and kids

and kids

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

13 1/2 minutes

It has been almost three months since I posted about losing weight. It was supposed to be my motivation to get my butt into gear. Maybe post about it once a month with my progress, but three months later.........

no blogs

I have been using my treadmill when I can, and strangely enough, I've actually enjoyed it (shhh, don't tell anyone!). I'm still working on my ankle issues (I got an appointment with a September - that was the first appt. available) (and now it is my other ankle hurting too, maybe it is time for new shoes, but they cost $$) but I'm running.

At my yearly girly exam one month ago I still hadn't lost any weight. How frustrating! I was told that even though I'm only 32, age does start to take a part in how we lose weight and how/where we hold onto weight. UGH!

and there is the fact that I love food!!


I've pushed a little harder. Along with the treadmill a few times a week, I've been doing those Biggest Loser DVD's. Mostly the BL Yoga and I recently got the BL Boot Camp - it is great and terrible all in one. My first few times of doing level one I was reminded of muscle groups that I had forgotten about.

I have actually lost a few pounds this past month. I'd love to have lost more (never happy, I know!), but being in the 30+ age group now I guess I'll have to be happy with a few pounds.

So, what the heck does 13 1/2 minutes have to do with losing weight?

Let me give you a little history before you laugh. I am not a runner. In my younger days (like Jr. High) I enjoyed sprinting races and I won many times in PE, even against the boys. I don't have the endurance for lengthy races. OK, I don't have the endurance for even the 1 mile race. In high school, I always passed everything on the Presidential Fitness Test, except the mile run. They only required you to run it in about 8 minutes, but I always got around 11 or 12 minutes. I'd try (probably not very hard), but could never get it done.

Fast forward 15 years (oh my goodness, has it been that long?)

When I started running on the treadmill in January I would walk/run a mile in 25 minutes. Yep! You read that right, 25 minutes. And I was winded, exhausted and sweating like you wouldn't believe. So-out-of-shape. I've pushed and pushed and pushed and finally got it down to 15 minutes - I was very excited about that accomplishment.

But tonight, I ran (and walked a little) in 13 1/2 mintues. Whoo-Hoo!! I was huffing and puffing when I got done, but recovery was quick. I did enjoy it and walked an extra mile afterwards just to keep my heartrate up.

Maybe an 8 minute mile (and some more weight loss) is in my future???

...I'm gonna go get a snack to reward myself for this accomplishment, or is that the wrong thing to do?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Sad Sunday

OK, not really sad.

Only sad for a silly mommy.

Mac headed to Sunday School today for the first time.

Our church starts the 'new year' at the beginning of June. The past two weeks we have been at the beach and today was the day.

Jason thinks I'm crazy (maybe I am), but it makes me sad that this was the first Sunday I've been to Adult Sunday School in 9 1/2 years without a kid. :(

I wasn't at all disappointed that Ms. Laura had to bring him to me (crying) with 15 minutes to go.

OK, not a sad Sunday, just another step up for my kiddos.

Monday, June 22, 2009

the Last Night of Vacation!

Without going to the beach with another family, we didn't get many group shots, but the last night we were going to eat at Beef O'Brady's. The boys all were all very proud to wear their beach shirts for this outing. Before going out Mommy tortured them with a family photo on the dock. We just set it up and hoped for the best. This is how happy they were as Mommy was testing the set up.And this was the final result.
A few random shots from that time on the dock.And the kids (it was amazing how much darker this looks, even though it was only about a 10 or 15 minute difference from the family photo)And that is the end of our June 2009 - Week at the Beach!

...and everything else

I will jumble together the rest of our extra curricular activities from our trip.

The house had a few toy baskets that the boys enjoyed and for some reason, they wanted me to take pictures every time they set up all the soldiers.
The kids played "Musical Beds" all week. Each night they were in a different bed from the previous night. All except Mac. He slept on an inflatable mattress in the closet, which worked out great.
The kids enjoyed way too much cable TV, but Jason said it was ok because they don't watch a lot of TV (we only have PBS) at home.

While 'hanging out' at the house there was a lot of coloring (I was so relieved that I brought lots of paper and new markers with us). Capps, my big colorer, was found on the back porch many times coloring while the others kids were glued to the TV. (yes, he is standing while coloring??)
Of course, Jason took his X-box. He got to play some by himself, but was usually bombarded by the kids because they wanted to play also.

