Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

As you can see from the picture, we still have some pumpkins to carve in anticipation of tonight's candyfest celebration. However, this year for me the real celebration is the small victory that for the first time in dare I say "ever" I have not opened the Halloween candy prior to October 31st. Those bags of candy will remain unopened until tonight...when all bets are off. : )   HaPpY hAlLoWeEn!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update WLJ

I updated the Weight Loss Journal with the latest picture. Since I obviously didn't make my goal of reaching my goal weight by the end of October, I'm going to remove that verbiage from the countdown counter. It's going to take as long as it takes. Right now, I have two health goals: 1) reach my goal weight of 145 and 2) reduce sodium intake in order to control my blood pressure. The bright side? I'm still wearing size 8 jeans! The even brighter side? I'm wearing Medium shirts! This time last year, I was wearing size 18 jeans and size XL (bordering 1X) shirts. I'd say I've made some progress. Onward and downward.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Did the Hundred Push Ups

I finished the One Hundred Push Ups program and on my final challenge I managed to do 101 push ups. I'm not going to go so far as to say that it feels good; but I will say that it is a good feeling of accomplishment knowing that I couldn't do this 6 weeks ago. Sure, as my FB friends know, it took me 7 weeks because I had to do over Week 5. And yes, I did girl push ups not "real" push ups. And yes, while doing the last 10 push ups I nearly fell on my face. But by the grace and strength of God, I completed the goal. Time to move on.

Since I'm still a little flabtastic around the middle, I think I'll try the Two Hundred Sit Ups challenge starting today. Also, after doing the hundred push ups and working out my biceps, I noticed just how flabby my triceps are, so I'm going to do the One Fifty Dips. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Seriously, though, 6 weeks does go by fairly quickly. So, if you're like me and you're looking for a cheap, I mean frugal, alternative to the gym then the One Hundred Push Ups training program is worth checking out.

"The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. " Psalm 145:13b-14

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Slightly Shifting Focus

Although I'm still counting calories and keeping track of how many miles I walk each day, I'm shifting my focus ever so slightly away from this and concentrating on the food and nutrients that make up my calories. Last month, I went to the doctor to check on my blood pressure. After losing 50lbs, I was so sure that it would have improved and would be below 140/90. Unfortunately, it was above 140/90. I should back up and say that over the summer I stopped taking my medication. I know, it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I had to know for sure if losing weight helped. It did, sort of, but it wasn't enough. The one piece of good news, however, was that my lipid panels and fasting glucose test results were all within normal range. Woo hoo!

When I got home I was annoyed, but I was even more determined to control my bp through diet. I remembered reading about the Eat to Live program, so I searched for it on Amazon and ordered it. In a nutshell, the premise of this program is that the standard American diet is too high in fat and sodium and too low in nutrients. In other words, we need to increase the fruits, veggies, beans, seeds, and nuts to the point where those foods comprise the bulk of our diet. It has to be a permanent lifestyle change not a temporary fix. I got it. I'm now using Calorie Count's food analysis feature to determine if I'm getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals as well as if I'm keeping my sodium and fats in check. Last Friday, I was able to stay on target for each area.

Let's face it folks: sodium is found in just about every processed food whether it's canned, bagged, or packaged. The less processed food I eat the better. If you're curious about what this new eating regime looks like, you can click on the picture at the left. It's a summary of what I ate last Friday. Onward and downward.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BFD - October '11

Apples or pumpkins? It's hard to choose, so why not have both. For this month's BFD we had:

Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Smoothie
Assorted Fresh Fruit

I've done cinnamon rolls before and nothing beats homemade cinnamon rolls. But, I wanted something a little different this time around. When I found the recipe for Apple Cinnamon Rolls I thought, "Perfect!" We have tons of apples from our visit to semi-local orchards a couple of weeks ago and I've been dying to bake something with apples.

The instructions are pretty self-explanatory. I did not have RapidRise yeast, so I used regular yeast and had the dough sit for an hour. My apple cinnamon rolls don't look as soft and gooey because I use 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour. Also, I only made half of the recipe and this yielded 12 rolls. Well, I should clarify that I cut the dough portion in half but kept the same amount of apples. You should generously grease the baking pan as these are sticky. IMO, these cinnamon rolls should be called "Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls". Seriously. In fact, that's what I told my kids they were called.

