Saturday, May 31, 2014

what we've been up to the past two months

 we woke up to a lovely snow on april 3rd. 

harrison had his very first friend-from-school birthday party AND it was at chuck e. cheese. i was nervous for him because places like chuck e. cheese can cause major sensory overload in any child, especially sensory-overresponsive kiddos like harrison. he wasn't worried about it at all and asked if i would just drop him off and leave. i obliged his request and he did great. when graham and i went to pick him up i let them play a couple games together. both of them declared that they want to have their birthday parties at chuck e. cheese from now on.

and graham pronounces it chuck e. cheesus (sounds like jesus). :-)

the boys got bunk beds! surprisingly, they don't fight over the top's the bottom they both want.

i surprised the boys with this sumo bumper bopper toy in early may because we had instilled quite a few new rules about daily chores and limited/earned tv time and they did such a great job and had such awesome attitudes about adjusting to the changes.

we woke up to snow on may 12th. i picked harrison up a couple hours early from school so he could play outside with graham.

harrison had his class field trip to anderson farms in erie, colorado. it's a working farm and pumpkin patch. it was a fun day.

all the kids got a chance to feed these scottish highland cows who were incredibly good-natured and friendly. they also got to plant pumpkin seeds in the fields and they each planted and brought home a sunflower seed. harrison's is sprouting (aka i haven't killed it yet)!!

it was wacky facial hair day at graham's preschool.

one thursday afternoons i have crossing-guard duty at harrison's school and it was raining and hailing outside. i put on jeremy's university of colorado poncho and thought it looked so hilarious i had to take a picture. thank you jesus the rain stopped before i actually had to use it!

this was another day, waiting in the pick-up line to fetch harrison from school. the hail was coming down so hard i thought for sure our car was going to be damaged. i turned around and graham was fast asleep.

harrison went down to the game closet in the basement and brought up what he called "battle of the success". hahaha. we played it, kind of making up our own rules which is probably more fun anyway. i did explain that the word is pronounced sex-es and it means males and females.

over memorial day weekend i cut open a hardboiled egg for breakfast and look what i found: twins! is it sad that is made me so excited?!

we gave target gift cards to the boys' teachers to celebrate the end of the year and thank them for all they've done for us! got this idea and the printable here.

harrison's shoes barely held on to make it through an entire school year! this made me very happy. it also made me happy to toss them into the trash bin.

my sweet boys on the last day of school. love them so much.

one last thing: just a couple days ago i went out to check the mail and brought in some coupons from target. harrison read the flyer which said something like "because you're our bestie we're giving you $18 of coupons". confused, harrison asked what it meant. i told him it basically means that because mommy shops at target so much they are send me some coupons. harrison said, "yeah, you should probably break that hobby." 

of course he meant "break that habit".

but, really, his choice of word is probably more accurate. 

it made me laugh out loud. 

and i know for a fact jeremy would agree with him. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

free therapy advice - the "who me?" edition

it was four weeks ago or so that jeremy, dr. vermiller and i all got a good chuckle during our counseling session when i said, "so we started therapy eight months ago because i thought something was really wrong with jeremy but now it seems as though i'm the one with all the issues."

yup. sometimes the truth hurts.

but sometimes it makes you laugh.

this was a good realization, the kind that checks your heart and corrects your vision.

us on the morning of graham's preschool graduation, harrison was our photographer

so here's your free therapy advice for today: if you call to schedule an appointment with a psychologist in desperation because you know something is wrong with your spouse...or if you've been obsessing about all the things your spouse is or isn't doing that contribute to your relationship woes...this probably says more about you than it does about your spouse. 

take that and think on it for awhile.

now this does not mean your spouse is completely free of relationship responsibility, but it does mean that you likely have much more of a role in matters than you are even aware of.

happy friday, friends!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

a weekend in summit county, colorado

 the view from our balcony, friday evening

whilst jeremy was on his annual pilgrimage to indianapolis motor speedway for the big indycar race, the boys and i traveled up the hill to our condo for the long weekend. i took and texted a bunch of photos so jer could see what we did while he was away.

we took a walk along the blue river trail first thing saturday morning.


the water was high. according to a sign posted on the path, the blue river offers excellent catch and release trout fishing. i don't doubt it as we always - even in the dead of winter - see fishermen with their lines cast in the water.

coats and gloves were a good idea that morning, the temperature was in the low 40's.

but the sun was shining and by 10am we didn't need them anymore.


just after this section of rock the path was flooded and we had to turn back. my guess is the flooding was due to spring melting coupled with abundant rainfall. i'm very much looking forward to continuing on the trail and was told there have already been a number of moose sightings along the blue river this spring.

