Don't count the hours in the day. Make the hours in the day count.

"All children need a laptop. Not a computer, but a human laptop. Moms, Dads, Grannies and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles - someone to hold them, read to them, teach them. Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals and knowledge of a hundred previous generations. Loved ones who will pass to the next gneration their expectations of them, their hopes, and their dreams." - General Colin L. Powell

20 October 2011

6 months

I can't believe that my little Matthew is already 6 months old.  I don't know where the time has gone.  He is such a sweet little man.  He's happy and smiley except when he's hungry or tired or lonely.  His laugh makes my heart melt.  His little smile lights up the room. 

He went in this week for his 6 month well check.  Matthew is 17lbs. 4oz. which puts him in about the 48th percentile.  His head measures 17 3/4 inches around.  He is 28 3/4 inches long which is off the charts.  He's a full 1/4 of an inch above the highest percentile measurement for his age.  So he's a long, skinny thing.  He is starting to crawl.  He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks until he's ready to push himself forward.  When he gets tired of that, he just pushes himself around backwards.  He always seems to have something in his mouth and has been that way since he could grab things. 

He is just a ray of sunshine in our home.  Everyone loves him to pieces.  His big brothers probably love him a little too much.  :o)

26 September 2011

Time to make a change

I've been talking for years about losing weight.  I just never got very serious about it.  I've had it now!  I'm tired of being tired and lethargic.  I'm tired of not wanting to play with my kids because it's too hard.  I'm tired of not being able to buy the cute clothes I really want because they don't fit or don't look good on me. 

So to be honest with myself and with anyone who reads this blog, here is where I started from last Monday:

Weight:  210.2 lbs.  Yikes!

(I'll get some pics and measurements up in the next couple of days)

My goal is to lose 65 lbs and get down to the 145lbs range.  I'd like to be down in the 180s by January.

Last week I started the "Run Your Butt Off" program.  It's a program to help non-runners like me work up to running a non-stop 30 minutes.  I'm working on Stage 3 right now.  I was able to skip Stage 1 because I could easily walk 30 minutes non-stop.  Last week was 4/1 walk/jog intervals.  I completed it 6 days in a row.  I'll be taking Sundays off.  One thing this program does that is different than most is that it encourages you when you are first starting to jog at the same speed you walk, just picking up your feet.  It's made jogging feel so much easier.  So this week is 4/2 walk/jog intervals.  I didn't think I was really going to be able to do it without feeling like I was going to die.  Nope.  My legs burned, but I didn't get overly winded. 

I also signed up over the weekend for a 5K run in February to benefit Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and support my brother in his battle with pancreatic cancer.  So now I have a goal to work toward which will hopefully keep me moving.  I also am doing Zumba at least a day or two a week.  Hopefully that will increase, but the kids aren't always cooperative.  I'm still contemplating joining the YMCA and maybe doing some personal training sessions to work on building my strength.  And as soon as the weather cools off, I'll add some biking to my exercise routine also.

I'm gradually changing some of my eating habits, but I didn't want to change everything all at once and then not feel like I wanted or could keep it up.  Once I have been exercising for 4 solid weeks, I'll really make an additional effort to change my eating.  I am working on eating fewer snacks and when I do eat, eating healthier foods.  I'm not going on any kind of diet because I want to make a lifestyle change that will continue after the weight is gone.  I don't want something that would be impossible or improbable for me to maintain.

So wish me luck on my journey!

19 September 2011

I thought I had problems

Like many of you, I have become unnaturally addicted to Pinterest.  I love that I can bookmark things I love without clogging up my favorites folder.  I have seen a saying on there several times that means even more to me now than ever.  "If everyone threw their problems into a pile so you could see them, you'd quickly take yours back."  Or something to that effect.

