Monday, November 28, 2011

Brotherly Love

I don't often tell stories on my siblings because. . . .

They would be pissed.

Let's just say that I am the oldest of 4 kids.  Let's just say that we were all close.  So close that sometimes we bugged the crap out of each other. 

Because I am the oldest, wisest, and the biggest, occasionally I would strike one of my siblings.

I hit like a girl, it can't have hurt that much.

Except for the red hand print that I left on my sisters bare back.  Or the apple that hit my brother right between the shoulder blades. Big crybaby.

I remember one day vividly.  My family was at Sears.  Mom was looking at washer/dryer combos.  It was a Saturday.  In June. 

I was lovingly correcting my younger brother.  We'll call him Tim. 

Tim had enough of my helpful suggestions and decided to belt me one.

Right in the solar plexus.

As hard as he could.

It still hurts.

Because I had been struck for no good reason, I took the tack that always seemed to work for my siblings.

"MOM!  Tim hit me!"

My experience was that once Mom found out someone (usually me) was hitting her precious child (usually him), that the perpetrator (me) would be punished.   Naturally I expected similar retribution in this case.

Instead, Mom said:

"Good.  It's about time he started standing up for himself".

The reason I share this with you today is because I now have three boys. 

Two of the boys are being chased by their brother who is shouting vaugue but convincing threats about pending injury.

I gotta admit, they asked for it.

I would call my mom for sympathy.

But I know better.

Karma's a bitch.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Before I talk about Thanksgiving, I want to let everyone know that there is a Giftoffat page on Facebook!  I am supposed to be able to put a button on my page to link you to it, but I can't figger it out.  So "Like" me. OK?

Back to Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving was YUM.

I got up early and went downtown to run in the turkey trot.  You could choose to walk 2 miles or run 4 miles.

I chose to run 4 miles.

They do the 2 mile/4 mile thing so that the walkers and the runners can be done about the same time.

Except this runner.

I came in last.  Everybody was waiting for me.

Sorry to all of you off-duty officers who came to work the race, hoping you would get home in time to watch the game before the family started to show up.

But it wasn't about winning or losing.  It was about finishing.

Finishing and guilt free Thanksgiving dinner.


Turkey, asparagus, salad, a bit of corn, a dab of mashed potatoes, a touch of cornbread stuffing.  More salad, another helping of asparagus.  Then a big piece of pumpkin pie.  A BIG one.

The crust was gross, so I just ate the pumpkin.  And the fresh whipped cream.

And it was AWESOME!

How was yours?

Thanks Luisa for shooting this pic!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving out my number. . . .

I have a new goal. 

Well, it's actually about a month old, but I've been too chickenshit to write it on the blog.

See, with the Challenge over, I need something to keep me moving.

I need something to keep me progressing.

I worked out a whole year before this last challenge.  I saw some pretty good results.  Slowly but surely, the weight was coming off.  Six months after my last baby was born -- June, 2008 --I went to the doctor and stepped on the scale.

It said X98.

I am going to pretend that you have no idea which integer the X represents.  I know that you know that it's a whole number between 1 and 3, but you are too polite to notice.  Thanks.  I appreciate it.  You know how Kirstie Alley lost a bunch of weight after dancing with the stars and told everyone she was 105 when she was really more like 140?  I totally get that.

When I started working out with V Fit in July 2010 I was at X77. In 2 years, I dropped 21 lbs.

By the time the last challenge started, I was down to X59. In 1 year of working out harder than I ever have in my life, I was down 18 lbs.

More importantly, of course, I had dropped blood pressure significantly, stabilized my blood sugar and was no longer considered pre-diabetic. I was also very strong and people started telling me how great I looked.

To some people, 18 lbs sounds like a lot of weight.  For me, it was less than 10% of my total body weight. 

When we started 2011's challenge, I wanted to have an impact.  I wanted to win dammit!

So I went to weightfuckingwatchers and worked out harder than before.

Ninety days after the challenge, I was at X44. I had lost 15 lbs.

Amazing the difference those annoying little 15 lbs made.

