Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm a loser ... and not in a good way

No theme. No song. Just me admitting to you that I stepped off the wagon, BIG time.


I am steady at 192 .. I need to lose at least 40 lbs by next June, I'd really like to lose 50. I can not be fat in Hawaii. If I'd stayed on plan I'd only be about 20 lbs away by now ... but now I still have my big goal in front of me.

1/2 Marathon Training

I'm only running about once a week. However, I'm really proud of my progress there at least. I'm up to running (or jogging) without stopping for 25 minutes. That's most of a 5k for me, so that's pretty exciting. However, I've got to get going on the longer runs, I've only done 5 miles twice and by this point I need to be doing 7 or 8 miles total.

What Happened?

I don't want to make excuses but a lot of it is time related. Work has been busy, school is always looming in the background behind being a wife and mom. But, I know, in the end that none of those are really good enough reasons. I need to find a way to schedule my time better. I don't like to run with Jude in the jogging stroller because I'm too worried about him to focus on my stride, so I have to wait until Martin is home, the problem with that is that once we both make it home from work, it's well past dark ... We've talked about joining a 24 hour gym, and that may be the solution. I don't know how running on the treadmill will be against running outside. I wonder if it might be easier? I dunno.

Where I am

So, that's where I am. Where I was last time. I've got nothing but the hope that I counted my points yesterday, and, even though I've been terrible for the last month, I pretty much started back this week at 2 lbs up from where I was when I fell off (at one point I was 7 lbs up, so I'm thankful I was able to get that in check!) I'll update next week with my graphic and theme and all that fun stuff, but for now, here's me, admitting that I've failed. And I want to do better.

(In other news Jude is now 18 months. I'm waiting on the 18 month photos we did on Sunday to be finished and then I'll blog about how amazing he is and all the wonderful things he does! I love being his mommy!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hawaii 5-0 Week 3 & 4

I'm too tired to find a Beatles song ... I had one then realized I'd just used it. You get the point. :)

Sorry I let you all down last week and didn't get around to posting an update. I guess that's why I decided to stay the same for this week (so I lost 1.4 last week). Yeah, me not posting had nothing to do with the fact that last week I tracked horribly, only ran once, and ate Wendy's, I believe, 3 times.

I let myself down. Thankfully, I fixed it enough to not have a gain and I'm back on the right track again today. I know these ups and downs are going to happen, but I've got to be super on track this week because this is wrapping up my first month of losing weight again and I'm only down 3.8 lbs for the last three weeks. That's less than two pounds a week and that's not going to cut it if I'm going to make it through vacation, holidays, and birthdays!

Last week I let myself down. This week, I'm just going to pick myself up and just keep going.

In other news, I've fallen IN LOVE with Pinterest. It's an amazing little website and it's got me super motivated all over the place!

Peace out everyone! I WILL BE SKINNY IN HAWAII *or you know, healthy. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Let Me Down (On Babywearing)

Jude @ 3 Months in Charlotte, NC 2010.
I'm in love for the first time. Don't you know it's gonna last. It's a love that lasts forever, It's a love that has no past. Don't let me down, don't let me down. 
-- Don't Let Me Down, The Beatles

I had no idea before I met you how much of a "crunchy" Mom I'd be. Before I knew you were on the way I knew nothing of slings and cloth diapers and breastfeeding. I just knew that I couldn't wait to be your Mom.

But, the minute I saw you I knew I couldn't put you down. So, when Dr. Sears said, "Wear your Baby," I decided that I wanted to do just that. I got a bright orange Moby Wrap and learned how to manipulate the fabric so that I could hold you close. Fittingly enough it was called the "kangaroo hold" and it made a little pouch for your sweet little bottom to snuggle into. It was so special.

And, as you grew, I realized that I loved having you close at hand while I worked from home (or in the office) and I learned how to move you around so that if you were hungry I could nurse you and still get things done as a full-time mom and a full-time working mom. I bought a couple other carriers, the ring sling, a front-carrier, all to carry you around!
Mom & Jude @ Disney World 2011

Jude and Dad @ Uptown Charlotte, 2011
Jude's Dad and I both learned that taking a baby carrier to the theme parks was a lot easier for standing in line than the stroller, so we would wear you around Disney World and Seaworld and Universal, you became a theme park world traveler.

