Thursday, February 25, 2016

7 Quick Takes

1.  Weight Loss Update.  The last time I did quicktakes, about five months ago, I wrote about signing up for another Dietbet challenge.  At the time, Benji was beginning to sleep better than my other kids ever had -- at four months old, he was sleeping regularly from 9 until 3, then waking again at 5 to eat.  It gave me hope that I'd finally have a good sleeper, and I tackled the first couple of months of weight loss with pretty good success, winning my second 4-week-long Dietbet and the first month's challenge towards my 6-month bet.  But then . . . I went to Hawaii.  I knew I would gain a bit that week and planned for it.  What I didn't plan for was that Benji's sleep would never be that great again.  I don't know if it was the overhead fan in our room, or the proximity, or what, but Benji's sleep was not very good that week and didn't get better when we got back.  Around Thanksgiving, he caught a miserable cold and was congested, coughing, and totally miserable for nearly a month.  We brought him in the to doctor twice, concerned that he was so miserable that he must have an ear infection, but both times, he was sent home and we were told to wait it out.  Poor kid.  "Waiting it out," however, meant a lot of comfort nursing sessions in the middle of the night, with the result that Benji got in the habit of waking every two hours, every single night.  And he's kept it up until last week.

Halfway through December, I gave up.  I decided I could not handle being exhausted and hungry, so I chose to embrace the exhaustion and forget the hungry.  We are currently working to get Benji to sleep better at night.  The process involves DH helping him find his pacifier when he cries long and loud enough to wake the dead (my husband can sleep through anything), and me sleeping on another floor for a week.  It seems to be working so far.  If nothing else, I got to sleep for six hours straight for the first time in four months, so that's a win.

On the positive side, I have stayed within two pounds of 170 since November, so despite the exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and crazy sweet tooth cravings I've given in to, I haven't gained weight.  On the negative, I have only one month from my final weigh-in for my six-month Dietbet challenge, and I don't think I can lose the 10 lbs I'd need to by then.  I am hopeful I can get the motivation and will power together to begin to count calories again soon, but I'm also dreading the thought of it.  Why is losing weight so hard?

2.  Fitting In Exercise.  While the weight loss hasn't happened, I have been very consistent about exercising five or six days a week.  The weather has been bad here, with lots of inversions and cold days, so running outside has been out, and I just haven't mustered up the willpower to fight my treadmill.  I have, however, developed a new appreciation and -- dare I say it? -- love for my neglected elliptical machine.  The secret for me has been putting on one of the pre-programmed competition workouts and then pulling out my kindle and reading while I'm working out.  I get much-needed reflection time, and the competition programs are tough, so I feel like I'm still pushing myself. My elliptical has five different height levels, so I change heights every nine minutes on a 45 minute workout or every 6 minutes on a 30 minute.  It breaks up the workout better for me and I feel like I'm using more muscles.

The only problem is I've signed up to run a 10K in just a few weeks and I haven't run much at all since December.  I have done 90 minute elliptical workouts, so at least I have some endurance in me, and I did get in a five miler near the beach last month, but I do worry about switching back to running.  I got in 3.5 miles last Friday and I was really sore the next day.  Wish me luck.

3.  California.  Last month, we spent a lovely week in California.  It was such a nice way to escape the winter.  We spent time on the beach of course, and at the pool and doing crafts.  It was lovely.

4.  Universal Studios.  We also got annual passes to Universal Studios at Costco.  The passes were only $10 more than a one day pass (there are tons of blackout days, but we can work around that). We went for a day and a half and had a great time.  Cami loved the minions rides, and I loved that you can do almost everything there in one day.  It's always fun to me that the place is full of Asian tourists, and about half the people there fit that description that time.  We got a few looks and one lady even came up and had my daughter Sarah take her picture with Cami, my blonde-haired blue-eyed American girl.  We bought a refillable popcorn bucket for $6 and Joey was a good sport about filling that thing up every two minutes or so.  Good times.

Everyone but me.

5.  Landscapes.  It was a colder week for California, with El Nino bringing in a lot more fog and cool weather.  Still, it was lovely and compared to Utah?  Practically balmy.  Two different mornings, I got up early and went out for photos.  On our last morning there, Joey went with me down to the coast for some sunrise photos.  Here are some of my favorites from the week.

6.  A few weeks after our California trip, I took six of the kids to Boise to visit my parents.  We had a great time seeing them and my sister and some of her kids.  We even got a peek at the construction of the new Meridian Temple, just a few miles from my parent's home.

7. Speaking of temples, we got to tour the new Provo City Center temple two weeks ago.  It was such a lovely experience.  Lillian and DH had to come on a later tour because of a scheduling conflict, but the rest of us, including my in-laws and our friend Hailey who is staying with us for a month until her wedding (in that temple!), really enjoyed it. The dedication ends March 5th, so please go if you get a chance!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

One a Day, Weeks 4-8

I've been busier than usual of late.  We're working on trying to get Benji to sleep better at night, I'm helping a friend plan a wedding next month, and just regular life with ten kids is keeping my days full.  It's a good life.

Doing yoga

Love this goofy kid!

I love all that's going on in this picture.  

6 Months Old!

Lovely winter morning

Traveling to Boise to visit my parents with six of the kids.

Meridian, Idaho temple under construction

Icy slopes on the drive home from Idaho

Getting a bit tired of winter

Happy Birthday, Cami!

She's FOUR!  We love this spunky, energetic, joyful girl.

We had just a few warm days.  So nice to be outside again.

Benji's first swimming adventure.  The girls were so excited to introduce him to the pool.


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