Weekend Update: Holiday Season Is Upon Us!

I love Christmas.  I love finding the perfect gift for people and watching them open it.  Sadly, I’m having a little trouble getting into the spirit of gift giving this year because we don’t have much money and my Mom has no money for Christmas this year which upsets her and in turn, makes me sad.  She worked her butt off taking care of our Veterans for 37 years, retired in March planning to contract out to the VA through an agency but has ended up not being able to get as many shifts as needed to pay her bills, much less get ahead.  So, yeah, it’s just taken a bit out of my spirit.

I had 5 days off over Thanksgiving and it was wonderful!  J was pretty much gone the whole time hunting (and not seeing a darn thing).  We got cable turned back on because we’re in a contract and had put it on hold for 3 months.  It was due to be turned back on on the 20th and I begged J to keep it for now because I have not found any other way to get my Hallmark Christmas movies.  They are a must for deer hunting season!  I made it to the gym on Wednesday and again Thanksgiving morning.  We spent Thanksgiving day at my Mom’s.  The food was delicious and the Packer game was awful.  😦  I still can’t believe the Bears beat us at Lambeau field. In between eating and the game, J and I ran to Walmart for part of my Christmas gift (an iPad).  I really wanted it to use as a reader and it just made the most sense to pay the money for the iPad since everything else we have is apple and also, I could then download kindle and nook to it.  I also like the camera on it much better than with my phone.  We also picked up some playdoh and a game for the kids and a 24 piece pyrex glass storage containers.  We got home about 11:30pm and went straight to bed. I got up at 4:15am to go shopping with my Sister per our tradition and J of course went back out to the woods.  Our shopping trip wasn’t as successful as it normally is but we still had fun.  I got home about noon, took an hour nap and then got up and made the food for Thanksgiving with J’s family.  I got to his Sister’s about 3 or so and we hung out there until about 8:30pm.

Saturday, I finished decorating the tree/house (I had started Wednesday night) and just spent the day chilling out.  J shot at a doe Saturday evening and thought he had missed, but it turned out he hit it and his cousin found it while they were out Sunday morning so J was home about 1pm on Sunday.  I spent the day cleaning and reading books and just cuddling with J and the pups on the couch.  Today we are back to work and busy lives.

Oh, I also weighed myself yesterday morning ( a little scared because I hadn’t done well on food at all this past week), but pleasantly surprised that I lost 2.2 lbs since the 20th.  I’ve lost about 7 lbs overall and just over 5 since I started keeping track and working out.  I have an appointment with my trainer tomorrow night at 6:30pm and we will do a weigh in and find out how many body fat percentage points I’ve gone down.  He wanted it to go down 2-3 points in a month so hopefully, it did.

We’ve got some other things going on this week that I hope I can update you on in the next couple days.  Have a great week!

Lots of Love~Dawn

Workin’ It!

You all have heard me complain about my weight, my lack of energy, and my overall health.  A little less than a month ago, I took back control over this part of my life.  First, I joined a gym that had just opened in my town. I went a couple of times and then took a full week of the week I headed out to CT for the weekend.  I met with the trainer there the Tuesday after Halloween (on our anniversary actually) and have been going solid ever since.

I signed up for 2 training sessions a month because they were running a deal, $40/month for 2 half hour sessions.  I need this because I need someone telling me what to do when it comes to strength training.  I’ve met with him 3 times now and it’s been fantastic.  This morning, a friend invited me to a free workout one of the fitness places was doing.  It’s opening day of deer hunting here so it was called the “Whitetail Widow’s Workout”, lol.  I was seriously scared going in because it was a boot camp type class and I’ve never done one of those before.  I thought for sure I was going to die during it.  Turns out, I’m getting stronger because I made it through.  The hardest part was lunges with a upside down kettle ball in the same hand of the leg you were lunging with and that’s only because my right lower back is still tweaked so I was really feeling it there.  I forgot to start my heart rate monitor right when we started warming up, but still burned over 450 calories during the workout.  Afterwards, we went and got breakfast at Panera and I ran a few errands.  By the time I got home, I had burned 1070 calories, all because I started my day with that workout.  It felt fantastic!

2 weeks ago, I started overhauling my food.  The first week, I did great for the first few days and then Thursday afternoon, it went down hill.  Still doing better than I was, but not fantastic.  This past week, I did awesome on food Monday – Friday at lunch.  Tuesday night was the only night I had any kind of bread throughout that time.  I also ate all the veggies that I had bought a couple weeks ago and didn’t throw anything out for going bad except a little lettuce.  This is AMAZING for me.  I’m always the person that buys veggies with good intentions, and then throws pretty much all of it out because it went bad.  Although I’m trying to keep it really healthy during the week, I’m giving myself more of a break on the weekends.  I’m enjoying what I want, but not going overboard. I’ve only had 2 sodas in 2 weeks which is huge for me.

