Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guess it's time to come clean...I let myself down

You might have noticed I haven't been around much.  Not here, not on Facebook, not on Twitter.

Or maybe you haven't noticed and you're just now thinking, "Oh yeah, I guess she has been MIA".   No worries.  I'm not offended.  Well,  maybe 11.7% of me is offended.  Whatever.

Here's the thing....

I've let myself down.  I am so completely disappointed in myself because of what I've done.  I vowed to not let it happen but I got careless and lazy...I believed I was immune to it simply because I wanted it badly enough.

Remember the 35 pounds I lost last year through nothing other than blood, sweat and tears?

Well, since October 2011, I've slowly put back on 20 of those pounds.  20 of those pounds that I worked my ass off for...TWENTY POUNDS, people!

It began with Cole and Bella's 7th birthday when I allowed myself to indulge in cake, one of my weaknesses.

And then came Halloween, then Thanksgiving...and then Christmas.  I was baking cookies on a weekly basis with the kids, eating fudge as if it were the most nutritious food in the world...just packing it in and not giving a shit.

And then reality hit, when I realized earlier this month that in celebration of my weight loss last year I had gotten rid of all my "fat clothes".  If I continued on this downward spiral, I'd have nothing to wear this summer and I refuse to go buy new clothes in a bigger size.

In addition, my doctor put me back on my cholesterol medication when my recent blood work revealed my levels have gone back up.  No surprise there, I suppose.

So, there you have it.  I've come clean.  And I'm ashamed and disappointed in myself.

It's back to the drawing board once again.

Instead of spending time on my ass in front of the computer, I've been trying to be more active.  I've gotten Jillian Michael's newest program, The Body Revolution, and it's kicking my fat ass all over the place....but in a good way.

And I've discovered that while I did gain some weight back, I still have plenty of muscle and strength, which feels amazing and empowering.

When my kids want to go to the park, I spend time doing walk/sprint intervals around the play area while they play instead of sitting on the nearby bench on my iPhone.   When they want to jump on the trampoline, I no longer see it as my opportunity to take a break and get on the computer.  I now jump with them.

I've been spending more time in the kitchen, engaging my kids in helping me cook healthy meals and getting away from all the processed crap.  They're learning about good fats, bad fats, how to make sure to eat all the colors of the rainbow and proper portion size.

I'm not obsessing about it with them by any means but I'm simply teaching them all the things I wish my mother had taught me when I was their age.

I can do this.  I've done it before and I'll do it again.

However, this will be the last time.  I will lose the weight necessary in order to be healthy and fit once again.

And I will keep it off.

That, my friends, is a promise.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well, it does make sense...kind of, sort of...if you're 5 years old

This is a conversation I overheard between the little twins yesterday....

Garrett: Hey Landon, did you know that killer whales can kill people?

Landon:  They do?

Garrett: Yeah but they only kill girls.

Landon: Why?

Garrett: Cuz it's a kill-HER whale. If it killed boys it would be a kill-HIM whale.

You gotta love the reasoning of a 5-year old child.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pouring My Heart Out...The Haunting Inner Dialogue of Every Parent

Most parents, especially mothers, are guilty of this. The haunting inner dialogue we have with ourselves about our children, that is.
  • Should I have put him on a time-out instead of simply giving him another warning?
  • Will they still love me if I stick to my guns?
  • Everyone else is letting their kids do it...why am I being such a hard-ass?
We are forever questioning our parenting skills, especially when we hear of someone who may be doing the opposite of what we're doing.

It leaves us plagued with self-doubt and anxiety to think we could be short-changing our kids in any way, shape or form.  We love them and want the very best for them, of course.

But with no parenting manuals or easy "how-to" guides, we are left floundering, constantly having conversations with ourselves over what's right and what's wrong.

Sometimes, this leads us to have discussions with friends...
  • "What do you do when Johnny refuses to do his homework?"
  • "How do you handle it when your kid disrespects you?
  • "Have you ever spanked Melissa for running away from you in a parking lot?"
However,  those conversations may have you even more puzzled and wondering about your parenting abilities more than they leave you with a feeling of encouragement and inspiration.

So what's a parent to do?  How do you know you're doing things right?  How do you know your children won't hate you when they're older for every single mistake you've ever made with them?

