Wednesday, September 24

Bye Bye, Baby Weight!!

As of this morning, I am officially rid of all the weight I gained when I was pregnant with Owen. All 60 pounds! How did I do it, you might be asking? I'll tell you. Diet and exercise. I'll share a few of my secrets with you.

First, my exercise regimen. This consists of several games of tag in the backyard, followed by a few repetitions of "swing me" and/or "superman" using a 30-pound weight (Kate). Throw in a few games of "Ring-Around-the-Rosy" and "Hokey Pokey". Add to that cumulatively about an hour a day of pushing the same 30-pounds on the swing and "helping" on the slide (swinging her up in the air at the bottom). Generally, being playmate to an energetic three-year-old. On top of this, lugging 23-pounds (Owen - and he's constantly moving) around all day long and/or chasing that 23-pounds around the house and removing it from unwanted areas. It's no Michael Phelps workout, but I'd say I burn a few calories.

Oh yeah, and my diet? Well, I don't really have to watch too much, because I don't have too much time to eat. Between fixing food for Kate/the family and a separate meal for Owen, feeding Owen, plus making and feeding bottles in between, and the exercise regimen described above, there's not a lot of snack time (and sometimes no mealtime!). And if I'm not on the ball in the mornings, I might not eat breakfast.

I may be exaggerating a bit, but you get the point. Anyway, only 6 pounds to go before I'm back to my weight before kids altogether. I think I'll be there by the end of the year. Wish me luck (and energy)!

Tuesday, September 16


Stuff. We have it. We want it. It's going on. We fill our lives with it. I don't know what exactly inspired me - I think it was a combination of events, conversations, and things that I noticed and/or read lately - but I'm trying to reduce the 'stuff' in my life. There's too much that gets in the way of the things that matter. And I'm not only talking about material things. Sometimes we let responsibilities, commitments, etc. take up our time also. Some of these are unavoidable, but some can be avoided. Some things matter and some really don't.

I'm going to try to simplify things that are cluttering my space and my brain. I'm starting with this blog. I thought I'd try a simple layout to remind me (because I'm sure I'll start letting 'stuff' creep back in). The next thing I'm going to do is try to simplify our groceries. Our pantry, cupboards, freezer, and fridge seem to get overstocked with things we don't need. Why should we have 5 kinds of cereal, 4 kinds of ice cream, 4 kinds of rice, 4 kinds of crackers, etc. (We don't have all these right now, I'm just saying). I'm going to try to do a better job of meal planning to have stocks of the things we need with limited snack options. I'll have to see how it works out, but I'm thinking it will reduce the grocery spending enough to allow me to buy more organics and whole foods.

I think overall our family does a pretty good job living simply, but I know there are areas where we could use some improvement. I don't remember how I navigated to it, but a site I'm enjoying lately is simple mom. She has a lot of good ideas that are practical. I know this is a common theme these days. Is anyone else on this bandwagon with some good ideas? I'll keep you posted as to my success in simplifying.

Friday, September 12

All Is Well

We have been busy since Owen's surgery with packing for our trip to Oklahoma, a quick trip to UT hearing and speach (see below), traveling to Memphis to visit with James' aunt, then to Arkansas to visit with Angela's dad's cousin, then finally to Oklahoma City to await Angela's sister's return from deployment in the United Arab Emirates. On top of that, James also traveled to DC this week on business and we have been visiting with the Coley extended family in town to welcome Carrie home.

So we apologize for not updating the blog regarding Owen's surgery. Bottom line though is he did great with the tubes. The surgery went really quick and everything went well. The longest part was the time afterward during which he had to be kept under anestesia while they ran another hearing test. We were disappointed to find out that his hearing has gotten worse instead of better. He now has moderate hearing loss to moderate-severe loss. It is still correctable with his hearing aids and luckily he had an appointment already on Friday so they were able to adjust them before we left on our trip. He is doing great with them and seems to be hearing really well now that they are adjusted correctly. It took Owen a couple days after the surgery (I am sure the alteration of his schedule due to our traveling did not help), but he is back to his happy self.

Our trip has gone well, although during the trip from the Little Rock area to Oklahoma city we came near to a complete family melt down. It had been too many days in the car on too little sleep and everyone's nerves were wearing a little thin. Angela diffused the situation well with an emergency ice cream stop. Otherwise the only other excitement was when Kate threw up on James during lunch on Sunday in downtown Little Rock. We think she had just had too much sweet over the last couple days and lost it all over James (four times while he could only sit in shock). This led to an emergency clothes change for James and Kate in the downtown Marriott (note: hotel lobby bathrooms are great places for quick pit stops and clothes changes) . We will head back toward Knoxville starting tomorrow. Hopefully the trip will be the best kind, uneventful... We will try to post some pictures when we get back.

Wednesday, September 3

Owen's surgery tomorrow...

Owen is getting tubes put in his ears tomorrow. It's a very minor procedure, but his audiologist requested another hearing test be done while he's under for the procedure. So, instead of being under anesthesia for 15 minutes for a 5 minute procedure, he will have an IV and a breathing tube and be out for 2 hours while they perform the hearing test after putting in the tubes. Still not a huge deal, but it's a bigger deal, at least to me. Plus, he can't have anything to eat after midnight tonight and no bottle within 6 hours. That should be fun. I've never seen a more dramatic child when he's hungry!

Anyway, if you think about it, please pray for our little guy tomorrow afternoon and for us as we wait for him to undergo the surgery and try to keep Kate entertained at Childrens' all afternoon. Come to think of it, that just might be the worst part! :)

I don't know if I've posted any pictures of Owen and his hat, but here are a few for your enjoyment. I know it makes him look a little "special", but it really does work to keep him from pulling his hearing aids out! My little 'Special Owen' aka 'hatboy'...

Monday, September 1

A Proud Moment of Parenting

It has been my goal since becoming a father to either get work or positive economic benefit from my children. I have come to realize that with the expense of raising kids today this is a great challenge and something I had expected to have to wait many years to realized. Yet today, I was able to realize one of my prouder moments as a parent.
Chick-fil-A was running a Labor Day promotion today where you could get a free three-piece chicken strip meal if you showed up between 10:30 and closing wearing clothing with a college football team logo. So, the Hemrick family made a trip to Chick-fil-A decked in our college logo t-shirts and got our twelve free chicken strips. Yes, I used my 9 month old son and three year old daughter to get free chicken strips. Seeing how Kate only ate one chicken strip and of course Owen is too young to each chicken strips, I basically got five free chicken strips which will be my lunch tomorrow. Score one for dad...

Note the LSU tiger t-shirt that Kate is wearing. We tried to get her to wear her UT t-shirt since they are playing UCLA tonight, but she insisted on wearing her "lion shirt". Thanks Nana...I am sure I had the only toddler in Knoxville today wearing LSU purple. We tried to balance her out with Owen and Angela in Orange (just to be fair I had on a UMR shirt and not a UT shirt). Owen looked like he was ready to start at center for the Vols tonight. That's my boy...