Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Walk

We woke up to a Winter Wonderland today. It’s just the beginning of Winter, so I’m loving it right now. It won’t be the same story come mid January. I’ll be over the snow by then. I’ll be prematurely dreaming of warmer Spring days.

Today is a school day for Monkey. It’s also PJ Day at school. Monkey is wearing his new favourite pjs today. Warm fleece ones. He’s going to be comfy all day long.

I bundled everyone up and we headed out to the bus stop. Monkey was super excited about PJ Day, the snow and getting to wear his snow pants. He complained as soon as we were outside; demanding to know why we can’t be like the other families at the bus stop. All the other kids get drove to the bus stop. I have never driven Monkey. We walk. It’s ten minutes away on foot. Some of the kids who get driven by their parents live even closer than us! Crazy.

Since we were out anyways, Muffin and I keep walking after Monkey was safely on the bus. We ploughed through the snow on the sidewalks with the snow whipping at us. Monkey was protected by a stroller cover. He was so nice and toasty warm, he fell asleep on our walk. I think I over bundled myself. Pushing the stroller through the snow was hard work. I forget every year just how hard it is to push the stroller in the snow. I think I want to get a sled more than ever now. Pushing the stroller, plus all the layers of clothes I had on, I sweated up a storm.

I wish I had taken my camera along for the walk. I went over the creek and the scene was beautiful! The rushing water (higher than it’s been all year) with all the snow covered trees bending over it. It was breathtaking. I enjoyed walking around and looking at the beauty of snow. I might as well enjoy it now before I’m sick of it.


View from my living room window. So pretty!

Muffin and I went 3.2 miles. I finished up our walk by shovelling off pathway, step and porch. There really isn’t enough snow on the driveway to shovel it just yet. We have a dirt driveway. I tried to shovel it, but the rocks and stones just come up. I stomped on the snow to pack it down.

Now to wait until naptime and I can empty out our storage closet to find our Christmas stuff. I want to get our Count Down to Christmas out and on display. Our advent calendar is getting hung up tonight so we can start our daily activities. This weekend, hopefully, we’ll get our tree up. We need to buy new lights for the tree. I guess we could put the tree up and just hold off on decorating it until we have new lights.

Anyways, I think it’s time for me to make a lovely hot apple and cinnamon tea before lunchtime.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Down and Proud

I’m down two pounds! Yay! And here I thought I had a fairly bad week. I ate out three times (two trips to the city and a night when I had nothing thawed out from the freezer). I had more lattes in the past week than I have in a couple of months. Darn McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s coming out with vanilla lattes; one of my weaknesses. Since the nearest Starbucks (still my favourite place) is in the city, 45 minutes way, I don’t get my latte fix very often. Mom and I both got McDonald cafĂ© coupon books in the mail; we’ve been putting them to good work. I’m sure we won’t go as much as soon as those two for one coupons are done.

We had the Santa Claus parades going on in our surrounding towns this past weekend. I ate a fast salad at my mom’s house on Friday so we could make it to her town’s parade in time. Saturday, I served sandwiches and raw veggies before Monkey and Hubby left to help decorate Monkey’s school float. My parents, Muffin and I watched our town’s parade; including me running through the parade to get a picture of Monkey and Hubby on the school float. They were, of course, on the opposite side we were on. So I ran across the street, through the parade, to get my picture, and ran back through the parade to where I left Muffin and my parents. Running through the parade (and embarrassing Hubby a little, I think) almost felt like a small victory. I would have never ran nearly 40 pounds ago. I would have just complained about being on the wrong side of the road. It almost feels like it should be mundane, but it felt good.

(kinda dark and hard to see, but that's Hubby walking next to the float. The kid at the end with the reindeer antlers is Monkey. By this point, he was looking so sad. He's was over the joy of the parade.)

