Monday, March 31, 2014

Drop It Like It's Hot: Week 1

I made it through my first week and am still here to tell about it!  I am happy with my 1.4 pound loss for the first week.  I am sure I could have done better (ahem, weekends are tough) but I am happy to have lost more than a pound with no real form of exercise. 
Some things that I noticed: 
·         I snack when I’m bored.  (Especially on the weekends.)
·         I need more healthy snacks.
·         I need to start exercising.
But now we are into a new week and it’s time to incorporate those things in.  I cut up some vegetables for the week and stocked up on fruit.  I plan to make a low-fat dip tonight for the veggies so I eat more of them.  (Typically I get most of my vegetables in a salad, but with the craziness of our schedule, I don’t want to count solely on dinner to get them in.)  My biggest task at hand is to try and get some sort of exercise in during the week.  There is still a foot of snow on the ground outside, but I’m hoping that I can trade in my 4:30 / 4:45 alarm for snow travel for an alarm to get 20 minutes in on the treadmill.  Ideally I’d like to work out later in the day, but I don’t have a way to entertain Alec while doing so… Or maybe I can get both kids to do 30 Day Shred with me and tire them out until we can play in the yard?
I’ve set myself some goals for the next 50 pounds and I’ll touch upon the list next week.  I made them in five pound increments in hopes that it will keep me motivated and focused.  I’m also focusing ahead to the TWO family weddings we have later this year and I would like to be a few pounds lighter for.  And again, bathing suit season is almost upon us (well, three more months at the earliest for the north country) and I’d like to feel comfortable in my tankini! 
So, how is everyone else doing on their diet plans this week?  I'd love to hear from you and/or have you share a link to your most recent post!
Weight loss this week: -1.4 pounds

Weight loss to date:  -1.4 pounds
Weight left to lose:  48.6 pounds
First Goal:  5 pounds
·         Reward:  5 new songs from iTunes
Remaining Goals:  Every 5 pounds – I’ll talk about them more next week!
Final Goal:  50 pounds
·         Reward:  Head-to-Toe new outfit!
Success:  I had a loss this week.  Baby steps for the success. 
Set-Backs:  I need to control eating from boredom.
Exercise:  My goal is to start working it in this week…

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Recap

One of my favorite bloggers had done a similar post after being MIA for a while and it was nice just to read a recap of everything that had been going on in her life.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make this a weekly thing or maybe a monthly, but I like that it's a great way to quickly catch up with everyone.  Also, in ten years when I finally sit down to do my kids' baby books, maybe this will remind me what we were up to "way back when."

appreciating that it is Friday! 

listening to the rain.  After a very long winter, I welcome the rain knowing that it's above freezing and not snow.  (Although there will be mud.  And lots of it.)

tasting homemade brownies.  With a little scoop of ice cream at night.

trying to remember that I am transitioning into a healthier lifestyle and limiting the sweets... (Hence, the little scoop of ice cream above.)

learning to have more patience.  Solo parenting at night can be difficult, but I find that when I am making an conscious effort, the night goes much more smooth.

noticing the sunshine pouring through the windows.

anticipating spring.  It is so close.  And so needed. 

working on a really cool proposal for a building in California - complete with daylighting and fabric in tension to create shading.  I hope we get it. 

making brownies and chocolate chip cookies.  Emma likes to help and I'm not going to lie, I use it as a bargaining tool when she doesn't want to listen.

watching preparing for the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.  There will be tears I'm sure.

accepting that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want.  So I'm trying to increase my productivity while keeping the kids involved.

organizing the house, one box at a time.  I've spent the last few weekends unpacking a box or two here and there.  Emma was excited that last weekend is was the rest of her books and board games.

planning the month of April.  Weekends are filling up fast and I'm okay with that.  It gets us out of the house and engaged in different activities.

loving that we found a new part-time sitter near our house.  She has two boys of her own and she says Alec is well-behaved.  What more could we ask for?

buying very little. We don't have the financial freedom to spend on frivolous items and we have an unorganized house full of stuff. 

What are you up to these days? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Re-Initiating "Drop It Like It's Hot"

The other night I was talking with my dad and somehow daily goals came up in conversation.  He asked me if I set daily goals my response was that if my kids were alive, fed, dishes done, I'd spent time with the kids, and they were in clean pajamas for bed, it was a successful day.  (And I'm sure a lot of mothers out there would agree with me.)

Now that Adam is working nights and weekends, I spend a lot of time solo parenting and trying to keep up homestead.  By the time the kids are in bed, I'm exhausted from getting up at 4:XX in the morning (and of course after being up at least once with the kids) and I just want to fall into a deep slumber after I catch up with the Hubs for a few minutes.

