Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jiggle Free July

By the time Phil and I got engaged (back in 2009), we had both put on what my mom calls "happy weight."  Depending on the day, it was about 15 pounds.  It wasn't cute.  And I didn't want to go wedding dress shopping for a dress that size.  I decided it was time to trim down.

I started by training for a half-marathon  And I completed it.  Not exactly in the best time, but whatever.  13.1 miles is 13.1 miles.  Then we joined a gym and I started taking some classes, did a TON of cardio, tracked my calories in versus calories out, etc.  And I did see results.  I lost about 17 lbs and got down to my lowest post-college weight.

But the results were no where near what my calorie tracking said it should be.  I was burning enough to lose between 1/2 to 1 pound a week and would be lucky if I lost that much in a month.  It was super frustrating, to say the least.

Come my wedding day, my dress (which since I was between sizes, they ordered DOWN a size) was almost too big.  I felt beautiful and LOVE all of my wedding pictures.

Mission accomplished.

But then the newlywed weight came a little.  And then when we started trying to get pregnant, I quit restricting my calories and exercising as strenuously.  And the thyroid cancer made a few pounds pack on.  Pregnancy was obviously a big time for weight gain time for me.

Thankfully, the pregnancy weight is gone and I'm almost back down to my wedding weight.  Since I have an artificial metabolism, I know that controlling my weight isn't going to be all that easy.  And I just don't have the time or energy to track my calories or work out like I did before my wedding.  Plus it didn't work all that well.

Somehow, I stumbled upon a workout schedule for July called "Jiggle Free July".

To be honest, it looked downright impossible.  60 burpees?  Yeah right.  But I thought I would give it a go.

Well, I got sick during the second week of July, so I missed a few days there.  And then I just got sick again, so that was a few more days missed.  While I have been doing the lunges, squats, russian twists, push-ups, and sit-ups, I have completely skipped the burpees.

Have you done a burpee?  They suck.


It's working!!!  I have abs again.  And I can do so many more push-ups than I used to be able to do.  I think I might actually be smaller than I was before my wedding, giving proof to the theory that it isn't the number on the scale that matters.

Since I have kind of cheated my way through this month, I have decided that next month, I am going to start over and try and do the whole month according to the calendar.

Jiggle free August doesn't roll off the tongue kind of like "Jiggle Free July".  I don't care what you call it as long as it firms things up.

Care to join me in "Jiggle Free August"?  We can get a support group going.  :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beach and a Boat

Well, my blogger streak has been broken.  And do you know who we can thank for that?

Red Robin.

We went there for dinner yesterday after a very frustrating Henry day.  I mean, the guy is a pretty good baby most of the time so I knew we had it coming.  It didn't make the day any easier though.  So we had dinner at Red Robin where the food wasn't great, the service was awful, Henry was in a terrible mood and Phil and I ended up with food poisoning.


Needless to say we won't be going to Red Robin for a LONG time.

This is the second time we have had food poisoning like a month.  Not cool.

Definitely not the diet plan I had in mind.

But we did have a nice Saturday.  So let's focus on that.

We headed to the beach and then my sister-in-law's family's beach house for the day.  This wasn't the first time Henry had been to the beach.  He went on our family camping trip last August at the ripe age of 3 months old.

But when re-introduced to the sand, it was like he had totally forgotten it.  It took a while, but he finally got used to it.  And then there was no stopping him.  There was sand in his diaper, his hair, his ears.  He had fun.

And the weather was absolutely unreal.  I mean, we never get this kind of weather at the Oregon coast.  To put it in perspective, I waited 20 minutes to put sunscreen on and my neck got totally fried. It made me mad.  I HATE getting sunburns.

Anyway... Henry's reintroduction to the beach also happened the day of Henry's first boat ride.

He loved it.  Every time the boat hit a bump, he got a huge smile on his face.  He's going to be an adventure seeking, I can just tell.  The kid loves to be startled and surprised.

This is not a wonderfully written post.  Forgive me.  I'm still not 100%.  I hate throwing up.  Hopefully I'll be back on my game tomorrow.

Stay away from food poisoning!

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Things Friday

Blogging for 5 straight days!  Dare we say Stella has her groove back?  I probably shouldn't jinx it.  Here's another mix of randoms for this fine, fine week.

1.  When I dropped Henry off at daycare this morning, he was seated at the table next to his buddy, Blake.  Blake and Henry are just a month apart and have been good friends from the beginning.  Normally, Henry needs his food in the morning right away at daycare or he starts freaking out.  But this morning, he and Blake looked at each other and started pounding their hands on the table in perfect unison.  And it's times like that that help ease my mommy guilt for leaving him with someone else during the day.  He's building relationships (and an immune system) and that makes me feel better.