We tried to venture to the big playground in The Village one morning, instead of going to the beach, but it was so hot the kids wanted to leave shortly after we got there. This is Mac is all his hot and sweaty glory (he wore these sunglasses most of the week, even holding them in his hand during naptime).After the playground was so miserable, we took the kids over to The Fountain to cool off. It is 15 different water sprayers that shot up out of the ground at various speeds and height, constantly changing. The kids loved it and we ended up cooling off there a few different times.The Brown tradition is to eat at The Backporch in Destin, but we decided it was a bit too expensive to try this year. Jason and I love Beef O'Brady's which is in Sandestin - they make a yummy burger! (kids eat for 99 cents on Tuesdays).

For Father's Day, not only did Jason get to drive us home, but he also got a Beef O'Brady's T-shirt that was my idea, but the kids were so excited to be a part of sneaking off to get it and pick out which color they thought Daddy would like.

the Porch and the Dock

I think I'm a morning person. I usually can't sleep in, but Jason says he isn't sure I'm a morning person because I'm not very cheery in the morning. I'd prefer getting up early while everyone is asleep and drink my coffee and/or read in quiet or go for a run. Then, by the time others start to stir I'd be ready for their company.

The first morning I went for a run, but I'm not a dedicated runner and even at 6:00 AM it was too hot and humid to make it enjoyable. That was the only time I went for a run, but I did go biking a few evenings.

Anyway, the porch! The screened-in back porch was one of my favorite things about the trip. It had a gorgeous view. It looks out on Crystal Lake which has a fountain spraying in the center. Each morning I would sneak out there about 6 AM and just relax on the swing until the kids started showing up one by one.
The kids enjoyed eating breakfast out there most mornings.In the evenings, if you went out to swing in the dark you could hear the frogs loud and clear. There were plenty of lizards and frogs around the house. Jason and I saw a snake one day and we were told that an alligator had recently been spotted in the lake. I don't know what frogs were making all the noise, but the ones that we actually saw were so tiny you almost missed them. Here is one next to Jason's finger just to give you an idea how small they were. The porch also looked out at the dock. We didn't use it that much because Mac made a valiant effort to fall in each time we went down there and it was right in the sun with no shade. The boys (mostly Daegan) bugged Jason to take them fishing. So one evening, Jason got the fishing rods that were at the house to take the boys fishing for their first time. They really couldn't believe that you didn't just catch something right away. I'm not sure it really lasted that long, but they now can say they have been fishing.

the Pool

The house we were at was right next door to the pool. It was wonderful to be so close and we went each day (usually after dinner) and sometimes we went twice. It was a smaller pool, ranging from 3 ft to 5 ft and the water was similar to a warm bath - for our family, it was perfect!

I didn't grow up swimming. My mother is terrified of the water. I don't think we really had the opportunity to go to a pool a lot when we were young. I think we (meaning my siblings) were all self-taught, which means we probably don't have the best technique, but we can survive.

Last summer I took the kids to swim lessons. Mollee was in level 3, Tavis and Daegan in level 2 and Capps in level 1. If nothing else, it helped them learn some technique and, basically, not be afraid of the water. Mollee does fairly well. She does well to get where she wants usually going under water.
Somehow, I don't have any pictures of Tavis at the pool. He is really too cool to wear swimmies, but was fine to hang out where he could reach. If he wanted to go deeper he would put on a life vest. Daegan was unashamed! He wore this vest and goggles everywhere - beach and pool. The first few times Capps hung out at the steps. Then when we finally convinced him that his swimmies would hold him up, he was going everywhere. He didn't even mind that his 'muscles' were pink.

Mac was fearless, not that this surprised us! Once he figured out how to keep his face out of the water while floating, he was a maniac. He would jump in, go to the steps and climb out and jump again. If Jason or I tried to catch him or be too close to where he was jumping he would tell us to move. He wasn't perfect so we had to be right there to help if he got sideways or inhaled too much water, but he did pretty awesome by himself.Needless to say, by the time we left the pool each evening, Jason and I were exhausted. An hour or two of hearing, "catch me" or "watch this" or "swim with me" was tiring, but great fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

at the Beach!

