April 29, 2011

Why I Got Sucked Into The Royal Wedding



Quite honestly, I could have cared less about the Royal Wedding. I didn't watch any of the specials. I didn't get into the hype.

However...

I confess. I was intrigued.

There was no way on God's green earth that I was going to get up at 3:00am to watch the coverage, but I knew I wanted to see the wedding so I set my DVR. After fast forwarding through TWO HOURS of boring blah blah blah coverage we FINALLY get to see the bride emerge. I'm so glad I didn't wake up in the middle of the night for this.

Here's the reason for my intrigue. I have watched every wedding show known to man from A Wedding Story to Bridezillas to Platinum Weddings to Say Yes to the Dress (I could go on...). Not to mention I have this weird obsession with princess movies (The Princess Diaries, The Prince and I are a couple examples). Talk about the most over the top wedding ever. How could I not watch the Royal Wedding? I wanted to see her dress, I wanted to see the Prince (even though I don't find him the least bit attractive). Westminster Abby? Wow. Just wow. I kind of wish the Bishop had combed his hair for the occasion though. Overall, it is a total fairy tale wedding and it was my duty to watch at least some of it given my wedding obsession.

My final thought? William and Kate have been together for the better part of 10 years- I'm guessing it was shit or get off the pot time for him. It was about time he made an honest woman out of her. The romantic in me wants desperately to believe that this marriage will last but the cynic in me gives it 10 years tops. I sincerely hope that after all this ridiculous hype that they will be able to stay together.

April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Easter Edition

Every year since having Jack, during National Infertility Awareness Week I remember those years that I hoped, dreamed, cried, prayed... These pictures are all my dreams come true. As my toddler gets older, the more magical our holidays get. My little person completes me.







Hope you had a beautiful and blessed Easter.

April 25, 2011

Could I Be The Next Future PriorFatGirl Mom?

I nominated myself to be a contributing writer to the PriorFatGirl Blog. There are several writers for Jen's blog- all with amazing and inspiring stories of weight loss success and determination. Recently, they decided to open a hunt for a blogger Mom who is in the beginning of their weight loss journey and willing to share their story along they way of becoming a PriorFatGirl.

I've been a follower of the PriorFatGirl blog for awhile now and thought it would really be the perfect fit for me in terms of my story and journey. While I do blog about my weight loss adventures among other things here on Mixed Bag of Rant, this is an opportunity to be dedicated only to my weight loss journey including all of my successes, struggles and inspiration with a larger group of readers. I hear from SO MANY women that they can relate to my weight loss struggles, especially as it relates to being a mom. Lack of time, motivation, energy... the list goes on with all of the excuses why us moms find it hard to make exercise and healthy living a part of our lives.

Well, I made it to the semi-final round of "casting" so to speak to become a writer for PriorFatGirl and was asked to submit an introductory post about me and my story- you can click here to read it.

The final round is a voting round. The readers of PriorFatGirl will vote for the mom whose story they want to continue hearing about. I'm not posting this here today to ask for votes (no, seriously I'm not). I wanted to share with you if you are on a journey to healthiness, then you should really be reading this blog. Not only are the stories of the PriorFatGirls (and even a PriorFatGuy) inspirational, but they offer great healthy tips along the way not to mention they have some pretty dope merchandise available. So if, and only if, you like and can relate to my story, then by all means, I'd love your vote!

Regardless of whether I am voted to be the new Future PriorFatGirl Mom, I will continue on my healthiness journey as well as continue to write about it. There is something incredibly raw and humbling about putting yourself out there for the world to see. For the past four months, blogging about my experience has helped me to be accountable and allowed me to have even just the small sampling of success that I have accomplished to date. I feel as though if I fail now, I fail for the whole world to see.

Overall, I am excited to have made it to this final round with the PriorFatGirl blog. I love writing and am extremely thankful and humbled by the opportunity to support and encourage other moms out there who struggle with weight loss. I hope that I can always continue to let other moms out there know they don't have to do this alone.

April 22, 2011

Nuggets of Motivation

I've been on this weight loss journey for 15 weeks now and am proud to say that I have lost 15.2 lbs. Knowing that it may take me more than a year to reach my goal weight is daunting. Sometimes it would be so much easier to just quit and move on.

