Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

This year I made a few New Year's Resolutions, but I neglected to blog about them.  I decided that I was not going to make any "lose such and such amount of weight" resolutions.  I want to get in better shape, I don't care about my weight.  I guess that isn't completely true, I do care, but I figure if I am getting into shape, the rest will fall into place itself.

First of all, I decided a few months ago that by the end of this year, I would do a chin up...unassisted.  My upper body has always been weaker than my lower body, well, at least since adulthood.  I remember when I was younger I could beat boys at arm wrestling...

Friday, Jan 17, we got a membership to your local fitness center in the area.  They have a couple swimming pools, an indoor track, cardio machines and weight training area.  This past week, on Thursday, my husband and I went and did some weight training.  I managed to bench press 65 pounds.  I thought my husband was going a little loco when he suggested that, I thought the bar would be enough since I hadn't done any real weight training in almost four years.  I did three sets of eight with 65 pounds.  I have to say I was proud of myself :)  Then I did bicep curls.  The first set was 8 pounds, 12 times. Then 12 pounds, 12 times.  Then my husband thought I should go to the assisted pull up machine.  I took 112.5 pounds off of my weight, and I did three sets of six chin ups.  Then I did, two sets of eight dips at that weight and then one set of five at 93.5 lbs.  I have been sore for a few days now, but I feel great (if that makes any sense).  

Another resolution was to exercise 3 to 5 times per week for 20 minutes or more each time.  We have been swimming a few times since we got the membership.  It is a nice place to bring the kids to swim.  I need to sign my three year-old up for swimming lessons.  She is doing better being in the water, but she still has some fears I need to figure out how to help her overcome.  My daughter, and another person and her two daughters have been training for a 5K with me.  We started on Wednesday.  Before that, I was still making sure to get in my 20 minutes or more.  This structure is helping.  My children love going to the fitness center, so it makes it a lot easier.

The next thing I did was give up ice cream.  I had my last bowl on New Year's morning.  It was the rest of the Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream in the house.  I even took a picture of it before I ate it.  My addiction to ice cream has probably contributed to a few several of the unwanted pounds I am hauling around.

My last bowl of ice cream for 2015...taken 1/1/2015
I have not had another bowl of ice cream since then.  I haven't even really been tempted.  It might be due to the fact that after I ate it, I prayed that I would have help not eating ice cream for the rest of the year.  Heavenly Father does answer prayers, and sometimes you know He has a sense of humor in the way that He answers.  By the end of the night, I was puking out of both ends (as one of my friends phrased it).  Sorry, about all the information, but what better way for me not to want to eat ice cream, for quite a while!  

I resolved to plan meals ahead of time.  I have not done too well at that.  Although, I do know what we will be eating a couple of times this week, although I don't know what days.  I need to do better about that one!

I resolved to learn to cross-stitch.  I haven't started that yet, although I bought all the materials for the item I wanted to cross-stitch.  Then my daughter taught me how to crochet.  I am working on a blanket that might take me the whole year to do.  It is BYU-Provo's colors.  My daughter (she is 10) thought a good size would be 400 links.  I think this will be a California king size blanket.  Oh well...our bed is a queen, but it wouldn't hurt to have something that the whole family can sit on the couch and cover up under while watching a movie!

I also like to make spiritual resolutions.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we get callings.  We don't get paid for doing the service we provide.  Currently, I am one of the librarians. I have been a primary teacher, scout leader and Relief Society teacher in the past.  I want to be there to fulfill my calling as one of the Ward Librarians.  This entails making copies as requested, giving out pictures, chalk and erasers, etc.

Another resolution is to go to the temples more often.  Before I became a mother, I would go much more frequently than I do now.  I want to change that.  There is a peace that is felt at the temple, where I know that I am doing things to help others.  I feel like it is a time when all my stress is left outside and I can concentrate on serving others.

