Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wednesday weigh in

I have done so much, but so very little this week.

There hasn't been much exercise. But there has been lots of Halloween candy and cupcake eating. Why it is that I buy several bags of candy several weeks before Halloween is both a mystery and a crime. In a fit of desperation, I signed up for two more races. We'll be running in a 5K Turkey Trot for a local homeless shelter on Thanksgiving and another 5K associated with the Holiday Bowl in late December.

Every night, early in to the morning, when I'm not searching the depths of my soul for the meaning of the Universe, I've been preparing for birthday parties.

Three classroom birthday parties in less than seven days time.

After bringing donuts to Elizabeth's party on Wednesday ...

And Carolyn's party on Thursday ...

And then eating the leftover donuts at home on Friday... I vowed to never spend money on Krispy Kreme donuts again.

Those things are scary good.

Especially when they are hot.

All it takes is warming up one donut and before you know it, you've inhaled four donuts and catch a glimpse of yourself licking the box while making guttural sounds.

By the time William's party rolled around on Tuesday, I was back to making cupcakes.

This took a lot more time for me, but knowing that the children were only consuming 4 grams of fat as opposed to 12, gave me a hint of satisfaction.

Much like the satisfaction that has come from the recent overhaul of our diets that has included eliminating almost all red meat. We now obtain the majority of protein from peanuts coated in chocolate. And tofu.

Of important note, the children started full-time school this week so we could "try it on" for size. Ultimately, we had to make the decision as to whether we should place them in school for the full day, or pull them out of school altogether because the part-time schedule was making us loopy. I really struggled with the "right" thing to do.

But then on Saturday, something happened.

I decided to "home school" the kids. We were going to make a craft. A small American flag made out of red, white and blue construction paper. The kids could cut red and white strips, punch white stars and glue them on a blue square. Everything was going fine, until we STARTED.

Someone's trying to cut their clothes. Someone's trying to eat glue. Someone's got a hold of the glitter and dumped it all over the baby's head. Someone's climbing on the counter and pulling down the tape dispenser. Someone's cutting the strips of red and white that I had put out as a demonstration.

Fiddle. Faddle. Mess with this. Mess with that. Tease each other. Relentlessly.

I'm calmly and lovingly saying, "Please don't touch. OK, OK, listen to me. This is how you glue the stars. No, no, glue doesn't go in our hair - it only goes on paper. OK, OK, let's not cut our hair, let's use the scissors to cut paper. Elizabeth, those are William's scissors. William, those are Gracie's stripes. Gracie, that is William's glue. Come back here. Come back, come back! Where did the baby find my checkbook? Why does he have my credit cards? NO, YOU MAY NOT CUT THEM. What is that noise? Is that the toilet?!"

No more than three minutes had lapsed and I am desperately shooing every one outside while rejoicing that I don't have to do that everyday.

I know that at this age ... it is really important for our children to go to school.

I know that at this age ... if I was left home with them all day, I would LOSE MY MIND.

Sure, I'd go to the library and the zoo and parks. But there would be large chunks of time I would need to be home and during those times, I'd be teetering on the brink of collapse. I'm sure my experiences would make for some great blog entries, but what a bummer if I was trying to write those blog entries from the confines of a straight jacket.

Another deciding factor to send the children full-time, was the rushing I was doing to pick them up from school at noon (which was disrupting Henry's nap and eating schedule) just so I could rush them home and put them down for a nap which they absolutely need at this age but which they wouldn't take. Because they usually caught a cat nap in the car on the short drive home and were partially recharged.

"Partially" because they weren't fully rested and were no fun to be around. They were cranky and over tired and looked a lot like piranhas.

Yet, by leaving them at school for the full day, they are having the opportunity to play for an hour and then, take a nap (which they absolutely need at this age, did I say that already?) so when I pick them up at 2:45, they are fed, rested and their brains are full with knowledge.

Best of all, I haven't once yelled at them.

Or, threatened to feed them to a pack of hungry wolves.

Now, I have to run and do some work for an important meeting that I have tomorrow. For another important meeting that I will have in two weeks. In which there will a judge, a jury and an assorted team of high-powered lawyers who will do their best to shake me to my core and make me question my status as an "expert".

