Monday, January 31, 2011

Weight Watchers Week 4 Weigh-In

Week 4 Weigh-In wasn't as great as I planned.  I actually gained 1.4lbs.  You would think that I would be upset about this but I'm not.

I have worked my tail off this week doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, part of my 101 in 1001 is to finish the thing.  I finished up Day 8 today.  On top of the Shred, I have also been doing lots of push-ups and crunches just randomly through the day.

I know that I have lost inches so I'm not THAT upset about the weight.

What about you guys?  Do you care more about what the scale says or how you feel/look?

Blizzard in St. Louis

That's right.  That's what the weatherman called it tonight.  A blizzard.  Ugh.

We are supposed to get 14" of snow.  We are used to getting a few inches every year but not like this.  11" a couple of weeks ago and another 14" over the next couple of day. 

The snow is supposed to start after the ice.  Double Ugh.

Sippy Cup Mom

Made For You Lifestyles, WINNER!

I just held my very first drawing for my very first Giveaway.  I did it the scientific way . . . I wrote down everyone's entries (29 in all) on separate pieces of paper, folded them up, and let GracieAnn draw.

And the winner is . . .

Amy Wood Stubenrauch!!

Thank you so much to everyone for participating in this drawing.  A big THANK YOU to Lea Anne for providing 2 Free Months of service. 

Please take a minute to check out Made For You Lifestyles and all of the great services Lea Anne offers. 

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1} I finally got out of the house this weekend.  Yay!  Good thing, too, because as I type this St. Louis is under a Severe Winter Storm Warning.  We are expectin 1-4" of ice and then anywhere from 6-12" of snow.  I don't know how people "up North" handle this stuff.  Hate it!

{2}As I said above, Scott and I went out on Saturday night.  It was nice to go out with just the two of us.  We went to Trailhead and had a good dinner, met up with some friends, and then ended at the casino. 

{3} I tried a Skinny Girl margarita this past Saturday night and it is my new favorite drink.  The best thing is that it is only 1 point for 4 oz on Weight Watchers.  Easy to make:

2oz Patron (or a good white tequila)
Splash of Grand Marnier, Couintrea or Triple Sec
4 lime squeezes

These margaritas were so good!  I did not miss the sweet and sour at all.  100 calories and NO GUILT!

{4} My birthday is this Friday.  I am trying to forget about it.  LOL 

{5} I am so proud of GracieAnn for giving up the binky.  We had a couple of rough days.  You can read about the first night here.  It only took 2 days for Gracie to kick the habit.

Hockey Rant

Hockey is not a sport for the faint-of-heart.  It is not a sport for the over-protective, "my poor baby fell down" Mommy.  Believe me.  I used to be that Mommy and I had to learn very quickly that he IS going to fall down.  He IS going to get knocked down.  He IS going to get tripped.  Bottom line.

This is our 3rd year of hockey so it no longer bothers me to see him sliding across the ice, slamming into the boards, and laying there for a second.  (The first time this happened I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Not because of the sliding/slamming part but because of the laying there part.  I thought he was knocked out/broke his neck/paralyzed for life . . . when he finally got up we asked him what he was doing just laying on the ice.  He said that the "bad guys" had shot him.  Now I can look back and laugh at the cuteness of that.  It was NOT funny at the time). 

But I digress . . .

This past weekend Kanin had a very early morning hockey game.  As soon as both teams hit the ice, it was obvious that this was not going to be good for Kanin's team.  The other boys were A LOT bigger, A LOT stronger, and A LOT faster.  4 out of the 7 boys on the other team were at least a foot and a half taller than every single player on Kanin's team.  Since this is an Instructional League, the coach set the teams up to be competitive and fair.  Our main focus at this level is to learn the game, the positions, and skate skills.  Winning and losing is last on our list.  At the same time, who likes to lose?   Kanin's team lost 13-3.  Ugh!  Even though Kanin did score-yay!

