Saturday, August 28, 2010

Good Good Breakfast

Eating breakfast is an important start to my day. If I skip it, I become grumpy and impatient. My blood sugar takes a dangerous dive causing headaches and shakiness. Also, if I skip breakfast, I annihilate lunch. I eat it so fast I barely taste it, and sticking within my calorie restriction gets difficult.

Just as important as that I eat, is what I eat. And to be more specific, what kind of food and where it comes from. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that all the chemicals we put on foods and the things we feed our animals is affecting our physical well being. I am kind of crunchy and try to reduce my carbon footprint by buying local and organic as well.

I started to look at the all important first meal of the day and see what I can do to be nicer to my body and to the planet!

- Buy organic and free trade. The farmers are treated fairly by the buyers, and less chemical farming is better for the growers, the consumer and the planet.
* Reality check -- organic coffee is expensive. Folger's coffee is about $4/lb VS Organic sold in bulk for $9/lb. Do what you can. Try buying organic once a month.

- Buy local and rBGH free. rBGH is a hormone, which began use in 1994, that farmers give to cows to help them produce more milk. I'm okay with more milk! But studies have linked this hormone to younger onset of puberty in our children, yikes. Buying local is good to keep your money close to home, and reduces costs to transport long distances. *Local* = within a 200mi radius of home

- I put it in my coffee and sprinkle a little on my bran flakes. Being calorie conscious, I used to use Pink/Blue/Yellow sweetener. I'm not going to tell you how to think - but I will suggest that you do some research into the link between chronic conditions like Fibromyalgia and these lab created sweeteners. You might start with THIS documentary and go from there. I now use a product called PureVia, which is Stevia crystals, (available at the grocery store) for coffee and cereal. I've tried other Stevia products and found them a little bitter. If you can handle some baking, try WheyLow as a low calorie, all natural substitute.

Starting my day be eating breakfast is nice to my body. Starting my day with as much natural and chemical free food as possible is loving my body and my planet!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday I'm in Love!

What a week! Our last week before school starts and somehow I managed to straight wear myself out!! I decided, after pouting and re-claiming some poundage last week, that I WILL lose 10lbs by October 1st. I have lifted, stepped, ran, squatted, and pushed every which way each morning this week. If Senor Scale is being a truthful bear, I'm right on track to get there. Official weigh in on Monday.

Last night I went to a dieters doom...dinner out at a fancy little bistro with a good friend. Fancy little bistro wants you to eat, good friend likes you no matter what, mind must choose good or evil food!! I ended up with a cup of French Onion soup (all gone!) which came with a croissant (had one bite), a nice salad with a whoop-de-do garnish of fried cheese (ate about half of that), Candied Walnut Salmon over Spinach and Wild Rice (took on all but the last few bites of that), and a chocolate dessert (umm...okay...ate it all and licked the plate). I tried to figure it up when I got home and ended up about 300kcal over for the day. Had I left the dessert, I would have been golden.

I had intended to get up and "punish" those extra calories out of my system this morning. However, last night when I set my alarm, it informed me that "The alarm is set for 6 hours and 29 minutes from now." NOT enough sleep for this white girl. I'm so glad I opted for that extra hour of sleep. I still feel wrecked this morning. I was up late talking to my sweet husband - WAY worth it!

The house probably won't get picked up today - we will likely have Pb&J for lunch - might let the kids watch a movie this afternoon...heck maybe one this morning too! That's the beauty of working from home...if I'm not feeling up to par, I can scale back. Tomorrow is a new day and I get to try it all over again. Maybe I'll play Barbies and blocks today! I already built a fort, but I had to do dishes instead of playing in it this morning.

Oh - here's the song that is stuck in my head today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Well Done

Something important occurred to me as I sat down for a little rest after supper. Oddly, it was that I did a good job today. Yep, self praise. And why not? To many times I pick apart what I didn't do right and smack myself on the head. Each night I take an inventory of the day and ask for forgiveness for the stuff I messed up. It's okay, we all mess up. Every day. Even today.

