Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Inspiration for those days when I really need it.

Steak and veggie soup

I love soup. The kids aren't so crazy about it, so I tend to make it when I know I won't mind eating several days in a row.
I started with some chunked up sirloin
Seared it in a non-stick pan with a little pepper, garlic, and italian seasoning.

Drained the grease, added some reduced sodium chicken broth (since I wasn't aware I didn't have any tomatoes until too late), and simmered on medium high for about 15 minutes.

Threw in some frozen veggies and let it simmer on low for about 25 minutes. It looks like it would taste watery, but it is so flavorful. I'll let it sit overnight in the fridge, then I'll bag and freeze it in portions. When I'm ready to eat it, I'll add a little water and probably some more veggies  and toss it in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Low calorie, no added sodium, tons of flavor.
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When I'm tired of talking, I cook.

So the other day, Tucker asked me if I would make meatballs. For someone who LOVES meat, Robert's not a big fan of meatballs. I don't know if it's meatballs in general or mine specifically, but I rarely make them when he's home. I found some super lean (97) ground top round at the commissary this weekend, so I bought it. Normally I make meatballs with ground turkey because once you add sauce and seasonings, you really can't tell the difference. Well, maybe you can, but I can't. So I started with the ingredients - parm, italian style bread crumbs, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic and an egg.

Tossed it all in a bowl and mixed. I don't measure, so I have no idea how much of anything is in there besides one egg and one pound of meat. I just do it until it looks right.

I roll them and put them in a glass dish that I spray with Pam.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Drain any grease, then transfer to a pot, add sauce, and simmer for about 30 minutes. That gives me time to do the dishes and cook the pasta.

Sprinkle with cheese and voila! Dinner is served!

I asked Tucker how it was after he took a few bites. His response? He grunted. I'm going to take that as a compliment. And by my calculations, this huge bowl full is around 400 calories, which isn't too bad. 
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From the heart...


A few minutes ago, Sara came downstairs because she woke up and had to go to the bathroom. She's been complaining of a headache off and on today and then tonight she fell and smacked her head at the Y. I'm betting that in no way did that help her headache.

She is so tired. I think that maybe it's a growth spurt because she actually fell asleep in the car today. That rarely happens.

So after she finished in the bathroom, she sat down on the steps and just sort of slumped against the wall. She wasn't whining, just honestly too tired to walk upstairs by herself.

It's at these exact moments that my heart melts and all of the past days, weeks, months of tantrums and battles and defiant behavior just....dissolves. She's still my baby in many ways.

I picked her up and carried her up the stairs. As I headed down the hallway to her room I realized that I wasn't out of breath. Not even a little. Sara is solid. She weighs about 50 pounds or so, so it's not exactly a piece of cake to carry her around.

So it's thrilling to me that I can do this with ease these days. I don't think she minds it either. Tucker has always wanted to be on the go since he learned how to crawl. Sara has always been my clinger.

I got her settled back into bed and all re-tucked in. As I was leaving her room she said "Mommy?"

Me: Yes, Sara?
S: Thank you for carrying me upstairs.
Me: You're welcome, sweetie.
S: Mommy?
Me: Yes, Sara?
S: When I grow up I want to be a mommy like you.
Me: And what kind of mom is that?
S: The best kind.

Heart. Melted.

Motivation Monday - yes on Tuesday. I've been busy.

Well, I missed the midnight mark to start, much less post this so it's once again the Tuesday edition of Motivation Monday.

Why did I miss the deadline? I've been cutting out, sorting, and packaging box tops for education. Man, that is one thankless, gross job. People? Wipe the food off before you send them in. And if you could trim the edges, we'd all be grateful. Blech!

But back to the regularly scheduled post....

Want to hear some actual motivation for me this week? I bought a pair of workout pants last week that fit...and they weren't from the plus sized section. A friend of mine had given me some pants that were too big for her last year. I could get them buttoned, but I was afraid to breathe too deeply. It wasn't pretty. Bolstered by my smaller sized workout wear, I tried on a pair. HOLY COW, they not only fit, they were a little big.


So I tried them all on. And they ALL fit. Which means I can now donate or give away most of my current clothes because they are too big.

Then I got really brave and pulled out "the bin". The bin has clothes in it from the last time I felt I was a reasonable size. I was sure three years ago that if I could every wear those clothes again (the last time was in 2001) that my weight loss worries would be over.

