Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update on Friend

So, it's not leukemia! That's the good news. Bad news is that she was sent home from the hospital yesterday with no definitive answers. Her platelet levels keep dropping to below 6,000 when they should be between 150,000 and 450,000! She is going to try this supplement treatment called Blood Well since no medication seems to be helping. I'm sure she would appreciate the continued prayers for healing or just answers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Prayer Warriors Needed

So, I don't ask for much but I have seen the power of prayer work for Lucy, so I thought I would throw out a prayer request for a woman that works with me. She has been having health issues for a while now. A few years back, she actually had a blood clot in her lung. Lately, she has had so many issues and has been hospitalized so many times, without any real answers. The answers she has been given were: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Raynaud's Syndrome AND Sjogren's Syndrome. (Did I mention she is only a year older than me?!) All of these are considered autoimmune diseases, which means her body thinks her own cells are foreign and is trying to kill them. Talk about sick! Well, the treatments for these diseases are steroids and immune suppressors which make her even more susceptible to germs/sickness. She got really sick earlier this week and had to go back into the hospital. Today, I was informed that they think she might have Leukemia and are going to draw bone marrow for biospy. So, I was just wondering if you could add this wonderful woman (Tracy), to your prayer list.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can we really keep this diet thing up?!

You bet-cha! That's right, we are still going strong! Luckily, there is one cheat meal per week allowed. She just says to be sure to cheat on a day that you are super active to help burn any extra calories and to not go too overboard. So, Saturday night, Paul went to town to get us some mexican. But we were good and got one chicken fajita and one steak fajita and split them between the two of us. They tasted SO good. Not sure if it was that good or we just hadn't had mexican in that long! =) But Sunday, we were back no our best behavior. We got Lenny's for lunch (no mayo for me!) Their hot pepper relish and a little spicy mustard made me not miss the mayo at all. We got some groceries Sunday afternoon and really stuck to our shopping list. It really makes it easier to eat healthier when that is the only option you have in the house. Don't buy junk and you can't eat junk! Simple, really. And I am really proud to say I have been taking my lunches to work and not eating out! That is really an accomplishment seeing that I have cash in my purse to buy lunch with but am sticking to it. Sunday night we decided we didn't want to cook anything because we really didn't feel like cleaning anything, so cereal it was. Monday for lunch, I took advice from my friend Jimbo (who is really obsessed with canned tuna), and made some barbecue tuna with brown rice. You take a can of tuna, pour in two tbsp barbecue sauce (only 45 calories per 2 tbsp) and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Sounds wierd but tastes just like leftover barbecue! Added a few dashes of hot sauce to my brown rice and had a filling and protein-packed lunch. Dinner were the Tuna Stuffed Peppers again, but this time I made the sweet potato fries with it! But my favorite thing was desert. Yes, you heard me, desert! It was a Protein-packed Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Found the recipe through the Muffin-Top Less website. And it was DELICIOUS! Even Paul thought it was great. Tasted like cinnamon bread pudding to me. And only 55 calories per square. Here is the recipe:

She has a video of her making it here:

The ingredients are a little out there, (I couldn't even find Xylitol, so I substituted Truvia for both it and the Stevia since I had it on hand). But they turned out great. Very moist. Had two squares for breakfast this morning.
The workouts are going great as well. I have been trying to workout as much as possible. I had been working out in the past, but have never felt it like I have been lately. I have been waking up in pain (the good kind) every day from what I worked out the day before. Just tells me I am challenging my body in ways that haven't been challenged in a long time, probably since high school actually.
Paul is always picking up Fitness magazines and Healthy Cooking magazines. We were going through them last night and they had an article about different apps for your phone that can help with diet and exercise. I downloaded the free ones (I'm kind of cheap that way), and they are really good. My favorite is the MyFitnessPal app. It lets you put in your current situation, your goals, and then tells you how to meet those goals. You can keep a diary of everything you are eating (very big catalog of all kinds of food), so it can tell you how you are doing everyday. The others were SparkRecipes (people like you uploading healthy recipes they have tried), Locavore (tells you what fruits and veggies are in season in your area, and then tells you where you can find a local market), and Fooducate (helps you make better decisions in the grocery store by telling you what additives are in foods, etc... also has a barcode scanner to make it easier than searching for the product). As I said earlier, all these were free apps, so you can download them and let me know what you think!
This really is a hard adjustment to make in our lives, but we both know that is it simple too. We have to set a good example for Kaleb. We want him to see his mom and dad making good choices, not just in big decisions, but in the simple ones too, like what to eat. It seems like such a simple thing, but it impacts your life so dramatically. He is such a picky eater, I just hope when he does grow out of it, he learns to make the right food decisions. If I can make those decisions easier for him, he will have more time and energy to focus on the bigger decision he will face in life.

Jump, Jump, Jump!