I also learnt how proud my parents are of my weight loss journey. Hubby and Monkey ended up walking home from where the parade ended. My parents gave Hubby a lift to the van. On the way, Hubby said my parents were talking about how they can see my weight loss, they see how my face is thinning out and my waist is back. Mom was so happy to have bought me a pair of smaller pants. They want to treat me to some new clothes. According to Hubby, Mom wants to buy me pants in the next size down so I’m motivated to get into them.

I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, but I am so touched that they’re proud of me. I’m no different from most people…I long for the approval and praise of my parents; even as I enter my 30’s. So hearing this information from Hubby has totally lifted my spirits.

I know I’m on this journey for me. I am number one in this. I want to do this to be healthy; so I can live a long life. Number two on my list are my boys. I want to be able to keep up with them; to teach them how to live an active, healthy life; to be here for them and their children someday. Number three on my list is shallow, but I’ve shared this much, why stop? Number three is Hubby. He’s lost so much weight and is looking amazing; the muscle building is starting, the six pack is starting to form. I know he’s going this so that he’s healthy, but I like to think he’s doing it so I think he’s hot (which I always have; always will). I want to be hot for him too. Shallow thinking, huh? I also wouldn’t mind feeling comfortable in a bathing suit. We’re planning on going back to Disney World in 2013 or 2014, I wouldn’t mind being able to wear a bathing suit at the pool without the body issues.

And I’ve gotten off topic…Yes, I’m on this journey for me; but it still feels good to know my parents are proud of me.

At my meeting last night, we talked a little about the change coming to the Weight Watcher’s program. It doesn’t sound like a huge change, which is good. Now next Monday (when the changes take place) seems so far away. It feels like Christmas. Weight Watchers has placed a brightly wrapped present under the tree and I can open it until Monday. I can’t shake the present, I can’t rip a little to peek, I can’t try to peel away the tape to unwrap and wrap back up; all things I used to do when I was a kid. I hate surprises! I have to know everything right away. This week is going to be so long now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gearing Up

Are you on Facebook? I don't know many people who aren't; aside from my dad and father-in-law, who have pages done up by their wives so the wives could get farther in their Facebook games. Anyway, if you are on Facebook, I'm sure you've seen this floating around:


I got a good giggle out of it when I saw it for the first time.
It also got me thinking about the end of the year and the beginning of the next. It's all coming up soon. In fact, I have my new advent calander almost finished. It's going to make #3 in my house. I love them! The boys have those cheapie chocolate ones (because all kids love those); we have the Countdown to Christmas tree I made three years ago (this one here); and now my new one someone got me last year (this one here). I think it might have been my mom who gave it to me. I didn't bother making it last year since Christmas was over by the time I recieved it. So I sat down yesterday to make it. I also came up with a list of activities for us to do everyday.

1. Sing Christmas Songs
2. Make a pipe cleaner chain for the tree
3. Make Candy Cane Reindeer (I have been doing these every year since I was about six. Love them!)
4. Put decorations in the living room window (handmade snowflakes and stuff)
5. Write letters to Santa (I have two sets of special stationary just for these letters. One for the boys and one for Mommy to scrapbook. Found them for $1.50 each, including a pencil and an envelope)
6. Make Christmas cards
7. Read Christmas books
8. Make and Play Pin the Nose on the Snowman
9. Try a new holiday drink; Peppermint Shake
10. Watch a Christmas movie
11. Bake Christmas cookies
12. Drink hot chocolate with marshmellows
13. Make hand reindeer crafts
14. Dinner in front of the Christmas tree, picnic style
15. Make Christmas gifts for special people
16. Go for a night walk to look at Christmas lights and decorations
17. Make a pinecone bird feeder
18. Donate toys to needy kids
19. Make Christmas Rice Crispy squares
20. Wish a stranger a happy holidays
21. Drink some eggnog
22. Wrap teacher's Christmas gift
23. Make a snowflake craft
24. Play Christmas music all day
25. Enjoy family!

