Sunday, June 30, 2013

OPERATION: TAKING MY YARD BACK, an update - part trois

So, that 5 pounds is gone and they took a friend with them. I'm going to start ignoring all of my problems, this one worked out so well.

Messy house because it's too hot to feel motivated to do much?   
Kids fighting amongst themselves?
Ugly, weird bump on your leg?

Voila! Problems solved!

I kid, I kid.  (sort of)   Darn hormones. Or salt. Or....whatever.

It's been so hot here in the Pacific Northwest these past few days. My dear, dear Lobster is still under the mistaken belief that we don't need central air. I had hoped that his red-faced, sweaty, stinky, grumpy wife would have changed his mind, but no luck so far. Thank the heavens for the slightly coolish breeze coming through right now. Our inside temperature has dropped to 80 degrees. 

It is 10:00 pm. UGH.

I took a ride in the car with the boys this evening, after dinner, just to get in front of the air conditioning. I still haven't decided if it was a nice break, or if it just made it feel hotter here at home. One nice thing about the heat, is that I'm definitely drinking a lot of water. Although, I'm sweating so much that I'm pretty sure I am no better hydrated.

Anyway, I thought it was about time to show some more pictures of how our yard is doing. The weeds are under control, the grass is still green, I have vegetable plants in my raised beds, I've got flowers in the window boxes out front and our yard is mostly well-groomed.

What I'm not liking, is the mess with the boys' bikes and balls, and dirt and rocks that always end up on the patio. Hey! I should try that ignoring's got to work!

Here is the view walking up my front walk. I'm really happy with how the window boxes turned out. I should have stuffed more plants in there, but I'm on a budget, here. I really miss the days that I got my 30% employee discount. 

They'll fill in. Eventually.

The jasmine is blooming. It smells so good!

This rose campion  blooms in such a bright hot pink. It's foliage is woolly, like lambs ears and it re-seeds itself all over.

This bed (below) was overgrown with grass. We had to take everything out. I'm leaving it bare for a little while, to pull the grass as it grows up. I'm sure much of the roots are still there. My lace-leaf Japanese maple could use a good pruning. The branches under all those leaves are quite beautiful. I'm a little chicken to take that one on, myself.

And in the back, the climbing rose has bounced back.

And my hydrangea is starting to look lovely.

Baby grapes,

and baby tomatoes,

and baby caterpillars. They've come back for the past 3 years. These are Cinnabar moth caterpillars. They love this ragwort on which they are chomping. It's poisonous, and not very pretty, but I don't pull it out because we love to watch the little guys grow and grow.

Notice the little tiny caterpillar next to its big brother. So cute!

Well, we're down to 79*. We're on our way.

EXERCISE: 2 Kinect Zumba workouts, 28 minutes each
FOOD: Very good choices. I even passed up some french fries, one day
FOOD TRACKING: Excellent! 6 of 7 days
HYDRATION: Excellent - at least 64 oz per day

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How to NOT enjoy summer vacation

It started out promising enough. After weeks of beautiful weather, the rain did NOT ruin the school's family picnic and Field Day and even more importantly, the rain did not ruin the chance to go to our friend's house and watch a movie in the dark on a sheet hung on the outside of their house. The boys got to run around with friends and then we all huddled under our blankets to watch How to Train Your Dragon. We got home deliciously late and Boy 1 and Boy 2 wanted to continue the party at home.

They also slept in the next morning. Lobster was envious. He had to get up and go to work after such a late night. I really sympathized with him in that minute before I went back to sleep.

I had left the week's schedule very loosey goosey so we could stay in our pajamas all day and get way too much screen time.

I guess that was my first mistake.

I mean, seriously, what kid doesn't want to watch TV and play video games all day?

Apparently, mine. 

It's all they ever wanted. They got it all at once, and it was too much. They got bored. They fought over which game to play. They argued about which characters they wanted. And they grumbled about getting to spend alone time in their rooms.

And I, I who hadn't prepared well enough (again), got grumpy. The happy, carefree first days of summer vacation that I had hoped for, flew out the window with their harsh words and angry voices.

And the grumpiness has lingered, my friends. 

Boys 1 & 2 fighting is nothing new. And to be honest, neither is my grumpiness. I want to be soft and fun and playful, but somehow, all I see is the floors that get dirty too fast and the money that doesn't stretch far enough and laundry that never, EVER, gets completely done.

I've never thought of myself as a pessimist, but I'm starting to wonder.

Another thing I'm grumpy about is my weight loss - or lack of it, I should say. I have been working really hard at staying under my calorie goal each day. And I had finally gotten past the 25 pound mark for the first time in months! I have seriously upped my water intake and had less soda. I stayed under my calorie goal 5 of 7 days. One day was just barely over, and the other day was my birthday and Lobster and I went out to dinner. I estimated the food on My FitnessPal as closely as I could, but even eating lightly earlier in the day, I went over my goal. It was delicious and I don't regret it. I was so careful the rest of the week.

So, midweek, when I hopped on the scale to see my progress, I admit I was a little shocked to see that my weight was up. The next day, I weighed myself again and I was up another few ounces. This morning, my normal weigh-in day, I am up 5 pounds.

Ugh. It makes me want to eat a bag of potato chips.

BUT, I DIDN'T! Progress, people!

I've decided that I'm not logging it in My FitnessPal. I am ignoring it and I'm hoping it will go away.

Isn't that how you deal with your problems?

Anyway, I've been having fun experimenting with what I can cook on our outdoor grill. Fireworks came a couple weeks early to our house. The heating element in our oven gave us a light show on Friday night - even after I turned it off. So we unplugged the range and sent away for the part. But, of course, it being a weekend, we get to wait longer than our normal super-fast delivery. I'm not sure why these things happen on the weekend. There is some law written down about it somewhere, I'm sure.

