Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's worth it.

I don't remember when I stopped eating sugar. It's been a while now. At first is was sooo hard. But not so much now.

I've had plenty of opportunities to have a piece of cake or candy or a cookie... but never gave in. And it feels good. I finally have some power over food!

The best thing about it though... sugar was a huge part of my calories and since I stopped eating it I have lost four pounds!! It's been slow coming off but the only thing I really changed was the sugar eating. Of course I have replaced that with more fruit... but no other real change. (I do go to the gym... but I did that before too.)

I am not only three pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight! Go me!! Of course Jason is almost a year and a half now so it's about time I get down to it.

Life without sugar isn't so bad. Actually I feel a lot better a lot of the time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Three days!

Three days of sleeping in.

Three days of eating without having to cut up food.

Three days of not having to stop what I am doing because it's nap time.

Three days of being able to stay out later then 8:00.

Three days that I don't have to change any diapers!

Three days of no crying and whining from the kids.

Three days without little kid videos.

Three days where I won't have to pick up toys... or walk around them.

Three days without kids.

Three whole days of just me and Michael!!

I can not wait for this weekend!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Potty Progress!

I know that I have said a few times now that I think Liza just might have it down and then it was obvious that she didn't... BUT... I really think she's got it this time. I think we are FINALLY in that home stretch.

She has not had an accident since Friday and she is going on her own... all the time! I rarely have to remind her anymore.

Aannnnnd... for those of you who have gone before in the dreadful stage of potty training you will understand how great this is... she is pooping in the potty and not in her underwear!!! (I know... just the information you want to know!)

I was sooo tired of the accidents and cleaning up. I was so frustrated. On Friday morning I was about ready to go to the gym and I went to tell Liza it was time to go pee so we could leave. I am pretty sure she peed her pants about two seconds before that. I was so frustrated because it took about an hour to convince myself to go to the gym and having to clean up after her would just make me rushed and late. So I told her she had to sit in her bed while I cleaned up and that I was putting all her big girl panties away because she couldn't keep them dry and clean... and then I had her watch me put them all away in her closet.

She was a little upset and kept asking for panties or a diaper because I was making her go bare bummed. (I tried that before and she peed all over the kitchen chair without a care so I was kind of nervous to try it again.) It worked. She hasn't had an accident since. And you would be amazed at the number of times she has pooped in the past few days. It's getting ridiculous.

You want to know what worked to get her to poop? I'll tell you... Whenever I come home from Panera Bread I always have a cup of iced tea because it's only smart to fill up your cup before you leave when there are free refills. Liza loves getting a drink of mommy's tea. So one night I got home with some tea and she saw it and I took a drink and told her how good it was and then I told her she doesn't get any until she poops on the potty. (I know... mean Mommy!) The next morning she did it and was sooo excited to get some tea! Go figure... Iced tea (not even sweet!) and marshmallows.

Anyways... it's really good that we seem to have got this far with it because on the weekend my wonderful parents are keeping the kids for us Friday, Saturday and Sunday!!! Michael and I are sooo looking forward to the break and are having fun exploring all the ideas of things that we will get to do.

Hooray for potty progress!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm a lucky girl!

This is my handsome husband Michael...

Michael is wonderful! He is so good to me that it almost isn't fair. I've never met someone more caring, patient, understanding or accepting.

This past week has been a difficult one for me. I've been tired, depressed, frustrated... exhausted. Michael listened as I went on and on and on and on complaining about the why behind each one of those... then he stepped in and lifted my burden for a while.

He has given me so much time to just unwind, get time to myself, get out of the house... and even to just lay around and do nothing or get lost in a book. He's been doing a lot around the house and taking care of the kids.

I have to say that he has saved my sanity and I am the luckiest girl alive. Mike loves me unconditionally... even on the days that I really do not deserve it. Because of him I want to be a better person and learn to love like he does.

(Currently... the kids are napping, I just woke up from a nap... and Mike is out doing the grocery shopping!! He's a good man!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Playing on Papa's tractor.

Last night we went to visit with Mike's family because they were having a birthday party for his youngest sister... who just turned 16.

The kids love going there because there are lots of people ready to play with them and a lot of wide open space to run around in. Last night Papa had one of his tractors out in the yard and the kids had a great time playing on it.

My favorite picture from the night...

I have learned to put clothes on the kids that are ok to get dirty when visit because I know they are going to play hard and get lots of dirt all over themselves... and I love that they do!

I love my Liza.