Borders Books went out of business in stores so a couple of weeks ago when they were in their final days, we made a trip.  I decided to expand my normal book reading horizons and picked out some books that I probably wouldn't normally read.  The first one I picked out to read was "Honeymoon in Tehran" by Azeda Moaveni.  She is an American-born journalist whose parents moved to the United States from Iran after the revolution in 1979.  She lived there for nearly a decade writing pieces that showed what life was like in Iran, often butting heads with the government.  She doesn't really truly understand what life is like in Iran until she marries and has a son.  To read of the oppression these people suffered just left me feeling so grateful for the life I have.  I don't have to worry much about some of the things these people faced every day.  Censorship - papers being shut down that reported anything the government didn't like, greatly limiting access to internet sites and blocking nearly all TV channels.  Inflation - even the middle and lower-upper class could barely afford to survive.  Two bedroom apartments sell for over $1 million and often the fresh fruit that is a staple in the Iranian diet was too expensive to purchase.  Being told what to wear - women as stopped on the street and arrested if their dress is not deemed appropriate by the thuggish Basiji (kind of like a national guard) or the police.  Harassment - being threatened, imprisoned and beaten for having any vocal opinions that differ from that of the regime.  Smog - the pollution in Tehran is far worse than anything we experience here in the US.  Most days it's advised for children, elderly and pregnant women to stay home because of the hazardous air.  Disrepair - sidewalks are often so uneven that it would be impossible to push a stroller along them.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It truly makes me grateful to live in a country where I can wear what I want, go where I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want, believe what I want.  The people of Iran are so beaten down that even though they will angrily cry foul, they don't dare rise up against the regime for fear of imprisonment in horrible conditions, beatings or even death.  It's not unheard of during time when the people do demonstrate for the Basiji and the police to place civilian dressed officers in the crowd to shoot at random.  We often view the Iranians as we view the government - harsh, strict, uber conservative, radical.  But many of the people in that country hate what has become of their beloved motherland and feel strongly that the current regime is ruining their lives.  Unfortunately, because of the brutal tactics used, they are powerless to do anything to change it.

So the next time you think to complain about your lot in life, just remember there are people out there who have it far worse off than you do.  At least you have the right to complain openly without fear of harassment, imprisonment or death.

16 August 2011

Update on Matthew

I can't believe my little guy is 4 months old already.  Where does the time go?  I took him in for his 4 month well-check yesterday.  He is 26 1/2 inches long (91st percentile) 14 lbs 15 oz (49th percentile) and his head is 17 inches in circumference (75th percentile).  He perfectly healthy.  He's already rolling from his back to his front and we can't keep him on his back anymore.  He is also reaching out and grabbing things.  He had his first solid food yesterday - rice cereal and formula.  He wasn't so sure he liked it. 

I'll update with some pictures soon.

29 July 2011

What a week....

So I was expecting the first week of school to be a bit of a madhouse, but nothing like it has turned out to be.  The first day of school Andrew forgot to bring home his good water bottle from school and we have yet to see it again.  The second day of school, he got to ride the bus for the first time and LOVED it!  hen he got off the bus the second day, he had to swim upstream back on to the bus because he forgot his backpack.  When we got home, we discovered his lunch box wasn't in his backpack.  On the third day of school, I get a phone call from the nurse's office telling me that Andrew slipped in the rocks and split his head open and I needed to come and get him.  It wasn't too bad and didn't need a bandaid or anything, but he got some pretty good rock burn on his head, face, arm and leg.  Still no water bottle or lunch pail.  On the fourth day of school, I went to meet his bus about 10 minutes early, only to find the bus had already dropped the kids off.  I hurried down to the bus stop.  No Andrew!  Thinking he has just not gotten off the bus, I called the school who radioed the bus driver.  She said he got off on the right stop.  Awesome!  I thought maybe he had gone the wrong way from the stop and down the wrong street.  I got 2/3 of the way down the street north of us...still no Andrew.  Asked a couple of girls if they had seen him.  No luck.  My friend who was with me happened to look behind us and see a woman and three kids.  It was him.  Thank goodness a mom from a different stop realized that the little boy following her son off the bus wasn't a regular at their stop and decided to help him out.  I'm a bit frustrated with the bus driver who said he got off the right stop when he didn't.  I realize the first week of school is crazy, but the drivers really should be more aware of where the kindergarteners, who have no idea what they are doing, have all their stuff and get off at the correct stop.  On the lighter side, he did bring home his lunch pail so now we are just missing a water bottle and half his sandwich container.  So far, so good today.  I hope we don't have any more excitement!  I don't think this mom to a new school-goer could handle much more!

UPDATE:  So today went just fine.  He even managed to find the water bottle he lost on the first day of school and brought it home. 

Andrew loves his teacher though and has a blast playing with Jacob and Travis, two of his friends from preschool.  He also has made friends with a boy from his class who catches the bus with him in the morning.  Whew!  What a week!