Thursday, December 30, 2010

Movin' On Up

Hey all, I've moved on over to Wordpress. Come check me out over there!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fit Motherhood: Nearing Three Months

I discovered something a little eerie. When the Joyful One was three months old, I weighed 180 lbs. Now the Radiant Babe is three months old (well, she will be in a week), I weigh 183 lbs. That's only interesting because I delivered this baby weighing three pounds more than I did number three.

What does that say to me? Well, mostly that, even though I'm not a fan of this (painfully) slow weight loss thing, I'm probably exactly where I'm supposed to be. And maybe, just maybe, it means that things will pick up like they did last time around.

This two-week period was tough for a great many reasons. Counseling is hard. It's almost Christmas. I haven't been to the gym as much as I'd like. My estranged father contacted me. In short, I'm all over the place emotionally. Oh, and I've been sick for about four days. Needless to say, it's been difficult.

That said, no more dawdling:
Current weight: 183.0 pounds
Change in pounds: -0.2 pounds
Bust 40"
Waist: 36.5"
Hips 46.5"

One very interesting thing is that I'm fitting into size 14 jeans, whereas last time it took me until the baby was five months old. Apparently I carry a great deal more muscle mass this time around. Yay!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fit Motherhood: A Recap

I was working on a series on Fit Motherhood at GenXXL, following my weight loss journey after having sweet baby number four. Not sure what's going on with the site, but it doesn't appear to be functioning. I've been updating every two weeks and will be up for an update on Wednesday.

Before I dive in, here's a recap of the updates since the baby was born on September 29:

September 30

224 pounds September 29 (day of delivery)
203 pounds October 1 (2 days after delivery)
21% to goal weight
Chest: 43″
Waist: 41″
Hips: 49″

October 14
Current weight: 191.2 pounds
Percent to goal: 33%
Bust: 43″ (no change)
Waist: 39″ (2″ lost)
Hips: 48″ (2″ lost)

October 27
Current weight: 186.4 pounds
Change in pounds: -4.8
Percent to goal: 38%
Bust: 42″ (-1″)
Waist: 38.5″ (-1/2″)
Hips: 47.5″ (-1/2″)

November 10
Weight 189.4
Change: -1.2 lbs
Percent to goal: 34.6
Bust: 41" (-1")
Waist: 38" (-.5")
Hips: 47"

November 24
Current weight: 185.4 pounds
Change in pounds: -4.0 pounds
Bust: 40″ (-1″)
Waist: 37″ (-1“)
Hips: 47.0″

December 8
Current weight: 183.2 pounds
Change in pounds: -2.2 pounds
Bust 40"
Waist: 36.5" (-1/2")
Hips 46.5" (-1/2")

That's where we're starting from over here. I know for sure that I'll have gained from the last update when I post this week, and I'm frustrated.

I've eaten less than my recommended calorie levels by just a bit, but gained three pounds in the last week. I track all my calories and exercise, and the numbers say I should've lost about a pound and a half, being in a 5100 calorie deficit. Grr.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Interrupt My Lack of Posting

with a birth story!

I started this blog in 2008, just two weeks after the Joyful One was born. I can't believe that now I've got four kids, and now I'm sharing the birth story of Miss Radiance (name subject to change).

As a bit of history, my first three were all born after their due dates, so I was expecting an October baby. Clearly this baby had other plans, since her pregnancy was so different than all of my others.

I went to bed exhausted at 11 pm on my due date of 9/28. I couldn't sleep, which was nothing hew, but was a little bit over it by 12:45. I thought I heard a popping sound about 12:30, but couldn't tell what it was, so I didn't worry about it. However, a mere 15 minutes later, I heard a second pop and felt a big gush.

I told the Music Man that my water had broken. Unimpressed, he rolled over and went back to sleep. I got up to head to the bathroom and sat there for about 10 minutes waiting for it to stop.

When it decided to slow, I covered the bed with towels and tried to lay down again. A few minutes later I felt another big gush, soaked the bed again, and figured I may as well get up. I woke the Music Man again, and this time he was lucid enough to talk to me. :)

My water had never broken on its own before, even in late labor, so it was a surprise. I didn't feel many contractions yet, so I decided to go downstairs to sit on my ball for a while and hope to wait it out until morning.

