Thursday, August 20, 2009

Girls' Day Out

A couple weeks ago, I was able to ship Zach off to my parents house while Allie and I enjoyed a girls' day out with her friend, Rachel.
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Rachel and Allie have known each other pretty much since before birth



and first met as wee babes

because I have been friends with Rachel's mommy and daddy since college (sorry, folks...no college pics could be located during the creation of this blog post).
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It has been neat to see Allie and Rachel grow over the past almost four years and it is even more fun to witness their blossoming friendship. They are both extremely articulate for their young ages, so it is always a riot to listen into their non-stop conversations.
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We began the day by picking up Rachel so that we could head to our destination:

The girls were given the royal treatment as we perused around the butterfly tent, zoo, and amusement park rides at Como Park in St. Paul. I pretty much let them do whatever they requested (I think both were completely shocked when I continually said yes to each and every one of their suggestions!).
After both girls' tongues had sufficiently turned electric blue/purple:
and they had ridden more rides than they could even keep track of,

it was time for lunch. We stopped at Wendy's where, to my surprise, they both gobbled down their entire chicken nugget kids' meals, complete with mandarin oranges and chocolate milk.
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Now, at this point, most of you moms out there probably think I'm a crazy lunatic for feeding so much sugar to these almost-4-year-olds in such a short amount of time and are just probably waiting on the edge of your seat to read about the complete melt down that ensued from the let down of the sugar high. I hate to disappoint, but it honestly never happened!
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After lunch, we headed back to our house where the girls watched a short movie and then continued to play dress-up, barbies, and princesses until it was time for Rachel to go home.
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I'm so thankful for Rachel and Allie's budding friendship! What a great girls' day out!
However, I think next time someone should take me and Rachel's mommy out and give us grown up girls the royal treatment, saying yes to whatever we want to do......

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

Operation Weight Loss 2009
Week 32: 8/11 - 8/18
Weight Lost This Week: -4.6 pounds
Weight Lost To Date: -55.4 pounds
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Now, before getting too excited over the fact that I lost over 4 pounds in one week, remember that I was on that little unannounced summer blogging hiatus and therefore have not posted Weight Loss Wednesday for the past 3 weeks. Therefore, last week you were not privy to the fact that after my weigh-in I pretty much had a complete emotional break down upon being told that I gained 1.2 pounds. Knowing that I had been working my butt off exercising more than I ever have in my entire life while sticking strictly to the diet plan made it ever more puzzling as to why, after 30 weeks of continued weight loss, I all of a sudden gained weight.
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Seeing the massive number reflecting my weight loss this week while also knowing that I have changed nothing since last week (except for maybe being that much more determined to sweat even more!), I am chalking the whole weird weight gain event up to one or more of the following: a differently calibrated scale (this was the first time I weighed in at the Weight Watcher's in Woodbury, not Blaine), the fact that it was in the 90's all last week and my body has this wonderful way of retaining water in the form of swelling whenever the temperature exceeds 80, or my workouts with Jillian finally paying off in the form of 1.2 extra pounds of pure and lean muscle.
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Anyway, I was much happier with the results yesterday than last week. To celebrate, Ben took me and the kids out mini golfing and go karting last night. This was our first mini-golf experience with the kids and even though we only lasted 9 of the 18 holes before we hit up the go karts, they both did really great. Allie refused help from either Ben or I so she basically whacked her ball all over the place while Zach had a great time running up and down each green, attempting to crawl through the tunnels, trying to dive into the water hazards when we weren't looking, and pulling the little flags out of each hole.
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After our celebration excursion, we hit up the local Mickey D's for an ice cream cone. And before your jaws drop in disbelief at the fact that I was eating ice cream while on this regimen to lose weight, let me explain. The way Weight Watcher's works is that food items have different point values assigned to them based on that food's calorie, fat, and fiber content per serving. I am allotted 24 points to consume each day however I choose. So, if I'm feeling in the mood to treat myself on any given day, I plan for it from the beginning of the day so that I have enough points remaining for whatever treat I am craving.
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Yesterday, I wasn't necessarily planning on a treat, but I was busy throughout the day, missed my afternoon snack, had a particularly low-in-points dinner, and so I had 5 points remaining at the end of the day. And, a Mickey D's ice cream cone is valued at 3 points. Score! So, I was able to enjoy my treat in celebration of my weight loss without feeling guilty and still had 2 points to spare!
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So, I am finally seeing the light at the end of this weight loss tunnel. I have 5.8 pounds left to lose to reach my ultimate weight loss goal. I really honestly cannot believe how far I've come! Now, if only there was a really, really quick way to lose that 5.8 pounds. Any suggestions? And please don't suggest not eating. Seriously, I love food way too much to stop eating! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blogging Hiatus Concluded

