Monday, September 26, 2011

What Weighs 220 Pounds?

A 250cc moped

1 million dollars in $10 bills

An average adult male panda bear


I am officially at the highest weight I've ever been. I used to say that I was ok with my weight as long as I weighed under 200 pounds. Well, that's been blown out the window. I now weigh what I weighed at the END of my pregnancy with Penelope. But this time, I don't have baby weight to blame. I only have myself. I can sit here and say I'm shocked, and I don't know what happened, but that would be an absolute lie.

What I am is embarrassed. Embarrassed that my size 18 jeans are now getting too tight. Embarrassed that I get winded chasing my 15 month old daughter around and can't keep up. Embarrassed that I weigh 70 pounds more than my husband who is 3 inches taller than me.

I also feel ashamed that I let myself get to this weight and didn't really seem to care. I never thought I'd be ok weighing over 200 pounds, but apparently I am. Until now.

I have to change this for Penelope. I don't want my daughter to have to see me struggle with my weight the way I watched my mom struggle with hers. I want her to be comfortable in her own skin, with a healthy lifestyle, and high self esteem. That's not going to happen if she has a mom who hates the way she looks, and what she eats.

I have to change this for Travis. I want to be the best wife I can be, and I can't be that if I can't stand the sight of myself in the mirror. I want him to be proud of me and love my body. I want to be able to believe him when he says he does.

But most importantly, I have to do this for myself. I'm tired of not having any energy. I'm tired of having headaches, heartburn, back pain, and clothes that fit too tight. I'm sick of being the fat friend. I'm tired of having to wear clothes that hide my figure and not accent it. I'm tired of being ashamed of how I look in a bathing suit.

I've done Weight Watchers in the past and had good success with it (25+ pounds), but I've always made it a diet and not a lifestyle change. That's been the problem. I'd lose the weight and then "go off diet" and gain it all back, and then some. What I need to change is my mindset. I'm going back on Weight Watchers and I'm going to do it for real this time. I have to.

I'll be doing it online as it is much cheaper than going to meetings. Plus, I never found the meetings terribly helpful anyway. And I'm doing it openly. No more hiding behind my "diet." So, here's the statistics:

Current Weight: 220 pounds
BMI: 37.8
BMI Category: Obese
Final Weight Goal: 150 pounds

Now, I'm not putting a whole lot of stock in the BMI, because I do have a lot of muscle in my legs, but lets be honest. There's a lot of fat there too. The recommended weight for my height according to the BMI charts is 111-146 pounds. The average weight for women my age and height is 157 pounds. So I figured, I'll set my goal weight for 150 pounds, right in the middle. That's a 70 pound change. I can't even imagine myself 70 pounds lighter.

I'm going to take it slow and really make life changes. And I'm going to reward myself often to keep my motivation up. I haven't decided quite how yet, but once I do, I'll make sure to post.

So here it is. I'm ready to start. Here's to tomorrow and here's to a new me!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yay Vacation!...Sorta

We got back from Orlando this afternoon. My parents have a timeshare, so we make the trip with them every year around this time. It's usually a blast and we enjoy getting away from it all and relaxing. This time last year, I had a 3 month old who was still nursing and pretty content sitting in her car seat or stroller anywhere we went, and was ok with the pool, but not in love with it. This year, we had a very different experience.

It's an 8 hour drive to Florida from where we live. Last year, Penelope handled it pretty well, but it took us longer than 8 hours because we had to stop every 2-3 because she needed a break from the car seat. This year, she did great, although got pretty bored because she was by herself in the backseat with no one to talk to. Once mommy stopped driving, she hopped in the back seat and proceeded to entertain Penelope for 4 hours with silly games, books, and Cheerios because she refused to nap any longer than an hour the WHOLE DAY!

Mmmm! Cheerios!

We arrived Saturday night around 6:30p and let Penelope explore until 7:30p before we put her to bed. Sunday, we went and spent the day with my cousins. That meant, back in the car for Penelope. It was an hour and 15 minute drive to my cousins and she slept for most of it. Penny had a blast playing with her cousins, and we had fun hanging out, playing games, and going to the flea market.

"I <3 Scott and Tyler!"

