Sunday, February 28, 2010

Healthier Me

There might be some of you who are a little tired of my food and exercise posts. There may be some of you who don't want to hear it anymore. To those people, I apologize sincerely right now. Because it isn't going to stop. I've got this fire of motivation and I don't want it to go away. I want to nurture it and feed it and help it grow stronger. I want to be healthy, I want to be fit. Here are some of the crazy things I've done in the past few days... things that are totally out of character for me, things I want to keep doing. 1. Jeff picked up the Wii Just Dance game. Total props to Shell at Things I Can't Say for pushing and pushing this game. It was on sale at Target. Had to get it. Fired it up last night. Did 30 minutes, 21 songs on short versions (repeated a few). Had FUN, got my heart rate UP, and I was SWEATY. Loved it! 2. Got up Saturday morning, ready to run. Couldn't do my first Couch to 5K workout because we got some snow last night. So I hopped in the car and drove across town. Spent 2 hours in the office getting some loose ends tied up and even arranged my workspace so that my computer doesn't completel block me from people walking by or coming in- I wanted it to feel more open. Then I went across the street and did my C25K workout on the treadmill. Had the gym completely to myself. Struggled a little but never to the point where I wanted to quit. 3. We had lunch at McAlister's when I got home. I DID NOT ORDER SWEET TEA. Insane, I know!!! I didn't order tea or lemonade. I had water. And I ordered a healthy meal- minestrone soup and half of the grilled chicken salad (no bacon, most of the cheese went to Zach). 4. I'm tracking what I'm eating by using My Daily Plate on Livestrong. I'm tracking my calories and my workouts. I don't plan for my blog to become a fitness blog. But I write about the things that are up front in my life and mind and heart. So there will most likely be more posts to come about food and exercise. I'm good at starting multiple other blogs to store things so maybe the best thing is to start a Healthier Me blog where I can store all of this information and excitement. Photobucket

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Trip To Trader Joe's

I'm inspired by the Fit City chat I attended Tuesday evening. It's got me totally psyched for healthy eating. At least... healthier eating. I headed out to Trader Joe's on my lunch hour on Wednesday. I thought I would just share a few bits of what I picked up. My afternoon snack- Trek Mix and Apple Yogurt. The Trek Mix is chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, dried apples, raisins, chocolate covered raisins, sunflower seeds. 1/4 c is 200 calories (12 g fat, 13 g sugar, 2 g fiber). The yogurt is a 4 oz container and is 100 calories (3 g fat, 11 g sugar, 2 g fiber). This will be a great pre-workout snack!

One of the best things about Trader Joe's is the aisle of nuts, nut/fruit mixes, dried and freeze dried fruit, and so on. In a traditional grocery store, I'm lucky to find very over priced nuts in the baking aisle. At Trader Joe's... they are a center piece!! One thing that was brought up on that chat Tuesday evening- and that was unfamiliar to some- was the idea of freeze dried fruits. We all know that dried fruit is usually loaded with sugar so it isn't a great juice for getting the benefits of fruit. Freeze dried fruit doesn't have any added sugar. It's simply- freeze dried. It has a different texture and the flavor comes through pretty intensely. It's not something I'd play on a regular basis- but there are times they are a fun treat! One other treat to share... kumquats! Up until last year, I didn't know what kumquat was, to be honest. I'd heard of them. But hadn't ever had one and wasn't sure I'd ever even seen one. They look like tiny little oranges. See how small they are? Here's the crazy thing about a kumquat- you eat the entire thing. Just pop it in your mouth. Opposite from an orange, the kumquat peel is sweet and the inside "meat" is tart. So a kumquat is a fantastic way to satisfy that sweet and tart craving. The thing I like about Trader Joe's is that the store is smaller so it's less enticing, less distracting, less confusing. Most of the items are made without high fructose corn syrup and less preservatives and junk like that. Lots of organic choices at better prices than the bigger stores. So if I pick up some cookies, I don't feel as bad about them because they are made better than "commercial" cookies. I can buy things that my kids like- cereal bars, for example- and the ingredient list is a much better fit for the healthy lifestyle I try to lead and provide. Here's another example of how I was inspired... I have to admit that I have a really bad habit of night time snacking. Jeff and I both tend to get the kids to bed, sit down and relax, and end up grabbing some very unhealthy snacks while watching TV. Lately, my snack of choice has been pretzels and french onion dip. Not good- and I tried making myself feel better because I was using pretzels instead of potato chips! And of course, I don't measure out a portion so I'm sure I've been consuming more than the 2 TB serving size (60 cal, 5 g fat). I picked up an alternative at Trader Joe's. Pretzel slims and garlic hummus. The hummus is 50 cal and 3 g of fat- not a huge difference. But the onion dip has 2.5 g saturated fat and the hummus has none. Sodium in the dip is about double the sodium in the hummus. So tonight? I measure out 2 TB and I count out my pretzel slims. One tip that was given in the chat is to take cottage cheese, puree it in the blend (until smooth) and then add a packet of ranch seasoning or french onion and make your own dip! Other items I picked up and am very much looking forward to enjoying: identity crisis chips (gluten free, whole grain, wheat free- 140 cal in 10 chips, 7 g fat- made with corn, potato, and brown rice). These are especially good with Pineapple Salsa (2 TB, 15 cal, 0 fat). take out thali- boxed indian cuisine in microwaveable pouches. Perfect for at work. Less on the healthy scale but certainly not unhealthy. 480 calories, 16 g fat, 13 g protein, 8 g fiber. Soup- like beef & barley, carrot ginger, and sweet potato bisque. frozen foods like meatballs, chicken quesadillas, soycutash (edamame, corn, red peppers), vegetable melange kid friendly options like peaches, yogurt, fruit leather, and even some organic lollipops I'm feeling like I'm well armed to face cravings and urges and so on. I've got a little stock pile of better choices within arms reach. I've been in such a bad place with eating and lack of motivation and lack of physical activity. Not so long ago, just the idea of thinking about healthy food choices made my head swim. I felt overwhelmed by the options and choices and I felt afraid to give up the junk that brings me comfort. It feels so good to be enjoying the better choices that I am better prepared to make!

