What I’m currently working on

I always have a project or two that’s unfinished.  I started this one right after Christmas for my granddaughter, Hannah.  ImageThis is just 6 blocks laid out.  I found this “coin block” pattern on Missouri Star.  My daughter had already picked out most of the fabric for Hannah and said she wanted lots of black with it.  I’m still trying to figure out why it’s called a “coin block”…I don’t see any coins anywhere! LOL  Unless they are rolls of coins…??  I’ve had a lot of fun with this one – because I love the bright vibrant colors.  I always have a difficult time working on quilts for boys or men because the colors and patterns seldom appeal to my tastes and I get bored with working on it.ImageHere’s another shot of it laid out on the floor in my craft room.  Isn’t it pretty?  Haven’t decided yet what type of back it will have, but Hannah’s mother requested that it have a scrappy binding.  What do you think?  Should I have a solid color for the back?  Black?  Hot pink?  Turquoise? Lime Green?  Any ideas?  Two of Hannah’s brothers got quilts from me for Christmas.  Hannah wanted money…so that’s what she got..even though I full well intended to make her a quilt anyway.  She was recently asking about it – wondering if I had made any progress on it.  That spurred me into action.  Hannah hasn’t a clue what it will look like, but I had to put it up because she will be spending the night with me Friday to have some “girl bonding time”.  I was so pleased when she text me to ask if she could spend the night Friday night.  Not many 16 yr. olds wanna spend Friday night with their grandmother so I was truly flattered and pleased!

ImageHannah is my namesake.  She has the same middle name as I.  “Leslie”.  I was so tickled when I found out her mom was gonna name her after me.  

So, the other project I’m currently working on is also one I started quite some time ago.  I had a desire to create a colorful, assorted 9 patch.  So, last year I began this one with no particular person in mind. ImageEach square is 4 1/2″ so once the 9 patch is sewn together it becomes a 12″ block.  It will work great for a large quilt for a queen or king size bed.  I am now on a mission to finish it because my youngest daughter requested another quilt for under her comforter in her Master bedroom.  She stated that she didn’t really care about colors or even if it was just made from scraps because it was not gonna be seen anyway.  Her primary concern was that it be lightweight like the other one I made her and soft to the touch.  ImageI laid out the 9 patches on the living room floor so I could see what it would look like.  I think I’m gonna like it.  I debated on whether to put sashing in between each 9 patch block.  I’ve also considered putting some type of wide border around the outer edges before binding it to enlarge it even more.  Any ideas or suggestions?  Anyway, I’m having fun with my latest projects. This is the way I de-stress after a day of taking care of grandsons.  Sitting at the sewing machine listening to Delilah on the radio is my way of relaxing.

Do you have a favorite thing you like to do to relax?

The name of the game is to MAINTAIN!

This is my accountability blog.  That means that I am putting it down in WRITING and that I expect you to hold me accountable.  How do you do that?  By asking me every once in awhile how things are going and how I’m doing on my weight.  You will never get anything but an HONEST response from me.  So here goes:  Those of you that know me or have been following me for a while will already know that I am a LIFETIME member of Weight Watchers.  I received my Lifetime award in 2007 and simultaneously went to work for them as a WW leader.  ImageI loved the work I did for WW and loved all the ladies I inspired to be the best they good be!  I had lost 55+ lbs going from 199.8 to 142 in about a year.  It’s a great program and one I could follow, and I wanted to pay it forward by showing others how to do it.  I also proved I could do it without having a husband that would do it with me!  ImageJerry could afford to lose a few pounds too, but he likes his real butter, red meat, potatoes and bread too much to curtail what he was doing. So I had a “healthy” section and an “unhealthy” section in the pantry and the frig!! LOL

I ate, slept and drank Weight Watchers until 2011.  A healthy lifestyle was in all my being!  I ate right, exercised, and all the symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle disappeared! Prior to joining WW I was suffering all the symptoms of Menopause, I had GERD and high blood pressure, and was suffering with mild depression.  This pic out of my weight loss scrapbook is a testament: ImageI did believe in myself!  I knew I could succeed with God’s help.  I also had an awesome support system with my husband & daughters believing in me.  My youngest daughter, Tanya was my best accountability partner!  She paid for me to join and is also a lifetime member.  There was no way I was gonna waste her money!  If it had been my money, maybe – but NOT HERS!  