So, what have these changes gotten me so far.  At my heaviest, I was 171.4, I think.  When I did my weight and measurements on 10/29, the morning I left for CT, I was 169.6, after 2 weeks of getting to the gym at least 3 times a week and doing better on food, I’m down to 166.6.  It’s not a lot in a months time, but I’ll take it.  I was also down an inch in my chest, waist, and abs.  No change in my hips but I don’t have a lot of fat in that area.  I also lost 1/2 an inch on my right thigh which means my thighs are now the same size, lol.  No change in arms or calves or left thigh.  But more than this even is that I’m no longer having chest pains!  I know, I don’t think I actually mentioned these before, I don’t think I even told J how often they were happening, but it was pretty frequently, especially after drinking a Coke.  I also have slightly more energy.  I wouldn’t say it’s a crazy amount, but it’s way more than I used to.  I would say I’m actually sleeping worse because I drink so much water, especially on the nights that I work out that I get up to pee a lot, lol.

So, where do I go from here?  I’m just going to keep working out at least 3 times/week and hopefully get it closer to 5 times/week most weeks and keep working on incorporating the veggies in and the carbs out.  I have noticed that somethings that I loved don’t taste as good anymore (like my peppermint mocha from Starbucks) and last night we went out for fish and it seemed so greasy to me!  I only ate a piece and a half and most of my small baked potato and I was plenty full.

So that’s it.  My health update for the month.  My trainer wants to see my body fat percentage go down 2-3 points by our next appt on the 1st so hopefully, it will have!  I definitely plan on working out Thanksgiving morning and Friday morning before we do our family Thanksgiving’s those days.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

Lots of Love~Dawn

I Am So Angry!

***Rant Below that you may not all agree with but I needed to get my feelings on this out***

Ugh, how do I have so many people on my Facebook that have no compassion or empathy for others?  So many people that posted some graphic about how we shouldn’t help the refugees because we have our own homeless problem in the US including Veterans.  Yet, I can guarantee 99% if not 100% of those people do nothing to actively work towards a solution to help the homeless.

These people are being terrorized.  Their country is war torn.  They have to be afraid of bombs coming down and ISIS raping and killing them.  They have to leave everything they’ve ever known just to have the chance for their families to survive; for their children to live.  I’m sorry, I actively work towards helping the homeless in my community, but even the homeless in the USA don’t have it as badly as these people do.

And of course, the ISIS as a whole is Obama’s fault!  Because the guy has that much power?!  Are you kidding me?!  Again, I am just so angry!

Here’s my FB status from earlier:

I have seen so many people today post about how we need to help our own homeless before we help other countries. 1.) God calls us to help all in need for those of you that call yourselves Christians. 2.) You say we need to help our own homeless, but what exactly are YOU doing to help this problem? Or are you just saying we need to but you don’t actually want to do anything to help. It’s an interesting subject that’s coming up in the middle of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. If you’re interested in helping our homeless but don’t know how, here’s a great way: Go www.fpmcwi.wix.com/familypromise and become a Club 180 member. $15/mo and if only 500 people in all of Monroe County pledge to do this, we will have Family Promise of Monroe County, WI funded for a year!

I haven’t checked yet, but I’m betting there’s no new donations to Family Promise to help the homeless.

Weekend Recap 11/13-11/15

The weekend started off well.  I went to the gym after work and did a short spinning class (OMG…so hard).  I could sit down and cycle no problem, but the parts where you’re supposed to stand or keep your butt just above the seat…no go.  I did still burn 200 calories though so I’ll take it!  After the gym, I came home and made dinner (although for the life of me, I can’t remember what…ha, just remembered…tilapia and asparagus).  I did great on food the first half of the week, but by Thursday afternoon, all I wanted was coffee and some sweets so that’s what I had.  Then I had a Family Promise meeting in my hometown so when I stopped at my Mom’s before hand, my niece was selling candy bars for dance team so of course I bought one and ate it for dinner.  Then by the time I got home, I was starving so I had J throw in a frozen pizza before I got there and ate 3 pieces of that before bed.  Friday afternoon I ate sweets again.  😦  Overall though, my veggie in-take was way up!  After dinner, J watched the Badger game and I went in our room and watched a Christmas movies before heading to bed early because Saturday was going to be a big day.

