Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Big Girl

    Peyton must be going through some sort of growth spurt because he slept almost the entire day yesterday. It's been nice, especially since it's meant time alone with just Brooklyn. We watched Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, read a few books, took a bath, cleaned her room, ate lunch, put together 5 puzzles and played with her train set. During all this I realized that she has done some growing herself, and I almost missed it! Here's some fun things my big girl is into:
    • She loves the alphabet, but her version goes like this: A B C D F G H I J K L Y Z. Similarly, "Brooklyn" is spelled B R O K L Y Z. Something about that double O gets her. And she swears that Z always has to follow Y, even in her name.
    • She moves SO fast, and she's proud of it. She always wants us to watch what she's doing- even Peyton. We hear, "Look, Peppy!" a lot around the house. Lately she has even specified which part of her body we should watch. For instance, "Watch, Mommy. Two feet, dance, foot, foot, watch" or "Watch, Daddy. Two knees. Roll floor. Knee, knee, watch"- of course, pointing at one foot or knee then the other while she says it to make sure we understand.
    • She has started wanting to do everything "ah-self", from picking out what book to read to getting dressed. So far it's cute and not annoying or frustrating, so I'm trying to relish in that. The best was when I told her she was putting her pants on backwards and that the tag goes in the back. "Turn them around if you want them on right", I said, to which she replied, "Sorry, mommy, tag back", and then turned herself around instead of the pants. Pants were still backwards, but she turned back around and grinned from ear to ear as she told me, "I DID IT!", so how can I correct that? :)
    •  She has been talking so much lately! Enunciation is still hard, so she's really proud that she can say "Mickey" instead of "Mimmy" when we talk about Disney characters. Mostly it's just the same syllable throughout a word, but it's okay, because I understand it all. Funny things she says now include "Daddy fix it" whenever I tell her something is broken (anything at all, from a chair to the fence to a ripped page in a book). Also, if I ask her if I can do something with her, most often the response I get is, "Sure, mommy! Sure!", which I totally love. The one that cracked me up yesterday was when we were playing a game of Whoa. For those who don't know, Whoa is played by placing your child on top of an exercise ball, holding their hands, and letting them roll around, all the while saying, "Whoa!" It's a favorite of the Strother house. I would pretend to drop her a couple of times and each time she would grab my arms tighter and say, "Got you mommy!"
    • She is in love with her brother. The worst thing she ever says about him is "no feed" if she wants me to get her something and I'm busy nursing. Other than that, she takes care of him. The best is when he's upset and she tells him "BB's (Brooklyn's) here" or "Don't, Peppy, don't cry, don't" so sympathetically. It warms my heart.
    • She has such a huge imagination! Everything of mine that can be worn from a nursing cover to a sports bra has become a "beautiful dress" and she asks me to watch her while she spins like a ballerina in my beautiful dresses. Yesterday she pulled out about 10 Kleenexes and laid them on top of the candles behind my bed. Why? "Go sleep", she said. Who knew candles needed their shut eye too?
    • She's started getting very interactive with her TV shows. She tries to shout out the letter of the day on Sesame Street before they do, and always says "Hello Dodo" whenever Elmo asks her to say hello to his goldfish Dorothy on Elmo's World. She tells Steve where the clues are on Blue's Clues and sings along with the mail time song. She was so into the episode about telling time yesterday that she came into my room and took my "tickety tock clock" off the dresser and told me that it was 11 o'clock, time to get up. I like that! Then she said it was 4 o'clock and time to take a nap. Pretty decent nap time for waking up at 11 :)
    • She says the best prayers. Mostly she just repeats things that we say at the same time, but after Ladies' Bible class and Sonshine School last week she prayed this prayer by herself: "Dear God. Thank you day, thank you church, thank you Bible class. Thank you Joshua, walls fell down. Dear Lindsay, Dear Nana, Dear Pearl, Dear God. Jesus name, amen". If there were any 2-year-old Bible class teachers out there that feel like what they say doesn't get heard, I assure you that is not the case. She was very thankful for those walls of Jericho not being up anymore!
    I know all this is much more interesting to me than to the rest of you reading this, but I don't care. I needed to take a moment to jot down all the things I especially love about my sweet girl right now, because some days I focus too much on the frustrations of blow out diapers, picky eating habits, and the dreaded phrase, "No, mine!". She's just a month shy of being 2 1/2 years old, but she won't be forever, and I want to remember her this way :)

