Saturday, January 31, 2015

Soccer Saturday 1/31

Another weekend of great soccer... and frustrating, as usual.

We started the morning with two 9am games again. Kadie had her first game and it started late thanks to a late referee team. We thought Lexi was going to have to ref for us, much to her dismay, but she lucked out. I almost wish she would have because the lack of calls was astounding. Then we were told that the ref has the power to decide what he will call and what he won't. So, it's ok if the players are offside and it's ok if they lift their foot on a throw-in, oh, and the goalie MUST punt the ball, she can't throw it. We got that one overturned but the rest of the game was full of uncalled penalties and that kind of inconsistency only teaches the girls one thing... "You don't have to follow the rules." Despite that, Kadie played a great game. She started the 2nd quarter at defense but played more of a midfield role. The opposing team only scored once that quarter making the score 3-0. The third quarter she played goalie and no one scored on her. The fourth quarter she finally was able to play forward but didn't get a chance to score. They ended up losing 3-0, but for their first game they played great. And the score didn't change after halftime, that's always a plus! That means they learned from their mistakes in the first quarter. Can't wait to see them play again next weekend... and here's hoping I don't lose my shit on an incompetent referee. Ok, ok, that's not fair. They are only human. But is it too much to ask for a little consistency? I feel like we send the wrong message to young players when each week there are different "rules." Maybe my husband should use his degree to start a new, and better, organization. HA! Wishful thinking LoL

Anyway, Jacob's game was also at 9am. From what I heard, since I missed it, they played great. They bunched up a bit but they kept the score close the whole game. Jacob told me he "megged" the goalie. Apparently that means he shot on goal and it went through the goalie's legs. Kids and their lingo, jeez. They ended up losing 4-3 but with only one practice, I think the boys have a lot of potential.

We had ref duty at 12pm and it went well. I think Lexi could have made some better calls, but she was the center ref and what she says goes. Only once did I hear a parent complain about one of the calls I made. It was a very clean game and most calls were very clear.

Following our ref duty we had Adam's game. Team Sub Zero ended up being a neon green color, not the blue they were told they would be. So we are Green Sub Zero LOL The boys played so well together. For being under 10 years old, they don't bunch up as much as some 12 and 14 year olds. Adam played goalie and was scored on twice. Then he played forward for the remainder of the game. He scored twice... once was while he was offside so it didn't count. He made sure to pay attention after that. He put up a good fight but seemed to be getting really tired. It was hot out there today and not enough wind to cool it down. The humidity was overpowering, as well. But, the boys didn't give up and Sub Zero Wins, 5-3! I could complain about the referees in this game too, but in case you haven't caught on, I'm not impressed with most of the refs. In fact, there are very few that I actually like. Again, I know thye are only human and they do make mistakes... it's just things like "the kick off has to leave the circle" and "the goalie can't throw the ball" kind of crap that doesn't even make sense. Where do they come up with this stuff? Keep it up and no one will learn anything except go out there and kick a ball into that net thingy... but then again, they already knew that part.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Too Much to Handle

I am frustrated, stressed, anxious, and just plain overwhelmed. There is so much that I need to do and it feels like something new is added to my to-do list every day and with that new thing comes some new problem.

Today it is paying the bills. My computer is being stupid so here I sit typing a blog instead of getting the bills paid. Don't worry, it will get done, I am just taking a mental health break because if I don't, I just may have a break down.

Yesterday I was being lazy and catching up on my Tivo recordings when a bird flew into my house. It took an hour to get the stupid pigeon from the window ledge in my great room and out the door but not before knocking a light fixture over and and having it shattered to pieces at my feet.

Last week I tried filing our taxes but couldn't e-file due to my social security number coming back as a duplicate. After spending most of Monday morning on the phone with the IRS I was told I would have to paper file. They think the person that filed last year using my social security number didn't do so on purpose and it was just a typing error. However, that typing error is causing me problems and it is extremely annoying. I pulled my credit report to make sure there were no issues there and found a name and address I did not recognize. I then spent some more time on the phone with Experian getting that taken off my credit report. After that, I called Dish Network to see if this person had opened an account with them (there was a Dish account listed on my credit report, too) but they had no record of her or my social security number but Experian took the Dish account off my report, as well.

Last month I was dealing with mice in my car and garage. I take that back, they are more like rats, not mice. We first noticed them in November when my husband swore a mouse jumped on him while driving the van and then after putting a trap in my car we caught one that night. We left for Ohio and didn't notice any when we came back until last weekend when there was another one caught in a trap. It was huge. Not New York huge but big enough. We also found out John's name and social security number were compromised and we are still dealing with that.

A couple months before that we were dealing with roaches. It's not uncommon for Hawaii but extremely disgusting none-the-less. Terminix came out and sprayed and so far we have been good since then. Now we are just dealing with the ridiculous amount of flies that like to fly in whenever the door is open and the typical fly strips just don't work here like they did in Washington.

And a couple of months before that we found out my husband was red flagged for elimination from the Army. He had to decide if he was going to resign, or if he was going to fight the elimination. We decided that resigning wasn't the way to go, as he wouldn't get any separation pay so we decided we would let the Army decide whether they would keep him or not. We just found out recently that if the Army decides to eliminate him he still won't get any separation pay. We thought getting out of the Army was the best option for our family, but now we don't know. He is going to have to go in front of the board and plead his case and we will see what the outcome is. Not knowing when that will happen is the worst feeling. It makes all this other stuff feel insignificant.