Penny hadn't eaten much on Sunday and was pretty grumpy. We thought it was probably because of the long drive the day before, the weird nap schedule from the day before, and the fact that all 4 of her molars are wreaking havoc on the poor kid. We were pretty sure that was the problem...until 5:30pm...when she threw up her supper. We thought it was just a one time thing, but decided to skip dinner with the family and head home for Penelope's sake. Boy, are we glad we did! She fell asleep in the car and slept for an hour before waking up and proceeding to empty out the entire contents of her stomach...all over herself, her car seat, my mom, and Travis. Needless to say, she got a bath, mom and Travis took showers, and I called her doctor. The doctor told me to start her on water and Pedialyte for 12 hours, then slowly add bland foods (Bananas Rice Applesauce Toast - BRAT diet) until she's back on her regular diet.

She woke up Monday looking ok, but you could tell she still wasn't herself. She was wobbly and just wanted to cuddle all day long. I felt her teeth, and realized that on top of being sick, her gums were all swollen again. I gave her some Tylenol Monday night to help her sleep because of her gums, and she woke up quite a bit that night. Tuesday, I gave her more Tylenol for her teeth, and she seemed to be worse plus she was pulling on her ears (we have a long history with ear infections), so we decided to take her to an urgent care clinic.

Miserable sick baby :-(

The doctor at the urgent care clinic was awesome and told us that one of her ears was a little pink but nothing to really worry about because Penelope had been screaming from the second the doctor walked in. We explained that she had just had shots on Thursday and the doctor said that this could be part of it. She also did a strep test since Penelope's throat was a little red (also probably from screaming) and it was negative. The doctor said it was probably a virus and if she wasn't better in 2-3 days to bring her back. Enter massive headache for mommy. The last time Penelope was sick, I worried so much that I got shingles and it all started with a massive headache (NOT FUN!). I realized that maybe the Tylenol was contributing to Penny's lethargy, so I stopped giving it to her. After her Tuesday afternoon nap, she was feeling much better and decided to introduce herself to the cranes that hung out on our back porch.

By Tuesday night, she was feeling well enough that we decided to take a walk over the clubhouse for their "Sunset Celebration" - loud music, with DJs trying to get people to dance or play games. We realized that Penelope was going to be fine when we got to the pool area (where the "celebration" was) and Penelope made a beeline for the pool, crying and trying to fight daddy off because she wanted to go "neee neee"!!! She then proceeded to limbo with Memere, which was just really cute.

Careful Penny! You might hit your head!! :-)
On top of having a sick baby, Travis, myself and my mom both got a touch of what she had (and now my dad has it). It comes on very quickly. One moment, you're totally fine. The next moment, you want to puke and you have no appetite. Travis only had it for a day or 2. It lasted for 3 days for me and my mom. So by Wednesday, Penelope's back to her old self, but me and mom are still sick. So much for vacation.

By Thursday, everyone had kicked whatever nastiness we were feeling so we hit the pool...and Penelope LOVED it. The kiddie pool at River Island had a zero entry point and she spent nearly 2 hours walking in and out of the water, and trying to sit in the deep end...which she can't do because she's just too little (despite what she thinks!) We did the same thing on Friday before coming back to the condo and packing. We left at 6:30 this morning and arrived home just after 2pm.

All in all, it was a good vacation, although we mostly stayed in the condo because of sickness. Needless to say, mommy didn't get any mommy time and is now totally burned out. Thankfully, daddy gave mommy the evening off and gave Penelope a bath, and put her to bed. Now, if I can make this headache go away...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Craft Experiment: No Slip Grippy Socks

Results (cont.):
Both pairs of socks washed well without any notice of wearing. I understand its the first wash, but I wanted to make sure they weren't going to melt or crack with just one wash.

Again, both paints were equally available at Jo-Ann's. I did find more variety of Slick paint in a combo pack (6+) than I did the puffy paint, but either paint is readily available.

Penelope had a difficult time walking on our hardwood floors, and I wanted a way to modify her baby  socks to grippy socks without having to buy brand new socks with grippies. Between the two different paints, the puff paint seemed to do the job better than the Slick paint, at least for Penelope. I just finished 6 pairs of baby socks and am waiting for them to dry.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Craft Experiment: No Slip Grippy Socks

Experimental (cont.):

After the socks dried overnight, I had to puff up the puffy paint. Per the paints instructions, I used an iron on the hottest setting and steamed the socks until the paint puffed up. The resulting image looks like this:
You can really see the puffy on the far sock
While these were cooling, I put Penelope in the other gray sock with the black slick paint and watched her run around for 30 minutes.

