Friday, January 28, 2011

Pinewood Derby

Oren had his first Pinewood Derby last night! And, as I've already posted on Facebook, he won! This car was his design, I had him draw lots of ideas on paper and decide what shape he wanted it. He chose the colors, and requested the flames. I just did the cutting and painting for him since our evenings were busy.

We tried to have Daniel in the nursery while the weigh-in was going on. Oren's car was nowhere near the 5 oz weight limit, so the men taped a bunch of change on top. Grandma closed the nursery door and walked off for a minute, and someone let Daniel out. I heard him laughing and turned around, there he was! Since the derby was at 7, it just made sense to have him in pajamas...

Nathan tried to contain Daniel for me. It didn't work so well. :-) That face is priceless!

It was really nice having Grandma and Grandpa there. Grandma took over Daniel again, and William just chilled by Grandpa. Since Mark had to work until 7pm, I definitely appreciated the helping hands.

The guy that we had come to the derby for us had a really nice electronic track, complete with computers to start the race, track the speed, and configure the races. The computer added sounds: engines reving, the starting shot, cars racing, and the screech of brakes at the end. Way cool! Oren's is the blue-green blur on the right, winning. He only lost 2 races, one by 1,oooth of a second, and the other because he decided to race his car backwards. That was funny. :-)

They started the awards with the miscellaneous ones: Best themed, best paint job, heaviest car. Then we did the 3rd, , and 1st place awards. When Oren didn't win the best paint job, he was a little upset. His flames were really cool, and he thought it was better than the black and yellow striped car that won it. I just wanted to laugh, since I was the one that filled out the names on the awards and knew he'd won 1st place. At the end, when they announced 2nd place, one of the scouts figured out Oren was the only one left and told him "You won!" Oren didn't believe it, which did have me laughing.

The cubmaster was talking about the winner being a "dark horse", because his wheels were crooked, and we had to add a lot of weight. His axles had to be glued in place with purple nail polish because they wouldn't stay in very well. Nobody expected him to do well, which made it all the more fun!

And, our yummy refreshments at the end. Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting, and Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Buttercream frosting. The cars on top are white chocolate. I traced the design on wax paper, filled in the details like the tires and small circle first, then the color car, and then piped white chocolate over the whole thing so it would be sturdy. They turned out really yummy, and everyone loved the chocolate cars. I only had about 6 cupcakes left out of around 50!

The cakes are completely from scratch, and that vanilla recipe is going to be my standard vanilla cake recipe. They were moist without being too heavy or too crumby. Perfect! Also not too sweet, so the cream cheese frosting was perfect with it. I will be posting the recipes at some point on my recipe blog, if anyone is interested. The vanilla used both vanilla extract and vanilla bean, where you split it open and scrape the seeds out so you have little vanilla bean specks in the cupcake and the frosting. Yum! (But a little pricey... so I think the vanilla bean would be optional.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Laughing at myself!

Okay, other than the fact that "everyone" diets in the new year, I was hesitant about posting my plan for another reason. This awful bipolar thing that raises it's head occasionally can really put a damper on stuff. And unfortunately, it did.

I have a lot of cupcakes, 50, to make for our pinewood derby this Thursday. And I will not serve a new cake recipe in that large of an amount if I haven't done a trial run. So I did a batch, and ate one.

3 cupcakes later.....

Well, they work! I can successfully serve them! Of course there were the 3 the next day too.

And after that.....

Who cares. I can't afford new clothes if I get skinny anyway. Dratted manic phase that had me all hyped. And double dratted depression phase that flips me a 180. (Not a good train of thought, but it is what it is.)

Please, no "You can do it! Just get back on the horse! Don't give up!" I know all this. It's not me choosing to feel this way. It's simply a chemical imbalance or something. I rarely call it this, but it is a mental disorder. You don't tell a schizo to quit being other people, right? This will pass, and I'll see what energy I have left, and will just try to eat somewhat healthy in the meantime. And if I do get back on a weight loss horse, I don't know if I will post it. We'll see. Because as stable as I try to be, sometimes you can't control having an episode, especially if stress is a big trigger. Because that is something that is going to be a battle for the next several years...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting nowhere...

With the house. I'll spend 4 hours cleaning, putting things from their random spots into where they are supposed to go, folding and putting away laundry, doing dishes. And the boys are right behind me making messes! Having accidents in their britches, finding featherdusters and making it snow white pulled-apart feathers everywhere, dumping rice all over the floor, giving Daniel butter...

I was trying to help myself feel better about all the cleaning yesterday by reminding myself that it was burning calories. :-) But even with all the work, you could barely tell I did anything. Thank you, Mom, for letting me know that it is actually harder to keep a small house clean. Somehow I thought that it would be easier. I forgot to calculate the fact that we downsized and therefore have more stuff than most families these apartments are intended for. It's not a 6-person house, unless those people moved from a lot smaller place.

