Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm a total slacker.  My blogging has dropped to maybe once a week.  I've found a whole new love of cooking and that takes up a lot of my time.  Let's face it, crap like Facebook and Pinterest take up a lot of my time too!

This weekend went by quickly.  Son Number One and I did a 5K for his school on Saturday morning.  I'm not a runner.  I'm really not a runner.  I actually hate running with a passion, and I have no need for it in my life.  Son Number One told me he wanted to run that whole 5K.  I think he would have done it too, if he hadn't decided before the run to walk into the fish pond with his chucks on.  He learned about friction, and not in a good way.

My house doesn't normally have that taupy color going on.  Boy, I love Instagram!!! This is Son Number One and me prior to the run!

Run Forrest, Run!  Number One left me in the dust, and I had just crossed the "Start Line!"  I had fun chatting up his teacher while we ran, and I stopped, and we ran some more, until I pooped out and just started walking.  I am not a runner!

I caught up with Number One near the Water Station, about halfway through the walk.  He was walking slowly and saying his foot hurt.  The conversation went sort of like this:

Number One: My foot hurts so bad.

Me: That's why I told you not to walk in the pond with your shoes on, because it will cause you to get a blister.

Number One: IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF THAT.  It is a scab on my foot that came open.

Me: Number One, when you get your socks and shoes wet, it causes friction, and rubs against your skin thus forming a blister.

Number One: It is not a blister.  I just want to go home!

We walked back up to the school.  They had a blow-up slide, and I thought for sure when he saw that he'd want to stay, but he bee-lined it for the car.

He put himself in the carseat and took of his socks, and he said, "Oh yeah, it is a blister!  Well, I was just trying out the water to see if it was warm enough for us to swim at Big Mommy and Big Daddy's later today."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stare Trip

Last night, I went to kisado for my Wednesday night workout.  On the way home, Hubby texted me on my dying phone that we needed milk.  I'm just happy the phone had a little bit of juice left, because otherwise we'd be shuffling around trying to find something else besides cereal to make the kids for breakfast.

I debated stopping at the store, though, because I didn't have a hat with me.  I hopped in the car bald, as an apt to do on the way to TKD or kisado.  I took the right into the grocery store parking lot at the last minute. 

I guess, I'm sort of insecure about being bald still, especially in an environment where there are a lot of people who will stare at you and judge you but not ask you about it.  I think this comes from that fact that I was bullied as a child.  I always wanted to hide my head, so it's hard to walk into an environment with people you don't know, knowing you're different than everyone else and wondering what they're thinking about you.

Still, I walked in.  I booked it to the frozen food section to grab a lunch for tomorrow.  Then I grabbed some string cheese, as I felt in the need for some dairy. People were looking at me the whole time, some staring blatantly, some glancing and then turning their eyes.

I walked over to grab the milk, and one of the Publix employees who is there on the weekends turned to me and greeted me. 

"I see you don't have the troops today," he said. 

I smiled, "Nope, left them at home!" 

"Must be so much easier," he said. "Have a good night."

Leaving the store, I wondered why I felt so much trepidation stepping in there in the first place.  As humans we want to feel accepted by others. We may say that we don't care what people think about us, but it's not really true.  Everyone wants to feel accepted as part of a community, part of the group. 

We learn this from an early age, in tests: "Which one is different? Apple, Banana, Broccoli."  We learn to seek out differences, so when someone different is in our presence we stare.  In a smaller setting, usually people don't have problems asking questions about it, but being thrown into a grocery store and everyones' mind churning a mile a minute thinking things about you is quite different.

Honestly, I think going into the store was a major breakthrough for me.  I mean, some people won't even leave the house without a full face of makeup, and I just went out without putting my hair on.  There was a time if anyone asked me about my alopecia I would just turn red and start crying, and it took me a long time to realize spreading awareness of the disease is the key.

So next time you see someone who is different from you, be sensitive to their needs and try not to stare so much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goals Week of April 23, 2012

My posts are all over the place!  When I first started this blog, way back in November, I was writing goal posts on Tuesday and Wayback Wednesday posts on Wednesdays.  Now, I've just been fitting them in wherever. 

One of my goals this week is to work on a Wayback Wednesday post for next Wednesday.  I have a lot of "Wayback" stories to tell, and I think this blog serves as a sort of journal for my adventures in the past.  I haven't even divulged some of the craziest times in my life or the best adventures!!!

This week, I had a goal to lose one pound, which I didn't achieve.  I think this is because I lost four pounds last week.  I haven't gained, and certainly last night after doing over 100 situps in TKD, I came home and my stomach felt a lot flatter.  It certainly will never be flat like it was before Number One, Number Two, and Darling Daughter came along, but I wouldn't trade them for the flattest stomach in the world!