I considered the pumpkin smoothie recipe to be a starting point. I did make some modifications, so here is my version:

Pumpkin Banana Smoothie  (Serves 4)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 banana
1 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 cup 1% milk
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger ( husband requested this)
A handful of ice cubes
Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

First, while I love pumpkin I didn't want it to be the overwhelming taste, so I reduced it. Second, since I wasn't adding alot of additional sweetener, I decided to add a banana and substitute light vanilla soy milk for 1/2 of the milk. (Vanilla almond milk works, too.) If it's too thick, then add a little more milk or soy milk until you get the right consistency. Third, I did not freeze the pumpkin puree so I added a handful of ice cubes to make it frosty. This was my favorite. Yum!

Monday, October 10, 2011

H.I.P. Update

Well, another home improvement project has come and gone and I must say that the boys' rooms look brand new. Even without a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Seriously. Maybe I'm just saying that because I hate carpet - that nasty, hard-to-care-for, dirt-attracting carpet. Sure, it comes in a wide variety of colors and textures to match the room's decor. And sure, it's nice to feel the warm, soft carpet under your feet in the winter. But none of this is worth the long-term hassle of carpet in my opinion - especially carpet in kids' rooms.

The one thing that I do appreciate about carpet is that it does act as a sound dampener. Oh well, I'm willing to live without it. The laminate flooring lives up to its promise of looking good, being easy to clean, and relatively easy to install. (Thanks to my hardworking hubby.) It does look like real hardwood, sort of, but any claims of it sounding like real hardwood...I'm sorry, but it doesn't. I had real hardwood floors in my 1918 house in Seattle. Still, I'm not going to rain on my own parade because did I mention that it still looks good and is easy to clean?

Friday, October 7, 2011


Once a month I am blessed to be able to go out for an evening and visit with some wonderful women who just also happen to be moms with special needs children - this is Mom's Night Out. There are the regulars (of which I am one) who try to make it every month. Then there are others who make it less frequently.

Sometimes the evening is filled with so much laughter that I have tears in my eyes. Other times, the mood might be a little heavy. Sometimes one or two or three or more of us are going through a rough patch either at home or at school. No matter what the situation is we all know that we can share our struggles without fear of being judged or misunderstood. These moms "get it". They've been there. They've done that. There is nothing you could say that would shock us. They know that normal is just a setting on the dryer so to speak.

At the risk of sounding like a 1960's folk song, I will say that everyone needs to feel as though someone understands them. Loneliness, confusion, and frustration stem from thinking that you are the only one experiencing this - whether it's an autistic child with behaviors or a child with global delays who struggles to hit the developmental milestones. That's not to say that we don't have friends with typical children. We do. But honestly, sometimes it's hard to relate particularly when things are rough at home. Speaking from experience, I was ecstatic to find others like me. This didn't change my situation; however, it did give me a powerful sense of knowing that I am not alone. That my friends, is priceless. So to all of my MNO buddies: I hope you know just how much you all mean to me.

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice."  Proverbs 27:9

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Home Improvement Projects Suck Tainted Egg Rolls

Once again, we find ourselves in the middle of a home improvement project. This time we are ripping out the carpeting in the boys' rooms and replacing it with wood laminate flooring. The carpet in my youngest son's room has endured several accidents and was in dire need of replacing. The carpet in my oldest son's room was the original white carpet from when we first bought the house. Needless to say, it was no longer white and it needed to go. And no, we did not choose the white carpet just in case you were wondering.

This particular project has been in the works for a while. We knew we didn't want to replace carpet with carpet and wood laminate was our first choice. It was just a matter of  the right time and the right price. Well the right price occurred, which automatically dictated that it was the right time even though it really wasn't. Costco has wood laminate flooring on sale for $8.00 off per box. That's a good chunk of savings.

Quite frankly, it's never a good time for a home improvement project. The chaos and general upheaval that goes with it always grates on my nerves. I'm not complaining mind you; I feel fortunate that we're able to do this. It's simply that for at least one of us, our time is divided between supervising our youngest son and doing the project at hand. And no, we can't always hire someone to watch him. Consequently, projects take a little longer than usual. I know in the end that it will all be worth it - that's why I'm not complaining...too much.


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