    Brooklyn on 1/8/13

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    WW Update and Ebates

    So, I'm really trying to get my life in order right now. Anyone who has a child understands. Anyone who has two children understands even more. Anyone who has more than two children... God bless you. You're a better woman than me.

    That's part of what this Weight Watchers journey is all about: getting my life in order. I just feel like everything spins out of control sometimes! Like life moves too fast and all I'm doing is stuffing food in me, changing diapers, doing laundry and before you know it it's time to go to bed. I have very little grip on where my time or money goes and I'm sick of it. So far I've stuck to my daily/weekly allowance of points, went shopping specifically for fruits and vegetables that I like to eat, and even have almost completed labeling all the food in my pantry with the WW point values so I can tell at a glance if having that snack is worth it. Not going to lie, my serving size of M&M's was totally worth it's 6 points yesterday. Plus, now that I ate them the temptation is gone. Double whammy. It's nice too, to see what I have and what I'm probably not going to buy more of. For instance, I always eat Pop Tarts two at a time. That's 12 points. Or 10 for unfrosted, but please, who likes unfrosted Pop Tarts? Not worth it. So I'll finish off the two cinnamon ones I have left and not buy them anymore. It feels really good to be on top of this!

    I'm learning more about the site too, and love all the cool cheat sheets. They're almost like a game because they are interactive, so I can build an omelet the way I like it (2 eggs, onions, bell peppers and ham), or make a really disgusting looking one (stuffed to the brim with mushrooms). It kept me occupied for way too long last night. I also played with the salad bar, the steakhouse, the food court... it's embarrassing, really, how much fun I was having.

    I still haven't worked out yet, but it's okay. I know I'll get to it. On the WW site it says to track all of your activity, but I'm not sure how to track things like "dragged two children into the car, out of the car, into church, out of church, into the car, out of the car, into the shopping cart, out of the shopping cart, into the car, out of the car", so I think I'll just leave that alone. One example of activity they say to keep track of is raking the leaves. Really? That counts as activity? That takes about as much energy and strength as it does to change a 2 year old's diaper, so do I count that? Or the walks back and forth from table to kitchen to get Brooklyn's milk, a burp cloth for Peyton, napkins, more food? Does sex count? Seriously- where does the activity begin and end? I'm not running 3 miles a day, but I do run around frantically quite often.

    I do know I've already lost 5 pounds, but I shouldn't know it, because I'm not supposed to weigh myself until Friday. Hence why I was never allowed to own a scale. Seriously, forbidden by Brandon from the time we started dating because he knew I would obsess over it. He's being incredibly encouraging and supportive of me right now and said I can finally get a scale to weigh in and check my progress. Too bad I already checked it early, and multiple times a day. Luckily, I caught myself thinking, "Oh no, did those M&M's make me gain any weight?" and realized I was reverting to who I used to be. Now the scale is tucked away safely on the top shelf of our closet where I can't reach it, and let's face it: I'm not going to drag a chair in there to try and get it. I'm not desperate, it was just tempting me by sitting by the bathroom door. It will only make its appearance on Fridays when I weigh myself, and Brandon will immediately put it back after. Another way to keep control.