As the game started, I started getting really annoyed.  A couple of these boys were just overpowering Kanin's team.  Tripping, pushing, shoving.  Yes, these are all things that happen in hockey but not on purpose at the Instructional Leage and not when those boys were 12 years old and Kanin is 7.  It was literally like David and Goliath.  One kid skated by Kanin, put his elbow out and hit him right in the helmet sending Kanin flying across the ice.  Well, let me tell you, THIS mom came unglued.  I was ticked off.  I tried to control my anger because I'm sure that kid's parents were sitting in my same section but I can assure you that the entire section knew that I was not happy.

See this #53?  HE is the one who knocked Kanin in the face with an elbow.  This picture is NOT distorted.  That kid is every bit as tall and big as I am.  (That's Scott that Kanin is looking up at)
After the game, I was telling yelling to Scott about how crappy it was and how unfair the match-up was (the coach knows about it and is addressing the problem) and he told me that kid's parent told him to check.  Scott is a helper out on the ice and told that kid that there is NO CHECKING and the kid said, "I know we aren't supposed to check but my dad told me to just do it anyway and to do anything to get the puck."

Ugh!  I could just scream at these parents.

Yes, I love that competitive spirit and you should do anything to get the puck but not when you are in 6th grade and you are playing some 1st graders.  If this kid had been in 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd grade and had elbowed Kanin then I would tell Kanin to work harder but he had no chance against these older boys.

Why do parents do that?  Why tell your kid to break the rules?  Why put your child in the position of either listening to you or listening to the coach?  Why mess with the safety of other kids?  I swear I just want to slap some parents!

The same thing happened in soccer earlier this year.  Some parent put their 10-year-old on a 6-7-year-old team.  Naturally, the 10-year-old was the "star" and best player on the field.  Why do that?  It's like these parents want their child to be the best so badly that they have to cheat to do it. 

Sorry for the vent but when you mess with Mama Tiger's cubs, you get the wrath.  LOL

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kicking the Binky Habit

I am proud to report that I have one less binky sucker in the house.  GracieAnn is officially binky-free!

The very first night was rough, for her and me.  She cried, she yelled, she kicked, she screamed.  She acted like what I would suspect a heroine addict goes through when they are trying to detox.  It was bad.

The Friday afternoon nap was bad, as well.  She cried for close to an hour.  Friday night I put them to bed early for hockey on Saturday.  She cried for about 15 minutes Friday night.

For Saturday afternoon's nap, though, not a whimper.  Last night she spent the night with Jeff and Nene and they said she went straight to bed and didn't even mention it.

I have to admit, though, that I am a little sad that she is old enough to not need a binky.  One more step in the growing process is complete. 

Giveaway Drawing Tomorrow!

I will be drawing at noon tomorrow, January 31st, for the 2 Free months of consultation from Made For You Lifestyles.

If you aren't sure how this works, let me fill you in. 
Lea Anne from Made For You Lifestyles will work with you to determine the amount of calories you need per day.  She will provide recipes, menu plans, and shopping lists to help you get a grip on your health and nutrition.  You guys will communicate through email and she will offer you help with any questions you may have.  This is 2 Free Months of service!!

To qualify: 
Follow Party of Five-1 entry
"Like" Made For You Lifestyles on Facebook-1 entry
Share Made For You Lifestyles with your other FB friends-1 entry

Leave me a comment for each entry. 

Remember 12:00pm on Monday, January 31st!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Am So Doing This Next Time

Have you seen those Disney World commercials where the parents surprise their kids with the trip?  If you don't know by now, I am a huge sap so, of course, I cry every single time.  I am so doing that for our next trip.  Here are a few:

It's Just Easier

Kanin has a hockey game tomorrow morning that starts at 8:00am.  8:00am.  As in 8 in the morning!! This means that we will have to get up around 6:30 (on a Saturday) to get all three kids awake, fed, and to the rink so Kanin can get his gear on.  If it were just a practice then we wouldn't go but I HATE missing the actual games.  Not only do I love to watch him play but it is so cute because everytime his shift ends he will look over at me (Mama, Papa, and every other family member that came to watch) to make sure that we actually were paying attention to him being on the ice.  We always kind of give him a thumbs up.  It is really sweet because he wants to be tough but he loves that attention.

