Friday, December 30, 2011

Checking things off

Yesterday was a much more motivating day - well, at least the morning was!  As normal, I start my Thursday morning with my TOPS meeting.  I gained 1.25 lbs this week, but I guess that's not too bad considering it was over Christmas.  Coulda been worse!!!  Especially if I wouldn't have had my workouts in!  I didn't get them everyday, but did get them more often than not.  I was just a couple pounds short of my 25 pound year-end goal - I finished the year's meetings down a total of 22.5 pounds.  Not bad considering I was pregnant most of that time!  Time to think about what my goal should be for the next year since we do a 'rededication' at the first January meeting.  I definitely want to hit the 25 pound mark before my 1 year anniversary with TOPS, which is March 24 (Beau's birthday!)

**When I was getting ready to go to my TOPS meeting, I went out to start the car and realized I didn't have my Bluetooth with.  I had left it on the counter since the battery was dead.  Since I was going to be in the car, I prefer to use it so my hands are free.  I went back in the house and was looking all over the counter and couldn't find it at first.  Then I found an old key chain that had been hanging on the hooks over the counter.  The key chain was laying on my Bluetooth.  It was a Guardian Angel key chain. I think someone was leaving me a sign that he knew I was thinking of him :) **

I got a lot done yesterday too!!  I went to my favorite consignment store, where I thought I had about $6 on credit, cuz Scrappy needs another pair of jeans (I recently realized having only 1 pair of jeans is not sufficient for him since khakis don't match everything and sweatpants aren't always appropriate.)  Turns out I had over $10 - a nice surprise!  Since it is the end of the year, she cut me a check for my credits, which I used to pay for his jeans ($5 for a pair of almost new Wranglers?  Works for me!)  I made an appointment while I was there to bring some stuff in next week.  I was surprised she got me in so soon since it's normally 1-2 months out!!  She's looking for 'springtime' stuff, and will always take jeans.  Since cleaning out my storage unit, I've found a lot of clothes that didn't sell at my past garage sales.  These things would be perfect to take up there - just have to make sure they're washed first.  And she has a limit of 50 items per appointment, so once I sort through the clothes I'll have to count what I have.  I know I'll need to make an appointment to take in some summer stuff, maybe a second appointment for spring stuff and/or jeans.  My appointment is for January 5.  The Epilepsy Foundation will be picking up on January 4, so anything I'm not taking to consignment is going to them.  Hubby reminded me to go through the stuff up to 2T so that if/when we have another little one, we have some clothes for him/her.  I found a few old onesies belonging to Scraps that I'm going to hold on to.  I have an 18 gallon tote full of maternity and baby clothes along with other miscellaneous items, like bottles, liners, pumping equipment, etc. 

After the consignment shop, I headed to pay the balance on the property taxes and picked up the other 5 cans of Scrappy's DuoCal.  Went to Shopko to pick up his prescription, but turns out insurance won't cover the saline nebulizer solution.  It's only $19 for 100 vials though.  Too bad I only had $5 on me though, so I couldn't pick it up.

I called hubby as I was leaving town to see if he had plans for lunch since I was coming to town to get the kids.  He didn't so he ordered pizzas to be ready when I got to town since Grammy and Opa had treated us last week and since they had watched the kids.  I told hubby I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon, so just asked if he stop and pick up the meds on his way home.  (As it turned out, insurance wouldn't cover mine prescription either, so they had to find a generic and order it in for next day delivery.)

I've been having a lot of pain in my side, next to where my incision is, and there doesn't seem to be any logical reason.  There's no redness and there's no actual injury (cut, rash, anything).  And I didn't know if my incision was healing since I've had a yeast infection in the skin around it.  My doc was out, so I saw is Physician's Assistant.  The yeast infection seems to be clearing up, there is one small spot on my incision that is still open, but looks ok, and he couldn't feel or see anything that would leave him to believe I had an infection.  He thinks the pain is due to nerve damage from the surgery.  We are going to try a topical cream to see if that helps.  If it doesn't, then we'll try with a pill.  I told him I just need something to get through until I have my next OB appointment at Mayo on January 10.  So we'll see what happens.  (I'll have to wait until hubby gets home though.  I have anxiety issues when driving in bad weather - it started raining about the time I went to bed last night, and now has turned to snow.  Which means the roads are slick.  And there are too many idiots out there.  He can just pick it up on his way  home - hopefully!)

