Valentine’s Day, early edition

Jesse and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year because I have to work on the actual day.  We went out to Sakana Sushi (always fantastic food) and then we saw John Wick: Chapter Two.  I really liked the movie though it was super loud.  I mused to Jesse after it was over that I never realized how many assassins were in New York.  It felt like every extra on the scene was an assassin.  The body count was much higher than the first film.

It’s been warmer the past couple days and the boys have been outside to jump on the trampoline several times now.  Ezra in particular is loving it.

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We’ve had more contractors over to bid on landscaping and hopefully we will pick a cheap but competent company.  The most difficult part for me is that we don’t really have a set design for the front yard so it can be hard for me to articulate specifically what we’re looking for.  I’ll try to remember to take before and after photos.  The bummer is we got less back on our tax returns than I was hoping for so some of it will have to go on the credit card.  The good news is we have plenty of room on the card, the bad news is the card was so close to being paid off and I wanted to keep it that way.

I actually cleaned the bathrooms on my weekend!  It’s really amazing because I HATE cleaning bathrooms, especially the toilets, and that lack of love definitely showed.  They were pretty gross but now they are gleaming and I’m not *quite* so freaked out when Leo touches the toilet.

I was in a minor accident on my way home from work on Wednesday evening.

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As a result I had to bring my van into a collision repair shop and am now riding a rental until the van gets fixed.  Which apparently is going to be about 11 days because they had to order in some part.  Trying to wrestle the car seats into a sedan was a trip.  I’d honestly never had to move/install Leo’s car seat before, even when it belonged to Ezra.  Jesse has always handled that.  So I moved Ezra’s seat first and got that installed, put Leo in Ezra’s seat and had Ezra sit in the front seat while I tried to install Leo’s seat.  It took me forever!  I was all sweaty and probably swearing and these guys are just standing around and no one offers to help.  I ended up getting the seat installed ok but then I wasn’t able to tighten it much.  Jesse finished off the job when he got home.  Thanks, honey!

We have someone coming to get the chickens and the coop.  One of the contractors, actually.  I mentioned we were looking to get rid of the hens and he said he’d take them and now he’s planning on coming out tomorrow and that will be the end of our chicken saga.  For now, anyway.  Maybe if we get a house on a plot of land we’ll look into it again.  For now my mini homesteading dream is done.  Well, apart from some garden boxes we’ll put in.

I was cleaning out the fridge and we’ve had these bottles of fermented drinks in the fridge door for probably about seven months now and I decided it was time to get rid of them.  They were taking up valuable real estate!  I had grabbed a couple out of the door but then I remembered the hard work fermenting them was and didn’t want to waste it.  I hadn’t been drinking them because I’m not sure what the sugar content is and I’ve been trying to stay low carb lately but the past few days had not been low carb so I thought I’d crack a bottle open.  That particular bottle happened to be our homemade ginger ale.  It was so tasty!  Super bubbly and EXTREMELY ginger-y.  I guess I’ll keep the bottles awhile longer yet.

Leo has been super cute thinking he’s hiding from us.

He’s very stealthy, right?!

Ezra is a smarty

Ezra’s class finished mid-year testing and we went in this morning to get the results.  Apparently our child is amazingly brilliant, which we already knew.  He is leading his class in all areas and is more than double where he “should” be for the year.  She suggested for kindergarten we tell his teacher that he may need more advanced material than the rest of the class.  He has already mastered pretty much everything they will be teaching in kindergarten.  I asked if it would be worthwhile to have him tested to skip a grade and she said it could be beneficial but that he might miss out on the social interactions of kids his own age.  I think we’ll probably just continue to have him learn at home and then have his kindergarten teacher give him additional stuff to work on.

We also may still look into a dual-language immersion program of some sort, though Jesse is less keen on that idea than I am.  I am all for it, but Jess doesn’t want the hassle of trucking Ez to and from school.  But really, I’ll probably be the one doing that and I don’t have a problem with it.  Jesse reminded me that we still have an application in with the Neil Armstrong Academy.  I was thinking you have to apply every year but Jesse thinks it’s just a matter of being on the wait list.  I guess we’ll see.