My clothes, which were getting baggy, simply did not fit anymore.  People who hadn't seen me in a long time really noticed a difference.  One friend thought I lost 100 lbs.  He wasn't trying to flatter me -- he's not that great a friend.

The fact is, since I'd seen him almost 4 years ago, I had lost 54 lbs.

But now the challenge is over. 

And I want to keep it up.

Not the weightfuckingwatchers part.  I'll be honest -- I quit WFW about a month after I started.  Because I hate it.  (Have I mentioned that before?).  I hated giving them $13 every week just so I could step on their fucking scales.  So I decided to step on my OWN fucking scale and pay myself $10.  I call it Date Watchers because when I meet my goal, we're getting a babysitter.

I do like the concept of losing 15 lbs though.

I like it kinda a lot.

But the thing is, I don't have a very public competition to motivate me.

Until now.

Here is the new goal:

By 2/1/12, I will be down to at least 229 by working out 5 or more times a week and eating at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

I did it.  I said the number. 

Now everyone knows what I weigh.

I know you knew it already, but jeez.  Seeing it in writing, it looks so. . . .big.

Big in that 229 is still a big number. 

But 15 lbs is even bigger.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grocery List

This year, we are having fresh food for Thanksgiving.

Plus canned cranberry sauce. 

No boxes of stuffing.  No instant potatoes.  No jars of gravy.  No cool-whip.


My son wants to try a turducken.

I am sure you all see enough Food Network to know what a turducken is.

Instead of turkey, some people are now enjoying turducken as part of their holiday experience.

It's a duck, inside a chicken, inside a turkey.  Or a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey.  I am pretty sure the turkey is not inside the duck.  Whatever it is, it is a freak of nature and we will have no part of it.

I'm not even eating cool-whip this year.  Turducken?

Forget it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Repost: O to be a child again. . . .

Because I can't think of anything new to say, I looked through old posts to see if I felt like re-posting anything.  This one was posted on August 28, 2010.  Funny how some things have changed and some remain the same. 

Yesterday my 2 older boys stayed home from school. They weren't sick or anything -- Joseph's pet jellyfish were being delivered yesterday, and they wanted to make sure to be home for delivery.

Yeah, we have jellyfish for pets.  (They're dead now.)

After the pets made it into their tank safely, I wanted to work out.

I actually wanted to. Weird, right?

We packed a bag full of toys & books and headed out to V-Fit.

The toys and books amused the boys for 25 seconds.

Hardly anyone was there, so it was OK for them to walk around a bit. I was doing jump squats. Jump squats aren't my favorite. Especially when I have to do 4 sets of 25. Especially when the boys thought the squats looked like fun, so they decided to do it too. (4 setsof 25????  Bwahahahhahahah)

When I do jump squats, I jump-squat-grunt. Sometimes I jump-grunt-squat.  (yeah.  still do that)

When my boys do jump squats, they jump-say WHEE-squat-giggle.Then they say "Look, I can go fast!" and do about 30 in quick succession with perfect form and don't sweat.

Then it was time to do these horrible things where I sit on the floor, balance on my butt, keep my feet 6 inches off the floor, and take a 4 lb medicine ball and weave it in a figure 8 around my legs. When you do it right, it looks really, really smooth. When you've had 3 C-Sections, it doesn't look quite so pretty. (still not pretty)

Plus, it's hard to keep everything in. In other words, I go grunt-weave-pfft-grunt-weave-repeat. The "pfft" part made my boys laugh hysterically. Especially because I have always told them that going pfft is very rude.

Only Daddies go "pfft".

Never mommies. (no comment)

Next I did leg presses on the machine. Luke wanted to sit on my lap, but I said no.

"Is it because it will make you fart again?"

"No! Just go play for 5 minutes, willya?"

Finally it was time to do the pit. My boys love the pit. They run down, say "Chase me Mama!" and scoot back up. Over and over. Laughing and giggling while I wheeze and huff.

"Mama - remember when you were playing with that ball and you farted? That was funny!" said Joe, as if it happened years ago and not just 30 minutes ago.

Finally it was time to leave.

We see Victor on the way out. Victor cut his hair short, which really brings out his big brown eyes, his lantern jaw and shows the sinewy muscles of his neck. Sigh.

