Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All aboard for the guilt trip!

It's only hours away, the final Halloween party of 2007. Thank goodness. I have not handled the onslaught of candy in this house very well, so now it's time to pull out the big guns...the ones with guilt written all over them.

At the end of this week, as in Friday around the boys' naptime, I'm going to post whether or not I won the war on Halloween candy. By that time, I think I will have given the boys a healthy candy dose and found a loving home for the rest of it, outside my house.

So let's be clear: a win in this battle means not having even one piece. I know that one piece of candy does not a diet ruin, but that one piece tends to bring a lot of friends with it.

And I'm going to be honest about the results, too. I have too many real-life buddies reading this who I will have to face with my results.

(Okay, should I really post this? Do I really want to set myself up? Oh, well, publish or perish, they say...so GO!)
It's big, ya'll. It's the Fall Ya'll Giveaway carnival, hosted by the carnival queen herself, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

My giveaway is FREE SHIPPING at http://www.kangaroodle.com/. I recently ordered this beauty, which I love and upon seeing it Pete has proclaimed "uh, I'll stick to the Eddie Bauer diaper bag, thanks."

Anyway, with my order I received a free shipping code which I'm happy to make your prize if you leave me a comment and I randomly draw your name.


Kangaroodle has lots of baby and kids' items that are great for gift-giving and the prices range from very affordable to oh-my-gosh-I-don't-care-how-much-that-is-I-want-it-anyway.
The free shipping code is good until November 30.

Thanks for your entry and be sure to check out Fall Ya'll for more chances to win stuff.
P.S. You don't have to be a blogger to win!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Biggest Loser Update: Week 5 of 8

(Whose idea was it to post weekly updates on my weight loss?)

Don't worry, I will not leave you hanging. I'm going to see this eight weeks of brutality through to the end...for better or, more likely, worse.

And now for the Results Show you've all tuned in for, this Week 5 of 8 of my gym's Biggest Loser competition.

A half-pound loss.

And I took off my shorts at the scale to accomplish that.

This is all the proof I needed that me and Halloween candy cannot happily coexist in my household. Either Alex is getting a crash course in chewing up Starburst or some of it is going to Pete's office on Thursday.


Oh, and to update you on Chad the Trainer's off-the-cuff remark that sounded to me like nails on a chalkboard?

I did approach him about it and yes, he did back pedal but not at warp speed like I thought. His reasoning behind his "well I don't know about that" comment was that he wants me to get there and just see how that goal weight feels to my body (bliss, I'm thinking, but okay). He said sometimes people lose weight only to lose energy, too. So their bodies are telling them that maybe it's too low and they should gain a few pounds back.

He was very apologetic and encouraging and told me I'd been doing well to date and keep up the working hard, etc.

I feel better having spoken to him about it; after all, he needs to know that someone could take that to heart. And lose sleep and then blog about it...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ahhhh, cupcake season for the Home Team

Today I was frosting cupcakes for tonight's Fall Festival at church, when, wonder of wonders, I had to stop to clean up Alex in his high chair. While I was concentrating on him, my frosting bag and all its contents toppled out of the tall glass where I left it. So I grabbed it up with my fingers as best I could (and no, I didn't use it for the cupcakes!), thus ending up with a half-can of frosting all over one hand.

But Mickey to the rescue, without even cracking a smile:

"Well, Mom, can I lick your fingers?"

Friday, October 26, 2007

No naked pumpkin allowed in this house!

I recently got my Nov/Dec issue of my diet magazine, the one that has a weightloss program as its foundation. The one you've probably been on at least once in your life. But that's not the, uh, point.

There's an article in this issue about planning for the "big day." Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and how to keep on program during a time when it's so tempting to overeat.

So there's tips for the day before the big day, the big day itself, and the day after. The part on the day after suggests you have some leftovers, in moderation, of course:

2 oz. roast turkey breast. Yum.
2 Tbsp. canned cranberry sauce. I'm not cran-crazy but okay.
1 c. steamed green beans with 1 Tbsp. toasted almonds. Getting better.

And then the bottom falls out of this little menu:

1 c. warm canned pumpkin.

Excuse me? You want me to eat pumpkin without cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg and evaporated milk, all snuggled up in a flaky pastry?

