Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: Silver Lining's Playbook

While I knew that a movie about this book had just come out in theaters, I didn't have any idea what it was about.  All I knew is that my sister-in-law, Lauren had read it and she liked it.  And she was nice enough to give me her log-in to her kindle so that I could read it on my iPad.  Thanks, sis!

We meet Pat Peoples right about the time his mother is checking him out of a mental institution.  You don't know why he was there or the duration of his stay.  Pat is disoriented and since this book is written from his perspective, plot details are purposefully left out at the beginning.

The book focuses on Pat's recovery and the challenges he faces not only within himself, but with his family as well.  His mother is an enabler, while his father is distant and crude.  Pat moves in with his parents, obsessively works out and pines for his wife, who he hasn't seen since before he went into "the bad place". 

Enters Tiffany, who is his brother's sister-in-law.  She was tragically widowed and is equally unstable.  Naturally, his brother decides that they should get together.  I personally like Tiffany; although a lot of that probably has to do with the fact that she doesn't like football and gets annoyed at Pat whenever he brings it up.  Which is way too much.  I get it - football is the one bonding agent he has with his father.  That still doesn't mean that I have to like it, though!

It's interesting to find out how long Pat was away and what put him there in the first place.  While this book does not have an instant happily ever after, it does end with a silver lining.  (See what I did there?)

Now, who wants to take me to the movies?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Toddler Truths...?

This one just boggles my mind, guys.  I...I just don't even know.

First thing this morning when we come downstairs:  "I have a baby in my belly, mommy!"

"What?!  You do?"

"Yeah and it has a green gun just like mine."


He has seen pictures of me when I was pregnant with him and he knows that before he was born he was in mommy's belly.  But that seems like forever ago that we talked about that.  I don't recall seeing any pregnant women out and about.  And we certainly are NOT expecting.  So where did this come from?

I've got to get my first cup of coffee brewing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Begging Victoria at Diamond's Pub and Billards

 Did you know that my husband is in a band?  No, not a concert band.  Although that would be sweet.  Then again, if he were I wouldn't be able to get pizza and beer at his concerts.  If you are friends with Adam, I'm sure you have heard plenty about his musical aspirations.  (For the record, I want to play in an orchestra.  Just making sure you knew.)

Most often you can find these guys at Spinelli's Pizza in downtown Louisville.  Catch them there on a Tuesday night and enjoy 75 cent PBRs with your slice.  While I love the pizza here and am thankful to be able to sit at my table and chow down while listening to music (I really just do not get the whole stand up while you listen to music thing), the acoustical atmosphere of this basement pizza palace leaves something to be desired.

This past Saturday was the first time that I went to Diamonds.  Have you ever been?  The place is huge!  I would say that it is 4th St. Live quality, although with less douche-baggery abound.  They have a large bar in front with table seating, a HUGE billards room, and a concert hall.  This area had it's own bar along with a stage and plenty of room for music-goers.  The food is yummy, and their menu is much more diverse than I expected.  What I liked best about it was the sound quality of the space.  I would say that Diamonds is my favorite place that Begging Victoria has played at so far.  The performers have plenty of room to move around and the sound guys were very attentive!

Here are my pictures from their show.  Check them out if you haven't already.  Or if you are already a fan, come see me at their next show.  It does get a bit lonely, being a band wife.  I'd love some company!

Adam Rayborn - guitar
Chris Vasconcelos - guitar
Kylee Standiford - vocals & bass
Taylor Burton - drums

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Insanity and a Fat Girl - Week 4

Day 1 (Feb.18) - Pure cardio & cardio abs: We had a pretty busy day today.  The weather was decent, mom had the day off of work and we spent some time together.  If you missed it, I posted a blog with pictures of bub from today.

Since I didn't get to the workout first thing in the morning and we were gone the rest of the day, it was night before I got around to doing the video.  After a bit of arguing about whether or not there was room for both Adam and I to work out at the same time, we finally did.  I was off to the side on the squeaky part of the floor that I didn't know we had.  Daven fell asleep on the couch.  Not sure if it was from exhaustion or if he was tired of us looking like crazy people.

Day 2 (Feb.19) - Cardio power & resistance: I had all day to do this but I didn't get started until about 8:30 at night.  I felt cruddy and tired all day - the lovely PMS curse.  Yes, I'm talking about girly issues.  Deal with it.  I tried to get Daven to nap because he was acting a bit puny.  But then I ended up dozing and woke up 10 minutes later to Daven sitting on the floor in big pile of potting soil.  Mommy fail.  I had tried growing some herbs in little terracotta pots but they didn't take.  I had been meaning to take them downstairs and onto the porch until we could grow something else in them.  Oops.

So I did the work out and pushed myself as hard as I could.  Then I slept poorly because my legs ached.  I was excited to find out that the series premier of Body of Proof started though, and I laid in bed watching that.  The bad thing was that I couldn't remember what all happened in the previous season finale, and even with the flashbacks that they did, mom and I were still guessing some of the details through text.  

