Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Day 3 of Quitting Sugar

January 16, 2014

I woke up to a number on the scale that I swore I would never get to. A weight which is over 5 pounds from my previous highest weight ever almost 5 years ago. Depressed and angry with myself, I felt divine intervention when snow caused my kids to have to stay home from school and thus me as well. I took a break from work and caught the beginning of Dr. Oz’s show entitled, “Two-week Rapid Weight Loss Diet, Pt. 1”; which aired on 1/6/14.

With a lot of thought, I decided that it was in my best interest to follow the plan. A few things that drew me to the plan was that it was two weeks and it made sense to me. Research I have been doing points to moving towards an anti-inflammation diet. My mom has been on it, strictly for the last 2-3 years and it has helped her turn her health around.  In the diet, Dr. Oz promotes some very good things and my personal enemy, SUGAR was one of them. I knew I had to get over my addiction to sugar in order to be healthier.

It’s been two full days and starting my third today with no sweets! Before you start laughing, keep in mind that sugar is my drug of choice. I don’t have a lot of vices but I can’t remember the last day where I didn’t have sweets at least a few times a day. In fact, the only sugar I have ingested in the last two days is naturally occurring sugars in the 1/2 a cup of frozen berries and 1/2 of banana I am eating in my smoothie in the morning.

Yesterday, Day 2, was really hard for me. I co-lead a workshop where there was a nice offering of donuts, chocolate chip muffins and bagels. I resisted…all freaking day!!!

I was feeling really good by the end of the day. Here are some things I think I am feeling as a result of the diet and moreover, not having sugar:

1. I am less tired

2. The “Early Afternoon Tireds” did not affect me much

3. I feel like my brain is less cloudy

4. I feel a little less edgy

5. I was hungry at dinner, but I didn’t have the cravings for sugar. In fact, I didn’t even need to eat rice with my dinner. Another huge milestone for me.

6. I didn’t have my normal 9p cravings to eat

7. My ankles were not bloated at the end of the night


Overall, I just feel so much better. I am more positive and happy! In fact, I HAVE LOST 4 POUNDS!!! It has been such a long time since I’ve seen that kind of progress!!!

Please go to this link to get more information on the diet.


brown rice is gross…or is it????

January 19, 2012

I have really not enjoyed brown rice in the past. However, I got a great tip from an naturopathic MD to soak the rice in water for 2 hours before cooking it. I actually have done it for less than that it still tastes good. I don’t know if it is soaking, the type of rice, the water (we have soft water at the house we are in right now), or the rice cooker, but I have been loving it and just don’t really miss white rice at all!

This is the combo I use right now:

I had a conversation with my sister, who has really been the source of most of my education on recipes and etc. on this diet, but she bought a super duper awesome (so jealous of her) rice cooker and she said her brown rice is fantastic and she does not soak it. I’ll need to find the brand to post up on a later date.

I have to cook only 3 cups at a time as you need to add more water when making brown rice in the rice cooker. You can freeze rice and use it at a later date also. This has saved me a few times too since it’s easy to just eat something with rice that is already cooked. Try it. Frozen brown rice is also fantastic in the cooking process of fried rice. In fact, it’s better than using room temperature or hot rice.


May 5, 2009

This was not a prompted pout. This kid just naturally does it. I actually have to tell him to stop doing that. I think it’s funny.


For weeks now, I’ve been wanting to sneak into our new neighbors’ back yard. They have these signs up against their garage and they’ve been calling me to do a photo shoot. Unfortunately, I have had no time and uncooperative participants…ahem…Choua and Roan.

We are going to cut Roan’s hair as he gets really sweaty in the summer and he just got this new little suit…and I didn’t bring work home tonight…so I felt I had to take advantage of the moment. He unhappily obliged since I promised him that I would put his Lego pirate ship together for him, if he let me shoot a few photos of him. And yes, he did finally potty 10 times. He was so proud of himself…chanting…”Roan…Roan…Roan…” It was particularly cute, I thought.

I realized that I have not written about our new place yet. Coincidentally, it was built in 1927–same as the house we recently sold. It’s a two flat and we live on the second floor. It is full of character and squeaky floors.

I was thinking yesterday as I was walking from doing some work at Borders to meet the boys for dinner how wonderful living in this new city is. It’s got the right combination of city and suburb. We walk or bike everywhere. Roan loves it.

