Tuesday, March 30, 2010

End of an Era

As most of you know, I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding.  I particularly love when women do it for the long haul.  There is such a bond that happens between mother and child.  It's not easy but it's worth it.

I always knew that I would breastfeed a child as long as possible.  My decision was solidified when I met Ainsley and experienced it for the first time.  What an amazing system God created.  It's something that only she and I shared. 

I never felt weird about it. I never listened when people in my life told me to stop. I just did what I knew was right for Ainsley and me.

And now it's over.  And I'm sad. 

I stopped for one reason.  My health.  I recently had blood work done and my iron is really low.  Ryan and I talked about it and we decided that breastfeeding was just putting too much of a strain on my body.  It feels selfish.  It feels like I'm chosing myself over my child and it feels wrong.  I know in my head it's the right decision but my heart is aching.  So much of my identity as a mother is wrapped up into breastfeeding.  I don't expect others to understand this but it's how I feel.

So now I must find a new way to bond with my child.  We have had lots of cuddle time and lots of stories.  The transition hasn't been easy but we are making it. 

But I'm still sad.  And so is Ainsley.  But here we are making the best of it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Picture Thursday

Every Thursday Ainsley goes to Anne's house while I am at work.  Anne loves her like her own grandchild and so Ainsley calls her Nanny.  And every Thursday, Anne religiously sends me pictures while I am at work of their days together.  My coworker, Melissa, and I have now come to refer to it as "Picture Thursday".  Anne got some really good shots today so I thought I would bring you in on Picture Thursday this week.

In her dress up outfit carrying her wand.

Just chillin

I hope that at least one of these pictures brought a smile to your face this Picture Thursday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trying Something New...or Should I Say Old

Ryan and I have always been late eaters.  We typically eat dinner at 8 after we put Ainsley to bed.  My sister Wendy is going to bed and I'm putting dinner on the "table" or really on the couch on our "food pillows".  This is how we have functioned for 10 years.  It's definitely a habit and probably not a good one. 

Like most people, we have read the many articles and studies that state the benefits of family meals together.  We have pretty much ignored them thinking that we would start that when Ainsley got older.  Fast forward 20 months, and we have a toddler.  She is older.

Recently we were at a parenting conference at our church and the subject came up about family dinners. It hit me like a ton of bricks.  This is important.  These years when she is little are really shaping who she is and how she will some day interact with her family. 

And so we are trying something new.  We are committing to eat 3 dinners together during the week and most meals together on the weekends.  I think 5 dinners during the week is too much to ask of Ryan.  He works later than most and that's an important part of his job. 

Here's to giving up another aspect of our pre-children days.  Food Pillows I will miss you but my child needs me now!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Feet Went on a Cruise

I decided that I wanted to give you the summary of the cruise but thought a typical post might be boring with all the pictures of us having fun (side note, if you want to see them, click here.)  So I decided to let you know where we had been via my feet.

After a pedicure on a snowy day in Greensboro, my feet were ready to go

After boarding the ship in Miami, we took a load off on lawn chairs, still in my jeans.

Relaxing on my balcony after a run in the gym on the ship.

Back in flip flops with Caroline while we waited to not play bingo.  I'm not paying $40, $60, or $80 to play bingo

On a boat in Grand Cayman getting ready to snorkel after we swam with Stingrays.

All dressed up for a night "out" on the ship with Ryan's coworkers.  These sandals were borrowed from my mother in law and she might not get them back.  I love them and I wear way more red than she does.  Look out Lonnie.

On the beach in Cozumel next to my once very clean and very light green shoes after a crazy dune buggy ride.  Thanks for the mud Ryan.

On a make shift lawn chair after all the spring breakers took all the real ones by 8:15am.  Still one of my favorite times on the cruise.

Fresh from an afternoon nap

At the Fort Lauderale airport, I had to buy some sexy slipper socks to go under my sandals and my capris.  My feet were FREEZING!  It's hot I know.

Home again in my comfy jeans and socks...looking so forward to the spring weather that seems to have arrived while I was gone.

Hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did...probaby not though, cuz we had a ton of fun. 

