Friday, July 30, 2010
For my August change, I am going to concentrate on my diet. I am going to keep track of everything I eat and write it down as I am eating it. This should help with the mindless snacking that occurs around 2:00pm until dinner and then again after dinner. Tracking what I eat is the foundation of Weight Watchers. It works and is the best strategy for trying to lose weight. I've had major success in the past and need to get back to doing it. After a full 30 days of tracking, I should be able to report on some great results.
Happy August everyone! Hope you are staying cool out there. Just want to give a quick shout-out to everyone who is reading my blog. Thanks!!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
And then it hit me after writing my last post "Bleh!" I need goals! I need something that makes me want to jump out of bed and challenge myself a little more. Get me excited about seeing the dream become a reality. I've decided a transformation within me is going to take place. I am super excited about this and decided to tackle the following:
1. Lose 25 pounds.
Yep, Back in October 2009, the number used to be 14 pounds left to lose to meet my goal weight. We are now at the ugly number of 25 more pounds to go. There, I said it and am facing the fact that I need to get super-serious about my weight loss efforts and go back to tracking every bite and morsel I eat. No more mindless snacking in the afternoon. If I bite it, I write it!
I was given this awesome article on heart rate training from my friend Katy. Turns out that all the running I was doing (hours and hours on end!) was having an adverse effect to my weight loss efforts. I was running in my maximum heart rate zone and therefore, over training. Yes, I was burning calories and getting somewhere quickly, but I wasn't burning fat or getting my metabolism to move faster. So now, I am focusing on my heart rate, staying in zones 1 and 2 (no more 4!!) and giving up the importance of speed and distance. It is a whole new way of life for me on the treadmill and outside. Turns out I need to walk a good part of it to keep my heart rate in check.
2. Get all my hair chopped off and color it something fun and sassy!
I've been growing my hair out now for over a year and a half. I've been trying to get to 10 inches for Locks of Love. I've only got 2 inches left to go. But, I am so ready to cut it all now. This heat does nothing to help with all the hair on my head. Before kids, I used to color my hair all shades of brown, red and blond. Not at the same time, but go back and forth throughout the year. Every time I got bored, I'd mix it up with a new color. Oh, how I miss those days. Once I started doing Locks of Love, I stopped coloring it so the hair I donated would be as healthy as possible. I've done Locks of Love once already and will soon be done with donation #2. It feels good to be able to help kids with cancer who need wigs, but I am ready to start having fun with color again and trendy hair styles.
3. Get the big mole on the left side of my face taken off.
Some people call it a beauty mark, but I call it ugly! I've hated all the moles on my face for years and years. If one could have a skin transplant on their face, I'd be the first in line. The problem is, I am very moley person. Not sure why because neither of my parents or sister look like this. At my last skin check with the dermatologist, the dr suggested taking off the mole. I had inquired in past years with other drs about having it removed, but was hesitant with the scar I'd be left with. I've been hoping that with laser technology there would be a way to do it without cutting, but I am done waiting. It is coming off. As the dr put it, whatever scar remains will be easier to cover up than what I have now. I am going for it. I have a feeling that I am going to like the results so much, it will start an obsession with me to keep going. By the time I am done, I could look like I lost a fight with a razor blade. I should just have a t-shirt made that says, "You should see the other person." :)
So there you have it. My 3 goals I am working towards. I am giving myself until Thanksgiving to accomplish the above list. Why Thanksgiving as a deadline? It is when we will be going down to Orlando for Thanksgiving and I always enjoy a good reveal to people who know me best. Plus, Thanksgiving is just far enough away that it gives me enough time to be able to work on these, but not too far away that I lose sight of having to stay focus and keep my eyes on the prize.
I woke up this morning feeling energized and excited about my plan. I think this is just what I need to break me out of the bleh stage I've been feeling. And, I'd like to think that all 3 goals go hand in hand. It's easy enough to do #2 and #3, and never come close to losing the 25 pounds I want to, but I will enjoy the end result so much more by also losing weight.
I will keep you updated on my progress, both good and bad. And, if things go really well, I'll even include before and after pictures. Who knows, I may even be so excited about finally getting to my goal weight, that I could even publish the new number appearing on the scale. Well, maybe I shouldn't get so carried away.
