Monday, September 27, 2010

Pretty Pig

I felt good this week, very motivated by weight loss and exercise AND THEN...I got in the car yesterday to help Cenzo buckle his seatbelt and he exclaimed, "You are a Mama Pig! You are so big you take up the whole car!!" "OMG! You think I look like a pig??"

Luccio chimed in, "Yeah, you're a Pretty Pig, Mama." Good save Luccio, now I feel much better.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Walk Away

The only exercise I have done in the last 10 months is pump milk and occasionally move the vacuum around the house. As Luccio would say, "I'm not kidding!" So last week when I started my new walking routine my body was in shock!! Nursing and pumping milk is no joke. You burn around 20 calories per ounce, so roughly 400 calories a day for me. When I finally dragged myself onto the treadmill last week it took me 48 minutes of walking moderately to burn that much. When I first joined WW, it was enough for me to start figuring out what to eat and when. I couldn't even begin to think about exercising, but now that it was been over 2 months, my body seems to be craving exercise. My WW Leader said we should refer to it as "Activity" because that has positive connotations of fun, etc. And "Exercise" brings up negative connotations like boring, work, sweat, torture, etc. Either way the plan was to eat less, move more.

So I dropped the boys off at school and went directly to the park with the Princess in her stroller. Once around the track is . 6 miles. I did 3 laps. The 1st lap I was so slow that the elderly were just whipping past me. By the time I was halfway around I was hunched over the stroller gasping for breath. I was coming up to a Giant Mountain (aka slight incline) and I thought to myself, My God, am I so out of shape that I can't walk?? And then just briefly I looked around and realized I was practically alone in a wooded place (aka pretty populated park with paved paths surrounded with trees) and I could pass out and it might be hours before anyone found me. Then I remembered the elderly were there, just moving so fast I couldn't see them and I felt much better. At least they were in good shape if I needed to be carried out of the woods.

By the end of the 2nd lap I was starting to breath again and walking with my back a little straighter. My legs felt energized and I couldn't stop walking. I saw my car and desperately wanted to get in and drive to Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee, but my legs kept walking. By the end of the 3rd lap I was downright invigorated!! I felt fantastic and motivated and all those crazy things. Enough so, that I ended up walking 3 more times that week. I went to the park again, I walked on the treadmill at home, and I took the boys bike riding to the cemetery and walked there. Yeah, that may sound morbid, but in my family the cemetery is so beautiful and park-like that we visit often. The roads are quiet with barely any cars, so its great for walking/biking and we get a visit in to Great Grandfather. The kids love going there and its good exercise. Whatever works!

Hubby made me an excellent mix of workout music for the i-pod and Isabella is a great walking partner because she loves being outside and falls asleep in the stroller. I enjoy the time to just think and ponder and when I can breath enough oxygen in I sometimes have profound thoughts walking out in those woods. So, I ate less, moved more and it showed on the scale. I lost 2.2 pounds bringing the total to 17.8 pounds. I felt good. But, the quote of the week reminded me that its not only about losing the pounds its about keeping them off, I still have a long way to go. The quote was helpful though, "Do not brag about your pace, slow and steady wins the race." Which is good because at 22 minutes a mile it may take me a while to get anywhere.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Never Ebber

The new phrase around here is Never Ever!! And it is one of those cases of Monkey See, Monkey Do. Vincenzo asked for milk, I gave him a glass. He is drinking it and says to me, "You NEVER let us have milk." And Luccio says, "Yeah, you Never, EBBER let us." And so it began...

While riding bikes, Vincenzo says, "You NEVER let us ride bikes." Luccio agrees, "Yeah, you never EBBER let us."

While taking a bath, "You NEVER let us take a bath." "Yeah, you never EBBER let us!"

On the way home from visiting my parents for the third time this week, "You NEVER let us visit Stregga." "Yeah we never EBBER visit!"

While watching Dora the Explorer last night, "You NEVER let us watch Dora." "Yeah, you never EBBEr let us!"

The first round of never from Vincenzo is funny enough, but Luccio's emphasis on never,
EV-ER, just makes it that much funnier.

At first, I found it enormously frustrating! And I wanted to reply, "Hey guys, you are drinking milk, riding bikes, and bathing while you watch tv AT Streggas- OK!!!!!"

But, I took the high road and just laughed at the irony instead. And once in a while I chime in and agree, "Yeah, I NEVER, EVER let you do ANYTHING!" That catches them by surprise and they crack up!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mama Hawk

Tonight after I put the kids to bed, Vincenzo woke up crying. When I went in to check on him he said he had been having a nightmare. This has been happening for the past week or so since Hubby started back to work. Lots of changes going on, the boys turned 4, they started back to preschool, Hubby isn't home as much at bedtime. I have been trying to reassure the kids by sticking with our bedtime routine of bath, books, prayers, etc. I also let Cenzo sleep with my "purple blanket" that my Mom made for me and I put "Angel" lotion on both boys to protect them from bad dreams. All of that and a nightlight seems to ease it a bit, but the bad dreams are still randomly happening. I feel so bad for him because I know how scary that can feel and how real nightmares can seem.