But for a change of pace, I patted my own back and said this:

Good job Honey / Momma / Miss Andrea. You changed, chased, comforted, taught, fed and loved everyone in your path today. You kept your cool when someone lied to you and taught them why that hurts. You created a diversion when little ones refused to nap and remained sane. You made healthy yet edible foods, and kept the cleanliness level of the household above a health code violation. You even squeezed in time for yourself and took that important morning run.

Yay, me!

What about you? Make a list of positive things you did today. Leave them as a comment here. Write them down and pin them to your mirror. You're awesome! Did you know?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nothing Nice

If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.
Good advice.

Don't say every little thing that pops in to your head.
Even better.

Better to remain quiet and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Probably one of the best.

I haven't written much lately, because I have been feeling quite mean. Sullen, jaded, argumentative, judgmental, combative. I get a little burned out from time to time (who doesn't?!) and need to step back a little and calm down. So I did. I even took a few days off of running and militant calorie counting, caught an extra hour of sleep in the morning and had a little extra cheese, a scoop of ice cream or two. It's good for the soul.

It hasn't helped.

Along with the hot flashes and the monstrous headaches, month two of the Lupron injection has offered forth some additional side effects. I seem to be in a funk that I can't shake. I can go through half a dozen emotions in under an hour. I go from appreciating the way a child's lips curl when they smile, to being unable to stand being looked at. That's not me. I also spend much of the day convincing myself that I did, indeed, get enough sleep the night before. Drained and grouchy - can't like it.

I have my next appointment Wednesday for the 3rd injection. I was warned from the beginning that these injections were strong doses of hormones and would have varying side effects. After such a successful first month (with none of the initial worsening that I was warned about) I'm disappointed that I cannot tolerate this therapy better from an emotional standpoint. Even knowing that there's nothing "wrong" with me isn't helping me talk myself out of feeling sad, alone and hopeless. It's like a switch that gets flipped in my brain...then a few hours later, flipped back to normal.

Feeling out of control of my emotions isn't fun. I could deal with a few hot flashes and headache to get rid of the monthly horror...but this isn't worth it. On to the next thing...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fall Please

I've been shopping online. For jackets and hats to run in. It's my "dream self" trying to convince my "reality self" that this oppressively hot summer will actually end. It's been over 100 degrees on the heat index most days this month. I'm tired of all my tank tops and shorts, lugging water on even the short runs and dripping with sweat 15 minutes into my run.

Wahhh!! Summer time running can be a bear. However, it helps me get stronger. I've noticed lately that my times have gotten significantly faster each week. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was "just no good at running." The founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow, was not a fast runner. He ran and promoted running because he loved it, he believed in it - from the beginning. I may never be any good at it, but I won't quit. I think that "won't quit" attitude is what will prevail.

Wishing to buy some cute little tights to go under my shorts, scoping out a new Mizuno jacket with a pretty purple filigree on the side...dreaming of the days when I go out in the morning and feel a little nip at my nose. You know how the membranes in your nose freeze when you inhale through your nose in subzero air? Yah...that's what I want.

Even if I'm not fast by spring. Even if I have to walk some of that Marathon. Even if I get hurt again. I won't quit running. I love it and it keeps me sane.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home School and Head Injuries

Since my disgusting blister post I have run 10 miles and that toe doesn't seem to be getting any worse. I did put a band-aid on it for my 7 miler on Sunday, but left it off - to no adverse reaction - on my 3 mile run this morning.

I can safely say that this morning was the HOTTEST weather I have ever run in. It was 87 degrees and pretty muggy. It sorta felt like running through warm water with a hair dryer in your face on low. That first mile was all about my body refusing to cooperate. I brought hydration with me and fought the first 15 minutes not to drink the whole thing. After I got into the groove, swished some water around my mouth and relaxed - I was able to finish.

