Friday, March 28, 2008

A Minute Of Your Time

Wednesday was a long day. Reagan was just not herself. She could not be soothed. I couldn't do anything right for her, so I just put her in the bed and closed her door. No matter what mood she is in, the show must go on. I had many other things I wanted to try and get accomplished and I just didn't have the time to sit and hold her. Not that it would have helped anyway. I had already tried that.

By the time her afternoon feeding rolled around, I noticed she felt very warm. Very warm. She had gotten over whatever it was that had her out of sorts earlier in the day and had gone back to her normal cheery self. I took her temperature and was shocked to find that it was 101. I called Brian, reported my findings and consulted my ibuprofen chart from the doctor. I adminstered 1/2 teaspoon of Motrin and waited a half hour to see if it helped.

Temperature now up to 101.5. I called the doctor and was again shocked. This time it was to hear that they wanted me to take her to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. This really wasn't a good time for us to have to go to Fort Worth. First of all, I hadn't had a shower all day. I didn't know what was wrong with her or what they might do. I was trying very desperately to not panic and remember that I am not to worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell the Lord what I need and thank Him for all He has done. If I do this, I will experience God's peace that is more wonderful than the human mind can understand. (Phillipians 4:6-7)

I called Brian and he said he'd meet me midway so we could go together in the car.

I really tried to think ahead. We would have to eat dinner on the road. The older girls would need something to do. How long would we be there? Reagan would need to eat. I would need something to read. Should I take a change of clothes for me, in case we have to stay overnight? Somehow, I managed to not panic. I put together bags for the girls with several books and toys and their cups. I grabbed a book and a magazine for myself and prepared 3 bottles for Reagan. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and got dressed.

And we were on our way. I left the house at 5:10pm and signed in at the hospital at 6:55pm. I cannot for the life of me figure out what in the world took so long. That amount of time seems like a nice, leisurely pace, but I remember feeling very frenzied trying to get there quickly.

Of course, the fever had broken by the time we got there and the triage nurses admonished me for giving her Motrin. This whole situation was very bad for the other girls who were subjected to disease and who knows what else and also made to sit still for a long period of time. They did really well, considering. We were moved to a room, where we were left for over 2 hours with no one ever coming to check on us. They didn't want me to feed Reagan formula, but they didn't give me enough PediaLyte either. The whole situation was very frustrating.

Finally, a very harried, mean looking doctor in blue jeans came in. After waiting for 2 hours in the room, we finally got 3 minutes of her time. She was literally in the room for 3 minutes. She said Reagan's ear was "a little pink". We waited all that time and will probably have a bill for $1000 just to be diagnosed with an ear infection. We got a dose of antibiotics and a prescription for the rest and we were done.

After stopping at a 24-hour pharmacy to get the prescription filled, we got home at midnight. The girls did not even sleep in the car.

Today was Reagan's 4-month check up. The doctor said her ears looked fine.

I don't know why I'm so frustrated with the process. I think maybe the doctor could have looked at her before sending us all the way to Cook's. I know Reagan is right at the age where a high fever like that can be very serious, but there are other considerations as well. I think next time, one parent will go to the hospital with the sick child and the other parent will take the other ones home. This will keep them from being exposed to who knows what in the ER waiting room of a major metropolitan hospital. Things are a lot different for us here when we don't have anyone that we can call to look after our girls when something like this happens.

In other news, Reagan is weighing in at 16 pounds, 5 ounces and is 27 inches long. She is in the 95th percentile. Her head circumference, which I forgot, is also in the 95th percentile. Everything is rolling along.

Weight Watchers-Week 7

It wasn't as bad as I thought. I didn't have a gain. I did lose, if you can call -.2 a loss. If I were on The Biggest Loser, I think I would have been voted off the island. At least we didn't go to the Hokey Poky place after the meeting this time. (And I did stay for the meeting.)

We went to Chili's instead. I can control myself there. I didn't have a beer or a 20-POINT (!) margarita. I had iced tea. I ordered the dressing on the side. Of course, I didn't eat it on the side. I ended up dumping the dregs on the rest of my salad. I was tired of jacking around with the dipping of the fork and then spearing the food on top for every single bite. I just wanted to eat. I also had a shake. It cost me 17 POINTS. It wasn't that good, either. However, even though I had the shake, I didn't eat the Chocolate Molten Cake which would have been a much bigger mistake.
As far as my exercising, I have endeavored to be on the elliptical in the mornings and have successfully done so at least 3 days this week. Today, I actually stayed on for 20 minutes. It is not fun and I do not like exercising, but I am definitely proud of myself.