But since that conversation, I've been trying to think of ways to fit some daily goals in and I'd really like to be able to focus them towards eating better and losing weight.  I'll be honest and admit that I've done jack with my New Year's resolution to lose weight and I've been motivated to read how Melissa at Completely Eclipsed has had success lately.  So I decided to re-initiate my "Drop it Like it's Hot" weekly weigh-in to help me follow through on my daily goals.

To keep me motivated, I started with a list of reasons why I wanted to lose weight.  Some of them are selfish, but whatever.  It's still a reason.  And in no particular order, here they are:

To fit better in my clothes. (And hell, drop a size or two or five.). To be more confident.  To be by own Ana (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?).  To have more energy. To actually put myself first sometimes.  To feel sexy. To stop feeling negative about myself.  To improve my health.  Three words: summer is coming.  To feel more comfortable in a bathing suit. And maybe eventually comfortable enough to wear a two piece bathing suit.  To stop comparing myself to others all. the. time.  To be excited to get dressed again.  To want to be in pictures.  And like said picture.  

(I should clarify that I'm not negative about myself all the time, just sometimes every girl needs a pick me up.)

I'm ready.  Spring is (hopefully) coming and I can start getting outside more with the kids to get a workout in while they burn off some energy.  But I'm hoping I can follow through with this and plan on posting weekly updates to stay accountable.  So here's my "before" picture and to Day 1.  (I'll apologize now for the hot mess look...)

If you are also trying to lose weight or get fit, join me and we can motivate each other.  Or if you have recently done so, do you have any tips to offer up?  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring, Where Are You?

I will admit that I like winter for the first few months.  And I say MONTHS because where I live, winter can last from mid-October to the end of April.  I am fine until around March because by then, the thrill of the first snow, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and casual fun in the snow has ended.  And friends, we have reached that point.  The clocks have changed to Daylight Savings Time and now that it is lighter well into the evening, I would love to be outside enjoying those extra hours of daylight...

So, where have we been this winter?  Well, we have been here, just unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to get to everything that I want to.  Hubs has found a part-time job working nights and weekends, so I have been doing a lot of solo parenting, which doesn't leave time for much else once I have made and cleaned up dinner, played with the kids, tucked them in, and have completed whatever other task of the evening... and in this house, it's usually laundry.

But in the meantime, we've had some fun this winter.  I'm just reaching the point where I am over it and ready to start preparing for Spring, which starts this week.  And after playing in the snow today, it is still up to my knees so it's not going anywhere just yet!

Playing inside on the below zero days...

Enjoying the casual diner.

Doing the "wheelbarrow" when Uncle Chris visits.

Spending quality time with one another... For thirty seconds.

Spending the day with mom at work!

Getting a first haircut!  He looks so much "older."

Wondering why Santa brought toys when the diaper box is just as fun.

Visiting great-grandma after her hip replacement...
And cheering up some of the other patients with their cuteness!

Enjoying the Snow Ball with Daddy.
(And you can't see the pretty corsage he gave her too.)


Being so tired that we pass out in our chair
watching one of our favorite movies, The Incredibles.

Hope you are staying warm during these brutally cold days of winter!  The snow is still up to my knees here, so maybe Spring will be here some day?!?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Top 12 Thoughts During My Commute

When we moved, my commute time tripled.  I've been able to alleviate some of that commute time by working in our Syracuse office, but it still means I am on the road for two hours a day an average of three days a week.  Now I have way too much time to think about everything.  And I mean everything.  But I've made a list of the top 12 thoughts that run through my head during my commute... Well, the ones without the drama or me overthinking every. single. situation. 
  1. Timing:  Did I leave the house on time?  How can it take me 30 minutes one day and 45 minutes the next?  Did I remember everything?  Do I deserve have time for a coffee stop this morning?
  2. To-Do List:  I forgot I was going to do x, y, and z last night for work.  Who am I kidding?  I have no energy to do work after I get the kids to bed.  [This is why I go in early; to be productive before the distractions of the morning.]
  3. Work stuff:  What was that code reference?  The one I needed to remember about the fire extinguisher path of travel.  NFPA?  UFC?  How am I going to cut 886 sf from this building? Don't forget to call the window rep today.
  4. To-Do List:  Did I ever finish and send out the grant proposal for Habitat for Humanity?
  5. Dinner:  What's for dinner?  Moe's Monday?  Oh wait, I need to take something out.  Maybe try a new Pinterest recipe?
  6. Road Rage:  Why is this car going 45 in a 55?  Don't they know the damn speed limit?
  7. Kids:  What to do with the kids tonight?  Do they need a bath?  I wonder how many times Alec will wake up tonight...
  8. Road Rage:  Did I miss my exit?  Nope, just kidding, just past the landmark.  Seriously, how much longer will it take to get there?  How do I already need gas again this week?
  9. Weekend Plans:  What is on the agenda this weekend?  Ugh, I need to find time to study.  And fold laundry. And maybe clean the house.  Who am I kidding?  It will be a disaster in five minutes anyway.
  10. Cash Flow:  Is it Friday yet?  Payday Friday?  What bills are due?  Are we over budget?  I need to update our budget.  
  11. Working Out:  I wonder if I will get in a workout?  Maybe I should just get up earlier to do it.  Haha. Getting up before five go to work is already early enough.
  12. To-Do List:  I need to measure the garage so I can lay out the mudroom area and the workbenches. And space for storage.  I wonder how long it will take to build the mudroom area.  I think we can do it in a weekend... 
While I love the flexibility of having a car, I sometimes daydream about being able to commute to work and the things I could do then - read a book, play candy crush, catch up on social media, study, etc.  Or I daydream about winning the lottery.  But then that gets depressing when I realize how much money we don't have.  Ha. 

