One Mother Rambling Through Life

Rantings, Ravings, Strange thoughts, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a lot of ME!


Today does not feel like it is still winter. Today's weather was a cool day in the 60s with just enough breeze that it was refreshing. It reminded me of days in the park as a child, hanging out with high school friends, ghost hunting in college (long story but the name is deceptive), and long drives to no where with my then boyfriend and now hubby.

When I was younger my father loved to cook out. Every time chance he got he would marinate chicken and throw it on the grill. I would sit and watch and chit chat. I am sure that he loved and hated it. Some days my nose would run from the cold but I cherished that time with my father and still love the memories. Really every chance I got to be around my father one on one I took. On Sundays he would nap with his headphones on next to his "state of the art" stereo. When I say state of the art I am talking about the dual cassette and record player with all the knobs and switches on a huge box system that measured 2 feet wide square by 4 feet tall with 2 matching speakers not much smaller than the actual unit. He would put on one of his many records or tapes, plug in the ole ear muff style headphones, and lay down and "cruise". His story was that he was just relaxing and listening to music. The well known truth was that he was napping. The sweet part was that there was a dual headphone dock and he would often let me join him. No I did not nap. I was a kid so napping was the enemy. But I did enjoy listening to his music and cuddling up next to him. Wish I had a picture of this one because I really enjoyed that time. I hope that my kiddos have memories like this with me when they grown up.

In high school my friends and I loved to hang out at a local park next to the college. We would talk about boys, life, school, and whatever was on our silly minds. The college intramural teams played there and most of the local boys who liked basketball had pick up games at the courts. We would walk the sidewalk that went around the park and look at the sites. I would be lying if I said we didn't hope that one of our walks would involve meeting guys. Probably the best story I have from those days was a walk I will never forget. One of my best friends and her sister had come with me to walk that day and there was a game of flag football going on in the main area off of the sidewalk. We had gone around a few times and had enjoyed watching the veracity in which the guys were playing. Suddenly, as if choreographed in a movie, all of the players stopped what they were doing and sang "Honey,
Oh Sugar Sugar,
You are my Candy girl,
And you got me wanting you..."
We stood there giggling like any teenage girls would do in that situation. The problem arose at the fact that all three of us were shy girls and none of our bold counterparts were there with us. So what did we do. Giggle and dash! They stood there kind dumbstruck for a moment and went back to their game thinking who knows what about us. If you asked any of us about that event we all probably remember it sweetly because it was just one of those wonderful moments that give a teenage girl hope for future romance and love.

In college I spent a lot of time walking everywhere. Walking to class, to the dorm, to eat, to the movies, to get groceries, to events, to friends dorms, etc and so on. I ended up with a great group of friends that I am so grateful for the memories that they gave me. One night we decided that we should check out the "haunted" locations on campus. So what are the tools to arm yourself with when going on a ghost hunt? Well. Water guns, bubbles, chocolate, and tootsie pops of course. I cannot remember what time we went out but it was a little after dark when we set out. We had mapped out the best path to hit the hot spots and had actually researched the stories about the hauntings. For some of us this was a little more than we studied for our other courses at the time. We had a blast. Mainly photo ops of stairways to no where and Charlie's Angel style posing with our water guns. Loads of laughs and a memory that I think we all will cherish. It was silly times like that that I sometimes fall back on as a pick me up.

When I met my now Hubby we found out that we both enjoyed a few similar things and among them were midnight walmart trips for no reason, baseball, and drives to no where on nice nights. My husband is a fan of cars. More specifically a fan of Toyota's. When I met him he had an 1988 White Toyota Celica convertible. It had a cd player and its heater/AC worked when it felt like it. It purred like a kitten. On cool nights we would put the top down, put on some Daily Planet, and drive. Sometimes we would end up somewhere and other times no where. We would talk about dreams and life. We discussed what we wanted and what he hoped for. It was an innocent time in the relationship that I try to take time to remember because it is something that we can't relive but it shaped the love that became our relationship and led us to where we are now. Just one of many sweet memories I have.

Now on days like today I make new memories but now it is with three children and my grown up life. Life is made up of moments. Some good, some bad, but all worth remembering. These moments shape who we are and what we become. They shape how we make our decisions and who we trust. I am grateful for my moments and the people that were a part of the moments of my life.


So as a Mom (or Dad depending on your role in the family) we get to graduate from the Where's Waldo world of seeking and finding interesting things in pictures to our own grown up live version of seek and find. Some of those games are:
  • Find the shoe- you can always find at least one shoe, however the second shoe is generally hiding in some obscure to very obvious place to be found at a later date when finding it does not matter in the slightest and you will forget either finding it or if you are fortunate enough to remember you have since forgotten where the other is.