Lost this week: -.2
Loss To Date: -5.4

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weight Watchers-Week 6

This week, I chickened out.

I went to the meeting, but didn't weigh in. I have a pretty good idea where I'm at, but there is no official record. In my mind, at least I didn't have to face another gain. I don't know what difference it makes. When I get on the scale at home, I can see the results.

I am learning the hard way that Brian and I aren't really able to help each other out in this area. One of us will have a "suggestion" and then the other will think it's a good idea, when in reality, it is nowhere near being a good idea. No one likes being the bad guy. I, for one, have been controlled by food. And I can't quite understand why.

But for me, it has turned into a spiritual battle. Maybe it was always a spirtual battle and I just didn't recognize it. Now, I am being bombarded by examples from scripture that we are to live in moderation and deny ourselves. I will post in the near future how the Lord is helping me drag through this.

In the meantime, I am holding steady at a loss of 5.2 pounds. I weigh in again on Thursday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Growing Like A Weed

Reagan is nearly four months old and I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing. Quite frankly, I am alarmed. How in the world is it possible that Lily will be 4 this year, Darcy will be 3 and I will be 31? Brian and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this past December so "we" are getting long in the tooth as well. While we were dating I used to have these "flash forwards" to what our life was going to be like after we got married. It was really weird. I don't have them anymore and what I envisioned doesn't come close to matching reality. But reality isn't so bad, either.
I have a hard time reconciling Lily to her age. She's the oldest and she acts like a little mother hen. One day, out of complete desperation, I let her feed Reagan, with my supervision of course. Reagan woke up early and I was in the middle of fixing dinner and there was no way that I was going to be able to stop and there was no way that Reagan was going to wait. That really went pretty well. I just put Reagan in her bouncy seat and put Lily in the chair. It was a little time consuming going back and forth to adjust the bottle, but not nearly as time consuming as feeding her myself. The next time I had to use my "extra set of hands" is when I had to give Darcy an emergency bath.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea that we should start potty training Darcy. After 2 hours, I had an indication that she might not be ready yet. One of those indicators necessitated a bath in the middle of the day. It was past time for Reagan to eat, but Darcy needed a bath. As in, Darcy couldn't go forward with her day until she had a bath.

Now I understand why the oldest girls in families start "helping" so early. Mamas need the help! At least this mama does. And Lily is thrilled to death to be helping. Every day she wants to feed Reagan. So far, she can't wait to be a wife and mother which means I must be doing something right, even if it's by accident. She already has a husband picked out. That was after we told her that she could only marry someone who was a boy and not already in our family. (Darcy, Daddy, Uncles Lonnie and Greg were the top choices.)

Here are some recent pictures.

My happy Reagan taking her bath:

In this picture, I tried to capture that both of the girls were just staring at each other. I thought it was so sweet.

At the Hokey Pokey Place

With Papa:

Actually putting our right arm in:

We love the Hokey-Pokey!

Quilting For Dummies-Class 1

On Monday night I had my first quilting class. It went pretty well, considering my total lack of experience. It's a small class with four ladies (including myself) with very few of us actually having any sewing experience at all. If the average age is 40, it's because I am bringing the average way down. We spent the evening familiarizing ourselves with the rotary cutter and learning about "a scant quarter inch". We spent a lot of time just folding the fabric so that we could actually cut it. We did some measuring with a square ruler with enough lines to make anyone go cross-eyed. Lots and lots of measuring. And then we measured some more. I loved how we were continuously told that quilting is different than sewing. Mostly because my foray into sewing hasn't gone real well. I like how in quilting everything seems to be uniform. That appeals to my meticulous nature.
The big accomplishment of the night? Cutting all our strips. I didn't do completely poorly even though I did needed a fair amount of one-on-one help to get started. As it got later and later, I got really excited because it seemed like we weren't going to be using our sewing machines that night and I hadn't had time to sit down and sew to get myself familiar with the machine. I hadn't made a bobbin with the thread or threaded the machine. In fact, I still need the manual in order to thread the machine and I have never wound a bobbin by myself. I didn't want the class to be the place where I had to learn.