Anyway, back to the 6:30 in the morning stuff.  It will be no problem for Kanin to wake up at 6:30.  Heck, he sometimes wakes up at 6:00 on a school day.  There have been times where I have actually had to make that child go back to bed and wait until it is light outside.  Caleb is also pretty easy to wake up.  He is always in a good mood no matter what time of day.

The princess, though, she is a whole other story. She is a holy terror if she is woken from her slumber. IT. IS. BAD. So, in an effort to make my life as easy as possible in the morning . . .

I put them both to bed in the clothes that they will wear to hockey.  Of course, Caleb will need a diaper change but, other than that, they are ready to go.  Even if their shirts are wrinkled, they will each have on a coat inside the rink so no one will know and I will save myself 20 minutes of hassle in the morning.

Whatever it takes, right?

P.S. Don't forget my Giveaway coming this Monday, January 31st.  2 Free months of recipes, shopping lists and consultations with a registered dietician.  She will send you these things via email so no matter where you live, this will benefit you!
So Followed Saturday

Fireplace Makeover

I finally started working on our family room.  After much debate, research, and brainstorming I finally just decided to paint the fireplace.  If the brick were a "prettier" brick, I would not have painted.  I typically like natural-type decor but this brick was just not pretty at all.  I also looked into changing the front or facade of the fireplace but since it is raised up and not level with the floor, we just couldn't find a way to do it.


First thing I did was to vacuum all of the dust from the fireplace.

Then I wiped down the whole thing.

I just used primer and paint that I already had.  I read several articles saying to use this paint or that paint but before going out and investing more money, I thought I'd take a chance on these.  

I primed the fireplace and the mantel.  I gave it 2 coats.

I then painted it with a paint called Heavy Cream.

Next step is to pain the wall behind the fireplace a green.

Then, I'd like to build something like this:

I want the unit to take up the whole wall and let the green show through in between the shelves.

I'm Not Ready For This

Yesterday I talked about how much advice you get when you are pregnant or when you are a new mom.  The absolute best advice I ever got came from my mom . . . doesn't it usually?  Anyway, she told me that above all else, I need to make sure to put him (Kanin) on a schedule and stick to it.

She was so right!  I put Kanin and then GracieAnn and Caleb on a schedule and it made my life so much easier.  I put them down for a nap at the same time each day, fed them on a strict schedule (according to their age), and put them to bed each night at the same time.  This eliminated so much of that guessing-game that moms have to play when wondering why their baby is crying.

Ever since Caleb kicked the bottle, this has been his schedule:
Wake up 7:30-8:00
Eat breakfast
Nap 9:30-11:00
Eat lunch
Nap 1:00-3:00
Eat Dinner
Catnap 5:30-6:30
Bed around 8:30-9:00

The nighttime routine may change a bit from time-to-time due to family activities but the daytime routine has always been the same.

Until . . .

this past week when he has not been taking a morning nap.  He will lay in the "pen" for a while but then he always pops up and starts talking, playing, dancing, and singing.  Yesterday he resorted to this:

I think he may be trying to tell me that he is "over" the morning nap.  Ugh!  I need that morning nap.  That is the time that I drink my coffee, check my email, look on FB, and blog.  I'm Not Ready For This!

Don't forget my Giveaway.  Drawing on Monday, January 31st!  Recipes/Menu Plans/Shopping Lists emailed to you from a Registered Dietician for 2 Months!!

