Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Passion= traveling

I hate packing.

For the past few summers I have packed up all my belongings in DC in order to travel. The first summer I did this I was able to sublet my spot in my house, and I just packed away my clothes. But now I pack up everything, sell some furniture, and put everything into storage. 

Right now my room is a disaster area. I have Rubbermaids in every corner, boxes and suitcases along my hallway...and my bed is often covered with clothes (I just shift the clothes to another location when I go to sleep). 

Again, I hate packing. 

However, this year my packing situation is a little different. My roommate and I ended our lease early, so I am going to put all my stuff into storage this Saturday, about two weeks before I am scheduled to leave on my trip and sleep on an air mattress at a friend's house (thank you friend!!). So, not only am I packing for my travels, but I am also packing to be able to survive two weeks of living at a friend's.

You may be asking yourself if it is really worth doing this every year. And my answer is yes. 

You see, traveling is in my blood, it is my passion. My grandparents absolutely loved to travel. They were able to travel quite a bit in South America with my grandfather's company (my grandparents were based out of Chile for a number of years), but they also traveled all over Europe. When my grandfather retired, he and my grandmother went to Spain twice a year, usually in March and October. Now that my grandmother has passed away, the grandchildren (and the aunts) have taken over the reigns and often go with my grandfather to Spain (it was great fun when Alina and I lost our grandfather in Zaragoza!).

Beyond that, my aunt lived in Switzerland during college and traveled all over. My mom's first trip to Europe was when she was 16, with my aunt. They went on a adventure, just the two of them, and you should hear some of their stories (particularly the story about the lake in Switzerland, when a storm hit and they were in a canoe).


And then there is me. I was 12 days old the first time I rode on a plane. My first big trip was to New York City at 15. At 22 I went to Europe for the first time. I have traveled all around US and I have gone to South America (ask me about the time I took my grandfather to a tango show in Buenos Aires). I studied abroad in Paris and have been back to Europe 7 times.

And still it is not enough. 

In short, traveling is what makes me tick. I love planning trips (that's half the fun) and I love taking impromptu trips. I have a savings account dedicated to them (seriously, my saving account is named Happy Trip Money). 

So,what is your passion? What do you do (or wish you could) that makes you completely happy?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Swimsuit season!

Swimsuit season - we love it, we hate it - but it's here. In the past I have bought cheaper trendier suits that cover me decently, but now I'm will to spend a little more time and money to get a suit that will flatter and last. These are a couple places online that I've been looking.

LandsEnd

Ann Taylor LOFT

Then of course, Macy's and Dilliards...Kohl's isn't bad either....

Anyways, I would like to ask the blogging world about any other recommendations that you could give as I begin my quest to find the perfect suit????

And I would just like to add, that swimsuit models are not representatives of the vast majority of the human family. I mean, who looks like that??? Certainly not me, but I just tell myself that's ok :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wait, its JUNE??

(Just as a warning, this post is a smorgasbord of thoughts)

How was everyone's Memorial Day Weekend?

Hope you all had a fun time. I spent the weekend at a lake in Maryland (Deep Creek Lake). I go every year with a group of friends and we rent a house and have all sorts of fun.

 Aren't we a good looking bunch!

Anyway.

At one point during the weekend, a bunch of us were sitting in the hot tub, commenting on how much weight we gained during the weekend (for some background info, there is candy everywhere. Chocolate chip cookies, trail mix, Cheeze Its, lemonade, cupcakes, pie....and then we have our regular meals).

Thankfully, I only gained two pounds. Which are coming off as soon as I go running this afternoon.  

Which leads me to my next point: I am starting the Couch to 5K program again. I did this a few years ago and was really successful (I had to stop because my knees started to act up). I never officially ran a 5K, but I was doing it regularly at my gym. This time I want to run in the Tunnel to Tower 5K in New York City on September 25th. So I have plenty of time to get my knees in running shape.

Speaking of goals, I started to freak out this morning because it is June 1st and I have not accomplished any of my fitness goals. Where has the year gone?? I told myself in January that I was going to be much lighter when I went to Spain this year. False. I am just a little lighter. So...I leave for Spain on June 27th and for the next 27 days, we are in full fitness mode. My new goal is to reach my goal weight by my birthday (if not before), which is November 27th. That should be plenty of time.

 In closing of this very random blog entry, my friends and I have a saying about working out during the summer. We call it Summer of Hot Bod. 

Everyone, please join me in welcoming Summer of Hot Bod (take four!). 

This year, we will be successful!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

being "polite" versus speaking your mind.

so, ladies (this isn't to exclude the gentlemen who might be reading this...this is just a female thing, i think), what's the deal with being polite to the exclusion of saying what you really think?

now i don't mean speaking every little snarky thing that comes to mind. i really don't.  my mama taught me to be respectful and, if you don't have something nice to say, to not say anything at all. i have made use of those lessons many a day (as a teacher, let me just let you imagine how many times i have bitten my snarky retorts back and proceeded with decorum...let me help by telling you that the answer is "a lot"). 

but i'm talking about the feeling that i need to, perhaps in fear of not being polite enough, not say what i really think or not confront a situation.

case in point: church and a new baby.  most of the people that i know at church are more than welcome to fawn over and adore my baby, and a few of them have even held her. i have zero problem with this.  i know them, i trust them, and thus i have no problem with this.  even as an overanxious first time mother with delusions of germs everywhere, i have no problem with this.

i do, however, have a problem with people i don't know coming up to my baby, touching her and kissing (!) her head, reaching back behind their chair to pat her when she's fussing (even though i am clearly in the middle of burping her), suggesting that perhaps the reason that she's fussing is that she's wet (no, actually, it's because i stopped her foodfest in order to prevent catastrophic gassiness), and telling me that her head is red and, upon hearing that she had a headband on earlier, telling me to be careful.

if you're a mom, i just want you to pause for a moment and imagine how you might feel when encountered by this situation. if you're not, i want you to ask yourself if you would ever have the audacity to do these things (the last three all happened in fairly quick succession, by the way). 