Does it get any better? I think not.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I spent several hours outside on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not the best plan of activities to do and it took its toll on me. More sweat was generated by my body in 48 hours than ever before in my life. It is a gross feeling and all I wanted to do upon coming back in the house was take a shower and burn my clothes. That is once I got them to no longer stick to my body.
To my dismay, this heat does nothing for my diet and makes me want to eat non-stop. I am disgusted with my eating habits these past few weeks. I've lost my focus and need to get back in the game. It is an ugly scene on the scale each morning. I am done. Done. Done. Done.
I am tired of feeling hot every second of the day when I am outside. I am tired of feeling worn out and exhausted. I need a good night of sleep. I need 70 degree weather. I need stretches of time where there is nothing to do and no where to go.
Ok, I've ranted and complained long enough. It will get a person no where. I am taking a deep breath and getting back out there. And I promise to try to do it with a smile on my face. :)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Ian was half watching and half talking to me about everything under the sun. The scene where Diane Keaton's character goes back to NY for the meeting about the Food Chain Company wanting to buy her new Country Baby Company comes on. This is a huge, victorious moment for her and she is making the big comeback she dreamed of. She is walking down the long hallway toward the board room and music is playing in the background of the scene. Ian says, "It sounds like sad music. Is this going to be a sad scene?"
I am temporarily overlooking the fact that Ian's assessment of the music was completely wrong. But instead be amazed how Ian picked up on the music and what it might tell the viewer about what they are watching. I don't know if this is typical of five year old's or not, but it was impressive to me.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We heard a really great promotion was being offered. For a $5.00 donation to St. Jude's Childrens Research, you get a free uniform and a month's worth of classes. Wowee!! Now this was a deal I couldn't pass up. However, it took Ian's best buddy Ethan also doing it for Ian to want to give it a try.
Together, the boys started out on a Monday. Ian really seemed to enjoy it. He even said when we were going home afterwards, that he will need to practice. That's promising, isn't it? The only problem I saw from that first class was that Ian wouldn't stop talking. I told him before Wednesday's session to try not to say so much and he told me he had all these ideas he needed to tell them about. Ian enjoyed Wednesday's class just as much and got very excited about practicing punches with a real x-ray picture. Saturday's class we weren't able to make because of a prior commitment. Then on Monday, I picked Ian up from a friend's house and helped him change into his uniform. He did so with enthusiasm and was looking forward to going to class.
Somewhere on the 10 minute ride to Tae Kwon Do, something snapped in Ian and he started throwing a huge fit about not wanting to go. It was the strangest thing and I am still not sure why he no longer wants to do it. I told Ian he didn't have to participate in class, but we are still going to go and watch. I didn't want him to think that just because he threw a fit, he could instantly quit. Plus, I had a feeling that when he was watching Ethan in class, he would want to join in.
Oh no, this was not the case at all. I asked Ian why all of a sudden he wanted to stop and he gave the following reasons -
1. He couldn't buckle his own car seat with his uniform on.
2. He would rather be eating dinner during this time.
3. He doesn't like the stretch exercise of touching your toes they do at the beginning.
4. He wants the green belt that Luke has and not the white one they give you.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
When Sam wakes up from her nap, I give her a cheese stick and some milk. On Friday afternoon, upon her waking up, I go get her from her crib and say, "Let's go get a cheese stick." She nodded her head in agreement and picked out her own cheese stick to eat.
We go downstairs to hang out with Ian and I open up the cheese stick and have her cup of milk ready. She instantly says no and goes to the closet where the Costco dry goods are kept and opens the door herself. She gets a bag of Welches Fruit Snacks and brings it to me saying, "Open. Open." I told Sam no, I will open her bag of fruit snacks after she eats the cheese stick.
Sam then proceeds to throw a fit, which includes screaming and jumping up & down. In the process, she somehow miraculously tears open the bag of fruit snacks. Her eyes get super big and she says "Whoooooooooaa" upon realizing her good fortune. With a big smile on her face, she exclaims "DID IT!!"
Then, while looking me directly in the eye, she takes one fruit snack, puts it in her mouth and says, "mmmmmmmm, good". Sam then proceeds to continue eating the enitre bag and with each one, looks me in the eye, puts the fruit snack in her mouth and says, "mmmmmm, good".
What a little stinker!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
While eating corn on the cob, Ian says his tooth hurts. Jeff and I look at each other and have the same exact thought. After getting a closer look at the situation, we have discovered that Ian has his first loose tooth!