Well, guess what. They fit. My body shape has changed somewhat, so the clothes fit a little differently, but they still fit. Comfortably.

However....I am nowhere even close to being done with my weight loss journey. I want to lose at least another 60 pounds.

I think about that woman three years ago who looked at those clothes and thought they were a reasonable size. Who WAS she? How could she think that?

I don't think I realized until that very second how far I've truly come. I'm not going to accept mediocre any more. I've done that for way too long. This is my shot to get it together and I'm not going to blow it.

Second motivational thing (at least for me) I'm jogging half a mile without stopping. I only jog about twice a week because between zumba, plyo, and weight training, I put my body through some beatings. When I'm running too frequently, my back starts to really bother me. And my toes have calluses on the ends. No pain, no gain.

And with that, I'm heading to bed. Tomorrow is plyo day. Bring it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lyrics in my head. HELP.

Hello, my name is Brooke and I have a lyric in my head problem.

If I know the words (and sometimes just the title) to a song and a situation comes up that reminds me of those lyrics? I get them stuck in my head.

SO annoying!

Case in point: the week I was talking so much with Chris, this is what was rattling around in my head -

I wrote a letter that I never mailed
I rehearsed the dialog in my head
in case you ever want to track me down
I'll take my cell phone to bed

This is from Crash and Burn by Sheryl Crow.

A few months ago, I downloaded a bunch of stuff from iTunes. I tend to download music in waves. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing...WHAM! Tsunami of 80's music.

Case in point: Any of you that were more than 5 years old  in the mid to late 80's remember this?

I've got a pocket
full of holes
head in the clouds the king of fools
you've got a ribbon of rainbows
the sun in your eyes
burning through

This song is CONSTANTLY in my head. I have no idea why. I used to have the album and loved it, but I'm starting to change my mind. Go away, Icehouse lyrics. Go away, go away. Oh, and any of you that remember it or look it up and now have it stuck in YOUR head? I'm sorry.

My new obsession is a tie between dubstep which the kids also love and the song "We Are Young" by Fun.

Only then, because of my seemingly limitless mental compilation of 80's music, "We Are Young" then turns in to "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar and then back into "We Are Young" by 3OH!3.

Confused? Yeah, I get it. I'm confusing myself.

And the dubstep that gets stuck in my head is the actual music, since dubstep doesn't really have lyrics. But Sara's favorite is Hello by Going Quantum. My favorite is probably Android by Obsidia so when people are talking to me and I'm just not into the conversation, those two songs battle in my head and all I hear is Hello. Android. Hello. Android.

And then I start to smile because how bizarre is this?!? And there's no way to explain any of it without sounding like an idiot.

But after Zumba today, I've got Price Tag by Jessie J in my head:

why is everybody so serious
acting so damn mysterious
you got your shades on your eyes
and your heels so high
that you can't even have a good time...'s not about the money, money, money
we don't need your money, money, money
we just wanna make the world dance
forget about the price tag

ain't about the cha-ching cha-ching
ain't about the ba-bling ba-bling
wanna make the world dance
forget about the price tag

And now that I've written about all of these, I've got them all rolling around in my head. My dreams tonight should be interesting, that's for sure.

What songs get stuck in your head?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Definitely something

I've spent the last two weeks on a roller coaster of emotions. Emotions, by the way, aren't really my thing. I prefer life to be more like a nice path through a pretty garden: neatly landscaped, well planned, color coordinated. Organized. Contained. Weeded. Let's just say it - managed. And preferably bug free.

Unfortunately, life is rarely like that.

Since my first contact with Chris I've been all over the emotional map. I'm not really sure what to do with any of it, much less how to handle it.


But I'm figuring it out. There's been some contact over the last week or so, and it has been positive. When I say positive, I mean he hasn't told me to get lost or that he never wants to talk to me again. I think we just started off a little paced? Intense? Frequent?

Life is like that sometimes. And this is an unusual situation.

We'll figure it out.

And that's something. Definitely something.

Tell me something good

This morning I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:43 am. I spent the next hour trying to go back to sleep, but it just wasn't happening.

So I got up and got in the shower. I've done something to some of the muscles in my back, so I stood under the hot water for a while. A long while.

By the time I got out, dried off, and dressed, Tucker walked into my bedroom with a bloody nose. We got him taken care of, then I went and stripped his bed so I could wash his sheets. Which, now that I think about it, I still haven't done.

