Monday, January 28, 2013

"Nuh" For Nursery

Happy Sunday!  We got a blessing in disguise today, in that we were asked last night to substitute for Hunter's primary class at church.  So we weren't able to hang around the nursery and coddle Cambria, who has been going for a month but cries her wee eyes out if we try to leave her there.  We hoped that today she would stay without us, and that we wouldn't be chased down because of her tears.  She spent time with one of the nursery ladies on Friday night, so that likely helped her, as she cried when I left her there, but later on between classes when I peeked in the window, she was A-OK!  Hooray for small victories!

We are deliriously excited that Dean's mom and stepfather have moved up here close to us - twenty miles away is a whole lot better than 1500.  They have majorly downsized in order to live the retiree lifestyle, as David retired in December, and they can be free as birds now.  Dean took Monday off to help them move in to their new digs, and since Hunter and Kyler were off for MLK day, they got to help as well, and apparently were great workers!  Grandma D took them after school on Friday and kept them until Saturday evening, touring the retired naval destroyer in Bremerton (U.S.S. Turner Joy), eating some of their favorite foods (namely biscuits and gravy) and having all kinds of fun.  She even brought them down here on Saturday morning to attend their swim classes at the YMCA.  They are also enrolled in T/Th sports skills classes at the moment.  So today we had them over for Sunday dinner after church.  It works out nicely that they and we both attend at 9am.  My cousin who lives about midway between them and us was planning to come as well, but fell ill and had to cancel.  Dean managed to sucker his mom into playing Settlers of Catan with us.  She wasn't so sure about it, but did great and even came close to winning - she was ruthless, even against her hubby!  We are thrilled to have them up here.

Dean and I finally saw the Hobbit on Friday, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It doesn't seem quite as epic as the LOTR trilogy, but it's not far behind, either.  I could have done without the motion-sickness-inducing filming, but survived.  It's been one of my favorite stories for my whole life, and I never even read the books - just loved the cartoon movies. The books are on my "to read" list for sure.

I am three weeks into the HCG diet now, and am getting weary of it.  Mostly because I haven't been losing much weight.  Ten pounds fairly quickly, and almost nothing since.  It would be much more motivating if I could really see results every day like you're supposed to when you are meticulously following it, which most days I do.  It appeared to be stalling for several days around when I would have been ovulating, which is normal, but still just as frustrating!  So, today I lost control and decided to go ahead and eat the real lunch I had prepared for everyone.  And I enjoyed it.  I had ice cream for dessert, too, and dinner.  And more ice cream, and then my crutch of a snack - cold cereal.  If I'm going to blow it, I might as well make it good, right?  I'll probably have gained a few pounds by morning.  We shall see.  It's also frustrating that I've still been quite hungry, and fairly weak.  The ND said to up the dose if that was the case, which was helping with the hunger, but not the fatigue.

And in other news, Dean was recently released from being a cubscout den leader, which he didn't necessarily love doing, and couldn't ever get away from work early enough to get to on time...  I was released as cubscout committee chair then called as a wolf den leader.  I guess I should embrace it, as we'll have cubscouts for years to come.  We had a successful first den meeting, then pack meeting last week.

The missionaries called this evening at about 6 and wondered if they could stop by for a visit, then were over in a couple of minutes.  I asked right away if they had had dinner, and they hadn't.  So I was relieved to have some fresh and hot minestrone (with rice instead of pasta) to serve them.  We have sure enjoyed the missionaries here, and I think it's really good for the boys to see what they do and are all about.  Kyler is so peculiar in that he doesn't seem to have any self confidence - thinks he can't do anything before he even gives it a thought.  He's been saying for a while that he won't be serving a mission, and I finally pinned down that he thinks he can't because he's not yet a prolific reader (in the first grade), so since the missionaries have read things to us (that must sound hard to him) he thinks he can't do it.

It's odd because he is such a clever, intuitive child.  He is street smart, and knows how to do things.  Not to mention how charismatic, social and charming he is.  He is proficient using simple tools such as screwdrivers.  Hunter forever has his nose in a book and doesn't know much what is going on around him, and has no interest in figuring things out, but isn't afraid to try things either.  They are so different.  Grandma D says Hunter is just like Dean was as a child - always reading and quiet otherwise, except when fighting with his brother.  Dean read the dictionary and encyclopedia and books about things, rather than straight fantasy like Hunter.  It's no wonder then that Dean is a walking encyclopedia.  The man seriously knows at least something about virtually everything, and I love him for it! 

