Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ten pounds, triumphs, and trials

That sums up our week!

I hit the 10lbs lost mark this week. It only took me 4 months :| But I’m not going to complain because 10lbs is 10lbs. I’m now working out 6 days a week, doing a mix of high-intensity cardio and sculpting. If I was more strict about my calories, I’m sure I could have lost 2x as much, but I like cooking and eating and that’s not going to change, so I wasn’t interested in going low-fat, low-carb, low-cal when I have no intention of keeping that up long term. Most workouts are 40-60 min and I’m doing them in the mornings at 5am. Not my preferred time, but its very hard to get them in during the days now with school and extra-curriculars and just LIFE. If anyone wants recommendations on good workout DVD’s, let me know. I feel like I’ve tried every single one on Netflix!

Speaking of school, everything started this week and went very well.

Gwen’s first day of pre-k. She was so excited, she even wanted me to curl her hair to look extra-fancy.

This picture is a little bittersweet to me! Last year, Ethan had to talk Gwen out of the car so she’d go in for pre-school because she was so nervous. This year, she didn’t need her big brother to tell her it was ok. She strode in, full of confidence.


Gwen getting her nametag from Ms. Paula


An old friend from last year, Katie!


Sitting next to another friend, Blake.


After leaving the church, Ethan and I stopped and got a coffee (hot chocolate for him) to celebrate our first day of school. We came home and took our “opening day” picture


He worked very hard every day at his assignments. Love the tongue!

Everything went smashing. In fact, as Ethan already knows all his numbers and letters he found the introductory lessons rather boring (they start with the assumption that you don’t know any letters or numbers). After the first day, we doubled up and will do that until we’re done with the introduction lessons.

Unfortunately, this week had more than a few stressful moments as well. Ethan has been having some constipation issues (in truth, going off and on for a year now) and this week it became clear that home remedies and waiting it out weren’t gonna cut it. We went to see our pediatrician, had an x-ray done, and found it was no wonder that the little guy was suffering so. He was backed up all the way. So we are on an intensive round of laxatives and other helps to clear things out and hopefully retrain his body to respond appropriately. Its been extremely uncomfortable for him the last few days and very hard for me to be pretty much helpless.

On a brighter note, tomorrow we are taking Ethan and Gwen to a Mariners game and taking the Sounder from the Everett train station down to the stadium. We are all SO excited to do this! Elly is going to stay with Mom overnight so she’ll have a blast too. I’m hoping the kids will be able to stay entertained through most the game, as they are playing the Yankees and I really want to be able to watch and cheer and boo and all the other fun stuff you do with the M’s play the Yankees :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just life.

Not too much going on as of late. Just life. Just taking each day as it comes and trying to handle it the best way.

We've made some changes in our TV and video game usage. We severely restricted the time the kids are allowed to watch and play and, of course, this means that there needs to be something else to fill that time. Its been amazing to see how cutting the TV has immediately resulted in more positive behavior and play. I've started reading them a chapter from the Little House On The Prairie series. We're in the first book, but Ethan wanted to read about boys, so I'm also doing a chapter here and there from Farmer Boy too. Just a few months ago I tried this with them and they were not interested in sitting and listening for that long. But now they eagerly sit and listen. It was funny, at first they were really bummed by the lack of pictures. We had to kind of walk them through how to use their imaginations to "see" what we're reading to them. They're very imaginative kids, but they hadn't thought to use it quite in that way. Now you can see the little wheels turning when I read something... they really are making those pictures in their minds.

Today was supposed to be our first day of homeschooling. However, all the kids and J came down with colds last night and they were not in shape to do school. I had also forgotten about some preliminary work I needed to do and so I scratched the whole thing and decided to start tomorrow, while Gwen is at pre-k.

I should get some video of Elsa and put it up here. She’s been amazing us daily it seems. She talks very well. She understands so much more than she can say. She is, as my Mom put it, quite precocious. The other day she laid down on a stool, put her hands and legs out (think Superman) and started saying, “Whee! Whee!'”. Never before had I seen her do that or say that word. How I wish I’d gotten the camera in time! Last week I was distracted during dinner so she kept chanting, “Momma, Momma, Momma, Momma”. Finally I turned and said, “Yes honey” and she showed me her food and said, “Icky!” and threw it on the floor and looked quite pleased with herself. Oh my, so hard not to laugh.