I can't wait to start doing all our fun activities. Hubby knows what the activities are, but they're a complete surprise for the boys.
I love this time of year!
I'm not nervous about the food linked with this holiday either. My game plan is to focus on family, building traditions and document every step of the way. Yes, I have some baking planned. I think it's important to spend that time with the boys. I just don't have to eat all that baking. Whatever isn't eating within a couple of days of baking will be given away to the neighbours. I've been giving baked goods to our neighbours since we first moved in. And if Hubby gets the meat, cheese and nuts gift basket he got from work last year again this year, we'll be giving that away too. It's all the processed meats, cheeses (which are amazing, but too much for us) and different kinds of nuts (chocolate covered, candy covered, salt covered).
I'm looking forward to seeing Christmas through the eyes of my boys. I'm looking forward to seeing Monkey and (dragged along) Hubby in the Santa Claus parade on Saturday. I'm looking forward to decorating the tree, the house and sticking Muffin in an elf costume just because I can. Last year, he was dressed like Santa, but I bought it too big and the pants kept falling off him. I bought, in October, 3-6 months, since he was 3 and a half months old by Christmas. I didn't know my teenie, tiny baby would stay teenie, tiny for a long time. He was still floating in 0-3 month clothing by then. Monkey grew super fast; and he still is! Muffin, I think is pretty normal, but he feels so much tinier than his brother. By 14 months, Monkey was 30 pounds and as tall as most 3 year olds. Muffin is 14 months right now and weighs a mere 21 pounds. Huge difference in my boys, other than their faces. They look so much alike, other than one has brown hair and the other is a blond.
I'm totally rambling now.
I'm sorry.
Like I was saying, I am looking forward to every bit of Christmas. The food is in the background. It's not a concern at all. I am worried about getting in enough exercise though. I'm just going to have to make sure I make the time. Schedule it in, if I have to. I have to work hard at making my new, perfect on me right now, jeans a little too big come Christmas time. It's a little mini goal I've set for myself.
Now that my Christmas stuff is almost ready to go, I want to start thinking of the new year. I don't believe in resolutions, but I do believe in making goals. I'm going to have to sit down and determine what I want to achieve in 2012.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shopping Sprint

Er...Spree...
Ha!
Yesterday started out innocent enough. Monkey had a doctor appointment in the city. I knew I wanted to got to Bonnie Togs. I had recieved an email about their Carter's sale. I love Carter's for Muffin. Most of his 0-9 month clothes were Carter's if they weren't hand me downs from Monkey.
My mother volunteered to come with the boys and I.
We did the doctor appointment first, followed by Bonnie Togs. $200 plus dollars later (mostly for Monkey even though we went for Muffin), we ended up at the new Michael's. $70 later (mostly on sale items and $1.50 stocking stuffers) we were on our way to the mall.
We were only going to the mall so the boys could visit Santa. He wasn't there. He's only doing weekends for this month. Shoot.
So my mom and I wandered into Old Navy. I grabbed a pair of jeans, a couple of shirts and a dress to try on. The jeans were too big. Too big! I had to ask for a smaller size. I couldn't believe it. And, get this, they are the slim flare jeans, Slim! I look ridiculous in skinny jeans, as I shared before, but rocked the slim ones.
Please note, the photo is a stock one found online. It is not me...yet.

