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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweet Sixteen!

So, here are some random kid pics for you to enjoy of Gracie and Tessa being silly in the tub, and Tanner sitting up while I tell you how as of yesterday, I'm three pounds away from my "half way goal" with 37 pounds gone! Next week will by our 12 week class at UAMS where they go through and "re-do" all your original tests and measurements - I'm anxious to see how things have changed.

But speaking of "measurements"... I had put it off as long as I could, but last week I had to break down and buy some new jeans! I didn't want to rush into buying anything new because I didn't want to be disappointed if the size wasn't what I was hoping for... and plus, it's expensive! Regular size people are accustomed to Target and/or Old Navy shopping can just run out and snag a new item for less than $20... those of us who have to venture into the "special needs" shops are paying closer to $60 or more a pop. And as you can imagine, the extra costs is not for a "designer" label either...

On Black Friday Old Navy had their jeans on sale, $14.99. My sister was wanting to buy some jeans, and reminded me that I needed some as well. She assured me that I was out of the "special needs" catagory and could find something there. I was skeptical... but getting desperate. So, at 6:00 AM we braved the wild Old Navy crowd on a mission for jeans.

Now, clearly, I've been out of the fashion loop for some time... for me clothes are just "big" or "bigger", and I don't pay attention to much else. So, I was a bit overwhelmed with the jean wall extravaganza at Old Navy. There's all these types and styles I am not familiar with, the boot cut, straight leg, low rise, lowest rise, classic rise.... good grief! As I'm sorting through the Old Navy jeans, my main concern, of course, was the size... However, it turns out, there is a whole variety of things that go along with size, which I had no clue about. After 20 minutes and two failed attempts in the dressing room, I was annoyed and ready to quit.

Finally, my sister returned to "the wall" and plowed through the jeans, handed me a few, and ordered me to try them on. And much to my surprise, I finally emerged victorious fitting perfectly into a size 16! Now, granted, I realize fashion standards would typically dictate a size 16 as nothing to write home about... but the pair I abandoned for them was four sizes bigger. So... in my case, a 16 was definately very sweet!

I resisted the urge to happy dance in the check out line, but did buy two pairs! TWO pairs of pants for $30 bucks, from a regular store!! Merry Christmas to me! I've worn them three times since then and am still amazed each time I put them on and they fit!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks...

So it's Thanksgiving... and coming to the close of the grateful extravaganza, I'm randomly thankful for several things today.

I'm grateful for my family... for my mom and dad (a/k/a Nana and Papa), who love us no matter what (and always have), who come around "just because" and are always there when we need them (which is often), and who are constantly doting on their grandkids (even when they're acting awful).

For my sister, Amanda (a/k/a Aunt Mandy), who is my best friend, my favorite person to laugh and cry with, my biggest encourager, and a second mommie to my kids.

For my children... for Gracie, her heart of gold, her smile, and her creativity, and those perfectly timed comments that remind me she is soaking up every word I say.

For Tessa, her sweet little voice that says "I need you" when she feels like cuddling, her opinionated and independent nature that wants what she wants, and her adorable laugh that'll melt your heart.

And for Tanner, this cute new hat we got him, for that excited expression he has every morning that says "hey, great, it's you again," his wonderful sleep habits, that adorable "scoot and crawl" he's mastered, and of course, that he says "da da" all the time, but not "ma ma".

And Travis... for his personality that is the complete opposite of mine, for his sense of humor, his ability to have patience when mine is shot, that he always says he loves me before he hangs up the phone, and of course, for him just putting up with me on the many occasions where I know I have to be "put up" with.

And then, of course, my "extended family"....

I'm so grateful for the women in my life whom I'm blessed to call my friends. For their beauty, their laughter, their encouragement, their talents.... and especially their hearts. And most of all that they know me very well, and love me anyway (especially considering they're not obligated to via a genetic link).

I'm randomly grateful for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! I can't help it... I love it.

For "Black Friday" ads in the paper... it's fun to dream.

For the gym being open this morning, so I could go there early and then not feel too bad about having those mashed potatoes today I simply could not say no to!

And finally, for losing THREE more pounds this week!!! WOO HOO!!

Many Blessing To All This Thanksgiving... and hopes that you have lots to be grateful for!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grateful To Weigh 30 Less Pounds!

Here is a picture of my little princesses playing "dress up" in their sundresses while I tell you that as of my 12:45 weigh in at UAMS today, I have officially lost 30 pounds! Ten more and I'll be at my halfway goal!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Shot Thru The Heart"

So, if you didn't know, I LOVE Bon Jovi. More specifically, Jon Bon Jovi. I was "shot thru the heart" at like 14 or 15, and have been a huge fan ever since.