Five Question Friday

Today I'm doing a new link up with My Little Life for

1.  If you had $1,000 to donate to any charity, which would you choose?
It would definitely be either a children's charity.  I think I would donate to a charity for abused children.
2.  Snow days:  Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
I would normally welcome a snow day.  We would lay around in jammies, play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, watch movies, build a fire. But we have had so many snow days already and it is hard to keep them all entertained.  NO MORE SNOW DAYS!!
3. What talent do you wish you had and why?
If I had any talent in the world, it would probably be to be a great singer.  I would love to be an entertainer and travel around the country. 
4.  Are you a news, politics, or celebrity gossip junkie?
If I had to pick one, I guess I would be a celebrity gossip junkie.  I don't really even pay attention to that stuff but sad to say I really don't watch the news and I do not really pay attention to most of what is happening around me.  I don't pay attention to politics, either, and rarely discuss it.
5.  What is your favorite cocktail? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps you are more of the Cosmo kind?  Anything flies . . . doesn't hafta be alcohol.)
If it is alcohol then it is either Greygoose/Kettle One and cranberry juice.  Wine would be either pinot grigio or a merlot.  Beer is Bud Select 55 (0 points-woohoo!). 
Non-alcoholic would be unsweetened tea with lemon or water with lemon.  I do love fountain Diet Pepsi, too.
Drawing for the Made For You Lifestyles 2 months free on-line registered dietician consultation will be Monday.  Don't forget to enter!  Click Here for details. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Mommy's Breaking Heart

Tonight was a big step in GracieAnn's life and a little more of the baby was taken away.  I took the binky away.

For the past several months Gracie has only been allowed a binky at naptime or at bedtime.  She has done fine with this until the past couple of weeks and all of a sudden I see her sneeking them all of the time.  She takes them away from Caleb, hides in the corner, sneaks in the bathroom.  Anything to get a binky. 

I'm not really sure if something has changed or if she is feeling insecure or what BUT she will be 4 in July and it is time that the binkies were gone. So tonight was the night.

She actually did ok when she first went to bed.  I made the bad mistake of offering a sippy cup of milk in place of the binky.  The whole time I was getting the milk I chastised myself because I didn't want to replace one crutch with another but I went ahead with it anyway.  Well, she slammed that milk down and in about 10 minutes I heard, "Mommy, I know I said that I would take milk instead of the binky but now I really think I just want the binky."

I went up to her room and tried to think of everyone she loves that doesn't have a binky.  "I know but I still want one."

I tried to tell her that we can't go back to Disney World as long as she has a binky (she asks me to go back to DWevery single day).  "That's ok.  Daddy has to make more money anway."

I tried to ask her why she wanted a binky.  Why she likes the binky.  "I don't know.  It helps me sweep."   (could you just die from the sweetness?)

So, I just told her I'd be back in a bit to check on her and let her cry.  She cried for an hour.  It was heartbreaking.  I don't mean fake tears.  I mean breaking a three-year-old girl's heart tears. 

Finally, after an hour of crying there was silence.  I crept up the stairs and checked on her and she had finally fallen asleep.  No binky.  I did it!

Then . . . I came downstairs and I cried.  I cried Mommy tears.  Heart-wrenching, baby-slipping-away, please-don't-grow-up tears. 

Proud Club Member

When I became a mom for the first time I was inundated with advice.  Do this, try this, don't do this.  No matter where I was someone had a morsel of knowledge to give me.  Heck, this advice started even before the baby was here.  I remember being 9 months pregnant in line at Wal-Mart and a very sweet old lady told me that all I needed to do was drink some castor oil and that baby would slide right out.

Once Kanin was here then I got advice on how to feed the baby, when to feed the baby, what position to lay the baby, how to get rid of stretch marks.  The list goes on and on.  It used to annoy me to no end.  Why do these people think that I would listen to them?  I don't even know them.  I dont' know about you but I am not really likely to take breast-feeding advice from a strange woman in the dairy section of the supermarket. 

