Friday, March 30, 2012

Harry Turns the Big 1 - 6!

My baby turned sixteen years old today.  It is a momentous occasion and I have blinked back tears more than once today.  I just can't believe sixteen years have past since I first laid eyes on his beautiful head.  I loved him instantly, powerfully and with the most joyful love imaginable.  I still do.  In fact, I love him even more.  

To kick things off this morning, we gathered up sixteen balloons.

We tied gift cards and little prizes to each one.

We snuck up to his room at 6:45 this morning and put the balloons all around him.

We sang happy birthday to him.  He was confused and dazed.  Mission accomplished.

Then he went back to sleep.  

The best part of his day came after school.  Hubby got a terrific deal on a truck and it was waiting in front of the house when Harry got off the bus.

No one was more excited than Chip!

He digs the new Frontier!

Harry walked into the cul-de-sac.

Just strolling along, beautiful day!

Then he stops, more confusion sets in as he starts putting the pieces together.

He takes off running!

Hollering "Is that mine?"

"Are you kidding me?  Where did it come from?  Is it to keep?"

Then he is sitting behind the wheel and I am crying again.  Look at my baby.

He's not a baby at all.  He is a young man.  A fine, fine, young man that just fills my heart with joy, pride and love.  Look at that smile.

He's a big boy.  He's 16.  He is growing up.

So excited for his future.  So grateful for his health and happiness.  He is a great kid and I feel so blessed that I have had the pleasure of being his mom.  I am the lucky one, for sure.

Sweet sixteen, Harry!  I love you to the moon and back!


P.S.  Don't even get me started on the note his Dad gave to him.  It was so sweet and I cried again.  Harry did too.  It was an emotional, wonderful, happy day around here.  A perfect day to celebrate Harry!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old Lady Glasses

I bought two pair of "old lady" reading glasses at the grocery store last night.  My arms just aren't long enough for me to read the small print on anything.  I feel like my eyes almost cross trying to bring little print into focus these days.  I took one pair upstairs to the bedroom and left one pair downstairs in the kitchen.  As I am getting ready for bed, Hubby walks into the bathroom with the shiny blue pair in his hand and the following conversation ensues:

Hubby:  "What in the world are these?" 
Me:  "Those are my new reader cheaters, since I am really struggling to read small print."
Hubby:  "Oh brother"
Me:   "Try them."

He puts them on and I hand him a bottle of hairspray with tiny small print on the back label. 

He reads it easily. 

Me:  "Now take the glasses off"
Hubby: "Damn."
Me: "I know, right? 

He does the experiment a few more times...putting the glasses on to read something then taking them off to see if he can see it.  Same results.  Those magnifiers just help. 

As he is heading out of the bathroom he says "Why can't they make them look any cooler?"

I just laughed.  Afraid our "cool" days may be coming to an end, dear.   But we can see!  Yea!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting in the Zone

For those of you who don't want to talk about grapefruit and flaxseed oil, please just "x" out of this window right now.  Shut this down and come back tomorrow for something a little more entertaining.  Maybe.  For the rest of you (and for my personal record and reminders), here is a recap of the information I have learned about getting in the zone. 

Getting lean and healthy is 80% diet, 10% workout and 10% genetics.  You cannot out exercise a bad diet.  Once you give your body the nutrients it needs good things will start to happen, inside and out.

Take a multivitamin.  Every day.
Take flaxseed oil three times a day.  Every day.
Eat an apple.  Every day.
Eat a grapefruit.  Every day.

Stop eating bad carbs and sugar so your cells can regenerate as healthy cells that don't crave carbs.  It is a beautiful thing.

Drink plenty of water.  Like LOTS of it.

When you are protein.

Excellent sources of lean protein: Turkey Breast, Salmon, Cod, Mackerel, Tilapia 
Good Sources of lean protein: Chicken Breast, Cottage Cheese, Tuna

Ezekiel Bread ROCKS.

Read "The Zone" by Barry Sanders.

Oatmeal is so good for you. 

Have a good, healthy carb before a workout, like an apple.

