Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Amazing Ben

After boring you (I'm sure) in my last post about my weight loss, here's a quick update on Ben and his speech progress.
We've been going to weekly speech appointments since late April / early May. I was concerned because he wasn't talking at all. In early April, he probably had about 5 words. By the end of the month, he wasn't using any and really wasn't repeating much either. I thought maybe it was due to the fact that he was working so hard on gross motor stuff, but wanted to be sure. Plus, he has enough challenges, I didn't want speech to be one of them if it didn't have to be.
So off we went to the speech pathologist, who let me just say is awesome. At first, he hardly said anything or even made sounds. Then he started to copy the signs she was making and then the words just took off.
As I stated a few posts ago, he has somewhere around 25 words may even be closer to 30 or 35 by now.
He did great at his speech appointment this morning. Said lots of words on his own and repeated tons. And he even had one two-word sentence, "bye duck". I was thrilled. And so was the speech pathologist. She's off on vacation for a few weeks so we have a few weeks off. Then she's going to decide how often he needs to come in. Probably nowhere near once a week. YEAH for fewer appointments!
I have to brag about just one more thing. Sorry, I'm a mommy and I just can't help it! Ben was playing with this ball and hammer toy. There are 4 balls (red, blue, yellow and green) and they each go on top in their own "hole". Each hole is coloured to match. After hammering the balls through the toy, he would then place the balls back up in their "holes". Well, he totally amazed me by always correcting himself. He'd place the balls in the holes randomly and then he'd proceed to fix them so that each ball was in the correct coloured hole. It was awesome to watch!

Taking care of me

I've alluded to my weight struggles in prior posts. For me, weight has been an issue since I was 18. I first joined Weight Watchers when I was 20. I am 5' 8" and I weighed 177 lbs. I realize that I wasn't huge, but I was definitely overweight. After about 9 months, I was down to 145 lbs and feeling great. I thought I would be able to keep the weight off forever. I thought I had it all figured out.

It turns out I didn't. I stopped going to meetings and eventually gained all the weight back and more. 20 lbs more. When I went back to Weight Watchers in January, I weighed in at 197 lbs. I was quite dismayed at my weight, but pretty happy that I had stopped myself before the 200 lb mark.

In the thirteen years in between, I was pretty much all over the place. I know that 5 years ago I got down to about 165 lbs. I was exercising like a fanatic and watching what I ate. The main reason I lost the weight was because I was in a very unhappy marriage. I hated to be in the same room as my now ex-husband so I would hide out at the I had a crush on my trainer.

In the last 6 months, I have lost 34.4 lbs! I weighed in this morning at 163 lbs. I'm just 3 lbs off my Weight Watchers goal...although I'd like to lose about 10 more. I really couldn't be more thrilled about my progress, but I'm still feeling a bit cautious. I don't want to gain it all back. I really don't. So my focus this time around has been to figure out how to do this forever. To figure out how to make maintenance exciting.

This is what I've figured out so far:

1. I absolutely must continue to attend meetings. I must do this forever. Meetings motivate me. I have the most amazing Leader and I feel so energized when I leave there each week. In fact, in the beginning, the only thing I committed to doing was to attend a meeting each week. I didn't commit to eating less or moving more. I committed to attend meeting each and every week.

2. The WW plan works best for me if I am very careful about what I eat before 5pm. I eat healthy but not a lot of food during the day. This allows me to have a fairly large portion for dinner and even have an evening snack if I need it.

3. I don't need to work out like a fanatic, but I must move more. Luckily, I just happen to have 2 little boys in my life that require alot of chasing around. They also really enjoy walks. And these walks let Mommy have a few minutes to hear herself think. I expect once winter arrives, I will have to cut back on my Points due to the decrease in the amount of exercise I will get.

And that's about it. When I look at it, it certainly doesn't seem like rocket science to me. It almost makes me wonder why the hell I didn't do this earlier?

I don't really have any good full-body before and after pics but here's what I could find.

Before (September 2008) - check the belly!

Not quite after (May 2009) - down about 25 lbs.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I ♥ Faces - At the Beach Photo Challenge - Week 29

I love this week's challenge at I ♥ Faces. It's "At the Beach". Well, we've been all about the beach this least when the weather has cooperated. The boys both love it. And it's so good for Ben, since he won't get down on his belly and crawls on all four's the whole time.

This photo though is of Daniel. I love the action shot. I love the expression on his face. It's very accurate in that he has no idea that I'm taking the photo. That's how they both are when we're at the beach. Completely oblivious to the fact that we're even there. They are in their own little world.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tell me about it

So. My boys are finally getting it. And by it, I mean talking. They finally seem to understand that everything they see has a name. They are repeating words like crazy and remembering them for future use. It's awesome! And they're having so much fun with it.

We're big Baby Einstein fans around here. And not because I think it actually makes them "Baby Einsteins" but because they like it and when they're watching it, I can actually do some housework (yeah right...I really just get online and check out Facebook and my favourite blogs). Lately, they've been watching Baby Noah. They can say: gorilla, lizard, tiger, elephant, zebra and koala. They know that kangaroo's go "jump-jump". And this has even translated to their books. Daniel was freaking out today when he found a tiger in one of his books.

And the absolute best news...they finally say ma-ma and da-da and actually mean us! It's not just babble anymore. Every morning, my husband gets up with them. When I come downstairs, they're in their highchairs having breakfast. They can hear me before they see me and start yelling "ma-ma, ma-ma". It's awesome.

And today, I was showing some pics to my mom on the computer and Daniel saw daddy and said "da-da". I think that was the first time they recognized someone in a photo.

So for my future reference, I'm going to try and jot down all the words they have.

