Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 in 30 Thursday

The Twitter world is all a buzz about this #3in30.  I kept seeing this hashtag over and over again and I had to figure out was.  Basically, the purpose is to complete three goals in thirty days, starting with a new set of goals at the beginning of each month.  I love goal setting, but I tend to come up with all these grand, complex plans and just end up getting overwhelmed with all I need to do to accomplish my goals.  I do believe I can handle three, however.

So you all are my accountability group!  I am putting my goals out to you so that I am more likely to get them done.  Here they are:

1.  Go to bed at 10:30 PM.  I know I need my morning quiet time to function.  Plus, I need to get my workout in before the kids get up or it may not happen. If I am staying up until midnight or later, I am less likely to get out of bed when that alarm goes off.  A good day starts the night before!

2.  Workout six days a week according to the Turbo Fire/ChaLean Extreme Hybrid program.  My workouts have been lacking because I haven't been getting up and the hip has been bothering me.  However, my mental attitude truly needs a good workout.

3.  Eat Clean- at least 80% of the time.  My diet has been lacking as well.  I downloaded another Clean Eating menu plan and I am going to follow that.  I am allowing myself two meal cheats a week.  Those will most likely be Friday and Saturday night, since we tend to eat out on the weekend.

There they are!  They shouldn't be too difficult.  I just have to be focused and take control of my day.

What are your goals for the month of April?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be Careful What You Promise....

We all do it.  We bribe our kids to get a desired behavior.  My 6 year old, Drew, has struggled all school year.  His attention span is short non-existent.  He breaks out into song for unknown reasons.  He practices playing the drums with everything.   He has no concept of personal space.  All of these things are fine at home (except sometimes that personal space thing).  At school, however, he gets into a bit of trouble.

His class uses a stoplight system.  They all start the day with their clothespin off the chart.  The first time they get into trouble, the clothespin goes to green (1), then yellow (2) and finally red (3).  Drew was constantly getting his clothespin moved.  Mostly ones and twos but he did have the occasional three.  In order to get him to have proper classroom behavior, we've been bribing him.

At first, he had to behave for a week (not even moved to a one) and he could take Karate lessons.

Apparently, he can be bribed.

The next step was to go a month without getting his clothespin moved.  The reward this time? 

Yes, that's right.  A drum set for my budding drummer.  

If he behaves all day tomorrow, he will have earned his drum set.  I truly didn't think he could do it, but he really does have some self control.

If anyone feels so led, you are welcome to send me some earplugs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makeover Monday - The Office Version

I am a couple of weeks behind on Simple Mom's de-cluttering challenge.  Yesterday, I attacked our paper work in the basement office.  The office is definitely my nemesis.  It is essentially a junk drawer that pretends to be a room.  It took a lot of personal pep talk to get me down there with my trash bags, duster and vacuum cleaner.

Here are the before pictures:

This used to be my desk space until my computer was moved to the kitchen.  Much more practical for me to be upstairs instead of hiding out in the "dungeon".
The fax machine, lots of paper work, boxes, misc. picture frames.

The "Man Cave" corner of the office.  The hubby's and my oldest's computers.  Perfect for late night games of World of Warcraft.

The oldest and his clutter.

And now for the after photos.  I am SO BUMMED that I did not get a before picture of the bookcases.  They were a disaster and I completely rearranged them.

Ahhh, pretty, organized bookcases.  Game guides and fiction on the left.  Surgical texts, Bible Studies and non-fiction on the right.

 All of my scrapbooking supplies were moved to the left side of the desk and I can use the open area to work on projects.  The picture frames are off of the shelves so Hubby has room for his school texts and projects.

The Man Cave corner.

 The computer table that you can actually see under all of that stuff.

In the interest of full disclosure, I still have lots of paperwork to go through.  We have 2 double file drawers and one single that are packed full of things that need to be shredded.  It is my plan to finish the paper clutter before I move onto the next hot spot, which is the kids' clothes, toys, books, etc.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Yummy Shakeology Recipes

I shamelessly and wholeheartedly promote Shakeology.  Why?  Because I totally love it.  It does what it says it will do: decreases cravings, lowers cholesterol, it's loaded with nutrients and it helps you lose weight.  Don't take my word for it, find out more about it here.

I do have some favorite recipes that I would love to share with you.

Almond Mocha Chiller

1 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened original)
1 tsp Instant Espresso
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
Ice to taste
Blend well

Vanilla Peanut Butter Fudge

1 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

Chocolate Bananas Foster

1 Banana
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Rum Extract
1 cup Milk (skim, almond, rice, soy, etc.)
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

Chocolate Covered Cherries

1/2 cup Frozen Cherries
1 cup Milk (your choice)
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

And this is my stand by because I almost always have these ingredients on hand:

Chocolate Banana Nutter

1 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
1 banana
1 cup water
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste.

