Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Comparison at 2

We haven’t done this in a while, and I think it’s safe to say that around 2 is the time that babies stop looking like babies, and are officially toddlers with their own toddler faces. Doesn’t Liv look so old with her hair in a clip instead of in pony tails? Sigh…

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chilly Days! Chili!

Saturday was cold. Ok, it was like 62 degrees but it was breezy and I was freezing. We took the kids to the driving range for a bit, and then to the local ice cream stand that was closing for the season, so the combination of being outside and well, cold ice cream made me cold in my bones. I’d already had a hankering for chili, but after the cold afternoon, I was dead set on making it. The problem was that I had never made it before, and I wanted it to be really good, and to not suck. I read a ton of recipes on Saturday night, deemed them all just ok, and decided that I was just going to do my own thing.

I do this with recipes all the time and it drives my family bananas. My mother called me a few weeks ago to ask me for a good recipe to make with chicken thighs. I knew immediately what was good—oven fried chicken—the recipe is on the back of the Bisquick box. Except that I don’t really follow that recipe, only the concept and so, well, I told her just to use the recipe on the box. She found it to be delicious, so it worked out. What was my point? OH! That I can never give anyone a recipe.

So yesterday morning, after church, all 5 of us went to the grocery store. Hub and Bud went to get all of our weekly items, and the girls and I shopped for chili. All the canned tomato products were on sale, and so were organic beans. For a split second, I thought about buying a chili-o seasoning packet, but shook it off and went for spices instead. We came home and I got to work immediately, sautéing onion and garlic, crumbling in the ground beef, and chopping the last of the green pepper from the garden. I combined everything in my crock-pot, and seasoned, tasted and seasoned some more. I was surprised; it actually tasted like chili! I turned the pot on high, and let it go. I taste tested a few times, and each time I was just in awe because I really made chili! And it was good! Not the fooling myself in to thinking it is good because I made it kind of good, but really really good!

Hub is not a chili kind of guy and ate cream of potato soup instead, but he sampled it and deemed it delicious. If not for all the beans, he’d have eaten some too, he told me. And as we were eating he told me to write the recipe down. To remember this one because I’d be pissed if I couldn’t replicate it in the future. Write it down while it is still fresh in my mind. Indeed.

So, here is my chili recipe, of which I am eating seconds of for lunch today, and that I have even packed a container of for my parents because I am so proud of it.


2lbs of ground beef
2 medium sized onions (diced) (ish…I like A LOT of onion in my food)
1 large green pepper (diced)
2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped small)
2 tbsp oil
1 large can (29oz) crushed tomatoes
1 large can (29 oz) tomato sauce
1 can light red kidney beans (do not drain)
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
2-3 Tbsp Chili Powder
2-3 Tbsp Cumin
A few shakes of paprika
A few shakes of Frank’s Red-hot

1. In a large frying pan sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender
2. Add ground beef to frying pan and crumble; cook until brown.
3. When the beef is nearly brown, stir in green pepper and continue cooking
4. Remove beef mixture from heat and drain
5. In Crockpot combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans
6. Add beef and seasonings.
7. Stir very well and taste, adjust as necessary
8. Cook on high in the Crockpot for 3-4 hours
9. Enjoy it! Garnish with taco cheese if you want! Marvel at your greatness.

I think Hub was a bit annoyed with me as I ate my chili, and I kept proclaiming that WOW! I was really good! I really thought it would suck, but it doesn’t.

So yeah, now I have a chili recipe just in time for fall and winter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Knowing the Difference

Yesterday was a bad day. On the way home from my mother’s on Tuesday, Liv threw up in the car. Not once, but 3 times. She continued to do so through the evening and spent a restless night in our bed. Though she was better in the morning, she was still sporting a bit of a fever so I kept her from daycare, and I worked from home.