None of this post was sponsored by anyone. While I wish I was making money off this sort of thing- alas, these are just my opinions and things I happen to be getting re-excited about! Photobucket

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fragments 2.26.10

Friday! Fragments! Fours (as in Mrs)! Fun!
Click the FriFrag button to join in on the fun!
Click the Feel Good Friday button to learn more about it- then visit her home page and join in!
I'm still not back to full health. It's been 1 week. I'm not feeling a need to go to the doctor just yet- no drainage from the ear, no pain, no fever. Just that fullness. So I feel like waiting a bit longer isn't a bad thing.
I'm using my neti pot regularly. And I'm exercising, eating better, sleeping well. And taking Airborne. I know that can be controversial. There were lawsuits about it not being effective. That's when the creator bought the company back- she felt her product was being misrepresented. Here's what I know- I just plain old like the stuff and even if it's a placebo effect, I like the drink, I like the energy boost I feel after. So I'm going to keep taking it.
But the pink grapefruit- while my favorite flavor so far- does this weird bubbly thing that the citrus flavor hasn't done! Check it out!
For my Feel Good Friday Fragment, I'm sharing my Facebook affirmation for the week!
Don't we all need to hear that sometimes?
We went to Jeff's nephew's basketball game last night. A bunch of 9 year olds running around, dribbling and shooting and working hard. Corbin's team is undefeated and if they won this game, they play a championship game on Sunday- at the High School! Corbin's team won! Yay! But my heart went out to a boy on the opposing team... he played so hard. This was so important to him. He cried. His coach pulled him aside and said some pep talk stuff to him- it looked supportive from where I was. As we were leaving, he and his family passed us. I reached out to him and said "You really played a great game and worked so hard." He said thanks, but was still put out, of course. His mom gave me a very grateful thank you- looked me in the eyes and there was this cool mom to mom moment where we both just understood.
I love moments like that.
We have our plan all set for Teagan's birthday party! She helped me with the guest list- and has asked to include Zach's 2 little friends from daycare (she knew them back when she went there, too). And she was very concerned to make certain that Mommy, Daddy, and Zach would be there. But what I loved most was her absolute certainty that her school friend be invited. We will be inviting several school friends but there is one little boy that she seems to have a special connection with. I've met him and his parents once before and liked them very much. He is high functioning on the autism scale- and Teagan is kind to him, helps him, encourages him. She really, really likes him and I love that she's found a friend who is unique and can teach her so much. I think we need to arrange a playdate.
OK- I'm watching Survivor as I watch this. THAT IMMUNITY / REWARD COMPETITION WAS RIDICULOUS! Jeff and I were bouncing around and cracking up- hooting and hollering at the TV! I've been waiting for the Heroes to get their act together and this was AWESOME!
OK- my biggest fragment for last. Prepare to hear a lot more about this one over the next 50 days.
I made a choice and a commitment yesterday. I joined the Indy MomsLikeMe Team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This is my first ever 5k. I'm not going in the competitive group but instead with the larger group of walking moms. I have 50 days to get myself geared up for this. I'd love to actually run some of it. I'm hearing a lot of good things about the Couch to 5K program. I'm definitely feeling inspired to stay on my health and fitness track with this as a goal!!
I'll add this to my sidebar as well. The button takes you to my personal race page. And if you happen to have a couple of spare bucks or just feel like this is a cause worth supporting, I would be very grateful and proud to run for your donations. In fact, I think the more donations are made, the more I run instead of walk!
Our weekend includes an easy Saturday and a jam packed Sunday. Church (sing at both services), I have a meeting after church (a cool initiative to do ministry with our sister church in the same town), Teagan has a birthday party to attend at one of those bounce places (Monkey Joe's). What's going on with you this weekend?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Because It Isn't Near Over