Ian's tooth is just in the beginning of stages of being wiggly and it will probably still be a few weeks before it actually falls out, but you would've thought we won the lottery with our reaction. It was a very exciting moment at the Toppall house. I think even jumping up and down occurred. At one point, Sam started to feel her teeth and see if any were loose. Ok, I am just kidding about this last part, but it could've happened!
Our little boy is growing up. The tooth fairy has a compensation plan ready to go for Ian. The first lost tooth is special. The tooth fairy will be bringing Ian a wii game he has been wanting. After that, Ian will receive $1 for each subsequent tooth. It's a good thing that Ian is a very deep sleeper and the tooth fairy will have no problem delivering the goods. :)
Ah, to be 5 again! I remember like it was yesterday trying so hard to stay awake and catch the tooth fairy in action. I never was able to. I hope Ian isn't either.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The kids and I went to one of our favorite parks the other day (we took full advantage of the temps only being in the 70s that one week in early July) and met up with some wonderful friends. The kind we wish we could see more often, but between our schedule and theirs, we only average at the most once a month. It was then I noticed that Beth was no longer using her backpack. This backpack was always strapped to her back and ready with everything under the sun either of her two kids could need. I don't think I've ever known Beth without her backpack. I was in awe of this exciting step she was taking. I threw a few different scenarios at her and asked how she would handle this not having a her backpack. I loved her answers and felt like maybe this was possible.
After our wonderful outing, I went back home and told Jeff about Beth's bold, new move. Jeff wasn't as convinced that this was a good idea and was sure we were a minimum of 2 years away of giving up the diaper bag. I gave it some thought and decided to go for it! About a week later, I was at DSW and noticed their great selection of bags. Handbags with lots and lots of pockets. I fell in love with this hot, little pink number and haven't looked back since.
When I got home from DSW and was giving Jeff a tour of my new "mommy bag", I happily discovered it came with a lightweight, compact matching umbrella. How cool is that!?!? Now that is something my diaper bag never had.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
However, after driving the hour it takes to get to the orchard, we quickly found out there were no blueberries to be found. It was incredibly disappointing. My friend Stefanie had called the orchard on 2 different occasions to make sure this would be a good day to come out. The 2nd time she called, the woman on other end got a little snippy with her and said, of course we are picking blueberries right now. WHERE IS THIS HAPPENING I ASK?!?!?! And leave it to me to invite a big group of moms and their kids to come join us. Oy!! I have since heard from a few people that Butler's Orchard (where went strawberry picking) was the place to be and their blueberry bushes were amazing. One family I know picked 7 lbs of blueberries in one hour. Us? The blueberries we managed to find came to a whopping .42 cents. While we got change for a dollar on the blueberries we purchased, this was not my intention. We will know better for next year.
Our other activities over the past few Thursdays and Fridays have been lots of pool playdates and water playdates at friend's houses. The key to surviving this 100 degree weather and still give us the chance to be outdoors is to stay wet. And, I don't mean with sweat!!
Monday, July 12, 2010
We are now at the end (hopefully!) of surviving what was one of the worst stages ever....Sam not going to bed easily, waking up periodically throughout the entire night, and waking up at G-d awful early hours ready for the day. Yes, we got hit at every end you can imagine. It wasn't pretty, nor a whole lot of fun. If Sam could've been traded in for a new model, you would've found us in line patiently waiting for a little girl who knew how to sleep and for how long.
Unfortunately this wasn't just a week out of our lives, but more like 4 or 5. Her sleep habits had been getting worse and it was turning into an experiment of just how little sleep Sam could manage to live on. Unfortunately this meant that Jeff & I were along for the ride and surviving on the same amount of sleep. Normally a 12 hour a night girl, Sam was fighting us on going to bed (something she had NEVER done before) and would scream for an hour or two before finally going down. Then around 12:00am, she would start to wake-up every 20 minutes or so and scream until we came in her room and told her to lie down again. 20 minutes later, the same exact thing...all night long. If we got really lucky, Sam would then wake-up in the 5:00am hour and be ready to start her day.
Jeff and I would employ different tactics each night to see if anything would result in her (and us) getting some sleep. One night we just let her cry/scream it out (starting at 12:20am). We refused to go in there and waited until she exhausted herself and collapsed in a heap finally sleeping. She got the better of us and never did. She NEVER went back to sleep. She stood in her crib from 12:20am until 5:30am when we finally went in and rescued her.
