Thursday, June 21, 2012

It Happened!

I stepped on the scale this afternoon and was down 50 pounds from my highest weight!  I was so happy.  Got a little teary eyed.  There is a lot of emotion involved with the healthy inside of this girl! 

Felt supremely great to reach that milestone! 

Now I am going to keep eating healthy and as clean as I can, exercising a little bit, taking care of myself and we will see where this body lands.  I have got some great momentum going now and I feel like my body is running on all cylinders. 

In other news.....
  • Harry is rocking along at his summer college course.  Four weeks down and two remaining. 
  • Chip got a new Lego Batman game and it is consuming his life.  Not in a healthy way.
  • No results yet on Chip's EEG.  Good thing he had the EEG before Lego Batman was released.
  • I went to the dermatologist for a checkup and there was nothing she wanted to cut off of me!  She did give me some cream to help restore/repair/rebuild the skin on my face.  She also gave me a coupon so the cream was free!  I really like her and her coupons.
  • Harry got to sit in the broadcast booth at the Express Game with the radio announcer.  He loved it and hopes to go back often and soon!  It was an honest to goodness look into what it takes to be a broadcaster and he was facsinated.  So was Hubby.
  • I tried baked Kale chips this week and they were pretty darn good!
  • I also tried Broccolini - it is basically thin broccoli.  Nice vegetable!
  • My friend Connie brought over two huge bags of clothes that she has shrunk out of.  I can't fit in them yet, but I am close.  Caused me to do an overhaul of my closet and it was cleansing, inspiring and exciting! Can't wait to wear some of those terrific clothes.  Thank you Connie!
  • "Mr. Knowledge" said I could have the weekend off of keeping my food journal.  I am so happy to have a break.  I was getting a little sloppy with it.
  • Mom and Dad got their new kitchen counters today.  I am waiting on pictures. Dad may already be into his Loritab for the evening and I may not get them till morning!
  • Dad's fractured rib is painful, but he is getting along.  And there is Loritab.
  • Lana hasn't passed out any more, so "Way to go, Lana!"
  • Where is my phone charger?  Why is it not where it belongs? 
That is it for tonight!  I am hitting the sack!  Hope your day was great and that Friday treats you well!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day - The Real One

Father's Day weekend was excellent around these parts!  The boys took up a new sport with their Dad!  Golfing! 

We all went out to the driving range to try out the sticks.

Dad pick up a large bucket of balls.

They posed for a picture for mom.  Please note that Harry is either tied with Dad or maybe just a smidgen taller.  That is so wrong. 

Dad gave some instruction to the young lads.  Harry was intense.  Listening carefully, taking six or eight practice swings.  Struggled with the first few balls, then started getting some distance on it.  His balls had a tendency to head left, but he had it straightened out by the time the bucket of balls were gone. 

Chipster was all ears.  Then he teed that ball up, hit it like a baseball and the thing went flying perfectly straight like it was on fire!  This kid is a natural at clobbering things with a stick.  He whacked about 20 balls and then a blister popped up on his hand, ripped off and he was done.  Must get him some golf gloves.

Dad took several shots himself.  Showed the boys how even someone who has been playing a while still struggles sometimes...then showed them that when everything goes perfectly it is a sight to behold.  He smashed some that I think had the potential to reach the apartment complex at the far end of the driving range. 

I think there are plans for them to hit the links sometime soon.  Chip just wants to drive the cart.  Should be a wild time!

Then we had to cool off a bit, so the Clampett's got into their bathing suits and headed over to Ms. Beth's house. 

What an inviting oasis in this Texas Heat! 

They even have a basketball goal.  There was family game that got pretty intense.  I made some incredible shots.  Not really.  But I did almost drown trying to wrestle a loose ball away from Harry.  That kid forgot I was a girl and that I was his mom and that I was in over my head.  I was on Hubby's team the first game and we pulled out a close game against the boys.  Then when things got switched up it was Harry and Me against Hubby and Chip.  They won, even though Harry was coaching me like no ones business.  Maybe it was payback for the near drowning!  It was lots of fun and very relaxing.

The boys then hit the Express game where they got to hang out in a suite.   Harry got hit in the head by a foul ball that ricocheted off the back wall of the suite.  Thankfully, his head was fine and he was thrilled with the foul ball. 