did i say anything? did i kindly suggest that she mind her own dang business, that our baby is fine and healthy and that we really didn't need any suggestions from the proverbial peanut gallery?

no. i didn't. i stewed in my own juices a little bit until the end of church, when my husband and i were in the car.  then, i said that if this particular person said one more thing to me i was going to LOSE MY MIND. 

but this whole situation has gotten me thinking about what we do as women. i feel like there are many times when i swallow what i really want to say in favor of either saying nothing or saying the socially appropriate thing.  i think there's definite merit in that--please don't get me wrong--but i wonder if there are times when i should be saying more than i'm saying.

when did we learn that we weren't allowed to stand up for ourselves in every circumstance? or, perhaps the better question: when is it appropriate to speak your mind and when is it more appropriate to keep quiet?

has anyone else had an experience like this? how did you decide?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Skinny people


Hmmm...now that the blog will be expanded, I will have to think of what other things from my glamourous life I can share with our readers :). For now, I will move forward with my previously contemplated topic of my skinny husband...

I married a skinny man. He's not sickly or even bony, but the guy is a lean machine! This is not due to his diet (which has dramatically improved since I stepped in). But, if I'm not around, he will eat donuts or pop tarts for breakfast, peanut butter and jam sandwich with chips, a snickers bar for a snack, a frozen skillet meal for dinner, and a heaping bowl of ice cream for dessert. Mind you he's very active, but he seems to burn off whatever he eats so dang easily! Now, I realize that there's more to health then merely just being skinny, but I can't help but be jealous of him when I feel it takes so much effort for me to control my weight.

And this isn't about just husbands. I've had my share of skinny roommates and other family members who eat whatever they want. They'll buy junk food and keep it around with no problem.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that just because someone eats unhealthily, I DON'T have to. I can find alternatives, I can have some self control, I can stop trying to compare myself to them, but it is really hard sometimes. Anyone else have this problem? What have you found to be helpful?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Branching out...

Because we may be branching out into other aspects beyond "health", I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit more about myself, beyond what you see on this blog. 

Things that I am:
A daughter/granddaughter/cousin/sister/niece
A friend
A teacher
A roommate
A traveler
A foodie
A baker
An occasional cross-stitcher
A failed crocheter
A music lover
An occasional actress (my name will be in lights on Broadway one day)
....

The list can go on and on. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are so many different sides of me and everyone else, that we at So Maybe Your Mom Was Right felt the blog needed to move in a direction that could appeal to more people around us. So please please please, tell us what you want to hear. When we have happy readers, you have happy bloggers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

what we're thinking.

the gals here at SMMWR have been talking.

we think maybe we want to expand this blog to be about women and what makes them tick, including of course our quests to live healthy lives, but expanding that to include not just the physical elements of living healthy lives but all of the things that make us well-rounded daughters, wives, mothers, friends, and employees.

quite frankly, i'll admit it--i don't feel like anybody's posterchild for physical fitness, so i feel like a great big flashing neon sign that says HYPOCRITE starts going off whenever i think about posting about a non-existent exercise regime or my less than stellar food choices. 

(i'm nothing if not honest--you've got to give me that.)

so when ashlee suggested this change, i thought it was brilliant. 

so i pose this question to you, our loyal readers: what would you like to read about, talk about, learn about? what would you like to share with us or get advice about? i know that, as a new mom, i would love to open the floor for parenting issues and suggestions.  what would help you? what would you like to see?

i'm excited about these changes, and would love to hear about what you might be interested in. it will help us figure out our new directions and focus, both individually and as a blog crew.

tell us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A fiasco...

Yesterday I tried to go to Zumba. I haven't been to a Zumba class since December because I don't really like the instructor that teaches at the time I can go. I mean, she is a good instructor and in fantastic shape, but she turns her class more into a hip-hop class, when I really want Latin dancing. It's not a big deal, but you know, everyone has their preferences...

I digress.

As I said, I tried to go to Zumba. When I arrived at the building, there was a security guard outside the door, pointing to a sign that said "Zumba: SOLD OUT". I asked him about that and he said the class really was sold out. I asked how this could be, and how I could get on the list in order to be admitted to the class. 

He replied that there was no list, but people had to line up for the class and when all the spots were taken, everyone else was turned away. I looked at my watch (it was 7:20 pm) and asked what time people lined up for the 7:40 pm class. He said they started lining up at 6pm. SIX PM! Are you kidding me?? Who has time for that?? 

I'm glad Zumba is gaining popularity, but really, this is starting to border on ridiculous. So I walked back to my car and drove home, really upset. There was no way I was going to the gym (all the machines would be taken and I didn't have time to make it to the 8 pm aerobics class). 

So I did the next best thing. I went for a walk. I walked about 2 miles before it started to get dark, and I stopped by my old house to get my bike (its been in the basement for about a year). 

The point to all this is that I didn't let this Zumba fiasco derail me. I could have easily gone home and watched Glee instead of working out. It wasn't the best workout (although walking uphill with a bike with flat tires is no easy feat), but when I got home I was sweaty and felt accomplished. 

Which is really the point to all of this (Feeling accomplished. Not sweaty, although its good to be sweaty sometimes....oh, never mind...).


On the agenda for tonight: Sand Volleyball (if the courts aren't all in use).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doing good for yourself and others!

First of all, Adriana, those were really great insights you posted...I think I'm in love with eating...

So, I think I'm going to get back on the weight watchers train. I joined back in 2005 and became a lifetime member. I've tried to keep up with it but then I start estimating points values and start thinking I don't actually need to "track". I cheat it and then get frustrated that I'm not making any progress. But the bottom-line is that the system really does work if you do it right.

Anyhow, someone who is close to me is starting to get very serious about losing weight. I recommended weight watchers and even volunteered to get back on track so that they could have some support.

I know you should be healthy and feel good for yourself, but it's motivating to do it for others too. I'm not talking about looking good to please someone, but making healthy decisions can affect those around you in a positive way. Trying to support this person by joining them has made me more careful with my actions. I can find ways to cheat myself, but when it comes to someone else, I want to be loyal and dependable.