Ogden Utah Temple
I am already thinking about New Year's Resolutions for next year.  I didn't think of them in time for this year.  I think that the ones I have this year will help with next year's resolutions a lot though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Eve Came and Went Again

This year for Christmas Eve, we drove to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to have lunch with my sister and her son.  It was a nice trip and I am thankful that there was somewhere we could meet and have lunch.  We ended up at Golden Corral.  They do have pizza on their buffet, so it wasn't like we went against the pizza on Christmas Eve tradition.  I just couldn't eat it, since it wasn't gluten free.

The three of us girls were together again.  I enjoy getting to have these times with my sisters.  Even if it is for just an hour or so, it is definitely worth the time.  One of my sisters lives with me, her husband had to work, so she rode with us.  She sat in the back with the children and got to play referee.

After we had lunch, we headed to a music store.  My daughter has wanted a guitar for a while now, and they were having good deals there.  She didn't have enough money for one, or any money for one, so she borrowed it from her brothers.  She agreed to pay them back.  So far, the only hitch is, she isn't allowed to play it until it is paid for.  She is really happy with it though.  It is purple, which isn't a surprise!

After going to the music store in Rock Springs, it was time to say goodbye to my sister and my nephew.  I always hate the goodbyes, but it is definitely worth it to see them.

My husband took the kids to see Big Hero 6 when we got home.  I stayed home with my toddler, because she isn't a big fan of sitting in movie theaters.  I also had some things to do around the house before Santa came.  Santa comes on Christmas Eve in our house.  My sister and her husband also stayed home.

My husband called when they were on their way back from the theater, so my toddler, sister, bro-in-law and I could go walk around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights so Santa could come. My daughter loves looking at Christmas lights.  It was a beautiful night.  While we were out, we saw a TV by the curb saying that it was free, and that it works, so I remembered where it was so we could go claim it if it was still there, after opening gifts.

This was taken a few days before Santa came.  There were a lot of gifts under there.  My seven year-old exclaimed it was the best Christmas ever.   I was happy that he felt that way.  Opening gifts on Christmas Eve, gives us the time to remember why we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.

My sister made all the children blankets.  Our puppy always loved laying on the blankets, so it wasn't too shocking to see this under the tree later that evening.

I am so blessed to have my children.  We enjoyed Christmas Day with my sister and her husband, and my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew.  It was a nice day with them.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Youngest Son Turned Seven - Dec 20 and Lost His First Tooth - Dec 30

Where has the time gone?!  He was my only child that was born in NY.  We are once again in Utah.  He is my little blonde hair, blue-eyed fellow.  He reminds me a lot of one of my brothers, both personality and looks.

He had planned what he wanted to do for his birthday for months.  He wanted to go to Wingers, which is a restaurant in the area, that gives you all the popcorn you can eat.  I think that is what drew him in!

He started to ask to open his gifts the day before his birthday, because it was "just one more day."  I kept telling him he had to wait until his birthday.  I got woken up very early by him so he could open his presents.  I told him he would open them later, after his cupcakes and cookies had been made.  He wasn't horribly amused with that idea.  I remember being a kid though!

That morning, the kids went over to one of our family friends so Keith and I could get some things done around the house, before the party time started.  Keith then picked them up and we met my sister and her husband at Wingers for lunch.  Their gluten-free fryer was down, so they let me have all the salad I wanted for $2.  I had two plates of it.  Thankfully, I love salad!  The birthday had chicken, and all the popcorn he could eat.  They also brought him a huge slice of mint chocolate chip ice cream pie.  He shared it with everyone!

His uncle and his dad then had to run down to Salt Lake to take care of some business.  When they got home, we sang happy birthday and he opened gifts.  I had bought birthday wrapping paper, because I didn't want to wrap his stuff in Christmas wrapping paper, just because we had some.  I got a couple of pictures with my phone, but the rest are on a camera and I don't have access to it to get them off right now.

His big gift was a remote control car and a game called Tenzi, which is dice.  He got a few other smaller things.  He was elated!

