Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'd rather be mingling 2/1

Hello to any new visitors of my little neck of the blogoshpere!  I'm doing my very first Monday Mingle today - woot!  I had actually planned to do it several times before, but chickened out.  I guess I'm not too comfortable with seeing myself on camera.  It shows in my video too, in funny ways.  For example - why do I keep looking outside, as if my backyard had changed in the last 5 seconds?  And why do I hold my mouth to one side for almost the whole video?  Weird, I say.  Weird. is my vid:

If you want to join in, click the button above, and that will take you to Eighty MPH Mom's blog where the info can be found.  I'm excited to check out the other participants and meet some more fun ladies!  

I'd rather be not sore.

Okay mamavation ladies, and any other lovely visitors I may be receiving, here is my weekly update.

I have been doing pretty well with food - and we kept the eating out to just the weekend!  I didn't stick to the plan of doing just one meal out, but we made it every week day with out a last minute trip to a restaurant.  (Believe me, this is HUGE in my house.)  And I can tell my kids are starting to get the drift - getting fruit as a snack with out asking for junk, preferring carrots at a friends house.  Who the heck are these kids!?

I decided that I would share any new workouts with you guys that I do weekly in these posts.  Last week was Bollywood (if you tried it, let me know what you thought!)  This week is the Weight Loss Workout with Violet Zaki.  She reminds me of a British Jillian Michaels - except for not a raving lunatic much sweeter.  (In case you missed me saying it before, while I love what The Shred does for my body, I find Jillian to be my nemesis.) I found Violet's routine to be pretty comparable as far as the sweat factor, and she gave great modifications too.  Plus, she has that cute accent.

She pretty much kicked my butt.  My hamstrings were sore for 4 days.  No joke.  FOUR freakin' days of "oooowwwww" every time I sat down on a hard chair.

The scale went down again - woot!  Another pound gone.  Now I only have two more to lose to get back in the leg warmers! (That means I currently weigh in at 191.)  I'm really excited about this - but I have one MAJOR hurdle coming my way: Disney World.

If you all have any suggestions as to what I can do while I'm there, I would love to hear it.  I know I will be walking all over the place, but in past trips to WDW, I haven't faired too well.  To be honest, I haven't even tried previously.  I'm hoping that if I get my head in the right frame of mind, I'll do okay.  I have one more week to get ready for it, so help me out!

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your support.  Mamavation ladies are so great like that. Smooches!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'd rather be in Fantasyland

Do you ever feel like if you (or your child) take just one small step in the wrong direction, it will change the rest of your children's lives?

I know it sounds dramatic, but I feel that way.

My daughter is walking this thin line - the line between Fantasyland and Real Life (which I will now refer to as Meanieville.)

In Fantasyland people play magical games of pretend and believe in Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, and The Tooth Fairy.  They are trusting to a fault - but that is okay, because no one lies.  They see through rose colored glasses, and are quite content in the fantasy of it all.  It's almost like your living in a Disney movie, where the biggest problem of the day is when will the princess get to dance with the prince again.

Meanieville is not so.  It is a dark, scary place, full of icky nasty stuff.  If one of those little people from Fantasyland were to wander over, they would be eaten alive and be used up for everything they have.  In Meanieville, the people of the land tell lies - big old stinking piles of lies.  Lies like "My sister is the model on the back of the portrait package sheet," and "At midnight all of the adults are going to turn into robots and try to eat us," and "I am a vampire, and I will eat you."  And the cute little people from Fantasyland believe it all as truth, naturally, because that is what just they do - they are gullible.  They are tortured by these lies and can't see them for what they are.

This is the line my daughter walks, and I don't know if she can keep it up.  She has already waltz into Meanieville a few times and it has not been pretty.  I would love her to keep a sense of wonder and mystery about the world, while still being able to tell the fact of life - that things aren't always pleasant.  I want her to still believe that when you blow on your birthday candles your wish may come true, but not believe that ghosts are haunting her school just because a friend says so.

Is it too much to ask?  What do I do to help her keep a lookout for those big stinky piles, but yet not become jaded?  Should a seven year old have to even worry about such things?  Or a mother of a seven year old?

