Tuesday, August 28, 2012

JCP Free Kids haircuts

At the end of July I heard that JCPenny's was going to be offering free kids haircuts for kids PreK age to 6th Grade for the month of August.


So, August 1st I called and set up appointments with my local JCP for a week before school started for Maddie and Parker, I specifically told them to schedule them back to back and not at the same time so I could give my attention to each of them. Mackenzie had already gotten a haircut by my friend Kathryn, plus she has an adult head of hair.

When we got to the salon, at 10:30am they weren't busy at all. We waited for less than 3 minutes before we were called back.
Parker was first. For the first time ever, Parker was not excited by getting his hair cut. JCP salon as nice as it was...was definitely NOT a kid friendly environment. It took me 5 minutes to get Parker in the chair without him saying he wanted to get down. The stylist saw how put off he was and asked if we usually go to 'those kid places' Nope, never, not since they butchered Mackenzie's hair, we've always gone to a boring old barber shop...wherever Howard or my Dad was getting their hair cut at the time. Anyway, when I was convincing him to get in the chair, he got a little fussy because he just didn't want to. During that time every time Parker would refuse the stylist would get this frightened look on her face and physically take a step away from us, which both annoyed me and amused me. Please, don't get me wrong my son was not crying or raising his voice at all, he was just refusing.

I got him in the chair and the stylist took a deep breath before walking up to Parker, like she was afraid of him. The haircut went smoothly, Parker moved his head, and stayed still accordingly. He giggled every time she touched him with an electric shaver and in turn made the stylist laugh loudly...every time. By the end of the haircut, Parker looked like less of a shaggy puppy and the stylist had warmed up to him enough to offer him a lollipop.

About half way into his haircut Maddie was called to a different stylist, across the salon. I asked if she could wait until after Parker was done and the response was a sarcastic smile and a sweet voice saying, "now or never". Oooookay then. So, I left Kenzie standing next to Parker and went and told the stylist for Maddie that we wanted a trim because she is growing her hair out, long layers and a bang trim.

Luckily, Parker's hair cut was done moments later, so I could focus on Maddie. Her haircut went great, it looks beautiful and is easier to manage.

So besides the stylist attitudes I have one other complaint concern.  Their bangs. Parker's are jagged, a one inch piece in the front is longer than the one inch piece to the right, and the piece to the left is in between them. There is no symmetry. Maddie's are perfect in front, but as they frame her face, they go wonky. I will rectify this after their bath tonight because I've been ignoring it for a week and it's driving me crazy.
I can't complain too much, it was free and all things considered...my kids really needed their ears lowered.

Did you take your kids to get free JCP haircuts? How did it go?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: 3 day Military Diet

I came across the 3 day military diet on the incredible Pinterest which is originally HERE. The diet said that if you follow it exactly you can lose up to 10 pounds after your 3rd day is complete.
I looked at the diet and all the comments and thought, "Wow, if this works, this would be awesome!" It's very easy to follow and very inexpensive to do as well, which is a major factor for me. 3 days out of my life for around 10 pounds, heck yeah I'll try it! So, I did. The rules state you must follow the diet EXACTLY, drink lots of water, you can use lemon/lime, salt and pepper for seasonings and you're supposed to do 3 days on the diet and then 4 days of regular, healthy eating.

Day 1- Monday- 7/30/12
I weighed in this morning after I woke up and used the bathroom, I will not share that number but I was glad that it had gone down since my previous weigh in. 
Breakfast: 1/2 a Grapefruit, 1 slice of toast, 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter and one cup of coffee or tea
With this, I did exactly as it called for. I did have crunchy peanut butter because I love it and one small drinking glass of iced tea with lemon.
Lunch: 1/2 cup of tuna, 1 slice of toast and one cup of coffee or tea
I realized that a 1/2 cup of tuna is one regular can. I seasoned it with lemon juice and salt and pepper. 
Dinner: 3 ounces of any meat, 1 cup of green beans, 1/2 a banana, 1 small apple and 1 cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
For this meal I had 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast that I seasoned with salt and pepper. I had 1 whole cup of cut, steamed green beans (and man, that was a LOT of green beans!) The only other thing I did here was wait about an hour after eating dinner to have my ice cream, which was delicious!
Besides the 2 glasses of iced tea I had, I also drank a half a gallon of water throughout the day, sometimes with lemon in it. 

