Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maybe this does work

I've been using SparkPeople to track and plan my weight loss. I really like their site, and honestly, I'm feeling better about this whole thing than when I did before.

You've probably noticed that I haven't changed the weight tracker widget on the right side of my blog. I've done this for two reasons:

1. I'm lazy. Plain and simple, I just haven't gotten around to it.

2. It reminds me of what a failure of an attempt it was, and that I need to do better.

Since I started SparkPeople two weeks ago, I've lost 5 pounds (knocking on wood so as not to jinx myself). I'm happy with the way things are working and not dreading the whole process. I feel motivated by others on the site that feel the same way I do. I'm not the only one!!!

Here, I know there are loved ones and friends that read this and care for me, but there's nothing worse than feeling inadequate and alone. No one else I know is trying to lose weight (except Tim now), and lets face it, there's only so much relating he can do. He thinks it and the weight is gone. I struggle and I gain. It is helpful (comforting?) to talk to others having (or have had) the same issues. For some of us, this will never be an easy process.

Case and point: Tim made plans with his sister to take the kiddos to the opening day at War Memorial Park's pool. Great. He didn't plan with me. He didn't even ask how I felt about it. I don't like public pools. Too many people, no security for your belongings, no space. And like I'm going to try to put on a bathing suit that hasn't fit in forever and parade around like a beached whale. Um, NOT! He tried telling me that there are others walking around "large" and "in charge", but I'm not having it. I have no desire to see guys and gals (fit or not) walking around topless or parading 1/2 naked so that I can feel "better" about my physique. He didn't understand why I was so upset, why I wasn't having fun, why I didn't want to leave the shaded spot under the tree to get my feet wet (aside from other crispy complected concerns). So how is he supposed to help me?

Sorry, I suppose I should crank down the vents here. I know he loves me, and that he's trying to support me the best way he knows how. It will take me some time before I am willing to venture out in less than full coverage. He will just have to accept that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last night's giggle fest

Tim finally let me scrub at his feet.

I know, that sounds weird, but when you consider the condition of his feet, it's a miracle.

For as long as I've known him, he's always had cracks in the skin of his feet. Some are just little ones that might be considered cosmetic blemishes? Others run deep and can be painful. Either way, the skin along the cracks becomes dry and hard. I've been "nagging" on him for months (years) to let me take car of them beyond just slathering them with Vaseline.

So last night we soaked his feet, I grabbed my tools, and we went to work.

For a man that is barely ticklish anywhere else on his body, his feet are extremely ticklish - and normally I can't even tickle his feet on a good day. Last night, however, I almost had to restrain him from jerking his foot out of my hand. If I could have sat on his leg and still scrubbed at his feet, I would have. He was in fits of laughter the entire time!

It took me 45 minutes to remove all of the old, dead, ashy, nasty, uckiness from his feet. At one point I only scrubbed (read filed with the pedicure cheese grater look-alike thing) a small bit of his heel and was amazed at the difference. Uh, yeah. So, scrubbing and trimming aside, his feet looked a lot better, especially after the obligatory coat of Vaseline. I've talked him into doing it again next week with the understanding that if we do this more often, I won't have to work as hard on his feet, and it won't tickle as much.

I must admit that I did receive a "teensy" bit of sadistic pleasure from his uncontrollable laughter as repayment for all of the "tickle Mommy" attacks he's initiated. :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A "Golden" Opportunity

After Hubby and I went car shopping last night, we decided to go to Golden Corral for dinner because, as he suggested, we might find better food choices there than say at McDonalds or somewhere similar. I love how supportive he is! So we sit down at our table, he with his orange soda and me with my water, to contemplate our next move.

I start with a salad with sliced mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, and non-fat ranch. He counters with a plate of boneless ribs, fried chicken legs, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Good one.

For my next round, I grab a plate and start looking for something "healthy". Not finding anything appetizing, I opt for steamed broccoli; he chuckles and counters with strawberries and buttered rolls.

Craving meat, I go looking for something baked (not fried). I see the little markers advertising baked fish, but I see none on the buffet. I finally decided to take the advice of a recently-read Spark article, flagged someone down, and asked about baked chicken or fish. No chicken, but fish will be done in 10 minutes. I'll wait. In the mean time, I grabbed a mulit-grain roll and some margarine. Hubby laughs at me and counters with a plate of dessert.

