Home Chapter One Our Vegan Lifestyle Likes Comment-Free

The last day of June

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We spent the morning with our feet in rain water and our lungs inhaling life.

My 30 Day Shred, day 17

Monday, June 29, 2009

I haven't stepped on the scale in a few days, and its been the best possible thing for me. Instead I've been focusing on getting stronger. When I started this Shred 17 days ago, I could barely do a girlie push up. The thought of doing a real push up was a laugh. At the same time, knowing that I couldn't do a single push up made me sick to my stomach. Really? I can't even do one? My husband can do like 60, and I can't even lift myself up off the ground for the count of one? So I worked at it. I grunted and groaned, I bitched and I moaned. I got down on the floor at least 10 times a day and worked on it. I went from doing 1 girlie push up and crying about it, to doing 10. And then I did 10 more. And then one day, I went for it. I got into push up position, lowered myself down, and then pushed myself back up. The rush of adrenaline was enough to swell my head for the remainder of the day. And now, 17 days after not being able to do a single girlie push up, I can do five, count them, 1 2 3 4 5, real push ups in a row.

I did day 17 of the Shred today while the babies napped (I hear the youngest waking up in his pack n play behind me). Since my last fitness post, I realized how lazy I've been when it comes to playing by the rules. I decided to stop cheating, and just do the dang planks. I started doing them yesterday, thinking I wouldn't get through a single move, but to my surprise, I did all of them. So today there was no backing down from yesterdays accomplishment. I had to pull my weight through the planks again. When I really push myself, the sweat starts rolling during the first circuit. I never sweat that early on in the game during level 1.

This morning while I was putting away laundry, I noticed a pair of sweat pants up in the closet that have been sitting there folded and unworn in way too long. Why? Because they were tight and you could see my underwear lines and unpleasant bumps and lumps through them, all too well. I wondered how they'd fit me now? This could go one of two ways. I could try them on, and they wouldn't fit. That's the one of two ways that would ruin my day completely, and possibly send me into a burn-all-the-sweats-in-the-world type frenzy. Or, it could go the other way. I could try them on, and they might fit? And then maybe I'd have another pair of sweats to add to my super sexy mom wardrobe?

Guess who's got a new addition to the mom wardrobe.

And, I can do 5 push ups.

The Mama Dramalogues

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Recently I've been invited to share my Mama Drama, in excellent company, over at the Mama Dramalogues. A blog created by the fabulous Miss Marisa, and held together with her patience, and the help of Holly, Alyssa, Amanda, Natalie, Shannon, and now, myself. Yes, I'm writing for a mom blog.

If you know me personally, you're probably laughing right now. You're probably holding your gut, falling off your chair, and crying at the thought of me offering a tattooed, once fancy cigarette holding hand out towards other mothers. You probably remember me as the host from that infamous 80's eviction party, or maybe you remember me as the carrier of those red glitter lips that dominated the greater Portland area until love wiped them off in the form of a sealed wedding kiss. Or maybe you've never met me at all, and you have no idea what I'm talking about, you just found my blog by googling "30 day shred", or "postpartum spanx". Either way, Its official. I'm a mom blogger.

The Mama Dramalogues offers kid friendly recipes, seasonal crafts and ideas, inspirational and hilarious stories, ways to pamper yourself (good, because I could totally go for an affair with my bathtub), and anything else that 7 mothers could throw together in between tantrums and diaper changes.

First Date since 1964

Saturday, June 27, 2009

You may or may not know about our end of the world movie obsession. I've probably mentioned it 20 or 30 times. Anything in which cities are being blown up and destroyed, and/or giant alien monster type robot man, animal, or plant eating creatures are raking havoc, is for us. So obviously, the release of the new Transformers movie would be a holiday. We haven't been out without the kids since Charlie was born. We haven't been out without Eleanore (a trip to the doctors office doesn't count, does it?) since Christopher's birthday, July 18th, of last year. We always talk about how we want to have a "date night", but really... who has the time? OK, OK, we could find the time. But, the money?

We don't even like going out to eat, since we have to order off of a special menu smaller than the ones the 5 year olds get. Coffee is OK, but I don't really understand going and drinking it out of a paper cup on an uncomfortable stiff sofa with a bunch of strangers using laptops. Going for a walk at the park... this is Texas, its too hot. Its too hot, and we only have like one park. Ice cream... no. Mini Golf? I'm a snob and that's too high school for me. Plus again with the heat. And really I'd only want to go if I could take my daughter, because I know she'd love it way more than I would. The movies? It costs $16 for two tickets on a Friday night. Can you believe that?! Actually, because we used Fandango, $18. So yeah, date night happens for us about once a year.

