming at this point. 

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YAY for summer!