Somewhere I confiscated his Iphone and downloaded the mobile app from Spark and started entering the dinner I'd eaten so far. I even looked up how much the strawberries and fish would be added to my dinner. Deciding that they were worth it, I selected some very tasty strawberries to add to my plate and went in search of fish. The talapia, I found out, was ready, and I returned to our table with the spoils of my quest. Hubby was done, so I gave him some of my strawberries.

Overall, I've seen my calories go down as I've more closely monitored what I've eaten. I'm usually way over on carbs and calories, right on my fat, and way below on my protein. Last night I was only 3 calories over my max, 7 over on my fat, right on my carbs, and I was only 1 g under my protein. It was a good day. Hubby keeps telling me that he's proud of me for sticking with it... especially when he doesn't make it easy (read ice cream). We've decided to clean out a cabinet for my dietish foods so that I can plan my meals out for a week and see how I do. My goal is to be under all of my max limits by the end of the week. Hopefully I'll get used to the reduced amounts of food I'm eating and my stomach will stop growling!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Total Loss

We received word from the insurance adjuster yesterday that the Trailblazer was declared a total loss. WV regulations on flood damage to vehicles says that if the water comes into the passenger compartment, it is totaled. Fool me once, shame on the red one; fool me twice, shame on the green one; third time is the charm. I'm convinced that the Chevy Trailblazer has been cursed for my sake.

So we're car shopping. Yay (insert sarcasm font).

We think we've found a minivan in Hagerstown for a reasonable price, and it gets pretty good gas mileage, too. I keep hoping that maybe we can make do with what we have for a little bit and maybe save some money up for a later purchase. We'll see. It depends on if I fall in love with this vehicle.

Oh, and as promised, I have a progress picture of the cross stitch. There's not much of a difference - only a little more of his head and part of his tail feathers, but it is still progress.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I left the house this morning feeling like I forgot something. I couldn't quite place my finger on it, but there was definitely something missing from the car as I drove to work.

Was it my purse? No, I had that on the seat beside me along with my cell phone and lunch, but what was it?

Then I realized... I'd left my cross stitch home... and I hadn't taken a picture to post here showing the progress (albeit little) that I'd made on it. I'm still working on the bald eagle in the design, specifically the "bald" part of him. I promise I'll post my picture of it tomorrow.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spread the Spark

I've decided I'm tired of being fat. Unfortunately blogging about it doesn't shed any inches off of this overloaded frame. My little ticker hasn't been updated in what, 6 months? I decided to join SparkPeople.com and try working through the website. One of their first things is that you set 3 "Fast Break Goals" that get you into the goal-achieving habit. They also get you into recording the things you eat during the day. I didn't realize how many calories I was eating. I even thought I was making healthy choices. Apparently not. So today I'm going to weigh/measure myself and see just how bad it is. Maybe when I start exercising (bleh) Monday, coupled with this food monitoring thing, I'll start seeing results. I've even talked Tim into doing it with me for now.

Wish me luck and pray for me, please, this is going to be difficult, and I'm going to need all the help I can get.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What have we learned?

Tuesday night after dinner we elected to go grocery shopping in Hagerstown. Our first stop was SAM's club for our bulk food items and to look at laptops for Tim. Then we went next door to Martin's to get the rest of our food items. On our way home, we stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up a couple odds and ends and look at their laptops.

Busy evening, right? Yep.

So it's already after 9:30 when we start the final leg of our trip home. We fully expected to be home around 10pm and get everyone into bed, but as you've probably already guessed, it didn't quite turn out that way.

5 minutes from the house, we turned onto McCubbins Hollow and made the first turn by the farm house, only to be confronted with a "puddle" and a "high water" sign. Knowing that the creek will flood that section of the road if it rains hard enough, but also knowing that 3 hours ago it wasn't anywhere near the road, we guessed that it wasn't all that deep and decided to just plow through it to the other side. Squeals of glee were heard from four of us as the water rooster-tailed around us.

About that time we start thinking that we shouldn't be doing this, and rightfully so as the headlights illuminated the orange clay-mud water as it splashed up and over our front windshield and roof. The Trailblazer stalled and could not be started again, and the water started to seep in at the bottom of the doors.