The results are based on a number of factors: ease to make, cuteness factor, grippiness, washability, and availability of cute colors.

Ease of use:
Both socks were easy to create especially since I had a template from the dots already on the socks.
The puff paint was a little less easy because I had to use the iron to puff the paint. It only took a few minutes, but its not as easy as the paint and go that the Slick paint offers.

Cuteness Factor (Cf): Cf = Cc * Cs where Cc is the cuteness of the child and Cs is the cuteness of the socks.

Both pairs of socks are adorable and look adorable on Penelope. The blue pair match her outfit yesterday better than today, but that was not taken into consideration in this experiment.

Ok, seriously. The Cf is way high on both pairs.

While the black socks were cooling from their steam bath, I put Penelope in the grey socks (Slick paint) and cut her loose! In the span of 30 minutes, she slipped 3 times. In the span of 30 minutes in the black socks (Puffy paint) she slipped once. With a 3:1 ratio, the puffy paint is definitely the winner. However, there was a factor not accounted for when the painting of the socks was done. The dot pattern on the grey socks is more spaced out than those on the black socks, but there was more paint dots put on the grey socks. Also, because these are adult socks, the dots were bigger than they would be on baby socks. Once I use her baby socks, I should be able to put more, smaller dots.

Both pairs of socks will be washed this afternoon to test the washability.

We will be heading to the store later today to test the availability of the paint colors.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Craft Experiment: No Slip Grippy Socks


We have hardwood floors throughout the main level of our house. I do, indeed, love my hardwoods, but I've noticed that it's difficult for Penelope to walk on the floors when she's got socks on. She has some new socks that have grippies on them, but most of her socks do not. Since its starting to get cooler here in Atlanta, she's starting to wear socks more and is having more trouble walking.

I found this blog ( with specific directions (and REALLY cute designs!) on how to make grippy socks. This mom used Tulip Slick Fabric Paint, but I wondered if I could also use puffy paint, and which would work better. Armed with a girlfriend (who's also quite crafty herself!), we went to Jo-Ann's and I bought a small bottle of puffy paint and a small bottle of the slick paint.

I refuse to pay $15 for a pair of Baby Legs,. A $3 adult pair of knee socks work just as well!


I prepped Penelope's socks by putting an empty toilet paper roll down to the toes to keep the two sides from sticking together.  I decided that because of the color of the paints that I would do the white puffy paint on the black socks, and the black slick paint on the grey socks. I used the already present polka dots as my template for where to put the paint.

White = puffy paint              Black = Slick paint

Now, we sit and wait for them to dry. The bottles say it takes about 4 hours to dry, but I'm going to let them sit overnight to be sure. I really like this idea and I'm really hoping it works well. I know Penelope would appreciate it :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rude Couponers

I'm a couponer. I learned everything I know from Katie Merrefield, a friend from high school. You can see her information about couponing and get some great tips at (shameless plug, I know)

Anyway, one of the things that Katie couldn't stress enough was being a polite couponer. People tend to have bad feelings towards couponers because some of them are rude, and some will disregard the feelings of others and check out in front of someone who only has 1 item. I make a conscious effort not to be this way, but I'm sure at some point, someone has thought this about me.

So Tuesday, I went grocery shopping. After roaming the store for about 30 minutes, finding all the needed items on my shopping list and pulling out my coupons, I got in line two people behind a fellow couponer. I tend to get a little excited when I see other people couponing and saving money! It's quite exciting to find out that someone saved 50% or more! So between watching Penelope laugh at a giant inflated kitty, and unloading my cart, I heard this woman complaining about coupons. The conversation went something like this:

Rude Couponer (snarky tone): Does that total include my ecoupons?

Cashier: No, that's before the store card and the coupons.

Rude Couponer: Oh, ok. Hands store card and coupons to cashier who begins scanning them.

Now at this point, I turned away and was watching Penelope laugh and giggle at this inflatable cat. I turn back around wondering if the cashier was almost done when I notice that the lady was looking a little irritated. I turned back around to watch Penelope and something was said which, based on the lady's reaction, I assume when something like this:

*Rude Couponer (snarky tone): How come some of my coupons weren't accepted?

