Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Body After Baby: Week 1 - My Goals

I am jumping on the Body After Baby bandwagon! Samantha from Mama Notes created this blog carnival as a way for those of us that are struggling to reclaim our postpartum bodies to encourage and support each other. At this point in my weight loss, I really need the accountability. I am at that crucial last 10 lbs. It is so easy at this point to throw in the towel and say, "it's just 10 lbs." Most people, my husband included, don't even really remember what I looked like without this extra weight and so it is easy to believe when someone tells me how good I look for having a 5 month old baby!

But then I stand in front of my closet and the reality is that 95% of my clothes just don't fit. And the ones that do fit, aren't comfortable. And I remember my old body and I want it back! And I know I can do it, because I have done it before!

After Libby was born, I will be honest and say that I didn't even try to lose the weight. It just came off. (Don't hate me, just keeping reading. I get my comeuppance later.) I thought that breastfeeding was the key to post baby weight loss and that if everyone just breastfed their babies then we would all be hot, skinny mamas. Seriously. I thought that! But you know what they say about pride coming before the fall? Let me introduce you to the fall...her name is Emma Jane and she arrived 20 months later!

My weight loss with EJ plateaued at 3 weeks. No lie! Six months later I was still almost 30 lbs overweight, so I joined Weight Watchers. I cannot say enough good things about this program!! I lost all of the weight and between diet and exercise, by the time EJ was 18 months old, I was in the best shape of my life! And then almost immediately, I got preggo again and there went my fabulous body. Go figure!

So here I am a year later in the same boat. I don't have as much weight to lose, but it is stubborn weight. I don't feel comfortable going back to Weight Watchers over such a measly number of pounds (my own personal hangup) so I am thrilled that Samantha started this. You, dear blogiverse, will be my Weight Watchers! I am putting my goals out there for everyone to see and each week I will be updating you on my successes and failures and hopefully at the end of the 8 week challenge, I will have accomplished my goals and see some real results! So here are my goals for the next 8 weeks:

1. I want to lose 6 lbs. (My ultimate goal is 10 lbs, but that seemed unrealistic for just 8 weeks.)
2. I want to drink 8 glasses a day.
3. I want to exercise at least 5 times a week.
4. I want to eat at least 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
5. For the month of October, I am giving up sweets! Sugar is my downfall and a huge hindrance to my weight loss, so no more peanut butter m&ms for me! (Is there rehab available for chocoholics, because peanut butter m&ms are my crack!)

Every week, Samantha is issuing a mini-challenge that will earn points towards the Ultimate Body After Baby challenge. This week's challenge is to drink more water. Each glass of water is worth 1 point, so hopefully by this time next week I will have earned 56 points! (Drinking that much water is not easy for me, but I know from experience that it is a crucial element in weight loss!)

Thanks in advance for the support, encouragement and accountability! I would love to encourage you too! If you have unwanted baby weight hanging on, head over to Mama Notes to join the Body After Baby Challenge! There is nothing to lose but the pounds!

The tshirt says it all

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toe Socks

One of the most important parts of any relationship is laughter. I mean, if you can't laugh at with each other, what is the point? With that in mind, I want to share a conversation that I had with my best friend the other day that really made me laugh. And if it seems as if I am laughing at her rather than with her...well, that is because I am.

So, last week, Brad and I went to the FCA banquet. This is the first fancy event I had been to in over a year, so I bought a new dress and shoes. The next day Emily calls me to ask how it went. Conversation as follows:

Em: So did you have fun?

Me: So much fun! (And then a whole lot of details about the banquet I won't bore you with.)

Em: Did you look hot?

Me: Of course I looked hot! And my new shoes were really comfortable! I wore them all night without blisters or sore feet.

Em: That is such a plus when cute shoes feel good too!

Me: Yeah, unfortunately they ruined my pedicure.

Em: Oh, I hate when shoes do that!! (pause) This is what we should invent!

(Sidebar: Em and I have recently been discussing all of the genius products out there that we totally could have invented if we had had the idea first.)

Back to the convo at hand:

Em: We should invent some kind of foot covering that will protect your pedicure when you are wearing heels!

Me: Um, you mean like...socks??

Em: Ugh, no! Not socks! I mean, like something that just covers your toes.

Me: (giggling) So you mean toe socks!

Em: Bite me!

Me: (still laughing as she hangs up...)

*Emily gave me permission to share this story but insisted that I make it clear that this is her idea! Therefore, no one reading this is allowed to go out and invent this product out from under her. Do you hear that? Emily invented socks! Not you!*

You know, I can actually hear her saying "bite me" again through the computer as I type this...
Check out more True Stories on Tuesday at Once Upon a Miracle. Seriously, you just can't make this stuff up!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Case of the Missing TP

Somebody call the police! I have been robbed!