Then you got bigger, and I didn't know what to do. I researched, do I have to let you down now? But, I found a carrier called the Ergo that goes up to 45 lbs and I thought, well, why not try it out. And you still LOVE it. I didn't know how you would feel riding around on my back as we walked along the streets of downtown on vacation, but I knew you were loving it when I turned you around and you fell right asleep!

Uptown Charlotte 2011
I love wearing you around and I'm going to be really sad when the day finally comes that you want to be even more independent and don't want Mommy to hold you close.

But, till that day comes, I've got you wrapped up in my arms for as long as I can and for now, my sweet Jude, I won't let you down.
Same spot as last year on vacation in Charlotte. My how you have changed!

I'm Looking Through You (Hawaii 5-0 Week 2)

"I'm looking through you, where did you go
I thought I knew you, what did I know
You don't look different, but you have changed
I'm looking through you, you're not the same"
-- I'm Looking Through You, The Beatles

Well, this was a pretty good week for the challenge! As you can see by the graphic I lost 2.4 pounds this week, and that is with going to North Carolina for a Labor Day weekend trip to see friends.

I have to say I'm really proud of myself. I managed to also get my three runs in and so I'm on track for training for the 1/2 Marathon.

For this post I decided to use the lyrics from "I'm Looking Through You" because I really do feel like this time, I've really changed. I actually feel GOOD about trying to lose weight and exercising. It just seems that my mindset has totally changed and now I'm in a place where I know that I can am going to pull this off and lose for good! So, to motivate myself even further, I found a t-shirt that Martin's dad picked up for me in Hawaii right before I had Jude. By the time I got it, I was way to pregnant to even try it on! Then it didn't fit for a while after that! However, it fits now, even if it's a bit tight, and I've asked Martin to take my photo each week after my run to post here with me wearing it. It's just another graphic representation of letting you look through me and see that I have changed!

Thanks for taking the journey with me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hawaii 5-0 (Mom @ 15 Months Post-Partum)

She's so heavy. She's so heavy, heavy, heavy.
— I Want You (She's So Heavy), The Beatles

Here's the blog post that I really didn't want to write, but it needs to be done. So here it is: I'm fat. Or as The Beatles sang


I'd like to blame it all on getting pregnant and then the whole new mother, not paying attention, stuff that happens, but to be honest, I was fat before I got pregnant. I had let me weight creep up and up and up until when I did get pregnant I started out at an unhealthy weight. To be honest, it has been because I just didn't want to pay attention to it all. Since having Jude I have been wanting to lose all of the weight, but would get motivated and then lose motivation back and forth until I just ended up maintaining. So here's some background.

When I got pregnant with Jude I was 180. That's 40 lbs over my healthy weight range. At that point my thought was, "Well, I'm going to be pregnant soon, so why bother with trying to lose weight at this point." That probably wasn't the best plan. Then at my highest weight during pregnancy I got up to 226. So, not only was I 40 lbs overweight but the pregnancy added another 46 lbs to my body.

As you can imagine, I didn't feel that good. Right after having Jude I lost 20 lbs right off the bat. I nursed and I think that helped a lot and I think some of it was just natural lose from not carrying a kid around anymore! So, I sat at 206 for a while. Then I joined a weight loss group at my church, First Place for Health. I loved the group and the accountability that it gave me. I really looked forward to the meetings and sharing with one another. I lost another 22 lbs which got me down to 184. Then Martin and I decided not to do the class again for another 12 weeks, and I kept the weight off, but didn't lose anymore. That was at the end of May. Jude was now 1 years old, and I still wasn't even down to where I was before I got pregnant. I still had 4 lbs to go! So, I got a little discouraged and ended up gaining 10 lbs back over the summer. I had originally planned to do another First Place class, but my work schedule isn't allowing it, so really, now it's up to me to get motivated.

