Monday, April 30, 2012

Healthy Eating weekend

Well we have made it to the 8 week point of our "Diet Regime".  I know I have been a bit slack in the updates and since I am in a bit of a rush today I still don't have time for a thorough update but I will give a quick rundown of our results at least.

Hubby has now lost 7.7kgs and I have lost 5.8kgs.  After the last few weeks being a bit on the dismal side for the weight loss this week finally picked up again with both of us losing another 1kg.  It is amazing how the school holidays and the different routines that happen in those 2 weeks can affect you.

This last week saw us back on the stricter calorie counting and we started to look for some new recipes to tempt our tastebuds with.  We have been trying out a few recipes from Michelle Bridge's book and I have to say they are quite nice.  We have tried the Chicken Pad Thai, her Baked Fish and Chips and the Thai Chicken Stirfry over the weekend and each meal was really yummy.  The kids didn't like her fish but hubby and I quite enjoyed it, although having said that I think we will just stick with our usual fish cooking in future as we prefer it without the crumbs lol.

Chicken Pad Thai

Thai Chicken Stirfry

Baked Fish and Chips

The Chicken Pad Thai we will definitely make again and probably the Thai Chicken Stirfry too.  Both those meals are so quick to make they are just right up my alley for convenience lol.

This week our exercise was the Wii Fit Plus.  We went through the 18 (I think thats how many it was lol, possibly 15) activities in the Challenge section of it.  We left the actual exercises such as Yoga etc out of the equation this week.  Naturally some of the exercises are pretty useless when it comes to burning calories as you don't really move but the run, the bike ride and the obstacle course in particular raise the heart rate.  Lol, one of the bike ride's I did, had me going for 39 minutes as you need to find all the flags on the island course and I couldn't find the last flag (there were 27 in total),,,,,,I was totally destroyed by the end of that, my legs had turned to jelly!!!  Thankfully, I am proud to say that yesterday when I did it my time was down to about 11 minutes,,,,,,,,,,,,,and then of course I have now unlocked the next course,,,,,,,,,I can't bring myself to see how many flags you have to find on this course lol!!!

But today is Monday so it is time to change over to our next exercise in Mr17's "Torture Regime" (did I say that lol?????, sorry I meant "Diet Regime"), which is Don King Boxing on the Wii.  This will be an interesting one for someone as unco as me lol.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My latest Crochet Completion

 I just realised this morning that I hadn't taken a photo of my last completed crochet item,,,,I am so slack lately!!  This scarf was from a pattern in my "Art of Crochet" collection and they called it a Long Fringed Scarf.  I found this pattern a little tricky at the beginning and I got so frustrated with it, I almost gave up altogether.  But on my fourth attempt at it, I realised I had been reading the pattern wrong,,,,,,Duuuuuhhhhhhh!!! lol.

I am glad I persevered with it, I actually quite like it now that it is finished lol.  The cost for the complete scarf came in at about $6.00 for the wool which is just a cheap acrylic but it actually feels quite nice and soft against your skin.  The colour is a little darker than it appears in the pics (its very overcast here today so there is no good light for photos)

As you can see I did have tension issues in the first part but overall it is generally a pretty even pattern which I am so glad of lol.  I have made 3 scarves so far and this would have to be my favourite one and one I am pleased to say I will actually use.

Currently I am on to a Messenger bag, which I hope to use for carting my crochet around with me when we go on drives......Hubby always calls me "Granny" when I do this lol, but who cares!  I need something to keep my mind active, I don't do just sitting around very well!!!

This is now project number 5 since completing my granny square blanket late last year.  I think I should give a few smaller projects a go as I do find that these larger items tend to make me a little bored by the time I get about half to 3/4 of the way through them, but having said that I am also the sort of person that needs to complete something once I have started it or I lose interest in it completely and it never ends up getting finished.

The weather here has been very cloudy and dull the last few days, not much sunshine to be had.  Kids started back at school and I still haven't been able to walk there yet lol, due to showers each morning.  This morning it was a fine misty rain, the kids were eager, well the younger two were at least lol, but I wasn't.  I knew that by the time Shadow and I got back home, it was likely to pour with rain.......of course this didn't happen because I drove the car, but you can bet that it would have if we had walked lol.

I have some seedlings that have sprouted and hope to get a few of them planted in the ground this weekend.  Amazingly most of the seedlings are flowers.....I can't usually get flower seeds to germinate at all so it will be interesting to see if I can get these little guys to survive to adulthood and provide me with some garden prettiness!