Or do I just need to accept that this is life.  Accept that this is what happens when children grow up.  That they need to learn lessons like this first hand.

My hope is that she will learn that while Meanieville is alive and well, you can still visit Fantasyland - and visit it frequently.

Obviously I do.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'd rather be in Bollywood

Good morning and happy Monday!  It is a rainy day here, but I'm feeling quite chipper, regardless.

Ready for my weekly check-in?  Here is the run down:

Work outs:  Did more yoga, walking, balance ball work outs, and more Bollywood dancing!  Some of you had mentioned you were interested in them, so taking a cue from @BusyBabyMama, I thought I'd post a clip for you.  First is a short trailor that gives you a quick glimpse into the video:

And, yes, I do feel like a bit of an ass doing the workout.  But it is still fun to do.  If you have time, here is a clip of Ellen doing it on her show - she looks goofy, but you get the idea that it's a happy, fun dance.

WARNING:  The elk move at the end is VERY dangerous to preform around any male. *wink*

Onto food:  I followed my usual m.o. - good during the weekdays, not so good on the weekend and once everyone is in bed.  I have made a plan with my husband to tackle our major affection for eating out, but I think I need advice from you all about my nightly snack habit.  I wait until everyone is asleep, and I have this nice happy quiet moment when I catch up on my shows, and get to eat what I want, with out having to share it with little sticky fingers.  The problem though, is that I pick sweets (hello chocolate and peanut butter, my two best friends) or salty foods with dip (everyone knows pretzels taste better with queso dip.)  I am determined to make better choices, but not ready to give it up entirely.  Do you have any suggestions as to what might make a better (yet still deceivingly satisfying to my craving) choice?  Because I am kinda sick of working so hard, then sabotaging myself.

I'm feeling good, overall.  I think I have lost about a pound.  (Hard to tell, on my scale, but the needle moved a little, so that's what I'm going with.)  I'm happy with this, as I think I'm gaining some more tone in my muscles too.  I'm still in the right mode, and really want to keep losing.  This week, I am committing to working out Monday through Friday (whew!) and only eating out once (gasp!) - because I have heard a few compliments lately ("wow, your face is looking thin," "hey skinny mini,") and I want to keep them coming!

Thanks for listening and I look forward to your snack advice!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'd rather get excited!

I tend to get a little over excited about Disney.  This trip for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference is no different.  Actually, it's probably worse, seeing as how I've never felt the need to color code my attack plan.  Oy vey people, I need help:


My ical layout for the trip.

That is just the tip of the iceberg.  I have my favorite guidebooks (The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and Passporter's Walt Disney World book) all marked up with dog ears and highlighters.  I have all my dinner reservations (ADR's in Disney-speak) written out and stowed away in it's own little folder - along with my outgoing info for Disney's Magical Express pick up service.  It goes on and on, and it's out of control.

Being that their mother is obviously certifiable, my kids tend to get a little excited about Disney too.  It has been pretty manageable this time around - because they only found out 3 weeks before the trip.

( I should interject here that we always have the best intentions of surprising the kids with the trip.  We have done it successfully with smaller trips, but we can never hold in our excitement for Disney, so we always end up spilling the beans.  This can be hard for a kid if you let them know as far out as we have - over 2 months before our first family trip to WDW.)

The problem, then, was how do you keep your kids from going mad with anticipation?  Our solution is a countdown calendar.

The first year we made it a big deal and did a huge scavenger hunt.  We gave them clue cards and had them go searching around the house for the items that matched the clues; sunscreen, a bathing suit, a camera, a disney coloring book, etc.  They were to piece the clues together to figure out what we were doing.  (They were clueless.)  We even took the hunt on over to Grandma and Granddad's house.  (They were one of the clues because they were coming with us.)  To end the hunt, the girls found a personal note from Tinkerbell in my parents mailbox.  She told them how excited she was that they were coming, and gave them a cute little box with cards and stickers so they could make a countdown calendar.

My eldest getting a little cheesy.  We pulled off that day's card, and kept going til they were all gone.