2.  I was checking over my blog stats the other day and noticed that one of my most read blog posts ever is the one about my Baby Weight.  And really all this proves to me is that everyone loves a train wreck.  Just kidding.  Not really.  But when bloggers do the weekly updates while they are pregnant and they put their weight gain, I look with fascination and then curse them under their breath when they say "I'm half way through and have only gained 6 pounds."  REALLY?!?!  How is that even possible?  There's probably an extra 6 pounds in your bra!  I'll be the first to admit I'm just jealous.  :)

3.  If you don't follow me on instagram, you probably haven't seen this picture:

He was starting to get grumpy and it was almost bath time, so I just took off all his cloths.  Is there anything cuter than a baby in just a diaper?  And the nice thing about him being a small giant is that the cloth diapers aren't super huge on him anymore.

4.  Along those same lines, what am I going to do if Henry stays on his growth pattern?  The kid is not fat.  He is perfectly proportioned in height vs. weight.  But he weighs about 30 lbs and the diapers are only good until 35.  I'm sure walking will slow his weight gain a little, but I may have to upgrade to the training pants WAY before he is ready to potty train.  Does anyone have any experience with this?

5.  I went to a meeting the other morning and as the most important person in the meeting walked in and shook everyone's hand, he said, "I think I am going to go home after this.  I'm not feeling too well."


Thanks for shaking my hand.  Where's the antibacterial?  Maybe in the future we can wave or fist bump when we start a meeting?

Stay healthy!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gallery Wall Pictures

I debuted the gallery wall in yesterday's post and I have to say, I'm still loving it.  Although all the effort it took to get it done resulted in me doing NOTHING last night.

That's not totally true... I made lasagna.  So I did something.  And I watched Frozen.

Super productive.

Anyway, I realized that the picture of the gallery didn't show off the pictures we chose to put up.  And some of them are just too good to keep to myself.

{From the day we took pictures of Henry in the snow}

{Engagement picture making out in a waterfall by Kelly Miller Photography}

{Helicopter ride in Hawaii during our honeymoon}

{Taken on a hike at Silver Falls}

{Maternity picture by Annie Groves Photography}

{Maternity picture by Annie Groves Photography.  She's so amazing.  
Made me look great when I was huge.  That's talent}

{Taken using Ed's camera during Thanksgiving}

{I love love LOVE this picture and will probably treasure it forever}

{Newborn picture by Annie Groves Photography}

{Annie Groves Photography.  She moved to Hawaii and 
I'm contemplating a trip just so we can get some awesome family pictures done}

{From fishing at the Beach.  I was on the LID diet, waiting to have follow-up scans done and pretty scared.  But everything turned out great and the extra scan actually gave me HUGE peace of mind}

So there you go.  A small collection of some of my favorite pictures.  There are so many more I could have picked, but the good thing is that now that the frames are up it will be pretty easy to switch pictures in the future.

Ok I will stop patting my own back about hanging up pictures.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gallery Wall

I haven't posted many (if any) pictures of our new house on the blog and we have lived there for over 2 months now.  I have been hesitant to share because we aren't totally settled yet.  There are no pictures on the wall.  We still have some boxes that have been unpacked.  And the landscaping needs some serious TLC.

Phil and I weren't in a huge hurry to buy a house before he finished his PhD because we didn't want anything to distract him from his work.  The next big life goal has been for Phil to finish graduate school and we didn't want to lose sight of that.  So when we bought the house, we agreed that there would be minimal (if any) projects for Phil to do until he was finished.

Do you know how hard that is?  We love our house the way it is, but we also want to make it our own.  A graduate school income and little time make that super challenging.  And I didn't really want to share pictures until it was all done.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  Shocking, I know.

But then I realized the before and after concept was a whole lot of blog material.  So it is silly of me to not capitalize on the blog posts, amiright?

So here it is... the first new house before and after post.

We have some nice, high ceilings in our great room and I really wanted to do a gallery wall using different size picture frames.  Plus the previous owners had left some anchors in the wall and rather than fill those in and paint them and run the risk of the paint color not exactly matching, I thought it would be better to just cover the anchors until we decide to paint the room again.

{Please ignore Henry's hat and the Mountain Dew can}

We received A TON of picture frames when we got married.  And then the Christmas after that, my cousin gave me like a dozen more picture frames (they are my absolute favorite, by the way Lindsay!).  So we already had the materials needed to stay on a budget (hooray for the one income family!).