The contractions started coming hard and fast, and I went back upstairs around 1:30. I told the Music Man that I needed to call my midwife and his parents, who were watching the big kids. Around 2:15 we'd made the calls and woke the kids.

My contractions were becoming more uncomfortable, and I was shocked at the amount of pain I was in. I'd never experienced back labor before, and man, that's no fun!

We got to the hospital after a detour to the gas station (low fuel light=poor planning on the MM's part!) around 3:15.

I deliver at a hospital that allows water birth, which is fantastic. However, it's small (six L&D rooms), and they were full. Two mamas had just given birth, and it takes a couple of hours to get them turned over for someone else.

I changed into the dreaded gown and sat on the monitors for about half an hour. I thought I was going to die near the end and told my nurse that I wasn't sure I was going to manage without drugs. I hadn't slept in more than 20 hours and that was seriously messing with my pain perception (or so I thought).

She checked me and I was a disappointing 3-4 cm dilated. With Joyful One, I was 7-8 before I got to the hospital, and these contractions felt worse than any I had with her, except those two from entering transition before pushing.

I opted to rest instead of walking because I was exhausted and knew I'd need energy to push. My nurse also gave me some juice to help with the exhaustion.

There was drama because they couldn't find my water birth certificate (you have to take a class to be eligible), and wanted to send MM home to get our copy. Did I mention that it's a 45-minute drive to our house? Yeah, he was livid and I was freaking out, but I wanted the water birth and told him to go, and quickly.

On the way out, he stopped a nurse to get the name of the person "in charge of the hospital" because he was so angry. Happens that the nurse he stopped was the one who taught the water birth class, and they had words. I don't know what they were, and I don't want to, but they got it worked out so that he didn't have to go get it.

Around 4:15 I got into a position I could handle, sitting criss-cross applesauce on the bed. I tried sitting on the ball, having MM apply counter pressure while on all fours, everything I could think of to manage the pain, but I was starting to flip out. Finally, I realized I needed to get quiet and allow the pain to do its job.

I sat in silence and let the pain wash over me. I have never experienced agony like that in my life, and seriously thought I might pass out a couple of times.

Around 5 am, my room was finally ready. I walked from triage to room six (all of 500 feet) and thought I was going to die. My nurse told me to go to the bathroom and she'd monitor me again to get a strip, then I could do whatever I needed to do. Well, that didn't exactly happen.

In the bathroom, I realized I couldn't even sit. I started "vocalizing" and my nurse called out, "No pushing in there!" I told her I wasn't and washed my hands, then walked out near the bed.

All of a sudden, everything changed. I vocalized louder, and MM knew I was pushing because I made the same tone last time. I called out my nurse's name because I couldn't reach the call button, and she came running. I steadied myself on the side of the bed, resting my hands on it, and she stood by my side.

When I told her I was pushing, all hell broke loose. About ten people were in the room in a flash, and I begged her to fill the tub. I couldn't see how I'd manage to push without getting in the tub.

In the meantime, they called my midwife from the doctor's sleep room and started filling the tub. Janet (my hero midwife) told them they didn't need to monitor me or check my cervix or even force me into the bed as they'd tried to do, because "this was my fourth baby and I knew when I needed to push."

So there I am, standing aside the bed, pushing spontaneously, with a ton of people filling the birthing tub, then abandoning it to try to fill the bathroom tub (!) in time for me to get in. I finally realized there wasn't time and knew I needed to rally and do this where I was.

Instead, she sat down on the floor with the chux pads, a bowl, scissors and clamps. And she waited. All the while my body was pushing and I was trying to catch my breath. In between making those vocal tones, I said a few swear words, which apparently lightened the mood. Everyone laughed when I let the first one fly, and I got some, um, colorful comments after the second one.

I felt the "ring of fire" for the first time with this birth, and got really serious about pushing then. I wanted that pain OVER, and NOW. I knew I'd gotten her head out, and gravity pulled her body out to follow. Upon seeing her (they passed her through my legs while we waited for the placenta), I realized she was tiny!

Long story (a bit) shorter, this little peanut was only 7 lbs, 15 oz and 19" long! Quite a change after my 9 lb, 6 oz baby #3! She was born at 5:44 am on September 29.