I was exhausted. Drained. I didn’t even give any thought to breakfast until after the big kids were on the bus and FIL asked if I wanted anything from Tim Hortons. I did, of course. My standard large black coffee. I should have stopped there, and made some oatmeal, but I asked him to get me a pumpkin muffin. You know, the one with glazed caramelized pumpkin seeds and the butter cream filling. I regretted it as soon as he pulled out of the driveway.

I took it as a sign though when he came back and they were all out. Instead he brought me a glazed pumpkin donut, which I took one bite of and threw in the trash. I was good. It was near 10 at that point, and I had a call to be on, so I drank my coffee and didn’t eat. And then I began dreaming of toaster waffles, plugging them in to my calorie app in different forms, essentially deciding that I wasn’t NOT having waffles and screw you life change. So, I finished my call, and I cooked 4 fricking waffles. I went light on the butter and syrup, but there you have it. 763 calories. I immediately felt bad in mind and in body. That guilt that I’ve been working hard to eliminate by making good choices, the heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach from eating something that was so dense and sweet.

It was near 11 by the time I ate those though, and save for a few goldfish crackers when I was doling them out to Liv, I didn’t eat until dinner time. We had a decent meal, beef tips and rice. I was hungry after dinner, so I ate one of the banana muffins I had baked while waiting for the big kids to get home, had some water and I went to bed.

Here is the difference in this occurrence to all of those in the past: I got up this morning and started over. Yesterday was a blip. I can start again. I don’t like the heavy feeling in my stomach. I don’t like feeling out of control, as tasty as that option is. I like being tied to my calorie counter and making choices that fit.

In the last 2 weeks I’ve seen a change in my appearance. My skin is better, less oily and has a glow. My pants fit a little bit better. The number on the scale is 6 lbs lower. I feel good about myself. I’ve worn heels to work, worn perfume and jewelry. All of the things I was tying myself to in my weekly wills were happening naturally just because I felt good about myself.

So I know this time is different. I can feel it. I’ve tasted success and have felt better about myself than I have in years. I’m sure there will be more blips, but I am committed to staying on the path. In only 2 or so weeks, I’ve come too far to look back now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Recap

We had my niece this weekend and I “camped” out in the living room with the big kids and her, waking up kind of cranky Saturday morning. A shower helped though, and I put on a nice outfit (pants too big, FTW!!) and took all 3 girls to Lucy’s gymnastics class. We arrived home to Bud and Hub cleaning our carpets and furniture, which was much needed, and he’d committed to cleaning his great aunt’s carpets Saturday as well, so we all went for the ride. The kids always have fun with Aunt Rita, regardless of the fact that she is 90-something. She is a semi-retired nun and still drives and does everything for herself. The kids really get a kick out of her (and I do too). She lives in the city, but still has a decent yard, and all 4 kids had such a great time running around while Hub cleaned.

We had a campfire in the yard Saturday night, probably our last of the year, and cooked hamburgers and marshmallows over it much to the enjoyment of the kiddos. It was an early night for Liv and Lucy though, Liv who had no nap, and Lucy who had a stomach ache. Lucy and I snuggled on the couch watching Fred: The Movie (OMG OMG) while Liv fell asleep.

I did a lot of work in the basement on Sunday, the intent being to get started on my Fall and Winter eBay items, but I ended up getting distracted by the volume of clothes I found for Liv down there. I had blindly assumed that 1 of the 3 bankers boxes was just the winter coat and snow pants. Oh. I was wrong. The boxes were jam packed full of clothes and I had also thrown some new items in that I picked up on clearance last year. AND THEN! There was another whole box of clothing that I somehow overlooked. So. Four bankers boxes. Jam Packed. Many clothes. Let’s not forget that she also got about 15 new outfits for her birthday in July. Oh yes. She did. I did pretty well with fitting it in her drawers though, and I got to be picky about what I kept. Those jeans with the weird bunchy waist? GONE. Any of those 1 piece rompers that seem so cute, but are really a pain in the ass (especially since she’s potty trained)? GONE. She has a fully stocked dresser now though. We are both pleased.