It is extremely hard to stay motivated and believe me, I take any little nugget of inspiration to keep me going.

It is the most elementary of motivators.

Stickers.

Yes, stickers. I use them in my efforts to potty train my toddler. I am using them in my efforts to lose weight.

For those of you who are not familiar with WeightWatchers meetings, part of the meeting is spent doing some congratulatory cheering for those who have reached milestones in their journey. As you reach these milestones, everyone claps for you and you get, yes, a sticker. You get a sticker for every 5 lbs lost, 5%, 10% and of course reaching goal and lifetime status. I kid you not. I live for these stickers. For me, getting to the next 5 pounds is a huge deal because it is NOT EASY. For some reason, they missed giving me my props for the last two milestones. I reached my 5% quite some time ago and this week, reaching 15.2 lbs, I should've earned a second 5+ lbs sticker. They missed me. I was bummed. While I don't care about people clapping for me, I wanted my stickers! So, I approached the meeting leader and asked her for my stickers. I felt kind of stupid, but when I told her how much of a big deal it was for me to get these stickers in terms of my continuing motivation, she totally understood (at least, I think she did).



I'm saving these stickers as a reminder of how far I've come already in this journey. 15.2 pounds is a big deal. Yes, I have a long way to go, but for NOW I want to celebrate where I am today. With my medical exercise restriction (just ONE MORE WEEK and I can get back on the pavement), I need to use these little nuggets of motivation to keep myself on the program.

Don't let anyone take away those motivation nuggets- go and get them when you need them!

April 15, 2011

A Lifetime of All My Children

This week has been a total roller coaster of emotions. I won't rehash my medical issues and how they will impact the rest of my life. Been there done that.

Possibly even more distressing for me...

ABC freaking canceled my favorite Soap- All My Children.

Here is the perfect explanation to sum up exactly how I feel:



I know it seems silly, but I am not kidding when I say that All My Children has been with me for a lifetime. My mom was a stay at home mom for the better part of my childhood. Those summers home from school, she had it on every single day. As I got older and into my early teens, my mom went back to work and VCR's became the coolest technology ever. She would record AMC and as a family we would watch it every night. More than any other show (and yes, I even watched Dallas when I was a kid), I was totally enthralled into the AMC storylines. I'll never forget all of my fave stories and characters: Julia, Noah, Brooke, Edmund, Maria, Dimitri, Tad, Dixie, Haley, Matteo (MY FAVES)... and the list goes on and on and on...

My husband dies a little bit when I tell this story, but the inspiration for the name of my child actually came from the character Jackson Montgomery. All these years, I have LOVED the name Jackson and was finally able to give it to my little boy. True story!

Now that I am all grown up and a mom myself, while I couldn't get my husband interested in these shows, I will say that I totally get why these shows have been on for generations. My soaps (I also watch Y & R) are a total escape for me. It is the moment for me after I put Jackson to sleep that is just for me. I get to kick back, click on my DVR and escape into a world that is totally ridiculous but at the same time totally endearing.

I can pretty much guarantee that I will not be setting my DVR to record whatever silly reality or talk show is set to replace these shows.

Meanwhile, in the hopes and dreams of getting this great show back on the air, I did sign the petition. You can do so to! At the very least you can let ABC know that they are being boneheads.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keep-all-my-children-on-abc-daytime/

RIP All My Children. I'll be watching until the bitter end. I hope that you are able to put together one whopping finale bringing back some of my old favorite characters!!

April 14, 2011

Efforts Derailed

In all of my weight loss efforts over the last couple of years, the one thing that derails me every single time is illness.

Let's face it, the 2 year old brings home germs and it seems I get sick from every single one of them. I can usually expect up to a week away from exercise and my eating habits take a turn for the worse.

Once again, I'm being derailed. This time, it could be a bit longer though. Earlier this week, after experiencing some excruciating pain, my doctor discovered that I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. To say it hurt is an understatement. Part of my treatment plan is of course to limit any "bouncy" exercise. So, no running for up to 3 weeks. Kind of a bummer seeing as I was in the heart of training for a 5K. Talk about derailed.