The first step was picking out some pictures.  I knew I wanted a variety of pictures, some of us and some without people, and a mix of black and white.  I picked out several from our wedding, a couple from our honeymoon, some pictures I had taken over the years, a picture from our engagement pictures, a few from our maternity session, a few from Henry's newborn session, and a couple of Henry.  They were all electronic files, so the next step was figuring out what size I would need for each picture.  That meant laying out the frames.

It took several iterations, but I finally got a layout I like.  It felt like a good mix and not too cookie-cutter.  I didn't want it to be symmetric, but I also didn't want it to be cluttered.  Phil and I figured out what picture we wanted where and then ordered the prints.  We ordered them from Wal-Mart and I really liked how they turned out.  Much better than the prints I have gotten from Costco.

The next stage was to actually hang them on the wall.  Do you ever look at a project and go, "Where do I start?"  That's kind of how I felt.  I tried an intermediate step of hanging similar size pieces of paper on the wall.

I started with measuring down from the ceiling at a level that would cover the anchors.  This helped me get the outside parameters of the pictures figured out.  I also chose to use painters tape for the most part instead of pencil on the wall.  It helped me to visualize things a little better.

I started at the top and went down the sides, using painter's tape to get my nail placement just right.  I put a piece of tape along the top of the frame and then tape down to the hanger and punctured a hole where the nail would go.  Then I peeled the tape off the frame, made sure it was level and it the right spot and then put in my nails.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this part.  That was dumb.

I worked my way around the edges and then did the middle frames last, making sure I had the spacing correct.

Three and a half hours later, we had a finished product.

I have to say, it isn't perfect but I LOVE IT!!  And all of the anchor holes got covered!

If I were to do this over again, I might go through the process a little differently.  I know there are several different ways to hang a gallery wall, but they require a lot more prep and I really just wanted to get it done.  I ended up only needing to move 1 nail in the entire process, which I think is really good, considering there are like 16 frames on the wall.

The nice thing is that now that the frames are up, it will be VERY easy to change out the pictures.  I want to do something similar to this on our staircase, but I need some time to recover from this process.  And I need a couple more picture frames!  (I can't believe I just said that!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And he's off!!!

Please ignore my annoying voice in the video.

But we have a walker!!

This happened last Sunday (the 13th).  What's funny is that he was more than capable of walking for at least the last month.   Probably longer.  But he just wouldn't do it.  Maybe a couple of steps here and there.  But for the most part, he wanted to crawl.

Frankly, I needed him to be able to walk.  The dude weighs about 30 lbs and my lower back is basically in constant agony from picking him up.  Not to be dramatic or anything.

I know some people have told me that once he starts walking, all we will be doing is chasing him.  But honestly that kind of started when he started crawling.  And I'm ready for his hands to get off the ground.  Plus I could use the extra cardio.  :) 

Monday, July 21, 2014

You win some...

I figured the first post of the week had better be about Cotton's dog show, because I know everyone is waiting with baited breath.

The first show was Friday night.  It was a specialty show, done by the Oregon Brittany Club.  Even though Cotton wasn't the best behaved, he still did really well.  Just not good enough.

He basically got second place.  Or as we like to call it, "First loser".

As Ricky Bobby says:

Just kidding.  Here's how he he took it:

{Pouting like a baby while the Best of Breed was being chosen.  
And I'm not even kidding.  He climbed up in Phil's lap and cuddled like that.}

But in reality, it is his own fault.  It's like he didn't know how to run properly on the show lead.

So Saturday, we arrived nice and early to make sure he had plenty of time to get out his excitement and run around on the lead.  But we had a judge that likes smaller dogs, and a puppy won over Cotton.  We weren't thrilled.

I showed Cotton to that judge when we first started showing Cotton, and he was a jerk to me.

Basically we won't be going to shows judged by him anymore.

Henry had a blast at the show.

He loves the Brittany ladies.  And he loves our breeder's dogs.  Seriously, he doesn't do it to other dogs in crates.  Just Cotton's litter mates.

{Man-pris and TOMS.  He's too cute}

Playing with dogs can be exhausting though.

It was definitely disappointing to not get anymore points for Cotton.  But that's how it goes.  You can't win them all.  And it was still a fun outing and great to see the show dog people.  They are seriously the nicest group of people.

There's a show nearby at the end of September and I think I might try showing Cotton at that one.  We will see.  I have a couple of weeks left to decide.

I find it interesting that my competitive spirit has branched out to dog shows as well.  I see the professional handlers in the ring and think "I can do that."  Apparently I can't.  But maybe that's why they are professionals... they make it look so easy.

Oh well... I guess I will just keep practicing.  Cotton and I will get it down eventually.  :)

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