I haven't written this week.  I've had too much going on.  I plan to write some tomorrow, but my other big goal is to clean my bedroom and to clean the bathrooms (all four of them!).  My bedroom is such a pit.  I've had a problem keeping my bedroom clean since I was, um, born or at least since I was fifteen or so.  I'd like to reorganize my life, and keeping the house clean is part of that.  I also need to do a deep clean, dust, mop, etc. this weekend.  It's on my short list.  We'll see if I can get it done.

I've continued to love cooking in my crockpot.  I made a Weight Watchers chicken and dumplings recipe, and it was pretty good.  I enjoyed it, and the kids enjoyed it which is always a bonus.  They are sometimes so hard to please when it comes to food.  I want to make crispy salmon this week with noodles, but the coconut oil it called for cost $10 at the grocery store. $10 for something I'm going to use once, no thank you!  I guess I can substitute a different type of oil, but will the recipe be as good?  Anyone know?

My goals this week are:

  • Lose 1 pound (I know, this is so creative!  I bet you are so sick of reading this!)
  • Clean Bathrooms and Bedroom
  • Write or Edit my writing
  • Continue to cook two meals a week

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back to Normal

This week, it's time to get back to normal.  Hell week is over!  With events every night last week, my body is tired and ready to wind down.  I have a friend who says you shouldn't wish away your life, and he is right, but sometimes you wish for a little bit more time in your life and just a few more hours to sleep at night!  That's how I felt about last week.  Actually, I sort of want a mental health week now, but that won't happen because I have three kids and a job and...

I did kisado and TKD on Saturday after being off for a week and a half, and I'm super sore.  Every time I stand up from a chair I want to scream in pain.  I'm glad I did it and danced in a ball on Saturday night, because the exercise allowed me to indulge in a little extra food and drink this weekend. I need to hop back on the wagon today, and fast before I fall off of it for the rest of my life!!!

Oh, and here's a photo of me and my friend at the Ball.  Hubby, unfortunately, recorded a little video of me practicing beforehand.  I do believe at some point, I will be able to erase that evidence!  Our group was Vanilla Ice, and we danced to "Ice, Ice Baby."

Yesterday we went to the Low Country Boil at Son Number Two's new school.  They had a silent auction and a regular auction and lots of yummy food and drinks.  I had a great time catching up with my brother (who I don't see enough even though he lives thirty minutes away!).  We sat around under a tent, a nice breeze blowing, and chatted and drank.  The kids were at home terrorizing the babysitter, but we didn't have to worry about them.  It was a nice relaxing end to a long week.  My Mom and Dad bid on several items and won two of them (maybe to my Dad's chagrin).  They won a English countryside painting with cows.  When I looked at it, it reminded me of my Granny Becker who always talked about cows. 

I saw some parents of kids I knew growing up, and we chatted about their kids: where they were and how they were doing.  One of my friends from TKD whose son goes to the school was there, and we caught up as well.  It was such a beautiful day.  A nice day to end one week and transition into another...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Finally Friday

The title says it all.  This week has been super busy.  Fun, but super busy.  I am really ready for it to be Suddenly Sunday afternoon.  I'm ready for all of the "events" to end and to get on with my normal life. 
Overbooked is the word of the week.

On Tuesday night, Hubby and I went to a Cake concert. I used to listen to Cake in high school and then later on in college too.  I love their song, Short Skirt/Long Jacket.  They gave away a peach tree, and we were vying for it, but unfortunately didn't see the peaches until after some guy named Russell pointed out they were there!  He won the tree, needless to say.  Hubby and I had one drink.  His Achilles tendon was knocked into several times.  He wasn't the only one with crutches, and we met some fellow parents sitting right next to us, enjoying their wedding anniversary.  Overall, it was an enjoyable night.

Here's a photo of Cake.  Hubby took this when the mass onslaught of people rushed up to the stage during the Encore.  The rest of the time the MPAC (Montgomery Performing Arts Center) security reined down on people like Nazis, threatening to kick them out for taking photos and for dancing in the aisles.  Dancing in the aisles is a fire hazard, you know?

He still sang as well as he did in the 90s.  I've seen some older musicians before, and honestly, sometimes they are not nearly as good as they used to be.  Not the case with Cake.  And, we were happy Montgomery finally has some good live musicians coming.  This has been a long time coming.

On Wednesday, we had more of a down day.  I was so tired from the concert the night before.  We came home to celebrate Son Number Two's birthday.  He had a great time, and he loved his cake.  Not Cake the band, just plain chocolate cake with butter cream icing.  Oh, and Cake the band derived their name from "caked on" not from cake the food (Just a little tidbit of trivia for you!).

Here's a little video of the kids on Son Number Two's birthday.  Darling Daughter was singing his birthday song to him.  I thought it was so sweet.  Her vocabulary is starting to explode, thanks to the fact she can finally hear after receiving tubes (long overdo in my opinion!).

Yesterday I went to work, and I thought I would barely make it through.  I had some projects to work on, but I have a kidney stone right now trying to work it's way out of my body and it is never pleasant.  I was in a lot of pain yesterday afternoon, but I think I finally passed the darn thing.  I love genetics!  I always end up having the strangest ailments. 