I would say whether you have a buddy you're working toward healthy goals with or if you have family/friends that want to see you happy and healthy (and vice/versa), it helps to think about how you can set an example and help them by making good choices!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A foodie's revelation

The other day I was blogging browsing and I came upon a weight loss blog, All the Weigh. Great blog, and its writer has done some amazing things with her weight loss goals. Anyway, the entry was from a guest blogger, who also has lost a fair amount of weight. She wrote about how to be a foodie but still lose weight.

Now I should back up and say that I consider myself a foodie. I love love love trying new food (my last adventure was Ethiopian food. It was a divine!) and I love cooking new recipes. But alas, with that comes the addition of pounds. 

Back to the original story, in this blog I found a quote that I wanted to share with you:

One character asks the very slim owner of a gourmet deli how he can be a foodie and be so thin.  The deli owner replies: "If you're surrounded by gourmet food and you gain weight, you don't love food - you love eating.  You can experience a burst of flavor in a tiny bite of roasted red pepper."

All of a sudden, I had a revelation. It is so true! The first few bites of something are always the best and when as you finish off what ever you are eating, you are trying to recreate the first bite (with little success). So you stuff yourself, trying to get back to the first bite, when really, you should be moving on to something else. 

Which is why people who take small bites of everything, instead of plate fulls of everything, are better able to lose weight/maintain their weight. This is a lesson I should have learned from my friend Laura, who has always been very slender. She just needs a bite here and there to satisfy herself. I used to join her in her bites here and there...and then serve myself a a bigger portion. But if I can somehow rewire my brain to be satisfied with a few bites...imagine the possibilities!

So that is going to be my goal this week. I am going to New York City this weekend and am going to put my plan into action! I am going to enjoy my meals, and stop when I am moderately full. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the most important meal of the day.

i am a nontraditional type of meal gal.

if there's leftover turkey burgers, for example, in the fridge, i think they make a most excellent breakfast. i often don't even heat them up (don't judge me!), finding leftover burgers almost better when they're cold. (i also think that way about pizza, but i think that's less rare than the burger thing.)  this morning, i ate leftover pasta.

in short, my best breakfasts often look like lunch or dinner or some hybrid variation inbetween.

sometimes i try to do the traditional breakfast route, eating cold cereal in carefully proportioned amounts, hoping that it sustains me.

it doesn't. for me, cold cereal is best eaten as a snack or as a dessert.

everything else seems like a terrible idea--why are so many breakfast foods so incredibly terrible for you? (don't ask me about my foray into donuts a week ago.  remember how i said one of my successes was not having eaten donuts in 2011? yeah, not so much anymore.)

so, here i am, asking for breakfast suggestions. now that i am ready to start reining in the calorie content and slowly, but surely, start chipping away at the extra weight, i want to start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start!).  but, as the mother of a 6 week old baby, i don't really have the time or the 95 extra hands to cook eggs every morning (though i do find them delicious AND filling AND healthy), and i'm often lucky if i get the chance to eat before about 11. 

so i need ideas.  ideas that are a) relatively inexpensive and b) healthy options to start the day. if it can have a good proportion of carbs and protein, that would be awesome too.  and if it's doable for someone like me, that's even better.

what do you eat for breakfast? what do you find helps you make it, with energy and without wanting to gnaw on your own arm by 10am, to lunchtime?

help me, please!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

there's no easy way out.

when i was nearing the end of my pregnancy, i was thinking how much i was going to look forward to the miraculous wonders of breastfeeding for getting my body back into shape fast. i had heard the stories of weight lost plus some, and i was definitely hoping for some extra help on the journey.

this, like many of my expectations relating to labor and delivery, has been dashed by circumstance.

see, much as i wanted to breastfeed, the girls just don't seem up to the challenge. perhaps my complicated delivery (which brought with it a blood transfusion and a surprise emergency procedure) had something to do with it, but i'm simply not making enough, no matter how many herbs and lactation consultant and pumping sessions i go through.  nothing's working to elevate my numbers, so me and my baby girl and my husband are dealing with the realities of a supplementing life. i'm still pumping, and still doing my best, but i sincerely doubt that the numbers that i'm producing are going to do much for the scale's numbers.

so even though i've lost half the weight i gained with my pregnancy already, i am dealing with the reality of a pretty uphill battle.  there are lots of things i'd like to have be true, but none of them is truer than the fact that i'd like to fit into my pants again. i just feel soft and flabby and large. so very very large.

i'm ever so slowly getting back onto the wagon.  first will be writing things down. i haven't been doing it for a while now, and i know that's the first key to my success.

the second thing i'm doing is going back to exercise--hard core.  i went back to body combat on saturday and again on monday. it's been something like nine months since i've gone (i counted...37 weeks), and it was surprisingly not as bad as i thought it would be.  but i am more clumsy and less self-assured than i once was, and i'm modifying the heck out of some of the moves (scissors? jumping jacks? no way. not now.) while giving my all into the others (jab-jab-cross? you got it. with my whole heart.). 

this battle's a hard one.  and i'm not going to lie--it's super discouraging to be in this place. people tell me all of the time right now how good i look.  i don't see it. all i see is a burning desire to have my old body back ASAP, and the feeling that somehow i'm not doing enough to make that happen.  and hips that are two sizes bigger than they used to be. 

even when i am eating right and exercising, the reality of being a new mom is that i am severely sleep deprived and often running on empty, physically and emotionally at times.  that's not been, in my experience, the best fountain of successful weight loss. so it may be, i know intellectually, a while before i start to see real results. 

but i can try to see in myself the good stuff rather than focusing on the bad.  i'm going to work on that one.  that might be my third step.

so my three goals for this week are this:

1) write down my food for the next week, even if i'm not sure what i ate or how much it was, i will guesstimate as accurately as i can and be accountable. 

2) go to body combat every time it's offered. that means that i will go on wednesday, friday, and monday.   i will also try to incorporate at least one walk in there as well, which will mean that i am exercising 4 days this week.