Well, I suppose it's about time for my unannounced summer blogging hiatus to come to an end. I'm sure you've all missed my long winded witty familial updates and I definitely wouldn't want to continue being the cause of your daily disappointment any longer.
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Anyway, I have not much of an explanation as to why I decided to can the blog for the past two weeks. It isn't like we have been extraordinarily busy or anything. In fact, I feel like it has been quite the opposite as we have been taking lots of time to enjoy this last month of summer. I've felt kind of lazy with a lot of things, take for instance this blog, and unnecessary tasks have definitely been thrown to the wayside as we've been soaking up the summer sun.
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However, in an effort to get everyone up to speed on the nitty-gritty of our oh-so-intriguing life, I bring to you, in list form (my very favorite!), the highlights of the past few weeks:
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1. I went against popular opinion and got my hair all whacked off. At first, I was a bit hesitant, thinking I would for sure miss my long shiny locks, but I can honestly say that over the past two weeks I have not shed one tear over the absence of my shaggy pony tail. I really LOVE my hair short, but I always do this once every couple years (you know, grow my hair out as long as I can tolerate it, insisting that this will be the time I'll fall in love with having long hair). Here's some photographic proof of the new do:

2. Allie also insisted upon receiving a new hairstyle and thus created for herself some really awesome pink hair: 3. Speaking of Allie, she has finally learned how to pump herself on the swings! Yippeee!!! And, Zach is now fully sufficient at navigating up and down our backyard swing set and slide. So, this means many hours of playing in the backyard: the kids running around like unbridled banshees while I soak up some sun, relaxin' on the lounger and reading some Harry Potter (currently on book 4).

4. We had a minor dental emergency a couple weeks ago after Zach decided to take a head dive off of the couch and landed face first into our wooden end table. No teeth were expelled, but by the shear volume of blood loss and after noticing that part of the little piece that connects his top lip to the top of his upper gum was severed (I believe this is called the frenum or frenulum...however, I'm too lazy to click on over to WebMD to see if that is correct and check the spelling), I decided a visit to the pediatric dentist was a necessity. Everything checked out fine, but even as it is healing, it looks NASTY. Sorry, no pics of this one. I can barely tolerate looking at it.

5. We've visited a couple new beaches and have enjoyed both! One beach, located in the Elm Creek Park Reserve, is literally 15 minutes away from our house. Not only do they have a treated, sandy-bottom swim pond, but also some amazing play toys and miles upon miles of bike trails (we went back a couple days after the swimming to navigate the bike trails and enjoyed a picnic dinner). We also hit up Carver Lake in Woodbury with my mom while Ben was on a recent out of town business trip (we actually spent a few nights at my parents because my dad was also gone on a business trip as well). Carver Lake is a completely free swim beach with amazingly clear water, play toys, and the best part....barely any people! We were there on a 90-degree day and the beach was not busy at all. And, even though the kids barely enter the water, they have a blast digging in the sand and always look forward to our beach picnic lunches.

6. Bike rides, bike rides, bike rides...the kids love bike rides...and we go on lots of them:

7. Parks, parks, parks....the kids love parks...we visit lots of those too: (Check out the intensity on that boy's face as he contemplates launching from the top of the slide.)

8. Zach received his first black eye/black cheek when he tried to climb out of the wagon and balance on the handle. He fell to the ground, the asphalt driveway being the only thing to break his fall, and he ended up with quite a shiner. Unfortunately, no pictures of this one either. But, trust me, he looked pretty banged up.

9. Allie can barely contain her excitement for the start of preschool. We have already begun preparing by purchasing her very own princess back pack and princess lunch box. She has not stopped talking about the fact that Grandma has offered to take her shopping to pick out her outfit for her very first day of school.

10. Speaking of shopping, Allie LOVES shopping (hmm...I wonder who she gets that from). She will spend ample amounts of time in any woman's clothing store with me, looking at blouses and oogling over jewelry, making sure to comment on each and every item she sees. Zach, on the other hand, HATES shopping (hmmm...sound like anyone else in this family, Ben?). Taking Zach to buy a new pair of shoes was akin to forcing a cat to stay in a tub of water to take a bath. It was horrendous. After 15 minutes of pure, unadulterated, terrifying, wailing at the top of his lungs, I finally located his size (a 7 EXTRA WIDE...he has been gifted with very...erm...pudgy feet), and we quickly paid and exited the store. I kid you not, as soon as the stroller crossed the entryway to the outside world, the boy transformed instantaneously. Allie, on the other hand, who had been angelically well-behaved inside the store, all of a sudden had an extreme melt-down upon exiting because I said it was time to leave and apparently she was of the opinion that we still had more stores to visit.

11. The only store Zach tolerates is Home Depot. In fact, I don't think tolerate is even the correct word for it seeing as he regularly requests visits to Home Depot by declaring "DEPOT" whenever I mention that we may need to make a trip to Target or the grocery store. I saw yesterday, firsthand, his happy, care free demeanor, as we hit up Home Depot after church to purchase some air filters. The kid was unbelievably well behaved with more smiles inside his car-shaped Home Depot cart than I have seen in his entire 2 years of visits to other shopping centers. The only time he cried...you guessed it...when we left.

Alright, that's probably enough for now. No promises, but I'll try to be better about updating this week. I have to be honest, though, I'm still feeling quite lazy. It must be something about summer....