Thursday, February 17, 2011


I hate Valentine's Day. I hate the never-ending card exchanges the kids do, the commercialism, the sappy over-the-topness of it all. I can't wait for kids to lose interest in their Valentines so that I can throw them out. Oh, and for all the dang suckers to be gone. I swear that Colin and Cecily have a stash hidden somewhere. But, I have to admit, James did good this year. He woke up early and made me breakfast and had cards ready for me. Later in the day he brought me roses and some pretty lingerie. It made me feel loved and appreciated. We don't do much for the kids, because Valentine's is supposed to be celebrating romantic love, right?? But I did make small gift bags for all of them from James and I and Grandma and Grandpa and they thought that was top-notch.

And on to much bigger news than Valentine's Day - James has a new job! I'm not sure who's more excited, him or me. And it's not just because I get my house back to myself during the day LOL. I think he was relatively burnt out, so I'm hoping that the change to a new field is invigorating and restorative. He's still selling, but now he'll be selling investments in gas and oil exploration/drilling for Gulf Coast Western. I'm so proud of him and humbled by his willingness to do whatever it takes to make our family thrive.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For Fun

The ironic thing is that I was originally going to make this post into a vent about overachieving mothers and their Valentine's Day analness (anality?). But, in the spirit of being more positive, I decided to share some pics of my own craftiness at work. This was our small Super Bowl spread two weeks ago - I can't take credit for the recipes as I found them in my cookbook, but I thought they were too adorable to pass up. In case you can't tell from the picture I made Dice Cheese Dip and Crackers, Dartboard Pizza, Jello game chips, and Scrabble Blondies. They were delish and cute - the perfect accompaniment to a perfect game (can't wait to see the newest Lombardi trophy when we visit Lambeau Field on our spring break). This was a good week for me, weight loss wise - I'm down 2.6lbs, which is a 10.2lb weight loss total, which puts me at 196.2lbs. I feel SO much better about myself already. I'm wondering if still breastfeeding is finallly starting to pay off and I'm losing weight because of that, because honestly it hasn't been terribly hard lately. It's so wonderful to feel in control of food rather than the opposite way around.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I think about great, deep thoughts that I should put in my blog on a daily basis. And inevitably the moment passes and I forget about it. So, you are left with the predictable and mundane, sorry! First of all, we have birthdays! Ian turned seven on Saturday. He didn't want a party (which seemed strange, but, whatever, I guess), and instead chose to go to a restaurant of his choosing (Chuck-A-Rama) and then celebrate with cake, ice cream, and presents at Nana and Papa's house at night (right before piano lessons - the world does keep on turning when you have eight birthdays a year in one house). We splurged a bit on his cake since that was going to be the centerpiece of the whole day and ordered a Mario Brothers themed cake from Pasty Perfection. It was so cute and colorful, and perfect for the boy who absolutely adores all things Mario (especially his Mario pjs). And, in a stunning bad mommy moment, we have no true pics of the cake or his birthday because I forgot the camera. We took some phone pics, but we haven't downloaded them to the computer yet, yikes! And, moving on, today is my Mom's birthday. I won't share how old she is (um, it's because I'm being nice, not because I have no clue- wink,wink) and I also won't share how sucky of a daughter I am since my card will be late, as usual. You know how much we love you though, Mom! I owe ya a Starbucks run when we visit next month! And I wasn't in a raging hurry to share my stats this week because they weren't stellar, but, all things considered I was worried that I would actually gain weight, and I didn't, so I'm not complaining too much. I lost .2 lbs and am down to 198.8. Less than 10lbs to go to my first goal weight - I'm hoping I really can pull in some big numbers this week!

Monday, February 7, 2011


My child frightens me a little bit. Not in a bad way, at all. But I think Allegra has unlimited potential. There's something special about her. Of course, all of my kids are special in their own way. But Allegra has that sparkle. She's seriously charismatic. Right now she's insistent that she wants to be a star. I know, I know, a lot of kids go through that stage. And normally I'd just brush it off. But I think Allegra actually has a chance of pulling it off. She's always busy "modelling" (I found the photo above on my camera, apparently she was trying to model and asked Ian to take pictures), writing movie scripts, and acting them out with her brother. She talks about moving to LA when she's older. It's going to be a fun ride, watching that girl grow up. And I have another child that frightens me too, and her name is Elle. Elle cut her first tooth yesterday and I'm terrified! I've NEVER had a child get a first tooth this early. Usually it happens closer to 10 months or so. And she's still very much nursing, and I'm scared. I keep trying to tell myself that women nurse babies and toddlers with teeth every day, and it'll be fine. It'll be fine. Yes, it will (I hope).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Party of 1

First off, GO PACKERS! It's going to be a rather mundane Super Bowl. Can anybody say Party of 1? James won't be home from skiing til this evening, so it will be me watching the first half by myself. But I still felt like I had to do something, so I'm making a party-themed dinner spread - Dice-shaped cheese spread, gelatin game chips, dartboard pizza, and scrabble brownies. The kids are looking forward to that part, I think. Me not so much as I'll be unable to eat most of it - Ian chose to go to Chuck-A-Rama for his birthday dinner last night and a buffet is always a hit in the points department (although I did WAY better than I usually would). But I'll consider it a good exercise in willpower strengthening. And, switching course, I love this picture of Elle enjoying her first taste of veggies - squash, I believe it was. She's not very enthused. We're working all the orange veggies first.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Trying to Do Better

I'm trying to be a better parent. It's definitely a two-steps-forward, one-step-back process. I've learned a lot more about parenting young children now that my first kids are getting older. Most people don't have the luxury of getting do-overs but with a large family that's a bit spread out in age, I kind of do. I used to think that the purpose of discipline was to stop an undesirable behavior. With that end in mind, the disciplinary technique didn't matter all that much. As long as it wasn't extreme, anything was fair game. But as Hero and company get older, I've realized I was very off the mark. I think the whole purpose of discipline is teaching self-control. Bad behaviors come and go. Learning to be centered, calm, and rational is a skill that lasts a lifetime. Of course, the best way to teach this is to model it. So, it's come full circle and I've realized that discipline is a lot more about ME as a parent than the children. You might be wondering what's prompted this introspection. Right now we are surviving rather than thriving, as a family, and I just hate that. I don't mind having a loud and crazy house. But I think that, lately, with a pre-teen in the house and younger kids totally willing to parrot anything that she says, we're heading in a direction that's not good. Pray for me that my new found resolve weathers the storm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Double Dose

of stats, that is! Today was my fourth weigh-in. It was a rough week, mentally. I felt a bit close to losing control at times, especially with the Peanut Butter Brownie pizza staring me down. Plus we used our TGIFridays gift card on Friday and that's the first time I've been out to eat. But I must have done better than I thought - I was down 1.8 lbs, to 199 even. That's a total weight loss of 7.8 lbs in four weeks. 10 more to go to my first goal and I'm hoping to be there by spring break. I'm going to start tracking measurements this week too. And, for the more important stats - Elle's 6 month doctor's visit showed a perfectly average baby. She's in the 50th percentile for height and weight now (she's 16lbs and I can't remember how long and I've already archived the sheeet it was written on, bad mommy). She can sit supported now, but she's still in no hurry to do things on her own it seems. I'm okay with babying her now though, as she's had some kind of respiratory illness for about a week. She's stuffy and coughy but still in good spirits, little sweetheart.