My mother bought the jeans for me and one of the shirts. She was going to put them under the Christmas tree, but I pointed out, with some hard work, the jeans might be too big for me come Christmas. I should get my wear out of them now.
We both did some damage on more clothing for the boys at Old Navy too. $300, including my clothes and an outfit for my best friend's baby girl, was spent there.
It ended up being a very expensive day. And the bulk of it was on clothes! And most of those clothes were on sale! And all of those clothes are all going to get outgrown. At least the clothing we picked up for Monkey can get passed down to Muffin someday. I did pick up some clothes to put away for the boys. Stuff that they can wear in the Spring. Some of the clothes picked up for Monkey will get put away for his birthday in March. But still; it was a lot of money to drop on kids clothes.
I'm happy to report that I did very well eating out. I had a salad, dressing on the side, for lunch. Tip: don't put your dressing on your salad. Just dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before stabbing at your salad. You get the taste of the dressing with every bite, but you don't use very much at all.
Dinner, we picked up stuff at a grocery store. Monkey and Muffin shared a small cheese, meat and crackers tray. Mom and I had turkey subs.
And I am going to end this post with a little note that I am so excited to get dressed up for Hubby's Christmas party. I have a dress in my closet that I can't wait to wear. I never thought I would be excited to wear a dress. I'm not looking forward to wearing the shapewear I'll have on under it, but the dress it's self, I am.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Walking

I've become a walker. I stopped walking a long time ago when I bought my first car. I saw no need to walk, even if it were just to go down the street, when I could drive there.
Do I have a car now? Yep. And a van. We're a two vehicle family. Hubby takes the car to work in the city and I keep the van here at home with me because it has the car seats in it.
Before my weight loss journey started, I hardly ever walked anywhere with the kids. I drove to were ever we were heading. Now, we try to get in a walk every day.
I thought my oldest would hate going for walks. He wasn't used to them. And there are some days he complains. But for the most part, he's totally on board. I try to make it fun for him. We hit the trails and look at nature. We take pictures of our travels around town. We go to stores and I let him check out whatever he wants.
Today he decided we were going to walk all the way to Zellers. We hit the trail to get halfway there. Monkey loves the trail. We pass over an old train bridge. He loves stopping to look at the water.

 Today was cold, so we were all bundled up. I'm going to have to get a scarf or something to go over the little one's nose, cheeks and mouth.

We stopped to check out a bunch of ducks and geese who were enjoying the water near the trail. Why aren't they down South yet? Don't they know the snow is on it's way?


 When we got to Zellers, we wandered around to let ourselves warm up. It's cold out there today. We, of course, checked out the toy area. Today is the last day for the buy one Fisher-Price toy and get another on half off sale. There was one Little People nativity set left.
I wanted one last year, but waited too long and couldn't find one anywhere. I was so happy when I saw them a few weeks ago. I knew I was going to pick one up this year. So when I saw only one sitting there on the shelf, I decided to grab it. And since the sale was on, I grabbed a Little People farm play set to put away for Muffin for Christmas. Trying to balance the two big, bulky boxes on the stroller made me wish I had driven.
We walked home with those boxes balanced right above Muffin's head.
I'm happy to add that I was able to balance those boxes all the way home without them crashing down on Muffin's head.
Now I can't wait until we put up the Christmas tree so I can set out the nativity set under it for the boys to play with. I'm sure we'll have pieces missing within minutes and extras, like cars and trucks, around it, but that's okay. Monkey is in a Catholic school this year. He's learning about the Christian faith and is excited to have a baby Jesus in the house, "even if he is just plastic," as he declared.

Right before it started snowing on us, we saw a ton of geese in the field across the street from our house. We live in town, but it's a small enough town that we had a corn field to look at all summer. Now it's a goose field. There must have been at least a hundred of them, if not more. All noisely driving my poor cat crazy. He was glued to the living room window, watching all the birds he couldn't chase.


That's just an example of the birds. I couldn't get the whole field into one picture without loosing the birds.
They stayed until the snow started falling heavily.
Birds, birds, birds today. Fly south, birds! You're going to freeze your tail feathers off if you stick around here.
The boys and I ended up walking 3.7 miles this morning.
Tomorrow, after getting Monkey safely on the school bus, Muffin and I will go out for another walk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gross to Me - Yum to Them

Yesterday I made this for lunch.


For the boys, not for myself. I had a bowl of Campbell's Healthy Request soup followed by an apple.

Now look at the back of the box...Look at the calorie line...