What do you do on a long commute when you are the one driving? 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Perfect Timing for a Hair Appointment...

I am not a girly-girl by any means.  I am not afraid to run errands without wearing makeup, my dream job would allow me to wear jeans every day, I rarely wear a dress outside of a special occasion, and my dream closet is my Pinterest closet because otherwise, I wear dress pants and sweaters.  But the one thing "stylish" item that I allow time and money for is a trip to my hair stylist.

My hair is very plain-Jane.  Straight.  Brown.  Simple.  It does not hold a curl to save its life.  [I had a few curls on my wedding day and it took a can of hairspray to keep those in.]  In high school, it was straight and all one length and a popular style at the time.  While at the same time, I was envying everyone else's hair because it could hold a curl for a dance or could be scrunched to make cute waves.

Fast-forward to today and it's still the same way except with some added layers, blonde highlights, and long, side-swept bangs.  I've had it styled like this for a few years now and haven't found another style that seems to work with super straight hair that has no body.  Thanks to Pinterest, I had been trying to grow it out recently so I could do things like:

via Pinterest 

via Pinterest [not only do I love the hair, but also the outfit!]

But I'm not talented enough to do my own hair like that and I have two kids running around at my feet.  So today, after letting my hair grow an additional three inches or so and having it get back to a "blah" phase, I'm headed to my stylist and chopping those three inches off.  Maybe it will be enough to get me out of the rut I feel like I am in lately when it comes to my appearance.  She'll wash my hair and I'll be able to relax for an hour without hearing arguing or "Alec pinched me" or whining from being told "no."  I'll get some pretty blonde highlights to add some character to it and it will give me the boost that I've been looking for.

Andplusalso, my stylist is a great listener.  One of my favorite reasons for going.  It's like going to therapy when I'm there with her but without the additional co-pay.  We chat about what's new in the past eight weeks and she lets me vent about what is going on in my life.  Sometimes it's just stupid stuff [at the end of the day, it's all just stupid stuff, right?]  But I walk out of there with a huge weight off of my shoulders.  And even though one of my New Year's resolutions was to stop worrying about what people say or do outside of our little family, things that were said by others this weekend put me over the edge.  I will be able to recap them with her, give my thoughts, and be able to move on with my life.  And with great hair.

[okay, it's hard to tell the difference, but I cut three inches and got new highlights!]

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcoming 2014 with Open Arms

As the clock turned to acknowledge a fresh start on life, I was fast asleep and dreaming about what the year would hold.  Seriously.  I couldn't make it until midnight.  And that may have been because the kids had me up at 3:48 am that morning.  Oh wait, it definitely was.

However, before I climbed into bed, I spent a few minutes thinking about New Year resolutions and what I hope, well, would like, to accomplish in 2014.  So without further adieu:

1.  Be Healthier.  Eat less.  Exercise more.  Get more sleep.  [haha]. What do I hope to achieve from this?  Losing weight and being able to run at least a 5K.

2.  Unpack boxes.  Half the house is still packed in boxes.  I would love to get through them all.  Which leads me to 3.

3.  Organize.  Organize.  Organize.  We have so. much. stuff.  Most of it we would use if we realized we actually owned it and knew where to find it.  It would also be nice for everything to have a home - even if it was a bin.

4.  Spend less, save more.  Now that we are a single income family, this is exceptionally important.  I'm armed with an updated budget and ready to accept the challenge!

5.  Quality time.  I want to spend more quality time with the kids and Adam.  Do things with them.  Have an occasional date night with Adam.  

6.  Get licensed.  Here's hoping that 2014 is the year I get my architecture license!!

7.  Put blinders on.  I know this sounds weird, but I need to stop being distracted by the drama of others and focus on us.  This is not a case of "Keeping up with the Jones," but rather getting frustrated to the point of pissed off about other's actions.  It's going to be the hardest resolution yet to keep, but it is so important for my mental health and sanity!!  

If you have any resolutions, I would love to hear them!