Monday's weigh in brought another milestone - my BMI puts me in the "overweight" category as opposed to "obese". Only took me an entire year and 53lbs, but I did it! Only 29lbs to go til I'm not overweight anymore! Twenty-nine pounds! Dude...I can DO that!!

Okay, enough with the mega-exclamation point usage.

I've decided that keeping our youngest child safe from physical injury might be another weight loss tool. Cameron is 15 months old and like a tornado. He runs everywhere, most times on his tippy toes. He can climb, unassisted, up onto the couch, rocking chair, bed, kitchen chair and thus - the kitchen table. He is tall enough to pull the dishrag off the kitchen counter and can almost reach the doorknobs.


I spend much of my time pulling the kid down from various venues. Thankfully, my little daycare boy of the same age is a bit on the solid side and isn't climbing quite yet...he was my one that was full on walking at 10mo old. I'm getting all choked up - that little dude is leaving in November when he turns 18mo. He is going to the local Montessori School with his big sis. I've had him since he was 3mo old. Time flies.

Gearing the kids up for school to start. Reason #235 that I love home schooling - I can ease them back in to the routine. Three weeks ago we restarted the library trips and the mandatory daily reading. This week, I will have them each do one day on the Typing Instructor program and the Rosetta Stone program. They love being on the computer, so it's no fight at all.

I've been successful in getting about 6wks of lesson plans in the computer ready to be printed for them on a daily basis. I am still fiddling around with Alahnnah's Language Arts stuff - but that's going to work against me no matter what I do. She is not an easy child to school - she is bright and bores easily. She knows that I can't MAKE her read something and will sit and stare at the page. I'm going to try to go easy on her and let her do some plays and research on the authors and artwork to go with a recent story. Once a month ought to help her to have something to look forward to. Oh - and I decided that I won't make her read on Fridays so long as she completes her work the rest of the week.

I hope this all works! I praise God that I made it through last year...this year HAS to be easier. Last August I had a 3mo old baby of my own, 2 brand new FT daycare kids (ages 3mo and 17mo) and was home schooling for the first time. If I lived through that, I can live through anything!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Not Pretty

My shoes are causing this when I run.  It doesn't hurt, but it looks terrible!  I was gonna poke it, but hubby says leave it alone.  What is UP with my feet lately?  I NEED those!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wasps, Kids and Running

I had a blog topic in mind that was thought provoking and new. It has been boiling in my brain for a few days, but my kids started fighting this morning, my head exploded, and I've since been unable to retrieve all of those pieces.

So I will just tell you about my ever exciting life instead...hey - wake up!

Had to get rid of half our garden yesterday. The rhubarb will grow back, the tomato plant was on it's way out (dunno what happened to those this year) but the Brussels I will miss. I had a healthy growing family of wasps living in and around the foliage. This particular patch of vegetation is around our garage, and right next to our play ground.

At first a wasp or two didn't bother me. I tell the kids - don't bother it, it could care less about you. Then there were 3 or 4, I thought - oh well, they are just bugs. The other day we were all out there in the wading pool and I counted 7. They were much to interested in my sweet skinned babies, so they had to go. My brave and valiant husband took care of the job. He hacked, he mowed, he ruined their habitat.

He didn't see one wasp.

Moving right along...

Took our 8yr old dear daughter on my run again this morning. I'm secretly hoping that it starts to get to cold and dark for her to want to go with me once a week. We had to cut it down to 2 miles to fit it in before DH had to go to work. She had shoelace trouble, was cold, didn't want to wear her helmet because it was wet...on and on. I used the shorter distance (and all the STOPPING) to run some sprints.

Running wasn't bad today, but sitting is making me wince. I did a Plyo Legs DVD yesterday that put the hurt on the 'ol back side. I was looking for something to work my quads - but will likely resort to step ups and presses. My brain doesn't function well at 5:45 in the morning...I would rather have somebody giving me instructions and demonstrating so I can just copy instead of invent.