We had to call a tow truck to come get us out. While we waited about 15 minutes for him to get there, the kids started freaking out thinking that we were going to drown. In reality, the water was only two feet deep, but it took prayer and LOTS of primary songs to calm them down. At some point I gave up trying to keep my feet out of the water; I ended up with water half-way up to my knees and it was like the movies when we opened our doors and the water poured out onto the road! I felt bad (but grateful) for the guy that had to wade out into the water to hook up to us and pull us out. He called a friend (or coworker?) to help under the hood so that we could try to start it, and a DirectTV guy stopped to help, too. Unfortunately there was too much water in the engine for it to turn over, and we almost burnt up the started trying.

We called a nearby friend who graciously braved the roads to come get us and our groceries and took us the long way home, arriving shortly before midnight. Interestingly enough, she had been thinking about me off and on all day, thinking it was because of my recent birthday, and was still awake when we called. I love it when the Spirit works!

So, what have we learned here?

1. "High water" really means high water.
2. Never go through a "puddle" at night, especially on a road that can flood.
3. If you do brave the "puddle", do so SLOWLY so that you can recognize danger early and back out if necessary.
4. Snorkels are wonderful things.

We had to have the TB towed to Big K's (awesome guys, BTW, they worked on the TB for over an hour trying to get it working that night). The insurance will be looking at it today or tomorrow so that we can get the repairs started. I'm hoping it is not a total loss because if it is this will be the second TB we've killed. Tim has been going around for the last two days telling everyone that he "drowned" the TB. I've decided to get him a set of goggles, flippers, and (of course) a snorkel for fathers' day. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh, the places you'll go

As you might have read in my last (sporadic) post, we traveled to NY last week to attend the funeral of Sam Papa. We left Tuesday afternoon, arrived that evening before 10pm, and slept until mid morning Wednesday. I opted to take the kids (both mine and Cindy's) to the park so that they could go to the viewing... I don't do viewings very well, so I was glad to have this distraction.

The funeral on Thursday was, um, interesting. I'd never been to a Catholic funeral before. I'm still trying to process what was happening during the whole thing. They interred him in a mausoleum not far from where he lived. Overall it was a lot better than I was expecting.

Tim and I decided to attend a session in the Palmyra temple on Friday with his mother. It was the first time I've been to a session with her. It was BEAUTIFUL! I even got to wear the slippers I crocheted on the trip up (I'll post pics of them later). We even stopped in to Savoia's to pick up some of Tim's favorite cookies.

The trip back on Saturday was equally tiring, but this time we left earlier and arrived around 6:30. We ended up working for a long time with Audie and Chloie on their homework. I didn't realize how much work they gave Audie until we sat down to go through it. Funny thing is, he didn't once mention on his own about his work, but Chloie was asking often if she could do hers. :)

In any case, it's Monday, and I owe you a progress shot of the cross stitch. I finished the left half of the picture except for the eagle. The moon is done, as are the stars and branches. I've decided to scroll over only half way so that I can complete the eagle, and then I'll start on the right side of the moon, branches and stars.
On another interesting note... I have another cross stitch called "The Castle". It has a castle on a rock outcropping in the middle of a lake with a dragon curled around it. It's really pretty, and I started it upwards of 9 years or so ago. During one of my military moves, I lost the pattern, but I still had the thread and stitching that I'd started. I finally found the pattern to download online, so at some point I can finish it. YAY!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On the road (again)

We are leaving this afternoon, bound for East Rochester, NY, to be with family. You know, I love spending time with Tim's family, but I hate that we're doing it under these circumstances. :(

In the mean time we've gotten the kiddos packed, and we're picking them up early from school so we can get on the road. It's funny, every time we start on a trip like this, the first thing the entire family does is sing the first line of "On the Road Again". It's a family tradition. By the time this posts, we'll already be back, but I'm a little paranoid about someone breaking into the house while we're gone.

