Friday, January 2, 2015

That 2014 In Review That Everyone is Doing

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Didn't have to use after-school daycare!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't do Resolutions, so yeah *Slacker Achievement Unlocked*
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister and my sister-in-law, within 2 weeks of each other. My cousin. A few more friends. SO MANY BABIES!!!
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year. All of my older relatives are mostly gone already.
5. What countries did you visit? Just the one I live in.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?  More free time
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nothing specific really stands out.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I asked for a raise that I really deserved and I got it. Oh, and I lost 50 pounds. 50!
9. What was your biggest failure? I spend way too much time on my ass when I should be moving around.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not me. My husband got Shingles though. Go figure. He's 36.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Minecraft. The kids love it.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My oldest is really coming into her own. She's becoming a grown-up.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? There have been some issues in my neighborhood- petty crime, property damage, etc. It's sad.
14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage, kids, other stuff
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My kids are now old enough to be left home without a sitter! It's AMAZING!
16. What song will always remind you of 2014? "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
Significantly thinner- 50 pounds thinner!
c) richer or poorer? Richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? More exercise
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Played stupid online games
20. How did you spend Christmas? Extended family was in town from 4 different states. It was the biggest Christmas I've had since I was a kid and 40+ of us would gather at my Grandmother's.
21. Did you fall in love in 2014? Nah.
22. What was your favorite TV program? I really like Scorpio. I watched a lot of Netflix this year, and found out that I like the show Bones when there's no commercials to interrupt things.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nah.
24. What was the best book you read? The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Meghan Trainor
26. What did you want and get? Can't think
27. What did you want and not get? A hand mixer. Mine died around Thanksgiving, and I haven't gotten around to replacing it.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty amazing.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 36 this year. We didn't really do anything.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Winning one of those lotteries where you get a set amount of money each week for the rest of your life. I could happily live on $2K a week for the rest of my life and never have to work again.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? Trying to dress like a grown-up sometimes, and failing 90% of the time. Jeans, t-shirts and sneakers are pretty much my uniform, even at work.
32. What kept you sane? My husband. He can talk me down when I'm at my most out of whack.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Timberlake. He's dreamy.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? The war on Women's Rights. Seriously, what happens in my uterus is no business to anyone other than me and my doctor (and maybe my husband)
35. Who did you miss? My hometown friends
36. Who was the best new person you met? A tie between my newest nephews.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. I CAN achieve things even when they're hard to do. Body acceptance is a powerful thing.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
 It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through

From Let It Go from Frozen. Yup, Frozen. It's pretty powerful actually.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Many Kids is Too Many Kids?

I think we can all agree that the Duggars have too many kids, at 19. In the largely Irish Catholic town I grew up in, there were families with 8, 10 or even 12 kids. Not common, but enough. I'm one of four. Not huge by historical standards, but a "big" family by current standards. Even though most people I knew growing up were one of three or four kids in a family.

So, how many kids is "too many"? I think it has to be judged by a case by case for sure. I have three, and I'm overwhelmed at times. And, to be honest, I was completely overwhelmed for six of seven the years that my youngest has been alive. My husband is very helpful, but he works 60-80+ hours a week (he's a chef). I work 40 hours a week (staying home is not an option for me for mental health reasons- I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home Mom). When I'm "home" I'm actually running around trying to get everything else done. Money isn't the problem as much as time- there's just not enough time in a week to complete everything, at least in my world. Another kid at this point would tip me over the edge completely. I'm just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The day to day minutia of raising little kids completely burns me out (and I hated it a LOT of the time). Now that I can have some free time, grocery shop alone, and not have to watch the kids as closely, I'm staring to take a lot better care of myself. I don't regret any of my kids, but I do think, looking back, that I (we) really should have stopped at two. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Weight Loss Update- Summer 2014 Edition

Weight Loss- 43.8 lbs (as of Monday, 8/4/2014)
Goal Weight- 23.6 lbs to go
Pant Size- 10, and they're roomy!

As it's been for the past 9 months (really? that long already?), I'm doing Weight Watchers. And, it's working for me! I'm down 43.8 lbs. My average weekly loss is 1.2 lbs. I've dropped down to a size 10 pant, and even now, they're starting to get a little too big on me. If/when I get into an 8, it will be the first time I've had a single digit clothing size SINCE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. I am 23.6 pounds away from my goal. Pretty much 2/3 of the way there. I've kind of stopped tracking my food, because I basically eat the same thing every day, and it's working. I know I'll gain if I drink alcohol, even if it's in my points, so I just avoid it 90% of the time. And on those weeks where I don't avoid it, it shows in my numbers.