Day 3 (Feb. 20) - Plyometric cardio circuit:  I forced myself to do the workout before Adam got home today.  After having achy legs last night all night, it didn't take long for that to kick in again.  I must have worked harder last night on that video than I have before because my legs burn!

I didn't quite make it through the video today, despite that I have gotten through it a handful of times before.  I was doing alright until I got to the level 1 drills and then I had a hard time catching my breath.  I made it until the last circuit and then I felt like passing out.  I was on the floor (stupid level 1 drills) and my head started spinning.  I was bent over on my knees, my head resting on the carpet, panting like a dog in the middle of the dessert and I hear Shawn T. shouting, "In!  Out!  In!  Out!  Don't stop!"  I felt violated.  I envisioned in my head Shawn T. standing to the side of a couple's bed, workout clothes on, headset mic in place, shouting instructions and encouragement.  "You can do this.  I'm here for you.  Take a deep breath and get back in it."  "Good, good, excellent form.  Give me eight more good ones."  "Tighten your core, let me see those muscles working!"

You have to admit, whether or not you like my humor, that you can see it in your head now, too.  He actually does say all of those things during the workouts.

Just like my moment with the towel and the knee socks, my robe fits the way it should now.  Before, the two sides would just barely meet together and my girls felt free to escape at any moment.

Yes, the girls still hang down low.  They still weigh 1,000 pounds, after all.

Day 4 (Feb. 21) - Cardio recovery: My friend Amanda dropped by for brunch this morning and hung out with us.  I made homemade cinnamon rolls.  Adam makes fun of me for being the typical instagrammer and posting pictures of my food, but I wish I had taken a picture of these because I was proud of them.

I got to the video right before dinner.  I was about halfway through when Adam got home from work.  I've gotten better about handling him seeing me work out, thankfully.  When Daven got down on the floor with me and said, "Me want to work out with you, mommy!" I had Adam take a picture.  It is not in any way flattering, but I've said from the beginning that I want to be honest.  So here I am, in all the Insanity glory, with my workout bubby.

This particular exercise, which has you going back and forth between low plank and high plank, I have to do modified or girlie style.  While I am getting better at maintaining in regular plank position (legs straight out balancing on your toes), I can't quite do this one yet.

I've mentioned before on this particular video that there is a move that I cannot do yet at all.  You stretch out at your side, holding your body up with only one arm.  Something made me try it today, and youch, I shouldn't have.  I don't quite have the strength OR the balance for it, and I pulled something in my "core".  It made trying to get comfortable in bed for the night difficult.  I think the next time I attempt this I need a spotter to help hold me in position.  (That's not what he said)

Day 5 (Feb. 22) - Pure cardio & cardio abs: I got to it today.  Still hurting from yesterday's "recovery" but I knew if I didn't just get it over with, I'd be more likely to find an excuse not to do it at all later.  This video feels like it goes by a bit faster because it doesn't repeat the exercises.  When I'm working a circuit and starting out you know that you will have to do the whole set two more times, I focus on time more and get bogged down.  I still have to take breaks and am completely exhausted just from warming up, but at least when there's a move I can't do well I know that the longest I will have to do it is a minute.

I've noticed in the past couple of days that I have small bruises scattered throughout my stomach, thighs and arms. Not really sure what that is about.  What bothers me more than anything is the constant itching from my stupid dry skin rash that is everywhere.  But aside from that bit of grump, I am excited that I am almost done with the first month!

Also, I have gone the last 3 days without a soft drink.  I'm not planning on cutting them out completely - they are just too tasty.  Adam and I have both tried that and it was miserable.  But I wasn't denying myself one; I just didn't drink any.  And that made me proud of myself. 

Day 6 (Feb.23) - Plyometric cardio circuit - So, it finally happened.  I didn't work out today.  Aunt Flow has delivered to me the period from hell and I feel like a bag full of dog poo that has been picked up fresh from a walk with a plastic baggie.  Headache, backache, revolting uterus - I give a middle finger to Mother Nature for this one.  In addition to my womanly woes, my right knee has started to swell again.  I'm a not-so-hot mess.  Daven patted my back while we laid in bed upstairs this afternoon; I was curled up in a blanket burrito and he was watching Handy Manny.  He is already such an empathetic kid and I am so grateful that he's mine.

Day 7 (Feb. 24) - Rest - Well, ya'll I'm pretty damn discouraged.  We finally got a scale today.  And while I don't have my weight from the day I started working out, my weight from a few weeks prior was 264.  Today, after doing a month of insanity, I weigh 268.  Adam said that I probably gained in that time period and that's why it looks like I haven't lost.  And bless his heart for encouraging me.  But I still feel like shit.  I can't help it.  Yes, I know that I am better off than I was a month ago and that it's going to take time to get healthy.  But I sure as hell didn't think that I would have gainied this month!  I kind of feel like I've been smacked across the face.