Tonight, he when he woke up shortly after bedtime, I reassured him by telling him that God gave Mama's special hearing. When a Mama has a baby her new hearing turns on and she can hear everything. I told him if he was down the street I would hear him, if he was in another town I would still hear him if he needed me. And I would come to get him right away.

He said, "Oh! You're a Mama Hawk!"

I wish I could take credit for educating the boys about the special hearing abilities of Hawks, but that credit goes to Diego. Either way, I was impressed with his connection. And it made him feel much better that I was a Mama Hawk instead of regular ol' me. So he drifted calmly off to sleep. I just hope he sleeps well and those Hawk abilities help keep the bad dreams away (***knock wood***)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Saint Anthony

St. Anthony is best known as The Patron Saint of lost things. In other words he helps people find things. I often ask him for help and almost always get a response right away. My Cousin lost her diamond wedding band and we said a prayer for St. Anthony to help find it and I kept picturing it in a yellow room. Sure enough she found it in her son's yellow bedroom where he had "the treasure" safely hidden. Another time I lost a brand new shirt that I wanted to wear and kept picturing it under my dresser. I searched and only found a canvas beach bag. However, when I pulled the beach bag out, there was the new shirt inside!

Yesterday we were at a birthday party and I noticed Isabella's bracelet was missing. We searched everywhere, but I couldn't even remember if she had it on that day at all or not. When we got home we looked through some old pictures and the last time she had the bracelet on was Aug. 16th. It had been missing for weeks and I didn't even notice. My Aunt gave her and the boys these beautiful gold bracelets when each of them was born and they had been wearing them since. It has great sentimental value and I treasure it! Well, we said a prayer to Saint Anthony and I kept picturing her crib. So i searched through the bedding and bumpers etc. No bracelet. Cenzo heard me talking about it to Hubby and he said asked if we checked under the bed. And sure enough, there was the bracelet!!

Saint Anthony has a special place in my heart (not just for finding things!) When I was trying to get pregnant I met a friend, Sister Mary Anthony and she gave me a relic of Saint Anthony (a piece of his bones in a small jeweled box) and oil from Padua, Anthony's birthplace. I used that oil every day until the boys were safely delivered. And Hubby often joked, "its not a party until my wife takes out the relics." My boys each have the middle name Anthony, they share that middle name with my brother and nephew. My Dad and my Poppy are also named Anthony. When my Poppy died 3 years ago I inherited his St. Anthony statue which sits in a prominent place of honor in our house. I have since returned the relic to Sr. Mary Anthony. And I have passed the oil on to a friend who was struggling with infertility and she is now expecting her first baby in October.

Prayer to Saint Anthony, Performer of Miracles

Dear St. Anthony, your prayers obtained miracles during your lifetime. You still seem to move at ease in the realm of minor and major miracles. St. Anthony, Performer of Miracles, please obtain for me the blessings God holds in reserve who serve Him. Pray that I may be worthy of the promises my Lord Jesus attaches to confident prayer. (Mention your special intentions.)

Seeking a Lost Article

Dear St. Anthony, you are the patron of the poor and the helper of all who seek lost articles. Help me to find the object I have lost so that I will be able to make better use of the time that I will gain for God's greater honor and glory. Grant your gracious aid to all people who seek what they have lost---especially those who seek to regain God's grace. Amen.

Prayers from the website:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday

We celebrated Vincenzo and Luccio's 4th birthday this week! They have come a long way since they were preemies in the NICU!! We have so much to be thankful for and have met so many angels on our journey to becoming a family!!

Hubby made this video for a March of Dimes contest a couple years ago. It beautifully captures a bit of what that first year was like from the challenges to the celebrations!

We are grateful for the support of all of our family and friends, especially: my mother who stayed with me every day through the worst of it, my Dad who visited as often as possible and called me daily with words of encouragement, Hubby's parents who checked in daily with calls and drove up to visit with pasta and chicken parm that I was craving from my favorite restaurant as often as possible, for friends who offered kind words, phone calls, emails, visits, books, crossword puzzles, snacks, and prayers!!

And we are so thankful for the compassionate and skilled Doctors and Nurses who cared for me during my pregnancy and 10 weeks of hospital bedrest! They were wonderful!! I cannot thank the nurses enough for the care that they provided. During my stay I really got to know the staff. I felt like each shift there were the “regulars” who would be taking care of me. Each of them went above and beyond the “call of duty.” I never had anyone speak unkindly to me or treat me with impatience or disrespect even on my worst days. The staff became my teachers, my cheerleaders, and my confidants.They were my angels. I felt that with their help I was able to make informed decisions and be prepared for all that came along with pre-term labor, medications, tests, the early birth of my babies and caring for newborns in the NICU.

Thank you to the amazing doctors and nurses that took care of the boys during their 4 week stay in 3 different NICUs!! And for the resources provided by The March of Dimes. Today they are happy, healthy little boys!! They over came so many challenges, especially Luccio who had 5 surgeries in his first 2 years.

I couldn't let this birthday milestone pass without remembering the wonderful people who helped us get here!! Sometimes people come into your life for just a short while at just the right moment and make all the difference~ FOREVER!!
Thank you to all of our angels!!