Saturday morning I got up early (6:30am), got ready quick and headed out the door.  Went the opposite direction of where I needed to go just to grab some Starbucks.  Then off to my hometown I went for Family Promise’s 3rd annual Clothing Giveaway.  The Haiti missions group in our area does a  huge rummage sale every year and they always give us all the clothes that are left over, we then take in donations the week leading up to the giveaway (we think we now have storage space so that we can start collecting all year round and hopefully do the giveaway in the spring and the fall).  Anyways, there is no income verification and anybody can come in and get what they need.  We have boys and girls clothes from birth on up and women’s and men’s clothes.  Even maternity this year plus blankets, coats, gloves, hats and shoes plus some other miscellaneous things each year.  I think those of us that volunteer always end up feeling more Blessed than those that come in.  Last time we did this was in January and I was in the middle of my miscarriage so I had a hard time finding the Blessing in it, but this time it was back to feeling great about it.  It was also the kick off to National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week here in the US.  If you can, make a donation to your food pantry or one of your other community organizations that helps these groups of people!  After the event was over, I pretty much just vegged out on the couch the rest of the day.  J and I watched the Paris coverage that night and my heart just broke and I went back to the days following 9/111 all over again.  😦

Sunday morning, I was awake by 7:30am.  J got up at 8am and decided he wanted to try and make the 8:30 service instead of our usual 10:30.  We were only a few minutes late to a really amazing sermon.  The day started great and unfortunately just went down hill from there.

For any of you who have been following my blog for at least 6 months knows, my kitties went to live with my Mom this summer after 3 years of just living in my basement because they hated Rocky.  They are so much happier there and get lots of attention and sunlight.  On Thursday before the meeting when I stopped at Mom’s, I held Lucy so she could cut some mats out of her fur.  Before Mom even touched her, she started yowling and making this noise I’ve never heard out of her before.  I could also tell that she had lost weight.  On Friday, Mom said she was lethargic and just laying around all day, upstairs on the couch by Mom which was unusual for her.  Saturday, Mom got home from work and Lucy had extremely bad jaundice.  Sunday, I went to Mom’s at noon to watch the Packer game, she said she couldn’t find Lucy when she got home (she wasn’t in her usual hiding places).  I went downstairs to call and look for her and heard her doing that yowling again.  My heart just broke as I picked her up and I was just bawling.  I proceeded to hold and pet her as she laid on my lap for the next 6 hours.  In the last hour, she peed all over me and didn’t even realize that she had done it.  Mom and my Sister went and got kitten milk and soft food to force feed her, hoping to get her liver flushed out and regenerated.  It was a hard day with a lot of crying.  Mom continued to get up every few hours throughout the night to feed her.  She last fed her at 5am and when she got up at 7am to give her the last of the milk, she had passed away.  I am so happy that I got to be with her and hold her and love on her yesterday and I’m happy that for the most part, she didn’t seem to be in pain and is no longer suffering, but I’m heartbroken that she is gone.

RIP my Sweet Lucy!

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Linus and Lucy when I first got them.

 

Got My First Troll Y’all!

I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of actually approving her comment, but I’ll copy and paste it for you.

“I found your blog from a comment you made on another blog I read. OMG! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and have been a preschool director for the past 12 years. CIO neglects the child’s needs and sense of secure attachment. It’s no surprise that you are struggling to keep your little home daycare occupied. Get a clue Dawn. Just because you don’t want to attend to a crying child’s needs does not mean the child should just suck it up and stop crying. Yes, they do stop crying eventually. But that doesn’t mean that CIO works. NOBODY can continue crying forever!!! The saying that some people really shouldn’t have kids is true fatty boom batty. Oh and fibromyalga is a mental disorder for people seeking attention and pain pills.”