By the time we got home, I just wanted to relax.  I was exhausted, but I'm sure it's because I had such awful heartburn I didn't get to bed until after 2, then Scraps woke me up at 6:30.  I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I just wish they would sleep - or at least let me sleep.  I was trying to nap while they were watching cartoons and putting puzzles together, but every time I closed my eyes, all I hear is "Mo-om!" as Beau loves to make it into a 2 syllable word. Grrr.  I didn't do anything after getting home except to make supper then lounge again in my recliner.  After hubby got home, I did nap a little bit, then read a little before heading to bed.  My whole body just ached and I didn't know why - just hoped I wasn't getting sick!!

I guess missing a workout really does show!  I didn't do my workout Wednesday because of the all the work with the freezer/refrigerator, and yesterday was too busy and I was too tired.  This morning the kids were begging to play their Monster Jams Wii game, so I figured I better get my workout done before they take over the TV.  I used it as bribery for treatments this morning too :)  So while Scrappy did his vest, I did 51 minutes on the Fit Plus - and I was sweating :)  And my body feels SO much better - especially my back!!

I need to get lunch going for the kids - we're having leftovers.  Going to make an easy supper too - a Banquet family meal we have in the freezer.  Then I can get a little more done around the house today without having to worry about making a mess or taking much time on supper.  Have a lot of sorting to do before the EF comes to pick up! (Plus, since they take stuff in garbage bags, I'll be cleaning out some totes so I have more of them to use for other things!!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What has gotten into me?

Geez, my to-do list hasn't been getting checked off like it should be... and believe me, it's a LONG to-do list!!  I'm really good at making lists of what needs to be done, just not so good at getting it done. 

Yesterday I thought I was on a roll!!  The kids and I were up at a decent time.  We had to be out of the house by 815 to go to our WIC appointment and pick up Scrappy's PediaSure, drop off the last part of the property tax payment at the courthouse, get pull-ups for the little man, then get a few groceries and pick up a receipt from a client.  Pretty simple to do since I had to have the kids out anyway.  Just one trip and get everything done.  Right?

Yeah right.  Things are never that easy.

Got to the WIC appointment a few minutes early.  The receptionist looked at me funny when I told her I had an appointment.  The Public Health Nurse I was supposed to see was working in her office and wasn't prepared to see anyone.  Just my luck, right?  Um, WRONG!  My appointment was actually supposed to be today - maybe I should have looked at my calendar before I left the house?  Haha but that would be too easy!  She still saw me, the appointment just ended up taking a little bit longer than normal.  We also got Scrappy's 297 cans of PediaSure (3 month supply) and 1 can of DuoCal - they'd call when the other 5 cans come in.

Ok, done there.  Hubby forgot to leave me the check for the property taxes, but that's ok, just postpone that errand until... today... tomorrow...  Off to Walgreens for their brand pull-ups - we find that they work better than the name brand and we don't really care for the WalMart generics.  WalMart's don't seem to contain Scrappy's messiness - way too many blowouts!  We try to stock up on them when they're on sale.  Since they weren't, I only picked up one package. Of course, all I hear throughout the store from Scraps is "Mommy, I want a balloon!!  I want a Spongebob balloon!"  I dragged him toward the checkout.  Beau is following me with "Mom, can we get a treat?  We want a snack.  Please?"  Nope, just getting pull-ups and going!  While we're standing at the checkout, Beau starts chasing Scrappy around the store.  Then he decides he wants to examine everything conveniently placed near the checkout that would attract a child's attention.  Couldn't wait to leave!!!

