Everything's Bouquet

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lost and Found

Sparky is our 11 year old oustide guard dog; the one who would play ball with an ax murderer, a band of robbers, the weed sprayer man, and the stranger who knocked on my back door by mistake recently. He lives to chase the tennis ball; it is his destiny and he doesn't deny it.
Guard dog Sparky decided he needed an adventure yesterday. His two acres were stifling him and the weather was finally perky. His lovely red shock collar in the photo above was laying in the garage, and he only needs about a day until he starts singing FREEDOM when that collar comes off. If you want a silly dumb dog or a dog that sits still, do not buy a Jack Russell Terrier.
When I realized he was missing last night I was so sad. My oldest son, Mr. Bodybuilder, drove around looking for him until I called him and told him to come home. Search and rescue would have to resume in the morning. My hubby thought maybe he would show up at the back door in the early sunrise. It was cold last night, Sparky hates the darkness, and I did not sleep well. I kept staring at his bed where he should be. This morning I kept looking at the back door where he is usually looking back in at me. No guard dog.
Long story short to save you the details, we were reconnected to Sparky through a couple of angels late this morning. A sweet dog loving lady found him up and boarded him overnight at a vet. The younger boys and I picked him up; there was lots of rejoicing, laughing and Little Ceaser's Pizza (for the boys, not Sparky or me).
Now I am staring at the back door and he is staring in at me. I am counting my blessings, and thanking God that Sparky is spared another day to chase his destiny. To chase it with his shock collar on that is!
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Please Pray for Layla Grace

Please pray for Layla Grace and her family.  You can read her story at www.laylagrace.org.  She is only two and losing her battle with cancer.  My heart is heavy, and my cheeks are wet, and I am humbled and ashamed of myself.  Today I will not whine, eat mindlessly and selfishly, ignore my children, or waste time playing stupid spider solitaire.  Today I will pray for this sweet family suffering so much, live in every moment thanking God for my blessings, read books to my children, hug my children, and most of all be thankful for now instead of worrying about next.  So now I will exit my computer and not look at it again today, in honor of this sweet family enduring so much pain and heartache.  I am dedicating this day in praying for them and living in the moment with my family.  Please join me in supporting them in prayer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

Because my closet is halfway destroyed and pulled out all over my entire bathroom, I decided to take a break and post a few of my latest reviews.  I am trying to step out of my box and do and eat some of these ideas you fellow healthy bloggers blog about.
First up is the fun world of Zumba.  Back when the world  was spoiled and the economy was delightful, we were members of a gym.  We dropped our membership not only due to the economy, but getting there consistently while keeping up with a family of 9 was just too challenging.  During my days at the gym however, I was always intrigued by the signs for the Zumba class.  Well, if we are creative, exercise does not have to be expensive or involve gym memberships!  A church near my house advertises free Zumba and free yoga classes on two little signs I drive by regularly.  I keep seeing those signs in my sleep...they haunt me day and night. Zumba, zumba, zumba.  So I did a little research by way of you tube.  Last night I asked my girls who wanted to support me in this endeavor.  They all seemed a little supportive until after the you tube Zumba preview.  My fun and perky creative game girl (see pretty girl with post it on forehead in game night post) was game to go with me.  I was way out of my comfort zone.  These questions almost stopped me from going: Who would be there? Ages? Sizes? Friendly? Hostile? Could I keep up?  I pushed the questions and my sanity to the back of my head and waddled out the door.  I know, this is a lot of intro for what did I discover.
What I discovered: A gym full of people (well over 50 at least), all ages, a few men but mostly moms, daughters, groups of friends, and even a few younger children.   All sizes including lots of people like me working on getting fit.  Lots of visitors like myself, and lots of smiling friendly faces.  No hostility there!  It is hard to be hostile when the big room is booming with very very loud bouncing music.  Music that brought out the jiggles and smiles.  It was fun; lots of fun.  The entire 48 minutes really went by fast, and my calorie counter said 311 calories burned.  Not bad.  Could I keep up?  Are you kidding.  When I looked around the room to catch some help on a move from other Zumba girls...well neither could most of the others.  We were all moving and shaking even if none of us really looked like the instructors.  I am glad I tried it, and hope to try the yoga soon also.  Confidence from stepping out of my box and trying something new: priceless.

