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Posted Apr 12 2012 11:58pm
Life has been fairly busy lately. Franky had Karate yesterday, which he still loves and continues to learn from and have fun with. He's up to five stars earned and one stripe on his new belt. So proud of him. I know I say it every time I mention him being in Karate, but he really does make my heart swell with pride. He's one of the youngest students in the school and his sensai's say he's doing incredibly well for his age as far as paying attention to lessons, following instructions and listening skills go.

This little lady really keeps us on our toes when she comes to Karate and watches her brother. She uses every cutesy face she has and practices impressive running skills to try and sneak onto the karate floor, haha! It's great exercise making sure she stays on the visitor side.

Speaking of exercise, I'm really loving rollerblading lately. I've traded in my running shoes for my roller blades for the summer, I think, because I tend to get bored and winded after only about half an hour while walking/jogging. With rollerblading, I'm going much faster speeds, further distances and burning two and three times the amount of calories, which is even better in my book.

One downfall (literally, haha) is this:
It is scabbed up, very swollen and hurts like hell.

I usually stick to blading around the neighborhood, alternating between sidewalk and street, depending on the time of day and when traffic is the heaviest (which in this neighborhood is pretty slow even during the busiest times of the day. It's wonderfully quiet here). The other day, for God knows what reason, I decided I wanted to blade down the path I normally run through. It seemed like a nice change of pace, so I went for it...and then I saw a steep decline in the pavement, at the bottom of which was a patch of uneven, broken cement. Oh shit! Do I just keep going and hope I don't fall on my ass? Do I try to slow down and walk down the slope? Do I close my eyes and hope for the best? I did none of the above. Instead, I decided as I was already flying down the hill that I would try to run on the grass to slow myself down. Except the wheels on my blades kept spinning and soon I was half-running, half-skating down the hill on the bumpy grass. As I was going down, I managed to grab onto a pine tree with both hands, breaking off huge branches as I fell, but which softened the blow (if that's even possible) and fell/slid sideways on one knee. I jacked my knee and my rollerblade, but that didn't stop me from getting back out again today.

Determination is a wonderful thing, no? I always leave the house with a bottle of water in one hand and the Ipod or Pandora on my phone loaded up with my favorite get motivated jams. When I start getting tired, I picture the cellulite in my legs melting away and envision myself wearing short shorts this summer for the first time since probably high school. For some reason, it works, haha!

After blading through the neighborhood four or five times the other day, I needed a change of scenery, so I skated up to the church right behind my in-law's subdivision. It's the same one we're baptizing the kids at in a few weeks. Their candle-lighting area is outside, right in front of the church and is open to visitors 24/7/365, which I really love. I lit candles for my Baba and my Grammy and felt great peace afterwards, as I've had them both heavy on my heart lately. 

I've been trying to be super accountable with my diet lately and definitely feel it when I eat badly. I've tried to cut fast food out for the most part and when I do eat it, I try to opt for the healthiest options on the menu. The other morning, I was really craving a McD's fish filet sandwich and fries, but just couldn't justify the calories, grease or fat. I decided to make my own healthier version instead and it was delicious and much more filling! (recipe here )

I do have my cheat days, like today (I had an Almond Joy Egg, which was scrumptious and worth every delicious bite, but I definitely saved calories for it by not snacking or over doing it for breakfast/lunch/dinner) and yesterday (I split a fish meal with Ryan at Long John Silver's and it was worth every stinkin' calorie consumed, so good!) but I definitely paid for it by working out hard both days. Yesterday I roller bladed for an hour and today I mowed the lawn (which took about an hour) and bladed for 30 minutes.

I've made other changes to my diet as well, specifically with carbs. I am such a bread and pasta junkie it's not even funny. I love my carbs, but they don't love my body and I gain weight quickly when I overdo it. So I've switched mostly to whole grain and whole wheat breads, pastas, tortillas, bagels, muffins pitas, etc. They're almost half the calories in some cases and twice as healthy (if not more!). I happen to like whole wheat products and prefer them to white, so the texture and taste don't bother me at all and if it means my serving can be bigger, I'm even happier =)

We celebrated Easter with my mom and did an egg hunt and the kids got baskets at her house, but I wanted for them to still be able to celebrate with their daddy since he had to work on the actual day. We decided to make our own baskets this year (which was much cheaper than buying pre-made baskets and we were able to stuff them with things they actually needed or wanted). 
On Ry's day off, the kids woke up to their baskets and had a blast going through them. 
 Ry put these in their baskets and the kids love them. I have some in the diaper bag so if we're out and about and I want them to have a treat, I can get them regular milk but let them get a hint of chocolate through the straw, too cool! 
 She doesn't mind the naughty chair yet, but her brother hates it cuz he realizes what it's meant for. 
 We put this little robot in Franky's basket because he's really into robots lately. He loved it.
He got to decorate it himself and he had an absolute blast. I definitely see us getting him some more soon. This kept him occupied for hours.
Ry and I have been wanting a van forever, since before we got our station wagon, but knew we didn't need something so big until our family grew bigger. We've kept our eyes open for the last year or so on different types of vans to help us decide what we wanted when the time came. We spent the better part of Ryan's weekend driving to timbuktu and back looking at different vans, getting in them, testing them out and Ry was set on wanting a Ford Freestar.

We had money set aside to be able to pay cash for one once we found one we liked (I am very big on not buying things we can't afford and only paying in cash). Ry found one that meets all of our criteria (under budget, low miles, newer year) so far but we want to take it to his uncle's auto shop to inspect it before we buy it (just like we did with the wagon). As long as everything is tip-top, we'll pick it up next week and put the wagon up for sale. I'll be sad to see the wagon go because it's in great shape and has been incredibly reliable, but for now, we really like being a one-car family. Once the wagon is sold, I will focus on finishing up with the bankruptcy and on paying off the rest of our debt so we can start looking at houses.

Ry and I are planning a date night soon too, which I'm really (really, REALLY!) excited about. The last date we had was when we went out to dinner on our first wedding anniversary, eight days before Franky was born. The date I'm planning will be more of a day date. I'm thinking lunch at Friday's cuz I've been craving their french onion soup for months, followed by a walk-through of the Titanic exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum, where we have a membership. I'm so looking forward to the alone time with my husband and know the kids will really enjoy their one-on-one time with their Tata, whom they absolutely adore and go crazy for =)

 A few weeks back we found a brand new copy of Charlotte's Web on DVD for $3, so we picked it up and have been playing it for Franky on the portable DVD player my dad and stepmom got him a few Christmases ago. I love that he loves Charlotte's Web. It was my favorite movie when I was a kid and I could watch it over and over again with him, even now.

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