Have I tempted your taste buds enough?  Would you love to try it for yourself?  Just let me know and I will be glad to send you a sample.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Funky Hip Thing

For the past few weeks, my left hip has been MAD at me.  We used to have a great relationship.  I would workout, it would cooperate.  I would run, it would run right along with me.  I would pop it (constantly), it would breathe a sigh of relief.  Recently, the popping of my hip has gotten more and more uncomfortable.  That sigh of relief turned into a whimper.

A few weekends ago, the family and I took a road trip to Columbus.  On the way home, my hip was really painful and I couldn't pop it to relieve the pain.  It was just felt really tight and I chalked it up to sitting in the car for too long.  The next day, while standing in church, I finally got the thing to pop.  When it popped, that former sigh of relief became a blood curdling scream in agony.  I have never felt such instantaneous, sharp pain in my life.  It made me nauseous and, thankfully, I already had my arm around my husband so I could grab onto him to stabilize myself.

A week goes by and I finally go to see the doctor.  At this point, the pain is manageable with Motrin and only gets truly unbearable during extended times of inactivity.  The doctor suggests, after physical exam and x-rays, that I may have torn the labrum in my hip.  For those of you who have no clue what that is, it's basically the suction cup that holds the femur into the hip joint.  He ordered an MRI to be sure of his assessment.

MRI??? WHAT?!?!  I don't do MRI's!  Well, apparently, I do.  But only with the help of some Ativan (happy pills) and a wonderful friend who was willing to babysit me. I survived the procedure, but the tear didn't show up on the MRI.  Wonderful!  Where do we go from here?

My doctor recommended that I follow up with a surgeon who does arthroscopic hip repairs.  Surgery is still questionable at this point.  The only reason I even entertain the thought of going to the OR is because this pain is intense.  I am able to get it under control with the help of Naprosyn (Motrin isn't cutting it anymore), but that gives me horrible heartburn.  Right now I am playing this game of taking drugs to counteract the side effects of my drugs.  Sure, I could take something stronger for the pain, but I need to be able to function, drive and take care of my 4 kids.

The other issue: I'm afraid to workout.  When the pain gets bad, it gets REALLY bad and I don't want to do anything that makes it worse.  So, of course, my weight is creeping up because I am still eating like I burn 800-1000 calories a day with exercise.  That doesn't help with my mental condition at all.

Thank you for those of you who have been praying!  Keep them coming because this definitely isn't over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Night Time Fears Resolved

For as long as he could express it to me, my seven year old has been having issues with fear at bedtime.  He gets so scared that he can't settle down and get to sleep.  For a long time, he was sleeping with his younger brother (the two are 12.5 months apart), but lately, the 6 year old has been complaining that he can't sleep because his older brother bothers him.  Using his younger brother as a teddy bear won't work anymore.

We've tried lots of different things.  I pray with him.  He recites "Perfect Love casts out fear" over and over again.  I let him read with a book light (which just keeps him up until midnight!).  We leave lights on, doors open, and constantly reassure him that nothing bad will happen while he's sleeping.  He occasionally sleeps with me.  Nothing has helped him!

The other day I was reading a Facebook post by The Gypsy Mama where she was asking for advice on how to deal with sudden night terrors in her five year old son.  One very wise lady recommended having him list several things that make him happy.  So last night, I tried this with Jay.  I had him list five.  Here's what they were:

1. Hugs from Mom and Dad
2. Having friends over.
3. Playing with his brothers and sister.
4. Rainbows and unicorns
5. Going to Cedar Point

When I tucked him in, he was all giggles and said "I might DIE from laughing so much!" with a big grin on his face.  When he woke up this morning he told me that he wasn't scared at all last night and he and his younger brother even came up with a few more for his list while they were lying in separate beds. :)  I think we may be on to something here!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

To Routine or Not to Routine

The other day I started a post detailing the process I use for my Quiet Time with the Lord every morning.  As I was typing away, I realized that it could potentially be the single most boring post on the interwebz.  I am confident that you don't want to hear every single step I take each morning before the sun comes up.  So I nixed that (you're welcome), but it did lead me to some thoughts on routines.

How important are routines to you?  I am a huge fan of the Flylady and she advocates set times and days for accomplishing certain tasks.  I see the importance of it.  I am very routined with certain things.  I empty the dishwasher every morning, I make my bed, I shower, I do laundry.  Most of the tasks I do around the house I do in a very specific order.  For example, I only make the bed after I shower.  I only take my water glass from the night stand to the kitchen after I make the bed.  So, if by chance I don't take a shower until 10:00 PM, the bed doesn't get made and the water glass from the night before is still there.  Silly, right?

My husband is a surgeon and he does most things by routine, such as giving phone orders.  He does it that way so he won't forget anything important.   I have heard him get short with many a nurse when they are asking about lab work and he is still at activity level.  He's mentally going through a checklist so everything is covered.  If he is ever questioned about what he does, he can say, "I know I did that, because it is what I always do."  Routine is definitely needed there.

