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,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Books Meme

Totally stole this from Red Nose, because I love books.

1:Favorite children's book
I personally loved Dr Seuss. Reading them and having them read to me. I loved reading them to my kids too. But, even more than that, I loved reading them Where the Wild Things Are

2:The last book you've read
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson It was YA, somewhat typical YA to be honest. Not that great, but what I needed to keep my mind relaxed.

3:Books on your "to read" list
Well, there are 90+ on my Goodreads Profile (friend me, I accept everyone!). I'm really waiting on Jasper Fforde to release the next book in the Shades of Grey series and Thursday Next series. I'm excited for the end of the Long Earth Trilogy by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. Jaclyn Moriarty is writing a very interesting YA series, the second book The Cracks in the Kingdom comes out in March 2014.

4:Top 5 authors
Terry Pratchett
Julia Quinn
Douglas Adams 
Marian Keyes
Jennifer Crusie

5:Favorite genres
Chick lit, romance, YA, Sci-Fi

6:A book that has made you extremely mad
I have had that reaction multiple times. Cody Diablo's autobiography made me angry and sad. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert had me fuming. Swamplandia by Karen Russel was awful.

7:A book that you've cried over
Anything by Alice Hoffman. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn never fails to make me sob. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett has one of the best death scenes EVER written- heart wrenchingly amazing.

8:A book that made you laugh out loud
I don't know. I can't remember

9:Fiction or nonfiction?
Fiction, 90% of the time

10:First book you've read by your favorite author
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. Minx by Julia Quinn

11:Best book-to-movie adaption
To Kill a Mockingbird

12:Do you read comics/manga?
Not really.

13:Hardcovers or Paperbacks?
Paperbacks and digital

14:Do you buy books as soon as they come out or wait a while?
Depends on the the author. I'm at the point where I'll pre-order my favorite authors so I get a copy on my Kindle as soon as it's available.

15:Do you buy books spontaneously without any prior knowledge of what happens in it?
If it's a Kindle Daily Deal, sure.

16:Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?

17:Where do you usually buy your books?

18:Book that had a strong impact on you
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy turned me on to science fiction as a genre.

19:Historical or science fiction?
I'll happily read both

20:Dystopian or Utopian?
Again, I like both

21:Worst book-to-move adaption?
Twilight was a bad book to begin with, so the movie adaptation was just even worse. Stardust killed the source material.

22:Book that should have a movie adaption?
The Westing Game has never gotten a true movie adaptation. It was made for TV a few times, but I think it would work as a family movie.

23:The first book you've fallen in love with
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

24:Humor or angst?
Humor most of the time, but there's a time and place for angst.

25:How many books do you own?
A lot. But, we're paring down the collection. As I buy more books in digital format, I've been donating the paper copy to the VA or other charities.

26:Do you go the library?

27:How many books do you read a year?

28:Favorite "required reading" book?
Utopia by Thomas More

29:Favorite quote?
“Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

30:A book you absolutely hate
Mentioned above, but Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I too, could have traveled the world and found myself for $250K. Because that's what Ms Gilbert did. She got a hefty advance from her publisher and used it to fund her self discovery. The premise of the book was rotten from the start. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

So, Valentine's Day (AKA Be Nice to Your Waiter)

I'm married to a chef. You know what they call Valentine's Day in the restaurant business? Amateur Hour. You know why? Because everyone who doesn't go out to dinner the other 354 days a year decides to go out on this one night of the year AND they have high expectations. So, if you are one of those people who goes out on Valentine's and expects it to be The.Best.Night.EVER, it won't be. You want good service, and good food, pick any other day of the year (well, maybe not Christmas, Thanksgiving or another holiday, but Arbor Day might be fun) to go out. Not only will there be less people, you'll get better service. If you do insist on going out, be nice to your server and don't blame the kitchen. Blame everyone sitting around you (and yourself, just a little bit).

This brings us to Valentine's Day in our house. Well, we don't do anything. That's not true. We exchange cards. But, that's it. We do not go out on Valentine's Day. Even now, since my husband has moved from restaurants to corporate kitchens, we don't go out.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weight Loss Has Made My Boobs Deflate

So I'm down a few more pounds. Officially, 197.2. Which, I hit on my scale at home on Christmas morning, but Christmas and New Year's indulgences pushed me back up a few pounds. But, the official Weight Watchers scale says 197.2, and I'm keeping it. For reals, I'm down a pants size. I'm in 14's now. Comfortably in 14's. They fit, there's room in the butt, room in the legs. Let's say they aren't sausage casings. It seems however, that the largest part of my weight loss has come off my boobs. This isn't the best. I was a 42D. Now, I'm a 38 B/C. My boobs are seriously deflating. I love my kids, but 18 combined months of breastfeeding has certainly taken it's toll.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Wonderland Tag

From Laura, at The Diniwilks

Here's the Winter Wonderland Tag Blog, the blog craze that's sweeping the nation, except, well, it's not really-

1. What do you like best about winter?
I live in Arizona, so Winter isn't as impressive as it is in other parts of the country. I like that there's less kids activities on the weekend that we have to rush to. I like that I can declare a lazy Sunday, and no one has to do anything except occasionally go into the kitchen to nosh. Before kids, and before Arizona, Winter Sundays were an excuse to stay on the couch all day, watching football, and then going out for an early bird special dinner. 

