Spring Is Coming

It may be 41 degrees with snow falling out of the sky but spring is coming anyway.  The first buds are beginning to show up on the trees and my forsythia just doesn’t care that it’s cold.  It’s going to bloom anyway.

Nature is beginning to peek out from under the covers of its long winter nap.  Wake up, Spring!  Wake up!

Camera Practice

On Saturday night, Scot and I went to the opening of the Spring Flower Show at Phipps.  With the weather refusing to be at all like spring, I was really looking forward to wandering around in warm temps and surrounded by pretty flowers.

I was also hoping to get some practice in with my camera.  I wanted to play with the macro settings on the camera and see what they could do for me.  I know I’m going to have to jump into full manual mode if I want to have super awesome shots but I’m not there yet.  For now, I’m still getting used to the camera and all it can do it.  I haven’t even managed to plow through the whole manual yet (I’m about halfway there.)

But, despite my shortcomings as a photographer, I got a few shots that I liked.

I’ve always loved grape hyacinths. 
I had never seen hyacinths this color before.

 I can’t remember the name of this one but I love it.

The 1/4 of me that is Dutch adores all the pretty red tulips.
That last one isn’t a macro shot, of course,  but I liked it so much it’s now my desktop.  When I wake up in the morning and it’s 17 degrees outside and it struggles all day just to hit 40 degrees, that picture filled with bright spring color makes me happy.

Diet: Week One

A complete and resounding success.  I lost three pounds.  THREE!

I love the way that Weight Watchers has revamped the Points program.  Letting me eat fruits and vegetables for free makes my life SO. MUCH. EASIER.  On the old program, it was really hard for me to get in all my daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  I almost never did – especially given that I had such a low number of points per day to start with.

Now, I find that I’m getting all 5 servings almost every day and it’s easy to do.  Want a low points meal?  Have a serving a protein (whatever your choice) and then load up on fruits.  On more than one occasion this week I had an egg and cheese wrap with sides of apple and strawberries.  Huge amount of food and reasonable points.

I’m also drinking TONS more water than I did in the past – even when I was trying to drink more water.  I stopped drinking soda and it was so easy it was like turning off a light switch.  Why couldn’t I have done that before?  Now I drink water and one cup of coffee in the morning.  That’s it.

The biggest shock, aside from the number on the scale this morning, is how easy it has been.  I tried and tried for two years and had no success.  I was so frustrated and so angry at myself that I couldn’t just buckle down and do it, already.  It’s not like I don’t know what I’m supposed to do or how.  I will never, ever understand why signing up for Weight Watchers and following their program works when doing it on my own didn’t.  The changes I made weren’t that hard or really that much different than what I was doing before.  Yet this week I lost.

My short term goal is to lose 10 lbs. before I go to Texas in mid-May.  I have a long term goal as well.  But for the moment, that’s what I want to do.  I have six weeks to do it.  If I can keep this up, I should make it.

Week Two, here I come!

A Letter To Spring

Dear Spring,

I miss you.  I miss your sunny days, your warming temperatures, your soft breezes, and the delightful way you smell.

You came to visit for a few days.  It lasted almost a week.  Then, you left us and now it’s cold again.  Oh, the sun may be out but don’t let that fool you.  Step outside and you’ll freeze something off.

Spring, you loveliest of seasons, it is now the last week of March.  You have taunted and teased us with hints of your arrival long enough.  Please come to stay.  My children want to play outside, ride bikes, play with sidewalk chalk, and chase the dog.

I want to throw open the windows of my house to let in those wonderful breezes.  I want children who aren’t crazy and cranky from being cooped up inside.  I want to clean my garage and try to tame the leaves left over from last fall.

Come back to us, Spring, and when you do, please whack that stupid groundhog upside the head as hard as you can.

Suddenly, I Have A Social Life

I’m sure those of you that read this blog know that I don’t get out much.  I have reasons for this – mostly in the category of “too much effort” in terms of figuring out who can watch the kids.  Also, as sad as it is to admit it, I didn’t really want to go out in public looking overweight and gross.  It was much more comfortable to sit at home in jammy pants and watch ridiculous reality TV.

This week I suddenly have a social calendar to worry about.  Who knew?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Yesterday, my father-in-law called me to see if I wanted to go see a production of Les Miserables with him. One of the local high schools is doing it and he had a couple of tickets.  Did I want one?  Yes.  So, tonight, he’s picking me up and we’re going off to see it.  I’ve seen professional productions of the show twice but it’s been years so this should be fun.  I’ll help Scot get Jamie’s bed time mostly taken care of and then I’m off for an evening with Frenchman in revolt.

Tomorrow night Scot and I have a date.  Yay date!  Phipps Conservatory is holding a Members night to see the new Spring Flower Show.  We signed up to go and the grandparents are watching our spawn. They’re even taking the kids early enough so that we can go out to dinner first.  We’ve done this once in the past and had silly good fun so I’m really looking forward to it.  Plus, it will give me a chance to play around with my new camera some more.

The next stop on our social agenda is getting together with good friends who recently came home with their new daughter, adopted from China.  We’re ridiculously excited for them and can’t wait to meet their sweet daughter who is a few months older than Jamie.  I have a feeling the two of them will get along famously as they both appear to love getting into anything and everything.  We’re still working on setting up a get together but I’m excited!

And, of course, I’m still planning to flit off to Texas sometime in the next couple of months to go visit my bestie.  Again, we’re still working out all the details on this one.  But, you know what?  We could meet up on the moon and I wouldn’t care just as long as we got to hang out, laugh, drink wine, and catch up.

I kind of knew that once I finally got off square one with the dieting that I would feel differently about a lot of things.  But it’s still a bit shocking to me that I’m less than I week into this thing and I feel so much better about myself that I’m Little Miss Social Butterfly all of the sudden.  Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest difference.

His Love Affair Continues Apace

Jamie’s love of the vacuum cleaner is unabashed and unabated.  We were at the mall recently, in a housewares department, and he gravitated towards the vacuum section like it was the singing Sirens out of mythology.

This one is just like yours, Mommy!
And then he discovered an Electrolux canister vac with orange accents on it and he was IN. LOVE.
He threw an unholy fit when I wrestled him back into the stroller and insisted on leaving the store.  A bit later in the trip, I was wandering around with the kids outside the Apple store while Scot had his suddenly dead laptop looked at.  Jamie took me by the hand and did his very best to lead me straight back to the vacuum section.
He was sure he was going the right way.  As we approached the entrance to a department store he looked more closely at what was in the store and got upset because it wasn’t the right store OR the right department.  There are supposed to be vacuums here, Mom!  Not clothes!  He really, really wanted to find that Electrolux again.  And possibly convince me that it was the greatest toy in the world and bring it home for him.
I don’t really understand what he finds so fascinating about a vacuum but I kind of hope that he never loses that fascination.  A few more years and I’ll have a live-in maid with this one in the house.  At least as far as having clean carpets goes.