Saturday, Kaleb was invited to a birthday party for a girl, Rylie, in his daycare class. If you read the previous post, you know that I took Kaleb to the party while Paul attempted to put together Kaleb's train table he got from his Nana and Pop for Christmas. The party was being held at a local establishment called Jump Zone (think smaller Pump-It-Up). It was really fun getting to see Kaleb play with all his little friends from school. They are all so adorable. Kaleb was a little hesitant at first, but he got over it quickly. He really loved the little obstacle course they had. He got to climb over, under, and through all kinds of things. He wasn't really into the slides, big or small, so that was good for me seeing I would have had to help him to the top of it! There were only a few bumped heads, nothing a little kiss from Mommy couldn't heal.
I got to meet a lot of the moms and dads too, which was nice. I realized I might have the anti-social kid in the class though. Everyone kept asking kids names, trying to put faces to the names that their children talk about everyday after school. I kept nodding and smiling like I was right there with them, but to be honest, Kaleb NEVER mentions any kids from daycare. Except Brooks, our neighbor, but that is only if he sees him across the street and wants to play with his toys. If I ask him about his day, or mention any of the kids from his class, he just goes "No Mommy. Bye, School!". I'm pretty sure he thinks if he mentions any of the kids, that means he is going to school. Oh my, Oh my. What do you do? I will ask him: "Kaleb, do you like Brooks, or Christian, or Breckin, or Temple, or Rylie?" and he just keeps saying "Nope". But I know he likes them, because I see him playing with them everyday when I pick him up. And the parents always say how much their kids talk about Kaleb.
Another way I know he likes them was watching him at the party. There was a little girl jumping in the castle and started yelling "Kate, Kate, Kate". I didn't understand him at first, but he ran into the castle to play with her and I asked the mom was her name was, and that's when it hit me that he was yelling her name! So cute! And he was obsessed with playing with Breckin and Christian and Rylie. He would follow them around. But there were still moments where I found him jumping by himself, which he seemed completely content with too.
It was a really great, fun party UNTIL.... it was time to open presents and eat cake! I mean, how do you tell a bunch of 2-3 year olds that they have to stop jumping in these awesome bounce houses, sit down to eat cake and watch a girl open presents that aren't theirs! EEK! Not good! Kaleb wanted nothing to do with the cupcake, the presents, or anything for that matter. He wanted to jump! So, after a bathroom conversation, we decided to wish Rylie "Happy Birthday", thank the mom and dad for inviting us, and head home. I was really hoping he would be worn out and fall asleep on the way home. I even rode around for an extra 15 minutes hoping for him to nod off, but he was having none of it. Every time I would peak at him in the rearview mirror, he would laugh and smile at me! So, I gave up, and we went home to his own bounce house and to ride on his tractor. That's when we found Paul attempting to put the train table together. It was really a beautiful day, so we soaked up as much sunshine as we could before the clouds rolled in that afternoon. All-in-all, it was a very fun and productive Saturday!
This is Kate.

This is Rylie, the birthday girl

My little Turkey

It is so hard to get a picture in focus with him bouncing around


Pretty sure he was telling me to stop with the pictures in this one!

One Last Christmas Gift

For Christmas, my mom and dad got Kaleb a train table. Mom called back in November and asked what was something that she could get him. I told her about a train table at his daycare that he really loves. We were going to get him one but I told her they could get it for him and we would get him the bounce house. Mom said that was a great idea and sent me the pic of the one she ordered. It was great and even matched the furniture already in his room.
We had discussed wether or not to put it together for his Santa seeing that we would have to bring it all the way home, not knowing if it would fit in the back of Paul's Tahoe for the ride home. But we decided that it would be fine and we really wanted to see him playing with it Christmas morning. Well, I got a call the Thursday before Christmas informing me that Kaleb would have to get excited about a picture of a train table! Mom and Dad opened the box to put it together and there were a billion pieces! Not really, but the box even said 100+ pieces! The instructions were pretty little pictures and 5 pages long. So, needless to say, Kaleb got his train table but didn't get to play with it until later!
This past Saturday, a little girl from Kaleb's daycare was having a birthday party (see next post for details on that), and I told Paul I would take Kaleb to the party if he would put the table together while we were gone. We got home to a partially put together train table and a frustrated Paul! =) It wasn't that difficult, just a lot of pieces and minimal directions. He finally got the table and accessories put together, and then came time to assemble to tracks. OMG! There were 30 pieces with a labeled diagram where each piece should go. Easy right? Not quite seeing the pieces weren't labeled to match the diagram! Eventually, we got it together with a little teamwork (Wonderpets anyone?! What's gonna work... Teamwork!)
The hardest part of the entire thing was keeping Kaleb away from it while trying to put it together. Every time we would put a part on the table, he would pull it off to play with it!
But we got it together and Kaleb loves it. He woke up Sunday morning and started playing with it! He is so funny! Mom is supposed to be coming down in a few weeks and I know she is going to be excited to see him playing with it.
Daddy's little helper

The finished product!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yah for Healthy Foods!