3) i will stifle the negative self-talk. every day, i will find something positive to say about my physical appearance, and i will work earnestly to believe it. 

so there you go, dear readers.  i'm back, and i'm on a journey. i hope you will come along with me and, especially for those of you who have been there, will tell me what worked for you and what lessons you've learned along the way. i know ashlee has been incredibly successful of late, and i know many of you have as well.

what did you do that kickstarted your postpartum weight loss? what advice do you have for me?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tis the Season... Strawberry Season!

It is Strawberry season here in Virginia and now is the time when all the you-pick farms are open. I found a farm close to us using PickYourOwn.org, check it out and see what's growing near you.

We picked A LOT... four gallons. Each gallon bucket was $8.50 and when full weighed about 5.5 lbs. It was a ton of fruit. I had plans for all this fruit, plans that involved pretty little jars, sugar, and pectin. You guessed it... JAM!

This was my first time making jam, so I went the easy route and made freezer jam. For 5.5 lbs of strawberries I used 3 cups of sugar and 8 tablespoons of instant pectin. This filled 11 8-ounce jars (be sure to use freezer-safe jars).

The instructions on the jar of pectin (I used Ball Instant Pectin and used the recipe on the inside of the label) said to use a potato masher to prepare the strawberries. This was a bad idea.

So I gave the mixer a shot. Also a bad (and messy) idea.

Finally I moved to the food processor and the jam was well on its way. This is when I learned something about hulling a strawberry.

It's not enough to cut the top off, you have to cut in to remove all the white part (the hull... duh). If you don't hull them properly, you'll be left with nice jam with weird white things throughout that don't taste like anything good.

Once the strawberries are ready (5.5 lbs made 7.5 cups of processed strawberries), mix the sugar and pectin in a large bowl. To this, add the strawberries and stir for 3 minutes. Once thoroughly mixed, ladle into jars, place lids, and let it sit for 30 minutes before putting it in the freezer (good for 1 year) or refrigerator (good for 3 weeks).

This stuff is good. So good that we ate 3 jars in 24 hours. I ended up making more with the remaining strawberries and we should be set for a good while. I'm very excited to now have a freezer stocked of delicious, homemade organic jam for very little out of pocket.

Anthony used some of our jam to make my Mother's Day breakfast. He made my favorite... my mom's strawberry french toast. Here's the recipe:

Strawberry French Toast

Ingredients:
Strawberry preserves
1 egg
1/3 c milk
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t vanilla
2 T butter
Powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries, sliced
French or Italian bread, cut into 1" slices

Directions:
Mix egg, milk, vanilla, and sugar in shallow bowl. Melt butter in pan on medium or medium-high heat. Dip bread in egg mixture and turn to coat. Put on skillet and brown lightly on both sides. Garnish with preserves and strawberries and dust with sugar.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Post-op update

So don't worry, I won't be blogging about my little knee surgery every week, but I would like to mention that today the doctor told me I could start working more aggressively to flex my knee - yay! It was SO uncomfortable to keep my knee straight in the brace 24/7 (I still have the brace, I can just take it off more...). I anticipate that getting it back to normal will also be very uncomfortable as all the tissue is extremely tight. Oh well, you never know how much you appreciate something until you lose it right? Same goes for full knee range of motion...

The swelling is down, the incision is clean, everything looks great, BUT I am extremely weak in my quads. Of course, I expected this to a degree - I'm continually providing education to patients about how quickly you can lose strength when you aren't working your muscles - but I do have an increased appreciation for this principle. I was shocked to see what 2 weeks of inactivity did to my little thigh...and I mean little. It's nice and skinny now, but not in a good way. I have a while to go before to turn that squishy mess back into strong muscle of any sort.

Moral of the story? Keep moving! You can never stop or you will have to face the consequences. When I think of it like that, it's rather depressing but I have to remember all the amazing functions that I've retained what a miracle the normal, healthy human body can do.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you moms out there!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are you living?

Sorry for the lateness of the post, Wednesday just kinda snuck up on me and I have been going nonstop!

Question: What is the craziest thing you have ever done? How did it make you feel?

I have a quick story for you, from my college days, back when I was dating a biker. There are all sorts of tricks that riders can do on bikes, pop a wheelies, or stoppies, or christ air. But these should always be done with a single rider, not a rider and passenger. Unless you are dumb like me and my ex-boyfriend, who regularly tried these tricks with me on the back of his bike. And almost wrecked. More than a few times (Mom, don't worry, we never did. All is well).

You may be asking yourself why I would share such a story. Not because it was smart, or anything like that. But when I think back to those times, I can think that I was really enjoying the moment. I was living, however dumb it was, and doing something that I really enjoyed. I look back with fondness to those times with a little smile on my face, close my eyes and shake my head.

I was facebook stalking browsing and came upon an interesting quote a friend from high school had posted:
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered :“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
Now, I have no idea if The Dalai Lama actually said this, but it does give food for thought. Are we experiencing the present? I have written in the past about comparing ourselves to other people.  But what happens when we don't even enjoy where we are now? Here at So Maybe Your Mom Was Right, we are at all different stages of life. We have all sorts of relationship situations, from single to married with two children. We have teachers, a physical therapist, a stay at home mom, and a grad student. We live in different parts of the country and experience different things everyday. Yet I imagine that none of us would give it what we have for something else or something "better".

We each experience life according to to our individual timetable and we need to be sure that we enjoy each stage that we are in, or else it will fly by. So whether you are a stay at home mom with five children or a career woman or whatever the case may be, be sure to be thankful for each day that you have and each moment that you experience.

So again, I ask what was the craziest thing you have ever done? How did it make you feel?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

oh hi.

hello again!

i'm emerging from the blogging hiatus to poke my head in and tell you that exciting things have happened today.

my doctor said i can resume normal activities, which in my mind meant I CAN GO BACK TO THE GYM!

i am so excited. i have lost half of the baby weight just by, you know, having the baby, but the rest of it has caused my pants to not fit at all, which is frustrating to say the least but even more frustrating when that's usually what happens with pants normally. it's a whole saga, me and pants, and so to have no pants to wear is ANNOYING and DEPRESSING.

so tomorrow, i'm back to body combat.  i am SO excited. 

i may die, but i'll die trying.

i'll be back next week to start chronicling my journey back to post-baby fitness as well as a few thoughts on new motherhood, and i think next week we might be unveiling what we've been thinking about doing with SMMWR.  i think you'll like it, and i think you'll likely find it to be an even more awesome place to come and stay a while.

it's nice to be back! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Back and better than ever (hopefully...)