Friday, March 5, 2010


Most of you probably know we leave for our cruise on Sunday.  It's here and I couldn't be more excited.  And here's my top 10 list of things I'm looking forward to in no particular order.
  1. Alone time with Ryan
  2. Coffee on the balcony of my room
  3. Mai Tais by the pool
  4. Uninterrupted Sleep
  5. Swimming with Stingrays
  6. Snorkeling
  7. Not having to cook for 5 days
  8. Dessert
  9. 80 degree weather
  10. Feeling refreshed
I did some google searches this morning for images.  Couldn't find any really great ones but here's a few preview pictures...

Our Ship - The Norwegian Dawn

Our Room with a Balcony

Our Excursion in Cozumel is riding ATVs and then Snorkeling

Our Excursion in Grand Cayman is swimming with Stingrays.  He's smiling at me!

Here's a picture of where I will be spending much time on the boat.

And here's a picture of a place that I can thankfully avoid this trip!

See you in a week.  Happy Cruising to me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Plan

A few of my faithful readers (ok maybe just one of you) have asked the details of how I've lost weight.  I thought I would share my thoughts on how I am doing it and just some general guidelines.

1.  Commitment is key.  I think that really you need to find what works for you and really be committed to it. It doesn't matter if it's WW or if it's calories or something else. Just make sure you do it. I've done both now and can't say that I like one better than the other. The key is just discipline with snippets of grace in there. For example, the Cadburry egg I ate on Friday, but the other 3 in the pack are in my pantry waiting for me to get back from my cruise, and even then they will be spread out over time.

2.  Write it Down.  When I did WW and my current plan both require you to write down what you eat.  When I did WW, I thought it was silly at first.  Then I realized there's a real reason why.  You are much less likely to cheat if you have to write it down.  I am religious about this.  I write down everything, even that Cadburry egg.  If you go over your allowance, that's ok.  There are days that I skip writing stuff down but they are few.  Again, it's a grace thing. 

3.  A Typical Food Day.  I've been asked what I eat on a daily basis.  Here's my rundown.
  • Breakfast - One egg scrambled and coffee. Measure your half and half. It can really get away from you.  I have found that eating protein in the morning is key for me.  It keeps me full so much longer. 
  • Lunch - Some sort of frozen dinner. It's the easiest for me at work.
  • Afternoon snack - 100 calorie snack pack
  • Dinner - Usually something around 400 calories. Usually my biggest meal of the day. Again, the key is to measure. Actually measure what a cup of pasta is and you will be surprised. Ages ago when I did WW I bought serving spoons that measure 1/2 cup and 1 cup. I use them religiously.
  • Wine - I like wine.  I usually drink between 5 - 7 ozs a night.  Again, I measure and I account for it in my calories.
4.  Keeping everyone happy.  I purposely don't make "low fat" or "diet" food for dinner. My husband would kill me. The key is really just watching portions. I haven't yet purchased a food scale but it's surely on my list of things I would like to own. You need to feed the family and making 2 different dinners really isn't an option.  You need to learn to cook to where everyone is happy.  It's also good to learn how to eat "normal" so you can maintain once the weight loss is done.

5.  A Word About Fat.  Another big thing that I believe in is not cutting fat out of your diet. So many people just say, I'm not going to eat fat. Well, that's not good either. Healthy fat is necessary and important. We use olive oil on veggies (After you cook your veggies. You really don't want olive oil at a really high temp). I also take 1/2 Tbsp of Fish oil a day. Really healthy fat and really good for your vitamin D.

6.  Plan on Exercise.  I do use my 30 Day Shred video 3 times a week. If it gets above 55 on a weekend, I'll go out for a run.  Some people have more time available to exercise.  I don't.  Both of my exercise options take me about 20 - 30 minutes.  That's it.  I am doing just enough to get my metabolism going and to tone some muscles.  When I was on WW and psycho, I used to run 5 miles a day.  That's definitely not feasible now nor enjoyable. 

So there it is.  My whole plan and all my diet/healthy lifestyle ideas.  Really what I would like to say most is that this "diet" or "weight loss journey" has brought me closer to the cross than ever before.  It's impossible to have success in our lives without first finding our way to the cross.  For me, it's the realization that I can't do it on my own.  I am going to fail.  I'm going to be offered grace.  There is humility in that.  And with the Gospel, it's freeing.
Happy Dieting.  And I promise my next post won't mention weight or diets.  It might include some pre-cruising thoughts though.  Maybe some thoughts on leaving my child for a week.  Or maybe just some teaser pictures of where we will be.  I guess it just depends on where the week leads me. 
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