Snow Day...and I survived!

I've been MIA. I was extremely sick Sun and Monday of this week. I was so sick in fact that I actually emailed Chuck and asked him to please come home and watch the kids. I've never done that. Not even when I was preggo with either of the younger two. So I think he knew I was serious. I then slept for all but 6 hours on Monday. I feel better now.

But what about for the last 3 weeks almost? Hmmm, winter blahs have kicked in a bit. But I've also been busy with selling off all my old, too small cloth diapers on diaperswappers and making some money to buy more diapers. (side note: OMG! I got the absolute yummiest pink dots on chocolate minkee dipe! It's so soft and squishy and cute! I was taking pics today of E in it to show to my other cloth diaper lovers when Zachary asked "are you taking pictures of her butt?" yes, son, to commerate her yummiest diaper yet. Okay, so I'm a little crazy about it. But if you cd'd you would be too!) So I bought 4 more diapers, traded 2, bought 2 outfits, 2 pairs of shoes (one which Frodo destroyed already! Damn black dog!), cloth wipes and a new pair of supersoft babylegs all for what I sold my smalls for. So, I was busy packing and getting fluffy mail. Chuck was impressed with my skills at bargaining and also for not having to pay out of pocket for my addiction.

Did I say cloth wipes? Yes, I did. I have started using cloth wipes for Elizabeth as of today. Whereas 10 months ago, I said "no way Jose" I'm now a convert, at least for at home. I like them a lot as they really clean up the bum better than disposable ones and are so much healthier for her and for the environment. Bonus! I'm not willing to go family cloth yet though.

Today was a snow day for Zachary as the weather was horrible. I also let Lucas stay home today so we could all chill and have an easy, relaxed warm day, inside. Surprisingly enough I survived. The boys played their leapsters, we painted, we watched a movie and had ham and cheese toasties but by about 3 pm they were a little, lets say, acting like caged monkies. We've been trying to decide about summer plans and whether to keep Luke in the preschool setting since Zachary is going to be home anyways...I've been worried maybe I wouldn't be able to handle it with the little amount of sleep that I usually get. But maybe we'll be able to save some money, have some fun and still get some sleep.

So I leave you with my adorable kids. I was in a picture happy mood.


Elizabeth is 8 months old!!

Dear Elizabeth,

Can you believe it? Today you are 8 months old!! There has been SO many things that you have conquered and accomplished in just the last month alone. As I was eating your tummy today, and you were giggling uncontrollably, and I was giggling with you, I had to stop and relish in the fact that that was new as well. The giggles have just started in the last month. Sure, you have been smiling and making happy noises for a while now. But this was full on giggling laughter. And it's contagious. And adorable.

You have gained 2 teeth! The 2nd one just popped through yesterday and we were all overjoyed! Hopefully, this means you'll start sleeping again at night. At least until the next ones start to pop through. Lo and behold, we are still breastfeeding too. I was worried about when you got teeth, but so far that hasn't been an issue. So I'll enjoy it while I can.

You started crawling. Full on crawling about a week before Christmas but even a couple weeks before that you had the hand/knees thing down and was scooting backwards.
Then, I swear as soon as you started crawling, you said "Heck with that!" and started pulling yourself up. Onto everything. Nothing is sacred anymore. The boys have been getting more than a little frustrated of you stealing their things, but surprisingly have been very good natured and gentle about getting them back.

And then, just today, as I was snapping this picture (which, btw, you were a total ham for!) you waved. I melted. You stood there with one hand on the table and one hand just waving away at me. I don't think daddy believed me. But you did it, a little anyways, when he got home from work to prove me right. Plus, Zachary saw it and thought it was pretty cool, too!

Last Friday, we went to the dr's for a flu shot and I asked them to weigh you. There has been some concern over your weight, off and on, since you were born. I guess that's what happens when you are so petite. You are weighing in, at 8 months, at 15 lbs, 5 oz. And that's absolutely perfect in my book. Especially since you also started to feed yourself this month. And you eat anything and everything. You seem to love food, just like your big brother Lucas. I've introduced you to all kinds of things...mango, avocado, tortellini, chicken, and you seem to like it all and eat abashedly. You are so good with your fingers too....although a lot still drops to the dogs. They haven't eaten so good in a long time!