It isn't a hot topic on the news these days. If you want information, you have to dig around a bit. There are some big stories that will pop up- missionaries detained for allegedly kidnapping children, for example. But the real stories are so much harder to find. Unless you read blogs! I've still got that list of blogs over in my sidebar- missionary groups and people who are in Haiti, connected to Haiti, families who have gone and are going through adoption processes. Some of the blogs are still all about Haiti. Some are "mommy blogs" that have given very personal accounts of orphans and parents stranded in Haiti and the joyous homecoming and the transition back to normal family routines. Some are blogs from medical people working in Haiti- the people they help, the struggles they face. Some are passionate accounts of what they are seeing and hearing and experiencing. Not every blog is all about Haiti. Not every blog is current- I imagine life is pretty busy for a lot of these folks. There are still some journalists who are reporting on lives impacted by Haiti, by things happening in Haiti. The news coverage is fading. But the rainy season is coming in Haiti. So much still needs to be done. I know that I am powerless here in my snowy, safe, heated, comfortable home in Indiana. But I do believe in the power of prayer. And I do believe in the importance of sharing information, of storytelling, of spreading the word. So if you have some time... click over and visit those blogs. Even if the blog is current, leave a comment to let them know that you stopped by, that you appreciate the work they have done and are doing. If you read a good news story- something that catches your eye, stays in your heart- share it with others. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, give a link on your blog. I'd love to hear what you are passionate about these days. What is staying with you? What are you carrying in your heart and mind lately? What is a subject you want others to be in touch with? Photobucket

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Well Cards

Have you ever noticed how a letter or card can so quickly and easily brighten your day? My brother Ted is a sophomore at the University of Dayton. Ted has a good friend named Em. Ted and Em are BFFs. Ted and Em are thoughtful and kind and fun. See- Ted has always had a fun side. But it hasn't come out quite so often as it has since he started college, joined marching band and met Em. She brings out the fun in him, the happy in him. In many ways, they remind me of my friendship with Jim. He and I met in college- early in my freshman year. And we brought out the best in each other. We aren't close in location anymore and I miss him a lot. But when we talk- and we always talk when there are Big and Important Things going on in our lives- we are instantly as connected as we always have been. At worst, that will be how Ted and Em end up. At best... well, the possibilities are endless.

Yesterday, I pulled a thick envelope from the mailbox. Ted had warned me that it was headed my way- and I'd been watching for it. And what a treat it was!!

A letter from Em to Teagan. The "ice cream ketchup" reference goes back to when my kids, my mom and I had dinner with Ted and Em over the Christmas holiday when they were in Indy for a conference.

A letter from Ted to Teagan. Personally, I love the hand drawn edging. A get well card from Em to Zach (in reference to his procedure 2 weeks ago). The referenced coloring pages were a big hit! The kids were really excited because the pages came from their favorite TV show- Dinosaur Train! But the card that made me cry... from my brother to my son. You can click on the picture to see it larger and read the words better. When Ted was around 5 years old, he had to have his tonsils removed. As any child would be, he was nervous. In fact, he might have been a bit more anxious because he was kind of a high strung kid. I bought him a stuff lion. I told him that this was Brave Lion. Anytime he was feeling scared or hurting, he just had to give Brave Lion a squeeze and Brave Lion would share his courage with Ted. This is the second time in his adulthood that Ted has mentioned Brave Lion. It touches me deeply that my small gesture had such an impact. And that my small gesture is being passed on to my children. And apparently this propensity for letter writing and card making runs in the gene pool. Teagan knows that Mommy's been sick. So she made me some get well cards. This cracks me up- she is so proud to know my name. She read the card to me when she presented it and her face just beamed when she said "Liz." It was adorable. A picture of Mommy and Teagan, hanging out. She said this paper was really special for this card- because it was shaped like a letter L... you know, for "Liz." So my mail- both from the post office and from Teagan's back pack- certainly made my day brighter. How about you? Do you send out cards and letters? Do you love to receive those little notes? Even online greetings are a reminder that someone is thinking of me. I think I would like to be one of those people who sends out little cards from time to time- just to let you know that I care. Photobucket

