Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday: Back to the Wagon and sharing my goals with you

The weather outside is so nasty and cold today. I really don't want to do anything except recover from vacation. Doesn't it seem like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation sometimes?

Breakfast: an apple

Lunch: rotisserie chicken deli meat on sugar free bread with FF cheese and mustard and a few Pringles Light sour cream and onion chips

Dinner: some leftover spaghetti. I was still hungry so I had some leftover sweet potatoes. mmm

Dessert: a couple of chocolate covered cherries

Snack: 100 cal. popcorn

Feelings: hungry, tired and slightly on the cranky side. Probably because I am tired and hungry. I do realize that even though I was "on plan" it wasn't the best day of eating. I need some new groceries but I also need the fridge cleaned out of leftovers.

I really need to get some fresh produce, as you can see. :)

Next year I will be having Thanksgiving with my parents and my mom's family. Her side of the family is HUGE! I mean big. I'm talking about in number, not size. Have I ever told you that I don't like crowds? They freak me out just a little bit.

My mom's family has never even seen Charlie. I haven't been to a gathering in so many years that I've lost count. Part of that is because I'm either too darn busy, made other plans, or my slight crowd fear. The other part (and a large part) is that I hate the way I look so I automatically feel that I will be judged. It's really kind of sad and vain when I think about it. Most of them wouldn't think ill thoughts about me. It's my own little mental problem that I am trying to overcome.

Nevertheless, my goal is to lose to goal weight by Thanksgiving next year. I want to be the best I can be. Now that I have an event (seeing the family for the first time in years) on the horizon, I am extremely motivated.

The kitchen is filled to the ceiling (almost literally) with delightful goodies to tempt me at this moment. Chocolate covered cherries, mint cookies, brownies, cheesecake, mac n cheese, sweet potato casserole, chips, cheese dip, leftover Chinese food, etc. Even though I don't feel like eating healthy today I just do it. I used to have that attitude with exercise: it doesn't matter if you feel like doing it or not, just do it! Work out your feelings later. I have got to get back to that attitude.

So today I am, once again, back at it. I've found that vacations (camping trips, overnights at hotels, road trips) are the most difficult for me to stay on plan. I do just fine if I am at home. I need to challenge myself to overcome those urges when away from home. And I will. I am willing to make those changes so it will happen. But it is more than a small challenge at this point.

Perhaps if I put small, daily goals out there I will be more likely to keep them. It's worth trying. So in that spirit, here are my goals for Tuesday:
  • stay on plan with eating

  • cardio exercise with Leslie Sansone walking DVD

Just so you know, I don't do winter. I am not a fan of the cold. I think snow is beautiful and I like to visit it and then I like to get away from it. Far away from it. That's why I'm in southeast Texas, right? When I walk outside in the cold, the inside of my ears heart and I get a splitting headache. When I get a chill, it takes hours for me to get warmed back up. When it's cold outside, my old snake bite injury on my finger turns numb and it's hard to move my finger. It was a copperhead bite when I was 9, I think. Anyway, I don't like winter. I would hibernate if I could. So I will more than likely be getting my exercise indoors during this season unless it warms up again. And it always does. I remember some Christmases where we got to wear shorts. Love it! :)

If you have any favorite indoor workouts, please let me know. I am open to ideas.

Camping at Lost Maples State Park & Chillin' at Piney Shores Resort Conroe

This is going to possibly be one of my longest posts ever. I've been gone for a couple of weeks and there is so much to catch up on. If you don't feel like reading, feel free to just browse through the pictures. You'll get an idea of what I've been up to lately. :)

Before we began our vacation I had to run around town and get things that we were going to need. You know, groceries, some clothing, pet food, etc. On the way home on Tuesday, November 17th, I had a blow out. Not just a flat but a full fledged blow out going about 60 mph on the highway. I've never experienced anything like that but fortunately I remained calm and pulled to the side of the road. The van was not exactly easy to control but we did ok.

