Friday, February 22, 2013

My Brain Almost Beat Me


I made it to Week 4 Day 3 before my brain almost beat me. It almost talked me into giving up. I have had a rough couple of weeks with my weight and I was already depressed when I got to the Y. I didn't really want to be there, but I knew I should be there because I had things to do on my normal Y days this week. There were really important things going on in our friends lives that I was focused on, and my brain wasn't cooperating. 

I made it 14:37 seconds out of the 31 minutes that day. I couldn't get into watching tv. I couldn't get into my music. I couldn't get into my rhythm. I couldn't focus. So, I quit. I stopped the treadmill and I walked away. I went and sat a few minutes by the workout floor and texted a few people. I confessed  to them I quit. They were supportive and told me they were proud of me, and that it was ok if I quit today I just couldn't give up.

That helped. I needed to hear that even though I was low, people were proud of me. Thankfully, I had just paused the c25k program on my phone. I looked at it and realized that if I didn't complete it then, I was going to have to repeat those 14 minutes I had already struggled through. 

I dug down and walked back to the treadmill. I picked up right where I had left off. Well, my brain was still trying to sabotage me. I still couldn't find my rhythm. My shoes kept coming untied and I would have to pause everything to tie them. My earbuds wouldn't stay in my ears. I wanted to give up. But I didn't want to repeat the time I had already done. I am still that lazy (or stubborn) that I wasn't going to start over. 

I finished, finally. I realized it wasn't my body that was causing me not to keep going, it was my brain. My brain betrayed me. It sabotaged me. It made me really realize that this getting fit thing isn't a body thing, it is a brain thing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

When My Toddler Teaches Me About Love


This Christmas some of our best friends hosted a Colombian orphan  through an amazing program with Embraced by Grace. I knew we were going to love whom ever was brought into our lives, but I didn't really know how much of an impact they were going to have on us. They got word they would be hosting an 11 year old boy. We prayed for and helped our friends as they got ready to host this child. Again, never expecting the outcome we received.

Finally, the day got here that Jean Carlos arrived. Joy had told me it was a rough day with all the logistics of picking him up from the airport, but they were still on for dinner the next day. Monday nights are our weekly dinner with this family and we were excited to meet this new addition. He was quiet and shy and a little timid. Jean Carlos spoke no English and even when AJ talked to him in Spanish he was very reserved, until after dinner.

After dinner Jean Carlos bonded with Drew. They chased each other, they played catch, they laughed and giggled as only little boys can do. Jean Carlos carried Drew around like he was his own personal doll, and pushed him in his car like it was the best thing ever. Jean Carlos gave us some of his first truly happy smiles while they were playing that night. I got a few quick pictures of them (I can't post pictures of Jean Carlos for safety reasons and as part of the rules of hosting him) and they were cute.

After that first night Drew was hooked on Jean Carlos in a way I haven't seen him attach to any other child. We would go to Joy's house and he would hunt him down to play. They came for dinner and Drew would drag him into the backyard. It was a friendship that didn't need words on either boy's part. The laughter and the giggles were all they needed. 

Needless to say, that short three week period they had Jean Carlos passed way to quickly with all the events of the holidays. Thankfully, Jean Carlos got to spend some fun times at our house and Drew at his. The last day that Jean Carlos was here I made sure to take Drew over for a long play time to say goodbye, even though Drew didn't know what was happening. I got lots and lots of pictures that play time. I captured all the smiles and happy memories that I could. I knew that my heart was breaking that he was going home. I was so sad. Joy was sad (please read this link, she puts into words things my heart can only feel), but the boys were happy.

The first day we went to their house after Jean Carlos left Drew hunted him. Drew finally stopped looking for him when we said he went "bye bye". That was hard. How do you explain to an 20 month old that his best friend is gone and probably forever? 

On some level I hoped Drew would forget and move on, because it is hard on me and makes me cry. On other levels I don't ever want him to forget his first real friend. I am glad I leaned towards the second option. I have printed pictures of Jean Carlos for Drew. He finds them occasionally and carries them around.

This morning was the hardest one yet. Drew found the Christmas card we got from Joy. He kept pointing at Jean Carlos and making his "where" noise. I can't answer that. I just kept saying, "Jean Carlos? Yes." He finally looked up at me and said, "Jean Carlos". Tears just streamed down my face. Drew isn't a talker yet and him saying words is a fairly big deal. Him deciding that Jean Carlos was worth the words is even bigger. He put the picture into his little car with him and drove him around the house, then went out on the porch and sat on the glider. He sat there pointing at the picture and just babbling to him. I wonder what all he told Jean Carlos this morning?

I wonder if he told him about the Valentine's Day craft we made this morning and putting his hands in paint? I wonder if he told him all about his new car? I wonder if he told him about all the fun new things in the backyard to play on? I wonder if he just told him how much he is missed? I wonder if he told him to just come back?