Exercise was the biggest challenge for me.  I did not want to exercise!! But, I started gradually by walking in my neighborhood and using an exercise hoop for 10 min. a day.  Before I knew it, I was running 5k’s!! ImageHere I am pictured with Tanya, after running my 3rd 5k in Corpus Christi, Texas in 2009.  We almost changed our mind since it was raining, but decided to push on through and do it anyway!  We were each other’s accountability partners in this endeavor.  It was a “girl weekend” for us and so we enjoyed some retail therapy and dinner out while there.ImageI will cherish these memories!!

So, long story short…in 2011 after leaving WW my mother-in-law became very ill and was diagnosed as terminal.  Due to circumstances beyond our control I became her full-time caregiver here in our home.  My daughter was going to work and needed two grandsons to be cared for as well, so I figured since I was already stuck at home taking care of Granny – why not?

Granny passed this last September, one grandson is now is school, and one grandson has recently been born.  So, I am still taking care of two grandsons and wishing I could get my MO JO back!  But, instead what I’ve observed...is the weight slowly creeping back!

Thus, the purpose of this blog.  You see, I battled with just 5-10 lbs. while taking care of Granny and was still able to make it to the gym from time to time, but when the grandsons started coming we were lucky to take a slow leisurely walk to the park each day.  Not at all the same as running a 5K! LOL  

My lifetime goal weight with WW was 146 lbs.  My fighting weight was 142.  I loved the way I looked at 142!!ImageThis is with Ethan as a toddler.  He’s in school now!  

ImageLook at that neck!  I loved not having that double chin.  I call it my “turkey neck”…cause of the excess fat I had showing up as a “turkey gobbler”..I needed to do some neck exercises!  LOL

But now…ugh! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started and stopped my new healthy regimen since Granny passed away. The first thing I did..the day she died was re-join the gym.  I’m still paying, but I’m not going.  I weighed this morning.  165.8.  I’ve gained and lost the same 5 lbs. several times since the first of the year.  I’ve done real good with my eating for 3-4 days and then I find myself falling off the wagon!  I’ve maintained a 20 lb gain and not gained anymore for awhile now.  But, everytime I try to lose and keep losing something throws me off track.  Mostly, I blame it on my lifestyle of taking care of babies.  Other than pushing the stroller or playing at the park or in the backyard I am for the most part sedentary.  I keep trying every week but just can’t seem to develop any type of consistent routine!!  Yes, I could just zip on over to the gym each evening when the boys leave and I did for awhile…but I am just so darn wore out by the time they leave that all I want to do is sit in my recliner or sit at the sewing machine.  I don’t want to exercise!!! My get up and go has got up and went!!

I don’t like the way I feel with this 20 lb. gain!  I have symptoms of GERD again.  I’m back on BP meds.  I hurt when I awake in the morning as though I’ve been running a race all night, and I feel some symptoms of depression coming back!  I know what I need to do and have been half-heartedly doing it since last September!!  

Excuses:  First it was the holidays.  In January it was my birthday!  February it was Valentine’s Day that derailed my success.  In March I started taking care of a newborn! In April it was Easter!  Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  They are real incidents/events! But, they are still excuses!!  

The more I battle this, the more guilty I feel for not being able to get to where I need to be mentally or physically.  But, I just can’t embrace the lifestyle I once did! It’s not possible with two grandsons arriving between 7-7:30 in the morning and leaving between 4-5:30.  

ImageAnd so I’ve made a decision.  I’m gonna stop beating myself up over the 20 lb. gain! This pic was taken on Thanksgiving at my 165 weight.  I’m still there.  And the reason I believe I’m still there is because I haven’t completely thrown out what I’ve learned and accomplished regarding weight loss since 2006 when I joined WW.  I WILL GET BACK TO WHERE I NEED TO BE.  Just not right now.  I want to weigh 145 again and I will.  I like the way I feel and look at 145.  But, I have also recognized that taking care of babies and being as housebound as I am is not conducive to weight LOSS.  Yes, still an excuse.  I catch myself mindlessly eating what I fix for everyone else instead of taking the time to fix my “healthy” meal, like I used to.  I hear all the great messages that I used to give my WW members playing over and over in my head and I’m reminded of this gain everytime I try to get into some of the clothes I have in my closet.  