Elie's favorite person on the planet, Miss Kristen, agreed to watch the kids while we went out. It was my first time leaving Charlie with anyone other than Christopher, and if somebody was right for the responsibility, it was her. She was with me every step of the way during my pregnancy, talking to Charlie from the size he was a poppy seed (muffin), holding my hand while I was being jabbed with enormous man paralyzing needles, and sleeping on a pull out hospital bed to keep me company when I went into premature labor 9,000 times. I felt comfortable leaving him with her. And of course... he slept the entire time we were gone. Elie on the other hand, was wide awake, thrilled to be watching cartoons and Hannah Montana. Eating ice cream and staying up past her bedtime. Kristen is way more fun than Mom and Dad.

Oh yeah, but about our date! The place was packed. We got there just in time to get the last set of decent seats. Since when do movie theater seats recline? I know, its been that long. There were so many previews I wasn't sure when the movie had started. I thought it was a preview for another 10,000 BC type movie. Whoops! It was 102 degrees outside, and with that many people in the room, the theater turned into a sauna. I was wearing a dress, and had to keep switching whatever leg was crossed over whatever leg, because I was sweating so dang much. Also, the room smelt like Red Vines. Red Vines have wheat flour in them, and its not fair. I was holding my cell phone on vibrate in my hands the entire time, positive that I'd get a text message at any second asking for help or begging us to come home. I did eventually get a text, but it was just to let me know that everything was alright. I didn't want to be that mom, so instead of just flipping my phone open, I bent over until I could barely see it myself, that way the light didn't distract anyone else.

The movie itself was amazing. I had read a couple of reviews before we went, and people were saying that the fight scenes were too long, and that the movie itself was too long, and blah blah blah. Yeah there were a couple of lame parts where I rolled my eyes, but overall it was bad ass. And the extra cool part? One of the planes that Christopher has worked on was in the movie. This made him, and I almost hate to admit, me, giant-grin-plastered-onto-my-face excited.

When the movie was over I was glad to get out of the shoe box and breathe fresh air again. And we may or may not have pretended that the tractor parked by the shopette on the corner was an Autobot.

Happy 1/2 Birthday Charlie!

Friday, June 26, 2009

6 months ago today you were born, and now I can't imagine my life without you. Love you little man!!

Halfway through the 30 Day Shred

By now you're probably wondering how my body is adapting to the 30 Day Shred. Wanting to know if I've dropped weight, or inches, or dead? I'm still alive, barely. My muscles don't hurt nearly as bad as they used to, but when I wake up in the mornings I'm stiff like cardboard. Yesterday I finished my 15th workout with Jillian. I've moved onto level 2, but by no means does that make me a pro. I might as well call it level 1 1/2, after all of the alterations I've made. Level 2 was obviously designed for somebody with much more upper body strength than I currently have. I should try harder to do the moves, I know I should, but I've gotten bored with the routine, so I just replaces them with moves from level 1. They still challenge me, just, not enough to make me throw up the way Jillian intended. Me and planks just don't get along. I replace them with punches and bicycle crunches instead. That may or may not make me a 30 Day Shred cheater. I don't know if there are actual rules.

Moms. This DVD only takes 20 minutes to complete. There are 24 hours in a day. I know you can find 20 minutes. I've come to the realization that I'll never have complete privacy in my own home, so I do the workout in front of my kids. Who cares if they see me grunting and groaning, jumping and falling, sweating and spitting? Its good for them. Its good for them to see that I care about my body, and that exercise is important. Sometimes my toddler likes to pretend like shes working out with me, by holding her 1 lb pink hand weights and spinning around yelling "woohoo! I'm doing it!", and sometimes she'd rather go upstairs and play with her baby doll. My 6 month old baby likes to watch me dance from his swing, or use the sound of my Adidas hitting the floor as a soothing lullaby. Either way, I'm working out. They can complain all they want. They can have me for roughly 23 hours and 40 minutes of the day. This 20 minutes belongs to me. And it can belong to you too.

Who wants measurements? Ugh. That sounds horrible, haha. But for you, I'll do it.

Bust before: 44. Bust after: 44. = no change (please keep in mind I'm still breastfeeding).
Bra band before: 36. Bra band after: 35. = -1.
Waist (directly above belly button) before: 39. Waist after: 36.5. = -2.5.
Hips before: 44. Hips after: 43. = -1.
Upper thigh before: 23.5. Upper thigh after: 23. = -.5.
Lower thigh (directly above knee) before: 19. Lower thigh after: 16. = -3.
Calf before: 15.5. Calf after: 15. = -.5.
Upper arm before: 12.5. Upper arm after: 12. = -.5.
Bicep flexed before: 13. Bicep flexed after: 13. = no change.