So, what am I eating? Well, here goes-
either an egg sandwich- 1 egg fried in a pan with a squirt of Pam, on a sandwich thin that's been toasted with a single slice of deli white American cheese
or- 2 eggs scrambled, 1/8 of a cup of low-fat shredded Mexican style or low fat shredded Pepper Jack cheese, tons of salsa (both average about 7 Points)

AM Snack- Around 10 AM
A serving of fruit- basically what's in season and smells good. Blueberries, peaches, nectarines, bananas are my go-tos. (0 Points)

6 slices turkey, 1 slice Pepper Jack cheese, toasted on a sandwich thin, with mustard. I will and do eat this 7 days a week. It doesn't bother me to have the same thing day after day. It's got the protein I need, it's tasty, fast, and I know it's Weight Watchers friendly. (7 Points)

PM Snack- Around 3 PM
Something crunchy that I can eat at my desk. Carrot sticks and hummus, celery and peanut butter, cucumbers with Greek dressing. I keep individual portions in plastic bags in my fridge at work. Grab and go depending on what I want that day. (2-3 Points, MAX)

Dinner- usually 4 Points of protein- chicken breast, turkey sausage, ground turkey are my main food choices. Then a choice of salad with dressing, a 1/2 cup of pasta and vegetables, 1/2 cup quinoa, salsa and cheese, oven roasted sweet potato, etc. (6-8 Points). I've found I'll eat most vegetables, as long as they aren't boiled to death, and are liberally covered with lemon juice. Except squash. I hate squash.

If I skip PM snack and have the Points, I might have an ice cream after dinner (2-5 Points, depending on brand). If I don't have the Points, and I still want something sweet, I like to freeze Gerber 1st Foods fruit baby foods, and then eat them frozen. They're kind of like a granita (1 Point).

That's really it. On the weekends, I skip breakfast too much and eat worse at dinner.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Eleven Things

So I got tagged by Laura and since I've been meaning to blog for awhile now, it's as good a jumping off point as any!

1) What is your favorite type of cheese?
Cheese is amazing. I like all kinds, sheep, cow, goat. Smelly, not smelly. Moldy, not moldy. I don't think I've met a cheese that I didn't like.

2) What are you excited about?
The summer! We have actual plans and a list of things to accomplish. It's very satisfying to cross things off the To Do list.

3) How did you celebrate your last birthday?
Just a cake with my family. It was my 35th. I don't like parties that center around me. I love a good party, I just don't want to be the guest of honor.

4) What is on your bedside table?
A lamp, my alarm clock that is also a CD player (and possibly a genuine antique at this point), various cups of water (I bring a new one up every night, my husband collects them sporadically and brings them down to do the dishes, it's a point of contention between us), lotion, and my stack of library books.

5) What do you order from the movie theater concession stand?
A vat of Diet Coke. I take my movie watching very seriously. I love movies, and the whole movie watching experience. I do not eat while I'm watching movies at the theater. 

6) Do you have a garden?  What's growing?
We have a couple of herb boxes. Basil, cilantro (that looks like it's going to die), mint (that's taking over everything), two types of thyme, and something else that I can't remember.

7) Any summer plans?
We have no children for the summer! Yay! So Flagstaff for the 4th. We're talking about a few other weekend trips as well. Maybe Vegas or LA or San Diego.  

8) Which TV couple(s) are you rooting for?
Sheldon and Amy on Big Bang Theory. Maybe? I don't know. While I watch a lot of TV, I'm not really invested in any one show at this point with a lot of emotional drama.

9) What is the last thing you bought?
Groceries. Like actual vegetables and stuff. 

10) What's one thing you are passionate about?
I'm a moderator at an online message board,, and I've become pretty involved in that community. 

11) What are you grateful for this week?
It's going to sound so cheesy, but my health. I've had a couple of people I know have some health scares recently, and I've been lucky. I really let myself go for a few years, and now I'm taking responsibility for my health in a way that I should have 5 or 10 years ago.  

