Haiku Friday

 Proud parent moment
Casey got the Student of 
The Month Award. Yay!
 His teacher said such
Amazing things about him.
I totally cried
 He works so dang hard
Eager to please and do well
Just such a good boy


Sweet Spinach Muffins

Anyone who knows me knows I have trouble feeding Casey. He almost has a phobia when it comes to food. I've actually seen him vomit after taking a bite of a hot dog. It's getting better as the years go by but he's still pretty repetitive when it comes to eating. He has the same PB&J lunch every day and chicken nuggets almost every night. Sometimes he'll branch out to a quesadilla or a grilled cheese sandwich but in general he seems to be vehemently against red meat. Recently we've gotten him to take bites of different things and he shocked us by liking fish and chips and calamari.
Vegetables, on the other hand, don't seem to be happening. I can get him to eat apples and grapes and the occasional banana but vegetables are not his jam. When a friend of the family posted a picture of bright green sweet spinach muffins, I thought I should give them a shot. Green is Casey's favorite color so I figured I could disguise them as "Hulk" muffins. Guess what? It worked.

Recipe can be found here for Sweet Spinach Muffins for Super Healthy Kids.
Makes 18 muffins. Preheat oven to 350.

Dry Ingredients
*2 cups flour (recipe calls for whole wheat but I used white)
* 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp baking soda
*1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
*3/4 cup milk
*1/2 cup honey
*1 large banana
* 6 oz spinach (I used frozen and halved the 10 oz package so a bit shy of the full 6)
*1/2 cup unsalted butter
*1 large egg
*1 tsp vanilla extract

I should have used a blender to puree the wet ingredients because the food processor didn't really do the job. Puree the wet ingredients and then fold them into the dry ingredients but be cautious of over-mixing (I used the mixer because I throw caution to the wind). Bake for 18-22 minutes. I did 20. Honestly, these muffins do not look appealing, probably because I didn't puree the spinach enough. They were not bright green probably because I didn't use fresh leaves. It's fine though because they are quite tasty and were a hit with all the Fridays. I recommend and will likely try other recipes that trick Casey into eating those veggies.


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 208.4
So last week's weigh in was a bit sketchy due to using my mom's scale and my normal weekday diet was thrown off because we were at her house and I didn't prep salads for two of my four days plus we ate out a lot. On Thursday I weighed 209.8. That means I'm down 1.4 for the week and 14.6 overall. Husband was very supportive this morning and had me hold a 15 lb dumbbell to mark this occasion. That's a heavy dumbbell and all that weight used to be on my body. Talk about motivation. I have 6 weeks to lose 9 lbs in order to meet my first goal of being under 200 by 40. Next goal is to weigh 190 so I'm not lying on my driver's license.

Lifetime steps: 1,991,817
That's 86,179 since last week which averages out to be 12,311 steps a day. I didn't hit my goal on Saturday because I needed to rest my achy legs but I made up for it by exceeding 12,000 steps a day the other days. Wednesday was a high day of 15,896 steps because I was getting the house back in order after the fumigation and hitting the grocery store. Monday through Friday I have a pretty steep incline worked into the middle of my walk that has really made a difference. Next week, I'll aim to go over the incline both ways and change my route a bit. Rather than make a loop, I'll just back track.

Frame of Mind
I realized last week just how low I'd sunk after losing my dad. You'd think I'd have figured it out by now, nearly three and a half years later, but it really dawned on me that I was not okay and I finally am feeling okay now. I was so apathetic about exercise and food and drinking and life in general. To feel so motivated now and conscious of what I'm eating and how much I'm moving and cutting back on my drinking is blowing my doors off. As much as I feel stupid admitting this, it must be true that a healthier diet, less alcohol and exercise really has affected my depression in a positive way. It also helps that my kids are bigger and I can finally pay a little more attention to myself. No doubt.