Changes I've noticed in my body: I can do a push up like a man now. Yes, I only said, a push up. Not multiple, haha. Its taken me 2 weeks, but I went from barely being able to do a girlie push up on my knees, to actually being able to support my entire body's weight for a brief millisecond. Hot dog! That's a first for me. Never in my life have I been able to do a push up. Another change I noticed, is my stomach. I've had 2 kids, both C-sections. Things are stretched out, and mom-like. While looking in the mirror, I noticed that my Endometriosis laparoscopy scar, has disappeared. It used to be an ugly scar that stretched out about an inch or more below my belly button. Since starting the Shred, things have tightened up to the point of its disappearance. Its still there, only, its hiding inside my belly button where it belongs. Amazing. My arm flab is slowly transforming into muscle. When I flex, my arm actually does something now. My husband used to come up to me and feel my arm, and I'd be so embarrassed because I knew it was all fat. Not anymore baby, grab ahold and I'll take you to the gun show!

So in conclusion. Yes, I'm bored with the Shred. Could I challenge myself more... absolutely. I need to start doing all of the plank moves. I like this workout because it only takes 20 minutes. I like this workout because I'm gaining muscle. Have I lost any weight? I think in the beginning I lost all of two pounds. I've since banished my scale to the depths of the garage, never to return. I'll weigh in at the end of the 30 days, and see where I stand. Do I think I'm going to lose 20 pounds in 30 days? No.

Now if you'll excuse me, the husband and I have a hot date to see Transformers tonight, so I need to go powder my nose...

Burn the scales! Whos with me?!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Picture taken 2 years ago.

My body has officially gone on strike.

I've been working my butt off. I stepped it up to level 2 of the shred, finishing day 12 about 10 minutes ago. I eat Salads every day, usually for both lunch and dinner. I've been pushing myself until my muscles can't hold anymore and collapse under the burn. I've splashed around in puddles of my own sweat. I've hacked up god knows what, after chasing after my own breath for 20 minutes at a time. I've sacrificed my skin and sanity, to Jillian Michaels. And did I mention I'm still breastfeeding? Its an impossible scene that I've set up for myself, but that hasn't stopped me from trying.

Yesterday I went to the store in hopes of buying some kind of swim suit contraption that would allow me to dip into the kiddy pool with the kids. Um... fail. I left Target with a pair of board shorts, but when I got home realized that once I was in them, even though I had previously tried them on in the fitting rooms, I couldn't move. I didn't like how they felt or look, so decided to wear shorts and a tank top instead. I felt heavy and bloated. The weight of the soggy shorts and tank top only intensified that. I don't want to hide myself under layers of cotton. I want to wear a swim suit dangit. Struggles aside, we had a fun time in the pool.

Today I stepped on the scale. +3 lbs, it says.

Heavy feeling? Bloated? Emotional? Weight gain? ....Maybe this is just my non period. I call it my non period, because I haven't had a period in a million years, but once a month I feel like I'm going to. My lack of a cycle has also caused us to purchase infinity pregnancy tests throughout the months (please tell me I'm not the only one who's done this?), but I'll save that for another rant.

I'm going to burn my scale. And when I'm done with that, I'm going to burn all the calories in the world by mowing my lawn.

Gluten free hamburger cake!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

While browsing for ideas on what to do for Fathers Day, I came across somebodies Twitter post, mentioning this fantastic idea done by Bakerella. At first I thought "psh, yeah right, that'll happen", and left the page. It looked way out of my league, and the biggest turn off, it was made with flour. As my journey to find the perfect Fathers Day activity continued, I grew tired and hopeless. Thoughts of road trips and sunblock came into mind, but didn't quite sync up with the penny jar. I went back through my Twitter read, and found the link again. I stared at the screen for awhile, lips scrunched up, head slightly tilted to the right, and finally out of my mouth came the words "its on".

Gluten free baking is kind of like Science. And I was always really bad at science. As fun as it was to look at things through microscopes and wear awesome safety goggles... I sucked at it. Baking for me, has had its ups and downs. First, I could eat anything and everything, wheat included. Then out of nowhere, the gluten free bus hit me and left me with a really rotten case of baking amnesia. If that wasn't enough, I developed a million other food allergies shortly after, one at a time, and had to learn new ways to cook, just about every other day. Until I realized that I never had any food allergies at all, and I could eat whatever I wanted again, just... anyways... I'm still learning how to bake. I have to make things complicated, or it wouldn't be right.

