Monday, April 14, 2014

Bipolar Spring...

If there was ever a season that was bipolar it would be spring. At least you can count on summer for being miserably hot, and winter for being miserably cold. Even Fall is pretty reliably warm and wonderful. But man, spring will trick you every time. One moment it's 70, sunny, and gorgeous and then a few hours later it's cloudy, freezing, and what the heck, it's snowing? It's been frustrating too because I just happened to pack away all of our heavy coats and bulky sweaters in mid-March. We had an incredibly mild winter so I figured spring would be warm. Next year I need to remember that jackets don't get packed away until Mother's Day.

I'm determined to spend as much time as possible outside these next few weeks because I know by next month it will be blistering hot and I will be melting in a puddle in front of a fan. Besides spring is undeniably gorgeous in SLC. Flowers are popping up everywhere and trees are blossoming. The Capitol building is basically in our back yard and the trees there have been blossoming. I'm dying to go see DC's cherry blossoms one of these days, but I have to admit SLC's blossoms are pretty great too.

As always I took way too many pictures. Here ya go. 



Shye the hobo. She laid down on this bench and said "night, night!"

Future politician?
Hope you are all having a lovely spring!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A weighty topic...

Ugh. I've written and rewritten this post so many times and I always end up deleting it because I can never seem to get it to where I want it to be. But this time I'm determined to get it out there. Weight loss is, well, a weighty topic. Pun obviously intended.  But seriously, talking about weight loss and diets is not only painfully boring but it always comes across as incredibly condescending and self-righteous. Which isn't how I feel at all about it. So anyway, this is me just sharing what I've done recently to lose a little weight. I'm not trying to say that I think everyone should do what I do or eat the way I eat.

Last year my weight yo-yoed up and down due to three consecutive miscarriages. My last miscarriage in December left me 20 lbs heavier than my normal weight. My body goes into panic mode when I'm pregnant and holds onto everything I eat. And then it doesn't help that during the nausea of the first trimester the only things I can stand to eat are starchy carbs. So I began this year with the goal of getting back down to my normal weight again (which is 135-140, in case anyone was wondering and I'm 5'5) and regaining my health. Last month I started a new Instagram account to document my weight loss journey and my new healthier eating habits. Not only has it been a really fun and motivating project for me but it has also been a good distraction from the baby hunger and post-partum depression (yes, you can have full blown post-partum depression after a miscarriage). Recently I've been getting lots of questions about my diet and exercise routine. I'm happy to share but let me just say first that I'm not a health professional, this is just a plan that works for me.

I decided to cut out sugar completely and most carbs with the exception of carbs found naturally in some foods like beans and fruits.  I've done this before with success. I don't really subscribe to the traditional low-carb diets like Atkins or Paleo because I feel they are too restrictive. I love cheese, butter, sour cream and beans which aren't allowed in Paleo and I do eat some fruits occasionally which isn't allowed on Atkins. I don't like how meat heavy most low-carb diets tend to be, sorry but I just can't stomach steak for breakfast. I try to get my protein from eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, beans and sometimes protein drinks and I only eat fish for chicken for dinner. I also eat a TON of veggies every day. I usually have veggies with every meal and as snacks throughout the day. I do avoid some of the starchier veggies like potatoes and corn.

As for exercise I'm certainly not the most avid exerciser but I try to make sure I do something active everyday. And thus far I'm down about 17 lbs. I posted a before and after picture a few weeks ago and I got a lot of questions about what my secret was. There is no secret really. Watching what you eat (in some form or other) and working out. I do the low carb thing because that is what is easiest for me but I've known plenty of people who just count the calories or who cut back on portions or try other healthy eating plans. I think everyone is different and you have to do what works for you. I plan on incorporating healthy carbs back into my diet once I get down to my goal weight but I'm so done with sugar. I feel a hundred times better not eating sugar and I'm now convinced of how bad it is for you. Another question I get a lot is if I ever cheat on my diet or if I have preplanned cheat days. The answer is yes and no. My one left-over vice is diet soda, I love it even though I know it is definitely not healthy. Hey, I'm only human. I allow myself to have one a few times a week. But other than that no, I don't have cheat days or anything like that. 

The hardest part in all of this is being patient. People seem to want a quick fix for everything. I can't tell you how many solicitations I get for weight loss wraps, diet pills, protein powders, and other products. Weight loss is a multi billion dollar industry but it doesn't have to cost a dime. Normally I might be tempted by these products but I'm broke so I just workout at home and cook my own meals. Just goes to show that weight loss doesn't have to be expensive.

