September 29, 2009

Biggest Loser Week 3

I am shocked to say that I lost another two pounds this week. Shocked because I did nothing to earn it. I didn't exercise as much and I had planned and I didn't eat terribly well. I fully expected to stay the same and wouldn't have been surprised if I had gained a pound. I suppose the natural fluctuation of a person's weight can account for it. I just hope it doesn't bounce back on in the next week.

I am excited to see tonight's show and see how the contestants did. They busted all records for week two weight loss, so I wonder how they will have done this week. I surprise myself sometimes with how invested I get in the contestants. I have favorites to win every season and I cheer for them all to meet their goals. (Except that one lady a couple seasons ago. I really didn't like her. So underhanded. I can't remember her name, but those of you who watch the show, I am sure know who I am talking about. I really didn't want her to win.) I have to hold myself back talking to Adam because I know he gets sick of the recaps. He thinks its funny how into some reality shows I get. I love the drama, and am so glad that I don't have that drama in my own life. Especially the Real Housewives series. I find them so entertaining, but I wouldn't trade their lives for all the money in the world. Biggest Loser in particular I think people get more into, not just for entertainment and drama, but for a lot of people, they can relate to the contestants. I know I can. I see people who have had similar struggles in their lives and I connect with their story and cheer them on; if they can do it, so can I. Or I see people like the woman who lost her whole family and my heart breaks for her heartbreak and I want her to succeed and be happy. It makes me want to hug my family every time I see her. I never could give up several months of my life to be on a show like that, but I glad they can, so I can see it and be inspired by it.

September 27, 2009

Weekend at Mom's 2

I had to take a picture of these before I took them to church. I am the first counselor in the Primary and when it comes to sharing time, we are always looking for something to hold up a picture, etc up on the blackboard. I found some old magnets from Young Women that I was going to take and leave there that have quotes from the prophets and scriptures. Then while I was home, Mom and I came up with a great idea. She had made some of her own magnets and still had the stuff to make more. So I went online and found some great primary related clip art and we made magnets. We used the flat rocks that you can get just about anyplace that they sell for decorations of for the bottom of fishbowls. You modge podge the pictures to the bottom and then glue on a magnet. So easy and they look great. I especially loved how the temples turned out. I am excited to use them today in Primary.

Weekend at Mom's House

We had a great crafting weekend at Mom's house the last two days. We got so much done and had great girl time chatting and laughing. I am so glad we all got together. My camera's battery died so I can't take pictures yet of all the stuff I made, but I will show you a bit of the weekend. Dad is replacing the water pipes so a door in the basement has been periodically open and we had a guest decide to make himself at home. Sara found him and reacted spectacularly. We all had a good laugh over it. we took a couple pictures, then Bridget took him out into the field and let him go back to his normal habitat. I am sure he was more comfortable there, especially after all the shrieking he had to endure.

September 23, 2009


I tried to send this in my email to my Grandma, who is recovering from surgery, but my email said it was too big. Since I know she checks the blog, this ones for you Grandma. We love you and hope you are feeling great soon!

"I love you Great Grandma, feel better soon!"


Gabriel is talking up a storm now. He babbles away all the time. I took some video of him in his swing, but the best one makes me kind of dizzy watching it with the swing going. He isn't talking as much in this one because I stopped the swing, but I love how he just watches the camera as he talks like he is having a conversation with it. He even takes pauses for a response. I remember reading somewhere that babies learn the art of interaction fairly early on. They see others around them talking then pausing, so they do it too, creating a conversation with whoever is interacting with them. I think that is cool.