We ended up using our machines after all. But Miss Glenda was very kind to me and helped me get my machine going. I ended up being the last one finished and the last one to leave, but Miss Glenda stayed and let me finish. I told her that I was interested in learning how to sew garments and did she know anyone who might be willing to help me learn. Wonder of wonders, she said she would be willing to teach me. I was really excited by that. She said to give her a few weeks as she's expecting a new grandbaby and wanted to see what it was going to be first. That sounds great because Brian is about to start an outage and my free time is going to be greatly reduced for about the next six weeks. But I am excited. I am nearly motivated enough to get my apron out and finish sewing that.

Monday's homework was to sew all the strips together, cut them into 6.5" strips and then press. We had to do one before we left on Monday. Here is my effort:

Weight Watchers-Week 5

Well, in short, I blew it. It's about this point in time I am wishing I hadn't committed to posting my progress. At least I could keep my failures private. I am hoping that this "accountability" of sorts will at least help keep me honest.

I try to analyze my eating, but I just can't get a handle on it. I honestly don't know why I do the things I do. I do know that I'm no different than lots of other people who feel like they have to eat because "it's there" or thinking that the day is already blown so why not go ahead and blow it right out of the water. That kind of behavior is what got me to this point in the first place.

We keep going to the Hokey Pokey place even though I know that I cannot control my eating there. The funny thing is, we have to drive 35 minutes to another town just to get there. That's how bad we want to eat there. In fact (and this is the piece de resistance) for last night's meeting, I went to weigh in, but didn't stay for the meeting. Why? So we could go ahead and leave for the Hokey Pokey place where I proceeded to eat everything in sight. Seems downright pathetic. And I don't know how to stop.

I have even been convicted on a spiritual level. I have read and reread Proverbs 31. One section that I have been particularly made aware of is that the wife of noble character does not have suffer the consequences of laziness. In my own personal life, I suffer the consequences of laziness quite a bit. A lot, actually. More than I really care to admit. When I am thinking clearly and not completely absorbed in just myself and what I want, I try to identify what the consequences of this or that lazy action (or more often, inaction) might be. I have already identified several, if not all, of the consequences of eating out. In fact, I wrote them up on a postcard and taped them to the refrigerator. IN BIG ORANGE LETTERS. Identified consequences include: weight gain; girls off schedule; strains family finances; already purchased food wasted; reinforces poor eating habits; perpetuates a lack of contentedness; perpetuates a lack of discipline.

Goals for this week: When we talk of going out to eat, hold it up against the consequences. If we drive all the way to the Hokey Pokey place, will it affect the girls' schedule? Will we be back in time for them to take a bath and be to bed on time? Was there meat already taken out for supper? Do we have the money or is it going to take Enron accounting to make it work? Is it going to reinforce poor eating habits?

What I can do to make it easier to decide whether we are going out to eat or not is to have supper cooked or in progress when Brian gets home. Every week, I prepare a menu and every week I buy groceries to prepare said meals. I am actually quite organized about it all. So, all that to say.....we have eaten out 3 times this week and it is just Friday morning. Next week, my goal is so that we only eat out once although eating out twice would be an improvement.

Weight loss this week: gained 2.6 pounds
Total loss to date: -5.2 pounds

Friday, March 07, 2008

Weight Loss Update

I did not go to Weight Watchers this week. It was snowing and icy and just plain yucky. I had already gone out to get the mail and that was enough going out for me. I just didn't want to drive in that mess. All that to say, I don't know how this past week actually went. It's just as well. Several nights at the Hokey Pokey place and 2 steak dinners (including a brownie sundae dessert) did not bode well for my weight loss.

Although with the first steak dinner, I did try to do well. I ordered a small steak (which I only ate half of), steamed veggies and had my salad with vinegar and oil. The second dinner, well, it didn't go so well. I ordered the same steak, but I ate all of it and the baked potato and the salad (with ranch!) and the majority of a brownie sundae. I also ate a few bites of the girls' chicken.

We have received our new elliptical and Brian has put it together. I don't like it. It is rickety and makes a ton of noise. It looks like it's about to fall apart, but it does seem to work. It's not as smooth as the one that I used at the gym. Of course, we didn't pay nearly what that one probably cost. In all honesty, I have not worked out since I became pregnant with Reagan which was nearly a year ago. Needless to say, I am way out of shape. I'm not quite back to the spot where I was when I started working out with Amy a year and a half ago. Nope. I actually managed to stay on for 1 whole minute before my thighs began screaming for me to stop the madness. This morning, I was on the elliptical for a whole five minutes and I did another five minutes this evening. It's not much, but I can only get better. I am trying to lengthen my time every time I get on. Last night, I even did some weights on the Bowflex with Brian directing me. Well, I picked out the exercises and he set them up for me. Messing with that thing is a pain in the rear. I think I like going to the gym better. When you finish with the chest flies, you just move over to the tricep pushdowns. No need to take the whole thing apart and set it up again for the next set of exercises. But at home, I can work out whenever I want and I don't have to get out in the nasty weather.