I've never been to court before and oddly, I'm not the least bit nervous. I find it hard to believe that sitting in air conditioned courtroom with attorneys will be any scarier than sitting outdoors at a picnic table with four-year-old triplets wielding scissors and glue when it's 109 degrees.

Please leave a comment telling me how you have done with the goals that you have established for yourself, how far you have come, any new goals you have, and why you should win an awesome new iPod shuffle. And then, tell me your favorite work out song.

I'll post the winner tomorrow night.


  1. I used to work and my daughter was in daycare from 7:30 to 4:00. They day started with breakfast and ended with the playground. She is now 3.5. When my son was born 9 months ago, I wanted to have her home with me for a half day. She liked school but I missed her and felt guilty because I wasn't working. But she naps really well for two hours when she is there. No fuss, she just lays down and sleeps. So I decided to get her at 2:30 after nap. But she didn't want to come home with me. Even yesterday, I picked up 10 minutes before playground time and she asked me to come back in "a little bit"

    I now work 20 hours a week but she goes every day. I think she thrives with routine and is unhappy when things are chaotic. So I try to remind myself that I'm being a good mom by giving her what she needs (routine) even if it is not what I want exactly.
    I hope you all like the new schedule.

  2. That happens at preschool too but our kids go home. Lol
    Most of the time I divide and conquer letting the others play and doing the craft with one or two.

  3. I think you'll be glad for the full time school schedule.

    While I have improved my exercise lately - working out with my aerobics step every other day and walking the mall on alternate days - I absolutely should NOT receive an ipod shuffle because we've told our kids not to count on one for Christmas (unless it's cheaper than the Nano; we'll try to get each of them one or the other) and how terrible it would be if *I* got a shuffle and they didn't.

    Wait, WOULD that be terrible?

  4. Figuring out this work/family balance thing is so difficult isn't it? There are so many variables it makes the equation seem unsolvable at times.

    Still working hard on my goal. Lost 2 pounds last week! That is a big step up from my normal, average .8 a week! Woohoo! Also, the big goal of finding time to do cardio at least 5 days a week (with 3 kids under 5 and no friends/family to help and a dh who works long hours) is still going well. YAY! Its funny where you can carve out 45 minutes! Or the lengths you will go to get it. Ahem. My fav workout song at the moment is She Is from The Fray. That changes daily.

  5. I really hope that the full day schedule works for you. I think you have made the best decision for now. This gives you time to accomplish things, time alone with Henry and three well rested children to bring home. Sounds like it is going smoothly.

    The craft was a hoot, especially all that happened in a span of three minutes. I can imagine what it was like. But remember the more you do these things with your children the easier it gets, they will learn what you expect of them.

    109 degrees, I don't think my brain would function! It was cold enough for a few inches of snow Wednesday here;)

    Yes those hot donuts are from Hell. I have been doing really well with my food choices except the night my son brought home warm donuts. Oh the memory, I'm glad it is 25 miles to a Krispy Kreme.

    How am I doing with my goals? Much better! The attitude is better, not nearly as depressed. My next appointment is Dec. 19 so I will try to hold it together til then. I can't change anything by worrying about it. The same as worrying about our retirement in the stock market, it doesn't help. That is not to say I am not worried at all, I am human. I just try to spend more time praying than I do worrying.

    I have exercised every day except Wednesday and took the day off to
    go to the GSMNP, I did hike a little but mostly rode around. I have lost 6 pounds in the last 2 weeks so I am well on my way to my Christmas goal.

    Why should I win the Shuffle? I don't know if I should but I know I would love to have one. How do I know? Because when daughter was here for the summer I used hers and loved it (she is away in college). Her shuffle had a hodgepodge of music on it, none of which was what I would consider to be workout music. So I don't have a favorite workout song but remember seeing some on your list that I thought would be wonderfully energizing. If I won...would it be illegal/immoral to load it with your choices of workout music??

