Oh MY Muffins....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

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So, Peter decided on homemade muffins for breakfast.  But... What to make!  I decided I wanted to try something new... and something gluten free (May is gluten free awareness month).  And these bad boys that I've crafted in my kitchen this morning? FREAKING DELICIOUS.  LOVE THEM.  Will be making these again... and again... and again.

Whether you like them with just the fruit or with tossing some chocolate in them, they are the best muffins- gluten free or otherwise- that I've ever made.  I'm in heaven.  Pass the muffin tray, please!

Gluten Free Dried Fruit Muffins
300g homemade whole grain gluten free flour mix (see below)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g Splenda brown sugar mixture (or 50g brown sugar and 50g Splenda)
50g melted salted butter
50g mashed banana
80g buckwheat (or other favorite) honey
250g buttermilk (or 250g whole milk plus 1tbsp lemon juice, mixed together and left to stand for 5 minutes)
2 eggs
50g unsweetened almond milk
20g dried blueberries
20g dried pomegranate seeds
20g dried cranberries
28g sliced almonds

homemade whole grain gluten free flour
-50g coconut flour
-50g hazelnut flour
-100g white, stoneground cornmeal
-150g teff flour
-150g white rice flour
Mix togther and use as a whole grain flour mixture


Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar together. In another bowl, add the butter, banana, eggs, honey and milks. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir in the dried fruit. Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full (they dont rise a lot) and cook at 350 for 23-25 minutes.

(I make my first batch, then add the 48g of chocolate chunk pieces into the remaining batter and make those on round 2.)



Makes 19 muffins:
195c per muffin/ 230c per chocolate chunk muffin


(a shout out to the Gluten Free Girl, for her basic GF muffin assistance)

Tired But Happy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

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The last few days (since the cramping and general uncomfortableness of the early CDs has passed) have moved towards getting back to normal, but oh and I so tired.  So tired.  Which doesnt bode well for getting up early and running.

I'm a later-in-the-day runner.  Afternoons, evenings, nights.  Love those runs.  Even the every now and again 11am run.  But that's about the extent of my love for morning runs.  I just dont care for them.  I dont feel awake; my body still feels asleep and running like that... Ugh... It takes me a good mile normally to wake up; in the morning, it feels like I dont wake up until the 2nd mile and, at that point, I'm trying to convince myself to just keep going. 

That being said, I did a morning 5K last weekend, where I made my personal record: 3.25 miles in 28:28.  (Okay, so my "official" time was 28:31 but that was based on the whistle blow that started the race and I was in the middle of the pack, so my time was a few seconds shy of that.)  I'm pretty psyched about that. 

But, other than that single example of a good morning run, I'm thinking about other things... Baby things... It's fairly easy for Peter to handle Bobby and Maya in the evenings so that I can leave for a half hour to an hour for a standard run.  But, with a baby in the house, that schedule will be turned upside down, in favor of the sleep 3-4 hours, up/change/eat/rock/snuggle/go-back-to-bed.  It's going to be interesting during the day; but at night, when 2 toddlers need to bathe and go to bed too, it's going to be a 2 person job.  And terribly unfair if I try to sneak away.

But, as I learned from the week that I didnt run because we were submerged in adoption paperwork, I NEED to run.  It's no longer just something I do; it's a part of my week.  So, I'm going to have to change things up if I expect to get in 3-4 runs a week.

So the morning it is.  My hope/goal/whatever is to get out of bed at 5:30 or so.  (I'm usually up around 7:30, so this is a big deal).  We'll see.  In addition to my body not being awake, the idea of getting out of bed 2 hours before normal does not make my mind all that happy either.

But better now to get used to it than a month from now!

PMSing

Monday, May 23, 2011

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Man, I feel like crap right now. :(  After Peter has calculated about 7-8 days of hormonal bitchiness, my period started yesterday and, although I dont feel nearly as hormonal and on edge (evil PMS!!!), this lovely, 22 day cycle brings with us the traditional cramping, backache, and headache that some previous ones have blessed me with.  Funny enough, some periods are fine; they are there, but no real side effects.  Others, like this month's... Not fun.  Not one bit.  Chronic side to mid-back pain, TIREDness, cramps, and a headache that, last night, was so bad, that Peter held me as I couldnt stop the tears that dampened his pajama shirt until I fell asleep. 
I used to take something but after I started losing weight, I could no longer take ibuprophen or naproxen (which are the only 2 things I took before since the others made me sick) for headaches or muscle aches without strange, "disconnected" feelings.  These days, I only take them if I simply cant take whatever is happening combined with another adult to be on "baby duty" so that I can sequester myself in bed until the weirdness passes.  It's strange.  I'm assuming that my body is simply processing the medication differently and that difference isn't a feeling I'm comfortable with.

At this point, I'm wishing the kids felt like this day deserved a day of resting!  We could all snuggle in bed and just sleep all day! :)  I dont think they agree, however.  Currently, they are playing the piano and singing, while watching SuperWhy! before breakfast (which I just finished making for them and am now just waiting for SW to end so they can eat).


12 days til Michael's blessingway...
15 days til my 31st birthday...
25 days til our overnight in honor of our 13th anniversary...
36 days til Michael is born by c-section!

Princess of the Potty

Sunday, May 22, 2011

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Anyone who's around here knows that we've had the potties since the kids were around 17 months old and that we've done a gradual introduction to them.  Over the last 2 weeks or so, I've been making "potty time" where I sit the kids on their potties and talk to them about peeing and pooping.  I know.  Fun times.   They each have potty books

(in addition to Mommy and Daddy reading some of their own potty literature).  And, while it wasn't alot (it was only a few drops), Maya went to the potty and peed today!  After breakfast, they got naked and each sat down on the potty and Maya had a little bit of activity!  (We'd just read the books outloud, and she was quite pleased with herself!)

So, while we still have a long way to go, I'm pretty proud of my Potty Princess!

Baby Steps for Life 5K

Friday, May 20, 2011

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I'll be starting off my morning bright and early with a solo 5K in Bucks County.  I'm hoping to break the half hour mark!!!  So... if you are free and up, come out and support a local crisis pregnancy center!

Baby Steps for Life 5K
3.1 Mile Run - 1.5 Mile Walk - .5 Mile Kids Fun Run

Saturday, May 21, 2011 – Falls Township Community Park - Levittown, PA

Schedule: Registration starts at 7:30am – Run & Walk starts at 9:00 am
Location: Falls Township Community Park
Benefits: Bucks County Community Women’s Center

$30 5K/walk
No charge for kids run, although donations are gratefully accepted.

On Another Pregnancy

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I was talking to a blog friend on facebook the other day about babies, fertility, issues around those things, and the Catholic Church.  She's quite the Catechist reader as well (although she puts me to shame!) and says "You know, you have an excellent case for Church sanctioned sterility".  Now, mind you, she wasn't trying to be harsh or mean; she was giving her honest opinion.

For those who are wondering what on earth "Church sanctioned sterility" might mean, the simple answer is that there are certain medical practices that are not considered okay for Catholics.  A vasectomy, for example, is one of those; IVF is another.  (There are a number of practices and the reasons why they are prohibited, if you are interested, that you can find on the USCCB page or by contacting your local diocese.)  However, even practices that are normally no-no's, if you have a pressing medical reason that a specific condition might be necessary, you can petition the Bishop/Cardinal of your diocese/archdiocese for a dispensation to the rule so that you can, in good faith and conscience, have the procedure done.  (Obviously, it's a more detailed examination that I'm giving in a paragraph, but you get the gist.)

My friend's position is that, due to my body's inability to nourish or sustain a pregnancy and the ramifications of that (both health wise, emotionally, and the toll on our families), I would have a case, should I want a voluntary hysterectomy.  I'm not sure that I've ever heard of anyone citing recurrent pregnancy loss or recurrent preterm labor as an argument for sterility, but it has made me think and question the idea.

