Monthly Archives: May 2013

I’ve Come A Long Way

I was talking about ice cream with my friend Bekah yesterday. I love ice cream. And cake! Truthfully, I love all sweets, but I mainly struggle with cake and ice cream. I struggle with cookies too, actually. BUT….back to the ice cream! I love ice cream! In fact  I love it so much, that I stopped buying it a while back. That’s weird, right? Why would you stop buying something if you love it so much? Easy. Because I couldn’t say no to it once it was in my home. There was a time in my life when, if I bought a container of ice cream, it would be gone two days later. Not purchasing it anymore seemed like the best alternative. So that’s what I did.

However, a little over two weeks ago, I was about to make a trip to Publix when Benji told me he wanted some ice cream. I originally planned to “accidentally” forget it while there, but then I felt bad for being a food nazi and decided to get some. I was nervous about buying it because I was afraid I’d eat it all. I know y’all probably think I’m joking, but I am not. I was seriously afraid I’d eat the whole container.

But you know what? I didn’t!

That container of ice cream stayed in our freezer until last night. It lasted over two weeks and I rarely thought about it while it was here. This is a big freakin’ deal, and I’m excited about it!

It just shows how far I’ve come over the past two years. Food no longer has power over me. I credit prayer, my children and a couple of health-minded friends for helping me to break the chains of food addiction.

I think back to right before I found out I was pregnant with Harper. I was eating a diet made up almost entirely of processed/packaged foods. I was extremely overweight and was very unhappy with myself. I felt like a prisoner in my own body, and like I’d never be able to change my habits. I remember meeting with a nutritionist in early February of that year. She asked about my vegetable intake and I listed instant mashed potatoes as one of my vegetables. Seriously. It was bad.

Fast forward to the present and my diet has completely flip-flopped. I eat lots of real vegetables, and limit my processed food intake.  And you know what? I feel so much better. I’m still not at my goal weight, but I actually feel good about myself. Even at my current weight. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think I feel better (emotionally & physically) because I’m eating better!

So yeah. I’m happy with the way things are going in my life, health-wise. :::::happy dance:::::

I wanted to share a few things I’m doing differently and a couple of my new favorite food things, in case anyone is interested. Here goes:

  • Coconut Oil

I added it to my diet. The benefits are a mile long, so I use it for everything now – diaper rashes, moisturizer, cooking…I even put it in my coffee. It’s yummy, healthy and aids in weight loss. So….there you have it.

http://www.naturalnews.com/026808_oil_coconut.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/01/coconut-oil-benefits_n_3194782.html#slide=more295092

Costco has the best deal on it. They have a 54oz container for sixteen bucks. One container lasts us about a month.

coconut oil

  • I stopped doing Weight Watchers.

It’s true. I was obsessing with numbers, and it was stressing me out. Weight Watchers did me a favor in teaching me moderation, but it was seriously making me angry that eating an avocado would cost me nine points when eating a bag of chips would cost me four. Shouldn’t they encourage me to eat the avocado?! I decided to stop doing WWs because I felt like sometimes I would choose something with a lower point value that wasn’t as healthy as an item with a higher point value, simply to stay within my point range.

I haven’t counted calories or points since early April. I’ve lost nine pounds since then.

  • Real food for the win.

I’m letting myself eat whatever I want, as long as it’s real. Even candy. My new favorite product is this:

unjunked candy

They have an unjunked version of just about every candy under the sun – M&Ms, Snickers, Reese’s, Twix. Oh, and did I mention that these are delicious? I actually like them better than M&Ms! And the ice cream that I mentioned up above? It was real too. I’m trying my best to stay away from fake food products. If it has a bazillion scientific-y sounding ingredients, I don’t buy it. If it’s bleached, or enriched, I don’t buy it. If there are artificial dyes in it, I don’t buy it. My body wasn’t made to process junk, so I’m doing my best to stay away from fake things.

  • No more stressing about food

One of my lovely, health-minded friends (hello, T!) sent me something profound a couple of months ago. It basically stated that if you’re stressing about your weight, it doesn’t matter how healthy you eat…your body is going to respond to your negative emotions and process that food differently. This article says it best:

http://psychologyofeating.com/relax-and-burn-calories/

Seriously. It was life-changing.

  • And on a similar note: I am loving me. 

No more self-hate. I am giving myself a break, and accepting where I am right now. Whenever I catch myself thinking negative thoughts, I immediately change them to positive ones.

579508_10151934280834689_853602442_n

  • Exercise 

I’m active every day. I walk two miles with some mom friends every morning during the week, and my new job keeps me on my feet too!