And if you hate weight loss before and after pictures, just quit reading now.

the two top pictures were taken in early January, the bottom ones were taken last week.


A few other tips I found really helpful are:
1. Keep healthy snacks around. I keep dry roasted almonds and mozzarella sticks with me all the time. You are much less likely to cheat if you have a healthy option to turn to.
2. Don't let yourself get hungry. Especially in those first few weeks. When you get hungry you get angry, and when you are hangry you are more likely to say "Screw this diet, I'm going to Taco Bell." So keep yourself from getting hungry with healthy snacks and well rounded meals.
3. Be kind to yourself in other areas of life. Take a bubble bath. Get a massage. Get a pedicure. Go to a movie (take your healthy snacks in your purse!). Start a new TV series on Netflix. Take up a new hobby. Buy yourself a new outfit, shoes, purse. Spoil yourself in ways unrelated to food.
4. Keep busy. It goes without saying that boredom leads to eating. 
5. Plan ahead. Make a meal plan every week and then grocery shop for it. Also, if you are going out to eat at a restaurant look at the menu ahead of time and decide what you want before you go. Most places have their nutritional information online. It's much easier to make a good decision in advance rather than in the spur of the moment.
6. Experiment with food. If you just eat a chicken salad every day you are gonna get really bored really fast. Look up new recipes. Try some things out. Mix it up and keep it interesting so that you aren't tempted to cheat out of sheer food boredom.
7. When you are feeling tempted it's helpful to remember that there will always be junk food. This isn't the last time you can ever have a brownie, or a taco, or french fries. Those foods will be around forever. This isn't the last time there will ever be donuts at work on Friday. There will be donuts next friday. And the next Friday. There will always be other birthdays, holidays, and events with tons of junk food. I try to remind myself that when I get down to my normal weight that there will still be plenty of opportunities to indulge occasionally. But for now I'm resetting my eating habits.
8. Be patient. I went two and a half weeks without dropping an ounce when I first started. It was hard to keep going but I had to remind myself that giving up and eating a bowl of ice cream wasn't going to help me get where I wanted either. I learned in a nutrition class that our bodies crave stasis (staying the same) so it will try to fight weight loss at first, but the key is persistence and eventually your body will start letting go of some of the weight. 

Anyway, I hope that answered all the questions I've been getting. If you want to follow along my instagram handle is wholesome_goodness.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shye-shye

Just a quick little post about some funny things about our girl lately so that I don't forget.


 -She has been quite the stinker these past few weeks. I'm not sure what the issue is but it is driving me insane. She recently discovered that she can scream, like a high-pitched, ear-splitting, glass-breaking scream. I don't even know what to do when she does that.
It was a two bottle kind of morning.


-Her hair is quite the show stopper up here in SLC. Whenever we go anywhere people always comment on how cute her curls are. I'm not complaining, I obviously love her curls too. But I definitely don't like the frizz ball they turn into every night.

Funny face 1.


-She is very expressive and is always making funny facial expressions. I swear I only capture a teeny bit of what a ham this girl is. And she loves the camera and will make all sorts of funny faces if I turn on the front camera of the iPod.

Funny face 2.

-She isn't scared to climb on the arm of the couch and jump off but if she sits in a chair that is uneven it scares the hell out of her.  Like she will hold onto the table and scream and cry. It's really the silliest thing.

Such a poser.

-She has figured out how to turn doorknobs. No privacy anymore. This morning she kept bringing me strawberries while I was in the shower wanting me to cut the green part off so she could eat them. Sigh.

More posing.
-She wakes me up with kisses every morning and needs at least ten kisses to fall asleep at night.  She also talks herself to sleep every night and she must crack herself up because she laughs and laughs.

-Her bedtime routine went to jack when we moved here. Now I have to lay down with her every night til she falls asleep. And she wakes up every night in the middle of the night crying and since there is a another tenant in the basement directly under her room we can't let her cry it out so she gets to come and hog our bed for the rest of the night. 
Hogging momma and daddy's bed.


-She has quite the little temper. The other day she was carrying around a bunch of cup filled with water and she got mad when Brian tried to tell her to put them down because she was going to spill them. Since her hands were full she walked over and kicked him. I usually try not to laugh when she does something that is naughty even if its funny, but this time I couldn't help but laugh.

Having a tea party at the Church History Museum.


-She is very into headwear lately. She loves her hats and she has a Burger King crown that she wears around the house all day.

What a ham.

-She loves the movie Frozen. I'm kinda regretting buying it now since we've watched it at least 30 times in the last week.
Pj's and a crown. And reading all the letters.


-She has to be the one to turn off the lights at night.