300...180...270...What's that 300 for? I don't understand. I've shown this picture to a few people now (and posted it on Facebook). No one seems to know what that extra 300 means. And everyone seems shocked to see 1/4 of the box is so many calories. One of the many reasons I don't eat mac and cheese anymore. It's just not worth it to me. I've also cut the boys from having mac and cheese from once a week (or twice if I was being lazy; shame on me) to once, maybe twice a month. They share about half a box. Sometimes with a hot dog too, but normally peas for the little one and some sort of fruit or berries for the older one.

And even though I don't touch that orange artery blocker anymore, this one enjoyed it so much his hair was orange when he was done.
 

And this one loved having Cars mac and cheese in his Cars bowl. Although he didn't finish it all.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tired, But Happy

Last night was a late one. With a morning that came way too early. The little Muffin was up past 1am last night. Normally I would stay up with him, but he only wanted his Daddy last night. One would think I would go to bed and try to sleep. But I'm not wired that way. I stayed up until I knew Muffin was sleeping peacefully in his crib. I can't sleep unless everyone else is. I don't know why.
Today is a daycare day, so my alarm was set for 5:30am. I think I might be sneaking a bit of a nap this afternoon with the little ones.
In my tired state, I picked out clothes for each of my boys; Monkey asking to wear one of his Batman shirts. Monkey gets dressed his self while I dress Muffin. We all come downstairs, the boys stand next to each other and I notice this....



I dressed them alike without even realizing it! Grey tops, blue jeans and orange socks. Only difference is Monkey's black under shirt and Monkey's white collared one.
Now, being the shutterbug mommy I am, I grabbed the camera and we had a mini photo shoot. Pictures of the boys together, pictures of them apart, pictures of Monkey's tummy because it looks funny. His belly button area is swollen. We have a doctor appointment coming up.
In in the end, I am glad I dressed the boys alike because now I have some cute pictures to scrap and maybe hang up on the wall (if I ever do get pictures up on the wall. We've been in the new house for four months now and there's still nothing up).
Weight in was last night. Down 1.4! Yay! I'm steadily losing one pound per week roughly. I'm good with that.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Foods


How often do you try new foods?
How about new recipes?

I used to be one of the pickiest eaters out there. I wouldn't eat much out of my comfort zone as a kid, a teen; and dare I say, as a young adult too.
I've said it before, and I am sure I will say it again, I didn't learn how to cook until I was 24-25 years old. I had a desire to be able to provide for my family. That meant learning how to roast a chicken instead of ordering in KFC. I learnt how to make pork chops with a rice medley and veggies instead of cracking open a couple boxes of KD. I learnt how to make fresh orange glazed chicken instead of zapping the same thing found frozen at the grocery store in the microwave.
I've come a long way from where I used to be.
And with that came the desire to try new foods.
And with that came the desire to try new recipes.
I have cookbooks galore now. I owned two before I learnt how to cook. Cooking for Rookies and Cooking for Kids. I could barely make anything from them. Now I have about 20 books. I love pouring over them, looking for something new. Or even finding an old favourite we had forgotten about.
I love my Weight Watcher cookbooks because they offer yummy recipes and the points are right there. I don't have to calculate them; although that isn't a hard task to do. I have the newest cookbook that came out last December when the new Points Plus program got started. And I've been collecting the small books that have been coming out with the change of the season. They're found in the magazine area of your local stores. They offer quick and simply recipes. Most are 4 or 5 ingredients and less than 30 mins to make. I have Winter, Spring, Summer and now Fall 2011. I flip through them all the time.
I also love the recipes on Weight Watchers online. Tonight's supper is from there. I am making a favourite of Hubby and mine. Slow Cooker Potato and Canadian Bacon Chowder. It is so good! And totally comforting. It's a staple recipe here in my house.
I try to use a new recipe each week so Hubby and I don't get bored. Last week, I made a mixed mushroom and feta pizza. It's a Weight Watcher recipe from the Fall 2011 book - I really should take a picture of it for those who have no idea what book I'm taking about. It called for roasted tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce. I didn't have any on hand, but I did have a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I tossed them into my bullet to make my own sauce. Wow! I am never buying pizza sauce again! From now on, I use fire roasted tomatoes zapped in the bullet. Amazingly good. I also added garlic to my pizza only because Hubby and I are huge garlic fans. We're making the same pizza on Friday night, but we're adding spinach to it.
Last night, I tried my hand at stuffed tomatoes. Again, very yummy! Made a great side to the steak Hubby grilled up.
I have rack of lamb in my freezer, awaiting me to try out a new recipe next week to cook it up.
Are you inspired to try a new food or recipe this week?

