Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Posts Coming.

First I didn't have the photos. They were on my mom's computer. Then I just didn't feel up to posting (see last post). Then it was Christmas. Then my computer got an awesome virus spewing porn sites all over the screen on Christmas Day. That was fun. (I HATE PORN). So now that everything seems to have calmed down, I need to catch up. And I will. Sometime. Maybe it will be my New Year's resolution.

In the mean time, thank you for your love and support and especially your prayers. They have been so very needed and so appreciated. I am doing okay. I won't lie and tell you I'm good. But I know I'll be okay, eventually. I am growing close to my Heavenly Father and Savior through this trial. I am learning and understanding so much more. My testimony is ever increasing.

I am still sad. And confused. And emotional. This loss has been so much more painful than I could have ever expected. I don't understand how women go through it privately, without love, support, and prayers from neighbors, family and friends. I don't understand why this isn't a topic more widely discussed. Especially when it so common and when talking is so healing.

My faith is comforting and I know it will be what ultimately heals my heart. It brings me peace in my darkest moments. I am still allowed to hurt and grieve.

If I haven't commented on your post, answered your email, or returned your phone call, I'm so sorry. I know it's selfish of me. I'm trying to put the pieces of me back together. And in the mean time others are being neglected. All I can say is I'm sorry. I am hoping that I will feel normal again soon and will be happily commenting, replying, and calling.

Until then, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And here's to an incredible New Year! I love you all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Being Sad

I don't really know what I want to write right now. I feel like anything I right will be sad. Actually! That's what I want to write about. Being sad. Just typed it as the title of this post. Because this week, whenever anyone asks me how I'm doing this is the only word I can think of to really describe it. But then I always have to follow it up with, "But I'm okay", because I think that saying I'm sad gives people the wrong impression.

You see, I'm not depressed. Synonyms for sad are words such as depressed, discouraged, devastated. But I don't feel any of those things. I'm not depressed. In fact, I'm generally very happy. Even while I'm feeling sad, my heart simultaneously feels joy. Joy because of my family. Because of my husband. My children. My wonderful ward and neighbors and friends. And most of all because of my Savior.

But I am also sad. Sad for the loss of this baby. Sad for the future I was planning for that, for now, has changed.

Am I making sense? It seems strange that I can feel to completely conflicting emotions at the same time. And yet, even while I'm feeling both emotions, those around me only perceive the one or the other. I either am having a very okay moment and those around me think I must be doing so much better and that I'm moving on already. Or I look sad, or am in tears. Even though I really feel both most of the time.

Aside from feeling that joy and sadness ( really need to think of another word, because the word "sad" is starting to annoy me!) the only other thing I feel is a bit confused. And not as to why this happened or anything like that. I don't know why or what caused it and I don't really care. I trust that my Savior has worked those details out for me through His atonement. But confused at some of my emotions. Sometimes I feel frustrated that I'm here, stuck feeling sad and grieving this little life, while the rest of the world, including my own family, are for the most part moving on completely. Everyone else's lives seem to keep going just as before. The kids are caught up with the excitement of Christmas (thank heavens!). Jason is busy tending to them and their needs and my needs and everything else while I heal (although I'm sure he is grieving in his own way). And the rest of the world is finishing their Christmas shopping, planning their holidays, running errands, and thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. While I'm here thinking about this. It's all I can think about right now even when I have nothing really to think about it.

I wonder when I will feel normal again. When I will feel like this is distant. When it's something that I went through in the past that made me somehow stronger. I wonder when I won't think about it every minute or even every day. I wonder when my body will feel back to normal. Because my body is very confused right now. As of last night medication started to let my body know what had happened and that it was no longer pregnant. Physically, things have taken place and I know that my body is starting to catch up. But when will I feel normal again? When will I not find myself in tears at some point during the day? When will the healing and the hormones balance?

Added to sadness and joy and confusion is frustration. Frustration with some of the things people say. And then frustration with myself for being frustrated at those things. I know people are only trying to be sincere and helpful. As if their explanation will make me hurt less. Sometimes the things people come up with are beautiful and they lift my heart. Other times, as heartfelt as it may be, it hurts. Comments like, "Well, at least you were only 11 weeks along". As if it would have been less painful if I were only 6 weeks or more painful at 15. Would anyone ever say to someone who lost their 2 year old, "Well, at least she was only two. Thank heavens you didn't have her until she was 16!" And yes, I know that this miscarriage must be SO MUCH LESS painful than losing a child. I would never wish that on anyone! But comparing my pain to someone else's doesn't make it easier. Or comments like, "At least you have two children". Yes, I am so blessed with two beautiful, healthy, living children. They are such a light to me right now and I love them so much and am SO grateful for them! I see even more now how much of a blessing a healthy pregnancy is and what a miracle these two children are in my life. I honestly do. But that doesn't make me miss THIS baby any less. I know these people aren't trying to be mean. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway, to those of you who are close to me, physically or emotionally, please don't be afraid of me while I process through this! Please don't treat me like I'm broken or fragile. And don't pretend that nothing has happened. I don't mind talking about it, and I don't mind questions, even if it does make me cry. It probably makes you more uncomfortable than it does me. I've found it helpful so far to talk. And when I don't feel like talking I won't answer more phone or I'll say so. You know me. I'm honest and blunt. I'll let you know.

For those of you who are curious about what happened, here it is. I had my first appointment with my midwives on Wednesday. I was 11 weeks and 1 day. It started off as a normal appointment. Pee in a cup. Paperwork. Weight. Blood pressure. Questions about previous pregnancies. Family history. Talked with the midwife about questions or concerns we were having. Internal examine. Uterus measuring just right at 11 weeks. Then time to hear the heartbeat.

When I was pregnant with Jack they couldn't find it. Turned out I was a little earlier on than I'd thought. So they ended up doing an ultrasound and there he was, just pumping away. Beautiful little boy. So I wasn't worried. This had happened to me before. So the nurse pulled in her portable machine and tried to find the baby. It took a minute, but there it was. That beautiful little peanut shape. I thought that was a great sign. But the midwife said her little machine sometimes doesn't pick up everything so we went down to the big one with the ultrasound tech. After looking for a minute all she said was I'm sorry. I knew what that meant. The baby was only measuring 9 weeks. That's when it died and stopped growing.

Jason and the kids were there. Jason took the kids out to the playroom. I was devastated for them. Jack just kept asking, "Is it a bwudda or a sista?! I saw the wittle baby go bump!" My heart broke to think of disappointing him. Payson understood a little better. When we explained what had happened we tried to focus on the fact that we'd try again later. They'd get a new baby someday. They seemed more concerned about how mommy was than anything else. So I went home and let myself cry alone for a while.

Because the baby was still there my midwife gave me options. I chose to wait and let things happen naturally. And then I realized that it may happen while I was alone, when Jason was gone. How would I handle myself emotionally without him there? Or handle the kids? Or what if it happened on Christmas Day? That wasn't how I wanted to spend our holiday. So I called and had the midwives call in a prescription.

I took the misoprostol last night. It was painful. I didn't sleep much. But it started the process. Now I just let things continue and go back in a couple of weeks to make sure my body is clean and there is no risk of infection. I was really afraid of last night. But it wasn't as bad as I had expected. Still very hard. But I survived it.

And now I'm here rambling on to cyber space about it. When really I'm not feeling very well physically and I need to go lie down. So that's where I'll be. Thank you for your prayers and your love and support. You don't know how much you have lifted me up this week. I have very much needed you. Every one of you. Especially one of you (you know who you are). I love you all. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

:(

Woke up super excited to see or hear our little one today. Found out the baby didn't make it. That's all I can really say about it right now. I'm going to go cry some more.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'll give you 3 guesses...

I finally got the kids and myself in to the doc yesterday. We were there for 3 hours. It was super fun (note the sarcasm). By the time we were finished the kids had had enough and I was so exhausted that I gave up on keeping them out of trouble. Luckily, I have good kids and the most trouble they got into was taking 3 stickers instead of 1 when they were all done.

