Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Firecracker Princess!

My baby was four yesterday. Four years ago, I gave birth in a drug-induced hazy calm, just hours after the Red Sox won their first world series. I had just finished the requirements for my bachelor's degree (online), and it was conferred Oct. 27. I was so, so desperate to have the baby born already. I'd stopped working on Oct. 2, and was just laying around on the sofa like a bloated whale.

That child changed my life. My first born baby, whose smell I breathed in endlessly. My baby whose head fit perfectly in my cupped hand. The girl whose sunny smiles pushed me through a post-partum depression. The baby that lazed with me in bed, sleeping sometimes until noon and watching tv before a nap. The little girl that didn't move into her own bed until she was 18 months old, when I tiptoed into her room several times a night to check her breathing, not sure how she could survive sleeping without me by her side as I clearly could not sleep without her to snuggle.

My precious baby who loved her little brother as soon as he was born, fawning over him, protecting him. Who walked late and talked early and is really, truly beloved for her sweetness and sunny disposition. Who I sometimes think will kill me with the iron strength of her will, who often makes me want to just stand down in my weariness. Who calls me "momma", when her brother calls me "mommy".

The girl who wants to read NOW and loves Sleeping Beauty, and who believes that she is beautiful and that the whole world loves her. I hope she never loses those things. Happy birthday Princess. I am so grateful to the King for you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Look

As a former makeup artist, I really enjoy a new look now and again. I've never gotten around to having one of you snazzy designers make me a new header, alas. Enter ElleBee.

You see, I'm not at all artistic. At all. As ElleBee once said, "Your creativity stops at your wrists". Yeah. But the problem with liking pretty things and not being able to make them happen is that it's frustratingly the same, or expensive to change. Enter She figured out that it makes lovely headers, how great is that? So ye olde blogg may look a little schizo over the next couple of days and weeks while I give ElleBee free reign to change my look. She's dangerous with a password, I'm telling you. :)

Anyhow, feel free to admire her handiwork, then head on over to make yourself some scrapping pages!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stop the Madness

Just for another two weeks. If I get ONE MORE email talking about baby-eating Democrats, I will scream. Many of these come from my family, admittedly, but I also get them from my church friends (no surprise there). And. If I get ONE MORE email talking about hate-mongering Republicans, I will scream. Most of these come from my friends who are atheists, which totally amuses me.

Your email about Obama supporting stem-cell research isn't going to make me smack my forehead and vote for McCain (or McSame, as a billboard somewhere in northern Florida on I-75 states). I'll point you toward McCain's infidelity and lies and ask you to reconsider. Your email about McCain's extremism on just about everything isn't going to make me run toward the Obama, either.

I am a Democrat, not a fear monger, a hate monger. I hope to be a Jesus monger, who would ask you to just really consider what you're sending. And to please skip me on that forward.

Christmas Gift for Mom?

Do you ever wonder what to get your mom for Christmas (or your mother-in-law)? Every single year I try and try, but I have the hardest time trying to figure it out. Last year, we got Music-in-law this necklace at What I particularly like about it is the fact that we aren't likely don't having children, so you just add the stones $2 at a time. This is also great for moms like me who want something to celebrate their mom status, but again, aren't done. I can just add a little gem each time we get another gem in our lives, isn't that great! They have lots of options, and the price is good, so go check them out if you're stumped!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ecobrain Books

About two weeks ago (!), I won a contest over at Tara's place. Then a week ago, I got the link from Ecobrain to read one of their ebooks for free, called Radical Simplicity. Incidentally, when I signed up I got a $5 credit, so you may as well just mosey on over there and get one for yourself!

Ecobrain is a cool concept for those enviornmentally minded readers among us.

I've just started reading Radical Simplicity, but wow, the story is amazing. I hope to read the rest of it by the end of the month (always do better with a goal!), but I'm struck by how close this is to the heart of God. Sharing resources. Blessed are the poor, and all that. I sincerely hope (and pray for conviction about) all of our stuff, and getting rid of it. I'd like to be radically simple. Radically obedient. Radically present.

So thanks, Tara! This was my first blog contest win, and it might just change my life!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Food for thought (not for eating)

Sometimes I look at myself and think I haven't lost all that much weight, think that I don't look very different than I did right after my Look Alike was born. But then I compare these two photos and shut my mouth (at least for a while). My, what seven months can do!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Few Pictures While I'm Gone

Cupcakes for a friend's daughter's birthday, that's an "S" with sanding sugar and a white chocolate heart.