Grocery store - LAST place to stop!  Needed the WIC necessities, along with the veggies and fruit.  And it never hurts to check the quick sale cooler since I was going to Nelson's.  I've discovered that shopping for meat there is best when I go between 8 and 10am weekdays.  Usually they have just marked down all of the "Reduced for Quick Sale" meats - all the meat that is close to expiration date.  I've found some pretty good deals there!  On this trip, I picked up a 2-pack of split chicken breasts, 2 1-lb packages of pork cutlets, a pork roast, 3 2-packs of chicken leg and thigh quarters, and a 4-pack of chicken thighs.  All of this meat was only about $15.  Pretty good deal!!  I put everything right into the freezer so it would keep.  Really wish my vacuum sealer worked so I could prolong the life of the food.  The other big savings there?  Frozen veggies.  1 lb bags for only $0.68.  I had a WIC voucher for $10 in fruits and veggies, so this was an awesome buy!!!

I was trying the pantry challenge last week. That wasn't working too well for us since my husband doesn't always like it when I experiment.  He usually tries what I make, but that doesn't mean he likes it.  And I've noticed leftovers haven't been getting eaten at our house lately.  I don't know why....  They like the food the first time around.  They never had a problem with leftovers before.  With the kids, I can put out what I want them to eat and that's all they get.  With hubby, if he doesn't like what I make, he can make his own food (and often does).

I'm still trying to cook just with what's in the house.  There are a few things here and there we need but I'm trying to make due without making a special trip to the store.  Last night, leftovers were the menu.  Tonight, breakfast for supper :)  Pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and kiwi.  Scraps had banana instead of kiwi.  The kids love syrup on their pancakes, but I opted for homemade pumpkin butter - sooo yum without being over sweet!

So what did I get done today?  Nothing on my to-do list, and really seems like not much overall, but feels like I worked my butt off, which I kinda did (and I'm counting it as some exercise just in case I don't get my workout in!!)  I defrosted and inventoried my 7 cubic foot chest freezer, hauling all the food out to the garage to keep it cold until I refilled the freezer.  I scrubbed it all out with bleach and warm water and made a huge mess on the floor, but oh well!  While the basement freezer was chilling again, before I filled it, I decided to clean out the upstairs freezer so I could have more useful food up here, and inventoried what was in there too.  Then I figured, well, since I cleaned the freezer, I might as well clean out the fridge too.  I don't know the last time that was done!  Originally I was just going to clean out the old food.  That turned into taking out all the shelves and drawers and scrubbing the inside of the fridge, complete with peeling some caramel off the bottom of the inside.  (Don't ask me how that got there!!  I haven't the slightest idea!)  Man does my fridge look empty!

The rest of my house is a mess.  I need to get it straightened up somewhat before hubby gets home.  It's gonna be another late night for him at work again tonight.  He says he'll be home earlier tomorrow so I can get some of my paperwork done since I can't seem to get much done with the kids here.  It's funny, but I can actually get more done when Beau is at school and I just have Scraps home.....

Got a pleasant surprise from the hubs the other day.  I jokingly asked how he liked my blog, not thinking that he had actually read it.  To my surprise, I found out he has been reading it.  He said he wanted to see how my day had gone. 

Awwww, isn't that sweet :)

Monday, December 26, 2011


It's the day after.  Everything is simmering down.  For the next week I have both children home.  We may be getting to go play outside later this week because of the unusually warm Minnesota weather - it's been over 40 degrees!!  A Christmas without snow makes it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit though.  I haven't been feeling it much this year.

However, I am happy to know I am partially responsible for giving someone the best Christmas present they wanted:  My mom wanted all 4 of us kids together for a picture, and also our kids and significant others.  It's the first time all of us kids have been together (other than Little Warrior's funeral, but that was not the time or place to do it) since my husband and I got married a little over 4 years ago.  Here we are (and yes, most of us are in pajamas since that was the theme this year.  My hoodie and pj pants were the best I was going to be able to do.... hubby passed on the pj idea):

I know the two pictures look almost the same, but as I was checking them out, I noticed something interesting.  Look in the first picture, you may notice some floating spots or orbs in the picture and one right above my husband's head.  In the second picture, we see the orbs again, and this time there is one right on my stomach. 

Now, I'm not majorly superstitious, but I've learned that there are signs in life and it's a matter of if we choose to see or not to see them.  Like I had said last week, I believe that the sun coming out to shine was a sign that our Little Warrior was watching over us and knew we were there to visit him.  I think the orbs in these two pictures are there for a reason.  I think it's his way of letting us know that he knows we're thinking about him and he was there with us.  I think God lets those special people close to us give us signs that they're ok and they're watching over us when we need that comfort and peace.  I told my mom that I thought it was sign from him, and she thinks so too.   When I asked my husband about the orbs, he laughed at me and told me that people would think he was strange if he said what he thought.  But that's because he agreed with me and thought the same.  We have our own guardian angel watching over us.