  • Finding the blankie, the nook, the pacie, the whatever security item is needed for rest in general- in this game you frantically search the house, car, or where ever you are for said item. All the while you have a whining little creature following you crying about wanting to find the said item. This generally ends with peace of mind when the item is found and the creature has tuckered itself out from all the whining in the hunt. When the item is not recovered better prepare your straight jacket because it will be a battle of epic proportions to get the creature to sleep and then it will be your turn to pass out from the hunt. Sometimes this game ends in screaming and saying "if you had kept up with it it would not be lost so deal with it."
  • Find the smell- This game involves searching the house, car, or fridge for what is causing the terrible smell to fill said space. This ends in disgusting cleaning work or simply trashing the toxic waste

  • Find the keys- For some reason the small creatures that live with us like the clanking sounds that keys make and feel that your keys are necessary for the sound as well as playing house. So you search high and low and finally find the keys in the logical place... the toy box

So the next time you are playing an adult seek and find remember to stop and smile since these games do come with cuddles, giggles, and the reward of watching those little creatures become wonderful people!

A little break from my recent yarn for a little fun about the situation I currently find myself in...

Now that I am unemployed I can...

  • Research all of those big career tracks that I would love to have but don't qualify for and don't have the money to get the degree to qualify for them.

  • Write the next American Novel in all that spare time that two children under 4 give me.

  • Clean the house as the afore mentioned children under 4 tear through it.

  • Learn to bake like a pro when I am not making fish sticks, grilled cheese, PB&J, and the many other kiddo faves.

  • Catch up on the scrapbooking and try to ensure that the living room is not covered in glitter when the kiddos want to "help."

  • Sleep in a little later or at least until my three year old comes and wakes me up.

  • Play on Facebook for brief periods all day long.

  • Find a play group and see what that is like and if it really is a cut throat world of Mom's and my kid is better than yours.

  • Try out this Mother's day out concept if I can manage the money out of the budget to do so.

  • Read those magazines that come in the mail that I never had a chance to read before.

  • Cook meals instead of "warming things up" (Courtesy of Johnson home boys)

  • Check on my unemployment, CHIPS, WIC, and TANF statuses online since we now qualify due to my lack of income.

  • Realize that I am becoming exactly what I did not want to be with the above item.

  • Try to decide what to do next.

  • Watch stupid movies while I fold laundry.

  • And the best in this list is that I get to spend the days with my kids while they are still small.

Here is the deal. I lost my job on Monday. This was a shock to me and my family and seemed to come out of nowhere. It was not a good situation as there was no warning or predicating issue at work anywhere near this time. So now we are crunching numbers and deciding what to do from here. Keeping positive through this.



Sooo I absolutely love some chocolate. Also some PB. And sometimes some... We all have our lists of likes. No matter how you word it pretty much every diet out there says not to deny yourself what you like. You are more likely to quit and loose all motivation if you think you cannot ever have what you would like. So first off according to data I could find 95% of D-words fail.






Look at that. Crazy! So we aren't up against great odds really. I mean even within those 5% that were successful, how many will rebound. Rebound is common and it is because most of us Yo-yo through our D-words hoping for results and when we get them yo-yo back again but further. More like a yo-yo on a bungee cord and less like a string. Soooo what do we do. Once agian foods don't have to be tasteless. We can have what we like. Read those nutrition labels and have the serving.


Servings are cruel cruel jokes! Really! Ice creamo is a great example. Something that we all pretty much want to sit down and finish the pint... Well the serving is 1/4 cup sooo there could be as many as 8 servings in that countainer pending on filling. So multiply that calorie intake by 8! Can anyone say I ate Ice cream today and that is it! So look at those labels.


I love the new craze for fitness! Not only because it is good for us. But because you can find 100 calorie packs of almost anything: Chips, candy, cookie, ice cream, cereal, so on and so forth. Remember to look at labels here because some of these 100 calorie packs are a little over or under. But for a quick snack these are excellent. Plus this is the greatest way to get what you are craving but keep yourself from over doing it. Remember only eat one and not the whole box. I know I have been tempted to do that before when it was delicious!


So deny not those likes just control thine portions!

Sooo on a side not but speaking of not denying yourself. Don't deny yourself pleasure either...

There are two Eden Fantasy giveaways going on that could help you will that resolution. Check them out at

Just Because I am a Mom... Doesn't mean I can't.

or

Leslie Loves Veggies

Tempting as it may be to not journal everything we eat... Like those Milk Duds that we swiped from the Halloween candy stash or the Reeses Bell from the leftover stocking stuffer candy it is important that we hold ourselves accountable and journal it all.