Life

Life has happened.
I got caught up in daily chores and living.
I haven't taken the time to post.
Blogging is at the bottom of the pile everytime.
Taking care of the boys; taking care of my self; cleaning the house and everything else in life comes first. And I'm okay with that.
So, the weigth loss journey continues. I couldn't help myself this morning and stepped on the scale. Today is weigh in day. I normally avoid the scale all day long until about 20 minutes before my meeting. Then I hop on and see what my scale says in comparison to the scale at my meeting. Today, I stepped on that scale almost as soon as I woke up. My scale says I'm down about a pound. Now to wait until tonight's meeting to see what their scale says.

****

On another note, I went shopping the other day. I went looking for a pair of jeans for Muffin. He's has a growth spurt and suddenly his pants are all too short. I managed to find some pants with the adjustable waist. Perfect for my super skinny, tall boy. I can buy size 18 months to get the lenght, and then tighten the waist so they don't fall around his ankles whenever he moves.
While I was out, I looked at pants for myself. Most of my pants are falling down around my ankles too. I've read many blogs about women who never would have thought they could fit comfortably in skinny jeans. Then one day they decide to try on those dreaded skinny jeans and discover they fit beautifully. Inspired by those women, I grabbed a pair of skinny jeans to try on. Maybe my "wow they fit" day had come too.
Yeah. Not so much.
But that's okay.
I got a good laugh at myself. And I know my day will come. Someday I'll fit comfortably in skinny jeans.
Or maybe I won't. Maybe I'm not a skinny jean sort of woman. That's okay too.
I ended up walking out of the store with pants just for Muffin this time around. Maybe next time, I'll walk out with something for myself too.
Until then, Hubby is just going to have to go on being embarassed by my baggy bottom.

****
Speaking of Hubby; I just want to put it out there how proud I am of him. He started his weight loss journey about the same time as I did. He doesn't go to Weight Watchers with me, but he eats the way I do and he exercises like a mad man. He is now 45 pounds lighter than he was last year. His clothes are falling off him too. I'm very proud of how far he's come.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Week, Another Pound