Hub had taken Liv and Bud to BJ’s while I was doing this, and Lucy stayed with me because she wanted to paint, so she was doing her thing while I was doing mine, and after some time, I realized that I hadn’t seen her in a while. I called through the house and outside for her to no answer. I started panicking for a second, but then decided to look instead of call. She was not in the playhouse, or on the swings or in the garage. She wasn’t in FIL’s room or the kitchen. I had quickly looked in her bedroom and I didn’t see her, but on second look, there she was, curled up sound asleep in her bed, under blankets and stuffed animals, just the coziest of cozy. I asked her when she woke up, how come she laid down and she told me it was because she was just so tired.

She’s had a long few weeks with the kindergarten transition. She went from 2 days a week in pre-school, getting up at her leisure, to being up and going from 6:30am until 7:30/8:00pm every day. Poor pumpkin.

We did all sleep in until about 9 Sunday morning though, and it was nice. I thought it was earlier, because my clock is usually 15-20 minutes ahead, (I know that is just so screwed up, but whatever) but do-gooder Bud had gone ahead and fixed it for me. My clock is now right on time! What a great kid! (eye-roll) Aaaanyway, Lucy was the only one who napped, but we did have a nice relaxing Sunday, complete with Belgian waffles for brunch and my famous sweet and sour chicken for dinner. The kids all went to bed early and Hub and I folded laundry while watching the season finale of Castle.

I’m looking forward to getting my eBay stuff up this week. I’ve got some things organized and ready to go. Let’s just hope new TV doesn’t get in my way.

Weekly Will

This week I *Will Not* treat Sunday as if it is a vacation day.

I still did ok for the day but definitely could have made some better choices.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Free for All- Where I declare this is NOT a Health Kick Blog

• Ok really- this isn’t going to become a health-kick blog. It is my focus right now though, so it will probably be a popular topic. I feel like I’m being accountable in sharing it with you all.
• And speaking of you all, your comments over these last few days have meant the world to me! To hear all of these “I’m with you sista!!” type of encouragements is really really great.
• I decided not to join the extra program at the gym. Why give them $40 to take pictures of me and weigh me bi-weekly when I can do it at home for free? It did come with a free personal training session, but I don’t think I am anywhere near being ready to work with a trainer, and if I was, I probably wouldn’t do it there. BUT what this means is that I’m going to take pictures of myself—maybe monthly though, and do weekly weigh-ins and just kind of go from there, but in a no pressure sort of way. Pressure makes me quit things. So does discouragement. So there’s that.
• Last thing about Health Kick- It’s really important for me to eat for dinner what the whole family is eating. I’m not going to make them something fabulous, and then just have a salad myself. I may have to have a very small portion of what they’re eating, but we are all eating the same thing. So far it’s been ok, because I have made smart choices during the day, but without some meal planning and shopping, I don’t know how long we can keep on this way.
• I’m hatching a proposal to be working from home full time by the end of the year. There are a bazillion reasons to cite, but the main ones are that *I* want to put my kids on the bus every day, *I* want to be home when they get home instead of 2+ hours later, and I’d like to not spend more than an hour of my day commuting. So, we’ll see. I’m a consultant, and my meetings are all internet and phone based. I think there is a good shot. Let’s also list as a pro the prospect of not being around all these office parties and their food all the time.
• I am planning on getting my Fall eBay listings up this weekend. It’s going to be very nostalgic looking at all of Bud’s tiny baby clothes. There will be a few keepsakes, but the rest is going. Well, if I can sell it anyway. I have stuff of Liv’s that I am selling too, but way way more of Buds because a lot of her things have been through 2 girls and they just aren’t sell-worthy.
• Oh and Hub and I are also going out at some point this weekend to celebrate our anniversary, which was this past Tuesday. 8 years of marriage is hard to believe. So that will be fun too. Well, if we can get someone to watch the kids. Nothing fantastic, probably just dinner and a movie. I’m hoping to engage him in some discussion about our planned mini-trip next month too. As in, where should we go, and exactly when? I’m leaning toward Toronto or The Poconos.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Our first PTA meeting of the year was last night, and aside from cheering my husband on in his duties, and signing up to chair some events (because I have ohsomuch time on my hands), and laughing it up with the principal for 2 hours, I also didn’t eat any cookies. No really, I, cookie junkie extraordinaire, did not eat a single bite. And you guys, it killed me. Nearly killed me dead. On most days, I would trade my children for a gooey fresh baked cookie or brownie, or a cupcake, or anything with frosting. Yet the platters upon platters of cookies that were certainly calling my name, remained untouched—by me anyway.