Chuck was at work but fortunately we had our incident in front of our neighborhood so I could pull in and walk the half mile to my house. Not too bad. But not too fun carrying a bunch of groceries either. Chuck came home and we got new tires. Disaster solved.

Wednesday, November 18th, we left for one of our favorite camping destinations: Lost Maples State Park. It's a looooonnnng drive from my house and we didn't get an early start. By the time we arrived it was after 10pm. But that was only after a very near miss of hitting a deer that decided to run in front of the truck. FYI: trucks pulling 37' trailers do not stop very easily. Chuck was pretty sure we would find some hair from that deer on our bumper. But the deer made it away.

We got set up and enjoyed 5 days of bliss in the Texas hill country.

One of the spectacular views:
The water was crystal clear and smelled sweet. I love this area. The kids put their feet in the water and soon found out that it was freezing cold.
The forest was quiet with just slight breezes rustling the golden leaves. I could have spent hours here. Wait, I did spend hours here! So peaceful.
Charlie, my little comedian, decided to wear some glasses that I keep in the backpack for geocaching. He did get some strange looks on the trail.
This tree was so gorgeous; it looked like it was on fire.
On the hike on the East Trail, we came across this are with primitive camping available. There was a big cliff and a clear pond at the base. I would love to backpack in here and spend the weekend. Doesn't that look peaceful?
Right before we hit the steep climb of the trail, we came across this tree whose golden leaves seemed to glow in the sunlight. I wish I could have taken it home with me.
Did I mention that we were on a 5 mile hike and that 1.5 miles were steep? Very steep. We had to take breaks during some of it.
But the view at the top made it totally worth it. Once we reached the ridge of the hill, there was a strong breeze blowing and we could watch birds fly and see all of the colors of the trees from above. It was a breathtaking view.
On the way down there were areas that had stairs made out of rock. I feel sorry for the person (people) that had to make the trail and the neat steps. But it does make for some great photography.
The kids were almost delirious with exhaustion once we reached this bench. Fortunately I had packed some snacks and water bottles or I am not sure we would have made it. It was so much fun though. I wish we could do it again soon.
The hike wore us out. We got cleaned up and headed in to Utopia, Texas to eat at the Lost Maples Cafe where they have some of the best chicken fried steak fingers. It's been years since we visited there so we were overdue for a stop. They were out of chocolate meringue pie (of which Chuck was prepared to buy the entire pie) so we decided we would just have to come back again. Real soon.
So Friday we headed over to the Lost Maples Cafe again. After all, it was a rainy day and I wasn't going to be doing any cooking outside in that weather anyway. Right? And they had the pie. Mmmmmmm. Not Weight Watcher friendly but mmmmmmmm. Rachel got the coconut cream pie and it was even more mmmmmmm. Nom nom.
Afterwards, we spent time in the trailer hanging out and doing puzzles and just enjoying being lazy.
Saturday, November 21st, Chuck made breakfast and we were out the door to explore and hunt fossils. We found a few shells as usual.
It was great to have Chuck home from work. Here are the lovebirds. Still happy after 19 years.
Boys will be boys.
The views......I just love this place. And the water has its own smell in this area. It's sweet.
While exploring by the Sabinal River, Chuck found a turtle. Rachel loves turtles so she wanted to hold it. Being cold blooded, I'm surprised this little turtle was in the water.
It was time for lunch and then off for a game of catch with the football. This was a lot of fun. Sadly, my arm was sore the next day.
It was the last night there and Chuck made a perfect campfire. As the day grew cooler, we pulled the chairs up to the fire, had a beer (not the kids) and talked about our favorite adventures of the camping trip.
The stars are so bright out here. You can see the Milky Way across the sky and even watch satellites move if you watch carefully.
I had brought some glow sticks to play with. The kids played a version of Easter egg hunt where they hid the glow sticks for each other to find. They also made for some cool photos. (that's me)
Sunday, it was good to get home and sleep in own beds again.
Monday Chuck had to go back to work! I know he had to be exhausted.
Tuesday, November 24th, we had some folks come out to install the AT&T U-verse and some other folks do a termite inspection. Then it was off to Conroe to stay at Silverleaf's Piney Shores Resort.