In the past year, he started first grade.  He has learned how to read a lot better.  He knows how to cook scrambled eggs, and enjoys doing it.  He loves Monopoly.  He enjoys playing with our dog, Hazel.  Him and his brother share a room and have bunk beds.  They still haven't quite come to terms with which bunk is whose.  They will switch whenever they feel like it.

He loves doing yardwork a lot more than housework.  He will be the first one out there to pull weeds or shovel snow.  He helped to turn the soil in the garden with the shovel.

He loves playing with his siblings.  He has an amazing smile and a good sense of humor.  He hates to get his haircut!  His request for his birthday meal was turkey roast.  We had that the next day, since he didn't give me the request til about 6 pm, and we wouldn't have been eating til after 9 since I would have had to go buy it.

He lost his first tooth on Dec 30.  My sons hold on to their baby teeth, in their mouth, for as long as possible.  He was so excited to finally lose a tooth, so the tooth fairy could come!  He is like me when it comes to getting adult teeth, his adult tooth was growing in behind the baby tooth.

I am so blessed to have this little fellow for a son!

My Toddler Turned Three - October 5

First of all, my toddler turned three on Sunday, October 5.  She wanted to go feed ducks, so we did that.  She is quite easy to please!

She got a lot of clothes for her birthday, as she had been growing like a little weed.  She also got a little box with an owl on it, because she loves owls, and Jenga blocks to play with.

That morning we started off by watching General Conference, which is a semi-annual broadcast from our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We then had her open her gifts, for which she was very excited.  She loves the surprise entailed with presents, but I think she would be just as happy if she was opening empty boxes.

We then had lunch and toward evening, when it had cooled off a little, we went to the park where we feed ducks.  After we fed the ducks, we went on a walk around the park.  She got to walk, instead of ride in her stroller, because she wanted to :)

Her request for dinner was chicken and broccoli casserole.  I didn't realize that we didn't have everything for that, so we had that later in the week.

It is so hard to believe that this little one is now three years-old.  By the time she turned three, she started to urinate in the potty.  She has pooped a few times in it, but I still can't convince her to make that a regular practice.  She will bring me a diaper so she can poop.  If I don't put it on her, she will not go, even when her stomach starts hurting really bad.

Her health has seemed to improve, but she still has times when she gets sick out of blue.  She doesn't want to eat during these times which cause me great stress.  We learned that she is allergic to mosquitoes.  Where she gets bit, it swells right up.  At one point, her whole hand was swollen because she was bitten between her pinky and ring finger of her right hand.

She was weaned, cold turkey on August 4.  I think this was harder for me than it was for her.  She took it pretty well.  I was a nervous wreck, because the times she wouldn't eat, at least she would nurse, and I knew she was getting nourishment she needed.

Her hair grew a lot this year.  It is actually long!  She loves owls, as I mentioned before.  Her great-grandma, who she is named after, loved owls too.  It is amazing to me that there is that kind of connection, because I never have had owls around.  When we were visiting my parents in NY, she had owls around, and my toddler immediately started playing with them.

She loved her summer in New York with her grandparents while my foot was broken.  She would spend hours playing outside in their backyard or sitting on the swing.  I am so blessed to have this little girl as one of my children.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Nightmare, a Five Mile Race and Black Island Farms Corn Maze and Slides

I went to sleep at a decent time last night.  I had been exhausted.  I was out cold by 10:35, then woke up for a moment to see that David Letterman was on, so changed it to Jimmy Fallon.  I do have a preference.  Then quickly fell back to sleep.  At 3:30, approximately, I was roused from my sleep by a very loud scream and crying.  My toddler had a nightmare, or night terror, I am not sure how to tell the difference.  I was awake for the next 2.5 hours, so was she.  That was not what I was expecting as part of preparing for my race that I believed started at 8 am.  I know my alarm went off at 7:16 am.  I know I turned the alarm off.  I was thankful that I woke up at 7:46 am.  I have never gotten ready so quickly for a race in my life!  Thankfully, I knew where everything was that I needed!

