Saturday, January 8, 2011

Filling my cup

Over the last week or so I have found myself struggling in many aspects of my life. Life has seemed so chaotic and out of control and my mood has been less than favorable. Of course all of this has spilled over and is effecting the rest of my family too.

Today I finally spent some time trying to get to the bottom of things and restore order and happiness back into our life. I found an article that, at least for me, seemed to hit dead on exactly what I am lacking and needing in life. It is an LDS article but I think the basic ideas can be helpful for all of us.

I know I am not the only one have a tough time right now so I hope you can take the time to read this. I love you all and hope tomorrow is a brighter, better day for everyone.

Friday, January 7, 2011


There are many things I don't know, like what's for dinner, anything celebrity related, or quantum mechanics.

There are a few things that I sort of know, for instance, when my husband is going to be home from work, what time the baby is going to wake up from his nap, or what my daughter's favorite movie of the week will be.

And then there are the things I know. I know that I just had a baby 5 weeks ago. I know that he is my fourth baby, second c-section. I know that I have a big rope of scar tissue I can feel inside me. I know that my 5'2" frame carried a 9 1/2 pound, 21 1/2" long baby. I know that my stomach muscles have been stretched beyond what should be possible, then cut open and sewn back together. I know I have 15-20 pounds to lose. I know it's ALWAYS taken about 18 months before I finish losing all my baby weight. I know I have a thyroid disease, lupus, and arthritis.

Yet despite all this knowledge, I'm incredibly frustrated that I'm not losing any weight. In fact, despite the scale glued to the same number for the past 5 weeks, I feel like I'm even fatter now than when I went in to have my baby. Now I know that it takes time to recover, especially after a c-section and a 4th baby, blah, blah, blah. I'm impatient. I'm annoyed that it's freezing cold outside and I can't take my 1 month old and 4 year old out to do my preferred form of exercise, walking (actually, I really like to jump rope, but my knees are too bad to do anything but walk). I feel like I'll never fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, and I don't want to buy any "fat" clothes, even though I only have 2 pairs of "pants" that fit. One is a pair of black pajama bottoms and the other is a pair of super old yoga pants that have holes and paint all over them. And my boobs are falling out of the only bra I have (which was also a pre-pregnancy "skinny" bra-not that my boobs will ever be considered "skinny" by any stretch of the imagination. The underwire of my favorite bra snapped two days before I had my boy. In any case, all these things that I know, are not easing my frustrations. Like I said, I'm impatient. *BIG sigh*

Oh yeah, we renamed our kid Daniel Wyatt, we're calling him Wyatt.

I didn't say it would be easy but it'll be worth it.

I love this picture of's the crazy eyes. Like many of you I don't have a switch that automatically puts me back on the perfect path. It's been a hard week in many aspects...only one workout so far, but in many ways there are small successes.

Habits are not made overnight. If you've been living a less than healthy lifestyle it takes more than a few days to become that healthy person you are wanting to be. I think the advice given over the past few days has been wonderful. These challenges are here to help you improve your lifestyle not tear you down because you aren't. Consistency...they key in making any new habit.

In my minds eye people talk about what an exercise freak I am and how I made delicious but healthy food. People are not going to say these things about me if I'm not doing them...but that's my end game. I want this for myself so I can be healthy and happy for those around me.

I KNOW this takes time. I've found that I'm really good at taking my vitamin and pretty good at drinking my water but I struggle to remember to write down my food...and exercise well tomorrow is a new day.

I want you each to look at what you ARE doing and rejoice in those successes and look at what you want to work on next as the next step not a road block.

You are each wonderful women with amazing qualities. Find the good in what you are doing and build on it. Take each challenge as a way to continue to improve. I hope at some points we can find these things to be just a normal daily routine. I'd love to do these things and think...why wouldn't I do them, it's part of who I am.

Please keep going...keep track of those points and post them next week. I really want everyone to succeed and have an opportunity for the next drawing...I'm going to do it in March...our 1 year anniversary :-)

I'm struggling too, you're not alone but together we will do Amazing things.


For Christmas, I received a 1 hour massage from my husband. I had never before had a massage and it was a revelation. Kind of makes me wish Christmas came more than once a year because that one hour of me as dough--quiet, warm, dark and being kneaded-- went by all too quickly. I especially loved the face, hand and shoulder parts. Who knew the face could hold so much tension.

With my newly relaxed muscles, I decided to give The 30 day Shred, level 2 a try. It was grueling and awesome. There were some moves that absolutely left me in the dust, but I was all sweaty and my heart rate was way up. Afterward, I even took my 5 year old to the bus stop without a coat and still felt hot...that's how much my exertion I put forth.

Sweaty crazy bus stop mom. That's me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slow start to a New Year

I have so much to do this year, this month, this week. My list is a mile long but I'm having a really hard time getting a good routine going.

Today I ate non-stop all day and this is how I feel.

I'm looking forward because tomorrow is a new day, thank goodness!

