Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hum Drum

For those of you who write blogs, you know how difficult it can be to come up with new and exciting material multiple times per week. It is a bit like running a small scale magazine. There are times when the ideas come fast and furious, and then there is the brain block. Right now, I feel a bit of blog block going on.

This is where you come in....Do you have a great tip/idea to share? What do you want to know from me?

Please tell me so that I can get through this block...


Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Weigh-in

This post is dedicated to my friend and reader Sara. She pops in comments here and there, and I knew she was trying to be more healthy. She is keeping to her plan and looks terrific! She really helped inspire me this week. Her tip - more veggies and water. I tried to focus on that week. It was hard because I'm not a big veggie lover, but I am trying....Thanks Sara!!

This week I lost another pound. So far that makes 13. It seems like it is taking forever and I can feel that I am in a slump. The newness has worn off, and the workouts are becoming harder. I have found it helpful that we are signed up for a 5k. I really want to run it without stopping and that helps get me out the door.

The good news it that I can now run two miles without stopping. That is such a huge improvement over where I started. I am dedicated to making this a lifestyle which is helpful too. It's not just about the weight, it is about being healthy for our five kiddos and the sweet DH. Have a great weekend!!

Weak Things Become Strong - FINALLY!

For the last ten years, I have been fighting with clothing. I can sort and organize a million coupons but clothes were kicking my trash. Keeping track of the sizes, the seasons, what's stained, what matches, what to save, etc. just makes my head spin and I would literally shut down.

Recently we were handed 8 bins of clothing. A wonderful blessing, but a mental nightmare for me. I made DH literally sit right by me to help me and this time I finally figured out a system!! So bring on the hand-me-downs because I can rock it now!!

First step: Sort into sizes. Don't worry about seasons, matching outfits, etc. at this point.

Second step: Sort into pants, shorts, long sleeve, short sleeve, dresses, etc. Then cascade layer them so that you can see exactly what colors and how many repeats you have. I allow 10 of each category and I get rid of any patterned bottoms. (This is key for me. Pattern bottoms are so hard to match with other things!!!)

Third step: Take your tops and place on top of cascade. This makes it really easy to see how many pants the shirt actually goes with. If it doesn't go with more than two or three, the top gets tossed.

Fourth step: Keep a tally of what you have in each size so that it is easy to pick up what you need at yard sales. Having plain bottoms also makes this easy because you can get really cute tops without having to worry about if you have pants to match.

Fifth step: put in bin and store away until needed.

I am so excited about this!! I have been working on it for such a long time and it finally clicked!! I'd like to know how you organize your clothes. Please tell me so that I can tweak if need be.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Did the Doctor Say?

Hopefully by now my DMIL has picked herself up off the floor from the doctor post. :) (Don't worry, DH and I are doing just fine.) But I have had many inquiring minds want to know two things: 1. How did DH handle the situation and 2. What did the doctor say when I called him.

DH was a super star through the whole thing, which I give him major points for. But he said that he appreciated the fact that I told him I had these feelings up front AND that I didn't like it. He said it would have been much different if I had been trying to hide it and he found out from someone else. Like I mentioned before he said that we all get tempted with these kinds of feelings, it's what we do with them that matters. Do you see now why I feel so strongly about being faithful to him?! He is AWESOME!!

Now for the Doc...First of all it was a totally awkward conversation for both of us, and he handled it well. He said that these situations are common and that I needed to go to someone I felt totally comfortable with. He thought I was talking about just my care, and said that he would see me at the twins' check-up. I just wanted to get off the phone at that point and didn't correct him. I think he'll get the picture when we don't schedule with him. ;)

DH thought it was pretty gutsy that I posted this. But I am so shocked with all the marriages I see failing around me - many due to affairs. I want to be a voice saying that these things don't "just happen". We may be tempted, but we also make conscious decisions and have control of both our feelings and actions. I hope that this post will give others the courage to tackle this head on, save their marriages, or at least make them stronger. Use it as a conversation starter. We need to fight for fidelity!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dececeptively Delicious - Sloppy Joes

Happy Monday to everyone! It has been a while since I critiqued a recipe so let's do that today... Jessica's sloppy joes leave much to be desired. She packs in a lot of nutrition with both butternut and sweet potatoes. However, the tomato past makes it a really pasty texture and the taste was really bland. So I give this a 5 out of 10. My kids ate about half of their serving before calling it quits. I even had a hard time finishing it out.