I brought it up to Peter the other night, not as a "I want a hysterectomy" discussion (because, for the record, that's not a thought passing through my mind) but just to share the suggestion.  His response actually surprised me. 

We've discussed pregnancy before and how there would be so many risks that it doesnt seem practical to attempt.  Of course, if we got pregnant, we'd be grateful and do our best, but to actually try to conceive again doesn't seem up our alley.  He wasn't suggesting that we get on the TTC train, but his comments were interesting the say the least.

He wonders if pregnancy could, possibly, be more normal, post a cerclage, since I'm in better health and weigh quite a bit less.  If, of course, I'd be less active, but if I could manage at home without strict bedrest, and make it fairly close to full term.

I'm not as optimistic.  I think a great deal of my issues stem from the fact that, hormonally, something isn't right but also that my cervix has some sort of defect.  It isn't tired from too much work or tried-and-true-but-old... It's actually broken in some sort of hidden way.  The structure is weak.  And, although a TVC can help that, it can't fix the fact that the structure itself is weak.  15% of TVCs fail; I'm one of those.  I know it and accept it; I wouldnt be willing to voluntarily risk it.

Which brings the discussion back to a preventative TAC.  A higher success rate with a much higher chance of a full term delivery... But always a surgical delivery, with a higher risk of complications and a longer recovery time...  with kids at home already who need 100% of me, regardless of how I'm feeling.

I loved it.  For all of the worry and health issues, I loved being pregnant.  I'd love to do it again.  And I love the idea of babies in our house.  But... There is so much to consider...  Infertility aside, the prospect terrifies me.  And, with Michael on the way, it would definitely be something to consider for 2 years or so down the road. 

But would be consider it?  Would we consider a surgery to make it "safer" and actually actively try again?

I dont know, but it is strange thinking that Peter thinks it would be possible... and quasi-normal.

Birthing a Premature Adult

Thursday, May 19, 2011

6 comments
I dont know if it is that I decided to let go of my preconceived weight notions and decided to not just accept, but be happy with, the weight that my body decides is the "right" one this time around, or if it is that having that realization brought me back to the initial mindframe of when I first began this journey into rediscovering eating.  I dont know what it was.  But, what I do know, is that number on the scale this morning was something amazing (to me, at least!).

169.

I think I mentioned that I was around 165 at my wedding, which was up a good 10 pounds or so since Peter had I had met and then exchanged the vows that changed our lives forever less than 2 years before that September soiree.  Peter was probably around 145-155 (and a little on the too-thin side for his 6'2 frame... Not that he wasn't eating, but his I'm-in-my-30s metabolism wouldn't kick in for another decade or so when he hit his thirties!).  These days, Peter weighs well for his frame (I'd put him 160-175 as a happy place, since although he's tall, he's got a slight build and he's usually within the 165-170 range when he steps on the scale), and we all know that my weight wasn't quite healthy this last decade (okay, it was downright unhealthy... let's be honest).  At his physical last week (with clothes, to be fair), to doctor wrote his weight as... wait for it... 169!!

So, sortofkindof, Peter and I weigh aroundsortofkindof the same.  This hasn't been true for, if I'm honest...ever.  By the time he put on weight to get to his happy body place, I had far surpassed him and then some... and then kept going.  Not that he cared; if there is one thing I can say, I truly dont think that my heaviness bothered him.  I think the fact that he was concerned about my health bothered him (alot) and that the fact that I loathed myself bothered him (even more), but the fact that he was thin and I was, well, fat... I dont think he ever gave a second thought to it.  Which makes me love him all the more.

But, back to the other... The same... (or at least close enough!)...  This was one of my milestones.  We'd agreed to 170 as the "Weighs the Same As Peter" milestone, which, in keeping with my gift to myself, should be a dinner date!  (Because, really, isnt it uber healthy to reward yourself with food??? I know... I know... Judge not!)  We're going out in a month for our date, but maybe we can fit in something before.  Maybe with the kids too.  I love going out as a family.  A date, just us, is really nice and special.  But, seeing the kids explore new foods and enjoy a new surrounding is... extra nice and special.  And I'll get Peter to myself on June 17th/18th.  I'd rather have this milestone date with Bobby & Maya in tow :)

But, again, I digress...  The same...  169.  It's pretty exciting for me to see a "16X" on the scale.  Right now, I am ten tiny pounds away from the N word: normal.  At 159, my BMI drops from the "overweight" category into the "normal" category.  Every pound from 169 down is a pound closer to being, BMI wise, normal.  That hasn't been the case in a VERY long time.  And, in addition, it's a step towards something new: Peter weighing more than me!  And, at 6'2, he should weigh more than his 5'7 wife, even taking into account his slight build and my "large frame"!

What makes this so...interesting... and, even fun, is that there was no dieting done.  There wasn't a book to follow or a way to fail or being on this diet or "no, I cant eat that" or "Sorry, no pie for me, I'm on a diet".  There was eating responsibily and a very large learning curve.  There was the healing of some emotional eating scars, and the acceptance of the ones that wont heal.  There was the knowledge that you dont "cure" this, but you sure as hell can fight the war and come out ahead. 

When I started, I wanted to become a healthier role model and drop 90 pounds.  I wanted to stop having a near addictive dependency on food.  I wanted to stop eating when I wasn't hungry- heck, I wanted to know that I was hungry and be able to feel when I was full.  Now, I'm sitting in the kitchen, and other than my iced tea, there's no food around me.  I can look around and see a well stocked pantry and fridge, but I'm not hungry and, therefore, the temptation isnt there.  Within arms reach is the candy dish, stocked with chocolate and all sorts of goodies.  But, I'm not reaching... Because I'm not hungry.

Sometimes I am, and sometimes I have one (or two).  Sometimes, I feel that nawwing sense of inferiority/sadness/takeyourpickoftheemotion and the food calls to me and promises to help, and I waver and give in and take more than two (or 10).  It happens.  I know it will.  It doesnt help, though... the extra eating.  It might feel good for a moment (although, I've started seeing that it doesnt feel good... it might feel numb for a moment is probably a better phrase). 

What does help?  Knowing that I can eat whatever I want.  Knowing that there's not a diet going on that I can fail on.  Knowing that I made mashed potatoes and collard greens and corn rolls and homemade BBQ ribs for dinner last night and that I had a helping of each plus a small salad and small fruit salad AND a piece of lemon cake that I made.  And it was great.  And there was no guilt or overeating.  There was simply "eating"; actually, there was "eating dinner with my family."  It's sitting down at the table with the kids during the day and having breakfast, lunch, and second lunch, and knowing that they are seeing a good example of a good relationship with food and that that is what they are mimicing.  It's having snacks with them throughout the day, and realizing that I dont need a bag of chips or a handful of candy; no one needs that.

It's not about depravation; it's about responsibility.  And learning that has made a huge difference in my life. 

I wanted to change, and I have.  I still am.  I may look in the mirror and still see the woman I was a year ago, but I know I'm not her.  I had said once that it was in the eyes... That there was something about me that changed after my children died and that, if you looked closely, you'd see it in my eyes.  There's something else there too, now.  There's still the pain and the sorrow that wasn't there before 2007... But there's a hope that was born with Bobby and Maya, and there's an understanding that was born with me.  I thought it might take me 9 months or so to lose 90 pounds and that I could have some great little "9 months to grow a new person" post.  But, it seems like, with most things "new person" related, I'm premature and 7 months is the longest I have in me.

It wasn't about the weight.  I thought it was, but it wasn't.  That was just a deeper symptom of me and how dead a part of me was.  There will be a part of me- 3 parts of me- trapped in different parts of 2008 forever.  And that's okay; it's part of who I am.  There are parts of me trapped at other times too... And, I'm okay with that; it's part of the life story that I can accept about myself.  But I let something so base-eating- control some of the best parts of my life.  Rather than deal with my feelings or try to accept myself and love myself for who I was at the time, I tried to bury that woman away.  It's a shame.