Here's what a typical day looks like for me.
Breakfast: 2-3 cups of coffee with 1% milk and a little sugar. Hard boiled egg. Banana. Recently, one of those spinach muffins.
Lunch: 4 days a week I have a salad with chicken, bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, green beans, shredded carrots, apple chunks and a sesame ginger dressing and water to drink.
Snacks: 1 cup of Quaker Oatmeal Squares (hello protein and fiber!), grapes, apple, stick of cheese
Dinner: whatever the heck I want because ain't nobody got time to care. I just try not to pig out. Monday through Thursday I've switched to a glass (or 2) of wine instead of beer. In April I'm going to try and eliminate drinking wine or beer entirely Monday through Thursday but "we'll see" how that goes. I can really see the difference in my gut. I am steadfastly trying to not eat snacks after dinner during the week.
During the weekend, I wouldn't necessarily say all bets are off but I just don't care as much as I do during the work week. I try not to snack between meals and I aim to eat smaller portions at meal time. I definitely hit the beer like a boss though. I am absolutely trying to walk for at least 45 minutes to an hour every single day.  I walk unless my body hurts, then I listen to my body and rest.

Three pounds in three weeks! 


Bluey and B'Beast

Husband is working on his Masters Degree so part of that deal means he has homework. As anyone who has ever done homework will attest, a noisy household of rambunctious children is not the best way to get the job done. In an attempt to provide some quiet study time, I decided to take the kids to see a Saturday matinee of the live action Beauty and the Beast. I didn't think he'd be too upset to not be included in the viewing of a musical princess movie.
I admit, I have had my reservations about these adaptations. Cinderella looked beautiful but something about it has to this day kept me from watching. I simply prefer the classic cartoon form. Well, I thought I did anyway. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about B&TB. From the moment the movie started and Belle (Emma Watson) started singing about her provincial life, the tears started flowing. Will I have the same feelings when they adapt my beloved Little Mermaid? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I was worried about this version not staying true to the cartoon. While there is new music and a few tweaks to the story line, though, I personally found them to all be improvements. I remember seeing the musical in LA for my 18th birthday and it feels like the stage and the cartoon married beautifully and gave me this film. Every character felt perfectly suited to their roles and hearing Celine Dion sing me out of the theater when the credits rolled was nothing short of perfection. The scenery and special effects were magical and I do not use that term lightly. There was some worry that the two hour running time might have caused the children to grow restless, but they were captivated from start to finish. I will be happy to watch this again with them.


Weekend Pics

 Found out Christa really likes buttons
 They were screaming at each other
 Solemn Betty wants snuggles
 Meemaw thinks she's a cat
 My son discovered Itchy & Scratchy on his iPad
 The dog whisperer
 I'm opening a restaurant called Boobies & Cheese
 Bed Bath & Beyond came through finding Destiny
 Beach day while dad did homework
 Look at that hair. Those big feet.
 My little pirate
Fighting with the sea


Haiku Friday

It's time to exhale
Fumigation behind us
Repairs are scheduled
Things could be way worse
But they sure could be better
Trying not to stress
April better be
A calm, quiet, boring month
I need a recharge


Throwback Thursday

Today would have been my grandparents' 92nd birthday. I always thought it was so neat that they had the same birthday. Our family was super close and these two were so funny. Gran was always good for a beer and some nuts. A hot piece of fish. Haha. Grandpa was racist and sexist and terrible but also so much fun. We live in their house that we moved into the day my grandpa died, six years ago this June. Gran died on Casey's birthday two years ago this August. Time sure flies. I hope they're happy up there in heaven. They're definitely missed down here.


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 210 (maybe 209?)
We're looking at about 13 total pounds lost and maybe 1 or 2 since last week. This one is tricky because I was not at home to weigh myself on my scale. My mom's scale said I was 205 and that is RAD but likely untrue. I give it a margin of 4-5 pounds error seeing as on Monday I weighed myself at home and it said 211 but her house said 206 on Tuesday morning. I'll check again tomorrow.