Then the next night, we decided the minute she woke-up, we would get her out of the crib and bring her in bed with us. That resulted in her kicking me in the back from 3:40am until 5:30am. At 5:30am, she finally did go to sleep and slept in our bed until 8:00am.
For about 5 nights in a row, she decided she just needed to be re-covered and would stand and scream "mommy, cover me". I go in her room, cover her and then about 1.5 hours later, we repeat the process. Not bad, we were slowly making progress.
Somehow, Sam learned how to go sleep again. She no longer has a tough time falling asleep. She no longer wakes-up throughout the night. Our only issue left to resolve is the waking up at a ridiculously early hour. I thought I was an early riser, but she is putting me to shame! For the past week, Sam has been waking-up at 5:30am. Our pattern has been to go get her and bring her in bed with us. We all lie very still in the hopes that she will fall asleep again. Ha! I know this is wishful thinking. The other morning, Sam started rubbing my back. Who is trying to get who to go back to sleep!?!?!?!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Ian (yelling from the downstairs): IS THAT GARLIC BREAD?
Ian: CAN I HAVE A PIECE?
Me: Of course.
Ian: GLUTEN-FREE OR NOT?
Me: It's gluten-free.
A few minutes later, Ian comes upstairs to the kitchen.
Ian: My body is running low on the non-gluten-free garlic bread. We need to get more in this house right away.
While in the car, driving to Kids N Motion (a bounce place in Woodbridge).
The time on the clock radio says: 9:37am.
Ian: How much longer until we get there?
Me: About 15 minuntes.
Ian (he replies almost instantaneously): Well, we have 23 minutes to get there by 10:00.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
For the past 4 months or so, Ian has been a delight to be around. I enjoy spending time with him and miss him when we are not together. Really. He is funny, thinks quickly on his toes and has a very bubbly personality. I am in awe of the boy he is turning into and very proud of him for so many things.
The big ticket item is how he handles himself with Sam. She is really pushing his and everyone else's buttons lately. Ian could not be more patient and understanding of her temperamental ways. Most of the time he will willingly hand over the toy she is trying to grab from him and in fact, offer to teach her how to use it.
The other day we were at a park, having a picnic with some friends. Sam was throwing a temper tantrum over something or other and I was doing a pretty good job of ignoring her and eating my lunch. At one point, Sam stopped screaming/crying long enough to take a side glance out of the corner of her eye to see if anyone was watching her. All the moms I was with saw this and we busted out laughing. Ian quickly came to her rescue and said very sternly, "Hey, don't laugh at my sister. She is only 2." Got to love how he is already protecting her.
Ian goes out of his way to be considerate and if he sees me having a particularly trying morning with Sam, he will do things (like pick out his own clothes, buckle his car seat, brush his teeth without me reminding him, etc.) and then say, "I wanted to help you. Was I being thoughtful?"
Ian's manners are kicking in nicely automatically. I am very pleasantly surprised at how often he says "please" and "thank you" completely on his own. He is playing with the other kids incredibly well and does a great job of sharing and taking turns. He is more than fair and will always put himself last if he is picking the order. (Caveat: at least this is what I've observed. Maybe it is different when I am not around. I've already written earlier that I am worried I have an Eddie Haskell on my hands.)
I hope I don't jinx myself when I write this, but I can't remember the last time I had to scold him, or put him in time-out, or send him to his room. I don't remember his last meltdown or temper tantrum. It has been truly fantastic having him in our family.
I must not be the only one who thinks the changes in Ian's behavior is phenomenal. His bedtime officially keeps getting later and later. Six months ago, he had to go to sleep at 7:00pm. Then about a month ago, we officially made his bedtime 8:00pm. Just last week, we have extended it to 8:30pm. I guess we are all enjoying him so much we don't want him to go to bed.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A few examples of the almost 3 foot creature I am dealing with --
Ian never even asked or attempted to want to buckle his own car seat until he was close to turning 5. Meanwhile, Sam is constantly saying "try...try....try...try...try" to buckling it on her own each and EVERY TIME we get in the car. Have you seen car seat buckles? They are not easy for a reason! It wasn't meant for a 2 year old to do. Now I add in 10 extra minutes before going anywhere so that Sam can "try....try....try...try...and try some more" to buckle her own car seat. A few times she has actually gotten the chest strap on her own. This gets an instant round of applause from her, a big smile on her face and the words "good girl" coming out of her mouth giving herself praise.