I didn't realize such a thing was possible. Are there people out there who rountinely eat un-doctored canned pumpkin? By the cupful?

Now maybe I'm missing out on something here, but this just doesn't seem right. There's a reason every Libby's can in the world has a recipe for pumpkin pie on the back of it. It is not meant to be consumed any other way!

I suppose not every tip in these mags is the best one they could come up with. But please...something tells me some college intern took a dare and snuck this one in.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random thoughts on the fires in California

I told Pete the other day I was ready for a good weather story to follow during the day, a la Hurricane Anyone or an early-season snowstorm. Anything that gets Jim Cantore and crew beaten to death by wind and precipitation is good daytime TV.

The fires are not so much a weather story and definitely lack the needed precipitation factor, but the Weather Channel is a bit confounded by that so they air updates, too. But the winds! Oh, the winds make it weather related...woo-hoo for the WC!

So without the 'round-the-clock fire coverage from the Weather Channel, I get to feed my news appetite with CNN, MSNBC, and the others. See if you haven't been thinking the same things while watching "California Burning":

1. A no-brainer: the press couldn't wait to give these fires their own title. "California Burning" splashed on the screen, complete with animated flames, was the logical choice.

2. At the speed of light, FEMA rushed to spend thousands to accommodate the evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium and other locations. They would do anything to avoid the criticism that Katrina brought them. In fact, they have probably ended up overspending on resources in order to avoid it.

3. Wolf Blitzer is going to implode if he doesn't find out why the fires burn one house and leave its next-door neighbor untouched. Here's a newsflash, Wolf: tornados do the same thing. Move on to another subject (like how you expect us to keep up with your six TV screens).

4. Reporters are actually asking evacuees what their plans are as far as rebuilding if their house is destroyed. WHAT ELSE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO DO?

5. When a reporter is broadcasting from an area and they say "...this whole town is evacuated; no one should be up here..." It doesn't really make them look very good to be, uh, standing there.

6. This morning my local radio news boasted that theirs was the only reporter in town who went to California to cover the fires. Hmmm, maybe that's because everyone else realizes that people in northeast Oklahoma don't really care about it that much. And there's 847 national news people out there who are already covering it. But good luck trying to report something to us that we haven't already heard.

Oh, well...my persnickety attitude will not prevent me from continuing to watch the coverage. After all, I'm sure those Californians were glued to their TVs when we had our own fires a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alex jumped in a fish pond today

I just thought I'd cut right to the chase. It's really a short story, although slightly horrifying. And funny. Horrifyingly funny.

I took Alex and Mickey to a pumpkin patch today where they had a fish pond. I don't think there were actually fish in it, but it was hard to tell because the water was so dark.

As the boys flitted about inspecting the pumpkins and flowers, I noticed the pond out of the corner of my eye and made a mental note to be especially watchful over the boys when we approached it. Minutes later I was sternly instructing Mickey to keep back from the edge, which he did. As I was making my mental notes and barking at Mickey, Alex stayed two or three steps ahead of me.

And then he bolted.

He ran toward the pond and didn't stop until he splashed (I believe all of South Our Town heard me screaming...). He went in up to his neck and then his cheek hit the water's surface just before I caught him up under his arm. I was quickly in up to my thigh. I was holding my camera in my right hand and raised it above my head to keep it from getting wet. (I'd like to think that if I thought Alex to be in grave danger I would have let go the camera.) So that meant I got to will all my strength to my weaker left arm and hoist him and his wet sweatsuit up out of the pond while trying not to lose my footing on who-knows-what at the bottom of the pond.

We managed to get back on shore without me getting completely submerged and the camera only a little splashed. Alex cried only a little, thank goodness...as for me I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

In case you're wondering if anyone else was there, we were the only customers. The man working there just sort of stared at us and offered to help. But I think he was wondering who these crazy people were who had disturbed his peaceful fall morning.

So what of Alex's soaking wet clothes? I happened to have a large bag of the boys' out-grown pajamas in the car that I was saving for a friend. I dug through it and found a shirt and some pants and we were in business. And that plastic bag came in handy, too.

