Monday, January 28, 2013

Grocery shopping, kid traps, and healthy rewards

Headed to the store with mom, purse in hand!
The other day I went on a particularly laborious grocery shopping trip.  We needed to do some major pantry restocking and I had lots and lots of coupons.  And....I had my preschooler with me.  Normally she is a very good shopping companion and I keep her occupied with writing lists and looking for the item on a coupon.  However, the grocery store where I shop has toys and candy around every bend.  I swear, not one aisle is safe from these kid traps.  Freezer aisle?  End cap has matchbox cars, which my little girl loves.  Entering the meat department?  Seasonal Barbie!  Leaving the meat department?  Entemann's doughnuts and holiday cupcakes.  And did I mention that the cereal aisle has cereal on one side and CANDY on the the other. I know you must be crying with me by now.  

I seriously need to say, "No" so many times, that it has sometimes felt worth it to go to the slightly more expensive grocery store because it has only one easily avoidable toy aisle.  No matter how many ways I try to positively spin the no, she knows it still means no.   And there are lots of ways to spin it!  Not today, my love.  Let's save for it.  We'll discuss it later.  We can put it on the Christmas/Valentine's/Birthday/MakeUpSomeDamnHoliday list.  Sometimes I get a little creative.  

So on this particular day I prepped Lilly before we got to the store.  I have done this before, but it does not always work because, well, she is 4 and a new Barbie, matchbox car, or box of fruit snacks can be just too irresistible.  On this day, though, she was just amazing.  She did not ask for one treat or toy.  She didn't whine or have any tantrums.  This was an hour-plus shopping trip.  I was so proud of her.
I remembered to praise her during the trip to take advantage of that positive reinforcement.  

I had not promised her any kind of reward going into the store, but as we were checking out I decided that I wanted to reward her extraordinary behavior.  My first thought was to stop at the DunkinDonuts for a doughnut treat on our way home.  I immediately decided that I was not going to do that because I did not want to be around them.  It was amazing to me how many times the thought to go to DD kept popping into my head.  Even when I had made a smarter, healthier reward choice the thought came to mind, unbidden.  

What does this tell me?  It was so clear to me that I use food as a reward for myself, and now for my family.  One of my main goals in changing my eating behavior is to be a healthy example for my daughter.  There have been many times when I have failed her in that regard.  Today I succeeded.  Instead of stopping for a doughnut with my 4 year old, I made time for us to play with play dough together when we got home from the store.  She was thrilled to do something special with me, and I was thrilled that I stood strong against my own weakness.  Choice by choice is the way to a healthier life for me! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Increase my qi?

I had acupuncture today.  I know some people have mixed feelings about it, but I just love it.  It has helped me with asthma, gastro/digestive issues, and stress relief. I am going now for pain relief, namely that damn plantar fasciitis that won't seem to go away.  In both feet.

Today I went for the 2nd time to a different practice/practitioner.  My insurance covers them, so that's a bonus.  I also had the most stressful days today at work.  I can't even tell you why it was more stressful than most days.  I realized afterward that I had an anxiety attack and then the rest of the day I was feeling tense and on the verge of tears.

I went home and changed my clothes and went to acupuncture.  Roye, my practitioner, could tell that my qi was low, especially compared to last week.  As she started to needle me I felt an overwhelming sense of energy surging through me.  And then the emotions, and tears, released.  It felt never ending but was probably only about 5 minutes.   She kept her hands on me and talked me through some deep breathing.  The rest of the acupuncture session proceeded and I walked out with a little less pain and hopefully increased qi.

It occurred to me that I need to really start some kind of something to help me manage stress and just for me.  I keep saying I am going to start meditating and I begin for a few days.  It always fizzles out.  I think it is time again to incorporate meditation into my life. I have been doing a little yoga, but I think I need to do both...regular yoga and meditation.

I am open to hearing from you about your yoga and meditation practice.  Or maybe your acupuncture experience?  How do you handle stress?  Talk to me...what works for you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

title change?

I wrote the other day about transitions in my life.  There have been many transitions and changes as of late.  What I also realized, as I reflected on my writing, is that my blog is not so much about being a Mommy any more, if it really ever was.  The name Mommy Chronicles doesn't really fit it or me.  I never really loved that name, but so many names that I had considered were already in use.