Lifetime Steps: 1,905,638
That's 88,861 since last week for an average of 12,694/day. I have hit or exceeded 10k every day since last Tuesday. Saturday was a whopping 16,106 which is just 208 steps shy of my best day, March 10. I am really liking the new walk route with the incline and can really feel it in my legs and butt.

Frame of Mind
Things are good. Work seems to have leveled off. I am not thrilled that I was unable to meal prep because of the tenting and staying at my mom's but shit happens. We'll get back on that horse hopefully tomorrow and next week. Considering all the home upheaval, I have handled things very well. My period just ended and honestly things are usually much worse with my temper and anxiety. I should be reading a book but instead I got sucked into all this news about Russia and wire taps and what have you. Need to do better with the media consumption.

Me at my heaviest
 Me this morning
 I think my face looks thinner so I was trying that out
May be time for some size 14s! My shirts are huge, too.


My First Podcast

Husband has been listening to podcasts for as long as I can remember. I think it started on his commutes to and from San Diego when he was working down there. Every time he'd come home he would regale me with recaps of the podcasts he'd listened to. It got to a point where I asked he not use that word any more and just call them interviews. He'd recommend I listen on my own but I simply didn't unless I was with him on a long car ride. Many of my friends kept recommending podcasts for me to listen to but, per usual, I dragged my butt and ended up on the late train. I fear technology. Ask my Kindle that is currently gathering dust.
That weekend I was in BFF's yard, she told me about the Missing Richard Simmons podcast and I had just seen an article about it so I decided to give it a go based on her recommendation. I know, Christine and Andrea (and Husband), you've been trying to talk me into podcasts forever. I am sorry you were not the ones to turn me. Ha! I had my coworker show me how to put them on my phone and I began listening to them on my lunch walk. It has been a great change since my walk playlist was feeling a bit repetitive.
I have seen different articles talking about how this podcast was exploitative but I disagree. I grew up when Richard Simmons was a huge celebrity. Sweating to the Oldies and all that jazz. He was sort of omnipresent, on talk shows and what have you. Everyone knew who he was, even dressed up like him for Halloween. The podcast came about because in 2014, after being a very visible and involved celebrity, Simmons disappeared from the public eye and cut off communications with nearly everyone in his life. His friend Dan decided to attempt to track him down despite the fact that Simmons very clearly decided to seclude himself.
I found the interviews to be very respectful of Richard Simmons. I laughed often and really had strong feelings of sympathy and empathy most of the time. While tabloid stories were woven into the tapestry of the story, I didn't get the feeling that this podcast was trying to be scandalous. There were no dark secrets revealed and I didn't find the stories told to be an invasion of privacy. Listening to people whose lives had been changed thanks to Richard Simmons was very touching. The insight into the lives of overweight people quite eye opening. I won't spoil the ending for you but I will say I definitely enjoyed and recommend this six-episode journey that popped my podcast cherry.


Weekend Pics

 Coldstone on Saturday after crazy yard work
 Sunday was the St. Baldrick's Head Shaving Fundraiser
 Casey as a bald old man
 Daddy as a bald old man (ha!)
After a nap, I took a walk and came back to Husband and Christa painting in the yard. I wanted to paint him like one of his French women. LOL
Mabel watching dogs on AFV


Haiku Friday

A cat in our bush
The dogs couldn't scare it out
Betty's eye got scratched
Animal control

Came and took its dying ass
A car had hit it
What a nice story
To end a shitacular
Week full of bullshit

***How did I know that cat was in a bush on the side of my house you ask? Well it is because I was over there checking sprinklers and realized someone stole the little temple of my Gran's that had been on the side of my house or in her yard for decades. I legit do not understand what I did to deserve all the broken things in my house, a dying cat, termites, children with colds and now this but I applaud myself for not losing my shit. I think those two beers last night and binge eating chicken tacos really helped. Happy St. Patrick's Day. Amen.