Dad Sampson came for a visit on Sunday and we had a great time with him that afternoon. Thanks, Dad for coming to see us. We loved it! Adam tried a great new recipe; Chicken Piccata with capers. We had never had them before and were experimenting over the weekend, and what a great experiment it turned out to be. We will definately be repeating it again soon. Delicious. After church everyone changed clothes and we put the boys in their Yellowstone T-shirts. Don't they look great? Kind of silly having everyone look alike, but we had fun with it. Porter thought it was great to have everyone wearing dancing moose. :)

September 22, 2009

A boy and his horse

We found this hobbyhorse today and Porter fell in love. All through the store he kept saying "Neigh, Neigh, Neigh!!" All the way home he was covering the horse's eye and saying, "Where'd he go?" then flipping the hair up and shouting, "There he is!" It was so cute. Of course now he is doing just what Adam predicted he would do and swinging it around, hitting anyone and anything in his way. Boys will be boys.

Biggest Loser week 2

Progress report. I have lost three pounds this week. I am quite happy with that. However, we have two scales in our house. An old one that I have been using for years and a newer one that Adam won at work in some contest. (He is always winning odd things) I am not convinced either scale is correct. There is a three-five pound difference between the two on any given day. I have been going by the one that weighs heavier since then even if it is wrong then I would actually be lighter; an idea I like. If I use the lighter one, then I could be heavier in reality. I don't want that. Since I started with the one that weighs me heavier I suppose I will continue with that. As long as its consistent, I suppose that it what is important.

September 19, 2009

Another project

I went to DI the other day to look for a tricycle. We only have two and when the twins are here they all get frustrated having to take turns because there aren't enough. We didn't find a tricycle, but I did find this. It looked like the perfect project for me. The dresser we have now for Porter has drawers that stick and is from the seventies, and I thought I could strip this down and repaint it for his room in a new color. Here it is in progress. I was going to take a before picture and forgot to do it until I had already started stripping a few drawers. I didn't get everything stripped today, but I got a good start on it.

It was painted white and then it looks like they put a coat of varnish over it, giving it a strange yellowish tinge.
Here is the stripper doing its job. It was so easy to use. Spray it on, wait 30 minutes, and scrape it off. Easy as can be.

Here they are scraped down. I couldn't decide if this layer was primer, or another coat of paint. .

I put another coat of stripper on it and wiped it off. Then I used a wire brush to get in the nooks and crannies. I still need to get some mineral spirits (I think that is what it's called) to get the last of the residue off and sand them a bit and they will look great. The top has had one thin coat of stripper used and I still need to do another before I get a good look at the wood underneath.

The wood is not fantastic wood, but the center squares are so pretty I have considered just staining or varnishing it instead of painting it a color. I still can't decide. I could put a light stain or varnish on it and just give it a more weathered look, or I could paint most of it a color and leave the top and the center squares as the natural wood with a varnish. What do you think?

Midweek musings-Biggest Loser

Its a long one, and really just for my own use to put things down for memory, so don't feel obligated to read the whole thing.

So its been a week since I started my Biggest Loser lifestyle. And it is a lifestyle. That is the only way it works for me, is to consider it a lifestyle. I am not dieting for a period of time, I am changing the way I eat/live. I have been looking back over what worked for me last time. After I had Porter my body was so unhealthy. My thyroid was really messed up and we didn't know it. I was having a hard time getting energy to do anything, and was starting to feel depressed for no reason. I really struggled just to get out of bed some days. I decided that I needed to get my health in order and so when I looked for solutions, besides seeing a doctor for my thyroid, I changed the way I ate and lived.

I went to a doctor and she suggested I have my metabolism checked. Simple check that requires breathing into a tube for ten minutes while relaxed. The results came back saying that I have a fairly fast metabolism. She looked it over and said 'Oh, well if you start eating only 1900 calories a day, you should lose weight, no problem'. I looked at her in confusion and said that I doubted I ate 1900 calories a day now and I was gaining weight. She looked at me like I was dumb and replied that weight loss wasn't rocket science (a comment that gets me riled even to this day) and that it was a simple ratio of calories in and calories burned. I insisted she give me a referral to a specialist to check my thyroid more fully and promptly found a new regular doctor that had a much better 'bedside manner'. For the next two weeks, I counted all the calories I ate every day, just to see if she could possibly be right and I was getting more calories than I thought. I ate normally and I averaged right around 18-19 calories a day for all of those two weeks and gained two pounds. Argh!! So, even with a 'fast' metabolism, my body was still putting on pounds where other's would be losing it. It was as I suspected, but still very disheartening.