I got to the race at 8:01 am.  I was sure that this was one of my race nightmares come true.  I quickly grabbed my MP3 player and exited my van.  I went scurrying around, looking for where the starting line was.  I tried to figure out where everyone was congregating, but when I couldn't figure that out, I figured I would use a port-a-pot....thanks to race day nerves.

I finally found someone and asked them where the starting line was.  She didn't know where that was either, since it was her first year.  I then stated, "I thought the race started at 8."

She replied, "It starts at 8:30."

I then told her the story of my morning (like she cared), and how thankful I was that it was a later start than I thought.  That gave me time to go and change the battery in my MP3 players, since I only had one bar left.  I wouldn't want it to die midrun, although it wouldn't have been the first time that happened to me.

Finally, the call to the starting line was made for the half-marathoners.  I chatted with a couple of women while race directions for the half-marathoners were made.  One of them explained the course, since she was familiar with it.  Then it was time for use five milers to line up.  I always line up toward the back, that way I don't get passed by a lot of people.  We were told that there would be another race on some of the same course we were on.  We had to follow the green arrow, the other race had orange ones.  I made a mental note.  Then the countdown began, backward from 10.

When I crossed the starting line, I started my watch.  Then I just ran, for 1 hour and five minutes.  Unofficially, I ran for 1:08:59.1.  But the half marathoners started a couple of minutes or so ahead of us, and that is when the race clock started that gave the unofficial time.  I still have those moments reminding myself that I ran a 10K in 1:00:15.  I then remind myself that I was 5 years younger, 30 lbs lighter, and hadn't broken my foot a few months before.  The 5 miler was a little more than 5 miles too.  I remember I crossed the five mile mark, and still had a ways to go.  The distance passed the 5 miles, I don't know, but it was a distance, somewhere between .25 mile and .50 mile.

I also saw a woman at an aid station fall down.  She was there by herself.  I couldn't run passed and not find out if she was okay.  When I got to the aid station, I asked her if she was okay.  She stated that she had stepped wrong on her bad ankle and it had rolled causing her to fall.  She was limping around.  I didn't want to continue until I knew she was okay and she assured me that she was.  I was thanked her for her service at the run and continued on.  The conversation didn't last more than one or two minutes I imagine.

Upon finishing the race, I ate a third of a banana and had a glass of chocolate milk.  Then I headed home to pick up my husband and children.  As part of the race registration, I got a free ticket for myself and two guests into the Black Island Farms Corn Maze (where the race started and ended).  I picked them up and we headed back.

They had an area with goats, turkeys, rams, llamas, peacocks and geese.  The photo below is a picture of the children with a kid (baby goat) between them and to the back.  It is brown.  It is hard to see. The children wanted a picture with it though.

After looking at all of the animals, we continued on to several slides.  There is a really long one that looks like it was made out of a plastic pipe.  

This is a picture of my husband going down the slide with my toddler.  She turned three on October 5.  It is so hard for me to believe that my baby is three now!  She is enjoying seeing a photo of her and her daddy on here, with the slide!

This is a picture of my oldest son, he is 11.  They had to ride a burlap sack down, probably to help with going down quicker.  I had to time the photo so that it would get them before they went passed the view of the lens.  So, I had to take it when they were still in the tube.  

This is my oldest daughter, at age 10.  She enjoyed her trip down the tube also.  That was one of the favorite things of the day.

This is a picture of my youngest son, he is six.  Another big fan of the slide!  He went down the slide several times!

Here is my toddler climbing up a rope ladder.  She wasn't a fan of that.  This led to a smaller slide.  Immediately after taking this photo, she exclaimed that she was scared.  I got her off of that.  She and her dad went down the slide together.  He helped her get to the top of that pile of hay.

After the kids got tired of sliding, they announced that it was time to enter the corn maze.  This was the first corn maze any of us had done, except for my husband.  It was an exciting moment, and a little nerve wrecking.  My biggest fear was one of the kids taking off into the corn and getting lost for minutes, hours, or days.  Nothing that I enjoy thinking about... I took a picture of my husband with the children and took one of me with the children, then we continued into the maze.  