I don't even remember how we told them about it last time, but we did make the calendar together again. This time, I wanted something to be left on the board to look at as we got closer, so we did it a bit differently.  We punched out circles that were glued onto the board and decorated them with stickers, drawings, and photo's of us on our last Disney trip.  Then we added a number that indicated how many more days til the trip.  On top of those circles, we stapled more circles - punched out of pretty scrap paper, with a matching date - and then attached it all to the board.

I don't have a good pic of the bottom circles, so just imagine their awesomeness.

This time we are going high-tech and have downloaded a countdown clock for the computer.  Mac users can try: The Disney Trip Countdown from Apple.  PC users can try one of the many countdown programs available via a google search - including the Intercot Countdown Timer.

These calendars have really thwarted the "Mommmmmmmy, is it time yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet?" questions.

It does not, however, stop them from saying, "Mommmmmmmmmy, I want to go to Disney NOWWWWWWWW!"

But, then again, it doesn't stop me either.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'd rather be in swimsuit shape!

Hey guys...

Here is my weight loss update:

Food:  Been doing okay.  Was tracking, eating lots of fruits/veggies, and not drinking coke - but always have a step back on the weekend.  This weekend, however, I tried to be pretty good at my meals out.  Ate smaller portions, made sure to get veggies as my sides, only one bite of desert - if any.

Exercise:  Did a few great exercises this week - lots of yoga, and some Brazilian dance too!  I missed one day that I had planned, but I semi made up for it by sitting on the balance ball all night while playing with my kids.  I figure doing that is better than lying down, right?  And I finally charged up my Gruve and am currently rocking that too.  (As if to drive that point home, it just buzzed me. Ha!)

Nitty Gritty:  I am down 3 pounds!  Back to 193 - and only 4 more to go to get back to my leg warmers! Woot!  Feeling good too.  I'm really committed to getting down as much as I can in the next 3 weeks, when I get to meet all the other Disney Social Media Conference moms!  It really whoops you into gear knowing that there will be 100 other moms (whom you've never met before and who are also twit-pic pros) seeing you POOL-SIDE!  Ack!  So I'm off to work out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'd rather everyone make it

Okay ladies.

I know how over a dozen of you are feeling.  I was there.  Not in the top 5 when the last round of Mamavation was announced.

Now what?

May I make a suggestion?  Here is my proposed list for you:

  1. Cry.  Like you did when you watched the Notebook.  Cry it out until your face is puffy.  (This is an optional step, of course, but I highly recommend it as it is very cathartic.  Plus you'll get it out of the way.)
  2. Mope.  Be pissed.  Go through the stages of Grief.  Including the one where you eat ice cream.
  3. Post.  Write about it.  BE REAL.  Tell us you're pissed.  Tell us you're upset.  Tell us.  Everything.
  4. Channel all that energy into your future.  Use it to push you through this rough spot, and into a place where you say, "Eff it.  I've had it.  I can kick butt, no matter what." 
  5. Turn around.  You'll see me - the other sisters - the cheerleaders - all of us rooting for you.  And we will help get you to where you want to be.
Sound good?  I expect to see you next to me.  (And honestly, ya'll know I need you just as much.)

That is all.  Just wanted to let you know that I will not leave a sister behind.  

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'd rather be going to Disney!!!

I'm so excited!  So stinking excited!

I am going to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World!

Well, I should say *WE* are going, because it's a family affair!  Of course it is, this is Disney!

This is coming at a great time - almost the 10 year anniversary of my honeymoon to my wonderful husband - that was (you guessed it) in Disney!

I am beyond excited, as this is my very first conference.  I am planning to attend Fit Bloggin' in March, but this one just popped onto my radar - and being such big Mickey fans, how could we say no?

So now I need help with two things:

1.  What should I expect?  What should I wear?  What should I bring for the sessions?  What have I gotten myself into!?  (See, I go back a bit with some of my Mamavation ladies who I'll see at Fit Bloggin', but I don't know the other Disney SM Mom bloggers as well.  I'm nervous!)

2.  Mamavation - I need a plan of attack!  How does one go to Disney, and not come back 3 sizes bigger?  Help!

So, can you help?  Give me some pointers!  It will help keep me from floating away in these Mickey shaped clouds!