On top of dealing with all of this, I still have to play mom and wife and teacher on a daily basis. I started homeschooling Adam a few months back and while he is doing well, it just takes a lot of my time and energy. I never get a break. Now soccer has started back up so my days feel shorter and shorter. Nothing seems to ever get done and my stress level goes through the roof during soccer season. As much as I love watching my kids play, the organization (or lack thereof) of the league makes it almost unbearable.

I hope that one of these days I look back on these times and forget the frustration. I hope that I don't remember being overwhelmed and stressed out. I hope that looking back will be filled with thoughts of happy kids and all I can do is laugh about the hurdles I seemed to face on a daily basis. In the end, it won't be about the dirty dishes in the sink, the stack of unfolded clean laundry, and the endless drama. It will be about how my kids came out of this life. And I hope they come out of it on top because right now, I feel like all I do is stress them out and make their lives miserable while I am dealing with the every day crap that a mom has to deal with.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thrive Day 5

Yesterday was day 5 of the Thrive experience.

I started my day with two Thrive capsules when I woke up. I followed that up with half of the Thrive Premium Lifestyle mix. I then removed my DFT patch but did not apply a new one. I was told there were people that didn't do that patches so I opted to go without it for the day.

I spent the remainder of the day in a foul mood. The kids were getting on my nerves, the house was a mess, and I just felt completely overwhelmed with everything, much like the previous day.

My diet for the day was low on calories again. I mixed my Thrive powder with iced coffee, which I have heard is counterproductive due to the synthetic caffeine in coffee. Frankly, I don't buy that. Nothing I drink at home specifically lists caffeine as an ingredient... if it did, that would indicate it is a synthetic caffeine but since it does not, I can only assume that any caffeine in my coffee is naturally occuring. I would also give up Thrive before I would give up coffee, if I am being honest.

Breakfast was my coffee and Thrive mix and a Triple Venti Skinny Caramel Macchiato. Not the best breakfast but after spending the morning cleaning, I just didn't take the time to stop and eat. I wasn't even really hungry which is a side effect of the Thrive. For lunch I had some salami slices, provolone cheese, a few Ritz crackers, and 3oz of baby carrots. Again, I wasn't very hungry and cleaning kept me busy. I then had a rather large snack. I made myself a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. It was the only thing that really sounded good. I also had a malasada (a portuguese donut) in the afternoon. It was the first sugary thing I had eaten in a week and I really only ate it because my friend brought them over for the kids LOL I finally ate dinner around 730pm. I had a spinach salad with leftover chicken and some red wine vinaigrette dressing.

I didn't do any exercising again yesterday. Oddly, exercising doesn't lower my stress level like it does for so many other people. I was just too stressed, and feeling too down to get up and do anything other than the cleaning I did. I am sure all the cleaning burned some calories but I didn't log it on MyFitnessPal, but probably could have.

Last night was the first night I didn't sleep well since beginning the Thrive experience. I mean, I slept okay but I do remember dreaming all night. Weird dreams, as usual, and I remember being worried in one part. John says he tossed and turned all night and forgot to change his alarm to 5 instead of 4 but it didn't seem to bother me any.

So far today I am feeling kinda blah still. My head kind of feels fuzzy and I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. I did get up, though, and took my pills, drank my Thrive shake, put on a DFT patch, and did some more cleaning. I still haven't eaten but I'm just not that hungry. I know I need to eat something so I suppose I better figure that out pretty quick before brunch turns into lunch turning into snack turning into dinner and then I realize I haven't eaten today and that's no good.

Conclusion: Stick to the 3 step process. Give it a chance to work. Don't forget to eat. Get some exercise if you are going to eat a donut while dieting!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Soccer Saturday 1/24

I know it is a couple of days late but with the amount of stress I have been under with the new season already, I let myself get behind. Usually I post about soccer on Facebook but since my blog is back up and running I figured why not share here.

We started our Saturday with referee duty. John was going to center ref and Lexi was a line ref. She was not happy with me when I told her she would need to help her dad ref again this season. In fact, as they were leaving I could hear the argument her and her dad were having in the Jeep. Come to find out, John thought she was going to center ref but I promised her she only had to line ref. Luckily, this season, we have some parent volunteers so we aren't struggling to find referees at the last minute again. John said it was an easy game to ref but he did have a couple issues. One of the players kept walking off the field in the middle of the game and a parent got pretty heated with him when he made a call for handling. No one made him cry though, he's a big boy and handled it well. LOL

Following our referee assignment we had two 1030 games. Adam's u10 game was at field 2 and Jacob's u12 game was at field 6. I stayed with Adam and as soon as the game began I received a call from John asking me if I could track down the box with the game cards. He was told it would be at field 10. I hauled as across the parking lot and across two fields and could not find the box or anyone that knew anything about the game cards. I called him back and told him he was going to have to deal with it since I had already missed the whole first quarter of Adam's game.

Adam started out playing goalie, and from what I heard he made some stops and no one scored on him! He played defense the second quarter when the ref told us he wasnt allowed to goalkeep for more than one quarter (which I never heard last season AS A COACH but apparently it's a rule... do you sense a trend in no one having a clue around here?!). I kept having to remind him he was on defense because he likes to play the whole field. The last two quarters he played in the front... AND HE SCORED! He may be one of the smallest kids on the field but he is fast... and good! He definitely takes after his dad, in more than just looks. His team ended up winning 5-0!