First of all, CIO does not neglect a child’s needs, obviously, CIO Method (which by the way is actually called the Ferber method, not CIO) is used when you know the baby has been fed, changed and is tired.  You also don’t just leave the baby crying by itself for however long it takes for them to put themselves to sleep.  You go in every 10-15 minutes to let them know that you are still there, they are learning to sooth themselves to sleep.  Being able to sooth themselves is a skill that can be used in a variety of situations thought their lives.  It is also used to get a child on a schedule which is just not a bad thing no matter how you look at.  If you don’t want to do it that way, it’s fine, by all means, do it however you want, like I said, it’s my opinion and I don’t judge other people on how they want to do it with their child at home.  Second, she’s been a preschool director for 12 years.  That means, the children in her care are 3-5 years old.  A Bachelor’s degree in Early childhood doesn’t get you hands on experience with infants.  I have been taking care of children for 27 years.  Including, several babies on top of 9 nieces and nephews.  When a baby is old enough to be on a schedule, this works and I’ve never had a parent have a problem with it.  In fact, several of my parents have also used the Ferber method.  She also, I’m guessing, has no clue what it’s like to own a in-home daycare.  I don’t have co-teachers or assistants.  I do it all myself.  It has nothing to do with not wanting to meet the children’s needs.  The children in my care are happy, playing and laughing all day long.  My parents pick up happy children in the afternoon and their kiddos are happy to come to me in the mornings when they get dropped off.  They talk about me while they are at home and even choose to pray for me at bedtime.  Having trouble finding daycare children has nothing to do with my care and everything do with the fact that I can’t take on several babies which is what the biggest need is in my area.  I don’t even know what the “fatty boom batty” is supposed to mean.  And the fibromyalgia comment is just pure ignorance on her part and wouldn’t see be surprised to hear that I don’t pop pills for it.  I have never once taken a pill for fibromyalgia and anyone that has thoroughly read my blog knows that I hate taking pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary (like to have a baby).

So Ladies, I hope no one else was offended my post yesterday.  The funny thing is when I started thinking about writing that post, I was really just wondering, am I going to have those fist time nerves and that anxiety that so many first time Mom’s have?  Will those come into play because it’s finally my child or will my experience stop that from happening?

Hope you all have a Happy Friday and nobody else gets trolled today!  🙂

Lots of Love~Dawn

Will I Be A Normal First Time Mom?

I’ve thought about this a lot and for a long time and I honestly don’t know if I will be.  I read so many of your posts and think, will I worry like that because it’s my own, or because I have so much infant experience, will I be fine and go with what I know tends to work.  Just some examples that I wonder about:

Breastfeeding vs. Bottle feeding:  If we get pregnant on our own or with IVF at some point, where will I lie?  Right now, I think I would do both.  I know that I want J to be able to do feedings too.  Obviously, with our adoption, even though I’m thinking of trying to breast feed, we would probably mostly have to bottle feed.

CIO Method vs Not letting them CIO:  I am a huge proponent of the CIO method, huge.  I’ve seen it work time and time again and I have to use it on my daycare kids or I would never get a break and that’s not good for any of us.  With adoption, for longer than I imagine if it we our biological child, we’re not going to be able to do it.  We are supposed to immediately pick up our baby if they start crying to form that attachment and that honestly goes against what I believe.  I think it’s good for baby’s to exercise their lungs a bit.  Not for a long time and of course not when they’re extremely tiny, but within reason, it’s okay to not rush over immediately.  If you put your child in daycare which mine technically will be since I do daycare, caregivers can’t always immediately give any given child what they want/need at that moment.  Sometimes, they’ve got to wait a few minutes and it’s a whole lot easier if you don’t have to get them used to that after several months of it being another way. However, when it’s my own child, will I feel differently?  On this one, I truly don’t think I will, but never say never.

Leaving our Baby with a sitter:  I had a friend that just refused to do it when her children were little.  She didn’t even like to leave them with Dad.  I am 99% positive this will not be me.  I’ve spent so many years (being almost 40) of being able to do what I want, when I want that I don’t think I’ll have a problem leaving my kiddo with my Mom, Sister or nieces to get out for a bit.

Illness:  I’ll worry.  That is so me!  I will definitely worry when this happens.

Cloth vs. disposable:  I can go either way on this one but we’ll more than likely end up doing disposable.  You never know though.  Honestly, the world of cloth diapers is a bit overwhelming to me.

Co-Sleeping:  This may fall under the CIO method, really, but right now, I say absolutely not.  Why?  Because I watched my Sister do it with all her kids and then not be able to get them out of her bed til they were like 10yrs old.  They can be in our bedroom in a bassinet or pack and play, but I will not be doing co-sleeping for night sleeping.

These are just a few things I think of and have for years now.  The good thing about it taking so long to have children and having 9 nieces and nephews, I’ve really been able to watch what they do and go, yeah, I want to do that and no, I definitely do not want to do that.

These are just my opinions on what I want to do.  I’m not into that Mommy war thing. I know one area that J will fight me on is the CIO thing because he can’t stand to hear babies crying where I can mostly block it out if it’s not an in pain/hungry kind of cry.  If it’s just that they’re tired and NEED sleep.  I can block it out.