I started off by baking the french fries. Sugar cookies, made using Pamelas baking mix (my favorite baking mix). At first I made them all too large, and they looked like home building materials. I set those ones aside, knowing that Christopher wouldn't care what any of it looked like in the end anyways, and tried again. By the last batch went into the oven, they looked as close to french fries as gluten free sugar dough would let them. Next I made the brownies, for the "hamburger patties". I had planned on making my favorite brownies, using more Pamelas baking mix, but realized that I had just used the last of the mix on the cookies, and my Amazon bulk order is still a few days away from arriving. Crap. Making a mix from scratch seemed far too overwhelming at the time, so I grabbed my Bobs Red Mill (my backup) baking mix from the fridge, and used that instead. The taste was totally off, seeing as Bob's mix is nothing near excellence in comparison to Pamelas, but it did the job. When baking the brownies, I lined the pans with tin foil, so that I could easily pull the entire batch up and out. I folded the foil over the brownie blocks, and put it in the fridge to cool and solidify. When they were cooled, I brought them back out, took the back of my jigger (bar tending materials), sank it into the brownie just enough to leave a mark, and then cut the circle out with a knife. I wrapped each patty individually in foil, and put them back into the fridge with the scraps. I don't know about you, but when I bake gluten free, chilling things is key. Next up, vanilla cupcakes. Again with the cheater mix, because I'm a mother of two with a lot to get done other than baking, I used Pamelas vanilla cake mix. When the cupcakes were done, I wrapped them up and put them in the freezer to chill. A few hours later, I unwrapped them and cut out the middles, leaving a nice little bun. As they defrosted they began to get sticky, so I had to work quickly, and keep them as cold as possible so they wouldn't lose their form. By the time this was finished, I was wiped out. I was sick of being in the kitchen, the taste, and even the scent of sugar made me gag, and the thought of tackling the mountain of dishes that I had let pile up throughout the day was hanging over my head pushing me towards a bottle of ibuprofen.

When we woke up this morning, Eleanore and I made the final ingredient, the frosting. 3 cups of sugar (mixed with tapioca starch and ground finely in our vita mix), 1 cup of Earth Balance, 1/4 cup of soy milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat, beat, beat. Fluff, fluff, fluff. Added some Betty crocker gel colors. One bowl of green for lettuce, one bowl of red for ketchup, and one bowl of yellow for mustard. Eleanore's favorite part of making anything is the tasting part, and when told that she can no longer taste, a tantrum erupts, and the fun is over. I held off as long as I could, but eventually it did come time to actually assemble our hamburgers. The tears didn't flood us out of the kitchen like I thought they would, but a poncho would have been nice. When she saw the amazing looking "cupcakes" that we were making, a fit of giggles dried up the rain, and confetti and fireworks exploded in her eyes. Bun, patty, ketcup, mustard, lettuce, bun, sesame seeds... voila! We did it!!

Happy Fathers Day Daddy!!

Fathers Day art

My almost-3-year-old and I made this card for Christopher. She couldn't contain her excitement, so since Friday, shes been yelling "we made you a Fathers Day card Daddy, you want to have it?!" every time she sees a coloring crayon. This being our first piece of frameable art done by Miss Elie, it moved Daddy to tears (manly tears, of course) when she gave it to him.

Rebecca Lane.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This week has skipped past me. Or maybe I've skipped past the week? Either way, somehow its Friday already. I spent yesterday afternoon with my daughter, running around town doing super fun things like ordering bras and buying soy sour cream for our Father's Day baked potatoes. At one point during our errand madness, we played "you can't catch me" in the middle of a cluster of clothing racks. I thought for sure Eleanore's mini Sasquatch feet (she takes after her Dad) were going to land her in a face plant opposite some grey suit slacks, but luckily the balance gods were on my side, and we made it out without any bumps or bruises. On the way home, Eleanore kept her complaining down to a minimum, thanks to the gluten free Oreo cookie I stapled to her hand (and maybe because it was 100 degrees out and she was exhausted), so I had some quiet time to reflect over the past couple of days.

My favorite stretch of road in town is on Rebecca Lane. Its the road that separates our tucked away living-on-a-military-base lives, from actual civilization. Its never busy, there are lots of cows, and when driving on it I typically forget that I'm in Texas. I drifted off into that place in my brain where kittens live on baby blue fluffy clouds and scoops of ice cream grow on Red Vine licorice trees. I've been off track this past week. Getting things done, but somehow missing a beat in my routine and not being able to pull myself back into the rhythm. I've been doing my daily workouts, getting all the way through day 10 of the 30 Day Shred, and throwing in some additional yoga to really sabotage myself. By the end of my session yesterday, I literally fell asleep on my mat. Yes. Completely, passed out when I should have been doing bicycle crunches. When I opened my eyes, the DVD was over, and I was left with a feeling of "what the hell just happened?". Pushing myself too hard? Well whatever the case may be, driving down Rebecca Lane calmed my nerves in the same mysterious way it always does.

Fathers Day weekend is coming up, and I've got something delicious hiding up my gluten free tattooed sleeve...

