Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A New Focus

Hi. It's been a while, I know. Sorry. :D I'm going to be making it a point to blog at least two times a week from now on. But I have a twist: I'm changing my focus. More specifically, I'm giving myself a focus. I am on a quest to take control of my own health. This means that I am 1) taking control of my weight, 2) taking control of my mental health, and 3) taking control of my parenting skills.

My biggest (or at least, most visible) goal, is to lose weight. At my highest, I weighed 235. I have lost about 13 pounds this year, and I am wanting to boost that loss. I have bought several aerobic walking videos, and will be using EA Sports Active and More Workouts, and Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus to help me work out. These incorporate aerobics, anaerobics, and strength training (resistance training) to help me burn calories and get fit. My first goal is to lose 10% of my body weight by the end of February. That means that I will be down to 200 pounds even on February 28th. My favorite goal in this arena is to lose 50 pounds by my birthday, so that on May 30th, I will weigh 175. This will put me just outside my healthy weight range. My target weight is 145.

My next goal is a little less visible. I want to take control of my mental health. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about three years ago, and so was my oldest son about a year ago. I want to find out more about this disease and how I can treat it without medication -- and if that is possible for me. My physical goal will help in this goal, because being at a healthy weight will make doses lower, and being physically fit will improve mental function in many other ways. My goal right now is to read two books: Bipolar Child and Bipolar Handbook, and to see if there are any actionable items in those books.

My third goal is to work on my parenting. I find myself tired and stressed out at the end of the day, and praying that I won't have to take the kiddos out anywhere. I need to get control of my parenting skills so that I actually enjoy being around my sons more often. I don't like watching the clock for bedtime so that I can get something done. This isn't how life should be, and I'm not going to let myself accept it any longer. I am starting by reading Parenting From the Heights.

So in the future my posts will look something like this (the following is a real example):

1) I have worked out for at least 50 minutes for three days in a row now. My weight tonight at 9:40pm was 222.4, down 1.1 lbs from yesterday. I don't want to lose quite so quickly: my goal is 2.6 lbs a week. This will help me lose the weight healthily. I want to be making lifestyle changes, not just momentary ones. I want to keep this weight off, so I will take my time and do it right. After walking, I feel energized and ready to go. My brain feels fired up, and my core temperature is much higher, keeping me warmed up and ready to do other things around the house, instead of going back to bed.

2) I checked out Bipolar Child and Bipolar Handbook from the library, and have started reading Bipolar Child. It's interesting how many of these qualities I see in my own memories of my childhood, as well as in my oldest son. Poor baby. But I comfort myself that by my taking control of my mental health now, I am also taking control of his, and will be able to teach him, and help him grow in a way that will be pleasing to God.

3) I started reading Parenting From the Heights, and am enjoying what I read. I want to focus on the other two books right now, because they are library books and must go back, but I am excited to really get into the meat of PftH. Today I felt much calmer, and was able to pick my battles more readily and to win all the ones I chose. Yay!

I hope that I will be an encouragement to someone, and if I am, please let me know by leaving a comment!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Breast Cancer in the family tree...

My birth mother called me last night with some bad news. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer. They don't know if it's malignant or benign. It's growing so fast that they want to operate as soon as possible. So they skipped the biopsy and will do that after the right mastectomy. In Mom's case, she has had a small lump since second grade (more than 35 years), and they said it was fatty lypoma, no worries. Well, in less than two months that tiny M&M sized lump covered her whole right breast. They're pretty sure that a mastectomy will get rid of it all -- that it hasn't spread to her left breast or her lymph nodes.

Neither of us have really hit the scared stage. We're just... stunned, I think. And grieving. She says "I don't know how I'm going to look at myself in the mirror and see only one breast." Not because she's vain... but breasts are part of who you are as a woman. It'd be like shaving half your head -- forever. Sure, half a wig would cover it, but it wouldn't be the same. Her pre-op consultation is scheduled for the 12th, so if you pray, please pray for her that day.

So I am going to call my doctor and talk to her. I know already that I have dense breast tissue (which is a factor), and I have Crohn's Disease (also a factor, and inherited from Mom). I'm not freaking -- yet. I wanted to blog about this, but now I find that I haven't processed enough to have anything to say!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beating the Crazies...

Now to answer my friend's question. "What do you do to beat the crazies when you are stuck at home alone with the kids?"

First off... I don't stay home alone. We are blessed to live four blocks from a park. So we walk to the park. Even though most of the time BigBoy has complained enough that by the time we get there, we have to turn right back around. It still gets us out of the house. You've changed your routine a little, and presto! You've beat the crazies.

