Week 4

Weight lost: .8lbs  Hey! That’s better than last week!

Wow. Can’t believe I’ve been doing this for almost a month. I should have kept track of how many pineapples, bell peppers, and quarts of strawberries I’ve gone through.

Making brownies while working out isn’t necessarily the best choice. Even if those brownies are earmarked for the local police station in honor of National Police Week. Especially if those brownies are the best fudgey gooey brownies I’ve ever had. I mean, I had to taste one a few. Just the broken ones, of course. Couldn’t give those to anyone. Unfortunately (for you) I can’t share this recipe as it was given to me under threat of death if I were share it further. And even though I probably have described these brownies as “to die for” I’m not quite willing to back that statement up. So if you want some… well… you’ll have to come over.

I slipped on the stairs one morning this week and pulled something in my quad muscle. The whole thing didn’t hurt but a localized spot in the center felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker. So, needless to say, I skipped my workout that day but I made it up the next day! Pretty proud of myself that I haven’t skipped a day since I started working out except for the one, but I made that up. I haven’t always done wonderfully with my food choices but at least I’m working out!

I literally haven’t counted points at all this week. I have NO idea how that’s going to work out for me. I’ve tried still eating well but with all the leftovers from Mother’s Day it was really hard to count. And I don’t even want to know what the point count is for Fresh Strawberry Pie. Because it’s SOOOOOO good. That was my Mother’s Day present to me.

Bad moments. Not bad mothers.

This is something I read somewhere that I feel I need to get tattooed on myself. Somewhere I can see it daily. Like on my forehead so when I check out my frizzy hair and my newly zitty face in the mirror I can see it. And then every other time I see it throughout the day I might just remember that bad moments don’t make me a bad mom. Even if I REALLY REALLY feel like they do. Because some days, and more days than not lately, I feel like all I have are bad moments.

I don’t want to be the mom who yells at her toddler. I don’t. I go to bed each night telling myself I will be patient and understanding and I won’t yell or get angry or have a screaming mini-meltdown when my toddler doesn’t listen to me for the 73rd time that hour. And some days I follow my rules. And other days, which seem to be getting more frequent, I fail miserably. I read a post some time ago that I apparently need to print out and paste in various locations all over my house. You can read it here. If you don’t want to read it it basically talks about those moments you lose yourself because satan is digging at your self-esteem, your resolve, your patience, and playing up your inadequacies. But you should read it because it’s way better than my summary.

I want to be the mom that shows her children grace when they need it and consistency in the discipline they receive. I don’t want to lose my patience and yell and hurt the sweet heart of my precious boy. He is struggling with listening and obeying and doing the things he wants to do. I am struggling with being patient and consistent and teaching gently instead of being a shrew.

I’m not a bad mom. I love my children with every fiber of my being. I wouldn’t trade them for the world (even if I sometimes threaten to sell them to the gypsies). We have fun together and play and talk and I love those interactions. I know my son is growing and learning and I know I am too. I am growing in my role as their mom and learning how to navigate this new age and stage and the differences in having two.

So tomorrow, once again, I’ll try to be patient. I’ll try to use the right words to teach instead of yell. I’ll try to remember compassion when he’s melting down (again) because his napkin fell on the floor. And I might fail. Because I’m not perfect. I’m human and I’m flawed. But I will remember these precious gifts I’ve been given. I’ll remember that they are mine to teach and raise and love. And I will do my best.

Tasty Breakfast Muffins (Or Anytime-you-need-a-sweet-treat-that-won’t-derail-you Muffins)

So in the last two weeks I’ve make several batches of muffins to eat for breakfast. I tend to prefer sweet breakfast options unless I’m going the whole bacon-eggs-pancakes-hashbrowns route which, let’s face it, is neither practical on a daily basis or healthy. So enter tasty, not terribly unhealthy, muffins. Now, as I make them they are pretty small. I have used these for all the ones I have made since I started WW and the cups are smaller than regular baking cups. Side note: my only issue with the silicone baking cups is that, for whatever reason, they overcook the bottoms of the muffins. It’s a little weird and I haven’t figured out how to make it not do that but I still like that they are easy to use and clean. Soooo unpaid advertised over and back to muffins.

