Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fair Weather

Today was such a nice afternoon (and by nice I mean 62 degrees and overcast, but it's all about your perspective - after 29 straight days of rain I'm counting 62 and NOT raining damn near tropical) the kids and I played outside.

I played on my phone but that's still playing so it counts.

She's like, what is this "outside" you speak of?  It's fabulous!

She can raise one eyebrow! I love it.

Conor was playing golf (see the stick?) and is pointing to his "hole in one."

It's a dirty face but a cute one.

Private eyes (clap) are watching you (clap, clap) (10 points if you know the name of that super cool 80's band)

Yeah, he went behind these bushes to poop.  When he's 13 and reads this, he's gonna kill me.

Always watching Conor

Always watching the big kids down the street

Thank goodness spring is here...even if only for today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Before and After

Twelve weeks ago I paid $20 and entered the Biggest Blogging Loser weight loss competition.  Originally I thought the final pot would be about $700.  It turned out to be over $1500 for first place and over $600 for second place.

After the first couple of weeks I knew there was no chance I would be the overall winner nor would I take second place.  And while that was disappointing, watching the numbers steadily go down on the scale kept me sending in those weekly weigh in photos.

In those 12 weeks I lost a total of 16.8 pounds and I didn't take any pills or go on Atkins or eat only raw carrots.  I watched what I ate (courtesy of Weight Watchers) and I worked out 3 to 4 days per week.  And it felt awesome.

When I started at the gym I couldn't run more than 6 minutes without having to stop (I lied and told Morgan that I ran for 11 minutes.  Total fabrication.)  This weekend I ran for 77 minutes and 7 miles.  And it felt awesome.

When I started watching what I ate I couldn't tell you how much pasta should have been on my plate versus how much chicken or vegetables. I learned and it felt awesome.  When I started I felt hungry all the time.  Like, all.  the.  time.  I would eat 10 almonds or a string cheese and just wait for the hunger pains to return.  Now, I'm not hungry all the time.  I can eat a meal, then eat a snack and feel satisfied.

I cut out a lot of sweets and a LOT of beer but I was able to eat and drink both on occasion so I never felt deprived.  I even spent two weekends away from home eating and drinking merrily and came home to find I had still lost weight.  And that felt awesome.

I was surprised to learn that I am an emotional eater.  When I was stressed or bored I would head to the kitchen.  That was a pretty easy habit to break once I recognized it but it surprised me nonetheless.  The hardest habit to break, by far, was my naptime munchie-fest.  Every day, as soon as I put the kids to bed, I would hit the kitchen and eat whatever sweet or salty treat I could find.  Sometimes I would just eat more lunch.  Even still, as soon as I leave our hallway I'm tempted to check out the contents of our cabinets.  I found that eating (slowly savoring is more like it) 3 dried apricots usually got me over the worst of the cravings.

I also learned that when I fell off the wagon so-to-speak, it was SO hard to get back on.  Almost like starting over but with slightly less motivation because I had already lost a fair amount of the weight I wanted to take off.

Finally, I learned something really important about myself.  I learned that I can be fit and healthy and feel good.  And not because of the size of my ass, or arms or thighs.  I learned that by losing this weight I feel more confident, not because I am physically smaller, but because I feel a true sense of accomplishment in having started something and succeeded.  I take pride in how I look because I worked HARD to get to this point.  And THAT feels awesome.

                 BEFORE                                                                        AFTER
January 1st, 2011
March 28th, 2011

I still have about 6 pounds to go until I reach my ideal weight but I feel so pleased with where I am today.  My happy weight.  Who knew that I would feel better about myself at almost 32 than I ever did at almost 22?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm probably jinxing myself right now...

 ...but I'm going to go ahead and say it. Conor is potty trained!

I don't remember if I've chronicled our adventures in potty training here or not. Probably not because there have been some EPIC battles which have left both of us in tears and I've probably felt too embarrassed to write about it here.

So, nearly a year ago I decided that it was time to start potty training Conor. Originally I had felt ok about having two kids in diapers but upon telling people about this I was looked at in such horror and disgust that I immediately changed my mind. You know, so that other people wouldn't think I was...well whatever I was thinking at that time.

I learned about the 3-day potty training system and after hearing ringing endorsements from a couple friends decided that this was the route to go.

I won't go into details but it was, in a word, AWFUL. So, so, SO bad. I had to have been seven and a half months pregnant at the time, I was finishing up my last term at school and awash in pregnancy hormones.


So, we gave up. And thank goodness we did. UGh. It was bad.