    In addition to controlling my weight, I know I need to control my time and money. I'm working on a more strict budget and ways to organize bills and what not. One thing that I am SO excited to share today is Ebates! My mom emailed me about it last week and I honestly don't know why anyone wouldn't want to be a part of it. It's incredible, and it was the last reason I needed to join WW in the first place! Ebates is a website that is free to sign up on, and everyone gets some sort of welcome gift when they do. For my mom, it was $5. For me, it was a $10 gift card to a store of my choice (Target, duh). The premise behind Ebates is that whenever you are going to buy something online, you go to Ebates.com first and check to see if they have a reward for that site. Nearly everything is included on there, from Amazon to department stores to Groupon! Click on "Amazon", which right now gets you 3% cash back, and then Ebates directs you to Amazon where you can make your purchase. VOILA! 3% of whatever you just paid at Amazon will be coming back to you in the form of a check from Ebates. They send these rebate checks out every three months. So far my mom said she has gotten $35 back from them just for doing the shopping she was already going to do, but going through them first. AND IT'S FREE SO WHY NOT? I don't know how they're making any money off of it, but I don't care. I'm getting $14 CASH BACK for signing up for Weight Watchers. Heck yes!

    It's not a scam, and best of all if you start referring other people, you get money for getting them to sign up too. What a great way to get some money back for doing absolutely nothing! This is my kind of job :) So please, go sign up! Get yourself a free money back gift to get started and then save on everything you're going to buy anyway!

    Click here to get started with Ebates!

    Happy Tuesday :) 

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    CHA-CHING!

    CHA-CHING! is what I said this morning when I discovered that nursing moms get an extra 14 points each day. HECK YES, because yesterday I was really really hungry. I was very proud of myself for passing on the popcorn at our movie party yesterday, opting instead for an apple and carrot sticks. But guess what? I can eat an entire garden of carrots without being full, so how does that help me? I ate a banana last night and felt no better. My exact words were, "Well, that was worthless".  I had to go into my weekly allowed points just to have 1/2 a cup of Cheerios around 10 PM. Turns out now that I have more points to use each day, I actually went 10 under yesterday. Oops. Too bad it's a "use it or lose it" system.

    I know I'm only on day 3 of WW, but I really like it. Writing down everything I eat with a number associated with it helps keep me accountable. I'm forced to measure and not overeat, and I still get to eat a little of anything I want. For instance, we're getting Little Caesar's pizza for dinner tonight and I get to have two slices. And nobody can stop me. SO excited. I love food.

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Weight Watchers: Day One

    I cannot thank you all enough for sharing encouraging photos, stories, links, and words over the past week or so. I feel very confident in my journey to lose this weight.

    Based on the majority of the opinions I got from friends and family, I decided Weight Watchers was the way to go to help me eat healthier and get in shape. I am excited to get to eat some of what I want and still lose weight. For instance, when I first logged on today I learned about how I have a certain number of points I can use daily and then an extra amount to use weekly if I choose. I can lose weight if I eat right at all of my allotted points OR under them. Nice! I also learned that a cupcake has less points than a biscuit, so I had two cupcakes for a snack as opposed to the 1 1/2 biscuits I had for breakfast.

    Okay, so it isn't starting out great, but I'll get the hang of it. And I'll try not to use up all my weekly extra points on crap this afternoon.

    Official starting weight: 181



    Let the games begin!

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    Obese

    I haven't blogged about anything in a while. Perhaps it's because I've been busy you know, having a baby and all that.

     This little man is my world right now. Between feeding, rocking, playing, juggling activities, bathing him and Brooklyn and occasionally showering and napping for myself, I've had time for little else like blogging. But I can't complain.  Life is pretty good with my two wonderful kids.
    I mean seriously, look at this sweet grin. Melts my heart!

    But I do have something to write about, something that I feel I'm going to be writing a lot about over the next few months. I am obese.

    What an ugly, nasty word. Geez, I just had a baby, of course I'm not in shape, I thought. But it's worse than that. According to my BMI (Body mass index), I am "moderately obese". To clarify, there are four levels of the BMI: Underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Now, when I think "obese",  I think of the mom from "What's Eating Gilbert Grape".
    I certainly don't think of me.
    To be fair, Brandon is in the "normal" range for BMI, which seems a little crazy to me. We joke that he falls under the category "sexy by default", meaning he has a 6-pack because there's no fat to cover his abs and he has to do nothing to maintain it. Surely that's an "underweight" issue, yes? Tall, skinny, very high metabolism? The man is all bone.
      
