Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I love purple. Green is my favorite color but I really love purple. I won't wear purple. My house isn't painted purple although I've lived in a purple house. I gravitate toward purple things. I find purple font pleasing to my eyes. I dress my daughter in purple. She doesn't seem to mind. I like to find purple images on the internet and save them to use for avatars and greeting card backgrounds and other miscelaneous nonsense.

Here are some of my favorites:


Monday, January 21, 2008


I have some really wonderful friends, very few but they are so dear to my heart. Ampy, as you know, passed away in August but I'm going to count her because I still talk to her all the time. I'll run through them from the one I've known the longest to the one I've known the shortest.

Joleen: My oldest and dearest friend of 33 years. We met in kindergarten and became inseparable by the second grade. We have gone through thick and thin together, had rough times that tested our friendship but our bond survived stronger than ever. We have stood by each other against the worst adversaries, cried together in grief and giggled over coffee more times than we can count but not nearly enough times to satisfy our loneliness for each other. Nothing could tear us apart. I would catch a bullet for her.

Darhla: We also met in kindergarten and were close for so many years. We were in girl scouts together, went to each others' birthday parties and seemed to have an understanding that although our lives were often leading in opposite directions our friendship would stay solid, a trust you don't often find in people. We lost touch for many years but now that we are back in touch we're nurturing our relationship and getting to know each other in a whole new way yet it's still like we're sharing a seat on the school bus like old times, laughing and having fun.

Pattie: She moved to my neighborhood when we entered Junior High, so 26 years. She's a wild one and just as southern and sweet as can be. We partied a lot together. She represents a crazy time in my life. We are continuously surprised that our friendship survived all that mess. We're not terribly close now but we make a point to stay in touch. She will always say that she should have listened to me, that I was always right, and she's right. LOL

Judy: She's a good ol' gal from Kansas that I met through my dad when I went to visit him one year before I ever moved there. We would hang out for lunch sometimes or go out dancing and drinking. She's a real talker and so am I so we got to know each other rather quickly. She's true blue. You know what makes a good friend is someone who will stand by you no matter what and support your dicisions and stand up for you against all odds. That's her. We write letters all the time and I always make her something special around Christmas in an angel theme because she collects angels. She's my angel on Earth. I just love her to death, let's see, going on 20 years. We rarely see each other but when we do it's like old times.

Whit: I remember the first time I saw Whit I pointed to her and told my MIL, "That's the person I've been waiting to meet since we moved here." and she was. Sophie was not yet walking so it's been about 4 years, I think. We don't see each other nearly as often as we'd like. She's such an awesome person, I feel blessed to know her and call her friend. We understand and respect each other. I'd let her raise my kids.

Ampy: Dear Ampy. We didn't get to know each other for very long but her death tore a piece of my heart out that will never grow back. She was my neighbor for awhile when we first bought this house 5 years ago. I persisted in forging a friendship with her because I had a feeling, a feeling that it would be something we both needed. It wasn't easy. Ampy was a very private, very jaded person. She didn't like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Someone had to really prove themselves to her to be a true friend. When they moved away from our neighborhood I made her some promises. When she needed my help she called on me to keep those promises and I did. That's what won her over. After that we were able to open up to each other and share our secrets, our fears, our prejudices and our senses of humor. She was one of my best friends and I miss her so much.

Devon: Devon is Rhetta's occupational therapist but over the last three years she has become my mentor, my rock and my friend. She is so easy to communicate with. We share all kinds of ideas and opinions and have many things in common. If I believed in souls I'd say Devon's is a pure one. I hope this will be a lifelong friendship.

Rhetta's January Post

I have not been keeping track of all we have been doing but it's been a fun month! We are using Rhetta's reading skills to our advantage in helping her learn how communication works verbally. I have been scripting a lot of what we do, but only on the fly. If I had an assistant I would have tons of cue cards made up by now that she can read.

