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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mental Game

Hi y'all,

I have been doing a new eating plan and I have to tell you it is a mental game, y'all. I am eating smaller portion sizes and cutting out the unnecessary snacking. I have already lost a good deal of weight in this first week.

I swear I have to take it one day at a time because the six-eight weeks seems so very long. It is a constant, hmmmm, I want a snack. The kids' peanut butter crackers smell really good, but it has so much sugar and fat and is not on my approved list currently. Oh, I would like to have a piece of the very yummy zucchini bread I baked, but again, not on the list. Maybe I could just lick my fingers since a little got on there. Oh, no. I should not because at one little taste my willpower may fail. Or it might not, but I do not want to put myself in that spot. I told Mr. Fantastic Husband Man that I sounded like an addict, taking it one day at a time, lol. He pointed out that I am not though, because I would consumed with thoughts of food if I were and, thankfully, I am not. I believe it is a real addiction and I am not too proud to admit I have used food to fill a need and emotionally eaten. The part that we find funny is that I always acknowledge it too. Oh, the kids are super stressing me out today. I am going to emotionally eat this bowl of ice cream and I am okay with that. Honestly, it has helped me identify the cause right now when I feel that urge (I am bored, tired, lonely, stressed, whatever) to eat/snack. Who knew that eating right would be good for the soul as well? Oh, yeah, lots of people... I am just getting on board that boat. :)

I heard somewhere, ages ago, that it takes two weeks to form a habit. Well, week one is over. Re-forming the good eating habits I have let slide over the past couple months is a challenge, but I know it will be worth it. How long do they say it takes to break a bad habit? Is it two months? Anyone know?

So, whatever your daily struggle I sincerely hope your willpower can stay strong. I am hanging in the trenches with you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back at it!

Hi y'all,

I have decided that summer is here and play date calendar is in full swing, however, I am making the time to take care of me and my workouts. We got our priorities straight. What is the "magic bullet" to lose weight and get healthy? As Michelle and Jason (3-2-1 Penguins) would say, "The power of balanced meals and exercise!!!"

Friends, I have tried and watched others try all sorts of diets, routines, etc. just to be disappointed that all the weight they lost came back (sometimes added more!) as soon as they stopped. I know there are great things out there, but the reality is that it comes down to a lifestyle change. It is a commitment to do life, your whole life from this point forward, differently. Until you are there I believe you will continue to struggle. I am speaking truth today, friends, and I know it is not going to be popular. I want to just say good luck and let me know if I can support you!

So, here is to the power of balanced meals and exercise!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Un-Father's Day Like

Hi y'all,

Mr. Fantastic Husband Man is displaying some very un-father's day like behavior. Why do I say that, you ask? Well, I am pretty sick and have been now for days. As many of you know (and for those who do not, you will shortly) mommies do not get sick days. They still have to wake up at 5:30 am because their children are up with the sun. They do not get to go to bed until late because they are finishing the laundry.

Instead of focusing on Mr. Fantastic, he is focused on me. He is selflessly laying down himself and his wants and taking care of me and the children. I have married the greatest man alive, y'all! I just had to share and brag on him since I am super exhausted and just want to lay in bed, but I can type and so I shall.

In case you missed it. Greatest. Man. Alive.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sewing more things

Hi friends and family,

I am so blessed to have people in my life who craft and sew! If I'm frustrated by a crochet pattern I can call and lament this fact to a friend and she will encourage me to keep trying. When I am completely lost on what comes next or what that sewing term means I can text my cousin or call my aunt and they can walk me through it.

Speaking of, my aunt and uncle were on their way home from seeing the Grand Canyon. They made a special trip to see the snow there. Yes, we do get snow here, surprise, surprise. She and I had talked about patterns and she helped me pick out a few over Thanksgiving when she was here and I still have not completed all of them (but thankfully I have completed two and not zero!). I was intimidated by the language in the next one I was attempting and she walked me through some of it and how I could do this short cut or bypass that part of it. Waaaaaay simpler now that I have had someone walk me through parts! :)

Any sewers out there have sites that they turn to? Any advice for a beginner?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home-proofing my babies

Hi y'all,

Wendy over at Choosing Love and I were playing and I told her in passing that I choose to home-proof my babies instead of baby-proofing my home. She said I should do a blog post on it because, apparently, I made a controversial decision here. I am going to share with you what I did and you feel free to glean whatever wisdom you desire. Please remember that even if you disagree to be kind in doing so.