Daniel: ma-ma, da-da, ball, bubbles, car, truck, hat, tiger, koala, zebra, lizard, gorilla, baa, moo, yes, no, up, bus, more, eyes, mouth, button, jump, bounce, block, choo-choo, cracker, bum, cup, Mimo, Elmo, hot, stuck, bath

Ben: ma-ma, da-da, ball, bubbles, car, truck, hat, tiger, gorilla, elephant, baa, moo, neigh, yes, no, bus, more, eyes, button, jump, choo-choo, book, Mimo, Elmo, hot, stuck

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just beachy

We went to the beach with the boys for the first time today. We arrived just before 9am and left a little after noon. They had an AMAZING time! I couldn't believe how well it went and how much they loved it.
It took awhile for Ben to figure out exactly what he could do there. But once he got used to the feel of the sand, he was super happy to crawl around and w-sit in the water.
Daniel had a great time too. He took over one little girl's toys (even though we had our own) and spent about a half hour just playing on his own.
And they both loved just watching all the big kids play in the water.
And now...we can't wait to go back! Luckily, this fantastic beach is just a 1/2 hour drive away so we'll be able to go often. are some great pics I got.
Ben crawling!

Love this action shot of Daniel

Daniel (back) Ben (front)

Daddy and Ben


Happy Ben!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's all relative

Everything is relative. I've struggled with my weight since high school. For me, this usually means that I'm somewhere between 30 and 40 lbs. overweight. I've never bought clothes in plus sizes but I have had times where nothing "normal" fits. I often complain about being overweight, how sometimes it feels like just looking at a piece of cheesecake causes me to gain 5 lbs., how I hate swimsuit shopping, etc. I do have the common sense however to NOT do this in front of someone who has perhaps 75 to 100 lbs to lose. I realize that to them I am SKINNY. And they would love to be where I am.

Some people do not have this common sense. An old friend of mine would constantly complain about her big thighs and how she needed to lose some weight. She probably weighed all of 110 lbs soaking wet. I don't even remember weighing 110 lbs...I zoomed right past that on my way to 145 lbs (in high school) before zooming onwards to even bigger numbers. get to my point. Last week, I was talking with an old friend from Bermuda. She of course asked how Ben was. (By the way, I never really know how to answer this question. Do I just say fine? Since he is fine. He's healthy and happy. Or do I detail how much he hates PT right now? How frustrated he is when we're outside and he can't explore the way he wants to? How he's almost 2 years old and nowhere near walking?) She went on to tell me a friend of hers (who is also an old co-worker of mine) who has a 3-year-old with mild CP (by mild, I mean the child walked at 19 months...just typing that makes me jealous). And how said friend would love to offer advice or any help that I might need. I didn't really know what to say. This may sound awful, but really, how can this woman help me? Just like how would I be of any help to a mother who's child's CP is much more severe than Ben's?

I can't remember exactly how I responded. I hope I wasn't too ungrateful. But this friend does have some idea of the fact that Ben won't likely walk til he's 4 or so. And I guess it just pointed out to me once again, how most people don't really get it.

I guess my question to myself is, "Would I 'get it', if this were happening to a friend of mine and not to me?" Probably not. So how can I expect it of someone else?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beyond acceptance

Our life before kids was the kind of life that people envy. We lived in Bermuda. We traveled ALOT. We had lots of friends and had a very active social life. We would drop everything at the last minute and go to New York for a shopping weekend. We truly were having the times of our lives.

Then life changed very quickly for us. We decided to leave Bermuda for North Carolina...but things changed and we ended up in New York City instead. I found myself pregnant with twins just a few short months after we arrived. The pregnancy was hard. We didn't know anyone and my husband worked alot. I was very lonely but kept myself busy decorating our duplex and planning for the babies' arrival.

Just 7 short months later and they were here. And they were tiny. And they were sick. Very sick. We had no friends or family close by. People didn't seem to understand how sick they were. People didn't understand that we came very close to losing Ben.

Then they came home. And it was hard. Very hard. And exhausting. And lonely. And we missed our old life. We loved our babies but I think we both regretted having them. We wanted to go back to those care-free, easy days. We missed our friends. And traveling. And sleeping in.

My husband and I agree that at about the one year mark, we had both accepted that this was now our life. We still missed our old life but we were OK with the new one. It was a very long year getting to that point. But today, an odd thing happened. I finally realized that our new life was FUN. I wasn't just accepting it anymore. I was loving it. Sure, it's still hard. Especially dealing with the CP stuff. But the 4 of us were having fun. And I said to my husband, "It's so fun with them. Most days are fun now."

It took a long time to get here...but I can finally say that I'm having a ball!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on pretty mama...

I was lucky enough to live on the tiny, beautiful island of Bermuda for 6 years...from 2001 to 2006. Some of those years were the best of my life (so far anyways). I now consider Bermuda to be my other home. I met the most amazing people there. People that I now consider family. Sometimes I think that I found "me" in Bermuda.

We left Bermuda almost 3 years ago. I ache for it. I miss the smell of oleander, the sound of the waves crashing, the balmy evenings, and the tree frogs. I miss pink sand, rum swizzles, rugby season, and riding a scooter. I miss having 4 days off for Cup Match, flying kites on Good Friday, shopping on Front Street, and Happy Hour at the Princess.

I just got back on Thursday from a 5-day holiday back home in Bermuda. My husband and I had so much fun. We felt like our old selves. The couple we were before kids. On our last night, we sat on a bench overlooking Hamilton Harbour and watched the lighthouse go round and round....listening to the tree frogs. We didn't want that night to end. But it did end and we were happy to get back to our other home and go back to being the couple with kids (God...I missed them!).

And now here are some great shots of Bermuda...