An Angel wrote me an email.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've always felt like a mediocre Mom. I grunt and groan when it comes to changing messy diapers, I get frustrated and snap at my 2 year old over nothing of importance, and I fantasize about running away with my camera to a rainy tropical island where plus size woman are worshiped. But in between all of that, I try my hardest to be the best mother that I can be. When my head clears, I remind myself "shes only 2, its not personal, calm down". I remind myself to mother my kids the way that I wish my mom had mothered me. I remind myself not to sweat the little things like the dishes or the mounds of laundry, because they will always be there, but the jack rabbit hopping across the street will not. So my kids play outside in diapers, or when I'm really feeling crazy, naked. We turn everything into a song, and speak with ridiculous accents for no reason. We bake sweets on Saturday mornings, and toss a handful of chocolate chips on top of a boring meal. While my kids are still young, I have to change. I grew up knowing that exercises was a punishment, vegetables were for snobs, and water was something you only used to bathe yourself with, or swim in. I know better now. I want my kids to grow up, knowing, that we can't laugh unless we exercises, our lips and eyes won't have color unless we eat our vegetables, and we'll dry up like grape-turned-raisins if we don't drink our water.

Nobody ever says "hey, you're a good mom". I don't earn any certificates for my job, like my husband does. I beat myself up over sending my daughter to bed with no lunch, because there isn't anyone to remind me that if I don't do it, nobody else will. Its been said countless times that there isn't a handbook for raising children, but when you're the one alone in a house with 2 small children for 5 days straight without leaving the house, you don't give a crap about whether there is a handbook or not. All you can think about, is how you've lost yourself in the madness of raising your children, how the air is too thick to breathe, how you've taken enough ibuprofen to sedate an elephant, and then feel guilty about feeling the way that you feel about the things that you can't change.

Yesterday out of nowhere, I got an email from a gal that wants to remain anonymous, but is most likely an Angel sent from Motherhood Heaven. It took me by such surprise, I sat here and read it 10 times before I was able to let it sink in... that I might not be as mediocre as I once thought?

"I just wanted to tell you that I wish I could be more like you. I check your blog as often as possible. I have two kids as well. My son is 2 1/2, and my daughter is just over one. I admire your motivation and your ability to write so well in your blog when you have so much going on for you. I don't know why I'm writing this, but I think you are great and I just wanted to let you know that".

Days 6/7, and the worst tummy ache ever.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday afternoon, my black fluffy kitty, Spooky, jumped up onto my lap, so I had no choice but to snuggle and kiss her all over. All over, including her cute little kitty mouth. In mid kiss, I realized what I was doing. Not the I-kiss-my-cat-on-her-mouth part, that doesn't embarrass me at all, but the I'm-kissing-cat-food, part (oh and it smelt so bad)... crap. Our cat food is wheat free, but not gluten free. I thought about it for a second, put the cat down, and went on with my day thinking the chances of me having a reaction were so slim, it wouldn't really matter. I forgot about the entire incident until a few hours later when I was on the couch unable to move, begging God to forgive me for my accidental gluten filled sin. I kept telling myself that it was from something else, and the pain would pass in a few minutes. The pain only got worse, and before I knew it, I was being poured into bed by my extremely patient and forgiving husband. There I stayed, until the echoes of a happy bouncing baby woke me up the next morning. Christopher had let me sleep in. And oh, I felt so much better! But, that doesn't change the fact that I had missed my shred the day before, which made me feel like a failure. All of the "but you were sick" reassurances in the world couldn't have made me feel better. I was still exhausted, and not entirely recovered, but I had to get up and complete my 6th workout. After some coffee and some breakfast, I hit the mat. I'm a bit obsessive, this I know.

My 6th day of the 30 Day Shred was harder than the previous days. I still had gluten in my system, and was moving like a snail carrying a brick for a shell. The sweat was dripping, my muscles were screaming, but in the end, I had done it. I felt so bad, for missing the previous day, that I even attempted to do the workout again. Actually, I flipped to level 3, to see just how hard it was. Um... yeah that didn't last long, haha. After the first round I put it back onto level 1. But then after the first round of that, I voluntarily collapsed on the floor and told Christopher to turn the DVD player off, I was done. He knew how badly I wanted to do another workout to make up for the previous days skip, so he encouraged me to get back up, but I just didn't have it in me, no matter how hard I was trying.

Day 7: The gluten is long gone, and I'm feeling great. The Shred isn't getting any easier though, because as I get stronger, I'm submerging myself into the moves twice as hard as I was when I first started. My form is different. I'm sticking my butt out as far as I can go, I'm holding my abs in until they sting, and I'm wearing 3 bras at once so that I can do the entire set of jumping jacks. The more I do it, the less I slack, the harder I try, the more Jillian's annoying banter makes sense. When she says to sink lower into my lunge, I do. When she tells me the only person I'm cheating is myself, shes right. I still have to stop occasionally to tend to small children who insist on trying to crawl even though they know they can't, but instead of moving on, I rewind it. Even 30 seconds makes a difference, and I'm really committed to changing my body.

I had Christopher hide the scale in the garage, to tame my awful obsession with numbers. This isn't a race to lose weight. I need to remember that.
(picture by honeyandjamphotos)

The 30 Day Shred, day 5.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Before Shredding, and after Shredding.

I know, I can't believe I've done 5 days either!

