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.


"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:

  • Pancakes (cheesecake pancakes, preferably, and fried so they get that crispy ring around the edge)
  • Yogurt
  • 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


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 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.


"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."