Sunday, December 21, 2008

Funny For The Day

"Overconfidence -- that cocky feeling right before you know better."

The Plague Goes On

Well, Cutezilla is sick. She's had a fever for the whole weekend. I can honestly say I've had enough of all of my family members being sick. We're planning to take her to the doctor tomorrow, but the way things usually go, she'll be better by then.


The part that really sucks? She just got off antibiotics for a sinus infection.

So our plans for cleaning up the house finally? Totally shot. Christmas? Almost shot, but we managed a slight work around. I did actually get to go to a glass etching class at the scrapbooking shop on Saturday that was a lot of fun. They have a diecut machine that they used with vinyl to make the template for the etching. It was pretty neat.



While I was there, I picked up a little something for myself. It's a Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife. It's en exacto that has a neat grip so you can really get some leverage on it. I think I might love this thing!


They're also hosting a "crop" the Friday after Christmas, and if I go, I can finally get started on my scrapbook for our England trip, and Ava's first year. It's a nice excuse to sit down and really work on a project dedicatedly, instead of "when I get time." I'll do a projects post later with pics of all the stuff I've gotten done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mediocre Mommydom

It's been eleven days since the new nighttime routine. I won't say every night has been perfect. Yeah, one night was a two-hour ordeal... but we've been able to get her to sleep at night, and she sleeps until 5:30 or 6am!

However, the parents have only won a battle, and definitely not the war. She Who Must Not Sleep has retaliated, and it was more than just a good solid effort: she has started refusing to nap. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean she doesn't need a nap. In fact, she desperately needs her nap. She's miserable and tired and cries from 1pm until she passes out from exhaustion -- at 6pm in the evening. This means she wakes up around 7pm, ready to go. So 9pm rolls around and she's not ready to go to sleep by any means.

This also means that she's been awake all day. With me, and needing me. Yesterday was the first day all week that I got to take a shower by myself. Actually it was probably my first shower in two, if not three days. We also got shots on Tuesday, so Wednesday, she was miserable and unhappy, no matter what we did, on top of refusing to take her nap. My husband actually came home early to help me with her, and I think by the end of the day, we were all exhausted, in every way imaginable.

Today, on our way home, she dozed off just as she normally does. And just like always, I drove us both home. But for the first time in over a week, she is quietly napping away, and has been since 1:30pm.

What happened? How did I do it? I'll tell you: I left her in the car.

Don't worry, she's fine. The garage door is closed, the car is turned off, the radio is playing Christmas music for her, and the sunroof is open so that when she wakes up, I can go get her. The door to the garage is also open, and there's nothing between her and where I sit currently except what barely qualifies as a hallway. I also go and check on her now and then.

I know, I know, it's awful. But she's napping, and it's what we all needed. So if this is the only way I can get it to happen? So be it! She's safe and getting the rest she was desperate to avoid, and I have what little sanity is available to me, so I think it's a win-win, even if it does qualify me as in Mediocre Mommydom. I'm okay with that.

More than okay, actually. I'm excited! I'm finishing up two projects, I got to post on my blog, and after this? Wrapping Christmas presents! It's been an excellent day. It's also warm outside, and I promised Cutezilla a trip to the park if she napped for me. So... WE'RE GOING TO THE PARK!!!

Sometimes Mediocre Mommydom is a wonderful place to be.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Like They Say In Kindergarten

I think that one of the cool things about any holiday or event is that you share it with someone. Usually you get to share it with someone you don't see every day. A friend or family member or even a group of one or the other. I think that's one of the things that makes them that much more special than just your average days.

I was thinking back today, on my very very looooong drive back from Atlanta, to all the awesome days I've shared with other people. The weddings of friends and my own wedding really come to mind. Getting to be there for someone you care about, and be excited for them and excited for how happy they are. Birthdays too. It's exciting to show someone how special they are, even if it's just to take time out of your own schedule to hang out with a particular person. Sometimes the best birthdays are just spent with good friends and making new memories.

My husband threw me the best birthday ever this year. We went down to Kiawah with friends, and he made my birthday dinner: lasagna! He even went through the trouble of making THREE different lasagnas because we have a few dietary issues to address. (Yeah, I know. It's pasta. I was surprised too.) He made BLUEBERRY MUFFINS, which are one of my absolute favorite foods, and overall, went above and beyond the call of duty for me... and I loved every single minute. We didn't do much in the way of activity, but we went down to the beach and played bocce in the sand, and it was fabulous! We spent the afternoon at the little shops on the island, and had a nice relaxing lunch. I mean, being surrounded by friends and family -- what better better birthday can you have?

Fourth of July, too. Just getting to sit around and watch fireworks, grill out, enjoy good food and good drinks with good people... it doesn't get much better.

We've even taken a vacation with friends, and that was probably one of my favorite trips ever. Okay, we went to England and Scotland, which pretty much would make it an amazing trip anyway... But it was that we got to share the experience that made it that much better. because I have all these pictures of me and my husband sitting around at pub tables with our friends, smiling and laughing, pictures of us all caught in the rain or standing in front of centuries-old icons, or asleep on the bus or plane, memories of us all shopping at a wool outlet in Scotland, climbing over ancient Roman earthenworks at Hadrian's Wall.

Not to say a trip with just me and my husband isn't special. It's just that it somehow adds to the excitement to have someone to share it with. This weekend was another to add to the list, sitting on a blanket, staring up at the laserlight show on Stone Mountain, singing along to the carols playing, and doing the revised middle school school version of "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer." It was awesome. And just something cool and wonderful to think about ever now and then, how blessed I am to have such good friends and family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Been Meaning to Do This...

Finally figured out how to update my blog's look. For a graphic designer, I've been really slack on this, and I feel like I cheated, since I didn't do it myself... but... it looks pretty cool so far, even if I don't have the font color scheme quite worked out yet.

I'll put something special together some other time after I get my software installed... hopefully....

Oh, and if you're interested, the design is by The Cutest Blog on the Block!

I've Been Tagged?

If any of you email me, you know I'm not exactly great with those forward questionnaires or other "send this email on" items. Mostly because I just don't have that much time on the computer, or I don't know that many people who would be interested in receiving said email items.

I did managed to finally complete a book exchange chain letter, which I thought was really cool and worth some effort... that and Cutezilla napped for extra long one day, so I managed to get all the copies filled out and into envelopes before she woke up.

But it seems I've been tagged, so here goes!

List these rules on your blog. Share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I am very particular about my Ranch dressing. If it's not fresh, I'm not interested. Some restaurants have decent Ranch. Some do not. Don't try and pass off that bottled crap on me It has this awful aftertaste somehow that I just can't seem to get out of my mouth.

I don't order pizza over the phone. They never get my order right. Large pepperoni, onions, extra cheese on a pan crust. "That was sausage and anchovies with pineapple on a medium thin crust?"

I love staying at hotels. Especially if they have self-serve belgian waffles and a pool. Heaven you can put on your credit card.

I'm apparently neurotic about my towels. My mom folded my towels one day, trying to help me out with the laundry, and I think my face was almost permanently disfigured from the tick I developed while trying to convince myself that it's okay if they aren't folded like all the others in the linen closet. It turns out, they weren't okay, and for some reason I felt overwhelmingly compelled to refold each and every one. Thankfully my mom has no idea.

I have a 3am cereal problem. Sometimes for no good reason, I will wake up in the middle of the night (or early morning) craving cereal and milk. If it's not available, I'll go for toast or just buttered bread.

As a kid, I refused to wear turtlenecks or courdaroy, and threw tantrums if mom even looked like she was thinking about taking me to a show store.

In addition to the nut allergy, I am also slightly allergic to cabbage, celery and carrots. Who needs collagen injections when you can eat coleslaw?

Now for seven more tags:
Megan
VampD
Jake
Torie

(I'd post seven, but one of the people I know who has a blog tagged me in the first place, and another isn't active with hers... Sorry!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Will Roaming

Some days just work out. Somehow, no matter how badly you screw it up, somehow it works out. I think you get a standard quota of good luck. On those particularly random days when things somehow go inexplicably right, that's your quota. And on those days, you should go buy a lottery ticket.

Today I completely used up my quota of good luck for the next six months.

I went out to do some Christmas shopping, and I was apparently really not thinking when I was getting out of the car while leaving a message on someone's voicemail and juggling half-a-dozen items in my head. I slammed the door of my car shut... and immediately realized I had locked the car doors with my keys and my daughter in the car. I totally freaked out right there in the parking lot, of course. And then hung up in the middle of my message after shrieking "OH MY GOD" into the phone a few thousand times.