Right now Tristan is a roaring surge of testosterone.  He and Cambria play a lot together, even making up games - so cute!  But he also gets frustrated with her when she fells his block creations or whatever.  At the babysitter's the other night, she said he would grab Cambria's cheeks and squeeze and shake them out of anger.  He can also be a sweetie pie.  Cambria is awfully frisky and spends the day dismantling the house.  I can never seem to keep up with her.  She says several words now, including "nuh" for no, as in "do you want to go to bed/nursery?"  "Nuh."  She says "baaaa" for bottle, and "shoes", "sot" for socks, "no" for nose, "eye", "mou" for mouth.  She is pretty good about communicating her desires.  She even came to me first thing in the morning and said "tink" and waved at her backside.  Indeed she did stink, and needed a diaper change.  It will soon be time to teach her the way of the potty.  She is a bit interested at the moment (19 months).  She has said "Mommy" and "Daddy" for some time.  Hands down, though, she most talks about babies.  She watches for them every where and points them out, saying "bebe bebe bebe".  She loves dolls that resemble babies and cute stuffed bears.  She has no interest in dolls that resemble older girls.  She carries around her dolls and babies, and disrobes them, and even wipes their bottoms occasionally.  I love it!         

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

 I had to copy dear Haylee in lining up the kids for a picture, hopefully to be an annual occurence.  Note the suckling and ear holding which has been present with all the kids in one form or another (Hunter sucked a bottle and held an ear until age three - so cute; Kyler sucked his thumb until recently - he may or may not still do it in his sleep; and Tristan loved bottles and ear nuzzles as well). 
 Cambria enjoyed opening presents as much as anyone.  Hunter and Kyler had to wait a few hours to open theirs, as they
 Santa came.  The highlight was a guinea pig that Kyler has been wanting.  He's taking good care of it so far.  Hunter got a special visit in the night.  He rarely wears pjs to bed - for no good reason, so he is a wide open target for antics from Santa.  Kyler is a beginning reader.  He was the first to wake in the morning; we could hear him running up and down the stairs, then going to get Hunter. I really laughed when I heard him say "There's something on your back; it says 'Santa was here'." Hunter quickly dressed and wouldn't ever let me see the graffiti.  He got plenty of pjs for Christmas, and then later used some of his Christmas money from Grandma D and Bro for footed pjs, which he has been wanting. 
 Lady Cambria loves shoes of all kinds as well as bottles, and hates having her hair done.  Dean calls it "crazy lady hair". 
 Tristan loves to play.  The hat is a little small at this point (from last year), but the new mittens will fit for a few years.  His theme for the year was Thomas the Train, as he got a lot of such gifts.  Hunter and Kyler had to wait a few hours to open their presents.  Poor cooperation in the days leading up to Christmas kept pushing the time back, so Hunter got to at 11, and Kyler at noon.  It actually made the (commercial) Christmas Magic last much longer, which was really nice. 
We loved having Bro and Patti with us on Christmas Eve.  We sure love living close enough to them to be able to do that, and someday we'll actually make the three hour drive to them :)  Then on Christmas Day my cousin Bethaney came from Portland, and Josh and Jessica joined us for dinner.

On New Years Eve we let the boys stay up and had fun with them.  At midnight they set off what was left of our July 4 fireworks, as did the neighbors behind us.  Then we all had some sparkling cider and went to bed.  It was fun.

With all the frivolity of the holidays, as well as the Albuquerque food tour from the summer, I put on about 15 pounds since returning from Korea, which was just killing me, especially since I had just lost a few pounds before me moved back here!  I mentioned to Dean some time ago that I wanted to do the HCG diet, and he said he'd do it as well.  So we went to a naturopathic doctor here in town and paid a lot of money... and finally started the diet after the new year.  Ugh!  The idea is that injecting the HCG will burn the "abnormal" fat off, while eliminating hunger since all those calories from fat stores will be circulating and providing energy/nutrition.  Well, after the two loading/gorging days, we've only been allowed 500 very specific calories per day.  I am down about 8 pounds in two weeks, but had hoped for better results.  Because of the nature of how it works, I'm wondering if having used chapstick or shampoo could be the reason it isn't working better, which is super annoying.  Or perhaps it was the tiny bite of potato or egg or chicken I've had of the kids' meals in the last two weeks.  Those small indiscretions could literally be the reason I haven't lost a lot more, which sucks!  To go through this and not lose that much because of such small "cheats" is most upsetting - as it feels like we're starving!  We are using a digital food scale and everything to carefully weigh our food down to the tenth of an ounce.  I haven't had any sweets or treats or anything at all, except a stick of gum once.  That could have stalled my weight loss as well!