Hello! Thanks to my husband, Jordan, for blogging for me last week. He has been wonderful and as you can see, he is quite the character. And don't worry, I'm not addicted to pain meds...

Having never had surgery before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. To be honest, I was mainly focused on having time off from work and I thought this recovery would be more like a "stay-cation". In some respects it has been - watching movies, scrapbooking, reading, catching up with friends - but it's also been harder than I thought.

The pain was one thing. Even riding in a car those first couple days was miserable - getting in and out, feeling every speed bump. The pain medicine was another. It was very effective, but I felt so lightheaded and drowsy, and I couldn't even sleep well - I just kept dozing in and out of strange dreams (and yes, one did involve three eyes...)

But what has been hardest is having to keep my leg straight ALL the time and wearing this rigid and bulky brace to make sure it stays that way. All week, I haven't been able to find a comfortable position to rest. And even all the basics like showering and dressing are quite a bit harder when you can't bend your knee. Only 5 more weeks to go...

Considering my line of work as a physical therapist, this has all been very interesting to now be the patient and I must say I'm gaining quite a bit of empathy.

And just because...I feel I must give a shout out to Prince William and Princess Catherine on their special day. Luckily I had all this time off from work so that I could get up at 3:30am to watch (totally worth it). Congrats to the Royal newlyweds!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A lesson in meal planning...

I am not a weekly menu planner. When I go grocery shopping, I get the usual things (ham, bread, yogurt, eggs) but I don't really cook big meals for myself. A typical dinner for me may be a sandwich or an omelet. 

But, I am trying to be better. Yesterday I made a turkey meatloaf. It was delicious! And easy...

The best part about this recipe is that it includes mushrooms. Really, you can add just about any veggies (hidden or not) because the sauce that goes with the meatloaf is BBQ based. I imagine that carrots and zucchini would work really well in the recipe. 

So, here we go:
For the original recipe, click here (but for a quick view, read on...)

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms/carrots/zucchini (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2/3 cup ready-to-serve creamy tomato soup, divided
  • 1/4 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 cup BBQ, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • chili powder to taste (I did not include the chili powder)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, mix the turkey, eggs, mushrooms/carrots/zucchini, bread crumbs, soup mix, 1/3 cup creamy tomato soup, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Mold the mixture into a loaf shape, and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with chili powder (optional).
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining creamy tomato soup, remaining ketchup, remaining BBQ sauce, and remaining Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  4. Bake loaf 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Top with the sauce (I added a little more breadcrumbs for crunch), and continue baking 15 minutes, to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
 Sorry for the poor quality of photo, I used my phone....

Paired with green beans, this proved to be a healthy meal, with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying hi for the high...


Hello bloggers, I am Alina's husband, (see picture) subbing for her this week. She wishes to say hello but will not be blogging as she is out of commission due to surgery yesterday. She may blog about that later.

Alina is taking pain meds and the results have been quite interesting. Other than helping her pain, there are many other effects, of which some are beneficial. Oddly, she has agreed to us purchasing new golf clubs and tickets to the next super bowl. Communication, however, has been slightly off for her. She seems to comprehend only in the 1st person and her grammar syntax is iffy. For example, if I want to know if she wants more pain meds, I have to ask her, "Do I want you to give me more pain pills?". It is quite weird but I am learning her ways for now. I suggested she not write her blog when I reviewed what she had this morning...
Surgery well went yesterday. Sooo much Jordan is nice, he laughed when I told him a 3 eyed monster about that dream with...

I cut her off at that point and have begun to selectively hear her continued request for her meds she's chomping like jelly beans. Then I looked up some interesting stuff about pain meds, reading that the US, though only '4.6 percent of the world's population, have been consuming 80 percent of the global opioid supply, and 99 percent of the global hydrocodone supply'. (Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/wchung/detail?entry_id=87401#ixzz1KGDZh3uQ)

I can't recall ever taking any of that stuff, even after my finger surgery... and am kinda curious, honestly. Well either way, I suppose I should start cutting back the medicine pain. Till time next.... :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vacay

My dear readers,
 Do not think that I have forgotten you. I have not. But I am on Spring Break. In Miami. I will have lots to tell you next week. But I plan to spend all day at the pool tomorrow.

kthanksbye,
Adriana

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gardening. Squared. [Part II]

As you can see, I've been very busy since part I of this post. I planted just about one and a half of my new raised beds and everything is settling in nicely. With square foot gardening, instead of rows there are squares. Each square gets its own crop. It's pretty amazing how much you can fit into the box, and because of the box's dimensions (4' x 4' - the average person's reach is 2') there's no need for walking spaces, freeing up every inch for planting.

To figure out how many plants per individual square, just read your seed packet or plant tag. If it says it needs to be spaced 6" apart, you can fit 4 in your 12"x12" square (like strawberries); 4" apart, 9 (like bush beans); 3" apart, 16 (like carrots).

The amount of harvest you can reap from one 4'x4' square foot garden is incredible. From one box, one season can yield (from the book All New Square Foot Gardening):
  • One head of cabbage
  • One head of broccoli
  • One head of cauliflower
  • Four heads of romaine lettuce
  • Four heads of red lettuce
  • Four heads of leaf lettuce, followed by sixteen scallions
  • Four heads of salad lettuce
  • Five pounds of sugar peas
  • Eight bunches of Swiss chard
  • Nine bunches of spinach, then nine turnips
  • Sixteen small, ball carrots
  • Sixteen beets, plus four bunches of beet greens
  • Sixteen long carrots
  • Thirty two radishes
To plant seeds, divide the square into however many parts you need by tracing lines with your fingers. Then use a pen (or your finger) to poke holes about an inch deep in each section. Drop two seeds in each hole, cover with soil, and water. Once your seeds sprout, use scissors to cut off the weakest of the two (sad, I know), leaving one in each space.