I guess a positive thing is that the more weight I lose, the more energy I have and the easier it is to move around. I'm just making a dent in both, but a dent is still a dent, right? It can just be overwhelming at times though.

By the way, remind me to never complain about the size of my kitchen again. Because I'm fairly certain I won't live in a place with a smaller kitchen than this one!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2

This week was a little rougher in some ways and easier in other ways to last week. This week some cravings reared their heads in the beginning. Cookies, candy, chocolate, bread... But I won! I got a little tired of salads for lunch and started experimenting with other options. And just omelets and frittatas, while delicious, are not enough for breakfast. I like variety. Searched and found: crepes! Ricotta cheese and an egg, cooked and filled like a crepe. Breakfast this morning was divine... crepe with a little peanut butter for some fiber and vitamins, a little greek yogurt for tang and calcium, and a handful of blackberries. With a little Rediwhip on top for the sweetness. It was a gorgeous bit of eye candy, rolled up so pretty.

I'm learning that I enjoy food just as much for the way it looks as the way it tastes, and that if I take the time with presentation it almost tastes better and things feel like I'm treating myself. Even if it's just a salad, or a piece of chicken. (I'm loving my cast-iron grill pan for that very reason. Plus it somehow gives it a grilled flavor even without the charcoal. It must be the years of cooking on it.)

This week I'm starting the second phase of my lifestyle change. Hence the berries. Carefully and slowly adding in the fruits and whole grains, paying attention to how they make me feel, and adding in exercise gradually. I'm feeling great, and was told by a kind sample lady at Sam's Club last night that I was pretty. I never get told that! We were talking about a bread product and laughing about baby weight, and she just said it. Usually I get laughed at by ugly little hispanic men. Twice at Walmart, what is it about that store? I'm just standing there and they looked right at me, mimed a huge stomach, and laughed. "Grande!" Yeah, thanks. So to be told I was pretty wanted to make me cry, but in a good way.

week 1- 8lbs
week 2- 3lbs

11 total!

First goal made by the way, kind of a small silly one. I can wear my wedding ring!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Smells like Strawberries!

I love our dentist. He's got 4 kids with one on the way, so he is really understanding of them. We took Nathan in to get his 2 small cavities filled this morning, and they offered him the nitrous oxide "laughing gas". They have it scented like strawberries! How cool is that! Nathan was just a little scared when they were doing the filling, because there were a lot of things in his mouth like gauze pads and whatnot. But he did fantastic. The office has a two story playhouse with a slide in the waiting room. Where were the dentist offices like this when I was growing up?

I am enjoying discovering new recipes lately. The first week I followed the meal plan in the book, but I decided to branch out a little while still following the rules of what I can and can't eat this week. Next week I can start to add in the fruits and whole grain/high fiber carbs slowly... with the goal of getting my diet back to what it was when I was pregnant. If I hadn't been so hormonal from the nursing and lack of medications I could have kept eating that way quite easily so it seems a good way to go.

With an abundance of cauliflower in my fridge thanks to a great sale I found a delicious cream of cauliflower soup. You can make it with cauliflower, carrots, broccoli... Yumm! I didn't think a 1 cup serving would be enough, but I savored it and was pleasantly suprised to find I was nearly full, and couldn't finish my meat! Wow! I'll have to post the recipe...

With no sweets in the house, unless you count sugar-free jello or ricotta cheese sweetened with splenda, I was craving peanut butter cookies yesterday. Not sure why, but I LOVE peanut butter! I found a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe and made them. Not your normal cookie, but 1 has nearly 7 grams of protein! It's peanut butter, splenda, and an egg. That's it. More crumbly than you'd expect, but divine when eaten from the freezer. One hits the spot too, because it's still somewhat creamier and thick in the middle. I'm also learning how to think before I eat. Am I really hungry? Or am I just bored?

The boys still need a balanced diet, so I've been trying to cook healthy meals that I can just have extra vegetables instead of the rice for example, that way I'm sneaky and Mark can lose a little too, he's been complaining about his pants fitting. It's been challenging, but if I can carry on and really get down to a healthy size it will be worth the work.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I couldn't think of a title.

Poor Nathan had a quite worn and thin coat. His jacket liner that made it warm and was removable so you could use it as just a jacket broke last spring and was thrown out. It was warmer over in Mountain Home so I didn't worry. But over here? The low has been down as far as -16. And unlike the base school, the kids still go outside for recess at 20 degrees. My sister in law told me that Macy's was having a 1-day sale, with some clearance an additional 25% off, and that she had seen some coats for a good deal. I'd been looking everywhere and couldn't find a good coat for under $30, still a bit out of budget.