Good times!   It was a wonderful day for a wonderful Dad! 

Things were not so good in Alabama for Bob.  He and Lana had a rough weekend.  She got food poisoning on a quick trip to Tunica and threw up so much that she passed out in her hotel room.  Jeez!  The right side of her body is bruised where she hit the floor. While she was in Tunica, Bob was working on a bench project on Saturday, he tripped with a drill and a screwdriver in his hands, fell into the deck furniture and broke his rib!  What the heck!  Life Alert buttons for Christmas!  Put it on their wish lists! 

They are both feeling okay now, but the rib will take a while to heal. Need to wrap those two in bubble wrap!

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy and to my Hubby.  Two of the best guys I know. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Morning

What a beautiful Saturday morning it is!  The sun is coming up, the coffee is brewed, the washer and dryer are humming along with the first loads of the day, I can hear Harry's noise machine from his room with beach birds squawking and waves crashing and if I close my eyes I can just imagine myself on a beach front balcony!  Ahhh, I just love a quiet Saturday morning.

It won't be quiet for long.

Hubby is heading out for a bike ride, I am heading to spin class in a bit and then we are going to pool crash at Ms. Beth's house.  They are going out of town for the weekend and are allowing the Clampett's to use their backyard oasis.  Chip cannot wait.  It will be good to distract Chip from his mouth pains.  It is getting better, but still hurting quite a bit.  When he is busy or distracted it helps.

I have got to use today to get organized for my upcoming Lakeside yard sale.  I have some wonderful donations piling up in the garage and I need to figure out what I have and what else I need.  Also need to start getting organized for our little trip to Miami.

I have had a great week of working out.  Walked 6 miles four days this week, spent some quality time on the elliptical machine and I worked out twice with "Mr. Knowledge".  It is paying off....I am down 35 pounds in 19 weeks.   Feeling great!   With the exception that my hips are really achy.  Mr. Knowledge says it is because with the fat leaving, my hip muscles are getting stressed in different places.  He says to keep doing what I am doing - but nothing more - until it eases up.  He said "Absolutely do not start running!"  No problem!

Chip is scheduled for an EEG on Monday to see how his little brain is functioning!  Hoping his brain activity is back to normal so he can get off of his seizure medicine.  Will keep you posted.

Harry will be studying for exam number two of his summer college class.  He is already done with three of the six weeks!  It is going fast.

A couple of days ago, Harry and his buddy RV were moping around trying to think of something to do.  They decided they wanted to go to the mall to look for an Office version of Monopoly.  We coordinated with RV's mom and dad to make sure it was okay with them for Harry to drive them to the mall.  I gave them back road directions that would take a little longer, but be a lot safer.  Told them to call or text when they got there.  Then I started praying for their safety.

My phone beeped at 5:18 and it says "We are here."  I am relieved.  At 5:32 my phone beeped again "We are leaving."  WHAT????  Fourteen minutes at the mall and that is it?

They arrived home a little bit later and I asked them what they did.  Apparently, they went in, walked both the top and bottom levels looking for the game, grabbed a pretzels and hit the road.  That has to be a mall record.  Even for boys!

I hope your weekend is going to be productive and relaxing!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brace Face

Chip is now 48 hours into his braces and it is not going too bad.  His lips are swollen, destroyed and he has some nasty sores where the brackets are rubbing, but he is a trooper. A little motrin and some ice cream seem to be keeping the worst of the pain away!  I told him this morning that I have been amazed at how great he has done.  A couple more days and he will be through the worst of it! 

Here he is just before we walked into the dentist office.  It was a three hour appointment and he walked out with a mouth full of metal!  Blue and Red were his bracket color choices!

I think it will be amazing to see how quickly his teeth get in line!  He has always had a great smile, but it is really going to shine now! 

More pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Fun and Backyard Clean-up

Last Friday, we got together with some of our awesome baseball families for a fun evening.  We met at the Raines house, which based on this fabulous backyard should be forever called the Raines Resort!  Look at this place!  Chip had been there before, but this was my first visit.  When we got out of the car, he said "Mom, you better get ready to be blown away!" 

They have a giant backyard by Texas standards and a lovely pool and surrounding area.

The kids swam and the adults sat and visited.  The weather was so lovely.

Look at these cutie patooties....aren't they so sweet?  They played so nicely together.