And that's where the Hawaii 5-0 Challenge comes in! In celebration of my 30th Birthday next year Martin and I are planning on going to Hawaii! I've always wanted to go and we actually have a couple of really amazing friends who live there, so we not only get to see the island, but also spend time with some folks who we have missed greatly in the past two years! We plan to go next June and, as I told Martin, "No one wants to be fat in Hawaii!" I just keep thinking about Lilo and Stich and how Lilo went around and took pictures of fat people ... I don't want to be that person on the beach! So I've set the big goal for myself to lose at least 50 lbs before we go to Hawaii, but I also have some other goals to help pace myself. (Also, I was insanely motivated by Whit over here!)

1. Lose 15 lbs by Nov. 2011 and have completed the Couch to 5k program. I've actually been doing the Couch to 5k program for the last few weeks, and I'm just now on week 3, so this gives me time to miss a few days because of rain and laziness but still get it done by my first goal date. In conjunction to the running program I want to have at least 15 lbs off.

2. Lose 40 lbs by Feb. 2012 and complete the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon. If I lose 2 lbs a week until February I will actually be very close to goal, but I also know that Thanksgiving and Christmas is going to be in the mix, so I want to be realistic with myself and know that I could possibly mess up. As for the 1/2 Marathon I will have to really push myself from November to February but I know I can do it. I'm not looking to do anything record breaking at the event, but I at least want to run some of it. I did the Disney Wine & Dine 10k when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Jude and completed it, so I have no doubt that even at this point I could finish the race, but I want to do more than just finish, I want to be somewhere in the middle, instead of afraid the slow-poke bus is going to pick me up!

3. Lose at least 50 lbs by June 2012 and go to Hawaii! Like I said, if I'm really diligent I can probably lose the 50 way before June. If this happens, we will look at my goals and see how I feel. In all honesty I could probably lose 60-70 lbs which would get me somewhere around 120-130. But, I haven't seen those numbers since High School, and when I was 115-120 it was when I had been to Drum Corp and was working out 14 hours a day, so let's be real here. I think 143, for now, is a great goal weight. It's the number I'm working towards, and it's a weight that I would be happy with in Hawaii. We will be booking our trip probably in January and at that time I will be able to access if I'm really on track (hopefully, I will be WAY on track!)

My plan is to update you weekly on my progress ... so if you aren't interested in my progress if you see the Hawaii 5-0 logo, then you know to skip this blog! And, if you don't hear from me each week ... CALL ME OUT! If I'm not updating that means that I've fallen off the wagon and I need my friends to tell me to get back on it! :) I will also update on Jude (which we have a doctor's appointment today, so be looking for a Jude essay sometime this week) but I wanted to use the space that I already had on the net to update my progress instead of getting a new blog. And really, Hawaii is like the land of rainbows ... so what better way to Watch for Rainbows than from my healthy (skinny) self on Waikiki Beach?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Golden Slumbers (On God & Jude @ 15 Months)

Golden slumbers fill your eyes. Smiles awake you when you rise. Sleep pretty darling do not cry. And I will sing a lullabye. — Golden Slumbers, The Beatles