-She likes to bring her little stool over to the sink when I'm washing dishes and play in the water.

Funny face 3.


-Her latest obsession is letters. She can read all the letters of the alphabet in uppercase and she knows almost all of them in lowercase as well. She gets out her books and recites all the letters on every page. And then she gets her letter magnets out and recites them one by one as she puts them up on the fireplace, the fridge, stove, dishwasher, or anywhere they will stick. And when we are out she makes me stop and read the letters on the signs everywhere.

My little buddy.


-She says yay everytime she does something and if I don't say it too she comes over and grabs my face and is like "yay, mom, yay." In a super serious voice. 

Funny face 4.
-The other day we were grocery shopping at Walmart and she suddenly folded her arms and said a bunch of gibberish and then she was like "amen!" If you could see how sketchy our Walmart is you would probably pray too.

Playing ball at the park next to the Capitol Building.
I sometimes feel bad that Shye doesn't have any siblings yet. Not there is anything I can really do about that, but still I worry that she is missing out on some of the learning experiences that come with having a sibling. I know that when (and if) the time comes she will make a wonderful big sister. She is so sweet and loving. And I'm thankful that we've had so much one on one time with just her. We've become super close these past few years. And it hard to remember was like before she was with us. We love our sweet Shye-shye.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Girlfriends...

Green Party 2012

Growing up I always just had one close girlfriend at a time. I've always blamed this partially on my hearing problem, it's tough to be in group situations when you are hearing impaired, following a conversation a nearly impossible. I always pipe up only to find out that everyone is actually talking about something different. For example once I was sitting at a lunch table with two other co-workers who were talking about dressings, I asked if they had tried any of the Annie's organic dressings because I had been wanting to try some of them. There was an awkward silence. That's how I know that I'm way off. Turns out they were talking about dressers not dressing. But anyway, as I've gotten older I've realized that my lack of girlfriends is actually more due to me not following the girl code. You know, how girls squeal and scream and hug everytime they see each other? Yeah, I've never done that, or even understood that. Going to the bathroom together? No thanks. Complimenting each other incessantly? Yeah I didn't do that either, it seemed too fake to me. And I had no idea until fairly recently that telling another girl she looked anorexic was a compliment. I'm too practical minded, if a girl ever complains about her weight my first instinct is to ask about her workout regimen, not to assure her that she isn't fat. Needless to say, girl relationships have never been my strong suit. 

I got lucky though when I moved to CA and I made not just one but several fabulous girlfriends. I don't know if it was because we were the Disneyland ward or what but for some reason those girls took me in and accepted me as their own. They tolerated my awkwardness, my sometimes inappropriate sense of humor, the way that i hated hugs, and they even taught me a few secrets to girfriendhood. Like I now know that I'm supposed to always ask if someone's lost weight and to end every statement with an "I know, right?!!" I learned how to be empathetic (or to at least appear to be, still working on that one, haha), I learned that compliments can be sincere even if they are given out frequently, and I even learned to hug. It was a huge deal. The best part about all of this is that not only did I learn some invaluable life lessons but we've stayed close even though we've all moved away. Last week we had a virtual Green Party for St. Patricks Day. We each drew a name and we put together a box of green goodies and sent to the girl whose name we drew, then on St Patricks Day we all opened our green box and posted online for our virtual green party. Here a few of the goodies we got in our green boxes.



 And then we all dressed up like Irish dancers or leprechauns and danced our booties off.

Anyway, the point of all this is say that I'm grateful for such wonderful, thoughtful, funny, sweet girlfriends.  

And may I just say, you all look suuuuuper skinny in these photos here. ;)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Momma/Daugher Date

After my last post I realized that we needed to do something fun to get out of our funk. So I decided to take Shye swimming. She loves water and I knew it would do the trick for her. But I was not looking forward to the grossness that usually accompanies indoor pools. I don't know about you guys, but for me indoor pools conjure images of mold, algae, and feces. So I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the Northwest Rec Center was. It was super clean, it didn't have that damp, chlorine smell, and thankfully there were no feces to speak of. And we were the only ones there! Actually that was a little strange because a life guard had to come out and watch us. This facility had a lap pool and a wading/leisure pool. The water was warm and there were two little slides and there were fountains and water toys. There is also a current that you can float on but shye wasn't very interested in that. She had such a ball that even after two hours she still wasn't ready to go. But on our way home we stopped at Cafe Rio and shared a chicken salad (no tortilla, no rice). We have a deal when it comes to Cafe Rio salads, I get all the lettuce and meat and she gets all the pico de gallo, guacamole, and beans. We make a good team. It's was a perfect little momma/daughter date. And most importantly it seemed to snap us out of our grouchiness.