So, Paul and I have started our New Year diets as of Monday night, and it's going GREAT. We have cut out most processed foods and any sugary drinks including juices and soft drinks. Luckily, I can still have my coffee so the world is safe! =) We have also started substituting Almond Milk for regular milk. It is not very good on its own, but put it in cereal or use it in making oatmeal, and it's not that bad.
Monday night we cooked Italian Turkey Burgers which were really good. Here's the link to the recipe if you want to check it out:
We cut the recipe in half and it still made 5 patties so I even got to take one for lunch the next day and it was just as good then. The great thing about this diet is it requires you to eat every couple of hours so I might not get to eat a lot at lunch or dinner, but I'm not as hungry because of all the snacks. It also wants you to work out everyday and take some protein supplements, which we were doing anyway but we have kicked it up a notch! Yah!
Back to the food... Monday night and Tuesday lunch were the Turkey Burgers. Morning snack on Tuesday was plain greek yogurt with fresh strawberries which is very good, kind of tangy, but good and loaded with protein from the yogurt. My afternoon snack was a small green apple and a handful of pistachios. Dinner Tuesday night was a risk but with a great payout. The diet had a recipe for Tuna Melts, where she stuffed roasted red peppers with canned tuna and melted mozzarella cheese on top. Sounded good to Paul so we decided to try it. I am not a big fan of canned tuna so I was not real looking forward to it, but OMG... it was delicious! Here's a link to that recipe (and more recipes) and I HIGHLY recommend you try it. Very easy and good for you (and cheap!)
(please don't laugh at the name!)
Today for lunch, Paul and I had grilled chicken salads with mozzarella cheese and basalmic vinagrette dressing. Very good and a great change from the honey mustard we had been eating. Snacks were the same today as yesterday and equally as delic! Supper tonight was pretty normal, just made healthier. We grilled some Thin-Cut chicken breasts and made some home-made sweet potato fries. I have never been a big fan of sweet potatoes, so again, I was a little skeptical but these turned out very good too. The recipe is listed under the Tuna Melt recipe that was posted earlier. It was very hard but we left some fries for me to take to work tomorrow for lunch.
Not only are we eating healthier, we are also saving money. Buying fresh fruits and veggies is always cheaper than buying canned and I am no longer going out to lunch and buying the fat-filled burgers. (my mouth just watered talking about it actually... I hope I can keep this up!) Wish us luck! I will try to keep updating with different recipes that did and did not work. So far, so good but I know it won't always be this easy...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New You!

So, Happy New Year everyone! Paul and I have been members of The Club, our local gym, since this time last year when Paul began his weight loss journey. He has done an INCREDIBLE job, losing over 40 lbs! Hard work, Dedication! Dedication, Hard Work! (for all you Biggest Loser fans!). He works out EVERY DAY and we have stopped eating out as often. I try to work out 2-3 times a week too, so I have finally been able to fit into a lot of the clothes from pre-Kaleb! Yah!
Lately, Paul has kind of hit that plateau that comes with everyone's weight loss. So, in order to kick it up a level, we have decided to change our diet to a more protein-packed, low fat food based diet, recommended through the blog Muffin Topless (found through pinterest)! She is very inspirational and tells you how it is. Work out, eat right, and you will see results! Don't quit! EVER! You can only fail in your journey if you quit. As long as you keep trying, you can't fail. I have decided to do this along with Paul because it will make it easier if we eat the same things and can be each other's support. I am not looking to lose weight, just tone up some areas. I actually don't ever weigh myself except at the doctor's office. I don't care what the scale says, just how my clothes fit and how I see myself in the mirror!
As my sister so lovingly told me last night when I explained all the things I was picking up at the grocery store last night: "Good luck with that!" Hopefully, we can stick to this and see the results we have been working so hard for! We made turkey burgers for supper last night and they were really good! The recipe made 5 patties so I even brought one for lunch today. Tonight is going to be Tuna-stuffed Roasted Red Bell Peppers with melted Mozzarella cheese on top. She calls it a Tuna Melt for short. Sounds yummy but we will see! You get lots of snacks which include Greek Yogurt, Fresh Fruit, Nuts, Oatmeal,  Almond Milk Milkshakes, and lots of other yummy things. The hardest thing is going to be trying to give up soda. I have moved off of regular and onto Diet Pepsi but now I am going cold turkey! At least I get to keep my coffee (no more White Mochas, but I can handle that!). Might even save some money while we're at it! =)
I will try to keep you updated on our progress!

Christmas Chaos!