To top off the fun of this, my doctor put me on birth control for the next 5 months. Continuously. As in stopping my cycle altogether in the hopes of preventing another cyst from coming back. I HATE birth control. Always have. It has been so long since I started birth control that I forgot how much the first month being on it totally sucks. The headache, nausea, cramping... oh weird, those are exactly the same symptoms of BEING PREGNANT. What a cruel trick to play on someone who was just told that "having more babies will not be in my best interest at this point." As I said in my last post, it is one thing to make the decision on my own to only have one child, it is quite another to have the decision taken away from me altogether.

I'm not thrilled about feeling so sick. Just when I have started to see the results of all my fitness efforts. I am hoping I can get control over the side effects. A little Unisom/B6 combo for my nausea. A little motrin for my headache (likely to not make a dent in it, but oh well). I am praying that "the pill" doesn't cause weight gain. I am praying that these side effects go away so I can live my life.

I guess the one good thing out of all of this is closure. We can now just proceed with our life as a little family. We'll be able to afford great things. I can focus on getting healthy.

See? It's not all so bad. Right?

April 12, 2011

One Child. Only Choice?

Since 2006, I have blogged about my struggles with infertility, miscarriage and the miracle that is my baby boy Jackson.

Once we got pregnant with Jackson, there was never really any doubt about our desire to have a second baby. We got cocky in thinking that it would be easy to make it happen again. As Jack gets older, we have flip flopped on whether or not to keep trying. It has been at least a year and a half since we started (kind of half-assed) on baby #2 but as my age and my dwindling fertility looms, we have pretty much resigned to the fact that Jack may be our one and only.

Since Jack was born, I have had some issues with my body. Besides my weight (which of course CAN be changed and I am working on it no matter how many obstacles are thrown in my path), I had a uterine infection right after he was born (tons of fun to have with a newborn to care for), and a year later in 2009 my doctor discovered fibroids and a uterine polyp which had me in a boatload of pain and led to a hysteroscopy and D & C to have them removed. While I hoped that the polyps and fibroids would keep their distance, much to my dismay, they are back and wreaking havoc on my poor body. With the recurrence of this issue, I know my chances of successfully conceiving a baby are becoming minimal and I cannot even imagine having to endure another miscarriage.

While I was weighing the pros and cons of having a second child, I felt empowered that it was MY choice. I'm not liking the fact that the choice is being taken away from me. There is a part of me that wants to fight my age, my polyps, my fibroids and give infertility a swift kick in the rear; however, the other part of me is just tired of the fight after all these years. Is it time to permanently fix my issues and just move on?

I'll never know for sure how we were able to conceive Jackson (well... I KNOW, but... well, you know what I mean). Divine intervention? Fluke? When I look at him, I know that he is and will forever be my miracle child. We will always make sure he knows that having only him will always be more than enough for us. We will see to it that he is surrounded by family and friends who will become his brothers and sisters. We will make sure that he has the best life ever.

April 09, 2011

New Playdates Are Like First Dates

Being a new mom in a new neighborhood is hard. Being a full-time working mom in a new neighborhood is hard. Outside of the kids in my own family, we have struggled to make friends with other families with kids Jack's age. We really like our across the street neighbors- their daughter is Jack's age- but they are often busy with their own friends and own lives.

Jack goes to an awesome daycare and has many friends there. Many of the other parents we see on the fly and barely have time for a polite hello let alone actually figuring out what their first names are (most are known as "Brooke's Mommy" or "Nathan's Mommy and Daddy"). Jack has had one particular best friend at daycare ever since he was an infant. Him and Andrew used to lay next to each other on the playmat as babies and just laugh and laugh and laugh. They are so close of friends that they can't even transition to the next room without each other (it was attempted once and was a disaster). Now that the boys are a little older and can actually talk and express themselves, they often talk about wanting to play at each others houses. At a child/parent breakfast, my husband and I sat with Andrew and his daddy and talked about how we knew we didn't have many birthdays left without their friends from school.

We finally decided to make the first move and leave a note for Andrew's mommy and daddy on his daily chart. Much to our surprise, they immediately responded and we set up a playdate right away. So far, we have gotten down on our hands and knees to clean our house, worried about what food to grill for dinner (do they even like food on the grill??), wondered what they do for a living and if we would have anything in common. Most importantly, we realized that we are NERVOUS. This is our little boy's best friend we are talking about! We have to make sure that we get along with these folks as these kids will likely be in school together for a long time.