I spent a somewhat 'lazy' day today with Scrappy hanging out at home.  Beau spent the night having a sleepover with our cousins and rode home with Daddy when he got off work.  Wait - I take back that 'lazy' comment.  I don't think getting 1 1/2 hour workout in counts as lazy, even though it was fun and it was with my new Wii Fit Plus game.  My stomach (someday possibly to be known as my 'abs' - if they truly are buried in there somewhere!!! lol!!) is a little sore from working those muscles.  I've been hesitant to do any abdominal exercises for the past few weeks, but since it's been 6 weeks since my surgery, I thought it should be ok now to try at least a little.  Especially since I consider that to be one of my 'problem areas.'

Since both kids are home for the next week, I have a lot less running to do on a daily basis.  I do have an appointment tomorrow morning, and since we'll be out we need to drop off some payments and run to the grocery store for milk.  I try to only make one trip out, or go when I pick Beau up or drop her off at school I try to get all my running done then and schedule appointments accordingly.  It really makes things easier if I already have Scrappy in the car and don't have to get him out and in the house, take off his coat, hat, and boots, then put them all back on 15 minutes later.

I also told Beau that we need to sort through and get rid of some of her and Scrappy's old toys.  They got plenty of new toys for Christmas, so some things have to go to make room for the new.  They have WAY too many toys.  When I have my garage sale in the spring, there are going to be PLENTY of toys to go.  I'm not going to bother with all the stuffed animals and a lot of the small stuff.  Thankfully the Epilepsy Foundation will be picking up next week, so hopefully I can get a bag or a few bags out for them.

**Note to self - (Since I'm thinking of it right now, I'm gonna write it so I don't forget)... After the 1st of the year, I am going to need to keep better documentation of a few things for tax purposes, especially because of my business.  I need mileage for both vehicles as of January 1.  I'm going to keep a binder with all of Scrappy's medical appointments at Mayo since we can write off the mileage on those too.  I'm also going to create a file for donations since I'll be doing a lot of sorting out and we'll be donating quite a bit.  I need to print out the kids' care sheets too so I have a copy of those on hand for 'emergency reasons' - you never know what's going to happen!  And I suppose I should call to check on the deeds for our cemetery plots.  I thought we would have gotten them by now..... hmmmm....

Well, there's a lot on my plate for tomorrow...  Wish sleeping in was on the list, but that's not in Scrappy's book....  Hopefully after some cleaning, some time with Zumba will be on my plate!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We had to run to the store this morning so I could get a few things I needed to make goodies to take to my aunt's tonight.  We also decided we're going to Christmas Eve service at 4pm today so we don't have to fight with the kids tomorrow to get them away from their toys.  Pastor said both services will be the same.  Plus, with there not being Sunday School, I think the kids will be more cooperative this afternoon.

So what easy treats am I taking today?  My super easy fudge - one batch with nuts, one without (I honestly don't remember where I got the recipe from) and a pan of cream cheese bars that I got the recipe from a former coworker.  Oh yes, I will be posting the recipes :)  Breakfast tomorrow will be Amish baked oatmeal with bananas and raisins since I can mix it up tonight and just bake it in the morning.

We are trying to decide exactly how to keep with our usual tradition.  I always let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve.  For the past few years, we just spent a quiet Christmas Eve at our house.  So the dilemma - do we let the kids open a present before we go to my aunt's, or after we get home?  It's not unusual for the party to last into the wee hours of the morning.  Being the party poopers with 2 young kids, our plan is to be home around 8:30 or 9.  We still have more presents to wrap and I'm sure the kids will be up pretty early.  We have Scrappy's treatments to do too, which adds another half hour to the schedule.  I wonder which of the kids will be up first? (My bet is on Scraps - he rarely sleeps past 7!)