First we have Low-Fat Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. These are tasty fresh and also frozen. And, by frozen, I mean I will literally eat them straight out of the freezer. I know, I’m weird. But my friend H would totally back me up on that.

1 box Duncan Hines Lemon Cake Mix
1 C Non-fat sour cream or greek yogurt (I used greek yogurt in mine)
2 Tbsp Poppyseeds
3 egg whites
2 tsp Lemon Extract
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Batter will be thick. Fill greased muffin tins, muffin liners, or silicone baking liners. Bake 25-30 minutes until top springs back when touched. Don’t overbake them like I did my last batch. They get a little tough if overcooked. You want them just to start browning on top but that’s it. Cool about 10 minutes then top with glaze. You can eat them without the glaze for less sugar but really, the glaze is SO good so why would you want to?

Lemon Glaze

3/4 C Powdered Sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3-4 tsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and spoon over cooled muffins. I glaze them and then once the glaze sets up a big pop them in a freezer safe container. Boom, done. My silicone cups end up making 18 muffins that work out to 3 PointsPlus a piece using non-fat Greek Yogurt (including glaze).

Next up we have Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins. Ok, I’m sure there is a simpler title for these like maybe “Greek Yogurt Oat Muffins” but I feel like the eater needs to know there are both bananas and PB in them too. I’ve adapted this from the original recipe found here to add the peanut butter, which can be done in two ways.

Option 1:

2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 C Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 C Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
1/4 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C quick oats
1/2 C chocolate chips – regular or mini (I prefer mini)

Preheat oven to 400. Using food processor, blend all ingredients except oats and chocolate chips until smooth. Add in oats, pulse until oats are small but not blended all the way in (original recipe calls for them to be blended smooth but I liked the texture better with the oats still in pieces). Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Fill greased muffin tin, baking liners, or silicone baking cups to make 12-16 muffins (depending on size of muffin tins – regular tins will make 12 muffins). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top feels set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. I prefer them room temp or just slightly warm versus straight out of the oven. Cool completely and freeze in freezer safe container.

Alternate lower-cal option:
1 C. Non-fat Greek Yogurt
4 Tbsp PB2 Powedered Peanut Butter
1/4 C Mini chocolate chips

This reduced the Points Plus in the muffins considerably down to 3 each or 4 for two, which is pretty good. My recipe makes 16 muffins. I prefer the smaller amount of chocolate chips over the original recipe. I like the texure of using the actual peanut butter over the PB2 but for the points/calorie difference I’ll suck it up and use the powdered stuff.

I hope you enjoy these! I know H has enjoyed the Lemon Poppyseed muffins this week for breakfast and so have my kiddoodles. Let me know what you think!

Week 3

Weight Lost: .4lbs Ugh. But I blame Mother’s Day and the Amazing Meatstravaganza we had for dinner that hubby smoked. Jerk chicken, pulled pork, and smoked sausage. And there were vegetables, I swear. Green beans (cooked with *ahem* ham), potato salad, and coleslaw. So good. I can’t even tell you how good it was. And there are leftovers to last ALL week. So we’ll see how I do next weigh in without counting points this week.

The Bikini Body Mommy 4.0 Challenge started Monday but between a super cranky baby and housework I didn’t get to start it like I wanted. Tuesday had MOPS and work so again, no go on working out. So I started Day 1 on Day 3 and, once again, was reminded just how out of shape I am. But the workouts are intense, but short, so I feel like I can make sure I get them done.

Special K Brownies should come with a warning about the contents of the box not looking a darn thing like the picture on the box. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but it DEFINITELY was not a tiny chewy piece of chocolate the size of a Ghirardelli square. The taste wasn’t bad but wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had. But, in one of those times when you need a piece of chocolate so bad you’d mortgage your house, these will do for only 2 points.

Dinner Monday night was Teriyaki Beef. SO GOOD. Seriously. Make this. It’s delicious.

I’m kind of surprised I’m not yet sick of fruit.