Talking to Jean Carlos

This is love. It is pure. It is painful. It is messy. I am so thankful when my toddler teaches me about love in ways that I forget. I am so thankful that Jean Carlos was in our lives. I am thankful we got to love him even for a short while and that his memory is here with us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weight Loss Caveman Style - Week 5

Photo Credit
I am into week 5 of this journey. This week has been the roughest yet. We have had lots of stress here and I am just beat. I gave in and ate some of Drew's M&M's because I wanted the chocolate so bad. I also had about 5 pieces of fried white potato fries. Neither of these was that bad in and on its own, but I don't want to get into those habits. 

I am still not craving sugar, but I am getting to the point that I want some. I still haven't had a soda since January 1st. I am having moments of thinking I want a Coke, but I know that is a weak spot for me. So, I don't really want to open that can of worms.

I finished my first solo 5k this weekend. I am really proud of the way it went. I finished it at 55:22, and averaged under a 15 minute mile. That is a big new accomplishment for me. It was harder not having someone to do it with, but it showed me I can over come the negative voices in my head and push through on my own.

We also had the Super Bowl this weekend. Though we were supposed to have people over, that fell through. I stilled wanted to make traditional junky food for it. I compromised. I found some yummy recipes and made  Plain Chicken's Where's The Crust Pizza. It smelled amazing cooking. I also made these breadsticks. They were so simple! They look like real breadsticks, too! For dessert I made PaleOMG's Sweet Potato Brownies. I forgot the chocolate chips, but they are still brownies! It was a great compromise instead of ordering that large Domino's pizza I wanted.

Pizza and apples for lunch after the Super Bowl.
I officially crossed the first 10 lb mark this week. I am still grumpy at myself that it is being slow, but I just have to keep reminding myself at least I am losing and it has been a while since I lost 10 lbs. I am feeling a little stronger and at least one pair of my pants is getting a little loser. I am wondering when I will be able to start seeing a difference. I think I figured out what I want as a reward for my little goal, a new arm band for my phone. That seems a good reward.

Weight Loss This Week : -1.5 lbs
Weight Loss Total : -10.6 lbs
C25k : Week 3 Day 1


Monday, February 4, 2013

When Good Flooring Goes Bad

At the start with the carpet still in.
This month's big project was supposed to be putting new flooring in the den. Well, it turned into a much bigger project than it was supposed to be. It has turned into chaos and has taken over most of the living space in our house.

Tearing out the old carpet.
Saturday started with us emptying the den of all he bookcases and furniture. Then AJ started ripping up the carpet and sealing the concrete. These were the same steps as the bedroom. Then we started putting down the flooring. AJ got a few rows down, but something wasn't right. He started looking at the flooring and it was bowed. Crud!

We pulled up what was down and called it a night. We took that batch back to Ikea. It sounded like they had had problems with this batch because they returned it no problems. We dug through what was at he store and found he least bowed batches. We came home and started again.

The self leveling concrete phase.

The new batch wasn't working any better. We threw the level on the floor and started to realize the floor wasn't level. Ok. We knew that a little because it is a former carport. We decided to get some self leveling concrete to try to fix it. AJ's little sister came over and helped with pouring the concrete. They got it poured and we went to bed and let it dry overnight.

I woke up Monday morning and realized that it didn't work. Even though AJ had floated the concrete it was a mess. I could see the lines and divets in the concrete. I pulled out the level and worked my way around he room with it. There were places that were 3 inches lower or higher than other places. The self leveling concrete helped the situation some, but we would have had to pour it about 4 inches thick to fix all the unevenness.

Time to add shims and build a subfloor.
Next plan time. We decided that we needed to just give in and build a subfloor over the concrete. This has at least the advantage of bringing the den level with he living room and getting rid of the awkward step down. The other plus is that we can Make sure where the bookcases are going back in is nice and level and sured up really well (we have a lot of books). The problem is that it is tedious. AJ had to shim every single stud and get each one level across the whole board. There were some spots in the floor that were 4 inches out of level. To shim those crazy places up, AJ had to cut 1x2s and make his own shims because pre-cut ones don't come that thick.

Starting the shimming phase.

All those little cross pieces are shims.
He finally got all the studs shimmed and glue down. Next came the actual subfloor. He used OSB and nailed it down really well. The OSB went down much faster and smoother than the studs.

Sub floor time!
Finally we got to the under lament foam and putting down the laminate. AJ got it down in record time. Then we got the fun task of moving all the bookcases, books, and furniture back into the room. It looks awesome. We have it set up so that we can play board games or do puzzles on a high top table, read books in a cozy chair, or snuggle up and watch movies. I wish I had a better picture of the whole room, and I will soon, but the reason I can't is a story for another day.

The new library!
I will admit on his project AJ has done 99% of the work. I have contained Drew and kept the house running (aka cooking). I have also worked on a few things on my project list. I got my craft room back in order from Christmas and cleaned out boxes left from the move. I started working on our taxes, and I got all the leaves raked in the front yard.