Protein Shake or some kind of protein after a work out to restore and regenerate muscles.

Zone Bars are delicious and the perfect 30/30/40 combo.  Use as a snack or to curb any sweet cravings.  Limit to one per day.

Eat lots of colors. 

So this week I am still eating a salad with dinner, grapefruit for breakfast....but limiting my peanut butter and zone bar to one serving daily.  Less fat from my food and more from my rear end!   Next week it will be cooked vegetables with dinner instead of a salad.  The following week, all my protein will come from white fish.  Shaking things up a bit to keep it interesting! 

Today, I did 320 crunches!  WHAT??  I know.  Seems excessive!  I think my head is even coming off the ground!  Ha! Ha!   My sore leg feels better.  Push-ups are hard.  Interval training this weekend! 

Good stuff. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Letter "t"

Yesterday I typed a big long entry and some how, some way when I saved it, all I saved was the letter "t".  That's it.  Just one letter.  Paragraph after paragraph about all the goings on around here and I hit save and I got "t".

So, here it is in a nutshell:

I am down about 12 pounds.  Feeling good.
Drew played two games this weekend.  Both of them outstanding games.  Close, smart baseball, they won one and lost one. 
The weather here is spectacular.
The spring pollen is back and everything is covered in yellow.
I made homemade hummus and it wasn't awful.
Car shopping is still painful.  We are circling in on a few choices.  Hope to make a decision soon.

More to come....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Highlights and Celebrations

  • This is my 500th post on my blog.  Who would have thought?  I feel like I am spending lots more time blogging about my health quest, but it is what I am obsessed with at the moment.  My apologies if you are sick of reading about my eating habits!  This post is more of the same, so brace yourself!
  • First, let's cover my Dad's health.  Bob is doing well with his knee replacement.  He is going to physical therapy three times a week.  He asked his therapist if she puts him in the corner because he screams too much.  She said, he was killing her future clients!  Made me laugh.  He said it is super painful, but he is responding and getting more flexibility almost daily.  Still in quite a bit of pain, especially at night.  He tried to take some Tylenol PM to get some sleep and got trapped inside some dream where he thought he was never going to have control of his life again.  It was kind of hard to follow the logic, but it was still bothering him into the daylight hours.  Weird.
  • I am down ten pounds in just over three weeks!  Best news is that I feel great and sincerely believe I could eat this way forever!  Woo Hoo!
  • On Sunday afternoon it was all I could do to stay awake, so I laid down to take a nap and slept for FOUR hours!  Unheard of!  I thought I was coming down with something.  My family thought I looked awful and I felt like I was moving through mud every step I took.  I felt much better on Monday and was back to normal Tuesday.  I was telling Chad about it and he said "That is AWESOME!  I was waiting for that to happen!"  I was all confused.  He said "When you start changing your body like this, it takes it toll on your entire system.  When you get that exhausted, your body needs you to shut down so it can regroup.  It is going to happen about every two weeks now that we have you cranking in the right direction.  Give in to it.  Go to sleep!"   Then he said "Please don't eat any sugar. Do not stop this momentum.  Your metabolism is finally stoked, your organs are working for you instead of against are on a downhill roll.  DO NOT EAT ANY SUGAR or we have to start over."  I have not eaten any sugar and will not eat any sugar!  Feel too good to start over.   
  • Fasting day on Monday went smoothly.  No problems.  Drank my five shakes and that was it.  My sister, "The Nice One" did it, too!  Seems she was mixing  her protein shakes according to the package directions which was mixing the powder with 8 oz of water.  I didn't really read the package.  I ended up making mine with about 20 oz of water.  Much thinner consistency, but went down a little easier for me!  She only drank four yesterday because she couldn't stomach the thought of a fifth one!   I did five with no problem.  I was hungry the next morning though!
  • I found a new snack treat that is so yummy I just have to share it....deviled eggs made with hummus.  Take your egg white (throw away the yolk) and fill it with hummus (I used spinach/artichoke) and it is delicious.  And good for you!  Yum!  Chad busted my bubble when he told me he doesn't mind me eating hummus, but he wants me to make it homemade.  Apparently, the store bought kind has too much sodium.  Probably why it tastes so good!   So, gonna buy some chickpeas and see if I can make it yummy enough to keep it on my snack list!
  • I pulled a little something in my leg yesterday during my workout.  Just a little twinge. I was able to finish my workout and was still able to do my walk today, but I can still feel it kind of pulling.  Hoping it doesn't slow me down!
  • Grapefruit spoons are the bomb.  Malarie and Brett picked me up a set while we were out shopping and told me how awesome they were!  They were so right!  A little spoon...knife....let's call it a spife.
  • We have a big clock up on our family room wall.  It requires a ladder and moving furniture to take it down and adjust the time.  So it is the last holdout to be "sprung forward", which means that when I stagger down the stairs at 4:50 a.m. it shows 3:50 a.m.  That will just suck the life right out of you.  Must get that thing adjusted as soon as possible!
  • Big, new proposal is a real monster!  The spreadsheet to track our subs and deliverable requirements is GINORMOUS!  It is going to be a doozie!  Why does that get me jazzed?  No idea, but it does.
  • It stormed on Monday night, thunder, lightening, dumped a couple inches of rain and it feels so amazing outside now.  Nice, crisp, cool and fabulous!  Makes me want to garden!  Maybe this weekend.
That is all I have for now, except to wish you the most spectacular day ever!  Get out there and smile at someone!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top Ten Tidbits