If you want a really fast and good sloppy joe try this.

1 lb. brown hamburger drained
1 can condensed tomato soup
mix together, heat either on the stove or in the microwave.
serve on whole grain or whole wheat buns.

*Tip. Buy your meat in bulk and brown it with dried onion all at the same time. Drain, let cool, the divide into quart ziplocks putting one pound in each. Then freeze. When you need to use it, thaw in the microwave and it is ready to go. SO handy to make dinner go faster.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Weigh-in

So sorry to skip the midweek post. It has been one of those CRAZY weeks. So I am triple posting today to make up for it. I promise you won't want to miss these posts. ;) Read the Fidelity one first and then the date night. It will make more sense. I tried to fix it, but I am out of time. (Babies are up and DD3 is begging to play.)

It is time for the Friday weigh in....I lost another pound! That makes 12 total so far and I am now only 8 away from what I was before I got pregnant with the twins! See small steps turn into big distances.

Last night I was able to run over a mile without stopping and then mostly ran another 2 miles. I never thought I would be able to do that!! Yeah baby.

*Tip. This comes from Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Solution. Don't have junk food in your house. If it's not there, you can't eat it. Make your environment healthy and then you don't have to have will power to say no to the junk food.

Date Night

During the doctor saga, DH and I decided that we couldn't be passive about our marriage. We needed to keep dating each other, even though it seemed impossible with five kids. To find and pay for a sitter every week would be so expensive. So we do at home dates.

Once a week, we feed the kiddos an early dinner and have them in their room by 7 or 7:30. They can play or read, but they have to stay in their room. And then it is lights out at 8:30. They are in charge of this themselves. The older DDs are in charge of DD3. This has worked out nicely.

We get take-out and have a kid free dinner. Then we watch a movie, play a game or Wii. It isn't much, but it is time to just hangout and reconnect. We LOVE it and look forward to it every weekend.

I'd love to know, what do you and your significant other do to keep the flame burning brightly?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fighting for Fidelity

Did I get your attention with the title of this post? I have been mulling on this one for a while. With the revelation of Arnold's affair, fidelity has been the big talk this week. I have been floored when I read an article saying that it was not realistic to have sex with the same person (being the spouse) for the rest of your life. So the new popular thing to have "negotiated monogamy" where both people can have sex with other people and it was okay. REALLY?! Well, it is time to fight back! Affairs cause so much damage. It is time to fight for fidelity!!

I have to start by saying that I think (and DH does too) that it is normal to feel a spark of attraction for another person. But it is what you do with it that is important. Do you fan the fire or put put it out?

Probably the shortest way to do this is to tell you about my recent struggle. There was a new, young, really cute doctor that joined the practice we go to. Every time we went to see him I noticed that I was getting more and more attracted to him.

Now, I had heard moms talk about the crushes they had on their pediatricians and always thought it wasn't fair to the husbands. (Even though these women viewed it as "normal".) I know if my DH got decked out for a co-worker I'd flip, and I didn't think it was fair that wives do it for their doctor.

When I found myself in a similar situation I decided to douse it. I feel so strongly about being faithful (both physically and emotionally) to my sweet DH that I decided I was going to get rid of the emotions to make sure nothing of the physical would EVER happen. ALL affairs start with emotions.

What did I do? Well, DH and I had a very open discussion about how we both need to be careful. I told him about the struggle with my emotions with the doc and reiterated my determination to be faithful in all ways. I decided that I needed to remove the situation from my life and promised DH that I wouldn't schedule with that doctor anymore.