I'd rather be looking forward

Well, I'm going to go ahead and get this out of the way now.  If you notice, I did not include my weight in my last two posts.  Why?  Because it is so sad to me - I gained 7 pounds in December.  What?  Did I write that correctly?  Yep.  Seven freaking pounds.

I did the math for you - that put me back to 196.  Is that even possible?  Seven pounds?  I was hoping that is was water weight, or just extra fluff that would fall off easily.  Maybe my body's version of hibernation that I could shed just with sheer mental will.  Not the case.


I did not look at the scale too closely before this week, because I knew it would not show me anything good.  Instead of looking down (at my toes, and then making myself feel down,) I decided to look forward.  Hence the "make progress" post.

That is what I've been doing.

For Nutrition:
I have been tracking my weight watchers points.  I fended off two trips to my local diner that I love so much.  My family has discovered the joys of Subway.  I have been trying some new recipes - and even came up with a super simple (and fast) stuffed pepper recipe.

For Fitness:
I have been moving my butt.  I did EA Active, yoga, a balance ball cardio workout, and even a cardio bollywood workout.  That was a sight!  I have blessed my dog with a few walks around the neighborhood in the freezing cold.

For mental health:
I have forgiven my last month.  I am MAKING PROGRESS!  Thank goodness I have so many supportive people around - because I need you all.  It is taking a bit of time to remind myself that I need to be focused on doing things that move me forward, not on hardships or disappointments.  My husband gave me a good pep talk about it yesterday.  I was telling him how upset I was that the scale wasn't moving down quickly this week, and he gave me a big reminder that I was working hard and to be patient!

Right now, I am down about a pound for the week.  I am moving in the right direction.  If I keep doing that, the scale will have no other option than to come with me.

PS - I super duper heart guys.  It has been a great reminder to focus.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'd rather be crazy at the grocery store

I would like to officially appologize to anyone who had the missfortune of being in the grocery store with my kids and me this week.  If you are unsure who we were, here is a list of some of the things that were said, to refresh your memory:

"The giant squid packer thing is looking at me.  It's mad at me.  That, or it's looking at the bag roll because they are in love."
"The next person to put thier tounge on someone else gets a time out!"
"Moooommmmmmm, she did "ka ka" in my ear!"
Upon the automatic door not opening for me and the younger daughter, the older daughter says, "It's not opening because it is a judging door and you were not cute enough." (Also recall, later when we were finally - blessedly - leaving, the same older daughter actually got the "judging" door to open for her.  I was told "See mom, I'm cute so it opened.  You weren't.")
 And yes, I was that mom who said "Back away from the candy or I'm going to hit you in the head with these rolls."  And, yes, I was the same mom you caught hitting said girl with said rolls.  But remember, we were all laughing hysterically about it, so don't get too uppity.

I will say, that when you fall down on the job in the parenting field while at the grocery store, the night only goes down hill from there.  Thankfully, we left with a full cart - unescorted, even - but this is what was said after we got in the car, and at home.  It got worse:
"Mommmmmm, my pants fell down and I'm sitting on my butt cheeks."
 (Then the other daughter, in response to the above statement, added...) "If you're happy and you know it clap your butt cheeks."
Later, I was asked, "Can I play with the wine opener?" as if it were an acceptable form of entertainment for anyone other than mommy.
I loved this attempted bribe: "If you give me an Ande's chocolate I'll be less hyper."
"Can everybody be quiet, I'm trying to poo here!" was screamed out from the bathroom.
The most rewarding line: "I challenge you to... a DANCE off!"
"I fly super fast - just like a Chiwawa!"

I will say that this was not a normal grocery trip.  I left smiling, and not stressed out.  Oh, and I normally don't allow that much bathroom humor.  But, sometimes, you just gotta be insane - and let others think what they want - in order to get through the day, and to give your kids some happy, fun memories.

Don't be a judge-a-puss.  You know you sometimes act like an idiot too.  Or you at least want to.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'd rather give three scoops

My husband is the cool parent.  The easy-going, "aww, let em stay up late to watch Mythbusters," fun parent.  He disciplines too, for sure, and we work well as a team.  But, I think if my kids had to label us, I would be the bossy one, and he would be the fun one.

That sucks sometimes.