    So to make a long story short I would love to win the shuffle and know that I would use it but there are a lot of people who have been weighing in each week that could/would use it also, I don't envy you the decision to make. I just thank you and your readers for the encouragement that I get from this blog. Even if I don't win the shuffle I will be a winner by making my life/health better. If I can get off of the CPAP machine, that would be a wonderful bonus!


  6. Arghh. This posted on Thursday up here in NH.

    Well, my goals... I walked in my Breast Cancer walk and managed to keep my 3 1/2 year old walking for close to 3-miles. My other son was home with the croup, so he did not attend. We spent the beginning of last quarantined due to said sick baby, only to have my older son come down with a mysterious illness the day after the flu shot. He was fine, and then he wasn't. He looked funny to me and he had a raging fever of 104. We doused him liberally with Motrin while watching him. He woke up at 1:30 AM with a bottom lip so swollen it wasn't even fitting in his mouth. So now, Benadryl and Motrin and my husband and I wondering with that heck is wrong with him.

    In the morning I take him to the doctor where they recommend more Motrin because his out of control fever and they think he has some sort of hand, foot and mouth because of the lesions on the inside of his lip. Now, I've seen hand, foot and mouth, and this isn't it.

    Still sick, sick, sick all day, and then again at 1:30 in the morning he wakes up and now his entire face is swollen to the point of being almost unrecognizable. I take him to the ER where they suggest a Motrin allergy and give us steroids.

    We wait it out Saturday with the steroids and the Benadryl and he isn't any better, still has a fever and now a horrible head-to-toe rash. We take him in to our ped. office Sunday morning where the nurse practitioner walks in and says, "they cultured him for strep right?" Of course they didn't. Why would they with a Motrin allergy or hand, foot and mouth. Yep, he has scarlet fever.

    My goals just laugh at me. I need an I Pod badly...

  7. Well, this little bit of information isn't going to be too helpful as far as the weigh-in is concerned, but I feel I must share:)) My grandfather taught me to warm the donut up and then throw a little butter on it. It is seriously divine. When the donut is gone, you will find yourself licking the plate to get that mixture of donut glaze and melted butter off the plate. YUUUUUMMMMM!!!

    I have been going to StrollerFit at least 4 days a week and I am cutting back on my carbs/sweets which are my downfall. My goal is to be down to my desired weight by May 31st (in time for the summer and swimsuits).

    I hope the full day works out better for you!


  8. 109 degrees??!?!!!! Do you live on the surface of the SUN or something?! It's OCTOBER! Please tell me that's not your all-year-round temperature. Please tell me you have room in your house for British visitors?! It's 33F outside today (yesterday it was 24F so it's at least warmer today) (I wonder how Deborah and her boys are coping with our frigid temperatures!).

    I think you made a wise move with the school. Although it makes sense in theory to bring them home for their nap because - well, it's an expensive nap! - but at least this way they get one in practice, and you aren't driven mad by the
    commute to school.

    Small thing though - after today's 'home school' experiment - are you regretting your decision ref. telling your boss? Serious question.. I used to home school 4 kids and although I'd love to homeschool my own kids (especially considering the state of the British education system!), I have at least had a practice shot, and know that in theory it's great, but in reality it is SO not going to work! I get wound up doing 1 activity book with one child - goodness knows how you'd do 3 without rocking back and forwards in a padded room after about 5 days?!

  9. OOops - forgot the goals. Mine has been to stop snacking on empty calories. I am a real sucker for cookies and the halloween candy that is waiting to be doled out. Well, today I ate an apple, some brazil nuts and some soup. NO baddies. The brazil nuts might be fattening but they aren't empty calories and give me a bit of protein, which I am poor at eating enough of. I have been sick for 3 weeks with pleurisy (and not eating much); it has been too easy with a return to 'normal' routine of snacking badly, and I am trying really hard not to fall back into the same habits. So far I am doing quite well, am proud of myself and would LOVE iPod-type-goodness. Especially as my husband steals 'our' 'joint' iPod every day for work....

  10. My husband and I want to have children some day, but have several things we'd like to accomplish first. One of my personal pre-baby goals is to become healthier. I've always been a little chubby and want to provide the best possible home for a future baby. There's this program at work right now about eating right and getting healthy and there's a weigh-in every couple of weeks. I hadn't been trying very hard, just eating better. To my surprise, I've lost 3lbs! It's definitely a start!