Today was Christopher's squadron picnic (for those of you that are new to the exciting life of Christopher And Tia, Christopher is in the US Air Force), which for us, means we get to eat brownies! The military doesn't exactly approve of a gluten free lifestyle, which means we're on our own at the events as far as food goes. Lately, our go to to-go food, is a brownie. Its kind of the most perfect food ever, am I wrong? We like adding walnuts for protein. They're healthy really, I swear, haha. The picnic ended up being awful in every way possible, I'll spare you the details, so we came home way before our departure was scheduled. Instead of eating our brownies in the 100 degree heat, surrounded by a big group of immature disrespectful jerks (OK, so I'll partially spare you the details), we decided to come home and eat our brownies in our nice air conditioned home. And eat those brownies we did. A lot. We ate them so hard, that we had to sweep and swiffer the entire bottom floor of the house. You think I'm joking don't you? No, we're huge pigs.

So because of the great brownie pig out of 2009, we had to kick butt in the 30 Day Shred department. Yep, Christopher too! While I was dressing Charlie in his goodnight outfit, in comes Christopher, wearing red short-shorts, knee socks, and a matching red sweatband. Sexay! The poor guy, got his butt kicked by Jillian. And me? I did great! I didn't have to stop a single time (I brought it back down to level 1 again, haha). I kept up, and I was even able to advance in some of the moves. I can now actually KICK my butt on the butt kicks. Yay! So my endurance is increasing, and I'm 1/6 of the way done with the Shred.

A nice way to wake up.

Giggling shouts of baby happiness from the bassinet next to our bed woke me up this morning. And while we slept, our yellow cupcake recipe box said hello to the front page of Etsy. What a nice way to start this Friday.

Rain boots.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something I never owned, even though I grew up in Washington state, was a pair of rain boots. It seemed like puddle stomping, and the like, were never appealing to my mom. I wasn't raised with those sort of adventures. Is all too obvious to me now, that those are the things that make life worth living.
Eleanore got her very first pair or rain boots.

My 30 Day Shred, day 4.

Really, all I have to say about day 4, is that I deserve this Shrek sized chai tea soy latte, thankyouverymuch.

I stepped it up a notch, to level 2 of Jillian's program. What, in the heck, was I thinking? My original plan was to stay on level 1 for the first 10 days. But today as I regained control of over 75% of my leg muscles, I wondered to myself "how hard could it be?". I rolled out my pink mat, laced up my Adidas, and while the baby went back and forth in his swing, I pressed play on the remote. Because I took on this challenge while both kids were awake, I had to stop a few times for "get out of mommy's workout space or else" threats, and a few times to replace binkys into crying mouths.

It started out like the last one, same arm stretching, jumping jacks... pffft, I got this. Just as I think the push ups are coming, she throws an even deadlier move at me, a walking push up? Sounds easy enough. I mean, walking is easy, right? Within seconds, I'm out of breath and laughing out loud at just how bad at this I am. Go from a standing position, bend over, touch your hands to the floor, use your upper body strength to bring yourself to a push up position (without letting your knees touch the ground ever), do a push up (or just hold it, if you lack upper arm strength like me), and then walk it back up. And then do it again. And again. And again. And... Jillian please! I'm embarrassed to say, I could not keep up, and didn't do all of them. I heard the baby crying for his binky and immediately was like "oh, yes Charlie? Here comes Mommy!!" in hopes of covering up my failure. I did dive right back into the routine though, doing whatever awful body slashing move she threw at me. I couldn't do the last minute of abs, because again, I just don't have that much upper arm strength. Instead, I got down on the mat, and did the bicycle abs from level 1. All in all, I felt like level 2 challenged me way more, and left me feeling much more fulfilled in the "I just got my butt kicked!" department. I think I'm going to challenge myself to it again tomorrow, with a few alterations. I have no shame in admitting that some things I just cannot do, and probably won't be able to do even when I'm finished with the 30 day set. So in place of those moves, I'll use some of the moves from level 1.

When Christopher came home for lunch I asked him not to look at me. My hair was sweat/greased into place with the aid of way too many bobby pins, and I was still walking around in my stretched out sweat pants and double bra ensemble. Not so sexy. I ran up and took a shower while he read Eleanore her nap time story (he sang it to her actually, it was really cute), and now that I'm clean I feel 100x better. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been stepping on the scale daily. The numbers haven't really budged, but my measurements have. I'm not going to do an "official" weigh in until my mid point, but, I can see changes, and it feels painfully great.