Next try was the Fage ridiculously thick (their words) Greek yogurt.  I can't go a week without seeing this somewhere out there in blog world.  I spied it in my Costco in a Costco size container.  I loved it.  The thick consistency is like pudding, and the protein total is fantastic.  Unfortunately it is a little pricey AND my oldest son, Mr. Bodybuilder, loves it also.  I had one serving and he poured the rest down his throat in record time. So if I continue to buy this I might as well just deliver it to his room when I walk in the door.  Maybe I can hide it in a container marked dog treats. Just kidding Mr. Bodybuilder.  Today they have a 50 cent off coupon on their website to help with that pricey issue.
Thank you Kashi models: my two favorite brother stooges.   Mr. Peter was even willing to take a few moments out of his report on Brazil to try a little modeling.  I think he would clean out the garage to take a break from writing.  Kashi.  It seems like lots of healthy bloggers are eating it.  I see it everywhere.  I did not like it a while ago, but overcome by the popularity in blog world, I found it in my Costco cart in (of course) Costco size.  This Mr. Bodybuilder has not touched, and Mr. Bodybuilder please give it a try.  It tasted okay.  It was a little like sawdust with skim milk on top.  I can get over and push through the gastronomical  issue; the intestinal issue is something I cannot sacrifice.  For at least 10 hours after my bowl of sawdust cereal my intestines felt packed, and I will spare you the details of the constant gas explosions.  I don't usually have gas issues, and I do eat a good amount of fiber most days.  I have to live around a lot of people, so I think they will all thank me when I do not give Kashi a second try.
Winner winner chicken dinner!  A big thank you and shout out to Roni at Ronisweigh.com.  I won these pretty little spices from her giveaway, and they arrived this morning.  My first giveaway win!  They came with a sheet full of spice ideas.  I cannot wait to start baking and cooking with them.  I think I see a pot of soup in my near future.  What are some of your favorite fitness tips or items?  Please leave me a comment and give me some new ideas!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Pancake Day

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My ten year old Peter informed me early this morning that it is National Pancake Day.  His informing turned into begging.  Lots of begging.  Pleeeaaase can we go to IHop and get our FREE three pancakes.  Since I complete my funner than fun husband (see last post), I promptly told him absolutely no, not under any circumstances was I going to wait in line with the rest of West Tennessee for pancakes.  More begging followed by me adding that they were not really free.  No one eats pancakes without buying at least drinks to go with them I told him.  He had me there when he quickly and happily informed me that they were also serving butter milk  for us to drink.  Now I know what is on my funner than fun hubby's agenda this weekend: two little brother stooges, one long drive to Ihop, and buttermilk pancakes galore.    

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sing With Me...It's Gonna Be a Good Night

FAMILY GAME NIGHT...OH YEAH.  My two youngest boys were so pumped all week.  We discovered a new game thanks to some friends who brought it over on New Year's Eve.  My boys love it.  My five year old doesn't even really get it, but LOVES it.  Abby's group of friends played it late Friday evening.  It really is a fun game for all ages...more on the new mystery game in a second.  

We started out our family night playing It's Gonna Be a Good Night ; Aidan had been singing it all afternoon in anticipation, so my funner than fun hubby indulged him in the car on our drive to dinner.  Our little spot in the world just opened one of these, and the waiting lines are long.  We headed there early to miss the crowds. 

My oldest son was working and could not join us.  We were all entertained by my Mr. Wonderful who had been out of town last week. I am blessed to have such a great entertainer for my children.  He really enjoys spending time with his children, and they know it.  You just can't fake that kind of stuff.  

I got to sit by my favorite two stooges.  This is the entertainment I had on my end of the table.
They take after their daddy.

We needed to walk off the 500000 calories of pizza; the boys needed to walk off the coke.  We strolled nearby and did some window shopping.  I forgot I gave daughter #3 the camera.  I was think'in I looked hot sharp for our family night out.  Not so much.  I have a LONG way to go. Can you see the Coke jumping boys?  Obviously I had water.  

Now for the part you have been waiting for...back at home game night.  The newest game on the block that we all love so much (drum roll) is:

All ages, all fun, all the time.  My boys would play this every day if I did not hide it.  It is sort of trivial pursuit meets roulette.  It involves guessing, writing, numbers, chips, deep discussions, and lots of laughing.  My five year old partner would not let me help, never really got the total idea, but had a blast.  