Anyway, my diagnosis? Severe sinus infection. It started spreading into my right ear a little, but not too bad yet. Just enough to cause a little pain and pressure, but not quite enough to really be called an ear infection. Because of the fetus (as I lovingly refer to baby #3) there isn't much I can take. So 2 giant 875mg amoxicillin pills a day it is! Wahoo. And that's on top of the nasty prenatals and my daily anxiety med. Did I mention I'm not a big pill swallowing fan? Oh well. Whatever. As long as I start feeling better ASAP!!

As for the kids, well. I'll give you 3 guesses!

Nope.

Not that either.

And that one's not even close!

Are you ready for this? Because a blood test has confirmed that they have.......

MONO!!

Yeah. Mono. The kissing disease that you get when you're in junior high or high school or whatever that knocks you out for months. That mono.

Apparently it's been going around the community in young children. And you're contagious 3-7 days before symptoms even show up so it's not like you can really prevent the spread. Nice. I guess Jason and I are immune since most of us are exposed to mono at some point in our youth and don't even realize it. And in children this young they just have a few cold/flu-like symptoms, but for the most part they are acting completely normal. No meds needed. They are not contagious. And complications are highly unlikely. So we go back for a follow up in 2 weeks to make sure they are getting over it.

So weird. Not at all what I would have expected. But thank heavens it's something so strangely simple! Payson was thrilled when the doctor gave her the okay to go back to preschool. She's really been missing all of her friends and her teacher. And I think both kids are really missing a little more structure in their days. So as soon as I can get up some energy and start getting a little more sleep we'll get right back on track! Because I think we're really ready to start enjoying the holiday season the right way!!

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. We really appreciate it. And thanks to friends and neighbors who have dropped by with meals or offers to pick up groceries, etc. We really have the best friends, neighbors, and family around!! Seriously. You should be jealous. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Personalized Video Message from Santa!!


Someone shared this site with me so I did it for the kids and they LOVED it!! It was fun to see their faces when Santa said their names and talked about them personally. So cute.

Here's Jack's.

And Payson's.

Make one for your kids! Or even your hubby or whoever!!
Go to this site to create your own!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tired of being sick and sick of being tired.

This nasty bug that we've got is just not letting up. Jason is gone at work so I'm here alone with two sick little babies. And on top of that I'm sick too. None of us are sleeping. We are all congested and coughing our brains out. Each of us has had one day with body aches, chills, and fever. But after that one day it goes back to just being congestion and coughing and sore throat and headache. (Sore throat and headache are both because of all the coughing). Ugh.

I'm not a big medicine taker. Especially when I'm pregnant. But you can bet I called my doctor and found out what was safe to take. We've been downing what we can this week. I plan to call the doctor first thing tomorrow morning to get all three of us in. A week is way to long to be out of commission. I'm ready to be done. And I'm getting sick of my house. Which you can bet is a mess. I'm too tired to stop kids from destroying everything and none of us feels up to cleaning.

And of course Jason is gone, so that leaves no one to take care of us. :( No priesthood blessings, no one to make us meals, clean up after us, take our temperatures, pick up needed medicine and sick supplies (i.e., tissue, soup, Popsicles for our throats, etc.), and no one to hug us and make us feel better even when we're still feeling icky. I miss him. He's so good at that. I can feel the worst in the world, but having him here makes it okay.

Thanks heavens I'm not enduring morning sickness too! Can you imagine?! Ugh! I'd die! This is enough on it's own.

So we're eating gallons and gallons of canned soup and over-the-counter meds and watching Christmas movie after Christmas movie while we snuggle all three of our sick little (okay fine, mine's not quite so little) bodies together on the couch.

Anyway, could you include us in your prayers? We'd really like to get feeling better for the holidays. We had so many fun plans that we're missing out on. And I've got SO MUCH end of the year primary stuff that I'm dumping on my counselors. I feel AWFUL about it! And besides that, I'm just tired of feeling icky. I don't think I've been this sick in years! We'd really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Thanks everyone! We love you and hope you're in good health and enjoying this holiday season the right way for us!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home

We got home from our trip Sunday night. So. Much. Fun. Until we left. That's when I got sick. I'm feeling MUCH better but still feel like crap. I'm constantly hacking up my lungs. It's painful and annoying and exhausting. And in the few moments that I have energy I'm trying to get caught up on laundry and get Christmas decorations up and get end of the year Primary stuff taken care of. Forget cleaning my house. Ugh. I'm seriously thisclose to hiring a maid service this week. Anyway, the trip was a blast! I really didn't want to come home. I could have stayed forever. Literally. I don't think I could ever get sick of it. It was perfect. I'll post pictures and details when I get pictures from my madre. Jason was in charge of packing the cameras. I made him a list. Somehow he forgot. So we have zero video of the trip and only photos from my mom's camera. Which is really nice and she took a ton, so it's not a huge deal. I just need to get down to her house and copy them. And in the mean time I'll have to post pictures of all my fun Christmas stuff. I love my Christmas stuff. I love buying and making new things. And I love how much the kids love it. I love the whole season! So hope your Thanksgiving was a fun as mine! And happy holidays!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!

Don't know what your plans are for Thanksgiving, but I'm going to be staying here,



in a room that looks like this,



and relaxing by this.



We'll probably take a walk here,



and probably hang out with these guys here!




Happy Thanksgiving! I'll be sure to share lots of pictures when we get home. :)

(Don't be too jealous. We have a 15 hour drive with Payson and Jack ahead of us. There and back. I can't wait!!)



Friday, November 13, 2009

Feeling a little better. :)

Although I've probably jinxed myself for just typing that. I got most of the house (still avoiding that darn kitchen) cleaned up, and the kids ready for the day. Hormones seem to be mellowing out. Maybe I'll do laundry and shower this afternoon. (Although that's probably wishful thinking with the mood I've been in today). :)

So I'm already stressing about baby names. It always takes me way to long to figure out what I like and what fits. And I'm strangely concerned with what other people think. Although in the end I'll name the kid what I like regardless of other people's opinions. And actually, I think I'm fairly settled on a boy name. Not sure on the girl names. But the middle name will either be Marie (like me, Payson, my mom, and my sisters), Beth (after my mom), or Joyce (after my grandmother. Anyway, any opinions or suggestions?

Not a great week.

I need to vent. Because I'm alone and there's no one here to vent to. So you get it. Sorry.

Jason is gone this week. He won't be home until the end of next week. My house is a mess. Well, that's not entirely accurate. The mess is mostly contained to the kitchen. But it's starting to smell. And the smell makes me nauseous. So I'm avoiding cleaning it. Jack has been a seriously pill lately. Biting, hitting, attitude. I'm ready to give him away. Any takers? I'm exhausted. I can't get enough sleep. But when I sleep I have BIZARRE dreams! I woke up so many times last night, seriously disturbed by these strange dreams. I hate that about pregnancy. I haven't worked out (well, except once) this week. I'm just too tired. And lazy. And I've eaten crap all week. So now I feel even more like crap. I'm completely off of my routine. The routine that keeps my anxiety in check and keeps me sane. And I can tell the kids are missing the structure. I cried myself to sleep last night. Mostly hormones. I hate hormones. And I'll admit that I've only showered once this week. Ew. And I just pulled my hair back and threw my sweats back on. I hate this week. I want it to be over. I want to feel normal again. Someone come fix me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - 6 Weeks

So I guess this week would be week seven if I kept going from where I left off. But I lost track. And things have changed anyway, so I'm going with pregnancy weeks now. :)

I have not lost any more weight. Or gained either. Which is great!! But also a little bit of a bummer. I mean, I know it's healthy, but it's frustrating to unexpectedly not be able to lose weight anymore. But oh well. I just have to remind myself that I can use the next several months to ingrain healthy habits into my brain so that once this baby is here it is super easy to drop all these extra pounds!!