A lady in the parking lot noticed me -- let's face it: who didn't notice me? -- and came over to ask if I was okay. I told her what happened, and she pointed out that there were three police officers sitting in the next parking lot over, and asked if I wanted her to ask them if they could possibly help me out, while I sat with Ava who was quietly staring up at me, with a look that said, "Okay lady. We're parked. I get out now. That's the deal, right? What's the hold up already?"

She drove off, and two of the three police officers came over. They hop out of their cruisers, and of them pulls out a slim jim. My second dose of luck?He one of the only guys on the force to carry a slim jim. However, my car doesn't slim jim well, apparently. Good to know as long as it's not me trying to break into my own car. But he said it wasn't a big deal; they'd call Pop-A-Lock (whom I noticed is permanently camped out in the mall parking lot). My third shot was that the Pop-A-Lock guy was on his way to the store across the street when the officer called it in. So all he had to do was swing in, pop open my door, fill out some paperwork and we were all on our merry way.

Ava was stuck in the car for a total of maybe fifteen minutes from start to finish. I made faces at her, played peek-a-boo, and otherwise looked like a raving idiot while my knights in shining cruisers saved my bacon. She laughed and seemed perfectly content the whole time. Between the lady who took a few minutes out of her day to give me a hand, the officers and the lock guy, I was overwhelmed with the good will I received today. And they all seemed happy to help. I am so very thankful for these people today, and for their willingness to jump right in.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Freaking Christmas Miracle

If you read my last post you know that last night was a complete and utter disaster from a sleep standpoint.

Tonight, however, I'm so excited/astonished I can hardly believe it. Cutezilla let me put her down in her bed, and twenty minutes later she was ASLEEP. No car ride, no screaming, no dragging me back into bed with her... just ASLEEP. I can't tell you how thankful I am. Seriously. It's freaking amazing!

The funny part is that when we drive her around at night to get her to doze off, I usually play U2's The Joshua Tree. It's quiet and lulling, peaceful, and I can listen to it forever without getting really tired of it... but also I'm lazy and never take it or the other 5 discs out of the CD player. So tonight, I pulled out my extra copy of it, popped it into her CD player in her room... and she actually dozed off! How amazing is that? It's Pavlov's Daughter!

I don't know if the CD is the reason she dozed off. I can hope, of course. But either way, Cutezilla went to bed tonight without a serious fight! I actually get some time to myself!

In other news, I talked with my mother and she seems upset that we're not coming down for Christmas. So a trip may be in our future after all. But if it makes my mother happy, so be it. We'll have Christmas at our own house some other time, and maybe Ava will be old enough to understand and enjoy it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My One Thing

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be posting tonight. I'm not feeling that great mentally, and I think my hubby and I are officially sunk: the car rides have stopped working. It is 11:45pm and my daughter just went to sleep ten whole minutes ago. And it's been this way for a few nights.

It's not that I mind staying up. It's not that at all. It's that I need my time to myself, and when she gets up at 7:30am and goes to bed at 11:30pm, she has been with me every single moment throughout the day. I need a few hours to myself to do things like, oh, say, BLOG, or WRITE EMAIL. Perhaps even just watch some TV or let my brain have some down time. It's important to have that time to yourself if you need it. Problem is, by the time she goes to bed, if I get in the amount of down time I really need, I don't get to bed until 2am or so, and then she wakes up again around 3am. So not only am I not getting in my quiet time, I'm not getting my SLEEP either.

But that's not my only problem tonight. And maybe that topic is why I should be blogging tonight. I called my aunt today to ask about the upcoming Christmas celebration, to find out what the family was doing this year, and it turned into a debacle somehow.

Like most people, when I think of the holidays, I think of spending them with people I love. Specifically, I think of having a meal together where you talk and laugh, where people tell stories and jokes, interesting anecdotes. I think of good food and people putting a lot of thought into what they're making and who they're making it for. I think of doing things together like decorating the tree, pulling out the ornaments from the basement or attic, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing as they pull shabby half-glitter-coated stars out of tissue paper, and thinking back to when someone made that ornament in third grade and how excited they were to bring it home to mom. I think of pulling out the delicate brass-engraved, red-ribboned recreations of sleds or home-town main streets, and thinking back to a special vacation with someone. I think of sitting around a table drinking hot chocolate with melty marshmallows overflowing out of the top, and rolling the dice for Monopoly, and everyone groaning as you land on Free Parking and steal the pot. I think of sitting in a freezing car, sandwiched between relatives in the back seat, as you drive around town looking at all of the amazing neighborhood lights displays while Christmas music plays over the radio.

And you know what? It's not the marshmallows or the board games or the lights or any of the physical stuff that comes with the holidays that's important to me. It's not the gifts, not the food, not the music -- it's not even the religious significance. It's just getting to see the people I love happy and enjoying themselves. It's enjoying these few moments we get with our loved ones. It's that bonding, that camaraderie that I love. It's one of the few chances during the year to not just tell people you love them, but to show them as well. That's the single most important one thing about any holiday to me.

This year will be the first Christmas Eve my husband and I have spent in our house. I like to share these sort of events. It seems to me that if there are people around that you don't usually get to see, it makes things more special. More memorable. A day less ordinary.

It's just not as easy to get excited about the holidays when you know there won't be anyone else to get excited with you about them. Cutezilla isn't quite old enough yet, and our friends have their own families. As a result, I'm not sure if there will be anyone here to share it with. It seems like the rest of the world has their own agenda and their own schedule -- and I guess that's okay. Maybe he and I need to make our own traditions for our little family unit, too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Spirit Elf

So something happened yesterday that I'm not really proud of. It's small, it's petty... but for some odd reason it stuck with me for most of the day.

I opened my door to get out of my car to go do some holiday shopping with the Booger yesterday, and as usual I was chatting with my sister about things and nothing... I finally hung up, and looked back over my shoulder and some older lady was standing there looking fairly pissed at me. I had had my door open so she couldn't get into her car. I immediately realized what I had done and jumped up, shut the door and apologized for being in her way... and she still looked at me like she was pissed, even as she was getting in her car.

I'd like to think her husband had ticked her off or something, or maybe she was just hungry and not feeling in an especially good mood or something... I tried waving apologetically, too, and one of those "thank you for being understanding" looks, but she still looked a little more than just grumpy. I don't know. Maybe some people are just grumpy, maybe it was just a bad day or something, but I was sitting there in the parking lot, thinking how very anti-Christmas that whole episode felt.

This year, I guess I'm sort of looking for more of that Christmas Spirit than normal, so I decided that whomever ran into me that day and spoke to me, that I would at least get them to smile. With Cutezilla on the loose, it's not hard to get people to talk to me, and I always chat up the cashiers (who in my opinion, with such a tedious job could probably use more cheer than anyone), so I think I had a fairly successful day. I'm maybe still a little ticked at that lady for being such a grouch, but on the other hand, since it got me started thinking about this holiday cheer "program", it's not such a bad thing that it happened after all.

Additionally, I decided I needed to sit down and think about how to get a little more out of my holiday -- specifically, enjoying the people I love -- and the holiday itself. Today, since I'm still not working out due to my plague problem, I sat at the Y and looked through magazines. Better Homes and Gardens this month has a section called Heathy You, and the topic is "Joy." It had little quotes and stories from people at the magazine about what gave them joy, so as I browsed through I wrote up my own list to think about. Mostly, it was a list of things and questions for myself about the holidays, friends and family, and what makes those things special for me.

As long as I can keep track of where I've put the list, I want to post up the items over the holiday season. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This Plague, Brought To You By Kleenex

Well, the on-call doc fixed me up pretty good, I think. I started taking all my meds while I was on the phone with him, and as soon as the hubby could get back from the pharmacy. By the next morning, I was feeling pretty good. Especially compared to the previous two and a half weeks, which is really good, considering the doc almost forbade me to go to Iowa. I didn't tell the hubby that part. I knew he'd have a fit with me (and not uncalled for), so I just didn't tell him. However I did tell my mother-in-law, and let her know what was going on and what the doc had said, and what I'd be needing. She seemed pretty confident that they could take care of it all, so opted for the Iowa Plan, instead of spending Thanksgiving with my family.

Not that I don't love my family and all, but without the Monster Munchkin to distract people from whatever I'm wearing/doing, spending time with my family does usually involve a minor amount of harassment. It's not like they're trying to harass. They just seem to want to know every little detail about everything, and they can be occasionally aggressive about it. I'm possibly a little oversensitive to the whole interrogation process, too, which makes it more interesting.