Day 2- Tuesday- 7/31/12
Breakfast: 1 egg (boiled, fried, scrambled), 1 slice of toast and 1/2 a banana
I scrambled my egg seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of cottage cheese OR 1 slice of cheddar cheese and 5 saltine crackers.
I forgot how much I LOVED hard boiled eggs. That was delicious, as was the slice of cheddar cheese. I am not a fan of cottage cheese, so I chose the slice of cheddar. Want to know how to make the PERFECT hard boiled egg? Click HERE. Lunch was truly delicious, I could eat this on a regular basis.
Dinner: 2 hotdogs (no bun!), 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup Vanilla Ice Cream
Hotdogs are gross, y'all. I am planning on doing turkey or even soy ones next time because...bleh. I steamed my broccoli and ate my carrots raw. I also waited an hour after dinner to eat my ice cream.
Today, as I'm sure you noticed there is no drinks allowed besides water. I was outside in the heat of the day today and drank about a gallon of water and sometimes had lemon in it.

Day 3- Wednesday- 8/1/12
Breakfast: 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 5 saltine crackers, 1 small apple
I messed up this morning. I ate a slice of toast (that I'm supposed to have for lunch) instead of the saltines by mistake. Oops.
Lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 slice of toast
Instead of the toast that I accident consumed this morning with breakfast, I ate the 5 saltines in its place. I found myself to be hungry within about an hour and a half after eating this. Today was a LONG day. 
Dinner: 1 cup of tuna, 1/2 a banana, 1 cup of Vanilla ice cream
I was starving by the time dinner came around. The one cup of tuna, I ate out of the tuna packages instead of the can seasoned with lemon and salt and pepper. I couldn't finish it. It was too much. I was not a fan of tuna by the end of dinner. Once again, I waited an hour before eating my ice cream.
I also drank about a gallon of water today, sometimes with lemon. Today was by far the hardest, especially after like 2pm. However, I could not help but notice how UN-bloated I was! There was a significant difference in my abdomen, face, hands, feet, legs. I was very curious how the weigh in was going to go in the morning.

Day 4- Thursday- 8/2/12
Today I woke up hungry but definitely could not deny the flattening of my stomach and the lack of any bloat in my body that I could see. That my friends, felt GREAT! I told myself if I lost more than 5 pounds in the past 3 days that I would keep at the program. I weighed in...I lost 7 pounds. 7 POUNDS IN 3 DAYS! YAY! No, it's not 10 pounds, but darn it I couldn't be upset with 7 pounds in such a small amount of time.

I have lost 53 Pounds since March 14th. I am pretty proud of that. Since I have been at a plateau for a few months I am going to keep at the Military Diet.
Try it, and please let me know how you did!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sock Curls-No heat!

So not too long ago we tried the whole 'Sock Bun Curl' thing on Maddie. It worked okay...if I wanted her hair to be in a pony tail with pretty loose curls, but for her hair down? Didn't work. There wasn't enough curl around her face because the hair was pulled up during the process.
So, I found another method via the incredible Pinterest and discovered the most amazing blog EVER! Cute Girls Hairstyles. Seriously, I will be visiting her hair a LOT in my future. So, using THIS tutorial for Sock curls I did it on both my girls. I did a few things different than the video though. My girls had just taken baths, but their hair was a bit damp, so I didn't need to wet their hair. I also had to use 5 socks for Mackenzie's hair because that child has the thickest hair ever.
Okay, onto the pictures!! Let's do Mackenzie's first...

After I divided her hair up into 5 sections: One on the top of the head, one in the back and one in the bottom then both sides. 

How it looked from the front: The flash was blinding 

And when she woke up in the morning, everything had shifted a bit...but nothing fell out and she said she didn't feel a thing! (And she is a crazy sleeper)

After we took out the socks, turned her hair over and loosened up the hair at the scalp only...not through the entire hair strand, your curls will loosen up too much that way. 

 How we styled it for the day:

And then a cute, sleepy smile to finish it out.

And now, onto Maddie. Once again, flash was killer, but here's the front view...

And here's the back. I had to use 4 socks on her hair. It's thick, but fine as well.

And this is what it looked like when she woke up in the morning:

This is her head actually turned over during the loosening up process, check out those curls!!