Hello my peeps!  Is anyone still reading this thing???  My apologies for not posting last week!  It was Spring Break, we had company, I had two proposals due on Friday, babysitting the neighbors dogs and the full time job of being healthy.  I was a tad overwhelmed!  Let's catch you up with a little Top Ten Tidbits!

1.  Chip was in a baseball camp for three mornings last week.  He got to play in the Dell Diamond, the stadium for the Round Rock Express Triple A team.  He had fun and got the Coaches Award for his group!  Good job, Chip.

2.  Malarie and Brett came on Monday.  They were so much fun!  We went to see the bats, played a thousand and two games of ping pong, went to a basketball game, Dave and Busters and they entertained themselves while I worked during the day, watching Chip's baseball camp, shopping at IKEA and the outlet malls.   They played basketball with the boys, Xbox, brushed Astro, basically were just awesome.  Then Callie, Megan and Patrick joined us on Thursday.  We tried to cram as much fun into a couple of days as we could. Hubby took off and spent the day with them on Friday.  We watched a movie.  On Friday night we went to Freebirds to eat.  Saturday, we  hit the Outlet Mall, lunch at Carinos, then the Container Store, Nordstrom Rack and Whole Foods.  We were all pooped.  They left this morning and we all miss them.  We laughed more this week than a family has a right to!

3.  While they were here they celebrated Harry's 16th birthday.  They came up with a scavenger hunt, with sixteen clues, wads of money and Alabama accessories for his first car and a spectacular homemade card. He loved it and his wallet wouldn't even shut with all the bills! 

4.  How did I do on the fitness front while they were here?  Fantastic!  I walked every morning, worked out with Chad, ate good, kept my journal and am now officially down nine pounds!  Yea!  One one more to reach my first ten pound goal!  It's working!  I did 240 crunches on Friday and 225 on Saturday!  Hard.  I think every work out I do at the gym is better than the last one!  Getting stronger, feeling stronger.  Yesterday, I had to do lunges across the gym.  Nothing new there....but then Chad put 10 pounds of weights on my shoulder.  He said, this is what you have lost.  Do those lunges again. much harder.  It was a great reminder of how every pound off is going to make me feel so much better!

5.  When we ate out, I got a salad and grilled chicken. Every time.  Every single place we went.  It maybe didn't taste as good as some of the other items on the table, but no one felt better than me walking out of a restaurant!  Super proud. 