We ended the night with my oldest daughter's suggestion of  playing guess who I am in twenty questions.  She is modeling her character in these pretty pictures.
It was a really good day and night.  On the diet horizon I did over 90 minutes of yard work for my exercise, and did not count calories in honor of family night.  ugh.  After viewing the window shopping picture though, I hope to be back on the ball by Monday....of course.   Right now I am off to clean up sticky notes littering my kitchen with names on them.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Didn't Picture it Going That Way or Breakdown of a Meltdown

I am not sure where it all began or exactly how to dissect it.  I do know that way back in the 80's we used to call overeating a "pig out", and now in our kinder gentler denial sort of generation the pig out is now the new meltdown.  Back to the dissection of healthy eating gone wrong.  I think maybe it might have begun yesterday morning on the dreaded scale.  I told myself NOT to step on it; I had already had my 16 ounces of water and everybody knows you don't step on the scale with clothes on or before beverage intake.  I ignored the loud voice in my head telling it I had worked hard all week and it was  time to face the scale.  Up, yes up 2 pounds.  I tried to ignore the drama in my head but I am afraid it may have set the tone for the whole day.  I managed to eat well and exercise 1 hour.  It was later in the day, after running errands with my three youngest children for three hours that I began to get discouraged.  My sweet hubby that I missed all week was flying back into town....only I had pictured it happening late afternoon and it turned out to be a late night flight.  Then my older girlies, the same ones the night before had said they were free on Friday evening (a very rare thing for my teens), now all had big plans.  I had pictured us all enjoying a girls night out with Aidan in tow at a fun Mexican restaurant.  Instead after dropping my two above Aidan at sleepovers it ended up just me, Aidan, and frozen pizza at home.  All of these not bad things, but just not the way I had seen it in my head as Hitch said.  So the drama in my spoiled head reached a peak and being the very emotional eater that I am, my spoiled head told me I needed some homemade warm chocolate pudding to soothe my soul.  I made a small yummy smelling straight from scratch batch on the stove.  God even sent me a lifeline distraction...my sweet Abby called to ask could her group of 7 or so friends hang here at the house.  I had to throw the pot in the fridge, sweep, straighten, throw together a chip and salsa tray and a batch of brownies.  I was proud of my quick hostessing skills and left the group to their own while I retired back in my bedroom.  Retired back in my bedroom that is with my dessert bowl of now not so hot but slightly cooled homemade chocolate pudding topped with a little whip.  A long time ago I  bought some cute glass dessert bowls that hold only about a cup...for obvious reasons...the ice cream in the cereal bowls was getting out of control!  Well, I am Houdini with that dessert cup....filling it magically with a towering amount of slippery pudding topped with whip and not losing a drop.  It would be safer if I'd just use the cereal bowl.  I notice the other day that my 10 year old Peter has my gift of dessert bowl stuffing when I saw his towering half a container of ice cream stacked in his tiny dessert cup.

Anywho, after my chocolate pudding meltdown, I had a horrible headache.  I guess it is a good sign that I am eating healthy enough that sugar gives me a headache.  My wonderful hubby arrived home, the party people left happily, my big kiddos, hubby, and I enjoyed some late night nibbling, kitchen cleaning, olympic watching, and visiting.  All was well with the world, and minus the headache that is probably how I would have pictured the evening ending if I had pictured past the pudding blocking my view.  So I don't know what my calorie totals were for Friday.  I long for the day where my emotional dramas do not effect my eating.  Maybe when life doesn't go like the movie in my head, I need to figure some coping skills that are not food based.  I need a diet Hitch to keep me going with some inspiring quotes and snappy advice!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

She's Got His Back

Sandra Bullock would be proud.  Guard Kitty has his back every night.  Their relationship started in the early hours of the morning when Aidan could barely crawl.  She, Lila the guard kitty that is, was so excited to have company before sunrise that she greeted us happily during Aidan's way too early feedings.  As soon as Aidan was done with his gourmet breakfast, he would crawl to Lila and completely lay on her.  He would maul, squish, love, cuddle, and pull out her hairs while she put up with every second of his attention.  She does not put up with anything even close to this from any other member of the house.  She loves him so, and every night without fail we find her guarding her little man at the end of his bed.

I am so thankful for the people who have my back.  I am blessed.  Thank you sweetie pie, wonderful children, super parents, and great friends who all encourage me, pray for me, and laugh with me.

On another note, it was turkey pot pie for dinner tonight.  This is actually a picture of chicken pot pie I made a couple of weeks ago.  It is the same recipe, but tonight we made it with turkey.  My Emma the Picky Eater loves this dinner.  Here it is without the yummy crust.
On the right is the simple crust before the oven.  And after an hour in the oven it looks like the above picture.  Not a bad calorie total at around 250 a serving.  We like to serve it on our winter snowman dishes with a side of cornbread.  Our winter snowman dishes have actually brought us a lot of snow this year.

I am slowly working on my February goals.  The closet and curtains still haunt me, but I have one week left to see what I can accomplish.  Below is an update on exercise and calories from Tuesday the 9th through today.  Hopefully I will not take so long to update next time!