I walked into my bathroom just like I do every morning and it was just GONE! Someone actually took my toilet paper!

What kind of a sicko steals toilet paper??

Wait...what's that you say? It hasn't been stolen after all?

Well what do you know, it was right there on the floor this whole time! Whew! That is a relief!

But I have to wonder...

If a certain unnamed member of my household is capable of removing the empty roll and throwing it into the trashcan,

Why can't he (or she, I am not pointing fingers!) put the new roll back on the dispenser?

I'm just sayin'...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

50 questions

OK, I'm a thief...I stole this idea from Joanna Kelli because it looked like fun. Maybe some of you will steal it too (because I'm nosey like that!). (And yeah, I stole Kelli's opening paragraph as well as the idea because I am incapable of original thought these days!)

1. Where were you three hours ago? at home

2. Who are you in love with? Brad

3. Have you ever eaten a crayon? Not that I can recall, but I can’t be certain.<---Kelli's answer, but I think it applies

4. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you? I have two little girls. That is sort of a stupid question.

5. When was the last time you went to the mall? Sunday afternoon. I bought a bracelet to wear with my new black dress and a sweater. (I will need that sweater in January and by then they will all be gone so it was not an impulse buy. It is a necessity!)

6. Are you wearing socks right now? No

7. Do you have a car worth over $2000? Yes

8. When was the last time you drove out of town? I went to stay with my mom in Alabama at the beginning of August. Brad was out of town so I drove myself and 3 kids through 3 states. Good times.

9. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? Nope

10. Are you hot? um, yeah I'm hot! Wait, did you mean temperature wise? Then no, it is pretty cool in my house

11. What was the last thing you had to drink? water

12. What are you wearing right now? My pre-pregnancy jeans (for the first time, woohoo!) and a shirt that Emily gave me. It was really cute back before I got pregnant but now I am afraid it looks like a maternity shirt because it ties in the back.

13. Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it? I let Brad wash it...

14. Last food you ate? peanut butter m&ms (does that count as food?)

15. Where were you last week at this time? Right here. My days don't have too much variety in them

16. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? Yes. I bought a new black dress and the crucial sweater from #5.

17. When was the last time you ran? When I wasn't being chased? My personal torturertrainer made me run a few days ago. I pretended I was being chased.

18. What was the last sporting event you watched? Alabama v North Texas! Roll Tide!

19. Your favorite animal? I am not really an animal person but from a distance I like tigers

20. Your dream vacation? Anywhere with my husband and no children!!

21. Last person’s house you were in? Melanie's

22. Worst injury you ever had? Other than the post-childbirth damage that Libby's arrival into the world caused, I can't really think of one.

23. Have you been in love? Um, hello question #2, are you paying attention?

24. Do you miss anyone right now? My dad

25. Last play you saw? RENT!!!

26. What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex? I usually say, "Brad, all the kids are asleep. Do you wa..." and that's as far as I get.

27. What are your plans for tonight? church. Libby has choir practice. So cute!

28. Who is the last person to send you a Facebook message or comment? Probably Emily

29. Next trip you are going to take? I am going to Alabama in a few weeks for my mom's wedding

30. Ever go camping? I am not what you might call an "outdoorsy" sort of gal. I prefer hotels.

31. Were you an honor student in school? hahahaha...

32. What do you want to know about the future? I don't want to know the future. I have enough to deal with today!

33. Are you wearing perfume or cologne? I'm wearing deodorant...

34. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor’s visit? I will be seeing Dr. G next Friday. And I will be performing a no-baby rain dance prior to entering his office. My track record with him is not good.

35. Where is your best friend? In Atlanta, cursing Cobb County School System

36. How is your best friend? She is like my mini-me...only we are the same size.

37. Do you have a tan? vampires don't have tans

38. What are you listening to right now? Libby singing

39. Do you collect anything? cute shoes

40. Who is the biggest gossiper you know? Gossip Girl. Oh, you mean in real life? I don't know...I hope it isn't me!

41. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over? About 5 years ago on Interstate 75. The jerk gave me three tickets.

42. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw? I drink Coke from a straw.

43. What does your last text message say? "Whoa! What happened at Kroger?" to Emily in response to her tweet.

44. Do you like hot sauce? Duh, I am from the South.

45. Last time you took a shower? This morning.

46. Do you need to do laundry? Always.

47. What is your heritage? I am a WASP.

48. Are you someone’s best friend? Yes

49. Are you rich? Depends on who you ask.

50. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Nursing a baby

Now it is your turn to play!