Hub was kind of put off by my reasoning. I have been tracking my food and calories and trying really hard to stay around 1500 a day to kind of set a baseline. I’m being conscious of what I’m eating. And after we ate dinner last night, chicken Kiev over white rice, by my (or my handy Blackberry app’s) calculations, I was at 1529. Over. And I worked out yesterday morning, so I felt like I was still in the “win” category for the day. And so there were no cookies. Hub is the kind of guy who thinks everything is a gimmick, so surely tracking my calories is just that. He was good though, and did not eat any cookies while I was sitting next to him at the table, but waited until I was up and walking around to eat a million of them.

I was starving when we got home at nearly 9PM, and I could have finished Liv’s Lunchable that was sitting on the table, but I didn’t. I put the kids to bed, watched Seinfeld, and went to bed myself. (Ok, I had a half glass of wine while watching TV thinking it would quell my scratchy throat.) It was probably better that I did got o bed though, because I woke up around midnight in a sweat, but shivering uncontrollably with muscle aches, and the glands in my neck were killing me. I was up on and off in a stupor through the night, and slept in until 6:30 this morning (skipping the gym). After a shower and some Advil, I feel pretty good today, though we’ll see what happens when it wears off.

The sleeping in caused me to have to make some choices this morning though, and I chose packing the kids’ lunches and a shower over packing my lunch bag, so after I dropped Liv off, I had no choice but the drive-thru. I did not get a donut or a buttery bagel, but an egg white flat bread instead. When a friend mentioned how GREAT we’ve done this week, so let’s order something greasy for lunch, I declined.

This is kind of epic. I never say no to cookies.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I’ve struggled with writing this post for a while now, and I am writing it 24 hours in advance to give me plenty of time to take it all back if I feel like it. If you are reading this, I didn’t chicken out. There is something to be said for that.

So anyway, here it goes.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a fat person. I don’t see someone who is obese. I see a woman who looks ok, if not for a few extra pounds and curves. I know what the scale says, and I know what my pant size is, and yet I check myself out and think “not bad…”.

But then I see photos and almost do a double take. Who is that bloated person holding my child…OMG, that is me?? And a few months ago, when we watched our amusement park day trip photos as a slide show on our TV, it just kind of hit me. That is me. That is what I look like. That is what other people see when they look at me.

And I was mortified.

So I identified that there was a problem, which is great, but what about doing something about it. I started paying attention to what I was eating, and in the process, was guilting myself about having a small piece of cake, or anything that wasn’t “healthy”. I wondered if other people were watching what I was eating too, and judging or mocking me, and I started sneaking things like Burger King in my car. I started feeling really bad about myself, which was new—I was always able to rationalize my behavior, to myself anyway, and I don’t know—just generally be ok with it. I started slacking at the gym, or skipped going altogether. I wallowed. I felt trapped; heavy under the pressure of wanting to do something about it, but feeling frozen on account of the pressure of how much work I actually needed to do. Do you understand that feeling? I used to try and explain it to Hub as it related to housework—I am a very poor housekeeper. I could see that there was so much to be done. I would know that it was necessary. But the sheer volume of work overwhelmed me to the point of panic. And I would crumble under the pressure, and basically do nothing.