I am making progress. Next week when I go back to Weight Watchers, I know I'll have a loss. Between the exercising, the reduced daily POINTS, and staying away from the Hokey Pokey place, I think I'll be okay.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Homemaking Bliss, Installment I: The Trip To The Fabric Store

As promised, I am chronicling my journey into homemaking bliss. It starts at the fabric store.
I was so excited when Ms. Glenda told me that I would not need any special skills in order to learn how to quilt. Just a working familiarity with the machine. I am hoping to have that by the time the class starts, on March 10th. She bids me come and see her at the store and she will go over everything I need for the class.

Excited does not begin to cover how I felt. I was thrilled. It was almost as if I was going to come out of that store with the thing already sewed together, ready to put on the bed. I could not wait to go to the fabric store. And on that Friday, the whole gang went. They stayed out in the car and I got to go in by myself.

I just love looking at fabric. Not touching it or sewing with it. Just looking at it. Everything was so organized (shelved by color and style) and I wondered if I had ever seen so much fabric in all my life. It was fabric that was just waiting to be made into something. Of course, not by me because I am sewing-impaired.

I had not decided what I was going to do with the quilt. I had thought about making it for my mom or possibly for the end of our bed. Mom's favorite color is red and our bedroom is purple. Oh, why does everything have to be so complicated?

Ms. Glenda said that the beginner quilt that I would be making is similar to what is called a "log cabin" quilt, except this was her own design. I had only heard of such a thing from Jackie who either had one or was making one or both. Then she cut me loose to find all the fabric. Well, she offered to help me and I didn't want to waste her time while I panicked over every available choice.

I didn't even know where to start. There was a ton of fabric in that store of every conceivable hue. And I had to pick out 5 different ones for my quilt. And they needed to look well together. This was a major problem because I could not envision what this was going to look like in my head.

The more I walked around, the more overwhelmed I became. My quilting career was about to be over even before it started.

So I ran outside and conferred with Brian. I know those ladies thought I was leaving and that I wasn't coming back. (The thought crossed my mind!) There were several paisleys that I loved, but that didn't fit into either of the ideas I'd had on what to do with the quilt. There were too many choices and I didn't have the first idea of where to start.

"Help me figure this out or I'm done," I assured him.

He told me to make the quilt for Darcy [what a novel idea!] and go get the pink paisley and get some soft pinks and maybe a white to go with it. I was thrilled. At least I had an idea that I could work with.

With Ms. Glenda's help, I was finally able to pick out coordinating fabrics. At least I hope they are coordinating!

Something I found very interesting is that they do not cut the fabric with scissors. (She said this was my first quilting lesson.) They tear the fabric. She says that by tearing the fabric, it is always "cut" straight, even if it's rolled on the bolt crooked. (Because it tears on the grain.) After all my years hanging out at Hancock's as a young girl with my mother and grandmother, I had never heard of such a thing. What a concept.

Class starts on Monday. I am excited and a wee bit nervous.

My fabric:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Weight Watchers-Week 4

I am a little late in reporting my progress since I'll be weighing again tomorrow.

The last 2 weeks have been a little trying for me. We keep going to the Hokey Pokey Place! I can exercise no level of restraint there.

Following the Weight Watchers plan has affected my milk supply to the point that I have decided to wean Reagan rather frustrate both of us. She wasn't getting enough to eat and the quality was poor also. Except for looking like a porn star on the first day of no nursing, things seem to be going well.

On the upside, Brian and I have ordered an elliptical machine that he is set to pick up this evening and put together. No excuse for not exercising. I am already getting up at 5:30am in order to start my day. I may have to get up even earlier so I may add working out to my schedule and get it done before all the clamoring starts.

Also on a positive note, I discovered body shapers. Enough said.

I did not do a good job of meeting my goals. They will remain the same for this week.

Week 4 Totals:
Lost This Week: 1.6 pounds
Total Loss: 7.8 pounds