A place for everything...

And everything in it's place!

Alternately titled: Evidence of my 4 year old's OCD!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What's cooking - squash

I think yellow squash is a very under appreciated vegetable. At least, it is very under appreciated at my house! Neither my husband nor children like squash. (Although I blame the husband for the children not liking it!)

I will freely admit that squash can be mushy and tasteless when prepared incorrectly and honestly it is really easy to mess up. And I have messed it up alot! In fact, Brad told me not to make it any more a while back. But I have recently realized where my attempts at making squash yummy in the past have failed.
You see, I was trying to make it not mushy. I wanted my squash to have that just barely cooked, crisp-tender texture that green beans and asparagus have (when prepared correctly.) But it turns out, squash (unless raw) is not a crispy vegetable!
(I realize for many of you this might be a "duh" moment, but for me it was an "aha" moment so just go with me.)
By not cooking my squash long enough, it was coming out tasteless. No more! Let me introduce you to the little piece of heaven that is slow-cooked squash! Long cooking in a covered pot concentrates the sweet, nutty taste of squash. (Yes, it will still be mushy, but does it taste good!!)
Plus, it is super easy! You have got to give this one a try!
Ingredients ~ Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon is actually enough!)
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 yellow squashes (8 ounces each), thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low. Add onion, squashes, and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If the vegetables start to brown during cooking, just lower the heat and add a splash of water.
Recipe From Everyday Food, September 2007

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Public Service Announcement

This is a croc.
This is your head after running in crocs.
Any questions?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dear Blogosphere,

My daughter started school last week and contrary to what I thought, having her in school 5 mornings a week does free up my time at all. In fact, I am busier than ever!
Take today for example:
I woke up, nursed the baby, got the other two breakfast, helped everyone get dressed, and took Libby to school.
Then I went to the post office, Walmart and the gym. Came home, nursed the baby again, got a snack for the middle one, took the world's fastest shower, rotated laundry, then got back in the car to go pick up Libby.
Then we went to the park for a picnic with some of her new school friends, which was actually the last thing I wanted to do , but it turns out it's not all about me. While at the park EJ totally busted on the sidewalk and now has a lovely goose egg on her forehead. Thankfully she has bangs!
After 45 minutes in the blazing heat, we headed home. I nursed the baby yet again, rotated more laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, ate something standing up, made a grocery list (not that I have time to go to the grocery store), got the girls dressed for ballet, gave them a snack while I nursed the baby one more time and then headed off to dance class.
After 45 minutes of Emma Jane hanging on my legs and wondering why the heck I am paying $45 a month for this, we got back in the car, picked up John and the babysitter, took the babysitter home, then came home where I threw something at the kids for dinner and nursed the baby a-gain!
Thankfully, Brad came home about this time so I finally have a minute to breathe! But notice what didn't get done today. I did not:
  • sit down (except while driving or nursing)
  • eat a real meal
  • make any phone calls
  • check or respond to any emails

I am going to be spending this week trying to revamp my schedule to include some quality computer time! And TV time...Smallville is starting soon and Metropolis will require an hour of undivided attention every week. If you are missing a few comments from me in the mean time, I apologize. I'll be back soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Every generation has one of those defining "Do you remember where you were when..." moments. For our parents, it was "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" For my generation, it's "where were you when the towers fell?"

Eight years have passed, but I remember exactly where I was.

I was a senior in college at the University of Alabama. I lived off campus with 2 of my sorority sisters, but most mornings I stopped by the house for breakfast before class. That morning started off no differently than any other. My alarm went off and before I even got out of bed I turned on the Weather Channel. (That is a habit I picked up for my father. The Weather Channel was the background music of my childhood.) As I was getting dressed, I heard snippets of what the anchors were saying; something about airports closing across the country due to terrorist attacks. I honestly wasn't really listening and it didn't register with me what was happening outside my little apartment.

I drove to campus. It was a Tuesday. I will probably never forget that only because Tuesdays were french toast days at the house and I never missed french toast day! When I walked in, I found the dining room empty which was abnormal for 8:30 on a weekday morning. For a split second I thought maybe I had made a mistake and it was really Sunday. I walked through the dining room into the living room and found 6 or 8 of my friends glued to the TV.

And that is when I realized the importance of what I had heard and dismissed earlier. I watched with my sisters as the second tower was struck. Some of us were holding hands. And there was a tension and the whispers of "Oh my God. What just happened" reverberating through the room.