Piney Shores is a time share that Chuck's parents own but added us to their membership so we can use it too. I have read reviews that some folks did not like Silverleaf and that they use high pressure sales and call a million times but I didn't have to deal with any of that since Chuck's parents bought it. For me it was just a really great time. The place was pretty nice (though it did have a couple of stains in the unit) and the employees were very friendly.
(our unit was the one on the bottom corner)
The view from the back porch was beautiful. Lake Conroe. We would often just leave our door open to hear the waves and enjoy the view.
There was so much for us to do! They have an indoor pool that stays really hot. Charlie was being goofy as usual.
Wednesday I cooked a good meal and every one was pretty tired. The kids went to bed at a decent hour so I decided to do something a little romantic. I made a bubble bath for two in the jacuzzi tub.
Problem 1: I got the water too hot and Chuck was scalded. He turned as red a lobster. Felt fine to me.
Problem 2: I was not aware that bubble bath and jacuzzi tubs do not belong together. I turned on the jets and the bubbles rose up like a wall. I turned the jets off and we both just sat there looking at each other. Through the bubbles. We were afraid to move because if one of us slipped under those bubbles we might not make it back out.
The romantic evening was over just as soon as it had started but we did have some good laughs. And it took two days to clean out all of the bubbles.
Thursday we went to the in laws for Thanksgiving. It was over an hour drive but worth it to spend time with family and not have to cook. :) Find the clue that this photo was taken after the meal. (and do we really need to discuss Weight Watchers and points and calories? I think not.)
Thursday night we got back to the condo and relaxed with some Guitar Hero. I so love this game. I did notice that my playing abilities declined as my alcohol intake increased. Is there a link?
The kids being goofy in their room. I'm just glad that they had such a good time. Their room was awesome! They had their own table, tv, bathroom, and kitchenette.
Friday, November 27th, we went for a walk along the shore of Lake Conroe and got to see a beautiful great blue heron.
Then it was off to play mini golf. This was our second time since we arrived. And the best part is that all of the activities were free for us! Well, the horseback riding would have cost us but we didn't do that.
After mini golf we headed to the archery range. None of us were too great at it. I shot one arrow into the trees and had to go on a search for it. But it was still fun to try.
Then it was off to the activity center for lunch and Bingo! Charlie had never played and he enjoyed it. The staff came up with different games to keep it interesting. One of the games we were hoping NOT to win called Texas T. You had to clear a "T" shape on your Bingo card and then yell "Yeeeee-haaaaaaaa" and then gallop up to the front on your pretend horse. No thanks. Fortunately none of us won that one.
Lunch and Bingo were finished so we grabbed some tennis equipment and headed to the courts. I'm not sure that I could suck at a sport quite as badly as I do at tennis but we had a lot of laughs. Rachel hit the ball out once and it almost broked a window of the indoor pool and then the ball rolled far away under a car. :)
While Chuck, Rachel, and I played tennis, the staff kept Charlie busy with a water balloon fight.
Chuck then had a friend come over for a visit that he hasn't seen in years. It was good to catch up.
It was our last night there and we took advantage by just relaxing.
Saturday we came home and took a loooong nap.
Sunday we got the 2 dogs and bearded dragon from my mom. It was so nice that she could pet sit for us all of that time.
And now it's Monday. I'm back to counting points. There really is no telling how much I put back on over the holiday. But I'm not worried. Today I'm starting on the Bowflex we have tucked away upstairs.
I won't have any new recipes or pictures for ya today because we have so many leftovers. I'm not cooking anything until that fridge has space in it.
I hope your Thanksigiving was a lot of fun and filled with good memories. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello to all of my blogger friends. :)

Thursday was Rachel's first dance and she had a great time. I'm so glad. I was a little worried about her since she was so nervous but she danced and said she can't wait for the next one! They sure do grow up fast. I'm proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Friday Chuck and I took the kids to my parents' house along with two dogs and a bearded dragon. They're going to watch the critters while we're away camping. The kids spent the weekend and Chuck and I got to have a much needed date and time to ourselves.