A few weeks ago when we vacationed, something horrible happened to me. After spending the day at Hershey, in 94 degree temperatures, with humidity through the roof, my body started to fail me. I had been sweating all day; there was no avoiding it. As the day ended though, it had enough, and began to go in to survival mode. I started dripping buckets of sweat, was soaked to the skin, cold and clammy, shaky and struggled to make it out of the park and to the truck. It took over an hour of sitting, drinking water, 4 advil and air conditioning to regulate my body temperature and make me feel somewhat human again. I wasn’t evaluated by anyone or anything, but I think I actually overheated. Something that probably would not have happened if I had been taking better care of myself, and if I wasn’t carrying around so much extra weight, or at the very least, had made a commitment to exercise and health. It was embarrassing.

After that day, I had a sort of revelation. This cannot happen again. CAN NOT. How terrible for my kids to have seen me like that. How terrible for my husband to have to manage the 3 of them out of the park because of my issues. This cannot happen again. I mean, what if we had actually gone to Disney. What if something like that had happened to me there, on our vacation of a lifetime? CAN NOT.

And really, it’s not that much unlike my housework issues in the past. Once Bud was born, it sort of hit me. We can’t have all of this clutter. We just cannot. CAN NOT. We have a child, and the house needs to be clean. We chipped away at that pieces one at a time, until we were at a point where daily picking up and dishes etc were enough. I am still not the best housekeeper. I may let the dishes sit in the sink until tomorrow, or forgo sweeping the kitchen floor. But I generally keep a clean house. It’s not different, right? I need to chip away at this a little bit at a time, watch what I eat, work out in a productive manner. I need to be healthy for my kids.

That’s what it boils down to. It isn’t about the number on the scale, or about the size of my pants, it’s about general well being. Mine and my family’s. I need to set a better example. I need to get past the panic. I need to stop being lazy. I need to be a better me.

This isn’t to say that it won’t come without struggle, or that I’m going to go all motivational and shit from here, or that I’ll turn my life around in a split second and be 100% health kick all the time, or that it won’t totally suck. And I’m not going to say that I’ll never eat cake again.

But I may have to give it up for a while. And that’s ok. I can be ok with that.

So that’s my story. My name is Saly, and I’m a bit screwed up. But I am working on it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekly Will- Back to Basics

Yes- this week I am getting back to basics, and I am cracking down. Weekly Wills are as follows:

• I will work hard at the gym. Enough to break a sweat, enough to FEEL IT.
• I’m going to pay attention to what I am shoving in my pie-hole, and I will be counting calories.
* I will join the 90-day program at the gym with weigh-ins and photos. (eeesh)
• I will come clean and tell you guys what’s been bugging me lately. (aside from the usual banalities)

So far today, I was under productive at the gym, but have done well with what I have eaten. Breakfast was a Fiber One Bar with a cup of coffee, and then yogurt when I got to work. I’ve also snacked on some Special K crackers, and 2 dark chocolate miniatures. Lunch will be a salad, with chicken, and I have some rice cakes and a granola bar for later. Dinner is up in the air right now.

I packed my lunch today and did not bring any cash with me. I am tied to my lunch bag.

Friday, September 10, 2010


All of our drawers are heavy and over packed after a week of cooler weather warranting jeans and long-sleeved shirts. It’s getting to be the time where I take stock of what still fits from last winter and figure out what we need for this winter. I love doing the seasonal change out. Folding things and putting them away for Liv, or in boxes to eBay, or in to our donation bin. The best part comes next, which involves pulling out Lucy’s old clothes to fill Liv’s drawers, and also pulling out the bins that house all the clearance finds I have found over the last year and bringing those out.

This, along with Fall shopping, has been pretty standard in our house for a while. I get lots of things on clearance, at consignment or on eBay, but I also put aside a small budget for buying things in season like jeans, pajamas, and a few other necessities for each kid. Lucy and Liv were very lucky this year in receiving a ton of fall clothes at their birthday party in August. They also both got several gift cards that I used to buy new shoes and jackets. Lucy needs a few things; Liv is set.

