Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Biggest Loser - Week 4

I was leading the pack for the first 2 weeks and then...Ian arrived. The first week after he was born we were in Bend and I had little time for working out. Then last week I caught a cold. Another week gone without breaking a sweat.

But I realize that these are just excuses. And I am GREAT at finding excuses not to work out. In fact, if that were an Olympic event, I bet I'd be a gold medalist for sure. But they don't give out medals for lazy, jiggly people. Nor do the aforementioned people win weight loss competitions. So, I'm committed to dragging my booty down to the playroom/workout room everyday. Or at least every other day. I'd like to get out and walk with Ian but it's been flippin cold here. No, that's not an excuse. It's been snowing off and on for 3 days. So sue me if I just don't feel like taking my newborn out for a stroll in that weather.

Despite my laziness, I have managed to lose 15 lbs in the first 4 weeks. Yeah! And I was leading for the first 2 weeks! Yeah again. But now I've dropped to 2nd place with the 3rd place contestant breathing down my neck. Boo. There are no prizes for 2nd place. Well...other than a longer, healthier life maybe...but I'm talking CASH prizes!!! And don't forget the bragging rights. That's a pretty sweet little perk right there. Look out Biggest Loser competitors, I'm not out of this game yet!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

He's Here!

Ashley's birthing coach and friend called us around 9pm on the 16th and said that Ashley was feeling some contractions. They were going to wait for her clothes to dry and then make their way to the hospital. We jumped in the car and started driving. At 10:30pm she called to say they were at the hospital and Ashley was dialated to 8cm!!! At 12:30am when we were just 18 miles from the hospital, Ashley called to congratulate us on our new baby boy. We missed the birth! But we had a healthy beautiful baby boy. He was born at 11:52pm on the 16th. Lillian's birthday was the 16th of October so we were so pleased to hear that they share a birthdate. He was 8lbs 13oz and 21 inches long with blue eyes and short blondish brown hair. We arrived around 1:10am to greet our son.

After much debate, our little boy is named Ian. Zachary was a name that Ashley had selected. Ian was chosen for several reasons among which are: it means "God is gracious" and we praise God's grace in this adoption and I-A-N are the last 3 letters in Lillian's name. He is Lillian's little brother even by name.

After 3 days in the hospital, Ashley signed the necessary paperwork and we celebrated our new family with a special entrustment ceremony. Then we all headed to a home we rented in the area to spend some more time getting to know each other and doting on our little boy. We also hosted a birthday party for Ian with Ashley's friends and family in attendance. It was a wonderful week with love just pouring over Ian.

And now, we're home! It feels so good. Our little champ slept the entire way home even skipping a meal in the process. (Of course he demanded that meal as soon as the car stopped.) Thank you all for your prayers. We can't wait for all of you to meet him!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Nursery

In 1 frenetic week I managed to convert the nursery from pink to blue. Thankfully the walls were green so we didn't have to repaint. Just about everything else was girly from the mirror to the bedding to the lamp. After many shopping trips, each item was replaced by boyish blue.

Lillian had moved out of the crib into a twin bed so we have both in the room right now. The biggest challenge was finding bedding for both beds that I liked and that coordinated...or at least didn't clash. I prefer not to use a theme and finding twin bedding that is not covered in cars or animals proved to be quite a task. Not to mention squeezing all that furniture into one room. But I have a feeling that twin bed is gonna come in handy on some particularly rough nights.

It still needs a couple more final touches and the curtains need ironing desperately but for the most part it's done. Now all we need is the little boy who is gonna use it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mediation II

It was another busy weekend. We left Thursday afternoon and took the long way in order to pick up traction tires in The Dalles. (Apparently my new car has special tires that are not readily available.) Friday we met Ashley, her aunt Becky and her friend/birthing coach Julie at the doctor's office. We were quite a crowd so Jeff eagerly volunteered to sit this one out in the waiting room. I met the midwife and heard this little boy's strong heartbeat. Everything is looking great. After the doctor's appointment, Ashley and her aunt meet with the counselor alone for a bit while we wondered the local mall. Then we gathered for the second and final mediation session. One by one we checked off all the components of the session from the birthplan to the name to the open adoption contract.

One thing they warn you about when you are adopting for the second time is not to expect the experience to be the same. Although we have tried to isolate this adoption and enjoy it as an independent journey, it is difficult not to compare. The hospital experience will be very different which I had a hard time accepting. But I have realized that it is only a few days of a lifetime so I can tough it out.