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 211
That's down 2.8 since last week and 12 overall. I'm 11 pounds from my goal and have 8 weeks until I turn 40. I think I'm on track to hit 200 by then. We'll see! I am able to take my jeans off without unbuttoning or unzipping them and my shirts are in a billowy stage. The best thing about this is that I'm literally on the cusp of my period and I am bloated and still down. Since I totally dropped the Lent ball and absolutely did not give up beer, I have modified my evenings. I now try to stick to a smaller dinner portions, a small glass of wine and no snacking after dinner Monday through Thursday. I think we're on week two of that and it seems to be working. I just need to keep Husband from sneaking me a second pour. He loves keeping me "happy" I guess. Ha!

Lifetime Steps: 1,816,777
That's 78,122 since last week which averages out to be 11,160 steps a day. Saturday I was shy 441 steps, Sunday 3,619 and Monday 1,088 otherwise I had a couple days that were 4,000 and 6,000 over. Sunday I got a pedicure and we had a lot of driving time so I could sit and sip beers and soak up the sun in BFF's yard. I do not regret it one bit because I felt so refreshed. Monday I didn't walk at work because I had to go grocery shopping and prep our salads that I totally blew off this weekend. However, I did try to walk at the park while the kids played. I think that's okay to do sometimes. Soccer starts this week and the days are lighter later so I have a feeling our activity level will skyrocket. I tried a new route yesterday for my walk and this includes a pretty steep incline and I can feel that in my butt today.

Frame of Mind
There is a lot going on currently. I got a call this morning that my father-in-law had to go to the ER for pneumonia. I had some paint issues that revealed we have termites so I need to now plan to tent my house. Our sprinkler system stopped working so I had to have that repaired and currently the gardener is basically redoing the whole system. Our patio overhang roof was leaking so I'll need to have that repaired and the termites taken care of before I can get the paint issue resolved. We just fixed two closet doors, a toilet and our gutter so all of this has happened in the span of a week where I have had crazy PMS. Then I had a silly work issue that caused a bunch of stress. I can say I'm super proud of myself for keeping a level head through all of this. In the past I think I would have had a blow up or a melt down by now.
In the nicest news, I had just found out that my house needed a termite tent when Lisa texted me that The Muppets at Hollywood Bowl tickets were on sale. She's a member and has advanced access to tickets. This is something I desperately wanted to see because I LOVE THE MUPPETS. However, in an effort to be responsible, I told her I had to pass because of the dumb house expenses and I was sad about it. She bought them for me anyway and I could not be more grateful. Naturally I wept because what a way to pay it forward. Now I need to know how I can pay her back since she won't let me give her money. YAY!
Me on the top of the 3rd Street bridge after my steep ass ascent! 


Movie Review

It has been five months, almost to the day, since I have seen anything other than a cartoon in a movie theater. For some reason, my mother got obsessed with the idea of seeing John Wick: Chapter 2 so I had said in passing I would take her. Last weekend, I made good on my promise and Husband and I let her come along on date night and we paid good money to see Keanu Reeves on the big screen. Let all of that soak in for a minute.
If you haven't seen the first John Wick, here is a brief summary: a widower and former hit man (Keanu) has his home robbed, car stolen and his dog murdered so he comes out of retirement to seek vengeance on basically all of the criminal underground in the tri-state area. There is very little dialogue and all kinds of violence. I'll be honest, we watched it at home and I fell asleep halfway through. When I woke up, Husband offered to let me know how it ended and I agreed. "He killed everyone." And that about summed it up.
If the first one did it for you, then the second one is a sure bet. I don't know if the sequel is better, per se, but there was definitely a lot more in the budget for captivating cinematography and exotic locales. There was a bit more dialogue and a lot more brain splatter. I had no idea how jumpy of a human being I had become until I saw this movie in surround sound. I flinched at every gunshot and was exhausted at the end of the two-hour run time. This kind of gratuitous violence just may not be for me. It didn't seem to be for Husband either as he had little to no reaction during the viewing. My mother, however, loved it. Go figure. I'd say this can certainly wait for Netflix but people sure do love this particular film series and the end of the second left things wide open for a third.


