Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I love this time of year!

There is so much about this time of year that I love. I love the warm weather and the pools opening. Our heat wave (almost 100 today!) has made the pool tolerable already....in May...WOW! I love that schools are ending which means we have trips to the playground planned. My sister is out of school soon and although she's going to be very busy with getting ready for her husband to come home from Iraq (no date set, but soon hopefully) and vacations, we'll still get to see her and my niece and nephew more often! I love that the boys can be in shorts and tees and sandals/crocs. Most of all, I love that we are *this* much closer to vacation.....and so are the boys and Jay. It feels so far, yet, it's going to come up before we know it, so Thousand Islands......see you soon!!!!! And so, to really get ready for vacation, here are some pictures from vacations of years past.
Will's first boat ride
The view!
Troy checking out the Fire Boat at Wellesley Island
Isn't it just gorgeous!?
Another view

Thursday, May 26, 2011

There Are Good People

Every time you turn around, you hear about horrible things that people do. Every so often, you'll hear a "Feel Good" story that gives you hope that there are still good people in the world. We all know they are there, but sometimes hard to find. I know for a fact that there are good people and have to share. I am a member of an online Parenting community-- www.justmommies.com . Yeah yeah, I know what you are thinking because my husband thinks it too. I have heard the skeptical comments about how no one is real, they are all pedophiles trying to steal photos of your children, trying to get information to hunt you down....well, I am a member and I am not like that so I have to believe that these people are who they say. Of course, there are those that do fake who they are, but they have been far and few between. I have seen a lot of wonderful things happen through this community but have never openly discussed it because of the skeptics. I can no longer hold it in as I am so proud to be a part of this particular group. Let me share just a few stories that will help you understand:
* When we were the Nov. 08 Due Date Club, one of the mom's gave birth in July--yes, due in November, so you can see how frightening this was. We followed her story as she could--we cried with her, we cheered with every milestone that he passed, we were on the edge of our seats with every doctor's appt. When he turned 1, some of the other mom's even went to his birthday party--even flew from halfway across the country. For those that couldn't be there, a gift was organized for him--they put together a video of all our babies celebrating his birthday and many went in together and bought a gift. I am lucky enough that I also got to meet this miracle and his amazing mom last year ♥
* We have hosts for the board just to keep everything running smoothly so when the hosts had been there a year, scrapbooks were made, letters written, and gifts sent just to tell these people that they have made a difference in our lives!
* We have another mother who lost a child to meningitis (see Thankful) and she organized a balloon release in honor and memory of her son, Landan. We were right there releasing balloons with her to show our love and support.
* When one mom struggled with major life issues, those that were able to came together to do an amazing thing to help her get through difficult times.
*Lastly and most importantly, one of our little girls is going through something that no parent wants to have to go through. In September, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye) and had to have her eye removed. She was doing fabulously but recently, there was a major setback. Her cancer has returned and it's spreading quickly. It's been devastating for all of us who have been there to follow her story. So what does this group do? They come together and are working magic--think money put together for a photographer to do family portraits, a scrapbook is being made of all of our children and us sending well wishes and messages of support, gifts are being made to help her through her treatment, gifts are being sent to help keep her and her baby sister occupied while in the hospital, and so much more.

And these are just a few stories. This group is so supportive that it's so hard to believe. I have been lucky enough to meet 3 of the mothers and their adorable children and many of the others have met on multiple occasions and have become true friends who rely on each other. When one goes through a tough time, we are there with support and prayers. I know so many are skeptical of my involvement in this community, but I for one am proud to be a part of it! It's been truly amazing to see what people who came to this community for support during pregnancy, knowing no one else, become such wonderful friends!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

SIGH.... I love rain and being a mom of boys who love mud.....SIGH

The Most Dreaded Thing....

If you did a survey of what people dread the most, I am sure you will get a variety of responses. However with most women, you will probably hear that these three words are up there on the list if not the most dreaded....
Bathing. Suit. Shopping.
I have never enjoyed this and you would think that given my weight loss, I would be simply thrilled to go try on bathing suits. Yeah. Not so much. I am dreading this and when I heard our friends say, "We opened the pool!" I groaned. With those words, it brings excitement because I love the pool, I love swimming, I love the water, it's something different to do with the boys. I just hate wearing a bathing suit. Who invented those things anyway? Yeah yeah, I know. I could wear shorts and a t-shirt, but we all know that's not comfortable at all.
Why would I not be thrilled this year? Because I still see myself the same way. When I was at my heaviest, I didn't feel that heavy, but I was still uncomfortable with my appearance and now that I reached my goal weight, I feel no differently. I don't SEE the difference when I look in the mirror. Sure I can tell by the scale and I can tell by my clothes but I just don't physically see the difference. The thought of being in a suit makes me cringe. Even as a teenager I hated the way I looked in a suit and that has not changed at all. Necessary evil I tell you. Whoever invented the suit must have been a man and whoever invented the bikini....definitely a man.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day--2 In 1