After work, we had awards for taekwondo (TKD).  I earned my third level green belt.  I'm so excited.  I'm making progress.  My goal is to, eventually, earn my black belt.  I was excited to see all my TKD buddies move up in rank.  We also had several students earn their black belts last night, including some Junior students, and their parents made great speeches about them, which was so inspirational. 

Afterwards, the fun night continued at Jalapenos for some Mexican food and fun.  I spoke Spanish to the waiters, and they loved it.  I've been trying to dig my Spanish out of the recessed of my brain recently.  I find I can understand almost anything people speak to me, but speaking back is harder (and we all know in English I don't have a problem with that!).

With TKD testing and Awards, TKD has been closed and my exercise has gone down to non-existent.  Hubby emphasizes the fact I danced on Tuesday night!  Not the same.  I'm excited to get back in my TKD groove on Saturday.  I need the exercise, as I feel it helps me with the little stresses of the day.  I also think it helps me feel less tired normally.  I don't have a whole lot of natural energy, because a) I have three little kids, b) I have a jam packed schedule, and c) I don't always sleep a ton!  I feel TKD helps with that.

This weekend, the activities continue.  I think on Sunday, I will just fall into bed and be so glad the week is over and look back and wonder how we ever made it through!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weight Loss and Goals for the Week of April 17, 2012

I'm a little behind on my goal post this week.  April 17 - April 22 = Week With TOO MUCH TO DO!!!  I have something every night (except Monday, and that's already passed!).  I can't wait for next week to come, so I can relax a bit.

Last week we had Taekwondo testing, so I haven't had Taekwondo at all this week.  I'm missing it and honestly I feel like a lump, because I haven't had the time motivation to fit in another type of exercising.  I really thought I would gain this week, but I lost four pounds.  I'm down a total of  35 pounds now.  It is so hard to believe. 

Hubby took this photo of me yesterday with Son Number Two, and I can actually see the weight loss.

So, I reached my weight loss goal for last week.  My goal this week is to lose another pound.  My Mom said the break from Taekwondo may have let my body adjust to the muscle build and lose the weight.  Maybe, but I sure do miss my stress relief during the day, and I'm excited to go back on Saturday.

I had another goal last week (that was a typo!): to receive my third degree black belt! HA!!!  That won't happen for awhile, but I do believe I'm going to receive my third level green belt tonight.  I have Awards tonight, and I'll be moving on up.  Taekwondo goal for next week: Remember by green belt form!  We've been working on the Ho Am form, and I really need to re-learn my green belt form!

Writing.  Oh writing, you are taking a back burner in my life. I wrote about 4 pages in my novel this week.  Writer's block?  I can't tell.  I have been blogging, thinking about writing, thinking of my characters, researching on the way people act in relationships, etc, but the truth is I did not produce what I thought I was capable of producing in my writing this past week.  I'm not setting a writing goal this week, because it's unrealistic.  I have too much going on this week.  I'll concentrate on it next week, once we're back to our regularly scheduled program.

Cooking.  Wow, I have found a new love for cooking.  I forgot how much I liked it back in my younger day.  I think it's so fun to create something for the first time and try it.  I'm not much of an "old hat" chef, but I LOVE making new recipes and trying them.  We bought a crockpot, and I think it is the best invention ever for working parents.  I made barbeque chicken in it this week, and then chicken meat for tacos.  Both recipes were great, and will help me contribute more in the "cooking" department.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Fourth Birthday to You!

Happy 4th Birthday to you, Son Number Two!  I woke up this morning, and I couldn't believe you were four.  I thought about the shock of blond hair on your head, your huge blue eyes, and the grin you make when you find something funny.

Before you were born, you did not move in the womb much, and it scared me.  Hubby would come home from work, while I was on bed rest and jostle my "tummy," so we could feel you move.  I dreamt you would be born with brown hair and brown eyes.  Imagine my surprise, when you were born and you had the finest sheen of blond hair on your head.  The nurses in the hospital kept coming in my room, just to see the blond baby.  "Most blond babies are born bald," they exclaimed!

You were reluctant to be born.  I had to be induced at 37 weeks, and you just were not ready to join the world yet.  The nurses in the room kept exclaiming, "Well, he's just hanging up there in North Alabama!"  When you finally were born, we were all shocked at how big you were.  My biggest baby at 7 pounds 15 ounces, but you were only 19 inches so you looked chunky.  My OB said, "Thank goodness we took him early.  If not, you may have had a 10 pounder on your hands!"

When I looked at your tiny face for the first time, I cried so hard.

I did not ever want to let you go.  But, that's a parent's job, right? To prepare a child and send him off into the world. 

And you grew.  You became a chunky baby, who wasn't interested in crawling or walking.  You scared us by not really talking much until you were almost two and half.  Why should you?  You had a brother who would do all that for you!