So now I am on the hunt for a new blog name.  One that encompasses me and my writing.  Again, as I was thinking of some options (Melanie's Musings?) I googled them.  Yup, taken.  Meh.

Ironically, over at my other blog Girls Can Grill, Too I have also been going through some change.  I always really wanted to get into grilling and write about it.  I started the blog, thinking that would be my motivation.  But then it didn't happen.  What did happen was that I started cooking and baking other things.  I became the cooking counselor at a summer camp.  I decided to blog about all things food on Girls Can Grill.  In fact, I don't think I have written about grilling in over a year.  I just can't seem to give up the title partly because I cannot think of a new one.

The bottom line is that I write because I like to.  When a new title comes to me...and is not taken...I'll let you all know.  Until then, thanks for reading and commenting.  It means a lot to me.  xo

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sha-la-la, our Elf on the Shelf

I know I am a bit late to post these, but I wanted to show some of our elf's more memorable antics.  Lilly loved having the elf and gleefully readied herself for school each morning so that she could go find Sha-la-la.
Trying to brush her teeth.
Taking a ride in the family car.

Taking a moment to remember the "why" of Christmas.

Wild, swinging times with Jessie.

A cereal bath?

Hope it was something good!

Her final night, she left magic pajamas that helped Lilly fall asleep and stay asleep all night on Christmas Eve.
Obviously we had many, many more Sha-La-La moments, but those were the highlights.  I am already stockpiling ideas for next year!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I've been asked a few times recently about when I was going to write something new.  I wasn't sure.  I am still not sure why I haven't really written since Thanksgiving.  A busy life is one answer, but not the complete truth.  I just was not inspired to write about anything in particular.  Or maybe I had too many topics from which to choose?   My life was in flux.  

My husband started a new job.  This was HUGE.  It has been so great for all of us.  But change, even when it is positive, is tricky.  Responsibilities and expectations have to be adjusted.  Who is doing Lilly drop-off, pick-up?  Who has to stay late, go in early or has an appointment?  Who is doing the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry?  After he was home for 2 1/2 years, this was just one big giant transition.  Again...good problems to have, but mentally, they wiped me out!

I have not even posted about Christmas!  It was a wonderful Christmas and Lilly loved everything about it.  We had fun with Sha-la-la, our Elf on the Shelf.  We have been to tons of birthday parties for Lilly's classmates.  We bought a new car!  
Our elf Sha-la-la visited our gingerbread house.

One thing that haunts me a bit, because I have written about it so many times, is my stalled weight loss.  I am still having issues with the plantar fasciitis which makes walking, my preferred form of exercise, darn near impossible.  I have to walk for my job, so I do that.  But to exercise before or after work is daunting.  If I had an elliptical or bike I think I would be okay, and swimming, as always, would be amazing.  But I do not have those options right now.  

I had decided that I was not going to beat myself up about eating and enjoying cookies or other food over the holidays.  And I didn't.  What good is eating a cookie if I was going to beat myself up after?  And I baked lots of cookies!  I tried all of them.  That would have been a lot of negative feelings.  
A sampling of the cookies and fudge I made for friends and family.
Additionally, I was found to have low thyroid and put on some medication.  I had gained about 10 of the pounds back that I had lost since June.  I had noticed the weight gain at the same time I noticed the other symptoms that sent me to my doctor.  In my head I had really believed that the weight would come off when I started the medicine.  Yeah, that hasn't happened.  Meanwhile, I have been eating so much healthier since the holidays ended.  I was actually so sick of sugar by New Year's Eve that I considered giving it up completely!  I keep waiting to lose the weight again, but it doesn't want to go anywhere right now.

I have blogged about losing weight so much that I was feeling embarrassed about not only not losing more weight but gaining weight.  It weighed on me.  No pun intended.  

Well, I am back.  I am me.  I have been working really hard, personally, to not let my weight and size define me.  I have let it for for too long.  That goes for my writing and blogging, too.  It is part of what I write about, but not the only thing.  Do I want to be healthier?  Yes.  Do I want to set healthy eating examples for Lilly?  Hell yeah!  But I am not going to wait to lose weight before writing and blogging again.  Welcome back to me!!