Weekend Recap 11/6 -11/8

Scandal…if you don’t watch it, I highly recommend that you do.  Unless you have no time to be sucked into a television show and then stay away.  J and I love it!!!  Friday night, my original plan was to head to the gym after work but I had been plagued with a headache for most of the the day and it was still throbbing by the time the last kiddo left.  For some reason, my oils rarely work for my headaches even though they work for any other person I’ve ever talked to that gets headaches and even migraines.  So odd!  I finally took some actual meds (yuck) and when J got home from b-ball practice and asked what he could do, I replied, “Make a fire and cuddle up with me.”  Luckily, he did and we spent all evening watch Scandal episodes.  I think I could’ve stayed awake all night I get so sucked into them.  The problem is, we always watch Scandal before bed because that’s the time we have together and then I always have the craziest dreams, lol.

Saturday, I was supposed to have breakfast with a friend but she cancelled on me so we got up and J made breakfast and we worked on our budget.  Basically, we’ve been living beyond our means since the summer and it was time to reign it in.  It’s going to be hard, and it sucks, especially with Christmas less than 2 months away and I love buying presents!  The other thing that sucks is my Bestie that I just went and saw in CT is turning 40 in December and last year, when we couldn’t afford for me to fly to Miami for her Bday (she hates winter so she always heads to Miami for her B-Day), I told her I would do a trip with her for her 40th this year.  Well, unfortunately life happened like losing all those daycare kids and the convertible completely breaking down and we can’t afford for me to go.  She knew this a long time ago and it wasn’t a big deal except for then, her good friend that lives in Miami and had been the one to initially suggest the trip backed out on her.  So now, she’s going to be completely by herself for her 40th in Aruba.  Yesterday, she called to say a couple of people had offered to buy my plane ticket just for the weekend so she’s no alone on her actual birthday, unfortunately, J is still not on board.  We pretty much have just enough in savings to pay off our credit card bills and then after we pay all our bills each month, we have about $300 left for gas/food.  We both agreed before she told me this that we start living within our means this month.  Well, even though my ticket/hotel would be paid for, I’d still need to buy food, pay for airport parking and pay my Mom for doing daycare even though she always tries to refuse the money.  I totally get it and get where he’s coming from, but that didn’t make it any easier to call her today and tell her I still couldn’t go.  I was bawling and feel so horribly guilty and totally stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one.  Sorry, got a head of myself…back to Saturday, J left to go hunting and I worked on getting all the toys sanitized because the colds have already started coming into daycare.  My friend stopped by to pick up some Inner defense from me because she seems to get sick constantly and then I headed out to the gym.  My trainer wants me to burn about 250 calories when I do cardio so I started out with step aerobics but my legs quickly cramped up like they do when I try to run now.  I switched over the the treadmill hoping some walking would help but they just continued to cramp so then I switched to the sitting elliptical machine they just put in.  I burned about 265 calories between those 3 things and then went through the workout I did with the trainer last week and ended up burning 700 calories total!  It felt good!!!  Then I came home and made salmon and brussel sprouts for dinner.  This was the first time I’d ever made or tasted brussel sprouts and luckily, I liked them!

Saturday night's dinner.

Saturday night’s dinner.

After dinner, we watched more Scandal and Rocky decided he’d had enough of Bandit getting to be in Daddy’s lap and climbed right up into the recliner with him!

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Ignore the evil looking green eyes, lol.

Ignore the evil looking green eyes, lol.

Sunday morning we got up early to head out to enjoy our Anniversary date, seeing “WICKED”!  We got ready and dropped the pups off at Mom’s for the day on our way to Milwaukee.  We got to Milwaukee just before noon and the play didn’t start til 1pm so we popped into B-Dubs and watched the first quarter of the Packer game.  We same them get their first touchdown and it just went down hill from there.  😦  The musical however was AMAZING!!!  Even J really liked it.  I will say the girl playing Glinda made some of her parts on little too cheesy compared to past performances that I’ve seen, but otherwise just freakin’ amazing.  Here’s a few pics:

A quick pic in front of the turning sign before going into the theatre.

A quick pic in front of the turning sign before going into the theatre.

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The decorated tree across from the theatre.

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On our way home, we say a Beautiful sunset that this picture just does not do it justice.

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Except for the guilt and turmoil of having to tell my Best Friend she has to spend her birthday alone in Aruba, it was a fantastic weekend!

Have a great week, Friends!

Lots of Love~Dawn