Happy Monday! And Happy St. Patrick's Day! Go get your green on!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I hate everything

It's been a beastly week over here. There were talks that were given, packages to be mailed out, lots of phone tag with the insurance people because now my back bumper is falling off.  Then there was a incident that involved someone taking off their diaper and pooping on the floor of their room. Oh and there was that lovely annual time change Daylight Saving which threw off our resident toddler's sleep schedule and its been a week of meltdowns and chaos ever since.

Just to clarify, there is no such thing as March and November DST. November is when we go back to Standard Time.


I find it somewhat alarming that most adults don't understand Daylight Saving. My instagram feed has been full of people giddily enjoying their "extra" hour of sunlight. I've heard others admit that while they don't enjoy getting up earlier they wouldn't have it any other way, because you know, places that don't do DST it gets dark early. Still others have talked about doing DST twice a year.

Ok folks here we go:
Daylight Saving begins in March and ends in November. From November to March we are on Standard Time. Got it? There is no mythical extra hour of sunlight. The so called "saving" comes from taking an hour of sunlight from the beginning of the day and adding it to the end of the day. Well, not really. It's actually the government forcing you to wake up and be productive an hour earlier everyday so that you finish an hour earlier and there is still sunlight so it feels all warm, and fuzzy. Isn't that sweet? The government cares about you. Also, there are lots of places that don't use daylight saving. AZ doesn't and guess what time the sun sets in the summer? Around 8ish. And do you know what happens after it gets dark? People utilize that wonderful, new-fangled, modern invention called the light bulb. I promise you, no one is sitting around in the dark.

I hate mornings. I hate people. But there is nothing I hate more than morning people. And they seem to be the only ones who looooove getting up earlier.

So here is my solution.
1. Let's get rid of DST.
2. Those who want to enjoy an extra hour of sunlight can haul their butts out of bed early voluntarily. The rest of us normal people would like to enjoy our sleep.
3. Morning people can go kill themselves.

And that concludes my annual rant about DST.

Got these images from google search. Go ahead, sue me. You can have all of our crap and our student loans.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Currently

I currently have bad case of procrastination. I'm giving a talk on Sunday and it is kind of ruining my life because I'm suddenly feeling super productive like I want to rearrange all my furniture and make jam from scratch and plant a box garden and write a book all at the same time. I don't actually do any of these things, instead I prefer to let it all the energy fester until I have an anxiety attack. And then after that all blows over I can get get to work on my talk. I have this formula down pat guys. 

I'm currently obsessed with British tv: Downton Abbey, Dr. Who, and Sherlock. But they are all on their seasonal hiatus. So I'm currently depressed really. Why do British shows have so few episodes? I'm thinking we may need another revolutionary war. Maybe another Boston tea party except this time we will all dump our tvs in protest of the ridiculously short British tv seasons.  Give us more episodes!!!

I'm currently working on some St. Patricks day craft ideas for a green box exchange with my old book club in CA. We all drew names and we are supposed to send our girl a box filled with green goodies for St. Patricks day. I'm so excited about it and so thankful that I have such a fun group of girls to call friends. Even if we do all live in different states now. We've already made a pact that whoever wins the lottery first has to fly the rest of us out for our monthly book clubs. But until then the green box in the mail will have to suffice.

I'm currently two months sugar sober. And carb sober too for that matter. I had planned to just go eight weeks without sugar or carbs to get back down to my normal weight but I'm really enjoying the way I feel when I don't eat sugar. I will probably incorporate more healthy carbs back into my diet once I do get back down to my normal weight but I'm so done with sugar. That's saying a lot coming from someone who used to eat ice cream for breakfast on a regular basis.

I'm currently freaking out about turning 31 next month. 30 was cool, it was a milestone but crap 31 just sounds lame. I think I'm disappointed too because I had hoped to have another baby by 31 or at least be pregnant. But now I'm realizing that it just isn't happening. And the way things are going I probably won't have another one before 32 either. Dang it. Aaaaand I'm freaking out about Shye turning three in May. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? I just had her! I swear!

I'm currently loving my new hearing aids. Seriously, it is so nice to be able to hear better. My old ones were only working at about 50% of the power they were supposed to, so basically everything sounded muffled and muted. Sure makes for some very awkward social interactions. But dang, the bills for these suckers are pinching us hard. I would love to know who decided that hearing shouldn't be covered by insurance. As if hearing were a luxury. Riiight.

And that concludes my exercise in procrastination.