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Love Lunch

Over the weekend, in the midst of my feeling rather puny, I posted a video of Improv Everywhere's "I Love Lunch." If you missed it (and a fantastic t-shirt stop motion video), check it out here. I do, in fact, love lunch. And I especially love lunch during the work week. And while my lunch hour used to mean eating out or running errands, I love that I am getting back into the habit of my lunch hour being used at the gym and then I eat something quick and easy at my desk after my workout. I'm getting hooked on frozen meals. I used to think they were crap- and I think there's a good chance of still finding crap out there. But I've had some rather tasty meals lately. And when I go to read the labels- expecting the bad news, the down side- I end up pleasantly surprised! Here's my normal workday eating routine: Get to work and get a cup of coffee with creamer (the sweetened bad for you kind). About an hour later, make oatmeal. Most days, I admit to making 2 packets. Most days, that holds me just fine until after my workout. I am working on cutting back to one packet. I sweeten my oatmeal with Trader Joe's Maple Agave Syrup (awesome great stuff). I'll get to lunch in a sec. Dinner is whatever gets thrown together at home. This past weekend, I did pretty well in the dinner department. Saturday, even though I was sick, I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Sunday, still sick but feeling better, I made meatballs (they were a chicken teriyaki meatball with pineapple in them- Teagan and I sampled them at the grocery store and she lvoed them so I immediately bought them for dinner and her love affair remained in tact- she and Zach both ate them up) and oven baked potato chips (potatoes sliced on the mandolin slicer, cookie sheet schmeared with olive oil, layer potato slices, grind on some salt- I've been using a lower sodium pink crystal salt from Trader Joe's- and back at 400 for 10-12 minutes; turn and then bake 10 minutes at 500). But lunch... I don't bring leftovers. I don't pack a lunch like a sandwich and an apple and yogurt. Instead, I've gotten hooked on Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice meals. They go on sale regularly so I eat for about $2 or less each meal. And both of these companies have been working to make meals that are healthier. The big issue with frozen food, generally, is the sodium. But both of these companies seem to be making efforts and strides to improve on that front. Monday, I had the Healthy Choice Lemon Pepper Fish Complete Meal. Breaded white fish on a bed of rice pilaf, broccoli florets, and caramel apple crisp give this high-fiber meal a distinct taste. 310 calories. 4.5 g fat. 440 mg sodium (which is 18% of the RDV). 13 g of protein. 50% Vit C. 5 g fiber.And it was good. The broccoli was perfect. The apples were crisp. The fish wasn't overly fishy. The rice pilaf had some wild rice in it. The only thing I added was some Sriracha Sauce... yum!
The best thing about that Healthy Choice meal? I felt full and satiated after eating it. I wasn't craving something more. I didn't eat 3 bites and then it was gone and I was left wanting more. It was a good size portion with plenty of savory and sweet.
Over the weekend, I ate a couple of Lean Cuisines at home. Their Spa line is pretty tasty. Christy and I both had the Lemongrass Chicken last week- it was better than expected and really quite good. Again- the sodium, at 550 mg, is the thing to watch. But 260 calories, 6 g of fat, 5 g fiber, and 19 g of protein? Not bad. Add in a yogurt (Stoneyfield Farms) so I satisfy my sweet tooth and I'm a happy camper!
It's hard to eat fresh, healthy meals at work. It's hard to balance working through lunch, hitting the gym, running errands and find the energy and motivation to have a healthy and satisfying meal that doesn't leave me craving chocolate or chips within a couple of hours.
And I have to admit that I am very tempted by knowing that the calorie intake on these meals is so much less than a meal I would normally eat if I grabbed a bite out. For the sake of comparison- let's say I order in my favorite Jimmy John's sandwich. The #4- Turkey Tom. Turkey, sprouts, tomato, lettuce, mayo. On that yummy JJ's bread. For just that sandwich- no pickle, no chips, no fruit, no sides- that's 515 calories!! 1,094 mg of sodium! Yikes! Take off the mayo (gulp) and calories drop to 322 and sodium drops to 920 mg (still a big ouch). I'm scared to go and look at the fast food meals I like to enjoy from time to time.
So here's my inspiration... I don't have a set goal to lose weight. I want to be healthier and make healthier eating choices. If I pay attention and stay smart about my meals and my snacks... just making this change to my lunch time routine could seriously have a major impact on my calorie intake and, hence, that whole "calories in, calories out" thing seems to be a lot more important.
I'm doing it! I'm exercising more regularly. I'm making better food choices. I still have a lot of weaknesses and I still have a lot of bad habits (let's not talk about ice cream or french onion dip, ok?). But I am making changes and I feel really, really good about it!
Ironically, I learned a lot a couple of weeks ago from the Fit City Twitter chat about staying motivated to exercise during the winter months- or even just in general. Tonight, there is another Fit City Indy Twitter chat. And this time- the focus is on food! I will definitely be tuning in and I hope you'll come and check it out and even participate, too!
Participate in the next Indy Fit Chat on Feb. 23. Starting at 6:30 p.m. EST, FitCity’s guest Annessa Chumbley (@Flourish_Girl) will give her Grocery Survival Strategies. Find out how you can get the healthiest trip through your local grocery and ask questions about portion control, food labels and more. Search #indyfitchat on Twitter or follow @fitcityindy to be a part of the conversation on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Upside Down