This year's Christmas proved to be a fun and exciting Christmas, everything I hoped it would be. Kaleb is finally at the age where he loves to unwrap presents, but not yet grasped the idea of Santa. One thing I did find out is a 1 year old LOVES a bag of presents (Kaleb last year), but a 2 year old loves a wrapped present! He would have nothing to do with anything in a bag. Good to know for his birthday coming up in March! With Christmas being a long holiday this year, we were able to sit back and enjoy more of it. We had my MeMe's christmas dinner on Friday night with his cousins on my mom's side. There are only 4 kids and 12 adults so it is a little less chaotic than my Maw's house. Kaleb had a great time opening his presents and then playing with everyone else's toys!  (Even though they got the majority of the same thing!) The funniest picture is Kaleb, Walt, and Landen playing with Laurin's Pet Shop Tree House while surrounded by all their trucks and tractors!
The next day was Christmas Eve so my brother, sis-in-law, and their two kids, along with my sister and her husband, came over to my mom's house to open presents at lunch. This was a lot of fun because my mom and dad definitely go overboard with the presents. They got Kaleb a train table which has yet to be put together (100+ pieces label on the box!) but I know he is going to love it when we do finally get it together, which will hopefully be this weekend. The funniest thing of the day is my brother's present. My mom got him a game that is a toy gun with a duck that flies and you try to shoot it. Seems easy but NOT! My brother wasn't that interested by my sister's husband was so he took it outside to see what it was all about. Needless to say, everyone ends up outside watching this hilarious thing flying around. It is very unpredictable and flew onto the parch right at Kaleb which he really DID NOT like and starting screaming that it was a bug! At one point, it ends up on the roof and my dumb butt decides to climb out the upstairs window and knock it off. Luckily, I didn't fall but I'm sure there were some pretty funny photos taken of me crawling in and out of that tiny window!
My sister and her husband LOVE to hunt more than any two people I know, so of course they took advantage of the cooler weather and all my family's land while up for the holiday. Chad ended up killing a 10 point with his pistol. He didn't want the meat so he gave it to a neighbor down the street (we definitely don't waste it!), but kept the head for his dad to mount for him. Before freezing it, he decided to hang it in the tree to "dry out". It was funny to show the kids the deer head in the tree!
That night we went over to Maw's house for the Cromwell christmas. This is where the CHAOS comes into play. There were 11 kids under 18 yrs old there and 17 adults! So 28 people in all! AGH! It is SO much fun to get all the kids together and watch them open presents then try to play with everyone else's presents! My grandmother is one of those people that you can never shop for because she has EVERYTHING! So, she had started mentioning that she wished she had a smaller coffee pot so she didn't waste coffee every day (apparently she had never realized you don't have to make 12 cups of coffee just because the pot will hold it!). So, when it comes time to open presents she gets THREE 4-cup coffee pots! HILARIOUS! Apparently she told everyone this story about the coffee and everyone got the same idea! 

Santa came that night and left lots of things for Kaleb! He even got his very first NorthFace Jacket! Apparently, Santa has been hanging out with the Easter Bunny because he even left a present in the laundry room! (oops!) But the biggest present was in the garage. He got a bounce house. Now if it's cold or raining and my little turkey has too much energy for the house, we can go into the garage and bounce our little hearts out! NOT SO FAST, though! Kaleb didn't want anything to do with it at first! Uh-Oh!

Luckily, he has a crazy Aunt Mel that helped him warm up to it (with a little help from his momma throwing him in!). We were jumping and having a good fun in no time! Even Paul got in on the action.

To be honest, the child is more interested in turning it on and off but he will get in it and jump for a few minutes before deciding to do something else. Oh well, maybe he will be more interested when it gets warmer.

On Christmas Day, we went over his Paul's mom's house where Kaleb got even MORE spoiled with two Smurf DVDs and lots of trucks and tractors! Even got him some Buzz Lightyear PJ's which he loves! Kaleb was in one of his moods that day (found out later he was running a fever so probably wasn't feeling well) so we didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked but with Kaleb, when he is ready to go, you go. No questions, just do it! I have no idea where he gets it from! =) 

Paul and I have known ever since we moved to Mississippi that when Christmas comes, we have to drive both vehicles to Covington, just to be able to get everything back home. This year was no exception. With the bounce house, the train table, and the two barstools that my parents got us, not to mention our weeks worth of luggage, both trucks were packed. But we loaded up Monday and made our way back to Madison. It is bitter sweet leaving the family you love, but it is really nice to be back in your own house and bed!

After we got home and unloaded all of Kaleb's new toys, we realized how many toys he had that he never plays with so we packed a bag full of toys, a couple bags of clothes, and a bag of shoes into my truck which I took to Goodwill on Tuesday. It made such a difference in his room to be able to see the floor again! =)

I hope everyone else had blessed and love-filled Christmas! Now, on to the New Year!