I made it over to Jacob's game for the last quarter. They were down 5-4. Jacob was sitting out. He played goalie the first quarter, then played up the next two quarters. I'm not exactly sure what his position was but I heard he earned himself a hat trick. That means of the 4 goals scored, he made three of them! Definite proud parenting moment! He was already stripped out of his cleats, socks, and shinguards when I came over and he informed me his cleats were too small. Thankfully Lexi has two pairs and one is a men's size 7 so those should be good for Jacob to wear this season so I don't have to run out and buy him a new pair. Anyway, from what I saw in the game, the boys played great. They hadn't even had a single practice and only lost by 2. Oh, the other team scored while I was there. It was this super fast midget, er dwarf, er what is the proper term here? He had an amazing leg on him, too! I was impressed! Not by the fact he was a midget, or dwarf, or little person, but for a u12 player he had a very strong leg on him.

So, all in all, it was a pretty good Saturday of Soccer despite the few hiccups at the beginning of the day. This coming weekend we have three games. Two at 9am followed by ref duty at 1030, ref duty at 12, and the last game at 130pm. Now to decide if we stay out there all day to help ref or if we leave it up to other volunteers and come home in between.

Come back next Saturday for a new edition of Soccer Saturday and see how it plays out!

Thrive Day 4

I woke up this morning with a headache again. No idea what is going on with that but it's very irritating. Usually if I wake up with a headache it's because I slept like crap but I've actually been sleeping rather well, at least it feels like I am. I'm not tossing and turning like usual and I'm not remembering my dreams either, which isn't typical for me.

The headache is probably a side effect of Aunt Flo's horrendous visit but the dull pain faded quickly after I took my Thrive capsules this morning. I took two of the women's pills again followed by a homemade mocha. Can I just say how much I love my Kuerig! I am so glad my husband bought it for me for Christmas after wanting one for so long. It is so convenient... but I digress.

I didn't do my Thrive shake this morning because A. I was down to the last gallon of milk and it was sitting at about 1/8th. With 5 kids, that just isn't enough milk. B. I also was on my last container of yogurt and out of orange juice and didn't feel like squeezing a whole orange for a measily 2 ounces of juice. So I stuck with my coffee with a little milk, because that's how I like it and went without the shake. 

I changed my DFT patch around 10am and placed a new one on my right thigh. The sticky residue left on my arm was a pain in the ass to get off even with a lot of scrubbing. That's a little irritating and not a major turn off but no one wants to walk around with a square sticky spot on their arm in Hawaii.

I only drank about 6 cups of water today and I didn't do any exercise but Idid stick to a minimal diet. Nothing has sounded good today so up until now all I have eaten is a container of Greek yogurt, 3oz of raw baby carrots, 3 oz of baked chicken and 2oz of baked potato with no skin (leftovers from last night). 

This evening has been hectic and stressful. I was on the go from 345pm til 645pm. Soccer season started back up last week and with 5 kids playing I am shuttling kids back and forth between practices. I dropped Sara off at 4 and did some math work with Adam while we were waiting to take Kadie to her practice. Dropped Kadie off at her practice at 5 and made a stop in the Starbucks drive thru for a much needed Triple Venti Skinny Caramel Macchiato. Then a quick run through Safeway for milk, bread, yogurt, and salsa. Yes, that is all I got. Shocker. And it cost me over $40 for 2 gallons of moo juice, 4 loaves of sandwich slices, 8 individual tubs of bacteria fermented milk, and a jar of tomato mush. Don't you just love the idea of living in paradise?! Anyway, after that I get a text from Jacob asking if I am picking them up from soccer practice at the school so I head over there. Jacob decided he was just going to walk home and Lexi, being the lazy one, opted for a ride. I dropped her and the groceries at home and then rushed backed to Sara's practice that was originally supposed to end at 6 but they were planning on 530 and it was already 527. I got there about 538 and they weren't done. They finished at 6... grr. Left from there and went back to get Kadie at her practice. Found out they may have games in other cities which frustrates me but what can you do? Finally get back home so the kids can eat dinner and shower before bed. I walk in the kitchen and my youngest has spilled homemade tomato soup all over the stove. She tried cleaning it up but not very well. The kids were grating on my nerves so I came outside with my tablet and here I sit typing this blog listening to two lizards fight over who's territory is the porch. 

I still have not eaten dinner but I think I am going to heat up a bowl of that delicious tomato soup.. or I could just sop up the mess from the stove with a slice of that processed wheat I bought from the store. Regardless, I better decide quick because 8pm is sneaking up on me and that's my food cutoff. 

Conclusion: Day 4 sucked. A combination of my monthly friend, skipping the Thrive shake, not eating much today, and running around all evening like a chicken with my head cut off, I am sure. Moral of the story... don't skip the shake, eat more food, and for the love of all things holy, DO NOT try to go to the store for a few essentials when you only have 30 minutes and two children in tow.

Movie Review Monday

It's back folks! Are you as excited as I am? Unlikely LoL

This month has already seen a lot of new movie watching. From Earth to Echo & Dolphin Tale 2 watched by the kids, to The Interview & American Sniper by the husband, and to me seeing The Gambler in theaters and popping in my newest disaster movie, Into the Storm, into the BluRay player.

I'm hoping I can get a review from each of the family members on the movies we have seen this month but we will see how that plays out. You'll just have to keep reading to see if I accomplished that :)

Now onto my reviews!