I almost should have expected this after the knee brace that I bought didn't fit around my leg.  They are one size fits all, and I am still too fat for that one size.  So what the hell do I do?  In order to keep working out, I need support for my knee.  But for any brace to fit I need to lose weight.  Effed in the ay.

We're going to start seriously dieting this next month, along with continuing the workout.  And I have to tell you - this makes me super nervous.  My emotions are still so heavy tied with food I'm afraid that I'm going to be a wreck trying to stick with this.  I've already made baby steps in my eating habits, although purchasing the Mega Stuffed Oreos was not one of them.  Basically, I need to lose 100 pounds to be considered healthy.  I just have a feeling that I'm going to have to ask the dr. to up my Zoloft dosage to keep my family from having to deal with a blubbering mess I'm going to be for denying myself food.  Doesn't that just sound stupid?  Eating healthy equates to going hungry to me.  And cutting out practically anything that tastes good.  But I'm going to give it everything I've got.  So if you see me and I'm crying, please just give me a hug.  I'm going to need it.

Book Review: Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

Can I meet this lady?  I really want to shake her hand.  Just like Patrick Henry Hughes, Temple Grandin is purely an inspirational person.  This autobiography by Sy Montgomery is eye-opening.  Grandin was born in an era where people who had autism, if even diagnosed, were institutionalized.  Her own father wanted to put her away, as her condition made her a nearly intolerable child.  She didn't speak until well after the age of 3 and her tantrums were frequent and on a massive scale.  But Temple's mother refused to give up on her and stayed by her side through endless appointments with specialists and therapy sessions.

Grandin describes how sensitive her sensory system is and how as a child and teen growing up the feel of certain clothing or loud sound could send her into overload.  As an adult, she has learned how to make these aversions lessen and coping mechanisms.  But in school, even with her hands covering her ears in preparation, the school bell sent her into a near panic attack.

During a summer spent at her aunt's farm, Grandin requested to do something extremely odd - she asked her aunt to lock her into the chamber that they put cattle into in order to give them their vaccinations.  It was a sort of pressure chamber, where the sides would compress in and "hug", immobilizing the cows while their head stuck out through a hole in the front.  Her aunt reluctantly agreed to this experiment (while her husband wasn't looking, of course) and Grandin had a breakthrough in her coping mechanisms.  She was relaxed and at peace while on hands and knees inside of this squeeze machine.  This was perhaps her first "ah-ha!" moment in her life-long connection to animals and farm life.

Grandin has made a career out of drawing parallels between the similarities in her autism and livestock.  She can feel and anticipate what will make livestock nervous and how to calmly and humanely treat them.  She can walk into a plant or farm and almost immediately spot what might make the animals uneasy.  She can then design structures specifically for the needs of the cattle and the farmer.

Grandin explains in this book that she could not imagine a life without autism, and how it has shaped her whole life.  She is a visual learner and is able to see things in her mind in extreme detail.  She can map out intricate plans in her mind before even transferring them to paper.  While she still has trouble interpreting more abstract ideas, such as feelings and emotions, Temple Grandin wouldn't change if she could.  Just like Patrick Henry Hughes, she has learned to embrace who she is.  She is such an admirable model.

Grandin has actually written quite a few books herself, subject matters running from life with autism to working with cattle and livestock.  I wouldn't mind picking up one of her books to read to get a better glimpse inside her mind. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Presidents Day! Although extremely windy, today was mild and sunny. It was like a glimpse of spring. I hate to wish away winter, but I am ready for the cold weather cruddies to be gone. What was even better was that Nana had the day off from work.

Daven rode his tricycle while waiting for his nana to pick us up. He is still unsure of himself but he's quickly getting better. After mom got us, we went through the fancy car wash on Lewis and Clark pkwy. Daven's eyes were so big the whole time; he wasn't sure whether to be excited or scared. His favorite part was the free super vacuum. I'm sure he will be asking to take my car there soon. Goodness knows it could use a high-powered vacuum treatment!

We went to Lowes to look at paint samples Lacey's bathroom. However, we ended up exploring the entire store. Then we went to Sams where Daven ate every sample. Mom cooked us dinner, which was delicious of course.

I'm glad we got to be outside for a bit, since its pouring down rain now. Isn't he the cutest dinosaur?

Insanity and a Fat Girl - Week 3

Day 1 (Feb.11) - Fit Test:  Woke up this morning feeling rather crummy.  Sore, scratchy throat, headache; you know, the blahs.  Yesterday I had absolutely no energy at all.  I could hardly get off of the couch. 