The other added incentive to go to Iowa was that I knew I would be totally free to sit on my butt as long as I wanted, almost entirely wherever I wanted -- and if that meant not moving for the entire week, I could actually do that, provided I didn't go insane with cabin fever first. My mother, on the other hand, has a very serious agenda whenever I'm home. That's all fine and good, and I'm happy to let her tote me around wherever she wants -- but not when I'm about to drop dead from being sick.

So off to Iowa I went.

And then began The Eight Days of Gluttony. Seriously. One hundred and ninety-two hours of nothing but deliriously unhealthy food, and no gym. It was heaven. We started the whole thing out with lasagna, which I absolutely adore. But you know what's better than lasagna for dinner? Lasagna for midnight snack, followed by lasagna for breakfast, lunch and then mid afternoon snack. Repeat process until pans are empty, then proceed to lick clean.

We had taco pizzas, we had chicken divan (another favorite, but it was all gone before even the midnight snack came around), some awesome steaks, and of course the normal Thanksgiving fare, and a few nights out. The magnitude of the gluttony was impressive. And I'd like to blame all the weight I've gained on the prednisone (side effects are water retention and weight gain), but I'm pretty sure that's not the entire case.

I also got to do some reading, and sadly, I have finally finished the last Harry Potter book. I've been putting it off since it came out while I was pregnant, but I finally pulled the trigger. I hate reading the last of a series, especially when the author has no other books out. But I guess it had to happen sometime.

The flights there and back were mercifully uneventful, aside from normal toddler trauma. But the hubby came down with something when we got back. And guess who came down with it too! No, seriously, guess! So yeah, I've got a nice little sinus infection going on. I'm really wondering if I should count my 5 to 7 days of wellness. I was happy to have them, don't get me wrong, but was it getting well, or was it a minor blip of "feeling LESS crappy?" Hard to say.

But I'm starting to feel better, I think. Maybe. I drank half a gallon of tea today, to help keep myself hydrated, and I was feeling well enough to start Operation House Reclamation. The house is mine. Not Cutezilla's. Although I don't think she believes me. And okay the house is still a moderate to heavy wreck, but I made some progress, and I can probably do some more tomorrow. I hope. I'm avoiding the gym until I'm back at 100%, though. I hate it, but it's too easy at this point to relapse. And let's face it, I'm pretty dumb. No one who's sick says to themselves, "Oh hey, I can do an hour on the treadmill! Sure, no problem!" No one but me, apparently.

Anyway, crossing my fingers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Plague Update: 2 Weeks, 5 Days

I guess you've noticed I haven't been posting. In all honesty, I haven't been doing much of ANYTHING. And I do mean that quite literally. Not even getting off the couch -- which means my poor little booger has had to be a little more creative these last few days... er... weeks, really.

The week before last, I took her down to her Grammy's to hang with her grandparents while the hubby and I did some recovering. And cleaning. Lots of cleaning. I still wasn't feeling all that great, but I was doing a little better, so I decided "Let's paint Ava's closet!" Dumb. Very dumb. Not unusual, though, I'm very sorry to say. But the closet looks pretty good. Even if I did nearly kill myself doing it.

I spent all day Saturday on the couch, because just getting up to go to the kitchen was exhausting. And then I spent all day Sunday there too. Monday, I finally managed to get some energy, so I worked on a few projects, then drove back to Charleston to pick up my booger. While I was there, I decided I wasn't getting better, so I got my Z-pack filled and started the antibiotics. Then, we drove back on Tuesday, even though I felt totally MISERABLE. Wednesday, after Ava got mad at me for sitting on the couch all day, I went to the doctor again. Tests were all fine. No technical problems. I was almost praying for a positive test. Thankfully it wasn't the pregnancy test. Neither me, nor Ava, nor her daddy are quite ready for that yet.

But on my way back from the doctor's office, I called my parents and begged them to drive up on Thursday to help with me with Ava for the rest of the week. BEGGED. And Jake's aunt came through again for me -- her daughter came for a few hours and played with Ava for me, and then took her to church while I slept for a few more hours. I am extremely blessed, I have to say.

But still it was all weird. I felt miserable, had absolutely no energy, I was sleeping all night and all day, and was opting to sleep instead of eat or shower. (The hubby was probably thrilled, I can tell you.) And then Wednesday, when I was at the doctor's office, I noticed I had started a cough. I thought, "Oh, hey, maybe this is the last step in getting this crap cleared up." Apparently wishful thinking.

Last night I coughed until I threw up. Twice. I was up all night, and my poor hubby actually stayed up with me and brought me water and fixed my shower ( <-- Southern lingo there, folks!No vise grips were used, promise!), and even pulled out my pajamas and rubbed my shoulders at 3am. He was really amazing last night, so I had to give him props and kudos.

And then I did it again today. So I called the on-call doctor. I mentioned that I was coughing up thick liquid, but it was clear with nothing in it, and immediately, he says, "YOU HAVE ASTHMA, AND YOU NEED TO GET THAT UNDER CONTROL IMMEDIATELY!!!"

I thought, um... DUH, man. I almost lost a lung a few minutes ago.

I didn't know what to think of the asthma prognosis, since I already know I have asthma, and I usually know when I'm having problems. Apparently up until just recently, my asthma had been very predictable. But he wanted to put me on the steroid that my GP suggested, so I thought, okay, what the hell, why not? He also gave me a cough syrup with codeine in it, Advair, and put me back on Singulair. Actually, he made me start the Singulair while I was on the phone with him. He also said that the reason I had no energy, that I couldn't get off the couch was because my body wasn't getting the oxygen I needed. When you start wheezing, you're already at 60% of your normal air capacity, which isn't very much, when you think about it.

But I have to tell you, I already feel like a new person. Hopefully that's not entirely the codeine talking. I even cleaned my refrigerator tonight! (It needed it desperately, okay???)

I finished off my last antibiotic today, too, took the codeine syrup, the Singulair, and the steroid, Prednisone, and I haven't coughed hardly at all over the last few hours, and I even got to eat without seeing my meal again later. So overall, I feel a LOT better. Finally. Just pray it continues, would you???

The on-call doctor actually told me I shouldn't fly to Iowa for Thanksgiving, though. And I know I'm feeling fine now and all, and that could change, but honestly it would be a lot less stressful to be in Iowa. My parents need a break from Ava, honestly, and I can't blame them. She's full time plus. And the in-laws will have a lot of energy to devote to her, plus all the extra relatives. The hubby's family actually spends all of Thanksgiving together -- Wednesday night through the weekend. So there will be tons of people around. And not being in my own house means I have a lot less responsibility. There won't be projects or maintenance items or lists to complete. Just minor stuff that, if I do continue to feel better, won't be a problem for me at all. And I'll get to COOK. I'm really excited about that.

But the point is, I won't actually have much to do other than sit on my butt and recover. Plus my in-laws have lots of medical support on-hand. I think it'll be more restful than spending it at home or even in some ways with my own family, so I'm going.

Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know what was up. I'll be thinking about you over the holiday! Have a wonderful one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yah. It Finally Happened.

I went to the doctor. His best guess? Viral. It figures. So I'm not sure if I'm going to get the antibiotics filled or not. They did take blood to see if my thyroid is down-the-tubes. It would sort of explain the tiredness and the weight problem... and my Aunt has Grave's Disease and ended up getting her thyroid nuked. (Her symptom? She couldn't GAIN weight while eating ice cream in bed. That's a PROBLEM???)

But tomorrow, I'm making use of my butt-sitting time by driving my daughter to see her grandparents. It was supposed to be Thursday, but I'm just going to sit around and feel lousy, so why not be productive for a change?

Anyway, my mom and dad will be thrilled to see her... even if the accompanying Plague-ridden parental unit tags along.

I did still make it to my dance lesson today though, after I drugged up. I'm terrible, but I honestly didn't think I'd be feeling this bad today -- wishful thinking as usual -- and it's a 24 hour window beforehand to cancel. But I felt okay during the lesson, and I washed my hands immediately before. So pray that Ihor (EE-hore -- and no, I'm not making that up; he's from Ukraine; whaddaya want from me?) doesn't catch it. He'll KILL me if he does.

Anyway, I need my rest. G'night all!

(All? Really?)

Monday, November 10, 2008

PLAGUE COMES TO AN EN-- No, no, wait... yep. Still here. Damn.

Yeah, still sick, I think. It's kind of weird. I just didn't want to wake up this morning. That's pretty normal, I guess, but I cna usually make it to the gym before 11am. Today? Not so much. And my body still aches all over.