6.  Some new instructions from Chad to share with you:   Eat a salad with dinner every night (soluble fiber is outstanding for you!), eat grapefruit every morning, drink a protein shake after a workout (rebuilds and repairs muscles!).  One day a week I am just going to drink protein shakes.  Five of them.  I fortify them with a tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/3 packet of low carb oatmeal and drink five of those over the course of the day.  Should be about 1500 calories, but all liquid.  Apparently, it helps your stomach shrink so in the days following liquid day it takes less food to fill you up.  I am going to do that on Mondays.  Thank goodness they are chocolate and taste pretty good!

7.  A giant, new complicated RFQ hit the streets late last week.  I can't wait to dig in and work on it!

8.  We are starting a new Bible Study - Beth Moore's "Daniel" this week!  I am going to have to miss the first gathering because of the previously mentioned giant, new complicated RFQ but I will catch up!  Very much looking forward to this one.

9.  It is about time to start car shopping for Harry.  Pray for us!

10.  It is cooking day today!  Time to bake my tilapia, salmon and rainbow trout!  Grill some chicken breasts and get them all stored in my Tupperware containers.  Then slicing and dicing veggies, boiling eggs and maybe whipping up a new Zone acceptable salad dressing.  Being prepared is definitely the key to me being able to make good choices.  And Zone Bars. They are the bomb!  Peanut Butter Chocolate is my favorite!

I hope your week was great and that you had as many laughs as we did.  Let's hope next week is just as awesome!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fitness Update

I worked out with Chad today and am already lifting way more weight, doing more reps, getting stronger.  Most importantly though is the fact that I am not hungry.  At all.  Like, I don't want to eat.  When my three hours roll around I am like UGH..I have to eat again! 

Last week I was down 4.5 pounds and I have added another 3 pounds to that this week for a nice downward trend of 7.5 pounds!  Only 2.5 more to go to get to my first goal of 10 pounds!  It is working!!!  I am putting in the effort with my food preparation and tracking it in my food log and most definitely hitting it hard in the gym and IT IS WORKING! 

I can't wait until next Friday!

And in other happy news...this morning, my girl Beth brought me a "WAY TO GO!" present.  The cutest Alabama gym bag made out of a hoody sweatshirt!  I will have to take a picture of it!

I am so blessed!

Hope your weekend is stellar!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I just saved a man's life in Barnes and Noble.

Not really.  His life wasn't in danger, but I did help him.  And he helped me right back. 

Here is what happened...

I was breezing through Barnes and Noble to pick up a gift card for Chip's teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I thought I would pick out some note cards to go along with the gift card and was over by the journals and notebooks at the front of the store.  Suddenly, I heard a commotion behind me and a moan.  I turned around and a fairly large gentleman in his mid forties, long ponytail, camo hat had fallen on the floor.  He had a rolling walker next to him so I didn't know whether he had tripped, had a heart attack, passed out.

I rushed over and asked him if he was okay.

He said "No, I don't think I am."
I said "Is this a "call an ambulance" kind of hurt or a "I just need a minute to regroup and figure out what hurts" kind of hurt?"
He said "I think the later."

So I just squatted down where he laid and talked to him a bit.  He told me his name was James and he was a veteran and had injured his hip years ago when he fell down a hill about 60 feet.  The injury had flared back up recently, which was why he was using the walker.  I asked him how he fell in the store and he said that he thought he didn't lock the brake on the walker before he tried to sit on it.  I said "Well you could not have planned it more perfectly.  You are back here in this nice secluded area not out in the middle of the floor."  He laughed.  He said "God, I am so embarrassed."  I said "This is nothing.  I wiped out in a classroom a few weeks ago, damn near ripped a hole in my jeans and took out an entire row of desks.  And I don't even have a bad hip."

I asked him if he was going to be able to get up and he said, not without some help.  I told him I had been working out for about three weeks and I was a pretty substantial woman and could probably help him.  He laughed and said "Maybe you should go get two or three more people."  I told him I would be right back.

I went up to the counter and told the little girl that a gentleman had fallen and needed help getting up.  The place sprung into action and radios were going off, insurance claims I am sure were running through people's heads, managers were called.  I hurried back to James and told him the Calvary was coming.