Then there was pizza!   Perfect night in the life of little boys!

The adults also had pizza and me and Vivian thought we would go healthy and ordered from ZPizza.  It was a whole wheat crust and the pizza had mushrooms, artichoke hearts, ricotta cheese and a garlic sauce.  It was delicious.  I thought it was a fairly healthy choice and the calories were in check for I ran it by "Mr. Knowledge About the Human Body" the next day at the gym.  He looks at me and says "Whole Wheat sucks. Don't eat it."

I'm all..."But it has to be better than regular crust!"  I was feeling guilty.  This was the first time in 16 weeks that I ate something that I didn't know for certain was on my plan.  It was a stretch, I knew that.  Especially after I tasted it.  It was so good, I knew it couldn't be that healthy.  Dang it.

So "Mr. Knowledge" says whole wheat is just a tiny step above regular dough.  He prefers that I make a giant improvement and make my own crust out of some form of Ezekiel.  That sounds like an enormous pain in the butt, so I will probably just pass on pizza for now.

It was a mistake.  My first, but surely won't be my last.  But I recovered.  Didn't get down about it...just climbed on a Spin bike and worked my butt off!

It didn't do too much damage cause the scale is moving again.  I am down 34 pounds today!  With the 13 I lost prior to seeing "Mr. Knowledge" that is a total of 47!  Only 3 more to get to a significant milestone of 50 pounds from my highest!  Smiles all around!  Can't believe it most days!

In other news, here are some pictures from the back yard clean up that my sweet neighbor Karen helped me with!

She brought over her fogger, which she sprayed in all the bushes to zap the mosquitoes!  It was the coolest thing and worked like a charm.  I usually go out and have ten mosquitoes jump on me within seconds.  I need to put one of these on my birthday list!

I didn't get a true "before" picture....we were already well underway when we thought of it.  I mean it was a jungle out there!  Karen manned the electric hedge clipper and I was working with a hand clipper and clean-up crew.  We cut and clipped enormous amounts of overgrowth.

These are rose bushes I planted a couple of years ago that are nearly six feet tall.  They are ginormous and lovely, but being grossly overcrowded by this other crazy bush.

We made tons of progress and we didn't run into any snakes or other critters.  We did run into a giant wasp nest, but Karen zapped it with some wasp spray before they got crazy and stung us!

She came back the next day and we tackled some other flower beds and that giant crazy vine on the back fence.  

I could not have done it without Karen.  Would have hated to even start.  She is a go getter and I owe her big time!  

We are at the dentist and Chip is back getting his braces on...I will post some pictures later this afternoon of my sweet baby brace face! 

Have a great Wednesday! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Father's Day...A Little Bit Early

We had a little early Father's Day celebration this Sunday.  As soon as Hubby left for his marathon workout session early in the morning, me and the boys sprung into action. 

We whipped up posters...

Wrapped presents...made cards...made a breakfast casserole....

Then we waited.

He exercises for  a long time. 

He finally came rolling in.

He saw the table and the boys grinning at him and was very confused. 

He said "It's not Father's Day today, is it?"

"No" we yelled in unison!

He's all "Huh?"

He may have also been slightly distracted by the giant hornet that flew up his pants and stung him on his bike ride.  OW!

Finally, we got him focused on the celebration at hand and he started reading his sweet cards and opening his present.

Then the music cranked up and we were all dancing and singing...I'm going to Miami, Miami, Miami.

You see, there are only five MLB teams that Hubby has not visited yet and one of them is the Miami Marlins.  The boys and I thought it would be a great Father's Day trip and then Hubby will only need four more to finally see all MLB teams.  

We needed to give it to Hubby a little early so he could clear his work calendar and help us find a hotel.  He has been to Miami before, so he has a much better idea of where we should stay.

Hubby was thrilled!  We all were.  Should be a fun trip!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Week in Replay

Another weekend is wrapping up and I am trying to get excited about some work I need to do today.  I am not accustomed to doing work on the weekends.  I have finally gotten a couple of work projects though and I need to get fired up about them.

We have had a great week.  We watched lots of basketball and have enjoyed that....right up until the nasty Heat beat our Celtics last night.  Dumb Heat.  Go Thunder! 

