Monday, March 28, 2022

Weekend Wrapup: Essay Winners, Good Sports, Science Experiments, Perms and Birthdays

What a busy weekend we had!  Poor Brendan (5) got sick on Thursday night with a fever and he still has it as of this morning.  We took him to urgent care and he doesn't have an ear infection, doesn't have strep and doesn't have Covid.  They say it's just a virus but he's so pathetically sick with a runny nose and a cough and he has thrown up when his fever spikes because we don't get medicine in him fast enough.  Poor baby.  If his fever doesn't break today I'm taking him back to the doctor.  

But on to happier things...

Eamon (15) won 2nd place in our Diocesan Pro-Life essay contest, and had to read his essay at a Mass with the Bishop.  He's such a good kid and a great speaker, I'm so proud of him.  He won $75 which he was very excited about.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Spring Fever

I've got the fever.

(Love how she's taking temps like a mom while holding the thermometer in her other hand)

The diagnosis: 

Spring Fever.

The symptoms: 

Wanting to frolic outside as much as possible.

Feeling like each work day inside is a wasted day.

Very real FOMO on all the fun activities others must be doing.

Looking around my house and noticing it needs to be cleaned and repainted and that, just perhaps, moving might be easier.

Considering new career paths even though the grass is always greener.

Dreaming of vacation plans and beach days.

Craving more salads and grilled foods and switching from hot coffee to iced.

Changing up my hairstyle, and hoping I don't regret it.

Shoving sweaters and tights to the back of the closet and wondering when all of my warm-weather clothing decided to shrink.

Ignoring as many of my children's' school-related requests as I can, isn't it over yet?

Inability to make decisions, much like my girl, Rapunzel.

The prescription:

More cowbell?

Unless anybody knows of a better cure?  Any other sufferers from this annual ailment?

Friday, March 18, 2022

Week in Review: This One's for the Kids

Let's do this by child, youngest to oldest.

Brendan (age 5) has been taking swim lessons and has no fear.  "Mom, the other kids in my class were too scared to jump off the diving board, so I said that I would go first." He's the type of kid that is confident yet humble, and can totally relax his body in the water and take instruction well.  He certainly does not get that from me, I am tense and like a lead weight in the water.  Brendan is loving Kindergarten and reading like crazy.  This morning he asked me (again) if he can get a trumpet when he gets older and I replied (again) that "we shall see", hoping that dream will die soon.  He likes to pray for the souls in purgatory since most people forget about them, has taken to saying "yes mom" and "yes dad" right away when we ask him to do something, and is generally the best little guy ever.

Declan (age 7) runs to greet me at the car door when I pull in from work each day.  On this day, he had been boxing with his big brothers on the trampoline.  He would live outside if he could!  Declan is taking swim lessons right now, and unfortunately has my nervousness around water, but is making huge strides with each session.  We heard a homily recently where the Deacon talked about how he and his siblings used to always hug their parents and say "I love you from the bottom of my heart", and wouldn't you know that Declan instituted that practice from that moment on.  Multiple times a day, we get bear hugs as he looks into our eyes and utters those words, what a sweetheart.  He really appreciates the little things in life and is so grateful, so you betcha the leprechaun had to turn the milk green for Declan to find yesterday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Ups and Downs of My Dieting Past, And What I'm Trying Now

 Can you handle another post where I complain about weight and diets?  I've started a new plan this week, having been shocked by seeing the highest number on the scale I've ever been at non-pregnant (man I wish I still had that excuse!).  I guess my age and metabolism have finally caught up with me.

Now before you get the urge to tell me that diets don't work and I should just eat healthy and not worry about it so much, that's not how I roll.  I truly believe that when you have a goal, you have to work towards it.  

If I want to run a marathon, I need to train harder, buy the right shoes, and increase my mileage each week.  If I want the promotion at work, I need to stay longer hours, show my boss my accomplishments and play the part of the role I want.  If I want to save up a down payment for a house, I need to create a budget and stop spending $50 a week on coffee and takeout lunches and put that money into the bank.  