Because, right after that Sara woke up and I'm not sure she was quite ready to face to day. Between my outstanding perception skills and the fact that the girl was actually growling at us this morning, putting that two and two together wasn't too (get it) difficult.

I ended up making both of the kids either shower or bathe because they spent most of yesterday afternoon rolling around in the grass. Of course with the huge number of birds that have been around lately, and let me demonstrate what I mean:
All those black specs? Those are birds. Yes, really.

I'm pretty sure there had to be a decent amount of bird poop on the ground. Plus, Sara's hair was just a knotted, snarled mess.

After everyone was clean and shiny and dressed, we went downstairs. And that's when I got hit with the worst headache of my life. Whomever snuck in last night and beat me about the head with a pickax? Dude, I apologize. For whatever it was I did. Won't happen again.

I ended up lying down on the couch for a bit with a blanket over my head because man, I couldn't stand the light. Tucker and Sara both played quietly beside me for over an hour and let me rest. The only peep I heard the entire time was Tucker telling Sara to let me sleep and Sara putting her hand on my forehead to see if I had a fever.

Sweet, right?

It almost makes me forget how at odds we've been lately.


But headache or not, we had stuff to do today.

Sara got a haircut. Her hair is now just to her shoulders and looks so much healthier. As long as she can get it in a ponytail, she doesn't care how long or short it is. But I'm willing to bet brushing is going to be a whole lot easier!

After that, I fixed the kids lunch, I went to Zumba, we hit the commissary (and hallelujah - they had lettuce AND chicken today. It's a miracle!) and then some friends came over for dinner. After that, a conference call, then bedtimes, and finally a chance for me to read a bit and of course blog.

And I do feel better, thanks to a dose of Ranger candy. But I'm hoping that the great weekend we ended up having will carry over into next week too. At least enough to get us all through Monday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Begging for bucks

Robert and I are board members at our local Y.  Of course, Robert is currently away so I'm trying really hard to step in and represent for both of us. 

Only problem with that is that it's fundraising season at the Y. Fundraising season on top of PTO activity and mandatory volunteering with both Sara's preschools and volunteering at the Y. Not to mention my workout schedule, trying to prep for Zumba certification, and trying to get my business as a Team BeachBody Coach off the ground. 

And let's not forget everyday stuff like housework, laundry, and cooking and oh yeah - taking care of Tucker and Sara. 

So, I'm a little busy. And some days I start to get a little overwhelmed. 

This week was no exception. 

And Wednesday morning found me in the lobby of the Y trying to convince people to donate for Partnership with Youth. Because I stink at fundraising and because I'm trying to raise both my share and Robert's share, I volunteered to do this. Plus, every now and then I like to do something that's out of my comfort zone. 

I don't like to approach people, especially when I'm trying to convince them to do something. So I started off just saying hello to people coming in and trying to ignore that my legs were actually trembling. No, I'm not kidding. I'm sure my face and neck were bright red because my mouth was so dry and my voice sounded trembly. 

But I did it anyway. By 30 minutes in, it got a little better. By the time an hour was up, I was feeling almost normal again and I wasn't worried any longer about throwing up on someone's shoes. (How embarrassing would that be?!?) 

So how much money did I bring in, you may be wondering? A big, fat, zero. Although, I did get a nice little lecture about a member's disapproval that the Y is now called the Y and not the YMCA because that indicates a removal of the word 'Christian'.  Oh, and I got an offer of sailing lessons. Which actually sounds pretty cool. 

It's a good thing they don't pay me for this job, though, because I would be so fired. Like, Donald Trump style fired. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Model Behavior...Not.

Yesterday after Sara got off the bus we had enough time to hang up her book bag, unglue Tucker from his 3DS, get in the car and head to the Y for my volunteer shift.

She was whining about being hungry. Then again, she does that a lot. Both whining in general and whining about being hungry. So I have to admit it goes in one ear and out the other most of the time. 

We got to the Y, got inside and it was gym time. Which means that any of the kids old enough to walk on their own can go and run around like wild things on the basketball court. 

I, however, was on infant duty. I had a little one in my arms and I would walk to the door of the basketball court occasionally, but mostly I stayed in the child care area. Where it was safer. And more quiet. 

Not too long after we got there, Tucker came back into the child care area and wanted to stay. The only issue with that is that the Y has gotten more structured with activities so really Tucker needed to stay in the gym. I ended up having to almost order him back in there. 