Tuesday, February 9: 1363 calories, 60 minutes of exercise ( 26 min. 30 Day Shred & 34 min. elliptical)
Wednesday, Feb. 10: 1192 calories, 46 minutes on the elliptical
Thursday, Feb. 11: 1125 calories, 60 minutes of exercise (26 of 30 Day Shred & 34 min. elliptical)
Friday, Feb. 12:  1405 calories, 60 minutes of exercise ( 26 of 30 Day Shred & 34 min. elliptical)
Saturday, Feb. 13: Free calorie day...Valentine's Date to Bonefish Grill..YUM!  66 min. on the elliptical
Sunday, Feb. 14:  Meltdown.  Spoiled from one meal out and did not count calories again today.
Monday, Feb. 15: 1225 calories, 60 minutes of exercise ( 26 Shred and 34 elliptical)
Tuesday, Feb. 16: 1490 calories, no exercise because of Bible study day
Wednesday, Feb. 17: 1170 calories, 26 minutes 30 Day Shred, I was very tired today.
Thursday, Feb. 18: 1495 calories, 46 minutes of elliptical.  Had a near-meltdown with half a gigantic Costco blueberry muffin, but recovered and got a grip.

Whew!! That should be enough motivation to update more frequently! I am off to check on my little man and his personal guard kitty.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bringing Tea Back

I guess it hadn't really gone anywhere, but I had gotten out of the tea habit.  I don't know if it was the snow, or the desire to use my tall skinny really cool mug, or just the power of suggestion after the green tea box fell on my head, but today tea and I reunited (and it felt so good).  All three meals I warmed my constantly cold old hands on my tall skinny really cool mug while sipping green tea.  Something about the slightly bitter hot taste seemed like a good ending for each meal.  It is in my genes to believe all meals except maybe breakfast should end in something sweet.  Breakfast just doesn't end with sweet because generally it has sweet poured all over it or in it.  That slightly bitter have to talk myself into tea taste in my tall skinny really cool mug seemed to tell my taste buds I was done.  No need for anything sweet.  It was a great theory for today, and I hope it works for me tomorrow.  I cannot see any downside to bringing tea back unless my teeth turn dingy and green.  I may have to drag out the dreaded teeth whitener.

First day of my three weeks of February goals agenda was a success.  My only regret today was after I woke up to almost 4 inches of snow, I should not have told my jumping off the ceiling small boys to wait an hour to go out and sculpt their snowman.  In true West Tennessee fashion, before the hour was up the rain started falling, and it fell all day long.  No playing happened in the soggy snow.  Next time I will try not to count on the snow staying for an hour!  I am hoping we get a little magic snow overnight so I can make it up to them.

Today I drank over 80 ounces of water, exercised 46 minutes on the elliptical, and ate 1,246 calories.  I am looking forward to tomorrow;  I've got a breakfast date with my tall skinny really cool mug.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hello February; Goodbye January

I hate goodbyes. I have put it off for a week now though; I won't miss you January, but I will always remember you and the 14 pounds I left behind with you.  January was a really good month as a cold, dreary, put away the Christmas decorations month goes.  It was actually a great month.  I was in the zone with my plan for narrowing the gap of 8 inches on the chest of my Little Rose Jacket.  Oh zone I love you.

Then February hit like a hurricane blowing me around, beating me up, and washing my zone back out to the sea.  Four weeks is all I made it before having a zone meltdown.  How pitiful is that?  So today I am re-reading my healthy momma vs. vacation momma post, remembering my original goals, focusing on the long term, trying not to give up from discouragement over last week, and setting goals for February.

Goals for February...hum.  I have three weeks left.  Three weeks is a lot, and I want to make the most of them.  Goals are tricky.  I want goals that challenge me enough without discouraging me.  Goals that are realistic and attainable while motivating and stimulating.  I need a goal psychiatrist.  I want to focus on goals that I make happen; not goals that are impossible to control.  Example: I can set goals for calories and exercise.  Maybe I can set ranges for weight, but I am leery of setting certain weights.  The last week of January I over-exercised and under-ate.  Still my scale did not move.  If I am doing the correct things I do not want to be stressed if the scale does not move.  On the other hand, maybe a reasonable weight range to lose each month is important so I do not settle for the scale not moving at all.  I just don't want to set scale goals in my head that I am working too hard to meet, or not enough.  