And although Choua was laid off, we are renting again and the stress of knowing that I am on the verge of quitting my job (for a move back closer to family) with no new job waiting for me, I haven’t been happier in years! It’s liberating to know that I don’t have to be responsible for the condition of our home and that we have free weekends to wander aimlessly on public transportation throughout Chicago. Although, it could also just be that I know we are only here temporarily.

The only sad thing is that Roan still asks for his room and going “home to our house with the red door“.

I am so grateful for the life and gifts from God. I just hope I can start being me again.

captain roan’s birthday

May 2, 2009

Lately, that’s what he’s been asking us to refer to him as. Four years ago (it was actually early on a Monday morning when my contractions started), he came into my life at 12:26p. It snowed earlier in the day, but melted by the time he was born. We still feel so blessed and in the words of my dear husband the moment we laid eyes on him, “We got the BEST one!”

dsc_2088I’m sure every parent feels this way, but I really cannot believe the little person he’s become. He is simply amazing to me…then again, he is my only.

He tries aimlessly to assert his power. I’ll tell him, “Roan, five minutes,’ and he’ll respond by holding up four fingers and saying, “No…four.”  

He writes his name and also is able to almost write some of his friends names.

He also counts. I sometimes find him facing the wall with his face in his hands counting. I’m guessing he’s practicing for Hide-N-Seek.

And yet, we still struggle with potty training. He won’t go#2 anywhere except for home.

He remembers things that I don’t expect him to and reminds me first thing in the morning.

He’s been insisting that we all sleep together. He’s always been a good sleeper. It’s so tempting to let him sleep with us…well for me anyways.

He loves pirates…anything pirate.

He builds all kinds of boats, airplanes, helicopters, rifles and handguns with Legos.

He reads…actually, he pretends to read. I catch him in his room with his favorite books open and telling stories.

He’s emotionally sensitive now. He cries a lot which is frustrating to me, since he never used to cry unless he was really in pain.

He’s a jokester and he cracks himself up.

He tells me not to yell at Daddy. I guess I yell at Daddy a lot.

And finally, I’ll end Roan’sbirthday post with a cute story. He’s going to be a litigator…we decided to implement a check-box system to get him to get  used to pottying in the toilet. I bought him a very nice Lego pirate boat and told him that if he poops 10 times in toilet, then he gets to have the boat. The first couple of times, he only had one poop each and we only checked one box each time. On the third time, he had multiple poops; four to be exact. We’ll he insisted that he check off four boxes. I guess I wasn’t clear enough.

Happy 4th Birthday, Captain Roan! I love you the best!


April 4, 2009

A couple of months ago, I found Roan in his room. Unlike most times, he was not busy playing, making a mess, or jumping on his bed. I looked into the room and saw him looking into a mirror. He was making faces and saying what the faces were expressing…”I mad” and then a mad face. “I sad” and then a sad face…and so on. He kept at it for several minutes. I learned later that they were learning about feelings at school.

I asked him to show me his feelings a couple of weeks ago and he happily obliged.collage BTW…it’s hard to tell, but from top to bottom and left to right, it is: mad, sad, surprised and happy. I have to say, sad is truly pathetic.

can i get one of these?

March 21, 2009

dsc_1776Need I say more? Back to update with commentary later.

pi day…WARNING gross photos included

March 15, 2009

Today  is my birthday. My plans included: waking up late (which is like 8a for me on a weekend), a dim sum brunch in Chinatown, a nice stroll, a long nap, and really just keeping it low key with the little family.

I woke up this morning and went to get Roan. He still waits for us to go relieve him in the mornings…we wonder when he’ll catch on that he can get out of his bed on his own. I took him to the family room so that he could catch some Saturday cartoons and gave him a pear. As I crawled back in bed, I remembered thinking to myself, “Boy…life sure is pretty darn easy with him now.”

And then about an hour later, I get up to see what’s going on with Roan. As I walk down the hallway towards the family room, I start to smell that all too familiar stink of toddler poop. As I turn into the doorway, this is what I see:poop21

In case you cannot see, there is poop all over the floors and his hands are encased in poop.  Here is a better picture of it:  poop1

These photos were taken with my Blackberry Storm so ignore the poor quality and also ignore the messy room.