    Still, regardless of the skewed system of measuring, it became very clear to me during my pregnancy with Peyton that I needed to get in shape. I talked about working out after Brooklyn was born, but knew I was going to be getting pregnant again in the not-too-terribly-far-distant future and would just be mad at working hard to lose all the weight just to gain it back again. Sounds like a lame excuse? It is. But I have no patience and no persistence. I've hardly ever stuck to anything challenging and completed it in my life, partially because I lose interest, but mostly because I just decide it's not worth it. I gave up and quit on just about everything I ever tried growing up. Soccer, karate, piano lessons, voice lessons, band, choir, speech and debate, theater- you name it: I tried it and quit it.

    I hate running. I don't like to be outside. I am not a big fan of sweating. So working out has never appealed to me. I like to dance (notice it's one of the only things I never actually got into, so I never could quit it!) so my choreography with with Soundsation at NHS is really the only kind of exercise I ever get. It can turn into quite a workout, but at max 2 hours a week it isn't really doing much for me.

    But as I was pregnant this time around I had a LOT of pain. Nothing was wrong with me per say, but it boiled down to the fact that the veins in my legs couldn't handle the amount of strain and pressure that was being exerted. Translation: I was too fat for my own good. Well, I was pregnant, so of course I had more weight than usual. But my weight is not just a pregnancy issue.

    Here's how my weight has changed over the years:

    Currently (February 17th, 2013): 182
    When I gave birth to Peyton (January 8th, 2013): 202
    When I became pregnant with Peyton (April 2012): 175
    When I gave birth to Brooklyn (October 3rd, 2010): 200
    When I became pregnant with Brooklyn (January 2010): 150
    When I got married (January 5th, 2008): 140
    When I graduated high school (May 2004): 120-125

    Take away the spikes in weight gain due to pregnancy, and I've fluctuated from 120-180 roughly over the past 9 years. I am 5 ft 1 inches tall. My body is not big enough to be as big as I am and have been for too long. And as soon as I get the go-ahead from my OB/GYN next week, I'm going to start living my life a lot healthier. I don't care about being a certain dress or pant size. I don't care about having toned muscles. I DO care that I am not in pain anymore and that I learn to take care of myself. We only get one body in this life and I don't want to treat it like crap.

    It's not going to be a very fun time for me, but I'm aiming to get back into the "healthy" BMI, so around 130. Basically, I'm looking to lose 50 pounds. Supposedly I could weigh as little as 100 and still be in that "healthy" range, but I disagree. After having two kids I understand that my body is not going to look the same way it did when I was 18. It's not supposed to and I don't want it to. This isn't about vanity. I don't think I look awful right now. If it were all about looks I may not bother with this. I know my family loves me. Brooklyn tells me I'm beautiful just about every day. It's not the looks, it's about something so much more important.

    Brandon bought me a Kinect and the Nike Pro Fitness Trainer game as a joint birthday and anniversary present. He was very sweet when asking me if I would be interested in it, making sure he didn't offend me by making me feel fat and make it seem like he suggested that I lose weight. Luckily I know how much he loves me, I know he wouldn't care what I looked like and he'd still stay with me, and I know that all he's doing is trying to get me to stick to something that I say I'm going to do. I want to get in shape. I want to be healthy. He knows that. But then again, I wanted to play soccer and learn the piano too. He's going to be there to push me when I don't feel like being pushed. Which I, of course, will hate, but am thankful for all the same.

    Which brings me to my conclusion: I am going to attempt to get back into blogging, focusing on expressing my frustrations and joys in this journey to become a smaller, healthier *me*. I'd love feedback, advice, stories, encouragement, prayers and whatever else you deem appropriate. I've never really tried to do this before, so bear with me as I figure out what I have to do in order to reach my goal. I expect there will many humorous stories to be told along the way, so stick around for that, if nothing else :)