Wednesday’s post-workout smoothie lunch yielded a MUCH better result than the chocolate shake look-alike from Week 2. Bitty shared with me and also thought it was delicious.

I hate laundry. It never ends. NEVER.

Week 2

Weight Lost: .8lbs :( I didn’t do so well yesterday. Giant derailment. Giant. I may or may not have eaten 3 (maybe 3 1/2) pieces of cornbread cake. Which has no cornbread in it but lots and lots of sugar. And pecans. Oh, and butter. But hey, I still lost weight.

I am terribly out of shape. One day at the zoo awakened aches and pains in 79% of my lower half. Apparently I need to push a stroller with two kids and a big bag uphill for 1.4 miles every day. Then I could eat 2 brownies.

Coriander is not a spice I like in great quantities. Maybe in any quantity. **Side note: apparently coriander is also cilantro. Which is weird because it doesn’t smell or taste like cilantro.**

SO many things come up to derail you from eating well. SO MANY. And not all of them are of my own making. Some of them are made by someone else in a crockpot.

Spinach in a fruit smoothie makes the smoothie look like a chocolate milkshake. Which is a lie. Also, I really need a new blender.

I much prefer something sweet for breakfast. And it was warm last week so hot oatmeal wasn’t going to cut it. So I made a batch of slightly-smaller-than-normal (due to my testing out of these – review here) low-fat lemon poppyseed muffins. Make them up, freeze them, and eat one for breakfast. Even frozen they are good! I’ll post the recipe later.

So overall I didn’t do great last week. I still lost, which is good, but I made some pretty poopy choices. This week starts a workout challenge so hopefully I can eat well so I can get the full benefit of working out.

Back on the plan!

After Brother Bear was born, I lost the (mumble mumble) pounds I had gained in the first 6 weeks. That was probably partly due to stress and the fact that I practically lived in the hospital. After Bitty was born… well… those pounds plus the extra 10 pounds I had gained this time around didn’t fall off quite so quickly. In fact here I am 11 months later and I’m still holding onto a hefty 15 pounds. I think I had been pretending I was eating healthy and doing well and then was somehow shocked when my pants still didn’t fit. I kept saying I was going to do better, eat better, etc and then would make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and snack on the dough all day long then eat 4 cookies for dessert. Yeah. Workin’ hard there, huh?

So now I’m back on Weight Watchers. I lost a bunch of weight on it a few years ago and I have to have something to hold me accountable. I can’t just “eat right”. I need something to follow that still allows me to eat a brownie every now and then but helps me put things in perspective. Such as the mug brownies I was eating for dessert every night. A single serve brownie can’t be all bad, right?? Well, they aren’t ALL bad – they’re pretty tasty! – but considering one of those is approximately 80% of my daily points value… that makes them mostly bad.

If you don’t know how Weight Watchers works, you get a certain amount of points per day to use on whatever you want. The points are calculated by fat, fiber, carbs, and protein. If you want to eat a mug brownie and have a glass of chocolate milk and then eat nothing else but fruits and veggies (most of those are “free”) that’s your prerogative. And by the way, I’m not affiliated with WW or getting anything special for my posts – they don’t even know me. I’m just letting y’all know how it works for me.

So last week was the first week. I can’t say I did super well on the plan; I had quite a few mishaps, but I did end up losing 4.6lbs. Which is the first weight I have lost in 7 or 8 months. Just goes to show how incredibly bad I was eating before. So each week I plan to post how I did and a few tidbits from my week.

Week 1 (4/20-4/26)

Weight lost: 4.6lbs (whoo!)

The first two days are the hardest. I’m pretty sure my body thought it was starving to death.

Unsweetened almond milk tastes like dirt. Seriously, I might as well go dig dirt out of the yard and add to my coffee.

Somehow 30 minutes of “laundry” gets you 2 activity points. I feel like I could only justify that if I was going up and down the stairs for each piece of laundry to put away.

