Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break

So, it's Spring Break. 

Woo to the Hoo! (Sorry - I know I can't quite pull that off.)

Normally, an extended break off from school scares me a little. Don't get me wrong - I love spending time with my boys. They are a lot of fun, and I love loosening up the schedule.  But keeping them from getting bored in ways that we can all live with (including the bank account) can be stressful. The boys don't have their regular routine and school responsibilities, but I still have all of mine, but with no "alone" time to get the stuff done that is easier completed boy free.

Another thing about loosening the schedule is that I let it get too loose sometimes. As in, no workouts for mom and meal planning flies out the window. I'm too easily talked into going out for lunch - "Hey, come on! It's Spring Break!"

I do have a plan for this week. I shopped and everything - on my last boy free afternoon - and I'm set for meals. I'll be the kill-joy and feel perfectly fine about it. We are headed to the beach this week for a couple of days and we will eat out then, but shhhhh! I kind of like being the meany, sometimes. I'm usually being told that I'm the meanest mom ever. I might as well live up to it. As if feeding my kids a healthy lunch here at home is torture. Well, I guess torture is in the eye of the torturee.

 I love the beach. I should be excited about walking around with my family looking for shells and interesting rocks, or playing catch with them, or flying kites. But, really, you know what I'm really looking forward to? I love to just sit in my chair and listen to the waves crashing on the sand. I may read a little, or close my eyes in between making sure my boys don't get swept off to sea. Or, if the weather takes a sad turn from the good forecast, I may just be looking at it through an open window from our hotel room.

We also get to work on an assignment that Boy 1 didn't finish before the break. An architect has been visiting his class periodically and instructing them on blueprints, and models and such. Boy 1 needs to write a letter to the client - me and Lobster - and make up some blueprints for the house he is "building" for us. Apparently, it has 15 halls. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work on paper, but we get to find out. If I thought the paper on sharks was fun, this should be a total blast. I have an idea that it's all Karma. I remember, back in the sixth grade, a certain report on pandas that got started the night before and completed in the early hours of the day it was due. 

Combine that with my almost not graduating from high school because of uncompleted homework in my math class (yes, I really left a math credit for my senior year. Yes, I know that's not smart), and I'm pretty sure my mom will think I totally deserve this kid's planning skills.

We are going to see The Croods tomorrow. I've heard it's good. It seems, though, what my boys are looking forward to the most is the popcorn and candy - because we never have that (Ha!). There was quite the discussion on what they were going to choose - much more than any curiosity about the movie. 

Random Thoughts
1. I found my favorite nail clippers yesterday. They are sharp and they clip like buttah and I love them. I'm so relieved. I've thought about them at least once per day in the 2 weeks they were missing.

2. I have a lot of stuff that needs to go to Goodwill. It's taking up valuable space in my small house. I'm not sure why I don't just load it up and get rid of it. It bugs me that it doesn't bug me more.

3. I've been in a bit of a reading slump, lately. But in the last week, I've read 2 books and am in the middle of a third. It's weird how that goes. I am afraid to enter reviews on Goodreads because I don't want to sound un-smart to my educated friends.

4. I am literally a cry-baby. Anything touches my emotions, and I'm crying. I cry about stuff on TV all the time. I cried at a funeral of a person I didn't even know. I cry when the doctor asks me how I'm doing at an appointment. But today, when I try to make myself cry while the kiddos are singing at church to show them how much I love it, my eyes are as dry as dry. I can't catch a break.

Weight gain/loss: +0.4 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 26.2 lbs
Exercise: 1 28 min Kinect Zumba Rush. Yep - too loosey goosey with the schedule
Food: Good veggie intake AFTER my shopping trip mid-week. Meh.
Tracking: 3 of 7 days
Hydration: Okayish

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fighting the Frumps

I've been feeling frumpy the past several months. I've had the same clothes, well - forever, it seems. I think I've been wearing one dress just about every Sunday for over three years. I don't like to buy new clothes. For one thing, I don't look good in anything. And secondly, spending money on something I don't look good in seems silly.

Now, if I could stay in my house all the time, there would be no problem. My too short pants with holes in them and the dingy t-shirts with stains on the front are just my standard uniform. The boys don't care what I wear, and Lobster, well, while he may care how I look, he can, at least, appreciate my frugality. 

Unfortunately, I don't just stay home every day. There is much to do from volunteering in Boy 2's school class, to grocery shopping, to church activities, etc. I have about 4 standard outfits - none of them very great - but they cover me up where I need to be covered and they have no holes and no stains. 

Feeling the frumps, though, sucks. I'd see my friends in their cute little clothes, feel terribly under dressed, and think to myself, "Someday."

Well, sometimes Someday has to come a little early.