With Zach's illness and my illness, I haven't been online as much as usual the past few days. But I did still turn to the internet for advice on dealing with my ear. Friday, I woke up with the right side of my head completely full of cotton. Only my ear- not my sinuses. My head felt heavy and full on that one side. It was pretty miserable. I couldn't hear properly, I was uncomfortable. There are a lot of online resources for finding help when dealing with illness. I've seen other bloggers refer to "Dr. Google" for figuring out symptoms, I've been known to reference WebMD from time to time. But I didn't turn to a medical outlet on Friday. I turned to a bunch of moms. I'm part of a local online community for moms- (there are various cities under that main site). I posted on Friday about my symptoms. I also posted on Facebook- where most of my friends are moms. I turned to those moms again when looking for advice on dealing with Zach's cough over the weekend. Here's what I like about seeking out that kind of advice. I can read the responses, I can discern what I'm comfortable trying next, I can determine what we've already tried, I can rule out what already hasn't worked. Suggestions included taking a sinus med, taking an antihistamine, trying those ear wax candles, hydrogen peroxide in the ear. The suggestion I took that has, in my opinion, been really helping? Hanging upside down. Every evening, I hang over the side of my bed for about 10 minutes. I can feel the fluid moving around. The first time I tried it- and this was at the suggestion of one of the moms on MomsLikeMe- I immediately felt my ear open up and I could hear clearly for the first time all day! So every evening, I've spent time upside down. And each day, my ear has been a little bit better. When the pain gets annoying enough, I take a Tylenol sinus. I also sought out advice on Zach's cough- which became a lot heavier and more mucusy on Saturday night. A mom friend on Facebook suggested a homeopathic route- a honey based liquid. In all honesty, I blew off the suggestion. But when I was at the store Sunday afternoon and I was looking over the cough medicines... and I came across Chestal... all those cough meds aren't for use by anyone under the age of 4. I scoffed about that when it first rolled out- it impacted Teagan at the time. But she was a very healthy child who was rarely sick so cough medicine wasn't something I had much concern with when she was under age 4. Zach gets colds and such a lot more often than she did and medicine is on my mind a lot more with him. So we are trying the Chestal during the day. I have no idea if it will actually help break up the mucus or not. We've tried Mucinex in the past- as adults and with our kids. It doesn't work for us. And for anyone wondering- we did try the "Vicks on the feet" thing with Teagan and it wasn't the miracle everyone claims it to be. In fact, she slept worse that night than she had the night before with the Vicks on her chest! Last February/March, I posted about ways to get better. Read those posts here and here. Enough rambling from me- I'm back at work today after missing too much time last week and I have a ton to catch up on and a to-do list a mile long. Photobucket

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things I've Done- Meme

I'm still under the weather so you get some mindless entertainment again! A little more effort from me this time... A snagged this meme from Mellodee. I've bolded (and sometimes left a note) for the things I've done. I've italicized items that are... gray areas. 1. Started your own blog 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland (Land, no. World, yes- once) 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis (held one, no. been close enough to hold one, yes) 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightening storm 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child (I haven't adopted a child but we did think about it once. And I am half adopted. And I used to work in foster care and was involved in 2 adoption cases.) 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb (held? no. been close enough to hold? sure.) 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse (I don't remember but I feel like I might have?) 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31. Hit a home run (Like with a bat and ball? No. In a more metaphoric sense? Uh- yeah!) 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (I think there are pics of me there but I don't remember it myself) 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Seen Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language (does toddlerese count?) 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (no- but I used to go to Kings Island in Cincy a lot and went to the top of that Eiffel Tower a zillion times) 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (we sure don't want to go there again) 62. Gone whale watching 63. Received flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I've tried several times but never pass the iron test) 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten Caviar 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone (tailbone and baby toe- neither of which are treatable) 78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life (that's a hard one to answer because you never know how things would have turned out without your actions. or you could interpret it less literally and more spiritually.) 90. Sat on a jury (no- but it's one of thsoe things I really want to do someday- mainly to see the process first hand but recent reasons would be to have a day away from everything I always have to do... to jsut sit and be bored and read a book and have a good reason to not be at work, cleaning the house, dealing with the kids, cookin dinner, etc) 91. Met someone famous 92. Joined a book club (not an official sit and talk but I've been in online discussions about books) 93. Got a tattoo 94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit (but only so far as getting those mass letters when a company is in a lawsuit and something I purchased or a credit card was tied to them and they have to send the claim info out to everyone who could be impacted) 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee Photobucket

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I've got nothing for you today. I'm not feeling well. Zach's still sick. Jeff might be taking Teagan to the birthday party she's been invited to this evening- even though it's my friend! We'll just wait and see how I'm feeling then. Anywho- here's some entertainment for you. Stop Motion T-Shirt War - Watch more Funny Videos Photobucket

Friday, February 19, 2010

TGI Fragments!