Even though I may be a "premature" person at only 7 months into this journey... Even though I may need life support at times in the way of friends and family to help me through hard days... Even though I may struggle with developmental delays as it relates to relating to food...  I'm a new person.  I know it.  And that, I can see.  It's in the eyes.  (and, in some ways, in the waistline, too).

Secret Treasures

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2 comments
When I opened the door to grab the mail this morning, I noticed the box was adjar... It couldn't close because there was an envelope in it.  Pulling the yellow package from the mailbox, I couldn't help but smile when I saw the familiar, curly writing, and the "to:" markings: "Peter and Michele and the kids' newest sibling!"

KK is a friend I've had since middle school.  She's a gem and, although there were a few years in adulthood where we fell out of touch, we regularly email (or, now, facebook!), and keep up with what's going on in our lives.  She's a beautiful person- inside and out- and is a huge giftgiver.  If there is an ocassion to mark, rest assured that KK will mark it- on time (always!)- and never without thoughtfulness.  Even if she is just popping in for dinner as she travels the East Coast (she lives in the DC Metro area, so we dont see her all that often, but when she travels this way, she always checks to see if we are available), there is usually a well-thought about gift in hand.  I'd say it's a trademark of hers...  Along with her bubbly laugh and cheerful smile.

I haven't seen her, physically, in over a year.  She came by our old house in early 2010; I'd love to see her again and catch up, but, until we can letters and emails suffice.  She'll be in TN visiting family over the Blessingway, but hopefully we'll catch up over the summer.

But, the envelope... I opened it to find 4 adorable onesies and a pair of pants.  Grey and green, with a koala!  Very cute!  But the gift that had tears streaming down my face...  I opened a delicately wrapped box where KK had written "Michael Dimitri" and a heart.  A little Bible, with his name, Michael, and a cross monogramed across the front.

It's KKs style...  Sweet, thoughtful, meaningful...

I've asked people to refrain on bringing gifts to the Blessingway.  It's not that it's more of a spiritual gathering than a 'baby shower' type thing; that's true, as well.  But part of it is that, since we don't know what the future holds and, to be safe, we are trying to prepare ourselves for the reality that his birthmother may change her mind, we didn't want to have to worry about what now???  When people have asked, we've explained, and everyone has understood.  It isn't a matter of doubt, mind you; just that we don't know our role on this journey yet...  We have so much in the event that he does come home to us- the hope that we have in our hearts- and we understand that people want to share in our joy...  We've smiled and said "At the Christening!" to try and brush off the concerns of not having a baby gift at a baby function.

But KK... She knows better than to ask... I could pretty much guess she knows I'd (virtually) wave her away and tell her "At the Christening", so she didn't ask... And she knew that what she sent would be perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  Something to hold onto, no matter the result.  Something to cling to, in spite of the fear.  Something to trust in, and to place our hope in.

"In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passethall understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."   -Philippians 4:6-7

Thanks KK.  Really.

20 Months: Upgrading... (HHB)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2 comments
originally posted here

...to 90 minutes of directed homeschooling each day (as opposed to previously 60 minutes of directed each day)!

We are operating under the philosophy of X directed hours per year of age. (I'll get into directed versus undirected in a moment). Obviously, infants cannot sit for long periods of time for educational practices, and they would (most likely) get bored in one long stretch; the same is true of toddlers (to a lesser degree), to children (to an even lesser degree), and even to teens and adults! In our homeschooling, there are 3 aspects to the day: directed homeschooling, indirect education, and visual stimulatory education.


Directed Homeschooling: This takes place when either one-on-one or one-on-two, I sit with them and go through an activity with them. It could be storytime, coloring, directing their hands to draw letters, offering them shapes for the shapesorter (and talking about them), talking to them about the shapes as they work the pegboard, or going through the alphabet (or other puzzles) with them (or a variety of other things!). The key thing here is that they are either being actively engaged with me or by me, and that we are doing activities together. These are the activities that I log and keep up with. This isn't to say that the other 2 sections aren't just as important, but as they make up the rest of our day, I dont log them the same way (nor am I as anal about making sure time is kept, except with the TV aspect).

Indirect Education: This is the largest part of our day. It's where the kids play without me trying to direct them or get involved. And it is a broad spectrum. Sometimes, it's all of us dancing to the music or the kids climbing on top of the furniture and practicing their foreward rolls. It could be them playing on the piano, learning their letters and sounds on their little LeapFrog Laptops or "reading" their boardbooks themselves. They could be playing with their kitchen or making music with their drums. There's no end to what they do or what they might create! But, since we break up our directed work and our visual stimulation into 10-20 minute chunks, this is the largest aspect of our day, by far!

Visual Stimulatory Education: This is my nice way of saying education via television. It's no secret that we don't love the idea of putting kids in front of the TV for extended periods of time, but I'll give credit where credit is due: there are some AWESOME programs available and they can be integrated into the day. We have Comcast as our cable provider and their On Demand menu for Kids has a section for babies that is full of educational gems. Daily, the kids watch either a shape/ABC/numbers program (10-12 minutes) and a language program (10-14 minutes). They love them and they are nicely done (and free with our cable subscription!). We DVR a lot of programs since we dont want to be tethered to watching them at a specific time where something else might come up. For religious education, the kids watch one of 3 different religious cartoons that we DVR from EWTN: We Are Catholic, The Animated Rosary for Kids, or My Catholic Family. These run about 20 minutes each episode. For positive educational reinforcement, they LOVE the PBS show SuperWhy!, which is half an hour. Sometimes, if they get cranky as I am cleaning up from breakfast, I will put on The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, which is also half an hour but they rarely watch that and it serves more as a background distraction why they either "help" me clean or play with their toys. The same is true of Dinosaur Train; they may watch that in snippets if I need something going on while I am cleaning up. All in all, they get about 20 minutes of educational videos plus 20 minutes of religious education and 30-40 minutes of PBS programming a day, for a total of up-to 80 minutes or so. Sometimes the TV will be on something educational and we'll watch it as a family while we are playing, but usually, the cablebox is on a music channel of some sort (Toddler Tunes is a favorite throughout the day; Soundscapes is a must-have during naptime) and the TV screen is turned off.

There are other important things to, of course. In addition to breakfast, lunch, second lunch, and dinner, they get 3 snacks throughout the day plus their 2 hour nap (inbetween lunch and second lunch). We also try to get outside (weather permitting) each day for at least half an hour; weekly, they visit their paternal grandparents and their maternal grandfather comes here for a visit. They also have their weekly 45 minute music class and weekly 45 minute toddler tumbling/gymnastic class; if I can make a playgroup, I do so, otherwise I try to get them out on another sort of play outting. They also do our weekly shopping with me, which gets them out of the house and gives them a new world to explore as we discuss the food and items we pass and put in our cart.

The kids are learning to put themselves to sleep and to self-soothe if they wake up before they are ready to do so. We dont (nor do we plan to do) CIO; we will let them whine or complain, but if it progresses to crying, we intercede and reassure them. Maya is outstanding. When she hears naptime, she snuggles my shoulder for a moment then pulls away for her bed. She wants her "sleep entourage" of Baby Stella, Sleep Sheep, and her lovey, then her sheet and blanket, and then you to leave her alone! If she wakes up, she will talk to her dolls until she falls asleep. If she is awake and finished with her nap, she will come to her door for you to open the gate. Bobby still needs a bit more intervention. Usually, I leave and have to go back in 10 minutes or so (sometimes twice over a 20 minute period) to help him. He doesnt like being alone, which is tough when you are trying to have him fall asleep on his own! But he will, and, if he wakes up, he usually sings himself back to sleep.