To transplant, carefully remove the plant from its container and use scissors to trim off all the excess roots. Use a trowel (small hand shovel) to move a little soil and set plant in. Water well.

So far I've planted marigolds, onion chives, sweet basil, tomatoes, nasturtiums, dwarf sunflowers, jalapenos, bush beans, lemon basil, chili peppers, sugar snap peas, and pineapple sage. That's all in one box. I still have two more boxes to fill and I think we might be doing one completely with strawberries... mmm.

My row garden is also doing well. I have ten heads of romaine lettuce, eight tomatoes, three rows of carrots, two rows of Lincoln peas, three summer squash, about ten sunflowers (I think I might be the most excited about these), and a few rows of corn. I'm interested to see which method works best for my family- row or SFG. Either way, it's my first year of both... so wish me luck!

Next week I'll show you how to build protection for your gardens. That is if I can get my husband to build them for me... haha!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wildflower Bike Ride Review


Well, the bike ride was a hit (for those of you who were wondering)! Cuero is the epitome of a small town and it was nice to have a change from the city. The weather was awesome and so my husband and I set up camp in the city park Friday night. We were told there would be "camping" and that we could do this, but no one else did and I don't think people have ever really camped there. People arrived to the park early the next morning for the ride and there we were in our little tent on the lawn. I'm sure we looked kind of ridiculous but no one seemed to care :).

The wild flowers were ok, this year - pale in comparison to last year, actually (see pic from last post) - but it was still beautiful to be in the hill-country of Texas. The 19 mile ride was full of small inclines and declines so there was variety, but it was quite challenging at times! We by far had the WORST bikes there which made it a little more difficult, but all in all it was enjoyable. With a couple of stops it took us about 2 1/2 hours and I thought my quads and butt would be killing me the next morning but surprisingly they didn't - go figure!

Here's our pic - we had fun - thanks for reading!!


Tips to Live By




I read something cool online the other day that I thought I would share. It certainly seems like the kinds of things my mother would tell me and it’s definitely stuff that I need to be reminded repeatedly. Particularly 20, 22, 26, 28, 30…actually, a lot of them.  

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3.. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.

8.  It's OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18.  Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion.  Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything.  Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34.  God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35.  Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41.  Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44.  Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Links to Health:







Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Springtime and a Wordle...

I have a couple things I want to write about today...

1. I took Alina's advice and spent some time outside. This weekend I had a chance to go to the White House Spring Garden Tour, which allows people to go on the White House grounds and check out the gardens. I think the most impressive of the gardens was the Kitchen Garden. They had quite the collection of food! The only problem is that the garden is a little walk from The White House (poor Michelle, who has to walk all the way down to the garden to get her veggies...).
 The day was originally a little cloudy and a bit chilly, but by the afternoon, the day turned out to be really nice. My friends and I walked down from The White House to the Capital to get some lunch and it was such a pleasant walk! It was only about 2.5 miles, but in good weather and great company, a very enjoyable experience.



2. Have you heard of Wordle? It is a great application that allows you to create word clouds out of text, and makes the words you use the most the biggest. I was interested to see what words I used the most when writing on this blog. I am very pleased that some of the biggest words were know, good, work, get, going, Weight Watchers, and healthy. It amazes me that we have been working on this blog for 10 months!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Gardening, Squared. [Part I]

Have you ever heard of Square Foot Gardening? It's a system of gardening invented by Mel Batholomew that promises to grow more veggies in less space with less work than traditional row gardens.

I recently bought his book on Amazon and am totally impressed. Each raised bed is either 2' wide or 4' wide, depending on its placement. If you were to grow something along a fence or wall, you would build a box 2' wide. 4' wide boxes are for those with space to walk around the entire box. The idea is that the average person has a reach of about 2'. The box is then divided into squares. Each square is for a different crop. The growing medium inside the box is a special mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 vermiculite. This mix is soft and friable and full of nutrients. Because of the high amount of compost, there is no need to fertilize. And because you're not using any of the existing soil, the weeds will be at a minimum (the verdict is still out on that... I'll let you know how it goes).

Here's how we got started:

1. First we picked the only spot in our backyard that gets 6-8 hours of sun a day. This spot is at the far back corner, not ideal. If you have a good, sunny spot closer to your back door, use it.

2. Boxes. We used 2"x6" untreated lumber to build our boxes. We built 3 4'x4' boxes, so I bought 6 2x6 boards and had them cut in half (at Home Depot they are 8' long), totaling 12 boards. I also bought some thin wood for the grid on top and had that cut as well. You need 6 4' pieces per box.

Each box is held together with 3 3" wood screws at each corner.

3. Placement. Find your best spot and move your boxes around until you're happy. Make sure to leave at least 3' in between each box for you to walk. After finding the right placement, remove all the existing weeds and grass (or have your husband do it for you). We used a hoe and metal garden rake for this task (yes, WE).

4. Weed cloth. Lay a piece or two of weed cloth under each box to guard off any invaders. This job is easier with a baby cooing in the background.

5. Mel's Mix. This is the name for the growing medium. 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. You can find this at just about any garden center, however you may need to go to a REAL garden center or nursery for the larger packages (this will save you a money).

When selecting your compost, try to get as many different ones you can. Don't get all Black Kow or all mushroom compost, date around.

Peat moss will come in 3.7 cu ft compressed bales, that's what you want. Not the smaller bags.

The vermiculite is sold in 4 cu ft bags. Don't buy the small bags, go big or go home.

For our 3 boxes, we needed a total of 24 cu ft of Mel's Mix. We bought 8 cu ft of compost (each bag will say how many cubic feet it is, if it doesn't, compare it to a bag that does), 7.5 cu ft of peat moss, and 8 cu ft of vermiculite.

We laid it all out on a tarp and mixed and mixed. This tarp thing was the method Mel Bartholomew recommended in his book, however, if I could do it all over, I would pour my components directly into the boxes and mix individually.

Once mixed, shovel a layer at the bottom of your box and use a hose with a soft spray nozzle to wet it down. Do this 3 more times, filling the box.