I'll start my 'beach blogging' with the beach! Jason is not a beach person. He says that he really doesn't mind being at the beach, he just hates hauling all the gear to the beach (of course he did most of the hauling this week) and then dealing with the sand clean-up afterwards. As for me, I could go from sunrise to sunset. I love to just sit there, maybe read a book (which I couldn't do at the beach because I was trying to watch five kids at once), listen to the waves, watch the people around me (which can be very entertaining sometimes), enjoy the salty breeze (unfortunately there was no breeze this week), etc.

We've only been to the beach a couple of times with kids, so it was hard to guess who would like it and who wouldn't, but I had a pretty good idea. Here was one of the highlights of the beach, riding the golf cart to the beach (doesn't Capps look excited!). This was a perk we've never had before. It was great because we could just sweep the sand off the cart and not have it in the van.

To start off each trip to the beach, Jason, Capps and Mac were under the umbrella. Jason watching the kids/reading and Capps and Mac sitting on the edge of a towel digging in the sand. Capps doesn't usually like to get messy, so he sat there until he got bored and then would venture out to the edge of the water (but only going ankle deep) digging holes that usually didn't last long and then back to the towel for a Capri Sun or to fill an old sprite bottle with sand and dump it out and fill it up and dump it out.... Mac was bribed to sit under the umbrella with crackers and juice (mommy was trying to avoid too much sun for my pale Scottish son) as long as he would sit. Once Mac got up he would just chase the water - running after it as the waves went back towards the ocean and squealing as it came after him again. Unfortunately, I couldn't get much of it on film because the humidity was so bad I kept getting a 'condensation error' message and it wouldn't work. UGH!

Daegan, Mollee and Tavis loved it all and were always going from one thing to another. From boogie boards to digging to building a castle to searching for shells to using the goggles to see the fish to whatever they could think of next. Daegan wore a vest, which made me much more relaxed as they went out on the boogie boards. He also was very involved in finding seashells. He spent almost an hour one day just digging up sand at the waters edge and sifting through it to find shell pieces.
Tavis loved the boogie board most of all
and Mollee (unlike brother #3) loves to get messy and was usually covered in sand from head-to-toe by the time we headed back for lunch each day.

We usually tried to get out to the beach by 9:30 or 10:00 (and it was already hard to find a spot) and then went back to the house for lunch. That was long enough, plus I didn't want to try to take lunches for everyone and have to fight the sand. We took snacks and drinks and that seemed to work for us!


Growing up we always went to Myrtle Beach. My Grandmother had a gift shop there and my Grandfather ran a surf board and bike rental shop a block off the beach. I have many fond memories of the beach. I love it!! The sand, the sun, the waves, the tan.....

Jason's family has always gone to Destin. It is completely different from Myrtle Beach, but I've learned to love it! :) Myrtle Beach has a wide beach, dark sand and lots of big waves. Destin has a smaller beach, white sand and little waves (perfect size for my kiddos). We've enjoyed going there a handful of times over the last 14 years.

The week was absolutely wonderful! This is the first time (except our first summer as newlyweds) that we went on a vacation without me being pregnant or nursing. It is amazing what a difference that made. With Mac being 2 1/2, his naps were flexible and that made the week very relaxing. The only complaint we had was that the heat was almost unbearable, but we know we can't really complain about that - it was better than rain! It was about 98 degrees each day with a heat index of about 107-110. We went to the beach the first evening we got there (last Sunday) and then only three other mornings because it was so hot, but we went to the pool for a few hours after dinner each night and the Saturday before we left (yesterday) we went to the pool for about 3 1/2 hours.

We were spoiled by an absolutely gorgeous home that we were sad to leave. Here is a small look at what we had to put up with for the past week:

The master bedroom-
"Mollee's bedroom" (I just loved all the decorative pillows)-

Mac modeling the dining room/living room/kitchen area -
The view from the back screened-in porch -

We have now been home about 3 hours and we are completely unpacked (I had everything washed before heading home so there would be no laundry stress when we got back). Back to reality!! There was no telephone line at the house which resulted in no internet access, so I'm trying to catch up on my e-mail and, like I did for our Pennsylvania trip I'll just post a bunch of different entries for our different activities. I might post them all in the next 24 hours, but it will be easier to sort through the pics if I do them one-by-one, topic-by-topic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Packing for 7!