We really believe in the value of open adoption. We feel that it is best for the child to have lots of contact with his birthparents. Fortunately Ashley wants lots of contact which we're very excited about. The challenge will be maintaining that level of contact throughout our every changing, busy lives. We are writing the contract with the hope and commitment to making it happen.

We're continuing to build this relationship so that we have a foundation to build off of once this baby is born. Ashley and Julie are driving up to Portland this weekend to visit and see our house. That means Jeff is finishing all the final touches of the remodel and I am quickly converting the pink nursery to blue. I know the nursery doesn't need to be done this week but I want to get it ready for 3 reasons. 1) I want Ashley to see the room this little guy will sleep in so she can picture it when they're apart. 2) I want this baby to have a special space when he gets home that was created just for him. 3) I don't want to worry about decorating after he is born, I just want to enjoy him! I'll post pics once it's done.

I can't believe this baby could be here in the next few weeks. I am so ready to snuggle with him!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Biggest Loser - Week 1

You stuck with me as I battled contractors and now you will have the pleasure of reading about my latest battle...with the bulge. The week 1 weigh-in for our Biggest Loser competition is tomorrow and I am feeling very confident. I worked out 6 of the last 7 days! And I tell ya, if it weren't for this competition, I would have hit snooze and skipped the work out this morning. A big shout out to all my competitiors! Thanks for giving me a litte extra incentive to get my booty out of bed.

Jeff and I gave up our gym memberships a couple years ago due to lack of use. Instead, I've been enjoying the wonderful world of workout dvd's. I knew I needed to invest in some new videos when the covers of my existing collection all proudly displayed women in thongs...on the outside of their spandex pants. Ahhhhh, the good ole days. I quickly jumped on Amazon and stocked up. For all you other non-gym types, I'll give you my personal review of each using my own patened 5 sweat buckets rating system. Just like a good workout, 1 sweat bucket is the worst and 5 is the best.

  • Day 1: "Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance!" - A classic that probably would have been better off remaining in retirement. The exclamation point at the end of the title should have been a give away. Anytime you have to add punctuation to sell a product, it's a cry for help. Anyhoo, I have taken more dance lessons than I care to admit and still found this choreography to be challenging. I just ran in place when I couldn't keep up and still got a good workout. I'd give this video 2 sweat buckets.
  • Day 2: "The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max" - Gotta give some props to the show that inspired the contest! This has 3 different workouts and being a novice, I started on level 1. Holy moly Bob kicked my a good way. 5 sweat buckets
  • Day 3: "Dancing with the Stars: Cardio Dance" - I love a good dance workout. In fact, the best workout is the one in which I forget that I'm working out. Sadly I knew I was working out the entire time I watched this video. There is a reason the dance pro's don't talk much on the show. Too bad the same can't be said of the video. 2 sweat buckets
  • Day 4: Dance Step class at the hotel gym in Bend. I forgot how uncoordinated I am when trying to do step aerobics. I was determined to outlast my predominately grey-haired classmates.
  • Day 5: Turbo Kickboxing class at the hotel gym in Bend. Fun, fun, fun. I'm a force to be reckoned with.
  • Day 6: Travel back to Portland, no workout.
  • Day 7: "The Biggest Loser Workout: Power Sculpt" - I wasn't in the mood to workout but I was determined to do something. After my great experience with the Cardio Max tape, I had high hopes for this one. My biggest learning? Weights are an important part of a sculpt workout. Only moderate sweating going on but I probably could have paused it to get the weights from the other end of the house or added another 10 minutes for level 2. Again, I wasn't really in the mood. I should probably give this one another shot before rating it.

All in all, I still hate to work out but I'm doing it anyway! I have also confirmed that I am in fact a stress-eater. Shocking, I know. Upon incurring some elevated stress levels this weekend, I was positively drooling as we were passing Cold Stone and Abby's Pizza on our way to dinner. But I held firm and ate a filling, healthy meal. Travelling is tough on the diet but I'm managing. Hopefully my dedication shows on the scale. Scratch that. Hopefully my dedication shows with looser fitting clothes!

PS - On a non-weight-loss related subject, I got my new car! A beautiful silver 2008 Highlander Hybrid. Happy New Year to me. The highlight of this auto purchase thus far occured this weekend when a guy got out of his BMW SUV to do a 360 admiring stroll around my Toyota.

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