  11. my triplets are only fourteen months so we are not at the place where we have to think about school. still, it's been good to read your struggles and put some ideas in the back of my head. i am not looking forward to making those decisions. it sounds like you've made the right decisions for your family and i hope you and charlie are feeling good about them.

    old goals: not a great week as we had company and i had to go out of town one day. a walked a few times. ate a Lot of sugar.
    new goals: walk 5x/week for 60+ minutes. yoga/abs 3x/week for 20 minutes. start phase one of south beach.
    note: i did two and a half weeks of phase one of the south beach a month ago. it wasn't that difficult. i lost 8 pounds. for me that is great. then, i totally abandoned all structure and have now gained it back. i am good at the extremes--deprivation or gluttony. what i am terrible at is the maintenance, the day to day healthy choices.
    why i would like to win the shuffle: i'd like to start doing a little running with the babes, and as you've posted, good music really makes a difference.
    favorite work out song: right now it is ready to run by the dixie chicks.

  12. Suzan Earley10/30/08, 9:57 AM

    My goal was to lose 10 lbs by Halloween, which is also my sons 15th birthday. I exceeded that and lost 22 lbs by eliminating Tea and drinking strictly water all the time. I found out I have Lupus 2 years ago and have since been told that in order to survive, I must start kidney dialysis really soon. I have a 15 yr old ( like I said ) and my daughter who will be 7 next March. I am ( and have been for 3 years ) a single mom and really, to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way. I think it would be WONDERFUL to have an iPod to listen to while sitting in an uncomfortable recliner at the hospital 3 days a week doing dialysis...or atleast my daughter thinks so! lol! But, I'm sure there are others out there who read your blog who have made and met bigger goals then just losing 10 lbs. My next goal is to start working out ( as SOON as my Dr says I am able to, of course! )...and how great would it be to have an iPod...already PRE-LOADED with workout songs?! :) Anything by New Kids on the Block is great to work out to! lol! LOVE THEM! I'm happy that you have found your life altering decision was a great one! God bless you and your family!

  13. Goals, Check. I am still attending my Jazzercise, and my house is clean...what the? I actually have fun looking like a fool shanking my money maker out there. And the house being clean, I think I break an even bigger sweat doing that. I love to shake it to "I'm bringing sexy back", but at home me and the girls rock out to some Disney music. Why should I win the shuffle, because it would be SO COOL! I would love an Ipod, then I could clean house and not have to listen to the, ARHH EEEE BLAAA, she's tuching me, well she bit me, GET OUT OF MY ROOM. Just ahhhh, cause I'm bringing sexy back!

  14. I try to do crafts with the kids, but they never seem to come out the same as the ones they do a pre-school. It takes a special person to have the patience and sanity to deal with a room full of youngsters all day, with no break. God bless them!! I don't know that I could do it. I love my girls with every bit of my heart, but sometimes a break is so necessary!

  15. I was doing so well until this week. I had started consistently going to the body pump class at the Y (even though I hadn't moved past those damn 2.5 lb weights and still had to pause several times during lunges!) but this week I came down with the nastiest of colds which cruelly morphed into a sinus infection and laryngitis. I have missed working out all week and feel like crap. Yesterday I picked up the requisite medications and I am hoping and praying I can get back into the routine without too much "beginners" soreness again. I'm thinkin' the Ipod shuffle might really be some help in distracting me from the monotonous world that is the treadmill! Pick me, pick me!! :-)

  16. I certainly admire people who are able to home school their children, but I know I don't have the patience to do it!

    I remain on track with the 24-26 week prep program for a half marathon in the spring. At home I had been doing most of my running on a treadmill. Travel this last week necessitated me to have to run OUTSIDE. ***Gasp*** Cold air sure does make it tougher to breathe! I'm up to 5K on most running days with about 9K on the longer run days. I should be doing some cross training.... but haven't figured out how to work that in, yet.

    I don't deserve the I-Pod Shuffle. I have a $10 Zellers model that plays just fine.

