Five on Friday

  1. I finally got around to putting batteries in the Rock ‘n Play, and have discovered that if Baby E is freaking out, she will almost instantly calm down if I turn the vibration on. She’s sleeping peacefully in it now as I type this (although for how long, no one knows). It’s still not the miracle product everyone makes it out to be, but she will catnap in it and will sometimes even just calmly sit in it while I get things done around the house (i.e., pee, scarf down a sandwich, etc.).
  2. I’m thinking of starting¬†The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as my next read, as soon as I can find some time. Right now any spare time I have is usually spent sleeping, and by “sleeping” I generally mean closing my eyes and praying that the baby doesn’t wake up. And then the baby wakes up. I swear there is an alarm in her head that goes off anytime hubby or I are about to relax.
  3. Usually I would have started decorating for Fall already, but I haven’t been able to this year. I was going to skip the Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and just save up all my energy for Christmas decorating, but now I’m having second thoughts. Hubby stopped at Target the other day to pick up Baby E’s Halloween outfit and he surprised me with these really cute kitty Halloween towels. I think I’ll take some time this weekend and pull some stuff down from the attic. I’m not going to go all out, but I really do need SOME stuff around the house to make it feel festive.
  4. I had my first pumpkin muffin of the season last night and it was glorious! Again, if I can find the time, I think I’ll make a quick batch of my own to have on hand.
  5. Every day I tell myself that we are going to get outside and go for a walk, and every single day I fail. Either she is too fussy, it’s too hot/sunny, or the day just gets away from me. I really need to start getting outside, though, while I still can. Before I know it, it’s going to be winter and we’re going to be trapped in the house day after day. Not only does she need the fresh air and stimulation, but I could use the exercise. I only gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy, and 20 of those came off instantly after birth, but I’ve still got 10 extra pounds of flab hanging around that I’d like to get rid of. My diet right now consists of anything I can eat one-handed and/or quickly during the day, and whatever is fastest at night for dinner (this usually means pizza or some kind of takeout now that my mother-in-law is away and not cooking for us anymore).

A Love/Hate Relationship with Fall

Tomorrow is October first. The leaves are starting to change and cover the ground. The sun is setting earlier and earlier with each passing day. The temperatures are dropping, resulting in needing heat in the morning, air conditioning on the drive home, then heat again at night. It’s almost time to pull out the sweaters and faux fur-lined boots! Dunkin Donuts is selling pumpkin muffins! Apples are on sale every week at the grocery store!

To me, Fall means comfy clothes and yummy food. The problem with this is that I have completely fallen off the healthy eating/Weight Watchers bandwagon. I’ve only been making a pitiful attempt to track: if I don’t know the points in something, I don’t track it. I’ve been eating as much as I want of whatever I want, whenever I want. Needless to say, I’m not feeling too hot physically or emotionally, and I can barely zip my pants (no, seriously).

I told myself at the beginning of September that I would strictly follow WW until the holidays so that I could get back on track, feel better, and then not feel horribly guilty about stuffing my face with first candy, then turkey/potatoes/mac and cheese/pie, then cookies and cakes and more candy. Not to mention the wine. The holiday season is just not complete without wine.

I bought a couple cans of pumpkin puree just to have, because you never know. And pumpkin is a vegetable, so it’s totally healthy. Then this happened:

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Those are homemade pumpkin donuts coated in cinnamon sugar. They are only 5 points each, which really, is not as bad as they could be, but that’s still 5 extra points that I don’t need every day. The recipe made EIGHTEEN of these delicious wonders, which is great, except I’m the only one in the house who will eat them. To be fair, hubby did taste them and said they were good (but he wasn’t interested enough to eat an entire one). I ended up dumping most of them because I would have had to eat, like, three per day before they started to go bad.

I’m starting over tomorrow morning. I stocked up on yogurt and apples and bananas and chicken breasts and seltzer and Diet Coke. I have veggies in the freezer and plan to get in as much walking as possible before the sun starts setting at 4:30pm. I’ll clean off the elliptical and force myself to use it when it gets too dark and cold to safely go wander around outside. I will get back on the wagon and I will feel better.

Our Next House Will Have a Small Yard

And very few trees.

One of the biggest selling points, to me, of this house was the large yard and the fact that it backed up to the woods. All I pictured were our future children running around in the backyard, playing on swings, jumping in leaf piles, and generally having fun. I grew up with a large yard like that in Canada, and then we moved to NJ and traded in our expansive lawn for a tiny patch of grass just large enough for a swing set.

I didn’t listen to my husband, who continuously told me that this house would be a lot of work and we should look for something with less grass. This has resulted in endless hours spent mowing, raking, shoveling, pruning, weeding, spraying, and lots of other “-ing”s. When he suggests to me now that maybe we should just pave the whole thing, I half-consider it.

We raked all the leaves two weeks ago, and then he did it again on Wednesday afternoon. By yesterday, the lawn was covered again, so I decided to use it as my workout for the day. It was sunny and not too chilly, and I am willing to do just about anything to avoid having to use the elliptical. I grabbed my phone, plugged in my headphones, and raked my little heart out while prancing around the yard to the latest Backstreet Boys album.

This is what I started with:

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After less than an hour, I had several neat little piles of leaves full of all kinds of creepy crawlies. How I ever played in these things as a child and didn’t notice all the spiders and other unidentifiable critters is beyond me.

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I was feeling overly confident and decided to take a quick break to clean out the dryer vent and in the process managed to slice up most of my hand. Even with that little detour, and having to go inside and administer first-aid to myself, I still finished the backyard in an hour.

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I started the music back at Track 1 and headed to the front yard. I was on a roll. I was unstoppable. Until the wind started howling and blowing so hard that the leaf bag wouldn’t stand upright and all of my piles started getting tossed back around the yard. I gave up after about 10 minutes and went inside. I figured there was no point raking while Mother Nature was busy blowing down more leaves while I worked. Still, I felt like it looked better than it did before I started. Then I woke up this morning and walked outside to go to church.

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All my hard work, completely undone. Perhaps this is why all of our neighbors have left their lawns leaf-covered.