So I decided that weight aside, I just needed to feel better and to that end I decided to change what I was eating and how I was living. My brother was losing weight at the time on a program that really worked for him, so I ask what he was doing and one thing I incorporated that he did was eat one salad a day. I figured, even if I wasn't going to lose weight I needed to get feeling healthier and that would help. I began eating more fruits and veggies and started eating one salad a day. I couldn't keep that up for more than a few months. I got really sick of salads, but I could have three or four a week and still be happy. I did start to feel a bit better. I got my thyroid tested and they found that although my TSH was normal, I had high levels of anti-thyroid antibodies; little guys that attack my thyroid, impairing its function. (Moral of the story, even if your TSH is normal, if you think there is a problem, insist on more thorough testing.) In the end, after several tests, I ended up on a thyroid supplement that helped tremendously. I had more energy and the depression faded away. Very glad of that. And getting that under control really helped me with getting the rest of my body healthy again.

I did decide that I needed to get my weight down before having another child and started a plan for living. I tracked what I ate every day and kept my calories fairly low. Most people would holler starving to know that most days I kept my calories around 1200. That seems like a pretty strict diet, but I discovered that anything over 1800 and I was gaining weight, right around 1600 and I maintained. I did have a 'high' day about once a week, where I didn't count my calories. It helped me to have a day where I didn't have to think about it, and it helped to know on the days when I was really munchy to know there was a day in the week when I could give in to the munchies if I wanted to. In order to lose, it really was 'simple', as the doctor put it. I had to eat less than my body was burning. I read several healthy food books to get a good idea of how to get the most nutrition out of the calories I was eating and took lots of vitamins to ensure my body got what it needed. I started to feel great. I had more energy. I got up every morning at six before my alarm clock rang, feeling great. (they say you are not getting enough sleep if you can't wake up without an alarm) I started wanting to exercise. Anyone who knows me knows I really don't like to exercise. But I started enjoying it. I got up just about every morning and went to the gym at our complex. And the weight started to fall off. I lost 60 pounds in about 6 months. I looked and felt fabulous. Whoohoo!

Then we decided it was about time to have another baby. I knew in order to do that I needed to stop restricting how much I ate so there would be plenty for a baby and in two short months I gained almost 20 pounds back. I was amazed and sad, but I wanted to have a healthy baby, so I went with it. I kept eating really healthy, I just ate a normal amount of calories. We were able to get pregnant easily and my weight gained matched what I gained with Porter despite eating much healthier this time. This pregnancy was much easier though. I felt so much better. Not that I didn't have normal pregnancy symptoms, nausea that felt never ending, tired, etc. But my emotions were not on the roller coaster that they were last time, something I attribute to having my thyroid managed. My feet and hands didn't swell nearly as much as last time, (might also have something to do with not being in Vegas) and my blood pressure stayed normal. I just felt a lot better. It made for a lot less interventions and we were able to have a natural delivery this time which really helped my recovery afterward. Anyone who thinks that a repeat c-section is a good idea and maybe an easier option, doesn't know what they are missing. Natural was SO much easier. You may not have the short pain of labor, but you get weeks of painful recovery that you don't have to have. If you have the option, vbac is the way to go.

So now I am three months post partum and it is time to kick it in gear again. I am not nursing anymore so my body doesn't need the extra calories and I am ready to get back to a weight I am comfortable with. I am starting from a better place this time, since my thyroid is already monitored and under control. That will help. And because I know the way my body works a little more that should help too. I am already feeling a bit more energy. When I started back to work, I dreaded getting up so early in order to get all three of us ready to get to work by 7:45. Getting two kids out the door to go anywhere can take a lot of time and energy, but surprisingly, it hasn't been too hard. It helps that Gabe is sleeping through the night almost every night, a blessing that I am SO grateful for. I was so sleep deprived with Porter for so long and I think that contributed to all the problems then. Getting a good night's rest makes so much difference.