Oh, wait...did you actually think I might have the answers to those questions?

No way.  Sorry to say, I have no clue.

What it boils down to, I suppose, is that none of us can be absolutely sure that we're not causing irreparable damage to our children.

All it takes is a high-pitched shriek in their direction over something as simple as spilled milk and you witness their little spirits being crushed right before your very eyes.  Even a casual "What were you thinking?" is enough to reduce them into a heap of tears.

Yet, at the same time, an apology is worth a thousand words.  A gentle, loving hug accompanied by a heartfelt request of forgiveness can go a long way.  It can push things back into the right direction instead of continuing down that frightening path of the unknown, where you worry endlessly that there may be no second chances.

As disappointing as it is, no one can predict the future.  There is no way to to know how your actions or words today may affect your children tomorrow.

We were all wonderful parents....before we had kids, right?  And then reality set in and we suddenly discovered that this whole parenting gig is way more challenging that we ever could have imagined.

There is constant second guessing in every little decision we make.  We are always sizing up our competition, wondering if they know something we don't know about parenting.  We look at successful parents and strive to know their secrets.  We worry what others think.

But, in the end, we just have to do the best we can.  And hope that it's enough.

Those whispered "I love you's" when you tuck your babies into bed at night??  The random "Mom, you're the best" when you make their favorite meal??   The friendly "Mom, will you walk me to class today"??

Well, those are the things we need to cling to.  Those are the reminders that we're doing something right.

That's when your inner dialogue should be saying to you, "Hang in there.  Someday they will know that everything you've done for them has been purely out of love".

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Ugliest. Cake. Ever.

I really thought I could do this.  I mean, how hard could a Bakugan cake be to make, right?

Apparently, more difficult than I had imagined.

As I mentioned in my most recent post, Garrett and Landon had requested a Bakugan cake for their 5th birthday this past Saturday.

When asked to describe to me exactly what they wanted, they said, "We want a white cake with a ring of fire around it.  And the dragons,  El Drago and Skyrus."

Then I looked up pics of these dragons online and immediately went into panic mode.

Seriously?  Who the hell do they think I am...Martha Stewart?  Ina Garten?

I explained, "Guys, listen.  I really want to make a cake that you'll love.  But, honestly, I don't think I can make these dragons for you.  They are way too complicated."

With a twinkle in his eye, Garrett whined, "If you really really really love us, you'll make the dragons.  You want us to think you're a good mom, don't you?"

Okay, okay, so he didn't actually say that.  But the guilt was there.  Trust me, it was there.

So I promised I would do my best.

Three days later, the Bakugan monstrosity was complete...in all its ugliness.

Is that not the ugliest cake ever?

These damn dragons aged me by about 13.8 years.

The wings kept falling apart and cracking.  I must have made 6 different pairs of wings before I finally screamed, "Screw it" and downed half a bottle of wine.

The freakin' stars kept falling off the sticks.  Some of the dragons' spikes mysteriously disappeared.  The gold glitter dust looked horrible.

Tim said the fire looked more like orange and yellow grass and that El Drago looked stoned.  Is he my biggest fan or what?

I told him, "That's it.  I'm done.  Seriously,  no more homemade cakes.  This is killing me."

He whipped out the camera and took a video of me vowing to never ever bake a birthday cake so long as I live.  I won't post the video....mainly because I look like a complete mess with gel coloring all over my face and hands as I'm cursing like a drunken sailor.

But you know what?  The smiles on my boys' faces when they saw the finished cake definitely warmed my heart.

They LOVED it and deemed me "The Best Mom On The Planet".

Still....this best mom on the planet will be paying Costco next year to make their birthday cake.

I'm out.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Well, this is definitely one advantage of having two sets of twins....

Four kids.  Two birthdays.  Need I say more?

I mean, really.  Is that not a major advantage of having two sets of twins or what?!

And as if that's not awesome enough, one set of twins has a birthday in March and the other set is in October.   What that means is that I don't have to plan birthday party after birthday party...there's a nice break in between.

Garrett and Landon will be turning 5 this Saturday.  I'm having heart palpitations just thinking about the fact that my babies are half a decade old already.  When did that happen?

So....I'll be up to my neck this week in buttercream and fondant as I attempt my next culinary creation.

