Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Minnesota...It's A Love/Hate Thing

Minnesota is known for it's bizarre weather and it's "nice" people. I have a theory about that. We are so perplexed by the weather and having to keep two wardrobes on hand at all times for days when we need sweatshirts and tank tops all in the same day, that we have a certain camaraderie with our fellow Minnesotans and we commiserate with each other. That's just ONE of the theories I have, anyway. Last Thursday we had some pretty crazy storms scattered over the state. Le Sueur county got hit pretty hard and I think there was one death down there. We had quite a hail show! Here's Matty with his hard-won collection of hail balls. He was dodging them big suckers and collecting them all the while I sat there thinking I must be a pretty tough mom to let him endanger his skull in this way so I told him to at least cover his head. Another funny thing about Minnesota is that when there's damage from one of these crazy storms, people get together to help each other, but we also like to compare damage and kind of "brag" that ours is muuuuch much worse, or that the hail that fell around OUR house was WAY bigger. The people in the next town over insisted that the hail was "golf ball size" when, clearly from the picture, it was merely "ping-pong ball size"...Well, see, it had melted by the time I thought to grab the camera but you should have SEEN it. It was HUGE! Actually, south of the metro, we saw pictures on the news of baseball size hail! Butch was on his way home when these hail balls were hitting him. Amazingly, my windshield ('burban parked in the driveway) didn't get smashed and neither did his work truck!
While it was kind of fun for us, this same cell of storms was devastating for people in the southern, rural areas so visit the link above and contribute if you can!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I AM Skinny...

...well, what I mean by that is, while I HAVE lost weight, I am realizing all too quickly that I have lots and lots of SKIN! By doctor's orders, Katrina (daughter) and I have been following the basic principles of the South Beach Diet since Friday, July 14th. The first two weeks were challenging, but I'm finding the rest of it to be pretty easy to follow. The trick is, to not cheat and to actually FOLLOW the guidelines and not backslide. Just like anything in life, I guess. I have gained and lost so many times (well, at least 5!) so I know I can do it. I promised on this post that I would post a "before" picture and here I am at that concert with Hal, my sister Anna, and my extra chins:

When I look at this picture, I remember that it was the very first, full day of the diet and that the guy standing next to us offered us popcorn and I had to say "no". I also remember how when I was dancing with Anna, I tried to keep my back to the stage so nobody would see my extra jiggling. Now, I know I'm being hard on myself, and I could blame the extra pounds on my having had my fifth baby just 4 months before. I could also blame genetics, the cereal industry, the blogging community (heehee, you guys make it so fun to stay up late and I HAVE to eat extra cereal to stay awake, you know?), or the fact that I have children who don't allow me to exercise. Okay, now about this post title. I have so much gol-danged skin that even if I DO lose ten more pounds, I will still be about 2 sizes bigger than I would if I DIDN'T have all that skin. But, you know what? I don't care. I don't care that I look like a "before" picture from one of those plastic surgery shows. I think of every saggy part and every stretch mark as a badge of womanhood. Besides, I can always just shift it over or tuck it in or hide it behind some clothes. I will never belong to the Catholic Jumper Society or the Catholic Burka Association, but I can dress in a way that shows how hard I've worked on making my body healthy without letting it all hang out, can't I? I also blame part of why I gain so much during pregnancy on my husband and my BDD (body dismorphic disorder). Hubbs says that I look sexy no matter what my current weight is. I know that BDD is usually what you think of as a disorder of the severely anorexic who look in the mirror at an emaciated stick person and see a big, fat lady. I have RBDD (reverse body dismorphic disorder...yeah, I just made that up) where I look in the mirror and think, "hmmmm, not bad, I'll just suck in my gut and lift my head a little" I see myself 40 pounds lighter than I am at all times. THIS time, however, I couldn't avoid the reality that none of my clothes fit and every time I tried on a shirt that SHOULD have fit me, Chris Farley's voice from Tommy Boy singing, "fat guy in a little coat" kept coming into my head....I decided that I can't blame anyone but me and I'd better do something about it. Yes, Kelly, I am still breastfeeding, which for me actually holds on to the fat a little longer so it's extra hard to burn. I work out on the elliptical machine in the garage for 20 minutes or so when Mari takes a nap in the morning. I do push ups and sit ups and try to stretch, but by that time someone is usually hollering about something someone else did that bothered them and I'm lucky to get a shower before Mari wakes up! I have about 10 more pounds to lose before I'm at my goal (where my clothes fit the way I like them to). I lost a lot of water weight in those first two weeks which made me feel so much less bloated and made me feel more motivated to keep going. I didn't even look at the book after week three because I get what works: lots of salad, cheese, (nuts, whole grains in moderation),lean meats, non-sugary vegetables, olive oil. I try to focus on what I can have vs. what I CAN'T. I definitely recommend the SBD book for the reasons WHY all those bad carbs and extra fats affect your body.
Okay, now here is how I looked after church tonight (mind you, I have a tomato stain on the front of my shirt and I'm all frazzled from just nursing and making dinner):