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas Eve!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Secret Santa

Hubby got home about 9:45 last night from work.  I waited for him, then headed to bed around 10.  I didn't have much energy yesterday afternoon.  Scrappy refused to nap, instead going up to the room he and his sister share and they played Barbies while Mama took a short snooze in the recliner.  After supper, the two of them headed back upstairs to play while I vegged out in my recliner and wrote my blog and watched a little tv.  I skipped my workout because I could hardly stay awake to write my entry.

Today was Beau's first day of winter break.  Scrappy crawled in bed with me after daddy got up and slept for a while but decided 7:40 would be a good time to get up, which is ok except I was hoping to sleep in a little more since I wake up quite often during the night.  I'm not a light sleeper - hubby says I can sleep through almost anything.  Except the sleep doesn't last long.  It's not uncommon for me to wake up 4 or 5 times during the night.  I usually have no idea what time it is since I can't see the clock without my glasses or contacts.  It seems to take forever to get back to sleep though.

After the kids had breakfast, I read a little more on my favorite blog (which I discovered a couple months ago - but I'm going back and catching up from the beginning, just a little at a time!) and they went upstairs to play again.  After a little while I dozed off again, only to be woken by Beau yelling at me about how mean her little brother is.  He was crabby and wanted his way, and she wanted to complain about every little thing he did.  Finally I told them if they couldn't play NICE, they weren't going to play upstairs or with Barbies anymore.

I didn't get my workout in this morning either (maybe that was today's problem!).  My back was sore and I was tired (excuses, I know).  I was supposed to head over to my bestie's house to help her make Christmas treats this morning.  I waited for her call to say she was ready.  She didn't text me until 11:45 to say she had JUST woken up! LOL!!  I was in the process of making lunch for me and the kids - leftovers.  Scrappy hasn't been wanting to eat too much lately, but for some reason pb&j seemed to hit the perfect spot for him and he ate almost a full half of his sandwich!!  I finally talked to her after lunch.  We had to pick up some meds for Beau since she's still kind of barking from her bout with croup.  It was 3:30 by the time we finally got over there.  We had a good time making treats, in spite of neither of us having much energy.  (Hubby thinks that if I would have done my workout, I wouldn't have been so tired.  Probably right.  And I probably wouldn't have been so tired if I would've made my pot of coffee before noon too!!)

We have our Christmas shopping done, save for a few more stocking stuffers.  I have to make the goodies to take to my aunt's house tomorrow too.  It doesn't feel like Christmas though.  And I don't mean because of all that has happened.  I mean because there is NO SNOW on the ground - and for Minnesota, that is very odd!!!  And it's supposed to be 40 degrees on Christmas Day!  That's just not right!  But there is definitely plenty of Christmas spirit going around and it has traveled to Minnesota.  I've been hearing and reading news articles about 'secret Santas' who have been paying off people's layaways at various stores, particularly in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and a few other places.  Well, we had a visit from a secret Santa of our own!!  One of hubby's co-workers (who doesn't have children of his own) bought and wrapped some presents for our kids, as did his mother-in-law, and signed them from Santa a few days ago.  Today, hubby went out to his van after work to find a couple more presents - these ones unwrapped - sitting on his van with a note saying they were from Santa.  His boss said he saw the gifts sitting there, but has no idea where they came from, and either does anyone else.  It's nice to see the Christmas spirit spreading so much.  I just wish there was something we could do to thank the person who gave it to the kids.

It really looks like this Christmas is going to be a special one for our family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Sign From Above

Today was a TOPS day - and the second to last weigh in for the year.  I'm in that area that is 'dangerous territory' for me.  Yeah, I gained the last 2 weigh ins before this one - a little over 4 pounds in 2 weeks.  This week I LOST 2 pounds - yay!!  As of Dec 1, I was down a total of 26.25 pounds, but I was also just back to TOPS and just starting to recover from my surgery and had dropped 20 pounds in about 2 weeks (not exactly healthy even considering I had just had a baby!!)  My goal for this year is to be at the -25 pound mark at the end of the year.  At Weight Watchers, I had a difficult time when I got close to the 25 pound mark - I kinda freaked myself out and blew it.  I don't know why.  I think maybe I'm afraid of success?  It happens often when I get close to some big accomplishment.  Self sabotage.