A Bakugan cake.  With a massive dragon sitting on top.

Yes, my kids have upped the bar....again.

Although, I think this time they surely have overestimated my cake decorating skills.

They keep saying, "Come on, Mommy.  You can do it.  You make awesome cakes."

But we shall see....

I may be MIA this week, needless to say.

You know, cake baking and decorating during the day while also trying to keep the kids...well, alive.  And then sipping some delicious wine after they're in bed, as my reward.

I'll definitely share pics once the creation from hell is complete.

Until then, wish me luck.  Lots and lots of luck.

I'm afraid I'll need it this time.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Let's talk books, shall we?

Since writing this post about grieving over a fictional character and seeing how many of you share my passion for books, I thought I'd give you the low down on some of my favorite books from the last month or two.

150 Pounds: A Novel of Waists and Measures (Kate Rockland)

This book was recommended by an online book club I'm a part of.  I loved the book so much I read it in TWO days!

It's the story of two popular bloggers (one fat, one skinny) and their desire to help others be more comfortable in their own bodies.

Shoshana, author of Fat and Fabulous, is friendly, outgoing and the type of person everyone loves.  Alexis, author of Skinny Chick, is a self-proclaimed bitch who is judgmental and lacking in friends.

They cross paths when they're both guests on Oprah discussing their views on weight.

The story is a little predictable but I still enjoyed it.  Definitely one of my favorites and a book I think most people, especially those who struggle with weight, will find likable.

Breaking the Silence (Diane Chamberlain)

I recently discovered this author and LOVE her!  Her books are always filled with twists and turns, so completely unexpected that I find myself thinking about the characters even when I'm not reading the book.

This story is about a semi-famous astronomer, Laura, whose father's dying wish is for her to look after an elderly woman whom she knows nothing about and has never even heard her name until now.

She feels compelled to honor her father's wishes but this simple act causes her life to completely unravel...her husband commits suicide and her young daughter, who witnesses his death, stops speaking.

While Laura deals with her grief, she must find a way to help her daughter and also continue to search for reasons on why her father was so insistent that she visit the elderly woman.

I guarantee this is a good read!!  You won't be able to put it down!  And the ending is so unexpected you will be flabbergasted!!

Home Front (Kristin Hannah)

This is another new-to-me author whom I absolutely love!  She's the one who wrote the book Night Road, which inspired the above blog post I mentioned.

This story is about a couple, Jolene and Michael, whose 12-year marriage is disintegrating right before their eyes and they can't seem to find a way to fix things.

Right in the midst of a breaking point, Jolene is deployed to Iraq to fight in the war and she has to leave her husband and their two young daughters.

Her best friend of 20 years goes alongside her to Iraq, as she is also a soldier.

While she is away, Jolene refuses to let her family worry about her as she describes life in Iraq in her e-mails to them as if she's on vacation.  But, on the inside, the war is changing her for the worst.

Tragedy strikes and she and Michael must face the consequences and find a way to move forward.

This is a must read, in my opinion!  I had a hard time putting it down!

It wasn't so much filled with unexpected twists and turns as it was more about the emotions and wanting so badly for each of these characters to fight harder to save their marriage and keep their family intact.

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes (Diane Chamberlain)

Yes, another book by Diane Chamberlain but I'm telling you all, she is an amazing author!!

This is another intriguing page-turner that will keep you wanting more.    I seriously asked Tim to get the kids McDonald's one night for dinner so I could finish the book.

This is the story of a young, naive girl named CeeCee Wilkes and how she falls in love with a man, Timothy, who changes the course of her life.

He and his brother convince CeeCee to help them commit a horrible crime, which suddenly goes wrong.  And CeeCee is left to clean up the pieces.  She lives out the rest of her life in fear, waiting to be found out and captured.

You will fall in love with CeeCee and find yourself reeling with emotions as you dive deeper into this book.  It's about doing the right thing, even if it means losing your entire world and everyone you love.

Okay, so now....I want to hear about the books you've read recently and couldn't put down!

And if you've read any of the books mentioned here, tell me what you thought about them!

Side note:  This is not a sponsored post or a post filled with affiliate links.  I was not compensated in any manner to promote any of these books.  I simply loved each of them and wanted to share them with my readers who also love to read.

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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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