I feel so irresponsible for not making sure I had hold of Alex's hand. I totally overestimated his two-year-old mind...thinking he would just be a little curious, not a lot. And I totally UNDERestimated how fast his little legs could move.

Oh, and as for Mickey? He watched and dutifully helped where he could. And also had some simple but sage advice: "Mom, we should go to a pumpkin patch where they don't have ponds."

And something for Alex, on our walk to the car:

"Alex, 'member you can't go in the water without a grown-up!"

Yep, Mickey, I suppose that is indeed the best advice.



"No, no, Alex...it's time to go freak mom out, remember?"



...and suddenly our quaint fall outing...


...turned into "I can't believe it's 55 degrees and windy and my son is soaking wet but I'm still taking a picture."


Shiny floor? Or bilge water? Hard to tell...


A little tight, but dry.


No way I was leaving there without my friggin' decorations.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Biggest Loser Update: Week 4 of 8


Okay, it's half-time of the Biggest Loser contest at my gym. For the results of Weeks 3 and 4 cumulative weigh-in today, can I get a drum roll...

-4 pounds!

So that's two pounds for each week, one of which I wanted to forget as far as working out and sticking to the eating plan. Apparently I didn't do as poorly as I thought.

Also, the guantlet has been inadvertantly thrown. Or whatever that phrase is. I've been called out. I've been asked to belly up to the bar. And all without the other person knowing it.

See, I met with Chad the Trainer at the gym today to discuss my program and progress. I got on the scale and woo-hoo, I'd lost ten pounds in the six weeks since I joined the gym. "What do you want your ultimate goal to be?" he asks. "(this number)," I say, which is a healthy weight for my height according to, uh, everyone.

His reply? Are you ready for this?

"Well, I don't know about that..."

Are you kidding me??! What's your job again?

I didn't really say anything to him right then; I think I was a little dumbfounded. But I'm going to. And he's going to backpedal so fast his bike will break, and then he's going to assure me that (my number) is perfectly reasonable and attainable. I know he's going to react that way because deep down I don't think he meant "Christine you've got to be kidding; you'll never make that goal."

But he needs to know that comments like that can send someone like me into a bit of a tailspin. And someone like me could work up a carefully but sternly worded note to him in a matter of minutes (and address and stamp and seal it).

And someone like me can also put it in a drawer and not mail it.

Truth is, I don't know what exactly he meant by his comment, but I'm going to give him a chance to defend it, for sure.

Really, I wouldn't tell him this, but I think his comment has put me on the defensive. It makes me feel even more determined to get to my goal.

And I DO know about THAT.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On being an older mom

The other day as I pulled up to Mother's Day Out to pick up Mickey and Alex, I had my radio turned up full blast to Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel." Now let me pause a minute here to say: if you do not know this song you are truly missing out on one of the finest one-hit-wonders of all time. For me, it's the best illustration of how I can remember every word and "ooo" and "ahhh" to a 30-year-old song, but I can't remember the name of someone I met yesterday.

Anyway, I'm watching some of the other moms going in as I'm singing at the top of my lungs (and trying not to move my lips so they don't know just how loud I'm projecting...I do have some pride). I figure most of them were babies while I was busy committing Alan's words to my memory forever. For a minute I thought...wow, I'm freaking old. At 41 I'm the mom of two toddlers, and most of my "colleagues" are 10 to 15 years younger than me. And some of my long-time friends have kids who almost aren't kids anymore. They're thinking about homework and who their kids are hanging out with and ACTs and curfews and driving tests.

But you know, I'm okay with that. I really am. The important thing is not my age, but how I feel. And I feel great (Biggest Loser contest notwithstanding). Sure, my boys will probably get teased about their geriatric mom, but I will teach them to say "hey, at least she would fit right in in Hollywood..."

Okay, well, maybe they will need to learn a right cross, too.

Okay, gremlins, bring it on

Whew. I feel so much better this morning. Yesterday I mentally blocked out the laundry, dirty dishes, dinner preparation, and two or three other things I needed to do. I did this so I could concentrate on one thing: backing up my photos onto CDs.

I have heard at least three horror stories in the last month about people whose computers crashed and took precious photos with them. I couldn't stand that thought one day longer...