On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again

Monday, May 09, 2011

Cake and Cross stitch

I did a baby shower cake for a co worker's sister. Seeing as the new mommy-to-be likes rubber duckies, this was the idea we came up with.I decided to use a real rubber duckie on the cake so that she would have a souvenir. Funny thing is, when I went to the store I couldn't find the duckies in the toy isle where *I* thought they should be. So, I asked a delightful employee, "If I were a rubber duckie, where would I be?" He just stared at me for a moment before suggesting the baby department. Aha! I'm so glad I talked to him. The best part is, I heard him chuckling to himself as I walked away. Success!

Behold the cuteness that is the rubber duckie!!! The cake is 10" across and almost 8" tall. I carved the sides and covered them with slats of brown fondant with "wood grain" marked into them with a clay carving tool (love those tools).

For the bubbles, I rolled white fondant in random sizes and just stuck them on there in clumps like I imagined bubbles would gather. Oops, a little bit got out of the tub...

I had a failed attempt at making my own piping gel. After reading the ingredients on the pre-made stuff and deciding I didn't want to pay that much for something I might only use once, I used corn syrup, a drop of blue food coloring, a little hot water, and some gelatin to make my own. The gelatin didn't dissolve like I wanted it to (I was hoping it would thicken the corn syrup), but it did give it that uneven textured frothy-shiny look that bath water might have, so it wasn't a total loss. :)

OK, enough about "fun with fondant". Here is the weekly progress pic of the cross stitch I'm working on. It may not look like much was accomplished, but I assure you that the branches are now done, and I've started on the white of the moon (you can see a little bit at the bottom - it almost glows against the black fabric).

Friday, May 06, 2011

Put it in your calender

I found an interesting missionary tool!

I have a HUGE white board on the wall of my office at work. Some time ago, I put a calender on one side so that I could keep track of holidays and other time sensitive projects. I also put personal appointments and events so that I know if/when I have to leave early or take time off to prepare or attend. I like to draw pictures to represent the importance of the date. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes just something to give the calender a little life. There are people at work that make a point of checking the calender to see what I've got up there. This month I've got Cinco de Mayo, Friday the 13th (just 'cause I like to draw little black kitties), Mothers' Day, Memorial Day... but what's this on Saturday?

This Saturday Tim and I are joining other members of our Stake in the Solemn Assembly room of the Washington D.C. temple. I can't wait to go! I've never been above the third floor, but this time I get to go all the way up. So, I drew a little picture of the temple on May 7th.
My friend and coworker, Randy, stopped a day or two ago and asked about it. He first called it the Tabernacle and remembered seeing it as he was driving around the I-495 beltway; he also wanted to know if there were buildings inside the high marble walls and wished he could see inside. I was able to correct a few of the details and explained about recommends, open houses, dedications, the font, and the annex. We even talked about the temple grounds and the visitors center where I offered to give him a tour. :) Yeah, I'm so subtle. He was genuinely interested in it, and I was so happy to be able to talk to him about it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My blonde moment

I was driving to work a couple mornings ago. From behind me and to my right, I heard road noise as if the window was open so I used the controls located on my door to roll up the windows, only nothing moved when pressed all four buttons to check the windows. Oh, so the door must be ajar because the doors didn't automatically lock; that must be it. At the next stop sign, I opened and closed the rear passenger door. Driving off, I still heard the noise. I must not have closed the door hard enough (I'd leaned across the car to do it and didn't really get a good grip), and the noise was starting to irritate me. Whatever. I'll leave it until I get to work and check it then. I pulled into my parking space and turned off the car, got out and walked around the car, only to find that the door was closed correctly. What was going on?

After work I got in the car to go home and went to roll down the front windows. The passenger window didn't budge, so I unlocked the windows and it went down fine. Then I started driving, but the wind was too much so I rolled up the front windows, still hearing the road noise. Ten minutes down the road it dawned on me. I tried the rear passenger window again, AND THIS TIME IT CLOSED!!! Boy oh boy am I glad it was a nice day or the back seat might have been a little wet. The rest of the ride home was nice and quiet except for my chuckling. Lesson learned here? Always check the window lock before checking to see if the windows are up.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Four Hours?

For Christmas last year Tim got me Star Wars: the Force Unleashed. I was able to play it for a little bit, but then set it down and hadn't touched it in months.