Five seconds later, here comes Sara. Wanting to 'take a nap'. Uh huh. Riiiiiiight. She flops down on the carpet in front of the puzzle shelves and whines. She huuuuuuuuuungry. She's tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired. She's hooooooooooooooot. She's thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirsty. 

Just shoot me. 

I hand off the baby to one of the other child care workers and within 30 seconds the baby starts to scream bloody murder. How do you know it's loud? When you can hear one baby over 20 other running, screaming, ball throwing and kicking children from the next room. That, my friends, was one ticked off infant. 

I tried calming her down but she was having none of it, and finally Kelsey got her to fall asleep.

So I played with the kids in the gym. Mostly that involved chasing balls and convincing Sara that if she wasn't going to watch where she was going that she didn't get to be upset that she kept getting pelted with balls. And I should also mention that while I was telling her to pay attention that I got beaned in the side of the head with a ball. At least she comes by it honestly. 

For whatever reason, Sara decided she'd had enough and opened the emergency exit doors. I don't know if she was planning to make a run for it or just trying to get attention. Either way, no one was amused. I sat down on the floor to have an eye to eye chat with her about appropriate behavior only to have her drape herself over my lap like a blanket and announce that she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. So yeah, that was effective. 

After gym time, we had enough staff that we could sort the kids into older and younger groups. The older groups went into the back for crafts, puzzles and wii. The younger kids stayed in the front room and played at various stations. 

After about 30 minutes, Jennifer calls for me. Seems Tucker, who has been dominating the wii, has started to yell "SUCK IT!" when he loses. 

::sigh:: Really?!?  

So Tucker and I have a chat about appropriate behavior and language and setting a good example and blabbity blah blah blah. He gets grounded from his 3DS for 3 days. 

Soon after that, it's time to go. And of course after whining for the first half hour about not wanting to stay, they whine about not wanting to leave. 

I love helping out at the Y. I really do. But I'm starting to worry if it's just too much for the kids. And maybe too much for me at the moment.  Of course today, they got all sad that we weren't going, so heck if I know. If Sara opens those emergency doors one more time, the decision may very well be out of our hands. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Motivation Monday

No real change in the scale this week. I'm down by less than half a pound. However. My clothes are looser and I threw on a pair of shorts this week to run something to the trash can only to discover that they were baggy enough that I won't be able to keep them up by this summer.

And to me, any measurable progress counts.

This week should also probably be known as the week of 'workout, interrupted'. Monday during Zumba, Tucker got a nosebleed and we had to leave early. Tuesday, I was trying to do Plyo at home and Sara threw a hissy fit of epic proportion, which I then answered with one of my own. I can be mature that way. Thursday night I missed Zumba because we were at a school function, and I just flat out avoided Yoga X this week.

I did hit some milestones - I trogged for 10 minutes straight and made it over half a mile. And then I lived. Truth be told, it's the reason I gave myself permission to skip Yoga X. It was flat out awesome. And I logged some serious numbers in sit ups, push ups, and pull ups.

Nicest thing anyone said to me at the gym this week (and possibly ever, actually) was someone I didn't know who walked by as I was working on biceps and said, "DAYUM! Look at her arms, man!"

No lie....I blushed. And maybe flexed just a little bit. Of course, they could have been referring to the batwings, but I choose to believe they were referring to the toned bits.

This week starts 'rest and recovery week' again.



In other fitness/workout/whatever related news, I'm now officially a Team BeachBody coach. This means I get the privilege of helping other people set and reach their fitness and weight goals. I'm very excited. Zumba training is in a little over a month and I'm not only going to be ready, I'm going to be kicking butt and taking names.

If you're interested in finding out more about Team BeachBody, let me know. I'm using P90X and Shakeology. You can't deny it's working!

Talk to you next week!

Cold, Refreshing, Tasty..or something to that effect

Saturday night was Parent's Night Out at our local Y.  The kids and I all look forward to PNO because they have a wild and crazy night with friends and I get some time to myself to have a potentially sorta kinda crazy night with friends. Well, as long as I pick up the kids by 9.

By Saturday night I was in pretty desperate need of a night out with friends. I had put a feeler out on Facebook earlier in the week but as noon on Saturday approached (insert dusty main street with rolling tumbleweed and large booming clock tower about to strike the hour), no official plans had been made. Because of the hours of PNO, you are a little limited to what you can do. If you go into St. Louis, you'd better have dinner reservations and hope the restaurant is on schedule because between the drive and the fact that it's a Saturday night, time can get tight. And one thing is for certain, you NEVER know what traffic is going to be like in St. Louis.