My child does not sleep. He’s a sweet little 15-month-old who thinks sleeping through the night is for wimps. In fact, in his little mind, it’s not even necessary.
I have read every book, asked seasoned parents, and even thought about just letting him cry-it-out, alone in his room, but nothing seems to work. Our bedtime routine happens like this: Dinner time at 5:30, it’s usually something yummy like green beans with turkey or mashed potatoes with ham, followed by a tall glass of milk and maybe some yogurt for dessert. After filling his cute little tummy, it’s on to bath time where we sink a thousand rubber duckys into a pool of bubbles while dumping cups of water out of the tub onto the tile. Then it’s off to the nursery where we read “Goodnight Moon,” sing a special lullaby, and begin the rocking to sleep.
Now, all the parenting experts tell me that if I follow a steady routine, if we keep everything the same, then my little angel will slowly close his eyes and I’ll be able to lay him down in his crib, drowsy, but not asleep, and he will roll over and nod off on his own. From this point, I should expect him to sleep 10-12 hours while I go curl up on the couch with a good book and just relax.
What really happens? Well, I sit down in the rocking chair at about 6:30 (with hopes of drooping eyes by 7) and at first I enjoy the time together. I rock him and I whisper in his ear how much I love him. I pray over him and thank God for him and ask continuous blessings over his life. But then, 8:30 rolls around and I’m still rocking him … and I start to ask myself, what have I done wrong? He doesn’t really cry that much, he just stares up at me with those big blue eyes and I wonder … WILL THIS CHILD EVER FALL ASLEEP? I start to get impatient, I start to worry that he’s never going to sleep— Well, let’s be honest here — I get annoyed!
That’s right, I said it. I get annoyed at this sweet little angel who just stares at me, fighting sleep with every ounce of his small body, and I can tell he’s completely exhausted! Sleep is what he needs to do, but at this point he can’t figure out how to get it right. So, then I feel guilty. I think, how can I be mad at this kid? He’s not putting off sleep on purpose, it just not natural for him to fall asleep when there is so much around him to keep him distracted. The world is too exciting, and who wants to close their eyes when they think there might be something better out there than what Mommy has planned for the night! It’s at this point that I start to relax again and snuggle him close. And usually, just like that, he drifts off to sleep and I honestly feel like I could hold him forever.
What’s interesting is that now, as a parent, God is using my son to teach me about God’s love for me. God only wants one thing from me, for me to love God and to love others as I love myself. And I try. But the world, it’s out there … and there is so much to pull me away. So many things that I think is better than spending time with God, so much so that I don’t want to do what God has planned for me.
My God, my provider, makes sure I’m well-fed and taken care of … but still, there I am, starring back up at God, fighting mad, because things are not going the way that I want. At the end of the day I have failed at doing what God wants me to do. I’ve become exhausted by my sin, my fears, my doubts, and I don’t know how to get back to where I’m supposed to be.
But, God … he can’t be mad at me. God doesn’t leave me alone, or walk away and let me cry it out for a minute. He stays in the room, just like I do with my son. God rocks me slowly back and forth through the quiet words of scripture, sings me soft lullabies through songs that glorify his name, and reminds me, as I do my son, that I am loved. In the stillness, God lays me down carefully, as I do my dear Jude Wesley, and offers the weary … rest. And it’s in that quiet moment that I feel God release me from my sin, through grace, and I can finally relax. I can sleep … knowing that God will hold me forever.

* The photo above was taken when Jude was about 4 months old ... back when I dared sneak into his room when he was sleeping! : ) Here's a recent 15-Month-old photo of my wide-eyed boy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't Ever Change (or Jude at 14 Months)

So, please, don't ever change -- No, don't you ever change -- Just, promise me you're always gonna be -- As sweet as you are -- I love you when you're happy -- I love you when you're blue -- I love you when you're mad at me -- So how can I get tired of you? — Don't Ever Change, The Beatles

Today is my birthday. No, I didn't get around to writing about how special my baby boy is on his first birthday, but it's after midnight on what is now, my 29th birthday, and I couldn't be happier when it comes to being a mommy to my perfect little Jude.

The other night, as Jude's Dad and I were putting him to bed, Dad said, "Don't ever change," and I said, "Yes son, please be like we used to write in our high school yearbooks, 'Stay sweet, don't ever change.'" Although I'm glad I've changed since I penned those words in the blank pages of my peers annuals, I have to say that I really do wish that Jude wouldn't change at all.

But, he's already changed so much. He's much taller now and he has the sweetest, roundest most kissable tummy in the world. Sometimes I just grab him and kiss him all over and call myself the "kissy monster" in hopes that it's a boyish enough term that he will still let me do that when he's seven ... here's hoping.

His hair is growing long and Jude's Dad says we should cut it. It's blond as the sun is yellow with sweet tender curls resting on the nape of a adorable little neck ... I can't do it. Please let me have the sweet baby hair for just a little while longer. He takes his little hairbrush and he brushes his hair, then reaches up to try to tame the mess that I call my own hair. If only that child knew how lucky he is to be a boy, that when he's 13 and the curls don't work anymore, we can cut them off and it will actually look good. Unlike poor mom, whose hair at 13 was more like a white girl's fro!

