Morning Ray Snuggles

For those who have been following my blog, you know we welcomed a new member into our family about a month and a half ago. Ray. The all black, homeless, loveable cat.

He is doing wonderful!

He has even gotten up enough courage to stay in the room if James is there. However, he does run and hide if James sprints towards him with toddler kitty cat excitement.

Ray has made our home his own. He eats well – very well! – and he uses his litter box. We have three boxes, but at least its better than the alternative of cleaning the carpet every day. He even has his own stocking hung for a hopeful Santa Claus treat.

Welcome home Ray. And thanks for the morning snuggles.

Miles

I’m skipping a blog about James or dieting today to talk about Miles.

First of all, Miles was born cooler than I will ever be.

He has so many friends and is invited to so many things that this weekend, we jokingly said, “Can we limit his friends?” He includes the kid that isn’t always included, he helps the kid he accidentally tripped during basketball, he plays with his brother, and he still enjoys us. We must remind ourselves that the day will come that he won’t think we’re very cool or funny anymore…

Miles will be 10 this month and he continues to amaze me when I least expect it. I told him that all I wanted for Christmas was something made by him. On Friday he came home from school and said, “Mom, you’ll get your Christmas wish and I’m going to make some for the rest of our family too!” Once we got home, he went in his room, turned on music, and spent the next few hours working on Christmas presents for the family – me, Casey, James, Matt, Ayana, Grandma, Grandpa, Great-Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, etc etc etc. And what makes it so great and so genuine is that he did it of his own accord.

Later that night we played Uno Attack before bed. James was enjoying watching the Uno cards fly towards his face as we were attempting to keep the game going. Miles then says, “Who wants to just enjoy James?” We laugh at James and just enjoy each other as we discover a new way to use the Uno Attack game.

Miles proceeds to say that he wishes we didn’t see a commercial for one of James’ favorite toys because he was going to save up his marble jars and money to buy it for him for Christmas.

I am proud of Miles, of how easy-going, insightful, kind, funny, smart, and charming he can be. One minute he is playing Call of Duty with a friend and the next he is singing ABCs with James and helping him build a tower. I am so very lucky for the wonderful children I have, a wonderful co-parenting relationship and a remarkable husband to enjoy Miles’ accomplishments and awesomeness with.

The holiday season brings out the sap in me. And tonight I feel sappy. I think I will sneak in Miles’ room and give him a big mom kiss before I go to bed. I am so thankful for him and couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

Ready for a Cheat Day

I have been on my diet, or as Casey says, lifestyle change, for 12 days now. I have lost a few pounds, learned how to get creative with salads and snacks, and learned the importance of planing my meals.

If I don’t plan my meals, I am more likely to look for something easy, which in my cabinets means easy mac, chicken nuggets, and cereal. If I plan my meals, I have them prepared and easy to eat. I eat healthy, but I eat good, delicious food!

And I eat a lot of salads, but I top my salads with beans, veggies, meat, and I eat a reasonable portion. If you think a salad only fills you up if you eat a full bowl of it, then you are not using your salad to it’s potential!

Overall, I lost about 5 pounds and have stabilized over the last few days. This is good for me and I would not want to lose more weight. What I am working on now is keeping on my diet plan and exercising. Keeping it going is the hard part.

My advice to those wanting to make diet changes?

1. Find a diet partner. I know if I was doing this alone, I would be eating Poptarts and Cap’n’Crunch everyday. Casey is doing it with me. When I know he is eating a salad and working out during his lunch break, it pushes me to do the same. When we talk about what to eat for dessert and agree on sugar free popsicles instead of ice cream with syrup, we do it together.

2. Exercise. Walk. Move. Maybe I don’t get a workout in every day but when I take James to open gym I run with him, play ball with him, and keep moving. If you’re not familiar with Fit Mama Training, get familiar. She has great advice, steps, and encouragement. (www.fitmamatraining.com) It doesn’t matter where you start or how much you do, just do something!

3. Allow for flexibility and cheats. No normal person can eat like a robot and never give into their cravings. Eat your cake, cookies, pie, just don’t do it every day. I know I’m excited for my cheat this weekend, maybe pizza, ice cream, beer… Yummm…

So I’m still in the beginning phase of my journey, but for those who are interested, for what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.

Keep checking in for a recipe blog – roasted veggies, delicious chicken and fish, and alternatives to sugary desserts. Il try to post my favorites soon.

Now, go start your weekend, and enjoy your cheat meal!

Racing to Open Vehicles

James and I have become regulars at toddler open gym.

There are bikes, cars, bowling pins, balls, basketball hoops, blocks, a toy house and slides. What else could a child ask for?

An open vehicle.

The only thing with open gym is finding a vehicle that is not already taken. James’ problem is that when he sees an open car across the gym, his short little legs have a long way to run if he wants to beat another kid there.

But when he does and he gets to that long awaited car, its all cheesy smiles from there on out!

So, Happy Wednesday! I hope you can find something to bring a cheesy smile to your face today!

Drinking coffee in big pants

Nothing compliments today like coffee.

If you know me at all, you know I love my coffee. At least a cup after breakfast and often a cup after lunch. And there’s nothing I love more than drinking coffee on a chilly winter afternoon. It looks freezing cold outside. I haven’t gone out since I was out this morning and it was below 30 degrees. I’m boycotting the cold, sitting at my table looking outside and drinking coffee.

If this were a normal week for me, I would have baked some type of bread or cake with lots of butter and sugar in it to enjoy with my coffee. But its not. This is my 5th day of the South Beach diet. So far I am succeeding with my goals. I noticed yesterday that my pants are starting to feel a little big, or at least not creating an obvious muffin top. I feel healthier and have worked out three of the five days this week. I do not end or begin the day with sugary sweets, and am beginning to retrain myself to think about what I am eating before I devour it.

I will say that it is very hard to feed my 9-year-old bowls of Cap’n’Crunch cereal without wanting to bury my face in it. But I do it and that’s what makes this work.

I may have given up sweets and breads, but there’s no way I’ll ever give up my coffee.

So back to my coffee I go, in big pants, looking at chilly weather, just waiting for my baby to wake up from nap and ask to watch Dinosaur Train for the millionth time today. Maybe I’ll make some more coffee too.