I am down about 3 sizes in clothes and I am finding that most of my clothes are ill-fitting for my body (the skort I'm wearing here is about a size too big but it's all I could find). The shirt is about 5 years old and hasn't fit me for a LONG time (now it's out of style, but it FITS! HA!).
Okay, so now I won't talk about it anymore. I will pray for those of you struggling with post-baby weight and health problems while you pray for Katrina and I in our quest to be healthier.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Know Why Eve Tasted Of The Fruit!

Sometimes when people talk about what Heaven will be like they use the Bible as reference. Sometimes they use their own, subjective view of what they WISH or HOPE it to be. I've even heard of some faiths that believe there is no Heaven or hell or anything like that, and we turn to dust, and that's it. Period (those guys must be AWFUL lonely and miserable, don't you think?). Anyway, I believe that Heaven will be like Mass but in a perfected way. Let me explain. I believe Jesus will be with us and we will celebrate Him along with all the choirs of angels and all of the faithful who served Him while they were in their corporeal bodies. I believe It will be lovely with the cherubim, and seraphim, and every body will be a reflection of what is truly GOOD and truly perfected in Him. And there will be tomatoes.

Lots and lots of tomatoes.
Fresh from the heavenly garden, red, ripe, unbruised tomatoes.
I will eat them with EVERYTHING.
Because surely there is food in Heaven, it's just so darn GOOD here on Earth.
And God IS good.
And tomatoes are good.
Soooooo good!
Salted, sugared, diced in dishes, seeded and sliced, eaten like apples with the juice running down my chin and I don't even take the time to wipe it away because I LIKE it there.
There are very few things I'm obsessed with in this world. One is being the best person I can be to reflect God's goodness to others (falling very short of that one regularly, I'm sure). Another is cereal...all kinds. But the most overwhelming obsession for me is those red, bursting beauties that only come for a few months in the summer.


P.S. I really ate the whole tomato you see in this picture, and it was GOOOOOOOD!
Also, it was about my fifth one for the day. I'm trying to cut down but it's hard when you've got a genetic disorder that predisposes you to overindulge on all the good things. Know any good vegetable psychologists?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nine Years Ago, Today...

My doctor was to deliver my first son, Matthew via c-section. He was breach, even a few days before and we had tried ECV to get him turned around but my doctor said he was just too big (words every soon to be mother LOVES to hear) and that there was too much water in there and he kept bouncing back to his comfy, head up position. I went to the hospital at 6am and got viciously poked by the nurse in 3 different places for the IV and was sitting there crying when the doctor came in and said, "Ohhhh, I wish they hadn't done that, what if the baby has turned?". He gave me an ultra sound then and there and what do you think he saw?????? Yup, he had turned. I sat and cried and panicked for a while and whined, "What would YOU do???" to the doctor and he said (much to my relief), "Well, we have the bed reserved, why don't we just induce him?" So, after trying my first epidural (which didn't work), and leaking a river of amniotic fluid all over the place, my 9lb 6oz baby boy was born (about ten hours later)with a shock of black hair like his uncle Pete was born with (the rest of us were baldies).

The first thing I remember thinking when he was born and they put him on my belly was, "He smells funny." The second thing was that he was HUGE. I never thought I could have room to love another baby as much as I had my first, but of course I did so much. Even after he turned out to be colicky and fussy for the better part of the first year and would nurse EVERY hour and a half which explains his blubbery,25lb frame at 6 months.

My dad came into the hospital for the first time to visit us a day later and he was walking by the nursery where they were giving Matty his first bath. He thought to himself , after hearing his blood-curdling shrieks, "Whew, I feel sorry for THAT kid's mom!".

At first, I was disappointed that Katrina wouldn't have a sister to be close to like I had. I soon got over that when I realized how great it was that she would bond with HER brother in ways that I never could with my three brothers.

Fast forward 9 years and we have learned a few things about Matty, here are the top ten (but, by no means ALL there is to this fascinating child!):

10. He can't STAND to watch "kissing parts" in movies. If Butch and I REALLY want to gross him out, we just have to make slobbery kissing noises in the kitchen and he will not come within 50ft of us! He will only accept bedtime kisses and hugs from me if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt with 3 affidavits that I do NOT in fact have on, nor have I been wearing MAKEUP OF ANY KIND within the last 24 hour period.