And when she flipped her hair back up:

And this is how we styled it for the day:

It looked beautiful, and as you can tell she was very pleased!
 Curls galore!
And there you have it! Watch the video, check out the pics and try it! If you try it, let me know, I'd love to see how yours came out! My girls loved this and I got asked by numerous people on how we did this. So easy, Moms...you have to try this!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

And then there was us

Howard and I are doing well. We weather through the storms as needed and are joyous when the water has a rare calm moment. Mackenzie says we orbit each other and how that might be true, the constant flow of life sometimes keeps our eyes on other things instead of each other, that's true for any couple but that certainly doesn't mean that our relationship isn't good. It is good, and healthy, I believe.
Howard is doing well at work, as he always does. He got a raise and a great evaluation on his birthday (April 18th). Work can be a timing challenge if he has too much/too spread out of a route but that is basically the extent of it. Howard is one of those people who thrives on challenge and enjoys it immensely. He loves pressure, work wise...keeps him on his toes and makes him focus. He has never gotten that from this job, but in this economy he has a decent paying job where he is home every night (as opposed to a long haul truck driver where he is home every three weeks) and he's very good at it. Well, what's the problem? Howard graduated College one year ago and he has yet to use his degree for anything other than a wall decoration. He got a degree in business not because he just wanted a degree but because he generally loves business. He wants to be at the root of the business and help it run smoothly. He has been with this company for two and a half years and in those years he successfully graduated College and has applied for other positions within the company to try to move up and use his skills, ideas and knowledge but has yet to have any movement other than driving seniority. Over the years, he has had many talks with the President of the company, whom he trusts and truly likes as a person and a boss. Most of those talks had to do with productivity in some way and ways that Howard thinks that things can run more smoothly. The man has spent countless hours even typing these things out and giving it to the upper management. Some changes of his were implemented, but no one had the initiative that Howard had to follow them through and of course, Howard got no credit. Having so much passion and knowledge in this field it is very hard for him to sit back and watch his bosses have to deal with problems that he feels  he could easily fix. He has so much drive but no where to put it and it is frustrating him. Badly. He is trapped in a bubble and can't get out and he fears the only way to get out is to leave the company, but he doesn't want to, he loves this company. Never the less, he has applied for other jobs, but doesn't want one like he has now. Trying to find a management position has not been easy (obviously, or he'd already be in one). He still has hope that his current company will realize his potential...that's not accurate...they do realize it...they have just yet to utilize it. He yearns for that and I know he prays for them to snap to attention before he finds another company who will.
Oh, me. Geez. Well, at the end of February I started a journal. I needed an outlet for my feelings and issues and also a place where I could visualize and brainstorm. My thought process is so erratic at times, being pulled in so many directions I needed a place to focus on it, so out came the journal. I have written every day. Writing not just my feelings and issues but marking things done or not done and keeping track of my health and general well being on top of keeping track of my weight loss. Millions of people make New Year Resolutions to lose weight, be healthy, ect. I refused this year, having done it every year. I just said I wanted to turn myself around this year, go back to being me...finding me. One of those is shedding a lot of unhealthy weight that has been on my body for years. I can never recall a time where I wasn't overweight...ever. As of January I am at my highest weight ever, having daily anxiety attacks, crying all the time, constantly feeling just terrible. My thyroid was crazy, my blood sugar and blood pressure were erratic. And then it hit me. I was about to turn 28 years old and I have no idea who I am anymore but I know that my children need me...my husband needs me...I want to grow old with my husband...I have got to do something. So, I quit my vices...coke a cola and fast food. I have a deep, disgusting love for both. Then, I cut my portion sizes and started making better choices in what I was eating. Generally I cut down to about 1000-1,500 calories per day as opposed to about 4000 a day. I started to get more energy, my blood sugar and blood pressure regulated themselves. My depression and anxiety that literally ruled my every waking moment one day just...didn't. I would like to say that I started all of this on January 1st...and I did in part but really I dedicated myself to it on March 14th...during spring break where I was just fed up with myself. Since I started I have lost 44 pounds. I am very proud of every one of those pounds. The past three weeks I haven't lost anything...I haven't gained either. I am at a plateau and know I need to leap off of it by changing things up. I need to be more diligent on my calorie in take and I need more to exercise, and I need help. Exercise at home is not an option because frankly I can find  other things I need to be doing like housework, or making a kid lunch, or doing laundry...something...excuses. Walking has been what I have been doing but with the increasing heat and my intolerance to the heat and to the sun it is literally like hell on Earth for me. So, by considering what all they have to offer as a family we decided to join the local YMCA. However, with our finances we can't afford the membership cost so we had to apply for their financial aid program in hope we could get a discounted membership rate. We applied for it on Friday, May 11th and still haven't heard a word from them, Howard is going to call them tomorrow if we haven't heard from them by then. At the end of April I found out about a program through the county that helps low income adults go to college and choose from a wide variety of high demand careers and the county organization will pay for it. For college...I might be able to go to college, and they would pay for it! I am ecstatic! On June 5th is an orientation to find out about the program and set up a testing date (they need to make sure you can academically handle college) to see if I can get into the program. I am petrified and excited. School is hard, especially with my lifestyle but I want this and need this so bad.
I am so hopeful, about so many things going on right now and that is a far cry of how 2012 started for me.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

