Tuesday, October 21, 2014

24 Days of Javita - Another Weight Loss Test

The most popular post on this blog has been my Javita coffee weight loss test. I've gotten the opportunity to try it again, and see if doing things differently will give me different results.

If you have been wondering about Javita Gourmet Instant Coffee and whether it really works or not, chances are you may have already visited my blog post about it. I tried it and it didn't work for me the way it works for others. ( I lost half a pound the first week and nothing the second week. That's not enough for me to keep buying it.) Many people said "well, you didn't eat right". Granted, I didn't. If I ate everything I was suppose to though, that would be the diet working and not necessarily the coffee. I do realize that what you eat can go hand in hand with the coffee and enhance it; but, to make the coffee worth purchasing it should work regardless of whether I eat perfectly or not. Same goes for the arguments of exercise. 

I also got the comments that I didn't drink enough of the coffee or give it enough time. My test was two weeks even though I only did a step by step blog post about the first week. Recently a very kind Javita distributor wrote to me and asked me if I'd be willing to try the test again if she provided the product for review. (There's my disclosure. All the opinions written here in this post are mine.) I have been saving them up for a couple of weeks because Anna and I are getting ready to go into the hospital for her bone marrow transplant. We will be there anywhere from 4-8 weeks and I figured that would be a good time to give this product another test run.

What we're doing differently

When I originally tried this test, there was only Burn + Control and Energy + Mind. I only drank the Burn + Control once or twice a day. This time, I'm going to drink three cups of the Javita everyday, and each day I'm going to drink a variety of different types of the coffee. They now offer a Lean + Green variety which will be part of it. So, I'm going to start with the Burn + Control, then mid-morning have a Lean + Green, then early afternoon have an Energy + Mind. I'm going to try...and the operative word is try...to take a 20 minute walk around the hospital when Anna is sleeping at night. I'm going to need to get out of the room anyway, and there are stairwells I could take if I want to add to the benefit of it. I'm thinking of taking my weights with me but I'm not sure if that's going to be feasible or not. As far as eating goes...sitting at hospitals with anxiety in my heart is one of the reasons I've gained so much weight since she got cancer. My last Javita test was just before we found out about her cancer and I was what? 168-169 pounds? Well, now I'm 182. There have been, oh...12-14 hospital stays since then and the longest was only a week and half. Now, we're talking about up to 8 weeks. 

I'm going to try to eat off of her tray when she isn't hungry to save money. I'm bringing some snack bars with me (KIND brand so far), and when I have to I will purchase food. I can't tell you that I won't buy the cheesy burgers and comfort food. I'm going to try to make the best choices I can, but those things may end up being part of it. What I will do is not eat the "crappy foods" all in one meal. If I have a burger I'm not gonna have fries with it, etc.

Pre-test thoughts

Honestly I don't know if this is going to work or not. It bugs me that I may have to drink 3 a day for it to really work. The coffee is expensive, and if it works and I can't buy any more I'm going to be bummed. Then again, if it really does work, I'm going to want to find a way to buy it because so many other things haven't worked. I know in a way it's taking the easy way out, but that's kind of the point isn't it? We need something easier to do than completely change our diets and work out all the time. That works...but so many of us can't make ourselves stick to it. People say well, if it isn't hard then there's no glory in making the accomplishment. I have a kid with special needs and cancer...I know a thing or two about things being hard. I need weight loss to be easier if it can be. Sure I can modify my diet some and work out when I can. I'm not cutting those things out of the equation, but relying on those things so strictly is something I'm not sure if I have in me right now. Yet, I can't take care of my daughter if I'm not taken care of so there's the pickle I'm in. 

The other thing that bugs me is that Javita calls a box of product a "month's worth".  It's a 24 pack. Twenty four days is not a month. It's three weeks and three days. It's seven days (a whole week) short of seven months out of the year, six days short of four months of the year, and 4 days short of the shortest month of the year. It feels like false advertising to me and I don't like it. I think they should make a 28-30 count box if they're going to call it a months worth. Exit soap box. 

On the positive side, I'm thankful for the convenience. The go-anywhere-ability of the product makes it easy for me to do this test in a hospital. For this procedure, we have to wipe down everything with Clorox wipes and put them in Ziploc bags to be able to bring them into the hospital room. It was easy to do that with the Javita packets. 

Getting started

When we get settled in the hospital I'll start this test and update this post. If you'd like to keep up with Anna and her progress through this stem cell/bone marrow transplant you can follow her Facebook page. Check back soon for updates!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Post: Transition From Crib to Bed - Harder on YOU?

The age old question parents typically ask themselves, is "what the hell was I thinking?". The second question is usually "When do I transition my toddler out of a crib, into a bed?". The answer to most parenting questions is "When they're ready", or "When they start shaving"...

Anywhere between 18 months and 30 months is a good timeline, but most often parents do it sooner rather than later as a safety measure. When children are strong enough to climb out, they risk injury. It is inhumane to install a ceiling to the crib like "Planet of the Apes", so removing one side of the crib or transitioning to a bed is probably the best course of action.