At the beginning of the month I made plans to see a movie with my mom and sister. We werent sure what we wanted to see but ended up settling on The Gambler. With Mark Wahlberg it couldn't be too bad, right? Eh, I wouldn't say it was a great movie by any means but it wasn't completely terrible either. Mark Wahlberg was great. He really played his character well. He WAS the gambler in the movie. To my husband's disappointment, he did not sing The Gambler at any point in the movie. The storyline became quite predictable throughout the movie but most movies these days seem to go that way. That could be due to the fact that we watch A LOT of movies! Anyway, there were some intense scenes for the action fans, some dramatic seems for anyone who prefers that type of movie, and even a few love scenes for the romantics in the group. If I am not mistaken there was a touch of comedy too. It did have a bit of something for everyone which makes it a decent movie off the bat, at least in my mind. The only real complaint I had with the movie was the length. At an hour and 51 minutes it really dragged on at some points. The movie would have been fine with a good twenty minutes cut out. There were a few useless scenes that lasted a good five minutes that's purpose was clearly to make the movie longer. Don't get me wrong, I hate paying for an hour and a half movie at $8 a person plus all that money you spend on popcorn and soda, but this movie just didn't need these unneccesary scenes. I think the story would have flowed better without them and kept our attention much more than it did. All in all, a good movie. I would likely watch it again willingly, and maybe even buy it when it comes out on BluRay. If you like Mark Wahlberg and these kinds of movies I would suggest waiting for the Redbox release before sinking any real money into it.

Yesterday I watched Into the Storm and A Walk Among the Tombstones. I love disaster movies, they are my favorite. And Liam Neeson is such a badass, I can't help but watching anything with him in it.

Into the Storm wasn't anything like Twister, except it had tornados LoL It was actually a very good movie though. You've got your tornado chasers, your innocent bystanders, and a little redneck comic relief. The movie is rated PG-13 so it's not bloody like an R rated movie would be. I can't even remember if they said any swear words, but I know I did quite often while watching it. It was a very intense movie. You have got to love modern day technology for pulling something off that intense. Twister cannot compare in graphics but it will always be my favorite tornado movie anyway. There was a little Twister reference... my guess is it was intention but I actually missed it. My oldest son pointed it out after the fact and I must have been looking down for a second. I was literally on the edge of my seat for the majority of the movie and my hands were over my mouth for most of the intense scenes. I am so glad I asked for this movie for Christmas without even having watched it once. It will be a definite go-to disaster movie. If you like these kinds of movies, it is a definite recommendation from me. Of course, I almost always recommend seeing a movie for yourself no matter how bad or good the review because everyone is different.

I rented Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones from Redbox yesterday without having any idea what it was actually about. I just really like Liam Neeson so I knew I had to see it, regardless. When the previews came on they showed the trailer for Ouija and I was getting nervous wondering if this movie would be a scary one. Turns out it was just a suspenseful thriller, which I like almost as much as disaster movies and Liam Neeson... so win-win! Liam Neeson plays a retired detective gone private investigator hired to find the people that murdered a drug kingpin's wife. It was based on a book and with as good as the movie was, I imagine the book is even better (since they usually are). There isn't much I can say about the movie without giving too much away but the action was intense, the plot wasn't very predictable (a couple parts were), and it is very bloody. It held my attention well and I will be adding this movie to our to-buy list, mostly because Liam Neeson is such a badass. He plays the badass so well that I think I would actually be scared to meet him in real life None the less, how awesome would it be to actually meet him? Or maybe just have him call me with his serious, deep, threatening voice and say something like, "I will find you." LOL I'm nuts, I know. Anyway, great and intense movie. If you like action, suspense, thrillers, and Liam Neeson then this is a definite must! Go rent it, now! :)

Seems yesterday was a day for intense movies. My husband went to see American Sniper yesterday afternoon and while I had hoped he would personally review it for you all, I just don't think he wants to relive it. He has been wanting to see it and yesterday he decided to go by himself. I don't think that was the best idea, but it is what it is. He said he did not expect the movie to feel so real. Even though it is based on true events and he has seen other true war movies, he hasn't seen many (if any) in theater since he has been deployed. He said the theater was as silent as everyone said it would be and at parts he thought he would have to leave because that's how much it bothered him. At one point he said he could even smell the sewage in the streets. The movie really rattled him and he shook the whole way home, stalling out his Jeep twice. When he walked in the door he was pale as a ghost and still shaking. I do not recommend going to the theater to see this movie if you have been deployed to a war zone or suffer even mildly from PTSD. If you do go, do not go alone and do not drive home immediately following. Take your time and gather yourself, talk to your friends outside of the theater or call a buddy. With this kind of movie hitting so close to home for our troops and their families, I would suggest waiting for the movie to be released on DVD/BluRay before watching it. My heart goes out to anyone that has had to endure the trauma associated with the war in the Middle East. Some gave all and their families are in our prayers... and the rest are dealing with those traumatic experiences every time they close their eyes, hear fireworks in the distance, or relive their days in combat when seeing these true stories on the big screen.

So as to not end on such a sad tone, I wanted to touch on the other movies we have seen. Well, the kids anyway. Earth to Echo looked like a good movie. I only caught bits and pieces of it but my kids seemed to like it. Dolphin Tale 2 we rented from RedBox and it was as good as the first one. With a little drama, lots of feel goods, and a good bit of humor as any good real life movie should have. And who doesn't love a feel good animal movie!