(My spell check revealed that I say "lol" way too much, I apologise for that!  In real life I am a very smiley person who does laugh quite a bit and I guess that comes through in my posts)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kids are back at school...deep breath and attack the house,,,,,maybe tomorrow????

Well we survived the school holidays.  Yep I have the usual "mummy guilt" of them spending too much time on the Xbox etc but I will get over it.  I had the stepkids here for 10 out of the 17 days so that was quite limiting on what I could achieve outside of the house.

I have tried several times to write this post, as there was something I was going to say but I don't think it would be right to talk about it.  So frustrating!!  It is one of those times that so many of us who have blogs go through.  How much to share with everyone.  This is my style of diary, even though it is kind of irregular lol, but because it is "out there for the world to see", you have to limit how much you truly write about.  I don't like to whinge all the time and sometimes I feel that is all I seem to do.  There is so much going on in life right now that I would love to use this as a bit of a venting board but I know that because it most often relates to my stepkids and their other parent/s I can't.  Aaaaghhhhh!

Okay moving on lol.

Our diet has been pretty shocking over the last 3 weeks.  Today I finally got back to the weight that I was 3 weeks ago,,,,even though I did get lower at one point during the school holidays, lack of exercise and/or too much food intake ruined it and I went back up again.  We really need to get back on the horse so to speak.  Our measurements for this week were bad as well with both of us gaining cms instead of losing them.

But this week is a new week and we can get our routine back on track.  We are going to start trying some new recipes for a bit of variation as we have been kind of stuck just rotating 4-5 meals around in circles lol.  Lunch and breakfasts have been pretty stagnant between only 2 different things as well.  For the sake of Mr17's school project this needs to change quickly.

Our exercise has been pretty irregular the last 2 weeks as well.  We were supposed to be trying out the Wii Family Trainer and the Wii Fit but instead, we stuck to the Bowflex and the Treadmill because they were more convenient (sadly though, we missed alot of days :(   slack I know!).  This week though we are using the Wii Fit Plus.  I did my session this morning and had fun with it.  I just used the Wii Fit Plus section today and burnt approx 145 calories according to the Wii Fit.  Hubby will be doing his training tonight.  The kids and I were supposed to be walking to school this morning but naturally, we got up to find it was raining and I certainly didn't fancy walking 2kms there and 2kms back in the rain.  I also didn't want the kids getting saturated as they already have colds.

So, tomorrow is a new day, the house will gradually look better and my mission for this school term is to get some more of the house painted and keep on selling things online.  We have finally decided on some tiles for the kitchen walls (only taken 4.5 years lol).  We will pick them up this week and hopefully we might be able to make a start next weekend,,,,,unless something else comes up which is highly possible!.

Right, now that half the day has gone lol, I might look at getting some stuff listed on Ebay before I go and pick up my clan from school in 2 hours.  Back to the school time routine again,,,,always takes about a week to settle back into it lol!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Where is the time going.....

Here we are, Friday 20 April.  The last Friday of the school holidays already!!  I know many parents dread school holidays but I have learnt to love them.  Only problem is, they go past way too fast.  I find that since we generally have my stepkids in the first week, and as that always means we are housebound while hubby is at work during that week, that the first week disappears and we don't really do anything with the kids.  I always feel sad that the kids have spent way too much time in front of screens as my time has been taken up with Mr11 with Autism.  It gets to the end of that first week and I feel totally drained of energy.  This time my energy has remained drained.  I don't know why I just feel a little flat.  I think lately everything has just accumulated and after my last post about things going wrong.....well yet more things have gone wrong but I'm not going to bore you with the details.  Everyone is still alive and kicking (animals included) so that is all that matters.  Once again I had so much I wanted to achieve with the kids these school holidays (game wise) and we haven't done any of them.  We have been home enough to play heaps of games but none were achieved.  I found all the little bits and pieces that had to be done took up alot of time and by the time I could actually sit down and play a game, well it was time to think about dinner.  The after dinner routine for these school holidays has been watching movies with the kids.  So by the time dinner and dinner clean up happened and the kids had their showers etc, it was movie time and the games were pushed aside yet again.    Then the boys have been with their Dad for a few days here and there too that also meant less time.

The boys are off with their dad today and won't be back till dinner time tonight.  We also get the stepkids back tonight for the weekend.  Tomorrow Mr11 has his friend coming over for a sleep over and of course we have soccer games each day of the weekend.

Today I need to get this house back into shape, it is just all kinds of disgusting right now.