Friday night we went to Carabba's where I blew my remaining 35 points for the week. It was so good. It was also nice just to spend some time together and talk and laugh. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids with all my heart. I just need some time with Mr Happy Texan too. We get bogged down in the day to day stuff of life and it's good to reconnect with each other.

On the way home we stopped at Bass Pro Shops. They had a bunch of tanks set up in the parking lot for a kids' fish fest that was going on. The fest was closed and the fish were "sleeping" except for a couple of catfish that had jumped out of their tank. One looked like it was dead but the other was flopping around. Catfish are tricky fish to handle. They can stab you with their fins and it can cause a nasty sore. Chuck found some gloves out there and was able to put the fish back in the tank and save them. Even the one that looked dead went back to swimming after a few seconds. But Chuck did suffer a small injury when an ungrateful catfish poked him. He's ok though. It felt good to save some fish.

Saturday morning I made an AWESOME breakfast of scrambled eggs, veggie sausage patties, fat free hash browns and cheese wrapped in a low carb tortilla. Yum!

After breakfast Chuck had some work to do so I went to get a makeover at Ulta and spent way too much money on makeup. But it was fun. :) They do lash extensions now and I'm hoping to get some of those soon. It would be nice not to have to wear mascara yet have beautiful long lashes.

Saturday night Chuck and I went out for some of the best Indian food. The chicken curry was so good I could have sipped the sauce through a straw. I love that place! Then it was off to Moody Gardens for the opening of the Festival of Lights, walk through the aquarium pyramid and watch Christmas Carol in IMAX 3D.

Sunday Chuck and I went out for breakfast together then to get the kids. It was a fantastic weekend.

Monday was mega field trip day from hell. It was so busy! I left the house a little after 9am and got home from everything at almost 10pm.

First stop was Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center. The kids learned about different animals including this sugar glider....
...went on a nature hike to learn about different plants and birds......
.....looked at maps at how the bayou has changed over the years and what the changes have meant for area flooding and ecology....... to pet our favorite rooster Scooter (we also brought him mac and cheese as a treat).....
......and painted birds like Audubon using watercolors.
Charlie's toucan:
Rachel's parrot: (I think it's a conure)
After the field trip I had to drive to Angleton to find the 4H office for Rachel's Vet Science handbook. It's a 5 year program through 4H where kids learn about vet science and earn a lot of volunteer hours. Unfortunately, I got completely lost in Angleton. Eventually I found the office and got the right supplies.
I rushed home and prepared a quick dinner and then we were out the door to Richmond for a small animal restraint class for 4H.
Here is a vet tech showing one method of restraining an unruly kitteh. The cat is inside the blue collapsed thing.
Also got to see a not-so-feisty bearded dragon being handled.
This chicken was just the cutest. I want a chicken. I did some searching online and they make chicken diapers so you can keep a chicken indoors!! Wheels are turning in my head right now. Should I? Anyway, here is the cute hen being restrained.
We got home at almost 10pm. I was so exhausted!
Tuesday Rachel has a teen planning meeting and then I have to go grocery shopping and wash all of the clothes. We're going camping at Lost Maples State Park from Wednesday to Saturday. Sunday the kids are going flying for their aviation class. Monday Chuck has to work and Monday night we are going to Conroe to spend the week in a condo. Saturday we finally come home.
All of this means I won't be posting much for the next week. But I'm staying on plan. It feels so good to be back on the wagon! I can't wait for my next weigh in. I checked but there really aren't any meeting locations close enough to go to while we are camping. I'll just weigh in after the holidays.
Hope every one has a fantastic Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for my family and my wonderful husband who loves me so much.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weigh In Results: week 1 of being back on WW

