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So? Did you do it? Did you take the challenge? Did you reconnect with your long lost self? *Which in my case happens to be 20 pounds thinner yet far more insecure*. If you did take the challenge, I want to know about it. Tell me you all did something? Play along and save me from feeling sheepish! Oh, and I took my own challenge in case you were wondering. Here’s my scoop:

Four months ago I started exercising. I started very slowly, as in 2 or 3, twenty five minute cardio sessions per week. For two months I did this, knowing it probably wouldn’t lose me any weight but wanting to feel more fit and build stamina. Two months ago I upped it to four days per week and began adding some target specific toning sessions (ah, but the stomach will never be the same again no matter what I do). I also began substituting the majority of my sweet cravings with low fat vanilla yogurt.

You can imagine my disappointment then, when with the addition of exercise and slightly better diet in my life I saw the scale staying at 140. I pondered how this could be, very discouraged. But then it came to my attention that sometimes nursing mothers have a very difficult time dropping the pounds. I don’t know if there is scientific fact behind that, but most of the nursing mother’s I’ve talked to say they really couldn’t lose all the weight until after they had finished nursing. So I decided to wean the Angel girl.

WAIT! Lest you think I’m a truly selfish mother, I’ll have you know that Angel girl is 13 months old and I had been wanting to wean her for a few weeks prior to learning that weaning might help me achieve my weight loss goal. It was more than I ever hoped for to be able nurse her for a full year, but it was definitely time for us. I knew that when I realized she was using me more as a pacifier than as a source of nourishment. 😉

So on May 12 I cut out one feeding. On May 14 I cut out another feeding. On May 15 I cut out another feeding. On May 16 I nursed my darling baby for the last time and it was so bittersweet. But the adjustment for both of us has gone remarkably well. She loves her sippy filled with whole milk just fine and I’ve had very little discomfort in the way of engorgement.

In addition to weaning this last week, I put on a little bit of make up every day. I also upped my workout to 5, thirty five minute cardio sessions (plus I’m still doing the target specific toning). Even though I haven’t lost weight I feel fantastic and have so much more stamina than I did four months ago. But here’s hoping I am finally on the way to a slimmer me!

Click on and sign the Mr. Linky below to tell me about what you did this last week to reconnect with the woman inside.

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Death by Chocolate


“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Fanny Fern (1811-1872)

Hubby knows I’m especially fond of him when I make him something I myself can’t eat

Oh I know, it looks sorta plain from the outside.

But then you cut into it…

…and the gorging begins.

It’s the best homemade present I could give my hubby for his birthday, which is today by the way.

I know ya’ll want some, and it is soooo ridiculously easy to make, so give it a try.

Molten Lava Cake

6 oz. Semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chocolate
10 Tablespoons unsalted real Butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Grease four 6 oz. ramekins and dust with cocoa powder instead of flour.
3. In a double boiler melt the butter and chocolate, whisking every now and again till smooth.
4. Whisk in the powdered sugar and flour. It may get a little clumpy but it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth before adding the eggs.
5. Add the three whole eggs and the additional 3 egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
6. Pour into the ramekins and place each ramekin on your oven rack.
7. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until the cakes are firm around the edges but soft and still somewhat sunken in the center. (Remember to make timing adjustments based on your altitude. You may need to shave off or add a few minutes)
8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife and level off any overflow
9. Invert each ramekin onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar and garnish if desired. Serve warm.

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Fateful Day

We all have one. A day. The day. The day where something in our lives changed drastically forever. For me, May 14, 2005 was that day.

The morning started off with the usual routine. I took my thyroid medication for my Hypo-thyroidism. Then I took a new pill, 40mgs of Celexa. I had been having severe anxiety issues and had asked my new doctor if I could get back onto an anti-depressant. After an evaluation she agreed that I ought to be on one. So I began my treatment. And after that, the details become so very clear.

It was approximately 8:00 a.m. when I took the Celexa.