The kids LOVE the park. It's a shame that, at this age, I simply cant take them by myself, but until I have a way of safely doing so, we wait until we have someone to go with us during the day or until the evenings/weekends when Peter is home. We all walk to the park 4 blocks away or Peter and I walk and push them in the stroller to our favorite park, a mile away. They love the swings and the slides, and are fearless! It's so cute to watch them. They are never happy to leave, no matter how tired they are!
Mealtimes are still awesome. They love to eat, and eat a diverse diet. It's really amazing to watch them discover a new food and chow away.

And bathtime remains a fun way to end our day. They end up playing for 15-20 minutes or so, until they are washed, dried off, massaged, and pajama'ed. It's a fun time for Peter to have some DaddyTime (while I straighten the kitchen up post dinner).

20 months have come and gone. It's amazing, for me, to watch them grow, and to see just how far they've come as we approach their second birthday.

(I have a second part of this as well, but that will be saved for another day... We upgraded our supplies since we are moving towards 2 hours of directed HSing each day as they hit their 2nd birthday. But I dont have any new pics yet and am still getting the hang of my new planner!)

Finding My Happy Place (LOMIM)

4 comments
Initially posted here

A friend of mine, in the beginning of this journey, told me to not be surprised when the weight loss slowed. The heavier you are, the easier the initial loss is, but then it gets harder as you get closer to where your body wants to be. At around 200 pounds, I slowed... Then again, around 180. And now, around 170, I'm finding that I'm slowing down. Is this my body finding its happy place? Or is it the result of me finding my lazy place? I'm not sure.

But it begs the question: how will I cope if my body's happy place is not the mental place I've set for myself?

159 is my BMI cutoff for a healthy weight. Given the BMI doesnt take into effect the muscle-to-fat ratios or your activity level; there are people with "healthy" BMIs who are anything but healthy. But it is one measure, and was a measure that I was looking forward to having on my side. At my required adoption physical, the PA listed me as "healthy weight". That was a shock. I mean, I weighed in (clothed) at 172- 13 pounds over "healthy", in the "overweight" range. She smiled and told me that it wasn't just about the BMI, there were more things to consider and that I was, for all purposes, at a healthy weight for my bone size, height, and muscle mass. Wow. Good to know... Shocking, but good to know. I guess my little fat pooch on my belly bothers me more than everything else... My blood pressure was good (110/70) and, although my bloodwork hasnt come back yet, the assumption based on previous tests and current lifestyle is that my cholesterol will also still be good.

My size 10 pants are loose but 2 of my 3 size 8 pants are still more snug than I'd like. But that's okay. A number is a number.

The dress I bought for my June 17th anniversary dinner still doesnt zip all the way. That is NOT okay! I like that dress! My MIL offered to alter it... If she does, can I still feel good about wearing it? Will I regret not dropping a few more pounds??? I dont know, but that is a mental block I need to deal with. Otherwise, it will become my excuse for eating when I'm not hungry.

So... What if my body decides 170 or 165 or 175 is its happy place? Will I let myself be happy there? Will I do what I said I'd never do and try to diet a little lower? Will I run myself ragged with exercise?

I dont think so... I plan to continue on the path of eating within what my body needs and exercising 4-5 days a week. If I continue to drop a few pounds, so be it. Will I make my June 30th goal of 150 pounds? I'm thinking not. But I'm starting to become okay with that. I wanted to be healthy. And I am. I really am. A few more pounds off the scale wont change that, and I'm really happy about knowing that.

But it doesnt mean that I wont continue, for now, to keep evaluating that with calorie intake, working out, and monitoring my emotional state of "are you hungry? yes/no?". But, I think that I'm getting to a place where, regardless of the place on the scale, I'll be okay.

I'll be happy.

I'll be healthy. No, wait. I am healthy. I am.

Wow.

Mother's Day Recap

Monday, May 16, 2011

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Mother's Day was lovely.  I talked about it here.  I sold roses at the 7:30 Mass, then we attended the 9:30 as a family.  It was sweet.  My Mother's Day rose is still beautiful and sitting in my kitchen window.  I got a run in, which was nice, and then we had dinner at one of our favorite places.  As you can see, the kids really enjoyed their food!



They started with the hummus platter, then shared an adult salmon dinner (salmon, bok choy, mushrooms, all drizzled with balsamic vinegar), plus bread and olive oil, then Bobby ate a fair portion of Uita's meatloaf dinner and Maya shared my flourless chocolate cake plus ate her cookie!  It was a good time!

Afterwards, we walked to the park a stone's throw from the restaraunt, where we worked off all that sugar!  The kids LOVED sliding with Grandpa...


...and we had a great time on the rocking toys.



All in all, it was a spectacular day. :)

(See May pics and all the Mother's Day pics on FB)

Michael's Nursery

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Because this house doesn't have space for a separate nursery, we opted to move our bedroom around and create a space.  It's a good thing our room is huge!  We were able to add the crib and I added a changing pad to my dresser, and there is still enough room for everything else. 


Pregnancy Envy

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It's funny... Sometimes I think I've dealt, rather effectively, with my infertility and my pregnancy issues.  I can joke about my body, as Sarah calls me, 'the little oven that couldn't' (a play on 'the little engine that could').  As someone who doesn't deal well with failure, I've tried to accept that I can't control the world and that this get-pregnant -stay-pregnant-thing is something that I, unequivocably, suck at.  And, usually, I'm good.  I am 100% happy for friends who announce pregnancies (especially when they arent saddled with infertility, too) and, although I've never been a shower-happy kind of girl, I can do the whole baby shower thing without trepidation.  Bobby and Maya have helped with a lot of that, but I've grown over the last years as well, and that helps too.

But, sometimes, this stuff hits you in the uterus and you want to double over in pain and puke your guts out.

(Good image, right?)

My sweet, sweet niece (who is Bobby and Maya's godsister if not my biological niece) received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday.  I was thrilled; I cried.  She's a beautiful girl... In EVERY sense of the word and I could not have been more proud than had it been one of my own kids there.  In addition, another sweet girl who is close to my heart was also receiving Confirmation, and I was just in a nice, happy place with these 2 young girls who have touched my life so much in such a great celebration of Faith.  Because the Mass interfered with naptime, we knew we'd need to take the kids out for walk abouts every now and again.  And that was okay. 

And what was extra fun?

The half dozen VERY pregnant bellies I encountered in the span of 90 minutes. 

Now, let me preface this: we're Catholic.  There are usually pregnant bellies abounding.  And I'm okay with that.  It's beautiful.  It's great. 

It wasn't great on Saturday.  The first, okay.  The second, okay.  By the third, very pregnant and about to burst belly, I was starting to feel that deep pull in my chest.  By the fourth, I wanted to cry.  By the fifth, I was looking for an escape route, and by the sixth, I was fighting back the tears.  These women were ready to pop.  And it wasnt so much the "they are pregnant" thing.  Because, truly, I have no idea if they struggled with fertility or if they've lost children,  and, even if they havent, I dont begrudge them their pregnancies.  But the thought that came?

That will never be me.

Because even if I got pregnant again and carried past the first trimester... Even if I had a cerclage placed and made it into the second trimester... Even if I didn't pPROM or go into PTL... I'd never be that pregnant and out.  I'd be in bed or, most likely, in the hospital, taking different concoctions and hooked up to different monitors to try and stay pregnant as long as possible.

And, damn... That hurt.  That thought really, really hurt.

I did my best to focus on the beauty of the day and when L came running and hugged me and was gorgeous and perfect and newly confirmed, my thoughts and heartache went away and all was well.  We celebrated with a luncheon (where Bobby acted like we dont feed him and ate 10 meatballs and 2 meat pockets (meat filled yeast rolls- delicious) in addition to cake and heaven knows what else) and then took the kids to get them a nap.  It was a good time.