Problem is, I hate going to the doctor. Not because I hate being looked at. I guess I just hate not being well. I want to think, "Oh, it'll go away soon; I just have to tough it out." But it's been over a week now, and Cutezilla is not 100% happy with me spending my days on the couch. Considering, though, she's been fairly understanding.

But I made a deal with myself. If I can't do a normal workout, I'll go see the doctor. I think that's reasonable. Because today, I just didn't want to do anything, and jumping around seemed too much... and yeah, that's definitely a sign. Not to mention my joints hurt EVERYWHERE.

Going to bed early though. Maybe that will help out.

Christmas... And So It Begins...

Okay, yeah, it's true, I have already done quite a bit of Christmas shopping already. That's always the easy part. (Unless I'm shopping for hubby or my dad. They're both kind of tough, but in different ways.)

However every year, we always get to this point where someone says, "So... what do you want for Christmas?" And they actually want to know because I'm on their list. And my list is always about four items long or it has insanely expensive items on it. For instance, does anyone have any idea what King size sheets are running these days? Or maybe they were always this expensive, and I just never noticed... anyway, the fact remains, they are INSANE! The cheap sheets (250 count) are still $40 or something. I finally managed to find some beech jersey sheets for $70 that I didn't feel awful about putting on my Google wishlist.

But I think this year might go okay, because I want garden stuff for spring. I'm really excited about hopefully getting my aunts to give me some pointers on how to give my yard that "wild but not overgrown" look. But the growing seasons are drastically different between here and Iowa where my in-laws are, so I'm thinking gift cards are in my future this year. The bonus: they're easy to pack.

People are starting to ask what to get Cutezilla for Christmas too... but WE HAVE ENOUGH TOYS!!!! Seriously. Since I've been sitting on my butt all week (thankfully now feeling some better) the house is a WRECK, aside from the hubby's much appreciated attempts in the kitchen. I did swiffer the floors after he ran the Roomba -- a gift he gave me a few months ago, and as a domestic disaster, I adore it!!! But the kitchen at least looks somewhat together now. The rest of the house? Hurricane Ava struck.

But maybe next week will go better. I get to drop the booger off with the grandparents at some point, and the hubby and I get to pretend like we're free adults again! If I can quit sleeping all day, I'll do a lot better on the domestic-front though. I started back on the diet again today, so I think if I'm up to it, I'll be back at the gym tomorrow. (But we won't discuss how long it's been since I washed my workout clothes... and NO HUGS, if you see me at the gym!!!)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Midnite Shopping & The Cockroach Crisis

Last night, I went shopping at 11pm. For a change, it wasn't to Wal-Mart or Target. Garden Ridge is having a sale this weekend, and they're going to be open until midnight Friday and Saturday. Cutezilla and Daddy passed out cold, so off I went, and guilt-free for a change! It was so nice, being able to browse for a change. Cutezilla has gotten to the point where she wants to get down and explore... a lot. Since she has this chaos gene where apparently she's compelled to pull everything apart or out or off -- espeically out of bins or off hangers -- going out with her lately has been... challenging. picked up a few things for Christmas, and it was so nice to be able to look without being distracted with what she's handing me or where she's running off to.

When I got home, while I was on the phone chatting with a friend of mine (whoever thought a three hour time difference would come in handy?) a cockroach ran across the kitchen floor and freaked me out.

What was nice about this happening, other than my husband playing the gallant knight to my rescue, was that for once, I got to freak out without [hardly] anyone saying, "Oh my God, you're freaking out why???" And it's not because my friend's a girl. It's because she's from Charleston, which is infested with the damn things and she understands. It was so nice to be able to hop around like an idiot, totally freaking out while someone else on the other end freaks out a little with you.

My conclusion: The best friends you'll ever have either A) come to squash the bug for you, or B) freak out with you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Pics!

Ava was really having a great time in her costume! And the family together! Our first family-themed Halloween ever: St. George and the Dragon!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Engineer Parenting vs. The Rest of the World

Cutezilla, while playing with a medicine syringe...

Hubby: Honey, that's called positive leverage pump. But you'll have to get someone else to explain pumps to you. I'm not so great with pumps.

Wifey: I can explain pumps to her. I've got a whole closet full of them.

I Got A Tattoo!

Okay, not really. We all know I could never pick ONE design and stick with it for for than 20 minutes, so I chose something a little more mutable. It's a henna tattoo! Every time we've been to the Carolina Renaissance Festival, I've been wanting to get one -- literally for years now -- and never got up the nerve (or the cash) to do it. But I did it! I love going, but this year, since the hubby and I are on the diet, we didn't get any beer or fried foods. The gianormous turkey legs are always good, but somehow it's not quite the same without the bread bowls, beer, and chicken-fingers-on-a-stick. Still, the place was packed, I got to play with the conact-juggling balls -- no couches were damaged or destroyed this time -- and the weather was gorgeous!

Still on my Ren-Faire To-Do List:
Palm Reading
SCOTCH EGGS

And of course I love my new tattoo. It's a little darker than the picture, now.

Odd thing is, I was looking at the design basics, and a lot of them look like what I used to doodle in my notebooks when I was in high school. I'd love to learn to do this stuff, but let's be honest -- I'm never going to find the time to do it. I'm a little bummed about that, I think.

I know I need to post pics from Halloween still, and hopefully my buddy Jake got a few good ones for me.

As for right now, I think I'm getting sick. I'm achy all over, and everything hurts, especially my neck. The problem with this, I signed up for another belly dancing class tomorrow. But hopefully I'll feel better in the morning.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Little Product Review...

In the last blog, I mentioned I went dancing last night. Well, I forgot to mention that I also put on makeup. Nothing serious, just eyeliner, mascara, and a teeny bit of lipstick. Except I just bought some new lipstick, and apparently I picked up some serious stuff.

I needed something that I wasn't going to need to reapply, and RealSimple Magazine suggested L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail 16 Hour Lip Duo.

Honey, these people ain't whistlin' Dixie! I put it on last night around 7:30pm. When I got home, I washed off my face and took off the eyemakeup, not thinking anything about the lipstick at all. After listening to my booger babble upstairs for awhile, then start to scream for me, I finally wandered upstairs around 9am. We had a little breakfast; I drank some coffee, and after awhile I finally got dressed and made it out the door to the gym. Keep in mind, I hadn't looked in the mirror at all.

When I walked in the door, the girls at the front desk exclaimed, "Wow! I've never seen you in makeup!" It took me a minute to realize the lipstick was still there. And it was perfect. Exactly where I had put it on, and hadn't left a mark on anything! I gotta say, I was impressed.

The downside was, I bought this stuff, and actually had to ready the directions to put it on. Yeah. For lipstick. It's a two step process, where you apply the lip color, wait a couple of minutes, then apply a top coat. Apparently you also need an oil-based makeup remover to get it off, otherwise you end up like me today, trying to rub this stuff off as you're driving down the road.

But overall, excellent stuff. I put it on, and don't have to think about it again until... well, until someone reminds me about it. Which is awesome!

Friday, October 31, 2008

An Odd, But VERY Gratifying Night

I went ballroom dancing last night. I go every Thursday, if possible. And I love it. Well, last night was, of course, our Halloween Dance, and everyone got dressed up. It's always a lot of fun. I decided to go in last year's costume, because last year, when I went to zip the d&#n thing up, it refused. The zipper wasn't the problem, though. It was the fact that I had just had my daughter two months before. It was also a real first in my life, where I expected something to fit and it didn't.

So I was getting ready last night, I think I nearly had a heart attack when my husband stopped the zipper halfway up -- to adjust thankfully. But he got it all the way up, and it was an amazing feeling.

Off I went to the dance, and I got a lot of nice compliments. I wore a Mardi Gras mask with the dress (which was an old bridesmaid dress from a friend's wedding), and everyone loved it. Well, it's a cool mask. It's red velvet with gold trim and a green, feathered plume. Who wouldn't love it? I ended up going to Target to pick up a slip to go under my ACTUAL Halloween costume, but of course I couldn't change before I went in... so the dilemma was "Which is weirder? Wearing a bridesmaid gown into Target at 9:30pm? Or wearing a bridesmaid gown with a Mardi Gras mask into Target at 9:30pm?" Since I figured the mask would at least make sure I looked like I was ready for Halloween, I chose Option B.

As I was walking through, of course I got some looks, but for the most part, they were pretty complimentary. A few people even stopped to tell me I looked really nice. One girl loved the mask, and said I looked like I was going to prom, and another woman even called out down the isle, "Wow, you look amazing!" How's that for padding your ego a bit?

So not a bad night at all!