We are down to just the two chickens now and I don’t think we’ll be getting more in the spring.  Jesse doesn’t want to have to take care of them and I can appreciate that.  It’s probably more expensive to feed them as well than to just buy eggs at the store, but I do like the fact that we know what our hens’ diet is and that they are able to forage for bugs and such.  There is a farm not too far from the house where we could get eggs, though.  We’ll probably just end up grassing over the chicken run area when we get the sod installed in the spring.

I’m also still thinking about getting a couple kittens.  I am still of the mind that if Benny was around more cats who weren’t afraid of him he would calm down around cats in general.  Of course, he may be too rough wanting to play with kittens and end up killing them….  He bit Jojo on the face the other night.  He was eating his food and Joline came inside and walked over to sniff at Benny’s food and he bit at her to get her to back off and ended up grazing her face.  She didn’t bleed but hair was taken off and she has a scab across her nose now.  Poor kitty.  Now she won’t come inside at all when Benny is eating so I have to go and pick her up and walk with her to the bathroom where her food dish is.

I brought the rest of the Christmas candy with me to work today.  I am trying hard to abstain from candy but it can be difficult when there is such an abundance around.  I left the Lifesavers there, though.  Those really aren’t my favorite and I am able to easily resist those.

Ezra has had much better behavior at school now that we are all doing sticker rewards.  He gets 10 minutes per sticker earned and he can earn them at school and at Brenda’s as well as our house.  Today is his record so far; he earned eight stickers yesterday with a bonus sticker for staying in bed last night for a total of nine stickers.  He was pretty excited about that.  The stickers he earns today will go toward his tablet time for tomorrow.  It’s working fairly well and I’m glad we implemented it.

Leo is a joy as ever.  He’s still fighting a cold and hates it when we have to clean off his nose.  We took down his high chair today and he’ll be eating at the table from now on.  He had been climbing up onto the high chair and sitting on the tray and then getting frustrated that he couldn’t get down.  Or he would push the chair over to the island and then crawl up the chair in order to get at the stuff on the island.  He’s a smarty as well.  But we said nuts to that and folded up the high chair.  I’m not too sure about having him sit at the table yet because he definitely doesn’t just sit still and eat unless he’s strapped in, and I don’t want him roaming with food.  We also have one of those high chairs that you strap to a regular kitchen chair.  We may use that instead.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m super excited that we’ve been able to pay down our Discover card so much.  A few more months and it should be all paid off, and that’s our last card with debt!  With the money that we are putting toward it now, once it’s paid off that could be the difference of my getting to stay home with the boys!  Of course, it’s better if I continue to work so we can put more money toward other debts like the cars or student loans, but just knowing we would have the opportunity is really freeing.  Here’s hoping 2017 will be a banner year!

January 2017 keto log

1.4.17 – Well, I’m back down to 244 so not much damage done from holiday excess.  I no longer have that background nausea all day either, so that’s a plus.  I do still want lovely caramel candies and toffees but for the most part have been able to abstain (two chocolates the day after New Year’s notwithstanding).

We went to Costco and filled up on a bunch of good stuff.  It’s times like these that I wish we had a double-sized fridge.  We are trying to do more meal prep/make-ahead meals and there is only so much room to be found in our fridge.  We are having to get creative with placement.

I jacked up my knee on NYE while going up a tiny flight of stairs but it’s feeling much better now.  Not sure if it’s the keto or because I’ve been babying it.  I know eating less sugar makes my joints less inflamed…maybe it’s a bit of both.

I’ve been watching “My 600-lb life” on Hulu lately and holy crap, those people are massive.  I feel very fat sometimes but this really puts it in perspective.  I feel for those individuals, it seems like even though they get healthier they still have bone and joint issues and then they’ll need to have skin reduction surgery.  This one woman had huge areas of skin that were just bulbous swathes of fat and skin.  Like, her butt was a completely separate shelf independent from the back of her legs.  It was very sad to see.  And how crazy that skin is so stretchy!

