Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where Have I Been?!

Hello all! Where in the world have I been?! I have so much catching up to do.

Here's the latest:
Charlie and Rachel have been having a BLAST at summer camp at Armand Bayou Nature Center. This is such a cool place. I hope to be able to volunteer and help out in their efforts to preserve this small portion of wild Texas and its bayou.

Chuck and I have started working out. We found a Bowflex on sale and have really enjoyed it. We've also been walking in the evenings and I have even started jogging in small sections.

Chuck bought me a Bodybugg as a surprise gift. At first I freaked out about how much it cost but now that I have it I LOVE it!!!! It's the coolest thing ever. You'll have to check out their web site.

We've gone camping in a tent (Charlie's first time), gone on hikes in 100 degree temps (not the smartest thing I've ever done), seen amazing wildlife, been growled at by an alligator, canoed, met new people, eaten at new places and just been enjoying life. It's been a great summer but it's going by way too fast.

I'll try to get caught up and share some pics and stories from hikes, canoe trips and outings.

SO, how's my weight loss going?! Pretty darn good. I've lost at least 10 pounds. It's actually a few more than that but I'm not supposed to weigh in until Tuesday. I'll let you know then. I haven't seen a tremendous difference but my clothes are slightly looser and Chuck said he noticed a difference. I'm ready for it to ALL be off though.

  • eat 1200 calories per day
  • track calories in/calories burned with Bodybugg
  • Cardio at least 5 times per week
  • take hikes
  • canoe
  • adding jogging slowly
  • work out with exercise ball and various videos including T-Tapp, Biggest Loser 1, The Firm stabilizer ball routine.
  • Bowflex

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

De-Nile Ain't Just a River in Egypt

For so long I have thought of myself as looking like this:

When the reality is that I look like this:

What happened to the skinny chick that I used to be? Could it be that I got older, lazier and had 2 kids?

I've decided to do something about it not only for myself but for the man that I love and also for my kids. It's not fair to them that mom won't go swimming with them or tires out to easily. Plus Coldwater Creek has some really cute clothes that look best on skinny girls. I want a new wardrobe!

SO it's time to get in shape!

Game plan:

  • Eat fewer calories and less fat

  • Exercise with T-Tapp and canoeing and walking.

I can't exercise on a treadmill. It's just too boring. Heck, it's pretty bad just watching a video! So I want to get outside and enjoy nature and live while losing some major pounds.

T-Tapp is very low stress on the joints but gives you a very hard workout. At least it's hard to me ;)

I'll share any great recipes that I come across that I think you may like. If you have any to share please do!

I bought

which is filled with low fat and low calorie alternatives to our regular junk food. Look guys, this is NOT healthy food. It's low cal junk food. I am going to incorporate healthy too but we live in a real world with lots of tasty treats out there and unless you plan to lock yourself in a closet and eat cardboard the rest of your life then you might as well enjoy some low cal junk. Life's too short!

Hungry Girl has a great sense of humor and I highly recommend her email newsletter that arrives cheerfully in your email box daily. This isn't your typical newsletter, trust me! It's filled with tips, recipes and much more.

So today I had a bowl of Ezekiel cereal. Lunch was some lean roast beef rolled up in a flour tortilla with some mayo and cheese and lettuce and a bag of 100 calorie Doritos.

I've exercised today and been a good girl. Yeah for me!

Watch out, Claudia. There's a new skinny chick arriving on the block pretty darn soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hanging out in Kemah

We seem to be hitting Kemah a lot this summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008, we headed out to Kemah to meet our friends Shannon, Samantha and Ryan. Chuck was at work paying for this. :(

We met about 11:30 to ride the rides and hang out. Little did I know that the temp was going to be comparative to that on Venus. It was HOT!

The first thing Rachel did was run for Chaos. She tried and tried to talk Charlie into riding it with her but he just wouldn't do it. I don't blame you Charlie!

Then Rachel and Charlie went to ride Pharaoh's Fury, a real tummy tosser. I went to the nice safe ferris wheel and got a great shot of the bay while it was as smooth as glass. I haven't seen it that smooth before. Calm before the storm?

Time to ride the Chaos again?

The kids all decided to go ride Pharaoh's Fury together. No one would get on Chaos with Rachel. Sorry, sweety. Momma ain't gonna do it either.

If you look closely, you will see Rachel in the very back and then Charlie, Ryan and Samantha in the middle. I'm not sure if Ryan is enjoying this ride or not. LOL

The Aviator is shut down if the wind picks up at all. So you can imagine how often it's actually open since it is right by the bay! Today there was no wind (making it feel like 130 degrees) and the Aviator was going. It's hard to see but Charlie and Ryan are in the first "car" and Rachel and Sammie are in the one behind them.

It is SO hot. So we grab some snow cones and head over to the water park on the boardwalk to cool off. Well, the kids get wet while Shannon and I sit in the shade and sip snow cones while surrounded by thousands of day care kids. Is this water filtered? No, don't tell me. Sometimes it is best to live in ignorance.