I did still go to the gym today, of course. I did some time on the elliptical, did some weightlifting -- and checked out how nice my biceps are looking these days (let's not discuss the tricep situation) -- and walked 2.5 miles around the track. It's good that the hubby is doing the diet with me, though, because it would be so easy to stop now, when I could still do a bit more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Slowly, Slowly

But it's happening! I feel better about how I look now than I have in MONTHS. Probably in almost a year, and I've gotten some nice comments lately. I bought some jeans about a week and a half ago, and they're a little more loose than I like to wear. I thought they were tight when I first tried them on, but jeans are apparently pretty stretchy... so I bought a size smaller last night!

Mind you it was an effort getting my butt into them this afternoon, but they're less tight today than they were when I went to buy jeans the first time. And like I said, they'll probably stretch a little as I wear them, like the other pair did.

Overall, I haven't made any significant progress that I haven't already reported. My "high" weight keeps coming down though, even if my "low" weight hasn't dropped at all. I'll still consider that a success, especially when you combine it with the jeans and the comments. I'd still like to drop five to eight more pounds, though. It won't put me at the weight I started at when I first got pregnant, but that's okay. Again, I've put on some muscle, and muscle weighs 25% more than fat. I'd be really interested to find out how muscle and fat compare in volume though. No one ever has that stat available, you know?

But the other good news is that the hubby decided to join me in my dietary pursuits, and I'm pretty excited about it. It'll give me a good reason to hang in there for these last few pounds, and not cheat. The better I feel, the harder it is, so having the hubby on board with me is really going to help me there.

As part of a small change-up, I've been going outside to walk the outdoor track. Okay, it's less of an intentional change-up, than it is a back-up plan when I can't get my butt out of bed, like this morning. It's been COLD down here the past few days. We went from the mild beginnings of fall to WINTER. But it's at least been nice to get outside for a change. I even jogged a very short couple of stints during my four miles. And I managed to get all four done in one hour flat.

So all in all, good stuff. And even if it's happening more slowly than I'd like, it's going faster than it had been. I'll call that progress!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I <3 Cheat Days!

Seriously. They rock.

Friday started out just fine. And then the hubby got a call that his gaming abilities were in high need at a birthday party. Since I've been jonesing to bake for months now, I threw together a triple berry cobbler and Chocolate Chip Golden Graham Treats. (Rice Crispy Treats made with Golden Grahams, instead, and chocolate chips added in.) Apparently they were pretty tasty... and of course marshmallows are so gooey when they're melted down, I ended up coated in a thin sticky layer of sugar... that I ended up licking off.

But most of Friday went fine. Went for a nice long walk in the rain at the gym on the outdoor track. As it turns out, I'm not the only nutjob in town. Two other people were out there with me. Saturday morning went pretty well too. I called my buddy over for waffles and he brought his family with him, parents and brother included! My parents showed up a little while later so the house was nice and packed. I love mornings like that.

I know waffles aren't on the diet, but I know that when I don't have carbs, I have absolutely no energy for a workout, and with the grappling seminar later that day, I knew I'd need whatever I could get. Grappling is an all-body deal, and everywhere has been for two days. But it was amazingly fun. I'm not much good at grappling, but I love to learn it and give it a shot. I lost a lot, but I got in one good arm-bar and a guillotine choke. So score for me!

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fights were really interesting. Normally I'm not into seeing two guys punch it out, but a few of the fights were really well matched and instead of going to the ground, they decided to keep it on their feet. I really prefer tap outs from arm-bars or other joint manipulations, because they usually display a lot of skill and thought as opposed to how hard a guy can nail his opponent, but like I said, this one was really well matched, so the fighters had a lot of back-and-forth action. The main event though, was cut short due to the challenger popping out his ACL tendon in his knee. Which is probably a good thing for him, because he was sort of getting his butt kicked.

I also tried to drop into my friend's belly dancing show. She's amazing and in various shows around town. Her troupe is BellyMuse, and the last show I saw was awesome. Another girl was up from Columbia, Natalie Brown, and she's amazing too. She performed as well, and I can't wait to see the videos. (I missed the show because I took my poor little booger, and we got lost, spent over an hour in the car, and she fell asleep before I found the place.)

But on the upside of not making it to the show, I got back to Jake's place in time for the UFC fights, got a plate load of fantastic ribs and mac'n'cheese, and got a few backrubs to boot! And I still get to see the performances, albeit in a slightly less impressive environment.

But here are a few videos, if I can figure out how to embed them:
(My computer died.. again, so I'm on the backup laptop with no FlashPlayer.)




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Post, er, I mean, Ode to the Hubby

My husband ROCKS. Of course he might have been trying to make up for the fact that he was leaving me alone with Cutezilla for the night and most of tomorrow... but still! How often do yo get to wake up to real breakfast in bed? And not just a doughnut they picked up somewhere and threw at you from the door. I'm talking a hot, freshly-made, sausage and cheese omelet with a tall glass of orange juice!

Like I said. It was awesome.

This week has gone pretty well, overall. So far. Knock on wood.

Monday, I took the booger to the doctor to see if she had an ear infection, and thankfully, she does not. It's just teething that's bothering her, and she's getting in four, possibly five larger back teeth. I'm not sure if they're molars or whatever, but any way you look at it, it can't be fun.

Since I missed the gym due to the doctor's appointment, I had a dance lesson that evening and the hubby helped me pick out a pair of jeans so I don't freeze to death while it's cold out. I had gone to the mall earlier that afternoon, but all of the jeans seem so overpriced... $40 - $60 seems WAY too much to pay for a pair of jeans I don't want to spend a lot of time in, you know?

Not only that, but one of the sales people tried to help me feel better by saying, "But HONEY, you've had a BABY! Your body may NEVER go back to the way it was." I'm really not sure how that's supposed to be encouraging, but it's not. My brain translates that into "Why are you bothering to even try to lose this weight? Just give up now and be satisfied with only feeling okay when you get dressed, instead of ever feeling GREAT again." So definitely not what I would call encouraging. Especially when I've taken into account the broad range of my relatives and their recoveries... it seems realistic for me to be able to get some back of what I lost.

But after recovering some, the hubby was really sweet and bought me some fingerless gloves at target, which are pretty cute, and was super sweet about the jeans thing. I bought a pair at Target for $32, which seems much more reasonable to me. And my "high" weight of the day has been dropping downward, which of course is awesome. So I don't feel as lousy as I did on Monday afternoon. Actually, I feel pretty good.

Yesterday, I hit the weightlifting class, and did okay. I still need to get up to the 15 pound weights in the next few months because the Monster Munchkin weighs 24 pounds... and on a good day I'm using 12 pound weights. So I definitely have a goal there. I think it'll be easier once I go back to eating carbs, though.

I did the Step & Sculpt class today, and it kicked my butt. I didn't have much in the way of any carbs, and I need those to have the energy for classes. I've been trying to get something in before class, but today, I scaled back... okay, I ran out of crackers, so I scaled back, but not really by choice, exactly.

On the upside, though, now I know I need more before class, and that it's okay. And the jeans I found are a size 8, which is smaller than the 10's I've been wearing, so that was also nice. Not the size 4's I've got upstairs, but it's definitely a move in the right direction.

And now I need to go jump in the shower while I still have a minute to myself before Cutezilla wakes up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheat Day!

Okay. So I went a little crazy today. It all started with the breakfast croissant. It wasn't my fault. They sent me out for food and coffee, because we were FREEZING TO DEATH doing registration for the Timed Driving Event at the BMW EuroFest. In other words, a mini-autocross.

So I got coffee. And then they needed food... and after doing well last week, I kind of lost it, and went nuts. One breakfast croissant. Lunch was free at BMW, and they had all sandwich items... and cookies. Dear God, there were cookies. But I only had two... and then there was the pasta salad. Okay, I didn't eat much of the pasta salad... but I had an entire bottle of milk. I've been dying for milk. I mean every night. It's been driving me insane. So I had some...

And then for dinner, I followed it up with the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sandwich from Red Robin. And fries. But it was really good. Not my favorite on the list, but still really good. And not my favorite Jerk Chicken sandwich, but it'll work in a pinch. I'm still working on a recipe to recreate my favorite, but I'll have to wait until after I'm done with my weight, since it includes LOTS of brown sugar.

I had a really great day today, though. I was helping out with holding down a tarp and one of the guys told me that I should probably pick something else to do, since it probably weighed more than I do. There was another comment about having to run around int he shower to get wet. I also got offered several rides back and forth from the event area to the Performance Center, and while it's not necessarily a reflection on how I look, it was still nice of them, since they didn't have to offer.