Her fine motor seems, to me, to be stalled. She won't anchor her hand for writing and still mostly palms her writing instrument. I bought her a little wooden recorder and labeled the fingerholes so she can practice putting her fingers in required spots. I'm hoping that will help train her fingers to grip better which will hopefully bring her closer to holding that pencil. Her scissor work is much better but still very little control over the length of the cut. She has moved on from snips to cuts, though, so that's something. She's also starting to color and in the lines at that. Still not grasping the matching worksheets we do - drawing a line from the dog to the doghouse and the chicken to the henhouse, etc. Need to figure out a different approach to that.

Physically she's doing awesome. All we do anymore is dance it seems. This frigid weather has her cooped up indoors. She does not enjoy the cold at all, snow or no snow. Dancing around in her underwear however is her favorite pastime.

She does real well applying glue but gets frustrated when paint doesn't go where she wants it to go or drips somewhere she doesn't want it. She much prefers her dry erase still. It's really our greatest tool.

The playroom is a success so now the space in the living room is dedicated to school and floortime. Devon let us borrow a cute little bench and table set that fits perfectly in that corner. We picked it up this weekend and will use it for the first time tomorrow when I break out the art supplies again.

Rhetta has been showing a lot of interest in currency so she gets to name the coins when we get change back at the store. She also likes to separate them by denomination and count how many we have of each.

Much emphasis has been spent on the Wh questions. She doesn't answer questions like, "Where is the ball?" She doesn't show that they register at all. Her speech pathologist loaned us some flashcard-type sets of Who? Why? How? and When? - still waiting for the What? and Where? which are the two we needed to start with. Am going to get our copies at very soon. Each card asks a question with an accompanying picture. The reverse of the card answers it also with an accompanying picture. Perfect for kids who think in pictures. Rhetta has taken to them pretty well. Time will tell if any of it is sinking in. They're fun, though, and she can learn all manner of things just from the Q & A alone.

Latest project is making her own thank you cards. I got frustrated with that so we're taking a break. I think I need to get a bunch of alphabet stickers at A Scrapbooker's Dream here in town so she can do them that way. That is oneof my sister's ideas and I like it.

I am also looking into dance classes and art classes and swimming lessons and maybe some music lessons. I'm super excited for Rhetta this year.

She'll continue doing 9 hours a week at preschool until summer break. Need to talk with them folks more about her new goals and getting everything into her IEP. Already talking about some hours in kindergarten next year. She really enjoys group music and outside play and stuff like Duck, Duck, Goose. The kids this year were frustrated with her at first but instead of shunning her most of them try to spend some time with her and are fascinated by her reading skills. I'm a little afraid of the mainstream public school we're looking at but if Montessori calls we're in until the 7th grade.

She really impressed me at how well she got along with Cameron this weekend after not seeing him for a year and a half. She was willing to share everything with him except for a couple of very special things. He respected that which was also awesome. He was her very first friend and I think she'll always love him the way she does. She was in his face frequently saying, "Hi Cameron!" and at one point hugged him spontaneously. That alone is unheard of from Rhetta. It just doesn't happen. I think some of the children at school hug her that way and of course we do all the time, and I mean all the time. She also hugs her brother spontaneously. It's just so sweet.

I am really enjoying the changes and surprises. I can't wait to report what new things she's done next month.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