Another thing I have realized both last time and this time is that my body has an overblown hunger reaction. (I don't think I was born with it, I am pretty sure it is mostly a mental reaction.) I don't know what most people feel when they get hungry, but when my body is hungry, I get terrible pains in my stomach, I feel lightheaded and almost like I am going to be sick. And that is just normal for me. I don't really have to be that hungry to feel like that. And because I have had some small struggle with blood sugar, I have trained myself not to let my body go hungry for very long. If I feel that hunger I almost always eat to avoid a blood sugar problem making me really sick. But I have also realized that it goes away if I ignore it. Also that all it takes sometimes is a drink of water to satiate it. I remember early in this pregnancy having a doctor tell me not to ignore the first hunger response because it would go away and if I forgot to eat, I would be sick. To avoid the early pregnancy nausea I needed to eat the first time I felt hunger. (It really did help with the nausea during the pregnancy) Knowing that it would go away, I do the same thing now that I did last time. When I feel that hunger, I look at what I ate and when, and most times I can tell my body that I really am not hungry and I don't need anything more for a while. I take a drink of water and it really does go away and I am fine after a few minutes.

It is important to note that I don't eat as much bread now and that I haven't had problems with blood sugar in a while. I may never have. I am beginning to suspect that what I thought was a blood sugar problem was really an intolerance of my body to bread. I hadn't had any in a while and the other day at work there were homemade rolls, nearly impossible to resist. I LOVE homemade bread. I ate three rolls and within a half hour I had the worst headache I've had in ages and I felt so tired I could have slept sitting up. It was such an immediate reaction, I couldn't attribute it to anything other than the rolls. Just avoiding processed bread has made such a difference for me and looking back it probably did last time. Just because bread has so many empty calories, I didn't eat as much of it last time, and when I did it was a more complex grain with more nutritional value, and that probably helped my energy levels and overall health.

Thinking I had blood sugar problems led me to almost never ignore a hunger response, because I didn't want to be sick, and I think that contributed to one of my bad eating habits; snacking. Knowing what I ate and when helps me to better give my body what it needs and I remember last time having the the hunger response start to fade. I am thinking that will happen this time too. Once my body gets in gear and used to a more scheduled way of eating the hunger pains should get less and less severe. Restricting bread should also improve the way I feel. I may have to look into getting a good gluten free bread for those days I crave it.

My metabolism is very fast, but I think my body is just stellar at storing everything. Weight problems are not uncommon in my family line, so I probably have the 'fat gene', making my body really good at storage. So my body quickly empties my stomach, causing my hunger reaction, but instead of my body using the calories I take in for energy and burning it all, it automatically stores as much as it can, and asks for more. I have to train my body to use everything it gets instead of storing it, so I can't give it any more than just what I need and right now a little less, so that it will kick in to fat burning instead of storage.

You would think that taking care of our bodies would come automatically, but really I have had to really get to know my own body in order to know what it needs. It is like when I found out that I had Meniere's Disease. The doctor told me that my body was getting wrong messages about my balance. Balance is achieved through touch, sight, and hearing. It was getting the wrong signals from my ears, making it hard for my brain to tell my body how to balance correctly. My body is the same way with hunger. It gives me incorrect cues sometimes about what I need to eat. I have to sift through the information my brain and body gives me and decide what is the correct information in order to promote optimum health.

So knowing all this ahead of time now, I am hoping to have this process be a little easier than last time. I have a good start and I am excited to see Biggest Loser next week and have my weigh in. :)

September 17, 2009


Gabe loves to be upright so he can see the world, just like Porter did. We have the same problem at this house that we did at our old apartment. The Johnny-jump-up can only go over a door frame. We had to use the bedroom at the apartment. At least this time, Gabe can be in the living room, even if he does have to be basically in the closet. :) I got it out today just to try it, not thinking he would be able to keep himself upright long enough to enjoy it, but he loves it. He has been happily kicking and turning away while he watches the boys play.

dadblamed velcro solution

When I had Porter and discovered that he could not do without a bib for any length of time, an era of ruined clothes started. I always tried to wash the bibs seperately so that the velcro wouldn't ruin my other clothes, but invariably I would miss one and end up with clothes pulled apart when I took everything out of the wash. The bibs all looked horrible because they attached to eachother in the wash and tore apart all the stitching that made them cute to begin with. But now I have found the solution. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Safety pins.