Look for more movie reviews next week! I still have a few BluRays with plastic still on them that I hope to watch soon, like The Purge and The Purge Anarchy. Also, look for a review on Away & Back, the Hallmark movie written by an online mommy friend and her husband. They also wrote Hysteria, a movie about the invention of the first vibrator. Don't worry though, the Hallmark movie is kid friendly ;) Go ahead, look her up on IMDB! Jonah Lisa Dyer... how cool that I kinda personally know someone on IMDB! LoL She's a great writer, an awesome mom, and a down to earth woman. When you get a chance, check out Hysteria and check your local listings for Away & Back!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 3 of Thriving It

I woke up with a slight headache this morning but promptly took my Thrive capsules for women. I went back to two today thinking maybe my headache last night had to do with the low amount of caffeine I had yesterday. I then made myself a homemade mocha with a coffee k-cup and a packet of Swiss miss hot chocolate plus 1/4 cup of milk. Combined, they have less calories than the cafe mocha packets I have from Starbucks. I was feeling a bit nauseas again which could be due to the presence of Aunt Flo this week. 

If I'm being honest, she's been nagging me since Tuesday off and on. Not quite sure what the deal with that is. I've never had it come and go like this and I'm wondering if it has to do with me dieting or the Thrive screwing with my system or a combination of the two. I did have some reproductive issues within the last couple of years and I am hoping that is unrelated to the current weirdness I've been experiencing. 

About 30 minutes after taking the Thrive Lifestyle Capsules I made my Thrive shake. Ice, 2oz fresh squeezed orange juice, 5.3oz Greek yogurt (strawberry banana flavored), and half of the premium lifestyle mix blended together in a speed blender for a total of 164 calories. It's like having a milkshake for breakfast... Yum! The grainy feeling is still there but it's manageable. I imagine the only people who might have a problem with it is those that do not deal with textures well. There are certain things I can't eat due to texture issues but mostly that's just mushy stuff. I'm fine with the shake, though.

Around 10am I removed my Thrive DFT patch from yesterday and placed a new patch on my right shoulder. It was a bit itchy for a bit but it didn't last long. Then I headed to Starbucks with my younger girls this morning for a nice 4 mile workout. Our pace was really good for me walking with two little girls and I ended up burning almost 400 calories. I stuck to water from Starbucks while they opted for delicious, fatty frappuccinos. 

In the afternoon we went to the park and played with their new hula hoops. I managed 10 minutes with my middle daughter's hoop and could have went longer but she was itching to get it back. I snuck in some arm hangs, 10 elevated push ups and 10 reverse pull ups too for added measure. The hula hooping alone burned 70 calories. If I could manage some arm weights while doing it it would make for a great workout. Wonder if I could do a full 30 minute workout? Guess I will be checking out Pinterest and YouTube for ideas ;) 

This evening I noticed my appetite has been slightly less today than it has been all week. I was chalking it up to Aunt Flo's visit all week and figure that's why I've felt so hungry. Even still, I have avoided sweets and stuck to natural sugars in fruit and yogurt to hold me over. I am up to 955 calories for the day without having dinner yet but I don't plan on going over calories. Hubby is cooking and usually that means delicious, Pinterest found, football watching style dishes. Seems he had me in mind when he found tonight's recipe. 

Dinner is planned as a one dish meal. Chicken breast, fresh green beans, and diced potatoes with some Italian seasoning and butter. I'll keep my portion sizes small and try to not eat too many potatoes... I love potatoes though! Lol 

I've managed only 6 cups of water so far today at 6:20pm and I am hoping to get through another 4 cups by the end of the night. Aside from the hard cider I drank last night, I have drank nothing but water all week. And aside from having to pee all the time, it's been great. I haven't even wanted anything else to drink. Ok, I lied. I also had Starbucks and home-brewed coffee a few times but I don't count those ;)

I will say that my stress level seems a bit lower and my energy hasn't been this great in forever. Probably since the first kid popped out lol There hasn't been really any cravings, except for the nicotine habit I started two+ years ago but I am hoping Thrive will help with that too. 

Conclusion Day 3: The site of the patch gets itchy at times. My cravings have been diminished to pretty much non-existent. My energy level has increased a bit {read as: not feeling like I need a nap at 3pm every day}. And I don't feel quite as stressed as usual. Is that the Thrive Lifestyle? Guess we will see what day 4 has in store. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thrive Day 2

Last night I ended up having a spinach salad with egg on top and a little too much red wine vinaigrette (I think the wine part got to me lol). For a snack I had 1/4 cup of refried beans with a tbsp of salsa on top. Surprising it is one of my go to foods. Who knew they were so good for you? 

I ended up running/walking over 4 miles last night while at my son's soccer practice. It was tougher than I anticipated since I was running on dirt instead of solid ground. I did it though, and it was my longest consecutive distance all week. 

My water intake did not get up to 12 cups like I had hoped. I only drank 8 cups yesterday. Being busy shouldn't be an excuse but I guess that's why I didn't drink as much water compared to the rest of the week.

Now onto Day 2 of this little experiment. I woke up with a slight headache, not quite sure where that came from. I went to bed feeling fine and slept well, too. I got up and weighed myself, like I do every morning, and I was at 140.something. I was kind of shocked that I dropped 3lbs since yesterday but chocked it up to the low calories from yesterday (I didn't even hit 1000) and the almost 400 calories I burned working out. I then re-weighed myself because I forgot what the exact number was and the second time I weighed in at 141.2. I'll still take it. 

After speaking to my friend yesterday, I decided to only take one of the Thrive tablets upon waking up. The instructions on the packet say to take 1-2 tablets and I took 2 yesterday and felt a bit dizzy. Maybe the caffeine was a little too much for me, I don't know. Today, I stuck to the one pill. I took a men's pill, instead of the women's. It is said to be stronger but the ingredients are exactly the same. The only difference is the order of ingredients in the proprietary blend and the women's contains 1mg more (527mg compared to 526mg in the men's proprietary blend). The blend contains things like caffeine, white tea extract, and kelp. I also noticed at the bottom it states that it contains shellfish. I do not personally have a shellfish allergy (or any allergy), but I did not notice that information yesterday. It was in the typical spot for placing allergens, though. 