It's sad to say, but at my heaviest weight I was considered obese. Yuck!! I hate thinking about that. However, now, I'm just overweight. Which stinks, but whatever. It's better than obese. Anyway, for overweight women, healthy weight gain throughout pregnancy would fall between 15 and 25 pounds. So that's what I'm aiming for. I'm going to try to gain as little as possible, as far as I feel okay, the baby is healthy, and my midwife is happy with my progress. I don't know what exact number that will be, but I'm just planning to play it by ear. For now, the goal is to not gain any weight during the first trimester. And less than a pound a week after that. Again, so long as it's healthy.

I'm learning to listen to my body better. I start to feel weak and get light headed if I haven't gotten enough. And I have to be better about not letting myself get to that point. It's funny because I'll eat what I think is plenty and then my body will let me know otherwise. It's sort of a strange feeling, not having control anymore.

I'm eating basically the same as before. Although I eat a little more. I get queasy and weak if I go too long without eating so I've added an additional healthy snack to my day. And I usually have a little extra for breakfast. Like an extra piece of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a larger smoothie or extra piece of fruit. I'm usually super hungry first thing in the morning. But I'm trying to make sure every additional calorie is a healthy additional calorie.

And as far as working out goes, I've had to stop Bootcamp. I'm looking forward to getting back to it once I get the okay from the midwives after baby comes. But in the mean time I ordered Lindsay's pregnancy dvds (found here) and they came last weekend. I'm starting the first trimester workout today. Can't wait!! And on top of that I'll do cardio 5-6 days a week. An hour on days I don't do the video, and about 30 minutes when I do.

But like I said before, I'm learning to listen to my body. Like last Saturday I was feeling EXHAUSTED and didn't want to workout. I thought it was just psychological and pushed myself to workout anyway. You know, some days you just feel lazy, but once you make yourself DO IT you feel great!! It did feel good, but I was wiped out the rest of the day. I realized that my body was telling me it needed a break and that I should have listened. So yesterday I took the day off. Much needed!! And today I feel better. Much better. (Aside from wanting to curl back up in bed because the kids woke up a few times last night so I didn't get a great night's sleep). :(

I realized over the weekend how much of a learning process living healthy is for me. I don't think it'll ever be easy. I think it will always take effort for me. I'm sure it will get easier as I go, but it will always be work. Which is good. Work is something I have never been great at and I'm learning to be better. But one day I'll have reached my goal and will get to keep on learning while enjoying the results of all of this work. :)

And there is a lot of fun that comes along with it! Like cooking! I've never loved to cook. When Jason and I were first married, I didn't have a lot of recipes, so we ate the same things every week. That was boring to me. And all of the recipes I had included sour cream, cheese, cream of mushroom or chicken soup, etc. Fatty, creamy, yummy, but disgusting. And I hate doing dishes. So cooking was not so much fun. Now I'm finding all kinds of simple, yummy, quick, healthy and delicious recipes online! I love trying new things! It makes the cooking fun for me. I enjoy it! And because we try a new recipe or two each week it keeps things interesting. We repeat the things we really like or things we haven't had in a long time and we never get bored. Yes, it takes planning and preparation, but I rarely find myself wondering what's for dinner at 5 and stressing to figure out what to make. And there are usually leftovers, so I can take a night or two off and just have that. PLUS, it makes the occasional take out night even more fun, since it's a rare treat instead of the normal once or twice a week.

Anyway, I'm rambling on and on about stuff that I'm sure no one else really cares too much about. So instead I'll bore you for a minute with some complaints!! :)

MY BOOBS ARE KILLING ME!! Seriously, I don't remember them hurting this much the first two pregnancies! A good supportive sports bra helps, but I can't figure out how to wear it with the g's. Over? Under? It just doesn't work. Ugh.

And the bloating and gas cramps! Ugh. Ugh, ugh, UGH!! I mean, not gas like passing gas all the time, but like pointless gas bubbles in my abdomen that just cause pain. And the bloating is just annoying. I'm not showing this early, of course, but my pants, which have just started to fit well again from the weight loss, fit snug on the days that I'm bloated. YUCK. Those are the days I wear my sweat pants and cry. And has anyone else had ligament pain this early in a pregnancy? I don't remember feeling those tugs and stretching until way later on. Should I be worried??

Oh, and have I mentioned how tired I am? All. The. Time. I get up at 5 most day, but I crash around 1 or 2. Which, thank heavens, is when Payson is at school (3 days a week) and Jack takes his nap. So I take a nap too. And then I'm still out by 8 or 9 at night. The most frustrating part about that is that that nap time is when I usually get things done! Like primary stuff, or cleaning the house, or whatever else. I have to take advantage of the nap, but I feel like I'm not getting anything done because of lost too many precious hours of my day! So if I have something I promised you I'd get to or if I'm supposed to call you back, please excuse me. I was probably sleeping instead of getting it done.

Although, I really shouldn't complain about those little things. So far, I've gotten nauseous on occasion and sick only a few times. (Knock on wood). I'm hoping it stays that way. And to be honest, I would gladly keep all these other darn symptoms if it meant keeping the morning sickness at bay. I'd take just about ANYTHING over being sick. I hate throwing up. Ew.

Anyway, enough of that. I'm off to throw on my sweats and brush my teeth and take the kiddos to playgroup. Maybe I'll curl up on the floor while the kids play instead of socializing with the other moms. (Can you believe I'm literally ready for a nap at nine in the morning?!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Kind of Mother I Want to Be

We all get loads of email forwards. Some are funny, some are political, some are ridiculous, and some are inspiring. Even those that fascinate me rarely leave my inbox. I just don't take the time to forward them. However, I felt the need to share this one. I do not know who the original author is or where it came from. For all I know it could be fabricated (although I highly doubt that). Regardless, it touched me and I'd like to share it with you.

This week, at the front desk of one of the leading hair salons in Los Angeles, People Magazine was being shared by a handful of women all marveling at the poise and strength of the 21-year old cover girl, Elizabeth Smart. Just a week ago, Smart finally faced the man who violently changed her life and robbed her of her youth. Defendant Brian David Mitchell, appearing in U.S. District Court, sat in shackles opposite Smart. Ultimately Mitchell was banned from the courtroom for being disruptive, and was reduced to viewing the proceedings via closed circuit TV.
It is no surprise that magazine readers, particularly women, have been shocked and horrified by Elizabeth Smart's unveiling of her true nightmare. The women present this week at Allen Edwards Salon in Encino, California could only shake their heads and praise her for her courage, for her steely commitment to holding Mitchell accountable, and her equal resolve to be defined by all that she is, not what she has lost.
About a year ago, my then 11-year old daughter had the opportunity of being in a Sunday School class of young women taught by Elizabeth Smart, in a Salt Lake City congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The subject of Smart's lesson was how to "put your trust in God when there is nothing else you can count on." Elizabeth Smart shared with the young girls, who knew her sheer presence was a miracle, that they could survive anything if they would just understand who they were in the eyes of God.
Some skeptics in the world might brush aside such a message as sort of a lovely evangelical band-aid. If you were eleven and seated in front of the statuesque, unspotted, quietly fierce Elizabeth Smart, no more believable testimony could ever be given.
In recent weeks the media has been full of praise for Elizabeth Smart. Earlier, however, the media often questioned her courage. Why hadn't she run? Or escaped? Or screamed? Or fought back? Interviewers and reporters and anchors filled news minutes with speculation. For years. When Smart did agree to interviews, she fought off the most pressing questions, creating even more wonder.
On October 2nd, in a Salt Lake City courtroom, in a time and place of her choosing, Elizabeth Smart quietly but confidently silenced all speculators. She revealed a tale of pre-meditated viciousness and abuse that almost no woman could survive, intact.
How did a 14- year old survive such a crime, you might ask?
Because of her mother.
Several days after her kidnapping, after her father had already poured out his soul to the unknown kidnappers and sobbed for his daughter's return, Elizabeth's mother, Lois Smart, stepped in front of the microphone. She seemed so bereft that she could barely lift her face to the cameras for early morning television. I remember Mrs. Smart calling out to Elizabeth, hoping somehow she could hear. Lois Smart challenged Elizabeth, wherever she might be, to remember her great- grandmother, a Mormon pioneer, who had crossed the Great Plains. Lois Smart reminded Elizabeth that her great- grandmother had known many hardships, but had always endured, and that Elizabeth could do the same.
Elizabeth Smart has reported that the "mentally-deficient" Brian David Mitchell had acquired a small TV or radio to track the news media coverage following the abduction. Whether Elizabeth ever actually heard her mother, it is hard to know. However, as a mother of a daughter who also has a great- grandmother who forged her way across the plains with the Mormon pioneers, I know that it is likely Elizabeth knew the story well. It had been shared with her by her mother and father many times. She also knew what it said about the women who are part of the long line of Smarts.
As someone who shares the Smart family's religious convictions, I can't help but believe that Elizabeth Smart was able to survive months of captivity and sexual abuse because at 14, she already knew exactly who she was. All of her life she had been taught that she was a daughter of God and that nothing, and no one, could ever change that. She knew that her mother knew. She knew that her grandmother knew. She knew that her great grandmother had known too that she could endure virtually anything, trusting that her Father in Heaven was watching over her.
The answer to the question in everyone's mind about Elizabeth Smart is simple. Elizabeth survived by showing the kind of courage that she had always been taught was there.
That is how the witnesses and national cameras cannot ignore that Elizabeth Smart is still a young woman with a rich life ahead of her.
A beautiful, courageous 21 year old, and a presence whom six young girls in a Sunday School class will remember the rest of their lives.