I started the morning off with overnight oatmeal.  This is a gem that I found online and decided to try.  Keep in mind, though, that I don't have chia seeds and dried fruits and nuts just laying around the house.  The fancy pants of Pinterest put all of that in their oatmeal.  Maybe it should be renamed "bird oatmeal".  It was really easy to do!  One cup of quick oats, one cup of the milk of your choice (I used soy milk because I knew that Daven would want to share).  Combine in a jar, shake to mix, and let it set in the fridge overnight.  I added honey to give it some sweetness.  It's basically cold oatmeal, but you can heat it up if you want.  It was good, although I had to stop myself from pouring sugar into it to make it more sweet like I am used to.

I know it doesn't look all that appetizing here.  Kind of hard to make oatmeal sexy.  But hey, no burning your mouth on your scalding oats!

Let me tell you why I have posted a picture of my legs.  Before starting this workout routine, I couldn't get these knee socks up anywhere above my ankles.  I know, it's sad.  But today as I was dressing to do the fit test, I decided to give these socks a try.  And they fit the way they should!  Momma's makin' progress!

Even though the test is only 25 min. long, it's still brutal.  But I was able to actually finish the video this time! 

Here's the run-down:

Switch kicks - 60
Power jacks - 15
Power knee - 45
Power jumps - I wasn't able to do a single one in correct form
Global Jumps - 3
Suicide jumps - 4
Push-up jacks - 5
Low plank obliques - 20

These are based on the number of repetitions you can do within the span of one minute.  I didn't write any record of the first test two weeks ago, because I honestly couldn't do hardly any of it.We'll see where my numbers are two weeks from now.

After we finished with Daven's 3-year check-up at the doctor's, we bundled up and took a walk.  Had I realized just how windy it actually was we probably would have stayed inside.  There wasn't much traffic up on the flood wall today, and I tried to keep a medium pace since it was so cold with the wind.  Our faces were cold, but I know that Bub likes being outside.  We walked for about 40 minutes.

Day 2 (Feb.12) - Cardio Circuit:  I decided that I needed to work out a bit later in the day so that I could actually get a few chores done first.  I'm likely to be a bum after.  Wash the dishes?  Oh dear, I'm sorry; Shawn T got to me first.  Today I did do the dishes, among other super fun house items.

We went out for Japanese tonight and Adam and I both noticed a change in how much we were able to eat.  I could barely finish my sushi, and I didn't take a single bite out of my rice.  Adam couldn't finish his chicken.  Daven, on the other hand, who has gotten is appetite back after being sick, ate like a mad man!

Day 3 (Feb.13) - Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs:  This video can just eat it.  At the end of the warm-up section when you already wish that you could quit, Shawn T starts talking about how he's nervous about the workout.  I've done it a handful of times already and have always been able to power through it.  But just him saying that fills me with dread every single time.

I managed to do this workout without an audience today.  Adam took a vacation day from work so that he could get his car worked on.  The boys took my car to run some errands, so I sweat my you-know-what off without having to keep the tot entertained or worrying about Adam watching me at my near worst.

An hour later, I'm having to try to massage my calves because they ache.  I can definitely, as they say, feel the burn.

Day 4 (Feb.14) - Cardio Recovery:  "You need this."  Shawn T's tone was very serious.  "I know, but I don't want this," I replied to my tv.  There's one stretch move in this video that I cannot do AT ALL.  I think if I ever manage to actually do it, I'll have Adam take a picture of me so that you can see just how impossible it is.  Adam says that he can do it now. (Says the guy that has missed his workout for the past two days, cough cough)  I do believe him, though.  He has way more upper body strength than I do.

Then there's the section of the video where he spends literally a million minutes in the squat position doing all kinds of crap.  A millionMinutes.  I'm standing in front of the tv taking a break, panting with sweat pouring off of me and he looks at me and says, "Don't stretch out yet!  Stay in form!"  I gave him the finger.  I'll stretch out if I want!  You don't tell me what to do - you're not my dad!

Joking aside though, I'm getting better at being able to do the exercises for longer periods of time in between rests.  And Shawn T is just being tough on me because he loves me.

Since today is Valentine's Day, I figured I would give you something other than a sweaty self portrait to look at.  Here's me at dinner, totally pumped to be getting sushi for dinner.

Day 5 (Feb.15) - Cardio Power & Resistance:  My eyes will not stay open today.  I usually try to do my workout in the morning so that I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day.  Not today.  Ugh.  I told myself that I would get it done before Adam got home from his half day of work.  Nope.  I'll do it this afternoon.  Oh, but Daven wants to watch Wall E and start it over three times, so I can't work out now.  Then we went out to eat with Adam's family.  And they came back over to the house afterward. 

The only audience I willingly allow is Daven.  Because Daven doesn't judge me and my near-pass-out heavy breathing.  I'll only allow Adam in the room if he is helping to entertain Daven.  Adam started his workout while everyone was still at the house, and I golf clap him for that.  Even after his parents went home, his sister stayed because Daven demanded it.  But can you blame him for loving his aunt Lauren?

At this point in the evening I had a glass of champagne.  And then while watching Adam finish up the video and encouraging him on (though it may have sounded a bit like badgering) I had another glass.  Buzzed and making innuendos about all of the people in the workout video, I was a happy camper and had pretty much settled in to skip a day.  Just this once.