We got cleaned up, she spent some time under the warmer, and I got some serious fluids and a Motrin (yay for drugs)! I was in shock at how fast the birth went and wasn't dealing well with things. I was shaking and shivering and couldn't get control of my legs. They brought me some warmed blankets to help, but it took over an hour for me to regain composure.

We moved to recovery at 7 am where I nursed my little princess and ate a hearty breakfast. Our hospital time was short, because both the pediatrician and my midwife said I could be released 12 hours after birth. We were actually signed out by 5 pm, but didn't get out of there until around 6 pm.

We went home and awaited our older children with the in-laws. They brought the kids home around 7:30, stayed for half an hour to see the baby, then left our little family. We all went upstairs and piled into our bed and snuggled.

At 9, we sent the kids to bed while we watched the Reds game and slept more than 12 hours (with feedings, of course). It was a great first night for all of us, safe and comfortable and together as a family!

And that's how she was born, our cherished Radiant One, precious number four!

Monday, August 23, 2010

If I'm Being Honest...

I can't wait to have this baby, and for purely selfish reasons. I hurt. My back hurts, my hips hurt, my pride hurts.

As with all of my other pregnancies, I've gained at least 50 lbs. I really thought that because I started at a healthy weight and maintained an exercise routine through most of this pregnancy, I wouldn't gain the same kind of weight. Apparently I thought wrong.

Now when I look in the mirror, all I can think is "That's not me." I'm not used to having all these chins, all this booty, all this arm flab.

I've got a plan, of course. In fact, I'll be blogging about it at least monthly at work. I imagine I'll also do a bit of what I did last time around on this blog with the weigh-ins and progress reports.

I'm looking forward to exercising again without feeling like I'm being split in half. Can't wait to lift weights without having contractions. SUPER geeked about returning to Pilates and kicking butt. I so miss early morning runs, when the sun has just crested the horizon and the children are still asleep. So much to look forward to.

Of course, this time I'll have a newborn, four children under age six, and homeschooling to contend with, but I'm sure I'll get back into shape. Might take a bit longer, but I'm also hoping to give myself more grace than I've managed in the past.

Can't wait!

Friday, August 6, 2010

We Survived the First Week!

Well, we made it through the first week of homeschooling. The Princess was up at 7:00 Wednesday morning, "all set and ready for school" she said. Yesterday it was 6:30. Today she managed to sleep until almost 7:30 am, still an hour early for her.

As I've said before, we're using the Charlotte Mason method, although we haven't gotten any nature observation in this week. First, I'm eight months pregnant in Atlanta's August. Second, I don't do the outdoors much. I don't like heat, I don't like cold, I don't like bugs, I don't like birds. I don't like wind, I don't like my hair or makeup mussed. I am HIGHLY allergic to poison ivy, and that's reason enough for me to stay in until I have to venture into the wilderness.

The Music Man is the one who takes the children on shady hikes, points out the trees and birds, gently leads them over stepping stones in a shallow creek and the like. He will largely be responsible for implementing the science portion of this year's curriculum, as it's based on the Burgess Bird Book for Children. Did I mention I hate birds?

I also learned some things about my child. She struggles with handwriting and cutting a bit. These make perfect sense because I've never really worked with her on these skills.

She's got an AMAZING memory for detail. CM stresses narration, that is, her retelling a story to me that has been read to her. Princess' recall astounds me, honestly, especially given that most of our books have no pictures on the Kindle.

She understands poetry better than I've have guessed, which impresses me. We're going to have to work on sitting still, as she likes to move around while I'm reading. This wouldn't bother me too much, but I read in segments of less than 10 minutes. She's going to learn this skill, so we're working on it.

She loves math and can't wait to learn time and money. We're using Horizons Kindergarten book 1, and in three days I've allowed her to do 12 lessons.

She's extremely eager to please, and actually apologizes when she makes a mistake. We're working on that, too. I don't want her to be like me, always afraid to try things for fear of looking foolish.

Her favorite part of the day is the Enrichment Bucket. I put some flash cards for various subjects, some learning games, and sight word blocks in an old sucanat bucket, and after working hard all morning, she gets to choose one game to play. She looks forward to it each day, even telling me before we start in the morning what she'd like to do.

The Target dollar spot is a FANTASTIC place to get those flash cards. Yesterday I got addition, subtraction, and phonics levels one and two cards for the bucket. They also had math bingo. Music-in-law also got the Princess animals, shapes and colors, and alphabet cards for the bucket. It's super fun!