We needed to go by the farm and bakery and supermarket, so after naptime, we did our running around.  And, once again, the Universe aligned itself against my mood.  In the supermarket I saw another half dozen VERY pregnant women.  And, again, the thoughts... The sadness... The pain...

I was okay and got out of there as soon as we could.  And I was okay at home.  But, as the kids played, and Peter and I prepared food together, I lost it. 

I'm so damn tired of being a bloody statistic.  I'm tired of being infertile.  I'm tired of having multiple miscarriages.  I'm tired of having preterm labor where my babies either die or have to rely on weeks in the hospital to live.  I'm tired of not being able to get and stay pregnant.  I'm tired of being told how strong I am, or how I'm an example of faith to someone, or how they couldnt do it.  I want to scream "I DONT WANT TO DO IT!  I WANT TO HAVE A DIFFERENT CHOICE!!!"

But do I?  I know I wouldnt choose differently.  I wish, so much, that this wasn't me.  But, if given a choice, I'd do the same over again because it brought me my children and there is nothing that would ever make me want to change that. 

But still, it hurts.   Even when we think we are over it... Even when living children have numbed some of the pain...  Those scars are still there and it takes so little- especially when we expect it the least- to open them up again.   

Keeping It Real

Sunday, May 15, 2011

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My mind is all over the place and I'm tired... Two things that don't make for great blogs.  But, at the same time, I'm feeling a bit bad that I haven't updated in a while, so I'll do my best tonight before heading to bed.

It's a meloncholy time here, as well as a time of excitement.  Anyone who is familiar with adoption knows that the birthmother can change her mind at any stage, including up to 72 hours post-birth.  We knew this going in, however, recently, it has really hit me that we may lose a baby I'm not even pregnant with.  It's hard because both choices- adoption or keeping the baby- have good pieces.  If we adopt him, he will have a good life full of love, but he loses his first family: his biological family.  We'd have an open adoption, but it would be different than if he were raised by his biofamily.  That's a tough pill to swallow... That your love would still cause him so much grief...  If the birthmom raises him, I dont know the life he'd have (although I hope it would be good and full of love) but he'd be with his biofamily and his biobrother, and to lose us- a family he'd never know- wouldnt hurt him (even though it would hurt us).  We didnt go into this with "let's have another baby and let's adopt"; we went into it with the mindset that we are here and whatever should happen will happen, and we were shocked when we were selected so quickly.  But we have given ourself completely; if Michael doesn't come home, we will be crushed.  I know that much to be true.  And, if he does come home, I will mourn with him when he realizes that what he gained came at a great cost as well.  It's quite the place to be. 

We had our lawyer consult and our home study.  Both went well.  We liked the attornery and the social worker; both really had a passion for adoption.  They fit us so well... 

Because we are newbies and weren't sure, with the quickness of the situation, what to expect for the home study, we rearranged and set up the nursery section of our bedroom.  Michael will sleep in our room until he moves into what is currently Bobby's room (but will become the boy bedroom).  I have to admit that I love walking by and running my hand across his blanket or touching the elephant we bought for him (or tradition with babies) or looking at the onesie I bought him since he's coming right before the 4th of July.  Peter's mom bought him a few outfits; she said she just couldn't help herself. They are hanging in my closet.  Again with the happy feelings mixed with the fear.  In some ways, I thought adoption might quell the same fears I had when pregnant, but they dont... Not one bit.  A different situation, but fear nonetheless.

We've selected the couple who will be godparents for Michael... They are so lovely and were thrilled, which makes them more lovely!  I feel so blessed to have so many good and loving people in our lives.

Bobby and Maya are doing great... We no longer have them sitting in their chairs with the trays; now they eat at the table, with us, and on plates.  Their breakfast and lunch, I use plastic "kid" plates because it makes it easier for me to balance their meal, but dinner is a real (glass) plate like we eat off of, with real (but smaller) spoons and forks.  They still use their straw cups, but breakfast and dinner sometimes see us pulling out (plastic) open cups.  They love to eat, and they love to eat with Mama and Daddy.  It's really adorable.  I love mealtimes at our house.  They amaze me. 

We've been pushing their bedtimes back a bit, closer to 9pm.  They love hanging out later, I think, although it makes it very tough for me to get to the gym at night.  I think I may have to become an early riser.  I'm not looking forward to that :(

Well, I'm tired, so I'd best be logging off.  I've had computer issues the last few days, then Blogger had issues, so all together, the internet and I haven't been close friends.  I'm also starting to up the time of homeschooling.  We were at an hour, and now we are moving closer to 2 hours, which is going to limit my time when I factor in set up and everything else.  The kids nap for 2 hours solid during the day, but that is when I straighten up from breakfast, write in Michael's journal, and do housework, so that doesn't always make for good blog reading/writing time.  We shall see!

The Difference of a Year

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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I was wondering what to write today... I wanted to write, but other than to tell you that I went and had my physical, that I'm making southern fried corn, that I made a delicious banana pudding, and that my dad is having a riot playing with the kids (who are, in turn, having a blast), it's quiet on the homefront. 

So, I looked through last year, and wow... Talk about the difference of a year.  This was May 10, 2010... And this was May 11th of the same year.  They were still so freaking little!  It's hard to imagine that...

Peter and I had our pre-adoption physicals today.  As the PA was filling out the physical form, she'd read the slot and then say outloud what she was writing.  One of the questions: weight issues.  And she says/wrote: "Normal weight".  Then, as she's writing the synopsis, the words "average, healthy woman in her early 30s, presents in great health and is able to parent and raise children without issue."  Can I tell you how surreal those words all are?  I'm still not sure I grasp them.

I'm also in the mood to cook today (arent I always), so I bought some fresh corn and fried it (aka "creamed" it).  350c a serving- it's not good for you.  But man, does it taste great.  And I made a delicious banana pudding, complete with English style custard and freshly whipped cream.  And, on the grill in a few minutes? A fresh bass, stuffed with lemons and herbs from my garden.  It's going to be a delicious meal.  Especially when I surprise my dad (who is visiting today) with southern cornbread (his ultimate favorite).

I'm watching them, my dad and his 2 oldest living grandkids.  They are flipping and turning and laughing and playing.  It's amazing to see and hear all 3 of them laughing.  Of course, poor Pawpaw is completely out of breath now.  They are running him ragged!

2 more days until the home study... I'm nervous... Excited, but nervous!  We've taken 4 of our 6 adoption education classes.  2 more to go... It's all going so quickly, and yet... So slowly too!  Funny how that works out...

20 Months Old

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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I'm not sure where the time has gone...  Somewhere between "We cant stop your labor" and Maya telling me this morning "All done, Mama" and rolling her sleeves up to wash her hands after breakfast, my babies have spent 20 months outside the womb.  My itty-bitty babies are now only 4 short months from their second birthday. 


They are constantly on the go, climbing and flipping and running.  We now walk the four blocks to the park- as in, they are walking and we are holding their hands next to them- and then the 4 blocks home afte after they've played.  Not to sound strange, but it's like having little kids instead of babies and, for that, I'm both happy and sad.

So, today, as I watch these little ones and treasure the days while they are our only children at home, I also watch with awe as they become more and more "Bobby" and "Maya" and less generic toddlers.  I love them so much.  My heart overflows.

Shock

Monday, May 9, 2011

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It's been 8 days since we were initially told about a baby, due in June, who was needing adoptive parents.  8 days, and yet it feels so much longer... As though time has slowed down somehow but has sped up all at the same time.

In 3 weeks, May is over, and then there will be simple countdown of days in June until he is born.  6 weeks is the earliest date of the possible c-section; 7w1d the latest possible day.  In less than 8 weeks, a newborn baby... Here...  Amazing, shocking, beyond my wildest imaginings.