As a friend of mine once said: in the name of cute children everywhere, back up your stuff. Today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Biggest Loser Update: Week 3 of 8


I didn't want to post this week's results. And lucky for me, the gym is closed today so I could not weigh in. Oh, sure, I could step on my own scale and see the damage, but when every ounce counts it's important to stick with the same equipment every week.

Ahem. Where do I begin? I was sailing through last week just fine, then the curve balls began flying:

Curve ball #1: Impromptu midweek card game at our friends' home. We put the boys down to sleep and played until 1:30 a. m. Ordered pizza at 12:30.

Curve ball#2: Alex gets his first ear infection of the season. Not such a curve ball in itself, but the pain caused him to wake, for good, at 6 a.m. three mornings in a row. And wake up two or three times during the night (luckily, pat, pat, pat and he goes back to sleep). Hang on, I'm getting to the point: lack of sleep makes me too tired to care about watching what I eat or exercising.

Curve ball #3: Gym is closed today so I had to go to another place to workout. Without going into detail, it is not as conducive to a good treadmill session as my regular gym. I was on the treadmill for a lackadaisical 30 minutes instead of my usual 45.

Curve ball #4: I am a good cook. Well, not really a good cook but I have recently happened upon a couple of so-good-you-forget-any-kind-of-eating-plan recipes that I just had to make. (Check out www.cookscountry.com.) I don't know why I make these dishes; I tell myself I can handle the pressure and then I just cave. So now it's back to my bland cooking again (sorry, Pete).

Okay, that's the ugly report. I know the curve balls aren't going to stop...I just have to get better at catching them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Testing, 1-2-3. Can I have your attention please?

(...oh, the creativity in that title. Can you stand it?!)

Some friends and I got together last evening to work on our scrapbooks. And eat. And talk. And eat some more. And talk. I think I got two pages done. But that's beside the point.

The conversation turned to blogging do's and don'ts. None of these girls actually author a blog, but oh, my friend, do they read them (now I don't know why they don't blog; I think they would all be interesting reads). Anyway, we talked about the issue of blogging personal things about your friends and relationships and knowing your posts could be read by the subjects.

This, people, I do not friggin' understand. Can you say "light the fuse and stand back"? I don't understand why someone would post ANYTHING they would not say at a podium in a convention center filled with all the people they've ever known.

To me, that's what blogging is. It's putting your thoughts on the INTERNET people. You know: that thing that has taken over the world? That thing that is accessible by everyone? Even kids? And your friends? And your mother?

It's up to you, ultimately. If you want to be the kind of person who airs personal things, things that could potentially hurt someone's feelings or cause them embarrassment, then that's your business.

But as for me and my blog, we'll have respect. I consider the podium scenario before each time I click "publish post." And I see my mom sitting in the front row.

And then sometimes I hit "delete."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Biggest Loser Update: Week 2 of 8

Remember all that whining I did about losing only two pounds during the first week of the Biggest Loser contest?

I take it all back.

This week's loss is half a pound.

I keep telling myself at least it's not a gain. A loss is a loss is a loss. But when I think about how far I am from my ultimate goal, a half-pound is like contributing one penny to my Christmas Club account.

But okay, I'm going to keep going. Here's hoping for a post next week with a lot of !!! in it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

For Chilihead, who has the blog for all ages

Chili, just thought you'd like to know that your blog has a wider audience than you thought. (That name you hear at the end of this very skillfully shot video should go in one ear and out the other...)

video

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The answer, my friend, is on this site

Need help deciding? Go here and answer some key questions and you'll wonder no more!

Thanks to sister JS for the link.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

When you assume something, you know what happens

This morning at the gym I attended an official Biggest Loser workout. They've got several times during the week where we're coached through different stations, including ab work, jumping rope, stability ball nonsense, squats with weights, and biking. And between interval circuits we get to do a couple of laps around the gym floor (which I have not done since I had a high school basketball coach on the sidelines talking through a whistle in his mouth: "beep, three more laps ladies...")

So I showed up like a good BL and prepared to sweat with the rest of the BLs, only there weren't any rest-of-the-BLs. I was the only one there. Great.