 I tried to show off my race number, but it just didn't all show up!  I was number 1009.  Those are some really beautiful children, in my own opinion!  I am blessed to have each one of them.

As we traversed the corn maze, the children took turns picking each turn, from oldest to youngest.  They enjoyed being in control of our destiny.  We went in a few circles.   Phase 1 of the corn maze took us about 10 minutes to go through. 

Then we entered Phase 2, which took considerably longer.  Phase 2 turned into Phase 3 at a tower.  I turned on my stopwatch when we entered Phase 2. We let the children decide our fate, until they got tired of being in the corn maze.  Then we found the tower again, took a look, my husband figured out how to get us out, and we followed him.  We got out of the maze after 39 minutes.  Oh, I didn't mention... I have a horrible sense of direction!  My toddler did make it out of the maze, but she really was tired of it!  She didn't want to be in the above photo, but after I took it, she wanted to be in one, so we have the photo below too!

It was a really fun morning/afternoon with my husband and children.  I was thankful that I got to run the race, and that I was able to run the whole time.  I was thankful that we then got to have this family time together.  It was fun to see the children working together to get us through the mazes.  They worked really well to try to figure out the turns.  Sometimes, my toddler would lead us a way the children didn't think we should go, but we all went anyway.  In the end, we made it out and we had a good, memorable time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Veggie Picking

Last month, we loaded all the kids into the car.  We decided we would go and get a bunch of veggies from a local "you pick" farm.  We filled up a box, which is an estimated bushel, with eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.  It was a lot of fun to go out there and get some fresh veggies. The veggies were enjoyable.  The kids were proud of what we got...

I am not sure we will ever do that again.  I have no clue what to do with that many peppers, green beans, and eggplants.  We added some things to our neighbor's compost pile.  I did have some fresh veggies before they met that fate though.  Keith ate a bunch of the green peppers.  We discovered there really isn't anything to do with eggplant, except to make eggplant lasagna.  My daughter cooked a lot of the green beans, and those were really good to eat.

Things I learned, apparently you don't have to have tomato cages.  There were hundreds, if not thousands, of tomato plants, and there wasn't a single one of them with a tomato cage.  They were all just sprawled across the ground.  Not anything I had ever thought of doing, but it seems to work.

I learned that it is easy to fill a bushel basket with eggplants, although there really isn't a use for eggplants.  Have you tasted one?  I don't appreciate the taste of a raw eggplant...  I imagine I would feel the same way about a boiled one.

I guess I am posting the picture because I really enjoy seeing the children :)  I thought I would give a little background to it.  I will continue to wish that we lived back east, where we could have filled that box with blueberries, and freeze them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Every Step Counts

It was May 30, 2014, I was minding my own business, the best I could.  My toddler had been diagnosed with strep throat the day before.  We were invited to a beginning of summer S'mores party at a friend's house.  I sent my husband and three older children with all the necessary fixins.

I stayed home with the little one, because, to be honest, who wants to have a sick kid around?!  If it isn't my sick kid, I prefer to not have them around.  As a mom, I have always tried to be responsible; not bring my kids to church sick, and not send them to school sick.  So, as much as I LOVE burnt marshmallows (more than you can understand reading this), I stayed home.

I figured while I was home, I should exercise.  I did 12 minutes of running in place, in 20 second increments. Run 20 seconds, rest 20 seconds, and so on, for 12 minutes total.  I ran for six minutes and rested for six minutes, but when you do the running as fast as you possibly can, it can really poop you out!  Then I thought, well, why don't I do some push-ups, on the stairs.  I proceeded to do that.  I can't even begin to tell you how many I did, because what happened next led to the worst pain in my entire life.  Yes, I am including childbirth.  Possibly because I got to see, or hold, or know I would see soon, the most amazing little person in the world.  I had four of those most amazing little people...

