Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nathanael sings

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(facebook readers will need to click through to the video)

Forgive the mis-spoken lyrics.  Opposite to the Fro?  Apparently I couldn't decide if I was saying Foe or Fray.

I discovered over the weekend that N was singing along with me.  I was changing his diaper, and singing this song, and realized that he was saying the final word in each phrase.

So funny!

Bonus Points if you can name the song, and where it comes from.

14/14 week 11 - looking for something new

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Wow!  I'm so close to done with my initial challenge, and so not close to my goal!

Oh well, I'm not going to give up.  I'll just find something new to do.

Last week was great, in terms of exercise.  I logged about 220 minutes on the treadmill.  I did okay on Thursday with food, but Saturday was a bit less "good"  as we were snacking all afternoon!

This coming week is the end of my Prevention exercise program.  I'm looking for something new.  A bunch of people I know are doing a Couch to 5K (c25k). I'm considering doing that.  It'll be a step down from the number of minutes that I've been logging each week, and I'd have to find something else to do for 3 other days a week.

Suggestions? It needs to be something I can do from home, that won't endanger myself or my children. I have no babysitter (except the TV! ha!)  I have a treadmill, exercise ball, some hand weights - 1, 3, 5, 8 lbs, a yoga mat, access to netflix streaming and videos.  I'd be willing to consider spending a little on something else, but not much more than $20, I think. Unless you can really convince me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

14/14 week 10

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Whoa!  I'm not up to date!  Let catch up on how week 10 of my 14/14 challenge went:

Last week = Awful.

I exercised 3 out of 6 days due to a sick kid one day, and me being exhausted from being up all night the next day.  I totally don't know what happened on Friday, the third day I missed.  I was tired that day, too.

So, along comes Saturday, and I'm really tense, and really irritable.  I could feel it crawling under my skin.  Two  in the afternoon rolls around, and I realize it's because I haven't exercised!  I knew I had been procrastinating, but it was really interesting to see what a difference NOT exercising could make!  Once I finally did my time, I felt better, but still not great.  I needed some out door time.  So, the kids and I went out for a ride on the ATV. Being outside, even when it's cold, does wonders for calming my mind and taking me out of a place where I'm yelling at my kids every other second.

I also got my 4th cheapy pedometer from Wal-Mart.  Those things don't last long, but they get the job done.  I've been wearing it to try to hit 10,000 steps a day.  I did one day last week - the day I walked for an hour on the treadmill, and then went shopping, then did house work for 2 hours.  Clearly, I need to clean and shop more!

I finally found the measurements I took a month or so ago.  I'll be doing an update on that next week, but based on some interim measurements, I may have lost an inch at my waist and  also at my hips.  So, even though I'm not seeing the scale do much of anything other than yo-yo, I think I'm seeing some differences.

 Jude took some "before" pictures of me.  Hopefully, sometime after the new year, I'll be able to show you something where we can see a difference.  One set is of me in a bikini (unlikely to ever be show to the general public!) and another set I'm wearing a black dress.

Week 11 will be a challenging week - The eating holiday (Tomorrow!) is fraught with danger.  So, if you're reading this on Thanksgiving Day, be thankful that you have food, but please, don't feel the need to eat it all right then.  (We'll see how well I stick to my own words of wisdom.) Another big family get-together on Saturday, where there will likely be much feasting.  My plan? Stick to my exercise program, and avoid going back for seconds on things like sweets and desserts.

We'll see you on the other side!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

N's favorite things

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Based on what Nathanael points out to us, or repeatedly mentions, here are a few of his favorite things:

Tractor! -  We were at a store with my sister-in-law, who was holding N.  He saw a logo on a bag from 20 feet away that had a very small tractor on it.  He sees them everywhere, and exclaims excitedly about it. Our neighbors have a tractor that they've been using a lot these past few weeks.  Nathanael hears it, and lets us all know, then runs to the window to look for it. He has a few tractor-like toys that he carries around with him.  Unfortunately, we lost one of them somewhere.  Maybe it's with my keys...

Moon! - Always on the look out for Mr. Moon. Hiding behind that tree, you know. In reference to the song, I really don't get why someone wanted to shoot Mr. Moon.  Why was his life in danger? I've been trying to figure out less threatening lyrics for that song, but I admit, I'm stuck.

Plane! - Whenever he hears something that vaguely resembles the sound of a plane, he lets us know.  I think that all started over the summer when we were at a hotel near Chicago's O'Hare airport.  The planes frequently flew overhead, and we spend a lot of time in the pool.  While out on errands this week, we noticed a small plane going in for landing at the local airport.  So, we stopped and watched as someone was taking pilot lessons.  We saw that plane come in and take off about 4 times, and he was thrilled!