Packing for 7 is quite a task. The biggest struggle is having all the clothes clean before you can start packing. I let the boys 'help' pick out their outfits (just so they feel included), but Mollee is the obvious girl who wants to take too many different options just in case she may want a skirt one day or shorts or a dress! "You just don't know, Mom!" Of goodness, and she is only 8! But it is 8:50, the night before we are leaving and I'm just about there. The house is clean (thanks to Jason for tackling the bathrooms and kitchen for me) and the suitcases are packed. We like to save up for vacation and eat out a lot - so it is a vacation for me too! - but this year there was no 'extra' money so we are taking many, many boxes of groceries with us and some frozen casseroles I made over the last few weeks. Thankfully, we have a huge van for all our stuff! I'm going to take a shower and take a sleeping pill (so I don't wake up and think of all the things I need to do in the morning). Hopefully, we'll get out the door at a reasonable time - which always means something different to me than it does to Jason. He says "I'm already in vacation mode, don't rush me!" :)

Beach Blogging coming soon....

Music Camp - Parablooza!

I feel like I should mention this since it has been such a blast all week. The kids have loved going. Even though we are holding Capps back, he is old enough to go to kindergarten this year, so we let him go to Music Camp (you have to be kindergarten age to attend). He is our least social child and I was curious how he would do, but he loved it, which I was very relieved. I went yesterday to watch the dress rehearsal since we won't be here for the program on Sunday. We are leaving tomorrow morning for Destin, FL!!! Yeah!!! After practice yesterday, they had a carnival (inflatables, cotton candy, icees, etc.). It was extremely hot, but they enjoyed it.

Today I am getting all the laundry done, packing, and trying to get the house clean. I hate coming home to a dirty house, it is a pet-peeve of mine that Jason doesn't quite understand, but I know he is always grateful to come home to a tidiness.

I will return next Sunday to report on our beach trip, unfortunately, there is no internet access where we will be staying. I'll try to survive without it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mother of a 2-year old!

This week it has been just me and Mac! And I've loved it! The big kids have been at Music Camp at church during the day. Believe it or not, I've never had just a 2-year old. When Tavis (#2) was born, Mollee was 1 year and 9 days old. I know that many hate the "terrible-twos", but the 18-month to age 3 or 4 (depending on the kid) is my favorite age. I'm trying to savor my little Mac and enjoy the heck out of him, which isn't hard to do with him.

Here he is relaxin' in his PJ's in the garage, practicing using the beach chair.

It has been a wonderful week of Mommy and Mac mornings!

Three more days until we go to the beach!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Busy Weekend

It is already Monday night and I had planned to blog a few times over the weekend, but it just didn't happen. So here we go...

We spend a lot of Friday nights at Jason's parents, but with Daegan's weird parotitis we decided not to go to avoid sharing any germs (even though they said he wasn't contagious) with his 97 year-old Mima who is recovering from a broken hip/surgery. So we got pizza and watched "Meet the Robinson's" with the kids. Saturday, I decided to let Jason sleep in late. I got up, got the kids breakfast, got cartoons going and went on my Wal-Mart run (as quickly as I could!) all before 9:50. I then put on a pot of coffee for Jason to enjoy when he awoke at 10:30 - What a good wife am I? The kids had tons of outdoor time, which always makes me feel better about myself. Mac took a great nap and then everyone enjoyed the sprinkler. We had PB&J for dinner and everyone was happy. Sunday, we went to church and since my parents are on vacation in Florida, we went straight home afterwards. While Mac was napping, I took the big kids to a neighbor's pool, and Jason stayed home and read on the deck without interruption. After the pool the kids got their baths and PJs on by 5:30 and we had cereal for dinner, which we have for dinner every Sunday night.

This morning we had to be at church at 8:30 for Music Camp. I got to run errands with only Mac, which was strange but a nice treat. I'm sure I'll have more on Music Camp in the days to come.

As I look back at this post I'm realizing that we played outside, played in the sprinkler, watched a movie and cartoons and went to the pool. Also, our dinners consisted of pizza, sandwiches and cereal. Not sure why I felt like it was an exhausting weekend, just a full weekend!

Six more days until vacation!!!! but whose counting?