I ended up suggesting a restaurant/bar that was relatively centrally located to everyone that was coming and we all met there at 5. Well, Megan was there by 5, but the rest of us stragglers didn't get there until slightly after that compounded by a parking lot situation. But anyway...

We didn't have to wait too long for a table, probably because we were there at grandparent's hour - especially considering it was Mardi Gras kickoff.

Oh yeah, Mardi Gras.

I have got to start watching the news for more than weather.

There ended up being four of us, Megan, Annie, Letisia, and myself. I was the only one that knew everyone at the beginning of the night, but by the end of the evening, we had vowed to do this again - and SOON - and it felt like we'd known each other for years.

The drink menu advertised that the beverages were "Cold....Refreshing....Tasty....." or something like that. I'm pretty sure coffee was included in there somewhere, though, and that can't be good for coffee sales.

I can tell you that my margarita was fantastic. And large. And, as it happens, cold, refreshing and tasty. And worth the pound or two I'm sure I'll be up at weigh in this morning

We giggled and laughed and swapped stories. We watched Megan, who had the unfortunate disadvantage of sitting with her back to the bar, get butt-headed and butt-shouldered (and yes, that's exactly what I mean) by suspicious blue jeans guy, which lead to intense speculation on what was up with those jeans and where they'd been and when was the last time they'd seen the inside of a washer.

Oh, and we can't forget the crocheted chapstick cover incident with our waiter, Chris.

Unfortunately we missed the 'rubs his nipples when he eats guy' that Annie was facing, but maybe next time.

You can't make this stuff up.

But you really did need to be there.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Be careful what you wish for...

Remember the other day I posted all complainy like about Tucker and his unwillingness to blow his nose?

Well after years of trying, coaching, pleading, and yes I admit, fussing...

the boy is blowing his nose. By choice and not by order.


The only down side, because isn't that always the way it works, is that he then comes up and says "HEY! Look Mom, this was a GOOOOOOD one!" and shows me the contents of the tissue(s).


Friday, February 17, 2012

Starting over

I am certain that I can safely say that one of my biggest struggles in life is finding balance.

Balance between having to eat to nourish my body but not over eating or using food as a way to deal with my emotions.

Balance between encouraging the kids to continue to develop their personalities but to be respectful, honest, and kind.

Balance between expecting the world to be fair and knowing that it just isn't.

Balance between taking care of myself first versus taking care of everyone else first.

I could go on and on.

Now there is a new issue that needs balance. And I, as usual, am struggling to find it.

My life seems to now be split into before and afters as well.

My life before having Chris and my life after giving him up for adoption.

An even further split - my life after the adoption but before being in touch with him.

And now the before and after since first contact.

And nothing is in balance anymore. Nothing.

Last week we talked, texted,and messaged so much. Practically constantly. I wanted to make up for lost time. I wanted to catch up on his day to day life. I wanted to figure out how and where we'd fit into each other's lives. I wanted him to know that I was here if he ever wanted or needed anything.

Instead, I'm pretty sure I've ruined it all. And I am unbearably, horribly, gut wrenchingly, unendingly sad that it looks like that's what happened.

I hope that this isn't the case, that maybe we could start over and try again.  I'd love to ask him about it, but I fear I've done enough damage that any attempt at repair right now is just going to do finish the destruction.

Since I first posted about him on my blog about a week ago, so many people have shared their adoption stories with me. Some are joyful, others are not. Thank all of you for sharing. Your stories touched me deeply.

My ending is yet to be determined, at least I hope so. I hope it's one of the good ones. We'll see.

In the meantime, all I can do is keep trying to find a new balance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

False starts

I'm feeling down today. We had snow when we woke up on Valentine's Day and it melted by noon.


It's rained all day today.

If it were about 10 degrees colder, we'd have some serious snow accumulation. But it isn't, so we don't.

Double bummer.

Yesterday Sara told me she didn't want to live with me anymore. Any one else, she said, would do. This morning, Tucker was impossible to wake up and when I finally got him out of bed (without yelling thankyouverymuch) he was Grumpy McGrumperson. He refused to ride the bus. Threw a big ol' tantrum and flung himself down on the sidewalk in front of God and everyone and just lost it.

Sigh. Too bad I can't do that.