He walks with purpose now, around the room, to his toys... OH LOOK! The dog left some food out ... he doesn't try to eat it. Just picks it up and returns it to the dog's bowl. My little helper already. Sometimes he walks around and spins in circles and stops, turns to me and runs over just to lay his little head on my lap. It's intoxicating how much I love this kid! He says "MOM" and "Ad-Dad" and sometimes "Awyer" to the pup, Sawyer, and sometimes "Book" and "Banana." He laughs constantly, he is, on most days an easy-going, charming, happy, little boy.

He's still got the bluest eyes I've ever seen and the gorgeous smile to go with them. We walk around the grocery store and he waves at all the little old ladies and says "hey" to each one as we walk by. He's a social butterfly with a big personality. He's the perfect mix of myself and his dad, and I can't get enough of his sense of humor. He already plays pretend with me ... picking at non-existent stuff on the floor and putting it up to his lips just to hear me say, "what do you got?" Then he smiles and I know it was "just for fun, Mom!"

I'm so in love with this child that I can hardly see straight! I have loved spending lots of time with him this summer, and my heart breaks a little to know that I won't be able to spend as much time with him the next few weeks.

But God blessed me with a summer of Jude and Mommy time, and I am eternally grateful ... for my little boy will change, as much as I beg him not to ... but for now, I get to hold him close, brush that soft hair off his forehead and just breath in that sweet baby smell for just a little while longer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jude's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1st Birthday (A Party Blog)

"The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ... Come inside, it's fun inside!"

No Beatles song here ... this time it's all about the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! We celebrated Jude's Hot Diggity Dog 1st Birthday Party on May 29, 2011 and we had a fantastic time!

We did the big event in Arkansas, so that took a little planning on my part since we were all the way down in Florida, but overall I think it went over pretty well. I rented a pavillon at Lake Degray and it was simply beautiful!

I Googled many party blogs for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and came across lots of ideas. I decided for us I wanted to do something kind of laid back but still with an overall theme. So, the first thing to decide was the food. Of course, we had to have hot dogs, but what else would work. I like the idea of alliteration for each food so we went with the foods below.

ClaraBell's Cupcakes. I'd like to tell you I made them ... but I didn't! It was Memorial Day Weekend, so I wanted to sort of tie-in the Red, White, and Blue so these cupcakes were perfect from Sam's. I just bought the Mickey Mouse Cupcake toppers to put-on them and it worked great! I also found this Mickey Mouse Cupcake stand for the win!

Donald and Daisy's Dip, nothing surprising here just some knock-off Ruffles and Ranch Dip.

I was on a Trail Mix kick anyway, so Minnie's Mix was Sam's Mountain Mix ... my favorite. :)

Martin (the husband) loves some humus and pita bread. We figured Pete would like it too ...

Yes, those are Mickey Mouse Clubs. We bought pre-made Subs at Wal-Mart and cut them in fourths. They were a huge hit!

I didn't get a good photo of the dogs, but here's one of Jude eating his first one!

Of course, it wouldn't be a party without a birthday cake! I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what type of cake I wanted for Jude's birthday. Did we want Mickey Mouse? The Clubhouse? I sort of thought it might be kind of morbid to EAT Mickey Mouse's head and the Clubhouse was so elaborate. So, I decided that instead we would have ...

OH TOODLES! That's right, we got this great cakemaker in Arkansas to make Jude Toodles. Included was the "tools" the help Jude succeed. The Dinosaur was for his little sit & ride dino he has, the puppy was for Jude's dog Sawyer and then the learning toys are kind of self-explaining. :) I think she did an amazing job on the cake, it came out exactly how I imagined it!