You were always a good sleeper, until you hit about 18 months.  We had to move you from your crib earlier than expected, because of the impending arrival of your little sister.  You had a hard time adjusting outside of the crib.  You began crawling into our bed at night, and at first we didn't mind because you would lay perfectly still on your tummy, bum in the air, right in between us.  You were so sweet and cuddly.

The years went by.  You turned two, and you potty trained easily.  I didn't do much, and it became apparent early on that you would be night trained early too.  By two and a half you were no longer wetting your pull up at night, and you stopped wearing them.  You had one accident, maybe two, and that was it. 

You continued to look mostly like Daddy.  We received (and still do) comments that you look like an elf, with your cute little ears that stick out from the side of your head!

I dreaded the impending arrival of your third year.  I like to call the third  year, the year from hell in childhood.  Seriously, I think it is the hardest year for all kids.  You took it like a champ though, and had minimal meltdowns.  You did learn the fine art of whining.  You also became obsessed with Lightning McQueen, and you still are.  You have Mommy's penchant for obsession (passed down to her from Big Daddy). 

You amazed me, because I didn't teach you that much, and one day you sat in the car counting to 20 for me.  Then you recognized all the alphabet, and I thought, "Son Number Two can learn things on his own. He picks up on things.  He "gets" it."

And now you are four.  You are funny, silly, and a little lazy!  You like to be a couch potato, watching TV with your blue blanket and zooming Lightning McQueen on the floor.  You are so excited about your birthday!  Last night, you showed your babysitter your "cake," still in the box!  I love how the smallest things can make you say "Yay," in your squeaky little voice.  I love the mischievous look in your eyes.  I love how you and Son Number One would do anything for each other, even though occasionally I have to pull each of you off each other other screaming.  I love everything about you.

Next year you will embark on preschool. You will meet new children, you will learn new things. You will begin to be prepared to go to elementary school the following year. You will be the best you can be. I can't wait to see where you go, Son Number Two! I love you with my whole heart!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Third Level Green Belt Testing

On Friday, I had taekwondo testing.  All day long, I felt nervous about it.  My stomach flip flopped, as I thought about side kicking through a blue board.  I had done it before, in our last classes, usually on the second try but for some reason I was scared I wouldn't be able to pull it off during testing.

I arrived at the church where our testing took place and stretched out with friends.  I practiced our new Ho Am progressive form.  I felt like the form was natural, except for ending in a back stance, which I kept having to remind myself about. 

After stretching, my friends held the boards for the kids and we watched them break.  They all did an excellent job.  One of my friends' wives commented that it's just so much easier for kids than adults.  They get out there and aren't nervous are all.  They just do it.  She's right.

They called us out, and we did our form.  I always feel like the form goes fast, and it's just rote by the time testing comes around.  Friday, though, I questioned the last two moves in my head so I slowed down a bit as I did them and then ki-uped at the end. 

Then we had to do our contact skill.  I was testing for my third degree green belt, so my contact skill is a side kick.  My side kicks are very similar to my round kicks.  I don't know why.  I have a hard time, and I tend to get them confused in my head.  I also usually forget to pivot my back foot, but luckily I practiced doing that beforehand.  I pivoted and kicked the focus pad several times.  Then I attacked one of the white belts so he could do his escape skills.

After contact skills, we put our sparring gear on and we sparred FOUR lengthy rounds.  I do believe these were longer than the average a minute and a half.  I was kicked pretty hard in the forearm by one particular friend, but that's the price you pay when you spar sometimes.  By the end of sparring, we were all dripping sweat and breathing heavy.  I started coughing, as I've been fighting a cold or allergies or bronchitis all week. 

We removed our sparring gear, and we watched while the higher ranks sparred, including one session on two on one sparring.  I hate two-on-one sparring.  It freaks me out!

Then it was time to break.  I watched while my friends went up there and broke with ease.  I was so nervous.  I kept visually picturing my foot going right through the board.  Think positive, and it will happen I told myself.

Finally they called me up.

I practiced lining up and hopping together to put my foot through.

My instructor said, "State your name."

"Lauren, sir.  Permission to break, sir?"

He nodded.  I turned around, got in a sitting stance, hopped together, bringing my leg up at the same time, and my foot went right through the board.  I was shocked.  All my friends on the sidelines clapped and cheered. 

I'm also shocked when my foot goes through, and a lot of times I forget to pull it back.  I find myself looking at the board, and then looking at my foot and wondering how it broke so easily.  A side kick is a powerful move. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Some Words About the Week

This past week was busy, as usual.  We fit in some fun times though.  Earlier in the week, I was home with Darling Daughter for her tubes.  That afternoon while she was sleeping, I took the boys to our favorite dessert place: Nancy's Italian Ice.  I just love going there, because the owner is always so friendly.  The ice and ice cream is cheap, and provides a nice cool treat in the HOT Alabama Springs (and Summer!).

