Saturday, August 30, 2008

I have hit a goal. YIPEE!!

My weight goals were twofold:
1) go from a tight size 14 to a loose size 8. I HAVE DONE THAT!(I got my first pair of size 8 jeans yesterday!)
2) go from 168 pounds to 135 pounds. I AM ALMOST THERE. Why not stop some might ask? Well, I want a 3 to 5 pound buffer or, as My Hunny likes to say, a weight box. The weight box is the zone I can safely stay within. So, if I want to pig out at a party and I am 135, I have the room to do so. However, if I am 138 I won't be pigging out at a party, I will be calorically lying low.

I am really proud of myself, and extremely grateful to God for the grace He has given me to do this. I would NEVER have been able to do it on my own. I am, notoriously, not one to follow through on much of anything...thus the reason I unschool (LOL). Up until my mom's death, I was between 135-140. I never thought about what I was eating and didn't exercise. But the depression that sank in upon mom's death, and all the craziness going on with Ben, and getting older, just did me in weight-wise. I think it happens to alot of women.

I have learned that I can't eat what I used to. I just don't have the same metabolism. I have learned to have mastery over my appetite (THANKS TO GOD!), and I have developed the discipline (ya like that Lisa B.?) of regular exercise. Thanks to Sparkpeople (see sidebar) for all the past and continued help. Also, I have to say that the way I have lost has been High Carb, High Fiber (mostly complex carbs grains, fruits and veggies) Low Sugar, Low Fat and Low Protein. When researching the way I eat it is reminiscent of the Pritikin Diet, the Rice Diet, & the McDougall Diet  and Ornish Diet (though I am not a vegetarian).

My cholesterol is 180 from 220. My bloodwork is great, my blood pressure is on the low end (though that has always been true) my blood sugar is perfect.  What I have been doing has been working. Yeah God!!


Friday, August 29, 2008

YES YES! YES! Woo Hoo!!!

I could NOT be happier! Today has been a fabulous day for conservative women everywhere!!! Go, Sarah, Go!!! And thank you, John McCain, for continuing to be the maverick you are and picking such a surprisingly wonderful and maverick (in her own right) runningmate! God bless you both!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He's HUGE!!!

Here's Tivo at 11 weeks and he has more than doubled his weight. When we got him at 7 weeks he was a little over 9 pounds and now he is close to 20!!! Isn't he just gorgeous?

Okay, now I have to walk the dog and then it is really time for bed! :-)

National Weight Loss Registry (NWLR)

The following was taken from the research page at NWCR, click post title to go to the site. They keep records of over 5,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off. Their findings are very interesting and only support why SparkPeople is such a fantastic site.

NWCR Facts

You may find it interesting to know about the people who have enrolled in the registry thus far.

80% of persons in the registry are women and 20% are men.
The "average" woman is 45 years of age and currently weights 145 lbs, while the "average" man is 49 years of age and currently weights 190 lbs.
Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years.
These averages, however, hide a lot of diversity:
Weight losses have ranged from 30 to 300 lbs.
Duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years!
Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly--over as many as 14 years.

We have also started to learn about how the weight loss was accomplished: 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
94% increased their physical activity,
with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.
There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off.
Most report continuing to
maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

78% eat breakfast every day.
75% weigh them self at least once a week.
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

Time for Bed

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gag Me With A Spoon!

This is why I have never and will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER...INFINITY...VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS!!!! What a disgrace to Catholicism Nancy Pelosi is and what a disgrace to Christianity Obama is.  

You know what? I am not crazy about the war. However, the brave men and women fighting in Iraq chose to enlist in the military. I am far less crazy about abortion where, since 1973, we have legalized the killing of 43 MILLION Americans who were given NO CHOICE!

NO OBAMA, NO OBAMA, NO OBAMA!!! For the love of God and all that is Holy, NO NO NO to OBAMA!!!

STILL NOT CONVINCED? Read my Hunny's post and then READ THE FOLLOWING (while I am in the bathroom puking my guts out because of these heinous idiots):


To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the "separation of Church and state." But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a "political" issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.

Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue "for a long time," she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here's how Connery concludes his study:

"The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has
bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder."

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times,
the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled." But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Denver

James D. Conley

Auxiliary Bishop of Denver


Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Hunny's blog

My Hunny has written two great posts on his blog. 

The first is about our son Ben, special needs kids, and folks with Bipolar. It is a very compelling post.

The second is about Andrew's best gal pal, Claire (daughter of The Responsible One), leaving the state for college.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Ice Skating

First, I have to brag. I know so many parents who can brag about their kids. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. When they do, they have good reason. I never think I have any good reason. But I do now.  Autumn may not be reading at grade level or doing math at grade level either, but her first skating lesson resulted in her being moved up a class.  She's only skated twice before the class, but the coach thinks she is a fast learner.  I have always said that Autumn is my 'Jock' her body just gets anything she tries to make it do. 