"But you have to do it.  You haven't missed a day yet," says Adam.  But...but...ok.  But I don't know how well this is going to go. I mean, it's quarter to 9 in the evening and I've had a bit to drink.  And I am certainly not going to have my sister-in-law witness such horrors or her boyfriend, Cory, who by this time had come over to join us.  So I trudged up the stairs to Daven's room to torture myself.

Let's recap:  it was night.  We had company over.  I had a few drinks.  And I STILL worked out.

Does anyone remember the cartoon, Animaniacs?  I watched it all the time growing up.  I think it was one of the few cartoons that my dad could actually stand to watch.  Anyway, they had a segment on there called "Good Idea, Bad Idea".  I felt like I was an example in this.

Good idea: working out
Bad idea: working out after having a drink

I did manage to make it through to the end, although I had to take rests.  Have you ever had a vurp?  You know, where you burp and stomach acid come up into your mouth?  Yeah, that happened to me while I was trying to do push-ups.  Nasty.  Although in all honesty, since I have acid reflux this could happen at any time, regardless of whether or not I had a drink. 

After the workout, I wasn't good for anything except for laying in bed.  I caught my breath, carried Daven (who had passed out on Adam) upstairs and spaced out to reruns of Law and Order SVU. 

Day 6 (Feb.16) - Plyometric Cardio Circuit:  Just didn't want to do it.  I woke up sleepy and freezing.  Made muffins but I didn't really care for them.  Daven didn't like them either.  And they were chocolate chocolate chip!  And a recipe from Food Network!  I forced myself to do the video, but since I had less than a muffin to eat, that was a poor idea.  I ended up spending about a third of it on the floor, trying not to pass out.  Daven must be learning a thing or two from Mr. Shawn T because he looked up from my iPad and said, "Come on, mommy!  Get up!"

Adam brought home Arby's for lunch.  I ate half my sandwich and my potato cakes and then immediately had issues of the rear variety.  I guess that was my body's way of saying, "Get this crap food out of me!"

Even after a shower and some lounging on the couch with bubby watching Richie Rich, I still don't feel all that well.   That seems to be the trending theme for my weekends now.  It's like I make it through the week's workout and then my body just decides it's had enough and I spend my weekend being pathetic. 

Day 7 (Feb.17) - Rest:  The morning started with  me taking Daven to immediate care, without having showered or eaten anything.  He had been saying off and on for a few days now that his ear hurt.  I know how badly ear infections can feel so I wanted to get it checked out as soon as possible.  Go figure that as soon as we find out the tube has come out of his ear, the infections resume.  After being in there for 2 hours, despite the fact that we got there right when it opened, we were diagnosed.  At this point Daven was fibbing and telling me his ear didn't hurt anymore because he wanted to go to the train show.  Since we had already planned to, he wasn't running a fever, and he was pulling the whole, "Please, mommy?  Pretty please?" bit, we went ahead and he had a great time.

Another week down.  Even though I had a serious case of "eat my feelings" this weekend, I've still stuck to the workout schedule. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Review: Notorious Nineteen

Finally!  After reading the previous 18 books in this series all last year, I feel like I've had to wait forever for this book.  Even after it came out, I had to put my name on a long hold list at the library.  While I am happy that so many other people want to read Evanovich's books, I didn't want to have to wait for my turn!

Stephanie Plum doesn't seem to be getting much better at being a bounty hunter, despite the fact that she's been working at it since book one.  But with the amount of crazy that seems to find her, I can't blame her.  Her partner is proud ex-ho Lula who's eating habits make me look like I'm dieting, even on my worst day. 

Then there's Stephanie's grandma, who sneaks out of the house in order to try to help investigate.  She takes her fashion cues from Lula and complains that she can't get lucky because all of the men her age keep up and dying before she can round the bases.

All of these books are structured in the same fashion - a bond is introduced at the beginning of the book which always ends up being more complicated than it should be.  Stephanie goes back and forth with Joe Morelli and Ranger, as they both want to help her with more than just the case.  Lula and Stephanie eat enough junk food to induce heart attacks.  Somehow, Stephanie's life is always in danger, but the boys are there for back up and in the end, everything turns out ok.  If it weren't for Morelli and Ranger, she would end up in jail or dead in every book.

The thing is, even though the overall structure is predictable, these books are still a ton of fun to read.  The cases are never the same, and I haven't yet been able to figure them out before the end.  The characters in series are so enduring.  I genuinely want to know what happens to them.

Is it time for the next book yet?  One is just not enough.  I wonder how many more of these books she will write.  I just hope that when she does decide to end the series, she has Stephanie settle down with one of her hunky boys.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bad Bunny

The past few nights for us have been strange.  It appears that Daven has been having bad dreams...about bunnies.  A few nights ago he was shouting out,"No, no, no!" in his sleep and whimpering.  I rubbed his back and stroked his hair, whispering that it was ok and that mommy was there.  He calmed without ever waking up, but this happened a few more times within that next half hour.