Son Number Two enjoyed chocolate ice cream with "spinkles."

Son Number One enjoyed a Fancy Nancy (ice cream and ice layered!) with Sour Green Apple and Blue Raspberry. 

I had fun spending this sweet moment with them.

The next morning, Son Number Two woke up early to join me with my early morning coffee.  He found the Star Wars Version of Trouble and brought it downstairs.  He was playing with it, pounding the bubble to hear R2D2 make his silly robot sounds. 

He turned and looked at me and he said, "Mommy, where are the axations to this game?" 

It took me a few minutes to realize he was looking for the directions, not like he could do anything with them because he doesn't know how to read!

I'm trying to make an effort to write down all his cute little phrases.  Son Number One had such good vocabulary development that he didn't really "mess" up words in cute ways like Son Number Two.  I find it funny when something unexpected comes out of Son Number Two's mouth (well usually, unless it's really unexpected!). 

Right now Darling Daughter is obsessed with books.  She likes to sit on Hubby's or my lap and have them read to her over and over again.

This is her current obsession:

 and if you've read this book, you know the title of the book is about the essence of the whole story, and yet we have read it about a thousand times this week!  Still, I love David Shannon, so if you have small kids definitely check out his stuff.  The Pirate books are hilarious, including "Pirates Don't Change Diapers!"

It became obvious Darling Daughter really needed tubes.  Her vocabulary has exploded since Tuesday, so I'm thinking she must have been really having a hearing problem from the ears being so clogged.  She is now repeating sentences and almost every word that is said to her.  Here's a photo of her and hubby in the hospital right before she had the tubes placed in.  Needless to say, she was not this happy for the rest of the day!

Such an eventful week, and next week will be full of activities too.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Being the Best Parent You Can Be

I've been thinking about parenting this week. I've read two blog posts which gave me insight on my life and on what my children need from me: Super Mom Debunked and Your Children Want You.  I believe both of these blogs are true.  I look at other people's Facebook posts of the crafts they do.  I think: I should buy more crafty stuff and make stuffed pigs and beautiful butterflies out of paper mache. 

Then, I try to think about all the fun things I have done with my kids: growing butterflies from caterpillars, making Jupiter with Son Number One, making art with Popsicle sticks, letting them run outside, play in the mud and dirt, letting them be the master's of their own creativity.

As a parent, it's hard to not feel guilty about the time you don't spend with your children, especially with everyone else always pointing it out.  The time you do spend with them should be quality time though, but it isn't always.  We all have bad days.  We all have days where we come home from work/school/activities exhausted and just want to lie on the couch and do nothing.  We flip on the television and our children turn into mindless zombies, and sometimes they crawl onto your lap while watching t.v. just to remind you they are there.

As a working parent, I don't have a lot of time to spend with my kids.  I constantly ask myself if I am doing enough.  Am I spending enough time with them, absorbing their little cuteness, watching them grow?  As these articles point out, I can't be super Mom.  I can't be there every minute of every day.  I have to take time for myself too, to recharge my batteries, to be a better parent for them.  I know this, just looking back at my past and how I related to them back then.  I know, in order to be the best parent I can be, that I need time away from them as well as time with them.  There is a fine balance in there.

I always believe in really talking and listening to your kids.  Use every minute you have with them as a way to connect.  Every afternoon, I pick up the three kiddos from school.  They pile into the car, and I ask each one of them (yes, even Darling Daughter, but she rarely answers!) how their day was.  I access the looks on their faces, and I ask them if something happened that day that made them happy, excited, sad, or angry.  They share with me, because they know I will listen.  I'm hoping this is a theme that will extend into adolescence when a lot of children push their parents away.  Sometimes even if you don't have the answers, listening is enough to let them know they are loved, and it will bring them comfort.

Nobody is a Super Mom.  We are all humans with our own needs, as well as our kids' needs.  Do the best you can with your circumstances.  Incorporate listening into your daily life.  Let your children know you are there for them.  Hug them often.  Show them you care with your words and your actions.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Watching the Sun Rise

I woke up early this morning, and I'm sitting here drinking my coffee and watching the sun rise. I love my coffee in the morning, and I love my alone time.  The sky has a bluish green tinge and the houses and trees are just black shadows. The morning is stretched out before me full of potential.

Son Number Two came downstairs when I had been awake for fifteen minutes. He crawled on my lap, and I hugged him. He told me I was squeezing too hard. He said, "I have to go to the bafroom." He says "bafroom" and "ting" and "tree." I love it when he says, "I don't like that ting." I still try to correct him, as that's my nature. He sticks his tongue between his teeth and then pulls it back saying "ting," as I annunciate "th-ing." He'll eventually outgrow it, as kids outgrow things...