1.8.17 – I am having trouble determining hunger from boredom.  Like, I know what hunger feels like but I’m pretty sure my brain is tricksy sometimes and tells me I need to eat when I don’t.  And I think there is a part of me that is afraid to be hungry.  Take this morning, for example.  I wasn’t very hungry until I started thinking about the food I had brought to eat and then suddenly it was all I could do to stop from eating right then and there.  I try to put off eating until noon but usually it’s closer to 11:30am.  Generally even then I’m not hungry but obsessed with the idea of eating.  I’ve thought about doing fasting, starting out with a 24-hr fast, but I usually sabotage myself.

I have been trying to eat mindfully and today weighed in at 241 which is awesome.  I just cannot seem to break into the 230s.  Today I decided to try tracking my food intake to see where I was on calories and it was fairly high just from my salad and pork belly.  I’ve set my calorie max at 1400 but even now I’m chafing at the idea of being calorically restricted.  I frickin’ hate the idea of tracking.  That’s not true, I like the idea of tracking I just don’t like the manual process of it.  I don’t like to weigh things so I’m usually guessing at amounts (typically going higher just in case) and a lot of the things I eat are mixes of stuff, like homemade alfredo sauce and chicken.  I don’t follow recipes when I’m cooking I just dump stuff together, so how am I supposed to track that?  I create a recipe in MyFitnessPal and guess at the quantities I’ve used and guess at how many servings should be able to be eaten from that.  It’s a total pain in my ass.

1.11.17 – I’ve decided to look into Alternate Day Fasting (ADF).  I was already doing intermittent fasting with a 16:8 approach and figured it shouldn’t be too much more difficult to just fast for the entire day.  While fasting and calorie restriction are the same in the sense of you are taking in less calories overall, fasting actually produces different chemical markers in the body.  It’s much better and can actually increase lean muscle mass while losing fat!  It’s pretty interesting stuff.  Today is the first day, wish me luck!

Later on:  Feeling ok, although would like to eat.  It’s about noon and I typically eat something on my first work break.  It’s weird to not eat.

2:15ish – I’m not loving this.  I want to eat!  I’m a little hungry but not awfully.  It’s just I want to eat food!  Probably a good thing I didn’t bring any food to work today.  I’m chewing gum but not sure if it’s helping or making things worse.

5pm – So, why did I want to do this again?  Oh yeah, to become healthier.  Still not really hungry, just a low-grade feeling that I should have eaten by now.  I keep thinking about food.  The foods I’ve eaten, the foods I want to cook.  I’ve been drinking water all day and just cracked a diet Pepsi but I want to eat.  Maybe I will eat something when I get home.  After all, most people eat 500 calories on their fasting days.

1.12.16 – I did eat a little when I got home.  I had a couple slices of prosciutto and salami, probably less than 200 calories total.  Believe you me, I wanted to eat more.  I weighed myself before bed and was at 240.  I weighed myself this morning and was at 238!  You read that right!  I haven’t been in the 230s in forever!  I still haven’t eaten anything today (though it’s only 9am) and am trying to determine if I want to try and turn this into a multi-day fast or if I will be eating later.  A part of me wants to push it just to see how long I can go but another part of me knows that even fasting for 16 hours provides benefits.

Extended fasting will provide more weight loss more quickly and people report it helps them have a better relationship with food…I guess we’ll see.  I’ve got to do some shopping today and told the boys I would take them to McDonald’s and I’ve been envisioning myself devouring a sausage mcmuffin.  I can almost literally taste it.

1.14.16 – I totally ate a sausage McMuffin that day.  I bought one for Ezra and one for Leo and Leo didn’t eat his.  I tore off a tiny piece and then the floodgates opened.  I then proceeded to eat some candy and other stuff.  Not enough to kick me out of ketosis but still.  Yesterday was another fasting day and I did ok although I did graze on nibbles here and there when I was making the kids their food.  I think I estimated I had between 300-400 calories.  That stuff adds up quickly!  Even so, I weighed in this morning at 236, which is another 2lb loss!  Go me!  My mini goal right now is to hit 220 and my ultimate would be to hit 180.  I definitely think I can hit the mini goal this year, not sure about the main goal.  I’ll probably have to incorporate working out of some kind and we all know how much I hate to perspire.