Then, when we were getting ready to leave for me to drive Mr. McGrumperson to school, he got mad because I told him he couldn't take any electronics in the car. His response to that was to open and slam my car door. Twice.  ::begin lecture # 583 - responsibility for your things and others' things::

Really I wanted to make him walk to school, but it was too far and since we don't live on base proper, there's no safe path from our house to base, much less from our house to the school. When I dropped him off, he was still full of piss and vinegar and his response to my 'I love you' was a blank look that contained just a hint of smart ass.

Dude, it's not even 8:15 yet. It's going to be long day.

Just blow it out already

A little while ago, Tucker crawled into my bed complaining that his throat hurt. He's really congested and for some reason he can't or won't explain, it never occurs to him to blow the congestion out. I mean, why get rid of it when you can pack it all up in your nose and sinuses and be miserable for a few days?!

One of the many problems with that is, of course, that then the stuff has to go somewhere. At night when he's lying down, it's trying to drain which in turn makes him cough. Which makes some of that gunk attempt to relocate which causes more coughing.

This what I hear on my end:
Sniiiiiiif. Cough. Cough. Coughcoughcough. Moan. Sniiiiiif. Sniiiiiiiiiiiif. Cough. Coughcoughcoughcough. Sniff. Snort. Sniiiiiiif. Coughcoughcoughcough.

After about 30 minutes of this, I'm gritting my teeth. So I sit up and ask him to please, fortheloveofuninterruptedsleep, blow his nose. I even hand him the tissue.

He's tired and I know he doesn't feel well, so he's whiny. Unfortunately, Sara is almost always whiny so I have very limited patience with whiny. I insist that he blow his nose. 'Just DO it!!!' And as he always does when he doesn't want to blow his nose, which is everytime, he shoves the tissue practically up into his nasal openings and gives a halfhearted blow. And, also as usual, then he says, "See? I blew my nose and nothing came out." Only he says it in a whiny voice (nails on a chalkboard anyone?) and it comes out like this: "Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? I bleeeeeeewwwwww my nooooooooooooose and noooooooooothiiiiiiiiiing came oooooooouttttt."

Per usual, I then grab a tissue and hold it in front of his nose and say "blow, please."


Nononono. "Blow harder, Tucker"

"A little harder."



::intake of breath::


Awesome. Now lather, rinse, repeat.  Times eight.

At the end of it, I've got a huge handful of tissues filled with, well, snot, plus a nice amount on me (gross), and a kid that can actually...wait for it....

breathe. through. his. nose.

Go figure.

I go throw away the tissues, wash from fingertip to elbow, and start to head back to bed as I give him a silent but stern lecture:

See? Now really, how hard was that? I don't understand why this is so difficult for you. Seriously, I don't. Just blow your nose. Just blow it. Blow! Blowity blowity blow. Don't you feel much better after you do it? 

And now I'm too awake and can't go back to sleep.

Tucker, on the other hand, is sleeping beautifully.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Motivation Monday

Weigh in day. 8 pounds down from last week. I'll take it!

Now it's confession time: I skipped Plyo and Yoga X last week. Plyo I can justify because I do enough jumping around in Zumba. Missing Yoga X is harder to defend. I can see in so many ways how it helps me. Endurance, strength, and of course flexibility. But UGH. I hate doing it. It's an hour and a half of trying to bend and twist and stretch and hold my body into positions it has no intention of  forming. But then again, the fact that it's so hard is also part of its appeal. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. Oddly enough, the very hardest part is getting my mind quiet. My mind does not like to be quiet. When it's quiet, it's unable to over-analyze and obsess. And really now, what fun is that?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life improvement my way.

This has been one whirlwind of a week! 

I've been lucky enough to talk to Chris a lot in the past week. It's been completely amazing. And I've also texted more in the last week than I have since I started texting combined. At least I'm finally getting better at it. I can respond in under a minute now. Yay me. And to think I said a few years ago that I'd never text. Tsk tsk. I should know better. By the time my kids are both 18, cell phones probably won't even have actual telephonic features. Just social media apps. 


So last night, things sort of started winding down. We mostly stayed around the house and for whatever bizarre reason I thought it would be a good idea to start de-cluttering. Which in itself is hilarious because for me to de-clutter I have to take stuff from somewhere and put it somewhere else and then pick and choose what I put back. Only when I start to go through it, the most bizarre thing happens and I find myself not able to get rid of all that much. So really all I'm doing is reorganizing. Eventually I get into a snit and just clean it all out. Last night was not one of those nights. 