He has a field trip today to the puppet show, and he is excited. He ask me every morning, "Momma, is today a home day?" He loves home days. He's my child who is a homebody. He doesn't want to do an activity. In fact, when I signed him up for gymnastics he didn't like it. I asked why, and he said, "I'd rather just sit at home on the couch." He has the best smile, the biggest blue eyes, and he makes the silliest faces all the time! He just cracks me up with the things he says. His favorite thing to do right now is to dance, sticking out his bottom and say, "I like to shake my booty!" Nice, almost four year old humor. Cracks me up.

Enjoying my morning with this silly little guy and remembering how it feels like he was just born yesterday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Goal Post and Other Updates 04/10/12

This past week was Easter.  I ate and ate, and I ate some more. I managed only to make it to taekwondo on Tuesday and Friday with kisado on Wednesday.  Hubby went out Monday and taekwondo was closed on  Saturday for Easter. 

I thought with the lack of exercise and the extra eating I'd be up a lot.  Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scales on Sunday night, and I was only up one pound.  This morning, I stepped on the scales, and I was down two pounds.  I actually lost my one pound this week, despite the extra eating.  I have been replacing my attitude with a calm optimism that I'm going to lose this weight, and I'm going to be strong.  I feel it coming off, and I know I've changed my whole outlook on life this year.  I feel better about myself, more confident and happier. 

Here's a photo of me with Darling Daughter on Easter.  I think I'm looking so much thinner (and stronger!  My brother commented on my muscular arms.  They're getting there!)

Looking at this photo is funny to me.  The thing I notice the most is my lack of eyebrows.  I'm starting to think of having them tattooed on, but I recently saw a woman who had it done, and it looked horrible.  I also could draw them on, but I just don't have time for that in my life. 

I actually am starting to like the way I look bald, better than the way I look with my wig on. I've thought about just shedding the wig and being completely bald all the time.  It is who I am.  I'm not sure my co-workers are ready for it though.  Here's a photo of me and Darling Daughter from March, and I'm au natural!  Lack of eyebrows when you're bald looks more "normal" to me!

My other goal for this past week was to make dinner, at least once a week.  I succeeded.  I made a Mexican/Cheesy/Casserole.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  God, I love Pinterest!  It was delish, but a little dry.  Next time I might try to add more liquid to it and also make it a bit spicier.  We will be eating on it all week, since the kids didn't really eat it and even though portion size said 5 servings, those must be portions for giants or something!

I didn't complete the taxes this week, but Hubby did!  Thanks to Hubby for that.  It was so nice to have it done. 

In other news, Darling Daughter had tubes put in her ears today.  The surgery went well.  They took her back, screaming and kicking, put the mask on her and she was out, and the tubes were in within a matter of minutes.  The doctor said her left ear looked horrible.  She had pus and an active infection in that ear.  She'll have antibiotic eardrops to take this week, as the ear drains.  Hopefully this will give our sweetie a little relief. 

She came home and slept for about three and half hours, as the anesthesia wore off.  Then she woke up in the best mood, and she sat on my lap reading me books and having me read books to her!  She's such a sweet baby.  She gave me kisses and said, "I love you Momma.  I love book, Momma." 

I didn't write this week. I was preoccupied with stuff going on in my life.  I need to work on my novel this weekend.  In fact, that will be a goal for next week: Write 5 pages.  I've written 20.  My characters are stuck in lalaland waiting for me to come back.

I hope to lose 2 pounds next week.  Maybe I can do a big jump, but I'm not counting on it.  I'd love to lose 5 pounds and be down to my next middle number!  I only have either 19 or 29 pounds more to lose (depending on how I look and feel once I get down 19 more pounds!) I will never be one of those skinny little girls, and I will always have to work to keep my body fit and the weight off, but that's fine with me!

Also, taekwondo testing is Friday (the 13th!), so another goal is to get my third degree black belt.  I have to break a board this time, and do the new Ho Am form.  I'm a little nervous.  Yesterday at taekwondo we sparred, and I thought I was going to die at the beginning of my third round.  It is amazing how something you only do for a minute and a half at a time can make you so out of breath.  I guess I'm still not in wonderful shape!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Today is Easter.  Son Number One woke up at the crack of dawn.  He was excited about hunting Easter eggs.  He was impressed with his Easter basket, even though the bunny was a bit "cheap" this year.  Darn the recession, affecting even the Easter bunny! Son Number One did not notice though!

Once all the kids were awake, we dressed them all in blue, and we tried to snap a kid photo on the stairs.  This is how it turned out, classic for years to come I'm sure:

I knew the day was going to be rough, because Son Number One stayed up most of the night, excited for the Easter bunny, and Son Number Two spent the night in our bed again.  The only one who had sleep was Darling Daughter, but with the amount of chocolate she ate first thing in the morning, we were well aware a sugar low would be coming on in the afternoon.

We went to Grace Church for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Son Number Two found the golden egg in the little kid section, and Son Number One was upset about that and cried, but moved on shortly.

I snapped a few wonderful photos of the kids there, including a photo that made my heart hurt because Son Number One is looking so old!

