Friday, July 20, 2012

Ellie's New Best Friend

I was planning to go south this week to visit my sister's family.  We were going to take the kiddos swimming and to the park so they could spend some time with  Rachel and Megan before they head out west to school.  With temperatures in the upper ninetys there, and thunderstorms predicted, we opted to stay home instead.  But Aunt Sandy, super cool chicky that she is, decided to come visit us.
The weather didn't cooperate here either, and we hit 98˚ and got the rain that Sandy desperately needed, but ironically did not get.  After dinner last night we slipped out to the school playground across the street from us, wiped the rain off the slides, and had a little fun.

Both kiddos were a bit apprehensive their first time down the slide... 

but were having fun by the time they got to the bottom... 

Tommy went down by himself... 

Well kind of, anyway.  His sweaty little bare feet stuck every inch of the way, so it was a slow decline requiring assitance from the side.  Ellie's feet were even stickier and her descent even slower. We need to remember to take socks next time.

Then at home we played on the swings... 

And when the rain started again we headed in for a swim in the bathtub.

Whee!  Splash time! 

I think Ellie is plotting something evil here...

Maybe not...

Sandy snuck out before breakfast was over this morning.  Ellie looked around for her all day.  We will have to plan another trip when the weather breaks.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The End of an Era

It is just after 4 in the morning as I write this post.  I'm not sure how to approach it.  With humor, which is the way I normally address the topic, or seriously, like it really is.  Take it how you will.
I am addicted to chocolate.  And I have decided to give it up.

All four bags of it...

That's right, you are looking at four garbage bags full of chocolate.  This is embarrassing, as it should be.  I took a picture of it not to amuse you, but to show myself.  Between the Hershey's bars and the ice cream bars, the pudding mixes and the cake mixes, the baking chocolates and the granola I eat for breakfast, I filled four garbage bags with the chocolate that I had stashed about my house.

The frugal part of me (and admittedly that is a small part) wanted to save it and offer it to my friends instead of wasting it.  But the honest part of me (and that is a larger part) knew that if I did, you wouldn't be the ones eating it.  I would.

I woke up Tom in the middle of the night and asked him to help me with it.  We rounded it all up and set it out to the trash.  Um, and not just to the trash.  I had him put poopy diapers in it so I wouldn't go digging for it before trash day.  Never thought I'd have to use my babies like that, but what's a mommy to do.

Just Saturday I stocked up on chocolate bars because I was planning a trip to Cincinnati and I knew I wouldn't have easy access to chocolate there.  Yep, I've discovered that it's not easy to stop at a gas station and run inside for a quick fix when there are two babies in the car.  So instead of giving up the fix, I have planned ahead.  Do you think I planned one bar for the way down and one for the return trip?  No.  I had two 6-packs of candy bars.  And they weren't all still hanging around to throw away this morning either.

Three and a half years ago, I had surgery to remove 90% of my stomach so that I would be forced to eat less and would lose weight. The surgeon had me go to every type of doctor known to man before he would cut. I had to go through a battery of psychological tests, and believe me, they showed that I have an addictive personality. I was sent for counseling, and was warned repeatedly that this surgery was not a cure, it was just a tool. The psychiatrist hesitated to okay me for the surgery, but eventually she did. I'm not sure why.

They were right. The surgery did help me lose weight. I lost 55 pounds through sheer will power, just to qualify to have the surgery. I had to prove to the insurance company and the surgeon that I was serious about losing the weight. Then for six months after the surgery it just hurt too damn bad to eat much of anything;  I lost another 65 pounds and I was closing in on my goal weight. I was very motivated, because I was trying desperately to get pregnant and not only was the weight hindering my progress there, I knew that I wanted to be healthy and active to raise my children once they were here.

But you know what. The day I was released from the hospital, I convinced myself that if I melted a Hershey's kiss on my tongue it counted as a liquid. And I ate it.

That 65 pounds is back.  One bite of chocolate at a time (okay, maybe more like 10 bites at a time) I have regained the weight.  And the gain is not slowing down, it has been gaining momentum. 

I want to be healthy.  I want to feel good; I felt so much better without those pounds.  I want to be able to do fun things with my kiddos.  They deserve that, and so do I.
I don't know why, but I know what.  I don't know why I am addicted to chocolate.  I don't have some big story of childhood trauma that led me to it, but I do know that I am addicted to it.  I love the stuff.  I dream about it.  I treat it as an object of devotion.  It is alarming how many life lessons I am able to liken to chocolate.  It is alarming how many Relief Society lessons I have taught with it.

Chocolate has become my god.  I'm pretty sure that if I had been as devoted to my Heavenly Father as I have been to chocolate, I would be a translated being sitting in heaven right now. It is a good thing that I do have a loving God who is forgiving and who has been waiting a long time for me to admit this to myself and come back to Him. 

This morning when I sat down to write this post, I checked in on Facebook first.  Okay, that's another addiction, for a whole nother day.  Anyway, what I found was this...