He reached out his hand to me and I took it.  He said "Thank you for making this not seem nearly as awkward as it is.  If I wasn't so happily married I would ask you out on a date right now."  I said "Well, if I wasn't so happily married I might have taken you up on that."

Then the boys arrived and I organized the rescue effort.  Got James' walker over close to him, with the brake locked, grabbed a footstool for him to use to push up on, got the manager's positioned to support his bad hip and gave a giant cheer when they got him up and seated into his walker.

He was breathing heavy and you could tell he was in pain.  I was bidding James goodbye and the manager thanked me for helping.  James said to the manager "It is hard to believe, but she is even more beautiful inside than she is outside.  That is saying something isn't it?"

I damn near cried right on the spot.

I said "James, you just made my day.  It was my pleasure hanging out on the floor with you at Barnes and Noble this morning. Try not to make it a habit okay?"

The Bible Study I just finished was on the book of James.  It was about living out your faith.  Faith through action and serving and giving.  I don't think it was a coincidence that his name was James.  Just saying.

Then I floated out of that store...high on life and how awesome people are and how helping someone just feels good. 

Then I got to my car and realized I had forgotten to buy the gift card.   DANG IT!!!

Hope you have a close encounter with someone awesome today!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bingo Goes Bad

Busy, busy days around here!  Let me give you the rundown on the last couple of days:

We went to Lakeside today and had brunch, painted birdhouses and played Bingo.  It was fun, but the Bingo kind of got out of hand.  Those folks were hollering and getting angry about who won what and why they got to pick their prize and this other person didn't.  It didn't fill me with joy.  At all.  I was a little bit bummed on the way home for the first time ever.  I think we need to rethink the Bingo playing thing.  It did not bring out the best in my Lakeside friends.  No, it did not.  Regardless, I am glad to get the poster painting, cookie baking, tag making, prize shopping behind me.  Need to get some good craft ideas lined up for next time to get me rejuvenated and refocused.

Chip had a baseball game last night at eight o'clock.  They won 14-2.  Chip pitched great and had a good catch in the field.  He didn't get into bed until 10:20.  That is late for a little person.

Went to see a little college baseball game up in Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.  It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Rosie turned 12 on Monday.  Seriously, how much longer?  Just kidding.  Love that cat.

I re-stained the front door.  It looks all shiny and new.  Also, made the boys clean their rooms.  Really clean their rooms.  It is good to have company coming!

My thyroid blood work came back perfect!  Hooray!

Wrapped up our Bible Study on the book of James.  It was so awesome.  We are going to start Daniel after Spring Break.  Can't wait.

Work is kicking my butt.  I am trying to get two hard subcontracts in place, have three proposals in the works, and a big monster one just around the corner.  High Stress.  Everything is urgent!  YIKES!  Phone ringing off the hook all day long.

Working out with Chad.  Sore arms, legs, butt, stomach, eyeballs. Walking.  Eating right.  Logging my meals.  Prepping my food.  Feeling good.  Nah, check that...I am feeling great! 

Hope the weekend ahead is more relaxing instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A List

I love waking up on Saturday morning while the house is still quiet.  Started a pot of coffee, a load of laundry, cleaned a bathroom...and now I am snuggled up under a blanket with a hot cup of coffee at my side, a shedding beast of a dog at my feet.  It is nice.  

Let's make  a list.  I love lists.  It is a problem.  This list has no specific topic, just a catch up list of the goings on around here. 

1.  Harry was sick this week.  So was Hubby.  They are both recovering well.  I do not want to be sick. 

2.  Everything is blooming here.  The mountain laurels are covered in blooms.  Smells like a giant vat of grape kool-aid outside.  That is a pretty nice smell.  The bradford pears are blooming, my crazy vine on the back fence is blooming.  Time to get out in the garden and clear away the dead and make room for the new growth.  I love that.

3.  Astro is shedding.  Like crazy. Like gobs of hair falling out everywhere. Goodbye winter coat. He would be the perfect dog if he was bald.  