I gotta admit... it isn't so much that I actually have all these loose ends to put into a post... it isn't even how much I like that it's Friday... there is just something about Mrs.4444's Friday Fragments that pulls the week to a close. It's something to look forward to! ***** I've been really lucky seeing funny trucks and such lately. I've got a couple more. They aren't as good as the last couple of weeks but... well, you'll see. This one- you might need to click to bigify it. The van signage says "Pepper Heating &" I know these are hard economic times. But if you've changed your business to stop doing cooling... why did you leave the "&" on the truck? What on earth is going to replace "Cooling" that you felt the need to leave the "&?" Heating & Tacos?? Heating & Dry Cleaning? Heating & Lawn Service? On our drive back to the office from a lunch hour visit to Costco... Christy and I ended up behind this minivan. I get the message and it's great. Jesus is our friend and He died for us. I get it. But "Amigo" written in a ninja font? And Jesus looking like a horse head with a long flowing mane? That's just kinda... weird. I just have to wonder what inspires someone to decorate a minivan like that? ***** My family is sick. Teagan has her cough and is on antibiotics. Zach woke up Thursday with a fever. As I type this, my ears are feeling full, my lymph nodes are swollen and sore, my sinuses are full. I'll be hitting the neti pot before bed and I've been taking Airborne for the first time in my life. I'm fighting this one as hard as I can. ***** Zach is right on the verge of being potty trained! In all honesty, it's just a matter of Jeff and I taking a few days to really hunker down and put him in underwear and deal with accidents. He's pooping on the pooty 95% of the time. He's peeing more frequently in the potty. We have pull ups that he is wearing sometimes- but they are basically a diaper and they feel like a diaper to him. It's really a matter of Jeff and I finding the time to dedicate. The time and energy to dedicate to putting him in underwear full time. ***** I am so happy James is on Survivor. He's just nice to look at. ***** I've been totally opening bananas upside down. Do you know this trick? It totally works and my life is 1000 times easier because I can now open a banana with no problem. Jeff can tell you- bananas and I have long had a battle when it comes to peeling... no longer! I have won the war! ***** I've got a new post up over at FitCity Indy! Please go check it out and I'd love it if you leave me a comment. Much thanks to Garret and Mami for supporting me in my intro post on FitCity! Also... I'd love for you to "fan" me on Facebook! Click the button in the right sidebar to visit my fan page. I haven't decided what all I will do with my fan page- but my intention is to have Facebook be a connection to the blog and also a bonus spot. Like when your kids go to morning Kindgergarten and then stay for the afternoon enrichment session. And if you swing by there- you'll see the picture affirmation I did this week. It got lots of good responses- just like last week's affirmations did! ***** I was given the Happy 101 Award from The Practical Mom Guide!

I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and pass this on to 10 other bloggers... hmmm...

1. Friday Fragments make me happy! 2. James on Survivor makes me happy! 3. Healthy kids make me happy! 4. A long hug from my husband make me happy! 5. Swallowing without pain makes me happy! 6. Zach's feet are still fat baby feet just enough to make me happy! 7. Life in general just makes me happy!!

Guess I'll stop with 7... so 7 blogs to gift this one... ummmm...

Blogs that make me happy:

Stepping On Cheerios

The Fourth Frog

Momza's House

My Mind Leaks

Cheap Therapy

A Peek At Karen's World

Whacked Daddy *****

I am very, very glad that it's Friday. Teagan has a birthday party to attend tomorrow evening. Other than that, our weekend should be very low key and laid back. We need to hunker down and fight off these germs! Are you doing something fun this weekend?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

FitCity: I Like To Move It, Move It!

Earlier this month, I greatly enjoyed the FitCity Indy Fit Chat on Twitter.  Did you attend?  

This first one was on fitness, particularly on staying motivated in the winter months.  And something from that hour-long Twitter chat actually stayed with me. Crazier still – 2 things stayed with me! 

First Thing:  The trainer – Matt from the Indianapolis YMCA – said that we should be getting 60 minutes of activity each day.  I balked. How on earth am I supposed to find an entire HOUR to dedicate to EXERCISE every single DAY?  Was he nuts?  

My day starts at 5:30… we are out the door before 7.  One child goes to school, the other to daycare.  Off on a 30+ minute commute to work.  I work fulltime in an office in a pretty demanding position.  Then it’s the mad dash home in rush hour traffic to get the kids from those different locations on opposite ends of Fishers, get everyone home, get dinner on the table, bath time, bedtime, hopefully squeezing in some time with each kid. Then I collapse on the couch after the kids finally stop fighting and go to sleep.  

And that’s on a normal night. Don’t get me started on days that include activities or commitments!  Where on earth would I find a solid 60 minutes to dedicate to being active? 

Worse… he said this:  BTW…You can’t count regular physical activity as “exercise” – aim for 60 mins. above daily activity. 

Ack!  See my heart palpitation?  Right there… 60 minutes a day for exercise?  I’m lucky to hit the gym 3 days a week on my lunch hour! 

Thankfully, there was a bit more to the story! 

I said: 60 mins above daily activity. That frustrates me. My day ends and I am so exhausted. Finding another hour in my day? WALL! 

Response: You can break it up in 10-15 min chunks throughout day. 

Now that feels manageable!  That is something I can work with. 

Now I am on a mission.  Finding things I can do in 10-15 minutes chunks.  One day at work, I stood up and did lunges and marching in place and squats at my desk while on a conference call (with my office door shut). We had a lunch hour where we stayed in but took 20 minutes to go and walk up and down a hallway, back and forth, back and forth. 

Days that I hit the gym make it easier. I get 30 minutes of pretty intense activity on those days.  What I need now is to stay motivated to find 3-4 chunks of time during the day where I can get up and walk or stretch or do crunches… 

Second Thing:  I work for 3M here in Indianapolis and we have a fitness challenge starting up.  I’ve joined a team and we each set goals; some might go for weight loss, some for physical activity. We get pedometers and some other things to motivate us.  I’m really impressed with my company’s dedication to encouraging employees to be healthy.  This is a corporate initiative and there are lots of resources and programs available to help employees get healthy and stay healthy. I’m really impressed with my company’s dedication to encouraging employees to be healthy.    