I've loved him since way back when... back when he had a flowing mane, purple scarves as hair accessories, his pants were trimmed with fringe down the sides, and he was singing about all the things that were "slippery when wet". And I must say, he was good then - and has only improved with age!

In 40 plus rocker race, he's by far leading the pack in practically every catagory. He's drug-free, father of four, and been married for like 16 years to the same woman (his high school sweetheart). He's very much a "giver" and has done a tremendous amount of work with Habitat for Humanity. He worked with Oprah's Angel Network and donated a million bucks to it to help build houses for Katrina Families, and showed up to personally hand out house keys to the new residents on the appropriately named, Bon Jovi Boulevard.

Of course, I don't know him personally, but he seems very likeable (a little bit of an ego in interviews sometimes - but I think he's just confident). He's clearly a good friend (just look at the way he's always so supportive of Richie in his various personal dramas) and he's known for being a nice guy (Oprah even said so). And how sweet was he to all those American Idol contestants last year (and you know Jordon's rendition of "Livin On A Prayer" had to be killing him). But most importantly, at least to me, the man is BEAUTIFUL!

Now, I know what you're thinking... and yes, I know he's not the greatest singer in the world, but his acting isn't bad, he just hasn't found his real "break through" role yet... (yes, I saw him on SNL last weekend... and I thought he did fine...), and I suppose he does live by the "blow your horn" philosophy at times, but oh well, nobody's perfect - and again, he's BEAUTIFUL, and I mean, BEAUTIFUL!!

If you're not a fan, you should be! Their music is fun, and they put on a great show! And on that note, I will be basking in a Jon Bon Jovi "blaze of glory" in April when the band pulls into Dallas for the "Lost Highway" tour. It will be my fourth Bon Jovi concert (stop laughing...). The first time I was 16 and got the tickets as a birthday present. My dad drove me out to Barton to stand in line at 5:00 AM, and I braved the mosh pit. The 2nd and 3rd times I was entirely too old for that, and so I sat on the lawn and then in the rafters... but this time I'm going to be close enough to have a very nice view, and well - I just can't wait!

So, tonight, I am grateful for things to look forward to and be excited about! And yes, mock me if you must, but I am grateful for Jon Bon Jovi, grateful for his tossled, yet perfectly placed hair, his leather pants that are now fringe free, his dazzeling smile, and all the Boxtox he's clearly had that has kept him wrinkle-free and looking so good....

And of course, for his band (especially Richie and that black hat he wears, because every good front man has to have a cool side kick), for their music of then and now that I love to hear, and finally for the fact that they're getting back out on that steel horse to see a million more faces, and "rock them all!" Can't wait!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jumping on the Grateful Train...

Well, since it is the official time of year to be grateful, and of course, in response to Jerusalem's grateful blogging extravaganza.... here is my first post.

I was playing around with my new IPOD tonight listening to a few songs I've always wanted to have but never wanted to spend $13 bucks on the whole album to listen to... I bought Faith Hill's "Fireflies" which is just the sweetest song... But anyway, as I was listening to it I was trying to go through some old pictures on my computer and attempt to organize some older ones into nicer/neater folders. I came across these and noticed all three of my babies enjoying the same exersaucer (and they're all about the same age in these pics).

I was remembering when we bought that exersaucer. We stumbled across it at almost half price on sale at Sears because someone had brought it back and it had no box. We were so excited to have it for Gracie, and I think it was at least another month before she could actually use it and enjoy it. As you can see, we've gotten our money's worth out of it....

I'd make you guess which baby is which, but our upgraded photo technology from Gracie to Tanner makes it pretty obvious anyway...

Here's Gracie... we still had all the toys perfectly attached when she was using it!

And Tessa... missing one or two of those toys, but still playing its music and working fine!

And of course, Tanner... by now I'd found the toys we lost when Tessa was using it, and I think only one of them is now missing.

As I clicked around in my old pictures, I'm reminded how Gracie will turn five in less than a month! In five years Trav and I went from being a "couple" to a party of five! And these three babies have been a lot alike, and yet, of course, are so different - and thank goodness!! Last night as I was knee-deep in the chaos that comes with managing the differences in the personalities of my children, my dad was reminding me how boring it would be if they were all three the same! And yes, I'd certainly agree. (Of course, there are days it sure would make it easier! - Ha!).

So, tonight I am off to bed and am very grateful for my IPOD with songs that make me smile, pictures I love and cherish, digital cameras that take better pictures for me to love and cherish, and most importantly my three adorable babies, where some things have been the same, but each of them are very special and unique!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Family Friendly"

Well, another week, and another THREE (and a half, actually) pounds!! Grand total is 27.5 lost. YEAH! I was thinking yesterday that 27.5 pounds was great... but with 50 plus left on the chopping block, my focus has been more on what's left. However, it occured to me yesterday that Tessa weighs 26.5 pounds... In 7 weeks I've lost as much as Tessa weighs!