I measured myself this morning:
Right thigh: 29 (down .5)
Left thigh: 28 (down 1)
Hips: 51 (down 1)
Waist: 43 (down 1)
Bust: 44.5 (down .5)
Left arm: 15
Right arm: 15.5 (down .5)
Neck: 15.5

A couple inches lost overall since I last measured in November.  I’ll take it!  I’m pushing my eating window to until 2pm (or at least I’m going to try) and tomorrow is another eating day.  We made steaks last night that I couldn’t eat (I had a couple small bites) so I brought that today and also some cauli/broccoli/sausage soup.  I was going to throw some kale in there but then forgot.  Oh well.

I was looking through the r/food sub reddit last night and it was akin to torture.  All that yummy food and I couldn’t have any of it!  Still trying to decide if I’m going still with a calorie deficit on refeed days or just eat to satiety and not worry about calories.  I put it out there to the forums and got such mixed answers that I still don’t know what’s the correct way, or even if there is a correct way.  It may not be a “one size fits all” situation.

1.16.17 – I have recently started ADF with last week being the first week. Weds/Fri were fasting days (will be MWF) and eat days are Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun. On Thursday and Saturday, I ate about 1400 calories (still trying to decide if I want to continue eating at a deficit on eat days or eat at maintenance) and felt good on fasting and refeed days but Sunday was awful! It was like I was starving all day. I ate about 900/1k cals for lunch and by dinner was ravenous. I ate 8 oz of tri tip for dinner and came in with a daily total of just under 1400 calories but still just didn’t feel satisfied.

This morning is a fasting day and I’m quite hungry. I’m thinking maybe I’m not getting enough fat in my feeding days (and just now looking through my nutrition for yesterday I was at 52% fat instead of 75% fat)…

I think I just answered my own question about why I would be feeling so off. I will try upping the fat on refeed days and maybe not eat at a deficit those days and see how it goes from there.

1.18.16 – I checked around with some folks on reddit and this one guy made a good point that if I’m eating at a deficit on feed days then that is like averaging 700 cals or less per day which is not healthy.  So, my TDEE is 2200 calories (to maintain current weight).  That means I should be eating at least 2800 calories on refeed days in order to average 1400 per day.  Yesterday I managed about 2100 with my last food at 5pm and I just couldn’t eat anymore,  Today I weighed in at 236 which doesn’t surprise me as I ate a bunch of food yesterday (still keto) and tomorrow I’ll probably be 233 or less.

It’s 9am now and I’m still not hungry really or feeling weird so I’m thinking today’s fasting day will be easier than the past couple days.  Fingers crossed!

– Later on that day:  You know, ever since I started fasting, I’ve been obsessing about food.  And calories.  Food and calories every frickin day.  I’m tired of obsessing about it.  So I think I’m not going to do the ADF any longer.  I think it’s probably beneficial for faster weight loss, but I think I’m just going to stick with the 16:8 approach and I also think I’m going to up my calories to 1700 from 1400.  I’ll be losing way more slowly, but I’ll probably enjoy living more.  And that’s important, too.  Pretty sure I’ll be eating chicken wings tonight.

1.24.16 – I’m now on day two of a three-day fast.  I finished my lunch around 3pm on the 22nd and haven’t eaten since.  I guess that’s not technically true; I had a couple peanuts and an animal cracker yesterday while packing the boys’ lunch.  The crazy thing is, I’ve been feeling really good so far.  A couple tummy rumbles every once in awhile but nothing crazy and I haven’t been obsessing over eating.  Don’t know what is different this time around.  I started at 238 again and am back to 234 as of this morning.  The plan is to go for three whole days but if I’m still feeling good then I will push it to longer.

1.28.16 – I ended up eating that night, so it put that fast to about 52 hours.  Not as long as the 72 I’d hoped for but my longest fast to date.  I am now about 37 hours into a fast but I’m thinking I will be breaking it pretty soon.  I could probably go longer, I just want to eat.  I tell you, fasting is probably about 90% mental for me and 10% actual physical cues.  This morning I weighed in at 230 lbs, which is my official weight for when I got pregnant with Ezra!  Feeling pretty good about that, it means 44 lb weight loss total so far.  It’s coming off me oddly it seems.  My belly is way more squishy and I was noticing last night that my hips and outer thighs appear way more lumpy.  I seems I’ve been losing weight there but of course it couldn’t be all smooth style.  Oh well, it’ll even out eventually, right?