But tomorrow I'm back on. I still have some more to go.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Week Summary: Progress!

So I checked my weight again today. This morning, I was back up a little, but hey, there's variance in everything, right? The booger woke up at a fairly decent hour... still too early for me, honestly, but then, I'd probably sleep all day, given a good chance. But last night I slept through the whole night. My daughter? Not so much. And I'm afraid I found out through the hubby, who apparently got up with her more than once... My maternal instincts are not exactly what people thought they would be.

Anyway, since I actually slept last night, when I got up, I was feeling good enough to head straight to the gym! I made it into yoga without getting the evil eye for being late. (Don't mess with the yoga people. They're very serious about it!) It was another great class -- totally perfect for what I needed today too: leg stretches and relaxation. Then I hung out for a few minutes, chatted with some people, jumped on the elliptical for a few minutes, and came home.

The Sleepless Wonder wasn't ready for a nap yet, so we had a snack, and then a little while later, I dropped her into the car. She was so exhausted I hadn't left the neighborhood when she knocked out cold! It was awesome! Then I headed back home, decided I needed a shower, and hopped on the scales... to find I had dropped another three pounds! I may go back up over the weekend, but I'll have less to work off than I did last week and the week before... so overall, I'm pretty pleased today.

Technically this puts me being within 14 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, but I don't think I'll get there. Honestly, before, I had no muscle at all, and with lifting Ava and the classes I'm taking, I know I'm putting some on, and I'm happy with that. I think a more realistic goal is probably in the five to eight pound range.

Next weekend is a grappling mini-seminar before we go watch the next UFC fight, and I think I might even let myself have some celebratory pancakes or waffles in the morning before I go, if I do well next week. That class ought to be a fairly good workout if I actually get to grapple. All the boys are bigger than me, which makes it really difficult for me, but also it'll be a good test of skill.

If anyone's wondering, grappling is like wrestling, but with less rules. I'm actually looking forward to getting Ava into it, since there are some really valuable self-defense skills to get out of it. And it's a LOT of fun, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Goal

I was thinking this week, that the little Monster Munchkin gets a little fussy in the afternoons, and after some musing upon the subject, I realized she wasn't getting enough playtime with me at home. As a result, I decided that maybe we should do more playing. I'm still getting in my workouts, but the afternoons will probably be a little less trip-bound, I think.

Monday we ended up going to the mall, and yes, I did some shopping, but we also stopped at the play area, and I let her explore. She climbed the stairs to the slide and went down quite a few times... and then decided it was more fun to go up the wrong way. She's definitely my kid! We also got an afternoon walk around the block, and she really seemed to enjoy it.

Tuesday, we just hung out in the house, ran around, played with the "gumball" machine, and then took another walk around the neighborhood.

This morning, she woke up and her daddy went up to get her... unfortunately, she must have thought she was going to get to spend the whole day with him, because she SCREAMED when he tried to give her to me. She had a nice little death grip on his clothes and refused to let go. For another half-an-hour after he left, all she did was cry. I figured it was partially the teething, so finally I drugged her with Motrin, and she seemed to feel better after that. Teething Season sucks!

After our nice round of screaming, a trip to the nursery so I could get my butt kicked by the aerobics instructor, and a nice two-hour nap, we played in the house and ran around, and during our walk, we stopped in at a couple of the neighbors' homes to say hello. We got to play with a GIGANTIC black lab who didn't quite "get" that Ava was 1/5th his size, at best, and kept rubbing up against her to get her to play with him... and knocked her over. She didn't seem to mind, either. Just over she'd go, arms flailing, and then she'd use the dog to get herself back on her feet. Very amusing.

One of the other neighbors was out with her 22-month-old named Emma -- not to be confused with our OTHER next-door-neighbor's little girl named Emma -- and we stopped to play for a few minutes, and they exchanged hugs and kisses, which was really sweet. Really surprising too, but really cool.

I also promised the hubby tonight that he could get a break, so I took Ava to the nursery while I had a wonderfully relaxing yoga class. The instructor said my form was pretty decent, which was really nice to hear. He also rubs our feet during the meditation at the end! It's like heaven! When I picked Ava up at the nursery, she seemed to have a great time too playing with the other little kids. It took me fifteen minutes to get her to leave with me, and even then, I had to pry her off the furniture.

I'd like to think that as a reward, apparently I got to ditch FIVE POUNDS of this water weight I've been toting around lately. I hope I can keep it off. All in all, though, I think Ava's been some happier, despite the teething, so I think it's a good move for both of us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend Summary: C-

All in all, Saturday went well, as far as the diet goes. I wasn't bad at all about what I ate, according to the South Beach Diet. I also got into the gym on Saturday morning, and got on the elliptical and did some weightlifting. Sunday, however...

The baby shower was fine. There were some egg-sausage-quiche thingies that were AWESOME, and I had some fruit and a really small slice of a cottage cheese cheesecake. So, I did okay there, even though I did have some carby items.

But then we went to the Fall For Greenville Festival downtown... and I had to walk by the funnel cakes, and the nachos, and the popcorn, and the funnel cakes, and the BEER, and the funnel cakes... did I mention funnel cakes? I think I might have been a little grumpy by the time we got to the concert. And then of course, when dinner came around, I was starving, and every option presented seem to be a restaurant that serves bread as an appetizer or loads of delicious pasta.

As a rule, I have very little self control, especially when it comes to food. Even just standing around for a few minutes at the festival, someone handed me a beer, and said, "I'll be right back." I did manage not to drink the whole thing, but I'll say there was a tax extracted for the service. So of course if we go to, say, Outback, for example, do you really think I'm not going to eat an entire loaf or two of that hot fresh steamy bread slathered with butter? Yeah. Sure. RIGHT.

Anyway, we managed to settle on TGIFridays, and that worked out. I had a really nice steak with steamed broccoli. I've also decided broccoli should always be eaten with melted cheese. At home, I throw some in the microwave steamer my mother got me from Pampered Chef -- one of the best kitchen items I own, honestly -- with a little water and a chicken bouillon cube, nuke it for two or three minutes, then after I drain the water out, sprinkle a handful of cheddar over it and viola! The cheese melts everywhere and has a sauce-like consistency due to the leftover broth. Very tasty.

So between the beer, the shower carbs, a few crackers my daughter "shared" (rather, shoved in my face while she was grinning -- but she's too cute to say no to) and the crabbiness, yeah, the weekend wasn't terribly great.

Monday started out better, aside from the little Monster Munchkin teething and being up all night. (The hubby really saved my bacon here and did most of the work, because for some odd reason, I was beyond exhausted.) I got to the gym, did my aerobics class, some weights, and a little ab work, then added on some elliptical, and took Cutezilla for a walk before Daddy got home. Our block is only 0.7 miles, but it's mostly uphill, so it's not a terrible trip for me. Just short. Very short.

Tuesday, I stuck to the diet at least, and my dance instructor gave me a good run at my lesson. I had actually sweated through my shirt when we were done. Tomorrow is Step Interval, although I miss the plain, basic Step Aerobics class they used to have. The class is at a decent time, too, so I'll be able to get in my carbs long enough before it starts, which will be nice.

Here's to hoping.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Preliminary Weekend Success!

Now don't screw it up!

I made it to the gym this morning. I did a little on the elliptical, 100 squats with 175 lbs on the machine, some more inner/outer thigh work, and a short stint on the treadmill.

I think once I'm positive my hand is okay, that I'm going to add in more upper body weights. I already do the weightlifting classes, but when I miss one, I should do weights anyway -- depending on what the previous day's activities were, of course.

I'm considering buying a pair of jeans, though. I really really don't want to, since I have my "goal" jeans upstairs... but I need something to wear in the meantime. It just sucks that my goal jeans just happened to randomly come to me by accident -- without working for it -- and now that I've working my butt off (as literally as that is possible) for over eight months, they still won't fit.

It seems like every time I have some small success, my head reminds me that I'm still way behind in the win-loss percentages.

But I'm still feeling good, so maybe I shouldn't ruin it with clothes shopping. I can make it through today with no problems, I know. Tomorrow may be difficult with the baby shower, but at least the whole day won't be a loss. It's not like my aunts are going to stay and hang out and demand pasta and beer, you know?

Oh, speaking of....

Addendums to the list:
  • Beer
  • Chicken Strips from Chili's
  • Olive Garden / Carrabba's Italian Grill

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's 4am. WalMart Trip!

So I suppose I should explain the WalMart remark from the last blog entry.