Even though I can often get sooo frustrated with Liza that I want to lock her in her room and never let her out again... I have to admit that there are sooo many times that she still makes my heart melt.

Nap time is always at 1:00. Liza doesn't always fall asleep right away but she always stays in her bed until she does.

Well today about 40 minutes after putting her down for her nap I heard these little sounds coming from her room. I opened her door to find her out of bed, standing at her shelves that hold a bunch of her toys. I said "What are you doing!?" and she said "pee!"

Without much looking around or thinking we just ran to the bathroom. When she was done I went to put her back in bed. That is when I realized that she had cleaned her room! She wasn't out of bed playing... she was out of bed cleaning her room!!!

Can't get mad about that haha.

Makes me smile every time I watch it...

In case you have not seen this video yet I decided I should post it. It is definitely one worth taking a few minutes to watch. It makes me so happy when I watch it... and I have definitely needed more happiness in my life these past few days. So here is hoping it makes you happy too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Life has been stressful lately. It's been a hard year for me... one big hit after another. Just when I think I am just about done dealing with one thing another big problem enters my life. I am feeling a bit beat down and discouraged.

Add to life the fact that I am trying to get Liza potty trained and she just doesn't care, Jason is still getting his fangs which makes him fussy, Liza decided to enter some strange phase that has her crying and whining all the time and Jason copies everything Liza does so he is crying and whining all the time too. That is the perfect, foolproof mix for one tired, cranky, stressed out momma.

I've been pretty negative. It's easy to be negative. It's harder to be positive and find the bright side. I don't know if I have the energy right now. (Not to mention it is no fun to be hurting on the inside.) Depression is not fun... but that's kind of where I am right now.

I'm often the encourager... it's in me. I do it without even thinking. But right now I just need someone to encourage me. I am mad at God. I am mad at life. I'm tired of trying and ready to give up. (Don't read that wrong... I'm certainly not suicidal or anything... just tired.) I want to know who encourages the encourager... because I need to find that person.

I don't want to have to be the strong one today. I don't want to have to carry the load of making sure my kids grow up with a good, Christian foundation and morals today. I don't want to have to guess why my friends seem to have a three year expiration date anymore. I want to know why it seems there is no road back to a great relationship with God for me. And I have to admit that a massage would be REALLY nice.

Anyways... that's where I am at. This is the real me. I like to be open about struggles because I know that I am not alone. Life happens. And if we never tell people our problems no one can ever really know what kind of help we need at the moment. I've let a lot of people lean on me over the years... I guess all I am asking is that I be able to lean on others for a while. I've been running on empty for far to long and soon I will have nothing to give if I don't get myself better.

Blog Hop: Favorite Recipe or Dish

While checking out some random blogs... because that is what I do sometimes when I am bored... I came across this MckLinky blog hop. I guess each week they have a different topic and then everyone gets linked so it is easy to go from one to the next. Since this weeks topic is "favorite recipe or dish" I thought I would give it a try and maybe find some good recipes (and blogs!) along the way.

One of my all time favorite recipes is Mac-n-Cheese in the crock pot. It is great for play dates, picnics and the kids' birthdays... not to mention it is extremely easy and sooo so YUMMY! So much better than Kraft boxed stuff. Enjoy.

Slow-Cooked Mac’n’cheese

1 package (16 ounce) elbow macaroni
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (10-¾ ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add butter. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk and 3 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with paprika.

Yield: 10 servings. (It's way more than ten servings... unless you are feeding a bear! But that is what the cookbook says.)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey Jason...

Where is your nose?

Where are your eyes?

Where is your mouth?

Where are your ears?

Where is your hair?

Where is your belly?

Where are your feet?

Where are your hands?

Where is your tongue?

My baby is 17 months today!! I love Jason sooo much. He brings so much joy to my life... and everyone else's. Whenever I pick him up from child care at the gym or the nursery at church the workers are always saying how much they enjoyed him, how much he smiles, commenting on how much personality he has. He is just growing up. And sometimes I have to remind myself that he is ONLY 17 months. Some days he seems much older... maybe that is because he is watching Liza and doing every thing she does. And he is talking a ton. Learning new words all the time. And his little sign language... too cute! (That's another blog.)

As much as I would love for Jason to stay little... to stay this age... I can't wait to see what he is learning and doing tomorrow!

My perfect little angel.

Yeah right!