My thoughts while reading this were not of how I might have handled the events Elizabeth Smart did, although those thoughts have crossed my mind. Today I thought of my children. And my own strength as a mother. I hope that I will someday be the kind of mother who has taught that indescribably important lesson to her children. If at the end of my life I can not say that I did all in my power to teach my children to KNOW who they are, to know, as stated in this email that they are "a daughter (or son) of God and that nothing, and no one, could ever change that...and that she (or he) could endure virtually anything, trusting that her (or his) Father in Heaven was watching over her (or him)", well then, my life would not have been well spent.

Thoughts like this can be discouraging. I could look at it and fear all the work I have to do to become that kind of mother. I could realize that I may fail and give up. Or I can realize who I am and I can trust that if I put every ounce of faith in my Heavenly Father, He will guide me in teaching my children and instilling in them strong, solid, enduring testimonies, like this young woman's.

That's the kind of mother I want to be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ralls Family Halloween 2009 Extravaganza!!

We celebrated Halloween all month long this year! We started out picking out pumpkins from the local "pumpkin patch" (aka Smith's Grocery Store). The kids wanted to color their pumpkins with Daddy one night. So we let them.



The city had a big Halloween activity one night. A street downtown was blocked off for the party. The kids got all dressed up. My Dorothy and Scarecrow:



They had a few games for the kids, like a bean bag toss, a golfing game, and a few others. There were prizes (i.e., spider rings and Halloween pencils) at each activity. They also had pumpkin carving and costume contests.



Then there was a trunk of treat. That's what we were really there for. :) Local business hand out candy for the kiddos and fliers, ads, and coupons for the parents. Free advertising for them, free candy and entertainment for us. The last trunk was the "Mystery Machine" van! The kids LOVE Scooby Doo lately, so they were super excited for that one! They couldn't have cared less about Shaggy or Velma or anyone else. They just wanted to meet Scooby. I tried to get a picture, but Jack took his candy and was done. :)



Later on in the month the kids and I carved our pumpkin. Guess what they picked.



For our weekly story time at the library the kids wore costumes and made these little ghost pouches. Then they trick-or-treated all the librarians.



A favorite tradition of ours is going to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. The kids have loved going with their aunts every year. We took Madie and Maren and Maren's friend Erin.



Jack rode on this little toy while the other kids played on the giant jumping pillow:



The raced on the slides. Maren won:



There was a new little 3D fun house. I made the kids all pose in their super awesome glasses.



We went for a couple of rides. The first was cows cars pulled by tractors, the second just little carts behind a tractor. Big hit with the kiddos.



The kids spent some time in jail:



Madie and Erin made it through the haunted monster with no problem, but Maren has cried every year. This year I made her go through with me. She freaked out a little and clung to me as if I she might die if she let go, but she made it through AND there were no tears!!



The corn box is always a favorite. We took turns burying everyone from the neck down. We came home with corn in our underwear.



The kids dressed up in the little Pumpkin Princess Village. Jack showed us his muscles:




And finally we stopped to take a picture on the giant rocking chair:



Then Halloween Day we met a few of my hair school friends for a brunch at IHOP. I'm lame and didn't take my camera. :( Then we hopped onto Grandpa's trailer and her pulled us around the neighborhood behind his 4-wheeler for some serious trick0-or-treating!! The kids scored loads of sugar. I ate way more of it than I should have. The last stop of the night is always the Carroll's. Instead of candy, they always have homemade donuts and hot chocolate. They moved this year, but came back to a neighbor's house just for us!! LOVE them!!



Then it was back to Grandma's for Taco Soup, cookies, candy, a nice warm bath, and BED!!

Hope you all had as much fun as we did!! Until next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scrawny Chef

Remember that recipe blog I started a while back? Well, I was asked to start posting pictures with my recipes, which I had been thinking about doing but somehow talked myself out of. I have a cruddy little point and shoot digital camera. I have no artist photography ability at all. And I always forget. But the last week I decided that I don't care and I've remembered! So go check out Scrawny Chef because I just posted 6 new recipes with photos!! The previous 34 or so recipes will just have to wait until I get around to making them again because I'm not going to sit around making each of them simply to post the photo. Sorry. :) Anyway, go check it out and if you try something let me know what you thought or how it turned out!! And remember: Photos may be blurry or shadowed or grainy or just plain bad. View at your own risk.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm not good at keeping secrets.

And I've kept this one for 2 whole days now. Well, that's really not true. I told way too many people even though I told myself I wasn't going to. So, in case you weren't one of those, here you go:

Baby Ralls #3 is on its way!!

Surprised?! So was I! Not planned, but we're super excited!! I'm BARELY pregnant. Only 4 weeks. I know it's ridiculous that I'm already telling everyone this early, but that's me! I'm due July 6th. The plan is not to find out the gender (although the plan was also not to tell anyone until we were further along). And so far, other than being super tired and my boobs killing me, I feel great! Crossing my fingers that morning sickness doesn't strike.

I just found out yesterday and had to send Jason a picture message of the test. He was just as shocked and just as excited.

And this means that I won't be trying to lose weight any longer. However, my plan is to stick to my workouts for now and then adjust them as the belly grows, and to continue eating how I am now, other than adding that 200-300 calories. The goal is to gain about 15 pounds with this pregnancy (which is healthy when you're already overweight). I plan to keep up with my weekly weigh ins, things will just be a little different now.

Anyway, I just got home from a late stake leadership primary meeting and got the kids to bed and I AM BEAT!! So goodnight!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Week 5 and Halloween

This week was a tad stressful, for multiple reasons. There was the primary program, Jason left for work again for his two week stint, the weather was changing so of course the kids were acting up all week, and some other random things here and there. Plus, I don't think I've gotten around to cleaning my house in three weeks. My floors are gross.

Remember how I was going to splurge last Monday? It was heaven! So needed! I ordered way more than I could eat. And it was delicious!! My kids got the leftovers for lunch the next day. And I managed to only gain 1/2 a pound. (By the way, Jack just walked up to me with two pens shoved up his nose...boys.)