6. Once filled, build your grid by using a measuring tape or yard stick to mark off each foot and nail or screw in place.

Next week I'll show you how I planted my boxes and what we decided to grow.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meet Teacherbaby

Teachergirl and her husband welcomed baby girl Margaret Joan (Maggie), 7lbs 5 ounces, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 9:38pm. 





As you can tell, she is absolutely gorgeous. 

Mother and baby are both home, healthy, and resting. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wildflower Bike Ride


Wow! So much good news on this blog! Congrats to teachergirl on the baby and meghan on the new job!

I would also like to add my praises to Zumba! I actually did two classes this week and introduced two different friends to it - they loved it. It is just too dang fun! Try it - I bet you would like it too :)

Today my husband and I are taking a mini trip to Cuero, TX - a very small town about 2 hours outside of Houston. Cuero is famous for having captured the Chupacabra (this is true) and for AMAZING wildflowers (I took this pic when we were there this time last year). This weekend they are having a Wildflower Bike Ride - it's set up like a race, but it's not competitive. Proceeds go to a local high school service organization and you get a free t-shirt! You could sign up for a 10, 23, 32, 48, or 58 mile ride through country roads. We signed up for the 23 mile ride.

Now, we have REALLY crappy bikes that we bought off craigslist a few weeks ago and we haven't really been training for this, but it's supposed to be very relaxed and I honestly can't think of a better setting for a bike ride (at least here in Texas...). I'm looking forward to the exercise, time with my hubby, fresh air, and the beautiful flowers! Thanks for letting me share! Perhaps I will post pics of the adventure next week...

April Already?





A lot has been going on the last few weeks.

1.     However, the most important recent news at “So Maybe Mom Was Right:” Teachergirl welcomed a baby girl yesterday! Pictures and details will be posted as soon as we have them. I am sure that Teachergirl and her husband are busy fawning over their new bundle of joy. In the meantime, we are praying that mother and baby are happy and healthy!

2.     At the end of the last two weeks, I have been out of state interviewing with two different companies for summer positions.  It was my first time traveling (i.e. being flown and staying in hotels alone) for interviews. Both companies set up multiple interviews per day. Talk about stressful and exciting all bundled up in a neat package.

3.     After much though and consideration, I accepted a position with a well-known company in Louisville, Kentucky for the summer. I leave in six weeks. I plan to have a mild panic attack in 5.5 weeks.

4.     4. I started a strength training challenge created by Kyra of The Get in Shape Girl called the April Fool’s Challenge. Four days in and it is already kicking my butt. It’s amazing what a change in routine can do. I’m excited to see the results at the end of April (aka my 27th birthday).

5.     As a tribute to Ashlee and Adriana and to knock something off my 101 in 1001 list, I am going to try Zumba in the next week.



Links to Health:






           




Monday, April 4, 2011

What's Zumba?


Have you heard of Zumba? I would be surprised if anyone reading this has not. There is a class in just about every health club, Zumba video games, and even Zumba infomercials. But even with all that, I still didn't *get* Zumba.

"Zumba Fitness is the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music and contagious steps to form a 'fitness-party' that is downright addictive." (Zumba-Fitness)

Okay, so when I first heard this, I was like, "Eh. Sounds like Jazzercise." But it's downright amazing (unlike Jazzercise). In a typical class, you'll dance to about 8 different songs. The moves aren't so much counted as they are just set to the music. When the beat changes, so does the move. And it's not leg lifts or punching the air kind of movies, it's real dance moves that can be modified to fit the person doing them.

Zumba at the YMCA here has a bit of a cult following. All the hardcore "Zumbaritas" where their Zumba outfits complete with Zumba shoes, Zumba bracelets, and even carry their water bottles in their Zumba purses. Then there's me, in my workout pants that are at least 5 years old and my husband's T-shirts. Those "Zumbaritas" are awesome. They know every step and do it perfectly. Then there's me... not so perfect. But you know, I still have fun and I still burn a ton of calories. I tell you all this to emphasis a point, and that is that ANYONE CAN DO ZUMBA. Don't be scared!

My Zumba class is taught by a guy named Kyle. He's the best. He's so good, people wait in line for over an hour to take his class. We start with a good warm-up dance and then progress into the harder stuff. But it's never impossible or dreadful, it's fun... while it's hard. The cool thing about changing your moves as the music changes is that music is ALWAYS changing, so if a move feels especially difficult, there's motivation in knowing that it will change soon. While we dance we sing along and hoot and holler at Kyle while he gets down in front. We end with a cool down and stretches, all set to a beat. The whole thing flows so well, you don't notice the clock. When it's over, you'll be dripping sweat, but I bet you'll be smiling.

Since starting Zumba in January, I've noticed a huge increase in my stamina and endurance. Running is now no where near as difficult as it once was. I've also noticed my own dancing ability getting a lot better... well... at least I'm enjoying dancing around the house with my toddler more than I used to. And the best thing that's happened since I started Zumba....

I've lost 22 pounds.

WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Tell me about your Zumba experiences. Who's tried it?

--------------------------

I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses last week. I read them all and am actually trying a few. Things have been better this week, no crib incidences!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Women and Strength Training

So I've bought a discounted trial membership to a VERY nice LA Fitness close to my place and I also bought 5 Zumba classes for $20 on Groupon, but both will be expiring soon and I only have a couple more weeks before I have knee surgery (which I may not have mentioned, but will elaborate more on later...). Anyways, I'm desperately trying to get my money's worth of these things and I am LOVING the variety!!


I have really grown to love strength training. Again, with my knee, I've been limited in what I can do for exercise, but there are still a lot of options - especially with the weight training.


Now, I find that it is typical to see more men taking advantage of the free weights and weight machines at the gym than women. Maybe it's an image thing - the idea that that's not for women. Maybe it's a confidence issue - worried about looking silly. Maybe it's a lack of knowledge - how to use the machines, or what exercises to do. I'd like to give a few tips I've found helpful in overcoming some of these obstacles...


1. OBSERVE - while you're warming up on the treadmill/bike/whatever, watch someone use that machine. Look at how they move and how the machine moves so you know what you're headed for.