Liza is the worlds greatest fake crier. When she gets upset she doesn't cry... she just pretends to. It's quite annoying. She has also taught Jason how to do this. So I will have two fake criers at the same time. SUPER annoying. I usually just leave the room. But this time.... Our friends were over to visit and I was just tired of it. I had my camera around my neck so when Liza started faking I just started taking pictures of her. It was kind of fun.

And when I just showed Liza the pictures she laughed and said "silly face!"

Silly girl.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lollipop, lollipop....

Liza can be quite the little stinker... especially when I get my camera out. She will refuse to smile and will look in any direction except for somewhere near the camera. It gets frustrating because she is sooo so beautiful and I LOVE taking pictures of her. Maybe someday she will learn to be all cute and pose... maybe.

She got a blue lollipop the other day for using the potty and she ended up with a blue tongue and face. I was able to get a picture of her and then show it to her. She was definitely amused and continued to let me take pictures of her.

I love her smile. I love her eyes... and I definitely love her faces!!

Liza is going to have a gazillion pictures of herself by the time she moves out someday. I just can't help myself.

Project 365

July 13, 2009

Liza got this puzzle as a present during potty training. I figured I would have to sit and do it with her... which I did do it twice with her... She didn't want to stop so I told her she had to do it on her own... and she did!!! It took a while but she did it without much help from me at all.

July 14, 2009

Liza got a lollipop for using the potty. She was amused with her blue tongue.

July 15, 2009

We took a walk up and down the road today. When I take the kids out by myself I always put on their monkeys. (You could call it a leash. I know people hate them... if you are one of those people don't hate me for using them!!) Jason was tugging on the tail and saying "Guck!!! Guck!" (That is Jason speak for "stuck! Stuck!") He likes to run.

July 16, 2009
I slacked today and didn't use the camera.

July 17, 2009

Ava came over to play with Liza today. They are really cute together... and they are both potty training and when one goes the other has to go too. It's fun.

July 18, 2009

Jason has been watching Liza and decided that he likes to sit on the litte potty while she is on the big one. Too bad he isn't a little bit older because he's been doing everything she does and would probably be trained in a day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Potty TrainED??

We have made GREAT progress with the potty training! Liza is doing so well!! And it's so crazy that my little baby girl is running around in big girl panties! I can't believe it some days.

I have to admit that potty training has got to be one of my least favorite parts of parenting. Probably even worse than having to get up a few times a night with a newborn. It was so frustrating because I knew that Liza could do it... it was just a matter of finding the right motivator to get her to do it. We went through all kinds of "special snacks"... M&Ms, gummy bears, raisins, etc. Nothing worked for much more than half a day... then she would lose interest.

What did we find that finally worked? Presents. Yeah. Liza was expensive during this potty training. I raided the dollar stores and the dollar isles at Target and any other place I could get to. I wrapped them up and put them in a bag. The first day Liza got a present every time she peed. She was going A LOT. She wanted those presents. After that we started to spread it out and she had to fill so many boxes with stickers before she got presents.

All through this we used the advice from On Becoming Potty Wise (From the authors of Baby Wise which is the BEST baby book EVER!). They say to focus on staying dry and clean and so we did. Liza likes to tell me know that she keeps her big girl panties dry and clean. Except she doesn't always keep them clean. Actually... getting her to poop in the potty has been a problem... but I think we are starting to see some progress there too. I hope!!

I've been missing our morning routine of getting up and going to the gym during this potty training time. I decided that Liza was doing good enough and it was time to get back. So today we went... and Liza did AWESOME! They said she peed twice while there. (Only an hour and a half.) I doubt she really had to go and was probably just more fascinated with their real potty that was kid sized. Anyways... the ladies that watch the kids at the gym are GREAT! They are sooo helpful with the potty training and I am really comfortable after today with taking Liza back. She is well taken care of and they will make sure she gets to the potty if she hasn't told them she had to go for a while.

I still feel that it is kind of risky to take her out... but honestly... she hasn't peed in her pants for three days now. I think it's time for me to get over my fears and convince myself that if Liza pees her pants at the store or a friends house that it won't be the end of the world. Life WILL go on.

Go Liza!!

No more backseat driving.

I've been doing a "Bible study" with some friends called For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. It's a tough one!! It takes us into the inner thought life of men and let me tell you... I can't believe some of things I read!! But if I am honest I have to say the information is probably right (especially considering that she did a lot of surveys to get her information) and being that it is probably right has meant that I have needed to make a lot of changes.

One of those changes... no more "backseat driving".