I read an article, ages ago now, about an American mother who had been transplanted to France. The French women visiting her home told her it looked like an insane asylum with all the rubber padding and other safety measures. Obviously, this was partially a cultural difference, but it got me thinking. There were not all these safety items when I was a kid and I am still breathing with life and limbs intact. So, what did I really need to baby proof and what is superfluous?

For My Little Princess we used baby gates for the stairs, outlet covers for the plugs, cabinet locks, and door handle safety things. My mom taught her to do stairs at nine months old and she was very proficient. We quit using the gate at the bottom of the stairs, but I was not comfortable with that toddler run and removing the top gate so we left that until we moved when she was two and a half. I did relatively normal, but not outrageous baby proofing of our home.

Mr. Chaos Little Man was a different story. All we have done is use outlet covers and baby gates on the stairs. And, to be honest, I do not know that we need the outlet covers. The kid has never really been super interested in them, except for the fact that we plug the vacuum cleaner in there and he looooooves the vacuum.

This method of home-proofing my babies is more work than just "baby-proofing" your house. As a stay-at-home mom this was doable for me and is not the right option for every family. You have to be vigilant to teach them not to play with the hanging wires behind the computers, tvs, etc. You have to teach them which cabinet in the kitchen is ok for them to pull out everything in and play with and sit in and which are not ok. You have to teach them not to play in the toilet bowl. It requires time and vigilance. It requires time outs, rewards, and re-direction. It is not for everyone. For instance, unless we invite the children into the kitchen they know not to cross an invisible line in the entry way. It has taken time and much re-enforcement, but it has been so worth it.

Do you want to know the main reason I decided to do it? I realized I will not have control over my child and their environment at all times. We are going to visit family. Great-Grandma is going to have glass breakable within reach of my toddler. A college babysitter is going to have a bunch of wires from their electronics well within my baby's reach. I wanted for my child to stop when I say stop and understand that when I say no touch I meant it. I want the reaction to be instantaneous. I do not have control over every tiny thing that will come their way and I want for them to be able to go into those environments know what is ok to play with and to listen when I say no. I have home-proofed my babies not just for my home, but in all homes using my this approach. Can you see the awesomeness of my logic? :) Admittedly, this has been easier with my first than my second. We are still working on this listening, etc. It is all about consistency and immediate correction so that they learn and learn quickly.

Both my children are still breathing with life and limbs intact. :) And my house does not look like an insane asylum...


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Big Boy Bed Chronicles

Oh, friends,

As soon as we decided to stop potty training Mr. Chaos Little Man decided we should move straight into the Big Boy Bed Chronicles! He decided getting out of his crib three times in one night/morning was an excellent idea. This was the first (second, and third) time he had done it. Did not take him long to master that art. Mr. Fantastic Husband Man took off the side crib rail and we installed a one of those removable bed rails. The crib my son sleeps in is the one that I slept in as a baby, so pre-convertible crib. Mr. Fantastic is ingenious though.

Not my choice to move straight from delaying potty training into big boy bed training, but there it is, folks. My life has not been on my schedule for quite some time. Apparently I needed reminding of that fact. The transition has been rocky and my facebook friends can attest to that. Suffice to say that I shall describe in more detail the trials, but for now I shall bid you all ado and goodnight!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Weekend of Firsts

Hi y'all,

Over the holiday weekend where we honor those serving and who have served our military and country my family and I visited our family who live down south a stone's throw away from Mexico. One of our best vacations to date. We ate excellent food, kept excellent company, and experienced many firsts in our lives. Us city mice had a great time visiting our country mice family. :)

My Little Princess is four years old and she got to go horse backing, atv riding, and a few other things. When I last asked, horseback riding was the favorite. I see lessons in our future. Deals anyone?