Weekend Pics

Friday night, chasing sunsets
 Princess Day at the Zoo (more pictures here)
Man do we have fun with BFF & Company.
Good food, good beer, good games, good times. 
Good friends. I came home drunk and sun burnt.
What else can you ask for on a Sunday? 


Haiku Friday

Daylight savings time
I'm loving these longer days
Park life for the win
Next week is soccer
Spring is on the horizon
More time spent outdoors

Time for gardening
Butterflies and hummingbirds
And flowers for days


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 213.8
No gain, no loss so my weight loss stands at 9.2 pounds. I will totally accept responsibility for this because I have not been eating as well as I should have and that is all there is to it. This week I am back to cooking at home. I have my four salads for the week but yesterday was Taco Tuesday at work to celebrate our audit and I participated. And had a can of Coca Cola. Who am I? I've also been eating candy and brownies at home. Because why? I don't know. It's just silly.

Lifetime Steps: 1,738,655
That's 79,498 since last week which averages out to be 11,357 steps a day. Since Friday, February 24, I have hit or exceeded my step goal of 10K per day every day except last Sunday. I was about 1500 steps shy that day but it was cold and windy and I said fuggedaboudit.

Frame of Mind
Man, I just don't know. It seems so easy to blame PMS but I guess that's where we are. I dug my way out of a shame spiral yesterday by realizing that my weight gain progress really didn't start until November and since then I have lost nine pounds and nine overall inches. That is nothing to shake a stick at. Husband has recommended we start weight training so I guess that starts tonight. There is nothing I would rather do less than lift weights in my garage but the fact of the matter is, I'm two months and four days away from turning 40 and if I want to get below two hundred pounds I'm going to have to cowboy up.
In other news, I sure did talk a big talk about not drinking beer for Lent. Well, I did poorly. I made it Wednesday with no beer. Thursday I had a couple glasses of wine. Friday through Sunday we made sure to hit many a tap and resigned ourselves to not drinking during the week instead. Monday and Tuesday night this week I kept it to a glass of wine. What sucks is how disappointed in myself I am about this small thing when I think of how far I have come in the past six months. I need to remember that this is not a race, it's a marathon. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change. So I have two months to really get where I want to go! Here we go!


Transformation Tuesday

Here's a profile shot of me from January of 2013. Struggling with my weight is not a new thing. I found out I was pregnant with Christa in June of that same year. I weighed as much then as I did when I started this whole adventure in September of 2016. Below is sort of a terrible picture but I took it on my walk. I was getting pretty down on myself this morning because that damn scale was about the same this morning as it was last week: 213.6.
I can see the difference. I can feel the difference. But I let that scale bring me down and that sucks. I want to blame PMS but dang! Is PMS a two week deal now? I don't want to ramble too much about weight today because that's what Weigh In Wednesday is about but I need to dig out of this pity party. In order to remind myself that progress is being made, I compared my measurements from November when it dawned on me to measure myself.

November vs March
Bust was 44, now 41 - minus 3"
Chest was 36, now 35 - minus 1"
Waist was 39, now 37.5 - minus 1.5"
Hips were 45, now 44 - minus 1"
Thighs were 27, now 25 - minus 2"
Arms were 14, now 13.5 - minus .5"
Total inches lost: 9" (in 4 months - since November)
Total pounds lost: 9.2 (in 4 months - since November)
It's not that bad. Not that bad at all. 


Weekend Pics

 Our dogs continue to be goofy.
 Hit up the OBC for lunch. So dang delicious. And the beer selection is rad.
 After park cool down with some ice cream
 Reppin' Dad with the Coors shirt
 Christa dressed herself to look like Poppy
We learned real quick this weekend that our Lent goal was unrealistic. 
We've since revised to no drinking Monday through Thursday.