Exactly 2/12 hours later at 10:30 a.m. as I sat on the couch watching Rolie Polie Olie with my kids I began to feel a little nauseated. I went back to the bathroom thinking I would throw up but then the wave dissipated. I sat back onto the couch when another wave hit, this one twice as strong and with it came the feeling that I was losing consciousness. Suddenly I felt something was very wrong.
My arms were pulsing with warmth. Warmth shot from my head down to my toes. Every muscle in my body began quivering. I dialed my husband to tell him to come home. He could tell I sounded panicked and tried to talk me through what I was feeling. As I started talking to him my body calmed down slightly but towards the end of our conversation that jolting nausea accompanied by struggling to keep conscious surfaced. I told him I was passing out. Then I screamed into the phone that I was dying. I was sure if I lost consciousness I would be dead.

After I hung up the phone I found myself shaking violently again. I knelt down on the floor desperately trying to retch. But I couldn’t. My children were nearby asking me what was wrong. I just told them to watch the TV.

The shaking and zinging feelings shooting from my head and into my arms got worse and worse. I couldn’t even stand. With a prayer on my lips I crawled into the hallway until I couldn’t crawl anymore and curled up next to the bathroom. I couldn’t stop the trembling that had consumed my body. I felt so sick but I couldn’t throw up. My kids came into the hallway and hovered near me and I told them how much I loved them. Then I prayed that my husband would get home soon enough after I had died that they wouldn’t get into any major trouble running around the house on their own.

To be continued…

P.S. I have to continue it. I can’t write anymore. I thought I had worked up the courage to share this story but I’m actually shaking as I relive it.

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Make blogging easier

I had been blogging for about 4 months before I discovered the beauty of a feed reader. I can’t even remember how I discovered it, but when I did it was a joyous occasion.

Before using a reader I would find myself clicking on the links in my blogroll at all times of day, waiting for the blog to load only to be disappointed that there wasn’t a new post up yet. It took a lot of time and I was getting to the point where I didn’t think I could keep up anymore when I learned about Google Reader.
All you need to be able to use it is a Gmail account. Once you log in you click on Add Subscription and type in the url of a blog you like to read. Then add another one and so on. You can have as many blogs in your reader as you like.

The purpose of the reader is to consolidate all of your favorite blogs in one place with notifications when they have been updated. Now I just check my reader twice a day instead of clicking on each individual blog link without knowing if it’s been updated or not. It’s a terrific time saver and works well for me!

P.S. -Are you a mom up for a Challenge?

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I think it’s great that we have one day a year devoted to us. Of course, we are mothers every day but our husbands don’t make us pancakes for breakfast every day. Our husbands don’t make us our dinner of choice (steak, sauteed mushrooms and asparagus) every day. Our kids don’t thank us for being their mommy every day. So this one day that promotes that kind of behavior is pretty cool in that respect. Because we do an awful lot as moms. Whether we stay at home or work, our emotional and physical load is more than those around us might ever realize. It’s important to be good mothers.

BUT…

We need to remember that being a good mother, starts with being a good woman. If we’re not taking care of ourselves on all levels, it’s hard to adequately care for those who depend on us. So this Mother’s day, make some goals to rediscover the woman behind the mother and take better care of yourself.

Lay off on the ice cream a little

Find your inner ‘sexy’…

But don’t take yourself too seriously

Hang out with just ‘the girls’ every now and again
Why don’t I know someone who throws parties like this

Learn something new or start back up on an old hobby.
Next on my to learn list:Hair Bows!

Make your self up on occasion

Like, more often than every 9 years which is how long ago this picture was taken. I actually used a diffuser to turn my waves into semi-curls. That’s the most work I’ve ever spent on my hair.

And even if you happen to leave the house feeling scary looking…

…hold your head up high

Are you in on the challenge? Here’s how it works:

1. Pick one of the above things to work on or make up your own to get in touch with the woman behind the mom. Or if you don’t have time to start on something, you can tell us about what you’re planning to do.
2. Come back here on Monday May 19, 2008 and tell us about it. I’ll have a Mr. Linky up for you to sign. You can put up your post (or posts if you’re ambitious) before then of course, just be sure when you link up that you link to your actual post and not your front page.
3. While not required, I would love for you to spread the word so other moms can get in on the fun. So blog about it in a post or grab the button below and I’ll be very grateful. I might even have a little something special for one lucky participant. 