My 4 day hoilday was awesome. I haven't been up north in so long, and yet the memories were just rolling in. It was great to see my sister, see her house and for her to see the boys.
I tried to be good. I didn't touch the Halloween candy they had sitting out. But I did the peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes my sister baked. I only had one and I shared it with Muffin. He only had the chocolate part though.
We ended up eating out a lot more than we thought we would. We planned on one dinner out and ended up eatting out for one meal every single day. Twice on Sunday; once for lunch with my sister and her boyfriend and then again for dinner on the way back home. Monkey asked nicely, then stayed awake to keep reminding us, to go to McDonald's in Orangeville. They have a play place there. Muffin was more than happy to eat most of Monkey's Happy Meal while playing with Monkey's toy as Monkey played. I did get Muffin a carrot muffin to eat, which Monkey ended up eating....Hmmm...Did you follow that okay? I realize it can get confusing to who I am taking about, especially since I call one of my boys Muffin and then write about giving him a muffin that the other boy ended up having.
Why do I call my boys Monkey and Muffin? Well, Monkey has been Monkey since I was pregnant with him. I've always called him that. He's gotten a few more nicknames along the way, but Monkey has stuck. As for Muffin; he used to be Nugget when I was pregnant. Once he was born and got his name (I went into the hospital knowing he was going to have one of three picked out names), a shorten version of his name followed by muffin became a nickname. So here I just drop his real name and keep the muffin part.
When we went to Disney World a couple of months ago, some people smiled as I counted kids (our two plus Hubby's older two) and called out "A, B, C and D, let's go" and all four kids would follow. It was easier than calling out their names. Good thing we have some very well behaved kids. Most of the time.
And now I have gotten completely off topic.
With a lack of exercise and all the restaurant food I enjoyed this past weekend, I went in to weigh-in a little nervous this week. I was surprised to see I was down a pound! Now I'm only 45 pounds away from my goal and 7 pounds away from getting my next charm for my bracelet.
The ladies who run the show at my meetings are really awesome. My leader is wonderful. She's super funny, personable and keeps me motivated. The other women who do the weigh in, put out the Weight Watchers merchanise and take money are motivational too. The one who weighed me in yesterday celebrated my little victory with me and then reminded me to be good this week. Get in my exercise and eat well or my weekend might creep up and bite me in the bottom. She reminded me to keep focused.
These ladies seriously rock.
Hubby asked me if I would look for a job with Weight Watchers once I get to goal. If there's a spot for me, I totally would. Once I am a success story, I would love to share my journey with others in hope to motivate them get healthy too. Who knows, maybe once I'm down to my goal weight, maybe we can get enough lifetime members to have another meeting day in my community. I think we have enough members that we could easily have two meetings a week. But that's not up to me to dicate.
Who knows. Maybe one day I'll work for Weight Watchers. Maybe not. All I know is the program is working for me. It's not for everyone, but it was what I needed.
Now to go forward with my week. Hopefully there will be another lost pound next week. I'm aiming for it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November is...

Lung cancer awareness month.
I don my pearls with pride this month.


Two years ago, my world was turned upside down when my aunt passed away from lung cancer, quickly followed by my mother's diagnosis.
Two years ago, while mourning my aunt, I watched my mother go through 15 chemo treatments and 45 radiation treatments. I listened to her doctors claim she wouldn't make it through the treatment.
But she did.
A year ago, as I got ready to welcome Muffin into our lives, I watched my mother deal with a cancerous tumour in her brain. Lung cancer is famous for heading up to the brain.
Only days before I gave birth, my mom underwent brain surgery to remove the tumour.
Three months later, she underwent gammaknife radiation because something showed up in her next brain scan. Her doctors weren't sure if they had gotten all the tumour out. It had broke into pieces durning her operation.
Today, her lungs are still looking okay. Her brain is looking okay. She will be going in for a scan this week to check her bones. She's been complaining about a back/hip pain. It's not due to her lower back injury (she slipped a disc years ago which led to her discharge in the military). It's either arthritis, osteoporosis or, worse case scenario, bone cancer.
Being a cancer survivor, she can't rule anything out. She has to have it checked out.
I'm doing my best not to think about the what if's of my mother's health. I consider myself lucky that I still have her in my life. She drives me completely bonkers sometimes, but she's my mother. She's one of my best friends. She's my biggest cheerleader.
I know our time is limited. Really, if you think about it; our time is limited with everyone in our lives. My time with my mom just has a shorter time line than I would like. I've come to accept that. I have no other choice. I don't want to dwell on the end when it's not here yet. When it comes, I know I will deal horribly with it. Hubby knows it too. He'll be here to pick up the pieces.
Until then, I know I am blessed to still have my mother in my life. And it doesn't matter how crazy she is; how nutty she drives me; or how mad we can get towards each other. I am grateful for the past 30 years I have had her. She's my mother and I love her to the moon and back a million times over. I am proud of how she's kicked cancer in the butt.
I wear my pearls with pride.
I wear my pearls for hope.
I wear my pearls for my mother.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Opps