I haven't had the best day today, but it hasn't been the worst either.  Beau is home from school for Winter Break.  She goes back on Jan 3.  I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit.  I'm exhausted today!!  I didn't get my workout in.  I have been doing it in the morning, but this morning was too busy.  And by the time I got home this afternoon, I was too exhausted.  I guess I stayed up too late last night working :(

After TOPS, I had some errands to run before going to pick up the kids and hubby.  Then we went to the cemetery to visit our Little Warrior and to take his beautiful Christmas wreath out.  A good friend from TOPS decorated it for us.

I know he was watching over us today... he gave us a sign.  The cemetery where he is buried - near much of my family - is on it's own road on the North side of town.  The road does not lead anywhere else.  Today has been quite a cloudy day, but as we turned onto the cemetery road, the sun came out from behind the clouds.  I looked at my husband and told him that I know our Little Warrior was watching over us and knows that we were there.  In spite of the biting cold wind, the sun stayed out until we left there.  Honestly, it gave me a peace.  I know it's only his physical body there at the cemetery, but I felt a lot closer to him there.  We are going to my grandma's for Christmas Day, so we are going to stop out there to wish him a Merry Christmas too.  Here are some pictures of my angel during his brief stay here on earth....

Isn't that just the proudest looking Daddy??  I remember the look on his face very clearly when the doctor held our little guy up.... in spite of the scrubs and surgical mask (emergency c-section), I could tell my dear husband was very proud and was smiling so large.

He is my best friend and the most amazing man I could ever ask for :)  If I had to go through all of this, there's no one I'd rather have by my side than him <3

I don't know if it's because of our loss and the struggles we've been going through, or if aliens have abducted my husband and replaced him with a facsimile, or what exactly, but I'm not going to complain.  He has been a lot more attentive/cuddly/loving towards me lately.  Yeah, we snuggle at night and in the morning a little, but usually not too much.  He says he's not a 'huggy/kissy type of person."  But lately it seems he's become much more affectionate and doesn't mind PDAs as much as he used to.  Who is he and what has he done with MY husband?? haha!!  Shhh - I didn't say that!  I like it and I hope it lasts!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Learning Curve

Ok, so I admit - I'm not very technically proficient.  I can use things - once I'm shown how... otherwise it sometimes takes a while to figure them out on my own.  And I don't like reading the instructions since they're usually written in Greek.  (Ok, so I'm making myself to sound lazy now too)

Like my Blackberry.  I still don't know how all the apps and stuff work..

Like my Wii Fit.  I've had it for quite some time, and just made a discovery in the last couple days.  Notice the + dividers on it?

Well, that explains why I just COULD NOT get the hang of doing Advanced Step.  I could do the regular step and the blue side steps.  I had trouble getting the timing down of the green kicks.  And for some reason I would have "missed" steps on the purple steps, in spite of putting both feet up and keeping time.  I was getting VERY frustrated!!  When doing the step, one is on the top half of the board, and the other is on the bottom half.  Stupid me, I was stepping in the MIDDLE of the board and not paying attention to the lines.  DUH!!  I don't think it helps much having a 3 year old Scrappy-man crawling around on the floor all around me as I'm trying to step up and down and side to side from it!! haha - that's a workout all in itself!!

Another thing I've recently learned is about HOW I do my workout.  I've been focusing mostly on doing aerobics - step and boxing - and maybe a few balance games and yoga woven in there.  It's still hard to get into some positions since my stomach is still infected (I REALLY wish it would clear up :/ ).  I've been doing about 30 minutes in the morning and trying to get another 30 in the afternoon.  My discovery?  I have to do more than 30 minutes, because I don't break a sweat until almost 30 minutes!!!  But today I changed things up a little bit.  I made myself do more of the yoga - about 10 minutes before I started anything else.  I did the Basic Step twice, then went to my boxing - but skipped the 3 minute level, which I usually use as a warm up.  I went straight to the advanced 6 minute, and was feeling more of my workout.  I even got brave after doing some Advanced Step and tried Expert boxing!!!  Whew! What a workout!!!  Talk about working those muscles!  And I had sweat running down my forehead - quite uncommon for me!  I must be doing something right now!  I need to start working more yoga and the strength training in..... I'm just really hoping my work shows on the scale tomorrow.....