    My favorite work out song (caution: I am a country fan!) is Martina McBride's Independance Day.
    Second would be a nostalgic song by Trisha Yearwood, Melancholy Blue which serves to remind me how far I have come since my husband's death.

    Good luck in Court. Remember just
    answer EXACTLY what is asked.


  17. Well, I had bad news at the doctor's office today- I have lost 20 pounds, rather than the 30 I thought I had. Their scale is much more reliable than mine, I'm sure. So I have ten more pounds to go, but at least that will help me get safely through Halloween without overindulging.

    I have been working out more and more, seeing my ease and length of time of the workout increase. I am healthier and happier and very proud of the progress I've made.

    Jen, I don't need and can't use an ipod anyway, due to my hearing loss, but I joined this challenge for the motivation and accountability, which it has provided in abundance. Thank you for doing this. I hope you will continue weigh-in Wednesdays even after you award the prize!

    My goal was to lose the 30 pounds, to work out regularly, and to stop eating sweets. I did all but lose all 30 pounds, and I was messed up on that by my unreliable scale. It makes me wonder if my start weight was more than I thought it was.

    I'm afraid I don't have a favorite work-out song, due to my inability to use an ipod!

    Good luck with getting away from those doughnuts!

  18. I should win because you were in my wedding and I have eaten almost an entire bag of Halloween candy! Oh... yeah, it's supposed to be about goals and stuff like that. I had the stomach flu last week and have not been able to eat anything without feeling sick until last night when lo and behold a bag of candy ripped open by itself and... well, you know the rest. I've gained the 5 lbs I lost last week due to the flu... sorry... I'll try harder next week! See you Saturday! hehehe

  19. Oh, how far I've come... I have shaved minutes and minutes and minutes off of my 5k time over the last few weeks, each run better than the last. I was at 40+ minutes when I started, and my last run was at 33 minutes per 5k. This past week has been pretty crappy as far as the running goes though, because I've had guests, and then yesterday (which is a usual running day), I got knocked down with a massive, non-medicine-responding migraine. But today is back-on-the-horse day. And in about half an hour, I'll be jumping back on the old treadmill to give it another go.

    Most of all, though, even though it wasn't a goal, I've developed a deep love of running, and that has been the BEST feeling in the world. I am the last person that ever thought I would love any sport, but I do. I really really do. I'm considering changing Thanksgiving plans so I can get in one last 5k race before it gets too darn cold. And, well, in all honesty, I'd rather do a 5k the week after that than to do the LSAT that I'm scheduled to that day. I think that says something.

    As to why I should win a shuffle- well, I probably shouldn't. I already have a shuffle, and also a nano that I enjoy running with. If I were to win a shuffle, I would probably give it to one of my blog readers, a pay-it-forward and get more people in to running kind of thing. I've been participating over these last few weeks mostly because I just enjoy sharing exercise goals with other like minded people.

    As far as my favorite workout song, I have a ton. I'm a huge fan of hip hop, especially when running. I'm a musician, and I respond really keenly to rhythm and percussive sounds, so hip hop really motivates me. So, in that vein, any music by A Tribe Called Quest works for me (I like the song, "Can I Kick It?").

    However, I also listen to plenty of music outside that vein, and "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan really gets me going. I love the song anyway, but it also reminds me of the scene in the Bridget Jones Diary movie where she's just been dumped and she says, "At times like this, continuing with one's life seems impossible... and eating the entire contents of one's fridge seems inevitable. ... Instead, i choose vodka. And Chaka Khan." Silly, I know, but it's just the ultimate "despite the difficulties, I'm going to CHOOSE to keep going" song.

    Hopefully soon, I'll get around to making my running iMix which I can publish on iTunes so that other people can see my mix and buy it if they want to, or to make their own mix in response to mine, etc.

  20. I don't want to be in the running for the shuffle, but I have to brag that it's already Oct. 30 and I haven't
    opened the 'give to the trick-or-treaters' candy
    stash yet :-). (We won't comment on the
    rest of the junk food I haven't been so good about....)
    Your birthday photos put the Montessori birthday
    song in my head ("The earth goes around the sun
    tra-la...")... do they sing that one at your school?
    Anyway, cute photos and good luck with the new schedule. -Anita R.