If I want to lose weight, I need a plan for how I'm going to eat and workout and get enough sleep.  Now, I don't believe someone should be on a continual diet, because life is short and food is for celebrating.  To me, a diet is the period of time where you are focused on the goal of losing weight and then maintenance of that weight is general life.

What seems to be the case for Phil and I is that we are normally pretty healthy, but when the weight starts to creep up, we take action to get it down then try to keep it steady as long as possible before it eventually creeps up again, and repeat the cycle.  We probably do a diet twice a year for about a month at a time, and that seems to do the trick to keep our weight in check.  The goal is healthy and strong, never skinny, no no no, more like at the highest end of a normal BMI.  We love food and we most definitely use it to celebrate both the big events and the small successes in our lives.  We don't want to turn into people who don't care about food and just eat boring and bland veggies to maintain a certain weight.  Nope, we would rather be chubby and happily eat the ice cream or run 5 miles and then eat pizza.  Balance, baby.  Plus, I don't want to have to buy new clothes and I would like to lower my high cholesterol and reverse my pre-diabetes (thanks genetics).

Here's the list of diets we have been on in the past, and the pros and cons of each...

Friday, March 11, 2022

Week in Review: Stupid Low Carb Diets, Hard Workouts, and an Easy Meatless Recipe

This is basically just a dump of all of the photos on my phone, as I can't seem to wrap my head around writing a cohesive post today.  I'm tired y'all.  I blame it on the carb flu.

For Lent, Phil and I are following a low carb diet, and we were *shocked* at our starting weights on Ash Wednesday.  I don't weigh myself a lot, and since January 17, Phil has been on Exodus 90 and I have been on Magnify 90 which had already restricted our diets (no sweets, no snacks, and no alcohol) and we assumed that we were losing weight.  I guess we ate more than enough at meal times to counteract all of those sacrifices.

Plus, while I'm on a role of complaining about weight, I work out A LOT.  

Every day, I walk 3 miles on my lunch break, then I either go for a run after work or go to a workout class at my gym (and I only attend the hardest classes).  Most days, I will also walk the dog for a mile or two.  My apple watch shows that I burn 800-1000 active calories  

And yet, this week?  I GAINED 1.2 pounds.

This is a Saturday morning Boot Camp class with some of my kids.  It's held on the indoor track and you run from station to station around the whole track.

So one would think that all of that activity + eating less carbs + no snacking/no sweets/no alcohol would equal a lean mama.  Like, what am I doing wrong?  I track my food and eat about 1500-1800 calories a day, and because I burn through a lot of those, I am hungry a lot.  We have one cheat meal each week.  One.  It's just so frustrating. I've had my thyroid checked at every physical and it's been fine.  I'm not looking to be skinny, let's not be crazy, I truly just want to be healthy and strong.  I want to look like Colleen 2010 (after four kids when I ran my first half-marathon):
12 years and 17 pounds ago

Please don't think less of me for thinking less of me.  Just being honest.

Moving on...

Monday, March 7, 2022

For the Record

"As you know, the government takes 40 percent of what you make. The other 60 percent, of course, taken by the gas stations." 
~ Jay Leno

$4.29 in Southeastern Massachusetts

How much is gas in your neck of the woods?

Friday, March 4, 2022

Week in Review: Skin Checks, Basketball Playoffs and Happy Sticks

Happy Friday!!!!  Every morning as I drive the K-8 kiddos to school, we say our morning prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God and St. Michael's Prayer) and then we each say something we are Thankful for and something we would like to Pray for.  It's a good daily reminder to be grateful and it's also a really sweet way to communicate what's going on in each kid's life.  Anyhoo, on Friday's when it's my turn to say what I'm thankful for, I always sing/yell "I'm thankful that it's FRIIIIIIIIDAYYYYYY" in my best Oprah voice.  The little boys just eat that up.  Aren't Fridays the best?  So full of promise.