Oh yeah,,,,the diet is still going, although school holidays have been a struggle as far as the exercise routine went, we had to deviate from the plan and our food intake has been a little less than ideal.  But our results for 6.5 weeks have been:

Hubby has lost 5.8kgs and 20.5cms and I have lost 4.5kgs and 32cms.  (Yesterday our results were better but we both gained a heap yesterday due to having to eat out for two meals!!)  I am beginning to see the results of our efforts.  No one else has made comment so the changes aren't huge, but I can tell by the way my clothes are fitting that I am changing.  I have been wearing loose fitting clothes so that is probably why no one else has noticed lol.

I will leave you with a few photos I have managed to snap over recent days.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life can be so cruel sometimes......

I seem to be complaining alot lately, I apologise for that.  Life at the moment seems to be one thing after another going wrong, some I have mentioned, others I have let slip by unmentioned.  Today though I'm mentioning because I am beginning to feel swamped by all these things.

As you may recall we had to get our precious older dog, Billy put to sleep about a month ago.  This was totally heartbreaking as you can imagine.  Things have also been going on with my stepkids which I can't really share here but these events have been consuming us and life as we know it right now seems to be in the hands of Hubby's ex at the moment.  I know that sounds confusing, and believe me it is, but lets just say that we have no idea where life will lead in the next 12 months or so when it comes down to those 2 kids.

My Mr17 bought a car a couple of months ago.  That went great for about 7 weeks.  One day he went to drive to his mates house and the Distributor Module went $320 later it was running again.  The next night he went for a drive, it overheated and cracked the radiator.  We got a new radiator and hubby fitted it only to have it die again on the way back from my ex's house where the car was.  This time the timing chain and a blown head gasket.  It sat in our front yard for a few weeks as we pondered what to do.  We couldn't really afford to fix it and Mr17 certainly couldn't.  Hubby found an older guy who owns an auto wrecker yard who also has a couple of older mechanics working there.  They fix cars as a sideline.  Well lets just say they were brilliant.  Ended up costing us just $750 for them to fix the head gasket, timing chain, a solanoid thing in the starter motor, new thermostat and water pump and another new hose.  The car now runs perfectly.  Mr17 is paying us back a little at a time.

On Saturday morning we got up to discover Mr11's beloved cockatiel, Aussie had died during the night.  We have no idea why as he was just 3 years old.  He was devastated.  It really made me look at the fragility of life and wonder why we are having so much bad luck lately.  The poor kid has now suffered two losses of his beloved pets in the space of a month, it really is unfair.

Yesterday I noticed the dog scratching and discovered fleas aaaghhh.  Today I am out to get flea treatments for the cats and dogs, there goes  a small fortune.  We have been flea free for so long, this just sucks.

Back tomorrow in a happier mood I hope!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More snippets from our weekend.....

Yummy Chicken Salad

A new to me recipe Hot Cross yummy...will post recipe to my Cooking Blog soon :-)

Our "raid the freezer" stirfry meal when we didn't have kids on Sunday night

My Easter treat to myself bought at a book sale we attended on the weekend

My blog is having an attack of "I don't want to cooperate with you itis" lol.  I don't know what it is doing but I will just carry on as though nothing happened lol.

I have found that since starting our diet our world seems to be revolving around food and shopping.  Its starting to drive me a little insane.  I think I have lost my planning mojo and it is starting to show with us just making the same meals over and over again, both for us and the kids.

I have been browsing through Michelle Bridges book "Crunch Time Cookbook" and I think we will start incorporating a few of her meals into our diet regime.  I feel like we have slacked off to a degree this past week with Easter and Mr10's birthday really playing havoc with our weight loss.  This week we have Mr11 with Autism here so that makes life really difficult too.  I can't leave the house with him on my own because he will just throw himself to the ground and he is getting too big for me to lift now, so we are housebound while hubby is at work and can't get to the shops.  I planned for Easter food really well but not so much for the rest of this week lol.  The best thing about our little diet break was the fact that after having junk food, we really didn't feel that great.  It showed us that our bodies are adjusting to not having crappy food (not that we over indulged in it before but it was little bits pretty regularly lol).  We both really felt it on Saturday after having had junky meals the last two days.  It is great because it is inspiring us to keep going on the diet and even though I hadn't really felt any different or healthier, last week made me realise that my system has in fact changed for the better and it doesn't really want to go back to nibbling on crappy food.

