Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jenn the Bibliophile

One of my classes this semester is actually a Library Science class on Children's and Young Adult Literature.  As part of this class, I have to read Children's/YA books and write reviews.  Then I have to post reviews to a blog. (Heavenly assignments for me!)  To that end, I have created Jenn the Bibliophile.  I'll be reviewing several different age level books - picture books, easy readers, Caldecott and Newberry winners, chapter books.  Feel free to come by and leave comments.  Part of the assignment is that I have to get feedback from the general public.  Please stop by!  I'll add this blog to my blogroll on the right sidebar so you know when there's something new to read.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guilty of Blog Neglect

School started for me last Tuesday, Jamie had a birthday party on Saturday, and I've been working out and cleaning house like mad, so the blog has been neglected.  In a nutshell, here's what's happening in our neck of the woods.

  • My son became a teenager. And that's all I'm going to say about that.  (Name that movie!)
  • Jamie also got 6 As and 5 Bs on his most recent report card.  Good job, kiddo!
  • I'm downsizing my household.  No, I didn't kick Jamie out (even if he is a rotten teenager now)....  I'm selling all my old bedroom furniture on Craigslist (double, long dresser; queen bed frame and headboard; lamp with built-in table) and have replaced it with a full-sized bed, memory foam mattress and two tall dressers.  My bedroom is too tiny for a queen-size, the mattress was hurting me, and I stubbed my toe on the end of that stupid bed nearly every day.  I'm single, I don't need a queen-sized bed for just me, so it has got to all go.  I got the new stuff for a steal, so I figure it was a worthy investment to buy new and get what I wanted and needed, instead of making do with this and that.  BTW - this is kind of also part of my resolution to take care of myself for a change. No more mattress that leaves me waking up stiff and sore every morning, no more stubbing my toe on a bed that is too big for my room, etc.
  • And I upsized my car.  Teeny tiny car was great on gas mileage... until it stopped being great on gas mileage.  And started having gremlins in the wiring that would cost more to FIND than to fix.  And started having brake issues that no one could figure out WHY they were happening and would be way expensive to diagnose then fix the problem.  So, may I present Dumplin', my new car.  She got her name because she's a big white blob.  She's more expensive than my last car (I'm trying not to dwell on that too much), but she's much safer.  5-star crash safety ratings all the way around from NHTSC, standard front-, side-, and curtain airbags. She also has seating for seven and lots of cargo room.  All the back seats fold flat for hauling cargo.  I've already tested this feature out, and she hauled home all the aforementioned furniture for my bedroom. She also costs me less in car insurance. :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Stinkbumps!

Thirteen years ago today, my life was forever changed with the arrival of my Stinkbumps.  Happy birthday!  And don't worry, I still love you, even if you are a rotten teenager now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weight Watchers Status Update

So, I told you all I had made a resolution to take better care of myself and had joined Weight Watchers.  I'm proud to announce that my first week in the program netted me a five pound weight loss.  I followed the program, kept track of what I ate and stayed within my daily points allowance (well, for the most part.  There was one day I went over a bit.)  It has not been as hard as I feared it would be to follow the program.

The next step is figuring out how I want to get more exercise.  Through my health insurer, I can join a program that costs $29 a month and I can go to any participating gym I want, as many times as I want, without a contract.  I'm wondering if I might do better though if I just find a good used treadmill or elliptical and put it in my garage.  I think if I have to find the time to go somewhere away from home to exercise, it won't happen.  Whereas if I have a piece of equipment at home, I can get on it whenever I want.

I'll keep a sidebar going documenting my weight loss and health journey.  Check in with me each Monday to see how it's progressing. 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Revolutionary Resolution

Being a typical mom, I always put myself last.  I make sure Jamie eats the right stuff and gets enough food before his energy levels dip too low, I make sure Jamie gets enough sleep, I make sure Jamie goes to the doctor(s) regularly and I make sure Jamie stays active to keep his body healthy.  As for myself, I stay up way too late each night making sure everything is taken care of for Jamie; I often don't eat until I've got a bad case of the shakes and sparkles in front of my eyes - which means by that time I'm so hungry I just reach for the first thing at hand or run through a fast food drive through; and I only go to the doctor if I absolutely feel like I'm going to die.  Because I work all day sitting at a desk in front of a computer, then spend a great deal of my nights sitting on my butt either reading text books or in front of a computer, I have gained quite a bit of weight since moving to Texas.  In short, I've been doing a piss poor job of taking care of myself.

So, my resolution this year is to be kinder to myself and to be healthier.  For me, the idea of actually taking care of myself is kind of revolutionary.  Ever since Jamie was born, I have focused completely on him.  But he's getting older and more self-sufficient, so I need to concentrate on me now.  I have joined Weight Watchers, but my main goal is not necessarily to lose a ton of weight (although that is a goal in the future).  I mainly joined because it will help me to keep track of what I'm eating and when, and will help me live more healthfully.  By making me keep track of what I'm eating and at what times, it's helping me understand when my energy typically starts dipping, how to counteract hunger cravings before they start, and how to make healthier choices in what I eat.  I have already entered a number of my usual recipes into the "points calculator" to see how nutritious they are - and by and large they are very healthful.  What gets me in trouble is when I don't monitor my hunger, then go crazy and eat too much when I'm so hungry I can barely stand up.  WW will also help me keep track of my activity levels and help me find ways to work more activity into my daily routine.

I won't lie and say I don't care about how I look and how much I weigh now. I won't lie and state that the fact that people guess my age to be FAR older than I am because of my weight doesn't bother me. I do care - and it bugs the heck out of me that I've let myself go this far. It's just that it's more important to me to be healthy so that I can reach my life goals.  The healthier I am, the more energy I'll have, and the weight will be easier to shed, in turn making me even healthier.  Although I quit smoking a long time ago, drink in moderation and do not do drugs, I've still been abusing my body by not taking care of it.  The abuse stops now.