Running tomorrow, then total rest on Saturday. My scale has slowed down a little - but I see that as a good sign. My body is making adjustments and getting "used to" what I'm doing to it. I keep asking for more, and sometimes it resists for a week or two.

No matter what - I win!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Old Mom

Okay - I know I'm not old. Turning 35 this year simply constitutes that the best years are ahead! I am proud of my 30's and having a blast! I am more healthy now than I have ever been, physically and emotionally. I have more money, more insurance, and more love than I ever did in my 20's.

One of the nurses at our doctor's office has twice called me "an old mom" since the birth of our 4th child. She, of course, qualifies it with "not old, but experienced" but it still stings a little. Besides, how do you gain experience if not over time? Having children 10 years apart certainly give you an all inclusive course in different stages of child development!

I was really feeling the burn (har, har) at the swimming pool this weekend. Standing in the shallow end keeping track of our 15mo old I noticed that I had about 10 years on the other moms there. I was really feeling old, when I thought one of their husbands looked like somebody that runs around with my College-aged brother.

It's okay. I'm not complaining - just observing the world around me. I truly enjoy our children, and live for the wonder in the eyes of a small child. The thought has even crossed my mind to be a foster parent or possibly adopt a child down the road. I don't mind being the Old Mom in the baby pool.

It just seemed like it came up on me so fast!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Living Example

What a great weekend! I am a big believer in having one day per week where you essentially endeavor to do very little. For me that day is Saturday. Now, don't give me that "well, I just have so many responsibilities, I could never take a day off!" I get it. I have 4 kids and a home daycare. Just take a day and do LESS.

I tease my husband, that ante meridiem does not exist on Saturday. He works at 7:30am, so I do get a bit of an eye-roll...*snicker*. Of course I still do dishes, cook meals, help with potty/change diapers, give naps, and pick up toys, but I try not to take on anything extra if I can help it. I also try to play with my children! Yep, filling up the baby pool and sitting there while they play, playing Rain Forrest Animal Match game, or even shredding on Guitar Hero can be incredibly cathartic. I admit, I don't do as much as I should. I'm trying to do better.

Sunday, though was back to the crazy busy life. I was out the door by 6:30 to run 6 miles. I did really well, actually. I had intended only 5 miles, but got to the turn around point and told myself "just a half a mile and you can head home!" I went nice and slow and got a good cardio vascular workout in.

After church and Sunday school, we all came home for some yummy sandwiches. I got my tomatoes, zucchini and peppers tended to, dumped the pool and even read my book for a little bit. The Littles took a nice nap and then we all headed to the pool at our friendly YMCA.

As we walked out the door - I said to my husband "Gee, I know what we should do! Drag FOUR KIDS to the swimming pool, yay!" Somehow when you say it out loud it sounds ten tons of cra-zy. But taking everyone to the Y is building a good foundation for them. If they learn that the gym is a fun place where they like to go - that will translate to a healthy adult life. That is our prayer, anyway.

All had a blast, Susan learned to put her face in the water and open her eyes, Alahnnah went down the water slide about 50 times, and Liam helped us keep a watch on Cameron aka Danger Mouse. It was nice to spend time as a family.

Back at home, the kids endured yet another meatless meal. I had cut and boiled some potatoes which I then tossed in a pan with some EVOO, chopped onion and garlic. Cooked over high heat till some crispiness formed, I then topped them with a little shredded 2% cheddar cheese. Those were a treat alongside fresh zucchini sticks with light ranch, and fresh herb salad with garden tomatoes.

My husband mused at the meal we were consuming, stating he didn't know to many people that eat like that. Yep. Probably. I'm okay with it - we're weird. Our kids are weird. And hopefully, through our example, they will all live a long-happy-healthy life!