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BUTTON CODENote-you have to retype in all the quotation marks cause they’re coming out skewed here for some reason:
<a href=”http://summersnook.com/2008/05/11/mothers-day-challenge/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee24/summeresque/womanbutton.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Because mine can. Which I discovered yesterday after he came to me clutching his chest, sobbing that he had.

I was skeptical for a moment, wondering if he really knew what he was saying. Besides, he had learned long ago ago not to put money or other non-food objects in his mouth. But then I remembered that childhood lessons are often learned through experience because parental council is ignored.

I pulled out a nickel, dime, penny and quarter and asked him to point the one he had swallowed. Yes, he pointed to the quarter and it was then that I called the doctor. I assumed she would tell me it would just pass on through and to not worry, instead she told me to take him to the ER immediately.

I grabbed the baby, called the hubby and took my kids out the door. I figured the situation was not immediately life threatening so was pretty calm until my 4 year old boy looked up at me and said with tears in his eyes, “Aw miss you.”

“What do you mean you’ll miss me?” I asked
“Cause I gonna died,” he said.

Yeah. I lost it.

“You are not going to die sweetie. You’ll be ok.” I said as we both cried.

Once at the hospital the ER staff was quick and friendly. They took an x-ray of Obi Wan’s tummy and we saw the quarter sitting in his tummy (darn that I didn’t have my camera on me to show you how big it looked in his little body). He thought that was very cool.

They made us walk around for another hour to make sure the quarter could move past the sphincter (which if it didn’t we would have been transferred to another hospital to have it removed using a scope).

Thankfully, the x-ray taken an hour later showed that the quarter had moved into his intestines. Upon being discharged the nurse explained what symptoms to watch for that would tell us if it got stuck, but she reassured us that it really ought to pass through fine and get pooped out in a couple of days. Upon hearing this Obi-Wan, in his high pitched loud voice yelled, “COME OUT IN MY POOP?!?!?!?!? Oh, I gotta go poop wight now!” A chorus of laughter could be heard from patients, nurses and doctors. Yeah, that’s my boy.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am he swallowed it whole instead of choking on it. Now I suppose it’s time to clean out the couches so he’s not tempted by anymore stray coins.

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I’m not the only one who has a social hermit for a husband right?

He always enjoys himself when he attends large gatherings and the like but I have to drag him along every time. So that is why I’m always eager to let him hang with someone doing something he enjoys when the invite comes along. Which isn’t very often. He doesn’t know any other guys out here well enough to just go and chill. He used to golf with one or two every couple weeks or so but they’ve since moved away. So you can imagine my delight when he got a call today from someone we know through church, asking him if he wanted to go fly fishing.
*I may or may not have discovered this person was a fly fisherman and practically begged asked him to invite my husband on an outing with him at least once.

Hubby was a huge fly fisherman back when we lived in Utah but he hasn’t gone out for 5 years now, what with work and family life being most important. But I know he wishes he could and really loves the sport.

So hubby timidly told me this person had left a message for him but that he wouldn’t call back if I didn’t want him to go. After all my mom is in town and I had planned for her to take a family picture of us at some flower gardens this afternoon.

Well forget that! We can go tomorrow!
I told him to hurry and call back. In the meantime I went looking for some of his fly fishing equipment that I was betting I had stored in different boxes in all different areas of the apartment. It only took a moment to find his fishing vest for him and he gathered the rest of his tools, including his rod. That was when he realized he didn’t see his reel and he had no idea where it was. Likely I had packed it away too but could I remember where? No, and his buddy would be here very soon.

So crazydear little wife that I am, I ransacked my house. Every place I thought it might be became an instant mess as I pulled out boxes, bags and the like. I tore apart our bedroom closet, the hallway closet, the entry way closet and the storage area beneath our bed in search of his reel so he could get out and do something he loved with somebody other than me.

In the end we couldn’t find it and his fishing buddy was waiting downstairs. Hubby glumly called him and informed him the reel was not to be found. But fishing buddy relayed the fact that he had an extra reel Hubby could use. Hooray!

As Hubby grabbed his stuff to run out the door I jokingly told him that he owed me big time. But all I really needed in return for my ransacking my house was given me at the door – a quick kiss and the happy look on his face as he walked out the door.

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