Friday, June 5, 2009


Parotitis is an inflammation of the parotid glands, which are large salivary glands located in front of each ear. A bacterial infection is known as Parotitis and a viral infection is known as Mumps, which is extremely rare for those who have been vaccinated.

Call me crazy, but I always enjoy learning about these different ailments and how magnificent the body is - maybe one day I'll return to school and get my RN???

Ok, so in my last entry I mentioned that there was one in every family - the one that always gets sick and gets the weird ailments. Growing up, that was me. Now, unfortunately for him, that is Daegan. Lucky for me, he is tough as nails. We were just at the doctor Tuesday because I feared he had strep throat. He didn't, only a virus that needed to run it's course. He has felt fine the last few days and now he has bacterial infection in his parotid gland. He was complaining yesterday afternoon(and he never complains) that it hurt to open his mouth. By dinner I noticed it looked a little swollen and by bedtime it seemed a little more swollen and he screamed when I tried to touch it. By this morning it was very swollen, almost like he didn't have a jawline. I took him back to the doctor and they said he has Parotitis. He gets to 'enjoy' a round of antibiotics and that should take care of it. Thankfully, he isn't contagious. Even so, I'm washing all the sheets and Lysoling some common play areas. Of course, I had to get a picture. You can only sorta see it here. It is his right side (left side looking at him). His poor little ear is pushed up a little from the swell and his neck line is quite impressive on that side. The Dr. said on a scale of 1-10, his swelling is about an 8, it may get up to a 9 before the medicine kicks in, but if it gets to a 10 or 11 (yes, out of 10) and the pain becomes unbearable, we needed to take him the ER for IV meds.

We really know how to start off the summer! Last year Mollee's tonsillectomy and this year Daegan's Parotitis.
Ahh! The joys of parenthood!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dr. Appts.

Let me start this blog by saying it isn't for pity, it is just part of our history:

I think in every family there is one person that just has the medical problems. Growing up, that was me. I got glasses in 5th grade, had braces for 4+ years, have terrible allergies, was prone to plantar warts (gross, I know), cold sores and boils (yes, like leprosy) - I'm being so open to my blogger world. I had gall bladder issues, migraines, horrible, unpredictable PMS, etc. It was just a family joke that if there was going to be a weird ailment in our family, it would happen to me. I was fine with that assumption. I have high pain tolerance and, I guess because I was used to it, just took it in stride and didn't complain. When Jason and I got married, he knew what he was getting in to. I had my tonsils out at age 19, while we were engaged, and he had to endure how terrible that was for me. On our wedding night I had a horrible migraine that has been a joke for Jason and I ever since (even if not so funny that night!). All that to say, that is just me!

Well, now, I don't have time to be sick, plus I have to pay for doctor visits now (used to on Dad's dime). So, when something is wrong I usually try to ignore it, try to self-diagnosis, and when it doesn't get better, maybe I'll go to the doctor or just ignore it a little longer. It has been one of those few weeks where I couldn't ignore any more.

In the last few weeks this is what we have done: Mollee had to go back to the allergist to have her asthma regimen reviewed, I went to the allergist for a check-up and because I was having terrible dizzy spells for the past five months, he sent me to an ENT. I saw the ENT and have differing pressure in my ears, causing the dizziness, which he prescribed a week of steroids to reduce swelling so the pressure would return to normal. The following day I went to my regular doctor to have him look at my ankle. In January, I started running, doing yoga, aerobics and weights. Whenever I run I have horrible pains in my ankle. I've tried to ignore it, but it got to the point that Jason was worried I had a stress fracture or something. After many, many different x-rays and an examination, the doctor said I have bursitis on the top of my foot, which may or may not be causing the ankle pain. For the record, I am skeptical of this diagnosis. It was only supposed to take a day or two and it has been a week and hasn't helped and I'm waiting for the doctor to return my call as I'm writing. I also had my fun annual girly appointment today that ended in blood work for possible thyroid issues because of some complaints/concerns I have. Somewhere in there I had to go to the dentist for a chipped tooth and Daegan had to go for his allergy panel. Now that I have exhausted my babysitters, I think we are done with appts. for awhile, except that I haven't gotten relief from the ankle problem and Capps has a dentist appointment next week and I have two sick with fevers and croupy coughs.......

I guess this is all part of being me, and a mom, and broken. It is a great way to start the summer!! Better than being in the hospital with Mollee

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