But, at the same time, that is the end of another era.  The end of Bobby and Maya being my babies at home.  The end of them being my only children at home.  The end of them sharing us with just each other.  The end of us going for runs and playing at the park together, without another child in the mix.  It's so insane to even try and fathom what life will be like with a newborn and toddler twins.  People do it all the time (and the reverse!), so I have no worries, in that regard.  And yet, I wonder... What will it be like for them?  From their perspective?  They've shared everything, from the womb until now, so I cant imagine the idea of sharing will be difficult.  But this new person, who needs everything from Mom and Dad...  How will they cope?  We've been visiting the potty twice a day (still diapered) to get the idea; will they decide entirely against it in favor of that special time being changed?  Will they see the new baby with a bottle and remember "hey, we had bottles once, where are ours?"  Or will they become even more helper kids than they already are (because they LOVE to help me straighten up and get things squared away).

What will it mean for their music class on Thursday nights or their gym time on Saturday mornings?  Will we ask someone to fill in for one of us?  Will we ask the grandparents to sit the baby so that we can still have that alone time with Bobby and Maya?  So many questions...

And that doesnt even take into effect that we simply arent ready with the adoption stuff!  In less than a week, we are getting there.  We have the 2 simple background checks either done or submitted and the FBI fingerprint check has been submitted.  Our references are in.  We have a lot of our paperwork compiled, but are still working hard at it once Bobby and Maya go to bed.  But we still have our 10 hours of classwork to complete (again, we have when B & M are asleep to focus on this together).  Thankfully, we were able to get physicals scheduled for Wednesday, and Friday, my in-laws are watching the twins so that we can meet with our attorneys in the morning, and then have our marathon length home study visit in the afternoon.  So, it's all working out.  But when I think of the sheer amount of paperwork to complete before Friday at 1pm, I'm floored.  As a girlfriend of mine mentioned, if everyone who attempted parenthood by any means had to go through what adoptive parents do, there would be a lot less problems in the world!  It's a lot of work- well worth it, of course, but nonetheless, a lot of stuff to compile!

And then, there are the sad parts.  The non-excited, non-a-baby-is-coming parts.  The part where we have to accept that for us to gain a son, another is losing a son.  Our family gains a new grandchild/cousin/nephew, while another mourns the loss of theirs.  And that is hard.  So much joy mixed with so much sadness.  An open adoption allows for a blending of our families, and that is beautiful.  But who knows when that will happen... When people will be ready... It opens up a lot of thoughts about my own birthmother, and how I'd love to reach out to her- not for any sort of relationship, but just so that I have the peace of knowing that, if she ever wondered about me or the kids, that she would have the answer... That she wouldnt have to go looking far.  I'm at a place where I dont need that interaction or even the knowledge anymore; there is a deep peace about it.  But, as we embark on this new journey of parenthood and realize that our son will have questions that we wont have the answers to and he may not have peace with that, that I want to know that she would have the info should she ever want to look at it.  I dont know... That may not make sense.

And my mind doesnt allow me to think of the words "failed adoption attempt".  As we make plans and tell people, we have faced the "what if she changes her mind?" question.  And it's a valid question.  It isnt that we havent contemplated the idea.  But our pregnancies and our children have shown us that there are no guarantees.  Being pregnant doesnt guarantee you a child to parent.  Birthing a child doesnt guarantee you a live baby.  And, adoption doesnt mean the birthmother wont change her mind before that 72 hour window closes.  It is how it is.  Our prayer isnt "God, please bring Michael into our arms safely and let his birthmother not change her mind."  While we are hopeful that Michael will be born healthy and safely, and will be sleeping in the crib that is now decked out in our bedroom in less than 2 months, our prayer is simply that he be given the best life he can have.  If she changes her mind, then we have to believe that his journey- and the best thing for him- is to stay with his birth family.  If he comes home to us and we have the joy of being his forever family, then that is best for him.  But it has to be about our son; it cant be about us.  And without risk, you gain nothing.  You risk the most gutwrenching sorrow to have the ultimate gift.  Although it hurts, you pay the price that is asked of you.

Well, the kids are enjoying the end of one of their homeschooling videos, so I'd better go so we can get back to our ABCs!  Maya has learned almost all of her letter shapes!  She will put the puzzle together, and it is awesome to watch.  Not to be outdown, Bobby is learning the crazyhard shape sorter that I bought (by mistake!)  We struggle with some of these shapes because they are so similar!  It's so much fun watching them learn.  We had a great afternoon at the park yesterday (which I'll blog about later, once I have pics uploaded).  And then... lunch.  Which is good, because I'm getting hungry!  (No snack for Mommy yet, but it's too late at this point, since we'll have lunch at 11...)

An Extra Special Gift

Sunday, May 8, 2011

27 comments
Well, it's Mother's Day here in the States...  Happy Mother's Day: hold the babies in your arms tight and keep the ones you are missing in your hearts.

We're going to the 7:30 Mass and will sell roses afterwards for the Respect Life group...  Then we have dinner plans at a place near our old house.  It will be nice.  Gifts and cards are done...  I have a cute dress... Maya has a cuter dress...  Hopefully, I'll get in my 11 mile run...  It'll be a good day.

But, at the same time, it's missing something.  It will always be missing several little someones to share the day with.  Kids to struggle with making breakfast in bed.  Babies who give mama "flowers" from the weed garden.  Laughs and snuggles and jumping on the bed by a multitude of little feet.  I'd have a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses if I had one for each child I've had the privilege of being mother to.

Well, 13 actually...

Because, I have a secret.  (And it's not what you think.)

I thought that holding out on blogging about G's short pregnancy was tough, but this has actually been tougher.  Long sigh, fear fluttering in my chest.  We will (hopefully? most likely? maybe?) have a baby in this house at the end of June.  Oh my goodness... I've said it.  We are adopting a precious baby boy who is due to be born at the end of June!!!

A baby.  A baby boy.  Due to be born by planned c-section at the end of June.  Less than 2 months from now.

I tell myself that there is no chance for my heart.  This all started a week ago (so I havent been holding out on you that long), when we were told that we had been chosen to be this baby's forever family.  Sunday night, I knew that I loved this baby already.  When I met the birthmother the following day, I knew that my heart was already in this growing baby's hands.  I knew.  And, just as I know that pregnancy doesnt equal live baby at the end of the journey, I know that the adoption process doesnt equal baby in your arms either.  After 2 failed attempts at it (although none this close), I do know that.

And yet, we plan...  I gave away nursery items after we had decided to no longer pursue fertility treatments and rather to adopt older children when Bobby and Maya were older.  Some friends with little ones still have items (as well as their own) that they are willing to give back to me now that their kids are outgrowing (or lend to me things that they got on their own).  Which is a godsend.  I've already looked into fitting a third carseat into the middle row of my XC90.  I've looked on Craigslist.  I bought a complete nursery pattern- blues and yellows and greens with farm animals- from a local woman... a single snap-and-go from another... a pack-n-play from another.  I still have one of my moby's and my shoulder sling...  We've converted a section of our bedroom into a nursery space...  7 or 8 weeks...  Enough time to get the things we know we needed with Bobby and Maya... To prepare ourselves...  Our home... Our family...

We told our moms right away.  They, as expected, are thrilled.  Scared about the chances of loss, too, but happy for a new grandson to their broods.  And now, there is the waiting... The hoping... The fear...  The love...  As we are now rushing through getting stuff squared away for our homestudy this week, we've decided it's time to let the cat out of the bag.  If it all goes well, great!  And, if it doesn't, we'll need the support when we crash.

We are choosing to think positively and to try to have as much hope as we can that things will work out.  We love this child; we believe we will bring him home and be able to love him forever.  That's all we can do right now.  We have pictured kissing his forehead, snuggling him to sleep, and have whispered his name.