I'm also learning some things about me. I'm not at all patient about the handwriting issue. She writes some letters and numbers backwards, and when I correct her, she actually just changes hands with the pencil. How strange is that?! Funny thing is, when she changes hands she actually seems to get it right. I haven't figured out what that means about how her brain is wired.

I really enjoy learning these things with her, but my patience on the whole leaves something to be desired. It's a character flaw that I need remedied, so I'm hoping that teaching my girl (and the others, when it's time) will be abrasive enough to smooth away my rough places.

So that's week one! We're loving the Ambleside Online schedule, though I'm adding some things to meet the length of day requirement we have in Georgia. Can't wait for next week. Good thing they provide a great deal of enrichment reading!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Homeschool Year

The Firecracker Princess is starting kindergarten next week. Next week! I can't believe that my oldest child is going to be in school! As I mentioned last time, we're homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method.

For my part, I've been reading her Original Homeschooling Series, and have found it to be absolutely rich with wisdom. I'm only on book one, but I've already learned so much.

Since we're starting our homeschool adventure, I thought I'd document what we're using (you know, for posterity). Plus, I'll probably forget what worked and what didn't by the time the CCM is old enough for school if I don't write it down. Something about having four kids under six will do that to you. :)

alphabet semester 1, simple sentences semester 2

Horizons K workbooks 1 and 2, Grade 1 if we finish early

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Christian Development:
Parables from Nature
Trial and Triumph

An Island Story
Fifty Famous Stories Retold
Viking Tales

Paddle to the Sea

Burgess Bird Book for Children
Handbook of Nature Study

A Child's Garden of Verses
Now We Are Six
When We Were Very Young

Aesop's Fables
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
The Blue Fairy Book
Just So Stories

Fine Arts:
Folk songs first semester, hymns second semester
Three artists per term: Raphael, Sargent, and Monet, then Durer, Caravaggio, and ???

King of the Golden River
Peter Pan
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Red Fairy Book
Little House in the Big Woods.

T minus nine days and we start. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Absence and Return

OK, first I should apologize. Life has been crazy this year, and I'm just now getting my bearings. I'm almost seven months pregnant, started working from home in January, and have just been holding on and muddling through 2010.

It's a shame really, because I miss writing. I miss writing for myself, something which isn't related to my income. I've been working for a health and fitness blog called GenXXL, and have taken on increased responsibilities in the six months of my tenure.

It's a good gig, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity, but I do miss getting to talk about the kids, the pregnancy, the general meandering of life.

That said, here goes.

The Firecracker Princess starts school next month when the Music Man goes back to work. We're homeschooling this year, using the Charlotte Mason method. I bought a Kindle (and a super cute cover) because most of the books for this program are in the public domain (read: free). She's really excited to get started and begs to use her "school books" all the time.

The Monster is good, still just as sweet and cute as ever. He's clearly growing up, though, which is hard on a mama's heart.

The Joyful Babe is now two, and with another baby coming in the next couple of months, I may have to give her a new nickname. Sigh. They get big so fast!

Newest babe is girl #3 for us, so the poor Monster has some competition. He and daddy have been doing "manly things" this summer to up the testosterone quotient in our home!

As for me, I've maintained a minimum of activity, but apparently I just get fat every time I get pregnant. I still have 11-13 weeks left to go in this pregnancy, but I'm just 20 lbs less than when I delivered JB. Sigh. I can't lie, though, I'm excited to work it off after the baby comes. I'm hoping to do a half marathon at Disney World near the end of February.

If you're doing the math, I'm due end of September/early October and yes, I'll be pushing it to get in long-distance shape by then. It's a goal, we'll see if I reach it!

Thanks for catching up, I hope to be writing more!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Post on P90X

At Go check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do You Walk Wildly?

Because if so, and you don't read Sara's blog, you're missing out. Bigtime. Sara, her husband and two daughters live their dreams, lives that most of us couldn't imagine. They care about experiences over stuff. They love Jesus. What's more to say?

Sara's giving away a $50 gift certificate from Lisa Leonard Designs.

My favorite piece is the "banner" necklace because "His banner over me is love".
Wanna enter? You gotta do it fast, by tomorrow at noon CST, to be exact. Get thee to the bloggery! Go, now!