this is one of our favorite play spots in silverthorne. it's the park on rainbow drive, next door to the recreation center.

we decided to check out lake dillon for the first time and i guarantee we will go back again and again. the views were stunning and there was so much for little boys to do. there are two restaurants - a bbq and an italian - within walking distance of the lake that looked like they would be so good. ya know how you can just tell a restaurant is gonna be good? can't wait to try them!

 the weather was turning cold and cloudy but we ventured down the path toward the water anyway.

 i guess this is one of the places you can dock your boat? they call it a marina, not sure that term completely fits.

 the peak on the left (in the center of the photo) is buffalo mountain, which is where we live. our condo is approximately halfway up (maybe?), fairly close to the tree line. further up the mountain from us is mostly trails and national forest land.

harrison wrote his name in the sand. then graham wrote his name in the sand. then harrison erased graham's name from the sand. then graham erased harrison's name from the sand. then i said put your sticks down because it's time to leave. 

 as we were walking back to the car graham just sat right down on the path and told me he couldn't go any further. i'm pretty sure the only reason he got up was because it started to rain. he knew he was being a ham...see that grin... :-)

 graham and his punching bag, sunday afternoon

we got out for another awesome walk through arapaho national forest on sunday morning. it is an area across the street from our condo with well worn trails. the trees had been cut down due to beetle-kill and the area had been burned, although i wasn't able to tell how long ago that occurred. it was a great space for boys to create - tons of logs and discs of wood to stack up into tikis, as the boys called them. the views were amazing. i kept hoping to see a moose...but didn't.

 we were stuck indoors sunday afternoon so i made a "punching bag" for graham to bob around. when i was dreaming up what i wanted the loft space to be i knew we had to add a pulley system so the boys could raise and lower things down to the living room. they love it. on sunday i simply hooked a bag full of coats to the end of the carbiner and let him whack at it. we also played games, put together puzzles, and ate a lot of junk food,

and then it started snowing. 

so we curled up for family movie night (minus daddy). we watched rio and the boys loved it. harrison is still sensitive about movies so we are careful about what we watch and how we watch it. he did great with this one!


monday's forecast was crazy. full sun, snow, partly sunny, then thunderstorms. it wasn't looking good for us to get outdoors and explore. 

then harrison suddenly developed a nasty stomach bug and that was the end of our fun. he slept on the floor while graham watched a video. i tidied up the condo, hauled our stuff to the car and made a plan for getting us back down the hill. the drive was smooth, harrison slept most of the way and only vomited once on the trip - thank you jesus. 

we got home, got settled and waited for jeremy to get home from the airport.

it was a lovely weekend in the mountains. i've always thought of silverthorne as a place to stop on your way to someplace else but that clearly isn't the case. it has so much to offer in terms of relaxing outdoor activities (more adventurous endeavors too). our weekend made me so very excited to spend lots of time up there this summer - cannot wait to explore!

and hopefully find a moose!

Monday, May 19, 2014

my fitness journey

i gained thirteen pounds over the winter.

in florida on our family vacation.

last july i was at the lowest weight i can remember being since 9th grade. i felt good in my body for the first time in a very long while. i had energy. i enjoyed being active with the boys. i loved being outdoors with them, going on walks and bike rides and just generally playing and having fun. i could carry them up to bed without getting winded. i felt strong.

i was not thin. i haven't ever been thin, not since puberty at least. but the point of this story isn't about weight. this is about my overall health and well-being.

at that time last summer i was focusing heavily on the food i ate, avoiding gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and most grains but i did not exercise except for activities i did with the boys. i was concentrating on eliminating certain foods (mostly sugar) because it seemed as though my body felt better when i avoided them. any weight loss was not an intended goal, just a nice side-effect.

but then, as it does every year, halloween came around and i made my much-loved popcorn treat to give away to neighbors. it's a mixture of popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, peanut butter and plain m&m's and, best of all, CANDY CORN all covered in a melty buttery marshmallow mixture. it's the perfect combo of sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy. it's divine. and, as i do every year, i indulged in far too much "monster munch" and fell off the healthy-eating wagon, which led other unhealthy eating habits, specifically the purchase and ingestion of far too many reese's peanut butter cups.

reese's peanut butter cups are my kryptonite. in the fall they put out the pumpkin shaped ones, then come the christmas tree shaped ones, then the valentine's hearts, and lastly the easter eggs. from october to april i am screwed by reese's peanut butter cups. and this past winter i ate thirteen pounds of them.