My sunshine(s)

I am not in a place where I want can post about all the positive things going on in my life, and I do know and realize that there are a lot of those. The negative is just overwhelming me at the moment, which is generally all my fault. The overwhelming part, not the negative, that's not all my fault, lol. So, lets just go with the truth...kids edition.
The kids are good. 
Parker is having Daddy issues. As of late, as much as a Mommy's Boy he is, he is all about the Daddy. Copying him, following him, crying when he leaves him. It's adorable and ridiculous at the same time.  He is actually having issues when any of our family leaves and he is left without them, doesn't matter who it is. He is so unbelievably tall and is becoming more and more of a little man every day. He got his first big boy hair cut last week. I can have long conversations with this toddler and he understands every word as opposed to zoning out within the first few words like he did a few months ago or like his tween age sister does to me now. He is very interested in potty training, and school ends in 2 weeks...so we're starting then. I'm excited, and I know he is too! We are working on creating a better sleeping arrangement for him because the one he has is not working for him or for me, but it is really slow going. Lots of deterrents, but meh...
Maddie really loves school but has been facing some issues with exclusion from friends that I did not expect at this age, it kinda blows my mind (and breaks my heart) how this can happen with Pre-K age students. She is a very tenderhearted child with such personality. She has had a lot of injuries lately. Issues with her pierced ears have cleaned up but she took a large fall at the beginning of March that she still has the scar and pink tissue from in mid May. She also keeps popping up with these weird bruises and one large bite that she got while swimming (we think) about 2 weeks ago on her cheek that is still not healed, it's very puzzling. She has been sewing her oats and pushing her boundaries lately, but it's nothing that isn't normal for her age. She has got  her letter sounds down and can write like no ones business. I heard her sound out an entire book the other day (granted, it was a 4 page board book, but darn it, she did it)! She is very excited for Kindergarten next year and hopefully joining a dance class (she wants ballet and tap) and T-Ball in the fall. 
Mackenzie is doing phenomenal in school. Since state testing for her began in 3rd grade she has been having issues passing said testing, she always chokes and feels rushed. Well, this year with the much debated against STAAR test she feels that she did very well. Plus, on the End of the Year 5th Grade assessments, she passed, with very good marks. Plus she brought her grades up this last term so high, some over 10 points earning her a spot on the honor roll. She is going to finish out Elementary School on a very high note and I could not be prouder of her. She has had a lot of friendship issues. Lots of little girls becoming tweens and getting more cliquey and friendships ending, growing, changing...she is not sure how to handle it. The general consensus has been for her to have utter and complete meltdowns of misery because she doesn't understand how these girls that have been her friends for years can all the sudden not want to be her friend anymore. Mackenzie loves so much and with her whole heart and these changes she is just having a hard time wrapping her head and heart around. We have spent much of the past 3 months watching our daughter mourn for the friendships that she no longer has and doesn't understand why. It's effing heartbreaking to watch. Most of the time I just hold her and cry with her. She is having a lot of self image issues. Being so different from the majority is hard for her. Mackenzie turned 11 on March 21st and she is 5'6'' and overweight. Both of these bother her so much and I can totally understand her feelings because I experienced the exact same issues. She is trying to get healthy, making good choices, but it's a slow going process. She is both elated and filled with anxiety about middle school. Excited for the things that it will bring but petrified that she won't fit in and meeting all the new people. She rolls her eyes most of the time when I speak and everything's a battle. I have to explain myself to death with her and she always has something to say about everything I say. It's exhausting, lol. 

My kids are amazing and bring me constant frustration joy. I am very lucky to have them, and every moment with them and I realize that. Maybe not when I am at my worst, but I am working on it. Overall my children are happy and healthy and I cannot imagine a life or a future without them in it. I love them so deeply and pray every night that I would appreciate the small stuff more, even if it is negative...at least I have it. 


Friday, March 2, 2012

A lot can change in a month

Has it really been a month? Wow. Ok. Well, you won't believe this.