We walked away yesterday with a $65 coat, nice and warm without being too bulky, for $17! He'll be nice and warm, and we didn't have to break our small break! I'm grateful for people who keep a look out for deals like that and who tell me when the things I'm looking for go on sale.

We took the boys to the doctor on Thursday. Daniel and William were due for their well-baby's and Oren needed a new prescription, which is causing all sorts of headaches... Daniel is just like William weight-wise. He's a whole 18 lbs! At 14 months! Funny thing is that he's a good 32 inches tall, which makes him about 80% for height and 0% for weight. Tall and skinny! His lungs were cleared from the RSV, so no more breathing treatments needed. William didn't hit 20lbs until he was about 18 months old, and Daniel hadn't been eating as much last week due to being sick. I'm not worried about it and the doctor said he just looked like he was following his brother's footsteps. William is good all around, healthy and speaking well. And Oren, who is 8 1/2, weighs all of 53lbs! Poor kid will be in a booster forever.... since Idaho is at least 8 years old and 80 lbs.

Which is the total amount of weight I have to lose to be within healthy BMI. That sounds like so much! I'll be completely honest. I started out weight 212 lbs. Not quite the heaviest I've ever been, but close. At one point I have worn a size 22. To be even just within healthy range for my height, I have to get to 130. To put it bluntly, I'd have to have the body I had at the age of 12, when I was 124 and wore a size 12 pants, and looked just fine. After 4 kids, can I do it?

Right now I'm thinking 10 lb increments is going to be easiest on my sanity. With the whole goal in mind of course, just concentrating on the next 10 lbs at a time should make this more attainable. I started last Sunday, and so I guess to keep tabs:

week 1 - 8 lbs!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And here we go!

Mark just started his first semester back at school! Bless his heart, I think he forgot how much work it was when he was single and childless, because trying to fit studying and homework and classroom sessions .... and actually working on top of that? Not a piece of cake. Not when there is a family of kids at home who don't understand the meaning of the word "quiet". I'm trying my best to keep things under control but I can't always manage.

I'm so proud of him. He was just called as an usher at church, which is funny because his job has him working every weekend, so he's never at church. Not a situation he or I was happy about but it was the only place that was hiring and we both were wanting to be able to get our own place, get things settled... We both talked about how he was going to do this, had a calming temple session, and talked some more. He decided to just tell them at work about the Honor Code in place at BYU-I, that he has committed to the school that he will attend his church meetings, and that he also has an obligation there now. They said it was too late to change the schedule for this week but that he should be able to get Sunday's off after that. He talked to them even though they had already changed his schedule twice the last week, not his fault though that they didn't read his school schedule clearly enough and scheduled him to work on his busiest day. We were very afraid that they would let him go on the spot, since the nature of his job is that they have to be available for the customers and the weekend is a very busy time. It looks like they won't, I'm not going to let my breath out easily for a little while yet, but even if they did at least Mark stood up and said "Hey, I'm going to church!" If he loses his job, we'll still be blessed for following promptings. Somehow.

And I was debating whether to post this or not, because it's what everybody does at the beginning of the year. I was sitting the other day in my "big" pants and was having a hard time catching my breath. They were too tight! I can't afford to buy bigger pants, nor do I want to as I'm quite large enough as it is! I've been thinking, too, about my very high risk of becoming a diabetic. Both because of family history and my personal history with gestational diabetes. Nobody has said whether my risk is higher after having it 3 times now to get it later on, but why take the chance? I don't have insurance right now and CANNOT afford to get sick. I didn't have energy to clean. I've been battling depression. And when I was pregnant and watching my diet so carefully for the sake of my little ones, I felt great! Why not do it for me this time?

I know myself well enough to know the stress the holidays were going to put me under, with projects needing done and Mark's work schedule. It was all I could do to make in through in one piece, let alone trying to make lifestyle changes. I didn't even try. Once we got them out of the way and were settling back into routines was the time to try mixing things up a little. Before I got too complacent and decided that it wasn't worth the effort.

But I've been working hard this week. I know my body well by now and know what ways NOT to diet. I can't do low fat, low cal everything. I've tried and can't stick to it. But low carb is something that I know I can do, I did it through 3 pregnancies. And it works for me. And I feel good! I'm aware that some of the weight loss this week is water weight, but I am already far less bloated feeling, and my pants are more comfortable. Even my coat is more comfortable!