  • Water

Do I need to elaborate? I’m drinking lots of it.

So those are just a few things that I’ve started doing differently. I’m really excited that I’m still losing weight while not counting calories. It’s effortless and that’s a first for me. It’s proof that being positive and loving myself is making a difference.

Also, I went back and looked at this picture today, and it made me so happy:

WW ProgressIn that first picture, I was miserable and had no confidence in myself to lose weight. But then….I did it. I’m currently about 15 lbs away from the picture on the right. I tried those jeans on this morning though, and they fit. Not really sure how that works, but I’ll take it!

And here’s the most recent picture of me:

310020_10151612497316772_1767020090_n

I’d honestly like to drop a few more sizes so that I can shop at Abercrombie and Fitch. Hahahaha. NOT. I’m just excited to be feeling good. It may take me a decade to get to a “normal” weight, but I’m okay with that. I’m happy with who I am. Finally.

A Few Tips

So, as mentioned in my previous post, I have a new J-O-B. I’m going to refrain from using the company’s name on my blog (if you’re a friend of mine, you likely already know it) but I will tell you that I’m waiting tables.

I’ve been there for a month, and so far I love it! This is my first job waiting tables, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started. I’m extroverted, so I thought I’d probably like it, but a small part of me was also afraid that I’d hate it – I had heard horror stories from a few people who had worked in this field.

My experience thus far has been mainly positive, although I have encountered some of “those” people that others warned me about. I’ve learned a lot. A LOT. And I want to share some of it here for any of you who have never worked in this field before. I wish I had known some of these things before now. So…here are some tips (like that?):

#1. Christians. In restaurant world, you are known as bad tippers. When your server watches you bow your head to bless your food, he/she probably isn’t thinking “Wow, I want to know their God.” They are likely thinking “Great. I’m about to get a bad tip.” You know how I know? Because this is exactly what crosses my mind when I see people blessing their food. I feel bad for admitting that, but it’s true. And I think this way because it’s what I’ve experienced. I’ve had about five families pray in front of me so far. Out of those five, only one left me a good tip. The rest didn’t even tip 10%. One wasn’t even 5%. It makes me sad for my coworkers. I’m glad that I was the one serving these particular Christians, but I know my coworkers still get them too. I work with so many unbelievers…I hate that this is their experience of Christianity. How about we change it? 🙂

#2 Please do not fight in front of me. I’m serious. I don’t care if you’re mad at your husband for stealing an olive off your plate, or if you think your daughter needs to know how crappy her boyfriend is because he doesn’t have a job. Please keep that mess at home. Or at least wait until I’m gone from your table. It’s just awkward.

#3 Stop stealing my pens. The restaurant doesn’t provide those…I do. And yes, little old lady. I did see you admire my blue pen and stick it into your purse even though you knew it didn’t belong to you.

#4 If you like wine, and I offer you a free wine sample…TAKE IT. My managers keep track of my wine samples. I have to do a wine presentation for them if I don’t sample enough. Wine presentations make me nervous…so help me out by taking a free sample. Thanks.

#5 Write me notes on the back of your receipt. They actually make me smile more than big tips do. For real.

receipt

#6 If you’re unhappy with something, please tell me so that I can fix it. Before working in this industry, I was always afraid it would make my waitress angry if I told her my food tasted funny, or that it wasn’t hot enough. I’m finding now that I feel the exact opposite. I want to know if you’re unhappy so that I can fix it. I truly want you to be 100% satisfied when you leave to go home.

#7 Get off your cellphone. At least for two seconds so that I can greet you and take your order.

#8 Along the same lines. When I walk up to your table and greet you…please stop talking to each other and acknowledge my presence within 20 seconds. Why do I even have to say this?

#9 Be nice to me. Please? Believe it or not, when I’m taking longer than expected to get to your table, it isn’t because I’m lazy or not trying hard enough to get to you. It’s because there are “behind the scenes” rules that you aren’t aware of preventing me from getting to you. Like the one where if there is hot food in the window, I’m required to take it to it’s designated table, even if it doesn’t belong to me. On the weekends, this can really mess me up because there is ALWAYS hot food in the window. This means that anytime I go to the kitchen to get something for you, I’m going to be asked to run a tray somewhere else. Yes, I realize this makes it seem like I’m serving others before you, and I’m sorry. My manager made me do it.

#10 If you’re going to be sitting at your table for over an hour, please tip a little bit more. Just a little bit 🙂 I’m only allowed a certain amount of tables at a time, so when you stay longer than an hour, you are preventing me from making much money.