I don't mind that they know I mean business when I give them "the look."  They know mom knows - that mom sees all.  That mom will put the smack down if she has too.  Those are good things, but I miss the other stuff sometimes.

Compared to a lot of parents, I'm probably pretty darn fun - I think.  I let them jump on the furniture.  They sometimes get to sleep in, on a school day, just because.  Make crazy food concoctions, as if my kitchen were a laboratory, for the fun of it.

Even still, to them, I am McBossy, and he is McFun.

But....but...I have the ice cream.

I give three scoops.  He gives two.

He lets me win that one.  He points out that "Hey, Mom is the one that hooks you up.  I'm sorry, I can only give you two scoops.  Guess Mom beats me on that."  He probably wants to give them four.  But he doesn't.  He lets me have a beautiful, fun mom moment.

I have the ice cream.  I'm the fun Mom that gives three scoops.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'd rather be making PROGRESS.

It's time to get dirty people.  Can I get a HOO-RAH!?!

I am a "plan it out" kind of girl.  I get it from my mom, so it comes naturally.  I work best when I have a list to refer to.  I have tried denying this part of me, but with no success.  I need to put pen to paper, write it out, then be able to check it off.

I suck at resolutions.  I think most people do.  I also suck at choosing just one.  There are oh-so-many ways I could be better.  How am I supposed to remember (and stick to) every resolution I should make?  My previous answer to that problem was to simply not make any.

Um, yeah, that didn't get me too far.

So here is my solution.  It is a multi-pronged attack.  Get your battle gear on people, and think of me speaking in a gruff voice, much like a seasoned, bitter, mean, old Marine - cause we're going in!

Here are a few of the resources I used:

  • I started by reading this post Michele created about intentions.  (Also check the rest of the series, it's all good stuff.)
  • I started writing everything out on paper, until I came across this downloadable goal list by Buttoned Up, which makes it look much cuter to look at.
  • Then, I found MindBloom, which not only organizes your personalized goals, but gives you ways to track them too.  (I am taking advantage of the free trial, currently.)

Now, solider, are you ready to get into a hail storm?  Here we go...

  • First, is my motto:  Make Progress.  I will use this to keep me on track at all times, and as inspiration.  
  • Next, my branches, or categories of growth:  Health, Home, Blog, Creativity, Life/Relationships.  I'll focus on telling you about my Health goals.
  • Next, I listed 2 or three specific goals I plan to achieve in each catagory - keeping in mind, that these had to be goals that help me... Make Progress.  So, nothing could be out of reach, but I couldn't pick things I am doing already.  For example, Under Health, I included tracking my points 6 times a week and Working out 4 times a week.  These are more than I do on a regular basis (if left to my own devices) but not so much that I feel I will stop trying.  
  • Notice, I am NOT saying I want to lose 50 pounds by X date.  That doesn't work for me.  It will simply stress me out or be ignored.  It is a goal that is way to far away for my short-sited eyes to see.  If that is your thing, then right on - get 'er done. (That isn't military, is it?  Just red-neck?  Anyway...)
  • The next step I am going to take, is to make it visual. I will make a nice print out (with a kickin' font) to hang "Make Progress" on my refrigerator, on my bathroom mirror, and on my laptop desktop.
The goal here, Marine, is to .... Make Progress.  (See, I beat it into you, just like a real training camp.)  I will remind myself daily, hourly, and will hold that thought in the back of my mind with everything I do.  "Is this something that will help me Make Progress?"  If yes, then (HOO-RAH) I'm doing well, if no, then I will redirect to acquire the target.  (Are you so sick of my military references yet? I'm well aware I'm probably annoying and doing it wrong, to boot.  Get it?  Boot?  bwahahahaha.  Um, anyways...)

Okay, I'm off to get into the thick of it.  If you get a MindBloom account or trial, let me know, as I would love to add you to my "forest" so you can help keep me accountable.  The more people who know my goals, the more likely I will actually do them.  And us Marine's stick together.

By the way, someone, for the love of Pete, tell me why I set out to make a simple post and always end up with paragraphs upon paragraphs of me blah blah blah-ing.  If you've made it this far, then pat yourself on the back from me.  I owe you a drink.