march arrived and, with it, the epiphany that i could not fit into the jeans i just bought last fall. the numbers on the scaled were way up. i was feeling very tired, so much so that i scheduled a doctor's appointment to check and make sure my thyroid was functioning properly. my attitude was lousy. i lacked energy. i had no desire to keep up with the housework, to play with my boys, to carry them up to bed. i simply did not feel good. my body ached and i was not sleeping well.

although i didn't really want to change i knew i needed to change. 

i started slowly.

i joined the planet fitness near my house and started going two-three times a week. the first time i went i hopped on the arc trainer and within ten minutes i felt like i was going to vomit. each minute - second - crawled by and i watched them tick down, begging for it to just be over already. my goal was to just get through 20 minutes of cardio, nothing fancy, nothing fast, just twenty minutes of movement.

i used my birthday money to buy a keurig coffee maker with the intention of replacing my nightly post-boys-bedtime sweet treat (aka reward for making it through the day without killing the children) with a cup of decaffeinated coffee. i allowed myself a soothing cup of decaf but no more sweet treats in the evenings. there have been a few exceptions to the rule, as there should be i think, but it has become the rule now as opposed to automatically indulging every single night.

in april i started taking a pilates class two mornings a week, something i had loved in the past but stopped doing during the winter because of scheduling conflicts. this spring the only available openings were in the tuesday and thursday 6am class. listen to me carefully - i did not want to go to the 6 am class. not even a little bit. but it turned out to be the exact thing i needed to inspire serious change in my fitness habits.

i was surprised when i walked in to that first class. my previous classes, which met at 9:30am, were full of stay at home moms. that's not who filled the 6am class. it wasn't full of die-hard, spandex-wearing gym rats either. nope. it was full of senior citizens. it was me and five white-haired seniors kicking butt in the 6am pilates class...actually they were kicking butt...they were kicking my butt...they were kicking my butt so far off the field it was both hilarious and humiliating.

nothing motivates like the realization that a bunch of senior citizens are in better shape that you. 

and so it's really only been about one month now that i've been concentrating on both exercise and diet. i do pilates two mornings a week. i try to get to the gym three-four mornings a week. these days i can do 45 minutes of fairly intense cardio. the minutes pass quickly and i don't feel like vomiting, which is a lovely improvement. i've been keeping track of the food i eat using the myfitnesspal app, once again eliminating the foods that make my body feel yucky. at the suggestion of my doctor, i reintroduced vitamins (b, d, calcium & magnesium) and fish oil back into my daily regimen.

so far i've lost nine pounds.

but that's not the important part. what's so much more valuable to me is that i feel so much better. i have a follow up doctor appointment this week and i can't wait to share how good i feel. yesterday i spent one hour at the gym and then came home to go on a bike ride with my family. i have energy to play with my boys again. i am starting to feel better in my body, better in my clothes. i can carry laundry up and down our two flights of stairs without becoming winded. i have slept better this past month than i did all winter long, which just might be the biggest blessing of all.

since the beginning of counseling, my therapist has told me i need better self-care. he suggested i get plenty of sunshine (vitamin d), plenty of exercise, plenty of girl-time (quality friendships), and plenty of time doing the things that fill me up (reading, writing) so that i find satisfaction within myself instead of looking for jeremy to meet all those needs. this past month has proved to me that he is right, that self-care does make me feel better, that it does lead to an all-around healthier, happier life.

next week is our last pilates class and it's time to sign up for the summer session. i flirted with the idea of going back to the 9:30am because who wants to get up at 5:15am (to get to a 6am class) during the summer?! but i still have a long way to go to catch up with my senior citizen friends and they offer me too much in terms of non-judgmental acceptance, encouragement and motivation to turn my back on them.

enough of the old unsuccessful stopping and starting routine i've tried in the past.

it's time to continuing doing the things that are good for me.

if i can't turn my back on my pilates pals, i shouldn't be willing to turn my back on myself either.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

i am disgruntled

the following brief monologue left my mouth while speaking to a united healthcare representative this morning...

you are really making me want to curse. 
you are making me want to say very bad words!  

then i hung up on her.

needless to say, i am still battling united healthcare over their denial of coverage for harrison's food school which was back in september of 2013. this fight has been a doozy and i just flat out lost it today after yet another united rep was snarky with me.

i suppose i didn't go quite as crazy as i could have given the fact that i didn't actually use the curse words that were on the teeny tiny tippiest tip of my tongue.

the rest of the day i've been wondering what that woman thought about my statement. sadly, given my history with them, i can't bring myself to believe that she cared at all.

good customer service is so rare.

that's why i shop at whole foods. i might have to pay more but at least their employees bend over backward to help me. united healthcare representatives could take some lessons from them.

the end.