#11 Ask me questions. I love when people ask for my suggestions or what my favorite dish is. The other night, a lady asked about two dishes that I love equally! She told me to surprise her with my choice so I flipped a coin. She thought it was hilarious and I was glad to make her laugh.

#12 If I tell you that I haven’t tried a particular item on the menu, and you order it, please do not insist that I taste it once you receive it. I will be tempted to, because I am likely starving since I haven’t had a break, but I can’t. Can you imagine if my manager walked by and found me eating off your plate? Awkward.

#13 Bad tips hurt my feelings. I wish I could say just kidding, but they really do. When I go the extra mile to serve you, only to find a $2 tip in return, it hurts my feelings. I’ve even cried over it before. If you’re laughing with and talking to me while at one of my tables, and I’m doing a great job, please do not leave me a bad tip in return. It feels like a slap to the face.

#14 Please come back and ask for me. I want regulars!

#15 I enjoy your children! A lot of parents get embarrassed and apologize for their children making messes and being loud, but seriously…kids are my favorite customers. They are so much fun, and I love having them at my tables. Keep bringing them in!

Okay…I think that’s it for now. I’ve only been doing this for a month, so I’m sure I’ll have more things to say in the future. Hopefully, this post doesn’t step on any toes. If it does, I’m sorry.

I feel really fortunate to have found this job. It is physically demanding (I’ve lost 7.5 lbs in the past month) and tiring, but it is so much fun! It’s fast-paced and exciting. I love the people. And I don’t stare at the clock while I’m there. It’s pretty great!

I love cake.

This has nothing to do with cake. I just couldn’t think of a title. I love cake so much that it was the first thing that popped into my head. So now it’s the title of this post. Sorry if you came here hoping to photo-lust over pictures of cake.

I’m really posting because I want to remember this past Mother’s Day. It was fabulous.

I worked a double-shift at my new job (more on that in another post), so I was expecting it to be anything, but fabulous. I worked Friday and Saturday night, and during both shifts, people talked about how busy Mother’s Day would be for the business. I heard from several that it was the busiest day of the year and most were saying it’d be horrible.

I went into to work at 11AM and there was a line out the door. And it never stopped. Fast forward to 8PM: I hadn’t sat down once, I hadn’t eaten…I hadn’t even taken a restroom break. I was tired and my feet were burning.

I got home close to 10PM and I was so ready to crash. Benji had texted me and told me that Harper picked out a gift for me and that he was insisting on waking up to see me open it.

Have y’all ever woken a toddler up from a deep sleep? It’s a dangerous game that usually ends pretty badly. I walked through the door hoping to talk Benji out of waking him up. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with a cry-fest because we woke Harper up. Well…Benji insisted because he’s a man of his word and had told Harper he would wake him up. Benji went to wake him up, and I sat down on the living room floor, waiting to hear a grumpy whine come from his room.

Y’all. He came out of his room DANCING. He was SO excited about giving me my present. It was the cutest thing ever! He was smiley and happy and just plain adorable. It was the best thing to come home to after such a long day.

I forgot to mention that Emrist also happened to randomly wake up after I got home, so I got to spend some time with both of my babies. I think Jesus just knew I needed this:

IMG_1242Look at that joy!

IMG_1249

These are my gifts.

The owl cookie jar was from Harper, the painting was from Benji and the nesting dolls (which are actually measuring cups) were from Emrist. I loved everything! Here’s a picture of the inside of the nesting dolls:

IMG_1253

Awesome, right?!

On top of the awesome gifts, Benji also got me two cards from the kids. I teared up while reading them. And I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve read them several times since then and they still make me cry. Every time.

Harper’s:

IMG_1256

IMG_1257

Emrist’s:

IMG_1258

These are super special to me. I wasn’t there to watch the process, so I don’t know exactly how it works, but you put the child’s handprint inside the card. Harper’s didn’t turn out as well as Emrist’s did because he was so squirmy. I love that and think it’s perfect!

I feel so blessed to have such a kind, caring and thoughtful husband. He really is the best. He has always done things to make me feel special, but this one was over the top! I appreciate the gifts and the cards, but the effort is what I appreciate most. He took both of our littles all the way to Montgomery, and went shopping with them…alone. If you have more than one kid, you know what a big deal this is! He cleaned the house (even the microwave, y’all!), wrapped the gifts, took the time to write the cards and put the handprints inside, bought me candy, etc. He did so much just to make sure that I felt loved. And I do.

I am so blessed and loved. And that’s why I wrote this. I just want to remember.

And just in case any of you are angry that there was no cake…here:

3092_MEDIUM

I seriously just spent ten minutes looking a pictures of cake on google. I love cake.