Ok, kids. It's time for MY favorite thing: feeding the stingrays! Rachel, stop being so afraid of them. They won't hurt you. They wouldn't sell fish to hand feed them if they were dangerous. Notice they don't let you hand feed the alligators? That's because they will eat you. These guys are your friends. Come on, feed the sweet little ray.

Your turn, Charlie. Don't be scared when they jump out of the water. They just want some dinners. :)

Friends hanging out. Where did Ryan go?

Is everyone hungry? YES! So we head over to Joe's Crab Shack.

What about you, boys? Everyone hungry?

Here is Charlie's reaction after he found out that he ate a shrimp, the roach of t he sea. LOL Poor guy. He's never had one. I don't think he will be having one again for a long, long time.

So what do we do with leftovers? Let's feed them to the fish and ducks under the restaurant!

Aw, isn't that sweet?

The kids were ready to hit the rides again but Shannon and I were thinking of air conditioning. So the kids went for the rides and we went for the Starbucks. Shannon ordered an iced chai and I just enjoyed the AC. I know Shannon will KILL me if she sees this pic. I'll take it off when she calls me yelling. ;) Anyway, here she is ordering at Starbucks.

Chuck met us here after he got off work. Then we were off to find the kids. Here they are! On the Bouncer!

We rode a few more rides and then Shannon and the kids had to go home. We decided to grab a bite to eat at Saltgrass before we went home. The kids weren't too hungry so I let them order dessert for dinner. Am I a cool mom or what?!

While we were eating a BIG BAD storm brewed up.

And I drove home with the canoes strapped to the top of the truck. Think it's time to unload them?

It was a great day. It's great to spend the day with family and friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Canoe Peach Creek on Father's Day

June 15, 2008 Father's Day 2008

We get up earlier than usual to head out for our planned canoe trip. I've mapped out how far we should go before turning around. I've called Lake Houston park folks and asked about the water level. Lunch, snacks and plenty of water are packed. Sunscreen? Check. It's all in order.

We head out and stop for some breakfast at Whataburger. No bacon please.

Traffic isn't too bad. Oh yeah, it's Sunday morning. OOPS! I pass the exit! Rats. Well, let's see if there is a place to put in at Roman Forest. It seems like I had seen a park there near the creek. There it is! We walk to the creek but there is so much plant growth that it would be difficult to get in. OK, back in the truck guys. Let's go find the other park.

No big deal. We get there and pay for our entrance. $9 just for us to put a canoe in the water. Whatever. Can we drive closer to the water to unload? Great! Oh, but then we have to drive the truck to the parking lot and walk to the water? That's a pretty good hike. Can't argue with the authorities though, right?

Canoes are unloaded (good job Chuck! who carries them over his head by himself!). We'll just wait here while you take the truck to the parking lot. Happy Father's Day! Kids are splashing and having fun. We all have our sunscreen on. The water is awfully shallow here. But I'm sure it gets deeper around the bend.

Oh good, Chuck is back. Well, guys, let's head out. You first Chuck. Rachel and I will paddle behind you guys so you can clear out any spiders that might be in low branches. :) Darn it! This is hard to do. It's so shallow right here. Glad that it will get deeper right around the bend.

Gosh it's hot polling through this shallow water. I bet it gets deeper around the second bend. You know, I did call to check the water level. I'm sure that they were telling the absolute truth.

OK, this is starting to suck pretty bad. I'm hot and tired and sick of getting out of this canoe and dragging it along. That means I have to do the same thing on the way back. What? What's that smell?! Good grief, something is dead somewhere and I am stuck in shallow water and there are mini log jams. Oh gross. And there are vultures. Did a herd of cattle die? Quick! Let's get through here quickly!

Glad that's over. It is so beautiful out here with the ferns growing along the bank and the trees and the gravel and sand bed of the creek. There's even a current flowing! Too bad it's not but ankle deep.

Dude, this is really getting hard. Let's turn around and call it a day. This is not a canoe trip; it's a wading and hauling trip. I didn't sign up for an episode of Survivor. I just wanted to go canoeing.

OK. Let's stop for a break. Have fun climbing on the trees, kids. I gotta rest. It is 98 degrees. I think I am going to pass out. Oh no! Rachel had a spider crawl on her. That girl can move when she wants!

Time to head back y'all. Charlie takes a turn pulling the canoe. Good job, son.

We're back but I have obviously gotten overheated. Chuck, I'll be fine. Let me help you. You are so stubborn sometimes but thanks. Wow, he gets the truck and loads both canoes up by himself! Thank you!

Time to head home to get cleaned up. We smell like the rotting catfish that we finally saw in the water by the vultures. I mean, we smell BAD.

Happy Father's Day, my love. Let's get cleaned up and head to your folks' house for steaks. Next time we'll canoe in water instead of sand.
Hey, where was Chuck in all of these pictures?!