We kept trying intermittently over the next several months but Conor would not go on the potty. He would hold it for upwards of six to eight hours, then commit a timeout-worthy offense then pee in timeout. We would rush him to the potty, he would hold it some more than complain about his tummy hurting. Poor guy.

A couple of weeks ago though we ran out of diapers. I told Conor he needed to wear underpants until I could get to the store. The day got away from me and soon Conor ran up to me, said he needed to go potty (this in and of itself was not unusual) but when he sat on the potty he actually WENT IN THE POTTY.

That was almost two weeks ago and he's been dry ever since. He's refused to wear a diaper at nap or at night but has kept dry while sleeping too.

Since Finley is now in cloth diapers and Conor is now in underpants we are saving more than $60 per month in disposable diapers. So awesome.

(I can't believe I just wrote an entire post about pee. I'm a little disgusted with myself.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cute. Just cute.

These girls.  I think they will be best friends.

This girl.  Damn.  Slays me every time.

File this one under Why Do I Even Bother?

Seriously, kids? It's freaking St. Patrick's Day, I 'm stuck at home with you ankle biters when I should be out drinking green beer LIKE A REAL IRISH LASS, and you can't even give me a good picture?

I wash my hands of you.

But only after I kiss your cute little faces off.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Besides my birthday and Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day has got to be my favorite day of the year. It used to be that I would go out and "celebrate" in true mid-twenties style. Alas, those days have passed and now I celebrate by dressing my kids in the cutest green outfits I can find.

I can't exactly put my finger on what is so fun about St. Patrick's Day but it feels like it has all the joy of Christmas, all the fun of Halloween and all the beer of Oktoberfest.  Plus everyone pretends to be Irish so I can walk around being all superior because I actually AM Irish.  Man, St. Patrick's Day might actually be better than my birthday.

I do miss celebrating St. Patrick's Day though.  Green beer just isn't the same when you dye it yourself at home.

And, happy birthday (tomorrow, I think) to Grandpa Joe, the finest Irishman (excluding my own dear husband) I know.

Whenever I dream,
It seems I dream
Of Erin’s rolling hills
Of all its lovely, shimmery lakes
And little babbling rills.
I hear a colleen’s lilting laugh
Across a meadow fair.
And in my dreams
Its almost seems
To me that I am there
O, Ireland! O, Ireland!
We’re Never far apart
For you and all your beauty
Fill my mind and touch my heart

Somday I'll visit.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

This is what happens when I am left unattended

My dear friend Jenn sent me an email earlier today with her recipe for cinnamon rolls. I only responded to it this evening while Morgan was out picking up a chair we bought off craigslist.

This email I sent to poor, unsuspecting Jenn is EXACTLY why I should not be left unattended with a computer on my lap.

Thank you! I can't wait to make these.

(Morgan thanks you too. Really, he's like contemplating asking you into our marriage. I think that's weird.)

(actually that's not true (the part about Morgan opening our marriage to you is not true. The part about me thinking it's weird is true.) I just made it up. Morgan's not even home now.)

(But! if he was home, he would certainly be excited that I have a delicious cinnamon roll recipe.)

(I think the fact that Morgan is gone is causing me to ramble via email)

(Do you sort of wish I would stop writing?)


(Oh thank God, I hear the garage opening. Once again Morgan saves me from myself.)

Wishing you sweeat dreams and cinnamon roll kisses.

What the hell is a cinnamom roll kiss?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I enjoyed a girls weekend this past weekend at my wonderful Aunt Nancy's cabin on Mt Hood. The cabin was perfect. Tiny, rustic but with flush toilets and easily traversible roads. I was joined by six really amazing women who I've known for years. A few of them I've known since I was in jr. high school and they were cool high schools kids. Never did I think I'd be drinking Spanish Coffee and having sleepovers together when we were all in our 30's.

I feel like women have better or stronger or maybe more sustainable friendships than men do.  Maybe it's because we're naturally more emotional people, maybe it's just because we actually NEED to have these relationships and will brave snowy roads and freezing temperatures in order to keep these relationships intact.

Whatever the reason, I'm so lucky to blessed with a big circle of girls that I can call my friends.  They're all beautiful each in their own way.

All of us

Jenn, managing to look gorgeous even while sledding down a mountain

Having dinner

Spanish Coffee!

Taneha, in her first round of our sledding competition

Lindsay, whose skin looks ridiculously beautiful

Nikki, in her classic Nikki pose.  What you can't see are her blue moon boots.

Kristen, trying to hide from the camera as usual

Tara, showing us how to Zumba.  We were not good.