After my little splurge night I got right back on track and did pretty well all week. I tried some new recipes (which I'll be posting on my recipe blog as soon as I upload the photos of them!) and I did the 2nd week workout on the 12 week program I'm doing. It was rough! It was kickboxing and, for me, it was HARD! I told Jason that I was super happy to be done with it and then I realized that later on in the program it will come back to find me, alongside even more toughness. I think I'll cry that day.

Saturday was hard. We had a pizza party with the kids after the program practice. I figured I'd eat super healthy all day, but allow myself two slices of pizza. I packed carrot sticks to eat alongside my pizza. But pizza is a weakness of mine. I was starving and I just couldn't stop myself! I ended up eating 2 1/2 slices and 1/2 of Jack's yummy frosted sugar cookie. I gained another 1/2 pound, but it was totally worth it! As long as I don't eat like that too often I figure I can't be too upset with myself.

So this morning the verdict was 3.2 pounds this week! Yay! I'm at 168 pounds even. My BMI is now at 27.1, not great yet, but on it's way down! I've lost a total of 14 pounds in 34 days. Of course I'd love to be losing the weight faster, but I really can't complain. I'm losing. And at a healthy pace. And that's what really matters. I'm not going to lie and pretend that I don't wish it would all just fall off on its own. Because the truth is, I'd love to be skinny and fit right now. But my ultimate goal is health and I know that the end result of this long process will be that much more rewarding because I worked so hard for it.

Today starts week 3 of my workout program. I watched the workout (in fast forward mode) the other night and it looks like fun! Although super tough. Lots of push ups. Yuck. But hopefully I'll have a super toned chest and arms by the end of this week!! Wish me luck with that!

I'm actually really excited for this whole week. The weekend was busy, but lonely because Jason was gone and as busy as we were, we weren't as busy as we normally are during the week. (Which would make one wonder why I didn't clean my house...well, because I was lazy is the true answer to that question). But this week we're carving pumpkins, Payson has ballet, the kids have playgroup, and Payson has preschool (it got canceled last week because her teacher, who happens to be my friend and second counselor in the primary, her husband got swine flu and she runs the preschool out of her home, so she had to cancel until he recovered and disinfected her house). On Wednesday night there are a couple of fun Halloween specials on tv. The kids and I decided we'll do baths and scriptures and everything early that night so that we can pop some kettle corn (healthier!) and curl up in mom's bed to watch the shows. I love snuggling up with those two super cute babies!! On Thursday the kids get to wear their costumes to library story time and Payson gets to wear hers again to preschool.

And then we're headed to Grandma's house in Utah for the weekend!! I love our little Halloween traditions at my parents' house. The kids love ringing Grandma's doorbell and trick or treating. She makes a big deal about their costumes (even though she's already seen them) and gives them extra candy. She always makes Taco Soup with all the good stuff (sour cream, cheese, avocado) and she also makes Hershey Kiss Cookies and has it all waiting for us when we get home all cold and ready to be warmed up from trick or treating. And my dad hooks his trailer up to the four wheeler, we throw blankets in the back, and he drives us around the neighborhood instead of walking from house to house. Lazy, I know. But really fun!! The kids can't wait! And they especially love getting to trick or treat with their Aunt Madie and Aunt Maren and all the girls' friends. And I'm sure Uncle Devin and Uncle Brennan will drop by too. LOVE my family!! We also plan to go to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point, which we have done every year since Payson was tiny and they can not wait!

I'll have LOTS of pictures to post when I get back! I think I'm just about as excited as the kids are. :) Although I'm a little nervous about all that good food and candy. It's always harder to eat healthy when I'm not at home to cook for myself and I don't have all that candy sitting out screaming at me. So wish me luck with that this weekend too!! Hope you all have a great Halloween week!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Because I know you're all just DYING to know...

It's over. And I can breathe again. :)

We had our Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation practice yesterday. It was a NIGHTMARE. I had expected it to be rough, but not like that.

There was a mother in tears physically wrestling her son. She's one of our teachers and two of her boys happen to be the most difficult in our primary. She finally told me that she didn't think this was working out and they didn't show up this morning.

A little boy told me he had to throw up right in the middle of the practice. So of course I grabbed a garbage can and held it under his face while running him into the bathroom. Then, once in the stall he made a pathetic puking sound and came out in less than a second. I asked him if he needed to throw up and he told me he did. When I told him there was nothing in the toilet he told me that it was invisible. Then he asked me not to call his mom because he didn't want to get into trouble.

And then there was the usual. Kids were rowdy. No one was paying attention. I couldn't get an accurate time for how long the program would run, in case we needed to add or cut anything. It was loud. The kids seemed not to know the words to half the songs.

I literally had nightmares all night last night. Did not sleep well.

Then I woke up late this morning, rushed to get the three of us fed and ready, dropped the kids off at my second counselor's house, and then hurried to ward counsel. After ward counsel, my counselors (and the kids) met me at church and we rushed to set the extra chairs and things on the stand (we have a HUGE primary) as well as tape name tags on each chair so the kids would know where to sit.

Oh! And in the 24 hours between our practice and sacrament meeting this morning about 1/3 (yep, one third) of our primary called because they were sick and not going to make it. We've had mono, swine flu, another stomach bug, and a serious cold going around our community like crazy!

So once we were set up, I scrambled to catch each of our primary teachers and let them know what to do with the parts of the kids who weren't there.

Finally I got Jack settled with one of the AWESOME young women in our ward who had volunteered to take care of him for me through the meeting.

And then I sat down to wait.

I knew it would turn out just fine. But I never expected that it would turn out INCREDIBLE. There was such an amazing spirit throughout the meeting. I cried through most of it. And then again as I attempted to tell the kids how proud I was of them when we were back in primary.

Those children have such pure testimonies. And when they sang that sacred music I heard angels of the Lord singing alongside them. It was so beautiful!

I love this year's theme for Primary. I love teaching His children that families are eternal and the importance of families. As overwhelmed as I have been by this calling, I am SO SO SO grateful for it! I have so much to learn from these children, our Heavenly Father's children. This is such a wonderful church. It really is His church, His gospel. And I love it with all my heart!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Week 4

Well, I lost about a pound. I weighed 171.2 lbs this morning. I'm telling myself two things. One, I have a new scale, so maybe the two scales were just off from each other a little, so I'm not seeing perfectly accurate results. (Although my new scale is pretty awesome. I made Jason help me take it out of all the packaging, get it all programmed, and then I played around with it for a few minutes there in the store to be sure it was what I wanted before buying it). :) And the second thing is that maybe because I've bumped up my workouts I'm gaining muscle? I'm hoping it's both. :)

One to two pounds n a week is good. It's healthy. But I'm still bummed. I'm not gonna lie, I like seeing a bigger loss on the scale. It's really motivating to see results. But numbers aside, I'm fitting into a smaller pants size. So that's progress! I still have a long ways to go, but I'm headed in the right direction and that's what really matters.

I plan on letting myself splurge a little tonight. I made this decision last night before I knew today's numbers so that it wasn't a choice based on emotions. I didn't want to do it because I was all bummed out. I think I've been a little too hard on myself this week. I worked really hard! I ate healthy. I cooked every night (aside from leftovers night). And I worked out six days this week, some days twice in a day! So we're going to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner tonight and I'm getting whatever sounds delicious. I could try to get a more healthy option, but I just don't think I should have to do that ALL the time. So I'm eating great today, splurging on some yummy chips and salsa and guac and something cheesy and fatty and delicious tonight, and then back at it tomorrow. Because splurging a little here and there makes it feel less restrictive and is just more fun!

I'm sure I'll have a stomachache after dinner. And I'm sure I'll step on the scale in the morning and have a gain. But I don't care because I have until Monday to lose it and worry about the numbers, right?!

