Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Last Weekend and Why I’m Taking Weekends Off

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging, The Year of Erin | Tags: Blogging, City Living | 4 Comments »

Was pretty freaking amazing.

I’m not usually a warm weather person but 70 degrees and full sun is right up my alley.

Saturday I took the opportunity to go shopping sans kids for supplies to make a terrarium.  I also ended up stopping at Home Depot for some annuals and Target for some miscellaneous items.  It was great.  I wasn’t rushed.  I was shopping for fun- something I don’t generally do.

After I got home we hung out in the backyard and it was so nice.  I planted my annuals in pots, we grilled, the boys tore up the garden.  Other than the destroyed garden, it was a great afternoon.  I was kicking myself that I had to leave to go pick up some diapers I bought through a co-op at 5pm.

The sun was shining.  the boys were all in good moods.  My hands were dirty.  I haven’t had the urge to just sit in a chair, kick my feet up, drink a beer, and enjoy the sun in ages.  And I couldn’t!  (Note to self: don’t plan things at 5pm on Saturdays.)

After I got home from  meeting the other girls from the co-op Yogi Dad and I hung out on the patio eating stinky cheese and crackers, but it just wasn’t the same.  The blissful moment had kind of passed.  It was getting cooler but neither of us wanted to deal with a fire in the fire pit.  We were both tired from a long day in the sun.  Lesson learned.

Sunday was of course, Mother’s Day.

I usually want the day to spend with my boys just me, maybe my Mom, but this year I wanted a little bit of a break.  My Mom and Yogi Dad took the twins to the Twins game and it was just Judah and I.  After they left for the game we walked up to a local coffee shop (Royal Grounds) for some icy cold caffeine and a cookie.  Judah fell asleep about 5 minutes before we hit our driveway.  Of course.

It took about an hour to get him to finally take a nap, but once he did I got down to putting together my terrarium.  Or, terrariums.  I ended up making four.

If you’re thinking i might have a blog post about them, you would be wrong.  I am utterly terrible at thinking ahead and way to impatient to take pictures during a process.  I just want to do it and get it done.

I like the end results- my kitchen window has a new look.  No more terra cotta pots filled with succulents.  Those all got moved to the windows in the basement.  I hope they continue to thrive there.  I’m also hoping I can stop obsessively checking to see if I have new shoots but that’s a different story for a different day.

After the game we had an easy dinner- pulled beef sandwiches with chips and veggies and strawberry shortcake.  No muss.  No fuss.

The best part of this weekend?  I unplugged from my blog.

It was awesome.

I find it really hard to balance my work and my family.  When you are a stay at home mom and a blogger- when are you supposed to write?  I used to write into the wee hours of the morning but I felt like I was distancing myself from my husband by going to work as soon as the kids went to bed.  I was also really setting myself up for rough mornings as i need a lot of sleep.

The flip side is that if I write during the day I’m writing while I am with my kids.  There are no naps set in stone here- they have been fighting them for months, some days they sleep, some days they don’t.  I have no guaranteed down time where I can write uninterrupted.

For example- last Monday I had four posts that were due including one about the What to Expect When You’re Expecting giveaway and I was scrambling to get it finished, get my giveaway started and drum up some interest since it was a 2-day flash giveaway.  Of course the boys were firing on all cylinders and it quickly dissolved into three boys running around sans clothing, a bottle of course sea salt being emptied from one end of the house to the other and various other awesome messes.

But I had to get it done.  There was a short deadline and people were counting on me.  It was much easier for me to just ignore the complete chaos for the time being and clean up afterwards as long as I got those posts up.  It’s not usually *that* crazy, but it was a moment I don’t want to revisit too often if I can help it.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.  I would write when I had the time, when something came up.  Now, it’s not so simple.  Now I have commitments to brands and sponsors.  I have income flowing in through this site.  If I have to write, I have to write.  Sometimes I get behind, sometimes things fall through the cracks.  Sometimes the things that I would rather write about get missed completely because I just need a break.

I didn’t expect this when I added the extra layer of sponsored posts and reviews and giveaways to my site.  It’s been amazing for my family, don’t get me wrong.  But it can be binding at times.

So from now on, weekends are off limits.

I’m not going to post.  If it’s something that is scheduled ahead of time, there will be posts.  But from here on out, I’m declaring weekends family time.

I can’t say I won’t check in on Facebook- that’s a hard habit to break.  But I’m taking my weekends off- I worked 15 years in retail where weekends were a given.  After a year of staying home, I’m finally taking my weekends back.