And a little update on canning... yes I'm still doing a little here and there - did some bean and ham soup.

*Note to self - check Salvation Army for jars.
**Note to self - make more applesauce next year - and in the quart and pint (not half-pint) jars.
***Note to self - can tomatoes instead of freezing next year so have freezer space for meat.

****Note to readers - DO NOT can the chicken stock unless you have a pressure cooker and can use it to seal your jars!!!  My frozen chicken stock came out just fine, but the canned chicken and stock had gone rancid since I just used a hot water bath.  (I've also been told that the hot water bath works IF you boil the jars for 3-4 hours)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Doing it!

I've been keeping quite busy in spite of the emotional turmoil.  It's been a month today since we lost Baden, but I'm holding up as good as can be expected.  I had to go to the college today to pick up some paperwork to appeal 2 classes that I failed so they won't affect my GPA.  According to the counselor, my appeal should be granted based on the circumstances.  It's still hard to believe....

I've been pushing myself along.  I stuck to my workout plan until Thursday.  The kids were at Grammy's, so I took advantage of the time and spent the afternoon wrapping Christmas presents since I can't always count on naptime and Christmas is quickly approaching.  The tree looked rather odd without anything under it too.  There's an imbalance of gifts - Beau seems to have more than Scrappy, but he has some bigger (ie, more expensive) than she does.  Quite a few of hers are smaller gifts.  But they all come out to about the same amount.  I think next year, we need to be sure to set a limit on the dollar amount.  It just seems too easy to get "just one more" thing for one, then for the other.... it's not working for our plans for saving money.

Friday I honestly just didn't have the motivation to do anything, let alone my workout routine.  Saturday morning I woke up with a very, very sore and stiff knee.  I broke my left ankle when I was 2 and believe I had messed up my knee at that time, since I've ALWAYS had problems with my left knee as long as I can remember.  Then, my senior year in high school, I was in a bad car accident and buried my knee in the steering column of my car, which was totalled.  I must seem old, because I can usually predict a change in weather based on how my knee feels.  If it hurts to walk up or down stairs and feels like it's going to give out, it means something's up.  The pain didn't go away until Monday morning, so I resumed my workout on the Fit and upped it to an hour, followed with 45 minutes today.

I've been trying several different strategies on how to cut down on costs since I'm still not back to work yet.  My plan is to start up again in January - hoping my clients agree!!!!  In January, I'm due for an upgrade on my cell phone.  Unlike many people, I'm going to do just the opposite and downgrade.  I have a smartphone right now - Blackberry Curve - which I love, but realistically the costs are just CRAZY.  I need to check into other plans for the smartphone, but I know the cheapest way to go right now with our provider is to eliminate the data plan.  That will free up some of my meager pay to go towards other bills.  I've also eliminated another $35 monthly bill by giving up my storage unit.  I have had it for 5 years, and much of the stuff in there has never been touched.  There are totes upon totes of toys that the kids don't even know they HAVE, and the ridiculous amount of stuffed animals and too small clothes.  My plan is to have a garage sale in the spring, or maybe 2, and then try to consign some of the stuff that doesn't sell and donate some to the Epilepsy Foundation.  I love donating to them, particularly since they will pick up donations curbside, rain or shine.

I have become absolutely addicted to a frugality website I found when looking for a recipe for homemade baby wipes.  No, I didn't make the wipes, but I've found many of the tips Heather posts to be quite helpful.  I'm currently undertaking her Pantry Challenge which has actually helped with my menu planning.  I've started cooking some things I haven't made in a while.  The only exceptions to the challenge for me right now is that Christmas is this week, so I will have to do some cooking to take a few treats to my aunt's on Christmas Eve, and the fact that we get WIC, which cover some of the items listed, but there are a few other items on there that aren't "staples."  My husband isn't on board with the challenge, but I'm going to do my best anyway.  For example, yesterday for lunch Scrappy and I had homemade pork fried rice made completely with on hand items and using up leftover pork roast from a couple nights ago.  Last night I made chicken enchilada casserole.  I didn't have any enchilada sauce, but with a quick online search, I found a recipe for a homemade one and I had all the necessary ingredients on hand :)  I had leftover sauce, which I'll try to use later this week, and honestly it was a LOT better than the store-bought packages!!  I would LOVE to make homemade bread, since that's one ingredient that's not listed as a staple, but my husband prefers store-bought bread for sandwiches :( Maybe I'll make it anyway, and maybe he'll change his mind....  Maybe....  Beau was upset that she didn't get any fried rice, so tonight I made chicken fried rice to placate her.  My poor family - they may be eating a lot of oatmeal and rice the next couple weeks since we have both coming out our ears :/  So, like I said, I'm trying the challenge with a few modifications!