100 Random Things About Me

1. I have a scar on my temple from the forceps
2. I was 4 when I shoplifted for the first time.
3. I learned about sex from a 10mm reel to reel porno flick.
4. I stood up into a hotwire fence and was instantly knocked down to the ground.
5. I hated college with every fiber of my being.
6. My parents divorced when I was 18.
7. I got pulled over in Dalhart, TX and threatened with having a drug dog come and sniff the car but managed to talk my way out of it intelligently knowing full well the dog would have found at least three stashes of marijuana.
8. I will never forgive my MIL for what's she's done and she's too blind to realize what that was.
9. I am slowly working on having no regrets.
10. I have hiked across the Grand Canyon from South to North in two days.
11. I have hitchhiked around the Grand Canyon from the North Rim east and around west to the South Rim with my sister and my dad getting a number of rides including on top of some mail sacks in the back of a mail carrier's van.
12. I rode the roller coaster on Boblo Island.
13. I quit drinking hard liquor when I turned 21, more or less.
14. I used to swim in the Rio Grande with my dog, Frosty.
15. I was and forever will be a tomboy.
16. I starred in the operatta The Runaway Snowman in the 6th grade. I was the snowman.
17. I starred in a community production of the musical Guys and Dolls when I was in the 11th grade. I was Sarah.
18. I did methamphetamines for a year before I turned 30.
19. That year I survived on Mountain Dew, Snickers, Chef Boyardi Beef Raviolis and Budweiser beer.
20. I was with the guy who got me started on meth for three and a half years.
21. I am still close friends with his mother.
22. I lived in Roswell, NM for two weeks.
23. I've shot at but never killed a deer.
24. My first sewing project was doll clothes for a 2 and a half inch tall doll when I was 5.
25. I sometimes buy things from Wal-Mart, use them once, then return them.
26. I have never been to New England.
27. I learned my fractions on the back of a paper grocery bag by the light of a lantern on the roof of our house while my dad was finishing up some reroofing.
28. I cannot balance on a skateboard.
29. I can't wait for the ground to thaw every year.
30. The only thing I miss about smoking is going outside for the winter sunrises.
31. I had never heard the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes before Rhetta's first Baby Einstein video.
32. I completed my BA in Music Education all the way up to student teaching before quitting college. I think it was 72 credits in all, maybe half the degree.
33. I sang lead in a classic rock-n-roll band called Lost City for two years when I was 18 and 19.
34. I used to make an effort to smoke pot in random graveyards I encountered on road trips.
35. My best friend and I used to have cowpie fights after school.
36. I have been shot at with rock salt for being in someone's cornfield.
37. I started drinking coffee when I was 13?
38. I was a Girl Scout up to Cadet.
39. I grieve not being able to find my old lunch boxes from grade school.
40. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was the 70's rerelease of Fantasia.
41. I used to sneak beer into the mall with my friends.
42. I still have unused tickets to the Icecapades from 1987.
43. I bloodied the nose of a 6th grade boy when I was in the 2nd grade defending a boy in my class.
44. I admire much of my sister's parenting.
45. No one in my life has ever loved me as much as my children do.
46. I was kicked out of kindergarten after two weeks because I was born 8 days late of the deadline making me about a year older than the rest of the kids in my class throughout school.
47. I often doubt my own parenting.
48. I often criticize others' parenting.
49. I am shocked and amazed at how much taxes we are getting back this year.
50. I still hate one of my sister's best friends for always pulling my hair for no reason when she was visiting our house, especially when she pulled it during the visit to my mom's when I was 28.
51. I wore a lot of makeup on my face in the 80's.
52. I stopped wearing a bra in high school and didn't start wearing one again until about 8 years later.
53. I had upstairs neighbors in a rental house who would pass the bong through the laundry shoot during parties.
54. I was arrested for DUI in a county I was unfamiliar with in Kansas.
55. I accidentally sliced the tip of my left thumb off with a hatchet making kindling.
56. I have been to The Haight in San Francisco, CA several times.
57. I used to sneak out of our bedroom window to meet my friends down the road after I was already in after curfew.
58. I had seen the movie The Wizard of Oz on TV at least 14 times before I ever knew it was filmed in color.
59. I still wonder where I'd be now if I had remained single. Dead no doubt.
60. I am glad Rhetta has so many delays sometimes because she's not growing up as fast as other kids so I get to enjoy the early years that much longer.
61. I am very proud of my little family.
62. I learned how to butcher animals for food by coming home from school to my goat's head in a bucket and my dad removing the hide.
63. Most of my neighborhood around UNM in Albuquerque thought I was a lesbian because I was butch from being on the farm and didn't immediately sleep with all the guys at all the parties.
64. I learned about composting from a housemate in that same neighborhood. Everyone thought he was gay because he didn't date and wasn't sleeping with me.
65. I hate stereotypes.
66. I was cruel to my mother before I made an effort to understand her.
67. I have played all the musical instruments at least once except the oboe and bassoon.
68. I had such bad menstrual cramps as a teen I thought childbirth would be easy.
69. I was wrong!
70. I can still feel my first kiss on my lips.
71. I am so lucky to have the few close friends I do have.
72. I have lost count every time I try to count my blessings.
73. I have seen the Space Shuttle land in Alamagordo, NM when no civilians were supposed to be within sight of it.
74. I have held live rattlesnakes in my hands.
75. I was chased through a field by a very angry badger once.
76. I never had a bite of pork (other than bacon) until I was a teenager.
77. I was told once that I can't save the world but I never believed it.
78. I have secrets I'll never tell.
79. I wish I could travel the world.
80. I can't pick a favorite smilie.
81. My fingers smell like earwax at the moment.
82. I hate that school has been so good for Rhetta this year but only because I have so much dislike for schools in general.
83. A friend of mine in Albuquerque taught Montessori 3-4 year olds.
84. I make a slight effort to nurse Willon in places Iknow I have nursed Rhetta.
85. I have never feared change.
86. I grew up with a pervert living next door.
87. I used to have to dodge illegal immigrants that were hopping off the train at my bus stop before it went into town.
88. I know how to fire up and operate a steam tractor.
89. I have been to Chagrin Falls, OH, birthplace of Tim Conway.
90. I spent the night in the dorms at NYU Medical Center.
91. I stil have never taken the "A" train.
92. Although I would love to smoke marijuana regularly again I know I personally can't stay safe for my kids' sake so I don't.
93. My favorite vegetable is corn.
94. I would catch a bullet for any of my three best friends.
95. I still talk to Ampy's widower at least once a week.
96. If my parents had known about their own and thusly each other's diagnoses they might have been able to tolerate each other through recovery enough to stay together in marriage instead of burning those bridges.
97. I wonder where that one came from?
98. I was married to Rob on the brink of the world's largest precipice.
99. I have tent camped in two feet of snow in Yosemite.
100. Yoga is helping me let go of a lot of stored anger.