Second... I like to join a mom's group in the area. Preferably one with an Internet presence. Just as not all moms are alike, not all mom's groups are alike. (And for those grammar geeks like me... this is Mom's group, not Dad's group or Joe's group or Jane's group. So the apostrophe belongs inside the "s". LOL) I like the Internet part because you can post to the board (or whatever) a message like "I'm going to Burger King at Illinois and Scott around 11:30a. I'll probably be there about an hour. Love to see you there!" And some of the other moms might think "Hey, that sounds like fun. Entertainment, soda with free refills, and grown ups to talk to! I'll be there!" Presto! You've beat the crazies for another two hours.

Third... Find a restaurant with a play room and GO THERE. I've met several moms with kids my sons' ages at our local Burger King. So, built in entertainment, built in playmates, and built in grown up time. And presto! You've beat the crazies.

Fourth... Get on the Internet. Twitter, FaceBook (MySpace if you're desperate), and (a new favorite of mine) Omegle all provide people to talk to, network with, etc. Omegle is kind of cool because it sets you up with a total stranger. Doesn't work out? Just Omegle again! Twitter lets you chat with people in your area or around the world, and you can search by location, interests, or current buzz words. FaceBook lets you play games, chat, fiddle with pictures, etc.

Fifth... Have an awesome hubby like mine who realizes that for every night that he gets away from the kids, you get one too. Or make your hubby an amazing man like mine. :D In all gravity, remember that your husband is the father of your children (maybe not biologically, but he is part of their life now!!). You undercut his authority and his influence in their lives if you never trust him to put them to bed by himself. Don't let your husband get away with that!! So what if they forget to brush their teeth one night? You'll do it in the morning anyway, right? So what if they go to bed with their shirts on backward or no socks on their feet? Whatever is medically necessary (as in, your child will die without his heart alarm or breathing treatment) remind him of, then LEAVE THE HOUSE!! Go for a walk during bedtime if you don't plan to go somewhere. But trust him. He loves your kids as much as you do, and he will not kill them by wrestling too much before bed. You have one less chore at night -- let's face it. Putting the munchkins to bed can definitely be a chore. And your kids get needed time with Dad. (BY THE WAY... this applies to mothers, mothers-in-law, and babysitters whom you've hired. If you don't trust the person you've hired to safeguard your child's life... well, we need to have a talk. In another post maybe...) You've changed your routine and presto! You've beat the crazies.

Sixth... Be active in your community. You will meet other people, learn cool things, and teach your children responsibility. Pick up one of those free newsletters at the Library or a Library Program Guide and circle all the free activities you can do. Pick at least one a week, and do it. We like StoryTime Fridays, Playgroup Wednesdays, and Movie Mondays. And I'm not sure why I listed the week backward there... You've built a routine (I know! I know! I'm full of contradictions) and presto! You've beat the crazies!

What about you other moms? What do you do to beat the crazies?

Where I've been, What I've been doing, and With whom I've been doing it...

A friend asked me today how I beat the crazies when I'm home alone with my kids all the time. And I gave her a few suggestions, but one that I forgot to mention (and must remember to tell her later) is to join an online community.

Recently I started Twittering. Yes, it's true. I am officially crazy. :D See, I like to blog, because I imagine that I have this vast audience intently hanging on my every word. I like to imagine them languishing when I don't post for several days (or months!) at a time. But the truth is... my blog is kind of sad. :D I was gone for several months, and none of my friends commented or noticed. (By the way, I don't mind.)

However, Twittering has led me to a whole host of other moms, with similar tastes and problems. So I tweet back and forth, and before I know it, I'm reading a blog. And then I follow a link through the comments to another blog. And another. So now I'm reading the blogs of about 10 different mothers, and I'm going crazy with my bookmarks. Then I discovered the glory of Google Reader. Yay!!

So now, I will be blogging more. And I think it will be better. :D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged here. Actually, since I've blogged at all.

Lately I'm into Mini-blogging using Twitter. It's great. My username there is EllaJo08.

I just passed a big test for school. Now I am Security+ certified.

And in case you haven't checked in via other ways... I have two sons now.

Stinker will be one tomorrow. I can't believe it.
Booger will be five Feb. 3rd. Again, I can't believe it.

Not working right now. Just trying to keep the house in one piece. (lol...)

Tired, and want to play on Neopets. Look for me there as EllaJo08 again. My favorite of my pets is EllaJosie. :D