Over time, though, I've come to appreciate the advice and even more to appreciate why strangers feel that they can offer such personal advice.  It's because motherhood, whether by your own birthing process or the sweet joys of adoption, is a right of passage.  It's a club where we are the exclusive members.  A badge of honor and courage that we all earn.  We see another mom going through cholicy nights, diarrhea days, and potty training hell and we instinctively want to speak up and offer suggestions.  We remember our own frustrations and worries when we were trodding through those trenches and we don't want to see another club member go through it alone.

In a world where it is so fashionable to be catty, to put other women down, to talk about their weight, their hair, and their clothes when it comes to mommying and motherhood, we kind of put all of that aside.  I have never once heard of one woman giving another woman wrong advice on purpose when it comes to helping them with their children.

Once I decided to listen to some of the advice of other mothers, I realized that they really had been there before and there were some really great tips.  I find myself these days actually seeking out advice from other Mommies, newbies or old pros, because I need help some days. 

So, if you are having troubles with your biting toddler, your potty-mouthed angel, or your backtalking school-aged child.  Ask another member of the Mom Club.  She'll be happy to give you all of the advice in the world.

Today I am participating in:
Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

American Idol

Have any of you been watching the tryouts for American Idol?  I normally don't watch this portion of the show because, unlike most of the country, I cannot stand when they show the people who obviously can't sing.  I don't think it's funny.  I don't think it's cute and it seems so contrived so when I do watch the tryouts I fast-forward through all of the nonsense and then just watch the people who can actually sing.

Last night there was a guy on that had me bawling.  I don't mean a few tears.  I mean bawling.  His story was so sad on so many levels. 

While watching it, I not only was sad for his fiancee but just sad at the hope of the future for them as a couple.  This guy is in his early '20's but will more than likely never experience the type of relationship that I experience with my husband.  They will never have the intimacy, the children, the day-to-day good times that most couples their age will get to experience. 

On the other hand, what a testament to what love is supposed to be.  For better or for worse.  For richer or for poorer.  In sickness and in health. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Toddler Talk Thursday-Potty Training

Ah, the thing that mothers want but dread the most.  This week's topic for Toddler Talk is Potty Training.  If you have any advice and want to join in on the fun, go here:

I have gone through the potty training stage twice, once with a boy and once with a girl.  I am in no way an expert but I think I can give some lessons that I learned.

#1 The very best piece of advice I can give to anyone considering potty training is do NOT push too hard.  There are only a couple of things that the littles have control over:  eating and using the potty.  If you push and push, potty training will definitely turn into a control issue and your little one will win. 

I remember when we were trying to potty train Kanin we tried everything in the book:  rewards, punishments, pep talks, potty books, Cheerios, big potties, little potties, potties that sing, etc. The bottom line was that he was going to do it when HE wanted to do it.  As soon as we all shut up and did not say another word about it, he started using the potty. 

#2  Really pay attention to if your child is ready or not.  I know that sometimes we want to rush this thing along because we are tired of the diapers and the poop but I've seen people try to start potty training way, way, way too early and then the parent gets frustrated.  I don't think that there is a certain age where they are ready.  Every kid is different in maturity level and that is really what you have to pay attention to.

#3 Kanin has always "pee'd" standing up.  I know that a lot of people train little boys by sitting down on the little potties but he always saw Gaga going and Gaga stood up so that's what he wanted to do.  Yes, it was messy at times but if that's how he wanted to pee well who am I to stop him?  He also never used a little potty chair.  We just got the potty ring that sits right on top of the big toilet, put a stool in the bathroom, and that's where he went.

#4 I'm not a big fan of giving M&M's or candy for going to the potty but that's just me.  If it works for you, go for it.

#5 Take all advice with a grain of salt.  Only you know your child and only you know their maturity level.  Don't feel like you are doing something wrong if your child isn't potty trained by age X.  I'm quite sure your child will not go to kindergarten still wearing a diaper. 