 

 

Doing Things Differently, Part II

This post will be less about ME doing things differently, and more about Emrist doing things differently.

You’d think that when having a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) baby, that you’d expect him/her to be different from your first child because well…they have a whole new set of genes, right? For some reason, I didn’t think like that when Emrist was coming. I had it in my head that she was going to be more like Harper than she would be different. I expected the same hellish first few weeks, the same sleep issues, reflux problems, the same personality, etc. I even expected her to look like him. I don’t really know why. It seems stupid now because….hello! She is her own person. I guess it’s just hard to imagine what you haven’t already experienced? Who knows. But Em is completely different from her big brother.

People have told me not to compare them to each other, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t. And is it even possible not to? Is there a mother out there who sees one child do something and doesn’t immediately think back to how that same event took place in the life of their sibling? I honestly compare Harper and Emrist all the time. Not in a “I wish he or she was different” kind of way, of course. I just enjoy thinking back to how things happened with Harper and how they are happening now. It’s interesting to me. So that’s really what this blog post is about. The differences.

163523_10151583857391772_1810932329_n

While pregnant with Em, I heard from several people to expect her to be worse than Harper was. The second child is always harder, y’all! Especially when your first is really laid back and easy. At least, this is what most people were telling me. Unfortunately, I bought into it and spent most of my pregnancy afraid of her. My first few weeks with Harper were the hardest thing I had ever been through, and this little girl was going to be worse?! Holy crap! How would ever survive it?

And then she came, and she was a breeze. I didn’t have to hold her while she was sleeping like I had to do with Harper. I could put her down and she actually stayed asleep. What? We never had to swaddle her. Not once. Harper was swaddled until about five months because his arms flew all over the place, waking him up constantly. In the beginning, Emrist only woke up two times a night, compared to Harper, who woke up countless times. As a newborn, Emrist only had one crying fit where nothing comforted her. Harper had several of those.

She smiled later than Harper did, ate less than he did as a newborn and weighs less than he did at this age. She still has the same glorious, chunky thighs though 🙂 She’s way more active than he ever was at this age. Harper didn’t start crawling until his first birthday, and didn’t walk until 17 months. Emrist just turned five months and is already trying to crawl. She flipped over for the first time when she was only two months old.  She can now flip over both ways, and can scoot a little if she gets mad enough.

Some people tell me that she’s so active because she’s a girl, but I really think it’s just the differences in their personalities. Once we got past the first three months with Harper, he was always super chill and content. He was happy to just sit in front of a window for 45 minutes and watch the trees blowing in the breeze. Even to this day, we can make a 12 hour drive without him making a peep, and we don’t even own a DVD player for the car. He is a rare toddler, indeed. He’s just a content little soul, and always has been.

Emrist is happy. She’s the happiest baby I’ve ever met, actually. But she still wants to go and do. You can see it in her eyes. She wants to do what everyone else is doing. I honestly think she’s going to be a handful once she is mobile. She reminds me of myself as a child and I think she’ll be into everything! I guess we shall see.

Emrist is touchy-feely. Harper wasn’t when he was her age, but he is now. She loves faces…A LOT. Seeing someone will calm her down from almost anything…even if she’s upset because of hunger. Harper needed naps in order to be happy and still does! I remember he would get grumpy right on the dot at nap time. He wouldn’t be happy until you put him in his crib. Emrist on the other hand can go without a nap and be just fine. When she does take naps, she sleeps longer than he did at this point. She usually takes three naps a day. Two 45 minute naps and then one 3-4 hour nap. Harper would only sleep for 45 minutes at a time by this point.

So there are some of their differences. I’m sure I’m leaving a few out, but you get the point.

They also have a few similarities, of course! They are both comedians, and love to smile and laugh. They are morning people and wake up in a good mood. They both love people…even strangers. They both have gigantic heads (we call it the Waldrop jug in my family). And they both just seem to be gentle/kind individuals.

They both stopped taking to paci and started sucking their thumbs. Emrist just really started doing this, and I love it. And lastly, they both have “babies”. Harper’s is his bunny, and it’s looking like Emrist has attached to a blanket that a friend bought for her.

No matter what I do, she has to sleep like this now:

photo-1

With the blanket over her face. And yes, it is scary!

It’s a really thin and breathable blanket, but I still freak out when I see her do this lol. And when I try to fix it, she just puts it back. Silly girl. Something about this picture reminds me of a sleepy teenager.

So that’s that. Two different individuals with completely different likes, dislikes, needs and wants. Imagine that! 😉