Four-Wheeler! - Or rather, the Keys! which turn on the four wheeler.  He'll stand in the hall near the key hooks and suggest strongly that we should go for a ride. ("Keys! Keys! Keys? Kee-hee-hee-hees....! For-wheeder? Keys!")  We have to be careful about talking about the machine, because if he hears "the word" he'll start saying it over and over until we finally give in and go riding.  Or, we disappoint him, and say no, and he cries.  Either one.

Eat! - He's enthusiastic about his food, especially in the morning, when he gets all up in my face (or Jude's, when available) before I'm even awake, leaning over my shoulder, saying, "Eat! Eat! do-durt? er-ral? Eat!" I can't blame him.  I really like my food too. During the day, he'll approach the refridgerator, and make hard-work noises, like grunting, while he pulls on the door.  Then he tells me, "Stuck!" hoping that I'll get the clue and feed him. It takes a lot to keep that little engine running.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

he's funny

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I just occurred to me that Nathanael has been making a joke (the same one) for the past several weeks.

One word:


Anything could be a hat - a paper, a towel, a mirror.

My underwear.

He puts the object on his head and says, "HAT!" with a big smile on his face, and then he starts laughing.

Funny guy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

cloth diaper expert

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What makes an "expert" at something?  I've been reading blogs around the internet about cloth diapering, and I realize that many (most?) of those moms have been cloth diapering for a year or less! Yet, they write with confidence, and present themselves as experts. (*edited to say that I don't mean people are claiming to be experts, but many write with a self-assured "this is how it is" tone.)  I have tended to think of myself as NOT an expert, especially compared to the people behind the brand name diapers and stores who have years of experience diapering babies, and working with other cloth diaper families.

But wait.  I have years of experience.  I have a total of a little more than 5 kid years with cloth diapers (but technically about 3.75 years from the first time I put cloth on a kid).  I've used fitted, pockets, and prefolds. Cotton, hemp, microfiber. Organic, unbleached, bleached. Aplix, front snaps, side snaps. Snappies and pins. One size, sized. I've diapered a girl and a boy (simultaneously!), at night, nap, and daytime.  I've traveled with cloth. I've used top load washers and front load washers.  I've used 5 different diaper detergents.  I've battled stink (and won!) I've used a diaper sprayer, I've scraped, I've dunked and swished.

It's definitely how one presents one's self, and how well one can repeat information others have already said, even if it's not a personal experience.

I guess I don't feel like and expert because I don't have answers for everything. Because I don't use cloth diapers 100% of the time.  Because I sometimes have quit diapers for a little bit in frustration or because I just couldn't keep up the the diapers that week, or because there are some things that I still struggle with (did I mention that the ammonia stink came back months after I had it fixed?). I can't tell you what diapers to use, or how to wash them, or what accessories and laundry products to get.  Why? Because I'm not you.  I don't have your situation, your kid(s), washing facilities, and resources. Because I can't give you a for sure answer, I don't consider myself an expert.

I think I need to re-examine what it means to be an expert!

Mechanics and doctors don't always know what's wrong, or what the answer is. Other people that I would consider an expert haven't lived my situation, and may not know what my personal experience is.  They're still experts though, right?

I tell you, if there were a cloth diapering degree, I'd just about have it by now.  Just don't go looking to me to tell you the one way to cloth diaper, because there isn't one.  I will help you figure out what works for you, though.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

eww, gross.

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 Last week, I smelled something not pleasant in the bathroom closet.  It reminded me of something but I couldn't quite remember what.

A few days later, I opened the bedroom closet (which shares a wall with the bathroom closet), and was nearly knocked over by a smell I remember quite clearly - Dead Mouse  - or bat, but they smell the same dead.

Have I mentioned that in the past we've found dead bats in our electric panel and in an uncovered basement light switch?  Ew, Gross.  So glad I had men around to clean up the mess and save me from electrocuting myself. I've also found a live bat in my toilet.

Back to the stinky mouse.

And here we are a few days after that, finally getting up the time and the nerve to locate where exactly the dead mouse is (assuming it's not hiding in a wall somewhere.)

Yes, I've let the dead rodent sit wherever it died.  Yes it is kind of gross. No, I don't feel too bad about it.  The upside is that the smell is fading, so at least by the time I locate the animal carcass, I won't immediately regurgitate the contents of my lunch.

14/14 midweek update

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I just had to post a mid-week update.

I totally skipped exercising yesterday and the day before.  I had a sick kid for two days, and wasn't feeling super-great myself.  Boo for lost exercise.

On the upside, I've had a sudden drop in my weight - like, a 3 pound drop for more than 2 days.  Yay!