I got up and walked to my first class in a daze. Everyone I passed was in that same daze. My history professor cancelled class so I walked back to the house. Everyone was still watching the TV and we watched as both towers fell.

I remember feeling violated and I knew that nothing was going to be the same again. And I was scared...scared about how my life was going to change. I was scared that we were going to go to war and that people I loved would be drafted and that they might die.

Alot has happened in these 8 years, both for me personally and our nation. I have grown up, had a family and most days I don't think about it. As the war that resulted from those attacks drags on and on, I think that we, as a nation, are becoming jaded and I think too many people, myself included, have forgotten what that day felt like and why we are fighting.

I am sure that some of you will disagree with me and that is okay. What is not okay is forgetting. On that day, it didn't matter what our party affiliations or politics were. It didn't matter what our economic status was. Every American felt violated and scared and we stood together that day. It is high time we came together again. Otherwise I fear that we will destroy this country from the inside. And then the terrorists from that day will have won!

Please take a moment and remember those that gave their lives on September 11, 2001 and in the 8 years since trying to protect our great nation!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

PSF and Beech Hill Farm

This week Cecily has teamed up with Lolli at Better in Bulk and together they have brought Photo Story Friday to a new dimension.

Last weekend, my family spent a few days enjoying the cooler New England weather while visiting my sister and her family. While we were there we visited Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton, NH. The farm is great. There are animals for the kids to look at and pet. There is a h.u.g.e. dirt pile with buckets, shovels and tonka trucks for the kids to play in. There is a little country store with ice cream!

And there are cornmazes!

If you have never been in a cornmaze, well honestly, you aren't missing much. But to my two year old nephew, Ryan, there is nothing better! This maze was pretty easy to get through. It was designed for little kids and along the paths there were pictures of animals hidden in the corn for the children to find.

When I look at this picture:

  • I think about Ryan's excitement as he led the way through the maze.

  • I think about the innocence of a child and how fleeting is this season of life.
  • I think about how someday he is going to be as big as (or bigger than) those cornstalks.
  • I think about how much I love my sister's kids and how I wish we lived closer to each other.
  • I think about how much fun the cousins have together and how I hope they are always friends!
  • I think about how sweet his little voice is when he said, "dis way out" or "I foun da ottah."
  • I think about how fall is my favorite season!
  • And I think that a three and half hour flight with 3 small children is totally worth it when I get to hang out in a cornmaze with this little guy!


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Let's Get Physical, Physical...

I recently joined a new gym and one of the perks of new membership is a free health assessment. Since I rarely turn down free stuff, I signed up right away for my assessment. The assessment process was pretty in depth. The trainer took my weight and blood pressure and calculated my BMI and body fat percentage. Then he had me do a few exercises and we talked about my eating habits, current exercise program and my goals. Then he entered all of this info into his computer and voila, it tells me that my "real" age is 26. This totally makes my day, since I tell people I am 24 anyways. I
t's like I am hardly lying...but I digress.

So by the end of this free health assessment I have purchased 12 sessions with him!
I mean, really, he had me at 26!

So yesterday was my first personal training session. Apparently during our previous meeting, I had given Anthony (the trainer) the impression that I enjoy various forms of torture cleverly disguised with cute names such as the Centipede and the Ice Skater. Trust me, there is nothing cute or fun about these exercises! I don't think I have every worked so hard! And I have workout a lot!
I could hardly walk out to my car because my entire lower body had been magically turned into jello. I was really just thankful that John fell asleep in his carseat I had the foresight to bring John into the gym in his infant carrier, otherwise I am sure I would have dropped him on his head on the way out!

On the bright side, I survived the workout without falling down or throwing up! And I have 48 hrs until my next torture training session to recover!
And hopefully six weeks from now, I will look like her:

I'll be holding my breath.

This post was inspired by prompt #4 from MamaKat's Writer's Workshop.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blueberries, anyone?

Pass me a spoon!
These blueberries were picked by one of my brother-in-law's patients as a thank you for excellent medical care! There are 3 gallon-sized bags worth of blueberries here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

Today was Libby's first day of pre-kindergarten!
I can't believe how fast she is growing!

Here she is on the first day of school last year:

And this year...

I love her facial expression! It sort of says "I am not sure how I feel about this but I will pretend to smile to make mom happy!"

Her teacher this year is Mrs. Neeley and I can tell that she is going to love my baby!

When I picked Libby up this afternoon, Mrs. Neeley said she had a great day. When I asked Libby how her day was she said, "I just can't tell you."

So I asked who she played with.

She said, "I played with nobody."

I asked what she did at school and she responded with "I don't remember what I did."