You are one special little girl. I know it won't be much sooner and you'll be standing all on your own and then walking, running, climbing, jumping. I am excited to see the smile on your face as you reach those accomplishments too.

I love you, baby doll.

Weight loss

After 48 hours on my new healthy eating plan, I had lost more than 7 lbs. Yay me!!

I also have been off the Mt. Dew for more than a week now and stopped taking the elevator at the stairs. I still haven't worked in my exercise more than once this week, but I'm planning on it!

Edited to add: As of tonight, I'm down 8 1/2 + lbs since Monday.

Zachary's IEP Meeting

So yesterday was Zachary's MET (which is really the precursor to the IEP...Individualized Educational Plan). We met with the school psychologist, the school counselor, the director of special education and Zachary's teacher.

The general consensus was great. Basically, they feel that, on the meds, he is a wonderfully bright, charismatic boy. They have seen NOTHING of the problems (hitting, touching, hiding under the tables, hyperactivity, kids not playing with him, holding people down, etc, etc, etc) that they saw at the beginning of the school year. His school work is wonderful. His teacher showed us some examples of the beginning of the year vs. now and it's astounding. He's writing words all over in his journal whereas before meds it was just scribbling. All over the page. In one color of crayon. (Apparently that is common in kids with ADHD).

But, we still classified him as OHI (otherwise health impaired) because of the ADHD. Chuck and I's concern is that next year, when he goes to an all day school setting, he won't have that down time and we might see some of the things come back. Some of the things that we see at home.

I want to give big kudos to my wonderful husband too. He is such an active father who tries so hard to do what's best for the kids. He fully participates in everything with them. He takes them (all three!) to soccer matches by himself. He gets them to dr's appts if need be. Chuck is always there for his kids. And the school recognizes it too. The special ed director said that in all 21 years of her doing IEP meetings, she can count on both hands the number of dad's she's seen come to them. 10 or less??? That's just crazy to me! They said that as a united team we are the best advocates for Zachary and the best thing for Zachary at home too. I fully believe that. One more reason I would love to go to days sooner rather than later. But that's not going to happen too soon. :(

Anyway, Chuck and I felt pretty good coming out of the meeting. When we got home, we were informed by the sitter that Zachary was on time out. He was screaming at her and threatening to punch her. So Chuck went in there to talk to him. Which led to Zachary getting completely out of control and trying to punch, kick, bite, scratch Chuck and himself. So, Chuck restrained him.

I've restrained Zachary a couple of times. But nothing like this. Zachary went on for about an hour. At some points, listening to the confrontation I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Some of the things he was saying were so funny, but the situation wasn't. At. All.

Zachary finally calmed down and asked to speak to me. I asked how he was feeling, just tell me what's inside his head. He told me he wanted to die. That is probably the most gut-wrenching things you'll ever hear from your child. I feel so bad for him. I want to take all his hurt away and I just can't.

It's so hard to see this too, especially after hearing how wonderful everything is. I think he holds it together at school because he KNOWS what is socially acceptable. He KNOWS in his head that somethings not right. Zachary told me last week that his brain used to go this way (indicating counter-clockwise with his hands) and now, after the meds, it goes this way (indicating clockwise with his hands). He's a very smart boy. Very smart. So he holds it together until he gets home.

Well, that, and I'm sure he's still cycling. So, back to making tons of notes in my calendar about it.

Today is a new day.


Christmas in Photo Review

We started off our Christmas by going to my little brothers on Dec. 22 for a big dinner with my immediate family. Both my brothers, my mom and dad and my nephews and niece were all there. Luckily, nothing catrosphic happened like rushing to the ER like last year.

On Christmas Eve, we have a huge dinner with just us. We always make a traditional meal from the country that we are studying and celebrating that year. (If you haven't heard of our tradition, read about it here. ) This year we celebrated England and had a huge goose dinner with all the trimmings and the yummiest spice sponge pudding dessert ever. I think you could have gotten drunk off the rum butter if you'd eaten enough! Chuck did a fabulous job in the kitchen. He cooked pretty much the whole dinner alone and was in the kitchen from 10:30 am until dinner at 6 pm!
Lucas obviously likes the goose. He's always good for eating up the meat. Ah, my little carnivore.