4.  I met a couple of other Mom's up at Chip's school to decorate his room for Surf Write A Long.  The kids are spending every day next week practicing their writing skills.  They have some standardized test coming up and it is like intense writing camp.  It has to be fun though, so each room has been transformed into a tropical paradise.  We thought our room was rocking with about 30 beach balls hung from the ceiling.  We had some beach chairs, pool floats, beach towels, some net and beach signs hanging up.  Then we went out in the hall and looked in the other rooms.  We have some major overachievers.  They had big shade tents with dried grass hanging on all sides making it a little hut.  There were beach umbrellas and swimming pools filled with pillows.  Now we feel like slackers.  Darn - should not have looked.

5.  Cashew/Pretzel Zone Bars are the bomb. 

6.  I will be prepping for my next Lakeside visit this weekend.  We are painting cute little birdhouses and playing Bingo.  This may be the easiest prep time for me yet! 

7.  I have Bunco tonight. I am a little worried about staying on my eating plan.  It could be a challenge, but I am going to look at it as my first opportunity to succeed.  I will be prepared and I will remember that it is a choice to feed my body what it needs instead of what it might want.  Retraining my cells.  I will also remember how good it feels to see that damn scale move in a downward direction.  

8.  Work has been very busy.  Many, many proposals going on.  Things wrapping up.  Things dropping off.  New proposals cranking up.  It is a circus.  

9.  Bob is getting a bit of an appetite back.  Physical therapy is very hard but he is doing it.  Making progress! 

10.  I am off to the gym to get in my leg workout, then I am going to tackle the monster "To Do" list on my kitchen counter.  Weather is going to be spectacular today so I might do the outside chores FIRST!  

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

What I Am Learning

Fat free cheese is just weird.

I have been making an egg white omelet every morning with spinach, mushrooms and fat free cheese.  I put the cheese on the omelet after it has set up and it melts all yummy and nice.  Put the whole contraption on top of a piece of Ezekiel bread and call it breakfast.

But when you try to cut it up into bite size pieces, the cheese gobs up on your fork or oozes out on your plate and turns into a weird texture that is just hard to stomach.  It doesn't taste bad so much as it is just sticky and weird. 

Regular cheese has 9 grams of fat.  Fat free cheese has 1 gram of fat. 

I guess I can tolerate the weird. 

Here are just a few hopefully helpful tidbits I have learned in my time with Chad, "Mr. Human Body Expert".

1)  When you are hungry, your body is craving protein.  It's true.  I have realized that when I feel hungry I can eat an egg white or a turkey patty or a piece of salmon and almost instantly I don't feel hungry any more.  If you eat crackers, bread, etc. you will still feel hungry because you haven't given  your body the protein it is asking for.  Having protein ready to eat is key.

2)  When you eat good, clean, healthy food...your body needs more every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Do not miss, do not skip.  It is like getting behind on pain medication.  You have to stay in front of the hunger so you can make good choices.

3)  Regular white or whole wheat bread takes an hour for your body to break down.  Ezekiel bread takes six hours for your body to break down and use. It is alive and it is packed with good stuff.

4)  ONE grape, one single solitary grape has more sugar in it than 3 whole apples.  EAT APPLES!

5)  Zone bars are amazing and delicious.  Get a box.  Hell, get four boxes.  A perfect 210 calories made up of the perfect 30/30/40.  AND IT IS CHOCOLATE!!!

6)   A whole egg has 90 calories.  75 of those calories are in the yolk.  Also in the yolk is cholesterol and fat.  The egg white?  No cholesterol and almost zero fat.  The bonus of the egg white is it is PACKED with protein.  Stop eating yolks.  Eat egg whites.

7)  Multivitamin.  Take one.  Every day.  It is the school bus in your blood that helps distribute all the nutrients where it needs to go.  Do it.

So what did all of this information that I learned this week mean on the scale?  Good question.  One that I am supremely interested in and also supremely pleased with.  This morning I was down 4.5 pounds! 

Go Chad!  Go Chad!  Go Chad! 
That is all I have for now.  More to come!