Friday, January 18, 2008

To my Dear Friend

8 years ago today one of my best friends gave birth for the first time. Recognizing a child's birthday is one thing but let's not forget the woman who carried, and loved and labored with that child in order to bring her into the world. Since then she has proven to be the most wonderful mothers to not only her first child but her second and her third.

Today I celebrate you, Whit.

Happy I-Gave-Birth-Day.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I have been doing something we call scripting with Rhetta that involves writing down our dialog as it goes while we're doing floortime or while we're doing other things. Sometimes I use a notebook and pen and other times I use the dry erase board and a marker. I have been concentrating on the WH questions that Rhetta is only now starting to grasp a tiny bit. She's asking "where" questions from time to time. As much as I'd like to take credit I do believe she got the form of it from the movie A Bug's Life in which there's a line, "Where's the food?" because she uses the same charactor voice. Still, I'll take what I can get. It's communication.

She's a fine reader now, still slow to sound out many words but very determined. She will keep reading to the last and be proud of it.

Tie that into the scripting and what we have is a way of showing her how words are used to communicate verbally and hopefully the written ones will bridge that gap of understanding. It will also help her understand how the written word has meaning and an added bonus is learning sentence structure.

Guess how I know. Go on. It's too cool.

She's composing sentences with her magnetic letters! This one is, "I am to bed." She skipped "going" in there because she didn't have enough letters. This she realized immediately after using the o.

Maybe she'll be a writer someday.