I did a Spin class on Saturday with a new instructor named Cheryl.  She tried to kill me.  We were standing and climbing hills and never sitting and we never stopped climbing hills.  It was dang near like we were touring San Francisco.  Or maybe like Mt. Everest.  I like downhill.  Always have.  I was sweating like crazy.  Annnnddddd, I loved it.  I felt like I had really done something exceptional.  In fact, I told Cheryl after the class that she needed to hand out medals for people who successfully completed the class.  I totally rocked it with just some minor whining and complaining.   Can't wait to do it again.

We have gotten back into our summer pool routine, hitting the pool both Saturday and Sunday.  The water has felt great!

I am holding at about 32 pounds.  I have been down to 33, but it was just a quick visit.  Hoping to see that number again tomorrow!   Ever since Chad told me to eat a couple hundred calories less, I have been eating a hundred more calories than normal.  I have been exercising a little harder than normal.  Walked six miles one day and did some time on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.  Swam laps with Chip one day. It has been good.

We have been on a hunt for a Chocolate Wonka bar for Chip.  He watched both the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movies at school and wanted to try some Wonka Chocolate.  We have checked Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, 7-11, HEB, HEB Plus and today we drove downtown to the Big Top Candy Shop and have struck out EVERYWHERE!!!  They have lots of Wonka candy...but no chocolate.  If you have Wonka Chocolate bars where you live, let me know.  We are specifically looking for the Waterfall or Fantabulous Fudge bar!

The boys have had their friends over and created a new game called Hallway Baseball.  It involves a ping pong ball and lots of screaming, sliding, laughing and screaming.  I know I put screaming twice.  That is because there is ALOT of screaming.  There are some weird rules that I don't understand, but it has been something they have played for hours and it makes them sweaty.  Good times.

Harry thinks he did fine on his first college exam.  We shall see when the old test scores are handed back! he sure seemed to know his stuff when he was studying it.

We had a special early Father's Day celebration today, but I am going to give that its own separate post!  A little teaser for you!

My friend Martha's mom is having surgery on Tuesday this week.  Please say a prayer for her.

Chip is getting braces on Wednesday!  Prayers for him too!  The first couple days are not that fun!

That is all for now!  Hope your week has been wonderful! 

Healthy Recipes

These are two recipes I have made lately that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I think I found them either through Pinterest or Tosca Reno's website.  My boys ate the chicken bites with very little complaint AND said that I could make them again.  That is no small feat!  I am borderline obsessed with the dressing from the salad.  It is tangy, but tasty!

               Crispy Chicken Bites

1 ½ lbs, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup oat bran  
¼ cup wheat germ 

¼ cup coarsely ground almonds 

1 Tbsp coarsely ground flaxseed 

½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp white pepper
Pinch garlic powder 

½ cup water or low-sodium chicken broth 

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or coating lightly with extra virgin olive oil.  Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces, about 1½ inches square. Set aside.
Next, combine all dry ingredients in a large container with a tightly fitting lid. Shake well. This is your coating mixture.  Combine water and egg in a medium bowl. Dip each piece in the water-egg white mixture. Then dip each piece in the coating mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated.
Place on the baking sheet. When all of your chicken has been coated and your baking sheet is full, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Tangy Pumpkin Seed Salad

Ingredients for Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ cup extra virgin olive oil 

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 cups of the lettuce of your choice

1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Rinse lettuce of your choice under cold water and set aside in a bowl.  In a small bowl, add minced garlic and salt.  Whisk lemon and Worcestershire sauce into the garlic.  Continue to whisk the dressing while slowly pouring the olive oil in a steady stream. Whisk until smooth.  Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Add pumpkin seeds to the lettuce then pour the dressing over top. Toss the lettuce to coat with dressing and serve.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Houston Weekend

We had a lovely weekend away in Houston!  Me and Chip hit the Children's Museum and Hubby and Harry hit a Sports Convention on Saturday afternoon.  We reconvened in the afternoon for a late lunch and then an Astros baseball game. 

Here is Harry in sports memorabilia heaven.

Got an autograph from RG3! 

The Children's Museum in Houston was great!  They had a big outdoor Flow Works water area where the kids could control all these valves and dams.  Chip really enjoyed that.  Here you had to press on a pedal to fill up the big giant bucket.

Then it rewards you by crashing and splashing.  Nice relief in the Houston heat!  That is one of the hottest places on the planet, I am sure of it.