Today, I was totally back on for exercise.  Good things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sunning diapers on a cloudy day

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I just read an article over at the Knickernappies blog about "sunning" diapers on rainy, cloudy days. The purpose of sunning is to get stains out of diapers, and some people feel sunning diapers helps get rid of diaper stink.  Apparently, it works to "sun" diapers on rainy days!

Read it, and look at the before and after pictures!

I've wondered if "sunning" on a cloudy day would work, especially after I read about using sunlight to purify water.  After a quick look back at the wikipedia article, it would certainly suggest that water is a critical factor in sunning diapers - apparently the UV interacts with the water to release oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, both things that can help fight stains.

So, tips on sunning diapers:

  • Lay them flat - the sun has a better angle on the diapers. Hanging them on a line drys them faster, too, which goes contrary to the next tip:
  • Keep them wet.  If they dry out, and the stain isn't gone, spray them with water, or just run them under a faucet to get them wet again.
  • It would seem that it doesn't matter if it's cloudy or sunny.  
  • Some people feel you can sun diapers inside, near a window, or on your car dash.  I think this is a possibility, but if you have the high efficiency windows that are designed to block UV rays, it might not work as well.
I haven't made an effort to sun my diapers on a cloudy day, especially since it is getting cooler, but I think I'll have to make the effort now, simply for the sake of experimenting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

14/14 week 9

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Another excellent week!

I walked 10.7 miles on the treadmill, exercised 6 days, and logged 208 minutes, not including my strength training sessions.

I've had a couple of people mention that it looks like my shape is changing, so even if my weight is not moving much, my inches might be!  I measured my self a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced that paper.  Oh well.  I just took new measurements, so in a few weeks I'll be able to run some comparisons.

I started logging my food into a calorie counter, and although I'm not very consistent, doing so is starting to give me a better feel of how much I'm eating.  First insight?  I snack more than I realized. Much of that snacking is immediately before or after a meal. I also tend to eat a while I'm cooking or baking.  So, I need to work on methods to reduce or alter that.  I may need to adjust my meal schedule, or eat healthy snacks before I'm hungry.

I'm feeling good about my efforts. There are 5 weeks (technically) left in my challenge, and 7 weeks left in the year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

two words

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"Boot!  There - Boot!"

Nathanael has entered the world of two word phrases. 

Several weeks ago, he brought me a bike helmet. "Hat!"  After a little bit, he said, "On!"  The way he said it, though, was two distinct thoughts.  This time, clearly, one thought.

Earlier today, he said, "got it!" but that is often presented as a single phrase, just like you might say any other multi-syllabic word.

Jude said he's heard similar phrases over this past weekend. 

I love seeing language development. My boy is becoming more intelligible every day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

lost things

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I've gotten really bad (good?) at loosing things (except my weight!  ha!)

Moving didn't help much.  But, I think some things were missing before we moved.  It just compounded things by shoving everything in boxes (many of which are still packed away).

A list of things lost:
car keys - 3 weeks
checkbook (for a typically unused account with a low balance) - 1 year
certain children's toys (that should be in the box! - 6 months
my organizational skills - 3 years 262 days
the list that had a list of the things that I lost - ?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


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A sneak peak at what is going on in the kid's room upstairs.

They both love the rug.  E likes to hop from dot to dot.  N likes to just sprawl out on it.  Not something he typically does, but as soon as we rolled it out, he snuggled up on it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

14/14 week 8

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Last week was a good week.  I've completed 2 full weeks of my exercise program.
It's not a very complex program, really. It just requires that I do it, and do it consistently. The program comes from the April 2008 issue of Prevention magazine.  I don't know that there's anything especially outstanding about this routine. Consider: Prevention magazine comes out with a new routine every month that's going to transform our bodies! If they really hit on one routine that really changed things for lots of people they'd republish it.

I tried it the first time because it gradually increased the amount of time spent each week, and that was what I needed then.  I'm doing it now because it worked for me the first time!

3 days a week, I do an endurance walk.  Each week, I add on 5 minutes to the walk.  3 days a week, I do some strength training with a resistance band for about 15 minutes (let me tell you, I reallllllly feel it when I'm working on it.  Not so much afterward, though.) followed by a different walking routine for each of the 3 days, adding on repetitions/minutes each week. First is 4x2's - 4 minutes of a fast past (4 mph) followed by 2 minutes of an easy pace (3 mph) repeated several times.  The next one is doing 30 second surges - 30 seconds at 5 mph (walking, not running!), 1 minute easy (3 mph). The third is even stevens - a "race" pace 4-4.5 mph followed by a moderate pace (3-3.5 mph) with the length of time spent at each pace increasing by the week (week one was 1 minute each, 6 times; week two was 90 seconds each, 6 times, etc.)

I love having a treadmill for this program.  I can set the pace, and just keep going steady until time is up.  I know if I were trying this outside walking, I probably would not go as fast or as consistently as I do with the treadmill.