Did I mention she's not quite 5?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sleep and the Lack Thereof

Sleep Deprivation. It started when Rhetta was born. She and I got so little sleep. Less than the average new mother and baby, to be honest. She slept at the most 30 minutes, maybe three times in 24 hours. I slept even less. When she would finally go to sleep I couldn't help but stare at her the entire time. She looked so angelic in sleep, don't all babies? If I did sleep it was out of utter exhaustion.

As time crept by at a snail's pace her sleep patterns didn't improve much so neither did mine. I got no breaks. She would bond with no one else. Close to the age of one she started taking real naps, for two and three hours at a stretch! Did I catch some winks then? I had work to do. She and I spelt at night in 2-4 hours lengths with 2-3 hour gaps of wakefulness in between. She seemed fine with that although she had very bad mood swings.

Age two rolled around and along with an autism diagnosis. After that we gradually introduced her GFCF diet. One week after going GFCF she was sleeping 10-12 hours at a time and ours lives changed. I on the other hand remained wakeful, unable to reset my internal clock. Still, I was so used to being deprived of sleep I functioned normally and got a remarkable number of things done that year.

Rhetta had just turned three when we concieved Willon the following Spring. Being pregnant didn't help my sleep patterns anymore than not being pregnant did. If anything they worsened as the pregnancy progressed.

Finally after giving birth to Willon, my sleepy little boy, I started sleeping the sleep of the dead. It was glorious! The baby and I were sleeping 5-7 hours in a row after the first week. I woke up refreshed every time. I had quite forgotten what I was missing in sleep.

Fast forward to the present. I am not sleeping anymore. The baby is teething or feverish or restless and growing or clingy. I am back to getting very little rest and it's affecting me the way sleep deprivation is supposed to affect me. I'm wiped out. My eyes cross. I stumble. My temper is short and I have no energy for my life or my children. I am breastfeeding or I would seriously consider a sleep aid.

What happened to my ability to walk on water? Not very long ago I was Supermomma, able to leap tall compost piles in a single bound. Lately I feel more like Supermomma's nemesis, Lardbutt Lazypants, barely able to keep the children clean and the clothes washed.

I hope like hell I'm not getting old. Although, I have heard the older you get the less sleep you require. How that firgures in to my current situation I have no idea. Yet another symptom of sleep deprivation, confusion. So am I old or tired? Or am I old and tired? Either way I need to find a way to sleep.

Mister Sandman, Bring me a dream... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

From Fiction to Non-Fiction... Sigh

It is time for me to shift my concentration from the leisurely reading of fiction to my dusty pile of new non-fiction. I have been selfishly devouring the new books of my favorite murder mystery writers and rapidly checking off titles on my personal must-read classics list. There is a small collection of unread books about autism and social stories and another new one on the way by Stanley Greenspan, Engaging Autism, that actually fills me with anticipation. I also have The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook to peruse when I can give it my undivided attention.

So goodbye Kay Scarpetta and Kinsey Millhone. It was fun while it lasted. Today reluctantly I am back to reality.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rhetta's IEP

I am always such a defeatist when it comes to facing the school district people. I like them very much, they are nice people, but I'm not all that sure of what we'll be doing next year. Ideally I would like her in Montessori three times a week but I'm not even sure she's still on their list. We will be homeschooling her full-time whether or not through the Vision program, probably a little of both, otherwise. Or we can put her in kindergarten part-time and still have a paraprofessional. I am full of ideas. Thankfully we have options.

At her IEP meeting today I discussed a number of changes I want to happen for this semester.