2oz of noodles(serving size) is not a lot of noodles. It’s a serving size but I’m not sure for who. I know portion control is a big problem to overcome but I swear there were only 5 noodles in my bowl. That could also have been starvation talking. So instead of adding more noodles I got a veggie spiralizer (see my amazon review here) and made “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) and mixed them into my spaghetti noodles. Texture was a bit odd but I have to say the addition of the zoodles helped me feel like I was getting a full meal. Plus I got extra veggies. Win-win!

All in all I felt pretty good about the week. I lost more weight than I was expecting, especially with the “cheats”. But I did make better choices during my cheats than I normally would have, I think. There were very few instances I wish I had made different choices which is a pretty good improvement over what I had been doing. And gives me a bit of hope that I can continue this without hiding in the closet eating a whle pan of brownies.

There is no perfect

Now let’s be honest, ok? Truly honest right now. And no judging. Who has yelled at one or more of their children today? *raises hand* Who is at their wits end with the whining and the crying and the general hissy fits? *raises hand* Who would like nothing more than to sleep 8 hours uninterrupted?? *raises both hands*

I would never trade my children for anything. I would never wish to go back to the days before them. I wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights or the permanent eye twitch that has set in due to the incessant whining or the little tummy pouch that sits right above my double c-section scar. Because even though those things aren’t my favorite parts of being a mom, they are made worth it by the two little people who depend on me.

But just for #tbt sake (and that’s “Throw Back Thursday” for you not up with social media hashtag lingo) let’s look back upon a time before children. Let’s just reminisce what it was like before the whining and the crying. Just for a moment, shall we?

Before kids I could watch TV without rewinding it 47 times in a 10 minute span because no one was asking for their cup that is 3 feet from their small person. Before kids I could take a leisurely shower whenever I chose to instead of waiting for the 15-minute span when both kids are asleep. Before kids I could talk on the phone without sounding like I have some sort of personality disorder. I could try on clothes or go to the bathroom without someone opening the door. Before kids I didn’t have to repeat myself 15 times or worry about yelling at someone because I got too frustrated and hurting their delicate feelings. Then feeling like crap about it after. Before kids I didn’t worry everyday if I was doing it right. Or if I was messing them up. I didn’t feel time slipping by at a lightning speed rate. I also didn’t always seem to be covered in barf or baby poop.

But before kids I didn’t know such love. I didn’t get to see every day the wonder and excitement and genuine love in the eyes of someone I helped create. I didn’t know such gut-wrenching terror at the thought of losing them. Yes, I probably slept more, but I didn’t get to feel little hands on my face or have sweet hugs from little arms. Holidays are so much sweeter with children. My days are busier, my nights aren’t as filled with blissful sleep, but my heart is full. Children, for me, complete something in my life. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people do not want to have children and that’s ok. Some desperately want them and can’t have them. My heart aches for them.

I sit here and feel so bad for yelling at Brother Bear earlier. I’m trying so hard to be patient but some days I just lose the ability to do so. Especially when he is trying my resolve at every turn. I need to respond with hugs instead of a raised voice. I need to remember he’s just a little boy who wants his mom’s attention and is still struggling with that attention being split. A little boy who might be tired or hungry or doesn’t understand why I’m asking him to stop talking or even really have the ability to do that. I hate the feeling I have after I have hurt his feelings by yelling. And I can’t take it back or even fix it. I can apologize and try not to yell the next time. I’m working on it but some days it’s hard. And I will fail again. I will yell again. And I will feel bad, again.

I suppose, like children, I am still a work in progress. As a mom I am still learning too. Just like my little ones I will have good days and bad days. I will struggle with my role just as they will. I will try my best to be patient and understanding and respond with grace. And sometimes, probably more often than I’d like, I will fail. But even with those struggles, even with the barf (and the poop) and the insane amount of laundry they create, I would never trade a day with my babies. I would love for more days. Longer days. Days I could have over again because they just went by too quickly. I will continue to try every day to be a better mother. To appreciate every second I have with them. To learn to apologize when I ‘m not sweet just as I expect Brother Bear to apologize when he’s not. And one day I hope to learn to forgive myself when I make mistakes just as I forgive my sweet ones when they make them.