I need to go check out the local second hand stores in the next couple weeks.... my vacuum sealer decided it wanted to die on me now that I finally FOUND it again.  So that is going to need to be replaced.  I had called my mom to see if I could borrow her bread machine to see how much I would use one IF I had one.... but she doesn't have it anymore.  She traded it to my aunt.  So maybe I'll see if I can find a used one for cheap.

And I know I've said it before, but I'm trying to get a schedule set to do some blogging more often.  I'm happy that I've been doing pretty good with organizing and sorting throughout the house.  It helps that I do my workout in the mornings - I have SO much more energy to get other things done.  I've been trying to get 2 workouts in when possible.  I do my morning one while Scrappy is doing to nebby and vest treatments and try to get the second one in when he is napping.  (For those who don't know me/my family personally, Scrappy has Cystic Fibrosis, which is the main reason we decided to sacrifice having 2 full-time incomes for 1 full- and 1 part-time... and he's been a LOT healthier!!)

The last 2 weeks, I've gained a total of just over 4 pounds at TOPS, and I'm not too happy with it.  Hopefully all this work will start to pay off soon.  And the fact that I've really cut down on how much Coke I drink and been cooking healthier.  Now only if I wasn't eating so much... time to break the chia out!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Next?

It's been over a month since my last entry - again.  Today marks what would have been the one month birthday of my darling baby boy.  I don't have the heart, or control of the emotions, to re-write all that has happened with my angel, but he has left us.  He is no longer in pain.  You can read his story and his battle at

My doctor has helped with getting my emotions under control with some new medications.  The anxiety and the depression are under better control - it's not easy to deal with in the slightest.  So I've decided to focus on taking care of myself more. 

I've given up on using my gym membership.  Maybe if there was a gym on this side of town, I wouldn't have as much of an issue actually GOING.  But warming up the car, driving across town and fighting traffic, just gives me another reason to procrastinate.  The time of day is another reason to procrastinate - I'd either have to go early in the morning before hubby goes to work, or at night after he gets home.  Lately he's been putting in more overtime to make up for the time he took off with my hospital stay and the funeral.  This includes working Saturdays.  He's also making up for me not working since we decided, especially with the holidays, that I'm taking off the rest of the year.  (Partly because of my surgery, partly because people just don't have the money for shows during Christmas.)  I can't take the kids with me, and I can't afford to pay for a sitter just so I can go.

I'm going to try something a little different.  My hubby got me a Wii Fit 2 1/2 years ago as a present.  I hate to say it hasn't been used as much as I had planned to use it.  I've started getting into a habit of making it part of my daily routine this past week though!!  That is my new plan - to put in 30 minutes most days of the week, if not more.  I'm on Day 5 right now and have been doing pretty good so far!!  Yesterday I also started doing the dance workout setting on the Wii using Beau's Disney Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and the dance mat.  It gives the option of choosing to burn a certain number of calories or going for a time, and I use the time option.  15 minutes yesterday and 30 today.  The first 3 days I started with the Fit, I was doing the Fit 2 times per day.  Yesterday and today I did one workout on the DDR and one with the Fit (I only did half of my Fit workout so far - I'm going to do some more when Scraps goes down for a nap...)

So where is my weight-loss effort sitting at right now?  When Baden was born, I was still down 6 pounds from my start weight.  I went back to TOPS on Dec 1 and my loss for the day was 20 pounds.  Last week, Dec 8, I did gain back a little bit - I was up 2 3/4 pounds.  But I also wasn't eating the best and drinking a TON of Coke every day.  I'm getting that back into moderation again.  Let's see how this week goes!!