Before our trip to ATL, I came up with the "brilliant" idea of turning our evening car ride into an extended trip to Atlanta. The hubby actually agreed with me. And that's where things started to go wrong.

(Not that he's normally wrong. In fact, most of the time, he's right. Unless he's agreeing with me, it seems.)

So 9 o'clock rolls around, and we all pack up, jump in the car, and head for Atlanta. She passes out, the hubby passes out, and all is looking pretty good. We get to our friend's house, get her upstairs, into her bedding... and for a minute she wakes up, and sees she's not at home. Of course, this is one of those terrifying moments in the life of a parent with a kid that refuses to sleep. But miraculously, she dedided she was tired, and crawled into my lap. About half an hour later, I managed to get her back into the bedding, and it looked like Operation Night Train was a success.

Until she woke up an hour later... screaming at the top of her lungs.

The hubby, being the fantastic guy he is, got up and took her downstairs, trying to placate her. Two hours after that, and she was still screaming, I took over. Since there was nothing I could do either, and I knew everyone within five blocks could hear her, I did what any other insane and desperate person would do: we went to WalMart.

Now, if you're like me and most other new mothers, you've probably done a lot of reading. Of course when you get to that Sleep Chapter, they always say things like, "Routine!" and "Earlier is better!" And then they proceed to lecture about how they see mothers out with their babies at 10 and 11 o'clock at night. Well let me tell you right now: it's not their fault! I know from personal experience. And as a result, She Who Must Not Sleep and I checked out every square inch of that WalMart, and double checked prices on six kinds of cheese and baby products. And oh, yeah, she was definitely wide awake for the whole excursion.

Around 5:30, on our way back to the house, I called my mother.

"Hello???"

"Hey Mom! What's happening?!?"

"Oh no. Let me guess... Ava?"

It took another 45 minutes of driving to get her back out. And then, guess what? She woke up at a little before 8am. Yip-freaking-ee. But I used the excuse to indulge in a little hi-test coffee with French Vanilla creamer, which was awesome. And then off we went to my grandaunts' place.

We're not exactly sure what prompted the whole night of not sleeping, but we think it was a combination of being at a new place and teething problems. In the morning, when I finally saw my friends and apologized.

"If it helps at all, I know at least two other people who were a lot more miserable than you were!"

Oh well. Another story for the baby book, I guess.

Toast Those Buns!

Since my hand's been bothering me, I did all leg stuff yesterday. I did 2 sets of 200 calories on the elliptical (20 minutes each) with some weightlifting in between (calves, inner thigh, outer thigh, and LOTS of squats) . I also got in one short walk with the Monster Munchkin, which was nice.

Today, I can definitely feel it in my legs and my backside, which is great, so I did a little more elliptical -- one more 20 minute / 200 calorie session -- with some more leg work (calves, inner thigh, outer thigh) and some upper body work (flies and bicep presses, I think they're called). Hopefully I'll get another walk in today, too. It's beautiful outside. About 72 degrees, and overcast. It's PERFECT. The little booger seems to like it too.

The next challenge will be getting through the weekend without killing the diet. I'm back to last week's low weight, so that's great. The problem is, I have a baby shower to go to on Sunday, and a miserable ability to turn down dessert. Especially something decadent. At least I can probably get through Saturday okay. Nothing is planned, and I can request to go to places where there's something on the menu that I can really enjoy, that's still on the diet. I can even hit the gym tomorrow, and take Cutezilla with me, and give the hubby a break. He really needs it.

Yesterday, I again work up to no husband at 5am. So I found my way into the living room, and he was passed out on the couch, and she was happily shredding a magazine. It turns out, she had woken up at 3am, and he'd tried to give her a bottle and get her back to sleep. Obviously that didn't work out as planned. So I took her and let him get back to sleep.

After a nice car ride at 6am, she finally dozed back off and slept for another whole two hours.

At least we didn't end up at WalMart again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things I Want After The Weight Goes

In no particular order:

  • MY PANTS BACK
  • Pancakes (cheesecake pancakes, preferably, and fried so they get that crispy ring around the edge)
  • Yogurt
  • BREAD
  • To bake a few cakes/cookies/whatever
  • A HOT, FRESH Kripsy Kreme Doughnut
  • Outback Cheese Fries
  • To drink coffee without thinking about the sugar
  • Pizza Hut Pan Pizza
  • Alice Springs Chicken
  • Kashi TLC Honey Sesame Crackers

Looks like a trip to Outback is in order, doesn't it?

Hmm... can't think of much else. I'm sure there's more, but the pants are the most important goal. I miss them, and now my butt is going to freeze until I can get back into them, because I'M NOT BUYING MORE PANTS WHEN I HAVE PERFECTLY GOOD JEANS THAT SHOULD FIT ME ALREADY!!!! I feel like I've put in a lot of work over the past eight months, and that's really my big goal... I'm just frustrated that with what I feel like is a lot of effort, I haven't seen many results. Especially with splitting my pants wide open the other day.

Cutezilla and I at least had a decent day, I guess. I got to the Step Aerobics class, too, which turned out to be a step interval class... 370 calories, maybe, but I was sort of stuck with my hand, so I went really light on the weights, and tried not to push it too much. The intervals are supposed to burn 35% more fat, so that's sort of nice, at least.

I gained some this week -- three or four pounds -- but it's water weight. Kind of weird to think I've gained a half-gallon milk jug somewhere. But anyway, that should be better in a few days. It's not my salt intake, it's hormones, at least. Somehow that's better than me eating stupid, like I normally do.

But hopefully that's also why I'm not feeling fantastic at the moment. Anyway, just need to get some good sleep in tonight, I think.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cutezilla

Just because I felt like sharing... pics of Cutezilla.




My buddy Jake coined the Cutezilla term this morning. Gotta give props where they're due!

Thank God for Retail Therapy

So the hubby gets home, points at me and immediately says, "You. Out of the house. Now!" I don't know about any of you, but who am I to question the house PhD's opinion?

So after a nice little shower -- we both thought that was a reasonable delay -- I grabbed the keys and my cards, and off I went... to Hancock Fabrics? I wanted to look at Halloween Costumes, so I thought I'd look at patterns. Not that I sew, but hey, I can think about it, right? Which is about all the time I get with Cutezilla running around. She's adorable, but the time consumption is amazing sometimes.
Actually, before I stopped at the fabric store, I was driving by the mall, and saw that one of their jewelry stores was going out of business. I decided I'd drop in, and while I was there, I thought I'd do some early Christmas shopping for Mom. I did some other shopping for a friend, who will remain nameless, in case someone googles this thing. So that felt pretty good.
Then, after the fabric store, Halloween Express was right next door, so I popped in, and found an Arwen costume from Lord of the Rings, which I thought would work well for our "family costume theme" this year: St. George and the Dragon. Not that we normally have a costume theme, but this year we do, and I'm pretty excited about it. I'll let you guess who's playing the Dragon. My only problem is the dress is a teeny bit big. But then again, it's supposed to be for "up to size 12." And this gives me a great excuse to buy a tiara!
After costume shopping, I went over to Barnes&Noble and picked up a couple of language audio cd's, and a new album by The Gotan Project. To put it simply: they rock!

However not all share my enthusiasm for tango music. Upon my arrival home, I told the hubby about my newest acquisition, and he shakes his head at me.
HIM: "That's not that crap you were listening to on Pandora.com the other day was it?"
ME: "Just because you don't like the accordion...!"
How could you not like tango music???
All in all, I'm feeling better. I think the hubby was right, and I needed some "alone time." I have the finger all bandanged up, too, so hopefully I won't damage it any further, and it'll start feeling better. I'm going to try Step Aerobics with it anyway, tomorrow. Hopefully that's not an awful idea.

Tuesday Bust

I did something to my hand yesterday. No idea what it was exactly, but I'm guessing it had something to do with the weightlifting, and I just aggravated some tendons in my hand. I've been taking anti-inflammants, so hopefully in the next few days it'll be better.

In other "bust" news, I managed to spray the ceiling with motrin and berry juice, after Ava screamed all morning, even after we had a nice few minutes with a full bottle -- I figured she must be teething, and that's where the motrin/juice came in -- I stepped on Ava's sunglasses and broke them, I changed a diaper (a nasty one) only to find out there were no wipes in the wipes box, and then -- the coupe de gras -- I split my jeans open. Not a little, hideable rip. Nooooo, of course not. A big huge GAPING rip that shows my entire backside. At least I was home.

Anyway, I'm sticking to the diet today, at least.

On the good side, I did get a three hour nap in, and so did Ava. I feel a lot better on that count. Hopefully tomorrow will go better.