As for goals, well, I'm doing good with the ones I have. I would set more this week, but I have too much going on with kids' well check appointments, visiting teaching, house cleaning, cooking, dishes, and other household chores, ballet, playgroup, library story time, preschool, Jason being gone, our primary program practice on Saturday, and the program this Sunday. So I'm just keeping up with the ones I have. My big goal this week is simply to stay on top of my workouts and eating while surviving life in the meantime! Hopefully I don't die doing it all. :) I really am SuperMom, aren't I?! Ha ha ha ha ha!! (Really, in case you don't catch the sarcasm there, just note that it will not all get done, something will slip through the cracks, I'll probably call Jason crying that I just can't do it 2-3 times this week, and my guess is that the kids will get yelled at more than they deserve simply because Mom is too tired to try real discipline.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Argh!!

So because of my anxiety I function best following strict routines. Some of them are silly. But they help me feel better. They give me a strange and calming sense of control. I'm going to share one of them with you. By sharing this with you, I am revealing to you how truly neurotic I am.

So each morning, my alarm goes off at 5:00 am. I roll over and turn it off. It goes off again at 5:15 am. This time I turn it off and get up. I'm not sure why, but that extra 15 minutes of sleep gets me up.

Anyway, I say my morning prayer and head straight to the bathroom to pee. I drink 96 ounces of water each day, so I always wake up with a very full bladder. I have to stop drinking at about 6pm to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to pee. (I'm sure this is WAY more than you wanted to know, but guess what. This is my blog and I can write what I want). :)

So I pee, then step on the scale in the nude. I know it probably sounds silly to some of you, but for me, this gets me the most accurate weight reading. I'm not so much concerned with the number on the scale. Just the difference in the current number and previous reading.

And for those of you who think that I shouldn't be weighing myself daily I think I've explained myself before. I am only allowed to get upset at the number on the scale on Monday morning. My weight difference from Monday to Monday is what counts. However, I like to track my weight daily to see how my eating that day affected it. I make myself aware that some days I'm eating a little less, some days a little more, and some days I intentionally splurge. On the days I splurge I like to see how much I really splurged. Or on Fast Sunday I like to see what kind of a difference that made. Even though it doesn't matter. Like I said, I'm neurotic.

The morning ritual goes as follows: Wake up, pray, pee, weigh in, get dressed in work out garb, make and eat breakfast, check blogs while I eat breakfast, read my scriptures, and then workout.

Why am I telling you all of this when you probably couldn't care less? Because:

So, as of Wednesday I was down to 170.5 lbs from Monday's 172. A whole pound and a half! I was actually really surprised by that since I've been at it for a few weeks now and I generally start to taper off to just a pound or two a week. I thought maybe because I had bumped up my workouts this week, that had been the difference. I didn't plan to continue that way for long, but it was exciting!

Because I had been doing so well early in the week, I didn't feel guilty for eating one of those ghost cookies Wednesday night for FHE. So when I had gained half a pound the next morning I knew that it was probably a result of the minor splurge the night before and it didn't bother me at all.

I ate really well and worked out hard that day. And woke up the next morning with another half pound gain. This time I was confused. I wouldn't have been surprised if the number had stayed the same, but I had actually gained weight. That didn't make sense to me with my workout and eating.

I decided not to let it bother me because it wasn't Monday. If Monday's number wasn't a reflection of my hard work I would just have to take a much closer look at things.

Then this morning, I woke up, prayed, peed, stepped on the scale in the buff, looked down to see the number...and it was blank. Stupid scale! I thought the battery must just be dead. It hadn't been replaced in over two years.

In case you were wondering, true love is running to the grocery store for a lithium battery for your neurotic wife at 5:30 am.

So Jason came home, changed the scale battery, and nothing. It wasn't the battery. Must be the scale. The thing may or may not be under warranty, but I have no clue what I did with the warranty and it wasn't that expensive anyway. So Jason ran back to the store and bought me a new scale. He really does love me. :)

So he brought home the new, more expensive scale. I read the little manual. This scale actually had a few added features. It was better than my old one! So I stepped on. 173.6 lbs. Huh? That can't be right! I didn't gain another 2 pounds in one day! I was really, really good! I even enjoyed a movie at the theater with my husband while he ate candy and popcorn and I chewed my gum!

Well, maybe there's just a difference in the scales and if I just weigh myself tomorrow morning I'll be down from this new number. Fine. I can live with that.

So, I took my hair out of my ponytail and took off my wedding ring and stepped back on the scale, just for fun. 172.4?! Now, my ring is beautiful, but it's not the hope diamond! Geez! It doesn't weigh an entire pound! (But can you imagine?!) :)

I put my hair back up and my ring back on and went back to the scale. 173.4 lbs. Stupid scale isn't even consistent. Different number every time I stepped on. I repackaged the scale. Jason's returning it later today.

So I have no idea how much I weigh today. Which isn't a huge deal. It just would have put my mind at ease because of the weird numbers earlier in the week. But I feel super off today. Like, it's already almost 10am and I haven't read my scriptures or worked out. I've been too busy looking up bathroom scales online.

Any suggestions? Anyone have anything they really like? Or know about a type that will give me an accurate, consistent reading? I want something nice, but I'm not willing to spend more than $50. (Although I'd really love to buy one of those industrial scales they have in doctors' offices for a few hundred!)

By the way, I'm not completely obsessed with my weight. I know it probably seems that way because I'm posting about it all the time and because, well, as you can see/read, I'm super neurotic. But I'm mostly normal. It's just a lot of hard work and I need to be very aware of my health in order to reach my goals. Just try not to judge me too harshly. :) Thanks!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Home Evening

We try to do FHE on Monday nights, but because of Jason's work schedule it rarely works out that way. So last night we had Family Home Evening.

Our lesson was on Friendship. We talking about who some of our friends are (neighbor kids, school friends, family, and the Savior). We talked about Jesus' friends when he was on the earth. I told the kids the story of Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Then we talked about how Jesus treated his friends and how we can show our friends that we love them.

It was a short and simple lesson (just right for my 4 and 2 year olds). Afterwards, for our activity, we made Ghost Cookies. (Thanks for the cute idea Alli!!)



We made enough to take to a few of the kids' friends and some for the ladies I visit teach and the families Jason home teaches.



Our treat (which I'm sure was obvious) was Ghost cookies!! :) The kids had a blast! It was messy, but super fun. I love my family. My husband, my kids, my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and everyone! I really think I'm the most blessed girl in the world when it comes to family. Can't get enough of them!!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Week 3 (ish, I'm switching days)

A few things first.

1. Liz, get a blog. You always comment and I always want to comment back or something on a blog. Just do it. Because I said so. Or I'll start telling everyone about Dolly and Barbie Parton. Although, that could be embarrassing for me as well...

2. To everyone who is offended that I'm no longer your friend on facebook: It's not you. It's me. :) I got off of facebook a few weeks ago. Jason and I had been talking about it for a while, and then I read some articles in the Ensign that just made me realize that, FOR ME (not everyone), I needed to quit wasting my time on the internet. I needed to set limits for myself. And the best way for me to do that was to get off facebook. I spend way too much time as it is reading blogs and shopping online and doing internet banking. I just didn't need another reason to sit in front of my computer.

3. Thank you to everyone who commented on that last post! You're all so awesome. I tell Jason all the time, I really am so blessed with great friends. GREAT friends. Some of you are old friends from high school. We may not even have hung out much in high school, but through this weird and crazy blogging world, I feel like you're some of my best friends. Some of you are family. (Liz, seriously, get a blog). A few of you I haven't even met in person. Just through blogging. But I still feel like you're just as close as any friend of met in person. Some of you have know me since 6th grade. (Hey Jobes!) Or for forever! (Holla to Tiffany and Kimber!) (Yeah. I just said "holla". I'm seriously that awesome). But no matter who you are or how I know you, I love you all! And I really appreciate all the advice and support you give me. Losing weight is hard for me. I don't know how long it's going to take me. And I worry all the time that I'm going to give up again, even though I really, really, really want this. So your support means a whole lot! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

That said, I don't know why but I like having my weigh in day fall on Monday. I like it to be the beginning of a new week. And it will correspond with my new workout program. So I switched it. So this is technically Week 2 1/2, but I'm calling it week 3. Or it could be 1, because it's week 1 of my new "training program". Whatever.