I've been doing well with keeping out of the kids' candy stash. I say that like both kids are eating the junk, but Muffin has only had a few cheesies on Halloween. I would dip in and not go over three chocolates.
Yesterday was a mess! I nibbled on at least 4 treats during the day. My mistake for bringing some stuff upstairs and leaving them on the counter.
Then Hubby and I totally raided the stash last night right before bed. So bad! Two bags of chips and 4 mini chocolate bars...Each!
Tracked, but feeling totally guilty about it.
Today, the boys and I head up north for four days. Up north to where my sister has informed me she has "leftover Halloween candy, cupcakes, a cake and other treats" for me and the boys. No, no...I'm going to go walk laps around the track near her house while the boys get sugar highs and comas.
With the guilt I'm feeling about my weakness yesterday, I doubt I will even have wine with my sister.
I know we're going to this one awesome burger joint while we're up there. My parents have come back raving about the place. I'm going to have to plan well on whichever day we're there.
I can get through this 4 day holiday without gaining.
I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter Blues?


Is it possible to get the Winter Blues in Autumn? If so, I think I have them. I'm getting an early start this year.
I was full of motivation, determination, inspiration and had a general love of life just last week. I was working towards my weight loss goals. I was getting in a little creative me time. I was enjoying my family. This week, although I still love my life and those in it, I am struggling to get through the day.
I feel sluggish. I don't want to do anything. Getting my lazy bottom off the couch is hard. I want to sleep the day away.
I'm feeling so blah that even the Halloween candy holds no temptation for me. Which could work in my favour.
Tomorrow I'm packing up the boys for a four day getaway. We're heading up to north to visit my sister. I'm hoping being up North will get me out of my funk. I haven't been up that way since my college days. I'm planning on heading over to the college so Monkey can see my old school. I'll show him the little dorm house I use live in with five other girls. And maybe we'll go by the townhouse I lived in with two other girls my other year up there.
Proof it's a small world: I lived up north 10 years ago for school. My sister, who is 9 years younger than myself, now lives up there with her military officer boyfriend (we're a military proud family. My sister and I were base brats). My neighbour is orginally from up north. My sister and her boyfriend moved into the same condo complex my neighbour used to live in when she was growing up.
I'm hoping seeing my old school, remembering life as an 18/19 year old, seeing my sister and getting in a nature walk or two will help perk me up.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Candy Hiding



Monkey made out like a bandit last night! He trick or treat-ed farther than we thought he would. We have a pumpkin container full of chocolate. Another one full of candy. And a huge bag full of chips. Plus we have leftover candy from the stash I bought to handout. I bought enough for 50 kids. We got about 30. Even after handing out extra stuff to late trick or treaters, I still have stuff leftover.

Like a good mother, I sorted through Monkey's stash when we got home. Removing anything open or homemade (He got some homemade fudge. Really? Who does that? Don't the realize every parent out there is throwing it away because of the unknown?). I also had to taste test stuff/ For quality control purposes, of course. I taste tested a Baby Ruth (because I've never had one before), half a bag of chips (Hubby test tasted the other half), a handful of cheesies (because Muffin insisted on putting them in my mouth; you can't refuse a baby), an Oh Henry (because the package was wrinkled and I had to make sure it was okay) and another Baby Ruth (to see if they taste like an Oh Henry because I thought it did and had to double check. I still say it does. I like it).
Yes, I tracked it all.
After the boys were in bed, I hid the treats. Sort of. We have a little area in the basement where we store extras. We have extra toilet paper, kleenex, school snacks, crackers (we go through goldfish crackers like crazy between the two boys! I stock up), my mom's jarred veggies and jams and salsas, ect. I put all the Halloween treats down there on the top shelf. If anyone wants anything, they have to go down there, get out the stepping stool (unless it's Hubby) just to have a treat.
Out of sight.
Out of mind.
Out of my mouth.
And if I do want a treat...I have to work for it. 
Works for me!