My 30 Day Shred, day 3.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last night when I finally got a chance to lay on the couch, I collapsed with the intentions of never getting up again, ever. The pain in my legs by that point was so intense that I had literally shed a single tear on my trip down the stairs 5 minutes before. Not only did I feel like a huge wuss, being the wife of an obviously fit and trim Airman (its so embarrassing sometimes, I hate it), but was I seriously considering crawling? ...I was. I wanted to. Christopher offered to carry me, which he can do (and has) now that I've dropped a big chunk of weight, but that's embarrassing too. I asked him to instead, massage my legs while I watched Vh1. He kept rubbing too deep, which was probably really just a light touch, and I flinched and shouted in agony for him to get away from me. "No I didn't mean it, come back, helllp mmeeee" I begged. And then before I knew it, hubbs had made me a hot (as hot as the water would go) lavender bubble bath, complete with candles. I know, "awww", right? The bath was amazing, and left me feeling almost human again. Until I stood up.

Waking up this morning was near impossible. I didn't want to. I felt I couldn't. I hated the idea of getting out from underneath my covers. I picked up the fussing baby, and snuggled him up next to me so that he had no choice but to fall back asleep. This worked for about 30 minutes, which was plenty of time for my body to accept its fate, and get moving. By the time I got around to doing the shred, I was pleasantly surprised that I was slowly regaining use of my leg muscles. They still burned with every step, but at least they were strong enough to support my weight as I hovered with a bowl full of pureed bananas in front of a wiggly eating machine.

Today I turned the 30 Day Shred into a game. Kind of. I set up my workout space, and a small space beside it for my 2 year old daughter. I gave her wooden toy trains for weights, and when the DVD started, told her to do exactly like the ladies on TV did. At first, this was hilarious and silly to the max. She squealed with laughter at everything. "Are you doing jumping jacks, Mommy?! HAHAHAH!". Her laughing made me laugh, and made my workout that much more difficult, but so much more fun. And when the laughter slipped away, I noticed that I was actually keeping up with Jillian. I didn't have to modify the moves. The things that I had worked hard at the past 2 days, I decided to ease up on, and work harder at the things I had slacked on. Abs. The very last round of ab work during the routine is a killer. Bicycle crunches for 1 minute. I did them. The entire minute. Just as slow and agonizing as they do them on the video. Gasping and grunting for air, but I did them. Eleanore layed on her mat (a folded up Barbie comforter) asking me over and over and over if she could have juice (which, haha little girl, you don't know it, but I've been giving you water, and just calling it juice, take that!). "Are you done Mommy, are you done?!". Yes. Yes my dear, I'm done. Wait... I'm done? I did it? Really? Yesterday I had told myself there was no way that I would be able to do another lunge again as long as I lived, and yet here I was, with a small sweat puddle on the floor where my back had just been, and I was... done?


My 30 day shred: day 2.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Somewhere in between midnight and 3am, I started feeling The Shred. Remember yesterday, when I said that I felt defeated? Like maybe I didn't do it right? Well I did it right, alright. The baby woke me up for good, around 6am. Coming down the stairs was a nightmare. I kept repeating in my head "the pain will go away, the pain will go away, the pain will go away". If I could just put in the DVD, and get through day 2 of the 30 Day Shred, the pain would go away. I just need to work the muscles again. Get the blood flowing. Burn a little fat off the top.

...the pain didn't go away.

Once I started the workout, it didn't take long for the pain to dull. Muscles went numb, as I put more of my concentration into breathing and not falling over (I've got terrible balance). Today I found the jumping jacks even more annoying than I did yesterday. The weight of my chest being tossed around is just too much, so I did a sort of side step/bounce jumping jack. Lets call it a bouncing jack? My butt kicks turned into more of a jog in place, and my jump rope was more of a stand-rope. OK more of a hop rope, but not quite a jump. While switching up these moves worked way better for me, I felt like I wasn't getting my heart rate up to where it needed to be (even though I was sweaty and breathing heavily), and that made me feel defeated again. I felt like if Jillian would have been in front of me for real, she would have been screaming at me to suck it up and jump. But hey, at least I was doing it right? Not sitting on the couch eating cereal like I would have rather been doing. All in all, the workout was a little bit easier today. The bicycle crunches killed me, thank goodness, that's where I need it the most, but everything else seemed to be just a teeny bit more tolerable than it was before. By the time I was finished, I had beads of sweat rolling down the sides of my face, and I was gasping for water. I can no longer walk comfortably, and I don't see the return of a human like stance anytime soon. Honestly, I probably look like I'm walking around with a stick up my ass. In fact I know I do. Sitting down while holding my 20 lb son is the absolute worst. I thought maybe if I did it faster it wouldn't hurt so bad, but then his head just slapped into, and bounced off of my shoulder, making me feel like the laziest/worst mom currently available to babies.

So. In conclusion. The 30 Day Shred is kicking my ass. My body hurts in all of the places Jillian intended. My incredibly sore body makes up for my feeling of defeat in the jumping department. And I don't plan on giving up anytime soon. I'm cringing at the thought of day 3, but excited to get past this introductory phase and transition into a healthier me.

My 30 day shred.