Now, I haven’t worn a pedometer in about a year but I think I’m going to get back into the mode of aiming for 10,000 steps every day.  I know I’m well below that mark right now.  The really cool thing?  Accountability and partnership.  That was something else we talked about on the Indy Fit Chat.  I have found that having a team, a workout buddy, friends who check in and help me stay motivated really makes a huge difference.  There was a user on the chat- Flourish Girl - and I’m hoping she was sincere in wanting to work together to be accountable to each other!  

From the chat: 
FitCity/Matt: Another tip is to stay accountable to someone else. Find your FitCity Friend to keep you motivated. 
FitCity/Matt: Especially during cold months, there are many others feeling same frustrations. Make connections=fighting fatigue 
Flourish_Girl: How does one get connected w/ an accountability fitness friend w/ FitCity? 
Me: Use the bloggers! I’d love to hook up for some accountability with other FC Friends! 

Would you share your ideas with me?  I want to know how you work extra activity into your day.  I want your ideas on ways to get those 60 minutes of additional activity in every day.  I want to hear about your partnerships and how that helps you stay motivated!  And let’s use these blog entries as a way to share ideas, be accountable, get connected and keep moving! 

Participate in the next Indy Fit Chat on Feb. 23. Starting at 6:30 p.m. EST, FitCity’s guest Annessa Chumbley (@Flourish_Girl) will give her Grocery Survival Strategies. Find out how you can get the healthiest trip through your local grocery and ask questions about portion control, food labels and more.  Search #indyfitchat on Twitter or follow @fitcityindy to be a part of the conversation on Tuesday, Feb. 23.


Dear Jeff,

I love you. Recently, I've been witness to the lives of some friends and acquaintances and been left feeling so very sad for some of the things they've shared. Women who are in marriages where they don't feel loved. Where they question why they got married in the first place. Where they feel lost, confused, alone. Where they are hurting or being hurt. I am so blessed that I have you in my life. Our life is so... normal, calm, routine, everyday. I cannot fathom not coming home to you every evening or waking up to you every morning. There is no one else that I want by my side through thick and thin. I love that I feel so safe, so secure, so trusting, so trustworthy with you beside me. There are 2 things that I want you to know. I love that we laugh together and that we've learned how to laugh with the stuff that parenthood has thrown at us and continues to throw at us. I think some people enter a marriage thinking there is an out if they need it- that there are deal breakers. We talked about it before we got married- about those things that would end the marriage. If you cheated on me, if I cheated on you... if you hit me, if I hit you. Things that we couldn't recover from. I don't feel that way anymore. It's not that I'd be ok with you hitting me or cheating on me. It's that I so fully and deeply trust you and know you that I have no insecurities about who you are as a husband. It's not a risk. When I look forward, there are no doubts about who I will be standing beside. I simply cannot imagine my life without you. I know I baffle you sometimes. I know we have our disagreements or bad moods. But the thing is... I get these reminders of how life might be for the people around us... I think about all the families in our neighborhood, in our church, in our lives and I wonder about their hurts, their mistrusts, their secrets... and I am just so proud of us. I am so proud that you are my husband- so honored that you chose me. We have both been broken people before. We have both been hurt in deep, deep ways. But you know what? You have filled me with so much love and trust and joy and peace... you have given me such an immeasurable gift... together, we have taken our broken selves, filled each other up with so much beauty and now we have this normal life. A normal, content, happy life. We have struggles, we have joys, we have celebrations, we have losses. We have each other. And I wouldn't want my life to be any different. ily Photobucket

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why We Love Our Doctor

We had a couple of rough bedtimes recently. Getting up, laying down, getting up, laying down. Water, potty, need a back rub, need to tell you "I love you." She's also had a cough recently. It started out as a tickle kind of cough. Nothing seemed to help. We ran steam humidifiers in her room, gave her benadryl or claritin or cough medicine. It didn't get better, it didn't get worse. Except for the past few days. It's gotten wetter and she has these coughing fits that are hard to listen to. The cough only happens at night or when she lays down for naptime. Since it got worse... it was time to call our doctor. When I was pregnant with Teagan, we interviewed pediatrician's- as per the advice of magazines and books and experts. We had a list of questions to ask and ended up choosing the pediatrician that our family doctor had recommended. When Teagan turned 18 months, we switched to our family doctor for all of our care. Our pediatrician was great- but we felt like a number, felt like our concerns weren't as personal, the answers we got when there was an issue felt standard. We've never doubted or questioned making that move. Tuesday, Jeff took Teagan to the doctor to get that cough listened to, taken care of. Our doctor talked to Teagan about her cough, talked to Jeff about her cough, listened to her chest and breathing. And then our doctor told Teagan that there are 2 things she has to do in order to get better. Now... Teagan has kind of had this "thing" for our doctor. Kind of a crush, I think. She's always enjoyed going to see him and getting that attention from him. So when he speaks- she listens. The first thing- drink a lot of water and juice. The second thing- get more sleep. Did it work? Well... she asked to go to bed early. And she didn't get out of bed or call for us even once. We seriously love our doctor. Photobucket