Today I took her to the public skate session and I joined her on the ice. The first and last time I tried to ice skate was when I was her age, 8. Then we moved to Florida from New York and I never got an opportunity again. Today I got out there, convinced I would fall all over the place, but by the time we needed to leave I was skating really well around the rink.  I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bread of Life

I am not a vegan or vegetarian, however, I find I don't eat a whole lot of meat since losing the brunt of my weight. I absolutely push the highly efficient clean burning carbs (starches...God forbid!) and I feel tons better when I do.

I found this article written by a very famous doctor, John McDougall MD, who though he would be considered a vegan doesn't like people to refer to him as such. (He even makes a point of having a slice of turkey on Thanksgiving to prove it). He says he advocates a Starch-Based Diet. He doesn't seem politically or spiritually motivated to be vegan, it seems totally health motivated. He suffered a horrible stroke at 18 because of a cholesterol level that was near 400. He was very overweight, but in med school he interned with Japanese docs in Hawaii and noticed how they were all so slim and ate mostly rice. He followed suit and lost weight and dropped his cholesterol to 150. Unfortunately, he still walks with a slight limp due to his stroke at 18. I think he is in his 60's now.

 I could never be vegetarian, because I love cream in my coffee and an occasional burger, but I love that Dr. McDougall advocates for GRAINS.  They have received such a bad rap since the Low Carbers hit the scene. If God Himself deigns to come to us in the form of bread and wine (and not steak and wine) well then, I think there is very important lesson there: Bread is the staff of Life (both physical and spiritual). 


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An important truth about me

I am brilliant at planning. I am fantastic at coming up with ideas. I TOTALLY SUCK at executing any such plans or ideas. I love the idea of things but not the actuality of things. I think is is why I come off as so interesting and knowledgeable, but deep down know what a complete fraud I am.

Just a little FYI. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Attempted Homeschool

That should be the title of my blog, but I have changed it so many times that I won't go there. 

Before I launch into my 'attempted homeschool' I must say that I am writing to the wondrous tones of the pupster, Tivo, wailing behind me in his crate. I took him out for a walk and, in his inimitable Sibe style, he walked and plopped down, all four legs spread out (no kidding), head down and looked up at me with those striking blue eyes as if to say, "When it snows I'll go anywhere but, at this moment, you can forget it b**ch." So, we walked home. Okay, I walked home and he swept the sidewalk as I dragged him by his harness.  He likes doing that at home. He's kind of like a really cool cat hair sweeper. Anyway, I digress. We get back to the yard and I unhook his leash and he hauls ass across the yard to a basketball. I love watching dogs try to get basketballs in their mouths. Cats would never stoop so low as to do something so ridiculous, right Toonces?  (My kitty is nodding....from the basement... because he's too much of a pansy to come show this dog who is boss.) Well, I wanted to wear the Tivo out so he would stop using my arms as rawhide bone substitutes. Since he wouldn't walk and wanted to come in, he started to play: let's eat mommy. I don't like that game,so I told him he needed to relax and go sleepy in his crate. It's an odd sense of liberation to let a dog cry it out because I wouldn't have been caught dead letting a baby (human) do that. I guess I am an Attachment-Style mom and Ferber-Style dog owner. Hmmm???

Back to what this post was supposed to be about...attempting to homeschool.  Yes, I am an unschooler. That is me in my soul. However, what worked for Andrew doesn't seem to be working for Autumn (and was a dismal failure with Ben...thus his attending a private school). Therefore, in an effort to try and get Autumn to put forth some effort, and with a little help from Aesop and the story of the Ants and the Grasshopper (moral: there is time for work AND time for play) , I have devised a little lesson plan. Autumn has OK'd this plan.  And here it is:

Stuff we read together. 
Listen, Read & Learn (very cool books which I got from Sam's, for $7,  that have a CD which reads classic stories. Autumn follows along and at the end are phonics, comprehension, writing, etc all related back to the story. It goes without saying this is great in the car.)
Mostly life
Progress In Mathematics (a very cool and colorful work/text)
Whatever the heck we want to talk about
Cool stuff on Discovery channel
Catholic Stories from Science 2 from Catholic Heritage Curriculum (We both love this book!)

This is what she has going on during the week.
Tuesdays Home School Art class at the Parks & Rec, from 1:30-2:30pm, then we pick up Ben from school and go back to the Parks & Rec for Homeschool Park Play Day until dinner time.
Thursdays Home School Clay class at the Parks & Rec from 1:30-3pm
Saturdays Figure Skating Lessons from 12-12:30 (she is super excited about this and it starts tomorrow).