Thank you, Emily Jane, it was just what I needed.
Maybe I will figure out all the whys of it some day, but today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, I just need to stay away from chocolate.

I told you all of this to help me be accountable.  I need to have people know that I am really working on this addiction.  So mock me if you must, but please do it behind my back.  In person, please just help me.  Treat me like you would if I were your friend who has a problem with alcohol.  Don't point it out to me everywhere I go, and there's no need to forgo it yourself, but please don't offer me the drink either.

It had to end somewhere.  And I'm just glad it's ending before I made the asparagus brownies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nautica Queen

Today we went for a lunch cruise on Lake Erie aboard the Nautica Queen.

After our lovely lunch, wherein Tommy and Ellie scarfed almost all of my delicious salmon, and officially spat out the cauliflower (which means I don't feel obligated to prepare any of the nasty stuff at home in the quest to find a vegetable for Ellie) we went upstairs for a close up view of the water.

The kiddos enjoyed the view from the prow... 

and Eliana had a little nest in the ropes... 
(um, yeah, ignore the fact that we put her down on the far side of that chain!)

The breeze was delightful, but made my really bad hair day inevitable!

Pulling out of the harbor we passed a fire fighting boat... 

and further out, a lighthouse...

and a sailboat or two...

It was such a sunny day that we had to search for shade, and we found a tiny strip of it next to the wheel house, so we tucked the babies' stroller there, and Ellie and Tommy bopped along to the music from the speakers...

Even Dolly Bear danced to Y-M-C-A when it came over the speakers.
(Okay, maybe she had just a little help from me on that one.)


We had a fun time on our little excursion.  The plan was to go to the Aquarium after our cruise, but our little guys were in need of a nap, and on top of that, just as we got to the door two school buses pulled up to unload 57 students and 5 adults.  We decided to pack it in and make that a trip for another day.

We are planning a trip to Cincinnati next week and in preparation for our swimming plans I decided to check the fit for the suits that I bought for the kids back in March.  I got them each one that has the safety floats inside.  The size of them gives understanding to why whales like to stay under the water... they are hiding from everyone!

Tommy looked like a big turtle with his shell on.  After a bit of practice, he managed to move around with it on, and eventually ignored it and went on playing. 

Ellie on the other hand, couldn't manage to sit upright in it, and never got over the trauma of it, so I think I will just go with the regular unstuffed suits.

P.S.  Out of morbid curiosity, I just had to google asparagus brownie recipes.  Kind of relieved that I found no evidence of such a thing going on in homes across the world!  Lots of zucchini brownies though.  I'm not sure that I can condone the treatment of chocolate in such a fashion, but then again... bring me that recipe, Kathy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Photo Books part II, and Vegetables

Again, no pictures for a post!  Ack! 

But I did want to follow up on my last post to say that my photo book from Shutterfly turned out really great.  By comparison the one from Wal-Mart was not good at all.  I am tempted to return it, and do the whole thing over in Shutterfly, except for 2 things. 

First, it took me a gazillion hours the first time around, and even just copying the same photos and text is likely to take a really long time for the do-over.  Second, during the checkout process I discovered that they were sending me a free 5x7 copy of the book.  So even though the resolution isn't the greatest and the colors seem a bit off, I do now have a copy for each baby to take with them when they leave me someday.  I'll let them fight over who gets the 8x11 hardback and who gets the 5x7 paperback.

And now for the really important stuff.  How in the heck do you sneak green vegetables into a baby that seems determined to avoid them?  Ellie will eat sweet potatoes like there's no tomorrow, and she'll even eat the occasional carrot.  She's doing great with most fruits, too.  But green things pretty much just end up on the floor or hidden under her butt.  Sometimes she gets artsy and squishes them onto the pantry doors. 

My biggest problem in finding disguises is that she does not do well at all with dairy.  She drinks soymilk, and she can eat goat cheese, but regular cheeses, yogurt, etc., are all out.  Any creative ideas or recipe suggestions?

Okay, I'm feeling obliged to add pictures at this point, so here...

My girly has curls!

Her hair is so fine (and finite) that the curls disappear almost as soon as her hair fully dries, and certainly by the time she has rubbed her head around in a carseat or on the carpet, so she has not appeared with curls in public yet, but hopefully soon. :)

And here is a video of Tommy walking.  It was taken on 6/27, almost a month after his first few steps, but it was just during late June that he really started making the effort to walk without prompting or assistance.

Now of course, he is much steadier.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out how to do videos on my new camera.  I can't get the focus to work properly.  I finally gave up and went back to my old camera, but then it doesn't seem to want to do more than a few seconds at a time.  And of course I have no idea at all how to edit the limited clips that I do have, even to remove my annoying voice, so please ignore my narration.  Video experts, please speak up and offer assistance!  (Maybe then I can catch Ellie when she starts walking too.)