To get to my "idea" body weight would be a ridiculous look. That's the weight I was when I was 12! People would think I was dying! My goals? First, I'd like to finally be under 200 lbs. That's right. Ew. Then I'd like to be able to wear my wedding ring without painful marks on my fingers. Next I'll work on fitting into those jeans I bought last time I lost weight, that still have the tags and I never wore since I had a depressive episode and gained all the weight back. I kept the jeans. Eventually I'd love to fit into my wedding dress again, because although I wasn't thin, I felt better than I do now.

Yes, at some point my goal will be to have a healthy BMI. I'm not shooting for ideal. Maybe by the time I get to that point I'll be able to see myself thinner. Baby steps. That's what it has to be, baby steps. Reach my goal and set a new one. That worked last time until we discovered I was bipolar, too late to save the weight loss. I've now lost the weight I had gained when I moved here and got depressed. Gaining 6 pounds in 2 months is no joke! And losing those 6 pounds has me feeling so much better! (For example, I woke early, ran errands, cooked healthy meals we at as a family at the table, cleaned up and did dishes, vacummed, did baths, and folded laundry while still remaining a somewhat pleasant and non-yelling mommy today!) I've turned the tv off more than it has been on the last couple days. Dishes have been done. My day isn't revolving around what there is to snack on in the kitchen.

I don't know if I'll do weekly weigh-ins or anything. I haven't decided yet, since I wasn't even sure if I would post my plan to get healthy at all. Guess I should take a before shot? (Ugh.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our somewhat lame New Year's Eve

We usually have a blast on New Year's Eve. A fun dinner, traditional munchies for Mom and Dad, something bubbly and apple-y to drink... Maybe some confetti poppers. But not this year. :-(

We started our morning off with Daniel make the most horrendous barking cough and wheezing noises. He had been coughing the day before, but this really didn't sound too good. So I got him all bundled up and brought him to Community Care, a local urgent care clinic. We have a pediatrician in Rexburg, but haven't seen him yet thanks to waiting on insurance cards. We actually have appointments for the kids next week. :-) The doctor we saw did the RSV test and that came back positive, so he got a steroid shot in his thigh and a breathing treatment. He slept through the treatment, bless his heart! He's been prescribed a nebulizer, rented from a local medical supply company who brought it right to the house, and some albuterol liquid that goes in it and turns into vapor for him to inhale. The doctor said that his oxygen was really good, which means we brought him in early enough that he should be just fine and shouldn't have any complications like pneumonia or bronchiolitis.

It is VERY contagious though, which meant that Daniel, William and I were out of the running to go to Mark's nephew's birthday party that night. My sweet sister-in-law didn't have a problem with the older two going, so Mark took them to Blackfoot with Grandma and Grandpa, and another of his sisters and her husband who were over here from Boise. The boys and I enjoyed chicken.... gasp! ... for dinner. I know the superstition with eating chicken, but I figured since Mark is starting school and everything we'll be "scratching backwards" for money for the next 4 years anyway... I'll tell you what, it was soooooo worth it! Juicy and tender!

They didn't get home until nearly 11 and went straight to bed, Mark too. He had to be at work at 7 am the next morning. So it was just me, who was caught up watching a marathon of Food Network challenges. I looked at the clock at one point and saw it was about 12:15. Happy New Years, me! Drained my caffeine-free soda and went to bed, exhausted. Just to wake up at some late/early hour to do Daniel's breathing treatment. And again when Mark left for work, and again for the day.

Mark's dad came by Saturday with a brother from church and gave Daniel a blessing. He sounds so much better! Still a little tight in his chest sounding, and a little croupy when he coughs, but it will take several days to get everything cleared up. In the meantime, William is sounding a little croupy now too, so we'll be watching him.

Mom W volunteered to watch the older 3 last night so Mark could run for some groceries and I would only have to worry about Daniel. In a last ditch effort to have a date night, she offered to let them spend the night and let us have a quiet evening with a movie. We've been trying to catch up on the Smallville series. Daniel passed out about 7, and Mark came back from getting the boys settled at nearly 9. I think we made it to all of 10:15 before finding ourselves falling asleep at the tv. So we went to bed. How sad! :-) Another early morning for Mark, who had to be at work at 8, and it was so nice to just putter around taking care of Daniel and snuggling with my baby on the couch. No crazy climbing the fridge and each other for cereal. No yelling about who was sitting next to who. No scrapping for clean underwear and Sunday clothes. Daniel joined my shower since it was cold and he needed a bath anyway, and I didn't have to worry about what was going to be destroyed when I got out!

With Daniel sick and William starting to show the cough, I didn't want them at church to get other little ones sick. So Mom W took Oren and Daniel to church, they were so excited about their new classes! They did really well too, must be grandma magic.

I'm feeling very blessed to be so near family who love to take care of us and are trying to spoil us. :-)