It’s kind of scary.



Stuck in Neutral

Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: The Year of Erin | Tags: Weight Loss | 6 Comments »

I am failing miserably.

I keep messing around with my goals on My Fitness Pal.  (More calories?  Less calories? More protein?  More carbs?)

I keep skipping days at the pool.

I keep going over on calories (and not with good foods).

I keep putting off entering my food on MFP.

I am frustrated with how hard this is for me and how easy it has been for my husband.  (For reference, we started the same time and I have lost maybe 6 pounds and he has lost 30.  Thirty.  As in five times as much as I have.)

If I’m being honest, it pisses me off.  Not that he’s lost the weight- I’m glad for him.  But that it’s seemingly so much easier for him.

But this isn’t his first rodeo.  He’s had weight loss goals before and he always drops the pounds.  I have never really taken this seriously before, never carried anything out past flipping through a book and maybe changing a few things in my diet for a few weeks.

Nothing like this.

It’s just bizarre that I can go to the gym and work my ass off in the pool for an hour and then come home and eat a salad with cranberries, poached chicken and fat free dressing and not budge on the scale.  It’s maddening.

So I need to reevaluate.  Am  sabotaging myself?  Do I need to add more calories back in?  It seems like the weeks I saw the best results were the weeks I had splurge days.

I am going to do two things.

First, I am changing my goal so it’s something within reach so I don’t have to look at that 46 over there on my sidebar and feel like a failure.  I’m changing to 10 pound goals.  I need the reinforcement of reaching a milestone otherwise I’m just hanging out here saying “fuck it” because nothing is happening anyways.

I am also going to ramp my calories back up.  I’m going to give that a month and see what happens.  If I see progress that way, we’ll stick with that but I have to stop playing around with my numbers hoping that something is going to click.  At 1600 calories I would still be on track to lose 1 pound a week which is my goal.

So there it is.

Tell me I’m not crazy.  Tell me to keep going!  Tell me how to deal with a partner who is having amazing success while I am stuck in neutral.


Quieting my Mind

Posted: April 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: The Year of Erin | Tags: Swimming | 2 Comments »

I’ve been swimming. A lot.

Well, maybe not *alot a lot* but three mornings a week you will find me in the pool.

I remember back when I was in high school on the swim team and I used to suss out my homework assignments in my head while I wove back and forth endlessly every afternoon at practice. Back and forth, back and forth. Your mind tends to wonder.

Lately I’ve been trying to block out the chatter and just focus on nothing.

I’m having a hard time with it.

Because I have a hard time thinking of nothing I try and focus on what length of the pool I am on. I strive for 1600 meters, 64 lengths, 32 laps.

This is a glimpse of today:

24 24 24 24 24 24 Is that girl going faster than me? She wasn’t going that fast before. This isn’t a race. I don’t care how fast anyone else goes. Don’t focus on her. Do a flip-turn. Flip turns aren’t hard.


What number am I on? 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 what do I need to get at Target? Kool-Aid and milk? I hope no one thinks I am giving my kids Kool-Aid. I barely give them watered down juice let alone Kool-Aid. 25 25 25


26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 What am I doing next? Breast stroke? 26 26 26 26 Now that girl is doing flip turns too! Why is she doing flip turns when she wasn’t doing them before? Focus on something else. What lap is this? 26? Odd down, even back. 26.


27 27 27 Did that guy get out of the pool? The one who uses the paddles and weaves all over the lane? Yep I think he’s gone. Just me and this girl. Or is the water jogger still over there? I can’t see. Remember to cancel the eye appointment so you can go to the Great Cloth Diaper Change. Remember remember remember…


What number am I on? 27 27 27 27 27 wait. Odd down, even back…28 28 28 28 28 focus on the fucking number stop thinking about all this other stuff. 28 28 28 28 28


29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29…


30 30 30 I wonder if I should dye the woolies straight green or get some Ice Blue to add? 30 30 30 30 30 30 am I too close to get another stroke in? Yes, too close.


That was terrible. Watch the floor and count your strokes. 31 31 31 31 Crap I have water in my goggles. What is happening during these flip turns? Should I stop at the other end? No just get through 32 and then kick. 31 31


32 32 32 32 32 I can’t see what the eff. Maybe if I close my ey- no that doesn’t really work in a pool. What number am I on? 32? Halfway? Ok, power until the end and now let’s stop and get the kick board…

And on and on and on.

I need to figure out how to turn it off. I need to be able to tune everyone else in the pool out instead of being keenly aware of their every move.