I stood up, started coming down the stairs, and didn't realize how far up I was.  I took, what I imagined was, the last step.  Well, it was one of the last steps I took for six weeks.  I was at least two stairs up higher than I thought.  I took that step, and I knew, mid-air, that I had done something drastically wrong.  I landed directly on my ankle.  Everything that could pop in my left foot, did pop.

I was still at home, with my toddler.  My husband and three older children were still gone.  My husband doesn't use a cell phone.  Thankfully, one of my friends, went to the party too.  I sent her a message to send my husband home, telling her that I was pretty sure I broke my ankle.  I sent this message, via my Facebook on the computer, since I didn't have a cell either.  My toddler wasn't amused that her sobbing Mom was taking the computer from her.  Like I said, the most painful thing in my life...

My husband arrived home, probably 20 minutes later.  I was still sobbing.  But, I had known, that I was going to deal with the pain through the night.  With the aid of Mobu Herbals PM Pain Lotion, acetaminophen, ice, and elevation, I made it through the night.  My husband and I don't have health insurance.  The Urgent Care location that we have a membership to had closed at 8 pm.  It was 8:15 pm when it happened.  There was no way I was going to an ER to pay them $1000's when I could go to the Urgent Care for $10.

I found out that I broke the third metatarsal in my foot and sprained my ankle.  As to how I didn't break my ankle, that is still well beyond my grasp.  Anyway, I was put in a splint for 4-6 weeks.  My parents came out the following week to help me out, since this happened the day the children got out of school for the summer.

I would spend the next six weeks in this.  Non-weight bearing, on crutches.  That is when I realized that it was a very bad idea to ever buy a house without a bathroom on the main level.  If you take nothing else from reading this, only buy a house that has a bathroom on the main level!  My parents stayed out here for four weeks.  Then we headed back east.  I brought my four children with me.  We stayed there for six weeks.  At the six week mark, I got to switch to a boot and start putting minimal weight on my foot.

That was a happy day in my life, being able to walk on two feet again, even if it was with crutches.  I was excited to be done with the splint.  I was excited to have two feet on the ground again.  I was minimum weight bearing for two weeks.  Then I got rid of the crutches, at eight weeks.  That was also a great day in my life!  Crutch free!  I used my boot for about 2 1/2 more weeks, mostly because I forgot to bring my other shoe back to New York with me when I left.

I noticed, at about five or six weeks, that the muscle in my leg was starting to disappear.  It wasn't a nice day to notice that, especially since there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  It was hard to basically see a lot of loose skin, where muscle used to be.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to it, mostly because I couldn't change it.

I didn't realize, until today, how much that muscle really mattered.  Although there was nothing I could do about losing it, because I don't know that you can strengthen it, when you can't even put your weight on it, let alone any other weight.  I started "running" again on Saturday.  The time it takes to run two miles is not anything I would ever brag about.  I timed it on Monday, and it is basically a 14:20 mile, over two miles.  I wasn't amused at all about that time, since it is more than four minutes slower than my fastest time.  Heck, I had run 2 miles in less than four minutes slower than that mile.

As I walked today, the same distance that I ran on Monday, in the same spot, I realized something.  Maybe it isn't right, but it is the conclusion I came to.  This left leg of mine does not have the necessary muscle for the foot turnover rate that it used to have.  On top of that, my foot, ankle and heel still bother me.  I am sure that there are several tendons and ligaments torn up in there.  I can't afford to get it fixed, and even I could, I don't think I would.  I have heard too many stories of feet/ankles being worse after surgery than they were before.

From this point on, I will remember that it isn't about the time right now, it is about rebuilding the muscle that was lost in six weeks of not bearing weight, two additional weeks of bearing minimal weight, and a total of 14 weeks without running.  I also have to remember that I gained weight, so I am also hauling around additional weight.  Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers to help correct that issue.

I will get back to running how I used to, but I guess I have to build back up to that.  EVERY STEP COUNTS!!