My Monster, isn't he adorable?!

A HUGE challah, that's a jelly roll pan! I think it was the best bread I've ever made!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I love my UPS man

Not in a whole smoochy affair sort of way (though really, he is adorable), but he's just great. Yesterday I got a new pair of shoes from Zappos for Zumba and kickboxing. They're the Nike Musique III because shoes with high tread were killing my knees with all of those pivots. He and I talked for a minute, and he told me that he has two sons and they're trying for another because he wants a little princess. Hello adorable!

In the conversation, I mentioned that my kids were napping. I didn't tell him that I tend to answer the door so that he doesn't ring the bell. Today when he brought my Crocs for vacation, he just knocked. How sweet is THAT?

He is so getting a gift this Christmas. For sure.

And here's just a little plug for I ordered the above shoes on Friday night, and got them on Monday. Woohoo! And shipping was free! Double woohoo!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So sorry!

So sorry I haven't updated in a few days! I've been running around a little crazy trying to get prepared for this trip, and I'm just a little heartsick. People around me are struggling with stuff, which makes me sad. I'm tired and a bit burned out and would really just like some time alone, totally alone. I had stupid Elijah Freaking House on Saturday, and missed the gym on Sunday. Y'all, I am just beat.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts on getting out of the funk. I'm just in the desert, you know? In the desert, but not deserted I must remind myself. I'm finding some good new music, and it's helping some. Speaking of, here's a video that has been blessing my socks off, as my Pilates instructor says (love ya Pam)!

And BTW, what's up with it not wanting to embed for like that last month? Is it just me?!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where's the Joy?

Do you ever get into a funk? I think I'm in one. I just feel "off". And I think it's contagious. Seems like lots of my friends are going through the same thing, and I think it's more than just the changing of the seasons or allergies. My kids aren't sleeping as they should. I don't feel like going to the gym. I'm flat out exhausted most of the time and my eyes itch like CRAZY. What is going on?!

I do think some of it is spiritual, with going through Elijah House. As the Sanford's say, I may be just existing in the natural law of reaping what I sow. I can't say that I'm doing a lot of hard spiritual work right now, I think I'm just trying to take it all in, work through the biggest stuff, and let God deal with the rest in His time. It doesn't help when you have lots of "big" issues; it makes me feel a bit like I'll never get through my stuff. At the end of the day I know that's the enemy's intention, though.

Busyness doesn't help, either. I know that we leave for WDW in 5 days, and I feel like I'm on the downward part of a roller coaster. Today is Friday, where we go to boot camp, then tonight we shop for a birthday party on Sunday. Tomorrow I have Elijah House from 9-3 or so, then the Music Man has a marching band competition at 6:30. Sunday we have church, then a birthday party, then I go to the gym. Monday we
have kickboxing, then a normal day, then I have Reformer at 5:30. Tuesday we have Zumba, and the Music Man goes to pick up the rental car. Between now and then, I need to do laundry for 4 (MM does his own-yay), pack everything we'll need for the trip, make snacks, plan a little "fairy dust" stuff for the kids, and work at least 20 hours. I just don't know where to find the time! Does it sound like I'm complaining? I don't mean to, I'm just slightly overwhelmed.

So what do you do when you get funky? What brings you back to home, to true north? Because I'd love some ideas...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Disney World, Here We Come (in a week...)!

We leave in 7 days and 5 hours. For Disney World. Now, you might not know that I'm a bit of an obsessive planner, but I am. I have been planning this trip since January. Six months out, when the park schedules became available, I decided which days we'd go where. 180 days out (173 days ago), I gave the Music Man a list of where we'd eat and around what times, and make ressies for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as a birthday surprise with the Firecracker Princess. I can't WAIT to see my girl's face when I tell her she gets to pick whatever dress she wants and get her hair done, then head to a photo shoot before dinner in the Castle. Sigh. I think I'm more excited than anyone.

That same day, Music Man and Music-in-law are taking the Chubby Cheeked Monster to the Harmony Barber Shop after breakfast at the Crystal Palace for his first hair cut with the boys. They even get ears embroidered with "First Hair cut" and a certificate. If I've timed everything correctly, the barber shop quarter should be there to sing my son through this experience. I think I'm more excited than anyone.