Don't look behind, great message for the new year check it out here


I am sure struggling this week to get on the bandwagon.
I haven't done any of the things yet that I should be doing as far as the challenge is concerned. I'm debating whether I should just wait til the next one begins, but I don't really want to put it off for another week and a half.
Ok, cue the whining and excuses:
I'm not getting proper rest, and I think that's the whole problem. I just feel too wiped out to exercise, even though I know it would make me feel better.
My work schedule just doesn't allow for the sleep I need. Last week was so nice because my husband was on vacation and the kids were out of school, so I got to sleep in. But this week we're back to our routine which means I'm home and headed for bed around midnight and I need to be up at 5:30 to take my oldest to the busstop. The hour between when I get back from dropping her off and when I wake up the rest of my munchkins is really the best time for me to get the exercise in, but this week I've been going back to bed. If I don't exercise first thing, it just doesn't seem to happen for me the rest of the day.

And then there's these two:

They're deceptively cute.
They really wear me out!

I'm also thinking maybe my body is dehydrated. I know I should drink more water, but I just don't do it.
I'm going to work on that today-getting the water in.
And maybe we'll go for a walk, that has the added benefit of hopefully wearing the two little guys out so they'll take a nap, and give me a break!

Taking a Wok

Hi Ladies!

Since the Christmas/ New Year indulgences are over, I've been craving healthy food. Specifically stir fry. Until last night, I had never made stir fry for my family. Shocking, I know. Especially for some of you, like Becky, who cook up this tasty dish on a regular basis (Becky's stir fry).

Well, last night I took the stir fry plunge and totally gorged on the veggies part. I wish I had a picture of how pretty the plated dish was, but the steaming food was in my mouth before a camera came to mind. Dinner consisted of: steamed broccoli, orange wedges, Texmati rice, beef, scallion and red bell pepper stir fry. (A super easy recipe). No one else wanted the bell peppers, so I ate them all, an entire stir fried bell pepper.

Stir fry is definitely going to be a regular part of our 2011. I will be walking and woking all year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spark - Exercise for Smarts and Mental Health

Usually I'd hoard my posts for points, trying to spread them out one a day, but I came across this book on Amazon while hunting for pedometers (thank you again, Melissa) and it's so cool, I have to share it now! It's called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey.

Here are some excerpts:

Introduction - "We all know that exercise makes us feel better, but most of us have no idea why. We assume it's because we are burning off stress, or reducing muscle tension or boosting endorphins, and we leave it at that. But the real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at its best, and in my view, this benefit of physical activity is far more important--and fascinating--than what it does for the body.

...But we no longer hunt and gather, and that's a problem. The sedentary character of modern life is a disruption of our nature, and it poses one of the biggest threats to our continued survival...
[lots of stats on America's obesity epidemic] What's even more disturbing, and what virtually no one recognizes, is that inactivity is killing our brains too--physically shriveling them.

...To keep our brains at peak performance, our bodies need to work hard. In
Spark, I'll demonstrate how and why physical activity is crucial to the way we think and feel. I'll explain how the science of exercise cues the building blocks of learning in the brain; how it affects mood, anxiety and tension; how it guards against stress and reverses some of the effects of aging in the brain; and how in women it can help stave off the sometimes tumultuous effects of hormonal changes.

[speaking of neurotransmitters and most psychiatrists' knowledge]... They don't know that toxic levels of stress erode the connections between billions of nerve cells in the brain or that chronic depression shrinks certain areas of the brain. And they don't know that, conversely, exercise unleashes a cascade of neurochemicals and growth factors that can reverse this process, physically bolstering the brain's infrastructure. In fact, the brain responds like muscles do, growing with use, withering with inactivity. The neurons in the brain connect to one another through "leaves" on treelike branches, and exercise causes those branches to grow and bloom with new buds, thus enhancing brain function at a fundamental level.

If exercise came in pill form, it would be plastered across the front page, hailed as the blockbuster drug of the century... I want to cement the idea that exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health. It is simply one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems."

He then goes on in the first chapter to describe a study being done in Naperville, Illinois, where kids have volunteered for an exercise class before school, where they wear heart monitors to make sure they are exercising at a certain level, then their academic progress is tracked through the year. And they perform significantly above comparable classmates.

It looks like a fascinating book, so interesting, that I went out today and got it from the library. Bottom line, not only is exercise good for your body, but it makes you smarter and less crazy, too! Remember my incident after Thanksgiving with the police officer on a cold Wyoming highway? What a lunatic I was?! I went back and checked my records, and I think I hadn't exercised for several days before that. I bet that was a contributing factor, too. So, exercise for your intelligence, mental health and for the sake of the people in your life! And quit arguing with cops!

My Workout Buddy

Melissa, you've inspired me. I've wanted to post these pics for a while, but never got around to them:
My Gazelle strider
A snoozing baby Sammy - This baby backpack has made the rounds in my family, belonging to my mother and being borrowed by all my siblings, and therefore nieces and nephews. Now I use it in my workouts when Sammy is fussy and wants to be held, but I want to get my workout done. He bounces around on my back, and is almost always lulled to sleep as he snuggles and gleefully pulls my hair. But I get the extra weight resistance and the reassurance that I'm giving him Mommy time. We both win!