Exercise this week has been a little tricky too.  We were supposed to be doing one of the Wii games but having had between 6-8 kids in the house all the time and will have for the rest of the school holidays for the most part, it has been a little  hard to find time to use the Wii uninterrupted.  Therefore, we made the decision that for this week at least we will do either the treadmill or the bowflex instead.  Next week I will be back to having just my boys and probably a few extras at various points in the week.  I hope (fingers crossed the weather will help me out here!) to be able to get out and about a few times next week even if it is just going for some walks or bike rides!!  Money is tight right now so free activities are a must lol.  As I keep telling the kids, we can leave the house and not spend money and enjoy ourselves,,,,,my boys get it but Miss13 just doesn't, not at all, which makes me feel sad.  It is hard being a step parent and only having minimal influence on a child, especially when the other parent has totally different values than you do....can make life rather difficult at times.

I better go and check on my Anzac cake I have in the oven.  It smells delicious!!  (No I won't be eating it lol, I promise!!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter,,,,,,and not a photo of an egg in bad am I lol

It occurred to me this morning that I didn't take a photo of our Easter morning celebrations.  Not one photo of the Egg Hunt, not a photo of the Easter morning Easter Egg gifts from the Big Bunny, how slack am I!!!!!  Now I could go and take a photo of the eggs, the kids haven't eaten much chocolate yet so there are plenty of eggs to photograph, but I won't.  That to me would always annoy me as being "fake" lol.

Our diet has been a struggle this last week.  Weight loss has been pretty much non  existent, partly because we have been doing weight training this week and also partly because we celebrated Mr9's 10th birthday with our traditional party night, which of course then turns in to a "lets eat the left overs for lunch the next day" lol.  Both hubby and I gained weight after having pizza, party pies and the obligatory birthday cake. 

Mr now 10 had his best friend over for a sleep over,,,,sadly his friend got sick in the middle of the night and ended up leaving at 8.30am.  I think it may have been over tiredness that did it to the poor little munchkin as he went home had a sleep and then woke up good as gold.  My kids are fine with late nights and it doesn't cause them any ill effects, others aren't so lucky I guess.  Lesson learnt when it comes to this particular friend lol, next time there will be a time limit of midnight!!  Mr10 had a great birthday though I think and was very excited at having his first friend for a sleepover.  I remember my older two had had many a sleepover by this age but with the younger two they have been a bit slow to get interested in having friends over to sleep.  It still amazes me how different the 4 boys are in that respect.  The younger two hate birthday parties and the like, whereas the older two loved them.  I always feel guilty that this was the first birthday "party" with friends (albeit only one friend) that Mr10 has had and Mr11 also has only ever had one party with friends and that was for his 5th birthday.  But I can't push them into these things I guess, if they don't want to have parties it just isn't worth forcing the issue.

I felt a little sad to see my youngest "baby" hit the age of 10.  It feels like you are kissing childhood goodbye for the last time.  But they are all wonderful and they make me so proud every day.  I know that we have many more years of fun and challenges (both good and bad) ahead of us to look forward to and I do look forward to watching them all become young men and make their own life decisions in the future.

So I will post a summary of our diet results tomorrow.  For today I will just share some piccies of our Easter weekend.....

Mr10's cake - complete with TimTams, Skittles and M&Ms

Mr10 and his friend who celebrates his birthday today (Big bro in the background)

My little cutie Mr10

Down at Semaphore Beach, Mr11, Mr15, Mr10 and our newest family member, Shadow

Miss13's sand art (can you tell she loves Justin Bieber just a tad??)

Our beautiful Shadow (we have to get her green collar clearance so she can go without the muzzle)
Miss13's icecream pic (don't ask lol)

Shadow was such a good girl

We adopted Shadow last weekend.  I have wanted a greyhound for years and we had planned a while back to become greyhound foster carers to help ex-racing greyhounds have a second chance at life.  When our beloved Billy passed away a few weeks ago, our younger dog, along with all of us, missed him terribly and still do.  I felt terrible though for our little Mojo who was really lost when he was outside by himself.  He always had Billy to follow around and "play" with and now he had just taken to moping around all day, waiting for us to come and play with him.  Last weekend while we were at Mr15's soccer game, I was browsing through the paper and saw a greyhound free to good home advertisement.  Hubby called the guy and found that he had adopted Shadow a year ago from NSW and she hadn't been green collar tested but she was great around cats and other dogs and was very placid.  We went to meet her and fell in love with her instantly.  She doesn't take any notice of our cats and our little Mojo thinks she is pretty cool.  She has adapted to our family so well and so fast it is hard to believe she hasn't always been here.  I would have still liked to foster greyhounds but seeing the kid's go through losing Billy, we thought that it would be too hard on them at this stage to have to bring a dog into our home, have it with us for a month or two and then have to say goodbye to it.  We will still look at fostering in a few years time when the kids are that little bit older, but for now we are more than happy with our latest family member.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So Proud of my Boy