Last night he woke up after being asleep for a solid 3 hours screaming, arms failing, legs kicking.  It took us a good 10 minutes to get him calm enough to even talk to us.  He said there was a bunny in his room and it was coming to get him.  Adam looked up at me, like this is nuts!  What's a bunny going to do?  But I know all too well how scary those dreams can be.  I still get made fun of for being afraid of owls when I was little.  I had reoccurring dreams that a giant owl would burst through my bedroom window.  I hid behind furniture whenever there was an owl on tv.

With a bit more coaxing, we found out that the bunny is from the Christmas special of Power Rangers; the one that he watched yesterday on Netflix three times in a row while I was doing the dishes.  We kept assuring him that the bunny wasn't real - that it was just pretend.  He would say ok, but then a moment later he would say that he was scared again and that there was a bunny in the room.

Anyone that knows me would know that I am not a fan of the Power Rangers.  I never watched them as a kid (because hello - Ninja Turtles were better), and I don't like them now either.  I usually tune out whatever is going on.  If he insists that I be in the room with him while he's watching it, I'll usually read a book.  But now that we had such interrupted sleep last night, I think I am going to have to sit down and watch this episode so that I can see for myself what is scaring him at night in his dreams.

I think we might need to make up a batch of monster spray to keep the bad things away at night.  He didn't seem all the way convinced that mommy and daddy could protect him.  If this keeps up, we might not be visiting the Easter Bunny this year.

Anyone else have suggestions for what to say or do to help calm his nerves?  I know this is an issue that every parent goes through at some point.  Looks like I will be suggesting we watch something else the next time he wants to watch Power Rangers.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Insanity and a Fat Girl - Week 2

Here goes nothing.

Day 1 (Feb.4) - Cardio & balance: Apparently this week is the recovery week.  Shawn T. says that it's ok if you're tired and need to take more breaks.  Well, thank you, Mr. Shawn.  That's so nice of you.  But really, he isn't the A-hole that I figured he would be.  He tells you to push yourself, but also to know your limits.

I was distracted through this workout because Daven is sick.  I turned the video on while he was resting on the couch.  But his cough was so bad that he couldn't get more than 5 minutes of sleep at a time before his next coughing spell.  I had to pause the video a few times to tend to him.

I was able to do a few reps of plank exercises today, unmodified.  But then, with 3 minutes left on the video, I couldn't do any more.  I don't know what it was exactly, but my stomach was churning and I had to sit down.  Then I had to lay down, my body going from super sweaty to freezing in record time.  Daven was napping at this point, although he was having coughing fits every 5 minutes which had me bolting up to make sure he didn't throw up.

Did I mention that taping my boobs isn't working anymore?  It's like they have a mind of their own and have adjusted to the new restraint.  Now after I tape them down, they almost immediately pop out over the tape.  With the first stretch making me bend down towards the ground, there go the girls.  I'm sorry if this has given you an unwanted visual image.  Just be glad you didn't come into the house while I was in the middle of working out.  My poor father-in-law.  I'm sure he will take extra measures to ensure he never sees it again!

Day 2 (Feb.5) - Max cardio: I had been dreading this workout all day.  Why?  It's an hour long.  Recovery week my rear end!  I want to thank the hubby for making sure that each new disk is burned for me before he leaves for work every morning.  Because his schedule is busier than mine, he is a few days behind.  But he still makes sure I have what I need for each day, and gives me high-fives whenever I need it.

So, the horrible work out.  I got bubby set up watching Fresh Beat Band on my iPad, him laying on the couch with his blankie and sippie full of fresh Sprite.  This video is just a big B. I felt like it was never going to be over.  You always start out with warm-ups, and after I had completed those, I was sweating and out of breath.  And only 5 minutes had elapsed.  The dread that I felt compares to that of the House of Stark on Game of Thrones.   "Winter is coming".

I had to take frequent breaks, because I would start to get dizzy.  I drank at least 20oz of water during the hour.  Shawn T keeps telling you to check your heart rate.  I don't remember how the math goes to figure it out (it's been a while since college Lifetime Fitness) but at one point my heart was beating 4 times per second.  Down more water, try not to fall over.

His full body drill might eventually be the death of me.  It involves doing a bunch of different exercises in the plank position, at a rapid speed.  BUT - last week when this was first introduced I couldn't do any of it.  None.  This time, I was able to do half of the exercises, at half the speed.  Golf clap, anyone?

Notice today's method of boob control - bra, cami, bra.  Yes, ya'll, my boobs are huge.  Go ahead and look if you need to.  I considered smiling for this selfy, but honestly, smiling would be a misrepresentation of how I felt.  We're keepin' it real.