Ethan and Gwen are doing well, though both are growing up so fast mentally that its hard for us to keep up sometime. They will say something and we’ll do a double take… “They said what?”.

We make little chore charts for them and after they’ve done their work for a set amount of time with no fuss, they get a reward. Gwen wanted a tutu very badly, and we’d been looking for awhile because the kind she wanted we couldn’t find in stores. We finally ordered one online from that wonderful site of handmade things, Etsy.

Its a little big, but that’s GOOD! Its very thick and wonderful. She loves it!

Ethan’s reward was a box of Legos, which him and Daddy assembled one evening. Unfortunately, things don’t stay assembled long, because Ethan likes to play very imaginative and rough games with the figures. But that is ok. The nice thing about Lego is that you can always put them back together again :)


Gwen started dance classes at Martha La Valley School of Dance last week. You may remember that we tried her in ballroom dancing at the beginning of the summer and hated how terribly intense and involved it was. This one is just right. We got a surprise when one of the little girls in Gwen’s class was also in Ethan's preschool class last year. Its just 4 little girls and the teacher. While she was serious and kept them on track, there was lots of joy and fun in that room. Good times.

Ethan started swimming lessons on Saturday and those did not go as smooth. He got freaked out when he realized he was in a class with no one he knew and not even his sister was there. He would only put his feet in. We’re hoping that next week goes better…

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm a year older

That's the biggest thing that has happened since I last blogged... My 31st birthday was on the 31st and I feel no older. Though it is rather weird to say I'm in my thirties now as opposed to just being thirty. I found 30 kinda hard to deal with. 31 is easy in comparison!

J and I went with my friend April and her husband Gregg to El Gaucho in Seattle for my birthday (and April's too, which was on the 2nd). Whoa, it was a high-falutin' place. We had a caesar salad made table-side (a first for us), then J and I had a New York steak carved table-side, while April and Greg had rib steak and baby back ribs, respectively. For dessert we ordered 5 things! The boys each got a chocolate ganache, April and I got table-side bananas foster (cool) and then we had to get a creme brulee to try, since its our favorite dessert. Oh we ate like pigs and had a great time doing so.

Mom and Dad had taken the kids overnight, and I got all day Monday (my actual birthday) to myself. It was good. Every now and then its very refreshing to have a span of hours to oneself.

This last week has been fairly calm and quiet. I've been having a lot of headaches for some reason. On Friday we had a whirlwind of a day. Rather unexpectedly I ran out to Aunt Margaret's house to help set up her computer, then we rushed off to Grammy's house, grabbing lunch on the way, where I dropped off the kids and hit Walmart for some schooling supplies. I got most everything I needed, except clothes. I was hoping to buy some plain t shirts for Gwen... just solid, long sleeved shirts. Instead all I could find were shirts splashed with logos, music stars and sassy sayings. I was not happy! I did end up buying two shirts (one with Disney Princess, one with Tinkerbell) that I knew I'd have trouble finding elsewhere and that she would love, but no jeans or plain t's. I've noticed that since Gwen has moved into Girl's sizing that the style is much more mature and I'm just not ok with that!

Today, the boys and girls split up. Jas took Ethan to get the oil changed in the car, haircuts, errands at Target and lunch. I took Gwen and Elly and we searched for a tutu (no acceptable ones found, thank goodness for the internet), lunch, then we went and signed Gwen up for dance classes. We've tried a few different places but didn't like them for various reasons (too intense, too much commitment, financial and otherwise). This one looks to be perfect. The teacher/owner is an older woman (probably in her late 70's) and makes everyone come in and meet her in person to register. I wondered at this, until we showed up and she wrote down, complete with old style cursive handwriting, all of our information on an index card and then put it in a file box. That is her student database! My goodness. She was a very nice lady and her love of children was shining through. From the start she couldn't stop interacting and talking with Gwen and she apologized a few times for ignoring me. She commented on Gwendolyn's name, saying it sounded like a fairytale and that she would refer to her as the "fairytale" girl. This is gonna sound like a Mommy brag (and it is), but she said that Gwen was beautiful and light and joy shined through her face. Well, I couldn't help but be pleased at such a comment :)