I'm sure I'm not the only wife to think that her husband doesn't know how to drive just because he doesn't do everything in the car just as I would. Because of this I would be constantly telling him to slow down, hit the brakes, don't go yet, etc. Of course, Mike is an excellent driver and has never got me in an accident.

In reading this book I have found that doing little things like keeping my mouth shut while Mike is driving is a little way that I can let him know that I trust him. Feldhahn says...

"We don't realize that the act of forcing ourselves to trust our men in these little things means so much to them, but it does. It's not a big deal to us, so we don't get that it's a big deal to them. We don't get that our responses to these little choices to trust or not trust--or at least act like we do!--are interpreted as signs of our overall trust and respect for them as men."

SO... I've been trying to keep my mouth shut in the car. I try to catch myself before I throw my hand out in the signal that lets him know he should be slowing down already. I'll often get my hand half way out and then pull it back and sit on it. Or I let a word get out but stop myself before finishing the phrase.

I have no idea if Mike has noticed this. I haven't really told Mike much about the study (and he doesn't read my blog so this should be safe) because I don't want him to know everything that I am working on right now. I will tell him in a few weeks when I am done with the study. However... if he does notice me stopping half way or sitting on my hands with a really tense look on my face he probably thinks I have gone nuts.

It's just a habit that I need to change.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh crappy day!

Let me just tell you all the things that have already gone wrong in my day... it's almost humorous... almost.

1. Liza pooped in her underwear.
2. I threw up before I even got around to finishing my breakfast.
3. Throwing up has left me with no appetite... but I'm hungry.
4. Jason threw his plate on the floor during lunch... twice. He never does that. After the second time I put him on the floor and let him eat off the floor.
5. My dishwasher broke and I have a sink full of dishes because I decided to get dinner ready during lunch.
6. Last night we cleaned out the fridge because today is garbage day... so I have all those dishes as well.
7. Jason is teething which makes him SUPER fussy. He has been crying soooo easily today and just wants to be held. But when you puke in the morning you kind of just want someone to hold you. It's all backwards.
8. I burned the granola. Grr.
9. Mike called at lunchtime and said he probably won't be home until after dinner. Ugh.

And it's only 1:15!

I always like to find the bright side to things so here goes....

At least Liza hasn't peed in her underwear since yesterday during her nap. The fridge is cleaned out... kind of. If I have no appetite and don't eat that can count as the calories burned during my workout which I missed today. I rent so I don't have to pay to fix the dishwasher. (If I did have to pay I would be at the store buying one right now.) My dishwasher is right beside the sink so I can use it as a drying rack since I don't have one. And lastly... at least my husband will come home tonight.

I guess I should get to doing those dishes.

Temptation at it's best.

There was a chocolate fountain at my sister-in-law's bridal shower!!! Normally I would have thought that this was the most amazing thing EVER but since I am not eating sugar and I LOOOVE chocolate it was kind of torture. Thankfully I knew they were having one before I went so I was able to get used to the idea... and I didn't have ANY! But I'm tellin ya... they had strawberries and pretzels for dipping and those are the two best things to have with chocolate. I could eat a ton of either.... or both!

I think this past week was the hardest as far as sugar goes. I'm not gonna lie... I've been wanting it. I am a comfort eater and when I am stressed I convince myself that I deserve to eat like a pig and my favorite way to do it is with ice cream or donuts or chocolate. And I have been STRESSED!! This whole potty training thing is getting to me... but I think it is starting to go better. Anyways... I've been bribing Liza with M&Ms so they are IN THE HOUSE! Not good for when I am stressed. But I've been keeping away from them.

The hardest part with the M&Ms.... say I want to give Liza five but I accidentally grab seven. The most natural thing to do is to just eat the extra two. I've caught myself with my hand on my way to my mouth quite a few times and it felt so unnatural to make myself put them back in the bag.... but I do it every time. Ooooh... and I even had a dream about the M&Ms! This was the dream....

I was hanging out and someone pointed at me and said "Laura! You are eating M&Ms!! That's sugar!" And I started to say "No I'm not" but that was when I realized that I was indeed chewing a big mouthful of M&Ms and had the bag in my hand and hadn't even realized what I was doing. And of course I got super bummed because I was going to have to send my sister a lot of money because it was a lot of M&Ms.

I think this all just goes to show how much of a habit bad eating had become for me! Yikes! I'm serious... it really feels unnatural to say no. But it is continuing to get easier and easier. And I think it is probably a good sign that I am starting to crave good, sweet fruit more than I want sugar and junk.

Still working on it.

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