But I was still struggling. So I did the ultimate douser - I called the doc. I told him that I wasn't going to be scheduling with him anymore - not that he was a bad doc, but because I was too attracted to him. (Pretty gutsy huh? ;)

I did this so that he would know he needed to be careful around me. (He was starting to become more casual with me and had told me that he and his wife had just separated.) I also didn't want to change practices, and may have to see him again. I needed to make sure that we could have a good working relationship.

You know what? After that phone call, the internal struggle stopped. I had taken steps to make sure nothing COULD ever happen. It was over and I felt so peaceful. The fight to protect my emotions and my family was so worth it. I NEVER want to put my family through what affairs do and I will fight forever to be faithful!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Big Race

We had our big race this weekend - and it was AWESOME! The girls loved all the free stuff from the vendors and their cool shirts. I loved that they were having such a great time. Many people took our pictures. I think because we are such a big crew - and the twins too. Don't we just look like a big operation?!

This is us after the race. It started to down pour right as we started and ended shortly after we stopped - go figure. I was so proud of the DDs they ran the whole thing without stopping. (Not many of the kids were able to do that.) They were so stoked that they did it and were begging to do another one. We are now training for a 1 mile and DH and I just signed up for our first 5K. We are a running family!!

*DH was such a trooper. He took care of the twins and DD3 - in the rain and still took footage. (Thankfully he remembered umbrellas.) What a guy. Oh, and Mags, after the race we took them to their favorite restuarant and let them order whatever they wanted. Thanks for that reminder!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Weigh-in

Sorry for the delay with posting today. Blogger was having issues.

This week I lost another pound, but it was a hard fought fight. I must be really stressed because I haven't been as good with the food. (I am a stress eater.) It was also really hard to get to the grocery store, which meant I was out of fresh produce for a few days. NOT a good thing. To compensate, most days I did double workouts - in the morning with the girls and then the exercise bike at night. I need to figure out this stress though, because I can't keep up this schedule!

Tip for this week: Olive Garden Italian dressing. It has as many calories per serving as a fat free dressing. Only the fat comes from oils instead of extra sugars they put in the fat free stuff. You can buy a bottle from an Olive Garden restaurant, but I found a knock off recipe at www.TopSecretRecipes.com. This stuff is so good that I actually WANT to eat a big salad.

New Recruit

DD2 has been thinking about joining our run for a few months now. She really wanted new shoes, but didn't know if it was worth it. But she decided to take the plunge and is doing great with our training! She is learning all the lessons that DD1 is learning - which I am loving. It is really fun to see them running together as well.

Our first race is tomorrow and we are really stoked about it. Also, we are training for our next race - 1 mile. I am so excited that we are sticking with it and getting better!

*True story. The other night DD2 was whining and flopping around because she was SO tired and just COULDN'T make it to her bed. I said, "Remember, just like with running, you need to take control - even if you're tired." She stopped, got a little smirk, and kissed me goodnight. Lovin' it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Be Your Own Beautiful

DD2 is very aware that she lives different standards than other people. It worries her that she won't fit in or that others think she's weird. So DH and I decided that we needed a lesson on being "different".

I started with daisies. I gave each person a stem and we talked about the qualities of the flowers. What the stem was like, the flower qualities, there were many flowers on each stem, etc. Then we put them in a vase. I pointed out that there were many flowers that were all the same. They were beautiful, and enjoyable, but all the same.

Then I handed each person a rose and we talked about their qualities. One bud per stem, the stem was smooth with spikes- very different than the daisies. I put a rose in with all the daisies and it really stood out, and it was beautiful.

We talked about how our standards are different than many people's, but it is okay. We stand out sometimes, but we are beautiful. Then I had each person stick their rose in and we talked about how even if they felt alone, they always have people in the family who are the same.