So the main goals this week are to have fun with my boys, drink lots of water, and don't sweat the small stuff. 

What are your goals this week?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Favorite Things

  1. TV Episode: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Once Again With Feeling  (a musical - and yes, I know every song by heart)
  2. Movie: Stranger Than Fiction. 
  3. Restaurant food: Chicken pasta salad at The Other Place in Salt Lake City, Utah and a close second is the Roasted Veggie Flat bread Sandwich at Amadeus in Salem, Oregon
  4. Flower: the Tulip
  5. Shoes: flip flops or none
  6. Book: Too many to choose, but I prefer fiction
  7. Face lotion: Oil of Olay's Daily Facial Lotion
  8. Body lotion: Aveeno Baby's Soothing Relief Moisture Cream
  9. Perfume: Skin musk, by Bonne Bell (I've loved it since I was 17)
  10. Place: My own bed, close 2nd - the beach, extremely close 3rd - my Grandpa's farm in Hatch, Idaho
  11. Color: Deep purple
  12. Vegetable: Zucchini or tomato
  13. Fruit: Watermelon or tomato ;)
  14. Song: too many, but in general I'm a sucker for sappy love songs. Barry Manilow can make me stop in my tracks, close my eyes and sway. Seriously. Judge me if it makes you feel better.
  15. Children's Book: The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
  16. Laundry Soap: Arm & Hammer Plus Oxy-Clean, original scent
  17. Car that I owned: my black, 1987 Buick Somerset
  18. Outdoor Temperature: 66 degrees, Fahrenheit
  19. Hand Soap: Sotftsoap's Coconut and Warm Ginger
  20. Bottled Salad Dressing: Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger, or Cardini's Original Cesar
  21. Nut: Pistachio
  22. Seed: Sesame or Sunflower
  23. Ice Cream: Always love me some kind of chocolate & mint combo - Tillamook Brand rocks! But then, Schwan's Coconut Almond Fudge is pretty darn near perfect.
  24. Herb: a hard choice, but probably cilantro.
  25. Condiment: salsa
  26. Junk food: POTATO CHIPS
  27. Body soap: Dove, warm vanilla scent
  28. Christmas movie: The Year Without Santa Claus or Elf. The Heat Miser or Buddy - hard choice!
  29. Cheese: Provolone
  30. Paint color currently in our home: Rattler's Den
  31. Candy: chocolate covered gummy bears
  32. Soda: Diet Coke
  33. Carbohydrate: potato
  34. Font: Calibri
  35. Cereal: Frosted Mini-Wheats
  36. "App" on my Kindle: Bejeweled game
  37. Method of cooking vegetables: roasting
  38. Sleeping position: on my side
  39. Talk Radio Host: Dr. Laura
  40. Favorite thing about being a Mom:  watching them accomplish something that is, for them, really hard. And snuggles, lots of snuggles.
  41. Possession: My grandpa's old trunk
  42. Photograph: 

  43. Way to Spend My Time: Going for a drive on a sunny day with my family
I have a birthday this month. I am turning 43. For that reason, I chose 43 of my favorite things to share with you today. They are random, but they are, in part, what makes me me. 

I'm sorry or you're welcome. You choose.

FOOD: Really good choices until Saturday when there was leftover cake from end of soccer party.
FOOD TRACKING: Excellent, 6 of 7 days
EXERCISE: Pffffft!
HYDRATION: Much better this week. Go water!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Challenge Extended...

So, yesterday was the first of June. Did everyone start on the Back To Her Roots Super Summer Mind & Body challenge? Yeah, me either. 

Just kidding!! I totally did. I didn't get a lot of points yesterday, but that's what happens when you stay in the house all afternoon after your 6-year-old's soccer game trying to keep 2 boys from hurting each other. I'm telling you, those Bickerson brothers totally need an attitude adjustment. And I'm just the Mama to do it. 

Actually, I'm at my wit's end (as little wit as there may be) about it. This next week is the last full week of school here in Oregon, and I'm scared out of my mind a little concerned about how the summer is going to go. My best idea, so far, is to send one boy each to grandparents on either end of the country. Maybe distance would make their little hearts grow fonder. Yeah, I know. It's a work in progress.

Anyway, I have set my personal mind and body goal points and I'm excited to get to work! I decided that a mid-point reward (at 5,000 points) will be an adult-only weekend away with my Lobster - probably at the coast.

That's what I call motivation. ;)

I've had a hard time deciding on a 10,000 point reward. I'm trying to think of something not too expensive, but motivating. I'd be happy to receive some suggestions.

So, I was hoping to be just a little bit professional and scan these documents to use, but my super-awesome computer skills (major eye-roll) don't include how to make the scanner speak to my laptop. Apparently, it's not the same as my lap top telling the same machine to print. The scanner has always been kind of stuck-up, though. Oh well. You get pictures of them. I can do that.

These are my point reference sheets for both mind and body goals. When I complete something on these lists, I keep track of the points on another sheet. These free printables are available on the blog, Back To Her Roots, if you click here. She also created some completely blank point sheets so you can totally customize your point values.

Let me know if you do this challenge. I'll be talking about my progress periodically. It would be fun to help motivate each other.

It's going to be a busy week trying to get things done before school is out. 

Random thought: When ever I think about the challenge, or say "challenge" it makes me think about an episode of Friends. Please enjoy this clip. I love the way Ross says, "Challenge extended." It cracks me up. Every time.
Challenge accepted. Ha! Have a great week. Get to work!

FOOD: Much better watching sugar & sodium. Much better results, too!
FOOD TRACKING: Great! 5 days + 1 partial day out of 7
EXERCISE: 1 - 30 minute Zumba workout and 1 full morning of yard work.
HYDRATION: Not as much as I need. :/