2. START SMALL - If you don't know what weight to start at, start small. If you want to get real technical you can look up the ACSM guidelines about repetitions, sets, etc. Personally I think the main thing is to push yourself - whether you're doing 3 sets of 20 reps at a low weight or 2 sets of 5-8 reps with a heavier weight - as long as you're feeling the burn you're getting stronger. And don't try a bunch of new things all at once - just add a couple new exercises at a time to what you're already comfortable with.


3. HAVE CONFIDENCE - I know it seems like everyone is just watching eachother at a big gym, but I don't believe that's the case. Sure, people notice eachother, but at least for me I'm too lost in my music or thoughts to really care about what people are doing. And even if everyone was watching me make a fool of myself on a new machine, they can't blame me for trying something different to improve myself. Besides, it won't take long before you get real comfortable several machines.


4. ASK - Ask someone who works there for help. You'll have to pay for a personal trainer, but most likely any employee would be happy to show you how to work a machine or two. Especially if it would prevent any injuries.


I've heard (and I've found it's been true for me) that if you're stuck in an weight-loss rut, try some weight training. It really makes your body stronger, more efficient, and it prevents osteoporosis. Plus you don't get as sweaty or hungry as with cardio :)


Anyways, I hope this helps anyone who feels intimidated by the weights!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easy??

Sorry for posting so late, it has been one of those days. May I tell you about it?

I went to work, nothing unusual there, except that it is the end of the quarter tomorrow and ALL OF MY STUDENTS want to see their grades. Forget the fact that I posted their grades on the door (well, not individual grades for assignments, which they should already know because I tell them their grades, but cumulative grades). 

So, I am pulling up grades and explaining why they got this grade on that paper, or this grade on that Seminar...and it is just taking all my patience. 

And then I of course have those students who want to turn in late work to push up their grade. Sorry buddy, we should have been having that conversation weeks ago. 

AND I am still grading essays and Socratic Seminars.

AND I had to bake cupcakes for a mini bridal shower we are having at work tomorrow. That required (another) trip to the grocery store to pick up what I forgot a few days ago.

.......

But in good news, I did not reach for the chocolate. Much like teachergirl found success in not getting donuts, I am somehow managing my stress and not eating my feelings. 

Look at me, I am growing (figuratively).

There won't be anything really substantial in this posting, except that I survived today.

Hope your day was a little easier...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

celebrating small victories.

i realized today that i have not bought a donut in 2011.

this may not seem like a huge revelation to you, or even a huge accomplishment, but it's the thing that i have wanted to eat the most since i've been largely pregnant. every week, when i go to the grocery store, i look at them. my personal favorite is an apple fritter. our local grocery store makes a good one.  they sell them individually and they sell them in packs of four.

when i walk into the store, i walk by and look at them.  sometimes i have even picked them up.

but i have not yet purchased one, which means that i haven't eaten one.

that's not to say that i haven't eaten other ridiculous things, but somehow realizing that i have resisted that particular brand of my personal temptation is a huge victory to me.

today, i just wanted to write that down and say hooray a little, just for myself. 

what have you done well lately? what do you deserve a momentary celebration for?

--

in other news, i'm about 25 minutes away from having this baby (don't get alarmed--not really, but things are progressing, and i don't think it will be too terribly long), so i may not be around for a little while.  i'll trust that the ladies will let you know when our Baby Girl is born, and i'll be back with tales of new momhood and, most assuredly, some comedic stories of getting back into a workout routine. 

until then, thanks for your continued support of this little blog and, by proxy, of me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clueless in Virginia. {Sharing discipling dos and don'ts.}

Last night, after putting Avery to sleep, Emma Kate and I were downstairs playing. I went to do the dishes and EK was left to play on her own. It was suspiciously quiet, so I went looking for her. I found her in the place I least wanted to find her (other than a police station), in her sister's crib. She had let herself in, pulled down all of the dresses framed on her wall (along with the frames), climbed in Avery's crib and was undressing her to put on one of the beautiful dresses. Clearly a better outfit for "pwincess" dreaming.


I just about lost my mind. I was so mad. EK got sent right to bed and I cleaned up the mess, nursed Avery back to sleep, and went back downstairs, fuming.


Fast forward to this morning, it's Avery's nap time and she's resting peacefully in her crib. EK and I are downstairs, playing. I go to get some other things taken care of, leaving her by herself. That same quietness came upon the first floor of our house. I immediately dreaded what was about to happen. I began looking for EK and found her, again, in her sister's crib.


This time I did lose my mind. There was plenty of yelling, and even a little, LITTLE swat on the fanny (the only other time this has happened is when she colored all over the wall in her bedroom). Off she went, to sit in her room and cry while I went downstairs to fume.


After her timeout was over, I called her downstairs, gave her a hug, and we talked about what had happened. She then went to play in her playroom while I cleaned up the kitchen. It got quiet again, so I called her name and began to look for her.


This time I found her, not in her sister's crib, but hiding in the corner, quiet as a mouse. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "hidin'." So I asked her what she was hiding from. Her response,


"Mommy is going to yell at me. It makes me sad."


Talk about a major gut check. I struggled to fight back the tears as I realized my two-year old little girl was scared of me. I'm supposed to be the person she runs to when she's scared, not the person she hides from.

So I'm at a loss. I have no clue how to discipline this child. Timeout doesn't really work anymore, at least not for the big offenses (like sneaking into her sister's room and coloring on the walls), I don't want to spank her, and I hate yelling at her. I've said this a lot, but I want to be the type of mother the General Authorities talk about during General Conference. The mother that "rules in righteousness" and never raises her voice.


But how?


How on earth did those mothers discipline their toddlers?


Now I don't know how this fits in here on this blog, but this is the biggest thing on my mind, as I'm sure is on many of other mothers' minds. I figured I would ask the question here and open up the comments section as a sounding board for everyone to share their experiences with this... the good, the bad, and the ugly.


What methods of discipline and positive reinforcement work in your house?

If you don't have children yet, what methods did your mother use when you were growing up?