Anyways, I know it’s really gross and I can officially claim that I have the grossest preschooler alive. At least he knows not to eat his own poop. I asked him later if he ate any of it and he told me “No…it’s not food,” with an expression that said to me, “Duh, Mom!” 

We are alive and finally moved in. It took three days of cleaning and going through mail from three different addresses over the last two months, but most of things we need are in our apartment.  We’ll get our new address cards out soon and hopefully, get back to “regularness” (a word I just made up according to WordPress spellchecker).

Thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I am not a loyal Facebooker, but I do see the notes since it comes across on my Storm. Other than the poop issue, today has been one of the best days I’ve had in many many months. I feel so grateful and happy.

swim class

February 20, 2009

Roan started swimming classes in the middle of January. The class is not offered in our city so we go to Oak Brook, which has a great heated, indoor swimming pool. There is a big water slide, a zero depth pool, which deepens just enough to wading level, a deeper lap pool, a whirlpool, and an accompanying splash pad outdoors for warmer weather usage. dsc_16192dsc_16371dsc_16413

Roan started in the Terrific Tots class, probably a little sooner than he should have since he hadn’t been in a pool since last August, but he loves water and has never really been afraid of it. Well, actually it’s more likely that I enrolled him in that class because I don’t have to get into a swimming suit and go in with him.

On the first day, I could already see repeats of Tot Soccer, The Little Gym, and Indoor Tot Gymnastics. He was completed distracted. He was excited, but would not get into the pool He kept standing on the ledge that he is on in this picture the entire time and wouldn’t go in, no matter how much coaxing his teacher nor I tried. Honestly, I think he was too much for his instructor.

BTW, in his second session, which he started last week, somehow the instructor for his group changed. I have a sneaky suspicion that it is because he needed someone a little more stern. His new instructor, in the photos, is friendly, but she has the right amount of sternness for him.

I am happy to report, however, that he has come a long way. He graduated from his first five week session and although he did not get to go on to the next class, he is now able to float in the water, face down (see second photo)and hold his breath. He’s been practicing his arm circles and his feet. He jumps in the water, assisted still, but that’s more than some kids.  Now if we can just get him to understand that after the class, he doesn’t get to stay and free play.

He does this really cute thing, even when he’s in water about six inches deep. He puts his shark googles on and stands up. Then he takes a hop–imagine a diver–and then does a little inch worm thing with his body to get himself into the water so that he is facing down and under water.  I think I might have to get a membership for the aquatic center since he loves it so much.

what we’ve been up to

February 15, 2009

retro-funk-version1Feels like forever and a day. We are almost all moved. It’s a tale that needs to be recorded. I just don’t know when I’ll get the time to actually put it into prose.

Here is a quick summary, we had three days to move out of our house. And then we moved twice in three weeks because we didn’t have a new place to move into.  Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? However, I do feel that the move has reinforced in me what an incredible little family I have. My husband reminds to not freak out and my son reminds me “Don’t worry, Mama. I will rescue you.” All in all, home is wherever we are together.

We are finally about 75% moved in. Roan is no longer nervously blinking, but our commutes are more than double since we are still driving him to daycare in our old town. He loves the new town and taking public transportation and although nothing will ever beat his old set-up, his new room is pretty cool too.

I miss our house, but I do love that we no longer have to deal with yard maintenance and cleaning the entire house. And, strangely enough, since we’ve moved into the flat, there has been very little snow…now that we also don’t have to shovel…hmmm…


January 6, 2009

It’s probably a little to late, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my New Year’s resolutions. I try not to set too lofty ones because I hate failing! So without further adieu, here they are (in no particular order):

–  Be a better wife!

–  Be more green!

–  Be a better friend!

–  Dare to dream!

I know, pretty general, but I have very specific items I’d like to achieve in each.

I am still waiting for my Lightroom 2.0 and CS4 to arrive so I have not been able to work on any sessions since Thanksgiving. I hope to be able to get it soon so that I can show some photos. I also can’t wait to share some photos from our most wonderful 2008 Holiday season!

I also started working out again. I’m putting this up here because I need to be held accountable, so any of you that see me, please ask how it’s going. My goal is to run the Chicago half marathon in September 2009. Tonight, I warmed up, ran 1 mile straight (I almost died!) and then walked four minutes, then ran another 1/2 mile, and walked another five minutes. I stretched and tonight, I will do a little yoga to relax before bed.