Part I:
Today is a very special day and one that all Mother's look forward to each year. For some, it's the only day of the year they feel appreciated. For some, it's a day of pampering--sleeping in, breakfast in bed, a day to do whatever. For others, it's a day to spend with their family and just enjoy being a mom. For me, today was a tad frustrating, but only from my own doing. I had thoughts of how I wanted today to go but just never planned anything. I did not care about the gifts although what I was given was very appreciated. I honestly didn't even know what I *really* wanted. Part of me wanted a day to spend doing nothing but enjoying my family. Another part wanted to go out and do something different. Unfortunately, I realized too late what I trulywanted to do and so I am frustrated because I didn't think of it early enough. I wanted to do something with my sister--something that would make her realize how amazing she is and how wonderful she's been while my brother in law has been in Iraq. If anyone deserved a day of pampering and being made to feel like a princess, it's her. Not only is she parenting her 2 young children (ages 5 and 2) alone, she's a phenomenal 2nd grade teacher. This means, all day she's "on"--she's teaching, organizing, grading, mentoring, and disciplining. Even after the children go to bed, she's having to do more of the same as any other teacher knows--when the school day ends, teachers are still working. It's been a hard year for her and she truly deserved something special this year and I am kicking myself for not making it happen. I only hope that she knows how much I admire her and am in awe of her. I have always thought she was a wonderful mother, a fantastic teacher and a great person, but watching her over this year.....well, I don't even have the words to express how much I respect her. Happy Mother's Day to the most wonderful sister!

Part II:
I had another idea for a Mother's Day blog but felt like I needed to do the other part first but I didn't want to NOT do this one:
To my children on Mother's Day,
I always knew that I wanted children. I always joked that I only wanted boys since I didn't think I would understand "girl" stuff being the tomboy that I am. I never had any idea if this would ever become a reality, but I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am that my dreams have come true. I cannot say that parenting is the easiest thing I have done. There are days when I feel like I am failing and days when I feel like I could win awards because you boys are so amazing. I just know that I am so blessed that you boys are mine! There are so many things I have enjoyed, so many things I am looking forward to and so many things I want to see you experience. I have so many hopes and wishes for you boys and will do anything to help you in whatever you choose to do. Mother's Day is usually a time set aside to honor your mother and the other important women in your life, but I felt it important to tell you how grateful and blessed I am. There truly is nothing greater than being a mother so I thank God for the chance--the trials and tribulations and the joys. I love you both to pieces!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Never Thought It Would Happen

I haven't updated on my weight loss journey in a long time. Mainly, I was just too frustrated because I was stuck. I hit a plateau and just couldn't do anything to get past it. Unfortunately, I did exactly what I didn't want to do and turned to food. I never went back to my old habits thankfully, but I definitely started on a bad path. I began snacking on sweets again and would justify it. "Oh it's only a Hershey Miniature. I can have 2 of those, no problem" and then would do that multiple times a day. I was so angry and frustrated with myself but things are okay. I didn't get back to my 2500-3000 calorie a day habit and I didn't stop exercising. I actually did more since my habits were bad. I don't know exactly how it happened, but somehow over the past 2 weeks I got through this plateau and lost a couple more pounds and have officially reached my initial goal weight of 130 lbs. I went from a tight size 12 and now can wear a 6 or 8 depending on the brand/cut. I wear medium shirts and feel better than I have in years. My cardio has significantly improved and I can now consistently run a 9:30min mile (I was at about a 10:00) and I feel strong. I am still going to continue to exercise and I am going to get back on track but not stress so much. I will NEVER go back to the old habits, that I am sure of, but I won't beat myself up about having more calories than I am allotted on www.myfitnesspal.com. I am still going to try to get rid of the last 5 lbs but honestly, if I can stay here, I am fine. I want to post before and after pics, but I rarely get in front of the camera so that will come later :)

Coming to the End

Today, we gave a final check to Troy's preschool teacher. In one way, it's awesome. We'll be able to save the money, but in other ways, I am sad. She's been so wonderful for Troy and he's made such progress. I know he'll do well (well, I am hoping he'll do well) in school, but I am nervous for him. In preschool, he's 1 of 5 students. In Kindergarten, he'll be 1 of 20+ most likely and I just don't know if his anxiety will rear its ugly head or if' he'll go right in and act like he does now. Most likely, it'll be harder on me than him , but that's my job and right as a mom, isn't it? To worry for them and try to make things easier or help them prepare, right?
I am excited for this part of his life too though. I can't wait to hear who his teacher will be, I can't wait for school plays and activities and see who is in his class. I am excited to see him learn and grow and be able to do so many things. It's just so hard for me to believe that the time has come!
I also wonder how Will will be during all this. He's so used to playing with his brother and having him around that I wonder how long it will take for us to adjust to it just being the 2 of us. I am pretty sure that as a child I had a hard time with my sister going to school so I am going to have to plan fun outings or get Will involved in some type of activity to help entertain him. Lord knows I am not as fun as big brother!