Here's Jude after a few bites of his cupcake ... he wanted to know if Mommy wanted any! : )

I don't know how I didn't get a picture of it ... but inside "Goofy's Goodies" was homemade Mickey Mouse shaped Rice Crispy Treats. I'm so sad I didn't get a photo because I felt like they came out really good. The one advantage of living in Central Florida is that you know at least someone who has a lot of Disney stuff. Luckily it was Jude's babysitter who had a cookie pan that we were able to use to mold the treats into Mickey Ears. The bags were also filled with Mickey Mouse goodies that I bought from the store ... because I only have time for so much! : )

Finally, I made water-bottle labels and I'm attaching them here as well. Word of advice, don't use the sticker paper to adhere these ... they rub off in the water. Next time I'll use paper and packing tape. I downloaded the fonts for free and I also used the ears font to make the banner shown above for Jude's name.

Overall, I was was very please on how the party turned out. Jude had so much fun and I really enjoyed putting everything together. Though, I do hope next year to have a much smaller crowd to plan for (we had 68 people at this event)!

Here's a photo of Jude from his 1st Birthday photo shoot in his Memorial day wear ... just because I think my kid is cute! :)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Honey Pie -- Jude @ 10 Months

"Oh honey pie my position is tragic ..." Honey Pie, The Beatles.

There are some things I just can't say out loud ...
when I can't my husband reveals my soul for me.

Click Here to read Martin's Account of Jude's Illness...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mother Nature's Son (Jude @ 9 Months)

"Born a poor young country boy — Mother Nature's son. All day long I'm sitting singing songs for everyone. Sit beside a mountain stream — see her waters rise. Listen to the pretty sound of music as she flies. Find me in my field of grass — Mother Nature's son. Swaying daises sing a lazy song beneath the sun. Mother Nature's son."
— Mother Nature's Son, The Beatles

He's so curious, this son of mine. Busy, busy, busy as he crawls around the room, pulling books from the bottom shelf one at a time. It's as if he's asking, "And what's this Mommy?" As he flips the pages and crinkles the words he isn't able to read yet.

This passion in his eyes. Passion I recognize from my own heart, being played out in a child that looks like his father but acts so much like his mother. His Daddy worries that he's too hyper ... this makes me laugh. Apparently the husband never noticed how curious his wife can be!

I can't wait to take him more places to explore. This weekend we went to a small community (Winter Park) in downtown Orlando. He loved it. I wore him in my wrap and people smiled and waved and talked to him. He's loves being on the same level. The stroller is nice, but when it's just us walking around I love the feel of him heavy on my back and shoulders, reminds me of the long nine months I spent carrying him just so that he could arrive and I could carry him some more. It's been nine more months since the day he was born and I'd carry him forever if I could.

But, he is growing and won't stop. He's standing now and letting go just long enough to know that he can. Walking is not far away now. I can see it in those eyes. Just one step Mommy. Then one more. Until the day will come when the curiosity will win and those two steps will turn to five, ten, until he's off ... pulling the books from the top shelf down to explore the pages that before long he won't need me to read to him.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All You Need is Love (Jude @ 8 Months)

"There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time - It's easy." All You Need is Love -- The Beatles

His smile is contagious! Every time I look at him he's grinning ear to ear. I stop, stare for a minute ... he starts to laugh. This is the joy of my baby boy. This is the one who makes my world go 'round. Maybe I've made some mistakes in the past, worked too long of hours at work, didn't prioritize enough to get home before his bedtime ... but he doesn't care. He just smiles and smiles and smiles. Because Mommy is home.

He reaches for me now, when he's smiling and when he's crying. It's such a weird feeling, this feeling of being needed, wanted, by someone so small and so precious. His love stretching out in little arms and little waving fingers as he stares up at me with blue eyes as deep as the ocean that I haven't had the chance to take him to yet.

He's growing like a weed, I can't keep up with him. One minute he rolls over, the next he's crawling. He stops and sits and claps for himself, because Mommy and Daddy have taught him that he has done good. He is good.

I can't imagine a day without him. I cry sometimes because I don't want to leave him. He is mine. It is no doubt that I am his.

I am Mommy, Mama, Mom, one day he'll learn that I am also wife, daughter, aunt, sister, manager, Mary.

But today, when I go to pick him up, I will be Mommy and I will be rewarded with a smile.