My beautiful girl in her Easter dress.

My blue eyed boy!

My big boy.

After the hunt, Son Number One went to church with my parents, my brother, sister-in-law and nieces and nephews.  Hubby and I went home and put the little ones down for a little nap before lunch.  Once they awoke, we went to my Mom's house and had dinner.  Eggplant parmesan (yummy!) with salad and bread.  Not a traditional Easter dinner, but great nonetheless.

When we came home, Son Number One was in full meltdown mode.  He finally fell asleep in the recliner, and I moved him into his bed a little before seven.  Son Number Two actually fell asleep in the car on the way home, and napped until 5, so he didn't go to bed until 8. 

The whole day seemed to fly by.  I can't believe Easter is almost over, and now time to plan for Son Number Two's birthday. He'll be four in ten days.  I can't believe it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Your Life is Your Own

I saw this little quote on pinterest this morning.  I found it pinteresting.  (See I just created a verb.  It will eventually  be in the dictionary, just like e-mail)

For a lot of my life, I lived for other people.  I lived thinking about other people's expectations of me.  I wondered whether I was disappointing my parents, my siblings, my friends.  I wondered what other people thought of me.  I had anxiety about not attaining other people's goals for me.  I felt like a constant disappointment to my parents, never doing anything with my life.  Never following through.  Starting something (like vet school, or a novel, or talking about becoming a nurse), but never finishing the task.  I lived in other people's eyes. 

One day this past year, I woke up supremely unhappy.  Those of you who struggle with depression will sympathize with this feeling. I felt like my life had never really begun.  I looked at my choices, and I wondered WHO had made them, because I was never fully awake enough to be conscious of my decision making.  I was not living my life as my own.  I was essentially sleep walking, trying to meet other people's expectations of me and worrying about the outcome, instead of just leaping over the cliff, trying something new, being creative. 

I realized that day, that I matter.  My life is my own to do with what I want, not to do what my parents want me to do, my siblings want me to do, my husband wants, my friends want.  TO DO WHAT I WANT, without the caveat of everyone elses' expectations!  I realized I needed to find a purpose, a pursuit, and jump into it running.  I knew I needed to change my way of doing.

I feel happier than I ever have this year.  I feel more in touch with my emotions, which is funny, because this actually scares other people.  I think our society is so into stuffing your emotions down, and when you have someone who recognizes feeling those emotions, facing them, and letting go then they are often misunderstood.

I want to be fully awake and aware that my decisions are my own.  I don't want to live worrying about what other people are thinking of me anymore.  I want to be who I'M supposed to be, without worrying about what others think. 

Here's to living your life as your own.  A good lesson to us all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Love, not Hate

Everyone judges.  Everyone looks at other people sometimes and feels like they are doing something wrong: sinning for lack of a better word.  Today, I read a blog post by Single Dad Laughing (SDL) called I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay.  This post spoke to me about LOVE.  I, along with almost every one else in the world, has a habit of judging others as SDL speaks about in his post.  (I'll love you unless...) 

I also, although I believe in God, have always shied away from the church to a certain extent, because of the hatred that stems from people's so-called Christian beliefs.  Looking at others with disdain, but not taking care of aspects of their own lives. (And certainly, this is a generalization because I know some great Christians too)

I know what it is like to be different.  As a little kid, I had to struggle with hair loss.  I was bullied, pushed down on the asphalt walkway at my elementary school by a little boy named Rondre who didn't understand that some people are different.  I was beat up.  Kids talked about me behind my back.  Even some adults didn't have the guts to ask me about my hair loss, instead making assumptions and spreading them. Being different should not bring fear into people's hearts. Don't fear differences, embrace them. Seek knowledge first, and don't judge someone for their differences.  In the end, them being different has absolutely NO impact on you.  It's their life, not yours.  Having alopecia areata made me more aware and more accepting of people who are different.

Our society has become more judgemental, filled with more hatred, and less understanding of differences.  Hate is on our televisions, sometimes disguised as Christianity or patriotism or any number of ideologies.  If humans have a reason to hate, then they will.  We'll fight a war to stop hate, and the whole time we'll HATE the people we're fighting and we'll become terrorists AGAINST them spreading more fear and hate, targeting whole populations for the bad of a few.       

A few years back, a man named Martin Luther King fought for Civil Rights in the United States.  I've been to the church where he used to preach.  Martin Luther King used his religious beliefs for good, to help free a people who had been targeted by hatred for hundreds of years.  Now instead of African Americans, gays are being targeted (or fill in the blank: anyone who is different from you, any minority).  Isn't it time we started accepting people, instead of finding ways NOT to accept them?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Goal Post Tuesday April 3, 2012

Goal Post = Football.  This post is not about football though, it's about my goals.  I think, maybe, one of my goals this week will be to sleep. 