So what is accountability? Dictionary.com defines it as "the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable." We are accountable for a lot of things in our life. It is pretty difficult because being accountable is also admitting that we did something. So stop those rationalizing brains from over thinking and thinking away the need to hold ourselves accountable. We are the best people to do that for ourselves so we must start at this point. And I am no super person when it comes to this because I hate recording the cobbler or cake when I have it because I think the computer will judge me... Dang ole computer always looking at me sideways when I eat! Oh well. One of my all time favorite quotes about accountability is this one by M.Armstrong "The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch." So we need to stand under out arches of food. Unless we hold ourselves accountable we will make no change whatsoever.




So get on CalorieStory or Livestrong DailyPlate. Buy a notebook that you keep with you. Write a blog about it. But journal what you have eaten. This is not even a D-word move but more of a... I know I will eat less junk if I have to write it down but unless I hold myself to writing it down it will not affect how I eat at all move. I am with you writing away even when I hate to.



An upside to the journal! You will get a better idea of when you are most tempted to eat junk by reviewing you old logs and seeing where it is you ate junk the most. Not that junk is not okay on the occasion but there are times of day where I know that I will be tempted to eat junk that I can try to fill with something else to distract myself from that temptation.




So we all look at the bathroom scale with horror especially during a D-word.... Even fitness pros tell you that the scale is deceiving and that daily weigh ins aren't necessary because of the body's normal fluctuation daily. So what do we do?? I am more of a fan of a weekly or bi-weekly weigh in. This gives a chance for loss but without the stress of the fluctuation of up to 5lbs give you stress.



Today's tip is about meal planning. Remember to use your resources! On Livestrong.com there are some pretty excellent recipes that have healthy alternatives. But what about when you have ingredients or need to search for a specific part of the meal?? My recommendation for this is AllRecipes.com and its advanced search option where you can search for a dinner side that is low-fat, low-cal, gluten free etc and so on! Also you can search for the ingredients that you have on hand in that same search. Another alternative without as many bells and whistles is at supercook.com and it allows an ingredient search. I prefer AllRecipes because they have a vast amount of recipes. The recipes have nutrition information and you can print them with that information on the recipe making it for easy figuring later. Plus scroll on down the recipe and there is feedback from other users who have made the recipe, ratings, and notes about things that you could try differently.


I guess the biggest tip for today is that good for you is not tasteless and when you use your resources you can find some excellent things that won't cost a lot of CALORIES!


A few tricks to increasing Calories burned daily... These are pretty simple and i am sure you have heard them all...

1) Drink plenty of water. Throw out that 8 glass a day rule with the 2,000 a day rule. Both are pretty worthless in the end.
CalculatorsLive Daily Water requirements calculator has a great calculator that figures out how much water you shoudl drink daily based on activity level as well as weight. Drinking water is intended to replace what is lost daily. This helps clean out your system and aids in healthy body weight. And just like the Calories depending on the person the amount of water your boday needs varies. Another calculator can be found at CSGnetwork.com as the Human Water Requirement Calculator. That Calculator figures based on weight as well as exercise but it is a little more accurate since exercise is in minutes and not statements. But what sets this calculator apart is that it also includes climate since the temperature outside changes the amount of water needed. So use what you like but remember to drink you water.




2) Hoof it. Walk it. Skip it. Move. Instead of hoping in the car to travel where possible walk. At my job I usually walk to lunch at the dining hall and drive to where my clients live. I could easily walk but tend to be lazy and drive. It is faster and increases how long I can stay with the kiddos so weighed out it is worth the loss of movement. But it is pretty easy to walk or take the stairs when possible. Simple.




3) Forget the desk chair. Sitting on a balance ball, exercise ball, fitness ball could increase your dailt Calories burned by up to 350 Calories daily. This is an easy task. Yes you will look funny. But since I have been doing I think I have experienced more curious people and less what an idot people. I like it. It helps with balance and from fitness gurus it keeps your muscles activated helping with caloric burn. I like it. Simple solution for a few more calories. But remember to bring your air pump or you will eventually be sitting on the gound with a armrests.




4) Trick your mind with a smaller plate. I am a member of the clean plate club. We go way back! If there was a platinum membership I would be there. I have a lot of trouble not eating everything on my plate even when I know it is too much. So I eat it all and regret later. What the people who get the big bucks have said is that a smaller plate and a larger plate when filled will both satify the person who is eating because we are looking at the empty plate and not the amount. Weird. If it works for you then do it.




5) Slow down the scarf fest. The faster you eat the more you will eat and you might eat more than you need to. The easy solution would be to simply slow down. But when I am shoveling it in it is easier said than done. So what is the solution. Here is a rule to follow to force some slow down. After each bite put your fork/spoon down. After three bites take a sip of water and repeat. With this you pretty much have no choice but to slow down with all of this up and down of the fork.




So that was just a couple of quick tips. Take em, Leave em, or Laugh at em but thats what I got so enjoy!

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