I just put the velcro together and then put a safety pin through it so it can't come undone before I toss it in a load. Viola!! Clean bibs that don't tear everything apart. Whoohoo!

It is the simple things that make a mom happy. :)

September 16, 2009

Not a good night

Last night Porter woke screaming twice from nightmares, and then this morning when he got up this is what he looked like.
It must have happened long before he woke up in the morning since the blood is all dried on his chin. He cried out a third time last night, but since it only lasted a second, I didn't go in that time. I felt so bad that I didn't know it had happened, but as you can see from his grin, it didn't seem to bother him much. Thank heavens for kids' resilience.

September 15, 2009

Biggest Loser Week One

I just finished watching biggest loser and I had my weigh-in this morning. I am down 2 lbs. It is a little difficult not to compare myself to the major losses you see on the show, but I am not working out several hours a day like they are, and I didn't start a whole week ago like they did, so I think that is pretty good.


Usually when we get an icecream cone, we share it, but yesterday Porter got one of his very own and started practicing a new word. So cute. He kept saying it on the way home, but then we had to prompt him when we got out the camera. The cutest moments are always the hardest to catch on camera because they are so spontaneous.

Thanks Jen!!

The last time Jen visited she brought us some great Old Navy gifts. Here are Porter and Gabe in their new duds. Thanks Jen, they look great. :)

September 13, 2009

Before Picture

If all those people on biggest loser can stand in front of the whole world in spandex to get on the scale, I figure the least I can do is post a before picture. Granted, I looked through the few current pictures I had and picked the best one, but I have my vanity. I watch Wipeout in horror sometimes with Adam as we see less than toned people bounce and jiggle through the obstacles, and I can never foresee a time when I would ever let myself be photographed like that. Never, never, never. That won't go in the history books. So here is my before picture. I will try to periodically post something with my weekly updates to show my progress, but I don't know how often I will make the effort of getting out the camera, so we will see.

September 10, 2009

Biggest Loser

So Biggest Loser is starting next week and I am joining in at home. I love watching the show and it gives me motivation to do better at home, so I am getting in gear. Gabe is three months old now and it is time to get rid of my pregnancy weight. It sounds odd to say my pregnancy weight. I usually say the pregnancy weight, but that is what it is; mine. I gained it and only I can take it off. So I am writing it here to give myself some accountability. I am not going to give my starting weight, but I do plan on weighing in each week with the show and posting my weight loss. Hopefully putting it in writing and knowing I have to write my progress down every week will keep me going. I just talked to someone the other day who did a 5k and I was so proud of her. I did one when I lived in Las Vegas, and I want to do another. I am making that my long term goal, to get in good enough shape that I can do another 5k. Notice I didn't say to run a 5k. I will leave that to the runners like Jill, but I want to be able to finish it and also I would like to beat my previous time. I would be happy to join up with others who might want to do this too. If there is anyone who wants to lose weight with me, let me know and we can support eachother. :)


Last weekend we went to West Yellowstone to see Joe and Lesley's last performance of Dirty Work at The Crossroads. It was fantastic. We really enjoyed it and are really grateful that Joe's Dad was kind enough to watch Porter for us while we went. The next day we went to church with them and took the long way home so that we could go through the park. It was our only family vacation this summer so we made the most of it. Porter loved seeing the animals, and we were really grateful to have the van because it was so comfortable and it put Porter's seat up high enough that he could see out the window to look at the animals.

We had a couple of snafus....