I got distracted getting kids ready for soccer and didn't make my shake for an hour after I took my pill. I am supposed to make it 20-40 minutes after... Oops. I couldn't find a piece for my speed blender so I went with 10oz of milk, half a pack of the powder (as recommended by my friend), and roughly a tbsp of chocolate syrup. I was hoping to get some sugar free syrup but just hadn't gotten any yet so full sugar had to do.  It's not too bad in the milk, but it's also still pretty grainy even with having only used a half a packet. I started feeling a bit nauseated after finishing my shake but that didn't last long. 

Before heading out for soccer games I changed my Thrive DFT patch. I placed it on my thigh this time instead of my upper arm. It only bothered me a couple of times when I was a bit itchy in that area. Not sure if that was from the patch or just a coincidence. It didn't bother me the rest of the day. 

I kept up with my diet plan throughout the day. I drank my water (actually, I didn't drink that much today... Just over 4 cups so far at 850pm). I did stop into Panda Express but I stuck to a mostly veggie dish and only a small amount. I skipped Dairy Queen even though I wanted it lol 

I came back home and did a round of songs on Just Dance with the girls. Played 10 songs for a total of 200 calories burned. It was the only workout I did today (unless you count walking all over the soccer field this morning). And up until this evening I was really paying attention to what I was eating and drinking but I dedicated dinner as a cheat meal.

We had friends over for a very late Christmas. They brought delicious sweet rolls (which of course needed butter because butter makes everything better... Or is that chocolate... Or wine? I don't remember lol). We had an amazing homemade tomato soup for dinner but that was also low on calories, so that's a plus. 

To round out the night, I watched the girls play Just Dance (joining in for a couple songs) and drank a hard cider. The cider actually made me feel a bit light headed and gave me a headache about halfway through. Could just be that it's past my bedtime since I've been hitting the hay pretty early all week. 

Conclusion: Day 2 didn't make me dizzy like day 1 did. I did not notice a difference in my appetite. I did notice that of all the days this week, this one I feel the worst. Not in a really bad way... Just in a headache and tired way. I also dropped almost 3lbs since yesterday. Could be the Thrive system, or the fact I burned 400 calories yesterday and only consumed just under 1000 for the day. 

Come back tomorrow to see how day 3 goes! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Thrive Lifestyle

Thrive day 1

A friend had mentioned how much she loved Thrive and suggested that I give it a try. She sent me enough for 4 days (LeVel recommends an 8 week course for best results). 

I received my samples yesterday and I began with the three step regime today. 

First thing this morning I woke up and took two of the Thrive for Women premium lifestyle capsules. This capsule is clearly marked as a dietary supplement and contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals. It does contain folic acid which I know has been getting some bad media attention recently and it also contains a few ingredients that I cannot pronounce but most of the ingredients appear to be natural, as their company boasts. The capsule also contains caffeine and suggests only taking one pill on an empty stomach if you are sensitive to caffeine. I am not, but within 10 minutes of taking the pill I was feeling slightly light headed. This could very well be a coincidence but in the name of full disclosure, that was my experience with the pills.

Thirty minutes later I made a shake with the Thrive Premium Lifestyle mix. This is essentially a protein powder. It packs 15g of protein in one serving. The packaging highlights it's antioxidant and extract blend, along with being gluten free. There are also 5g of fiber in this powder mix and more caffeine. The directions say to mix one packet with 8-10oz of milk or water, or you may blend it with fruit and ice for a smoothie. I chose the smoothie route. Since Thrive promotes combing their products with a balanced diet, proper water intake, and regular exercise I chose to make a yogurt smoothie. I combined half a cup of ice with the juice of an orange (yes, I squeezed it myself since I was out of orange juice), half a banana, and a Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt (Strawberry Banana) and then blended until the ice was gone. This smoothie breakfast comes out to 228 calories, packs protein, vitamin C, and probiotics, along with a long list of other vitamins and minerals. It seems like a nice well rounded smoothie. The downside, it feels a bit grainy. The shake mix is 1.2oz and even mixed with all that other stuff it still feels coarse going down. About halfway through my smoothie I started feeling a bit shaky. Probably from all the caffeine so early in the morning since I am used to regular coffee or espresso drinks from Starbucks. 

After my smoothie I was supposed to put on the Thrive DFT patch but I kinda forgot about it because I was on the phone with the IRS all morning. I finally remembered around 1130am and applied it then. The patch is applied to the bicep, shoulder, or forearm and left in place for a max of 24 hours. It contains ingredients that help with weight management, mental clarity, and appetite control. It has an all natural time release to help with those things throughout the entire day. It is now 330pm and I haven't noticed it doing much but sticking to my arm. 

The Thrive system is 3 steps and meant to be used daily. It is not meant to be used alone but in conjunction with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and lots of water. We should all be doing those things already and the Thrive system is meant to compliment what you are already doing. 

I have not done any exercise today (remember me being on the phone with the IRS... That shit will drain the life out of anyone), but I have been watching what I eat like I have been doing all week. Lunch was a skinny caramel macchiato from Starbucks and a spinach salad with a microwaved fried egg cut up on top and drizzled with red wine vinaigrette dressing. For snack I had some banana chips. 

I have no idea what dinner will consist of or what my next snack will be but I am pretty hungry. My water intake has been low too but I hope to drink at least two more big bottles (another 64oz) before the day is over. 