I am going to try and find more cool field trips to take and we will hopefully join our local TORCH group for some too.  (The name means Traditions Of Roman Catholic Homes).  Of course, I want to include as much fun, unstructured time with friends as I can too...oh, and squeeze in a Daily Mass once a least. Oh yeah, and speaking of Mass, Autumn wants to take Alter Server training. I know for some of my more traditionally minded Catholic friends this might not sit too well. But hey, if it will draw Autumn more deeply into the Sacrifice of the Mass then I am all for it. Neither Ben nor Andrew showed any interest. Yet, when Autumn found out, after receiving her 1st Communion, that she would be able to be an Altar Server she begged me to let her. Mother Church says it's fine so Tumnal is on her way. 

Now all I have to do is find the time to make all of this am I gonna do that?
Here is Tumnal and her new 'do' after she cut out a brush which she got stuck in her hair. Pretty cute, huh?

Kick Ass Awards

I was given this award by a very kick ass mom, Sara B.
These are very easy to give out, I must nominate five. 
And the winners are:

My Hunny: he is a totally kick ass blogger, when he gets around to it.

Rob: my brother from another mother. When you look up Kick Ass, in the dictionary, his picture is there. No,      his picture is not next to Jackass, as is commonly thought. ;-)

Sara S: because I want to see 'kick ass award' on her blog. :-)

Leonie: because she's done so much TaeBo that she is probably kicking someone's ass right now!

Catherine: because a mom who loves Muse as much as I do is OBVIOUSLY kick ass!

Plus one more

Wendy: because she's been kick ass since I (virtually) met her!
I love you guys!!!

The Brillante Awards

Look to the right and you will see my newest award. You can all sit down now. I would like to thank my 'peeps' (and you know who you are) for making me so completely insane that I had to write about it, or jump off the roof!!! (click the title of this post for a pick of the award to post on your blog).

Thanks, Rob, for the nod. It takes a brilliant mind to know a brilliant mind, eh ? (and I *am* almost as crazy as you, but you will always take first place in my book!)

So, I have to nominate 7 other people and I know *just* who they are:

My Hunny- his picture is next to the word 'Brilliant' in the dictionary!

Kathleen-who, by virtue of the fact that she is 'the woman who knows everything' is obviously brilliant

Sara B.- who finally got around to writing a blog of her own which, of course, is brilliant

Sara S.- she's just plain brilliant

Wendy- whose blog I haven't visited in awhile but amazes me with her brilliance

MaggieC- & Ukok because as Brits they are bloody brilliant!

Leonie-the brilliant babe Down Under!

There you have it. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was late

So, I misjudged the distance to church. I thought it was a mile less than it was which put me off by 17 minutes. I walked to church (3.6) miles and back home (3.7) taking a slight more shady detour. To quote Mike Myers as Philip, from SNL, "when I got home I was tired".


Walking to Church

I actually went to bed at 10:30 last night. Amazing for insomniac me.  So, when the pupster woke up at 7 I was ready to take him for a walk, unlike yesterday where I slid down the last half of the stairs with him. I think I was too sleepy to know where I was. Well, when I got to the end of the stairs on my ass I sure knew where I was. But I digress. Since it is very cool and nice outside I think I will walk the 3 miles to church for 9 am Mass which means I better get crackin and leave.

Teev had his first puppy training class last night. We were the only ones to sign up for that time slot so it's personal training for the group price....COOL!  The trainer was really impressed with the work we have already been doing with him. Yes, folks, after three untrained children I will not be dropping the ball with the dog!! Tivo learned last night the command , "Look at me."  We also learned "sit" (which Autumn had already taught him just wonderfully) and "release" which is to come out of the sitting position. The trainer said it lays the foundation for "stay" later. 

Oh, and this is the best part, Autumn now has a cheek length bob haircut. She's been wanting it short forever, but My Hunny likes long hair on his daughter. Interestingly, My Hunny loves me with a chin length bob, but with The Girlie it is a princess thing...I think. Anyway, she was spending the night at Morgan's house when she got a little round brush stuck in her hair. Of course, rather than asking her Godmother, Lisa (Morgan's mom) to help her get the brush out, My Girlie took matters into her own hands and cut the darn thing out. The other up side is that she has 10 inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for kids with cancer. So, she is very happy that she could help those kids.

I'll post pics but right now I must "get me to church".


Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Hunny sums it up quite nicely

Here is a bit of what has happened with Ben's first week at school. My husband's post does not cover the epic meltdown Ben had, this morning, on day 4 of school.  He was crying and screaming and was NOT going to go to school. He decided that he would be homeschooled (not a good idea for Ben or for mommy!!) and so would not get ready to go. I had to get, Walter, his homeroom teacher, on the phone.  At Ben's school students, parents and teachers are all on a first name basis. Also, one's child's homeroom teacher is also available by cell phone until about 9pm.  Yes, it is a VERY cool place.  So, we get Walter on the phone and he has a brief chat with Ben and then Ben hands the phone back to me...a bit calmer. Walter then tells me that he let Ben know that tomorrow is Free Friday (this school also only does academics until lunch, Mon-Thurs, after lunch are kid chosen electives, and Fridays are fun days they do neato stuff) and that if Ben comes in today then he will be able to join in the fun on Friday.  However, if Ben stays home, when he comes in on Friday he won't be able to do all the fun stuff. Ben decided to go in and ended up having a decent day.

BTW, this morning my sweet Hunny freaked out too in response to Ben's freak out and I was happy to be in a very calm place so that I could help them both.  When I got back,from dropping Ben off, Robert thanked me for being a calming influence (usually not my forte). Robert, it seemed, had so much vested in this new school being so perfect for Ben (which it is) that he figured Ben wouldn't have any meltdowns about it (which is a pipedream).  I told him that we both have to remember that Ben is not fixable. His issues are manageable. Kinda like all of mankind. Our sin is not fixable. It is managed by Christ's redemptive act and God's amazing grace...but it is always there. Freaking out, for Ben, is the rule...NOT the exception. So, I told Robert to see, as exceptional, the times when Ben is happy to go to school, but to fully expect the meltdowns. Eventually, they will slow to an occasional event, but until then we need to buckle up and hold on for our lives because it's going to be a very bumpy ride!

Tonight was the school kick off picnic at Ben's school.  Just he and I went because Robert was working late, Andy was busy, Autumn was at a friends. We took Tivo and he was a huge hit. It was a great idea because I got to meet a bunch of the kids at Ben's school and it confirmed to me that Ben was in the RIGHT place. Lots of prayer has gone into this decision so it's nice to see God give me bits of confirmation here and there about it being the right decision. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What I have learned from losing weight

Okay, so last month I wrote that I had joined Weight Watchers for IRL support for my last 10 pounds to lose. Weight Watchers is a great program, but I have learned that I really am better at losing weight on my own. The upshot is I am not out any kind of registration fee because if you buy a monthly pass it covers WW online and meetings and is the cheapest option to do WW. So, as much as I truly enjoyed the last 4 weeks of meetings, I am cancelling my WW membership because everything I am hearing is stuff I already know. Also, I had been following alot of WW 'good health' guidelines but calorie counting in lieu of Points counting. I know some folks LOVE WW Flexpoints. However, I DO NOT. I like counting plain old calories. It is just easier. I already purposefully eat high fiber and low fat and I don't need the Flexpoints to steer me toward better food options (which is what they are meant to do and is a very good thing). So, if any of you out there are not interested in joining any weight loss program I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SPARKPEOPLE! I can tell you, in all honesty, that after having full access to Weight Watchers Online (you get partial access to the site if you are not a WW member) Sparkpeople's website completely smokes all others out there...even the one's you would pay for. The information, food and exercise tracking, goal planning and support are unparalleled. Please, if you want to lose weight or just get healthier do not hesitate to set up a free account at Sparkpeople. But, if you do, tell them Rachel429 sent ya...I'm after a free Sparkpeople T-shirt. ;-) BTW, with Sparkpeople I have now lost 24.5 pounds. It has been very hard work, but man I am so psyched to see all that work paying off.

Gotta go to bed. My next post will most likely be about Ben's first week at his new private school. So far so good, but I shall report on Friday.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Dog = No Blog

Here's Tivo a week later. He has gained 1.5 pounds. He is doing really well on the leash and with crate training (which, btw, is exhausting...and the reason my email inbox is bursting and I haven't blogged!) I have signed us both up for Puppy training at Petsmart. It starts a week from Saturday. To be honest, I can not wait until he's able to hold his pee through the night and has gone through Puppy, Intermediate, & Advanced training. We got a puppy so we could integrate a dog with the cats, but man, puppies are alot of work. By December/January when he is 6-7 months, we should all be in a better place and I will have a running buddy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to Ben!!

Here he is with Tivo. Ben woke us at 7 to open his 2 gifts...a Nintendo DS and one game for it.  Now Ben can be plugged in the Matrix anytime anywhere. Woo Hoo! We only do parties for the kids once around 5 or 6 , then once at 13 and once at 16. So, what we do normally is take the birthday kid where they want to go for dinner and a movie of their choice. Ben has picked the the 3rd movie in the Mummy series. It could not be more perfect for Ben. He  loves ninjas, zombies (mummies), dragons, action. It opens today and you would think that it was set up just for Ben.  I think Brendan Fraser is pretty cute, so I cool with the pick.

Happy Birthday my sweet Ben! You are a challenge to parent, but dad and I love you desperately! We Love you!  Below is Tivo attacking Ben in 'comic book' effects mode on Photobooth.