I was utterly exhausted last night.  Hubby went out with a friend.  I surfed the Internet, looking at random, mundane stuff, and finally went to bed around 9:30.  Pinterest is such a time suck, seriously.  I could spend all day on there (or night), and it's so visually stimulating.  I digress.  Anyway, I went to bed at 9:30.  I woke up from a dream, in which I thought Hubby was turning off the alarm clock.  I had no idea why he would turn off the alarm clock, because I have work tomorrow today.  Instead, Hubby was doing the one-leg shuffle to the bathroom.  Walking is a lot noisier when you have a cast on your foot, and you have to lean on a walker, or hop places.  He'll make a great Easter bunny this year!  I asked Hubby why he turned off the alarm clock, and he told me he didn't, making me realize it was only a dream.

Then I was laying (lay is the past tense of lie, so I'm using this correctly people!) in bed thinking 5000 thoughts, one of them being how we stillSTILL STILL have not done our taxes.  The other being the 1800 things we have coming up the next couple of weeks: Easter, Number Two's Birthday, a Cake concert, Dance/Ball thingy, Low Country Boil, Taekwondo Testing, Taekwondo Awards, then Earth Day 5K walk, and how I wish my life would slow down sometimes.  Busyness is nice though, because busyness leads to less overthinking, unless apparently it is 3:41 A.M., and you can't fall back asleep.

Anyway--this has become the most rambling post ever, because lack of sleep will do that to you.

I didn't set any concrete goals last week.  I haven't lost weight this week.  My body is still changing and looking better, and I've had a few people compliment me recently on the weight loss.  I can see the change in how my clothes are fitting, even the new clothes my friend so nicely handed down to me! This week, I'm going to lose ONE pound.

Having Hubby out of commission has made me realize how much he does around the house.  I will make a concerted effort to help more.  I will help on the weekends by making a meal every Sunday.  I know I can do this.  I love to cook, mostly only if it is a new recipe.  I like to create and see how it will turn out.  Cooking is sort of like crafting a story.  I can see the creativity in play.  My family is picky though, and when people don't eat what you cook it can make you not want to cook.  Still, I can pull off cooking ONE day a week, and maybe at a later point in time I'll add Saturday to my cooking days.

I'm still managing to workout about five to six days per week.  This weekend Taekwondo is closed for Easter,though, and I wasn't able to go last night so I won't be able to fit in my five day workout.  Oh well, I think I'm doing a good job, and I just really need to try not to be a couch potato at home.  I read an article recently about how sitting more than 11 hours a day can be super dangerous and lead to premature death.  I don't want that to happen, so I'm going to make more of an effort to be up when I'm at home, since I sit most of my 8 hours a day at work. 

That's it for my crazy goal post, this week.  Oh and DO taxes.  Hubby's going to help with that, since he's working from home.  PROCRASTINATION = STUPID.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Bluest Eyes

Darling Daughter was delighted this evening to have Mexican food for dinner.  She smiled at me, and I shot a few photos.  I love this one of her the best:

She has the most beautiful eyes, and I continue to think she is the most gorgeous baby in the world.  Of course, I'm a bit biased.

This weekend was busy, as always.  I kept thinking two things: I need to figure out what I'm doing for the kids' Easter baskets and I need to buy diapers.  Neither item was completed, so I'll be going out on my lunch tomorrow to try to take care of that.

Instead, yesterday I did kisado and taekwondo.  Son Number One came with me, so gimpy Hubby would only have to watch two crazy children.  Son Number One was rearing and ready to go when we finished, but I was enjoying conversation.

I think I overdid it, because most of yesterday I was tired.  I ended up taking Son Number Two to have his first haircut.  He really didn't need it, but he's been asking for one for an eternity and he finally had enough hair to actually be cut.  The stylist was impressed with how still he was. He loved the buzzer.

I was so proud of my boy.  Afterwards, we walked over to Target, because it was such a nice day.  Son Number Two wanted to show me what he wanted for his birthday.  I still can't believe he will be four in a little over two weeks.  Time flies.  While there, I stared at the diapers, but we had walked down there so I didn't buy any.  I did, however, buy much needed workout pants and a new sports bra.  Yay!  I love Target. 

Afterwards, we went home and the kids acted nutty until it was bedtime.  I went to bed at 8:30, because I was just exhausted. 

I woke up today at 6:30 AM, and my day started.  Hubby can't do much around the house, so I'm trying to pick up the slack.  We went upstairs and cleaned Son Number One's room.  It looks so much better, and we'll work on the other two in the next few days.  I also did about a hundred loads of laundry.  I went grocery shopping with all three kids.  Then I managed to go to dance.  Such a long and busy day, and I really felt productive but tired.

I made this yummy recipe that I found on Pinterest. I enjoyed it, and the kids thought it was so-so (maybe a bit too spicy for them).  Plus, mine did not look anywhere near as pretty as hers.  My enchiladas fell apart!  Oh well!!!

What a wonderful weekend, but as normal it went by too quickly.
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