- Use of Social Stories with pictures
- No more allowing her to perseverate
- Encourage more interactive play inside
- Take lots of pictures, I provide the camera and batteries
- More one on one with Para, less stepping back to see what happens
- Scripting, two different kinds

Scripting is new to us. One kind is a concept Rhetta's OT came to us with to help focus Rhetta on the language of interaction. It involves a notebook and a pen. The Para will be instructed to have it handy at all times during any social interactivity and for her to write down what is being said by the children and herself. Rhetta reads so it will be written and scripted according to her level. Her attention will be brought to the notebook during the scripting so she can see the words it requires to have a conversation and the order in which they occur, also focussing on punctuation. The second kind is one Rhetta's ST brought to us and has been using at the preschool and that involves cards with actual lines for her to say on them. So instead of just listening to or ignoring the person talking there are the actual words she can read while it's being stated.

Overall I felt really good about our meeting. We will meet again next week with the same special services people and her paraprofessional to discuss specific objectives.

It feels so great to finally have Rhetta integrated and so weird at the same time because technically we are homeschoolers. Thankfully we are in a state where we can still take advantage of all the services Special Services has to offer without totally compromising our plans for our children.

Anyway, I'm figuring some things out and I am happy with the direction we're taking Rhetta.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Poor Bubby

A toodler before his time. Not yet a year and walking everywhere. Too bad he doesn't always look where he's going.  He sustained a pretty bad gash on his lower lip but it didn't hardly phase him and it didn't require stitches. It looks like it's going to leave a scar, though. :(

All Those Thing You Do...

... before you can do those things you want to do. You are lucky to get some time to yourself. One child is sleeping and the other one(s) is(are) well occupied. All you want is 30 minutes to yourself to do whatever.

But, on your way to do that you have to: pee, put this away, pick that up, replace this, flick that off, turn that down, fill this up, straighten that, prepare those, turn this over, gather that up, put that in there, move this from here, take that off, find the other one, change this, save that, print those, test this, mail that, kick that out of the way, flush this, wipe that up, stuff those in there, quick throw that away, restore this, switch that, figure out where you saw it last and make sure there's enough of this, that and the other.

Where the hell did my 30 minutes go? And I still have to pee!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Still writing '07 on all my checks. Why didn't anyone remind me! Yes, I still write checks like a geezer.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Trying to Stay Positive is Not Working

Having a rough day. Trying to put it all into words makes it all sound so whiney. I keep backspacing. It's embarrassing. Maybe if I just list them instead of rambling...

Touched out with my kids - they are so clingy!
Having trust issues with some of my friends - I don't understand them.
Trying hard to not berate my husband - he's so dense sometimes!
Tired of hanging laundry - why did it have to rain today of all days!
Can't stop eating - what is wrong with me!
Drinking so much water - all I do is pee!
Need attention - why am I being ignored!
Couldn't bring myself to exercise today - it's selfish to take a day off.
Sick of being fat goddammit - yet have no motivation!

Man, I sound pathetic.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Grandpa's Birthday

Today is Grandpa's birthday. Rhetta is spending the evening making birthday cakes with candles out of our old building blocks. She's singing the Happy Birthday song, "Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to me, Fffft Fffft Fffft (blowing out the "candles")."

Love it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My New Fitness Plan

Some background: I have always been "healthy" and "big boned" but I have also always been muscular and energetic and physically active. I have almost always been comfortable with a higher percentage of body fat. It keeps me warm, I like that. More recently I have gained considerable weight in short periods of time, twice. I am no longer comfortable in this body.

First, I quit smoking. That was August 9, 2004. I immediately put on an ugly 55 extra pounds and that was just the first two months. I had more stretchmarks suddenly than I had being pregnant with Rhetta. Yikes.

I leveled out and emotionally was fine for awhile. I vowed I'd stay quit of smoking for three years before I tried to start something else, like losing this extra flab. My clothes didn't fit anymore, I was wearing my maternity clothes. I insisted on not buying any new clothes, what a waste! I was going to lose the weight and I'd be in my old clothes in no time.

My metabolism changed again, and quite suddenly, and I was faced with gaining another 30 pounds. Yikes again! I broke down and bought a new pair of jeans. I'm still wearing them and refuse to buy more but I have jeans that fit. My two year mark was coming up and we decided to have another baby. I wasn't sure I wanted to lose weight then gain a bunch while pregnant. Both times being pregnant I gained weight but lost all my pregancy weight during the first week post-partum. I'd love to blame my fat on that but alas I cannot.