I’ve fought buying anything new, so determined to get back into them.  Well, for the time being that’s not working for me!  I’ve got to get past this lose, gain, lose, gain, lose gain – and JUST MAINTAIN, until my lifestyle changes and I’m no longer taking care of babies. Then, the focus can be on me.  Hubby loves me regardless of my size.  Now, I just need to love my 165 lb. self until I can really devote some time & effort to me and appreciate all the contributions I am making in my grandson’s lives.  I am still paying it forward – just not as a WW person but as a grandmother!

Thanks for letting me give myself a pep talk.  It’s just what the doctor ordered.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Quotes

Quotes.

When are you closest to God?

OMG! The person that got out of my bed this morning was not me! I don’t know who that person was, but whoever she was…she was cranky, miserable was hating her life!  Just saying…honestly.  Fortunately, it only lasted a short while.  This was at 6:30 am, before my two precious grandsons arrived.  I am normally a very positive and upbeat person – full of faith (and the Holy Ghost) I might add …but today was not starting out on a good note.  Within 20 minutes of arising and realizing my cranky state I was berating myself and beating myself up for feeling so horrible!!  All I wanted to do was cry!! Once my sweet hubby realized my state and showed a little tenderness…I was doing just that!!  Sitting next to him on the edge of the bed having a good cry!  He’s such a good man and always helps me to see the “error of my ways”…or in this case my “thoughts”.  He put his foot down when I called myself stupid.  

You see, we had enjoyed an awesome Easter Sunday with both morning and evening church services, dinner at Red Lobster with eldest daughter, her boyfriend and my grandson, Kash.  We are Apostolic.  Church for us is like a teenager going to see their favorite rock concert.  We love Jesus and believe in making a joyful noise!  There is nothing sedate about Pentecostal worship.  We came home at 9:30 lastnight, sweaty, tired and all sung and danced out! (I’m in the choir, and hubby is the sound man).

So, why in the world was I feeling the way I was feeling this morning?  How in the world can I be on top of the mountain in church and then be in the mully grubs this morning?  Am I a hypocrite?  Is what I feel in church and sometimes even at home (when I’m prayed up, and in the Word) real?  Or is it a figment of my imagination?  All these thoughts/questions were what manifested themselves into me thinking I was really being STUPID!

But, my sweet hubby reminded me of another “being” that is just as real as God and knows exactly the right time to show up!!  The devil, Satan, ie; the “Prince of Darkness”…would like nothing better than to pull me down into the PIT.  And he really doesn’t care a whole lot about me and will leave me alone most of the time….BUT, when I’m at the top of the mountain, praising & glorifying God he HATES IT!  That is when I am closest to God!  And Satan is one very mad dude!  He is not one bit happy about my joy and my love of my Savior.  Within minutes of this realization, my hubby and I were praying and rebuking the enemy from further attacks.  I was done beating myself up for not recognizing this spiritual attack for what it was.  With my chin up and a better attitude I greeted two precious grandsons who arrived within 30 min. of each other and we went on with our day.

Jackson laid down for his morning nap within 30 min. of arriving and Kash and I took a walk to the park/playground.  Walking & fresh air always helps my moods too!  We played for about an hour while Paw Paw tended to Jackson. When we got back home Paw Paw was feeding Jackson his bottle.  While Jackson was still up and we had Paw Paw’s help, Kash and I made the beds and vaccumed the whole house.  I always feel better when the house is tidied up too!

It was still Monday.   I’m sure there is something about Mondays..not just for working adults but babies as well.  In fact, I’m convinced that babies don’t like Mondays either.  Kash had not been here in almost two weeks.  He spent a week long visitation with his daddy, and when he arrived home to mommy last Tues evening he was violently ill with a stomach virus!!  Poor baby.  Mommy had to miss last Wed. and Thurs from work to take him to the doctor and nurse him back to health.  She had good Friday and weekend off.  Kash began feeling better Friday so I got to spend a few hours with him on Friday having a little Easter egg hunt in the back yard.  After being at daddy’s for a week and then being sick for several days, he wanted to be the center of my world today and didn’t want to tolerate a fussy infant (Jackson) stealing his Maw Maw’s attention.  ImageIm ‘getting wet in this shot.  Who’s idea was it to buy water pistols at the dollar store, anyway?

