Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Quick Takes - Doug's 40th

Paintball, his favorite pastime
1.  Today is my hubby's 40th Birthday!!  Happy birthday to my wonderful high school sweetheart and soul mate.  I'm still a couple years away from entering that club, but I'm wondering if I should start to feel "old" now that I am married to someone in their 40's!?  Doug is making 40 look really good and I find myself making all these resolutions of what I want to accomplish before I get there.

What we were doing on 12-12-98!!
2.  Speaking of our earlier times, I thought Anabelle over at Written By the Finger of God had a great idea in posting how we met and fell in love with our future spouses.  She has a link-up here for people to share their Catholic love stories.  Who doesn't love a good old fashioned courtship story?  I know I wasn't Catholic when Doug and I were dating but I still think ours is an awesome story just the same (admittedly, I could be a bit bias).  The idea is to show how God's hand was moving behind the scenes to knit your hearts together.  Plus, I think it's a great idea to have a record that our children can read.  I've had mine written now for a few weeks but I haven't posted it yet because I need to add pictures.  Back in the day we didn't have digital film so I have to find and then scan our old photos...and our scanner is "temperamental" (which Doug discovered a couple nights ago when he was using it).

3.  Doug and I were gifted with tickets to last night's Game 4 of the playoff series between our beloved Cardinals and the Giants.  Really great seats, we were five rows behind the dugout!  Even cooler is the fact our team more win and we're heading to the World Series, woohoo!  Unfortunately, someone forgot their camera, so I have no really cool pics to share.  I've decided that baseball games are meant to be watched in October.  It can be miserable going to games in the middle of a summer heat wave, but I can easily go when it's in the 50's.  It's much more fun eating nachos when you're not sweating your tail off.

4.  Toddler Boy has been particularly fun these days, getting into everything.  I see him carrying his little yellow fisher price chair all over the house so he can stand on it to reach things he's not supposed to (guess he hasn't learned that there's a reason we put things out of his reach).  I have to admit that teaching him sign language has been sort of fun.  I am amazed at how advanced his mind is, having raised four kids before him I thought I understood the mind of a toddler.  He is the first one we have used sign language with and it has really helped cut down on the temper tantrums.  For example, he may want a drink of water after eating some crackers.  Before, I wouldn't know if he wanted:
     a.  more crackers
     b.  a drink
     c.  to finish eating and get down from his high chair

If I couldn't figure it out fast enough he would get frustrated and resort to screaming and batting things out of my hand until I finally got it right.  Not fun for anyone.  Now he can sign for "more" or "drink" or "all done" so that takes the guesswork out of it.  Plus, he knows I understand what he needs so if I can't do it right away (say, I have to get him a cup and fill it) I can tell him "hold on" and he is learning to be patient and wait.  Toddler Boy knows I'm working on it, and as long as he knows I understood he can wait for a short period of time.  Honestly though, I had no idea people this young could be so expressive and so clearly understand what they want and be able to communicate that to another person.  It opens up a whole new world into the mind of a toddler!

5.  Along those same lines the women's bible study group I attend has been studying the book "Loving Your Kids on Purpose".  Actually, I haven't read the book yet but we've been watching the video series that goes along with the book.  It follows the "Love and Logic" principles that I've heard a lot about but haven't actually practiced with my kids until this point.  It's always nice to add some new tools to the parenting bag.  I got to use some of their stuff this past week at McDonalds when one of my older kids was impatient to get his food and while grabbing his happy meal accidentally knocked over a tray with a soda on it, which then spilled all over his brother's seat and the floor under the table.  In the past, my reaction would have been an angry lecture "if you were being more patient and wait for me to hand you your food then this wouldn't have happened" and then frustration because my food would have gotten cold while I went to find something to clean up the mess.

As I felt my blood pressure start to rise I realized that "this is not my problem" and immediately felt my sense of calm and peace return.  I turned to my son and calmly said "well, we need to get this mess cleaned up"...the look on his face was priceless, I guess he was expecting me to start lecturing him.  I told him it was probably too big to do ourselves and so he needed to go to the workers and ask for something to clean up the mess.  He was surprised and responded "can't you do it?" and I said "no, I didn't make this mess so it's not my job to clean it up but I'll help you if you want".  His brother offered to help too and between the three of us we had the job done within a few minutes, no big deal.  Crisis averted, score one for family harmony.