Anyway, I did pretty darn good again this week. I like being home and sticking with my routine. It keeps things simple and simple is easy. I cooked delicious but healthy meals this week. And when I didn't have time to cook I had leftovers instead of fast food. And I treated myself twice. :) One night the kids and I made chocolate covered strawberries. Yum! But I only made 6. We each had two. If I had made more I would have eaten more. And then last night I made cookies for our primary teacher development meeting. I told myself I'd only eat two. But then I ate another 1 or 2 in cookie dough. :) It was delicious. (I used so much self control after that! I kept about half a dozen cookies for Jason and the kids and took the cookies left from the meeting to the Bishop.) But I can't let myself feel guilty for doing it once in a while. Because if I don't let myself slip up sometimes that would mean I'm on a diet. And this isn't a diet. This is me changing my habits and lifestyle. (Cliche, I know. But true!)

So I started out on Wednesday, September 23rd at 182 pounds. BMI was 29.4. As of this morning I'm at 172 pounds and BMI 27.8!! Yay!! I've lost 3 1/2 pounds this week and TEN overall!! Exciting number!! And in just 19 days!!

Aside from numbers, I'm starting to get back into the groove of waking up bright and early. It's HARD. But it works for me. It feels good to be up and productive so early in the morning. And I'm doing good with the rest of my goals. Water seems to be such a simple and awesome help for me! I have a water bottle that holds 32 ounces. I sip it throughout the day, during and between meals, and end up refilling it three times. I pee like a racehorse, but it helps keep me full and keeps me from snacking. And on the couple of days where I haven't had enough water to drink I get headaches. I'm getting in my calories and workouts, and although I ate leftovers one too many times last week, I'm planning to try a new recipe this week that I'm excited about. Moroccan Lentil Soup. In a crockpot. So it's simple and not too messy or time consuming. Plus it sounded delicious. And healthy. :) As for getting 8 hours of sleep, well, I really do need to work on that one. But sometimes it's out of my control. Kids wake up in the middle of the night on occasion. Or I just have to get something done that the kids didn't let me do during the day. Or, like last night, Jason was home and we went to bed at 9 but stayed up talking until after 10:30. I have, however, learned to stop drinking water around 6 so that I don't wake up at night to pee. :) But I'm working on the sleep thing. Although I think what's most important is that I'm' getting up at the same time each morning consistently. My sleep pattern was so off before the last few weeks and it feels good to have a more solid routine.

I'm adding a new goal to the mix this week. I'm starting a 12 week workout program. It's Lindsay Brin's Bootcamp 12 week program. A friend of mine used her program, along with running to lose her weight and get super fit (and keep it all off!) and I'm really excited about her workouts. Lindsay seems to really care about the results of the women who use her dvds. They're tough, but doable and I don't have to workout for 3 hours a day to feel like I got a great workout, which is so important for busy moms. :)

So I plan to follow Lindsay's program, working out three times a week for the full 12 weeks, and run at least 5 times a week. Although right now I only have my elliptical machine. So I'll do that until I get a treadmill. (Hopefully this week! But we'll see.)

Another question for you all: I have the money now to buy an inexpensive treadmill. You know, the cheap ones at walmart or wherever that don't have all the cool gadgets and are really noisy. So I could go get one this week and use it through the winter and then run outside when summer rolls around. Or I could stick with my elliptical until January when Jason gets a huge bonus and I could go buy a big fancy treadmill with the built in fans and programs and ipod docks and everything. Which would also be a MUCH higher quality treadmill. :) I'm anxious to start running now. I took your suggestions and looked at that Cool Runnings website. Their Couch to 5K program seemed like just the right thing for me. I can push myself without overdoing it and being able to run a 5K in just 9 weeks would be a GIANT accomplishment for me! So do I wait and go for high quality? Or start now before I lose my motivation (which hopefully wouldn't actually happen) and get something less expensive? Or maybe I should just grab the low quality one now, use it until January, and sell it for a portion of my money back on ksl or something?? I'm kind of liking that idea! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Help me!! Runners needed!!

The "Fun Run" during gym in junior high. That's when my loathing for running began. I just didn't care and it was so frustrating that I was being forced. And timed. I didn't mind sports or other activities. But running just seemed boring.

So I haven't run in...a really, really long time. Really, really, really. Seriously. When I try, my joints hurt and my lungs burn and my boobs bounce (even with a supportive sports bra) and I just hate it! I don't mind that "feel good burn" of exercise. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated enough to start, but once I get going I like it. And I like waking up with stiff/sore muscles the next day. Not painful, but enough to know that I didn't something good the day before. I like pushing myself. I really like that. But running is different for me.

But I really want to change it! I don't know that I want to do races all of the time, but I know I want to say I've accomplished one. Because for ME, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE accomplishment.

See, I run on my elliptical every other day. I can go for quite a while. Several miles. But running and an elliptical machine are NOT the same. And running in Maryland is not the same as running in Wyoming. VERY different. This altitude is hard!

So, the help I need is this: Where do I begin?! Do I run outdoors or on a track or on a treadmill? (Although I think the fact that Jason is never here to watch the kids would mean I should probably get a treadmill, so I can run while they sleep). And then, what kind of treadmill do I get? Or instead of getting a treadmill should I get a membership at the rec center and run on their track and pay for the child care? (Although it's ridiculously priced and probably isn't even opened at the time of morning I want to run anyway). And do I start out walking or speed walking or jogging or just running? And how far do I go? And how long will it take before I notice a difference?? HELP!!

Seriously, ANY opinions and advice will be much appreciated. Because I want to start Monday morning. And if you don't comment, I'll have to figure something out on my own and I think if I have to do that I just might go cRaZy!! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekly Wiegh In - Week 2, a day late

So I weighed myself yesterday, expecting to be very disappointed in myself. You see, last Wednesday, Thursday, and also Friday morning-afternoon I did awesome!! I worked out hard and I ate great. But then I headed to Utah. I dropped the kids off with my parents and then headed to get my hair done and run a few errands. I got home later than expected (darn BYU game traffic!) and hurried to bathe the kids, have family scriptures and prayer, and get them to bed. Once that was done, I was FAMISHED. I had eaten lunch and took a sliced apple to get my hair done to tie me over until dinner. At this point it was about 9pm and I had only eaten a puny apple between then and noon. So I grabbed for the quickest thing I could.

My mom made delicious corn chowder with crumbled bacon and a yummy baguette. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I'd been good and I was hungry and I don't believe in depriving myself of anything. I took a small portion of chowder, one slice of bacon crumbled, and one small slice of bread. I would have been fine with that. But then I had seconds. Even though I wasn't really hungry anymore. Just because it tasted so good.

Well, I wasn't going to let one night be an issue, so I woke up the next morning resolved to do better. But Dad made waffles for Conference morning breakfast. Luckily, they were whole wheat waffles, and I topped them with delicious fresh peaches and fat free cool whip. I got back on track and ate healthy the rest of the day...until dinner. We waited to eat until after the boys got home from Priesthood. I was starving again. And dinner was leftover chowder. Arg.

Again, I resolved to do better the next morning. But Dad was making omelets. (I think my dad secretly wants me to be fat). Well, I withstood the temptation by having an egg white omelet with loads of veggies and minimal cheese. Again, I did great the rest of the day. Again: until dinner. Steak, mashed potatoes with Au jus, and fresh veggies from the garden. I loaded up on those fresh veggies. And I shared a portion of steak with my kids. But those dang potatoes!! They are my weakness. I heart them. And I ate not one, not two, but THREE helpings. I meant to stop at just the one, but they were screaming my name! And two would have been plenty, but then Jack didn't finish his, and I couldn't let that deliciousness go to waste!

Well, then Monday rolled around and I had pretty much just given up. I ate pretty well all day and then headed to McDonald's with a friend and all the kiddos for dinner. And I had ice cream.