2.  Scarves or beanies?
Scarves for sure. I love a long infinity scarf. It can double as a hood in a pinch. But my hair is awful in the winter- static, dry, etc- and hats just make it worse.

3.  What's your favorite holiday movie?
From childhood- Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas. It's the Tale of the Magi, told by Muppet creatures that live in a swamp. It's awesome. I also like Scrooged, Elf, and A Christmas Story.

4.  Favorite winter nail polish?
I don't wear nail polish ever.

5.  Favorite Starbucks holiday drink?
The only thing I ever drink at Starbucks is a Chai Latte.

6. What are your top three winter essentials?  
1. Extra sweatshirts everywhere. I stash some in my car, at work, and all over my house. I'm always cold. 2. Really good face moisturizer. Winter air and heat in buildings is harsh on my face. I like Hope in a Jar by Philosophy. 3. Fleece pants. Love them for weekends. So cozy!

7. Name one item on your wish list this year.
Well, that's tough, because I didn't really want anything. But, I did get a baker's scale that I was quite happy with. 

8.  Favorite holiday song?   
OK, so I'm an atheist, but I love Christmas hymns. In years past, I've been known to go to Catholic mass on Christmas Eve, just for the singing. The act of singing with a group actually makes me think better of human beings in general. 

9.  Are you going Black Friday shopping this year?  

10.  Must have winter lip product:
Carmex, in the little pot. I love that stuff.

11.  Will you be rocking an ugly sweater this year?
I wore a fabulous green vest with all sorts of Christmas appliques, over a red and green plaid jumper, red snowman tights and a green snowflake turtleneck. I was rocking the ensemble. Too bad it was 70 degrees and I was sweating my ass off at the same time. 

12.  Have you ever had a white Christmas where you live?
Childhood, in Massachusetts, for sure. Here in Arizona- never. It just doesn't snow in Phoenix.

13.  Favorite winter candle scent?
I don't do candles. They give me migraines.

14. How will you be celebrating this holiday?   
Secular Christmas at my house. Presents at 7 AM. Skype with my parents on the east coast while opening gifts. Made a turkey and everything else for dinner for 8. It was nice and low key, and back to work the next day.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Year's Quiz That Everyone Has Done

I'm jumping on the bandwagon with this one. Why not right?

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Went to LA. I think that's about it. It was part of the California leg of my husband's Great Baseball Quest.  Tried beets- I'd never had them before. While I like them, I don't like making them. I pickled some carrots. I bought an iPhone.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I'm not really into the whole New Year's Resolutions things, so no and yes or simply N/A?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law (married to my youngest brother) had a baby boy! The first on our side, after five girls between my sister and I.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother. She was old, and it was her time. A peaceful passing. She'll be missed. My husband's grandmother died this year as well. But I wasn't close to her, having met twice in the 18 years I've been with my husband.

5. What countries did you visit?
Does Guadalupe, AZ count as part of Mexico? Otherwise, nowhere other than the USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A waistline.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oh gods, I have no idea. It was a pretty low key year. No super highs and no super lows. For a couple of weeks in April, it seemed like we'd be transferred to Texas, but that didn't happen. Maybe my brother's wedding in May.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I'm down 11 pounds since Thanksgiving week. Go me!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't know. Like I said, it wasn't a bad year. DH & I got into it pretty bad in February because he was being an asshole for a protracted period of time. Maybe we weren't the nicest to each other for the first quarter of the year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing huge. The regular aches and pains of being in my mid 30's.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
We used our tax return to buy a brand new set of Caphalon pans and a few LeCreusets. They're AWESOME.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, daycare

13. What did you get really excited about?
The same things I always get excited about- no kids during the summer. New books by Terry Prachett and Julia Quinn. The first box of Thin Mints of the year.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Blurred Lines, Royals

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner
– richer or poorer? Richer

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating crap from the drive-through

18. How did you spend Christmas?
At our house. I refuse to leave the house on Christmas. We were up by 7. Did presents, skyped with my parents, made cinnamon rolls from a tube. Cooked a turkey. Had over some relatives and neighbors to eat dinner with us.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
My shameful secret- I love TV. The Office ending was so sad and happy at the same time. Now I need to find something else that I love as much as I loved this show.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Eleanor & Park 
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? 
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore 

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I loved the summer music. Blurred Lines was awesome to car dance to. Discovering the magic of Lorde. It was also the year of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Frozen. It's really going to be a Disney classic. It was SO GOOD.
Fast & Furious 6
Don Jon
Warm Bodies
The Heat

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned the big 3-5 in August. The husband and I went out to dinner at some point, I think.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know that I have an answer. It was a good year. It would be hard to improve on it.

25. What kept you sane?
For better or worse, my husband

27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

I have a pretty damn good life, so I shouldn't take it for granted. My husband puts up with a lot of crap and is a much better person than I am all around.

28. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
From Thrift Shop- "This is fucking awesome."