So, on that note, I decided to reward myself with a new video IPOD. For a bargain of $137 dollars at Sam's, I can now watch TV shows I like at the gym (here's a pic of my favorite elliptical machine there - yeah, I have a favorite), as opposed to just having to stare at the big TV they have where apparently the only thing they can watch is Fox News or, of all things, the freakin Food Channel where Paula Dean is constantly whipping up something fried! I was using my favorite celebrity trash mags to get through the gym time, but I convinced Trav that in the long run - the IPOD would actually be cheaper!

Oh... and FYI, there are some random kid pics to accompany this post. :-)

Obviously, as you could imagine, my exercise efforts are a major focus of my "program". I visit the gym pretty much every day - and even after seven weeks, I admit there are several days still when I have to force myself to go. Much to my convenience, a new gym opened up this summer very close to us, all new, lots of equipment, very resonably priced, and with childcare available. In fact, they promote themselves as "bringing family friendly fitness to your neighborhood." Well.... I don't know about that.

They do have childcare available M-F, in the morning and then again in the evening. But... I use the term "childcare" loosely. They have a nice big room with some toys, a TV, and a few movies where for like $2.25 per hour (and, of course, per child - cost not included in your membership) your kids can be contained and somewhat supervised (but not entertained) by a 20-ish
receptionist/babysitter/diva while you sweat.

They do not, however, change diapers, or make potty runs. So, if you're in the home streatch of your workout and your kid needs changed... you will be interrupted to "take care of it", and don't expect any credit on your check out time either.

The first time I brought Tanner and Tessa there, as soon as we walked in, the receptionist who was was doing double duty that morning as the childcare person, was less than thrilled to see us arrive.

As I checked the kids in, I was debating on whether or not she maybe just wasn't a real "kid" person, or if she was just annoyed to be pulled away from her perch at the receptionist desk (where she had clearly been busy texting when we got there... ). But regardless, I had already made the effort to get there, so I decided for the next 35 minutes, even if she wasn't exactly "Mary Poppins" she could surely keep'em happy and alive.

I was high atop the elliptical with 12 minutes left to go, moving right along to my own personal version of "sexyback" playing in my head. Just as I was about to "take it to the chorus," suddenly "Scary Poppins" is standing in front of me, arms folded with an attitude. "Your baby is crying," she says.

Resisting my sudden urge to lunge at her, I instead explained between gasps for breath that Tanner had a pacifier in his seat, and maybe if that didn't work, and she felt comfortable, she could, you know, maybe try holding him.... hell, just smiling at him might have helped! She made a strange face and walked away. But she apparently did possess some problem-solving skills and must have found the pacifier, as I was able to finish my 12 minutes without her coming back. Bless her...

In addition to their "childcare," here is the large sign posted above the changing table in the women's restroom. There's a glare in the picture, but it says, "PARENTS, PLEASE DO NOT THROW DIAPERS IN THE TRASH RECEPTACLES. PLEASE TAKE THEM WITH YOU OFF THE PREMISES."

Off the premises... are you kidding me?? You want me to wad up this dirty diaper and stick it in my bag and/or pocket to dispose of elsewhere? I'm not saying there aren't times/places when that would be most appropriate... there are. But to post some gigantic sign asking parents to do that here, where "family friendly fitness" is supposed to be in my neighborhood.... well, I'm sorry, but how very "family unfriendly."

I realize that in addition to sweat and body odor, they likely don't want poop diaper smell permeating throughout the gym (and hey, neither do it), but then why not buy a diaper genie, or just empty the trash more often - you know, like if you notice a person walk back there with a baby. I mean, I realize it would be a real tragedy for one of those diva-esque employees of theirs to have to haul a trash bag that contained some soiled diapers... but seriously - off the premises - WHATEVER!! Oddly enough, I actually noticed the sign after I chunked Tanner's loaded diaper in their trash can... Opps.

But anyway, be that as it may, I'm glad the gym is in our neighborhood... even if Mr. Rogers isn't exactly running it. I've only taken the kids a few times. Obviously, I try not to, but in one of my most dedicated moments last week I hauled all three'em up there. "Scary Poppin's" was trying to read a book when we checked in. Gracie immediately was in her face, "I'm Gracie. I go to Pre-K in Ms. Ross's class. I like your shirt. What's your favorite princess..." and then asking about her book, her hair, her nail polish, what's this, what's that.... I'm sure she talked to her nonstop the whole time. HA!