#6 Gracie was easy to actually potty train but had trouble with accidents.  We sometimes went through 3 or 4 pairs of panties a day.  Like all kids she would get busy playing and wait too long but I think because she was a girl and had to unbutton her pants, pull her panties all of the way down, get up on the potty, etc. she just couldn't hold it that long.  I did get frustrated and so tired of little puddles in the bathroom floor but she finally got it.

#7 If you are using a potty chair, keep it in the same spot (preferrably the bathroom) so they know where to go each and everytime to do their thing.  Gracie was potty trained in our downstairs bathroom.  To this day she will still walk down the stairs to use that bathroom even though there are 2 upstairs.  I try to tell her she can use all of them, and she will in an emergency, but for the most part, she always comes downstairs.  LOL

Hope this helps!

Blog Hops: Thursday

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop Tell Us Something Good

To Follow or Not To Follow

I've been doing this blogging thing for a while now and the last couple of weeks I have faced the same question that many of you have faced . . . to follow or not to follow.

I started this blog as a way for me to vent, discuss my sweet family, and to document our memories.  Over time, though, I have realized that I could pick up a few dollars here and there just by putting all of my thoughts out there.  To make money or to get chosen to write review and such you have to generate traffic.  To generate traffic you do blog hops.  To really generate traffic, you follow people in hopes that they will follow you back. 

This is where I am in a quandry.

I think that everyone out there has something interesting to say.  A story to tell.  My problem is that I do actually read every single blog that I follow.  I try to make comments and really be engaged in the lives of the people I follow.  I feel like if I just follow to follow then this bloggy world that I have come to love will lose its flair for me.  I will open up the Dashboard and be inundated with things that really don't interest me that much.

How do you guys deal with this?  For those of you who are making good money or just any extra money, how did you deal with this problem?  I know some of the people I follow have 1,000+ followers.  I think to myself if those people follow back all of their followers, how do they keep up with everyone.

What do you guys do?

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today is What I'm Loving Wednesday over at Jamie's blog

I am loving that my nephew, Paul, is home from Afghanistan.  Can't wait to see him!

I am loving this shelf that we got at Costco.

I am loving this insanely delicious Greek Salad.  Thanks, Kit! Here is a recipe.

I am loving that our next Vegas trip is booked.  Now I'm just counting down the days.

I am loving the 4.4lbs I've lost!  Only 12.8 more until I reach my goal.

I am loving this picture I took of Caleb and GracieAnn yesterday.

I am loving that there is only 5 more days until the drawing for my first Giveaway.  You should enter!  2 Free month of consultation  with a registered dietician.  Recipes, menus, and shopping lists all emailed to you!

I am loving my sweet Hottie Scottie.

Wordless Wednesday-Not Such a Good Idea

Blog Hops: Wednesday

Giveaway Link upPhotobucket

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Laugh Out Loud

A while back I posted about the auto-correct on my iPhone.  I have kept adding whenever it comes up with some crazy things.  You can read out them here.  (Check out the one about the porno)

Today I got a post from Confessions of a 20 Something that had me rolling in the floor.  Apparently, there is a site called: 

HILARIOUS!  I so needed this laugh.

P.S.  What are you waiting for?  Enter my Giveaway today!  On-line consultation with a registered dietician for 2 months.  We are talking about your health, people!

Worst Sandwiches In America

Most people have heard of the books "Eat This, Not That". David Zinczenko is the author and also contributor to Men's Health magazine. I signed up for his Twitter feeds about 6-8 months ago and I have been shocked at some of the foods and the nutritional values that come along with them. I've been posting this stuff to Facebook for a while, to the chagrin of a lot of my friends-LOL. I saw this article this morning and thought I'd share.

Which sandwich packs a whopping 1,890 calories?

Worst Sandwiches In America

Post It Note Tuesday

Only Parent Chronicles