*Cashier (trying to stay calm but obviously getting irritated): Our coupon policy states that we no longer take ecoupons and manufacturer coupons for the same item.

Rude Couponer (more snarky tone): Well, that's just ridiculous! *huff*

The cashier turns around to start on the woman in front of me's order while the couponer packs up her wallet. As the couponer is spouting off about the coupon policy, the cashier rolled her eyes. The cashier continued to check everyone else out and while she looked a little irritated when I walked up with my coupons (I only had 4), she was pleasant enough and I did not fault her for feeling a little hostile towards couponers at this point.

We finish checking out, and as I'm walking out of the store, I see the rude couponer at the customer service desk with her cell phone and coupons out. I don't know what was said, but I'm pretty sure she was complaining about the coupon policy. Either way, I was quite irritated with this lady because of how she's making the rest of us look. Some stores actually stop accepting coupons because of the attitudes of the couponers, and since I save 30%-50% or more each week, I really don't want that to happen!

*I have no idea if this is what was actually said, but based on the cashier and couponers reviews, I'm confident it went something like this.

Monday, September 5, 2011

OAMCD September

I love to cook. A lot of my friends know this, some of them don’t. But I hate when I realize that it’s 4:45pm and the dish I was planning is going to take 3 hours to prep, put together and cook. Enter frozen pizza. So in a recent trip to New Hampshire to visit family, my cousin introduced me to the concept of once a month cooking (OAMC). You have one big cooking day – your once a month cooking day (OAMCD) – consisting of 8-10 hours of dining deliciousness, and then you freeze everything. You then have meals for an entire month and there’s no more wondering “What’s for dinner?”

She directed me over to, and I started poking around. After about an hour of “research”, I decided this was something I wanted to do, but I was skeptical that the food was going to last a month.  I showed it to a girlfriend and we immediately started planning. We did our day (not without its stresses), and I learned a lot. And yes, the food lasted us a month.

As the date for the next OAMCD was approaching, I asked my friend if she would be doing it with me this time. She graciously declined explaining that her husband wasn’t a fan of most of the recipes. I was bummed, not gonna lie (the friendship makes it even more fun), but I understood. I began planning my menu for the next go around. I spent $150 for groceries for a month’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here’s the current recipe line up:

Chocolate raspberry muffins
Chilled Spahgetti salad
Basil Chicken over Angel Hair
Green Orzo salad
Broccoli cheese soup
Chickpea and Tomato Salad
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
Healthy Fish Sticks
Summer Steak Kabobs
Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa
Chicken-Q Sandwiches
(all recipes are at

Sound pretty good huh? I’m excited! I decided to get up at my normal weekday time (5:30am) so I could be cooking by 6am. I did all my prep work (cut veggies, cooked certain meats) the day before and headed out for a night out with the girls. When I got home, I double checked to make sure I had everything ready and went to bed…at 1am (stupid computer game!)

5:30am – Alarm goes off. Do I really have to get up? I mean, I don’t HAVE to get up this early, right? The dog isn’t even up yet!

5:55am – Alarm goes off again. Ok. Ok. I’m up! Where’s the coffee?

6:38am – Start cooking. Chicken-Q Sandwiches go in the crockpot

8:07am – Penelope wakes up.

8:33am – First meal in the freezer – Basil Chicken Pasta

8:49am – Second meal in the freezer – Chilled Spaghetti Salad

9:12am – Turned on radio (90s weekend baby!!)

10:35am – Third meal in the freezer – Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa

10:55am – Fourth meal in the freezer – Broccoli Cheese Soup

11:30 – Fifth meal in freezer – Green Orzo Salad

12:27pm – Sixth meal in freezer – Chicken-Q Sandwiches

12:30pm – Seventh meal in freezer – Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

1:40pm – Eighth meal in freezer – Chickpea and Tomato Salad

1:45pm – Ninth meal in freezer – Fish Sticks

2:10pm – Tenth meal in freezer – Summer Steak Kabobs

2:22pm – Eleventh meal in freezer – Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

2:35PM – ALL DONE!!!

The whole day took me less than 8 hours, including kitchen clean up. And now, we’ve got meals for the entire month of September. So far, we’ve had the broccoli cheese soup, and the chicken-Q sandwiches and both have been very tasty! We’ll see how the rest of them goes!