My target date for weight loss remained my three year guit date and I felt great about it all. However during the pregnancy my hips and knees started to give me lots of trouble because of all the extra weight. I stuck it out and figured it was loose ligaments from the fluctuating hormones and figured it would go away after giving birth. Surprisingly it did not! It grew progressively worse and a month before my target date I couldn't walk anymore. I went down our back steps and I mean went down, as in on my butt. My knees would no longer carry my body. I was scared.

I got some x-rays of my knees done and was diagnosed with Patello-Femoral Syndrome. Great! Not! PFS is what happens when your muscles atrophy from little activity and the bones in your knees start readjusting and your leg bones bang on each other when you walk. GAH!

I went to a physical therapist, Mike, who showed me one day at a time twice a week how to strengthen my quads. Mike is cool and funny and smart so I wasn't dragging myself to appointments reluctantly. After almost 6 months he and I sat down and he helped me map out a daily routine to work my whole lower body; my hips, my quads, my lower back, my hamstrings, and my abs. This allowed me to make a new target date. New Year's Day was again convenient, coincidentally. That brings us up to the present.

My daily exercise routine is this:

Morning -
20 minutes of stretching/exercises
20-30 minutes of the exercise bicycle (thanks Santa!)

Evening -

20 minutes of stretching/exercises
20-30 minutes of the exercise bicycle (thanks Santa!)

Real exciting isn't it? LOL Walking was going to be my primary form of exercise, taking the kids around town in the double stroller, going to the lake, the parks, the store, etc. PFS put that on hold as did this frigid winter weather. At any rate, my new routine is working well. I have to wait for Willon to be napping and after both kids go to sleep at night so Willon doesn't get clocked by a bike pedal but that's working well for the most part. I can really tell when I miss a session. I'm burnng almost 800 more calories per day than usual. Yay me!

The rest of my plan is really a jumble of small goals I'm striving for in changing my daily life in order to lose this extra weight plus keep fit and healthy. They are, rather randomly off the top of my head, as follows:

- Drink more water
- One small snack allowed after 7pm before exercises
- Want a snack? Drink a glass of water first and wait.
- Ration the chocolate
- No added sugar
- No soda (see Resolutions)
- Get out for fresh air daily
- Healthier snacks
- Cut dairy intake by half
- Little to no fast food
- Pizza only on birthdays
- No alcohol
- Smaller portions/no more seconds
- Don't shop hungry
- Make menus
- Dance with the kids mor often

Many of these I've already accomplished and I feel good about them. Others I dread and don't really want to do. I mean, who doesn't want to just eat as much chocolate as they want with no consequences? Same goes for pizza. (moan)

So there it is, staring me in the face. Eat less, exercise more. Easy Peasy.

Hold me.


I make one every year since about 5 years ago. I like having a target date so New Year's is convenient. Mine are not always about improving myself. And I only decide on one. Making too many overwhelms me and I can't focus well.

In the past I have quit smoking, steadied our finances, stopped drinking coffee altogether, made one big craft project each year for someone else, and this year...

... no more soda in the house or from drive-ups, convenience stores, restaurants, or as offered by someone else. I am allowing myself one 20oz. soda per payday (every two weeks) starting yesterday.

Why? Soda is bad for my body. The sodium makes me retain water in places I don't want it, the citric acid gives me heartburn - I can get it from other sources, the sugar is nothing but, well, sugar. Diet soda? Ew! Can't stomach it and I wouldn't want to anyway. Soda is not hydrating and not healthy.

What's worse about soda? This is a diabolical marketing ploy. It doesn't quench your thirst. Combine that with the sugar and it makes you crave more.

So, no more for me. Yesterday was payday and I didn't even want one. Must be the heartburn I already had from the pizza.