Dean is sure he could have lost as much without having to starve, or more so, and has in the past for Army Physical Fitness Tests.  Dean looks great, as the "abnormal" deposits on his tummy are gone.  But I have a long way to go, and he was literally starving.  His metabolism was shutting down - he went from Mr. So Hot I Like To Run The A/C In Winter to being as cold as I am all the time, and not being able to think straight at work, which is not a good thing.  The ND said he could either stop it, or up his dose of the HCG and eat an extra 100 protein calories a day.  He was really only going through the torture to support me, so he upped his dose/protein and finally called it quits today, after two weeks.  I know that most people have great success on it, but if I/we had known what it would be like, I/we probably wouldn't have done it.  We were certainly hungry the first week.  It was like Fast Sunday every day, only without ever getting to be satiated.  It has made me think a lot about food storage and how I really don't want to be hungry if/when we need to use it.  Not to mention all the people who do not ever have enough to eat.

I'll stick it out and finish the product we have - we paid all that money after all - I'm embarrassed to say how much.  It's gotten much better for me, though I still get quite hungry come feeding time.  It's surprising how hungry I'm NOT in the evenings, after dinner, though.  Supposedly it will reset my metabolism and take away all the bad cravings.  Let's hope!  I feel like such a failure, since I have a degree in nutrition/dietetics, after all.  My problems are bad genes, my lifelong hormone imbalances, plus all the little/big things like portion control, too many desserts, and too little activity/exercise.  I do avoid a lot of things like drinking calories - I really only drink water on a regular basis..., and now I only use coconut oil in cooking and avoid gluten generally.  As a teenager I of course thought I was fat, and did watch what I ate much better than I do now.  Now 50-60 pounds later, I am still shocked when I see pictures of myself, or an unexpected sideways view in the mirror.  I really haven't been watching it since having baby #2, and have kept around several reminder pounds from each of the last three babies. We'll see how the rest of it goes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ever Behind

I'm so far behind I feel too overwhelmed to try to catch up, so I've continued to neglect the blog. I've been trying to complete this post for months!

The little ones enjoy my Korean chest of drawers as much as I do.
Dean met up with Bro at the SW Washington Fair in August to see Weird Al in concert, with Hunter and Kyler in tow - their first concert.  "It was fine," said Hunter, the ever underwhelmed.  Kyler had a blast, of course.  Dean doesn't take pictures, but he picked up a great concert t-shirt, which he wore with a funky wig to our ward's halloween party, as Weird Al.  

Halloween was fine as always.  I'm not the kind of mom who creates fabulous costumes.  The kids are generally happy enough to go through our box of costume paraphernalia and come up with something satisfactory, perhaps picking up a new thing or two.  I didn't manage any pictures, but we went to the ward party, and trick or treated in downtown Gig Harbor at the homes and businesses as it rained lightly, which it has since mid October.  Dean took them in our neighborhood. 

Speaking of Weird Al, Dean went to karaoke at the watering hole near the clinic on a recent Friday night with some of the staff from the clinic, who are regulars. He sang Weird Al's White and Nerdy and wore his Weird Al concert shirt - we're getting lots of mileage out of it already :)
Tristan took the scissors to his hair for the first time in October.  I didn't buzz the leftovers like I did the older boys - that would look too terrible, especially with the goose egg he's been sporting for two months just above his hairline.
Dean took all the boys camping in August.  Cambria and I held up the home front while they did their thing in the Olympic National Park near Hurricane Ridge, with Tristan being up much of the night and wanting to come home to me (how flattering).
Tristan plugged in the iron on a Sunday in August, then grabbed it and burned his hand badly.  He screamed for hours until I found some Unguentine in the first aid kit, which relieved the pain instantly.  The giant blister popped after a week.  We tended it carefully and his hand is in perfect condition now.  
Dustin and Patti and their canines came up for Independence Day, so we celebrated our wonderful country  with good food on our new grill - compliments of Josh, and softball and frivolity in the back yard.  Dean was stunned that I played ball.  We watched the fireworks that night and did a few of our own at home, and in all had a wonderful day.

Bro and Patti brought a yummy ice cream cake for the birthday boys.

We never did a 1-year birthday party or cake smash with Lady Cambria, so we let her have at the boys' ice cream cake.

Uncle Dusty finally had to beat the pinata to death for Hunter and Kyler's birthday.  The boys went wild with the candy.

Hunter started 5th grade and Kyler started 1st grade in September.