Now I'm supposed to tag people, but I probably won't...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Halfway to Healthy

I've blogged a few times about trying to lose weight. But, as of Monday, I am officially halfway to my healthy weight (well, heaviest "healthy weight") of 145 lbs. In the past six months, I've lost 33 pounds. That's a fricking toddler! But, I have 33 more to go, and I expect those 33 pounds will be harder to lose. I'm doing Weight Watchers. Because I need someone to hold me accountable. I've gone from squishing myself into size 16 jeans into comfortably wearing size 12 jeans. My size 16's won't even stay on at this point, and that makes me feel amazing. I do wear a pair of 14's, but I need a belt to keep those up, and I only wear those because I'm not shopping for any clothes beyond what I really need.  Speaking of which, I don't have ANY shorts for this summer. Last summer I didn't wear shorts, preferring skirts that let me hide the fact that my legs looked like sausages.

I'll see my extended family for the first time in a year, at a wedding at the end of May. While part of me wants them to notice my weight loss, another part of me HATES the idea that I'll be looked at. That's a whole other can of psychological issue that I need to deal with, and does come into play- fat girls don't get looked at. Fat girls can hide.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Babies, Babies, Babies (But Not For ME!)

It seems that 2014 will be another year of babies, in my circle of the world. Three high school friends are having or just had a baby this year. Other classmates who I only follow on Facebook also seem to be having a fertility boom. My cousin just had a baby. My sister is having her third baby in October, and my sister-in-law will also be having a baby in October (her/their first!). Also, it seems like half of the bloggers I read on a regular basis are pregnant too.

A few years ago, I would have had ovary twinges, and maybe would have wanted to jump on the baby train. But not this year. I've really hit the time of my life when I feel really and truly done with the thought of having another baby in the house. Maybe I've become jaded. But, damn, my life is so much easier now that my kids are all in school full time, and are starting to become even more independent. Hell, my oldest turns 11 next week. Due to a slight bit of precocious puberty, I've already weathered the storm of a first period with her (yep, she'll kill me for this if she ever finds this blog). It's a strange feeling knowing that this child specifically is closer to being an adult than she is to being a baby.

I am at a different stage of my life than many of my peers. I got married pretty young- at 22- and had my first baby a few months before I turned 25. I had my last baby almost seven years ago, three weeks before my 29th birthday (she was "due" on my birthday, but complications and all that meant she was born earlier than expected). I've had four years of no diapers. Two good years of sleeping in on the weekends and not having to police the kids every waking moment. Two years of full time school, and the lower daycare bills that go hand in hand with that milestone. I am done. So, I'm making sure I'm done. I'll be getting Essure placed sometime in April or May. It's not my first choice, but it's the one that insurance will cover without a huge out of pocket payment. And my DH is not on board for a vasectomy. So, Essure it is. I'm sure I'll be writing about it. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Bill Gothard & The Duggars

I don't often post about serious topics or religious issues. But, I have a not so secret loathing of the Duggar Family. Yes, those Duggars. The squeaky clean, modest midwestern family with 19 kids. I think the Duggars aren't an awesome example of family values, rather an insidious marketing ploy for a damaging religious cult. The Duggars have close ties to Bill Gothard. Bill Gothard runs the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBPL) and Advanced Training Institute (ATI). When the Duggars are shown going to the meeting in Big Sandy, Texas, the are actually at the ATI annual meeting.  Bill Gothard has appeared on the Duggars show in the past.

Bill Gothard has never been married and has no children, yet is held up as an expert who freely gives advice to families. Bill Gothard is anti-dating, preferring to use "courtship." He believes that fathers should hold authority over their daughters, and even have the right to deny an adult daughter the right to "court" freely. Bill Gothard believes that music, especially rock music (even Christian Rock) is dangerous (sounds familiar huh? The Duggars have said that before). Bill Gothard does not believe that women should work outside the home, as it might cause conflict where the woman is under the authority of a man who is not her husband or father. All in all, Bill Gothard is a big steaming heap of horseshit, and should never be trusted further than you can throw him. AND it looks like this is becoming public knowledge. The IBPL has placed Bill Gothard on leave, while sexual harassment charges against him are being investigated. Just how much of Bill Gothard's sketchy personal life were the Duggars aware of? Will they see this fall from grace as an opportunity to expand their world view? Bill Gothard is legalistic and spiritually abusive, and the world needs to know.

Other bloggers and news outlets have much more knowledge into the Bill Gothard scandal than I do.
Please read: A Quiver Full of Information, World Magazine's Coverage,