 As I said yesterday, My Mr15 made me very proud last week.  For his Hospitality lesson two weeks ago, they had to bake a sponge cake.  This was quite the achievement in itself as Mr15 definitely isn't into cooking.  About the only thing he makes are 2 minute noodles and toast!!  You may wonder why on earth he is doing Hospitality for one of his subjects this year???  Well he chose it as a last resort in case he didn't get in to his first couple of choices, lol well look at what he ended up with!!  I am very proud to say though that he is doing quite well so far.  I was so blown away by this cake he did, I think for a first time effort it is brilliant.  He baked the sponge all by himself.  The teacher froze them and then last week they did the decorating and this is what he surprised us with when he came home that afternoon!!!
Isn't it pretty??  The cream didn't photograph very well but he actually did piping around the top edge which looked great and the sides were all nice and smooth.  The patchy bits on the photo were where the top of the container accidentally touched when he lifted the lid off it.  He made the chocolate decorations and cut the strawberry so it was spread out (I know there is a more technical term for this but it escapes me at the moment lol).  To say I was amazed at his efforts was an understatement!  The chocolate decorations were all standing up which you can't really see in the pic either and it just looked so tasted pretty darn good too!!  Yes our diet was cast aside that night as we had to have a small piece of his cake.  The only thing I think it was missing was a little vanilla and caster sugar being added to the cream.  The teacher wouldn't allow them to add anything so it was a little too "creamy" tasting for my liking (I'm not a fan of plain cream except on apple pie lol), but overall it was really nice and he even managed to create a pretty light fluffy sponge!

Ok after talking about fattening things I really should do our diet update.
Day 29 results are:
Hubby lost 200 grams
I lost nothing, but gained nothing either.

This brings our total losses to 6.6kgs and 4.8 respectively.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 4 Diet Results

Gee life has been busy this last week or so and with school holidays/Easter/Mr9's birthday later this week, it doesn't look like stopping any time soon!

I thought I would quickly pop in to update our diet results.  We are both please with this weeks results and have our fingers crossed that it will keep on going (having said that we have arrived at the traditional time of the week that we always seem to put on weight,,,,Monday/Tuesday, who knows why lol).

Anyway off we go.....

Day 23 results
Hubby gained 800 grams bringing his total loss to 4.7kgs
I gained 600 grams bringing my total loss to 3.2kgs

Day 24 results
Hubby lost 200 grams bringing his total loss to 4.9kgs
I lost 100 grams bringing my total loss to 3.3kgs

Day 25 results
Hubby lost 1.0kgs bringing his total loss to 5.9kgs
I lost 600 grams bringing my total loss to 3.9kgs

Day 26 results
Hubby lost 200 grams bringing his total loss to 6.1kgs
I lost 300 grams bringing my total loss to 4.2kgs

Day 27 results
Hubby lost 100 grams bringing his total loss to 6.2kgs
I lost 300 grams bringing my total loss to 4.5kgs

Day 28 results
Hubby lost 200 grams bringing his total loss to 6.4kgs
I lost 300 grams bringing my total loss to 4.8kgs

Our measurements for this weeks were down by 11 cms for hubby and 5cms for me.

So after 4 weeks our bodies have shrunk by 32cms for hubby and 28cms for me.

I am pretty happy as I have lost 9cms off my waist, 4cms off my hips and 6cms off my chest and my thighs and arms have lost a little too.  No one has really noticed it on me yet, hubby says he can tell I have lost weight but I'm a typical girl and until someone from outside of the house notices it, it doesn't seem real lol.  I wouldn't say I really feel different or healthier or anything like that, but I have found that my cravings for salt/sugar are diminishing and I have found that I'm not really missing the "junk food" any more.  Hubby and I still have a couple of chips if we make hot chips for the kids, just so that we aren't totally missing out, and the older two boys have both brought home samples of their cooking from school last week so  obviously we had to try their cooking out......I have to remember to tell you all about Mr15's cake tomorrow, that boy really suprised me last week!!

This week's exercise is the Bowflex Machine (weight training).  Last week on the cross trainer just about killed us I tell you lol.  We didn't do as much as we should have and probably if we had done more our results would have been even better.  But we can only do what we can do and we are doing our best to fit in the exercise where we can each day.

This week I promise to update you on my son's cake and his sports day achievement, my latest crochet project and I am bursting to show you all our newest family member.  I was unsure and thought it was too soon for a new member of our family after our dear old Billy passed away just 3 weeks ago but with our younger dog missing Billly very much I gave in.  I will share more over the next couple of days....Stay Tuned!!