Victor says "Hey! How was the work out?!"

Luke says "Mama farted!"

That kid is lucky to still be alive

Monday, November 7, 2011

My First Time With A Girl. . .

I admit it, I was nervous.

Self conscious.

I mean -- she's incredible.  Her name is Clarissa, and she is gorgeous. 

Don't believe me?  She produced this video:

I asked if I was her first, but I'm not. 

I'm glad.  Because I needed someone with experience.

By the end of our first time together, I was panting, sweaty and exhausted -- but strangely exhilarated.

She was cool and confident.

Each time I returned, she coaxed me into doing more.  She showed me how to do it right. 

I never thought I would like it with a girl, but honestly, Clarissa has shattered my defenses.  If I can't have Gabe, I'm glad I have her.

She's the new trainer at V-Fit.

What did you think I was talking about?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wants, Needs, and What We're Getting For Christmas

Christmas is around the corner.

The lists are starting to come in.

"Mom -- I want a DS" ($149). 

"Me too!" ($149)

"Mom -- we need a new portable DVD player" ($99)

"Honey -- we really should replace that computer." ($500) "What we really need for Christmas is for #3 to have his own bed" ($300)  "I need new school shoes" ($50) "Air Conditioner needs to be replaced!" ($3000) "Tuition is due for the big kids" ($605)  "Also, the after care bill" ($140)  "Also #3's daycare" ($460)  "I'm taking Management 5311 next semester.  The university wants $1100 by November if I'm going to get the good rate."  ($1100)  "School Fundraising is due!" ($350) "The Saturn needs new tires!" ($600) "What do you mean our portion of the MRI cost $350?!"($350). . . . .

"They cut my hours again"


I know we are not alone here.  The "I wants" are part of the season.  The "I needs" are part of life.

Funny enough, I am not worried.

Stressed, yes.  Worried, no.

Greg & I have been following Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University since 2006.  If you don't know about Dave, check him out here.

Dave is all about getting out of debt and building wealth.  I hate debt.  I love wealth.

When I first started listening to him, we had about $3,000.00 in credit card debt.  That's a lot.  But I thought that was all the debt we really had.  I couldn't figure out why with both of us working full time, professional jobs, we could never find any "extra" money.

Imagine my surprise when I added up all of our debt and discovered that we actually owed about $96,000.


We had credit card debt, car loans, and student loans.  Oh yeah -- and we have a mortgage -- but that's on top of the $96K.


That was 2006.

As we head into 2012, We owe less than $20K on the student loan, and we still owe about $40K on our house.    That's pretty good progress.  We aren't handling it perfectly. Honestly, if we cut everything to the bone, we could pay off that $60K by 2013. But that would mean public schools for the kids, no school for me, no scouts, no sports, no workouts, no eating in restaurants all year, no nothing.

We could do that. We will do that -- if we have to.

We don't have credit cards anymore.  We don't have car payments.  We bought our last car with cash.  I am paying cash for grad school.  I used to drive a BMW.  Now I drive a Saturn.

We simply don't borrow money.

That's why I am not worried. 

We have a plan.

We have a backup plan too.

Funny enough, when we were $96,000 in debt, we barely gave any money to charity.  Now we are tithers.  That means that 10% of our income goes to our church. 

It might seem like giving 10% of your income away is a stupid thing when you are trying to get out of debt.  Turns out that it is the smartest thing we could have done. 

Once we started tithing, weird things started happening.

Like --I got a better job.  I mean a REALLY better job.  We got pregnant with #3 and he was perfectly healthy despite the fact that the doctors told me I was too old and too fat to have another baby. Greg got a better job.  The debt started shrinking, even though we weren't following the plan perfectly.  Weird.  It gave us. . .peace. 

We know that by the time #1 son finishes high school, we will have ZERO debt including the house.  We'll be in our early 50's.  Young enough to build enough wealth to secure retirement.  Young enough to save enough money to take a big trip to Europe.  Or Asia.  Or Africa.  Or wherever we want to go. 

That's the light at the end of the tunnel that makes me say "no" to things like a DS for a 6 year old. 

We'll have a very merry Christmas anyway.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011