I started fighting the frumps a few weeks ago. We got our vision insurance again in our benefits package this year. I had a eye exam and ordered contacts. Then, I bought some new eye makeup - if people were going to be able to see my eyes again, I needed to make them look nicer. 

It's amazing how many people noticed something different, but didn't know quite what.  

Next, I got a few highlights. My hair has gotten quite dark - kind of a dingy brown. I kept telling myself that when I started getting gray hair, I'd go blonde again. Well, I keep checking for that gray hair, but I haven't seen any yet - but that's all right. I'm just going to pretend.  I didn't get very many highlights. I wanted to start out a bit slow. But when I go back, I'm going to get more. 

I, then, got some new clothes. I bought a few shirts, and a new pair of pants, a new dress, a sweater, and a necklace or two.

What a difference it makes - in my attitude and my confidence. I'm not saying I look good. I still have the same body. No one is doing double takes when I walk through the produce department, but I feel better. I feel prettier. It feels different. 
It makes a difference, friends. 

The difference in my confidence makes it easier to make better choices. When I make better choices, I feel better about what I'm doing and happier with myself. I'm nicer to my kids and to my husband. My home is a nicer place to be all because I feel better about myself. 

That saying is true, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." And not in the threat way, like you'd better make me happy, or else! But in the way that a mom, especially, really affects the way a home feels.

I'm not saying that we have to go out and spend a bunch of money to feel good about ourselves. It's about making ourselves a priority - making the time to exercise, or planning healthy meals, sometimes, for Heaven's sake, it's just getting a good shower and blowing our hair dry. 

Fight the frumps, people! It does us all some good. 

Weight gain/loss: -1.4 lbs
Total weight loss: -26.6 lbs
Exercise: 2 Kinect Zumba workouts (15 min. ea), 1-1/2 hours working in garden
Food: Good choices, but not enough veggies/fruits - a good shopping trip is needed.
Food Tracking: 4.5 of 7 days
Hydration: Good, but definitely need to push water intake in afternoons.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


It's been a pretty uneventful week - just a bunch of sickies, wiping noses and coughing all over each other. Boy 2 started feeling better, Boy 1 didn't, and my health luck finally ran out.  You know that feeling when the prickles start in the back of your throat, then the burning starts when you swallow,  your head feels fuzzy, and then the nose drips begin. Sometimes, I just roll up little pieces of tissue and stuff them up my nostrils. The boys think it's hilarious. Lobster thinks it's gross and won't let me near him. 

Too much with the personal? Yeah, probably. 

He wasn't home to bug, though, when I was drippy.   He just gets to hear me cough and cough and cough and cough and know what I mean. I'm coughing. My voice is low and totally sexy, though. Well, as sexy as it can be when my m's and n's sound like b's.

Boy 1 missed most of the week of school. We had lots of good snuggle time in the afternoons. It sure made him tired, being sick. Boy 1 is our boy that has trouble getting to sleep. He actually asked to go to bed one night and it was only 7pm. Lobster was out of town and so the only schedule we had to keep was the Kindergartner's whopping 2-1/2 hours of school. A good friend of mine brought him home for me one day - and dropped off dinner to boot. With orange juice. I love orange juice, but have quit buying it because of all the sugar and calories. Oh, it's good on a sore throat, though. So yummy!

Boy 2 was oh, so tired of sitting around the house with us sicksters all week. By the time the sunny weekend came around he was ready to be OUT! He was such a good helper with some garden clean-up. Much needed clean up. And the sun felt FANTASTIC!

Tonight will be short and sweet. Although I'm feeling much better, I'm pretty beat at the end of the day, too. Feeling sick is good for losing weight - nothing sounds good. Lobster is starting to "train" for his Warrior Dash in September. I think staying on track will be a little easier for the next 6 months. I'm excited about that. It will be good for both of us.

EXERCISE: Nyet, nada, nope, nothin'
FOOD: sick. :/  Nothing sounded good
TRACKING: 1 and 1/2 days of 7. Womp womp.
HYDRATION: Excellent - lots of water, OJ, Diet Coke  
bubbles + sore throat = so good!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I saw a post yesterday about kids with special powers.  It was written in conjunction with a campaign to stop the use of the R Word. Mental Retardation used to be a medical diagnosis. However, it is no longer used. In fact, in 2010, Congress replaced terms like 'Mental Retardation' and 'Mentally Retarded' in Federal health, education and labor laws with the term 'Intellectual Disability'. You can find more facts here. Yesterday, March 6th, was the fifth annual day of awareness for Spread The Word To End The Word. It's a worthy cause. Hurtful words are never necessary.

Here I am today. A day late. It's pretty par for course, though. I admit it. 

When I read Beth Woolsey's post, I had just returned home from a meeting at the school with my son's "team". The meeting was to determine if my son still qualified for Special Education. There was no question as to whether or not he needed Special Ed, it was a formality. But testing and evaluations and forms - lots and lots of forms -  had to be completed.