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I would love to visit New Orleans someday. That city is so rich in its culture- the food, the music, the architecture. I want to experience all it has to offer. One little piece of NOLA that I've always found so fun is the celebration of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). If you aren't familiar with Mardi Gras- you can read about it here. I'm no expert, I've never experienced it so I can't pretend to spout off a bunch of info and factoids and history for you. Someone ordered in a King Cake from a bakery in Metairie, LA. Christy called and alerted me to the appearance of the King Cake back by the coffee. Sure enough- a King Cake in all of its yellow, purple, and green glory. A little note was placed in front of the box- warning of the plastic baby inside. If you don't know about the King Cake- you can read about it here. So the person who finds the baby is then "King for the Day" and is also in charge of bringing the King Cake for the next celebration. It's a big old excitement to find that little plastic baby in that cake... Some traditions say that I am now King of my Mardi Gras celebration- I can tell my "subjects" silly things to do to prove their loyalty. Honestly, Mardi Gras isn't a huge Indy celebration so there isn't much of a party full of subjects here... *sigh* And I won't be baking a King Cake for the next celebration... but there is a place down the street from me that is well known for their coffee cake. Think that'll pass? In the meantime- anyone know what a plastic baby eats? This little guy is getting kind of fussy. Photobucket

My Family Valentine

We had a fantastic opportunity to attend a family event for Valentine's Day at the Children's Museum on Saturday evening. The theme was Heroes and Heroines. We could have dressed up... I thought about going as Gwen Cooper or Rose Tyler and Jeff could have gone as Captain Jack or The Doctor... but the family decided to just go as ourselves instead. We walked in and laughed at the site of villains instead of heroes! Stormtroopers? Ack! The museum recently had a big Star Wars thing going on- so I guess they had a lot of leftover costumes. We ate dinner- it was a buffet with a great menu. A mixed greens and spinach salad with mandarin oranges, strawberries, raspberry vinaigrette dressing and candied pecans. Grilled chicken breast with a champagne sauce. Mashed red skin potatoes (topped with cheese). Very al dente mixed veggies- squash, green beans, etc. There was a hot beverage bar- coffee, tea, hot chocolate- and all the fixings like whipped cream, flavored syrups, etc. I enjoyed a hot chocolate with blackberry syrup- so good! We barely tasted the food. The kids were far more eager to start running around the museum so they barely touched their food. Jeff and I gulped down our meals and we were off! These special events are held after hours. The tickets prices are crazy expensive, IMO. Thankfully, I was fortunate to be able to attend at no expense to us. But the great meal... and then having a "small" group of families in the museum- you felt like you had the place to yourself the entire time! We rarely ran into anyone else in the exhibits. First stop- top floor and a double ride on the carousel! From the carousel, it was straight into the maze. Mirrors and peek throughs and wall holes to escape through... and mom and dad could relax without worrying that the kids would get caught up in a group of other families and end up lost or hurt. Love this pic- Zach moving too fast to be captured by the camera but you can see Jeff and I in the reflection! Next, we headed across the way to ScienceWorks. We normally avoid this area because it is designed for kids older than ours. But there is a lot for our kids to enjoy when there isn't anyone else there! i think Zach would have stayed at this ball thing the entire night. They got to play in a construction zone, climb around in an "underground" slide area, and play in an real life house- one that lets kids be in the kitchen, bathroom... learning about health and fitness and good food choices. There is a special traveling exhibit in the museum right now- Barbie. Funny how the exhibit can so quickly zoom you back to childhood. I had a good amount of Barbies- but no vehicles or pets or dream houses. Lots of handmade clothes- and most of my dolls had chopped off hair (thank to my crazy hairstylin' skillz). And I have to admit to wanting Barbies... I had friends with crazy Barbie collections. So this exhibit- while designed to have a lot of child interaction- also had amazing displays of Barbies and gowns and outfits and so on. Teagan got to meet the "real" Barbie! She got to go backstage and check out the make up artist area, the hair styling area, a Barbie play area, and oodles and oodles of barbie dress up clothes. Then it was out to the runway! By the way- this is the only pic of me you'll see. Jeff thinks it's hilarious that I'm back there, peeking out at what's going on. Zach got in on the action, too. He was enjoying some of the dress up clothes- mostly being infatuated with headbands. But when he found this barbie phone that actually talked to him... he was in heaven! Next we headed to the other temporary exhibit- Bob the Builder! So much to see and do in this space! The kids had a great time building and fixing and gardening! Jeff and I aren't real big on the romantic side of Valentine's Day. When we were dating, we did the romantic gesture thing early on. But we both were of the opinion that romance should be a year round thing... it's the small, every day, once in a while, just because, and all the time gestures that really matter to us. I'm not against V Day. But I think we both really like celebrating it with our kids. We loved having this special thing to do as a family, to celebrate our love for each other. I also took pictures of the special, permanent display of Dale Chihuly's Fireworks of Glass. This was a special exhibit several years ago and there is now a permanent center sculpture of glass as well as a play area underneath. I'm sharing these pictures on my photo blog- mostly because the black background suits the colors better. But I did enjoy this pic of the kids... I tried to capture them laying on the floor, staring up into the ceiling, with the reflection of the ceiling on the floor behind them... Hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day- no matter how you chose to celebrate it! Photobucket