Music-in-law's birthday is during the trip, and we're surprising him with a diver in the tanks at the Coral Reef who should hold a sign that says "Happy Birthday". Wouldn't that be cool?! I think I'm more excited than anyone!

We're going to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party (I know, this is a fine line in the area of my conviction, but I think this is ok...mostly) and I'm super excited to see the Villains stage show. I totally LOVE Maelificent! I think I'm more excited than anyone.

I can't wait to show my kids the joy of Disney. I THINK I'M MORE EXCITED THAN ANYONE!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who Loves You?

In addition to the emails, cards, and calls I got from people I actually know, I'm always amused at the number of happy birthday emails I get from businesses. I thought I'd share them with you:

Nature Made Vitamins--25 points in their points club. I don't believe I've ever bought their vitamins...

Sparkpeople--Not even a measly point! I so wanted a few freebies, I'm working toward the 10,000 point trophy!

Ted's Montana Grill--A free ice cream cookie thing, nice!

Hello Quizzy--No idea what this is


Borders--25% off one item

Sephora--free bubble bath if you go to the store

BibleForums--Don't use this forum

MyPoints--500 points if you spend $5 with a selected merchant


Pepsi Xtras--This was so funny because it tells me I joined on October 15, 2001. That was before I was even married!

DISBoards, yeah. I don't roll with your psychic crap.

Coldstone Creamery--free "love it" creation--JACKPOT!!

Sixteen emails/offers for my birthday from people I've never met.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday!

To me! As my music-in-law said today, "29 for the first time". I'm not weird about age, but she was trying to be funny. I did giggle, in an obligatory way.

Anyhow, I almost totally forgot about it since I've been so busy prepping for the trip to WDW, but my friend Rachael sent me her Junior League cookbook. How nice is that?! The plan for the day: get up early and work, church, lunch and work while the kiddos nap, head to the gym for step, then out to dinner. Pretty much a normal Sunday, just going out to dinner instead of ordering in. It's all good!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We're going to WDW in 12 days!

I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it! We haven't been to see the Mouse since I was 32 weeks pregnant with the Chubby Cheeked Monster, so 2 1/2 years. That's a LONG time for people who live a mere 500 miles north of Orlando. I really need this trip, as I think I'm getting depressed. I haven't been depressed in a few years seriously, but I'm always watchful. I've already noticed that I'm grumpier and want to be alone more, and bummed out more easily.

Yesterday, I had a whole evening to myself. I went to Pilates (mat) and didn't have a good time. How strange is that?! Then I went to the mall and bought a few things for the kids and the Music Man, but not with my usual joy. Decided against taking myself out for a nice dinner because I wasn't hungry, then went to the movies and saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It was a totally cute movie, and it made me laugh. I wanted to see Fireproof, but ElleBee suggested I watch that one with my husband. Practical, she is. So all told, I think I'm in a bit of a funk that I'm trying to keep from becoming a full-blown depression.

Now I must go, and I gave the baby half a banana as an experiment. She ate bits of it and is dragging bits of it across my hardwoods. Nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Body Fat Percentage and Old Navy

Thanks to my lovely blog pal Brenna, I decided to take my body fat percentage this afternoon after my usual 10-12 cups of water (but after an hour of light exercise, just for balance). Turns out it says I'm 28.8% body fat. That's a really big difference! Makes me feel much better, means I only have 42 lbs of fat (only, sigh). My end goal is about 127 lbs, so that means I have another 16.6 lbs of fat to lose, so I'd have to lose only fat plus another 3 lbs of muscle to get there. We'll see. Right now I'm content in the size 10's I wore before I was pregnant with the Firecracker Princess and giving my body a chance to regroup for a while as I work on the Honoring Hunger experiment.