I had two appointments last week, both requiring me to expose my body and contort myself in ways I never thought possible.  Yup, you guessed it - a mammogram and a skin check with the dermatologist.

  Mammograms don't normally bother me, I mean they have always been awkward (turn this way, hold here, lean there, squeeze the boob, turn your head, don't breathe) but never painful...until this time.  I think it's because the mammogram tech was 28 years old and has never had one (I asked her).  When I get the older women as techs, they are so much more gentle and apologetic.  Also, how is there not a better way to do these scans in 2022?  If men had to go through this feat with their precious jewels, you know for sure they would have figured out a less painful process by now.  

As for the dermatologist, she was also very young (does everyone magically become younger than you once you hit middle age?) and I picked her because her photo on the website showed she was pleasantly plump.  I like my doctors to be heavier and older than me.  Makes me feel better about myself as I lay their while they prod and use magnifying glasses to look over every inch of my body while remarking on my "unusual mole patterns".  Umm, thanks?

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Could This Be the Lent?

Happy Ash Wednesday!!!!

Just kidding, it's not happy.

I hate Lent.

Hate, hate, hate.

As soon as anyone tells me I can't eat meat or snack between meals, ALL I WANT TO DO IS EAT MEATY SNACKS ALL DAY LONG.  Any other day, I could care less about meat, but on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, I'm like what am I supposed to cook????

I know it's a character flaw.  It must be the sin of pride.  I want to be so saintly and accepting of sufferings thrown my way, but I am pitiful at it and hear myself complaining.  I pray to be a little more docile and a little less um, fighting Irish.  When am I going to get to that place?  

Could this be the Lent?

I think I need to change my attitude about Lent and make it more like my attitude about life.

Because the older I get, the more I have this thought: 

My "hard" life is full of so many good things.

When I start thinking about how hard it is to juggle all of the kids' needs and work a job I don't love to provide for my family and grocery shop and cook and clean and walk the dog and nurture my marriage and make time for family and friends and workout and feed the fish and drive the kids to their practices and lessons and games and don't even get me started on the laundry...

I literally pause.  Take a breath.  And realize...

I am living the life I always wanted.

I always dreamed of a loving, generous, handsome husband with whom to start a big crazy family full of funny, sweet, intelligent kids.  I hoped to live near the coast, surrounded by family, with good schools and great friends.  I prayed for a marriage and family where God was first and we would help each other get to Heaven.

So yeah, I am truly grateful for my life.  I can see that the "hard" parts are really just part of the whole package with all of the "easy" parts.  And you know, I'm not ignoring the hard parts, but hard doesn't equate to bad.  Just as easy doesn't equate to good.  Everybody is healthy and happy and thriving and what more could I desire?  I am so blessed.

I need to start viewing Lent in this same way.  

Each day when I want to eat the cookie or don't feel like praying the rosary, I need to stop and remember that these little inconveniences are just part of the journey, and for the most part that journey is so good.  Those sacrifices will lead to the eternal life I've always wanted.

Without the rain, there is no rainbow.  

Without the suffering, there is no joy.  

My kids certainly inspire me by their Lenten sacrifices:

So maybe this could be the Lent that I embrace the hard after all.  Let's do this!  

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

February Break: The Final Few Days

 I feel so silly writing about fluff when people are fighting for their country #godblessUkraine and yet, I also feel so grateful to be able to continue to live freely and focus on doing what I can, in my own home, in my own community, in my own family to promote peace.  As Mother Teresa said "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." I am holding them close and loving them fiercely.


The little guys went ice skating while the big kids were skiing, and their personalities shone through.  Xander didn't want any help and walked-skated all over the ice.  Declan was very careful and slow to learn.  Brendan was falling all over the place, but learned to skate and even do spins with a big smile on his face.


Phil bought an old Far Side book and this accordion joke hit a little close to home.