I texted my Mom the day of THIS post. I just couldn't help myself. I told her that I was having a really rough time with my Dad and support for the situation and I would just really appreciate her giving me a call so we can chat and I can get her opinion on some things. Six hours later, I come out of Parker's bedroom from putting him down and Howard is on the phone with my Mom. She said she never got the text message, but it was weird that #1) She was calling...and so late and #2) She was talking to Howard.
Howard had filled her in on the things that I had told him what was going on (which wasn't all of it, because he is having trouble dealing with all of the issues) and by the time that I got on the phone with her all I got was a lecture and then a whole bunch of crap about how she has disowned her brother and is never talking to him again because apparently he doesn't approve of her life or relationship choices (she is apparently dating a contractor that used to/sometimes works for him). She also told me that the counselor she was seeing (about her bipolar, manic, grief, ect.) said that they no longer want to see her until she gets in a rehab type situation because mental health wise she is all over the place and her addition issues are out of control, she made it clear she was blowing the entire situation off.
All in all, I didn't get even a fraction of what I was hoping for from the conversation but at least I know she's alive, right?
Fast forward to February 9th-
She calls me, crying. Says that her father and brother have given her an ultimatum saying that she is no longer aloud on their property, my grandfather is taking back the truck he gave her and she is completely cut off if she doesn't check herself into a rehab type situation. So, they were taking her to the counselor's rehab facility or recovery center. She checked herself in and has been there ever since.

She has had to go to the emergency room twice, and was admitted both times because of major fluctuating blood pressure that is probably ultimately caused by being cut off of alcohol and drugs which she has been on and off for about 40 years.

To sum it up, she basically sounds wonderful. Is being somewhat supportive when she actually calls and asks me how we are all doing (which is a huge change, let me tell you!). She is working on her own issues mental health wise and addiction wise. She originally decide to stay for 30 days but now that her 30 days is coming up and she had a bad day recently and all she could think about was drinking and getting high she has decided to stay another 30 days. She is being very responsible and I'm proud of her for that. My only concern that she is going from one extreme to another and she initially doing this for the wrong reasons but at least she's doing it, right?

So, she is in a safe place and due to come here at the beginning of April for court and to stay for Easter. We'll see how this all goes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mother Schmother

I am going to tackle this one...issue or person or what have you at a time.

My Mom

The weekend before Christmas my family went to my Grandfather and Mom's house for our Family Christmas. We came a day early so our kids wouldn't be super cranky for the family gathering which was good planning on our part.
It went very smoothly, staying there. Until the night of the actual family gathering. My mom got extremely intoxicated and was reprimanded for her behavior and attitude by her sister while our family was at the restaurant that we have Christmas dinner at every year. At that point, my mom left the table and went and sat at the bar where she saw some friends she had made since she lived there and continued to get plastered and ignore the entire family and also driving back home on her own.
The whole family arrived back at the house and she was no where to be seen and didn't show up for another two hours after everyone else did. And at that point she was plastered, crying and really being obnoxious. I did not want my kids around this type of behavior and Howard or I didn't want to be either so my sweet cousin offered to get us a hotel room because even she could see how uncomfortable the entire situation was.
So, Howard loaded up the car and prepared to leave with our family in tow and my Mom showed up right before we were going to leave. She was an absolute mess and was completely out of control. She said that she had gone to the man's house whom she had been dating and caught him with another woman, who happens to be the major's wife and she was upset as to why we were leaving and it was just a total mess.
Needless to say, we hightailed it out of there and we didn't speak until Christmas Eve. We spoke once more between then and New Years. New Years Eve I am sitting at my house with Howard, the kids, my awesome brother in law and my friend Brandy and her two children and we're having a lot of fun, having dinner, playing games, ect. My mom calls and is, once again, extremely intoxicated and hanging out with a bunch of new neighbors she has. She proceeds to put me on the phone with every male within a 5 mile radius which was extremely uncomfortable. I think I told off a few of them as well when they called me 'sweetheart' and 'baby' uh...no.
I didn't speak to her again until she was due to come here for a court date on January 3rd. She came. Then went. And I've spoken to her once since then. I have called her 12 times this month. Since she left on the 4th, she's called me once. She refuses to talk to me for the most part because all I have to say is things about the ever fucked up situation with my father that she put me in and refuses to talk to me about it or even support me in any way.
I hate that I want her support. I really hate it.

She is due to come back in a few weeks, again for court. Wonder if she will answer my phone calls or texts between now and then?

Probably not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Virtual Reality

I am still alive, I swear.

I honestly don't know what more to say than that. No one wants to read about the uncontrollable situation that is my life at the moment, I don't even want to live it.

Even if you do want to read about it, it sounds so outrageous that it sounds like a bad work of fiction. If I write about it, I guess it makes it more real. However, it may do me some good considering my thought process and how unhealthy it is at the present time.

Did you enjoy my virtual brainstorm here?

I am going to take it, subject by subject. So guess what that means readers? You are going to be my virtual therapists! Lucky you. Run, now, run fast!

First post will be posted tonight or in the morning.

Thanks for hanging in there!