Hi Lynne! There's a whole group of us who lifts weights in the Ladies Who Lift (LWL) Forum, right below the Exercise Forum. If you don't get many answers here, please stop down and post with us -- I think you'll get lots of advice. We'd love to have you join us -- we're all about lifting weights to build strong. lean bodies.
First of all, I doubt that your 3.5# gain had anything to do with your weighlifting. It's impossible to add 3.5# of muscle in a week (it takes a lot of hard work and a long time for a woman to add that much muscle). True, sore muscles can retain a little extra water, but probably not that much. I'd look to what you're eating as the culprit. We've all discovered (to our chagrin) that we can undo all our hard work in the gym with just a little bit of unplanned eating. If you tighten up your nutrition, I'm guessing you won't see unexpected gains.
Most women -- absent hormonal imbalances -- simply cannot bulk up regardless of how heavy they lift. We lack the hormones necessary to build those big, bulky muscles. Muscle, being smaller and denser than fat, will make you look smaller and more toned. Check out the muscle vs. fat photo at the top of the Exercise Forum: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/atta...chmentid=17582
And here's a link to an article about women and weights (and check out the web site -- tons of great info): http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html
One note: it IS possible to start looking bulky as you're building muscle IF you're not losing the fat that lies on top of the muscle. The muscle will push out the fat, giving you that bulky look. But it's FAT, not muscle causing the problem. The solution is to burn fat by doing cardio as you build muscle for a tight, toned look.
On a personal note, I lost all my weight while lifting as heavy as possible. Building muscle has made me smaller, not bigger. I don't think I would be a size 4 at my weight without having a lot of muscle! And you should check out Karen (MrsJim) in the LWL Forum -- she's a size 4 at 150 pounds due to all her muscle! So building muscle rocks if you want a strong, slim body.
So if your goal is to build muscle, the way to do it is by lifting as heavy as possible (I'm agreeing with your DH here). You want to go to failure
-- that is, until you can't do another rep. You'll pick a weight that gets you to failure in say, 12-15 reps, and go until you can't lift one more time. I like to stay in the 10-15 rep range myself -- a guy looking to build mass would probably be in the 6-8 rep range.
Most of us lift 3-5 days a week, so you doing it every other day fits right in with that. Many of us do "splits" -- working out different body parts on different days. For example, a three-day split might be: Day 1: chest and tri's, abs; Day 2: Back and bi's; Day 3: legs, shoulders, and calves. There's all sorts of different ways to split it up. For each body part, I typically do 3 - 4 exercises, 3 sets each.
I hope this answers your question a bit and is not too confusing. Please jump in at LWL for more help -- we have experienced lifters and a personal trainer who regularly post there who are more than happy to answer questions.