Conclusion for day 1: the appetite does seem lowered and my energy level seems to be about the same. Tomorrow is a new day, so look for my day 2 review tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Water, Water, and More Water

After having started my diet on Monday, I have been keeping track of my water intake. I was never very good at drinking water, it's just not my thing. Now, though, I need to drink it... a lot. It's so important, especially here in Hawaii where the sun can be quite brutal, even on a not so hot day.

I was curious as to how much water I should actually be drinking so I did a quick Google search to find out. I love GOOGLE! It didn't take long to find a formula for figuring out just how much water any given person should be consuming on a daily basis.

The calculation goes like this: take your weight (mine: 144), multiply by 2/3 (or 0.67), and add 12oz for every 30 minutes of exercise or activity you have done (or will be doing). According to this, my water goal should be 132oz! Holy, crap! I'm pretty sure I would float.

Actually, I am pretty sure I am already starting to float away. On Tuesday, after only drinking roughly 48oz of water I had already peed 6 times. Some of those times did not turn out so pretty. And by "not so pretty" I mean I had pee dribbling down my leg... not once, TWICE! I'd like to say I am embarrassed by this but A. I was at home when it happened, and B. I've given birth six times... so yeah, it is what it is.

The first time it happened I was walking home from Starbucks (see?! I even get my coffee when I am working out), and realized I had to pee. We were coming up to the house and I made a mad dash for the door. One problem, my youngest son also had to pee and he made it to the downstairs bathroom before I could which meant I had to run upstairs to the master bathroom. Needless to say, I didn't quite make it. Off came my jeans and on went the yoga shorts.

The second time it happened we had just finished playing Just Dance 2014. I had danced to 10 songs, totally almost 45 minutes of cardio activity, and I needed a drink of water. I tipped back my Hydroflask (best invention ever!) and no sooner did the water hit my lips that my bladder decided it was ready to burst. Again, the downstairs bathroom was occupied so I flew up the stairs only to AGAIN not quite make it. Off with the yoga shorts and on with the running shorts.

I continued to down my water throughout the day despite my bladder continuously yelling at me. I made sure to stop whatever I was doing and made a beeline for the closest potty like a toddler wearing panties for the first time. It worked! No more accidents for this mama! LoL Although I did almost pee my pants when I read I needed another 52oz if I was going to reach my goal for the day. 80oz was all I could handle, though.

Water and Bri are not on the best of terms yet. One of these days I may meet that goal, but I won't hold my breath (for fear of peeing my pants if I do!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Starbucks Junkie

I've been a Starbucks lover for probably 6 years... maybe 8. Probably around the same time I became a mom of 5. After The Best Birth Story Ever I undoubtedly needed that foamy caramelly goodness.

This is probably why my youngest is one of the biggest Starbucks junkies I know. She would pick Starbucks with adults over Chuck E Cheese with kids any day. She has spent many a birthday dolled up walking into the door of the local Starbucks to get her birthday treat and hot chocolate.

Her and Adam (my second youngest) used to climb up into my lap while drinking my espresso drink and sneak it out from under my nose the second I looked away. I imagine that is where she found her love for skinny Caramel Macchiatos.

She only switched from kids hot chocolate to Caramel Macchiatos for a short time. I just couldn't swallow the cost of allowing her to drink the same thing I was drinking each time we walked into one of their stores (or Target). That, and too much espresso probably wasn't the best idea for a preschooler.

Then she discovered the frappuccino. In fact, all my kids discovered the frappuccino and it was all down hill from there. I had created five little "coffee" monsters! Soon they were asking each week to get Starbucks and I even started a behavior system with their reward being a frappuccino on Sundays. That ended when the cost was far outweighing the benefit. Then I started betting them a trip to Starbucks if they scored while playing soccer. I didn't end up paying out too much in the beginning but as my kids are getting better, and maybe more greedy, I am finding myself paying up more often than I would like (once a week, again).

I finally found the perfect solution and it benefits all of us. Christmas was upon us so we asked for Starbucks gift cards for everyone. In the end, the kids ended up with $42 on each of their Starbucks cards. I registered all of them on my Starbucks app so I could keep track of them (in case they were lost or they were running low on money) and each time they swipe those precious little pieces of plastic this mama gets a reward star! Every 12 swipes and I'm in for a free drink! Just this month alone I have gotten two free drinks from those rewards, plus my birthday reward... BONUS!

So, in a roundabout way there is a positive to getting my kids hooked on the coffee giant. I don't even have to do anything and I end up with a free Triple Venti Skinny Caramel Macchiato. Yum!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Always The Soccer Mom

It's that time again... soccer season!

I did the crazy thing and signed up all five kids again. John volunteered to coach Jacob's team again this season and only ended up with three of the same players from his last team. It's the way AYSO works. I'm not fond of it, but it is what it is.

I, however, did not volunteer to coach again. I am kind of team mom for Sara's team (I run the website, send out emails, etc) and I was approached when Kadie's team did not have a coach. I originally said no; last season was just too stressful for me. Then I kind of gave in and told her only has a last resort. If it came down to me coaching or the team being disbanded, then I could decide then. Thankfully, though, I received an email from Kadie's coach just a few days later and I was off the hook.

It's not that I hate coaching, I just hate the politics of AYSO and the lack of help/common courtesy from the parents of the players. I had such a hard time getting anyone to do anything (like referee, since we are required to provide those), and getting parents to give me a heads up on their child's attendance at practice and games was like pulling teeth. I just was not going to get myself into that again.