It was a really great hands on lesson. I love it too because if they are having a hard time when they are older, I can deliver a bunch of daisies with one rose to their school and they will know exactly what I am saying. Beautiful.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy "Smothers" Day

I hope you had a WONDERFUL Mother's Day. I wasn't planning on posting about it, but it turned out to be such a funny day I thought I needed to.

My family kept asking me what I wanted, and I kept thinking - time alone. That's what I want every year, but how do you say that when they are the reason you are a mother and want to be near you so badly? So this year I decided to change my expectations. I expected that things were NOT going to be what I wished, but I wanted to make it special for my kids. So EVERYTHING they did I tried to love and made a big deal about it.

So here is the funny story. DD3, who is four, really got into the spirit of things Saturday night and started to bring me all sorts of things, saying, "Happy Mother's Day!" I would say, "Oh, green dinosaurs are my favorite!" or "I LOVE Belle." She would beam and run to get me something else. She even started giving me other people's things. DH and I were totally laughing at it all. (Look above for the collection I was getting.)

Then Sunday she kept saying, "Happy Mother's Day" over, and over, and over. Once it came out as Happy Smothers Day and I started laughing so hard. That is the way I felt - smothered - but I was really trying to love it. And you know what, by the end of the day I did.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Friday Weigh-in

This week I have reached a milestone - I fit into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans!!! I posted a pic of me the night before the twins were born. They were 8 and 7 pounds. (Doesn't that just look painful?! It was. :) I am super excited that I am getting back to where I was before!

So this week I lost 3 pounds!!! So that makes is ten so far - YEAH!! I'm 1/3rd of the way there.

My tip for this week? Sugarfree lifesavers. Whenever I crave a party in my mouth, I pop one of those super low calorie candies in and it satisfies my sweet tooth.

Free Family Fun

If you are looking for a fun, free, family activity. I highly recommend Cabella's sporting goods store. It is like a zoo for outdoor animals, has a live fish pond and tanks. There is also free fudge tasting, and a restaurant if you get really hungry. (However we opted for the dollar hamburgers at the nearby McDonald's.)

We had so much fun and made a lot of fun memories. Here is a fun clip from our trip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Village People - Saling

It is taking a village to raise our kids. We have many people helping and teaching in many ways. Today I want to introduce you to Eileen. She is a master yard sale woman. She is so good, she actually makes money re-saling the stuff she picks up.

She takes the girls yard saling when they do enough extra jobs to earn $10. They learn how to negotiate, look for quality, walk away from a deal, help each other get the lowest prices, and other business techniques. Our girls LOVE her and love going saling with her.

I love her too and love that she is willing to take our girls out. Sometimes kids listen better to people who are NOT their parents. Also, Eileen is so much better at this art than I am. I love that they are learning from the best. I am excited that yard sale season is on again. I can't wait to see the girls get even better in their negotiating techniques.

*True story. After Halloween DD1 wanted more than just one piece of candy for movie night. I told her she could have three. She said, "mom, it is a special night. Can't we have six?" "SIX?! No way. Four." I said. She responded, "Fine, how about five." "Okay."

Then she says, "I didn't want six anyway. That would make me sick. But I knew I needed to over shoot so that I had room to come back down to five. That is how many I wanted in the first place. Eileen taught me that."

I couldn't believe that I had just been out negotiated by my eight year old. I had to admit - I loved it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Unexpected Lesson

We were eating in the parking lot of Wendy's when the girls asked, "Mom, what does sublease mean?"  I asked where they saw that.  They pointed to an empty bank across the street.

It led to a lesson on leasing, subleasing, contracts, and other money management lessons.  For a while the DDs were really into leasing AND subleasing their stuff to each other.  We finally had to put an end to it because they wouldn't just share, it had to be a business deal.

I love it now when they hear people talking about leasing cars, or renting other things.  They know exactly what that means, and they can ask me educated questions about it.  I love the unexpected lessons.