Building with giant puzzle pieces.

Connecting circuits.

Building models of atoms.

Vacuum sucking ping pong balls through a maze of tubes and tunnels.

And a display board of various kinds of poop.  That's fun and educational, right?

The boys went to the ballgame early to watch batting practice and hope for a foul ball.  Not this time.

Looking over the all-star ballot.  Picking and choosing their favorite guys.

Minute Maid park is just a beautiful stadium.  If you ever get the chance you should definitely go see it!  It is air conditioned!  That is a beautiful thing in Houston, TX.

The game was high hitting with the final score something like 11 - 9.  We got to see several homers.  The Astros shoot this cannon after an Astros home run that I always forget about.  Dang near wet my pants when that thing blasted off!  I was ready after that! 

The most interesting story was this young Reds guy on second base.  It was his first major league at bat....and with two guys on, he hit it off the top of the wall and bounced back onto the field.  There was some confusion as to where it hit and whether it was a homer or a double.  The umps all gathered and went into the dugout to watch the replay to make their final decision.  The original call was correct and it was not a homer, but what a thrill for this young man. Welcome to the major leagues!

Great time all around.

I have more pictures to post from the Spurs game the boys went to on Monday and the massive yard clean up undertaking that me and Karen worked on yesterday.  UGH!  Hard work, but major improvement.  She is coming back today.  The girl is tireless!  She puts me to shame! 

Harry has his first college exam today!  I think he is ready!

I got a new proposal to work on yesterday!  I am going to function as a Proposal Coordinator although I am still not real sure what that means.  Learn as I go!

My girl Martha's mom is waiting to have surgery on the duct in her pancreas.  She is having a very hard time keeping down food and liquid.  Say a prayer for Rita today that she can stay comfortable and healthy until they can get her scheduled for surgery!  Also say a prayer for Martha.  She is a rock, but even rocks can use a little support!

I am down 32 pounds!   Go me!   I have some great new recipes to share and will try to get them posted here sooner rather than later.  One is Crispy Chicken Bites and the other is Tangy Pumpkin Seed Salad! YUM! 

Today is my nephew Alexander's 10th Birthday!  Happy birthday to the biggest Pittsburgh Penguins fan on the planet!  Also, today is my Aunt Gail's Birthday!  Happy birthday Puppy Rescuer!  I hope today your gift is that you find a home for those sweet orphans! 

That is all for now...have to go stretch and warm up my pruning shears...Karen will be here momentarily!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hardest Challenge

The most difficult challenge on my get healthy quest is NOT eating the bits of pineapple, brown sugar and butter that sticks to the pan of a pineapple upside down cake.


Hands down hardest challenge I have faced in my 15 week journey.

But I did it!  Go Me!  

More to come on our fun weekend in Houston!  Boys are headed to San Antonio this afternoon for Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals to see the Spurs and Thunder! 

Is it summer?  Still feel really busy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Doctor Visit

I went to the doctor today...not with dread...but with a bit of a skip and a hop in my step.  I had asked her at my appointment in December to give me a challenge.  What did I need to do to get off of some of the medication I was on?  She said "Lose 10 pounds."  I said "Let's make it 20."

When I walked in to her office today I was down 34 pounds since my visit in December!  Go Me!!!

All my numbers were great.  She said my blood work looked awesome.  Then she started quizzing me on how I had done it.  I told her about "Mr. Knowledge About The Human Body" and what he had me doing.  She was in enthusiastic agreement with everything I was doing and wanted a name, address, hours, location, etc... Said it was a perfect example of a healthy way to lose weight!

She dropped my cholesterol medicine, said I didn't need it.  She said I could stop taking the Metformin but I told her that Chad suggested I stay on it because it was supporting my weight loss.  She agreed but cut the dose in half.  I will always have to stay on my thyroid medication because I don't have a thyroid...but my numbers looked great.

Then she hugged me and said I was a success story!   I almost cried.

Trying to cut out a few calories today.  I miss them!

Had a delicious dinner tonight at Longhorn Steakhouse.  A fabulous grilled trout and steamed veggies.  Yummy and healthy and getting easier all the time!

I am so proud of myself.

Bring on the weekend!  We are going to the Houston Children's Museum, a Sports Memorabilia convention and an Astros game tomorrow!  Should be a fun filled day!

Happy Friday to you all!