1. The air conditioning in the van; something we have loved since my car hasn't had ac in a while, wasn't working. It would go in and out, but since it was a fairly cool day, it was okay. If it had been the 4th of July, when my family usually goes, it would have been really uncomfortable.

2. It looked like it was going to rain, and did, but only after we were all done sightseeing and it waited until we were through the miles of construction that left us on a dirt road.

3. We ended up taking the really long way home, since I didn't know any other way but through Soda, but that worked out okay because we ran out of gas right at a gas station, which wouldn't have happened if we hadn't gone that way. We had been pretty amazed at how far our tank of gas had gotten us, and we almost made it home on one tank, but as we were going up the hill into Richmond, the van died and we coasted into the Maverick at the top of the hill. My gauge said I still had more than an eighth of a tank of gas, but we were bone dry. I got into the parking lot, but there were cars at all the pumps, and I couldn't get my steering to get me there with everything dying, so Adam still had to go in and get a little container to put a gallon in it so that I could start it and get turned around to a pump. Kind of funny in hindsight. We are really grateful it happened there and not in the middle of the park where we would have been miles from a gas station. Quite a blessing.

4. Last but not least we missed hitting a deer coming out of Smithfield. I had been praying on the way home that as it got dark the animals would stay off the road and I would see them in time to slow down if need be. We saw several deer off the side of the road on the way, but none came directly on the road until we were almost home. I was able to see it in time and slow down, but unfortunately, the oncoming driver didn't and hit it. So sad. Looked like just a little one, probably not that old. I hope it died quick and didn't suffer.

Something that was fun was that we got another shirt for Porter in West. I had bought him one when he was three months old and we went with my parents through the park. I had also bought one for Adam since he couldn't be there. This year, Porter's old one fit Gabe, so we put him and Adam in theirs and when we got there, we got another one to match for Porter. I only have the picture of Gabe and Adam, so I will have to add another when I get the picture of all of them in their shirts. All my handsome men. :) We also got to get some tasty ice cream from our favorite shop in West. Everything we did brought back fond memories of past trips both Adam and I had taken with our families. I was fun to reminisce and fun to have new memories together.

Rainbow Paint Pots

Porter loved the 'stinky water'

The continental Divide

The first animals we saw were a mother elk and her calf, as well as a bison across the river. Porter says buffalo really well now.

Random Gabe Picture

Sleepy time


How you doin!

Winnie the Pooh, all smiles

Adam's origami

Adam has made some awesome origami earings. Here is one pair.

Three Months Old

Time has flown. Gabe is three months already.

He just wanted to eat them that day.

Food, Food Everywhere

Adam made dinner the other night. I have never met a meatloaf that I wanted to eat again, until that night. So delicious! Here it is in all its glory.....

And here it is when Porter got finished with it......
He has no appreciation for good food. :)

Finally found it!! Quilts

I wrote before about Porter's concussion and that we were looking for quilt material for the twins new quilts when it happened. Well, I did go ahead and order it online since I found out that it hadn't been in print for a couple years. No one else probably even had any. I ordered 2 1/2 yards. That night I got a call from the lady who runs the website saying they didn't have that much left. I panicked until she told me she had 2 1/3 yards. Whew! I had her send me what she had and I was able to finally find some coordinating material that was pretty close to what they had before. They had the same material pattern in different colors, blue/green, and red/green. One was tied with blue yarn, and one in red and they each were very attached to their own. I couldn't match it exactly but after much searching, I found two in the same pattern with blue on one and red on one. Yay!! I started making them and didn't realize how long the trim was going to take. Their Grandma did the trim in prairie points. I didn't know what that was until I started this project. For those of you who don't know, it is the individual triangles that are sewn into the edges. That's right, INDIVIDUAL triangles. Easy to do, but SO time consuming. It took 110 squares, folded into triangles and ironed flat, for each quilt. In the end it turned out great and I was glad I could do it so that these quilts are as close and I could get them to the originals. When I showed the boys they were so excited. When their Mom got home, they both rushed to show her their blankets with "no holes!" It is awesome when you can do something that means so much for someone else. I love that.