Today, if you would, please lift up a prayer on behalf of our new, sweet son, Michael Dimitri.  While we hope that Michael's home will be with us, we are more concerned that- whatever the journey- it be the one that is right for him.  Hold his birthmother in your thoughts too.  While she has committed herself to adoption because she believes this is the best choice for this precious child, I know that her heart has to be hurting too.  As a dear friend of mine (who is an adoptive mom) said, you cant believe this was "meant" to happen... That your child was meant to suffer the loss of their biological family or that their biological family was meant to have the pain of losing a child, so that your family could gain a son/daughter.  No, we are lucky- extremely so- to be their forever families, but that family is built on tears and agony, and we can never forget the great sacrifice that has been made for the life of that special, wonderful child.

For sure, on this Mother's Day, I've received quite a special gift as we continue our countdown towards meeting our newest addition.

Watching Them Eat

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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video
Courtesy of Peter, this morning.
Enjoy!

Foods For Toddlers

Friday, May 6, 2011

10 comments
Again, props to Mrs. J. for keeping my mind off of things that I havent yet found the words to write about, by giving me a project!  She asked that I write some ideas on feeding toddlers.

I'm not a good person for this.  Just putting that up there up front.  My kids eat and they eat a variety of things, but we are rebels amongst the toddler parents we know.

1) Offer them everything.  We offer our kids some of everything on the table.  Does some of it get thrown away?  Yes.  But they are exposed to it and are able to try it.  As a result, these kids love salmon (and almost any other seafood we've thrown at them), caviar (that was Peter- not me), and Greek yogurt.

2) If you wouldn't eat it, then don't try to force them to.  This doesnt mean that if you dont like it, dont offer it, rather, if it looks and smells like crap and you wouldnt try it, why do you think they want to?  Open a can of baby food and eat it.  Yeah.  It's that nasty.  It's no wonder kids dont want some of that stuff!  Now, peel a mango and make your own paste for your infant, or give a slice to your toddler.  Mango baby food- not so great.  Real mango- delicious.

3) If you dont want them to have it, then reevaluate why you're having it.  Now, dont get me wrong, I love my Guinness and white wine.  Do I give the kids that?  Of course not (although Maya does her damnedest to get into my Guinness whenever she can!).  Some things you dont give them because they arent old enough (like booze).  Other things we dont give them because we know it's bad.  Like soda.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is not a vegetable, even though the word "corn" is in it.  If you wouldnt give it to your kids, think about that as they watch you eat/drink it.  They know you want it... which means they want it...  Childhood obesity is no joke.  Stop it while you are still in control of their dietary choices.

4)  Eat well.  Let your kids know where their food comes from.  Prepare it with them (or at least while they watch).  Talk to them about it.  Let them know that it is good and good for them.  I know this sounds nuts, when it comes to toddlers.  But I swear, our kids love to hang out in the kitchen and "help" me cook.

5) Eat together.  We eat our meals together.  We have breakfast and dinner together as a family and try, monthly, to visit Peter at work and have lunch together.  The kids and I have lunch together while he is at work otherwise.  They do have snacks (although I tend to have a small snack with them).  Eating is a family activity.  It's a shared activity.  It shows them variety.  I have whole grain cheerios for breakfast; they have a bowl with me, then have some fruit and yogurt.  Morning snack is rice cakes of some sort, with a soft goat cheese.  The kids love it.  How many toddlers do you know who go nuts over goat cheese and hummus (another favorite additive to rice cakes)?

6) Find your mojo.  When we first started feeding the kids what we eat, some folks were pretty torn up about it.  What?  No chicken fingers or mac-n-cheese?  No pizza (although we do eat pizza- it just has feta and fresh mozzarella and spinach on whole wheat crust!  we eat regular pizza stuff too, but that's a favorite!)? No hotdogs?  What will they do when they are around other kids!  I guess they'll eat... And eat food that I'd like to eat too!  A common thing was "You dont want to give them good food; then it will be too expensive when you go out to eat and they dont want to order off the kid menu."  Then, I suppose, we wont be able to go out to eat.  Why would we relegate them to food that they (let's be honest) shouldnt be eating in quantity, that is over processed and is so far from being "real" it's ridiculous, when they could have fresh seafood or organic meat or steamed veggies?  One of their first restaurants was Pure Food & Wine in NYC.  They were just starting to eat solids.  One of their first meals when they were eating solids was at Le Gourmet in North Wales, where they dug into a salmon eggs benedict.  Food is something to be shared with them!  We want them to enjoy those experiences, as we do!  If it means we go out to eat every 6 months because they are ordering off the "real" menu, then so be it.  I'd rather do that than have them think that McDonald's-style food is what they should be eating.

So, that's kind of our take on things.  We feed them what we eat.  It works.  They love food.  And that's an awesome thing.  But you have to do what works for your family.  This is just our experience.

How It Feels

Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 comments
My dear sweet blogging friend, Mrs. J., asked me to post on a few questions.  This one is from my last post, where she asks "tell us how the loss of weight makes you feel, too?! As I lost weight I felt more energy, less aches and pains ('cept from lifting wts, LOL), and so on. I know that have two little active people at home doesn't exactly give you time to notice all the changes, but I am sure you would not have the energy you do right now if you were still lugging around the extra pounds."


So, I hope I can do this justice, but I'm sure I wont. :)


How it feels...  That's a crazy question because I still bitch when I'm running, even though I've left a small person behind.  All in all, I find that I can breathe easier (although I never noticed I couldnt breathe well before) and that my joints dont ache nearly as much as they used to.  Because of the DJD in my knees, I'll always have some sort of knee pain, but what I have is minuscule compared to what I used to have.  I havent had to ice or elevate, and I havent had any swelling in a long time.  


I find that I'm faster.  Initially, I couldnt run a mile in under half an hour.  That's about 2mph...  Old ladies walk faster than that.  But I was huffing through the first quarter and then dragging my ass with something you could call a walk before trying to "jog" some more.  A lot of my speed is a result of increased cardiovascular health, but I'm sure the weight has played a role, too.  Now, my PR is a mile in 9 minutes.  Which, if you are a runner, is still slow.  My average is still about 6mph or a 10 minute mile for short runs and 5mph or about 12 minute miles for long runs.  I'm happy with that.


I find that my Irish temper is slightly better.  Only slightly, though.  I still fly off the handle.  But I'm working on it.  According to a priest I saw for confession last year, he's still working on it too.  And he's 60.  So, it's a work in progress that I dont think a few pounds will help.


I'm stronger.  Last night we were setting up some furniture and I was able to help Peter in a way that I wasn't able to do so before.  


Eating less and better also has given me some mental clarity (not too much, mind you- I'm still a Gemini through and through!) and I have less migraine headaches than I did when I was heavier.


That's all I can think of for now...  Like I said, I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting!  Mind isn't that clear! 

Lucky Number Seven (LOMIM)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

9 comments
Originally posted here


Seven months ago, on October 4, I started to seriously contemplate my weight and the impact it was having on my health, my family, and my life.  I weighed a whopping 240 pounds (11 pounds shy of my top weight of 251, which was what I weighed when the twins were delivered the September 13 months prior).  I was at a place where I knew that I had to do something.  It was more than vanity or embarrassment (although those did play into it);  I was killing myself.  Obesity has so many health issues associated with it, and I already had the achy joints, hypertension, and high cholesterol; the PCOS combined with my weight had me on a freight train headed towards Diabetes Station.  I can't do much about the Hashimoto's and the DJD... They are what they are... But the other things... in my control (at least to a degree).  Add to that the knowledge that Bobby and Maya were watching me to learn their food habits and I had hit a low.

And a high.

Because nothing in the last few years has changed me the way that I changed a little over half a year ago.  I dont know if it was the motivation to be a better role model for my children or if it was the realization that the power to change was mine alone or if I finally saw the impact that this all had on my health.  I dont know.  Maybe it was a combination of all those things and then some.