Reading over this month’s entries I have been all over the place with my emotions and plans and struggles.  I’m still doing fasting (as you can tell) but it’s more loose at this point.  Sometimes I’ll decide to do a 24+ hr fast and other times I’ll just stick to my 16:8 fasting window.  I figure every little bit helps.  I don’t like being stuck to a schedule, either, it feels very restrictive.  I’ve stopped counting calories on the days I do eat and just try to be mindful about what I’m eating.  I should probably be tracking to make sure I’m eating *enough* calories but I’m just trying to listen to my body for now.  We’ll see how it goes.  On to a new month!

My lovely new boots

Jesse got me a great pair of house boots for Christmas and I’ve been wearing them all the time.  In fact I’ve been wearing them as shoes outside of the house as well but have discovered that isn’t really their purpose (the foam soles are starting to look a little rough and really they are made of foam so probably not the best idea).

I started thinking about all the shoes I have in the back room for sales and figured I could shop in my own inventory.  Looking around I found a couple boots size 7, one in a size 8, and then I saw these Bearpaw boots.

bearpaw-victorian-boots-07

They are basic but cute, couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t sold them yet.  Then I looked at the size and saw they were a size 10 (women’s) and figured it out.  I decided to try them on and wonder of wonders, they fit great!  So now I have another pair of boots and these are all leather and wool lined and scrunchy on my feet.  To be entirely accurate, I am wearing them right now.

I bought a couple size 10 running shoes over the summer but figured that brand just ran small.  But no, apparently I wear a 10 in multiple brands.  Thank you childbirth and subsequent weight gain.  You’re aces in my book!  *sarcasm*

It’s been dumping a bunch of snow on us lately.  It makes the yard silent and beautiful at night but it’s a bitch to drive in during drive-time hours.

We’ve decided to remove most electronics from use for Ezra.  It started with a consequence of his actions but Jesse and I talked about it and we think it’s best if he doesn’t have access to tv or gaming systems for awhile.  The plan is I am going to wipe his tablet clean and then install games I think are appropriate and then put a lock on being able to download new games.  All he does now is play those evolution click games which are complete crap, they don’t have a purpose other than wasting time.

And he’s been watching hours and hours of YouTube videos again.  They are the very lowest of the barrel in my opinion, just watching other people play games or review games or taste test products.  If he’s going to watch shows I want them to have some educational content.

And then when spring and summer roll around we’ll have a yard installed so there is going to be mandatory outdoor time where he and Leo have to play outside.  It’s all a work in progress, but no more sloth time spent like a mindless zombie.  Hello to creativity and abstract thought!

Christmas came and went

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday.  I know I did!  I had a glorious five days off of work but really it felt like my usual two days off.  Dad and Dani came for the holiday and we went out to eat several times and also had great homemade meals.  Velvet, Paul, Jesse, myself, and a couple friends went to go watch “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” performed at our Eccles theatre.  It was really well done but I can see how it’d be a bit hard to follow if you didn’t already know the storyline.

Dani was in a flurry of activity which unfortunately caught up to her on the last day.  She was laid low and couldn’t get out of bed that final day so it was sad we weren’t able to see as much of her as we’d have liked.

Ezra got some fun games and furry slippers, money, and tons of candy.  Leo pretty much got similar items with some small differences.  I got Jesse a wireless headset to listen to music and he got me a beautiful pair of earrings.  All in all a great day.  Of course, candy and treats were had by all and I’ve been in a twilight state of wanting to vomit for about five days now.  Diet starts again in the new year, right?

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We wanted to go sledding on one of the days and also to see the lights at the zoo but the night we were going to see the lights it started raining pretty hard and no one wanted to walk in that, and then the day we wanted to go sledding it had snowed about 10+ inches and we weren’t certain we could get up the mountain.  So that still hasn’t happened.  It’s not often I feel the need to be outdoors in winter but I had been looking forward to those two activities.  *sigh*

We had the Whitaker Christmas party on Monday and I was able to attend for once!  I had that Monday off and we brought brined, smoked chicken that Jesse prepared and some store-bought desserts because we had totally forgotten we’d agreed to bring the treats and so hadn’t made any.  That chicken was frickin’ amazing.  Jesse is getting so good at preparing food on our smoker!  Mary and Gerry generously gave us all gifts and full stockings and the kids had a great time playing in the clubhouse with all the cousins.