Mr. Chaos Little Man also got to go horseback riding and atv riding for the first times as well. He had the greatest time riding fast down country roads with his daddy. The phrases, "Woohoo" and "This is FUN!" were uttered often. I see fun and trouble down this path. He is a boy and I will encourage as much safety as possible, but I see broken bones in this kid's future. Little Man still seems to have no fear.

I shot many a pistol with excellent instruction from both my cousins. We do keep a few in our home for self defense and I can finally say that I feel comfortable should the need arise (God forbid) that I have to pick it up. If you are looking for an excellent resource on guns, gun safety and children may I recommend The Cornered Cat. I am not looking to debate the issue here, but am open to discourse in another forum so feel free to contact me. I also know which pistol I currently have my eye on for my own self defense, though I plan to shoot a few more before the final decision. Oh, who am I kidding? I fell in love with my cousin's Kimber 1911 officer's pistol. We will be saving a while for this one. :) It is on the list for sures.

My husband calls me Little Annie Oakley. I would not go that far... yet. And that watermelon had it coming--trust me. Getting my CCW (even though technically in this state I do not need it) is on my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. (I have not finished the list, therefore, that is why you have not seen it yet. Working on it.)

What did you do to celebrate? What are some things on your list (bucket or otherwise)? Experience any firsts lately?


I have so much thankfulness and respect for our soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they make that make family vacations like this possible for me and mine.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Potty Training Chronicles Conclusion

Hi y’all,
I promised some conclusions from my potty training experience. After a week without my computer I know y'all must be dying to learn my conclusion--or not, whatever. Want to know what I learned? If not, stop reading here. ;)
First off, make sure you and your child(ren) are healthy before you start this endeavor because it will up the stress factor if not and not set you up for success if anyone is sick.
Second, some stress on the child’s part if going to most likely happen. I did not really consider this as I was reading the method and was a bit surprised by it when it happened, but it made sense. The little guy did not want to get his big boys wet, but he was unsure of what exactly to do and was still figuring out his body’s signals. Normal and completely okay.
I do like this method not advocating pull ups because I did see my little guy learning and making the connections much quicker than my daughter did when we used pull ups with her.
You really do need to entirely set aside these three days to focus, focus, focus on the child and the training. This is not for the faint of heart. It is difficult to do. I swear to you every time I stepped more than 10 feet away from the little guy on day one was the time he would choose to pee. I went to get my daughter a glass of water around the corner and he whizzed as soon as I stepped out of sight for a second. This is ‘training’ and I think of it now like I would think of football training during the season before a really big game. Intensely focused without distraction.
Lastly, it is okay to fail. The author says that any child over 22 months of age can be trained using this method. I do not think all children are the same and fit into a box, nor does every parent’s schedule/personality/preference line up with what the 3 Day Potty Training Method outlines.
Side note: We did the pull ups thing with My Little Princess and she is four and fully potty trained now and I may do this same method I came up with for her with Mr. Chaos, but I have not honestly decided yet. 
I would really like to get most of the potty training out of the way in three days and deal with the occasional accident, but I do not know how realistic that is. I am wanting to give this ‘3 Day Potty Training’ Method one more shot, because I did see progress being made. I also did make mistakes and I think I have learned from them and will do it better this next time around. My Little Princess is going to need to spend the day with a friend, I think. Any takers? :)
I was not paid to “review” this method. It was offered to me free through Parenting AZ and First Things First. I was open to trying it and wanted to let other parents out there know what worked or did not work for us. It is not easy being a parent and navigating the ins and outs of this stuff. Everyone has an opinion or something they swear by because it worked for them. I hope this is a resource in helping you make a decision on how to potty train. I hope you feel encouraged. I hope you found this helpful.

P.S. I am also slated to be a guest blogger over at Arizona Mom's Network so check back for my blog on a great splash pad in the valley! :)