1) Instead of waking up to the shrill of your child screaming your name to get them out of their confined sleeping quarters, they may be inclined to get themselves out of bed and play quietly with toys in their own bedroom.
2) It enhances their sense of freedom or independence, and makes them feel less like a caged inmate from "The Shawshank Redemption". Either way, it would be neat to have Morgan Freeman narrate bed time stories to you every night...

Do's & Don'ts:

DO make sure your toddler has a regular bedtime routine before transitioning. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get through an episode of "Breaking Bad" when your toddler keeps popping his head out of nowhere. Tell them "It's time to go to bed". Bring them back to their bedroom and tuck them in.
DON'T try transitioning while toilet training. Their little minds can absorb a lot of new information, but one big thing at a time. Nobody likes cleaning pee out of a brand new race car bed.
DO comfort them, if they are having a hard time. However, make sure you transition from laying in bed with them, to just holding hands in the side until they fall asleep. You don't want to start any bad sleeping habits.
DON'T put the bed in a different spot than the crib was originally. They are accustomed to that general sleeping angle, where the environment appears the same. Once they get use to their new sleeping arrangement, then you can start your "Extreme Makeover - Toddler Edition".
DO let them pick the bed. If the situation is available, and you are buying "new", let them pick out their own bed. Have them choose something they are comfortable with.
DON'T put the new baby into the old crib, until the toddler has fully transitioned. The toddler doesn't want to see some new guy taking over his space until he has made his new house a home. You don't want your toddler going K9, and peeing on the bed posts to mark his territory.
DO add music to your toddlers bed time routine. If they are consistently getting out of bed, it may be best to provide some light white noise, so that they aren't distracted by outside noise. The music will eventually become a relaxation cue for bedtime. The track Beautiful Dawn #SleepyTime gets them every time! 

Why this is a bigger transition for you than for them:

1) You are now on high alert. You must ensure all baby gates are locked up before going to bed, as well as doors are closed to any rooms containing sharp or hazardous objects. I once woke up to my 2 year old juggling scissors over my head.
2) They will scare years off your life. I often get up early and wait for my toddler to call me to come get him. This particular morning I was on the computer, and glanced up to see him standing there, glaring at me in silence, like something out of "Children of the Corn". I had nightmares for weeks.
3) Seeing your baby grow is the most rewarding experience life has to offer, but also hard to see them make these life altering transitions so quickly. Next thing you know, you'll be clutching the car door teaching them to drive. Baby Steps.

Rory Gardiner is a country music artist, author & comedian. You may have heard his music on radio, TV shows, or commercials airing daily throughout North America. His latest record is a children's album, packed with inspirational songs and kid parodies of adult favorites, such as "Wagon Wheel". Now available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yee-haw/id909046536

For more information on Rory, please visit:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Making Sacrifices

This little girl is truly amazing. Soon, she will turn five years old and today I had to ask her to do something way beyond her years and maturity of understanding. Yet, her heart was willing.

Everyone hears about Anna's battle with cancer and they immediately think of how horrible it is for Anna. And it is. Horrible. Yet, it doesn't just affect Anna. We all make sacrifices to make sure that Anna is going to be okay, including her sweet sister Essie. I'm sure there are quite a few stories that can be told from the point of view of a child that has a sibling with cancer. This one is from Essie's.

Because of going through chemotherapy, we keep Anna home most all the time. Therefore, we also keep Essie home. Now, most cancer doctors will tell you, don't stay home all the time. Live your life, try to be as "normal" as possible. Anna's situation is a little different. Due to the fact that she also has special needs that already made her susceptible to illness, they really recommend we stay home as much as we can. The other part of that is that if Essie gets too much exposure to other kids, she can bring something home to Anna. During the summer I did take her to Chick-Fil-A twice to play, and now she attends school for three hours in the mornings. In that way, thankfully she does get interaction with other kids outside of the home. 

We are thankful that at school they check each child for illness every day and send the ones who seem sick home immediately. However, Essie gets invitations to parties and get-togethers outside of school. Yes, I took her to Chick-Fil-A twice in the summer, but that doesn't mean I think it' a good idea to risk it all the time. That was because she had absolutely NO interaction and I felt bad for her. Now, at least she goes to school. Anyway, she got an invitation to a party. Usually, I don't hear her talking about her classmates parties, but today she came home and was telling me all about what Teddy's party was going to be like. I'd already sent an email to Teddy's mom saying that we couldn't go.

As best as I could, I tried to explain to Essie why it wasn't a good idea to go. I could see the disappointment on her face. She asked, "Because Anna's sick?" I explained to her that Anna is better and better, but we have to protect Anna.

 Then I asked it. 

"Would you be willing to protect her?"

I don't think I'll ever forget the look on my four year old child's face when she answered me. The sadness that she can't be like other kids. The love in her heart for her sister. The concern for her sister. The love for me and the desire to please me. "Yes, mom. I will protect her."

Putting someone else before ourselves is a requirement that all cancer families go through. Some adults can't even do it; but, my baby girl can. Every morning she tells me I'm the best mommy in the world, and I tell her she is the best baby in the world. Today she said I was the best mommy and my brain was somewhere else. She softly whispered, "Say...you're the best baby in the world."

You're the best baby in the world, My Essie-Pooh. The best in the world.