I did find out that half 'n half only has one carb per a 2 tablespoon serving. So load that into my decaf coffee with a packet of splenda, and it's actually not too bad. (Still not diggin' the artificial sweeteners.)

But the hubby just got home, so maybe tonight will go some better.

Monday, October 6, 2008

24 Hours of Gluttony

So just as I'm coming out of Birthday Season... Thanksgiving hits. And then Christmas.

This weekend we went to ATL to celebrate the birthday of one of my girlfriends, and I think we had a pretty good time. I missed out on the Petit LeMans race at Road Atlanta -- a ten-hour endurance race, where the winner came in first by ~4.5 seconds -- but I spent some good time hanging out with my grandaunts, who are both in their nineties.

Sounds odd, but it was kind of fun. They live in a building like a dorm, but don't have to get out of bed to go to class. They show movies, have a cafeteria, have classes, like yoga, Tai Chi, crocheting/knitting... it's actually kind of cool. Let's face it, though: not many boys make it to the retirement homes, so there's a lot of girlie activities. But I think Ava and I both had a good time with the aunties. Especially Ava since she stole Aunt Trixie's walker and ran around the building with it. She had a blast.

Except I left my damn camera. AGAIN.

The hubby made some AWESOME lasagna. And okay, I could have NOT had some, or I could have asked him to make some low-carb lasagna, but... food is a part of the whole "having fun" experience, in my book. Not only that, but he only makes this stuff ONCE A YEAR. For MY birthday. And that's after I beg him. For weeks.

I do get it one other time of year. His mom makes it for Thanksgiving, as part of the four or five-day holiday. If things work out to my advantage, she makes it earlier in the week, and the morning after, I wonder downstairs, in almost full zombie-mode, pull open the fridge, cut myself a HUGE slice of the stuff, warm it up a little in the microwave, and then chow down while everyone stares at me over their eggs, cereal, coffee, and muffins. Then for lunch, I repeat the same process, except a little less zombied, and with turkey sandwiches instead of breakfast stuffs. Midnight snack? You guessed it. Lasagna it is!

So when an unexpected opportunity for mozzarella-covered Pasta Bliss came up, I couldn't say no. It's bad enough getting the stink-eye from the hubby when I order clearly inferior lasagna at a restaurant. But he doesn't MAKE it, and when you're jonesing, a fix is a fix. So I said yes to the pasta this weekend.

And yes to Chick-Fil-A... and potato chips with Ranch dip... and cheesecake... and two coffees, both overloaded in sugar... oh, and a Chipotle burrito where the tortilla looked like it was going to explode, if I asked for a single extra ingredient. Normally this would all kill me, but for some odd reason, my pants weren't tight in their usual places. So I don't feel bad at all, and back to the diet on Monday.

I've even got some portobello mushroom burgers already made up for the week, thanks to making too much stuffing for my stuffed steaks on Thursday. I made six stuffed steaks, so I had dinner made for Thursday and Friday, too. Leftover ingredients are pretty awesome sometimes, really.

My cheesecake turned out okay, too, I guess. I tried a variation using yogurt cheese, instead of cream cheese, because I can't bring myself to use reduced fat anything unless I know it tastes great. But yogurt cheese is made from fat-free yogurt, and it's loaded with vanilla, so I thought it would work better than reduced fat... but it wasn't entirely up to my standards as cheesecakes go. I think next time I'll use a combination and see how that works.

My daughter also proved how well she pays attention to things, as well, this weekend. I went upstairs and turned on the computer, because I refuse to order food over the phone. Whenever I do, the order is always wrong, they can never understand me over the phone:

ME: So I'd like an extra large pepperoni and onion with extra cheese and a hand-tossed crust.

THEM: Okay, that'll be a Medium with pineapple, anchiovies and no sauce on a thin crust, right?

I just don't get it. And THEN, it takes me a half-an-hour to try and get them to correct it, and it still ends up wrong. So I quit ordering food over the phone. I make the hubby or friends do it. I would even go so far as to accost random people with a phone, if I'm really desperate. (if that seems crazy to you, please refer to the title of this blog.)

So anyway, back to the story: I am half-way through and happily clicking away my order over the website when all of a sudden, the screen flips over to the Windows-standard green fields and blue skies, and shuts off. I look down and find my daughter looking very pleased with herself, as she pulls her sticky little ninja fingers off the power button. So I was forced to abandon my order and actually go in and order in person. But the line wasn't too long, so it worked out. And Ava got an extra thirty minutes of nap, which is always awesome... for us!

And, like I said, back to the diet tomorrow. The net loss is what I'm going for, and one 24-hour window isn't going to kill me. But I also know better than to weigh myself after Moe's or Chipotle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Many Licks Does it Take...

Before the calories count?

I finally really started feeling like myself again last Friday or so... and then we autocrossed all day Saturday and Sunday. So basically my weekend was totally shot. But my parents came in to take care of the booger, who was NOT happy at all that her parents decided to ditch her.

Mom did a great job with Ava, and I heard not a single PEEP out of her the whole time I was home, so that was awesome. My mother rocks! Although she did call me on Sunday [late] afternoon in a total panic.

"WHERE ARE YOU???"

"What do you mean, 'Where am I?' I'm at the autocross. I told you I'd be here ALL DAY, didn't I?"

"When you said all day, I didn't know you meant all night too!"

I keep forgetting mom's bedtime is like 8pm or something, so when Ava doesn't go to bed until 9... oh yeah. It gets interesting. They even got up with her in the night -- teething season is here again! -- since neither Chris nor I got more than five hours of sleep on any given day. That sort of happens when you sign up to be on course by 7am, and the site is an hour away. :meh:

But I won my class on Saturday! (I won't mention Sunday's three SECOND loss, though.) And I think I did pretty well at the Mini Match, too! I enjoyed it, at least.

I still didn't close my standard two second gap on my buddy, Jake, but, well, I guess it is his car. However, if I were competeing with the boys, I would have come in fifth, by 1.861 seconds. I beat the fifth place guy by 0.3, which isn't too bad.

Oh, right. What is autocrossing? It is "a timed driving event." Meaning a bunch of idiots get up at god-awful early, stick a bunch of cones in a parking lot, and time themselves running around said cones. Sounds dumb, but damn is it fun.

Now here's the hitch: I spent the whole weekend autocrossing, but one of my girlfriends had a birthday over the weekend, and we spent it at the autocross instead of celebrating with her. Which is okay, since we're extending her birthday celebration -- HOWEVER, today was my first day feeling like getting back on the wagon... and I decided to make a cheesecake for her. Well, she asked for the cheesecake... but it's just wrong to make a dessert when you're on a low-carb, no sugar diet.

But I'd been jonesing to make one for weeks now, so at least I had a good excuse. Still, the question needs to be asked: how many licks before the calories and carbs count???

I'm hoping this thing turns out okay. It's currently sitting in my oven, cooling. Hopefully the top won't crack. The edges are already a little overdone, but if the top cracks too, I'll be mad. This time, though, I used two full 9x13 pans full of water for the water bath, since I can't immerse this particular pan: it's too big.

Cross your fingers for me.

Oh and your laugh for the day:

As my buddy Rock put it, "Probably not."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Knight in a Shining... Mazda3?

The hubby came home this afternoon, just in time for lunch. If I've never said it before, let me say it now: I LOVE THAT MAN.

He came in, did all the dishes while Ava and I slept -- her 10pm bedtime also included a "midnight" snack at 3am... after I went to bed at 1am. Then after he got done, Ava woke up, and he took her to lunch and let me sleep for another whole hour. THEN, he brought me back lunch from Chick-Fil-A, and then took Ava with him to the park! It was awesome! It was amazing! It was... QUIET.

So I called the spa and scheduled some medieval torture. With the Mini-Match coming up, if there was ever a time to get it done, now is that time. The lady who had me was awesome too. Very nice, very sweet -- and checked EVERY ingredient on EVERY product to make sure it was all okay for me and my allergies. We also commiserated over the problems of having a nut allergy, since her son has one too.

For medieval torture, I came out fairly well relaxed.

I'm still sick, though. I feel like I should have hacked up most of my lungs by now, but there still seems to be at least one left in my chest, somehow. I think my allergies are having a serious effect on my recovery though. I didn't do all that well today, and I didn't have any antihistimines... and then when I finally did, it was like night and day. I just felt SO much better. But I also realized sometime yesterday that I'm taking somewhere between 6 and 10 benedryl a day.

Oh well. It works. After that, who cares?

I also went out and bought some makeup for the Mini Match this weekend. Should be interesting.