Oh! And I forgot to mention that my mom sent me out one night to buy Halloween candy, which she uses every year to fill her thousands of candy dishes around the house. So I'd have a piece or two here or there, until Sunday night when I completely gave up and let myself eat it in handfuls.

By the time I left Tuesday morning, I was so happy to be heading home! I felt gross and was ready to get back to it. But you know how it is coming back from a trip. I had laundry and primary stuff to catch up on. I was way behind Tuesday night and ordered pizza. It was convenient and it meant I didn't have to wash many dishes.

And that's why when I stepped on the scale Wednesday morning, I was expecting a huge disappointment. To be honest with you, as bummed as I was to not see another 6 1/2 pounds missing, I was SHOCKED that I didn't GAIN anything!! Yay for me!

But I'm still struggling this week. Going out of town throws me so off! I got the laundry done, but I still have a bunch of stuff to catch up on. My house desperately needs to be cleaned. I have to work on some primary stuff. Bills need to be paid. And I left my favorite workout dvd in Utah. :(

I'm really struggling to get back to working out at 5. Tuesday night I was asleep by 10 and last night by 9. I go to bed early, and yet I still couldn't drag myself out of bed! I actually slept in until 7:30 this morning. That's MORE than enough sleep. I just need to force myself back into the habit. If I'm not up at 5, I honestly don't have enough time in the day to get anything done. I need that alone time in the morning to get going and to do things for ME.

I found out at my doctor's appointment on Monday morning that I'm anemic. Until I knew about it, I hadn't noticed any symptoms. So I feel like simply knowing has thrown me off. I'm supposed to start taking a multivitamin, but that just stresses me out. Anytime I've taken a vitamin supplement before I've felt nauseous. I don't really want to deal with that.

Another thing is that I really need to get to the grocery store. I came home to a few moldy items that I need to replace. I eat berries and things pretty regularly, but they go bad fast. The problem is I just haven't had the time to get to go through the fridge and cupboards and make a list. I'm sure once I get to that I'll feel a lot better. It's so easy to eat healthy when I have quick, healthy, yummy options staring back at me from the fridge.

Well, enough of me complaining. I really should get off the computer and make my grocery list, pick Payson up from preschool and head straight to the store. Then maybe I can make up for today's missed workout tonight after the kids are asleep and I'm watching The Office!! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Week 1, and the ER

Well, for the most part it's been a great week! I posted last Tuesday that I was at 184 pounds. Yuck. When I woke up Tuesday morning I weighed myself again. 182. I love that you lose weight over night without doing anything. :) I figure it doesn't count if I didn't work for it, so my official starting weight will be 182.

I got my rear out of bed at 5 am Tuesday morning, had a bowl of oatmeal with lots of fresh berries, got a couple of things done, and then ran for a mere 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. Kind of a bummer when I was up to running 40 minutes before, but I decided that I don't care because at least I'm doing SOMETHING! I have continued throughout the week to get myself up every morning at 5 (which is ridiculously hard for me, but when else will I be able to workout?!), and ate healthy, but still yummy meals and snacks. Within two days I felt so much better than I have lately!! It's so hard for me to start doing this, even when I know how good I'll feel, and then once I start all I can think is, "I love how I feel! Why haven't I been doing this all along?!" Hopefully I'll remember that the next time I feel like giving up!

I have done the elliptical every MWF, and a weight training dvd every TThS. Love Sunday morning breaks. Plus I let myself sleep in until 6. :) Last week I just did my 20 minutes on the elliptical and a 30 minute weight video. This week it's 30 minutes on the elliptical and a 50 minute weight video. I hurt. The good hurt. Love it! Although, I have yet to workout this morning, and I'm coming up with every excuse to postpone it because I know there will be pain. (Don't worry, I'll do it.)

I have found several new healthy recipes and have tried a few this week (all of which I posted on my other blog). I love finding healthy versions of the stuff I already love! Like lasagna! I found a GREAT lasagna recipe! So delicious! I ate a small salad first and then had 1 piece of lasagna and was completely stuff! And it was amazing! I felt like I was indulging, but I wasn't! Those are the best tricks to sticking with it.

I've been enjoying cooking again too. When I make the same things over and over again I get bored and then I quit and we ended up eating out way too much. So I do a little online exploring here and there and I end up trying all kinds of fun new things! Like making my own lasagna from scratch. Or like cooking with bulgur! And today I'm making a hot and sour soup which has bamboo shoots which I've never cooked with before. Then tomorrow night I'm cooking a Moroccan soup that has some weird ingredients that I'd never even heard of (like garam masala). Things that used to seem intimidating to cook with (like eggplant) are becoming fun and familiar!

So far I've met or exceeded most of my goals. I guzzle 96 ounces of water or more each day. I'm working out my 6 days and definitely reaching my calorie goals. And I've lost more than the 2 pounds per week this week. (Although I'm sure a great deal was water weight and that number will slow down in the next week or two). As for sleeping 8 hours each night, well...that one's been tough. I either have had to much to do and gotten to bed a little late, or the kids wake up, or something else happens. But I'm averaging seven or so hours each night. I'm sleeping better because of the exercise, so I wake up feeling pretty good. And that's really what the goal was about anyway. :)

As for numbers, well, I'm pretty excited about them! I weighed in this morning at 175.5 pounds, that's a 6 1/2 pound loss in 7 days! And My BMI is down from 29.7 to 28.3. Wahoo!! Of course it's not what it was a few months ago when I was doing so well, but I'm definitely headed in the right direction!

The best part of all of this is the way that it has affected my everyday life. I get up and get moving. I have more energy to get the millions of things done each day that are waiting on my to do list. I'm so productive lately! I love it! My stress level is easing, and between counseling, medication, and a healthy diet and exercise program my anxiety is way down! Don't get me wrong, it's still there! But it's becoming so manageable. I'm really feeling like myself again.

Now that's not to say life is perfect. Because it's not. Let's take last night for example. I had such a busy day yesterday. And I managed to stay on top of everything. I was pretty proud of myself! I finally the kids fed and bathed and we had scriptures and prayer, so I sat down to fold some laundry and watch Biggest Loser until it was time to put the kids to sleep (at 8). At 8, I had a couple of things left to fold from a load of laundry and was just about to finish and put the kids to sleep. They were chasing each other around the house and laughing. Until Jack slipped on the linoleum and slammed his head on the floor.

He's at that age where he constantly has a bruise on his head from one thing or another. Most of the time he gets up and laughs it off. If not, I hold him for a minute, kiss him better, and it's over. But last night he couldn't catch his breath. It completely knocked the wind out of him. After about 30 seconds (which feels like 10 years when your baby isn't breathing) he caught his breath and started to cry. But it wasn't a normal cry. It was a weird sound. I can't even describe it. He went completely green and just sat with me for twenty minutes. Not normal for my boy.

So we headed to the ER. After waiting for 2 1/2 hours, we headed home. Jack had a concussion. Yuck. Luckily, by the time the doctor saw him he was acting more normal. They told me to give him Tylenol (not ibuprofen, apparently it will make the brain bleed if you have a concussion, who'd have thought!), that I could let him sleep, and that if he threw up more than one time to bring him in immediately.

He woke up fine this morning. And although I was frustrated with waiting around for what felt like all night long, I was glad I went in, if only for my own peace of mind.

The bummer was that my baby was hurt, the wait was irritating, I had to drive 20 minutes home at 11 at night, and I miss Biggest Loser. Also still had to wake up at 5 to work out. The good news is that Jack is fine. And although I let myself sleep in half an hour, I still got up at 5:30am with only 6 short hours of sleep.

Well, there you have it. Here's to a crazy, busy, healthy, happy week behind me, and another one ahead of me! And it's Conference Weekend! Yay!! I love conference weekend! Although I have a ton of stuff to get done in between sessions. Yikes.

So, how have you all been doing? And seriously, share any yummy healthy meal ideas!! I don't know what to make this week!