She is now taking a nap so I guess whatever she did was exhausting!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Okay, so I just realized that my Wildtree giveaway ended almost a week ago and I forgot to post the winner! So sorry for the delay!

And the winner is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2009-09-05 20:38:49 UTC
Pam said...
Tweet, tweet!
August 24, 2009 8:58 AM
Congratulations, Pam!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

We've got spirit! Yes, we do!

Tonight, I went to my first high school football game in over 10 years. My brother-in-law was covering the game (he is an orthopaedic surgeon), so we took all the kiddos to support the local athletes.

The kids had an absolute blast! It was a bigger hit than I expected it to be.

Emma Jane could not take her eyes off the field. She was so into the game, but being only 2, had difficulty telling the teams apart and therefore cheered for every touchdown!
Libby couldn't sit still and didn't really notice the game itself at all. She was too busy mimicking the cheerleaders to care about football!

Here is Libby in action. After every cheer, the cheerleaders would turn and face the field with their hands on their hips, so of course Libby did the same! Sort of!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stupid Disposable Diaper!

I use cloth for a lot of reasons.
They are environmentally friendly, more cost effective, a bazillion times cuter!
But yesterday, while traveling to visit my sister, I was reminded of the real reason I use cloth.
My sis lives as far from me as possible while still residing in the United States. While I am a hop, skip and a jump away from Cuba, she can yell across the border to the Canadians. So we had to fly to get there.
Now I have traveled with cloth before, but only on a road trip. I decided to save suitcase space (and avoid the hassle of washing at someone else's house) and just switch to disposables for the week.
(I did tear up a little when I had to wrap my baby's sweet little bum in that pitiful paper diaper, but my bff assured me that I was being irrational so I stuck to it!) Everything was fine during the first leg of the trip. When we changed planes, I put a fresh diaper on John so he should have been fine until we reached my sister's house.
20 minutes into the flight, I felt the tell-tale rumble of my son filling his shorts! I asked the flight attendant if there was a changing station in the bathroom. She checked, there was, so I immediately went to change him. (Less than 3 minutes has elapsed.)
When I laid him down I realized that not only had the breastmilk poop shot up out of the diaper clear up to his neck, it had actually soaked through the back of his ridiculously expensive Pampers diaper! I had to strip him down, wipe off his whole body with disposable wipes (don't even get me started on those!) and since his outfit was ruined he spent the rest of the flight naked!
Not only was my baby cold, but he was cold in an ugly diaper!!
I spent the rest of the flight praying he didn't poop again and today my sister, who thankfully lives in a very crunchy town, took me to this great baby store downtown that carries bummis products and I got 12 prefolds and a couple of covers. I will ne-ver travel without my cloth diapers again!!
Anyone interested in a pack of size 3 Pampers minus a few diapers?
I need a good laugh...tell me some of your diapering mishaps!!

I like to move it, move it...

We had a few friends over on Saturday and the kids decided to throw a little dance party. Check out little Wesley gettin' down with his bad self!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

wrong number

Wrong numbers are just a fact of life.

We have all misdialed at one time or another. I always try to handle those situations with grace. If I have done the misdialing, I always apologize and say goodbye before hanging up. And when someone mistakenly calls me, so long as that person is polite, I am pleasant in return.

But, one way to tick me off in a hurry is to call me by mistake and then be rude about it. Example:

*phone rings*

Me: Hello

Wrong Number: Who is this?

Me: Excuse me, whom are you trying to reach?

Wrong Number: I want to talk to soandso.

Me: I think you have the wrong number.


Manners, people!! Would it have been so hard to say "Oh, I'm sorry. good-bye."

But even worse than the abrupt hang-up is when Mr. Wrong Number tries to argue with me about whether or not he dialed the wrong number. Really, dude? If I am not the person you were trying to reach, isn't it obvious that you did in fact dial incorrectly? Do you really think I have your friend/relative/etc. held hostage somewhere?

But, as I said wrong numbers are just a fact of life and they are going to happen.
What really blows my mind is when wrong numbers leave messages. I say quite clearly in my voicemail message "You have reached Lauren." On my home answering machine, I again say quite clearly, "You have reached the Snellings house."

So I was a little surprised and honestly annoyed at this message that I received on my cell phone today:

"Hi, hon. It's mom." (It is so not my mom's voice!) "I haven't talked to you in, well, a really long time and I just wanted to see how you are. Um, please call me back. I really want to hear from you. My number is 562-XXX-XXXX. bye."

Really? Has it been so long since you talked to your daughter that you don't remember what her voice sounds like or what her name is!!
Is that normal??? Or am I right, and this person was just an idiot?