In our small town, Santa makes an early stop to every home in town that has children. He stops by to do one last check if they've been good/bad and hand out net stockings filled with goodies from around town (cookies from McDonalds, pencil from the catering place, toothbrush from the dentist, you get the idea). It's something we look forward to.Christmas Eve the kids also get to open one present. A nice new pair of pajamas to greet Christmas morning in! They were stoked to have Spiderman jammies.
Elizabeth got to open her present too. Of course, mommy helped a little.
Christmas Morning!!!! Luke was a little excited and surprised to get the OctoPark! He said "me been waiting for this FOREVER!"

Zachary thought his Star Wars Sith Starfighter was pretty neat too. Yes, that's his excited face.

E woke up after all the commotion had died down from the boys. I think she did it so that all the attention would be on her. ;) Here's her with her favorite present and playtoy...the bows!

We then ended our Christmases with traveling to visit Chuck's family on the 29th. We had another big dinner and the boys got to spend some time playing with their cousin Matthew (whom they adore!)

All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas season. We got to spend time together as a family and that is always the best gift anyone could give me. My 4 framed heart locket was a pretty good second though ;)


PC down at home

I hate home pc's.

More correctly I hate that they don't come with an entourage of Information Technology specialists like the ones at work do.

Because our's is down. Again. This is the first time for this particular pc but considering it's less than 6 months old, it's irritating as hell.

I think it's a virus from too many file sharing programs. But what the heck do I know anyways?

What I do know is that it won't recognize my camera card, so my Christmas in Pictoral Review post is put on hold until I can upload pics. And I got some great pics.

New Year...New Me.

I decided this year I wasn't going to do the traditional "New Year's Resolutions". Because every year I resolve to do something or not do something and it never works out, exactly as I had in mind anyways. So I decided this year I would just work on being a better me. I already resolved to not yell at my husband anymore back a few weeks ago (so far, so good).

But something else got me thinking. I need to lose weight. Everyone, including me, knows that. I was reading a friend's blog yesterday about her resolve to lose weight this year, along with her husband and I WANTED to do it too. But something wasn't right to me. I couldn't get it in my head that this is what I wanted to do. Needed to do. For me and my family.

I get it now.

Why the difference. I started thinking about how I've started allowing my weight to dictate the things that I do. I used to do that back in college...in my heavier days of college which are now my skinny days looking back. I always said that I wouldn't allow my weight to dictate who I am and what I do and it's happening again. Therfore, I must stop it.

Why? I got into a swimsuit at the Splash Village waterpark over Christmas break, but refused to go down the big slide. The thought of the tubes crashing down under my weight kept running through my head. Or me getting stuck in there with one of my boys. Or passing out from the exertion of going up all those stairs. And the whole while I was thinking these things, I was thinking "Lisa, WTH are you doing? GO up and ride the tubes with your boys. Do it!" But I couldn't.

Then yesterday, I really wanted to go sledding with the boys when we went out. But the exertion to go up the hill just to come back down and struggle to get up off the ground? Not really that appealing.

So it kinda hit me when Chuck asked me if I went down with them. He knows me too well. It bothers the hell out of me that I'm not doing things because of my weight. So, because there is less likelihood of me actually changing my mindset, I'm going to work to change my weight.

The damn scale I stepped onto tonight, that groaned my weight to me, had something to do with it too.

I have my plan of attack ready. I know the program backwards and forwards. Afterall, I used to teach this program to others. So why would it be so hard for me to stick with it? Because I have NO WILLPOWER. Because when I'm emotional I like to eat. Because after eating that and blowing it, I say "Fuck it" and eat more. My mom once told me it's a vicious cycle and it's true. So, I am enlisting my husband to help me stay accountable to myself and my kids.

I'm well on my way. No Mt. Dew today. Hooray for little victories.

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