Thursday is my weigh in day for Weight Watchers. I knew it was going to be a decent number because the last time I weighted in I had on jeans and heavy sandals so the number was even higher on the scale than it should have been. And all week I stuck to the plan.
But Thursday was also Rachel's first dance. I was going to try to get to my weigh in at 6:30 and rush to have her at the dance across town at 7pm. When it came down to it, there was just no way I was going to be able to make it to the meeting. With running around getting last minute things done (buy nail polish, I forgot) and getting her hair done (thanks so much, Connie!) I just ran out of time.
It was worth it. She looked gorgeous and had so much fun. I can't believe my little girl is already 14.
I just weighed in at home on the Wii scale. It said I'm at 212.5.

I lost 6.9 pounds! Woohoo! Doing the happy dance.

I won't be in town for the next weigh in either. We're going camping and I can't wait. I guess I'll just weigh in when I get back? Or maybe see if there is a WW meeting near where we're camping. I'll work it out somehow.
And now, for a taste of irony. Enjoy. :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuna Croquettes (3 pts) and Upside Down Pizza Bake (5 pts)

I'm behind a couple of days in blogging. It has been a little on the crazy side at the Happy Texan fort. We did some emergency cleaning before an appraiser came over so we can refinance the fort at a better rate. We'll see how that goes.
OK. Let's get on to the food journal and some drool worthy pictures. Ya hungry? You will be. :-)

Breakfast: Sugar Free Rock Star, Carb Check Bagel (2 pts)

Then it was off to a field trip at a recycle center called Biosphere. Very cool! We learned about all of the things that can be recycled and got to see some cool equipment that squishes stuff and shreds stuff.After the field trip we went and had lunch with Mr. Happy Texan. He works right down the road from the recycle center. Perfect. We went to Subway and I tried the buffalo chicken sandwich. When I got home I looked up the points: 7 points! That's without cheese or condiments. It was good but I'm not sure I want to spend the points for it. I could have my favorite steak and cheese instead. Oh, and I also had some apples (0 pts).

NOTE: I've seen different web sites that say that the sandwich is 9 points and one said 8 points. I just wrote down 8 points in my little food journal. There is no nutritional info for it on the Subway web site for some reason.

Snack: Fiber One yogurt (0 pts)

Dinner: 4 tuna croquettes (3 pts), mac n cheese made with Ronzoni pasta and 2% Velveeta (4 pts), salad (0 pts) **Click the link and scroll down for the recipe

I heart these croquettes. So good and you get a lot for the points. Dessert: Raspberry Fudge Holey Donut (4 pts) and a small York peppermint patty (1 pt)

This donut was super good. One more snack: banana (2 pts)


Breakfast: Carb Check bagel with WW cream cheese (3 pts)

Lunch: pizza made with Carb Check bagel, pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni and low fat mozzarella (5 pts) It was good but the bagel was too sweet to use as a crust. I need to find something else to use. Any ideas for a good, filling pizza crust? Low cal/points of course.

And also had an apple (1 pt) Snack: 2 small York peppermint patties (2 pts)

Dinner: Upside Down Pizza Bake (5 pts), spinach with Laughing Cow wedge (1 pt). Also had some POM juice (3 pts) **Click link for pizza recipe.

The pizza bake was a new recipe I tried. It consists of ground turkey, tomato sauce, herbs, bell pepper, mozzarella and a crust made out of a batter of egg, flour and milk. I liked it a lot! Dessert: 1 Hershey kiss (1 pt), some low fat ice cream (3 pts) and a couple of bites of candy (2 pts) I had a bad craving for sweets. Still stayed within points!

Now that I'm getting the eating back on track I really need to get back to exercising. I was doing so good with a 30 day challenge with Rachel but we stopped when we both got sick. So we need to get back at it.

I want to get that Biggest Loser game for Wii. Has any one tried it?

What's your favorite way to exercise? A class? A game? A sport? A video?