I tackled the kids' toy closet. We had an old chest of drawers in there that we kept cars and dolls and smaller things in. But that chest of drawers is on its last, sad, press board leg. The metal runners that keep the drawers lined up are even slipping off so the whole drawer just sort of collapses which puts a lot of stress on the cheaply made drawer joints so now they are starting to come apart. And nothing says "tetanus shot" like ripping your finger open on a cruddy old staple. Not that I've ever done that before. 

Right in the middle of that I decide that I need official storage and organization stuff. So I set a plan in motion for today that I'd go to Target and buy the storage cube organizer that I've been coveting for years. 

And that's what the kids and I did today. We bought one for beside the front door and one for the toy closet. And then I managed to actually put them together without nailing anything to the carpet or stripping a screw or smashing my fingers. Although, the little plastic screw covers did manage to all pop off within an hour of being firmly smushed into the screws, but I'm chalking that up to a design flaw. 

Saturday night's alright for bolting

A couple of weeks ago, Tucker 'lost' the pen for his Nintendo DS in the backseat of the car. Now, when I say 'lost' I mean he dropped it and it got pushed down into the crack of the seat. 

It was quite the traumatic event.

I've dug around a couple of times in the back seat trying to find it, I've had no luck. I also get grossed out with the amount of sticky, crumbly, yucky stuff that's ground into the cracks of the seats back there.Of course, when I see that, then I start mumbling about how there isn't going to be any more eating or drinking in the car, which I know isn't true even as I mumble it.

For whatever reason, I decided today that it would be a good idea to take the backseat out. I might as well clean the car while I was at it. After I vacuumed and scraped and vacuumed and scraped some more, the interior was looking pretty good. The outside is, unfortunately, dotted with bird poop and it's way too cold today to wash it. One thing at a time anyway, right?

I was hoping the owners manual would shed some light on how to get the seat out. It didn't. So I googled it and figured out that either it would pop up if hit or it would be bolted in. 

Of course it was bolted. The bolt is inconveniently located in the crack of bottom and back seat. And lest you get impressed with my ability to figure this much out, let me just say it now - I called my brother who used to work on Hondas because I didn't have the patience to figure this one out for myself nor did I want to break anything. 

Bolt located, I then needed a 10mm socket and an extender because the location of this bolt is once again impossible. Well, after digging through three different tool boxes I finally found a 10mm bolt. Unfortuntely no extender. Bah!

In the middle of this process while half in and half out of the car and trying to make the socket wrench I do have work, I text a comment about the seat removal process to the wrong person. Hey, it was poor lighting and I was practically in an advanced yoga pose. It happens.

Frustrated that nothing was working as planned, I come up with the brilliant idea of having Tucker actually show me where the pen was when it got pushed down. He grudgingly comes out and says it was console in the back seat. 

Well now wait a second. That shouldn't have allowed it to be pushed down in between the seats. Is he sure? Yes he's sure. 

Hmmm. I've had my hand shoved in between the back seats covering every inch of available space and that pen is nowhere to be found. So I asked Tucker if he'd stick his hand in there and see if he could feel it.  No luck. 

I can only imagine where that pen is. And then I get the bright idea to check online and see how much a new pen would be. 

I can get a four pack for around $8. That sounds like a much better deal to me that buying an extender and trying to wrench the seat out. It would have, I'm pretty sure, sounded just as appealing if I had thought to check before I went to all the trouble of trying to take the seat out in the first place. Plus I already broke a nail and darn near shredded my finger on something.  

On the upside, I did get the interior really clean. That's gotta count for something. And somewhere Robert is doing a happy dance that he didn't have to be here for this little adventure. Who can blame him?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Adventures in eating

A friend of mine invited me to a cooking class on Wednesday. I'm not going to lie, she had me at "Would you like to...." and the icing on the proverbial cake was that it was a cooking class. On the menu? Winter salad, pannini, and chocolate covered strawberries.

When we got there and the class began, I was surprised to find we weren't actually doing the cooking. We were given the recipes and we got to eat the menu items, but the instructor did the actual prep, cooking, and assembly.

I'm not much of an adventurous eater, so this made me nervous. Because, really, how on earth am I supposed to leave off all the stuff I don't want if I'm not making the food?

Or - maybe this was an opportunity to break out of my comfort zone. Or maybe I was just really hungry and figured it wouldn't kill me to just try it.