Ta-da: February Goals (or the 3 weeks that are left in the love month)

1. Eating.  I will strive to eat clean.  Keep my calories under 1500 a day.  Report daily calories on blog ( reporting previous days when I post). One day, the Valentine's Date with Hubby day, I will not report calories.  This may or may not be on the 14th (gotta wait in line for my free babysitters around here!).
2. Exercise.  I will exercise 5 days each week.  I will report this when I post.  I will do the 30 Day Shred at least 3 days per week.  I will visit the Zumba class ( oh this one scares me and sends me way out of my comfort zone box).  
3.  Home.  I will clean out my closet.  I will sew Emma Grace's curtains.  
4.  Mind/ Spirit.  I will finish reading 1 book.  I will catch-up on my homework for Revelation.
5.  Family.  We will have at least 1 game night.  I will take my youngest three on a field trip.
6.  GOALS.  I will write my goals for March on or before Sunday February 28, 1010. I am hoping this will prevent me from losing another week to a meltdown. 

Wow oh wow.  That seems like a lot of goals.  I need a nap just to get ready for them.  I will start on none other than the dieters first day of the week...Monday.  Tomorrow.  That scares me a little that I am waiting until tomorrow, but I am determined to succeed this week.  My magic blog.  It seems like if I write and journal my goals here, I might will do them.  So I am putting this week behind me, and focusing on the next three.  Oh, and goal number 3 is probably harder and scarier than the rest.  Procrastination in the closet and curtains area makes me feel like it is a way bigger project than it is.

On an ending note.  Last night was the Valentine's Dance for my three high school girlies.  What a fun night.  Maybe later I will download some photos, but I am blessed.  It was a fun night of pretty dresses, fun flowers, lots of laughing, tons of pictures, and 9 extra girls spending the night making a total of 18 in our house sleeping not so soundly. I wish I had remembered to snap of few pictures of the girls and guys hanging in the kitchen, sitting on my counters, telling stories about the evening, and generally enjoying being a teen.  I guess at 1:30 am my non- teen brain doesn't think clearly anymore!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am NOT a Robot

Just in case any of you were wondering, today proves that I am not a robot.  In December my good friend from the cold north was exasperated at her husband.  He is a robot was her exact description.  He had decided to drop a few pounds the low carb way...the really low carb way.  During the holidays no less, he managed to lose around 15 pounds.  She was finding the pounds he was losing, due to holiday festivities and stress.  She finally decided she just wanted to be a robot too.  A dieting robot; no cheating; no wavering; no veering off course.
I am not sure if I want to be a robot, but today was the perfect storm for a non-robot me.  What was it that made it so perfect?  1. I was tired.  Way to tired to think in a long term goal sorta way.  My own fault from staying up too late.  2.  Hectic schedule.  Todays schedule was tight and long.  It involved lots of organization, transporting of children here to there, special classes, a children's valentines party, and a loud roller skating rink.  3.  Over-doing the exercise last weekend.  What I was so proud of at the time, turned out to wear me out by Tuesday.  I need to learn moderation.  4.  Depression Disappointment.  Sadness.  I hate to even mention this in the light of all the real tragedy in the world.  I really have more blessings than I can count, and that might be the answer to me getting out of this sadness; I need to start counting!  I am being real here though when I acknowledge that a big part of my perfect storm is my mood, and boy it is down today.  Nothing tragic.  I am just sad for a child of mine who is having a rough time, and sad for a tough decision I had to make over the weekend.  Things that will be fine because I know God is in control, and I trust Him completely.  Today I am still a little sad though.  5.  Hormones.  Cycles.  The gift of womanhood.  I am about to have the normal hormonal cycle week, and no doubt that is not helping my mood in # 4.

So there it is: the perfect storm.  While overly tired I maneuvered through a very full day, dragging my sore muscles here and there, smiling at the world while crying inside, and all the time wondering if this overdue cramping would ever produce something?  In this unlike robot mood, and hungry from no breakfast (see hectic schedule), I ran into the potluck bonanza at the Valentine party.  I did so good all of January, and today I gave into the meatballs, vegetable pastry thing, pasta, and heart cookies.  Ugh.  When I got home I continued my pity party with my favorites: Nutella and leftover pizza for dinner.

I wish I was one of those people who do not eat when they are in the perfect storm.  It is easier for me to stay strong when I am happy and hopeful.  I need to stop giving in to food when I am sad, or hormonal, or tired, or anything!  I don't want this to turn into the month where I reverse what I did in January.  I am going to address this by doing what I can with the perfect storm factors.  I can get more sleep tonight, exercise more sanely this week, and count my blessings, and pray!

I also need to decide some goals for February and update my pounds lost in January.  I will try to get this done within a couple of days.  So praying Wednesday is a better day!!  What is your dieting kryptonite, and what do you do to conquer it?

Oh and trainermomma.blogspot.com has a really fantastic heart monitor giveaway this week!