It feels exactly like a first date.

April 07, 2011

Keep Your Contagious Child Home Please

This week, I overheard several conversations that sent my annoyed and PMSing rant radar into overload. Some people really need help with their question filters:

1. "Congrats on being pregnant! How far along are you?" Ummmm... She wasn't pregnant. Enough said.
2. "Whoa. What's up with your face?" Said by one girl to another about a recent acne outbreak which she gets with her period and from working out. Not that it is anyone's business WHY she had the acne. A polite person would never ask such a thing.

But the single most annoying conversation I overheard this week involved a mom and her sick child. This mom was blatantly bringing her child to daycare knowing that she wasn't feeling well and blamed a 103 degree temp on teething. As I sat listening to this, cringing in horror, she actually kept talking. She was talking about how she was giving her kid ibuprofen before school so that her fever wouldn't show up and so she could still go to work and "slide under the radar". Next day, she apparently tried to bring the kid back to daycare. Mine, and any other daycare that follows state regulations, requires 24 hours fever free or a doctor's note before returning to daycare (which she blatantly chose to ignore that little rule). Appointment-less, she bounded into her doctor's office with both guns blazing, demanding a note to allow her kid back in daycare. Upon examination from the doctor and the discovery of a FULL BODY RASH (how do you miss that??) not to mention a fever still at 102 (AFTER more ibuprofen) the doctor gave her a swift NO WAY are you getting a note from me and sent her and baby home to rest. Turns out it is a case of Roseola. Highly contagious virus. She also refused to tell daycare what the diagnosis was in the case that they wouldn't let her back in until the rash is gone because she had "work to do." She was even chuckling about "Totally being that 'mom' bringing her kid into school sick" So funny is this lady! (sense my sarcasm and yoda-like commentary).

My mommy judgement alarm was blaring and it took everything I had not to interrupt this conversation and say "WTF?!!" This ranks easily up there on my anger range scale with "those moms" who think it is okay to park their oversized Escalades (still running) in the handicapped parking spots while they quickly run in to pick up their kids, because apparently they are important and do not need to park in regular spots like the rest of us. I digress.

Firstly, let me say that I get it. Being a full-time working mom is flipping hard. Finding the balance between work responsibilities and your children is not always easy. But for me, this is a no-brainer. MY CHILD COMES FIRST. I would never leave my sick, fussy, feverish child with anyone but me or my husband (she dumped her baby off with Grandma, so now poor granny is likely to get sick). I also feel as a parent that has to use a daycare for her child that it is my social responsibility to inform them exactly what my child is sick with so other parents can be aware and prepared for what their kids may be exposed to. Nothing ticks me off more than when Jack gets sick with things like croup and viral pneumonia (both uber contagious) when nothing has been announced. There is NO OTHER way he could pick that up other than through other kids at daycare- we are lucky if we have time to get him a haircut on most weekends. How insanely selfish is it to keep that information "under the radar" at the risk of exposing other kids to an extremely icky and contagious illness. So. Irresponsible. My husband and I also work as a team. When the kid gets sick, we can pretty much assume a 2-3 day stint at home. We take turns staying home and do our fair share. Yes. It totally sucks having to use limited PTO time to stay home with a sick kid. Yes. You'll have to cancel meetings and deal with the stink eye from the childless folks. But hey, that is the reality of being a parent.

I cannot even express how much overhearing (okay... it started with overhearing and maybe turned into a little eavesdropping) this conversation totally angered me. So, I ask (beg), with the utmost respect and understanding for the working mom, please keep your contagious, sick child away from mine.

Thank you.

April 06, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: MN Twins Edition

Because I take great pleasure in the Twins beating the Yankees last night, today's Wordless Wednesday
is in honor of the start of the baseball season as well as the Minnesota Twins. We are hoping to create Twins fans for generations to come.



April 04, 2011

Motivation Monday: Bridesmaid's Dress Recap

This morning began on a rather dreary note but as the wind continued to whip, the clouds parted and the sun came out and I suddenly broke out of my morning funk.