Afterward, I felt sick for about an hour.  But then I was starving.  Momma had a steak, baked potato and spinach salad.  It was nice to be able to eat without feeling nauseous.

Day 3 (Feb.6) - So, it turns out that we were doing the workouts in the wrong order.  Originally Adam said that you just do the 10 workouts and then repeat them.  But this is not the case.  There is a calendar that lists specifically what workout to do for each day of the 2 month time span.  BUT I'm not worried about it, because as long as I keep my ass in gear, that's the main thing.  The good thing is that the one hour workouts aren't until the second month.  The bad thing is that there are one hour workouts.

After today's workout, I had a salad for lunch.  I should say that there is no way this will happen every day.  It consisted on spinach leaves, tuna, shredded cheese and orange poppy seed dressing.  Adding the tuna made it more filling than a normal salad would be. I'm wanting to try to make the ginger dressing recipe I found online that is supposed to mimic the deliciousness at the hibachi grills. 

So i didn't manage to get to my computer every day for the rest of this week.  Sorry for the vagueness.

Day 4 (Feb.7) - It was beautiful outside today and before I even did my video of doom, Daven and I went on a walk.  He started to feel a bit better, apart from the coughing spells.  I managed to get him into the stroller (that he's almost too big for - waaaah!) with a snack.  We went down our street and up the flood wall, towards the Falls.  I don't have a pedometer, so I don't know how far we walked.  But we were gone for a little over half an hour.

I did the video a bit later.  I think it was a cardio one.  They all kind of blend together in a sweat of torture.  On a side note, I think I might have an allergic to the dryer sheets that we have.  Either that, or my own sweat.  After a workout, after I've wiped my face on a towel a considerable amount of times, my face gets all itchy and my eyelids a little puffy.

Day 5 (Feb.8) - I went ahead and got the video out of the way early today.  Adam has a half day on Fridays and I had finished the video by the time he got home from work.  It hurt - a lot - to do the workout when it hadn't been quite a day since the last one, but I wanted to get it out of the way and be done with it. 

Day 6 (Feb.9) - Cardio & Abs:  I've made it.  I've done another week, and tomorrow is the off day.  I'll need that day of rest, too, since I pulled something in my right knee.  It's been irking me this whole time.  But I did all of the warm up and cool down stretches.  Who knows.  I'd like to be able to do jumping jacks without howling in pain and then modifying them by stepping out one leg at a time though. 

We went out to dinner to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday - the big 40!  It was the first time I had been to the Troll Pub Under the Bridge, but I liked it.  I actually had an appetite and ate more than I think I have in the past two weeks.  No, it wasn't good for you food.  But like I said at the beginning of last week's post, I'm not officially dieting anyhow.  One step at a time, ya'll.  But I Instagramed the crap out of that food, so you can drool over it there.

Day 7 (Feb.10) - Rest: I had trouble sleeping last night because my knee hurt so bad.  I think I'm going to have to ice it today and then get a generic knee brace to wear during my workouts.  I woke up to some nasty drainage in my throat and sinuses.  But that could be because of the weather's inability to decide what season to be outside.  No, I'm not getting sick.  I refuse.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

We still don't have a scale, so I don't know my weight loss yet.  But I feel better about myself already.  And I told Adam that my fat rolls are starting to feel less fatty.  I am now a fourth of the way finished with Shawn T's regimen.  BA-BAM!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review: I am Potential

I'll admit it - I haven't had the best of weeks.  Daven has had the flu and we have been stuck in the house for what seems like forever.  But reading this book about the life of Patrick Henry Hughes, my grumpiness seems incredibly selfish.  The strength that he and his parents have is something that I could only hope that I could have should I ever need it.

Living in Kentuckiana, I have seen various coverage on Patrick Henry, who was a student at the University of Louisville.  I have seen him play My Old Kentucky Home with the band before the Kentucky Derby race.  I watched the episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where his family was chosen to receive a new home.  That episode ran back in 2007 though, and I had forgotten about the details of his "disability".

I put the word in parentheses because Patrick Henry makes it clear in his book that he does not like to think of himself as disabled.  The fact that he can think of his situation as just another set of circumstances instead of a handicap is amazing.  He was born without both of his eyes and has gone through many painful surgeries to have prosthetics fitted and placed.  Not only does this help with the shape of his face, but it also allows him to open his eyes and look "normal" to other people.

Because of his birth defects, Patrick Henry also cannot walk, or even bend his arms fully.  Aside from when he swims, he is confined to sitting in his wheelchair.  Before the Hughes family was gifted their handicap accessible home, it was extremely difficult for him to get anywhere in the house.  In order for him to get from the living room to his bedroom, he had to get out of his wheelchair, belly crawl up a ramp, dragging his chair behind him, and then get back up into his chair.  It makes you think twice about taking your mobility for granted.  

Music is a huge part of his life, and he sparked an interest as an infant.  There is a photo on his website of him as a baby, sitting on his father's lap at the piano.  One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Music is the key to life.  The more I play, the richer my life becomes."  I would completely agree.