Bud is not though, and Hub and I have been arguing over his wardrobe these last few days. Most of Buds pants (of the wind and athletic style) from last year still fit him; they are size 6/7. His jeans though are a size 6 and just reach the tops of his shoes, so he needs jeans. He also has a few shirts from last year that will fit him this year. When discussing the shopping that I plan this weekend, I told Hub that I would like to get Bud 2 pairs of jeans, and 5 or 6 long sleeved shirts. Nothing extravagant, you know? But Hub disagrees. His points: He is a boy. He does not need to have 10 shirts in his rotation. 5 shirts is plenty. Plus even in the dead of winter, he should be wearing t-shirts on gym days because he will be sweaty. He certainly has plenty of t-shirts from this summer. And the jeans still fit him. I should wait to buy new jeans until he has gotten all the wear he can out of these jeans! I should go out and get a few new shirts to add to his rotation, and that is it.

Obviously, I disagree. Compared to my girls, Bud wears through his clothes pretty fast. Pinholes become full holes quickly. Elbows rub and get worn out. Knees wear out. I would rather have a stock of clothes on hand and not have to worry about just running out for a few shirts. I also don’t want my kid being The Kid Who Always Wears The Same Clothes.

I have issues with the way my kids are dressed that stem from not having very many clothes myself when I was a kid. I don’t ever want my kids to feel like they’re less than the other kids because of their apparel. And I know that clothes don’t decide what kind of person you are; however, kids seem to think otherwise. And I know he is only a 1st grader and that probably nobody (aside from the teacher) is noticing his clothes. It’s just hard for me, you know?

Hub says get him a few shirts, wait on the pants, and to not even get him started on Lucy and her wardrobe. He gives me much leeway with her. She has more clothes than the entire family combined. And if I want to get in to it over Bud, than we can get in to it about her as well.

I say hmph. This is a situation where I just want to get my own way and be done with it. I’m not looking at spending and exorbitant amount of money. I’m not looking at buying things he doesn’t need. I just….just…

Well I want to cross my arms and stomp my feet and win this one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vacation in 7 Bullets

1. 5 hours in the truck with 3 children. They were actually pretty decent on the ride down. They had movies and games plus it was very early in the morning, so the baby conked out. But the ride back was BRUTAL. There was fighting and whining and crying and NOBODY slept. Except for Hub that is, because he always sleeps in the car. (grrr) We took his truck because the AC is out in my mini-van so the kids sat 3 in a row in the back seat. NEVER AGAIN.
2. Planning an activity right on the first day worked out very well. We stopped at Indian Echo Caverns for the tour and the kids were able to unwind on the playground before we went on the tour. We really enjoyed it too.

3. I tweeted about sucking it up and calling the hotel to get the internet deal that had expired before we booked, and I was able to get a bit of a discount there. When I checked us in, I was talking to the front desk about where we were from and it turned out that he was from our hometown. He gave me more of a discount because he was ‘taking care of his own’. I was so pleased that I didn’t even complain when we lugged all of our stuff up to our room to find that housekeeping had just started cleaning it. We were moved immediately, so it wasn’t a huge deal anyway. Just the re-carrying of all the stuff was annoying.
4. We decided to do Chocolate World that evening as well because it was still early and they were open until 9. The children---they were wild. Chocolate combined with the crazy from the car ride….um, yeah. But it was fun. They got to pretend they worked in the factory and everything. Plus the infamous chocolate factory (FAKE!! FAKE!!!) tour, and we were pretty happy.

5. Hershey Park was open from 10-8 and we spent the entire day there on Wednesday. It was HOT. Like 94 humid degrees hot. The kids had a fabulous time on the rides and in the water park. Hub and I enjoyed ourselves as well, but by the end of the night, I was overheated and crabby. The kids were exhausted too.

6. I would have to say that a 3-day mini-trip is the way to do it with small children. I am glad we didn’t do Disney, because Liv was very hard to handle. They were all very good, but we were glad to be home and back to the usual routine.
7. Now to look forward to a mini trip with Hub in October.