Workout friend

Hi Ladies!

I've always wanted to have a workout friend.

In college, when time was on our side, my husband and I would lift weights together and take long walks along country roads. Later, in graduate school, I had a friend who lifted weights with me too; he was great, always yelling at me to push myself harder, but in a friendly way. More recently, I convinced a friend to go to the 5:30 a.m. class with me, but she only lasted a couple of months (although even that was pretty impressive given that she had a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old at the time.)

With the new year, comes a new try. Today I have a new workout friend: my 70+ mother-in-law. We plan to walk and talk. This probably won't get my heart rate going as I will follow her pace, but I plan to strap some weights on my ankles and enjoy the companionship. Then maybe do something more strenuous too.

Do you have a workout friend?

Ms. Thunderbumper Challenge #1 Measurements

I know I know! You hate doing this one! So do I! BUT, it's a great time to do it. Sometimes the scale does not always show the results of ones hard work but the measuring tape will. Plus...don't you want to have another great way to prove that you're working hard!!!

Here is the deal. Take your measurements. Don't tell us what they are. If you do this by Saturday night you get 10 points. That was easy!

ALSO, I'm so excited to see so many people participating again! Especially some of you that have been away for a while. We will continue to do two week challenges for the time being. However, I'm going to be keep cumulative points for the next two months....for a chance at a special prize. That means even if you don't have a great session you need to post your points so I can keep track of them. How's that sound?

Have a great week!!!!! And if you haven't yet...get back on the band wagon!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lord(ess) of the Dance

Remember the challenge we had a few months ago about trying something new for a workout? Well I am finally getting to that challenge even if it is several months late(too bad I don't get the points). I am taking Irish dance classes, and they start tomorrow night. I can't believe how nervous I am. It is an adult beginner class so everyone should be in the same boat I am, but I still get little butterflies in my stomach when I think about it.

My daughter was very cute today and reassured me that when she first started dance she was nervous too and that I had an advantage because she had already taught me a few steps. I loved the mothering tone she used as she said all this too.

I think the big reason for my nerves is that I am not a dancer. I didn't ever take ballet, or jazz or modern dance like many of my friends. I was a gymnast. I loved gymnastics and still do but as I watch my daughter dance and perform a little piece of me secretly wishes I had taken dance. So to appease my inner child I signed up for this dance class. We'll see how it goes, if nothing else I am sure it will be a great workout.

Watch out Michael Flatley here I come!

Stepping out

Hi Ladies!

Yesterday afternoon I put the nose to the grindstone and put Christmas away. All but the tree and the manger which I did today. While taking down, boxing up, and lugging boxes to their storage space, I had a little secret technology in my pocket: my husband's new mini pedometer (a gift from me). Here's the result: it took me 3328 steps to put Christmas away. That's a lot of steps. If one step burns .2 calories, then I burned 665 calories right there. Sweet.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

My big resolution this year is this: to accomplish one house upkeep/redo project every two weeks.

It's been a year and a half since we moved into our current house and there are many little jobs that are almost done, just not quite. Some projects are easy (reorganize the DVD drawers); others are more difficult (anything involving paint). That means that I've already got my 30 point goals charted out for the entire year. No more missing that point jackpot for me. Nice, huh?

My family of five will also be adopting a new house cleaning system. What that system is I'm not quite sure. But the overhaul is much needed and will definitely involve child labor and some fun gimmick.

I'm guessing we are all resolving again to be healthier. One of my goals there is to reach level 3 on Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

Any resolutions you're willing to share?

Just a quick shout out to Jill

Jill, I just wanted to tell you congrats on winning the last challenge of the year. You're such an inspiration. We're going to need all your positive energy to get us through the last few months of winter.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

No more sleeper cell...

Happy New Year ladies! I'M BACK!

As I look back on 2010, it was very momentous for me. I started it off by winning the first ever challenge on this blog, then I hurt my back, pretty much gave up, gained about 20 pounds, had to leave a career/hobby I loved, had to leave sweet friends and family in VA and NC and moved to California (via a cross country drive full of fast food and Diet Dr. Pepper). There were so many happy times last year, but it was the difficult ones that kept me from being the happiest, healthiest wife that I know I can be.

I've been in my new home for one month, my back still hurts sometimes, I miss my friends all the time, but I'm doing GREAT! Despite last years trials, I'm really happy and like it here in Huntington Beach, CA. There is such a positive and active vibe here. It's contagious.

I am so STOKED for this challenge. Not just because it's a new year, but because it's a fresh start. I'm excited that I'll get to keep in touch with all of you and not just cyber stalk you as I read your motivating posts, but was too tired/sad/busy to act upon them.

It's Sunday night, and I've just baked the last of my holiday goodies...a last indulgence before the real work begins. I will have to break my holiday addiction to sweets, that will be hard, but I can do it!

I wish you all luck as we begin a new challenge. I'm not going to be so bold as to say that I will win this challenge, because I know all of you are fierce competitors, but I'm going to better watch your back. :o)

All the best!!