Jackson, on the other hand – just doesn’t like Mondays!! He’s no longer in his familiar surroundings.  He’s had the weekend with mommy and daddy, no siblings + their undivided attention and today Maw Maw and Paw Paw just weren’t adequate!  He never slept for more than 45 min. at a time…mostly “cat napping” and seemed to have caught Maw Maw’s early morning crankiness!! 

ImageThank God for teamwork!  Paw Paw did more than his fair share to help me with the boys today.  He also washed, dried and folded all the laundry.  We were both glad to see 5 pm roll around.  I know tomorrow will be a better day. After all, it’s Tuesday! LOL

How quickly time passes!

I really begin to feel my age when I realize that my 2nd born child turned 37 today!  OMG, do I feel old!!  Theresa was a C-section and my first daughter.  Here she is all grown up:  ImageShe has always been a beauty, even when she was little.  I have such fond memories of her birth, unlike my other two.  All three of my children were C-section, but Theresa’s birth was planned two weeks prior to my due date.  Before the delivery I was asked if I minded if nursing students watched the delivery from the observation window overhead.  I was also going to be numb, but fully conscious for the delivery.  Since, I barely remember the first week of my son’s life (from over sedation etc) I was very excited to see & hear my daughter come into the world and share it with the observing student nurses.  I wanted a girl so bad and didn’t know ahead of time what I was having (like they do nowadays). Theresa was my biggest baby, weighing in at a mere 7 lbs. 4 oz.  Watching the doctor pull her out of my body, and the loud sound of suction is as vivid today as it was 37 years ago.  Hearing her cry for the first time was amazing!  I was and still am so blessed to have this beautiful lady in my life!!

Theresa is the daughter that has blessed me with 5 grandchildren.  Her oldest, Christian (and one of four sons) will be graduating from high school in a few short weeks.  You have heard me speak of Ethan and Kash on this blog quite a bit.  That’s because I’ve had the opportunity to take care of them both while Theresa worked.  ImageThey love to play in the sink.  Theresa is their mother.  Ethan is now in school, so I don’t get to see him as often, but Kash and I are still best buds!  ImageHe’s smiling because the other day he discovered that he could reach the pedals on Ethan’s old bike.  Our goal this next week will be to teach him how to pedal it.  With 5 children, Theresa has got mothering/parenting down to a science!!  When I took her out to lunch today for her birthday she shared with me how she just doesn’t relate to young mothers who have one child and are always stressed! LOL  Having babies has been a breeze for her!  She was always more of a dare devil then her younger sister.  She gave me plenty of worrisome days!  One of her favorite sayings when she was little if there wasn’t enough going on was “Mom, I’m bored”.  OMG!! If I heard that once from her I’d heard it a thousand times!  I’ve often referred to her as my “material girl” because material gifts is her love language.  Since I’ve never been rich by no stretch of the imagination – showing her love that way was often a challenge.  ImageThat’s my girl, tho!  I love her to the moon and back!  She is so uniquely her own person in more ways than I can count!  She has added more than her share of gray hairs to this old head of mine, but it doesn’t change the love I have for her.  This picture was just taken a couple weeks ago at her sister’s house.  She finally had a chance to get away and see her sister’s new home and spend some much needed time away from work and children.  Her other two have given me much joy as well.  When they get older and get involved in school activities, unfortunately, I don’t get to see them as often, but Hannah, 16 and Preston 13 are still awesome kids!

ImageOn this day, Hannah and I had gone shopping and had pedicures.  It was just a little quality girl time.

ImagePreston, on the other hand, really likes hanging out at the water park and playing board games with Maw Maw.  He’s my game playing boy!

As much as I love my daughter and the grandchildren she has blessed me with she knows that I don’t want her to have anymore. When she comes by the house and holds my other grandson, Jackson, I fear she’s gonna get “baby fever”. But, it’s not for me to say and not in my control.  Regardless…I’m so happy to call her mine and so proud of how far she’s come in her 37 years.  One thing I can say for sure – as long as my Theresa is around there will never be a dull moment!!

Happy Birthday, Theresa! “We’ve come along way, baby!” Mom loves you!