Here's where I get into trouble:  Free time.  Time with the kids. Play time. Reading.  My daughter asked me the other day if I would play a game with her.  I looked at my sofa full of laundry, the kitchen sink full of dishes and panicked!  No!  I can't play a game!  Can't you see the mess I have to clean up???  It's like I can't move on until everything as done.  And, let's face it, most days it doesn't all get done.  I go to bed with laundry waiting to be folded, toys needing to be picked up and dishes in the sink.  Yet I don't feel that I can relax until it is all done.

Which leads me to this thought:  Is it possible to schedule the life out of my life?  Am I really living if I am focusing completely on checking off my tasks?  How am I building relationships with my friends and family if my day is so tightly packed that I can't be flexible?  Even tonight, hubby and I went for a lovely trip to the grocery store and a drive around town.  I glanced at the clock and realized that it was 9:00 PM and got anxious.  The kids weren't in their jammies.  Bedtime devotion hasn't been done.  They won't be in bed on time.  They'll be cranky tomorrow.  Yet another way I have failed as their mother......

I am searching for the balance between the necessity of a to-do list (and I do believe it is necessary if I want to accomplish my goals for myself and my family) and the flexibility that is required of me to enjoy my life and those I love.  I feel like God has been speaking to me about this a lot lately.  I feel that I need to be more focused in the mornings and accomplish what I can before the family gets out of bed.  For me, that includes quiet time, workout and day planning.  I found this lovely group of ladies on Twitter (#hellomornings) that are all working towards this some goal.  I love having the accountability that this group provides.

I still don't have it all figured out, but through prayer and planning, I am working on it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Closet - After

I completed the closet yesterday (Saturday) afternoon at 5:00 PM.  It was quite the project and of course, I had several interruptions.  But I got it done.  I ended up with 4 bags of clothes to be donated and only a few things to throw away.  

For a reminder of the before, click here.

I am much happier with the shelves now.  They seem to make more sense.

I moved my sweatshirts/jackets to the left hand corner of this section so they weren't crowding out my more delicate shirts.

My skirts on the left then extra hangers then hubby's shirts.

Hubby's corner.  I did nothing here except for cleaning out that box, stacking his knee braces and making sure his clothes were on black hangers.  Some of my green hangers ended up on his side and we can't have that! ;)

This is the pile of things that were donated

This dress was Regan's treasure of the day. My mom made it for me several years ago when I was Worthy Advisor for Rainbow Girls.  I debated letting go of this, but Regan is going to keep it for dress up.  She loves it! 

I am so glad I did this and I can't wait to move onto the rest of the house.  One of the items I gave away brought up a discussion between me and the Hubby.  It was something that was very special to a family member and was handed on to me.  I have no emotional attachment to it all, but was entrusted with it's care taking by someone who will check on it from time to time.  

This leads me to the question: What do YOU do with hand-me-down "treasures" that are not treasures to you at all?  What is your level of commitment to them?  Am I destined to have a box of attic stuff of all the things I felt obligated to keep?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Things that are easier while my hubby is gone

My man is out of town this weekend for some training in Florida.  I am so jealous as he complains of being "chilly" in 61 degree weather because the breeze coming from the water is a bit brisk.  We have snow in Ohio, I'll take ocean breezes any day!  But I digress.  I am learning that certain things are a little easier when he's not around.  Here are my top 10:

1.  It's easier to get out of bed in the morning when I don't have his nice, warm body to cuddle with.
2.  It's easier to have a messy kitchen because he's not here to clean up after my dinner mess.  (He ALWAYS does the dinner dishes when he's here)
3.  It's easier to to have long conversations on the telephone.
4.  It's easier to let the kids have a campout on the floor in our bedroom.
5.  It's easier to chat with my teenage son and his buddies who are here because that is as close as I am going to get to face-to-face adult conversation.
6.  It's easier to avoid the accounting work that I need to do because he is not here to help me install the backup files.
7.  It's easier to watch my 6 year old grin ear-to-ear while daddy tells him how proud he is that the boy behaved at school.
8.  It's easier to give extra hugs and kisses to the kids because I can say that they are from daddy.
9.  It's easier to forget to feed the dogs.
10.  It's easier to miss him like crazy!

He's only gone for three days, but I am soooo ready for him to come home...NOW!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I am starting off this Spring with a super duper thorough Spring Clean.  I read this fabulous book back in January and it inspired me.  Tsh is running a hot spot declutter challenge over on her blog so I thought that was a great place to start.  Today, I had my carpets cleaned so these are not "true" before photos, but this is what I've got:

My side of the closet (I'm not touching my hubby's side.  He just did a major declutter a few months ago)

Imagine all this on the floor of my closet.  That's a more accurate before picture

The shelves.  I have got to do something with the shelves.

This is hubby's side.  It's normally a bit prettier, but I shoved the dry cleaning up there so it wouldn't be dragging on the carpet.

The plan is to tackle it this weekend.  This is the weekend between basketball and soccer season so if I don't take the time now, I can't guarantee it will get done.  

Stay tuned!