On to Old Navy. They have caused me angst. I may be the only person who has never shopped there much, but I didn't realize that their clothes tend to run a bit small. So I bought some stuff there one day when they had the $12 jeans sale, some size 12 jeans and a pair of 10s for when those were too big. Except the 12s were too big about 4 days later, but the 10s are SO STINKING TIGHT still. What's up with that?! But anyhow, my real problem. We're going to WDW in 2 weeks, and I've been looking for shorts. I bought a pair of 10s at Old Navy about 6 weeks ago, thinking I'd be in that size by the trip. Based on the clothes that I had before the FP was born, this seemed about accurate. Two weeks ago those were feeling pretty snug still, so I bought three more pairs of shorts in a size 12. Wouldn't ya know, the 12s almost fall off. The 10s from Old Navy? Still snug, almost uncomfortably so. Silly Old Navy. And silly me for not noticing sooner! I did go back to Macy's and get some amazing Levi's denim shorts and some Bandolinos too for $5 a pair. It's ok to be slightly awed by my bargain hunting abilities. Eighty-eight perfect off, woohoo!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Who would have EVER thought that I would go willingly to a dance-based exercise class? Yeah, that makes two of us. They started teaching Zumba today at Due West and I decided to go. Now, I'm not a Methodist, but this church is amazing. Take a look at their site and look at all the stuff they do. It's totally astounding to a Vineyard gal like me.

So I go to Zumba today, and really, it isn't bad. I feel moderately successful, and it burned about 300 calories. Given that none of the 18 of us had ever taken it before, and that it was the instructor's first class (she just got her cert), I'd say that's not half bad. And did I mention that it's on Tuesday, which makes me positively giddy? That gets us out of the house on the day when the Music Man isn't home until bedtime. Yay and yippee!

The Look Alike is standing pretty regularly, but not cruising yet. She did cut her first tooth last Monday, though. I can't say I'm hurrying her along too much, but darn it, when she can walk, we can all go to the gym! I love Due West, but it's a 30 minute drive each way. The things I do for exercise, I tell you! Zumba (just fun to say)!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dental Implant

Friday morning I went in to have the implant placed on tooth #30. This was w-a-y less fun than the extractions, believe it or not. I was there an hour and a half before I got called back, then had to wait for him to do someone else after I was already gassed up (THAT was not fun, the nitrous makes me a tiiiiiiny bit paranoid). Finally she came in and started my drip, then it was over before I knew it.

I'm still really sore and have been popping Advil, which normally I am loathe to do. Saturday, the Chubby Cheeked Monster was sick. Since I never get sick, I offered to hang out with him all day so the Music Man didn't get it. I had forgotten one little detail, though. They had given me four enormous amoxicillin before my surgery, so my immune system is kaput. Sigh. So now I'm sick and totally miserable. Even my skin hurts. Blah.

So that's where I am at the moment. Sick, exhausted, and hurting a bit. Fan-flipping-tastic.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monthly Check-In

Here we are again,eh? This month was rough. I lost quite a few hours of workout time by taking on Elijah House, and I decided to ditch the rigid calorie counting in the middle of the month in favor of my new experiment Honoring Hunger.

So here are this month's stats, pitiful as they are:

June 2, 2008:
181 lbs
39.3% body fat

July 2, 2008:
170.8 lbs.
35.3% body fat

August 2, 2008
160.0 lbs
32.0% body fat

September 2, 2008
151.4 lbs
30.0% body fat

October 2, 2008
146.8 lbs.
30.0% body fat

Yep, either my BIA scale is wrong on the body fat percentage (and that's possible), or I only lost 4.6 lbs this month, all of it muscle. I wouldn't mind terribly to have lose a couple pounds of muscle, mind you, given the change in my workout routine, but I would like to be losing SOME fat!

This month is exciting. I'm still losing lots of hours of working out (and ugh, I have oral surgery tomorrow morning), but we're going to Disney World on Oct 22, so I'm hoping that three full days of walking and eating will kick my body into gear again. Sigh.

I'm 12.8 lbs away from my original goal of 132, and I'm hoping to make it before the end of the year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Iodine Experiement

So I've been reading Robyn's blog for some time, and the iodine thing really got to me. I decided to give it a shot, since tincture of iodine was exactly $2 at Walgreens when I ran in to buy the Monster some diapers the other day. As an aside, this was immediately after my gas triumph, where I was able to totally fill up the car and only had to wait half an hour!

Anyhow, so the iodine. Monday I put it on my right abdomen, and it was gone after 5 hours. It was the first time I'd checked though, so I don't know how fat it disappeared. I was so intrigued that I painted it on my left abdomen, and it was gone in three hours. Yesterday, I put it on the inside of my left knee, and it stayed a full 14 hours. Today, I put it on the bottom of my right foot, so we'll see how long it lasts. I'm guessing that the smart place for the iodine is anywhere a transdermal patch could go (like a nicotine or birth control patch), though I've heard that the feet are a great place to get anything into or out of the body.

To be continued!