  21. A new iPod shuffle did you say??

    Wow - I should win one because I've never owned one:) Or anything iPod for that matter! It's been on my list to buy but there have been too many other things that are necessities so the iPod gets "shuffled" to the end of the list! ha.
    My favorite workout song is WMCA! Love your blog - just finished reading the archives last night. Your writing style is hysterical yet what you write is so totally believable and honest. Keep it up!

  22. Just by cutting out the junk, I've dropped 8 lbs. I haven't touched the 5lb bag of REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS that has been sitting on our buffet for 2 weeks, count 'em. T-W-O. How strong am I?

    The ankle seems to be fully healed so I went for a cautious run this morning. I'm a moron apparently. I probably should have started out walking. It was just so good to get out, in the early morning, slight marine layer and nary a person around.

    I hope the full days work out for you. They work for us. No charging around, trying to get stuff done before pickup.

  23. Oh my, my, my, my how the pendulum has swung in like 3 days. Keep in mind little Missy that I've been homeschooling mine for 2 YEARS! And you do one craft AND QUIT? And I was considering you as a homeschooling partner? Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.


    Okay, so I actually told you to go with the nap at school. Didn't I? If you need to know anything to do, just drop me a line. :)

    Meanwhile, I've been eating like a pig and my kids don't nap anymore at all. I should go get on that screeching treadmill right now!

  24. 109? Ack!

    Messy crafts are best left for preschool. I always thought that and I only had preschoolers one at a time.

    I try to get all errands and work done before writing and reading blogs.

    My favorite workout song? Anything from the Mamma Mia soundtrack. I've been hooked on it, and I don't care who knows. ;-)

  25. Running about 2 - 5 miles! Yeah!! If I can do it -- anyone can!! Put those songs on a disk or something with instructions so I can download to my mp3 player! Goals: Running a marathon (2 years) and Triatholon (in Cal?) with my cuzzin(s)!! ;-)

    About homeschooling - I've got a good one ...You must be a homeschooler if....your kids, research halloween, sketch out their designs and carve out their pumpkins! Only to have you run outside to see the wonderful creations in the freezing cold; get really excited and run HEAD FIRST into the door jam -- almost knocking you out!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

    (After getting my barrings, my husband took a look and said "Oh man you've got a "good" bump on your head!!!!" I started killing myself laughing -- as he had an ice pack in hand and stated.... I must be a homeschooler!!) ;-)

    Just a funny of many you'll be writing in a few years but for now enjoy the time w/Henry and NAP time! Love, Marg

  26. It looks like all the siblings were invited to the birthday parties. Is that correct? They look so cute and happy and kind to one another which is the best thing. I think it is giving you a much needed break and will be great for both you and Guy.

  27. Thanks for the pic of William and the Montessori bday ceremony. I cried every time Tate had his. . . .

  28. One of many cuzzins!10/30/08, 11:58 PM

    An iPod Shuffle...

    I can do a shuffle ball change, a shuffle off to buffalo, the superball shuffle, and a shuffle hop step...but I don't know how to do an iPod shuffle...maybe I'll learn while I train for the triathalon...

    Thats me..the hippo thumping behind my gazelle limbed cuzzins.

    Wait for me at the finish line!

    Hearty, har, har!!

  29. Oh wow... so much going on with you. I'm sure making the decison as to full-time/part-time/no school is tough. My oldest goes to preschool only 2 days a week for 5 hours and it works for us. But I totally know how it is terrible for my little ones nap/eating scheudle or the lack there of. I know you will figure something out. You always do.

    As for the goals... thank you thank you thank you for the encouragement! I ran my first 5K this morning (first one in a few years at least!). It went great. Ran it in 31 minutes... my goal was 30 so I would say that was pretty good. I am also signed up to run the Dallas Turkey Trot! Although I still don't love running, I enjoy it and more just love how I feel afterwards! Thank girl.

    ps... I've wondered if you have thought about re-naming your blog since little Henry came along. Just curious :)