Want to know how I keep track of everything?  It's high-tech, I tell you.

Ye olde Sticker Chart.

It worked before, and it works now, too!  I think part of why a sticker chart works for me is that it's one thing I won't "cheat" on - I don't give myself stickers unless I did the work to get one.  Otherwise I'll feel guilty, and that would totally bust my groove.  The other reason it works for me is that other people (namely, Jude) can see what I have (or haven't) been doing, and that helps keep me accountable when there is no one else around to know if I did or didn't exercise.

Oddly enough, I've found social media (like twitter) to be useful - I love being able to post that I finally exercised after sitting around all morning in my pj's avoiding real work. Not that I love procrastinating.  I mean, I love being able to post that I've finally overcome my procrastination and done something!

My number still aren't budging much, so I think I finally need to add in a calorie counting aspect to my routine.  I've used babyfit (by spark people), and it's okay, but since I am not pregnant, and Nathanael's not nursing much, I think I might go ahead and use spark people.

My intent with counting calories is to help me get a renewed grasp on portion sizes.  I believe that I will feel hungry at times, and I just have to figure out how to mentally deal with that. I need to shift away from carbs and dairy products and move towards vegetables and fruits.  We don't really keep junk food in the house.  I don't keep cookies, or snack foods or candies in the house very often. (I buy crackers for kid snacks) We eat whole grain foods, we avoid artificial food additives.  I just eat a lot when I eat. And, I admit, I sneak foods when I'm out.  That's probably really getting me (always has, but must change.)  Like, eating out during our weekly shopping trip, or buying a "treat" like a cookie or chocolate bars or a donut when we go out at other times.

Charlotte over at The Great Fitness Experiment has been writing about intuitive eating.  I think that's something I need to get a handle on.  Separating my mental stuff from the physical need for food.  It's all wrapped up and warpped up together right now.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


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All of these are words that Nathanael says, that really don't sound quite like the intended word.  Most of the time, it's hard to understand.  But, other times, quite clear.

Take nee-nee for example.  We were at a fabric store, and another customer was talking to Nathanael while we were waiting in line.  He kept touching my shoulder and saying Mama.  I sat him on the counter, and while looking at the lady, he yet again introduced her to me:

"Mama" - pats shoulder.
"Nee-Nee" - pats breast.

Ahh, words. 

(the secret word key for the above words: Oh no!, cup, chips, dog, plane, car, cat, chair, four wheeler, water, yogurt)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

14/14 week 7

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Half way through my challenge, I am not half way to my weight loss goal. 

Disappointing, but I'm not done yet, either. 

Last week (week 7) was great!  I exercised 6 days, did strength training on 3 days, and worked on the treadmill for 160 minutes (surpassing my goal of 150 minutes a week).  I helped my neighbors move large rocks for about 2 hours straight, in addition to raking leaves 2 times for about 30 minutes each time, and hauling 2 trailer loads of wood (maybe 40-50 pieces).

The end result of all that effort? I'm under my starting weight again.  That's a difference of 3.5 pounds from the high point of weight overage about a week and a half ago.  Yay! Does that mean I've lost 3.5 pounds?  I really have no idea.  Maybe I was retaining water.

I also had a food success this past weekend - I went to another church gathering where there was lots of food, most of it not very healthy.  I only ate one plate of food (and not a piled-high plate) and one dessert. For me, that's a big deal, as I tend to go back for seconds and thirds at potluck/buffet meals.  I was not stuffed!  And then, that evening - a nice salad, and 2 pieces of pizza (not 4 or 5).

Yeah!  I picked up a resistance band, as my program calls for one.  I had been using free weights.  A resistance band definitely works the body in a different way.  Well worth it!

Elizabeth has been wanting to work out with me, with "real" weights, but my 3 pound weights are too heavy for her.  We bought a pair of pink one pound weights, and they are just right!

This coming week, week 8 - the program calls for increasing the time spent walking by 5 minutes each day.  I struggle just getting in the time that I do.  Much of that is all in my head.  The kids can be fairly self-entertaining, and I can hop off the treadmill for a few minutes if I need to deal with something.  I think mostly I just don't want to spend that much time going nowhere.  I wish I had something like an Ipad that I could strap to my treadmill.  Then I could surf the internet or watch videos while working out!  Maybe.  I'd probably get motion sick trying to read something.  Books and magazines have never worked out well for me on a treadmill unless I go super slow.

So with 7 weeks (including this one) left in my program (essentially taking me to the end of 2010), if I can get rid of 1 pound a week, that would still put me (just barely!) below my pre-pregnancy weight. If I can get rid of 1.5 pounds a week, then that puts me in a range I haven't seen in more than 7 years!

I'm not done yet!
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