My son has a great team of educators surrounding him at his school. They not only care deeply about his education, but about him, as an individual, and about me. They do a lot of good work. They are extremely flexible with his assignments, his homework, and his testing.  I feel really lucky about where he is. I have heard a lot of horror stories about the difficulty in working with the public school system. Other than a lot of "red tape" and procedure, however, we have had a great experience so far.

Boy 1 is developmentally delayed. He has ADHD and Anxiety. There has been talk of an attachment disorder, and because of some characteristics and behaviors, Autism keeps getting thrown into the conversation.  He not only has a educational team, but a team of medical professionals. And it looks like we're going to have to add to that team with an Occupational Therapist for his fine motor skills. Every person we meet with says basically the same thing, "Your son is a complicated kid."
His attention trouble affects every part of this boy's life. The educators administering the tests even acknowledged that it is unknown if his test scores are accurate. While most are consistently below average, we get these seemingly out-of-the-blue just-about-average scores that surprise everyone. Everyone, that is, except for me and his daddy.

Our job, other than just loving the kid to pieces and helping him make his place and feel secure there, is to find the right combination to unlocking and freeing that complicated brain of his. One part of the combination might be time itself. Other parts might include diet, medication, special tutoring, and most importantly of all, reaching out to those that can help and support - not only our son, but us. 

As he gets older, my son is noticing the differences between himself and the other kids. Just like any other eight-year-old, he wants to be accepted by his peers. What makes that difficult, is that he has trouble connecting with other kids. His extreme impulsivity means that instead of building trust between friends, Boy 1 is taking things from their desks, and saying things that he doesn't mean, or maybe even doesn't understand. He's not only being distracted by every move and sound, he's being the distraction to those around him.

I know how hard it can be - how tiring, how irritating. He can push my buttons - and he does. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Still, there are so many that are kind, and many more that are, at least, tolerant. I just hope that they get to see the boy that I see. Because while my son can be annoying, and impulsive, and exhausting. He also is one of the greatest joys in my life. He is a boy that loves to run and move. A boy that is loving, and has an amazing memory. He loves recess, and video games, and computers. He is a boy that has a great sense of humor, a boy that loves pens, and likes to color, and a boy that tries so hard to keep it together, day after day.

While I wish I could make things easier for him, (and I don't know how to say this without sounding like an after school special) I don't want to change him. So that's our challenge. Help him cope, help him navigate, help him adjust, help him to do his best. I want to be the kind of mom that does that. And you know what? I'm not all the way there yet. 

I'm pretty sure that I drive him crazy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  

Yep, I'm complicated, too.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Boy 2 has had a cold for the past several days. He missed 3 days of school. Just as he started feeling better, Boy 1's sniffles started. I hate it when the boys are sick - partly because they are miserable and I feel bad for them, but also because it is just so gross. I'm not sure about girls, but little boys are adverse to tissues, apparently. They use their fingers, arms, shirt sleeves, and anything else near by - except for the Kleenex box that I so carefully placed right next to them. I'm afraid to sit on the couch. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

There is something I like about a sick boy. They are awfully cuddly. My boys are getting a bit older and sometimes affection from Mama is not... um...appreciated. I wouldn't wish the yuck on anyone, but I will definitely take advantage of the snuggles. But I keep an eye on where they put their noses.

I know it's that time of year, and everyone is doing it, but I decided to just say "NO" to Girl Scout Cookies. I didn't answer the call of friends on Facebook trafficking their wares. I resisted the cute girls at the grocery store, wiping the hopeful smiles off their pretty little faces. But I was totally unprepared for the sugar peddling right to my door. Twice in two days. My boys were, of course, with me and I almost gave in. I feel a bit of guilt when it comes to the boys and treats because I don't keep a lot in the house anymore. Boy 1 was very upset that he didn't get those cookies, but I said, "No thank you!" It's just a good thing she wasn't selling potato chips.

I'm going to be making sure that I eat food that I make at home this week. This past week I ate lunch out 4 days (letting sick boys choose their lunch - can you say pushover?) and although I stayed within my caloric guidelines, my sodium intake was off the charts on those days. Nothing like a little water retention. I've been doing really well at tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. It leaves no room for guessing and my creative estimation. It also tracks my sodium intake, can you tell?

Well, I'm ready for bed. Lobster is out of town again and I get the whole bed to myself. That is, until a sick boy wakes himself up by coughing and comes in to make sure I know it. Eh, what the hay? More snuggles.

Weight gain/loss: +1.2 lbs
Total weight loss: 22.8 lbs
Exercise: 4 Kinect Zumba Rush (avg. 15 min ea.)
Food: Mostly stayed within caloric guidelines - more veggies needed however
Food Tracking: 6 of 7 days
Hydration: Still struggling to get more than 64 oz water daily