Either way, I tried it all. And it was soooo good. The salad was mixed greens, blueberries, pears, walnuts, almonds, pecans and three types of oranges drizzled with an apple cider reduction dressing.

They ended up serving two sandwiches: the pannini and a version of grilled cheese with goat cheese, bacon, strawberries, fresh basil, and spinach. Oh. my. goodness. They were both delicious. I'd love to say I'd make them myself, but I just can't justify spending so much money on ingredients for a couple sandwiches. And I know there's no way the kids would touch them. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's give 'em something to talk about

I haven't been blogging much lately. There's a reason for that. Okay, a couple of reasons.

1) Robert is away for a while and my focus is more family centered and less self centered. At least, I hope so.

2) My work out schedule is no joke. I. am. tired.

3) I was having a hard time coming up with things to blog about. True, the kids keep me on my toes and at least once a day I think "Wow. I should blog or twitter that." But I rarely write it down and I often forget it by the time I have a chance to send it out on Blogger, Facebook or Twitter.

And then something miraculous happened.  I'm not really sure this is my story to tell, but I can tell my side and hopefully protect the innocent.

When I was 21, I found out I was pregnant. It wasn't planned. I was seeing someone, but it wasn't a relationship that had any sort of future. And, as sometimes happens, things had already started to go badly.

I was barely supporting myself and there was no way I could support me plus one. No health insurance, no savings, moving back and forth between apartments with room mates and my mom's was not the best case scenario in which to try to raise a child. I did some research and decided that adoption was the best of the possible solutions for me and the baby.

Fast Forward...

So, I had the baby. After a couple of agonizing weeks of trying to figure out a way that I could keep him, I could not deny that he would end up suffering for it, so I placed him with the family I had chosen. I still can't really talk about that phase of my life. It's too painful and too hard. It changed everything for me. It changed me. I also told no one unless I absolutely had to.

Fast forward 19 years. I knew I could write him when he turned 18. It took me an entire year to write the letter to him and to his parents. What on earth can you possibly say? I had no idea or no indication if my letter would be welcomed or rejected so I prepared for the worst.

I hadn't even seen a picture since he turned 5.

I sent the letters to the adoption agency and hoped for the best. A few days later I emailed to confirm that they had received it, only to discover that he had called wanting contact information for me the day it had arrived. He wanted to contact me. I was elated.

I just knew I would hear from him, so I waited. And waited. And waited.


I knew that he probably just wasn't ready. I had already found him on Facebook, but wasn't going to contact him unless he wanted contact with me.

In the meantime, I ran across some adoption blogs and there's nothing like seeing an adoptee write hate filled  words about bio and adoptive parents to give you a nice little wake up call. I had to face the fact that he may not want contact. Now or ever.

One way to find out, right? So I sent him a short message on Facebook. This was in August. And I waited.

As time went by and I hadn't heard from him, I'd check his Facebook page every now and then, but began to resign myself that I might never hear from him. At Christmas, I wished him Merry Christmas.

Saturday night, when I got home from the Zumbathon, I got the kids to bed and went to bed myself. I woke up not too long after that feeling really restless, so I went downstairs to get some water. My phone message light was blinking so I checked it and what was on there? A friend request. From HIM.

Back upstairs I went to get my glasses so I could freaking see, and I accepted immediately. He had just seen my message that I'd written back in August. Since we weren't Facebook friends, it had been in his other folder and he thought it was spam.  I messaged him back immediately and was surprised that he messaged me right back too. We chatted online for a few hours and made plans to talk on the phone the next night.

And the rest is history that we are in the process of making.

So, everyone, I'd like to introduce you to Chris (World, meet Chris. Chris, meet World). With his permission you'll be hearing a lot about him from here on out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivation Monday

Weighed in this morning. I'm actually up two pounds. Crap.

It wasn't the start to the morning I had hoped, but I dropped the kids off at school and hit the gym. Time to keep on keepin' on, right?

So I really pushed myself at the gym today and I felt better. Then I went to Zumba this afternoon and felt much better. Because you know Zumba makes everything better. Or it at least makes you tired enough that you don't  care as much.

Now that I'm back on track with exercise and diet, next week should be better.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Zumbathon Saturday

I just spent close to three hours Zumba-ing. It was awesome. Details later, but none of my pictures came out - probably because I don't know how to use my camera correctly. Yes, I could read the instruction manual, but then I'd have no excuse for awful pictures. Ha!

Here's a picture Michelle took at the Zumbathon. I was a wee bit sweaty.