But this morning, when I stepped on the scale for the 7 month, I saw numbers I hadnt seen in several years: 170.  It's a special number to me.  It not only is a loss total of 70 pounds (so far!) or the number that signifies I only have 20 pounds until I hit my goal.  It's one of the last weights I remember of my early marriage.  At my wedding, I was 160 pounds, up 5 pounds since college (which was up 5 pounds from my high school graduation).  When I encountered pregnancy that first time, I was (you guessed it) 170 pounds.  I havent been this weight since late-2000.  Even writing that, a tingle runs through my body.  (And, funny enough, I thought I was way heavy then!!!)

It's still strange to me that random folks comment on my weight.  At church or in social gatherings, or commenting to pictures on FB.  I dont see it when I look in the mirror, but I'm starting to see it- clearly- in photos.  There is a change.  And it isnt just the weight.  It's me.  
September 2010: 240 lbs
December 2010: 210 lbs
late-March 2011: 180 lbs

Me now!  170 lbs

Not Much To Say...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

4 comments
Today was Alexander's EDD... Funny, I dont think about EDDs too often because I've never put much stock in them, but as I was writing the date on B&Ms coloring pages, it struck me that today was something and then I realized...  His EDD...  He might have been turning 2 around this day, instead of his birthday last November...  He might have been here now if this was his birthday time of year...  Strange...

***
My mind is in a thousand places at once.  I want to blog on these ramblings- and I will at some point- but not today.  But one day...

***
The last two days, the bambinos have wanted to eat lunch (normally 11am) at 10:15am, and get to nap (normally 11:30am) by 10:45am.  Nuts!  But they've been wanting breakfast when they get up (7:30ish) instead of our normal 8:30ish, so I'm sure they are hungry, since I move snack up to 9am when they eat that early, instead of 10am.  The kicker is that they are still napping well into the 1 o'clock hour, and sometimes close to 2pm!  So, no complaints.  Perhaps it is growth spurt time again!

***
We decided to hire lawn care for the season and to re-evaluate next year.  As I type, two young men are clearing up the leaves and limbs from the fall and winter, and will be mowing the yard soon.  It will be so nice to no longer have grass sprouting seeds! :)  We're also having a fence installed at some point.  I'm waiting on the contractor to let me know how we need to proceed, as far as permits, etc.  But, soon, we'll be able to have the kids out in the yard during the day!  Yay!  I cant wait!  They love being outside, but I cant handle both of them at the park alone.  God forbid, one runs this way and the other that way or, worse, someone tried to grab one of them.  I cant even fathom it.  I'll stick to running or walking with them, and leave the park when I have another set of hands.  But I think we're going to bite the bullet and get some sort of swing set for the yard.  I want them to be able to have fun outside!

***
I'm 21 pounds away from my goal.  This morning, I weighed 171 pounds.  I cant believe it.  7 months: I started October 4th (like, really started) with keeping an eye on what I was eating and making better choices, in addition to working out.  Tomorrow makes it 7 full months and (if I'm 170), 70 pounds.  Wow.  I'm sure that will bring its own blog post, LOL!  Gives me incentive to not eat the entire block of DELICIOUS cheesecake that is in my fridge!

***
A lot of odds and ends today... I have so much to say but sometimes my mind works faster than my fingers and I just cant figure things out!  Rest assured that, although things are busy and crazy around here, life is sweet and good at the Haytko house. :)

I hope it is sweet and good at your house too!!

Revisiting "Catch-Up"

Monday, May 2, 2011

2 comments
Don't you just love it when your life gets so crazy that you find yourself playing catch up as your life continues to march on?  Fun times, as usual, here at Casa Haytko!

Saturday marked a week since Bobby was fighting the 3 in 1 illnesses...  His tooth cutting seemed to stop, the Fifth's Disease rash went away, but his cough was still nasty and his nose still runny thanks to the spring cold that knocked him out.  A trifecta of the worst kind.  My in-laws were nice enough to watch the babes and Peter and I took a much needed 2 hours (as you can imagine, sleep hasn't been happening for more than a bit at a time, nor has any sort of married life as we've been operating on 100% parent 100% of the time).  We biked into the next town and back, had an early dinner at our favorite Thai place, and then biked home.  He picked up the kids and I went to church to help set-up for our Sunday Social (tea, coffee, juice, and donuts, once a month) that the Respect Life crew was sponsoring.  Loved the SS lady and it was a treat to hang with her on Sunday too.  Sunday was a whirlwind of attending 7:30 Mass, helping at the Social, handling home visits as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, coming back to finish the Social, hitting the supermarket, getting home for some brief snuggles with the babes and hubs, and then cooking for a dinner guest.  Dinner rocked (as did my triple chocolate cake with wild cherry jam and dusted with powdered sugar), and the babes went to sleep peacefully (and behaved well all evening!).  This morning, Bobby met me at his gate with a grin, and although he is still coughing, he seems to feel much better.  Hopefully this week will be the week of wellness!

Saturday also brought a huge first for me: an 11.5 mile outing!  I walked the first quarter mile as a warm up, ran 10.75 miles, and walked the last half as a cool-down.  I ran from Lansdale to Harleysville and, let me say, never under estimate the power of hills!  Those things are merciless!  But it was awesome to do it and to have the sense that I could do it.  As I get closer and closer to half marathon distance, I find this flower in my heart starting to bloom... This sense of having faith in my body again.

What doesn't give me faith?  My second period of the month.  That's right, kiddos... Two periods for April.  I know- what the hell indeed... My April cycle started on the 11th.  It was lighter than usual (only needed "normal" tampons the entire time) but did the whole spotting, light, regular, light, spotting, end game that has become fairly regular around this house.  Lasted 5 days.  Pretty normal.  Fifteen days later, on the 26th, I started spotting brown.  The 27th, more brown spotting.  The 28th brought me actual red and a "light" tampon, as did the 29th.  Then back to spotting on the 30th and light spotting yesterday.  Really?  I mean, I know we were hitting Beltane and the fertility festival of the year, but really?  I mean, that's not the way I'd want to ring it in!

Which brings me to yesterday: quite a number of interesting things.  It was International Babylost Mother's Day, a day to honor those mothers who dont have all of their children with them in this world.  I lit a candle for all of our children who have died to soon and for the hearts that mourn them, be it for one day or 100 years in this world.  The weather suited the day, I think.  Breaks of sunlight streaming through cloudy skies and hints of rain throughout the day.

It was also Divine Mercy Sunday and the day that our beloved former Pope, John Paul II, was beatified.  As I've written before, I have a soft spot in my heart for JPII.  I truly believe that his intersession helped bring Bobby and Maya safely into this world, and I've kept him in my heart since those days during my pregnancy when I prayed to him to add his prayers to my own.  Knowing that he is a step closer to being granted sainthood warms me to my core.  Perhaps one day, one of my kids will take him as their Confirmation saint!  Who knows!  For now, we continue to light our candle and ask for his continued prayers for our family.

And, as the spring comes into full force, it was Beltaine, or May Day.  The (observed) halfway point between Spring and Summer, this is a day that we celebrate the fertility of the earth (and her creatures)...  I'm glad by garden is planted and I was able to say a little blessing over it as I watered it last night.  It gave me a sense that things are moving as they should be. :)  Especially when I saw little buds breaking the surface!  Fruits, veggies, and herbs- here we come!  Although we were too busy (and tired) for any sort of maypole activities, I look forward to being able to string ribbons with the kids. :)  I have fond memories of doing that with the children of friends.  We didnt light a bonfire this weekend, but perhaps we will on the astronomical date, which is this Friday.  Maybe Peter can pick up a fish from the fish market near his work, and we can grill out on the patio with the firepit going... We'll see...  Ah Spring: so glad you are here!

Well, the laundry just buzzed, so I'd better get these clothes hung up before the babes decide to wake from their napping.  Although I've probably got at least another hour to 90 minutes of sleeping little ones, you can never tell...