"Sarah" showed me to the room where our interval training was to take place. A room with mirrors on every wall. Every single wall. Did I mention Sarah's last name? It's Buffbody. Sarah Buffbody was wearing a very revealing but all-business workoutfit. As she demonstrated each interval I noticed how good she looked and how skillfully she performed each task with a smile and a steady voice.

So we set to work and she was very sweet and encouraging, but I could not keep from seeing my struggling reflection in the mirror at every turn. Ugh. So I tried to concentrate on myself instead of SB working quietly behind me and annihilating each station like a pro.

After the workout, she and I chatted a bit about the Biggest Loser contest, and I confessed to her that I had indeed lost a lot of weight at one time in my life.

"Really," she says, in that we-have-something-in-common voice. "I used to weigh 203 pounds."

So with one sentence, she put me in my place and she didn't even know it. She had worked extremely hard to get her body in that kind of shape, and was probably standing where I was standing at one time in her life. And not once had I considered the fact that her build was due to hard work and determination and persistence. I took it for granted that since she was so young, being in shape must surely be easy for her.

I know that good health is a journey and not a destination, and even when the contest is over in November, I will still have a long way to go before anyone dubs me Christine Buffbody. But for sure, the only way to get there is the route Sarah took. No other roads lead to where I'm going.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Who knew Evil came in a bag?

Life lesson #34256: Do not buy these if you are trying to win a Biggest Loser contest. Just don't.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pictures just because...

Just because running is his favorite sport (indoors or outdoors).



Just because he really was going in for a kiss. No really, he was.



Just because I married a thoughtful man.


Just because some football players are still little. And some coaches are still dads.



Just because we should all reach for the...wait, that's just corny.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WFMW: Spaghetti help needed

Today's Work for Me Wednesday has a special twist: it's Backwards Day. We post questions, and the answers flood our comments...right?!

My biggest problem of late is this: my homemade spaghetti sauce does not adhere to the spaghetti.

I use a darn good recipe from Paula Deen so you would think it would perform perfectly, but it seems like it doesn't matter whether I use a recipe or not. The spaghetti sort of rejects the sauce and I end up with sauce and spaghetti in the same room but not talking.

Any ideas? FYI, I do not rinse the pasta because I've heard the starch on it helps sauces stick to it. But that seems to be a lie. Help!

For more backwardness, check out Rocks in My Dryer. And while you're at it, check out her Bloggy Giveaways like you should be doing daily.

P.S. Honestly, I know this is the most trivial problem I could possibly have in my life. And for that I thank God today.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Biggest Loser Update: Week 1 of 8

Minus two pounds.

That's the good news.

The bad news?

Minus TWO pounds.

I know, I know. The slower it comes off the better. But it is PAINSTAKING. I have been on program for about three weeks solid: getting up and working out before Pete and the boys get up, using my MDO time to work out, going to the gym on Saturdays, and even fitting in a neighborhood walk here and there. I've watched what I've eaten and stayed reasonable at most meals, even on special occasions.

All that for two pounds. Criminy.

And, okay, if I don't win the Biggest Loser contest at my gym, I suppose I will still be a winner with whatever weight loss happens.

But dammit I want that $100 gift card.

A comment on commenting on comments

Since I'm using the cheapest (as in free) blogging interface available, I have to play the hand I'm dealt as far as features go. One feature Blogger lacks is the ability for the blogger to reply to comments. Furthermore, it doesn't allow the commenter to include an email address, even one visible only to me.

So if I want to reply to or comment on your comment, I will leave a comment on that same post. Whatever...you know what I mean. If you say something and you think I might want to say something back, check the comments again later. There. Now if you can't understand that, give me a call; I'm in the book.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Finally, some good news for these boys

No, not mine. Brit's. Seems the courts have ruled in Sean Preston and Jayden's favor and they're going to live with Kevin Federline. I think Britney's probably relieved to give up the responsibility. Based on the rags I read, and of course they are all based on facts and checked and double-checked, right? Anyway, based on the press, SP and Jayden are in the way of her ruining her life. Surely K-Fed's home will be more stable than the one they are leaving.

So what do you think? Should the boys stay with their mom, who is unstable but probably loves them, with supervision? Or go live with their dad, who has a pretty checkered past but seems to not be a drug user?