We can't pass a bathroom in our house without her saying "peepee...potty...peepee...potty...". Then she proceeds to take off her clothing and diaper and get herself to the closest bathroom. She will arrange the potty seat on her own and attempt to climb up on top of the toilet. At which point, she will start taking all the toilet paper off the roll and use it to put in the toilet. She is not sure what to do with it, she just knows it needs to go in the toilet. Once the roll is depleted, she will yell "helpppppppppppppp" until you come get her down. Then she stands near the toilet and says "try....flush.....try....flush....try....". Oh, what fun!
When it is time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Sam runs to the table to take Ian's seat. Ian has had the same seat since he was 1 years old. Now that Sam is aware of our places at the table, she likes to start trouble and take his seat before he can get to it. When she thinks no one is looking, she will switch plates and cups with hers and take his.
In the morning, when I go to pick out Sam's clothing, she will follow me and say "no match" at whatever I am picking out. She will then stand there and point to what she wants to wear. Most likely it is a pair of pajamas or winter dress, or tights over her shorts. Yesterday, Sam went out wearing her shorts and monkey rain boats that come up to her knees. By the way, it was almost 100 degrees and sunny outside.
If her face is dirty and I go to wipe it, I get told "no clean....no clean....NO CLEAN!!!!" until I stop.
Most of the time when we look at her, she will give a very loud scream in return -- for no reason at all.
I am not able to wash the dishes or load/unload the dishwasher without Sam constantly being right under foot to help. She quickly runs for her step stool and before I can even turn on the water, she is in place to do it herself.
When I am in the kitchen and preparing a meal, she pops up next to me, will get a knife out of the drawer and start trying to cut something in half. It doesn't matter what it is, but if am cutting something, then she needs to be too.
This past week we had 3 really bad nights of her sleeping, or should I say, not sleeping?:
Night 1: Woke-up at 4:40am - up for the day, bright-eyed and ready to party!
Night 2: Woke-up at 12:20am - We went back in her room about 10 times telling her to lay down and go back to sleep. The minute we left the room, she would pop back up and continue screaming. At 1:00am, we decided to let her cry/scream it out until she exhausted herself and went back to sleep. She never did! Sam stayed awake the whole entire time, standing too and screaming non-stop.
Night 3: Woke-up at 3:40am. This time we got her out of her crib instantly and put her in bed with us. She laid there kicking me in the back until 5:00am and then finally fell asleep until 8:00am.
I keep telling myself every day (sometimes every hour) that is all just a stage. I know she will grow out of it and there will be something else waiting for me to deal with. I have started implementing time-outs. I think she understands what I am doing, because she will put her head down and not look at me when I am talking to her about what she did wrong.
I feel bad for Ian. He is so patient when it comes to her. Even when he is trying to eat his breakfast and Sam runs over and starts pushing him out of his chair. He will ignore her and attempt to continue eating. Or, Sam will pull whatever food he is holding in his hand and quickly shove it in her mouth. Poor kid. He deserves better than that. That is an instant time-out! At least it gives Ian a few minutes of peace to finish eating while Sam is serving her time.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is a good thing she is cute!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
On Friday, we went to our pool and had a great morning playing in the water. There were so many wonderful friends we ran into or planned to meet there. Sam is really enjoying her float & water wings and doesn't seem to mind not getting a lot of time at the baby pool.
This is a picture of Sam waiting to enter the pool. She put the swim floaties on her arms, the float around her neck and the bucket and watering can in each hand completely on her own. She stood like this for 10 minutes waiting for the pool to open.
Ian loves the big pool!
The following Thursday, was another wonderful water playdate at Ethan's house. It was the perfect outing before taking off early in the afternoon for my trip. The kids were beyond exhausted by the time I left and I felt good handing them over to Jeff. It was a great way to spend the morning!
It is really hard to believe June is over and we are 1/3rd of the way through summer. Let the fun times continue!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Therefore, my change for July is to keep trying. I've gotten some good suggestions. Put the cell phone in my glove compartment, put it in the back seat, keep it in my bag. All very good ideas, but it means the phone is out of my reach! Yes, I know, that is the point.
This change is kicking my butt, but it may be the most important change I make all year. That is why I have to succeed. Here we go again.