Monday, June 8, 2009

This morning I worked out with Jillian Michaels (ya know, from the Biggest Loser) for the first time. You may, or may not have heard of The 30 Day Shred? I looked up the DVD. I read article reviews, I read blog reviews, I looked at before and after pictures of Shred heads (that's what we call ourselves, I guess. I might be jumping the gun on that one though). After not much thinking at all, I decided to take on the challenge. That's how I start most of my adventures though, on a whim. After being married for 3 years, having 2 kids, and suffering with a ridiculous stomach condition that went undiagnosed for years, I packed on the pounds. I mean, I REALLY packed on the pounds. I became unrecognizable to myself. None of my clothes fit. I was always tired. I didn't want to do anything except sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself (sound familiar? I know this must strike a chord with someone out there).

Just recently I started my weight loss journey. I've walked miles upon miles. I've jogged. I've sprinted (resulting in a badly sprained knee). I've ridden bikes for hours. I've changed my eating habits. And the result of it all? I've lost 3 or 4 pants sizes, and 44 pounds (all while eating chocolate and chips daily). Save your applause though, because I'm nowhere near done.

This morning I woke up, after a rough night might I add, and before even a sip of coffee, but after a glass of water (I'm still breastfeeding, water is more than essential), I put in The 30 Day Shred. The workout starts quicker than I anticipated, after only a minute or two of stretching. Jillian didn't waste any time getting me on the ground and into the push up position (oh god). The hardest part for me personally, was the jumping jacks and jump rope moves. I'm extremely busty, an H cup, and no sports bra in the world can hold me in place. It was uncomfortable, and I had to re-adjust about a billion times before we switched to a new move. The good thing is, Jillian transitions quickly between cardio, abs, and strength training. The cardio of course, seems to last the longest. It was much easier for me to do the punching in place, because it didn't involve bouncing. My toddler was upstairs still sleeping, and my 5 month old was next to me in his Jumperoo squealing with both delight and frustration, as Mommy danced around like a big goof, yet, failed to pick him up and clap every time he engaged a really high double leg kick. Before I knew it, the workout was over. I was drenched in sweat, yet, feeling kind of defeated. It was hard for me to keep up. I felt like I wasn't getting the most out of the workout, due to my lack of endurance. Fast forward 5 minutes to me walking over and picking up the baby, and... shred achieved. Jillian had apparently kicked my ass without me really even knowing it? When it came time to walk up the stairs to get Miss Elie out of bed (she was already wide awake by the way, and probably had been the entire time) I kept praying my knees wouldn't buckle. Falling down the stairs isn't how I wanted to begin my day. How, oh how, am I going to do this again tomorrow? The same way I get up at 3am to feed a hungry baby. The same way I cook an entire gluten free/citrus free/dairy free meal from scratch at the end of a long day. I'll do it because I have to.

My starting measurments in inches (ugh, I can't believe I'm posting these)...
-bust: 44
-bra Band: 36
-waist: 39
-hips: 44
-upper thigh: 23.5
-lower thigh: 19
-calf: 15.5
-upper arm: 12.5
-bicep flexed: 13

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun.

Friday, June 5, 2009

This has turned into kind of a mom blog, hasn't it? It won't be that way forever, I promise (I may or may not be crossing my fingers behind my back). But for now, my life kind of revolves around diapers and tantrums, ya know? Now that its summer, the sun has declared war with my family. The position of our house doesn't aid us at all in the battle. There is no shade in the front yard at all. I hate keeping Eleanore locked up like a wild beast all day, so I took note of the cool air that lingers until around 9am, and used it to my advantage. You want us sun? Fine, come and get us. Yesterday morning I had both kids dressed, drenched in sun block (a temporary fix for the UV rays, but nothing when it comes time for combat), and out the door and on our way to the park before the sun could even see us. The walk to the park is nice. Its just around the corner, but with a 2 year old in tow, takes us quite a while. I thought I heard a rattle, so we maybe ran part of the way, but other than that it was very relaxing. It didn't take long for the sun to catch up with us, he must have smelt the Coppertone, so the adventure soon came to an end. But not before the swings went into full motion and butts dove into puddle holding slides. I'll leave out the details of the 9 hour water filled sippy standoff, and the massive first solid food poops had by my 5 month old. Trust me, yesterday was a day for the Herman history books. I'm planning a rematch with the Sun tomorrow morning.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Storms move in faster than a trip to the mailbox, here in west central Texas. One minute its sunny, and the next there is a thick dark line inching its way across the front yard. I always mean to take pictures of it, but have gotten so used to it, I forget how alluring it is. During this specific storm, lightning struck in between those two houses, right behind that fence. It was amazing, and oh so loud. Luckily, this being our 4th summer in Texas, Eleanore has been raised around the storming, and the thunder doesn't bother her. Yesterday she was actually asking for it, like I could pull it out of the pantry like a cereal box.