The book is also written by his father, and the reader has the chance to see things from two different perspectives.  I was furious to read that while Patrick Henry's mother stayed at home with three children, his dad was out of the house at night six out of the seven.  At least he had the courage to admit it, though.  He made up for his distance later on, when he attended classes with Patrick Henry, as well as marching band, before working his 3rd shift job.

We have definitely not seen the last of Patrick Henry Hughes.  He is a wise, caring individual and I hope to one day meet him and shake his hand.  "I believe God gave me blindness so that I might see the inner qualities within everyone I meet."  I really don't think that he has a single enemy.  I know reading this, I felt guilty for the pessimism in my life.  Sure, I may have had a bad day, but I can still see and walk and be completely independent.  While that is in no way the tone Hughes takes in the book, that's certainly how a guilty reader like me feels.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review: Love You More

Here is the latest book in the Detective D.D. Warren series.  Why does she keep writing about this author?  I don't care!  Well, you should care, because Lisa Gardner is an amazing author and I don't think she has been given near enough recognition.

This book opens to a female state trooper shooting her husband three times.  And her daughter is missing.  The police arrest her for the murder.  But come on.  It's a crime novel.  Do you think that it's going to be that easy?  Oh, don't get smart with me; no you didn't.

On top of the murder investigation and the amber alert, D.D. has some personal issues to face as well.  In the previous novel, the usual loner detective gets cozy with a gentleman friend.  But don't worry - this isn't 50 shades...of anything.

Where is the little girl?  Why did the state trooper feel the need to shoot her husband?  Does she have an accomplice?

As Gardner has done in her other works, you get to read the point of view from multiple characters.  Here, the reader gets the perspective of my favorite detective, as well as the accused, Tessa.  Watch out - the prison bit is nuts!

I'd compare this book to Gone Girl in respect to the amount of premeditation and planning that is revealed throughout.  Although unlike that book, this one doesn't end in a "WTH?"  If you've read Gone Girl I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  But I haven't read any of these books.  Unlike you, I HAVE a job.  Well, you should read them.  Reading is a swell hobby.

I really wish that all of these books could be turned into a Law and Order type show.  I would do an excited dance!

So, on a little side note, here's something that I found when I was google searching for an image of the book title page...

Is this not the best?  It turns out, there is a whole line of "love you more than..." at  I'm definitely going to have to check out her site again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: Open Heart

Most of us have read Elie Wiesel at some point in our lives. "Night" has become fairly standard in high school literature. I can't pinpoint in my memory which grade it was that I read it, but it was an extremely emotional book. Mr. Wiesel survived the Holocaust, and Night is his story. He has since written many other books and plays, though I have not read any of them.

I found his latest memoir, Open Heart, on the library shelf of new nonfiction. It's a small book (less than 100 pages) with Elie's profile on the front. You can tell just by looking at his face what a kind, wise, smart man he is. I want to hug him and apologize for all the terrible things that happened to him before even my parents were born.

At 82 years old, Wiesel was in denial that his heart wasn't well. In fact, when his cardiologist told him to go straight to the hospital immediately, he instead spent a few hours at his office attending to his work. When he finally made it to the hospital, he found out that he required open heart surgery to repair the blocked valves in his heart.

He reflects during this time of surgery and recovery, speaking not only of the family he lost in the concentration camp but also of his family now; his wife, his son, the people who matter to him.

It felt as if he wrote this book thinking he didn't have much time left. It was like he had so much he wanted to say, but just didn't have the energy to do so. He mentions that there are many things he still wants to learn about and research. I can only imagine the wealth of knowledge that must already be inside that head of his.

If you have an hour of two, sit down to this book. That's all it will take to read it cover to cover. If you do, let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Week of Birthday Fun

We are truly blessed with having family that care so much for Daven. We are birthday-ed out after this past week. Last Sunday, mom had a small dinner with my sisters, their gentlemen and my grandpa. She cooked my favorite - chicken & dumplings and 7 layer salad. I'm pretty sure she cooked it more for me than him. He was too excited to eat much of anything.

Wednesday was his actual birthday, and Adam took a vacation day from work so he could spend time with Bub. He put together the drum set that we got him and Daven got right to jammin' albeit without any pants. He picked McDonald's for lunch. That night we had dinner with mom and my sisters and then met up with Adam's family for bowling. I posted a separate post with most of the pictures earlier this week.

This afternoon we had a party at Nana Julie's house, complete with a Star Wars happy birthday banner and cupcakes with the same theme. I got a pack of glow sticks from the Dollar Tree so that the kids could have harm-free light saber fights. I'm so happy that so many were able to make it. Of course, I didn't get enough pictures. I tend to do that every year at his bday party.

The pictures go in the order that they happened. Thanks to everyone that helped make Daven's birthday wonderful. You guys rock!