Honest, but also exhausting & stressful week!!

I always enter every new endeavor I take on with a great deal of optimism, knowing I can tackle pretty much anything I set my mind to. That being said…entering into an agreement with my step-son, Josh that I would take care of his new little one full-time has proven to be a bigger challenge than I expected!  (That’s the HONEST part LOL!!)

Phew! I can’t say when the last time was that I was so happy to see Friday come!  Once again I have a greater appreciation for young mommies and all that they do when they have small children.  Although there is much controversy surrounding the debate for “stay at home” mommies versus those that work outside the home – I will leave that discussion for another blog.

What about stay at home GRAND mommies?  Since I began taking care of grandsons two years ago (first Ethan, who’s now in Kindergarten & baby brother, Kash who was 7 months old when I began)..the only “interruption” was having to tend to my bedfast MIL’s needs every 3 hours.  We had a pretty good system and the boys were very understanding.  Since last September though Kash has had me all to himself!  (Granny passed away, Ethan started kindergarten).  Kash and I are very close and have had lots of fun times!!

Now, after this first week of taking care of newest grandson, Jackson…Image Kash is asking, “who is this new little boy that has kidnapped my Maw Maw?”  They are cousins (is that right?) purely by marriage …Kash being my grandson by my oldest daughter, and Jackson being my grandson by my youngest step-son and they are both so precious!  But, OMG! what a week it has been!!

It’s all about them, but this blog is all about ME! I had no idea how exhausted or stressed I would be!  I was quite shocked at my stress level.  I don’t “do” stress anymore.  I handle stress in most cases quite well.  I was thankful this week for a semi-retired Paw Paw!!

ImageIsn’t that the cutest shot you have ever seen?  Paw Paw was a redhead (he says “Strawberry Blonde”) growing up.  Jackson is carrying that gene forward!  I would also add that Paw Paw didn’t want me to take this picture, but I couldn’t resist.  

Demands on my time cause me stress!  I had two little ones wanting all my time this week.  Kash just didn’t understand why Jackson couldn’t go play in the backyard with us!!  He was introduced to “Baby Jackson” (as he calls him) just this week!!  I know we as a “little family” will get acclimated and things will be come less stressful and more routine.  It is just going to take some time.  But, I am struggling with a lot of guilt when I can’t take Kash to the playground at the park, because Paw Paw isn’t home to help me with Jackson.  (We might (weather permitting) get the double stroller out next week.)  Ever true to form, Kash still wants to be my helper, by holding Jackson, feeding him, loving on him etc;

ImageSo yesterday I began to engage my brain.  I had to put the numbers to it! I was trying to figure out why I was so stressed!!?? Then, I remembered feeling very overwhelmed and stressed when I brought my youngest daughter home from the hospital (my third child).  She and her sister were almost exactly the same age apart as Kash and Jackson.  Their older brother (my first born) was 10.  I was feeling the same way.  I was feeling like I was neglecting one for the needs of the other.  And I was feeling like I just didn’t have enough energy to give 100% to both!  I was 28 yrs. old back then – and now I’m 63!! Well, no wonder!!  Now I know why we have our children when we are young!

Kash and I still managed to make it to the park one day this week…ImageHe’s such a big boy! But, we drove rather than walk to the playground while Paw Paw stayed home with Jackson to try and beat the rain that was threatening us.  We’ve also noticed maybe a little bit of regression in Kash since Jackson’s arrival.  He had a few “accidents” this week and he preferred a diaper over “big boy” panties.  That was a bit frustrating to say the least.  

Long story – short, some of you may remember that last June I began a “Saturday social” once a month where some of my sisters and I get together here at my home to quilt etc;  Well, today was supposed to be that day.  Unfortunately, I had to cancel for the very first time.  I was just too wore out!  We also had a death in the family and therefore in addition to Easter Choir practice today, we have a viewing of a cousin to go to.  

If you read my last blog –  you will recall me telling you a little about little “business”.  Well, I also put the numbers to what I told you previously – I’ve sold 6 baby quilts since the first of the year and 82 cord covers.ImageIf you need some, just let me know.  12 ft cotton cord covers sell for just $6.50 plus $3.00 shipping.  You choose color.

Have a great weekend, friends!

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