Last night after the kiddos went to bed and while Tim changed the oil in the Trailblazer, I sat down and got to play. Shhhh!!! Don't tell anyone. They'll revoke my mommy privileges! I was able to play through two levels before I realized that I'd been playing for four hours. The last "boss" fight took me a few tries because I had to employ a slightly more sophisticated form of button mashing to finish the fight, and I'll admit I got a little frustrated... but I beat it! I don't know how much of the game is left, but I'm looking forward to playing it again soon.

I will say this, however, that I'm glad I invested the upgrades that I've earned during game play into the different combat moves available. It's funny how many you actually use when you employ my strategy of random button mashing during the game. :)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Over the weekend

With family in town, things were busy!

Friday night Sarah and Mom came up to visit for a while. We got to sit and talk while the kiddos were getting ready for bed. It was nice to catch up, and definitely nice to see Sarah. I haven't seen her since Tim and I got married.

Tim and I also got the wood for our bed Friday afternoon. We've been having trouble with our backs during the day that seemed to be stemming from the bed at night. We could both lie on our backs on our respective sides of the bed and roll towards each other by the end of the night. It caused a few "arguments" about who was the greater bed hog! It didn't just curve from side to side, but also top to bottom which curved our backs in a crazy way because we are both stomach sleepers. So, we made a quick frame that would make Dad proud to replace the dilapidated box springs that only cost us $37 for a few 2x6 boards and some OSB. It was put together in under an hour, and OH MY it feels wonderful! I've slept so much better since we put it in two nights ago!

Saturday was non-stop, too. Tim wend to the DMV to renew the tags on the Nissan; I got to play Star Wars: Force Unleashed while he was gone. :) We went to Peyton's baptism at 3pm where I got to play the first song, and then we went to a dual adult baptism at 5pm where I led the music and sang a solo for the special musical number. I was SO nervous. I keep hoping that I'll get over it, but I never seem to. Both baptisms were awesome, and I'm so happy that the three of them made their choice to join the church.

We went to China City Buffet after the baptisms and met my parents there for an early mother's day/ way early father's day dinner. Mmmm, tasty Chinese food! We didn't know it because no one called my phone, but Tim's family had called his phone (left at home) to invite us to the Olive Garden for dinner at the same time. It's OK, we'll have dinner down there sometime later, but I think it would have been nice to spend that time with his family as well. We ended up getting the kiddos in bed when we got home and spent the next hour putting the new bed frame together. We also watched The Tourist until the wee hours of the morning (awesome movie BTW, it had me guessing until the end!).

We got to sleep in a little on Sunday morning, but not much. I got up and straightened my hair before we left for baby Matthew's blessing at Steve and Hannah's ward. He was so cute dressed in a little white suit! Squee!!! I was so proud to see Tim go up there to participate in Matthew's blessing. He's come so far since I met him almost five years ago. Tim and I were chuckling to ourselves as we tried to sing the hymns during sacrament. They... Were... So... Slow... I couldn't keep up. Just wow. But I was impressed with the members doing ASL. I don't know how they do it, but kudos for the effort!

I had my first taste of Thai food at their house for the luncheon afterwards. It was pretty tasty and toasty, but I've decided that curry doesn't agree with me at all. I paid for it later. I did get to hold Matthew and ogle and coo over him for a while. It makes me happy. It also worries Tim a little. Every time I get to hold a wee one, it rehashes our conversation about having one of our own. It would cost a lot of money, however, if we were to try, and then we'd have to worry about having more than just one. For now, I'm happy with our three. We got to talk to Chris and Lori for a while towards the end as well. If we can get the clearance anytime soon, maybe we can get everyone back out this way for our sealing when it happens.

Sunday evening we had home-made pizza rolls for dinner at our house with Tim's parents while we watched TRON: Legacy. I liked the movie, but I loved the music. :) The pizza rolls were made with a double batch of pizza dough cut into 16 parts and rolled, filled with 9 slices of pepperoni and a little mozzarella cheese, then rolled up and baked for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. We used spaghetti sauce to dip them in. Tasty!

Finally before I close, an update on the cross stitch project... because the branches are a full cross stitch and not a half like the moon colors are, they take a little longer, AND I haven't had time in the last two days to do much on it, but here is the progress pic. I'm on the last color of the branches and doing the outline on them as I go.