Last season, with all five kids playing, John and I coaching one team, myself coaching another team and taking on team mom responsibilities, on top of the normal everyday mom stuff, it was just too much. I did finish out the season unscathed, but not without pissing off a few people in the process.

The lack of consistency among refs got under my skin more often than not and it lead to a lot of yelling. The girls blatantly ignoring my instructions had me wanting to rip my hair out. Parents not bringing their children to practices made me want to forfiet the remainder of our season. Spending hours upon hours at the soccer fields, lugging chairs and the tent from one field to the next, providing snacks for multiple games in one day and returning home just in time to make dinner and host our friends for Doctor Who night made for one cranky mama.

I do not want to be that crazy this season. I know it is an all volunteer organization so I will do what I can to still be helping out. I will send emails. I will make phone calls or send texts. I will order medals or trophies (just not the ones with pictures because that shit is expensive and I'm too cheap for that LoL). I will taxi children (even other people's children, if needed) to soccer practices and games. I will provide snacks. I will donate money. I will set up my canopy and bring my tables for the end of season potluck. I may even line ref. And if that is not enough, then I am sorry. My sanity is coming first!

I'll be the soccer mom sitting (read: standing) on the sidelines, cheering (read: yelling), taking pictures (read: holding my camera but watching the game), and enjoying seeing my kids do what they love. I'll be proud of the volunteering that I do. I'll cheer for my kids and get mad if another kid gets too rough. I won't apologize for getting loud. I'll pack up our stuff after the game and drag it over to the next one until we are done for the day and I will repeat this every Saturday until the end of the season.

This is who I am. I am the soccer mom everyone warns you about! Let the craziness begin!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quantity Over Quality

Wait... that doesn't sound right. I promise it is though!

In the blogging world it's not necessarily about the quality of your posts. You can sit around and wait for the perfect idea to produce the perfect blog post but the majority of the time it's just not going to happen.

So what do you do? You sit down, wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life and you just type.

You post about your day at home with the kids.

You post about the frustrating grocery trip over the weekend when you had to battle Granny blocking every item you were searching for.

You can post about your upcoming vacation, your newest adventure, and even post about your dog's farts if you want to!

Perfection won't come out of every post you make to your blog but the more you write, the more times perfection will pop up out of the blue.

So get up, dust off your blog, and put your fingers to work. Type away to your heart's content. Say anything you want and don't hold back because you think it might suck. Most of us suck much of the time but we all find gold if we try hard enough.

And here I am, trying hard to find that gold amongst all the crap... and the post like this one that border between crap and gold :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Spend Less, Save More

For my New Year's Resolution, I would like to spend less, and save more. For a family of 7, it's pretty difficult especially when new things to buy/pay for pop up randomly and all at once. I figure, though, if we start small and cut little things here and there, we can end up saving a good bit of money.

For starters, eating out is going to not happen. Okay, maybe not not happen but happen wayyyy less often. After the bad luck with restaurants in the last month, I need to stay away from sit down food for fear of losing it on the next unsuspecting manager I run across. Fast food is something I cut out for awhile but started eating again because we were ridiculously busy with soccer. Now that I am NOT coaching and hardly volunteering at all, I feel like I can better plan what we eat while we are on the go. I need to start eating better anyway so the less fast food the better.

My Starbucks obsession is a bit tricky. I have this amazing Starbucks keychain my husband bought me for Christmas and while I love showing it off, it still means a $6 espresso drink every time I swipe it. I also got a Keurig for Christmas. Seems a bit counter productive, wouldn't you say? Never the less, I have a brand new coffee maker that can make me a decent flavored coffee without ever having to leave the house, for less than $2 a cup. I know I won't totally switch to my Keurig but I am pretty sure my laziness will win out more often than not, allowing me to save a little bit of cash. 

I've also decided the kids and I will start a want/need notebook. Anything we want we have to write in the notebook. If, for some reason, we decide we no longer want it, we can cross it off and never have spent the money. If it's something we need, we can get it right away or see if there is an alternate to what is needed before running out and spending the money. I am hoping that by creating a want/need notebook we will have more ideas when birthdays and Christmas come around. We have always been a family that buys what they want because we were always financially comfortable enough to do that yet we never put anything into savings and we never thought about the what ifs. 

In order to plan for those what ifs, I think on payday I will make sure all previous debits/checks have cleared and then whatever is leftover will be transferred into the savings account. If it is truly extra then we have no need to spend it. It will still be there if the next pay period we find ourselves running low, but chances are good that we are only spending that extra because it is there for us to spend. 

I haven't thought much about couponing, only because I am terrible about remembering to bring my coupons and I hate hopping from store to store to get a better deal. I think in regard to groceries, I will just have to pay more attention to the sales and start meal planning better so I am not running out for this, that, and the other thing and ending up spending $120 when I ran in for tortilla chips and salsa. It really is my downfall. I always come back with way more than I went for.

I would like to start bringing in some money of my own as well to put solely into savings. I know I will start by decluttering and getting rid of the extra stuff we have for a little cash but I'm not sure where I will venture after that. Considering getting into the baby shower business by selling diaper cakes and cupcake onesies, but we will see since that requires spending money before making money. 

Other than saving money, I plan to work on myself over the next year. Losing weight, getting fit, and being happier and healthier. Spending less money should help with that!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Picture Happy Mama - a draft from 2008 (oops)

Since I'm procrastinating, as usual, I thought I would share some cute pictures of my kids from 2006 and on! I would share older pics too but I'm limited to what is already uploaded to DropShots since all the pics are on my desktop, not my laptop.

So without further ado, for your enjoying pleasure, I now present Photos from my life...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books