9. He is a loyal friend and would never hurt his friends or be selfish with his possessions.

8. He is kind to younger boys and gives them his time and attention.

7. He is generous and gives away his toys even his favorite material possession, Bionicles.

6. He is some kind of Bionicle genius and can build just about a billion different kinds of Bioncle guys.

5. He beats me at chess so often that when I actually DO win I gloat and dance and realize how lame it is that I am "BOOYEAH!"-ing a 9 year old boy.

4. He can do ANYTHING with a roll of duct tape and has about 100 "experiments" around the house at any given time. His dream is to make a go-cart out of a vacuum cleaner.

3. He "gets" jokes and sarcasm and giggles hysterically even if it takes him a while to get it.

2. He loves his brother and sisters and mom and dad and isn't ashamed to admit it (yet).

1. Everyone who meets him says he's the nicest, most generous and polite boy they've ever met and I've met more than one person who's said that they will name their first boy after Matthew because of this fact and the hopes that their boy would turn out to be like our Matthew.

Happy Birthday to you
You live in this zoo
You look like your daddy...

Aaaaaannnddddd you
smell like him, too.

I love you, Matthew William.

Love and smoochymoochpinchysqueezylipstickjuicy kisses,
Your crazy mama

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Uncle Mat(t)...

...to my favorite brother-in-law (okay, so he's my ONLY one-so far, but he is my favoritest brother-in-law that I know). We had a great time at his birthday party/toddler-two-steppin'-living-room-dance party. One observation that I made on this VERY notable day is that the most important men in my life (hubbs, Matt, Dad, brothers) are always acting like they're about 30 years older than they are. Why is that? I mean, us gals spend most of our lives trying to shave 5-10 years off of our age. It makes us really act/look younger because we exercise, try to eat right and at least wash our face once a day (exfoliation is key, right?), so I guess I'll never understand what makes these men want to be older than they are. I should maybe be grateful for the fact that they huff and puff when they walk more than 100 feet and grunt when they reach down to take off their work boots because that must mean they are not (ewww) some kind of prissy, metrosexual dudes, but I mean...come ON, at least brush your teeth once a month and praise the LORD that you still have your youth (for a couple of years anyway)! Hmmmm, perhaps I'll just believe that the reason Butch tries to look as old and crotchety as he possibly can is because he's really doing me a favor...he's making me be the ARM CANDY TROPHY WIFE that you and I know I've always aspired to be.
I've got it alllll figured out.
See, they're doing it because they LOVE us.

Old farts.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Famous Book Meme

1. ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE: The Art of Natural Family Planning. It gave me a whole new view of NFP. When I read it, I finally signed up for a class to actually learn the correct method. It's worked ever since! Also, it gave me the strength to teach it to other people and change their lives and hearts as well.

2. ONE BOOK THAT YOU'VE READ MORE THAN ONCE: Searching For Shona. It's an oldie but I read it over and over when I was a pre-teen and I found it on Amazon for Trina. She liked it too.

3. ONE BOOK YOU'D WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND: The Gather hymnal...eeeeheeheeheeeeeee! Probably a big one, 'cause who knows how long I'd be there...sooooo maybe a collection like the collected works of of one the Church doctors or something really meaty like that.

4. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH: ANY Ann Coulter book, I seriously laugh out loud and people look at me funny.

5. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY: I can't decide which is the worst tear-jerker...The Hiding Place, Our Only May Amelia (pre-teen novel that I read to Trina and blubbered through the whole time), or I Love You Forever. NO parent can read that one to their kids without tearing up at least a teeny bit.

6. ONE BOOK THAT YOU WISH HAD BEEN WRITTEN: The Foolproof Guide to Making Your Children Act Like They Are Really Well Behaved All of the Time: Church, The Store, and Other Public Places. By Perfecta Parentine

7. ONE BOOK THAT YOU WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN: The Left Behind series. I actually got physically ill while reading the third in the series and threw it across the room vowing to never touch one of those horrible books again.

8. ONE BOOK YOU'RE CURRENTLY READING: The Church of Apostles and Martyrs Volume I by Henri Daniel-Rops (sounds like a snoozer, but it actually keeps me awake in adoration!)

9. ONE BOOK YOU'VE BEEN MEANING TO READ: Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter

10. TAG FIVE PEOPLE: Trine, Janene,
Anna, Sue, The Crazy Catholic Laura from Kansas (don't know her blog address).