How do you tune out and focus?


Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: The Year of Erin | Tags: Healthiness, The Year of Erin, Weight Loss | 5 Comments »

Losing weight is hard.

They all tell you one thing when you start this journey- only do one new thing at a time.

Of course I thought they must be wrong. I mean eating healthier and adding more water to the routine go hand in hand. Right? Working out isn’t something I’m going to put off doing just because I started eating healthier either- why can’t these things be started at the same time?

Because it’s too much right off the bat.

I tried.

I failed.

I went 2 weeks without hitting the gym (yes we were sick and it was crazy but it felt horrible to miss 2 weeks). I stopped logging my meals on My Fitness Pal, I bought a huge jar of Nutella, and I was back to sipping on a single cup of coffee all day.


I made a promise to get back to the gym on Monday morning, start a new week fresh. Clean slate. I did it and my swim was awesome. Wednesday’s was too. I hope tomorrow continues the trend.

The numbers are steadily going in the right direction. Not huge jumps, my goal is 1 pound a week. The goal is for the scale to NOT go up. Obviously.

So right now, although I am trying to keep meals in check, I am focusing on getting the gym to be a habit. Not something I pussyfoot around and then ditch at the last minute. I was really good so I am kind of sad that I skipped 2 whole weeks.

The meals will tighten up since we really are paying attention to what we are eating and I hope to get back to adding everything into MFP soon so I can see if I am going overboard (or if that beer is in my future after the kids go to bed). Nutella is off the menu.

Water…I have to figure this one out. I drink hardly anything during the day. I literally drink one 16 ounce cup of coffee from 7am until dinner. I have to figure out the water thing, if for no other reason than it’s not healthy to only drink 16 ounces a day!

So, there you have it.

I’m about 2 months into this journey. I’ve dropped 6 pounds and I have 46 pounds to go.

Losing It

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: The Year of Erin | Tags: The Year of Erin, Weight Loss | 9 Comments »

Remember when I said I was joining a gym? I did that. I’m about 2 weeks in and I really love it.

It’s been a struggle to figure out how to get to the pool during adult lap swim hours, but I think I am getting into a routine. The goal was to go in the morning when the boys were in school, but the water aerobics class starts at 9am and so I need to be done by then. A 7:45 bus pick-up for the boys + 25 minute drive to the gym + drop Judah off and get through the locker room means I am barely squeezing in 30 minutes when the goal was an hour.

I tried the aerobics class, but I just don’t feel the burn like I do when I swim laps. I want to be out of breath, I want my heart to pound, I want to sweat. Water aerobics was almost leisurely. And I was at least 30 years younger than everyone else in the class. Easily.

So, on days when Yogi Dad is working from home I will get everyone ready for the bus and hightail it out of there and let him get them on the bus. Today was the first day we tried that and I got a 45 minute swim in. It felt great. I’m thinking if I can trim a few minutes off of dropping Judah off I could get even more time. So that takes care of 2 days a week, the other day I might just have to be OK with 30 minutes and try to add an extra day on the weekend.

But seriously people. I’m doing this! It feels so good.

I’ve also been tracking my food and water on My Fitness Pal (are you on Myfitnesspal? You can follow me- my name is erinclot). We’ve only been doing it for like 10 days so far and it is very eye opening, and I also got a Dallas fat groupon for a loss weight clinic that I plan to use soon.

The first few days we fumbled around trying to make good choices. I didn’t even enter Valentine’s Day because it was like a fast-food fest and delicious baked goods from Cupcake while we were out shopping for furniture. Then I had a day where I really wanted a snack and was almost at my limit for the day so I entered my time spent cleaning (for me this is cheating even if I was actually doing the work) just so I could add extra daily calories and not feel bad about the snack. It was the most unsatisfying snack ever.

Lesson learned!

I’m really paying attention and I’m actually excited about it!

My water intake started really good- I wasn’t hitting my 100 ounces a day but I was getting close (8-9 glasses). Now I’m kind of back to barely drinking anything at all. I can do better.

I also joined a nutrition class at the gym- at least for 4 weeks. I figure it can’t hurt to sit down with a nutritionist and learn more about making good choices.

So that’s where I am- I have 50 pounds to lose and I am looking for you to keep me motivated!

Anyone have any tips on keeping water at the forefront of my mind? I just don’t even think about it and then I realize it’s noon and I haven’t had anything to drink since my morning coffee…

The Year of Erin continues!

After jumping up a bit on the scale after my initial weigh in- I am back down to where I started. Looking forward to seeing these numbers drop!