I recalled with a smile a post that I wrote back in January... you know... about Bridesmaid's dress shopping being designed by the devil?

I still think bridesmaid's dresses are the most cruel trick ever played on normal women. I did however succeed. I succeeded in my desire to pay an absolute fortune on my alterations. The dress, fully zipped, barely stayed up on me without being pinned. I could have EASILY gone 2 sizes down from what I bought- we are having to take it in over an inch on each side as well as a bit in the bust. Of course us little midgets have to get hems as well (an expense I anticipated that not even 5 inch heals could fix). For maybe the first time ever, I am in LOVE with a bridesmaid's dress. It is so soft and pretty. For the first time in a long time, I felt beautiful.

My arm is covering up the pins, but there were many there poking at me.
A unique feature to this dress is that it has a train. I was a little on the fence at first about how I would feel about it, but the truth is, I secretly love it. Trains just give you that extra princess-like feeling. We decided that it would most definitely need to be bustled for the reception. I envisioned being out on the dancefloor and someone stepping on that beautiful train and OOPS! The whole dress goes down. Yup. Bustle.

The bustle
I am so proud of how far I have come in the last 13 weeks. I'm down 2 dress sizes, 1 jeans/pants size and weigh 14.2 pounds less than I did back on that fateful shopping trip in January. It's not easy. It's not fun. But here's the real deal: I am NOT on a diet. The changes that I have made in my life are for a lifetime and I am honest and realistic about those changes. I refuse to do anything drastic like give up meat or dairy. I freaking love steaks and I LOVE CHEESE. I have learned how to limit them and learning how to control portions. Another reality for me is that I will never, EVER lose weight by sitting around on my ass. I will have to work out 5-7 days for the rest of my life in order to keep losing and eventually maintain. There is no end point- fitness will also have to be a regular part of my life forever in addition to the food control. Guess what? In this life? I WILL get to enjoy Dairy Queen. I WILL get to enjoy hamburgers. I WILL go out drinking with my girlfriends. Know what else? I have been doing all these things and have still lost 14.2 pounds.

I recently saw this on the Life Time Fitness blog:

"Like many people, I hoped for that miracle pill that was going to make me thin. But I found that the miracle is in me, and loving myself was important in making the decision to change how I was eating and living. It takes effort, but with effort also comes appreciation — and it has made me stronger. I feel great and I enjoy my life … a second chance to make it right."

I, too, always dreamed about a miracle pill or diet that would melt away the pounds without having to do any work. IT DOES NOT EXIST. I have heard from several people who talk about wanting to lose weight but never do anything about it or make only half-hearted attempts. I have some unsolicited advice:
  1. Baked Potato Pizza probably is not going to help you lose weight despite the fact they put broccoli on it. 
  2. It takes a full 100% honest to goodness commitment. Make yourself choose healthy and work out for just 21 days. Why 21 days? Because they say that's how long it takes to form a habit. Those 21 days are usually the hardest. 
  3. Don't choose a weight loss program that is gimmicky or will be difficult to maintain once you finish with it. Ready-made meal programs were always a disaster for me. 
  4. No matter what the commercials say, there is absolutely no skinny pill out there. 
  5. Portion control and exercise really works. 
  6. Make sure you put someone in else in charge of holding you accountable- a spouse, trainer, WeightWatchers etc. Having to step on a scale in front of an actual human being every week is immensely humbling.
  7. Start with small goals. While my end goal is scary, achieving just 5 pounds at a time has been much more attainable. 
  8. Treat yourself to something fabulous when you make even your small goals: a mani/pedi, a new pair of jeans, a piece of jewelry... just make sure it isn't food related. 
  9. It is NOT realistic to expect to lose weight quickly. It pains me to say it, but it is pretty true when they say *Results Not Typical. Not to say that you can't lose all the weight you need to lose, but give it time to go away. 
  10. Simply saying you want it isn't enough. You have to do. 
My words of wisdom folks but at the end of the day, if losing weight is what you want, then you have to make the commitment to do it.

I'm so glad I did. I pretty much cried today in the Gap dressing room when I slid easily into those size smaller pants. Worth all the sweat and sacrifice.

Have a great & motivated Monday!

 
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