We have been hit by package thieves this year.  We purchased a couple gift items from 3M at Jesse’s work and they never showed up so he looked into it and it turns out they were marked as delivered on the 12th.  Then last night he checked into our Amazon orders and we had a package delivered on the 12th that we never received, either.  I completely spaced that we had more Amazon packages coming and one of them held a game for the boys (Simon, that color pattern game).  Someone must have been following the UPS truck and stole them both.

Now we are looking into getting some security cameras to help deter or catch thieves in the act.  The prices range from really cheap to really expensive and it’s tough trying to find one that will be exactly what we need.  But we definitely need to get something in there and I think I’m going to buy one of those signs that make it very clear the house is under surveillance.

We’ve also decided to go back to dry kibble for the pets.  I truly think raw feeding is the best way to go but I am such a lazy owner and I don’t want to go through the hassle of making sure they are getting the right nutrients and proper vitamins.  We’ve selected high-quality kibble for them each (it may in fact be more expensive to feed them this food than the raw feeding) and it seems to be going ok so far.  Benny doesn’t seem to mind too much what he’s eating as long as he’s getting food.  Joline on the other hand is more picky. She did not finish her food tonight, not sure what’s going on there.

We purchased Benny a new slow feeder dog bowl as well.

slow-feeder

Those things are awesome!  It prevents your pet from gulping down their food too quickly.  We timed Benny this morning and it took him a little over eight minutes to finish one cup of food (Dad, you should get one for Molly).  I didn’t time it this evening so I’m not sure if it took him the same amount of time but it seems like it still took a good 5+ to eat.  With a regular food dish it would be something like maybe one minute.

We’ve still been having a heck of a time with Ezra listening to us.  It’s so frustrating when it comes time to put him to bed or to clean up the room or to stop doing whatever it is we want him to stop doing.  Some friends suggested doing timeouts by having him put his nose to the wall.  Yeah…let me tell you how that went.  It went about a good 15 minutes telling him to get over there or physically holding his body in place.  He kept insisting his timeout was over (before I had even started the countdown) and just would not obey.  I can’t remember what exactly it was that made him finally do it but I do think that’s going to be the new method.  Otherwise it’s just sending him to his room where he can play with all of his toys and that’s not what a timeout is for.

Speaking of toys, we removed a bunch of them from his room a couple nights ago.  I had asked him for three or four days to clean his room because it was a friggin’ pit and he wouldn’t clean it.  Finally Jesse and I started cleaning it but instead of putting things back where they belonged we moved them to the spare room.  We told him because he was not capable to taking care of his toys that he couldn’t have them in his room.  Commence meltdown: engaged.  Then last night he refused to help put his blocks away so guess what?  They are also in the spare room having a timeout for one week.  Pretty soon his room will just be a bunk bed and a dresser.

After Christmas we took down the tree and all the decorations so we were able to clean up the spare room.  It had been awful going into that room because everything was everywhere.  You couldn’t even open the door fully because there was so much crap on the ground and in the way.  We took care of that, though, and that room looked gigantic for a brief moment in time.  You know, before we filled it up with all of Ezra’s possessions.

I’m toying around again with the idea of writing children’s books.  I don’t know when I would find the time but I’m always reading the boys these kid books and thinking, I could totally do this.  So anyway I registered another DBA (I think I have four of them now?) to have a publishing company.  Who knows if I will ever get around to self publishing anything but DBAs are good to have, I think.

Daydreaming about the backyard, we think we might scale down the raised garden beds and maybe buy a playground/swing set type contraption.  I don’t want some crappy plastic thing or cheap metal piece so it looks like some saving up is in order.

I also think we’re going to buy the Purple mattress about which there is so much hype.  Our fake Tempurpedic sucks and has dips and my back hurts every morning to the point where I am hobbling around hunched over until the aches finally ease.  I’ve had to catch myself on the door jam a few times and I’m tired of it.  Apparently this mattress is supposed to work wonders for heavy people with bad backs, so sign me up!