6.  I realize I'm a bit late to post this, but have you been praying with 40 Days for Life?  We're over half-way through the fall campaign and we had a twin save at the women's clinic I pray for, exciting stuff!  Sadly, this particular clinic has been in business since the 70's, so there have been many countless abortions performed there over the years.  Plus, because my state does not have the parental permission or waiting period requirements that the neighboring states have there are many girls that are brought here across state lines to have their abortions, sometimes by their older "boyfriends", and her parents are not even aware of it.  This January marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, making abortions legal here in the United States.  May God have mercy on us!

7.  Did you all see Mrs. Fulwiler's take on not answering the phone?  I loved it, my friends and family say the same thing about me.  Maybe it's because I became a stay at home mom before the Do Not Call list came out.  I swear that thing was a lifesaver, we were getting 10 to 15 soliciting calls a day, I kid you not.  I had two under two and had to unplug the phone during nap time so it wouldn't wake the kids up.  I grew up in a more "disconnected" generation.  I remember a time without cell or cordless phones (you know, when you went to answer the phone and then were stuck there until the call ended because the cord wouldn't reach anywhere else)!  I remember when nobody had a computer in their house and I took a typing class in high school on actual typewriters.  E-mail was a new thing when I was a freshman in college and the internet didn't happen until after I graduated, and even then it was a few years before people had enough sites up to make it worthwhile to search for anything.  Don't get me wrong, being connected is nice and I like being able to keep up with my friends and family, especially those who have moved away or ones who I don't get to see on a regular basis. But I have my I really need to know what you're up to every. single. second. of the day?!  I put up with Facebook but I have yet to venture onto Twitter, there's only so many hours in my day.

8.  I added in a Quick Take near the beginning and forgot to fix the numbers until I went to post, so this is going to be QT #8 (you get a bonus this can thank me later)!  When I was working on number 7 above my computer kept crashing while I was trying to upload the links.  I took it as a sign that God wanted me to get off the computer and start paying attention to my family, who are starving patiently waiting for me to fix them breakfast and get our homeschool day going.  (Actually, they're not that hungry, they're playing video games, but still...)  The computer angel strikes again to get my attention.  Does God do this kind of annoying stuff to anyone else?  Hmmm, probably just me then...

Have a great weekend and go check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weight Cycles

I mentioned on my last quick takes post that I seem to be stuck in a weird weight gain / loss cycle.  This pattern has repeated itself with my last three babies.  I start with pregnancy, which I gain very little weight (I totally acknowledge that it is not from anything I do).  I just have been very blessed with good genes in that department.  I usually feel great when pregnant after the first trimester morning-all day sickness passes.  I tend to eat much healthier and drink more water than I do not pregnant, which is probably why I feel better.  I make a great pregnant person (maybe that helps explain why I've done it five times).

After the baby is born I am usually back down to my pre-pregnancy weight by my 6 week check-up.  Again, the loss is thanks to the genes, dropping water weight, and breastfeeding and not from anything I'm doing beyond that.  I usually lose a bit more, maybe 5 to 10 lbs. beyond my pregnancy starting point.  Then my weight stabilizes and holds at that number.  About the time the baby turns a year old I start gaining weight, probably because I continue to eat like I'm nursing a newborn when I'm now nursing a one year old.  Within the next 8 or 9 months I will gain back everything I lost plus 5 to 10 lbs. more than my original starting point!  Yuck!  Of course, I feel horrible and frumpy and finally get fed up with the extra pounds and decide to get with the program and lose weight.  I start exercising more, join some gym classes and cut back on my food intake.  I start to lose the extra weight, dropping 5 or 10 lbs. and putting me near my original weight.  I start feeling much better, fitting into smaller clothes and I'm getting more sleep at night because the newborn is now one going on two years old and is usually not doing many nighttime feedings.  Around the time the new baby turns two I find myself expecting again and the cycle continues...

Since Toddler Boy is 18 months old I find myself in the disgusted-with-the-extra-weight-definitely-going-to-do-something-about-it phase.  Lucky for me, Doug is also wanting to start a new diet so we'll be able to do it together, which is what we did three years ago.  Last time around I lost about 20lbs. before my pregnancy.  Toddler Boy doesn't have all his immunizations so I don't really want to go the route of joining a gym, which means putting the little ones in daycare because my oldest aren't old enough to babysit quite yet.  I love going on early morning walks but I need to bump up the calorie burn so I'm considering doing one of those couch to 5k programs to take it up a notch.  Mind you, I've never, never considered myself a runner (or jogger, for that matter).  This should be interesting.  Learning how to run has always been one of those things on my bucket list.
Too bad I don't live anywhere near a beach
I'm thinking this picture will probably be more true to life for me:

Laying on ground, gasping for air and
calling for Doug to come pick me up in the van!
I'm praying that's not the case, we'll see how it goes.  I figure the first thing I need to do is get more into the routine of walking every morning.  I'm a morning girl, so I love going on early morning walks in the neighborhood but I've gotten out of my schedule.  I'll blame it on the two younger ones getting up earlier and not the fact that it's a bit darker and colder in the mornings.  So starting this week I'm going to get back into setting my alarm and laying out my workout clothes the night before so I can just get up and go.  I'm posting this to hold me accountable.  I figure if I put it out there on-line that should make me somewhat more likely to do it than not.  Right?  Right.

Friday, October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes - Random Stuff

1.  OK, so Jen is doing a 7 Quick Takes Appreciation giveaway (and I was planning on doing a short quick takes today, truly I was).  Doug was up early to go to work today and being the good wife that I am I got up early to visit with him while all the kiddos were still in bed, so I figured I'd put something truly "quick" together for you.  ("You" being my Mom and Uncle, who are the only ones I'm aware of who read my blog on a regular basis).

2.  Referring to #1, I might be stretching it a bit with my Mom.  Occasionally, when I ask her if she read my latest post she responds "well, I haven't been on the computer lately" in other words "No".  Not that I'm at all upset by that, I blog for myself.  It has become an easy way to scrapbook my crazy busy life without all the mess.  I am not a crafty person either, not by a long shot!  But I can type and post pictures, so there you go, blogging is right up my ally.

3.  I went to my annual check-up last week, I'm only a few months late in going.  I was putting it off until I felt "healthier", in other words, started a new exercise program and lost 10 lbs.  I seem to be stuck in this cycle that has repeated itself with the last three babies (that's a post to itself).  After procrastinating for two months I finally just made the appointment to get it over with.  I have a great doctor so he didn't crucify me over the weight I gained this past year, but he did prescribe me some meds for issues that are not a big deal for me.  In other words, I don't have to take them, it might improve the quality of my life if I did, but I can elect to forgo them.  Is this making sense to anyone?

Why, oh why, do I ever read the pharmacy disclaimers that they include with the drugs.  You know, the ones that say "this drug can cause blood clots and other serious issues, so you should only be on them for a limited time, yada yada yada..."  I start thinking, "do I really, really need to take this, I think I like my odds better without it".  Honestly, I have scores of prescription drugs that I purchased but never took, at some point I could start my own pharmacy.  Maybe I'm being overly sensitive to this one because I have had friends die from blood clots, so I know they're nothing to mess around with.  Does anyone else do this to themselves?!

4.  In response to #3 my Mom would tell me to go back to the doctor and get a prescription for some anti-anxiety meds.  She'd say something along the lines of "you're becoming like your Grandmother".  Lucky for me, my Mom doesn't always read my blog (refer to #2).  As a test, I'll wait and see how long it takes for her to mention this to me...

5.  Disclaimer to #4, I have a wonderful Mom, really I do.  I consider myself blessed in the parentage department, they're the best.  My kids can attest that they make awesome Grandparents too.  You can see a picture of my folks in one of my earlier posts where I talk about their love of motorcycle riding.

6.  When I was a teenager my parents hired a woman we knew to come over and clean the house about once a month.  Mom would always make me and my sister clean the house the day before the cleaning lady was scheduled to come.  We would always respond, "why are we cleaning when someone is coming to clean the house"?!  Mom would tell us she wanted her to be able to focus on the deep cleaning stuff, like windows and cabinets, that we never get to instead of stuff we could do ourselves.  As an adult, I understand what she's talking about, but as a teen I thought it was ridiculous.  I think the same could be said about my avoidance of the doctor.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, why do I feel the need to get all my ducks in a row before going to the doctor?  Isn't that what I'm paying him for, to advise me on the best way to take care of my health?  He actually did have some suggestions that I hadn't considered (go figure).  And it ends up I was worried about nothing, the appointment went well.  I had geared myself up for him telling me I had some sort of issue that would be fatal if not taken care of immediately, but that did not happen.  Did I mention I love my general practitioner, who, bonus for me, is also an OB/GYN.  He's delivered my last three babies, can read NFP charts and is extremely pro-life (and Catholic to boot).

7.  If this 7 Quick Takes seems totally strange, please remember it is really early in the morning and I haven't had any coffee or tea yet.  That is next on the agenda for the day!

Go visit Jen to see more 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary